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 Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED

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Lynx-Tiger



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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:35 pm

Angelina folded her arms tight, "He doesn't deserve it." She muttered darkly like it was answer enough. It was for Steve. Just even /thinking/ about raping Calla was enough to boil his blood. It explained so much as to why Angelina was acting so upset too. She never wanted Calla to go through that horror. She never wanted Calla to think that it couldn't be revenged.

That's why she wanted Bucky to agree to the torture. He walked over and gently placed a hand on Angelina's shoulder. "Angel, sweetie, why don't you also go and take a swim?"

"What? Why?!" Angelina demanded. "I can-"

"Because this isn't your fight." Steve said soothingly, pushing a strand of hair away from her face. "Not your fight love. You did the hard part in capturing him. Let me and Dylan and Vince worry about the rest of it." He turned to Calla. Angelina huffed, but walked away clearly respecting Steve's choice and probably knowing that she was going to have to apologize to Bucky for trying to use him. "I can stay with you if you want."
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:45 pm

Rubbing her arm, Calla just shook her head, "No...no, that's okay. I can wait until the interrogation is over. /Then/ we can hang out. The mission is a little more important."

"If Rick gives you any information we can use, like locations, we can wait until tonight to launch an ambush. Sparing two hours for a movie I think can be allowed. Calla is compromised right now so an immediate assault wouldn't be good, but we might need her to help take care of things. Like she and I save River while you and Bucky kick ass," Dylan pointed out.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:04 pm

"So I guess that means I have to hold back Angelina." Vince mused. "Not like it's a /horrible/ thing to do. I was pretty amazed on how fast she took Rick down." He grinned brightly. "So. Let's do the interrogation, and let's see just how ornery he gets. If push comes to shove, I think it can't hurt to put Angelina by the door or something. Give a dose of healthy fear."

Steve looked at Vince alarmed. "You do realize she was going to kill him."

"Oh. Yeah that would cause a problem. Good thing she's not here then." Vince winced. "I didn't think her anger went that far."

"Angelina doesn't joke about violence." Steve rubbed his forehead. "So all three of us. Let's go."
~
Angelina watched her dad swim laps as she sat on the edge of the pool and dipped her feet into the warm water. She wore her one piece bathing suit, uncertain was to /why/ people thought bras and panties were a good idea (they're fucking awful). She thought about her actions, and about how her dad responded to it. She kicked the water again, watching silently.

He stopped and looked over at her. If he was wearing his tactical gear, that look would be terrifying. His face was as blank as his mind. Clearly the swim was doing wonders of pushing the thoughts away and flowing into the water. Water always had that purity thing going on for it anyway. She gave a tiny wave.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:36 pm

Dylan held his hands up, "It's just alien-man and wonder-boy on this one. I don't think I'm cut out for that sort of thing. I'll keep Calla company until then for ya," he waved at them and hooked his arm in Calla's, "Let's go chill. You can pick out a movie to watch with Steve and until then we'll just watch whatever's on TV!" he chirped and Calla gave Steve a weak smile before allowing Dylan to drag her away.

~

Buck waved back before he heaved a heavy sigh and dove under the water, taking approximately fourteen seconds to cross the length of the pool and pop up near her, "Hello, fetiță. I am sorry, about snapping at you earlier. Civilians your size can't lift a full grown man like that."
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:00 am

"It's okay." Angelina smiled at him a little. "I know." She patted his arm and paused, letting some of the tension fall out of her shoulders. "I'm sorry too. I know violence isn't good anymore. I tried to get you to do it. Or let me do it."
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:22 am

"No, that violence was okay. Hydra is the exception and he was one. He was also threatening Calla, who is Uncle Steve's mate," Bucky soothed her, patting her knee like she patted his arm, "Like you said, you did a good deed. I just got worried in the moment. I hope that doesn't go up anywhere. This day and age everything and anything is recorded and it's hard to cover unusual things up unless you can explain it away as Avengers work. If they hadn't saved New York from those aliens we would have been in deep trouble."
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:00 am

Angelina nodded and watched him for a bit. "I don't tell you things." She said softly. "Cuz I know you don't want to know. Cuz you're scared about how you're gonna react. Scared of what they done to me. Steve and Dylan know. Steve cuz of the file. Dylan cuz I told him." She kicked the water a bit. "I'll keep hiding it from you. I'll do my best to make sure you don't find out. But that means that you have to turn a blind eye to things that make me react. You can't react." She looked at her father sadly. "You can't protect me like you want to. That's okay." She assured. "I'm okay. I haven't had an episode for a while. Just nosebleeds. Though I think Rick might've started a thing. The mall was chatting." She kicked the water again. "But it's okay. It's okay."

She paused. "Uncle Steve can say it's Avenger work. He can say I volunteered. He can say that i misjudged the weight since you took him from me. Adrenaline is magic."
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:06 am

Bucky hauled himself to sit next to her and what Vince said to him before came to the surface. He wrapped her up and kissed the top of her head, "They did things to you...besides the poking and prodding and cutting..." he choked, "I thought about it. I'm not stupid. I ignored it, denied it, but I suspected with everything going on. The signs. They were there and I didn't want to see them." He held her a fraction tighter, "I get an opportunity soon to destroy another Hydra Cell, so...so it's okay..." he repeated her words back to her.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:09 am

Angelina hugged him tightly back and she nuzzled his neck and breathed in his scent, much like he was breathing in hers. She knew that he knew. He knew and it was enough. It was enough because he was holding her close and he wasn't really thinking about it. He was thinking more and more about Vince, what he said, and memories that he could remember as fragmented as they were on how proud he was of her. Of how much he adored and cherished and loved her.

And hoped with everything in his heart that she knew it.

She hugged him just as tightly. "I know. I love you too. I'm happy you're my dad. Don't want anyone else but you."
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:14 am

"I'm so very happy you are my daughter, Anzhelina. I love you, so very much," Buck promised, tears mingling with the pool water, and he just...he did what Vince told him to do, and hugged her while they both cried.

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:10 pm

Something was wrong. River stared up at the ceiling, breathing shallowly as her skin felt tight on her body. It wasn’t that something wrong was with her. (She already knew that she was dying. She was out of salt-water, they continued to draw blood, too much for her to replenish in a short amount of time). No, the atmosphere was different. Charged up with some kind of energy. People were tensed…why?

The gun shots rang and she closed her eyes, her fingers spasming. Okay. Someone was going to raid this base. Someone was going to find her, pale white and looking like a beached sea animal. There wasn’t much that she could do, as weak as she was. She could barely see straight and getting up to walk, let alone run out of here while they were distracted.

She heard shouting, more gunshooting, more bodies falling and she kept breathing. There’s no point to panic right now because whatever happens was going to happen. Someone else was going to find her, the cycle could begin again or maybe it would be different. She hoped for different, prayed even that it would be different.

She heard a door slam open and she looked over. There was a man with calculating cold eyes as he scanned the area. His gun poised. He was staring at this room, and River didn’t really know what it was he was looking at. Clear tubes, a plastic pool for when they felt /generous/, a bed that she was lying on with a sheet and nothing more.

He looked at her and she could’ve sworn that his eyes went from cold to surprised. He walked over to her with a precise step and she flinched when he approached. He stopped and she noticed three things besides his eyes and his gun. His arm was metal, he had long brown hair that was getting in his face, and he looked so damn tired.

This fight.

He didn’t belong in this fight.

She watched him, still breathing shallow. Was mercy in his cards or was this going to be a whole other hell?

She heard another shout and a loud CLANG of metal going into a wall.

He tensed at that, before he looked at the door and then turned back to her, "You're River, aren't you?" he asked softly, shouldering his gun strap and working on dislodging the tubes and wires, "I'm Bucky. I'm here with your friend Vince and my friends Steve and Calla."

Vince was okay. She nodded to show that she understood. "No...salt." She hoped the small explanation, no matter how poor, made the guy understand that she was dehydrated and she needed to be submerged into water. If not, one look at her and Vince would definitely toss her into the sea. Or off a bridge or someone's pool. Maybe a bathtub filled with salt. Of course, her imagination wasn't helping. It wasn't good to give herself a high hope. She didn't know what was happening outside. "I'm...can't fight."

"Shh, shh, don't talk, River," Bucky said softly, "Just hang on. Everything's going to be just fine. Per Vince's suggestion, we had the indoor pool changed to salt water so we could keep an eye on you when we found you, instead of putting you in the sea and wondering," he tried to keep things light, finally getting her free of everything. As it was, he took a cup on the table beside her and dipped it into the plastic pool, grimacing at the look and smell and dumped it, "No good. Okay. You're going to be okay," he promised and hoisted her into his arms bridal-style, tapping his earpiece, "Steve. Steve, I have to get her out of here. I am so sorry I can't stay and help. I feel like she's going to dissolve in my hands she's so dry."

"Get out of here. We'll clear a path." Steve replied swiftly. "Angelina's having fun kicking people in the balls."

"I'm sure she is," Bucky drawled, squeezing River close to him but not too tightly, cursing under his breath, "You're so cold...I'm not going to let you die, alright? We came so far..." he muttered and rounded the corner outside of the disturbing room they had her in.

He was a nice person. River closed her eyes. He was warm like a furnace and his grip was tight and safe. Vince picked some good people to come after her. She didn't know who they were, besides his name, or what their jobs were. But Vince really had thought of...everything. She patted his chest, by his heart, a small gesture of saying thankful as she let herself pass out. She wouldn't die. He already said he wouldn't.

~*~

"YOU CAN'T TAKE MY MERMAID PRINCESS AWAY FROM ME!" The alien criminal that had stolen River shouted, his voice high with hysteria, unusual gun pointed at Vince's chest which had caused Calla to duck behind a wall and Steve to put his shield up, "BRING HER BACK!"

Vince slammed his fist down on the man's wrist and used his other hand to force the barrel upwards. "That /princess/ of yours is /dying/. Not that you fucking care."

Steve watched as Bucky quickly made his way through the fallen bodies. Vince was doing a fucking remarkable job on distracting the main villian. Whoever the fuck he was. He was also glad that Angelina was taking out some of the agents that would've been shooting at Bucky's back too. She wasn't a very happy camper.

He swung his arm and punched Vince square in the jaw, not that Calla even saw the flash of his fist. This guy was definitely an alien, if he was as fast or even faster than Steve when using his full strength. "You don't know anything! She's mine! You can't have her!"

Vince not only slammed his foot into the guys' stomach, but he also did another kick into the guy's mouth. "I'm sorry I didn't realize that dehydrating a mermaid equaled marriage. Does that mean if Bucky throws her into the water she divorces you?"

"You fucker! Hydra has come so far after I let them experiment with her blood," he spit out a wad of it and wiped the corner of his mouth, eyes flashing from white and black to a disturbing shade of yellow, "You might win this particular battle, but they'll come back. They'll always come back."

"I hate this whole Hydra mythology 'cut off one head' bullcrap. Even in the myth there's a way to kill Hydra, so just will you go down already?!" Calla snapped, shooting around the corner at the alien and in his surprise she hit his arm, "River isn't yours or anyone's property!" she added for good measure as the alien shot at her and melted a hole in the wall. She ducked over and landed under a table.

"Hercules killed Hydra. He killed them by turning them into stone." Vince immediately unclippped an orb and before the alien guy could do anything, he threw it right at the guy's face. The orb let out an explosion like fireworks and there was a smell of gunpowder in that. Steve wouldn't be surprised...if it was indeed a firecracker orb.

The one they were fighting started coughing and sputtered, "What the hell?!" he coughed again.

"Made you blink." Vince said and using the very gun that the guy had used on Vince, he cocked it and shot it three times. The heart, the stomach, and just for good measure, the crotch. Because he was a dick.

Though that one fight didn't end anything. "INCOMING!" Angelina shouted as she jumped down from the second floor and started running across the room. "MORE PEOPLE! I'M UNHARMED! GOING TO GO FIND A KNIFE IN THE KITCHEN. IF THIS PLACE HAS ONE! OKAY BYE!"

"Aw, Vince! You didn't turn him to stone and now more heads are sprouting!" Calla whined as she came up from behind the table, Steve getting ready with his shield, "You ready to play shield pinball?" she asked him.

Vince's head immediately swivled to see what Angelina was talking about. Though it wasn't as many as there could've been, they were still extremely outnumbered without a good sniper. "I'm heading up." Vince said immediately pocketing the gun and running up the stairs. "We can play shield volleyball if that's better."

"I like pinball." Steve ran a little ways before throwing his shield upwards and knocking two of them at once before they could even get their guns ready to point down at the floor below. Vince let out a whistle as he produced another ball and threw it down the hallway. There wasn't an explosion but there were loud screams.

"I want to know more about those little balls, they are awesome so far," Calla commented as she braced her legs and shot upwards, hitting one in the head by lucky shot and another in the shoulder.

Steve watched when a goon slammed his foot into Calla's ribs. She blacked out with a sharp scream and Steve immediately ran at the guy and slammed his fist into the man's face, slamming him up against the wall and knocking him out as violently as he possibly could. He took his shield and swung it hard at the other goon that was trying to come up behind him. "Vince! Angelina! Retreat, let's go. Vince, if you have something that explodes now's the time to use it."

Vince took off three of his balls and dropped one, ran over and tossed another on the first floor and then for good measure he ran over towards the room that held River and toss the third. "BETTER USE YOUR SUPER LEGS GUYS! THESE THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GO IN THIRTY SECONDS!"

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:28 pm

Dylan looked up as the nurse was dabbing his stitches to clean the last of the blood from his shoulder. He'd been quite surprised to learn there was an infirmary in the retreat mansion, but then chided himself for it. It was Tony, and then it was the Avengers. Of course there would be a medical ward. He stared at the door when Steve came striding through, Vince and Angelina trailing behind him. Calla was unconscious in Steve's arms and he looked very reluctant to let her go when a few other nurses rushed to help. She was...covered in blood and Steve was staring at his hands, eyes dark as he shut himself down. "Bucky's where the indoor pool is," he supplied gently, keeping his voice low.

"How are you Dyl-dal?" Angelina approached the bed cautiously, like she was afraid that if she made a sudden movement, a stitch would pop.

"I have a battle wound!" Dylan beamed at her, absolutely proud of himself, "Bucky was coming out with River and there was a straggler that followed him and I guess he thought if he shot the driver Buck wouldn't be able to get away. I showed him!"

Both Vince and Steve looked at Dylan. Steve's dark expression only lightened a bit, but not enough. Vince on the other hand cracked up. "Oh boy. I'm going to go see River now." He looked over at Steve and offered gently. "I would like you to meet her Steve, when you're better, when Calla's better."

"I'll see her." Steve said softly. "Thanks Vince." He walked over to the nearest chair and sank down on it.

Angelina sighed. "I'm glad you're okay, Dyl-dal. You had me worried. Can I get on the bed with you or will that hurt?"

"Just a sec, Angie, hmm?" Once Dylan was allowed to put his shirt back on, he stood up and went to the sink, grabbed a rag, wet it, and went to Steve, "Your photographic memory has had enough for one day, man. Wash your hands off. That nightmare's going to suck as it is."

Steve blinked, a little surprised by this and looked down at the cloth. He wiped his hands away and sighed loudly. "Thanks Dylan. You shouldn't worry about me though. Angelina wanted to be with you."

"You need somebody, too. I'll be fine and Angelina's only covered in her own blood. We'll cuddle tonight," Dylan shrugged and took the rag back, "Dad would knock me upside the head if I didn't help you out."

Steve paused, thought about this, and then looked up at Dylan suspiciously. "Did you just call Bucky "Dad?"

Dylan blinked at him before it clicked, "Oh, geez, no! Not...crap. Yes? That too???" he shook his head hard enough his shaggy hair waved too and fro, "I meant my own dad! A military man. Afghanistan. Not around anymore but I get it."

"Oh." Steve had to smile now. "I'm sorry for your loss, but...I honestly thought you were talking about Bucky. He treats you like his own kid."

Dylan's face lit up with a bright red blush, "I'm doing my best. Bucky's great with Angelina, and he loves Zan so far, so...I guess it was only a matter of time." He smiled at Steve, glad to finally get him to crack a smile even if it was temporary, "I guess if you /insist/ I'll go hang with Angie now. I know she doesn't like hospitals and a shower is definitely in her best interest."

"Use waterproof protection please." Steve couldn't help but to crack at him as he walked back to Angelina.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:56 am

When Vince walked into the room with the indoor pool, River was asleep, laying half in the water on the first step into the pool where it was the biggest, a nice round slab before the stairs. Bucky was rubbed his hands over River's tail which was a sick pale white with just a hint of the color it used to be underneath. He was basically peeling her like a snake would shed it's skin, pieces floating in the water around them. Once in a while, he would take a large cup and pour it over her hair and chest and stomach, keeping her skin wet. He also rubbed over her arms, anywhere he could to clear away the dead skin while staying appropriate. He'd shed out of his own gear and had gotten into his swim trunks, not wanting to leave her side if he could help it.

"How is she?" Vince asked as he walked over to the first step and sat down on it. He too had changed out of his clothes and washed off the blood. He was wearing neon blue swim trunks and a white tank top. He looked down towards River's tail and he sighed loudly. "Okay. That was a dumb question. At least the water's warm and it's salty so...she'll be okay." He knew that he was probably talking to himself, but he was quite pleased that Bucky had the basic idea of what to do to keep her from dying. Helping her shed the skin, making sure she was coated with water. Vince was glad that Bucky had common sense. He feared for anyone else who'd do this to River.

"I saved her, and I promised she wouldn't die, so...I needed to keep my promise. She's comfortable with me, and she's in an unfamiliar place. She's woken up a few times disoriented and I calmed her down," Bucky explained, "I don't know if there's anything else I can do to help her, honestly. She's going to feel so raw and sore from how much skin I've peeled off. Like the worst sunburn ever."

"If she starts complaining about the soreness I did buy a few bath bombs," Vince scratched his cheek. "So, we have that to go on." He looked at the pieces that were floating on the water, just chilling and he looked away, swallowing down a lump. "We'll just have to be very gentle with her. She might need help eating. But...other than that...all we can do is our best." He looked over at River as she started to stir again and open her eyes. "Hey. Welcome to the land of the living."

When her all-black mermaid eyes looked at Vince, Bucky helped her move so she could get into Vince's lap and hug him. He was sure there was some private words they had to share, as soon as she was done sobbing. He stepped out of the pool, going to grab the pole with the net on the end to clean it out that way it wouldn't clog the filters and so River wouldn't see. Once that was all taken care of, he took a dive into the deeper part of the pool, just...giving them time.

“None of this was your fault, River.” Vince murmured softly as he stroked her hair. He let her sob against him and held her gently to him as he could without hurting her. “None. No matter what he sad. No matter what happened in that room. It was never your fault.”

“I missed you.” River sniffed. “I know none of that was my fault. I was just dumb-“

“You were in love.” Vince shushed. “With the wrong person. We ran away from him and that had been our mistake. I should have shot him then. I shot him this time. He’ll never get you ever again.” He stroked her hair again. “I missed you too sweetheart.”

River sniffed and she pulled away carefully, rubbing her eyes. “Did you tell Bucky how to do all of this?”

“Just the salt water. Everything else was just his natural instinct. He’s a protector by heart.” Vince mused. “He was really scared you were going to die in his arms, and he wasn’t going to lose you after promising you life. How are you feeling?”

“Sore. Tired. The water feels really good, but it’s also really heavy.”

“I bet it does.” Vince murmured softly. “We were afraid that we’d have to throw you into the ocean, as polluted as it is, but this was our next best thing. Tony gave us his blessing to turn the water over to salt.”

“I like it. It needs rocks though…” River sighed.

Vince cracked up. “Still having a love affair with rocks I see.”
“I /itch/ Vincent Vivas.”

“Ooooh full naming me?” Vincent joked. “Hey Bucky! You don’t have to run away. River wants you!”

River splashed him in the face, making him splutter.

Bucky came swimming over to them under the water and popped back up in front of them, standing int he shallow water easily, "I've been trying hard not to make things uncomfortable for you, after what you've been through," he explained to her, "Now that you're awake I should be able to be more precise on the places that are the worst for you. Are you feeling better, though?"

"I don't feel like I'm dying." River offered as she turned herself around. Vince gently pushed her off of his lap so that she could get into Bucky's or at least close by. "Thank you for believing Vince."

"My daughter's the one who sealed the deal on that one, really," Buck chuckled, steadying her even as she floated just fine, "Speaking of Angelina, how is Dylan? He got hit pretty good in the shoulder. How did the rest of the fight go, even?"

"I shot the kidnapper three times. Angelina ran off to find a kitchen knife but wasn't very successful at it, and Dylan's fucking proud he has a battle scar." Vince recounted, "Oh and Steve's having a cloudy day. Calla got herself really hurt."

Buck's face had been amused at Dylan only to pale and fall at the mention of Calla, "Shit...and things were going well for them, too," he frowned deeply, "I'll go see him in the medical ward in a little bit. I'm sure he's not going anywhere as long as she's in there."

"He told Dylan to use waterproof sex protection." Vince added. "So I think he's also waiting to make sure they used it? I don't know."

River didn't know these people at all, but the phrase "waterproof sex protection" made her giggle.

Bucky paused at that, blinking at Vince. "Steve must be alright for the time being if he's cracking jokes. That's good," he shook his head and returned his attention to River, "I gotta ask, what's your tail usually look like? I don't know anything about how your body works. How long until you think you'll be better?"

River looked down at her tail and she let out a sharp whimper. White. Her tail was white. Well, she should've expected that, but still. It was...white. "Oh." She took a sharp breath. "It's um...it's usually this vibrant purple color. I don't..."

"It might take a bit." Vince cut in smoothly. "Maybe a few weeks...a month. We'll keep an eye on it. You might have to stay in the water longer than you can on land but we'll work up to that. Okay Riv? You're not dying. You're okay. You just lost some pigment due to dehydration. The color's gonna come back. You're not translucent."

"I guess there's no turning back from translucent? Yet she'll get her color back from white?" Buck asked, and he wiped River's stray hair from her face, "It's actually like the palest sort of pastel lavender or something, not completely white," he added, "I should know, I've just spent the last hour trying to clean you up of all the dead skin."

River groaned. "You're the best person I've met so far then. That had to be disgusting and I'm /so/ sorry for the mess and trouble it caused you."

"That's pretty much on how it works. Especially pastel lavender." Vince nodded. "Pale white? You're sick. Like really sick. But you can get better. Translucent? You're too sick and you're probably going to die."

"I understand, and trouble? It wasn't any trouble," Bucky promised River, "I was more concerned about you. I didn't really care that much. I was just...worried I would do something wrong."

She shook her head from side to side. "You did so much for me. I feel bad that I'm really weak. I can't even thank you. But when I get better, and stronger remind me that I owe you a gift. And you can't say no."

"You really can't say no." Vince agreed reluctantly. "That's just rude and mean."

"If you put it that way," Buck chuckled softly, "As warm as the water is, I've been in it for a while and my metal arm doesn't like it. I wanted to help you a little more, but I should go dry off. Vince, think you can finish what I started? Her back and whatever else?"

"Yeah I can." Vince nodded. "Go check on Steve. I think Angelina might be with him or is cuddling Dylan I don't know anymore."

"You got to tell me more about these people." River poked Vince as Bucky got out of the water.
"I'll tell you what I can." Vince promised.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:37 am

As he thought, the only people in the medical ward were the nurses and over behind a sectioned off curtain, Steve was sitting down in the most comfortable chair he was sure the staff could find, figuring Steve would be sleeping there that night if he slept at all. Bucky noticed Steve was still a bit roughed up, in the white plain shirt he wore under his uniform and still had his uniform pants and boots on, shield resting against the leg of the chair. Chin in his hand, Buck couldn't see his eyes, but he could figure they were flat and far away. Walking around the other side, he got a good look at Calla who was still asleep. A wrap around her head, colorful hair spread on the pillow, lip held together by a strip, another strip over a cut under her black eye. There were wraps on her knuckles too, so she punched a few people at least, that was good. "Is there anything else wrong besides what's on the surface? Concussion, things like that?"

"Severe concussion, bruise on the stomach, and a broken rib." Steve reported. "Angelina's with Dylan though I think she might come back."

"I'm torn. I should've put River in the truck and come back. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad, but...with how bad off River was, I'm glad I stayed with her..." Buck frowned and he came back towards Steve slowly and sat on the bed since there wasn't a second chair. He wasn't entirely sure what to do here. Steve's energy felt prickly like he didn't want to be touched, but he knew his touch was always welcome. His tone sounded like he didn't want to talk about it, answering the questions and leaving it at that. Yet Buck wanted to know what he was thinking. Quite a conundrum he had on his hands.

"You did the right thing, Buck. River was a priority. We knew that she was going to be in bad shape. If you left her in the truck, who knows what would've happened." Steve sighed after a moment. "How is she?"

"Awake. Vince is with her. She sounds much better. Her mermaid form...wow. It's quite a sight," Buck could do this. Talk about something else to take his mind off of it. At least there wasn't a dead silence, "Apparently translucent tail is super bad, white is sick but manageable, and just really pale color is still sick but a lot easier to come back from."

Steve winced. He presumed that she didn't have a translucent tail, otherwise Bucky would sound a little more torn up. He was very determined to keep River alive. Probably because he saw a parallel between the two of them. "Do you think we'll be able to move them back to New York or do you think that we'll have to stay here a bit longer? I know that for Calla we'll have to stay for at least a week maybe a bit longer for her to heal."

"Vince said it could be a week or a month before River's better. I was going to go back after my left arm dried and get her up here so she could get some fluids directly into her body," Buck explained, "So it sounds like we're staying one more weak, until Calla's well enough to fly back home. I'll ask Vince and River if they would like to come, leave the memories behind like Calla did."

Steve nodded his agreement. "She's probably starving and thirsty and whatever else." He sighed softly. "Tony's going to have a fucking blast turning one of the rooms into a legit /pool/ room no pun intended."

Bucky laughed as quietly as possible, covering his mouth to stifle it further, "Aw hell, he is, isn't he?"

"Do you two have no concern for people trying to sleep?" A croak came from beside Bucky, causing the two of them to jump.

"You shouldn't be sleeping, anyway, what with that severe concussion," Bucky quipped back, then flinched and rubbed his arm when Calla pinched him, "Ow! Steve, your girlfriend is abusing me!"

"He's been talking to me about River." Steve looked over at Calla worriedly. "How are you feeling?"
"I feel swell," Calla poked her own lip, "This isn't going to heal for a month with how I laugh..." she tried to shift and that's when she really hissed and immediately stopped what she was doing, "Okay...okay, that one I can't ignore...no laughing about this one..." she sniffed, gritting her teeth, tears beading at the corners of her eyes.

Bucky hopped off the bed to allow Steve to stand and get closer to Calla, "You and Dylan, your numbers were up today though you got the worst."

"What happened to Dylan?" Calla asked, grateful for the distraction.

"Bullet to the shoulder. Steve told me he was really proud of it," Buck shrugged.

"Crazy. Then again, that means he fits right in," Calla took shallow breaths to will the pain away.

"Do you want me to press for morphine or whatever painkillers they have you on?" Steve asked worriedly. "Dylan's with Angelina. She wanted to cuddle."

"Oh. Morphine. Right, that's a thing. A wonderful thing that sounds great. It'll knock me out though, so just...hang on a sec..." Calla looked up at Steve and reached up, touching his cheek, "I'm alive and I'm okay. Also a little loopy but let's never mind that. Why are you still in uniform? If you're going to be here all night to keep me company you should be comfortable. Too bad hospital beds suck for cuddles."

"And I'd just push you off." Steve smiled softly. "I'll get changed the moment you knock yourself out okay? I promise. I'm just so sorry that you got hurt, Calla. You did good today."

"Not your fault," Calla pouted, "Stupid hydra dude knocked your shield off course and it went downhill from there. Shield volleyball was fun to watch between you and Vince..."

"Steve, hit the button for painkillers so the poor woman gets some rest before she talks herself into a corner," Bucky watched in amusement and stuck his tongue at Calla when she flipped him off.

Steve smiled gently as he pressed the button. "Okay. It should be hitting you soon."

Buck watched the two of them, Calla with her dopey, drugged up smile as she looked at Steve like he was the most amazing thing in the world, and Steve with his tender one, relief etched on his features that she was okay. When Calla snuggled back down Buck took it upon himself to tuck her in and then turned to Steve, giving him a big bear hug, "Take a shower, too, you reek," he added and laughed when he got a punch in the shoulder for that one.

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:38 am

The week had gone by fairly fast, at least to Calla. That tended to happen when you spent most of it sleeping drugged up because the smallest movement /hurt/. Steve looked so.../tired/. She wondered if the guy even slept in his own bed, always there when she woke up. After the first day she'd been sent to her room in the retreat but Steve had all but slept in her bed with her, always in a chair reading a book beside her. She'd only woken up a few times, usually in the dead of night, and the chair had been empty. Still, she wondered.

Tony and Pepper were very tight-lipped about their plan for the pool for River. Right now, she was in the same area Bucky and Angelina had started off in, the hospital suites. She had a her big bag full of her cross-stitch supplies, a project in the bag as well and in her opposite hand she had several options to work on next. She was fairly disorganized with her patterns. Hopefully River wouldn't mind.

Finding her in the living room area of the suites, she waved and the papers made some noise, "Hey, River, mind if I hang with you?" she asked.

“I don’t mind.” River said pushing herself up to a seat. She had been lying down on the couch, debating on whether or not she wanted to use a bath bomb to ease a bit of her pain. Vince had been kind enough to stay with her during the nights, but during the days he tended to hang with Dylan and Angelina. Not that it bothered her. Bucky usually was her company during the day.

River still couldn’t do a whole lot.  Leaving her room wasn’t in the cards since her legs still couldn’t hold her weight very well. She walked around as much as she could until she couldn’t anymore and would nap. Both Tony and Pepper had been generous enough to give her a starting wardrobe of different styles, trying to figure out her taste in what she wanted or needed. “I’ve been wanting to meet you.”

"Oh geez, I totally forgot that you and I haven't even said hello to each other," Calla laughed softly, wincing, but smiled through it and sat down, spreading out her stuff on the coffee table, then she tuned to River and held her hand out, her other hand on her side, "Nice to meet you! I'm Calla Thomas."

"River Cross." River smiled warmly as she shook hands with Calla. "I don't think either one of us really expects the other to be a good host considering what we had to go through, but do you want something to drink?"

"Nah, if I get thirsty I'll get it myself. You still can't walk, right? So don't push yourself. I may have a fractured rib, but I can limp!" Calla grinned, "I just can't laugh too hard or I might actually break it. At least it's not completely broken, right? Then they would've had to do surgery or something I'm sure," she shook her head, then reached for her bag and unzipped it, "I have a shop I take care of and I'm probably going to be under, too, since I've had it shut down for two weeks and it might need to be down a month while I heal up. I just can't bring myself to go home and work on some paintings and turn on the open sign."

River frowned. "You don't have anyone watching over it? Why not?"

"No one I trust who's also into painting or has another craft they do to sell their works for," Calla shrugged.

River sighed, but didn't press further. She peered at the bag and blinked when she saw that there was a container of needles, bobbins and fabric. "Stitchery?"

"Cross stitch to be precise but yes!" Calla smiled, "I have patterns there next to the bag if you wanna look. I don't sell any of these. It's a calming activity for me. I mean, painting is calming, but it needs a picture in my heart that I can put on canvas, as Bob Ross would say. I don't have any inspiration pictures floating around in my mind's eye right now. This I just take a picture that's already given to me and put it on fabric. It's rhythmic, and I can usually just curl up in bed or on my couch for it. As long as I have a light source in front of me, otherwise I lose where the needle is."

"It looks like it could be fun. What kind of patterns do you have?" River asked as she started to sort through the supplies that were lying on the coffee table. "I might not be able to do much, but anything is better than sitting around and being bored."

"A few butterflies, some owls, sayings and quotes...simple things, nothing complicated. After all, I want to /relax/ and doing something like some massive wolf picture with a thousand stitches even if it looks pretty is /so/ not my thing. I could spend that time making a massive painting, I swear," Calla rolled her eyes. What she pulled out was a sixteen inch hoop that had the finishing works of Mickey Mouse as a baby in overalls sitting next to a big 1 that had a cupcake sitting on it, the boarder a mix of a solid green around the 1 and a blue and purple polka-dot boarder around Mickey himself, "This is for one of my girls who comes to my watercolor class to relax and not worry about much. I'm sure she's missed me. Johanna. She had a baby boy not too long ago and I wanted to make sure that in my downtime that I might have this done by the time he had his first birthday."

River looked away, smiling happily as she picked up one of the patterns. "Do you think she'll mind getting two stitches for her kid? I haven't been able to do much since I was held...captive." River's smile disappeared as she set the pattern down. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring that up."

"What? You think I'm gunna stop you from talking about it?" Calla arched a brow at her, "Honey, if you want to talk about it all day and cry your heart out and scream and throw things and just be angry at the world that's okay, too."

"I don't think I have enough energy to throw half of the things I want to throw." River laughed softly at the image. "Say now that you mention children. Bucky told me that he had a kid." She knew she was changing the subject, but right now? Right now she wanted some peace from the nightmares.

"Johanna won't mind two. Hell she'd be happy getting anything at all," Calla answered first, "Yes he does. A cute daughter named Angelina. He was held captive for a very long time. Cryo slept for most of it, and got taken advantage of on a mission one time. Woke up next time he was taken off the ice and boom there she was. He's missed most of her life and hasn't had a chance to really be a dad but he's trying so damn hard and everybody's proud of him for it. The only one who's sour about anything I think is Tony. Bucky was brainwashed on top of it all so he's forgotten Angelina more times than he can count I'm sure and he also killed Tony parents. The whole time warp will make your head spin but that's the gist of it."

"That explains why he was really sad when he saw me." River mused as she started looking through the patterns. "I haven't met Angelina yet. But I would like to meet her. He's very happy when he talks about her. He's really proud and I can tell that if he didn't have those memories wipes or anything of the sort, he'd the the type who'd carry photos of her around from five to now."

"He'd have a whole scrapbook!" Calla chirped, wholeheartedly agreeing and she would have to tell Steve that one, "He'd be all 'this was when she scraped her knee when she was two...this was when she broke her arm falling off a tree...look she was learning how to swim in this one! Oh and here she's off to middle school...just look at her prom dress! I made her go with her best friend instead of a boyfriend because any dude comes near her before she's eighteen I'll shoot him.' and go on and on..."

River's smile merely widened brightly as she listened to Calla's rant. "I bet he's so handsome holding a guppy!" She squealed as she looked through and picked out a pattern. "I mean he's handsome now, but he'd be twice more with a gup."

"Ooooh?" Calla's smile turned wicked, "You think Bucky's handsome, do you?"

"He has gorgeous hair." River turned to Calla like she was nuts for not thinking the same way. "And his eyes remind me of the clearest waters! His facial structure too. I could stare at him all day and not be bored-you're laughing at me!"

"I've been unconscious for the better part of a week, you and Buck have been hitting it off and I've missed all of it!" Calla was covering her mouth trying so very hard not to crack up, holding her side and tears were forming at her eyes but this was too good, "Bucky has /amazing/ hair. Have you seen him with it up? Oh man. I feel like his eyes are like glaciers but hey, if he's the sea to Steve's sky then that works, too."

River blinked and smiled brightly. "I haven't yet. I wonder if I could ask him to tie it up for me. Oh but...if he likes it down then I shouldn't pressure." She shook her head warmly. "So whose Steve?"

"/No/, don't you tell me Steve hasn't met you yet, either!" Calla gaped at her.

River shook her head. "Bucky said that he was busy caring for you."

Calla thumped her head against the back of the couch, "That guy...we haven't said anything confirming yet but I'm pretty sure we're dating? I mean...we held hands back in Cali and I ran to him after I had a freak-out with my ex? I dunno. I feel like that gives me grounds to call him my boyfriend?" She shrugged, "I really should ask, but we only just got back and he was out like a light on the plane. Just so you know, he and Bucky are a thing on the side, but they're both definitely bisexual and open to dating other people."

"Is Bucky though." River pointed out.

"Besides Steve? Bucky is totally and utterly single. Steve, Sam, and Bucky have a pretend three-way going on but Sam's dating someone else, a guy named Draco I heard but I haven't met him yet," Calla hummed.

"I meant open to dating." River blushed and looked away.

"That you'd have to ask him," Calla winked.

"Fair. By the way maybe you should ask Steve. Be clear about what you want." River turned to Calla with a small smile on her face. "It's clear you're into him, and he's clearly into you if he doesn't mind staying with you and ignoring me."

Calla's face flushed, "Yeah. That's an idea for later. Right now, I really did come to hang out with you, so would you like me to show you how to get a project started?"

"Please." River nodded.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:40 am

Several hours had gone by and Bucky landed on the hotel room floor with two plates of food in his hands. "Knock knock, you alive in here, River?" he called as he walked down the hall, seeing the living area light on. No response, but by that time he saw she was on the couch with several colors of thread beside her along with a scissors and a pattern and he blinked, "Do you even realize you're hungry?" he asked curiously, watching her practically bounce a foot in the air.

River blinked in surprise and she looked away from her project and looked up at him. Just as he said that sentence, her stomach let out a high pitched whine, making her blush. "Now I do."

Laughing, Bucky set down one plate beside the supplies, careful not to mess up her work station, and sat down opposite her, "So what exactly are you making? I hope you like tacos...I remember you said you like a lot of food, so I went out on a limb and just made what I wanted. Homemade, nothing like, Taco Bell or Taco Johns. Fresh hamburger, half with some grilled chicken, other half with pieces of steak...lots of cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream...I just made a whole bunch with different combos."

"Calla told me one of her students from her crafting store had a guppy. And since I haven't really been able to make things or do things, I thought it might brighten her day to have a gift." River smiled brightly. "Apparently the guppy is a boy."

"Calla told me one of her students from her crafting store had a guppy. And since I haven't really been able to make things or do things, I thought it might brighten her day to have a gift." River smiled brightly. "Apparently the guppy is a boy."

"Guppy? That's what you call a child?" Buck tilted his head at her curiously, "I guess that's about the same as calling a child a pup for wolves. Makes sense since you're a mermaid. Have you made things before like knit or crochet or is this the first time?"

"I learned how to crochet through a youtube video. But this my first time making something for cross stitching. It's a lot more delicate, but I enjoy it." She smiled brightly as she pulled the plate close to her. "We had been talking about you and your guppy earlier actually. About how you'd be the kind of father that'd carry around photos and what not if you got to see her grow up. Calla thought of a scrapbook."

"A scrapbook?" Bucky blinked at her slowly. He tried to imagine it. Him taking pictures of anything and everything Angelina did. Not a photography type of scrapbook but...personal. "That might be a good idea in general, really. My life so far with the Avengers, also. Plant the idea in Steve's head and he'll probably have his phone out all the time."

"I haven't gotten to meet her yet. Or Steve. Calla understood Angelina. But was a bit upset that Steve didn't come by." River sighed as she took a bite of food. It was really, really good. Once she swallowed she looked at Bucky. "We might've also talked about your relationship status and how you'd look with your hair up too."

"I think Angelina will like you...I'll let her know you want to meet her," Bucky promised with a smile, "She was worried about Dylan, too, so I think she was a little one-track-mind." He paused at the next part, "My relationship status? What about it? I'm not...with anyone, per se. I mean...I have problems with my memory, and I remembered I was with Steve? But he's with Calla, so unless we really need each other, like after what happened this week, we just mainly have some quiet moments together. If I find a gal I'd like to be with, though, as long as they're okay with him and I, I think it would be manageable. He's the reason...I'm even here, after all. He's Angelina's Godfather, for goodness sake."

"Family's important." River agreed, nodding her head. "I'm sorry. I'm being nosy." She shook her head. "Calla mentioned that you and Angelina went through captivity too."

"Yes...I guess we understand in a way not a lot of people are going to," Bucky nodded solemnly, "Tony...he was held captive for a time. Wanda. It's okay. No one is expecting you to be better right away, or ever. Five years from now you might have nightmares still. Tony still does. Wanda still does. I'm fully expecting it for myself and Angelina. Steve...he may not have been captured, but he has nightmares of his own. We all have our scars. Now Calla and Dylan. Strong...but I know a first kill when I see one. They're trying to play it off, but taking a life for the first time is something you don't forget."

"To murder someone is to murder yourself." River agreed softly. "You begin to lose pieces of yourself and your heart."

"You lost a piece of yourself even if you didn't take a life," Buck nodded and they were quiet for a minute as they ate. He spoke again after going through about three tacos, "Is there a particular reason you're interested in whether or not I'm single?"

River looked at him. They had been on the run from that guy for a long time. Then she was captured and everything was all over. Vince would tell her that nothing was "too soon" or "too late" and that the only concept of time was hers and the person who was experiencing it. But at the same time, was she rushing? She pushed a taco shell into the meat sauce, her eyes lowered.  "I don't...really know how to respond to that question. I mean I do! I have an answer! It's just...I know humans are transfixed with time."

"I like you, so far," Bucky said in answer to her unasked question, smiling tenderly, "Yes we are. I've lost so much of it, though. I have a lot of worries. A lot of fears. I don't want to hurt you, if I ever got out of hand. I just met you, as well. Not that...I'm going to directly turn you down?" He shifted, "Just...do you want to know me as a lover? After just getting out of that sort of situation? Or would you rather take the time until you heal, the rest of the month until your color comes back, to get to know me slowly as a friend? I don't do things half-assed, River. I'm an all or nothing kind of guy, but I am willing to wait if you are?"

"Then be my friend, and know that I'm doing this so that I can become your lover later on." River agreed. "I'm not going to send you mix signals. You deserve to know that I have a crush on you and my intentions. It's not fair otherwise."

"Then we have already taken a step in the right direction. You've met Calla," he gestured to the crafting gear, "Next step is Angelina or Steve, it doesn't matter which order you tackle those two, but Steve might be in to see you once Calla tells him he's neglected to meet you at all since the rescue. You'll learn right quick that guy is driven by his guilty conscious."

River nodded smiling warmly. "And what's Angelina's motivation?"

"Angelina? Either her own incentive since Dylan got his stitches out and is doing just fine, or I tell her I have a crush and she comes to steak you out," Buck grinned widely, "So, either way."

River's smile was bright and soft. "Tell me a story about her that you remember or enjoy." She asked softly.

"A story...I'm not so good with those, not like Steve..." Bucky murmured and sat back, eating this next taco more slowly as he thought, "Joy...we were on the run for two years before I made the life-changing decision to jump on that quinjet back in May...God it's been so long already, it's August..." he shook his head, "I'm not very good with holidays...but I got a scented candle that was cinnamon apple for Christmas. We went through areas with lots of pine trees all the time, so that was boring. This...she loved it. It was also a source of light for reading. As soon as we were out I would take her to libraries and made sure she had a good vocabulary and could read whatever she wanted."

"Vince and I love reading." River confessed. "Vince is more of a reader than I am. His home back on his planet has two libraries. Two massive ones from all sorts of languages and planets that he traveled to and from. Here our library is quite small, I can tell Vince is a bit disappointed in it, but he's also very pleased that it's growing. Like a child whose impatient for a flower to grow from a seed."

"That's really cool. I know from the time we spent at the retreat he was always in the library," Buck nodded, "Steve likes reading, too, though not nearly as much as I do. Too busy doing this or that. I like fantasy, and he's more of a history buff. What about you?"

"Anything. Everything." River smiled warmly. "Fantasy and romance are my favorites, though fantasy is no contest if I had to choose between the two. Romances are a hit and miss honestly. I love the young adult section though."

"I haven't dabbled in romance yet. I also very much love sci-fi. I know there's sci-fi romance so I might ease myself into it that way?" Buck chuckled and then ached a brow at the plate, "Are you going to eat anymore or did my awesome cooking fill you up?"

"If you want supplies for crochet then I'm sure we can get them for you," Bucky smiled, "Anything you need, anything at all. I think I remember now that Dylan was going to show Angelina how to make cookies and brownies, if you want that at all," he laughed softly.

"You're going to spoil me." River grinned brightly, the corners of her eyes crinkling and making them light up. "You guys can chose out the yarn I'm really not picky. A variety pack of crochet needles will suffice too." She assured. "I won't make things complicated. I know I'm asking a lot already. Calla's probably going to have to shop needlework and thread for me since she's good at that too." Her smile faded ever so slightly. "Though whatever I make out of that yarn isn't the gift I'm talking about, so you'll have to remind me about it when I'm stronger. It really, /really/ sucks I can't use my powers the way I want. I'm able to tell a five-minute story, but I'm still working on a ten minute."

"I have no idea what you're talking about but alright," shaking his head he stood up, "I hope Vince likes those tacos. I'll chatter with Angelina and maybe she'll be your next visitor." He smiled and waved, "It was wonderful having lunch with you, River. I'm glad we got some things cleared up," he grinned shoving his thumbs in his pockets and headed for the elevator.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:06 pm

“Captain, Agent Thomas is approaching your floor.” F.R.I.D.A.Y intoned her warning as Steve requested. He paused sketching in his book and closed it. He could finish it when she left. At the moment, he looked around at his own floor hoping that she wouldn’t be turned off on how unclean it was.

He hadn’t been home in a while, so a lot of dust had accumulated. Not enough to be noticeable, but enough for Steve to already pencil in a day of cleaning for himself. The dishes were cleaned and put away, but the floor hadn’t been vacuumed in a while either. He was really thankful that she wasn’t going to be going into his room. He still had some laundry to do.

The elevator doors opened and he rolled his shoulders back. “Hey Calla. How are you feeling?”
"Hey yourself, Steve," Calla smiled warmly at him, "It cool if I hang out with you? I should've asked F.R.I.D.A.Y. to page you and ask, I'm sorry, bargin' in like this..." she rubbed her neck sheepishly, "I feel out of breath all the time since deep breaths hurt, but besides that I'm fine." He'd want her to be honest after all.

"Come and sit down, put your feet up on the coffee table." Steve walked over to her and gently placed his hand on the small of her back to guide her as well as to hold her securely. "It'll make you feel a little better. Friday already told me that you were coming up."

"Alright, thank you," Calla did as instructed, watching as he sat beside her, "What's it like for you, when you got a broken bone? You so do not have to answer that, I was just curious. I can only imagine it's painful as fuck," she shook her head, "I got River into cross-stitching!" she said instead.

"Shit." Steve groaned, as he ran his hands through his hair. "I'm guessing she told you that I didn't see her didn't she?" He winced. He knew he should've gone to see her like that fucking moment when she came back. "I'm glad you got her into a craft."

"Well that was easy. You did all the guilt-tripping yourself right there," Calla rolled her eyes, "Geez, Steve. The world obviously hasn't ended because you didn't go see the person the rescue mission was all about. Bucky's been taking real good care of her, anyway. She just expressed her want to meet you since I talked about you and she also wants to meet Angelina."

"He's been real fascinated with her." Steve nodded with a soft smile. "Vince even called him a godsend since he's working with Tony on a project that we're not supposed to tell River about." He looked at Calla curiously. "Did she tell you if she needed anything to make her a little more comfortable?"

"Not really? Just that she's been super bored," Calla shrugged, "So who all knows about the project? You must be on cloud nine to know Bucky and Tony are working together on something."

"They're going crazy with it. Tony's giving up two rooms and making an outdoor balcony with windows so that we can enjoy it all year long. I haven't seen him this excited since he decided to upgrade my motorbike." Steve laughed. "And it's the first time he's actually allowing people some say. Vince is mostly consultation. Everyone else is trying to pitch in as much as we can. Hell, even Sam offered to come by to help out."

"So I suppose my opposite question is who /doesn't/ know about this super secret project that's not River and myself?" Calla laughed and had a mini-war with herself about whether to touch her lip or her side.

"Dylan." Steve mused. "I think Angelina's playing at not knowing but I'm not certain. It's possible she's trying to juggle too much all at once. She's been getting tired...I noticed her picking at her skin earlier..."

"I don't know. Dylan or Buck seem to be closest to her to know more about why she could be doing that," Calla frowned, "I think River's not going to know what to do with herself. She's doesn't suspect a thing and she doesn't know, like, any of us. Everyone...is just so kind. You all relate to each other somehow and it's sad but inspiring. If it wasn't for the fact Zan might be put in too much danger I'd suggest Tony hiring her in the cafe we got here, but she also loves her own little cafe too much. She'd quickly turn into the person everyone goes to to tell all their worries I think," she smiled fondly.

"Um...speaking of Zan I forgot to tell Dylan to expect a visit." Steve groaned. "I was so out of it I told her that her brother was bragging about having a battle wound."

Calla pressed her lips together with an evil smirk, "Ooooh, that'll be a sight to see. His expression will probably make it all the better since he /doesn't/ know." She leaned a little further into the couch, "So, River and I also talked about whether or not Bucky's single and open to relationships."

Steve blinked slowly. "River has a crush on Bucky?"

"River /definitely/ has a crush on Bucky. Went on about his hair, his facial structure, got all giddy when I told her he had a daughter and that he'd be adorable with guppies. I talked about how he's been through a lot in a super condensed version and hasn't been with Angelina a lot but he's trying. She then proceeded to mention that he'd be the type to have a picture of her when she was five and /I/ went on to say he would probably have a whole scrapbook," Calla recounted.

"I wonder if Angelina would be interested in photography." Steve mused. "I tried teaching her how to draw and that didn't go down so well." Angelina's idea of drawing was abstract at best and scribbles at worse. Not that it was a lack of trying. Angelina just didn't know how to translate objects she saw into a drawn form. She wanted a creative outlet too.

"I do painting," Calla reminded, "I have a whole shop and I even do classes. I might chat with her and see if she's interested in trying watercolor or oil painting at all. River's got my cross-stitch supplies so she can always learn that if she wanted, it's super simple."

Steve nodded with a smile. "It can't hurt for her to have options." He agreed. "I'm glad that you and River bonded."

"Yeah...I also told her you and Bucky are together on the side, is that okay?" Calla shifted, not really sure how to get on the topic she wanted to talk about. "It was a sort of...on my mind out my mouth sort of thing since we were talking about Bucky anyway."

"No. No that's really okay. It's best she knows what she's getting into going in. Of course she'll have to clarify things with Bucky but...you didn't do anything wrong." Steve hastened to assure. "Though, what was on your mind exactly? About us?"

"Yes," Calla nodded letting out a long breath, "We talked about it on the beach, and we were enjoying ourselves as it was, but my biggest question I suppose is...after all that, do I get to...call you my significant other? I just didn't want to give the wrong impression, is all."

"I would like that..." Steve smiled at her warmly. "When you feel better, we'll have a date. I'm not letting you limp around NY or ride my motorbike when you're still healing."

"What /is/ okay?" Calla had to ask, "Holding hands, obviously. Hugs and such...There's a lot I /don't/ know. Zan told me if you have a nightmare not to come at you from behind, stay in your line of sight. I'm curious to know what happened there, but that's personal. Anybody knows /about/ your past but what about your side of things? You should've made an autobiography or something by now..." she blushed darkly, "I just totally bombarded you, sorry."

"It's fine. You got all of that right. I don't...I'm not ready for that story yet Calla." Steve shook his head lightly. "Another time. Another place, but not yet."

"No, that's okay, I got way too ahead of myself," Calla was slow, but she reached over and fiddled with one of the tuffs of his bangs, getting it off his forehead, then she got her legs off the coffee table and put them on the couch instead, scooting so she could lean against him, cheeks pink, "There's not a big chance you'll shove me off the couch, is there?" she joked, referring back to when she woke up after the fight.

"Not really." Steve smiled lightly. "Unless you dig your elbows into my sides. Then all bets are off." He gently brought her hand away from his face and gently kissed the back of her hand. "is this alright?"

Her breath caught in her throat, but she nodded, watching him. Her stomach was doing flip-flops at the light kiss and the way he looked at her from under his long lashes. "I vote the movies for our first actual date," she managed after a moment, "We could take a look at what's showing when the time comes. There's some good trailers I've seen."

"I'm fine with anything." Steve assured. He gave her a bright smile. "I look forwad to the movies dearheart." His stomach felt like a bunch of butterflies had been set loose. He had a good date to be looking forward to when she was healed up.

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:35 pm

"You are gunna have to tell Tony to get groceries for your floor after how much sugar and flower we demolished, but the cookies are DONE!" Dylan called happily to Angelina who was kicking ass against some random npcs on some planet in Mass Effect on the console she'd gotten after Tony had heard through the grapevine that'd he'd been showing her video games.

Angelina beamed brightly as she paused the game and got up from the floor. She could smell them. They had made chocolate chip cookies with m&ms since those were Angelina's favorites. "We got to divide them." She told Dylan. "You, me, Uncle Steve, Bucky, Calla and maybe River and Vince. I don't think they had cookies before. If they did maybe not homemade."

"I think Vince told me they've been on Earth for two years, so probably but not homemade," Dylan agreed, setting the cookie sheet on the top of the stove, "We got plenty to make, Angie, don't you worry. This is only the first batch. Once we clear off the cookie sheet we repeat what we did last time and stick it back in," he explained.

Angelina nodded, but before they could even start the process there was a loud BANG BANG BANG at the door. Angelina jumped and stared at the door in worry.

"Jeez, who the hell?" Dylan frowned deeply. Pretty much anyone in the Tower could just walk in or knock like a normal person. The only thing Dylan could come up with was staff. He hoped nothing was wrong. Going to the door he opened it only to get smacked on the head with a particularly hard book. By memory it had to be a text book. Zan? "Zan?" he echoed his mind's inquiry, blinking at her and then yelped as his sister brought the book up and whacked him again and he had to step back. She was relentless. "Zan! Stop! What the hell?!" he got fed up by the fifth hit and he reached out, using his training and caught the book by it's binding, face hard set and frowning. The fast action made his shoulder burn, but he ignored it as he saw Zan's face streaked with tears.

Angelina watched horrified and confused as Zan had attacked him like she was trying to hardest to get him to bruise or something. Anything. When Dylan finally blocked the book from hitting him again, all the fight seemed to have left the blonde and she let the book go and stood up straight. She looked like she was trying very hard not to hyperventilate.

Handkerchiefs...handkerchief...Angelina started rummaging around to find something like that or at least where Dylan might keep the never ending tissue supply.

Dylan discarded the book over the back of the couch so it would land on the cushions in the front, then reached for Zan. When she stepped back not wanting to be touched he huffed and it clearly showed with all her sports, if he wanted to be faster he could be and he grabbed her, pulling her close and he hugged her tight, "Who told you?"

"Doesn't matter who fucking told me, it wasn't you!" Zan snapped, not hugging him back. It was the only truce she could come up with right now. She was so /fucking/ angry and hurt and sad that she honestly didn't know to process it. "It wasn't you. You got shot. You could've died. And where the /fuck/ would that leave me?! You told me you were in the military academy getting ready to do bigger missions. You /didn't/ tell me that you were a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and that you were apart of the Avengers. I /wondered/ why you hung around Angelina so much! I thought that it was a happy coincidence. And then I thought that the Avengers really thought you were special. No! None of that was true. None of it!"

This was why Angelina hated secrets. Zan was crying because of a big secret. Her dad would tell her that Dylan did the right thing in trying to protect Zan, so would Uncle Steve. But Angelina knew that secrets were little creatures that pretended to be innocent, but were actually fucking destructive monsters in the end.

"Suzanna..." he sounded exasperated, "S.H.I.E.L.D. Is supposed to be a secret organization to begin with and I was lucky to get in after the whole mess when the rug was pulled from under everything. No, I haven't been in S.H.I.E.L.D. for a month give or take, but the Avengers? Probably ten times more dangerous. Battle of New York? Destroyed our last apartment? Ring any bells? I'm fucking /sorry/ for not saying anything. You're lucky your cafe was still standing, or your college."

He pulled away and his frown had gotten impossibly deeper, "Yeah, they thought I was special. Actually, Bucky specifically asked for Calla and I because we made Angelina happy and Steve couldn't say no. It was terrifying and overwhelming walking through those doors. Since then I've experienced everybody having a goddamn breakdown over the files we found on Angelina's past, Angelina having a bloody nose and her becoming my girlfriend. Then, just last week, Calla nearly fucking died, I almost died, I killed someone for the first time, Steve didn't hardly sleep, Bucky saved a mermaid, Vince is an alien badass, and we took down another Hydra base. So I'M SORRY!"

"Dyl-dal." Angelina walked over to them cautiously, after finding a packet of tissues in the silverware drawer. She picked one out and handed it to Suzanna. "I'm sorry too." She said softly, making Zan's head snap to her. "Secrets are bad. They hurt and kill. You're a very kind person. You listen to the fighters. You know that we're easily startled. You know that we can't always get out of the battlefield." She started fidgeting with her fingers. "You didn't want Dyl-dal to wind up like your dad. But you wanted him to know you were proud so you didn't say anything. It wasn't a secret. You were trying to let Dyl-Dal be happy. But it cost you your happiness. Not all of it is my fault or anyone's fault. But the times that it was? The times I could've said? You're one of the last people I want to see hurt. Last person to see cry."

"They have a cafe here..." Dylan's voice was small, the fight also drained out of him with his tirade, "If I pitched the idea to Tony would you be opposed working here instead? Or would you rather stay in the bumble bee uniform?"

Angelina watched in high alarm as Zan burst into tears again, but instead of hitting and shouting, she had brought her arms around Dylan's shoulders and was squeezing him tightly. She let Dylan's hand go promptly so that he could respond to the spontaneous hug.

Dylan nuzzled his twin's shoulder and his shoulders shook and his throat felt raw, but he was trying not to join the crying-fest, "I love you, sis. I really am sorry. I just wanted to protect you. I had a feeling...this would happen, but I wasn't sure how to tell you."

"I love you too." Zan finally answered, her voice scratchy. "I gotta talk to Steve and Bucky before I make that decision about the cafe." She sniffed. "I get why you didn't tell me. I do. I just...I can't imagine you dying. I can't have Steve text me that you died or got hurt. I can't."

"Oh god. Steve wouldn't text you, but it'd be like when the soldier came to our door and told mom," Dylan shuddered, stomach turning at the memory, "Can I please distract from this awful moment with cookies? They're fresh and I need to put the next batch in..."

"Do your stress baking while I talk to Steve and Bucky." Zan gave a watery laugh. "I'm sorry. I ruined your guys date."

"Never ruined." Angelina said firmly. "Family first."

"Family first," Dylan agreed and kissed Zan on the cheek which earned him the fly-swat motion, "Take a few cookies and give them one," he coaxed.

"I'm coming back down here." Zan sniffed, but grinned. "You owe me a lot more than cookies but to watch Angelina romance one of the characters and a bunch of anime. I'll take a few though. I think it might go over better if I came by with cookies."

"We should try brownies next." Angelina murmured.

"Brownies next it is. Might as well just have FRIDAY put the order in for more flour and sugar because you won't have any by dinner," Dylan told her as he went back to the kitchen and Zan left with her text book stacked with half of the first batch.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Zan blinked when the door opened and it wasn't Steve's room, but a hallway that oddly reminded her of an apartment complex or even a hotel. Bucky was coming back, his hands in his pockets and a lightness in his step and his eyes brighter than she ever seen them. "Good day?"

"Zan! Hey!" Bucky looked over his shoulder and stepped into the elevator, "You were about to stumble in on our newest house member. She's not healed yet, but she'll be okay. I took her tacos!" When the doors slid shut he looked down at her and patted her head like he would Angelina, "Anyway, what floor were you /really/ after? And why are you crying?"

"I was hoping to find you and Steve." Zan nodded her head a few times. "Dylan made cookies. I'll explain everything we get to his floor...right now...I need a moment."

"Alright, not a problem. Angelina told me the two of them were baking," Bucky reached for one only to have his hand smacked and he pouted but then chuckled at her. He pressed the correct floor and when it popped open Calla was in front of them, looking like she was floating, "Oooh? What's this?" he teased.

Calla punched Bucky's arm as they switched places, "Happy things...very happy things. Oh, Zan, I hope you feel better, whatever's wrong," she hugged her and then waved before the doors closed.

"Oh /Steeeeeevie/ you got some 'splainin' to doooo!" Bucky sing-songed as he walked further into Steve's living space.

"Later Buck." Steve smiled before looking at Zan worriedly. "I'm sorry about that text, Zan. I didn't mean to worry you to death."

Zan shook her head from side to side. "I'd rather hear it from you than anyone else. Dylan made me bring these up to you guys." She smiled watery. "I got to talk to you and Bucky and I think chocolate chip M&Ms are the way to go."

Bucky snatched one up, grinning and sitting on the couch, patting the space between himself and Steve, "So is somethin' going on besides that?" he asked once he swallowed his first bite, "Wow this is amazing..."

Zan sat down and sunk into the couch and Steve watched as she tried to keep herself from crying again. "Oh hon." Steve sighed softly, gently wrapping his arm around her shoulders.

"This is why I don't like crying." Zan sniffed. "Once I start it's like I start crying over everything. Dylan gets shot? I cry over that. Getting cookies and being told Angelina thinks of me as family? I'm crying over that. This is why I should be a professional mourner at funerals or some shit." She rubbed her eyes again. "Dylan thinks he can get me a job at the cafe here."

Steve's eyes widened and looked at Bucky in concern. Shit, Zan lost her job?!

"Steve, calm your horses," Bucky arched a brow at him, "Do you need the job? What about the other cafe? Tony'd probably pay you up the ass but then you won't have to complain about Steve leaving hundred dollar tips."

"I was going to talk to you about that. I know you guys go to the cafe I stay at because it's safe." Zan took a breath. "And I don't want my leaving to affect you guys negatively if I work at Tony's cafe."

"If you worked here you could literally work any damn time you want and not just the mornings. I know my nightmares like to rear their ugly heads at two in the morning and then I have to wait until seven to go see you," Barnes shrugged, "Also, come winter, walking in the cold would suck."

"It is a twenty-four hour cafe." Steve admitted softly. "And while we'd miss you at your old cafe, there's no crime in having that as a part time job and work at Tony's either. But Bucky's right. Tony does pay his employees above minimum wage. You wouldn't have to worry about rent either. I'm certain that since Dylan is a semi-pernament guest here, having you here will just make his day since Dylan can no longer say no to staying here. You'd also have the protection."

"I don't want you guys to think I'm taking advantage of you." Zan admitted.

Bucky wrapped his arm around her next, also taking another cookie, and since Steve had her shoulders he took her waist, scooting closer until the two of them were making Zan into a sandwich, "You've been there for us and we think you're family. The doors to the Tower are a trap, Zan. The moment you walked through them you're stuck with us."

"A live in therapist for the traumatized." Steve added.

"You guys are going to make me cry again." Zan covered her eyes with her arm, letting out a laugh. "And you're making me laugh."

"It's a very complex talent." Steve said solemnly. "But seriously Zan, think about it. I know that your apartment is barely keeping you warm and I know you don't want to tell Dylan that you're practically living on the streets either."

"For shame. I guess we're going to have a full house soon," Bucky made a dramatic horrified face, "What ever will we do? Dylan won't be able to get away from Angelina and eventually the entire Tower will smell like cookies and damn good coffee."

"Good thing Angelina already thinks that Dylan's her fiance and Zan her sister in law then." Steve deadpanned making Zan laugh again. "You're going to have to make a move on River if you want another kid."

Zan laughed harder. "Oh god."

Bucky's face flushed darkly, "Calla told you that, didn't she?" he asked, "River and I talked and we're going to wait to do anything lovey-dovey until her color's back in her fin. For not we're just friends."

"Wait is she the mermaid Dylan mentioned?!" Zan looked at Bucky horrified. "She lost color?!"

"She was captive." Steve said hesitantly. "The bad guys didn't take real good care of her. We're trying to build a salt-water pool for her so that she can heal up. Vince admitted that mermaids need water more than they need oxygen and considering she's /been/ in the air for a long time...Vince calls it being sick. I'm a little more morbid and calling it poison."

"That's not /wrong/," Bucky sighed softly, "She's having a good day, though. OH! Steve, that's right! I took her lunch and while we talked she mentioned she knows how to crochet! She said we can all probably pick out colors of yarn and a variety pack of crochet needles and she'd be set for a while," he beamed.

"She'll probably want to do something to alleviate the boredom." Steve smiled brightly. "I bet Angelina would enjoy a shopping trip to a craft store. Calla mentioned to me that she does painting classes and maybe Angelina would like to do those."

"I get the feeling that a shopping trip's required now." Zan smiled as she stood up. "You guys can have the rest of the cookies. I'm going to...go back down and see what Angelina's doing with Mass Effect or if she's playing a racing game against Dylan. I think I know what I'm going to do now. Since you guys need me more."

Buck nodded at her and smiled, "Just ask F.R.I.D.A.Y. if you get lost," he called while she walked towards the hall, hugging her text book close, "Our family just keeps growing, Steve. I went from just Angelina to most of the Avengers here. Tony doesn't count since I might like him but the feeling isn't mutual."

"Tony doesn't like anyone till he figures out what pisses them off and what makes them laugh. He's a child." Steve watched Zan get in the elevator and disappear. "Angelina really does love Dylan. For her to say that he's family really means something. I know she wouldn't just drag people into it."

"He's good for her. I like him, and I like Zan. They're good people. We can't let anything happen to them, because on my end, they're gunna be my son and daughter in law sooner or later. Not just anybody's cut out to be mates for us...ah, significant others, that's the right word," he corrected himself.

"You're making me want to see Angelina with a baby and I'm too young and she's too young." Steve snickered. "She'd be a good mom. You did well Buck. You're doing well."

Bucky stuck his tongue out at Steve, "You're not too young, and she's growing by leaps and bounds. We'll see what happens." He smirked then at him, "What about /Calla/? She looked like she was floating."

"I'm not saying a word till you and River get together." Steve answered taking the last cookie and popping into his mouth.

"You little shit," Bucky pouted at him, but Steve had that glint in his eye, "Give me that cookie!" he yelled instead and jumped to tackle him.

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:17 am

River hummed softly as she finished the half-way mark for a bright neon blue mermaid tail. She knew that it was probably not the most helpful thing in the world, but Vince was the one that gave her the idea and even if they didn't use them, there were other things the mermaid tail could be used for. She heard a knock on the door and she called out to them "Come in!" She quickly hid the craft in the large tote-bag Zan bought her that had an oceanic view. The yarn was enough to fill it half-way and was easy to store her projects in when she wasn't using them, or in this case hide them.

"I BROUGHT COFFEE!" Bucky's booming voice echoed as soon as he opened the door, beaming bright and two stainless steel mugs in his hands the size for ventes at Starbucks, one just silver the other a red and black, since Zan didn't believe in Styrofoam if you were a regular like himself and Steve and had basically reformed the cafe the moment she clocked on her first day, "I brought your favorite guppy and your favorite coffee, adore me!"

"I'll adore you more if it's placed in my hands." River smiled brightly as Bucky handed it to her. She took a sniff of it and smiled warmly. "Zan really has a knack for making coffee. I heard through the grapevine that the cafe that she's working at practically went through new management since she came aboard. Cups specific for regulars. Rules for breaks and how to deal with PSTD nightmares and not to mention tray-throwing self defense tactics. I heard someone got a bit handsy."

"Zan should own a cafe." Angelina smiled brightly as she ran over and sat down on the couch. "She would be good at it."

"I feel like Tony's going to promote her to Manager of that cafe within a month, anyhow," Bucky laughed heartily, "All of that's true. She's kicking ass and taking names and everybody's amused and happy she's happy." He plopped down on the couch, "How's your latest project going?" He was glad Angelina couldn't read River and Vince besides their mental images, since their thoughts were in different languages.

"I'm half-way done and then I can start working on yours. Also I'm able to do ten minute stories!" River grinned brightly. "Vince thinks that my scales are getting a little darker. Not purple, but...lavender shade. It's still in a very white form though. But it's something."

"That's very good!" Bucky's eyes lit up a little bit, the glacier blue sparkling a little, "Your super-secret project is almost done. The first week was harrowing, trying to /agree/ on things and then once someone pitched an idea they just wouldn't /stop/ and Pepper had to rein us in. It's in the works, though. You'll be able to see it by the end of the week, I promise. Might not be done completely by then, but it'd be something. You'll still let me know if I need to call Vince to take you to the ocean when the baths aren't enough, right?"

Angelina placed her hands on her lap. "You can do stories?"

River looked at Angelina with a bit of surprise. "I can. I'm not the /best/ story teller in the sea, but I'm good enough." She smiled a little before turning to Bucky. "I'm doing pretty good today. It's a bit hard trying to go on a beach and not getting caught by a million and one people."

"Yeah, which is why you go at night, but don't you worry. Things will turn up. So, is it alright to ask about that gift yet or should we just also wait until your colors back?" Buck asked curiously, taking a sup of his coffee and shuddering a little at the warmth spreading in his chest.

Angelina placed her hands on her lap. "You can do stories?"

River looked at Angelina with a bit of surprise. "I can. I'm not the /best/ story teller in the sea, but I'm good enough." She smiled a little before turning to Bucky. "I'm doing pretty good today. It's a bit hard trying to go on a beach and not getting caught by a million and one people."

"Yeah, which is why you go at night, but don't you worry. Things will turn up. So, is it alright to ask about that gift yet or should we just also wait until your colors back?" Buck asked curiously, taking a sup of his coffee and shuddering a little at the warmth spreading in his chest.

River smiled brightly as Angelina came back, carrying the big mixing bowl and setting it down gingerly on the table. River nodded and rubbed her hands together. "What kind of story do you want?" She asked after a moment. "Fantasy? Romance? Friendship? Animals?"

"One of yours." Angelina immediately said. "One of your stories. From your home."

River looked up at Angelina in shock before she let a wide grin on her face show. "Is that okay with you Bucky?"

"Yes it is, I'm totally okay with that," Buck agreed and grabbed Angelina, getting her to squeal and he made rawring noises, getting her in his lap and hooking his arm around her middle, leaning forward so they could see the bowl once she was settled.

River smiled, rubbed her hands together and she drew out the water to eye-level. She turned it into a ball and she paused, thinking for a moment. “There was a mermaid by the name of Nyek who was apart of the Malina clan. Meaning peacekeeper.” The ball transformed into beautiful mermaid who resided in a place with a bunch of rocks and little vegetarian. She had thick fins and blubber and she carried a rusted sword underneath the sea. “Her beauty was just as infamous as her sword which she found underneath the water after an invasion by a neighboring planet. We usually create our weapons, but this weapon she kept.” She said after a moment. “It was during a time where the Northern Waters and the North-Eastern Waters were having a feud. They believed that the existence of the Malina was the very reason the invasions were happening, as they were fighting clans. The North Eastern clans, though a warrior clan themselves believed in peace first and then fighting.” She created the north-east waters, filled with almost the same amount of rocks, but more plants. They had thick skins and blubber too, but they carried shields or created their own.

“Many times a feud would start between them and many times they couldn’t agree to disagree. War was on the brink of happening and Nyek knew that. She knew that just as well as her best friend Mulish.” The merman she created was skinny, still had a thick blubber, but not all that great looking. Nor attractive. “Mulish wasn’t a good warrior. He was clumsy and he couldn’t keep track of what was happening in a war.” She created a battle scene where Mulish would accidentally kill one of his own, rather than an enemy. “He was an outcast of the North-East tribe and was a catalyst for the battle on the horizon, as outcasting someone for not being able to fight was a bit on the silly side.”

She transformed the scene back to Nyek and the stone, and Mulish sitting next to her. “They needed to really think about what they were going to do. Fight against each other or run away? Mulish didn’t want to fight Nyek and Nyek didn’t want to fight Mulish. They were good friends. They were best friends. Mulish was the one that came up with the idea of escape. “Fighting is only in their codes.” He explained to her. “We can seek shelter from another clan from the same waters if we wanted to.” It never occurred to Nyek that there were other clans in the same waters. She knew the Northern Waters had a few clans here and there, but she never seen them.”

“Okay.” She would say.

“But that means you have to leave your battle reward behind.” And that made Nyek freeze. Her sword was her reward for winning a near-defeat. It was her reward for being a great warrior and she kept it with her to prove to the other invaders that she was not to be messed with. That she’d collect their weapons too and make them last in the water.”

She made Mulish swim away, leaving Nyek again on the rock. “So what to do? To leave or not to leave? Nyek decided to sleep on it…but her decision was forced. For at dawn the next morning the North-East attacked the Malina. Nyek took the sword and fought as well.”

She played the battle scene. “The battle lasted three days and many of them were dead, dying, or had fled to find shelter. Nyek kept up the offensive, and received many, many wounds before she too decided that fleeing was safer than dying.” Nyek fled the scene and the waters changed to town, with mermaids and mermen swimming through buildings, gathering supplies and taking care of the wounded.

“She reached shelter and was being healed by the medicine men of the Northern Waters other tribe. She tried to ask about Mulish, about anyone else that might’ve been in the fight.” The room was sparse, save for the man and Nyek. “She asked “How did the battle go?”

The medicine man replied. “The same as any battle goes. Death. Destruction and wounded pride.”

Nyek paused. “It was necessary.”

She was laid up for three days when Mulish, dressed in medicine garbs came to her.” River created Mulish again, a brighter smile and looking a little more healthier. “Nyek was shocked that it was him. Mulish told her that after they talked, he had disappeared from his clan and found this one from the other side. He said “fighting is your blood. Healing, it turns out was in mine the entire time.”

River let the water fall into the bowl. “The story has it that is what made the Malina disappear as well as the unnamed North-East tribe. Nyek never returned to her position to battle. No one knew where she went. The story was past down by Mulish and his family for generations until it became a legend…and then a myth. No one really knows anymore of Nyek ever existed. Her sword that she so famously wielded was lost.” She sighed. “Not a single mermaid claims decent of the Malina, or of Nyek. Some find her to be a disgrace since she didn’t run from battle and fought in it. Some still find her to be admirable to this day.”

"That was...wow. Better than any three hundred page book I could find," Bucky laughed a little weakly, eyes still adrift from thinking about everything that went on. It was...amazing, to see magic, or rather someone's powers displayed like that in front of him. Even Wanda didn't use her powers much in the Tower. Vision's floating was normal. "Your water effects...that was beautiful. I loved the images you made, and those medicine garbs Mulish was in were so nice."

"A lot of it was taken from my imagination." River smiled as she enjoyed the looks on both of their faces. "But the rest of it was all from word of mouth and passed down to us." She was satisfied that she gave them that. "When I was stronger, I could tell you the entire story of Nyek. From her rise and fall. At the moment I can only tell pieces, but I'm glad it didn't take away from the story any."

"I like Nyek and Mulish." Angelina said after a moment of thought. "They remind me of me and Dylan."

"Is that so? How?" Buck asked his daughter, taking another drink of coffee, "Maybe you'll be able to do that, River, tell us the whole thing, when you're much better. That must've taken a lot of energy."

"It was worth every strain." River agreed as she looked at the water bowl with a sad smile on her face. "I love using my powers. It's a win-win."

"Dylan would be Mulish though he'd probably fight along side me than run away. I'm like Nyek." Angelina explained to her father immediately. "Dylan is my medicine man."

"Aww, that's cute," Bucky kissed her cheek, "You should tell Dylan the story when you see him next. I'm sure he'll get a kick out of it."

River felt her heart swell when she saw that and him telling Angelina to pass the story down. It made her so happy that the story could live in a different world and a different environment. That it was relatable in some way to them. When she had tried to tell stories of her home planet to her ex, he didn't want to listen, didn't want to care and he didn't think it was all that important. But Bucky and Angelina loved it. "Probably in the next two weeks, I can give you your gift Buck." River said after a moment.

"Yup, that's about the month mark. I'm not too worried about it, but you'e making me giddy by talking about it every time we get together," Buck laughed, "I'm glad you are well enough to do little things like that, though. Might have a hard time keeping up with mine or Angelina's demands or more."

"I don't say this lightly, but my stories are yours." River said gently. "When I feel up to it, ask me. I'll be so happy to tell you any story you want to hear."

Angelina wiggled away from Bucky and went over to River's side to hug her. "You're like a mom." She declared. "You're nice and I like you a lot."

River laughed and hugged her back. "Coming from you, I think that's the highest compliment I ever been paid." She grinned teasingly at Bucky. "You have some catching up to do."

"We have a deal, but I'll come down again tomorrow and we can play twenty questions or something. That should help in the 'catching up' department," Buck smirked at her, though his eyes were tender and misty as he looked at Angelina.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:12 pm

Zan was so glad that Tony didn't like the uniforms and let her wear whatever she wanted. A white shirt, with a military green jacket and torn up jeans and a beanie on her head. She only wore an apron that helped keep the coffee off of her shirt and jacket and part of her jeans. It was also smaller than the cafe, but the employees left decent amount of tips too. Steve cut back on how much he gave her, but he always made sure that it was something along forty or twenty.

Zan looked up from writing some lines to a new song that came to her head to see a woman with vibrant purple hair walking along with a guy that looked way too much like a hipster for his own good. They were talking in a completely different language and he was holding on to her waist, not like a lover, but like someone who was helping her keep he balance.

“Hey guys.” Zan greeted brightly when they walked up to the counter, she shoved the notepad into her apron's pocket and walked around. “Would you like to sit down?”

“Please.” The two of them chorused together and Zan lead them to her table. “So you’re Zan right? Dylan’s twin?” The hipster asked once they settled down in the booth. They sat together rather than across from one another.

“Yep. Let me guess, you’re Vince.” Zan turned to the purple-haired wonder. “Which means you’re River. Steve was just teasing Bucky about you the other day.”

River’s cheeks blossomed a bright red. “Did he really?”

“Yeah. I guess everyone’s really eager to see what happens between the two of you.” Zan shrugged. “Do you guys have any idea what you want to drink?”

“Something with so much caffeine I could probably die from it.” Vince looked at River.

“May I get a Chai Latte?” River asked and Zan nodded before heading off to make the drinks. The two of them didn’t act like cozy, cozy couples. But like really close friends. When Zan was done making the drinks, she brought them out to see Vince showing River something on the cell phone.

“Hey thanks.” Vince groaned as he grabbed the coffee and River taking the latte. “You’re a life saver.”

“Maybe I should become the Avenger of Coffee.” Zan mused. “The CoffeeHouse Avenger. Something along those lines.” She looked at them. “So since you guys are part of the Avengers, kind of, I should tell you that you should sit in my section.”

“Possessive over new costumers?” Vince asked curiously.

“I’m so possessive. I’m a mother-hen too.” Zan nodded, pretending to be solemn though her eyes twinkled. “More or less, I’m here around the late nights, early mornings. So, if you guys get like horrible nightmares or something and just want a place to chill, I’m here.”

Vince blinked. “Defender of Dreams. Forget Avenger.”

Zan laughed. “Yeah well…”

“We’ll remember that.” River chimed in after taking a drink of her chai latte. “Also, I wanted to say thank you for that tote bag you gave me for the crafting supplies.”

“Oh your welcome. I thought that it might be a bit of a comfort. I know our oceans have nothing on your planet, but it can’t hurt to give you some reminder.” Zan beamed. “Enjoy those drinks guys.”

“We so will.”
~+~
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:46 am

It was a great start to the day, to come down to River's floor and he smiled as he knocked on her door. He'd promised her a game of twenty questions, which probably wouldn't end up being twenty in total as they branched off when they found things that interested them. That was how it worked, though. At her call, he came in, holding up a full plate of sweets, "Angelina made a fresh batch with Dylan and they had fun with cookie cutters and frosting,," he laughed softly and joined her in her cozy living space.

River beamed happily as she set aside the project that she was working on and looked at the cookies. They were gorgeously frosted and clearly made with care. There were sugar cookies and peanut butter. "I wonder if she'll become a baker and have her and Dylan run a bakery some day." River mused as she picked one of the sugar cookies, shaped like a leaf and decorated like one too. "All they have to do is make Zan do the coffee work and you have a fully functional place."

"Hahah I might tell them you said that," Bucky plopped down and took a sugar cookie shaped like a pumpkin, "It's not even October and they made entirely Autumn themed crap. They just keep surprising us with the new deserts they find, don't they? It's adorable. I'm totally okay making the /real/ food, honestly, like chicken and rice. Steve though. He should stay away from the stove and stick to the microwave."

River laughed and smiled brightly. "That bad huh? I bet Angelina if she learned how to cook, would just piece together a whole new part of that restaurant idea." She smiled a little as she looked at the leaves. "Well, it's almost time for the Mabon. It's nearing September, so they're not too far off the mark to start making things autumn. Now if I saw /pumpkins/ I might agree with you."

"I guess you're right in that," Buck slipped his shoes off and lounged back in the couch, "So for our twenty questions, if we absolutely need to, we can say "pass" and leave whatever it is alone for another day. If we need time to think then we can say 'next' and then when we are ready to answer we'll answer. Does that sound good?"

"That sounds wonderful. You get to start." River grinned as she brought her legs up to cross them on the couch, looking at Bucky expectantly.

"Well, I know you left your planet because you didn't feel like you fit in, Vince mentioned that offhandedly..." Buck tapped his chin, "Favorite color? We'll start with the mundane."

"That one's easy. Purple." River laughed at his look. "I'm all purple anyway. Might as well be my favorite." She thought for a moment. "Favorite season?"

"I thought you were going to say pink!" Bucky chimed, "I like the darker reds for my favorite. Burgundy I suppose, if I want to get specific. I enjoy Spring and Autumn. Spring's got just enough of a chill your lungs still burn when you take a deep breath, but if you wear a light jacket you're golden. Autumn it's just warm enough you're not going to chatter your teeth out of your head, plus all the awesome colors." He tapped his chin and grabbed a brownie, "Have your had alcohol yet?"

"It turns out I am very much a lightweight." River laughed. "Vince can hold his alchol very well. Though he goes more for the girly drinks than straight shots, but never let anyone tell you that the girly drinks don't have a lot of alcohol in them. Have enough of them, you'll be seeing stars for days."

"I can believe it. I can't get drunk, but when I do drink I'll take whiskey or vodka so I can feel the burn," Buck explained, "My favorite whiskey is Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey. What's yours?"

"Um drink? I am not a whisky fan. You'd have to talk to Vince." River laughed. "My favorite drink happens to be a Blue Hurricane. I'm more of a vodka fan than anything. If you retired from the Avengers, what do you see yourself doing?"

"Oh, vodka...Natalia and I could get you set up with all kinds of vodkas," Bucky smirked at her, and then he hummed a bit, "I've thought of that before, honestly. In the multitude of odd jobs that'd I'd work for only two weeks or a month at a time, depending on the time of year and location, I enjoyed being a mechanic the most. They don't tend to judge too much on employees, as long as you can fix a car and understand the work that needs to be done and your coworkers, you're fine. Really low-key. Comforting, almost. Angelina was very good at it, too. She had to learn basic mechanics in case my arm went down or to take care of our guns properly."

River's smile faded just a bit and she looked down at her lap. "Were you hunted?"

"Yes. Didn't know who was an enemy with Hydra and who wasn't. They of course wanted us back," Buck sighed deeply, "You were on the run from one person before you got captured. There are...so many people, hidden or easily persuaded to join. Money, better living, protection, that sort of thing, all without knowing what they're really getting into."

River picked up a cookie and took a bite out of it without really looking at the shape or colorful frosting as she mulled this over. She knew what being hunted was like. To be someone else's prey. To have so many all at once...she shook her head from side to side, unable to come up with..well...anything.

"I know your living space is pretty spartan right now, but if you could decorate it anyway you want, what theme would you do? Floral? Beach?" Buck asked to ease the silence, "I'm not holding anything back today, because while everyone is pushing me to get with you after finding out about your crush on me and that I might feel the same...it's sort of a test. I'm okay today...been okay for a while, but I'll hit a low here at some point. My lows aren't good at all, though I've had two years to learn to cope."

"Zan mentioned that her cafe was a safe place for those who hit those lows." River nodded in agreement. "Vince and I got to see her. She heard about my capture and told me about her safe place. She said that she tries to work early mornings since she has college to worry about, but I think she's doing alright." She thought for a moment as she looked at her place. "I don't know." She admitted softly. "I think I'd do what I can to make it more like...home. I know I'm a mermaid, but...I'm not all that fond of the beach. The rocks, the sand, the waters, it's all polluted. There's so much poison in the waters, how can it be peaceful? I'm scared for your planet, if I'm not holding anything back. Humans are nice when they talk to other humans, but the way they hurt the planet and the waters...it makes me wonder if they ever knew the planet to begin with. I'm sorry you asked for a theme and got a lecture instead..."

"Why are you sorry? I helps me understand you," Bucky assured, "I enjoy the ocean, but I can't tell if it's polluted. I hear about oil spills and trash being dumped in it, but I really don't know it like you do," he shook his head, "We've lost a lot of it when the industrial revolutions hit us and we wanted convenience over anything else. The environment and a lot of other things suffered for it. We are impatient creatures. Your peace and patience, honestly, is a refresher."

River smiled warmly as she looked at Bucky, "I'm glad it's a refresher rather than an annoyance." She shook her head. "What are you passionate about?"

"So far cooking? I'm not...really sure..." he furrowed his brows, "I haven't really found anything to be passionate about until recently, anyway."

"Is cooking that recent passion or is it something else?" River asked curiously.

"A little. It's more like a passion that exploded," Buck laughed quietly, "I'd cook for Angelina and I...a spitfire, cook meat that way or in a pot over a fire, make stew. Lots of wild vegetables and berries and things, if you know how to look. I'm a survivalist. Now I just have more to work with."

"So where would you live? Still in the city? Out in the woods?" River took another bite of her cookie as she waited.

"Suburbs," he answered promptly, getting one of his own and chewing thoughtfully, "I've had enough living in the backwoods. I do like the city, but too crowded. If I could I'd get an apartment in Brooklyn or something in a part of New York that wasn't so busy. Quieter. Am I making any sense at all?"

"A lot." River agreed with a smile. "Though I noticed you stopped asking me questions." She poked him lightly.

"Deeper waters or shallower? What sort of scary things did you have on your planet? We have sharks here. Terrifying. Did you have whales at all?" Buck's lips quirked up, "I can easily make up for lost questions."

"Deep waters." River answered promptly. "Shallow waters are usually used for eggs. Deeper waters hold a lot more fun. Sharks aren't all that terrifying on Earth. I haven't gotten to meet one yet, so I wouldn't exactly know. But we have this creature that's similar to a shark that would go around and eat us sometimes. Huge thing. We called it the <Many-Eye Fish> since it had more than eight eyes and had about three rows of teeth. Thank god no tongue." She thought for a moment. "No. No whales. Creatures that looked like whales sure, but not whales like the ones on Earth."

"Any dolphin-like creatures then? What did you have there you don't here like say glowing rocks? You all have water-based abilities and the like..." Buck tilted his head at her, curious, "You lay eggs instead of giving live birth?"

River looked a little horrified for a moment before realizing what he was trying to say. "I forgot that humans give birth without eggs." She took a breath out. "Wow that was a bit of a heart attack. We lay eggs." She confirmed. "We put them in shallow waters since that's where the best birth rocks are. Otherwise fish could eat them. We do have dolphin-like creatures that can give live birth as well." She smiled brightly. "We so have glowing rocks, a few of our waters can actually glow at night too. So can yours." She thought for a moment. "I think the biggest thing that you have here that I couldn't find in the ocean was the sense of belonging. I am a mermaid and it's in my biology, but I can't just accept to be in one part of the planet's waters forever. Even if I wanted to go through the different waters, which I can, how boring is it? Yet here on land on this planet, everything is so randomized, it feels like Fate really works here. Do you by chance believe in that? Fate?"

"You know, things escalated rather quickly from the mundane," he grinned as she drooped, looking like a kicked puppy, "I'm making a joking observation. I kinda of believe in Fate, I suppose. I also believe in chance and coincidence, but when those two happen more than once or twice, what other greater reason is there sometimes?"

"I don't believe in coincidences." River smiled warmly. "But I do believe in chances. It's Fate's way of saying. "I'm giving you the power to make a new road." and you have to decide yourself what road you want to take. Sometimes taking a chance is instantaneous, you know you're taking one immediately and then you have some that you don't know till much later in your life."

Bucky nodded and he shifted so he was sitting much closer to her than he was before, but still not quite close enough to touch, "I think it might have been Fate that Angelina heard the radio waves of the Avengers and we followed it to the Hydra base they were working on. After all of that everything...fell into place. It took a lot of talking, a lot of compromises and work arounds, but I was cleared and I had my first mission as part of the team, though still not officially an Avenger myself."

"Do you ever want to be?" River asked curiously.

"Do I want to? No. Though I firmly believe most of us don't /want/ to be, but we are." Buck explained, "It means more fighting and sometimes we just...want to go on with our lives the way we want to. The others, such as Tony and Natalia and Clint, have had quite the downtime. Months, since they picked us up back in May, but we all know that won't last long. Steve...I don't think he's had a chance to breathe for anything for an extended period of time. Always the leader. Always has to be there on the front lines with the rest of them instead of staying behind."

"I met him." River mused. "He was so apologetic for not seeing me sooner. He asked me questions about my health...about what I might need besides the crafting. He holds the world on his shoulders. I don't know him well, but I think the only time he'll ever put the world down is if a new one comes up."

"I hope you're not literal, so what exactly do you mean by that?" Buck furrowed his brows.

"Becuase Steve's exactly like Atlas." River deadpanned looking at Bucky. "I mean. He thinks he's the only thing that's keeping everything together. My health? His responsibility. Your mental health? His responsibility. Angelina's nightmares and panic attacks? His responsibility. The team? His responsibility. I could keep going."

"I have been trying to think of ways to try and get him to relax for maybe even just two seconds and so far the only successful one is going to see Zan for coffee," Buck shook his head, "From what you've gathered, do you have any ideas?"

River watched Bucky for a long moment and she looked away in thought. "I don't know yet. I'll have to think on it and talk to him more before I can come up with anything. I don't want to say something and have it be the wrong thing. I get this feeling that I may have to extend my gift to you and Steve, rather than just you."

"Don't over exert yourself, if it's anything like your storytelling," Bucky reached over and placed his flesh hand on her shoulder, letting his touch linger, "What's your favorite movie?" he asked, to throw her for a loop and change topics.

River hummed. "Flubber." She smiled warmly as she gently held her hand out to him to hold if he wanted to. "What about you?"

"I've seen so many new ones it's hard to choose," Buck admitted, "I think...El Dorado, the animated film I saw on Netflix with Dylan and Angelina. I love their horse. El Tivo."
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:58 am

"I haven't seen it." River shook her head from side to side. "Vince and I really don't get a chance to sit down and watch movies unless there's one in theaters that we want to go to, or if Netflex has something that we want to watch. It's mostly T.V shows that aren't on the regular channels and that only Netflex has."

"Maybe...if you would like to, that could be something we do with Angelina?" Bucky asked softly, his face tinting a red hot pink, his brain immediately thinking 'family' on him, "There's an animated section on Netflix and we can watch them with her."

River's eyes softened. "I would love that." She scooted a bit closer to him, careful to keep space between them since she knew that he probably didn't want to feel cornered.

"I'll ask her, I'm sure she'd love it, too," Buck nodded. They were maybe only a foot apart by now and he chewed on his bottom lip, "Tell me something a little more personal. How did you meet Vince?"

"Vince is a Jumper." River said after a moment of thought. "He doesn't stay on one planet for very long. He's actually a Bounty Hunter, not really an "alien hunter" as he likes to call himself that. He's not human to say it anyway. He jumped to our planet for a break. It's not an entire water planet, there is islands and what not. We just let wildlife run. Anyway, I met him when I was beached. We started talking and he told me his adventures. He started to jump more frequently to our planet, and then he asked me if I ever wanted to leave. If it was possible. I showed him I could transform legs and we left. I went on a lot of adventures with him. Some life-threatening, some not so much. I learned how to fight and how it shouldn't disrupt myself. There's things I learned that did and I learned that I needed to fight like that under dire circumstances."

"Oh...wow," Buck blinked at her, "That's really impressive. Just...up and left like that, huh? Did you leave anybody behind? Parents or other family?" So she /did/ know how to fight. Probably put up a good struggle against the asshole who caught her. He was kinda glad, that she wasn't just some sore of damsel in distress. He was...still a hero, at least to her and Vince, but she had spark and he liked that.

"I did." River nodded after a moment. "My mom. My dad. They wanted me to marry someone from another clan. It's not for status that arrange marriages happen. It's just...we don't really think "love" is anything special. You don't need it to further a population and there's really no point to it. Just...make a family, be a family, die."

"That's a sad, depressing way to live," he frowned deeply, "Do you think differently or...do you like me just for my dashing good looks and mate potential?" He tried to play it off light but he was genuinely curious at the same time.

River gave him a deadpanned look, but couldn't deny that it was a good question. "You're a strong man." She said after a moment, her voice soft and thoughtful. "Cunning. Empathetic to problems. You have /very/ good natural instinct when it comes to taking care of another species. You could've just thrown me in the pool and left Vince to deal with me instead of figuring that my dead skin would absorb the water and dehydrate me further. You treated me like a person rather than an object and you have beautiful eyes and I love the length of your hair." She looked at him seriously. "And yes you have strong mate potential because of your natural instinct and from the way you talk to me. I see Angelina. I know what our brood could become. But that isn't why I like you. So. Yes. I do think differently from my clan. Vince is...asexual and aromatic. Sex to him is like the most disgusting thing on earth and he doesn't want anyone's love but friendship and family love." River shrugged. "And since I never knew any of those kinds of love I was kind...I kind of starving to know what they all felt like."

She didn't have to say that was why she fell in love with the wrong guy. Buck wrapped his arm around her and brought her closer, his thumb rubbing the skin on her bicep back and forth in a rhythmic, soothing way, "Now that you're here, with so many people doing their best to make you feel safe and comfortable, I think you'll be able to have that. They're all good people. There is definitely a family network going on around here."

"That's the truth." River said with a murmur, leaning a bit into the touch. "I didn't mean to snap at you or anything." She said after a moment. "I /do/ get why that questions asked. You were treated like an object too. It's kind of hard sometimes to see that people like you beyond that."

"Angelina's learning what those things are, too. She's only had me to love and now she captures the hearts of everybody she runs into. It makes me super happy," Buck told her, settling back against the couch, their position morphing into cuddle time, "I'm sorry I've been so standoffish about the whole...love and girlfriend/boyfriend thing. It's...loving me...won't be easy. Steve can do it because he's my best friend since we were eight, and Angelina's by default since she's my daughter and we went through a lot of the same things."

"I do get that." River said softly. "It's the one thing I learned that I'll never forget. Loving someone, no matter who or what they've been through, isn't easy. Falling for them? Crushing on them? Oh that's the easy part. You don't get a choice on that. But keeping it alive? That's really, really hard. And that's okay." She looked at Bucky. "Loving me isn't going to be easy either Buck. I'm a completely different species from you. I'm gonna do things that are going to drive you up the damn wall, regardless if we're in love or not. All we can do is try to understand and meet each other half-way if possible."

"I can compromise," Buck assured her, "I'll do my damnest to understand you. I just...won't be able to planet hop with you. I don't know what I'd do if you went off with Vince again on some adventure."

River shook her head from side to side. "We'll see what happens. Though...I don't think I'm gonna go planet hop again."
"You're here to stay?" Buck smiled softly.

"You're waters are polluted and I can't use them to swim in. That doesn't mean that it cannot be changed." River replied kindly. "Your earth is being destroyed, but I know this planet has people that understands it and wishes for it to thrive. Thor guards this planet too. When I'm stronger...we'll see what I can do to help you guys out. It's too beautiful to let die."

"Then I'm glad you're here," he told her sincerely and squeezed her a bit, content in what he's learned.

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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:23 pm

The Tower was silent, as if waiting on baited breath. While they were going up in the elevator, Bucky stepped behind River and rubbed her shoulders, "Are you okay with a blindfold if it means good things?"

River mulled it over. "I think I'll be okay." She said slowly. "But um...is there a way you could stay near or hold my wrist or something so I don't...potentially freak out?"

"I'll do better than that," Bucky promised soothingly and produced a purple silk scarf that he folded and gently, and loosely, put around her eyes, tying behind her head. It would be quick and easy to pull off. Then, he wrapped his arms around her waist, "You're going to love it. We all worked really hard. To be honest, we're lucky Tony agreed to do it, but it was something that also benefits him."

"Now you're making me nervous." River giggled and she took a breath and waited. When the elevator stopped, she suddenly gripped Bucky's wrist, flinching a little. "I'm okay." She squeaked, letting go and she could hear the door open. She felt Bucky start moving so she moved too, walking a bit funny since she didn't know if he was close enough to accidentally trip her, or how big the gap was between the elevator and the floor. She sometimes had to stop and just grab for stability, a little afraid that she was suddenly falling or what even though she was just fine. She was pretty certain that next time she would just ask someone to cover her eyes and not worry about the blindfold. This was too much of a disaster and she was only trying to /walk/. She felt him stop her and she stumbled a little. "Did I almost run into something?"

"Hmm, no, though the temptation is great right now," Bucky squeezed her waist where he'd held her the whole time, "You're fine. Now, let's get this off of you," he reached up and the second he took it off and she blinked her eyes open, there was a loud round of cheering, "Welcome home," he told her with a grin. He'd stopped her a few feet from the edge of a /gigantic/ pool that had a rock formation on one side that made a waterfall, a slide next to it leading into the crystal waters, and scattered through the pool were rocks of many shapes and sizes. It looked like any lagoon taken from the jungle or forest and plopped right in front of them, another formation serving as a sort of cave entrance at the opposite end of the room.

"There's three pools all together." Tony said as he walked over to them. He was wearing sunglasses, shorts, and a nice looking top. All the while still looking smug as hell. "The other two aren't built yet. We're gonna make it lead outside, and into another area over there that deals with a a more relaxing dark cool area. We're thinking about making that ceiling follow the day-night thing. Like Hogwarts, only cooler."

"Tony." Steve was grinning though he was giving Tony a "calm the hell down" look. Tony just held his hands up.

"I gotta give the rundown. We can't surprise her for /every/ project. I can only afford one heart attack per a transaction, Steve!" Tony complained.

"Really? I thought that you liked giving out heart attacks for free." Steve quipped back.

"Oh no, Wonderboy that's on you." Tony scoffed.

"So, that's why I said the temptation was great, since I wanted to throw you into the pool, but I'm not that mean...at least right now, anyway. I can't promise for the future," Buck rubbed River's back, "What do you think?"

River stared at the huge pool, her fingers touching her lips. The rocks...they were real and she could smell the salt. She could tell that there were still chemicals in the pool, but they were the same as in the pool back in Malibu. She knew that it wouldn't harm her, and was probably going to help. It benefited everyone, and everyone would have a lot of fun in the water. But...River couldn't help but to feel touched that they included her. Shew as utterly speechless so all she could do was nod her head and try to hold back tears.

"I told them about what we could do to make the waters a little fresh." Vince walked over, he too was wearing shorts, but he also had sunglasses on the top of his head. He reached out and gently took River's wrist. "The rocks are natural, like you guessed and we made sure that it was mostly saltwater. Though we needed to put in some of the chemicals for cleaning as well as to make sure it stays warm. Yeah it's heated," Vince added when River turned to look at him. "It was a three person idea, but it turned into a very near Avengers plus myself project."

"Considering that you're staying." Tony broke through.

"Dylan and I are the only people outside of you that didn't know about it," Calla came over and hugged River tight. She was wearing a simple coral pink colored swimsuit cover that had a hood on it and it zipped. Underneath was a black one-piece with the same color as two thick stripes that went over her breasts and down to the end of the swimsuit, "I got you a swimsuit and the bottom half is modified so let's have some fun! What's the use in just staring at the pool when we can use it? We were waiting for you and Bucky to get here!"

Vince grinned as River looked back at him. "It's the first time for most of them for swimming with a mermaid. Go put that swimsuit on and then you take the first jump." He winked at her. "It's only fair."

"Okay...thank you." River hugged Calla back and took the swimsuit and ran over towards where the dressing room was and hastily put it on. She liked that the bottom half was a skirt type so that  her tail could be free and she wouldn't have to worry anyone with nudity. "Let's jump in together." She told Calla and Bucky. "It'll be fun!"

"I'm jumping first!" Tony shouted and Steve yelled 'TONY NO" and both of them jumped into the pool, one trying to stop the other. River laughed.

"Because Tony says screw you," Bucky drawled with a deep chuckle. He took one of River's hands, "Let's get in." He'd taken off his shirt, left in is swim trunks which were bright green with a yellow stripe on either side, and watched as Calla took her other hand, her swimsuit cover discarded somewhere and the three of them ran for the edge taking a high jump and making a splash big enough to reach the outside tiles.

River was happy. Bucky and Calla had let go when the water hit and she was happy to just /swim/. Calla's side was still pretty sore, so Bucky had guided her to the shallows while River bolted away through the water. She weaved her way through, exploring the pool with her own hands and her own eyes. The water was warm, and salty, and it felt good on her scales and gills. She could breathe, even with the cleaning chemicals that were in the water. She happily swam around Vince when he jumped in, and was more than pleased to tangle Angelina's hair and shove Dylan closer to her as well when they were in the pool. She liked to be around Bucky the most. She surfaced near him and gently shoved him, her fanged smile showing off innocence and pleasure.

"You have fangs?" Bucky blinked at her and reached out, thumb grazing her bottom lip and looked closer, "Vampire much?" he teased.

"It's for eating and defense!" River clapped a hand over her mouth a little horrified. "They go away after a bit but when I first jump into a pool they show up for a little. Kinda like goosebumps. I promise!"

Bucky laughed softly and pulled her closer, "I'm not creeped out by it, River. I find it interesting. You've got no idea how many Vampire romance books there are. People find that sort of thing sexy," he whispered the last part a little more quietly.

River just relaxed, a little relieved that it wasn't too creepy. "Thanks." Her fangs were slowly going away. "Are you one of them that thinks that way?" She also asked that quietly.

"I'm not a vampire person," Buck told her, watching as her face fell, "But I find it sexy on you. You make me want to kiss you and run my tongue over them, feel them," he rumbled softly.

River's cheeks blushed a bright scarlet, making her skin look a bright pink. Before he could do or say anything, she slipped out of his grip and hid underneath the water. Steve noticed this and raised an eyebrow. Meanwhile, Vince just cracked up. He didn't hear what was said, but he certainly saw River dive under water like she could somehow smother herself. She resurfaced only long enough to give him a kiss on a cheek and then went back under. Steve huffed in amusement at Bucky's confused look. "Your charm game is a bit too good, Buck." He teased his friend.

"I guess so," Buck laughed softly, his own face flushed with embarrassment. Here he was, telling her he wanted to wait and then flirting with her. Way to send mixed signals, asshole. Diving under the water he swam his way to the waterfall, popping it up underneath it. He couldn't hear anybody with it rushing in his ears and he closed his eyes.

River swam around everyone for a bit. Teasing Tony by jumping on his back, Steve by splashing him with her tail. She teased Calla by making her duck back and tangling up her hair with her hands. She even went as far as going over to Vince and stealing his sunglasses, making him holler at her with laughter. She went to the waterfall underneath and noticed that his eyes were closed. That he was looking..well..upset was the best word. She carefully resurfaced, not wanting him to be surprised. "Did I hurt you?"

"No...no you didn't hurt me," Buck promised, opening his eyes and watching her, "I was just...thinking that I hurt you. Sending you mixed signals and all. I set ground rules and then I break them, or at least push the boundaries. i'm making things difficult where they don't have to be."

River nodded and she happily sat herself up on one of the rocks. She was thankful that there was a little area for it. Apparently there was a rule /somewhere/ that was unspoken about the waterfall. No one else was going near it. They were all playing out side. "I'm confused more than hurt." She said after a moment. "But tell me what you're thinking." She dipped her tail into the water. "Give me some insight."

"Everything...moves so fast. I save  you, take care of you, and then show even the /least/ bit of interest in you, and people around me start to shove us together. This isn't some romance novel. I can't fall in love within a week. I'm a hard case," he tapped his head, "Loving me isn't going to be a /cakewalk/ even if people thing I'm alright because I've been clean for two years. Nightmares are frequent. Sometimes I wonder if I'm capable of good dreams. A lot of the times I can't sleep, or wake up at two a.m. and have to wait until seven in order to go running with Steve and Sam."

River nodded, she understood that part. The whole people wanting to push them together. "Its a species thing. Happiness means to have a family. Happiness means to further the population. It's no one's fault really. It's just the way we're programmed. Or at least the majority of us are." She dipped herself into the pool and leaned back. "Loving me isn't going to be easy either. I'm a completely other species. I don't know all the bad things that I do. I know the most difficult is probably this," she gestured to the pool. "My heats. The way I live. The way I see my life and yours. I know I didn't help much." She bowed her head. "I'm really, really sorry James...I came off too strong. That was my fault completely and I never meant to cause you turmoil."

"I already told you, I'm willing to learn," Bucky reached out and touched her cheek, leaning down and brushing his lips against hers, "A promise is a promise. If we can make it through, then we don't have to hold anything back. If you're in heat or there's something you're just not getting across to me the way you need to, then we have Vince as our backup, too. If there's something about me you aren't understanding, I would suggest Steve. Even if he isn't familiar with the me now, I'd say he knows me better than I know myself at the very least."

"Why not Angelina?" River asked curiously, melting a little in the kiss. Her was happily waving back and forth under water. She was just thankful that her expression was a little more controlled. She didn't want to embarrass herself already. "Or is it...just better to use Steve?"

"This is going to sound strange, but...Angelina may be able to read my mind, but she doesn't understand /how/ I think," Bucky tried to explain, "Steve knows how I think the only way someone who's known me every day since we were eight can. Angelina and I have known each other for real for two years. All the times before that I was the Soldier and she was the Companion and it was a strictly battlefield mind. A machine's mind. Am I making any sense at all?"

"It makes sense." River agreed after a moment of thought. "It feels like Angelina doesn't understand her powers, let alone what they can be used for. It's both a blessing and a curse." She frowned. "I also understand about the frame of thought." She sighed a little. "She's only good if you fall back, if you probably have a panic attack and go back. Steve on the other hand is for everything else."

"There we go, that's perfect," Buck agreed with a smile, "It sounds like we have a good system right there. Now, how about we go back out there and enjoy ourselves? Looks like they're having all the fun. I might try and tackle Steve."

River smiled and gently poked his cheek. "Don't rush yourself." Was her only thing as she dove under the water and going back to the group, tugging Vince down on her way.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Souls Brought by Forgotten Memories - REHASHED   Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:48 pm

"I'm feeling a lot better," Calla told Zan as she sat at the counter in the Avenger's Tower cafe, stirring her mug of steaming coffee in order to cool it down, "My fractured rib has come a long way and my lip finally healed after the constant loop of splitting and healing and splitting again, I get a migraine from time to time but Tony's doctors say I'm fine, it's just due to where I hit my head but nothing's damaged. It only when I get really tired or stressed, anyway."
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