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Spring Cleaning 2015: Panic Buttons and Pick-Up Sticks (Kid fic selections)

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"I... you... that's a child."

Stark has always had a talent for stating the obvious - it's actually one of Natasha's very favorite things about him, and a dark part of her is amused as hell at his reaction, but that doesn't mean she's not going to give him shit about it.

"Yes. She is." The child in question tucks her head shyly against Natasha's neck and her hand tightens on the edge of her mother's jacket. By necessity, Lina's unused to unfamiliar people, and the previous few days have been a lot to take in for a two year old.

"I wonder what the statistics are on super spies and accidental pregnancies," Tony says, half to the room and half to himself and she can literally see the hamster wheels turning in his brain as he tries to do the math.

"Double-oh-seven percent," Clint deadpans and Natasha rolls her eyes.

"Would that be zero point zero seven percent or zero point zero zero seven percent?" Bruce asks from across the room, the corner of his mouth turning up slightly.

"Regardless," she breaks in before they can veer too far afield, "we didn't contribute to them."

That brings them up short, and Tony actually does a double take. "So... not some kind of heat of the moment, oops how did that happen-"

"No. I got pregnant on purpose. It's called planning."

Clint reaches over and ruffles his fingers through his daughter's curls and she turns abruptly in Natasha's arms and reaches for her father. Reluctantly, Natasha lets her go, then only because it's Clint. They've both been clinging a bit more tightly since getting her back now that Loki's gone. The knots of tension in her chest relax a little bit more each time she sees Clint with her though, each time she watches him smile without quite as many shadows in his eyes because it's next to impossible not to be happy when his daughter smiles so openly at him.

They'd planned, oh they'd planned - every possible detail they could control thought out to the nth degree, once they realized it was a real possibility: mission schedules and recovery times, the work/life balance, and still there'd been so much they'd just had to take as it came. But they'd wanted this, to do something good and real and hopeful with their lives rather than just an endless string of deaths and regrets and violence. Avelina, their "little bird", whose name also means "life".