Here we are ladies and gentleman, our last chapter of Operation Blackhawk Baby. I want to thank all of you who spent the time reading this story, joining Clint and Natasha through the ups and downs of having a baby. You guys are truly the ones who make my stories great. I'm not sure what I'm going to write next, but it's only a matter of time before I'm back here. So enjoy this chapter, leave me a lovely review and I'll see you guys around.
On a regular day in the Tower, you never really knew what you would find in the cupboard: discarded weapons placed on the top shelf of the high cabinets, Tony's half finished inventions tossed aside, even food on occasion. But Bruce generally didn't expect to find a person in the cupboard, much less his only niece. The two year old girl was sitting comfortably in the cupboard, nestled between pots and pans. Her white headband glowed slightly in the dark, accenting her red curls. "Lilya, what are you doing in the cupboard?" Bruce asked, crouching down in front of the little girl.
"Shh," Lilya giggled, placing a finger against her lips. "Hiding Unc Bru."
"Who are you hiding from?" he asked, an amused smile on his lips.
"Alex and Asgeir," she answered. "We playing."
"Ah alright," Bruce answered, nodding in understanding. He grabbed a pot from next to her, setting it quietly on the ground. "Well I'll be right here in the kitchen cooking if you need me, okay?"
Lilya nodded her head, pulling the cupboard door shut. 'Definitely has her parents' stealth abilities,' Bruce thought, setting a pot of water to boil.
A few minutes later, Alex and Asgeir barreled into the kitchen, looking thoroughly frustrated.
"Uncle Bruce, have you seen Lilya?" Alex asked, looking under the table.
"No, I can't say that I have," Bruce answered easily, smiling at the pair. "But I'm sure she's around here somewhere."
"Aunt Tasha won't be happy if we lost her," Asgeir muttered as he began to search the kitchen. He began pulling open the cupboards, peeking into each of them.
"What are the mischief makers up to?" Steve asked as he walked into the kitchen. He leaned against the counter, watching his nephews turn the kitchen upside down.
"We're lookin' for Lilya," Alex answered, turning toward him. "Did you see her?"
"Found her!" Asgeir exclaimed, holding the cupboard door open for her to climb out. "Thought we'd never find you."
"I win, I win," she said happily. "Again?"
"No, not again," Steve said, scooping the little girl into his arms. "You've gotta eat some lunch before your Uncle Phil comes to pick you up, remember?"
"Please Unc Steve?" she pleaded, wrapping her arms around his neck as she looked up at him.
Steve was tempted to give in to her request, her pleading grey eyes begging him to relent. Her grey eyes and little pout were the undoing of the Avengers most of the time; it was hard for anyone to resist her sweet looks when she asked for something. But he knew he had to stay firm this time; otherwise she'd be late for everything else.
"Not this time, beautiful," he answered, kissing her head before settling her onto a seat at the table. "You can play once you get home. For now, you're gonna have to eat lunch. Come on, Asgeir, Alex, time for you guys to use lunch too."
Phil straightened his tie as the elevator doors opened, revealing the Avengers apartment. He couldn't believe how much the space had changed over the years. What started out as a New York home for Tony and Pepper became the "temporary" home of the Avengers, which then changed into the home of the Avengers plus all their children. Instead of liquor bottles and empty take out boxes, the living room was scattered with storybooks and children's toys. It was the home of a family, or families would be more correct.
"Unc Phil, Unc Phil!" Lilya shouted happily, running toward the agent.
Phil smiled as his goddaughter rushed toward him, easily lifting her into his arms. "Hello Lilya," he said, kissing her forehead. "How are you?"
"I eated 'pasgetti with Alex and Asgeir," she answered, pointing toward the kitchen. "Unc Bru made."
"Well that was very nice of him," Phil replied. "Are you ready to go?"
"Lilya, you can't leave without your shoes," Pepper said as she walked into the room, a pair of white sandals in her hand. "How are you, Phil?"
"I'm great; what about you?"
"It's insanity with these three running around the Tower," Pepper laughed, slipping on Lilya's shoes. She smoothed down Lilya's hair, tucking a stray strand back under her headband. With Clint and Natasha away on a mission everyone watched after Lilya, making sure their only niece was perfectly happy. "But I wouldn't have it any other way. Are you going to be coming back for dinner?"
"I might. If my sunshine asks me to come, I'll definitely be here," Phil answered. "Never can say no to her."
"Welcome to the club," she answered. "You guys have a good time. Be good for your Uncle Phil, alright sweetie?"
"Bye bye Auntie Pep!" Lilya said, waving at the woman.
Phil fed Lilya the last of the ice cream as they sat on the park bench, shaded from the sun's rays. Lilya watched the people walk by, occasionally asking Phil questions about them or asking to pet someone's dog.
"Unc Phil, why we here?" Lilya asked curiously.
"We're waiting for someone to come," he answered, wiping her mouth. "Two someones actually."
"Who?" she asked, standing on the bench.
"Just wait a minute and you'll see," Phil answered her, looking at her watch. He placed his hand against her back to make sure she didn't fall over the back of the bench. After a few minutes he stood up, setting Lilya on the ground. "Who's that over there?" he asked, pointing farther down the path.
Lilya squinted for a moment before smiling brightly, jumping up and down. "Mommy! Daddy!" she shouted, running toward them, her Uncle Phil forgotten.
"Hey there, Squirt," Clint said happily, picking up his daughter and hugging.
Lilya hugged Clint before reaching for Natasha. "Have you been a good girl for everyone?" Natasha asked, taking Lilya from Clint's arms.
"Always, Momma," Lilya answered, her red curls bobbing as she nodded her head.
"That means the Tower's probably been destroyed," Clint laughed, wrapping one arm around Natasha's waist as his other hand stroked Lilya's hair. "We missed you, baby."
Phil put on his sunglasses, nodding toward the pair of assassins before leaving. His last glance was at the little family, Lilya laughing as Clint peppered her with kisses, Natasha cradling her daughter safe to her chest, the picture of happiness if he ever saw it.