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 Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED

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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:21 pm

"Well, we're /Lucifer's/ Fallen now, so the worst that can happen is it just doesn't work. We can still try," Nix said, going over and placing his hand on Candy's hip, "I had fun until Buck got burned, then Embry was unexpected. At least we know Jayden is alright. She and Vision turned white."

Buck had gone to the two redheads, "Are you Sam?" he asked the man. His eyes were the same emerald green as Cassandra. They were definitely related.

Vision and the others all found their own spaces, sitting with those they cared for most. Since Buck was the odd man out, the red-skinned man watched as he just sat with Cassandra and Sam. He allowed his arm around Wanda's shoulders, mirroring Steve with Kerica, and Pietro had brought J.J. into his lap, having her curl against his chest with both arms securely around her.
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:51 pm

"I am." Sam stood up and held his hand out for Bucky to shake. "So you got burned too huh?" He clicked his tongue. "It doesn't mean we're not able to be saved. It just means we're gonna have to work on it a little harder than the rest of the group." He looked over at the demon who was standing there, deep breathing as Candy started working on the injuries. "That's one hell of a cat to drag in with you." He said as he let Bucky's hand go and gestured for him to sit down next to the siblings. "I'm guessing he's the one that belongs to the white haired chick you were talking about, Cass?"

"Yeah. You know him?" Cassandra questioned looking at Sam.

"Know of him. Minor demon that works off of contracts. Protection and fighting are his main ones." Sam explained to his sister.
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:16 pm

"So...you're an Angel, too?" Buck furrowed his brows, "How can Nix burn another angel?"

"Just whom are the angels in the room? I believe a full introduction is in order, sir?" Vision tilted his head towards the man who he could only assume was Nicolas' father, and the Leader of Fireside."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:26 pm

The introduction went as follows. Ian was Nicky's father and not an angel, as well as Lese being the mother and his wife. Also not an angel. Sam was Uriel in a past life, a flame of god. Matt and Candy were Chamuel and Raphael the angel of relationships and healing respectively. Nicky was Jophiel, the angel of wisdom and intellect. Allison was the one of the few outsiders of Fireside. The other one was Miranda who wasn't there since she was a police officer, and married to Trevor, Cassandra's and Sam's younger brother.

Out of the three siblings, Sam was the only angel.

"It's hard to keep track. I thought about writing names on stickers, but I also thought that would be too childish." Ian concluded with a bit of laugh. "I'm certain that you were expecting a small meeting, and that was the intended outcome, but...ah...I'm afraid that I forgot that Fireside is split into two groups. So technically," he gestured over to Cassandra. "You had to have a meeting with both leaders present."

Cassandra gave a cheerful wave.

"Two groups?" Steve looked at Ian curiously. "How is it split?"

"Our netural group is called the Informers.They keep the gangs in line with information. If a gang becomes too powerful and is trying to become apart of the NYC trio, then we stopped them unless we think they're not as bad as Water Snakes. Currently, no one's trying to take over /them/."

"Fireside is one part." Cassandra explained. "You would call us the Avengers of NYC."

"We would call you that because of your powers?" Wanda concluded.

"And how we got them." Cassandra nodded.

"It's easy for an angel to burn another angel." Sam also butted in, answering Bucky's question. "Think of it this way. How did Lucifer fall from Heaven? Well, he was corrupted. It's the same thing. Angels are nothing but pure soul energy. It's easy for us to become corrupted and fall. It's hard to remain pure at all times. So Raguel's job was to burn us every once in a while to make sure that we remained in line. If we felt pain, we were immediately banished from heaven henceforth. There's no trail for it."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:51 pm

"I fell willingly along with Uriel and Chamuel...because I loved Raphael when I wasn't supposed to," Nix shrugged, "I know Zadkiel dying wrecked Michael, but I haven't spoken with Lucifer to know if Zad was even reincarnated as a Fallen like the rest of us. Shocked I haven't seen Azrael with the chaos Loki brought about, either."

"Archangel Michael? The one who bound Lucifer to Hell himself?" Buck furrowed his brows.

"Yes, that Michael. He and Zad had a secret relationship, and then Zad perished by Azazel's hands. Before Azazel turned on Lucifer, he fought on his side in the First Celestial War. To no one's surprise, Michael ended it only a century later," Nix explained.

"A /century/?!" Buck stared.

"What seemed like only a few days to us at the time. Time flows so much differently as an Angel," Nix shook his head, "I still think Zad's death is the reason why Michael didn't kill Lucifer outright and just used the binding spell."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:51 pm

Nicky looked up at the ceiling. "Zadkiel might've become a fallen. I could see that happening. But Azrael, why the hell would she fall? Maybe have a human form she does that sometimes, but not fall. It's not her character unless something changed in the past few years or so."

Sam shrugged. "Michael and Lucifer were close friends too." He reminded Nix. "Him, Zad, and Michael were the fiercest trio to ever walk the Heavens. Michael the solider, Zadkiel always watched his back, and Lucifer was just someone that they could rest their burdens on. Of course, that's not saying Lucifer isn't a fighter. All angels have their specialties. Lucifer was just...logical. The right hand man of God himself. I suppose that's what started it all too. Do it long enough...you either betray or you run the behind the scenes and Lucifer wasn't one to do that...so betrayal it was."

"Azazel used to be Raziel. The Secretary of God. He knew all secrets and Lucifer knew all secrets. They created hell together." Matt continued the story. "But then things changed. Azazel hated his angel name /so/ much, he ripped it from himself and gave himself a demonic name instead. They created another world, not Hell, but one where creatures of old mythology used to roam. But Azazel wanted /more/. More he wanted, the more corrupt he got. The brothers got into such a fierce battle...all those creatures from mythology...were nearly wiped out. They hide now."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:14 pm

Kerica touched her dragon pendant, her heart twisting in her chest. The story of their past sent shivers down her spine in a way she didn't expect. "This all makes me want to meet Thor. He hasn't been to Earth since the Ultron fiasco. I hope things are okay."

"Is there any worry that Azazel might be trying to rise again? Azazel against Loki doesn't sound like a good thing," Buck said slowly.

"No, no it wouldn't be," Nix agreed, "I'm...not sure about that, really. We know Azazel was behind Hydra and Schmidt back in the day."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:51 pm

"Well that explains a lot." Steve made a face as he thought about the Red Skull and how /he/ looked. "I think angels and demons were fighting all over the place. I'm almost certain that it's the same thing now."

"It's the energy shift." Ian agreed. "People have cycles just like the moon and the sun. World Peace is just a fantasy. Because there's always going to be things to fight about. Angels and demons just fuel it. Angels argue that demons are bad, demons argue that angels are too pure and too good. There's not a single person whose just happy to have a shade of grey. They have to be one or the other and sometimes to extremes. Those who are content...well..I believe you'd call that "enlightenment"." Nicky nodded his agreement.
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:41 pm

"So, Ian," Vision spoke up again, "What are your opinions on S.H.I.E.L.D?"

"Cass did say the preferred option was being secured with the Avengers instead," Buck added.

Ian sighed as he leaned back. “Please take no offense to what I’m about to say.” He looked at the Avengers who were there. “You’ve seen demons. You know angels exist. You understand that you are humanity’s last hope when everything falls apart. You understand that the supernatural and those from other dimensions would want to test your powers. That being said, you also understand that those who are normal are afraid of you. Those you protect are against you for they fear you. People are like that. S.H.I.E.L.D is like that. I understand that it didn’t used to be. But after the infiltration of HYDRA and the Council trying to control Fury’s decision and direction, it’s come clear to me that even those inside S.H.I.E.L.D who deal with the supernatural and the unexplained are fearful. Though they want to harness power to control to their benefit. In my opinion, no better than HYDRA themselves.”

Steve could not help but to agree with what he was saying.

“So why align with you? S.H.I.E.L.D may control you, but just like Fireside, you are two groups, evenly split and have your own leader.” Ian nodded at Steve. “Therefore, you’re more alike and have more in common with us than S.H.I.E.L.D.” He folded his clasped his hands together. “With the Avengers, I can be guaranteed that I’m following a leader who knows value of friends and family and strong alliances. I can be assured that the leader will listen to me and my concerns and a plan would be made accordingly. I can also be assured that if I tell him that someone is out of the field, he will make sure to keep them out of the field than to manipulate me into saying that they are, or to go behind my back and add them there anyway. I know my group well, I know every individual because we are more than a gang but family. That is why we are apart of the Trio and why we do not fall.”

"You have mentioned these...Water Snakes before? They a part of the Trio? It doesn't sound like it, really. So, who would be the third?" Buck was a bit confused, "I know there's the Metal Spiders, and Kyle's the leader of that Steve was really impressed by him."

“Water Snakes are what you’d call an arch-rival.” Ian explained. “Kyle is leader of the Metal Spiders. He deals with racing and sometimes illegal gun smuggling.” He grinned at Steve’s raised eyebrow. “I said sometimes.” He paused. “If I had to pick someone to replace the Water Snakes, then my choice would be the Lightening Force. They’ve been bold enough to begin planning to take them down. They want their spot…and both the Metal Spiders and our group is behind them. That makes the Water Snakes vicious since they have their own alliances, and their own people who want us down just as badly.”

"You know, Steve...since Hydra was outed in SHIELD I always wondered where the stragglers went off to, why we aren't always knocking them from rooftops trying to snipe at us, or other disastrous things," Buck hummed, "I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up in street gangs and stuff."

"I wouldn't be surprised either." Steve sighed. "I mean it'd be something they'd do."

Embry just sighed loudly. "One minute it's angels and demons, next is what type of skin a snake wears. I'm starting to realize that there's never going to be a dull day around you lot is there?"

"My days have never been dull, not with Steve in my life, and I'm plenty certain it's just the same for him in his opinion," Buck drawled.

Kerica looked up at Steve, "So, dearest Captain, what say you? Fury's going to be pissed, but he'll have to go through you to get to them if you agree to Ian."

"I say why not?" Steve held his hand out to Ian and Ian took it with a gracious smile. "Welcome to the Avengers."

"And you to Fireside." Ian smiled widely.

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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:25 pm

Steve's StarkPhone that Stark so happily had created for him was lying on the island counter behind him, playing some indie songs from this era. Despite numerous claims, he really did enjoy some of this decades music, Sam being his primary source for plenty of his music. Though a lot of rap and hip-hop he just couldn't wrap his head around unless it was real old-school. So old-school, Sam and J.J both laughed at him.

Going back to Cali should've been something close to Brooklyn, but that was his biased opinion. He finished making some iced tea for the hot August weekend. He walked through the apartment, smiling softly. Everything about the apartment was soothing to him. A decent sized kitchen with a small homey dining room attached, a good sized living room to where they could put up a T.V, a coffee table, and a reading nook by the window. He had thought about putting an aquarium up, since fish were super easy to take care of and it would bring to life the small peaceful area that he and Kerica wanted.  

A small, meditative area where peace wasn't to be disturbed at any cost. It was a good little nook for drawing if he so wanted to.

Maybe he should ask Bucky about a plant. He and J.J both seemed to be very knowledgeable in plant life. Hell he had to be the one to help them /drag/ some plants from the florist to their apartment. Not as many as Starks, but enough. Maybe there was a plant around that was impossible to kill that wasn'tcacti.

Speaking of cacti...he looked around the room. He could've sworn...he walked away from the living room and towards their bedroom.

If the little reading nook was an area that was peaceful, their bedroom was just as nice. A big bed that was in the middle of the floor with enough space between the window and the bed for a nightstand on either side of their beds. A decent sized closet that was able to fit their clothes that needed to be hung, and a dresser standing tall and proud right next to the closet door.

They still had to agree on what type of decorating the bedroom needed i.e bedsheets, curtain color, and arrangement of other little things. Speaking of arranging of little things. "What are you doing to the window?" He asked as he watched Kerica touch the window and drag her fingers down it.
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:00 pm

Kerica jumped and turned around, not completing the symbol she was drawing on the wood. She clutched a clear hexagonal bottle close to her chest, and on the face of it was a blue and silver imprinted image of Mary on it, and she shifted on her feet, "I...was...using holy water and drawing protective crosses around the room," she explained shyly, "I was going to do it around the apartment, I just wanted to start here."

“Oh.” Steve blinked in surprise. “I didn’t know that’s something that you’d do. You do it for all apartments that you move into?”

Kerica held the bottle out to him, "The water's from a natural source, if you look at it in the light you can see the particles from the minerals. That's a main reason why I like it, but...I do believe in Mary. I figured we'd settled here long enough, and after the whole talk with Fireside...it felt like this was the right time. I haven't done it anywhere else...just here. Only ever lived with my dad or at the Tower and it didn't feel right there."

“It makes sense. Mary is the mother of all and protector of all. She’s the one that a lot of women back in the day were familiar and had a kinship with. I think Cassie compared her to the Moon Goddess.” Steve recalled as he smiled a little. “The Tower is too rambunctious with so many different faiths running around and different believes and energies. I’m not sure about your father, but…I’m glad that this apartment means that it’s safe…and a home.”

Kerica's expression softened and she finished the cross on the window before she stepped closer to him and pressed the bottle into his hand, "I already did above the bed and then the wall where the closet it, so the last point is the door. I'd love it if you drew that one, and even the one on the entrance door." The points at which people would be mostly exiting and entering. Steve's faith was so strong, it just felt perfect to have him be the one to put up the most important protective wards.

“Sure.” Steve smiled, touched and honored by her suggestion. He carefully took the bottle in his hands and walked over to the door. As he marked it, he focused on his thoughts of positivity and protection. He thought about Mary and how she’d watch over the doors, and the people coming in and out. Once the mark was made, he handed the bottle back to her. “You know, speaking of Mary, I haven’t seen you take out your Oracle cards.”

Her Oracle card were in the cubby of her nightstand on the right side of the bed, and she looked over at it, "You're right...I haven't. Do you think...J.J. and Buck would be okay with another reading? I don't have multiple decks, but I can make it interesting with the spreads."

"Let's ask them." Steve grinned. "They're down the hall so we won't bother them." He took her by the hand and lead her out of their apartment just to go across the hall and knock. "Bucky? J.J?"

"What do you want?! You better not be bugging us about dinner just yet, you punk!" Buck's gruff voice called from the other side, not even making a sound, just his shadow appearing under the door before he opened it, "It's only four, we eat at seven. I know it's our turn, but damn. I eat as much as you do, but have a little restraint."

"You're the one who knocks on our door the hour before we're supposed to eat, jerkface," Kerica stuck her tongue out at him.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Buck stuck his nose in the air.

"Calm down children, that aside," Steve rolled his eyes. "Kerica had a question for you." He nudged her. "Go on."

Kerica pursed her lips together to try and stop herself from laughing, and cleared her throat, "I know the last reading with Cass kind of took a lot out of you and Jay, but I mentioned my cards back when Steve and I first did it and I still haven't used them. Would you like to get a reading from me?"

"You were so excited about them, and Cass seemed impressed by the one she plucked from the top, so...I dunno. Why not, I guess?" He looked behind him, "J.J. want to go over to Steve's and Kerica's for a little while? She wants to do a reading for us."

Steve peeked over Bucky's shoulder and noticed that J.J was lying on the ground, eagle spread on the blanket Slate gave her. She looked at them upside down and smiled. It was a little creepy, but Steve knew that she was only doing it cuz it was fun. Having an apartment really took a /bunch/ of weight off of everyone as well as her jumping from person to person. "Okay." She rolled off of the blanket and got up. "Angel deck?"

"That's the plan," Kerica nodded and they walked into her's and Steve's apartment, "You three just get comfortable on the rug there," she said as she went to the bedroom, smiling at the added warmth she felt when she did so. Placing the bottle of holy water on the stand since she hadn't had a chance to, she grabbed the deck and brought it out. Jayden was nestled between Steve on her right and Buck on her left, and it was really cute.

Kerica had an extra book with her that Cassandra had let her have and it was filled with about two dozen spreads with detailed descriptions of each. "Now...while I am doing spreads, if any of you have /any/ cards that fly out when you shuffle I will place them off to the side as exras to read as they are afterward, outside of whatever message I decide to give," she explained to them as she sat cross-legged on the floor in front of them. She took the cards from their box and did a preemptive shuffle before she picked up the spread book, using the table of contents to find her way around.

After a little glancing around, Kerica nodded and handed the deck to Bucky who blinked at her, "You first! Then I'll do Jay and Steve, you're last."

Buck took a deep breath and started shuffling. He shuffled for quite a while, however, letting his mind drift, not quite sure...what to ask the angels in his hands. What message did they have to deliver for him? It might help if he asked for something specific. Suddenly his mind struck on Teresa, and he knew his face flushed but he kept shuffling. It felt like something good. Cassie had cleared up other things, but...he was still at a loss with the woman he'd come to have an interest in. He hadn't really seen her since he got the apartment, either...he felt bad for that. What would she say if she was here? Would she like getting a reading? Would she find it a waste of time? He pondered the little things before he finally felt like he should stop, and handed it back to Kerica. To his surprise, she split it in half. Then she had him pick a side. He was drawn to Kerica's right, his left, so he pointed at it.

Kerica...didn't deal normally. She didn't just take from the top and place it down it's spot. She...did that with the first one, but then the second card she placed somewhere else higher up. Each card was like that, placed wherever Kerica seemed it fit, and Buck noticed she didn't even...look at anything. If he had to follow the 'line of sight' she'd be staring at his feet. Not at him, not at the cards on the floor, and not at her hands. When she was done, she had a few left over and she set them to the side, and the spread she did was a sort of lopsided cross, thee on one side and one on the other instead of two on each side. "This spread is...?" He asked, even as she reached for the pile he hadn't picked from, hovered her hand there, and swiped the card right on top, setting it off so it wasn't a part of the deck and not a part of the spread, "What?"

Kerica shook her head and seemed to come back into focus before she tilted her head at the spread and she smiled, then frowned, then smiled again, "You've got an interesting turnout here. This is the relationship spread."

Steve grinned mischievously. “So this is going to be about his relationship with Teresa?” He smirked. “If that blush was any hint, I’d say it is.”

"Sh-Shut up, Steve...some of those cards are negative..." He wasn't sure which was which, only able to see the direction of the wings, but he had to assume if they looked right to him, they were quite negative. That was...especially true for the top of the cross that was closest to him.

Kerica's smile was wicked, "They might be negative in terms of the card by itself, but the card as spoken by the spread? That's a different story, Bucky. Just shut up and let's see what they say..." Tipping the first card, it was positive and said Blessings on an orange banner at the bottom, "Normally this card is simply informing you that you’re being helped and to accept things as they come as your prayers are answered. This is good, because to me, as it stands in the spread, means that you view Teresa as a blessing. You are happy to have found her, and are taking each new thing you learn about her as a gift. That’s great."

Kerica flipped the next card, and it was also positive, saying Divine Guidance on a white banner on the bottom in red lettering that matched the boarder, "Normally this means to trust your intuition. As it displays how Teresa views the relationship, she is following her feelings as a doctor and believing in her gut instinct and the little voice in her head that say this is a good idea, that you are worth it."

“Same thing that Cassandra said then.” Steve mused as he looked at the spread. “Intuition used to be your strongest suit. You certainly knew when I was in an alleyway getting beat up and how to get girls into your room.” He made a face. “Is it bad to say I don’t miss you for a roommate because of that.”

“Casual mating is a thing.” J.J said solemnly. “Well…mating is certainly a thing.”

“….” Steve stared at J.J for a moment.

"I don't do that anymore," Buck grumbled, "It wouldn't feel right. I want to live and /feel/ and...one night stands? You have to be devoid of it so you don't get attached. It's mostly just to get off if I didn't want to use my hand. For a different /kind/ of contact. Not to mention...to keep any other rumors at bay." To keep any rumors from hurting Steve.

J.J just sighed as she rested her chin down at her knee as she looked at the spread with a bit of a glare.

"Buck..." Steve's facial expression changed to one of sadness and vulnerability. "I know." He promised gently reaching over J.J's head to grip Bucky's shoulder tight.

"Unfortunately..." Kerica turned the card again as Buck relaxed into Steve's hold, "That brings us to the next one, which is what it is. This makes me sad, but at the same time I understand. By itself it’s self-trust, but according to it’s location...not only do you not trust yourself due to your reaction, your need for someone /to/ trust is not being met. I heard about the cafeteria blow up from a few people, and the things she suggested did not sit well with you."

Buck winced a bit, "Yeah...I lost control and I'm not proud of that. I still don't think the one dinner helped matters much. I tried, I tried to make it so it wasn't an apology dinner. We laughed and had fun, but I was still tense. I didn't like losing myself and I tried to keep the conversations light because of it. It...hurt, what she said...because if a doc looked into /my/ head...I'd be in a loony bin. Locked up tight. I don't want that, not for me or her." Buck drew J.J. closer.

J.J remembered when she had told Sam that she wouldn’t mind a cell if Bucky was in one too. Sam had told her to think about what that meant for Bucky and she recalculated. He was an alpha through and through, wanting to protect her at all costs, even against Teresa.

Maybe that was how to keep them apart? The trust? But if it was hurting Bucky, if his needs weren’t being met…that didn’t make her a good Companion. That made her a terrible one. It made her very much like a “pet” didn’t it?

"We'll have to talk about it more in-depth," Buck conceded, "Get passed the hurdle. I do care about her and before that happened I'd joked how it would've been nice to know we were dating," he let out a soft huffing laugh, "I enjoy her company too much to let this bother us for too long. It already has been longer than it should.Communication is Key, right Stevie?"

Steve nodded. "Especially in relationships."

J.J only sunk further, a little displeased.

"With that...we move on." The next card was upright and said Intention on a white banner, the lettering also matching the banner, "Teresa’s needs on the other hand are being met quite well. By itself it’s basically talking about how your thoughts and feelings are your true intention. That’s absolutely perfect here, since your intention is always quite clear. That makes it easy for Teresa to understand and see where you’re coming from," Kerica smiled at Bucky, then proceeded as that just made Buck go mute with a heavy blush.

The one card on the left side of the cross was the start of the five-card negative streak he had going on. It said Guardian Angel on a pale blue banner, "This one is obvious enough by itself, telling you that your Guardian Angel is watching over you. Unfortunately, by it’s placement as the current state of relationship, it is telling me that you both feel alone. That no one is really watching out for either of you. You’re no longer there to keep Teresa from slipping too deep into her work. By consequence, you aren’t as happy. In your own way, you are a guardian, but how can you guard her from herself if you’re not there? How can she keep you from your thoughts if she can’t talk to you?"

Steve knew that his friend needed to hear that. J.J had already learned once how to live by herself. He knew that Bucky needed to re-learn to be without her. He knew that Bucky would go back to the base, and probably stay there if he meant that he could be closer to Teresa and while Steve felt bad for his friend for being away from his girlfriend like that, he knew that he could keep a lookout for J.J.

J.J on the other hand was at war with herself. Was this her fault or wasn’t this her fault? Not everything was about her. Should she push Bucky away? Or should she keep him close? Should she suck it up and try to go back to base? Suffer like she did in the Tower? Or should she admit defeat and stay behind…?

Maybe their paths were meant to split, and Clint was wrong. Maybe she was supposed to say goodbye after all.

Buck swallowed thickly and he wasn't entirely sure what to do. He didn't have to stay here /all/ the time. He did go out with Steve on his runs if he felt like it and he enjoyed the Starbucks down the street and touring the little knick-knack shops. Maybe that was something he could get her to do with him. Show her his apartment and around the immediate area, the world he's slowly come to adapt to. Would she be proud of him? It'd get her out of the Base, too. Rose was healing fine, and Kerica had only minor migraines here and there. He /could/ go to the base...but besides going Camping what was there for him to do? His lifestyle with J.J. before they stumbled on the Avengers /had/ been camping, for goodness sake.

"Move on? It's awfully quiet," Kerica arched her brow at him, and that snapped Buck back to attention. He nodded to her, so she flipped one, Miracles, furrowed her brows, and didn't even describe it before she flipped the next one, Signs.

Buck leaned back in shock as Kerica nearly busted a gut laughing, "What the fucking hell is so funny?!"

Steve even exchanged a look with J.J and J.J merely shrugged her response.

"Okay, okay, so! This one, is the path you would like your relationship to follow," Kerica put her finger firmly on Miracles, "This one usually tells you to expect a miracle. You? It’s negative because you don’t believe in miracles. You take victory in hard-won and hard-fought battles. You don’t /want/ a miracle. You’re going to work for it, and prove to yourself and others that you damn well deserve her affections."

"Okay. That's accurate. So...Signs is the path Teresa wants to go?" Buck was still confused at why she laughed.

"This one is fairly similar to yours," Kerica agreed, "It says you asked for a Sign and the angels are delivering. It is negative...in the same way. Teresa never asked for a sign like you never asked for a miracle. So, how can she expect it? Or know to look for it? She’s also a hard worker. She got where she is because she never backed down. In all honesty...while at first glance it makes your heart sink, when you delve deeper they surprise you. It’s quite inspiring. Can you see why I laughed? You ask for Signs all the time. They show you which step to take next. Teresa asks for Miracles all the time, because she’s a freaking /doctor/, but do you believe in Miracles? No. Does she believe in Signs? No."

"Usually, in some cases, a sign and a miracle are /both/." Steve concluded. "Sometimes a miracle is a sign in itself, or a sign is a miracle." He looked at Bucky. "So I think, if I'm reading between the lines right, you and Teresa would always meet. You follow the same pathways, it just parallel." He sheepishly scratched his cheek. "At least, that's how I see it. Sorry Kerica, I hope I didn't ruin the reading."

"No, braveheart, you didn't. That's exactly what this is all about. The same but different. It's the perfect combination because of the old saying opposites attract but you gotta have similarities to make it stick," Kerica's little nickname just slipped and she didn't backtrack on it, flipping the last two cards, Dreams written on a blue banner like the rest, "This one says you are receiving important messages in your dreams and to pay attention. Instead, since it is negative and describing the aspects of your relationship you need to consider, I believe it is telling you that your dreams need to become reality. You’re dreaming /too much/. Just /do/ damn it."

The very last card of the spread, ignoring the odd one to the side, was Study, "By itself it means you are engaged in learning and it tells you to take your time. As your Question Outcome? I reiterate. Take action. You learn as you go, anyway. Hands-on experience. Work. I really, really don’t need to tell you anything else. I’d be repeating half the things I already pointed out."

“Bucky’s always been the one with the head.” Steve smiled at his best friendly warmly. “But I agree with Kerica. You’re thinking and overthinking too much about this. You picked a good one, Buck. Don’t let yourself be deceived into thinking she can do better. She just did. It’s you.”

"You have one card." J.J pointed out. "What does it mean?"

Kerica had put the other cards back together, and she smiled as she took the card, placing it in the middle of all of them, and it was Positive. "Power. In all it's glory it says you're now allowing yourself to express your power, but you do it with love. You have power over your heart, mind, soul, /and/ body. It's unlimited, and you should let go of the last of your fears connected to being /you/, Bucky."

This one...touched him. It was his card and his alone, and it was telling him he did have control...over everything. He picked the card up and looked at it more closely. It had a red-brown boarder that reminded him of wood, with a green angel blowing a gust of air into her outstretched palm while she stood in front of grey-green storm clouds. Power was on a yellowy-parchment banner and the writing matched the border.

Steve patted Bucky's back in support, smiling bright and nearly stretching off of his face. This card was /definitely/ what Bucky needed to hear. Steve had a strong feeling that Bucky was going to come out of this reading with a strong determination that he hadn't seen since the 1940s.

"Thank you...very much, Kerica. Cassie is cryptic with her messages, but you're rather straight-forward. It...it helped, a lot," Buck leaned forward and hugged her tightly, before he settled back and he shoved JJ so she was more in front, ruffling her hair, "Your turn, pup!" he grinned, and he leaned against Steve behind her.
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:32 am

J.J carefully gathered the cards in her hands, a little uncomfortable holding them much like how she didn’t like holding the tarot cards. What would the cards say this time? They were guidance, would they help her? But what would they help her with? She started shuffling, her lips pursed as she tried to focus on what she wanted to find out, but…

Nothing was really coming to mind. Relationships were all about giving and taking and she was learning that on her own. Cards wouldn’t do much here. She thought about Bucky, but…she wasn’t certain the cards could do /anything/ for her.

Did the angels even think she needed guidance at all? She handed the cards back to Kerica with a frown. “Sorry. Probably bad reading. I tried."

Kerica did the similar thing to when she did Bucky's, having Jayden pick one of two halves, to which she picked the left. Placing the cards where she felt they were necessary, when she was done she had three off to the side out of the way. This spread looked like an arrow. "This is called the Lost Direction spread. It had a marker star by it, so Cassie either likes it or thought it was important." She turned the first card of the 'feathers', "Your 'Now' is a negative Divine Guidance. You don't think you deserve any of this. You aren't trusting your gut. Maybe, instead, you should trust Embry. He's been around a while, after all. Yes, I'm talking about you. You're apart of this, too, you know." She was obviously talking to Embry, but it was still weird since it looked like she was talking to herself.

"He's sticking his tongue out at you." J.J deadpanned, but frowned at the cards that laid before her. Talk to Embry. She hadn't done that since she found Bucky. /Sorry./ She mentally told him as she let herself curl up. She knew what it was like to be abandoned.

Kerica turned the third card of the feathers instead of the second one, "Your Why is Study. That's the second card you have that repeated from Bucky's, only this one is positive. You're learning a lot at once, and while that's all well and good, you should probably slow down. Absorb the information you're getting. That leads us to the Background, which is Retreat," She turned the other corner card of the feathers, "You spent a lot of time alone already. Your priorities were your own, all focused on yourself. Now you have new priorities and you are considering other people, which is also strange to you."

J.J nodded, this was true.

Sensing J.J. nor the boys had much input, Kerica decided to keep going. "Emotion...Serenity is negative in this position," she said as she turned the second card of the feather sequence, "It is pretty obvious, really. Normally this card is that you're very tranquil and at peace. For you, here and now? Far from it. You're on the other side of the spectrum," she shook her head, "You have no /idea/ what you're doing and that scares you. I get that. You aren't human, monster or animal. The more you learn about being human, the more you get confused and a small part of you starts to hate yourself. That's not good. Yet, instead of asking, seeing what we all got to say, you are making preemptive judgement upon yourself. You're making choices before you have all the options, and you're deciding /for/ people what you should or shouldn't do to make them happy, without finding out what they would /actually/ want. If they do tell you what they want, you disregard it, because it doesn't fit your narrative and it freaks you out /more/ and you just have no idea what the fuck is going on and how to deal with it."

Bucky knew Kerica wasn't judging J.J. and if she was, she shouldn't be doing a reading. No, she was just taking what she saw and putting it into words and it was a complete and utter /mess/. "We can't help you if you don't want to be helped. In one ear, out the other. We each got different opinions and no one's right or wrong. You just haven't found the middle ground yet. You don't know what to do with grey." He rubbed his pup's back tenderly, and petted her hair just the way she liked, "It's okay to ask. Though, that brings up a good point. How many times has Pietro basically proclaimed his undying love for you and you still don't trust him? It's pretty one-sided so far to me. You haven't even let him take you out anywhere. He's asked, I know he has. It's hard not to hear him even if I'm the other end of the room."

Steve watched J.J sink further into her huddle. He remembered how he thought Bucky would be like this. Far from reach, without a memory to scratch the surface. He remembered thinking to himself, overworking himself into a panic and several plans of motion of what he was going to do, and how he was going to act around him. He watched her lean against Bucky's hold, eyes fluttering as she relaxed into his gentle carcasses. It made Steve wonder, maybe he should try to modify those plans after all. Maybe they didn't go to waste. Maybe...just maybe they'd help. He looked over at Kerica and gave her a smile, hoping that she understood that he was going to get this working. He had an idea.

Kerica smiled back, liking the spark in his eye that always let her know he was conjuring up something good. Her man was incredibly smart, and he had faith and trust coming from every pore. "Your Barrier..." she continued on with the final card in the feathers, "Is Support and surprise surprise, it's negative. Hindering you is the lack of faith you have in the higher powers. You have hope abound...but what good is hope without faith? You don't have any at all. You have faith when it suits your needs at the moment. Faith in Embry to protect you, but no one else, not even yourself. You can't keep relying on that. Another way to read this is that you have a lack of faith in everyone, including those you love. As in...Pietro."

"B.B." J.J pointed at Bucky. "I have faith in him." But a tiny whisper in the back of her mind washed that away quickly. /Do you really/? She stopped, set her hand down in her lap and just looked down.

"I don't think you do, because why else did you snap back there? Embry said blood's a trigger, but if you had faith in Bucky you'd have faith he'd survive. That was a nasty fucking hit to the chest, but shit, your only reaction was to protect by murdering everyone around you that hadn't already been deemed friend. Colorful. That's why Rose got hit. He wasn't colorful. His hair was tied in a bun in his hat." Kerica shrugged, "It's a Barrier for a reason. Your Drop?" She flipped the first card going down the stem of the arrow, "Guardian Angel. In this case, Embry. Don't you make gagging noises at me, asshole. You are! You have kept her alive and been there for her through thick and thin. Instead of telling her to distrust us, and keeping her all to yourself, you are trying to learn as you go, too."

Steve snorted in laughter and had to cover his mouth and look away as he snickered. Oh man that was a funny image he was going to have to draw.

"I doubt Embry will ever say he cares about you, J.J. but you two are connected. What does that bond say?" Buck asked, also highly amused.

J.J hummed in thought. "It says many things." She frowned. "A lot of it I don't understand. He doesn't get it either. But that's alright. We get it."

"That's what matters," Kerica smiled tenderly, "Your Trigger, will be Emerging. You will find that one thing that makes you drop all of the faces and you're /sick/ of the facades and so you just let your true face show. That moment? That moment we'll be inspired. You'll stop being a liquid and start being a solid. You'll know what you want to do, and be encouraged to pursue it. You'll make your choice and won't let go." This time, Kerica didn't pause, going to the next one, "Your Responsibility? It's a negative card, but for the reading, it's a positive. Forgiveness. Jayden, you have nothing to be sorry for. Not to us. Yet...shouldn't you apologize to yourself?" This one could go many different ways, and she tilted her head at the girl.

J.J titled her head right back. "I don't get it."

Steve took a stab at the dark. "She's talking about that small bit of you that hates you." He gently wrapped his arm around her shoulders, loose so she could get away if she didn't feel comfortable. "You treat yourself so harshly. You're given so much to study and learn from...and when you feel like you failed, that you couldn't do it, you hate yourself. You learn, you fail, you learn, and fail, you learn...and it becomes too much. Expectations become too high."

Steve squeezed her shoulder with his hand and let go. "Sometimes I think it's our fault. Help is only help as long as it's perceived that way. I wonder if we were just burdening you. Sometimes I wonder if Teresa was on the right track. That maybe we're fucking you up further than we are helping you." He gave Bucky a meaningful look here, to make sure he understood that he wasn't talking about a loony bin. "You take on a lot, J.J. So much so...sometimes it makes me wonder how your heart isn't breaking or your soul."

"How do you be kind to yourself?" J.J glanced at Steve.

"For me? It's drawing." Steve admitted. "It's my escape, my way of healing my soul and my heart. Sometimes I go to church, but...only if I /really/ feel like I need it. Churches today are...well...uncomfortable. There's some that aren't...but those are few and far between."

"I write," Kerica agreed, "I create worlds. I create people. Poems are harder, more personal, but just writing fictional stories helps me unwind. Reading on the off chance I hit a roadblock and sometimes I need inspiration. Music, dancing," she smiled, "Nat tried to get me to do yoga. Can't do most of it because my arm gives out on me."

"I can't do either of those, but reading is nice. I like to come up with voices for the characters in my head. It's funny when the voices in the movies don't match, or the faces I conjure are different. Sometimes I like the different picture, sometimes I don't. So far Harry Potter is tons of fun," Buck offered.

"It all depends on what you want." Steve looked at Kerica. "But maybe the cards can help you decide how to treat yourself hmm? I don't think the reading's over yet."

"No, so, the next card is Milestone," Kerica turned the second to last card, "Dreams, this time it's upright. What we just talked about fits wonderfully here. Listen to your dreams. I know Buck's started his journal keeping again after the session with Cassie, but would you like to?"

"I have like, five journals I haven't touched after you guys heard that," Buck coughed and looked at Steve, "I don't mind sharing."

Steve was reminded that Robbie kept journals. Fuck, he /read/ the damn things. He looked at J.J as she frowned in thought. "What do I do with them?" She asked after a moment.

"Depends on you." Steve replied easily enough. "You can record memories, writes stories, or maybe you want to go the spiritual route. I used to write letters...and keep them in envelopes."

"What did you do with the letters?" J.J questioned.

"I burned them." Steve shrugged. "A lot of my life is already on display. I don't need more artifacts."

"I'm sure you could recite every one of them, though," Buck's smile was tender at Steve, "You're special that way. Dunno if I wanna ask, though. Do you still do it sometimes? I only caught you doing it once, when we were kids and you wanted to give it to the girl in class you had a crush on."

"I will push you off this couch." Steve's cheeks burned red. "And yeah, when I first got unfrozen. Made me realize that people didn't send letters much anymore, but..well...after getting shot at in my apartment, I burned them. The ones I didn't burn, from /way/ back then, are probably in the museum."

Kerica watched Steve with amusement and a little wonder, before she shrugged and flipped the last card, "New Direction? Focus," she smiled, "Thoughts create Things. It's the motto of Wicca. It's the motto of any prayer. Start creating things again. Start building what you need to in order to be yourself. You have a support system if you so chose to use it. Would you like to see your three Odds now?"

"Yes!" J.J straightened up just a little.

After gathering the others to get them out of the way, she placed them out, and grinned, "Pick one, left, middle, right, and I'll tell you about it."

"Middle first then." J.J pointed at the card.

Giggling, Kerica turned it, and then her jaw dropped, eyes widening, "My favorite card..." she murmured, and was tender as she handed it to Jayden. The male angel was portrayed on a stain glass window, looking like a normal medieval soldier with his glowing sword at his side and a halo around his head, his banner pale periwinkle blue, border golden, "Archangel Michael. He gives you courage and helps release you from your fear. Michael...he's letting you know as you make changes in your life and as you encounter challenges...you are safe and secure. He is, after all, the one who watches over the two men on either side of you."

Bucky simply sucked in a breath at Kerica's words and gripped Steve's shoulder. Why did it feel so /different/ when Kerica said it? An Angel that looked over Steve...it made his heart thud in his chest and ring in his ears. Kerica believed Michael looked over him, too, and now Jayden. /Jayden/ even got his card.

"That's real awesome." Steve smiled gently at J.J. "That's good, because Michael's a strong angel. The leader of the seven archangels." He explained gently. "He brings change..so...he's good to have at your back."

"So what's the left card?" J.J asked curiously.

Turning it, Kerica beamed at her, "Power. The same card Bucky had. Seems he helped you along quite a bit in your reading, really."

J.J tilted her head. "Do I express it the same way?"

"Generally, I think so. You're in control of yourself and your own decisions. You have the power to do whatever you want. Only you can make it happen," Kerica told her gently.

"So then the last card is...?" J.J glanced at it.

"Enchantment," This card had a golden unicorn with a blue sky and a tree behind it, the unicorn pawing at the ground and snorting, "It means recapture your childlike sense of wonder and awe. View the world as a magical place. Somewhere along the way you lost that wonder, and this card it telling you to take it back."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:12 am

The pups and Pietro. The pups weren't tainted by life's harsh view yet. They were growing up, and they certainly had their moments of self-doubt. She knew that they'd slowly lose that wonder, just like she did. She needed to treasure it, to see it from their point of view for as long as possible...because if they lost that...maybe she could help bring it back.

Pietro was always seeing the world in a different way too. Not something to fight against or to fear, but something to marvel at. How many stories did he tell her of the constellations above the sky? How many times had he pestered her for one of her own, and she came up blank? How many times did Wanda, gentle and fierce, ask her about the doll and what she was going to do with it?

J.J knew she had a lot of things to do, but she hoped whatever moment made them realize...and whatever moment would make her realize she can be herself....she could only hope that it was to save someone.
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:40 pm

"You have so much to think about now. I won't pester you," Kerica smiled and she shuffled the cards a bunch of times, getting them really mixed together, before she looked at Steve and a light blush dusted her cheeks, "Your turn now, though you don't need to shuffle them like you're in Vegas like you did with Cassandra. Take your time."
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:44 pm

Steve's cheeks burned and J.J grinned at him. He started shuffling them, trying to keep the speed at a minimum though it was still pretty fast. Hearing about Bucky's relationship and the pathways that they were going to go made him extremely happy that his friend was getting peace. The jumbled mess that was J.J was starting to untangle itself, and he knew that he could help. Bucky couldn't focus on both and he knew his friend would let him.

So what would the cards say about him? What type of guidance did he need? He handed the cards back to Kerica with a soft smile. "Ready."

Kerica set them out in a four-direction spread with a fifth in the middle, and then four on the side, "You only have three negatives from what I see. Some of them look to be in the place they should be, so that's fine," she commented after she finished observing them as they were, and she had placed a card at the very top above all of it, his Odd Card. "This one usually has ab obstacle card that crosses the middle one, but I didn't feel like you needed it. You're pretty sure of your path right now. Let's start...your first card, what Influences you, is....Trust! Awww," she nodded once she flipped the middle card, "Belief in yourself, belief in others...this one is pretty straight forward, so let's just go to the next one..." She turned the card right below it, "Recent Past which has formed the foundation for the current situation, Negative Spiritual Growth. So, I guess before visiting Cassie and stuff you were pretty stuck where you were in terms of spirituality."

Steve nodded, "Makes sense." He shrugged sheepishly. "My faith was pretty strong...but I lost all of it when I woke up in 2012." He sighed softly. "I've thought about it. Going back to church, but that's even changed." He looked at Bucky. "They don't do Latin Mass anymore."

"I know that," Buck sighed back, "I do miss that. It was fascinating."

Kerica didn't need to comment about going to church or not, he already knew, but she instead continued the reading, "Distant past, is Negative Forgiveness. Why don't you tell me what you think this means? Your distant past is so much different than normal. You've also been following along and even commenting on your own. I'm curious your thoughts."

"Well...considering that it's talking about forgiveness...I could take a page out of J.J's book and say that it's about time I start forgiving myself for the burdens I take on. But at the same time, I can also see it meaning that I'm holding a grudge and do not want to forgive." Steve mused.

"I agree with Jay," Kerica nodded, "Both."

"You carry the world on your shoulders, Stevie," Buck agreed, "I think my 'death' was a double thing, here. You don't forgive me for dying, and you don't forgive yourself for not being able to save me."

"It's not that I don't forgive you for dying." Steve looked at Bucky. "How could I hate you or possibly hold a grudge against you for the damn thing falling? You were holding it so tightly, you reached for my hand, if anything Buck...you should be hating me." He shook his head from side to side. "No, it's not about you. It's about what happened after. I don' forgive myself for not being able to save you, for not seeing things when we escaped Azzano." He snorted. "I thought I ended Hydra when I took the plane and brought it down into the Arctic. I thought I saved everyone...but I didn't."

Kerica nodded and reached out, squeezing his knee, "My thoughts on this, is since it is your distant past, it does have to deal with Bucky, and you don't forgive yourself. Your grudge? Maybe...Hydra, yes, but also against yourself and how weak you were? Before the serum?"

"It's a possibility." Steve answered with a shrug, and gave Kerica a soft assured smile that didn't reach his eyes. "I'm not ruling it out."

"I think we should move on, that's a card we can ponder on forever," Buck suggested.

Kerica took the cue and turned the card on the very top of the four-point spread, "You wish to achieve your Dreams, Steve. That is so like you," she beamed at him, "Buck keeps his journal, he dreams the past. Jay dreams the world. Your dreams are your future. This card is telling me, that you want to make your dreams come true."

"That sounds like a fairy tale when you say it that way," Buck smiled.

Kerica blushed, "It kinda does, but it fits."

"Is he your knight in shining armor?" Buck teased.

"H-He might be! Shut up, damn it," Kerica's face was blotched with color.

J.J looked at Steve who was also blushing. Maybe she didn't understand relationships. Maybe she was hopeless. But their thoughts were simple. Steve wanted to retire. It wasn't something he thought of lightly either. He wanted to give up the shield and start a family. But he wasn't certain if he was /worth/ that. Or, if he could.

It was troublesome. J.J noted after a moment. Bucky wanted to be with Teresa...and J.J didn't /want/ them to be together. But Steve and Kerica she didn't have a problem with. "Emotions are weird." She finally said with a huff.

"They are," Kerica laughed softly, "What...what's your opinion? I'll move on if you want."

"Did you seriously just read my thoughts about this?" Steve gave J.J a "America is Disappointed in you look". At least, that's how Bucky described it sometimes.

J.J just thought he looked ridiculously like a mother trying to scold a rowdy child.

"You're loud." J.J protested. "Not my fault. She says dreams you immediately have a water fall."

Steve's look shattered as he laughed. "Okay. Okay. Good point." He looked at Kerica and shrugged. "I don't really have an opinion on it...yet."

"You are a horrible liar." J.J frowned. "Bad."

"Bucky, do something about your child." Steve pointed at J.J.

J.J's cheeks reddened.

"Emotions don't make sense and we understand most of them," Buck agreed with Jayden and he ruffled her hair, "Next!" He chimed.

"Hah, if you say so," Kerica grinned and reached for the one on the right side of the four-points, "What is before you, then, Steve? Your future is..." She turned the card, her eyes went wide, and she immediately curled in on herself and covered her face, yelping a soft 'oh!'. The card was Children. If Steve's mind was a waterfall before, Kerica's head exploded with images.

J.J covered her eyes, as if that was going to help keep Kerica's image-vomit away from her head. So many thoughts of children of all sizes and ages and looks. So many of them in fact that J.J was seriously worried about them and their sanity. Or well Kerica's at the very least. And Steve's thoughts didn't help matters either.

"Buuuucccckkkkyyyyy....." J.J whined. "Your friends are doing it in my head. I don't need to know this."
Steve's burned the brightest red and he looked completely appalled as J.J said that. "Fuck. Bucky it's not that like that. I mean it's kinda like that but we haven't. I mean we...you know...god damn it."

"Better put a ring on her finger soon, then," Buck cooed.

"BUCKY!" Kerica cried out and threw the empty card box at him, "I won't marry him just to bone him!"

"Well there you go, if you ever wanted to know," Buck had let it actually hit him just to make her feel better, but he snickered deeply. He didn't help JJ very much, picturing him babysitting and taking care of his kids like he had with his sisters back then.

"B.B do you want pups?" J.J asked as she looked at him with a curious look on her face.
"Man that's a conversation we haven't had in a long time." Steve laughed. "I used to tell Bucky that I only wanted a small family. Just one or two children. Adopted or birthed didn't matter. Bucky on the other hand used to say he wanted something /huge/. Last time it was seven kids."

"In the future. I wouldn't mind taking care of someone else's pups until I'm graced with that opportunity," Buck admitted easily, "I'd have as many as Teresa is willing, I'm sure. I picture some of our kids getting together and then that would be the perfect outcome. God, a kid with my hair and your eyes a generation or two down the line, or my looks and shit, Steve, /Kerica's/ eyes. Your soulmate has beautiful eyes."

Kerica could only pull her shirt over her face, embarrassed and shy.

"Was it ever something you thought of, J.J?" Steve couldn't help but to ask curiously.

"I dunno." J.J frowned deeply. "Pups were bred in the Cage...and I never wanted my pups to fight in that Cage. I don't know if I can breed. I bleed....but it's too heavy and I get too sick. Carrying pups might be the same thing. Sick." She looked at the card sadly. "Sometimes though. Sometimes I think I want to. Though I don't think a pup wants me for a mom."
Steve gently ruffled J.J's hair as he turned to Kerica, "Want to continue on?"

"That would be something for later, once you figure yourself out first," Buck patted Jayden's head softly, gently brushing his fingers through her hair.

"Okay...okay, so Children for future...your attitude or position on the matter is New Beginnings. Clean slate and new opportunities and experiences. This...this isn't much better in reference to my head exploding from blushing so much," Kerica scrubbed her face with her hands, and quickly moved on, "How others she you is Blessings...You have it made, Steve, I swear..." she muttered.

Steve smiled in a way that was both sincere and filled with gratitude. He liked that his future was so bright, and that people saw that. He was thankful that the angels and their guidance was telling him that no one else came out of the ice. It was still reasonable.

"Next card is...your hopes and fears. Since it is negative, your fear is...Divine Timing? My interpretation based on the card normally, is that you are afraid you see all of these open doors, and you won't pick the right one? You are afraid the puzzle won't fall into place unless you choose the pieces in the right order. What do you think?"

"I think I'm more or less going to be afraid that these open doors that I have will close." Steve said after a moment of thought. "That I would take too long or won't give enough time. That I'd either be too slow or I'd rush it."

"That makes sense," Kerica's expression changed a little bit, eyeing him with a face that was clearly a 'come hither', and it was obvious to at least Jayden what she wanted, but she turned the last card, "The outcome? Miracles. They're all around you. You asked and the Angels are delivering the answer you wanted. This reading is what you make it," she smiled and gathered them, then motioned to the Odd Card, "Turn it, let's see what it is."

Steve turned over the card and blinked. "So we're all protected by Michael." He smiled a little. "Hold no fear and just go forward. The way we've been going." He leaned back a little, supporting himself with his hand as he looked at the spread. "I like this reading." He murmured. "Cassandra is a bit on the dark side, but the angels are about hope. Maybe that's what it is about. Not guidance, not really. But about what kind of hope we need at that very moment."

"I like that philosophy," Buck and Kerica echoed each other and then smiled at one another.

Buck continued, "This was very enlightening for all of us. We talked quite a bit, too. Cassie was so serious, and while I liked the readings this was a lot more calming."

"I'm very glad my cards helped you guys," Kerica smiled as she put all of them back in their box and closed it, "Steve, if you'd like to look through these at anytime to see the individual art of the cards, go right ahead."

"I'll look at them later. Okay guys /now/ we go back to your apartment and we can figure out dinner." Steve joked as he looked at Bucky. "It's probably nearing six or seven right now so you can't say we're early."

J.J's stomach took that moment to rumble.

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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:52 pm

J.J stopped over at the street looking at the wide spaces and the many crowds of people that were walking to and form places. The buildings were towering, nearly touching the sky with how high they were.And the way that they were designed was both pleasing to the eye and a little breathtaking. She hadn’t seen New York at night yet, but so far…during the day it was pretty cool. She lifted up her camera and shot a couple of pictures of the buildings and street, angling it so that she could get most of the building and the street. It was the two important parts of the photo besides the lightning. She brought down and looked at the photos. Pleased, she pushed her bright neon pink hair out of her eyes as she placed the camera in her backpack and hummed as she walked along the way.

Steve had been really kind to her in getting a camera when she mentioned that she wanted to try out photography. So far, it was a pretty fun experience. All of the things she learned about the camera as well as how to use it, made it a little fun. She wouldn’t be a professional, she wasn’t sure if she’d even get that good to be one. But so far, pictures were pretty fun.

Kerica had told her that she was installing a program on a laptop for J.J to play with. Something called photoshop. J.J wasn’t certain what that was yet, but she couldn’t wait to do something with the pictures that she had made.

But where to go now…J.J thought about going to the zoo and taking pictures there, but…eh. A garden was fun, but there’s only so much you could do with flowers when they weren’t in a vase or looking pretty. She felt something bump into her and she let out a surprised noise. “Sorry!”

Wearing a simple pair of pale blue ripped jeans, electric blue tennis shoes with the Sketchers mark in white, and a very simple white athletic tank top on, Pietro stared down at Jayden with wide eyes, "Zere yu are! Nobody vas at ze apartment and so I called Steve and he said yu vere probably out and about somewhere vith your new camera. I didn't know yu liked taking pictures!"

“I just learned.” J.J smiled. “Kerica said that it’s to help. Everyone has a creative outlet, but I didn’t. I said I wanted to try. Steve bought me the camera.” She slipped one of her arms out of her backpack’s straps and rummaged through it to hand him the camera. “It’s real fun. I took pictures of the street and the cars before you showed up. I was thinking of going out further, but I wasn’t sure where to go.”

"I can walk with you! We can go wherever. If you get tired I can carry you!" Pietro beamed at her, "I can take you anywhere, really. The bridge? There's a bunch of little parks since Central is pretty far away. We can just...walk aimlessly, too. You're about two blocks away from the complex by now anyway. Did you realize you were so far?"

“Eh!?” J.J spun around to look and see how far she really was. She didn’t go out that far away…and she wasn’t panicking. She was okay. People didn’t stop and look at her, and she was so into her little project that the different voices and thoughts were just background static. Though now that she was paying slight attention to them, it was like turning up the radio during a commercial. She looked back at Pietro. “What bridge?” She asked. “I think as long as I’m with you, I’m gonna be okay. No one’s at the apartment. I’ll be bored if I stay in there.”

"I am very happy you believe that," Pietro placed his arm around her shoulder and they just...walked. He didn't want to run /all/ the time. I was fun to annoy people but Jayden just made him want to take his time. "I'll take you to the bridge. Doesn't surprise me that Steve and Buck would get a new apartment in Brooklyn, and it's the Brooklyn Bridge I'm talking about."

“I don’t know if I like it here or not.” J.J admitted as she looked around the area. It was very different from France, and they weren’t hiding in the off skirts of a city in a crappy, cheap hotel. The apartment felt…nice. She had her own room, which was filled with just as many indoor flowers and plants as the one in the Tower was…and it didn’t smell like a hospital.

Robbie would’ve gotten an apartment like that. Though she wondered what his house was like. Was it big with two stories? Or was it small with one story and modest? What was his wife like? J.J hesitated. She forgotten about Robbie’s wife. Did she know that Robbie was no longer around? Did she worry about J.J?

Now that she thought about it…did Robbie…live near here? She sighed loudly. “I messed up again.” She grumbled. “I forgot about Robbie’s wife!” She looked at Pietro with a frown. “I forgot she existed. That’s bad. Real bad. I don’t know why I thought about it just now.” She blew her bangs out of her eyes. “I can track her down…though I don’t know if that’s a bad idea or not. Kerica did this reading…and I think her cards think I made bad decisions when it comes to people. It makes sense. Civilians and people are very different I guess.”

"Aren't zey ze same zing? If yu vant to see Robbie's wife zen I vouldn't mind," Pietro offered, "It's been a long time, I'm sure, since she heard anything. I wonder if she moved on. I vouldn't vant yu to be sad," he shook his head, "It's alright yu forgot for a while. Yu had a lot of zings going on. She vouldn't be mad."

“It’s a good question.” J.J titled her head in thought as she thought about it. What made civilians…and people different? When did she start thinking of people as “civilians.” “Bucky told me innocents were civilians and I wasn’t supposed to touch them.” She said after a moment. “People…I don’t know when I started thinking that. I think I was in France. There’s no “category” when you’re trying to live week by week.” She mused. “I don’t know much about her. I know she lived New York. Robbie was upset I never had a pizza before.” She perked up. “We should do that for lunch if you’re interested!”

"Oh sure! I love pizza! I'll text Buck and Steve and see if zere's a place around here zey suggest," Pietro whipped out his phone and his fingers flew across it once he unlocked and opened the texting bubble. "I vonder vhat you'd like on your pizza. Veggies? Meat? I like ze Supreme, it's got a lot of ingredients piled on it. I also like stuffed crust, zough sometimes I do just like ze fluffy pan crust."

"Why don't we do that?" J.J didn't understand a lot of it, but she was pretty certain Pietro wouldn't steer her wrong in a pizza adventure. "I'll pick off anything I don't like and next time we'll narrow it down. What's stuffed crust?"

"Ze crust is stuffed vith cheese," Pietro grinned, "It's really good! Goes best vith ranch, zough it's ok vith ze sauce zey give yu. Cheese sticks are awesome. Zere's also zis cactus pizza; it's a desert. All it is, is sugar, cinnamon, and a glaze on a sweet bread. It's amazing. Dunno vhy zey call it cactus bread but vhatever."

"That sounds good." J.J mused as she happily did a small skip in her step before walking normally. "Do we eat now, or go to the bridge?" She questioned.

"Depends on how hungry yu are," Pietro grinned, "Ve can just grab one slice each instead of a whole thing."

"Hmmm." J.J had to think about this. Hungry was something she was used to. "Later then." She nodded after a moment. "What's your favorite food?"

"My favorite food? Zat's hard. I liked a lot of food as a kid, but zen after I got out of my own glass box I just couldn't disliking a whole lot. I like burgers. Zey're pretty versatile like pizza is," Pietro hummed deeply as he thought about it, "Do yu have a favorite food?"

"Anything I can swallow." J.J answered automatically before stopping and thinking. "..." She pursed her lips. "It's not something I ever thought about." She mused. "Having a favorite. I don't have many favorites."

"Zis is a great time to start! Vhat about vhen Steve and Keri cook for yu? Or Bucky? Teresa laughs vhen Buck texts her telling her about ze food he eats vith yu guys and laughs zat Kerica hates pancakes but she loves waffles." Pietro snickered just a bit himself.

J.J didn’t know. She ate what was on her plate, the taste and the quality didn’t matter to her much. She knew that it tasted good. She knew that if she could have it again, she would. But it didn’t make a favorite. Kerica was good with cooking meats, and Steve was careful with the vegetables. Sometimes for fucking fun he chop them into shapes and make Bucky upset since they weren’t little kids.

J.J remembered the conversations at the table mostly. The laughter. The way that they would share food and pass it around the table. No one went hungry or without. Sometimes there were leftovers that were eaten just as quickly. “I like everything.” She said after a moment. “I don’t think I ever had a bad meal.”

"So many possibilities!" Pietro was giddy, and he paused as they passed a concrete circle that was filled with colorful flowers and he broke off suddenly as he went over and bent down, smelling a pansy that was white with purple faded in the middle from dark to light and yellow in the center.

J.J quickly took out her camera since she thought the scene was awesome. She snapped the picture and grinned when he looked at her. “You promised me a picture once.” She told him. “So I got the picture.” She looked into her gallery and showed it to him. “I like it.”

"Yu can take as many pictures as yu want!" Pietro beamed at her, "If yu vant me to pose, too, just let me know. Unless yu prefer natural shots like zat?"

"Natural." J.J mused. "Maybe pose if it's something else." She grinned happily as they started walking again, another skip in her step. "I haven't had silence in my head for a long time." She mused aloud. "Normally it's always noisy and loud. But today's quiet."

"Good, good," Pietro nodded happily, his hand searching for hers, "Ve're almost to ze bridge." They were quiet for a time, and Pietro tried to find things to point out to see if she'd be interested in taking a picture of it, simply moving along when she didn't like it. There were many things in the world to take a picture of. Once or twice he would take it and take a picture of her, getting some good faces and laughing, but not at her. He loved the shy face she made the second time he did it. He couldn't wait for her to see them when she got home.

When they got to the bridge, they walked on the traveler’s road which went up and above where the cars were driving past, zooming underneath them. It was cramped, only two lanes. Some were trying to ride their bikes and others were just walking, peacefully. J.J had to remind herself to breathe. That it was okay. She was okay. The mental static of her mind started to turn up loud again and she tried to find something to distract herself with.

So, she took a picture of the river that was right underneath her, the horizon following it, as well as the buildings that were on the coast. Smiling a little, she held the camera close to her so it wouldn’t drop. Her heart was hammering in her chest and she felt her palms sweat. The mental static only got louder, and she was starting to hear voices.

No no no. Turn it off. She mentally chided herself.

But you can’t. Embry mocked.

No, she couldn’t and she had to surrender that. “Are we going to go all the way across?” She didn’t want to. She didn’t know what was on the other side, and she was certain she was way to far away from home now. How would anyone find her if she was over on the other side? Bucky would think she abandoned them again.

It’d be bad. Even if Pietro was with her.

"You're scared," Pietro twirled a strand of white hair in his finger, "So no. Vhen you're not scared anymore, zen we can. I'm surprised yu came zis far vith me." He chuckled and leaned down, kissing her forehead.

"Aw, you two are so cute!" a woman who was in a jogging outfit stopped her run to gush at them, "How wonderful! I don't see a lot of couples on this bridge. They're all in Central Park."

"Boring." J.J grinned at the woman before a light bulb went off. She handed the camera to her. "Can you take a picture? Of us? Please?"

"Of course! No problem," the bystander chirped and took the camera, being gentle with it since it looked expensive, and once she figured out which button did what, she held it up.

Pietro easily drew Jayden closer, and he was a good boy, until he heard the shutter sound. Then he turned and took J.J's chin and tilted her head up, leaning down and kissing her just lightly on the lips, though wasn't able to contain his smile at the woman's coo as she took another picture.

~*~

"You look like you're on cloud nine," Bucky crossed his arms over the back of the couch and looked down at J.J. as she was going through the pictures she downloaded onto the computer and playing with the photoshop actions.

"Had a good day." J.J grinned as she tried to get the picture just right. She knew as long as she had the original safe somewhere it'd be fine if she screwed up. Practice, practice, practice. "Took pictures and found Pietro. I finally tried pizza. Don't like hamburger on it."

Buck laughed heartily, "I'll remember that if Steve or I order pizza for a movie night at one of our places," he nodded and he hopped over the side easily, if a bit dramatic, and settled beside her, "That's a really cute picture."

It was the picture of where Pietro and J.J were standing on Brooklyn Bridge. His arm was swung over hers, a carefree yet smug smile on his face. Her smile was wide and bright. J.J had /never/ seen herself in a photo before besides the one in her locket and...it made her heart tighten and throat clog. That was her. In all pink and black glory. "Thanks." She beamed as she got the red dots out of their eyes. "...Hey B.B...can I ask you something? It's a...neutral something."

"Ask away, pup," Buck ruffled her hair.

"Robbie lived in New York." J.J closed her eyes at the small gesture. "I thought about his wife today. I wanna find her."

"If you think you'll be okay seeing her, then I'm all for it. I can help if you'd like," Buck offered.

"But what do /you/ think?" J.J pressed. "I need the help I don't have access to get to her. Natasha does...or at least someone in S.H.I.E.L.D."

"I think...that it might give you closure, instead of always wondering," Buck said slowly, sincerely, "I can get you that. Don't worry."

J.J watched Bucky for a long time before she looked back at the photos. "...One more question?" At Bucky's nod, she took a breath and let it out. "Will we ever say goodbye?"

Buck wrapped his arm around her and nosed her temple, "I won't ever say goodbye to you, and I hope you don't want to say goodbye to me. I would miss you. I like having you around."

J.J abandoned her laptop to fall into his chest and gave him a hug, pressing her nose against his shoulder and inhaling his scent. Her throat was still tight, and she held him as tight as she could, which sadly wasn't real tight to the Solider. "Never ever." She murmured. "I don't want Teresa to make us say goodbye."

"Why would...pup, are you jealous?" Buck found it strikingly amusing, but he held her as tight as he was comfortable so he wouldn't crush her, "Teresa won't make us say goodbye. I actually would be happy if you liked her, and she liked you. I love you, and I want to love her, too. I was actually thinking of bringing her over sometime."

"I don't know." J.J bit her lip. "I don't know what jealousy is. I just know I don't like her cuz she'll make you say goodbye." She fell limp in his arms, which was Bucky's sign that she was just too comfortable. "Civilian and doesn't know you. Bad combination. And she's gonna bear your pups. You need privacy for that. You're not into public mating."

"You're right, I'm not. That's why I want to spend time with her. I want her to get to know me. It's going to be scary...I won't want her to see certain sides of me...but I know if she does, and she still stays...she'll be worth it. I won't say goodbye to you, and she won't make me," Buck swore.

J.J took another breath in and she pulled away from him. She knew that he was serious just as he knew that she was really worried. She didn't have to read his mind to know that he would break up with her, if there was so much as a hint that J.J would have to leave the picture. "I love you too." She leaned back against him. "You should. Bring her over."

"Thank you, for your go-ahead," Buck smiled and he just settled back further against the couch, stroking her hair and enjoying the moment.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Avengers - Lost Souls 2.0 - ABANDONED   Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:34 pm

Kerica was in awe as she looked around the place. Fiery Wave wasn't that /big/, per se, but it had plenty of room besides. The bar was far in the back, and she glanced left and right. There were booths to the right where people could sit in private and drink, and then...the best part, in her opinion. The dance floor. The tiles people swayed and shimmied to changed color, and throughout the whole club were colorful lights. Candice was doing his thing in the DJ booth at the far back of the dance floor, and she could just barely make out an 'Employees Only' sign in front of another door before it was obscured by moving bodies again.

"Oh that is awesome." Steve had noticed how the tiles didn't just change color, but depending on who danced on the tile forced it to change color. It was like those piano stairs he started seeing sometimes going up from the underground subway. "That's a good idea on how to keep people dancing." He said, keeping his voice loud so that she could hear him over the crowd. "Sit first and wait for Buck and Teresa to show up?"

"Think we should sit at the bar, it's easier to see when you walk in," Kerica responded. The way her voice was pitched made it easier to be heard, but she still had to shout. The beat of the music thrummed through her body and she closed her eyes a second before she grabbed Steve's hand and they weaved further in, "Whoa, look at Sam!" she gaped as the redheaded man twirled a cup and caught it with ease before he continued to mix the drinks.

Steve had to smile as Sam easily slid the drink towards a patron and the patron caught it without spilling a single drop. "Come on." He placed his hand against Kerica's lower back and carefully steered her towards the bar. He pulled out the bar seat for her and climbed into one himself. Sam grinned at them. "Did Cassie tell you this was a good place for a date?"

"Matt." Steve grinned back. "How long did it take you to learn not to drop any of the bottles?"

"Enough to have Nix threaten to fire me even though I started the place." Sam snorted. "So, anything I can grab you both or do you just want to test your luck on whatever I'm willing to give?"

"I like fruity things!" Kerica chirped, grin wide, turning and catching herself then turning the other way in the stool since it was a spinner, "I'm willing to experiment! I usually drink vodka and sprite, though, if you're wondering."

"How much alcohol can you handle?" Sam asked looking at her curiously.

"You're be surprised with my small size, but I can handle quite a bit. It burns through be really fast, too, so I gotta spread it out. I hate beer, it smells gross and tastes even worse. Whiskey's nice...during the holidays I enjoy an eggnog brandy I found. Haven't tried scotch." Kerica giggled, "Vodka's just my weakness. It's the Russian in me."

"Let's see what we can do for you." Sam hummed. "I have half of the mind to make you a Hurricane, but at the same time you might like Sex on the Beach too. But that's if you like peaches."

"Peaches are good, just don't make me anything with rum, just so you know," Kerica nodded, "I won't mind trying both, but let's start with the Sex on the Beach," it sounded dirty and she wanted it. "Too bad you don't have anything Steve can have. Oh well, watching me get drunk should be just as fun," she smirked at her boyfriend.

"Not a problem." Sam winked at her as he looked at Steve. "...I bet you'd do an old-fashioned...or a Manhattan." He smirked. "Or would go for a Sidecar instead?"

Steve looked a little surprised and nodded, "Manhattan. Not a big fan of the old-fashioned and Sidecar is more of Bucky's thing than mine."

"Sometimes old-fashioned is better," Buck's hand came down on Steve's head to give his hair a ruffle.

"Hey Buck." Steve said as he waved Bucky's hand away from his head. "Whoa, Teresa..." He grinned at the woman who was next to his best friend. "You look way different than the hospital garb I'm used to seeing you in. And your hair's down."

"Thanks." Teresa laughed with a small blush on her face. "I'm sorry if we made you wait. He had to wait for me. Eyeliner issues."

"So Sex, Manhatten, I'm thinking you're doing the old-fashioned kid?" Sam looked at Bucky.

"Sure, hit me with your best shot," Buck smirked at Sam and his metal arm snaked around Teresa's side as she sat in a stool, him standing behind her with his chin on her shoulder, "Candy's amazing with that DJ system."

"Matt's always been cutting his hair so I'm certain he got her back by blasting and ruining music for her." Sam answered as he started making the drinks. Teresa had ordered a Cosmopolitan, something simple. He worked on Kerica's sex on the beach, tossing bottles and catching them in awkward positions to pour from, just to make her smile and presenting it to her with a small gesture, finishing it off with a garnish. Once he gave everyone their drinks he smiled at them before leaving them to their conversations, probably already knowing that he was going to be in the way.

"Should've ordered something with Bacardi 151." Teresa mused with a bit of a sigh. "I bet he knows some good flame tricks if he knows how to throw those bottles."

"Haha, don't want to make him have to start doing tricks for everybody," Buck laughed softly, taking a slow drag off of his, enjoying the flavor on his tongue, "This is real nice. What do you think, Stevie? Twinkletoes?"

"Well, I know /I/ really love how the peach is exploding on my tongue," Kerica beamed as she popped an ice cube in her mouth and set the drink itself down, "Sam is amazing. He's gotta be if he runs the bar, sure, but damn. Downright /sinful/," she winked a bit.

"I see what you did there," Buck snickered.

"I like it." Steve said after he tried a taste, careful not to spill since it was filled to the brim. "He must have practiced a lot in order to get this good. Then again, I doubt it was just Candy's music that managed to get this crowd coming in."

"It's good that you joined us, Teresa," Kerica smiled at the woman, "You look classy even though we're at a club. I don't think I've seen you this relaxed, though."

Teresa blushed. Instead of going with the club attire that some of the others were wearing, she went with a knee-length dress and high heels. "I thought about wearing something else, but then again I said fuck it. I'll wear what I want. Though I'm certain my feet will kill me by the time I'm done dancing."

"I wore heels, too, so don't worry, we can complain together," Kerica's heels were more straps than anything, so she could do more without worrying about them falling off her feet. Black slacks and a red form-fitting blouse topped it off, though her hair was neither down nor up, instead in a half-ponytail, keeping her bangs from her face as the rest of it cascaded down her back. She took another drink from her glass, humming in appreciation yet again.

"I bet it's weird, reaching Steve's shoulder instead of just coming to his pecs," Bucky teased and he ducked as Kerica threw her straw at him.

"If she decides to take you out in the alleyway for a few rounds, I hope you know you deserve every hit." Steve told his friend with a smirk.

"Well, it also means you don't have to bend in half just to kiss her."

"I will /bite/ you," Kerica threatened.

"Kinky. Steve will like that whenever you get around to it," Bucky couldn't help himself and he hid behind Teresa as Kerica resorted to ice cubes now instead, "I thought you were gunna bite me!"

"Teresa might get jealous and she's a doctor so next time I end up in the infirmary she could do terrible things to me. I gotta watch myself," Kerica retorted.

"Oh, now that's an idea I didn't even think about. I'm usually too busy trying to get her /out/ of her office," Buck tapped his chin.

Teresa just could only put her hands onto her face and sigh loudly. "We're not having office sex for our first time." She groaned. "Anything else I'll do. I'll do a goddamn cheerleader if I have to."

Steve wrinkled his nose. "You know, I really liked the old-fashion cheerleading than the whole "I'm about to kill myself doing this flip" cheerleading."

Tersea looked up at him from her hands. "Pot, kettle much?"

"He thinks since he's a super soldier he can get away with it, but I had to spot for that sort of shit when I was in dance team in school. You make me want to put my hands out to catch you even though you'd just squish me like a pancake," Kerica drawled.

"He and Wanda have been practicing this thing where she uses her magic to push him into the air to boost his jumps!" Buck smacked his flesh hand on the counter, making an 'are you serious' expression.

"I KNOW!" Kerica's head fell back, "Nat joked to me one time that if he wanted to be a ballerina all he had to do was ask."

"We did the USO thing." Steve shook his head. "Never again."

"You know, I could say you always had a third option to walk away but that's not your style and you wouldn't have been shipped overseas to dance for the army and you would've have saved me," Buck smirked, "So, go fancy tights."

"I was about to ask you if you remembered how many 4F I received before I was able to." Steve rolled his eyes. "Or if you thought I was replaced by some sort of alien. Giving up just isn't my style."

"No it hasn't and you're mostly the reason why I have such a high paid salary." Teresa teased.

"You sure it's me and not Clint?" Steve pointed out.

"Pretty sure it's you. You and your stubbornness." Teresa nodded. "Clint at least listens when I tell him to sit. You do everything /but/."

"Always moving. His hands are always busy, whether re-arranging a plant or doing his art. He keeps sketching ideas for our apartment," Kerica nodded her agreement, "We finally agreed that we both like blue so we're just getting different shades of blue everything. Our shower curtain is a blue gradient, our window curtains are dark blue..."

"And your bedding is blue /plaid/ with a quilted mish-mash comforter. I helped you carry your crap in," Buck added, "Plaid, Steve! Always plaid!"

"I keep /telling/ you, you would look good in red and black plaid but you won't listen to me!" Kerica whined.

"What are you going to do whenever you guys have kids, huh? They just going to be bundled in purple? Cuz that's what red and blue make," Buck hadn't realized he'd finished his drink in-between his banter and he frowned at the empty glass.

"I like orange, too," Kerica wrinkled her nose at Bucky.

"Need another?" Sam asked, saving them from the conversation. He nodded at Bucky's glass. "Or do you want to kick it up with something different? Orange colored probably?" He teased from the last bit of the conversation that he heard.

"Do it, Sam, just to spite the bastard," Kerica laughed heartily, "Got any Kinky? I know the brand just came out with Red and I had the Shamrock from the Blue and Yellow mixture back during St. Patties Day. Make me a purple shot and I'm sure Yellow and Red would be an interesting orange color for Buck."

"Do it, Sam, just to spite the bastard," Kerica laughed heartily, "What do you got that'll make Purple?"

"Hm..." Sam hummed a little. "You know...it won't be purple all the way, but since you like fruity, I know what I can do for you." He looked at Bucky. "As for orange, do you want to go the all traditional Screwdriver, or should I actually make a fucking effort?"

"Show me what it's like when you make an effort, Sam! I'm all in," Buck gave him a thumbs-up, "Give Steve the purple one, too, because I'm an asshole."

Sam laughed as Steve actually held his hands up in a "what the fuck" motion. "Fine. Then I'll keep it simple." He took down the alchol and in one shaker he poured in the fruit punch vodka and a couple of others. When he shook the glass, he tossed it in the air, he caught it and rolled it around his shoulders before straining it into a martini glass, turning it into a very pretty purple color. It wasn't dark, but it was light enough to catch the orange undertones of it. He did it again to the second and slid it to Steve and Kerica. "Your turn." He told Bucky. He kept the fruit punch vodka out, but took down triple sec and started pouring it into a shaker. With this one, he bounced it on his elbow, flipping it a few times before he caught it upside down and strained it into the martini glass. "Your Hawaiiantini."

"Hawaiiantini! That's so fun to say!" Buck beamed, "Sounds like I'm making noises like the Ewoks from Star Wars!"

"OH MY GOD IT DOES!" Kerica chirped. She held her glass up to Bucky, clinkling glasses at Star Wars and then nudged Steve, "Clink with me!"

Steve laughed as he clinked his glass with hers and Bucky's. Teresa just smiled lightly as she finished off her cosmopolitan and gently slid the glass to the side. Sam looked over at her. "You done at one?"

"Afraid so." Teresa smiled lightly. "One's usually enough."

"Hopefully you're not too tipsy from one, I didn't come here just to drink," Buck kissed her cheek, "Candy's music calls to me."

"What you want to dance?" Teresa smiled at him as she got off the stool. "If that's what you wanted you should've asked silly."

"I'm askin' now!" Buck was certain his drink would still be here when he came back, so he took her hand and led her to the dance floor. He could see Candy get on his tip-toes and look down at the crowd, perking as he spotted them and that grin was a million watts, "Oh!" Buck looked down at his feet and he stepped on one tile then on another, "Oh, this is going to be /fun/!" He took Teresa and did an impromptu spin, watching as the center of the tile where her one foot spun around, changed different colors in one, "Yeah!"

Kerica was giddy for a moment, just watching them, but she cradled her drink close instead of jumping to join. "He looks so content," she said when Buck twirled Teresa out then brought her close to him, just looking into her face, "I can only imagine when Teresa's seen the bad sides and stays. Buck's going to be all in. Right now, he's just got one foot in the water."

"Still distant." Steve noted. "And Teresa's starting to figure it out. I don't know Kerica. I'm thinking this double-date was a bit of a bad idea. Good for Bucky. He likes groups. I don't know about Teresa. She didn't...really speak much. I know I'm not one to talk, but...still."


Kerica drooped a bit, "Buck and I kinda just bounce off each other. Think I really did make her jealous?" she asked softly, "I didn't mean to, I was just trying to have fun. Do you wanna talk to her when she comes back? I mean, I can always just...I dunno, fuck off to the bathroom." She could always come here by herself some other time, too. Steve wasn't the type for the bar scene. She didn't wanna steal Buck from Teresa. She should've shoved him on her more, really instead of stealing the spotlight. Shit, she really had been rude, hadn't she?

"I don't read minds." Steve gently wrapped his arm over her shoulders and squeezed her tightly. "I think Teresa knows you, Kerica. I think she knows me too and that's why she agreed to this. I don't think she was prepared for how Bucky would react to you. I think that it makes her think...I think it makes her sad that Bucky can be open with you...but not with her." He made Kerica look at her. "But her feelings aren't your responsibility. You're you and I think Teresa knows that. You're a fun-loving, easy-going type of person. I know Teresa's not angry at you. Or upset with you in anyway. If she is, then she's not the Dr. Rivera I know."

"Should you and I...finish our drinks and go to the park? It is just a couple blocks away. We can leave Buck and Teresa to hit it up?" Kerica leaned back into him, "Sorry, I overthink things and you know that, too. We can try double-dating again when they're more comfortable with each other. The Amusement Park would be great for that, I think. Be together yet a lot of rides are two on two," she nodded to herself.

"Sure. Let me tell Bucky what the plan is." Steve said as he slipped out from his position on the stool and walked over. He gently tapped Bucky's shoulder and carefully shouted in his ear. "Kerica and I are going to split."

"Dude! I have super-hearing, you don't need to break my eardrum!" Buck smacked Steve's chest with the back of his hand playfully, "Go be with your gal. I'll see if I can get Teresa to have another," he smirked.

"Okay." Steve patted Bucky's shoulder twice before leaving back towards the bar. Teresa watched him take Kerica and weave through the crowd to head out.

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