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 Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED

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VampireCat92
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:34 pm

~*~

"Jacob! Hey, my sweet assistant, we ready to get this show on the road? Literally?" Kyle called into his radio. He was sitting pretty in a sleek black Ford Shelby GT500 with duel pale electric blue stripes on the hood, top, and rear. It was a durable muscle car and he loved it. The way was clear as far as he could tell, but he wouldn't go until Jacob said so. The other racers were supposed to be there in five or /less/. Where were they?

"You got the cameras jealous." Jacob responded easily enough and the games began. It wasn't going to be much of a race, there weren't any car racers to begin with, but there was a motorcycle and a man on it ready to go..so Jacob presumed that the race was for them.

The moment the phrase was out of Jacob's mouth he floored it. He was halfway down the street and getting ready to turn before he even registered what the hell was going on. That was the 'you're fucked' code phrase, not the 'all's clear' code phrase. Only, instead of cops and sirens and choppers overhead, he glanced in his rear-view mirror to see a motorcycle that made him want to foam at the mouth it was so beautiful, and sitting on top of it was the one man he /never/ expected to see outside of the TV. Captain bloody fuckin' America. What did /he/ want with /him/? It almost made him want to stop and give up just to hear what he had to say. Except. Kyle liked playing hard to get.

Steve didn’t know how or why, but Kyle must have figured out that this was no longer a race. Steve had to admit, he was grateful that he wasn’t so dumb as to be easily caught. Then again, if he knew something about this anti-gang and was apart of a gang himself, then he would need a level head and good allies. Now that he thought about it, he wondered where those allies were, and why they weren’t trying to help him out.

Probably, once again, it was the dumb versus smarts thing. How do you help someone in a race if this was technically not a race anymore?

Kyle was in a bright blue tank-top to match the car stripes - it was just something he did - and when he turned another sharp corner, his robotic spider tattoo was clearly visible on his right bicep. In all actuality, the Captain should be able to overtake him, but Kyle wasn't the leader for anything. He'd jacked up this muscle car and besides his beloved candy-apple red Mercedes-Benz SL600 (the convertible felt so /good/ on hot days like today), he really enjoyed this vehicle he was in. Revving it up, he pulled more twists and turns and loopty-loops trying to shake him off. Eventually they ended up off of clear streets and into traffic. Whoops. He'd must've taken a wrong turn somewhere. Skidding around a separating median he /much/ rather preferred following the grain rather than against it, weaving in and out while Captain had to double back.

“You know, for someone riding that kind of car, you’d think you’d treat it better than you do.” Steve’s voice crackled over the comms as he tried to figure out a faster way to get to Kyle. He was on a motorbike for god’s sake. He shouldn’t have to worry about this kind of shit.

"Damn it, you tapped my radio!" Kyle had to drive one-handed, having only a normal walkie-talkie radio, until he was able to clip it to his seat-belt, then wiggled the button until it stuck in, glad he broke it a while back in order to do this, "At least I don't have to stop for you to tell me what you want! I was expecting the cops, not you. Of all people. Don't you have aliens to beat up more important than lil' ol' me?"

"And miss out on a race like this? Not a chance!" Steve laughed on the other end. "I don't know, what would make you pull over faster so we can talk without someone listening in?"

"Only other person who'd be listening is my sweet assistant, Jacob. Unless whoever hacked this poor abused radio is also enjoying my fantastic voice," Kyle smirked a bit, making wooping noises as he avoided a road rager who tried to catch him off guard, "LIKE HELL, MOTHERFUCKER!" he snapped, sticking his middle-finger out at the jerkwad who would've more than likely gotten both of them killed if he didn't have bitchin' reflexes, "Oh, sorry, where are my manners? Kyle Castle, though I guess you've heard of me. You asked me what'd make me pull over? Hmm..." he seemed to put serious thought into it, "A moonlit dinner with candles and silk sheets followed by a makeout. Not with you, your bike."

"Candles sound amazing. Though I think my bike would prefer it if you talked more about a little team called Fireside. Sounds a lot more mysterious and romantic if you ask me." Steve shrugged.

Kyle accidentally screeched the tires when he said that and he was so very glad when he managed to find his way onto a bridge, /gunning/ it as fast as his car could push him as safely as possible, "Fireside? That's a pretty cool name. Wonder if they actually have fire spray painted on the side of a building. Wouldn't that be funny?" Shit. Fuck...but Captain was a good guy! Nooo...why in the hell did he have to be put in this position?

"Don't bullshit me Kyle." Steve sighed into the radio. "We need help and I know that they can." Whatever that help might be. "Look. By the time I catch up to you, someone's gonna cut you off and arrest you, or worse crash you. Just...talk to me Kyle."

"I think you should see what he wants." Jacob offered over the radio. "It's Captain America. It's not like he's going to hurt anyone over there."

"No...you're right..." Kyle chewed on his lower lip, letting off the gas just a bit, showing he was tempting the idea, but the /closest/ he'd let Captain get was one car behind him. "I...I'm not one for giving up, Captain. It's a bit wounding. Did I at least give you a good run? Feel windswept and get your blood pumpin' with a heady rush?"

"Kyle, you and I should go for a /real/ race next time." Steve promised. "A chase is thrilling, and you're definitely a challenge. Only I want my cheerleaders in the stands. It'd be fun."

"See? Real race." Jacob snorted over the radio. "Try not to slobber over the bike."

"Let's get across the bridge and into quiet territory..." Kyle took the radio off and flicked the button back so it wouldn't copy his sound anymore. He let Captain get closer, even drive beside him and he slipped into traffic seamlessly, but ignored the traffic lights so he could make it to where he wanted to go. Finally, /finally/ he pulled over into a dark and dank alleyway, sighing deeply before he killed the engine and unbuckled his seat-belt, stepping out, hands-up.

"I'm not about to hurt you." Steve answered as he pulled back up to him. "But here's your chance to ride. There's somewhere quieter we can get to."

"I can't ride this car, so are you offering me on your bike?" Kyle eyeballed him.

"I'm offering you a ride on my bike." Steve confirmed. "But you're not steering."

Kyle was giddy and he swung his leg over, planting his hands firmly on the shield strapped to the Captain's back, "Oh my God, I'm riding with Captain America.on his /bike/! This is like a wet dream come true! Put the petal to the metal, boyo!" He grinned widely, his golden eyes shining, light brown hair short and spiked.

"You got it." Steve grinned and sped off, going faster than allowed and then some. This was just way too much fun.

~*~

"Don't be too mad at me, okay? I mean, I'm kinda mad but I'm not because I got to ride this dreamy bike, but...Cassie, honey, babe..."

"You're dropping the sweetheart names. You only do that when you think I'm about to be pissed or when you know you're in trouble for blue-balling me." Cassandra snipped back from the other end of the line. "Just talk damnit and maybe I won't get too upset."

"I got caught." Pause. "By Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D." Another pause when she was still quiet. "They want to know about Fireside and are using me to get to them."

"You got caught by who?!" Cassandra groaned on the other end of the line. "You about nearly scared me to /death/ I thought I was going to get the guys together and go with a bang. What do you need me for then?"

"The Water Snakes, unfortunately, live to see another day and Jason goes without setting off another explosion, how sad," Kyle griped, "They want to talk to someone from Fireside. Gave me my one phone call to do it. I blanked out, I could only punch in your number, babe. I'm sorry."

"The Water Snakes can bite my-" She cut herself off and she sighed. "Alright. It's probably best if they talk to me anyway. I fear for their lives if they got anyone like Nix or Matt."

"Not like you're not going to riddle them to death, dear...okay, here I'm gunna give you the address. It's a bit off the wall for a hideout, but Captain America said it was safe. A guy named Fury is also here," Kyle sighed and once he heard her grab something to write with he gave her the location and then hung up. Groaning, he walked through the corner cafe back to where Steve and Fury were waiting.

"Calm your little man titties, she's on her way. We /are/ on like, the ass end of New York and she lives on the other side," Kyle scrunched his face at him before plopping down, hands deep in his black jean pockets, "I hope Jacob picked up my Shelby..." he mumbled.

"It's like speaking to another Stark." Fury couldn't help but to comment.

Steve just raised an eyebrow. "What's with the car names?"

"That was a Ford Shelby GT500, man. Please tell me you speak car a little and know what that is?" Kyle gave him a horrified look.

"I don't speak any type of technology besides does it work and will it be useful to me." Steve winced a little as he shrugged. "Bucky used to talk car sometimes though. I don't know if he still can."

"I don't know if we can be friends anymore," Kyle looked wounded, "Do you even /realize/ how precious your bike is?"

"He's blown up about five motorcycles since he woke up. God knows how many during WW2." Fury answered dryly. Steve shot Fury a look.

"I can't even look at you," Kyle seemed about ready to cry.

There was a sounding pop that was somewhat inadiable to the patrons of the cafe, but since they were in the back and by themselves mostly, it sounded louder. Steve nearly got up and out of the booth while Fury had fingered the gun he had strapped to his side, but his outward expression remained composed. What surprised Steve the /most/ about this wasn't the teleportation oddly enough, it was..."Cassandra?"

"Oh good, we're in the right cafe this time." A colorful looking boy let go of Cassandra. He probably was about his early twenties and was wearing /all/ the damn colors. In /neon/ this time around. A black beanie on his head and a piercing on his eyebrow. "You should be more specific, Kyle. I think I popped in about three before I figured out this one. Oh cool. It's Captain America. Hello!"

"I gave her the address! It's your fault for not following directions, Nicolas!" Kyle stuck his tongue out.

"I'm not a GPS. You can't just program an address into me and think I can magically appear like the fairy godmother. What type of angel do you think I am? Matt?!" Nicky threw his hands up and Cassandra walked over to the booth and slid in, pushing Kyle all the way to the end and squashing him there playfully.

"Say that louder, I don't think the couple that's five tables away heard you." Cassandra responded easily enough.

"Way to out yourself, there, pal," Kyle pushed back against Cass and they just shoved until he just gave in suddenly and she flopped over into his chest at the lack of force.

"Should I be surprised that you're apart of this Fireside thing?" Steve asked, rubbing the back of his neck. "Or should I be surprised that there's literal angels running around?"

"There's a Norse God that takes vacations down here from time to time." Cassandra pointed out. "So angels isn't too far out of the ball park."

"Take the words right out of my mouth," Fury arched a brow at her, then offered a hand out to her, "Fury. So, Steve, you seem familiar with the redheaded one here."

"Uh..yeah." Steve sat back down. "She read my fortune a while back."

"She was /gushing/ about you!" Kyle gaped, "Gained 85 dollars on two readings! Unheard of, I tell you!"

Steve blinked. "I mean, I knew we were tipping and paying for a lot, but seriously I mean...the things you say are creepily accurate." He looked at Cassandra. "Considering your profession and all."

"Not many people take kindly to being told what they don't want to hear." Cassandra reminded. "They think I'm a scam and look for someone who /is/ a scam that'd give them more of a rainbow feel."

Nicky had grabbed a chair and dragged it over to sit at the very end of the table, content in just listening into the conversation.

"So you're the real deal?" Fury smirked a bit, "A real prophetess and a real angel. How many angels are in Fireside, anyway?"

"The better question is why do you want Fireside so badly?" Cassandra pointed out. "I don't just give out information freely, even if you /are/ Matt's favorite." She looked at Fury. "And someone on the hunt for a white-haired person."

Fury flicked his eye towards Steve who stiffened up and he laced his fingers together, "I have gained intelligence that Fireside has roughly a dozen members. They're small but they have their ways." He leaned back, "I heard they have elementalists. Fire users, the like. I also heard they have had...previous association with the group Hydra. In the bad sense. Like the white-haired person."

"I can't tell if you're trying to blackmail me, or if you're trying to get me to sympathize with the white-" Cassandra was abruptly interrupted.

"Jayden. Her...her name is Jayden. J.J." Steve supplied.

"J.J." Cassandra corrected herself.

"J.J. is very important to a few members of my own group, and it's caused a domino-effect that I'd like to see rectified. If you'd like, we can start there, and work out way up." Fury was about to keep going when he noticed Cass squeeze Kyle's thigh from where she held him and said something that struck him odd.
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:31 am

"Paris is a good place to vacation." Cassandra replied dreamily. She came to herself quickly and she smiled a little. "Sorry about that. Vision flash. You were saying something about finding J.J and then working from the bottom up?"

Paris. Steve had to wonder if Tony or if S.H.I.E.L.D was going to get a mission there. He was really hoping on putting his money on Tony because the last thing he wanted to do was to go back to Paris on a mission.

Bucky and Frenchy would've liked it though. Frenchy for his home, and Bucky well....for a kid who grew up in Brooklyn, he was the worldly type. Even with all those numbers and science-fiction novels under his belt.
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:36 pm

Like hell Fury would look a gift-horse in the mouth, "Paris, huh? Sounds like fun. Anyway, there's also there's this rather irritating thing called the Sovokia Accords that's happening. You told me, Steve, that Arctic mentioned to be weary of them. Having Fireside on our side is a plus. Intellect is one thing, but things are getting bigger and badder. Loki...Ultron...us." Fury shook his head, "S.H.I.E.L.D. may have been taken out and we're rebuilding ourselves, but we keep getting more powerful. Wanda and Vision for example. Now Jayden and Mr. Barnes. We need a third party to break it all up, thin and spread out."

“I keep forgetting you have the Winter Solider.” Cassandra snapped her fingers, but her smile was easy. “I heard about the Accords. Thankfully the government aren’t very interested in criminals. All they care about is the power source.” Her lips twitched. “But I know what you mean. None of you know what the word “undercover” or “underground” means. You’re all so obvious.”

"It was kind of hard to fight aliens that were destroying the city and still be undercover," Fury shrugged, "So what are /you/ thinking?"

“You’ve been telling us the benefits that affect you.” Nicky spoke up, he had been fiddling with his cellphone while the conversation was happening around him. He set his phone down and decided that maybe now was the time to start acting like the next Leader, rather than just a listener. “What about us? The Avengers take most of the blunt force so, we’re not so easily outed, but at the same time, we need protection. The Accords can get stronger, just like any law does. Human fear makes people do uncertain things. Do stupid things. That’s why we’re in the mess that we’re on now. The Government figured out how to silence the Millennials. So what makes you think we also can’t be silenced too?”

“S.H.I.E.L.D is a department that tries to figure out the anomalies that threatened Earth and how to make sure that no more casualties or damages can be caused.” Steve explained. “That’s why we ally with Thor, so that things that are in his realm can’t hurt us. Why we have specialists that do go undercover. Not everything you see on the surface, is what’s really happening underneath. Not everything is chaos.” He looked at Nicky and reminded himself that angel or not, Nicky was pretty young. He was young enough to know that his life and the lives of his generation hung in the balance, all riding on a decision a vote that he could’ve sworn his own generation, and their children would’ve allied for…not against. “The government always looks for ways to silence people. They can’t deal with conflict. They’re afraid of change and even worse, they’re afraid of not understanding. Everything I thought I died for…isn’t really what happened. You’re asking me what will benefit you and your gang for joining up. There’s not much.” Steve looked at Nicky. “The most benefit we can give you is that you’ll be one of the few whose financially secure, who’d have protection, even when you’re inevitably outed, and you’ll be the ones that both S.H.I.E.L.D and the government will get to fear…because technically we’re just asking you to be referees.”

"I can vouch that Fireside can be pretty terrifying," Kyle held his one hand up, the other having slipped around Cass' shoulders a while back, "They don't need to worry about finances." He added absently before glancing down at Cass, "I think being friends with the /Avengers/ would be freaking fun. I really don't have any input, it's all yours and Nick's decision to get them more deeply involved."

“Tell you what.” Cassandra leaned over the table, but still holding Kyle’s thigh. “You find your white-haired companion, we’ll talk with our leader, and when everything is settled, we’ll come to an agreement. Sound fair? I helped you out, you helped me by getting Kyle away from the police’s hands. Fair’s all fair?”

"I can agree with that." Steve nodded his head.

"That won't be hard at all, but if he wants to race just ask Steve. We've got some open fields and roads at out base of operations," Fury stood up, "I don't know about the rest of you, but we've been sitting in a coffee shop with now coffee. I'm going to fix that, then go home."

"We'll go ahead and get out of here too." Cassandra pulled Kyle out of the booth with her and Nicky stood up and pushed his chair in. "You be careful." She winked at Steve. "Kyle'll beat you if you race him."

"Only way to fight out is to race." Steve grinned as he also stood up. He watched Nicky take a hold of them, and grinned when he saw them teleport. What would Bucky /say/ when he found out he met an angel?

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:23 pm

Bucky was curled up in a corner of his room, close to the door so he'd see whoever walked in before they saw him. He had the letter from Robert Jones on his chest and as toying with the dress of the doll Wanda had told him that she and J.J. had fixed up for Pepper, only for Pepper to tell them that they could keep it. The brown fake hair was soft, the fabric silky on the rough pads off his fingertips. He bore his ocean blue eyes into soulless, fixed purple ones, as if willing it to tell him where J.J. was. It'd been a week since the base. He was all healed up, and Kerica's had was doing alright more or less. Of course the spot was still tender, and no doubt would be, but there was no permanent damage. Rose...his stomach was patched up and the Resistance Team had all gotten rooms, Wave of course bunking with his beloved. At least they were all out of the hospital...not that Buck didn't go drag Teresa from her office to have lunch breaks with him and then recently demanded her to actually leave at around eight so she could unwind before she fell asleep. She worked twelve-hour shifts, for crying out loud, if not fourteen if she got there at six /in the morning/.

Steve gently knocked on the door before slowly pushing it open. He noticed Bucky’s corner, and he knew Bucky knew he was there. Quietly he walked over towards the corner and sat down. The blue familiar notebook and the dress that Wanda and J.J made together were sharp reminders that they still needed to go look for her. “She’s super lucky to have found you.” Steve said softly for a moment. “Teresa, too.”

"Teresa? How is she lucky to have me?" Buck looked up at Steve and tilted his head. His eyes had circles under them from not sleeping, and it was nearing midnight as it was, "How was your race today? I know Fury sprung that on you out of the blue this morning..." he shook his head and went back to looking at the doll.

“It was fun. You should’ve seen it, Buck. I’m going to have him re-race me.” Steve smiled a little, but the smile faded when he noticed that Bucky was trying to change the topic. He gently nudged his friend. “We got a clue on where she could be. Paris. Makes sense, considering she knows more French than I do.”

"That's hard to accomplish, but hell Rose is the one who taught her, and he's native, so...yeah," Buck looked up at him, hopeful, "How do you know?" He couldn't imagine the racer knowing anything about J.J. or anything, if he cared more about cars than about anything like Hydra.

“Cassandra. She’s a member of a vigilante group called Fireside.” Steve explained, bringing his legs up to cross them comfortably. “I also got to meet Nicky. He’s an angel. Literally, he’s an angel. He teleported right into the cafe.” He grinned brightly. “He’s a little bit younger than us, I’d say twenty to twenty-one, but he asked me a question that made him sound so much older than that. Apparently there’s more of them, but Cassandra wants us to find J.J first, before she decides to join up with us. Well…their leader.”

"What?" Buck blinked stupidly at him, "First I heard about Norse Gods and saw aliens on the television, now you're telling me there are actually /angels/?" He stared, "So the whole 'angels watching over you' isn't really a sham?" that'd been something he'd been seriously wondering for...ever, he guessed. Ever since he got drafted and watched his mother break down, his sisters confused, and his father stone-faced which meant he was super worried.

“I guess not.” Steve agreed. “It also means that we can lessen our worry about J.J, because I’m /certain/ there’s an angel looking out for her too. You too, and me. Everyone I’m certain.” He nodded his head. “So, I think we’ll be okay.”

"You must have one badass angel because I sure as hell know there's no way you're still alive otherwise, with how you throw yourself at enemies," Buck shook his head, "I mean, did your impulse control go out the window with me?" He held the doll and the book close. He could believe an angel was looking out for Steve and J.J. but...there couldn't be an angel for him. "You're the only angel I need. Your hair is certainly bright enough to constitute a halo over it."

Steve’s head ducked into his shoulder, his cheeks bloomed a beautiful red. “I don’t think God wants me in his Kingdom anytime soon.” Especially not if Bucky couldn’t come. “Tell me a story. Maybe about you and J.J if you want.” He looked at Bucky, knowing that everything he was saying, wasn’t helping him right now. Perhaps, maybe…Bucky would want to talk. To say something. Anything. Steve wanted him to get rid of those dark shadows underneath his eyes, to feel a bit lighter that J.J was alright.

"A story, huh?" Buck's throat tightened and he closed his eyes. "It was...the first time I had a nightmare with her with me. Holed up in fuck know's where...I'd been doing well up to that point, taking odd jobs until the first paycheck came in, then moving on. I'd contemplated a shithole apartment...but I couldn't gather enough for the down-payment before I got restless. Even if I blended with the crowd, or in the very back of a cafe...I would feel like I couldn't shake the feeling of everyone's eyes on me." A breath. He hadn't asked for a /happy/ story. "When I found J.J. I had thought...maybe with the two of us working together we could afford one, stay there for the winter...I even taught her mechanical skills, especially with how the cold weather would make my metal arm lock up, but after the England Massacre it was...just best not to."

Steve nodded his head. He could see how it would be hard to hold down a job when you felt paranoid, especially after the massacre. “So how did she handle the nightmare?” He asked, gently nudging his friend to continue on.

"Surprisingly...calm," Buck shifted, "I couldn't see her. Couldn't hear her. I could hear the howling of the blizzard outside, the bite of the cold seeping into my muscles. I wasn't there. I was on another mission /they'd/ oh so generously decided to let me out on. I don't know which one in particular, but anyway... at first she tried to interact with me, I think. I came to with a gun to her forehead, but...she was just...talking. Chattering up a storm as fast as the wind. She would sound happy and sad in the right places. I was so disoriented I don't know what exactly she was saying, but even as I put the gun down and tried to apologize, she just...shook her head at me and kept talking nonsense, settling beside me and /that/ I was shocked at the most. I fell asleep to her droning on and on and when I woke up, the blizzard was gone but she was passed out beside me."

Steve chuckled softly as he looked down, smiling faintly, but it slowly disappeared from his face. “Are you…having bad nightmares?” He asked after a moment, “and that’s why you’re not sleeping as much?”

"I think so...a few times I remember what they're about, but other times I just know I wake up in a cold sweat," Buck admitted, watching Steve before he sighed and moved to stand up. He went to the dresser that was in his pre-furnished room and set the items down, then turned to face Steve who'd stood up as well, "I am glad you think you know where to look, but you don't really know anything other than whatever this Cassandra said. So...I'm sorry for not jumping for joy. Is that why you got here so late, though? Talking to others about it?"

Steve sighed softly, but understood. “No. I was on the other side of New York.” He admitted. “You know, you don’t have to go through the nightmares alone. We can bunk up, like we used to when we were kids if that’ll be any help.”

"I'm going to ask you a very serious question," Buck frowned deeply, wincing at the very thought, "What if...I point a gun at /your/ head? Shoot at you, even? /Hit/ you? I never did that with J.J. but...I woke up with broken bedding before and walls and floors and ripped sheets when they'd get tangled around my legs and I'd panic."

“Considering that it’s happened before,” Steve reminded him carefully. “I’d do what J.J did, and try to talk you out of it and if that made things worse, then I’d stay quiet and make sure you didn’t hurt yourself. I’m a sturdy guy, Buck. You don’t need to worry about hurting me.”

"You're /my/ Stevie, though..." Buck murmured softly. He had to protect his Steve, damn it. and sighed before shaking his head, "Yeah...yeah, if you think you can handle me I don't have much to move. Even if you go to Paris, I think just...sleeping in your bed would be a comfort." He tilted his head at him, "Tell me...what you meant about Teresa being lucky to have me?"

"I'm wondering if I should let it bother you the rest of the night." Steve said seriously, his smile edging at the corners. "Buck. You get her out of the damn office. You do things with her. She's incredibly lucky to have someone that watches out for her...and genuinely like her. She's one of the hardest people here to love, and that's because of a heavy schedule."

"Not like I have anything but time," Buck's cheeks turned pink, but he finally gained a smile.

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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:00 am

“I understand that you have the suite and that there’s a gym and a pool, what more could you ask for?” Tony said as he barged into Steve’s and Kerica’s room. “But you do realize that you are in Paris! The romantic city of love and gross couple things right?”

“You know that’s just a stereotype, right?” Steve countered back, frowning a little.

“A stereotype that rings true.” Tony pointed at the door. “You should go to find that fence on that bridge and put a lock on it and toss the key into the river. Or go out strolling, or even better do you need me to make you a dinner time reservation? No, scratch that. I don’t need your permission.” He waved it aside. “You two need a life besides the four walls.”

“I don’t know, Tony, what if we like the four walls?” Steve asked.

"Then you are boring couple and Kerica should dump you and get together with Wilson. He can show her a good time." Tony remarked.

"Thanks for talking about me like I'm not even here?" Kerica waved from her position leaned against the arm of the couch. She and Steve had their legs entangled and were relaxing from jet-lag, enjoying the scenery the giant double window and glass doors that led to the balcony provided, "Sam is a great guy and all, but I'm not sexually attracted to black men. I /would/ say Buck but he's apparently got a thing for Teresa, and everybody else is also off limits. Looks like I'm stuck with Steve."

"Good. That means you can get unstuck and get him out of the house." Tony nodded his head. "Come /on/. Don't you want to explore the city?"

"You just want to get off on your bank account being chipped at as I buy clothes and gifts for like, everyone back home," Kerica teased and she slipped her legs from Steve's long ones and stood up, stretching so far backwards her back cracked a gazillion times and she groaned, "Fast private plane or not, that ride took a /long/ time. /Excuse/ us for chillin' out."

"You chilled out for long enough." Tony shrugged. "I felt like I would be letting America down if I didn't get the Golden Boy and Miss America out of the hotel."

"M-Miss America?" Kerica glanced at Steve who also arched a brow, her cheeks colored.

"We might as well." Steve shrugged, looking at Kerica. "No use having him in our suite if he's going to go around in circles."

~*~

"I'm sorry, the racks aren't made with petite people in mind," Kerica mumbled as she moved around a circular rack, flicking through it when she bumped side-ways into somebody with bright blue hair. It had to be a wig, but she was too focused to look at her too much. She wasn't in Paris to make friends, since she'd just forget to contact them anyway.

Steve had to snicker himself and quietly murmured to the blue-haired person, “Pardon.” He carefully guided Kerica away from the rack so that she wouldn’t try to hurt herself on another one. “You have to admit though, they have some interesting things in here. Do you think we’ll find anything for anyone?”

"Not in a clothing store. I don't want to buy the wrong size since things are made different here. I think it's best to just look for us right now. Make Tony happy to wear tourist shirts later this evening while we lounge or even tomorrow. Hey, I like this one. 'Bout time I found something..." she plucked a white shirt out among the sizes. It was the typical tourist trademark with the Eiffel Tower in a peace sign and flowers around the circle. "At least it doesn't say 'I heart Paris', right?"

"It's as bad as finding something like "I heart New York"." Steve agreed as he looked at the shirt critically. "I think it's cute. Simplistic."

"Then it's mine, I'm gunna try it on just to make sure it fits. Maybe I can find a jacket to wear while I ride your bike with you," Kerica added as she headed off towards the dressing rooms.

~

Steve and Kerica had walked into a little bric-a-brac store that had small trinkets, and artisan little things that were scattered around. There was some collections of jewelry, but it was mostly little statues, small decorative boxes and the like. It was a cute little store. Steve’s eyes caught someone in a blue wig, but this time he took in the appearance of black pants with a chain hanging on the side a bright electric blue skull looked at him, contrast the person wore a bright purple and blue tank that looked very much like a scene that just /came/ out of the rave on the graphic design. Probably a picture had been taken and been used for it. The person didn’t even look up at him, but he could’ve sworn that he seen them somewhere before. His attention wandered away when Kerica called him out for something and he followed deeper inside. “What do you got?”

"This figurine! Whenever we find J.J. think she'll like it? Bucky, too?" Kerica held up a figurine with a wolf standing over it's cub. It was usually interpreted as the mother, but the father wolf could be just as protective.
Arjei Lynne (esu.is.a.werewolf@gmail.com)
Steve grinned, "Yeah. I think they'd both like that a lot. It might cheer him up." He squeezed Kerica's shoulder. "We should find a falcon statue or something for Sam. Just something to gag him with before we give him his real present, because he deserves to be ribbed every once in a while."
"That he does," Kerica laughed, placing the item in her hand-basket, "A Hawk for Clint, too, of course. Would Nat go for an actual spider figurine if we're doing the whole gag gift thing?" she made a face, not liking the idea at looking at spiders. Maybe a glass one. At least then it wouldn't be so creepy.

"Nat doesn't actually like spiders and I don't want to do that to her." Steve shook his head. "She'd kick my ass and yours."

~

"Steve, you can only carry so many bags before your driving is impaired. I can save the last half of the gifts for tomorrow," Kerica promised after he'd asked if she wanted to go to another shop as she swung onto her boyfriend's motorcycle, settling with a sigh and gripping his sides through his jacket. Tony would be upset she didn't buy more clothing, but she had a style she liked and had a lot more fun finding gifts for others. She'd even snuck a beautiful statue of two souring eagles in with her purchases.

It was true, his bike was small for a guy his size and even if they were able to carry all the bags, it wasn’t going to be reasonable, nor a good idea. Steve turned the key. Instead of a nice purr, it was a growl, a shudder, and a sigh. Eyebrows furrowed, he tried the key again, getting a growl and another shudder, before it died again with a sigh. “Looks like the bike’s a bust.” He knew the bike was getting on in years, but it wasn’t /that/ old. He glanced around the city, trying to see if there was a mechanic nearby that they could take it to. “I’m sorry about that, Kerica.”

"What? No, I'm just as confused as you are," Kerica got off again and also glanced around. She fished her phone out and looked at him, "Should I ask Tony to give us directions to a shop? Or would he just yell at us?"

Excusez-moi , mais avez-vous besoin d'aide?'Excuse me, but do you need help?' Steve looked up and noticed that it was the blue-short haired person that had been in the store previous. He noticed that their eyes were thick with eyeliner and their lips were a soft pink to keep the attention up.

Oui.” Steve admitted. “Um…Est-ce que vous savez parler l’Anglais?Yes, but do you know English?

“Yes.” Their voice was familiar to him, but he just couldn’t place it. “English, not best.” He could tell from the way it was broken. “I know a mechanic. Just down the street.” The person gestured for them to follow and Steve /still/ couldn’t shake off this overwhelming sense of deja vu.

“Do you work there?”

“Oui.” They nodded their head. “Good place. They won’t hurt your bike.”

"Give me some of those bags so you can roll it," Kerica told him, sliding a few off of his arm and shifted them so she could hold them better. It wasn't that any of them were particularly heavy, but she had quite a few of them, "Thank you, for the help."

“No problem.” They replied with a shrug. They chattered for a bit, mostly to get to know who the person was that was talking to them when they came up to the mechanic’s. They pushed open the door and rapid French started firing at once, it was so fast that Steve couldn’t for the life of him keep up. It reminded him of when Frenchy and Gabe would sometimes converse that fast, just to bother Steve when he was trying to learn.

“Roll the bike that way.” They pointed over towards a small garage that was opened. There was enough room for about three cars, but that was about it. Steve rolled his bike in and the owner came out looking at the bike.

Steve told the man about how it sounded and what happened. He grunted and he waved them off, telling them that he’d work on it and to come back within a half of an hour to see if he made any progress or not.

“Is today your day off?” Steve questioned the person who helped them out.

“Yep. Heading home now.” They held out their hand in a wave. “Good luck. See you.”

“Strange person…” Steve commented.

"I guess we should find a place to sit down while we wait...I saw a hole in the wall coffee shop on the way in," Kerica smiled at Steve. At least his bike seemed to be in capable hands. She knew how picky he was. If they were back home he'd probably be getting his hands all greasy himself.

Steve nodded. “i can go for some coffee. Or at least tea. Where did you find it?”

Kerica led him the way, and once they were seated she plopped her bags down as gently as she could, sighing deeply in relief. It hadn't been far, but they'd started biting into her hands, which she rubbed. She watched as Steve chatted to the waitress and they were brought booklets that had the menu in English, "Oh. wow. They have some really tasty stuff. I've never had a crepe..."

“Get some. We’re going to be here for a while.” Steve urged as he looked through the menu himself. “I might get a sandwich. Something small. God knows what Tony has planned us for dinner tonight. No doubt something lavish and expensive.”

"I did find a dress in that shop earlier while you were looking at the London Fog trench coats. You should've gotten it, I swear. I saw you try that one on, it made your shoulders look killer," Kerica decided on the flavor she wanted before she slipped to the actual drinks, liking the idea of proper tea made here across the ocean, "I hope you like it. Nothing like the dress I have in mind for that thing I'm going to pull off with Matt, but hey, anything to make you look twice," she winked at him playfully.

"You and Matt are going to be the death of me." Steve laughed. "She's never going to let you go the moment she plays dress up with you. I hope you're prepared. I can't wait to see it regardless." He shrugged. "Eh, the trench coats were alright, but they weren't really my style."

"I beg to differ, but suit yourself," Kerica smiled, "I am /definitely/ prepared. Anyway, speaking of /style/...that person...I really couldn't tell if they were male or female. What kind of /pants/ were those? I mean, really, they looked ready to trip over them."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:29 pm

Steve recognized those types of pants, mostly because it was hard not to run into people who wore them. "They probably do raves or go clubbing a lot. Or maybe it's just their style. I know some of the goths wear them from time to time." He frowned. "It's their voice that bothers me. I swear, I kno-" He broke off, his eyes widened. "Kerica, I think we ran into J.J."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:02 pm

"She was about the right height, and she may have been wearing contacts, but her face shape was similar," Kerica nodded, heart suddenly pounding, "What should we do? If she does work there then today must've been her day off. Should we keep an eye on the place? Tony could probably have the cameras hacked into in no time flat." Their waitress came back to take their order and once Steve pointed and rattled off what he wanted in French, she pointed to the pictures in the menu and then she took them. She focused back on Steve.

“I’ll ask the mechanics how long they’ve been working there, and what their name is.” Steve said slowly. “I don’t want to jump the gun and say it’s her, and then realize we got the wrong person. That’s embarrassing. If it is her…well…we’ll burn that bridge when we get there. I don’t…want to bug her apartment. Or her cameras. That’s her home, and she worked hard to get that.” He frowned deeply. “I suppose I could ask Bucky…and see what his opinion is.”

"Whatever you think is best," Kerica nodded, leaning forward and offering her hands in the middle of the table for him to take, "We don't have any sort of time limit, so a few days or a week won't be so bad. I should probably download a translator app on my phone in case I get separated from you. Not too interested in learning French, sorry."

Steve laughed, "A phrase book might be better." He took her hands and gently started to carcass the back of them with his thumb. His mind going a thousand miles per a minute, but he tried to keep them focused on right now, right here.

"What other languages do you even know?" Kerica tilted her head at him, "Your French is amazing, but I was just curious." Thy could worry about J.J. later. If they thought they had a lead then they could run with it once they talked to Tony and even Bucky. Heck, maybe even the Resistance Team would have some ideas.

“I know French, English, and some Gaelic and Spanish.” Steve shrugged helplessly. “My mother didn’t want me to learn any of it since the Irish were so badly treated, but…well..she slipped up form time to time so I learned a few things. Spanish comes from Teresa."

"I've been slowly learning Spanish from her, too. I enjoy rolling my 'r's," Kerica giggled a bit, "Spain, now /that/ would've been an interesting vacation, except I probably wouldn't be able to eat like, anything. You know I can't have spicy food. Ireland...that'd just be beautiful. Irish are funny. I love their accents." She leaned a bit closer to him from across the table and let a playful smile dance on her face, "Say something to me in Gaelic."

"I'd butcher it." Steve shook his head from side to side. "It has to be when I'm not thinking about whatever or I'm really worried or something. Doesn't sound right if it's not like that."

"Aw," Kerica pursed her lips in a pout but she giggled as their drinks were brought to them before their food, pulling away from him, "That's fine. Just gives me an excuse to listen to you a lot more closely." So either super worried or out of it too much to realize what he's saying. That'd be tricky, and she really didn't want him to be worried about anything in order to hear it. It wouldn't be fun that way. Drawing might be good, or reading...though he'd be focused on the task at hand to slip into a different language. Steve didn't /daydream/ and laze about all that much. He had too much shit to do. Well, at least this got her thinking. She had a new goal.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:58 pm

“I’m ninety-nine percent sure that we found J.J, Buck.” Steve said into his cellphone as he laid on the couch, one arm cushioning his head while his legs dangled off of the side. Kerica was taking a bath, and their things that they had bought were set atop of the dresser. Dinner had been excellent, and just like Steve predicted expensive and so high-end, Steve felt undressed even if he was wearing a suit and Kerica in a nice looking dress.

"How do you figure?" Buck asked, "You just got there. What happened?"

“We ran into someone with blue hair and wicked awesome purple eyes. Kerica described it to me like that,” Steve shifted a little on the couch. “My bike broke down, the transmission failed, and they lead us to a mechanic. The man told me that she just recently started not too long ago, /and/ you should’ve seen the outfit that she was wearing. Google search tells me that’s something ravers wear. Didn’t Arctic say that she likes doing that kind of thing?”

"J.J. went to a few raves since I've known her, yeah. Likes the beat of the base, the flashing lights and all of that. Not my style. Too crowded, too busy. I went /once/ and once was enough," Buck's shudder could be heard on the other end, "So I tell you I taught her mechanic skills and you find her in a mech shop. Ten points to Slytherin." A pause. "Wanda shared her Harry Potter books with me, and our deal is after each book we can watch the corresponding movie."

"Good job Hufflepuff." Steve said, rolling his eyes. "I already know Tony's a Ravenclaw. He prides himself on it. Kerica on the other hand likes to call herself a Griffinpuff, but I see her more as a Gryffindor. I get Natasha though. She's in my house. Ha!"

"I get Clint, so we're even...At least our dear flying Sam can watch Kerica's back," Bucky made a 'ha' sound, "I get three! Pietro is totally in my house. Wanda's a Ravenclaw, hands down. She's a smart young lady. Too bad she's with Tony. It's funny, star-crossed lovers with you in Slytherin and Kerica in Griffindor..." A cough, "Oh my God I can't believe we just did that. I'm going to be speaking Harry Potter for a month with you bouncing off of me. I hate you."

"I wonder what House J.J's in." Steve wondered aloud. "Hey that reminds me....what do you think I should do? She seems kinda happy where she is, Buck. I don't wanna uproot her if she's doing alright..."

"The only thing you can do is ask her," Buck admitted with a resounding sigh, "I mean...I'm going to be relived and happy she's okay. I can move on knowing that. Pietro, though...I don't know who's moping more, him or me."

"Says the person who looked like he was growing mushrooms in the corner." Steve coughed. "Jesus. I'm turning into Kerica!"

"Is that a bad thing?" Kerica came into the bedroom wearing a pair of silky looking pjs consisting of a top and bottom, mostly red with largely printed pink and leafy carnations on it, toweling off her hair as she walked towards the bed.

"I hear your special gal...should I go?" Buck asked, "Wait are you two /sleeping/ together? It's getting pretty late over there, isn't it bed time?"

"You know what?" Steve demanded over the phone and before Bucky could answer, he hung up and tossed his phone on the coffee table. "Sorry, I was just asking what we should do about J.J." He explained to Kerica. "And I went off on a anime reference."

Kerica eyeballed the phone as it flashed and buzzed with Bucky's ring tone for texting, "I heard that. Not sure if I should've showed you that Ouran High School Host Club - Cards Against Humanity video. You /did/ ask what I was dying over on the plane ride here." She sat on the edge of the bed, "What does Buck have to say about our discovery?"

"He's happy that she's alright, but he thinks it might be best to go ahead and ask her what she thinks." Steve sighed. "He said that if she wants to stay here, then he'll be alright, but...he worries about Pietro's reaction."

"Pietro really does care about her, in such a short time, too," Kerica's expression saddened, "I guess that's another bridge to cross when we reach it. Anyway...um..." she bit her lip as she looked at the bed and her face flushed. Why did Tony have to give them the suite instead of two separate rooms? "Does it matter which side I take? I usually sleep on the right, but I'm a restless sleeper. I've woken up on the end of the bed diagonally before."

"If you can, I can sleep on the side that's near the door and you can have the window." Steve offered as he got up and stretched. "It's alright."

Kerica nodded and had to smile at how protective he was, sliding the blankets down and slipping under, draping her towel over the pillow so she wouldn't get it soaked, "I...apologize ahead of time if you end up with bruises. I've...always slept alone so I dunno how well I'd treat anybody beside me."

"Bucky and I used to toss each other off of the bed when we were asleep." Steve said with a smile as he slipped into the bed on the other side of her. "Though...um...if I have a nightmare...you might not want to do anything to startle me or anything."

Kerica faced him and smiled gently, "I guess this is the trial and error stage. I'm less worried about you hurting me at all and more worried that I'll fuck up somehow. I just know no touching."

"Basically. I can't really help you, either because I don't know if you or anything you do can make it worse or better. So, trial and error." Steve agreed. "I'm just glad you know what you're getting into."

Kerica tentatively reached out and stroked his cheek, shifting a little closer. She was nervous about sleeping beside him for the first time, mainly because it was /the first time/, but she didn't want it to be awkward and uncomfortable. She didn't want him to suggest his sleeping on the couch, either. So, she just leaned her body up and kissed him softly, "I got you, Steve, just like you got me. We'll be fine." Settling her hand on his arm that he had under his pillow, she kept her wet head on her own pillow, closing her eyes, "Goodnight, Steve." She wanted to use a sweet name, but that could come at another time.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:45 pm

Kerica and Tony decided that today was going to be their day to hang out and do whatever it was that Tony had planned. Steve had to admit, it was probably a good thing that he was left out of the activities. Tony’s ideas of fun were chaos at best, and Steve wanted some time to try to track J.J down again. He decided that the first stop that he was going to make was the mechanic shop that had fixed his bike a few days ago. He rode up to the shop and saw J.J swinging her legs up and down on the hood of a car. Next to her was a glass bottle of coke, and a packet of some sweets of some sort. Instead of blue hair, her hair was now short and purple with side swept bangs and thinned at the ends. She wore torn up jeans and a black tank top with a skull and cross bones, the mouth of the skull in stitches, and one shoulder hanging off of her arm.

He was almost impressed to know that she didn’t have any tattoos. If she did, they were probably somewhere that he couldn’t see. “J.J?”

She stopped her swinging and she looked at him. Her contacts were now a deep blue rather than the purple. “Steve.”

“So it was you.” Steve let out a relieved sigh. “Can I sit with you?” She scooted over and he hopped on top of the vehicle. He was thankful that he wasn’t wearing long sleeved shirt, instead a short sleeved one. “How have you been?”

“Good.” J.J took a drink. “Didn’t think you’d come back. Thought you’d brush me off. Stranger.” She shrugged.
“Took me a bit to figure you out.” Steve nodded as he looked at her. She looked…healthy at the very least. “We all miss you. Bucky misses you…Pietro.”

“Can’t go home.” J.J replied.

“Why not?”

“Bad idea. I messed up. Again.” Her shoulders slumped. “I hurt Rose.”

“He’s doing better-“

“Not good enough.” J.J turned towards Steve. “Team is supposed to be safe. Whose safe? B.B, Pietro, you? Wanda.” She looked away, her eyebrows furrowed and her hands clenched. “Better away.”

“You’re not a rabid ani-“

She hopped off the hood of the car and rounded on to him, blue eyes flaring with a heat that reminded Steve of Bucky’s sisters when they got angry. It made him smile a little. Bucky taught her that look. That had to be why she knew it. “Animal. Human. Doesn’t matter.” J.J snapped. “I hurt Rose. No story told. B.B…B.B and Pietro hate me.”
“What?! No! Where did you get the idea they hate you?” Steve looked aghast.

“Wave hates me.”

Steve didn’t have an answer for it.

“Why go back?” The anger and the frustration leaked out of her body, slumping her shoulders and giving her an expression of defeat. “Why go back when no likes me anymore? They saw what I could do. I told them. I told them I was dangerous, but no one listened. Now they do and now they want me away. B.B and Pietro…I told them they were safe.” She looked down at the ground. “I ran away from them.”

“Bucky’s so worried about you, kid you don’t know half of it. And so is Pietro.” Steve jumped off of the hood and started pulling at his pockets. “I know you don’t believe me, so let’s play a game. Tell me who to call first.” He took out his phone and started working at it to get to his contacts. “And we’ll talk to them. Ask as many questions as you want until you’re convinced that you can go home. That you’re allowed a /home/.”

J.J looked away and at first Steve thought that she wouldn’t take him up on the challenge, that maybe his word or anyone’s word wasn’t good enough. She looked towards Steve again, “Vision?”

“Okay.” Steve said and dialed Vision. He shouldn’t surprised as he was that she didn’t decide to pick Bucky or Pietro, but Vision was a good choice. Surely he could make her see the light.

"Steve?" Vision's melodic voice answered smoothly, "Are you not on vacation? Or has Mr. Stark already driven you up the wall, as they say?"

J.J carefully took Steve’s phone away before Steve could bring it up to his ear and say something, “Vision?” She evened out her breathing, but Steve could tell that she was ready to bolt.

"Jayden?" Vision sounded more than surprised, but even he let out a very relieved sigh on the other end, "So you /are/ alright! I thought Mr. Barnes looked brighter today. Hearing your voice...this is good. Very good. Everyone is so worried."

J.J blinked a little. “Everyone is worried?” She repeated. “Why?”

"Why?" Vision parroted, "Because you were surrounded by Hydra, in the middle of nowhere, and the base practically blew up over your head. Mr. Barnes was injured and you were so upset, and yet the order was to run. I have never seen someone act in such a way, but I more than likely would have done the same, say...if Wanda was hurt that badly."

J.J didn’t know what the correct response was to that. She looked at Steve and Steve gave her an encouraging smile. “No one hates me?” She asked after a moment her head hanging low. “I ran away 'cause I thought no one wanted me around anymore. I told them that I was dangerous, that I wasn’t safe. Very few people were. I hurt Rose.”

"I have talked to Rose, and while Wave is...sketchy, everyone else at this rate just wants to know if your alive and safe. Wave knows you are important to Mr. Barnes, so...no, no one hates you, Jayden," Vision said slowly, softly, "Pietro is deteriorating. I guess that is the best way I can describe it. He isn't eating well, and Wanda tells me his nightmares keep him awake or from even sleeping in the first place. I believe I understand why you called me. Talk to the others if you wish, but talk to him eventually. Slate and Mr. Barnes, too, aren't sleeping well either."

J.J's expression faltered. "Pietro's not doing good?" Her voice was painicky at best. "Slate, too?" She looked helpless. "I thought you said B.B was brighter today..."

"I cannot tell you why, you would have to ask him, but he has begun to have relations with our resident doctor, Miss Teresa Rivera," Vision explained, "I don't like to make assumptions, but my educated guess is she makes him happy. Slate, though...he is quite upset, actually. Found you and then lost you again. Natasha has been trying to brighten his mood...but it is more self-loathing, I believe. He doesn't think he tried hard enough. He feels like a failure of a brother. He's been hitting the punching bags so hard I think Steve would be impressed."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:29 am

J.J could only sigh. "Thank you for telling me." She said after a moment. "There's someone else I gotta call so I'll talk to you soon." She told Vision and they said their goodbyes before hanging up. Steve watched as she dialed someone else and placed it to her ear.

She didn't even wait for a hello when she heard the phone click, "Is it really true? Pietro's not doing good and Slate too?"

"Well...hello to you, too, Jayden. Glad to know you're still alive. I'm fine, thanks," Clint's eye roll was obvious even though it couldn't be seen, "It's really true. Pietro's like a dog who lost it's owner, and Slate? He's been very temperamental and his mood swings are giving me whiplash. For like an hour he's wrecking the gym and then the next hour he's down on his luck and the hour after that he's pretending like he's fine. Sometimes one lasts longer than the other, sometimes they last the whole day, or sometimes it's a flash through all of them."

“I’m sorry,” J.J’s shoulders slumped. “Are you fine?” She looked at the phone with skepticism. “Steve called Vision. Vision told me.” She walked over to the car and popped herself on the hood, Steve watching her. She swung her legs back and forth. “I’m alive. I work at a shop, a mechanic.” She stopped moving her legs for a moment. “I don’t wanna be an owner, Pietro’s not a dog.” She brought one of her legs up and held it close, nearly putting herself in a shell. “You should yank on Slate’s ear. I’d do it, but I’m in France.”

"I can do that, and I was making an analogy, a comparison between two things, when it came to Pietro. I'm not saying you're an owner, but Pietro does act like a puppy a lot. Dogs, they don't eat or drink much when they've switched owners or their owner's been away for a while. That's what I'm talking about. Pietro looks like shit." Clint explained gently, "A mechanic, huh? That sounds like fun. I like to work on stuff, too, mainly housework, though."

“Oh.” J.J forgot that was an analogy. She was still learning about things, even if she had been away. “I learned how to clean glass.” She perked up. “Windex and newspapers. You can’t use paper towels cuz it smears all over the glass. I also learned that vinegar and lemon works good for cleanings too. I like doing the dishes by hand, the dishwasher terrifies me. So does the garbage disposal thingy in the sink. I’m afraid things are gonna go down it, so I don’t use it.”

Out of the all the trivia that she could've possibly have sprouted, Steve wasn't ready for the Martha Stewart homemaking episode in the slightest. It made him..well...it made him both surprised and a bit happy that J.J could take care of herself.

"Scott blue paper shop towels work fine as long as you fold it over," Clint replied, sounding amused and happy, "You should meet my family. Laura'd love you, and you can help me tear down and rebuilt my cottage. If you mechanic work, I'm not all /that/ good with cars so you can have at it for the tractor in the damn shed."

"Never worked on a tractor before, that could be fun." J.J folded her legs as she grinned brightly. "I buy dingy things. Can't afford much. Stretch things out, or steal if I have to. It works cuz I wear wigs and things. B.B taught me. Shadows are your friends and crowds can blend you in. I still hate crowds though. They're really loud and I get migraines from them...real sick, especially with new language."

"I understand, hon," Clint chuckled, "Do you have anybody else you want to talk to? I can hang up. We can always talk more about what you know and what you're good at when you come home."

"Home....okay." J.J nodded. "Tell Slate he deserves that ear tug. Bye." She hung up and started scrolling down the contacts before pausing and looking at Steve. "Am I allowed?"

"You're allowed to call however many people you want, J.J." Steve assured, gently tugging her into a hug. "We all missed you, and I have nowhere else to be." He let her go. "Call whoever you want."

J.J scrolled towards Slate's name, panicked, and picked Sam instead. "Hello." She greeted, remembering her manners this time with bright pink ears. "I'm using Steve's phone."

"J.J. you're okay! Oh man, I'd hug you right now, thank God! You talked to Steve? Have you talked to anyone else?" Sam rattled off.

J.J blinked. She was surprised that someone asked her about herself. Well, besides the old man at the shop. He made sure that she had lunch that wasn't something from a vending machine. "I ran away. I hurt Rose and Wave shot at me so I ran away. I got hurt. A few bullets grazes by my arms, and I did get shot in my shoulder, but mostly my leg. I got trapped in the rubble." She explained. "I can walk on it alright, but I can't run. I have a medical boot on, only thing I could afford." Steve's eyes went /down/ and wanted to slap himself in the forehead. He didn't /see/ it. "I gotta rest a lot, and the mechanic cut my hours, but he told me he'll keep my pay steadily the same. He knows I can't do much."

"Oh fuck, J.J., I'm /really/ glad you're okay," Sam breathed, "The doctor that's been taking care of Beau, Kerica, and Buck? Dr. Teresa, she could have you fixed right up in no time. Beauregard doesn't blame you, but I'm sure you'd rather hear that from his own mouth. Have /you/ been eating, sleeping? Taking care of yourself?"

"I have shelter." J.J assured. "I eat what I can and I sleep when I'm not too scared. I wanted to stay here as long as I could. I thought about leaving sometimes, but there's really nowhere else I'd go to. Germany hurts, and I can't speak any other language besides French and English."

"You're welcome back anytime, I hope you know that. If not in the base, if you talked to Clint I'm sure he wouldn't mind having you around his place, and hell, even I'd take you in if you want until you feel better. Slate needs you, Pietro needs you. Wave's opinions aside, the rest of us would love you back. We were just getting to know you!" Sam whined if just a little, "It's all up to you in the end what you want to do. That'd be some bouncing around but you'd get some new experiences with different people, hmm? I'm just telling you, you have options. We care about you."

"You're not in the tower anymore? Okay. I'll think about it." She promised. "Bouncing sounds like fun...oh and Sam?" She heard him hum in acknowledgement and she started twirling her hair a little nervously, trying not to bite at her fingers till bleed. "When I see you again, can I get that hug?"

"Oh honey, I will never say no to hugs from people I like, and I like you," Sam promised and the call ended.
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:59 am

"I like him too." J.J said as she pulled the phone away. "I don't think a base is a good idea for me to stay in. Sam offered his home." She glanced at Steve quickly before going back to the phone in her hands. "I don't know..."

Steve shrugged as well. This was going to be something that was up to her. "I didn't realize you got hurt."

"Kinda hard to run away," J.J glanced down at her leg before she started scrolling down the contacts again. She hesitated once more, this time for a different reason. She wasn't certain who she should call next. She mentally played a picking game before chosing one and holding it to her ear.

Only to wind up hanging up when she heard his voice on the other end of the phone.

"I'll pick someone else..." J.J was about to when the phone rang in her hands. She swallowed thickly and she answered. "I'm sorry."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:30 pm

"I thought Steve butt-dialed me..." Bucky's voice was breathy, "I was gunna yell at him, he's been keeping me on edge and it's not fair to call me then hang up. /Jayden/," he said her name n a sort of desperate manner, "Pup...it really /was/ you they ran into a few days ago, then."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:26 pm

Much to Steve's surprise, J.J burst into tears. She wasn't a loud, sobbing mess, but she was desperately trying to hold it back with whines and whimpers. "I'm /sorry/." Her voice broke and cracked as she covered her eyes with her other hand. Smidgen of black were making trails down her cheeks. "I ran away when you were a machine. I'm not supposed to do that. But I didn't know what else to /do/. I hurt /Rose/." Her voice went up high and broke again. "I-I called up a lotta people. They all told me to come /home/. That I'm /okay/. That I'm /not/ dangerous. I just killed a buncha people in front of them." Was that...a mild southern accent? Steve couldn't help but to pick up. "I'm /sorry/, B.B. I'm sorry. The Solider isn't supposed ta be alone. I left you alone. I'm-."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:58 pm

"Pup, stop, breathe. I got hurt, you took care of those who hurt me. I'm not mad at you. Rose isn't, either. Its okay...God, I wish you were here so I could comfort you. I feel helpless." Buck sounded like it. He also sounded like hemight be crying, too, "If you want to come back, its up to you. It /is/ home. At least, I'm starting to feel that way. If the others say it, then that means we've been accepted, pup. They think we're part of the pack."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:40 pm

J.J didn't know what to do that information. She sniffed a few more times as she tried to breathe through her tears. She held the phone with a vice-like grip, probably so that it wouldn't slip from how wet her hand was from her sobbing, or cheeks. "I don't know." She admitted, her voice child-like and so fearful. Steve wished he could do /something/ to cheer her up, but he knew that she wanted to confirm a lot of things. "I don't know. Vision told me Slate and Pietro aren't doing good. Sam told me I could stay at his place, if I still don't feel safe around everyone else. He thinks Clint will want me too. He says that it'll be a lot of bouncing around, but...he thinks it'd be good for me. I think he thinks the tower and the base are a bad idea."

"They might be if you are going to be skittish," Buck said slowly, "Sam is a good man. Safe. Safer than anybody besides Clint. Clint is very fatherly, so of course he wants to take care of you, too. I trust him. If I know where you are, I'll be alright. They both could have interesting things to teach you. Try. If you don't like something, I'm sure anybody would be willing to talk to you. If you want to, we can get an apartment of our own. I would prefer to be in New York, where Steve is..." his voice trailed, as if he was mentally adding something to that line, "Ultimately I would want to have an apartment /with/ Steve, but I don't know how you'd feel about that."

J.J blinked. "Why would I have a say? You love Steve." Steve's cheeks turned red-hot pink. "I just don't think he's gonna-" Her eyes flicked over towards where Steve was sitting and her cheeks turned dark. "Um...I guess he swings both ways? Uh oh...he's doing the complicated look at me."

Whatever "complicated" meant to her, Steve just couldn't believe that he was outed. Not, really outed as much as tossed under the bus just to see how his serum could handle the force. It wasn't that Bucky didn't know, it was more or less the fact that J.J practically forced Kerica into it.

Bucky snorted a laugh, muffled by his hand, "That...that can be an entirely different discussion when he comes back. I like Kerica, too. Anyway, of course you have a say. If anything, we could have an apartment in the same building, Kerica and Steve, you and me. We can figure it out somehow. I just...miss you. I can't...tell you about Slate and Pietro besides agree that they aren't-oh hello, Natalia." A pause. "It's Jayden. She's alive and well. Steve found her, like, the first day, but wasn't /sure/ so he made me wait until he double-checked...hey!" Buck's voice got quieter and there was shouting before a female voice replaced his.

“Hello, J.J.” Natasha said and J.J had a bad feeling that this is the time where she was supposed to hand the phone over to Steve. “Look. I know Steve hates the base as much as the next person and /believe/ me, if I thought it was safer, I’d be in another apartment too. But regardless of where you live, you’ll be closer to Slate and Pietro and I’m /certain/ that they’d love that. Slate especially. He’s been neglecting his garden and Pietro’s not making Wanda happy either. Wanda’s very worried about her brother.”

J.J frowned deep.

“We’ve all been there.” Natasha continued, as if J.J just said something. “We’ve all thought that we did the one thing that would push our teammates away. But we’re real strong, J.J. So is the Resistance team. I just got done talking to Felice. He’s worried that you’re going to do something stupid.”

"I thought I already did the stupid thing." J.J frowned at the phone.

"More stupid." Natasha corrected herself. "Like, not coming home stupid."

"It's not that stupid." J.J protested.

"Pretty much." Natasha disagreed. "But you know who you should call next? I think Bucky would /really/ like it if you called Pietro or Slate. Personally I'd choose Slate, but I'm biased."

J.J glared at the phone. "Are you using B.B?!"

"No. I'm repeating what he said to me." Natasha said a little /too/ innocently for Steve's liking, but J.J couldn't tell the difference.

"/Fine/. I'll...pick someone." J.J groaned. "Slate I guess..."

"Awesome." And before J.J could demand Bucky back on the other line, Natasha hung up.

/Wow Natasha, well played.../ Steve thought to himself as J.J stared at the phone in mute shock.

J.J stared at it for a moment longer before scrolling down towards Slate’s number. She lingered on the number for a bit. “Slate’s my brother.” Steve wondered where she was going with her train of thought. “But Pietro’s my friend.” How many people get that? Steve watched as she clicked on the name. “I’ll do Slate first. Pietro’ll understand I think.”

It rang a few times before Slate finally picked up, sounding very tired, "Steve? What's up? How's France?"

"It's really pretty." J.J offered. "I'm using Steve's phone. I'm sorry. You were sleeping. Natasha told me to call you."

"I wasn't...sleeping...?" it ended in a question-mark manner, "Jay...bird...?" Slate asked slowly, uncertain.

"Bubba." J.J responded, her voice wavering.

A broken cry escaped Slate before there was some shuffling sounds, followed by sobbing, "Jaybird...Jay...oh God...I lost you...I lost you...thought you were...caught again...I failed...I failed and I'm sorry...I found you...then I lost you..." he was blubbering, and suddenly wailed a bit, "Am I not a good brother? Did I...make you uncomfortable? Did...I push you too much? I'm sorry...I'm so sorry, I'll do better, I'm sorry..."

J.J’s heart broke when she heard him. B.B was one thing, but she didn’t realize she affected him so strongly. She looked down at the blurred ground as she silently started up the waterworks again. She didn’t think about that. She didn’t think about how much Slate would’ve blamed himself. “You’re the best only brother.” She told him after a moment, her voice breaking. “Not caught. Just scared. Was scared. I didn’t want anyone to be afraid of me. Nothing’s your fault. I’m the one that’s sorry. I’m the one that’s not all that good.”

"No one's...afraid of you...you're good, Jay, so good...much better than...you could be," Slate was hiccuping, "Love you, miss you...I want you...to come back..." a hitch, "Ya don' 'ave...ta be scared, baby sis...bubba will protect ya," a deep sniff.

“You always have.” J.J wiped her eyes again. “Laugh in the face of pain.” She reminded, but instead of laughing, she choked again. “I remember…not liking you sad. Not liking you beat up the bad guys for me. Always made me cry, so you told me to laugh. So that if we do cry, we know it’s something bad. Something real bad.”

Another sniff before Slate agreed, "I haven't laughed. I've just been...angry and sad. Angry at myself." He'd calmed down but was still hiccuping, "I never wanted...you to think I hated you, or didn't want you. That's not true. That's all I ever /wanted/ was for you to be safe and home."

"I'm thinking a lot of people want me home. Clint and Sam offered me theirs since they think the base and the tower might not be a good idea. B.B is thinking of an apartment. All of them are in NY..." J.J rubbed her lips together. "I'm really tired being by myself. I learned a lot! But...nothing's fun."

"Do...do what you think is best for you, baby sis," Slate said gently, "Sam actually lives in Washington, DC, but that's only five hours away. That's fine. Stark can give you your own room at the Tower for when you stay over for visits. Steve actually has his own floor, from what I understand. I have an apartment. You can stay with me, too."

"Okay. I have one more person to call." J.J paused. "I think I love you. No...I do. I love you." She nodded her head firmly. "Since you love me first."

"Thank you...I hope to /see/ you soon, Jaybird," Slate sounded very relieved, albeit more tired than when he's answered, and the call ended.

"I think I made him feel better...or worse." J.J sighed as she pulled the phone away from her ear. "I think that...I think that home is nice. Home sounds nice. But I always thought home was a shelter. Not a Cage." She shrugged. "I thought about finding Robbie's wife...but I know she'd not recognize me...or maybe she would've. Robbie liked to send her photos. Always made sure to pull them through encryption."

Steve wondered if that was the Rookie mistake that Robbie had made. He thought his photos were safe...and turned out that they were just as hack-able as the NSA. He shrugged, "She lives in NY right?"

J.J nodded. "Robbie likes Pizza. I haven't tried it yet."

"You're not a true New Yorker until you tried that and not getting killed by random cars." Steve said solemnly. "It's a right of passage you know."

"You're not a true superhero till you do a dumb thing." J.J pointed out. "So I guess I got a lot of things to get that "adult" badge."

"Not everything a superhero does is dumb." Steve frowned.

J.J merely gave him a look. "Says the no-parachute."

"Go make another phone call." Steve gestured to the phone.

"I should steal the phone." J.J mocked whispered as she started scrolling the names again and found Pietro's. She took a breath, let it out, took another breath and dialed.

"Steve!" Pietro picked up almost immediately, "Hello! Nice of yu to call! France is nice, yes?"

"J.J." J.J supplied. "Not Steve. France is wonderful by the-"

There was a noise that sounded like the phone hit something before a 'blip' echoed in her ear, signaling the end of the call.

"Oh..." J.J pulled the phone away cautiously and held it back out to Steve. She looked near tears. "I guess if not Felice, it was him."

Pietro hung up on her? Steve couldn’t imagine that…he carefully took the phone back and frowned as he watched her look back down at the ground, swinging her legs but with less enthusiasm. He checked the time and couldn’t believe that time was passing in a blink of an eye. “When does your break end?” He asked her.

“Old man hasn’t called me back in there, so I think I’m okay.” J.J started slipping off of the car. “I have a lot to think about.”

Steve could understand that. Everyone gave her options, and now she needed to think of what ones would work for her. He felt sad for her, that Pietro didn’t want to talk to her…but he kind of hoped that the phone call had been dropped and that he’d call back.

The sudden buzzing of the phone in Steve's hand startled them both. Except the caller ID was Wanda's pretty face.

Steve picked up the phone and held it to his ear. “Wanda?”

“Steve. Is J.J still with you?” Wanda’s voice came over the phone.

“Uh, yeah, she was about to leave. Why?”

“Please put her back. My brother is a clumsy dummy and dropped his phone into a million pieces because-“ She let out a yelp. “I’m trying to get her back on!” Was her far away protest as Pietro came back on the line.

"Steve! Steve, Steve, is it her? Really her? She's safe? Vison came by earlier, talked to Wanda, didn't know vhat was going on. Stark's going to kill me. Whoops. Lots of glass. Sorry Wanda," Pietro was talking a mile a minute, "Have to talk to her, please."

"Whoa, easy." Steve assured. "It's really her. Let me get her to talk to you." He placed the phone against his shoulder. "Pietro dropped the phone literally. Do you want to try again?"

J.J looked at him frightened, but she held her hand out for the phone and he smiled gently as he passed it to her. She looked pale...and Steve gave her an encouraging smile and nod. "I'm here." She said as she put the phone up to her ear.

"It's yu...it's yu, it's you, it's really yu," Pietro repeated this like a chant, "I miss yu so much. I vant to hug yu. I vant to make sure you're safe. I hope you're okay. Vhat happened after ve left? Had to carry Beau...couldn't go back to you...I vould've. I'm sorry. I could've helped."

"I wanna hug you and Sam, and Slate. Slate needs the hug more than the ear tug I told Clint to do." J.J started rocking herself on the balls of her feet. "I'm alright. My leg's still healing, but I'm alright. I have shelter and food. So I'm okay. I got caught in the rubble. And shot in the shoulder."

Pietro let out a shaky breath, "Make yu feel better. Fuzzy blankets and flowers and tea and movies. Lots of outdoor space here at the Base. Campgrounds about half a mile out, private, nice. Smores! Have yu had smores?"

"No..." J.J shook her head from side to side. She smiled. It all sounded nice, the fuzzy blankets, movie marathon, and tea. Flowers, she had to think about. "It sounds like fun." She smiled gently. "Sam and Clint offered me homes and so did B.B. They think the base might be a bad idea, but all of them will visit the base."

"I live in ze Tower with Wanda so yu have to come visit, and I can come see yu no problem anyvhere," Pietro told her firmly, "Vhatever and vherever, vhenever. I like Clint's family. Big, big open cottage in the middle of nowhere. Sam's nice, too. Lots of interesting places to visit in DC. Don't go to the VA, though."

"Not a Vet, so not a problem." J.J promised. "I told Steve that I think I'm ready to go home. Where ever that is. Whatever that is. It's not a lot of fun anymore, being by myself. No adventures. Boring." She took a breath. "I got some things to do here though, before I do."

"Okay, zat's good, real good..." Pietro let out a deep breath and hummed softly, "See you soon, draga."

"Bye bye, Hummingbird. Don't be sad anymore." J.J said as they hung up. She let out a loud breath and handed the phone back to Steve. "Things to do."

"I should probably go too. Would you...I mean...do you..." Steve let out a sigh. "Would you need a ride back to the States, or help pack..or anything of the sort? We're here for a good few days still."

"No, no stuff for you to pack." J.J shook her head. "Ride home sounds nice. I don't have to go through customs and lie through my teeth."

"Still a backpack?" Steve questioned.

"A dufflebag now." J.J puffed up proudly. "I accumulated a /closet/ this time."

Steve laughed, shaking his head as he gently patted her shoulder. "I'll call you the day before we leave so you know where to find us and what not." He assured gently. "Though I'm certain Tony'll be upset with me if I didn't offer you a hotel room to stay in with us."

"Tony'll be upset anyway." J.J pointed out. "That he didn't get a chance to get me an apartment here."

That's true. Steve nodded his head solemnly. "Yeah that's a bad move on your part. Not letting him spoil you."

"You don't either." J.J grinned, all teeth and Steve barked out a laugh.

"No, no I don't. Alright then J.J. I'll see you around." Steve promised as he clapped her on the shoulder again and headed to his bike. What a day.

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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:05 pm

A few days had went by and those who vacationed in France had returned back home. J.J was swallowed up in hugs and cheers and well-wishes. Once they got settled in, Teresa had asked her to check her leg and took a few pictures of it. While waiting for it to develop, J.J stayed at the base and stayed in Bucky’s room, getting into the routine. The base looked a bit…well…bland to her. White and lots of windows, but a smell that made her back straighten and her awareness level high.

A day later, Teresa had summoned her back into the medical wing. The one place J.J didn’t like out of the base. “Well, I can tell you this much, you’re lucky that your leg didn’t shatter.” Teresa said as she came into the room, her eyes on the x-ray that she had taken of J.J’s leg. “The medical boot seems to be helping, so I don’t want to do anything worse, but at the same time I can’t help but to think that you might be better off in a cast before you need surgery.”

“It’s alright.” J.J looked down at her boot. “Either one doesn’t matter to me much.” Teresa turned around, a fierce look on her face. She blinked at her, “Animal remember?”

“Human with a very high tolerance to pain which is no surprise considering the /scars/ all over you. Honestly, how did Steve and Kerica miss you before?!” Teresa gestured at J.J. “I’m shocked you’re not in pain /constantly/.” She paused. “Unless you are.”

J.J merely shrugged. “What to do? Nothing.” She responded. “Just like nightmares and stress.” She pointed at her white, normal hair that had yet to grow back to being black. “Nothing.”

“I /really/ want you to talk to someone whose able to prescribe you something for that kind of thing, but I know that Bucky wouldn’t like that.” Teresa muttered. “But something for the stress…maybe a type of supplement or something.”

J.J shrugged again and Teresa wanted to toss her clipboard down and scream. She understood, she really did, that they didn’t have medics. That Bucky and Felice were the closest things. She understood that J.J didn’t get the idea between pain and no-pain, and she didn’t understand why she had to go through something like this at all when it was just her leg that needed help.

“You’re right, I don’t get it.” J.J nodded when Teresa managed to breathe in and out and not grab her hair. “I don’t get a lot of things still. I know that my leg is hindering me. I know that my migraines happen a lot. I know that when I’m sick, I’m /real/ sick. B.B and I had to stop traveling sometimes when I got like that, when my migraines were too bad and when I was ill.” She shrugged. “But what to do? Head always hurt since I was a baby, so it’s nothing new. Body has scars. Leg has bone. You tell me what’s more important.”

“All of it.” Teresa replied. “On a scale your mental health and your leg are right up there. Have you had a recent migraine?”

“Last night. Stayed up crying.” J.J agreed. “Got real sick so I stayed in the bathroom too in case.”

Teresa sighed. “I can prescribe you something for that, you know. Well…I guess I can talk to Bucky…and see what he thinks. Since you’re going to be difficult. Or Slate for that matter. Law wise I’m supposed to talk Slate.”

“You’d talk to Bucky though because you like him.”

“Well that and-“ Teresa glanced up. “What?”

J.J just watched her for the longest time before continuing, “B.B. He likes you too. You’re in his mind like a mantra.” Teresa wasn’t sure how to take that and she folded her arms. “You make him have good dreams and when he has a nightmare coming on, a thought you shoves them away. You shouldn’t tell him that I said that though.”

“You’re making him think of me when he has a nightmare?” Teresa demanded.

“Only every once in a while. He’ll start doing it himself.” J.J defended. “I’m not trying to hurt him or anything. I’m not trying to break him. Besides, you made him happy when I ran away.”

“Isn’t this the part where you’re supposed to give me the third-degree or something?” Teresa asked.

“Not really.” J.J started swinging her legs back and forth on the table.

“Why not?”

The girl in white just looked at Teresa for a moment and she replied in honesty. “Because you only like B.B. You don’t like anything else about him besides that. Because you don’t know anything else but that.” She jumped down from the table. “It’s shallow. You’re a human. Civilian.” She corrected herself. “You’re not apart of the game.”

Teresa frowned deeply. Something telling her that this was something that she was really going to have to get answers to and not from J.J.

“Yep.” J.J nodded and she hobbled out of the room, humming a cheerful, yet oddly morbid song.

When the clock struck noon, because Bucky was punctual especially when coffee or food was involved, the man arrived at Teresa's door, "Lunchtime! I should get a cowbell, install it over your office. See what your reaction would be. That sounds like Slate would understand it better, though."

Teresa was distracted enough that she didn’t hear him come in, let alone talk. Her mind still going about what J.J said, and what she should do to help with the migraines. She had papers strewn all over her desk and her internet browser had up a few hotlines and help areas that she was researching in order to give J.J the best care. She was so absorbed that until Bucky actually moved to her desk and bumped it, did she startle. “Oh god.” She clasped a hand to her chest. “You scared me. Have you been in here the entire time?”

"Should've put my hand on your shoulder, at least then with me holding you down you wouldn't shoot up to the ceiling," Bucky joked some more, "Yes, I've been standing here for five minutes. It's lunchtime. What's all of this, though?"

"Just...things that J.J mentioned to me. Though if we're going to lunch, I could badger you with some questions." Teresa stood up, sighing a little. "She doesn't take her health seriously, and as much as I want to go to Slate, he doesn't have the first hand experiences. Well, besides the migraines I guess. I'm sorry for making you wait."

"Watching you busy yourself is a curious pastime I've come to acquire when I'm picking you up either for lunch or bedtime," Buck snickered at her, looping his arm around her shoulders as he led her out of the office finally, "Migraines...Dr. Pepper and coffee help, as long as it's high in caffeine like light roast. Not a whole lot of painkillers work on her...at least nothing off the counter."

Common household things, "Has it gotten bad enough where caffeine doesn't work?" Teresa wondered if her mother might have any ideas if pain killers were out for headaches.

"Yes...so many things can cause it it's not even funny. PMS is the strongest besides excessive or deep mind-reading or mind-manipulation. Languages are a factor, she has to focus so she understands what they're saying or what to say back. She gets stressed a lot and really easily, but that only causes the basic migraines, not the ones where her head's about to explode," Buck frowned.

"Considering her stress levels, I'm not all that surprised. I wouldn't doubt it if she doesn't have a regular cycle." Teresa frowned deeply. "I'm also going to take a stab in the dark and say that migraines are the /least/ of her worries when it comes to that. Violent cramps, nausea on top of it too. Am I close?" She looked at Bucky curiously.

"Days where she can't move...wakes up and the bedding is soaked...half an hour and the bed's soaked...I feel helpless. It's all I can do to change sheets and clean up. She apologizes and I just pat her head," he shook his head, "I've heard of some pretty strong pain medication, but they're prescription. Tramadol. Morphine doesn't work on her, if you ever have to use it. Just makes her talk like Tony does. Really fast."

Teresa smiled a little. "Shouldn't be too surprising. Morphine knocks me out like a light, and I don't come out of anesthesia well." Home-remedies...and a lot of more research. Teresa wondered how many all-nighters she could pull. "Do you think you could talk her into wearing a cast? The medical boot works, but...she'd heal faster in a cast and less damage in the long run." They turned another corner, she didn't realize that they were almost to the cafeteria.

"I can do that. If you need to do surgery to reset any bones then I can convince her of that, too," Buck nodded, "Anything to help her. I did tell her you can heal her up like no other," he guided them to their usual table, and they had come to trade off who got the food, though sometimes they got it together. He came back with her favorites and set them down, then went back up. He usually ate two plate fulls if he didn't have breakfast with Steve.

"So I have another question for you, that's not medical." Teresa said as she unwrapped her silverware from the napkin and placed it down on her lap. She looked up at Bucky with a look. "She said something about me being a civilian and that I'm not part of the game when I asked her why she wasn't giving me the third degree about dating you."

"So we're /dating/ now? Would've been nice to know. I haven't even taken you to a proper restaurant," Buck rolled with it, and leaned forward, his eyes smoldering, "You /are/ a civilian. That's true. You haven't been on the battlefield, so there is no reason to make you a part of the game."

"Okay, but what's the game? And why do I need to be apart of it if I want to be with you?" Teresa raised an eyebrow. "And I'm a member of S.H.I.E.L.D." She reminded. "Just because I'm technically a medic doesn't mean I don't know how to shoot a gun or know something about self-defense. Though the same can't be said for our science team."

"That is...very relieving to know, actually," Buck's shoulders dropped a little bit, "I do not know if you have, but the others are aware of when we first encountered the group. Friend vs Monster. Rose tried to shout that to her, that he was a friend, but he was wearing the Hydra uniform which she knows of as bad. Anyway, Kerica was colorless. J.J. attacked her. You...are neither Friend nor Monster. Yeah, you're on our side, but we're not on a battlefield. So, you're a Civilian. You are on the sidelines."

"So the game is a fight. How long did it take you to figure out all of this?" Teresa's eyebrows raised up. Maybe there was a reason for the "shallow" comment after all.

A deep breath, and then he explained the massacre and his arm and how she discerned him from the rest. He explained several things he had told Steve, and in-between the stories he ate. He was done with his first tray when he was done and he slid it aside, drinking his soda.

"Jesus." Teresa stared at him, wide-eyed and shocked, she was barely half-way through her plate since she had to stop and listen to this incredible story. "So...who are you to her?" She asked curiously. "She made it sound like you had two parts. Are you both a friend /and/ a monster?" How the hell was that supposed to work? But then again, it helped Teresa a bit. It meant five all-nighters, possible sixth, and maybe a /lot/ of convincing about trying to put her somewhere that could help with mental issues.
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:12 am

"I am...friend. I do have two parts, but..." he shifted, uncomfortable, "Think of it...as a Split Personality. This is...me, normal I guess. Steve's Bucky. The...other side of me...is the Soldier. I'm very logical and ruthless. A machine like they made me. After I pulled Steve from the river the last two years I spent...trying to learn how to be human. I wrote down anything that I thought I remembered, and crossed out what was fake verses reality. Research helped with that. Of course...there are still things...that I believe I remember but it's hazy on if it's true or not. More private things. Something one might call a 'fantasy'."

"Have you thought of playing the real versus not real game?" Teresa questioned. "Steve might be a good person to play that with since he can answer those types of questions."

"I...wouldn't know how to play that?" Buck furrowed his brows, "Steve would be good for that, yes. I just...I know...how much it tears him up inside, as much as he's willing to jump on anything that would help me. I don't...like hurting him, even if it's not intentional."

Teresa leaned back. "It's a game that's from the Hunger Games. I think you might like it." She smiled a little. "It's a little dysphoric, and very much like the end of the world, but it has some hope at the end. Peeta and Katniss play it when Peeta was brainwashed and severely tortured too. Not in the way you were...no..."

She shook her head. "Basically all you do is ask him a question that ends with "real or not real" and he has to say if it's real or not. He can clarify if you think he should, but it's simple and to the point. I suppose a "game" is the wrong thing to call it..."

"I will...have to check it out, to see what you mean, before I offer the idea to Steve," Buck compromised, "Don't be surprised if I can't watch them all at once. I heard about them, at least, and I hope they don't trigger me." He shook his head, "Anyway...anything else you'd like to ask me?"

Teresa ran her fingers through her hair. "Well...I guess I could bounce off some ideas to you..." She looked down at her plate in thought before she replied hesitantly. "I'm worried about J.J's mental health. The fact that she even has to categorize people right down to the irregular cycles and sickness, in my eyes, is severe PSTD, anxiety, and I'm going to call it right now, depersonalize. In my opinion...J.J can toss a whole mission out of proportion...and we don't /have/ the staff or the capabilities /here/ to help her mind. I already have some research going into the type of care that she could get, and what she might need. In-patient treatment definitely, but the other patients could pose a problem and /solitary/ confinement isn't the solution to that problem either. I'm not sure how to get her involved with people at all. Considering that she has such a mindset."

Buck's hands slammed down onto the cafateria table and he stood up abruptly, "HOW DARE YOU?!" he practically screamed. Anybody else there turned towards him and were instantly on the defensive. He slipped out of the confines of the stationary seat of the picnic-table style and rounded on her again, standing far enough away he couldn't grab her, even as his hands flexed to even just flip a table or throw the trays, "HOW DARE YOU EVEN SUGGEST THROWING HER INTO THE GODDAMN LOONY BIN! THEY'D NEVER LET HER OUT! SHE'S /FINE/ WITH PEOPLE! NORMAL CIVILIAN SITUATIONS BOTHER HER JUST AS MUCH AS THEY BOTHER ME, OKAY? IF YOU THINK SHE SHOULDN'T BE ON THE FIELD AT ALL THEN FINE, BUT I WILL TAKE HER AWAY FROM HERE FASTER THAN YOU CAN FUCKING /BLINK/ IF YOU TALK LIKE THAT AGAIN!" He heard buzzing. People talking. Phones ringing. Someone'd inched close to the alarm. Cooking in the back stopped. Everything just /stopped/ as he stood there panting, eyes flashing, shoulders tensed and defensive, legs braced apart to attack or run. His metal hand was creaking and his flesh one had pain shooting through the palm.

"Jesus, Steve, go /do/ something, and you, Slate, shit, breathe!" Clint muttered and slapped Slate on the back since he was sitting next to the cowboy.

That broke the focus off of Bucky, and Slate snapped to attention, getting up and walking over, stepping into Teresa's line of sight, "How could you?" He echoed Bucky's words, "It's been...it's been almost /two months/ since I was able to interact with J.J. besides briefly when we met up to rescue Buck. Two weeks when she left, two weeks with the Reconnaissance Team, and another two weeks while she was in /France/. It's almost fucking August. Now you want to throw 'er into a mental hospital? For /rehabilitation/ that she probably would never come out of? Do you even /know/ who the /fuck/ yer talking about? It'd be like putting 'er in another Cage! She doesn't like being /indoors/ or in /enclosed spaces/ too long! She's claustrophobic for a good damn reason!"

Steve could see Teresa looking absolutely furious with Slate. Bucky was one thing, it was a patient explosion, something she was used to back when she was working at the normal hospitals before managing to get into S.H.I.E.L.D. Slate was something else entirely. Bucky questioned something about the reasoning behind Teresa’s madness. Slate on the other hand questioned her abilities as being a doctor and that wasn’t something she was going to just sit back and take lightly.

He knew he had to stop this, and stop it now before Teresa said something that /would/ make Bucky take J.J somewhere. He’d stick with New York, he knew that much, but he wouldn’t tell anyone where besides Slate and Pietro and maybe him if he earned his trust.

“Both of you sit down.” He snapped his fingers and pointed at the seats that were across Teresa. “And stop going down her throat. She’s a medical professional whose trying to /help/ someone with little information to go on because she didn’t get the /notebook/. We have more inside information than she has, and you just jump down her throat like she’s some sort of idiot? Are you /kidding me/?! Bucky if your mother heard anything that was said right about now, she would take you over her knee. Slate! I know you’re J.J’s brother and I get you want to protect her, but you don’t get to talk to Teresa like that.”

Steve turned to Teresa. "Teresa, I'm know you want to help. You break your back for every single person in this base with little to no thanks working hours none of us can hold and we're the goddamn superheroes. I know you didn't mean to make either one of them upset. I know that you're trying to find the best way for J.J." He gestured to the two men. "And I know that's their goal too. So we'll find another way. Let's all work together... as a /team/." He stressed the word in case Bucky and Slate forgot what it meant. "And come up with a better plan than putting her away. Because in fairness, Teresa, she did /very/ well in France. I'm really proud of her for getting so far without Bucky by her side."

"I think Hell just froze over, Steve's being terrifying," Clint drawled.

Buck snorted and covered his mouth, before he shook his head, "I am...sorry. To you, Teresa, and also you, Steve. I got everybody on edge..." He sighed. He didn't really know what to say.

"I'm sorry, too. Sam...Sam and Clint offered their homes. Let's see how Jayden does with them, and there's Vision, too," Slate pointed out to her, "Vision's very logical, and Jaybird likes tinkering. If Sam and Clint are ways to get her to socialize, then Vision can help her in other ways. He's got a lot of patience."

Teresa could only sigh and straighten up. "I'm sorry too. I didn't mean for both of you to be triggered at the same time." She smiled slightly. "I'd feel better if Sam talked to her, but if she's used to Bucky's way of thinking, then Vision's line would be undoubtedly the same thing...so...using him might be a good idea. Though bouncing around houses..." She made a face. "I'm not certain how good of idea that is." She held her hand up. "Let me explain my concern. It's unpredictable. Clint's family is huge, including a baby whose only nearly a year old or so. Has she ever been around something so small before, or do you think she'd get violent? I'd chose Sam over Clint, but at the same time...I know you want to socialize her, and keeping her among soldiers isn't a way to do that. Those who are just coming home especially." She looked towards Bucky. "I hate...asking this question since you already suggested it...but have you thought of leaving the base?"

"Sam won't take her to the VA, we talked about that," Buck shook his head, "J.J. is excited to try different things. She likes Sam and Clint. I also told her Sam was /super/ safe. Yes, I have thought about it. Though I was waiting until things settled down before I sat her down with Steve and I and we can talk about apartments."

"I have an apartment, too..." Slate murmured.

"That's why we should talk about it," Buck said gently.

"I don't mind." Steve said hastily. "I mean...I still have an apartment in D.C that's all fixed up...I still pay the rent on it. Sometimes New York is a bit much, and D.C is a nice change of pace, but...I can move back here if it's easier on everyone else."

"What about Kerica, hmm?" Buck arched a brow at Steve, "You know, before you marry her it'd be best to try living with her first."

"We'll talk and we'll see." Steve assured. "If we stay in D.C or stay in NY...you know it might be best if I do move to NY. That way Slate has a way and means to visit J.J. If anyone needs to connect...it's him."

Teresa smiled faintly. "Maybe you guys are the best mental health care she can get, if you're thinking all of this through."

"Of course, we take care of our pack," Buck's smile matched hers, "Sorry again, that my explosion had to cause this."

Slate clapped Buck's shoulder before he stood up, "You should talk to Sam and see what his plans are, and Clint's here so he can even come by your office if you need." He pointed out, slipping from the table, "I'm going to finish my food and head out. Nat wants to have /another/ pistol contest at the range."

"She just likes seeing you pout," Buck grinned and laughed just softly at Slate's glare.

"Pack huh?" Steve stood up as well. "I'll go talk to Kerica about all of this..see what she thinks." He patted Bucky's back gently. "You owe Teresa a dinner now." He walked off with a cheerful whistle.
"I do, I really do," Buck's smile turned sheepish when he looked at Teresa again, "Well, surprised that Steve didn't blush like a tomato when I mentioned marrying Kerica. He took that in stride about as well as you did. Just tell me what works better for you?"

"Well, they were in France, god knows what mischief they got up to." Teresa smiled a little. "I think I could do a night off. But I don't want you to do it because you feel guilty or something. I mean...it was my fault too."

"Tomorrow, maybe? Give us some space, think about what we wanna wear...text me any ideas you have. I can eat anything so you can pick." Buck offered, "I don't think they did anything, but he has been pretty dreamy since he's been home. So, their vacation did wonders."

"Happy's a good look on him. He's been sad for way too long." Teresa noted as she looked away, her smile shy and her cheeks pink. "I think it's about time that everyone started getting that. Do you have my number?"

"Um...lemme check," Buck fished his phone out and went through his contacts. This was a good idea. She hadn't really reacted when he lashed out at her...maybe she could handle him? Branching out from Steve...from Jayden...he could do this. He was nervous, but she said she could fight if the need arose. All they could do was try, right?"

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:58 am

"Put a little wrist action into your throw, see what it does," Sam instructed as he patted his baseball glove, bracing himself. J.J. had a great pitch, Steve would be proud. Thank god he didn't have a baseball bat, though, or he'd spend half his time looking for the ball.

J.J nodded as she took up a stance again. Sam was teaching her how to really throw a ball. The first few times, she went too hard and she didn’t exactly have the greatest aim due to her inability to discern distance and depth. However, with a bit of practice and coaching, Sam was able to get her into a good pitch. The last few balls were pretty good. She lifted her leg, and threw the ball as hard as she could, using her wrist a little to help her with the toss. It was a bit off center, but Sam caught it without having to move /too/ much. “Yay!” She cheered and then looked surprised when Sam threw it. “I got it!” She cried as she ran after it arm lifted and trying to judge where it would land. She caught it, just by a glove’s tip.

"Haha! Great job!" Sam beamed brightly at her, clapping, "You're doing so good! I think the spinning ball trick is your best one yet! Ah, hang on, Steve's buzzing me again," he held his hand up before she got ready to toss again, fishing his phone from his basketball short pocket.

J.J walked over with a curious look on her face. "Is he mad at cardboard again?"

"I don't know what that dude's /problem/ is. It's /cardboard/! It's /not/ out to get him, even if he has gotten multiple cardboard cuts. How even does he manage?" Sam grunted and flicked his screen to the text wall once he unlocked it.

Steve: Tony just called me and told me that he’s coming over to help me undo my electronics. I keep telling him /not/ to come over, but he’s sincerely thinking that I’m going to shock myself or worse. I think he’s half-way thinking about calling movers or whatever. He’s sore at the fact that I’m getting my own apartment, but he also is pretty damn pleased at the fact that he can take this time to build a floor for Bucky and J.J. He has so many plans for it, I’m worried it’s going to trigger one or both of them. I mean, it’s not styled anything /bad/ but you know Tony. Go dramatic or go home.

Steve: I got my bedroom all packed. I’m just trying to figure out furniture. Thank god for U-Hauls. Otherwise this would be a whole other issue and I can’t attach a tailer to my bike.

Steve: I accidentally sent that to Stark.

Steve: I think he has an idea for the bike fml.


Sam: Dude just /how/? How are you so coordinated and smart as fuck and yet...you know what, just how did you even get that apartment your in to run in the first place? /Please/ tell me Kerica is having more luck packing and is going to help you when you actually get to /unpacking/?

“I think Tony just wants to see the apartment and annoy Steve.” J.J observed as she stood in front of Sam. She still sometimes slipped up and read his mind, but considering that Steve had been doing /nothing/ but bitch about the state of distress he was in about moving, Sam’s mind basically was his text message. “Should we save him before Tony gets him?”

"No, let him suffer. It's funnier. I can't wait to see what Kerica has to say, if she decides to text me," Sam admitted.

Sam: As for Buck and J.J's floor, let Tony do what Tony does. He is aware of their personal trips, so he won't do anything to upset them /intentionally/. I can always scout the place out for J.J. before she sets foot there anyway. Calm down.

“As long as there’s fuzzy blankets, bed and window, it’ll be a lot more than I’m used to. I don’t want it painted pink though.” J.J titled her head in thought. “Pink isn’t a great color. Unless it’s neon and mixed with purple. It’s a thought.”

Sam texted Steve /and/ Tony both what Jayden said to chill one out and give the other ideas. Then he was surprised as another text popped up.

Kerica: Sam! So excited, I already got most of my stuff in the U-Hall. It'll be so nice to live somewhere other than with my Dad!

Sam smiled when he replied: That's good! Better hurry up and go save your boyfriend before the cardboard bleeds him dry.

Sam smirked when Steve responded about ten seconds later.

Steve: I’m just as happy about all three of those things too. It’s different than back in my day. Though I don’t think I’d want my walls to be pink either. I think that’d make Bucky go bonkers a lot faster than it would anyone else.

Steve: Though don’t tell Stark that.

Tony: I’M GOING TO MAKE THE ROOM PINK AND WHITE!


Sam just shook his head, "Jayden I'm sorry."

"It's alright. I can repaint." J.J grimaced at the thought. "Though remind me if I have pups never to subject them to that. Bad color."

Kerica texted both him again: Tony asked me to come over to the Tower so he could ask me questions on interior design. What did you do?

Sam: I messaged him saying Jayden didn't like pink.

Kerica: Sam! Why?!

"At least Kerica shares your sentiment about pink," Sam rolled his eyes.

J.J nodded solemnly. “It’s the devil.”

Steve: I’m not exactly sure what you did, but Tony just messaged me and told me that he no longer has the time to help me out with my troubles with electronics. Which is awesome, I appreciate it, but…why he is asking me about helping him paint?

Steve: YOU SERIOUSLY TOLD TONY TO PAINT J.J’S ROOM ARE YOU NUTS?!


Sam: I'M SORRY I REGRET MY LIFE CHOICES OKAY?

~*~

The weekend arrived and Clint peered under the tractor, "You still alive down there? Geez, you have so much oil on you. It's /everywhere/!"

“I’m alright. I’m going to need a shower.” J.J grumbled as she got out form underneath it. She was thankful that she was wearing a ratty tank-top and holey pants that she got from the thrift store just so she didn’t wreck any of her other clothes. The kids /adored/ her outlandish outfits, even more so they admired her hair both the normal white and the many, many colorful wigs that she’d wear. “I think your tractor needs more help.” She patted the thing twice, more sympathetic than anything. “More than a two day project. You don’t have parts I need.”

"I can buy the parts you need while you're with Sam on the weekdays, have them here when you get back next Friday," Clint promised, "Just make me a list, Neon, okay?" He patted her shoulder, "So I haven't been to the Tower, but I hear Tony has this outlandish plan for yours and Buck's floors? Have you even /glimpsed/ it yet? I also hear Steve and cardboard boxes are mortal enemies."

"Steve doesn't know how to pack. I'm scared about the room." J.J admitted as she stretched. She was kind of pleased with the nickname, and had even texted Pietro with it when one of the kids called her it for the first time. "I'll make a list. Do you need me for more things or are you tired of playing with the pups and need me to take over?"

"The bathroom! I can't handle the piping by myself, please? You can't take a shower unless they're fixed, anyway," Clint winced, "Laura's already pissed at me."

J.J sighed and mocked rolled her eyes. "I will be your support beam."

On their way up the stairs once they got in the house and avoided the strewn LEGO land mines, Clint's phone buzzed, "How much money you got to bet me?"

“Five! Steve!” J.J beamed.

Clint dove his hand into his pocket and they placed both fives on the counter top of the bathroom sink. He pulled his phone out and arched a brow at her, "Okay, I'm betting Kerica, then. If I win. I'm buying you something and you can't tell me no."

“I will buy things with that money.” J.J’s chest puffed up and she waited as Clint read the message.

Steve: Hey just wanted to say thanks for sending by some Tupperware for me. I didn’t realize that I didn’t have any that were good for the microwave. Also sorry for the late response! Unpacking is a bitch, I think I nearly killed myself with boxes trying to walk all over my place. I got the furniture set up, it’s just putting things away and remembering what box goes where. Kerica’s no help, she didn’t mark hers either.

"They're so cute, here," Clint readily gave J.J. the full ten.

Clint: You're welcome, man! Buck was excited as well. Good thing I know how to bargain hunt, huh? I will just make it easier on you now, don't even bother wondering who's who's. It'll all get mixed together within two weeks after you get rid of the last wretched box, anyway, besides the obvious stuff. You better be prepared to lose your shirts.

"I'm worried about the pups." J.J frowned as she looked down at the screen to see what Clint typed up. "If Steve and Kerica can't figure out belongings, then that poor pup is going to be losing everything."

"Are you...talking about if they have children?" Clint asked, "Oh my god, Steve with kids. That is so freaking adorable. I won't tease him about it until he puts a ring on her finger, though."

"Steve would be a good father." J.J nodded her agreement. "Kerica is a strange mother."

"I'm a strange father so, Laura and Steve will probably have things in common there..." then it clicked, "Steve as the mother hen! It's so /accurate/ it hurts! J.J. I love you."

J.J's cheeks flushed and she ducked her head, but she was smiling proudly. She was always pleased when she heard the word "love" and it was directed at her. It made her feel very warm and happy and she was always pleased with it.

Clint texted Steve when he took to long to reply: Dude keep your boner in your pants. I know imagining your lady in your clothes is sexy but you're the one who wants to be old school.

"B.B's gonna want pups." J.J sighed loudly. "If he finds out that we're talking about this...he's gonna badger Steve."

Steve: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve: Man stop! She looks really good and ugh I know it’s old school and i know that things don’t work like that anymore, but I don’t want her to think that I’m trying to…I don’t know. Wham bam thank you ma’am her out the door!


"Maybe if she mates with him, they'd marry faster?" J.J suggested tilting her head slightly.

"I /wish/," the arrow sniper groaned, then texted back.

Clint: Steve, geezus, you have the worst case of blue balls I've ever seen! Kerica would never think that about you. What you just mentioned is like a freakin' one night stand type of thing. You're /moving in together/ for Christ's sake! That's the biggest step yet! Just don't argue over the toothpaste tube and how you squeeze it.

Steve: Clint, The ability to squeeze toothpaste in the right way is just as critical as knowing which direction the toilet paper faces.

Clint looked back at Jayden, "Buck's no doubt going to want pups, I agree, but he's gotta get through the courting process first. He's too nervous to consider it right now. One step at a time, Neon."

"Well if he wants pups that bad he has Teresa." J.J frowned as she thought about it. "Not that I think that's a good idea."

Clint: Let's just hope you have a lot in common, then, outside of ordering people around on the battlefield. This is going to make or break everything, I swear to you. I'm sure the ring you give her is going to be fantastic.

Clint whistled innocently and put his phone away, ignoring any oncoming texts before he got settled under the sink, "Why don't you think that's a good idea?"

“Civilian.” J.J crouched down so that she could speak to him clearer. “Not able to be on the battlefield. Also, B.B goes machine sometimes. I heard about the fiasco in the cafeteria. Not good. Big fight. B.B owed her dinner. Don’t know how that went, he hasn’t told me anything. He likes her lots, but…civilians are mean. Harmless sure, not a part of the game, yes. But because they’re not apart of the game, apart of your life, they’re real mean sometimes. Teresa might be like that. I really don’t wanna kill her. You all like her.”

"Fuck, no, you don't need to kill her," Clint stared at her with owl eyes, "Teresa can often think ahead, that's mostly what happened. She never talked to you or Bucky or Slate in detail about what you think or feel or have been through, so she jumped to conclusions. Everybody there at least set her straight, though, so it's okay," he promised.

J.J merely blinked. “I know. It was saved. She backed off from trying to put me away. I can’t blame her for that thought.” She explained as she hugged her knees close. “I don’t wanna be in a cell. I’d rather be here, or with Sam or anywhere that has a bed and warm and fuzzy blankets. But I know where she comes from. People like B.B and I aren’t supposed to be able to come back. Not a problem for us though. We had things to hold us to being human. Memory of Steve, memory of laughter.” She shook her head. “But not the problem. Problem is, is that feelings hurt. Emotions hurt. B.B could love Teresa. Teresa could not fall back. Or falls back but then doesn’t like him anymore because she has to deal with the machine. Not good when that happens, not good at all. Another scenario is that B.B and Teresa will have to say goodbye to me. I don’t want to say goodbye, it’ll hurt a lot…but it’ll be necessary if he wants to move on with his life. He can’t stay with me forever…even if I want him to.”

Clint frowned deeply and they worked on the piping for a little while before he spoke again, "That makes sense, I guess. They do have a complicated relationship and they're just starting. Only thing we can do is wait and see. I doubt you'll have to say goodbye to each other, though."

J.J nodded solemnly, but didn't say anything else. She wasn't sure if Bucky would say goodbye to her or not, but she knew during her travels that if he needed that same freedom that she got, and wanted it with Teresa, then a goodbye would have to be necessary. After all, Sam said it best, not everything was about her and her comfort and needs.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:20 pm

"Stark...oh my God, why?" Buck moaned in despair. J.J. and his floor were combined that way J.J. would feel safe, they just had one whole half to themselves, and the middle lounging spot was a mashup. J.J's...her entire section was indeed pink and white, furniture and walls, while the paintings were the girliest girl things Stark could get his hands on with hearts and butterflies and rainbows and Bucky wanted to puke. His...his was the opposite. All black. Black in pieces was okay, but this...Stark had made it the epitome of emo-goth-punk complete with chairs that had spikes on the sides and while that tiny part of him found it funny he could pick up his lounge chair and use it as a weapon, he pouted deeply. Steve and Kerica were there, as they'd helped paint, and he gave Steve this expression of betrayal though Kerica looked equally disgusted. She had the worst poker face, so it made him suspicious.

"Isn't it awesome?" Stark asked as he walked into the middle of the floor and gestured to it broadly. "I asked everyone's opinion about it and they all told me that I was pretty spot on in what I thought would bring out your most inner calm."

J.J walked over to one of the chairs, not touching it, the spikes were fucking terrifying, but just stared at it. Maybe if she stared at it long enough, the disaster would go away. When it didn't, she let out a growl, and looked around at Bucky's area. "I thought your favorite color was blue or brown." She looked at Bucky with a confused look. "Were you into Heavy Metal and didn't tell me?"

"He has the rocker look already." Steve offered. "But I don't think Heavy Metal is where his mindset is. He used to play guitar a long time ago."

"You never told me that!" J.J and Tony said together at the same time.

"I actually like red, and the lighter blues, and a /little/ black....okay I admit the spike chair makes me laugh a little...but this is some emo kid's wet dream," Buck wrapped his arms around his waist, "I don't know if I could even still play guitar. I also used to like to sing."

"Guitar lessons and singing lessons then." Tony murmured as he started rummaging through his pockets to get his phone out. "I'll make a note of it."

J.J tilted her head as she walked over to her room. She grimaced as pink and white too much like a dollhouse. She looked back over at Bucky and walked towards him, not wanting to be in the room for a moment longer. She gently patted his shoulder, "We can go and paint it." She promised him.

"Tony...Tony, you've gotta be trolling us," Kerica stared at the man, "What did you /do/? What is that awful ballerina statue that looks like a glitter bottle vomited on it's dress? Nat would cry! That's where I put my present!"

Buck was startled. He knew Kerica had gotten the lot of them presents from France but hadn't shown him or J.J. theirs at all, "What?"

Tony frowned deeply. "Ruin my fun." He pressed a button on his phone and everything changed from the ugly pink and black to something completely different.

Bucky could only laugh out loud. The chair was the only thing that was actually real because Tony had a sense of humor. The walls were just that, pale blue...it reminded him of Steve's eyes, and that was calming. The furniture was all a deep lovely brown. Oak it looked like, so heavy and hard to move, also good cover. Plants were everywhere. Like, absolutely /everywhere/ in both his and J.J's halves, because they lived outdoors for such a long time. Ferns and tall standing mini-trees and all sorts of other greens. J.J. had more actual flowers in hers to make it really colorful like a true rainbow instead of the fake ones, as she enjoyed the gardens at the Base and here in the Tower. The paintings on the walls were...of wolves. There was even a giant wolf tapestry that had a huge pack howling at the moon, each with a different fur color. Was it custom made? Because he swore, with just a quick glance, that it was the whole team. It struck his heart.

The statue that Kerica had bought was what caught J.J's eyes. She walked over to it and carefully picked it up. It was of a huge wolf protecting and walking with a small cub that was looking up at it's mom or dad. Tears stung her eyes and she quickly wiped them away. This was supposed to be a gift, so why was she crying? It wasn't hurting her or anything like that. "B.B." She turned around, holding the statue out for him to see. "Look!"

Buck softened and walked closer, rubbing Jayden's back gently, "Hey, look at that. It kind of looks like us, pup." He ruffled her hair playfully. He looked to Kerica and grinned, "You really know how to find good gifts. I remember Clint and Sam cheesing out over theirs."

Steve grinned brightly. "Kerica saw that and was instantly reminded of you. I thought it matched well with the forest theme we had going on." He gestured at Tony. "He's the one that wanted to make sure you all were comfortable. The plants were his idea."

"Shut up. No. No." Tony wagged his finger at Steve. "Feelings give me hives, remember?!"

"No, feeling bashful and modest gives you hives." Steve retorted.

"Pup that sounds like your cue to go hug him before he can run away," Buck smirked.
Now

Tony took off running and J.J followed after him, glomping onto his back. "I get it! Your thankful!!! Ahhhhh!!!!"

"Payback for that awful holographic!" Buck quipped as he promptly walked over and flopped down in his spikey lounge chair. Yup. This was his new favorite thing.

"You honestly like that chair." Steve looked at Bucky with a quirked eyebrow. "I thought he was /joking/ when he said he bought it."

"Steve, I think any bad guy who storms this place would be highly embarrassed to be killed by a spike chair. It's comfortable, too! At least it's not a solid rock!" Buck grinned, "I can understand the joke behind it, it's great."

"Bad guy gets to hell. Hades asks him how he died. Death by spike chair," Kerica giggled behind her hand.

"You know that reminds me. I should ask Nicky if there's such things as demons or such when I see him." Steve snapped his fingers. "I don't know how many angels there are in Fireside, but now that we have J.J...I think Cassie would be willing to talk to us."

"Have me what?" J.J came back, looking pleased as a cat with cream as she sat down by Bucky's legs, folding her legs in a criss-cross.

"Cassandra made a deal with Fury. Find you first and then she'll talk about Fireside, if her leader said it was alright." Steve explained. "She runs that shop that has the dragon pendants you liked on us."

"Ooooh. Dragon lady." J.J nodded.

Buck pulled his from under his shirt, "Maybe we can get you one? Would you like that?" he asked with a smile, "I want to meet this Cass, especially since she knows the Kyle guy that made you really giddy from racing."

"When do we go see her?!" J.J perked up happily. Not really about the gift, but being able to meet people with abilities.

"I have Matt's number, we could call her? Set up a date and time?" Kerica offered.

Steve smiled at Kerica. "That works for me."

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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:58 pm

With the last couple weeks of July spent moving, it was now August and Buck assumed the shop had changed a bit since the last time the two of them were there as Kerica was gaping and looked giddy, bouncing forward and seeing what had been rearranged. The place was filled with golden decorations mingled in with red. It reminded him a lot of fire. Red and gold pots of flowers on tables, standing sparkly table toppers and /charms/. Lots and lots of charms hanging from the ceiling. Some like the necklace he wore, other more a talisman-like object. The wood was dark brown, shelving everywhere with figurines and tarot card decks and books on Wicca and Witchcraft and even some Greek Mythology mix in there, too. It was cool inside to counter the hot August weather, though, which he appreciated.

"Cassandra! Cassie, where are you?! I brought friends! And my own deck so you could look at it!" Kerica called up the stairs to the side.

"I'm actually underneath the table-ow!" Cassandra thunked her head /hard/ against the counter that she was moving quickly out of, holding a box in her hands. She set it to the side and grinned. "When Matt told me that you were going to show up again, I wasn't expecting two more of you." She walked around the counter, her red hair was tied up with gold and brown ribbons holding back her braid. She wore boy shorts that were so short they almost showed off her ass, and a black long sleeved midriff shirt that had a shoulder cut off on the right. She smiled at Bucky. "So the long lost friend finally returns home."

"Hello," Buck nodded respectfully, "Steve and Kerica told us roughly about how you did their readings on the ride here. I don't want to do the Quest deck."

"It'd be a bad choice anyway." Cassandra agreed. "Your already know your quest. Bad form to repeat everything that you already know. No. You need something a little more intimate. I'm thinking Faeries." She glanced over behind Bucky to see that the white haired girl was looking at the glass bottles. Smiling she moved away from Bucky and over to the girl. "And there you are."

J.J nearly dropped the bottle that she was holding and she looked up at Cassandra with a wide-eyed expression. "/You're/ the one with the weird thoughts?"

"I must be if you're able to read me." Cassandra was amused and a little surprised. Not even /Matt/ read her. Matt told her once that her thought process was a bit strange, considering that she was always /seeing/. "You're the wolf pup from another pack." And something more, but she was going to hold her tongue for now.

"No pack." J.J said placing the bottle away. "B.B's pack."

"Right. The Cage isn't exactly a good place to call a pack." Cassandra agreed, making J.J glare at her. "Yes I know about it." She said simply. "I think I want to do a different deck on you. You don't have a quest. You're too freespirited and you won't be tied down, but healing you isn't going to work either. So, something else."

"Oh that'll be fun!" Kerica came to slip her arm around Steve, "Cassie! Have we gotten better since the last time you saw us?" she asked excitedly, and she also held out a golden box with an angel on the top cover, "Here, I wanted you to see it."

Cassandra took the card deck and carefully opened it. She picked up one card and smiled gently as she look at what it was. She placed it back down and closed the lid. "If you don't mind doing a triple reading. These cards can guide all of you to a strong pack, a stronger family."
Steve blinked, he was pretty certain that Cassandra just told them a piece of the future. He smiled a little. "You going to have Kerica read you?" He asked.
"Only if she wants to. I'm not certain what the cards could guide me in." Cassandra shrugged. "I don't mean to sound melodramatic, but I am tied to fate itself. /Guiding/ people is kind of my job. Guiding myself on the other hand, that's always been a one-man plan there."

"If you don't think it'll work then I won't. It's better when those involved are willing," Kerica shrugged, then smiled, "Upstairs we go? I'm so eager to see what you read for Buck and Jay."

They trudged upstairs with little to no ado and Cassandra allowed them into her private quarters. J.J immediately took a spot on the couch, and everyone else started working themselves into a pattern on how to sit. J.J, Bucky, Steve, and then Kerica at the end. “Tea again?” Cassandra asked as she started pulling down the supplies needed. “Something with fruit or earl grey? Personally, since today is a holiday, I do have a floral blend that goes well with rose.”

"Sounds really good!" Kerica nodded.

"I'll try it. If I don't like it I can always have the earl grey," Buck agreed.

Steve and J.J both said their consent and Cassandra began making tea, humming to herself as she started it up. While she waited for the kettle to boil she walked away and into her private rooms. She came back carrying a light pink bag and a familiar purple one. “So, whose going to go first? My suggestion is to do Bucky and then J.J, but that’s just my preference.”

"Would that help, pup?" Buck asked, "Let you see how it's done?"

J.J nodded, feeling a little scared. It wasn't claustrophobic type of fear. But a curling pit of darkness in her stomach. The reading sounded like fun, but now that the decks were in front of her...was it possible to have a fear of playing cards?

Cassandra nodded and the kettle began to whistle. She stood up and prepared the tea and tea cups, bringing them over with a tray that Matt let her use and passed the cups around to the group. She put down a sugar bowl and a little container of milk so that they could fix the teas how they pleased. She handed the deck to Bucky and watched him as he shuffled. He took his time, and she liked that.

He handed her the cards back and she began to spread them out in a Celtic Cross spread, along with two extra columns. “I see that you are a musician by heart and trade.” She said as she looked down at the upside down card that was underneath the one crossing over it. “But you lost that ability, probably due to the times you were lost and taken. Something, or someone is inspiring you to try to pick it up again, to relearn what was once lost. Perhaps, this is also what you’re trying to do in your own life as well. Besides the music, you’re still trying to reclaim everything you lost.”

She gestured to the card that was laying on top of it. “One of the bridges that you have to cross though is to look inside of yourself. But that doesn’t just mean asking people questions and thinking they have the answers. It means coming together with your dark side, with your light side. Meditate. Do you /really/ want to reclaim what is lost? For everything that is good, something bad is going to follow it. Are you able to grab a hold of that? Will you?”

Buck was scared by that question. He knew that. He knew it could be dangerous. Yet...it could also be beneficial. If he came to terms and connected the pieces instead of drawing them apart, he might be able to be a whole person again. He still felt broken, even if he appeared find on the outside. He frowned deeply and his brows knitted together, "I am tired of running..." was the only thing he could come up with to say. He could grab it and even if something bad happened, he had a good support system going.

Cassandra smiled a little, “Then, you’ll go deep. As for the next card…you’re not willing to believe in “Miracle” healing.” She used quotation marks on that. “Oh you’ll believe it for J.J, for Steve, but for yourself? You’re so deep in hell, there’s no saving you, is there? But you have to understand that both the Universe and those who are higher than you have a  different plan and a different idea about you. They see the blood on your hands…and communicating through Steve, through J.J, through everyone who spoke to you…didn’t everyone besides a few say that you were able to be saved? Negativity is easy to listen to, especially when you think they’re right…but maybe it’s time for you take a leap of faith and think that the Universe is right giving you that support system you have beside you.”

She pointed at the next card. “Interesting enough, you’re good at this. You’re aware of your environment and everything that’s in it…and that’s how the Universe is connecting and talking to you. Like I said before, in order for those of higher power to talk to you, they use the people you trust, because they want you to be able to believe in them…and believe in yourself. Would they say the same thing if the Universe wasn’t present? Yes. Because they gave you J.J. If J.J is to be saved, then you have to save yourself…isn’t she your mirror? The way to wash the blood of your hands?”

"I have severe depression." Steve offered as he gently placed a hand on Bucky's shoulder. "I mean...super severe. We're all trying. I'm trying and you, but...yeah...I understand that. Sometimes we just don't feel like we're worth anything. Sometimes I think that the only thing people want from me, is an ideal, not me."

Buck was startled, tensing at the touch. He didn't know what to do so he just...sat, and drank a little more. It was hard to believe Steve was that severe, since he was always smiling, but...yeah. He could see the ghosts that were similar to his own. Finally, he relaxed his shoulders. He had a long way to go in this spread, so might as well buckle in. He patted Steve's hand, squeezing just a bit, assuring him silently he was okay.

Cassandra touched the next card, which was to the left. “Stress and thinking that you can never let go  keeps you in that constant cycle of thoughts. PSTD, anxiety, depression, they’re always going to be on your shoulder. They’re always going to tell you that you’re not good enough. But like with Steve, you share something in common. Maybe your demons can help you break the cycle of thoughts, and help you grow into something stronger.”

She pointed at the next card. “Here’s something obvious you probably don't think about, and that’s letting your body react. You hold everything in, bottle it up…but I know that there’s things that can set you off. J.J disappearing, for an example, forced you to think. Forced you to move on. Listen to what your body tells you. You’re in such a disconnect of mind and spirit, that you’re also disconnected from your body. Which explains why the Solider has an easy time getting out besides the brainwashing.”

“So express more?” J.J questioned.

“Basically. It’s like his middle card. He needs to find the things that make him happy, that make him sad, and keep them close. Because they’re what makes him a person.” Cassandra explained. “The body is a shelter for the soul. If both are abused, the body comes first, because if you try to heal the soul first and the body’s broken well…that’s trapping a songbird in a cage.”

So let himself just...be. He'd spent the last two years learning how to Human, and every day was filled with new experiences, new conversations. Especially with how many people were in the Avengers, and now there was a possibility he would meet even /more/ people. It was a clusterfuck, but something told him it would be a good thing. Likes, dislikes... "I used to write in journals...I'd write down everything. They got lost somewhere along the way. I might start again."

"Good job!" Cassandra clapped her hands. "I used to write down what I See, but that started to get complicated."
J.J nodded. "Robbie wrote things down too. He said it helped him look at the bigger picture. I didn't get it."

"I saw some lovely journals here in the shop, we can look at them, or there's a Barnes and Noble around here somewhere, they have some nice ones with lots of pages, and different styles," Kerica offered, "That could be fun."

Buck smiled at her, "I appreciate it, thank you. What's the next card, Cass?"

“Now we get to fun territory. So this spread has two parts. The first part was all about your feelings. Now the rest of it is about your chakras. I’ll explain as we go, I promise it’s not as complicated as it seems.” Cassandra assured as she pointed at the first of the two columns. “This is your root chakra, which is about stability. How you take care of yourself in a physical sense and funny enough, it’s telling me that you’re always breaking away from the norm. You do things that are different, you take the path less traveled by, and you always make sure that you do something new. So, you have a good foundation here.”

She pointed at the next card above it. “This is your abdominal chakra. Basically sex drive and creativity, but in purpose of the spread, it asks me how do these things affect your life and the card says family harmony. Despite how you feel about yourself, all the negativity and how you feel like you’re in a cycle, you’re always looking for a way to bring family into it. On a date with a girlfriend? You’re doing it for the long haul. It’s not a pick up and drop off, it’s can I see her as my wife with my children? And in creativity, I mean look at what you’re doing right now. You’re sitting here, listening to me blabber on like a lunatic, and you have the three people so close to you it’s criminal none of you are blood.”

"Steve and I might as well be brothers," Buck smiled fondly and nodded, "I like the sound of all of that. Yeah...I'm not going to do anything half-assed. You're not a lunatic, either, Cass. You're a confirmed Seer and Cards are your medium. I'm not unaware of how all this works. I'm rather enjoying myself, even if the start was a bit rocky."

"You should've been here for the whirlwind that were these two." Cassandra gestured to Steve and Kerica. "Rocky start wasn't even the beginning."

Steve's cheeks flushed a hot red.

Kerica wasn't much better, glowing pink, "We're doing our best. We went to /France/! Not my ideal vacation spot, but hell, we got Jay and everybody's happy and now we have an apartment together with Buck and Jay down the hall!"

"You really didn't like France all that much, did you?" Buck was amused.

Kerica wrinkled her nose, "It's so /typical/ for a romantic vacation spot. I already told Steve I would've preferred Ireland."

"Ye ol' home country, aye Rogers?" Buck teased.

"Shut up." Steve shoved Bucky hard against J.J, making her squeak. "I am so sorry J.J."

"I'm okay." J.J thumbs up. "I didn't fall of the couch."

"Next card!" Buck demanded, snickering.

Cassandra grinned as she went back to the cards. “Okay so solar plexus chakra is blocked. This is the chakra that is about how you use your own determination to get things done…and it’s blocked because you don’t trust your head. You don’t trust your own intuition. Sure, you have good instincts, but when it comes to people, or even sometimes your own environment that is a bit…risky. You think you’re in trouble, intuition probably either agrees or doesn’t, and if it agrees your paranoia goes up like a rocket. if it doesn't it goes down and you relax.”

She tapped the next card. “Your Heart Charka is also blocked. Jesus and you’re in a relationship? Wait…no…” She looked at the card. “Oh, I see how this goes. Since you can’t trust yourself, you haven’t awoken your true self. You’re wearing a mask and judging what kind of person that your girlfriend or boyfriend for that matter wants you to be. I have a feeling that the mask broke here and there, but you got scared when she or he saw it. Have a bit of faith and try to let it down around them a little more.” She looked at Bucky. “You don’t do things half-assed, so don’t do this one either.”

Buck rubbed his neck sheepishly, "It's funny that you add 'or boyfriend' in there..." it was his turn to blush a bit. Steve had seen him as a machine more than once, but still was ready to throw everything on the line. Even let his shield drop back on the helicarrier and proceeded /not/ to fight while he beat the shit out of him and the mission reset happened right before everything crumbled around him. Then he saved Steve from the river. He'd heard shuffling behind him back then but never looked back to see who it had been that called for help.

Then there was Teresa. They'd gone on a dinner date...a real one out in the city, but his explosion the day before had made him uneasy and he'd been super sweet on her and didn't enjoy himself as much as he would've liked to. Maybe...he should ask around for some good date places to go. He didn't want to fuck things up. "I understand what you're saying...and I really do need to step up my game. She deserves more than what I've given her."

Cassandra did a mock salute. “Ask Matt for help when you get stuck. Or even better, try to get a hold of Nicky or even Candy. All of them have good dating advice. I mean Nicky’s only in his twenties, but he has a /kid/ already. He /was/ the baby in the group, not anymore.” She rolled her eyes. “Anyway, moving on. Your throat chakra is communication, how you express yourself and how other people see you. Lo and behold, you’re a problem solver. You’re the one that can listen to people’s problems and have them fixed up.”

She gestured to the next card. “Third eye is once more you intuition. Your vision. Your…bullshit meter so to speak.” She grinned a little. “And your intuition is very secure in the fact that you can rely on yourself. You have all the tools you need in order to see things through.”

"Nicky's pretty young to have a kid." Steve blinked in shock. "Did he marry or....?"

"Oh he's married. He married her after the babe was born." Cassandra beamed. "Ally was adamant that she didn't want to look like a puffed up marshmallow walking down the aisle and she didn't want Matt to constantly tailor the dress."

Kerica snorted just a bit, "That would be reasonable."

"I'll see who I resonate with more and go from there when it comes to advice on dating," Buck shook his head in amusement, "One more card I see?"

"Just the one. This is the Crown Chakra. This is your beliefs, your higher power speaking to you. And it's funny...your higher power wants you to laugh. Wants you to enjoy life more. It's not something to sit by and watch. They want you to have fun with it. You dealt with your trauma, now let life heal you the way death can't."

"Laugh in the face of pain..." J.J piped up.

"Yes...laugh in the face of pain," Buck smiled at Jayden, "Laugh...I really don't laugh enough, do I? Deep anyway, from my gut. It sometimes still feels like a foreign action. Chuckling and that snicker I did earlier are easy."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:09 am

Cassandra carefully placed her healing faeries deck away into the bag and took out the pink bag. She took out a heavy huge deck that was completely pink and girly. At J.J’s horrified recoil, she laughed. “They’re manga cards.” She flipped one over. “Matt was completely obsessed with this deck and wanted me to have it. I think she thought it’d be a good addition to the many readings I can offer.” She flipped it back and handed the huge deck to J.J. “I know the cards are thicker, and bigger, but believe me…they look cute…but I think that’s why they can deal good blows to the truth.”

J.J carefully took the cards, wincing a little at how big they were compared to her hands, and began shuffling them. She couldn’t shuffle all that well. Sometimes the cards went flying from her hands to the table, but usually faced down. Those ones, Cassandra aligned while the ones showing, she placed to the side. She handed back the rest of the deck that she believed was shuffled, and Cassandra placed the rest of the cards in order, flipping the ones downside up. “Okay. Your cards are very interesting. They tell a tale rather than anything.”

“A tale?”

“That’s how my manga deck reacts to you. You have a story, so they’re going to act it for you. So first things first, you have a lot of minor tarot in your reading, which means a lot of the reading is emotional based rather than spiritual. Which is probably a good thing.” Cassandra tapped her finger to her lip. “So the story begins with your caution. You have a strong belief that caution is key. Everything you do, everything that can happen, is dealt with caution.” She smiled a little. “So your caution is your ideal, but your creative powers come from the times when you have the strongest hope. In fact, that’s what got you out of the Cage. That’s what made you trust Bucky. That’s what made you come home. Hope. Without hope, you’re without a lot of things. Hope was your power against your opponents, it wasn’t much of how you killed them.”

"That's very...inspiring, actually," Kerica leaned a bit forward, having finished her tea and was just enjoying seeing the cards, "Hope's never been my friend, really. I used to get my hopes up a lot, but to hear you have a lot of it is really nice."

J.J blushed, but leaned forward more to see what else Cassandra was going to say.

Cassandra hummed. “Your wisdom comes from your vision. Since you have a lot of hope, you had a lot of dreams. Though this vision isn’t just about dreams. I wonder…what could be so powerful that hope and caution are your backgrounds, but your vision and your dreams are your wisdom?” Her eyes locked on J.J’s. She held them there for a chilling moment before going back to the next card. “Your virtues decline drastically. No, not even drastically. I’d actually say that your virtue is that you have a strong vice.” She looked up at J.J again. “You have caution, your able to hope, you have a  vision, but yet your redeeming qualities are always declining. No, I don’t think you understand what that means…or you do…but you don’t exactly /care/. Sin and Purity don’t mean much to you…do they?”

“Not really. Not religious.” J.J shrugged.

“It isn’t much about religion as it is about morality.” Cassandra frowned deeply. “I’d chalk it up to the Cage, but I would think you’d come out somewhat different…” she trailed off. “Or perhaps not at all.”

"I don't think the Cage has much room for morality." Steve wasn't exactly happy with this accusation. "I think she can be saved and I think we can teach her all of that. Whether or not she goes to Church or follows in your footsteps or has a higher power, I don't think any of that really matters."

"She has a lot of people to learn from," Kerica patted Steve's thigh, "This is a heavy topic, and whether or not she would be different or the same or if she understands or not or cares or not...that can be a long debate that can keep us here for days."

"I agree," Buck nodded, "History...it's forgotten because children don't care. This is similar. If Jayden doesn't /care/ to learn then she'll just forget or shrug it off. It's complicated on a whole other level. She's barely figuring out what guilt is."

Cassandra nodded her head, not surprised in the slightest. “Moving on. Loss is the shape of your being. What created you and what’s always propelling you. You lost a lot when you were in the Cage. Memories, feelings and morality. But worse than that, is that I’m certain you forgot certain aspects of your past…and if we’re going to the present, you still have someone that you considered lost to you, don’t you?”

“Robbie.” J.J brought her legs up tight against her chest, a sad frown on her face. “He was going to adopt me.”

“Was he really.” Cassandra smiled a little before it slid off. “Do you mind if I-?”

“Someone killed him.” J.J shrugged. “I never got a good look. But someone took a gun…bang…back of the skull. Blood went everywhere. I couldn’t go after the man. Robbie told me to stay put. So I stayed till he left. Then I cleaned up everything…ran away. Robbie told me not to trust the blue uniforms…he said that they had a different idea of what I was…”

“But you replaced that with Bucky?” Cassandra asked.

“Not replaced.” J.J. shook her head. “Just a similar function. Only…B.B’s sometimes a machine. I know what that’s like so I try to keep him down to earth.”

She nodded. “Well continuing on, I think that has to deal with your confusion.” She pointed at the card. “This world is a very strange place for you isn’t it?”

J.J nodded, unable to speak.

“It’s strange for us sometimes, but not to the degree that you see this world as. While a lot of us feel like it’s an out of body experience, or it’s a thing that we need to keep discovering…you see it as alien. People to the buildings, to even how we talk and act around each other is so unlike anything you ever encountered, anything you remember. So it confuses you, and hurts you when people don’t react in the way you need them too. I’m certain you told them that you were dangerous. I’m also certain they told you, since they do this to Bucky as well, that it doesn’t matter…but to you it /does/. To you /dangerous/ isn’t just a safety concern. It’s practically a staple of pride. For people to know that and to be /afraid/ of you is a natural reaction you’re used to. But when you don’t /have/ that, you get flipped upside down. I’m certain that it happens with a lot of things.”

"Like leaving 1944...and waking up in 2012." Steve said hoarsely. He knew that type of feeling. That feeling where everything was a dream, nothing felt real, and everything that could've been...never was. Ideals he was raised with, people that he cared for...all gone in a blink of an eye.

"That's a similarity we don't like to admit," Buck sighed deeply. He'd roughly gotten a chance to adapt...more or less was forced to but it was easy to understand. Now that he had a good chunk of memory back he supposed it was due to all of the futuristic books and movies he would see so he applied that knowledge to each new mission he was thrown on. "That's why I kept checking up on her, making sure she was okay, when you first brought us to the Tower. I understand. Now you have a better insight as well, Steve."

Kerica didn't. She was the odd one out here, and it...broke her heart, to see the same look on all three of them. She worried her lip and sat further back in the couch, watching Cassandra and wondering what the next card meant. Steve no doubt still felt out of place from time to time. She wasn't a help sometimes, either, forgetting often and just...doing what she did because to her it was normal. Teasing him with her swimsuit and the way she moved in the water, with her mission suit, too. The answer wasn't to suddenly be a prude, but maybe she should ask Matt some advice of her own, see what...constituted as flirting or teasing and sexy back in the day, appeal to him differently rather than...she grimaced. Acting like a slut according to standards back then. God she was such an asshole. Funny how sometimes someone else's reading shed light on other things as well, depending on who was in the room.

“Your instincts are about domination.” Cassandra looked back down at the cards. “You’re territorial. If someone looks at Bucky the wrong way, or says something that sounds insensitive to Steve or anything like that, you’re on to them like a mother cat beating up on a kitten for being too rowdy, or a wolf teaching a lesson. But if something is /yours/ and you mentally marked a claim on it…then should something happen…you make sure to pay them back. You pay them back by a lot too.”

Her finger went to the next card. “If I had to give a word for what type of job you’re into…it’s betrayal. You don’t recognize people that well, so friends and enemies are a bit hard to discern. So it’s easy for you to betray them. You’d feel /bad/ about it…” She glanced at J.J who slid deeper into her huddle. “But for the longest time, you didn’t understand it.”

When no one spoke up, Cassandra continued. “So if your higher ideal was all about caution and your wisdom came from your visions. Well, your visions were about injustice wasn’t it? You were wrongly taken, wrongly used, wrongly everything. You were /wronged/ in many ways and even though you tried to stay strong, you tried to continue to hold out for hope, you couldn’t survive in an environment where you could stay human.” She pointed at the next card. “So you made your physical self as dangerous as possible. You managed to intertwine your soul with a demon didn’t you? Maybe you haven’t realized it…or maybe you /do/ know. But I was wondering throughout this reading why I was being told things that I already knew of…but it was a story. But it wasn’t a story about J.J. It was about her…and the companion she harbors deep inside.”

"Whoa, wait, back up," Bucky sat bolt upright, back straight, eyes wide. Steve was at attention too. "I knew demons could be made of people, I mean fucking Schmidt was the epitome of that. I could probably run with Angels, sure. Gods...Thor's an obvious point there. Now there's /demons/ and J.J. has one /attached/ to her?"

"Why are you so surprised? If there's angels, there's bound to be a demon running around here or there. I mean look at Kerica. Is she really the only one here that's not at all surprised? And it's not attached. If that was the case, then it'd be a simple spell, ask Matt to come over, and it'll be all over with. I just said it was intertwined."

"I didn't want to say anything about your Shadow friend," Kerica shrugged, "I mean, why say anything when no one'd really believe me? I'd also be asked to prove it and that's tricky. I can't see Ghosts but sometimes I can see Shadows here and there...even battled it out with two before. It's normal. At least now Cass put the spotlight on."

Steve's shoulders slumped. "I would've." He would've too. If there were gods, and angels, he would've believed that shadows could make monsters out of humans. That demons lurked at the corner of the mind that wasn't just a mental illness.

Kerica rubbed her arm a bit, "I'm sorry, I know. Yet...you would've also been concerned...Jay, do you even know what I'm talking about? May I explain? I can hear."

J.J nodded, but didn't speak.

Kerica shifted on the couch to look at Steve and Bucky. Buck seemed pale like Jayden did, and Steve was good at masking his hurt but he'd already given it away. Perhaps she really should've said something? He was also open about her Tarot deck even though she was still hesitant to give him a reading. Just knowing and having it reaffirmed he believed in her made her swallow hard. "Okay, so. It was a subconscious thing. This Shadow...lurked the Cage. The injections gave her the ability to communicate with it. She knew exactly what it was, too. She hadn't lost her memories yet. Slate believes like you do, Steve, so, it's not surprising. She prayed in God, prayed in Angels...eventually dissolved into just praying for anyone who'd listen to her. This Shadow thought it was funny. Toyed around a bit. Watched her fight on her own, watched her chip away further and further. It protected somebody else at the time, so it partially was also to size her up. See if she was worth it...worth being his new Host. This is a parasite demon."

Steve sucked in a breath and looked over at J.J who was just watching them, not saying a word. She didn't look too scared, but she didn't look very happy either. She was just...sullen? No...he didn't know what that look was. Defeat? It was possible. "A parasite." He repeated slowly. He needed to wrap his head around this and around this fast. "So then...what exactly does it do?" He looked at Kerica.

Kerica turned her head, not really looking at anything or anyone, but her eyes kept flicking, before she closed them briefly and then back at him, "They made a contract. Back in the Cage. He would protect her, keep her safe where no one else had, and in return his request was her soul. I scratch your back, you scratch mine." She motioned to Jayden's leg in it's cast, "She came out of that base with one bullet wound and a broken leg as well as a couple other /minor/ injuries."

"Is that...why you sometimes switch genders off?" Steve looked over at J.J curiously.

"No." J.J responded, her voice scratchy. "Never liked it. Wanted to be what I wanted to be."

"Makes sense..." Steve looked over at Bucky and gently nudged him. "Hey. You okay?"

Bucky was actually very upset and he didn't know why. He should be glad she had someone, any kind of entity, looking out for his pup, but...he just... "Kerica?"

"Yes, Buck?" Kerica frowned deeply at his far-away voice.

"Is Hell a nice place?" Buck heard himself choke a bit.

"Oh...Buck..." Kerica looked at Steve apprehensively, before she answered, "Actually...yes it is. Persephone and Hades make the first floor of the Underworld their Kingdom. You guys know the seven levels, with the Inferno at the bottom? That's the Hell you picture, I'm sure, but that's not Lucifer's domain."

J.J looked at Bucky in concern. Why would he ask that question? She felt scared. Real, real scared. The type of scared where she thought of hiding away any weapons and locking the door and window. It only happened once, just once, but it was a time she’d never forget.

"Lucifer's a good man." Cassandra said after a moment. "And I never met any demon under his control that didn't have some type of goodness to them. The underworld is normally just a limbo, a place of rest. The inferno is where the bad guys go to get punished, but if God denies you...Lucifer will take you in...and he always gives a chance. There are people who are good enough to be angels down in hell...he calls them Fallen. They're good people. Matt's a fallen." She offered gently. "Nicky's fallen, but you know....he's a honey badger."

"The world is not really as it seems, is it?" Buck asked Cass, having taken a second to compose himself, "Sorry. Contracts can't be erased. It'd kill her. I understand that. She still has a lot to learn, we figured that out. We knew that already. She has a lot of hope. That's good. Hope is good. The friend vs monster, thing seems to be one of the bigger issues." He was simplifying the session, "What now? Cass? Any advice on how to go about putting the jigsaw puzzle together?"

“You continue to love and support her.” Cassandra replied simply enough. “Continue to treat her with the same kindness and compassion as before. She’s your pup through and through, Bucky.” She looked over at J.J and smiled gently. “She might’ve prayed for someone to listen to her, and that demon might’ve just been single-minded. But they worked together for quite a number of years. Even now, she has a lot of hope for this demon. She wanted the demon to learn the same things she learned before she went into the Cage.”

Steve looked over at Cassandra. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, J.J had hope that the demon would learn to love and develop friendships. Things she lost.” Cassandra explained. “In order for them to be things he’d gain.”

"Has...has the demon taken over more than just...during the Cage and the massacres?" Buck asked hesitantly.

"No." Cassandra said slowly. "Well...not taken over...but the thought processes are sometimes connected. For an example, not understanding emotions. J.J understands them, she can't put a name to them anymore. The demon on the other hand doesn't get it, therefore if she feels something "new" it puts him in a tizzy because its' foreign."

"That makes so much more sense now!" Kerica blinked at Cass, "Talk about pieces fitting together!"

"I think I might like to know if he ever does that," Buck pressed his lips together, "It'd be quite rude to think I'm talking to Jayden but it's really...Shadow. Let's just call him that. Shadow works."

"I have a name?" J.J piped up as she uncurled herself from her little huddle.

Bucky jerked, not at all expecting that to happen /right now/, "Fuck, so Jayden doesn't have to be triggered for you to come out. Nice to know." He put his hand over his chest, "Shadow cool with you? Or do you want something like Ebony or Obsidian?"

"Wow, Buck, go with the flow," Kerica wiggled her body a little bit in tease.

"Shut the fuck up would you rather I be losing my shit?" Buck ran his hand over his face.

"Shadow's fine." Shadow replied. It stretched out J.J's body so that he was lying half-way off of the couch, looking exhausted. "She wanted me out." He explained. "Practically shoved me out."

"Um...why?" Steve questioned. Well. Aliens from outerspace, demons from hell...there's not much else that could surprise him that would make him give Fury another ten.

"It's weird not seeing the dark wisp out of the corner of my eye now," Kerica rubbed her eyes, "You became very talkative when you learned I could see you."

"It's not everyday someone can soul read and see me." Shadow pointed out. "Besides the angels and Lucifer. You're interesting. It's a shame I'm bound to her. You've been interesting to be with."

"Okay whoa, no." Steve frowned at the demon. "Just...no. Fuck that."

"Shh, it's instinct," Kerica placed her hand on Steve's chest, the other on his shoulder, "Remember. Shadow's learning, too. He didn't mean to offend."

"So your bound to her forever aren't you?" Cassandra couldn't help but to poke fun. "She made sure there was no loopholes or anything to get you out of helping her, didn't she?"

"Shut up." Shadow groused.

"I'm just shocked you managed to get bested by a human girl. A /fifteen year old/." Cassandra let out a laugh as Shadow shoved the table at her.

Buck snorted as that thought crossed his mind, too, "That's a good point. How old are /you/, Shadow?"

"Three hundred." Shadow grumbled and watched in dismay as the group howled with laughter again.

"Awwww," Kerica covered her mouth, "How? How even? Jayden must've been special and peeked your interested something fierce if you got locked."

"She killed my host." Shadow shrugged. "So I decided to mock her a little and she made me a bargain. Only with a flexible contract that she decides the terms on, not me. Not that I knew she'd have the /ability/ to do that, even when I broke her mind."

Buck pinched the bridge of his nose and took a breath, "What are your thoughts on her now? Now that she escaped and grew and is now going through all of this?"

"She has a lot of determination." Shadow touched the pendant that was always hanging around J.J's neck. "Smarter than I gave her credit for...but then the protective contract changed." He scowled. "And now any little /thing/ can set her off because of it. And with everyone gung-oh about "humanizing her", it's putting a lot of pressure on the both of us. We /can't/ blend in the way you want us to. She can humanize herself to a point, and that's because, again allow me to remind you, I /broke/ her /mind/." He paused. "Though I have to admit she has an interesting fascination with little kids. Calls them pups. I do like the apartment. It's nice to hang around in sometimes. Wolves are a good touch."

"Then help us out, this is actually a great learning curve," Kerica pleaded just a bit, "What will work? What's damaging, what's not? What about technology?"

"Technology is her thing. I don't understand a thing about it. She thinks it's /funny/." Shadow scowled for a moment before softening. "She likes to play around with things that remind her of a puzzle." He paused and shook his head before looking at Kerica wearily. "What do you mean by those last two questions? What will work and what is damaging?"

"I think we're asking about how we can get her to become more human-like." Steve said slowly. "But I also think we're asking about her mental health, and what we can do to protect her from any harm from it." He looked at Kerica. "Am I close?"

"Roughly, yeah. I don't want her to hate us after all for trying to help...I mean...if it's too fast, too much, too much pressure, she can tell us to back off," Kerica wrung her hands together, playing with her dragon pendant nervously.
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:40 am

"She won't hate you," Shadow sighed. "She doesn't even hate the people that took her life and messed around with it. She doesn't hate me in the slightest." He paused in his thoughts for a moment, and then continued on. "The apartments are a good idea...the changing of scenery and family is also good. It keeps the need to travel at bay." He said slowly. "Just don't expect too much all at once. Bucky has a good grasp just follow his lead. She trusts him the most out of everyone in the group."

"He's a good person to trust." Steve smiled faintly looking at Bucky with something akin to pride. "He watches out for everyone's six, even when he can't trust himself."

"I wouldn't tell Slate about me." Shadow nodded his head, continuing on. "But she wants to see if she can somehow, someway be Slate's little sister again. It'll take a lot of time...but Slate already made his first moves. It's her turn to respond, she's just not certain as to /how/."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:31 pm

Buck nodded firmly, "We can work on all of that. I'm glad the apartments are a good idea, and having her switch between places. Maybe we can work her going to Slate's every once in a while. He'd love that. No one's going to force her to do anything she doesn't want to do, though. Pietro's also more than willing to take her places, too, like the campgrounds."

"You might want to keep this in mind too...." Shadow said slowly, like an afterthought. "There is certain things and circumstances that will trigger me. I.E, Bucky getting injured or blood." He tilted his head. "I can't list them all, because again, like I said, flexiable contract. But I want to remain hidden for as long as possible. Because if word gets out that demons and angels are real...well..." He looked at Cassandra. "Azazel will think it's time to start a new fight and I won't be there to help fight."

"You're Azazel's demon?" Cassandra asked curiously.

"Please, like I'd fight for that girly man." Shadow rolled his eyes. "His demons don't care about a child, and even if they /did/, J.J wouldn't be here. She'd be Lilth's child and a lot /worse/ than what I'm doing to her now. Then hell is /not/ a nice place and these two..." he gestured to Steve and Bucky. "Would have to figure out a way to kill her and rip her soul to shreds just to save her from her clutches."
"Lilith...the baby eater? I remember a documentary a long time ago about how the lullaby was a warding against her." Buck shrugged, "Adam's first wife, got all bitchy and broke away. That sort of thing. First succubus, too, I think."

"Funny how she made succubus and incubus and but yet, Lucifer's demons are a lot more powerful. They more or less have free will while Azazel's and Lilith's are mindless heathens," Kerica hummed, "Why did you wander the Cage, anyway? Why was that your go-to? Because your contractors would die easy?"

"Do you know how /hard/ it is to get people to contract with you? Thanks to modern television everyone thinks its' all about blood and first death and full moon and you know things that /we/ don't care about! You kill? Okay?! What makes you so special? First blood? I don't give a fuck, women bleed all the fucking time and you don't see /them/ writing pentagrams on the goddamn floor calling Satan to save them from whatever shit they managed to get them into. Not only that, they all think that "oh I give up my soul and things will go my way." No. Things go /my/ way." Shadow ranted immediately. "It also doesn't help that humans these days aren't really revenge seeking either. They do it their own way, go to the Inferno, and wonder how the /fuck/ they managed to get down there. Uh. Hello. You didn't employ a professional fuck up."

"Professional fuck ups," Kerica snorted a giggle, "Wow. Yeah, I get what you mean." She was certainly going to ask if she could talk to Shadow, and they were certainly going to have some fascinating and enlightening conversations. In Buck's and J.J's apartment, though. Not her's and Steve's. More her territory. "Alright. I think...we've learned plenty."

"Yeah...So, Cass," Buck looked at the redhead, "Are you going to tell your boss that we got J.J. so we can have that meeting?"

Cassandra gave Bucky a smile that reminded Steve so much of Natasha, it was a little bit creepy. "I'll tell the leader you found her, but..." She looked between the four of them. "I think we want the Avengers on our side more than we want S.H.I.E.L.D." She looked at Steve. "So it'll be your call on how many people you bring to the hideout and to meet with us. I think it's only fair."

Steve frowned. "I can't blame you for wanting us, but S.H.I.E.L.D..."

"Has too many bad reputations to try to salvage it." Cassandra shook her head from side to side. "And with the Sovokia Accords being written, S.H.I.E.L.D could easily disband, making the Avengers nothing more than a group of vigilantes. Meaning, we can easily pair up."

"I see the point she's making," Buck agreed, "You the Avenger leader so it's up to you in the end. The majority of us follow you anyway. Tony's just Tony."

"I'll talk it over with my group. Is there a way we can contact you without having to go through Matt? I hate putting her in the middle." Steve looked at Cassandra sheepishly.

Cassandra merely grinned. "I'll give you the phone number to the store." She assured. "Though I find it funny you feel bad about it. Being in the middle is kind of Matt's job after all."

Steve wasn't sure what Cassandra was implying, but he didn't press it as Cassandra reached into her back pocket and gave him the business card. It was a beautiful black card with the silver goddess symbol embossed in silver. The name of her shop and information was in a beautiful silver script. "Thanks."

"Any time Captain." Cassandra did a mock salute.

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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:26 am

A hotel. It was and it wasn't surprising, with it's many stories that would never be as high as the Stark Tower, but there had to be roughly thirty. There was plenty of room to house ever single Fireside member as well as all of the Avengers, if the ever had to stay in the same place. Vision wore simple civilian attire with black slacks and boots, a white long-sleeved button-up and dark blue hooded jacket to cover his face. Humans still found him unnerving so he tried to blend in, though once inside, he slid it off. He didn't really care for things on his head, honestly. At least he didn't get overheated like the others, who all wore tank tops and t-shirts abound along with shorts or jeans with holes. Cassandra, Steve's and Kerica's contact, had insisted they be casual instead of formal, to make things more relaxed and friendly.

“Hello! Welcome to Fireside.” A young girl, probably no older than seventeen walked through the lobby. She wore her long hair into a ponytail and her blue eyes were sparkling. She wore a dress that made her look like a doll, accenting her delicate structure. In her arms was a fast asleep little bundle of blue, dark messy hair on top and a fist curled towards his lip. “I’m Allison Kelly. It’s wonderful to finally meet all of you.”

“It’s wonderful to meet you Allison.” Steve couldn’t help but to feel a strong wave of deja-vu. She looked so fucking familiar to him, it was hard to place if he seen her before or not. The dress, the way she styled her hair….it was such a strong reminder but who? “I’m Steve Rogers.”

Her eyes lit up. “So it /was/ true.” Her grin nearly fell off. “My grandmother /said/ that she grew up with you.”

“Grew up with…wait….are you related to Allison Barnes?” Steve felt the pieces fall into place.

“I am!” Allison beamed. “I was named after her.”

"My baby sis?" Buck had tried not to stare, but...now that he knew, he realized her eyes matched his. "Deep blue eyes are a Barnes trait, alright. Nice to meet you..." A descendant of his. How bizarre, "I'm...Bucky. Bucky Barnes."

“I thought so…” Allison’s smile faded a little, and her eyes softened in their look as she approached him. The little one just shifting in his mothers arms to get more comfortable with the movement, eyes still closed and asleep. “You look like you’ve been tossed through a washing machine and left hung to dry.” She commented, but there was no sense of humor laced in her voice. “I’m glad that you were able to come home. I’m not sure if you want me to call you “uncle” or not.”

"It's...weird, but...not unpleasant," Buck said slowly, "You can, if you'd like. I'll get used to it. Who's...the little one?" He looked like he was only a few months old.

“This is Daniel James Kelly.” Allison introduced, smiling down at the little baby. “Nicky wanted D.J to be the initials and I already picked out the middle name so…Nicky was the one who found Daniel.” She rolled her eyes fondly. “He’s always looking for interesting nicknames so…having a kid who can literally be called D.J was like a dream come true for him.”

Pietro flashed over and peered at the baby, "His cheeks are so squishy-looking!"

Kerica reached up from her place beside Steve and smushed Pietro's cheeks together, "Oh, look, so are yours."

Buck face-palmed but he couldn't help but laugh a little, "Ally...that's Pietro Maximoff and Kerica Knight. Don't mind Quick, he's all over the place, and Kerica's just weird."

"I fit right in, then, don't I?" Kerica quipped.

"I thought I was the one who was weird." Wanda laughed as she walked over to see the baby as well. "He looks very much like James when he sleeps." She grinned. "A scowl and everything."

"Wanda!" Buck gaped at her.

J.J had been silent for a while and she walked over towards the baby with a little precaution. She watched the child for a moment, tilting her head from side to side. "No drool. Doesn't sleep like B.B." She declared after a moment. "He sleeps on his back. B.B's a stomach sleeper and cuddler."

Steve cracked up. "I /forgot/ he sleeps like that."

"I do believe Mr. Barnes' face is almost as red as my own," Vision commented, joining the circle.

"I wonder who is going to be more jealous that the baby is once again stealing all of the attention, Matt or Nickolas," a soft-spoken baritone slipped in and very pale hands placed themselves on Allison's shoulders. Behind her was a very tall man, no doubt six foot three or four, with midnight black hair and eyes such a deep, dark blue they seemed to glow in the lighting of the lobby. In dim lighting they would no doubt be black. He wore all black, but not in an emo-goth way. It was elegant, the only color on his entire ensemble was the shining silver of his steel-toe boots under his black slacks, a black button-up tucked into them and the sleeves rolled up to show powerful forearms.

"I did /not/ even see you walk up," Buck stared.

"Are you a vampire?" Pietro immediately asked.

The man cracked up, deep and throaty, "Not a vampire...but ah...my name might intrigue you anyway. Phoenix Sol. Nix for short."

“Another bird.” J.J pouted as she looked at Nix. “That’s three birds I know now. Only yours is a /name/.”

“He might as well be a vampire, considering that he’s Candy’s husband and has Matt for a sister in law. Yo by the way.” Nicky greeted as he walked over towards them. He wore a purple beanie, a bright red shirt with a black skull with hearts for eyes on it, and ripped jeans. His hands were covered with bright red and black striped fingerless gloves. “Oh come on, I knew sending Ally out here was a bad idea. You’re all so smitten over the babe, now I’m worried you’re gonna steal him. Nix you’re supposed to scare them away.”

“We already planned whose driving the getaway car.” Steve offered. “Bucky called dibs on the kid unfortunately. We thought we could use Nix as a distraction.”

“Oh, so that was true then? You two related? Cool beans.” Nicky grinned. “Let me have the kid Ally you’ve been holding him all day. Or you could pass him on to Uncle Bucky over there.” He gestured to the solider. “He looks like he could use a baby cuddle.”

Nix moved from behind Ally while she shifted to give Bucky the baby. He was amused at how he panicked a little bit, but something from his muscle memory must have kicked in because he held Daniel just perfectly. Nix turned his attention to Steve, and he smirked just a little bit, "So, Steve...I've wanted to meet you for a while, actually. Too bad clubs aren't particularly your thing, because I /know/ Matt talked to you about Fiery Wave. Sam's rather disappointed you haven't dropped by, especially with how excited Kerica was."

“It’s been hectic, but we do plan on coming by. I know Matt’s been looking forward to grabbing Kerica for a girl’s day.” Steve smiled as he held out his hand. “It’s nice to meet you, Nix.”

Nix heard Nick mutter 'oh no' under his breath and he just grinned, taking Steve's hand for a firm handshake. Just before, he let his powers flow, and pale blue flames licking at Steve's skin from where they'd joined hands.

Steve pulled away so fast, he thought for a moment that he was going to feel a burn. Instead, he watched blue flames dance at his finger tips before dying out with a sudden poof. He stared, wide-eyed and in wonder at Nix, mouth slightly open but no words coming out.

Nix wiggled his own fingers at Steve, "Oh, you're tingly. That's fun." His eyes danced, glinting just a little bit brighter, "Candice is going to smack me upside the head, but I couldn't help myself."

Vision was highly interested, "Is that...magic? Or was that real fire?" he held his own hand out to Nix.

"My blue flame...it's doesn't burn those who are innocent. A justice fire, if you will. If your heart is truly evil, only I can put it out, and you will be in more excruciating pain than even a real fire could do. No matter if you are coated in blood yourself, if your heart is pure the flames won't hurt." Nix shook Vision's hand, but instead of pulling away, the red man just let it flow over his skin, eyeballing it curiously as it turned white until it fizzled out. "Interesting. It's only turned white with children before."

"Only I can hold Thor's hammer," Vision nodded, "So...I suppose that makes sense."

J.J hid behind Bucky, not exactly wanting Nix to try the flames out on her. Wanda smiled a little. "He's a good polar opposite of Tony." She held her hand out. "I am curious to know." She admitted. "If you do not mind trying on me."

"Scarlet Witch...this'll be fun, with your own powers," Nix grinned widely at Nick who just groaned and rolled his eyes before going over to haunt Bucky who looked just as apprehensive as J.J. but didn't shy away. He shook Wanda's hand, and he even was a little giddy as her red magic twirled around his hand, the fire in the middle turning purple, "What even is this?! That's amazing! Steve might've been tingly, but you are sparking!"

Wanda grinned brightly. "It's beautiful. It makes me wonder what we would fight like if your flame and my magic were to combine." She let him go, smiling as she felt the flames dance against her skin, not burning, but tickling. "It's gorgeous."

"Me next!" Pietro didn't even wait, just flitting over and grasping Nix's hand.

"I'll make it fun for you," Nix smirked and rolled his shoulder into the handshake, letting the blue fire roll over Pietro's arm, across his shoulders, until both arms were lit up. Pietro then pulled away and pinwheeled his arms, the blond boy laughing at the effects. They didn't do anything different than Steve, eventually fizzling out, but it was enjoyable all the same.

J.J gripped Bucky's back tightly. She wanted to at least /try/. It looked like fun, but what if it burned her? She didn't want to risk it. "I hold pup. You shake his hand now, B.B." J.J gently let Bucky's shirt go as she stepped back and away. "You should try."
"I wonder..." Kerica narrowed her eyes and furrowed her brows. Were dark thoughts similar to a dark heart?

Buck bit his lip, but he slowly let Jayden take Daniel, glad Clint had already taught her how to properly hold a baby, before he took a slow step towards Phoenix. He couldn't help it...it was so nerve-wracking. He had done /so much/, but...was his heart a different story compared to the blood coating his hands? Steve thought so...a lot of people thought so, but still. Steeling himself, he reached out, and locked eyes with Nix, swallowing hard.

Nix...didn't do anything right away. This man...those ghosts and skeletons in the closet reminded him of a few, but none as spot on as Sam, his brother-in-law. He started slow, just...just in case...and sure enough. Bucky did pull away as fast as Steve had, but it was punctuated with a pained shout. "Shh, shh, don't back away, let me take it," he shot out and grasped his hand again, cupping it between both of his, and when he pulled away, Buck's hand was only as red as one might sunburn, "You aren't injured. It's alright. Breathe...you're an assassin. It happens. Sam...Sam is the same way. Sam always leaves the room when I train my powers."

J.J looked away, holding the baby close to her. The baby didn't mind the hold. Nicky frowned sadly as he watched everyone just look at Bucky. Steve carefully reached out, not to hold him, but to let him grab him if he needed to feel grounded to something. Ally let out a sigh. "Have you met him? Sam I mean, Uncle Buck."

Bucky didn't touch Steve, but did step closer, letting himself /be/ touched instead, the arm now securely around his shoulders feeling like a protective blanket. His jaw was clenched tight, scowling as his hand and watched as the red lessened, turning pink now as his super-healing took over. He was quiet for a time, before he was startled when Kerica took his hand, bringing it to her lips and kissing the knuckles tenderly. He quickly blinked away the tears that sprang up, and took a deep breath, shaking his head, "No...I haven't..." his voice croaked, "Is he here?"

"He is," Nix answered, "Kerica...you and Jayden are the only ones I didn't touch. Do you want to?"

"No..." Kerica smiled at Buck, "I think it's safer that way. I'm not evil, no, obviously...but I'm pretty certain I'm not pure, either. That's okay, I don't mind the grey area."

"Lucifer would love you," Nix muttered softly.

J.J looked down at the baby and seemed to be in thought. It wasn't fair that B.B got burned. It really, really wasn't. But at the same time, if she tried, would she get hurt too? She walked over to Nicky and held the baby out to him. "Hold." She told him firmly. "I wanna try."

"You want to get burned? You sure?" Nicky asked as he carefully took his son away from her arms. "You look like you've been through hell kid. No one's gonna think you're bad for not wanting Nix to judge you."

"I'll do what I did with Bucky, and only use a little bit," Nix promised, "If you /really/ want to."

"I want to know." J.J held her hand out to Nix. She was shaking, she was scared, but she was determined. "Everyone looks like they had fun...besides B.B..." She looked at her companion with said eyes. "It's okay. You won't hurt me too badly. I'll still laugh."

Nix...had no earthy idea what was going to happen with this girl. She was a wild card. A complicated past, but she lost her memories along the way, replacing them with new ones. It could go either way. Huffing a breath, he took her hand tenderly, and bowed down, kissing the back of her hand like he would a Princess. Then, slowly, he let his power flow.

What he did /not/ expect to happen...was for her natural energy to /pull/ his fire out over to cover her whole body, and he panicked...until it turned /white/. Then...then he certainly didn't expect it to /split off/...onto... "Fuck! Embry?!" Nix cursed before he shocked everyone by dropping when the silhouette the flames had overtaken did, this time the flames turning a very angry shade of blue, and Nix covered his ears, crying out. "Wanda! Help!"

Wanda understood what she wanted him to do. She summoned her magic and she shot it at the silhouette, freezing him and making him unable to move or to attack or anything. She kept him frozen until Nix was able to do what he needed to do to get the flames off of the silhouette, whatever that was. Whoever "Embry" was. Nicky even looked shocked and horror-stricken.

J.J fell to the ground, knees hitting hard as she gasped for breath. The flames had been a delight, but...oh god she felt his /pain/. She whimpered as she placed a hand against her chest, muttering to herself. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't think. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Didn't mean to, didn't mean to. You're okay. I promise. I'm sorry."

"Nickolas, I need your help. We need to make him visible. I need to see if Candice needs to heal him. Fuck! Jayden, why didn't you say you had a demon attachment?! Not /evil/ per se, but Lucifer, they're /demons/! They're an entirely different story!" Nix was panting.

Kerica could see Nix patting Shadow's...Embry's chest. It was hazy, made her eyes hurt because Spirit Sight wasn't something that happened all the time for her. She leaned heavily against Steve and Bucky, holding her head, "I heard him, too...Odin's beard..." it hadn't dropped her mainly because Embry's voice was more like a whisper, where it was probably at normal volume for the Angels.

"Yeah, we can do that...um...I don't know how we're going to /do/ that..." Nicky frowned as he approached the two. A shadow form and a girl, severely intertwined. There was no way he could just do the normal "pull the soul out" to heal. It was going to have to be internal. He took the shadow form and focused his energy to creating a corporal body for it. The body had orange, dark hair that was long to the shoulders and heavily layered, as well as a muscled toned torso. He wore pants thank god. The demon had heavy injuries on his body and he looked a little ticked, his gold eyes glared heatedly at Nix.

"I didn't know you were there, Embry!" Nix frowned, "Can you move? I can go get Candice, he can heal you right up."

"Your senses are dulling, Raguel." Embry grumbled as he flicked his hand a few times. "I can move..." Embry forced himself up, ignoring any means of help to stand. Once he got his balance, he went towards J.J and gave her a kick to the thigh, groaning in pain himself from not being used to the movement. "Get up, stop groveling. I'm /injured/ not dead."

"And you still haven't learned manners. Lucifer didn't create an asshole." Nix was now also on his feet and he humphed, "I suppose we should move this to Ian's suite. The others are waiting there as it is. Sorry, Ally. The baby isn't disturbed, is he?"

"No, he sleeps like a rock." Ally smiled as she gently rocked the baby from side to side. "You go off and I'll put him down in his crib." She gave a wink and looked at Embry before glaring at him. "Don't kick people." She said her voice a bit cold as she walked off.

"Jophiel why on earth did you marry a human girl?" Embry asked a little flabbergasted.

"Because she's hotter than all of them?" Nicky shrugged. "Come on, you're delirious in pain. Why the hell do you care about any of this?" He gently pushed Embry to keep moving and stayed near in case he fell.

"Embry's been learning how to Human via J.J.," Kerica explained to Nix and Nickey.

Pietro got in front of Jayden, a deep frown on his face, "Why didn't you tell me?!"

J.J looked upset as she got herself up. She hadn't meant to hurt Embry, and now she hurt Pietro. "Not supposed to tell." She bowed her head. "Keep safe." She looked at Pietro sadly. "Knew you wouldn't like me if you knew too." She bowed her head again. "Bad idea. Should've thought about this before I burned."

"I want to know /everything/ about you! I can't love you properly if I don't know!" Pietro flailed his arms before he brought her into a very tight hug, "Embry's now just another part of you I get to learn about! He may be a bit grumpy, a little creepy he's always there, but that's okay! I didn't even know before, so I don't care!"

"She picked a good person. White souls belong together." Nicky snickered as he looked over his shoulder to see the two of them hug, J.J clutching him and probably sobbing the way her shoulders were shaking.

"I was...not expecting any of that. I will...have to think about what to share with Mr. Stark and what to keep to myself," Vision hummed softly, brows furrowed deep in thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:45 pm

Without further conversation, they walked up to the elevator and rode it up to the thirteenth floor that was where the suite they were going to be using was. Ally had disembarked on floor three, waving as the door shut in order to put the baby in the crib and possibly to relax herself.

Steve still couldn't get over the fact that Allison's little grandchild and great-grand child was here. Once they got up ten more floors and walked along the hallway, Nicky approached a set of double doors and unlocked it with a card key.

Inside was a gorgeous homey looking room with a small kitchenette area and a gorgeous wide window. On the couch and beds were Cassandra, a boy with red hair that was probably her brother Sam, two dark clothed people, one a woman and the other a man, with the same straight black hair that Nicky had, only the male had the same hazel eyes that Nicky bore. Matt was sitting next to Sam, wearing a short skirt and a pink shirt that hung off one shoulder, her hair down. The only other person that was there was a blonde haired boy who had stood up, looking surprised. "So I knew the Avengers were coming, but you Embry? Nix did judgement day on you didn't he?"

"He didn't know I was attached to someone." Embry shrugged. "Not his fault. Though...I don't know if angel healing's gonna work on me. Considering all circumstances. I /knew/ you would pair up with Chamuel! You two were always attached to the hip up in Heaven."

"No. I paired up with...oh....twin thing." Candy nodded his head. "Well...yeah. Relationships. Healer. We kinda go hand in hand."
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