Na-Uh, Old Ones Say No.
Dawn got her family to Atlantis, looking at the city. She looked
good in the light snowfall. Dawn smiled at the guards on
duty. "Hey, guys."
"Summers," the guard in charge said with a nod. "The twins coming back soon?"
"With Sean. He's visiting his big brothers." She
walked them onto the city from the boat and smiled at the guard.
"We're up on vacation."
"That's always handy. This is the most cherry assignment I've had
in the military to date. All I have to do is pet the lake monster
and help load stuff now and then." She laughed, handing over a
bag. He checked the tag. "I'll get it to her, ma'am."
He walked off. "I'll tell Sheppard you're here too."
"I already know," John said with a grin as he walked past him.
"Hey, Dawn, Natasha, Clint." He shook hands with Clint and hugged
the girls. "They should be back soon."
"I can feel Artemis," Dawn agreed. "That's why we showed up
now." He laughed and led them inside to catch up with what had
happened. Natasha was blushing about Xander appointing her as a
love goddess if she became immortal. Thankfully she wasn't
interested in that.
Dawn felt Artemis walk onto the city and walked out to meet her.
She was in her semi-formal armor. Which was basically a platemail
bikini with a cloak and a hat like Thor's only with wings.
"Niece," Dawn said, looking her over. The just-below-the-knee
boots were silver. The cloak was black. "You spilled blood
in a battle?"
"Aye, Auntie." She smiled slightly. "The training camp was
attacked by men with little sense and desire for warrior women.
Otherwise I would still have a white cloak." She fluffed it out
some. "Do I pass inspection?" she teased with a grin.
"Yes, you do," she said, giving her a hug. "I didn't want cut on the armor, dear."
"It's amazing because I do look much different," she sighed, cuddling
her aunt. "Hi, Uncle Clint and Auntie Natasha." They hugged
her too. She smiled at John since he was staring. "Do I pass
"Apparently you graduated well since that mark on your shoulder is only
given to the best of the trainees in their class." John smiled and
hugged her. "Congratulations, Artemis, and welcome back."
"Thank you, Uncle John." She smiled at Ronon and Rodney when they came out. "Hi."
Ronon looked her over. "You'd think with all the snow they'd make you wear more clothes that wouldn't chill you."
"That's why we have the cloak," she quipped with a grin.
Rodney nodded slowly. "Yes, I can see that." He cleared his
throat. "Is that for special occasions or everyday wear?"
"This is everyday battle armor. The dress armor has a slight
skirty feel to it and it's chainmail." She grinned. "I look
incredibly hot in it."
"You already do," Rodney admitted. "That may blow some of the tiny
minds we have pretending to be scientists." He walked off rubbing
his forehead. "Your brother will complain."
"I doubt that. Not even he can complain about official duty
armor." She grinned at her aunt, walking them inside to talk about
the training camp. Sean showed up during it and got his
hugs. He stared at her. "It is my everyday armor."
"I saw other swordswomen who graduated from there," he said with a
scowl. "I still see much too much of your body, sister."
"If you keep staring at it, people will start to wonder if you're into
sisters instead of girls," she quipped with an evil smirk.
He snorted. "I'd never touch you two. I helped change your
diapers." He settled in beside Clint so he wouldn't have to stare
at his sister. "Where's the other brat?"
"Somewhere," Artemis said. "We're not that sort of twins."
"She's not on Atlantis."
"She got called to someone for a meeting about some future training,"
John said, relaxing again. Sean stared at him. "College
"That's fine then. At least she'll be wearing clothes."
Artemis snorted and waved a hand. "Why the cloak change? The
last time I saw it you were wearing white."
"There was an attack on the training camp," she said. "Which started on my end."
Dawn shuddered. "I would've killed them all."
"I got three," she admitted. "And injured a few others.
Without magic, which I got praised for." Dawn smiled at her for
that. She looked up. "I think that's Diana. I felt
someone teleport in."
They got up and walked out there to meet her. She saw her aunt and
burst out crying, running up to hug her. "What's happened?" Dawn
asked, soothing her. "Who hurt you?"
She looked up. "You don't believe in arranged marriages, do you?"
"Hell no! Who tried to say I did?"
"John's mother! She thinks I'm Artemis and she said it's already arranged."
"Fuck no," John said.
"Hear that," Dawn agreed. She looked at him. "Shall we?"
"Yes, we shall." He hugged her. "No, Diana, I'd never take
your sister. I think she likes them blonder than I am." He
grimaced and took Dawn with him. "Hell no I'm not marrying
Artemis, Mother. She's already got an interested party."
"I am your mother....." she stared.
"There's no way that I'd let either of my nieces or my nephew enter into
an arranged marriage," Dawn said. "My family doesn't believe in
"It would be a great insult to your house," she sneered. "You are
but an uppity mortal anyway." Dawn blasted her back, making her
shriek and try to attack, which Dawn held off easily. "What are
"I'm the same as I've always been. Xander!" He appeared in a
pop of light and noise. "Your mother decided Artemis is marrying
your brother. Our house does not do arranged marriages, do they?"
"No, they do not," he agreed. "Especially since she has a demigod
that is interested in her already. I appreciate them
together." He stared at his mother. "There's no arranged
marriages in my House, Mother. Not since everyone went so pushy
"I'm not ready to marry yet," John said.
"You will marry. I'm your mother and I said so. You'll marry her niece."
"My niece is an adult and has the right to pick her own spouse," Dawn
said bluntly. "The same as your son is. The puny *honor*
gained from marrying my niece isn't worth the stress on either
side. Beyond that, Artemis is already spoken for and I won't have
that broken up."
"Mother, you have no standing in *my* House," Xander reminded her.
"John is of my house, not yours. He gave up his status here and
in the Greek Pantheon outside his job there. There will be no
wedding." Goddesses streamed in and he shook his head at their
happy talk. "THERE WILL BE NO WEDDING!" he announced, making
everyone shut up and stare at him. "My House does not believe in
arranged marriages. John's a full grown man. He can and will
decide on his own spouse on his own. If others don't like it,
they can blow me." He stared at the head love goddess. "Am I
"Artemis is a charming young woman." She smiled at Dawn.
"Who is already seeing someone and we don't believe in arranged
marriages, ma'am." The goddess gasped. "We consider that a
failure, not an advantage. Beyond that, I'm not going to tell
either niece who they will and won't marry outside of them dating some
shitbag. Period. Their mother would hate it. Their
father would hate it. My mother will destroy all of you over
it." She smiled slightly. "I'm sorry for your plans being
lost but it will not happen."
"You are but a mortal," the love goddess sneered.
"Actually, I'm not," Dawn said, opening her aura up to them. They
gasped and stepped back. "I'm no more a mortal than you
are." Xander snickered. "So shut the fuck up about my
nieces. You have no way and no method of forcing my niece to marry
anyone and should you, it will start a war with my family. Since I
can pretty well destroy humanity by sneezing.... Well....."
She smiled and pulled her aura back in. "No, Artemis is spoken
for and Diana wants to do mortal things like education. Sorry that
you decided your grown male relatives can't make their own
decisions." She walked off with John. "Have you talked to
Diana about college choices?"
"I have. She's picked a few ideas for her future studies and a few
colleges that sounded good when she talked to people who went
there." He smiled. "Thank you."
She pinched him on the cheek with a smile. "If she wanted you I
wouldn't care but I'll be damned if she's going to be forced, John."
He smirked. "You're a fierce mom, Dawn. We like that about
you." They went back to the city. Then he went to talk to
Hera to get her on his side. Xander was throwing a fit at his
mother. "Lady Hera...."
"Congratulations," she said with a smile.
"I'm not taking Thor's future bride," he said bluntly. "I'm a
grown man, Lady Hera, and Dawn said that we do not participate in
arranged marriages in our House." He stared at her when she
gasped. "Beyond that, Artemis and Thor have a liking for each
other they're trying to figure out."
"There is the other twin," Artemis said smugly. "My namesake is quite a warrior. I checked on her."
John smiled at her. "She got the top honors marking as well."
"Congratulate her for me. I care not for Asgard and all the snow."
"I can and shall." He looked at Hera. "There's no wedding."
"It is appropriate for your house to make alignments," Hera said.
"Within it? If I had an interest in the twins I would've already
spoken up, Hera. I've seen them since they were teenagers. I
have no interest in either of them." She groaned. "Beyond
that, Diana's got to go through college yet. She might find
someone she likes."
Aphrodite cleared her throat. "They wanted Artemis, John."
"Who's crushing hard on Thor and he's crushing back. Stay out of
it. The House's displeasure at Love gods still stands," he said,
glaring at her. She huffed off. He looked at Hera.
"Modern beings don't usually believe in arranged marriages outside of
some cultures, which I was not brought up in."
"Most peoples do," Hera said.
John shook his head. "No they don't. Outside a few
religions, they don't." He smiled. "And most of them believe
in childhood marriages." Hera grimaced. "So, no."
Xander appeared. "Mom sobbing?" he asked, pointing at the wet
"Mom thought she had status in our House and I had to abuse that
notion." He looked at Hera. "No one in my house is going to
be forced into another marriage. Just because Phil and I worked
out, doesn't mean others will or will be forced to. I don't care
which ditzy blonde goddess thinks it." Hera glared. He
stared back. "Perhaps we should have a ruling party summit."
Zeus nodded and sent the others away.
Xander let out his radiance. Zeus gasped and nearly tipped his
chair over to get away from him. Hera was crying. He pulled
it back in. "John is my House's God of Intelligence. He
leads his group. He is a grown God and he does not need the
fixups. I don't believe in it and we nearly killed each other
before we got sick and Dawn equalized the powers between us helping Phil
not die," he said quietly. "Or else we wouldn't have made it
through all this. There are no arranged marriages. If
someone has an interest, they can state it like big gods and do their
"It leads to much stress," Hera said, gathering herself back together. "How long?"
"The same day I marked Phil," he said honestly. "Which was a bit
ago. We have no interest in changing things but it will not be
forced on anyone under my roof. We have made a few choices, like
all our honorable dead go to Hades. I'm going to have 'Sclep be my
head healer with Dr. Peter underneath him."
"They would make good choices," Zeus said. "You don't really need a war god with how many soldiers you have."
"If Dawn's mates become immortal, her spouse will be and her wife will
be our head of Desires." He grinned. "Dawn's immortality
will go into her daughter with the next Key child being born."
Zeus nodded. "That is what we thought would happen. What of Roque?"
"He's my God of Hunters."
"Which is his duty anyway," Hera said, plucking her toga to make it lay
better. She looked at him. "I will support you not being
forced but Krishna likes it."
"He just wants a party," John said. "Lord Krishna, I need to speak to you." Nothing.
Xander summoned him and he appeared, glaring at him. Xander let
out his radiance again, making Krishna gasp and back up. "*My*
House doesn't believe in arranged marriages," he said quietly. "No
matter that our mother has plans. If you want a party, we'll have
a party. John's to be my Head of Intelligence."
Krishna straightened up and nodded. "Artemis is a beautiful girl."
"Who has a thing for Thor," Xander said bluntly. "Not John.
She wants to be a traditional wife and mom to a warrior, Krishna.
Diana wants to do mortal things and go to college. Beyond that,
you nearly made Dawn start snapping locks."
"I was not aware that she was the same one."
"Yeah, which is why Mom's sobbing that she had gotten her ass handed to
her," Xander quipped. "Before I paddled it for her. She
tried to attack Dawn."
Krishna sighed and shook his head. "She worries much about the family legacy."
"That's our job," John said. "I'm sorry she's upset but I'm not
being married off like some child. I'm a full grown man and I can
make my own decisions, Krishna. Please stick up for this before it
becomes a family war."
"I can see that happening," he agreed. "Very well actually."
He sighed. "Fine. We will host a party instead." He
smiled. "My wife is looking forward to more children in the
"Then they should probably uncurse Mari," Xander said. "She's got
her eye on a geek of her own but can't because she'll lose herself and
become an unthinking robot wife."
"I ordered them to," he said.
"Sometimes you gotta kick someone in the butt to motivate them," Xander quipped. "I have a few times."
Krishna smiled. "I have as well. I will remind them today, boys. Your mother?"
"Not of my House," Xander said. "I'm sorry but no. The
older, wise woman role is Joyce's. My mother has proven
she's not wise, she's not tolerant, and she's downright ugly at
times. There's no way I want that in my house."
He nodded. "So be it. I can agree with that. Jonathan, are you satisfied there?"
"I am. I love my present duties and I'll come if you need my
help. The same as I keep my job here with the Greek pantheon, Lord
Krishna, but I cannot abide by being thrown to the lions by women who
should have my best interests and happiness at heart."
"Agreed. Is that well known, Xander?"
"We don't want to take over or anything," he said bluntly. "We're
busy. I don't have time to deal with all the BS you guys do.
Or she does." Krishna smiled. "Or the patience," he said
blandly, earning a brighter smile. "We're quietly making
arrangements for things like our head healer and the like."
"Very well," Krishna agreed. "Thank you for that kindness of less stress."
"Unless I have to step in to stop something huge or something stupid,
it'll stand," Xander said. Krishna nodded and left.
"Asclepias, I summon thee," he called. He walked in a moment
later. "Shut the door so the others can't hear," he said with a
smile. He did that and walked over. "You are hereby
appointed as the head healing god of my House and pantheon," he said
quietly. "Your secondary healer is Healer Peter."
Asclepias gasped. "I'm what?" Xander nodded. He looked at Hera.
She smiled back. "It is fitting and you did get them to listen to
you when they were sick, Asclepias. Congratulations."
"Thank you." He looked at Xander then at John. "When did this happen?"
Xander grinned. "When I marked my mate." Asclepias tensed up
and moaned. Xander grinned and nodded. "Yup. We want
nothing to change anywhere, but we had to make some decisions. So
you've got extra time on earth if you want it."
"I'll enjoy that." He hugged them both. "Thank you for thinking of me, boys."
"Like Hera said, you baby us very well," John quipped with a grin.
"I'm going to have a hangover now." He disappeared.
Xander grinned. "Mom tried to arrange a marriage for him."
"Yeah. So anyway, we're keeping it really quiet. Hades is
our God of the Dead. I'm going to talk to the smiths when they
have their competition soon. I'm not sure if anyone's that bored
or not." He grinned as he manifested a scroll. "All those
that are officially in our House."
Asclepias looked it over. "I've treated most of you for being too stubborn to Dad's orders. Thank you, Xander."
"Not a problem. Let me help John have his hangover." He winked and disappeared.
Asclepias looked at them. "It's an interesting side job and I've always liked Healer Peter."
"He is a good healer," Zeus agreed. "They do not want to have it known."
"That's fine. It would definitely hinder Phil's job." He
walked out happier. The other gods were staring and he
grinned. "Xander appointed me head healer for his house."
His father smirked and patted him on the shoulder in sympathy.
"Healer Peter is under me."
"He's a good choice. He can treat them like the children he
usually treats." He walked off looking smug. That had meant
he didn't have another job. Thankfully!
Asclepias went back to his temple to celebrate. He was a happy god today.
Dawn appeared in front of Thor, staring at him. "We must talk. John's mother is trying to screw up majorly."
"That is not our pantheon but we may speak," he said, pushing out a chair with his foot.
"I figured you wanted to talk about this in private." He nodded
and got up, walking her out to the hall. "John and Xander's mother
just tried to set up John and Artemis in an arranged marriage," she
said quietly, staring up at him. "Which we've already told her
hell no about and it won't go through."
He took in a deep breath. "Thank you for sticking up for my interests, Dawn."
She smiled and patted him on the arm. "I know you'll take good
care of her if you end up together. I know John would but they'd
grow to hate each other."
He nodded. "John is much too wordly for a girl like Artemis."
"She's back from the training camp today. Xander's mother thought Diana was Artemis and told her. We have ended it."
"I will come visit with her on the morrow." He smiled. "Thank you for the warning."
"It's not a problem." She hugged her sister when she walked up to
them. "Xander's mom is trying to marry off your kids but we had a
hell no fit."
She smiled. "Good! Why is my baby girl wearing hoochie mama armor?"
"Official training armor," Thor said.
"Thor, she passed," Dawn said with a grin. "With high
marks." He grinned. "Come see her. She's an adult now
so you may court her to get to know her."
"Thank thee, Dawn. She is..." He ran a hand over his
hair. "It is like she is fascinating yet very confusing at the
Buffy smiled at him. "Welcome to love, Thor. I had the same
feeling over Hylal." She pinched him on the bicep. "If you
and she make a go of it, she will be happy and I'll consent to
it." He beamed and nodded. "She had better stay
"I shall make it so." Buffy smiled and walked off.
Dawn looked at him. "She has some fears, especially about her sister," she said quietly.
"I can see thus. A twin bond is a fragile, special thing. I would not rush her."
"Though she is mortal at this point," Dawn quipped.
"Then I will rush some but be cautious."
Dawn smiled. "That's what I'd hope you'd say. Mom would say
the same." He nodded. "Go eat. We'll see you when you
show up." She left, going back to the city.
Thor went back to his seat and sat down again. His father was
staring at him. "She was informing me that John's mother is
causing troubles that may mar the family a bit and cause stress.
They had a hell no fit as she called it."
Odin nodded. "The one you want to court?"
"She tried very hard but it has been denied and my rights to court her have been established and granted, All Father."
Odin nodded. "I saw her at the training camp, Thor. She is
more than worthy of your skills." He dug into his own dinner
Thor ate and considered things. He should probably bring her
something to commemorate her passing her training. He had no idea
Dawn appeared before her nieces. "You're safe," she said.
They smiled and relaxed. "You're probably getting visited tomorrow."
Artemis blushed bright red and ducked her head. "That would be nice."
Dawn tipped her face up. "He has the right to court you from both
your mother and my family. Mom agreed he could court you. We
will not make silly demands of him if he makes you happy but I will end
him if he doesn't. Understood?" Artemis hugged her.
"Good." She cuddled her then Diana. Diana calmed down
finally. Sean got one too even though he huffed. "Even boys
"Men don't, Aunt," he complained.
"Bullshit," John said from his seat. "I get cuddles all the time
from girls, even my mother when she's not in a strange minded
place." He sipped his beer. "Girls in Pegasus used to kidnap
Ronon for him to give them cuddles and sex." Sean squeaked.
He grinned. "Welcome to manhood, Sean."
"Thanks. I guess." He relaxed. He tapped into his
senses, using them on his sisters. Artemis was in a tizzy over
Thor possibly showing up. Dawn thought it was sweet he was going
to court her. Maybe he would slip Thor some ideas about his
sister. He wrote out a note and sent it magically to his
mother. She could deliver it. She'd want the twins
happy. Dawn and John both gave him a pointed look but he grinned
and flapped a hand. So they went back to fussing over the twins.
Buffy looked at the note that landed on her plate, plucking it off
before it got nasty. She read the name on the front and smiled,
walking over to him. "This was just banished to my plate, Thor."
He smiled and took it. "Thank thee, Buffy. From whence did it come?"
"I think my son. He's trying to be sneaky again and that's his handwriting." She smiled and went back to his seat.
Thor opened it and read it.
My sister Artemis is highly looking forward to your next visit. As
I know you have not gotten to know her yet, I will give you some things
about her as I want her to be fully as happy as possible and you seem
to be the one who may do that to my very weird baby sister. My
sister Artemis loves purple, she gained that love from our uncle.
Any shade of purple, light to dark. Most shades of blue are also
welcome. Do not give her pink or yellow, as she makes grossed out
faces at them. She does like flowers but likes earth crystals, the
sort that you find in fields, the most. She says it goes well
with her earth magic skills. Also, she has a thing about playing
with her hair and having to put it up all the time. Right now, she
has it tied up under her helm so she can not twirl it or otherwise knot
it. The one time Aunt Dawn had it done professional she swooned
I hope this finds your pleasure and I hope you much luck with my sister.
Thor smiled and tucked the note inside his vest. He knew where to
find such crystals. They were all over a few valleys nearby.
It would be a good present to commemorate her finishing her training if
she liked them.
Thor showed up the next day at lunch. It was a respectable
hour. Not too early or too late. He had found a pretty
quartz crystal that was purple with streaks of blue. He landed on
the city, looking at all the scowling faces. "Has another attack
"Only from one's mother, Lord Thor," the head guard when John wasn't
there said. "She has kidnaped both twins and John Sheppard for her
demented plans." Thor scowled. "We cannot find them.
Even Dawn can't."
"Oh, Dawn can," she said, coming out in her armor. "Dumb
bitch." She looked at him and smiled. "She'll love that."
"I would go with you if you wished," he said. "To rescue Artemis."
"I'd enjoy that." Xander appeared, looking at them. "Can we go now?"
"Yes, we can. It's about time." He looked at the crystal and
smiled. "Artemis will coo and pet that like it's one of the pets
in the family." He took them with him. Phil appeared in a
nice suit. Xander had on his leather pants for battles and a nicer
than average shirt thanks to Phil. They walked into the
meeting area. "Lord Krishna, you have stolen someone from my
"His mother has stolen someone from your house. We advised it was not wise," he corrected. "Thor."
"Artemis is my intended. I come to stake my claim."
"It is very welcome I'm sure." He looked at Dawn, who smiled. "She has chosen him?"
"They blush a lot at each other. We've given them permission to
get to know each other so they can tell if they're fully suited or just
"That is admirable." He waved a hand and created a portal. "Where they are, Xander."
"Thank thee." They walked in and Xander pulled up his radiance, making everyone gasp. "Give me back my people!"
"They are wed!" his mother said with a happy smile. "They're so cute. John and Artemis....."
"I'm still Diana," she said bluntly. "I wouldn't have my sister,
who has an interest, taken unfairly from him." John smirked at
her. "Then again, the last time you pulled me too.
Apparently we confuse you as twins." She stood up and hauled John
up. "We will have it dissolved if possible," she told John.
"If not, you can help me go to college?"
"I can tutor you," he agreed. "We'll have to see if it can be
undone." Xander undid the locks on them. "Diana, you look
nice in your sister's armor."
Artemis was found by Dawn, she was beating up a few soldiers who were
trying to stop her from getting to her sister's side. Thor walked
over and smacked one on the head. She looked up at him.
"Thor." She pounced him to hug. "Thank thee for coming to
save me from the most vile thing, a forced marriage to someone I could
He gave her a squeeze. "I am most happy to rescue you, even though
I know you could do so yourself." He pulled back to stare at her
shoulder. "You got Highest Honors?" he said with a smile.
She blushed some but smiled and nodded while twirling a bit of her
hair. He handed her the crystal. "I heard you liked them."
She cooed and smiled at him. "I adore this." She kissed him
on the cheek, making him blush. "Thank thee, Thor."
"You are most welcome." He walked her over the bodies she had left, taking her out there.
"I have no idea how you stand this armor shit," Diana said in a huffy
tone when she saw her twin. "It's tight, it itches, and it's
heavy." They moved to change in a corner while Dawn shielded them.
Artemis came out of the shielded area putting up her hair, the crystal
going under her helm. "I feel better, less exposed now."
"You do look nice in that," Thor said, staring at her cloak. "When?"
"The camp was attacked by boys with delusions of being warriors and having swordswomen."
Thor nodded. "I heard of thus. I had no idea you were hurt."
"Nay, I was not hurt, Thor. I spilled three bodies worth of blood
before help arrived in our sector." He relaxed and smiled.
She smiled back. "The young maidens were helpful in their defense
of their tents but Sorentha and I defended them."
"Then I congratulate you on your first battle win," he said, bowing
slightly. She blushed again. He walked over to her.
"We will get you out of the way. John?"
"I'm good and we'll see if the binding can be undone," he said.
"Even if Diana was to be mine, she has a lot of things she wants to do
before settling down and it's not right to stunt her growth for a quick
marriage full of regrets."
Diana blushed at him. "I would have no regrets, John. You
are a man of many fantasies and many naughty dreams but I do not equal
up to what you need in a wife. I may never equal up as you need
someone as smart as you are. Though you're a fantasy of mine, I
never would act on it because you never showed any interest."
"I watched you grow up and I tend to like my women a bit older," he
admitted. "And you're right, I'd need a wife who could keep up
with me. Some day you may equal up to it, but you're too young and
have too much to do." She nodded, agreeing that was true.
He looked at Xander.
"As far as I'm concerned, she's not your wife, there was no marriage, no
binding, nothing. Though it seems like they have made her
"Both of us," Artemis said with a grimace. "Sean's going to throw fits."
"Sean?" Dawn snorted. "Your grandmother is going to destroy
people." The twins shivered. So did Xander and John.
She looked at Diana. "I think that's very wise, dear." She
smiled. "I'll accept it if it does happen or if it does not and
you find someone who interests you as more than a nighttime
fantasy." She walked her off. Artemis walked off beside
Xander looked at them. "Do not bother my people again, family or
not." They gasped. "We do not allow such things.
They're the *old* ways." They walked out, Phil beside him.
"Artemis really does look good in her official armor."
"She does," Phil agreed, making her grin at them.
"Congratulations. I know how special that sort of mark is."
She grinned more brightly.
"You were marked as highest before your final test," Xander
agreed. "I was super happy that you made it that high, Phil.
You're a great warrior." Phil smiled at him.
"It's nice our godfather is still mushy after a few years of marriage," Diana teased him.
"Yes we are," he said happily. They went back to Atlantis.
Artemis sat and played with her crystal, seeing how it glowed with a
tiny bit of magic. They smiled and let Thor tell her about the
valley where he had found it. Dawn even agreed on a picnic with
him. Without a chaperone because they trusted Thor to be honorable
and honor her wishes to go to her marriage bed a virgin.
Xander and Phil relaxed and let Diana figure out what she wanted to do and where she wanted to hide on earth for a bit.
Dawn fell onto the bed that night after stripping off her chainmail,
looking at her spouses. "The fit earlier means I don't have to go
to the next dinner or they might huff off."
"Even better," Clint said with a grin. "The girls okay?"
"They're fine. Xander had the marriage annulled. Diana's
coming back with us to look at colleges. The city's coming home in
a few weeks." She took kisses as she crawled in next to Natasha,
snuggling up to her since she had held the sheet up for her.
"You're chilled," Natasha said.
Dawn shrugged. "You're warm and comfy." Clint laughed,
pulling her into the center so they could both warm her up. She
sighed in pleasure, grinning at them. "Artemis got highest
"That's wonderful," Clint agreed. He cuddled her. "Nat had naughty ideas for tomorrow."
"I have not a single plan for tomorrow." Dawn grinned. "I
only have to figure out how to tell Mom that Xander's mom made the twins
"Hulk sedative," Natasha said. "And chains."
"Many chains," Clint agreed. "Plus a lot of clearance for when she
goes off." Dawn hugged him then Natasha. "So, dirty
"I love dirty thoughts from both of you." She winked back at him
and kissed Natasha's throat, making her moan and tip her head
back. "We have ten more days." Natasha chuckled, giving her a
cuddle. They could go to sleep early tonight to rest up for the
Tara had the kids grocery shopping for when Dawn and everyone got
home. She smiled because Jonathan was helping by 'protecting'
Philip. Melissa was bossing the younger two around. She
stared at her but she huffed and picked up some bananas, getting a nod
to put them in the cart.
"Oh my god, that has to be Philip Summers," a woman said in awe.
Tara looked at her. "Do not make me call Stark Security please,"
she said quietly, getting in the way of her seeing him. "Dawn
would be really upset."
"Is she going out tonight?" She looked at Tara. "I know
you're the witch she works with sometimes in New York, miss."
Tara smiled. "I am and they're off for the weekend. Please
don't take pictures of the baby. It'll upset them horribly and you
know Dawn's been sick."
"I do. He's adorable!"
Melissa looked at her. "You're too old for him."
Tara scowled at her. "You're not a Stark, you have more manners than Callia. Use them please."
"Fine, but she is." She scowled at the old woman, hands on her
hips, one foot tapping. "You leave Philip alone! You're a
stranger and they're *bad* and usually bad for kids." The reporter
flinched back. "If you try to hurt one of us I'll have to tell
Mommy Maria and she'll kick your butt all over LA. Even if she
does have to fly out to do it."
"No, I don't have to fly out," Maria said, walking up to them. She
stared at Tara. "I came over to see if you wanted dinner last
night. It took me three hours to figure out where you had went,"
she said quietly.
"I didn't even think about telling you I was babysitting Philip," she said very quietly. "I didn't think you'd be upset."
"No, I'm not upset, Tara." She kissed her, earning a smile.
"Mommy, kissy me," John said with a pouty look. She did that then the twins then Melissa, who beamed at her.
"Mommy, she's a scary stranger sort who wants to flirt with Philip. Kick her butt for me?" she asked with a grin.
"Of course I can if she proves to be a threat." She stared at
her. The reporter huffed off. "Thank you for your
cooperation and have a nice day," Maria called after her. "Fruit?"
"Dawn needs fruit and they're coming back to move into their house."
"She bought a house out here?" Maria asked, taking the cart to push.
"No, Clint and Natasha bought a house. It's *beautiful*. It
has trees and a lawn. It's got a natural rock looking pool out
back. It's so pretty." She sighed and smiled. "Dawn
bragged to Joyce that they had bought her a house."
"That's sweet of them." She looked at her. "If New York real estate wasn't so ridiculous," she said quietly.
Tara smiled. "We'll see how things happen. It's premature at this point."
"It is," Maria agreed. It was a good bit of hope though.
Making future plans meant that she was on the right path to
straightening things up between them. "John, we have to pay
for the grapes before you eat them. Remember, they get bought by
weight, not by how many we have." He pouted but finished the one
he had snuck.
"I usually have her add on another half pound," Tara admitted. "It solves that problem and the gimme-i-wants."
Maria looked at her. "I didn't know they could do that." One
of the store workers nodded he could and smiled at them.
"Huh." They went to finish the shopping for Dawn, taking it back
to the house. Maria looked around and sighed in pleasure.
"This is gorgeous." She smiled at Tara, who grinned back.
They looked over the house. It was perfect for the family.
It was big enough plus had a lot of playing places for the baby.
The pool area had a fence around it already with a gate. The gate
around the property was monitored and could be upgraded further.
They ran into Stark, who was supervising the guys hefting the clothes
and stuff that Dawn had in storage. "They did good," Maria told
"They did real good. They're on Asgard this weekend though."
He took Philip, who grinned at him. "Morning to you too."
"Melissa ran off a reporter," Tara said, handing him the applesauce
tube. Tony settled in to feed the baby a snack, making him
happy. "He hasn't realized that they're gone yet. Melissa's
been fussing over him like she used to do to Sean."
"That's good. Better than when Dawn was sick." Philip smiled
at him. "You need changed, don't you?" he said with a grin back.
Melissa smiled. "That smile means he pooped." Tara scowled again. "It does!"
"Still not polite conversation," Tara reminded her.
"So? Manners are for *girls*."
"You are a girl," Maria said. "The same as I am and I have
manners." Melissa huffed outside. "Stay where we can see you
and away from the truck."
"Yes, Mommy Maria," John chirped, following his sister.
Tony took the baby to his new room to change him. "It's the first
trash and the first diaper in the house," he said happily. "It
wasn't even that nasty." He looked outside. "Maria, John's
crying and screaming!" She ran outside. He handed the baby
to Tara and followed. That was clearly something wrong. They
found Melissa had fallen down the small incline to the pool area,
stopped by the fence and a rock to the head. "No, don't move
her. Didn't you take basic first aid?" he demanded. He
called it in. An ambulance showed up a few minutes later.
"Down here, guys."
"Yours, sir?" one asked.
"No, hers and her wife's," he said with a point. "John, what happened?"
"We were playing tag," he sniffled, reaching for her. "Don't you dare hurt my sissy!" he shouted.
"We're not," the paramedic said. "Did she roll down the hill or slide?"
"She rolled." He hugged her. "She banged her head and won't talk to me."
"It's probably just a big bump but we'll take her in to see," the paramedic said. He looked at Maria. "Biological?"
"You have the papers to treat?" She nodded. "Okay, we'll
load her and take her." Tony took the other baby. Maria and
Tara went with the ambulance.
Tony looked at the kids. "She'll be fine." John was crying
on his shoulder. "Hey." He made him look at him. "Your
sister is going to be just fine."
"She not wake up!"
"She'll wake up when she's ready. Just like most mornings."
John calmed down, staring at him. "She'll be *fine*." He
cuddled him, then went to get Philip from his room. Tara had put
him into his crib for a few minutes. Philip hugged John and he let
the other two hug him too. Tara's kids were all good at hugging
because Mommy taught them. He sent a text to Pepper and Joyce but
settled in to wait and watch the kids while the movers got the rest of
Pepper looked at her phone. "What happened?" she asked, flicking
the button with her thumb. "Excuse me for a minute. That
explains where Tony is." She sent one back but got a simple 'head
bump' answer. She put her phone down. "Mr. Stark is
presently babysitting some friend's children while they're in the ER
with one who just bumped her head."
"Is there a bomb there?" the head of LAPD SWAT asked.
Pepper smirked. "You do realize that Mr. Stark has built bigger
bombs than that for fun?" He scowled. She stared at
him. "I'm sorry but he's built better and bigger when he was half
asleep and wanted to tinker. He was showing his eldest daughter
how to build one the other day to explain power flows to her."
That got a bigger scowl. She smiled. "We did used to design
"He's still not Bomb Squad."
"Yes, but if we had told you then it could've gotten back to the idiot
who put it on there. Who are terrorists. They're part of the
same group that captured him in Afghanistan." The officer
shuddered. "Additionally, Tony had no idea that sensor was more
than a motion detector. That company hasn't really put anything on
the market that we could've looked over. Frankly, we're a bit
worried about them because their head person is a flake and his mother
is involved in a peace at any costs group out of Asia.
"We did tell the insurance agent to warn him. We did clear out
everything from the house and made sure no one else could get in
there. We did have workers in there doing some minor remodeling he
wanted to have done anyway but they stopped a few weeks back.
We're fairly certain that the bomb got put on at that time. The
scary thing is that his daughter walking past it might've set it off and
they accidentally went there for a few minutes."
"The proper procedure is to still call Bomb Squad before you start to touch the bomb, Miss Potts."
She smiled. "Tony wrote half the manuals you study to be on the
Bomb Squad. You can't tell me that they might not have set it off
the same way."
"No, I can't," he admitted. "It's still not done."
"I'll remind him of that in the future."
"Is he buying a second property?"
"No, our personal assistant's spouses bought her a house for when we
have to be out here. They're moving her stuff into it while she
has a weekend off healing. Tony was doing that when the one
babysitting our PA's son had her daughter roll down a hill and bang her
"The witch one?" he demanded. She smiled and nodded. "Should we worry about protestors?"
"Only if she calls. Right now, almost no one knows where she'll be
living. They'll have security. They'll guns because her
spouses are both agents."
"SHIELD." She smiled at the man walking in. "Phil, Melissa fell down a hill."
"I heard, that's why I showed up to check on her. She's
fine. Has a good concussion but nothing too tragic or bad."
He smiled. "Artemis is done with her training. We had to
defeat the evil mother-in-law who tried to force John and Diana to wed,
though she thought she was Artemis, and Diana's coming back to go to
"I'll have some information on the local ones pulled," Pepper said with a smile. "I'm sure she can pass the state test?"
"And then some. The geeks up there were playing tug-of-war about
them being warrior geeks." He rolled his eyes. "Anyway,
Philip is happy with Tony for the moment. I got John settled in
"Good. Aren't you off this weekend?"
"We are." He smiled. "We're just having sex and the kids are
important. Xander's comforting her and reminding her it'll be
okay even if she does have a headache. She wanted him."
"Awww! That's sweet."
"It is." He looked at the head of SWAT. "We'd like to talk
to your person that looks like Agent Barton to warn him of a few things,
"Gamble," Pepper said. "Looks just like Hawkeye."
"Oh, him. Yeah, we've noted that. They picked on him until he beat one pretty badly one day. We have no idea."
"We'd like to see if they're related," Phil said. "Plus to make
sure that the press people that stalk Barton don't hit him."
"He's already rebuffed a few of them with snide remarks. The DA really does want to charge Stark, Miss Potts."
"I'll talk with him tomorrow." She smiled. "And apply some
motherly logic since clearly he forgot what his was when he hatched from
the egg." The SWAT commander laughed at that, shaking his
head. "We've had words in the past. He hates Tony for many
reasons. Including that his wife used to want to have Tony, even
though he never went for married ones. It's why he had her shot by
that bimbo assassin."
"Can we prove that? It's been rumors," the officer said.
Phil pulled up her file and showed him. "Noted by bullet that it
came from one of the rifles we pulled from her tacky condo. I can
have the report forwarded, Captain."
"Please do, Agent...."
"Coulson. Over the Avengers Initiative." He smirked
slightly. "Most of them are out here for the upcoming thing in
"It's looking slightly worse than the invasion," Pepper said, handing
him Tony's notes. "We talked with the local team the other
night. Bucky took more notes if you need them."
"I'll get them from him in a few." He read it over,
grimacing. "That is bad. I'm not sure if we can scry another
dimension or not."
Xander appeared, shaking his head. "Not likely as far as I know
but I can ask." He looked it over. "Those idiots
again. Great." He handed them to the SWAT commander.
"Okay. Melissa's fine. She's snuggled with her brother
fussing over her new headache. Dawn can put a hedge there to make
sure it can't happen again." Lt. Colonel Rhodes walked in looking
smug. "Rhodey, here about the thing in April?"
"No, looking over whatever Stark's been doing on the shielding issue."
"Not a thing for the last two weeks," Pepper admitted with a smile for
him. "Between Dawn being so sick and all the other stuff he hasn't
had time to do much of anything. I did remind him of it but he
just hand waved and taught Callia more about body armor."
"That'll work too. Where is the head geek?"
"Watching the movers getting Dawn's stuff to her new house."
Rhodey nodded. "She can't? She's still sick? What is it, flu?"
"She got sent smallpox to her desk," Pepper said. Rhodey stared,
mouth slightly open. His eyes narrowed and he breathed in through
his nose. "She's fine. She's healed greatly. She's
mostly back to full Dawn peppiness. She's having a weekend on
Asgard to check on the twins and Sean. Tara's watching Philip and
they're at Dawn's house."
"Okay," he decided. "I can wait until he gets back. Can I bum a bed?"
She smiled. "Sure. Then please go over the security
protocols with the head of security? Tony's been meaning to and
then sending him to New York to beat them to death for it."
"It got sent there?"
"Yeah. The machine supposedly blew a fuse the week before," Xander
said dryly. "They're *damn* lucky I didn't go find out the root
cause and kill them in the most messy manner possible." Rhodey
shuddered. "Oh, yes, we were not pleased."
"Sure, I can do that," Rhodey agreed. "It could probably be
updated here and there." He went down there to log into a guest
room. JARVIS had one with his name over it ready for him.
"You're most welcome, Lt. Colonel Rhodes. Mr. Stark said that he'd
be back after 8 tonight and if you wanted to, please look at Callia's
paper on the Korean war?"
"Sure, I can look at his clone's work." He went to find her once
he had dropped his bag in there. "Super short stuff, what paper on
Korea?" he asked when he found her in the caf.
She kicked out a chair with a grin. "Hi, Uncle Rhodey." She
opened her paper to show him. "I have that so far."
He looked it over. "Nothing on the current DMZ?"
"It was to be on the beginning reasons beyond greed. They sent it
back because I outlined the greed reasons without the other complicated
political yuckiness." She grimaced. "It was still a lot of
"It was." He smiled. "We can go over that. My old man
was in that war." She beamed at him for that. "Finish
"He's helping baby Melissa's new concussion from what I overheard when I was signing in."
"Why?" she demanded, looking pissed off.
"Something about a hill and rocks. Send him a text."
She did that from her tablet and he sent back she was fine and he gave
her a hug for Callia. "Fine. I'll see her tomorrow."
She put her tablet into her backpack and grinned. "Daddy's good at
fussing when he wants to be. He is whenever I get sick."
"That's what Dads do," he agreed with a grin. She smiled and took
him to the lab she and Tony worked in on her ideas. She had a
table in the corner and cleared it off to go over her report
assignment. He helped her lay out her reasons better and helped
her find sources she hadn't thought of. That was great of
him. One less paper to get done.
Deadpool looked at the dead demon then at the guy who had done it.
"She's out by LA. She won't be back until after the demon
"We heard. She sent us emails." He grimaced, looking around the mess. "This is active."
"It is," he agreed. "It's stupid. Even the Roombas think
it's stupid." They beeped and shot at a vampire that was coming
their way. "No, that's Spike." They huffed but quit trying
to destroy him. "Hey, Spike."
"Weird guy," he said with a nod then looked at the other guy. "I
saw you guys got pulled. It's a mini thing. Hellmouth's
ready to spew for a bit."
"Great. The girls need help? I've helped a slayer or two before," Wolverine said dryly.
"Could, yeah," Spike said. "Could also use the agents beaten to
death again. Two want to do tests." He lit up and took a
deep puff off his cigarette then let it out. "Ladies," he said
with a nod for them.
They smiled at him. "Spike," they said in unison. One hugged
Deadpool, getting one and a grin back. They stared at Logan.
"Ladies, this is Logan. He came through the same portal," Deadpool said. "He's a very accomplished fighter."
"Cool." One grinned at him. "Watch out for the zombie cat
behind you." Logan turned and sliced it up. "Oooh, I saw
that comic." She bounced some, babbling at the others.
Logan smirked slightly. "We can help. We're a bit bored."
"Sure. We're building up to LA's thing in April," they agreed,
walking off with them. They had to keep stepping over the Roombas
because they were ranging ahead to find more things for their human to
play with. He loved to play swords with demons. One beeped
frantically that it had found a victim so they checked her over and got
her help, waiting on the ambulance. Logan did have a ...talk with
the agents who were nagging the girls. One was being fatherly but
the other two were creepy and that wasn't allowed near slayers.
Dawn might have to destroy them. Which would push sending them
home back again.
They came back and Tony smiled, handing over the whining son.
"He's been fussy all day. Melissa has a concussion so she can't
play with him."
"How?" Natasha asked. "Do we have a sinkhole?"
"That small incline. She fell down it." The three parents
nodded, cuddling the fussy one to make him stop. Nope, he wanted
Melissa apparently. She got handed the baby, and he cooed,
cuddling her and patting her to make her feel better. Then he
wanted Mommies and Daddy. Tony shook his head. "He's very
"Sometimes," Natasha agreed. She smiled at the baby. Who
grinned back. "Good boy." She took him to cuddle. "We
should get you ready for bed."
"It's barely two," Tony joked with a grin. "Everything's here,
unpacked outside the weapons, and Tara went grocery shopping, which is
how someone else spotted Philip."
Dawn smiled and hugged him. "Thanks, boss."
"Welcome. Come to work Monday wearing something fabulous."
She nodded so he left. Tara and the kids went back to the compound
too. They wanted some Callia and Liz time. Who could say
that was a bad thing since his kids were so amazing.
Dawn yawned, looking at the baby. "We should nap. Daddy and
Mommy Natasha wore us out." Phil grinned from his spot.
Clint led Dawn to their room while Natasha fed their happy little chaos
"I could not believe even my ex would be stupid enough to take my
brother's wanted one from him," Loki said as he appeared, staring at the
baby. "We should feed you something nasty so you crap since you
haven't in two days."
"That arrow to the brain offer still stands," Clint said from the
hallway. Loki stared back at him. He smirked and
waved. "Our house."
"He is my godson," he said blandly. "I'm merely checking on him."
"Your brother sent you a scroll. It's in Dawn's bag." Clint got it and tossed it to him.
Loki opened the seal to look it over. He snorted. "I should give him advice on how to woo a virgin properly."
"If he scares her, she'll fight him and probably injure him," Natasha
said. "We have had a talk with him about how to be kind to pure
Loki gave her an odd look. "That's never worked for me."
"It works well for most women," Clint said dryly. "Hell, I had to
break in Dawn something like ten times thanks to that potion."
"Nine," Dawn called.
"If he's mean to her, I expect her to kill him," Dawn called.
"She's never even seen a guy. Leave them alone please.
They're even more mushy than I am or your son is."
Loki gagged and shuddered, grimacing. "That's a disturbing
thought. His father must be so pleased." He disappeared
still shuddering. He could taunt his brother for ages over being
*mushy* but as soon as his brother saw him he blushed. He stared
at him. "Human women are apparently much different than the godly
sort. Want some of my books? I'm told if you scare her I'll
have to find someone else to annoy."
"Nay, thank thee though," he said, sipping his mead. "It will work
out as it does." He looked at his brother. "They apparently
like things more gentle."
"I've never even thought of that. Then again, most younger
goddesses have seen the male form at least six times a week their whole
lives thanks to how often we run around naked."
"True," Thor said with a smile. "Dawn had books she leant me."
"That's sweet of her. Which gags me still." He smirked. "When are we hearing the banns published?"
Thor took another sip and shrugged. "We've barely talked so
far. She's just finished her training." She came out cooing
at her newest crystal, making Thor smile at her for it. He had
taken her out on a picnic there and she had found it.
Artemis looked up at Thor then at Loki. "Uncle Clint gave me a new bow I should try out."
He smirked. "It won't hurt me much."
"Uncle Tony created the special arrows for it. Yes it will."
He huffed. "You have to be nicer to Thor. After all, even
adopted brothers are family and what is one without family except
"There's surrogates for that."
She blushed. "If latex surrogates for dicks do it for you, have at
it, please. Just don't share those thoughts. I'm not my
sister to want to know." Thor choked, shaking his head.
"Some of us are *good* girls."
"Yes, you clearly are. That's why I'm nearly breaking out in hives, child."
She smirked, tossing her hair back over her shoulder. "I'm no
child, Loki, even if I am younger than you." He lunged and she
kicked him in the nuts, making him groan and wince. "Women do
fight differently and many men underestimate it." She put her
crystal down with a pat and helped him up and into a seat. "There,
sit and rest your icky man parts. I'm sure you never clean them,
unlike men who bathe daily for their women's pleasure." She
strolled off with her pet crystal.
"If the hot water heater in Valhalla worked better we'd all take more baths," Loki said once he had caught his breath.
"Some of us can bathe even in a cold stream," Thor said with a smirk for
his brother. Loki was so annoyed and it was great. Though
he'd have to spank Artemis later for being mean to him. She came
out with a ribbon, trying to do her hair. Thor watched her.
"There has to be an easier way."
"I have no luck with my hair." He moved her closer to braid it for
her. She kissed him properly and smiled. "Your father
called. It's why I was doing my hair."
"Hmm. We'll talk to my father in a few moments." She skipped
off. "Put on something other than armor?" he called.
"Mother might get upset or Freya, who thinks women should never have to
pick up a sword."
"Half the time, the men are off fighting something. Who else protects the house?" Loki snorted.
"Aye," Thor agreed. "Which is a great point and one I
appreciate. Though I hope I never have a son who has to prove
himself like yours have."
"The best way of avoiding that is to make sure your father never sees
it," Loki said quietly. "That was my mistake with all my children
and if I should have more, I'll never do so again." He stood
up. "Good luck, she seems sweet yet complicated."
"Aren't most women?" Thor quipped with a smirk.
Loki nodded. "Often, and that tends to make them more entertaining
when you play with them." He left. He wanted to see
what was going to happen. He landed at Buffy's table, staring at
She stared back. "You need to wash that greaseball hair if you expect to flirt," she said then sipped some water.
He rolled his eyes. "It's product."
"Yeah," she snorted. "Still looks like motor oil." He smirked evilly. "What do you want?"
"I'm waiting to see what happens when my brother is called here with your daughter."
"I'm hoping that Dawn helped her find a dress that covers the armor," she said, looking at Hylal.
"She should have at least one that's not her hunting vest and skirts,"
he agreed. Thor appeared with Artemis. "Someone finally
taught her to braid."
Loki snorted, shaking his head. "Thor did it for her."
"She likes to play with her hair but she has no skill at doing more than brushing it. Neither did I," Buffy admitted.
Odin looked at his son. "Thor, who is this?"
"This is my intended, Father. We have permission from her family
to court and she is very good to me. Her family appreciates my
suit and have not set down anything unreasonable in demands."
Odin stared at her. "What would you know about helping him rule, child?"
"That is Senior Swordswoman, All Father." He gasped.
"Trained as one of Sif's handmaidens." She smiled. "I
thought it inappropriate to wear my armor the first time we've formally
met. Though you have seen myself and my sister a few times over
He stared at her. "You're not scared of me, are you?"
"Nay, All Father. My mother in an unhappy mood is worse than any
man's moods and my aunt and grandmother have their own versions."
Frigg laughed but nodded. She bowed to her. "Lady Frigga, I
did not see you. I apologize for not properly bowing to you."
"It's fine, child. You're Artemis, correct?"
"Yes, ma'am." She smiled. "You raised a very sweet, strong
son. Thank you for all the hard work you put into him."
Frigg beamed at her. "It was not that hard." She winked at
her son, who was blushing and looking down. "He is a very strong
"Yes, ma'am, and I appreciate that. Once we have children I'll
guard them for him while he does what he must. Until then I'll
follow him into any battle he chooses as his own."
"If we agree," Odin warned.
She looked at him. "Would you really be cruel enough to deny happiness because a woman is able to defend herself?"
"Yes." He smirked. "To marry you must be of proper lineage."
"I'm the daughter of the warrior Hylal, who never lost a battle until
the one he fell in, in over fifty years of them, and my mother is the
Slayer Buffy. They both reside in your halls."
He blinked at her. "You must be of proper lineage in other
matters. Thor could make a very good political match with another
"Thanks to your grandson's mother, I was made immortal. Would that
count?" Buffy choked. "Hi, Mom." She waved without
"It may," he said, staring at her. "You must have done something spectacular to get our notice."
"Aye," Alana said. "Her adulthood hunt ended with her killing two
trolls to save another swordswoman who was being attacked by them.
Not cleanly but it was more important to get them off her than to make
it a clean kill during an emergency. Then she brought down four
wolves to protect them; all killed with clean, single shots. I
attended her and her sister's adulthood hunt dinner myself, All
Odin blinked at Alana then at Artemis. "That was you?"
"Aye, All Father, that was my adulthood hunt." She smiled.
"My sister brought in a very pretty buck while my brother chose a doe
because they were all young bucks in breeding frenzy when he went.
That way they would not lack males for breeding."
Odin humphed and grimaced. "Fine, you may be worthy. We do desire grandchildren."
She grinned. "I'd love to have four children some year, All
Father. Not all at once like some of the Greeks did, but spread
out." Frigg sighed in pleasure and hugged her. "Thank you,
"Call me Mother, dear." She looked at Thor, who was smiling at her
new daughter-in-law. She might like this one more than her
son. "Freya, can you see aught wrong with this mating?"
"No. It seems Thor picked well for himself." She sipped some
wine. "Even though we had not a thing to do with it."
Odin nodded. "There is a test before you two can marry."
Thor coughed and shook his head. "I will not allow it, All Father, and you are too late on that."
"What?" Buffy called. "Daughter?" Artemis bounded over to
hug her and whisper in her ear. She looked at her.
"Why?" She blushed a deep red. "You could've tried to fool
around first, dear. That'd still lead you to being a virgin when
you married as you wanted to."
"Nay, Mom. It would not." She cleared her throat. "It
nearly did not." Buffy gaped. She shrugged slightly and
grinned, hugging her father. "Daddy."
"I welcome him into the family. He's a strong, honorable
warrior." Buffy stared at him. "Though it will be at least a
year before she has a child, Thor."
"It may take many months to do that," he agreed. "Especially with her training so recently."
Hylal smirked at him. "Good. I expect to see the grandchildren as well."
"Aye, that can be arranged."
"Good." He kissed his daughter on the forehead. "Go to your
spouse, daughter." She walked back to him, taking his hand.
Her ring suddenly got unhidden.
Odin stared at them. "You eloped, son?"
"Aye, Father. She wished to go to her marriage bed pure and we
could not wait." He smiled at her. She grinned back, giving
his hand a squeeze. He looked at his father again. "Her
natal family does not know yet."
"Dawn won't fuss. Mom might but Dawn'll point out that Natasha
married them without them realizing it." Buffy sipped her
water. Artemis grinned at her. "Congratulations."
"Yes, the Warriors should congratulate the First Son on finding the
warrior woman that he needs to back him up in his battles," Loki said
smugly. Thor had been sneaky. How droll. He had taught
his idiot adopted brother something after all.
Odin stared at him. "When did you get back?"
"A few minutes ago." He stared at her. "Make it official, Artemis."
She pulled her dagger and cut her thumb, using it to drip a few drops on
his lips then kiss him. "I am your wife and sworn to help you,
defend you, and aid you in whatever you do."
He grinned and kissed her better. "Aye, we'll talk about how to do that later." She giggled and cuddled him.
Frigg sniffled. "I'm so happy!" She hugged them both.
"Girls, bring out the special wines. We'll hold a
celebration." They did that and the whole Hall got happy.
Even if Freya was mad that she couldn't brag about setting them
up. Odin was a bit peeved that he couldn't cow his daughter-in-law
and she wasn't the sweet simpleton he had wanted him to marry but Odin
was set in his ways. Any of his children would tell him that.
Jensen got the text message from an unknown number and frowned. "Xander, why am I the herald?" he asked.
"Because you have everyone's email and text message numbers," Phil
quipped with a smile for him. "It means you get to chat with
everyone in the House."
"That might help. Someone anonymous, or who I don't know at least,
said that Thor and Artemis just announced they had eloped."
Xander choked. "What?" He took the phone to send one
back. He knew that number. "That's Dad's number." His
father sent him a more concise report. "I'll be damned. They
did so they could jump each other."
"At least they'll be happy," Phil said.
"That means one of us has to tell Joyce." They looked at Jensen.
He took his phone back to email the whole temple mailing list.
Then he got back to his ribs for dinner. Talsa was a great
cook. Even his sister and Jolene had said so.
Bruce looked at his phone when it rang. "From the temple."
Joyce pulled out hers to look at. They were at a very fancy
restaurant. It's why Bruce could only huff and keep calm.
Joyce was going to Hulk out for him this time.
"She did what?" she snapped. She sent back a message to
Jensen. She got one back from Xander. "I'm going to paddle
Bruce patted her on the hand. "At least he's honorable and he'll treat her well, dear. Calm down."
She stared at him. "She's barely nineteen."
"Yes and many girls chose their spouses at that age." He smiled at
her. "I'm sure they'll have plenty of fun, dear." She was
growling. "Diana's coming back soon. Probably with
Sean. We'll see her all the time thanks to Thor being on the
Joyce sipped her wine, shaking her head. "She should have waited."
"Up there, she said girls usually married at sixteen."
"Fine. I'm sure her mother knows by now." She took another sip and put the glass down. "I should yell at her."
"We can ask her about her decision process later, when we're both
calmer." He fed her a bite of his dinner with a smile.
"Isn't it usually my temper that's the problem?"
She smiled at him. "Mothers are always more fierce. We beat people to death with a shoe instead of our fists."
"That is often more mean," he agreed with a smile. They got back
to their dinner. The staring people got a dirty look from him and
paid more attention to their own meals. He tipped the waiter for
not saying anything and took her home to calm her down. He might
even 'calm her down' on the couch tonight like they were
teenagers. He was feeling really frisky. Joyce squeaked when
she landed in his lap, then smiled and kissed him but swatted him on
the shoulder. "I feel like a teenager tonight."
"Does that mean you have the lasting ability of one?" she teased. "Or are you going to recover faster?"
"Let's find out." He got her out of her clothes, him out of his,
and got to work on her temper problems. He hoped there wasn't an
emergency soon. He had problems pulling up enough anger after a
few hours with Joyce's body.
Natasha looked at her phone, then blinked and showed Dawn. Dawn
looked up at the ceiling. "The shovel axiom of aunt-hood still
exists, Thor, and I'm going to use it on you since we didn't get to see
the wedding." She dug in again, shaking her head. "Did Tony
"It came from Jensen so probably." Dawn's phone rang.
Natasha got it off the counter where all three phones were, looking at
it. "Pepper said not to kill him."
"I'd never kill Thor. Just make sure he knows I will if he mistreats her or hurts her."
"I doubt he would," Clint said.
"I know. Still, the threat has to be used." She stuffed her
mouth. "Xander and Phil both knew you wouldn't hurt me but I'm
pretty sure you got the shovel talk."
"I did from Xander, not from Phil. I got a few warnings from him
instead." He squeezed her hand. Philip squealed and reached
for it. "I can't hold her hand, son? How do you expect to
get a little sister?" Dawn blushed but grinned at him. "I
love the Barton Birth Control method. It means we get a lot of
practice on the 'if it happens it does' principle."
"It does," Dawn agreed with a grin. She gave his hand a
squeeze. "It'll be okay. I'm sure Diana and Sean will
appreciate it. Though we really need to teach her how to do her
"I'll show her that little bar that you can use to put it up," Natasha said with a smile for Dawn's calm acceptance.
The baby scowled at them so he got some more food. He still pouted
until Daddy fed him the new stuff he had been sucking off his
fist. That made him happier. Especially when they all
cuddled together with him in the middle. That's how it was
supposed to be.
Clint's phone rang and he looked at it. "No, I'm not in New York
so you can't pop around to have me look someone up," he muttered as he
typed that back. He got a description and a crude drawing
instead. He told him who that was and showed Natasha the
email. She rolled her eyes. "He was yours."
"He'll learn when he's eliminated." She cuddled the baby since she
had the middle spot. Dawn was cooing at him to make him quit
scowling at the daddy. "Sometimes even he has to work, son."
"I do a lot of work," Clint huffed. He took the baby to hold,
making him crap himself. "Did you have to do that, son?
Couldn't you have waited on Mom having you to do that?"
"He does it so much because he likes how you clean him," Dawn
quipped. "He howls and struggles whenever I change him."
Natasha nodded she got the same. Clint sighed but took him to
change. The ladies shared a smirk and cuddled better. Clint
could have all the baby changing he wanted.
"Yuck, son. Eww." The girls giggled and got all smug.
Clint came back out. "If that's how he shows he loves me, he
should love me less." He sat down and the baby crawled off him to
Mommy, trying to latch on again. "Sorry, kiddo. Those aren't
yours anymore." He got him a bottle, earning a pout.
"Sorry, baby, but the medicines mean I can't feed you." She kissed
him on the head and cuddled him to let him feed. It had to be
good enough for now.
Natasha smiled, patting his stomach so he'd eat the whole thing. It made him happy to have the mommy attention.
Clint and Natasha got Dawn out of bed the next morning, taking her to
get coffee, so she'd be fully awake, then look around the house.
It was a good house, single story, master bedroom on one side, all the
others on the other end. The garage's indoor entry was between the
master suite and the kitchen. The living room took over a good
portion of the middle section and part of that was also the dining room
area. Off to the master suite side there was a game room and a
study. Out of the kitchen was the nice, large wooden deck that had
stairs leading down to the pool area it overlooked. The pool was
surrounded by natural looking rocks and was supposed to look more like a
pond, except that it was a large rectangle and had a diving
board. It had some nice seats around it, which Clint
realized they hadn't had.
Dawn looked where he was staring and grinned. "I bought those."
"That's a good idea." They took her to look over the house, this
was her first time in it. It had been her pick on the realty site
but it hadn't had a floor plan or anything. They had looked it
over without her since it was a surprise. Dawn cuddled as they
explored. Until they got to the garage. Clint opened the
door and stared. "We didn't bring the Lotus out."
"I knew I forgot something," Natasha complained. She frowned at
the two cars in the joined part of the three car garage. "What are
"Well, I'm not sure about the sedan but I bought the truck for you
guys," Dawn said. "As an anniversary present." She smiled
and walked them over to it. "Seats four but if we need to we can
add a seat to the space between the back ones or change it for a bench
seat. Has semi-decent gas mileage and I had them put in the bigger
gas tank. It's also a hybrid so if we want to we can run it on
electric around town for errands." She patted the dark
cherry red pickup. "Has backup cameras, a great radio, and I had
something special made for the toolboxes." She climbed up.
"Spray in bedliner to avoid scratches and rust." She found the key
taped under the lip of the box and pulled it off to open it.
Clint stared. It had guns behind the shallow front doors.
Four handguns and two semi-automatic rifles packed in a foam
holder. He looked inside the box portion. There were two
ammo boxes, one for the guns and one for the rifles. There was a
detachable winch. There was some climbing gear. There were a
few other odds and ends like a first aid kit. He grinned at
her. "That's a spoiling present." She kissed him with a grin
"I do like that." She smiled and patted it. "It is nicely not shiny but a deep red darker than my hair."
"I thought you two might like that." She closed it up and handed
him the key. "Keys should be in the visor." He found them
and started the engine, moaning at how it sounded.
Natasha looked up. "There's an automatic fan?"
"Yes." Dawn grinned. "They sent that in an email in case I
didn't know." Clint got out and gave them a hug. "You like?"
"I adore. It's got enough room for us. It's practical for the most part."
"Four wheel drive."
"Even better, makes it more practical. What's that?" he asked with a point at the sedan.
"I have no idea," Dawn admitted, staring at it. "Beyond the fact
that it's a hybrid. It's a Tesla hybrid. Those are hot but
'spensive." They stared at her then glared toward Malibu.
She walked over to look it over. There was a tag inside the
windshield so she opened it and settled in the driver's seat. "It
doesn't look right if my assistant doesn't use a hybrid car when we're
doing alternative energy research," she read. "Tony." She
grinned and checked the gauges. "Fully charged." She popped
the trunk, finding the window sticker with the options listed, but the
price had been blacked out.
Clint held it up to the light, staring at the numbers hidden behind the marker. "That was just over a hundred grand."
"Wow, the pickup was only fifty," Dawn quipped. Natasha stared at
her. She shrugged. "It was!" She took the sticker to
look over. "Aww, we have a removable top!" She moved back to
look how that happened. There was a button. Clint
stared. It was a four door hardtop convertible sedan. They
had the hookup on the wall for the car or truck. The glovebox had
the promotional materials that said it could go about 260 miles before
it needed to be recharged. It had all the greater features and it
was a luxury sedan in all meanings of the word. Black with slate
leather interior. Clint moved Dawn and slid behind the wheel,
moaning at how the seats cradled him. "Those are nice, like the
ones in the Benz SUV I looked at."
Clint smiled at her. "That would be less than practical and get us
carjacked." He pulled her down for a kiss. "I'll thank Tony
when we bring you to work tomorrow." She grinned at him.
They heard the fussing from the whole house audio system. "Thanks,
JARVIS," he quipped.
"You're most welcome, sir," the AI for Stark said. He had a small
kernel installed here so they could watch over Dawn. Natasha went
to get their son changed and brought him out to look at the cars.
He liked the bed of the pickup truck. It let him crawl around it
Clint put back up the roof of the sedan and locked it back up, putting
the keys on the hook by the door with the pickup's. "We'll have
copies made tomorrow." He kissed Dawn hard and fast, winking at
her as he went to look at the separate single garage. It had their
work benches and vises set up for weapons customizing work. That
would work for them. Clint came back. Philip was beaming at
him from the place he was patting. "You look good in the pickup,
son. Let's go eat breakfast? Your mom's hungry." The
baby squealed and crawled back to pounce him so they could go eat.
Dawn and Natasha followed. They loved it when their babies were
happy. Clint was a huge kid at heart and their son was like a
squealing little monster today.
Clint walked up to Tony after dropping Dawn at her desk, slugging him on
the arm. "Usually presents that expensive mean you want to sleep
with someone," he said dryly, staring at him with a smirk. "I'm
open to that but the ladies aren't so you'd have to arrange it with
Pepper. But thanks, Tony. Great car. Did great on the
way here today and it goes well against the pickup Dawn bought us."
Tony rubbed his arm. "I'd never fuck you, Barton. You're too
used to squealing." Clint laughed. "It was her early
"That's fine. We enjoy it. It's a great ride." He
grinned. "She's here, in something slightly fabulous. We
made sure she regained the weight she lost while sick. Atlantis is
doing good. The box to have them slide into made it up there all
right to be charmed. She's out of meds." He walked
off. "Have a good day. I'm going to find all the hiding
spots around here in case I feel like she needs stalked again."
"Avengers only areas are in the buildings 3 and 5. 5 has the gym."
"Cool." He waved over his shoulder. "Nat'll be here later with the baby."
"That's fine." He went back to rubbing his arm. They had
apparently really liked his present so that was a great thing.
Tuesday night, Dawn opened up her earring box to get a set out, staring
at what had been inside the silver box. "Where did those come
from?" She picked up the tangled mess and sighed. "JARVIS,
please alert Tony that somehow some of his mom's jewelry made it into my
"I have and removed the electronic tag alert as well, Dawn. I hate to say it but do we know how?"
"Callia helped me pack them," Clint called, walking her in there.
She was over to play with Philip before they dropped them both off at
home so they could go out to dinner.
"They'd look better on Auntie Dawn," Callia said.
"Sweetie, you can't just give away family heirlooms. Especially
the expensive ones," Dawn said. She sat on the bed to stare at
her. "You'd have to get permission from your dad and all that
Clint went to answer the knock on the door. "Sorry, guys.
The kid put them in there." He let the officers in. Stark
got there ten minutes later. Dawn wasn't in trouble, though the
officers were talking with Callia about bad things being done.
Dawn walked out to let Tony in. "Hey, boss. She decided they were ugly."
"They're old fashioned," he sighed. He walked in there to see what
she had 'given' her aunt. Then he looked at his daughter, who was
slumped and pouting. "Thanks, Officers. I'll have a long
talk with her about getting permission and all that stuff."
"It's not a problem, sir. We're glad it's not a theft," one
said. He finished the form and had Tony sign it. That got
them out of legal trouble so Callia wasn't going to be arrested.
Dawn signed hers too. That let them go back on shift.
Dawn shrugged. "That's a pure silver box and I know I put a bug
jammer in it because of those bronze ones I used to like that had gotten
the sticker thingy put on them."
"It did a great job. I had no idea they had left the main jewelry
box," Tony said. Dawn smiled and got her earrings and dress, going
to change in the guest bathroom. He smiled when Philip came in to
cuddle them. "I know, you're being babysat tonight," he said,
picking him up to put him onto the bed with them. Philip laughed
and pounced Callia to hug her. She cuddled him and they
talked. Clint checked before they left but Tony waved them
off. He could handle it with her. They needed to finish this
He agreed, a few of those pieces no modern woman would wear, but she still shouldn't try to give them to her aunt.
Dawn got a special invitation to a females of SHIELD event and sighed
but Tony told her to go and tell him what had happened because Fury was
once again causing mischief like Loki in their lives. So she
went. She watched them for a few minutes, then shook her
head. "Goddess, you all argue like teenage bimbos over who gets
the guy with the biggest dick." They stared at her. "Really,
we're doing work on the side of *good* with that issue?"
"Who are you?" one of them demanded.
"Dawn." She smiled. Natasha told her who that one was.
"Oh, you're Fury's ex. Cool. Dawn Summers-Romanoff-Barton,"
she said with a smile and a slight bow to her. She snapped power
at the others growling at her. "Down, bitches! This is my
city and I'm the head bitch here." She stared at them. "Make
me banish your realms." They backed away and Dawn looked behind
her. "Who're you?"
"I was going to ask you that same question, child. I know not of anything like you."
Dawn smirked. He looked like something she had seen in one of
Xander's comics. "You must be the Agamotto of this
realm." He nodded. "Congrats. I'm Dawn." She
shook his hand with a smile. "And you don't concern me
either." She walked off. "So, anyway, why the meeting?" she
asked Fury's ex, Countess Valentina.
"We are resurrecting some of the Femme Force."
"That's cool. I'm an adjunct member of the Avengers."
Valentina gaped in horror. She smiled. "There's not that
many combat capable witches around this realm. I wouldn't mind if
there were. I like being Stark's perky assistant sort
instead. Combat does really bad things to my temper." She
looked at the hissing 'heros'. "Ladies, my son listens better than
you do and he's not even a year old yet. Let's try for some
intelligent conversation, please." She pointed at the
tables. "Though, I'm not sure if we should have a makeover event
for some of you as a girl's night out." She walked around the
higher being staring at her.
"Dawn, what are you?" Agamotto asked.
She smiled at him. "Guess."
"I can sense immortality."
"Temporary, thank you. And if that Dr. Strange wannabe is yours,
you can ask him. He found out." He looked toward the east
coast and then glared at her. She smiled. "I'm perfectly
nice until someone pisses me off." The higher being fled.
"Thanks." She smiled and waved at his where he had been. She
sat down and put her feet up. "Okay, so Fury's current plans
means that he wants to restart some special girl group of fighters," she
told Valentina. "Great. We could use some more here and
Valentina blinked. "You could have come in uniform."
"I was at work, Countess. Some of us have real jobs in addition to
our occasional bout of spandex and chainmail." Valentina gasped
and backed up a step. Dawn grinned. "I like to keep it rare
but if it's magical it's partially my shit to handle."
Phil appeared, frowning at her. "Don't touch his current assistant, Countess. We'd hate to have to kill you."
"Yeah, touching my mom is a bad idea," Dawn quipped with a
grimace. "Really, really bad idea." The others were staring
at Phil. She smiled at him. "What's up?"
"That's what we were wondering."
"She said Fury wants to start his special girl army battalion."
"That's news to Agent Hill," he said dryly. "Or the rest of
SHIELD, including Fury himself." The Countess threw something at
him but Dawn froze it in midair. "Thank you, Dawn."
"Welcome." She looked at the others. "Were you duped or part
of it?" They stared. She smiled and stood up, changing into
her chainmail. "Well?"
"Who made you that?" one asked.
"Dwarves. Alexander had them make it for me." She
smiled. "I need to oil it again. I think I missed a spot."
"You missed a few on the back too, but I'll help you get the slight bit
of tarnish off, Dawn," Phil said. She smiled at him. "Banish
the armor before normals worry." She did that and
stretched. He looked at the ladies. "I'm Agent Coulson, over
the Avengers Initiative. If you wish to help us, we could use it
this spring with another demonic issue coming."
"And fucking Doom's trying something," Dawn said, staring over his
shoulder. He looked and groaned, calling someone. "Screw
it. Nat's got the baby." She walked out there and summoned
weapons. The two Doombots dissolved when she shot them.
"I've had enough for the day, thank you! You can tell your leader
to leave my city alone!" The remaining one beeped and fired on
her. She blew it away. "No thanks." It fell from the
sky and landed in the middle of the street. "Phil, they need a
street cleanup team," she called, walking off shaking her head.
People screamed and came at her. "What the hell?" She moved
herself out of their range then back into the meeting area.
"Phil? Rabid mob?"
He looked. "Anti-hero and mutant mob."
Dawn looked at him. "When the hell did that start?"
"Last week. We sent you that memo in warning."
"No you didn't."
"I told Joyce to send it over."
"No." She texted her mother, shaking her head. "She said she never got it."
"You'll all be ours or be ripped apart," the Countess said.
Dawn looked at her. "I've destroyed people for less, sweetheart,
so you and your tacky hairdo can just suck me." She looked at
Phil. "How often are they forming?"
"There's a new church."
She stared at him. "I'm so moving us to Asgard if we have
to." She walked out there and flashed harmless magic at them,
making them back off. "I want nothing more than to live in peace,
people. Until someone forces me to act, I don't do a single thing
against anyone. Then again, you just tried to attack me as a
mob. What did you want me to do?" They were starting to look
pissed off. "If you don't like it, then *you* take on Doombots
and the other stupid things. Like the demonic problem coming once
again this spring." They rushed her and she managed to get a few
down then moved herself again behind them, shaking her head. "I
only attack if you start it," she reminded them. "Quit acting so
childish." She turned and found officers. "They started it."
"I saw that, ma'am. Are you all right? Need medical
attention?" Dawn had to avoid one trying to grab her and froze the
whole group. He swallowed. "Can you undo that?"
"Once I'm safely outside." She smiled. "I don't go for harmful things unless I have to."
"We can agree with that. Are you known to the local demon hunting team?"
"Yes, actually, I'm former Slayer Summers's little sister." She grinned. "I know them pretty darn well actually."
"That's good. This spring?"
"We're finding out information. We'll be doing a brief for the
LAPD the month before so you have time to make plans on how to help us
surround the area so we can fight it most effectively." They
smiled. "Other than that, most things are okay right now."
"Good to know. Can you....." He pointed at the crowd.
"Gladly, it's nearly my son's dinnertime." She smiled and walked
off, unfreezing the mob. A few came for her but she was brutal in
her defense. They were crying when she was done. "I'm not
the bitch to fuck with," she said bluntly, staring at one.
"Ever. Learn that. Before I have to go after your church
too!" She walked out and got a cab back to the compound, going to
tell Stark. "It was a cluster fuck and a trap, boss." She
smiled at Fury. "You dated someone with hair like that? Were
you fully blind?"
"She had other skills, Summers," Fury noted.
Dawn smiled and snapped, removing the illusion. "I don't care who
you are. That's a bad precedent around paranoid people."
He smirked. "You're adorable."
"Most people like me."
"First, I'm not most people. Second, your little pheromone
issue? I've seen worse versions. I've met a few GHS members
from other realms. Thirdly, illusions always make me want to
protect people, not like the person doing it. Now, anything
else you wanted to discuss? If not, have a nice day and thank you
for visiting Stark International."
The guy burst out laughing. "You're great, young lady."
Clint walked in and paused. "Starfox," he growled. "Get away from my wife."
Dawn looked at him. "Even if he was handsome, I wouldn't touch
that. I have greatness, why would I want to dip my toes into a
shallow pond." She took a kiss from him and smiled. Starfox
spanked her so she turned and decked him. He didn't fall
down. She attacked instead.
He laughed and fended her off but magic was coming up and he was
blinking when he went crashing through a window and outside. "What
are you?" he demanded, standing up.
She smiled and pointed at Clint. "His wife." She stared at
him. "You have energy signatures like that purple
motherfucker." He flinched. "Why?"
"He's my brother."
"Oh, great. The bad guy has a brother too. Isn't that a theme?" she asked Clint, who nodded.
"Yeah, it is. Loki and Thor. Thanos and that guy." He hugged her. "The baby is not happy."
"Why? Usually he loves Natasha."
"I have no idea but he is not happy. He cried all morning. She's on her way here."
"Did you get something on flash mobs of idiots from a church?"
"No. I hadn't. Why?"
"One showed up there. Phil told us he had Mom send out a memo but
she didn't know anything about it. Though he was a bit busy with
"Fury's old flame?" Clint asked, looking confused. "She went HYDRA."
"She said if we aligned with her, she'd save us from the mob," Dawn said
dryly. "I'm not happy. Oh, three Doombots down."
"Great! Though, nagging is coming," Clint said with a grin.
She took another kiss. "Phil was busy. I wasn't going to
expect the arguing other three bimbos in spandex to handle anything."
"What three bimbos?" She shot pictures. "Commander Doom,
looked like someone I might've heard of, and Ms. Danvers." He
looked at Stark. Who shook his head. "Weren't they banished
to another realm?"
"Yeah, the first attempt to make a superhero team back in the late 80's
all ended up being displaced to another reality. Frankly the two
scientists working on that gave me a headache. I left them to it
after they said 'no, we can't get them back' when I asked a few months
back after running into the files."
"So, wait, there was an Avengers before the Avengers?" Dawn asked.
Tony and Clint both nodded. "Did anyone else know this?"
"They had some bigger battles but nothing too huge," Clint said.
"Then one bad guy displaced them all and himself. Drunk disco
loving idiot." He grinned at her. "I wouldn't mind if they
could call someone like the Scarlet Witch out."
She looked at him. "Andrew's been in the other realmal comic book
collection at the temple again. Did you know that in the last few,
she's sleeping with her brother?"
"Doesn't really shock me any," he admitted with a grin. "There's a
whole lot of screwed up people in spandex in comics, Dawn."
"Good point." She took a kiss and grinned. "Andrew wanted to
talk about some of the machines he found in them, boss."
"I have him penciled in for breakfast so I'll make sure I have coffee
first." He looked at Starfox. "And you wanted....."
"What is she?"
"It should be obvious," Dawn said with a smile. "I'm their PA,"
she said with a point at Stark and Pepper. "And his wife, with
Natasha." She smiled at Clint, who smirked back. She heard
the fussy thing. "Son, stop it please. You're making a bad
impression." She took him when Natasha walked in.
"Hi." Philip squealed and beamed at her, leaning forward to suck
on her nose. "So you like me again? That's cool. We
appreciate that." She put him on her hip, smiling at him cuddling
her. "That's a good boy. Why were you so fussy for Mommy
"He refused to do anything today," she complained, staring at the otherworldly being in the hole in the wall. "Starfox."
"Black Widow," he said respectfully. "What is she?"
"Mine," she said with a smile. "If she threw you through that
window for trying to pinch her, good." She kissed Dawn, getting a
grin back. "In trouble for the Doombots however." She
"The other bimbos in spandex were arguing," Dawn complained after her. "I kinda had to, dear."
Stark shook his head. "Someone's getting tied down tonight," Tony quipped.
Dawn smirked. "Not like I mind when they do that, boss.
Really." She walked off. "Come help me check the
mail." He screamed at the envelopes. "Yeah, I get
that. We'll work on that phobia, son. I don't really like
them either after the smallpox thing." Xander appeared,
looking confused. "Huge problem?"
"Yeah, he's precognitive."
"Excuse me, what?" Clint asked, coming out.
"He fusses whenever there might be a problem." He handed over that
envelope. "Anything that might upset the three of you." He
took him to hold. "That's very good but you need to learn how to
talk so you can tell them why you're crying," he said with a
smile. "Such a good boy." He cuddled him. Philip
stared and wiggled, making huffing noises. "Aww, are you barking
like a war dog puppy? That's so cool!" He checked and threw
power at the person trying to hurt one of the dogs. He locked off
the temple again and let Phil handle them. "Thank you, little
Phil." The baby grinned. He grinned back. "We love
you. You're such a good boy." He cuddled him.
Dawn looked at that envelope. "Boss, that church of mutant
haters. Apparently we're born this way as an affront to their
God." He came out to get the threats. Phil appeared to take
it and left again. She took her son. "Just tell me and I'll
gladly not open anything dangerous, Philip. Okay? Tell the
parents?" she said with a grin. He grinned back and cooed,
reaching for Daddy, who took him to cuddle.
"Huh, so your magic and his skills combined to be a mutant," Xander said
with a smile. "That's absolutely cool. I thought it was
just Allenetta and Caroline." He disappeared.
"They are?" Tony and Pepper called.
Pepper called down there. "Andrew, Xander just said that the babies may
be *special* in that wearing a spandex suit in a comic book way?"
She listened, wincing and making notes to hand to Tony. "Any idea
how? That's good to know. Thank you." She hung
up. "Where's the subspace portal in the New York building, Dawn?"
She considered it. "Right above Bruce's lab." She
smiled. "There's that portal Rodney had to shut up the hall too."
"Why the people above Bruce?" Tony asked. "I thought they were computer geeks."
"They are, who have a lot of computer issues with EMP's and the
like. Nobody, including you, has figured out how to stop that so
I'd say that's the most likely cause."
Tony texted Rodney as he walked off. "Let me go check on that."
"Sure, boss. Have fun." She looked at Pepper. Who
smiled. "Let me get back to the mail." She took her son
back, making him whine. "Yes, you have to spend time with me yet
again, son. It's part of being my kid."
Clint stole him back, earning a squeal. "C'mon, we'll go to the
range so you learn to love weapons. Your parents all really like
weapons so you should too." He walked off talking to him.
"See if my knives are down there please. I can't find them."
"They're in my closet," Clint shot back.
"Okay. Thanks, dear."
Tony got beamed back to the office. "There's two ten centimeter
little holes in the New York building." Pepper stared at
him. "Just enough to emit a slight bit of radiation. Andrew
and Jonathan were right."
"They get a bonus?" Dawn quipped.
"Hell yes." He got a drink and walked down to talk to them. Rodney got beamed back to talk to them too.
Dawn chuckled, going back to the mail. She brought one in for
Pepper, pointing at something. "They still think you're sexy,
"I am." She read it over then looked at her. "Is this the Saudi prince?"
"Yup." She smiled. "At least you got stalked by a rich guy
who doesn't take women hostage." She went back to her desk,
texting that to Tony, who came back to get it so they could have a chat
about how he wasn't getting Pepper. "Was that a possessive growl?"
Dawn teased as Tony walked off.
"Yup," Tony agreed. "I do a good impersonation of Barton's version he uses whenever you're too flirty."
Dawn grinned. "He likes me being flirty, boss. He hates it
when others want me because of it." She finished up and handed
Pepper the other things that needed to get done for the day.
Pepper moaned at the calendar update. "Sorry."
"That's fine. Thank you, Dawn." She grinned and went back to
her desk to do the weekly looking up of Avengers things. Pepper's
head thumped on the desk then she lifted it to look at their
guest. "Let me call Director Fury for you." She did
that. "We have someone here named Starfox?" She hung up on
his swearing. "He's not happy."
Dawn's phone beeped and she went to get him and bring him back. Fury stared at him. "Are the others back?"
"I saw a few spandex whiny things," Dawn called. "Your ex called a support meeting."
"Fuck," Fury said, staring at her back. "When?"
"Phil arrested her."
He appeared, staring at him. "Sir, I've already handed the
Countess over to Agent Hill for processing and arrest. I've gotten
Commander Doom and the clones of the other two to a meeting area back
in New York for you, and now I'm dealing with that anti-hero church."
"What anti-hero church?"
"I could've sworn I handed Joyce that memo," he complained, going to get
it. It wasn't on her desk. Maybe he had just imagined he
had from all the long hours he worked. No, there it was under her
desk. He brought it to his boss then went back to dealing with
Dawn leaned in. "I'm going to put up a statement on that idiocy,"
she said. Pepper smiled and nodded it was fine. Dawn got
back to it. Then she put it up.
Tony came back. "I don't think they meant that sort of mutation, Dawn."
"Still a mutation, boss."
"Yeah, but that's probably going to get us yelled at."
"Being born a true blond is a genomic mutation. A recessive
one. Being born with something like Down's Syndrome is also a
genomic mutation, is it not?" He nodded slowly. "Then they
should be against all of them instead of the really useful ones.
Otherwise that makes them hypocrites. I also added at the end that
I supported people no matter what their genetic mutation status was,
because we each have some mutation or else we'd be clones. I made
sure I stated that I supported the kids with birth defects and those
born blonds, as well as any that might be born with special skills like
magic or anything else."
"If you get flamed, we'll make you take it down."
She smiled and nodded. "That's fine. I can do that. Want me to reword it?"
"Not yet." He went to show Pepper.
"That's very true, but a bit chilly. We'll see how well it's
taken." She smiled at Tony. Fury huffed. "Sorry,
"Don't be." He looked at Starfox. "Just visiting?" He nodded. "Problems?"
"What is she?"
"Dawn. She's always been Dawn since she got created." Starfox scowled and looked at her then gasped.
Dawn looked over at him. "Shut up, don't say a word. I like being the super assistant sort."
"Sure," he said weakly. "I won't flirt with you."
"Good. I'd hate to shoot your ass." He laughed but walked
off with Fury. Dawn grinned at her staring wife. "You don't
like the statement?"
"I do like the statement. It's very practical, very
succinct. We need to make t-shirts for protests saying that we're
"I know someone who can do that," Tony quipped. "They do have
counter protestors already." He drafted his idea and sent it to
the head of that group with a link to Dawn's statement since they had
tried to attack her earlier. By that night, shirts were being worn
that stated: human dna means you're either a mutant or a clone and I AM
NOT A CLONE. Simple, effective, got the point across.
Wonderful of Dawn really.
Agamotto appeared in front of his usual realm's Sorcerer Supreme. "We have to look at someone."
"Why?" he asked. "Is there a new witch going rogue, Lord Agamotto? I have not sensed anything."
"I am not sure what she is, though she does use her skills in
battle. We must skip realms." He nodded and let himself be
taken out of his body for the astral travel. They stared at the
perky young woman who was babbling at her son as they walked into a
grocery store. "That one."
The Sorcerer Supreme scowled. "She is clearly a witch with that
aura, and a powerful one." They waited and watched how she taught
her son about vegetables. "She seems to be an interested mother at
least." She came out and put the baby in the car, then stared at
them. He floated over. "Who are you?"
"Dawn Summers-Romanoff-Barton." She stared at him.
"Is that your true name?"
"I have no need of hiding my name, though I can tell what you are.
I've dealt with your wannabe here often enough, Strange." She
closed the door and stared at him. "What's your issue? I
need to get my son home."
"Most witches would be more circumspect."
"Yeah, and then we have to defend ourselves here," she said dryly.
"Including in huge, world ending battles." He winced.
"Frankly, there was a Knight that told everyone who I was because they
couldn't kill me. Not much use hiding it after he went on the
national news," she said dryly.
"Knight?" She nodded, waving a hand around as she leaned on the
car. "I only know a few orders of knights that would bother with
"Or mystical artifacts?" she said dryly. "Because clearly, aura
reading, not your strong suit." He pulled up the Eye of Agamotto
to look at her and gasped, floating backwards. She stared at
him. "And what did you see?"
"You should not be in human form," he said firmly.
"Well, they were keeping me away from Glory so they made me human.
Then a friend got worried about the ones in nearby realms that were
being tortured by Glory so summoned them. And two from the battle
with the Chitarui."
He blinked, staring at her. "You should still not be in that form."
"Bite me," she said bluntly. "I'm human now. Get over
it. I help with the Avengers. I help Stark. I do a lot
of good for humanity even if I have to put up with people who think
they know best. Hell, I've had to put up with goddesses that think
they know best." Xander appeared, smiling at her. "Hey,
"Dawn." He looked at him. "You're on the wrong realm."
"Who are you?"
"Alexander, God Protectorate of Humanity." Strange blinked and
floated backward. "All-but adopted big brother of Dawn." He
smirked. "Why does this concern you?"
"She's very powerful in the wrong hands."
"Who says my hands and judgement is wrong?" Dawn demanded. "Excuse
you?" Strange glared at her. She attacked him, doing a true
sight spell. He yelled but panted through it. "Now, what do
you see?" He looked and flinched, looking down. "Do you
still think I'm mean and evil and have no sense?"
"No, apparently I was wrong. Someone has taught you ethics."
"Yeah, my mother's a great woman. The only time I lose ethics is
in a battle. Which happen all too often around here because I'm
one of the few combat capable witches on this realm." She put her
hands on her hips. "Is there anything else you want to discuss
about my life, which is none of your business? It's not like I'm
breaking laws or anything."
"No," he said, staring at her. "There are other witches who could help."
"In other realms," she said dryly. "Why would I want to pull
them? We have a few people that got pulled here already and I have
to work on getting them home." He slumped. "Now, anything
else that does not concern you?"
"No, child." Dawn flashed her full aura, making him stare, mouth slightly open. "I see."
Dawn smirked slightly. "I'm just fine the way I am unless I
totally lose it on a mob of anti-skill people and have to take them out
when they're not bothering anyone. Do you have any other insults
to my mother's skills or my made-family's needs?"
"You're fine. We were worried that most powerful witches go rogue."
She snorted. "That's so damn sexist, dude. There's plenty of
witches that don't go rogue who you never look at. The few that
you do are all women, you never stop the male ones, and you use your
powers to push your weight around. If you're really interested in
the ones going rogue, the male contingent go there more often to
supposedly right wrongs," she said dryly. "They tend to start with
bullies and move up. And yes, there's males that practice earth
magic," she finished blandly. "For that matter, I never worry
about my skill levels or those of my skill levels. I worry about
ones at your skill levels because they always want more powers and go
looking. Which leads to the dark path of magic addiction."
"I have seen thus. I have also seen those that got lost in the power."
"Yeah, and yet you never touched any of them that weren't female," she
said dryly, staring at him. "Plenty of males at that level going
bad too. Remember, women are mostly patient. We have to be
because many men are immature." He winced but nodded. "Now,
you're in the wrong realm and if you're staying here, you can take my
battle magic spot with the Avengers for a few weeks if you want."
"No, we simply came to make sure that a being of your power level is not doing harm."
"I have all the power I could ever want. Why would I go searching for more?"
"That is a good point. What of the others that you carry?"
"A few will go into my future daughters." She smiled. "Key Children are wonderful future daughters."
He swallowed and nodded. "I have seen that prophecy." He looked at the baby then at her. "He is clearly not."
"No, he is clearly not." She smirked. "Anything else?"
He shook his head. "Then you have a nice day going home and if
you want to relocate the four heros that're presently stuck here, then
go for it."
He looked then shook his head. "I cannot feel them. I will
check on my end if they come from my realm." He bowed. She
nodded and he left with his overseeing Lord and Master. They
settled back in his work space. Strange looked at him. "She
was the Key. Many Keys but the Key."
Agamotto took a deep breath. "Things must have went badly wrong on
that realm." He read the encounter from him. "Then she is
"She thinks so. She is not going rogue. She could use more help on the magical front."
"There is no one there that is near Magus Surpreme level. That is
why I came for you." He considered it. "I will see if any of
them want to go over there." He floated off.
Strange relaxed, poured himself some brandy, and went limp in his chair. She was powerful but dutiful to the side of good.
Dawn looked at Xander again. "What bitches."
He nodded. "Clearly." He looked at the staring people,
smiling and waving at one. "Some realms get people who take out
those with magic addictions and some of us have to do it on our
own. Those realms, they tend to think all women with powers are
weak and stupid. It's a gender divide that's really past time to
get over." He kissed Dawn on the head. "I love you."
"You can't have the baby tonight."
"I know." He grinned. "First birthday?"
"Christmas?" she countered.
"His birthday's first."
"Natasha said to get him clothes. He doesn't need too many toys."
He snorted. "Hell no!" He grinned manically. "Puppy?"
"No, we have Loki cat."
"Good point. He's a bit mean to the puppies sometimes. Stuffed puppy of war?"
"Yeah, he can have a stuffed puppy of war." He beamed and went to
find one. She smiled at the watching people. "Some people in
other realms worry about the *wrong* things." A few of them
laughed. "I mean, women's lib didn't show up there to prove that
women can do the heroic jobs?" She shrugged. "Let me get the
baby home, he's probably hungry." She got into the car and looked
at him. Philip was asleep. "Cool, son. That's a great
thing." She grinned at him and backed out, going home.
Clint and Natasha were waiting on her. "I was pleasant to him."
"It was on the news and you were."
"Are they going to mob me?"
"No. The reporter said you were downright polite compared to a few
battles and if higher witches were jealous about your powers then they
were probably going to be evil." He hugged her and grinned.
She grinned back and took a kiss. "They did wonder about the Key
"They can keep wondering. Or we'll let slip it's a prophecy about a
few of my granddaughters after I've passed on. Total BS but
"We can do that," Natasha agreed. She helped get the groceries in. "Dawn, why did you buy wrinkly looking squash?"
"It was the best they had."
"Hm. It will do I suppose." She took her own kiss and
cuddle. Philip woke up during it and cooed, hugging her
back. "Have a good nap, son?" He grinned, showing off a new
tooth. "You cut another one."
"He's got nearly a full mouth," Dawn quipped, putting him down. He
crawled off. "Be a good boy." He went into their bedroom
and giggled. Clint went to put him on the bed so he could crawl
around it. He liked doing that. Dawn and Natasha fixed
dinner and talked quietly about the upcoming week's stresses. It
was a good, quiet night off.
Fury came out to reporters. "What the fuck do you people think you're doing?" he demanded.
"Just a few questions, Director," one shouted. "That being that showed up to nag Dawn?"
"Know nothing about that."
Joyce came out and put on her scarf over her hair to keep the wind from
messing it up. "People, that was that Strange guy from another
realm. His higher being saw a girl with power that he wasn't over
and got a bit fussy about it so he had his minion come check her."
"That Key Children thing she mentioned?" another asked.
Joyce smiled. "Some day, she'll pass on and it's possible that the
Key will splinter and go into a few of her daughters or
granddaughters. Thereby making some later stronger witches."
They took pictures. "It's a prophecy and we're seeing how big of a
pile of crud it is. Not all prophecies come true. Many of
them exist because someone had heartburn." A few more pictures got
taken. "Anything else?"
"That mark on your face?" one asked.
Joyce touched it. "I was uncapping a sharpie with my teeth because
my hands were full and it was on too tightly, but I flinched when
someone dropped a box of weapons on the floor. I'll scrub it
really hard later." They smiled. She smiled back.
"Anything else?" They dispersed.
Fury looked at her. "I did paddle him for you for dropping those."
"Good! He should know not to drop the box of weapons." She
smiled at Bruce when he got out of the car. "Dear." She
walked over to kiss him.
He grinned. "I've done that more than once with a marker."
He helped her into the car and got back in to drive, waving at Fury as
he slid behind the wheel. He grinned at her. "Nice work."
"Thank you. Though, if that idiot sorcerer who thinks girls are
weaker comes back, can we send him to deal with Willow before she died?"
"If you change the past, things change in the present, or else I'd say yes." He drove them off.
Fury shook his head. His assistant was mushy and that's where Dawn
got it from to make him sick with how she cooed over her spouses.
He looked at Coulson as he came out. "Anything new?"
"The two clones were made by someone in Russia. I was going to
talk to Barnes tomorrow. Your ex is in custody and not getting
free." Fury nodded. "Other than that, nothing huge is
happening at the moment. We're gathering intel on the spring demon
apocalypse battle in LA."
"I want preliminary on that."
"It's on your desk. I dropped it off on the way down here, sir."
"Good. Let me know how many I have to shift that way,
Coulson." He clapped him on the arm and walked off. "Have
fun with the kids."
He smiled. "We're taking them shopping for my namesake's first birthday."
"You're a braver man than I am to take kids into a toy store."
Coulson smiled. "They listen to me." He went to gather them
and take them to the one by the temple with Xander so he had some
help. Xander grinned and held up the stuffed dog. "One of
the winged ones even. I didn't know that someone made stuffed
winged dogs of war."
"They do." He grinned at the kids, who were staring in awe.
"Melissa, John?" They looked up at him. He handed them each a
twenty dollar bill. "That is yours. It is twenty dollars,"
he said with a point at it. "You can get something with that but
that is all you can spend. Okay?" They smiled and
nodded. "I know Mommy's been working on money and numbers so we're
going to do that tonight."
"I think we can do that," Phil agreed. They found him something
for Philip fairly easily. John ran over to point at something,
waving his money. He squatted down. "What's that number
He looked and pouted. "That's a four. Four is bigger than two?" Phil smiled and nodded. "So I can't?"
"Not this time. Maybe next trip." John smiled shyly and went
to find something else. Xander was doing the same with Melissa.
"It has to be two numbers on the price that start with 1 or just one
number, Melissa," Xander said, squatting down to show her. "See,
this has two numbers before the dot?" He looked at her and she
smiled and nodded. "Well, whatever you're getting has to have a
one here. Or it has to be one number, not two."
"Oooh, like sizes on tags?"
"Yes, just like sizes on tags," he agreed with a grin. She found
something and looked at it then at him. He came over to
look. "That's ten dollars so you can buy that and have a bit
"I got balls!" John shrieked, running back with one.
"That's a huge ball, son," Phil agreed, grinning at him. "How much is it?"
"Four but it's a single four!"
"That's wonderful. That means you have some left. Put it
into the cart." He did and they ran off to find something with the
rest of their money. Melissa found a stuffed horse that had a
belled harness. Phil stared at it. Then at her. "That
has three numbers." She pouted. "We'll put it on your list
for Santa." She grinned and hugged him, petting the horse before
moving on. He took a picture and sent it to Tara. She sent
back a groan.
"Okay, Melissa. You have three dollars left after that book,"
Xander said. "That means you can get one of these." He
pointed. She pointed at a box. He smiled. "I love slinkies
but you need stairs for that to play with it. We don't have any
stairs." She pouted but got a coloring book. John got one
and another thing from the cheap rack, then got a stuffed friend.
"John, that's a bit over. Here, let's count it up." He
showed him how much each one was and it was over twenty, they could both
count that high. John pouted.
"You have to put one thing back." He put back the cheap toy.
"That's a few cents over but we can put in for tax." He patted
him on the head, getting hugged. He did the same math lesson with
Melissa, who hugged him then Phil. He grinned. "Let's check
out." They ran that way. The kids bought their own toys by
handing over the money. The cashier smiled at them for being so
smart. Phil kicked in sales tax and the few extra cents they both
had went over. They got Little Phil's presents too and it was
good. They could teach the kids how to wrap presents too.
Tara walked into the apartment and nearly got bowled over by the kids
chasing a large ball. "Wow, you got a ball?" She
smiled. "Daddy spoiled you two rotten."
"They each got twenty dollars and spent it," Phil said from the kitchen,
stirring some soup he was warming up. He smiled at her.
"They got a few other things too. Show Mommy what you guys
got." They quit chasing the ball and the cat to show her.
The younger two were crawling after the ball but that was fine with them
"That's great math work, guys." They grinned and hugged her.
Phil brought over soup and sandwiches, which made all the kids
happy. The younger set loved sandwiches and Melissa loved soup so
she traded with her brother to get his for her sandwich. Tara
smiled but let them for now. Phil kissed Tara on the head and
smiled at her. "We got Little Phil's presents."
"That's right, his first birthday is coming." She smiled. "That horse is *huge* though."
"She liked it." He shrugged with a grin. "That or a live pony." She scowled. He grinned and disappeared.
She looked up. "No spoiling them with a live one," she
called. "The puppies might not like it." She settled in to
help the kids eat and talk about their trip today. John loved to
talk about things and Melissa grunted while she drank.
Tara walked into their classroom the next day to pick up the
twins. She saw the unamused look. "What did she do this
time?" she asked with a slight smile. Melissa really was the
hellion in the family. John just followed along to protect his
"She only had soup last night?"
"We had soup and sandwiches, made by Phil. Melissa hates
sandwiches so she traded her brother for his soup and stole the younger
two's when they didn't want it all," she said with a grin. "Before
then I'm pretty sure she ate a snack. She usually does."
"Oh, good. I was worried that she wasn't getting enough to eat."
"No, we're good on that." She smiled at the twins actually behaving. "How did you do that?" she asked with a point.
"Bribery." She smiled and held up to small bags of apple
chips. John ran over to snatch them and bring them back to their
table. "They do seem hungry."
"Did we not eat lunch, guys?" Tara asked.
Melissa looked at her. "Did, Mommy. Just nibbly."
"You're growing again, aren't you?" she asked with a smile.
Melissa smirked back. "Or you have tapeworms, one of the
two." The teacher in the preschool class laughed. "I'll keep an
eye on that and make them bigger dinners. Usually they don't want
"We've seen that. That's what got me wondering." She smiled. "Math lessons at the toy store?"
"They got given twenty bucks by their dad and they had to manage to
spend it and not go horribly over. The receipt said they went over
about a buck-thirty total."
"Awww. That's great." She smiled. "You two go
home." They cleaned up and tucked their coloring pages into their
bookbags, nibbling on their treats on the way out. "She's traded
with a few other children for their soup too."
"I know," she sighed. "She hates bread for sandwiches. I've
tried tortillas and other things; it's the texture I guess." Tara
shrugged. "I try."
"We all do." Tara smiled and followed the twins out so they could
go home. She made a note that the sudden hunger was because of
growing things, not because they were starving at home. That was
good for them.
Dawn looked over as a familiar looking imp showed up. She sighed. "Who died?" she asked.
"I am not aware, Mrs. Romanoff-Barton. Do you have time today?"
"Tomorrow." She pulled up her schedule. "I'm free from one to three."
"That would be acceptable," he said after noting that on his sheet. "Thank you."
"Should I call Xander again?"
"I'm not sure. If so I will alert him for you." He bowed and left.
Pepper leaned over to look at her. "Was that the scheduling demon
from that law firm?" Dawn nodded. "That kinda sucks."
"It does," she agreed. "But who knows what happened." She
sent a text at her mates, who were at the west coast SHIELD office for
the day doing reports. They agreed they could be there for her and
told Coulson for her. She sent over a wave of affection and got
back to work. She had a meeting in twenty minutes with Pepper and
they had just changed the topic of it so she was redoing the minutes and
other things she'd need. She finally finished when Pepper was
standing beside her, proofreading it quickly and loading it onto her
tablet so they could go. "They changed an hour ago."
"I heard." They shared a look. Dawn opened the door for her
and they walked in. The other team was already there.
"Sorry, Dawn had to finish the updated minutes." She sat down and
Dawn sat beside her, pulling up what she needed. She had to
remotely log into her computer, one hadn't transferred over. That
was quickly solved while Pepper was greeting people then Dawn smiled at
Dawn put her mug of tea on the meeting table and sat down across from
the demons from the law firm. Natasha and Clint walked in together
and sat around her. "Good afternoon."
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Romanoff-Barton." The head lawyer
smiled. "It is not exactly a will but there is a problem in
another realm and the Xander there is extraditing some materials that
would cause issues with the upcoming angelic apocalypse they have to
"Do they need help? I can help him get more weapons."
"Actually, that's one thing they have to move. The angels creating
the apocalypse tried to have him arrested for it so that Xander beat a
few of them fairly badly."
"Hunter Xander then." He smiled and nodded. "He's a really
nice guy but he's been taking down magic dealers," she told Clint, who
nodded once at that. She smiled and patted him on the hand, then
tested his pulse. "You're chilled."
"I'm fine, Dawn."
Dawn concentrated and then blasted both clones. "Sorry, not my spouses." She sipped her tea.
"I wasn't sure if you realized they were approximate humans," he said
with a smile. "He needs to remove his stored artifacts and
weapons. He may need some of them back but he's been talking to
one of the GHS Xander's about how to hide them easier." Dawn
grinned. "He did not want to send them near one of the hims that
"I do have a son."
"You also have the magic to make sure that they cannot hurt someone."
"Yes I can. How much is there?" He slid down a list. She looked it over. "A what skeleton?"
"He found it from a magic dealer."
"Ah." She nodded, then finished reading over the list. "I can find a good storage area for it here."
"Some of them are fairly ....odd artifacts and we would like to make sure that they're going to be firmly safe."
"I have a storage area out here in a well secured facility. Is that good enough?"
"I believe they've changed their policies recently to disclude magical
artifacts." He sent that down to her. "Sorry to inform you
She read it over. "I did not know they were part of the bigot
patrol. I'll have to tell the boss, he has some there." She
smiled. "I can find somewhere. The books can go into
Xander's temple library. The artifacts can probably be stored
there as well." She sent him a text and he appeared, sitting
down. "Can I store them there?"
"Yup, not a problem. I've got the shield up at full again because of the bigot problem."
"I'm about to say if they're so hyper to have us not protect them, they should probably show up this spring," she said.
"Not nice, but practical. You know they won't. They'll blame
us for not being there." He shrugged. "Humanity is cranked
"I know." She slid the list over to him.
He grinned. "He brought the magic 8 ball to a meeting." The
demon laughed. "It's a really neat thing. But yeah, you can
store them at the temple. I could use the weapons anyway."
He grinned. The demon smiled back and handed over the small
box. "Will it unpack itself?"
"It should, Lord Xander."
"Thank you. We'll gladly protect this for him. Have him tell me if he needs some of it back."
"I shall." He nodded at Dawn. "Thank you for the help."
"Not a problem. I'm always willing to help any Xander that's not
fully evil and torturing people." He smiled and left. She
looked at him. "I want to see."
"Come help me unpack it tonight." He kissed her on the temple before disappearing.
Dawn took the updated codes to Tony. "Our storage areas are in jeopardy."
Tony read it over and nodded. "Yours was mostly emptied."
"The stuff from the house in Sunnydale."
"Joyce could probably take care of that," Pepper said, taking the form. "That is really bad of them."
"The bigot patrol," Dawn said. She smiled at Tony. "One of
the other Xander's sent some magical artifacts to us to help protect
thanks to an angelic apocalypse."
"As in calling the angels down?" he guessed.
"No, as in angels starting it. Like that prophecy that got
Atlantis moved." He rolled his eyes. She smiled.
"We're going to be unpacking them later. Oh, and I dissolved the
two clones of my mates."
"I heard the pop." He sipped his coffee. Dawn got him some more and he grinned. "Thanks."
"Welcome. We want your brain to be working today since you have an interview about the bigots later."
"I forgot." He went to change. Beya had all the kids in the
living room having them pounce each other. "Beya, they could go
play in the lunch garden. It's fairly well protected."
"We did that earlier." She smiled. "They got very happy when
that one scientist brought out her tiny dog." Tony snickered,
coming out pulling on his shirt. "Your eldest is in the library."
"Good. She has some homework to get done." He went to set up
the area for the interview, which Dawn already had. Comfy couch
for him to lounge on and a chair for the reporter. Muted
lights in the window. There was a faint incense scent that smelled
pleasant yet not too disturbing. It smelled like apple and
raspberry incense. The bathroom in there was clean and
stocked. The mini-fridge in there had water and apple juice
bottles. She had even changed out the throw pillows on him.
These were more fluffy and softer. He could prop himself up
easier. The reporter got shown in by Dawn, who smiled and left
them alone. Tony got some water and sat down, using one of the new
pillows behind his back to ease the ache in it from bending over all
day. "Sit, please," he said, opening his water to take a sip.
The reporter smiled and set up her recorder on the table, plugging it
into the provided plug. She settled into the chair and they got
down to talking.
Clint woke up with a wince, pulling the sensors off his forehead. "Ow, Dawn was mean."
"We didn't warn her," Natasha said from where she was lying, eyes still shut. "Though I agree, she was a bit harsh."
The geeks came over to help them up, handing them juice bottles after
doing a check of their vitals and eyes. "We were hoping that
they'd pass," one said. "Why did she destroy them?"
"They weren't us," Clint said, taking a drink. "If you have to
only go on physical sight, it might work. It didn't smell like us,
it didn't sound like us mentally as she's got a tether into us.
We told you guys that," he said when the researchers all scowled.
"Dawn's a sharp cookie." He stood up and wobbled. Natasha
helped steady him. "Try it with someone else that isn't as well
known. That might work better." They walked out together,
going to get a shower. They were shaky and sweaty from that.
Using the psycho-kinetic connections to move that other body was
hard! Even if all you did was lay there.
Natasha looked up. "Magic 8 ball?" she demanded.
"We might not want to know but sure, we can go to Xander's temple
tonight." They got glared at for heading to the same shower.
He stared at the glarers. "Not like I don't get to wash her back
at home, people." She swatted him but it was weak. He
grinned. "Who better to find all the little sweaty spots than the
ones who cause them."
She smiled at him. "Dawn's at work."
"I make you sweat just as much as she does," Clint quipped with an evil grin.
"Yes, but not today. Please."
"I'd never do that here. People might want to watch, Nat." They went into the shower together.
The agents that had been glaring went to complain about married
agents. The head of the branch looked at them and told them to
grow up then called up Maria Hill to tell her about the
complaints. She told them to grow up and assigned them diplomatic
duties. Which was so mean of her. That would get a lot of
people wondering if she was pregnant again. The branch head did
send out a memo to both spouses reminding them that sexual relations,
even between married agents, was forbidden in the building, but that a
hosing off shower where nothing sexual happened was borderline so he'd
forgive it this time.
Dawn and Phil got Clint and Natasha to the temple that night with the
baby, who squealed and lunged at Xander, making him smile and grab him
to cuddle. "So, these things," she said dryly.
"We created a new room just for them," Xander said with a point. "Right
after I put up a forever redirect for people who want to hurt the
temple, it's contents, trainees, or residents."
Dawn grinned. "Like the Everglades in Xanth?" He smirked and
nodded. "Cool!" They walked into that room. Dawn
opened the box, watching as everything popped out for them. She
picked up the magic 8 ball. "That skeleton pinches, Nat."
Her wife stepped away from it. "When is the best time for us to
get a daughter?" she mumbled, letting it answer after she shook it.
Clint read over her shoulder. "Isn't the Barton Birth Control
Method in effect," he read. Then he shook his head. He took
it. "Are we going to be injured before or during the demon
apocalypse this spring?" he asked, shaking it. The 'yup' he got
made him groan. "Before the battle?" he asked, shaking it
again. "Yup." "During the battle too?" He shook it
again. "You won't be there. Broken arm, dude," he
read. "Damn." He handed it to Nat. Natasha carefully
put it onto a shelf. Even though it flipped over to ask if the
pretty one didn't like him.
Dawn smiled. "He said he got it from a magic dealer, like the one
Willow used to go to. One of his addicts had charmed it with chaos
Loki appeared, staring at the ball. He picked it up to stare at
and shake. It popped up a ::cackling:: at him. Loki sighed
and put it down, looking at his son. "How?"
"Magic dealer, Dad."
"Ah." He nodded and left, going to bang himself on the hardest wall he could find.
Phil was looking over the skeleton. "Maybe we should uncharm this
and bury it." He swatted at the pinching fingers again.
Xander smiled. "It might pet the dogs for us." He put a
brush in its hand and whistled. Hellion ran in and barked at the
baby until he cooed and leaned down to get sniffed. "Hellion, pet
the brush," he said with a point. Hellion walked over to sniff at
the skeleton, sneezing on it, but he did rub his head against the
brush. The skeleton did brush him. Xander beamed.
"Thanks. They all need it and my arms are sore." Dawn
put up all the magic books into the locked cabinets.
Phil had found a new book on herbal poisons through the ages. The
other boxes of sealed artifacts mostly had cards on them. Though,
the two imp things and the leprechaun was a bit weird. Xander
released them and banished them, sending the leprechaun home and the
imps back to their dimensions. They were Asgardian anyway.
Even if a piece of scroll floated down complaining that they didn't need
any more of them in Ireland.
Clint made sure he wasn't touching a single storage box as he looked at them. "He found some really weird stuff."
"He's a demon hunter." Xander smiled at the baby. "You're so
good, even if you did just pee all over me." Natasha took him to
change, making Xander grin as Dawn followed. The baby
squealed. "Yes, the mommies can kiss, little guy." He looked
at one and pointed. "That might be a problem some year but not if
it's kept in there."
He read the card on the artifact then looked at Xander. "If we
have another interstellar invasion, we'll come looking for it."
"Sure." They shared a grin. The ladies came back with the baby. "So, now what?"
"Now, we see what else they have in those books," Phil said. "Just
in case we need them." Xander nodded that would be a good idea."
"I didn't see anything that would lead to a revolutionary level of
spells," Dawn said. Phil nodded at that. "But a few might
interest Tara." She looked at the baby, who was cooing at the dogs
staring at them. She looked at the dogs. "No, sorry.
You can't play with him. He smells like our cat and you three hate
"Out, kids," Xander ordered with a point. They slunk out. "Most of them wouldn't hurt him," Xander said.
"I know, but those three would because he'd taste like the cat."
"Yeah, they would." He took the baby back, grinning at him.
"We should have dinner." They went to eat and talk about the other
possible problems that might be dropped on them. Xander was a bit
worried about GHS Xander losing a battle sometime. Or him having
to liquidate things to protect himself.
"How does he get so many gems?" Clint asked. "There's no way that even a full planet of mines puts out that many."
"A few very rare dragon species crap out jewels," Xander admitted.
"They're religiously hoarded by the families that own them. It's
also a long term investment. They have to be over a thousand years
old to start with even the most small seed gems." Clint slumped,
staring at him. Xander nodded. "The one in Miami was talking
about the demon clan that asked him for a loan to invest in a newborn
one. He had to make sure they had plans for the long haul that
"Nyama's not that sort, right?" Phil asked.
"No, she just hoards, dear." He grinned. "There are two on
Asgard. Both lay jeweled eggs, not jewels themselves being crapped
out. They're jealously guarded by the Dwarves."
"That's good to know," Dawn agreed. "Would that be like that tiny gold egg in there?"
Xander went to look and came out shaking his head. "That's a
phoenix egg." He sat down and got back to dinner. Talsa was
being stared at by little Phil. "That's Talsa. She cooks for
us," Xander told him. "Would you like to say hi?" He took
him from Dawn to hold him up so he could grin at the nice cooking lady.
Talsa smiled and smoothed down his hair. "You're adorable but
clearly you'll cause mischief like a normal child. Unlike Lord
Phil's children who are much too polite." Phil nodded, trying hard
not to laugh.
"She should meet Callia," Clint said, taking the baby back. Dawn
handed over his bowl of mushy veggies. "We needed to bring your
high chair, kiddo." The baby pouted at him until Natasha held up a
spoonful of mush. He grinned and ate for her. "Ah, you've
already been netted by the allure of your Mommy Natasha. She's
very good at getting men to do what she wants."
"I'm glad I can use it to keep him from peeing on me when I change him,"
Natasha said dryly. "Thankfully Beya showed me that trick."
Dawn nodded quickly. "It's very handy."
"Next we get to teach him how to pee off the porch," Clint said happily.
Dawn looked at him, shaking her head. "He can use a toilet."
"It's easier to teach them off the back porch," Natasha admitted. "Though a bit gross."
"Outhouses on Asgard," Phil reminded them.
Dawn looked at him. "Yes, because then I have to go in and clean
out the spiders." Xander laughed, nodding he'd had to do that
too. "Then again, Liz is standing on top of the toilet to pee into
it. He learns to sit first and when he is capable of aiming you
can teach him to stand up, Clint."
"Fine." He looked at the baby. "You'll get the hang of
it. You're smart like the Mommies are." The baby grinned at
him and accepted more food from Mommy Natasha but not him. Dawn
took him back to feed. He pouted at her too. She huffed but
handed him to Natasha, who smiled and fed him. "Yeah, he clearly
loves her best." He dug into his dinner.
Natasha smiled at the baby. "They'll understand some day."
Clint kissed her on the ear. "We both know how well you train and
tame men, Nat." He winked and got back to eating. Dawn
smiled and nodded at her to show she agreed since she was chewing.
Xander heard the car pulling up and went to talk to the local sheriff,
who had somehow heard about the skeleton because he asked about it
before he even got out of the truck. "It's from another version of
me in another realm. They had charmed it with chaos magic for
their magic dealer."
"Like addicts?" he guessed.
"They sell things like black magic, which makes you high like you just
snorted some meth. That was one of Rosenburg's problems and why
she destroyed Sunnydale." He led him in there to show him.
The skeleton was brushing the dogs for him. The sheriff blinked
then stared at him. "Phil and I have been talking about uncharming
it and having it properly interred."
"How long would that take?" he asked.
"Few hours to uncharm. Then a decent enough hole in the ground somewhere." He shrugged.
"Was it human?"
"Don't know," Xander admitted, picking up the magic 8 ball. "Was
the skeleton living and do you know his name?" He shook it and the
answer popped up his name and where he was from. The sheriff gave
it an even odder look. "Same chaos sorcerer in that realm."
"Followed your father?"
"Followed Janus I think."
"Ah." He nodded. "Okay, so let's work on getting him properly buried? Please?"
"Sure. We can work on that tonight." The sheriff nodded and
left, going to tell the person who had told him what had happened.
"Cremation or burial?" he asked the skeleton. Who
shuddered. The dogs barked at him so he went back to brushing
them. "We'll talk about it later." He went back to dinner.
Hades showed up and went to look at the skeleton. "Okay," he
decided, taking the soul stuck in it. It fell to dust.
"Sure. Thanks, Hades."
He came out to stare at the baby giving him awed looks. "Hi,
Philip." He smiled and patted him on the head. "You're a
good boy." He left to have a drink and cuddle his wife. That
other Xander was pretty weird, even compared to theirs."
"I'll get the dustbuster," Phil offered. Xander smiled and nodded. "You deliver it."
"I can do that." They got things set up to put him into a vase and
Xander delivered it down there. "Here. Hades took the charm
off for us and it turned to dust. This is who he was on that
realm." He handed over the card with a grin. "Laters."
He went back to dinner.
The sheriff looked at the mayor. "At least they're nice, decent sorts."
"They are," he agreed. "And they never argue when we make reasonable demands. What did they do to the road?"
"Diverted it for those like that church's mobs."
"I think that's reasonable as long as it doesn't bother anyone
else." He went to hand the ashes to the local coroner so he could
do something proper with them. He came back. "Did you see
those dogs with wings?"
"Agent Coulson said they bred under the wing spell they had to use against those elves."
"Interesting. So a new mutation?" He nodded.
"Huh. My daughter would adore one of the winged chihuahuas."
"Most of the war dogs are pretty decent. A few are a bit aggressive. Then there's the momma wolf."
"Yeah, she is. Coulson joked that Hellion was like his father, he
only liked them dangerous." The mayor snickered, walking off
shaking his head.
Up at the temple, Loki appeared with a smile. "Son, can I borrow some of the winged dogs?"
"Not if they're going to get injured," he said blandly, staring at his
father. "I don't want them hurt. They're mostly very good in
"I was going to introduce them to Freya. Give her something to do beyond plot mischief."
Xander looked then smiled. His father clearly couldn't find one of
the flying purse dogs for the love goddess. "Ruby." She
trotted over. "Get him Hava." She ran off and brought the
puppy back, presenting him. "Good girl, thank you." He held
him up, staring at him. The wings sprouted and the puppy barked a
few times, his tail going madly. He grinned. "You're a bit
weird and you like flowers. Freya will adore you and if she tries
to harm you I'm going to kill her." He handed him over. "He
was fixed because he came out with that tail problem." He ate
"That's fine. Thank you, son." He took him up to
Valhalla. Frigg smiled at the puppy. "Xander said this one
will not train as a war dog. It has a problem with his tail so
he's been neutered." He handed him to Freya. Who stared at
the dog. "He's giving you the honor of raising one of the dogs of
war to protect yourself and your family." He smiled. "He did
say that Hava likes flowers." He disappeared.
Freya petted the dog carefully. "I've never had one of you before."
Tyr looked over. "They're generally good, smart dogs, Freya.
We can help you with his training." The dog barked and lapped
her, making her laugh and hug him.
"Why does it have wings?" Odin asked. "Dogs don't usually have wings."
"Thanks to that battle, Xander had to give them wings so they could
reach the elves, All Father," Tyr said. "Some bred while under
it." The puppy had glorious blue/black wings that were a bit big
for his frame. They kept flopping over whenever he sat down and
wagged his tail. It was absolutely adorable.
"Our grandson needs his mind rearranged," Odin said.
"Phil does a very good job of that," Frigg said happily, petting the
puppy when he came to sniff her. "Good day, Hava." The puppy
lapped her, making her smile and pet him. "You are quite
adorable. We should see if he has another that will not go to
training." Hava ran back when Freya dropped her fork. He
sniffed her plate then stared at her. She created some meat for
him, which he sat down to eat for her. "He's a healthy dog of
"Aye," Tyr said with a smile. "Very."
Odin looked at him then at his wife. He was not going to say a
word. Frigg would poison him again. His understanding of
that is why they had such a happy marriage for the most part. It
was good his grandson had a poison-master for a husband and would learn
the same lessons.
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