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Life As They Know It

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“We’re what?” Both women screamed at the poor attorney at the same time.

“Please, ladies. The Coulson’s made it clear in their will that if anything were to happen to them that you would take over care of Madelynn. You have also inherited their house so that you can live there, together, with Madelynn. A social worker will be assigned to your case, and she will explain more of the details but congratulations, you’re both new parents.” The slight woman sitting behind the desk explained, again. Passing the paper work across the desk for both of them. “Your signature there Miss Romanov, and yours there Miss Potts.” She said, pointing to lines that had their named printed under them.

Both women signed the paper, because Madelynn was only just over a year old and the last thing she needed was foster care when she could remain in her daddies’ home – her home – with Natasha and Pepper.

“Here are the keys to the house, the social worker will drop Madelynn off in a few hours. I suggest you go pack up anything you might need from your own residences and do some google searching on being a mother between now and then.” They were each handed a set of keys and sent on their way.

“I can’t believe their dead.” Pepper whispered once they were standing in the waiting room of the law office.

“I can’t believe they left their kid to us. They set us up on one date, and I am pretty sure that was in the top ten worst dates of my life. Why on earth did they pick us, together?” Natasha retorted before walking away from Pepper, and to her motorcycle.

“You are going to have to trade that for a car!” Pepper yelled after her, following her into the parking lot.

“The hell I will. You have a suitable mom car.” Natasha shot back, before straddling the black and red vehicle, dragging her fingers over the black widow emblem on the tank. She missed Pepper rolling her eyes as she got into her midnight blue SUV.

When Pepper got to the house, Natasha’s bike was already parked in the driveway, and when she walked in, Natasha was sitting cross legged on the couch with a lap top and cup of coffee.

“Please tell me you didn’t actually google ‘How to be a mother?’.” Pepper said, her own lap top case on her shoulder, while she rolled the suitcase behind her.

“You’re so funny.” Natasha deadpanned. “Of course not. I was looking up how legally binding this actually is.”

“You know, if you really don’t want to be here, stay till Madelynn is dropped off and leave. I am sure I can manage on my own.”

Natasha snorted. “Yea, right.”

“I’m friends with Tony for Christ sakes. And really, he is just a rich child with no parents, beyond me, to occasionally remind him to like eat. And that only works because I cook like a god.” Pepper argued. Tony was that friend that made everyone a touch uncomfortable, his success in the technology industry made him feel untouchable, but in reality, he just wanted people to stick around. He wanted someone to call him out on his bullshit and Pepper had no problem doing that.

Phil hadn’t either.

“The will says that if the social worker doesn’t find this to be acceptable for Madelynn then we have an out.” Natasha says after a moment.

“I refuse to let her go into foster care!” Pepper barked before dragging herself and her belongings up the stairs to claim which ever bedroom Natasha hadn’t.

Which turned out to be Phil and Clint’s bedroom. Which Pepper couldn’t bring herself to sleep in, so she was dragging her stuff back down stairs to sit by the couch, determined she would just sleep on it for the time being.

“I’m just going to sleep on the couch.” She explained once she sat down and Natasha gave her a questioning look.

“I couldn’t even open their door. I get it.” Natasha murmured before turning back to her laptop. “Are you still trying to open that restaurant?”

Pepper nodded, only to realize Natasha wasn’t looking at her. “Yea, Tony is throwing money at me for it, which means he gets naming rights. His current favorite is Rescue’s Kitchen.”

Natasha hummed. “It’s catchy. You know with Madelynn, on your own, you would never be able to run a restaurant, let alone be head chef, right?”

“Watch me. You don’t have to live here with us, Natasha. I am not going to beg you to stay, or black mail you or whatever else you think. I think Clint and Phil might have been on drugs when they decided we should be her guardians if they died, but I am going to respect their wishes and not let their little girl go into foster care. You of all people should know how Clint would feel about that.” Pepper ranted before deflating into the couch. “She deserves better than a system where she is going to bounce from home to home.”

Natasha grunted. “Fine. We’ll try, alright?”

It was as if the words being out there set everything in motion. The doorbell rang and in a flurry of motion Pepper was holding Madelynn on her hip, a pale girl with Phil’s dark brown hair and wide blue-grey eyes, while Natasha was handed a binder by the social worker, before they were all seated in the living room to discuss things.

Maria Hill was not the kind of woman Pepper would have ever thought would be a CPS social worker. She was controlling and gave off the impression that if you messed up she would remove your head from your body and you would even thank her for doing it. But when she was focused on Madelynn, it was a monumental shift. She was soft and warm, tickling the bottom of her sock covered feet to get her to giggle, or ruffling the ultra-soft, fine, hair on Madelynn’s head.

“You two aren’t together, right?” Maria asked, standing in the doorway.

“No. Does that matter?” Pepper asked, her brows knitted together in confusion while she bounced Madelynn on her hip absent-mindedly.

“It’s better if you’re not. You two are here to take care of Madelynn. It gets messy if you’re dating and something happens. I’ll be making surprise visits on top of a monthly scheduled visit. My number is in the binder if anything were to happen and you have to get in touch with me immediately. And by something happening, I am talking Miss Romanov eating pavement on that bike that I am assuming belongs to her. You need to get rid of that by the way, Miss Romanov. It is an unnecessary hazard to your health, and you can’t transport Madelynn on it.”

“Told you.” Pepper whispered.

“Shut up.” Natasha bit back before smiling at Maria like a predator does it’s pray.

“Don’t kill each other, we’ll give this six months to see how things work out. I’ll see you both twice a month between now and then.” Maria said before giving a wave and walking out to her own car.

With the door closed, Pepper sagged against it. “That was kind of exhausting.”

“She’s intense. And I have to sell my bike?” Natasha rolled her eyes before they retreated to the living room.


Visit 1

Two weeks after Madelynn was handed over to them, Maria showed back up for an unannounced visit, during dinner time. Madelynn was throwing food at Pepper, while Natasha was leaning against the counter wearing a smirk while she ate cereal for dinner.

“Please, baby, just eat a little bit.” Pepper begged, sitting in front of the high chair trying to feed cut up noodles to Madelynn.

The little girl shook her head, her mouth closed firmly before batting the fork away.

“Is this normal?” Maria asked, sitting at the table making notes on her tablet.

“No.” “Yes.” The look Pepper shot Natasha should have left the woman in puddle of melted flesh.

“Have you tried like cheerios?” Maria suggested.

“Pepper insists they aren’t real food. I disagree.” Natasha said holding up a spoon of cereal, which was indeed cheerios.

“It’s homemade pasta.” Pepper tried to argue, leaning over to take a bite of her own plate which was drenched in white creamy sauce.

“Miss Potts, if she won’t eat what you are cooking, would it not be better to feed her something?” Maria argued.

With a huff, Pepper agreed that Maria was right and vacated her chair to grab the box Natasha had sitting on the counter next to her.

“I’ll do it.” Natasha said, taking the box and taking the seat Pepper had been sitting in, and dumping some of the cereal on the tray of the high seat and sitting back, watching Madelynn play with the small loops for a bit before putting on in her mouth and chewing tentatively.

“How the hell did you do that?” Pepper asked, wide eyed.

“She’s a kid, Pepper, not an invalid. Let her feed herself once and a while.” Natasha said, crossing her legs on the wooden chair before taking a fork full of the pasta Pepper had meticulously cut up for Madelynn and dumping it on the tray too. And Pepper watched in a mixture of horror and fascination as Madelynn picked up the pasta and ate it.

“Maybe food should be Miss Romanov’s job, Miss Potts.” Maria suggested with a raised eyebrow.

“But, I am a chef.” Pepper was crumbling.

“So cook, but maybe Miss Romanov is better suited for getting Madelynn to eat.” Maria said, rolling her eyes.

“Right.” Pepper murmured, grabbing her plate to finish eating.

“So how are you two managing your work schedules?” Maria asked.

“I have taken some time off, I am in the process of opening a restaurant anyway, so most of it I can do from home, approving design plans and such.” Pepper said.

“And how is that going to work long term with Madelynn?” Maria asked and the look of shock on Pepper’s face was all the answer she needed. Pepper hadn’t thought that far ahead yet. “You should start considering that, Miss Potts. I was under the impression that in the very well prepared binder that I gave you, from Mr. Coulson, er Phil, that there was a number for a young woman in college who watched Madelynn for them, while they were at work. Miss Lewis I believe.”

“We haven’t gotten very far into the binder.” Pepper admitted, sheepishly. “Madelynn’s a handful at times.”

You haven’t gotten very far into the binder because you think that every time she cries she needs your full attention. Let her cry it out once in a while.” Natasha said, looking at Pepper before turning her attention to Maria. “I have already called Darcy, she is happy to take the roll back on whenever we need her. I do need to go back to work soon.”

“What do you do Miss Romanov?” Maria asked, quickly making notes on her tablet again.

“I’m a personal trainer and do a bit of physical therapy as well.” Natasha responded. “And while, my work isn’t life-saving, I do have people training for marathons who are going to be livid if I don’t start taking appointments again.”

“That sounds like it could be time consuming. How does Madelynn work into that?” Maria asked with a raised eyebrow.

“I make my own schedule, so for the most part it just means that I’ll build it around her, and Darcy’s availability, and Pepper’s.”

“And if someone needs you short notice?” Maria asked.

Natasha tilted her head to the side. “Hm, it doesn’t have very often, but occasionally someone who does training with me demands me for PT too. The facility I run my PT appointments out of has daycare, I am pretty sure, but I will double check. For the most part, it shouldn’t be a problem though.”

“Which facility do you run out of?” Maria asked, pulling up something on her tablet.

“SHIELD, thank god for that acronym, because their actual name escapes me.” Natasha joked.

Maria hummed before nodding. “They do indeed have a day care for patients who have to bring children with them. I’m sure if something were to come up you would be able to sweet talk them into letting Madelynn stay there while you did a session.”

Natasha nodded. “I am told I can be very persuasive.”

“Well, Miss Romanov, you seem to have an excellent understanding how the arrangements that need to be made for Madelynn in your life.” Maria said with a small quirk of her lips, Natasha was pretty sure that it was as close to a smile as the woman ever got if it wasn’t directed towards a child. “I think I can leave you for the night.”

Natasha returned the small quirk of the lips with one of her own.

“Just one more thing, Miss Romanov. The bike, it really does need to go.” Maria said before walking out of the house.

“I am starting to get suspicious that she only says that as the last thing. It’s like she knows I will tear her limb from limb.” Natasha said staring at the door until Madelynn banged on the high chair, demanding either more pasta or cheerios.

Natasha took her spot back in the chair, putting more food on the tray for Madelynn.

“Two weeks ago, you didn’t want anything to do with her, and now you are the baby whisperer.” Pepper accused.

“Two weeks ago, I didn’t want anything to do with you, and really I still don’t. I would rather not be thrust into motherhood like this, but I have always made the best of a situation, Pepper.” Natasha snapped back.

“How do you know all of this...?” Pepper trailed off, waving her arms around.

“I’ve read most of the binder, and bought a couple of books, and read them.” Natasha said with a shrug, watching Madelynn with one eye.

“How do you have that kind of time?”

“I make it, Pepper. Madelynn can’t afford for me to mess up because I couldn’t read Phil’s binder. Are you going to take her for her bath tonight?”

“Yea, yea, I can do that. Can you put the binder on the coffee table tonight?”

Natasha nodded, taking the plate that Madelynn’s noodles were on and putting in the sink and taking Pepper’s plate from her to do the dishes.

That night Pepper stayed up highlighting things in the book that she thought was important.


Visit 5

“Pepper!” Natasha yelled, opening the door to see Maria Hill standing there, looking exhausted.

“Doctor Simmons called.” Maria said as way of explanation.

“I figured we would see you today.” Natasha said with a shrug.

“So, why did you visit the ER at…” Maria checked her tablet, “seven thirty last night?”

“Because Pepper is one of those obnoxious parents who thinks every time a kid falls it’s a national crisis. Madelynn’s fine, but she fell down a few stairs, and by a few I mean like two, that she managed to climb up only to fall down.” Natasha explained before closing the door behind Maria.

“And did Madelynn have any injuries?”

Natasha shook her head. “She’s got a rocking bruise on her leg and arm this morning, but nothing broke or anything else like that.” Furrowing her brows Natasha looked up the stairs before yelling for Pepper again. “Pepper! Maria is here, and I’m sure this poor woman has other things to do than make sure we are not abusing Madelynn!”

Maria chuckled, getting comfortable on the couch. “I was going to come do my surprise visit today anyway to see how things were going.”

Natasha shrugged. “Pepper keeps putting off going to her restaurant, her friend Tony, is becoming even more annoying about that. The Long Island marathon is next week so my appointments should drop down for a bit, since almost everyone I am training is running some part of it. I’m hoping to force her out to her restaurant once that happens.”

“Well, at least one of you seems to have this under control.” Natasha said before Pepper came down the stairs with Madelynn on her hip. “Hey Maddie.” Maria said, her full blown, actual smile gracing her face. Pepper put the wiggling girl down and she ran full tilt at Maria, launching herself at the social worker. Maria quickly picked her up, swinging the little girl into her lap to look at the bruises on her arm and leg. Natasha was right, they were impressive for a small tumble down the stairs but the girl seemed happy to Maria.

“Really, she just fell down the stairs.” Pepper said.

“I have no doubt that’s what happened Miss Potts, I just have to come by and make sure.” Maria said, tickling the girl’s sides. “Maddie is my easiest case ever. So, how are you both feeling, about making this permanent? Since we are about half way through the intro six months.”

“Well, I was wondering about that actually. What happens if one of us were to meet someone and get married?” Pepper asked.

“Have you met someone?” Maria asked, an eyebrow raised dangerously high.

Pepper shook her head. “But, before I say that I am going to be okay with being a permanent part of Madelynn’s life, I just need to know what that means.”

“Well, theoretically, if you were to meet someone and get married, it would be up to you and Miss Romanov to figure out how you would like to handle it. Split custody of Maddie, or one of you signing rights over to the other.” Maria explained before putting the little girl down so she could go play while the adults talked.

“I see.” Pepper said, tapping her nails on her knee.

“How do you feel about that Miss Romanov?” Maria asked.

Natasha shrugged. “The chances of me meeting someone are, small, to say the least. It really seems more like Pepper’s problem than mine. If you are asking if I would be willing to sign over my rights to Madelynn if Pepper got married, then sure, yea, whatever.”

Maria tilted her head at that answer, knowing a deflect when she heard one. Natasha was saying that she would sign the girl over, but Maria saw the shine in her eyes at the thought, the way that she got just a little tenser at the prospect of Pepper taking full custody of Madelynn.

“She would be better off with Pepper in a stable house anyway.” Natasha said after a moment, looking away from both of the other women before getting up and walking away from the conversation to go sit on the floor and play with Madelynn.

Maria sat a little straighter and looked at Pepper. “Do you two ever talk? I mean because when I come here it seems like the two of you live together but don’t actually speak to each other.”

“We talk enough to make sure Madelynn is okay, beyond that, no, we kind of do our own thing.” Pepper admits.

“You should try to talk to each other. Even if you do get married and take Maddie, Miss Romanov is part of her life. If you get married in four years, Maddie will have memories of her, you can’t go on hating each other.” Maria said, leaving no room for discussion.

“Fair enough.” Pepper conceded.

“Alright ladies, I think we are good for this visit. No more ER visits, okay?” Maria got up from the couch only to go crouch down by Madelynn. “That means no more playing Tomb Raider, little lady.” Maria said with a grin, ruffling the little girls still baby fine brown hair.

“Thanks, Maria.” Natasha murmured as she pulled Madelynn into her lap. “Wave bye-bye to Maria.” Natasha prompted before helping Madelynn wave.


Day before Visit 9

“You said you would watch her if I went in to the restaurant.” Pepper said, watching Natasha throw together her work bag, while go from one side of the guest room she was living in to the other in only a sports bra and yoga pants.

“Well, that was before Skye got out of the hospital. She is supposed to start PT today and if I don’t at least get her started she is never going to stick around, even though Melinda trains with her most of the time.” Natasha explained, putting her hands on her hips. “I promise, I didn’t do this on purpose or something. Skye wasn’t supposed to get out of the hospital for another week.”

“I can’t bail on Tony again, he is starting to think that this restaurant was a bad investment because I put so little face time in.”

“So go! I’ll take Madelynn with me for the time being and Darcy can come pick her up and bring her back here if I am going to be a while.” Natasha argued before grabbing the baby bag that constantly sat by her doorway after the trip to the ER.

“But you have to work with Skye, you can’t possibly watch her!” Pepper argued, pulling out her phone to tell Tony she couldn’t meet him at the restaurant to go over menu options.

“I swear to god if you send a text to him and say you can’t go I will disembowel you with my running shoes!” Natasha said, snatching the phone. “Madelynn can play in the daycare with the other kids. I might even be good for her to, you know, socialize.”

Pepper huffed. “What if she gets hurt or something though?”

“It’s not the end of the world if she scrapes a knee, Pepper. Just go. You have been in this house for most of the five months, go be an adult!”

Madelynn stood in the doorway, her eyes wide listening to Pepper and Natasha argue, and Pepper had her back turned. Natasha saw her and picked her up in a large swooping motion before settling the little girl on her hip.

“Hey, baby girl, you want to come to work with me today?” Natasha asked giving Madelynn an Eskimo kiss.

Madelynn nodded but she still looked upset. “Mad?”

Natasha’s face softened and she shook her head, the bright red curls in her pony tail tickling Madelynn’s cheeks. “No, honey, not mad at you.”

“Okay.” Madelynn murmured, burying her face in Natasha’s neck.

“Go. We’ll be fine, Pepper.” Natasha said, bouncing Madelynn on her hip a bit.

Pepper finally huffed but left, throwing over her shoulder. “Call me, I’ll drop everything, if something happens.”

“Nothing will happen, Pepper.” Natasha said with an eye roll, following Pepper out of the house, baby bag and work bag slung over the shoulder of the arm not holding Madelynn.

As it turned out, Darcy couldn’t take care of Madelynn, and Skye needed more attention than she had let on, so Madelynn spent the day with the other kids in daycare. Natasha ate lunch with Madelynn on her lap, feeding her small bits of food between her own bites while Melinda May and Steve Rogers, the other two trainer slash PT specialists that she rotated she schedule with, sat with them. Steve occasionally making funny faces at Madelynn while Melinda pretended not to be totally in love with the little girl.

“Hey, munchkin, you want to play with me for a little while?” Steve asks after shoving the last of his tuna sandwich in his mouth and standing up.

Madelynn turned to look at Natasha for permission and at her nod, scrambled off of Natasha’s lap to take Steve’s hand.

Madelynn looked up at him with wide eyes before fumbling over what she wanted to say. “Dance?”

Natasha grinned, watching the two in the break room, as Steve helped the little girl stand on his feet while he moved them around. Natasha had done it once when Madelynn had caught her dancing while she was cleaning the kitchen and apparently it stuck.

“How is living with Pepper going?” Melinda asked, an eye brow raised.

“I think I might actually like her.” Natasha admitted.

“Whoa, wasn’t this the woman who you had a date with and came home with a bottle of wine and told me it was the worst date you had ever been on in your life? I miss my roommate by the way.” Melinda said elbowing her.

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I am living with her, but I think I might actually like her. She is stubborn and such an over protective parent, but she knows what she wants in life too, and she isn’t afraid to get it, unless it means leaving Madelynn without someone.” Natasha finished with a shrug.

“Oh god, you do like her.”

“Yea, but she asked the social worker a while ago what would happen if she met someone and got married. I think she likes Tony, he is like her best friend.”

Melinda actually snorted. “Oh god, Tony Stark, that man is never going to settle down, let alone with Pepper now that Madelynn is part of the package.”

“You’re probably right, but how do I tell her that I want to make a go of this?”

“Sleep with her.” Melinda suggests.

Natasha snorted this time but was distracted by her phone going off.

Where are Madelynn and Darcy? I came home for lunch and they aren’t here!

Natasha sighed before explaining that Darcy couldn’t take care of Madelynn and that she was at work with her.

If I get done at the restaurant before you get done, I’ll come get her.

Natasha quickly texted back that, that was fine, before taking a video of Steve and Madelynn dancing, her still standing on Steve’s feet while he moved them around, and sent that as well.

“God, the smile you get when you are talking to her. You’re going to make me vomit.” Melinda teased, before getting up to throw their trash away and go find Skye to get her stretched out enough before Natasha went back to working on getting her muscles to work again.

By the time Pepper finished up at the restaurant, Natasha was still working over Skye’s muscles, trying to loosen knots that had built during the day, even on a rotation of fifteen minutes of work, thirty minutes of relaxation.

When Pepper found them, Natasha had just managed to get Skye out the door, and was swinging Madelynn around, peppering her with kisses.

“She was worse than normal today.” Melinda complained, rubbing her own shoulders.

Natasha nodded her agreement before seeing Pepper standing in the entrance way by the receptionist. “Hey, Pepper.” Natasha said, setting Madelynn down so the little girl could go run to Pepper.

“Hey. She was okay with you today?” Pepper asked, picking Madelynn up and giving her a kiss. “Hey, baby girl.”

“Perfect angel. I think Steve might like her more than me.” Natasha said, grabbing her bags from the PT room wall. “We just finished up actually, Skye just left and I am pretty sure Steve and Melinda both need to go home and bang their heads against a wall, over and over. I love that girl, but she’s awful when she’s been injured.”

Steve nodded his agreement.

Melinda rolled her eyes before slapping his head. “You’re not supposed to agree Skye is an awful patient! You are supposed to be all noble and kind hearted, and everything that makes mother’s wet themselves when their daughters bring them home. And complaining about a patient totally isn’t on that list.” But then she was squealing when Steve flung her over his shoulder and spun.

“Oh yea? It sounded like you were the one complaining earlier, and you are my bench mark for appropriate workplace behavior.” Steve huffed before carrying Melinda out of the building.

Pepper grinned, leaning close to Natasha. “They are cute together.”

“They aren’t, together.” Natasha said, fishing her keys out for the two door Scion FR-S, it wasn’t much better in Maria’s opinion, but at least it had back seats and Madelynn’s car seat fit.

“Oh.” Pepper said furrowing her brow. “Do you like Steve?”

“He’s fun, but if you’re asking if I want to date him, no. I have eyes for someone else.” Natasha admitted.

“Oh?” Pepper asked.

Natasha nodded, stopping and turning to face Pepper before capturing her lips, while Madelynn rested her head on Pepper’s shoulder.

“You.” Natasha whispered when they pulled apart to finish their walk to the parking lot and drive home.


The following morning they were woken by someone knocking on the front door.

“I would put money on that being Maria.” Natasha hissed while she pulled clothes on and Pepper attempted to roll out of the bed to do the same. “You go take a shower, that will buy you some time to get your head straight. I’m going to go check on Madelynn and deal with Maria. Okay?”

Pepper nodded, rubbing her face before Natasha bent down to give her a quick kiss, before darting out of the room.

Madelynn was still out like a light, and Natasha checked to make sure the little girl wasn’t ill before going down stairs to open the door for Maria. Maria looked at her once and sighed.

“You two slept together. Damn it, you were supposed to be my easy case.” Maria complained before following Natasha into the house.

“Madelynn is sleeping. I took her to work with me yesterday and she had a busy day with all the socializing with other kids and stuff. Coffee?”

“Sure.” Maria said, taking her place on the couch to wait for the cup of coffee and Pepper to appear. Both of which appeared at the same time, Pepper still towel drying her hair as she sat down across from Maria. “Alright, I am saying this once. You two break up, you need to know who is taking Madelynn.”

“You told her?” Pepper hissed.

“No, she took one look at me and leapt to the conclusion.” Natasha hissed back.

“I’m serious, if you two break up, who is taking Madelynn?” Maria prompted again.

“It took us five months, almost six, living together for one of us to make a move. If we were going to break up, we would have never gotten together.” Natasha argued.

Maria rolled her eyes. “I hope that that is true.”


Visit 12

Maria sat down at the kitchen table with a large stack of paper work. “Alright. I think I can safely leave Madelynn to you two, if that is still the plan.”

Natasha nodded, Madelynn sitting in her lap while Pepper grabbed the paper work, reading through it with a fine tooth comb. “We are a family. A weird one, but a family.”

Pepper nodded, leaning over to press a quick kiss to Natasha’s lips. “Our weird family.”

“What are your plans for work?” Maria asked.

“Pepper just hired an amazing chef to do most of the heavy lifting for her at the restaurant, so she can stay home most of the time.” Natasha offered.

“But we also have the calendar.” Pepper said, gesturing to the large calendar hanging on the wall by the refrigerator, small sticky notes in various colors all over it.

Maria nodded. “Alright then, all I need from you two then is to sign the official paperwork, and you are officially a family.”

Pepper grinned signing her name quickly and passing the paperwork to Natasha, who managed to sign around Madelynn sitting on her lap.

“Congratulations, ladies.” Maria said with a tight smile, before leaving.

“Think we should finally clean out the master bedroom? Make this our house?” Natasha asked.

Pepper nodded. “Yea, but we’ll keep all the pictures and stuff for her.”

“Without a doubt. And when she gets old enough, we will tell her all the stupid stories about her daddies. Like Clint doing stunt work for Cirque Du Soleil when I met him.”

“Or Phil trying to manage Tony. Like at all.” Pepper said with a laugh.

“We’ll make sure she remembers them, but we are her family now, and I couldn’t be happier.” Natasha said with a grin, pressing a kiss to Pepper’s lips before standing up and putting Madelynn in her high chair. “So, my master chef, wife-to-be, what are you cooking your new family for breakfast?”