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Brock walked into the lab. "Hey, sweetheart." She smiled and lifted her face up for a kiss. He grinned before kissing her then when he had pecked her gently. "We've got to have a talk about the idiots." He looked at Milantha. "You need to hear too. Foster?" he said loudly, making her look over and smirk at him.

"We're going to go over a few things. Including that Darce is going into protective custody when you're off for the long trip." Jane grimaced. "But...there's a big part about that too. Can you ask Stark to come in when Rollins gets here? I don't want to piss him off by going near his lab. He's looking awfully pissed off today."

"He yelled at me for not wearing a locating dot," Darcy said. "I pointed out they tried that and it infected grandly. Should we use the conference room? I know there's already cameras in there that aren't related to JARVIS."

"Nah, we need two more chairs and this way it's more quiet." Stark came in with Rollins following him. "You were brave to go get him," he said dryly. "He looked like he was ready to eat Fury."

"That man and his plans have got to stop," Tony Stark said, standing there. "So what's up?"

"Sit," Rumlow said. Darcy got their spare chairs out of the closet for them. "All right, first, the idiots last night were found when I was doublecrossing HYDRA as Crossbones." Stark and Foster both nodded. "We found a few extra beings who weren't important enough for HYDRA to notice, or SHIELD. So they handed them off." Stark moaned, slapping himself on the face with one hand.

"Yeah." He looked at Darcy, who was grimacing. "Rollins claimed their asses according to Fury. Second, when Foster is off doing the stuff with Thor, Darcy is going to be in protective custody and I'm told it's up near where your new facility is going to be, Stark."

Stark stared at him. "It took him that long to find out I was doing that?"

"Don't know when he knew. He just said we'd be hiding up there because he expected Foster to be up near you."

"Foster is going to be-off site of the new campus. All the high energy or highly volatile ones are going to be off-campus." He looked at her. "I've got a secondary lab for you, Sommers, Delian, and a few others." She smiled at that. "Small town, the campus is outside that small town.

"You'll have stuff up there to get good readings and Thor can appear at the off-site lab too. We'll have Avengers specific areas and it's about fifteen minutes away from the campus for a commute." He looked at Darcy then at Brock. "I'm planning on putting most of the split R&D between us and SHIELD there too possibly."

"That may work for us," Brock agreed. "He said that's up to Coulson now. He's going to be over us hiding up near your new campus." He looked at her. "How much of your stuff can go into storage?"

"Not much. I'll need my furniture and stuff. As long as I'm not in a studio I should be okay."

Coulson walked in, staring at them. "You'll have a full house for you and Commander Rumlow to share," he said. "The off-site space, Stark?"

"Yup. I expected Jane to want to be there so she can avoid a lot of idiots too. That'll let her spread out. Though she will have a lab with machines up at the campus so she can compare." He looked at her, grinning some. "Pretty woods, mountains nearby. It's upstate and no building glare so you can physically see stars." Jane smiled and nodded. "The only problem is the small town is a small town and you'll probably get people who know who Thor is and want to hang on him at least once."

"We're used to that. It happens when we go out together."

"Okay. We'll go over the specifics of that contract when I've got them done next week." He looked at Darcy then at Jane. "Though I was going to take your lab mom to be the new off-campus lab's manager. She does it anyway."

"I..." She looked at Darcy.

"I'd still be nagging you anyway," Darcy said. "How many labs there?"

"Fifteen or so. All highly likely to do something stupid. It's on the other edge of town from the main campus. I expected SHIELD to put people there anyway because that'll be the split R&D department."

"They really need to rebuild it for themselves," Darcy said, staring at Stark.

"Yeah, but soon, I know."

"No, I had another of those dreams this morning, Stark." Stark moaned. "You and the anger and the Steve and his anger and a battle between you two." She stared at him. "I was going to come talk to you tonight about that one. Well, actually I was going to summon Steve and lock you two and myself in your lab to talk about it." He stared at her. She made a few notes and handed them over. "It definitely came from Stormbreaker this time. It's what happened in her realm before the team split and then we had a super huge evil from outer space that made Thor's asshole clench and who was the one who tortured Loki."

Stark stared at her. "Yeah, I wanna know more." Brock pulled a tape out of his pocket to hand over. "From..."

"I made her talk in her sleep about it when I heard it starting. That's taped off my phone's recorder. By myself, without anyone hearing." He stared at him. "Though I don't blame you for it."

"Why?" Stark asked.

"Barnes," Darcy said, making Stark flinch but nod once. "Please, let's go with my plan tonight?"

"Let me hear all this, unscrew these plans, then we'll handle those." He put the tape inside the notes and into his pocket. "Or tomorrow maybe."

"You have dinner with Pepper tonight," Darcy reminded him.

"I know. I can..."

"Pepper deserves you to love just her," Foster said patiently. "Tonight, just be Pepper's boyfriend and be Stark, King of all Engineers tomorrow." Tony sucked in a breath but nodded. "Thanks. That's the next problem." She looked at Coulson. "This facility?"

"Used to be a chemical company. We bought it years ago thinking we might want to put our R&D weapons team up there. We never got around to it because six months after the renovations were complete, DC fell while we were picking which ones would go up there. So we leased it to Stark for his lab's needs."

"I know that place," Brock said. "We could house STRIKE there, Coulson." He looked at him. "Just STRIKE. We could use it to train the noobs. Plenty of places to bury their bodies too."

"That's not a bad idea and it would mean that we had the teams that would need to handle another portal or emergency situation or you'd be on hand if the Avengers had to handle something." He looked at Tony, who considered it but nodded slowly. "That would mean we wouldn't have the guard team you have up here now and the other agents taking up space."

"I could definitely like that." He looked at Darcy. "I'm not angry."

"Stark, your blood pressure is visible," she said, staring at him. "And each time you look at Steve, it's even worse. You've gotten to the orange in the face stage when you didn't yell at him the other day."


"Yup. And that needs to be worked out. Please? I mean, I can taze Steve if you want."

"That's probably treason," he said dryly.

She shrugged. "Oh well. I've told a few bigger names to suck my tit. I can do it to others when they deserve it. I've done it to Thor too."

"Point. You do have lack of tact when necessary." He grimaced. "Fine. We'll go over that later. It's better that Barnes is in Wakanda visiting his goats anyway." She nodded. He looked at Coulson. "I might agree to that. I'm hiring private guards for the campus, like we had here before you guys needed space and Hill snuck them in to take over my building."

"I can accept that. It would mean Lewis would be doing our administrative work probably as well."

Brock looked at her. "About ten hours worth a week of filling out forms, proofreading reports, and yelling at people about their English or Rollins here about his Brit spellings."

"I do a lot of that already," she agreed. "Jane's data entry takes me about two hours a day." Jane nodded so she looked at her. "So I'd be up the hall and nagging you." She looked at Tony. "Would I be split between the two corporate things too then? Right now I'm a Stark employee."

"Yup," he agreed with a nod. "So probably a better paycheck with the higher job title."

"That's a nice thought. It'd mean more pop tarts in the lab."

"I give Jane fifty bucks a week for lab food, Lewis. Take her to Costco."

"Fine." She looked at Coulson. "What about housing? Prices, availability?"

"We have a safe house set up already. It was meant for Sharon Carter to hide in when she needs downtime. It's not a tiny town, it's more a small village. About ten to fifteen thousand people, small college in the next town."

"Two hours to Cornell," Stark said. "Or maybe an hour. I haven't driven it yet."

"So the pretty, uptight part of the state," Darcy quipped with a grin.

"Yup. The mayor warned me not to let anyone know that I'd have a brothel put in up there too." He smirked at her. "A whole lot of city refugees though. He asked that we keep Avengers battles out of the area and whatever we destroyed we had to help repair. Offered to let Banner go to the tai chi group in the park on saturdays."

Darcy giggled. "I've been in towns like that. There'll be some talk but not a huge amount. It's big enough that you don't know everyone," she told Brock. "But not so big that it's got the neighborhood distinction we get around here. We'll have 'sides' of town though."

"The east side is where the off-site campus is," Coulson agreed. "The safehouse is about sixteen blocks from there so an easy commute even in the snow. We'll need you to go up to look over the facility to make sure it's up to R&D sort of standards and to pick out paint. It's all white right now."

"Okay," she agreed. "My stuff?"

"It's a three bedroom house, Lewis. Your two bedrooms can have their own and his can too."

"I like her headboard but my mattress is better," Brock said dryly.

"Yours is a king," Darcy told him. "Mine's a queen."

"We can figure it out or I can get a better mattress for your bed," he told her then grinned. "We have a special group that we buy mattresses from. They're super comfortable."

"That might be nice. Nat said that about my spare bed."

"I'm stealing yours," Jane said. "It's more comfortable than ours." Stark pouted at her. "Thor's broken our mattress again, Stark."

"Oh. Too much thighs?"

"Thor's.... well he's vanilla," Jane said dryly. "But loud. And no, he's over the weight limit for the mattress so it broke faster."

"He is?" Stark asked, frowning.

"He doesn't even like her to be on top, Stark," Darcy quipped. "At all."

"So he's missionary, but okay with the lights being on?" Jane nodded. "Wow, I didn't expect that of Thor."

"He likes being in control," Jane said. "So he's on top and he directs everything."

"Huh." He looked at Rumlow. "That's not a sin you have, right?"

"Tony!" Darcy complained. "And hell no!"

Brock shook his head with a smirk. "Hell no, I love her in all positions and as loud as she can be so I can hear it."

Tony grinned. "I'm starting to like you. I'll hate to dissolve you and let my robots have your pieces if you hurt her."

"You'd probably have to get past Foster first, and I'd never do that."

"So, spanking?"

"Not my thing," Darcy said. "That's a hard no for me, Stark."

"Oh. Pity. Pepper likes it."

"You hit me and I tend to try to get you back," Darcy said, staring at him.

"I listen to her wants and needs, Stark. I'd never hurt her unless she asked me to."

Tony grinned. "Good answer. I like that answer." He looked at Darcy. "Some day I'll have a daughter and she'll be mouthy like you."

"I can teach her that," she agreed with a smirk. "Pepper might not like that though."

"She'll agree it'll be better than my version."

"Probably." She looked at Coulson. "Is it a nice house, will we need to do any reno work? Is there a tub?" Rollins gave her an odd look. "I like tubs. I always wanted a claw foot one." She looked at Coulson again.

"It's a craftsman-ish style on the outside. Kitchen's not great but it works and is not fully open concept but is open to the dining area, and it can be updated. Two bathrooms, three bedrooms, one upper room that can be an office or a mancave." He stared at her. "Basement safe area with weapons locker." She grinned.

"Small workout area above the two car garage. A few built in bookshelves in the living room area. No fireplace. That may be a practical idea for that area in case there's a power outage. Gas powered central air and heat. Carpets but some hardwoods in the kitchen and dining area."

She grinned. "Dog?"

"As long as it doesn't tear up anything. We'll sign the house over to you both until you move from the facility. Or if you divorce, you can figure that out and tell me." He leaned his hip against the table, looking at Rumlow.

"It's suburban but sounds nice and quiet," he said.

"A few people said there's nice hunting for the agents who do," Tony said. "Dog, Lewis? You could've kept the ones last night."

"I might be able to get a puppy from the pregnant one but my present lease said no more than two dogs that equal thirty pounds. Those two pits were adorable though."

"Fussy diets," Brock said. "We can hit a shelter, Darce." She grinned at him and took a kiss. He smirked back. "Nothing purse dog? I'd be embarrassed to walk something the size of Emma."

"What if we get a puppy?"

"Then she's your dog to walk. Big dogs have more problems getting adopted anyway."

"True." She smiled and nodded. "I could like that." She looked at Coulson. "Is that okay?"

"Make sure it does no damage and clean the yard," he said patiently. "Let's move onto point two. We'll move you once Jane's on Asgard?"

"I'll need to shut things down," Jane said.

"I'm having it moved up to the new lab," Stark said. "So you can come back to your new lab."

"Okay," she decided. "I could like that and a few months of data won't matter much unless we have a huge portal."

"We'll turn them back on and let Lewis calibrate," Stark said. "Once she picks out your lab."

"I can like that," Jane said, looking at Darcy, who smiled and nodded. "You've helped me calibrate enough to know how it's done."

"Yup, and the few things that need the special touch can wait. I can calibrate the two measurement devices myself."

"Good!" She looked at Stark. "A whole lab?"

"A bigger lab so nothing's squeezed into a closet." He looked at Darcy. "We have a small measurement lab with a few things for her readings so she has dual sources. And one off-site." She nodded. "We'll let you figure out which is hers."

"Okay. That'll work." She looked at Brock then at Coulson. "The new facility needs more than paint? I'm thinking power and upping air conditioning for overheated machines. Emergency evacuation protocols and that stuff too."

"We can go over that when you come up to look around, Miss Lewis." Darcy nodded. "Plus the cafeteria and the machines it'll have plus a minor kitchen."

"Two microwaves," she said simply. "And a big fridge with a sign that says no samples allowed."

"Chemistry did that by accident," Jane quipped. "Poured their soup into someone's experiment. Thankfully they survived."

"We can definitely take that into account," Coulson agreed. He looked at Brock. "Let's go over the threat problems?"

Rollns pulled them up. "By Rumlow's reports, we have these sixteen problems. We have two more on a watch list but they're not considered that big or bad yet." He let Stark take the tablet to put on a virtual screen so they could all see. "Thanks, Stark." He looked at Brock. "Go ahead and brief us all then we'll get the ones that might like Darcy and Jane too?"

"And a few of mine that might want them too," Stark said dryly. He looked at Darcy. "One of yours last week wanted me?"

"Yup. Tried to ask me a lot of questions about you and your lab. Tried to make me an offer I shouldn't refuse. Didn't think to tie me up so I tazed him and walked over him to leave and told him you had more class and we were all loyal to you because you're our queen."

"Aww, thanks, Lewis," Tony said with a grin.

Brock looked at her. Then at Rollins. "Paulie saved her last week too. Didn't file a report."

"I'll thump him for not putting in the report and give him a day off for the saving, boss." He got into the first person's file. Brock went over who they were, what they were after, and how they operated. Darcy asked if they had any pets and if she ran into them could she steal their wallets. Rollins looked over at her. "Do you usually do that?"

"Yeah, I made three hundred last week to pay me back for annoying me that way."

Rollins grinned at her. "I like you, darl."

"Thanks, Jack." She grinned.

"Mine," Brock said then coughed. Tony snickered at that.

She patted him on the arm. "Unlike your uncle I'd never let Jack steal me." He stared at her. She grinned back.

"You know, us getting together means some day I have to meet your mother."

"Yup, and you'll be headache filled, I was," Jane quipped.

Darcy grinned at her then at Brock. "My mom wants to be important and her second husband helps run the bank so she has some status. She thinks I'm a disappointment because I don't want to be a debutante or marry well to advance the family or just well enough to set me up for life. She also hates that I work with Jane, and that Jane does weird science things since women doing science should only be in medicine."

"She wanted her to be a suburban wine mom," Jane said. "Luxury minivan or SUV and all."

"I could never be the suburban version of Pepper," Darcy said. "My mother thought it was *sweet* I wanted to work to help people and maybe I'd find my way into medicine from there, which she'd accept as long as I did something she could talk about at the country club. We weren't wealthy but we were well enough off that it mattered to her and others. To me, not so much. I was still the awkward girl that developed early and had boys hating on me for not being like them. We were on the edge of redneck pickup trucks and socially acceptable SUV's."

Brock shook his head. "I grew up in the Bronx."

She grinned. "And I think your natural accent is cute, dear. Warn your mom mine's not a prejudice bitch, and has bitch slapped someone at the country club for being one, but as long as you're not Hindu she'll be fine. She doesn't quite understand why Hindu people hate eating cows. It's like it missed her completely but my mom once culturally appropriated for a dress and a lot of jewelry for a costume event."

He hung his head and shook it. "Siblings?"

"Half sister. We don't speak. Any of us don't speak to her because my bio dad decided to molest her mama in high school. Mom admits she's technically related to me and she's socially polite but there's not more than a yearly card for the holidays. Though, so am I since I'm not doing anything she can brag on." She grinned at Jane. "When you win that Nobel, she's going to brag I'm your assistant."

"I figured she would," Jane said with a nod. "Her mom is very much the white lady that will be politically correct, and does care about other people, but she doesn't quite fully understand all the nuances."

"Yeah. She's talked to a few kids about the after school program she sponsors and almost insulted them because they thought she talked to them about it because they were African American. She had to correct that and said that she cared more that they didn't seem to have a yard to run around in so that would give them a safe place to play and ride bikes without worrying about park traffic and the drunks or pervs who hang out there."

She grinned. "Then she spotted one and bellowed 'oh, officer' in her loudest voice, 'I see that flashing pervert that scared that little boy about having a big penis the other day' and pointed at him. Then she smiled at the girls and warned them about perverted assholes as she called him."

"You're a lot like her but more socially aware," Brock said.

Darcy nodded. "Yeah, she's where my lack of tact comes from." She looked at Tony. "She met Pepper once. Hugged her, said it was great she was a natural redhead, so many tried to be and failed so they looked like bad strippers, and it was great she was a strong woman who could hold a leash properly on you. Then she trotted off after the stepfather who thinks I'm a weak minded girl sort. Thankfully they may be getting a divorce."

"Woo-hoo!" Jane said, smiling at her. "I hated your stepfather."

"Yeah, I kinda put up with him." She shrugged. "He made her happy but whatevs."

Brock sucked in a deep breath, looking at Rollins. "I'll save 'ya from her ma," he promised, patting him on the arm.

"Just be ready to separate my mother and her mother in case they become friends? That way we can escape the 'when are you having kids' talks?"

"Oh, no, my mother is hating the idea she might ever be a grandmother," Darcy told him. "It'd make her feel old and she'd need more botox. I'm not allowed to have kids until her hair is mostly silver, and not that dull gray but real silver, and I've been married for years in an appropriately nice wedding. I told her I'd elope to Vegas and get married by Elvis first. She giggled and said to send her pictures at least and she'd host a hot party with strippers afterward."

"She let you ren faire?" Coulson asked.

"Yeah, it got me out of the house, taught me self defense, and let me go deal with geeky boys who didn't hate on me for getting boobs at thirteen." She grinned. "They're usually fairly chaperoned events. I had to wear covering clothes, and when boys heard I could use a sword they left me alone. She's the one who bought me the tazer for my sixteenth birthday."

Coulson blinked a few times. "I'd like to meet her sometime, Miss Lewis. She sounds interesting."

"I could use a new stepdad," she quipped with a grin.

"Not that way."

"Pity. You'd probably make a good stepdad, Son of Coul."

He smirked. "I probably would. However, I'd prefer my own and then I'd have to retire."

"Well, if Tony Randall could do it at seventy-two with a twenty-two-year-old girl, I'm sure you can find one sometime."

He nearly blushed. "Perhaps. Let's get back to the threat assessment part of the talk." Rollins changed people.

"Oh, dog guy!" Darcy quipped. "I need to check on their new pet parents. I want to be a dog godmother. We can buy them toys."

Brock patted her on the hand. "Yes you can." She grinned at Jane, who was smirking back.


Darcy walked into Stark's lab with Steve's arm in hand. She closed the door and looked up. "J, please lock that so no one can stomp off." She turned to look at him and Stark. "Okay, guys. As Tony knows, because it came up earlier, Stormbreaker sent me a huge vision this morning." Steve winced, sitting down. "And it's about the anger issues going on. Because in her realm, the team broke apart and picked sides." Steve slumped. She looked at Stark then pulled a few things out of her bag.

"I asked Loki for a favor to get something from her original realm to show how bad it got. He was shaken that the big purple dildo killed him supposedly." She put the graphic novel, the movie, and two files on the table. Then she got out of the way. They came over to look. Steve looked at the files first. Stark at the movie then the graphic novel. Darcy sat out of the way. Someone was going to be having a fit soon and she'd expect it to be Steve. And she was right, Steve threw something. She stared at him.

"Which is why you're mad at everything," she said quietly, staring at him. "And why Tony's mad at everything. And why Bruce has been avoiding you both because you're stressing him out. And Thor out, and Jane out. Stormbreaker was most happy that we were able to prevent that here. Not only the fight but also the huge purple dildo of the universe coming to take out half of everything." She stopped Stark from stomping toward the door.

She stared at him. "This is one reason why you probably started the other facility? That and SHIELD is getting on your nerves." He grimaced but nodded, taking a calming breath. She gave him a hug even though he was stiff. "Hey." He stared at her. "This is why I'm bringing this up. So we don't go there! Or so you don't become the SI ghost floating around to nag people about math mistakes and their machines being all duct tapey like you did to Jane when we first got here."

"I..." He sucked in a breath and nodded. "We do need to work this out." He let it out, then took another one. "Your notes on it, and the stuff on the tape only pointed at this."

"Yeah. She granted me a better one when I talked to Loki and her." She stared at him. "Shit's going to suck if you two don't work this out. Not just for the team, but it'll also cause Bucky a lot more pain and problems. We all got issues in this one. Especially since Stormbreaker said Erik and I survived and went looking for what happened. Me and Erik Selvig on a road trip of no pants and science. Then we find out about the purple fucker that tortured Loki as I'm working on the formula to bring everyone back because I turned into Jane."

"Did he confirm that?" Stark asked, frowning. She nodded. "So he's the one that had the cube?"

She nodded again. "And Hela butted in to say she knew of him. He admired her death style. He claims he's saving everyone by weeding out half of everything randomly but he also killed food sources and all that at the same time. So he's a genocidal fuckhead with ideas of Godhood and grandeur of being a misunderstood hero. And he seemed to think you'd understand that, Stark."

"I understand but I'm not like that."

"Nope, but you died stopping him." Tony winced but nodded once. "The Avengers went totally rogue, half of them in jail, whole UN problems with battles and all that. It made HYDRA's coming out party look organized," she said, staring at Steve. "And they managed to get a slight foothold. Though you were a wanted criminal."

She grimaced. "Some things have obviously changed since you were searching for Bucky. We're on the edge of where they exploded so we're doing this to avoid that fate. Before I taze you both, lock you together in distance limiting handcuffs, and then make you work it out."

"Those ones work that way?"

"If I use two cuffs." She grinned. "I had the forethought to get a full set of cuffs and my control part. And they all lock to my fingerprints." She stared at Steve, who frowned at her. "I can let you test them if you want." She grinned.

"No thanks." He looked at Tony, studying him for the first time in a long time. He was angry. "If Bucky's setting you off, we can go live in Brooklyn."

"That's not the issue, Steve." Darcy got up and left them to talk, with the door still locked. Tony stared at him. "You need help for your PTSD."

"I do," he agreed, nodding slightly, taking Darcy's seat. "So do you."

"True," he agreed. "And I have." Steve slumped a bit. "And she's right, we need to talk. But I need to paddle her ass for asking Loki for favors."

"At least we know he's not going to cause this problem since it would've killed him," Steve said. "He'd want to take out the person who tortured him."

Stark turned, nodding as he walked off. "He would. Want to watch the tape before then so we have talking points?"

"Sure. That way we know how bad it gets." He followed over to the tv area Tony had in his lab back corner. That and a few beers. It'd help the talks over the three movies put together. At the end, Steve looked at him. "Howard..." Tony snorted, staring at him. "I realize he wasn't a good dad, Tony," he said quietly. Tony nodded sipping his beer. "And Obidiah was probably a huge betrayal. I only saw that in the files but it pointed out he had turned on you."

"He did. Like most of the lab gremlins we make our families. A lot of us don't have supportive families who get why we do science." He finished that beer. "I'm still going to paddle Lewis."

"I don't think she's into that." Tony burst out in giggles. "So the team...."

"Some of the team," he corrected, staring at him. "A few...there's a betrayal there that's bad."

"Natasha," he said. Tony nodded. "I don't know how to fix that. I know I work pretty well with her on missions but SHIELD hasn't had anything for us in a while."

"I run my own missions, Steve. I'm not SHIELD, not an agent. I don't answer to them."

"I've heard about one in Lebanon."


"Some of the guys that had you?"

"Some of the ones funding them."

"That's good. I can fully accept that." He stared at him. "We need to fix this. She was right." Tony nodded. "We need to set some boundaries and we need..." He looked at the tv then at his friend again. "We need to show the others. If we hide this they'll realize we're acting weird. It'll cause more problems in the long run."

"After we work this out."

"Yeah, after that." He shifted to look at Tony. "Do we need a mediator? I can call Pepper."

"Nah. I don't want her involved in this and she hates that I put myself in danger. We've nearly broken up a number of times because I put back on the suit." He got up to get them waters. He handed over a bottle but stayed standing. "That last one brought up another point. Is Sam taking your shield when you give it up?"

"I..." He sighed. "He could. Him or Bucky," he agreed quietly. "Morgan?"

"Pep's uncle." He sipped his water slowly. "I don't have an heir."

"There's tons of genius kids who you could mentor to be your Iron Man junior, Tony."

"And girls," he agreed. "I've been hearing good things about a Miss Williams. Jane spotted her and brought her to my attention." He drank again. "We need to talk to the others, including Bucky."

"We do," he agreed. "But she was right, we have to work this out first. Before you and Natasha's problems come up, or her and Clint being the only really close relationship on the team means we have three sides."

"Good point. Is he back?"

"Last night. He's hiding. He's exhausted. The kids played with him all day and he slept all the way back."

"That's what kids are supposed to do. We'd all hate it if they didn't." He finished that water. "I'd hate that they're in the same sort of danger Lewis is. That's why I'm putting the new campus upstate. So he'd be safe to bring them up there. And if the rest of us ever manage a semi-normal relationship we can do the same thing. We'll have Avengers only areas. Away from the labs and R&D. And SHIELD needs to make their own R&D so they're not leaning on me. I don't want to be the sugar daddy of all that."

"You shouldn't be. You've done a lot for all of us to the detriment of your company." He stood up, staring at him. "SHIELD needs to stand on their own. I fully agree with that and so does Hill." He considered it. "We need to expand the team. We're all tired after something and with our luck, we'll have an invasion after a problem and we'll end up getting killed thanks to being exhausted." He huffed. "And I need to get Sam and Bucky both used to using the shield." He gulped his water and tossed out the bottle. "This sucks."


Steve looked at him. "You have plans of splitting us apart. That way you get some peace and less stress."

"Not fully. Out of the way so I don't have to deal with it daily."

"I get that. There's plenty of days I want to walk off and let them handle it themselves too." He grimaced. "That Ultron thing?"

"The Legion? I've got plans. Ultron is actually a spare AI I built years ago. I've got a few backups to JARVIS stored in case of emergency. I'm apparently going to be going over their coding carefully."

"The one that sounded like my mom?"

"FRIDAY." He grinned slightly. "Her voice is based on a maid we had."

"That's cool." He was fighting the urge to throw something. Tony handed him a wrench so he threw it at the windows. "We fucked this all up." He looked at Tony. "We were doing good after the battle in Manhattan."

"We did okay," Tony agreed. "We weren't great and we still had stress."

"We did." He considered it. "We have a lot of little subsets of the team. SHIELD agents, assassins. Geniuses. Leaders with the two of us." He ejected the tape, looking at Tony. "How do we work this out?"

"A lot of yelling. Or therapy, one of the two."

"Order food? Weren't you supposed to have dinner with Pepper tonight?"

"She called off, sir," JARVIS said quietly. "I informed her that you two were talking about serious matters, including the anger going on that made me cringe last week."

"Last week?" Steve asked.

"The HYDRA doc," Tony said, rubbing his forehead.

"Sir, blood pressure."

"I'm trying, JARVIS."

"I know, sir. Perhaps some ..."

"I don't need blood pressure pills," he said firmly.

"Then do try yoga or meditation," the AI said dryly. "Because you've reached the level where I must lock you out of your lab and suit due to health parameters. So perhaps a dinner is called for?"

"Yeah, I..." He looked at Steve.

"Wings?" he suggested.

"Yeah, we all eat wings. JARVIS, order at least two orders of their usual amount of everyone's favorites." He followed Steve off to the common area, locking everyone not Avengers members out of the tv room. Security brought up the wings for everyone, and extra drinks, and Steve finished the lockdown once they had drinks.

"We gotta talk," Steve said. They all stared at him. "Thanks to Stormbreaker." Thor moaned, frowning at him. "She showed Darcy what happened in her realm." Thor nodded. "Did you see?"

"I was sure we wouldn't do that."

"I'm sure we're not," Stark agreed. "But we're nearly there, Thor. Lewis was right, we're all masses of anger and problems." He turned on the video. "This got brought over by your brother asking nicely."

They watched, sometimes grabbing their wings of choice, and a lot of drinks. At the end, Natasha was looking at the floor. Clint was staring at his hands. Then he stared at Tony. "Okay," Clint decided. "So we need to work on our team skills."

"Ya think?" Bruce asked. He looked at him then at Natasha, before Tony. "So."

"We gotta work this out. I've taken a few steps that I was going to unveil in a month or so when it's closer to being done. One, I'm sick and damn tired of SHIELD hanging around." Natasha stared at him, mouth open. "Not you two specifically but I'm well aware SHIELD has cameras and recorders all over my building. Including the two in my bedroom to listen to me and Pepper have sex. And if you laid them, Romanoff, take them back."

"That's not my duty," she said dryly, leaning back. "The ones who do that are in the jumpsuits."

"Is this the rumored other facility?" Clint asked.

"Yup, sure is. Upstate like on the movie. Including an Avengers only building so we're not around the R&D department. There's no SHIELD agents allowed in the building so if you're there, you're Avengers, not agents."

Clint nodded. "You're trying to avoid the threats that Foster gets?"

"Lewis got kidnaped four times in the last two weeks, Barton. We'd like to be able to meet your kids and keep them safe too."

He grinned. "They might like that. Lila did a school report on you last year."

Stark grinned. "Don't try to butter me up, you already have a huge range out there just for arrow time."

"Thanks." He looked at Natasha then Stark. Then at Steve. "So the ones of us who work for SHIELD?"

"SHIELD will have a place in town," Tony said. "For the R&D people that cross from me to them. Including Jane's lab, Thor. Darcy's going to be the facility manager. STRIKE is all moving there too so they can train away from the idiots that like to idolize them. And so Lewis can get with Rumlow all the time."

He looked at Bruce. "You have a lab in both spots. Lewis said you'd have a small consulting lab and she named the ones she wants out there, including three she wanted me to recruit. She also agreed SHIELD has to build their own R&D department so they're not leaning on us and we can go back to doing science to make ourselves get off from it."

Bruce smiled. "Will Jane..."

"There'll be a small lab for her at the new facility and some room in the measurements building. That way she has dual sets of results to compare from inside and outside town. They're setting up an Asgardian landing area at the off-site facility, Thor. That way you're closer to Jane's usual lab. Darcy's setting up everything out there for people. Including painting as it's all white and bright and new."

"Just finished fixing it up before the DC problem," Steve added to Natasha, who grinned at that. "Rumlow was briefing the STRIKE people that they may be moving offices to somewhere that'll be easier to train from and away from all the other agents."

"That's not a bad solution," she said. "SHIELD has an office about sixty miles from there."

"Which would let them spread out again," Steve agreed. "So we're not all crammed together. Even I've gotten tired of all the agents hanging around staring at me."

"Sometimes I compare Stark to a cheetah," Clint said suddenly, frowning. "Really fast, but famously anxious or neurotic. But they still purr so they're not greater cats like tigers and lions."

"Gee, thanks," Stark quipped back, smirking at him. "Not that I'm against that comparison. I'm very fast, and sporty."

Clint grinned. "Will it be safer up there?"

"Small town. Too big to know everyone but if a lot of new people move in you notice. About fifteen thousand, maybe twenty when we all move," Stark said. "So we'll notice someone coming in. The new facility. JARVIS, pull up plans for it? Or the photos." It was put up on a virtual screen. "Gate's two miles from the campus. Avengers area," he said at one building. "Stark Industries in the big building with lots of spacious lab spaces. And most of the dangerous ones will be at the off-site one," he said with a nod for Bruce. He handed over the list Darcy had made with a smirk.

"Foster hates Sommers, he wants to outdo her so badly."

"So he can handle it the next time Foster's portal creates a problem," Stark said dryly. "And it gets him away from innocents who might not know that he's able to do wacky things like having a portal open in a crowded area."

"With tentacles that'll make you think you're in a hentai," Natasha added, cracking up Bruce. "Our medical team?"

"New building," he said with a point. "First floor of the R&D building." She smiled. "We'll have helicopter service, quinn jet landing, and a small runway for small jets." He pointed at those. "Out here. Right past the field for the people to play soccer or whatever on."

"Next idea, purple guy?" Clint asked.

"The same one that tortured Loki and sent him here to take over," Stark said, staring at him.

"Fuck!" Clint got up to pace. "Still coming?"

"No idea," Steve admitted. "I don't know how we'd tell. Loki did talk to Darcy about him, and Hela said she's heard of him. So we can ask them to talk to us probably." He looked at Thor, who nodded. "Apparently he thinks he's saving everyone by killing half of everything."

"Great," Clint said, looking out the window. He looked at them. "We gotta stop him faster without a sacrifice." He looked at Tony, who nodded.

"I'm working on ideas of weapons that would take his head off."

"I'll aim for the head this time," Thor muttered, rubbing his face. He looked up. "I saw parts of that from Stormbreaker herself when she told me about how Hela destroyed Mjolnir and we ended up destroying Asgard itself to stop her. She's promised not to do that unless we turn on her."

"So we have a dangerous semi-ally," Natasha said. "Who is concerned for her best interests. I prefer those sort. They make sense and you can predict a lot of their actions and reasons." She looked at Steve. "Can we talk to her?"

"The next time she shows up we can ask politely." He caught her eye then glanced at Bruce and back.

"I saw that," Bruce said. "I'm not into her, Steve. Friends, yes. Wanna have her cuddle me? Probably not."

"That's my feeling as well," Natasha said. "And that I'm not personally interested in a relationship."

Clint looked at her. "I know why, and it's bullshit. What they did to you was wrong and it's colored a lot of your life, Natasha. It doesn't make you less of a badass bitch and woman my daughter looks up to. Hell even if you absolutely miss that function in your life, then adopt!" She blinked at him, staring at him oddly. He stared back. "Laura nearly beat you to death the last time you said that around her. It doesn't make you a monster or less of a woman. If killing assholes doesn't, that certainly doesn't either."


"We all have problems," Steve said. "With our pasts, with a ton of things we've done. Most of us can claim PTSD at the least." He shrugged. "We all need therapy!" They all nodded and drank something. "I have no idea how to do that though because anyone that'd talk to all of us would see it as a breach of ethics probably and SHIELD would have to clear them."

"Sam Wilson does that group meeting stuff," Clint said. "Which isn't my usual way of doing things." He sat down beside Natasha again, hugging her. "I think he's the most normal of all of us. And Bucky?" he asked, looking at Stark. They all looked at him.

"At the new facility I'm going to be living off to the side in a house with me and Pepper. Just so my AI doesn't nag me about my blood pressure. You guys can come over for cookouts."

"That's a smart thing," Bruce agreed. "We all have apartments I expect?"

"Big suites, two bedrooms each," Stark agreed with a nod. "Nice views. Bruce, yours looks on the R&D field, sorry."

"That's fine. If it bothers me that much I'll either go camp in the woods or set up an apartment in town."

"The woods go on for ten acres. And we're up against a national park area so it's protected for now. There's no oil and the wood isn't the sort you can log so it probably won't be." They smiled at him. "We'll have the tower in case we need to run back or we need to be here for a huge problem."

"That's a good plan," Steve said. "SHIELD?"

"Nope. It's like I have fleas infesting my house."

"I can agree with that. There's a lot more agents than we should have," Clint agreed. "So Darce and Rumlow finally managed it?"

"After she got kidnaped by guys who wanted Brock for his Crossbones work," Natasha said dryly. "She was getting herself free, again, when they rushed in to rescue her and she tried to adopt three dogs." She looked at Steve. "She disassociates?" He nodded quickly, looking pissed off. "Okay."

"Tiny kid like voice," Steve said quietly. "Faintly wispy talking. Wandering around. Handed Brock a knife she took off someone she stabbed then wandered off to pet the dogs."

"I'd do that," Clint agreed.

"Two of the geeks adopted them," Tony said. "Two pits and a pom that's pregnant by the pits. Earlier she asked about adopting a dog, he said not a purse dog so he doesn't have to walk it."

"I can't see him with a yappy purse dog," Natasha said then shook her head quickly. "Nor do I want that mental vision." She rubbed her head, getting up to get a drink. She got Clint another beer as well. She looked at them. "They're getting a house together?" she asked.

"Sharon Carter had a safe house and Coulson let them have it until they leave the facility," Stark said. "It sounds quaint and she asked about the tub situation. Especially about a claw foot tub."

"I'm sure she'll have fun with that," Clint quipped. Natasha looked at him. "It's really soothing! Though claw foots can have a high side so harder for her to bend over the side maybe." He paused. "Do you think he gets to do it to her?"

"I don't need ta know," Steve said, staring at him. "Nor do I want to know. I believe in couple's privacy rights." Clint grinned at him. "Or I'd ask you if Laura does it to you."

"Nope. She thought it was kinda weird but probably sweet and calming." He drank more beer. Stark suddenly shuddered. "It's real calming. She even let me cuddle while I was thinking."

Stark looked at him. "I know the usual ones don't get to, she has a spare room."

Natasha nodded. "It's nice. Not fully as comfortable as SHIELD's mattresses but nice. Nice headboard to lock them to."

Stark leaned forward to cover his face with his hands. "Shut up, Romanoff. I have a lot of thoughts I don't want!"


"Thank you!" He sat up again, huffing a sigh out. "I'll have to find someone who can lab mom the way she does to nag some of the R&D people since she'll be at the other facility."

"I do not know of any woman like Lady Darcy," Thor said. "I can ask though."

"No, we'll find one down here with Darcy's help. She trained Milantha to do it too. She can train others." He flapped a hand. "I'll make sure she can before people starve."

"That may be handy," Thor said. He picked up a few wings to eat. "Is Darcy safe?"

"I'm pretty sure Darcy will never have to rescue herself again," Stark said dryly. "Especially since SHIELD didn't want to." They looked at Steve.

"Fury considered her like a secretary."

"Be honest, the London PD refused to rescue her once. Jane talked to a science bestie. Something about compression and a ten story building was now a foot high." Natasha heaved and kept it down barely. "Your mission?"

"To see what happened," she said, blinking at him. "That was Jane?"

"Jane and a science friend," Stark agreed with a nod. "And the dogs Darcy found got adopted out."

"Of course, she wouldn't want the dogs hurt," Clint agreed. "They're innocents."

Natasha was rubbing her temples, eyes squeezed shut. "How often does Darcy get taken?"

"I think Rumlow's asking her that tonight," Steve said with a grin for her.

"My best idea ever," Clint said smugly. "My one and only matchmaking."

Natasha looked at him. "Yes it was." She patted him on the arm like he was a child she was humoring. He swatted at her.

Steve and Tony shared a look. At least it was a start to mending the team.


Darcy came in last, kicking the door shut so she could drop her bag and lock the door. Brock had gotten home long enough ago to be on the couch without his shoes on. She leaned down to kiss him, getting a grin back. "You're looking naughty."

"Hmm. I feel a bit naughty." He stared at her. "Get naked?"

"I'm having my cycle."

"I noticed earlier. It just means I use a condom and don't eat you tonight for dinner." She blushed, going to do that for him. She came out in a pretty panty and bra set. He stared at her. "Not quite naked."

"I'm a bit weirded out being naked while having my cycle."

He pulled her down to kiss. "That's fine." He pulled her down, looking at her. "You'll let me come rescue you?"

"I'm still going to try to rescue myself first."

"I'm good with that."


"I'm going to insist that you expect me to rescue you if you need it. Even if I do bring Jane to destroy them at the molecular level." He stared at her. "I'm going to be there when you need me."

"Unless you're hurt or they do it while you're busy."

He kissed her. "Then I'll come back as soon as I can and stomp them so hard they beg for mercy from you." She blushed. He kissed her again. "I'm okay with you being self rescuing and fighting back. It makes me happy that you can." He cuddled. "But I still want the expectation to be in on any rescue."

"I think I'm okay with that." She snuggled in. He cuddled, looking smug. "Are you sure you want to live together?"

"Better now before I think about lofty ideas of rings."

She lifted her head. "You are?"

"Ask me in six months. Right now I'm just thinking happy coming home to you most nights thoughts." She grinned, putting her head down. He squeezed her butt, rubbing them a bit. "Hungry?"

"I had a granola bar."

"For someone with a horrible diet, you do that a lot."

"If I eat one, Jane'll eat one with me."

"Jane needs to eat more often. Maybe you can teach Mili how to handcuff."

Darcy giggled. "I'm not sure she knows what they are. She's kinda innocent and I'm not sure she's not a virgin, Brock. She complains that warriors keep overlooking her."

"So like those stories, she needs a blacksmith's son?" he joked. She poked him. "They do."

"They do. And they'd be strong enough to hold her against a wall to make her squeal."

"We haven't done that."

"I don't want to ruin your back."

"Oh, babe, it won't do that." He stared at her. She blushed again. "Maybe soon. Just suddenly after dinner some night." She nodded, cuddling in again. "Want food?"

"Not sure."

"Uh-huh. Is this medicine related or period related?"


"Okay." He rubbed her lower back, making her moan. She fell asleep on top of him, making him grin. That was sweet of her. And her couch was pretty comfortable.


Brock drove them to the new facility in his car, pulling up to the gate. "This is never going to work," he muttered, looking at the ID system. He hit it with his ID.

"Fingerprint please, driver." He pressed his thumb to it. "Commander Rumlow, you may park in bay three. Your guest?"

"Darcy Lewis," she said.

"Thumb print please." She had to unhitch her seatbelt and climb over Brock's lap to do that while the machine kept repeating the request. "Miss Lewis, authorized as facility manager. Please park in bay three."

"Thank you," he said, driving on while Darcy got back into her seat. "That needs fixed," he told her.

"We need a thumb print sensor on my side. I'd hate to see someone in the backseat."

"True." Bay three was opening so he parked and got out. The door closed automatically. "That's nice. I can appreciate that." He walked around the garage, looking at things. "Some things for fixing a car and one place for a gun."

"Tactical garages are next door," Phil Coulson said from the doorway. "This is just parking."

"For everyone?" Darcy asked.

"No, we have a covered parking spot at the end of the building." He pointed. "With extra large parking spots for people who drive like Dr. Foster." He walked off and they followed him to the tactical garage.

Brock looked around and nodded. "Two SUV capable. Weapons cabinet if you need one. Though they're not keeping them in here all the time. Stuff to fix the SUV if needed. Nice, Coulson."

"Thank you. There's two of these. If we need more than two teams going at a time we'll deal with it."

"That's reasonable." He followed him on. "Everything's very white." He opened a door to look at a closet. "That'll need a camera."

Darcy pointed. "Camera." He looked and nodded. "Wrong angle to catch nookie but still one." She looked in the next garage. "Oh, wow." She walked in and looked around. "This is Jane's lab space." Coulson stared at her. "It's great. It's reinforced for the vibrating idiot machine that nearly made clear walls one day when it was miscalibrated.

"We can insulate the door and it'll open when we need to bring in big things." She looked at the fuse box. "We'll need to up that a lot. Her machines draw as much as a whole house every day and we'll need some plugs. Maybe that shock system I saw in that one story."

"Shock system?" Brock asked.

She grinned. "There was a line around the door and you stuck a spike from the door into the floor to electrify the whole door if you try to open it."

"So, that and a security system, shouldn't be that hard. We'll need to insulate that door." He nodded. "It sounds doable. You'd have to ask Stark though." He looked around. "Is this big enough?"

"Yeah. Her new machines the engineering program is doing the plans for are smaller. More sensitive and smaller. This'll actually be good for that plus work areas." She pointed. "There probably."

Coulson nodded, making notes. "Paint colors?"

"No idea. Ask Jane. We can paint later. That's probably going to be independent."

"We can arrange it first."

"You can ask them. Jane's not too picky. We've had everything from the off-white of the dealership to her mom's cream to Tromso's green. Just make it cleanable."

"Point. It will need to be scrubable." He made that note. "This way." He led them to the conference room. "For meetings." She nodded. "It's not too large."

"We can use whatever caf you said we have," she said. He opened the door between them. "That'll definitely work. Plenty of seats and tables." She walked in, looking at the shared space. There was a stove and fridge. "That fridge is probably a bit small, Coulson. The vegans will fight if they have to put their stuff next to ours. And we need two microwaves at times. Or a microwave and a toaster oven. A lot of them will warm up stuff but not bake. Though I could probably bake in here."

She opened a cabinet. "Nice storage area." She opened another one and checked. "This is the coffee area." Brock turned her around, making her smile. A large restaurant style, two burner coffee maker. With a cabinet above and below it. "That'll do," she agreed. "Tea kettle for the stove for Bruce and a few others."

She checked those cabinets, it already had some coffee. "Ooh, decaf. The great evil of science." She moved that underneath. "We'll need honey, sugar, and two different types of sugar substitutes due to tastes." He nodded, making a note of that. She looked back. "Jane has a three pot of coffee a day habit and I do about a pot."

"I can take that into account for supply shipments." He made that note.

"Does STRIKE have our own?" Brock asked.

"Commissary area? Yes, with the same machines."

"That'll work. Many of us bring our lunches and dinners." He looked around. "This isn't bad for meetings." They walked on, looking in the other labs. Darcy noted who got each one. Bruce's was the most small but he didn't need a lot of testing equipment here. They found Darcy's office at the end of the hall up by Jane's potential lab. It was also white. Brock looked around. "Small, Coulson."

"It was meant to be yours," he said, staring at him. "If you want to be separate from the teams."

"They'll get back to rubber duck hot potato again," he complained, making Darcy grin at him. "They went from rubber ducks to grenades, Darce." She kissed him on the cheek. "Can you handle having this?"

"Yeah, I think I can. I'll need a few shelves. Am I expected to keep files in here?" Coulson opened a closet to show her the filing cabinets and office supplies. "That'll work, though those pens suck. Does this mean I can order from Office Depot again?"

"Please, or go pick it up in the next town by the Costco."

"Thanks." She looked in the drawers then they went into the STRIKE area. The team's desks were podded around a printer, one for each team.

"That's going to drive some teams nuts," Brock said, staring at it. "We're missing a desk too." He pointed. "Epsilon's? It'll need an extra desk. And they'll start bitching at each other within a week."

"Need me to find the whip I got when I was thinking about archeology?" Darcy quipped with a grin.

He looked at her. "Don't give me any ideas. Beta still needs to be beaten." He looked at Coulson. "Harold's desk?" He pointed at one in the corner. "He'll hate to weed down his pennant collection."

"There's another room with room for desks," he said, letting them see it.

"Can we take down the wall?" Darcy asked, pointing at it. "Or section it off for Agent Harold?"

"We can do that bit of reno," Coulson agreed. "He'll appreciate it. Who's following him?"

"Burien from Beta team. He actually knows what he's doing and his arthritis is getting bad." He looked at Coulson. "He's been apprenticing under Agent Harold."

"That's fine. He's a good choice." He looked around then measured with Darcy's help. They could make a nice office for Agent Harold and extra room for the desks. "They can rearrange things when they get in. We can move the extra printers. We expected this for probational agents."

"Please don't stick me with baby agents," Brock said, looking at him. "I'd go nuts, Coulson. Baby STRIKE agents are bad enough. I'll need her whip for that definitely."

"Fine. They're going to DC's new building anyway." Brock grinned. They went to look around the training areas.

"The sword and spear guy?" Darcy asked.

"Twice a week," Coulson said. "That's specialized training that STRIKE often has too, Lewis."

"Bunk room?"

"A what?" Brock asked.

"You guys have forty-eight on shift, right? Like firefighters? And you'd probably have to be here for those?" He nodded slowly. "Then shouldn't they have a place to nap in case they're just sitting around?"

"They should," he agreed, looking at Coulson. "And a tv please?"

"They'll need to sign up for satellite service. SHIELD's tv service is only six channels, all news."

Brock looked at her. "We need to know."

"Yeah but sometimes you need something mind clearing, which is game show network and a weather station would be nice too. Plus, internet?"

"Of course," Coulson agreed. "Jane's?"

"We've got private and a VPN."

"I agree with the VPN," he said, looking at her. "The private internet?"

"It's handy and protective for the paranoid labbies."

"That's a good point. We can set up a separate internet for the labs and the STRIKE offices." Brock nodded that was fine. "With wifi and VPN devices so you don't have to use one online." She beamed, bouncing some. He pointed. "Yard?" They went to look and Brock nodded it'd do. It had a running track. Their weight room was fine. Coulson had plans for the range and weapons storage areas, which the bunkroom could be added onto the edge of. They went to the outbuildings. Each of the lab ones had a two floor design, the basic floor and a sealable basement for safety and machine needs.

Darcy looked at one. "I'd suggest this one for Sommers but it's probably too small. He tinkers. So maybe Delian and his damn nanite project with Kurt?"

"Please keep them out here and have a sensor to let us know if they get out?" Brock asked.

"Already in the making," Coulson said patiently. "Fitz-Simmons got worried after the conference." They kept going. Darcy picked out the next lab for Sommers. They went to look at the back fence area. "It's a chain link, we can up it and it'll have sensors and cameras for STRIKE to monitor."

"It's an invasive plant problem but plant some blackberries as long as we can make sure they can't get free?" Darcy asked, looking at Coulson. "Prickly things that hurt like a bitch, they'll grow until you stop them. The geeks or whoever can use them as a snack when they're ripe. It'll hide the fence and any cameras. They'll have to make sure it doesn't spread but it's not something anyone with sense will walk through."

"That's a mean idea," Brock said.

Darcy grinned. "The only thing that grows faster is kudzu."

"We lost a base in Texas to kudzu," Coulson said. "We pissed off the maintenance team and they didn't cut it back so it took over a building in about a year." Brock burst out laughing.

"Seriously, it does that," Darcy told him with a grin. "That, bamboo, blackberries, ivy, and mint will all do that."

"They say to plant bamboo against your fence if you hate your neighbors," Coulson agreed. "It's always growing." He looked up. "Blackberries are a good idea." He walked them around the fence, letting Brock mark where to put sensors and cameras.

Darcy looked then at the two city guys. "Guys, not too sensitive or you'll be jumping at every single squirrel in the city." They groaned. "And ducks probably. We do have that pond just over the fence." She looked at Brock. "If we get geese, run for your ass. Geese are demonic and will eat you. Swans are less demonic and will bite if you go near them to coo at their prettiness. Geese will chase you. I knew someone who raised geese. She always had stitches from scratches and bites."

"Wow, I didn't realize that." She nodded. "Okay, we can make those notes." They kept walking. He heard a rooster. "We have chickens?"

"The neighbor keeps chickens for breeding purposes. He's a pullet breeder," Coulson said with a point.


Brock looked at her. "No chickens."

"Nope. I like my eggs from the store."


She grinned and nudged him. "Have you seen a chicken brooding?"

"I've seen that meme," he said. "You showed me. I used it on an agent and he stalked off to complain I have a sense of humor." She grinned. They kept going, just walking pleasantly. The regular parking area was big enough and covered enough. Brock pointed. "We need an extra card scanner."

"And a thumbprint on the passenger's side," Darcy added. "Otherwise passengers have to sit in the driver's lap to log in. Imagine a backseat passenger having to do that."

"I can arrange that and one that'll switch back to a backseat passenger as well." He made that note for himself. "Any other needs?"

"I have not seen a single phone," Darcy said.

"We have them. Dial 9 like most systems."

"Labs get extensions?"

"Yes. Instead of multiple lines, yes." She grinned. "And voicemail."

"Might be a great idea." They went back inside. "I think I want light blue in my office. Very light blue."

"Pick out a paint swatch and get it to me," Coulson said, looking at her.

"And a better chair?"

"Gladly plus a visitor's chair."

"Thanks." She grinned. "We'll need a locked box in the fridge and a sharps container in there and the bathrooms. Plus feminine supply drop boxes. Plus supplies."

"We can do that." He pulled out his pen to make that note.

"Why do women take so long in the bathroom?" Brock asked.

"Well, two reasons," she said. "One, you guys have urinals and stalls. We just have the same number of stalls you do and women can't really use urinals. That cuts the available options to use down by about half." He winced. "And second, we have to remove a lot more clothes."

"Point. I didn't think about that." They walked on. "All ours?"

"The locker room is single, but has thirty lockers."

Brock mentally counted. "Fifty-three plus baby agents for STRIKE alone."

"So we need another locker room of the same size," Coulson agreed. "All the bathrooms are gender neutral and single person for those who're handicapped. Only one wasn't really able to have more than grab bars and that's the one up by Darcy's office." That got a nod. "Any other needs? And lock box in the fridge?"

"Meds box, Coulson."

"Oh. I didn't think about that. That's reasonable." He added that reason to the note. "Okay. Any other needs beyond paints and tables?"

"Most geeks have their own tables. Give them a budget if they need things. That way they can pick them out and won't bitch about tables being too short, too tall, might have devices," she said.

"That'll be best," Brock agreed.

"It'll mean more paperwork," Coulson admitted.

"Better that than years of bitching and them trying to fix things to suit themselves and breaking them by accident."

"Point." He made that note as well. "All right. Any other needs?"

"Can we drive past the house?"

"Of course," Brock agreed. Coulson smiled, writing down the address for him. "We'll look on the way out, see if it needs curtains." She beamed and nodded. He smirked at her. "Should I do what Loki did and tease you by calling you Hestia?"

She blushed, swatting him on the arm. "Not fully." She grinned at Coulson. "Thank you. Need us?"

"Just drive past there, make sure it's still standing and if it needs painting or repairs on the outside." They nodded, going to do that. He looked up Hestia, finding her the goddess of hearth and home. "That fits her well. We'll have to change the name they use for her in the secret files." He went to mark a spot for the Asgardian landing pad. They had a nice open area that was sheltered by trees. He put some spray paint there.

"That'll work. Be a bit private too." He went back inside to send the notes to Hill and Fury. Fury was confused but Hill agreed with Darcy's plans and that she'd have someone check that safehouse before they could move up there. She sent that request right out through Fury's assistant.

TBC....in the new lab!
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