Old Ones Playing With Clones.
Clint answered his phone with a sleepy 'hello'. It was afternoon nap time and they had needed one after Philip had woken up the girls at midnight. He sat upright, listening to the quiet female voice. He hung up then threw the phone at the mirror across the room. Thankfully neither one broke. Their actual bedroom was pretty break-proof.
Dawn blinked up at him. "Who do we need to kill?"
"My brother. They were cloning him."
"Fuck," Dawn said, staring at him. "This time I won't be so merciful." He looked at her. "I was last time."
"This time, let me." He smirked. "We need to talk anyway."
Dawn patted him on the hand. "I promised I'd get him for fucking with the family, Clint."
"So? Still better if I do it." He kissed her and stood up. "Hill was the one who called." His phone rang Steve's ringtone so he picked it up and answered it. "I already heard about Barney. Yeah, Dawn might be able to. Why?" He laughed, looking at Dawn. "They were cloning Deadpool."
"I'm sure he'll be thrilled." She sat up with a stretch. "Let me put on clothes." He nodded, watching her put on a pretty cream colored slip dress without anything on underneath it. Phil appeared and took her with him. She looked at the clone then at Hill. "Want me to tell him?"
"Please. He might cut us. Or give us headaches."
Dawn nodded, opening up a viewing portal. He was in the middle of something so she coughed. He looked over and she could tell he grinned at her through his mask. "When you've got a few, we need to tell you something."
"The baby's finally saying my name?"
"He is, and more. He's also saying his sisters' names mostly." Deadpool moaned. "Nat and I both. Cute little girls. Not the point though." He finished killing people and she opened the portal wider then tilted it. "Someone was making you a twin."
"That's my clone?"
Dawn smiled. "It looks like he's just sedated. Do you want me to send him to you?"
"Can you? I'd love a clone. All the cool hero kids have one." She looked at the SHIELD scientists, who opened the device. Dawn changed the portal and he came through to grab his new clone. "Thanks, Dawn." He kissed her on the cheek. "Did you wear that just for me?"
"No, I had to put on something, I was naked." He moaned. She smirked. "Pop around sometime. The kid could use you. He's pouty, jealous, and possessive. He nearly hurt a sister."
"Wow. Yeah, I can be a great mentor." He grinned and she let the portal close behind him. He grinned, carrying his clone off. They'd have some great fun.
Dawn went home. She heard everyone out back so went out there. Philip was watching the stream with Clint. "Deadpool loved his clone."
"That's great." He looked at her. "You can almost see right through that."
She shrugged. "Not like he looked."
"Uh-huh. Dick teasing other assassins?"
"You never know who gets teased, dear." She strolled off. "Sometimes it's incidental."
Natasha walked Dawn out there so they could dangle their feet in the stream while the girls slept. It was a good thing and they could soak later, after bedtimes. It'd be good for them to talk during, like old times.
One of the geeks back at the compound looked at Senior Agent Hill. "Was she teasing him, ma'am?"
"They had that sort of friendship, yes." She looked at the other two. One clone was all but alive, the other they had found in a back corner. He was completed but not been put through the awakening process yet. He looked a bit familiar but she didn't know from where. "Any idea?"
"No, ma'am. Not yet. The files are in incredibly shitty shape," one of the tech agents said. "Though, Barton was looking up how he died by the last browser window opened."
"That's good. So he has partial memories?"
"By their files, yes. Up until about a month before he died, ma'am."
"Even better." She grimaced. At least Barton would know how dangerous going near Dawn or the kids would be.
Dawn watched her spouses sleep that night, and decided she really needed to do something. She wasn't going to let anyone get near the kids. Even though she hated to kill people....sometimes people begged for it by coming back to life. She carefully got up and went to the bathroom. Nat would go back to sleep when she felt her peeing. Clint usually did. Plus she didn't want a full bladder during a fight. Couldn't really stop to pee while kicking someone's ass. She snuck into the bedroom with their closet, opening it to find something to wear. Her backup battle outfit would do nicely. She was pulling it out when she felt cool hands go around her hips. "You should be in bed."
"The rule for Dawn doing things has always stated she may not do anything alone that would take a full team," Clint said in her ear. "That has not changed, even with my brother being alive again." She looked at him. "Nice thought, Princess, but I'm going to kick his ass this time."
He kissed her, then stared down at her. "I'm going to do it, Dawn. Not you." She glared. "Not that you can't but it's my job."
"I told him I would."
"Well, I'm overruling that. I've wanted to kill him longer." He smiled and put back the clothes, taking her back up to their perch bed to lay down again. "There, better." He snuggled in. "We'll talk about that tomorrow." Dawn rolled her eyes but let him cuddle and fall back asleep on her shoulder.
Natasha smirked to herself. She'd make sure neither one had to kill someone they tolerably liked. It wasn't good for a soul to like people you were killing. Though she might allow Dawn to poison him lightly to draw him into the open.
Dawn looked up from lounging in the stream when a twinkling of lights appeared. They had been talking on and off all day between kid things and she was exhausted. "What's up, Loki?" she asked quietly. Clint came out of the house, dishtowel on his shoulder. He had volunteered to do dishes since she had cooked.
"It's amusing that you come here to heal," he said, staring down at her.
She smiled. "I heard you were using something like the choker. Need hair tips?"
"No, chit, not in the least." He gave her a smug look.
Dawn smirked. "You sure? Because yours looks a bit...greasy. Are you a Snape now?"
He laughed. "I read that book to see why my son's cabin was singing."
"Great sex," she quipped. "They kinda made it alive during great sex."
Loki shook his head quickly. "It figures." He stared at her. "My son is demented."
"Talk to Phil. I'm not in charge of Xander's mental state. Though, if you're talking about the suddenly evil little rolly, polly, tickling balls he found? It's because Benji found a great fanfic online and showed it to Jensen to cheer him up after he lost a few groupies to them moving."
"What?" Loki demanded. He hadn't seen any strange balls at his son's temple when he had glanced that way to make sure no one was paying attention to them. She called out her phone and got into her email. Benji had sent it to her too. She hit the link and let him read it. He read slowly, mouthing a few words now and then. Then he suddenly shuddered and handed it back. "I do not want that very bad idea."
"Your son said if you annoyed him again, he'd turn you into a Puffermort," Clint quipped with a smile.
Loki glared at him. "Don't tempt me to fry you." Dawn zapped him, making him yelp. "Girl!"
She stood up and got out of the stream, staring at him. They were nearly the same height. "No, I'm a full grown woman," she said dryly, staring at him. "A very possessive one. Even if we're fighting he's still my bitch." Loki stepped back since she was glowing. She grinned. "Are you sure you don't want help with your hair?" He shuddered. "Beyond that, I know very well how to use the choker we got from Lavelle." She grinned. "He taught us. The planning is always in the details. You guys can even switch off so you quit hating the butt sex." She smiled. "And I have *so* many worse ideas than that story gave your son, Pufferloki."
He shuddered and backed off. "You've gained new powers I see."
"No. Not really." She grinned. "Just had a daughter actually." He tested her then left to tell Ares. "Huh."
Clint looked up. "Xander, is there something you'd like to tell us about powers?" he called.
Xander appeared, giving him a sheepish grin. "When you guys die, you'll come to my hall of warriors and live there. Immortal but kinda not part of the world. You can guide the new ones coming in and if we need you for a huge battle, you can join it."
Clint stared at him. "Did you think about asking?"
"Did you want to go to Valhalla? It's kinda crowded and Odin just declared that no couples could room together any longer."
"I'm sure he's amused by Buffy sneaking into Hylal's room each night," Dawn quipped, getting back into the stream.
"She's all but banished to the women's section," Xander said. "Hylal sneaks in there with the help of the Valkyries all the time. No, he's not amused." He grinned at her then at Clint. "So you'll be an immortal shade like they are. Does that really bother you?"
"I guess not."
"Good." He grinned. "Your whole team is unless Stark decides to ascend or something weird like that." He disappeared.
"I'm hoping he meant the ghostly one and not the demon one," Natasha said as she came out, taking the dish towel to dry off the last few dishes.
Clint looked back at Natasha then stripped off and waded in to join Dawn. He'd ignore that thought as hard as he could. "Hi."
His phone rang. "Damn it!"
"We've got Doom acting," Natasha called. "We're going in two minutes if you wanted to put on clothes."
"Our closet," Dawn said with a point and a sigh. "First aid kit probably needs upped. I'll do that while you're gone."
"We did it when we were waiting here while looking for you." He got out and got into his uniform. He was zipping up his vest when they got beamed to LA. "Why does he attack out here?"
"All the tragic plastic surgery?" Tony guessed from where he was putting down his face shield. "Cap?"
"Stark, take the left. Hulk, smash right side." Hulk grunted and walked that way to wade into the Doomtroopers. "Guys, take up high and smash them against them." They nodded and headed out. He took the center and made them run toward either Tony or Hulk. That worked and it would hopefully be a short battle. He had been playing with Maeve.
Dawn smiled at the reporter for the red carpet event a few days later. She and Pepper were here to represent all the Avengers, who were running after Doom again. "Hi."
"Dawn." The reporter looked her over. "Clearly you're back in pre-baby shape."
Dawn smiled. "I'm actually five pounds under it." She shifted to better show off her magnificence.
"Who are you wearing?"
"Franco," Pepper corrected with a smile.
"Okay, sorry, I'll write him an apology note later. Franco Roleadan."
The reporter looked over the halter necklined wrap dress. It looked like a ruby necklace holding together the pieces of blood red silk that were forming the neckline wrapped around her throat. The dress was like someone had wrapped a bunched up sheet carefully around her breasts, showing a tantalizing bit of skin on both sides, then it wrapped around her back, then back around in thinner, twisted strips twice before becoming a larger swatch that wrapped around her hips and was gathered in the back as a slight train. Between the layers was a decorated ruby and silver filigree clip. She was wearing matching shoes and carrying a tiny silver purse. Her makeup was a bit more dark than usual with her lips almost matching her dress. "That looks very nice on you. Tempting. Won't your husband mind?"
"He's on assignment." She smiled. "It's my birthday so I'm being flashy and dressed up." She winked and walked off.
"Dawn, I love that necklace, is it part of the dress?" another reporter asked.
"No, we built the dress to do the necklace justice." She touched it and smiled. "Philip thought I looked very pretty."
"You do look stunning. If I liked women...." She looked her over. There was enough skin showing that you got a hint of side cleavage and definitely a view of the top cleavage. "Who is that by?"
"An up and coming?"
She smiled. "A friend of one of my nieces. He's in design school and asked if I would look over some of his things. I have this and a black one that's slightly longer but without the train. In that one I look wicked." She smirked.
"I bet you do." Dawn and Pepper walked off after she talked to Pepper. The reporters were all very warm over the pair of them. They looked gorgeous. Pepper was more understated and looked more old school Hollywood glamorous. Dawn looked like an edible art piece waiting to be nibbled on. The first reporter shared that it was Dawn's birthday but her spouses were on assignment. That explained a lot to them.
Clint's phone beeped. He had no idea how a reporter had gotten his private, blocked number but he wouldn't be mad this time since the message had the heading of _Dawn_. He stared at the picture of Dawn, showing it to Natasha. Who shivered. "I think we've been gone too long."
"Me too," she said quietly.
Tony looked at his display as his helmet beeped the new call. "Huh. Pepper looks like a screen goddess."
"Dawn looks like an altar to fertility and sex," Clint quipped. He showed him.
"Wow," Tony said. "We need to get home." Steve nodded. They finished up the clean up so SHIELD Asia could come in then flew home. Thankfully the quinjet could get them to LA within four hours. Pepper and Dawn had went out for her birthday after the premiere they had went to. They were in a club being watched over by Happy and another Stark guard. Joyce clearly had the mass of kids since Pepper was drinking a glass of champagne while she and Dawn danced together. There was a small space around them so that no one was going to grope them but that was a good thing in the jealous, possessive spouses' minds.
Dawn's train had been gathered up into a cascade of ruffles. It started just below the bottom curve of her butt and went to just above her knees. It was a good four inches longer than the skirt was. The security team at the compound had them on video surveillance to protect them. Tony, Steve, and Clint all took very fast showers. Natasha took hers a bit more slowly but she had more to do. She had a great dress and she was back in pre-pregnancy shape. She joined the guys at the car, smiling at Clint's appreciative look. She liked him in his nicely tight dress pants and t-shirt as well.
Tony had them driven to the club. He and Steve strolled in first so they got in the VIP entrance. Not that the bouncers were going to block Clint and Natasha. Not with how hot they looked. They stared at their wives, then Tony strolled down to take Pepper's glass from her to drain and dance with her. Pepper smiled at him, turning around. Steve got her back for now and it was good. He was nearly blushing again but Pepper loved that.
Dawn smiled and turned at the hand to her hip, decking a guy that had touched her. "Not yours."
Clint stepped over him. "No, you're not. Naughty tease," he said, looking her over. He took her onto the floor to dance with her. Natasha joined them. Somehow he ended up in the center of his women. That was fine with him. He could tease them both. It was good to be Clint Barton tonight. He smirked at Dawn. "When are you due in tomorrow?"
"No contract." She smiled. "So technically I'm not." He moaned and pulled her closer, letting Natasha get her back for now. It was a great night to be Clint Barton.
"Happy birthday, Dawn," someone on the floor yelled.
"Thank you, dear," she called back with a smile and a wave.
He looked down at her. "I actually didn't forget this year," he said with a smile. "Especially since someone put a reminder in my phone that woke me up at midnight."
"No, I know it wasn't you." He kissed her. "I've got your present in my bag. You can have it tomorrow." He ground against her, making her wink and turn to tease Natasha. Clint growled. There was a Dawn sandwich in his future in more ways than one. Even if they still had stuff to work out, he needed an infusion of Dawn and Natasha. He needed it enough that they went home after a few more songs because Dawn was getting that dress cut off and possibly used to tie her down.
Tony strolled out of the suite late the next morning. "Morning," he called into the office, staring at Dawn's bare desk. "Where's Dawn?"
"I believe she's waiting at home for offers of a new contract, sir," JARVIS said.
"Didn't I have her type it up so she could approve of it?" Tony asked, frowning.
"No, sir. You have a preliminary copy you never showed her on your workbench." He cleared his virtual throat. "I believe she told her mother if she hadn't heard from you within a week she'd let her mother talk to her about becoming her administrative assistant."
"Dawn's not allowed to leave," Tony said firmly. "She knows this."
"That's why she's waiting the week," Pepper called from her desk. "That and so they can celebrate her birthday last night."
"I sent her a card."
"She grinned and showed me." She smiled. "I don't think you should go over before dinner, Tony. JARVIS said she woke up to Clint singing _Addicted_ to her."
"Awww. It's about time they finished working things out."
"They still have a few things to go over," she said. "Do you want me to type up the new contract?"
"I will." He went to his lab to find the preliminary. Which wasn't there. He found a page with kid art on the back so the kids had gotten to it. He pulled up the virtual copy and read it over, making changes. Dawn deserved a slight weapons budget increase and a clothing increase so she could buy dresses that have more fabric than last night's. "JARVIS, what are they saying about her dress last night?"
"A few aren't sure if they like it or not. That one nasty one is saying it looks like a sheet but a sexy one. A lot of them are agreeing that they're not sure if it was bad or good but that it was very sexy on her. That clearly her spouses were on the job. When they heard it was her birthday, they were sure he was going to be sorry when he got home."
"Maybe," Tony quipped. "She could probably make him throw his back out."
"He didn't allow her to try, sir. He was having a growly night." Tony shook his head. "His is much deeper than Steve's is."
"No comment. Move on."
"There's been an interest in the designer to see what else he's done. A few college students have bragged that he made them jackets. His facebook thanked Dawn for the showing of his design and he forgave her for misremembering his first name at first. Apparently she sent an apology letter." Tony smiled, sipping his coffee. "He also stated he'd be putting out a small show in a few months. It was his project to graduate."
"The later pictures of you six at the club are highly liked. They called you smart to look smashing next to Pepper's goddess looks. Steve's blush was noted and most everyone thought it was cute he was shy in public. The entertainment reporters are all cooing over it and how much of a gentleman he was last night. They've mostly wished Dawn a happy birthday. That one mean fashion reporter didn't know how old she was and seemed surprised she was twenty-four instead of twenty-one. We mostly ignore her anyway. Dawn's outfit yesterday before the premiere was called cutesy. It was a new business suit and a hat. Callia had picked out the hat and she bragged about it. Callia and she were out for tea lessons. The young miss had her own suit and hat on. They all called her fashionably sensible but wondered at the dance style shoes. Callia quipped at one they were more comfortable and she didn't look like a ho. They laughed but accepted that. It was good reporting most of yesterday."
"Wonderful. No negative ones?"
"A few jealous facebook and twitter posts that they couldn't get away with wearing a sexy sheet to a movie premiere. One that complained that she upstaged the starlet of the movie. Who posted pictures of her with Dawn on her website. She said she'd have to check out his designs as well."
"That's great for him." He looked over the contract. "JARVIS, what's the present average salary of administrative assistants with Dawn's qualifications?"
"The only one I can find with her full qualifications is attached to a genius stockbroker in London and she makes approximately one-hundred-thirty-thousand a year with the conversion from Euros." He was silent for a moment. Tony had winced at that figure. "With her educational qualifications of the double masters degree they tend to average just over one-hundred-thousand with the highest being one-twenty-three after eighteen years of service and the lowest being ninety-four with her being just out of school and having just moved into her position."
"I'm so underpaying her," Tony complained. "She should've whined."
"You know she won't, sir," JARVIS said dryly.
"No, I know that." He upped that and proofread it, taking it up to Pepper for her to approve of.
Pepper smiled and fixed a few things, including her salary up. "She's walking a third masters this summer."
"In.... I know she's got the MBA and the language masters."
She smiled. "Education. She wanted to help Philip and the girls more."
"Huh. From up here?"
"NYU." She proofread the rest, making a few word changes to make it better. She printed it and handed it to him. "Here you go. For when you show up."
"JARVIS, tell the trio I'll show up tomorrow for lunch so I'm not interrupting the happy birthday stuff."
"I have and she said that's fine, sir."
"Great." He left that on Pepper's desk so none of the kids could get it. He called up pictures from the tea yesterday, printing them down to put in Callia's album. Steve would be tickled about those.
Tony pulled up at the house, getting out of the car. He heard Dawn squealing and winced. "I have bad timing," he decided, walking around to the back. They were in the pool and Clint had just pulled Dawn in apparently. She was spluttering and splashing him while the kids watched. Tony flopped down into a lounge chair, watching them play.
"Hey, boss," Dawn quipped. "He's mean and he dunked me."
"He wanted to see how good you held your breath," he quipped.
Dawn cackled, splashing water toward him but not hard enough to hit him. "Nice one."
"The kids are still sleeping, you two," Natasha said with a smile. "Thankfully."
Tony smiled at her. "Won't sleep?"
"No, they will and often do. Philip was worn out so he's next to them." She pointed at the lounge chair under the umbrella.
Clint leaned on the side of the pool. "I see a suspicious bit of paperwork."
"That's her contract." He stared at Dawn. "If you had told me, I would've done it sooner."
"I got my birthday off, boss." She grinned. He snorted but smiled back. She got out and his eyes went wide behind his sunglasses. Dawn put on a robe thankfully. She took the contract to look over. "I got a raise?"
"Third masters?" he demanded.
"Um... yeah, I walk it in another month, boss." He rolled his eyes and shook his head. "The kids might need it."
"Third?" Natasha demanded.
Both spouses groaned. They hadn't seen her doing that.
"I mostly did it on lunch breaks." She looked over it. "I get a gun budget?"
"More of a bullet and range fees budget but yes. I also upped your clothing one so you could quit wearing sexy sheets as everyone called it."
She smiled. "Should see the black one, boss. I look like my evil empress self dressed up."
"I bet." He stared at him. "If I wasn't firmly with Pepper and Steve, I might've started chasing you like I did her."
She leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. "I'd demand you come out of the lab more often, Tony."
"Good point." She read the last few and signed it, handing it back. "When are you coming back?"
"Next week." She smiled. "It's tradition I get the new contract week off."
"It is," he agreed. "Where are you guys going?"
"Beach time." She smiled. "We're water testing my new bikinis."
He just nodded. "I'll warn Pepper and your mother." He stood up. "Carry on, kids." He fled when she took off her robe to show she was not only topless but breastfeeding Philip had not made her sag hardly at all. She still had the enhanced butt too. She was deadly to a man's self control. Pepper really needed a long lunch when he got back. She'd agree with him if JARVIS showed her pictures.
"Good thing we heard the car and managed bottoms," Clint said, sliding out of his. Natasha got out of hers after checking on the napping children. They probably had an hour and they needed to finish their Dawn wooing plans. That or they needed a nanny now and then so their Dawn wooing plans could take a few hours.
Natasha glided over, pinning Dawn to the wall. "Naughty."
"Clint threw my top over there," she said with a point. "I didn't have time to summon it or anything." She took a kiss and smiled. "Next time don't let him do that."
"Mommy?" Philip complained, rubbing his eyes. Fog started around the top of the pool. "That's cool."
"I'll teach you how to do it some day, son," she said, avoiding Clint's hand on her butt. Natasha's hand got swatted under the water. Which gave Clint's hand a chance to move up her thigh and into cupping her butt. She swatted back at him. "Go back to sleep, Philip."
"Not sleepy." He grinned a shy grin. "We swim?"
"Sure, let us find our suits." He giggled and found Dawn's top for her. It was sparkly and he liked sparkly things. They got redressed and brought him in to teach him how to swim.
The adults could have their fun later. Afternoon naptime was a great thing too as long as the girls didn't want to play.
Clint stared at Dawn later that night. She was tied to the bed. She was naked. She was a bit sweaty because Natasha had been teasing them both while he had taken care of the kids. "What about a nanny?" he asked.
Dawn blinked at him. "Way to change the topic."
"No, it's on topic. That way we get more naked alone time."
"Sure, if you want to pay for one," Dawn quipped with a grin. "I pay for the housekeeper."
"We can do that," he decided. "We'll look at former agents tomorrow." He stripped off the clothes he had put on to go change the girls. They were into simultaneous diaper dirtying at the moment. He heard Philip go 'eww' and pulled back on the clothes so he could check on them. Yup, that was gross. By the time the girls were back in bed, Natasha had worn herself out and Dawn was a mass of needy nerves. He closed the door and locked it then stripped down. He made sure his hands were clean after the last diaper change. He had washed them but one had to be careful. Then he shrugged and laid down so he could lick Dawn clean enough to dirty her up again. Dawn squealed and he smiled. He liked that reaction. "Nat a bit rough?" he teased.
"Yup," she panted. "Bit tender too."
Clint moaned into her body, taking advantage of that. It was great when Natasha got Dawn first. That meant he got the really hot and needy times. He got to hear all the loudness he craved.
Clint was watching the sun rise with Philip and Shamira, who had wanted to eat so woke up her brother, who had pounded on their door. His phone rang with a text message. //There's no way that wasn't for my amusement, little brother.//
Clint sent one back. //No, Dawn enjoys it like that. All day every day if I'm home and she's not busy. We have it so fantastic not even online porn can do it justice.// He thumbed over his apps, getting into the tracing app. That helped when he uploaded the first text message. It automatically uploaded it to SHIELD's database to trace it.
//No woman is that loud for real. Faking it?//
//Not likely with how deep I was in her. She's loud and I like that about Dawn.//
//Her birthday was the day before and we were on assignment.// His phone beeped with a second message, telling him where he was. He corrected it and got where Barney was a minute later. Then one saying SHIELD agents were on their way.
//You couldn't buy her a real present?// You could almost hear the sneer.
//Yeah, I did. She adored it and I got a huge thank you present in my lap for it. Dawn likes to reward good things.// Barney went silent so he guessed he had gotten captured or escaped. He'd find out which one later. Secreva would tell him.
Dawn smiled at the man she was there to harass and humble. She shot the tiny magical arrow at him, pinning his ankle. It had a message around it even. She disappeared before anyone could panic.
Barney held his ankle, getting out of view. "Fucking nutso brother," he complained. He yanked out the bolt and stared at it. The paper wrapped around it made him sneer and take it off.
//Remember, I can get you anywhere, any time, in a number of ways. No matter where you are I can track you, hunt you, and make you sorry. This time I won't try to spare Clint the grief of a funeral.//
The paper burned in his hand, making him yelp and stomp it out. The potion that had been on it burned his hand as the fire went out. It had been heat activated. He limped off to buy some water to wash it off. There wasn't anywhere with a public bathroom nearby. He'd get that bitch. He really would.
Gamble landed on the back porch from a nearby tree, looking at Clint, who was half asleep with Lexi on his chest watching the sunset. She had been whiny and wanted some fresh air. "Your wife's mean. I had no idea she was that good."
Clint stared at him. "Dawn, what did you do today when you were taking that suspiciously long shower?" he called.
"Um, taunting your brother, dear." She leaned out, smiling at Gamble. "Hi."
"You're damn scary."
She grinned. "Thank you. Is he in the ER for the burn?"
"Went earlier. And for the hole in his ankle."
She laughed, making him shiver. "I was proving I could get him anywhere." She pulled back in. "Let me get you a diaper for her, Clint."
"Sure." He looked down at the baby. "Yeah, you need one." She had peed so much his shirt was damp too. He looked at his half-brother and shrugged. "I didn't know."
"Want me to talk to him?"
"If you want. He's the clone of the original." Gamble shuddered. "Yeah, but he died for trying to take the kids from Dawn when I shoved him out a window."
"That's a good reason to kill him." He walked off, going to get the surveillance van. The magnet on the side erased everything in there and made the guys scream when the squealing went through their headphones. He loved fucking with his former coworkers. He had stuck something on the engine earlier to disable it before going to talk to his half-brother.
Dawn walked out with some cups of tea. "Here, boys. You must be thirsty with how long you're in here." She smiled at them. "Who thinks I'm dangerous now?"
"Everyone," they said.
She smiled. "Thank you. It means more people won't come for my kids." She strolled back inside. Suddenly all their listening devices no longer worked. They worked when they got thrown out the gate but not inside it. They reported that to the boss. He wasn't happy that they had been ordered to listen to their family. The higher ups were nibbling on him though. He was even less happy that it had been Gamble that had disabled the van.
Pepper looked at the board, who were having fits again. "Honestly, would you rather have less profits or more?" she asked finally to stop the whining going on. They all stared at her. "Seriously, people. In the last four years we've had more profits than ever before, even when we were selling multi-million dollar weapons systems. We're making a good bit more now than we were then. Yes, those scientists you were complaining about us hiring are integral to that."
"What does the Shield division really do? We never see a profit from them."
"You can't sell those publically," Tony said from his seat. "You sell those privately and to places like cities. So if there's a huge battle, they can guard things like hospitals." They all shuddered. "Which was the intent when we started that unit. They've gotten a lot of bigger and smaller things done. Including some that are able to stop cars from hitting you if you're Dawn." They all moaned. He grinned. "We've made a pretty decent profit from them. We didn't expect huge profits from that division, we expected them to be a necessary thing in today's world. There's been plenty of buildings we've been slammed into by demon and alien invasions, not to mention Doom's thing about shooting at a research facility downtown. We're back-ordered on those and they're still developing quicker, faster, and stronger shields. Some that are house sized, some that are building sized, some that are human sized. It's good for people. I don't judge that one like I do the medical research unit."
"No, we don't," Pepper agreed. "Though they're running a bit slowly right now."
"They're in testing of three different things for submission," Tony said. "I'm going to let that go because they can't really do a lot while they're testing those and then they'll submit to the FDA for approval for bigger testing." Pepper nodded. "That one takes cycles like that due to testing. I could hire a full second team instead of the backup research team that's working on new ideas while the rest are testing things but that's a bit expensive at the moment." Pepper nodded, making that note.
"What about that duo of crackpot researchers of yours?" one of the board asked. "The ones who tinker with Roombas."
Tony grinned and pulled up a file, sending it to a virtual screen in front of her. "That's what they're working on right now. Not practical for sales but it's innovation that can go to something else that can be sold." He smiled. "We take a lot of their stuff and use it as a base for something else." They all stared. He smiled. "The medical research team watched over their shoulder for the cell-splitting laser testing and then took it to make it into something for tumors."
"That would be handy and a lot of people would like that," Pepper said.
"Which is good. So they do more than the Roombas?"
"They've been teaching Callia," Tony said dryly. "Lasers out," he called. Most of them popped out. He had disabled the ones that pointed at his, Pepper's, and Dawn's seats. He pointed at them. "Callia decided she was going to protect the building that held her name too." They all moaned. "She got some industrial spies that way. Lasers in." They went back into the ceiling. "They taught her about lasers and how to make lasers. She tinkered them into place without us knowing."
"Your daughter's going to need someone to run the company for her because she gets lost like you do?" one of the older people on the board suggested. Pepper and Tony both smiled and nodded. "Wonderful."
"We think Liz might help. Or Dawn," Tony said. "She'll be here until Liz is in college at least, we hope. Pending her having to run from the US or someone again."
Pepper shuddered. "At least she's got the projection system working in one house. We can tinker the others so she can do it virtually."
"There is that," Tony agreed.
"Like working from home by projection?" one of them asked.
"Yes. That way she can still get to all the departments to check on people, make sure they've eaten, gather reports," Pepper said with a smile. "We're going to start holding some meetings that way so none of us have to travel as much."
"Wow," one of them said. "Are we selling that?"
"We're testing it internally," Tony said with a smile. "In a few years. Next Stark Expo, the one in two years."
"There's one next year," Pepper said, looking at him. "You miscounted, Tony."
He grinned. "We can give a preview of it and start it off for meetings the next year." She nodded, making that note. "The approval board for that needs to meet soon."
"That's Wednesday of next week," Pepper said. "I know the boys and medical are going to be putting up the laser system and a few other things. They're testing that shrink ray on tissue to see if it can be used the same way if they can make it smaller." He nodded, making himself that note. "The fact that it wore off after six days was seen as a good thing and they can hopefully use that for those large tumors that you see on the Discovery Channel that take over a person's body and weigh more than they do."
"I've seen one of those shows. Shrink ray?"
Tony grinned. "Yup. They were tinkering with their kids. It worked well when they tested it on some of the Roomba. Another one had to be rebuilt because it sucked them up and exploded when they regrew after six days." He looked at Pepper. "We've got that alternative engine we have *got* to test. It's fallen beside the road a few times."
"Build a car with it to test," she said with a smile. "Callia wants one."
"I'm going to make hers with her. Teach her how to do it the traditional way." He considered it. "We can get a tester car and put it in there." He made a note. "A coupe would probably be a good place to start. Or a sedan. Pretty middle of the road. Maybe a Ford since they're technically an American company, even if a lot of their shops are now overseas. Mostly middle of the road gas mileage too," he said as he looked it up. "A Focus should do. And cheaply." One of the board cleared her throat so he smiled at her. "Sean, when he was a baby, wanted cars to run on goat power. When the kids went to Asgard Callia and I worked on his alternative engine idea to make her feel better. It's pretty decent. We're still tweaking some things."
"His father's Asgardian and he loves Thor's chariot goats," Pepper said with a smile.
"Oh," most of the board said and nodded.
"Ours is stronger than the Tesla Dawn drives, or the Prius' engine," Tony said. "We like the idea a lot and Chris loves engines so he can help."
"What does Liz like?" one asked Pepper.
"Being evil." She smiled. "She'll be the evil Stark." They all smiled back. "She likes art. Chris likes art but Liz likes to touch art, babble at art, try to recolor some of her father's artwork because she thinks it's boring." They mostly laughed. "We're letting the kids be whatever they want to be. Liz likes to hang out with Steve because he's teaching her how to draw. Chris likes fast things and cars."
"And rockets," Tony added then sighed and shook his head. "I unpowered the rocket powered roller skates."
"Thanks," Pepper said, smiling at him and patting him on the arm. "What about Callia's street racing stuff?"
"In the weapons locker so none of them can get it." Pepper beamed at him for that bit of sense. The board were smiling at them. "We've also banished Red Bull again."
"I saw her drinking Mountain Dew the other day," Pepper said with a smile.
"Damn. I don't want her to become a caffeine whore already." Pepper snickered. "No comment about my coffee habit. I've had it since I was fourteen."
"Fine." She looked at the others again. "We had to ban Red Bull because not only Callia was drinking it but she'd get tired of Chris hanging around and give him some. A toddler on Red Bull is a *bad* thing." They all nodded that was a bad thing. They couldn't even imagine a baby Stark on Red Bull.
"Then she gives Liz sugar," Tony complained. "So I have two of them that can't do anything but run around in circles squealing at each other."
"You could put it as no caffeine products for those under eighteen," one of the board suggested.
"We have two computer interns who are sixteen and live on it. Dawn has to remind them that a diet has to consist of more than caffeinated liquids," Pepper said then sighed. "They're both very nice young women, programmers, but they complain that she moms them about not eating."
"They both look anorexic so I dragged them to the caf and sat them in front of full plates of food then stood over them until they ate," Tony said. "Warned them I'd tell their parents. Then I told them how I used to live on a liquid diet too and look what I kept getting into trouble for doing." He shook his head. "We'll have to remind half of Chemistry and those two to eat this week since Dawn's off."
"We will. I'll have Callia do it," Pepper said. "That way she's out and about with the geeks."
"Dawn's off this week?" the head of the board asked.
"It's new contract week. She gets it off by tradition," Tony said with a grin. "They're playing with the kids in the pool."
"That's good. Should we look over any new contract stipulations?" she asked.
"No," Tony said with a smile. "I found out we underpay Dawn by what others doing her job get." They all groaned. "So we upped that. I upped her clothing allowance and her gun budget." They all stared. "She needs the range time. We give her a clothing budget because we do make her go to events with us."
"We saw the premiere's pictures," the head of the board said, smiling at Pepper. "You looked fantastic."
"Thank you. Dawn helped me pick that out. Hers was a bit flirty but she looked stunning."
"She did," Tony agreed. "Steve wanted to draw her."
"I heard a lot of nice comments about that outfit, even though it was a bit...weird," the head of the board said.
Pepper smiled. "She's twenty-four and she was taking the focus off me for the night. That way no one would speculate if I had lost all the baby weight or not." They nodded. The board were mostly guys so they wouldn't understand.
"Only one suggested you still needed to lose some baby weight but it was one of the cows that no one really pays attention to," Tony said, patting her on the hand. "The same one who thought Dawn was twenty-one and she looked like a gothic advertisement for sex."
"I never listen to her either," Pepper agreed. "She usually looks really bad. Plus *way* too much plastic surgery."
"Something you and Dawn will never do," Tony agreed, because it made Pepper beam at him and they'd have a long lunch after this. He looked at the others. "Anything else to note?"
"This year's audit?"
"Finally got done by the real auditors who weren't looking for secrets to sell because they decided their paychecks were pitiful," Tony said dryly. "They don't know why they do it every year but they're going to protest having to do it again. Especially since we had them in here with an armed guard and the ceiling lasers their coworkers had been hit by." He laughed and smiled. "They were not amused and the IRS complained but I pointed out that the first and second group they sent in both tried shit. They didn't like that. So maybe not next year."
"We can only hope. It'd be a lot easier," Pepper complained. She shook her head.
"Why do they want the projected budget and the actual for the prior year?" one of the board asked.
"To see how on-target we were and what we expected to happen versus expenditures," Pepper said. "They compare that to this year's to give them a better projection. Which usually looks a lot like our projected one." That got a nod. "We're usually pretty close outside of emergencies, the infirmary, and the building funds if there's something like a bigger earthquake."
"Or the employee comfort category for things like new board games this year," Tony said. "We've restarted the corporate bowling and a few other leagues. We have a monthly picnic and geek play day on the land we're not using yet."
"We had to up the caf because they needed some new equipment," Pepper added. "One of the stoves couldn't pass inspection and they couldn't get it fixed so we had to get a new one and one of the freezers was starting to fail. It was twelve years old though." Tony nodded. "Plus the daycare got added on in the last year and a bit so that upped from the projection."
"I like the daycare," the head of the board said. "Especially since you straightened out all the problems."
Tony smiled. "So do we. It means we can all go back to work and Callia doesn't have to spend more baby play dates with them when she wants to be in the lab or practicing music."
Dawn strolled in wearing camp shorts and a nice enough looking button up shirt, with espadrilles that tied up her ankle. Her hair was back in a pony tail. "Sorry to intrude. You wanted to taste the tithe from the farms and it just came in, boss." She put down the box in front of him and Pepper with a smirk. "That's everything but the wines. That's in the car and heavy. I'm having a guard bring it in."
Tony looked at the contents, moving the cold pack. He sniffed the first cheese and nibbled then moaned. "Oh, that's good but has to age."
She smiled. "I know. I kept the people that know what they're doing there. Most of them didn't think they could keep up the good quality at the higher price they'd have to charge but we've worked out all that. So that's going to start being shown to actual cooks in a few months, once it's aged a bit. The other cheese is a blue cheese type of goat's cheese." He tried that and nodded, sharing it with Pepper. She smiled. "My people do good work." She took the box of wine bottles from the guard. "Thanks, Harvey."
"Welcome, Dawn. Did you buy them lunch?"
"I bought a few farms that needed the investment. This is their first year's product." She let him taste something with a smile.
"That's really nice. My wife would like that."
"It's got to age," Tony said.
Dawn nodded. "So probably in a few months. Not sure where we'll be marketing it yet but I thought it was spectacular." He smiled. She put down the bottles for them. "The four wines we make from the Belgian farm and the two from France's, which are very limited. It's more for the house's use instead of mass production. Maybe sixty bottles a year."
Tony looked at them. "Huh. We'll try those later." Dawn grinned. "Nicely done. The one in New Zealand?"
"Horses and only horses. Craig said the yearling sale went *very* well and they're loving our bloodlines. We bought two new studs from other lines on his suggestion. One other mare as well. The pony's missing the kids." Tony smiled. "We'll see what happens." She winked at Pepper. "Let me get back to my week off. Natasha's making the kids cookies so I can steal a few." She strolled out.
Tony handed Pepper the white wine, she liked it more. She read it and looked at it in the light. "Nicely filtered and bottled," she said, putting it back into the padded box. "We can test those for our lunch." Tony smiled. She looked at the board. "Dawn does do some investments." They all sighed. "We taught her *very* well."
Tony nodded. "Very well. Even if this is her version of Farmville or something."
The head of the board shook her head. "Dawn does a lot around here too."
Tony nodded. "Half of the geeks would've starved to death if it wasn't for her. Me too." They laughed and the meeting broke up. Tony and Pepper took their tithe to the office to try them. They liked them; when they were aged they'd be great. Dawn had made good choices, even if they weren't sure why she had invested in a fish farm. She usually hated those.
Dawn walked into the house and around the officer. "Hi," she quipped. "Which one are you here to bother?"
"You, Mrs. Summers." He smiled.
"Are you here to apologize for the idiot officer that arrested me when he broke into my house and found me naked?"
"No," he said, losing his smile.
"Are you here to complain that the kids have been a bit noisy when we've had them in the pool?"
"No," he said a bit more carefully.
She smiled. "Then why are you here to see me?"
"You have weapons."
"I have permission to have weapons." She pointed at the wall. "Because people like to snatch my ass and try to snatch my kids." She grinned. "Me having weapons stops some of them. Or it lets me stop them so you guys can wonder why in the fuck they upset me."
He walked over to look at it and sighed. "That's a presidential order."
"Yes, it is," she agreed with a grin. "You guys have a copy of that on file just like the NYPD does. So does the CHP and the Malibu PD." She stared at him. "All the surrounding PD's have a copy of that letter on file and I'm usually even nice enough to let SWAT borrow something if the commander comes to charm me a tiny bit. We keep a few things on hand for people like the van that busted in through the gate when I was pregnant and on bed rest."
"Let me make sure we have that on file, ma'am. The higher ups didn't tell us that."
"Hmm, and your police commissioner is part of the group that thinks Tony Stark's starting a new Illuminati and is also part of a group or two that thinks people like me should be conscripted." The officer shuddered. "Yeah, what I'd do to the people holding me hostage? Even the ME's would be green with grossness. You can use either porch to call." He went out front to make that call. She smiled at Nat. "Cookies?" She handed over one with a slight smirk. Dawn smiled. "I think it's great the president is part of the same group. I really do have to ask Tony if I can tell others about that yet." She walked off nibbling to check on the girls. They were napping and Philip was in there napping with them. So were Tara's older two, Melissa and John. She came out and pointed.
"She and Maria are having a *lunch*," Clint said from where he was laying on the couch. "We have the younger set of twins in the other room." He took a kiss. "Ask Stark if you can tell others about that. They're starting election stuff."
"I saw. The ads annoyed me already. I hate 'please vote for me instead' ads. They're usually full of shit." She walked off to find her phone and text that to Pepper and Tony.
The officer came back in. "He found our copy." Clint grinned. "We've had someone add a notice to our system that she's actually an agent with SHIELD?"
"Special adjunct since she's an adjunct Avenger," Clint said.
"Oh, okay." He repeated that into his phone then hung up. "The boss is very sorry. He did want to talk about how our van got disabled?"
"That would be my half-brother," Clint said with a tiny smirk. "He came to see why Dawn was fighting with the clone of my brother earlier that day."
She came back out to get another cookie, getting her hand swatted by Natasha. Dawn kissed her on the cheek and looked at the officer. "He tried to snatch the kids from Stark Tower right after the girls were born. I was merciful at that time. Now.... hell no."
"I saw that on the news," the officer said, going a bit pale.
Dawn smiled. "We'd call to have you pick him up. We'd never make you guys deal with a super villain on your own."
"That's very nice of you, ma'am. The boss also wanted to know about the shields we have on order?"
"I can text Stark to call him." She did that. She got one back. Then a second one. "He said they're in final testing to make sure they're safe and reliable, have him show up tomorrow to talk about it." She looked up. "The last I knew he was free from ten to one and then from four on."
"I can pass that on, ma'am, thank you." He nodded and left. He went back to tell the bosses that. Then he started an online petition to make the super heroes and super villains leave LA and New York alone, citing the amount of damage that's been done and how many people have gotten injured or killed. If they'd pick a great, nearly empty place outside the cities they'd like that. Most people would. He checked a few hours later and found all the Avengers had signed and put a note of 'we will if they will' next to Captain Rogers' name. Plus a few bigger reporter names so hopefully it would get passed around.
Dawn strolled up to a reporter she knew. They were hanging out waiting for someone famous to get out of lunch. She cleared her throat. "Paul?" He flinched, staring at her. "Let's go talk."
"I haven't taken pictures of you in weeks!" he defended, seeing Clint behind her. He looked scary and emotionless behind his sunglasses.
"Not that, sweetie. I don't mind you guys taking pictures of me most of the time. No, I have something that got ...found. I think your boss will want it." He blinked at her. "What's the greatest speculation about?"
"The new petition to get you guys to fight outside the cities?"
"We'd love that if they'd agree," Clint assured him. "Think...evil."
Dawn held up an envelope. "C'mere." He walked over. His camera guy got waved off by Clint so he stayed there. Dawn leaned against the hood of their truck, letting him have the envelope. "That's what I found about that Starkinati rumors," she said very quietly. "Tony said we can *quietly* make that known to stop the bullshit. Because I'm better than a distraction at any given point in time. Pepper and I would be the figureheads." She smiled. "I can be a Caesar."
"Dawn," Clint complained. "I'm tired. Working the bad ideas out.... even Nat's tired."
Dawn blew a kiss. "I'm going out tonight, even if you're tired." He growled. She smiled. "Pepper and I agreed already." She looked at the reporter again. "We know you work for legitimate people." She flipped to the membership list. He read and moaned. She smiled. "That's what started all the shit with the FBI," she said quietly. "All the shit with the president. All the shit with the LAPD. With why my brother-in-law was cloned." Clint cleared his throat and shook his head. "Sorry, didn't say that."
"Yeah, I don't care about that but if I see Barney I'll warn you guys. I remember why he died."
Dawn nodded. "So do I and I was merciful then." She smiled. The reporter shivered. "Watch me this time." She patted him on the cheek. "Get that to someone legitimate *quietly* that doesn't hear it came from me. Okay? Can't lead back to Stark at all. You can tell them it's about the kids. There's a story on the back." He flipped to that and moaned, nodding. They'd like that. It had cleared up rumors. She winked and got into the truck. Clint got in to drive, making Dawn shift over but she only rolled her eyes.
The reporter walked back to the group. "Stark wanted it quietly known that Callia has picked a college. It is one of the two that he's recently given to, and she'll be taking day classes at school because she's one credit from graduating high school. So they're having to hold her back. Which is making her pouty."
"Awww," they said, smiling at each other so they could call that in. That was kinda big news. Why he had more papers they'd probably hear later. They knew the signs of 'no one can know where this came from' and they'd keep it quiet because Dawn could give out future intel if they did. They liked it when their victims cooperated.
Tony was kicked back that night watching _Entertainment Tonight_ when the news story broke about Callia. She huffed. "It's a cover," he told her quietly. "So we could get out bigger stuff quietly."
"That's fine. I'm sure they won't mind."
Tony shook his head. "It'll mean a lot more applications for their engineering program. I already checked with your advisor and told him why." She smiled. They were going on about how smart Callia was, even achieving more than her father had at that age. "Yeah, yeah, I slacked," Tony grumbled. Pepper came out putting in earrings. "Where are you going all dressed up and do you need a bodyguard? I make a splendid one."
She leaned down to kiss him. "Dawn and I are having a girls night out." She kissed Callia on the head. "Do your homework." She strolled out, getting into the waiting car. Dawn had her car and no spouses or kids. It was good to run away from the kids now and then. And the overly possessive spouses.
Tony shook his head. ET just broke the story of the Starkinati rumors. They had apparently done some extra checking that Dawn hadn't. They were mentioning people who were involved on the fringes and why so many had been busted by SHIELD.
"Starkinati. I like that," Callia said with a smile for her father.
"Until they accuse you of it," he quipped.
She grinned and went to get her tablet to do her homework. "Dad, someone's hacking me."
He rushed in to stop that and save her idea files. It wasn't on this tablet but the other had better security. He locked both out of the wifi and found the virus they had tried to upload. He and the AI worked to end it. They had meant to upload it from her tablet to the main system during the nightly updating and backing up. Her idea files got copied off in hardcopy with dates on them. Just in case someone tried to claim them on her. Engineering was like that at times, that's why there were industrial spies.
Callia looked at the judge a few hours later. Tony had found out who had done it and filed an injunction from them using it, sharing it, or working on any of her ideas. "No, Your Honor, they're mine. Not my father's."
"You're a child."
"I'm a Stark," she said bluntly, making him shiver. "I've been designing things on my own with only peer review since I was five." She handed over the index file. "That is from my computer earlier tonight. We found someone hacking into my homework one and printed that plus plans." She handed over that file so he could compare them. She handed over the tablet. "That's the originals." He read them over, frowning at the other lawyer. "I may be young, but I've only got one credit left in my high school time. I've been designing things on my own half of my life then had adults check them to give me ideas if I ran into problems. That's how we roll at Stark."
The judge looked at her. "You're a bit strange and probably dangerous."
"No, I took self defense because there's people who want me because of who I am and what I can do. I'm only dangerous to them, Your Honor." Tony patted her on the shoulder.
"There were a few notable kidnaping attempts, Your Honor," Tony said quietly. "We made sure she could handle it until help got there."
"I find that reasonable," the judge admitted. He looked at the other lawyer. "How did you get these plans?"
"Our people made them, Your Honor. Maybe she hacked us."
"Faulty thinking, dude. I don't hack yet," Callia said dryly. "I never wanted to learn how to program. I prefer components and that sort of things." The lawyer blinked at her. "If I did, do you think I'd have JARVIS watching me all the time? Because I know he does." Tony nodded. "I'd have mine doing that and playing my music, plus keeping my nosy siblings and father out of my lab." She looked at the judge, handing over another set of papers. "There's a further complication to their BS this time, Your Honor."
He read over that report, blinking. "How is this related?"
"It's their company. He's the CEO," Callia said dryly. "Apparently he's pouty that I called him a creepy guy."
"I'd call that creepy," the judge said, looking at the other lawyer. "She handed me a report made to the LAPD about inappropriate presents including jewelry and sexy clothes?"
"I know nothing of that," he said, sounding honest. He took it to read, blinking at it. "I haven't seen anything on this though it is our CEO." He found pictures attached and an estimated worth on them. "I've seen that necklace in the office once."
"I saw it and it freaked me out," Callia quipped. "Because I'm not into old guys who like them underaged."
"Daughter," Tony warned.
"Frank but a bit too blunt," the judge said, glaring at her.
"Hey, I had a freakout so hard, even Grandpa Bruce went Hulk," she said bluntly. "Grandma scared the Hulk so much he handed over us grandkids when she showed up swearing and backed away from her. You're lucky I'm modulating my language at all about the creepy stuff. To quote my aunt when she was sixteen about a sheik: eww, not into that." Tony snickered, shaking his head. "Apparently all Summers women have creepy guys who want us. Grandma had her first husband, who was worthless and a cheater. People keep trying to steal Auntie Dawn. My mom had Angel, and kinda Spike, and Riley and what's his name at the college that I found out about when I asked her. Now it's my turn to get the creepy guys." She looked at the other lawyer. "If you so much as *think* about using one of my designs, I'm *so* going to the world court as well. I may be young but I'm not stupid. I have patents and trademarks on my name, on my designs, including three of those, and I update it weekly. That's my major allowance expenditure. That and Red Bull." Tony swatted her. "Not like I can't prove they're mine."
"You have them trademarked?" the judge asked, looking confused. She nodded. "Why?"
"Because of people like him and industrial spies," she said with a point at the other lawyer. "They've come after a Stark before. We get one every few years and I know not to leave my stuff unprotected. I have stuff trademarked with a few people that have helped me and I have a lot trademarked on my own."
"Huh," he said, nodding. "Do you have the forms on that?" She pulled that up on her tablet. He looked them over, checking the plans against what she had. "She does." The other lawyer sighed. He looked at him. "Erase what you stole, kid." He handed it back to Callia. She tucked them into her bag. "Miss Stark, I find that they're yours and the injunction is granted."
"Thank you, Your Honor," she said with a curtsey. He smiled. She looked at her father. "I deserve a milkshake for not smiting him like Uncle Thor." Tony snorted, but walked out with her. "I can buy."
"You can, yes. Then we're going to talk about the trademark thing, daughter. We have a guy who handles that for Stark and we pay for it."
"Really? Huh, then I can get a refund?"
"I could use some new clothes."
"You could. You're still growing." They shared a look once they got outside, putting on their sunglasses even though it was nearly dark. There were reporters waiting.
Callia stared at them before following her father. "People, we're heading for a milkshake because we just defeated the creepy guy's new plan to try to get me on his side. Do you mind?" They stared, just taking a few pictures. "I'm beautiful, I know that, but really?" They got out of the way. She walked down the stairs, taking her father's arm.
"What creepy guy?" one of the reporters called. "Are we talking like a pervert?"
"Ask the LAPD," she quipped with a grin for them. "And about what they just tried to do to *my* designs." She got into the car since Happy was holding the door. "Dad, milkshake," she reminded him when he didn't climb in.
"Guys, don't stalk the kids," he ordered. They backed off a few steps. "Thanks. We'd like the kids to grow up as normally as possible, even if they are super geniuses and the like." He got into the car after his daughter called out for him. He looked at her. "Sometimes you turn into your aunt. It still makes me proud." She hugged him. The reporters who heard that smiled and reported that as well. The rest were on their way to City Hall to bother the police commissioner.
The LAPD spokesman was alerted by a phone call so he had looked it up before he came out to make a statement. The reporters set up to listen to him. "Approximately three months ago, Callia Stark was the recipient of a large present shipped from London. In it were adult sized clothing meant for her and jewelry. Along with a note telling her to wear it when they met on her eighteenth birthday. Tracing back the owner was done by someone at Stark International, who also alerted us so they could make a report. It was valued about approximately six thousand in jewels and another fifteen thousand in couture clothes." A few reporters winced. "At that time, the whole of Stark International and most of SHIELD, especially the Avengers Initiative, huddled around her to protect her and help us locate the person who had sent it. That person is the CEO of an engineering firm in Norway. We have been in talks with their people to have him handed over to face charges of stalking through international mail."
"What about earlier?" one called.
"According to the brief filed when I called over, someone was found to have hacked Callia Stark's work tablet and had downloaded a good portion of her design work. I'm not sure what sort of designs they are beyond probably something mechanical as she's shown a gift for that sort of work. I'm told that Stark International and she personally filed an injunction against the same company stealing her work to sell, use, or tinker with. Which was granted." The reporters took that down as well. "As of this moment, we are working to get said individual here to face a proper jury trial. We will be adding these new charges to the old one if they presented enough proof to warrant the new charges. Any other questions, please ask Stark International. Thankfully, they're letting us handle it."
"Sir, which company?"
"We are not naming them as we're sure that most of their people are decent individuals, unlike their CEO. Mr. Stark himself said that he didn't want the company harassed for the actions of their CEO. It's not fair to them and he said most of them are respectable engineers."
"So just the CEO and maybe his lawyer are involved?"
"As far as we can tell. Yes."
"Are they part of that Starkinati plot?" another asked.
"The what?" the spokesman asked.
"There's been a few people who have been moving to manufacture proof that Tony Stark was starting a new version of the Illuminati in a world-takeover bid. They've manufactured enough evidence that even the President and the FBI were involved and implicated in helping them."
"I haven't heard a thing about that and I'd hope no LAPD officer was involved."
"Even the one that arrested Dawn Summers in her own home for having just gotten out of a shower when he broke in illegally?" another reporter asked.
The spokesman looked at him. "He got fired. As soon as we found out why, and the charge was dropped against her by the appellate judge, he got fired." They smiled. "It set a bad precedent. It's not legal by our codes. He was fired for misconduct with his badge." They nodded, taking that down. "Anything else?"
"How long before the pervert gets handed over?"
"We're hoping later this week. As I said, we're talking with them. The Prosecutor's office is very optimistic that they're going to hand him over soon. They're asking to hold off so they can see if he's done anything similar to victims in their country, which would precede charges here as they would be actual victims instead of attempted ones." He stepped back. "Have a better night, people. And please do not ask us to fix any tickets you incurred while standing here this time."
He went back inside to talk to his boss. His boss had been watching. "Starkinati?" he asked quietly. The commissioner turned to another reporter on FOX News going off on that. They both watched and the spokesman shuddered. "I'm glad I don't work for them." He went back to his own office to answer any emails on that topic. What a cluster fuck. Maybe Stark would move to New York full time? He'd heard they had a nice place in North Dakota. North Dakota would probably love all the new tech jobs. Plus no more super villains in downtown LA.
Dawn looked up from her dancing with Pepper to find two people staring at them. One she knew pretty well. The other she was going to kill. She smirked at the one she knew, who finally closed his mouth. She nudged Pepper and mouthed something, getting a dirty look. Pepper glanced over and sighed. Dawn pulled Ethan out to dance with Pepper. "Here, protect her for me, Hunt." She strolled off looking casually nice. The other target realized she had spotted him and was trying to get out. She caught him and pulled something from her bra to tease him with. She ran a finger up his neck, making him shiver. "Naughty Barton. Your brother is so much smoother at that." She went to the bar to get her and Pepper a drink, taking one of the handiwipes from the jar up there to wipe off her hand and the sweat on her throat. The bartender smiled. She carried the drinks out there after paying for them, handing Pepper hers. Ethan was still staring at her. She smiled. "What?"
"I don't want to know what you're doing."
"Girls night. He's at home hellion sitting for us and Tara." She sipped her fruity non-alcoholic drink. Ethan walked off shivering. She winked at Pepper, who laughed. "All fixed."
"Subtle, thank you." They watched as a bouncer ran for a guy that was having a seizure against the doorway. "You?" Dawn shook her head. Barney was staring at the guy. He looked frozen. "Her ray?"
"Nope." Dawn smirked.
Pepper shivered. "Quit going bad girl, Dawn."
"I try so hard, Pepper, but sometimes a girl's gotta branch out." She smirked evilly and turned to see who had grabbed her. "Hi, Benji." She kissed him on the cheek, making him whimper. "Did you see the clone?"
"Barton asked us to kidnap you," he said.
"Which one?" She sipped her drink.
"Yours. The clone's an idiot." She nodded, turning back around to dance with Pepper again. Benji went to the bar to watch over them, focusing his camera on them for Clint. Though Stark had probably keyed into it by now. He didn't know that Dawn had a dress that made one think she was nearly naked in the blacklights. He wasn't sure he wanted to know why she had one. His phone rang with a text and he answered he couldn't, she wouldn't let him. Dawn's phone rang and she hit ignore by what he saw. So she was having fun. Maybe she wanted Clint to chase her? Some girls liked that.
Ethan came back from his stint in the alley calming down. "Let's get her and take her home."
"She won't let us."
Ethan looked at him. "She won't hurt us."
"Yes she will." He pointed at the still frozen clone. Ethan went to look at him. The bouncers were paying attention to him too. Ethan got him sent to the ER since he could barely find his pulse. The bouncers decided it was something in the air and had the bar shut early. The dancers pouted but with two sicknesses they didn't want to take a chance. The really hot ones were talking about where to go for now. Two of them headed out the VIP entrance and to a sports car. The guys who had been staring at them didn't quite make it out in time but apparently they had tracers on the car. The bouncers got the cops helping them to stop them in case it was a bad thing. Never could be too careful with the pretty ones.
"Her husband wanted her home," Ethan said. "We work with him now and then."
"Sir, do you have ID?"
Ethan stared at him. "I have some. Do you really need it?" The officer nodded. He pulled out his SHIELD ID to flash. The officer winced. "Can we track her now please?"
"Not without her consent or a warrant, sir. That's called stalking." He walked them off to talk to his boss. Ethan gently got free and headed off. Benji could explain things. Ethan was in disguise so they wouldn't recognize him hopefully. The officer huffed and called that in.
Benji shook his head. "He's been a covert agent for years," he said quietly. "We're really trying to get Dawn home. Her spouse wants her."
"That's still stalking, sir." He stared at him. "Are you going to try that?"
"I'm tech ops, Officer. Not like that one." Thankfully he had a fake ID set to hand over.
"Uh-huh." He took him to talk to his boss. His boss could handle the weird things. He had to see why that guy had basically went catatonic while standing up. There was no film of him in the club.
Pepper yawned. "I need to hit the bed before sun up," she called across the louder music with a smile.
"I'll give you a ride."
"Thanks." She walked out with Dawn, getting taken home. "Be safe on your drive home, Dawn," she said at the gates to the compound.
Dawn grinned. "I'm not heading home, Pepper. How silly are you? I have tomorrow off." She grinned and sped off.
"Clint seriously needs to stop that," she decided, walking inside. The guard on duty nodded at her. "Morning, guys."
"Have a good night, Ms. Potts," he said quietly.
She smiled, taking off her shoes once she was inside the building to carry them to the suite. She walked in and found Tony staring at the feed Benji had. "I'd hope you were staring at me and not Dawn."
"I was." He took a kiss as he pulled her into his lap. "Hunt's gotta be upset. She's ducked him twice now."
"Three times." She took another kiss then yawned. "I need a nap."
He smiled. "You do. And to wash all the idiot drool off you since so many were." He took her to the shower to help her clean up, then to bed to cuddle her for the few hours she had before she had to be at her desk. Pepper slept like she had before they had kids. It was good to see. They needed to do more fun things.
Clint was staring at the video feed on the bedroom tv. Natasha was crashed beside him. Clint was mostly naked, down to sleeping in boxers. He was gently stroking his stomach watching Dawn flirt. He needed to be there to flirt with her. Then again, the girls were fussy. He waited but they went back to sleep thanks to Melissa cooing at them. She liked the girls better than the twins when they were little and had fussed over them all night for him. She was a lot more like Tara than Maria, no matter how much she'd protest that.
Dawn was now by herself, which was dangerous, and still being a diva so no one danced with her. Though it could be that some moves flashed the handle of her dagger on her thigh under her dress. He considered it. Then he looked at Natasha. Then back at the screen. He wasn't sure why Hunt couldn't just pick her up and carry her off but he had complained he couldn't and Dawn had stopped him trying both times. Even trying to kidnap her from the parking lot for him hadn't worked. Dawn was apparently tougher than he had expected. Though Clint knew she was. He looked at Natasha again. She blinked up at him. "Morning."
"Morning," she said quietly, glancing at the monitor. "How long ago was that?"
"She needs to come home. It's nearly daybreak."
"She needed some fun, Nat. The same as you need alone time sometimes."
"Yes, but I don't get that much."
"You get a lot," he snorted. "Including reading in the tub time." She huffed but nodded that was true. "We should be there."
"I'm in no shape for dancing all day with her." She shifted, pulling the sheet up her shoulder and arm. "Go to her if you wish. I can handle the children. Tara will be here in a while."
He kissed her. "Thanks, Tasha." He got up to put on his favorite clubbing jeans and a t-shirt that made sure everyone knew he spent most of his free time in the gym. He left, going to find wherever Dawn was.
Natasha turned off the tv. She didn't want to watch Dawn tease others. She was exhausted and the babies would be up soon.
Clint nodded at the bouncer at the club, being stared at. "My bitch is in here." He smirked, paying the cover as he walked in. There was Dawn looking like she belonged to the music. He walked over, nudging the people behind her out of the way. He got a dirty look then a double take. He had his sunglasses on. His weapons were hidden. He pressed himself against Dawn's back, kissing her throat while keeping her from reaching for her dagger. "I wanted him to kidnap you to bring you to me," he said in her ear.
She glanced back at him. "I'm not into kidnaping fantasies. Been there, done that. Didn't do it for me."
He growled in her ear, moving with the music and her rhythm. "That's fine. We can work out a new one." He kissed her ear, dancing with her. It was nice to relax and just be Clint and Dawn again instead of their work selves or their parent selves. They needed to do this more often. "We're hiring a nanny so we get regular nights out," he said between songs an hour later. He was a bit tired but so was she. She had worn herself out. She turned to face him. "We've been ignoring us time." She nodded that was true, wrapping her arms around his neck. This song was a bit slower paced. The club was near closing down for the day. "Got anything to do today?"
"I was going to the spa."
"Does Nat know you were going to be out all day?"
"Huh. She didn't tell me." She smiled at him. "You should've told me so I wouldn't worry."
"She was probably going to tell you over breakfast when you wondered."
"Uh-huh. I spent all night watching Benji's feed, watching you get down and move, watching how hot you made others." She winked and strolled off. He followed, watching her in that dress. "When did you buy that?"
"Few weeks back. Same goth shop." She winked at him. "It looks nice in the daylight and under the blacklights I look naughty."
"Yes, you do," he said, looking her over. The dress was nearly see-through in the club lights. It reached a semi-decent length on her thigh. She had nude heels on, which were about five inches high. It was a strap sheathe dress in a nude color. He loved that on her. Her hair was off her neck to let the sweat dry. They ran into an officer outside. "Yes, Officer?"
"Ma'am, did you perhaps hit your brother-in-law with something?"
Dawn smiled. "I'd comment but there's no law against taking out clones."
"Um... I heard something about him dying. I figured they revived him." Dawn smiled and shook her head. "Damn. Is it deadly?"
"No. Just slows him down for the next eighteen hours. He was threatening the kids. I warned him that I'd be *very* mean, Officer." She plucked some lint off his arm. "I also made sure that it didn't touch anyone else."
"How did you know she did it?" Clint asked.
"Someone figured out who he was and remembered that your spouse had admitted to knowing poisons when her boss was poisoned that time, Agent Barton. His bloodwork came back clean for drugs so it was the only logical option."
"It's not a poison. Actually, it's a heart medicine that's been heated."
He walked off shaking his head to talk to his boss about that. If they needed to arrest her, they could do it later. When her overprotective, overly armed husband wasn't with her. She was a nice young woman who had magic so they'd watch her hands but Barton was dangerous. They didn't want to mess with him.
About eight, Natasha flipped on the tv. Benji was still watching them. They were at some rave. "I thought she was going to the spa," she complained. She had to change clothes. Lexi had spit up all over her. She had no idea why. She came out in something different. "Let's try this breakfast thing again," she said, staring at the girls. "Son, why doesn't Lexi like that formula?"
"Makes her spew," he said with a grin. "Cute."
"Thank you. What does she get instead?" He pointed at the cabinet. She found another can of formula opened and held it up. Their son smiled and nodded. She made that in a bottle and handed it over. Lexi liked that and she didn't spew. That made everyone happy since John had spewed with Lexi. Now he was making up for it by making extra toast. She got him some jelly to go on it, getting a grin. The others pouted so they got jelly toast too. They liked that and settled on the back porch to read to the babies. John and Melissa both needed reading practice. Natasha was a very good reader so she could help. Even if her choice of books put the kids to sleep. "No one likes my choice in books," she complained quietly, cleaning up the toy mess.
Bucky came around the house, staring at her. "Stark calls it depressing."
"I find it a reminder of times past." She smiled at him. "They're off dancing."
"Figures. Pepper's barely awake after she and Dawn were dancing last night."
"Benji had a video feed."
"Wonderful." He came up to help her. "That's Tara's kids?" She nodded with a slight smile. "They're big."
"They are." She looked over as Callia came out with Liz and Chris. "Are we the daycare today?"
"Yup since the daycare lady has food poisoning." Natasha winced. "But we brought you Bucky to help." She grinned. "I'm going to draw."
"Not near the pool or the children will follow," Natasha reminded her.
"That's fine." She settled on the porch to draw and let her siblings pounce the twins. They hadn't seen each other in a while. "Did you forget your cats?"
"They're on top of the plate cabinet hiding from the babies."
"Mine do that too," Callia sighed. She got back to work. Liz looked over. "Working on science, not art, Liz." Liz huffed and went back to playing with the younger set of twins. Natasha got them some of Philip's coloring books he never used. Liz adored that. She was a good colorer. She almost always stayed in the lines. She had a good eye for color too. Even if there were blue bunnies and pink frogs. Thankfully this many kids kept each other occupied so she only had to change diapers. She had no idea how Dawn did this by herself while they were busy. Even with just their three.
Dawn looked up from her pampering spot on the massage table, blinking at Tony since he was standing there looking at her oddly. "What? I'm allowed to spoil myself."
"You did what to Barney?" She motioned and he bent down so she hissed in his ear. He stood up and stared at her. "They're going to find that." She smiled. "That's not legal."
"Neither's being a clone."
"That's a good point. They're not happy with you right now. I've gotten that twice today."
Clint strolled in wearing a bathrobe and with a towel around his neck. "Yeah but she's covered."
"Joyce wasn't so sure."
"She's covered beyond that." He handed over a note he had been handed. Tony read it and stared at him. Clint shrugged. "I deputized."
"Whatever." He put that into his pocket. "Is that well known?" Clint shrugged, laying down on the other table. The other masseuse came in to work on him. "You two are so spoiled."
Dawn grinned. "Yes, I am today. Tomorrow I'll go back to being the mommy."
Clint looked at her then at Tony. "We're hiring a nanny."
"You guys can use Beya. Chris and Liz are getting older and she's missing tiny babies."
"That might not work at home, boss."
"True. Though she might. I'll ask her. I can't give you guys recommendations because I sucked at picking ours." He stared at Dawn. "If they arrest you, that voids your contract."
"Are you sure you want to go this route?"
Clint stared at him. "Yes. Hold that up to the light, Stark." He did and gasped. Clint smirked. "They're not happy he got released."
"Why can't they handle it?"
"They said it's not their job and we have a vendetta thing going. I didn't realize that but apparently his former people think so."
Tony walked off shaking his head. He handed the note to the police commissioner. The guy was not happy, especially when Tony showed him that hidden note. That made him even less happy and it wasn't like they could call up their director to check on that order. The NSA wasn't listed in the phone book, federal or not. Tony sent a text message to Steve, who agreed they had. He wasn't happy with it but the NSA had told Clint it was his job since they had a 'vendetta' according to their profilers. Tony showed that to the commissioner.
"I hate agents like that."
"Usually Barton's a normal sniper and assassin."
"Whatever. Can't you move your people away from the city so we don't get as many attacks?"
"They don't attack because we're here. We're here because they attack here."
"If you can get them to agree, we'd love to set up a place for battles. That'll only leave huge demon problems."
"No, the reason for that is being ousted too."
"You can't really oust the whole demon underground full of peaceful demons," Tony said dryly. "Then again, half the time, it's from another realm and they want to come here to eat us or colonize us."
"Can you ask the scary sorts if they can block us off? Somehow? We'll even give them a few human to sacrifice each year if we have to. I'm sure I would get volunteers."
"I'll ask Xander."
Phil knocked then walked in. "We have been looking it over. We can exclude most of the city but it'll mean moving them to Bel Air." The Commissioner shuddered and shook his head. The rich would skewer him for that and he'd never get reelected. "Or it'll mean moving it to East LA near some of the housing projects."
"They'd kill us over that. We'd have riots." He looked at this new agent. "No way of moving it outside of town?"
"We've sent that petition to Doom's people and a few other notable ones. We've had two 'we might consider that' responses but a few things in the city are targets that SHIELD and others help protect."
"We like that," the commissioner said quickly. "I can have them move too." He stared at Stark.
"I'll gladly move everything to New York."
"They'd like you to move it near your house in North Dakota, Mr. Stark. They could use a good shot to their economy."
"We'll see. Dawn was thinking England if we had to move the full company." Coulson smirked a tiny bit at that. "They're spoiling each other."
"Good. They need it. Natasha can spoil herself tomorrow. She's seeing all the work Dawn does daily with the family, outside of yours." They shared a look. "By the way, SHIELD agrees with the NSA. Dawn's tracking serum is totally legal and we enjoyed that side effect. Barney Barton's clone is to be stopped and ended as soon as humanly possible before someone gets a bright idea."
"He's really a clone?"
Coulson looked at him. "His people were doing it, sir. We raided their base but someone NSA opened his casket up to wake him up. Now we're fixing their mistake after he killed twenty-three scientists." He looked at Stark. "That other one?"
"He's good. Set up in a safe house, figuring out a few things."
"There's another one?" the Commissioner demanded.
"Another group, the one that had kidnaped Dawn last time," Tony said. "They made our Barton a clone. He's a spy."
"He's only dangerous if you make him be," Coulson agreed.
"Is his name Gamble?"
Coulson smiled a tiny bit. "No, he's a half-brother but he knows not to piss off Dawn or hurt the family. Barney never learned that lesson; it killed him the first time and will this time I'm sure."
"Out of my city if you can?"
"We can try."
"I'll ask my staff about moving too. They might not want to move and then I'd have to hire everyone again."
The commissioner stared at him. "They might give you a tax break."
"We make fantastic profit." He smiled. "We like the beach. I like my house overlooking the beach."
"See if they'll agree to set up a third base and move the harmful things there?" he asked hopefully.
"We've only got two harmful things and they've got beyond federal level safeguards. We're better guarded than the CDC if we want to work on strange asteroids or something."
"Yup. It'll cost us *billions* to move the company. Plus a lot of hiring. Plus the cost of any lawsuits against my geeks that take what they've developed and are under our trademark to another company."
"Fuck," the commissioner complained under his breath. "Just move the fights?"
"We're trying, sir," Coulson said.
"Thank you. Let me know?"
"If we manage to find a way to protect the whole city I will. Right now you're mostly protected from the leftover radiation from Sunnydale, which is also interfering in us doing other protections."
"Can we weed that out?"
"In eighty years," Coulson said.
"Never mind. Just, let me know?"
"Gladly, sir." He walked out with Stark. "Do you want the bad or the good news?"
"That CEO is trying to sue you for last night's counter-suit." Tony stopped to stare at him. Coulson stared back. "We have provided copies to the court he's trying to sue you in. The judge is *not* amused that the subject is a young woman. We have not formally released all the information but Gloria got with SHIELD Legal over it already." Tony nodded. "The good is that their prosecutors found a few others he's ...adopted for lack of a better, suitable word."
"When they were legal by their standards but all geniuses, all female, all taken in and raised around his geeks, all wearing very pretty clothes. Hollister was one." Tony shuddered. "She stepped forward when she heard the statement last night to make a public one about how he had taken her in to raise as a genius should be."
"Good or bad?"
"Bad. What little she said on it made him sound like he was grooming her and then tossed her aside when she hit twenty-one and had a degree."
"I told your head of security. They've upped it and Callia is now paranoid," he said quietly, moving closer. "She turned on *her* security system. The laser bank on the gate is on and was in the open until Pepper made her shut it down. Then it went to standby. Which Pepper is talking to her about."
"Dawn's at the spa."
"Callia's at SHIELD with Joyce. She's hanging out with Bruce today. She said from there she's going to bother Rodney tonight."
"That's fine. He can bring her back when he shows up for geek tinkering time tonight with the boys." Coulson nodded. "Should we worry?"
"I think she's too paranoid. Last night she joked about people wanting a Summers woman for their own. She's seen Dawn fighting it. Her mom dated unsuitable beings and she talked to her mom about that apparently. Joyce had a few back in her day."
"So that's hereditary?" Tony joked.
"Possibly. Bruce is running that possibility for her since she's not fully up to date on statistics." They shared a look. "She's going to start building weapons if you don't get her calmed down."
"I can do that. I had a few very paranoid months of my own."
"I figured you did with your history. Though Joyce asked if you were related to her family."
"I'm not sure." Tony blinked a few times. "It does have to come from her side, doesn't it."
"Her aunt, the last one in the suit, had a number of unsuitable boyfriends, mostly art and jewel thieves. They could keep up with her. Her eventual spouse, who died before she did, reminds me a lot of Deadpool."
"That explains a lot," Tony said dryly.
"Her great great aunt, the first one in the Raven suit, turned in over eighty soldiers for things like raping civilians," he said very quietly. He shifted closer. "Apparently there's a direct correlation between how strong a Summers woman is and how many bad people want them or bad things happen to them." There were others in the hall so he glanced around to make sure none were listening. "Though it usually stops when they're secure that they've found their perfect mate."
"Is she insecure?"
"There are those few issues. That could be, though it has slowed down a lot since they got back from their trip overseas."
"Since then it's mostly been about the kids and Barton," Tony agreed, considering it. "Have you told her?"
"No, I hadn't thought to. Neither has Joyce." He smirked slightly.
"We can tell them later so they can start hoarding weapons to protect the girls." Tony walked off and Coulson followed. "Anything like that from Barton's side?"
"He had two female second cousins, both ended up doing boring mundane things without families. His grandfather's generation had one daughter but she died at eighteen due to a car crash on her way to WAC sign ups." Tony nodded, holding the door open for both of them. "Before that it's a bit fuzzy but we have one known cult leader and two sons on one side and all daughters on the other but strictly Catholic and three went on to be nuns. The other ended up running away and hanging out with a twenties rum running group as their moll." Tony gave him a strange look. "She got severely injured in a gun fight that started a fire. She met up with the cult leader on the other side but had Clint's grandfather with his brother. We think it was arranged."
"Any of the cult still around?"
"Yes. They still exist. There's only about sixty members and they turned more toward inner spiritualism during the Hippy days. Joyce's sister dated one briefly but decided he was a flake who couldn't keep up by her diary so she dumped him. Before that level of the family it splits to three 'family' groups that had a lot of smooth, dangerous sorts and one that was strictly Catholic and had a lot of priests. There were a few Summers women, all of strong backbone and the sort to not wait for a man to show up to help them, that flirted with them. One almost married one but backed out because her mother shot the guy in front of the minister marrying them. By the newspaper reports she walked her daughter off by her hair complaining that the rest of the women in the family had taste so she needed to learn from them. He, again, reminded me a bit of Deadpool by what they reported on him."
Tony shook his head quickly. "So they both get it naturally." He looked over, spotting the person staring at them. "Don't worry, Barney. We're leaving you to Dawn." Barney sneered and walked off. At least until something hit him. He looked up at Xander, who smirked and waved before disappearing. He looked at Coulson.
"He's bored and wants a new playmate to torment." He disappeared to see what Xander had hit him with since it had only momentarily slowed him down.
Stark got into his car and went to have a drink. He'd have to think about that legacy and plan Callia's future security more tightly. That way he didn't have a son-in-law like Deadpool. Or Barton.
Clint and Dawn showed up at Stark that night, meeting up with Tara, Natasha, and Bucky, who all looked exhausted. Dawn looked at the grinning kids. "Were you guys mean?"
"They were being kids," Tara said. "Your cats are tired of being petted though."
"They do that a lot unless it's Nat petting them." She grinned at Tara. "You sure?"
"They were good, Dawn."
"Good. Then there's granola clusters in the car. A bag for each set of two." Melissa ran for her car and John paused to get the keys. They brought back the bags, letting Philip pick his to let his sisters suck on pieces of while he got the rest. They got the ones with all the nuts and their younger siblings got the ones with fruit. The Stark kids got to share too. Callia shared with Philip since he had her favorite kind. Liz and Chris beamed at theirs. They all walked into the suite.
"Wow, healthy stuff," Tony said with a smile for the kids. They all beamed and settled around Maeve's napping spot to color. It was a group-liked activity. Though Tony had to save something he had been working on.
"No coloring my room, Chris," Callia said, swatting him and taking the tablet from him. "Color your room, not mine. I don't want boy colors," she defended when Pepper gave her a pointed look.
"Tablet." It got handed over by a smiling big kid. "Thank you. Chris, no coloring people's rooms on them please. It upsets her and then she gets cranky with you." She looked at Dawn. "Someone had Phil tracing back your family lines, guys."
Dawn sat down on Clint's lap on the loveseat since there weren't enough chairs. Natasha sat beside them. Tara got her own chair. "How bad was it? You look like it's funny at least."
"Slightly," Tony said, laying out the research they had gathered from Coulson. Dawn shared it with her spouses as she read, snickering some.
Callia came over to read over her arm. "Wow, he sounds like Deadpool."
"He does and you're not allowed to date Deadpool, daughter," Tony said with a smile.
"Not in my plans. I can't design and test fabulous things while I'm traveling with him killing people. It's just not my scene."
"Traveling's nice," Dawn told her.
"Yeah but the rest... no thanks." She went back to coloring. She'd get those later.
Dawn looked at Clint, who was silently laughing. "I know, it's weird."
"Very. Though I'm glad my grandfather's uncle started the cult and not my brother. I heard about that before but I never wanted to know about it." Dawn pointed at one of her ancestors. "Huh, they liked him too." He kissed Dawn on the ear. "Our families are slightly weird."
"So I guess that means I get more security?" Callia asked.
Tony looked over. "The more weird and bad guys that want you, the stronger woman you end up," he quipped. "But yes, you are. They're going to have a portable chastity device too, daughter."
"Not necessary yet, Dad."
She smiled at him. "There's a news story today about girls getting boobs at eight and nine years old."
"I'm so sorry for their parents," Pepper muttered, shaking her head. "Must drive them nuts."
"Mine did," Dawn quipped. Clint poked her. Natasha took that file to look over more closely. "So I guess we'll have to look at the Stark family history, huh?" She smiled. "It's not like Howard could've been accused of starting a cult, boss. Or your grandfather."
"No, he couldn't." He considered it. "I had an uncle who was a bit slick but he was a gambler."
His AI coughed to get attention. "In your history you had a few who were masters of...affection and a few that were influential, sir, but not a cult leader or a minister. No one like would be attracted to a Summers woman."
"Good!" Pepper said, smiling at Tony.
"I'm the best the genes have put out so far. Callia will have two great legacies to live up to."
She looked over. "Sure, I'll be a female Casanova, Dad. I'll take tips from the succuba at that shop and Auntie Dawn." She smirked at her aunt, who grinned back.
"Don't even start to think about that," Tony warned. "If you have as many as I had, you'll be disowned so damn fast, daughter."
She got up to kiss him on the cheek. "I'll never take as long as you took to finally wise up and catch Mommy Pepper, Dad," she said with a grin. "More than Auntie Dawn had, but less than you. Maybe three or four a year?" He shook his head. "I can date that much."
"Not if you're in the lab all the time," Pepper said with a smile.
"Mom, I found his little box of idea helpers in the tool chest a few years back." Tony moaned and Pepper blushed through her squeak. "I'm pretty sure I'll find one I can call in if I must. I can always fix the car a second time if I have to. I'm sure Dad has." He swatted her. "Hey!"
"Fine." She smirked. "One of the young engineer kids asked me out for a sundae. He's local."
"After the upcoming talk about particle physics Uncle Rodney's giving."
"We'll see," Tony repeated. She grinned and went back to coloring. Tony looked at Dawn. "Put her in something hard to get into."
"Of course." She smiled. "Yet still cute."
"That's fine. Apparently even the uptight women in your family were fashionable." He looked at Pepper, who was staring at Callia. "You guys have to have another girl talk," he ordered.
"We can do that this weekend."
Callia looked over. "I need new clothes, again."
"We can do it at the same time." Callia grinned. They got back to their coloring while the adults joked about Dawn's dangerous female relatives. Any boys in the family were a bit ...weaker. A few that were strong hunters and in the military during the world wars but nothing like Barton. Or Deadpool. The few son-in-laws who weren't like them tended to die young and be dirtbags so he'd really have to have Pepper teach Callia what worthwhile men were like.
Clint looked over. "I'm still asking the spies we know if they have any kids around her age. Just in case."
Dawn lightly elbowed him. "That fake redhead in Sweden before I got kidnaped had kids."
"She does and she's running a hotel's security team for the super rich clients they hover over. She retired to a boring job to raise her three daughters. Unfortunately. Unless you might like girls, Callia?"
"Don't know," she admitted. "I'll figure that out sometime around when I'm fifteen."
"Okay, let us know. Dawn's right, she's decent and her daughters were cute."
Dawn nodded. "Or there's what-his-name in Germany."
"He's a dick," Clint reminded her. "He flirted with you."
"And for that, his wife beat him and reminded him that their son would spear him."
Clint considered that incident then nodded. "Their son's adorable too. Not sure what he wants to do. I can ask." Callia grinned at him. "He's a year younger than you but his mom's really smart. Joined the BND at sixteen. The dad's a dickhead with an ego like your dad's only he has no cause to have it." He looked at Natasha.
"They might make an interesting couple and he is overprotective of his mother."
"We'll have to talk to them," Clint decided. Tony was glaring at him. "At least he'd protect her."
"That might be nice but no. I don't want to worry about my future son-in-law killing me for the company."
"Dad, I'll inherit it some year. It won't be this year or you'll be the company ghost instead of Grandfather," Callia said dryly. "Or I'll revive you as a clone or something." He got up to hug her. "Thanks, Dad." She smiled. "I don't know what I like. I might not like bad boys. I *am* half Stark and we're not drawn to bad boys, we are the bad boys. And girls in my case."
"Remember, you already made me a great device to seal you shut if you turn into an heiress slut," Dawn said with a grin for her. "I believe it's in a safe."
"That doesn't even seem fun and drinking sucked monkey butt," Callia complained. "I'd never turn into one of them. Eww." Dawn smiled. "But point taken, Auntie Dawn."
"Thank you. I can only imagine Mom's heart attack if she caught you on the cover of the _Inquirer_ for being a slut."
"And the paddling by Grandpa Grr Guy," Clint added with a grin for her.
"Ow, even the thought of the Hulk paddling me hurts," Callia said, rubbing her butt. "I'd never turn into a slut. It doesn't look like fun and would take me away from science stuff."
Tara smiled at Pepper. "Is there a proven method of getting a Stark out of the lab?"
"Strippers have worked in the past. So has me getting into trouble." Tony was giving her a dirty look. "Though sometimes it's only just a break and the lab wins while you're in there." She looked at Tony. Who rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Hers will find something that works for her."
"Pie works sometimes," Dawn reminded her.
"That's true, pie has worked a few times. Both alone and not." Tony groaned. Tara giggled. "How are things, Tara?"
Melissa looked at her mother. "She's being cranky."
"Me?" Tara asked.
"No, the other mommy."
"That's her choice, dear. She wanted work more than being home with us. I want it to be different but I can't make it so. I'm sorry."
"Not your fault, Mommy," John said, smiling at her. "We'll go ambush her and tie her up so we can bring her home. Then we'll make her really sorry by having the twins sing her stupid daycare songs that make your head hurt and we'll make her watch Elmo with them." His sister was giving him a strange look. "We can."
"We can't drive," Melissa said.
"We know people who can. They'd help us."
"True." She considered it. "Elmo's just mean, John. Maybe Barney? He's only slightly mean."
"Maybe," he agreed, settling in with his sister to go over their ideas to make their other mommy stay home with them.
Clint looked at them then at Dawn. "Our kid's that mean."
"Yes, he is," Dawn said with a grin. "Of course, if you turn into Maria I'll be the one tying you up and torturing you." She took a kiss and gave Nat one too. "Either of you." Natasha shivered but nodded. Dawn slid into her lap to cuddle her.
"You are too heavy," Natasha said. "He clearly fed you lunch."
Clint took her back. "Not really. We were too busy for more than snacks." Natasha scowled at him. "What?"
"You left me alone with them."
Dawn shrugged. "I do it."
Natasha stared at her. "I do not have the maternal drives you do, Dawn." Dawn hugged her. "We are getting a caretaker for when we are busy. That way they have someone they can count on to protect them when you are typing and we are off on missions."
"Beya said she'd switch over and bring them here each day to watch Liz and Chris," Pepper said with a smile. "We talked earlier."
"I would adore that," Natasha said. "Can she start tomorrow?"
"You have spa time tomorrow," Clint teased with a smirk. "Alone or not."
She kissed him. "I will go alone and rest. They drove me insane today." Bucky knocked and walked in with Steve. "Beya is going to start taking care of the girls."
"Wonderful, thank you, God," he said, looking up. He looked at Dawn. "How do you put up with them bounding around the house? Especially when they're singing?"
"What did you give them?" Clint asked. "Coffee?"
"They did steal my tea," Natasha admitted. "It was low in caffeine."
"Philip, why were you dancing around today?" Dawn asked, looking over at him.
"Mommy Nat's turn and she likes me," he said with a grin for his favorite mommy. "Was happy good boy."
"I'm sure you were," Clint agreed.
"Music?" he asked, looking around.
"When we get home, kiddo, or in the morning after breakfast." Philip ran over to hug him then back to the coloring. Liz did it better but she was teaching him.
"Philip, did you share my peppermints?" Dawn asked. She thought she had smelled some.
"Yup, was good, Mommy."
"That's good. I'll get more tomorrow."
Natasha hung her head to shake it. "Candy?"
"Sugar free candy. He's still hyper on any sugar though." She smiled at Bucky. "Who drove you nuts?"
"Yours. Lexi threw up a number of times."
"She doesn't tolerate the other formula well and Mira hates the taste so they're on separate kinds. I left that note on the fridge."
"I did not see a note." She looked over. "Though I did find some new artwork this morning." Natasha relaxed. That explained a lot about why the kids were so cranky all day. "We need more coloring books."
"Did you dig into the chest of them in the closet?" Clint asked.
"I did not. I didn't remember them." He grinned. "The older ones all did workbook pages."
"That's great," Dawn agreed with a grin for Tara. "Did you look at that school?"
"If we move out that far, I'd love for them to attend there. That's a bit far away though."
Dawn nodded. "It is."
"We talked about it and I'm still not sure. It's outside call-in for Maria if she moves back."
"You know, we all watch Maria make umpteen billion plans to get you back," Clint said, making Tara blush. "She's always got a tiny little plan somewhere."
"All she has to do is come home regularly. That's all I really want."
"I'll have to remind her of that," Natasha said. "She's out for a meeting early next week."
Dawn kissed her. "We need to figure out where you packed all your clothes too."
"They were in the baby's closet. I got most of them restored today. The rest needed to be washed. There was three-month-old jelly among other stains." She looked at Dawn's present dress. "That looks much more innocent in the regular lights."
Dawn smirked. "Exactly."
Natasha shivered. "We can make sure you don't wear that again later." She tested the fabric. It'd cut nicely with one of her knives.
Clint smirked. "If she had a bag with her I would've already cut it off her, Nat, but she didn't."
Pepper snickered. "You guys are so bad."
"Only when she tempts us to be," Clint said with a grin. "Did he wash the drool off you last night, Pepper? Because Benji's video showed that you were very hot with Dawn."
"I did," Tony said with a smug look. "She needed it." Pepper swatted him but she looked pleased at that complement. Steve stared at Clint. "No, it wasn't recorded." Clint nodded, Natasha holding up the tape.
Steve smiled as he took it from them. "Thanks, guys." He took it to put it up away from the kids.
Tony smirked at Pepper. "You made him feel naughty?" She swatted him but crossed her legs and looked even more pleased.
"I saw the unholy mass of reporters that caught sight of you two," Bucky told Clint.
"I saw a few but we mostly ducked them. My phone beeped with a story that said some day Dawn would have to quit being such a dick tease. Probably next year since she'll be twenty-five and old."
"Not likely. I'll be a beautiful tease in my death bed," Dawn quipped, pushing back her hair.
Clint kissed her. "Yes, you will." She grinned at him. He kissed Natasha. "You and me, we'll have to come back to protect her. That's the only way the bad guys will leave her alone. They're scared of you." She kissed him back for that sweet complement. He stood up, letting Dawn slide down his legs. "Let me take my tease home, guys."
Tony nodded outside. "We were going to cook and Dawn has actual clothes in her locker."
"Sure," Clint decided. "Let me help her change."
"Remember, there's cameras in there," Pepper quipped.
Dawn smirked. "Not really. Only over the door." She walked off. "I think I have some shorts in there for yoga and meditation."
"Your body gear is nearly as bad," Natasha complained, following them. "We will be right back."
"Sure," Tony agreed. "It gives us time to start the grill up." He got up to do that, ignoring Tara's white hot blush. She was still a delicate young woman and it was adorable on her. Maybe he'd kick Maria a clue. Pepper went to change into something other than a dress.
Tony walked Steve to his office the next morning, looking around. "It's actually quiet?"
"It's early. Morning meeting isn't for another twenty minutes." He looked at him. "What are you planning?"
"Just a suggestion being planted." He strolled off to intercept Maria since he heard her and Joyce talking. "Please help me make sure my daughter doesn't give me a son-in-law like Deadpool?"
She smiled. "I saw that history. It doesn't really surprise me." She kissed him on the cheek. "I'll see you in a few minutes, Maria." She went to the office.
Tony grabbed Maria's arm to walk her off. "Let's talk."
"About?" she asked.
"Your son hatching plans to tie you up and drive you home." He stared at her. "All she really wants is you to be there now and then," he said quietly, staring at her. "No plans needed, just go home."
"Yeah, she does. She said so last night. So did the kids. Though Danielle looked very confused about who you were and Craig started to cry." He stared her down. "Real mothers are *there*. Even Romanoff got that point." He let her go. "Just...show up and keep showing up. Dinner, bedtimes, it becomes more natural. If I can come out of the lab," he said when she opened her mouth. "You can quit working overtime." He went back to spend some time with Liz before she started to bite people again.
Maria logged in and thought about that information. Her son was hatching plans? He wasn't usually that sort. Melissa but not John. Maybe... maybe dinner was a good thing. She could eat. She really could use a good meal because she didn't cook half as well as Tara did. She looked in the office then at her desk. She had files she had to get done. Nothing critical but it had to get done. She'd knuckle down today and work through her break to make sure it all got done.
Joyce came out to look at the piles of paperwork then sighed. "I've got to hire an administrative assistant to take my place." She walked off with the files to finish them on Maria. She also called Dawn's former college advisor to talk to him about who they had nearly out of the program that could handle the paperwork issues she used to.
Maria smiled, getting to the other things she needed to do. Joyce was a nice lady. She'd help her win back Tara.
Tara opened the door at the knock, hoping it wasn't a kid selling candy bars again. They'd already been hit up twice today and she always felt sorry enough to buy at least one. She stared at her wife, who had a bag of something. "Maria?"
She walked in and kissed Tara gently, handing over the bag. "For the kitten. Those treats she likes."
"She'll be thrilled." She put them in the kitchen, after dropping a few for their cat Mortimer. The older two were hugging her and the younger two were staring at Maria like she was a stranger. "I guess I'm making more chicken for dinner."
"I can help." She smiled at the twins. "I'll be here for bedtime." They smiled and went to tell the younger two about Mommy. They didn't know her very well. Maria walked into the kitchen and washed her hands, picking up a knife to take the vegetables from Tara to chop for her. She had better knife skills and it showed. Tara kept glancing at her. Maria kept her smile to herself. They had a quiet dinner talking about school things, then she read to the kids and helped tuck them in. She gave Tara a kiss and left. That had went well and they'd have to do that again tomorrow night.
Tara touched her lips then looked up. "Did you help? If so, thank you," she whispered, going to her own bed. Unfortunately alone but it'd take time to rebuild what they had. Sex wasn't going to cure this one.
Pepper watched Dawn come in for her first day back at work. "Why does it look like you're wearing clubbing clothes to work?" she called from her desk. Dawn did lead a very wild life.
"Because we have fleas," she said, leaning in there. "Sorry but everything went to the cleaners and this was in the car." Pepper moaned. "The cats are at the vets. Beya's scrubbing down the kids in the pool area while the pros treat the house. We have a Biblical level of fleas and this is all that's in the car. I wasn't going to itch all day but Natasha is bringing me something more tasteful before the meeting after lunch."
"Eleven. They rescheduled."
Dawn yelled that mentally at Natasha, who said she'd have something for her in an hour. "Hour," Dawn said with a smile. "Sorry?"
"It happens. We've had a few good fleas here too," Pepper sighed. "Fifty bucks each for two cat packs and then fifty every three months for the dog pack of flea meds."
"There's been a lot of people online that're saying the fleas are now immune to Frontline."
"Ow, the even more expensive one then. Charming!" Dawn grinned and got down to work. Thankfully she had an emergency sweater in her drawer. That made the dress look a touch less slutty.
Tony walked up the hall tapping on his tablet. "Dawn, didn't your new contract, and your old one, have a clothing budget?" he joked.
"Yes, it's going to buy me something new that's not infested with fleas like the stuff we took to the dry cleaner's this morning for a multi-billion dollar dry cleaning bill. Natasha said an hour, boss. Sorry, it's all that was in the car."
"Been there, done that," he admitted. "Way too many fleas." She nodded. "Good luck."
"The pros are treating it today while Beya scrubs the kids in the pool house showers."
"The spoiled furry things?"
"Vets. They sympathized too. They've seen a lot of fleas this year for being this late in the year."
"Huh." He went into the office. "I just got an email asking if we could move that meeting to ten. He forgot his daughter had a recital tonight and if he can make it to the airport by noon he can make it home."
Pepper looked at her schedule. "Dawn?"
"Got everything done for it as long as nothing's eaten my backup drive like it did my desktop." Tony walked it out. She found it and uploaded it to his tablet for Pepper to look over.
She smiled as she put it onto her system. "That's good. We can work with that. Dawn, what's wrong with your computer?"
"It's flashing 'no drive' at me again."
Tony came out to look then opened it. "Someone did take your hard drive." He called Security, who told him tech support had it. Tech support brought her a new tower for her desktop system. "Everything transferred?"
"We included the old drive into this one. It has more memory and it'll run the new programs, boss." The tech support guy grinned. "Sorry, Dawn."
"It's okay. That's why I have a backup drive." They grinned and set it up for her, letting her set her font and other preferences. "I don't know why I even bother to set a screensaver. Within a week, windows will eat it." They nodded they knew about that flaw. She proofread that document and sent Pepper the updated one, getting one correction back. She had misspelled a name. "Guys, I need a new keyboard or this one cleaned. Two of my keys are sticking horribly." They took it to clean for her, which meant she had to use the hated virtual keyboard. She could but she hit multiple keys at once.
Tony tucked his tablet under his arm and shifted her out of the way to fix that on her. "It's a preference setting, Dawn."
"If I use that one I can't switch languages when I need to."
"We use English for the most part and you can but it'll miss Russian probably."
"Actually, it won't." She showed him how she did that. He showed her the formal way, which still didn't work. He huffed. She smiled. "I can use it until they can ungunk mine." He nodded, letting her switch back and up the key size again. That helped some, though it wasn't tilted like hers was. That wrist strain would be a slight problem but she'd handle it. They brought her a new keyboard about the same time Natasha brought her something to wear. "Thank you." She took a kiss from her wife, kissed the tech support guy on the cheek, and hurried to change. She had about ten minutes.
Pepper was waiting when she came back. The new outfit wasn't exactly office formal but it was a nice, simple dress that had a jacket. That'd do for now. They went to the smaller meeting room. Their meeting was pulling through the gates, Security had buzzed the office. They were set up by the time he came in, including Dawn remembering his favorite coffee being made. He smiled at her for that and they settled down to business while Tony went back to his quest to change the fundamental nature of the universe so Rodney would get pissed off again. It was a fun game between them.
Old Ones 53: Old Ones Playing With Clones.