Pre-Edit Count – 1,920 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Dream on by Aerosmith
Bucky is in control, and he works to save Steve, then leaves to do as she advised. Work to find himself again, start the healing progress.
After Captain America: Civil War ends…
At another spot in the world at a later time, a brunette woman wakes to get ready for her own change in life. After her shower, looking into the mirror, Bella decides that it is time to finally pay those dues. She owes so much to so many for taking time out of their lives to make sure she has a chance to live hers. So in fact, it is past time to pay those dues.
With those thoughts, Bella remembers the past couple of years that have become her own personal hell on earth.
First was the Cullen’s leaving and her falling apart at being left. She had a family that she had finally fit in with for the first time in her life, and to have that brutally ripped away had made her comatose. It was as if they had died with the chance Bella had of finding them in the future. It had been shock and mourning mixed up, along with the fact that she had become sick with the time spent out in the woods until Sam found her.
That had lasted only so long until the Lady came to her. She had warned Bella that life doesn’t stop because of a boy leaving her. Nor if they take a family away. And soon she will see what them leaving her really had done to her. She had seemed sad, as she had cupped her Shield’s face before leaving. The pain that this young woman will be suffering from is only starting.
A week later, Bella woke screaming due to the pain she was feeling. Charlie ran into the room, having not ever heard this type of cry from her before. Looking at Bella grasping her wrist as she screams, he tried to pull her hand away, only to back away in shock as the skin around her scar is literally bubbling. It never stopped, and the feeling of her skin actually bubbling and bursting to only regrow and have it continue is one Bella will never forget. She really didn’t think anyone could.
Charlie had rushed her to the hospital, only to find that nothing could be done. Nothing the Doctors could do would stop it. They had come to the conclusion that maybe amputating her arm above the bubbling may help, and even then, they were not sure what had caused the reaction much less if that would stop it.
It had only been chance that had Sam coming in for a friend that was being treated there instead of the reservation clinic and heard her screaming, and smelled with the stench of what caused her skin to bubble like that allowing her some relief. He, acting on instinct, grabbed her wrist and spit upon it. Amazingly that had caused whatever had resulted in the bubbling around her scar to desist.
Trying to explain to a bunch of doctors what had happened had not been easy, and finally involved a visit by some strangers to make their inquiries into it to desist. And that had not come until much later!
So Bella had been able to go home only after her father pulled rank. Unfortunately, the bubbling of her skin would come back. There was scar damage around the original teeth marks, and only when unable to cope with Bella in so much pain, did Charlie call the only man in their family that may have answers.
When he had come out and seen the damage and suffering that his family member was in for himself, he had quickly sprang into action, determined to save the great niece of his dead wife. With the work of his labs, along with Sam breaking the laws of the tribe and telling this stranger what was going on, did they manage to get a way to not only help stabilize Bella but to also start healing the damage so it was not easily as seen by ordinary humans.
It was the uncle who had called on some old contacts in SHIELD to get them to stop the doctors harassing the Swans on what had happened in the hospital. He didn’t need anyone inquiring too much about what was going on with the risks that he had been apprised of.
Her great uncle had also reached out to Professor X to see if the Beast could come help them figure out what was going on. Only after he come out, had he suggested another scientist. The other scientist had to be reached, and until then, the Beast and her Great Uncle had worked off and on trying to figure out what was going on with Bella. They had quickly ruled out some type of mutation that the X-Men were familiar with.
For one thing, it seemed that the bubbling of her skin was not the only thing changing on her. Her entire DNA was changing as well, but slowly. Very, very slowly, and there was every chance that instead of her arm killing her, the changes would instead. With the information they had, they realized that it was as if the venom was trying to change her. And per their studies of her changes, it had been happening since the bite, but for some reason only started on the outside of her body with the area around the scar. Beast was especially puzzled since, per what she had told them, and the tribal records, her skin should have turned harder instead of bubbling.
It was during this time, Charlie had gotten an odd phone call, from a Mr. Coulson, commenting that a relative of Renee’s had been unearthed, and wanted to get to know his family in this time. It had gained his interest since he was aware that one of the things that had hurt Bella was the loss of the Cullen family dynamic. And with all the new things that they were finding out about her and what was happening with her body, well, frankly, Charlie hoped this might help cheer his daughter up.
Despite the wording being odd on the request, Charlie had informed the polite man on the phone that Renee was no longer with them, she had disappeared in the last year. But her daughter was there, and he would ask if she wanted to meet the man. He had gotten the information, then headed off to the lab that had been built for the study, and hope, of finding a solution to what was wrong with Bella.
Hearing the information, Bella had checked with her great uncle, and with some vials of the newest batch of serum, made her way to New York City to meet this new family member. She had been eager to meet this relative, and to see if someone might be more like her than the rest of the family. And frankly, she too had been curious about the wording of the person who had called. Knowing his family in this time?
So she had made her way eagerly to New York and had been waiting in the atrium of Stark Tower for Mr. Coulson to tell her who this relative was or even where she would meet them. Only to have her bad luck follow her and have the city attacked by aliens.
Like the supernatural world wasn’t enough, now there were aliens in the mix.
Luckily the Avengers had been in the city and ended up saving the world. And Bella had found her new relative as no other than Captain America.
Coulson had managed to call her before the invasion to tell her some more information, as well as the name of her relative, Steve Rogers. The name had seemed familiar to Bella, but she never put two and two together until the two of them had been shocked when he had found her in the lobby of Stark’s building, hiding from what had been happening with some small children behind her under the sturdiest desk that she could find to protect them. It had been that moment when she blurted out, “Steve Rogers is you?” that things started to make sense. Captain America was truly a man out of time, and it would explain why he would want to meet family and know them in this time.
Unable to help himself, Steve had laughed, saying that being danger magnets seemed to be family traits. He had helped the children out of their hiding places, escorting them all out of the building and making sure the children were safe. All the while telling her of the information Steve had literally gotten a file of before all this had happened. He had seen a picture of her as well as the information that she was the last known relative of his.
Then Steve had been sad to hear that Coulson had arranged for Bella to meet Steve, to hopefully give him more incentive to live in these times. The great man had tried, and with that in mind, Steve had put Bella up in his apartment, then taking care of the business of Loki before taking some time to meet his new family.
He had smiled on the way to that meeting, hoping that it may help him. It did, and he spent a long time with Bella before she had to head back to Forks for them to find out why the serums that she had been given were no longer working as well.
But the two once strangers had bonded well over the month that she had spent with him. It made a lasting impression on the super soldier and the danger magnet that would help change all their lives later.
All in all, it had been a momentous year for them all. The Bright Lady or as Steve and her Great Uncle (aka Uncle since he told her frankly that great made him feel too old) called her, BL, had come many times to start teaching Bella ways to use what was happening to her to her benefit. She educated her in Bella’s mind and dreams, the abilities her so-called shield could do.
Bella had thought this was sometime in the future that she would use those skills and so never tried them in the times between the dreams and times she meditated for her training by this mysterious woman who seemed to care greatly for her.
During the time that Bella had returned from meeting her new relative, Bella met two of Steve’s friends who had started to work with her on fighting. Steve had been frank in that if she was as much a danger magnet as he was, and in fact, he had teased her she was worse since he had only seemed to get in fights all the time, she brought it to a new level with messing with the supernatural! He had thought that Bella needed to learn how to protect herself.
So once Nat and Clint had started training her, Bella quickly found a lot of her balance issues that seemed to have disappeared sometime since the Cullen’s left. She also learned to trust her body and gained a lot of self-confidence in herself thanks to Nat’s personal talks as well as Clint’s support of her attempts in learning new skills.
Imagine all of their shock when Bella screamed one day when she moved the wrong way and an arrow that had been shot away from her was now heading directly for her. She had no time to do anything once she realized what had happened, so she threw her arm out to attempt to take the arrow in her arm instead of allowing the shot to land in her torso. Instead of the pain Bella expected, she opened her eyes to find that she had stopped an arrow being fired at her in midair. In fact, she was to find out from Clint and Nat that it had bounced off something surrounding her.
With experimentation, they started to work with this shield that surrounded her, to see what exactly she could do. A lot of the things that the BL had her working on, suddenly made sense as they worked in the real world. Nat and Clint were especially inventive with ways to get it to activate until Bella could call forth the power at will.
After the Sokovia Incident, Clint and Nat came back to train with her. Clint had informed her that he was thinking of retirement and wanted to make sure that she was safe before he decided. Clint, Natasha, and Steve had never wanted anyone, outside of Fury, to know that they were helping Captain America, and after they had found out about her shield, they refused to tell the man about it at all.
So it had been a surprise when the Scarlet Witch and Vision had shown up. It seemed that Vision had seen something in Ultron’s mind at the end about her and wanted to meet the woman. He also had a feeling that she would be important, but didn’t tell anyone else about that. Instead, their appearance allowed them to find out another aspect of her shield, that she could even keep them out of her head without even trying to keep her thoughts private. Soon that included others around her, but it was harder than even keeping the physical shield up. They had only chances at practicing that when Vision and Wanda could leave the building. It had not been often since it seemed more trouble was coming.
During this time, even her Uncle had to leave to deal with something that came up in his old company. He had kept in touch with her, and she had been amused by the videos he sent her of his new protégé. It had been amusing as the Beast had kept up their work with Bella who was getting quite the education in genes and genetics from him.
Working with the Beast and other scientists worked since she couldn’t really attend college at thiat point, but working with the world famous scientists had her mind entertained. But with her knowledge, limited as it was from not being actually changed and been given second-hand information, combined with these two prominent scientists that gave them some idea of what was happening. The only thing that Hank and her Uncle had come up with was the venom from the bite in her arm was mutating her genes as they would if she was becoming a vampire. That is as far as they could get at that point, beyond using the Shifter’s blood and saliva in increasing amounts to help maintain a level of pain for Bella that she could manage with.
In fact, it had been the Lady coming to her a month ago, with the idea to have her Uncle compare her blood to Steve’s. It might open up some new ways to find a solution. For, while they have slowed down, the spread of whatever it was had not been completely stopped. It had coincided with the finding of the scientist that the Beast had recommended helping them solve this mystery. It seemed that the scientist had been known to make breakthroughs in the past. It was only due to Bella’s connection to Steve that she believed she knew who the stranger was.
It was now a race, to see if they could find the solution before Bella passed away. The only hope they all had was the BL’s insistence that they would locate the solution. She didn’t know what it was, but that they would find it. She had given all the information she had unearthed about the solution; it was up to them now. Not that she wouldn’t stop looking, of course.
Steve, then later her uncle’s protégé, had left to deal with some issues that had come out of the events in Sokovia as well as the new loss of life for civilians. Bella had watched with the world what little they were able to learn, with her Uncle only being able to add a little to the footage. She had been upset at the unfairness of it all, but then, she knew most of the players on a personal level that they world didn’t.
So it had been with happiness when Steve had called to tell Bella to take the team working on her serum and make their way to him. The King of Wakanda, after hearing what Steve had to say about Bella, had in fact given her his personal invitation to come as his guest. He had also asked for the most updated information they had on what had been done so far to be sent to him for him to give to the King and his scientists to work on to see if they may see something different. Also, it was where the newest scientist that as now working on her file was hiding from the world to help her out.
Still looking at herself in the mirror, Bella shook her head as she thinks on what had brought her to this day. For Bella is getting up for the last time in Forks. Her father will take her to Port Angeles where she will board a private plane that holds her Uncle, his daughter, and his new protégé. From there they will take off and land in Wakanda in a few hours.
Staring in the mirror, Bella can see some differences not only in her eyes but all over. Thanks to all the training she has been undergoing, her body is more fit than ever before. Also, her personal appearance has changed over time as well. Her face and body have changed in ways that only could be attributed to the venom and its changes. But luckily they had been slow, allowing for the people in town to not notice as much. Though if they looked at photos of her later, they would know something had happened. Of course, her self-confidence has helped make that change even harder to see since she acts differently as well.
Smiling at herself, Bella makes her way out of the bathroom, and once she is dressed for the day, makes her way downstairs where her stuff is, smiling at her Dad. She and Charlie had gotten closer. Knowing that Bella might actually die from the bite on her arm had awakened his mind to what priorities should come to mind. They spent many weekends together, hiking when she was physically able to do so without them worrying about a broken leg. There had not been much else for the two of them to do, for Bella still hated fishing, and there is no way, even with her improved balance, that Charlie would take her again after the last time.
In fact, it is only now with Bella heading out to find a solution, did they plan to separate. As Charlie had told her, it is her right to go forward in her life. To have some adventures in life on her own. They had sat down one weekend and just talked. Charlie had asked that she call him and communicate with him, but other than that, he was really looking at this as her heading off on her own. Every child does it at some point in their life, and he is accepting that this is that time for her.
Plus, with Captain America being with her, he has no worries over her safety. Even being the Danger Magnet. He had teased her mercilessly about it, but had told her that he trusts Steve to help her, but if she ever needed him, just let him know, and he would be there as soon as he could be. He loved her, and it was only that love that allowed him to let her go forward to her own life.
As Bella sits down at the kitchen table, Charlie ruffles her hair as he puts the plate of bacon, egg, and sausage down in front of her. Her plate is double the size of his, but Charlie knows that she will finish all of it, and probably need to eat another full meal just like it in an hour or so if she doesn’t snack on some high carbs. Her body was killing calories at an unbelievable pace, so they had learned what to eat for Bella. She had joked that the Wolves had nothing on her.
Indeed, they didn’t. She ate three times the amount of food that they did, and only if she wasn’t in training or something like that. It had taken a long time for them to find out what could help her out, as well as her having a drink that she had to take three or four times a day. It was chock full of the things that they had determined her body used the most of so that there was no damage from her body trying to get what it needed from itself.
While they eat they joke and tease each at the around at the table. After the two of them clean up their dishes they grabbed the last minute things. Charlie also left the room so he didn’t have to watch Bella inject the daily serum into her arm that will keep her from convulsing. He had hated watching her, the pain of knowing that the serum only prevented convulsions at this point and did hardly anything for the pain made him feel his failures of the past. No parent wants to know their child is in that much pain.
Shortly they are in the police cruiser on the road to the airport. Charlie looks over at Bella, remembering a trip coming the opposite way when she had moved in with him a couple of years ago. How much has changed in that small amount of time. Some good, but mostly bad for his daughter.
Trying to get his mind off that, Charlie clears his throat, but before he can say anything, Bella quickly turns to him and tells him, “Nope. Na-uh. No last words, I love you, kiddo or whatever you were going to say. I am off to get a solution for all this crap, and hopefully, help someone else.” She herself had remembered the same time as her father, and the last thing that she wanted to think about was the goodbye at the end of the trip.
A soft smile lights his face, then he asks with an eyebrow cocked, “Did you tell anyone else about what the BL said?” Charlie hoped that Bella would listen. He didn’t want her to spend her life lonely. To him, it seemed there was hope on the horizon. If only she would stop being so stubborn.
Looking out the window Bella shakes her head, “No.” Nope. Not going to talk about this with her emotionally stunted father.
“NO, Dad. I will do as she said, and help Steve’s buddy out. I will do everything she asked of me, but I will not go in hoping for my soulmate or whatever she calls him.” She dares not even dream of this being a happy ever after. She will be just happy enough to be without pain. And to know Steve better.
Charlie softly replies, “Your Warrior.” To him, it fit. The Shield and her Warrior. And he noticed that whenever Bella told him of the BL talking to her about this, it was always her warrior.
An irritated noise comes from Bella, interrupting his thoughts. Charlie chuckles, “I know the Cullen boy made it so you don’t want a relationship, but really Bells, you need to give the guy a chance.” He turns away as he mutters under his breath, knowing she will hear anyways, “Goodness knows you haven’t given any of the other guys a chance.” He thinks of the men that had come around, as well the phone calls for dates that Bella had turned down.
Bella turns her head around quickly, “I told you Clint was married!” She picks the one person that might have her dad leaving this all alone. For that still amuses all of them that Charlie had pushed her towards Clint as a possible match.
Flushing red, Charlie defends himself, “How was I supposed to know that!” He swallows, wishing she would forget one of the few, and the last in fact, times that he had tried to give input into her dating someone.
Rolling her eyes as she turns to watch the scenery go by, she informs him, “He was double my age!” That had been one of the things that had cracked up Nat, that Charlie had wanted someone closer to his own age for Bella. Most Fathers wanted someone around the same age, and Charlie picks not only someone that is older, but married. For a police chief, he was really unobservant.
Running a hand through his hair, Charlie drops it. He should have known better, but hell, the man didn’t look close to being his age! Add to the fact that Charlie had liked the man and his gentle influence on his daughter. Which made more sense when he realized he was a father as well.
He looks over at Bella, and Charlie softly pleads with her, “Just don’t be stubborn and fight this. Help the man, then wait to see what happens. If you push him away from the start, who knows what could have happened?” He has learned to trust the BL, everything she has said has come true, and she has been one of the main ones giving answers. So if she informed Bella of the chance, why shouldn’t she at least try?
Swallowing, Bella asks, “But what if I don’t live that much longer?” It is one of the reasons that she didn’t want to pursue anything with anyone. For who knows how much longer she will on the Earth. She knew firsthand how much pain it causes for someone to leave and you know there is no chance that you will ever see them again.
Charlie has a lump in his throat and clears it to get rid of it. He tells her the advice that he should have taken long ago. “Honey, there is no guarantees in life. You can’t decide to save everyone and then find later that you are lonely because you were scared. Take a chance. Allow whatever happens to happen. Who knows? Maybe he is the key to the solution for you.” Charlie hopes she listens where he didn’t.
Bella turns to him and smiles. “Who knows, maybe I will.” From all their talks, she knows that this is something Charlie had hoped she learned better than him. As he had told her, he had not learned and so an old fool is trying to make sure that she is smarter than he is and listen. Never give up on life, and never, ever on love.
Maybe he is right?
With that thought, the Swans make small conversation as they make their way to Port Angeles. Enjoying this last moment that they are together, but hoping that the separation will help heal Bella.
Final count: 4,600