For those of you who might have found Kate a little obnoxious or ludicrous… now you know how I feel when I read 95% of "Harry/Xander gets adopted" or "Harry's real family" fanfics. While the DC universe has a history of teen sidekicks and such, genuine children are few and far between, while Marvel didn't even really use children until the debut of Runaways
and Young Avengers
. Mostly because the adults *gasp* were adult enough to not want to use children - especially their own children - as meat shields. Something to keep in mind going forward. And now… Mom had her chapter. Time for Mother.
Given that SHIELD appeared to be an odd mix of military, spy, and superheroes, Dawn was understandably surprised when the SUV pulled up in front of the headquarters of the Boston division of the FBI: a long, curving building that was dwarfed by the rest of the Government Center complex. Why not a local military base, or a CIA office, or… wherever superheroes met? Some sort of warehouse turned into a secret lair? Maybe they were just renting office space here or had commandeered some for the afternoon, she mused as they were hustled through the lobby and into the elevator. Otherwise… well, SHIELD's vehicles and agents were well-marked. Why would this building and its workers's security badges bear solely the FBI's markings?
What was not surprising, on the other hand, was that they were quickly separated once they reached their destination. Or rather, that Dawn was separated from Jean and Lorna and led off into an office as her traveling companions were guided over to a couch in front of a large television. She'd had a feeling from the beginning that it was only 'you three' as a way to reduce the girls' resistance to the thought of giving up the girl they were supposed to be escorting around Boston. Taking a seat at the desk of one 'Special Agent Lucia M. Ziobro', Dawn raised an eyebrow at the Starbucks cold cup sitting in front of her. "Poison, truth serum, or bribe?"
"A courtesy, Miss Summers. I thought your favorite drink might set you at ease." The voice belonged to neither Bobbi nor the young Agent Bishop, and Dawn looked back over her shoulder curiously to find a statuesque redhead in a matte black catsuit leaning against the back of the door, bookended by the two agents who had escorted Dawn in. How the… a teleporter, maybe? Given that SHIELD evidently handled a variety of superhuman matters, it was likely that they employed- "I was standing in the corner when you were brought in. You need to work on your situational awareness." Making her way over to the desk Dawn was seated at, she paused beside the blonde and peered down at her. "Oh, and my wife will not be taking you anywhere tomorrow night. If you insist on holding us to the agreement she made, I will arrange a mutually agreeable substitute. But if you ever flirt with, touch, or so much as look at my wife inappropriately again? Even diamond can be broken, dear. I've seen me do it."
Dawn nodded rapidly before reaching out to grab the frappuccino as a way of hiding her shaking hands. While she knew Wanda had the power to unmake her and was appropriately cowed by that fact, there was something about this woman that made Dawn equally sure that she was capable of carrying out her threat… and that it would be nowhere near as painless as the fate she'd suffer at Wanda's hands. "Right. No more touching Bobbi… err, Agent Morse. Or looking at her. Or pointing out the incredibly obvious double entendres in what she blurts out. I can do that." Watching as the redhead seated herself, Dawn took several quick sips from her drink, letting the mix of coffee, chocolate, and raspberry soothe her nerves. "So… does that make you the actual Agent Bishop? Also an Agent Morse?"
Gesturing for Dawn to lean forward, the redhead reached out and ran her fingers through Dawn's hair several times. Just as the blonde was starting to get weirded out by the random stranger petting, the woman pulled back and showed Dawn… "I'm sure you don't want us listening in when you meet your family for the first time. And you can call me Agent Romanova. Or if you wish to be one of those mutants… Black Widow."
"I'm not sure what kind of mutant I am yet, so I guess I'll stick with Agent Romanova. Or ma'am. Or… something." Tilting her head to the side, Dawn studied the tiny black and red device that Romanova was grasping between two fingers. Suddenly, she realized how they knew exactly what to order her from Starbucks. "Is that… you bugged me?"
The answer came not from Romanova, but from behind Dawn again. "I tagged you at Grand Central Terminal when you were getting off the commuter train." Wandering over, Bishop hopped up onto the desk beside her mother, kicking her legs as she smirked at Dawn. "Then I bumped into you while you were walking down 42nd, stole the bug back, and bugged you again while you were talking to Spider-Man. You're kinda lucky I didn't start wanting to kill you until Boston, or else…" Trailing off, the brunette drew one finger across her throat slowly.
Romanova wrapped one arm around Bishop's waist and gave the brunette a squeeze. "I told the director that you were the perfect girl for the job, my little Hawkingbird. Managing it when the target had a telepathic companion makes it even more impressive, not to mention slipping it back on her without the two spiders noticing. As soon as we get back to New York, I'll-"
"What the hell? You knew about this little adventure of hers? You arranged it, even?" Stalking over, Bobbi leaned forward and slammed her hands down on the desk next to Dawn and oh hey look, cleavage. Wait, cleavage that could get her killed. Dawn abruptly jerked her eyes upward to Bobbi's irate face. "How could you? Our daughter is twelve years old! Twelve!"
"To be fair, Bobbi, I was killing men for my handlers at her age. And it was just a harmless information gathering mission. Which she did wonderfully at, might I add."
"To be fair, Natasha, Kate is twelve and so I don't fucking care!"
Romanova groaned and leaned back in her seat, pressing her fingers against her temples. "Boh ty moy… very well. It appears we'll need to keep this portion of things brief, Miss Summers, since I now need to add playing matchmaker for you as well as placating my wife to my agenda. To make a long lecture exceedingly short? SHIELD is aware of the temptation that comes when one has the power to make a difference in an imperfect world. But in the future, we'd like you to try and be a bit more discreet about using your powers. If you're planning to make a habit of vigilante behavior, I'd recommend sticking primarily to partial transformations… and purchasing a wide assortment of gloves. Also, please be aware that making friends with certain individuals can bring… unwanted attention… down on you. Your connection to the Frost family combined with the time you've been spending with Magneto's daughters is already raising the eyebrows of some very powerful and influential people. You can't pick your family, but I'd recommend you not get much closer to the Brotherhood."
Tearing her eyes away from Bobbi, Dawn nodded rapidly. Time to take advantage of the couple's marital discord and get while the getting was good, she decided, rather than allow them the chance to regroup and regain their focus. "Right. No more diamond punches where people can see them, and no consorting with terrorists. Except for the two I'm already consorting with." Pausing, Dawn frowned as something occurred to her. "Actually… can I trade Wanda in for a different member of the Brotherhood at some point? I'm not sure how long we'll stay friends after she finishes making me a tiara, what with the creepy incest thing she and her brother are rocking."
"That would depend on a handful of factors." Romanova picked up a tablet that Dawn hadn't even noticed lying on the desk before now, tapping at the screen for a few seconds before peering over the top at the blonde. "For instance, are we talking a particular someone or a theoretical someone? Because certain members of the Brotherhood have darker and bloodier pasts than others, which would affect my answer."
"Um, theoretical? I don't even know who's in the Brotherhood beyond the twins and Lorna and their father. And some guy named Forge." Dawn shrugged helplessly. "I was just thinking that maybe someday Lorna might want to bring one of her friends somewhere with us, and so being able to trade Wanda in and open up an acceptable friend slot might be useful. Or hell, Lorna and I are more traveling companions than friends at this point. I might want to trade her in too and open up both of my terrorist friend slots in case I meet a decent Brotherhood member someday."
Surprisingly, Romanova actually looked a little impressed at Dawn's reasoning. "If SHIELD's opinion - or rather, SHIELD's evaluation of how troublesome a particular friendship might be for you - actually matters to you? I can give you an email address you can contact in the future. For now, though, let us focus on those currently in your life… and those who will be in the near future. Anything in particular you want out of a replacement date for tomorrow night?"
"I volunteer as tribute!" Bishop's hand shot into the air before slowly lowering. "What? I hate her, but I really like French food."
Dawn leaned forward, reaching out to pat the girl on the knee before thinking twice and sitting back in her chair. After all, the girl had threatened to kill her at least three times in the last hour. "Sorry, Kateniss, but you're a little young for me. But if you're serious, Agent Romanova? Obviously she has to like French food, or at least tolerate it. Blond, brown, or black hair; no redheads. Nice curves would be a plus, although I guess owning a decent push-up bra would be close enough. Doubt I'll get to do anything more than look, after all." As Romanova nodded and started tapping at her tablet again, Dawn took a sip from her slowly warming drink and chuckled. "I gotta admit, this is going a lot better than I thought it would. I thought you'd be freaked out about the fact that I'm from another world."
"Oh. Fuck. Me and my big mouth."