Old Ones in Danger

Joyce looked up as her lunch appointment showed up.  "What's wrong, Bradley?"

The temporary head of SHIELD while Maria was on maternity leave sat down.  "I need you back."

"With what happened...."

"The only way to make sure it doesn't is to fix it from the inside, Joyce.  The rest of us would never want to harm your daughter or her future children.  I have no idea what his plan was but it's stopped.  If people aren't there to stop any further plans, who knows what'll happen."  She slumped but nodded.  "Beyond that, everything's a wreck.  I can't find anything.  I have no idea on the paperwork.  I can't even figure out how work his coffee maker."

"Put in water, grounds, and then flip it on."

"I have an espresso machine.  I have to fill, tamp, load, pour, all that."

She smiled.  "It's the simple kind.  All you have to do is flip it on once things are in the proper place."

"Yeah, but I have no idea how to do that.  How much coffee do you use?"

"One scoop per cup."

"Oh.  Okay.  That's weird."  She shook her head but she was smiling.  "Please?"

"With his plans, I would've destroyed him.  I can't be part of a group that would try to hurt my family that way."

"I get that, I really do.  But we're working on fixing it from the inside and I need someone who can help me.  Maria will too.  I talked to her first.  She's going to talk to you in a few days.  Just think about it?"  She nodded she would.  "Thank you.  Any idea where I find form A-3558?"

"Is that the food service one or the one for someone crashed an agency car?"

"Car," he huffed.  "I didn't even know we had one of those."

"Phil did.  He showed me those."  She smiled.  "If you can't find a good copy, take the master from my right-hand desk drawer and make copies.  They go in the second filing cabinet, second drawer down.  They're in numerical order."

"I can find that.  Thank you for thinking about it.  We're about to fall apart or shake back to the eighties."  He patted her hand and got up to go tell Maria he hadn't quite failed.  Plus to make copies of that form since he had to fill it out.

Joyce finished her lunch, then went home to talk to Bruce.  She wasn't going to make a huge decision like this without his help.  It might impact his research work.


Dawn walked into the staff meeting, smiling at the people.  "I'm chairing it for Pepper today, people."

"Is she back on bedrest?" the head of accounting asked.

"No, she and little Christopher are doing just fine.  She delivered three days ago while we were in Malibu.  She just got back about an hour ago.  They can't fly when they're that young so Tony had to hire her an RV and have it bring her."  They all smiled.  She put up a picture.  "Callia is of course stoked she'll get to teach him about animals.  Liz is staring oddly at her baby brother but she likes to cuddle him and grin at her mother."  She took down the picture.  "I see we have three items on today's list.  Are there any that need to be added?"  A few got slid down.  "I can add those."  She did and they got down to business.

One of the lab heads raised a hand.  "Dawn, not to be rude, but I know you're an assistant.  Are you in charge?"

"No, she's Stark's and Pepper's personal assistant," the head of Chemistry said.  "She's the gateway back to them."  The head of physics nodded at that.  "Beyond that, Stark takes over if Pepper's not there."

"He's at the baby doctor with Callia and Liz," Dawn said.  "It's time for shots."  A few of the geeks shuddered.  "So I'm doing this, I'm recording the audio for Pepper.  If she has a comment she can tell us later."  That got a nod of understanding.  "Just think, I'll be doing this for Callia too."  They smiled and got back to the important things that ran the company.  Tony came in halfway through and settled into a chair, letting Dawn hand him the requested topics' explanation pages.  He balled one up and tossed it at a basket over his shoulder but the other two got handed back.  The people looked and that one pouted.  Dawn smiled.  "Consolidating would mean building another lab center."

"We'd have to build our own _Eureka_," Tony said with a grin.  "I like Oregon but not that much."  She laughed and nodded.  "We're not sure about a third building or not."  That got a nod of understanding and they got back to business.  Dawn texted him a note and he read it, considering it.  It was nearly summer.  Fall would be here soon.  He was ready, the house was being gutted at the moment so he could 'remodel'.  Fake furniture and all that would be moved in soon. 

He was so tired of this subterfuge.  He should be able to level with his people.  Dawn sent over another note and he nodded, sending it back.  Barton was finding all his bad apples.  Once that was done, he was going to share some truths and problems. The meeting closed down with a positive note.  The two new suggestions were good ones.  The other one was pathetic and his idea so probably not a good one.  Pepper's two were going to streamline some of the paperwork hassle they all had.  So yeah, he could handle this for now.  He looked at Dawn.  "How long does he need?"

"Don't know.  He didn't tell me."

"Okay."  He rubbed his forehead.

"Boss, you haven't slept in a few days.  Maybe you should?"

"Maybe," he agreed.  He went up to the penthouse.  Pepper was in bed with the kids.  He carefully moved Callia and laid down, letting her rest on his chest.  That way he didn't get woken up by a complaint of being smooshed.   Dawn could handle things for a few hours.


Dawn looked at her OB's partner.  She really didn't like this one.  Her choice had been the one that Maria and Tara had went to but he was full right now.  This one was annoying the hell out of her.  "No, I'm not submissive to my husband," she said dryly, staring at them.  "I hold a high stress position, and so does he.  It's curing the morning sickness because apparently my body's decided it's safer since I've been poisoned six times in the last four months."

The doctor laughed.  "Why?"

"Because there's idiots in the world who want my boss."  She shrugged.  "Shit like that happens around me.  I got really tired of the kidnaping attempts before I was eighteen but I still have them now and then too."  Clint knocked then walked in.  "Hi."

"Hi."  He smiled at the doctor, who was staring in awe.  "There's people who want my future kid.  That's why she's been poisoned.  Please quit pissing Dawn off before she blows up the building magically and we have to figure out how to make it quit floating."

"Eww, I'd never do that," Dawn complained.  "I'd get that overuse migraine again."  She grimaced at her doctor.  "Really, I wanted your partner.  He did really good with Tara, he did really good with Maria.  He's used to those of us who don't use your submissive ideology of faith.  Can I please be switched to someone I don't want to hate?"

Clint laughed.  "Calm down, Dawn."

"I am!  It's annoying.  I got lectured earlier by the nurse that I was wearing a pagan sign on my necklace."

He looked and grinned.  "I gave you that one."  She smiled and nodded, touching it.  "I like the Green Man myths when you described them to me.  It's the balance that's missing in most of nature."  He hopped up to sit beside her.  "Beyond that, we've had poisoned apple juice in the house, poisoned mail sent to her.  Someone a few months back sent ricin to her workplace because they were mad their daughter was pregnant.  She's constantly surrounded by high powered geeks who forget to do things like eat, so she reminds them, including the head geek at Stark.  So no, she's not submissive to me at all.  I help her calm back down.  Now and then we might even get a bit kinky but she's not submissive.  She can pretend now and then but it usually gets her what she wants, me."  Dawn was blushing.  He stared at him.  "Are there other problems or can you quit stressing Dawn out?"

"No one has things like that," the doctor huffed.  "She needs help.  Not this child."  He stomped off.

Dawn looked at him.  "I say I let Doc at the infirmary do it."

"Might help but she hates to deliver babies."  An officer came in.  "Hey."

"Hawkeye, sir.  Um...  I know you used to be Miss Summers but I'm not sure what you're using as a name now, ma'am."

"Barton-Romanoff or Summers.  I answer to both," she said dryly.  "What was his issue?"

"That you're a threat to yourself and others?"

"No, he thinks I'm submissive to my husband."

"Ma'am, we've arrested the last six people who have tried to take you," the officer said.  "I doubt that."  The doctor and nurse were choking up the hallway.

"Six?" Clint said, considering it.  "I know about four."

"One was called in by her wife, sir, and the other one we stopped on the way to work because she had him at gunpoint for trying to release a sleeping agent into the car with the children in it."

"Oh, him.  I knew about him."

"The first one was about three months ago."

"I didn't hear about those," he admitted, looking at Dawn, who shrugged.  He rolled his eyes.  "It happens," he told the officer, getting up.  "We're picking another doctor.  That guy's an idiot."  The officer smiled.  "We like his partner.  A lot of female SHIELD agents like him too.  I have no idea why he puts up with that guy seeing his patients."  They walked out together.  The officer helped by making sure no one got near them.  He got her into the car and to the towers.  They walked into the infirmary.  "Doc, I know you hate birthing babies but the OB that she had just told her she was being too subby and that she was mental for being poisoned and taken hostage."

Both doctors leaned out of the office.  Shivs grimaced.  "He's the one Tara went to?"

"His partner.  He's full up," Dawn said dryly.  "Please get my records?"

"Already doing the form," Doc called.  She came out.  "I still am not an OB."

"You do most of the work anyway," Clint said dryly, cracking Shivs up.  "You know Dawn better than anyone but me and Nat."

"I still have no idea about problems."

"Doc, if I'm having problems it's probably because of the Key," Dawn said.  "Or because someone else tried to poison me."

"Good point."  Shivs was still laughing so she glared at him then at Dawn.  "I'll help you find one."

"Please."  She smiled.  "I need my prenatal vitamins refilled."

"Fine."  She took the bottle to do a refill.  She looked at it.  "Why are you taking such a high dose?"

"No idea," she said.

"I'll put you on the standard one."  She faxed it to the pharmacy they used and let Clint go get it for her.  She looked at Dawn, who shrugged.  "Were you kicked out?"

"He tried to have an officer arrest me for being a danger to myself and others."

"Wonderful," she said.

"Clint said it, not me."

"He is highly protective," Doc quipped with an evil smirk.  "How far?"

"Two and a half."

"Fine.  We'll find you a better one, Dawn."  Dawn grinned and went back up to her desk.  She put the incident on her livejournal.  She had ranted a few times about people who wanted the kid to not come into being. Someone kept trying to censor her livejournal but yay.  Pepper's was backing her up.  One of the reporters that checked her blog wrote a question. 

Dawn answered her honestly, there were people who didn't want them to have a kid.  Some were anti-Avengers, some were anti-Summers, and some were anti-Stark.  A few just wanted the kid for their own later uses so she had to fight off a few kidnaping attempts too.  She scanned in a police report, which was public information.  They could look it up themselves.  Someone had tried to remove them but it was still in the system somewhere.  "I wondered why he wasn't in jail," she said.

"Because someone's doing a great coverup job," Pepper said from behind her.  "Clint threatened to have you blow the building up?"



"Doc's helping me find one I like."

"Even better."  She patted her on the shoulder.  "Meeting minutes?"  Dawn handed over the pile of paperwork Pepper had been avoiding.  She looked through it with a huff but found what she'd been looking for.  "It's missing a page."  Dawn looked at her printer and loaded more paper, letting the rest print out.  She smiled and handed it over.  "Gee, thanks."

"Welcome, boss."  Dawn finished up and sent that message.  She got back to work on the emails that had come in.  She had a few materials requests she needed to do the forms for.  Though one looked a bit odd.  She called up that department's requisition forms.  Something was seriously off.  She saved those to her tablet and got up, going down to Stark's lab.

"No!" Tony called when she opened the door.  "I've got acids and things out that can kill you."

"Boss, I need you to look at these requisitions."

"Can't you?" he demanded.  "That's one of your many duties, Dawn."

"Then you want me to let Chemistry and Patty's lab order a minute amount of plutonium?"

He frowned.  "What?"  She waved her tablet.  He came over to look at them.  He was frowning by the second one.  "Why are they ordering bomb parts?" he muttered.  He kept going.  "That's just wrong and not for a bomb."  He stared at it.  "It looks familiar."

"Ask Bruce?" she suggested.  "Or McKay?"

"Let me ask Patty.  Who sent them?"


"Let me ask Patty while you take those to Bruce."  She nodded, taking it to his lab.  He was in the other building so she went over there.  He called Patty up to his office instead of the lab because she was pregnant too.  Pepper had started a run on maternal squishy feelings with Liz.  "Patty, Dawn just got an odd requisition."  He was looking through their update reports.  "I don't see why some of them are needed.  What are you guys working on?"

She sat down to tell him.  Nothing that should've mattered with what they were ordering.


Dawn walked into the meeting area, ducking a thrown dart.  "Stepdad, Stark referred these odd requests to you."  She let him see them.  "He thought it was bomb related and then it's not."

He went back to the start, frowning at what he was seeing.  "They're trying my experiment with a different type of radiation."  He got up.  "Where's Stark?"

"His office I think," Dawn said.  "They're all signed by Richards."

"Thank you, Dawn.  We don't need another Hulk incident."  He took it to Tony, pulling up his old notes once he got there.  "Different radiation source."

Tony stared then looked at him.  "No.  Not allowed."  Bruce relaxed and smiled.  "Patty, I need you out of the way," he ordered.  "Who is he working with?"

"I've done some research for him and a few others, Tony.  I didn't realize it was a huge problem."

"It's not," Bruce said, patting her on the shoulder.  "Unless he gets it to work."

"He said he was splitting a new atom.  Some new chemical mixture," she said.  Bruce shook his head.  "We're sure?"

"Absolutely certain," Bruce said.  "Go tell Jonathan and stay with them."  She nodded, going to do that, pulling MB with her.  He and Tony shared a look.  "JARVIS, how many?" Bruce asked.

"Six between the four labs," the AI said.  He put up their files.  Tony got into their notes they've handed in.  "They're reporting to someone outside the company due to grants I believe.  We have a few that do that."

"No," Tony said.  "They're not supposed to be taking outside grants."  JARVIS put up a few other files.  "What did Andrew get?"

"One from Colonel Rhodes' people, sir."

"I'll talk to the other ones."  He closed the other ones.  He had a problem.

"Can I send Dawn home?" Bruce asked quietly.

"No.  They're not stupid enough to be doing it here.  They can't be."  They went to look at that lab's work.  They had requested a joined lab for the 'atom splitting' and it was a bad thing.  They had one of his old arc reactors taped to a wall, with a human-shaped target behind it.  It was set up to fire on it.  Which would probably create an explosion.  "Hold it," Tony ordered.


Downstairs, Dawn and Clint both grabbed their heads.  She fought her way through it.  "Clint, the main energy containment lever is on seven," she said.  "Pepper, you and the kids are to go now."  She nodded.  "Do a quiet evac."  She called security to get that started while she went up to Shield Design.  "Morrison, I need one now.  Someone's doing something fucking stupid downstairs.  They're going to try to blow an old arc reactor they stole from Stark's storage area."

He nodded, digging into their stores.  "How serious?"

"It could blow the island," she said simply.  He tossed her something.  "Thanks.  Flat part on the bottom?"  He nodded.  "How do I start it?"

"Red button, Dawn.  Hit it and slap it, then run.  It'll create a wall."  She nodded, heading down there.  "People, if that arc reactor blows, we're doomed.  Let's go."  They all left, taking their notes with them.  They ran into security.  "We're Shield Design."  They nodded and made that note to the check-in person handling it.

Dawn walked into that lab and hit the button then slapped the shield generator between the two geeks and the machine.  It was still powering up and they were arguing.  She looked and tripped the main breaker.  Clint got the building one.  Very few things would run with that main switch tripped.  JARVIS, decontamination procedures.  Nothing else outside the elevators and the infirmary.  Then she noticed they had hooked the laser up to another older arc reactor model.

"Boss, out!" she ordered.  "The laser's going to go off!"  She hauled on Bruce's arm.  "You can't survive a second one!"  The laser discharged and she threw up a shield.  The flash of light was still intense, and so was the heat.  She passed out from the strain, coming to with the Hulk patting her hard.  "Ow, Stepdad.  Baby!"  He quit patting her, looking confused.  "Get Tony, Hulk.  Take Tony to Doc."  He grunted and moved, getting Tony, who had a few burns. 

Dawn got up slowly.  She was helped by the Hulk.  "Thanks."  He helped them both down there while she gave him simple orders of how to get there.  He realized that they shouldn't be hurt and something had happened.  "Doc?" she gasped.  "Damn it."  She leaned on the bed.  She got helped up by Shivs while Doc got Tony.  "Tell me we cleared everyone?"

"As far as we know," Doc soothed.  "He's got a few burns.  What were they doing?"

"Trying to blow up an arc reactor to split the power molecules or something."  She waved a hand and winced.  "Hulk, Dawn needs Joyce and Pepper.  Please?"

"Hulk call Joyce and Pepper."  He frowned at the wall with the phone.

"I've called them and alerted your spouses, Dawn," JARVIS said.

"Man in walls?" Hulk demanded, slapping one.  "Walls not talk to Hulk."

"Hulk, no," Steve ordered as he rushed in.  "No beating the man in the walls.  He's a good man.  He's helping Tony and Dawn."

"Dawn safe?" he asked.

"Dawn's very safe."  Dawn winced and she was nearly in tears.  "Soon.  Can you change back?"  Hulk glared.  "Just asking."  He heard Joyce.  "Joyce!"  She came in to get the Hulk.  He smiled at her and hugged her.  "There was a lab accident."

"Not an accident," Dawn said.  Steve stared at her.  She told them what they had found.  That they had a shield up, that she had thrown up an extra one as the laser discharged.

"That probably saved you both," Shivs said.  He pulled over the ultrasound, scanning her stomach.  "You're all good, Dawn."  She relaxed and nodded.  "Rest."

"I'm still unable to find out who gave them the external grants," JARVIS noted.

"What were they really trying to do?" Joyce asked.

"They told Patty they were splitting some chemical formula's atoms," JARVIS told her.  "They had one of the old model arc reactors as the laser's focus however."

"Run the film for me," Steve ordered.

"It's of poor quality.  They tried to shut it off and weren't wholly successful."  He did show it to them.

"That's not right by what little I know."

"Hulk protect Joyce?" he asked.

She smiled and patted him.  "I could use Little Man back, Hulk."  Hulk pouted.  "You protect me very well but we need science stuff that Little Man knows."  He hugged her.  "You protect Joyce very well, Hulk," she said, hugging him.  He smiled and cuddled her.  "Steve, how is Tony?"

"Few burns," Doc said.  "Knocked stupid.  Nothing outrageous and no radiation that we can tell."

Steve looked at Hulk then up, it was a bad habit he hadn't broken yet.  "JARVIS, check the people they were talking to against the ones that had given grants to Dr. Banner."

"Yes, I believe there is one in common," he said.  "Though I'm not sure why.  Let me trace that.  Sir's vital signs are climbing.  I believe he's trying to wake up."

"Not yet," Doc said, adding more sedative to his IV.  Phil appeared.  Xander appeared separately.  "Emergency's over with, guys," she quipped.

"I was in Jordan," Phil said.  "They wanted to talk about their hellmouth."

"I was at the temple in Colorado," Xander admitted.  He moved to Dawn, scanning her.  "We should be okay."

Phil scanned her then looked at his spouse.  "Are you sure?"

"'Sclep?" Xander called plaintively.  He appeared scowling.  "Are you really busy?"

"No, not really.  My maid sucks.  She threw out my socks."  He scanned Dawn, frowning.  "What were they doing?" he demanded.

"Something with a laser and Tony's old arc reactor," Steve said.  "Dawn threw up a shield and we had one set up."

He scanned Tony then Dawn again.  They all saw him mouth something that looked like 'the fuck' and shrugged it off.  He laid a hand on Dawn's chest and stomach then nodded and fixed it.  "Okay," he decided.  "Let me talk to Hera."  He disappeared and came back with an IV bag for Tony and a glass for Dawn.  "Xander, get this into her stomach."  He banished it into her stomach and she groaned, holding her chest.  "I know, but it'll be fine, Dawn."  He looked over at Doc.  "It's golden apple juice."  She smiled and hooked it up.  Apollo appeared looking confused.  He showed him what he had seen.

"How in the hell, dude?" he demanded of Xander.  Who pointed upstairs.  He looked then at him.  "There's a small portal up there."

"What?" Phil demanded.  He scanned.  "Is it safe for us to enter that room?"

"Nope," Apollo said dryly.

"Hulk smash?" he asked hopefully.

"Yes, Hulk can enter it," Apollo said after scanning him, ignoring the wifely scowl aimed his way.  "But you can't smash that.  It'll get worse."

"Ask McKay," Phil ordered Xander, who disappeared to grab him.  Even if he did complain a lot.  They came back and JARVIS put up a current scan of the lab.

"We have found ways of eliminating those when we created them by accident in the Stargate itself," Rodney admitted.  "I'll need a decontamination suit."  They got him one and let him go handle it.  It closed and Dawn went limp.  The Keys were no longer hyper protective.  Hulk started to change back.  Tony was still knocked out.  So about normal for a bad lab problem. Rodney stomped back in, letting the doctors scan him in a private room.  He came back without the suit on.  "What happened?  I saw the set up, I saw the shield that probably held just about long enough."  JARVIS showed him the film.

The beam hit the arc reactor in the center.  The arc reactor blew up, which decimated the shields and knocked Stark and Dawn down.  The resulting explosion created the spot of black hole.  Hulk smashed the people behind the laser and the laser itself.  Which fired a second time into the mirrors they had around the room, which ricocheted right above the heads of the people on the ground.  That caused the burns on Tony.  Dawn was fully glowing green in a protective rainbow over her and most of Tony.  It receded some as Dawn came to, finally going into her stomach to guard the baby when she woke up.

Joyce blinked.  "They would've all died if Bruce hadn't Hulked out and Dawn hadn't protected them," she said quietly.

Hulk grinned.  "Hulk smash like Little Man said."

"You did a great job," Joyce assured him, giving him a hug.  He grinned and held her.  He liked cuddling Joyce in both forms.

Steve looked at him.  "Hulk, can you change back?"

Phil shook his head.  "I can hear Bruce fuming in his head."

Xander looked and nodded.  "He's really not happy."

"Sure, I get that," Steve agreed.  "So am I."

"It was the same people who gave him money that gave them the research grants," Phil told him.  "The same ones that kept trying to capture him."

"If there hadn't been strong enough shields, it might have destroyed more than this charming, ostentatious building," Rodney said.  "Possibly about a ten mile radius.  Plus any damage the black hole would've caused."  He sat down.  "As a rule, it's always a bad idea to throw energy at a portal of any sort.  When Dawn and Tara are closing one during something, they focus on the outer edges to end the spell.  I checked after that one battle downtown.  Which is highly recommended as black holes suck in all meanings of the word."

"I didn't know you stooped to puns," Xander said with a smile for the big geek.

"Sometimes they're the only thing that is understood," Rodney said, scowling at him.

Xander smiled.  "Next year's the next chaos kid incident."

"Please, all that's holy and right in the universe, don't do more tentacles?"

"They weren't planned then," Xander quipped.  "But I'm not allowed to eat Mexican food around them anymore."

"I'm fairly certain that was at all, Xander," Phil said dryly.

"You know what?  Headache, me, going, bye," Apollo said and waved before disappearing.  Guys like McKay weren't natural.

Xander snickered with Rodney, who smirked back.  Diama appeared and stared at him.  "Good afternoon, Diama," Rodney greeted quietly.

"What did you blow up this time?" she demanded.

"It wasn't him, Diama, it was other geeks," Phil said.  "They were trying something stupid to blow up the city for the Army."

She scowled at him.  "Army like Ares'?" she asked.

"The US one but they don't have a God of War in charge," Xander said, showing her.

She scowled at the ceiling.  "Ares!"  He appeared with a yelp.  She pointed.  "You go fix your stupid people!  They tried to blow up my geeks and this city!"  She stomped a foot.  "Right now!  Before I have Hera spank!"

Ares leaned down to get closer to her face.  "You don't order me around," he said calmly and quietly.  "They are not my soldiers so I can't really order them around, and Hera would not spank me.  No matter what you think.  Now, are you done throwing a fit?"  She hit him with power, making him shrink to her size.  "Hey!  How did you learn that?"

She smirked evilly.  "Movie.  Dumbass people are yours, you're God of War.  Go be God of War and fix stupid!"  He clearly got it better now that he was her age.  She let him regrow and sent him off.

Loki looked up from his reading when Ares appeared.  "You got thrown this way for a reason?" he asked dryly.

"Diama said something about soldiers trying to blow up New York City."

Loki looked up.  "Son?  Is there something my spouse should know?"  Xander sent a mirror for them.  He read it and handed it to Ares, who read it and growled, going to fix that bout of stupidity.  The world did not need another Hulk.  Loki took the mirror into the room where his husband was holding a meeting.  "I believe you may need some new generals," he said quietly, handing it over.

"Excuse me, this seems important," he said.  He let the film on the mirror play and grimaced.  "Damage?"

"Minimal.  It appears they stopped it somehow."

"Go get someone to give me a real report," he ordered, handing back the mirror.  "Someone who was there if possible."  Loki nodded and disappeared.  He looked at the senators.  "Someone just tried to blow up Stark's buildings on purpose in a way that took McKay to end."  They all groaned.  "I'm going to see what's going on."  Xander appeared and handed him the report Phil had written.  "Were you there?"

"They're all unconscious.  Well, Bruce is Hulked out because it saved him."

The president read the report based on the film.  "The actual video?"  Xander pointed at the DVD attached to the back.  He put it into his laptop and ran it.  It got a nod.  "Why?"

"They were doing some external grant work from someone that had been over Dr. Banner's former work," Xander said.  "Plus a few others."

"What's their status?" the president asked.

"Diama showed up to help her geeks and ordered Ares to fix it.  After a short, quiet argument he is."  The president stared at him so he grinned.  "She brought him to her level so he could understand."


"Stark's got a few burns on his face and may limp from the way he fell for a few days.  It might've bruised his hip joint.  Dawn protected them both and she's fine, just knocked out from the overuse to protect them.  Bruce is so mad he can't unHulk because the human him is pissed off about that.  Joyce has him well in hand.  The infirmary has the other two.  McKay shut down the black hole they created."  He smiled.  "Diama showed up to demand what he had done now."

"Great," the president agreed.  "I want to know which generals."

"I'll tell Ares that," he said, looking up.  Ares appeared with uniform name tags.  One had blood on it.  Then Ares went back to his fun.  Xander smiled.  "He has it well in hand, sir."  He disappeared.

The president looked at the names then the senators.  "We need a few lower starred generals in the army."  They shuddered.  "Thankfully it was stopped before it blew up New York City."  He put them on the table.


Clint strolled into the infirmary with a takeout bag.  Dawn was slightly awake and trying not to be aware.  He had tried to hover earlier and gotten tossed out for it.  He grinned, holding up the bag.  "Dinner."

"Dinner's nice," the nurse agreed.  "You still can't hover."

"Yes he can," Dawn mumbled.  "Or else I bite.  He's saving people again."

Clint kissed her.  "I got shrimp and I got lo mein.  Which do you want?"

She blinked at him.  "Are you evil?"

"Yes."  He smiled.  "I am."  She tried to laugh but ended up holding her head.  He helped her sit up and climbed up behind her, letting her lean against his chest.  He ate a bite of each then let her have the food.  She moaned but did eat.  Her stomach was calm, it was her head that hurt.  She got finished with what she could stand to eat and put the cartons aside, turning to rest against his chest.  He stroked over her arm, letting her nap.  "Meds?" he asked.

"Given," Shivs called from the office. "The migraine medicine is not safe for her now.  We've also done a new scan, even though she kept turning off the power to the CT unit because the hum annoyed her sleep."  He leaned out.  "That's fine."

"Has his seen him?"

"Potts has by video.  She's got all the kids.  She's highly annoyed.  Thankfully the laser did the work for her before she had to pull out the really painful shoes to kick them with or the Hulk had to kill them."

"That's good then.  I was handling all the other idiots that showed up to supposedly help.  You would not believe the yahoos who think they have skills."  He ate a bite of dinner, letting Dawn rest for now.

The nurse walked into the office.  "Doctor, it's highly unusual for spouses to be on the beds with patients."

He smiled.  "This is an infirmary, not a hospital, for all that we handle everything but the hugest trauma cases.  We're allowed to be a bit more lax in our fraternization rules.  Those three have a protocol," he said, handing over that small book.  "It depends on which one's in the bed for what reason as to who's allowed on there with them.  Their other spouse hates to be touched most of the time and prefers to lick her wounds in private.  Dawn likes to be hovered over.  Clint, it depends on how injured he is.  The more serious, the more likely he is to want to hide.  We even have a room with an expanded bed in it for that trio."

"Doc, if Dawn's in here we're usually here to complain about whatever happened after handling it," he called.  "Or because we had another vision."

Shivs leaned out.  "Do I need to scan you?"

He smiled.  "No, I can take the migraine meds, Doc."  He ate another piece of shrimp.  Dawn snuffled and took it from him so he allowed it.  "Hungry again?"  She shook her head.  "Didn't like the smell of the shrimp?"  She mumbled something.  "Sure, we'll rest."  He shifted so she could curl up on top of him.  It helped her headache.  Tony moaned and woke up so Clint picked up the spare bottle of water to hit him with it - of course his aim was perfect so it pegged him on the arc reactor.  "If you're going to groan at me that way, Stark, we need a shitload of permission from a lot of people."

Tony blinked, glaring at him.  "I'd never touch your mangy ass, Barton."  He blinked a few times.  "Why do I ache?"  He sat up and looked around.  "The kids?"

"Pepper," Clint said patiently.

"Shit, the laser!" he said, trying to hop up.

"Bruce Hulk'd it," Clint said, which stopped him.  "Dawn protected you for the most part but you have a few light burns after they were treated.  Get back down there."  Tony went to the bathroom then came back to lay down again.  "Talk to your AI.  I'm sure your kid is."

"Probably."  He yawned and let JARVIS give him an update on things.  "Good.  We'll talk to the ones who have external grants tomorrow."  He yawned again and drifted back off.  He muttered a 'hey' when the doctor stuck him with a needle full of pain killer.

"Quit, Mr. Stark.  You need it."  He looked over.  "No way she can take it."

"Didn't figure she could.  Do we have a reference on what herbal stuff she can take?"

"No but Tara should."  He went back to the office to finish the introduction lessons that she should've gotten when she signed on here.  She was a good nurse, steady in emergencies, but they didn't exactly have the normal things here.

Clint stroked over Dawn's back since he could feel her trying to wake back up.  She finally got down to snoring so he could finish the dinner.  It was a better night now.


Clint walked over to the training center the next day, looking at his teammates.  Bruce still looked upset.  Stark looked pink and heavily sunburned.  Natasha looked icy cold.  Steve looked pissed off.  "Okay, people, is it solved?"

Tony nodded.  "The others with external grants were approved and I've sent around a reminder that all external grants have to be approved.  Yesterday proved why.  Dawn?"

"She's at her desk eating the breakfast I made her."  He smiled.  "She's started into that hungry stage Pepper had."

"Pepper got that in her third month, Barton, not her second."

"She's nearly there."

"Yeah," Tony agreed.  He looked at Bruce.

"No, it's his.  We did a test, it's Clint's kid."

"Why wouldn't it be?" he demanded coolly.

"Because they managed to dose her with a bit of fertility meds before we realized it," Tony said.  "About a month before she apparently snuck over."

"Huh.  No, it's mine.  Or they're mine."  He smirked.

"Which is why we tested the meds," Bruce said.  He looked at the others.  "What else do we need to deal with?"

"I can't fly for the next few days," Tony said.  "I'm still limping and Dr. Shivs said it was lucky I didn't break off the ball joint of my hip."  He shifted and put his feet back up.  "So for now, I'm grounded, people."

"We shouldn't have too many problems," Clint said.  "If we do, we'll call Rhodey or Evan Lorne."  Tony nodded that was fine.  "Who's after him?"

"O'Neill's clone, Jon.  The others worked better in War Machine."

"Good to know."  He stretched.  "So anyway, how are things shaking down, Coulson?"

"So far it's fine.  Maria's put us as adjunct members so you two can still get paid and so can I."  He looked at the team.  "Stark, shouldn't you be in bed?"

"Probably but the kids would fuss.  I can't stand more fussing than Dawn does.  Callia even offered me Carrot to keep me company so I could read him my homework Pepper gave me."

"He's very helpful when you're filling out reports.  She's leant him to me a few times," Phil said.  Tony gave him a funny look.  He smirked slightly.  "Her aunt made sure she's very sharing and helpful."  He sat down.  "As of right now, we have three missions going to the backup teams.  They'll call if they need more specific help."  He looked at Clint and Natasha.  "There's a few surveillance ops when you feel you can leave Dawn for a bit."  They nodded.  "For now, go spar, people.  Stark, go back to bed.  Your father's nagging her about her pets."  Tony got up with a wince and limped off on his cane.  A mini alarm started then stopped a second later.  He smirked.  "Lasers do not work on ghosts."

"No but it's probably cathartic," Steve said.  He rubbed a hand over his hair.  "I'm not in the mood to spar."  He looked at Clint.  "Does Dawn need any help?"

"Not at the moment," Clint said.  "I'll need to get her lunch and dinner later."

"She still can't eat without you doing it first?" Natasha asked.

"With how many times she got poisoned, it's a sensible precaution," Phil told her.  She shuddered.  "The twins?"

"The kids are all coming home tonight," Clint said.  "Including Sean."  Phil smiled and nodded.  "Let me go clean up the mess they left last time."

"That's their chore," Natasha reminded him.

"Not the kids, the last idiots who tried to break in.  By the way, your alarms cut ours.  I didn't know they were trying until the system alerted me that you were there.  Have it fixed, Nat."  He walked off.  "Let me do domesticated things."

"As long as you don't start to moo," Bruce joked.  Clint grinned back at him.

"If she's his princess, he'd probably neigh," Phil joked.  Bruce cackled, nodding some.  "Let me go back to the reports on what happened."  He left those two to talk.  Natasha and Bruce got along well.  Hopefully he could mediate a bit.


Clint had found Natasha's nest, he had known for over a week.  The stalking she was doing was annoying but she was dealing with things in her own way and pushing her was never wise.  He knocked and handed over a heavy box.  "We pulled this from the Kremlin."  He walked off.  "Didn't think you'd want that in other's hands."

"Clint?"  He came back.  "This is my file?"

"Yeah.  Including that picture.  The frame got broken but not the picture."  He stared at her.  "That's all I could find."

She smiled.  "Thank you."

"Welcome, Nat."

"We should talk before Dawn and I argue.  Though that will have to wait until she's healthy again."

"She's fine, Nat.  Perfectly healthy."  She grimaced.  "Really.  There's nothing wrong with Dawn.  You two can talk, which I'd appreciate because I hate being caught between you two."

"I... not until she's delivered."

"That means I've got to be in three places at once," he said dryly.

"I will watch over her while you're gone."

"Gee, thanks," he said dryly.  "Maybe you two should at least talk enough so she can have mood swings on you too."

"I would not like that and would probably yell back.  I'm not really restful to be around."

Clint rolled his eyes.  "Fine, whatever."  He went back to the house.  They'd talk soon.  Nat would make sure of it.  Dawn was cooking.  "You sure you want to do that?" he teased.

"Yup, I'm okay.  The new medicine has stopped all the sick stuff."  She took a kiss and grinned.  "Is she okay?"

"She's fine.  A bit pouty.  She said she doesn't want to upset you, considers you fragile."

"Yeah," she snorted.  "Not likely."  He hugged her.  She kissed him again.  "Want this to go on top of chicken or steak?"

He looked at the gravy.  "Chicken.  It'll cover up the lumps."

She elbowed him.  "I'll strain out the lumps, Clint.  I usually do."  He grinned and got what she'd need to make the chicken fried steak.  He liked cooking with Dawn and she did a good job, even if she did make lumpy gravy.  The kids ran down from doing their homework to eat and then they all settled in the living room.  The girls hated tv, and they mostly agreed about half of everything being crap.  Who wanted to watch unreal reality?  Or drunk people.  Or parents who needed a clue.  Though Sean liked the beauty pageant kids for some reason.

Dawn looked over from her book then at Clint.  "Our kid will *never* do that, even if you need it for an op."

"No, because I'd probably cap a few parents," he admitted.  "Nat had one at an adult beauty pageant.  They were using them to pass intel.  One of the more minor European ones that doesn't lead to either bigger title."

"So she got to wear the bikini and heels?" Sean quipped.  They stared at him.  "One of the geeks watches it and makes me watch it with her."

"That's fine," Dawn agreed.  She pointed.  "Put in a video."  He grinned and did that.  The girls liked movies too.  She frowned at the one that got put in.  "When did we get that one?"

"I bought it," Clint said.  "We can do that."

She watched _Undercover Blues_ and giggled through most of it.  "Don't we know someone like Muerte already?"

"Yeah, that guy in Brazil that would not leave you alone."

"Was that the priest that Grandma mentioned or someone else?" Artemis quipped with a grin.

Dawn bopped her lightly on the head with a pillow, grinning back.  "The priest got mad that I wasn't a local girl but I was showing some of the local girls up in the 'how to look hot in a bikini' arena."  The girls laughed.

Sean looked at her.  "You don't need them, Auntie Dawn.  You look good in real clothes."

She hugged him.  "Thanks, Sean, but we'll see.  Next bikini season I'm going to be a whale."

Clint shrugged.  "Doesn't matter to most beaches outside the US, Dawn."  She smiled, rubbing his thigh with her foot.   The kids ran upstairs when the movie ended.  "Guys, you have an hour," he called.  "Are you that tired?"

"The magazines we got said that pregnant women need a lot of baby daddy attention," Diana said with a grin.  "So we're giving you privacy."  She closed her door.

She looked up.  "Did you take over your mom's subscription to Cosmo already?"


"Huh."  She looked at Clint.  Who grinned and pulled her closer to kiss her.  "Sure, I can use some baby daddy time."

He poked her on the side, making her giggle since he had hit the ticklish spot.  "I'm more than a baby daddy, Dawn."

"I know and that's very hot of you."  She kissed him.  "You being all protective and growly is extremely hot."  He smirked and they went to their room.  Clint wanted to tease her stomach some more and maybe see if she tasted different now.


Dawn sat down across from her mother at the little café on Saturday afternoon.  "This is why I didn't want to do this around the family."  She pushed over the vision.  "Dream one admittedly and I was hoping it was a bad one until I got it repeated a few times."

She read it over, grimacing.  "Oh, dear."

"I've tried to head it off.  I got it again last night."

Joyce nodded.  "Tony won't be pleased with that."  She folded it back up.  "So we need to do what?"

"Well, Tony's going to overreact probably.  What's going to be our yelling point?"

Joyce considered it.  "I'm going to be screaming probably."  Dawn nodded.  "Saw me doing that?"

"Yup.  Though I found out first.  I walked in on her throwing up and it looked familiar."

"Yes it does," Joyce said dryly.  She sipped her tea.  "I'm probably going to scream and yell but I'll be supportive of her choices.  Any idea why?"

"I'm not so sure it's not being prompted."


"Because I found one of those subliminal units earlier.  I handed it to Tony, who threw an awesome fit.  Callia stared in awe and then clapped at the end for his performance."

Joyce snickered.  "She is a little smartass sometimes."

"Yeah."  She sipped her own tea.  They had brought it to her so she could steep it, that's why she chose this place.  "One of us might need to give her a place to stay for at least a week."

"She's always welcome, you know that.  The same as she is at yours."  Dawn nodded.  "The twins?"

"Some boy asked Diana on a date, Mom."  Joyce smiled.  "He's about her age and met her on the science club tour they did the other day.  Clint's cleaning guns today."  Joyce beamed, that was a good reaction.  "So we'll talk to him later and help Artemis pout."

"Wonderful."  She finished her tea.  "Do you want to set something up?"

"An odd thing, and I checked with Giles.  Most slayers are not fertile."

Joyce blinked.  "Why?"

"Because it can interfere with their duties."  She sipped her tea.

"Then....  That one Spike killed.  Rupert said she had a son."

"Yup, who was in Sunnydale tracking down Spike.  Spike said he barely got away from him the other day and had him taken to Faith to talk to her."  She finished her tea.  "He said there's been two recorded slayer births.  One other one had a shithead for a watcher but she didn't survive."

"So...." Joyce said.  "Is Callia?"  She pointed.  "Is there a reason?"

"The other two that had kids, their kids are or were fairly strong fighters that joined their mother's duties later on.  Both had been raised by her watcher though."

"So it may be prompted?" Joyce asked.

"Or a few left open if there looks like a shortage."

"Huh."  She considered that.  "Could hers be prompted?"

"Someone's certainly trying and warning me ahead of time means there's clearly a problem coming."

"Okay," she decided.  "So we need to make some plans.  Do you see her being called?"

"No, I haven't.  At all."

"Even better."  She put down the tip.  "Show that to Tony, Pepper, and Steve.  I'll talk to Bruce?"

"Sure.  Clint saw mine last night.  If we had to, we could probably give her a bedroom."

"That's a good idea, dear."  She kissed her.  "I'll be ancient by then."

"Pull the other one, Mom," she said dryly.  "If you get ancient Bruce will too and he'll pout.  I can't imagine the Hulk on a walker."

She giggled.  "Me either."  They paid for their tea and went their separate ways.  Bruce smiled when she interrupted him in his basement office.  "Dear, Dawn's been having a vision."

"How bad?"

"Callia's going to screw up majorly when she's about fourteen."

"Ow," he said with a wince.  "Called?"

"No.  Not that way."

"Ooooh, Tony's going to throw a fit."

"Probably."  He hugged her and they stared at his current equation while he explained it to her.  She was great enough she pointed out a math error.


Dawn strolled into the penthouse.  "It is Saturday and we are not working," Tony said firmly.

"Great but I had a vision."  Tony glared.  "Not a current problem however."

"Then why tell me now?" he asked.

"Because you'll need four years to get unpissed."  She smiled.  "Had it a few times."  She handed it to him.  "Mom and I talked first."

He read it.  He blinked.  "Pepper?"  She and Steve came out.  He handed it over and shuddered.  "Fuck," he muttered.

"We've been encouraging her not to, boss.  You know that."

"I do.  You've taught her to be a lot more responsible than I ever have been or may ever be."  He sipped his beer.  Steve took it to look at, wincing some.  "Yeah, I needed the head's up warning."

Pepper grimaced.  "That's not good.  Most slayers don't have kids."

"Most slayers don't last long enough to have kids," Tony corrected, then sipped again.

"Most can't," Dawn corrected.  "I asked Rupert after the first one.  Buffy's only the third and she probably shouldn't have been able to."

The three looked at each other then at her.  "Reason?" Steve asked.

"No clue but possibly.  The others got raised by their watchers."

"Then again, we pulled a subliminal device off the speaker by the pool the other day," Tony said dryly.  "It'd be the next generation in the suit," he said quietly.  "If Chris doesn't want it."

"He may not like science," Pepper reminded him.  "He might like music or art.  You like music."

"Most geniuses do play instruments," Dawn said.  "Or so I've seen."

"They do," Pepper agreed.  "I looked that up once.  Tony can."  He smirked.  "She's taking lessons soon."

"Next month she's starting music lessons," Tony agreed.  "I want her to be a well rounded geek.  The one I want to teach her is trying to arrange his schedule now."

"The twins like music but they didn't want to learn how to play it when I asked," Dawn said.  She looked at them.  "So we have a head's up.  We have enough time to calm down if and/or when it does happen."

"Yeah, I might need it," Tony agreed.   "At that age...."

"Boys would," Pepper reminded him.  "You were flirting by that age."

He looked at her, grimacing some.  "Pepper, I was flirting at five.  That doesn't say much as a teenager.  I was *better* at it by then and I had pretty good game."

"I was a wall shadow that year," Steve said.  "Not even seen by most anyone."

Dawn shrugged.  "I was okay and had a few friends but boys were something to giggle over.  I was more concerned with Mom starting to get sick and all that."

"Good point," Pepper said, giving her a hug.  She grinned back.  "What did Joyce say?"

"We'd help her and all that.  One of us could give her couch or bedroom space if we needed to."

"That may help," Tony agreed.  "Because I'll probably scream for a few days even knowing this."  He set the vision on fire.  "We'll prompt against it but whatever."

Dawn patted him on the head.  "At least you do have some warning."

"Yeah, thanks."  He smirked.  She grinned back.  Then swatted him.  "Hey!  What was that for?"

"For not pouncing your spouses when you have no kids in the house."  They looked around.  "Andrew has them according to JARVIS when I walked in."

"Huh," Pepper said.  "They took the baby too?"

"MB wanted practice," JARVIS said.  "I'm watching over them.  Callia's teaching Liz chemical atoms with her building sets."

Dawn grinned.  "Good!"  She went home.

"I did not realize we were all alone," Tony said, smirking at them.

"Still sore," Pepper said.

"I can help you ease that, Pepper.  Can't we, Steve?"  He got up to stalk them around the penthouse until he captured them.  Callia had even brought her pets, even Carrot.  Yeah, they had some alone time!


Dawn got handed a photo spread the next Monday by Pepper.  "Great," she said dryly.  "I don't care if they don't like my pregnancy wardrobe."  Pepper laughed.  "Beyond that, I still look good."  She put it aside.  She'd answer those cretins but they'd never get the  point of her put-downs.

"The second movie's premiere is next week," Pepper called.

"We already have a meeting with the assistant so she can tell us any special precautions and check over the theater.  I know we've had to replace a few seats over there thanks to a preschool."  Pepper shuddered.  "I'll talk with the manager later, when I go to get some tea."  Pepper brought out another one.  "Do they expect me to wear heels and a ballgown to go grocery shopping?" she complained, answering those ones back.  They weren't quite as big of idiots.

Pepper was giggling.  "I went through the same thing, though I like your leggings.  They look comfortable."

"And they don't have that stretchy tummy panel," she quipped.

"I did hate those."  Pepper went back to her desk.  It was good seeing Dawn back in good spirits.  Even if she was in a mean mood.


Dawn looked up from getting her tea when someone grabbed her arm.  "Let go before I stab you," she warned quietly.

"You have to come with me, it's important," he said, staring at her.  "Right now."

She sipped her tea, walking off in another direction.  "Follow," she ordered.  He glared but she pointed.  "Now.  If you want to talk to me, I have a private room."  He followed her.  "That was really open."

"I was hoping we could get you outside so we could do this in the alley."

Dawn snorted.  "Please!  If you got me near the alley, security would kill you.  They're under orders from Clint to kill anyone who tries to snatch me."  She sipped her tea and hopped up on the conference table.  "So what's going on now?"

"There's a capture order on you.  To not use something that would compromise your...medical condition."

"I'm pregnant, not terminally ill.  Who this time?"

"No name attached."  Dawn looked up and Clint came in a few minutes later.  "How do you two do that?  Can we use that in the field?"

"Sure, if you find another person with magic and empathic skills, hand them the spell that started the link off, and then use it a few dozen times," Clint said with a grin.  "Who?"

"Not noted."  He handed over the notice.  "You told Stark Security to guard her?"

"I hate it when she has to kill people, Hunt," Clint said.

Dawn nodded.  "Me too."  She finished her tea and put the cup down behind her.  She looked around then up.  "Didn't we get all the snakes?"

"No, they couldn't find six, we thought they hit the sewer," Clint said.  Dawn shot it and the dead snake fell down between her feet.  "Nice shot."

"Thank you.  You did a good job teaching me."  She grinned.

"Aaron and Vessily are still saying I shouldn't have because you might shoot me during an argument," he quipped with a smirk of his own.

"I'd never shoot you.  I have plenty of time to baby your injuries already," Dawn said dryly.  "You'd hate it if you had more."

"I would, yeah."  He looked up at his former 'teammate' and grinned.  "Yeah, we're like this usually.  She drew me out of my own little isolated, sniper world and she's perky and nice usually."

"Except to stupid fashion reporters usually," Dawn said.  "New movie next week."


The other spy laughed.  "I saw that."

Dawn grinned.  "Us too."  She looked at him.  "I'm wearing something fabulous."

"You look good in most everything," Clint said.

"No, we had fashion reporters nagging me about the leggings and long t-shirt I wore grocery shopping.  I'm wearing something *fabulous*."  Clint shivered.  She grinned.  "Wear something nice, dear."

"Of course."  She hopped off the table and gathered the cup and the snake, walking off.  He shook his head.  "She enjoys people shrieking about her sometimes."  He looked at a source he had text messaged on the way over.  "SHIELD's not behind it.  Maybe ...  Why would HYDRA want my kid?"  He shook his head and smiled.  "Thank you, Ethan."

"Welcome.  Are they that rabid?"

"Yeah, I shooed off three of them who were going to come in here and kill you when I came in."


"Definitely with how many have wanted her."  He heard the quiet alert from JARVIS.  "What?" he demanded.

JARVIS cleared his virtual throat.  "I believe your spouse is having a problem, Agent Barton."

"Where?" he sighed.


Clint walked out and pulled a gun on the person who was trying to threaten the kids hiding behind Dawns' shield.  "No, I don't think so."

"The kids do not need to see his blood," Dawn said bluntly.  Then she slammed him against the ceiling of the rotunda.  "Kids today may like the sight of blood and gore in movies and video games but it's not good for them," she told the idiot, staring up at him.  "Why would I want them to be so warped?"

"One's my son!" he shouted.

"Yay!  You were holding a gun on a group of kids," Dawn shot back.  "Do you think I thought you were going to not hurt them?"  He groaned.  "Feel really lucky I don't have hormone swings yet, dude.  Really!"  She dropped him most of the way and then carefully put him on his feet with a perky smile.  "I believe the officers behind you wish to talk to you now."  He turned and the officers walked him off.  "Thank you, Officers."

"Welcome, ma'am.  We're just glad it wasn't someone trying to kidnap you again.  They tend to be a bit mean," one quipped back.

Clint put his gun up.  "How many have they answered?"

"Just a few."  She kissed him and smiled.  "They're very nice and always bring me here now.  I have a nice card in my wallet of who to call and where to take me.  And before you ask, I did not put your cellphone number on there.  I put Stark's."  She grinned.  "That way yours doesn't get out."

He smiled.  "Thanks, Dawn.  Get a cookie?"

"You're going to buy me a cookie?"  She smirked evilly.  "You're going to feed me sugar?"

"I'll bring some home for everyone after dinner."  She cackled and walked off.  Someone tried to stop her so she blinked at them.  "Don't even," Clint called.

"Autograph, sir!  Nothing dangerous, I promise!" the young teen said.  Dawn smiled and signed it, patting him on the cheek.  He beamed and ran off.  Dawn got back to work. 

Clint shook his head, looking at his former 'teammate'.  "Yes, there's been a lot of them."

"I can tell.  I'll see what we can find about that."

"Thanks."  He shook his hand and went to get some coffee.  They were already pouring him one as he walked in.  He sniffed it and looked at the manager, who sniffed it.

"That's your wife's low acid coffee, Agent Barton.  I thought you were getting it for her."

"I can try hers."  He sipped and looked at it.  "Not bitter.  Huh."  He walked off drinking his coffee.  Dawn's version wasn't too bad.  Not as good as the stuff Stark made for himself but decent.

The manager of the coffee shop smiled at her worker that had screwed up.  "Good catch."

"Dawn had clearly finished her tea."  She shrugged and got back to work.


Clint looked at Dawn's dress for the movie opening then at her.  "Your stomach's going to show."

"No it won't.  I had it tailored so it won't."  She kissed him.  "Anything new on the new ones who want to capture me?"

"Yeah, I get to blow them up."  He smiled, watching her put up laundry.  Including his.  "Didn't we buy a washer and dryer?"

"Yes but I still can't do laundry without someone complaining about how I do it so if you want to do laundry, you have fun with that.  I do it the easy way and let the professionals do it."  She took a  kiss and smiled.  "Teach the kids too please so they don't get complained at."

"Sure," he agreed, watching her fuss things into place.  "The drawers don't need rearranged yet."

"Yes they do.  I can't fit all your underwear in them."

He shook his head, coming over to get Dawn and make her lay down next to him on the bed.  "I'm so much more exciting than my underwear, Dawn."

She smiled.  "Yes, you are."  She snuggled in and teased his chest.  He kissed her.  "You sure?  I'm in the mood to pounce."

"You pounce all you want."  Dawn let out a wicked grin and Clint found himself on his back, his hands underneath the pillows, his clothes floating across the room to the laundry basket, and Dawn's following it.  He blinked.  "Needy, dear?" he joked.

"Yes.  Very."  She leaned down to kitty lick across his lips then kiss him properly.  "Very, very needy."  She took another kiss then moved backward to tease his chest.

Clint flipped them over and pinned Dawn underneath him, not even trying to tease this time.  Dawn in that sort of mood would throw both their backs out.  He didn't want Andrew to kill him.  He was having worse mood swings than MB was and they had locked all equipment that might get turned into a weapon in his lab.  Dawn was already moaning in pleasure as he slid into her.  She stretched out, letting him do whatever he wanted.  This is what he needed.


Phil smiled at the kids.  "Hey, guys."  He picked up Tara's daughter with Maria.  "Hi, Danielle.  Are you having a good night?"  She made sucky faces.  He put her against his shoulder, patting her gently on the back.  That seemed to satisfy her.  Maria came in and stared at him, sidearm in her hand.  "Didn't mean to wake you.  I had to change them."

"I slept through them needing changed?"

"Craig needed it horribly but he wasn't willing to fuss.  Danielle was fussing because she wanted to cuddle."  He grinned.  "It's all right.  I do remember how to do this with babies this little."

She leaned on the doorframe.  "When you said you wanted to be hands-on I didn't think you meant teleporting in to change diapers, Phil."

He smirked.  "I'm a man of many surprises."

"As long as they don't scare the kids and you give us warning too."  She went back to bed.  Tara woke up when she slid in.  "Phil changed them."

"He had diaper changing sense with the twins too.  He always knew before I did."

"It comes from handling the bigger shit in the field," Maria joked.  Tara snuggled into her.  "Three more weeks."

"I know."  She kissed her and grinned.  "How's your soreness?"

"I'm okay.  Not fully okay but good enough I guess.  I don't want to have to climb ladders today or something."

"Me either."  She took another kiss and teased Maria's stomach.  Her wife smirked at her.  "It does help the soreness.  One of the coven told me that after the twins and she was right when I cured myself."  She slid her hand lower, which Maria appreciated enough to uncross her legs for her.

Phil looked at the kids.  "Yeah, that's the mommies.  They enjoy it, even if it will wake Melissa up."  He sat down to read to the kids.

"Mommies, need nappies!" Melissa yelled.  "Hush!"

"Melissa, come help me," Phil called quietly.  She ran in and helped him with the babies.  John pouted but came in to help too.  "Did your sister wake you up?" he asked his son, who nodded, pouting at her.

Melissa looked at him.  "You hush too!  You cuddled long enough and needed to go to own bed anyway."

Phil rolled his eyes.  "Do you remember complaining because he didn't cuddle you for two weeks?"

"I give him time and then make him go play," she defended.

He kissed them both on the head.  "You do, dear.  Be nicer to your brother."  She huffed but hugged him.  John beamed at their father and cuddled her, falling asleep on her.  "Thank you, Melissa."  She carefully untangled herself and took Craig to cuddle on the rug with.  He was gumming her fingers, which delighted her.  Finally Tara and Maria were done being loud.  "Time for bed."

"But..."  She pointed at John.  Her brother would wake up again if they moved him, so she'd have to stay up too.  Or he'd have to sleep with the babies, which wasn't fair in the least if she couldn't.

"I'll put him in his bed," he promised.  She smiled and handed back the baby, running back to her bed.  That meant Daddy would tuck her in again.

He carefully put the two babies in their cribs, then floated John to his bed.  He heard the fussing start so he handed the kids to Tara and went to read Melissa another bedtime story.  He was adding on more than usual in case he had to miss some nights due to field work.

Maria and Tara fed the kids, switching off to do the other sides when they had to.  It was good for the kids and Tara always got cuddly after breastfeeding their kids.


Dawn smiled as the reporters decided to pounce the family.  She spotted one and looked at Clint, who groaned.  She strolled over.  "Sorry to interrupt but can you please take your 'I went to the assassin's academy in Italy' ass somewhere you're not plying your trade?" she asked.

The reporter blinked.  "How did you know that?"

Dawn pointed at her spouse.  "You do realize that not only can I do background checks but some people do keep up to date on things like the assassins academy's graduating classes?"  She huffed off.  Dawn smiled and waved at her back.  "Have a better night, dear!"  She looked at the actor.  "She only temps as an AP reporter.  She's killed six people in the last few months. It's the same people that let Shandy go again and again because she was a braindead moron."  She walked back to the twins.  "No, leave the twins alone," she told the reporter.

"Auntie, she was asking us to model again," Diana complained, scowling at the reporter.

"No, you may not," Callia said, walking over from her parents' side.  "Modeling is bad for people.  No one should look that skinny."

"That's very true," Clint agreed.  "No one should look like a heroin addict for their career.  We want you girls to be healthy."

"And super models are called super because they're not human, like Superman is.  Because no one else can not eat for *weeks* on end and look perky about it," Callia told the reporter.  The actors who heard all cracked up.

"Did your aunt teach you that?" the reporter asked, smiling down at her.

"No, I'm really smart so I figured it out myself.  That's why I'm a genius."  She smiled sweetly.  "Just like Daddy.  I'm his female clone."

"Many times," Tony said, picking her up to walk her off.  "Girls, you look wonderful."

"Did your aunt help you pick those out?" the reporter asked them.

"No, they did," Dawn quipped with a smile for them.  "Callia picked out hers too.  I adjusted the hemlines with my tailor because they're a lot taller than a lot of designers expect but they picked out their own outfits.  I'm very proud that they have their mom's fashion sense."

"Eww!  Don't touch my ass!" Artemis said and turned to punch someone.  "Pervert!"

Dawn looked at the guy on the ground.  "They're six days away from being thirteen.  Do you really want to lose that hand when I slowly cut it off?"  He shook his head and ran off.  "Thank you!"  She smiled and waved at his back.  "You okay?"

"I'm fine, Auntie."  She smoothed down her skirt.  "Slimy things shouldn't be around decent people."  She pouted slightly but her sister nudged her and she grinned, running over to pounce their brother.  "Sean!"

Clint grinned.  "The girls are great, good girls.  We never worry about them.  They do little chores around the house.  I'm even teaching them to do laundry the right way since Dawn doesn't."  Dawn shrugged.

"You're not the domestic goddess type?" the reporter asked her.

She snorted.  "I can be sometimes but Clint likes to cook and he's very good at it.  I cook sometimes but he likes his cooking and sometimes Nat cooks.  Nat's a cleaner, so she insists that she vacuums."  She grinned.  "I'm the most spoiled, adored wife ever."

"You are," John Sheppard agreed, walking behind them.  "And the prettiest too."  Dawn pinched him.

"So, we've all noted you've gained a good bit of weight.  Are you concerned about losing it afterward?" the reporter asked with a charming smile.

"I've only gained six pounds, dear.  We Summers gain weight in our cheeks first and lose it in our hips first.  My doctor would like me to gain a bit more actually since I spent over a month throwing up constantly."

The reporter blinked.  "You don't look like it's only been six pounds."

Dawn smirked.  "You're trying to provoke me, aren't you?"  The reporter backed down.  "No, it's only been six pounds.  Really.  I can still fit into my regular clothes but with the baby bump starting it's not as comfortable.  So I switched from jeans to leggings."

"Do you think you'll have a super model bump?"

"No, I think I'll have a healthy pregnancy instead of trying to force myself to not gain anything so no one remarks on it.  I want this child to be healthy, not smashed flat by girdles or spanx."

Clint grinned.  "Then again, since we found out someone once again somehow managed to slip her fertility medicine, it might be twins."  The reporter moaned.  He smirked.  "If so they won't be models either."  He walked her off.  "We don't have to do press things for this, right?" he asked her.

"No, not that I'm aware of."

Tony looked back.  "We haven't been asked to.  Steve's been asked how he liked the previews but otherwise no."  Clint smiled.   The twins and Sean caught up to them.

"Dawn, are you going to let them model?" a reporter called.

Dawn looked over.  "What have I said about people who keep tempting my nieces and nephew to take up a job that doesn't help them create a good self image, good self esteem, and a healthy body image?" she asked.

"Oops.  Sorry.  Mood swing, dear?"

"I'm only three months along so nope."  She smiled.  "Watch me pull a taser," she told someone.  "Get your hands off my nearly thirteen-year-old niece's ass." 

He backed up slowly, holding his hands up.  "I had no idea.  They look older.  You tarted them up well tonight."

"First, they picked their own outfits and I checked for modesty because they're almost thirteen and don't need to be flashing anyone.  Secondly, those skirts are legal by school rules in this city.  They're longer than some of mine.  They're not tarted up.  Do you see big hair, double-sided tape, too much makeup?  Anything like that?  No, you saw a hot young woman and decided to want to alpha dog them to get panty points.  Well, don't try it again."  He nodded and backed away slowly.  Sean was growling and protecting his sisters.

"Aunt, can I kill him?" Sean asked.

"Awww, you make me so proud," Dawn said, giving him a hug and sniffling some.  "I love how protective you are, Sean."

He grinned at her.  "That baby's going to never date either.  Especially if they're pretty."  He looked at the guy.  "They're not legal for another three years.  Your glasses need changed."  The man stomped off.  "Bye now," he said with a smile and a wave.

Clint and Tony were snickering.  "You so got your mom's temper," Tony joked.  "That was so Buffy."

"Mom would've hated the bikinis too."

"Sean, your mom went topless sunbathing whenever she could," Dawn said.  "There's no such thing as a Summers woman who is afraid of her body."  He pouted.  "Sorry, nephew, but we love you anyway and some day soon you can do the same thing."

"I'm already avoiding drool from when we workout shirtless.  Ronon has to keep running off a botanist."  He grimaced.  "Rodney said she's a weak minded simpleton who's letting her hormones run her life since she's working on sex plants."  He walked over to Tony and Pepper, smiling at her.  "Can I hide behind you?  You'll protect me from drooling botanists, right?"

"Of course I will, Sean."  She hugged him.  "You're our favorite big boy."  He laughed and gave her a hug.

"Kid, hands," Tony joked, pulling him off.  "We'll give you an anti-drool shield."  Clint smiled, walking the boy off to talk to him about bad girls and their drool. "I should help with that talk.  I'm almost an expert," he quipped.

"Thankfully you kicked that bad habit, Daddy.  That way I don't have to build something to eliminate bad girl drool or parts."  Callia beamed.  "Though, it's in testing because she keeps bothering MB.  Andrew helped me build it."  She skipped off to grin at one of the actresses.  "You're very pretty and you do very good work.  You don't even rely on being pretty to do good work.  You're a great role model."  She bounded off to the candy counter.

"No," Dawn called.  "No candy, Callia."

"Shoot."  She came back.  "Not any?"

"Popcorn only," Pepper said, leading the kid and her father, the big kid, that way.  Dawn got the others to their row.  Sean and the twins were sitting between Tony and Maria Hill.  Tara was on Maria's other side, holding her hand.  Dawn was on the other side of Pepper, with Clint on the outside edge seat.  Steve came in late and sat down in the saved spot next to Tony so Sean leaned on his shoulder, getting a hug back.  Pepper and Dawn shared a smile but it was good. 

Pepper was in reach to swat anyone that got too loud during the movie.  Dawn was able to handle things if she got sick again.  It was going to be a great movie.  Dawn snuck out to talk to someone who texted her silenced phone.  She came back a minute later and the assistant to the producer went to tell him why she had shooed off that reporter.  No, they didn't need assassin reporters this time either.


Dawn looked up as Pepper came in the next morning with the papers.  "That bad?" she asked, spotting the look on her face.

"No, but the girls were quoted.  Callia especially."  She let her see, smiling at her.  "They called it a refreshingly honest look at things and that if Hylal's genes made the girls that pretty and Sean that stunning, they needed more warriors down here to have future model babies with."

"With how Hylal used to have Buffy as a dick trophy half the time, they'd break models."

"They would," Pepper agreed with a grin.  "Thor felt the same way when he was asked.  Though he did say that the twins were adorable and Sean was turning into a fine young man.  They expected great things from all three siblings."

"So do I."

"Good."  Pepper went into her office.  "Anything on your livejournal?"

"I haven't put anything up in a few days."  She got online to brag about how good the kids had been last night and how much she loved the movie.  That she had to keep Sean from cheering at the fight scenes.  Beya walked past with Chris.  "Problems, Beya?"

"He's hungry."  Pepper took him to feed, smiling at him.  She left them alone.  "Sean's in the gym with the girls and John Sheppard."

"That's fine.  We trust John.  He can count, unlike the guy last night."

Beya laughed.  "They're pretty girls but too damn young."

"Yeah but two people tried to grope."

"Did you bruise them?"

"I let them run.  It would've been bad publicity."

"You'll get them next time."  She went to clean up Liz.  She was in a puddle of drool from the dog again.  And the Phil kitty liked to drool when he slept on her for some reason.

Dawn reloaded her livejournal page, spotting the complaints about her stereotyping models.  Dawn found a few pictures and simply wrote out 'my nieces will never look like this' and posted the links.  That stopped that complaining for the most part, though one did note that she did look like she had gained some extra weight.  Which got blasted by Pepper, who said that Dawn's doctor was actually worried that she hadn't gained enough weight yet and that focusing on her cheeks gaining weight was a bad thing.  No one needed that sort of stress and pressure on top of the already high stress of Dawn's job, Dawn's fussing time over the geeks at Stark, and the stress of her spouses' jobs.  So to leave her alone, no pregnant woman needed that sort of hell given to her.  Dawn thanked her for that and walked in to hug her.  Then went back to her desk.

Pepper smiled.  "They don't."

"No, we don't.  Though, I'm probably in trouble for having to save the twins last night."

"No, I talked to the director at the after party and he was happy you had saved the twins.  That producer was slimy anyway.  He agreed that they didn't need to model but thought they were older too."

"That's why I bought them the t-shirts," Dawn quipped.  Pepper laughed.  "They have a new set too."  She found them tucked into a drawer and held it up for her to see.  'Three years before I'm legal in New York, four in California, and five years for the rest of the US.  Hands off!'

"That's probably a great thing," Pepper agreed.  "We need to start getting them for Callia."  Dawn pulled out another t-shirt.  'Warning, sarcastic genius under pressure. May explode at stupidity'.  "Awww.  Yeah, that fits.  When is she getting that?"

"When she passes robotics 1."  She bundled them back into the bag with a smirk. "Tony has a matching one."

"We need to give one to McKay too."

She smiled and waved a hand.  "Handled."

"Wonderful.  They can all go have coffee and ice cream in them some day."  She paused.  "What machine did they create?"

"I think it's a machine to seal skin holes or wounds.  Not totally sure."

"Have Andrew tell me about this machine?"  She texted him and he came up to hug Dawn and hand her some peppermint.  "That's sweet, Andrew, thank you," Pepper said, taking hers with a smile.  "What machine did you help Callia make?"  He pulled up the design and the testing video.  It healed skin openings.  On the mouse they tested it on, it sealed up the anal and vaginal openings.  She blinked.  "Why?"

"Because some people need less oxygen to where they're keeping their brains."  He walked off.  "Going to show Tony.  It was her idea.  We just helped her with the science part."

Dawn smiled.  "That's mean, Andrew."

"Yay?  It might have medical uses."  He grinned.

"Yes, it might.  And it might be used by some guys in the Middle East to supposedly protect their daughters' chastity too."

"Could be," he agreed.  "But we're not sure if it's reversible or not."  He went to Tony's lab, finding Callia in there babbling happily.  "You were going to show him."

"We were."  She bounded around and pulled up the video.  "They helped with the higher science and healing stuff, Daddy."  Andrew made sure he saw the 'healed cuts on cadavers' skin' part first.  Tony looked at him so he put up that last video.  "It has medical uses," Callia said happily.  "And mean ones!  That way no more bimbos like Granpa used to date!"

"I can see that," Tony said.  "I'll set you up with our medical idea team, see if they can find a commercial use for it.  Until then it stays in the safe," Tony ordered.

"But the idiot bimbo keeps bothering MB," she complained.

"Yes, but she could sue you and him," Tony told her.  "So we can't tamper with her.  But if MB makes a complaint, we'll have her tossed out."

Andrew smiled and pulled them up to print them for him.  "She was having a bit of a mood swing last night, Tony."  He handed them over and winked at Callia.  "Come see us when you're done. Your aunt was showing off a new t-shirt for when you finish robotics."

"Cool!"  She ran off to see her aunt.  "I finished robotics yesterday," she said proudly.

Dawn dug out her t-shirt and her father's.  "The bigger one is for Tony.  You can wear them together."  She read it and cackled, running back off to show him.  Dawn grinned.  She loved it when the kids were happy.


Clint was cornered.  It was only a reporter but he was still cornered and he wasn't allowed to shoot or otherwise harm or kill them.  Which sucked because he was feeling a bit trapped.  He stared at them over the top of his sunglasses for a minute.  She was young, pretty, perky, and probably supposed to remind him of Dawn so he'd relax and talk to them.  "I don't do interviews," he said bluntly.

"I'm not one of the fluffy sort of reporters, Agent Barton."  He snorted.  "I'm an intern with _Time_.  You mentioned that Dawn had been hit with fertility drugs against her will.  That's been mentioned before.  Any idea who, why, how?  Is this an epidemic that, say, someone else dating an Avenger might have to watch out for in the future?"

He grimaced.  "It's happened more than once.  I still don't give interviews, even to non entertainment reporters."

She smiled.  "It might prevent Ms. Potts getting hit."

"Not really."

She blinked a few times.  "Really?"  He stared at her.  "I'd ask the PR person at SHIELD but they said you've been split off due to operational differences.  You had to be more high profile than SHIELD could be."

"Yes we have.  SHIELD has mostly covert agents.  I should know, I was one until you people made my picture start to show up places," he said, sounding a bit bitter.  "I kinda miss my job sometimes."

"Sorry, but you're news."

"Not really."

"You helped save a city from an alien invasion.  That's news.   The rest... Dawn does a really good job distracting reporters for you two."  She smiled.  "So does Stark.  Any idea who's done the dosing?"

"In one case it was a group in England, in another it was a crackhead that got fired from SHIELD.  There's been six or seven of them and a few more attempts we stopped.  That's why Dawn was on dual methods of birth control for a few years."

"So you slipped up?"

"No, we've been talking about kids for a while."

"Oh.  So it was planned?"

"Not exactly.  We went on the 'it'll happen sometime' principle and hey, it did."  He smirked.  "The ones that did dose her, we handled quietly."

"That's good to know.  Do you think there will be others?  Have there been attempts to get Dawn from you?  I know that her original doctor was complaining that she was a danger to herself and others for her persecution delusions when he responded to her complaining about him on her blog."

"He did try to have her arrested for that," Clint admitted.  "The officer had helped her get free a few times.  He also thought she was a bit submissive to me because she had been poisoned a few times so her morning sickness eased whenever I tasted the food first."

"Aww.  Reasonable, slightly psychological but totally reasonable considering how many reports we found of her having to save herself while you were on assignment or of someone else having to help her rescue herself."

Clint grimaced.  "She tries to hide those from us."

"So others want the child?"

"Yes.  Including a few people in SHIELD who thought that she should go into protective custody."

"Would that help her?"

"In a lab?  Not hardly."

"Oh, I see."  She grimaced.  "That's not good."

"No but there's people inside of SHIELD that want to recreate what Stark's father did to create Captain America.  They think Dawn's uniqueness and my skills will make it easier.  They're dead wrong but they thought that."  He smirked a tiny bit.

She swallowed.  "It's good that you're willing to defend her to the death.  Two last things.  Is your wife on assignment?  We tend not to mention you as much when we find out you're somewhere so you don't get as much attention for a while."

"Thanks for that.  I still get people asking for autographs but it's easier sometimes.  Stark can't go anywhere."

"So she is?"


"Okay.  Is Dawn having twins?"

"We think it's a possibility.  They did dose her just before she got pregnant."

"How did she get pregnant while you were on assignment?"

He smirked a bit evilly.  "I'm that good."  She shivered.  "Anything else?"

"No, Agent Barton, thank you.  Tell her we wish her a healthy, happy pregnancy, and every woman gets chubby cheeks so she should ignore the fashion cows."  She jogged off.

"She was better than some agents.  We should have her do interrogations with Coulson."  He went back to his errands of picking up stuff.  He walked into a pharmacy near the tower and shrugged.  "Dawn's making me pick up girl things in retaliation for making sausage that gave her heartburn this morning.  The twins need it."

She smiled.  "Pads or tampons, sir?"

"Ummm...."  He texted Dawn.  Pepper responded that she was in a meeting and said that the girls needed this brand, in this size, and they were this color box.  He grinned and held it up. 

She led him to them, letting him get six boxes and double bagging them for him.  He left after getting a candy bar.  "He's so adorable," she decided with a smile.  "And a good stepfather to the twins too."


Sean whined as he showed up at Stark, going to hug his kind-of uncle.  He whined, hugging him as hard as he could.

Tony patted him on the shoulder, smiling some.  "Girls or some other topic, Sean?"

"Full grown women, who won't leave me alone!"  He pulled back to look at him.  "I've asked John and he's scowled at her.  I've asked Rodney and Ronon both, and they've both growled at her.  She thinks it's *adorable* that they're protecting my virginity.  How do I discourage her?  I've even picked my nose in front of her and she just went 'awww, your aunt needs to do a bit of home training' about it, Uncle Tony.  Then she hugged me and patted me in a way that made me realize how my sister felt when that airport guy groped her."

"Well, first, you're asking the wrong sex  to defend you.  Guys will get the same mushy response.  Dawn, some bimbo keeps hitting on your nephew," he called.

"Excuse me, reporters; what, Tony?"

"Some bimbo keeps hitting on your nephew.  The same botanist?"

"Yes," he complained.  "She's even making me watch tv with her."

"That'll be stopped later, Sean.  We'll go talk to her together.  Let me finish this interview."  She cut the link and smiled at the reporters.  "Same as the twins, his chastity needs guarded too.  He's only fourteen."

"He's a handsome young man but clearly that botanist can't count," the reporter said.

Dawn smiled.  "I'm going to remind her of her primary school lessons.  She probably skipped that grade."  The reporter laughed.  When they were done, Dawn went to gather Sean and something from the Avengers sparring area.  Bruce was over there reading USA today and gave her a strange look.  "He has a bimbo problem."

"I can go scare them," he offered to his grandson.

"Auntie thinks she can."

"Yes, she probably can.  Joyce has scared a few bimbos off me."  He grinned.  Dawn smirked and grabbed her sword and a crossbow with a few bolts.  "You two have fun."

"Sure."  Sean got a hug from him then went back with her.  Sean pointed at the staring, drooling woman.  "Bitch, do you not know how to count to eighteen?  Did your numerical education stop at fourteen?"  The biologist went pale when Dawn pulled up the crossbow and shot at her, making her run.  "Please do!  I haven't hunted in *months*!"  She followed, stalking her.  She shot a few missed-on-purpose shots at her until she could pin her and use the sword.  "My nephew is fourteen," she said firmly, staring her in the eyes.  "You can either move the fuck on or you can wait four years but I had *better* not hear that you've been stalking him, encouraging him in playboy ways, or encouraging any other bad habits.  Am I understood, bitch?"

"Yes," she said, shrinking away from Dawn.  "I'm sorry it gave you a mood swing."

"I'm only three months along.  This isn't a mood swing.  This is a Summers woman protecting their family.  I said before I'd destroy humanity for touching these kids.  Did you think you weren't part of that?"

"No, I'm human," she begged.  "I won't flirt with him or anything else again.  Please!  Colonel!" she begged when she saw him appear.  "Help!"

"I thought that movie was _Diary of a Mad *Black* Woman_, Dawn," John quipped.

She shoved the botanist at him.  "Hitting on Sean so hard he had to seek help.  Apparently no one taught her how to subtract eighteen from another number to see how long she has to wait."

"No, she should be smarter.  We've tried."

Dawn smirked.  "Then it was time for a girl talk."  She growled and the botanist ran for her life.  "Thank you!" she shouted after her.  "Dumbass!  Why hasn't Rodney killed you yet for being stupid!"  She looked at John and grinned.  "Any others that wanted Sean or the twins?"

"A few of the Marines can count but still consider them holy masturbation aides," he quipped with a grin.  "But they'd never touch and never tell them until they're eighteen."

"That's fine.  As long as they keep it to themselves and don't creep Sean out too."  She smiled and patted him on the cheek.  "You tried."  She walked off, hugging her nephew.  "No more loose bimbos who can probably park a cadillac up their pussies.  So you don't have to worry about plant based STD's, dear.  Need cookies?  I'm making some tonight."

Sean grinned.  "You and Grandma both make really great cookies, Auntie.  Please?"

She smiled.  "I'll mail you some."  She winked and disappeared, going back to work.  "No more bimbos," she said happily.  Her sword went next to her desk.

John walked out, looking at Sean, handing him the crossbow bolts he had gathered.  "Next time, ask your grandmother.  She'd be less evil."

Sean grinned.  "Auntie Dawn's a very good protector of my chastity, Uncle John.  Because I wouldn't know what to do with a woman her age anyway.  Or any woman really.  What do you do with women?"

"There's a lot of things you do with women.  We'll talk about that."  He walked him off to gather Ronon for the sacred guy talk.  He even called out Clint to help since he was kind of the stepdaddy to Sean.  The new one might not be a son and Phil probably wouldn't let him help give Tara's boys their talk either.

Clint looked up as he appeared.  "Huh.  Pretty day today, John.  Hey, Sean."

"Uncle Clint, can we talk about why the botanist wouldn't leave me alone until Auntie Dawn had a girl talk with her?"

"Yeah, we can," he agreed, smiling at John.  "Thanks."

"I figure between you, me, and Ronon it should be pretty comprehensive."

"Probably."  They walked the kid off together to gather Ronon and a few beers.  The kids had drank weak ale on Asgard due to the water issue.  Sean could handle more than a few Budweisers.


MB woke up with a moan, holding her stomach.  "Ow.  Andrew!" she said, giving him a shove.  He woke up and blinked at her.  "I think it's time."

"Oh, god!" he moaned, kissing her stomach.  "Hi, baby!"

"Andrew, doctor, that stuff," she ordered.  Andrew didn't always handle emergencies very well.  "Please?"

"Yeah, I can do that!"  He hopped up and pulled on jeans, hitting the switch he had stolen for the beaming satellite.  He ran for the lab.  "Rodney, it's time!"

Rodney looked over.  "Why are you telling me?  Shouldn't you be getting MB to a hospital of some sort?"

Andrew looked confused.  "What?"

"Hospital," he said slowly and clearly.  Andrew just stood there staring pathetically at him.  He was even making tiny puppy noises.  "Fine."  He got up and grabbed some coffee to take with him.  He used Andrew's switch, taking it from him.  "MB, put on something you don't have to worry about sweating in for a bit.  Are you delivering here or somewhere else?"

"Women's," she panted.

"What are you doing?" Andrew demanded, walking over.  "You can't have it here!  I have no idea what to do and I haven't even programmed the roombas to help with diaper changing yet."

Rodney shook his head quickly.  "Andrew, get her clothes."  He ran to do that.  "Something she can get out of easily.  She'll need to once we get to the hospital."   He helped her up.  "He's a bit scattered."

"I know.  I love him anyway.  Even if he does teach a roomba how to change diapers."  Rodney smirked.  Andrew came back with a bathrobe and slippers.  "That's fine, dear."  She got helped into them and downstairs.  The guards gave them an odd look.  "We need a cab *now*.  It's time."  They called one and it got there a few minutes later.  She looked at Andrew.  "Wallet?"  He frowned.  Rodney waved a hand.  "I'll pay you back when he's more aware."

"Panicking is normal," he assured her, helping her into the cab with Andrew.  He paid the cabby.  "Women's hospital.  She's in labor."  Andrew tugged until he got in with them.  "I have not really wanted to witness the miracle of birth, Andrew."  The cab pulled off.

"I can't do this.  I really, really can't do this.  Oh, god, I'm going to be a dad and I'm so going to screw it up!" he wailed, leaning on her shoulder.

She patted him.  "We'll screw up together, Andrew," she said patiently.  "He's had nightmares that started like this."

"I've had one that featured the birthing video we watched in health class in high school," Rodney admitted.  He sipped his coffee.  Once they got there, he got out, helping her out and hauling Andrew out.  The guard gave them an odd look.  "She's registered to deliver here."  The guard pointed and got them a  wheelchair.  "Andrew, follow," he ordered.  Andrew nodded the whole way to the check-in desk.

"Forgive him, my husband's a bit panicked and that's his mentor," MB told the check-in nurse.

She smiled.  "A lot of first time fathers are flustered.  It means they love you more than anything."  She let MB sign the forms.  "Let's get you looked at."  She gasped and held her stomach.

Rodney looked down at the water.  "Looks like your water broke at least."

"Is that pee?" Andrew asked, making MB swat him hard.  "Sorry, dear.  Even if it was, it's okay.  They said that the same muscles control that and your intestinal sphincter so we can handle it even if you do poop."  She hit him harder.  "Ow!  No abusing me," he complained.

"Andrew, we're in public," McKay said sarcastically.  "Think those thoughts, don't say them out loud."

"Oops.  Sorry, dear."  He kissed her.  "I love you no matter what and I'll never look at you funny for the delivery."  She patted him.  The check-in nurse was trying not to smile.

MB smiled.  "He's an engineer."

"I have one of those in a cousin.  He didn't understand those people things either," the nurse assured her.  She got checked over and put into a room. 

Andrew would not let Rodney leave.  He protested heros might burst in to capture the baby so they could have her instead.  So Rodney had to stay to help him defend the baby.  MB sighed but kissed him to calm him down.  Rodney got more coffee.  His caffeine system was getting too much blood in it to deal with this tonight.  He did send a text message to Sheppard to warn him he had been taken by a panicking engineer.  He came back and found the nurse checking MB.  He quickly moved out of the way so he did not have to see that.  "Andrew, sit," Rodney ordered.  He sat and held MB's hand, kissing it every few minutes.  The nurse looked at him.  "I'm one of his mentors."

"I've seen your picture before, Dr. McKay.  He one of your people?"

"No, he works with Stark."

"Wonderful."  She smiled at MB.  "Few hours, dear."

"Hours?  She has to stay like this for *hours*?" Andrew demanded.  "That's torture and the Geneva Convention said that torture's wrong!  Anyone could come in and take her from me while she's vulnerable and under torture that way!  Can't we speed it up?"

"No," MB and Rodney said together.  Andrew whined.  MB looked at the nurse.  "He'll calm down."

"I've seen some others that were panicking."  She went to warn the other nurses he was a panicking first timer.

"Rodney, I even remembered my light saber in case something happens.  Do you want to use it?" he asked.  "I'll guard MB and you do the hero stuff since I suck so hard at it?"

"You forgot to pick up her bag of clothes and brought a light saber?" Rodney asked.

The nurse who heard shook her head.  She went in there to hiss in Rodney's ear, getting a nod he would.  She went back to make another note on the board about that one.  He was a major geek with laser weapons to defend his first child.  Great!

Stark came off the elevator about twenty minutes later, smiling at them.  "Ladies.  Never thought I'd be up here again."  He walked into the room the nurse pointed at.  "Hey, kids."

"Thank you!" MB said.  "Calm Andrew down?  Rodney can't!"

"Andrew, calm down," Tony said, staring at him.  "Sit.  Hold her hand, help her breathe like the classes taught you.  Even I had to do that with Pepper."  He nodded and did that, staring at her.  He looked at Rodney.

"He came to get help."

"Panicking is normal.  I did a lot of it."  He helped MB through the breathing, which reminded Andrew.  He also called Jonathan to let him know so he could tell Patty.  When a bird flew into the window around daybreak and broke it, Andrew hopped up and his light saber came out.  He was going to defend his wife and baby. Tony carefully took it.  "It was a bird, Andrew.  Just a pigeon.  It's not going to hurt either of them," he said calmly and quietly.  Andrew moaned when MB started to grunt through the next one.  "She's trying to push," Tony called.  He handed Rodney the light saber.  "Hold that, just in case."

"Frisk him for others," MB panted.  "Andrew, I need you disarmed.  There can't be lasers around the baby until it comes out or it's bad luck."  He disarmed quickly and handed it all to Rodney.  The nurse and her doctor were both amused but yay.

"Oh my god, what is *THAT*!" Andrew yelled, seeing it.

"That is the baby's head," Tony said.  "It's a bit nasty and the placenta looks like a movie monster."  He pointed.  "Help her, Andrew."  He nodded, moving to help hold her up and letting her squeeze his hand.

"I'm right, I never want to have a child of my own," Rodney said.  "That's ....absolutely the most nightmarish thing I've ever seen."  He moved out of line of sight.  Including away from the mirrors.

MB finally screamed and the baby came out, screaming back at her.  "It's a girl," the doctor said happily.  He clipped the cord.  "Daddy, do you want to cut it?"  He reached for one of his things.  "No, with scissors.  No lasers this time, Daddy."  He stared and cut very carefully and slowly.  The baby was free and taken by the nurse to be cleaned up and looked over.  "No, stay," the OB ordered.  "She's got to deliver the placenta."  Andrew nodded, staring at the screaming thing he had helped create because MB was soft in the perfect ways and cuddly.

Tony looked at him.  Then at Rodney.  "That thinking out loud thing is contagious."

"Yes, it is.  I've done it a few times myself.  Andrew, she's still got to push out the rest."  He nodded, helping by hugging her.  He was crying but they were used to emotional fathers.  MB finally pushed it out and went limp.  The baby was brought over for them.  They had to make sure Andrew didn't squish her between them while they hugged but otherwise it was okay.

Andrew blinked, smiling at her.  "I've been working on Roomba's programing so he can change diapers for you."

She smiled and stroked his cheek.  "We'll work on that later, Andrew."  He grinned and hugged her around the baby.  "Let the baby go," she ordered.  He yelped and jumped off.  "Sit, Andrew." 

He did and stared at them, smiling a giddy, happy, brainless smile.  He looked at Rodney.  "I'm a daddy.  I'm *so* a daddy.  The world might end but I'm a daddy now."

"You are," he agreed, patting him on the back.  "You'll have eighteen years to enjoy raising her."

"I need to start designing mean things so bimbos and heros don't come near her.  That way no boy will ever touch her."

"I'm working on it for Callia.  I'll share," Tony said.  Andrew beamed and nodded.  "For now, rest.  It's been a long night and she's probably tired.  Pepper slept through the baby waking up the first few times she was so tired."

"I can do that.  Roomba has an alarm.  I got that part done."  He looked around.  "I didn't bring him."

"You'll be home in a few days.  He can do that then," Tony said.  He smiled.  "Curl up there in the comfy chair, Andrew.  Let the nurses handle the baby for a few minutes."   The nurses smiled and took the baby back to do the nametag and those things.  Tony and Rodney shared a look then Tony shook the OB's hand.  "Thank you.  He's a bit of a panicking geek."

"He's the first one that's ever brought a real light saber to the delivery room."

"Heros might want to snatch her so she can't go bad like I almost did," Andrew said.  "Or like my brother did."

"We'll protect her from them," Tony said.  "I'm not that sort of hero."  Andrew hugged him and Rodney then laid down beside MB on the bed to cuddle her and make her feel better.  He and Rodney left.  "We're going to tell the others that she's okay, Andrew.  Just stay calm and call if you need more help."

"I can do that."

"Sleep," Rodney ordered, finishing his latest cup of coffee.  "It's the last sleep you'll get for the next month, kids."  They went outside.  Tony had his car.  Once they were inside they smirked at each other and laughed.  "I'm not sure if Jonathan will be worse or not," Rodney told him.

"No, probably not.  Andrew will tell him how it went.  We'll send her bag over with them later."  He looked at the weapons.  "I don't even know what half of those are."  He drove them back to the tower to get breakfast and tell the others.  Tony even made the announcement cutesy on the building-wide bulletin board:

Andrew and his light saber are proud to announce that his daughter, Caroline, was born last night.  MB and the baby are fine.  Andrew panicked but we thoughtfully disarmed him before the baby came.  They'll be back in a few days for those who want to congratulate them.


Clint's phone beeped with the update, looking at it.  "I need to remember to pack weapons too," he said quietly.  Dawn was sleeping in today because she met her new OB in a few hours.  Pepper had given her the morning off to catch up on some sleep.  Clint laid back down, cuddling her.

Artemis opened the door and peeked in.  "Uncle Clint, I'm making toast."

"Go ahead," he said quietly.  She smiled and closed the door.  He smiled, cuddling the sleeping Dawn.  She was cuddly and today was no exception.  He'd get the twins to the tower in a few hours.


Callia walked into MB's hospital room, climbing up on her bed.  "So, where's my future geek?"  Andrew pointed at the baby bed.  She smiled at her.  "Hi, Caroline.  Some day you'll be my geek like your parents are Daddy's.  We'll work together very well."  Caroline yawned and fussed a bit but went back to sleep once Andrew gave her back her thumb.  She smiled at them.  "Congratulations."  She hugged MB then Andrew.  "Do you guys need anything?  We were going to help Jonathan move all the baby stuff into the bedroom for her."

"That's okay, we're good.  They spoil me rotten and so does Andrew," MB said with a grin for her husband, who blushed but grinned back.  "What's being said?"

"Daddy introduced her as Andrew and his light saber were announcing her.  You had your light saber?"

"Someone might want to steal her for a future hero," Andrew said.

Callia nodded.  "I worried about that with Liz and Chris.  Thankfully, Auntie Dawn is really mean when they tried."  She grinned.  "She would be to help Caroline too."

"I'd have to help since she's going to have a baby," Andrew said.  "She can't get into fights when she's pregnant."

"I know but she did beat up on the old lady who wanted my brother Sean."  She grinned.  "Happy baby, MB and Andrew.  Let me get back to the tower."  She pulled out her father's phone to take pictures.  "He didn't take a single one.  I don't know what's wrong with Daddy.  He knew he was supposed to take pictures."  She smiled and handed MB the bag she had been carrying.  "Pepper helped me buy it from the t-shirt shop in the other tower."  She hopped off the bed.  "Bye, Caroline.  I'll get to cuddle you in a few days like I do Chris."  She skipped out.

"Where is your parent?" a nurse complained.

Callia blinked at her.  "At the tower, where he should be.  Why?  I'm a genius, I can visit on my own.  I was there when Christopher was born because no one was going to leave for a few hours."  She got onto the elevator and went back downstairs, smiling at Happy.  "I've given her the t-shirt for the baby and took pictures, and the nurses are grumpy.  Can we get ice cream on the way home?"

"Your dad said to bring him some donuts," he said with a smile.

"Cool!  Do I have Daddy's wallet?"  She found it in the car and waved it.  Happy smiled, putting her into the back.  He found the donut shop her father liked and she ran in to buy some with him behind her.  "Daddy needs six jelly donuts and a bavarian cream," she told the cashier.

She looked at the adult behind her.

"Six of each of those, three powdered, three chocolate iced."  She smiled and nodded, getting that for him.  Callia blinked up at him.  "For your dad's later sugar needs plus some for Steve and Pepper."

"Oh!  That's a good idea."  She ran the debit card and grinned once the PIN was in, letting Happy take the boxes.  "Thank you!"  She skipped back to the car.  Happy followed.  They drove back to the tower.

"She looked familiar," the other cashier said.  The first one looked at the receipt and showed her.  "Oh, she's picking up for Stark.  That must be his driver guy then and his little girl."  She smiled and got back to putting out new donuts.


"Daddy, I got you donuts and pictures because you forgot," she said as she walked into the lab.  Happy had delivered Pepper's and Steve's donuts.

"Why do we need pictures of someone else's kids?"

She stared at him.  "Because some day Caroline will be my geek and we're going to keep our geeks like family so they're appreciated, Daddy."  She smiled and showed him the pictures she had taken.  "She even has the alien head that Chris had!"

"I think all babies do if they're born naturally."  He hugged her.  "I love that you care so much about other people."  He took his phone.  "Who called?"

"Um.... some woose that you said was an idiot."  She shrugged and took the box of donuts over to the car.  Tony took it and handed her one, eating his first one while he called them back.  "Fine."

"No getting oil or other engine fluids on it, Callia," he reminded her.

"I know.  That's not good eats."  She giggled and got into the car to eat it while she looked at the dashboard.  All the dials said the engine was okay so she'd help her daddy with something else later.  Maybe she'd get to make her own light saber soon.  Andrew had promised to teach her.

Tony shook his head as he was connected to his missed call.  "Callia had my phone to take pictures of one of our people's new babies," he said in greeting.   He kicked back.  "What did we need?"


Dawn smiled and shook the new OB's hand.  "Hi.  Dawn Summers-Romanoff-Barton."  Clint smirked at her.  "I still can't figure out which way sounds best."

"I like that."  He smiled and shook the doctor's hand.  "Hi."

"Nice to meet you both.  I'm told by Doctor Begallha that you had problems with your last one?"  She sat down.

"I wanted his partner," Dawn said.  "He's done a few of my friends' pregnancies and they all liked him but he was full so I got his partner.  Who decided I was submissive to my husband, a danger to myself and others because I had been kidnaped and poisoned a few times, and was very down on me not being Christian."

She nodded.  "That's what she said your doctor at the office complained to her about."  She smiled.  "I don't personally care about your matters of faith.  Though I'm not fully used to people who have other skills," she said, looking at Clint then at Dawn.  "She did mention that you do have a few and I've seen you a few times at emergencies."

Dawn nodded.  "It shouldn't matter but we do have a friend who has the same sort of skills so she'd make sure mine didn't come out accidentally during labor.  I helped during her last one."  She grinned.

"Wonderful.  Poisoned?"

Dawn nodded.  "Somehow they poisoned my apple juice.  I ended up not being able to eat anything unless someone I trusted made it.  Usually Clint doing it or sometimes if he ate it first."

"That's a pretty specific problem."

"Doc, there's been four attempts," Clint said.  "We consider it good sense."

"I would too then.  Any effect on the baby?"

"I spent over a month heaving everything back up until we discovered that," Dawn said.

"Good to know."  She made that note, looking over the file she had been sent.  "The fertility medicine?"

"As far as we know, it was someone in England," Dawn said with a slight shrug.  "No one's told me definitively but the last few attempts at it were."

The doctor blinked.  "Why?"

Dawn smiled.  "For the same reason you saw me at a few emergencies, Doc."

"Oh.  I suppose some people would want the baby."  Dawn nodded quickly.  "Are you generally healthy?"

"Yes, and I generally hide like hell whenever I'm not," Dawn admitted.

"Drives us nuts," Clint said casually, stroking her back.  Dawn smiled at him.  "The infirmary at Stark International actually has a protocol for how to handle fussy spouses barging in and wanting to hover thanks to that."

The doctor smiled.  "A lot of spouses hover."  She looked at her.  "You're three months?"

"Yes.  The only time I could've gotten pregnant was on July 15th.  Because he was on a mission.  So unless someone stuck me with something and I wasn't aware....."

"That makes things easier," the doctor said, pulling out her little wheel to move it.  "So the middle of April."  She wrote that down.  "Not a lot of babies being born that month."  She smiled.  "I need to check you over."  Dawn nodded, shifting on the table.  Clint sat down and got out of the way.  "I don't mind husbands at exams."

"It's possible it'll be our other wife," Clint said.  The doctor gave him a look.  "She started it."  He shrugged.  "I love both of my badass wives.  I've known the other one for decades but she started a problem and a fight that we haven't resolved yet."

"Good to know.  The redhead?"  Clint nodded with a grin.  "She seems pretty solid."  She got Dawn into the stirrups and found what she needed.  "Do you tend to run dry?"

"No," Dawn said.  "Not usually."  She used a tiny bit of lube and checked her over.  Dawn winced at one part but the doctor withdrew her fingers.

"Have you had the standard immunizations?"

"Slightly," Dawn admitted.  "I had my hepatitis vacs in the last year," she said.  "Measles I haven't had.  The last time I got hellishly sick.  I do that a lot when I have to get shots."

"Okay," she said, making that note.  "Have you had a TB test and one for whooping cough?"

"No," Dawn said.

"We can arrange that with your local infirmary so you don't have to leave work."  She made that note as well.  She got the portable ultrasound and brought it back to listen to the baby.  Clint grinned at the fast heartbeat.

"Doc, because of the fertility meds, could it be twins?" Dawn asked.  "Someone thought it might be."

She shrugged, changing the view.  "It's a bit early to get a great picture of them but I'm seeing what looks like two sacs.  So fraternal."  She smiled.  The couple smiled at each other.  "How do you feel about amniocentesis?"

"The needle in the stomach test?" Clint asked.  She nodded.  "Should we have one?"

"With the way you've said someone's tried for the child, it might tell us if someone's...tampered."

Clint looked at Dawn, who nodded it'd be fine.  "I want the babies to be healthy," Dawn said quietly.  "So that might be a great thing, and hey, we'd find out what the babies were, right?"

"You would," she agreed, smiling at them.  "We have a few months before then."  They grinned.  "Okay."  She helped Dawn wipe off her stomach and sit up.  "You were warned about battle injuries, caffeine, stress, certain medicines, and how high heels will probably make you tip over?"

"Doc, I can't find shoes in my size outside a local stripper store," Dawn said.  The doctor winced.  "I'd love to have flats sometimes.  As for stress, I'm Tony Stark's personal assistant."  That got a nod.  "So I have some sometimes.  I've mostly switched from coffee to tea but I was drinking a low acid coffee anyway due to a former love of hot, spicy things that tried to eat my stomach for me.  I try to keep it at one cup of coffee and the rest tea."

"That's better than straight coffee.  As you progress you'll want to cut down on the tea too."  Dawn nodded she understood that.  "Any huge concerns you have?"

"Not yet," Dawn admitted.  "Thank you."

"Not a problem."  She shook their hands.  "I'll see you in a month."  Dawn and Clint smiled and she let them get redressed and check out.  Dawn was a very nice, sensible girl.  The nurse refilled Dawn's prenatal vitamins and it was good.


Clint walked up to Natasha's nest apartment, knocking on the door.  He handed her the donut bag with a grin.  "It's fraternal twins."

"Wonderful."  She let him inside, looking inside the bag then at him.  "Not for Dawn?"

"No, she's not having a sweets day today."  He shrugged, putting his hands in his pockets.  "So.  I have a surveillance assignment in three days."  She nodded.  "You can watch over her?"

"Of course.  I'm also back on the team so we shouldn't need her to take either of our places."

"Thank you."

"It's not a problem.  I do love you both but I have to get over this."

He smiled.  "We know.  Though Dawn was swearing last night that she missed you working out her leg cramps.  The babies are already causing them and I did it too hard."

Natasha smiled slightly.  "I miss her as well, Clint, but I can't upset her and us fighting would upset her."

"She's strong and healthy, Nat.  It might cause a momentary bit of crying or a blood pressure spike but nothing permanent and she could use you.  So could the twins.  They definitely need the help learning how to brush men off them.  Sean too."

"I will go work out with them tomorrow."  Clint nodded, stepping back slightly.  "Are you two all right?"

"We're good.  For some reason I'm more cuddly than anything but it happens."

She moved closer to kiss him on the cheek then stroke over it.   "We will work things out between us when you get back and I will make sure Dawn does not rush out to rescue you if you have problems."

He smiled.  "Thanks.  I'm a bit worried about that."  He took a quick kiss and grinned.  "We'll talk when I get back from western Asia."  He left, going back home.

Natasha sat down with her favorite donuts, nibbling as she watched the security feeds she had running.  She saw Callia walking and mumbling to herself so she texted Stark.  It was well past her bedtime.


Maria Hill looked up as Clint showed up for a briefing on his next mission.  "Sit, Barton."  He did.  "I do not want to have to ask this but protocol demands that I do since you've pointed out you were on assignment.  How did she get pregnant?"

He grimaced.  "Totally my fault, sir.  I needed to snap some tension.  I felt she needed to snap some tension.  Since she can teleport and not be seen, we had fifteen minutes in my hotel room of the moment."

"So it didn't break your cover?"

"No.  They did not know she had been there.  They didn't know about her until the Avengers rushed in to back me up and she was there.  They found out in the infirmary."

"That matches with their statements on the issue."  Clint raised an eyebrow.  "If you hadn't noted it, no one would've asked," she said dryly.

"Blame the reporters that stalked us."

"I am."  She smirked slightly.  "We were all hoping you hadn't broke all that work for such a night."

"No, sir, it wasn't a full night but it was what was needed."

"Apparently it was," she said.

"Beyond the future kids."

"Twins?"  He nodded.  "Why?  I know that they run in Tara's family, and that explains hers.  It doesn't run in yours or Dawn's."

"Fertility meds.  It's fraternal twins."

"Congratulations, Barton.  I'm sure they'll drive you nuts like John and Melissa do us."  He grinned.  "HR needs some information for your insurance."

"I'm not going to give them the name of her doctor.  I don't want her bothered, Dawn's records stolen, or anything else to happen.  Especially since someone other than Fury tried to get her into SHIELD custody the other day.  Thankfully Natasha stopped it."

"I had not heard that," she said quietly.  Clint sent a text message and her email beeped a minute later.  She watched the security film.  "He is one of ours.  I'll have him talked to in a few minutes."  She looked at him.  "As of this point in time, SHIELD does not have any interest in your future spawn, Agent Barton.  Those who do are going against orders."

"So I'm free to end them?"

"Yes, if you must."  He nodded.  "I know we're not the only ones."

"No, sir, and I'm hoping like hell I can tell her that agents are going after HYDRA for their plans against the child."

"Some of the specialty agents that Coulson hired are," she said.  He grinned.  "I've also tapped one of them to replace you while you're on assignment.  He is a sniper.  He can't use a bow but he's highly rated and he's good enough to do it like you would.  That way she doesn't have to step in again unless it's magical and Tara's already taking some of that over."

"Thanks.  I'm a bit worried that if she has to use a lot of magic, the kid's going to come out super charged."

Maria shook her head.  "I asked Tara.  She said it's more likely she'd miscarry."  Clint slumped.  "The ...specialness Dawn has may protect the children more.  She said it did during that laser incident."

"It did."

Xander appeared, looking at Clint.  "Once she gets to the point where the kids are viable, she has to have the best guards you can find, beyond you and Natasha."

"Why?" he asked, starting to frown.  "That sounds like a vision."

"It was.  Which Phil had, not me.  It went past me into him from my visions."  Clint moaned and shook his head.  "He saw Dawn heavily pregnant, maybe seven, eight months.  He wasn't totally sure.  He knew that they were viable because someone attacked Dawn and took one of the kids to that lab in England.  You had to have some people guard her after she was found at a local hospital, having been dropped off unconscious. 

"They got the labor stopped but you had to stomp off to end them.  Dawn agreed and begged you to either bring her back or make sure they didn't hurt her."  Clint nodded slowly, lips pressed tightly together.  He was gripping his thighs.  "You asked some of your fellow spy buddies to watch over her and a few to help you get in there.  He did not see if you managed to save her.  He came out of it with you stomping off."

"I'd do that," Clint said tightly.  "So viable is...."

"Twenty-eight weeks," Maria said quietly.  "We can help.  I can assign a few of those special agents."

"I don't want them torn if someone like that idiot gets new orders," Clint said.  "I'd trust you, I'd trust Coulson, but the general agents, no.  Sorry."  She nodded she understood that.  He looked at Xander.  "How did they take her?"

"On her way to some meeting for Stark.  He was in bed for some reason.  She was hugely nearly ready to pop, Barton.  They wanted the kid viable so they could raise it.  Her."

"Are they both girls?"

"He didn't see."

"Okay," he said, considering options.  He sent that at Dawn, who was talking to Phil and crying on him.  "He told her?"

"Yeah.  Then he's going to tell Natasha."

"Thanks.  I'll start arranging that tonight and see if we can get the plan sideswiped.  Could it have anything to do with the plan that nearly got her snatched a few weeks back?"

"No clue," Xander admitted.  "Wish I did.  I want to protect Dawn as much as you do, Barton."

"Thanks."  Xander nodded and left.  He looked at his boss.  "So, let me make those calls and I'll come back for the mission briefing?"

"Yes," she said.  "Please do.  Tell me personally?"  He nodded he would and walked off to talk to a few people from a safe location.  She moaned and sent Tara a message.  The family had to know.


Phil was holding Dawn when Pepper and Tony came out of a meeting.  Pepper glared at him.  "I just had my first vision."

"Of?" Tony asked.  "Apocalypse battle?  We're going to be losing someone?"

"Someone's going to take one of the twins," Dawn said, looking up at him.  "They'll drop me at the hospital afterward."

"Hell no," Pepper said.

Phil nodded.  "That's what I saw.  We're warning ahead of time so we can be prepared with guards for her and we can work against this plot."

"Why?" Tony asked quietly.

"They want the kid," Phil said honestly.  "It narrows it down but I couldn't tell who did it.  I was more focused on her."

"Forewarned is forearmed," Pepper said, taking Dawn to hug.  "Clint and Natasha can probably find you some really good guards."  She nodded, wiping her cheeks off.

"We'd never let that happen, Dawn.  We'd get that kid back so fast."

"You were in bed with something," Phil told him quietly.  "She told Clint to bring her back one way or another."  Tony shuddered.  "That's when I came out."

"Okay, so we can make plans," Pepper said.  "We can look at her security arrangements.  We can make sure she has good, sensible guards who know how to handle a pregnant woman.  We can make sure that they can't get near her."

"Why was she out?" Tony asked.  "That far along I'd probably restrict her to the building.  I did Pepper."

"You were in bed," Phil said.  "Sick with something."

"So a meeting," Tony said.  Phil nodded.  "We can handle that.  Any idea if it was the flu or whatever?"

"No.  I didn't see that.  Just that you looked like hell and you were in bed with an ice pack in a few spots."

"Good to know.  I can make plans for being sick too," Tony decided.  He took Dawn to hug, which finished calming her down.  "We'll work on it with Barton when he gets back."

"Xander told him.  I'm going to tell Natasha."  He looked at Dawn.

"I know she's virtually stalking me somehow," she said quietly.

"That as well."  Phil pushed some of her hair back behind her ear.  "We'll handle it, Dawn.  For that I might even let the boys pull out the battle gear."  She smiled and he left to talk to Natasha.  He ignored the gun she automatically pulled since she was napping.  "I had a vision."

Natasha sat up, staring at him.  "What sort?"

"Of the people taking one of the future twins to have Clint's baby to train and raise."

She grimaced.  "Dawn?"

"They saved the other one.  I woke up before I found out about the one that was taken."

Natasha nodded.  "That will not happen."

"She'll need guards."

"I can do so.  How soon?"

"The babies were viable.  So at least six and a half months but I thought she might be closer to eight."  She nodded and made that note.  "Talk with Clint in a few, Natasha.  Xander told him and he's already working on ideas."

"I can do so."  He disappeared.  She got up and got a shower, feeling where he was.  She could join him and they could talk.  By the time she got there, Dawn had snuck over to cuddle him until he calmed down.  She hung back to watch over them.

Dawn looked back at her.  "Not like we can't find you," she said dryly.  "You can come cuddle him too."

Natasha came over to hug her with Clint.  One hand slipped to the minuscule baby bump but she was comforted by the willingness to work on things.  "We will make sure it cannot happen."

Clint nodded.  "We will."  He kissed them.  "Dawn, no more teleporting."

"I can do it safely, Clint."

"Tara said the baby wouldn't come out supercharged.  It might not come out alive."

"I have a lot of energy in reserve I have to use."  She kissed him and grinned.  "A few things every now and then are tiny things.  Even teleporting eighteen blocks."  She did take a cab back however.  She didn't want him to worry since he had a new mission coming up.

Clint looked at Natasha.  "I'm going to kill them."

"You will have help."

He grinned.  "Good!"  They compiled lists.  They had to know who was going to do it and they had to have Dawn guarded.  No matter what.  Very few people qualified for either list.


Clint was on assignment in the middle of BFE Nepal.  It was cold, he was cold, and he was hating this person he was watching but he wasn't allowed to eliminate him, yet.  He was watching from a hotel room at least, even if it didn't have much heat.  He looked over as the door opened and in walked someone he knew well enough.  "News I should hear?"

"Heard you were looking to solve a problem and I'm a bit bored because we have nothing going on while things are set back up."

Clint pulled up the text of the vision Phil had sent to him.  That way he could help make plans.  "Phil had that."

"We know people who have visions?" Ethan Hunt asked, sitting down.

"Dawn does, and sometimes she shares. I've had one of my very own.  Phil is Alexander's husband."  His former 'teammate' shuddered.  "Yeah, but they're cool together.  It makes Xander goofy and happy."  He shrugged.  "It was forced but they somehow found out they are compatible and they could really like each other.  Plus whenever they get hot and heavy the whole apartment building glows.  And sometimes we have minor earthquakes if it's *really* great."

"That's really weird."

"Well, yeah, but I have a taste for weird now.  I didn't used to but then I met Dawn and Xander."  He glanced at him.  "After the battle in New York....  Yeah, weird was acceptable.  Dawn makes it mostly seem normal too."

"Sometimes girls like Dawn are all the weird you need."  He read over the vision, grimacing.  "That's going to be bad."

"That's going to be very bad when I kill them all."  He glanced over again.  "So we're on the 'stop them, guard her' part of the planning."

"She could use one.  So could those twin nieces of hers.  Even with those cutesy t-shirts.  I doubt one of them told their aunt that someone tried to pin them in an alley until Natasha kicked them around."

"When was this?"

"Last night."

"Huh."  He texted Dawn, who said yeah, Diana had been crying on her.  "Dawn wants to hunt him down and kill him in many horrible ways."

"You wanted kids, you have to take the mood swings," his 'teammate' quipped.

"Don't remind me.  She's not there yet.  This is normal Dawn being a bit homicidal.  I have no idea how we're going to spar those urges out until she delivers."

"I heard about Romania when I went looking."

Clint smirked at him then looked back at his target, who was staring at them.  He grinned and waved.  The man wet himself.  Clint texted that and Hill gave him permission so he shot him.  "Bye!" he called, waving at him.  "Let's go."  They packed up quickly and left.  Clint smirked at him as he got into the cab.  "I'm going home.  See you there?"

"We are temporarily suspended thanks to what you found when you went looking."

"Sorry, man.  SHIELD's hiring so they have fewer idiots inside."  He shrugged.  "Share a cab?"

"Sure."  He got in and they got driven back.  "So now what?"

"Now....  Natasha and I have to talk.  We need to work out our problems.  She doesn't want to stress out Dawn so she won't talk to her until after she delivers, no matter how many times we tell her it's not necessary.  Dawn and I have to talk to the girls about how to protect themselves better."

"She was doing a pretty good job.  Benji spotted her.  She was careful, didn't have on anything to distract her, had on normal teenager clothes.  Had on that t-shirt.  The guy was a bastard.  He pulled her into an alley and tried to get rough with her.  She fought him off but he laughed and called her feisty.  Before Benji could rescue her, Natasha suddenly was *there* and the guy was immediately sorry and may never have use of his balls again."

"Sounds like Nat, yeah," Clint said with a grin.  "Did he take a picture?"


Clint texted Natasha, who told him who it was.  He held up that text back, getting a groan.  "Like I said, we need less shitbags in SHIELD."

"They need the same housekeeping touch."

"The group above them wanted to change how we work and into a more military organized system.  We're trying to get out from under them."  That got a nod of understanding.  "Right now, the Avengers are off-site," he said quietly.  "So's our handler.  The others we trust are trying to cure it from the inside."

Ethan nodded.  "Sounds reasonable to me but hard."

"Yeah, but they won't let us get out from under WSC control."

"Figures."  He texted a few contacts.  "That lab in England really does need to be shut down."  Clint grinned and texted an agent he had one threatened over Dawn.  His former 'teammate' gave him an odd look.

"We had someone from the UK break into Stark to try to get Dawn under their control so they could have control of the Iron Man plans."

"Seen it done but not well."

"She about killed him, Natasha ended up shooting him because Dawn was kicking him around with two bruised ribs.  We had a talk later that night.  The way he handled that means that we've sent him just about anything we have to handle in England so we don't have to do as much work.  So he's handled a few things for us.  Including that lab earlier."

"Interesting way to network. You'd trust him around her?"

"Yeah, he'll never do it again.  He came out of that respecting Dawn for nearly beating him even with two bruised ribs.  Her whole side of her body was bruised from the earlier part of the week of stupidity."  He grinned.  "She was not a happy camper."

"No, I wouldn't be either.  How did she bruise them?"

"Filing cabinets got crashed on her."  Ethan shuddered.  "Then a few days later she almost got electrocuted when some failed projects created an energy monster.  There was a graze just before that fight.  Then the next day there was a robotic sentry dog that bit her and broke her wrist, and about two hours later a different agent showed up to try to grab Dawn from the building.  Dawn fought him off, brace and all, and ended up sticking a taser spike in his eye.  She was in enough pain that she got a bit happy it smoked."

His fellow spy laughed.  "I'd have loved to mentor her into a good program."

"Nah, she likes being an assistant and fussing over the geeks."  He shrugged and grinned.  "Dawn's kind of amazing."

"She sounds like it.  Definitely worthy of you two."

"Yeah, she's a bit insane but we love the kid.  Drove us nuts getting kidnaped but we do love her."  He shook his head quickly.

"So this won't be the first?"

"It won't be the first this month," Clint complained.  His friend laughed.  "Her being amazing is why people want her," he quipped.  They paid and got out at the airport.  He got a young teen that came bounding over wearing a Black Widow t-shirt who babbled at him for an autograph in broken English.  He smiled slightly and signed it, then took a picture of her for Natasha.  "We haven't seen that t-shirt design before," he told her.  She giggled and ran off.  Clint went to get a stiff drink.  Maybe plastic surgery?  No, the next battle would get him back in the press.

Unless they lost something huge, there were going to be teenagers who wanted to talk to him, pinch him, make him sign things, and flirt with him.   And they weren't allowed to lose anything important.  Damn it!


Maria Hill had pulled off a minor miracle.  All thanks to having to make a dark deal.  No one was going to like it and the higher ups were not being happy.  But she couldn't tell anyone.  So she prayed, hard, at the God over her people.  Someone had to solve it because they had not said they'd be taking Tara into custody to make sure she and SHIELD stayed in line this time.


Clint came home from a second surveillance mission knowing something was up.  He scouted and watched for a day.  Dawn had felt him and kept glancing toward where he was watching.  She was not in happy land.  She was nowhere near happy land.  He saw the reporters nagging her about shit that was going to drive her nuts and her not retaliating.  That clinched it, something was going on.  He sent Joyce a subtle message through Sean and kidnaped Dawn.  The twins were with Callia tonight for their protection.  Stark apparently had a clue because the guards around the tower were fully armed again instead of just subtly armed with sidearms.

Dawn blinked as she was taken this time, looking at the guy in the car she had been pulled into.  "That's really risky."

"What's going on this time?"  He took a kiss and smiled at her.  "You should've told me."

"They can tell when we talk, Clint."  She stroked a spot on her neck.  He felt over it and grimaced.  She shook her head that they couldn't take it out.  He felt again and it shifted.  He'd get it in a few minutes.  They got to where they were nesting for the night, which was somewhere neither of them had been.  Then the Stark beaming satellite took them from there.  He felt along the bump again, finding the first aid kit he had set up.  She settled on the table there, letting him clean it and carefully cut the tiny thing out. 

Once it was out he put it into a glass vial and inside a steel box.  He looked at her.  She sent over everything.  Including that it was the ploy by the old higher ups to get SHIELD back under their control.  That Tara was missing but Natasha was handling that part.  That she was being forced into hearing the bitter people who were saying it was good she couldn't get back into battles and that they had already promised that the children would have good homes once she was dead.

He stared at her.  "How did that happen?"

"Maria managed to get SHIELD out from under the thumb of WSC.  They're merging with IMF.  So you'll have their autonomy but not their problems because we're using the SHIELD admin teams."  He nodded slowly, shifting his weight.  "Needless to say, the idiots with plans didn't like that.  They took Tara."

"The kids?"

"All fine.  Beya's been helping her."  Clint nodded once at that.  "Natasha's looking for her," she said quietly, glancing around then at him.  "I'm so tired, Clint."

"I know."  He gave her a hug.  "Why are they nagging you?"

"Because they can?"  She shrugged.  "They hate that normal people do the job.  Like my sister's thing against Xander being *normal*."

"Fuck 'em," he said quietly, kissing her.  "I heard earlier."

She let out a bitter snort.  "That's barely been anything compared to the others."  She let him see them.

He pulled back to look at her.  "I'm glad that you're not in battles but not because you're pregnant.  I hate to see you injured.  I know you can handle it when you have to but I'd rather you didn't have to at any point in time."  She gave him a weak smile.  "As for the weight stuff?  You look good.  You're carrying twins."

"Others have seen that one might be having a problem," she said quietly.

"Then we'll handle it," he said.  She nodded and curled up against his chest.  He cuddled her, making quick plans.  A thought got sent at Natasha, who gave him an update and what had happened so far.  He gave Dawn a squeeze.  "You haven't been eating."

"No, I can't.  I'm battle tense."

"Okay, we'll handle it."  He gave her a squeeze and made her sit up.  "We'll eat and then move on."  He made them sandwiches, which Dawn tore into so he knew she hadn't felt like she could eat safely.  "That bad?"

"They tried to poison everyone in the caf," she said, looking at him.  "Nearly got a few of us but MB's got super nose problems at the moment thanks to the end of the hormones."

"Some women do get slightly elevated senses during it," he agreed.  He ate another bite, handing Dawn his spare sandwich.  She halved it for them with a grin.  "Let me handle it?" he asked once they were finished.

"I'd love for you to handle it."  She pulled him over to kiss hard and fast.  "I've been trying to get hold of you for days in ways that they wouldn't expect."

"Benji?" he offered.

"Has been trying to help too.  Were you just done?  They've been keeping you on the go on purpose so you couldn't stop this."

He grinned.  "I did run into Benji at a little café in Paris," he admitted dryly with a slight smirk.  "He only said that you looked beautiful and that you were having a few problems.  Then he left a CD with me."  She relaxed and nodded, resting against his shoulder.  "C'mon, we'll sleep and I'll start handling things."

She looked at him.  "Clint, they're saying they can charge me with treason thanks to those new laws," she said quietly.  "Apparently if you're not on a specified and authorized team it's now treason to show up at an emergency.  I've even talked to Loki and I couldn't undo it."

He nodded.  "You are on an authorized team."

"Not according to them."

"Fuck 'em," he said firmly.  He took her to the tiny bedroom.  It was only a double bed but she curled up against his side, letting him calm her down just by being there.  Things had been going wrong now for months.  He had wondered about not having any time between the last few assignments.  Well, that'd be ending.  He was back now.   It was going to be handled by him and Natasha.


Natasha looked over as she was joined by someone.  Someone she didn't know but who felt odd to her.  "Demon," she said in greeting.

"Wish demon," he said with a smile.  "Here because you're a bit loud, dear."  Natasha glared, reaching for a knife.  "Now now.  We're not dangerous sorts.  Like all vengeance demons, we respond to needs."  He stared at her.  "Which is why you've been so loud."

"I do not make wishes."

"Yeah," he snorted.  "Out loud."  He stared at her.  "We can undo some of this problem.  You've done it before with Sheppard."  He moved closer.  "Tara wouldn't be in danger, which is pissing the head guy off.  D'Hoffryn still owes her a life debt."  He grimaced and shifted some.  "We can undo all the stress and problems.  We can go back far enough that Dawn never got pregnant so that bit of hell would've been stopped.  Because they're still coming for them."

She shook her head.  "I would not do that to them."

"Even if it protected them?  If you could cast a wish that would protect everyone you love?"

"Love is for children."

"Yes, but you're all children of someone," he quipped back.  "Even you had parents."  She glared.  He stared back.  "I can help ease it and it'll cure the life debt the head guy owes by protecting Tara from this."

"It would get her free?"

"Of this," he agreed.  "There's other plots working.  There almost always are."

Natasha considered it, thinking at her spouses.  They ordered her not to even *think* about it.  Dawn reminded her that wishes were often double-edged swords.  "What if it is not favorable?"

"I'll give you twenty minutes to rescind it."  He grinned.  "Deal?"

She considered it more privately.  She could stop all the pain that everyone she knew had.  She felt Phil's mental touch and he started to yell, actually yell, at her.  That wasn't like Phil.  That was more Xander's thing.  She checked.  Phil was unconscious so Xander was using his link.  "I wish Dawn had never met us," she said.  "Me and Barton."

The wish demon blinked.  "That's a hefty wish, ducks.  Why?"

"Then she would not have this pain.  Barton wouldn't have the pain he has," she said quietly.

"Huh.  Sure.  Wish granted."  He snapped.

She woke up, blinking hard.  There was a tall man with a beard in front of her.  Wearing a crown and dark robes.  She glanced around then at him.  "Who are you?"

"Hades," he said bluntly, staring at her.  "That was one hell of a selfish wish, Natasha Romanoff."

She shuddered.  "Why am I here?"

"Because you didn't make it through the apocalypse Loki started."  He stared at her.  "What were you thinking?"

"They wouldn't have the pain they presently have if we hadn't gotten together."

Hades nodded slowly, considering it.  "Maybe.  Though, I don't like the pain they presently have."  She shivered.  "Do you maybe want to rescind it?"

"I....  Are they happier?"

"No.  Though Clint won't realize it.  Because you never freed him."  She shuddered.  "Dawn *might* make the most of it, but she also might kill the one protecting her against her will.  She's tried a few times."

She blinked.  "Why?"

He looked down at her.  "Because, dear, if you're not there to save her when she's sixteen, no one else was aware," he said dryly.  "Remember that little *cult*?  To Ares?"  She nodded then shuddered.  "Exactly.  She was given as a divine bride."

"She would not put up with that."

"She's already killed one of the Keys killing him.  Hera had me send him back though. Personally I'd rather have Dawn down here than Ares.  At least I can use her as my assistant so things get done more efficiently.  She did marvelous with Stark."

Natasha grimaced.  "This is not what I meant to have happen."

"Well, you have ten minutes left to rescind it."

She looked up.  "Ten?"


"What are they doing?"

He put up a mirror.


Dawn woke up and had a sudden memory download she didn't want.  She looked up, smirking slightly.  "Thanks," she mouthed.  "Really.  I'm going to kill the bitch."  She looked at her 'husband' as he strolled into her confinement suite.  "Get out."

"Now now, that's no way to talk to your husband," he sneered.

She stood up and walked over.  "What makes you think I would've willingly married you?"

"You said you were."  He smirked.

She picked up the bottle on her dresser.  It was there to remind her of her place.  "This doesn't create free will."  She dropped it and watched it shatter.  He shrugged.  She smiled.  "This creates free will."  She concentrated and snapped a lock on the powers that were holding the universe together.

"You can't do that.  Humanity won't survive."

She smirked and uncovered her little secret.  The Keys had protected the twins from the wishverse changeover.  "They'll be reborn."  He stared at her stomach, mouth open.  She lunged and elbowed him in the throat.  He laughed and fought back.  He didn't go for the obvious stomach strike but she was brutal.  She clipped off his powers and that of Discord since she felt her coming to help Ares with her.  Again.  Ares bellowed.  She snatched his sword of power off his necklace, letting it grow in her hand.  "Let the real warriors deal with the shit."  She concentrated.  The powers were like hers and she faded, going to where she could feel Clint.  She felt Xander and Phil and created a link between them since Loki had blocked it off.  They were so bound that even changing history so they never met wouldn't stop it.  She appeared, looking at the one who had won the battle.

"Key," he said smugly.  "I remember what she did."

"Me too."  She snapped her fingers and a few other locks appeared, already open and broken.  She let them fall from her hand.

"Humanity's already doomed."

"You forgot your basic lessons on what the Key is, Loki.  I'm not concerned with Humanity.  It'll be reborn from my children.  The Key is a power of Creation."  His eyes went wide and he shot power at her.  She funneled it at the remaining locks.  The universe was going to unravel with just two more locks being popped.  That would leave one final one that she'd have to open in person.  She stared at him.  "That little *prompting* thing before the wish, which you also prompted, was a bit evil."

"Well, I am a bad guy," he said dryly, walking around her.  "You're not so tough."

She looked at him.  "I've shit bigger turds than you.  Even without the help of cheese."

He glared.  "You left your protections.  You won't get him back."  Clint fired an arrow at her.  She caught it magically then blasted him.  Loki blinked.  "He was yours."

"That's not Clint.  I can tell Clint."  She summoned something, holding up the bundle.  "Golems.  Charming of you," she said dryly, staring at him.  He sneered.  "What?  So afraid that things weren't going to go your way so you had to screw SHIELD and us?  Am I too much woman and that's why you had all those nagging bitches show up?  Because, yawn, dude."  Loki's eyes were narrowing.  "Beyond that...."  Another golem shot at her and she touched him, making him dissolve.  She crushed the bundle before Loki could restore it.  She could feel Clint.  He was moving closer.  "Beyond that, there's powers you'll never control.  Including total free will."

"But I do, quim.  I do control all free will."

"No, you don't.  You don't control mine.  You don't control your son's."  She smirked evilly.  "Hell, you don't even control the other Gods, Loki.  You're a bit pathetic."

"I am not," he sneered, moving to hit her.  She blasted him back with Ares' powers.   "How did you get that?" he demanded.

"He's a peasant compared to some things I've battled on my own.  No one really knows what happened to me a few times, just that I came back in a pretty bad mood."  He stared.  She smirked.  "By the way, how's Fenrir?"  He yelled and lunged at her.  She fought him off with the sword.  She felt Clint take aim and slammed the bond open.  He had walls of rock, held in place by the forcefield of Loki's power over him.  Still under mind control.  She had something that would break it free though.  She opened herself fully and the kids opened too.  Clint stiffened slightly.  The rock wall went down.  The cave to his mind was shut with a gate made of power.  That one dissolved when she moved closer to it.  It left a tunnel without another end.  She touched the blankness, wakening it.  Clint shot Loki.  She smiled at him.  "Morning," she said quietly.


She walked over to kiss him.  "Some things are universal in all meanings of the word."

"You were going to destroy humanity for me?" he demanded.

"No, I'm going to destroy humanity to restart it because they've doomed it to die a horrible, painful death."

"Put it back, Dawn."  He stared down at her.

She stroked his cheek.  "It's already fixed, Clint."  He stepped back.  She looked over her shoulder.  "I can feel you, you know that."  Ares appeared with a growl with Hera.  She stared at her.  "What did I say about touching what was mine?" she asked quietly and calmly.  She snapped that last three locks, making Hera shriek.

"Enough," Hades ordered as he appeared.  "Humanity was already dead, Key."

"I knew that.  Duh."  She stared at him.  "And yet you guys wanted it that way.  Why?"  Hades shook his head.  "Yeah.  You did."  She threw up a large mirror to show them how they had led to it.  She tossed Ares back his sword with a sneer.  "You're pathetic in bed too."  She walked off.  "Let me fix this shit once and for all.  I believe you have the cause."

"She was trying to spare you pain," Hera said.

Dawn laughed a bitter little cold sound.  "Really?  Would that be before or after your son took me as a bride like you were taken, Hera?"  She gasped.  "Which you let happen.  Beyond that, I've had pain.  I've seen pain, seen misery, seen whole realms destroyed."  She was glowing now.  "What makes you think that I'd want to see it again?  I would've rather died," she told Ares.  "Thanks anyway."  She disappeared.

Natasha looked up.  "Rescind the wish please," she said quietly. The world changed.   She felt.  Dawn wasn't around.  She blinked, feeling around.  They had the bond.  She could feel Clint.  He knew, he understood.  She asked him what had happened, where Dawn was.  He wasn't sure but he was pissed off.  She apologized but he cut her off.  She looked.  Tara was no longer held hostage.  It wasn't Dawn either.  It was Pepper.  Something had drastically changed.


Dawn reappeared, looking at the statue she had put up once upon a time.  She touched it and nodded.  "It'll happen as it should," she decided.  She heard footsteps and looked at Ares.  "How did you like what you got?"

He cleared his throat.  "I wouldn't have."

"Bullshit."  She stared at him.  "You may have become more civilized but not that much, Ares."  She moved closer.  "You started off this shit, this whole plan, to try to get control of humanity.  You and Loki have been challenging each other for generations to try to take over.  How did that work out for you?"

"I...  I would not have been that way."

She shrugged.  "Moot point now, isn't it?"  Loki appeared glaring and Dawn stared at him.  "Watch me destroy you both."  Loki backed up looking scared.  She looked at Ares again.  "You got what you wanted and it was bad.  Do you still want it?"

"Not that way."

"Then leave the shit to the gods who handle it, like Xander."  He slumped.  She walked around the plinth, looking at Loki.  "How did your plan's outcome look?"

"Not as good as I had hoped," he admitted sarcastically.

"Good.  Next time, don't try it again.  You may be a chaos god but not all chaos is evil.  Some of it's tied up in creation too."  He shivered.  "You don't *have* to be a bitch.  You *enjoy* being a bitch.  Big difference.  Now, are you going to keep trying?"

He shook his head.  "Not with that plan.  You do know your spouses are quite pissed at you?"

She nodded.  "Yup.  I'll handle that as it happens.  After all, if I didn't have to battle gods, I wouldn't have to show my ass.  This is the fifth one."

"Second," Ares corrected.

She looked at him.  "I believe I know how to count."

"You never faced Glorificus," Loki said.

"I wasn't counting her."  She stared at him.  "Did you think only sweet, fluffy, human and demon problems came for me?"  Loki's eyes went wide and he backed away slowly.  "No, I didn't destroy her.  I didn't have to.  Xander did that.  I got her down and then called Xander."  She smiled sweetly.  "And you just fucked with a power of the universe.  A power of Creation, Loki.  You have a leak into Creation and you tried to fuck with the gifts it gives you."  Loki was holding his chest.  "Don't try it again."  She looked at Ares.  "I'm going to assume your shit fit is done?"

"It is."

"Good."  She disappeared, going home.  The twins and Sean were safe.  Callia was safe.  The twins she was carrying were safe.  Her mom was pissed off but safe.  Dawn dug out something from her storage necklace and tossed it at her mother's desk.  She was sitting at it.  She flinched when it appeared but picked it up to read the slim journal.  Dawn, she'd had enough for a bit.  There were a few places that didn't have time stream issues. 

She got the twins and Sean there, sent Callia an email that she'd come pick her up if she wanted, then left.  Dawn bowed at the altar and blew the candles to light.  The world around them had the sun rise for the first time in over seven thousand centuries.  The twins and Sean were staring.  Dawn looked at them.  "It's safe here until the Gods finish their shit fits."  They nodded, helping her set up.  It was like camping in a luxury hotel that had no running water.


Clint looked up then at the people staring at him.  "She's off plane somewhere."

Xander grimaced.  "Side realm.  Used to belong to some demons.  It went eternal night until someone powerful started the sun again."  He shifted, looking at them.  "So now what?"

"She destroyed humanity," Clint said firmly.  "I didn't want that."

Xander stared at him.  "Actually, Dad had already destroyed them all.  Earth was a dead world.  She just ended the physical plane."  Clint shuddered.  "Had to correct that."  Phil appeared and stared at him.  He stared back.  "It wasn't my doing," he said quietly.

"You destroyed a God."

"I destroyed about three of them after she had killed them," he admitted, then grinned slightly.  "They needed to not come back anyway."

"Why?" Phil asked.

"Because they tried to take Dawn and to some of us family, made and otherwise, are all that matters."  He stared at him.  "They touched my made, mortal family.  I killed a few when yours were touched."

"We did," he agreed, putting it in that light.  "We had no idea that had happened."

Xander nodded.  "Me either until she called for help.  Which she never does."  He looked at Clint and Natasha.  "So, anyway, now that you've made Dawn leave the plane to cry."  They glared at him.  "Who started it off?" he asked Natasha.  "Dumb bitch, what did you expect?  You knew wishes weren't *nice* things."  He stood up.  "Yet you did it anyway."

"I was trying to spare them pain."

"Pain is part of life, it's how you tell you're alive," he told her simply.  "If you don't have some pain you're in a dream world or already dead."

Clint nodded.  "That's true.  For that matter," he said, glaring at her.  "Not real fond of your idea either."  He looked at Xander.  "We need to have a fight with Dawn."

"Tough shit, Barton.  I'm not putting you anywhere near her until you figure out what the fuck you're doing.  She doesn't need it.  She did what she had to do to save all your asses.  Because she would've killed herself to recreate *everything* and let the kids be the newest anchor for humanity."  Clint sat down hard, staring at him.  "Because she loved your dumb ass for *some* goddess damned reason!" he finished at a higher volume.  Not quite shouting.  He didn't want anyone else to hear this.  "She could've done that without freeing your ass.  Did she?  No!"  Clint shuddered. 

"She didn't have to go face down Dad.  She didn't have to face down Ares to do it.  She could've done it from that nice, cushy bedroom he had her imprisoned in.  It would've done the same thing.  She would've been safer doing it that way.  It was more tactical to do it that way.  Yet, she wanted to save your ass too.  That way you could hold your kids when she dissolved her physical form.  Oh, she might've come back, because you might've remembered that the Key can be pulled thanks to Andrew.  But *no*, she wanted to risk herself and the kids to save your ass."

"Ease off him," Phil ordered, laying a hand on his mate's arm.  Xander shook him free and left, sealing Phil out of the temple.  Phil took a deep breath.  "I think there's some underlying problems here.  I'm not sure which ones," he told them.  The other Avengers had been staring, looking horrified.  Phil brought the journal from Joyce's hands, tossing it at Stark.  "When was that?"

He looked.  "When you guys had her at the hideout," he said, flipping through it.  "Before she and Pepper met."  He looked up.  "She was handling things coming after her because she wasn't sure you could."

"She didn't know us then," Phil admitted.  "All she knew is that her sister and Xander trusted us to look after her."  He looked at Clint, who was staring at his hands.  "How about this," he said quietly.

"No," Tara said as she appeared, shaking her head.  "No, I won't have this."

"Tara, you're mortal," he reminded her.

She smiled sadly and patted him on the cheek.  "I am.  Sometimes mortals have to rule over the Gods."  She looked up.  "Fix.  It.  Please."  The world around them warped back and they were back before Clint got sent on a mission.  Tara looked at the one who helped her.  "Thank you."

He shrugged.  "Your little chaos biters will do my biding anyway," he said dryly then smirked.  "Beyond that, I don't want the outcome that was coming.  Janus agreed that it was not a wanted one."  He disappeared.  He had some other chaos to sow for Janus.


Clint was pulled from their apartment, making breakfast for the twins.  He blinked at the older woman he landed in front of.  "Lady Hera, is there a huge problem I can help with?"

She smiled and patted him on the hand.  "Not exactly.  It's more that the Fates are in a tizzy because their tapestry just turned into macrame.  Which all seems to revolve around you."  She poured him some tea.  "Sugar?"

"Just a bit of milk please."  She handed it over once it was in there.  He sipped.  "Excellent blend, ma'am.  Why is it revolving around me?"

"Because you helped thwart something huge."

"Loki?"  She nodded.  "I couldn't on my own."

"Yes, but you've upset his plans recently all by yourself."  She handed him a mirror.  She sipped her tea while he watched it.  "As you can see, the plots are getting a bit irksome and the other goddesses decided things were bad."

He looked at her.  "That's only half the story."  He sipped his tea with a smile when she looked shocked.  "I'm a tactical thinker, Lady Hera.  I've led teams in the field.  Exactly what started this off?"

She pointed at a larger mirror.  "Those are from the Halls of Time."  He got up to watch it, taking his tea with him to keep his stomach calm.  He walked into it after pulling up a touch of Dawn's magic, making Hera gasp in horror.  He came out with his eyes shut, his stomach curdled, and his brain hurting.  He let go of the magic and got more tea, pouring her some as well.  He settled in to drink and wait on her.  She cleared her throat.  "It is not pretty."

"I can end the threat."

"We are not allowed to change history that way."

"I am.  I'm a mortal and I can do that."

"I cannot send you back."

He nodded, finishing his tea.  He stood up.  "Then let me figure that out with Stark, ma'am.  Thank you for letting me know."

"I did not want to make you fight with her."

"I remembered it already," he admitted.  Her mouth fell open.  He grinned.  "We are bound and she always knows.  Now I know more about why she did it and what she had planned.  I'm going to fix that for all of us."

She smiled.  "I knew I could count on you."  She patted him on the hand, handing him something on a chain.  "That should protect you from the paradox."

"I can do it without creating a paradox.  Thank you for telling me."  He got sent home.  He looked at Dawn, kissing her with a smile.  "I need to go do a short mission tomorrow."

"I felt you pull some of my power to Olympus?" she asked quietly.

"Nothing huge but a small problem.  They wanted me warned before I ran into it."  She nodded, accepting that.  He finished feeding them and went to SHIELD.  Down in the dusty archives of things that they had confiscated was a quantum mirror-like device.  He pulled the sheet off it, made sure he had weapons, then stepped into it once it was on.  He had been the one who had found it in the first place.  Crackhead mad scientists had plans that weren't good so he had taken them out and had called in the eggheads to come get the machines.  Then he had accidentally stepped into it and went back three days to handle the things he hadn't been able to before.  So he knew how it worked.


Dawn looked up, frowning.  "Why are you playing with a demonic temporal gate?" she muttered.  She considered it and called out to warn him.  He blew a kiss, assured her he knew what he was doing, and it was going to be okay.  She shivered, having that feeling of dread.  She tried to stop him but then he wasn't there.  She passed out at the backwash of power.

Their bond wasn't anywhere near as simple as Natasha and others thought.


Clint stepped out and shot the three people having the meeting.  He stared at one.  "Are you presently under mind control?" he asked.

"I had to so the agency went on and they didn't wetworks every single agent," Fury said.

Clint nodded.  "Pity but it's ended."  He walked off.  "By the way, I'm not the one I was earlier."

"I can tell that by the new scar on your cheek, Barton.  What the hell?"

He smirked.  "Don't ask, sir.  Just let me handle this problem in my own way."  He could feel Dawn's magic with him and concentrated, sending himself where he needed to be.  Dawn was clearly not in great shape.  It would stop a few things.  Dawn would be fine when he got back.


Six days later, after Clint had taken down all but one problem, and that one he couldn't because he was still on Asgard being punished, he found Natasha and darted her.  She gasped, looking betrayed but yay.  He took her with him to his present hideout.  He stared at her until she woke up.  She slowly came to, realizing she was hitched to the chair she was in.  She glared at him.  "Don't start," he said quietly.  "We need to have a talk, Nat."  He shifted, pulling his chair he was sitting in backwards closer.  "Just us.  I know you're blocked off from Dawn like usual."

"If I had not, it would've caused her more problems."

"Not really."  He made sure he was fully blocked from Dawn and opened his mind to show her why he had done this.  She read them all, starting to tear up.  He stared at her.  "Now, we're going to fix this," he said quietly.  "Trying to protect us by pushing us away won't work.  It's as much my job to protect her as it is yours.  Though, she's not as needing it as we think."  He showed her something else.

"I was there then," she said.

"The first two were before she met Pepper," Clint said quietly.  "Not even Phil knew.  The last one was right after that."  He leaned on his arms on the back of the chair.  "So we need to figure some shit out."

"They will kill her."

"They were going to kill her anyway and take our kids.  Cap's serum might not pass over.  Yours might not pass over.  Genius like Stark's is rare and they can't get Callia because he knew that people would try for her.  Bruce's problems aren't genetic enough to pass over.  They needed mine because I'm the average, normal human with extra skills.  I'm as close to a blueprint as they can get."

She nodded, swallowing.  "It is why I made sure she always stayed infertile."

He shook his head.  "Not always.  We had two early miscarriages."  Natasha looked down.  "For now, we're going to work this shit out so it doesn't happen.  At all.  You're going to help me make plans so the right things get spotted."  She nodded, looking at him.  "We won't tell Dawn because it'd make her worry and if we do this right she won't remember why."

"The Key would remember," Natasha said.

"Perhaps but not fully."  He let out a grim little smirk.  "I miss my fairytale, Nat.  I miss it shitloads and it was mostly your fault.  So we have to work this out."

"It will mean things change.  She might not be wealthy enough to set up a separate second identity for safety reasons."

"I'm not using mine anyway."  She slumped, staring at him.  "Beyond that, I don't think we'll have a problem there.  You'd be shocked at what she's already done behind everyone's back."  He grinned slightly.  "Open for me, Nat.  I need you.  All of you."

She looked at him.  "That would create more harm."

"No it won't."

"The ones pushing at all of us will not like that."

"All but the ascended ones are no longer a problem."  She gaped.  He shrugged.  "They're not."  She tentatively opened for him.  He pushed his way in, making her gasp.  Every little shield and trick she learned he knew how to counter.  Even the ones she had learned from her trainers, because he had looked at those memories and seen them.  He opened the memories for her so she could see what he was doing.  Her mind blazed into pain and then a blinding light.  He kept staring at her.  The light finally soothed itself and he stepped into her mind.  She was wincing but it was comforting.  He took her hand in there and they joined.  She kissed him over the bond.  He grinned and pulled her in for a quick bout of really great sex instead.  It cemented the bond.  It was fully open between them like it was him and Dawn.  "You need to do that with her," he said once it was firmly cemented in place.

Natasha nodded.  "I'm scared that our pasts will harm her."

"As opposed to those who want to own her?" he joked with a slight grin.

"Good point."  She considered everything then him.  "You need to get back to your right time."

"I'll have to go back the natural way, Nat.  I'll lay low."  He got up and walked over to kiss her, releasing one wrist.  He blocked the slap she aimed at his head.  "None of that, Nat.  You're still my favorite deadly bitch.  Followed by our favorite deadly bitch."  He took another kiss and left her there.  "I'll be around."

She got herself free, sitting there to consider things.  Some things would need to be changed or handled without changing the overall outcome.


Stark looked up as the world shifted around him.  It was like a heat wave going on around him.  "What was that, JARVIS?" he asked.

"I believe it was a temporal movement, sir."


"I'm not certain.  It could be that something changed."

John appeared, nodding.  "Clint moved to fix all the problems that were infecting SHIELD so they couldn't lose power.  Including attacking Dawn and making her take it or else they would've killed her mates."  He sat on a stool, looking at Stark.  "There's two that remember it outside Xander and Phil.  Who are having a fight."


"Because the godly plan by Loki and Ares to see who could keep control of humanity got out of hand until it was destroyed," John said simply.  "So Dawn fixed that then Clint went to fix what Dawn had to patch-job.  Humanity wasn't air-worthy and would've crashed anyway."  He grinned slightly.  "Which is why Clint's a lot happier but it'll only be a single."  He disappeared with a grin.

"Who's the other one?" Tony called.

John reappeared, smiling at him.  "Joyce."  He disappeared again.

Tony sat down to think about what he knew and what he might remember that wasn't for this reality.  It was a lot and it was going to drive him to drink even more than usual.  Though he really had to make sure Dawn had protection so she didn't have to do it on her own ever again.  He texted Joyce, who sent one back saying she hadn't realized but she was proud of Dawn for protecting herself but she was going to go nuts.  He suggested vodka.  Which got a laugh sent back.  They'd meet for lunch later in his apartment to talk over things.

As for Dawn, she was mostly faded out right now thanks to the bond.  She was hiding and helping him.


Clint stepped out of the machine, taking the letter laying next to the machine that had his name written on it.  Inside was a commendation for making sure the agency wasn't all killed horribly and that Dawn was ghostly at the moment.  He opened the bond fully with her, feeling her spark against his mind.  He poked her and she teleported, appearing in front of him.  "Ghostly?"

"You drew the power with you."  She stared at him.  "Why?"

"Because we ended up in an end-game scenario that meant you had to end humanity," he said honestly, showing her.  She flinched but winced and nodded, looking down.  He tipped her chin up.  "I wouldn't want you to do that for me, Dawn, but now I understand more."  He kissed her, pulling her against his chest.  "Tell.  Us."

"I will."  She looked up.  "I have been."

"You have been.  Thank you."  He kissed her again, then pushed her back gently.  "Do whatever you do so you're back in tune with this time zone."  He grinned.  She teleported off then came back with her coffee, smiling at him.  He pulled her closer, one hand on his stomach and his future son.  He kissed her again.  "Okay, we all good?"

"We're perfect actually.  Thank you."

"I like taking out the threats that come for you."  He winked and walked her off.  He shot into the machine to break it again.  She laughed and hugged him.  They left together, sneaking back to Stark.  Joyce and Tony were both waiting on them.  "It's fixed," he reported.

Joyce smiled and patted him on the cheek.  "Thank you, Clint."  She hugged him then her daughter.  "I'm proud but don't turn into your sister."  She looked at her.  "I can't take a second warrior in the family, Dawn."

"I'm not, Mom.  Only when I have to."

"Good."  She kissed her on the forehead.  "You're due for an ultrasound in a bit."

"I think we're all going to be there."  She looked at Clint, who nodded.  Natasha came off the elevator with her jacket over her arm.  "Ultrasound?"

"It is time," she agreed.  She walked off with Joyce and Tony, and Pepper and Steve waiting impatiently since there wasn't room in the room.

Doctor Pigalli looked at them.  "Stark, this isn't your kid."

"She's like some little sister."  He pouted.  "I can see."

"Us first," Natasha said, moving him out of the way.  Tony grinned at her.  Clint was holding onto Dawn's hand.  "It won't hurt," she reminded him.

"So?" Clint shot back.

"Kids," Joyce said but she was smiling.  Dawn had adjusted her clothes for the doctor.  Who squirted some gel on her stomach.  The ultrasound wand was pulled over but Tony snapped his fingers and grabbed something that was an arched metal wand.  "What's that?"

"Better ultrasound wand.  It'll give a more full picture at once."  He plugged it in and handed it over with a grin.

The doctor looked then shrugged and put the arched, slightly flexible wand over Dawn's stomach.  "Good picture," she praised.  "I see ten toes."  She moved it up slowly.  "I see a penis.  That's strangely good sized."  Clint laughed and smiled.  She moved up.  "Heartbeat looks great.  Nothing wrong that I see so far."  She scanned the head.  "He'll be a handsome little boy."  She printed out pictures for everyone.

Dawn was teary and smiling at Clint and Natasha, who kissed then her.  Dawn snuggled into their arms for another one.

Tony took his picture out to show off.

"Christopher's penis wasn't nearly that big," Pepper complained.

"Some of us are great at it," Clint called.  "Maybe it's really warm water in there and yours wasn't as warm, Pepper."  He yelped.  "Dawn!"

Pepper and Tony laughed, going in to hug them.  "Wonderful looking kid," Pepper told them.  She winked at Dawn.  "You're leaving early today?"

"I can't.  That one reporter's coming," she sighed.

"Fuck 'em," Clint ordered.  "You don't answer to the press."  He helped her clean up then helped her sit up.  Dawn burped and held her stomach.  "C'mon, I'm buying lunch."

"I could eat," Dawn agreed, kissing Natasha.  "Joining us?"

"I may."  She smiled and went with them.

"That is good to see," Pepper said quietly.  Tony smiled at her.  "How did they fix all that?"



"You weren't supposed to remember," Tony said, staring at her.

She smiled.  "I'm a woman of many talents."  Joyce laughed.  They went to talk in the office about what to do with the twins for the next few weeks.


Clint walked out behind Dawn by a few steps.  He had to pause and put on his jacket because there was a chilly rain going on.

"Dawn, do you think your husband's happy that you're no longer backing up the team like some limpet hanging to their backs?" a reporter asked.

Clint strolled out, smirking evilly at her.  "Dawn's not the clinging one.  Beyond that, we like having her help when we need it.  She's *very* competent.  When we need her, we know she'll be there for us.  Even in battles."  The reporter gave him a horrified look, backing away.  "Beyond that, saw your little fit the other day.  Leave the wives alone, lady.  No one wants your shit."  He walked them to the other tower to go to lunch.

Natasha smiled at him.  "Well said.  I was told I could not destroy any reporters this week."

"I never got given that order," he quipped.  "And whoever paid her for that, we'll end later."  They shared a smirk.

Dawn smiled.  "She's in the employ of one of the FOX subsidiaries.  One of the Murdoch owned trash rags."

"Really?" Natasha said with a smile.

"Figures," Clint agreed.  He opened the door for them with a grin.  "Being a gentleman," he said at Natasha's look.  She got the other door for them.  "Very nice," he teased.

Dawn smiled at them.  "Behave or I'm not going to cook dinner."

"That's fine," Clint agreed with a grin.  "We're talking to the baby tonight anyway."  Dawn sniffled, hugging him.  "I know, it's been too much cuddling and not enough other stuff.  That's about to change," he said in her ear.  "It's time for me to do what I do best."

"You're going to fire a bow at her?" Natasha quipped.  "Do we really need that in the bedroom?"

Clint smirked at her.  "Quit or wait later."

"I can take your turn."

"Guys," Dawn complained.  "We're around people who're staring."

Clint smiled.  "Just had the ultrasound."  The group moaned and a few pressed forward with cameras.  "No comment."

"What is it?" one demanded.

Dawn smiled.  "It's very cute."  She walked off with Natasha holding her hand and Clint's arm around her back.  "Wait and see, people."

"Do we have any name picks yet?" another reporter demanded.

"Callia wanted me to name him Legolas," Dawn quipped with a grin for Clint.  "I think we talked her out of it?"

"Yeah, can't do that to the kid.  After that elf invasion, no.   She showed me how Briar is actually a unisex name."

Natasha smiled.  "She told me that too."

"Right now we're calling it Lump," Clint said with a grin.  "It won't get a name until it's born."

"Just one?" the first reporter asked with a perky smile.  He nodded.  "Wonderful!"  She ran off to report that first.

Dawn smiled at Clint then at Natasha.  "Feed me?"

"Sure, Seymour," Clint teased.  They went into the Japanese place.  Dawn had been craving sushi for some reason.  When they came out there were more reporters.  Dawn got them into the upper levels with her card.  They all saw her use her card instead of theirs to get up to the Avengers only area.  That would quash some rumors easily.

Dawn smiled and pounced Bruce to hug him.  "It's a boy."

"Joyce told me and that Pepper thinks he'll be well built."  He patted her on the back.  "Names?"

"Not a clue," she admitted.  She looked at them.  "Last name?"

"Barton or Summers," Natasha said, looking at Clint.

"We can hyphenate," Dawn offered.

"No, we're all going by Summers for official things and so are the kids," Clint ordered.  "The world needs more Summers and not more Bartons."  She kissed him.  He grinned at her.  "Summers-Barton has a nice ring to it but no.  It'll confuse the kid."

"We can use yours," Dawn said quietly.

He shook his head.  "No, we already talked about this.  They'll be Summers."  He took another kiss, which made her moan and lean into his chest.

"Guys, quiet rooms," Bruce said with a point and a slight blush.  "Even have beds."

Clint smirked.  "I have one at home."  He smiled at Dawn, who grinned back.  She pulled out her phone to get into a name site.  It had a random name generator.  "Summers, not Summers-Barton," he said, taking it to correct that and the 'ambiguous' to 'masculine'.  He hit the button.  "Thorton?  Why?"

"I don't mind Arkady," Dawn said.  "Though I don't like their spelling of it."

"Brice?" Natasha said, looking over their shoulder.  "No."  She hit 'reload'.  "Washington?  Definitely not."  She hit it until the 'russian' setting came up since they had clicked russian and english names.  "Grigori?"

"Maybe," Clint said, making a note of it.  "Rowan?" he asked when it came up next.

"Liked some of his funny stuff," Dawn said.

"He'll have to dress like Giles," Clint complained.  He reloaded it.  He snorted when 'Giles' came up as a middle name.  "No."

Natasha stared at the phone.  "Tit Glen Summers?  Who names their child 'Tit'?"

"A future stripper addict?" Dawn guessed.  "Like that one guy who wanted me to get implants?"

Clint looked down at her chest, shaking his head.  "You filled things out nicely before.  Now you're stacked beyond happiness levels."  She poked him but was blushing and smiling slightly.  He reloaded the name generator.  "Sasha for a boy?"

"It's a nickname for Alexander in Russian," Natasha said with a smile.

"Adair?" Dawn said.  "Has a pretty sound to it."

"Means Edgar," Clint read.   "Any that relate to our specialities?"

"Archer only came up with two female Japanese names," Dawn said.


"Bow comes up with Ivar, which is originally Scandinavian but brought to England and Wales."  She shifted to show him one.  "Arrow comes up with Fletcher, Orvar, which was a famous hero way back in Norse times, and Þórgísl, which basically means 'Thor's Shaft' about his arrow."

"Let's not use that one," Natasha said.  "That rumor is one we do not want started."  Bruce was snickering.  "Even if everyone did remark how well built he is."

Dawn grinned.  "Ivar?  It sounds Russian for your part.  It comes up under bow and warrior searches."

"I could like that as a middle name," Clint said, looking at Natasha, who nodded and smiled.  "We'll put that in under the surname with Summers and select a new first name," he said, doing that.  "Why does it rhyme?"

"Because some parents like that," Dawn quipped.  She reloaded.  "I'd never name a kid Riley or Ryder anyway.  Antwan?  No!"  She reloaded it.  "Sascha?" she offered.

"That's two for her and one for me if they look it up," Clint said.

She smiled.  "It can be a baby Clint."

"Not a chance."  He kissed her on the tip of her nose and grinned.  "James?"

Dawn considered it then grinned shyly.  "Philip?"

The two spies looked at each other and nodded, smiling at each other.  "Philip Ivar Summers," Clint said.  "I like it."  He kissed her again.

"Guys, bedroom?" Steve complained as he came off the elevator.  "I don't want to see you guys talking to the baby."

"They just decided on a name," Bruce said, grinning at him.

"Good!  That means they can get it used to his name."  He showed him the picture.

"Wow," Bruce said.  "He's really pretty, guys."  Clint laughed, pulling back to walk Dawn back to her desk.  He and Steve shared a look.  Natasha was warming up for sparring.

Clint leaned back into the room.  "Guys, robots massing outside yelling about giving them the redheaded witch."

They groaned and got into their uniforms.  Bruce waited to Hulk up.  It might be solved peacefully.  Stark was already in his armor.  Though one boot's repulsor was spluttering now and then.  The robots started to shout 'give us the flame haired witch that has so bespelled us' at them when they saw Clint.

"Nope, sorry, she's mine," he called then fired on them.

"Who did I supposedly bespell?" Natasha asked the robot she had singled out.  She shot the others.

"Our master said you have bespelled him."  It fired a beam at her, which she managed to avoid.  "Please, flamey one, we must have you.  The master will be happy."

"I think not," she said.  "I'm married."

The robot paused and beeped a few times then wailed.  "Master said he must die since she cannot be his.  Initiating self destruct."  Stark fired down mini shield generators around them.  They made a pretty crater in the street.

Natasha looked up then at Bruce, who was still normal.  "What did I do to deserve this?" she asked.

"You're taking Dawn's place for now?" he quipped with a grin and a pat on the arm for her.  Clint and Tony were cackling.  "We'll make sure you carry extra weapons, Natasha."

"Please do."

"People, enough," Steve complained.  "Do we know who they are?" he asked.  "So we can fix their owner?"

Tony landed and put up his visor so he could pick through the wreckage.  "I'd say someone who really likes shows on BBC about time travelers," he quipped.  "Since this one has a nameplate that says Cyberman 34."  He looked up.  "Which is not how it went on the show."  He went back to picking through it.  "Hmm.  Henry Christoff Morital."

"Are you sure?" Steve asked.  "How do you know that?"  Tony held up a tag.  "That says...."

"Pecking Owl Industries."  He handed it over.  It was a picture of an owl on a branch pecking at a tree.  He heard a cackle and looked around.

Dawn walked out, handing Tony the phone she was carrying.  "It was him and she bewitched him because she was good enough to be mine and I'm powerful."  She went back inside snickering.

Natasha took the phone, putting it against her ear.  "Who is this?"  She listened, blushing some.  "No, that is not why we are together.  Thank you for that consideration but I do not practice Dawn's craft in any manner.  Usually I lock myself in another room of the apartment whenever she's doing anything.  Thank you for that kindness but no thank you."  She hung up and handed it to Tony then went into the tower to find a nice place to hide and moan about this.

Clint hopped down, looking at them.  "I'll stick her with a new GPS tag," he said, smiling some.  "It's cute that Dawn's pull of bad guys is passable."  He went up to the lab to get a tracker dot to insert.

"I'm glad her mother doesn't have that gift," Bruce quipped.  They went back inside together, ignoring the reporters.  SHIELD was already showing up to pick up the messy things.


The twins pounced them when they got home.  "Uncle Clint, what did you think of Auntie Dawn when you first met her?" Artemis asked.

"I mostly wondered why someone so young and pretty was helping Coulson with paperwork.  I did a background check, ran into a problem group that had a file on her, then Natasha told me about what she was like while working for Tony as a teenager."  He grinned.  "I thought she was a bit weird, a bit soft and fluffy, and Natasha told me she was a flirt."

She grinned.  "When did you realize she was hot?"

"We had a talk that she had sedated me for.  I woke up tied down with her sitting on my chest to talk about your Uncle Xander."  He grinned at Dawn.  "That took real balls and she was not polite about it either.  She swatted me at one point when I tried to lead the talk and showed her ass pretty well.  Then she scared us totally by admitting she was more powerful than we thought but had it handled.  She confused me for weeks until something happened and it had to be handled.  She and Natasha hung out more often due to Stark sitting so I watched and slowly decided that Dawn was really pretty neat.  Then her vacation happened, then the cult thing that wanted to get her dead happened....  Which is how we ended up together."  Dawn shot him another grin.  "She's the best present Nat ever gave me, even if I do have to keep stealing her back."

Natasha burst out laughing.  "That's not exactly what happened.  I did not give her to you.  I merely encouraged you two to become deeper friends."

"Well, that too," he said with a grin for her.  Dawn hugged her.  He looked at Artemis.  "Why did you want to know?"

"All those mushy books in the library say that you know when you see them."

He shook his head.  "Not unless someone like Cupid interferes and we have a family thing against love gods most of the time since they meddle.  We grew into it but yeah, we about have fairy tale love."

"Awww," Diana sighed.  "I need that."

"You have years yet," Dawn said, giving her a hug.  "Mom didn't find hers until Bruce."

"Hopefully I'll find one sooner.  Maybe in college?"

"Maybe," Dawn promised.  Diana and Artemis ran up to their rooms.  She smiled at Clint.  "Really?"

"Yeah.  At first I found you a bit too perky then I figured out you weren't really that perky but you had a great diversion shield."  He pulled her over to kiss her.  "Then I started to really watch how you and Nat interacted and that was kinda great to me."  Dawn smiled and cuddled him.  "Just cuddly?" he teased.

"Fuck no," she said quietly, leering up at him.  "But the kids are awake."

He smirked.  "Girls, order a pizza," he called.

"Okay," they called back.

"I'm using your card," Artemis said, leaning out of her bedroom to grin at them.  "Have fun with the married people things."

"I'll be out until they show up so no one can take you," Natasha promised.  She smiled at them.  "Clint needs to possessively growl again."  Clint smirked at her and led Dawn to their bedroom to strip her off and toss her onto the bed.  He loved Dawn in her second trimester.  He was going to die from all the neediness but he could handle that.  Dawn still loved oral sex and it was great.

Natasha got the pizza for the kids and it got handed over before she went to join her lovers.  Her spouses were still at the wiggly, moaning stage so that was great.  She stripped off and joined Clint, nudging him out of the way so she could take over licking duties.  He grinned and teased Dawn with his cock.  She kindly played with it for him.  That was going to be great.


Xander appeared in front of Phil, staring at him.  "Are you hiding?" he asked with a slight smile.

"Doing paperwork that the Avengers created."  He smiled up at him.  "It'll be about an hour."

Xander leaned down to kiss him.  "How about you do that tomorrow?"

"I need to get it done before I forget everything."

"Phil, godly powers?" he prompted with a real grin.  "You're not going to forget unless something happens like Barton going back in time to fix what Natasha screwed up again."

He hummed, taking another kiss.  "Is there an easy way to fill out forms by power alone?"

Xander shrugged and created a pen that did the writing for him.  "Think at it, give it what it needs."  Phil scanned the files and gave the pen what it needed to put on each line.  It missed a few lines by writing over them but that was probably acceptable enough.  Then they disappeared to Asgard together.  The pen finished the reports and waited for more input.  When only a bit appeared, it followed the last order to bring the forms to a certain person.  Then it went limp again as the power left it.

Fury looked at the pen that had brought him the forms, shaking his head.  "Coulson's busy I guess," he muttered.  He looked them over, noticing when the pen had taken over for itself.  It was a bit sloppier than Coulson's handwriting.  He made a note on the top of them that they had been filled out magically.  He came to the last form.  It was complete and had extraneous information like 'Xander, you suck very well, thank you' and 'Xander, more' at the bottom. 

Fury squeezed his eyes shut for a moment then made a note on that file and sent it back.  That one had to be filed with others.  They probably did not need to know that Xander spoiled his spouse with enough sex to fill a half-page with Coulson's mental ramblings about needing more.  The simple 'do the senators really need to know all that' post-it was covering the extra information before anyone else spotted it.


Clint woke up first in the morning, looking at Dawn.  She was curled up on Natasha, nuzzling her breast with her chin a few times to get the most comfortable spot on the soft sleeping thing.  She had one leg thrown over Natasha's thigh and the baby was resting on Natasha's side to help prop Dawn up so she wasn't on her stomach.  Clint stared, memorizing this moment.  Natasha was smiling in her sleep, having a good dream.  Dawn was humming quietly but happy.  Even when she tried to nibble on the tempting breast, making Natasha flip over to hold her, it was still making Dawn happy. 

Apparently she was having that hungry dream again.  He had woken up to a few suspicious bite marks as well.  She never realized it and never bit hard enough to wake them but whatever it was apparently tasted great to her.  He considered things.  Natasha woke up and he smoothed a hand over her hair, making her relax again.  He opened their private bond to talk.  Natasha wasn't interested in what the bond did or was but he was.  She'd leave it as it was a good thing in her life so she could appreciate it, not dissect it.

Dawn yawned and blinked, smiling at them.  "Been up long?"  She kissed each of them, smoothing a hand over Natasha's stomach and hip for a second kiss.  Clint got pulled over to be kissed over Natasha's shoulder.  "You should've woken me."

"I was watching you both have happy dreams," he said with a smile, sending her what he had seen.  Natasha blushed but got up.  "Sure, you have first shower, Nat."

She smirked.  "That way I get all the hot water."  She went to do that.  They wanted to talk.

Clint pulled Dawn closer, letting her fit herself against his chest.  "I have a few questions," he said quietly.

"Okay.  Sounds serious so what's up?"  She yawned again.

"Where's the book on the bonds?"

She considered it then called it to her.  "This one?"  He nodded, opening it and finding the section so she could read it.  She nodded slowly.  "For the real bond to take place, it had to be consensual and wanted," she admitted, staring at him.  "Temporary ones can be forced or forged to help through things."

"Okay.  You know that we had a ...problem, right?"

"I remember you had to go fix it and I remember why."

He stared at her.  "Why would I remember after that wish?"

She blinked a few times then looked up another section, pointing at it.  "I'm guessing here but she keeps hers closed off most of the time so she can't slide down this slope with us."

He read it, nodding slowly.  "That's what Phil and Xander have."

"That is, and they hadn't met in that wishverse but they knew.  That's why I created that link between them.  It fired up that connection again because it can't really be stopped.  See, when they got sick thanks to Callia, before they really bonded, Xander had that leak back into the pool of creation."

"That's a raw power?"

"Think of it more like the Force in a way.  It's what magic wants to be when it grows up.  It's also where all the ascended hover in and the Ancient Ones that have merged live.  It's kinda of like the womb of the universe in a lot of ways.  The fluid in it nourishes those that live in it but it's also raw power and it's got openings but not a lot."

"Okay, so it's like he's got a hole into the Force and magic," he said.   She nodded and grinned.  "So how is that different?"

"Well, when they got so sick, Xander was actually pulling on the pool to help steady himself and Phil.  He was instinctively trying to shield Phil.  He was pulling so hard some of the Ancient Ones were about to clog up his leak into it."  Clint shuddered.  "So to save Phil and Xander, and the Ancient Ones, I created a tiny pinpoint leak in Phil.  Which equalized the powers so they could later on merge.  Otherwise it might not have been as equal, Phil would've ended up being carried instead of carrying Xander, and things might not be as tight if they weren't equal.  In our case, I accidentally started it but then we both leaned on it and let it become like a meditation focus in some ways."

"So when we used it, we strengthened the muscle of it?"

"Not exactly."  She sat up, staring down at him.  "It probably would've stayed a light tether if we hadn't *wanted* it to go deeper.  Since we wanted it to, we let it sink deeper than the conscious level of our brains.  Neither of us knew that would happen, and Gaia said that anyone doing something like that would almost have to do it accidentally because they wanted it to, or else it'd destroy or drive them mad.  In mortals, it couldn't get any deeper without us wanting it to. 

"There's a few others that've done the bond for various reasons, including a few that wanted to ascend together so they did that to link themselves.  Almost no one does it because of love or because of emotion."  He nodded, understanding that.  It was a powerful tool but it was more than that.  "So we took it deeper than we could because there's got to be an emotional layer to it.  Like Phil and Xander get deeper into each other the more times they use it, we've gotten about as deep as mortals can without a soul binding, but that would make you my brother and that's icky."

"I love that you can still say icky and mean it."  He took a kiss.  "So we accidentally did that?"

"Yup."  She grinned.  "We accidentally created a bond strong enough that we can anchor reality for the other."  She called in another book and put that one aside.  "There's things, moments in time, that anchor reality so that you can't change it too far.  Like a fence post in the time stream."

"Okay.  How often do they happen?"

"It's pretty random and not always the hugest things.  Woodstock was one.  There was one during World War II but I'm not sure when it was.  I know that someone did try to go back and change it but they'd have to change something back in the seventeen hundreds that anchored it before so that fence post wasn't active to change the war."

"A Nazi sympathizer?"

"No, I think it was someone who was wanting to spare some of the victims." 

He nodded.  "I might've too," he admitted.

"Well, bonds like this are like fence post holes.  We don't anchor all of reality but we tend to draw an event that will.  Xander and Phil's, well, they're anchoring a bit higher than we are.  They anchor for each other, and if they wanted to the rest of the family."  She shifted some and looked at something.  "See, bonds like this are so rare.  So fragile in some ways and like carbon-hardened steel in others."  He grinned.  "We're so merged that we can pass through into each other's minds.  Which is pretty unheard of."

"So if one of us remembers the others can," he said.

She nodded.  "And the nature of the Key means that I'm kinda outside all that.  Not fully but I'm more part of the pool than I am part of human side at times.  It's still got a major backup line into it for safety reasons.  One I'll never be able to break even if I wanted to."

"So anything like a time flip you'd remember."

She nodded.  "If I want to.  I can block it out.  I did this time."  He kissed her, pulling her back down to cuddle.  "I got enough from you when you showed up to know that I .... I probably did something outrageously wrong.  I'm scared of that sometimes," she said quietly.

"You basically pulled up a few fence posts and were going to restart things," he admitted.  "Which scared the fuck outta me."

She kissed him.  "Sorry."

"No, don't be."  He cuddled her.  "So, if you remember or if I remember, then we'll all remember?"

"She's keeping herself from sliding down that hill with us," Dawn said quietly.  "Natasha doesn't want to drown herself in it."

"I've noticed that but that's just her being her."  He snuggled into her side.  "What else does that do?"

"Nothing really.  I mean, the Key will go with me when I die.  It might partially split into a future kid, because this kid doesn't have any of it, and might go to him or her when that happens."  He smirked a tiny bit.  "It doesn't make any of us immortal.  Or more mutant-like.  It just makes me really powerful and you able to draw on it because you wanted to."

"I think it's perfect between us."  He snuggled into her side, one arm over the space between her breasts and her stomach bulge.  "Natasha is slowly sliding down it with us."

"I know.  She can make herself go down it faster if she wants to.  It'll probably hurt her head for a bit, but if it's an emergency and she reaches out to pull some of my powers like you can, she might be able to."

"It freaked me out when I floated over the popcorn that night.  Then I realized that it was really special and rare."

She smiled and nodded.  "It is, yeah.  Especially at the godly level.  Because Xander and Phil?  They're the new anchor points for godly powers," she said very quietly.  He looked at her.  "Each successive generation has one.  The point where the new power takes over control.  Like when Zeus won against his father and took the crown.  The coronation cemented his anchor point to control things.  Though it was on top of Gaia's that was already there.  And still is there."

"So they created a new one?"

"Well, if I'm right, they've created two.  See, there's three levels of the bonding that're almost mythical that they did by accident.  They acknowledge two.  One was the elemental sex thing.  The other was the bonding of their powers in a way that meant that the elemental bond couldn't be broken.  Ares and Aphrodite managed the elemental once but nothing further.  It wasn't equal, wasn't that powerful between them."

"We know they've done that," Clint agreed.

"There's a third bond and if they manage that then they'd basically be taking Gaia's anchor point for themselves," she said across their bond so it was totally private.

He blinked a few times.  "Have they?"

She shrugged.  "I don't know and I'm not going to look so no one else could.  They have the bonds so tightly tied down that no one can tell the first without Xander or Phil wanting them to.  Hera saw some of it because she was checking their marriage bond, which shows some of it.  It's a pale shadow of the full thing because I saw Xander doing an aura check one day."

"So, technically, they're a major house now," Clint realized.

Dawn smiled and nodded.  "There's a House, then there's a Pantheon.  A house is inside a pantheon.  Xander's House was separate from all of them because he served all of them and yet none of them.  Death gods often get the same thing even though they're claimed by pantheons because no one's really over death.  Chaos gods often have that same thing but they can choose to align themselves with the given power structure so they're tied to that and their rulings are their chains.  Janus is one good example of that but Loki never did that."

Clint considered it.  "So he took his House and he made it go up the ladder."

She grinned and nodded.  "Yeah. Xander started his own pantheon.  He's got John and his House.  He's got Roque and his House.  He's got powerful mortals under him.  He's got a lot of demigods that align to him informally.  I'm not sure if Xander realizes that though."

Phil appeared, half dressed, staring at them.  "We have but we're ignoring it."  He smirked slightly.  "Then again, we also have our own version of the Warrior's Hall.  You're all going there."  He disappeared again.

Dawn grinned.  "This means that Xander could possibly get out of the chaos kid thing if he worked to fight it this time."

"I think he enjoys those."

"I think so too," she agreed, cracking Clint up.  She kissed him.  "So through me we're technically aligned...  That's going to change protocol.  Huh."  He smirked slightly.  "Beyond that," she said, giving him a squeeze and snuggling in.  "We're mortals so we don't have to worry about that."

"I'm glad.  I don't think I could take all the protocol crap.  It's like being a princess or something."

Dawn looked up at him.  "There's whole monarchies that don't have protocol like they do."  She put her head back down, stroking over his chest.  "Did you want me to see if I could lessen ours?" she asked quietly.

"No, just wondering about a few things I read."  He shifted to hold her.  "I'd never want you out of my head, Dawn."

She smiled.  "You sure?  That means you're probably going to hate it when I go into labor."

"We'll deal and I'd have been there anyway."  He wound his fingers into her hair and kissed her hard.  "It's Saturday, right?"

"Clint, dear, it's Sunday."  He grinned.  "Yeah, that means I have training today."

"Nope.  It's our day.  I already wrote the gym and said I was shamelessly hoarding you today.  Your magic instructor agreed we needed some naked hoarding time."

"Naked hoarding time?" she teased.  "Is that like naked squealing time with growls added?"

He kissed her then stared into her eyes.  "Yes, it is."  She beamed.  "The kids went to visit Sean."

"Huh.  I was wondering why they were so quiet."  Natasha came out wrapped in two towels and one around her hair.  They watched her lotion down and finish toweling her hair so it looked slightly normal.  "Nat, he wanted some naked hoarding time."

"I can see that myself," she said with a smile.  "Go shower."  They went in there together.  Natasha grinned, putting the books out on the bookshelves.  She made breakfast for them to eat later on and it was good.  They needed the naked time.  She heard Dawn getting loud and went to watch.  Clint had Dawn pinned against the wall, her legs wrapped around his waist, while he drove into her and she held onto the showerhead for dear life.  Apparently it was hitting where she needed him to because she was already breathy, panting, and begging for more.  He bit her on the neck and she came with a loud moan, letting go of the shower head to wrap her arms around his neck.

"Clint," she moaned.

"Still here."

"Let me get down," she murmured.

"You're not heavy, Dawn.  I benchpress twice you weekly."  He kicked out their emergency shower bench and sat down, letting her rest in his lap.  Natasha got the water adjusted so it hit them better, earning a grin from him.  "Nat, did you know that pregnant women have this magical time where it's bonding us to the baby?"

"I did.  I've heard it's quite fun."  She took kisses.  "When you're ready, join me on the bed?"

"You sure?" Clint asked.

Natasha smirked.  "I do my best work in there, not in here, Barton."  She strolled off.

Clint kissed Dawn, who gave him a sleepy smile.  "Going to nap?"

"Maybe soon."  She yawned.  "You're just too damn good to me."

"I am but you deserve the best."

"Which is you."

"Which I try to be," he corrected but he was smiling.  "I know I have faults."

"Every mortal does.  So do most Gods."  He smiled.  "I like you how you are, faults and all.  They make you more exciting.  Perfect people are boring and would never club with me."

"Hmmm."  He pulled her closer, kissing her hard.  "That works for me."  She smiled and wrapped herself tighter around him.  "Needy already?" he teased.

"Slightly."  He shifted her so he could push back in and slowly make her happy this time.  They had all day and a hot water tank made for large hotels.  This didn't need to be a quickie.


Ethan Hunt walked up to where Dawn and Clint were getting a snack in the second tower.  "Wow, you're really...."

She smiled.  "Fat?  Yes, I am.  But I'm also six months along so I excuse that in myself."  A few of the nearby people laughed.  "Let me get you two into the conference area."  She walked off with her muffin and diet soda.  Clint paid and followed her, earning a smile from the watching people.  Ethan followed, watching how they handled it.

Dawn got them into an empty room and waved.  "Here we go."  Someone slid in before the door could close.  "Hey, Benji."

"Dawn.  You look wonderful.  Glowing and all that."

She smiled.  "You flatterer you."  She sat down and opened her soda to sip.  "So you need my spouse again?" she guessed.

"We need at least the facsimile of William Brant," Ethan agreed.

Clint smirked.  "I actually do a lot of the same job since we only have handlers half the time."

"However you do it was good enough to fool us," Benji said.  He sat down and winced, rubbing his leg.  "Screwed my knee."

Dawn looked at Ethan.  "I'll let you have him but he had better be back in about two months.  I'm due in just over two and a half months.  You've also got to help him go through the lamaze stuff while you have him.  Because if he isn't here when I go into labor I'm summoning him no matter what he's doing.  There's no way I'm delivering this kid by myself and Natasha's off doing something as a favor for the CIA."  She sipped her soda.

"I'm hoping it won't take over three weeks but it's a weapons dealer," Benji said.   "They'd be leaving me local since I can't run right now."

She looked at him, smiling slightly.  "Benji, I adore your huge brain but I'm in the end of my second trimester.  You don't give good backrubs or leg rubs."  He blushed and shook his head.  Ethan was too.  "Beyond that, I'm still fighting off the wicked reporter who wants to do a heros calendar."

"None of the others outside Stark would go for that," Clint said with a grin for her.  "Calm down."

"I am calm."  She smiled sweetly.  "And if it's about Porgi, tell him I said hi and I remember how he stepped on my toes," she told Ethan.

"Yeah," he said, nodding slightly. "How do you know him?"

"He came up to her at the club the other night when she was blowing off stress," Clint said with a glare at his wife.  "By herself."

"You were in New Jersey and it's not like I can do it other ways good enough."  She nibbled her muffin.  "You did promise to go to lamaze class with me."

"You went with Pepper," he said with a grin.

She stared at him.  "Yes, but I'll need someone else to take my mind off the pain I'll be in," she said dryly.

"You are pushing out something the size of a large cantaloupe out a hole the size of a grapefruit," Benji said then shuddered.  "People have been putting their birth videos up online."

"I sat through both of Pepper's," Dawn said with a grin for him.  "I know how it goes but I'll still need a coach.  Someone there to handle things, protect both of us, make sure I'm okay and the nurses are listening to my wishes, maybe even to take out the demon that's presently trying to move into the local birthing center I'm going to."  Clint shuddered, shrinking down some.

"I'm sure the lessons are online," Ethan said.  "I'll try to have him back in a month, Dawn."

"I had better not have to come rescue you guys."

"No, you shouldn't," Clint said, staring at her.  She stared back.  He mentally groaned.  "I'll be safe, Dawn.  I promise I'll be as safe as I can."

"Good.  Write back to the reporter.  Today.  Before you go."

"Yes, dear."

She smiled.  "If you're really lucky I've even got all your suits and stuff in one closet area."

He grinned.  "Thanks.  What is Natasha doing?"

"Someone spooky overseas that's already scared of me I think."  She shrugged.  "Like I said, if I start into labor by myself, you're getting your ass summoned.  I don't care if it screws up *years* of work."  She sipped her soda.  "Unless you really want to talk Tony into being there to cut your son's cord and all that?"

"No, he may not look at you naked," Clint said firmly.  She stared at him.  "I'll try, Dawn."  She nodded.  "I still don't know what's so special about lamaze classes.  Beyond the breathing stuff."

"They teach you how to do some massage things to help with the leg cramps and the like," Benji said.  "They are online, Dawn."

"Fine.  He may go as long as you bring him back," she said firmly, staring at Ethan.

"I'll do my best."

"Thanks."  She smiled.  Ethan shivered.  "Beyond that, SHIELD's reorganization is next month," she reminded Clint.

"Good point."  He stood up.  "Let me go home and pack, tell the twins and all that."  He fled the mood swing.  Ethan, being slightly wise, did the same thing.

Benji looked at her.  "At least you know what you're doing with that."

"Yeah and with my luck, I'll be taken again within two days and have to go into labor there," she said dryly, finishing her soda.  "Let's go upstairs."  He nodded.  She got them up to the avenger's only meeting area.  "Hunt borrowed him again," she announced as she walked in.

"Crap," Bruce muttered.  "Natasha's somewhere in Eastern Europe.  You're....."

"Benji.  IMF computer and gear tech."  He shook his hand.  "I'm trading out due to my knee being off right now."

"That happens," Tony quipped, staring at Dawn.  "That's going to suck when you go into labor."

"It's going to suck more because you can't put a tracker on me due to it possibly harming the pregnancy," she quipped with a grin.  Tony and Bruce both winced.  The organic trackers weren't supposed to be used on pregnant women.  "Also, if he's not back in time, guess who gets to help me through the labor, boss," she said with a sweet grin.

"Pepper's was bad enough and MB's nearly made me drink," he said bluntly.  "Bruce?"

"Not the sort of miracle I want to believe in," he said dryly.  "Joyce would help."

"No she won't.  She said she did not want to remember hers with Buffy and doing it in the backseat of a car on the way to the ER," she said dryly.  "I already asked, Stepdad."

"Crap," the guys said together.

"Pepper would," Tony said.

"And who's going to babysit the kids?" Dawn asked dryly.  "Because with no guards around me, it's entirely possible you're going to be rescuing me during the birth."  Tony and Bruce both shuddered, looking at each other.

"Steve," Bruce said.

"Nudity still makes him nearly pass out at times," Tony said.  He grimaced.  "Crap.  This is seriously bad timing.  Are you sure it's not a plot?"

"Aren't I the paranoid one?" she asked.

"Yes, but you usually have a really good reason," Tony said.

"Yeah, and you still have to write back to that reporter too."  He winced.  Bruce shuddered.  She grinned.  "You guys have fun with that.  Let me go back to my desk.  Benji, wanna be the official assistant?"  She walked off.  He shrugged, glancing at Tony, who pointed.  He limped after her.  Tony and Bruce both whined once they were gone.

"Shit," Tony said.  "JARVIS?"

"I've already shown Pepper that footage, sir," the AI said.  "She's begging Agent Hill to please send one of the spouses back sooner because she doesn't want to know how bad the birth will be.  Especially with long range forecasts calling for another good snow storm about then."

Tony shook his head.  "Why us?" he moaned.

"Unfortunately, by what they've gathered it is fairly necessary," JARVIS offered.

"Yay," Tony said sarcastically.  "Any idea on when Romanoff's getting back?"

"No.  I have no idea yet, sir."  He hung up on them.

Tony and Bruce shared a look.  "Coulson?" he yelled.

Phil appeared with the two babies from Maria and Tara on his shoulders.  "I'm a bit busy, Stark.  What?"

"IMF called for Barton," he said bluntly.  "They left us a field tech guy who's limping."

"Okay," he said, though his expression clearly said 'fuck'.  "If we have to, we'll arrange to rescue Dawn and help her through the labor and delivery process."  He went back home with the twins.  They needed a bath.  Craig *really* needed a bath.  He'd make plans and make sure people were available later.  Xander appeared, taking Danielle to bathe.  "Thank you."

"Welcome.  We'll help Dawn through things, you know that."

"I do."  He settled in to bathe the messy butted one.  Craig seemed to enjoy crapping all over himself at least three times a day, it always made him smile and giggle.  The adults around didn't like it as much but the baby enjoyed the hell out of it.


Dawn was let into the meeting room with the reporter.  "Clint said he's not going to help you."

"Where is your spouse?"

"Busy for at least another month," she complained.

"Oh, so he won't be here for the birth?"

"He'd better be here for the birth," Dawn said, staring at her.  "Beyond that, he doesn't want to do a beefcake calendar.  He's turned you down twice."

"I know.  Still, we can do some things with pictures we already have."  She smiled.  "Add in a short interview?"

Dawn shrugged.  "I can't keep you from using pictures already in the press," she admitted.  "But if it gets him hurt I'm going to kill everyone involved in it."

She smiled.  "I had those same mood swings."

"It's not a mood swing," Dawn said dryly, staring at her.  "It's a fact.  My husband or wife gets hurt because of it, I'll remember what I learned over the years.  Pregnant or not."

"Fine.  We'll try very hard."

"Why don't you use other agents wearing masks?"

"We're thinking about that.  Do you think he would?"

"Maybe.  Not sure."  She shrugged.

"Can I get a few things from you?"

"Sure, why not."  She sat down and put her feet up.  "Sorry, swelling.  Been on them for hours."

"That's fine.  I spent my last month on the couch.  No maternity leave?"

Dawn shrugged.  "Not really needed and the nursery's all set up.  I'll probably take the last few days off so I can do things like cook ahead of time and do the laundry up so I won't have to for a few weeks."

"That's reasonable.  I hired a housekeeper for six months."

Dawn smiled.  "The twins handle most of their things and help with the other stuff when they're asked."

"That's sweet and good of them.  You're doing a good job with them."  She smiled.  "So, are you three actually *together* or is it a marriage of convenience?"

Dawn looked at her.  "I have perfection.  Why wouldn't I touch it now and then?"

"He was your first and only man.  Are you sure he is?"

Dawn grinned.  "Have you ever had it so good it redefined religious for you?"  The reporter slowly shook her head.  "I have.   We were playing around and it went there; it was so good I nearly lost control of my magic in a few ways, and then it got better."  She smiled.  "Just went from normal oral sex and teasing to something so special and so good he nearly couldn't walk the next day and we weren't that hard on each other.  We held onto it for something like six hours and it just got better and better to the point where my magic nearly came free of my control and created new lifeforms."

The reporter shivered.  "I've never...."  She cleared her throat.  "Six hours?"

Dawn smiled and nodded.  "Including the cuddling and touching before, then the foreplay and the sex, yeah."

"Oh."  She blinked.  "He gives oral sex?"

Dawn smiled.  "Yes, he does."

"Wow.  I can't get my husband to do that."

Dawn smirked.  "Last month I was sharing a food craving with him and used nutella on myself.  He was very happy to help me clean it up."  The reporter shivered.  "Try it, it's good.  Nicely thin so it spreads easily."

"I might," she said.  She blinked a few times.  "Is he the mushy sort?"

"Not usually.  He'll pop around for lunch to spend time with me but he's not the hearts and flowers sort of guy.  Actually I think he's only given me flowers once and he was buying them while following someone."  She shrugged.  "I don't need flowers and poetry.  He's perfect the way he is, even if he does have a great fondness for really gross tasting beer at times and he listens to some country stuff I can't stand."

"Huh.  What about your wife?"

"She's more like a quiet mink blanket that wraps itself around you and is *there* when you need her, usually.  Now and then I've needed her to be there and she was busy.  That's the nature of the job though."

"Was that special night near when you three got together?"

"No, it was about six months before I got pregnant."  She smiled.  "The honeymoon stuff ....  Well, it was kinda normal but there was a birthday in there."  She grinned.

"Oh, huh," she said, swallowing.  "What's Stark like up close and personal?"

"He's like a dark sun.  He's not a bright and shiny sun but he's still glowing and has a heavenly mass that attracts other heavenly bodies.  Including the moon goddess and earth body of his mates."

"Wow."  She wrote that down.  She looked at Dawn.  "They're very tight?"

"Yeah.  Liz keeps complaining that they cuddle too much and she can't sneak into bed with them.  Then again she's almost two."

"They don't let her snuggle in?"

"All the kids have their own room.  They sneak in sometimes but Liz likes to pounce first thing in the morning.  She usually can't pounce Steve, who she likes to pounce the most.  He sleeps just deeply enough that she wakes him when she pounces.  Pepper wakes up when she climbs in with them, and Tony tends to flinch awake."

"I guess with some of his past that's normal."  She stared at her.  "What about your mother and Dr. Banner?"

"They're cute, hand-holding, cuddling while making dinner sorts.  I'm sure my mom's got a good pounce on her but I never asked either of them about it," she said dryly but grinning.  "I don't need to know what my stepdad's favorite outfit of hers is."

"That's a good point.  I wouldn't ask my mother either."  She blinked a few times.  "Masks you think?"

"Well, if you show their faces, people will know who they are and that can endanger their lives.  Masks would let you protect that and you may get a few identifying scars or tattoos.  Plus it'd let you get other agencies."  She grinned.

"Would you do it?  I mean after you've delivered.  We can airbrush out stretch marks."

"I only have one right now and it's on my lower back.  I might, not sure.  I have done so for someone in the past.  His work is inflammatory to say the least."  She grinned.  "Ask me in a few months."

"Is pregnancy making you feel less than sexy?"

"No, not in the least.  I feel very sexy.  A bit heavy but I'm told that's normal.  But no, if Clint was here, I'd be pouncing.  Or Natasha.  She'd probably stop me because she's not into showing it off too often."

The reporter moaned.  "Thank you, Dawn."  She left, going to tell her editor that bad luck but good idea and the slight interview.

Dawn went back to work.  Benji was having a lot of fun confusing the geeks.  It was good to see him in happy evil mode again.


Dawn came out of the tower that night, finding a reporter waiting.  Benji was behind her because he had a PT appointment for his knee.  "What?" she asked.

"Are you going to sell pictures of the baby?" the reporter asked.

"No.  I don't believe that the baby will need press attention.  You guys might not see the baby until it's walking."

"Still not saying if it's a boy or a girl?" the reporter pouted.

"No.  I'm not."

"Why?  Most people don't mind that much.  Unless you're like the people raising their children gender neutral?"

Dawn grimaced.  "No.  Think about it this way.  Why has half of everyone in the universe wanting this kid?"

"Because the father's an Avenger."

"Okay, and why is that?"

She blinked.  "I don't know."

"Think about it genetically and get back to me," Dawn quipped, walking off.

"Is he on assignment?"

"Yes, they are," Dawn called back.  "Please leave them alone.  And his doppleganger."

"He has one?" the reporter demanded.

Benji smiled at her.  "We've found an agent in another agency that looks *just* like Agent Barton, ma'am.  He's been approached once and blew them off then hid like hell before he shot her."  She shivered.  Benji grinned.  Hopefully that would keep the press off Clint/William Brandt for a few months at least.  "Agents are usually paranoid."

"I understand why.  Genetics?"

Benji looked at her.  "Thinking about it, would the ones with gifts have theirs pass on?"  He limped past her.  "Got to make sure she makes it home then see my PT."

She stared at her cameraman, who was blinking back.  "Would it?"

He slowly shook his head.  "I don't know."  They went to the office of a higher reporter, they were with TMZ, and asked her that question.  She flinched and agreed it might not. Not if it hadn't tampered with their fundamental DNA.  That put a whole new spin on people who wanted Dawn and her child.  Dawn's gifts would pass on.  Barton's gifts would probably pass on.  The others....  Who knew.  That explained a whole lot to them.


Benji walked Dawn into a shop.  "This is Dawn and we're solving a problem.  She has narrow, long feet and cannot find something comfortable to wear.  I was thinking ballet slippers, not the pointe shoes but the regular, wear them to class kind, might help with that and they're mostly for narrow feet."

"They are," the man behind the counter said.  "It's not usual for our clients but I can see how that's a problem with the heels she's wearing."

"It's all I can find outside of one store in Asia and theirs fall apart in about two days."

"They can do that.  Let's measure you."  He let Benji help her sit down.  "How far along are you?"

"Just into my seventh month," she said with a smile.

"That's a good time to give up heels.  My wife's back hurt her constantly."  He got the measuring woman out while he looked at Benji.  "I hope it's a healthy child."

He grinned.  "Not mine.  I'm filling in while her spouse is on assignment.  He's an agent."

"Ah!"  He nodded.  "That's a good friend."

Dawn grinned.  "My husband had better be back when I go into labor."  The fitting woman laughed but nodded that was probably a good thing.  She got her some of the higher end shoes that they had ready made for serious students who didn't need them specially fit.  Dawn slid into them and was shown how they tighten.  "Wow those are comfy.  Will they stand up to me doing rounds in them?  I have to do geek rounds to make coffee and gather reports."

"They should.  They stand up to a lot of wear on stage," Benji said.  Dawn hugged them all.  They all smiled and let her buy four pairs.  That should get her through the next few months at the very least.  Benji grinned at them and took her back to the office so she could show Pepper, with a stop for chocolate sauce and tempura shrimp.


Ethan got an email from Benji and looked at it then at his partner.  "Six hours?"

"What?" he asked, looking up from the laptop.  He got handed the phone with the email pulled up.  He had to blush at that.  "I'm in no means perfect," he complained, handing it back.  "But yeah, with the cuddling and foreplay, about six hours if I remember right.  We lost track of time."

"Tantric?" Ethan asked.

"Nope," Clint/William quipped then smirked.  "Not in the least."


"At one point I went a bit primal and held her wrists down but otherwise, no, on the couch."  He shrugged, getting back to work but he was smiling.  He did pop an anonymous email to Dawn.  He could almost blush over that praise in a major magazine.

"Did it redefine religious for you?" Ethan asked sarcastically.

Clint looked at him.  "Dawn is my personal goddess.  I worship her every chance I get and that night I did it so good she broke, twice."  Ethan shivered and walked off.  That let him get back to work.  That way he could get home to worship his goddess and be there for the delivery.  Because he was sure Dawn would summon him from halfway around the world if she had to.

"That picture she mentioned?"

"Hanging in a sex club in Rio.  He had kidnaped her for a few hours to be his model."

Ethan sent that to Benji so he could look it up for him.  He got sent the site and Benji saying he was now blushing and couldn't look at Dawn the same way ever again.  Ethan stared at it, blinking hard.  "Wow."  He canceled that out and got back to his part of the job for the day.  He was probably going to blush the next time he saw Dawn too.


Tony and Pepper were settled on the couch with Steve in the recliner, it had a massage function and Steve's lower back was bothering him after a slight fall earlier during something minor.  Callia walked out with a small wood and velvet box.  She sat on the coffee table in front of and between Pepper and Tony.  "What's this?" she asked.  "I've never seen it before."

Tony smiled.  "Those were my mother's.  We've kept them until you were old enough to properly take care of them and need to wear them at times."

"Oh, wow."  She opened it with Pepper's help, looking at the tiny boxes.  "Why are they in boxes?"

"To keep them from tarnishing and to keep them from getting tangled up.  Necklaces can tangle into knots," Pepper said.  She pulled Callia over to help her look at them.

Howard faded in, staring at the box then at his son.  "She meant for those to go to your wife, Anthony."

"Steve, did you want Mom's jewels?" Tony quipped with a smile for him.

He gave him a dirty look.  "No, I don't really look good in diamonds and pearls.  Thanks anyway."

Pepper smiled.  "I have mine."  Callia looked up at her.  She hugged her.  "I don't have a huge collection but I have a few special pieces."

"Wow."  She went back to looking.  "How do I take care of these?"

"Tomorrow you're going to be going to a jewelry store downtown to learn how to do that," Tony said.

"Sparring," she reminded him.

"After that.  Instead of your homework time.  It's a field trip."  She beamed and nodded, bouncing some.  "Put them back for now."  She ran the box back in there and came out to pounce him to hug.  He kissed her on the head.  "Do you want to learn how to handle the society stuff now or later?"

"Must I?" she complained, grimacing.  "It seems really boring and stupid, Daddy."

"It is," he agreed.  "But some day you'll need to be able to do that."

"She could go to a finishing school," Howard offered.

"No, I'd want her somewhere to expand her mind, not shut it down," Tony said firmly, glaring at his fathers' ghost.  He grinned at his daughter again.  "When you're old enough, you'll have to start doing formal things with the family now and then."

"That's still boring."

He nodded.  "Very.  Your aunt talks to people to avoid the idiots and helps us do the same thing.  Steve hides, I become a distraction for him and Pepper keeps people off me.  We'll figure out how to help you handle it."  She snuggled into his lap to hug him.  He patted her back with a grin.  "We'll figure it out."

"Okay, if you're sure I have to."

"I'm sure you have to.  Sorry, it comes with being a Stark."

She looked up.  "Will Liz have to?"  He nodded.  "Poor babies."

"Definitely.  Your cousin may have to too," Pepper said dryly.  "Dawn's fairly well liked in local society circles."

"Did you see the bimbo assassin's sister tried to put her down," Tony said with a grin for Pepper.  "About how she had a *job* and wasn't one of them?"

"I did and I wrote a nice comment on her livejournal that neither was she or her sister when she was still around, plus her sister had embarrassed the whole family name."  She grinned back.

"I still can't believe there's a girls' prep school that teaches socialites how to be assassins," Steve complained.

Tony nodded.  "It's part of their self defense curriculum.  Taught by one that Natasha said was pretty pathetic overall.  He's in the bottom third of the field but the bimbos they train there are mostly doing it for self defense unless they're about as good as the teacher is.  He's had one that got passed onto a higher teacher.  She went to the academy in England and is doing a lot of very strong work for the UK because she's one of them."

"Huh," Pepper said.  "Still, I'd never let a kid do that.  If I want them to know how to shoot, we'll teach them."

Callia grinned at her.  "Unclie Clint said he would."

"Yes he did, and a bow," Tony agreed.  He patted her on the back.  "Steve got banged around."  She slid off him and pounced Steve to cuddle.  She made him scoot over so they could share the massage chair together, which got her smirked at.  "If Uncle Steve hurts too much you have to give him both sides," he reminded her.  He sipped his water.  "Steve, are you going to see if she likes art?  The local school system demands that she have some and music appreciation at the least."

"I love music," Callia reminded him.

"Not that sort," Pepper said.  "It's to expose you to classical and other types of music, Cal."

"Oh.  Well......  Symphony?"

"That too," Tony said with a smile.  "You can wear one of the new necklaces to the concert in a few days."  She cheered and bounced some, hugging Steve.  He cuddled her back.

"Can Liz come?" she asked.

"Liz is much too small to appreciate the symphony," Pepper said, but she was smiling.  "We'll teach her about music around here the same way you got it."

"Okay, we can do that then."  She yawned.  "This puts me to sleep.  It's not fair."

"It does it to me too," Steve said, yawning a bit.  He shifted her once she was asleep so he could have the whole chair again.  She snuggled in on his lap, wrapping herself around his chest.  He fell asleep while Tony and Pepper were talking about what she needed to wear to the symphony.

Tony grinned at her.  "See, it's not just you that falls asleep in it," Tony said quietly but smugly.

She kissed him.  "We'll put him in bed later."  Tony smirked and pulled her closer to kiss him again.  "We don't have a single condom out here, Tony."

"Must we?"

"Yes.  The next one is Steve's and is not going to happen for at least a year."  She stared at him.

"I won't be jealous."  He kissed her again, pulling her into his lap.  "Condoms are always in the decorative incense box," he said in her ear.  She shivered.  "But we can wait until we can put Callia into bed."  She smiled and nodded.  Liz came toddling up and pounced, grinning madly at them.  "Did you leave your baby brother down there alone?" he asked, patting her on the head.

"Mine!" she said, climbing up to hug Mom.  "Mine."

"We're all yours," Pepper promised with a smile.  "Where's your brother?"

"We have him," Diana called.

"That's fine, girls.  Thank you."

They brought up the youngest Stark heir and he cooed and batted at Liz, reaching for Callia.  Artemis put him beside them and she pulled him between them to cuddle.  "Damn she's good at that," Tony joked, grinning at them.  "Staying over tonight?"

"We were just sparring and needed cooling down time so we grabbed them for a walk around the gym," Diana said with a grin.

"That's fine.  They could use the exercise," Pepper said, giving them each a hug.  "Need gotten home?"

"Auntie's still at her desk."  They grinned and hugged everyone then left together.

Howard frowned and pointed.  "Who are they?"

"They are Callia's baby sisters by her mom and stepfather," Pepper said with a smile.  "Asgard has time running faster."

"Oh.  They're beautiful young women."

"Who are thirteen," Pepper said firmly.  "We have to keep brushing guys off them."

"I had to kick someone in the ass yesterday," Tony said, finishing his water.  "Bruce was turning green before I did."  Pepper smiled at him.  "The girls were brushing him off but he would not take no for an answer and kept asking if they put guys between them.  Offered to help them do twin porn.  Which is why Bruce started to change and I kicked him in the ass and out of the building."  He sighed.

She smiled.  "They're beautiful and so is Sean.  That's why they take so much self defense work."

He nodded.  "They need it.  Or New York needs a few less perverts.  I thought I was a bastard about it and I remember Dad having hot and cold running bimbos but damn!"

She laughed, hugging him.  "We'll handle it.  Remember, Dawn has mood swings."

"Yeah, she does," he agreed happily.  He cuddled her.  Normally he'd be groping but he was comfortable at the moment.  Liz was nearly asleep on her lap.  Christopher was proving he had his sister's snoring problem, which came from their mother but he'd never say that because Pepper would quit sleeping with him in a permanent manner.  "We need to have him checked."

"I already have.  Their pediatrician said he's watching out for it."  He nodded, stroking over her back.  She yawned.  "It's a sleepy night."

He nodded.  "I guess it is."  She and Liz fell asleep against his chest.  Tony shook his head, looking at his father.  "Did you finally find Mom?"

"No.  I haven't really looked.  She was a bit mad at me when we died, son."

Tony stared at him.  "Whose fault was that?"

"Hers."  He faded out.   He followed those adorable twins.  Their aunt was clearly pregnant at her desk.  "In my day, women took time off when they were pregnant."

Dawn stared at him.  "We do these days too but not until the last month.  I have a month left yet."  She smiled a sickly, saccharine smile.  "Anything you needed today, Howard?"

"Liz feels a lot like you."

"Yes, she does have gifts like mine.  We're going to be helping her the same way we do Callia."

"Not that way."

Dawn smirked a bit.  "That topic is permanently closed because there's six groups that would love to eliminate me for having my skills, much less a baby with them."  He floated backward looking horrified.  "The only one that actually wants me because of my powers anymore is HYDRA.  So let's not talk about that, okay?"

"Why?" Howard asked.

Dawn stared at him.  "The Fiersteiren Order of Monks."  He shuddered.  "They told HYDRA about those of us with gifts."

"I hated those crackpot cultists."

"So do we but they're all gone now," she said dryly.  "The last one tried to kill me a few months back and did not like my crossbow excellence.  Especially since he had baited a trap by trying to take your granddaughter's whole gymnastics class hostage.  They wanted Callia for *her* future possible skills."

"Slayers get called all the time," Howard said.

Dawn shook her head.  "Buffy lasted over twenty years, twelve was on Asgard."  Howard gaped.  She grinned.  "Buffy broke the mold and the Council eventually.   Slayers are now treated like the soldiers they are, not the way the Council did.  They get backup, they get support from SHIELD.  There's agents on the Hellmouth with the current slayers.  One's in LA handling the huge problem there with some hunters.  Buffy had backup and that made the line different.  Especially when Xander did CPR to bring her back to life."

"So there's more than one?" Howard asked.  Dawn nodded.  "Huh.  Sunnydale's still the open one?"

"No, Cleveland's the most open one now.  Sunnydale got blown up and shut down by Rosenburg, who was my sister's backup as well.  She went magic addiction.  Which is why we're very careful when we mentor Callia.  We've held a battle there and it's possible the closing is a bit weak at the moment.  We have sensors out there."

"That's good," he said, blinking a few times.  "Cleveland?"  She nodded.  "We always wondered what was with that town.  Do they have problems?"

"They have six agents and three young slayers there," Dawn said bluntly.  "Plus Xander and Phil if they need them, or me when I'm not pregnant, or whoever they need.  They're supported now.  SHIELD made sure of it."

"That's good.  I met one back when Steve was still a skinny young man.  She didn't last too long."

"Callia's going to outdo her mother's record," Dawn said.   "Especially since she's far down the list to be called."

"That's good."  He put his hands in his pockets.  "I was worrying but I know my son was very attached to her."

She stared at him.  A simple sticking spell meant he had to stay there until she educated him a bit.  "Parents should be attached to their kids.  Too many kids grow up in hellholes, even rich kids, because their parents treat them like a fashion accessory or worse.  *REAL* parents do things like go to recitals, gymnastics meets, have dinner with their kids, go to their birthday parties, all that.  They temper the love and spoiling with rules and boundaries so they don't grow up too spoiled but knowing that they're important to their families.  Kids aren't goldfish, they're not disposable pets."  Howard flinched back away from her.  "Yeah, he learned how to do it by doing it opposite of you.  Do you want or need me to be more blunt?"

"No," he said, lifting his chin up.  "I tried."

"Science was more important to you than anything but your liquor habit and your slut habit," she said bluntly.  "You never should've had kids."

"No, I shouldn't have.  My wife should've been able to handle it."

"Did your wife create the kids alone?  Because the last time I knew, it took two people's DNA to make a baby.  That means they should both be responsible, not a baby daddy, not a baby momma, but *responsible* parents.  Unlike the one in the news today that sold hers for a few crack rocks.  Or the ones who abandon their kids at home for days on end."

"We tried," Howard said firmly.

"Which is why your hell is watching your family do it better than you ever did."  He stiffened.  "Because if Tony ever turned into you, I'd kick his ass and take my niece from him.  Permanently."

"It's good you're so fierce about your family."  She stared at him.  "Maybe this is my hell."  She released the spell.  He floated off to think about that.  Maybe that's why he couldn't go on into his afterlife.

Dawn looked up and shook her head.  She looked up the hall to where the twins were hiding and giggling over some girl magazine.  She finished up the two things she needed to do.  "I'm done," she announced.  The twins came bounding back and helped her shut things down for the night.  They walked out together.  "Night, Benji."

"Night, Dawn, Diana, Artemis."  The twins grinned at him.  "Sean said he's at home."

"Wonderful."  The girls grinned.  "Yeah, you can make Sean look at your new clothes."  They cackled and got into the elevator with her.

Benji smiled but shook his head, typing an update email to Clint.

Howard reappeared.  "You're an industrial spy," he accused.

"No, I'm a regular one.  I'm watching over Dawn for her spouses."  Howard gaped.  He smirked.  "She needs it.  A lot of people want that baby."  He locked things up and went home for the night after sending a text at Pepper.  The ghost of Tony's father could do some Shakespearian thing for all Benji cared.  Clearly he needed some chains and more moaning about important things than whining about his granddaughter.


Clint looked up as Ethan stormed into the hotel suite.  "What's happened this time?"

"Dawn's local."

"Why?  She's in New York."

"No, she's not."  He showed him the pictures.

Clint stared and pointed.  "That's a general from the US."  He called Stark.  "It's me.  Why is Rhodes' old boss with Dawn here where I am?"  He listened, making notes.  "Yes, it was clearly Piers.  Yes, him, Stark."  He made another note and shook his head.  "And she's playing along or not?"  He sent a thought at Dawn, wincing at the pain he got back.  "Got it.  Thanks."  He hung up.  "No, there's a general involved.  He wants to start his own team."  He gathered a few things and headed out. 

A shout at Natasha and she was local by that night.  Her mission was going poorly at the moment so a break would help and add interest.  They watched and took down the general, all his people, and the people who were trying to keep Dawn hostage.  It was quiet, clean, and none of them would be able to do it again.  He found the thing they had stuck on Dawn, letting Natasha remove it for him.  She had the steadier hand.  Clint got them beamed back to the infirmary when they found the explosive attached to it.  "Doc?"  He came out to look.  "It's not pretty."

He looked and nodded.  "That's very bad.  The explosive?"

"I'm working on it," Natasha said.  She finally got it disarmed and Shivs got her into surgery to remove the whole chip while some bloodwork ran.  She wasn't drugged but that created a motor-control problem that overrode her control of her body.  He had to call in a friend who could do neurosurgery.  He had worked on the project in the first place.

Clint and Natasha shared a look.  They'd wait until they were sure Dawn was fine then go back to their missions.  Clint sent Ethan a quick text and put his phone up.  They weren't at a critical part by any means.  He could track the money here through JARVIS.  It'd be a lot faster than him doing it.

Natasha could do a better check on her target because the one SHIELD had and what she had found out had gaps.  Something was clearly missed.


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