A/N- This story takes place at the same time as my next story, Love Forever. So, if you like this one then you might want to check that one out (yes, that was a shameless bit of self-promotion. I'm a bad person, didn't we already dicuss this? lol)
Rating- I don't think this one is that bad, but I'll still say T just for the SLASH that is inevitable in my work.
Disclaimer- Not mine, I just take them out and play with them when no one is watching. SHHH! Don't tell on me!
Life in Avengers Towers changed dramatically with the arrival of Phil and Clint's daughter, Rae. Within a month, the entire team was utterly at the mercy of the pint-sized girl. She had taken to life in the Tower like a duck to water and after living there for six months, you would think she'd lived there her whole life. The Avengers all adored her and she was in serious danger of being spoiled beyond rotten. Tony, especially, could not leave the building and come back without bringing something for her. The dark haired fairy-child had the billionaire wrapped around her tiny fingers.
"Tooooone! Want Tone!"
A very harassed-looking Clint was chasing his wayward child up and down the corridors of the R & D part of the Towers as she giggled and called for Ironman. The genius stepped out of one of the labs and caught the little girl as she flew past. She gave a full belly laugh as she tugged on his goatee and then threw her arms around his neck and lip-bumped his cheek.
"What are you doing, angel face? Are you giving your daddy a hard time?"
Rae shook her head seriously
"Daddy said Papa said Rae bed. No want bed. Want you and Cap. Play?"
She asked the last part with pleading blue eyes. Tony looked at Clint helplessly. The archer couldn't help teasing him
"Of all the bad guys we've faced together and you're defeated by an almost four year old with puppy eyes?"
"Shut up, Legolas. She's pretty irresistible. And she knows it, doesn't she?"
The brunette buried his face in the little girl's neck and blew raspberries as she shrieked with laughter. Clint chuckled and took Rae from the genius
"Okay, my trouble-child, tell Tone night-night. He caught you, so rules say its bedtime."
She blew a kiss and told Tony
"Night night, Tone! Love!"
The billionaire blew her a kiss back and called out
"I love you too, angel face"
Rae and her daddy headed back upstairs. The little girl asked
"Tash? Bruce? Night night?"
"Yeah, we're gonna go find Tash and Bruce to say night night."
His daughter squealed
They found the couple in the common area curled up on the sofa, reading together. Bruce was distractedly stroking Tasha's calf since she had her legs thrown over his. Clint set Rae down and she flew across the room to throw herself at the doctor.
"Hey! It's the little miss. What's up, precious girl?"
He picked her up and tucked her in between himself and his redheaded girlfriend. Bruce made no secret of the fact that he thought that Rae was the best decision they had ever made. And Tasha would spend 24/7 playing with the girl if she were allowed. The Russian woman shared a secret smile with her lover as she leaned in for her part in the hugs being dispensed. Rae petted Tasha's hair. She loved the Spider's fire-red hair.
"Bed! Daddy says."
The girl shot a dark look over her shoulder at Clint. Tasha couldn't hide her amused smile. Rae recovered her sunny disposition quickly
"Night Tash! Night Bruce! Love!"
The scientist and the spy each kissed a round cheek and said good night. They told loved her too.
Clint picked Rae back up and headed out of the common area.
She was having problems saying her th sounds but Thor said that he thought the way she said his name was so cute that he kinda hoped she didn't have to grow out of it. No one was sure why she had decided to call Jane, JJ, but it didn't seem to bother her. Thor was completely her slave and Jane was almost as bad. The demi-god and his woman had confided to Clint and Phil that they were trying for one of their own because Rae was such a delight.
When Clint didn't find the pair in Jane's lab, he was at a loss. He consulted with Tony's AI
"JARVIS? Do you know where Thor and Jane are? Rae wants to say goodnight."
The AI responded immediately
"Yes, Agent Barton. Mr. Odinson and Ms. Foster are on the roof. I believe that Ms. Foster had an idea and took Mr. Odinson out there to show him. Hello, Miss Barton-Coulson. "
She clapped her hands
"Vis! Night night, Vis!"
JARVIS had a soft spot for the child too. Tony had somehow managed to program likes and dislikes into his AI. Nobody understood how he did it. Everyone who asked him to explain it ended up with migraines. So, they just accepted it and left it at that.
"Agent? Would you like me to ask them to come in? It's a little chilly out there tonight. We don't want Miss Barton-Coulson catching a cold."
"Yes, JARVIS, if you don't mind. Thanks."
"Not at all, sir."
Within minutes, Thor and Jane appeared. Rae squirmed in Clint's arms when Thor held his arms out. Clint handed her over. She immediately patted the demi-god's cheek and then bumped it with her lips in her version of a kiss. When Jane took her, she repeated the action.
"Tor. JJ. Rae bed! No like. Night night. Love!"
The Asgardian looked at Clint and was about to speak when the Hawk cut him off.
"No. She needs her sleep."
"I am vanquished, wee one."
She lip-bumped the thunder god's cheek again.
"Okay, Tor. Rae go sleeps. Love Tor. Love JJ."
Jane kissed the tangled dark curls tenderly
"We love you too, princess."
Clint scooped her up again. In the hallway on their way to Phil's office, they found Steve. Rae shrieked at the top of her lungs at the sight of the super soldier
The blonde turned around and his face broke into an impossibly big grin when he saw the father and daughter.
"Baby girl! Is it bedtime already?
When Clint passed Rae to Steve, she snuggled in his arms and gave a dramatic sigh
"Yes. Bed for Rae. Tone caught Rae."
This would have made no sense to most people, but all the Avengers knew that Phil had established a rule for bedtime to avoid nightly fights to get her to go to sleep. When it got close to bedtime, she was allowed to run around the Tower with JARVIS supervising to make sure nothing happened to her. If Rae was caught then she had to go to sleep without any argument. If she managed to escape an ex-playboy/billionaire/genius/philanthropist, a super soldier, two master assassins/spies, a genius doctor, a demi-god, an astrophysist, and their handler then Phil figured that she deserved to stay up a little longer. Steve managed to subdue his urge to laugh at the child's tone of disgust that she'd been caught by his boyfriend.
"Want me to ground him, little bit?"
Rae seemed to give it serious thought before she replied
"No. It okay. Fair. Night night, Cap. Love!"
Steve chuckled quietly and pressed a kiss to her forehead
"Night, Rae. I love you too. Sweet dreams."
Clint didn't pick her up again. Instead, he took her hand and they headed for his husband's office. When they reached their destination, the younger agent leaned against the doorframe and let go of the girl's hand. He watched his favorite sight in the entire world. She dashed over to her papa and climbed up into his lap. Phil let his pen fall on top of his paperwork and gathered Rae closer. She rubbed her cheek against his shoulder in an unconscious imitation of Clint's actions with his husband. Phil looked up and his eyes landed on his man, who was watching them both with his love for them written all over his face. Phil shifted her to his hip as he stood up and strode over to Clint. He leaned in and kissed the assassin softly with Rae between them and whispered
"We are so lucky, mon coeur."
"Yeah, we really are."
Later after they had tucked Rae into her toddler bed, Clint had read to her, and they had made sure her nightlight was on, Phil and Clint showed up in the living room. The rest of the team hadn't started the movie yet since they knew that their austringer and his Hawk would be down soon. Phil sat in the open recliner and Clint settled in his lap much like their daughter had earlier, even down to him rubbing his cheek against Phil's shoulder. Tasha and Bruce mirrored their arrangement in the recliner opposite the husbands. Steve was sprawled on the loveseat. He had his feet propped up on the armrest and Tony was tucked under his arm, his cheek resting on the blonde's muscular chest, and their legs tangled together. Thor was in a corner of the couch and Jane had her feet folded up beside her with her head was on Thor's shoulder. Everyone was relaxed in the comfortable quiet with the movie droning in the background. About halfway through the movie, Tony looked up lazily.
"Angel face go down pretty easy tonight?"
"Clint only had to read her three stories tonight, so not too bad at all."
The archer rolled his eyes in mock exasperation
"She was exhausted. And it didn't help that I had to chase her around R&D about 15 times before you caught her. Every time I'd get close, she'd morph into part ninja and escape."
Tasha gave her partner a blinding smile
"You can tell she's Phil's daughter. She's devious like he is."
"Tell me about it."
Steve smiled gently and asked
"Are you glad that you decided to give having a family a chance?"
Clint twisted in Phil's lap to study his handler before he answered the solider
"Yes. I never imagined ten years ago that this is where I would end up. I always figured that I'd end up alone. Then when I realized that I was in love with Phil, I was devastated. I had heard the rumors around the helipad that he was involved with a cellist. I believed the stories even though he had never said anything to me about it. I didn't expect him to because I knew that he was a very private person. I knew that I would never be able to be happy with anyone else. After we got together, I was perfectly happy. I never wanted anything else and the idea of family never entered my head. That day at the market when I saw that father and son, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted that. I wanted a family almost painfully. That little girl and her papa hold my heart in the palms of their hands. So, the answer to your question is yes. Without a shadow of a doubt. Rae filled my heart with a kind of love that I never even knew existed."
Everyone in the room was obviously moved by Clint's speech. Natasha wiped her cheek impatiently. She never had liked crying, but her emotions seemed to be easily touched these days. She looked at Bruce and he nodded slightly. She took a deep breath
"I need to tell you guys something since you are the only family that I have left. Rae is going to have someone to play sometime around Easter."
Dead silence from the rest of the Avengers. And then pandemonium broke out when her meaning became clear. They were all floored.
A/N2- Ha! Yes, I am leaving it there! That part gets dealt with in Love Forever, so if you're curious, then you gotta read. Lol. Don't forget to review and let me know what ya'll think about Rae!