A/N: Sorry about the wait! I was updating my other stories! Please review!

Bruce woke up earlier than he usually did. He stretched and headed into the kitchen, his mind still working over the last few events. Clint had been a father twice over, that they knew of. Suddenly the phone rang.


"Hi. I don't suppose Clint Barton's there is he?"

The voice was male, deep, young and had a Southern twang. Bruce opened the door to the kitchen and saw Clint typing frantically at a computer.

"Clint. Call for you."

Clint stared and said, "Not here. Dead. Asleep. Chicago. New Jersey."

Bruce frowned and opened his mouth to relay this answer.

"It's OK. I heard. I'll call back later."

There was a click and Bruce put the phone down. He tried to see what Clint was looking at but the other Avengers piled in.

"Hey. What are you looking at my little Katniss?" asked Tony.

"Custody laws. I'm gettin' Mary back. Julie can go and…"

Natasha interrupted. "Not in front of Thor or Steve please Clint. He's fond of making anatomically impossible suggestions when he wants to."

They laughed and Clint grinned. Bruce found that he liked the archer even if he was quite solitary.

"Who wants breakfast?" asked Clint.

There were murmurs of consent as Clint began cooking. It turned out he was a brilliant cook.

"This meal is worthy of Asgardians!" declared Thor.

Clint smiled. "Glad you like it. I can make some more if you want. I used to cook for Rosa when she was pregnant all the time. Jeez she could eat."

His smile was a little sad but he brushed it off easily. He'd never forget them but he could talk about them.

Thor clapped his back. "We will win you your daughter Hawkman."

Tony said, "We have a plan. I'm going to order the best custody attorney in the country and then we will have a plan."

He dialled a number. Natasha dropped a kiss on the archer's head. Clint grinned up at her.


"It's OK."

Weirdly it was. At first she was furious but now she had kinda accepted it. Then Tony got off the phone.

"OK. Michael Stepper has a plan. First, Clint gets a decent job, steady hours, always around. Plus he needs a suit. So here's the plan. Bruce and Thor are going to get a children's floor ready. Steve is going to ring Fury and explain. I am going to continue consulting Michael and filling him in on Clint's life. Natasha for the love of God, buy the man a decent suit."

Natasha smiled at the indignation on Clint's face.

Three months later

Steve sat in the hard chair and watched the comings and goings. He'd only been in a court once before and since he was killing aliens he didn't think it counted. Thor was eating a Pop Tart… again. They'd finally gotten him Midgardian clothes so he looked relatively normal. Clint was pacing up and down the floor. Steve had expected the archer to curl into a corner and wait. But he seemed to believe in action. Natasha was getting drinks and Tony was talking to the attorney.

"You bastard!" shouted a female voice.

The Avengers turned to see Julie stood there, defiant, holding Mary's hand in a vice grip with another attorney. Clint's face brightened at the sight of Mary.

"Daddy! Auntie Julie, can I go and see Daddy?"

"No." said Julie coldly. "Your father is a terrible man."

Michael Stepper got to his feet. "If you have something to say it will be in court or my client will be pressing libel charges."

Julie fell silent, sitting as far away from them as she could. Then a court attendant stepped forwards.

"Barton versus Hemingway."

They filed into court and Clint sat down next to Michael.

"Can we win?" he asked softly.

Michael replied, "Based on the fact that you've managed to get enrolled in the police academy and are living at Stark Tower? If Mary says anything in your favour you're home and dry."

Clint nodded quietly. He felt sick. Natasha was right behind him and for that he was grateful. The others were sat quietly, listening to every word. The attorneys went to work and Clint listened silently. Then it was his turn to speak.

"Why do you want custody of your daughter? You haven't for six years." said the judge.

Clint took a deep breath. "My job wasn't stable. I would be anywhere at the drop of a hat. Istanbul, Chicago, Beijing, anywhere. There was no way I could look after my daughter and I want her to get the best care. But… I can't not see her. No matter where I've been, I have always got back for her birthday and Christmas. I just want Mary to be happy and I genuinely believe I can look after her properly."

"You have a son, correct?" asked Judge Cooper.

He watched as Barton closed his eyes for a second. He was leaning more and more towards Barton for custody but he wanted to hear what the girl said.

"He died when he was a year old with his mother. It was a hit-and-run accident on his birthday. Sorry, can I just have a moment?"

Cooper nodded and turned to the aunt.

"Now, Miss Hemingway, it is my understanding that Mary has her father's name. Why is that I ask, if you are so opposed to her father spending time with her?"

Tony watched in amusement as Julie's face coloured. He disliked her and could practically feel the worry coming off Clint. Bruce was murmuring to Thor, explaining what was going on. Steve was talking to Natasha about the children's floor and the room with a connecting door to Clint's.

"It was my sister's idea. She was determined to have Barton as Mary's surname and my family was disgusted by the very idea of changing it to Hemingway that it was easier not to."

"I see." said Judge Cooper doubtfully. "Now, there is one young lady I am very keen to hear speak. Mary, will you stand up here please?"

Michael smiled as he watched the little girl step up onto the stand. He'd seen several cases but he had never rooted for the father to win quite so much.

Cooper asked, "Now Mary, do you know why you're here?"

Mary answered, "Auntie Julie says it's because Daddy is a bitter man who never got over the fact that he's useless as a father."

There were several raised eyebrows at her answer. Judge Cooper scowled.

"You are here because your father and aunt both want you to live with them. The important question is… who do you want to live with?"

"Daddy." answered Mary.

"I see. Please leave the court while I deliberate."

They filed out. Clint was too busy staring at the floor to speak to anyone. Thor felt sorry for him. This would never happen in Asgard. Bruce had explained the basics to him but he still thought it was terrible that Mary's aunt could make it so impossible for Clint to see his own daughter. Odin would never allow that.

"I think you'll win." said Steve.

Clint didn't reply. He didn't seem to notice Natasha sitting next to him, slipping her small hands onto his shoulders. She began to massage them softly. Clint twisted his head to face her.

"Love you." he murmured.

She smiled and kissed his nose. "Love you too."

He got to his feet as the attendant called them in. Judge Cooper smiled down at them.

"I award custody to Mr Barton."

There was a roar of delight from the Avengers and Clint scooped his daughter up into his arms.

"You gonna come and live with me and my friends."


They headed back to Stark Tower, stopping on the way for McDonalds. They walked into the kitchen where Steve began plating up. Clint had other ideas.

"Sack the plates Steve. Lemme show you how you do Maccadees in the Barton household! Sit down. Sit."

Steve sank into a seat. Clint opened the bag.

"OK. Who ordered the Big Mac? Thor?"

Thor nodded. Clint grinned as he tossed it to him.

"Right so that makes Tasha the grilled chicken, no bacon, salad?"

He slid it over to her, still in the wrapping.

"Steve, you're the fillet-of-fish?"

He passed it over.

"How are we supposed to eat these?" he asked.

Clint grinned. "Well, Stevey-boy, at the end of your hands, you got five little things. They're called fingers and thumbs. Pick up your food with them and put it in your mouth. McDonalds a la Barton style."

Tony laughed as he got the beefburger, Bruce got the chicken legend and Clint dumped his chicken wrap on the side.

"So that means that the Happy Meal is for the pretty little girl sat at the end of the table. Am I right?"

"Yep. Thank you Daddy."

"No problem."

"Are we going to be having McDonalds every night?"

Clint shook his head. "Nope. You gotta eat healthily. So sometimes you'll have takeaway but most times you'll be eating healthily."

Tony asked the question everybody had been wondering.

"So… Legolas. How many kids do you have?"

"Including Mary and Jake?"



Bruce choked on his coffee. "What?!"

Clint shrugged. "I like kids."

Natasha started laughing. "I should hope so. Does Mary know?"

"No. I'll tell her in private."

Steve personally thought it was terrible that he hadn't married any of these women. But he belonged to a different time he supposed.

"Pay maintenance?" asked Tony casually.

"Yeah. I am actually slightly competent and responsible."

"Not that I've ever seen." commented Natasha.

They laughed. Clint rolled his eyes. Mary was half asleep but Clint sat down next to her and nudged her gently.

"Hey Mary, wake up. Listen, I have something to tell you so listen up."

Mary sat up. "What is it Daddy?"

"You've got a brother and sister. They have different moms to you but they're still your brother and sister. I know you didn't know but I wanted to tell you."

"Can I meet them?"

Clint replied, "Yeah sure. At some point OK? They live kinda far away."

Bruce commented, "You really did sow your oats far and wide."

Clint burst out laughing. "Damn straight I did Doc."

The phone started ringing. Thor, who was nearest, picked it up. He looked at it for a minute before realising he didn't know how to answer it.

"Press the green button."

Thor nodded to Steve before pressing the green button.


A male voice spoke. "Hi. Is Clint Barton there or have I got the wrong number?"

Thor replied, "Hawkman is here."

He threw the phone to Clint who caught it.

"Hello? Oh hey Paul. How's life down in lil' ol' Pasadena? Huh? What? Nu-uh. Shit. No… no thanks. Yeah course I'll be there. Hang on a sec."

He covered the phone and turned to Tony.

"Hey, can I borrow your private jet? I need to get to Pasadena soon."

Tony replied, "It'll be ready for tomorrow."

"Thanks. Yeah I'm still here. I'll be there tomorrow OK? Is it OK if I bring Mary? And several friends? I live with them and you know… What's gonna… yeah I'll talk to you tomorrow."

He hung up and turned to the others. "Get your smart suits. We're goin' to a funeral."

"Whose is it?" asked Tony.

He thought the day couldn't hold anymore surprises. He was very wrong.

"My wife."