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Hand of Sorrow

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Powers of the World". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Sequel to "Star Spangled Man". Sometimes, the biggest threat doesn't come from without—it comes from within.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > Avengers
Marvel Universe > X-Men
JadedFR181136,4011426848,64611 Nov 1224 Jul 13No

In which Dawn gets some space…

Author: Jaded
Story: Hand of Sorrow
Disclaimer: Joss owns Buffy, The Avengers, X-Men, and the Fantastic Four are owned by Marvel. I write for fun, not for profit.
Summary: Sequel to Star Spangled Man. Dawn and Buffy are finally back in New York for good. New schools, new slayers, and new threats, Dawn, Buffy, and Steve are going to have one interesting year.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to kiwi, Harry, WolfWriter, Misty, texaswookie, ScorpioP, vidicon, lumierelanuit, CageFire, RevDorothyL, Letomo, Duchess, Nightscream, Cutiepie, Angelskuuipo, betascud, liferscove, SongBirdie, HarmMarie, morgyair, stonewar, link, Morgomir, NutsContract, Bunney, Tjack, & Alyssara for the reviews! They make my day!
Warning: SPOILERS FOR THE AVENGERS! Timelines still wonky.
A/N 1: This is twice as long as I normally post. Enjoy!

Illustration
In which Dawn gets some space…


Dawn sat curled up on the outdoor couch Tony’d installed on the balcony, watching the rain fall, when Natasha found her.

“Here,” she said, putting a blanket around her shoulders. Dawn didn’t look at her, not wanting to see the expression on her face. Buffy had told the rest of the team in Dawn’s stead, the brunette not comfortable doing it after Steve’s reaction.

Tony had likened it to Dawn being a magical test-tube baby but Steve, who still had sometimes struggled with his 1940’s sensibilities interfering with current opinions, hadn’t said a single word once Dawn had explained her “birth.”

“I was created as a container,” Dawn said, eyes flickering between Steve, Tony, and Darcy. “For something called the Key. Thor says it’s from Asgard but he’s been very very silent on what it was for there. All we really know is that its powerful, it’s dangerous, and its why I can do magic.”

“So…you weren’t actually born to Buffy and this James fellow?” Steve asked slowly.

“Not…in the traditional sense, no,” Dawn said and his expression didn’t bode well for her. “The monks…we think they took the DNA and smashed it together to get the awesomeness that is me.”

The cheer was false even to herself so it didn’t much surprise her when Tony gave her a look.

“Why them?” Darcy asked and there was no outrage or disgust—just simple curiosity. Dawn was beyond thankful for that, though also worried. Was she simply in shock and it hadn’t computed or did she honestly not care?

“Buffy’s was the only active slayer at the time—the one guarding the Hellmouth and actually doing her duty,” Dawn said. “Faith was still in prison.”

“They needed someone who’d fight to the death to protect her and they knew that’d be me,” Buffy added and the warning in her words was hard to miss. “I think…James…has to be someone else they thought would fight for her if I couldn’t…though how they thought he’d find out about her, I haven’t the foggiest. I didn’t even know until later.”

“She wasn’t ever supposed to know,” Dawn said. “None of them were.”

Steve abruptly stood up, not looking at the four of them. “I can’t…I need…this is too much,” he mumbled and walked out without a word.


“I was born in Stalingrad and lived for a few years as a simple girl with the man who saved me after my parents died in a fire,” Natasha said, taking the other end of the couch. She was speaking Russian, something she only did in the Tower when she was trying to keep things private. She had an ironclad agreement with Tony that whatever she said in Russian was off-limits to his curiosity. Natasha continued. “Then the Red Room found me. Ivan had no choice but to turn me over to them. I was trained and molded into an assassin of the highest caliber. Brainwashed, rewired, just like James. I was physically enhanced with a version of the serum. It’s why I can keep up with the slayers.”

Dawn knew about the Red Room, of course, she’d found out about it when they’d started kidnapping slayers to try and work for them. It had backfired, badly, in that the slayers were immune to their brainwashing and rewiring techniques. It had also led to the discovery of Bucky as the Winter Soldier, still in cryo when Buffy, a couple dozen slayers, Willow, Robin, Phil, Natasha, and Clint had stormed the complex the slayers, including Faith, were being held in. Buffy had told her later, in private, that the expression on Faith’s face when Buffy and Natasha had broken into her cell, pissed as all get out, was not something she’d forget anytime soon.

The brunette slayer hadn’t expected anyone to come for her.

Dawn focused back on Natasha when she continued. “James, and Clint, they saved me. James because he knew I was better than this, he was the one who ultimately gave me the courage and strength to break free of the Red Room when I found my chance. And Clint…he gave me that chance. He could have killed me—he should have. But he made a different call and for that I will always be grateful.” Natasha turned to her then, eyes locked on her own, firm and stubborn. “I was born a normal child but there is now nothing normal about me. I was created as a tool, a means to an end, and never given the choice. But I’m finding that that is not all I am.”

Dawn didn’t say anything, knew anything she did say would be contrite. Instead, she scooted over, pushed the blanket around Natasha’s shoulders, and cuddled into her side. Natasha tensed, as she always did when Dawn gave no care to touching her, but relaxed enough to wrap an arm around her shoulders.

Dawn laid her head on the Russian’s shoulder as they watched the rain fall. “All will be well, mladshaya syestra. All will be well.”

~~*~~

“Dawn! Dawnie! Dawnmeister! D! DS!”

“How much have you had to drink?” Dawn asked suspiciously when Tony walked into the kitchen where she was watching Thor finish his fourth box of pop-tarts. She and Darcy, according to some, had an unhealthy obsession with seeing how much they could get Thor to eat without upchucking. With everything going on, Darcy had decreed, as she’d dragged Dawn from her suite, that they needed to check how many he ate this time. Bruce came in after Tony, chuckling, and she focused on him. Like Tony, Darcy, and Natasha, nothing he’d heard had affected him overly much. Well, that wasn’t strictly true—he’d become more tactile with her now that he knew what it was that relaxed Hulk. “What's he so happy about?”

“He's not, exactly,” Bruce informed her with a slight smile. “He just knows you're going to be happy so...”

“Why am I going to be happy?” she persisted.

“The renovations are done and the furniture is moved in,” Tony answered, throwing his arms out wide. “Which means you can run far away and do whatever it is you want with whoever you want to do it with!”

Bruce got a tight expression but didn't say anything. Dawn ignored that to throw herself at the billionaire. “It's really done?” she asked, arms around his middle as she beamed into his amused face. She knew she was acting like it was Christmas morning but who could blame her—it was her first apartment! No Buffy! No overprotective men with nothing better to do than interfere in her life! She could get drunk and not have to worry about Steve or Buffy's disappointment the next morning. And she could get away from Steve without taking Phil’s offer of keys to a SHIELD safehouse! Then the second part of what he said hit her and she stepped back warily. “Wait a minute, what furniture?”

“Pepper, Jane, Natasha, Buffy, and Darcy picked it all out,” Tony assured her with a small smile. “I think they spent all yesterday in IKEA.” He shuddered, as if the very idea was abhorrent to him. Considering where all his stuff came from, it probably was. He shook off his horror. “Happy took everything you kept packed up and in storage and delivered it to the women yesterday. All you need to do is pack up what you have here.”

That, it turned out, was easier said than done. Dawn had a very good mental list of everything she'd kept with her since arriving and when she finished her room and half her stuff was not there, they all had to go searching for the rest.

Half her DVD collection ended up in Clint's and Bucky’s apartments (which Natasha got back for her, as Dawn was still avoiding them both). Several of her old books on Norse religion ended up with Sif. Darcy had stolen an alarming amount of her pants and skirts and, Dawn didn't know how, but several of her tops ended up with the redheaded assassin.

The one she was REALLY confused about was her rather extensive nail polish collection—they found THAT in the apartment Tony had given the Warrior's Three. She had a feeling there would be a lot of questions for the men in the coming weeks.

Not that she would be around all that often to hear them—she was finally getting her own apartment!

~~*~~

From the outside, the apartment building didn’t look very different. Redbrick façade had been shored up here and there but for the most part, the exterior had been left alone.

Getting inside, however, and Dawn knew Tony had really gone overboard and not just because everything appeared brand-new. “That’s a watchman,” she whispered as a guard in a uniform waved at them. Bruce smiled and went over to talk to the man, greeting him like an old friend. “How does Bruce know him?”

“That’s Richard,” Tony said. “That’s the guy who gave him the motorbike and clothes after Hulk got into the fight with the fighter jet on the Carrier prior to the Chitauri attack.”

Dawn had heard about the man—Tony had brought him over to SI security after Bruce had mentioned his nonplussed reaction to the Hulk—but she’d never actually met him herself. She turned to Tony, eyes flickering over the new stone underfoot and the recently painted walls. “You hired him? For my building?”

“He’s getting too old to continue at the Tower but we didn’t want to just fire him,” Tony shrugged. “Landlord and watchman for an apartment building, however, is something he can do. He was happy to take the job.”

“You gave him one of the apartments, didn’t you?”

“His wife baked me cookies!”

Dawn snorted but decided this was one battle she shouldn’t fight. And it wasn’t like it was unusual—plenty of apartment buildings in the city had a guard.

“What did you do with the old tenants?” she asked instead of answering. “While you were renovating?”

“Most of them we sent to live in a hotel down the street,” he answered, ushering her towards the brand-new elevator (she knew it was brand new not from the shinyness but because the building had been a walk-up before). “Two of them decided to go elsewhere—didn’t like the idea of having me as a landlord apparently—and another passed away while she was at the hotel. She was in her eighties. Her family wasn’t surprised.”

Dawn nodded—she hadn’t met any of them so it didn’t really mean much to her except that she likely wouldn’t be the only new tenant. Then the numbers added up in her head.

“Wait a sec,” she said, turning to him as the elevator doors opened. “There were only four apartments actually being used when Vi found this place! And one of them was a senior at NYU!”

“Yup, which is why I’ve now designated this student housing only, since you and him are the only ones still here,” he agreed with a smirk as Bruce gently came in behind them to push her into the elevator. “We’re not affiliated with any one college but the city is aware we’re only accepting full-time students. It was Pepper’s idea.”

“How many apartments are there now?” she demanded. Part of her was actually quite happy it was student housing—she’d wanted that in the first place, after all—but another part of her just knew this would blow up in her face somehow.

“Two per floor except the very top,” he answered. “Which is you. Mostly.”

“Tony!” she groaned. The top floor of the building had held two loft apartments, not one. “What did you do?!”

“You’re my niece and you won’t stay in the tower,” he said. He gave her a look over his sunglasses. “No way in hell am I letting you live in a some cramped hell-hole for the next four years.”

Dawn leaned back and hit her head on the elevator wall. She considered reminding him he hadn’t known she was his niece when he’d made the plans but figured it was futile—it wasn’t like he’d go back and change it.

The top floor was also the eighth floor. The elevator opened up in a small little space, with two doors on opposite ends of the hall and another one next to the elevator—the stairs, she figured. One of the doors was all glass panes and she could see the sunshine coming through them. She blinked and headed towards that, curious as to where it led.

“Rooftop terrace,” Tony said as they stepped out. Part of the eighth floor had been completely torn down to make way for the space, which had an above ground barbecue pit, several chairs and tables, and plenty of plants to give it a park air. It was lined with a stone railing that came up to just below her breasts and beyond that, through several of the buildings, she had a clear view of the Statue of Liberty, which she still had not visited. “It’s accessible for everyone who lives here and if I don’t hear about at least one drunken party, I’m going to be very disappointed in you.”

Dawn could totally see herself studying up here—the view was amazing and though the sounds of the city could clearly be heard, it was peaceful in its own way. She ignored the part about drinking parties—she knew if Pepper had it her way, only the really responsible kids would be getting in.

“Alright, time for the big reveal,” Tony said, clapping his hands together. He then swept his left hand back towards the doors and held out his right for her to take. “Madam?”

“Kind sir,” she said, grabbing Bruce’s arm and smirking at Tony’s affronted expression. “Let’s go see what the insane one did to my space.”

Bruce laughed and followed her back into the building, where they walked down past the elevator and the stairwell, to the second door. This was all dark brown, solid oak, if she had to guess. Nice and sturdy.

Tony held out a pair of keys, dangling them in front of her face. “Like to do the honors?” he asked as she grabbed them.

“Duh.”

Taking a deep breathe, Dawn unlocked the door and walked inside the apartment.

At first, she didn't think anything had changed. It looked just like the pictures and videos from Vi, though filled with stuff. The entrance was several steps above where the rest of the main floor was, creating a bit of an elevated foyer. The banister separating it from the rest of the room was dark wood and smooth to the touch. There was a small closet for coats and there was a small half-circle shelf attached to the wall next to the closets door. She went downstairs, noting that the loft portion was above her head. Two stories tall, the living room and dining room were combined in one long, rectangular space, with a fireplace and shelves on one end and a window seat on the other. The wall directly across from the loft, the longest side, was old, red bricks, with skylight windows near the top of the roof to left in the air. Or, she suspected from the size of one of them, one flying Iron Man.

The living room was tastefully organized, with a comfortable looking dark green couch, an end table, and a shaggy green carpet to protect from the wooden floors in the winter. There was no visible TV but as she stepped inside, the ginormous white space attached to the wall near the fireplace flickered to life, showing Tony making an ass of himself during a party. Bruce chuckled, Tony sputtered, and Dawn thought for a minute. “JARVIS?”

“Here, Miss Dawn,” the AI replied and that was definitely new. Dawn shook her head but didn't say anything. Bruce and Tony both smiled and Dawn turned to them. She rolled her eyes at the way Tony was bouncing on the tip of his toes. “Let me explore and then I'll let you tell me all about the security measures you put in place.”

“Deal,” Bruce agreed and Tony pouted. Ignoring that, Dawn wandered over to the dining room, where a full table capable of housing—she did a quick count—eight people sat. She shook her head but didn't say anything. She had a feeling she'd be getting plenty of houseguests in the months and years to come so the table, while overkill, would probably come in handy once in a while. Up against the stairs to the loft was a dark cabinet with glass doors and holding what appeared to be china—Dawn made a mental note to ask Pepper where they came from and how expensive those were cause if she knew the redhead at all, they did not come from anyplace common. She turned back to inspect the longer wall, taking in the pictures placed there. She felt her breath catch when she realized they were all photos and sketches of her family. The Avengers, Buffy, the Scoobies, the mini's she was close with—plus those who'd never made it out of Sunnydale, painstakingly drawn, if she had to guess, by Spike and/or Angel. Swallowing back her tears, she dropped her hand from where it had been hovering over a sketch of her, Buffy, and Mom to turn towards the rest of the place.

Looking up, she could just make out the loft and what looked like several bookcases, already mostly filled. Wanting to get the first floor done, she passed the stairs, on either side, leading to the foyer and the loft to find herself in the kitchen. Here was where the renovations were very obvious. Gone were the aging appliances even she'd known she'd have to replace and instead gleaming new ones shined in an enclosed kitchen. She took a peak into a pair of double doors, near a separate entrance and butler's counter to the dining room, to find a pantry already stuffed with food (and a good selection of wines). The kitchen, so far, was the only room she'd found that did not have wooden floors—instead, deep purple-red stones covered the floor under the small rug by the sink. The counters had several appliances, including one of Tony's personally designed coffee machines. She wondered absently if that one had AI too—she wouldn't put it past him.

Across the hall was a single door and a quick peak in found a guest suite, complete with its own bathroom and closet. It had a full size bed in white painted wood, with light blue bedding and a shag rug on either side. Following the hall past that and the kitchen found her in the half-bathroom, which led to a private laundry room. Again, this was new to the loft, as Vi had shown her pictures of the laundry room everyone else used. Beyond that was what she could only call a sun-room—it had floor to ceiling windows along the entire back wall—filled with her boxes and tubs of things from Rome. Next to it was a state of the art gym. She smiled sadly when she noticed the punching bag in the corner. She was pretty sure that had been Steve's doing, as he'd kept asking if the ladies were teaching boxing. Off the sunroom was another terrace, much, much smaller than the first, but it had actual trees in gigantic tubs and a hammock was set up in a wire contraption under them.

Tony and Bruce followed her silently as she headed back towards the front of the room and towards the staircase that lead upstairs. The open area off the stairs did indeed hold bookcases—and a large, mahogany desk in the center. Promising herself she'd investigate the books later—none of them appeared to actually be ones she'd brought with her—she headed for the set of double doors.

“Before you go in, I may have gone slightly overboard on your bedroom,” Tony said and Dawn looked at him over her shoulder. He was standing there, hands in his pockets, rocking back and forth on the soles of his feet, and grinning like a kid at Christmas. “When I expanded the downstairs I had to do the upstairs too in order to keep the place structurally sound and, well...your bedroom got a lift.”

That warning firmly in mind, Dawn pushed open the doors.

It was overly large, with a set of divans in dark blue sitting in the center of the room, what looked like a coffee table in between them. A king size bed was tucked into a small alcove behind what Dawn quickly realized was the massive bathroom. A walk-in shower took up one corner with two sinks, a vanity counter (with a blue seat and a gold glinted swinging mirror), and a deep, free-standing clawed tub that gleamed in the light taking up the rest. The opposite end of the suite had her closet, a deep monstrosity that had built in dressers, rods for hanging clothes, and a section devoted exclusively to shoe cubbyholes, many of which were already filled with new pairs. She resisted the urge to squeal and/or hid this from her sister. Many of them just might disappear if she weren’t careful.

She turned to Tony and Bruce, both of whom were examining the painting someone had stuck up on the wall. It was like a massive group photo, with everyone from the Avengers to the mini’s to the X-Men she was friends with staring back at her. She made a mental note to move it someplace else and soon—there was no way she’d be able to sleep, let alone do other things, in the bedroom with her sister and Steve staring out from the painting like that.

“Its…overwhelming,” she said when Tony turned to her. She stepped forward to give him a hug. “Thank you.”

She wasn’t just thanking him for redoing what should have been a pretty crappy first apartment, loft or no. She was thanking him for getting her out of the Tower, away from all the awkwardness. If he knew it or not, he gave no indication.

“So!” he said, stepping back and rubbing his hands together. “When’s the housewarming party?”

~~*~~

The housewarming party happened the next day, after Dawn spent the rest of the afternoon and all the next morning unpacking her Rome stuff and rearranging things more to her liking (including switching the family portrait with one that was in the sunroom). Darcy and Natasha had come over, supposedly to help but mostly just to heckle her while she found all the surprises, good and bad, Tony had stuck inside the place.

In addition to Ten floating around happily (he loved the two story loft space) and JARVIS in the walls, Tony had given her three more robots. The first was the coffee machine, which had, like Ten, limited AI but couldn’t move (thank God). Dawn had named him Joe, to Natasha and Darcy’s amusement. The others were two more that she knew Tony would get in trouble again if caught—knowing how much she loved the movie Wall-E, he’d made her a Wall-E and a MO, both of which were cleaning robots. Like in the movie, Wall-E could grab and move things while MO mostly just cleaned every surface he could find.

She’d been hard-pressed not to smoosh them in a hug the first time she’d seen them. She’d never be a cat or dog person but that was okay—her pets were all robots.

Maybe there was something to the Stark genes after all.

“I can’t believe he gave you a Wall-E,” Buffy shook her head as she watched Dawn pat the robot on the head when he offered her a soda. “Seriously, what the hell?”

“I like ‘em,” Dawn defended the robots, watching as Wall-E went over to take an empty bottle from Natasha. MO was running around Thor’s feet, buzzing the floor behind him as the Asgardian inspected the apartment. The God of Thunder didn’t seem to notice. Sif did though, if the giggling was any indication.

“You would,” Buffy said but there was no heat—just good old fashioned humor. “What’s next, a Data?”

“Buffy?”

“Yeah?”

“Stop spending so much time with Andrew,” she advised. “That was a Star Trek reference.”

Buffy made a face. “I would but we’re still technically working out the final kinks of my transfer and his take-over,” she said. “Though if I have to listen to him expound on how bad the last movie is one more time…”

“What movie?” Vi asked and that had been a surprise. Apparently Buffy had decided Dawn needed backup for when the blonde finally had to go back to London so she’d called Giles, who’d called Vi, and now the redhead was finally here in New York. She’d be going back to Rome via Willow that night to finish packing but by this weekend, she’d be in one of the seventh floor apartments downstairs. When she’d asked Tony why Vi got an apartment in the building, she’s gotten a nice little shock—the redhead was attending City College of New York in the fall. When Dawn had demanded to know what had happened to no more school for the slayer upon graduating the academy, the redhead admitted she’d changed her mind after having to deal with the menial jobs the slayers were given who didn’t have any specific skill set. Mikaela, a slayer already attending NYU, would be Vi’s roommate. According to the Sunnydale vet, the tiny brunette was very excited about her soon to be new digs.

“The last Star Trek movie,” Buffy said. “Not the New Trek or whatever Andrew calls it, the one with Patrick Stewart.”

“Ah,” Vi nodded. “Yeah, I’m so over his bitching.”

“Glad to be moving to New York?” Darcy asked, coming over, Rogue right behind her. Dawn wasn’t sure how Rogue found out about the party but she was putting her money on Tony or his daughter.

“Completely,” she agreed. “You have no idea.”

“What about Kate?” Rogue asked. “Any idea if she’s going to get her wish to come here?”

“Buffy already granted it,” Vi said, glaring at the suddenly contrite blonde. Dawn groaned and Darcy and Rogue both snickered as Buffy slinked away like a dog with its tail between its legs. “She’ll be coming when Buffy finally gets her ass to the city.”

“She’s probably already complaining about not getting to come with Vi,” Willow added as she joined them. “Speaking of which, are you going to introduce her to Clint when she finally does get here?”

“I don’t know,” Dawn admitted, looking over almost on instinct, to where Clint was talking and laughing with Natasha, Bucky, Faith, and Robin. The two of them had driven up from Cleveland, citing a need for a quick vacation while the Hellmouth was quiet.

“It might be a good idea to just get it over with,” Rogue offered. “She won’t bug you about it if you do.”

“And you know she’s gonna bug you about it,” Vi added. “Me too but mostly you.”

“Bitch.”

“Whore.”

“Woah, woah, ladies, what’s with the language?” Bucky asked and Dawn almost jumped out of her skin at his silent approach. “Seriously, what’s the what?”

“You have spent too much time with Dawn and Darcy,” Natasha informed Bucky as she followed. Clint and Faith were still over by the table and from snippets she could hear, they were talking about different arrows for different demons.

“No worries, it’s just them being them,” Darcy said. She paused and then added, “It’s a supernatural thing.”

“Ah,” he said, wrapping an arm around Dawn’s shoulder and squeezing. Dawn blinked at Natasha but the other woman just smiled. Apparently Dawn had been avoiding him for nothing. “Still, Dawnie’s not a whore. I know whore’s and she’s not one—can’t be, since she doesn’t date.”

Vi and Dawn caught each other’s eyes and quickly looked away, smirking. Unfortunately, Bucky caught the glance and his arm around her tightened. “Okay, what don’t I know?”

“What you don’t know could fill Grand Canyon,” Darcy informed him with a grin.

“Hey!”

“So, Dawn, Darcy told me you finally know you’re dad’s name,” Rogue said in an obvious attempt to change the subject. “Care to share?”

“James Howlett,” Dawn answered promptly. “Don’t have a clue who he is.”

Rogue frowned. “Sounds kinda familiar but…” she shrugged. “Sorry.”

“Better than what I got,” Willow added. “You have no idea how many James Howletts there are in the world—and none of them stand out as a reason for them to be your dad.”

Dawn didn’t say anything. Having a name was all nice and good but it was also proving to be a pain in the ass.

“We’ll figure it out eventually,” Bucky assured her, squeezing her shoulder again. She looked up at him and he reached up with his other hand to tweak her nose. “And if he’s a douche, well…Nat and I know how to hide a body.”

~~*~~

“You gonna talk to her?”

Steve looked up from where he’d been nursing a bottle of beer for the better part of an hour. Clint kept himself planted in front of the man, not moving and making it obvious he had no intention of doing so anytime soon. He had no idea why the man had even come but while he had him here…

“I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want to talk to me,” the soldier said and Clint rolled his eyes.

“Well, after you made an ass of yourself, I don’t blame her,” he said. Finding out Dawn’s creation had been a shock, especially since she housed a piece of Asgardian tech inside her, but if Clint didn’t hold Thor’s brother against him, he couldn’t hold Dawn’s creation against her. He’d be the biggest kind of hypocrite if he did. “Seriously, I get you were overwhelmed but she’s eighteen, has abandonment issues, just found out her father’s name, and then you do what you did? All kinds of moronic.”

“You think I don’t know that?” Steve snapped. “I screwed up and I just…I still don’t know what do about it.”

“Okay, first of all, you don’t get to do anything about Dawn’s birth,” Clint informed him coldly. “She might be your ex’s granddaughter but she’s not actually your kid or grandkid. More to the point, she’s her own person and her history is just that--her history. She didn’t get a choice any more than you got a choice to wake up from the ice.”

Steve looked like he was about to argue but Clint shook his head at him. “I’m not done,” he said and the soldier snapped his mouth shut. “So yeah, she has a less than normal conception and the monks may have been crazy when they decided to create her. But you know what? I’m glad they did. Wanna know why?”

“Because we wouldn’t have Dawn without their decision,” Steve said tiredly, like he’d had this lecture before. Given Bucky’s bitching when they went out for drinks with Nat the other night, Clint didn’t doubt that he had.

“Exactly,” he agreed. “And I for one am glad to have her here.”

Steve just turned back to his beer and brooded.

Translation:
mladshaya syestra: young sister
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