Pre-Edit Count – 2,386 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: All The Right Moves by OneRepublic
With the words that Loki uttered, Hope jumps to the screen and she brings up the room that she had glimpsed Bella in earlier. With a curse, the blonde vampire left the room to retrieve Bella from where she has fallen in front of Bucky’s capsule.
While all this is going on, in a building far from the Kingdom of Wakanda, a man is sitting there with his chin in his hand while he is resting it on the arm of the chair he is seated in, watching on the screen what is going on. While he is watching, a program of his making is making sure no one but he can see what is happening in that far off room.
He looks down at some information that was sent to him recently, and then back up to the screens as he sees a brunette being carried into the room that had a large grouping of people he would have never would have imagined would work together. He winces when he thinks that they are only doing this because of his actions.
But as he watches, he looks over at the information they see at the same time. With a frown, he mutters, “Well, they need dear old Dad’s notes as well to make sure this will work.” With a flick of his fingers, he sends the information to Banner’s desk. His eyes continue moving between the files and the screens.
He also works out the formulas they have worked on, and only after seeing that it will work as projected with the help of the God of Mischief’s help, he sighs. This may not be good, but he has his own questions for the Green Eyed Trickster. Things are just not adding up in any form or fashion since the invasion.
Then his eyes catch something on the other screen, and his eyebrows go up in astonishment. “Well, that may change things.”
With that, he starts getting to work. Knowing that none of the people would trust him with the information they have, he starts to make sure his snooping stays hidden, while making sure no one but he could do what is happening. And he ‘accidently’ drops in and makes some adjustments to the gift they are fabricating for the Captain.
No reason to not give him the best equipment.
The blonde has Bella in the room that the dark-haired doctor had indicated. When Steve enters after them, he stays by the edge of the chamber where the blonde retreated, to stand by while everyone swarmed over the petite brunette.
Steve holds out his hand while still watching them with his sister, “Captain Steve Rogers.”
The blonde smiles and shakes his hand, “Major Jasper Whitlock.” When Steve glances at him, his smile gets a little bigger, “Civil War.” He respects this soldier, for he too had been in a war. No matter the times or what the weapons, war is always the same. A morbid study in the destruction of others.
Nodding his head in respect for the man beside him, Steve answers back, “World War II, but then everyone knows that.” He looks to him, and asks, “Why are you here?” His curiosity is the only thing strong enough to drag his attention partly away from Bella.
Jasper nods towards Bella, “I was with the Cullen’s when they came across that amazing woman. When I protested us leaving, I was bound with chains. Luckily, my brother and his mate came to rescue me then brought me here. Once I found out what was going on, I wanted to go to Bella, but Peter, who just knows shit, told me to stay here and we will be able to help more.” It had not been easy, but Peter had been adamant that she needed to be where she is and dealing with what she was. The hardest for all of them had been New York City, and even Peter had gone with them to keep an eye over Bella when she had been there.
Remembering Steve beside him, Jasper shrugs as he motions to his brother standing on the other side of the room. “Each of us will be donating our venom to one of you. Bella is getting mine, only because that is what I asked.” He explains, wanting to let the man know. In fact, at this point, only Bella will know who she received venom from.
Thinking over what has been said, as well as not said, Steve asks, “Why?”
Smiling gently at the woman he cares for, he replies, “Because of the three of us, I know her best. And I want to be able to claim her as family. Pete and Char are both sired by me, and in a way, she will be as well. I have never called them children. I would rather claim them as siblings and, well, I gather I am gaining another one. And if what I heard is right, the Whitlocks are going to expand big time,” he gives another side look to Steve, “though I won’t make you change your names.” He smirks at the end of the statement. Though he does admit to himself that having Captain America as part of his family line impresses him.
A chuckle escapes Steve as he watches the frantic group. “What happens now?” The worry he is feeling is getting stronger, the more agitated they get.
Jasper nods to them with his chin. “If they don’t get their act together soon, I will end Bella’s torment with a bite.” He says this loud enough for everyone to hear. There is also a hint of a growl in his voice to let them know how angry he is getting with them all.
Loki appears in the room and from his hand goes a blast to Bella. She is encased in an energy field as he turns angrily to others. “Why is the Vampire the only one caring enough to end her torment? You run around her doing nothing!” He is seething that these people, who claim to want to heal her, are leaving her in pain instead.
His own eyes flashing momentarily green, Banner, being the only one who can answer Loki, answers him, “We were trying to find out why all of sudden she collapsed. That way we know what to do to give her more time.” He admits to himself that stress is the reason his patient is not responding the way she should, making the Hulk want to come out, not Loki’s actions.
Shaking his head, Loki advises to them all. “You are out of time. She has done what she needed to before we solve her problem. Her Warrior is ready to come out. Now, you need to get the serum ready for the three of them.” He stands there in front of Bella, guarding her against them wasting any more time fluttering around her doing nothing.
With a look between Steve and Banner, who looks at both Hanks, they all nod. The room is a flurry of people moving with more purpose. They start prepping areas, making sure that the tables are ready for Steve, and Bucky once they release him out of stasis.
Steve walks up on one side of Loki, Jasper is on the other side. Not sure what is going on, Steve thanks the dark God, “Thanks for that.” For him to see that they had been doing nothing is telling of how panicked the group had become. That the God of Lies had been the one to tell him, as well the others, the truth rings something inside of him.
Nodding, his eyes never leaving her, Loki confesses to them, “I had thought that Thor would be the lucky one to be her Warrior. I had hated him for that. To find out that it is one of your best friends…made me feel oddly better. Especially since I have seen how perfect he is for her. Once he goes through this, he will be the ultimate warrior to keep her safe. Every part of her will be safe.”
With that, Loki strides forward, getting into the mix of things as he pulls Banner and the Pryms off to the side to where the Beast is. The five of them are soon looking through some diagrams as they call the vampires over to consult with them.
Seeing that he is not wanted, Steve heads out of the room. He needs to calm himself, to relax. He has no idea what is going on that he needs this serum as badly as Bella does. Steve could admit that it may be able to help Bucky with everything that Hydra had done to him, but what exactly will it do to him?
He pauses in the hallway as he tries to make his mind up on where to stay so they will be able to easily find him but soon moves up to where Bucky is. The room is still dark, with the fog rolling right outside the chamber. Sighing, he heads into the room, using the quiet to think.
For once he doesn’t see Bucky. Always, when he enters a room his best friend is in that is the only thing he sees, but this time he walks right past Bucky. His single-mindedness has him staring out the glass wall as he tries to put all the new information together.
Unable to be mad at Jasper, since he had not wanted to leave Bella, Steve is wondering what made it so these three are the ones who came. And where are the others that caused all this to happen? Will they be trying to find her, since one of them can see the future? All in all, Steve suspects that there is more to all this business and that Loki, and maybe T’Challa are the only two who are acutely aware of what is going on.
Before he can muse on these thoughts for long, a banging happens behind him, and he turns. Only to see Bucky banging on the capsule with his one arm, gasping for air.
Steve is quick to action, bringing his fist back and punching through the glass, yelling for help. He looks at Bucky whose eyes are wide open in shock as Bucky gasps out, “Where is she?” Before Steve can answer, the place swarms with people trying to find out what is going on.
The five individuals are staring into the room as Steve is pacing between the bed holding Bella, and the other bed holding Bucky. Bucky had been jerking erratically until Hope had seen his face and realized that he was not in control of the movements and given him a tranquilizer strong put a bull elephant down, which barely calmed him down.
Seems Loki is right; the time has come.
Finally discussing the reason Steve had been confused about all this, Banner shakes his head, “I don’t understand what is wrong with Steve to have him undertake this risk as well.” He does not like to subject his friend to any pain or side effects that he doesn’t need to.
Leaning against the wall, Loki tells them, “He is required along with the other two to make it work.” He also wishes not to subject the Soldier to more pain, but if they don’t do this, then the two will not be as happy as they need to be. Plus, Steve’s other half will have her own powers to keep up with Steve.
The Beast nods as he looks up from the microscope. “They have the same mutation in their bodies.” When they all look at him, he indicates a screen as he sends the information on Steve that he is finding. “Steve survived because of this odd mutation. It made him what he is, along with that Serum. However, in Steve’s body, the mutation initially made him sickly. The serum had more to work with, and that is why it worked so well.” It had been one of the things that he had always wondered, and now, seeing the similarities in all three of them, helped him piece together that it had been that mutation that caused the serum to work on Steve and not on all the others who tried to replicate it.
It would have never worked if it hadn’t been through their family and the messed up experimentation that Zola had put Barnes through. Even then, Hank is not sure that it would have worked. Maybe the close contact the friends had would have been part of it too?
Then Bella’s scan shows up next to Steve’s. “While Bella has the same factor, her version is more advanced, which allowed for the shield she is now managing to wield to appear before the venom was ever introduced into her bloodstream. However, the venom didn’t have as much to repair with her, so it is trying to go to the next step.” And he worries for the poor girl. Hank has plans to keep an eye on her in the future. For the pain levels she is showing, even encased in Loki’s power, is beyond anyone but Logan’s levels of pain tolerance.
Curious about their other patient, Hank asks, “What about the Winter Soldier?”
Tossing up another scan, Beast discloses to them, “According to his own records, Zola experimented with him using the serum he extracted from the Red Skull. He also managed to get some of the Steve’s blood, which he then injected into Bucky. All that gave Bucky the same mutation factor that the two others have.” He shakes his proud blue head, “The pain he must have suffered from being given that was truly inhumane. Look at what doing the same thing to Wade did. It drove him crazy.”
The Beast is looking over the information he just received from the biochemist, who indicated that there were vials of Steve’s blood missing which they had found to be marked as tested, but there are no records of the testing done on it. The information also indicated that the missing time would have allowed it to be shipped to Zola and then administered to Barnes while Zola had him. In addition, they also found more vials missing after Barnes had fallen. At that time, they had thought nothing of it. Now Beast flinches at the thought of how much pain Barnes must have been in from the partial transformation. All in all, he was actually luckier than most that the serum had been tested on. And why he is the only one who ever received that particular mix of drugs and blood.
The others look through the information. T’Challa asks, “How did he come out of Cryonics early?” It is something that bothers him. After he had seen how they had all been manipulated, he had made an effort to talk with Sergeant Barnes before he had been frozen again. One of the things he had been aware of that Steve was not, was that Barnes was in pain all the time. He just learned to ignore it in order to function.
A snort interrupts them, and as one they turn to look at the vamp named Peter. He lifts an eyebrow at them, “Bella did it. When she did whatever she did to give him peace in his mind and the chance to not have others control him, it connected with him on a level the two of them operate at.” He then nods to indicate the lab and Bella on the table, “Her reaction to the aftermath made him react and wake. He cannot do anything, but anything that hurts her causes her danger, etc., etc., will cause him to come to her aid. The man cannot help himself. He has sacrificed so much for this chance with her.” Shrugging, Peter finishes, “She is his reward for it all, and to make sure he doesn’t fall into a depression too deep to be of help to us with what is coming. So the Lady, as you call her, tied him to Bella when she shielded his brain.” He knew the next few weeks were not going to be easy for any of them, but at the same time, knowing what he did about their pasts, will make the time necessary.
Bella deserves her reactions, and they are grounded in real reasons. Bucky will need to be patient and break down her walls in his own way.
In response to that information, Jasper groans and rubs his face, “Great. From what I gather, Bella is fighting this whole thing as well.” Knowing her as he did, and her emotions he had felt since she arrived, he will have his work cut out for him. She is blaming herself and in a pit of self-denial.
Nodding her head as she is working on prepping her cousin, Hope throws over her shoulder to the rest of them, “Who knows, maybe this is what she needs to understand what happened to her was not normal. That because of that, she is afraid to give out her heart.” She shakes her head at her cousin, but at the same time, she understands what her cousin is going through. It had taken a lot for Hope to trust Scott.
A figure in light bursts into the room, making them all shade their eyes from the brightness. When they can see again, they see Loki kneeling before her and hear her murmuring something to him. His head hangs lower, but he sighs and nods. With that, she looks up at them all and smiles. “Thank you all for gathering here.” She looks over the beings in the room that will defend the Earth as well as the universe.
She looks beyond Hope and sees her champions lying on the beds, their brother is pacing between them. She sighs, “She is still fighting their fate isn’t she?” She had hoped that she wouldn’t but knew that Bella wouldn’t be Bella without being a stubborn person.
Looking at the three, then at the Lady in the room, Peter shrugs, then walks up beside her, “What did you expect with her history? She has not had the best of luck, ever, trusting her heart to anyone. They all seem to stomp on it. Except for that young man right there,” he then indicates Steve, then continues, “He is the first one she has trusted that hasn’t thrown it back in her face. But she is hesitant, still, in giving all her heart.” Though she still does, and will, give her heart to those she thinks of as family.
The Lady looks at her oracle, and she smiles. “Peter. Nice to finally meet you.” She is delighted with the man who has helped so many of her plans come to completion. Especially with his family, which will soon include her champions. They will always fight beside them and be companions that will never leave them.
Unable to help himself, Peter chuckles as he nods back to her, “Nice to meet the one feeding me the information. Though, I would like to talk to you about sending all the information and not the bits and pieces, Ma’am.” He looks down at her and grins innocently.
Thrilled with her oracle, she tells him, “But then you would get lazy.” With the look he gives her, she laughs. “I may designate that you are my font of information, but that doesn’t mean that I am the one who provides that information to you. Most of the time, when you find out, so do I. No one is intended to know all of the future.” She shrugs. It had been much better for Peter to have the information first, then her who couldn’t act on it many times, while he didn’t have his hands tied as she did.
Grumbling, Jasper comments, “Tell that to a certain Pixie Bitch.”
The Beast interrupts what he could see would be a long discussion, “My Lady, can you tell me if we are on the right path? As Loki reminded us, we don’t have much time left for Bella.” He is finished with his part but wants to make sure that there wasn’t a mistake. They don’t get to have a second chance if this doesn’t work, nor do they have time to test the serum before they use it.
She turns and smiles at the man before her. “You are perfectly in the right place with both the serum and being here physically. Steve had to happen, he is the only one who could have brought this group of people together, made this all possible. Without him, this world would be in a worse place. He needed to be there for my Warrior, to keep him sane until his Shield, his other half, could be there. Now, you are required to administer the serum that will make them all equal to each other. These three will protect the world. Though I only planned on my Shield and Warrior. But the Soldier will only be more helpful to their jobs in the future.”
Hank Prym came to her as everyone scattered to get the serum into production. The venom of the vampires had already been taken, and they had just been working on the serum to get it ready. Once the venom and the serum are ready to be introduced, Loki will take over that last step. They each had their steps, and once they are done, they will go to see if they can help with the next steps.
So, while the rest are busy, Hank’s part is done, and he is aware that there are plenty around Bella and the others; he will only be in the way at this moment. But he wonders if this Lady will know what happened to his wife.
However, when he comes to her, she tells him gently, “Be patient. Your story is not over. Nor is your wife’s. Right now, we are getting ready for a threat against my Shield and Warrior. Once they are through with this, your story will continue. Don’t give up hope.” She smiles, laying her hand on him and infusing him with the hope he so desperately needs right now in order to keep going.
With that information, Hank straightens up, then nods. “Thank you.” He had been slightly dissuaded when Scott couldn’t remember his time in the Quantum Realm.
She turns back to him, having taken the chance to look over the steps being made, and admits to him, “I’m sorry all this has happened, but I promise this was the only way to leave you the free will to choose your life. I could have controlled everything, but as my Warrior will tell you, I offer only choices. I am not fate. I work to her plans just as the rest of you do.” She has had enough to do with fate without actually being fate. It won’t be until this is all over for them that they will know who she really is.
Silent for a few moments, taking in the movements around the three, Hank finally nods towards his niece, “Will she be ok or will I lose more family?” It is the one thing he has feared more than anything. He really cannot stand any more of his family being hurt or lost. Have they not sacrificed enough yet?
The lady turns to him and answers with the only response. “It is up to her to choose. We are doing what is needed to give her that choice, but it lays in her hands now.” She doesn’t pull any punches with him, letting him know it really does lay in Bella’s hands.
Sighing, Hank prays that his niece will make the right choice.
Hank is tired of losing family.
Final count: 4,016