Mad and Insane Old Ones

Dawn was watching the news.  It had been almost ten weeks since the battle with the elves.  Things had calmed down around the towers.  Callia had her birthday party, even though she had to sit through most of it.  There hadn't been any huge issues going on in the world.  A few minor skirmishes that the team had handled.  The budget that had been so screwed up had even gotten fully fixed in time for the yearly meeting.  She was basically done for the day with an hour to go so she was watching yahoo news 'weird news' segments.  She blinked at one, turning it up.

The comedian doing the hosting duties looked at the camera.  "Since the battle over LA with the flying dogs, people have wondered what breed they were," he said.  "It appears that whichever breed it is is spreading."  They cut to a news article showing tiny winged puppies.  "Earlier this week, a dog breeder of mastiffs and pit bulls announced that somehow one of her female dogs got pregnant without her realizing it.  We have an idea how but not by what since the tiny mastiffs were born with wings." 

It cut back to the host.  "In another sighting of winged dogs, there have been reports from a vet clinic in New York that some winged Chihuahuas were born to a society dog."  It cut to a picture of them.  "We have no idea why Julia Shandy had a winged dog or if it was going to be effecting her trial for killing ten people and attempting another six, but she was said to be very happy with the dogs and was cooing madly over the tiny wings.  Which we think fits very well with her tiny mind."

Dawn paused it.  "Xander?" she called.  "Oh, Xander?"  He appeared looking sweaty.  She reran the clip.

He watched, blinking hard.  "Fuck."  Pepper jumped in the office.  "I thought Ruby having some was bad."  He went back to the temple.  "Hellion, your daughter had a teenage pregnancy.  You need to have the talk with her.  Today."  He walked off. "Whichever of you knocked up the show dog is in trouble too."  Marble went running for his life.  "Figures.  Hoodlum."

Hellion nudged the new winged puppies.  He wasn't sure what they were.  They looked like puppies.  He barked at Garnet, who refused to get near them.  Her daughter was on her own with her flying spawn.  Wolves should not fly.  Only prey animals flew, not wolves.  She hadn't gotten near Hellion when he had wings either, even though she had been in heat.

Back in New York at the tower, Dawn let Pepper see the clip.  Pepper whimpered and clutched the wall.  Dawn nodded.  "Yeah."

"Okay, that's a bad thing."  She looked at her assistant.  "Send that to Tony, Thor, and Maria Hill?"

"I can do that.  And Mom."  She sent the email to them and got onto another one.  It had better pictures of the winged dogs.  They were adorable but still!

"At least Callia won't want one," Pepper said.  "She said she has enough pets."

"She does, yeah.  She wants to redo her room too."

"We can help with that."

Tony walked up to them.  "Winged war dogs had puppies?"

"And apparently Shandy had some too, boss," Dawn said with a perky grin.

He whimpered.  "Damn it.  They're going to want to breed them."  He walked off shaking his head.  This was going to be so bad.  His daughter might want wings for her boxer.  Or one of the cats.  He could just imagine his cat self with wings.

Dawn and Pepper shared a smirk and Dawn got back to her browsing since she was done for the day.  She sent that one to Phil's phone too since they were out of town on a short surveillance detail.


Phil heard the beep and looked at his phone.  He was in a café watching his target.  He turned on the news segment and put in an earbud to hear it.  He had to blink hard at that.  Especially when he heard who the second set belonged to.  He groaned and sent it to Barton.  Maybe he could clear Dawn's weird mood from a distance.  He spotted his target cooing at her little winged puppies and mentally sneered.  They must've bred while under the wing spell like Ruby had.  When she got up he subtly followed.  She was too engrossed in her dog to notice anything.  Including the motorcycle that hit her. 

He ran over to check on her, looking like a normal decent human thing to do.  Nope, she was dead.  He looked at the dogs in the purse with her, gathering up one that had fallen out.  The ambulance didn't even wonder why he had her purse and dogs.  The officer who did the report got it noted that he was sending them to her family and that he was watching her.  He nodded and filed that report away.  Phil went back to SHIELD, handing Fury the purse.

"Why do I need an ugly leather handbag in babyshit yellow?"  Which barked at him.  He opened it to find winged puppies and a mother nursing them.  He looked up at his agent.  "An explanation before I fire your ass?"

"Julia Shandy just got run over by a low powered racing bike, sir.  She's dead.  That was on her."

"Is there anything in here beyond dogs?"

"I do not know.  I have not searched it.  I was going to ask someone who was better learned in animal behavior since she's a nursing mother and they can become violent when disturbed.  I've sent word to Agent Romanoff to search her hotel room."

"I see."  He looked at the dogs staring at him.  Then at his agent.  "Why do they have wings?"

"For the same reason Ruby's puppies do I believe.  They bred while under the spell to help with the battle against the elves, sir.  I'm not sure why her dogs got hit with that spell but I'm sure it had something to do with her supposed bestie, Elmeer."

"So you're saying that it created a mutation?"


Fury handed back the purse.  "I don't want to ever see them again."

"Yes, sir.  Let me take them to LA's office so they can hand them back."  He disappeared.   The head agent out there had gotten promoted from Cleveland against his will.  He handed over the purse.  "That was on Shandy when she died.  It was not searched yet."

He sighed.  "I heard about the winged dogs."  He put the purse down.  "I'll have it delivered to her family."

"Thank you."

"How?  Assassin?  Boyfriend that only liked her because she killed?"

"Low powered racing bike.  One of the almost a scooter class.  She was cooing at the dogs instead of paying attention to traffic."

"Figures."  He grimaced.  "Can you tell Fury I want to go back to Cleveland?"

"I can.  Fill out the change of duty forms."  He handed over a set.  "I'll hand them over personally."

"Thanks.  All those sort give me migraines."

"I know why."  He went back to the main office.  "Sir, he's citing medical reasons for wanting to go back to Cleveland."

"Medical?" Fury snorted.

"Yes, sir, it looked like he was on the verge of a heart attack from dealing with people like Shandy.  He never was a people person, sir.  Something like LA would need someone like Monroe as a head."

"He's chatty and likes people," Fury complained.  "Fine."

"Thank you, sir."  He went to start his reports.  Clint and Natasha were already working on cleaning up so they could get back.


Callia pouted in her gymnastics class.  "They're going to put the little mutant flying dogs down.  They said so on the news people."

Her coach looked at her.  "It's not your concern."

"Dogs should be protected!"

"Still.  It's not right they have wings."

"So?"  She shrugged.  "Nature mutates things so they survive better.  Maybe something will mean that dogs need to be able to fly to keep going on."  He walked off.  She pouted at her friends.  "That Shandy woman's mother said that they'd be killed if someone didn't claim them."

"She should put them up for auction," one said.  "They probably need money anyway with the way she shopped."  The other girls nodded.  She texted her mother's assistant to tell her that.  They knew people out there in LA.  Her company had people out there.  She put her phone up when the coach whistled.  They quit stretching and went to learn new things on the balance beam today.


Dawn looked up as Pepper came off the elevator the next morning.  "Shandy's mother is auctioning off the dog collection.  Supposedly for charity."

Pepper shook her head.  "How bad is it?"

"The flying ones are starting bid at two grand.  The others are at five hundred."  She showed her.

"Clint would kill you and your cat would hate a flying yappy dog."

"He would."  She smiled.  "Jensen said we should send one to France in apology for letting her infect their city with her presence and having the bad taste to die there so they got mobbed by reporters."

Pepper smiled.  "That might be a nice diplomatic gift."  She went to her desk.  "What's this?"

"Results of the primary last night," Dawn called without having to look.  "Tony got written in on a quarter of the ballots on the democratic side."

She walked out and swatted Dawn because it had been her comment that had started that horror in the making.  She took the report down to Tony, who probably was still locked in the lab with Callia.  She handed it to him and left.

He read it, groaning.  "I'm going to spank your aunt."

Callia looked over from her spot under the car fiddling with the oil pan's plug.  "Why?  Did she wear something too flirty again?"

"No.  Her mentioning that someone like me was needed for president got me written in on some ballots."  He put it aside.

She grinned.  "You'd be a very good president, Daddy.  You make it so we don't argue so you could do it to world leaders.  You can treat them like you do the board.  You could help Mr. Fury out."

Tony looked at her.  "Don't help their cause.  And don't drain the oil.  I don't have any extra here until it gets delivered later."

"Sure."  She got out from under the car and came over to hug him, grease and all.  He had some on him already so it was fine.  "It'll be okay.  They know you'd have to bring Auntie Pepper."  She went back to playing with the engine.  "Daddy, the fan belt's wearing out."

"I know.  It's coming too."  He shook his head, mentally groaning.  This was a bad thing.  This was really bad and Dawn needed spanked for joking about it.  Some day his daughter would understand how bad this really would be.

Him for president?  The world might end.

The only worse choice would be Xander.


Dawn smiled as Clint came off the elevator, taking her rightful kiss.  "Hi.  Get done?"

"I did.  What're they saying about her?"  He perched on the edge of her desk.

She teased his leg.  "Her mother's auctioning off the dogs."

"Hmm."  He smirked slightly at her teasing.  "Busy today?"

"Two meetings this afternoon."

"Good," Tony's voice said from her computer speaker.  "Spank her, Barton.  People wrote me in for president."

"Bite me.  I was one.  Better you than Loki's husband."

Tony moaned.  "Please spank her?"

"If he did, he'd have to find a prosthetic hand to fire his bow with," Dawn said.

"Fine."  He hung up.  Pepper came out to swat her again a minute later.

Dawn smiled at Pepper's back then at Clint.  "I have lunch in about twenty more minutes."

"No sex in the building," Pepper reminded her.  "It's bad enough we caught Andrew and MB in a hallway because they didn't want fined for finding somewhere more private."

"Sure, I can handle that."  She looked at Clint, who was seriously smirking.  It had been a few days and she wanted some of her spouse.  It was a natural thing and she was a needy bitch.  She finished up and took him down in the elevator to the garage, showing him how to get down to her hiding spot under the building.  It was dusty but it had nice things like the ticket desk.  It was easily cleaned with a spell. 

Clint kissed her, pushing her against it so he could touch her.  She scooted onto it and he growled, pulling her closer.  Her skirt got pushed up.  His pants got undone enough and he pushed her panties aside to get into her body.  She moaned as he slid in, clutching his shoulders.  He kissed her neck, making it hard, fast, and good.  She got off and clutched at him until he helped her with a finger.  It let him have all the fun he wanted until he finally came.  They rested against each other, then he kissed her more gently.  "Missed you too."

She grinned. "I felt you teasing Nat."

"We made sure you did."  He took another kiss and backed up, pulling up his pants.  "That was a great lunch."  She handed him a granola bar from her back pocket, earning a smirk.  "Nice thinking."  He walked her back up there, making sure she didn't look too rumpled or dirty.  He kissed her in the parking garage and let her go back to work while he ate his granola bar.  They really needed things at the house.  Dawn never went grocery shopping while they were gone.  Thankfully Nat was handling that.

Pepper looked at Dawn as she came off the elevator.  "Cobweb in your hair."  She dusted it out.  "Where were you?"

"Under the building."  She smiled.  "So no fines."  Pepper laughed.  She went to clean up in the bathroom then came back to make sure they had everything for the meeting.


Callia got paused by her gymnastics coach.  "I stretched."

"Why are you wearing a dance leotard?"

"Because I got chilled and I don't have one of our type with sleeves.  Daddy said I had to wear sleeves to make sure I didn't have sniffles.  And it fits since I'm outgrowing my other ones.  I have to wear one to swimming too if the aunts don't take me shopping soon."

He nodded.  "It's not fully appropriate but fine for today.  They do make gymnastics ones with sleeves."  She grinned.  "I'll tell your aunt where to take you shopping."  She nodded and ran out to join the other kids on the floor.  He called Stark's office.  "They do make long sleeved gymnastics leotards, Miss Potts.  That's a good store for them or there's one in the East Village.  Yes, there.  Oh, they're closed.  I didn't know that.  We do have a few but they're mostly in bigger sizes.  I can lend her a catalog if you want." 

He walked out to join them.  "That's fine.  No, today's fine.  I'll do that, yes.  Thank you, ma'am."  He hung up.  "They'll take you shopping on the way home, Stark."  She smiled and nodded.  He called one of the bigger kids over.  "We're starting on backflips."  She nodded and did one to show the kids.  They all stared.  "You're going there, though she arched wrong."  He looked at his older student, who ducked her head but did a better one.  "Like that."

Callia raised her hand.  "The girls on the one on tv did it without hands."

"You'll learn that later."

"Cool."  She smiled.  They got into the safety harnesses to learn how to do this new skill.  She was doing pretty good today.  These leotards were more comfy than her other ones or her swim suits.  She got to be a lot more bouncy today too because they were learning this new skill on the trampoline with the harnesses.


Dawn looked into the office when Pepper groaned.  "Big problems?  Little problems?"

"Callia needs new leotards.  She wore a dance one today."

"They're the same only in a different material."

"I have that idea meeting."

"I can take her."

"Thank you."  She dug out the new, updated shopping wallet for the baby, tossing it to her.  Dawn caught it and it went into her bra strap.  "She'll be done in an hour."

"Let me finish with this letter."  She turned back around to do that then looked up places to buy leotards for little girls.  And swimsuits because if one was too small so was the other.


Dawn walked into the gym, tapping Callia on the shoulder.  "Sorry I'm late.  There's a huge traffic problem thanks to a show taping downtown.  C'mon."  Callia grinned and grabbed her bag, following her out to the car.  "Happy, we're going here," she said, handing over the list.  "That's by biggest store."

"That'll work," he agreed.

"Can I wear leotards like this around the office?" Callia asked.

"As long as you follow the rules your dad set down for any leotard or swim suit."  She beamed and nodded.  The first store wasn't so far away.  They walked in there together.  "This is my niece."  The saleswoman smiled.  "She's in gymnastics but she likes dance leotards for around the office wear.  She's also in swimming classes.  She's growing again."

"We can handle that," she said, taking her to measure her.  She found her size and let her see them.

"Why pink?" she asked, grimacing.  "Aren't there colors?"

"There are some," she said, showing her those.  Callia got what she wanted.  They got into the gymnastics ones.  They were more twinkly and more spandex, closer to a swimsuit.  Callia frowned.  "They come in some patterns," she offered.

Dawn found one and nudged Callia with it, getting a grin and a nod.  She picked out a few she liked.  Including a few plain ones.  They had to go somewhere else for bathing suits since they only had bikinis, which were banned from her swimming class.  Dawn paused and pointed.  "These are like what I wear for sparring practice," she offered, pointing at them.

Callia stared at them.  "Would that count as pants?"

"Probably not.  I've worn some under skirts for emergency running out."

Callia considered it then nodded, getting some of those in her size in the dance style and one in gymnastics style.  "That might not ride up my butt."

"I'd hope not," Dawn said with a grin.  They paid and Dawn looked at the saleswoman.  "Any idea on the swimsuit issue?" she asked.  "They can't wear two-piece suits in class."

"You might try the bigger sports stores.  Or the surf shop."

"I can do that.  Thank you."  She took the slip and bags, following Callia out to the car.  "Want to go to the place to get swimsuits?"

"Can we look at the other places so I can find ones I like a lot?"

"Sure."  Happy smiled back at her.  "She's starting to assert a fashion statement."

"That's fine."  He took them to the next one on the list.  Callia didn't like that one, it was all 'traditional' ballet gear, all black and pink ones.  They got in and went to the next one, which was a dance oriented store.  Happy smiled and let them out of the back of the car.  Dawn walked her inside.  Happy smiled.  "She's going to turn into a little hellion," Happy said quietly.  "Just like her dad."  He'd ignore the bad thought that started about Tony in one of the sparkly leotards.

Dawn smiled at the awed looking saleswoman.  "This is my niece Callia.  She swims and does gymnastics.  Sometimes she'll wear ballet gear around the house even though she doesn't take dance classes."

"I hated dance class," Callia told her.

Dawn nodded.  "That's fine."  She smiled.  "We can't have two-piece suits for swim class."

"That's fine," the salesgirl, and she was a teenager, said.  She looked at her present one's tag and showed what she had.  Callia found a few she hugged and some of the racing swimsuits that had the long legs.  They'd come to about mid-thigh.  They got her a few more traditional suits and she picked out what she wanted.

"Auntie, how would I wear these with pants?" she asked, pointing at the more body gear style of leotard.

"I'd wear board shorts or a skirt," Dawn said.

"Huh."  She got a few of them and then smiled.  "Can we do other girl shopping?"

"Yup.  You can even joke that you bankrupted your daddy doing it."

She cackled and hugged her then the salesgirl.  "She's the coolest auntie ever."

"I bet she is."  She got them checked out and she gave Dawn a copy of their catalog.  "A few things are only available online and there's more selection there since we can order directly for you."

"That's great."  Dawn grinned.  "Thank you."  She shook her hand and let Callia carry out her own bags.

"Happy, I need to do girl shopping," Callia said, staring up at him.  "I'm growing again."

"You are.  You're going to be a big girl soon."

Callia grinned.  "Yes I am.   I'll be a pretty, smart, good one."  They were getting into the car when someone shot at them.  She yelped and curled up in a corner, away from the windows.  Dawn was in her seat doing the same thing.  Happy moved them away from that area quickly.  "Stupid people need it back," Callia said.  "Are you okay, Auntie?"

"I'm good.  I'm trying hard not to react."  Callia leaned over to hug her.  She smiled.  "Thanks, Cal."  They cuddled and Dawn checked her over.  She was fine.  "Happy...."

"No, I need stuff.  I don't even have panties," Callia said, staring at her.

Dawn nodded.  "We can't go to today.  We can go tomorrow.  Once someone catches whoever did that."

"No.  We can go to a mall.  It'll be safer.  We'll be inside so no one can shoot us."

"I agree with Dawn," Happy said.

"They might've been trying to kill their wife instead," Callia pointed out.  "Not us."

"If you're sure," Happy said grimly.  He and Dawn shared a look at the next stoplight.  Dawn texted Tony, who said a mall should be safe and it'd get them nearer to help.  It probably wasn't against them.  She showed him it.  He grimaced but picked one he knew had guards.  He also followed them inside.  Callia grinned at him for that, hugging him before bouncing into a clothes store she liked.  Happy let Dawn handle things while he watched over them.  He thought Tony was wrong but he was the boss.

Dawn got Callia to look at things in her size.  Which had went up.  The clerks were snickering but Callia enjoyed it.  They hit every single store that had kids clothes in the mall, which was half of them, including Sears because Callia wanted some new tools.  Dawn had to walk her out of Hot Topic but she begged to go back.  She had found a t-shirt she liked.  Dawn sighed and let her.  Though she had to veto her getting a corset dress and a schoolgirl skirt.  Then Spensers.  They headed back to the car, Happy taking the bags since Callia was babbling and swinging them into people while she chatted about her new moves. 

They were just about at the car when the person who had shot at them earlier showed back up.  Callia screamed and that was the worst sound she had ever heard.  They got them into the car.  Dawn was hit too but she had gotten the guy.  NYPD had helped and made sure.  She refused an ambulance for them.  They got taken back to the infirmary.  "Doc," Dawn said, carrying Callia in.  Doctor Pigalli looked over then came rushing over.  "Someone took a shot at us.  She got a graze on her stomach."  Dawn laid her on a bed and gripped the end.  "I got 'em," she said at the looks she was getting.

"Before or after you got shot?" she demanded.  "Strip it, Summers."  She checked Callia over.  "You'll be okay," she soothed, helping her calm down.  Tony ran in and Callia started to sob, holding him to do that.  Dawn was on the next bed holding her stomach.  Doc came over to look at her once Callia was cleaned up.  "You should've told me you got more than a graze," she said firmly.

"I thought it was.  It's just inside the skin."

"Shut up, Summers."  She took her to the surgical suite to pull the bullet, that was indeed just under the skin.  "Hit her first?"  Dawn nodded.  "Okay."  She got her cleaned up and stitched then brought her back out to lay on her own bed.  Tony was interrogating Happy.  "It grazed Callia on the way to Dawn.  They're both okay.  They're both minor skin level injuries."

Tony nodded.  "Dawn, who was it?"

"Hadn't seen him before," she said then yawned.  "I'm about to adrenaline crash."  She went limp, concentrating on their bond.  She shot over a picture to Natasha, who kept better track of other assassins.  She told her who it was and asked why she wanted to know.  The bond had been silent.  Dawn told her.  Clint broke his bow.  She sent over a soothing thought that she was fine, it had barely gotten under her skin.  Callia was fine.  The guy was dead.  She blinked at Tony.  "Natasha said he's from a new crop out of Italy's school.  That he's a dickhead and only takes high priced contracts.  She'll look to see who he was working for."

Tony nodded.  "Are you good?"

"I'm fine.  Doc gave me some local."  She looked at Happy.  "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, just a bit freaked out, Dawn."

"Okay."  She smiled.  "Want to send Sheila down for the clothes?"  He laughed and did that.  She rested her head back down.  "Callia?"

"You got him, Auntie Dawn.  Once Auntie 'Tasha finds out who he was we'll stomp his friends flat."

"Yes we will."  Clint rushed in with Phil behind him.  "I'm okay.  We're all okay."

Clint hugged her.  "Are you sure?"  He looked at the bandage.  He started to peel up a corner but the doctor swatted him.  "I want to make sure."

"It barely got under her skin," she told him.


"She's.  Fine," Dr. Pigalli said.  "You can do her bandage change later."  She looked at Dawn.  "You had him drive all the way back here?"

"We were only twelve blocks away, I checked her over first.  If it had been more serious I would've had us go to the ER."

"Good," she said.  "That shows sense."  She walked off.  NYPD officers were showing up.  "Boys, the freaked out father is next to his daughter."  She pointed.

One walked over.  "Miss Summers, you didn't surrender your gun for testing," he said.  Dawn pointed at where it was sitting.  He got it.  "Your concealed carry permit?"

"Wallet," Clint said, pulling it out for him.  He looked then at her.  "You have to renew next spring."

"I know."  She shifted and winced a bit.  "This bed is very bad for my back."

Clint smiled.  "We'll baby you later."

Natasha calmly stormed in.  Anyone who knew her knew she was pissed off to the point of volcanic temper even though she looked like nothing had happened.  "I'm fine," Dawn said.  "Callia's fine and I'm okay."

Natasha stared at her.  "There was no closer ER?"

"It was barely under my skin.  Callia only got a graze or we would've went there."

"Good."  She checked under the bandage, ignoring the doctor's complaining.  "That's not so bad."  She looked at Stark.

"It barely creased her.  Who was it against?" he asked.


Tony stiffened.  "Someone had a plan to kill my daughter?" he hissed, leading her off.  Callia was drifting off.

"Yes.  To ruin your empire."

Tony considered it then nodded.  "Who?"

"The same one that we think is behind the vision Dawn had of the house falling into the water."

"Hmm.  Okay.  How much danger is there?"

"Very little.  Xander heard," Phil said.  "Lost his temper to the point where I can't sense anyone but him again.  Even us being married against our wills didn't set his temper off this way."  Tony winced.  "They're not having a happy day, no."

Maria walked in, her uniform barely covering up that she had a baby bump.  "What happened?"

"Ten Rings," Natasha said, handing over what she had found.  The NYPD officer cleared his throat.  Maria let him see it as well.  "Did Dawn end him?"

"He lasted halfway to the hospital but yes, she did," he said.  "The new head prosecutor is not happy.  Nor is the mayor.  He called my boss to tell him to tell me that."

Dawn looked at him.  "Self defense is still a right."

"He was shocked you didn't use magic," he said blandly.

Dawn shook her head.  "If I had, I might've hit innocents.  If they try to have me arrested I'm suing the FBI since that paper has their stamp so they knew about it and didn't warn us."  The officer blinked.  She smiled.  "And then I'm going to start destroying people that didn't tell me.  Maybe even with magic to soothe their problems of me shooting him."

"She's in a really foul mood," Clint said.  "Hill?"

"I'll have Fury clear the jurisdiction," she said, tapping her earpiece to call that in.  Fury was already stomping on someone about it.  She hung up.  "He's already informed the mayor that he's in deep for knowing about this and not telling anyone.  So is the NYPD's covert surveillance office since they spotted him and the contract and did not tell anyone."  The officer shuddered, shrinking back some.  "There's going to be a meeting soon."

Loki appeared, smiling at Dawn.  "Are you changing positions to that of vengeance demon, chit?"

She looked at him.  "Someone shot at my niece.  Did you think I was joking when I said I'd destroy everyone over her?"

"No," he said with a smile.  "The president is livid."

"That someone shot at her or that I shot the assassin back?" she asked blandly.

"That they shot at her.  He thinks her father is going to go on a killing rampage."

"Don't give me ideas," Tony warned.  "I'll make your other self's little plot for New York look like child's play."

"Daddy, you can't destroy New York.  We'd have to rebuild it and it'd bankrupt us plus get us yelled at by stupid reporters."

Tony smiled at her.  "Maybe."  He hugged her.  Steve rushed in and stole her from Tony to check over.  "Graze on her stomach, Steve," he said quietly.  "Dawn helped her."

"That person had better be dead," Steve told Dawn.

She nodded.  "I killed him.  It wasn't a totally clean shot but he was up six floors and the sun was in my eyes.  He died on the way to the hospital according to the officer."  She pointed at him.

Steve looked at him.  "Yes, Captain, he's dead.  He did not make it to the hospital.  The sucking chest wound she caused was very wide."

Dawn smiled.  "I had a size queen issue with my handguns when I was younger.  I went retro this morning."  Tony snorted but stole Callia back to cuddle.  Clint carefully took her from Natasha.  "Nat, can you and Clint make sure that Xander makes it home?"

"I will," she agreed, staring at her.

Dawn grinned.  "He needs to have a leash holder sometimes.  Even worse than I do."  She looked at Clint.

"No way in hell we're leaving you unguarded," he told her.

"I'm not going anywhere," Steve said.  "Except to kill whoever had him shoot at my stepdaughter."  Callia sniffled and hugged him.  "Shh, baby.  I have you."  He took her back from Tony, hopping up on the bed to cuddle her.  Tony patted her back and she calmed down.

Xander appeared in a cloud of smoke.  "I don't think half of them are problems any longer," he said, looking at Dawn.  "I have Phil to hold my leash."

"He'd help you destroy them.  Nat can hold the leashes."  She smiled.

Xander snorted and waved a hand.  "Like fucking hell."

"Language," Steve ordered.  "The baby's in the room."

Callia poked him.  "I've heard Daddy say worse when things don't work."  She went back to her cuddling.

Xander patted her on the head then looked at Dawn.  "You good?"

"I'm fine.  She's fine."

"I know she's fine.  I read her health when I patted her."  Callia laughed.  "You're being jealously guarded so I couldn't do it for you."

"I kinda like that they do that," she said with a grin for her spouses.

Fury walked in.  "Alexander, are they able to be found?"

"Nope.  They're in chunks.  Really messy chunks.  Someone tithed me a sweet thing and I used it to make sure they would not touch Callia again."

"From who?" Tony asked.

"You know that thing you made about six years ago?  The one that got stolen?"  He grinned.  "The demonic arms dealers have the plans for that.  I had *two* from the tithe."

Tony smirked.  "Hopefully it solved that issue."

"Ten Rings is now eight rings."

"They should be six from all the weeding down we've done," Clint quipped.

Fury nodded.  "We have to end the other rings," he noted to Phil.

"I've got agents working on that.  Especially with a vision from Dawn about them attacking Stark's house in Malibu, sir."

"Good.  Work faster."

"They're being stymied by people in other agencies.  I've allowed them to non-fatally move them out of their way."

"I can agree with that decision.  How many?"

"The six new special agents."

Fury smirked.  "Good choices."  He looked at Dawn, who shrugged from where Clint was checking her stomach and back for more injuries.  He looked at Happy.  "You did good from the security tapes."

"I try."

One of the guards came in.  "Mr. Stark, I had the bags put up in her room.  We found the bullet."  He handed it to the officer.  "It was in some of the clothes.  The nanny found it."  He looked at Tony again.  "The car could use some bondo but it's fine, sir."

"Thank you.  And you, Happy."  He gave him a manly hug with back patting.  "You saved my daughter."

He grinned.  "I'd miss her, boss."

"I know.  We all would."  Happy left them to talk together.  There was a bottle of scotch with his name on it tonight.  Tony looked at Dawn.  "You're going home."

"I'm fine," she said.  "I've only got another twenty anyway."

"Good point."  He looked at Callia.  "Let's go upstairs."  He looked at the doctor, who nodded.  He and Steve carried her off.  "Fury, if they come after her for that shot, I'm going to destroy people myself.  Even if I have to suddenly learn magic."

Fury shuddered.  That cold, impersonal tone was not what Tony Stark usually used around others.  He had no doubt Stark could be just as evil as the geek duo were in their younger days.  He looked at the officer.  "Call in."  He did that, walking off to make the report he had the bullet.  He came back grimacing.  "Are they going to try it?"

"No.  The FBI took the case from the NYPD and is not happy."

"They're going to be really unhappy," Dawn assured him.  "Fury, they knew."

"I saw that."

"Others knew."

"I saw that as well.  We're...discussing those things."

She smiled.  "I can go play some kitten poker for some discussion aids."

"I have a whole armory full of them, Summers.  Save them for those two."  He looked at Hill.  "Let's go to that talk."  She nodded, following with that information.  Natasha had made copies.  She was like that.  He walked into the office the FBI had taken over.  "According to what we've found, you knew he was going to be aiming at the kid and didn't warn anyone."  The agent gave him a dirty look.  "Her father wants to have a discussion with whoever had that idea."

"They finished shopping after the first attempt."

"Stark thought it'd be safe and that they weren't firing on his seven-year-old daughter."  The agent flinched at that.  "Apparently he was wrong.  Which is why she's grazed, her aunt is injured, and Stark's just vowed to destroy everyone who knew and didn't tell him."  He stared at him.  "This goes well beyond your rank probably."

"Yes it does.  Thankfully.  Who should I refer my boss to, sir?"

"Director Fury of SHIELD."  The agent not only flinched but he blanched.  So did the others.  "I can wait for him to drive over."  They got him on the phone and he showed up minutes later.  You did not keep a director of anything waiting.  They got you fired and blackballed from government work - if they were being nice.  Sometimes it got worse.

Agent Hill smirked slightly, making notes on what they had on the table.  "That's not his ID."  She called up theirs.  "This is his real identity."  They stared at her.  "I'm the Executive Officer of SHIELD, boys."  They backed away from her but took that information to add to the file.  Fury turned to talk to the man who walked in.  The officers waiting to take their office back suddenly had to run for coffee due to the yelling Fury was doing.  Phil walked in and gathered the information, walking off with it.  "Thank you, Agent Coulson."

"We just found one in Cleveland."

"Fix it," Fury ordered him.  "I don't want them in the US, much less on the hellmouth.  If you can, make sure they aren't on the earth."

"I'm doing that now, sir.  They will make it to prison."  He walked off calling in orders to his agents there.  He was technically over the agents in Cleveland because Maria couldn't go there while pregnant.

Agent Hill smirked at the agents watching the yelling match.  "It'll be handled."  They nodded, packing up and hitting the car.  The other director stared at her.  "Why did you not tell the attempted victim's family?"

"Why would we?" he demanded.

"Because she's seven?" she offered.

He swallowed.  "Seven?"

"Yes.  Callia Stark is seven-years-old.  She has been for a few weeks now."

Fury smirked at him.  "That's a very good point.  It is FBI protocol to warn people that they're the target of assassins."

"It is not."

Agent Hill pulled up their guidelines to show him.  She quoted him chapter and verse of it then closed the file.  She looked at him.  "We'll be talking to your director.  The president is already aware of this threat."  The mid-level manager swallowed hard, starting to sweat.  "I'm sure by now your director is also aware of it.  I know Miss Summers and Mr. Stark are both thinking about their legal options at this time.  Including suing the agents personally for not following protocol and the government to update their standards of practice since they've gotten sloppy.  He's aware of how good agencies are efficiently run."

"You're not so hot," he sneered.  "They let agents like you serve while knocked up?"

"Yes, they do."  She gave him a slightly smug look.  "Because not only do we do more with less than a tenth of your numbers, but we do it every day by protocol and the book.  I always find it amusing that we hand terrorists to you after we've taken them down.  This is our fourth assassin being handled this month, even if she is the assistant of an adjunct member.  What has your team done?"  He stomped off foaming and sweating.  She tapped her earpiece.  "Romanoff, you have under ten minutes," she noted.  She nodded, smirking slightly.  "Good work.  Make us copies as well as for Stark."  She hung up.  "Sir, she's successfully found which agents were that stupid.  She has the complete file on this major screw up.  Copies are already made for Stark, Summers, their director, us, and the president."

"Good work," he said, following her out.  "He came from the academy?"

"Yes, sir."

"They're a fine old institution.  We've had a few agents trained there.  How many do we know of out of the last graduating class?"

"Every one of them, sir, and the current students as well, failing and not."  They came out into the street and someone tried to shoot them.  She and Fury both shot them.  They fell off their perch and made a disgusting noise as they hit an officer taking a smoke break.  "That's another one."

"So we're their senior project," Fury said with an evil smirk.  "Great."  She called in that mess and got the officer an ambulance.  She went over to help, checking the kill's status.  The officer would be okay.  She kept herself from fussing over him.  The officers looked at her.  "He's a student at an assassin's academy in Italy," she said.  They groaned.  "He's a junior.  This was his senior project."

Tara appeared in a clap of air and light.  "Who dared touch what's mine!"  The officers blinked and backed away slowly.

"Tara, we're fine," Fury said.

"Not you!"  She pushed past him to look at Maria.  "Are you all right?  I just heard and made sure of Callia and Dawn when I felt you having to kill him."  She touched her cheek.  "You're okay?"

"I'm fine.  He's a pitiful shot.  Couldn't pass basic marksmanship classes."

Tara slumped.  "Are you sure?"

"I'm fine.  The officer should be fine as well."

"You poor man," she said, leaning down to check him.  "It looks like it's just a pulled muscle.  I know a great massage tech who can help if you need their name."

"Thank you, Miss, but my wife's sister is one," he said, which was a partial lie but she let it go.

"I hope you heal fast.  The city needs good officers.  You guys do good work most of the time."  She stood up, looking at Maria.  "I embarrassed you.  I'm sorry."

Maria smiled at her.  "No you didn't.  You know I don't mind you fussing over me."  Tara grinned, blushing some.  "Come on.  You can help me file reports on all this."

"I can do that."  She walked her back over to Fury.  "I'm helping her."

"Spouses hover," he said blandly.  She grinned and patted him on the arm.

Maria saw a flash of light and stared.  "I believe we know them," she said quietly, pointing.  "Diana, Artemis, shouldn't you have on bigger clothes?"

"Oooh, the babies!" Tara cooed, going over to hug them.  "My goddaughters."

"Hi, Auntie," they said in unison with a grin.  "We're escaping Mom being unfair."

Tara smiled.  "That's fine.  You can see your Aunt Dawn and your grandmother."  They nodded, smiling at her.  "You two must be cold."

They shook their heads.  "It's really warm down here," Artemis said with a grin.

"There's no snow," Diana agreed.

Maria looked at them.  "Adjust the tops so we're not seeing nipples, girls."  They sighed but did it.  "Thank you.  Mortal men don't want to stare at underage boobs."

Fury looked at her.  Then shook his head and walked off.  He headed for their SUV pulling up.  Romanoff got out, handing him the keys.  "They're your step-nieces."

She blinked at them.  Damn, they had grown.  "They are.  Ladies, let's go home.  Tara, I'll call Joyce over and we'll have dinner?"

Tara smiled and nodded.  "That'd be great, Natasha.  Thank you.  Joyce will want to hug them to death."

"So will Dawn."  She smiled.  "Come on.  We'll go home.  We don't live far from here."  She looked at their lace-up vests and skirts that were cut nearly to their hips on each leg for ease of movement.  "You can borrow some of your aunt's workout gear."  She led them through the alley to the apartment.  It was safer; fewer men would be able to see them.  She might have to kill a lot of men to keep them off the twins.

Fury looked at Tara and Hill.  "Are you coming or not?"  They got into the SUV and went back to HQ to handle things.

The officers all groaned.  "Yup, they're with SHIELD since strange things happened," one said.  His boss swatted him but it was a truth they all knew.


Joyce ran into the apartment and hugged the girls.  "Oh, babies!"  She snuggled them to her shoulder.  It was clear they had showered and put on some of Dawn's bodygear unitards.  Bruce walked in, closing the door behind him.  "Bruce, look how much they've grown."

He grinned at them.  "They're very pretty young women instead of babies."  They grinned at him.  He hugged them both too.  "Welcome back, girls."

"Thanks, Grandfather," they said.  Joyce stole them back to cuddle.

"Mom was being totally unfair," Diana told them.

Joyce laughed.  "Sometimes parents seem that way."  She got them sitting down and talking about what they had been studying.  The cat plopped onto the coffee table to stare at them.  "Hello, Loki cat."  She petted him.  He purred and stared at the two.  "These are Callia's sisters."

"Did someone turn him into a cat?" Artemis asked, staring at him.

"No.  He's still married to the president," Bruce said.  "This one's just a lot like him."  They nodded and petted the cat once it had sniffed them.

Dawn walked in with Callia, Tony, and Clint.  "Girls!"  She hugged them.

"Auntie!  Mom has your picture," they said together.

Tony paused, then looked at his daughter.  She was going to grow up to be just as pretty as the twins were.  He really needed to make more weapons and her chastity belt.  He smiled.  "Callia, these are your sisters."

"I know!"  She wiggled her way between them and her aunt.  "My turn."  She hugged them and grinned.  "Hi, sissies."

"Hi, Callia," they said.

Clint grinned, nudging Dawn.  "I wondered what you'd look like as a blonde."

She smiled.  "Probably not nearly as pretty.  Hylal's a lot more stunning."

"Maybe.  I like your looks better."  She smiled and poked him on the arm.  He poked her back.  "Let me change.  Dawn?"

"Let me change too."  She went to put on shorts and a t-shirt.  She came out to help everyone cook dinner.  Bruce dug in too.  Joyce was busy hugging the girls to death.

Xander and Phil walked in.  Xander looked at them.  "Your mother's so huffy it's not funny."

"She's not being nice," Artemis said.

"No, she's being a mom," Phil agreed.  "Joyce, they wanted to go to a dance in their other outfits."

Joyce looked at them.  "You're too young for boys."

"There's some girls our age in the village already married," Diana said.  "Daddy said that it's not normal but usually it'd happen by when we were eighteen."

Dawn snorted, shaking her head.  "On this realm, that's unusual.  Most girls get married in their twenties, after finding jobs.  Girls can't marry before eighteen without parents getting pushy."  They smiled.  "You have *years* before we let you date."  They blushed and ducked their heads.  "Though, you still have to wear something that covers your nipples."

"If we must," they sighed.

"This isn't bad for being so tight," Artemis said.

"You can wear that and a skirt, I'm doing that sometimes," Callia said with a smile.  They grinned at her and let her tell them about clothes that mortal girls wore.  Joyce helped her with it.

It was good to have the twins back.

Xander looked up then at Phil.  "I'm going to go steal Sean.  He's being pouty.  Girls, Buffy and Hylal are coming back soon."  They nodded they knew that.  He went to grab Sean.  "Want dinner with your sisters and grandmother?"

"Please.  Mom's sobbing again."

Xander looked at her.  "Hormones?" he guessed.

She nodded.  "My babies are all grown up."

"They are," he agreed.  "You two made pretty girls that made NYPD officers drool."  Sean growled.  Xander smacked him on the head.  He huffed but nodded.  "Anyway, tell me when you're coming back.  Dawn's already put real clothes on the girls so they're not flashing tit."

"Finally!" Buffy complained.  Hylal laughed.  She swatted him but he kissed her.  "Sean, go ahead.  We'll be down soon."  He nodded, grabbing his things.  The twins' bag and weapons got grabbed too.  Xander took them down there.  She looked at Hylal.  "They'll be grown ups soon."

"Aye and horrible at it," he assured her but he was smiling.  "Because the twins will never settle down to give us grandchildren."

"I hope not."

He laughed, hugging her.  "We have the house to ourselves."  She smirked and teased his chest with her nails.  He growled and carried her to their room.  They needed some private time and Joyce would not mind the grandchildren.


Sean appeared with Xander, tossing Artemis the bag and weapons.  "They're already kissing."

"Too bad Mom can't have more kids," Diana said with a grin.  "Daddy would like that."

"He would," Sean said.  He spotted Callia.  "I knew I'd be older than you, but wow."  She stuck her tongue out at him.  He grinned.  "We're coming home soon."

"Good!  I missed your stupid butt."  He laughed and hugged her.  "We're making a goat powered car."

He beamed at Tony.  "Really?"


John appeared, staring at the kids.  "Wow, you really grew."  Sean was nearly six-five.  The twins looked like they were tall too.  Xander smirked at him.  "I was going to invite you to our cookout tonight but you guys have family things."  He smiled at Sean.  "I'll tell Ronon you're back."   Sean hugged him.  He patted him.  "We'll see you soon I'm sure."  He winked at the girls.  "You two too.  You clearly need self defense lessons."  He disappeared.  "Ronon, Sean and the twins are back," he called.  Ronon smirked.  "Sean's taller than you."

"That's fine."

"The girls are *gorgeous*."  Ronon gave him a pointed look.  "I know their ages, still!"

"Then they need trained all the more," he said with a smug look.

John nodded.  "And bodyguards to shoo the boys off their asses."


Xander looked up and laughed, smiling at Callia.  "John thinks you guys need bodyguards to shoo off boys and girls."

Artemis nodded.  "It might be nice if the witches left us alone."

Callia looked at her.  "I'm one of those."

"Not you or our kind.  The kind that want to turn us into virgin sacrifices."

Tony choked and spluttered.  "That's where Dawn got it from."  Dawn looked at Natasha, who swatted him for her.  "It has to be."

"Perhaps but still not nice.  She can't help that those sort want her."

They looked up at the sound of thunder.  "Thor's here," Xander quipped.  He sent a thought up to him, bringing him down.  "Thor, these are Buffy and Hylal's kids if you haven't seen them recently."

"I have not."  He smiled and patted each one on the arm.  "Well met, children."  They grinned at him and he could feel the mischief.

"Thor, they need something like what they'd wear at home but that's covering," Dawn said.  "Can you ask one of the Valkyries for some spare clothes until I can take them shopping?"

"I can.  I dare say they'd fit them."  He looked at his nephew.  "Your father is being evil minded again."

"I know.  It won't happen for long."  He smirked meanly.  He nearly cackled but Phil gave him a pointed look.  Fine, he wouldn't let out the evil cackle.  "You know, there's only a few more years until the next chaos kid outbreak."  He moved closer to Phil to kiss him.  "Will you let me hide behind you?"

"As long as I'm not damaged by it."  He took another kiss and gave him a pointed look.  "Behave and be rewarded later," he said quietly.

Xander grinned.  "I'm always a good boy, Phil."

"Hmm."  He smirked and looked at Thor, who was staring oddly at the twins.  That might be a problem.  Sean was scowling at Asgard's First Son too.  Phil gave him a pointed look, making him stop scowling and duck his head.  "Ladies, should we make up a bed at the temple for them tonight?"

Dawn looked at him.  "Are you insane?  Do you think Mom and I are going to let them anywhere out of our sight?  Especially around the agent trainees who've only had their hand for the last few weeks?"

"Actually, they got really drunk the other night and a few had more than their hands."

Dawn smirked.  "Still.  I'd have to come thump them around and it'd damage their egos so they'd never make good agents."

"Good point."  Rodney beamed in.  "Hey, Rodney."

"Xander, Phil."  He paused and blinked.  "Those are the twins."  They smiled and nodded.  "You've certainly grown and so has Sean."  He looked him over.  "Ronon's going to have fun teaching you."  He grinned at that.  "Dawn, do you know where our missing ancient mpreg machine is?"

"Um....  The last time I felt the power signature of an ancient device it was in SHIELD when I took Mom to lunch."

Bruce stared at her.  "Where inside SHIELD?"

"The floor below the caf."

Bruce walked toward the study calling his research helper.  She was probably still there.  "It's been moved but it's been recently by the dust," he announced as he came back out.  "She told Maria Hill and she's not real happy that someone had managed to sneak an mpreg machine into SHIELD."

"What's an mpreg machine?" Thor asked.  "I know not of that saying."

"Male pregnancy," Xander said.  "The Ancients that built Atlantis did it that way, by machine, instead of by mead or any other method."

"No wonder they died out.  They forgot what the meaning of life is," Thor said bluntly, grimacing some.  "If you do not take some enjoyment from the simpler things then life is wretched."  He shook his head.  "Was it used?" he asked Bruce.

"We're not sure.  We're going to be scanning every single agent tomorrow.  Have you been in HQ recently?"

"Nay.  I was with Jane Foster learning more amusing Midgard traditions.  We went to something called a Ren Faire.  They had ale there that the called mead.  I had to correct them more than once.  The food was good though, and plentiful."  He smiled.  "She giggled muchly all night."

"It's good that you and Jane are still friends, Uncle," Xander said.  "They keep you sane, and sometimes rob you of it."

Thor nodded.  "Aye, she robs many men's minds but she still refuses my true suit as she does not want to become immortal."

"I had that same problem with Carolyn.  It's a hard thing to give up mortality for our lives."

Thor nodded.  "Which is why I do not do more than sulk about her."  He sat down, smiling at the twins.  "We should take this to the roof so we can cook out."

"We're cooking," Dawn said, patting him on the head.  "Someone get chairs."  They went to raid the other apartments for chairs for everyone.  Tara, Maria, and the twins showed up with their own and a card table.  Rodney disappeared to make a report of what they knew.

Callia beamed.  "Sissies, these are Tara's twins, Melissa and John.  They're like siblings to me because we bonded when they were little babies and I played with them a lot.  I teach them all sorts of things."

"That's great," Diana said, smiling and waving at John.  "Hi."

He smiled.  "You're pretty."  He ran and hid behind Maria.

She laughed.  "You're a pretty boy."  She smiled at Melissa.  "You're a pretty girl."

She smirked.  "I'm a bad girl."  Tara swatted her gently.  "I am!"

"You're not.  You play at being a bad girl.  If you were a real bad girl you'd be punished."

"I be a bad girl like Mommy is," she said, staring at her mother, one foot tapping.

Joyce snickered.  "She's so like you sometimes, Tara."

"Yes, she is."  She picked her up to hug her.  "If you want to be an agent like Mommy Maria, you can do that."  Melissa beamed at her.  "That doesn't make you a bad girl.  That means you're a tough, strong girl.  Big difference."

"There was a time I was a bad girl," Maria teased Tara, taking a kiss.  "I think you cured me of that nasty habit."  The twins giggled.  She smiled.  "She's mine."

"Each woman deserves someone strong to help her and do the tough things like chop wood," Artemis quipped.  "I'm going to have one some day."  She sighed, looking at her twin.

Diana shrugged.  "Mom said that we don't have to marry if we don't want to."

Sean stared at them.  "You'll marry well and I'll make sure they're fit for you or else I'll end them myself."

"Girls don't have to marry," Dawn said.  "Down here girls can flirt and date, Sean.  They can date for years.  Some girls never marry their man."  He scowled at her.  She stared at him.  "Welcome back to Earth."  Sean pouted and slumped.

Thor smiled and patted the young warrior on the head.  "Things are different here on Midgard.  It takes some getting used to but you were once and will be again."

Sean nodded.  "I guess.  Does that mean I don't have to find a wife soon?" he asked his aunt and uncle.

Xander shook his head. "Like hell you're getting married before you finish your training, your manhood hunt, and your education."  Sean blushed shyly and smiled, ducking his head.  "I'll expect your adulthood hunt to be spectacular.  Your sisters' too."

Sean nodded.  "I've helped Daddy hunt."

"Good," Thor agreed.  "That's how we learned too."  He smiled at Callia.  "Some day we'll teach you how to hunt."

"Yes I will," Xander said calmly and quietly, staring at her.  "If I can't, Roque and John will."  Callia smiled at him.  Joyce beamed.  "She'll have an adulthood hunt as well."  The twins grinned at him.  "I'll expect at least ten points if it's a buck, or at least a small bilgesnipe."

They giggled.  "We can do that," they agreed together.

Thor smiled.  "I brought in a seventeen point buck."

"I brought in the head of a feral werewolf," Xander told them.

Sean gaped.  "Wow."

Xander smirked.  "You'll at least get ten points on a buck or something equally strong."  He nodded.  "Good."  He hugged him.  "We'll teach you around the temple."  Sean grinned and nodded.  Alana appeared in a shower of sparkles.  "Alana."

"Nephew."  She tossed Dawn a bundle of cloth.  "Spare Valkyrie outfits."  She looked at the twins.  "You'll do as my female warriors, even without being on a horse."  She smiled.  "We'll see how you turn up."  She disappeared.

Xander grinned at Dawn.  "They're coming to the temple to train.  They need the harder training."

"They can do that.  We can show up soon.  I owe Ronon a real spar."

"He said that."  He smirked at the twins, who giggled.  "Let's eat."  They dove for the food.  Xander got Talsa to bring more.

Diana looked at the meat then at her grandmother.  "Is that deer?  It's not black so I can't tell."

Artemis and Sean laughed.  "Mom can not cook," Sean agreed.  "We learned what each one looked like when burnt."

"Thankfully Hylal loves her anyway," Xander quipped.  The kids laughed and nodded.  They settled in to eat and catch up with their sibling and their past friends.  Melissa was pouting at Sean a lot.  She'd get over her crush though.

Thor's crush might be a bit harder to break.


Artemis sighed, looking at her sister.  "He's a vision."  They had gotten up at daybreak like usual and were having a discussion in the living room.

"He's too old for you."

"He's not.  He's still very young."

"He's not," Diana assured her.  "You're much too young for him!"

Dawn came out to the argument.  This was seriously early for her but oh well.  "Which guy last night?"

They blushed.  "Thor," Artemis said quietly.

"He's a very handsome man," she agreed, smiling at them.  "If you want to hit on Thor, he has no idea about it half the time.  He blushes the rest.  If you touch him before you're sixteen, you're a dead girl."

Artemis hugged her.  "Thank you, Auntie."

"Welcome.  Go shower and change.  We'll hit the temple since I'm on injury leave today."  They ran to do that in the guest room.  "Don't touch any of the potions in there, they're poisons."

"Okay," they called back.

Dawn made breakfast for her two hyper nieces and nephew, who came out grumbling.  She handed him tea.  He pouted.  She stared at him.  "If you want coffee, you'd better talk to Ronon about it.  I'm not aiding and abetting a lifelong caffeine addiction without your trainer saying it's okay."

"Yes, Auntie Dawn."  The twins came out in valkyrie gear and he growled.  "That's more obscene than your usual!  Not only do you have cleavage, you have stomach showing!"

Dawn swatted him and handed him a fashion magazine.  "Your mother had a dress that looked almost exactly like the one on the cover, Sean.  She used to wear it on patrol."  He gasped and pointed, looking horrified.  She smiled.  "So do I actually but I know not to wear it to a fight.  Ladies, there's laces for a reason.  The reason would be because men will try to kidnap you and own you."  They laced up the tops some more and did a few on the skirts.  "Thank you.  We'll work on getting you three some clothes later.  You'll need stuff to train in at the very least."  She sipped her coffee and they all ate.  Natasha came out to get a kiss and her own breakfast.  "I left you both some."

Natasha smiled.  "Thank you, Dawn."

"Welcome."  Clint came out and mugged her, making her moan.  "Good morning to you too."

"It's always a good morning waking up between you two."  He winked at Natasha and got his own breakfast, sitting at the small table.  Natasha sat between the two of them.  "So, today we're...."  He ate a bite of scrambled egg.

"Temple," Dawn said.

"Okay," he agreed.  "We'll see if we can go with you."

"I owe Ronon a real spar."

"Even better except that you have stitches," Clint said, staring at her.  She waved her fork and blew a kiss to him over their bond before stuffing her mouth again.  He looked at Natasha.

"No sparring today, Dawn.  We will teach the girls how to spar."  The girls smiled.  "While Sean has time with his new mentor."

"Okay, we can do that."  Natasha and Clint smiled at her for having sense.  It was kinda cute how much they worried at times.  Thor walked in after knocking hard on the door.  "Morning, Thor.  Should I make you breakfast?"

"Nay, I have had those tiny sandwiches from that place with the arches of heaven."

"McDonald's is pretty decent sometimes," Dawn agreed.  "We're going to Xander's temple."

"That is good.  I can accompany you.  This many beautiful young women would attract the wrong attention and make you smite them extra hard."

"Yes it would," Dawn agreed happily.

"That's my job," Clint reminded her.  He stuffed his mouth again, looking at the girls, who were blushing.  He grinned.  "Thor, sit."  He sat down and waited.  They finished up.  Clint and Natasha called in that they were going to the temple to liaison with Xander and his staff.  Fury just snorted and told them to not kill anyone by accident.  They needed the new recruits.  Clint got his bow, he had to teach crossbow lessons anyway.  Natasha got her weapons.  Dawn got hers and they went together with the kids in the center of the circle she and Thor drew.  They appeared.  It was still nearly daybreak in Colorado.  The girls looked around, smiling at things.

Sean grinned.  "The obstacle course used to look much too big to play on."

"You'll learn it too," Dawn assured him.

John came out of his temple, yawning and stretching.  "Morning."  He smiled.  "Ronon's in my spare room."

"The girls need tested too," Dawn pointed out.

"They can do that.  Teyla's here too, Dawn."  He grinned.  "Are you two going to settle your sparring?"

"Not today.  She has stitches since someone shot at Callia yesterday," Clint said.

"Excuse me?" John demanded, staring at him then at Dawn.

"Dead," she assured him.

"Let me go get the babies."  He went to the tower.  "Callia, c'mon.  Grab the dog.  You and Liz are coming to the temple today."  She squealed and pounced him to hug.  "Let's go.  You can have breakfast there."  She got her dog on his leash, grabbed her e-reader, and then ran to grab Liz and her diaper bag.  He took them with him, letting Callia run over to pounce her siblings.  Liz was cooing and waving.  They all smiled and waved back. 

The Xander dog was sniffing around and marking a few bushes then sitting beside his human.  Garnet came down looking like she was being possessive.  "No," John ordered.  "That's Callia's dog.  You don't bother the Xander dog, Garnet."  They sniffed and Xander barked, lapping her on the nose.  He got into playful puppy mode and she huffed but swatted him.  The new puppies came running so they got to play tag.  John shook his head.  "It's good they have new playmates."

Dawn grinned.  "You should see the cats."

"I have."  Ronon and Teyla came down to stretch and spar.  "Ronon, Dawn's got stitches.  Someone shot at Callia yesterday."

Ronon looked at the baby then at Dawn.  "Dead?"


"Good."  He smiled.  "We can spar next time.  I'm exhausted.  Rodney was ranting half the night about the male pregnancy machine."  Thor groaned, shaking his head.  "Morning, Thor."

"Morning, Ronon."  He smiled.  "I'm sure you remember Sean."

"I do."  He looked up at him.  He was about two inches taller than him.  "You grew a lot."

"I have.  You used to be a giant to me."  He grinned.  "Can you help me?"

"We'll test you today and see where I can help train you."  The boy squealed and pounced him to hug.  "Clearly you have sisters," he teased with a smirk for them.  He nearly did a double take.  They were not what he was expecting.

"Everyone does that because we're not short like Mom," Artemis quipped with a grin.

"You'll need proper clothes to spar, girls," Ronon said.

"They're from the valkyries," Dawn said.  "It should be fine even if they do need bras."  The girls grimaced and shuddered.  "Sorry!"

"My people bind ours down," Teyla said.  "I can teach you that."  They grinned and nodded.  "We will test your skills in combat and hunting areas."

"Daddy taught us all the bow," Diana said.

Clint grinned.  "That's my weapon of choice too, girls."  He led them to the archery range to see how they did.  They weren't marksmen but they hit pretty close, more than good enough for standard hunting.  He looked back at Dawn.  "Can we adopt these two?"

She smiled.  "You'll have a tiny archer to teach sometime soon, dear."  He grinned.  She wouldn't think about feeling a bit funny.  He paused in teaching them a better stance to look at her.  She shrugged.  "Maybe it's a cold."

He came over.  "Can you scan yourself?" he asked quietly.  Natasha was staring at her too.

"I'm not sure.  I have no idea if it'd bother it."

Xander came over and laid a hand on her stomach, then grimaced.  "Not exactly.  You were apparently almost there but it didn't implant.  Sorry, guys."  Clint shrugged but was staring at Dawn.  He got out of the way so she could kiss him.  He tapped them.  "I also could tell that she had miscarried about eight, nine months ago.  It was really early, barely a month along but it left a mark in her aura."  He left them alone.

"So it must've been *that* night," she said quietly, staring at him.  "Sorry."

He pulled her in for a good kiss.  "When it's time, it'll happen," he said quietly.  "It'll be fantastic."  Dawn grinned, sniffling a bit.  He kissed her again.  "We'll have more fun and when it does, it'll be great."

"It will be."  She hugged him.  "Go teach my nieces how to be as great as you are."

"I am."  He kissed her then went back over to them.

Dawn walked over to Natasha, giving her a kiss.  Natasha smiled.  "It will happen soon."  Dawn grinned.  "I can fuss over you as well."

"You sure?"

"I'm positive."  She winked and walked over to get Callia to work with her.

Dawn grinned, giving Sean a nudge toward Ronon.  "Show him what you can do."  He walked over to talk to Ronon instead of staring at him with hero worship.

Thor watched the kids practice.  Especially the twins.  Artemis was his definition of a woman made for him.  If only she was ten years older.  Or even six years older.  Xander walked over and nudged him out of his thoughts.  "I am a patient man," he said quietly.

"You are."

Thor looked at him.  "I know they are acknowledged family of yours," he said quietly.

He smiled.  "They are.  You're a worthy man.  Their family would not mind.  I would mind if you tossed them aside after a few years like most of your past dates."

"I would not."  He watched them shoot with Clint. They were already improving.  He sighed.  Xander grinned, patting him on the back.  "Do not tell the family?"

"I don't really talk to our family, Uncle.  Most of them have huge egos and are assholes."  He walked off.  He gave Dawn a look.  She smiled and shrugged slightly.  He read her mind.  Artemis had been gushing over Thor too.  Xander disappeared to Asgard to talk to Buffy.  Who looked really old.  "Did you get years sucked out?"

"I let the illusion drop."

He stared at her.  "Huh.  Okay.  Artemis found a guy to crush on."

"She's too young," Buffy said.

"Thor knows he can't touch her until she's eighteen."

"Thor?  Your uncle Thor?" she demanded.

Hylal coughed.  "He feels such?"

Xander nodded.  "He's sighing like a girl."

Hylal smiled.  "He is more than worthy of my daughter.  She had better be of age by Asgard standards."

Xander nodded.  "I told him eighteen."

"That's good," Buffy said.

Hylal patted her arm then stroked up it.  "Most girls here marry at sixteen."

She looked at him.  "On my plane, it's eighteen or he's in jail."

"Then I would agree."  He looked at Xander.  "He has our permission."

Xander nodded.  "I'll let him know."  He smiled.  "Ready?"  They shook their heads.  "Okay.  Clint's teaching the girls how to be better archers."  He disappeared, taking Thor off to the side.  "Hylal and Buffy have agreed if you are serious.  She must be eighteen but if you are serious then you may court her."

Thor smiled.  "Thank thee, nephew," he said quietly.  "I will treat her properly."

"I know you will.  Or else I'll have Fenrir bite you.  He protected those girls and they taunted him horribly by making him wear flower wreathes and the like."

Thor smiled.  "Being a bit sneaky is fine.  I'm used to such."  He went to help the girls learn what they needed to.  Clint taught very well and the girls were apt pupils.  Artemis kept giving him sideways looks until Dawn said something in her ear.  She nodded and let it go.

At lunch, Dawn pulled Thor aside, staring at him.  "You will treat her like she's the most special gift in the universe.  You will never scare her.  You will wait to touch her until she is at least eighteen."  He nodded, looking down at her.  "If you *ever* harm her, you will not live to regret it for more than the end of your life, and it will make your brother beg for mercy for you.  Am I clear on the rules for you to start courting her formally?"

"You are and I agree.  She has much to learn and I have much to learn about her.  She has to finish growing into a woman."  Dawn smiled and nodded.  "Your mother would not mind?"

"My mother will freak out for a few days but she'll see the gooey looks on her face."  She patted him on the arm.  "You're already might-as-well-be family, Thor.  Do not mess this up.  You don't want to tangle with me or Mom."

"I will not.  She is too fragile and special to rush and ruin."

"Good."  She walked off.  She needed to talk to her mother.  She skipped out for a few minutes, landing in front of her mother's desk.  "Mom."

She looked at her.  "What happened?"

"Artemis has a huge crush and it's mutual."

She moaned.  "Thor."

"Yup.  He knows she'll be eighteen or else."

"Good.  We'll talk to him later.  I adore Thor but I will not panic."  She smiled and kissed her mother on the forehead before going back to the temple.  She sighed, looking at Maria.  "My granddaughter got hit by an arrow on the butt."

Maria smiled.  "Sometimes it hits you really hard.  I thought Tara was sweet until I turned around one day and she was chewing a junior agent a new one.  It hit me like a steel beam to the chest."  Joyce sighed and smiled at her.  "He's honorable."

"He is.  Which is saving his life."

Maria laughed.  "I'm sure he'll be honorable."  She gasped and held her stomach.  "What was that?"

Joyce came over to check, smiling at her.  "That's little toes."

"Oh.  That was a kick?"  Joyce smiled and nodded.  "Huh."  She laid a hand on her stomach, looking down.  "That's really weird, kid."  She got kicked again and had to grab onto her desk.  "Does it get easier?"

"After a few more, you'll get a bit immune to it.  You'll start to feel them moving around all the time soon."  Joyce smiled, hugging her before going to her desk.

Maria kept a hand on her stomach.  She wanted Tara but she had to get through work.  Then there would be some stomach petting.  She looked up, finding Phil staring at her.  "I got kicked."

He smiled.  "It's a special time."  He touched her arm to bring them to his office.  She sat down, rubbing her stomach.  It was safe to give into this need here; Phil wouldn't call her an unfit agent because she was being maternal.  He smiled, rubbing it with her.  "It's a strong kid, Maria.  They'll be like their mother and Melissa.  John will overprotect them even more than he does his twin."

She grinned.  "Thanks, Phil."

"You're welcome."  He patted again.  "Find out what it is?"

"I'm doing an ultrasound in two days.  We're going at the same time."

He nodded.  "Let me know if you want me there."


He patted her on the cheek.  "I'm still the biological father and I'll be there like I am for the twins, for both of these two.  Even though the choker made sure that hers is yours and not mine.  They're still my kids."

She smiled.  "I like that."

He helped her up.  "Good."  He laid a hand on her stomach, which stopped the newest kicking spree.  "Relax, we're all here and paying attention."  The baby calmed down.  He smiled.  "Have a great lunch with her."  She blushed and left to call Tara.  He sat down to enjoy the sensation.  The first time Tara had gotten kicked she had rushed in and grabbed his hand to put on her stomach then pouted when the kids didn't automatically kick him.  It took a few minutes but they obliged their mother's need.  It was a special moment in any pregnancy.


Dawn walked her twin nieces into a lingerie shop.  The woman in there stared, mouth slightly open.  She smiled.  "My nieces are just home from Asgard.  They spar.  They're twelve."

"They're gorgeous young women," the lady said, clearing her throat.  "Clearly time for their first bras?"

Dawn smiled.  "And panties because they apparently don't wear them on Asgard."

The saleslady giggled.  "They probably get in the way.  Let's go to the changing area so we can measure you two."  Dawn walked them that way.  They didn't want to go but yay!  They were bouncy, they had breasts like Dawn used to, they needed a bra.  The saleswoman took measurements once they had them unbound, looking at Dawn.  "Sports bras?"

"Yes please.  General good everyday bras too.  They're not going to be dating for years so they don't need anything fancy."

"Okay," she said, going to find them.  "Do we think they'll have another growth spurt?"

"Yup," Dawn agreed.  "If not two.  I had two after their age."

"That's fine."  She handed over underwear.  "Bikinis?"

Dawn let them see them.  They pouted.  "Mom wears those."

The saleslady laughed and got them bikinis style with strings instead of a solid side.  That got more favorable looks.  They got measured by Dawn, who got them a smaller size.  They put them on and it worked.  The bras were general, everyday bras in plain cotton without underwire.  They didn't need the support yet.  The sports bras got a lot of looks.

"We've worn tops like that," Artemis said.

"This goes under that," Dawn said.  "So you don't bounce and hurt yourself."   She leaned against the changing room wall.  "That's so you don't have backaches, neck aches, and don't rip a muscle while sparring."  She got one and brought it back.  "I wear this style."

"Those are good but not very comfortable at times," the saleslady said.  "You're bigger than they are.  For smaller cup sizes they don't need the support as much as the smooshing effect."

"There's times I miss being a smaller cup size and thank every goddess that I'm not a D or bigger."

The saleslady looked at her.  "Have you been measured recently?  You're falling out of that one."

"I know.  I need to do laundry."  She smiled and Dawn got some of her own shopping done while the girls tried on bra styles.  The ones they liked didn't fit under their tops because it was a bit showy.  "Laces," Dawn noted.  They sighed but laced it up overtop of the bra.  "Thank you.  We're going to visit Grandma and then my job so I can pick up my paycheck."  They nodded.  She got them t-shirts, which they enjoyed.  She got them some other things, like jeans.  Their mom had described them but they hadn't had any.  "They'll soften as you wear and wash them.  In a few wears they'll be very soft."  They nodded and got some other things they liked.  Dawn had to keep putting back a skirt.  "Way too short, Artemis."

"Okay," she pouted.

She smiled.  "I'm not your mom but you'll look like the girls who pay for their rents on their back."  They perked up and decided that was a bad thing.  Dawn got them and their bags out to the cab she flagged down.  People were staring but yay.  She got them and the bags out at SHIELD, taking them inside.  "Boys, these are my nieces, Buffy's twins."

One of the guards blinked.  "Wow, they're really a lot taller than their mom," he covered when Dawn glared.  He signed them in.  "Your mother's up at her desk as far as I know, Summers."

"Thank you.  Sean's back too.  He's thirteen."  She smiled.

"I'm sure they'll do great here."  Once they were in the elevator he moaned and looked at his fellow guard, who nodded.  "Daay-um!" he said quietly.

"Definitely.  And yet so very underage."

"And protected by the mama bears of the universe."  His partner nodded.

Dawn smiled at agents getting on with them.  "Girls, this is Agent Dray and Agent Kaster."  They nodded.  The guys nodded back.  "Going up to see Mom.  Guys, these are Buffy's twins, Artemis and Diana."

"I know your mom wanted hair you color.  She dyed hers for years," Agent Dray said with a grin.

"They both did long turns through Cleveland with your mom and dad," Dawn said.

"That's great," Diana said with a smile.

The agents got off.  "We'll tell Coulson they're here," Kaster said.  Once they were off again he groaned.

"Yes, they're pretty but twelve," Phil said as he walked behind them.  He pushed the elevator button.

"Yes, sir," Kaster said.  "But now I have a new goddess to worship at the altar of in a few years."

Phil smirked.  "Worship but don't expect to touch.  Dawn's a fierce guardian."

"We know," they agreed.  They went to tell the others they knew had worked in Cleveland with Buffy and Hylal.

Phil came off the elevator to see Joyce hugging the girls and Maria smiling at them.  Dawn was talking with Fury about something.  "We need to bring them to meet Faith," he reminded Dawn.

"I'll bring them later.  Before I order dinner."  She grinned.  "They're both very proficient archers.  Clint's in heaven teaching them better bow skills.  All the trainees pouted about it."

"Figures," Fury said.  He blinked, catching sight of white blonde hair and clothes that weren't modern.  "Don't teach them that flirty thing you do," Fury said quietly.  He went back to his office.

Dawn smiled at Phil.  "I agree.  They're too young to be flirty yet."

"I know."  She smiled at her mother.  "You know you and Bruce can come over tonight."

"They can stay at our place," Joyce offered.

"It's your anniversary tomorrow, Mom.  No they can't.  You need Bruce pouncing time for the anniversary."  Joyce actually blushed and laughed.  Dawn grinned.  "They can spend the night in a few days."  She pulled Diana off the computer.  "We can teach you those too."

"Sean described them."   She looked up.  "Can you use one?"

"I use one pretty well and my boss makes great leaps to make them better."  Diana beamed and nodded.

Artemis shook her head.  "It's not a weapon, I don't need it."

Dawn patted her on the back.  "Even Thor can email and you'll be able to too within a year."  Her niece nodded.  "C'mon, let's go pick up my paycheck so we can do dinner."  The girls got another hug, hugged Maria and Phil then left with her.  They got the bags and took a cab to Stark towers.  Dawn waved at the guards on the door, getting smiles and waves back.  "This is where I work, girls.  Where Callia lives too."

"Liz too?" Artemis asked.  "She was adorable following John and Ronon all over today."

"Yup.  Pepper lives on the floor below Tony."  She smiled.  "I'm also going to introduce you to someone who's got some of the same issues about learning the modern world.   He was frozen for a very long time so he's still learning stuff."  They grinned and nodded.  They got up to the admin floor, running into her favorite geeks.  "Boys."  Jonathan blinked and Andrew gaped.  "These are Artemis and Diana, Buffy's twins.  Ladies, these are Andrew and Jonathan, who are some of my favorite geeks and some of Callia's favorite geeks.  They went to high school with your mother and they made Roomba."

"She really loves Roomba dog," Artemis said with a smile and a tiny wave.

The boys smiled back.  "We love Callia," Jonathan said.  "She's so sweet sometimes."  The girls laughed.  "Sometimes, yeah."

Tony came out and paused.  He would not drool.  He would not allow himself to drool.  They hadn't looked like *that* in Dawn's clothes.  What a difference an ancient wardrobe made.  "New assistants already, Dawn?" he quipped.

She gave him a pointed look.  "My nieces needed introduced and I was also looking for Steve."

"Oh!"  He had to remind himself that anyone he had changed the diaper of was off limits to him.  They grinned at him.  "Boys?"  They handed over reports.  "Thanks, boys.  Ladies, let's go upstairs.  Dawn, Callia?"

"Hanging with Sean, Ronon, and Liz.  Who is attached to Ronon's hair."

"She's great with Liz," he said, walking them off to talk to them.

"Aww, they're adorable!" a female voice said.  "They should model."

Dawn looked at the fashion reporter there to interview Pepper.  "No way in hell I want my nieces in that soul destroying, self esteem destroying career.  Beyond that, twelve."

"Oh!  Well...."  She swallowed at Dawn's stare.  "They could work for a few years.  Pepper did.  It could earn them a great college fund."

"They have one.  I set one up.  Why would I want them to have their self esteem destroyed for being healthy instead of looking like they're addicted whores?"

"I suppose that's true," she admitted, backing down.  "They're beautiful."

"They are," Dawn agreed.  "Who'll never be too skinny.  They're both taking self defense lessons."

"That's probably a good idea.  I know you're a very protective aunt, Dawn."

"Who owns many weapons for the guys who forget they're twelve."  She smiled sweetly.

"That's a good thing then," she agreed, smiling at Pepper before leaving.

"Way to be overprotective," Andrew quipped.

"Hell yes!  Boys have been trying to drool all day.  Clint nearly killed a few trainee agents.  Instead he showed how limb shots were a realistic and good thing in certain circumstances while those ones were on the obstacle course."  Tony laughed, leaning against Dawn's desk.

Pepper came out.  "Girls!  The last time I saw a picture of you, you were barely born."  She hugged them.  She pulled back to look at them.  "You're both strong looking girls, like you've already been training."

"We have some," Artemis said with a grin.  "Why did guys drool, Auntie?"

"Because guys are like wolves," Tony said.  "They think any pretty girl is prey to be hunted."  The girls blushed and shook their heads.  "Which is why Dawn's going to beat them all to death for you."  They blushed and Artemis let out a nervous laugh.  "Aww, got a crush already?" Tony asked her.

Pepper swatted him.  "Tony!"

"Artemis already has one that's so stuck on her he nearly dropped his hammer on his foot earlier," Dawn quipped.  Artemis stared at her.  "When you're eighteen you can flirt.  Your mom agreed."

"Eighteen?" she complained.  "That's old maid age!"

"On earth, that's legal age," Dawn corrected.  "He can go to jail if you're not."

"Oh.  Then I'll look and wait."

"You'll get to know him as a man, not as a myth," Dawn said.  "And see if it's more than a crush on his hair."  She smiled and nodded.  "The same as he'll get to know you as a young woman and not a pretty body."

Diana looked at Tony.  "Are you the one she said made those computer things Sean told us about?"

"I do."  He grinned.  "Sean spent a lot of time playing with our computers and the car collection."

"What's a car?"

"You can learn those the next time you come in," Dawn said.  "Since Xander's going to be busy unscrewing the trainee agents tomorrow.  If the ones Clint got have healed."

Pepper smiled.  "He called and said he picked up food."  Dawn grinned.  She smiled at the girls.  "We'll go shopping together, girls.  Callia needs some because she's growing so we can go together."  They smiled and nodded, Diana letting Tony show her his tablet computer.  Pepper smiled at Dawn.  "Joyce?"

"Nearly crying.  Mom's so happy they're back."

"Good."  She hugged Dawn.  "The idiots wrote back again and were pouty."

Dawn grimaced and walked over to look at the mail.  She hand-wrote out a letter in Russian then sealed it and dropped it into the mail slot once it had a stamp on it.  She came back.  "Let's go eat, girls.  You guys can have Callia and Tony tomorrow."  They nodded and Diana hugged Tony before grabbing their bags and leaving.

Andrew moaned, leaning against Dawn's desk.  "I want my daughter to look like that.  It'll let me get all the evil urges out on the guys who want them."

"It will drive you nuts," Tony assured him.  "It does me when people start telling Callia how pretty she is."  He looked at Pepper, who smiled at him.  "Steve isn't here but Dawn's going to introduce them."

"They're looking at learning the same things about modern life," Pepper said, stroking over his arm.

"I feel like a dirty old man," Tony admitted, shaking his head.  Pepper nodded with a grin.  He sighed.  "We need more guards."

"We might but Dawn's a great one."

"Yes she is."  Jonathan looked at him.  "They're going to rip out hearts and feed them to the owners."  Andrew nodded.  "Your daughter will someday do the same thing to geeks, 'Drew."

Andrew smiled.  "I'd like that."  He looked at Tony.  "Looking at them, Callia's going to be stunning."

He nodded.  "I'm worried about that.  I remember what I got up to as a teenager.  A beautiful girl gets into more if she's not careful."  He walked off with Pepper.  "Go home, boys."  They ran off to talk to their women.  Tony pulled Pepper into his arms to forget white-blonde hair and girls that would someday make men beg for mercy.


Clint was laying out deli chicken, salad, and milk when the ladies got home.  He grinned.  "Go clean up.  Natasha's going to be here soon with Sean."  They ran for their room giggling.  He walked over to Dawn, backing her into a wall to kiss her.  She hopped up to wrap herself around him.  "I'll miss this with kids in the house," he said against her lips, grabbing her to hold her tighter against him.

"We don't have to worry for a year and they have bedtimes."  She took another kiss, making him moan.  "I had to fight off the evil wench who offered modeling and a few saleswomen."

He laughed, nuzzling her throat and ear area.  "I know why but it's hot when you're in protective bitch mode."

"Our future little archer is going to be just as pretty," she said, smiling at him.

He nodded.  "They will be, even if they're a boy."  He kissed her again, letting her down when the girls giggled.  He grinned.  "She's a great cuddle."  They hugged Sean when he came in being pouty.  "You did good," he told him.

"I sucked."

"You're still learning, you can't suck until you've learned everything there is to know about something," Dawn told him.

He smiled.  "That sounded like Mom."  He hugged her.  "Let me clean up."

"Shower and change, Sean," Natasha ordered.  He went to his room to do that.  She got her own Dawn hugging and kissing time.  She smiled.  "I heard you defeating the evil wanters."

"Yes I did.  Including the evil reporter who wanted them to model."

"No, that is not in their best interests," Natasha agreed.  They settled in to eat once Sean was out of the shower and into pajama pants.  The girls were in their new pajamas too.  It was good and dinner was nice.  The girls babbled about what they wanted to learn.  Sean babbled about Ronon's great skills.  It was great.


John reappeared with Callia and Liz at bedtime, smiling at Tony and Pepper.  "The twins spoiled them rotten all day.  Artemis is a baby loving girl."  He handed Liz to Pepper, who smiled at the sleeping baby.  Callia curled up against Tony's chest and yawned, falling asleep there.  "They had a good day.  Liz got cooed over by all the dogs.  Callia and Xander...."  He looked around and spotted the dog.  "They had a great day with the other dogs and Callia got in some learning how to fall training; Tony, Bia also changed her bandage."  Tony smiled and nodded.  "They did great and the trainee agents were idiots half the day over the twins."

"I nearly was," Tony said quietly.

John smiled.  "Should've seen Thor," he mouthed, making Tony moan.  "Yeah, he and Artemis had that 'trying not to get caught looking' thing going alllll day long."  Pepper snickered into Liz's hair.  "So anyway, they did good.  They're all tired from the fussing."  He disappeared.

Pepper got up to lay Liz on the couch.  Tony put Callia into bed.  Then they came back to a late dinner.  Tony needed calming down time and to remember he had the greatest thing ever even if she was a redhead instead of a blonde.


Ronon and John went back to Atlantis that night with pictures of the kids.  Teyla was very happy with her future proteges.  The girls were going to be very strong warriors.

Rodney blinked at Ronon's bragging about Sean.  The pictures did make him look tall and muscled, he did not look his young, tender age.  The girls made him nearly drool.  John snapped his fingers a few times next to Rodney's ear.  "It's a biological reaction to want blondes as the recessive that makes true blondes is so rare," Rodney defended.  "Though they look older than they should in the pictures."

"Buffy's human genes with Hylal's Asgardian ones," John said.

"They'll grow up stunning.  Are they going into any particular fields?"

"I think Artemis took in the traditional wife thing," Ronon said.  John nodded with a grin.  "There was definitely some interest there."

"Yup," John agreed then stuffed his mouth.

"Already?" Rodney demanded.

"You still have drool," Teyla said quietly, smiling at him.

He checked and glared at her.  "The other?"

"No idea," John admitted.  "She likes tech and Clint's bow a lot.  So maybe she'll go to SHIELD too.  No idea."

"Interesting."  He stuffed his mouth.  He needed to find some mythical deaging water.  All the women that would understand him were too young for him.  It was almost enough to make a genius pout.


Buffy called out for Xander, bringing him.  She sighed, looking around then at him.  She looked at her husband, who shrugged.  It was her decision.  She sighed and kissed Hylal.  She loved her huge goofball warrior husband.  "We're needed up here to help guard the village," she said.  "Even though I know it's my duty, I'm one of the few up here with the skills to kill the goblins."

Xander stared at her.  "It's still a warrior wench's job," he assured her with a grin.  "So I take it you're staying up here?"

She nodded, taking Hylal's hand.  "Yeah, we are.  I know it'll mean that the kids won't get to see us again probably, and that I'll never make it another mortal six years to finish them growing up."  She looked at Hylal, who kissed her hand.  She looked at Xander again.  "I..."

"I'm going to let you talk to your own mom and sister," he said.  "Be right back."  He went back to his temple, letting out a string of quiet swearing.  Alana looked over from the valkyries' temple.  "Buffy's decided to help Hylal with his village duties."

"Aye, she does it often."  She smiled.  "She didn't give up her duty to people, just changed the battle."

"Which means we've got custody of the kids."

"Oh, good point."  She nodded.  "It'll be fine."  She walked off happier.

Xander went to get the family together.  He called Joyce and Bruce to join them at Dawn's.  Tony got the same call for Callia.  They all got there, Joyce and Bruce last.  Xander looked at them then the kids.  "Your mom and dad have decided the village needs to keep them."

Sean grimaced.  "So they're not coming back."

"No."  Joyce hiccuped, biting her bottom lip.  He looked at her.  "She said she's needed, Mom," he said quietly.  "She's almost forty."

Joyce smiled sadly.  "I can understand that.  She got used to the simpler things."  She sat down and hugged the kids to her.

Bruce nodded.  "Thank you for letting us know, Xander."

"I'm bringing the whole family up there so they can talk to them.  That way the kids can get loved on and all that."  Tony smiled, having Callia sent over with Steve.  "I have a cabin by there," he said.  "With the two weeks up there to mortal day here, it'll give you guys plenty of time."  He looked at Dawn, Clint, and Natasha.  Dawn was gripping Natasha's hand so tightly they were white.  "She said they need her more."

"They probably do," Dawn agreed.  She and her mother shared a look.  Then she looked at the kids.  "I say they get another month up there," she said.

"No," Joyce said.  "That would screw up Callia's aging."  Callia and Steve walked in.  Joyce took her to sit in her lap, making the baby look at her.  "Your mom wants us all to visit."

"Why?" she asked.  "Isn't she coming down soon?"

Tony cleared his throat and shook his head when she looked at him.  "She's defeating things coming for the villagers up there, Callia," he said quietly.  "So we're all going to go up to visit her."

Callia was silent for a minute then looked at her aunt then at her grandmother.  "That's going to hurt the other kids though.  Am I losing them?"

"No," Xander said.  "They're staying down here."

Callia looked at Sean, who she used to dote on all the time.  "Are you okay with that?"

"I don't know," he said.  She gave him a hug.  He relaxed into it.  "We'll figure it out.  We're going up for a few weeks."

"Then I need warmer jammies."

"We can handle that," Xander assured her.  Phil and Thor walked in.  "We're taking them up to visit their parents," he told Phil.  He looked at Tony.  "That can include you."

"It is including me and the others."

"Pepper?" Callia asked.

Tony pulled out his phone to talk to her, walking off to have some privacy in the hallway.  He came back.  "She doesn't want to bring Liz in case it hurts her because she's getting sick again," Tony told her.

She nodded.  "It'll be weird not seeing her for a couple of days."  She looked at her grandparents, who nodded they were coming.  "Stepmom?" she asked Steve.

"Of course I'm going."  He hugged her.  "I'd miss you for even the day you'll be gone in human time."

She grinned.  "Good."  She looked at Xander.  "We need to pack."

"We'll handle that," Phil told her.  She grinned.  The three gods brought the kids and family up there.  Then Phil got bags packed for everyone.

Clint shivered.  "It's really cold.  Usually I'm very warm."  Dawn snuggled into his arms.  "That helps."  She called up clothes for them and the kids with help from Phil.  He put on the leather jacket.  "How far are they from here, Xander?"

"Two miles," he said with a point.  "I have a sled we can use."

Thor smiled.  "My goats are getting fat and lazy."  He went to get them and his chariot.  Artemis cooed and petted his favorite beings.  He grinned.  She was a beautiful young woman, but he had to remember her age.  They got taken to Buffy and Hylal's house.  Buffy was sniffling but she loved the kids.  All her kids.  So did Hylal.  He had missed them for the few months Asgard time they had been gone.

Xander and Phil walked outside with Thor to give the family time to talk and grieve.  Because they probably wouldn't get to see Buffy and Hylal again before they died of either a battle or old age.  Phil pulled Xander closer, letting him hug him.  "We'll handle it," he promised quietly.  Xander nodded.

A male voice cleared his throat.  "Shouldn't you two be inside?"  Xander looked back.  "Alexander!  I did not recognize your back.  There's no blood or weapons on it."  He smiled.  "Up to visit your friend?"

"They've decided to stay while the kids are on Midgard with us," he said, looking back again.

"Hmm.  Those two demon daughters Hylal has can only gain sense from their elder female relatives.  They're a bit wild," he said when Phil stared at him.  "Fenrir has been pouting."

"They can introduce Callia tomorrow."

"One has a child already?" he asked, looking confused.  "I know there's a time difference."

"Buffy's first child," Phil said.  "She had her years before she met Hylal."

"Ah!"  He nodded.  "I've seen a child I did not know with them."

Callia came out to hug them.  "I'm sad too, Uncle Xander."  He picked her up to cuddle.  "The twins can live with us?"

"That's up to your dad."

"I'll ask."  She snuggled in.  "I need furs."

He laughed and cast a warming charm on her.  She grinned and hugged them before going back inside.  Xander pulled Phil closer again to cuddle.


The twins bounded over to the lightly chained wolf-like beast, hugging him.  "Hi, Fenrir," they cooed.  He growled.  They giggled and hugged him again.  "Callia?"  She quit looking at the strange flowers that bloomed in the snow and came jogging over. 

"Fenrir, this is our sister Callia," Diana said with a smile for him.  "Mom had her first but she's on Midgard."

Callia smiled.  "Should I let you sniff my hand like a stray puppy or are you nicer than Xander's wolf friend Garnet?"  He gave her a look.  She smiled and moved closer, letting him sniff her.  She petted his ear like she would her puppy and cats.  "You have such soft fur."  She hugged him since her sisters were.  "Aww, very soft."  He huffed.  She smiled.  "Why are you chained up?"  He thought at her and she blinked a few times.  "Wow, you mind talk like Auntie Dawn with her husband and wife."  She grinned.  "That's really cool!" 

She hugged him again and got a knot out.  "You need brushed.  You have a lot of hair that has knots and it's not good for your fur.  It could mean you get chills.  I can't do that, I might get sick so I'll brush you if you let me lean against you so I stay warm?"  He huffed but nodded.  She called a brush out to her.  He blinked, staring at her.  "People said Mommy and Daddy needed me."  She smirked evilly.  "Daddy's really nice though.  He works with Uncle Thor and sometimes Uncle Phil and Uncle Xander."  Fenrir sent over a thought to all three girls and they explained it while Callia got out the knots. 

Fenrir looked back and growled at one.  She looked at him.  "How are you going to get a good girl wolf if your tummy doesn't look nice?  She'll think you don't care about how you look and girls hate that.  Probably even girl wolves."  She went back to it.  He nudged her with a nose.  She looked at him.  He growled.  She grinned and did it with magic instead.  He groaned.  She giggled and hugged him.  "It'll be okay."  He yawned.  She looked at his collar then at her sisters.  Then at the wolf-being again. 

"If I let you go, you won't eat the village, right?  Because my mommy and stepdaddy are in there and I would be really upset and have Uncle Xander kill you."  He shook his head.  She let him go.  He howled and tilted his head back for the first time in a very long time.  "Aww, muscle cramps.  I get those sometimes when I don't stretch enough before gymnastics."  She got to work on the knots and the wolf-being groaned, nearly going to his stomach as she got them free.  "There, that's better.  Right?"

Fenrir thought at her and lapped her then loped off.

"Bye, Fenrir," Artemis called.  "We might not get to see you for a really long time."

He looked back at her and sent a thought that he'd find them if they needed him to.  Then he disappeared into the woods.

They grinned and picked flowers with Callia.  The snow flowers were very pretty silver and blue flowers.  She brought them back to her mother and father.  The adults had stayed up late to talk so they looked tired but they understood why.

Xander appeared in front of his half-brother, shrugging some.  "Now you know why I love those kids."  The wolf-being/god nodded he did.  "Don't make Buffy and Hylal any more work," he said quietly.  "She's sending the kids to me on Midgard and keeping her protection up here."  His half-brother agreed and nodded.  "Dad's on Midgard too.  He's with a politician."  Fenrir laughed out a bark.  "Yeah, exactly.  Thank you."  He petted him.  "If you need me to repay that favor, call."  Fenrir pointed out he had gotten him out of his confinement, it was equaled out.  Xander grinned.  "Cool.  I have to beat up guys who want the twins."  He walked off shaking his head.  "Thor's around here somewhere watching Artemis."

Fenrir smiled and went to another plane.  One he could hide on while he decided what he wanted to do.  He'd miss those two girls.  They had been sweet and seen the intelligence being behind the fur.  It was something most of his family hadn't been able to do.  Maybe he'd find a werewolf mate who would see the same thing.


Pepper smiled as she walked into Fury's office the next morning.  "They're on Asgard."

"The whole group?" he asked, looking confused.

"Buffy decided to stay."

"Oh, so they took the kids.  Stark would never allow his daughter that far away without him."

"Or Steve.  Who is the world's fussiest stepmother."  She smiled.  "Or so Callia says."  Fury gave her a look.  She grinned.  "He is."

"I'm sure he is.  Any other news?"

"We'll be deciding custody of the kids soon probably.  There's a hearing coming up on the motion those bigots filed to take Callia from us."

"I heard.  He good?"

"No.  He's going to destroy them all."  She smiled more happily.  "But we'll see what's going on."  She handed over something.  "The same people that send Dawn threats sent you one."  She left, going home to pick up Liz from Beya so she could spoil her.

Fury looked at the threat, calling in Agent Hill to have it handled.  She could assign agents.  He'd ignore it if she cried on the information files again.  He had no idea why people trying to sell poisonous chocolate had made her cry but then again he'd never been pregnant.  Probably wouldn't be so he'd never understand.  Hopefully.


Odin felt something different and swore, calling in his unwanted grandson.  Xander appeared, staring at him.  "Where is your half-brother?"

"On another plane.  Hopefully finding a mate.  It's been a long time since he had companionship outside Buffy's twins."

"He cannot mate," Odin ordered.

Xander stared at him.  "You know what?  If he can't find someone who likes him for the man he is inside the beast, then I'm really sad about our people.  Clearly they're not worthy of any of our family."  Odin gaped in horror.  "He's on a plane with werewolves.  I'm pretty sure they'd understand him, Grandfather."

"He was not to be released!  He could kill a great many people," Odin said.

"That came from the same mind that thought me evil," Xander said bluntly, staring him down.  "And yet they were proven wrong repeatedly since I'm over the protection for humanity."  Odin flinched.  "Fenrir is family.  I know for certain he's not mindless.  The children of my friend who married a warrior up here found him very sweet.  They played with him, made him wear flower crowns, teased him with games of girl tag and all sorts of things.  He did not hurt them."  Odin was still looking horrified. 

"Just because there's a *prophecy*," he sneered, his voice dripping disdain.  "Does not automatically make it so.  Anyone can say they have a vision."  He walked off.  "Leave my family alone, Grandfather.  You've never seen us truly, only through the words of what we might become if pushed that way."  He shot him a dirty look.  "We turn out better than you ever thought because we don't stoop to those levels.  We'd never prove you right."  He disappeared.

"Vidar," Odin said.  He came over from his table.  "Hunt down Fenrir."

"At this point, he's not dangerous and I will not hunt an innocent demigod simply because of who his parents are, Odin All Father.  Why make him defend himself by killing others?"  He went back to his seat.

"Sons of chaos gods are always evil or wrong somehow," Odin noted firmly.

"Then your own father's seed turned you odd minded?" Tyr asked.  "After all, you are one yourself, All Father."  He sipped his mead.  "Every god in every pantheon can trace their lineage to at least one chaos god.  Even you, who has it directly above him."  He finished his mead.  "Let me speak with Alana and Alexander on the goblin menace that has been picking up before my stomach turns due to hatred." 

He left.  He found Fenrir and squatted down.  "Peace, cousin.  I bring you news."  He patted him on the shoulder.  "All Father is being...  He's going to try to treat you like he does Alexander," he said quietly.  "We have pointed out there is no use of it since you are not the mindless beast that prophecy said you would be.  Most of us warriors have agreed that unless you turn and start to murder innocents, there is no need for us to hunt you down."  Fenrir sent him a thought. 

"He called upon Alexander to recapture you.  He refused and told him off."  Another thought hit his mind.  "Yes, due to your shared father.  Odin thinks all chaos children will turn evil.  He was reminded he was one as well."  He patted him again.  "If you find a mate, I wish you much happiness.  Hide as best you can."  He looked around.  "I felt your father appear."  He smiled.  "Let me vacate this realm before he finds you."  He left.

Fenrir thought about it.  He hadn't seen too much of Odin and Alexander's arguments but he had heard about them.  His half-brother was strong of mind and body.  Fenrir knew he wasn't as strong as Alexander but he wasn't going to turn into some mindless beast with bloodlust in his mouth.  He wandered off, sniffling for nearby werewolf packs.  He ran into his father sitting under a tree reading and sat down staring at him.

Loki looked up and smiled.  "My adopted father is not right and I know you are more than a mindless beast who kills for pleasure and food."  He closed his book.  "It took me much time to figure out how my other son fought so hard.  If I could, I would have made sure Odin never saw any of you, Fenrir."  Fenrir grinned.  "You did good watching over those girls for him.  I know he appreciates it.  I do because they're due to become great beings of chaos as they warp men's minds."  Fenrir sent over a thought and doggy grinned. 

"Really?"  He considered it.  "My adopted brother deserves happiness I suppose.  I know I would not dare harm them because your brother and the Key would team up to dissipate me to the energy of the universe."  He smiled and reached over to pet his son.  "They have made it very clear that harming those your brother has claimed as if family would get me destroyed."  He looked at him.  "I wish you much happiness, son.  Find a true mate, have a pack of children."  He stood up and hugged him.  "Call if you wish to see me."  He disappeared back to Midgard.

Fenrir shook his head.  That was strange of his father but he supposed even his father could do surprising things like care about other beings.  He caught scent of a female were and tracked it to their pack.  He trotted up to the alpha and sat down, tipping his head to stare at him.  He ducked his head and stared at him.  The alpha male stared back.  He sent over a thought introducing himself. 

The alpha changed into a human and Fenrir was more used to that.  He needed to learn how to be around his own kind, not just humans.  The alpha nodded and let him stay with them for now while he learned.  Fenrir smiled and nose nudged him then sat back down.  The alpha pulled him to his tent to teach him how to be a proper wolf.  He needed to know so he could survive.


Tony sat and watched the other adults argue and play 'I want them but' about the kids' living arrangements.  Joyce wanted them but Bruce was worried about her health.   Which he was right to do.  Joyce still got easily run down and the twins were hyper girls who had a lot of things they needed to do.  Dawn had said they could arrange the apartments, give them one of the joined ones so they got some privacy but they were in the same apartment as them.  Clint and Natasha had made that compromise.  Natasha wasn't sure she could handle having the twins and Sean there all the time.  Which they probably wouldn't be.  They'd be at the temple and learning things. 

Clint had agreed that he'd love to take in the kids.  He liked kids, partially because of how his childhood had turned out.  Joyce didn't like it though because Dawn had a life and was going to start her own family soon.  Dawn pointed out they were family and that's all that mattered.  Which was something Clint agreed with.  Natasha hadn't really had a family since she was Callia's age so she didn't fully understand but she agreed the twins were best suited to living with them.

Bruce argued that they'd be in the way, that they wouldn't have enough couple time.  Dawn shot back that she was certain she could send them to play with Callia if she needed smutty couch sex that badly.  Bruce had blushed but shrugged.  Clint was figuring out how to change his apartment around so it'd be good for them while still keeping the family together.  Or Dawn could move her office up there and let Sean take over that room as his own.  They could play in the living room upstairs whenever they wanted to, turn it into a family room/play room.

Tony cleared his throat when the discussion got heated about how much work it was to raise a child and take them places, which Dawn was already doing with his daughter half the time.  "How about they come live with their sister?" he offered.

"Tony, you don't have room for them," Joyce said.

"Said who?  I have four spare bedrooms in the penthouse," he said.  "I have Pepper just downstairs.  I have Dawn all day and their sister's there.  The gym's there for their training needs.  Dawn would probably bring them in with her so they could do the education stuff that they're behind on with Callia.  She's about at their level anyway."  Joyce stared.  He stared back.  "All of you naturally gravitate toward the tower.  Bruce works there half the time. You pop over whenever you want to because Fury spoils you rotten."  She gave him a dirty look but he grinned.  "They'll be at the tower anyway outside of any external lessons like at the temple.  Which is the only other reasonable solution because they'll be training there a lot."

Buffy looked at him.  "They're not your kids, Tony."

"So?"  He shrugged.  "Maybe I'll be able to turn Sean back into a warrior geek."  Hylal smiled at him.  "Callia would be super happy to have them there.  She misses having kids who played on her level.  Tara's twins are far enough behind right now that she's not really playing with them, just in the same room or teaching them things."

"Then she'd be trapped between the two age groups," Bruce said.

"She's always around bigger kids anyway," Dawn said.  "She misses having kids her own age but she's used to being the youngest."  She looked at her lovers then at Tony.  "I like my apartment best.  That way they have decompression areas to get away from all the tech and things they don't understand.  I can imagine Artemis not getting JARVIS and her crying because the walls keep talking to her."

Tony shrugged.  "That may be but JARVIS is sensitive enough to not freak her out after that first time.  They can split it, that way they can drift to whichever bedroom they want for a while, including time with Joyce and Bruce.  Beyond that, Bruce, you only have a two bedroom place.  There's no way you can keep all three kids in one."

"We have a basement that's finished.  I could turn it into a room for the twins instead of my office," Bruce said.

Dawn waved a hand.  "We aren't using the three bedrooms in Clint's apartment hardly ever unless we switch off.  We can put the girls in the master so they have room to spread out.  Put Sean in one of the other ones.  That'll give them an area to hang out in and learn to play video games plus to decompress when the new things get to be too hard.  We can leave the door open and all that."  She looked at Clint then at Natasha.

"That would be easiest and they would have the most room to grow with us," Natasha agreed.  "Plus we can get them to various things.  They could head in with Dawn in the morning for lessons with Callia and whatever training they want to do.  Would Ronon want Sean full time for his training?"

Dawn considered that.  "He might expect it."

Buffy nodded.  "I remember Ronon.  He's a good warrior.  He can train Sean and not give him culture shock."  She looked at Tony.  "They can camp."

Tony smirked.  "Callia wants to redo her room anyway, Buffy."

"She needs a bigger bed," Dawn agreed.  "Even if she wasn't outgrowing a twin size bed, she needs more room for the cats to lay on."  Tony nodded.  "If Sean's going to be training full time with Ronon then the twins can have the two rooms and I'll move my office up there.  We'll move the weapons and supplies up to the main bedroom?" she asked Clint, who grinned and nodded.  She looked at Tony, who shrugged.  "Thanks, boss."

"Welcome, Dawn.  If you have to you could probably move up to the penthouse and let Natasha keep hers."

"It'll be fine," Natasha assured him.  She looked at Joyce.  "This way they can spend time with you but you don't have to take time off to run to lessons every few days."

"I think they should learn to swim definitely," Tony said.

"Taught 'em," Buffy said.  "At least enough to not drown."

He nodded.  "We can see if they like it and it's good exercise," Tony said.  He made notes on his pad.  "We do have the self defense classes for Callia.  They can join them."

"I can work on their aim in our range," Clint agreed.  "They'll need that and gun work."  Tony nodded.  He looked at Joyce.  "They're not an imposition, Joyce."

"I know, Clint, but you three still go out and do things all the time.  We mostly sit home and cuddle together.  What happens when you three have a baby finally?"

Dawn shrugged.  "Then they'll get a good view of what it takes so there won't be any teenage pregnancies in the family," she said bluntly.

Joyce rolled her eyes.  "Dear, you get a bit loud," she pointed out.

Dawn shrugged.  "They haven't minded yet, Mom."

Tony laughed.  "I doubt they would.  They've probably heard their parents.  Those nights they can stay at the tower."

"Tony, dear, this is really among family," Joyce said.

He stared at her for a minute.  "Am I not the father of your first born grandchild?"  She sighed but nodded.  "Then that makes me family and my daughter will protest and hold sit ins to have her siblings with her.  She will make us all sorry if we don't agree with her."

Dawn nodded.  "Yeah, she will."  She looked at her mother.  "We'll all set up rooms.  They can drift.  I'll take primary custody and if they want to, they can drift to spend time with Callia or with you, Mom.  That way they have a home base."

She looked at Bruce, who nodded and patted her hand.  "I suppose we'll work on that."

Dawn smiled at Buffy.  "Sounds good to me, Dawnie."

"Good."  She stared at her sister.  "Why do you look ghostly?"

"There was a battle a few months back.  We got overrun.  We ...  Well, right before the end we got together."

"So you're actually already gone but you're being ghostly to try to ease it on the kids?" Dawn guessed.  Buffy nodded, looking down.  She sighed.  "Shouldn't you be in Valhalla then?"  She nodded.  "We'll work that out then."  She looked at her mother, who smiled sadly.  Dawn was feeling a tension headache coming on but Natasha smoothed a hand over her shoulder and it was easier suddenly.  Clint leaned over to poke her on the arm.  She smiled and hugged them both.

"Let me tell Callia about Valhalla first," Tony said.  "She'll freak out a bit."

"She's a genius like you are, Tony.  She already asked me," Buffy sighed.  "She made sure the other kids didn't hear her."

"Yeah, she's great at those sort of understanding things," he said, slumping some.  This was not the talk he wanted to have with his daughter.

"I've already told her what Valhalla was," Dawn admitted.  "In case something did happen so she'd be expecting them to go there.  We had a talk about where mice went when nannies broke their backs."

Tony grinned.  "Thank you."

"You're welcome."

"Why didn't she come to us?" Steve asked from slightly behind Tony.  He had stayed out of the argument because it wasn't his place to offer solutions.

"She didn't want to bother Tony.  There were a lot of meetings.  She said she almost asked Pepper but Liz had colic and she might not explain it to her very well because she didn't like to talk about things like dead mice."

"She did try to talk to me about the dead mouse once and I listened and hugged her, then I told her the mouse was in a good place full of mice chow and it was happy there chasing cats around," Tony said.  "That's as close as I could get."

Joyce smiled.  "I told Buffy that about goldfish."

Buffy nodded.  "She did.  I nearly quit using the toilet since it led to goldfish heaven."

"We had a talk about spirits and not being in the actual body.  She asked about viking funerals when I told her about Valhalla.  I had her look them up and then ask me questions because we had a meeting.  She sat at my desk and did that, and answered the phone a few times."  Tony grinned because that had been recently.  "But when I got back she asked about cremation and all that.  So we talked about physical versus spirit forms.  She had a few questions about her grandfather's ghost too."

"So do I.  Including how to banish him back to the mansion," Tony admitted.

"Run him out with how great the sex is," Dawn said dryly.  "We did when he showed up to talk to me one day."  Clint snorted, shaking his head, but he was grinning.  "Apparently he thought I was a bit *wild* to be around his granddaughter.  So when I was done and he came back to nag me again I let him have it about how I was biologically her aunt and he'd better be *damn* glad I hadn't banished his judgmental ass for what he did to screw you up.  Then I told him where the room with your news articles were archived so he could look through them.  He was not amused that you were a slut.  And yeah, he called you a slut, boss."

"I heard Howard compare him to a bimbo or two he had dated," Clint said more quietly.

"Figures.  He asked me why I was such a slut.  I told him it was because I didn't have a good example of a healthy relationship."  He looked at Steve.  "Thank you for yelling at him."

"He deserved it.  I used to like Howard, looked up the man, but not with how he treated his family.  Real men take care of their families, not going out having bimbos or disappearing for months on end."  Tony grinned at him, giving his hand a squeeze.  "That and he wanted you to marry Pepper.  I told him if we got married it'd be a trio's binding or you and I were married."  Tony smiled.  "He spluttered but floated off outside to stare over the city."

"Please don't mention that around the reporters," Dawn moaned, rubbing her face.  "They've been nagging about why we won't do a renewal ceremony so it can be a media spectacle."

Buffy looked at her.  "Why?  You're an assistant."

"That gave her status," Bruce said, smiling at his stepdaughter.  "Then she won some money at kitten poker."

"Then I helped with a few things," Dawn added.  "Plus I'm fashionable and have to go to events with them as their assistant."

"So those entertainment people who talk about oscar fashions nag you too?" Buffy asked with a grin.  "At least we taught you how to dress."

"Then I learned better from Pepper and Natasha because booty skirts are never appropriate," Dawn quipped with a hand wave.

"Thankfully we don't mind that they turned you into a flirty tease," Tony said dryly, smiling at her.

"Wasn't that why everyone assumed you were going to make her Callia's stepmom?" Steve asked with a grin for Tony.


Joyce snorted, shaking her head quickly.  "I'm so glad they got over that."

"Now they're shouting about when I'm giving her a cousin," Dawn said.

"She and Pepper are not allowed on maternity leave at the same time, Barton.  Nothing would ever get done."  He shifted in his chair.  "She might have to work from home through part of it too."

"I'd do that anyway," Dawn promised.  "I go a bit nuts sitting at home all the time."  Tony smiled.  "Beyond that, you're lucky I don't have to make an announcement, boss."

"Really?" he asked.


"Huh.  Damn, sorry, kid."

"It happens.  It didn't take."  She shrugged.  "When it happens it will."  She reached over for Natasha, who smiled and squeezed her hand back.

"Shouldn't you be mushy about making babies with the other spouse?" Buffy teased.

She grinned back.  "The choker Lavelle uses helped Tara get pregnant by Maria."

"Huh.  So magical artifact helpful," she decided.  "Kinda glad I didn't need the help.  All I had to do was look at Hylal and got hit."

"Xander found out I had miscarried at the month level," Dawn said.  Buffy patted her on the arm.  "I didn't even realize."

"Most women don't," Joyce said, looking at Clint.  "Have yourself checked then try it again, Dawn."

"I am.  I have an appointment with Tara's OB in a few days."

"That hearing?" Tony asked.

"Three weeks, boss."

"Good.  Thank you for handling that if I didn't say it."  He shifted.  "So we're agreed, Dawn will take primary custody.  They can drift to my place or Joyce's place as they need to?"  They nodded.  "Then let's hit the bed for the night, people.  I'm cold and my bed has furry blankets."  They smiled and went back to the cabin, where the kids were all sleeping.  They did not want to burden the kids with anything. Tony was still worried but he did that.  Steve pulled him against his chest, nibbling on his ear until he relaxed.  He could lay there and think plus be cuddled because he was super talented.  When Callia got up he waved her over.  She climbed in with them and snuggled to.  He hugged her.  She was the best thing anyone had done for him.  The one tied for second with Pepper was snoring against his back.  He could handle this with them around him.


They returned to earth with a shower of kiddy crying, Joyce sobbing on Bruce, Dawn trying to hold it in, and Tony not being very stoic while holding his daughter.  Pepper looked up at them.  "It went that bad?" she mouthed to Dawn, who nodded.  "Guys, why don't you go up to the penthouse?" she suggested.  "There's a huge sectional to cuddle on."  Joyce nodded, clutching at Bruce's shirt.  He got them up there, Natasha helping with the kids.  Dawn was all but clutching Clint's arm, she could see bruises starting.  So that was really bad.  She gave them time to calm down, checking on Liz.  She wasn't happy but she wasn't really pouty either.  "You can see them later," she said quietly.  Liz grinned and gummed on her teething biscuit.

Sean sat down, staying silent, staring straight ahead.  Dawn hugged him.  He stiffened.  "If someone hurt you while hugging you I'm killing them," she told him, staring at him.

"She should've told us."

"She should've told me too, but Buffy's like that, Sean.  She lied to us for years to protect us and then tried to make me feel like I was a baby to be protected because that's what she does."  He slumped but nodded.  She settled next to him, pulling his head down onto her shoulder.  "It is perfectly reasonable to cry," she said quietly.  "I want to really hard."

"Why can't you?"

She gave him a kiss on the forehead.  "Things I've had to learn over the years," she said quietly.  He nodded, wrapping his arms around her.  "The only thing you have to worry about right now is if you want to live with me or if we should ask John if you can go be with Ronon for a while."

He looked up at her.  "You wouldn't mind?"

"Oh, hell yes we'd mind," she said but she was grinning.  "But we understand if you want to do that instead of staying with us.  Though, you'll always have a room at my place.  Even if it's just a cot on the floor."

He nodded, putting his head back down.  "I'll think about it tonight."

"Okay.  There's no hurry.  You can make that decision whenever and change your mind too."  She patted him and he gave her a squeeze.  Callia got free of her father and ran over to pounce him.  "Nice jump, Cal."

She smiled at her brother.  "Are you okay?"

"I'll be fine."  He hugged her.  He let go of Dawn to do it, sitting up some.  "I'm sorry, Callia."

She took a deep breath.  "It's what people who fight do sometimes.  You have to try really hard every day not to but you can't always be good enough.  That's why auntie ends up in the infirmary at times and so does Daddy and Steve and everyone else."  She kissed him on the cheek.  "It took me a while to figure that out but I know it happens.  Everything goes, just sometimes it means something bigger.  Mommy will make sure hers will."  He nodded, cuddling her.

Dawn looked at her.  "Who told you that?"

"No one.  I'm smart and I realized it happened."  She looked at her aunt.  "I also realized that you hide scars from me so I don't have to worry."

She stroked over her hair.  "I hard scars from me so I don't have to think about them."

She shrugged.  "Still the same effect."  She went back to hugging her brother.  She had a lot of connection with Sean where she didn't the twins.  She only had a week with them as a baby.  She had almost a year and a half of Sean being her baby brother.  "Are you going to 'Lantis?"

He shrugged.  "I don't know.  I'm thinking since Auntie Dawn said I could."

She looked at him.  "Atlantis and JARVIS talk all the time and you can learn to email," she said bluntly.  "Or else I will kick your ass and make you one sorry baby brother."  She put her head down again.

Joyce laughed, wiping her cheeks off.  "No threatening violence on your siblings, Callia."

"Yes, Granma."

Clint pulled Dawn up.  "Cocoa?"

"I could make some," she agreed, letting him help.  Joyce came in to do it for them so they went onto the patio.  Natasha snuck out with them.  She nestled into their arms.  "Can I go back up there to kick their asses?" she asked quietly.

"Nope.  Not if you don't bring us," Clint said, stroking over her hair.

Natasha stroked over Dawn's side and back.  "She is doing what she wanted.  By now they're probably making all of Valhalla groan at how loud they are."

Dawn let out a snort and a half-smile.  "Maybe."  She snuggled in better.  Natasha got pulled against her back.  "Smoosh me?"  They held her tighter.  "Thank you."

"We're here for more than the really hot sex," Clint reminded her, kissing her on the head.  She gave him a squeeze.  His phone beeped.  "If that's an assignment I'm going to mortally wound someone and let them die a long, slow, lingering death."

Dawn laughed.  "That's my job."  She took a kiss, then dug his phone out of his pocket to look at it.  "It is."  She showed him the 'report now' from Fury.


"When you get home I will," she promised, taking a kiss.  She stared at him.  "You'd better not even get scratched or I'll kill them all."

He grinned.  "I love you in scary bitch mode too, Dawn."  He took a better kiss from each of them and sent back a text message that they were barely back, it was a bad moment for him to report, but he'd be there in an hour.  He took another kiss and left.

Dawn turned to hold her wife.  "I want to sneak after him to make sure he's okay."

"He'll be fine," she reminded her.  Dawn nodded, resting against her shoulder.  She wouldn't mention the few tears Dawn was shedding.  She had that right, Natasha would never say anything about it.  She could only soothe her and help her calm back down so things could be handled.

Joyce looked out there then at Bruce.  "If they ever learn that for any reason I'll kill whoever hurts my grandbabies and I won't need Dawn to teach me how."

He kissed her gently.  "I'd help, you know that."  She nodded, letting him carry out mugs of cocoa.  Even if Tony did want to put brandy or something in it she wouldn't let him.  Tonight was not the time to drink, not while the kids were awake.

Once they were in bed, the adults settled in to make plans and drain two of Tony's really old bottles of scotch.  Joyce could match Tony shot for shot and tonight she needed that easing of the corners of her mind.  Though she found out that Natasha could match them both and probably beat them and if not, Dawn could.  She'd ask why but she wasn't sure she wanted to know.


Dawn, who was wearing dark sunglasses and clearly had a hangover, appeared on the front door of Atlantis' main tower with her nephew.  "You sure?" she asked.

He nodded.  "I am.  I can learn a lot and the girls need babying."

She ruffled his hair.  "So do you, kiddo."

"But I'm older."

"Not that old."


She gave him a look over the edge of her sunglasses.  "You will reappear each and every single goddamn weekend," she said quietly but firmly.  "You will not make your sisters cry or I'm teaching them how to kick your ass."

He grinned, ducking his head.  "I can do that."  She smiled.  They walked inside.  They ran into a few guards.  "Is Ronon up?" he asked.

The guard stared at them.  "Who're you?  We don't usually get tourists."

"I'm Dawn Summers."  The guard shuddered and called Sheppard.  He came out to meet them, bringing them back to his office.  Not that Dawn didn't know where it was but there was protocol to be followed.  Dawn looked at John once they were locked in.  "Buffy and Hylal decided to stay up there because they were ghostly before the kids came down."  He stared, going stiff.  "I've already heard that someone is complaining that they're stinking up Valhalla with happy sex noises."

He nodded.  "I'm sorry for your loss, guys."

Dawn smiled sadly.  "I tried to talk him into staying."

John looked at him then called Ronon in.  The warrior walked in and hugged Sean, who clung back.  "His mom and dad died, Ronon."

"I reminded him he could stay with us," Dawn told him.  "He didn't want to.  He's to reappear each and every single weekend and if the girls cry you're on your own when they kick both your asses."

Ronon nodded.  "I will train him like I would a little brother, Dawn."  She swallowed and nodded.  "We can make sure he gets home each and every weekend and writes most nights."

She smiled.  "Good."  She hugged Sean.  "We'll go shopping so you have jeans and things soon."

"Eww," he complained but he was grinning.

"Suck it, nephew.  Before I let Callia dress you."

He laughed and nodded.  "I can do that before I have to wear a leotard too."  She pinched him on the arm and hugged Ronon then John before disappearing.  He looked at Ronon.  "They're crying.  I can't...."  He shook his head.

Ronon patted him on the back.  "I felt much the same way when my sister cried."  He walked him off.  "The room next to mine is free.  No clothes?"

"At the temple.  I figured I'd be there most of the time."

"We're there often.  We can pick it up later."  He patted the boy on the back.  "We'll start easy today, working on your stamina.  It will give you enough mindless exercise time to think without it being obvious."

"I'd like that.  Thank you."

"It's what warriors do when we can't cry."

"Auntie Dawn can't around people."

"Your aunt is every bit the warrior your mother was, even if her duty is different."  He looked at him.  "As that movie the female officers made me watch said, there's no crying in baseball."

"What's baseball?"

"That had to be explained to me too," he admitted.  They got him logged into a room and then outside to work out in the sun and fresh-ish air.  The air quality on this planet had nothing on the fresh air in Pegasus but most planets there didn't have factories or shipping barges to stink it up.  Even if they were near one that made excellent candy bars that the science staff craved it was still a factory.

John watched.  He felt for the kids.  He really did.  He'd do what he could to ease it.


Dawn looked over at the hissing person in the judge's chambers.  It was a hearing on the motion to remove Callia.  It had gotten moved up on the insistence and plotting of the bigots.  "No, Buffy's not coming back.  She died in an attack on the village she was in."  The judge winced.  "She and Hylal both did.  So I have custody of her children, thank you."

"Formally?" the judge asked.

"It's in her will.  We have no idea how to file that since they were on Asgard."

"Why?" the judge asked.

"Hylal was a warrior, a village guardian, up there.  When the twins were born prematurely they went up to help them get better.  Time runs faster up there so they're older than their birth years say they should be."

"So you have formal custody by her will," he said.  Dawn nodded.  "That's fine, Mrs. Summers.  Or do you go by your married name?"

"We haven't talked about how to do that for practical or legal matters.  Most of the time I do go by my maiden name for professional reasons."

"That's understandable."  He made that note.  "How is Callia handling it?"

"We took them up there for a few days human time, which is about a month Asgardian time," Tony said, crossing his feet.  "The time difference is two weeks to a mortal day."

"No wonder the other children are older."  He made that note as well.  "So she got to say goodbye, go to the funeral?"

"No funeral.  They were in corporeal spirit form," Dawn said.  "The kids didn't even know until Callia realized it and asked.  Her magical gifts showed it to her."  He nodded, making a note of that.  "Then we sat down to have the hard talks.  She's on a better footing but she's still upset.  She misses her brother, who decided to go train with some warriors we know instead of live with me."


"He wanted to," Dawn said.  "I left that up to him.  He's on Atlantis with one of them.  He's showing up each and every single weekend.  His twin sisters are handling things better than Callia but she's managing to either push it into something or work it out by talking to her cats."

"Which is what children do," he agreed.  "No therapy?"

Tony shook his head.  "She's got plenty of people to talk to and if she wanted one she knows she only has to ask.  Pepper and she talked about a few things and she offered to help her find someone to talk to.  She said instead she'd talk to her grandmother, who was crying with her."

"Grandmother?" the bigot's lawyer sneered.

"Yes, as in Buffy's and my mother," Dawn said, glaring at him.  "She's still alive and very well.  She offered to take in the twins but they're a bit hyper and Mom needs some peaceful times not taking them to lessons.  They know they only have to show up there to spend the night or however long with her and Bruce."

"The same as they can come camp with Callia whenever they want to," Tony agreed.  "All they have to do is show up."

"As often happens when children are orphaned," the judge agreed.  "The family takes them in as a whole instead of just one relative."  Dawn smiled slightly.  "Your spouses don't mind?"

"No.  We talked about moving the three kids up to the joined apartment above us.  It was Clint's before we seriously moved in together," she explained.  "It's linked to mine by a staircase in the hallway and a door.  That way they had a safe, contained decompression area when things got to be too much."

"Asgard's not very technological I take it?" the judge asked.

"No," Tony said.  "Bit earlier than Middle Ages from what we saw."

"Interesting.  The culture shock issues?"

"I've got them mentored with Ronon for Sean, who is training him.  He's from Pegasus and the male warrior they picked up out there," Dawn said.  "Plus Captain Rogers has been helping.  He went through much the same thing."

"A bit harder for the twins but I can see how that goes and Sean was here when he was younger?"

Dawn smiled. "He was.  He hung around with Callia all the time and in the tower more than once."

"So he's more used to it, but the twins will need more hand holding, which lets you do that," he said.  "Good thinking, Miss Summers."  He looked at the other one.  "Looking over things, I find that you lied to us."  The bigot gasped.  "The relationship you have to Callia Stark is not familial.  Your mother's first husband was slightly related to Buffy's father, a third cousin, but not you unless you were adopted?"

"No, he wasn't," the lawyer said.  "Still, he's closer than Miss Summers is."

"Actually, the monks took Buffy's DNA to warp to make me," Dawn quipped with a grin. "So yeah, I'm closer than he is."  The lawyer slumped.  "Beyond that, what legal right do you have to put up a challenge anyway?"

"She's being harmed, being forced to learn how to follow her mongrel of a father into his *suit*," the bigot sneered.

"Point of order," Dawn said.  "Like her mother, Callia's a future slayer."  He flinched and shook his head, backing away.  She nodded.  "We're told she's not in the top of ten of the list of those around her age but she is one.  We're training her in case she gets called and to defeat the idiots who try to kidnap her to get money, tech, or weapons."

"All of which have been attempted at least once," Tony agreed quietly.

"Children of wealthy people often have to take such precautions," the judge said.

"I got taken fifteen times by the time I was Callia's present age and they stopped another six or so," Tony told him.  "My daughter will not have to learn how to handle that."

"Your dad sucked," Dawn muttered.  He smiled at her.  "My opinion but I'm sticking with it, boss."

"I am too."  He looked around, he could feel his father's ghost watching.  He'd ignore it for now.  The judge gave him a curious look.  "I found him floating around our old mansion."

"Pity," the judge sighed.  "How is he handling things?"

"I might have to torch the mansion to get him to move on," Dawn said bluntly.  "Callia confuses him greatly.  He doesn't like her cats either."

The judge smiled.  "Men of his generation were often set in their ways.  My father was as well."  He looked at the bigots.  "Having had people look into the matters you cited, there's no evidence of abuse, mental coercion, or of anything that might speak of a reason to remove her from the home.  Even with an untraditional relationship, Mr. Stark's doing good with her emotional and educational upbringings.  I would wish for some moral education but there are many ways of getting that point across to her and I believe that she is getting it in multiple ways from the women in her life." 

He crossed his hands, staring at the bigot.  "I also find out that you lied about a few other things.  Including that someone fired on the child during that attempted invasion incident.  I found out that you, personally, were in the park with explosives when you went to supposedly change her father's mind about his relationships.  I find that unacceptable and even if he was a horrible parent, I'd give her to her grandmother or her aunt because of such matters.  For that matter, I'm very happy that they're not letting her become one of those geniuses who doesn't understand people."

"We work with a number of them," Tony told him.  "Including me part of the time.   She's actually helped a few of them get more used to people.  She did with Andrew and Jonathan."

Dawn smiled.  "I'm very proud of how she treats those two as her personal geek mentors and silly uncles."

"Are they gay too?" the bigot sneered.

"No, one's married and expecting his first child within six months.  The other is in a serious relationship with another of our scientists.  She's a very sweet girl and they had their first time a few months back after over a year of dating and porn."

"Many men go that way," the judge said dryly.  He smiled at her.  "The one on tv with the battle gear?"

"Yes, Your Honor.  The third of them is in a home for snapped geniuses.  Since then, Callia and I have both helped the duo get a bit more confident and learn to get around better in the city.  She dotes on them like they're silly big brothers half the time.  I consider them like little brothers.  Andrew keeps saying he's going to kill my husband each time I come in wobbling from a great, long night."  Tony swatted her.  She smiled.

"Sounds like a brother to me," the judge agreed but he was smiling.  "Do they add to her upbringing?"

"They do help her some with lessons," Tony said.  "Frankly, half the building's taught Callia things over the years.  They taught her electronic components and other things.  Jonathan was helping her learn how to make lasers to build some anti-kidnaping things for Pepper.  She came up with a whole Pepper-belt full of things to defeat kidnapers with their mentoring and correcting her designs."

The judge smiled.  "Then it's good she has others she can go to for mentorship.  Her outside activities?"

"She might change some year," Dawn said.  "She said she likes gymnastics but she doesn't really want to compete.  The coach agreed with her that she should learn due to her unique future possible calling, it can only help her, but he agreed she didn't handle the competition stress well at this point in time.  Her first one she nearly froze."

"A lot of people do," the judge agreed.  "It was worked through?"

Dawn grinned and nodded.  "We did.  She did it and came off saying she hated people staring at her."

"Many do," he agreed.  He looked at the idiot bigot.  "I believe I'm going to have to rule in Mr. Stark's favor and drop this motion.  There's no legal basis for you to be able to challenge it and no legal right for it.  Especially not with your people's noted public stance, meaning your people's online journals, about how you'd take over her stock in the company.  Which you wouldn't be getting even if I gave you custody."

"I do want to make a remark," Dawn said.  "Since we've had six social worker visits recently."  She stared at them.  "Really, they have plenty to do without you wasting their time and energy.  They have to go help kids who actually need them.  Like making false calls to the fire department some other kid might die if they don't get to them because they're having to handle your pouty mood."

"I agree.  No more calls to Social Services," the judge ordered.  "I will send a letter to the head of the local office myself to be put in the file that it has been done for vindictive means.  That they are to have you arrested or fine you if this continues.  By any of your group."  He stared them down then smiled at Dawn.  "Any other notes to make?"

She pulled out her tablet and called up a file, letting him see it.  "The lawsuit to recoup the cost for the repairs to the building.  As they invaded it should be them paying to repair it, not us."

He read it over, smiling.  "I find this reasonable but I doubt they'd pay."  He handed it back.  "If he asks, I will unseal this for that judge."  Dawn smiled and put it into her pocket.  "When is that being filed?"

"Next week.  Our head attorney is out of town this week at her sister's wedding."

"That's fine.  She'll want to polish the language."

"I figured she would," Dawn said with a grin.  "Legal jargon is not my true forte."  He laughed.  She looked at Tony then at him again.  "Can you also put in an injunction against Mr. Leonard Tills, who is one of their founding members, that he may not hire another assassin to try to shoot the baby?"

"He did?" the judge asked.  Dawn got into that file, letting him see it.  "Who gathered this information?"

"My wife for SHIELD.  Who took over the investigation from the FBI since they never told us there was a threat, and they had taken it from the NYPD, who had spotted the sniper and knew he was there to take out Callia and never told us.  We're dealing with them legally soon as well.  I'd like an injunction though.  I don't really like having to kill assassins.  My spouses get mad when I have to do it and not let them handle it.  Clint actually broke a compound resin bow when he heard.  One that can usually withstand him using it to pole vault."  Tony shuddered.  "She's fine, only got a graze, and I got a slightly deeper one, but we were not amused."

The judge nodded.  "I can definitely agree to that and add that to the injunction not to speak about this in the press as it will be a sealed file.  Is he a US citizen?"

"Supposedly but he's trying to hide in Spain right now," Tony said.  "The Marshals Service are looking for him to extradite him back, Your Honor.  He's to face multiple charges of hiring someone to do his dirty work for him."

"I can add it even if it won't be fully binding when he's overseas.  Having it on file might help.  Have you told them where he is?"

Tony nodded.  "I called in a tip when Natasha found him," Dawn said smugly.  "Apparently she asked a SHIELD agent over there to tag him with a sub-que chemical tracker that cannot be gotten out of his body.  They have the code for it and a scanner."

"Wonderful.  Thank you for that bit of help."  He smiled at the bigots.  "Dismissed."  They stomped off.  He looked at them.  "He's hired more than one?"

"He's hired some to take out some higher profile gay activists, one to try to snipe a few notable African-American activists, and one to start a feud by burning a black church.  Which is the charge he's running from," Tony said.  He stood up with a smile.  Dawn stood up too.  She got handed back her tablet.  "Thank you, Your Honor."

"You're welcome.  I hope they don't try again."

"They try to invade again and the results are going to be very harsh," Dawn assured him.  "I'm tired of playing and I've had enough."  He laughed.  They walked out together.

"How harsh?" Tony asked once they were in the hallway.

"Like throwing them off the building will be considered sweet next to what I'll do."  She grinned.  "Even Natasha wanted to kill them, boss."

"She'd probably do a really good job."  Reporters were waiting and rushed at them.  "People, we're not commenting, only that the motion was dropped and that the judge issued a permanent gag order."  The reporters still shouted questions.

Dawn moved Tony when a gun appeared, kicking that person down the stairs of the courthouse.  They screamed.  Guards and officers came rushing at him.  She looked at the others, who were covering that now.  "Boss?"

"I'm good.  I'm wearing body armor anyway."  He looked at her.  "You should."  They walked off together.

"Can't fit it under the cute clothes, boss.  Or the chainmail."  She walked over the guy's leg.  "Next time, don't point a gun at me."  The officers all gaped.  She pointed.  "It fell there."  They moved to grab it and cuffed the guy to bring him in.  "Thank you," she said with a smile.  "It's very nice when we don't have to handle emergencies."  She opened the door of the limo, letting Tony get into the back first.  Then she slid in.  She slumped.  Tony got into the bar.  "Hey, Happy, can we go around a few times?"

"Definitely," Tony agreed.  "I need a drink and it'll worry the sprout."

"Me too," Dawn said, letting Tony hand her one.  They settled in to waste gas by cruising around New York City for a bit so they could relax.  By the time they got back, Callia was bouncing beside Dawn's desk.  Dawn hugged her.  "The judge dismissed it."

"You nearly got shot and didn't come right back!" she complained.

Dawn looked at her.  "We had a calming down ride around the city.  I needed some wine before I went to their office and shot them a whole lot."

Callia smiled.  "That's fine.  As long as you weren't hurt."

"No, I wasn't hurt.  You don't have to worry about either of us being hurt right now."  She nodded and hugged her then Tony.  Dawn sat down.  "The twins in the gym?"  She nodded and went to tell them the good news.

Natasha came up the halls wearing some of Dawn's secretarial gear and carrying folders.  She took a kiss.  "Bourbon?" she asked quietly.

"It was in the car."   Natasha smiled.  "I'm okay."

"I know you are.  The twins have been good all day.  The boys in lab 6 have been fighting over things."  Dawn nodded she knew they were.  "Fury has me Stark sitting again.  I asked him which one and he said the bigger pain in his ass one, not the future pain in his ass."

Tony laughed, going into the office to kiss Liz and Pepper.


Clint sighed, sitting down next to Dawn.  She was staring at him, feeling his headache.  "It's nothing.  It happens."

She finished the current bite of salad.  "Is there a cause, like stress?  Or should I worry horribly?"

"It's nothing exactly like that.  It's more like I over focused."  Dawn stared at him, eyes narrowing.  "Yeah, like the show only not that bad.  They blew it *way* out of proportion."

"Uh-huh."  She ate another bite of her salad before making him turn around so she could work on the knots in his neck.  She swallowed.  "Anything help it?"

"Usually I'm too focused and either Coulson or Nat is there," he said quietly.

"So we over focused and now we're dealing with side effects.  Would having something that smells like them help?"  He shook his head quickly.  "Tried it?"

"When the show came out I tried just about everything on it.  It distracts me, which helps, but that hurts my focus on the mission so we're boned."

"Okay," she said.  "Let me look things up.  There might be something that could help.  Should I start a white noise generator tonight?  Or a fan?"

"The fan's going on tonight," he agreed.  He turned to kiss her.  "Not the reason I came in here, though it's a great job."  She grinned.  "The reason I came in is I just jogged Callia out of one."  Dawn stared at him.  "Yeah.  Not sight like mine.  I think hers is over focusing on the science stuff.  I've seen Tony doing it too."

"That zoned, not totally in this reality stare?  I've seen it too."  She finished her salad while she thought.  "Make Tony watch that with you."

"You sure?"

"Yeah, I am."  He nodded, getting up and giving her a kiss before going to talk to Tony.  She looked up.  "How long, JARVIS?"

"Since before he created me," he said quietly.  "Though it is what he thinks by what I can find online."

"Got any good, handy ideas?"

"No.  He usually manages them."

"No he doesn't.  He comes out whenever."

"Good point," the AI conceded.  "We'll work on it."

"Yeah, we will."  She went to talk to Callia, see what she had been concentrating that hard on.  It turned out to be a problem of how to get across an obstacle course her self-defense trainer had set up.  The twins couldn't figure it out either.  Dawn looked it over.  "Okay," she said.  "It's meant for your specific skills, right?"  She nodded.  "So what can you do that the twins can't?"

"Gymnastics stuff?"  Dawn nodded.  She looked at things.  "I'm not good enough yet to make it over the big gap though."

Dawn smiled.  "What else are you three good at?"

"Weapons?  Playing mean things on Sean?  Science stuff for two of us?"

Dawn nodded.  "So let's problem solve.  Are you allowed to walk closer?"  She nodded.  Dawn led her over there, letting her see the gap.  "So, how would you get something across that to help you do that?"

She looked around.  Then she spied a boulder.  She looked up, there were exposed beams.  "Grappling hook," she said happily.  Dawn smiled.  Callia ran back to the start.  She took a running leap at the first too high thing, doing a flip and catching it like she would on the high bar.  She had just learned release moves earlier this month.  That let her flip around to gain momentum so she could dismount over another obstacle of a big rock that she hadn't been able to climb.  She ran to the next station and climbed up it, doing pretty well.  When she got to that big gap she summoned her uncle's quiver to get his grappling hook and fired it at the beams on the ceiling.  She swung across and ran to the last few things.  One of them meant she had to flip and roll, coming up on the other side of the tack field.  Then she hit the button and grinned. 

"Nice job."

The instructor smiled at her.  "Nice job not telling her but giving her clues."

"Thank you."  She smiled at Callia.  "I'll have Clint repack a new grappling hook."  She walked off.

The instructor came over and pointed.  "You also could've knocked own that fake tree and used it to bridge across."

"My balance beam work sucks," Callia told him.

He smiled.  "That happens.  You can't be good at everything."

"If I was I'd have to compete and that really sucks.  People stare at you."

"People are going to stare at you all your life, Callia.  At events, when you go out to the movies, all sorts of people are going to stare."

"They stare at you when you have to dress up and go to events?" she asked, looking confused.  "Not just take pictures?"

"Yes they do."


"Sorry.  It's the life you lead for being born a Stark."  She walked off shaking her head.  He smiled at her back.  She was so much fun sometimes.  The twins bounded over from what he had them doing and he made them do the same course.  They weren't ready for Callia's level yet but they were smart and cunning.  They'd find their own way around the obstacles.


Dawn walked into the lab where Tony was complaining about team tv series binge night as Clint was calling it.  "Callia called your quiver down to problem solve the obstacle course.  You need a new grappling hook arrow."

"I can repack one," he said, kissing her with a grin.  She grinned back.  "She good?"

"He made her problem solve her way over it.  I gave hints but she came up with solutions."

"Even better," Tony said.  "Can you take him so I can do, you know, science stuff for the sake of science?  Because I'm working here."  Dawn turned on the tv show, fast forwarding to a part she remembered.  She let it play and looked at him.  Tony frowned, watching it.  Then looked at Clint.  "So this is how you're telling me you have that issue?"

"I only have one.  A lot of spies have one or two."

Natasha walked in.  "I know of one that had three, but it drove him mad.  After a concussion he started to taste flavors."  She ended the feed.  "And no, it's not just him."

"Okay," Tony said, smiling at her.  "So you do too...."  She shook her head.  "Dawn?"  She shook her head.  "I don't...."

"You do the same damn thing with science," Dawn said.  "And so does your daughter.  That's why you've been in here now for four days without a shower, boss."

Tony ran a hand through his hair and grimaced.  "Yeah, I need one.  That's not motor oil.  Oh!"  He stared at them.  "So me...."  He pointed at the screen and they nodded.  "So an intervention?  Because usually I'm not that unhappy with it.  I get things done and that's nice, makes the company and my wallet worth more."

"No, but you need to figure out ways of keeping your daughter from doing this.  I caught her doing it at the problem of the obstacle course.  Her instructor was worried she had fallen asleep with her eyes open."

Tony nodded.  "Yeah, I've seen her do that.  It did look familiar."

"So we need to find a way to help her stay centered," Dawn said.  "Because that's not exactly a healthy state.  You forget to eat all the time.  Hell, you've only had coffee and your shakes to help with the palladium poisoning for the last four days.  Even Pepper got worried about that."

Tony sighed.  "Okay, we can work on that.  Though I don't mind mine because I usually get things done."  He looked around his work bench, which was littered with things that needed to get done.  "I don't do it as often."

Natasha smiled.  "You don't.  Back when I had to first start watching over you, you'd be lost for days at a time then crash and go back to it unless Dawn or Pepper annoyed you."

"There were whole months when we had to wonder and ask JARVIS if you had blown yourself up," Dawn agreed with a grin for him.  "We're not going to stop yours.  You like them, and that's okay.  They make Pepper sigh in an unpleasant way sometimes but she can kick your ass."  Tony burst out laughing, nodding that might be true.  "But your daughter's doing the same thing.  She's already missed lessons two days this week because she was in here with you.  And she's applying it to other areas."

"We can work on some meditation, that may help her learn how to be more aware of her surroundings," Natasha said.

"Didn't with me," Tony admitted.  "I had to take a PE and ended up in yoga for some reason, well because there were pretty girls in leotards actually, and it just made mine sharper."  He looked at Barton.  "Yours?"

"I only go down that path when we're screwed and I'm the only cavalry we have."

"Usually we can help him unfocus later," Natasha said.  "He only goes out with certain handlers and certain agents for that reason."

"And sometimes rookie agents that make him want to beat them," Dawn quipped.

"Don't remind me I spent all morning with the trainees," he groaned.  "Though, I agree with Coulson.  We have one that'll make it if they can get their physical fitness levels up."  Natasha nodded she agreed.

"So...  We go talk to him," Dawn said.

"That's not fair to the other trainees," Clint said.  "Some may try and make it to agent training."

"But if you tell them then they'll try harder."

"I can't do that.  It'd look wrong since I'm training the whole group."

Dawn smiled.  "How weak are they?"

"If they tried they could barely squeak by most of the measures but their lifting is pathetic and so is their running," Natasha said.  "His range work is excellent."

"I'll go talk to him.  We need new sparring partners to beat up.  So do the twins."

Clint smiled.  "Yes, they do."  Natasha grinned as well.

Tony nodded.  "Do that tomorrow.  Obstacle course?  Dawn, coffee?" he asked, looking into his cup.  Dawn went to the caf to get him an actual meal with his coffee.  He moaned when she presented him the large plate of food.  "Better than coffee but thank you for it too."  He blew a kiss and turned around to get back to work.  "I'll try to figure out how to do that with her, guys.  Steve might have some ideas."

"Sure," they agreed.  The trio got done for the day and Dawn got taken back to SHIELD.  She walked into the trainee gym.  Natasha frowned, going to get that one.

She knocked on his door, interrupting his packing.  "Are you giving up?"

"I can't hope to make up to standards, ma'am."

"You are very close if you push yourself.  Also, we were thinking different training may help you."  The guy nodded, staring at her.  "Come."  She led him back there.  "Him, Dawn."

She smiled and shook his hand.  "My nieces need someone to spar with.  They've learned some by helping their father hunt on Asgard but not enough in case of problems.  Natasha and Clint say that you're about their level physically.  So you're going to be their gym master for the next three days."

He blinked.  "Why?"

"Because we said so," Clint ordered.  "You still have two weeks to work up to the standards set."  He stared at him.  "You do good in most areas.  Just not this one."

"I can try," he offered.  "Some of the other agents are better."

Dawn smiled.  "I'm not sure I'd trust them not to hit on my twelve-year-old nieces."

"Twelve?" he asked, grimacing some.  Dawn pulled out a picture to show him and he blinked.  "They're twelve?"


"Yeah, I can try that.  See if it helps."  They got him back to Stark towers and Dawn introduced him.  He did stare in a bit of awe but Callia knocked him over.  He got up and smiled, shaking her hand as well.  Yes, he could help them.  They needed the self defense lessons a lot.  Before they got snatched by some pervert.


Clint looked around at the trainer's meeting the next morning. "I'm going to push for an exemption."

"Why?" Fury asked.

"We have one trainee that will probably pass all the way through," he said.  "Who can't run fast enough and he's about twenty pounds under his lifting test."  Fury grimaced.  "But it's like looking at a mini Sitwell."

Agent Sitwell looked at him.  "I've seen him.  Coulson wanted my take and I agree, he'd make a good handler."

"I had Dawn set him to working with the twins," Clint said.  "He's good handling and working around their confusion and Callia's overly focusing on things.  He even talked Artemis out of a skirt."

Fury considered it.  "Could he make it?"

"If he really pushes himself he could get both of those but his back muscles need work for the lifting, sir.  His running is slower than I'd like but again, it'll be fixed as he trains.  Can we dump the rest?"

"I think two might make field agent status," one of the other trainers said.  "They fire well, they test well."

"They're robots who can't problem solve," Clint said.  Dawn hit him with a thought.  He grinned.  "Dawn said that the new recruiting video game is in beta testing.  Let's run the rookies through it."

The other trainers had heard and nodded.  "It's a full body system.  It makes them set the course instead of laying it out for you," one said.  "Agreed."  Clint texted Stark, who said that was fine.  Natasha was testing it right now and it looked amazing.  "Stark said Romanoff's testing it."  They got up and went to get the rookies, bringing them to it.  Clint got his private candidate and the twins come see too.  Callia grimaced.  "You, no."   He looked down at her.  "When you're older, maybe.  Right now, no.  You don't need to know how to run missions."

"Good!" she smiled.  "I'm going to go play in the lab."  She started to run off.

"Take your dog for a walk," Dawn said.  "Clean the litter boxes, pet your rabbit.  They're your pets, not mine."

"Shit, I forgot," she muttered.

"And grounded from the lab for swearing," Clint ordered.  She pouted but went up to pay attention to her pets.  She loved her pets.  They loved her.  Even when she forgot about them for a few hours.  He and Dawn grinned at each other.

Stark came out.  "Thank you.  We got mobbed last night for dinner."

"Figured you did since I walked the dog," Dawn quipped.  She got the others in there.  "Ladies, you two watch, do not help."  They nodded.  Natasha was going over how to use it and the laser gun.  Including how to open information files so they could find their target, plan their route on the map, and the various options for handling things.  Half of the agents weren't listening.  Dawn smiled and walked up there, taking out her dart gun to hit a few, making them yelp loudly.  "If you don't pay attention you flunk.  You flunk here twice and it's a black mark against your training scores."  They slumped but nodded.  "Thank you.  We want the best for SHIELD.  Any agent can be FBI.  Not everyone is meant to protect us all by being SHIELD."  She walked off.

"Quite true," one of the other training agents agreed.  "That's why we routinely only graduate one or two new agents per class of trainees."  They faced Natasha when she pointed at her.  "Any glitches?" she asked.

"One building is more pixelated than not," she said.  "One of the possible roads seems to work but will not let you up it.  Consider it a road block."  The rookies nodded.  She got one of them into it and let him start off.  The others watched.  He had been paying attention so he knew how to get into the mission profile and map.  The gun felt normal in his hand and he did well on the range.  He started to move, quietly sneaking up the street. 

"You should look like an ordinary citizen out for a walk," Natasha told him.  "Otherwise you draw attention to yourself."  He nodded and stopped it, just walking.  He spotted a target and had to run, and jump, and climb.  He made it through and got the person he was there to take down but he was a sweaty mess when he got out.  Natasha smiled.  "Good enough for a second round later.  Water fountain is in the hallway."  He went to get a drink and cool down by stretching on some of the equipment in the gym. 

She pointed at one.  "Your turn."  He got in and didn't know how to do anything.  "I am not repeating instructions," she said when he looked at her.  "You don't get repeats in real life.  You either listen or you don't go on missions."  She pointed.  He moved off to the side, sulking.  A few who hadn't listened tried anyway and one figured out how to open the map and the mission profile by testing a few finger commands he had seen others use.  She smirked at him.  "Slightly cunning, nice."  He made it through, though he ran out of time and the bad guy made it to the chopper and got away.

Clint looked at his trainee.  The guy was paying attention.  When it was his turn, he took a different route.  Clint smiled and nodded that his was an option when they stared at him.  He got the guy as he came out of his house, and ended the scenario, earning a bonus for the short time he spent.  "That's problem solving," he agreed.  "I'd do that instead."

Natasha nodded. "I probably would've went to the north and waited for him near that alley so he ran into me instead of me running into him.  Going over the rooftops would've been less noticeable," she told the trainee.

"Yes, ma'am, but not within my greatest skills to jump across and if that's in Eastern Europe some of the buildings aren't all that sturdy so I might've fallen through a roof."

"Very true," Clint agreed.  "I have a few times.  Generally the ledges are sturdier if you run into that."

"I've never used a balance beam though."

"You will at Alexander's obstacle course."  He smiled.  "You need it to get across part of it."  That got a shy smile and a nod.  "Good job.  Okay, those who earned second times through a new one, step forward.  The rest of you go back to the gym at SHIELD and do something."  They groaned but the other trainers smiled and got most of the group back there.  Fury and Hill came in during the second set of missions.  "Sir."

Agent Hill watched the current one, nodding.  "That's really good."  She smiled.  "I'll need that to get back into shape."

Fury nodded.  "It looks like it'll work."  He got in next.  Natasha showed him how to open the map and the mission profile, letting him handle it.  The laser pistol was a bit small for him but otherwise, he handled it and the bad guy's posse as well when they showed up.  Most of the trainees hadn't gotten that far.  He walked out smiling.  "Stark, give the geeks who did this a bonus and have them fix the few flaws I spotted," he told him.  He was actually sweating.  It had been a great workout.  "That's very close to what we'd do in real life."

Tony grinned at his geeks.  "Good job."  They grinned back.  "He's right, you guys get a bonus for this."  They cheered and made notes on the flaws.  He looked at Fury.  "You can have a system but it's for recruiting."

"We could use it.  A lot of agents aren't good enough.  Hell, we've had whole classes who failed."  The ones staring at him slumped.  He looked around, spotting the twins watching.  "Can they do it?"

"No gun lessons yet," Clint said.  "Next year they can try it but Dawn said they're probably not coming to SHIELD."

"Fine.  They're a bit too pretty anyway.  They'd draw too much attention."  The girls grinned and Diana blushed.  "Agents have to be able to blend in.  If you're being stared at in awe, they can't do that."  He looked at Natasha, who smirked at him.  "I nearly pulled you out of the field for that a few times."  He walked off, taking Hill now that her mushy moment with Dawn was done with and the paperwork had been handed over.  He went to the trainee gym.  "Next week, you're all going through that system again.  Anyone who flunks it doesn't make the cut.  You need to be not only strong but mentally strong as well in the field."  He walked off happier.  That would cut down on the loser trainees and help him get better ones.  They needed better trainees.


Phil walked in that night and kissed Xander, making him moan.  "You're getting seven trainees."

"Only seven?  Did they all screw up?  Have an orgy in the firing range?"

"No.  They can't pass the field agent video game.  Most of them gave up."

"Then they don't deserve it," he agreed.  He took another kiss, pulling him closer by his hips.  "Hmm.  You taste good."

"I stopped in to hug the kids on the way here.  Tasted Tara's sauce for her."

Xander smiled.  "She's a good cook."  He took another kiss but it was broken by the door opening and Melissa walking in to cuddle them.  "Hey, kiddo."

"Hi, Unclie Xander."  She looked up.  "Daddy, can I stay with you?"

"If you want to, yes."  She grinned and hugged him harder.  "Is your brother being too clingy?"

"He's hugging the tummies and I like baby brother or sister but I'm not into tummies right now.  I'll hug them when they come out."

"That's reasonable."  He smoothed over her hair.  "Did you eat?"

"Oops."  She ran back up there to eat then came back down with her blanket and stuffed walrus friend.  They read her a bedtime story and tucked her in, then went to have some private time.  John wouldn't fuss because he was attached to Mommy Maria's kicking tummy.  Even if it was a bit lonely without him hanging on her.


Melissa walked up to Maria the next Monday.  She was at work.  Melissa was supposedly at home.  Maria looked down at the hug.  "How did you get here?"  She grabbed her phone but Joyce waved hers.  "How did she get here?"

"She had the twins put her in a cab.  Tara is not amused by any means.  She was losing her mind looking for her in the building."

Maria looked down.  "Melissa, is there a huge problem?"

"I wanted a cuddle."  She gave her a pathetic look.  Maria picked her up to hug so she snuggled in.  She sighed, patting the moving belly a few times then hugged her.

"Want to tell me what's wrong?" Maria asked after a minute.

"John never cuddles me anymore.  He hasn't cuddled me in days, Mommy."

She looked down.  "Usually you get free of him pouncing you."

"But it's always there and I don't mind all of it, just when I have to drag him around."  She looked up.  "But he hasn't even hugged me at all."

"Sometimes boys go through those moods, or it could be that he's not in a huggy mood.  I take those moods."

"You gave them to him.  It's been nearly a week."  She snuggled in again.

"Tara hugs you."


"I hug you."

"I know."

"Your brother's never going to fully leave you alone," Joyce said.  "Even if he's hugging other things for a bit, Melissa."

She looked over.  "But he always hugs me."

"Yes but now you're bigger and you're doing different things a lot of the time.  You don't play blocks with him.  He doesn't play with your puzzles all that often."  Melissa pouted.

Maria smiled at Joyce for helping and gave her a squeeze.  "I'm sure he'll start hugging again later but you do keep pushing him off you."

"I give him a few minutes first."

"We'll talk to him later."  She nodded, hugging her as hard as she could.  "Now, we've got to talk about you leaving the house on your own, young lady."  Melissa whimpered, giving her a pitiful look.  "Not working."  Melissa pouted but let Maria carry her off for that talk about how bad it was to leave the house without permission and a plan.  She asked the guards why they hadn't called and they said they had hit the button for her and sent her up, they had recognized her.  They figured it was important.  So she left them undented and unwritten up for it.

Fury came out reading a file.  "Hill...."  He blinked at her empty desk then around.  He looked at Joyce.  "Lunch?"

"Melissa had one of the twins stick her in a cab so she could come talk to her."

"She took a cab here," he said.  Joyce nodded with a smile.  "That's really bright of her.  We can use agents with brains in the future."

"She's four and don't make me shoot you," Joyce warned but she was smiling.  "I do have my taser, sir."

Fury laughed.  "I like that you're a mean mother, Summers."  He handed over the folder.  "Hand her that when she gets back from bringing the kid home."

"I think she'll do that later on her way to the doctor's."

"I forgot."  He went back to his office.  That definitely showed promise for the kid's future as an agent.  Of course Maria Hill, his most senior and trusted officer, would want her kids to follow her lead.


Dawn looked up as Tara stomped off the elevator, taking John from her.  "Huge problems?  Demon?  Apocalypse?  Pregnancy mood swing?" she guessed.

"The twins put Melissa in a cab and sent her to SHIELD to talk to Maria."

"The twins and I will be having a talk later," she promised.

"Thank you!"  She tried to take John and Dawn just smiled.  "I can...."

"Go take a nap while he distracts Callia from the lab?  Yes, you can."  Tara smiled and left to do that.  She looked at John, who hugged her.  "I love you too, John.  Let's go distract Callia."  She called the twins down since she had a meeting with Pepper and some of the geeks in a few minutes.  Artemis bopped off the elevator.  "First, the kids are not allowed to roam the city.  Not alone, not in a cab, not at all."  Artemis winced.  "You should've checked with Tara, and she's a bit upset so apologize."  Artemis nodded she could.  She handed over John.  "Secondly, have him distract Callia so she does other things today."

"Yes, Auntie.  Sorry?"

"Melissa's a conniving little brat at times."

"Hey!  My sissy!" John complained.

"You are too," Dawn assured him, getting a grin and a nod.  She smiled at Artemis again.  "Don't let them talk you into things that common sense says is wrong."

"Yes, Auntie.  Sorry.  We'll apologize to the aunts later."  She carried John off, making him giggle by nuzzling his ear.  "We'll play with Callia.  She's being much too serious today."  She got onto the elevator and upstairs to do that.  John got free and ran over to pounce his friend.

Callia looked back at him since he was on her back and hugging her.  "Hi, John.  No Melissa?  Baby doctor today?"

"She wanted us to send her to see her mother at SHIELD," Diana said.

"Auntie said Auntie Tara is very upset and we have to apologize," Artemis said.  Diana winced.  "That the kids can't roam the city without permission and we have common sense, so to use it."

"Thankfully Auntie Tara never yells," Callia said.  "Even when she's having a baby.   Auntie Maria sometimes yells.  She did when I tried to sneak out to go to the park once."

"We should go play outside," Diana said.  "We're always inside."

Callia smiled.  "We can ask Daddy if he wants to come with us."

"Sure," they agreed.  Tony, of course, was involved in something.  JARVIS said he was inside his suit fixing something and hadn't heard the phone.  Callia sighed, looking at John.  Then at the twins.  "I'll get us guards."

"We can go together," Artemis said.  "We're good babysitters."

Callia shook her head.  "Someone tried to hurt us the last time we went.  We need guards."  Natasha came off the elevator.  "Can you take us to the park?  Daddy's busy."

"I can.  Grab your skates, girls."  She looked at John.  "He can borrow your old ones."

"I don't have old ones," Callia said.  She concentrated and a pair of baby skates showed up.  "There, his."  She beamed and rubbed her head a bit but that was good.  John was cooing over his sister's skates.  He didn't mind if they were purple.  She got up to get hers and her safety gear.  The twins got theirs.  Natasha got John into his.  It made him faster to escape but they could handle that.  She called down to get one of the Stark cars.  They got into the SUV and John got buckled into the booster seat.  She drove them over, being subtly followed by some of the guards.  Callia looked back to make sure.  That was cool and it was a pretty day in the park.  They got out and sped off.

"Wait for me," Natasha ordered quietly but firmly.  "John, stay with  Artemis."  He zipped back to hug her.  "Thank you."  She followed to a bench in the skating area.  "Stay where I can see you.  If I cannot see you, you cannot see me," she told John and Callia, who nodded.  They zipped off to play.  The guards were nearby watching.  She smiled at the game of tag John started.  It was good.  "Do not run over people," she noted when she spotted a jogger.  They let her pass by and then got back to playing with him.  She almost pulled out her phone to read a book she had stored on it but she knew that kids got into trouble very quickly and easily.  Especially when John shouted 'squirrel' and tried to chase it.

"No, John, stay with us," Callia ordered, heading after him.  The twins followed to help her get him back.  "There's all sorts of skanky people in the park," she reminded him.  "They like to hurt babies like us.  We can't leave Auntie's side.  They might get us and that'd be bad.  Auntie Dawn would have to destroy humanity if they touched us."  John pouted but nodded and hugged her then skated over to hug Natasha.

"You're usually a very good boy, John.  Have some fun.  Don't go where you can't see me."  He grinned and nodded, zipping off again to pounce Callia.  Which knocked her down but she forgave him after a few tears for her booboos.  He was kissing them to make them better anyway.  They hugged and it was okay.  The twins were looking at the trees.  Callia and John made them come back to play with them again.

"Auntie 'Tasha, can we move to the playground?" Callia called.

"You don't have shoes on and skates would be a liability for your footing on that surface," she said patiently.  "We can do that later when you have regular shoes on."  That got a nod and they went back to skating and playing.  Callia, of course, tried it.  And fell.  And broke something.  Natasha moaned, getting up to answer the call of a crying child.  "Your aunt did the same thing to her other leg," she said, picking her up.  "Ladies, let's get back to the infirmary."  They picked up John and carried him back to the SUV.  "We can come play later."  Callia was still sobbing.  "I know it hurts.  Dr. Pigalli will handle it," she soothed.  She was not really the maternal type but Callia would be fine.  The nearest ER was sixteen blocks away but the tower was only three.  They got back and the twins took John to the gym to skate around.  She carried Callia into the infirmary, finding a lot of people.  "Should I have taken her to the regular ER?"

The nurse looked and winced.  "No, we're doing flu shots.  Dr. Pigalli, Callia broke her leg skating."

"Shit," she muttered, coming over to see.  "You really did.  How did you do that?"

"I told her that skates on the playground's surface would compromise her footing," Natasha said.  "She, being a Stark, tested that hypothesis."

"Kids do that," she agreed.  "Dawn refractured her break by falling down some stairs."   She got the skates off and got an x-ray while the nurses did the flu shots for her.  Tony and Pepper came rushing in.  "Skating accident."

"I slipped and fell wrong when the sand wasn't good to my wheels," Callia said, hugging her father as hard as she could.  "Auntie 'Tasha said so but I tried anyway."

"Kids do that," Pepper assured her, giving her a hug then Natasha.  "Thank you."

"They were mostly good, and she did remind John why he didn't skate away from the adults.  Especially about the skanky predator sort."  Tony hugged his daughter harder.

"Stark, I need to be able to cast her leg once I set it," Dr. Pigalli said patiently.  "Move.  Unless you want your daughter not to have a painkiller first?"  He got out of the way of the needle, which Callia hissed about before it even touched her arm.  "Yay," Doc said, smiling at her.  "Next time, be more careful."

"I will."  She hid her face in her father's chest when her leg was set and then casted.  She pouted.  It was ugly and huge.  "Ow."

"It happens," Natasha said.  "A lot of children break a leg or an arm every year."  She nodded.  "We can let you nap on the couch for a bit."

"Ice cream?" she begged her father.

"We'll see.  Steve's up there."

"Thank you."  Doc handed her crutches.  She looked.  "How do I use these?"  They showed her.  "Oh, okay."  She hopped off, letting her father get her skates.  She was pouty and she wanted cuddles with ice cream.  Maybe stepmommy would give them to her.  He was nice like that.  Tony picked her up to cuddle her and that was good.  But she still wanted ice cream.  She had an ouchie, a huge ouchie, and that deserved ice cream.

Tony looked at her.  "You really are a mini me sometimes.  Whatever you're thinking comes out of your mouth."  He hugged her.  "I'm not sure if we have any ice cream.  I had some last night for dinner on the way to the lab."

"Oh."  She nodded.  "Maybe Auntie Dawn will pick up some?"

"We'll see."  He took her upstairs so Steve could cuddle her.  Maybe he should make sure she wasn't his female clone.

"Daddy, I don't think they gave Mommy a baby that way," she said, looking at him.

Steve smiled.  "You do the same thinking out loud thing."

"I know.  Ice cream?" she asked, looking pitiful.

"There's none in the house.  Your dad forgot to put the last few bites into the freezer so they melted on his wrenches when he put down the carton for a minute."

"Shoot.  There's the ice cream place across the street."

"Maybe later, when it's not so crowded," Tony said.  The dog was barking.  "Give me a minute to find your leash."

Callia groaned and got up, grabbing her crutches.  "C'mon, Xander puppy.  It's by the front desk with the poop bags."  He followed her onto the elevator, sniffing at the cast and crutches.

"I can walk him today," Tony offered.

"He's my doggy and like diapers, doggy parents have to do the poop stuff."  She pushed the button and took him down there.

Tony gaped then looked at Steve.  "That has to be yours and Pepper's influence.  I wasn't that responsible until I was nearly thirty.  I may not be that responsible now."

Steve kissed him but smiled.  "It's all right.  She'll be the better Stark genius."

"She really is."  He went to get her some ice cream before she pouted them to death.  There was a huge line but it happened at times.  Especially when his science staff were all pouty since that's who was in front of him.  One looked back and waved with a grin.  "Callia broke her leg skating."  They all groaned.  He got to the front of the line, right behind the pregnant ones that got passed up.


Callia was walking the dog with a guard when she heard people running.  "Crap."  She got out of the way and pulled the dog over.  Turned out it was a reporter.  "You put that camera in my face and I'm having the dog bite you!"

"Back off!" the guard ordered, shoving them back.  "Do you have no sense!"

"Apparently not," Callia said.  "C'mon, Xander puppy."  She hopped back.  He whined.  "We can use the garden area at the other tower.  It's not infected with reporters."

"What happened?" one shouted.  "Did she get hurt in another attack?  Was there another attack?"

Callia paused to look at her.  "I fell skating, dumbass.  If there was an attack do you think I'd be walking my dog?"  They gaped.  She stared back.  "I'm not in a nice mood.  Broken legs hurt and you're being dumbasses.  If you think for a tiny minute that my auntie or daddy would let me outside after an attack, you're severely brain damaged and I know a few of my geeks who'd like to study you to see how you're able to do things with so little working brain tissue.  Maybe you're a zombie; that might make you cooler at least."  She hopped up, being careful of where her dog was and the leash was.  The guard helped by kicking the leash when she got tangled a bit.  "Thank you, Henry."

"Welcome, Callia."  They made it back and Tony gave the guard the ice cream and his daughter to hold while he took the dog and the bag.  "Sure, boss, I'll take her inside.  Reporter termites are here."

"I saw."  They went inside.  He glared at the reporters, making her back off.  "You wanted to know something?"  They backed off farther when Clint came strolling out.

"Agent Barton!  Is Dawn pregnant?  She looked a bit heavy this morning!"

"No, she had breakfast this morning and she's only gained five pounds, people.  She's not heavy.  She's been baking because of her sister."

"Her sister's having problems on Asgard?" the reporter asked.

"Her sister's not coming back from Asgard.  So Dawn has her kids."

"Does that mean you won't have any?"

"We're having some whenever Dawn wants them.  Now, go the fuck away."  They fled.  Mostly because Natasha came out unbuttoning her leg holster.  He grinned at her.  "Hi."

"Hi."  She looked at the dog.  "Go use the toilet."  It ran over to poop and pee on some grass.  Tony groaned but cleaned it up.  "Thank you, Xander dog."

"You train men so well," Tony quipped.

"Yes, but sometimes it takes years."  She smiled at Clint, who smirked back.

"So getting it later," he assured her.

"That could be fun and stop the run on pastries that we have."

"It might, yeah."  He walked in behind Tony.  "You took them to the park?"

"Children need to play outside.  The twins are used to being outside all the time."

"Good point."  They went up to the penthouse and handed over the dog to Callia, who was covered in cats.  She was pouty too.

"Ice cream is for after dinner," Steve was saying as they came off the elevator.

"Yup, sure is," Tony agreed.  Callia nodded, petting her family of furry things.

"Dawn, they asked if you're pregnant again," Clint said.

She rolled her eyes.  "Then they'll nag me about post-baby weight when I've delivered."  She hugged and kissed them both.

"We're going out for dinner tonight," Clint said, staring down at her.

She smiled.  "I was going to do that meat pie thingy."

"You can do it tomorrow."

"Okay."  She took another kiss.  The kids all giggled.  "Girls, do you want to stay with Callia tonight or with Grandma?"

"Callia," they said.

"Okay," Tony agreed, smiling at them.  They grinned back.  "Have fun, you three."  They went home to change and go out to eat.  Tony and Steve made dinner, which was something he was getting used to.  That whole family dinner thing didn't often happen in Howard Stark's house.  He had been too busy.

Speaking of, he faded into view, looking at her.  "Then next time listen, young lady."

She looked at him.  "Fuck off."  He gasped and floated backward.  "Just because someone's older doesn't mean they know everything.  For that matter, only *real* people can nag me.  You're not a real person any more and I don't have to put up with it.  I've seen footage of you talking about Daddy and you sucked as a parent.  You treated him worse than I treat the bad geeks around here.  I don't know how Daddy became a good man and daddy without your help but he did and we don't need you to make my daddy upset."

"Daughter," Tony said, shaking himself free of the shock.

"What were you watching?" Steve asked.

"The news thingies with you."

"Oh, those."  He looked at Tony, who shrugged.  They didn't have Howard talking about his family.  "What else were you watching?"

"And you have manners.  You do not swear," Tony noted.  "Even if you're snapping in anger all the way to your blunt setting, you do not swear."

"Sorry, Daddy, but he's a bigger shithead than the reporters are!  And about as smart."  She glared at him.  "Go.  Away."  He glared at her.  "I'm a better Stark than you'll ever be because I treat people better and I love my family."  Howard faded with a popping noise but they heard him ranting.

Tony walked over to stare down at her.  "First, thank you for defending me but not necessary.  I can yell at my own father.  Second, swearing, bad."  He gave her a look and she nodded, looking down.  "Third, adult topics, not baby topics."

"He still treated you like shit."

"Swearing!" he said more firmly.  She slumped down.  Dawn cat was hissing at him.  He stared at her.  "You, stop."  He looked at the baby again.  "He might not have been the greatest father, and he certainly isn't the sort I am, but that doesn't give you the right to yell at him.  Or to swear at him.  Even on my behalf you don't get to do that," he said more calmly and quietly.  She nodded, looking down.  "When he shows back up, because we're all stubborn bastards, you will apologize for that."

"Yes, Daddy.  Not for being honest but for swearing?"

"That's fine.  Though, it's not something you need to concern yourself with.  That's between me and my father, not you and my father."

"Yes, Daddy."

"Thank you."  He hugged her.  "I love you but sometimes you turn into your grandmother or aunt."  She giggled and squeezed his neck.  He went back to the kitchen.  "I'd ground you but you're not doing anything for the next six weeks anyway."

"Six weeks?" she whined.

"That's how long it takes when you break a leg unless someone does healing stuff and your aunt can't heal bones."

"Even with Xander helping heal hers it still took three," Steve reminded her.  He hugged Tony.  "I agree," he said in his ear.  Tony smiled and kissed him.  "You're so much better at it than Howard was, Tony."

"I am, yeah.  I'm pretty fantastic all the way around, with a few flaws to make me human."  Steve smiled and nodded, handing him some carrots to chop for the salad.

"Eww, mushy stuff," Callia complained to the cats.  "At least if you guys have kittens you don't do mushy stuff according to the animal channel."

"Why were you watching animals screw?" Tony asked.

"Because it was on and I couldn't sleep?"

He rolled his eyes.  "You know you're supposed to grab a boring book those nights."

"Animal planet was more interesting than Auntie 'Tasha's books.  Even if it did have lions doing married people things."  She petted Dawn to calm her down.  "It's okay.  The ghost grandfather won't upset you again.  If he does, Andrew and Jonathan built ghost busters stuff and I'll use it."  She chattered and soaked up attention.

"That's my job," Steve and Tony said together.

Callia giggled.  "Jinx."

"He owes me a backrub instead of a soda," Tony quipped.

"You owe me one anyway," Steve countered with an evil smirk, well evil for him anyway.

Tony grinned.  "I can do that later."  Steve blushed a bit but nodded.  The twins bounced back in with a bag of clothes for a few days.  "Settle in, girls."  They did and came out to help brush the cats with Callia.  They loved animals just as much.  So clearly that came from Joyce's side of the family.  Pepper came off the elevator with Liz, who headed right for Xander to pet the dog.  The cats liked her but wouldn't let her pet them.  Xander rolled over so she could rub his belly and nap on him.  "She had one of those blunt talks with my father," he said in her ear.

"I heard.  She turned into Joyce," she said quietly, smiling at him.  "If she had ranted like Dawn, she would've let out a few more swears."

"Definitely," Steve said.

"Should've seen it when we had a bimbo who was screwing people for position," Tony said, getting back to his dinner fixing.  "That was the day with the robo dog.  I had just had the bimbo tossed out.  She made a move on Bruce, who was helping Dawn to the infirmary.  I nearly had a 'you go girl' moment about how Springer she turned."

Pepper laughed.  "Me too."  She pulled up that footage to show Steve.  She had saved it down to totally embarrass Dawn at some later point, it's what mentors and almost big sisters did.  Steve gaped but laughed.  "Exactly.  And that was before someone in the UK thought she'd make a nice hostage to get Tony's plans for the suit.  Which, Dawn being in pain, meant that she grabbed the taser spike he tried to use on her and stuck it in his eyeball."

"Ow," Steve said.

"She was in such a bad mood she got happy it smoked," Tony said with a smile.

"Dawn's usually very nice but when she's in pain...." Pepper agreed.

Steve smiled.  "I've seen her in pain before."  They put food on the table and Callia limped over.  "Crutches," he reminded her.

"Don't turn into your aunt over that stuff," Tony warned.  "We yelled at her for not using any.  Then for not wearing a brace on the new fracture."

"I won't.  They get in the way and I'd hurt the cats."

"Yay.  They can learn to get out of the way too," Steve said.  "You won't break something, just trip over them.  All of yours are very smart breeds."  She nodded and sighed, digging into her dinner.

"Dr. Pigalli sent me some super advil for her," Pepper said, handing Tony the bottle from her pocket.

He read the directions and nodded.  "After ice cream, we'll wrap your cast for your shower and give you one so you can sleep."

"Thank you, Daddy.  We have to tell the coach."

"I'll have Dawn tell him."

"Thank you."  She dug in listlessly.  She was hungry but it hurt.

"Curl that leg up on the chair," Steve said quietly.  She did and it was easier for her.  They finished eating and showed her how to wrap her leg so the cast didn't get wet.  She refused to let anyone help her take a bath or shower so they had to.  Tony even put in a chair for her and pulled down her adjustable shower head for her.  That helped and she shooed him out.  When she got done, they tucked her into bed, gave her a pill with her glass of water, and let Steve read to her tonight.  Tony had seen his father reappear on the balcony and needed to yell at him himself.

Tony walked out and shut both doors, staring at him.  "She's going to apologize for swearing."

"She has no manners.  Your mother would be horrified."

"Mom would've clapped until Callia reminded her she did the same thing."  He stared at him.  "She's right.  I know she's right.  Pepper knows she's right.  Steve knows she's right.  It's a damn good thing that JARVIS and Pepper were able to help me finish growing up into the man I am today."  He stared at him.  "I'd still probably be a playboy and killing my liver if it wasn't for them."

His father stared at him.  "I treated you fine."

"Dad, you never made it to a single birthday dinner I had.  Half the time I couldn't get your attention even if I desperately wanted it.  I'm pretty sure if you had been paying attention I wouldn't have been taken all those times."  Howard flinched at that.  "For that matter, if either of you had been paying attention, you wouldn't have had to get me back from the FBI because I managed to talk my way onto a flight to Bangkok for that tech fair when I was seven.  Which is her age.  I'm sure that the only reason they caught me on the way back was because I was tired." 

He put his hands in his pockets and leaned on the forcefield around the patio.  Which was now taller than him to keep the cats from trying to get over it.  "That wasn't because I was a genius.  That was me acting out to get attention.  There's been a lot of work done on good parenting and I read most of it one weekend when I was being morbid over things.  Turning thirty wasn't a happy day for me," he said bluntly.  "So I looked up what normal families were like and did.  Just in case I spawned.  Thankfully, I had Pepper, Dawn, and Joyce there to guide me when I failed as a parent.  Which is why she swears now and then when she gets mad."

"She still shouldn't talk to adults that way."

"She has respect for adults who earn it.  Not all adults are worthy of it.  I learned that when the skank who kidnaped me, because I was polite to her, took me to Belgium.  If I hadn't been polite she probably couldn't have gotten me.  But noooo, you taught me to be polite even to the idiots in this world.  She doesn't have to be polite to them.  Or reporters."

"Reporters?" he snorted.

"Yes, they tried to ambush her when she was taking her dog for a walk."

"You made her..."

"No, she made her.  I offered to and she did it anyway.  She's very responsible for her pets most of the time.  We adore that about her.  She's learned things that I didn't until I was thirty.  I couldn't take care of Pepper the way she takes care of her pets, much less a pet.  If I had learned that younger, it might've helped."

"It would've died when you wandered off," his father sneered.

"If you had taught me not to wander off then it wouldn't have mattered."  Dawn appeared, blinking at him.  "Aren't you supposed to be at dinner?"  He wouldn't get pissed at her for it.  She was being a tension break.  Again.

"I would be but they got a call out and you're not answering your phone, boss."  She sighed.  "Ten Rings has a few operatives in the city.  Natasha spotted them."

"Fuck," he said, taking a deep, calming breath.  "The bad news?"

"Three of the group she spotted coming in, thanks to the airport monitors, who knew something was wrong but not what and asked her opinion, were assassins.  They came in on different flights, in different airlines, but she spotted seven total.  One of the minor sub-units she said.  The problem solving ones."

"So they're coming here."

"Probably."  She handed over Natasha's phone.  "It's in her email."  Tony got into it to look.

"Why would he worry about them?" Howard demanded.

"Gee, I don't know, because they kidnaped him to get him to build tech and your son fought his way out?" she suggested.  "The same reason the Russian mob wants me even after five damn years?"

"I never thought to draw that parallel," Tony admitted, scanning the file.  "Damn."

"Yup," Dawn agreed, smiling at him.  "So we're kinda on our own tonight and you need to up security."  He used the phone to call that in.  She looked at Howard again.  "What's holding you here?"

"I don't know."

"Maybe I'll go burn the mansion to make sure whatever it is goes so you can rest."  Tony swatted her.  "Fine."

"Thanks for the offer but if it's going to burn, I'm going to do it," Tony assured her.  "It's my childhood home."  He handed her the phone back.  "They tracking them?"

"Yes.  With Phil, which means Xander got pouty because they had ideas for tonight."

Tony grinned.  "So did you."

"It happens when you love a SHIELD agent or two," she quipped.  She looked in there.  "I can take the twins home."

"They're settled in."

"You sure?"

"Yup.  She could use something to distract her tomorrow anyway."  Dawn pulled up the TMZ website to show him.  "They sold it fast."

"No one gets that close to Callia, boss.  It's odd for them to have anything with her in it."

"I agree, they have zombie brains," Tony said, handing it back.  "And that she should've mouthed off harder to them.  I'd never let her out after an attack."

Dawn smiled, putting the phone back.  "Let me get back there.  I think I paid the check for dinner."  She went to check, because she hadn't, and then went home.  They understood emergencies happen and the manager had been nice enough over it when she had told him they spotted assassins.

Howard stared at his son.  "I'd never have let her get that mouthy."

"Yeah, well, I'm a better father and I want her to mouth off to certain people.  Especially reporters.  They don't need to stalk her."  He walked back inside.  "Have a nice night, Dad."  He closed and locked the door, even though it wouldn't keep him out it was a clear sign.  He walked over to hug Steve, getting kissed instead.  "Thanks."

"You do so much better," he said quietly.

"Yeah, I do.  Pepper helped me turn into an amazing guy."  He grinned at her.

"You managed to build the bones, I just finished the house," she said, waving her glass of wine around.  "Liz is napping with Callia.  She wanted to cuddle her."

"Do we think she's a bit empathic too?" Tony asked, frowning some.

"Maybe," she agreed.  "If so, it's good."  She took a sip and put the wineglass down on the table.  "Are you all right?"

"I could use some comfort."

She smiled.  "I'm pretty sure that's why we're all here and getting huggy."  He laughed and hugged her then Steve.  They took their drinks into the master bedroom to cuddle and whatever together.  Because, Pepper wouldn't mind if Tony pounced to quiet the pain.  Steve either.  Tony kissed her.  "Need cuddled?"

"No, need you both naked.  And me too.  We definitely need to be naked."  He got up and stripped off.  They stripped off.  Tony leaned down to kiss her and start with the intense wearing out they needed.

Artemis and Diana looked at the wall then at each other, giggling.  They were twelve, sex was funny to them.  The ghost floated in but Artemis banished him with a quiet spell.  She did not want to see him.  They settled in to watch some tv before bedtime.  Tony had a bigger set of channels than their aunt and some pretty interesting things.  Though, they had no idea why some of it had twins kissing.  They weren't that way.

Those twins clearly never had their mother's nagging them about hugging.  When those twins decided to share a guy they grimaced and changed the channel.  They'd never share a guy.  Their mother would be *very* upset and nag.  The next one had girls going at it like Auntie Dawn and Aunt Natasha.  That was interesting, but made them blush.  They had no idea that girls could do those things to each other.

JARVIS cleared his throat.  "I believe your aunts would be most upset if you continued to watch pornography, girls.  Try channel 62.  It has animals."  They did that.

"Thank you, JARVIS," Diana said with a grin for the ceiling.

"You're most welcome, ladies.  I've also turned up the soundproofing so you can sleep."

"Thank you," Artemis said quietly.  She still wasn't sure what JARVIS was but it was a bit weird to her.  Unless she could see what was talking to her, she didn't like to believe that they were more than spirits, who could trick you into doing stupid things.  She had learned that lesson from Fenrir when one tried to get her to let it into the village when she snuck back in late one night.

"He's a computer program," her sister said.  "Like that game on the tablet only more complex and he learns."

"So he's a spirit in the computer?"

"Something like that but Tony made him so he's not going to harm us.  Callia and Dawn treat him like an uncle.  We should too."

"It's not unusual to be wary of new things," JARVIS told her.  "I, and other things here at Stark International, are well beyond what you girls grew up knowing.  It's normal for both of you to need some time to adjust to the new things.  No, I'm not really a spirit, Artemis.  I am a program that is created to help and to learn so I can better serve the family's needs.  Think of me like that video game the agents were using to train but I'm the one running the game so they can play it."

"Oh," she said.  "But you can't hurt people?  Make them do bad things?"

"No I cannot.  I'm prevented from doing anything to harm anyone unless I have to stop someone who is compromised and is hurting themselves or others.  Such as another attack on the building will allow me to harm the ones coming in but not the people here."

"So if they get stupidly drunk like our big brother that time and start to get into a fight, you can stop them," Diana said with a grin for her twin sister.

"Exactly.  I am allowed to do that as well.  I would never harm the family.  I have grown up and become one of them even as they've grown up with me helping them.  You do not have to worry about my actions around you unless you are trying to hurt yourself or others."

"Thank you, JARVIS," she said.

"It's not a problem to explain things to you children.  I've spent many pleasurable hours explaining things to Callia and Sean.  Now you're my family as well."

She smiled.  "You nag less than mom does."

"Yes, I probably do, but I believe she got that from her mother."  He cleared his throat.  "Speaking of, your phone is ringing, Diana, and it is your grandmother."

She dug it out to chat with her, laying on her stomach on the bed.  Artemis came over to grab it and talk to, snuggling in with her.  They loved their grandmother.  Their mom had made her sound like a goddess and they could agree with that.  They even liked Bruce, though he was a bit absent minded sometimes, but not as bad as Tony was.  Or Callia sometimes.  She really needed to be a kid more often.


Dawn walked into the gymnastics studio the day Callia was supposed to go while she was on her way to work.  She held up her phone once she had a picture pulled up on it.

The coach winced.  "Ow."

"Skating on the playground's sand."

"Kids do that," he said.  "How long?"

"She only did it two days ago.  Probably five weeks?  Not totally sure."

"Okay, let me know."

"Got anything she can do while hopping around?"

"No, not really.  Have her look up balance beam videos to learn stuff?  Make her keep stretching so she doesn't get out of it."

"I can do that."  She smiled and shook his hand, heading in to work.  Tony was frowning when she got off the elevator.  "Giving her excuse for gymnastics, boss."

"Oh, I forgot."

She looked at him.  "You don't know what day it is most mornings," she reminded him quietly.  "Until JARVIS tells you."

He nodded.  "True.  My daughter's a lot like I am too."  He shook his head quickly, handing over the files.  "The two peace treaties that we have with our suppliers who hate that I'm with Steve."

She looked them over.  "They want to expand how much we spend with them?  Is it reasonable?" she asked him.  "Or is Pepper going to scowl at it?"

"She'll probably scowl a bit."  He smiled.  "You did good learning that stuff."  She poked him hard on the arm.  "Hey, watch the claws," he teased.

She smirked.  "Natasha told me to be mean in her place."  He walked off snickering.  She made notes on that and the other questionable clauses before leaving them on Pepper's desk.  She was doing the daily email checking when Pepper came off the elevator sniffling, Liz in her arms.  Dawn blinked at her.  "Allergies?  Hallmark commercial?  Problem?"

"I'm not sure."  She handed her Liz.  "I'm going to the infirmary."

"Okay."  She put Liz in her lap, kissing her on the head.  "Help me type, Liz.  It made Callia very smart.  Though I'm sure you don't want to hear about Callia most of the time; we still love you for yourself."  Liz cooed at her with a grin.  She smiled back.  "Let's type.  It'll make you smarter."  She got back to her work, texting Tony that Pepper was in the infirmary for being sniffly.  That'd let him go help her calm down and if it was a real problem he'd be there with her.  Callia hopped past and cooed, getting baby babbled at back.  "No," she ordered.  "Pepper's in the infirmary.  Stay out of her office."

"Fine.  She has candy."  Dawn pointed.  "Non peppermint candy."  Dawn pointed again.  She looked.  "Oooh!  Mini candy bars."  She took three and grabbed Liz.  "Come help me clean litter boxes.  I'll teach you how to do it the fastest way."  She tried to manage it with her crutches and huffed.  "Fine.  Crawl with me, Liz."  Liz squealed and crawled after the hopping 'big sister' she had.

Dawn shook her head.  "Send her back when she needs changed if Beya's not in today," she called after her.

"I can do that.  She's making breakfast anyway."

"Thank you."  She sent that message to Tony's phone.  Who sent back that was normal.  She asked how Pepper was and got a confused question mark so she sent that other one to him.  He was not amused at the 'repost' at the end.  Apparently that one got held up for a bit.

Tony came off the elevator an hour later.  "Beya's adoring that Callia doesn't change diapers but she does read to Liz."

"I was showing her how to email."  She smiled.  "She good?"

"Bed rest for a week."  Dawn winced and pulled up the calendar to start calling around about switching meetings.  "I can take some."

"No you can't.  You're due at SHIELD for a meeting that day," she said with a point at his schedule.  "And Rhodey's coming in on Friday."

"Okay."  He walked off, letting her handle it.

Dawn got frustrated with one but yay.  She did finally get through to his administrative assistant.  "This is Dawn for Pepper Potts.  She's not going to be able to make the meeting we have set up for Tuesday.  When can we reschedule it?"  She listened to the complaint.  "She's sick.  The doctor in our infirmary just stuck her in bed for a week.  Yes, I do have them here.  They're on her desk.  I'll bring her to them later, once she's had some rest."  She tapped her pen a few times on the desk.  "That's what we need."  She forwarded through the weeks. 

"Open all day is two weeks from Tuesday.  Open all afternoon is...."  She spaced back.  "Next Thursday.  Which would be her last day in bed hopefully."  She moved forward.  "That's fine.  I can schedule him in.  When's best on your side?"  She made a note.  "That's fine.  Thank you and have a good day."  She hung up and made that note about who she had talked to.  They'd had administrative assistants who hadn't passed on messages in the past.  Her phone rang.  "Thank you for calling Stark International.  How may I direct your call?"  She listened. 

"No, I can't send you to Pepper's phone, sir.  Our infirmary put her on bedrest for a week.  I can give her a message after she's had some rest."  She took down what he was complaining about.  "They're on her desk right now and I'll hand them to her after she's gotten some rest.  Mr. Stark handed them over this morning.   No, I think the flu.  She was a bit peaked looking and sniffling."  She smiled at the disgruntled complaining.  "I'll make sure she sees it later today, once she's had some rest.  Yes, sir, that's when we rescheduled it."  She pulled that up.  He needed to move it. 

"That day's not great unless you want very late in the afternoon.  She has two design team meetings starting at eleven with very little break for lunch.  The next day is mostly clear, or the one after that is filled with a baby doctor's appointment at two but she's free in the morning.  Or the day after that is totally clear at this point."  She smiled.  "Yes, she does take her to the appointments.  She might share a nanny with Mr. Stark but Pepper does do the hands-on thing very well with Liz, sir.  Including letting her come sit in the office to learn how to be a later CEO herself." 

She smirked at his complaining.  "No, she's never a problem.  For meetings she goes with the nanny.  Callia did the same thing and does still in the lab to learn from her father.  No, actually she's already learning from him.  She was creating anti-kidnaping things for Pepper a few weeks back."  He said something gruffly.  "Exactly.  Which one works for you, sir?"  She changed it to that day.  "I'll make that change on their schedules and update it.  You have a good day, sir." 

She hung up once he had.  She synched the system and sent out two emails to note that Pepper's schedule was clear for the next few weeks and she had switched one other one to a free day since it was just after that week and probably wouldn't be up to five meetings in a day with their geeks. Pepper sent back a thank you and 'bring me work'.  Tony agreed with the thank you.  Dawn gathered things to bring to Pepper, taking them to her apartment.  "Callia stole Liz for Beya."

"I heard her cackling upstairs," Pepper admitted with a slight smile.  "Thank you.  Any problems with the rescheduling?"

"I told them you had the flu."

Pepper shook her head.  "A bit of spotting.  She's made me an appointment with my OB's partner tomorrow.  Mine's in Barbados."  Dawn grimaced.  "Folders?"

"As Tony called them the 'sorry I'm gay' peace treaties.  I've marked questionable things."

Pepper looked at those, scowling.  "They want what?  We'll never use that much."

Dawn shrugged.  "That's why I flagged it and watch your blood pressure, Pepper."

"I am."  She grimaced at the other.  "That's another mistake in the making."  She put them aside with a sigh, letting Dawn synch her tablet computer and phone.  "That'll work.  Andrew and Jonathan?"

"They're waiting to brag.  I told them you were on bedrest and he said he put MB back in bed a few times too so he understood plus it'll give them time to fix one more thing."

"Good."  She smiled.  "Thank you."

"Welcome.  Need me to order things?"

"No, I'm good."  Dawn nodded and let her sulk by herself to her paperwork.  It was good enough to make her nap so that was probably the idea.  Pepper yawned as she read over the agreements.  What had Tony been thinking?


Dawn came back from her own doctor's appointment unhappy.  She sighed and looked up.  "Lady Hera, can I have a moment please?" she asked.  Hera appeared.  "I would've come up, ma'am."

"I'm not really doing anything but weeding my garden today," she admitted, taking off her gloves.  "Is there a problem?"

"I think so.  My GYN can't seem to find one."  Hera frowned.  "You know how you *know* there's a problem?"

"I do."

"Well, I know something's wrong.  I've had two non-implanting miscarriages and one that did implant but didn't last more than a few weeks.  I *know* there's a problem somewhere."

Hera scanned her.  "What is that?  There's an energy signature.  Go to elemental form."

"How do I do that?" Dawn asked.

"I forgot."  She laid a hand on her stomach.  "No, that's not native to us or you.  It looks like someone basically put a lock."  Dawn groaned.  "But I think it happened when you went to Jordan.  It's relatively fresh and feels like that hellmouth there."

Dawn nodded.  "Is this something I can go talk to them about?"

"Yes," she said.  "You'd probably have to."

"Then I can do that.  Thank you, Lady Hera."  She gave her a hug.  "I want... I want so bad."

"I know, child.  I once felt the same way."  She smiled and patted her on the cheek.  She went back to her gardening.  Dawn found something to cover her hair in case someone spotted her.  She concentrated, going to the hellmouth there.  The guards flinched.  "Easy, guys," she said in Arabic.  "I'm here to find someone, not to touch it."  They glared.  She stared, moving her hat back.  They backed down when one recognized her from that meeting.  She felt and found the powerful area.  She went there, bowing politely.  "Lady Hera found something one of your people put on me, Sir."

He looked at her.  "We were certain that you being mortal would cause problems, Key."

She shrugged.  "I try very hard to only solve problems.  I work with the Avengers.  Am actually married to two of them."  She laid a hand on her stomach.  "Please remove it."

"We're not sure that a mortal you won't cause problems when you give birth."

"And yet, there's people around us who can help if that becomes so.   Including me putting on my own protections.  I do know the risks.  I've also been told that I'll probably hate ascension when I die."

He nodded.  "Perhaps, if you die."

"If I'm immortal, there's going to be some screaming at my all-but big brother Alexander."  She smirked.  "Beyond that, if you had asked me I would have told you anything you wanted to know.  Because cursing me and my spouses this way is cruel."

He tipped his head.  "You're not scared of me, are you?" he asked with a smile.

"Respectfully?  Hell no.  Because I have more than one Key."  He gaped.  She smiled.  "The aliens that tried to invade had two of me in a weapon they dropped.  And then someone else tried to save me from the hell goddess that was searching for me in other realms."  He burst out laughing.  "Beyond that?  I know exactly how to unravel humanity."  She smiled sweetly when he glared at her.  "I had no quarrel with you.  I had no idea you existed until I miscarried.  Twice so far."

"I'm told humans have ways to prevent that necessity," he said.

"And I have two spouses that think we've made plans so I can have a child.  Beyond my sister's children."

"Your sister," he said, grimacing.  "She gave up her spot."

"To go to Asgard with her husband and protect his people.  She died doing it."  He slumped.  "To be honest, I can undo this little whatever you put in me.  I'd have to rebuild the uterus again, it'd be the third time though so I'm getting a bit better at it."  He swallowed.  She stared at him.  "I want no quarrel with your people and I'll have no quarrel with your people.  I'm usually very polite to every single God or Goddess I run into, until they fuck with me."

"I do have a duty to humanity."

"And I don't?" she sneered.  "Really?"  He flinched.  She looked behind her and shot both of the knights.  She looked at him again.  "Resurrection is always wrong from what I was taught.  Even by Gods."  She smiled.  "I can have my mate sent for if you wanted to talk to him about why you think he's unworthy to help me have children who'll protect people in the future but frankly, I had enough of people trying to decide my reproductive choices for me already."  She stared at him.  "If you'd kindly remove it?"

"You're strong but I am a god."

"So?  Alexander's a better one.  His mate Phil's even stronger because he never went through the hell Xander did."


"Son of Loki?  Protector of Mankind?"

"I have not heard news in much time."  Dawn pulled him to New York and he shrieked, holding his ears.  "What is this?"

"The city that I help protect," she said simply.  "Not the largest in the modern world but fairly large.  In the top twenty certainly."  He glared at her.  She smiled.  "Welcome to the United States.  Loki's actually dating our president."

He turned to look at her.  "You allow that?" he demanded.

"I can't tell him who fucks him.  It's not my job.  The same as it's not anyone's job to tell me who to fuck or not fuck."  He flinched so she looked over her shoulder.  "Ares, get out of Natasha's form.  Before I stick you like that."  He laughed.  She pulled up more power and he flashed off then reappeared in his own form.  "Thank you!  I know you and Zeus used to get off on that but that's just disgusting.  Modern gods don't need that.  They get plenty without the subterfuge."

"Snotty bitch," Ares said smugly.

"Who has hind's blood found."  She grinned.  He flinched, backing away.  "Natasha gave me some for my birthday.  It was even freely given to her."

Ares grimaced.  "I see.  Where did she get it?"

"No idea."  She grinned.  "I love my very dangerous wife.  And very dangerous husband."  She made them appear so people quit staring at her like she was talking to herself.  She smiled at the other god.  "You can have him update you.  He's been around and all that."  Ares manifested a ball and held it out.  The other god touched it and absorbed it, shuddering in horror.  Dawn smiled.  "See, humanity has moved on."  Xander appeared, strolling over.  She felt Phil appear behind her.  "Down, boys."

"You pulled up power and hit one of the locks," Xander said with a grin.

"Yes, and if your dad ever tries to have my spouses killed again I'm going to hit the rest of them."  She grinned.  "Because I'll be damned and humanity can burn.  I can save the ones I like."

"You need laid, Dawn," Xander said.

"Yeah, but they're busy with important things, and as I found out this nice, old god decided I can't have kids.  So he did some sort of godly IUD thing."

Xander looked and nodded.  "I didn't feel that before but I can see it now that I'm looking for it.  You're lucky you didn't infect or die from it."  He snapped and it appeared in his hand.  It was a little three-triangle with chains design piece of bronze.  "Pretty work but against all the treaties."  Xander smiled at him.  "She is one of my protectors and Phil's heros.  Don't touch my people."

"You won't be backed up by your father.  He runs from fights."

"I don't need to be."  Xander smirked.  "My last redo, I was born on the Sunnydale hellmouth.  Yours can be just as sweet to me if I decide to talk to it nicely."  The god gasped and backed up.  "Yeah.  And the only one stopping me is Phil, my mate."  He pointed with a grin.  "And my family, which includes my acknowledged sister."  He pointed at Dawn. "And her family."  He grinned more brightly.  "Since we didn't know you were still around, we didn't tell you anything about the modern world."  He smacked him on the head, fixing what Ares had messed up on purpose.  "How's that?"

His eyes watered and he rubbed his forehead.  "Your world is doomed."

"All worlds are doomed sometime," Dawn said.  "The choice is to push it back as far as you can by fighting for it or not.  I choose to fight what battles I can.  If you don't, I'm sure you'll have fun hiding."  She looked at Phil.  "He insinuated that I'm immortal."

"I did not do any such thing," he admitted.  "I was thinking about asking Hera if she would allow me to."

Dawn looked up then at him.  "Clint just went on a swearing rant that nearly made him miss a target he was taking out."  Phil winced.  "Natasha has went strangely silent.  I think perhaps you ought to talk to them, Big Brother Phil."

"I was going to first," he promised.  He hugged her.  "Calm down."

"Fuck no.  I'm mad as hell that some jumped up excuse for an ancient being decided to make decisions about my life and body without even talking to me.  Fuck him and all his dead people in whatever hell they ended up in."  The other god shuddered.  Ares shuddered.  "I'll.  Be.  Damned."

"Good," Xander said.  "Then we agree."  He smiled at the other god.  The god backed up.  "Don't come near Dawn ever the hell again.  Or her family.  If you want my family, the ones above me on the chart, go for it.  Though my Uncle Thor is finding some happiness and working to protect this realm as I do."  He stared him down, still smiling.  "The rest can join you in your delusions."  He nodded, backing up again.  "You have a great day and remember to protect your hellmouth before it opens again."

"That's what woke me," he admitted.

"Wonderful.  I'm one of the ones that helped close it."  He felt someone pop in and lean on his shoulder.  "Hey, John."

"Xander."  He grinned.  "Baal-Peor," he greeted.  Ares glared at him.  "I had to learn every single other pantheon's people, Ares.  Of course I recognized him.  Though it's nice you're male today."  He smiled.  "Dawn is acknowledged of our family.  Both our families."

"Your mother will complain."

"We broke ties with our family over their high-handed problems."  John stared at him.  "Dawn is the hope of our family to give us great heros to train in the future."

"Nearly," she said quietly then sighed.  She blasted him across the street and into a street lamp.  "For making me go through that twice."

Ares blinked.  "I didn't realize your temper was that strong," he said.  She created a glowing ball he recognized so he disappeared before he got made pregnant again.  Once was enough.

Dawn let John steal it.  "So that's how you gave him Fiona."  He made it disappear.  "Don't do that to us."

She looked at him.  "Andrew and Jonathan got theirs to work."  She smiled.  "You have machines that would go nicely with it.  Why would I need to help you get pregnant?"

"Good point but I'm not going to.  Ever."  They looked at the aching god again.  "Even when your people were in charge of the region, you had no say over the Key, Baal-Peor.  She was not of your people, not protected by your people, nothing near your people.  Even the temples she was kept in weren't near your people."

"There was a kidnaping once that took me to that city in the cliffs in Jordan," Dawn offered.  "But they killed half of everyone getting me back."

"I kinda remember that from history class," Xander admitted, then shook his head quickly.

"Her blood can open portals," the other god sneered.

Dawn nodded.  "Which means that me not bleeding for eight months might be a great idea, huh?"  He gasped and looked at her.  "Not like I haven't had protections since my second period."  He backed away, shaking his head.  "Yeah, I have.  Really."  She grinned.  "Because Dawn's not stupid even if she didn't have a childhood of her own."

"If you put yourself down again I'm going to make you sorry in ways that will make Natasha beg for you to be finished off," Clint said, walking around Phil.

Dawn looked at him.  "You try that, and it's not something I enjoy, and your kids will be awfully spoiled without you."

He kissed her, making her moan.  "I like that you're mean enough to torture me, Dawn."  She smiled at him.  He looked at the god-being.  "You thought what?  That she'd just go 'okay' and let it go?"  He nodded slowly.  "No.  Dawn's more stubborn than any god out there."

"She's even more stubborn than Athena," John agreed.  "Twice now."

Dawn nodded.  "Yes, I am."  She felt a hand brush against her back and smiled at her wife.  "Though you may be more stubborn than I am."

"In the right circumstances, when it matters to our survival, I can be," she agreed.  She stared at the god and said something in one of the ancient languages she had been learning off Dawn.

Dawn looked at her.  "How filthy minded you are," she said, blushing some.  "Gee, dear."  Natasha took a kiss, making her moan and rest against her.

Baal-Peor looked at Xander.  "You accept such as your own family?"

Xander smiled and pulled Phil closer.  "This is my true mate, Phil.  Gaia had to push it but we've been *bound* for a while now."  The other god tested him and went pale.  "So, yes.  She's found her mates.  They're part of her body and soul.  If they make her unhappy I'll kill them but otherwise we'd only think dirty thoughts about their marital bed."

Natasha looked over.  "I can still emasculate you."

"I'm sure you can, Natasha, and you might even try to make me enjoy it, but I'm pretty sure Phil would help them regrow and then torture your ass."  He grinned.

"Can you two please quit kitty hissing at each other because people wanted you to knock up my wife, Xander?" Dawn asked.


"Fine," Natasha agreed, smiling at her.  "I would not have liked that."

"I'd be really jealous," Clint agreed.

Xander grinned at him.  "Not our idea."

"I remember."  They looked at that god.  "Did you find signs of immortality?"

"We have plans of starting our own version of Valhalla," Phil said.  "You'd be there and so would she."

Clint looked at her.  "Really?"  Phil nodded.  "Huh."  He wasn't going to get mushy.  He nearly hugged Phil for that sentimental thing.

"Does that mean we have to hang out with Tony forever?" Dawn asked.

Clint looked at her.  "He was making me mushy until you mentioned that."

"You'd be doing what Buffy and Hylal are doing to Valhalla," Xander quipped.  "Buffy told Frigga that if she didn't like her enjoying her warrior stud husband to send them both back to life.  She nearly won."

"They're still less loud than you guys," Phil assured Dawn, who was blushing again.

"I'm not sure about that.  They woke Odin up at two in the morning.  He was still drunk and they woke him up," Xander said.  "Even over his own drunken snoring."  Phil shuddered.  He had seen Thor in that state once.  "It went on long enough Odin actually went looking to see what the noise was that was shaking the hall.  He threatened Buffy with Hel, who showed up to tell Buffy she was a big fan of her slaying style.  And to please get happier.  Valhalla needed more happy people."  Phil laughed, shaking his head.  "Yeah.  So I'm not sure.  We might have to ask Bruce if loud is a Summers woman trait or not."

"Stark had to release some of the restrictions on her apartment's alarm due to Bruce getting upset a few times but I've never heard if it was because she was loud," Natasha admitted.

Tony cleared his throat from where he was watching to see if they needed help.  "No, they're not.  They're more cuddly than wild.  I'm hoping some day that Dawn wears out her loud times."

"It's not good if they're not loud," Clint said smugly.  "Or don't yours?"

"Jackass," he muttered.  "But yes, they do, thank you for asking.  And Coulson, hell no.  I'll ascend first, thanks."  He looked at the other god.  "Dawn, can't you just destroy him?"

"That's considered rude," Dawn said.

Tony blinked.  "Do I care if you're rude?"

"The higher ups would care if I'm rude," she said.  "And try to have Xander beat me to death or something."

"Beheading actually," Xander admitted.  "Though I'd refuse and tell them he deserved it."  He pulled his axe.  That god swallowed and shook his head.

"Dawn, until they pay your outrageous salary, it doesn't matter what they think," Tony said smugly.

Dawn looked at him.  "Then Hera can try to kill me.  I don't need more people trying to kill me, Tony, and I respect Lady Hera because she's helped me a lot and didn't even smite me when I fought back the last time."

He grimaced.  "Whatever.  Still, care more about my opinion."

"Of course I do."  She smiled at him.  "You like me to be happy anyway."

"I do, yeah."  He nodded.  "You're better to be around when you're happy."

"Most people are," Natasha said.  "If you understood more about people...."  Dawn elbowed her.  "Dawn," she chastised.

"Don't pick on Tony for being a geek.  It's not his fault his father didn't make him go out around regular people."

"Point," she admitted.  "He has adapted well to that flaw."  Tony smirked evilly at her.   "He's even worked on it a few times."

"Watch me withhold the update to your weapon," he told her.

Dawn smiled at him.  "That would mean I'd have to go with her on missions to make sure she's okay."  Clint and Natasha were shaking their heads, so was Phil.

Tony smirked at her.  "If they try to make you an agent again, I'm destroying them all.  Even the ones that're yours.  Remember, you're my assistant, not Phil's."

"I know.  He hates me shoe shopping.  I'd never put up with that in a boss."

Tony burst out cackling.  He hugged her.  "I love you like a warped little sister, Dawn.  I really do."

"Of course you do.  I'm loveable.  That's why when I finally get pregnant and Fury tries to send them on long term missions I'm going to make you have pregnancy cravings with me."  She grinned.

"Have Steve do it.  He had a cast-iron stomach.  I don't.  Pepper's hot food fascination nearly killed my stomach."  He let her go.  Clint stole her.  "I'd never take Dawn from you, Barton.  She'd bankrupt me with cute clothes."

"Hey!" Dawn complained.  "I only shop whenever I have to."

"Then why were you shopping earlier?" Tony asked smugly.

Dawn looked at him.  "I wasn't shopping for something to wear to work, boss.  Not unless we *really* change the corporate structure and methodology of how we make money."  Tony blushed and walked off shaking his head.  "But thanks for wondering," she quipped with a wave.  She looked at Phil, who shook his head.  "I got Xander stuff too."

"I'm sure you did," he agreed.  "Settle down and be bouncy when the crisis is over with?"

"Fine.  I'm wearing out stress.  Not like I can hit someone."

"No, you still throw a weak punch," Xander assured her.

"So?  I have other methods of making people beg for mercy," Dawn said dryly.

"Yes you do," Natasha said quietly.  "Being bouncy is one of them."  Dawn gave her a dirty look that showed she was not seeing whatever Dawn had bought for a few days.  Then again they were on a mission right now.  She looked at Xander.  "Can you defeat him on your own, Alexander?"

He snorted, looking at her.  "I can do that and open his hellmouth since they all *adore* me."  He grinned.

"So that's where she learned that particular grin," Clint said, shivering.  "Please don't."

"I'd never give myself that much extra work," he complained quietly.  He looked at the idiot, who was shaking enough to be seen as vibrating.  Xander smiled.  The god shook harder.  "Baby?"

"Xander, please don't call me pet names during problems?" Phil said politely.  "Junior agents are usually bullies and I don't want to have to kill them. It creates paperwork, which means I never get home."

"Fine, Agent Coulson," he teased with a smirk.  "What shall we do about this deplorable situation?"

"I believe we'll make peace as long as he's amenable and invite him to join in those boring dinners we hold now and then.  There's one next week."  Dawn looked over.  "Greek."

"I have a dress I can wear."

Xander looked at him.  "So, you want to be peaceful and quit pissing us off, right?  Is my mate right?"

"He is," he assured him.  "I would adore getting to know more of the modern gods."  Xander smiled and took him with him to Hera.  He blinked.  "Hera."


"He didn't think that Dawn needed kids," Xander said.  "We've now made peace and he can come to some dinners."

"Yes, he's more than welcome," she assured him.  She smiled at Xander.  "Dawn will be attending with her spouses?"

"Unless they're on assignment.  At which case, you can't pull them or it can get them compromised or killed."


"They're spies and assassins, Lady Hera.  What John used to do for all of us."

"Oh!  I did not realize."  She considered that.  "I can make that note so we don't thoughtlessly pull them from their duties to protect humanity."  Xander grinned and disappeared.  She looked at him.  "That was very mean.  Dawn is a charming young woman, who can still destroy all of humanity.  She nearly destroyed Athena," she said with a smile.  "Want some tea?"

"I'd love some tea."  He took the cup she poured and added sugar to it.  He sipped and relaxed while they caught up.


Dawn looked behind her when someone showed up.  "Yes?" she asked.

"I can make sure you get pregnant quickly if you'd like," Loki offered.

Dawn stared at him then smirked.  "Loki, look at Clint.  Do you think I need help?  Hell, I nearly got pregnant just by staring at his pretty blue eyes and really hot muscles.  I don't need the help.  Thank you anyway."  She ran a hand up Clint's arm.  "All he has to do is flex and growl a bit."  She strolled off.  "Let me go check on the kids.  The twins have been very quiet all day."

Natasha looked at Clint.  "I thought it took more work."

He smirked evilly at her, his eyes twinkling behind his sunglasses.  "Of course it doesn't.  Others can say the same thing."  She glared.  He walked off happier.  It wasn't often he got one up on Natasha.  "I'm going to go growl in her ear for a few minutes."

"Fine, I will finish killing the assassins after her.  Then she'll be feeling most generous later."

Clint smirked back at her.  "I might share if you do."

"I may," she said, starting to smirk evilly herself.  "Perhaps.  If you're a good boy."

"I haven't been a *good* boy in *years*," he said smugly.  "You both appreciate that."

"Yes, I do," she agreed.  She strolled off, letting her hips swing a bit more than usual.  "Let me go kill assassins while you growl."  He followed, catching up to her.  "Not busy after all?"

"She'll be at work for an hour.  We can kill at least two more each by the time she gets off work."

"Hmm.  Yes, I can."  He laughed and they disappeared to finish taking out that bit of problems.

Phil shook his head.  "I do not want to know."  He looked at his father-in-law.  "Are you bored?"

"Quite.  Politicians are being berks again," he said dryly.

"Hey, go fuck 'em," Xander said.  "It'll win you favors, blackmail, and perks."

Loki looked at his son.  "I'm not that desperate, son.  I already have all those."  He smirked.

Phil looked at Xander.  "We really do have to talk about how we're having children beyond mine.  I'd love to see a tousle-haired, dark eyed little boy to overprotect my twins."

Xander smirked.  "Stark did have that vision of me somehow pregnant but I think I'd rather use a surrogate, Phil."

"Hmm.  Probably better.  I don't think I could handle your axe while you were on bedrest.  Even with the Ancient's machines it might take a bit of energy to do.  I'd hate to see you having to stay in bed all the time."  He smirked ever so slightly.

"That's a good point.  Though, Dad seemed to like it."  Loki was spluttering and choking.  He smiled at him.  "What if it's a daughter instead?"

"She'll be very strong and start a whole new line of fantastic warrior women who I might even teach to like doing paperwork for SHIELD."

"I might like that," Xander said.

"Hell.  No," Loki ordered.  He glared at his son-in-law.  "If you two should have children, my son is not carrying it."

"As the natural God, it'd be easier on me to do it," Xander quipped with a grin.  "It'd take Phil too much energy, Dad.  Plus the elemental form birth is supposed to be truly easy to do.  Just go to elemental form and let them fall out."  He shrugged.  "Sounds better than hours of labor."

"It certainly does, or the birthing video," Phil said dryly.

Loki glared at him.  "I should destroy you."

"Then I'd have to attack," Xander said sweetly.  "He is my mate, Father, and we are bound."

"It can be undone."  Xander shook his head.  "I know of ways."  Xander walked over and picked up his father's hand to put on his shoulder.  He tested and then gasped and backed away, glaring at Phil.  "How?"

"Accident," Phil admitted.  "We had no idea.  All we know is that it was nice when the accident happened.  Then someone kept ringing chimes."

Xander grinned and showed him something else.  Loki shuddered, shaking his head.  "He is so hot.  He even skin spoils me, Dad.  You should try it.  It's nearly indescribable."

Loki pulled free of his son's grasp.  He could feel the bonds now, almost see them.  He let himself see his son's aura and almost let out a whimper.  So that's what Hera had seen.  He licked his top lip.  "He'll still need to be the one who carries.  Your grandfather would not be pleased," he said quietly.

"Yay.  That's a really good reason actually."

Loki shook his head.  "Please don't, Son.  Your uncles will not be happy to watch such."

Xander shrugged.  "That's their problem and there still needs to be more grandchildren on Valhalla."

"Yes, there does, because you're slightly insane, Son."

"I'm the product of my parents," he quipped with a grin.  "Like acorns, Father.  But hey, I never had to use mead or any other liquor to get a bed partner."  He walked off to walk Phil off.  "Later, Pops."

"Son," he growled.  "That was uncalled for."

"You did get my mom into bed with mead, Dad.  You got your last wife into bed with wine."  He shrugged.  "Statement of fact.  I've never needed that."  He and Phil disappeared once they were in the shadows.

Loki glared at them.  "That is a low blow, son."  He disappeared, going to hide and sulk in their bedroom.  His mate was in there reading and let him seethe before kissing him and asking if he wanted to talk.  So he unloaded on him about his son's wrongness.

"You had a son that came out as a wolf, Loki.  Not like your kids are all that normal."  Loki scowled but settled in to rest.  He had to find his son a surrogate before he had to watch his son be pregnant.

He didn't really need grandchildren all that much.  Really.

His son was doing just fine adopting people into the family.


Pepper looked up as Dawn carried in her wanted soup and tea tray.  "What trashy thing did you buy on lunch?  The reporters watching the showdown nearly got giddy over the idea of you buying trashy things for Clint and Natasha.  A few had bursting ovaries and uteruses about him growling but they thought it was hot you bought trashy things for them to appreciate.  One even wondered if they cut them off you."  Dawn found her phone and the picture, showing it to her with a grin.  Pepper blinked and erased it.  "Sexting is so cheesy and teenager so you don't need to have that somewhere it can be hacked, Dawn."

"There's three worse ones but one Clint put on there."

Pepper looked and erased them too.

JARVIS popped into the conversation.  "I believe they've already been hacked and downloaded by one of the more...desperate scientists on the first floor of labs."

"The one with the shrine to me or robo-mutt's human?" Dawn asked.  Pepper gave her a curious look.  "Because I made his wicked ex run away before she could screw him in the divorce."

"Ah," she said, sipping her tea.  She checked the other files on Dawn's phone, earning a smirk.  "I'm curious.  You bring work around on this?"

She looked.  "Callia asked me to take a picture before she lost the drawing.  It was getting wet."

"Oh."  She kept going, finding a few more questionable things.  "You have contracts on here?"

"I do?"  She looked and shrugged.  "I didn't put that on there.  It's on my tablet, not my phone."

She frowned.  "JARVIS, who put them on there?"

"It came from Lab 7 by the upload location but it was at two in the morning so the boys weren't there."

"Are the roombas that sentient?" Dawn asked.

"No.  I'm looking over security footage.  Ah!  It was the first girlfriend.  She's been in touch with Warren."  They all sighed.  "I'll limit her access to things more strictly."

"Thank you," the ladies said.

"You're most welcome."

"We could let her go live with Warren," Dawn said.

"It'd be mean to the other two," Pepper said.

"We can give them a choice."

"I might think about that.  They can fuss over Warren."  She smirked evilly.  Dawn grinned back.  Warren hated to be fussed over.  His robotic girlfriends had missed him though.

"Anyway, I'm done for the day, boss."  She smiled.  "I'm going to go home to a lonely dinner while my spouses are off killing assassins in unusual ways."  She walked off, hugging the twins.  "Coming home tonight?"

"No," Diana said with a grin.  "Callia needs some help."

"Okay.  You guys know you only have to show up."  They nodded.  She kissed and hugged each of them.  "Behave and I'll see you in the morning."

"Yes, Auntie," they said together.  Dawn grinned before gathering her things and leaving.


"JARVIS, on the Tony Stark scale of evil, where is sending the robo girlfriends to Warren?" Pepper asked.

"I'd say nearly a seven, which tops the range," he admitted.  "Nearly up there with sending porn to that church minister he was in that feud with that time."

"I didn't hear about that," she admitted.  He told her the amusing story of the man who hated Tony for being born wealthy and turning to science of all things instead of becoming a doctor who worked with the poor.  So Tony fought back because the guy really annoyed him.  Tony was only seventeen, barely months before his parents died.  He had totally humiliated the guy using a hooker wielding a rubber chicken at one of his speeches.  The whole crowd got to see her and hear her ask which porn tape he wanted to replay tonight.

Pepper laughed so hard she had to move the soup and tea before she spilled it, and so she could run to the bathroom.  That sounded like a vindictive Stark to her.


Dawn got home with stuff for dinner and not much else.  She found Clint on the couch, stretched out along it but still sitting up in a towel.  He was still damp from his shower.  "So, just a little growl?" he teased with a slight grin.

"That's all you ever have to do," she promised, leaning down to kiss him.  "I got the stuff to make the sausage lasagna you like."

"What were you planning on making before?" he asked, grinning.

"Since I thought I'd be alone I was going to make sausage and pancakes."  She walked into the kitchen to put the perishables up, then came back.  "Who did dishes?  I know it was my turn but the water was off last night for some strange reason."

"Water line break up the street," Natasha said.  She smiled at her.  She was in her favorite silk robe and still had damp hair.  "Perhaps our cat turned into a maid for a few hours since they also vacuumed."  Dawn kissed her, earning a smile.  "You turn into a slob whenever we leave for a few days."

"If you told me you were on the way home I'd clean up before you get here," she quipped.  "Sorry, I usually don't care if the carpet gets vacuumed every three days or not.  Maybe every week but not twice a week or so."  She took another kiss and grinned.  "I think it's great that you're so much of a cleaning person, Nat.  It equals out all the macho points you keep stealing from Clint."  Clint snorted, shaking his head.  "She does try."

"She does and sometimes succeeds but I always gain more."  He motioned Dawn closer, getting his own kiss.  "We ordered."

"I love that."  She smiled.  "Ordering is great."  Clint was reaching behind her so she shifted for him.  He unzipped her skirt, letting her step out of it.  She took off her own shirt.  No hose today so just her bra and panties.  He ran a hand over her stomach then across her back.  "I planned on shaving later."

He pulled her down for a kiss.  "Hairy legs do not scare me.  Though, hairy armpits occasionally do with how often I end up sleeping curled around you."  She grinned at him, kissing him again before sitting on his lap.  "That's very nice."  Dawn winked.  "What did you buy today that you were going to tease us with?"

"It's in my purse."  She smirked evilly.  "Because I know you'd want to see it when you got home."  She got up and strolled over, grabbing it out of the messenger bag she took to work.  The tiny silver bag was from a very familiar store.  Clint stared at it, head tipping slightly to the side.  Dawn grinned and strolled to the bedroom.  Someone knocked so she came back to answer it, stunning the delivery guy from their usual Korean place.  "Thank you."  She paid him a tip and signed the slip.  He was still staring.  She smiled.  "Should see my bikini collection, dear."  He swallowed and nodded, running off.  She handed Nat the bag and took off her bra on the way to the bedroom.

"That was mean," Clint said.

"You like it when I'm slightly evil," Dawn shot back.

"Yes, we do," Natasha said, checking the order.  "They forgot the potstickers again."  She got up when someone else knocked, taking the bag.  "Thank you," she said with a smile.  He nodded and didn't look at her, almost bowing before running off again.  She closed the door.  "I think it's sweet he's scared of me."

"We like it when you're a naughty girl too, Nat," Clint teased, grinning at her.  Dawn came out in the purple lace, mid-thigh slip-looking nightgown.  He stared.  "That leaves absolutely nothing to my imagination yet I still adore it because it's creating shadows so I can't exactly see either."  He pulled her over to kiss her.  "I like that."

"I thought you might."  She turned to model it for him.  "I got one with shorty shorts in red silk too," she told him.

"Hmm.  That's sweet.  I want to see those tomorrow if we're here."  She took another kiss before grabbing the bag of food to dish up for them.  Clint shifted to get comfortable.  Dawn curled up against his side and they grinned at Natasha.

"I'd never get around to eating if I joined you," she quipped.  "Since I missed lunch I need the calories."  She dug into her pot stickers and vegetables.  Dawn and Clint shared because they liked the same things.  She had gotten the large size so they could share.  When they were done, Dawn got up to take the dishes into the kitchen, bending down at the waist to kiss her as she plucked her plate off her lap.

Clint looked.  "Stay, Dawn."  She looked back at him.  He stood up and let the towel fall on his way to tease her.  It proved he had on boxer briefs and nothing else.  Natasha took the dishes before they got broken.  Clint had Dawn brace on the chair so he could tease her.  The chair had a footstool he pushed over to sit on.  It was almost the perfect height.  He adjusted how he was sitting before leaning forward and licking her hard.  She moaned and spread her thighs for him.  He grinned.  He was so happy he had taught her to enjoy oral sex.  He was having fun, watching her knees start to go weak and her having to shift position slightly so she didn't land on top of his lap.  Her knees kept shaking until she finally whimpered.  He pulled back to lick his lips.  "I really like that nightie."  Dawn sat down on the chair, putting her legs around him.  "That's a dangerous position," he teased.

"No, dangerous position is the sling that Clay gave us for my birthday," she quipped.

"We have a what?" he asked.

Natasha laughed.  "I saw that.  It's in the office closet.  We don't have the hooks to put it up in the bedroom without using the ones holding the bed up."  She walked over to kiss Dawn then Clint.  "There's also a frame to hold it up now.  I thought it was a wonderful birthday present for us."

"Yeah, I can see that happening."  He got up to look, finding it all in a black nylon zip bag in the closet.  It looked like a tent bag.  That gave him definite dirty thoughts that he didn't want to have tonight.  Those, he'd work out a few times by himself until he decided how he wanted Natasha in it.  Dawn....  She'd love to watch Natasha in it.  He checked on her across the bond and winced.  Her leg was aching where she had the slight refracture.  He walked out and pulled her onto the couch, cuddling her once he got her out of the indecent nightgown. 

He wanted to try something different, softer, this time.  She stroked over his hair and smiled but he was comfy on her breast and it gave her leg time to have a break.  Plus you could never get enough Dawn cuddles.  When Clint got finished with his cuddly moment she could tell.  The hand was wandering again and teasing.  Which she liked so that was good.  Dawn was shivering slightly as the hand wandered over her stomach and chest then up to the breast he wasn't laying on to tease it.  Dawn nicely shifted to give him better access for whatever he wanted to do.

"There's times I'd like to paint just so I can capture you like this," Clint said quietly.  Dawn blushed but smiled.  He looked up.  "That way even if I get another concussion I'll never forget how you looked when we're like this."  She sniffled and kissed him.  He pulled her down closer to him, cradling her bad leg.  It was going to be sweet.  Dawn was like putty under his hands, willing to let him do anything he wanted.  That bad leg got babied into a position around his hip, which nicely elevated it.  He went back to stroking, taking time to pay attention to the skin under his hand. 

Soft skin, a few blemishes here and there but still very soft skin.  She needed a shower because it was slightly greasy but that was human skin at times.  He kissed where his hand was trailing, avoiding her nipples after a glancing kiss over the one he had teased.  Dawn was shivering under his casual, graceful, easy stroking.  Nothing was overtly sexual but Dawn hid her sensual side all too often, sometimes deeper than Natasha did since she had to pull it up for assignments at times. 

He kissed her stomach and kept stroking, making Dawn hot just by touching her.  He moved up to kiss the underside of her breast, starting to stroke his hand around the outer curve of the one he wasn't resting on.  She shifted and he smiled.  He could tell she was getting needy.  He teased her cleavage with a fingertip then stroked up to her shoulder and down over her arm.


He smiled.  "Let me, Dawn."

"Okay."  She watched him watch his hand, watching it ruffle the hairs on her arm on the path back to her shoulder.  Her side was still ticklish but she only shifted away from his fingers when he hit that spot.  He kissed her cleavage dip again then stroked along the outer edge of that breast again.  That was nice and she was still shivery and getting needy from his careful attention.  He could map every inch of her skin and still find new things to appreciate, but he could tell her skin from anyone else's in the dark.  He finally cupped the outer side of her breast, gently using his thumb to stroke the bottom curve.  He shifted it closer to taste the tiny little nipple.  She gasped. 

He smiled as he flicked it a few times then shifted to give her other side the same sort of attention.  He didn't pay as much attention to that side because they always ended up on the same end of the couch.  He got her up and shifted her then laid back down with her to pay it the same sort of attention.  The damp nipple was being teased by his hair.  He could feel it each time he shifted to kiss her skin.  She was nearly moaning, making breathy little pants.  He paid her other breast the same attention, making it a happy, upright nipple too. 

He decided to flick it a few more times while his hand moved down to her hip.  She spread her legs out but he was going to stroke over her leg instead.  She moaned and shifted.  He put that leg gently on a pillow and got back to her skin.  Her thigh was a bit furry but he didn't mind if she didn't shave for a few days.  Most of the world didn't.  It didn't bother him.  Her thigh was a bit soft, she had been skipping her jogging again.  He stroked down to her knee, watching his hand.  Then back up to her hip then across her upper thigh to tease her sensitive spots on her inner thigh. 

Dawn spread for him again and he leaned down to kiss her belly button.  He ran his fingers through her pubic hair, letting the loose hairs that had come off fall off on their own.  He combed down through it, letting his thumb graze the crease between her thigh and pubic mound.  She tried to spread out more.  "Not there yet," he said quietly.  She let out a tiny whine but he wanted her to think more of skin spoiling than sex.  He wanted her to arch into any touch he gave her and want anything, even the simplest things. 

Which she usually did.  Dawn was starved for skin attention at times.  But now he wanted to make sure she understood that he liked all of her, even her funny looking little toe.  He shifted so he was laying on her stomach to tease her leg.  She shifted up for him, earning a smile since he wouldn't have to move.  He might still do that, move his head down to her pubic mound instead, but that might come later.  He teased her leg, then her ankle, using his index finger to tease the bones in it.  Then the top of her foot got stroked over. 

Dawn pulled her foot away but he followed to tease the toes.  She let him since he wanted to, watching his fingers tease her newly painted toenails.  He kissed her stomach and moved up to kiss her, going back to her stomach. He liked her stomach.  It wasn't overly muscled, which he didn't like on women.  It made them look too hard to him.  He didn't want Dawn to look that hard.  Or Natasha.  Though she had some definition she still had padding.  He traced his path with his tongue, making Dawn gasp and arch up into his mouth. 

He smiled into her flesh, teasing her a bit by dipping into her bellybutton. She shifted but he pulled her back into place, lapping up her stomach to her breasts to kiss them both.  Then her chin, her lips, the tip of her nose, and her forehead.  Dawn was staring at him.  He grinned and kissed her properly, letting her wrap herself around him.  He pulled back, dove in for a faster one, pulling back to tease her throat with his tongue.  She sometimes liked her ear played with but not always.  Only one side though. 

Tonight she was gasping when his tongue tip hit that spot just below and behind her ear.  He sucked on it gently, letting his tongue flick it a few times before nibbling lightly.  He sucked on her earlobe, making her tip her head to the side.  He nibbled on the edge of it before moving back to her throat and jaw line.  She tipped her head back, giving him all the space he needed.  The sweat gathering on her throat was tasty.  He lapped at it until she had to get away from it.  Her collarbone got some nibbling attention as well, letting him trace the fragile bones there. 

The dip next to her throat got explored, even though she winced a bit.  He bit down, earning a heady gasp.  He smirked a bit and teased the other side, doing the same thing.  Dawn was a warm, sensual mass in his hands. They were back to stroking the outer edges of her breast, thumbs teasing the underside of the curve.  Dawn did have a nice set of breasts.  Some women were very tiny.  She had some nice C cups and they were tasty.  He moved back to them again. 

A tiny flick and a nibble for each side then he watched his hands work on them.  Dawn was making panting noises again.  He could tell she was getting closer to coming apart.  He looked up and sucked one side, the side he didn't usually get to when they were on the couch, into his mouth.  She came with a moan and an arch up.  He grinned.  That was a first but a great precedent to set.  He sucked harder on the other side.  Her lower half was trying to shift against him. 

"Easy," he whispered into the warm flesh.  "I have you, Dawn.  I always have you."  He played all he wanted.  She wasn't usually that deep into nipple teasing but he liked how she tasted here too.  He was so hard but it wasn't time to give in to that urge yet.  Dawn was pushing against the thin cotton between them.  It was getting him hotter and hotter.  He switched sides again, teasing the other nipple while he stroked her stomach.  He suddenly pulled her hips against his and heard her moan and felt her clench down on it.  He bit the nipple he was tormenting, making her gasp and involuntarily arch against him again.  He tried the other side.  That got a loud moan but he wanted that body-rending feeling to stay. 

He went back to the first side, watching how she reacted to each type of teasing touch he knew.  She had learned to love having her nipples played with but now he was showing her how much she liked it more than she thought.  She was writhing against him, trying to ride him, matching his sucking and teasing tongue flicks. He felt her shudder and come again, making him happy.  He got up to his knees, hands moving down her sides to her hips.

"Clint?" she begged, reaching for him.

"Right here, Dawn."  He kissed her, letting her show her lax desperateness.  Two was never enough for Dawn when she was needy.  He could show her how great it was and make her beg soon.  He loved her begging noises.  He leaned down to tease her throat, his hands teasing her breasts and nipples, alternating which side got that more forceful attention.  Dawn was gasping, clutching at Natasha's leg since it was near her head.  Clint smiled.  "Relax, let it happen."

"Need," she panted.

"I know."  He kissed her again, letting one hand drift down to her hip and then over to her pubic mound to cover it with his palm.  He gently stroked it with the heel of his hand, giving her gentle pressure, and she shrieked, arching up against him.  "This is for later."  He kissed her and the hand moved up to her stomach again.  Then around to her back.  Dawn was panting, trying so hard to get off again.  He'd let her sometime soon but it wasn't time yet.  He teased the parts of her back he could reach.  He even popped the zit he found and leaned down to kiss over it.  She started to shift. 

"No, this is good."  He ran his hands up under her sides and then back down her arms to her hands.  He let their hands twine together for a minute, giving her a squeeze, before letting her go and going back to his teasing.  He found a spot he hadn't realized she liked right above her left wrist when he kissed it to follow his fingers.  She gasped and her back arched up.  He grinned, teasing it for a few more seconds before trying the other wrist.  Nothing there but she was still happy. 

He leaned down to kiss her again.  Dawn was nearly there.  All he had to do was shift his body to feel how damp she was getting.  He let his hands drift down to her stomach again. Dawn pressed up into his touch.  "I like seeing you like this.  You look like a heavenly body."  He leaned down to kiss her again, letting one hand drift lower to cup her pubic mound in his hand.  His palm was centered just over her clit and a gentle bit of pressure was enough to make her sob as she came.  He kissed her, wiping the tears off.  "Hey, none of that."  He grinned.  She pulled him down to kiss her.  "Princess."

"Not," she said.

"You're *my* princess and everyone else can fuck the hell off."  He stared at her.  She smiled.  "I'm the only one that gets to call you that."  He kissed her again.  He felt Natasha moving.  "Where are you going?"

"I'll have her tomorrow.  Today is your two's time."  She smiled.  "As we needed a night together, so do you two."

Dawn pulled her down to kiss her.  "You don't have to."

Natasha grinned.  "You two need the time."

Clint sat up, kissing her.  "Sit and watch, Nat."

"I can do that."

Dawn pulled her closer to kiss her again.  "Touch yourself for us?"

"I have been."  Dawn moaned and tried to reach her so Natasha moved closer, letting her have a few licks.  "Share with him, Dawn."  Dawn moaned and kissed Clint, letting him take the taste from her.  Natasha sat down in the chair facing the couch, letting them have the time.  Clint was clearly ready to get beyond what they had been doing.  She got up and got a bootknife to cut the boxer briefs off him.  He grinned at her.  "They're in the way."

"They were."  He sat them up, pulling Dawn into his lap.  She gasped as he naturally slid into her.  "Tight, princess.  You're so close again," he said in her ear, making her nod and shiver.  "You didn't want me to find a condom, right?"

"No, skin.  I need skin."

That's just how he felt so it was perfect.  He helped her arrange her bad leg.  "Let me know if it gets painful."

"It's fine.  I can't feel it."

He kissed her.  "I can.  Maybe if we prop it up."

Dawn shook her head.  "It's fine, Clint, I can't feel it."

He made her look at him.  "I can.  We need to baby that."  Natasha got a pillow to prop both her feet up since she was wrapped around his body.  "That helps.  Thanks, Nat."  He pulled her down to kiss her.  "Let Dawn have another taste?"  She blushed but shifted her leg up onto the couch so Dawn could lick her clean.  "That's my girl," he said in Dawn's ear.  "Such a good girl."  Dawn pulled back to kiss him.  "Hmm."  Natasha sat down and spread out with a leg over the arm of the chair.  While they kissed, he was doing the same careful touching exploration of her back.  He found another zit and looked over her shoulder then at her.  "Sweat?"

"Hormones.  I get a few before my cycle."

"That's cool."  He kissed her again, letting the natural movements of him shifting to touch her rub her body.  She was clamped down tight on his cock but he was fine with it.  It wasn't time for more than this.  She was back to shivering and had her head on his shoulder, arms wrapped loosely around his chest.  She moaned and shifted when he found a tension knot.  "Why are you tense?"

"Position tension not stress tension," she murmured against his shoulder.

"I can cure that."  He used his fingertips to work on the small knot of muscle, easing the cramp and making her shift and moan again.  He grinned, shifting his hips some.  She kissed him.  "It'll be great when we get to that," he said in her ear.  She nodded, letting him do whatever he wanted while she enjoyed it.  He smiled.  She was so limp against him but he could feel where the tension was.  She was still needy, still wet, still gripping tightly around him.  Her body was enjoying both feelings.

He finally got his fill of her skin and pulled back to kiss her.  She moaned and shifted, pushing down against him.  He thrust up and she answered.  It was so slow that they had no problems from her lack of rhythm.  He opened their bond as wide as it could be, letting them sink into each other's minds, almost becoming one.  He knew what she needed.  She knew what he wanted and she was more than happy to let him do whatever he wanted. 

The gentle thrusting seemed to take hours, just one every now and then while they kissed and touched.  Though, each one was getting Dawn closer and closer to the edge of losing her mind.  He could feel the sparks of her orgasm building, leading to a mind clearing, shattering, reforming moment.  He made sure she made it there, inhaling her panted breaths, giving her what she really needed to reach that state he hadn't gotten to bring her to before. 

"Love you," he whispered in her ear as she came apart, making her shake and sob against his shoulder.  He calmed her down, stroking her back.  Natasha smiled and got up to get them a washcloth.  He held her, letting her calm down.  "Those are so rare," he whispered in her ear.  "So special."  She pulled back to look at him.  He brushed the new tear tracks off, taking the cloth to wipe them clean.  He smiled.  "They're very special."

"I've only had one of those," Natasha admitted from her chair.  "With my first husband."

Clint nodded, kissing Dawn again.  He put the cloth aside and cuddled her.  She was still needy, he grinned because Dawn was the center of their shared world.  She drew him and Nat closer and made him lose his mind.  He shifted and she moaned.  "Not yet."

She looked up at him.  "You need some."

"I have what I need.  I'll get to my other needs later."

"They say more than four hours is dangerous," she teased with a grin.

"Maybe but I do like dangerous things.  Look at my women.  You're both very dangerous in many special ways."  Dawn blushed.  He smiled and kissed her.  She adjusted her legs.  He helped.  "Better?"  She nodded.  "Good."  He pushed up and wound his hands into her hair, pulling her in for a deeper kiss.  She was greedy and inhaled his soul it felt like.  He moaned and let her lead for now.  She wasn't pushing anything but she was definitely ramping it up from the sensual to the sexy with the sensual since she was doing the same sort of stroking he had done to her. 

He liked that.  She was moaning into his mouth and he desperately wanted more.  It was enough to hold her but his cock was starting to take over and it wanted more.  He laid her back onto her back, leaning down to keep kissing her, hands braced around her head as he thrust slowly.  She whimpered, shifting her legs out for him.  "You're good," he said between kisses.  "Just like this, Dawn."  She nodded, letting him lead again.  She was still stroking him and it was hot.  Her fingertips were creating a path of fire over his skin.  Every touch was making him hotter and hotter.  He was about to go primal on her.  He was holding back.

"I can take primal you," she whispered.

"Not injured, princess."

She smiled.  "You let me worry about my leg.  It's not my knee or ankle, nothing bendable."  She pulled up some power and he felt her doing it, helping by opening to her again.  She put it toward cushioning her leg.  He grinned since she didn't try to fix the 'defect' as she usually called all injuries.  He was going to get to baby her some more, which he wanted to do.  He kissed her, letting their merged minds go.  He was slowly heading back to primal mode and it was scaring him a bit.  She was back to stroking over his arms and shoulders, then down his sides to his hips and butt. 

She scratched gently over his hips and he almost flinched but the primal being inside him surged up to take control.  Dawn was his and she was going to know it.  He slowly pulled back then pushed in harder, building up to where he was riding her so hard it was moving the couch.  The cat fled from his spot on the back to the other human that would protect him. 

Clint was lost in the sensation, the warmth, the heat, the fire of the growling going on. This was his woman and he was claiming her.  She let out a slight noise and he silenced it with a new kiss.  She scratched his shoulders; it only made him hotter. He pushed in harder, shifting her legs up around him.  His hands trailed back up to her wrists, holding her hands in place with his, bracing on them.  She winced a bit but he didn't realize it.  He was lost and it was like a forest fire under his skin.  He tried nipping her but she ducked her head and kissed him. 

He growled and she shifted around him.  He did get to subtly bite on her shoulder but she winced so he did it a bit lower, on the fleshy slope down to her breast.  She didn't fight against that one so he sucked on it.  She screamed and arched up against him.  He slammed into her over and over, growling in her ear, making her curl up against him.  He finally came with a shout, lifting his head up.  She pulled his head down to kiss him, sucking in the last of the growls, letting his mind calm back down.  He pulled back to pant, staring down at her.  "Dawn?"

"Here."  She stroked over his cheek.

"Did I hurt you?"

She smiled.  "Nothing that I'll ever complain over."  He stared at her then looked at her wrist, kissing them both because he could see fingermarks. He started to pull back but she pulled him down against her, holding him.  "Primal you is really more alpha male than I knew," she whispered.  "But he was good to me."

He looked up from her chest.  "You're really okay?"

"I could use some babying of my sore pussy.  You were a bit hard and you were in me all night."  He grinned, running a hand up her side.  She shifted.  "Clint, if you start me off again, one of us is going to die in bed tonight."

"No we won't.  You'd save me.  I'd save you.  And if we had, Nat would save us both."  She nodded, pushing into his hand.  He kissed her.  The stroking was calming them both down.  They were both right on the edge of needing it again and she was right, one of them would end up injured or at least with a thrown back.  She flipped them over, wincing a bit as her leg shifted.  He helped her get it comfortable.  She sat down on his slightly hard cock, reaching down to put it back in her.  She shifted and started off slowly, tracking her hands stroking over his chest.  He held her hands.  "You sure?"

She leaned down to kiss him.  "I'm feeling greedy.  Primal you is hot but now I want all of Clint, together.  Primal and modern guy Clint both."  He groaned, pulling her hips harder against his so he could kiss her.  "Primal you needs to try oral sex sometime in the near future," she whispered in his ear, making him shiver and that was enough to get him hard.  "The growls are sexy as hell, Clint."  She arched up and moaned when he thrust up.  He knew all her sweet spots and he had just hit the sweetest of them all.  She might be on top but he was in charge again and it was going to make her scream and lose her mind soon.  She was bouncing on him he was thrusting up so hard.  "Oh!" she squealed, then started to move.  "Going to my knees," she panted when he stopped her.

"No you're not.  I want you here."  He pushed up.  "You can go on your knees when your leg is better."  He flipped them so she was against the back of the couch.  It gave him very little room but enough for leverage and she was pinned so he could touch her while he rode her dirty and hard.  Her breasts were now targets for his lips and teeth and tongue.  That small hickey was beautiful but he wasn't going to make it bigger.  That was primal him's mark and now he was going to mark her as modern, more thinking Clint. 

He pulled her hips around him hard and she shrieked, head starting to thrash.  He kept going, making a mark on her skin below her ear.  The couch thumped and moved again as he did his worst to make her come as hard as he needed to.  His mind was about to rip itself apart.  Dawn's mind was in the same state, chaos swirling toward a drain.  When all the pretty lights cleared he realized he had come so hard his cock hurt.  They were both panting.  Dawn was gulping air.  He kissed her deeply, making her control it.  She pulled back to pant, then kissed him again once she got some air.  He wrapped himself around her.  She was wrapped around his hips.  "Dawn."

"Clint."  He kissed her again.  She smiled.  "Wow."

He grinned.  "Very."  He nuzzled her throat with his lips.  He was falling asleep.  Dawn was nearly asleep.  They could ignore the extra magic floating around, creating colored spots in the air that the cat was jumping to play with.

Natasha smiled, getting a sheet to cover them so they didn't get cold from the drying sweat.  She wiped off a cheek subtly and got the cat some tuna so he was going to have a happy night too.  Dawn made moaning and reaching noises when she tried to leave the living room.  She smiled and kissed her on the head.  "I'm starting a bath for you both," she said quietly into her hair.  Dawn relaxed and went to sleep again.  It was special that Dawn had realized she was moving.  She could even put up with both of them snoring for a bit.  Natasha cleaned herself up.  She hadn't had to do much to join them.  The bond sang with the power and the lust.  It had brought her along with it.  It had been incredibly special to see.  Someday she'd let them into her defenses deeply enough to have that.


Dawn walked in the next morning, looking tired.  Well, limped.  She was a bit sore.  Tony met her at her desk since he was looking over what was waiting on them.  She sat down and winced.  He stared at her.  "Should I have a talk with one of them?" he asked quietly.

"You do and I'll gut your ass like you're a new toy for Spike," she hissed back.

He grinned.  "So I take it they were great to you again last night?"

She looked up at him.  "Have you ever had it so good that it redefined what religious meant to you?"

He considered it then slowly shook his head.  "Good, mind breaking, life shattering, but not quite there."

"We went past all those," she admitted.  "Gods, Tony."

He patted her on the shoulder.  "Cover the hickey?"

She looked at her chest then at him, shaking her head.  "Nope.  Clint put it there while he went primal, it's staying."


Dawn grinned a sappy grin.  "Yeah.  And then it got even better."

Tony shivered.  "Wow.  I...."  He swallowed.  "Good thing you three are already married," he quipped weakly.

"If we weren't, we'd be doing it soon. I'd be ring shopping today."  He patted her again and walked off.  "Can you tell the labs I can't make coffee today?  I restrained my leg last night."

"Sure, I can do that."  He grinned and went to talk to Pepper.  She was sniffling.  "Saw?"

"Yeah."  She hugged him.  "They're so great together.  Even if Clint did put a hickey on her."

He smiled.  "I...."

She kissed him.  "Not everyone's meant to have someone that deep in their soul, Tony.  It would definitely pull you out of the lab.  You get that from science."

He nodded, resting against her.  "I guess I do."  Callia ran in and pounced.  "Easy, kiddo."

"Liz is trying to eat crayons."

"Liz, come see Mommy," Pepper called.  Her daughter crawled in and beamed at them, getting help from Tony to crawl up onto the bed.  "Thank you, daughter."  She stroked over her fine, wispy red hair.  "We love you both."

"Of course you do.  I'm just like daddy only a girl and you gave birth to Liz.  You have to love us," she said with a happy grin.

"I do, yup."  She hugged them both.  "We have to do an ultrasound soon to start the name list Callia's going to give me the report on."

"I've got ten on each side," she said.  "I'm waiting to see too."

"We can go for one," Tony promised.  "You should be able to tell now, or really soon."  Pepper smiled and nodded.  "I'll see if Doc's busy."  He sent an email to her, getting a 'we're handling a few broken fingers but give her an hour'.  "I wonder who did what now."

"The guys in Shield Design were mean to the geeks in Astrophysics again," Callia said.  "They got into a fight.  Astrophysics beat their butts good though and the head bully in Shield Design got slammed into the elevator a few times."

"Why?" Pepper asked.

"For the same reason they sneer at me for being little," she said dryly.  "They're bullies."  She shrugged.  "Apparently their parents never taught them the right things because they're stupid at it too.  One was so stupid he hit on Artemis and tried to grab a kiss until she nearly stabbed him in the boy parts."

"Which one did that?" Tony asked.  She blinked at him.  "JARVIS, which idiot in Shield Design tried to molest Artemis?"

"Dr. Cole, sir.  He's in their backup group and was trying to gain future status so they'd quit treating him like their dog."

"Huh," he said.  "I want to talk to him.  Is he here today?"

"Yes, sir.  Watching the girls in sparring practice."

"Oops, I'm missing it," Callia said, giving hugs and kisses before running off.

"Let me go help," Tony said, taking a kiss from Pepper and a slobbered one from Liz.  He smiled at her.  "We'll work on that.  Some day you'll find a bad boy of science of your own."  He winked and got up, heading down to the gym.  The whole of Shield Design was in the gym working on testing their current design with a soccer ball cannon.  They were watching the girls work out and Tony could appreciate the sight but no.  Not those two.  He walked over to them, blatantly blocking the view they had.  One sneered at him.  Tony smirked evilly back.  "I think you're in the wrong place.  The same as I think Cole just lost his job."

"We do a lot of good work for you, Stark."

"Yeah, and then you tried to bully my daughter and he tried to rape her sister.  So, no."  The head of the bully team tried to attack Tony, who had learned a lot of things sparring with Steve and Natasha.  He had him on his back begging for mercy in about six minutes.  He stared down at him.  "There is only one alpha in this company."

"Pepper?" the guy sneered.

"She is the alpha bitch," he agreed happily.  "But no, I head this pack."  The guy got taken from him by Natasha.  "I was having fun, Romanoff."

"Pity."  She slammed him into a wall, walking closer.  "You did what to my niece?"

"Auntie, I handled it," Artemis called.

"That is not the point," Tony told her, looking at them.  "They know better than to try to force their attention on *anyone*, much less someone as underage like you two are.  Asgard might not mind a bit of forceful coercion but down here we throw their ass in jail for it."  Diana shuddered, hugging her twin.  "Did he do more than threaten you, scare you?  Did he touch you?"

"No," she said.  "I was stopped by him.  He tried to tell me I needed a scientist like him so I pulled my dagger and I was going to prove to him he's not near the man he thinks he is."

Natasha smiled at her.  "We will work on your knife work, girls.  I am very good at them myself.  I helped teach your aunt them."  They grinned.  "If he laid a hand on you, in any manner, he is going to die for that.  He knows better."  She looked at him.  He tried to stomp off but Dawn hit him and moved to destroy him.  "Dawn, it's my turn and you need to sit down.  You're still sore."

Dawn flipped her hair back.  "You can have him when I've made him a greasy spot for *daring* to come near the girls.  Because, Cole, you're next."  She looked at him.  "For Artemis and how you tried to flirt with Callia."  He shook his head violently.  "JARVIS, please show Tony what you showed me."  She slugged the head bully again, knocking him out.  Natasha helped her, earning a smile and a kiss.  "You can have the rest."

"I can do so and dispose of this trash properly."  Dawn grinned, heading for Cole.

Tony canceled the video and turned to beat the shit out of him.  Cole wasn't very good at anything.  It didn't take more than a few hits.  "Dawn, when did we find this out?"

"Two minutes before I got in here, boss.  Callia admitted that Cole had tried to talk to her a few times to Pepper when she asked.  Pepper called me about it.  JARVIS showed me about thirty seconds of it and I lost my temper."

"That's about when I did too."  He wiped off his knuckles.  "Security."  They quit hovering in the doorway.  "Help Agent Romanoff dispose of this trash."  They nodded, helping by dragging them for her.  He looked at the girls.  "Let's go talk about that stuff with Pepper, girls.  Standards for boys are a bit different down here.  Down here, if they touch you or try to force you, or even talk you into it, they're a problem that needs solved."  Diana nodded, walking off with Artemis.

"I didn't know you could fight," Artemis told him.

He smiled.  "I can, somewhat.  I'm not great like Steve is or Natasha is, but I do know how to.  I made sure I could fight back better after I got kidnaped this last time."  He put a hand on their backs.  "C'mon, Pepper loves girl talks.  She gave Dawn all hers."  They grinned, going up to Pepper's apartment.

Dawn looked at the others in the gym.  "Any others we should be aware of?" she asked.

"Gregory in maintenance," one said quietly.  "No woman in the building wants to be around him and we're not sure why, Dawn."

She nodded, limping off.  "I'll check on him, see what's going on.  Tell.  Us."  They all nodded.  "And make sure everyone in the building hears today since I'm limping too much to do rounds."  They nodded again and let her go.  Once in the elevator.  "JARVIS?  That one?"  He scanned video files past her quickly until she paused one.  She watched him stare.  "He's a staring perv.  Great!  Any near the twins or the babies?"

"No, he avoids them," the AI said.  "From the way he acts I believe he may be scared of what happens if he starts to stare at someone that pretty or that underage."  She walked off the elevator into Fury's huffy back.  "I'll scan the rest for anything questionable."

"Thank you."  She looked at Fury then at Maria.  "We just found out someone in Shield Design tried to get pushy with Artemis.  They're all having a girl talk.  Especially since that same person tried to hit on Callia."  Maria shuddered.  "Yeah, he's in a mess.  Natasha's taking out the garbage for us."  She grinned as she sat down.  "Fury, it's going to be a bit.  Why don't you go get coffee or something?"

"I can do that.  I came by to see when we can get that system set up in our building."

"I can send them an email."  She did that.  She got one back fairly quickly.  "Andrew said that the new deck and screen system is currently being put together.  It should be three weeks, as long as nothing huge happened."  Her phone beeped.  She looked at it.  "Shit, he's stupid.  Same guy tried to hit on Patty.  She never told Jonathan."  She sent her back one.  She said she was fine but she didn't want to incite evil plans.  She sent back a response and made sure she knew she was to fill out a complaint form and hand it to her.  She'd handle any evil plans that got started.  She looked up once her phone was back in the holster.  She smiled at Fury.  "Three weeks."

"Why were they picking on the girls?" Maria asked.

"The head guy up there was a bully," Dawn said.  "He gathered and hired himself a pack. The one that tried Artemis and Callia was a junior member of the pack and wanted status."

"So he was going to do something disgusting to gain favor, which probably would've gotten him pulled apart by the pack anyway," Maria finished.  Dawn smiled and nodded.  "Let me know if you need my sidearm to kill him."

"Tony beat his ass.  I got the head guy after Tony knocked him down.  In front of their whole pack since they were watching the twins have self defense lessons."

Fury shuddered.  "Romanoff has them you said?"  Dawn grinned and nodded.  "She'll show some mercy and end them sometime today."  He walked off.  "I'm going to get coffee.  Tell Stark to text me when he has a few minutes.  He has information we need."

"On which one?" Dawn asked.  "The thing with Ten Rings?  The thing with the guy who tried industrial espionage?  The one that got caught trying to break into the safe?"  Fury stopped to look at her.  She smiled.  "Which information did you need, Director?"

"All of the above." 

She dug out a few files and printed them for him with a smile.  "Here you go."

"Thank you."  He looked them over.  "Where's the spy?"

"Um...."  She looked at something on her phone.  "He's still in Security's closet waiting on the FBI, who now hate us."  She smiled.  "He's not really going to get free since he's stripped naked to make sure he didn't have anything hidden on him.  We gave him a jumpsuit but he's not wearing it."

Fury nodded.  "Hill."

"On it, sir."  She went to gather the idiot and talk to him about what he was supposed to be getting.  The guy tried to rush her but her gun in his chest changed his mind.  She smiled.  "SHIELD wants to talk to you about what you wanted from this company."

He swallowed, shaking his head.  "I...."

"Don't try."

"They let agents get pregnant?" he asked, trying to go for casual.

"Yes, we need future ones."  He slumped down.  She looked behind her.  "Agent Barton, I can handle this."

"I know."  He handed her something.  "We picked this up for you two."

"Thank you."  She looked inside the unsealed envelope then smirked at him.  "It will come in very handy."

"We figured it would.  Let me check on Dawn then see if Agent Romanoff needs help."  He strolled off.  The guy tried to rush Maria again once he was out of the way so he shot him in the hip.  Just where the hip meets the leg joint.  He'd be limping for months in prison.  He looked at the crying man.  "Most spies are much better than that.  We don't cry like toddlers with scraped knees."

"I want to know who told my son he shouldn't," Maria told him.

"I'm pretty sure Callia picked that up from watching Dawn and Tony ignore injuries," he said dryly.  "Which annoys us to no end," he finished in a mutter.  She smiled.  He went back to the elevators, humming slightly.  Dawn was at her desk, with her leg propped up.  He smiled and kissed her.  "Thank you for taking care of it."  He squatted down to check it.  "I don't think it's more than strained."

"It is but it's fine."  She took another kiss.  "Thank you for babying me."

"You're very welcome."  He winked and got up.  "Let me help Natasha."

"Go calm down Jonathan?"

"I can do that first."  He went down to lab 7, walking in and pulling Patty off her ranting kick by picking her up and moving her to a corner.  "No yelling."  She stared at him, mouth slightly open.  "Dawn's not walking real well today thanks to her leg being strained some more last night."

Andrew opened a drawer, frowning.  "Jonho, did you move my taser?"

"Can it, 'Drew," he ordered, staring at him.  "It was special and her leg was propped up for most of it.  Not even Xander's that overprotective."  He grimaced but nodded.  He looked at Patty.  "You good?"

"I'm fine!  He doesn't believe that!"

"Patty, if someone had dared to lay a hand on Dawn while trying to proposition her, I would've expected her to break it or let me break it off for them."  She gaped.  He nodded.  "That's what guys do.  It's a biological imperative to beat the shit out of whoever touches what's ours.  You're his.  Of course he wants to beat them to death, even if he has to pull out the battle armor."

She sat down, pouting at her boyfriend.  "I can handle it."

"You shouldn't have to," he said firmly.  Clint nudged him, giving him a pointed look.  "If Tony and Dawn hadn't kicked their asses I would be."

"I know.  I'm very certain you can both do it if you want to."  Andrew smiled and nodded, getting swatted by MB for it.   "Just wait.  'Drew will start to growl possessively about your stomach soon, MB."

"Already got that," she admitted.  Andrew grinned at her.  She kissed him.  "Calm down.  No evil needed.  No battle armor."

"Natasha won't leave any of us any," Clint reminded him.  "Not even me and I'd like some of Cole for trying the twins and Callia."

"He tried what?" Jonathan demanded, glaring at him.  "How dare he touch the baby!"

Patty cleared her throat.  "Jonathan, dear, I know you see Callia as a future techno goddess and all that....."  He kissed her.  She moaned and pulled back to look at her.  "I know.  She's the peak to aspire to.  Some day she can date our kids.  Okay?"  He grinned and nodded.

"Is that going to happen soon?" Clint asked.  "Callia would love to have more playmates for Liz."

Patty blushed, ducking her head.  "It might be."

"What?" Jonathan asked, blinking at her.  "We made a baby?  Really?  We only had sex twice!"

"It only takes once," Clint said dryly.  "Calm down, Jonathan."

"I had to go let it out on Rodney," Andrew said, grinning at his best friend.  "You should too."  He nodded, hugging her and taking her with him to Atlantis to talk to Rodney.

Clint looked at him.  "Let us handle them."

"Fine.  If we must.  Though, it's a moot point.  Someone in virology was being picked on too and they might have something by now."  Clint winced, calling that to Natasha, who got them into quarantine.  They were in really bad shape but she wanted to make sure they didn't give anyone anything on the way to their graves.  Clint nodded his thanks and walked off.  Andrew looked at MB.  "I should still have Roomba shoot him for making Dawn sore again.  Then she could baby him."

"Dear, I'm pretty sure Dawn's babied him a few times.  He has that bad side effect of his job."  Andrew nodded that was true and kissed her.  She smiled.  "Mushy," she teased.  "Let's clean up the mess."  They cleaned up the mess from Patty throwing a fit at Jonathan about him trying to go alpha male on her.  She had even thrown Roomba 2 at him for it.


Rodney and John looked over from watching Ronon and Sean spar from a shady bench when Jonathan and Patty appeared.  "Good morning," John said with a grin.

Jonathan led Patty over and looked at Rodney.  "I forgot a prime rule."

"Which one?"  He sipped his coffee.

"Birth control," Patty said dryly.  "I thought I was on the pill but I think I may have been on my spacer ones."

John looked at Jonathan then at Rodney.  "At least you won't have to sedate him like you did Andrew."

"They're still being paid back for knocking me out," he assured him smugly.  He looked at Jonathan.  "Go ahead and get it out."  He nodded, starting to babble about possibilities and probabilities of birth defects and how they did dangerous things.

John cleared his throat.  "Patty, the only way to make him quit thinking those worrisome things is to kiss him stupid and pounce him to celebrate the baby."  She did that and Jonathan moaned, clutching her against his chest.  John grinned.  "Now, when and how are you two getting hitched?"

"My mother will kill us both if we don't tell her and let her attend," Patty admitted.

"We have that scientific award banquet in Las Vegas in two weeks," he said with a grin.  She was nominated for something.  She beamed and nodded, calling her mother while he held her.  "Andrew was that bad?"

"He was babbling so hard it made all the soldiers who saw worry about geeks having babies," John quipped.  "Congrats, kids."  They smiled.  "Rodney, go talk to them about pregnancy things."

"I wouldn't know anything about it.  Not like I've had one," he said dryly.

"If that should change, you're a dead geek," one of the soldiers called.  "Because you'd blow us up during a mood swing.  Probably with something atomic."

Rodney cackled.  "Yes, I might at that.  I am that capable but I'd never tinker with fissionables while I was pregnant.  Who knows what sort of mutation would occur."

Patty was already shaking her head before her boyfriend could look at her.  "We're not having any member of any X-team that's ever been noted," she said firmly.  "With our luck, it'd be one of the evil ones with mind control and MB would have to have Dawn help her take it out because it was warping you and Andrew back to the wrong side, dear."  She kissed him and smiled.  "Callia can help you pick out names you want to suggest since she's helping Pepper that way."

"I love that you understand me," he said, kissing her hard and fast.

"Guys, quit being mushy before you infect McKay and he finds the five ancient mpreg machines," John said dryly, getting hit by Rodney for it.  "You need to work on that.  You're turning back into a weak geek again."  He got hit harder this time.  "Sean, come get Rodney to spar with him.  He's losing strength."

"I'm not going to get pregnant if I do, right?"  Ronon gave him a funny look.  "Mom said that she only had to look at pictures of how cute she was when she was pregnant with me to get pregnant with the twins," he complained.  "I asked why she had them one day when the twins were annoying me to death."

"Some things are universal.  I felt that way about my sister a few times as well."  He patted him on the back.  "Around here, you getting pregnant would take a machine and a mean scientist or a god."

"You know, they still want to make Rodney my mate, which would mean he'd ascend," John quipped with an evil grin for the kids.

Jonathan swallowed.  "Does that mean he'd have to share duties with Diama?" he said in awe.

John considered that.  "Well, she's only the Goddess of Engineers in the Greek, and therefore the Roman, pantheons.  So they could split off some of hers or he could take the position in one of the other ones.  Including my mom's people.  Unless they want Mari to take that spot."

"I'm going to kill you in a manner that makes everyone beg me for mercy if you give anyone ideas," Rodney assured him.  "Even if I was fucking you that wouldn't be an appropriate idea to think about around me or about me in case someone got ideas."

John grinned.  "My mate will have to be immortal at the very least.  Otherwise I'd end up lonely for a long time after they died.  And I do have that golden apple," he said dryly, smiling at Sean, who was giggling.

Jonathan shook his head quickly.  "I'd never put up with that either.  There's a comfort knowing that you don't have to watch everyone you've ever loved die unless the Fates are really mean to you."  He looked at his future wife, who smiled and kissed him.  "I had better go first."

"Phil said he would kill you if you ever took the battle suits out again and it wasn't an emergency," she offered.

"I might have to if it looks like you'll go first."  He hugged her.  "I couldn't take that."

"I know, dear.  We'd never leave you alone again."  He nodded, snuggling into her shoulder.  "My mom's not really happy for us but she'll be there."  He grinned shyly at her and she gave him a squeeze.  "You giving me that grin is why we're in this situation, dear.  Stop it unless you want to do that growling thing Clint talked about here on the deck."


"No," John and Rodney ordered.  The got sent back to Stark and their rooms.  They weren't going to get much done today.

John and Rodney shared a look and shook their heads.  "Ronon, please help him," John said, walking off to bang his head on a wall.

"Hey!" Rodney complained.  Sean bounded over to haul him up and out to where they were working out together.  "I'm doing just fine and it's very bright today."

"Shut up," Ronon said, giving him a shove.  "You do need sparring time.  You hit worse than Callia does."  Rodney glared so he smirked back.  "We have to correct that before someone decides you're easy prey."  Daima appeared with a giggle and hugged them then wandered off patting and babbling at the city.  Ronon stopped him.  "Radek can help her today."  He gave him a shove and got to work on his hitting inability.

Cupid appeared an hour later with a sigh.  "Where's the freaky little brat this time?" he asked, sounding tired.

"She's a perfectly lovely little girl," Rodney said firmly, glaring at him.  "Just like the rest of us, she's very smart and competent without worrying about trivial things like *fashion*," he said smartly.  "If love gods don't care for technology that much then perhaps they should quit accepting prayers form people looking at porn over the internet."

Cupid stared at him.  "You're an asshole."

Rodney smirked.  "Yes, I am, and correct as well."  He walked off.  "Beyond that, Diama's with Radek learning about ZPM's."

"Not her!  Fiona!"  He grimaced.  "Diama's freaky in other ways."

"Then again, you should quit accepting prayers from people who are using our technology to get laid," Rodney shot back, staring him down.  "Because I'm fairly certain most of the prayers to you these days are people who are only having their hands and chat room sex."  He walked off again.  "Fiona's in Botany.  They said they were teaching her the various flowers they found in Pegasus that liked to eat people."

Cupid frowned, looking confused.  "He still needs laid."

Ronon shrugged.  "We still have the pool Xander created but no one touches it because they're military."

"Militaries run on sex, dude," Cupid told him.

"Not the US one," he said.  "They like to deny that urge."

Cupid shook his head.  "No wonder they conquered things, they're *frustrated*."  He disappeared, finding Fiona petting a plant that hard sharp teeth and drool.  "Fiona, Pops wants you home."

She smiled at him and shook her head.  "He's a shithead."

"Language," he said, glaring at her.

She grinned and shrugged.  "Still true."  She went back to playing with her new friend.

"That's not really a rose," Cupid said.

"A rose by any other name," she quipped back.

"Fuck," Cupid muttered.  "I tell you what, go find Diama and we'll go hang out at the Botanical Gardens place in DC," he offered with a grin.

She smirked meanly.  "I was already there helping them plant and fertilize.  My high priestess works there.  She's very good with flowers."  She went back to her plant spoiling.

John walked in.  "Fiona, your dad called.  He said if we don't give you back right now you're not allowed to play with the war dogs for the next week and he'll have us invaded again."

"That mean shit!" Diama chirped from behind him.  "He needs a new friend."  Her cousin smiled and nodded.  "Do you have plants for that?"

"Not here.  That other Xander we met by accident does though."  They grinned and disappeared to talk to him.

Cupid groaned, shaking his head.  "I'm going to get my wings blasted again for losing them."  He went after the kids.  By the time he found them, they were back in this dimension and Ares was suspiciously yelling about plants.  Cupid decided he was going to go hide at his temple in Las Vegas and surf the internet for porn.  He was a god of lust, not of babysitting baby goddesses.  He got sent a curious thought by his mother about Ares being petted by a tentacle plant that was trying to eat him.  "At least it's not the tentacle dildo plants," he muttered.  Or worse because he was sure Xander could come up with worse things.


Dawn looked up from the meeting she was in.  "Lord Ares, can you please quit sharing?  I don't think this meeting needs to know about your time with Morticia," she said dryly.  "Though I'm sure she's very good to you like she is to her Xander."  The feed cut off.  She smiled at the staring people.  "Morticia belongs to another Alexander in another dimension.  She's one of his favorite pet plants."  She smiled.  "Gomez is his other."

Pepper shook her head.  "That doesn't surprise me any.  If our Xander liked plants I'm sure he'd have Addams family plants too."

"I'm not sure I want to know why they're named that," Tony told her.  Dawn pulled up pictures from her home computer to show him.  "Hmm.  I'm assuming the tentacle plant is a man-eater?"

"Yup," Dawn said happily.  "And Gomez's type can get big enough to eat an Atlantian  Jumper.  His is still pretty young, he just likes fingers and wood.  Sometimes chicken meatballs."

Tony looked at her.  He slid the tablet back down to her.  "I was right, I didn't want to know and you clearly missed lunch since you're going weird from hunger, Dawn."

She grinned.  "They found ones like Gomez in Pegasus, boss.  They had to pull a team from it, twice.  In one day."

"I'd probably try to avoid the plant that tried to eat me," Pepper said, shaking her head quickly.

"I think they forgot or something.  John said that they backed into it and got gulped again, without any chewing thankfully."

Tony slid down his special coffee.  "Here, have some sugar to cure the weirdness from hunger, Dawn, and take lunch after this."  He looked at the supplier, who was shaking his head quickly.  "Some of the things brought back by Atlantis are very ...unusual."

"Like mpreg machines," Dawn quipped, sipping the coffee.  She was thirsty.

"Including those," Pepper agreed.

"What's an mpreg?" that supplier's assistant asked.

Dawn pulled up the machine's information and let her see it while grinning.  "The IOA people who used to be above the Stargate program stole one.  It's somewhere."

She read it and nudged her boss to let him see that.  "I saw that with one of our foreign suppliers.  It was in the lobby being crated up," he said.

"Who?" Tony asked.  "SHIELD wanted it destroyed before it got used on their agents."

He nodded.  "A lot of people would like that."  He sent that contact an email.  "Maybe they'll hand it over."  Dawn got her tablet back.  Thankfully his assistant was in her fifties and past her fashionable, flirty, bouncy, and weird idea years.  At least it kept Stark from coming up with weird ideas like some of his younger engineers did.


John got a phone call that night.  "Sheppard," he answered, leaning back in his desk chair.  "Yes, General, I do know a bit about them."  He huffed.  "If I must."  He hung up and made sure he was presentable then went to the main base.  There were reporters up there.  O'Neill pointed with a glare.  "It wasn't my fault!"

"So?  You brought the damn machines back, Sheppard.  Next time, recycle them!"  He stomped off.

John walked out to the gates, where press people were causing problems.  "People," he ordered.  Nothing.  He whistled sharply and stood up on the bumper of one of the security teams' jeeps.  "You're bothering the general and giving him a headache.  Only McKay and Carter are allowed to do that."

"Colonel, do you know anything about the so-called mpreg machines?"

"Yes, I do.  They were found on Atlantis.  The Ancients made them because they decided having sex was wasting their time and energy while they were trying for ascension.  There were five able to be fixed; one got stolen by an IOA plant.  That one has been missing but people, including SHIELD, are looking for it."

"So they had men carrying the children?" one of them interrupted from behind his camera.  "Was that wholly instead of women?"

"No, it was mostly a duty of everyone to have at least one child to carry on the best lines while they worked toward ascension.  Some of them were women who used the machines, some were guys.  A lot of the time it depended on which spouse had more status and a harder work life."

"Is this considered a presently viable option?"

John shrugged.  "There's been some jokes about some of the science teams using it but a lot of the ones mentioned are a lot like the Ancients.  They've forgotten why you do it in person instead of laying down on a bed while the machine harvests samples from your partner.  Those ones we like to remind that there's more to life than their work.  Only one of them has joked about using it on himself.  Mostly because he feels he'd ignore a spouse to the point of being left."

"There's been someone who handed a machine to SHIELD earlier," one of them noted.  "Was that it?"

"I haven't talked to anyone at SHIELD in days, people.  How would I know?"  They made note of that.  "Anything else?  I have to go apologize to the general for you people giving him a headache."

"Why?" one of the women asked.  "It's our fault."

"Because he can't yell at you for it," he said dryly.  "He can yell at me for having them on the city when we came back."  He hopped down.  "Have a nice night somewhere else, people."  They walked off calling and texting in reports.  He looked at the guards, who were smiling and shaking their heads.  "Ditto," he muttered, going back to the general's office.  "Disbursed as ordered, sir," he said with a salute and a grin.

"Jackass," he complained.

"Maybe someone will want to test them, sir."  He disappeared before General O'Neill could glare at him for that suggestion.

Jack looked up.  "You need unscrewed worse than McKay does!" he shouted.  "Stop it before I marry you off to a political ally!"

John reappeared with a huge smile.  "If you do, they'd have to become at least immortal, gain the approval of my mother, Krishna or his wife, and Hera, and they'd have to be able to live with me full time, sir.  Do we know someone?  If I start dating, my mother might quit asking me to knock up Rodney or Ronon for grandchildren."

Jack O'Neill had seen many horrifying things doing battle for the Stargate and earth.  The mental pictures he had were *way* worse.  "Eww!"  He rubbed his eyes.  "Damn it!"

"Sorry, sir, but being me comes with stipulations.  Like formal family dinners that happen irregularly anytime someone wants to brag.  We have one tomorrow, again."  He disappeared.

Jack leaned down and banged his head on the desk a few times.  "Damn it," he muttered.  "Not even getting drunk will take that out of my head."

Xander appeared, handing him a magazine.  "That's what I use when I need to shut my brain down and let it reboot on the level of 'ewww'."  He disappeared.

Jack unfolded the folder, taking out the magazine.  The cover was showing something that was making his brain hurt in other ways for a change.  The inside pictures made his brain restart and start shouting 'ewww, gross' over and over until he took something for the headache.  "Sure, demon porn is good for something after all," he decided, taking some tylenol.  He carefully carried it to the infirmary, handing it to Doctor Lam.  "Your ex gave me his sure-fire method of brain shutting down to cure my headache, Doc."  He found the bottle of sleeping pills and shook out three, popping them in his mouth to swallow as he walked off.  "Don't disturb me, even if I die."

She looked and grimaced.  "That's gross."  She flipped through it.  The picture of the kraken with various 'virgins' on his tentacles and a dick coming out of his mouth was more than enough for her to put it down.  "Phil?" she called.  He showed up, smiling at her.  They had become great friends; not something everyone could say about their ex's new spouses.  She handed it back.  "Xander kindly handed that to General O'Neill to help his mind reboot."

He looked.  "I've seen him do that before.  Thank you, Carolyn.  Have a good rest?"

"Yes, I think I deserve one.  I saw the kraken one."

He nodded.  "I've seen worse but yes, it's pretty gross."  He patted her on the arm.  "Have a good nap."  He took that to Natasha, handing it to her.  "That's Xander's method of mental rebooting.  Hide it from him?"  He left, going to cure Xander's mental defects.

She looked at it, grimacing.  "That's gross."  She put it down with a post-it to dispose of it in the morning in a shredder.  Dawn had one at her desk.


Fury looked up that morning when Clint walked in with the magazine in a plastic bag.  "What's that?"

"Confiscated from Xander via Stargate, sir.  He was helping the general make his mind shut up."  He handed it over.  "Dawn giggled when my mind stopped for a good ten minutes."  He walked off.  "Hey, Hill, Fury's got some confiscated crap from Xander's stash of mind-warping problems."

She went in there to look.  Nick Fury, one of the toughest men she knew, was staring at it, not blinking, not moving, maybe not even breathing.  She moved to look over his shoulder.  "That is more disgusting than the child sex ring we had to bust," she said, taking it and bundling it back up.  "Let me give this to Dawn so she can give it to Xander, sir."

Fury blinked at her.  "It had fifty tits and about as many dicks, and it was mid-birth or that's how they had sex," he complained.  "Who does that?"

"Demons apparently."  She walked off.  Joyce spotted it and giggled.  "Watch over him please, Joyce.  He's in a mentally fragile spot."  She got driven over to Stark, handing the magazine to Dawn.  "That is not to come back to us.  Please dispose of it properly, preferably by burning."

She looked then shrugged.  "There's worse in that series.  Spike used to take the subscription."

Maria held her mouth for a moment to make sure she wouldn't vomit then shook herself.  "I don't need to know, Dawn."   She left, going back to work to sign out, then go home to rest with Tara.  Tara would help make sure she didn't see that awfulness again.

Dawn put it on the edge of the desk.  Tony walked past with Andrew talking about an idea.  They looked at it as they walked past it.  "That's Xander's."

He looked at the cover.  "What is it?"

"It's like _Hustler_ for demons," Andrew said.  "My brother liked it."  He took it to flip through, nodding.  "It's a classic issue.  Oh, hey, the Kraken's Heaven picture."

"What?" Tony asked, looking confused.  He looked at the picture and he might not have blushed for over twenty years but he was sure he was now.  And still confused.

Dawn looked at him.  "What did you think kraken in mythology did with the virgins, boss?  They don't eat flesh, they're filter feeders on krill."

Tony's head dropped and he walked off.  "I'm going to have my stroke in the lab.  That way JARVIS can help me fix the blocked blood vessels that thought caused."  He made it all the way to his doorway when Bruce found him.  He let himself finally bang his head against the wall since Bruce would protect him.

"What happened?" Bruce asked, smiling slightly.

"Demon porn."  He banged it a few more times.

"Sir, please quit causing a concussion," JARVIS said impatiently.  "You're always miserable when you have one."

"I.  Can't.  Stop.  Seeing.  It," Tony moaned, banging his head a few more times.

Bruce patted him on the back and walked him off.  "C'mon, you can nap with Pepper, Tony.  She'll make it all better.  Steve's in there so he can protect you too."  He presented Tony to them.  "Somehow he saw demon porn."

"That's really disturbing as a thought," Steve said, pulling Tony down to tuck him in with Pepper.  He heard the tiny whimper and 'make it stop' from Tony, settling in to calm him down.

"Make sure he doesn't have a concussion," Bruce warned then left them to handle it.  He went to see it for himself.  He had seen some really bad things in some of the backwoods of the world.  It couldn't be worse than that, right?  He found Andrew reading it while Dawn typed.  He looked over the younger geek's arm and blinked.  "What is that?"

Andrew pointed.  "That's the dick.  People who do the gay fisting video wouldn't be able to take that."

"They wouldn't touch them anyway," Dawn quipped with a grin.  "Their kind don't have bodily orifices so they drill one for mating."  Bruce gave her an odd look.  "There's two locally.  They'd never touch a human, they're disgusted that we have pre-made holes that leak body essence.  They mate by seduction instead of dominance battles.  Whoever's the best seducer wins the right to drill the other.  The local demon bookies have a betting board going.  They've been trying on each other now for almost a decade," she said with a grin.  "One's a clear favorite but I think the other one will win."

"So they 'drill'," Bruce said.

"Yeah," Andrew said.  "Then the spawn eats them from the inside out until it breaks its way through the outer edge.  They usually have two births, sometimes three if they're lucky, but they always hope to be the driller instead of the drillee."  He smiled.  "They're really nice guys.  Very honest."

"Are they blind?"

"No, they have eyes.  They close them during drilling to avoid getting blow back in them," Dawn said.  "They're kind of corrosive and only immune to their own corrosiveness, not that of the others in their species."

"How do they eliminate?"

"They force out little blobs from their edges like amoeba," Andrew said.

"Are they native?" Bruce asked.  For some reason he was starting to see why Tony had banged his head into a wall that hard.

"Maybe, not sure," Dawn admitted.  "I'm figuring they bred for size for a bit though.  I'd have to ask Spike.  He used to take a subscription and he taught me about them and the others in there."

Bruce swallowed.  "Maybe you should make more normal friends, Dawn.  Ones who aren't vampires and who don't read demon porn."

Andrew looked at him.  "Some of it's so much better than human porn.  Even if you do have to watch out for vampires and magical coercion plotlines."

"Spike just got one that's a vampire clan versus a horny kraken that moved in near their clan's cave," Dawn quipped, grinning at him.  "He was bragging it was shot live.  The vampires did it to make blood money."

Bruce rubbed his forehead.  "Maybe you should stick to friends here in New York, Dawn.  They're mostly normal."  He walked off, taking the magazine to set on fire.  Before Joyce or one of the kids saw it.

Andrew grinned at Dawn.  "Gay or not?"

"Both.  One of the fairly newer clans out by LA.  Faith heard how it got made when Spike bragged he got one of the first copies."

"Cool.  I should look that up for Johno.  He wanted something weird to take the thoughts of baby stuff out of his head."  He walked off looking it up on his netflix account.  Not there but on the demon version it was.  He handed Jonho his Starkphone and got back to work updating Roomba 3.

Johno sat down to watch it.  "Eww, a kraken?  I didn't think vampires were that kinky."

"Spike said they were getting blood money."

"Yay."  He kept watching, shaking his head a few times.  He sent himself to Rodney when it was done.  "Here," he said, restarting it.  "Because I know you guys have a kraken just up the coast.  That's Andrew's phone so send it back."  He went back to the lab.  Now he had a lot of bad ideas and a few that he could design out and make so he could ignore the bad thoughts trying to gang up on the robots in his brain.

Rodney watched.  "What the hell!" he yelled a few minutes into it.  John came jogging in.  "What is this?"

John took the phone to look at it.  "What krakens do.  Not like they ate the virgins, Rodney.  They eat like filter-feeding whales do."  He walked off.  "Not an emergency, people.  McKay just found out kraken like the one we keep seeing hunting doesn't eat the virgins that are sacrificed to it."  Most of the science team shuddered but a few of the zoologists and botanists came in to look over that video.  They had no idea kraken had sexual urges.  It was a demonic kelp being from what they could tell.  Regular kelp didn't have sex so why did the demonic one?  One decided to ask Colonel Sheppard.  He was ancient in many ways and might have run into a few of them in the past.

What she heard....  Well, she used to believe in fairies and elves.  Now.... they were probably doing the nasty too and she didn't want to know about that.


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