Old Ones Shrinking and Enlarging.
Dawn was meditating, because she needed the stress break. The kids were driving her nuts. Her spouses were off on some sort of liaisoning assignment. Her mother was thankfully on vacation so Steve was stressing out, and bringing it home so it landed on her desk too. So she was meditating before she hired Steve a new personal assistant - to go with the one her mother had already hired - and sent the kids to the temple for a night off. Not that Beya wouldn't pout but she needed the night off too.
So here she was, trying to meditate at work while all her kids were in daycare and the Stark kids had joined them for after-lesson play time. Or if her son and Chris got it into their heads, dress up times with the makeup they had stolen from Pepper's vanity table. Though the eye shadows they had taken didn't suit either boy very well. She'd have to help them pick out good colors sometime soon.
She cleared her mind again, letting that thought drift away. She made herself concentrate on the energy flows around them. And that's when it hit her that something was wrong. She frowned, testing against it. "What the fuck?" she mumbled, concentrating to find the weirdness. It wasn't in the normal energy flows. No, that was in the ethereal level.
She knew it wasn't a ghost, Howard was still banished to the former house in the Bahamas, but it felt something like that. She frowned, waking herself up to look around. "Well, fuck me. JARVIS, we have an energy anomaly centered on the office area just beside the labs," she told the AI that ruled the roost around there. She got up with a groan, stretching her legs.
The AI cleared his virtual throat. "I've noticed some twitches but could not identify why we had another spectral entity, Dawn."
"No, it's not a ghost. Wrong wavelength. It's on the ethereal plane." She frowned, looking around then up at the ceiling. "Can you scan deeper than normal using Jonathan's scanning programs?"
"I can try," he offered. A pause. "Yes, I see that. It seems like it may be a different sort of spectral entity though."
"Yeah, that means they're stuck like Xander got stuck when he was without a body." She looked around again. "Get me Diana, Sean, and Jonathan if you can please? Andrew needs to help the others shield themselves. This is less weird and more energy manipulation."
"They're on their way. The older children are coming in anyway as their classes are just done."
"Cool. Let me get something to drink and I'll be right back here." She walked off frowning. A few guards gave her odd looks. She waved a hand. "We've got some ethereal plane entities hanging around. We're going to make sure they're not dangerous like Howard was."
"Mr. Stark is out for the day, Dawn," one of the guards said.
She patted him on the arm as she walked past him. "Good! It'll take weird science, not Stark science. Make sure the all the kids are kept from the area in case we get some bleedover." He nodded, calling that in. She got her iced tea and came back sipping, pausing to hug her niece and nephew. "Got a weird thing." She led them to the room, where Jonathan was staring at the virtual screen that held the scan results. "How many, Johno?"
"Looks like four. Maybe three but up to four." He frowned, looking at her. "We may need more magic." She waved a hand at the kids. "Point. 'Drew can guard the minors with his stuff better than I could." He went back to the results.
"That weird, watching feeling?" Sean asked. He frowned as he looked around. "It's getting stronger."
"Yup, it sure is," Diana agreed. She took her big brother's hand to squeeze. Dawn patted them on the joined hand and pointed at a wall so they moved there. "Are we shielding or summoning?"
"Shielding," Johno said. "We can summon. Do we need someone who can get to the magical field?"
Dawn snorted, waving a hand at herself. "What am I?"
"Good point. I forget you have magic, Dawn. Is this like where Xander lost his body?"
"Yup. Looks like a different version of it." They nodded and Dawn centered herself to call magic up. She let her magic reach out to touch the voids around them. No go, wrong area. She searched, finding the ghostly image of an older man scowling at her. She smiled. "Who're you?" she asked politely. "And are you a threat to anyone?"
"We're trapped, young lady. It's a long story."
"How many?" she asked.
"Just the three of us," the older guy complained.
"Four. I found her mom," a younger guy yelled. "We finally rescued her last night." The older guy smiled and nodded. The younger guy walked over. "I have no idea how to get us out of here. His younger self decided to stop him from doing something stupid. He did that by taking us out here without protection and taking over our lives."
Dawn stared at the older guy. "Pym?" He huffed but nodded. "Huh, I nearly ripped him apart at his molecules. You're not like that anymore, right? Your wife doesn't have to hide bruises...."
"No, I fixed myself about six months after I did that the first time, young lady."
She smiled. "Good! That means I don't have to destroy this you." He snorted. "Okay, let's get you guys onto a better plane to be drawn from." She concentrated and opened a small portal. "Through here, please. We can get you off this energy plane easier." The two young ones and the older couple walked through. Dawn brought herself out and then got into that energy plane. She waved at the former elder Gods with a grin. "Someone trapped them but they're still alive."
"They've been very amusing with their theories about how to get out of here," one of them said with a smile for them. "You are most interesting mortals."
Dawn grinned. "Then I'm pretty sure we'll enjoy having them back."
"Bringing me specifically could cause a problem with my younger self," Doctor Pym said.
Dawn nodded. "He's in Massachusetts this weekend. There's a conference. If I have to, I can come back for you, Doctor Pym." He nodded. "Okay, let's get the other three first then I'll deal with him for you. Or figure out how to protect everyone. Maybe a stasis tube?" She looked at the two women. The older one pointed. "You sure?" she asked.
"Yes. They've taken over our former roles, dear. Who are you?"
"Dawn Summers-Romanoff-Barton." She grinned. "Top PA at Stark Industries." She grinned at the two young ones. "Let's get you back to human. Jonho, I need something to stabilize them," she called. She felt the energy fields going up. "That'll work." She took their hands and walked backwards. "Follow, people." She got them back into the lab and then yanked magically to bring them back into the realm of the living. The woman shuddered and gripped herself but the guy steadied her for a second. Then a forcefield came down around them. Dawn looked over. "Thanks. Can they stand without it?"
Jonathan shook his head. "That's the automatic shielding for high energy, Dawn. They're both shedding energy. We can stabilize them and Dr. Shivs is on his way to help us. How many more?"
"Two. One's got a complication of his younger self is trying to stop him by trapping his older self. He's at the conference because he's supposed to be speaking."
"Thor's up there to talk to his friends Jane and Darcy," Diana said, pulling out her phone. "Let me call Artemis." She hit the speed dial and smiled at the unfamiliar voice. "Is my twin sister Artemis that busy?" She listened. "Oh! You're Jane! Okay, great even. Here, talk to Dawn about someone there who's played with many things he shouldn't." She tossed over the phone.
"Doctor Foster, Dawn Summers. We have an older Dr. Pym here trapped on the plane of creation with the Former Old Ones. His younger self, who is supposed to be speaking there this weekend, trapped him to stop him from doing something. Yeah, we could use him tied up and we have enough geek power on this end since it's mostly magical stuff.
"Thank you. Let us know? Blessed days, Doctor Foster." She hung up and tossed the phone back, looking at the doctor rushing in. "Someone's trying to stop himself from being a dumbass. Trapped them on the lesser ethereal plane. I moved them to the Former Old Ones plane. There's two more but one's the older version of the one that trapped them."
"We can pull him into a containment chamber," Jonathan said. He called those systems up. "They're part of the cryo storage and emergency asteroid systems." Dawn nodded, those were underneath their current building so easy enough. "Okay, got two set up in quarantine six. Go for it, Dawn." She nodded, merging again so she could pull them down there. He looked at Shivs. "Dawn called. She felt it somehow."
"We felt watching feelings," Sean said.
"We were hoping that the sensors or something around here would pick us up," the younger woman said. "Apparently we were on the wrong stream of energy."
"I need to check on my ex and kid," the guy said.
Jonathan smiled and nodded. "We can do that. Don't worry about that." He helped get them to the infirmary while the two kids evened out the energy planes so they weren't quite as earthquake feeling. He and Andrew held a talk and 'Drew brought in his laptop. "Here, we can dial."
The young guy smiled. "Thanks, guys."
"We have some semi-evil spawns ourselves," Andrew quipped with a smirk for Diana and Sean when they came in. "Speaking of, your triplet nieces and nephew need to quit sucking on the evil tit."
"We can calm them down," Sean said. "They like me." He went to the daycare to play with the tiny, evil things. And the older, evil things because kids thought he was great. Thankfully he got enough babysitting time to never need to have his own. He walked into a wailing fit and sighed. "Ladies!" he complained. "Enough!" The kids squeaked, staring at him. "Thank you! Let's sit up, burp some food up, and then we'll figure out other stuff so you're not bored."
"They have walkers," Chris called. "They're whiny about moving."
"They have been. They're spoiled." He stared down at them. "Spoiled, spoiled, spoiled." He grinned. "Your mother's busy but we can figure it out." He put two of them into the walkers the other kids pushed over. The other one threw up on him so he sighed and took her to clean her up. "You know I hate doing laundry, dear. Why did you puke on me that way? Now I need to get a clean shirt and I don't have one in the car."
"I'd let you borrow but you're not going to fit into mine," Chris said with a grin. "Or Stepmommy's. Probably not Uncle Bucky's either. But if you run around shirtless, a lot of girls will drool."
"Eww," Sean told him. "No drooling without my permission, guys. And that shade is not good for either of you. The lipstick or the eyeshadow." They pouted, going to wash the makeup off. "We'll figure that out, guys. Maybe we can shop this weekend." He finished cleaning up his cousin and put her into the walker, making her huff but the room worker had a teething cookie for her. They liked that so all three calmed down. The other kids mobbed Sean for a story. They knocked him down and sat on him until Philip gave him a book with a smirk so they could have boy time.
Dawn came back to herself, looking at the two beings in the containment chamber. "You two okay?" They nodded. "Okay, I'll let the docs come check you over in a few. Let me go find your younger, idiot counterpart." She walked off sighing. She ran into a really pissed off Stark. "Something that we didn't notice way back when but Dr. Pym is from the seventies."
Stark frowned. "What?"
"The one that was going to be put onto the team? That guy that argued with your dad?" Stark nodded slowly. "None of us realized he didn't age. He's supposed to be about halfway between you and Howard, right?" Stark groaned but nodded. "He trapped his older self in-between with his wife, somehow, not totally sure of that story yet, and two young ones. Shivs has them. Those two went into containment so there's no problem with two in the same realm."
"Shit," Stark muttered, going to the containment system. "That's not a bad solution. Tell Jonathan I said thank you."
"The replacing Pym is at the conference at MIT, boss. Diana called her twin because Thor's up visiting Dr. Foster. I talked to Dr. Foster for a minute."
"Good idea, Dawn. Thanks. Go get some food. You look shaky."
"The kids kept me up all night. Again. Triplets are hell!" She did go to get a snack and relax for a few minutes. Then she'd probably have to go to MIT to help grab the asshole.
Stark walked in and looked at the old guy. "Damn it, we didn't even realize it." The older Dr. Pym shrugged. "Sorry. And my father's still dead so you're okay there." He looked over. "Your wife? Wasn't she lost?" She nodded. He looked. "Press the blue button to turn on the speaker. Adjust the air flow with the knob. The lights are the press switch. The right hand panel moves the seat into a couch to nap on." They turned on the speakers. "I didn't realize either. I saw the picture and I didn't realize it. Sorry."
"Tony, you were short and messy when you last saw us," Dr. Pym said patiently. "I'm not surprised he managed it. I am a genius as well," he finished sarcastically.
Tony smirked at him. "Dawn found him having bad ideas about domestic things and nearly ripped him apart at his atomic level."
"Good!" He looked at his wife then at Tony. "We're still mostly energy."
"We can figure that out. You're not the weirdest we've had, Hank." He stared at him. "The other two?"
"My daughter," he said proudly. "And the one that took over for me."
"Okay. We can help them and you guys. Not like we haven't seen refugee heros a few times." He heard a wail and looked up. "JARVIS, why are we hearing the triplets this time?"
"That was not them and I meant to put that into the infirmary, sir. One of our geneticists just gave birth in a bathroom. Dawn's heading to help her and get her to the infirmary. The child ...I believe we'll call it problematic."
"Infected, disabled, or glowing with radiation?" Tony guessed.
"Yes," the AI said. "Quite possibly all that and more, sir."
"Great. Make sure they have what the infirmary needs for her. Tell Pepper to warn her so she can talk to the staff." He rubbed his forehead. "Don't let the kids near it."
"Too late. Liz found her before Dawn, sir. She's the one that summoned Dawn."
"Of course she did." He nodded. Then he sighed. "Okay. We'll figure it out. Authorize whatever we have to for the kid. And the new visitors."
"Yes, sir. Already going on. Steve is here, sir."
"I'll make a report in a minute. When I know what's going on. Tell him to let Dawn rest. The triplets kept her up." He looked at the older geniuses. "Yeah, we're still insane around here. That came down through the Stark genes."
Doctor Pym smiled and nodded. "I remember. Your father's ghost?"
"Stuck in the former house in the Bahamas for dragging some teenage heros here to handle things for him." He rolled his eyes. "So much hell from him so we banished him." He smirked a tiny bit. "Wait until you meet my spawns." He walked off. "Rest. I'll send down docs in a few minutes. Once they're done with the baby."
"That's fine, Tony. Thank you." He looked at his wife. "He's much more stable these days."
"That's a good thing for everyone." She settled in to rest her eyes for a few minutes. Being on the energy plane they couldn't sleep. He settled in too. It'd probably be a few hours.
Dawn teleported into the MIT conference, in a nicely tailored business suit, and with a folder being carried. She smiled at the guards. "So much hell going on. We need a few geeks to help." She walked off to find her niece, she could always track her. She found her and Thor together. And a few others. "Doctor Foster? We could use your help at Stark for a few days if you could."
Doctor Foster started and looked at her. "Where did you come from?"
"The lobby, where I appeared." She grinned. "Dawn Summers, head PA at Stark Industries. We had a geneticist who pulled a child from another realm to make herself pregnant." Doctor Foster shuddered. "She just delivered, the portal reopened because she stole the child from a higher level chaos sorceress who got pregnant by her half-demon lover, and they're fighting. We could use some help if you'd agree to come with us."
"I...I'm supposed to speak tonight. I can look over the files on it until then." Dawn handed over the folder. She opened it and stared. "Oh, damn." She looked at Dawn. "This is bad."
"This is the bigger of the two problems with portals today. The guy we called about earlier?" They pointed at the guy talking to other geeks. "Oh, good." She walked off. "Artie, make sure they get back to the compound please? And if you can, make the triplets stop whining?"
"I can try, Auntie." She grinned at her husband. "Diana said that the triplets are being annoying for the last day because people expect them to move themselves and not be carried everywhere."
"I've seen that in other children. Usually Dawn's children are more reasonable."
"Maeve taught them," she said sarcastically.
"Ah!" He nodded. "That figures quite a lot. Maeve is a bit spoiled." He looked at his former girlfriend. "Maeve is Pepper Potts' youngest. She's very fashionable. And squealy."
"That's what happens with some kids." She looked at the data again, shaking her head. "What did she do?"
"Something dumb probably," Artemis quipped. "Something truly dumb." Doctor Foster nodded, sitting down to go over them and see if she could figure out the portal problem.
Dawn walked up to the geeks she knew, smiling at them. "Hey, guys, can I steal Dr. Pym from you please? Stark would really like to talk to him about his time breach recently." She stared at him.
"I..." Dr. Pym looked around then at her again. "I'm rather busy, young lady."
Dawn nodded. "I can do what I did last time we met, Dr. Pym. Especially since I had to fix the mistake you made on the ethereal plane earlier." She stared at him. "Let's go talk before I summon SHIELD in. Shall we?" He backed up. She magically tied him up and floated him off. "I do not have the patience for this today because my triplets kept me up all night. Again. For the third night in a row. Having to fix your mistakes does not make me a happy camper by any standard you want to measure it against."
She nodded at the hotel's security team. "He needs to go fix his mistakes I had to fix earlier. I didn't like rescuing the people he tried to kill by trapping them on the ethereal energy plane." She tapped her headset. "Stark Security, it's Dawn. I've got him and we're coming back now please." They got beamed back. She put him in front of Stark and grinned. He was struggling but oh well. "Keep being so wiggly, Dr. Pym from the seventies." She walked off. "Let me see if I can unwhine my kids. Hopefully it'll work this time."
"Sean did," Pepper called after her. Dawn shot her a grin but left them to handle it.
Tony looked at him. "Wow, you look like it's 1978 again. I wasn't paying attention before but then your older self reached out and contacted Dawn from the great beyond." The guy winced. "Thankfully we can fix that." He stared at him. "What was this important?"
"I started off the downfall of the world. I had to stop it."
"Already handled that," Stark said dryly. "We got pulled into another realm for a few weeks to help them fix it in their realm and kept the cure for here so it can't happen." The guy slumped but nodded. Tony looked at Pepper. "Go check on them?"
"The boys have it well in hand, Tony." She patted him on the arm. "Though, Callia is talking to other scientists." He grinned at that. "The other problem I don't have the experience to deal with."
He nodded. "Neither do I. Thankfully we contacted people who know about portals." He grimaced at the tied up guy. "We need to figure out where we're sending you home. Tonight."
"I...I needed to stop a few more things."
"No. Hell no! That's my job, Hank! No!" He stared at him. "Because I'm not going to let you endanger my kids." He slumped but nodded. "So let's take a report and send you home."
Dawn walked into the infirmary, waving a hand to get attention from the screaming people. "Hey!" she shouted. "Enough!" The yelling people stopped to stare at her. "Yeah, shit's bad. She deserves to be screamed at. If not beaten for that. But you're making the baby upset. We can't heal the baby if she's that upset or with the level of shouting and energy being shot around. And the rest of us would like not to have to defend everyone else on this planet because she was a selfish cunt.
"So settle down so we can help the baby and I don't have to call out to any Gods today to get some help. Okay?" The staff member burst out crying. "Yeah, don't give a damn, it's your fault, and I'm not going to risk my kids for you." She looked at the sorceress and her half-demon lover. "Can we just calm down the magic so we can do what we need to so the baby's going to be all right?"
The sorceress huffed but nodded. "It may taint her."
"It may," Dawn agreed. "But better living and tainted than dead, right? She's a bit premmie by about a week." The sorceress sighed but nodded. "Thank you! My own kids are in the building and I don't want to have to destroy anything today. Now, Doc, how can I help?"
Dr. Pigalli looked at her. "You can take a nap, Dawn. You're crabby."
"Triplets, Doc. Spoiled, whiny triplets. For three damn nights." She stared at her. "Thankfully I'm told Sean still loves them anyway." A nurse hit her with a needle to the arm, then made her lay down. "I need to handle stuff," she complained.
"I can do most of it," Callia called with a grin and a wave. "I'm still amazing because I'm a female Stark who does amazing things. Let me handle a few while you nap, Auntie Dawn." Dawn yawned and had to drop out. Callia looked at the nurse. "The triplets have been super problematic for three weeks. It's like colic but they're not sick. Just yelling constantly."
She looked at the sorceress. "If the rest of us with magic can help, let us know. I'd never want the kid to be hurt. We had no idea she was pregnant. Dawn, and sometimes me, go around to check on everyone daily to make sure nothing's going wrong. We had no idea she was pregnant or I would've reported her for doing things with radiation while pregnant. Auntie Dawn would've made her stop too. We had no idea but we'll gladly help the baby be okay. Then you guys can figure out what happens next."
"That's reasonable, young lady, and I thank you and your aunt for the offer of help," the half-demon said. "We have no idea what to do about this."
Callia walked over, her rollator squeaking a bit. "Life isn't predictable and then the science can make it worse." She grinned a bit. "At least you're where insane things happen often enough that we can handle it easily." He smiled and nodded, patting her on the head. "Hey, Doctor P, should we put them into a room for a few hours?"
"Please," the sorceress said. "I could use a rest as well."
"Of course. C'mon. We have a few nice guest suites and one's just up the hall." She led them to it. "JARVIS, log them into this room so they can rest while we stabilize the baby please."
"I have and I've alerted one of the lower assistants to come get them in a few hours so they can be shown the cafeteria and we can handle any needs they have."
"Thanks, J." She grinned. "He's the AI, which is like a non-magical elemental helper being. Let him know if you need to know something or need something and we'll send you whatever." They nodded. She rolled back to the infirmary. "They're in the blue suite getting a nap." She looked at the two rescued geeks and grinned. "Still can't get her?"
"No, her mother's not answering."
"Okay, we can handle that." She smirked a tiny bit. "Sometimes, Starks are sneaky bitches." She rolled off. "Tell me if you need my help, Doc."
"Of course," she said patiently. "No leaving without telling your father."
"Yup." She went down to the garage, looking at the cars. She had her learner's permit. She had done over a thousand hours in the driving simulator. She knew where the keys were. She considered it then went to get a pair of keys. The security team was paying a lot of attention to the nursery, the containment system, and the infirmary so no one caught her getting the keys.
She rolled back out after getting a drink from the coffee pot in there. By the time she got her walker into the back seat and into the car, Happy had been told. She grinned at him hurrying her way as she started the car and backed out of the parking spot, speeding off. She turned on the illusion that made her look older so no nosy police officer would pull her over for her age.
Happy called the parent. "Boss, your daughter just stole your Audi." He hung up before Tony could react. That was going to be a loud fit. A very loud fit. He would get to hide from it at least.
Callia pulled up in front of the house she needed, parking nicely and getting out to grab her walker. She could handle the stairs, she had trained herself to do that. She knocked on the door and smiled at the guy answering it. "Hi, I'm Callia Stark and I'm looking for my newest penpal." She stared at him. He was looking horrified. "By the way, her daddy sent me. We rescued him earlier." He groaned. She walked around him and into the house. "Hey, Cassie." She held out a hand with a grin. "Callia Stark."
The other teen shook her hand. "What are you doing here? And penpals?"
"Auntie Dawn rescued four people earlier. Your mom wouldn't answer the phone so the greatly worried dad sort couldn't call. So I came to let you call him." She handed over her Starkphone after getting into the dialing pad and hitting the code for the infirmary system.
Cassie Lang took the phone, staring at it. "Hope?" she demanded.
"Oh, hey, Cassie. Scott, someone found Cassie." He came out of the bathroom wiping off his hands and squatted down to get nearer to the system. One of the nurses pushed over a chair for him. Hope grinned at her for it.
"Are you all right?" Scott demanded. "You've been okay while we were trapped?"
"You were trapped?" Cassie demanded back. "Why?"
"The earlier Dr. Pym did it to stop his older one from doing something. So we're mostly all back but Dr. Pym and his wife are in quarantine." Cassie grinned. He relaxed. "But you're okay?"
"I'm okay, Dad. Are you?"
"Yeah, I'm okay, kiddo." He stared at her. "I tried to call but your mom hung up on me. Who found you?" Callia leaned into view and waved with a grin. "That explains why your mom was ranting about cars I guess."
"Could be." She got out of view again. "She's going to be my email pal soon. I need more normal people to talk to. Especially since the girls at the college all consider me a toddler."
Cassie looked at her. "You're in college?"
"I'm six credits away from my combined Masters of mechanical engineering. I did it to myself by self paced education." She shrugged. "I started college with all but four credits for my bachelors. I really like Cal-Sci. That's why I decided to stay."
Scott grinned. "It's a good program for engineering." He looked at his daughter. "Did anyone tell you anything?"
"Some agent sort told me you were confined but otherwise no."
"SHIELD or someone else?" Callia asked casually.
"Hmm. We'll talk to Stepmom about that." She flapped a hand. "We're down at the Malibu facility so hopefully it won't be too long."
"I..." She looked at Callia then her father. "Are you under arrest again?"
"No, we got trapped on an energy plane by the younger version of Dr. Pym."
His daughter scrunched up her nose. "That sounds weirdly like things that happen to heros, Dad."
"I think it was, yeah." Behind him Hope laughed. "But we're okay. We should be back soon and I'm going to stop in as soon as I get close enough."
"That'll work." Her mother stomped in. "Mom, they found Dad where he and everyone were trapped by an evil, younger Dr. Pym." She looked at her father's picture again. "So now what?"
"Now, I really want to punch the guy," Scott admitted. "But I have no idea how long it'll be."
"Could be about a week," Dr. Pigalli called from her desk.
"The doc here said it could be a week."
"That'll work. You be safer. Please? You worry me stupid."
"I'd hate to see you turn stupid," he joked, grinning at her. "You're already smarter than I am and you're not allowed to fall below my stupid levels." His daughter rolled her eyes. "Callia, thank you for the help."
"You're welcome. Kids worry about their parents when they do heroic stuff. There's days I live on mylanta thanks to my parents. And the evil jackholes that want to own me because I'm smart." She sighed but grinned at Cassie. "Never let the bad guys realize you're a genius. They get all sorts of grabby and weird about you working for them." She shrugged but grinned. "I just sic Liz on them because she's kinda evil herself. Some day she'll be an evil politician or judge or something like that."
Cassie grinned. "I'm kinda glad I don't have siblings like that."
"It's better than Chris stealing my makeup for him and Philip to dress up with. They do a good job but still."
Scott giggled. "Brothers can be annoying, Callia." He looked at his daughter.
"Talk to mom. I wouldn't mind a sibling but I'm not going to ask for one because then I'd have to talk to her again about where babies come from. She got weird about that talk the last time." She looked at Callia. "Did your parents do that?"
"I got to watch Chris being born. We were out here for a meeting and Mommy Pepper went into labor suddenly. Dad and I had to come out of the lab to go watch him being born. So I got to see him coming out and they explained, when I asked, that they go in the same spot. After that, I just asked Grandpa Bruce. He doesn't give too many details."
"That's so weird," Cassie said.
Callia grinned. "Then again, I'm a Stark so weird is our native language."
"Point." She looked at her father again. "Call tonight?"
"I can do that and when we know what's going on too." She grinned. "Behave, be safe, be good. I'll see you really soon"
"You too, Dad. No getting arrested or anything."
"Nah. Not in my plans." He let her hang up and looked at Hope. "I'm proud my little girl is a lot more like her mother than me." He stood up. "Thanks."
"We're used to parents around here," a nurse quipped with a grin for him. "Dawn has a few. Andrew and Jonathan have a few. The boss's family has a few." She was looking out the door. "There goes a few." She picked up a phone, calling the lab. "Oh, Happy. It's the infirmary. We just saw four kids in walkers following the Xander puppy toward a side door. Yeah, you might. You know the triplets are headstrong and Bailey is nothing if not more stubborn than her mommy Patty. Thanks. Yeah, we're mostly calm and we just saw Callia in another area." He groaned but hung up to go chase the kids.
"Girls!" Chris yelled as he and Philip chased them. "Get back to the daycare! It's not time to go outside yet!" The nurse giggled but one of the lower level nurses followed in case the girls got hurt. There were a few stairs to the outside.
Stark went jogging past. "Ladies, let's not do that," he yelled. "Really. You'll get booboos from the stairs!" Then a minute later. "Oh, hey, you learned how to levitate already. Your parents are going to be *so* amused. Let's go in before you get a sunburn, girls! You hate being sunburned."
The nurses were giggling at that. Thankfully they didn't have genius or magically active kids to deal with every day like Stark and Dawn did.
Clint got summoned back to the labs, staring at the daughters flying too high to be caught without using the iron man suit and they were terrified of it so they floated away from him. "That's new." The girls and their brother squealed at him and waved but were chasing butterflies. The fourth kid was barely off the ground so he wouldn't worry about her right now. He looked at Tony, who shrugged.
"No wonder I got called." He whistled and pointed. "Who wants fries?" The trio squealed again and floated over to him. He took them out of the walkers as they got to him and carried them inside with Tony's help since he got the fourth one. The walkers fell to the ground but that was usual. "I didn't know you three had that much magic, kids. We'll have to figure that out."
"I was hoping no one made the walkers fly with tech," Stark said, going to get out of the suit. "I should've offered fries or shopping." The little boy squealed and waved at him. "I know, you shop like your mommy does."
Clint looked back at him. "Don't remind me," he said quietly. "C'mon, boys. Philip, that lipstick is the wrong shade for your skin tone. Chris, it's even worse on yours." The boys huffed, going to clean it off again. They needed to scrub, not take boy baths apparently. "We'll let you guys take Natasha out this weekend." He got them some fries from the caf and took them back to the daycare to let them nibble, cuddle, and then take a nap since they had worn themselves out. He grinned at the daycare worker. "They were flying in their walkers."
She shuddered. "We'll ask Dawn how to catch them." Clint waved a fry with a grin before eating it. "We can do that. Thank you for the idea. And they finally quit complaining."
"It could've been the not using magic headache that Dawn gets now and then."
"I hadn't thought about that. We'll have her or Tara check." Clint grinned and nodded. He got the girls onto the daybed for a nap so he could sneak off to check on Dawn and everything else. What he heard made him gladly go back to the boring, diplomatic stuff. He did not want to deal with dual people and people getting off energy realms. Ever.
Callia got out of the car, going to talk to the agent who she knew was a bad guy but also SHIELD. She cleared her throat, staring at him. "I know I'm not stealthy because I need to tighten the wheels on my walker, dude, but *really*."
"Miss Stark, what are you doing up here?"
She smirked a tiny bit. "I'm here to yell at you guys for telling someone's daughter he had been arrested when he was misplaced into another realm." The agent groaned. "Also, would you like the one I have in the trunk who tried to tell me I was a hydra when I was coming out of Cassie Lang's house?"
"What?" the agent demanded.
"He started to pray to hydras and I'm not one. Really, I don't intend to change form into one either, unless my sibs try to be mean and change me somehow," she continued dryly, staring at him. "I figured since there's no holy hydra he was saying prayers to my greatness. Do you want him or should I drive him home so Stepmom can talk to him? I'm pretty sure Stepmom Steve will *adore* having some stress relief talking to the guy who was vowing himself to my greatness if I ever change form."
"Um, that's probably not what it meant," the agent said calmly.
"I was there when we were displaced due to the idiot computer program. I remember them very well and having to take out a few because Auntie Dawn was pregnant with the triplets and napping." She stared at him. "I can drive him back to Malibu if you want."
"No, I'd like to get him out of the trunk. That way we can talk to him about his allegiances." He followed her back to the car, staring at it oddly. "Isn't that your father's car?"
"Yeah but we're only halfway done building mine." She grinned. "I had to deal with some stupid going on since some SHIELD agent tried to tell a young woman that her father had been arrested instead of being displaced. Which means that the agent is probably involved in him being displaced."
The agent shuddered. "If we know their name, I can look into it."
"Go ask Miss Lang."
"Oh, that family," he said before wincing. "Um...."
"Auntie Dawn and two of my older baby sibs helped rescue them earlier." The agent just nodded quickly and reached in to get the trunk release button so he could rescue that agent from the young genius. Callia smiled and waved at him. "Do you still think one of my sibs is going to change me into a HYDRA?"
The idiot shot her a dirty look. "You'll fall in line," he sneered.
"Dude, I helped destroy a whole HYDRA unit when we were merged for those few weeks. And helped my baby brother do a few others by running the suit while he walked it around. Do you *really* think you're ever going to get your hands on *any* Stark? I mean, Liz is still little but she can destroy all of you. We'd just cheerlead her on, dude. We already know she's evil." The bad one tried to grab her then screamed as his hand was eaten. "Um, yeah. Auntie Dawn taught us all how to be super safe around morons." She grinned at him. "How's that flesh eating nanite doing for you?"
The semi-decent agent backed away then nodded. "Let me get him arrested so we can kill those."
"EMP," she quipped. "And then probably some CPR when it shuts him down too. It's only supposed to work for two hours but no idea how much that'll eat on him." She leaned against the car, folding up her rolling walker to put into the back seat then closing the door and the trunk. "You have a lot of fun with him, kinda bad SHIELD guy." She smiled. "Not like we don't know and if he's your sort, then use him as a warning about coming near any Stark. Okay?" She slid back into her driver's seat and shut the door. Which locked automatically so she could drive off.
The radio came on. "You are in the deepest shit ever, daughter," it said in her Stepmother's voice. "You should probably have an *excellent* reason for that trip. Come directly home to give that excuse."
"I went to ease someone's worried daughter's mind and then I had to pause to drop off the guy who tried to pray to me if only I'd change my shape to a hydra, Stepmom. As for right home? I might have to break for a nap and a meal. It's been a pretty long day and I've never driven over four hours at a time before. But I'll hopefully be back in time for my lunchtime seminar at the college. I really do have to be there to present my newest wacky idea and the vet scanning device. So probably be dinner, Stepmom." She blew a kiss and turned off the radio, letting her phone play Pandora for now. She really could use a nap soon but that might get her into trouble. Who knows what sort of skanky idiot was at motels? That reminded her to turn back on the illusion.
Behind her, the agent looked at the HYDRA agent, shaking his head. "I'm so glad I don't have to deal with the genius contingent very often. She's worse than her father is." He hauled the agent off to have someone talk to him. He ran into a waiting Agent Coulson. "Sir!" He smiled as he handed him over. "Miss Stark handed him over because he was praying she became a hydra."
Coulson looked at him. Then at the other agent. "You're lucky she had the lighter nanites on her." The HYDRA one was nearly crying as his arm got eaten. Coulson stared at the other one. "Take him in for interrogation. Let's see what they're planning this time. Before I have to tell her father." The HYDRA agent was trying to get away now so the SHIELD agent dragged him off. Coulson went to the lab to calm his usual Stark down. "She's mouthy but fine. She turned over a HYDRA agent who came up to her at Lang's house. I'm going to set an agent near her to protect her until he can get back up there." Scott nodded from his seat in the corner. "She's at that hungry so warped stage, Stark."
"It's been a long time and I doubt she pulled through anywhere. She's only got a learner's permit and knows she's not supposed to be driving by herself." He put down his screwdriver. "Is she all right otherwise?"
"She seems fine. Hungry, a bit tired. Thinking about how there's probably some perverts at the cheaper, less questioning motels."
Stark nodded. "I need to get her another driver so she makes it in time for classes tomorrow."
"I've got to baby the magical headaches," Clint said. "Nat?"
"I can do that," she agreed. "We can talk about the proper procedures to do during such events." Stark got his daughter pulled over and beamed Natasha to where the car's GPS said it was. She walked back the few feet to get into the car. The girl had already shifted seats for her. "Nap. We'll talk later."
"Okay. I have to be at the symposium at eleven, Aunt Natasha." She yawned but tipped the passenger's seat back so she could nap. "The HYDRA guy hated the nanite system."
"Hmm." Natasha looked at her. "You led with one of your bigger weapons."
"I didn't want him to go near Cassie Lang. She's young and kinda innocent and really normal."
"That's fine. Still, use something lesser. If they hear you have it they'll try to get it from you."
"They can take samples from his arm." She grinned at her aunt. "And the SHIELD guy I gave him to is kinda not fully a good agent too."
"That whole office is full of people SHIELD should remove," Natasha admitted. "Hopefully they don't go after the younger Lang to make her father do something."
"She's got a mom and a stepfather."
"Plus her dad has some friends who can watch out for her up there."
"Even better," she agreed. "You should rest. It's still about eight hours back to Malibu." Callia nodded, curling up on her side in the seat. Natasha changed the radio station to something she liked better and sped up some. The highway wasn't that busy tonight so hopefully it would be an uneventful trip back. Then they'd have to talk about the triplets and their new skills.
Callia came back after her presentation, handing her father the notes on her devices as she walked past him. "They think the vet scanner is too Star Trek but they think the other fit the wacky theme we had today very well. Even though it works." She smirked a tiny bit at him. "The professors were astounded that I have a life outside the lab too." He grabbed her to walk her off so they could have a parental level talk. "I was totally safe," she defended.
"You're not licensed to drive by yourself, daughter. By law you have to have someone in the car. Also, as a reminder, that's an adult job. Not a teenage Stark job. Even you!"
She sighed but got her arm free from his grip. "Dad, you were all busy. I've spent thousands of hours in the simulator and about another two hundred with Happy, Uncle Clint, and you in that very same car. I know what I was doing and I could've went off the highway to the lesser used roads if it was too bad for me to handle.
"The map on my phone did suggest it at one point because there was construction around one of the exits. I did good. Even if I did forget to grab something to eat when I stopped for gas, I did really good. I even parked on a hill and did it right." She stared at him. "You were busy and it's not nice to worry the kids. It also helped him calm down finding out she was okay. I may be fifteen but...."
Tony swatted her across the back of the head. "Yes, you are fifteen. I could've sent one of the guards up to help with that. Or Happy. Or you could've asked Happy to go with you! You have common sense, Callia! You inherited it from your aunt!"
She huffed. "I was being helpful!"
"You're fifteen! Helpful for you is doing computer things!"
She glared. "I'm better than that."
"Unless you're planning on building your own suit, you're fifteen and your place is here guarding your siblings!" he shot back, glaring at her. She glared back. "Grounded, young lady."
"You know, by the wills and everything, I now own my percentage of the company since I've got my bachelor's already, Dad. I'm not the average fifteen-year-old-girl."
"No, you're in more danger because people know who you are and what you can do. There's all sorts of idiots who'll want you for your skills or my skills."
She crossed her arms over her chest and sat on her walker's seat. "And if that should happen I'll remember I'm a Stark first and build something to destroy them. Just like you did, Dad." He flinched a tiny bit. "And if that doesn't work, I'm a Summers woman too!" She stared at him. "You're not going to win this argument."
"I am because I can have your learner's permit taken for that."
She grimaced. "Dad, I can fly things thanks to the simulators. I can pass all that."
"Have to be eighteen," he said smugly.
"No. Small aircraft I started at thirteen. That's the law," she finished with a smirk. "I was being helpful. I was doing something we didn't have the people to do and helping the stress levels fall. I was careful and knew what I was doing because I've had more time in the simulators and on the streets than most thirty-year-olds. All I did was make a personal call to hand over my phone and talk to the young woman. And the agent that I had to hand over the HYDRA guy to." Her father spluttered.
"Apparently he thought I was going to change into one because he was beseeching me as his future goddess hydra to bless him. Thankfully, I had my security stuff with me so I just let the nanites eat his arm. Aunt Natasha thought I had used something too large but it was handy. And the evil SHIELD guy I handed him to can get worried about Liz since I said she was the evil Stark." She stared at him. "If you were that guy and I was at home worried wouldn't you have done that?"
He scowled. "Quit using logic, Callia. It's not sweet or cute." She grinned. "Still, not your job. Against the law because you're not old enough to have a license, and even then driving times are limited for teens in this state."
"Sure, next time I'll fly the helicopter up there, make a total spectacle when I land it in a parking lot or a park, and then stroll up to her house to talk to her. Let me draw more attention to myself, Dad. At least I learned what subtle was from Uncle Clint." She yawned and stretched. "I need a nap and a shower. If I'm grounded, tell me later. When I'm less cranky." She stood up and strolled off, going to hide in her lab for now.
Tony huffed and turned, finding Natasha there. "She learned how to be mouthy from your wife."
"They do argue the same way, but so does Joyce. That's probably where they both learned it from."
Tony frowned. "I still need to yell at her."
"She could have been much more Stark and much less Summers. Including taking the helicopter. Though they would've made her land much sooner due to her age."
"Her permit is taken. She's grounded for six months."
Natasha smirked a tiny bit. "You need to figure out who's taking her to college then. The last one left after being kidnaped by Barney's people."
Tony rolled his eyes as he walked off. "Find her one."
"I'll talk with Bucky about that," she agreed, strolling off being amused. Callia had her points but she was still too damn young. Sometimes the child acted her mental age instead of her physical one. She ran into Bucky and Steve in the caf, staring at them. "Stark has said his eldest is grounded for six months from using her learner's permit or any other license she may have."
"I'll figure out which guard can take her to classes," Bucky said, grimacing some. "She really drove all that way by herself?"
"She does know what she's doing. She has done a lot of simulator time plus driving with anyone available. She also finally told her father she had been taking flying lessons for years." Steve moaned. "She offered the point of her doing things in a Stark way by flying up and landing nearby then hiking to that house."
Steve shook his head. "No. I would've beaten her to death for that."
Natasha smiled slightly. "So she did show some subtlety. Even if she is a teenager."
Both soldiers huffed but nodded that was true. Natasha got her coffee so she could check on the children. She had the thought to call Tara to get childhood witch lessons for the triplets. Before they did something that damaged them. Or had to rescue themselves thanks to something coming after one of their parents. Dawn did still draw a lot of problems.
Callia found herself down in the containment center that night. She had slept all afternoon so she was probably going to be up all night. She paused in front of the two chambers, staring at one. "I've seen your picture," she said. "And Howard complained about you a lot. Which means I should probably see if you're not an asshole like Howard was."
Hank Pym burst out laughing. "Your grandfather was quite the asshole on occasion, yes." He came closer. "You must be Callia." She grinned and nodded. "I've been following your skills in the press."
"I get bored really easily." She smiled and waved at the lady. "I'm Callia Stark, heir to the insanity but not the suit."
The older woman smiled and waved back. "That's wonderful, dear. I'm Janet."
Callia stiffened, staring at her. "Hope's your daughter." She nodded. "You're the lady that was flying way back when they tried to make the first Avengers team!" She stood up straighter. "I looked them up for a report and they all complained so many got removed from the realms."
"I got stuck."
Callia nodded. "A few got removed from the realm. We ran into their clones and some guy who tried to pat Auntie Dawn on the butt named Starfox. He was kinda slimy. Men like him are why I think I'll just hire out instead of having a boyfriend."
Janet burst out in giggles. "There's perks to having a real boyfriend, dear."
"Yeah but I'm not ready for that yet. I'm in my bouncy, fun years. Not time to settle down and start weeding out gold diggers yet." She grinned. "Your daughter's pretty neat too. We were talking about scanning earlier when I was fixing my vet scanning device." She looked at the other guy. "You know, Dad's not like Howard. We have a tinkering group too. Have you met Uncle Rodney or any of them yet? Grandpa Bruce?"
"No, I tried to stay away. Your grandfather and I had a bit of an argument."
She shrugged. "He tried to get me to become a bimbo. I nearly banished him into atomic bits but Chris took the weapon from me before I got the living room as well, mostly because his legos were in the way." He stared. She grinned. "Grandpa hated me. I'm female. I'm just as good as he was. At one time I was on the list as a potential slayer." She shrugged again. "The guy really needed a better life. Maybe he caught something from all the bimbos he cheated on my grandmother with. Was she nice?"
"Mostly quiet," Hank said. "She didn't really do much with the company outside of some minor research. Your grandfather didn't let her."
She nodded. "Yeah, he thought I shouldn't be in science either. Just push out future engineers." She sat on her walker's seat. "He hated my pets too. I have cats, a bunny, and a dog."
"I've seen that said in the press," he said, smiling at her. "I remember Hope being your age but she was so focused on getting into her mother's suit."
She nodded. "I thought about it a lot but it never felt right. I like all that stuff but I don't want to fight that way. I will if I have to," she said dryly then grinned. "Some people have found that out. But I'm starting a think tank to take my weird ideas and turn them more useful. Like the nerve bridge."
"I know some engineers who've used it for mobility suits to help paralyzed people walk again." She beamed and nodded. "It was a great job." Tony strolled in sipping something green.
Callia looked back then snorted. "Dude, I know you're not my father. Stop it before I have to turn into a Summers woman again." Loki changed back looking smug. Callia stared at him. "That's not your natural form either." He wavered then disappeared. Callia blinked and shook her head quickly. She looked at Hank. "Visions and they suck." He looked worried. "Um.... JARVIS! I just had a vision. Someone pretending to be dad then changed into Loki but it wasn't him."
"I've alerted your father and there's a nurse coming to check you over," the AI said. "It's a possibility that their extra energy signatures could have prompted it."
She looked around. "I'm right near those stupid spores and the energy metal too, J. Nice to meet you two. I'll be back tomorrow I think." She frowned, rolling off. She ran into the nurse, who got her moved to the infirmary quickly because she was about to pass out.
Hank looked at his wife. "She's quite the heir."
"She is. Hope turned out so normal and I was happy for her not to have gotten that from you."
He nodded. "She's definitely the next great Stark." He looked at the being in the corner. "You probably shouldn't be here either, kid."
He grinned and waved. "It's okay. I'm a good boy."
The AI cleared his throat. "Doctor Pym, who are you talking to?"
"There's a boy in the corner. Not a normal one. But he's watching." He pointed. "He's in that corner. Could that have caused her vision or whatever?"
"Yes, it probably was. I'm alerting sir to come scan that area."
Xander appeared, staring in the corner. "You're a myth. Get out of the compound before I have to punt your realm for bothering my people."
"I don't have to do what you say," the boy sneered.
Xander picked him up by his armpits, holding him up at eye view. "Do you know who I am?"
"A *special* one," he sneered.
Xander grinned. "I'm the God Protector of Humanity, Lothos. Get on your shiny space broom and fly off. Before I feed you to something. You aren't a kid and I'm not going to put up with this shit this week." The 'kid' struggled but Xander walked him off. "Going for the spores," he told Tony when he ran into him. He shook him until he changed back. "He's not a kid. He's a space problem." He walked him outside then called two other Gods to help him. "Lothos."
The gods stared at the being. "We can send him home, Alexander. It may cause another rip."
Phil appeared, staring at them. "We have others who are trapped in another realm. Can we send him there?"
"Would I really want to unleash this mind fucking little bitch on them?" Xander asked.
"Yes. If he's theirs." Xander and Phil shared a look. Then Xander felt it up. "Hmm. One over from where they're trapped. Only one left. Guys, can we do that and use it to bring her home?" He let them see the plan Phil had come up with.
"We can try," they decided. Loki and Ares showed up together to help. They sent the being off and used the excess energy to call that one being back. She appeared, mid bubble gum bubble blowing, staring at them.
Ares tested her. "She's wholly here."
"Welcome back, Captain Danvers," Phil said.
She stared at him then smiled. "I remember you. I'm home? Fully home? The last place simulated home but had nice hamburgers."
"Fully home," Phil agreed. "We just had a menace show up and used his sending home to summon you back."
"Aww, thanks." She looked at the others. "Hi."
Ares smirked a tiny bit. "Good, your people could use the backup, Xander." He got an eye roll for it but he and Loki had agreed they needed to fix that problem if it was an option. The other Gods got thanked by Xander and Phil then left.
Xander looked at her. "Need anything like medical?"
"Nah, I'm good." She blew another bubble, staring at him. "Who're you?"
He grinned. "The God Protector of Humanity." She popped the bubble to stare at him. He nodded. "Technically all heros are under my mate," he said with a wave at Phil. "So you're safe and we need to make sure you're not going to die from the transfer."
"No, I'm good. When did that happen? Did Nick know that?" she asked Phil.
"It happened after the other Gods decided we needed to be married off during a banquet," he said. She snorted. "Seriously." Xander nodded to back that up. "As for Nick Fury, he's presently a ferret. He had plans that would've destroyed some people and weaken humanity's protection. He's presently with my kids being a protective pet."
She spit out the gum, staring at him. "When did that happen?"
"Few years ago," Xander said. "We're almost at 2020 by the way."
"That sucks. I missed years. I need to call...." Phil held out his phone, already ringing. She walked off. "I'm back," she said. "They finally managed to get me from that other realm." She listened to her friend complain and rant and nearly cry. "No, I wasn't back in space. I was in a whole other realm. We have gods?" She listened. "Huh. Yeah, I'm here. Um...." She looked back. "I have the feeling we need to do something."
"I need to get that spored metal off the planet but that's not an immediate, gotta do it today thing. I've been trying to contact some beings up there but they're being jackasses."
"Yeah, I know them," she said dryly. "Let me...."
Phil nodded. "We'll be over here, Captain. We understand needing to talk to her." They sat down in the yard on the benches. "What was that being?"
"Stupid little psychotic mind screwing alien menace that takes more joy in confusing us than anything else. Every time he shows up he tries to start a war among us and destroy humanity's abilities and progress forward."
Phil nodded. "Could it have been the reason Callia had a vision?"
"Probably. He set off one in me the last time." He leaned against his spouse's side. "Did Callia really drive to San Fran by herself?"
"Yup. Stole the car."
"Wow, she's a teenager." Phil snickered quietly. "Well, we'll figure it out with him. Tony can handle a teenager. Liz and Chris will be one soon too." Phil nodded, patting him on the hand. "We need some alone time."
"Things have been busy but I'm off all next week."
"Then let's hope it's a quiet week." He took a kiss. Then he grinned at him. "I miss you snoring on me."
Phil elbowed him gently. "I don't snore, Xander." Xander just leaned better.
Carol came back, handing back the phone. "This metal?"
"It has sentient spores," Xander said. "It's been merged with another metal that has an energy source." She grimaced. "Some of those spores have been made into certain crowns on other planets because they can act as an advisor to the one wearing it."
"Oh, that stuff. I've heard rumors but it sounded weird."
"It is," Phil agreed. He looked over as Tony came out. "Callia all right?"
"Fine now. That being?"
"Space fucker," Xander said. "Totally tries to take out humanity's progress and start wars. It appears here every few centuries. Its name is Lothos or so it told us once. Ares totally used it as a soccer ball once when it tried to destroy his war."
Tony groaned, shaking his head. "Okay then. Gone?"
"Sent off," Xander said. "It's immortal."
"Pity." He looked at the new woman. He knew who she was thanks to her file. "Captain."
"Tony Stark." He held out a hand. "This is my compound."
She nodded and shook it. "Thank you for letting them rescue me to here."
"Welcome. The more the merrier sometimes. It means my kids won't be trying to take my suit and go fight."
"Chris hasn't done it recently," Phil said. "Though he was planning on redesigning something. He keeps censoring a thought about a suit named Rescue?"
"I designed a suit in case Pepper needed protected," Tony said quietly.
"Well, Chris has updated it," Xander quipped with a grin.
"I'll go nag him tomorrow." He looked at her. "We have some guest suites you can stay in tonight. That way you can rest, resettle yourself, find out that tv shows have died for reality tv....all that stuff. I'll have Dawn bring you something to wear tomorrow."
"I'm good as long as I can do wash."
Tony smirked a tiny bit. "The band you're wearing sucks, Danvers. At least get a better t-shirt." He walked off. "Call out for me when you're ready to head inside. I'll get you set into a room."
"Thanks." She frowned, looking at Phil. "Related to Howard?" she asked quietly.
"Oh!" She nodded once.
"Howard's dead and still an ass. Tony's an ass of a different type but he's good at what he does," Xander told her. "He's got some rough edges but I can count on him when I need help."
She nodded. "That's always good. Anything else I should know?"
"Howard had a plot that pulled some teenagers in spandex hero suits over. One of the ones pulled is Nor-Var," Xander said. "He's with the group in New York." She sighed. "He's okay. "
"Yup, but they're only training now," Xander said with a smile. "Because I don't let them do much unless it's a huge emergency."
"Good!" She sighed. "This is weirder than last time."
"This time you're expecting things," Phil agreed. "Last time you didn't have any expectations. We'll figure the rest out tomorrow, Captain." He stood up. "Go rest. It'll be a confusing day again tomorrow and I'm fairly certain your family is going to be yelling."
"Probably, yup." She walked off. Tony met her inside and took her to a room to rest. Or call her family back since there was a phone in there.
Dawn showed up the next morning with a small plastic bag of clothes. She knocked and handed them over. "Here, so you can change, Captain. I'm Dawn, Tony and Pepper's head PA. There's jeans, plain t-shirts, and one pair of dressier pants in case you need them. Also, I stopped to get some normal shampoo and soap for you." She handed that bag over. "With some lotion because it's been dry out here recently." She smiled. "Let me know if I can do anything else."
"Are you all right?"
"I have eleven month old triplets, two girls and a boy."
"Oooooh, yeah that would wear you out."
Dawn smiled. "A lot. Let me know if you need anything. I'll be at my desk in a few minutes. Tony guessed at your sizes but we're about the same size it looks like so it should fit well enough until we can get you your own." She smiled. "Breakfast is being served for another two hours in the caf." She pointed. "We've already alerted them that you're here so just show up and eat." She patted her on the arm. "Watch out for the kids. They might show up to ask you things about space." She left her to shower, change, and go eat. Then hide from the kids.
Carol smiled, going in to shower and change. The clothes weren't tight but they were a bit snug. She could handle that for a while. The dress pants were plain black but looked stretchy and a bit comfortable. So she could handle that.
Callia came back to the containment center that night. "Okay, now that super yucky space idiots who want to take over my mind to make me destroy everyone are gone," she said dryly in greeting as she rolled in. Janet laughed. Callia grinned at her. "Sometimes the world is just against smart, pretty, genius women. Then we gotta kick some booty." Chris ran in. "Hey, no running! This is containment and you can smack into something and break them. Then we'd have to lock you up too."
"Sorry." Chris grinned and waved. "Who're you two?"
"This is Dr. Hank Pym," Callia said with a wave at him. "This is his wife, Janet VanDyne. She was in a hero suit way back when."
"Wow," Chris said. "That's pretty cool." He grinned at Dr. Pym. "Are you an engineer?"
He nodded. "I mostly am, mostly for biological and biomechanical matters. You?"
Chris grinned. "I love fast things." He looked at his sister. "Did you tell Dad I was tinkering with his suit plans for Mom?"
"Yup, when he asked. Got him off my butt. Sorry but brag, little brother. You're a Stark, act like one."
"Point." He waved at them. "Nice to meet you two. Maybe we can talk when you're outside and able to get fresh air. It's kinda stinky in here thanks to that metal." He looked in that containment chamber then sighed. "That stuff is smoking again." He ran off again. "Dad! The spore metal is smoking again!"
Callia sighed. "There's one between us but that's because Mommy Pepper went to the genius sperm bank and Liz is a bit evil. She hates science though." She shrugged. "Our youngest sib is fashionable. I have no idea why but she *so* is." Hank laughed.
Janet grinned. "There's nothing wrong with that."
"She cares more about her clothes than anything. Not school work, not dinner, not anything is more important than her clothes. But at least she has the not-twins from the Bartons to help her with that because Maeve can't match very well. I'm starting to think she's color blind. And she likes orange. It's a gross, yucky color that looks bad on us. I just really don't understand her at all."
"Some day you may need to dress up."
"I do plenty when I have to, but not all the time. I spent years running around in leotards and something shorts-like over them."
"What happened?" Hank asked, pointing at the walker.
She looked then at him. "Someone who hated that I'm smarter than he'll ever be got jealous that I'm a genius. So he got a bad guy to shoot me in the back." She grimaced. "Thankfully JARVIS beheaded him for me before he killed me." She shrugged. "I'm not in the chair anymore." Carol walked in frowning. "Here to look at the stupid space metal?" She nodded. Callia pointed. "It's in there, smoking like a pot head."
Carol looked then grimaced. "That's going to need to be contained better."
"Auntie Dawn tried magic but it absorbed it. That's when we found out it's alive."
"Ooooh," Carol said, grimacing again. "That's going to be a pain."
"Yup. That's why it's in there," Callia quipped with a grin for her. "I haven't met you yet. I'm Callia Stark, eldest child and chip off the engineering block." She held out a hand.
"Carol Danvers." She shook it. "Should you be in here?"
"I came to chat with my esteemed colleagues. The more geniuses I meet, the smarter I become by proxy as I figure out how they do things. We all do wacky things differently and it makes me better to figure out their wacky ways instead of my own." Hank burst out laughing but nodded. She grinned at him then at Carol. "So why the interest in the spores of doom in there?"
"Your father wanted me to hand it to someone who could handle it."
"Hmm. Yeah, I'd rather it be destroyed. To be honest, I don't trust anyone who's not family around that. Chris feels the same way about it. Liz, she's sure some day she'll have to hand it to someone and then use it to blow them up because they hurt us geniuses in the family. But then again, she's kinda into evil."
Carol shook her head quickly. "I nearly got run over by your little sister earlier."
"Was she in a tutu? Because that's Maeve and she's just fashionable. Liz is between me and Chris."
"Yeah, she was. She was happily babbling at the floating trio."
"Auntie Dawn's youngest. Some goddesses decided she had to have them so mystically knocked her up." Callia shook her head quickly. "So glad I didn't get that visit. The bitching wouldn't have ended yet."
"You're too young," Carol said.
"Yeah but I've got those womanly problems that means it can happen if I'm that dumb. Frankly, Dad said to learn to love my hand first then bring in a boyfriend. That way they can't trick me, trap me, and I know what's going on."
Carol blinked a few times. "That's blunt but reasonable at your age. You're what, fourteen?"
She grinned. "Six weeks from sixteen. The walker makes me look younger."
Carol patted her on the shoulder. "Wait as long as you can and find someone decent instead of any dick in the club."
"Yeah, I don't need that. And lab sex sounds interesting but then people can walk in on you all the time. Chris has *such* bad timing and wanted me to hack Playboy for him and Philip. Auntie Dawn was *so* not amused." She shook her head quickly. "That fit went on for days."
Carol smiled. "That's being a mom."
"Yeah, and she's a great one. Just...the terrors are wearing her out again." She looked at Hank. "See, we do wacky, wonderful, weird things that drive you nuts. Because that stupid spore is sucking at magic. Dad, the spore's trying to suck in magic," she bellowed.
Tony stomped in a few minutes later. "Why are you in here?"
"Talking to my future colleagues." She waved a hand. "Shouldn't I get to know more geniuses?"
"Yes, but I want you away from the spores, daughter. And aren't you grounded?"
"It's this or I have to go stop two geeks who're trying to match Warren's girlfriends," she said dryly. "Do you want me to go disgust them by being a girl?"
He winced. "No. I'll....have Dawn stop them." He sent her a text message but Callia took it to add to it about who was doing it. He took it back to read that and sent it. He winced and rubbed his forehead. "So damn bad."
She patted him on the arm. "I warned Jonathan. He went on a swearing fit in a closet. Patty was not happy and got a bit worried about why he was swearing about Warren this time. When I told her, she wanted to go club them on the head before they got something to work." She looked at the spore metal chunk then at him. "Wasn't that bigger?"
He looked then walked her off. "Let's go stop them now, daughter."
"Sure, let me take off the overshirt so they're freaked by boobs." She did that and walked into their lab first. Yup, the spore metal was in there. She could feel the tingles from it testing her. "Guys, it's come to the attention of all of us that you're using the stuff that's in quarantine because it's alive and tends to hurt people." They stared at her. "Yes, I'm a female genius, people. The boobs are real." They stared at them and one whimpered.
The female robot came over to nag her about having her breasts so prominent so Callia shot her taser into it to shut her down. "There, that's better. Dad?" He came in to gather their things and put them into a better quarantine cell with the rest of the metal in a safer one that was farther away from everyone. He ordered a guard to sit outside that doorway and that no one was to touch it until they sent it off.
Callia strolled off to stop the other ones using that metal for things. Though she did pause to grab Liz to help her. She deserved a treat and threatening bad geeks always made Liz's day.
Tony came back to look at the couple. "Sorry if she's bothersome."
"She's delightful, Tony," Janet said, smiling at him. "She's a beautiful young woman who is quite the future of the Stark name."
Tony smiled. "Thanks. She and Chris are both great kids." He left, going to find his spawn and where she was lurking now.
Callia looked at the geeks the next day. "Sorry I had to call this meeting, people, but we've gotta have a talk. It's come to our attention that some people have been stealing quarantined stuff from the containment chamber to experiment and use it for things."
"Callia, why are you doing this meeting instead of your father?" one of the geeks asked.
She smiled. "Because I had to stop someone using that stupid spore and energy metal mix powering a cloaking device from sneaking into Maeve's room last night. Did you want to face down Dad or Stepmom, or even Auntie Dawn, over that?" The geeks as a group shook their heads. "Exactly. That's why I called this meeting. Because that metal is actually sentient." A few groaned. "The spores in it that got it quarantined are ancient, sentient, and soaking up information from us. Also, it can eat magic. We found that out when Auntie Dawn put it into the meteorite storage area. Right after Warren Meers tried to use it to bomb the New York lab building."
"We thought it was only in there because the energy metal was weird and a bit dangerous," one of the chemists said.
"Nope. That chunk was merged with the spore metal to try to stabilize each other. So that spore is feeding off the energy metal and gaining more energy and information as it goes on. JARVIS has said that it tried to communicate with him a few times." One geek winced. "As of this point, we know that some's still missing. The original chunk was about four pounds. There's only about two pounds left and we've only found about a pound being used.
"So if you have it, put it back! Before you force Dad and Auntie Dawn to defeat it. If you wanted to try things with that energy metal, get some of the unspored stuff. It's not that expensive or hard to find. Auntie Dawn can get her hands on about ten pounds for under five hundred this week if you ask her nicely. Though, that stuff is still a bit dangerous." She looked around. "If you start it burning it won't go out. There's little tiny clippings, like toenail clippings, that have been burning for over a decade at Uncle Xander's temple.
"Warren was putting a torch to the main chunk and it took it over a year to finish burning off." One of the geeks slumped. "And if you have it, put it back today please! Dad's trying to get it sent into space." That geek nodded. "If your lab has it we need to scan for those spores because they're just as dangerous. If some of those spores get near those of us with magical skills, it could try to absorb us. Frankly, I don't want to start an intergalactic war because I had to protect myself from an ancient sentient spore."
"Can we get some that's not mixed with the spore stuff?" one of the shield design people asked.
She nodded. "Yeah, it's easy to get hold of. Ask Auntie Dawn. Just, if you have it, tell us so we can scan your labs and put it back today please." The ones that did nodded. "Thanks. That stuff's scary dangerous and I'm starting to wonder if that's why Auntie Dawn has been so tired suddenly." One of them hopped up to run to his lab. "Thought it might be." She looked around. "Next point. I've done upgrades on the building security system since Dad grounded me for being helpful again.
"The interior lasers can now be deactivated by anyone who is above a level ten. So most lab firsts and seconds can disarm them or turn them off if necessary. There is a general override in case of emergency but I know a few of you worried about Maeve getting mad at the non-matching clothes and burning them on you. She's only allowed to turn them on in moments of self defense. I linked that into JARVIS and a few other indicators that would override all that." They all nodded as a group. She grinned. "I'm going to tinker with the ones on the gates later today if anyone wanted to help me. Chris?"
"Sure, I love lasers," he called without looking up from his comic book.
"Thanks. Third point, this weekend we are running the annual car checkup clinic in the west parking lot." She pointed. "That way you can have us look at any funny noises or have us suggest things that can be upgraded. We'll also have someone here from the local officers who can and will check car seats. After that guy rammed through the gate and hit half the parking lot, the officers who came to arrest people noted that a lot of the car seats weren't properly installed so they demanded. Fourth thing, please quit giving Maeve clothing ideas, people!" Chris snickered but nodded. "Today she wanted tie dyed stuff and Mommy Pepper nearly stroked out. Especially since Maeve had found tied dyed Doc Marten boots."
Chris looked up and around. "Mom nearly stroked out by not commenting on the hideous stuff. Please suggest they wear normal people things. Unlike Callia and her leotards, Maeve can't do that." That got a few nods. "And don't tell her how to break into closets either please. She broke into mine and color coded the whole thing. I still can't find anything and it's been a month."
"I found two of your shirts in my closet," Callia told him. "I had to pull everything out and rehang everything to figure out what was wrong. Oh, yeah, we have a vet tech showing up weekly now in case anyone's pets need medical attention for routine things. She's looking over some of the medical ideas I've had but she's also given out yearly shots to all my pets and Loki kitty too. Tsarina is not happy so she hid."
"That's actually really helpful," Jonathan agreed. "There's lots of lab pets and experimental pets. That would make sure they stayed healthy." Callia grinned at him. "Any other commands?"
"Yup. Dad said report week was moved back by a week this next time. So you have *three* weeks to get in bi-yearly reports. We want to be proud and make sure none of you are trying to blow us up like a few others have done." She smiled. "That's all I have so go back to being the world's greatest geeks, people." They left, a few pausing to hug her.
Tony stood up from his corner seat. "You do that a lot better than I do, spawn o'mine." He cuddled her again. "Nice work. Let me pull out the scanner." He walked off happier because it meant that things would get better around the office.
Callia walked the faulty robot that her geeks had made into her lab design classroom. She put it up front before looking at the professor. "Some of the Stark geeks built her. They were trying to replicate what Warren Meers did with his girlfriends." She grimaced. "One's still up by the insane genius home by Boston and the other two mostly live in the New York lab." She went to her usual seat. "I confiscated it before the geeks could get back to her and turn her back on. I had to stun her with a taser the other night to get her to reset and turn her off.
"I've removed most of the electrical system because they were using classified and quarantined metals to power her. So if someone wants to come up with a new battery pack...." She waved a hand while grinning at a few of the people who wanted to study power flows in the class. "She's only half as good as Warren's girlfriends he built for himself. They're pretty neat. One taught me nuclear physics when we were all grounded due to nanite infections."
The professor looked at her. "Callia, you're not supposed to be in here for another hour."
"I know but this is relevant to this class instead of mine. Mine has a whole lot of people I'd like to never realize they can build realistic robots, Professor Dunwitty."
"Good point," he said sarcastically. "All right. Do we have schematics on her?" Callia tossed him a USB drive so he plugged it in and put it on the projector so they could all look at them. He stared at them. "How on earth...."
Callia grinned. "Look at the other file. The password is the one you use for your email. That's the classified version." He got into that one, not projecting it. He let out a moan that made a few of the geeks shift uncomfortably. "That's the earlier version. The later girlfriends are *much* better. That one got jealous of the new ones so bioengineered the flu to wreck the New York labs."
Professor Dunwitty looked at her. "How on earth?"
"Warren built that one in high school. He graduated with my mom. A lot of people couldn't tell she was mechanical. To this day." She smirked a tiny bit. "He's in the insane genius home."
"I can see why. Building your own girlfriend should automatically put you in there." He went back to the one he could show the others. "Let's go over this. It's an interesting construct. We can fix up a plug for this example so we can talk to her and test her." They came forward to go over things. Callia sat in her usual seat and did some math homework she needed to do.
The SHIELD agent on campus stomped in. "This is...."
"Not made by Warren," Callia interrupted. "That was our current geeks building their own version to compete with what Warren did. The prof has a the building notes for the original girlfriend but won't be passing those out." She smiled at him. "Dad said it was okay if I shared. Robotics could move forward."
The SHIELD agent winced but called that in. "Fine. The higher ups want her with a GPS unit before you turn her on so we can stop her if she does something please." The professor nodded that was fine with him. "Thank you. Please make sure she does not get out of your handling." He went back to his car to make a full report. It was bad that someone was trying to be Warren Meers.
Callia grinned at the class. "Warren's later girlfriends were copies of my Aunt Natasha and my mother. Auntie Dawn couldn't tell for over an hour." That got a few more moans. They could gladly learn from this example. And turn in anyone who tried to build their own girlfriends. There were a few on campus who might like that idea.
Callia was watching her sister being worked over by her aunt for self defense classes. She knew how Liz was going to be about growing into a big girl. This was going to be so bad. She strolled off to the office, walking into her mother's office. She checked the phone when Pepper stared at her. "You busy?"
"No. Is it a huge thing or a girl talk?"
"No, it's not me. You need to have a girl talk with Liz. Your precious first born daughter is bleeding today. She's getting boobs too." Pepper stared in horrified awe. "Yeah. Um, and you realize she thinks vamping to distract is a good idea?"
"No, I didn't. We'll definitely talk about that. Are you sure she's started a cycle?"
"She's got blood on her butt and she's working out with Aunt Natasha."
"Then that's a good thing."
"Plus, she's getting a bit bouncy. She's clearly not going to be built like you are, Mom."
Pepper sucked in a breath then nodded. "Yeah, we'll talk about all that."
She grinned. "Can you talk to Chris about it too? Before I get yelled at again for him asking me to hack Playboy pictures for him?"
"Gladly!" She stared at her. "Philip?"
"He likes museums. And I'm hoping his mom talked to him and he shares with Chris." She rolled off. "Going back to the gym to wait on my turn."
"I'm coming with you." Pepper grabbed her phone to bring with her. Natasha glanced over when they came in, but kept working Liz out so she understood how to get out of various grab attempts. Pepper sat down to stare at her first born, second daughter. Yup, she was clearly having a period. And she had breasts. Hell! Pepper smiled and clapped when they were done. "Nice job, Liz. Want to spend some girl time?"
"Do you need to shop, Mom?" she asked, wiping the gross sweat off.
"Liz, you're bleeding through," Callia said patiently.
"Oh. Eww. That stuff." She grimaced, looking at her mom. Who looked shocked. "Mom, just because I don't like science doesn't mean I don't know how to research through google. I looked up a lot of stuff on periods when I started them a few months ago."
"Dear, we'll buy you anything you want to control that," Pepper reminded her. "Even the reusable pads or those cup things."
"Those look really gross," Liz complained.
"About the same as tampons," Callia quipped. "I tried it but I'm a bit too young for it I think. It felt like it was too big." She stretched with Natasha's help. "Also, you need a bra." She looked back. "It helps with balance. Believe me, it helps with balance. My whole posture changed when they made me start wearing one."
Liz grimaced. "I'll never have the rack you have."
"Feel blessed," Natasha quipped. "Smaller ones are easier to manage and live with."
Liz nodded. "I should, but I still find them confusing."
"That's one reason for girl talk time," Pepper said, smiling at her. "Go shower and clean up. We'll go talk and maybe shop. Dawn can handle my call in a few hours." Liz nodded, going to do that. Pepper looked at her elder daughter. "You tried a cup?"
"Yeah. It felt a bit too big and was uncomfortable. So I'm staying with tampons mostly. With a backup reusable panty liner for times when I know I can't get to a bathroom easily."
"That's reasonable. We can talk about that later." She walked over to kiss her on the head. "We can girl talk later." She strolled off to make that conference call early while Liz showered. It'd take her a good forty-five minutes to shower and change clothes. It usually did.
Natasha looked at Callia, who was shaking her head. "Dad's going to freak out and so will Stepmom."
Natasha nodded. "Yes, they will because they're men." Callia smiled. "We can send Dawn to tell them like we did when you started to develop." Callia giggled but finished stretching and came over for her self defense lesson of the week.
Dawn got the message from Natasha and looked at Pepper. "Should I be a messenger of doom?" Pepper nodded. "I can do that." She went to find Tony and Steve, who were playing Mario Brothers in the living room. She listened for Liz, who was still in the shower. So she stepped in front of the tv, making Tony pause the game. "I'm once again the messenger of puberty."
Tony frowned. "Chris is getting night erections?"
"No, the boys learned from me that using a condom for those things means that you don't have to clean it up. They both consider it nicer than doing laundry themselves." She stared at him then grinned. "How old is Liz?"
Tony winced. Steve groaned. "Already?" Steve demanded.
"Yeah. Apparently. She did her own girl talk with google but Pepper's taking her out tonight for that." Both guys nodded. "So can you guys talk with Chris about not getting grossed out like most guys by unused tampons?"
"Yeah, we can have that talk," Tony said. "There's no reason for guys to flinch from protection products. I've bought some for Pepper in the past." Dawn grinned and left them to talk. "That means Maeve's going to be hitting the possible range in a few years."
"Don't remind me my daughter's eight, please?" he begged.
"All parents like to imagine their kids as the babies they used to carry around and have to change," Tony said, patting him on the shoulder. "I still have that feeling about Callia. Her boobs used to creep me out. We'll have a few weird days and then realize Liz is almost twelve." Steve winced again. "Chris is almost eleven." He sighed. "God, we have teenagers." Steve and he cuddled for a few minutes. Liz came out. "Hey." She paused to stare at them. He waved her over to give her a hug.
"Have a good time with Pep. We love you even though you're nearly a teenager. We'll negotiate your allowance and chores in a few weeks." He kissed her on the temple. "Give some thought about you coming out into society in a few years too. You'll need to apply to the debutante group in two years and need to do some stuff for the application." He kissed her on the temple again. "Remember, guys your age are shitty and older guys who flirt with you are shit who needs to be hurt for trying to flirt with your underage butt."
"Did Mom tell you?" she demanded.
"She sends your aunt to tell us that stuff. She did when Callia first got breasts and armpit hair." Liz grimaced. "So you're not the first. There'll be awkward things just we'll handle you grow up. Chris is going to be hopeless to handle because I remember what sort of idiot boy I was at his age." She laughed. "Go, have fun with your mom. If you need to ask us questions you can do that later." He looked her over. "Might want to go clean up though, Liz."
"I'm out,"she pouted.
"Go steal from your sister's bathroom." He pointed. "And change pants. Those didn't match anyway." She ran off to do that, coming out in better clothes. "Nice." Liz smirked but ran out to go pounce her mother.
Steve looked at Tony. "That was only a tiny bit awkward."
"Yeah, it is during the talks too. Thankfully she's got women in her life." They fist bumped and went back to the game until Chris showed up again. He was napping in his lab.
Old Ones Shrinking and Enlarging.