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#hell froze over
anika-ann · 7 days ago
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Hell Froze Over - Pt.6
Hanging on a Thread
Type: mini-series to a series (part 1 & part 2 & part 3 & part 4),  Avenger!reader AU.
Pairing: Steve Rogers x reader       Word count: 3600
Summary: There’s a new enhanced on a scene, showing up at places of the Avengers’ fights. She’s fast. Really, really fast.
Steve’s been hit and it’s not pretty. At all. In fact, he might be fighting for his life.
Warnings: violence, blood, pretty ugly wound, medical procedues, mention of death, language
A/N: Sorry for the delay, but you know it, life gets in the way...
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Previous part
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You found Steve on the ground, lying on his side – curled up into himself. Minus the helmet, of course, because this was Steve and he always lost him helmet in a fight. His scream faded into silence as he gritted his teeth, eyes squeezed shut, face twisted in a grimace that could only mean agony.
You scanned your surroundings as you sprang Steve’s direction, finding a smirking man with heavy weapon resembling a flame-thrower in his hands. You wished you a flame-thrower yourself; but at least you had your ice and you were gonna freeze his damn hands off—
Before you could send the bastard to hell yourself, his smile froze and blood emerged from his mouth.
You didn’t care who you had to thank for that, simply grateful you could kneel beside Steve’s crumpled form. He looked like he wanted to clutch his upper arm he was lying on, so you assumed that was the point of impact of whatever that son of a bitch hit him with.
“Steve-“
Your hand barely made contact with his healthy arm when his eyes snapped open, pools of blue misted with pain and panic staring at you.
“Don’t touch me!” he strained through his teeth, jerking out of your hold instantly. With your heart leaping to your throat, you quickly raised your hand, alarmed you had caused him more pain.
Your eyes widened in horror as he rolled over and you saw the black stain – which wasn’t a stain. Whatever was in that gun, it seemed to burn through Steve armour, turning everything it reached to black. And it looked like it was… spreading, angry tentacles of darkness as if swallowing up the tissue. Your stomach made a somersault, bile rising to your mouth.
You were suddenly sure what Steve meant was ‘don’t touch it’. It looked as if the substance was climbing up his arm. Very slowly, but very effectively and clearly very painfully.
Steve didn’t want you to touch it, because rightfully worried in might spread on you as well. The protectiveness would be endearing if it wasn’t s fucking terrifying.
“Oh my god- SAM!” you yelled as you touched your earpiece.  “I need you to pick up Steve and get him to the quinjet, right now. I’m taking him to Bruce.”
“On my way,” Sam replying almost instantly. “What’s wrong?”
You gulped, terror eating you alive just like the bioweapon(?!) that was creeping up Steve’s arm.
“I have no fucking clue,” you choked out, realizing your vision was clouding with tears. You quickly blinked them away, knowing there would be time for that later. You needed to act. FAST.
Sam landed a few feet from you, running to your side before you could say more.
“Steve, we’re gonna get you to Bruce, okay? Sam’s gonna have to touch you-“ you informed him gently, your voice shaking.
“No!” Steve panted, sweat breaking out on his forehead as he clenched his teeth again and shook his head wildly. “Can’t touch the-“
“Yeah, I kinda got that, let’s hope we can avoid that,” you hissed, making space for you friend.
“Jesus shit, what is that?!” Sam cried out, bending to Steve to grab him.
“Don’t know, wouldn’t touch it if I were you.”
As soon as Sam had Steve, you sprinted to the quinjet, before realizing that you had to go faster.
You created a thick layer of ice for you to jump on and slide the rest of the way. You almost made it before Sam. Almost. Sam managed to drag Steve’s now barely conscious ass to the tiny jets prepared for the rainy days. Oh, now was definitely pouring.
You slipped to the pilot seat, starting the engines, trusting Sam to secure Steve in the stretcher or anywhere really.
“Go, Frosty. We got this,” Sam just threw over his shoulder before jumping straight back into the fight, covering you so you could take off.
Unable to voice your gratitude, a string of barely audible curses left your mouth even as you managed to get the jet to the air.
Steve’s body was trying to fight shit you knew nothing about, clearly was running out of time and it was up to you to save him – or rather deliver him to someone who could know a lot more than you did.
“Goddammit--- shit. This isn’t familiar at all.”
────── ·❆· ──────  
Bruce was waiting for you with Doctor Cho in the room already since you had brought him up to speed during the flight. It also meant Clint was sent back to the battle instead of you and Steve, leaving Katie pretty much unsupervised. But frankly, you had more pressing problems than keeping an eye on a teenager, no matter how powerful she was.
Two paramedics plus Katie were on the roof, going for Steve as soon as you touched the ground, moving him to a stretcher and speeding into medical. You and Katie were in their tow, the girl letting you keep up with her despite the fact she could rush in before you could do as much as blink your eye.
Her face seemed drained of all blood; you imagined yours was the same.
Bruce didn’t try to stop you entering the operating room. He already had Steve attached to a heart monitor, a blood sample analysis running as well as one for the still expanding substance and he was hovering with Cho over Steve’s body, dressed up in what looked like modified scrubs and thick gloves you haven’t seen before.
“Do you any idea what this is?” you threw on him, a distracted shake of his head being your only response. Your ribcage felt tighter at that, your lungs as if squeezed in a vice.
“I was about to ask you the same thing. Where did this come from?”
Your eyes frantically roamed over Steve’s form, wincing with each movement of his body. He was out, but his muscles were spasming occasionally and seemingly randomly. The upper half of his suit was stripped, and god, the sight of him made you break into tears.
The black substance climbed up his shoulder now – heading towards his heart and jugular. You had a distant feeling that if it reached either of those places, there would be no coming back.
There had to be a way to stop it--- but you were being no help. You needed to get your shit together, even if it felt like your world was falling apart, breaths coming off shorter and shorter.
“I don’t know, they--- just shot him with this-- this weird gun-“ you stuttered, ignoring your voice breaking.
When Steve’s back arched and the heart monitor let out a high-pitched long beep out lasting several seconds, you were sure your own heart stopped.
You covered your mouth with your hand, shocked at the cold feeling on your lips – your abilities reacted to your emotions involuntarily, out of control.
The realization hit you like a train.
“What if I cool it again?!” you blurted out, already springing forward. ”The substance! Like with the anti-serum? That could it stop it from spreading at least, maybe?”
Bruce shot you a look, quickly making space for you. You dashed into his place, your hands hovering above Steve’s arm.
“Come on, come on…” you murmured, not caring your hands were shaking. Just let the cold do its job… You knew this. You hate using your powers on Steve, but sometimes, they could help heal instead of hurting. You felt the energy surging, forcing your breathing to calm.
You could feel three extra pairs of eyes watching your doing, but you didn’t care. All you could do was to stare at the wound, laser focused on how it reacted.
Except it didn’t react at all. The substance not only it didn’t shrink from the icy cold – it actually kept happily sprouting towards Steve’s vital organs as if you weren’t even trying. A wave of nausea hit you, a fist of panic blinding squeezing your heart.
Gritting your teeth, you pressed harder, feeling the exhaustion that was cumulating since the fight creeping up your spine.
Oh, wonderful, because that was just what you needed.
The heart monitor Steve was attached to screamed again and you retreated your hands in horror of pushing it to far.
“Why isn’t it stopping?! Why isn’t it working?!” you shouted, tears sprouting from your eyes in waterfalls now, your voice cracking as you couldn’t seem to breathe in. “Bruce?”
The scientist moved to Steve’s side, probing the strange substance with a long needle – the black thing started climbing at it in an instant, making him to drop it.  
“I don’t know! Clearly it’s some sort of a bioweapon and—I don’t know, okay? It could be bacterial-- bacteria are very hardy, surviving in terrible conditions, but there’s no way they should reproduce this fast-“
Hardy, he said? Alright, you could test that. At this point, you didn’t care if Steve was about to lose his arm to a brutal frostbite. You aimed your powers towards the black hole eating his limb up, gritting your teeth.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck, come on-“
Pain cut along your spine as a knife through butter with your effort, yet the spreading didn’t even waver. You let out a yell of frustration and agony.
Come on. Steve, you have a fucking super-serum in you! Fight it!
The fresh sting of pain had you double over and forced you to your knees this time, making you scream and lose the focus completely as well as the contact. Your powers shut down.
“F-frosty?” a tiny and very terrified voice addressed you. “What’s happening?”
Katie. You honestly forgot she was here.
Your glanced up at her absently, your mind fully with Steve and drowning in desperation.
Only for your eyes to widen in shock when seeing her – and no, it was not because of the tears staining her face, no. It was-- what the hell?
What the actual fuck?
“You’re— are you—becoming transparent?” you choked out, trying to stand up to try to help Steve again, because while you were utterly confused and horrified at what you were seeing happening with Katie, you had zero idea how to help her either. The Steve situation was a bit familiar at least. Katie was…she appeared to be turning into shadow.
And in a way, so was Steve.
Sure, lose two people in one day, why don’t you…
“I— I don’t know. It’s…---“ There was a short pause, only interrupted by Bruce mumbling something to Doctor Cho. A look of pure terror appeared on the Katie’s face along with what appeared to be a realization. You didn’t know where to look first. “Oh my god, no. No, no, no, that can’t be happening! We have to do something!”
Yeah, no fucking shit.
The look on Katie’s face sent chill through your veins, but Steve was dying right here.
Your fiancé was momentarily lying on an operation table, and the girl who appeared out of nowhere was literally disappearing into nowhere, and your powers were completely useless. You had no fucking clue what to do.
You were watching an attempt on surgery almost breathless, but now you were hyperventilating, your mind frantic, one thought melting into another. You noticed the walls of the operation room started covering in ice.
Shit. How is that possible when my powers shut down?
Or were you powered up again?
It sure felt like you were. And Bruce noticed the haywire manifestation of your abilities as well.
“Whoa, whoa! Hey, he’s gonna be okay, he has to be okay, otherwise--- well, just- calm down!” he yelled.
Somehow, he didn’t sound so convincing since his gloved hands were covered in the strange substance mixing with blood.
You ran your fingers through your hair, desperately trying to take a hold of your powers at least. But tears of helplessness were gathering in your eyes instead and you felt like you were about to explode. The frantic beeping of heart monitor was screaming in your ears.
You covered them, but it didn’t do a thing.
“I’m not helping, dammit, dammit-“
Feeling the weakness in your knees, you gave in once more, crumbling to the floor as a pile of misery, your hand moving over your mouth. You bit into the flesh to prevent yourself from screaming.
No, no, no, please, not Steve-
“Hey, hey, it’s not your fault— if… if it’s anyone’s fault, then it’s mine. I… I shouldn’t have been here, I held Clint behind and-- I messed everything up and now he- he’s“
You shook your head rapidly at Katie’s words that sounded as if coming from a terrible distance. She lowered herself to your level, her serious eyes swimming in tears. The sincerity in her eyes broke your heart all over again. She was disappearing and yet, she was here, concerned for you.
She might be keeping secrets from you, but she was a good person.
The words were spilling from your mouth on autopilot.
“That’s not on you. He’s so strong, it’s next to impossible to imagine something might hurt him, and every time something happens to him, it’s like I just--- freeze. I’m completely useless. Fuck, goddammit-”
Katie’s lips parted, a shock exhale leaving her mouth. “Oh my god! You’re brilliant!”
“What?” you creaked, not following at all and shit you just wanted to understand one fucking thing so you could do something about it-
“I need to freeze him.”
Your brows furrowed in confusion, at complete loss as to what made her so happy. And freeze?
“What— what are you talking about? You-“
“It’s not the cold he needs. He needs time so we could figure it-- u— Bruce? What do you think?” the girl snapped her head to the doctor, earning a short glance before he returned to uselessly hover over Steve, but clearly considering her words.
“Wait, what? What are— Bruce?” you breathed out, completely at loss. Did he know what she was talking about?
“Might work. Worth a shot. Can you even do something now, when you’re… you know?”
Katie just shrugged, more tears dampening her cheeks as she pushed herself to her feet. She gulped, suddenly nervous.
“Worth a shot,” she parroted dully, sounding exhausted. Then she extended her hand to Steve’s leg, her almost transparent fingers twitching.
The heart monitor fell silent.
You jumped to your feet, ignoring the vertigo it caused you, and gripped her arm to immediately pull her away.
“What the hell did you do?!”
“HEY! It’s okay. She can… stop time. Sort of. It’s not gonna hurt him,” Bruce cried out, sounding half-guilty, half-hopeful and you honestly wanted to scream and never stop.
What the hell was he talking about? Katie could stop time? What did that even mean? And how would he know?!
“What? And you know that how?”
Bruce swallowed loudly into the silence of the room, shaking his head.
“We’ll have time for that later,” he dismissed your questions, turning to his colleague. “Doctor Cho? Let’s get to work.”
Stumbling backwards, you felt your tears falling freely.
There was nothing you could do, only watch. The heart monitor had been disconnected so it wouldn’t stress you, but to be honest, you didn’t give a shit. You felt bile climbing up to your mouth several times, you had your hands in your hair, gripping harsher with each minute that passed, and then you had no tears left. Katie was just standing there, watching Steve with intensity, her hand on his shin as if she was… doing god knew what.
To add insult to the injury, Bruce seemed unconcerned by the fact he was possibly performing surgery and scraping tissue from a corp- no, nope.
The only good news were that the substance was frozen in time too – and you were all shocked to find out that the substance didn’t fought its way too deep.
But hell if you understood shit of what was happening here.
“I’m not fading anymore,” Katie whispered, astounded, the sentence making you shift your gaze to her. She let out an incredulous chuckle.
Bruce’s eyes looked her up and down shortly before returning to whatever he was doing. Katie watched her hands with disbelief, a delighted smile painted on her lips.
“I’m back! He’s-“ She laughed again, looking at you with her eyes twinkling in happiness while Bruce re-attached the sensors for monitoring Steve’s heartbeat.
“I think you can let go,” he said then and Katie was still laughing, releasing Steve from the whatever state he had been in.
The strange murderous substance was all gone in a dark reinforced container, a beeping of heart monitor filling the room and… and after few initial stumbles, it sounded normal. Perfectly normal.
Your feet acted on their own, carrying you to the man on the table. Katie stepped back, staring at her hands and you reached for Steve’s own, being ninety percent sure he would resolve into thin air if you touched him. But he didn’t.
You huffed out a hysterical laugh, watching his chest rise and fall several times before glancing at Katie, the tears gathering in your eyes ones of happiness.
“He’s gonna be okay,” the girl repeated with delightful certainty, her eyes shining.
You didn’t understand what, how, why-- but in your heart, you knew she was right. And her body truly was back to itself as well. She wasn’t transparent anymore – and your overwhelmed mind started racing.
Had… using her powers helped her body to recover? But it should be the other way around, shouldn’t it?  In your experience, powers could be a gift, but they always came with a price— and how the hell did Bruce even know about her other ability?
How – and that was the most important question, really, the one which was the hardest to wrap your head around – how had helping Steve seemed to help Katie as well? How could these two actions be connected?
How could the two people could be connected?
The absurd idea hit you like a ton of bricks.
With your vision was blurry with the tears of relief, your head spinning, you looked at Katie, really looked at her for the first time. Her features, her eyes, her long blond hair. The way she smiled sometimes, the way she had been watching Steve, watching your every move with admiration. Her fast everything. Her, freezing people.
Her abilities causing her problems with thermoregulation.
Her, starting to fade simultaneously with Steve’s life hanging on a thread and miraculously stopping when he got saved. Her blood results turning the way they had – not finding any match in the DNA database.
There was only one explanation, as crazy as any other, yet the only one making sense.
You barely registered when she threw her arms around you, resting her chin on your shoulder, squeezing you tightly. She nuzzled her face in your hair, inhaling deeply, breathing out shakily, her tears dampening your already water-dripping suit – the memory of the battle that had gotten you soaked had been pushed to the back of your mind, making space for much more important issues.
Much more important realization.
Katie wasn’t from this world. She wasn’t from this time.
The undeniable truth dawned to you with a wave of numbness, your brain too stunned to react. You automatically wrapped your arms around her, suddenly not feeling a thing.
“I did it! We did it!” she whispered excitedly, her voice shaking with emotions and you only nodded, unable to say a word.
You were standing there as Bruce attached a blood-bag to Steve’s i.v. before moving him to the recovery room. You only managed to stare at him and Doctor Cho cleaning up. And then Cho left the room with Bruce on her tail again and you finally snapped from your shock.
“Bruce! Stay,” you ordered stiffly, slowly letting go of Katie, and he stopped dead in his tracks at your tone.
He cursed under his breath, reluctantly meeting your eye. You reciprocated his gaze with insistence, the last waver of doubt vaporizing into thin air. Releasing him form the cage of your glare, you took Katie’s face into your hands, examining the girl who only managed to blink in surprise at your actions.
You were right. There was no way you were wrong about this, no matter how insane it was.
“We need to talk. All of us.”
Katie’s lips parted when she saw the change in your expression. She knew something was different, the way you were staring at her now… despite the mess you felt you were, you knew you were looking at her with much more affection than just few minutes ago. Was it because you were grateful? Sure, she just saved your future husband. But that wasn’t the only reason.
“O-okay. Why don’t we change first?” Bruce offered, probably glaring at your still wet clothes and gesturing toward his own outfit. You wouldn’t know, because your eyes weren’t on him.
You still held Katie’s gaze. Her eyes were wide and glassy and you couldn’t quite process you were seeing your own eyes, the sight too much and yet not enough.
Your focus shifted towards the freaking necklace she wore. A snowflake. How much more obvious it could have been?
“Good idea. But then you two,” you gestured between them pointedly, breathless, “are gonna tell me everything.”
────── ·❆· ──────  
It only took you few minutes, your body running on autopilot; you were in the room you had agreed to meet in in no time, both Bruce and Katie already waiting, exchanging nervous glances. You nodded to yourself, wondering how you could even start – how could you even bring this crazy topic up.
The answer was that you wouldn’t. They would.
That or you were about to be proclaimed insane, except that you were scarily certain that you were right.
“FRIDAY, privacy protocol,” you requested, voice trembling. “Now. You two, sit and start talking.”
────── ·❆· ──────  
Part 7
────── ·❆· ──────  
Dun, dun, dun. But hey, looks like Steve survives after all…
I just love dropping random bits from TV series. I admit it. When writing this chapter, I remembered Charmed (the original series, ya’ know, the Halliwel sisters) and mainly Chris Halliwel, when he travels back in time and is almost erased from existence; when Piper and Leo find themselves in the Ghostly Plane. And he’s fading until they…uhm, yeah, do that. But I might as well be a dinosaur, so you possibly didn’t see any similarity. Never mind 😅
Thoughts? Either coherent or incoherent, both are very welcomed ;)
Thank you for reading! 
42 notes · View notes
astricprodder · 8 days ago
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spongebob has said “the imposter is sus” and in other news hell has frozen over
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anika-ann · 25 days ago
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Hell Froze Over - Pt.5
Mother(hen)
Type: mini-series to a series (part 1 & part 2 & part 3 & part 4),  Avenger!reader AU.
Pairing: Steve Rogers x reader       Word count: 2700
Summary: There’s a new enhanced on a scene, showing up at places of the Avengers’ fights. She’s fast. Really, really fast.
Katie is still at the facility and while Bruce knows her secret, there are other who have some... interesting observations on their own.
Warnings: brief violence (last part), brief mention of medical procedues, language, fluff
A/N: Oh look, it’s a short chapter...
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Between fighting aliens, running after ‘rush-girl’ and keeping an eye on her, the exhaustion took a toll on both you and Steve. Unlike your fiancé, however, you didn’t have a super-serum running through your veins and clearly it showed; Katie herself actually sent you to bed, assuring you she trusted Doctor Banner.
As touched as you were at the gesture, you still wavered. The training you had received still warned you about letting her be on her own with Bruce, who honestly too looked like he could use at least a nap.
So you decided to take turns. While you and Steve finally went to bed, Sam and Tony replaced you in the lab. Bruce still stayed and in a way, you understood. As tired as he looked, he was likely fascinated by what the results showed him and he was like a bulldog when he sunk his teeth into a problem, he just couldn’t let go until he found a solution.
When you re-entered the lab eight hours later, you found two sleep-deprived scientists and one supersoldier keeping Katie company. Which seemed unnecessary since she was soundly asleep, her hand curled around her necklace. You would never admit it out loud, but she looked kind of cute, few years younger now.
You noticed a fair shake of snacks wrappings on the table next to her, but paid no mind to it. You knew how that felt, needing energy, especially after shaking with cold for hours. And considering she was fast it was likely that her metabolism was fast too, which meant she needed to eat a lot. After all, Steve had unnaturally fast metabolism as well and he was insatiable… pun intended.
While Tony and Bruce discussed things you didn’t understand (something about a new round of tests), Bucky was sitting by Katie’s bedside, watching her intently.
“Watching someone sleep is creepy, Barnes,” you whispered, a useless gesture apparently, since dynamic Iron-Hulk duo was in a heated discussion, not minding their volume at all despite the sleeping girl.
Bucky raised his gaze and made sure you saw him roll his eyes.
“She just looks familiar is all, trying to figure out who she reminds me of,” he shrugged, standing up to stretch his muscles. His back popped as he raised his arms above his head. “You’re taking over baby-sitting duty, mum?”
Your eyebrows rose simultaneously with Steve’s as you exchanged a glance.
“Mum?” you parroted dully, not even noticing Tony’s and Bruce’s voices falling silent.
“What? You found a stray and took her under your wings. You’re mother-henning her. She’s asking about you non-stop. You might as well be her actual mommy.”
You nearly jumped out as your skin as a loud cough erupted from your right; Bruce was the source, spluttering what you suspected was coffee that went to the wrong pipe. Tony patted his back, only to be stopped by his hand.
“Wow, Bruce. If your body can’t even tell the difference between swallowing and breathing, you really should get some rest…” Tony mocked him and Bruce shot him an irritated look with his red-rimmed glistering eyes.
“I’m fine, Mr. I Have More Coffee In My Bloodstream Than Blood,” Bruce murmured back, small cough escaping him once more.
You chuckled at the note. Bruce was silent and serious most of the time, but when he opened his mouth…
Your gaze returned to the bed before glancing up to Bucky, who was giving you a pointed see-even-the-scientist -agrees look. It was your turn to roll your eyes.
“At least I’m not watching her sleep,” you snarked, crossing your arms on your chest, resisting the urge to stick out your tongue. “Did she really? Ask about me?”
“All the friggin’ time, she was almost ignoring me,” Bucky confirmed with a sigh, patting Steve’s arm on his way out. “Pal, I think we’re getting too old to charm a lady. your gal’s winning them over. You better keep her on leash, because you won’t manage to get any other.”
“Hey!” you protested instantly, shocked by the comment.
“You could always try guys, Barnes!” Tony called out after the soldier, while Steve just huffed at your side and shook his head at his choice of friends.
You kinda agreed with him on this one. Rude.
“Been there, done that! Just not the same, Stark!” Bucky threw over his shoulder cheekily, causing you to blink in surprise.
As the door clicked shut behind him, you wordlessly asked Steve if he actually had. Not that it was really your business, but… hey. You were curious.
Steve just waved it off subtly, clearly not keen on elaborating, and then crossed his arms on his chest, mirroring you pose, except with a small pout on his lips.
“Do you think I’m old?”
You stared at him speechless, perfectly taken aback at the question. He reciprocated your gaze seriously, blue eyes piercing yours… and you couldn’t help it. You burst out laughing, bending in your waist with the roar of laughter, tears springing from your eyes.
“You— you’re asking me-“
You didn’t manage to let out more words, laughter taking over your body again.
Steve watched you without a single trace of amusement, frowning, seeming almost wounded. You pressed your lips together, making your way to him with silent giggles.
“Oh yeah, I think I saw grey hair this morning, right here-“
“Hey!” He snatched the hand you rose to the side of his face away, covering the place with his large palm.
Realizing he might have actually believed you and perhaps was getting self-conscious about his ‘actual’ age, you gave him a gentle apologetic smile. Grasping his protective hand carefully, you pulled it away.
You weren’t even offended he played you when he cracked his theatrics then, grinning back.
“You’re such a drama queen, Rogers,” you murmured, letting him sneak his other arm around your waist, pulling you against his front.
“Maybe. And maybe I’m just worried my gal will run away with someone younger and handsomer…”
You met his eyes twinkling with amusement, noticing the true shadow of insecurity in them lingering. The truth was that tiny wrinkles were forming around them, but only when he was smiling and you found it endearing; it was telling a story of lifetime of gentle smiles and laugh to balance the terror he had seen.
You kissed him lightly before wrapping your arms around his torso.
“Nah. I would have to look really hard for such a fella. Not worth it,” you cooed, grinning up at him.
His chest rumbled with hushed laughter, his lips pressing against your forehead before caressing your scalp.
“Geez, thanks. Thank god you’re lazy.”
You smacked his back playfully in return, rewarding him with a kiss to his jaw. “Shut up, Rogers. That was a compliment.”
“Oh was it now? When I get to call you Rogers, Anderson?”
You stilled in his arms, your breath hitching.
Ever since he had proposed, things had been shitty. The break-up of the team, the forced get-together to fight Thanos, people falling to ashes – the least favourite memory of yours, honestly –, your time in the soul stone or whatever while the survivors had been trying to find a way to save you, being saved, the aftermath, the reconciliation…. And then there had been other battles to fight, always keeping you busy.
In other words, there hadn’t been much room to talk about the wedding. Which made it even more shocking he brought it up now, so casually, when you were teasing each other.
You wiggled out of Steve’s embrace a bit so you could at least look up at his face again. He seemed nervous as if he only now realized the severity of such question, the tips of his ears bright red, his cheeks warmed up as well. God you loved when that happened. So endearing. So loveable.
You smiled at him widely, warmth curling up around your heart, excitement at the premise making your stomach somersault.
“Whenever you want, Steve,” you whispered, causing him to return the smile and kiss your forehead again, his grip tightening. His gaze fell on the engagement ring on your necklace.
“Soon then.”
“…is this about what Bucky said?”
Steve shook his head rapidly, way too fast. You raised your eyebrow in challenge and he wavered, apparently gathering his thoughts.
“I want it for a long time. I guess I just needed a nudge and… I guess we kept waiting for the perfect time to do it, but--”
“But it’s never gonna be perfect. Mm… Remind me to thank Bucky later,” you murmured, meeting Steve’s lips again, this time lingering.
“Hey, it’s impossible to work when you’re making out like horny teenagers here…” Tony hushed you from his station, causing you to sigh and roll your eyes.
But you did let yourself out of the protective cage of Steve’s arms.
As your gaze fell on Katie’s still sleeping form – and wow, how was she still asleep with all the crazy people around –, Bucky’s words echoed in your mind.
“Am I mother-henning her?” you asked reluctantly and Steve, firmly by your side, cackled in response – an answer of its own. He reached for your hand, squeezing lightly.
“A little. I think it’s cute.”
You huffed, wondering if it was the truth. You being a mother-hen. And naturally, your mind wandered to... being a mother. You had wanted kids, always, but it had been partly because you suspected you wouldn’t be able to do so given your fragile health. And after the transformation, you never gave it a second thought. But maybe…
You bit down on your lip and glanced at Steve, finding a thoughtful expression on his face. Maybe he was thinking about the same. Being a parent. You never really had that conversation. But now wasn’t he time… maybe you’d have a wedding to plan really soon.
But one day maybe…
────── ·❆· ──────  
All too soon after you took over and Katie woke up, the door to the lab flew open, revealing Natasha in her tactic gear – effectively giving you a heart attack.
WHAT NOW.
“Hey, fellas. Remember the little incident with fish-oil? You know, bunch of crystals falling to the ocean, causing people to cocoon in weird black whatever, some of them waking up with superpowers when they emerged?”
Steve at your side straightened in his seat, while you grimaced in confusion. Say what now?
“Uhm…”
“Yes...? Assuming you mean terrigenesis. What about it? What’s going on?” Steve queried.
You shot him a confused look. He knew what she was talking about? Was that another thing that had happened when you hadn’t been with them? How had no one told you about something this big? Come on! Superpowers!
…superpowers? As in-- you quickly glanced back at Katie, but she seemed as intrigued as you were if nothing else. Huh. Alright, back to the theory she had gained hew powers the same way you had; experimentation. Because that was always ‘fun’.
“Well, some of these crystals are apparently on the market. We don’t know how that happened, but we know someone bought them and the trade is about to take place in an hour. In Jersey. And we really need to go,” Natasha informed you matter-of-factly.
“How do I not know about this?” Tony complained, but jumped to his feet, ready to swith from playing genius to fly around in a suit.
“Probably had your mind elsewhere, Stark. Now, can we please go?” Nat eyed him. “Oh, and I decided Clint is on the babysitting duty.”
“Yeah. Because I just love dealing with speedsters,” the archer murmured darkly, appearing behind Tasha, who sighed at that. “No offence, kid.”
“None taken,” Katie quipped, curling in the covers. She had taken a shower earlier, her hair still little wet, and you couldn’t help but feel like she seemed a bit intimidated at the idea of being alone with Clint.
“Maybe I should stay-“
“I will,” Bruce interrupted you hastily, surprising you all. “What? You’re likely not to need the Hulk anyway. And I feel like I’m really getting to the core of our little problem...”
Natasha narrowed her eyes. Bruce seemed suspiciously eager to be here (though he wasn’t a fan of unleashing the green guy in the first place, so you supposed that was fair) and the way Katie relaxed when he offered didn’t go unnoticed by the spy – or you.
“You sure?” Steve asked Bruce as he rose to his feet. You hesitantly followed his example, eyes still on Katie. What was that about?
“Positive.”
“Alright… Clint and Bruce it is. You three, gear up,” Natasha instructed you, her bossy tone making you smile – even if you were heading out to yet another fight. Bad guys clearly decided not to have vacation ever again.
“Yes, Captain,” you teased Nat lightly and she rolled her eyes, while the corners of Steve’s lips twitched.
His fingers circled your wrist on the way out. “Hey, you feel up to fighting again?”
Your smile widened as he pretty much read your mind.
“Yeah, sure. I’m fine,” you assured him. You spared one last glance to Katie, honestly more worried about what you were leaving behind than yourself. She seemed worried too. You tried not to read much into it and gave Steve a once over, checking with him also. “You?”
“Always,” he sighed and jogged to the elevator with you by his side.
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As expected, the supposedly simple mission went to shit.
The awfully large group of mercenaries wanted the crystals really, really bad. And it had everything to do with the fact they had three enhanced on their team already.
One of them was able to control fire – as if he could shoot the fire from his bare hands. You were not pleased. It melted your ice all too easily and to be honest, it was kinda pissing you off. You ended up fighting him of course, because it would be a shame to the irony to be lost.
Another guy was able to turn into metal. Tony took it as a personal offence and went after him.
The last one… the last one could control electricity and disabled Vision within five minutes of the fight. Wanda was furious, so another pair of opponents was settled.
To assume that the others were chilling when fighting ‘regular’ humans would be stupid though. There were lots of them and they carried various guns and weapons you hadn’t even seen before in a picture, let alone in action. And learning what they could do for the first time upon seeing it, or worst almost feeling it, was everything but cool.
So while you were fighting the enhanced, the rest of your team was trying their best to keep the others occupied. Needless to say, they were doing a great job.
You built a ten-inch wall of ice in front of you when you saw a fresh wave of fiery monster heading your direction. Naturally, you ended up soaking wet, your clothes heavy on you, and you were getting incredibly irritated with this guy, you truly were. You hated this – the cold getting at you instead of coming off you thanks to your powers.
Well, if you could be dripping wet like a fucking mermaid, so could he.
This time you created a paper-thin layer of ice, sending it his way, heading straight to his eyes. He smirked and deflected it with fire – and ended up with a splash of warm water in his face. It didn’t hurt him in the slightest; but it gave you a second of him being disoriented and that was all you needed.  
Since most of your ice melted when being shot at him, you used the good old gun at your ankle. You had the minimum time to actually aim, but you hit the guy’s torso anyway.
His gasp was more shocked than pained, but you didn’t give a shit. You dropped a huge ball of ice on his head and even when it predictably turned to water, the excessive amount knocked him unconscious.
But you weren’t allowed to catch a break, to celebrate your little victory.
An awfully familiar cry of pain made your heart stop, knocking air from your lungs. You didn’t hear it often – but when you did, you knew something went terribly wrong.
Steve.
Steve was hurt and by the sound of it, it couldn’t have been exactly a graze.
────── ·❆· ──────  
Part 6
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I would like to remind everyone, but especially to someone who promised to do pretty much anything in case I didn’t hurt our precious Snowflake, that Snowflake was not harmed in this chapter. Oops.
If this felt like a filler chapter just until the almost-end, well… maybe I just want to stall the inevitable angst too.
Thank you for reading :-*
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snowbird-down · 25 days ago
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Are You There, Garlemald?
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There’d been plenty of distractions the last few moons. Ul’dah had done what it did best and began dry-heaving corruption again, this time robbing the Bellworks of a lucrative contract and awarding it to a suspiciously-positioned rival. That made this the second time that Laelia had tried to make an honest living out of the place, and the second time it had gone awry.
Not that it bothered her all that much. It was kind of fun to watch Eliane and Valeriaux do what Elezen seemed to do best and scheme their way towards solving the problem. Laelia was happy to help where she could but, like the rest of III Squad, had a rather specialized skillset and could only do so much. Her schedule went uninterrupted for the most part.
Until one sun when she pulled a company airship into Ul’dah for a routine parts pickup. Airports were a natural hub for rumors, and word was that the Legion had been sighted moving on Amal’jaa lands to the south. Nobody knew why, and the Flames remained tight-lipped about the whole thing. Couldn’t have folks fearing invasion, after all. But what the fuck was that about? A few moons ago she’d heard that Garlemald was in another civil war, and now it was invading? You couldn’t have both, so which was it?
That anxious feeling came back. Something clearly wasn’t right.
That night, Laelia returned to where she’d hidden the Delphinus in a crook of the nearby canyon. She hated having to move it these days, as it forced Valeriaux to have to re-glamour it to match the cliffside, but...this couldn’t wait. Muscle memory kicked in as she powered up the craft; it’d become an extension of her body long ago. And with that, she killed the lights, raised from the canyon, and turned towards the south.
Towards that damn tower.
She hadn’t thought much about them since the last time she’d tried to investigate; that weird frequency had been more than enough to turn her away. Again she tuned the vox to all the known frequencies the Legion communicated on. It was a touch risky: if anyone was monitoring the airwaves they could, in theory, track her down. Catching her in the air, however, was much less likely.
She almost wished it would happen. It’d been too long since she’d had a proper dogfight. The White Devils didn’t count, because the Voyage wasn’t hers; no, the last time the Delphinus had fought was against a flight of griffon riders, shortly before the Wall fell. They’d had a veteran with them. He knew to stay in the sun and go for the wings. It was Victoria who’d finally climbed out on the hull and rid her of the menace.
“...ry...be to...lemald...”
What?
Laelia blinked down and scrolled back. What channel was that?
“Glory be to Garlemald.”
Okay. Yeah, that’s...fine, sure. She didn’t agree, but sure.
“Glory be to Garlemald.”
Why did they keep repeating it? Why did it sound so droning?
A numbers channel, maybe? There was a possibility it was a pre-recorded message, played on loop to fill the air. Spies would be told to tune in to the channel at a specific time, and then and only then would the message briefly change. But she’d never heard of a numbers channel using a full phrase as filler like this.
Laelia frowned and pulled her mic down from her headset. There was one way to test.
“Squadron reporting in. Do you copy?” she said, in Garlean. “We’ve gotten turned around in this damnable desert. Please advise, over?”
“Glory be to Garlemald.”
Ok. Ok, that just confirmed it was a numbers channel. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d tuned into one on accident; vox technology was still new and there weren’t that many frequencies in existence.
But her people had one skill, and that was a powerful sixth sense. Right now it was screaming at her. This wasn’t normal. This wasn’t right. She had to know, dammit.
Laelia kicked up the thrusters and began angling in closer to the tower. She could just begin to see a familiar constellation of lights on the ground: the stark reds and blues that often were telltale signs of Garlean magitek. She decided at the last minute to turn the Delphinus’ flight lights on as well; after all, they’d surely welcome the sight of an Imperial airship flying in.
Someone ping me, dammit, she thought. Notice me. Ask who I am. Fucking anything.
Little fires were burning down below. Campfires. It made her think of the nights when they were out in the woods just outside the Wall, when De Meer would get jumpy so Dec and Valens would--
KRANG!
The Delphinus lurched as something pinged off its bow. That was NOT what she’d meant, dammit!
Laelia flinched upright, glancing around as the targeting systems auto-activated and the console went red. Something else streaked past, screaming. A flash of claws. Beating wings. A shadow plunged from the moonlight. For a moment she could see those griffon riders again...
Laelia boxed one of the shadows in her crosshairs and squeezed the trigger. It exploded into meat, not feathers. She caught sight of leathery wings as it fell.
Was that a fucking dragon?
She’d kicked the hornets’ nest now. A whole cloud of black was headed her way. Laelia grit her teeth and sharply banked right, fishtailed around, and punched it back in the direction of the Goblet. Alright, fine. Fine! She’d leave. Fucking dragons! When did the Empire get dragons?!
But she couldn’t help glancing down at the vox. Even with all that attention just now, still nobody had hailed her.
The rear turrets auto-activated. She could feel the ship shudder as they fired. Now was not the time to waste ammunition, dammit; there was no way she could get more Imperial-grade rounds out in Eorzea, not without some dubiously-legal market browsing. But she couldn’t deactivate them; those things were as fast as they were dogged. Back in the day she probably could have dusted them, but not now that the Delphinus was laden with furniture. All she could do was evade and hope that some of the dishes survived.
500 rounds remaining.
320 rounds remaining.
116 rounds remaining.
92 rounds remaining.
The counter froze there, blinking at her passively. Laelia activated the rear camera in time to watch the cloud of wings merge back into the night sky. Back to their nest. Back to their tower. She was safe, for now.
But the pilot couldn’t help brooding the entire flight back to the Bellworks, and sleep didn’t come much at all afterwards. She knew she was going to have to go back, but...next time, she’d go by ground, and she wouldn’t go alone.
She had to know what was happening.
For better or for worse, she had to talk to her people again.
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anika-ann · a month ago
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Hell Froze Over - Pt.4
The Confidant
Type: mini-series to a series (part 1 & part 2 & part 3 & part 4),  Avenger!reader AU.
Pairing: Steve Rogers x reader       Word count: 3000
Summary: There’s a new enhanced on a scene, showing up at places of the Avengers’ fights. She’s fast. Really, really fast.
Taken in, Katie should have predicted the number of tests the would be running. She didn’t. And now she has a problem.
Warnings: mention of death in a family and grieving, brief mention of medical procedues, mention of hypothermia, language
A/N: So… I’m here, once again, to remind you that the Endgame as we know it never happened. Also, the POV will be shifting during the scene, sorry for that… you’ll see why soon enough. Enjoy!
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Previous part
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The plan, apart from waiting for all sorts of results, was to find out everything you could about Katie’s condition. And about her since she wasn’t willing to give you anything, but that goal was left unspoken.
Clint had offered to babysit for a little longer in favour to let you at least shower. You could use some rest too, but the obvious problem with the girl wouldn’t allow you to have such luxury, if only because the thought of her being in the lab would have kept you awake. And of course, the idea of you dealing with it while Steve would go to sleep was ridiculous and unimaginable for him, which meant no rest for him either.
So you showered together, deciding to be a bit more sleep deprived. Because not getting enough sleep was apparently in Avengers’ job description.  
When you re-entered the laboratory, you could tell Katie was feeling much better. There was a nervous smile on her face as Clint was telling her something and that sight brought a smile to your lips too.
“Hey, you look better,” you noted, rewarded by her pleased expression, something sparking in her irises. She waved at you in a greeting, showing off her hand that had a natural colour now. You nodded in acknowledgement of that fact.
“Thank you. I feel better. The chocolate was amazing and really helped,” Katie gushed, amazed at being here. As bittersweet as it was… she loved it here and wished she could stay much longer.
Clint leaned forward, his hands pushing onto his thighs to help him stand up. “Alright, I see I’m not needed, or-“
A beep of the computer Bruce was still sitting at interrupted Clint’s theatrical wounded note. Bruce looked at it, clinking on the announcement. Several sets of toned lines appeared of the screen and Katie immediately recognized a DNA test.
Panicking in an instant, she used the power she kept hidden from the Avengers she just met. The world around her froze, the time in the lab as if stopping, leaving everyone but her unmoving.
Katie stared at the monitor, biting her lip and grimacing as she realized just how badly she had screwed up. She should have foreseen it dammit, she should have never let them draw blood, because it was only natural that they would run this test as well.
And of course the software found matches. Goddammit, she should have expected it! But she was so distracted by the fact she met you, by the terrible mess it could make and yet how it felt like a blessing, a miracle.
There were two matches to the DNA database.
Obviously.
She couldn’t even imagine the consequences if you found out. She needed to get rid of the evidence – and she needed to do it quickly. But how the hell should she do that? She had no fucking idea how the operating system worked; not this one anyway.
The solution seemed obvious, but her heart was beating its way out of her chest at it, because it was a terrible idea. There was no way she should bring anyone else into this, but at the same time, she didn’t really have another option, did she?
You were completely out of question, obviously, as much as she hated it. Your fiancé as well, maybe even more so. Clint? He would never agree to that and she wasn’t sure he knew how to delete the results anyway.
She bit her lip harder as she looked at Bruce. Well. Technically, it was a bit of his fault she was here in the first place, so… yeah.
She sighed and gently touched his shoulder to unfreeze him; she always liked the physical contact better, it helped her to control her powers, even though she didn’t need it per se.
He looked up to check the results and she could only imagine how his eyes went impossibly wide.
On the monitor, there were two matches for her DNA, none of her own, because she couldn’t be in any database. Not yet. But the system found the closest matches – her parents.
Captain America and Frostbite.
Bruce’s head snapped to Katie and he seemed shocked to find her standing right behind him. Then he noticed no one else was looking over his shoulder and they were frozen in positions. His jaw slacked, eyes locking with hers.
“What the— how did you do that?”
She swallowed loudly as a hint of green crept up his neck. Shit, she so didn’t need him to Hulk-out now – that she hadn’t thought through, she should have considered that freaking Bruce out might unleash the other guy! Was there anything she hadn’t messed up just yet? Her brain was supposed to be fast!
She prayed the truth would do the job and calmed him down a little, as crazy as the things she as about to say would sound.
“Sorry! It’s… uhm, it’s the other ability of mine, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you but I swear I’m not here to hurt anyone!” she stammered hastily and there must have been something in her expression, something she would be grateful for the rest of her life, that caused the green to subdue, at least for now.
“What— you can… what, stop time?” he queried, eyebrows furrowing in curiosity. Ah, the scientist’s side came out instead. Guessed she could work with that.
Still, she made a face at his wording. She kept using a different term, as a tribute of some sort. She was freezing the time, or rather people and objects.
“Pretty much. U-- Bruce, you can’t tell anyone about this,” she pleaded, her gaze flickering to the monitor where the results were still in plain sight, accusing and unquestionable.
Despite his better judgement, Bruce took his eyes off her; something about her sincerity must have made him believe she wouldn’t hurt him, which she wouldn’t of course. His skin returned to normal entirely, but the tension was still visible in his shoulders. He stared at the results that didn’t make any more sense than her powers – not to him at least.
Not yet.
“How did you do this? How did you manage to manipulate it?” he demanded, completely at loss as to why the hell were the result ‘off’.
Katie just sighed. And here it comes…
“I… I didn’t. I didn’t do anything. It’s all them. And the laws of genetics, really,” she explained reluctantly, her voice strangled.
The moment of truth.
Bruce’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion and he glanced at her once more until his eyes widened. He looked at the monitor again, then at the two frozen Avengers in question, back at her again and at the monitor, seeing it in a completely different light. Katie’s heart skipped several beats.
Supersoldier’s daughter or not, she still had feelings and her body reacted to them – and she was… scared of what was about to come.
“Wh— how-- what? That’s not-“ he stammered, shooting the trio an incredulous look again before his gaze settled on her for uncomfortably long.
She could tell he was examining her features. Her blond hair she had after her dad, her eyes she luckily took after her mother, after you, so she carried a piece of you and she could see it every day when she looked in a mirror. Her dad claimed she had your smile too; and there was always a shadow of grief when he said so.
When Bruce’s gaze fell to her necklace, she knew that rationally, he had to believe her; she automatically reached for the accessory to fumble with, a terrible habit she had gained soon after receiving it.
A little something to remember her mother by – a snowflake charm. Katie’s gaze automatically flickered to you, the tell-tale burn of tears causing a lump to grow in her throat. She quickly tried to shook it off; she had no time for that now.
“But… is… wait, so time-travelling a thing?”
She gave an awkward smile. It wasn’t like she could keep the truth from him – it was obvious. “Yeah. From the time where I come from… yeah.”
He observed her in silent awe and she wondered what shocked him more. The fact she was from a freaking future – somehow – or the fact that… that she was his friends’ daughter.
She bet that was a bit too much to handle.
“The problems you have now… with the cold. They are the same as—” he gestured to your figure, slowly processing the information. “Oh my god. That’s-“
“That really has never happened to me before,” she admitted. “It must be the side effect of… time-travelling, must have exhausted me in a way I never was before. I did take a lot after my parents-“ her gaze flickered to Steve’s frozen form and yours – oh dear god, it was still so hard to believe she was really here with you. “Fast metabolism… like really fast, and… freezing people and objects.”
Bruce heavily leaned his back onto the seat, taking the information in. This was… impossible, he thought. And somehow, as the evidence was standing right in front of his eyes… it was clearly possible.
“So you’re really… really their--- hold on, so when you were talking about your uncles and aunts, did you mean-“
Katie smiled at him warmly this time. “Yeah. I was talking about you too, Uncle Bruce.”
Bruce blinked in surprise as the addressing rolled off her tongue as easily as if she was using it on daily basis. Which she was.
He chuckled incredulously, breathless. “Wow. That’s-“
“Insane? Yeah. The problem is, as happy as I am to meet mum, I shouldn’t have-“
Bruce leaned forward quickly, reaching out his hand to stop her nervous babble. “Whoa, whoa, wait. What do you mean ‘meet’? You never met? Why wouldn’t you--- but you met Steve? What— …oh. Shit… shit.”
Katie’s jaw went slack at the curse word leaving her uncle’s lips, but at the same time, the surprise was so unimportant in comparison to the grief that covered her in a heavy blanket like always.  
And she watched realization dawn on her uncle’s face, melting into sorrow and horror – and she could tell that his mind was racing too.
“Did you… did you come here to stop… whatever is about to happen to her?” he asked her warily, his eyes compassionate, yet strict. “I… it’s a horrible thing to say, but you can’t do that. Just you coming here, meeting up, it could completely mess up-“
She chuckled humourlessly, several tears escaping her eyes.
“You think I don’t know that? That me being here could… change everything? It’s too soon for me to do that, but I know that by coming here, I could even endanger my own conception. I could never be born, erased from reality, creating a time paradox, because if I was never born, then I could never come here and interrupt my conception, but then I would be born, et cetera et cetera and it could destroy the reality as we know it, our whole world sucked up in a worm hole or something,” she recited rapidly, blinking away more tears, because goddammit, it hurt to say it out loud.
Because she wanted to changed it. So badly. And Bruce just stared at her, rendered speechless. She couldn’t help a tiny smug smile at his baffled face. “Your words, not mine.”
“What-?”
“You were there before – you will be there before I come here. We would talk a lot about it,” she explained gently, swallowing against the pain that started to take over her body.
She was using her powers for too long now, keeping three Avengers frozen. An she did take after you a lot.
Bruce took off his glasses, rubbing his eyes at her admission. Katie could tell he had no trouble understanding what was happening – but it was whole new level of crazy and he remembered fighting aliens and army of robots.
“Okay,” he sighed, looking straight into Katie’s eyes. “I won’t tell them. But… we have to send you back. How do we get you back? I mean, if you continue being here…”
Dread filled Katie’s whole being, pain forgotten.
No!
“I have a way to come back,” she reassured him quickly. “Just… just give me one more day? Please! I--- just one more day with her. She’s… she’s so amazing, Uncle Bruce! She’s… she’s so beautiful and badass and kind, and… and the way dad’s looking at her, it’s— and he’s so happy. He’s… I can’t even remember seeing him like this. I don’t think I ever have.”
Her heart felt like bleeding at the idea of leaving you so soon again – and she could tell that Bruce understood… or understood enough.
And he did.
You were about to die. You were about to die, your daughter either never meeting you or not remembering you at all, Steve losing you--- all of them were about to lose you. God, you were so young. How much time did you have now? Katie had said it would be too soon now for her to… cause herself not being… well, conceived, but still. He couldn’t just let that happen! But at the same time, the time paradox-
He grumbled tiredly, massaging the bridge of his nose. What the hell should he do with all this?
“Why, Katie… why would you come here, why would you tell me of all people-“
“Well, you’re the only one I knew could erase the result of the test-“
He shot her a look and she didn’t dare to finish the sentence.
“That was rhetorical question. How am I supposed to deal with it? How can I keep it a secret? Why should I? Katie, you just told me my friend is gonna— and—Jesus Christ,” he cursed loudly, taking a deep calming breath.
“Sorry?” Katie quipped, offering to share precious information as an apology. “Also… it’s… it’s Grace. My name is Grace.”
Bruce huffed when he felt as if the weight of the whole world fell on his shoulders, but as he watched her, he knew she must have felt exactly the same, maybe even worse. He understood – well, he could pretend to understand why she had done it, how she must have felt. Wanting to see her mother alive, just this once. If there had been an opportunity to travel back in time, how could anyone blame her? Even with the risks?
And yet, somehow, she was still trying to be responsible, asking him to delete the record, so she wouldn’t mess up the future – had she known exactly who she had been saving when helping the Avengers too? Had they been people she knew would survive anyway? Had she been that careful? Bruce had a feeling she had done her research and the answer was yes-
God, how much strength it had to take not to tell you that she was your daughter? Not to save your life?
Well, he was about to find out. Christ, how was he gonna live with that? When you… when you would die, oh god, how was he gonna live with himself, knowing he could have prevented it?
“Uncle Bruce, please. I can’t keep it much longer. I’m getting cold again.”
He shot her a horrified look as her hands started once again losing their natural colour. Damn the pain, she lived with pain her whole life; the uncontrollable shivers that attacked her again, that was new and it was a problem.
“Dammit!”
Bruce quickly spun to the computer and slipped the glasses back in their place, wanting to cover her tracks. His index finger hovered above the delete button.
Oh, this was such a wrong thing to do… and yet the only right thing.
“Please.”
He hit the button with a sigh.
“I’m a terrible actor, you know,” he rasped, trying to regain composure, preparing himself for playing a charade.
“I know,” she chuckled, the sound unfairly humourless. She climbed back to the chair, pulling the blankets over her to cover the sudden – sudden for the frozen people when being unfrozen, that was – change. “You couldn’t keep my birthday party secret, not once in eighteen years. Ready?”
“Not even close. Just let go so you won’t hurt yourself… Grace.”
She gave him a watery smile, shaky, and she curled up into the covers. She took a deep breath in and released the people she was holding as prisoners.
“-or wanted, so I’m just gonna go. You guys have fun,” Clint finished and you rolled your eyes, patting his arm.
“Sure, you go, old man. You look like you need rest.”
“Steve, your girl is being rude. Put her in line,” Clint grumbled. “She has the ball to call me old.”
“I will. Thanks for… waiting here. We needed a clean-up at least,” Steve said honestly and Clint made a face, twisted in disgust.
“So didn’t need to know that.”
You rolled your eyes again at whatever direction Clint’s thoughts went and rather shifted your attention to Katie. When you looked at her properly, your eyebrows furrowed.
You would swear she had looked better. She had, right? She seemed so small in the covers now…
“Oh my, you didn’t get all that better, did you? Let me—let me make you, uhm-- you want another chocolate? Or rather a tea?” you offered sincerely, as lame as it was.
“She makes a mean tea,” Bruce hummed absently, checking the results of the tests.
“Thanks, you never told me that!” you smiled at him, pleased. One would say there was nothing special about making a good tea, but hey, it could be a rocket science, okay?
A brief panic seemed to flicker over Bruce’s face for some reason before he smiled awkwardly. “I thought it was implied.”
You chuckled and turned back to Katie, still awaiting her answer. She was definitely worse than just a moment ago. Strange.
“I’d like to try that tea, then…”
“Coming right up.”
Katie’s gaze followed you reverentially and Bruce suddenly realized, that as much as his consciousness led him to praise you for no reason, it was nothing in comparison to how obvious she was. It was so easy to spot the fascination now when he had an explanation for it. He gave the girl a knowing look, his eyes turning glassy.
How the hell was he going to deal with all this mess?
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Part 5
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Reminding you again, that this was written before Endgame. I know it’s not explained in this fic how this situation happened, how they fixed the universe and ended up alive – but they did not time-travel :)
And someone give Bruce a hug, please. That was mean of me to load that on him, but he was a clear choice.
Katie’s necklace if you’re interested
I was kinda excited about this chapter :)) Please, let me know what you think… and thank you for reading.
(Also, I’m not denying heavy inspiration from one TV series, I’m not gonna name O:-) If you know, you know, if not, even better.)
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anika-ann · a month ago
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Hell Froze Over - Pt.2
The Biggest Lead So Far
Type: mini-series to a series (part 1 & part 2 & part 3 & part 4),  Avenger!reader AU.
Pairing: Steve Rogers x reader       Word count: 2200
Summary: There’s a new enhanced on a scene, showing up at places of the Avengers’ fights. She’s fast. Really, really fast. And Wanda can’t read her mind.
So far, she has been helping. But surely it’s only a matter of time before she switches switch sides – otherwise she would have approached you instead of speeding away.
You had a problem. And you needed a solution.
Warnings: Tony being a jerk, a bit of inuendo, pseudo-science, language… oh and extreme fluff
A/N: Watch out, I’m posting two chapters today as a treat... because this one is rather short.
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You were five minutes in digging into all the locations the Rush-girl had showed up at, when a pang sounded in the room. You looked up at the screen curiously, peripherally seeing the others doing the same.
Your eyes widened as another dot appeared on the map of locations. The strangest thing was that while all other locations were marked red, this one was marked blue.
“The hell…?” Clint questioned, sounding as confused as the rest of you, while you all exchanged puzzles glances.
Before a theory could form, the door into the conference room flew open, revealing Tony Stark himself again.
“Hello, my clueless friends,” he hummed with a grin, causing you to sigh and sag into your seat. Great. Now Tony I’m-Smarter-Than-All-Of-You-Combined Stark was coming out to play.
“I thought you had a place to be,” Sam noted sarcastically, his gaze returning to the screen again.
Tony scoffed. “I did. Now I have to be here for my big reveal.”
“Which is?” you asked, slightly annoyed. Okay, more than slightly. One look towards Steve told you he felt the same; Tony was keeping secrets and was being smug. Again. That was never good.
“Avengers, I present you – our Rush-girl’s current position!” Tony called out ceremonially, smirking as he looked around the conference table, taking in the shocked expressions.
Wait, what?
Your heart skipped a beat. Her… what? How? How could he possibly-?
“What do you mean?” Steve demanded, leaning forward in his chair, watching the billionaire with eyebrows raised.
“What I said, Rogers. I put a tracker on her. It was supposed to activate after an hour, so she wouldn’t notice it immediately. It’s an hour, so here we go.”
He emphasized the last sentence with a clap of his hands, gesturing towards the map.
The room fell silent apart from the quiet beeping still announcing the address. Everyone was staring, clearly too confused and too sceptical to speak up.
To be honest, you were sceptical too. The girl had been on your radar for three weeks and just now, Tony miraculously placed a tracker on her? Just like that? What kind of a deal with the devil had he made? And you meant the actual Devil not Matt, you had handled that one – not that Matt had been any help in this particular case. His ears actually hurt when he caught the supersonic speed noise, so he tended to avoid it rather than follow it.
Tony reciprocated Steve’s stare you, his eyebrow arched cockily. You scanned the room, seeing no one was about to break the silence again.
You sighed in resignation. It seemed you were about to be the one to humour the billionaire who needed to be reminded times and times again that he was the brilliant one. You could scoff; as if he was the only smart person in the room.
Just at that thought, you sighed again and rolled your eyes. Tony’s face lit up in response as he recognized your breaking point.
“Alright, genius. How did you place a tra-“
“I’m so glad you asked!” he cheered like a freaking five-year-old and approached the screen rapidly, only to start a new hologram next to it. Some numbers, diagrams and schemes appeared, not hinting you at all what he was about to tell you.
Great.
“So, as you probably know, I tried to bug her before. Somehow, she kept escaping me despite my outside-the-box ideas.” Collective eye-roll followed, but not one verbal answer. “Our Speedy was just too fast, escaping.”
“Right. You could almost say she was rushing away,” Clint noted, earning a glare from Natasha. Tony snickered and held out a hand for a high-five. Clint happily obliged.
“Go on,” Bucky prompted Tony with a sigh. “How did you manage to match her speed?”
Tony grinned in response. “That’s it. I didn’t. I just figured that even a hummingbird like herself had to stop at some point.”
“Alright, this is a good one, I give you that,” Natasha noted and you snorted. She wasn’t wrong, obviously, but if even Natasha was willing to say that Tony was right? Wow.
“Okay. And?” Steve urged, shooting you a betrayed look for falling for Tony’s jokes. You just smiled back at him, all innocence.
“And the key was to figure out when that would happen. Well, kinda. I never knew and never will, because miss Mind-reader over here is useless with this chic.”
Wanda narrowed her eyes, while Vision gently placed a hand on her shoulder, while his glare could be as well throwing daggers at Tony.
“Tony-“ You scolded him for being an ass, but Wanda was quick to interrupt you.
“No, it’s alright. He’s not wrong. She’s just blocking me and I should be able to read her, but I’m… not.”
“That’s not your fault. Certainly isn’t or the lack of trying or too low skill level,” Steve interjected kindly, causing you to smile, your hand automatically moving to cover his.
As far as intelligence went, his emotional one was considerably higher than Tony’s… most of the time. Not that other kinds were drastically lower – you liked to think your fiancé was brilliant, thank you very much.
“Anyway. Long story short, I created a tiny bot to be drawn to her kinetic energy, so it followed her and the moment she stopped, it just, mwah-“ Tony explained, accompanying the smacking sound with his hands connecting, interlacing his fingers. “Forever in love.”
“Boom! Let’s get her then,” Sam cheered, jumping to his feet – only to be stop by Tony’s patronizing smile and gesture to sit down again.
“Not you, Icarus. You need to work at your interpersonal skills still.”
“Yeah, leave it to the professionals-“
“You’re not coming either, Clint,” Tony humbled him with a tight-lipped smile, gesturing for him to stay seated, while Sam once again fell on his ass as well.
“Why not? I’m a great interpersonal—person,” Clint protested grumpily, but didn’t really argue.
You couldn’t help it; the corners of your lips twitched upright at his wording.
A snap of fingers echoed in the room and everyone turned to Bruce, whose face was shining with excitement. “You want Frosty to go.”
“Bingo!”
You gulped, your heart beating your way out of your chest at the mention of ne of your many nicknames.
“What? Why me?”
“Because, Popsicle, you’re cold,” Tony said matter-of-factly.
“No, I’m not!” you protested swiftly, crossing your arms on your chest, slightly insulted. You weren’t--- you weren’t cold! Hell, Natasha teased you sometimes you couldn’t be a spy like her, because you just didn’t have the ability to be mean; unless someone was threatening your family. “I’m nice! You know what they say! Hands cold, heart of…---oh,” you paused mid-sentence as realization hit you, chasing a flush to your cheeks at your error. “Not that kind of cold.”
Well, that made more sense. He was talking about your powers, because… because….? Why were you the person for the job again?
You pursed your lips, trying to figure out the reason as it lied at your fingertips, just out of reach.
“Yeah. Guess what – the particles of her body are moving fast, creating a lot of heat, and heat can only be stopped by-?“ Tony hinted you, gesturing towards you dramatically, realization dawning to you.
Right.
“Yeah, I get it, I’m not that stupid, okay…” you hummed, mind already racing as to how would it go. You weren’t confident that the answer was ‘well’.
Obviously, you were flattered that you were the one trusted with this, but simultaneously it felt like you were the only option. And not having another option led to bad decisions. Like trusting you with this. You. Apparently not the whole team.
You bit your lip as you felt everyone’s eyes on you. “Please, tell me someone’s coming with me.”
“Sure thing, doll. I’ll go,” Bucky shrugged before Steve could even say a word.
You blinked in surprise, shooting Tony a questioning gaze. He was the one coming up with the idea, after all. You were curious about what his plan was, even when Steve was usually the one running the op – for a good reason too. You still remembered what Tony’s response to ‘we need a plan of attack’ had been.
“Really, Buck?” your fearless fiancé complained, clearly insulted – and rightfully worried for you.
Because as far you knew, he always wanted to be there by your side, watching your back. And you needed him there; as he squeezed your hand in reassurance, you already felt better.
You’re not alone.
I believe in you.
You felt calmer at instant, a small smile spreading on your lips as you turned to him, meeting his warm blue eyes. You smiled a little wider when you felt his thumb run over the back of your hand.
Tony cleared his throat, making you return the attention to him. He was watching you with raised eyebrows, but he didn’t fool you – you could see the content spark in his eyes, because as smug and cheeky he was, he was simply happy for you.
“Are you done gazing into each other’s eyes? Because you have a stray Rush-girl to catch.”
The heavy weight falling off of your shoulders when learning Steve truly was the one coming with you had to be heard in Jersey at least.
“Hey! Why is he coming and not me?” Natasha complained with a teasing note and Tony actually rolled his eyes, seemingly annoyed.
“I would go myself, but people still seem to have a crush on our dear Captain, despite his time as a fugitive. He’s coming to do the PR part. I heard he’s giving good spontaneous speeches, the disappointed dad look and all that.”
“Well, he’s not wrong about that,” Bucky noted with a one-sided shrug, earning many hums in agreement from around the room.
Tony clapped his hands.
“Chop-chop. Come on. No time to waste. We won’t wait seventy years for you to-“
“Snowflake, would you be so kind to freeze him mouth?” Steve pleaded, but tugged at your hand gently so you would be on your way, because Tony did have a point.
“Oh why? Does she ever kiss you to freeze yours? Are you into little ice-play?” Tony retorted with a smirk, not at all feeling threatened by the request.
Your skin cringed at him poking your love-life again; Steve’s grip grew stronger too, especially when he could hear Bucky, Clint and Sam snicker, while Vision just asked what kind of game that was, causing Wanda to whisper something in his ear.
“Anthony Stark, I swear to God-“ you started, but Steve just dragged you away, seemingly not carring that you nearly tripped over your feet as he did so.
You breathed out slowly as the door clicked behind you and glanced at Steve’s face, only to see the tips of his ears pink.
Aww, he was blushing! That almost made Tony’s teasing worth it. You nudged Steve’s side tenderly.
“Are you?”
“What?” he yelped, faltering in his steps.
You gasped as his cheeks turned red as well. No way.
“Wait, you are?!” you exclaimed, genuinely shocked.
Really? After seventy years of being stuck in the ice…? And how had you not figured that one out before? You had icy superpowers for god’s sake! Sure, you hated using your abilities against him, but… how had it not come up, like ever?
“Now’s really not the time-“
You grabbed the leather strap on his right shoulder, pulling him behind the corner, Lips pressing against his firmly. He drew in a startled breath, but slowly melted into the kiss, allowing himself a moment before jumping straight into another mission.
Heart pounding despite the sweet familiarity of feeling his mouth against yours, you carefully let a little coldness in, just a pinch of chill between your lips. Steve’s breath hitched, sending your heart into frenzy. Oh boy.
“Don’t-“ he warned you silently as he retreated, squeezing your hip. Your fingertips tingled at the order. Your lips brushed his again, nothing but warm this time and smiled against his mouth.
You did have a mission, after all.
“We are exploring this,” you promised as you hid your head in the crook of his neck. Feeling brave, you placed a soft cold kiss there too. Goosebumps erupted on his skin immediately, but you had a hunch that there was more to that reaction, especially when he grunted in response. “Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.”
“I cannot believe you became such a tease.”
Steve kissed your temple, running his hand over your side, his fingers tickling you. You giggled and tried to escape the torture.
“Don’t you dare—” you warned him, his pointed look telling you that he was just giving you a atste of your own medicine. Which was fair, you supposed. You mouthed a sorry, not feeling apologetic in the slightest. The things you’d do later… “Good to know we know each other’s soft spot now, I guess.”
As you retreated completely and he shook his head at your childishness, you were met with his tender smile, his eyes watching you with so much affection you just didn’t feel like you could contain it. God, you were such a lucky woman.
Steve spent another precious moment caressing your cheek with his knuckles, tugging a loose strand of hair behind your ear.
“I would think you know my soft spot for a long time, Snowflake,” he whispered softly, pressing a kiss to your forehead.
You shifted a bit, pressing a kiss to his fingertips, before you returned your gaze to his eyes, letting yourself drown in the sea of warm blue. “As you know mine.”
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Part 3
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If you feel nothing is happening, you’re probably right. For now - which is a part of the reason why I’m posting two chapters in a row. 
It’s all fluffy and sweet as cotton candy, but… maybe you should stash it somewhere for the rainy days. Just saying ;)
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blooddrop-palace · a month ago
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Hell Froze Over, and We Shall Reignite It
Chapter 8: The Threads Connect
Chapter Summary:
There's a lot going on in everyone's minds right now. An odd time for deep shower thoughts, or thoughts while waiting for pasta to boil, or thoughts while sitting alone in the lounge waiting for everyone to show up.
Despite how urgent their task was, when you need to take things one step at a time, sometimes each step felt like an agonizingly small distance.
This family seems to never be fated for a simple reunion.
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sightego · 2 months ago
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just googled and almost every site says pisces is not even in the top three most common. yall know what sign is? virgo. so i was wrong And im not special. dont know what to say abt that.
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floralbfs · 2 months ago
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i was making ice cream but after i did the difficult bits i couldn't finish bc i didnt have enough whipping cream
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#I BAKED THE BIRTHDAY CAKE CRUMBS!!!!! I MADE BROWN BUTTER!!!!!! AND THEN STUPID WHIPPING CREAM STOPEPD ME?????#jail.#worst part is we went to the store and were literally abt to pay but my mom didnt have any money so we went back home to get some but when#we arrived back at the store they had already closed even tho there were still ten mins left to closing time???#and i understand they can close before if they want so they can leave on time BUT I JUST HAD TO PAY FOR MY SHIT I HAD THE MONEY READY#so im gonna cry 😗✌️#my mom's supposedly going to buy the whipping cream in the morning but 1. she's most likely going to forget & 2. i WANTED to leave the ice#cream to freeze overnight AS I SHOULD and i wanted to eat it tomorrow#and i know it's stupid and i can leave it to freeze during the day and like eat it in the afternoon but that's not what i wanted!!! that's#not what i planned!!! what i planned was i made the ice cream at night and froze it overnight and ate it in the early afternoon!!!!#if i dont freeze it overnight it will only have max. 5hrs of freezer time and that is NOT good enough#ooooh am i having a breakdown??? over ice cream??? cool.#god FUCKIGN hell and this is all my fault for not making sure there was enough whipping cream!!! i just thought my mom said the machine cld#do whipped cream from scratch so i started the recipe but then when everything else was ready she was like “what? no i meant condensed milk”#HHHHHHHHH#ok im gonna stop here before i cry from stress 😗✌️ might delete this later maybe in the mornign bc im going to skeep smbdnsbfns#honey talk#food ment#negative /
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gilby-the-geek-girl · 2 months ago
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Where’s There’s Smoke Update:
Hi everyone. @sebthesnipe lives in Texas where Hell has quite literally frozen over. She has had a total 15 mins of electric power over the last 2 days and has had to build a DIY stove out of a clay pot for warmth. She and her family are safe and hunkered down, but due to these conditions, which are only projected to get worse after tonight (2.16.21), we will not be able to post a new chapter this week.
We hope you understand and that you’ll keep reading our story once we’re able to pick it up again ♥️
Sincerely, Gilby
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olicityotp-always · 2 months ago
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Well, frack.
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thefixer · 2 months ago
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WELL          . . .          this  is  it .          the  moment  we’ve  all  been  waiting  for .          at  least  for  them ,          this  was  something  they’ve  been  waiting  for .          a  stand  still  in  time  where  she’s  stuck  between  reality  and  pure  ecstasy .          the  tension  between  them  was  built  up  over  time ,          PERHAPS  THAT  WAS  INTENTIONAL .          maybe  she  just  wanted  the  tension  to  get  so  thick  that  pat  practically  buckles  under  pressure .          or  it  could  be  because  she’s  a  bit  of  a  masochist          . . .          torturing  herself  with  desire  by  denying  herself  of  it .          but  they  waited  long  enough  for  their  tension  to  come  to  an  end .          to  an  end  that  was  crash  landed  with  a  deep  and  heated  kiss .          
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it  wasn’t  gentle  or  modest .          they  held  no  secrets  between  them  when  lips  crashed  into  one  another .          the  kiss  was  passionate  and  unrelenting ,          the  kind  of  kiss  that  get’s  a  person  weak  at  the  knees .          yet  she  doesn’t  buckle  and  in  fact ,          in  response  to  it ,          her  finger’s  curl  around  the  fabric  of  his  shirt  before  she’s  pushing  him  backwards .          coming  to  a  stop  when  patrick  bumps  into  a  table  and  a  chuckle  slips  from  her  swollen  lips .          A  MOMENTARY  REPRIEVE .          one  that  is  quickly  ended  when  she  returns  to  kissing  him  for  a  little  while  longer .          when  she  finally  does  decide  to  come  up  for  air ,          she  pulls  away  just  inches  from  his  mouth .          looking  into  patrick’s  eyes  through  thick  lashes ,          she  bites  that  bottom  lip  and  there  a  hand  goes  to  caress  his  cheek .            ❝          about  fuckin’  time ,          ❞          she  whisper’s  as  something  of  a  smile  is  beginning  to  appear  on  her  lips .
@realityrot​          (          random          )          :          how  long  have  they  known  each  other  ?          too  fucking  long ,          tip  toeing  around  the  attraction  they’ve  held  for  each  other  since  the  beginning .          at  least  patrick  did .          he’s  tired  of  it          ‘fuck  it’          he  thinks  to  himself  when  he  closes  the  distance  between  himself  and  mia ,          fingers  coming  through  her  hair  as  it  searches  to  rest  at  the  back  of  her  neck  and  pulls  her  in  to  plant  a  strong ,          desperate ,          long  overdue  kiss  against  her  lips .
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na-klar · 3 months ago
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feel like this is the weirdest most extreme weather we've had in a long time here in germany. stay safe everyone, especially when you're on the road ❤
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speckeltail · 3 months ago
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oh god the symbolism of ollie being deafened by an unhealthy situation he didn’t remove himself from and the similar symbolism of gabe being blinded by rage and murdering his costar bc he thought it would elevate his status... stagnation versus overzealous action... the inability to settle in a happy medium, being consigned to extremes. ollie and gabe’s matching desperate needs to be liked but gabe having cast it aside in favor of disdain and superiority... chapter ? the show must go on the best chapter that never was
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blooddrop-palace · 3 months ago
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When you need to re-read 7 chapters of your own fic...
Because you haven’t updated it since 6 months ago due to writing a bunch of other stuff. 
...oops. 
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porterdavis · 3 months ago
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Quote of the Day
"There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.
 "I will vote to impeach the President."
- @Liz_Cheney
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