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Old Ones 49: Future Old Ones Playing at Work

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Xander looked at his team for training at the temple. Roque caught the speculative look. "Just don't do anything that would get us invaded or attacked thanks to the idiots earlier." One of the other immortals had named that look 'Xander's the son of a chaos god and he's going to prove it'. They were very right about it.

"I'm having a 'fuck with dad' day," he mouthed.

Roque stuffed his mouth and shook his head before he said anything. He'd get someone to distract Xander but John was busy landing his city.

"Hey, Dad?" he called. That shocked the others. Loki appeared, giving him a pointed look. He grinned. "Want to know the ethics of something."

"I saw that look, son. Spit it out."

"Okay." He got the last convention picture and pointed. "Look at this Xander. They have a ton of embryos there that're partially his and I was thinking that maybe we'd like to borrow a few for later kids between me and Phil."

Loki looked at that Xander. "What the fuck?" he demanded.

"The Initiative there, Dad." He grinned. "Think I should? They're about to destroy the little Xander/Jethro Gibbs one. She might be a good warrior wench. There's a few others that might be as nice."

"Son...." He sighed and went to talk to his son-in-law. "Your mate needs your special services to make him sane," he said as he appeared in the meeting. "Before he asks others if it's appropriate to bring over embryos that are partially the him there's future children."

"I met that Xander. He does great with his five kids. They're all polite, charming young kids." He stared at him. "He was thinking about bringing one over?"

"For your future children if you wanted." One of the Norns showed up and handed him a mirror then left cackling. He read it and handed it to Phil. "The specific one he asked about."

Phil watched it. "She'd do wonderfully with his axe."

"Fix. My. Son's. Mental. State," Loki ordered then banished him back to the temple. He went to have a headache. When Ares looked over he showed him why.

"She'd be my next Xena," Ares decided.

"If so, you are carrying her yourself," Loki warned.

"No thanks. I can find one here." He went back to his current battle plans.

Phil looked at his mate. "I was busy," he said dryly.

"Sorry?"

"I can go back. It shouldn't take *too* long to fix your funny mental issues."

Xander grinned. "They have about sixty partially Xander embryos there. We could adopt."

"No, we cannot. All our future children will either come from Tara, Maria, or one of us. Unless you can talk Jensen into carrying it for you." Jensen choked and spluttered but that was Phil's intention since he was having so much fun watching this argument. He loosened his tie. Xander smiled at him for it. "You needed playtime?"

"Well, yeah. You've been busy again."

"It does happen far too often." He stared at his mate until he started to shift and wiggle. "Run?"

"Um.... Not into being the prey?" Xander offered, shifting again.

"Run," Phil ordered. Xander blipped off. Phil followed to their cabin. He trapped Xander against the fireplace, taking them both to elemental form for the quicker, dirtier version of sex. When they came back to human form, they were both covered in dripping sweat, Xander was about to scream his head off in pleasure, and Phil couldn't form words, just moans. All it took were a few thrusts and Xander yelled, scaring the wildlife in the woods around their cabin. The flash of magic that went out made the cabin slightly alive. Phil came since his mate was clamped down around him. He cuddled against Xander's back, calming down and panting until he could speak. "Some day, we're going to die doing this."

"Yeah but I'll be happy."

"That's a good thing," Phil agreed. He pulled back, gently easing out of his mate's body. "Shower. We need to shower so I can get back to the trainers meeting." Xander let himself be led upstairs and taken to the tub to soak. Since Phil was jumping backward so he reappeared right after he was snatched, they could take the time to soak and cuddle. And so Xander could nap on him in the tub.

Around them, the cabin tidied up things and made sure the house looked cheery and comfortable. It nicely even added on a few rooms for the new children and another nursery in case it was needed. Plus a shake-off spot for the dogs to clean their muddy paws because the cabin hated to mop itself. Then it really had to do something about those curtains and the colors of the furniture.

***

Phil reappeared for the meeting less than a minute after he had left. "Sorry," he said, sitting down. "Xander was having wicked, chaos centered thoughts that creeped his father out a bit."

The others stared at him. "You changed clothes," one said.

Phil nodded. "I needed to."

"Oh," they all said, nodding a bit.

"Can Alexander go out of time or something?"


"No, though we have met a Xander that can," he said with a slight smirk. "The convention is very eye-opening." That got another mass nod. He smirked a bit more. "They hold it off-plane every year. That way they can talk about the various Xander problems they're having." That got a third mass nod from the trainers. That was weird even by SHIELD standards. "All right, we were going over.... Wasn't it LA office's lack of paperwork?"

"Yes," the head of the meeting said. "I know she's...indisposed but we're not getting anything from them."

Phil looked that way. "She's handed them in and they're on the head person's desk. We really must replace him," he complained. He popped out to grab the files. "All done?" he asked. Then he took them back to the meeting to hand over.

"Much more efficient than anything but emailing them," another of the people quipped. He noticed Joyce was now there.

"Sorry, was I too long?" he asked. She patted him on the hand. That's when he knew it wasn't Joyce. Joyce didn't feel like a goddess. "Yes, Discord?"

She changed back with a smirk, ignoring all the suddenly drawn weapons. "What did your mate do to give Loki such a migraine?"

"He was thinking about asking another of him that has a lot of stored embryos due to the Initiative on that plane if he could have a few for future children." He showed her that Xander.

She stared in horror. "Five kids? Huh."

"He claims he's living like a Weasley," he said with a grin. "Farm, orchard..... lots of kids. Sixty stored embryos if he wants more thanks to their Initiative's breeding program."

"You need to straighten that boy out," she demanded. "Go, shoo!"

"I already have," he said with an evil smirk for her. "Any other requests? We've since set down rules on how any future spawn will come into being. And slightly made his cabin sentient. She was redecorating on us this morning." Discord shuddered and left. He sat down and nodded at them. "So, anyway, he's not happy. Secreva's out there and he wanted to stay somewhere warm and retire. That's a good spot for him to retire from."

"We can suggest that," the chair of the meeting said after clearing her throat. "We...don't have...*that* here, right?"

"No, here they were trying to breed more demigod heros. It was stopped with prejudice."

"Good!" she agreed, smiling and nodding. "Because that's kinda creepy!"

"No, creepy is that his cabin on Asgard, which is now sentient, was redecorating in all animal prints," he shot back with a slight smile.

"Yeah, that's worse. How did you two create Hogwarts?"

"Not really sure," he admitted. "But we were a bit busy so I'm not totally sure when it happened."

They all just nodded.

Xander appeared behind him to kiss him on the top of the head. "Plaids?"

"Green/blue or anything with them please, not red," he said, looking up. "Thank you for rearranging my hair as well."

"It was a bit messed up." He winked and went to talk to his favorite cabin. She agreed that decorating scheme was fine and he left a copy of the first _Harry Potter_ book up there for her to scan. That made her happier and she could definitely do some of that. Though the dungeons she might not like as much. They needed more light and less cobwebs and ambiance.

Phil looked up then shook his head with a sigh. "Xander just introduced the cabin to _Harry Potter_. She's debating a dungeon with more light and less creepiness. I'm not sure which one of us she wants to be Snape though." The meeting abruptly broke up, though one did nicely take the paperwork up to Joyce's desk for him. Phil went up to talk to her about how they didn't need a dungeon right now. This house was for the family downtime. They weren't going to punish their children that much and the kids needed to play outside more often anyway. The house relented and created a wonderful garden area for them to sit in the snow and play. He patted a wall with a smile, said 'thank you', and went back to his desk to have a slight headache of his own. Things like that only happened around Xander. They really did.

Asclepias appeared with a small bottle. "Headache potion?"

"Please." He took it to swallow in one gulp. "Even flavored, thank you. Is that going to hurt his cabin?"

"Only if she runs out of power." He went to check then came back. "You need to add more power regularly. She's got about six months at the most so monthly fantastic magical explosions if you can. Or ask Gaia to make it permanent, since she can make new lifeforms." He disappeared to share that gossip. It'd hit Gaia eventually so she could check on it.


Phil sent that thought at Xander, who cackled. Which scared Clay and Roque. Jensen was still pouting about being on the surrogate list.

***

Gaia heard the news from Demeter, who was scowling about it. She looked at the younger fertility goddess and shook her head. "Dear, perhaps if you found someone to have relations with, it might make you happier. Like it does Xander and Phil." She blushed but stomped off. She went up to look at the cabin, sighing in displeasure. "How did they do this?" The cabin ejected her. "Dear, I meant no harm to you," she soothed, patting her before walking back inside. "I have no idea how they gave you sentience." She ran a hand over the wall above the fireplace. "He did an excellent job crafting you by hand."

She felt the power and nodded, smiling. "They could use a bit of fussing over. There's not a lot of softness in their lives." The house sent a mental purr at her. "That's a good point. Yes, I believe you'll do." She created the new lifeform. The house shifted, moaned a bit as it reached fully self-reliant life, and then settled in to finish the decorating. "Slowly, my dear. You only have so much energy a day. It's not like they've given you a solar recharging system, though I doubt you'd get much here." She considered it and added a point of power in the new almost-dungeon area. "There, that should feel like home to Xander." She patted the wall again and left.

The house got so happy she redecorated their bedrooms too. The children needed fuzzy things.

That new almost-hellmouth was very helpful to her.

***

Steve Rogers looked around at the morning staff meeting the next day. "Now that we've had the 'Day that Alexander Shut Down SHIELD by Migraine' day can we get back to business?"

"Some of us still have migraines, sir," one of his senior agents said. "A few of the agents that heard haven't come back from the bars yet." Steve scowled at Phil.

"It was not my fault, Captain."

"I'm sure you can help weed out those problem thoughts?"

"It didn't work when he had Anya," Joyce called from the office. "Phil only has so many hours to a day, Steve." Steve scowled. She came out and hugged Phil. "We know you tried. Xander just has those days."

"Jensen's still pouting that I put him on the surrogate list."


"Aww, that's sweet." She went back to the office.

"The babbling, hyper tech guy?" one of the other senior agents asked.

"Yes," Phil said with a grin. "He'd make an excellent one. The child would soak up his knowledge and skills as well as ours. Plus it would keep certain goddesses from plotting how one of us would carry."

"Then I definitely like Jensen doing it for you," Steve agreed quickly. "Back to SHIELD things please?" Before that nasty thought stuck in his head and he had to imagine Xander or Phil pregnant all day. They handed over reports. "Why is that office not handing in things?"

"Because he's a pouty asshole," Maria said bluntly.

"We thought Secreva could take over," the head trainer said.

"I like that idea," Maria agreed. She looked at Steve.

"Can he run an office?"

"Yes, he runs one now," Senior Agent Li said as she walked up to the table. "Because the one in LA got capped by some gangbangers he was screwing with." Steve stared at her for a moment, mentally commanding her to finish that report. "Apparently he was trying to butt into gang politics, sir." She put down the report. "He was trying to find their weapons contacts from Mexico without much luck until he started to play them off each other with ...borrowed weapons from the confiscated vault. Which led to a raid on them by DEA and ATF. Which got him turned on by the gang members during it and he was shot." She pointed at the report. "He wasn't filing paperwork on what he was doing and there's a question of if it was a legitimate op."

"We've heard nothing about this," Steve said, looking through those folders. "Joyce?"

"He filed a reimbursement form for a business dinner at a steak house but otherwise no," she said a minute later. "Listed it as 'meeting with informant'." She let him see it. "Apparently the money back was more important than any other paperwork to him."

"So, either he hated paperwork that much or it wasn't," Steve said. "Any idea?"

"We can't find his personal notes, sir. We tore his whole office and apartment apart last night and there's not a single hint of anything."

"Great!" He stared at her. "Agent Secreva took over?"

"Yes, sir, he was the next highest since I blatantly refused to take control of an office since I'm there for other reasons."

"Fine. If he's willing to keep it for at least a few weeks."

"He seems to like the office, sir. He enjoys the climate, the people, and doesn't even mind talking to the brain challenged and the supposedly brain challenged among the Hollywood types when something happens. Hell, he even enjoyed dressing up to help protect one that had a major drug dealer trying to court her."

"He did good on that," Phil agreed. "He even put up with the flirting."

"The only problem ever noted in his file was that sometimes he wanted to be a *special* secret agent," Maria said. "Other than that...." Steve was giving her an odd look. "He wanted to be a movie spy."

"Oh, that. Okay. I've run into that before and wondered what it meant. And why we were rating some of the rookies on their scale."

"It's to classify which track of special training they get," Phil told him.

"I guess that makes sense if you could all agree on what they mean."

"We wrote them out," the head of the training teams said happily.

"Good." He looked at Senior Agent Li. "Any other news to report?"

"Whatever audit team that haunts Stark is still there, pouting because usually Dawn has everything ready for them when they show up and she's still on bedrest. Agent Romanoff is doing suitably well filling in but some of the forms they don't have any idea about and Dawn's offline today due to a power outage near their home." Phil stared at her. "One of the neighbors hit a pole, Agent Coulson. She said she's fine but the son is a bit pouty today because nothing will be noisy for him."

"I'd offer Xander to grab him but we've got the same sort of interference that caused her visions going on right now. Including an audit of our books."

"Why?" Maria asked.

"That minister that's pushing against all of us has the president's ear," Steve told her. "Dawn had two visions about a certain agent, who shot at a judge, trying to push his luck by arresting her on false charges and the like."

"An attempted shut-down of SI under false pretenses as well," Phil told him. Steve grimaced. "Do we have the plans in place yet for the birthing center security?"

"No. I'm not sure where we're doing that," Steve said, shifting in his seat to cross his ankles.


"Dawn likes the birthing center here in town," Phil said. "I don't think Natasha cares one way or another. I'll check with Barton on his ideas for that. I know if something happens and they're out of touch again, myself and Agent Barnes are on for helping them through that safely this time." Steve shivered. Phil smiled. "Last time I couldn't bear to look at it. I was a bit horrified, sir."

"Me too." The others all smiled at him for that. "Thankfully this is the last. Birthing a baby is painful, nasty business and I worry about Pepper a lot when she's like that. Lots of women used to die from it in my day." They all nodded they knew that. "Are they going to be back here?"

"That was the plan the last I heard of it," Maria agreed.

"We'll talk about that later, Phil." He looked at Senior Agent Li. "Anything else to report?"

"Sir, we'd like to make Agent Romanoff slow down because the paperwork is annoying her a lot. She will not."

"That's up to her and forcing her will make her smite you," Joyce said with a smile. "Even without the mood swings."

"Fine. She does have that agent she's training."

"She's doing very well with him," Maria told her. "Though he could use some clothing help." She sent that text to Natasha's phone. She got back a 'it will hold until Dawn is out of bed; I am not going out like this so someone can spot me and make allegations' retort. She showed Steve, who nodded and rolled his eyes. "Allegations?" she asked.

"There's been a few prompted by the people who trained her wanting her child," Phil said quietly. "Dawn has ripped a few people a new one who were wondering about Natasha's health. They attributed it to mood swings and her career."

Steve smiled. "I saw that. They said Dawn needed prozac."

"Dawn needed ice cream," Phil said dryly. "And got some from Natasha and Clint. Or someone who sent it to the compound for her."

"Probably a reporter," Steve said. "I remember Pepper complaining about that." He shifted again. "Anything huge coming up?"

"Two possible ascending beings. Thor's looking them over," Phil said, passing that report down. "If he needs help he'll call. Or Xander will know and summon."

"Good. Why is one in DC?"


"They do the ascension rites for power, Captain. That's not that unusual," Phil said. "I'm surprised that's the first one we've had in DC actually. I was thinking there might be a major political scandal when one started to change in the halls of Congress or the White House. It being a Supreme Court Justice is a minor thing."

Steve shuddered. "Just the very thought of them sullying the White House with their demon slime."

"Well, they would have to do a lot of reconstruction unless they were a runt, Captain," Maria said with a smile. "Since the smallest version if forty feet long....." Steve shuddered again. "We do have tape of what an ascension looks like."

"We should show that to the Secret Service," Phil said. "That way they don't try to arrest Thor for stopping it."

"I can do that later," Maria said.

"I can," Joyce said, coming out putting back up her hair. "We have a meeting with them in an hour anyway over the next election." She smiled. Maria got her the dvd they had in storage and she left for that meeting. It was administrative instead of field work so it was her job instead of Steve's. She walked into the local office and smiled. "Good morning."

"Good morning, Mrs. Banner," the head of the Secret Service said with a smile, shaking her hand. "Not both of you?"

"No, I thought I'd do the administrative parts now and let Steve and you plan things out when they got closer to time. Also, we need to let you see a dvd of what an ascension looks like because you're about to have one in DC if they've done everything correctly. Thor's handling those for us." She handed that over with a smile. "I'm presently working on the office staffing issues for next year."

"Even better. That'll mean someone capable in the Virginia sub-office. We haven't had a good one there since Secreva left."

"He's taking over LA after the one there got shot."

"Was he on an operation?"

"He had no notes so we're not sure. Then again, he's been holding paperwork back for six and seven months." The other head winced. "So we're looking into it today. Senior Agent Li brought his death report for the morning meeting." She sat down. "I'd suggest something for your stomach during that. Even Bruce looked a bit green in the wrong way."


"Oh, dear." He called in his senior agents to watch it with him. The one whose office he was borrowing came in last. "This is film taken of someone ascending. Mrs. Banner has been informed that there's one that may be coming up in DC. Thor is taking care of it if it does happen." He ran the dvd. "The battle in LA last time." He hit the remote button to watch the other file. All his agents and him jumped when she split out of her skin. Joyce wasn't watching. "Oh, dear," he said flatly. "Who?"

"One of the Justices by what he's ordered. We've been tracking some specific items that are used just for this rite, in any version because there's about seven or eight different ways that lead to different size true demons. Buffy's graduation was the largest type and about ninety feet." The senior agents all stared at her. She smiled. "She made me miss it." They nodded. "They can only happen during eclipses of any sort." That got a faster nod.

"This one was only a medium length one. Agent Coulson and Xander said her father turned into a larger version a bit sooner and she changed the next partial eclipse. They did get both down, saved most of the hostages they were going to use for a snack, and they both had a group of minions around them to take care of their initial needs. Also, those were the Phase 2 weapons," she said quietly. "Stark was making Alexander something to specifically help with that situation if he was called into one but hasn't finished it yet. As I said, this time Thor's handling it if they happen."

"I don't want to see one of those slithering down Pennsylvania Avenue," one of the senior agents said. "Can we preemptively strike, sir?"

"Wanting to be a demon isn't against the law," he said, sounding bitter about that.

"Their last hundred days they're immortal," Joyce said with a smile for them. "They eat poisonous spiders to get that way." The agents all shuddered. "Xander did say that you probably had to get them at least halfway through the change or before that last hundred days. I'm not sure when the eclipse is....."

"Sixty-three days from now," one of the agents said quietly. "My wife's sister is a Wicca." He sighed. "Can we have a list of who's on watch for that, ma'am?"

"I'll gladly have it sent over later. If I had heard sooner I would've told you sooner, boys." They nodded. "Steve had the horrible vision of the White House being filled by one of those."

"Ma'am, all respect and all, but I don't need to be more sick," one of the agents said. "Let us go look that up."

"I'll get that list sent over," she promised, sending Maria a text message. Within minutes it was emailed over and where there were in the rites by what they had found. The head printed it and handed it over to his senior agents.


"Hey, it's one of the conservative guys," they said dryly as they walked out. They had plans to make. Plus a demigod to find so they could tell him to call on them for help with that matter.

Joyce smiled. "Onto happier business. What can SHIELD do for you during the next swearing in?"

"We'd like a few extra agents around it to help with security."

"That's a wonderful idea." She settled in to go over how many and what type. They did have some of the best snipers.

***

Xander sent Dawn a note, making her grin. "Wow, Grandma just freaked out the Secret Service," she told her son, who grinned back. "I thought it was only Uncle Xander who did that." She heard someone hit the gate buzzer and got up with a groan, going to the panel. "I'm supposed to be on bedrest. Who are you and what do you want?"

"Chinese," a male voice said.

Dawn stared at it. "I didn't order Chinese, dude."

"This address. Ordered large order."

Dawn repeated it in Chinese and a promise to call the cops if he didn't get out of her gateway. So they blew it in. She hit the emergency button, which not only sounded an alarm but also put up a few 'slowing down intruder' things into play, put Philip and the cats, and the guitar he whined for in the safe room, locked him in, then got a weapon. The van coming up the last part of the driveway dragging the spike strips was not impervious to sea-to-air missile. It went flying. The people inside screamed a lot as the fire started. The fire department got there within two minutes. SWAT in six, and LAPD in ten. She walked out to sit on the porch swing, staring at them, gun beside her. It probably looked a bit odd with her cartoon character nightgown but yay. "Do I need to blow up more?" she demanded.

The head of the SWAT team looked at her. "Ma'am, you're not supposed to have weapons like that in public hands."

"My spouses are SHIELD agents and I was fixing it last week," she said dryly.

"Oh," he said weakly, calling that in to the bosses. "Ma'am, is your son all right?"


"In our safe room with the cats. He's not coming out until you guys have checked the property and the house, and gotten all of them out of here. Because I'm supposed to be on bed rest." They nodded and hurried to do that for her. The SWAT commander had said not to upset her. They found a few more bad guys. And one that was pretending not to be for some reason. She saw the one being dragged out. "Hold up, I want to talk to him," she said with a point. He got dragged over. "Yours?" she asked.

"Shitty timing as a messenger," he said. "These guys were pros. Weak, but pros. Someone found an ID case and badge." He hadn't known his brother had taught his pretty younger wife how to use artillery. It'd made her a more exciting enemy when he finally got around to her.

"Huh. Guys, that's my brother-in-law, who is a bad guy, but I'm not sure if he was involved or not."

"We can leave him here with an officer until your spouse gets here, ma'am," one of the SWAT guys said after checking that.

"Okay. That'll work." She smiled. "Thank you, guys." They nodded and finished cleaning up the mess. "JARVIS, please tell them we're all okay and it was handled so Stark can put down the suit."

"I already have; we streamed live video when he demanded, Dawn. Please go back to bed?"

"I'll lay on the couch once they're all gone."

"That's fine. Philip is not happy."

"Once they're gone," she said.

"That's fine. I've started music playing and he's scowling quite a lot." She smiled. The last of the idiots got removed and the van. Everyone but one SWAT officer left. Dawn got up with a wince and went to let everyone out of the safe room. Barney was still outside so he didn't get to see the code or where it actually was. She flopped down on the couch, the cats meowing frantically as they climbed onto her stomach. Philip snuggled her. "Okay." They brought him in. "Thank you," she told the officer.

"It's not a problem, ma'am. Much better than paperwork." He grinned. He sat Barney down. "He's cute."

"He's very smart and likes music."

"Awww. And the kitties too. I heard they were presents."

"Only Tsarina." She petted her. "The other was our fire escape kitty Loki. Cap named him." The officer grinned and pulled a gun but a sniper bullet took him out from out back. She stared. Then looked. "Huh. JARVIS, which sniper was that?"


"Your other brother-in-law I believe but I'm not totally certain."

"Okay. Tell him I said thank you if it was him and did he want some tea?"

"He said you're welcome and no, he's got beer," the AI reported.

"Cool!" She looked at Barney, who was shaking his head and moaning. "Couldn't get to mine." She got up and got them some tea. "Sorry, I'm on caffeine restrictions."

"That's fine." He finally got his cuffs undone and stared at her. "You're not scared of me?"

"I can kill you easily before you think about moving from that chair, or turn you into a hedgehog. Clint liked them better than the mice I used to use when agents were trying to snatch me."

Barney blinked. "Damn."

Dawn grinned. "Sometimes." She calmed Philip down while the SWAT commander came back. She pointed. The gun was still in the guy's hand. "JARVIS said it was one of yours who now isn't."

"I heard. He called me."

"JARVIS?" Dawn asked.

"No, Gamble." He scowled at the dead officer. "He was clean."

"He was very clean. The guy was asking about Philip and the cats as he made his way over."

"Great." Natasha stormed in. "Emergency's over with, Agent Romanoff."

She stared at her wife. "That is not the bed and our brother-in-law is not restful."

"No," Dawn agreed. "But he wasn't part of that." She smiled. "I'm fine."

"You should still be in bed, not blowing them up."

"I wasn't going to let them near the house!"

"We have a safe room that fits you as well."

Dawn stared at her. "Which you probably won't see more than our son and the cats in. And Clint's guitar because Philip wanted it."


Natasha blinked at her. "You put the cats in there?"

"Yeah! Wouldn't you?"

She paused then nodded. "I would. That's strange. I never would've considered that in the past." She shook her head, looking at Barney, who pulled out an envelope to wave. "He'll be here in ten minutes." She stared at Dawn. "Bed rest is not blowing up vans using missiles you won at kitten poker."

Dawn smiled. "I know it was your toy but sorry! It was the closest at hand. I didn't think to grab anything lighter."

Natasha took a kiss. "You should go back to bed."

"I'm being charming and entertaining," Dawn said. "Plus this way Philip will hang out again."

"Fine." She got a blanket to cover her up and a few pillows so she was comfortable. Dawn pulled her down with her. "I have things I have to do."

"Which is not raising your blood pressure," the SWAT commander ordered. "That's why I'm here." The ME got there and walked in with a sigh. "He was going to shoot this nice pregnant woman with mood swings and magic." Dawn laughed, sitting up to hug him then laying back down to cuddle.

Philip was beaming at everyone that he got the mommies and kitties. "Mama pet and Momma," he said proudly at the new people. "Kiki."

"Yes, they are," Barney agreed, trying not to smile. The kid looked like a mini Clint and had a grin that you had to smile at. He got it from their mother.

"Apparently I'm the pet mommy because he thinks he's part kitty," Dawn said with a grin for her son. "You're so smart." Philip giggled and wiggled down so he could coo at the bellies that kicked him. Even if Tsarina hissed and batted at him for patting her napping spot.

Natasha looked down. "Tsarina, quit picking on the baby," she warned. "You're not real royalty." She winced because Loki pounced Tsarina on her stomach, making her hiss and move. Then he hissed at Philip and got his tail swatted. "I yelled at her and you know better," she warned. "You are not a kitten." Loki huffed but curled up on Dawn's stomach instead. Tsarina moved up to above the baby bump and curled up there. That made everyone happier. "Thank you." She put down the blanket. "Our family is a bit weird," she told Dawn.

"Rule of names," Dawn said with a grin.


"She came already named."

Dawn took a kiss. "You only use half of her name." She settled in, petting the cat. Clint stomped in. "Hi."

"Hi." He took kisses and looked at the lump. "Hi, Philip." The baby waved through the blanket. "One cat?"

"Tsarina's above my stomach."

"Hi, cats." He looked at the dead body then nodded. "Huh, Gamble did a good job for me." He looked at Barney, who held up the envelope. He looked at it and nodded. "Interesting. Why come to me instead of Stark?"

"Is he really in charge?"

"Of a few things. Cap's in charge."

"Phil's in charge," Dawn corrected.

"Okay, Coulson's in charge," Clint agreed. Then he smirked at Dawn. "He's our handler."

"Which means he's got the leash," Dawn quipped with a smirk.

"Good point. Yeah, Coulson's in charge." Phil appeared and Clint handed over the envelope.

"People, this is a crime scene," the ME complained.

Dawn looked at him. "It's more a living room that just happens to have a dead body after the six or so outside earlier." The SWAT commander burst out laughing. "Want a bottle of water, Commander?"

"No, I'm good. Thanks, Summers." He left with the ME. Not like they needed to solve this crime with the sniper calling it in.

Coulson looked at Barney. "They're barking up the wrong tree and Alexander has said very plainly that your playmates are not protected under any statute he knows of. Since he's the God Protectorate of Humanity, that's probably a bad thing." He looked at Dawn. "You used a sea-to-air missile?"

"It was closest?"

"That's a good point."


"My wife and I are going to have a talk about safe rooms," Clint said with a grin at Dawn.

"If I was too pregnant to waddle or help I would've went into the safe room with him and the cats, Clint."

"Uh-huh." He stared at her.

She grinned. "I didn't want them in our house. They might've fondled the thongs I can't wear for another six months."

Barney shook his head quickly. "Ow. Brain hurts."

Phil nodded. "Often. Dawn, you're too pregnant to help."

"And yet, *who* was in the middle of a shootout earlier?" she asked, looking at Natasha.

"It is my job."

"Mine's to guard the house. We all agreed on that."

Clint leaned down to kiss her. "Next time, hide. We'll kill them and replace any of your thongs or flirty stuff they play with."

"And if they lay a bomb while I'm in there?" she asked.

He sighed. "Good point, they could. I'd still rather have you in there. I would be if I was the pregnant one."

"Oh, god, an even worse image," Barney complained.

Dawn grinned at him. "We're protecting a chaos artifact that can change your identity that totally. We know a Xander who used it to have five kids. Himself." She grinned. "Some day soon, we might try that." Barney shuddered.

Clint stared at her. "Quit traumatizing him on purpose, Dawn. He's a bad guy but that's way too evil for his level. Save those things for guys like Doom."

"Fine."

"Thank you." He smiled. "Want helped back to bed?"

"I'm fine."


"Okay." He kissed Natasha, who smiled. "We've got to have a weekend off." He looked at Coulson.

"I don't believe we're going to be giving in to this demand and I'm fairly certain that if they should try, their current problems are going to be magnified by a SHIELD up their ass." He stared at Barney.

"Still just the messenger."

"Yes, but you're wearing a wire and an earwhig."

"They're not saying anything."

"Hmm. I'll take this to Captain Rogers for you but I doubt he'll do more than be cheered up enough to laugh." Barney shivered. Bucky stomped in. "Agent Barnes, how are you this morning?"

"I was sleeping in and having really nice dreams about dancing girls," he said blandly. He stared at the bad guy. "What did his idiots want this time?"

"Us to stop the Avengers initiative and hand over all their tech."

"Huh, yeah," he snorted. "That'll never happen and we'll destroy your people."

Dawn grinned. "I have just the perfect thing for that."

Bucky stared at her. "You're pregnant."

"Doesn't mean I'm helpless, Bucky."

"Yes it does. Lay there like a good little woman." She shot a bolt of power at him, making him yelp. "No magic, Summers."

She smiled sweetly. "Yay? I'm still battle warmed up."

"We can fix that," Natasha said. "As I'm not going to hear the complaints in the office."

"I'll do the rest of that audit paperwork when the power's back on," Dawn quipped.

"They would appreciate that. Pepper has no idea what it is."

"They walked me through it the first time."

Clint stared at her. "Paperwork is not part of bedrest."

"Yes it is or they'll never leave. We'll have the same stuff due in June when I go into labor."

"Yay!" he shot back. "Do they really need it?"

"They're the government, Clint. How much paperwork does SHIELD run on?" she shot back sarcastically.

"A lot."

"Multiply that by this being the IRS."

"Never mind," he muttered. "I can't argue with that."

"There's six forms," Natasha said. "They walked me through one. Pepper was still mystified as to why they needed to know how we were doing laser research."

"Um, no," Dawn said. "They're don't."

Natasha pulled up the remaining forms to show her.

Dawn looked and shook her head, paging back through what they've done. She marked a few. "Confiscate those. They're not audit team forms. They're spy forms." She got up with some help from Clint to do that. Tsarina and Philip both pouted. "She's got to go save Uncle Tony."

"I'll go save Uncle Tony," Clint said. "Natasha, go back to the couch." He walked off shaking his head.

"It's nice my brother's pussy whipped," Barney joked.

Dawn smirked at him. "He may like oral sex but we never bring whips into it." Barney gaped. Bucky was bright red. Dawn grinned and shot him with some power. "Never, ever bring harm to my family, my house, or my work in any form." He shivered but the spell took hold. "You want lunch, Barney?"

"You're an evil bitch."

Dawn smiled. "Only when I'm pushed to be. Otherwise I'm a cuddly, happy, horny, teasing wife sort."

"I don't want to hear anything about bikinis," Bucky complained.

Natasha looked at him. "Why not?"

"I saw the pictures from their last vacation."

Dawn grinned. "I looked good."


"No comment, Summers."

Dawn looked at Barney again. "Even if I took off that binding, I'd know. I'd destroy you. I'd destroy *everyone* over my kid and family and I can do that. Easily." She stared at him. "There's a reason SHIELD has a protocol for when I finally lose it and snap. Do you want to be the reason they have to pull that out?"

"No," he said. "I saw film from the battle with Thanos. That was the one in Sunnydale, right?"

"Yup. I was there."

"That battle killed gods."

"Yes it did. Six gods helping with the battle faded for good and a few more joined with the stream of Creation. They're kinda hanging out like ascended do."

Barney considered that. "You were nearly killed afterward."

"There was an order of monks that wanted to take me out in case I fell into the wrong hands. I'm told very few are still living."

He nodded slowly. "How did you survive that since you were slinging power like your buddy Xander did?"

"I'm good." She stared at him. "I wasn't even as trained then. I only had self-defense and some minor spell research under my belt then. Romania taught me things like how to escape. Nothing like spy skills. Then I got some refined training afterward." Barney slumped. She smiled. "If you're willing to not be a painful blight and hurt the family, you're welcome without being a messenger. After all, not everyone in the family is all that light. There's people that consider me downright evil because I have magic. Including some of the native magic users because I use it to defend others instead of things like healing and doing earth-centric spells."

Barney nodded. "I'll remember you're the dangerous one."

"No, that's Natasha." She grinned. "She's very dangerous and very hot doing it."

"Yes, she is," Barney said then cleared his throat. "My bosses think you're a society chick."

"Your bosses have no idea about me, Barney Barton. Either they can't do a background check or they think coming into being in Sunnydale was a picnic. I learned survival before I learned much of anything else. Especially watching my sister and her friends go out to hunt every single night."


He shivered. "That's freaky shit."

Dawn nodded. "Yes, it is. But it has to be done and she got the destiny download."

"Oh." He considered that. "You hang out with gods."

"I hang out with normal guys too. Xander was my sister's friend and backup before he ascended. That's more recent."

He considered that, looking at Coulson. "Mine as well. We are well trained though. We have ways of taking extreme training when we wanted to."

"I guess."

"Asgard time runs faster," Dawn quipped with a grin.

"Huh." He stared at her. "You mess up my brother and I'll still kill you. Arrow to the black little heart you have."

"My heart's a huge target but it's not that dark. It's very full of some people's names. Though, thank you for the blessing and the shovel talk." She stood up to kiss him on the cheek. "Remember, I'm a mistress of poisons and I can make *anything* you touch, you eat, you drink poisonous anytime I want." She patted him on the chest, shorting out his wire. "And I can do it from the couch if you fuck with the family. Family should always come above everything."

"Sometimes it's not like that," he sneered.

"Sometimes, but that doesn't mean you have to follow along. I never knew you were a majorette, following a drum major's beat while twirling the shiny thing for the crowds." She stared into his eyes. "Leaders, drum majors, set a beat that others follow."

"Plenty follow me, Princess."

"Only Clint gets away with that name." She stared at him. He shivered. "This family is sacred and if you want to do more than stare from the cheap seats, you're welcome to. Until you move against the family. Then, well, ejector seats are the least of your worries. If I can throw the Hulk all the way to Jupiter what can I do to you?" she said very quietly. He shuddered. "Understood?" He nodded. "Deal?"

"I'd never hurt your kids."

"That's only part of the family."

"Or the wifey poo."


"She can kill you and if you did try to hurt her, I'd make it messy," Dawn admitted. "I did the last one. There's a guy in Bolivia who's still telling myths about how bad the damage I did to his brother was. He only had Natasha tied to a chair and Clint being mildly flogged. He came down after a half-hour but I hadn't studied how to properly throw things magically then."

"I heard about that," he admitted, backing up.

She smiled. "He had what was mine and I consider the family sacred territory."

"I understand. We'll never be a Hallmark family like yours."

Dawn snorted. "We're far from it. The last family dinner we had was interrupted by an attack of zombies, Barney." Barney whimpered, shaking his head. "Which I helped take out. Bruce had a lot of fun with them." She grinned.

"I get that," he decided, walking around that chair. "Been charming, Dawn, other sister-in-law." He nodded and left.

Coulson looked at Dawn and pointed at the couch. She sat down and cuddled with Natasha again. "If you don't poison him I can." He went back to the main office, handing over the letter. "They had Barney Barton show up as a messenger of doom again." He walked off.

"Is Dawn okay?" Joyce called.

"She got the point through that going against her family was always a tragic idea," he said with a slight grin at her. "He understands now." She shivered. "She handled the earlier attack while Philip was in the safe room as well. I'm still not sure who they were." He went to check on that. They should have names by now. "Secreva...." A list of names was held up. "Thank you." He looked at it. "The same ones that she turned into mice in her vision." He took it to Steve, who'd share it with Stark anyway. His reading on Stark had him throwing a raging fit at someone. He'd interrupt but Callia was trying to get him calmed down.

***

"Daddy, please!" Callia shouted. "If they're bad guys we can have them arrested! If you kill them we lose you to jail and I can't help the others learn about science good enough! Stepmom would gladly arrest them for the spying stuff!"

"Callia, go get your other mother," Tony said impatiently. "Let me handle this."


She pulled out something Andrew had helped her design, shooting the freeze ray at him. "No!" She stared at him. "I'm not losing you to prison! I can't teach my siblings enough about science without your help since I'm still learning! Therefore you won't get to kill them for being spies!" She stared at the stunned stupid spies. "As for you...."

Someone stomped in. "Mommy, no! He was going to kill them and I'm not losing him to jail!" She glared at the spies. "You should be very glad that Auntie Dawn isn't here." They all nodded, backing away from her. "You have a choice of turning yourself in or I'm going to turn into a Summers woman instead of a Stark. You have about microns to decide because it's not going to happen around me." One laughed nervously but they didn't move or even flinch. "Fine," she said. "Attack mode! Spies!" she shouted.

Pepper flinched as all the Roombas rolled in shooting lasers that were more powerful than they usually saw. There seemed to be dozens more than there should be too. Suddenly the conference room ceiling deployed pinpoint lasers that were more than able to disable or kill the supposed audit team. Callia pulled out her new ray gun she had helped to develop with Jonathan's help. "You had your fucking chance, pity," Callia said, staring at them. "You done fucked up." Pepper let out a squeak. "Aren't you glad I'm a great Summers woman of the true legacy?" She shot one that was trying to escape. He screamed and went down.

"ENOUGH!" Pepper shouted, finally shaking off the shock. "Callia, reset them! Herd them only! And unfreeze your father, Young Lady, because we're *so* having a discussion in a few minutes."

"I'm not losing daddy to killing them!" she shouted back. "Fuck it, they can be toasty!"

"Sit!" Pepper ordered with a point. "I'll be damned if you're going to turn into your aunt." Callia looked upset. "Sometime in the future it may be necessary, this is not. We can have them arrested."

"I offered."

"Sit!" She pointed again. She did and the Roombas moved to herd the people into a corner. "JARVIS....."

"I've already alerted her grandmother and Captain Rogers. Her grandmother is moaning because she tried to keep Dawn from that sort of incidence all too often but she knew where she got it from. She said her aunt was the same way. Captain Rogers is beaming over with a few agents now, Pepper."

"Thank you! Tell Andrew and Jonathan I'd like to know what else they did with our buildings and the security system please?"

Callia waved a hand with a snort. "They helped me with the designs but I built them, Mommy Pepper. It's my building too because my name's on the front. Therefore we're all going to be very safe from all bad guys." Pepper gaped at her. She was still staring in horror at her daughter when Steve stomped in. "Hi, Stepmom! You might want to get Mommy Pepper sitting down before she collapses."

Steve helped Pepper into an undamaged seat. "Unfreeze your father." He took a moment to look at the scene. Apparently he *really* needed to ask Jonathan and Andrew what they were teaching the kids.

"Yup, sometime today." He glared. She huffed but hit the unfreeze switch. "It'll take an hour."

"Fine. That'll give us time to move them to a cell and this to a more private location for the yelling you're in for."

"I gave them a choice of turning themselves in or me becoming a true Summers woman. They didn't want to turn themselves in."

Pepper glared. "We're having a *long* talk, daughter."

"Yes, Mommy," she sighed. She petted the Roombas. "Good job, guys. You guys did just what Andrew and Jonathan programmed you to do. Very good job!" They all got pets and she pulled some dirt from outside for them to clean up as a treat. "Go home." They zipped off to report to their real masters. Steve was still staring at them. "That's why we have an army of Roombas?" she offered.

"Uh-huh. Where did the ceiling lasers come from?" he asked.

"Andrew and Jonathan helped me design things but I thought the building needed more security because of the bad guys and people like Uncle Clint's brother. Therefore, I took charge of it because it's my name on the building too. So we're all safer." She grinned.

The AI butted in. "Miss Potts, I have someone bringing you some tea. It'll be about two minutes if you'll please calm down." Pepper glared at the ceiling. "You could use the calming down and the liquid. You're a bit dehydrated because the dehumidifier is set too high yet again. I've adjusted that back down no matter what Shield Design wants. They can up theirs for their space and not the rest of ours. Here's your tea and a muffin as well." The cafeteria worker handed them over with a smile.

"Thank you," Pepper said quietly. "Very nicely fixed for me." She nodded and went back to work. "JARVIS, make a note to give her a fifty dollar tip for that good service," she said, taking a sip of the tea. It was steeped just how she liked it, it had sugar but no milk. She sipped until she was calmer. She might not beat her daughter to death after all.

Tony started to shift. He was still very upset. His face wasn't unfrozen yet but the glare he was leveling at his eldest child was as good as a shout.


"Callia, help your father to our suite," Pepper ordered. "By hand." She nodded, helping him with two of the security guards. Pepper sighed and dug into her muffin. She needed the calming down time.

Steve looked at the lasers that were still out then at Pepper. "Was Tony like this?"

"If he had known about them, maybe. Though I doubt Howard would've let him do this."

"Not like Tony got told."

"True, which I'm sure they're going to have a long talk about as well." They shared a look. "She did turn into Dawn."

"Actually, Dawn turns into the original Raven that I met all too often. She had that same 'frick this stuff' thing going on whenever she had to get into a fight." He looked around again then at her. "I'm proud."

"I'm very proud she managed it but I'm still going to beat her."

"Yeah, she does deserve a good spanking at the very least this time." He put his hands in his pockets and looked around. "How did we find out they were spies?"

"Dawn looked at the forms we hadn't been able to figure out and spotted it." She finished her muffin and tossed out the disposable plate and cup before standing up. "Are we calm enough?"

"No. No I'm not." They both looked around the room again. "She never mentioned lasers to us."

"I haven't heard anything and Tony would've bragged. Rodney?"

"Landing later this afternoon."

"We'll check to see if he knew. I'm sure Andrew and Jonathan are hiding like hell at the moment."

"I believe they went to hide on Atlantis," JARVIS said. "The city is about to land in under an hour." They went to talk to their precious, precocious, overly smart big girl. Though she might be hiding by now as well. Joyce was there having a quiet discussion with her about what had happened and what she had done. Including what the lasers would've done. Joyce clearly thought Callia didn't understand that they'd harm the spies but they were sure she knew that.


Tony finally unstiffened fully, flexing his fingers and toes to check. He looked over. "Joyce, people, I'd like to talk to my daughter alone for a minute please." They stared at him. That was not the usual Tony Stark. That was a beyond livid Tony Stark. You only saw him in that mood when his people were attacked. Pepper pulled Steve and Joyce out to talk about punishments for such things if Tony didn't disown her and kill her. He stared at his daughter, pointing in front of him.

"I'm still not losing you to jail, Dad." He pointed again so she stood up and walked over to stand in front of him.

He stared at her for a moment, calculating what was in her too big brain. "You are in so deep it is not funny," he said quietly, making her flinch. "Thank you for upping our security system, but you know better."

"It's my building too!"

"Not yet it's not. As I got told, until the head Stark steps down, the baby Starks have to prove themselves worthy." She flinched again. "Which you have," he admitted. He let out a bitter sounding laugh. "If I had known half of what you know about I might've done the same thing and gotten my ass beaten then sent away to school for good." She stared at him. He stared back. "I was not going to kill them."

"Bullshit."

"Swear at me again," he offered, making her back down. He took a calming breath. "As of this moment, you are in serious trouble and if they press charges there's not much we can do about it."

"Why would they? They're the bad guys."

"Yes, but you weren't doing it for self defense so therefore they can charge you with assault, Daughter." She shuddered, sitting on the coffee table. He hauled her back to her feet. "This isn't a sitting discussion." He stared at her. "You are ten."

"I know that."

"What you did was not a job for a ten-year-old."

"If you had killed them, you would've went to jail."

"So can you."

"No, I'm a kid, they'd send me to juvie or therapy." Tony stared at her. "Even without the name. Plus I'd probably get an offer from at least one group to work for them, probably from the SG teams."

"Are you counting on that?"

"No. I didn't think they could charge me. That probability came up when you mentioned it."


He nodded once. "Why did you think that was the right thing to do?"

"Because I'm not losing you to jail," she said simply, staring at him. "I can't teach the siblings about science. I'm still learning!"

"I'm still learning."

She huffed. "Not the point, Dad. If something happens to you, I'm good but Chris and Liz and the new one aren't. They're never going to learn about science or life or anything if you're not there. The Moms can help with that but we're Starks and just like you. We don't see things the same way as normal brained people do. Hell, I confuse you and Uncle Rodney all the time because I'm not always a Stark and I see things sometimes like Auntie Dawn or Grandma do!"

He blinked at her. "It's not really that different."

"Yes it is. When you see a rock, you know what sort of rock it is, what it's made of, whether or not it has a worth or is something you can use in the lab. At a second level you evaluate it based on 'what if there's a fight'." He nodded slowly. "I do the same thing but then I also see it as is it a historical rock, does it have some sort of ritual significance, does it have meaning for being *there* instead of ten feet over." Tony slumped, staring at her. "I think that has to come from Grandma's people."

"Probably," Steve said as he walked in. "That was very much like Joyce's great-aunt when she was looking around the world and explaining things to people." He sat beside Tony. "You're ten."

"I do know how to count, yes," she admitted.

"You're being paddled anyway, add onto it," Steve offered, staring at her.

"I'm not going to lose Dad. I'm a good Stark and in the future I'll be a great Stark, but I'm not yet and it's going to take a great Stark to keep my siblings under control and teach them how to be great Starks too. It takes a great Stark to keep the company moving forward, and I'm growing into it but I'm not there yet."

"You are," Tony agreed quietly, staring at her. "I wasn't going to kill them."

"Dad, a repulsor blast at that level of closeness would've killed them." She stared at him. "Even turned on half strength." Tony slumped again, considering that. "We can't lose you. I wasn't aware they could try to charge me for that but if so I'll handle it and make the judge see I was being protective of my family and my legacy."

"You're still being spanked," Steve assured her. "If you're charged, we'll handle it as it rolls. You're not going to use your name to get out of things."


"No, I'd never do that. I might use my genius to avoid going to juvie but I'd never use the family name. You'll need that for the really violent one in the family, Liz."

"She is not," Steve complained.

She stared at him. "Yes she is. There's a reason the guards won't grab her. She's been kicking everyone." Tony rolled his eyes. "She has! Ask them if you don't believe me."

"She got me yesterday and I stopped that problem."

"Yeah, she moved to biting," she shot back. "She's mean. She's kinda mean to my animals sometimes too."

"We'll be stopping that," Tony assured her calmly and quietly. He stared at his daughter. "I want to know every single little thing you've been working on with who you were being helped by. I want to know every single modification you've made to the building. I want plans, construction and testing notes. You're going to be spanked for this, because I agree that this is too big for grounding or a report. You're also no longer allowed to be in the lab by yourself because apparently I haven't been paying enough attention," he finished bitterly.

"Dad, how can you pay attention to what I'm doing when half the time I'm tinkering in the middle of the night when I can't sleep?" she asked. "Even you have to sleep sometime. I didn't purposely not tell you but you never asked if I liked lasers. You never wanted to know what Andrew and Jonathan were helping me learn how to do."

"I should've asked," he agreed. "Did your aunt?"

"We had a talk about being careful with things that could hurt people back when I was planning the anti-kidnaping Pepper belt. She told me how much things like the laser I put on it could hurt people and explained how bad that could be."

"Why didn't she tell us?" Steve asked.

"She did mention that we had a talk about my designing weapons at my age and experience level."

"She did," Tony agreed. "I agreed it was the right thing to do since you were looking to follow me into it." He stared at her. "I'm not disappointed that you built them, even without me knowing. I'm disappointed that you felt you had to hide it. I'm disappointed that you decided to take over an adult job earlier and used one against me. I consider that fairly evil, daughter." She moaned, staring at him. "Not even your aunt tried that move."

"I'm sorry, Daddy, but I can't lose you."

"Not the point. You had other methods, including going for help, which is a kid hero's job. Not to freeze her father."

"I had to stop you."

"You did not. It is not your job to stop an adult from doing anything beyond harming yourself or another kid you're with." He stared at her. "I don't know how to get that through your brain, Callia. Maybe we've treated like you were a miniature adult for too long."

"No...." she said, staring at him. "Liz bit someone the other day because they were leering at Chris's skates. They were a reporter so I made her rinse out her mouth really well in case she got cooties from them."

Tony snorted. "Not cute." She sat down again. He hauled her back up. She stared at him. "We are not done yet."

"Yes, sir."

He shuddered. "Steve, please work on my precious offspring's common sense. She has an hour to get me everything I ordered her to bring to me." Steve nodded, walking Callia to another room to talk to her so Tony could calm himself down before he beat the crap out of her. Howard floated in. "Dad, out. Now."

"Son..."

"Father," he growled without looking up.

"You're doing the right thing bringing her ego down," Howard said.

Tony stared at him. "I'm not worried about her ego. I'm worried about her life at the moment. Thanks though." Howard flinched backward, floating into a door. "Go. Away." His father went to talk to the boys but they weren't in their labs. Their wives had their labs blocked from him. Most of the labs were blocked from him entering them. He went to the cafeteria but no one. The library was the same way. Tony got up to pace and mentally rant. He almost called Dawn but he didn't want to make her show up to scream at his child for him again. They were doing a good enough job of that. Clint stormed in. "Bit late, Barton," he said bitterly.

Clint stared at him. "I saw the mess. You good?"

"I'm mad at myself for not seeing her doing this, and I'm proud, but I want to beat her to death."

"I think that last one's a pretty universal thing if she had something to do with the lasers."

Tony nodded, pacing in the other direction. "More than."

"What happened?"

"Barton, I'm about to vent," Tony said harshly, staring at him. "I don't want to vent on you."

"Better you vent on me so you figure out what you want to scream at the kid then venting on her and saying something you don't want to that'll haunt you forever." He stared at him. "What happened?" Tony did indeed vent. By the end he was calmer and he stomped into Callia's room to yell at her. Clint went to check on Pepper. She was a tiny bit more calm so he helped her calm down and walked her back to the apartment. The Stark International spokesperson showed up to ask what she wanted in the statement. There was a huge reporter contingent outside. Pepper gave him some brief facts and let him sculpt it. Clint followed to make sure none of the leeches tried to sneak in. They had tried in the past.

The spokesman looked at the group. "People." They stared at him, though a few were staring at Clint. "He's here to make sure you don't breech security again." He cleared his throat. "Earlier it was found that the audit team the IRS sent was made up of industrial spies. Due to that information, we deployed appropriate security defenses to capture them, though a few were a bit stronger than Mr. Stark or Miss Potts expected." He looked around again. "Everyone's fine and the spies trying to get information were taken into custody of SHIELD."

One of them nodded. "That's great but we're not here about that. Agent Barton?" Clint gave her a dirty look from behind his sunglasses. "We heard your house was attacked?" He nodded once. "Is Dawn all right? We know she's on bed rest."

"She's fine. Philip and the cats are fine. They were all home. Dawn handled a lot of it." They stared. "Philip was safely hidden during it."

"Why? Was it related to the spies?"

"Not that we know of. We know that they were some agents and others who were against Dawn being a free woman. Some of the conscription sort. They may be related, we're looking into that."

"We heard rumors that someone used artillery," another said.

"Dawn grabbed something she was fixing for Natasha," Clint said dryly. "Then the fire department was phenomenal and had a great response time. So did SWAT and LAPD." He crossed his arms over his chest. "If we had been there, Dawn would've hidden with Philip."

"Then some came back?" the first reporter asked.

"One that was still there tried something and it was handled for her since she was resting again," he said bluntly.

"Does Dawn really have artillery around the house?" the SI spokesman asked.

Clint smirked at him. "That's ours for emergencies. Dawn was fixing that piece for it. She's good at fixing broken wires."

"Oh, that's great."

"Why doesn't SHIELD keep a storage of weapons?" one of the other reporters asked.

"They do, doesn't mean we're always near a base when things happen," Clint pointed out.

"Oh," they mostly agreed.

"Your other spouse hasn't really been seen recently outside of some meditation and lamaze classes, which we don't see Dawn at sometimes. Might there be another announcement?"

Clint stared at that really brave person. "If you want to ask Natasha if she's pregnant, you go right ahead," he said then walked off looking smug.

"Probably not," she admitted. "I like my parts working and she's a bit mean." The others nodded. They went to stake out the lamaze center. They had class that night and usually the trio went to that one together.

***

John got with the spotter on the angle of their descent, gently touching her down without causing a huge wave disruption. He sighed. "And we're down," he reported over the intercom. The whole base cheered. He put the city back into city mode, it was no use wearing out the cloaking when everyone already knew about her.

"The City of San Francisco wants us to please move ten degrees further out of the shipping lanes," Chuck said.

John sat back down to move her to where they wanted her. That was safer and she was sheltered by one of the islands off her port side. That kept them from the shipping lanes and the ferry lane. He parked her and dropped anchor. "We're here."

"Good job," General O'Neill said over the intercom. "City, prepare for an inspection tomorrow for damage and to start leaves. Good job, people, and welcome back to warm weather."


"Thank you, sir," John said. He walked up to the command center, stretching on the way. "Okay, people, any damage from the flight back beyond the small one we had to pause to fix when the container broke?"

"All city sections reporting clear, sir," Chuck said. "The city would like us to rotate about two percent starboard to better shield us."

"No can do. Rocks would rip up the underside if we move more than one percent." He sent that back and they said they'd handle it. John looked at Rodney. Then at the two geeks cowering behind Rodney. "What did you two do?" They babbled at him. John walked off shaking his head. "Go get us stuff to celebrate, boys." They rushed off to do that.

"I'll email Stark in a few minutes," Rodney assured him. "The city is enjoying playing with their kids."

"That's great." Because it meant he wasn't being babbled at by future geniuses at the moment. The adult ones were bad enough about that and you couldn't understand half of what they said. The baby ones you couldn't understand at all and they babbled faster. He smiled and went to his office to look things over. The general appeared so he saluted and handed over the paperwork he had due.

"Just what I wanted, Sheppard," he said dryly, tucking them into his jacket pocket. "We all good?" John nodded. "Turning it some?"

"Rocks, sir."

"Okay." Jack called that back. They agreed it wasn't right to scrape her up to move her inches out of the way of possible side trails. They could route ships a bit over instead. They all settled in to calm down and shed the winter gear again. Though a few of the Marines were pouting because they missed their moaning lake monster. Everyone on the city settled in to throw a 'we're home' party and call their families.

***

Dawn showed up at lamaze with Natasha but not Clint. He showed up a few minutes later from Stark. The lurking reporters didn't get a good image of Natasha so they were still frustrated. Though Dawn did look a bit thin.... there might be a story there.

Dawn came out in the middle of the class to glare at them. "I'm not underweight, people! Really! It's the outfit!" They huffed. "Shoo! You're bothering the other pregnant women with mood swings and me." They mostly fled. She stared at the other ones, one foot tapping. They backed off slowly and carefully, then headed to bother other important people. Dawn went back inside, smiling at the applause. "It's kinda annoying. They don't need to stalk me." She sat down and got back to the breathing exercises.

Natasha and Clint smiled, helping each other. The midwife came over with a smile. "Clint, get some hands on time helping Dawn breathe too," she said quietly. "Natasha probably won't be much help since she's due at the same time."

He nodded. "Good point. We're bringing our backup in soon." She smiled at that, patting him on the shoulder. He shifted between his girls to help them through this. Dawn was wincing so he checked her over, leaning over to rub her stomach. "Shh, Alexina. It's all good," he soothed. The baby calmed down and Dawn's back cramp did too. Natasha's was just starting so he worked on that. He motioned the midwife over, letting her check them. "Back cramps."

"Hmm. Not great but we can work on that. On your sides, ladies, whichever is more comfortable." They did that and she showed Clint how to handle those on Natasha's back cramps. Both ladies relaxed and Dawn fell asleep under Clint's hands. She smiled. She showed him where he was not to touch and the major problem areas. He nodded he got it and they could do those at home. Another woman in the room gasped and held her stomach. "Coming." She got up and walked over to feel her stomach. "Aww, your first pain. Breathe, come on." She panted, gripping her hands tightly. "Breathe," she ordered a bit more firmly. The woman finally calmed down. "Okay, time it." She noted the time and whimpered, looking at her female friend - she had stated loudly that they were best friends and not girlfriends. When the next one started, they made note and helped her through it then they went home to start the preparations.

Dawn woke up with a snorfle, blinking around. "Sorry." She got up and pushed back her hair.

"It's all right, Dawn. Most mothers kitten nap for the last trimester." They got back to the guided breathing exercises. Then they settled in to talk about past birth experiences. The new parents had some good questions the more experienced answered. Though a few frowned at Dawn for having drugs with Philip.

Clint looked at one. "With her gifts, we all felt it. We all liked the pain killers." The most scowling one calmed down.

"Each woman has her own needs during labor," the midwife reminded them. "Some want medicine, some don't. In Dawn's last case she had been in labor for three days. It was helpful."

"And it still nearly lasted all day," Dawn agreed. "Ten hours after I got to the birthing center."

"Ow," one of the younger mothers said, holding her stomach. "Is there a faster way of doing it?" They all shook their heads. "Can you tell which you'll be?"


"It depends on the baby and the shape you're in, plus how many times you've done this," the midwife said. "Sometimes even the later ones come with problems and you end up in longer labor with them. I had one that didn't make it the twenty miles to the hospital with her first one but her second took almost a week from the first pain, four days of it after she went into full labor." They all nodded at that. "Lamaze is to give you a focus, something to calm you and help you through all that. The breathing is to help you focus more and to give you a way to keep calm. The breathing can help you ignore the pain. Every woman is different and each birth situation is different. I had one last week that tried to come out sideways." They all smiled at that. "Okay?" They nodded. "Practice your calming techniques and your meditation. Most of you are near the due date within a few weeks." They nodded, bundling up to go home. She looked at Dawn. "You could've had a doula."

"I considered it but I'm not sure that would've calmed me down. I had Pepper."

She smiled. "She's a great mother stand-in. I've talked to your OB there and they said you're doing good and they'll gladly take over when you get out there. Have you picked a center on this coast in case you go while you're still out here?" Dawn pulled out her tablet to show her. "That's a good one. IV drugs instead of an epidural?" Dawn nodded. "That's reasonable. All sound plans. Hopefully this time there won't be a major action while you're in labor." She smiled at Natasha. "Have you worked out your birth plans?" She slowly shook her head. "Go over Dawn's and make some decisions. You can register them with your OB and the hospital so they know what you want if something's going on." She nodded. "We can go over any ideas you might have next class if you want."

"I can do that."

"Good. I'll see you guys in a few days. We'll arrange for the backup people to show up soon." They packed up and went home to relieve their babysitter.

***

Clint stared at the gathered people. Stark, Bucky, Phil, Steve. "Okay. We're coming up on less than four months before due dates. There's only three calls out to get Nat's kid and a few more to get Dawn's." They all nodded. "There's two calls to get Cap's future hellion." Bucky grimaced but nodded he knew that. "We have a few points to consider and make plans. Like when are we going back to New York?"

"End of April," Tony said. "Just in case."

"Okay. Dawn's got an OB on that coast."

"Pepper's found one and they've been talking," Steve agreed. "They all like the same birthing center as long as it hasn't gotten bad." Tony nodded at that. "They have security?"


"Some," Clint said. "They're used to those who have security details." That got another nod. A faster one from Bucky. "Did you get the security specs?"

"I have. What're you going to do if they go together?"

"Dawn talked to them and they said they've pulled in a second bed when lesbian couples have went at the same time," Clint said. "So that'll work for mine." Everyone smiled. "Pepper can have the next room. Dawn's labor plan doesn't have anything like a water birth. Nat's not made hers yet." He looked at Steve and Tony.

"Pepper's pretty much the usual style with limited drugs," Steve said. "I had to have that explained to me."

"Nat too. She's working on it now. I know they do have water birth rooms there if anyone ends up that way." He looked at Bucky and Phil. "Lamaze?"

"Tapes," Bucky said.

"I tried that last time. I had no idea what I was doing. It's very meditative, Barnes. Come with us next time. You can handle whichever I'm not working with. Then Coulson can switch off."

"I've been to lamaze with Tara," Phil said. "Some of them."

"This one does a lot of the meditative work with the class and does teach massage practicals if necessary." Steve grinned, he had done one of those last time. "Also, the press has been haunting the clinic."

"Too bad we have to put up with them," Tony joked.

"Dawn did a concealment charm for Natasha when she asked." Phil smirked at that, sipping his coffee. "Do we have any prior notice of a possible attack there?" No one said anything. "So we just have to worry about them trying for the kids once they're born. Okay, for now, we need a deployment on how to get them there if it's necessary. Last time Dawn took a cab and I did not like that."

"Hell, she pulled me halfway across the city," Tony complained.

"This time no one should have to," Clint said with a grin. "Because I'm not going to be out shooting anything unless it's another invasion."

"I'm hoping we don't," Steve said. "Pepper's last one was calmer."

"Dawn got called to a local hospital last night when a lady went into labor and the kid came out magically active and glowy," Clint told them. "We know Tara's going to be on hand to help with that with Alexina."


"That's a pretty name," Phil said. "Not quite Xander's." Clint grinned. "Alexina...."

"Idella. And before she can do anything it's still a Summers. I heard if we hadn't shown up Philip would've been a Summers-Barton." He rolled his eyes and shook his head.

Tony grinned. "Maeve Lilith is going to be a...." He looked at Steve.

"Rogers? Can we name all the kids the same?"

"Sure, they can all be Starks," Tony said with a grin.

"Liz is a Potts."

"Rogers works for us if you want it to," Tony reminded him.

"Thanks." He looked at Clint. "Is it that important?"

"Prior planning saves problems," Clint and Phil said in unison.

"Good point. What if they all go in at the same time?" Clint pointed at Phil and Bucky. "That's good. I hate seeing Pepper in pain. Who's watching the kids?"

"If we're in New York and there's no issues going on, either Beya or Joyce," Clint said. "She's gotten over that thing from last time."

"Good," Tony said, shifting to cross his legs. "Are you pre-packing a bag with weapons?"

"Yup. Nat's going to have a backpack and a pillow. Dawn's going to have a small gym bag. I'll have another one with a few extra weapons and ammo."

"Bag?" Bucky asked.

"Things to wear home, things to wear after the birth like jammies. Pads. Things to do." He pulled up the list on his phone, handing it over. "That's the one we got from the midwife."

He looked it over. "Pepper's?" he asked Stark.

"She's got the standard clothes and things to do. It's already packed and sitting on her shoe rack in case she has a new problem and goes early. All we'd have to add is her tablet and her iPod."

Bucky handed the phone back. "Do most women really bring all that?"


"Yeah, for maybe three days in the hospital," Clint said. "Sometimes only a day and a half."

"Tara forgot hers with the twins," Phil said. "I had to bring it in."

"Sanitary.... Why?" Bucky asked.

"Because they don't automatically unstretch," Tony said dryly. "Tampons would get lost. Huge ass mess for the first few days."

Bucky shuddered. "I don't need to see that."

"You shouldn't have to," Steve said. "She's usually able to handle that herself."

"Good!" Bucky looked at Clint. "I'll work on quick, quiet, non-noticed driving paths for the rush there."

"Usually not so much a rush. They usually get there a few hours beforehand," Tony said. "They just have a lot of labor on the way." He shifted again.

"Okay, so three quick driving routes," Bucky said. "The one here?"

"Dawn's picked one. Natasha's considering. Her OB told her it was time to start lamaze and when she said she had been going with Dawn he almost sneered at the meditative approach. Nat nearly took his head off with her knees since she was mid-exam."

"How did Dawn's last one go?" Tony asked. "I'm asking as a totally nosy step-parent for her."

"She's fine. We did a quick check when the cramps got noted. She's got her next official visit next week. Secreva put me on desk duty because I nearly slugged someone the other day for suggesting that Natasha's wasn't mine." He shrugged and grinned. "They had it coming though."

"At least we've seen a lot fewer problems coming for Dawn," Steve said.

"Yeah, I'm damn happy at that and it proved who was behind some of it," Clint agreed. "Not one poisoning yet."

"There was one attempt but it was stopped by Dawn smelling it," Phil said. "That bakery." Clint shook his head with a groan. Phil looked at Stark. "The littler, female you?"

"Still so very much in trouble for the other day," Tony said. "She's still having a fit that I kicked her out of her lab and am making her use mine with me so I can be a bit more observant."

Steve patted his hand. "Tony, even if you had been in the lab with her she still might not have told you that she put lasers in any public area's ceiling. She did a lot of that in her room at night."

"I know. I still feel like I'm the worst parent ever." He shifted again. "She had some impressive ideas and sent some of them to Rodney for Atlantis in case they get pirates or something. He sent back that he was not all that amused until I sent him tape of that fight. Then he promised he would push to get her taken into his lab as punishment if someone charged her."

"I'm sure they won't be," Clint said. "They haven't yet. Bad things happen to bad guys to quote my wife."

"I heard a few of your wife's quotes coming from her."

"I saw that tape," Clint said. "I showed it to Dawn. They had a *long* talk last night about two when Callia woke up again. Your daughter now knows when she's to be a Summers woman and most of the time it's not until she's eighteen. Or later unless they're being directly attacked. Dawn said Cal was complaining that she was going over the same things you did. Dawn said that was good and clearly some things needed to be pounded in better. I woke up at four and they were still talking over IM."

"I saw that when I got up at four," Steve agreed. "We had a talk after they got done. She knows what she did wrong, Tony, even if she's pouty that you don't trust her."

"Nope, I don't. My building sprouted lasers without me knowing."

"Dawn said she might've used a different last name to protect her and the others until they were old enough to be formally Starks and all that entails," Clint said.

"I considered that," Tony admitted. "I didn't like that implication for the Stark name. Then again, Callia's argument was she was a good Stark but she couldn't help make her siblings into a great Stark until she turned into one and it took a great Stark to run the company. If I had to do it again, I might've done it that way. It might've shielded her a bit more. Maybe made them Potts until they were old enough."

"Liz doesn't get near as much coverage as Chris does," Phil agreed quietly.

"Liz is turning mean," Clint said. Bucky nodded quickly, rubbing a new bruise.

Tony nodded. "We're talking to her about it before she turns into a super villain."

"Liz used to be the sweet one. I almost asked Dawn if she could check her for possessing beings," Bucky complained.


"That's not a bad idea and I can do that," Phil said. He finished his coffee. "How are they doing?"

"The cats think their stomachs are enhanced napping spots. They both like to curl up on Natasha but Loki will lay on Dawn's stomach if she's in the right position. Loki likes to lick Nat's lotion. Tsarina is her cat so she's always on Nat somewhere. Philip thinks that they're the greatest toy ever." He smiled. "He gave up music to play with Mommy's belly last night." Steve grinned. "Nat wanted a concealment charm done because she was going to get some sun by the pool today."

Tony suddenly hopped up. "Let me go help Pepper with some lotion stuff." He strolled off.

Steve grinned at his back then at Clint. "He's going to miss spoiling her."

"So am I," Clint said. "I've gotten in a lot of spoiling that I wouldn't normally get to do." He looked at Phil. "When are you two planning on some?"

"Few centuries. Jensen's still pouting about being on the surrogate list."

"That'd be a bit weird," Bucky complained.

"Better than me carrying it," Phil said.

"Dawn told Barney about the choker and creeped him out by telling him they could knock me up," Clint said with an evil smirk. "My poor brother went to have a headache." Phil laughed.

"That's almost as bad as the migraines caused by Xander that nearly got us all shut down for the day," Steve complained, going to pamper Pepper with Tony.

"At least she's a good woman that I can appreciate," Bucky said. "I can't imagine what would've happened if he had fallen in love with some dame I couldn't stand."

"Best friends have had that dilemma for centuries," Phil said. He looked at Clint. "How are you going to work it if they're in labor at the same time?"

"Them in the same room if possible." He stared at him. "I don't know. I know there's already been some accusations of favoritism."

"That's why I'm asking," Phil said.

"We'll handle it."


"Okay. Let me know." He nodded. "I still don't want to see Dawn in that sort of pain but I can do that." He stood up. "Let me get to work on things that we might need for the birthing plans." He went back to SHIELD to work on that. Bucky went to make his own plans and hide from all the cooing and Liz.

Clint went to the Avengers-only gym to get some workout time in. Liz was in there and pouty. He stared down at her. "What's up, short stuff?" She kicked him. He swatted her. "I'm not your dad, I won't put up with it." She kicked at him again so he swatted her again. "You're acting like a brat." She growled and lunged but he caught her and put her in a chair, staring down at her. Phil reappeared to check her for possession, shaking his head. "Feeling left out?"

"Mostly. She's insanely jealous of Chris and Callia." He went to talk to the parents. They had to handle that. Liz was more than bright enough to hurt people by accident. He waited until the 'licking the belly' moment was done to interrupt. Tony groaned. "She's jealous."

"Liz?" Pepper asked, petting through Tony's hair. Phil nodded. "Oh, no. Her recent acting out?"

"Yes. She's jealous of the time they get to spend with you guys."

"I tried, she hates the lab," Tony said.

"So take her to the museum with just you two," Phil suggested. "Even I have to split the twins sometimes to take them to do individual things."

"I can do that," Tony said. "Bad?"

"Getting there. She did hand Chris back his roller blades when you took them last time."

"That'll be stopped," Steve said. "Anything else to note?"

"She just attacked Clint so he gently swatted her for it. Then he put her into a chair when she tried for the third time."

"I'm not fond of physical correction but she's at the stage where it needs to happen," Pepper said. "Can you bring her here?" He went to get her and brought her back. Pepper stared at her. "It's time for a girl talk, Liz." She pulled her over to sit on the desk so they could all talk to her. Phil left it to them.

***

Tony's father faded into view in the lab later that night. "You would've denied them your name?"


"If I had thought it'd make them safer and healthier, plus give them an easier childhood, I would've done it until they broke out in notice like Callia has or until they were eighteen." He looked at the ghost of his father. "There's a lot of pressure on kids today and the name adds a lot to it."

"It might mean Callia was doing more normal kid things. We made you do normal things."

"I was doing the same thing. She's the same age I was when I got that notable distinction award from the engineering competition she submitted for." Howard stared at him. "If you had been there, it would've been great, Dad, but you were in Greenland looking for Steve." He got back to work. "Thankfully Mom was there."

"Why didn't you ever tell me any of this?"

"Because a parent's supposed to know what their kid, even their genius kid, is doing. I might've slipped up on that goal between teaching the others and my own work but she does have mentors who knew what she was doing. I had Obadiah now and then and you rarely. I mostly did it on my own without any supervision. She gets a lot more of that than I do."

"I guess." Howard thought back. "When did you get that award?"

"While you were in Greenland for the second time, when I was ten," Tony said dryly.

"You were nine."

"I was ten. Callia's birthday's not that far from mine, Dad, and I had just barely turned ten when the award was given," Tony said patiently. He was impressed with his patience tonight.

Howard frowned. "You were still nine."

"I was ten, Dad. My birthday was two days before the award banquet," Tony said, losing a lot of the patience. "Then again, you might not remember when my birthday was since you never came home from the show in Detroit to be there for mom."

"Men in my day didn't go into the delivery room." Tony gave him a look. "I wasn't in Detroit." Tony pulled up his journal to project it. He read and sighed. "I was."

"Yeah, you were," Tony said, banishing that screen. "At least I have a bit better handle on what my daughter's usually doing."

"Low blow, son. I was doing important things."

Tony stared at him. "You were *always* doing important things." He got huffed at. "Get out of my lab, Dad. I don't want an argument tonight." No movement. "Now."


"It's my company."

"You're dead, Dad. Dead people can't own things. It's my company now. Get out of my lab!" Howard huffed but left. "And leave the kids alone!"

Steve came in wearing a pair of soft, nearly worn out jeans. "I don't know how you managed to become so amazing and such a genius when you didn't get as much time with him," he said, holding Tony.

Tony looked back at him. "You're not Steve. Stop it before I destroy you." Ares changed and smirked. Tony hit him and grabbed something on his bench to zap him with. "Huh, my daughter's freeze ray works on gods," he said with an evil smirk.

Xander appeared, looking at Ares then at Stark. "I really should confiscate that for the good of all gods, but I will trust you to unfreeze him and put that in the safest place you have in case of emergency."

Stark nodded. "Callia made it with Jonathan's help."

"Well, they are geek kings," Xander said dryly, staring at him.

"I'll put it up very safely, Xander."

"Thanks. Unfreeze him too please."

"He was pretending to be Steve."

Xander looked toward Tony's suite. "He's napping on Pepper's stomach, which is giving her heartburn." He stared at him. "If someone takes that from you and uses it in a huge battle...."

"No, I get that," he promised, taking it to his safe. Only he could get into it. It was DNA coded and JARVIS knew when he was allowed to override that. He did unfreeze Ares before locking it in there.

"Thanks." He left. Ares could get his own ass out of trouble this time.

Stark stared at the slowly unfreezing god. It did take him less time than Stark had when he had unfrozen. "My daughter made that," he said with a grin. Pissing Ares off was almost as good as pissing Loki off.

Ares glared. "She's a menace."

"She's my clone."


"Clearly." He stared at him. "I actually came in to tell you to quit stressing, that things were going to be fine."

"Thanks."

"Welcome." He disappeared, going to tell Loki. He had seen Xander's orders and where it was but he couldn't snatch it from the safe. Something was blocking it. Loki stared at him. "Callia Stark made something that froze me."

"Like on those stupid movies?" Loki demanded. Ares nodded. "Where is it? So we can destroy it?" Or use it to further a plan but he wouldn't say that out loud in case someone was monitoring them again.

"Your son made Stark put it somewhere safely away before it got used during a battle or something."

"Hmm. I don't believe it would be that safe."

"I can't snatch it from the safe."

Loki went to look, staring at the safe. He was good with breaking them but not this time. He looked at Stark. "That is a very dangerous toy she made."

"Yup. Which is why it's put up when Xander asked." He stared at him. "I wouldn't count on me not using it when some of you piss us off though."

Loki smirked. "It's good you're still a bit on my side, Stark."

"Gotta have a hobby but I don't want to take over the world. Too much paperwork."

"That's why you gather minions," Loki said dryly.

"I'd let Dawn do it instead. That way I'm not pulled from the lab and she'd make a beautiful figurehead that could do a lot of it without input."

Loki burst out laughing. "That may work," he said. "Gather all the rest of them?"

"I will be."

"Thank you. There are gods that would use them against each other as well as against our children. Some of them are very petty."


"Yeah, I noticed that," Tony said, staring at him. Loki tipped his head with a smirk and left. "JARVIS, wake up my daughter please." He headed for her room. Callia was grumpy but she got up to give him all of those and one other thing she had tinkered into being. It had come from an aunt idea. It was probably just as dangerous even though she had no idea how it did what it did - she had gotten an idea and followed it. Tony took them to the same vault and locked them in there. That one, he'd look at the plans to figure out with her in the morning. She came in with a Red Bull. "You know better."

"Yay. You're the one who woke my ass up."

"Swearing!" he snapped.

Callia stared at him. "Sorry, I'm still on Summers time instead of Stark time," she shot back. She pulled out those plans for him, hopping up onto a stool to sip her stimulant of choice while they went over it.

Tony stared. "That's a power disruptor?"

"I'm not really sure. Auntie Dawn said she wanted something to stop someone like Rosenburg a few weeks back." She shrugged. "I guessed a short burst of energy to counteract the magic. That should work on the wavelength of chaos and nature magic but I never got around to testing it. I wouldn't want to test it on her, especially since she's an atypical magic user, and we haven't had a bad one recently."

Tony stared, mouth slightly open. "Huh." She grinned, finishing her Red Bull. "I'll excuse that breaking of the rules this time. We can find an artifact with magic and test it."

"The choker?"

"No, that's possibly important." He considered it. "Xander?" He appeared. "She built a magic disruptor."

"Okay," he said, blinking at her. "You're turning into a scary geek queen, niece."

"Oops?" She shrugged. "Auntie wanted something to stop someone like Rosenburg going rogue."

"Yeah, that might help." He considered it. "Let me get an artifact that needs to be cleaned. There's a few in Valhalla and in Hecate's stuff." He went to Valhalla first, going to his grandmother. "Frigga?" She smiled at him. "We must speak privately." She nodded, letting him lead her off to the side. Her moan got attention but she nodded and got him something that needed to be uncharmed from the chaos magic infecting it. He took it back and they went to a testing lab. Tony came back to get the disruptor. Callia looked it over to make sure it wasn't broken then fired it at the artifact.

Xander tested it from behind the plexiglass shield they were behind. "It's not lessening, it's raising it." The artifact exploded, thankfully only cracking the glass they were behind. "Okay. That needs to go into a safe too."

"It is," Tony said. "JARVIS, did you scan the energy readings?"

"Yes, sir. There's three reasons it exploded." He showed them the energy graph. It had sent the magic into an uncontrollable tornado-like spin inside the artifact. That fed the energy of the spell until it broke, and the breaking of the spell was what killed the artifact. Frigga appeared, staring at her former vase. "Lady Frigga, welcome to Stark International," the AI said with some formality.

"Thank you, dear." She walked out to test it. "It did clear the artifact completely." Xander showed her what had happened, translating it for her. She blinked at the child. "You are quite strong minded, child." Callia grinned. "Do you plan on making more things of such?"

"No, ma'am. I was tinkering to help my aunt's idea of finding something that would stop a witch in full blown meltdown mode."

"That certainly would," Frigga agreed. "Not pleasantly."

"That was not my intention, ma'am. I wanted it to simply counter pulse their magic to knock whatever spells out of being."

She considered that then nodded. "It does something like that." She looked at her. "Such artifacts are dangerous to a number of beings, including magical based creatures."

"Including Jensen," Xander said quietly.

"It's going in the safe," Callia assured them. "I'd never want anything I built to hurt people on purpose unless they *really* deserve it."

Frigga smiled and patted her on the head. "You do your line credit, child. Both sides. Your warrior mother would be proud of you being an armorer of warriors." She went to tell Buffy what her daughter had created. Buffy and Hylal would both get sniffly over her accomplishments.

Callia handed it over after making sure it was off. "I think I made it wrong."

"We can work on the disruption idea and make something that won't make magic explode," he said, taking her back to the lab to put that into the safe. Xander left to tell Phil. Who sent an email from their bed to make sure that had the highest security possible.

"Armorer, I like that title," Callia said, looking at her father.

"So do I. It's a noble one and it's better than weapons designer."

"Yeah, I like that. Can I...."


"When you've graduated college, daughter."

"Sure, I get that." She hugged him. They went over the test results to see where she had made it too strong. Though they got interrupted by a Roomba nearly exploding as the shrink ray ended and the three mini Roombas suddenly popped back to full size in the one that had sucked them up. Callia cooed and got them to look over and fix the one that was nearly in pieces. It might look like a FrankenRoomba but it'd be okay.

As long as it never wanted brains.

TBC....
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