Imagine a convo like this during the Orion Pax arc...
You... used Dark Energon? How?
I... inserted it directly into my own spark, then I--
Hold on. Wait.
Orion (to Soundwave):
Did he really...?
Oh Primus, Creator of all, what THE FRAG were you thinking?!?
*scoff* You don't think I could have handled the power?
YOU COULD HAVE DIED! I don't give a scrap heap about whether you could control it or not. Megatron, you placed the very essence of death and destruction into your spark chamber!
And what would have happened then? If you had ceased to function?
You constantly belittle Starscream's command-- publicly. It's clear to everyone who follows you-- and possibly our enemy-- that you don't want Starscream to lead! You waste his time and talents with the promise of leadership opportunities...
*growls* I promise NOTHING.
...Even when he performs his duties amicably and efficiently, you give him no reward. What message does that send to your troops?
His reward is his life! The fact that I allow that traitorous mech to even function on my ship... he should be grateful.
...So you don't actually trust him, or LIKE HIM enough to be a true heir to the Decepticons.
No. I do not trust him.
Alright, then what about Soundwave?
*stops his work and quietly excuses himself. Nope, not doing this today.*
-- DOORS CLOSE --
What about Soundwave? You know him too, he has been here since the beginning.
He may have been here the longest but he is not meant for as large a role as leader... and he knows it too.
Soundwave is my most loyal. I trust him completely. The only reason I don't have him as my second is so that we can BOTH keep an optic on Starscream. Get to your POINT, Orion!
MY POINT IS THAT YOU DON'T THINK!
You disappeared for 3 years, leaving Starscream to care for and coordinate your armies.
He does a fine job continuing your expansion whether you like it or not, and even takes out a member of the primary Autobot squadron.
Energon production is not up significantly, but it's not down either-- likely the best anyone could have done in times like these.
But then you return, beating and tossing him this way and that, barely even acknowledging his work!
Your troops see this, and any respect Starscream has garnered during his time commanding has gone out the window.
And you MUST know this, somewhere in your processor. And I know you are also aware that Soundwave could not have filled your pedes in your absence, otherwise you would have specified as such.
But then what do you do? YOU STAB YOUR SPARK WITH A DARK ENERGY EVEN THOUGH YOU CANNOT COMPREHEND IT'S EFFECTS!
If you had died, Starscream could not resume his command after you laid waste to everyone's opinion of him. Soundwave could not have taken over because he simply could not handle it.
There would be a power vacuum. Any and all strong Decepticons within a few stellar cycles journey from here would compete for dominance, dividing your forces. The message would be lost... your armies, scattered.
The Autobots... would WIN.
*gets up to loom over Orion/Optimus*
You seem to have a lot to say for someone who has essentially been in stasis for millions of vorns.
*huff* All I'm saying is that you aren't using your intellect and prospective reasoning! You keep acting on your first instinct instead of thinking things through. What happened to the strategist? The gladiator with a plan?
... talk to me. What is it about the Autobots that make you lose your focus?
*knocks hand away* We will discuss this later, Orion.
... do you even know what it's doing to your spark now? I doubt you can fully purge Dark Energon, as energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
*reaches out* Please... as your friend, I am asking you to seek medical attention... if only so we can better understand what must happen now.
OKAY SO I HEAR A LOT OF PEOPLE GET CONFUSED ABOUT ALL THESE WORDS AND TERMS FOR TRANSFORMERS (because we, as a fandom, like to use fancy words for our robots, we have literally reached subculture status guys we have our own dialect congratulations) AND DON’T KNOW WHAT TO USE FOR WHAT SO BECAUSE I TOO SUFFER I WILL HELP YOU
IF YOU KNOW OTHERS THAT ARE NOT LISTED HERE FEEL FREE TO ADD THEM.
Today at the Library I found a Transformers Picture book on display. Apparently, the Decepticons and the Autobots are just one big dysfunctional family to hear this book tell it.
I’m not even kidding. This picture book literally starts with Skids and Mudflap trying to figure out how to tell Optimus that they weren’t watching the baby Sam as close as they should have and Optimus goes into full Hover-Dad mode. The following is a paraphrased transcript of this hilarious, probably-not-canon book.
Optimus: “Skids, Mudflap, weren’t you two supposed to be babysitting Sam (since I sent Bumblebee and Mikaela on a mission, because clearly they’re more responsible than him)? What are you two freaking out over? …..where’s the baby?”
Skids and Mudflap: “Okay, um. Don’t freak out.”
Optimus: “Already freaking out.”
Skids and Mudflap: “It’s not as bad as you think! Sam is working at a grocery store - college kid job, or whatever - but we think his coworker is a Decepticon spy.”
Optimus: “Well is there a giant robot in the grocery store?”
Skids and Mudflap: “Uh…no?”
Optimus: “Then it’s probably not a Deceptcion. Now go back to watching Sam!”
Skids and Mudflap: “But Boss! We thought that Alice creep was a human too! Remember how that turned out?”
Optimus: “…..don’t let Sam out of your sight.”
MEANWHILE, IN A SECRET LAIR JUST FOR DECEPTICONS…..
Megatron: (cackling maniacally) “Let’s see! How can I ruin Optimus’s day today? Killing him usually works. Aw, but he’s busy all the time! How can I draw him out?”
(thinks for probably longer than he should)
Megatron: “Ah-HA! The Boy! Optimus will do anything to make sure he’s safe. Hmmm….except he normally doesn’t let him out of his sight… Hey you! Random Decepticon Who Was Never In The Movies!”
Random: “You rang, Lord Megatron?”
Megatron: “Yes. Go scan a human and go to that grocery store where the Witwicky kid works.”\
Random: “Wait, why?”
Megatron: “I just really need someone to keep the nephew occupied for like, five minutes so I can actually have a decent fight with my brother. Is that so much to ask?”
Random: “I mean, when you put it that way…” (goes into Pretender mode and spies on Sam Witwicky to keep him out of Megatron’s non-existent hair)
Megatron: “Ah, now I will send a fake text message from Sam - and never you mind how I can fake his cell-phone number. I certainly haven’t been using this to prank-call his human parents. And I definitely wasn’t using it to order pizza and leave him to pay the bill. Nope, not me. - and Optimus will think the boy is at school in trouble of some sort. Of course, that’s not entirely a lie: I’ve seen his report card, it’s pretty bad.”
ROTATING AUTOBOT/DECEPTICON INSIGNIA AS WE CUT TO OPTIMUS PRIME
Optimus: (bursts into gymnasium like the Kool-Aid Man, and sees Megatron) “You’re not Sam!”
Megatron: “Very perceptive, Optimus!” (there’s about a 60% chance that he’s not being sarcastic.)
(fight ensues, much punching, such destroy, very collateral damage)
Sam: (runs in, having ditched all three robot babysitters) “Hey Optimus, that text you got wasn’t from me!”
Optimus: “Yes, Sam. I think we’ve all figured that out at this point.”
Sam: “Uncle Megatron, stop being such a turdburglar! Leave Hover-Dad alone!”
Megatron: “Every time. Every stinking time. What’s an evil overlord got to do to pick a fight around here?!” (shakes fist and swears vengeance, then leaves)
And that is basically how the Transformers picture books go. Admittedly, it’s more amusing to me than the majority of the Bayverse movies’ scripts.
‘Start where you are. This is very important. Tonglen practice (and all meditation practice) is not about later, when you get it all together and you’re this person you really respect. You may be the most violent person in the world - that’s a fine place to start. That’s a very rich place to start - juicy, smelly. You might be the most depressed person in the world, the most addicted person in the world, the most jealous person in the world. You might think that there are no others on the planet who hate themselves as much as you do. All that is a good place to start.
What you do for yourself, any gesture of kindness, any gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honesty and clear seeing toward yourself, will affect how you experience the world. In fact, it will transform how you experience the world. What you do for yourself, you’re doing for others, and what you do for others, you’re doing for yourself. When you exchange yourself for others in the practice of tonglen, it becomes increasingly uncertain what is out there and what is in here.’
First off, don’t have a clue what I’m doing, secondly you all can thank @self-indulgent-scribbles for this blurb because she pushed me to post ((write)) it, and thridly? There might be more in the future.
Penny smiled as she listened to her music. It was funny, really. Just the other day Magnus had asked her about her music, what kind was it? How many songs did she have? Where’d she get it from? Simple and easy questions to answer.
Rodimus had barely been able to keep her out of the brig as Magnus had connected the dots that her methods hadn’t been the most legal with Penny’s vague answers.
"So I downloaded a couple thousand songs off the internet! Who hasn’t?!“
She’d needed to immediately vacate his office as Magnus’ CPU almost crashed.
And that was how she found herself sitting on a table in front of Fortress Maximus watching the monitors with her earbuds in and playing said pilfered music. A particular good song shuffled on and Penny’s smile grew.
Maximus glanced down as movement registered in the corner of his optics.
At some point, Penny stood up and was now bouncing, sliding along the tables surface, and waving her arms over her head. He cocked his head to the side, a small smile growing as Penny obviously enjoyed herself.
Swinging her hips from side to side, Penny laughed as she looked up and saw Fort Max looking down at her. She stopped her silly dance and pulled her earbuds out.
He gestured at her, curiosity twinkling in his optics.
"What were you doing?“
Penny blinked, giggling at him.
"I was dancing with my music.” She explained, “It’s called,” she glanced down at her phone, “ ‘That’s What I Like' by Flo Rida.”
Maximus frowned, “I’ve never heard of it.”
Penny shrugged, “Honestly I would’ve been amazed if you had. It’s a human song.”
The giant Cybertronian nodded before looking back at the screens, Penny following his example. Silence reigned for a brief moment.
She glanced up at him.
"Do you think you could show me some human music?”
Penny had to fight back a grin at his hesitance, and eagerly nodded as she stood and pulled a gift from Brainstorm out of her pocket.
"Of course! This also gives me an excuse to use this bad boy!“ She held up the bright red device proudly and Maximus leaned forward.
"What is that?”
"I think it’s like the old blutooth speakers from the earth I’m from,“ she studied the small thing, “He mentioned that he’d preprogramed it to recognize my phone only so,” she bent over and set the red speaker on the ground, tapping the top of it. She smiled as it powered up with a short musical tone and she gave Fort Max a thumbs up. He smiled back as she started fiddling with her phone, scrolling through her list. Maximus gently vented air as he watched his small, tiny really, human companion. Her brow was furrowed in concentration, eyes squinted ever so slightly behind her corrective eyeware, glasses as he’d heard her call them, and her fleshy mouth muscle peeked out of the corner of her mouth.
Her exclamation shook the mech out of his musings and Penny grinned up at him triumphantly. She tapped an option that he couldn’t see and he tilted his head as noise filtered through the small speaker, surprisingly loud for it’s size. Penny started bouncing in place, shaking her hips from side to side. She started snapping her fingers in time with the beat and Maximus found himself bobbing his head along even though the song had barely started. A man started singing and Penny grinned as she started singing along.
"What song is this?”
She smiled up at him, “It’s called ‘Footloose’ and it’s by Kenny Loggins.” She started kicking her feet out, alternating to each side and motioned at Maximus. “Try and copy me!” She encouraged. Maximus’ optics shuttered.
"Come on! No one’s watching!“ She giggled, dancing on and in circles, never taking her eye off the bashful mech. Maximus glanced around, checking over his shoulder before venting and slowly copying her movements. Penny squealed and danced with greater vigor, Maximus trying to copy her, the floor thumping and shaking with his bouncing. He found himself smiling as she started throwing different dance moves in to follow the words of the song and he followed along. The song ended with a bang and Penny stood in a pose with her fist in the air and the other tucked against her side.
Maximus watched as she dissolved into a fit of giggles while trying to smile at him.
"Ta da!” She laughed some more and rubbed her eyes under her glasses, “That was fun!” She winked at him, “Who knew you could cut a rug Maximus.” She jibed and he laughed before frowning.
"What does cutting a rug mean?“
"It just means dancing, you’re a good dancer, or something along those lines.” She waved it off, “It’s really not a major thing anyone would need to understand.”
Maximus nodded as he returned to his seat, another song spilling out of the speaker. Penny’s eyes widened dramatically and she frantically motioned at Fort Max.
"Quick! Let me see your hand!“ She demanded, making grabby fingers until he hesitantly lowered it to the table’s surface. She started moving it around, putting his fingertips against the table with his hand resiting vertically and bent at the wrist. She pulled his last digit out towards her, pushing his second to last finger in so it folded against his palm, she pulled his thumb towards her as well. Despite the still major size difference, it now looked like Penny had a dancing partner.
"What is this song?” Maximus’ voice was soft, enjoying the change of pace this new type of music provided.
"It’s called Lay By Me, it’s one of my favorites.“ She said as she spun along with the rhythm, Maximus taking initiative and moving his fingers to help his tiny dancer along. She twirled and spun, jumping and bouncing when the speed picked up, but otherwise she slowly danced with Maximus’ hand, the two quiet in the moment they had all to themselves. The song ended and Penny stopped the playlist before another could start, softly smiling up at Maximus.
"Anyone ever tell you that you’re a good dancer?”
Penny swore she saw some hue bleed into the large mech’s faceplate as he shook his head with a bashful smile.
"I can say that you would be the first.“
She nodded at his explanation, yawning midway through. Frowning, she glanced down and sighed at her phone.
She shook her head.
"In a way I guess?“ She held up her phone, "Magnus forgot my sleeping schedule when he assigned me this monitor shift and my body is starting to disagree with him.”
Maximus nodded understandingly. Holding his hand out flat as an invitation, he smiled when Penny climbed in without a second thought. She plopped herself down on his shoulder, next to his head but still in view so he wouldn’t need to crane his neck to the side.
"Thanks for dancing with me Maximus,“ she kissed his cheek, leaning over to do so, "I had a lot of fun.”
There was no reply as she brought her knees up and leaned against his neck cables, closing her eyes with a content smile.
Maximus stared straight ahead, optics blown wide open and frame slightly creaking from how tense he was. Risking a glance down at her, he could see her comfortably curled into the warmth his cables provided and smiled softly. She really did look adorable and innocent when she was falling alseep. Facing the screens, he continued with the work, much happier and having tiny warm lips on his cheek playing on loop in his mem core.
A/N: Okay, so I wrote this loosely based on this post that @imagine-assembling-the-avengers reblogged a little over a month ago because I couldn’t help myself. I think it may have gotten a little out of hand, but I’m p happy with the way it’s turned out! I just hope you guys feel the same way lmao
Word Count: 5185
Warnings: Slight angst?
“Yes?” The woman lying on the hospital bed manages to rasp out. Her breathing is labored and she’s fighting to keep her eyes open. “Who…” She trails off, trying to catch her breath. “Who are you?”
“You don’t know me, but I know how to help you.”
She lets out a hoarse laugh. “How could you help me? I’m dying, dear. There’s nothing to be done.”
“There’s always something to be done.” I shake my head and step towards her. “I have… well, I have powers. I can restore you to the way you were in the forties; young, spry and healthy.”
“How is it that you have these powers?” She asks, wary of the newly presented information.
“I’m an Inhuman, Ms. Carter. When Terrigen mists were released in my city, I was lucky enough to have the necessary alien genes to form a chrysalis and develop powers. Now,” I place my hands on my hips. “Do you want my help or not?”
“Why do you want to help me?”
“Because your idiot godson and too-pretty-for-his-own-good ex are about to do something so stupid that it’ll destroy the balance between supers and civilians as we know it.”
Her eyes widen. “And how do you happen to know this?”
“Not illegally, I can promise you that. I just happen to have Inhuman informants on the inside.”
“Alright… but how do you expect to explain my sudden, miraculous transformation to the hospital staff?”
“Oh, the hospital won’t know. They’ll think you’ve died.”
“And how do you expect to pull that off?”
“Tetrodotoxin B, Ms. Carter. It slows the heart rate to one beat per minute. Dr. Banner is quite brilliant, regardless of whether or not his inventions work the way he intended them.”
“So, I’ll be dead, will I?”
“And when I wake, I’ll be young again. Is that what you’re telling me?”
“Pretty much, yeah.”
She’s silent for a moment, staring at something directly in front of her. She purses her lips and turns back to me “Do it.”
“Cool,” I smirk and produce a syringe of the tetrodotoxin b and take a step closer to the woman on the bed. “I suggest you get comfortable. You’re gonna be out for a while.”
“Ms. Carter,” I snap my fingers in front of her face in an attempt to rouse her. “Rise and shine, sleeping beauty.”
Her eyelids flutter momentarily before her eyes snap open and she sits bolt upright, eyes wide. She looks at me in confusion then down at her hands and, if it’s even possible, her eyes widen further. “This isn’t a dream, is it?”
“Thought you might ask that,” I hand her a mirror and grab my coffee from the table next to her bed. “So I brought backup.”
“How can you do this?” She asks, tearing her eyes away from her reflection. “I realize you have powers, but how can you use them without draining yourself?”
I shrug. “I just have to make sure I take in enough calories before I do anything. Either that, or I drain something or someone else”
“Someone?” She asks, lifting one perfectly shaped eyebrow. She’s trying her hardest to keep her cool, but the mask is slipping.
I shrug again. “If I have to, yes.” I finish with my coffee and crush the slightly soggy paper cup in my hand. “It’s not ideal but, y'know, desperate times and all.”
She nods her understanding and casts her eyes around the room. “Where are we?”
“Motel about half an hour’s drive from the Avengers facility in upstate New York. We have to get to there before dark.”
“You told me Steve and Tony were about to do something only I could stop. What exactly am I stopping?”
“Tony and a number of the other Avengers are about to sign the Sokovia accords. The accords were drawn up in order to move the power over those with powers to the government. Anyone with powers who doesn’t sign, meaning mutants, Inhumans and any other sort of enhanced person, will immediately be marked a criminal and they will be pursued and captured. If they are coerced to sign, they’ll be assigned to a team and all will be fine and dandy.”
“And if they refuse?”
“They’ll be put in prison. Specifically the kind that’s submerged in the middle of the ocean somewhere. They call them rafts. I like to call them hell.”
“Tony wouldn’t dare. “
“I think you’ll find that he would.” I snort. “He’s done a lot of things that he’s not proud of and he’s made some things that he lost control of. He thinks that if there’s someone to keep them in control, then he can prevent any potential future disasters.”
“Steve disagrees, obviously.”
She smiles, likes she’s remembering something. “He never really did like having someone tell him what to do.”
“It’s more than that though. The accords affect everyone. Any powered person who doesn’t sign is a criminal. If someone’s in hiding and has to expose themselves to help an innocent in the street, no matter how pure their intentions, will be put away if they don’t sign.”
“How am I supposed to straighten them out? I’m not an unstoppable force.”
“You’re the only thing left they don’t want to lose. Steve’s probably already gotten an alert letting him know you’ve passed. We have to get to the compound before something drastic happens.”
“Alright then,” She swings her legs over the side of the bed and pushes herself up. “What are we waiting for?”
“For you to change out of your grandma gown.” I rise from my seat and grab the clothing I bought for her and throw the wadded up items at her. “You look ridiculous.”
She readily catches the clothing and looks down at the nightgown she’s currently wearing before laughing. “I suppose the nightgown does age me. Where is the restroom?”
“Just down the hall there,” I point in the general direction. “I’ll pack up and start the car.”
She nods and walks off to the bathroom to change. I shove all of the clothing that’s laying around into the duffel that I brought, leaving a pair of shoes and socks out for Peggy to put on when she returns from the bathroom. Other than the possessions that I brought with, I grab the notepad and ballpoint pen from the table closest to the door and scribble down the phone number of my informant and a message that I’ll have Peggy send on either we’re on our way to the compound. After finishing with the message I take both the notepad and pen, but leave behind the key card on the table.
I fling the duffel in the back of the car and slam the door before dropping heavily into the driver’s seat and loudly closing the door.
It’s about ten minutes before Peggy slides into the passenger seat. I start the engine and, as soon I as she’s buckled her seatbelt, I tear out of the parking lot.
We ride in silence until Ms. Carter can’t stand it any longer. She shifts in her seat and angles her body towards mine. I feel her gaze weighing on me like a ton of bricks.
“Spit it out before I hit you.”
“What exactly is it that you can do?”
“In what context, Ms. Carter.”
“Your powers.” She says. “What are the extend of your powers?”
“Oh. Well, I manipulate stored energy. I can drain energy from people, plants, animals, you name it. I can also give that power back. If I have to, I can weaponize it, but I prefer to keep my talents in the infirmary.”
“Is that how you met your informant?”
“More or less yes. He and I worked at the Avengers facility together. He’s a weapons technician and I worked in the infirmary. More often than not, he would get injured trying to help Stark with his tech and I’d have to patch him up.” I concentrate on the road signs my eyebrows furrowing. “I got pretty well acquainted with most of the Avengers, if I’m being honest. After they found out about my powers they would occasionally come see me for a little energy boost before missions. Not all of them will be happy to see me, so please don’t be offended if I use you like a human shield.”
“Why wouldn’t they be happy to see you?” She asks, narrowing her eyes at me.
“Let’s just say I couldn’t be exactly what they wanted.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
I sigh, my grip tightening around the steering wheel. “During the Ultron incident the team picked up a couple of kids. They went to Sokovia and only one of the kids came back alive. They wanted me to bring him back, but I couldn’t. His brain had been without oxygen for too long and I couldn’t do anything to help.” I wipe a frustrated tear away with my thumb. “No one was too happy to have me around at that point, so I left. I kept in touch with my informant and, from what he tells me, at least a few of them think I’m a deserter.”
“That hardly seems appropriate.” She turns her body back to the front of the car and focuses her eyes on the road.
“Yeah, well I left when things got hard. Their words hold some truth. Can’t really be upset when I’m the one who gave up and ran away.” I flip open the compartment between the two front seats and fish out the note I had written earlier and the cell phone and toss them into her lap. “The past doesn’t matter. The present does though, so text that message to the number on the paper.”
I stop the car in a secluded area a ways away from the facility. It looks almost exactly the way it did the day I left.
“So this is the Avengers facility?”
“It’s not as large as I would have expected Tony to have built it.”
“There’s more to it than what you see right here.” I unbuckle my seatbelt and pull myself out of the car. Peggy follows and joins me on my side of the car. “There are a bunch of buildings that you can’t see from here and there’s a large portion of the facility that’s underground.” I point to a small building a few yards away. “That’s how we’re getting in. We just have to wait for my friend to open the door.”
“And when is that supposed to happen?”
“Just give the man a second. He does work in one of the most heavily fortified facilities in the world.”
“What is that building anyway? It’s so small, I can’t imagine it having much more use than a small shed.”
“It’s the underground entrance. Most people who live outside of the facility use it to come and go, especially those of us who work, or rather worked on the lower levels of the facility.”
The doors slide open, revealing my friend who stands there staring in our general direction. I lock the car and gesture to Ms. Carter to follow me. She sticks close, understanding the risk of sneaking into the compound.
“It’s about damn time you got here.” He says as soon as we’re in earshot. “You were supposed to be here an hour ago.”
I roll my eyes and sigh. “Shut up and give me a hug you asshole.” He laughs and pulls me into a brief but tight hug. “We works have been here sooner, but restoring her drained me more than I expected it to.”
He nods and looks over my shoulder to Ms. Carter. “It’s an honor to meet you ma’am. We’ve all heard great things.”
“It’s good to meet you too.” She nods respectfully. “I have no idea what your names are though.”
“You didn’t tell her our names?!”
“It never came up!”
“You’re hopeless.” He sighs in resignation. “I’m Jared and they’re (Y/N).”
“Alright,” Peggy nods once again.
“Okay, we should head inside before we get caught out here. I’d rather go to them than have them come to us.” I suggest stepping aside to allow Peggy to go through the door before me. Jared nods and we follow him down three flights of stairs and into his small office at the very end of the corridor.
As soon as the door is closed I open an application on my phone and activate it before nodding to Jared. He nods back and nod grabs a spare uniform that he managed to smuggle out of the laundry from behind his desk.
“How long do we have until they know something’s up?” He asks.
“Maybe fifteen minutes, twenty if we’re lucky.” I answer taking one of the uniforms from him and immediately beginning to change into it. “Stark, we should start worrying around ten.”
“Alright then, here’s the plan; Stark and Rogers aren’t exactly talking to each other right now. Last I heard, Rogers was mourning the loss of Ms. Carter here. You walk past a few security cameras, freak out the security staff enough that they call Stark in to check, he alerts the rest of the team and you wait for them to come to you.”
“Cool,” I zip the front of the uniform and stuff the cap on my head. “Anyone I should be particularly worried about?”
“Romanoff and Barton always seemed to like you, so they probably won’t be a huge problem. The Vision is just…”
“Vision?” I offer.
Jared snorts. “Let’s say he’s learning. You see the news a couple days ago?” I nod. “Wanda’s in a bad spot, she may not even show up.”
“Might be for the best. I got weird energy readings off of her when she realized I couldn’t bring her brother back.” I nod. “Anyone else I should be wary of aside from the fearless leaders?”
“Rhodes and Wilson joined up, so you might want to watch out for them.”
“Why is it that you’re warning them but not me?” Peggy asks.
“Because you’re the person who started all of this.” Jared says, gesturing to the facility in general. “Who would dare hurt you?
“Listen,” I cut her off “I’m the one who pissed everyone off. Anyone who’s still upset with me is more likely to just punch me and then ask questions. If they don’t recognize you, they still won’t initially hurt a civilian. You’re fine.”
“If you insist.”
“She’s right, Ms. Carter.” Jared glances at the clock. “You two better get going if you want to get this done.”
I nod. “Alright, let’s go.”
We bid Jared farewell and head back out into the facility. I take her down past the gym where the Captain worked out when he wanted to be alone and check the window to the main door. Sure enough, he’s in there, pounding away at a bag near the doors. I slip away before he can see me and nod to Peggy. She nods back and takes her place in front of the door.
Taking a knee, I press the palms of my hands flat against the concrete floor. I close my eyes and focus on the Captain’s energy signature. When I’m sure that I’ve locked onto his unique energy, I send a jolt through the floor and into his body in hopes of it startling him enough to get him to look around and see his lost love standing at the door.
At the sound of Ms. Carter’s soft gasp, I grab her wrist and haul her down the corridor, whipping the both of us around a corner and pressing us against the wall. We hear the doors slam open and the slapping of feet against concrete as Steve thunders out of the gym. As soon as we hear his footsteps retreat we move on to our next point.
We quickly make our way to the hangar. There are rows upon rows of quinjets in various states of disrepair. Several technicians shout a greeting and I wave back, grinning at their reactions when they realize who we are.
I glance over my shoulder to see who’s trying to get my attention. When I see someone jogging to catch up with us I stop Ms. Carter and turn around to wait. I squint at them, trying to figure out who they are and it takes a while for it to click.
“Freddy?” I call, “Is that you?”
He laughs as he comes to a stop in front of me. “The one and only.”
“You’ve put on some weight, man.” I comment, pulling him into a hug. “It’s a good look for you.”
He laughs again, slapping me heartily on my back before releasing me from the hug. “I’ll have you know it’s all muscle!”
I snort in amusement. “Yeah, whatever you say, Fred.” He grins at me and I laugh at his response. “How’re the wife and kids?”
“Still just as tickled as ever that I have a job.” He answers. Peggy catches his attention and I immediately see the rebellious sparkle glint in his eyes. “So you’re really doing it, huh? Restoring balance to the Avengers?”
“We’re sure as hell gonna try.”
“Well good on you,” He leans in slightly and lowers his voice. “Though I’m glad I’m not the one who has to be there when the shit hits the fan.”
“I would never ask that of you. You have a family to protect. I don’t want to mess that up for you.” A loud siren cuts through the air and I sigh loudly. “That’s our cue, Ms. Carter.”
“It was lovely to meet you, Fred.” Peggy says, nodding to the stout man in front of us.
“Same to you, ma’am.” He grins at the two of us and squeezes my arm in a silent wish of good luck.
I clap him on the shoulder and lead Peggy towards the exit on the other side of the hangar. Before we leave the massive room I take off the cap that I’m wearing and discard it, making it easier to recognize me.
I hold the door for Ms. Carter and follow after her as soon as she’s through the doorway, the door banging shut behind us.
“There they are!” Someone yells to our right. Upon further investigation I find a horde of facility security officers not too far off.
“Oh, this is getting good,” I say, shooting a manic grin at Peggy before grabbing her by the hand and rushing off in the direction opposite the security officers.
Without so much as a shout of complaint, Peggy races after me, managing to stick close to me as we wave through the maze-like halls of the facility.
As soon as we burst through the doors that lead to another open field on the other side of the compound we’re met by both Stark and Rhodes, their repulsors trained on the both of us. By the shouts coming from behind us I would hazard a guess that the security guards followed us out and, with any luck, the good captain himself.
“Was this part of the plan?” Ms. Carter hisses.
“Completely.” I answer. “Just stay very still.”
“Y know, I was really hoping we’d never see you again, (Y/N).” Stark’s voice scratches out of his suit.
“Believe me, if I could have avoided coming back, I would have.”
“Care to explain why you’re back then? And on top of that, why did you drag this innocent woman into your petty liitle fight with us?”
“Are you really such an incredible dumbass that you’ve already forgotten what your godmother looks like, Stark?” I question.
Tony snorts in derision. “Peggy Carter is dead. You really expect anyone to believe that you brought her back after claiming you couldn’t bring Maximoff back?”
“He had been without oxygen for too long. If I had even tried he would have been brain dead and that would have been a fate worse than death. I did everyone a favor. The fact that you still can’t see that just cements the fact that leaving this team was the best decision I ever made. However, I didn’t come here to dig up the past, I came to get you idiots the scolding of a lifetime.” I run a hand through my hair and square my shoulders defiantly. “Three days ago I paid Ms. Carter a visit in her hospital room. I offered her the chance to have her youth back and she accepted. Using one of Banner’s little inventions, I helped her fake her death and restored her.”
“You're… you’re really not lying about this, are you?” Steve’s voice sounds from behind me. I sigh loudly and turn around to face the man.
“I’ve caused you all enough pain as it is. I wouldn’t come back and spout nonsense just to rub salt into the wounds.”
Looking over my shoulder, I catch Ms. Carter’s eye and nod to her. Her jaw sets and she turns to face the man. I watch as his eyes go wide and tears form in his eyes.
“Hello, Steve.” She says quietly.
“I-I…” He stutters, searching for something to say. “You’re here.” He says finally.
Peggy nods once. “I am. “ She confirms before turning around again to face her godson. “Now, Anthony, this young person has filled me in on the, what did you call them?” She asks, turning her head towards me.
“The Sokovia Accords.” I answer.
“Yes, the Sokovia Accords.” She nods. “You can’t seriously be considering signing the blasted thing.”
“The accords are going to do a lot of good.” He says defensively.
“No, what they’re going to do is set back the progress we’ve made with powered people by several decades. Do you realize how hard it was to normalize the existence of mutants, Tony? Now with the appearance of Inhumans, we’re presented with an entirely new obstacle and the only thing signing those accords will do is not only criminalize, but demonize the existence of anyone with abilities.”
“I am not finished.” She says tersely. I imagine her tacking on a ‘young man’ at the end of her sentence and have to tamp down the urge to laugh. “Why exactly are you signing the accords? Did you think about how it would affect the rest of your team? How it would affect the rest of the world? Once you sign something like this and it takes hold, it’s very hard to dismantle it. Tell me, have you even read through the proposal?”
“I’ve skimmed it.”
“Of course you have.” I mutter, scrubbing a hand down my face.
“(Y/N), please, that’s not helping.” Peggy says curtly.
“Right, sorry. Force of habit.”
She rolls her eyes. “Do you know what they’re proposing to do with those who don’t sign the accords, Tony?”
“I don’t exactly remember for sure.” He answers. We can’t see his face, but I’m certain he’s trying to look anywhere but at Peggy right now.
“They’re going to put them in prison, dear. Prison. For something they can’t even control. And you think this is a good proposal?”
The faceplate of Tony’s mask finally slides up, revealing his uncertain expression. “We need someone to keep us in line. We can’t keep operating on our own. Too many bad things have happened when we’ve run unchecked and it can’t go on like this.”
“Then propose something else.” Peggy says evenly. “The two of you need to work together and draw up a document that you can both agree on.”
“That sounds… doable.” Steve says slowly.
“It damn well better be or, so help me, I will take over and make your lives a living hell until you straighten out. Even then, who knows what I’ll do!” Peggy threatens.
I watch Steve visibly stiffen and I find myself slightly amazed at the effect that this woman has on these two men. I knew she was important, but I guess even then I underestimated her.
When the two men don’t verbally react she shoots alternating disapproving looks at the two men. “Do I make myself clear?”
“Of course, Peggy.” Steve nods fervently.
Peggy and I stare at Tony expectantly. He drops his gaze to the grass.
“Yes, Aunt Peggy.” He mumbles, his words just barely loud enough for us to hear.
Peggy nods in satisfaction. “Good. Now shake on it.”
Both men stare at her, eyes wide. She just lifts her eyebrows at the two of them, her expression otherwise stern.
“Well?” She places her hands on her hips. “We haven’t got all day, have we?”
I watch, mouth covered by my hand to muffle a giggle, as the two men trudge reluctantly towards each other and firmly grasp one others hand. They move them up stiffly up and down once before looking to Ms. Carter for approval. She sighs in exasperation and rolls her eyes.
“Fine,” She scrubs a hand down her face and crosses her arms over her chest. “Let’s get started on this. I don’t want you to put off something this important.”
Steve nods and waves away the security officers who quickly disperse, nodding once to me and Ms. Carter before they’re gone.
“Y’know, I half wanted to work security when I started here.” I muse, watching the men stalk off to their regular postings. “Maybe you guys wouldn’t hate me as much if I did.”
“You think that we hate you?” Steve questions.
I shrug once before nodding. “S’why I left. Everyone was throwing off negative energy and it was all directed at me. With the strength of it, I knew I wouldn’t be missed if I left. On top of that, Tony’s little greeting earlier really just confirmed that my decision was the right one.”
Steve’s expression darkens and I can’t quite read it. He just looks me directly in the eye and nods once before motioning for us to follow him.
I follow after Peggy as both Tony and Steve lead the way back into the facility.
Soon the hallway let’s out into a tunnel of glass, looking out on the expansive fields of the facility. Everything is impossibly green and beautiful. I half wonder if one of the landscapers has powers because whoever keeps up with this has to either be in a hundred places at once or have the greenest thumb in existence.
I amble along behind the small group, taking in the view, shoving my hands in my pockets and not really paying any attention to what’s going on around me. If I keep quiet I’ll be able to leave again soon without too much fuss.
“(Y/N)!” Tony barks, snapping his fingers in front of my nose, effectively stopping me in my tracks.
“What?” I ask, scowling at him.
“We’ve been trying to get your attention for a while now.” Steve says.
“Really?” I raise my eyebrows in surprise. “Sorry, I was just thinking about how much I don’t want to be here. Didn’t realize you’d actually want to talk to me.”
“Is everyone who quits your little company this sarcastic, Tony?” Peggy asks.
“Nope, just this one.”
I roll my eyes. “What was it that you wanted to talk to me about?”
“Where did you get the uniform?” Tony asks. “It’s not like you can just make one.”
“I borrowed it from a friend who liberated it from the wash for me.”
“Who was it?”
“Now that would be tattling, Stark, and tattling can get someone fired in a place like this.”
“It’s not like I’d fire them.” Tony grumbles.
“Wouldn’t you though?” Steve questions, cooking an eyebrow accusing lyrics.
Stark isn’t given a chance to defend himself as Natasha enters the corridor.
“I heard the alarm a little while ago, what happened?” She asks, looking between her two colleagues.
“Why don’t you ask your little friend here?” Tony says, making a sweeping gesture towards me.
“Friend? I didn’t know anyone was supposed to be here.” Her brow furrows as she looks past them before her eyes settle on me and a grin stretches her elegant features. “(Y/N)?”
“Hey, Nat,” I greet her with a wave and a bright smile. “Fancy meeting you here!”
She pushes past the men at the head of the group to wrap an arm round my neck and pull me down to her height so she can grind her knuckles into my scalp. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming?”
“Couldn’t,” I grit out, smile still firmly in place, and try to shove her off of me. “It was kind of a secret.”
“I’m a spy, I can keep a secret.” She says, releasing me and punching me in the arm.
“I know, but this was a really big one!” I say, my voice almost a whine, and rub at my arm.
“This is what that young man meant when he said she liked you?” Peggy asks incredulously.
“What young man?” Tony asks.
“Nunya,” I answer, shit eating grin plastered on my face.
“Nunya Business…” Tony trails off, his brow furrowing angrily. “Are you fucking kidding me.”
Steve snorts loudly, his mouth covered with his hand to keep his laughter contained and Peggy smacks his arm, a soft smile playing at the corners of her mouth. I laugh outright and Natasha snickers from beside me.
“Was it Jared?” Nat whispers in my ear. I nod in response. “Good kid.”
“He is,” I agree.
“Is that Peggy Carter?”
“Indeed it is,” I nod.
“Isn’t she supposed to be dead?” Natasha asks.
“Right on the nose, Nat.” I laugh. “Figured she was the only one who could fix this whole business with the Accords.”
“Yeah,” I sigh quietly. Steve, Tony and Peggy begin walking down the hall again and Natasha and I follow after them, keeping enough distance between us that we can talk at a normal level. “Is Steve still looking for Barnes?”
“You think there’s any force in the world that could possibly stop him once he’s put his mind to something?”
“Right, well, he might want to check Romania.”
“Sounds strange, I know, but I’ve heard rumors from a few Inhumans in the area who have seen someone who looks like the Winter Soldier in the street markets.”
The group goes into the conference room and Natasha and I loiter outside a while longer.
“You sure the information is legitimate?” She questions.
“I doubt my own people would lie about something this serious. Still,” I shrug. “Even if it’s not, it’s a better lead than anything he’s had in almost two years.”
“Sure wouldn’t hurt.” She turns her attention to the group in the room, hunched over a large stack of papers. “You think you’d ever come back?”
“Stark doesn’t want me here.” I say simply.
“That doesn’t answer the question, (Y/N).”
“Let’s worry about the Accords before I make a decision okay?”
While the angels, all pallid and wan, uprising, unveiling, affirm/That the play is the tragedy, “Man,” and its hero the Conqueror Worm.
THE FINAL BOSS: A SPURNED WOULD-BE LOVER
I have decided to make this “final boss” series a thing, because I sincerely love all the varied, weird and beautiful antagonists I’ve created over the years! This is K, who is the mysterious head of a great and powerful corporation who hires a thief to steal the secrets of his competitors. Over time, he eventually finds he has feelings for the thief, but unfortunately, the other rebukes him. So what is a man who has received everything in the world to do when he can’t get the one thing he truly desires?
Why, do everything in his power to ruin the life of the thief, kill his loved ones, break him down, and either witness his destruction or make him understand that he really should accept all the love that K has to give.
But if that wasn’t bad enough, K is not a simple ordinary man. He constantly carries an umbrella over him and avoids sunlight, and while some may joke he is a vampire, the truth is far more horrifying. Many years ago, he happened upon a terrible creature, and forced the creature to fuse with him, becoming something far more powerful than even he imagined. The umbrella is not for him. It’s for everyone else. For, as soon as he steps into the sunlight, he violently transforms into a giant, voracious worm-like creature that will rampage until nothing around him is left alive.
A man with an umbrella who holds so much fury in him that it squirms like a worm within his rotting excuse for a heart. What a guy!