now or never
warnings: every word out of harry’s mouth, aka swearing and lots of suggestiveness
summary: being the power couple they are, peter and harry help you ask out mj
a/n: HI EVERYONE i’m back for real :,) i know y’all missed me and i missed you too hehe it’s been way too long! i’m done with exams n all that so i’m ready to get back into writing ! since it’s pride month i figured i’d start with some gay shit because yeah? happy pride my loves and stay tuned cuz there’s lots to come <3
“i love you more.”
“not possible! i love you the most.”
you let out a long sigh as peter and harry get into one of their who’s the better boyfriend arguments. they’re the epitome of mushy gushy, and they don’t try to hide it.
you’re well aware that peter is a hopeless romantic, so you expect it from him. he’s worshipped the notebook and pretty woman literally since kindergarten. harry, however, wasn’t much for pda until peter. he wasn’t much for anything other than his occasional flings with cheerleaders. peter brings out the vulnerable side of harry that he didn’t realize existed.
it’s conflicting because you’re insanely happy the two of them found each other. at the same time, you’re kind of jealous. your heart aches whenever you catch them sneaking quick kisses or holding hands so tightly their knuckles turn white. oh, how you long to find your person.
sometimes, it feels like all your friends have except you.
peter and harry, ned and betty. even flash and brad are a thing. at midtown, everyone is off the market.
not mj, though.
she hasn’t been in the dating game since liz moved away. although, you still don’t understand why they were together in the first place. those two are polar opposites. liz would drag mj to parties and fancy restaurants that she didn’t particularly enjoy — she’d rather spend her nights in the library.
you picture mj with someone more her own speed, more lowkey. someone who appreciates her for her many quirks. for example, yourself. you’d make an interesting pair. you’ve considered this more than you’d like to admit, which you’ve yet to do to anyone but yourself.
maybe, you should come clean. you’ll talk it over with peter and see what he thinks.
“peter, can i-“
“no, stop! that tickles,” he giggles out. so much for coming clean. harry peppers kisses across peter’s face and holds him by his waist. “not until you say it.” peter attempts to block himself with his hands. “say what?” he’s playing dumb, grinning ear to ear. in retaliation, harry trails his kisses to each of peter’s palms. “you already know. just four little words, pete.”
peter can hardly take it, so he concedes. “okay, okay! fine! you love me more!” he groans and shoves harry away, only to be pulled in for a big hug. harry is sporting one of his cocky smirks. “damn right i do. you’re lucky we’ve got eyes on us, or else i’d-“
you slam your head against the locker you’re leaning on. no one needs to hear the end of that sentence. that draws both harry’s and peter’s attention, finally. they’ve barely acknowledged you all morning.
harry releases peter from his arms, turning around to face you. “whatcha doing over there, y/l/n?” he questions. peter peeks out from behind him with furrowed eyebrows. “you okay? sounded like that hurt.” you shoot him a glare. “it was supposed to. i’m doing great, obviously.” shrugging, harry turns to peter again. “she seems peachy to me. so, where were we?”
peter dodges the kiss harry leans in for. he gives him a stern look, going over to you.
“what’s wrong, y/n/n? and, don’t say nothing ‘cuz that’s not your nothing face.” peter gives you a small smile and pokes both your cheeks. you’d usually perk up at that, but you only keep your pout. “i just… ugh, it’s embarrassing. let me wallow in peace.”
you slide down the locker, peter catching your wrist before you hit the floor. he yanks you to stand and frowns.
“ok, now i’m really worried.” his fingers lock with yours, you chewing on your lip. “talk to me, y/n. what happened?” he squeezes your hand for encouragement. harry puts his hand on your shoulder, feeling bad for brushing your troubles off.
honestly, you’re making this out to be much more serious than it is.
“i, um…” you glance up at peter and harry, who both nod at you to continue. “i want a boyfriend! or… or a girlfriend. anyone, at this point.” harry elbows your arm. “yeah?” he muses and cocks his head to the side. “a girlfriend, you say?” “such a drama queen,” peter murmurs, patting you on the back nevertheless.
“being single is torture. you guys wouldn’t get it!” you defend yourself. peter scoffs at your statement. “uh, hello? harry was my first.” with a proud smile, harry moves so he’s next to peter. “pete was mine… technically.” he slings an arm around peter’s middle. “you wouldn’t get it anymore,” you correct yourself. your face falls as peter leans into harry more.
peter is right, you’re being dramatic. you wish you could help it, but it’s easier said than done. especially, when him and harry are attached by the hip, and you have to witness every second of it. it wouldn’t hurt so bad if mj was around right about now. you two usually team up and tease them together.
where is she, anyway?
picking up on your mood change, peter steps away from harry again. he comes back to your side.
“not the point. we hear you, and… we’ll dial it back,” peter reassures you and earns a noise of protest from his boyfriend. he shoos harry away. “ignore him.” you merely press your lips into a line. harry throws his head back in annoyance, grabbing you by your shoulders. “come on, y/l/n! that sound fair to you?”
being forced to witness their constant saliva exchanging is unfair to you. mj would agree.
“i have a counter offer. we’ll get you a fuck buddy of your own, eh?” harry suggests, peter’s jaw dropping on your behalf. “jesus, harry! we’re… we’re in school!” peter hisses and clutches onto his backpack straps.
you’re not offended like you probably should be. instead, you ponder the offer. it isn’t so terrible.
“not the way i’d put it, but sure. you guys know what you’re doing,” you give in, much to peter’s surprise. his cheeks burn red as he fiddles with his backpack. “there we go,” harry chuckles, hooking his arm around peter from behind. “anyone you have in mind?”
on cue, mj comes trekking down the hall with betty beside her. she tucks her signature strand of hair behind her ear, squinting at betty while she rambles about the latest gossip. you unintentionally gaze at her passing by. being her observant self, mj notices. she salutes you before focusing back on betty. your chest tightens, bottom lip between your teeth.
“mj?” peter brings you out of your dazed state. “you like mj, don’t you?” he’s already beaming about it, nudging your side. you’re not so subtle, you guess. “how… how did you…” harry cuts in to answer your question. “those were what i like to call,” he pauses to make air quotes and winks at peter. “‘fuck me’ eyes. i’m familiar with those.”
“ahem!” peter loudly clears his throat. “we’re dialing it back, remember?” his voice comes out as more of a squeak. you bite back a grin, harry clicking his tongue. “whatever you say, sweets.” he eyes you hopefully. “mj it is, then. operarion get y/n laid is officially in action.”
you tug on the sleeve of peter’s sweater, speaking lowly. “is he always this… excited?” you’re referring to harry’s never-ending innuendos. peter exhales and looks harry up and down. “yes, y/n. yes, he is.” he bumps his shoulder with yours. “but, hey! you and mj! i thought you might’ve had a little crush on her.”
you love him to death, but peter is the most oblivious guy on earth. if he figured it out, mj definitely did, too.
“what gave it away?” you wonder, peter scrunching his face up. “for starters… you used to flinch, like, every time she mentioned liz.” he’s known for that long? damn, you’re really not slick. “you listen to all those creepy murder podcasts she sends,” peter recounts. “those are interesting!” you retort. harry rests his chin on peter’s head. “the eyes,” he adds on.
he just won’t let that go. if you didn’t need harry’s expertise, you would’ve beat his ass by now.
“well, kids,” harry reaches over and ruffles your hair. “let’s get to work, shall we?” peter wiggles his eyebrows at you, prompting you to throw your hands up. “we shall.”
after discussing everything over soggy chicken nuggets and cold mashed potatoes, you’re ready to tell mj how you feel.
the only question remaining is, does she like you back?
“of course she does!” peter coos, setting a hand on your arm. “who wouldn’t? you’re so funny, sweet when you wanna be, pretty-“ harry flicks the back of peter’s head. “you’re a bi disaster, pete. can’t take you anywhere.” peter smiles wickedly at him over his shoulder. “you’re one to talk.”
“oh my god, enough!” you grumble, kicking peter’s leg under the cafeteria bench. “compliment me some more.” peter laughs softly. before he has the chance to, harry winds his arms around his waist protectively. “back off, y/l/n. get your girl instead of stealing my boy.” “he came onto me,” you remark, although you’re not wrong.
“whatever,” peter dismisses you both, craning his neck to kiss harry’s cheek. “we should go find mj. any ideas where she could be?” “the library,” you automatically reply. you’re a bit too fast because peter and harry make faces. “she loves it up there! what’s more mj than a room full of books?”
you sip from your carton of chocolate milk, distracting yourself from their judgement. peter breaks the short silence.
“true,” he affirms. harry places a kiss on the back of his neck. “we’ll walk you up, stick around for moral support.” your mind is racing, the reality of this sinking in.
you’ve never told a girl you like her before, or anyone, for that matter. you prefer to be the one who’s confessed to rather than the one confessing. putting yourself out there isn’t your strong suit, and the fear of rejection mortifies you. mj will not sugar coat it if your feelings are one sided. you’re not sure in the slightest how she’s going to take this.
it’s too late to back out now, though.
peter collects everyone’s lunch trays, holding out his free hand to you. “don’t worry, y/n. we’re right here, okay? we’ll be rooting for you.” you thread your fingers through his and let him help you up. harry jabs his thumb at the cafeteria doors. “lead the way, champ.”
the library is almost dead silent, save for kids tapping on keyboards and teachers printing last minute handouts. it’s honestly refreshing. you can see why mj usually spends her lunch here. you’d much prefer the quiet over the vulgar comments made by everyone in the cafeteria. by everyone, you mean harry.
you three head in and search for mj amongst the plethora of readers. you’re hidden between the bookshelves, pretending to look for novels. peter actually skims a few back covers.
“where the hell is she?” harry whisper yells, you hitting at his chest so he’ll shut up. “relax! we just got here.” you tap peter’s shoulder. “you see mj yet?” smiling to himself, peter folds the page of a young adult romance he began reading. he never even looked. “um, nope. i’ll let you know when i do.”
harry runs his hands through his gelled hair in distress. “i can’t believe this, y/n. seriously! i mean, she’s gotta be-“ “wait!” you squeal, alerting peter and harry. “right there!” you point at a table where mj sat down moments ago. she spreads out her homework, pulling a pencil from behind her ear. this is your moment.
“go!” peter eagerly commands. “it’s now or never, y/n. you got this.” he pushes you forward before you can respond. the abruptness makes you stumble, harry stifling a laugh. mj curiously peers up from her biology assignment upon hearing. her eyes quickly land on you. that wasn’t the graceful entrance you planned on.
gulping harshly, you head over to mj’s table. you wave to her on the way there, which she returns with a half smile.
“hey, mj,” you greet and grab at the empty seat. “hey, y/l/n. sit,” mj indulges, shoving her homework aside to chat with you instead. she taps her fingers on the wooden tabletop. “what’re you doing up here?” breathing out a laugh, you take the seat across from her. “looking for you, actually. i had a feeling this was where you’d be.”
mj leans back in her chair, her interest piqued. “oh? why’s that?” you meet her dark eyes that seem far more intense than usual. “because i know you, em.” she parts her lips to speak, but doesn’t say a word. her tough exterior almost fades away in that moment. “don’t get sappy on me, y/l/n. i’ll spew chunks,” she warns you monotonously.
and, it’s back.
“ok, ew. moving on,” you digress. “i’m here because i… i wanna tell you something.” your stomach drops, sweaty palms wiping against your jeans. you might be the one spewing chunks. “i’m all ears,” mj welcomes you with a definitive nod.
she’s also freaking out, just on the inside. this is petrifying for each of you.
you glance off to where peter and harry are watching you two. peter sticks out an exaggerated thumbs up, harry making lewd gestures until peter smacks his hand away. idiots.
“please don’t hate me,” you preface, mj’s features twisting in shock. “never,” she nearly whispers. that gives you the tiniest bit of confidence to spill what you’ve been waiting to. “thank god. well…”
you lose track when mj puts her hand on top of yours under the table. she’s rarely ever touchy like that, so this is a huge deal. warmth spreads throughout your entire body. mj runs her thumb along the back of your hand, willing you to continue.
“well, i’ve been thinking about this for a really long time,” you start and shift around nervously in your seat. “but… i was too scared to say it because i didn’t wanna make things weird between us.” mj does her best poker face while really, she’s terrified for whatever comes next. she hums to signal for you to finish.
mustering up a smile, you go on. “you’re one of my best friends, mj.” mj snorts at this, you fighting back an eye roll. “you make me laugh when no one else can, you’re so fucking smart. like, you’re a walking thesaurus.” she’s starring to get hot from your words, a giggle even escaping her. “get on with it, weirdo!”
fair enough, your buildup is quite excessive. that’s what happens when you take dating advice from peter parker.
“i like you, mj. i like you a lot,” you blurt out, a huge weight lifting off your chest. “i like everything about you.” the grin disappears from mj’s face. she shakes her head.
this is exactly what you were afraid of.
panicking, you attempt to fix your unsuccessful declaration of love. “um, you don’t have to say it back,” you mumble, staring down at her hand still on yours. “i know it hasn’t been that long since you and liz… it’s okay if you’re not ready to-“ mj suddenly pulls her hand back, expression indecipherable.
you’ve really screwed up now.
“what about me and liz?” mj sharply asks. you want to curl up in a ball and die there. “she- she just moved away and everything. don’t you miss her?” a bit more calm, mj twiddles with her fingers. “no, not really,” she casually replies.
you’re utterly confused about her response. you’d assumed she reacted that way because she’s hung up on liz.
“as a friend, yeah. but, we didn’t break up because she was moving,” mj further explains. you let this new information sink in for a few seconds before saying anything. “why’d you break up, then?” her shoulders slump, demeanor changing. “i, uh, i like someone else.”
great. here you are, professing your feelings to a girl who’s holding out for a completely different person. happy pride.
“oh, that makes sense,” you weakly acknowledge. “good luck with them, mj. i’m sure they’ll like you, too.” huffing, mj takes both your hands, intertwining her fingers with yours. “i’m talking about you, you dork!”
there’s no way.
you practically jump in your seat. “me? you’re kidding…” “i mean it,” mj clarifies with a shy smile. “i would’ve told you sooner. i’m just… not good at this shit. i’m sorry it came out so bad.” she averts her gaze to the floor, you gripping her hands tighter. “don’t be sorry. like i’m any better? peter and harry had to pimp me out.” mj snickers. “figures. ned was my guy.” “yikes,” you say under your breath.
“so, what now?” you swing one of your hands in mj’s. mj purses her lips. “date night? i was gonna binge true crime later-“ she remembers not everyone is into that. “unless, you wanna pick something else?” “true crime it is,” you confirm, standing up from the table.
when you said you like everything about mj, that included her concerning obsession with murder.
mj lets you tackle her in a hug, laughing into it and holding you by your hips. peter and harry whistle at you from behind the bookshelf.
“these bitches are gay! good for them!” peter cheers, mj flipping him off and you gasping playfully. that certainly ruins the library’s quiet atmosphere. harry sniffles with real tears in his eyes. “we did this, pete. look what we created.” chuckling, peter wipes his thumb over harry’s cheek. “babe, chill.”
you keep your arms around mj’s neck when you pull apart, bodies pressed together. “promise me one thing,” you request. mj looks from harry and peter to you, quirking an eyebrow. “we’ll never be like… them,” you half joke. she pecks your cheek in agreement.
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The Marriage Game, Part 4
Hi lovelies, here is part 4. As announced earlier, the story won’t have 4 but 5 parts, so this is not the last part 🖤 Also, I got inspired by a scene of Pride & Prejudice for this part 😏
I hope you enjoy - Love, Kiki 🖤
Pairing: Helmut Zemo x fem!reader (but else there are no descriptions of the reader’s appearance)
Summary: London, 1813. There is new evidence that Hydra - the secret organization that murdered your family - has taken root in Sokovia, under the reign of Baron Helmut Zemo and his court. The ball season has begun, Baron Zemo is visiting London to strengthen diplomatic relationships and gain new allies, and Sokovia is still lacking a Baroness. You, warden of Tony Stark, are the last chance to end Hydra without risking a war and find out if Baron Zemo is really involved in Hydra’s schemes. So, there’s only one thing left for you to do: woo the Baron, gain his hand in marriage, become his Baroness - and bring Hydra and the Sokovian court to its knees.
Word count: 10 k
Warnings: SMUT (so 18+ ONLY!), unprotected sex (this is fiction - please stay safe in real life and use a condom!), angst (but not much, I promise!), mentions of blood
READ PART 1 , PART 2 & PART 3 HERE 🥰
Part 4: A Mouse Among A Court Of Beasts
3rd August, 1813
“Your Majesty”, you greeted, sinking into a deep, reverent curtsy before the Queen commanded, “The letter you wrote me was the reason I summoned you today. Get back up, Baroness. We have a lot to discuss.”
Baroness. The barely contained mock in the Queen’s voice when she called you by your new title didn’t escape your notice. Your fists, buried in the opulent skirts of your gown at your sides, curled tighter.
“So, tell me, little spy”, the Queen crooned with a dangerous glint in her eyes, a smile playing on her rouged face, “Tell me what you found in Sokovia.” It felt as if War personally stood behind her like a puppeteer, pulling her strings with blood-caked hands, making the proud woman with the heavy golden crown dance to its violent whims. “Tell me everything, every last secret the Baron hides behind the walls of his palace.” There was a spark of greed in the dangerous depths of her dark eyes.
You stood a little taller, careful to school your face into the mask of cold complacency you’d become so accustomed to wear, like a pair of shoes you knew would carry you everywhere.
Voice steady and listless, you lowered your eyes and obliged with another small bow. “As you wish, my Queen.”
One day before
A week had passed since you’d crossed the threshold of the gates leading to Stark Manor on Grosvenor Square, still dressed in the dirt-streaked woollen dress you’d thrown over in your haste to leave Zemo’s palace and Sokovia and your heart behind, broken and defeated, with a deep well of grief gaping where radiant happiness had resided only days ago. Since you had told Tony that you knew what he’d done all these years ago. That you would never be able to forgive him for the atrocity he had ordered to be committed, no matter the things he’d done for you. The blood of Zemo’s family could never be washed from his hands. The hurt which had crossed Tony’s face as you’d seethed these words at him had momentarily sent a pang of guilt through you – before it had been replaced with pictures of Zemo in your mind, desperately scouring the ashes of his home to search for the charred remains of his family, and the guilt had evolved into grim satisfaction.
A week since you had sent an urgent letter to the Queen. The official tale you’d told about the return of Sokovia’s Baroness to her former London home was a terrible homesickness to which you’d succumbed, leading you to a spontaneous visit back home. The tale you’d told in the letter you’d written to the Queen was your offering to share valuable information you’d gleaned during your stay in Sokovia at the side of a man you despised. Information which, as you’d alluded to, would tip the scales in an upcoming war to her favour.
Having sent the letter, it had taken less than two days until a messenger had turned up at the doorstep of Stark Manor, requesting your immediate presence at the palace to wait for the Queen, who would soon return from her summer palace in the countryside where she was currently residing. Thus, you’d been escorted to the palace as guest of honour, awaiting the Queen’s arrival and her summoning. The Baroness of Sokovia. The Queen’s pet spy.
Currently, you were pacing the extent of the guest quarters you were residing in – quarters fit for a queen herself with the gold-painted stucco adorning the walls, the heavy velvet drapes framing the wide glass doors leading to your own huge balcony with a view of the palace gardens sprawling beneath and the beautiful painting decorating the width of the high ceiling that spanned over your head. It was a paining of a girl drifting in a pond, her golden hair floating round her like a halo and her eyes trained heavenwards with a dreamy expression while little faerie sat on the white waterlilies afloat all around her. Oh, to be that girl forever floating in this green pond among the faerie and water lilies, brought to life by nothing but brushstrokes of swirling colours. With her heart of paint, she would never have to endure the numbing emptiness of losing the one she loved, the agonizing pain of a shattered heart beating away in the confines of her ribcage as if there were shards of glass lodged in her chest, a pain so physical it made the world around her blur in a veil of tears.
While you paced around these rooms like one of the poor beasts some nobles liked to keep in gilded cages in their gardens, you were clutching the letter so tightly in your fists that you feared the parchment would tear. The letter with the broken seal, the skull-headed octopus of Hydra glaring back at you from the crimson of the dried wax like an omen of death.
Having discovered it on the ship which had brought you back to London, you had read this letter so often in the past few days since your arrival that you’d already internalized the words. The black words had engraved themselves into your mind like burn marks. And still, even with the evidence you’d been searching for finally resting in your trembling grasp, wrinkled with the repeated folding and unfolding by your fingers, it didn’t feel real. When your mind shouted at you that it was true, that the undeniable proof of Helmut Zemo’s involvement with Hydra was in your hands and you could finally take revenge for what they’d done to you and your family, the demons they’d locked into your soul to haunt you in the nights with the memories they conjured, your bruised and broken heart told you otherwise. No matter how this horrible piece of parchment had found its way into his locked desk – Helmut Zemo had nothing to do with Hydra. But the words where right there, on the crinkled parchment, strokes of black ink on yellowed paper which left no room for even the slightest sliver of doubt.
It is with greatest pride that we can announce the success of Project Winter Soldier. The vials will be ready soon, as will be your army. England will drown in a sea of their own blood.
With highest regards, Your loyal servant
W. von Strucker.
Blessed be Hydra.
It was what you’d so desperately searched for. This letter was what had woven your and Zemo’s paths together. It was only fitting that it should be the thing to tear you apart again. Having read these words for the first time, you had folded it, once, twice, and a third time, until it had been small enough for you to stuff it back into the confines of your corset, where it had been resting against your heartbeat ever since. A reminder of everything you’d accomplished, and everything you’d lost.
You’d stopped the pacing and instead come to stand in front of the grand fireplace with the gold-painted flowers carved into its smooth white stone, a small fire cackling happily inside its confines as if the heated summer air didn’t fill the room with its stuffiness already.
For a last time, you traced the nightmarish creature stamped into the wax seal with the tip of your index finger, let your nail scrape against the snaking tentacles. Tomorrow, the Queen would arrive and summon you to spill every last of Zemo’s secrets to her, desperate for the final proof that Sokovia needed to be fought; proof which she could present to her potential allies at the ball she would host in a few days. The letter in your hand was the most valuable evidence the Queen would ever get her hands on. Enough to incite the inferno of war. Enough to let you swing from the gallows should the Queen ever know that you’d once possessed it.
With a mirthless smile, you tossed the letter into the fireplace, watching as the flames claimed it, how their flickering tongues licked at the edges of the parchment. You watched the parchment curl and blacken and crumble in the ravenous flames. You watched the crimson of the wax and the little skull-headed octopus when it begun to melt in the heat of the fire, running like droplets of blood. You watched intently until the hungry flames had left nothing of the damning evidence but a heap of ashes.
Posing as the Queen’s pet spy was the best chance to glean any information to use as leverage against her. There was no way to turn back the cogs of time, to take back the lies you’d told and the hurt you’d caused the man you’d come to love more than anything else in this world. There was no way to rewrite the past – but there was a way to change the future. For now, you pushed back the thoughts of what you’d lost, the cruelty of finding the rarest kind of love, only to lose it again, to mourn your own future ahead of you – a future void of this love and instead filled with loss and grief over what could have been. You would never feel such happiness with another person, you knew. But even if the cost for these few weeks of happiness with Zemo would be to endure a hundred lifetimes of pain, you would gladly pay the price. And no matter where Helmut Zemo went, whether you would ever see him again, your heart would always belong to him.
Yes, all you could do now was to try everything in your power to give Zemo a future that wasn’t tarnished by the crimson fingerprints and screams of war, away from the reaper relentlessly swinging his bloody scythe on a battlefield, and hope the wounds the claws of your betrayal had slashed into his heart would heal with time to scars so faint he would forget they’d ever been there. Hope that he would find someone else to give his heart to. Someone who would protect it like their dearest belonging, instead of crushing it. Someone worthy of it. You would fight for Zemo, for his country, for the future you wished for him, no matter what it would cost you. How many tears could a person spill until the source ran dry? Would it ever? Or was this abyss of pain inside of your chest eternal, the blackness seeping out of it expanding until it wrapped around your soul and consumed you for good? There was nobody to blame but you.
No more tears. When this was over, you could succumb to that dark, empty void which had formed in your chest. For now, though, there was another lie to forge.
When the sun had sunken below the horizon and your maids had helped dress you for the night and left, your glance swept to the heap of ashes in the now cold fireplace. You couldn’t stop thinking about Zemo. About the look in his eyes when you’d ripped out his heart with your silent confession. I cannot lose the person I love most. Not again, he’d told you in your wedding night. It felt like a lifetime ago.
In the silence of your quarters, you could hear the soft pattering of rain against the windowpanes, announcing a thunderstorm had swept in as a short reprieve after all the blazing heat of summer in the last few days. Maybe a walk in the dead hours of night and through the cleansing rain would calm your raging mind enough to sleep for a few hours.
Thunder rumbled in the distance like an angry voice to disturb the silence of the night, and sheet lightning flashed across the sky to the west like a distant firework when you stepped into the warm, rain-filled air of the gardens. None of the guards watching every single way into and out of the palace had stopped you on your way. The rain was pouring from the starless night sky above you as if the skies were weeping, their tears warm and cleansing in the stuffy hot summer air. It was the first rain in weeks, and you were glad to have surrendered to the overwhelming urge to walk through this summer storm. A deep breath filled your lungs with the fresh fragrance of rain and grass and wet earth.
You threw a sideways glance at the marble statue beside you, a woman with flowing hair stepping out of a clam, her eyes unseeing, lips carved into an eternal serene smile. It was a carving of Aphrodite. The rain ran across her cheeks in rivulets like tears. Me too, Aphrodite, you thought bitterly, before you quickly moved along the gravelly path and ventured deeper into the maze of hedges and flowerbeds stretching before you like the Minotaur’s intricate labyrinth. You wouldn’t mind getting lost tonight, and there certainly were no beats lurking out here in the shadows of the night. No, all the monsters were slumbering peacefully in the palace. You needed to contemplate what exactly to tell the Queen when she summoned you tomorrow.
The robe you’d quickly thrown over your nightgown, made from heavy brocade with beautiful embroidery of colourful birds and exotic flowers that seemed to come alive against the dark background they were stitched onto, was already soaked, and your sodden hair was matted against your face when you’d followed the web of gravel paths to the pavilion at the edge of the palace gardens. Ivy and an explosion of pink roses were climbing up the wooden posts holding its arched roof, droplets of rain running over the soft petals to soak the earth beneath.
The pavilion reminded you of a lone guard standing watch over the huge gardens which were sprawling all around it, like a kingdom of its own. It was here that you’d struck your bargain with Zemo all those weeks ago, when the gardens had been transformed into the scene of a fairy tale. Now, with the lanterns and their golden glow gone from where they’d been woven into the branches of the old oak trees to leave only the pale moonlight between the drifting clouds to illuminate the garden, and the music replaced by the steady pitter-patter of the rain, the glittering facade had been washed away like rouge, the magic of this night stripped away to reveal the pale reality. Here, the orchestra had played the beautiful tunes Zemo had twirled you to across the parquet, all eyes trained on the two of you while you had sown the seeds for your revenge. The fairy king and his traitorous queen.
You hadn’t even noticed that your feet had carried you here until you’d taken the two wooden steps to seek refuge under the cover of the pavilion’s arched roof. You didn’t know how long you’d stood there, a soaked figure in the loneliness of the night, breathing in the smells on the warm, rain-cleansed night air when suddenly, a voice rung out from the darkness a few feet behind you and every muscle in your body tensed in response.
It was eerily quiet against the pattering raindrops on the pavilion’s roof, but you even would’ve recognized the warm, honeyed timbre of this voice against the roar of a thousand other voices, like a torchlight against the deepest night. You slowly turned around to face him, and the sight of him knocked the wind from your lungs.
His grey coat, sodden with rainwater, clung to his body; the white fur of the collar was soaked and rested limply against his shoulders. The chocolate colour of his hair had darkened a few shades, and rain was dripping from the wet strands pressed against his forehead to run down his face, the sharp of his cheekbones, in small rivulets that shimmered beneath the pale glow of the moon. He didn’t even seem to notice. His eyes, their hazel colour swallowed by the eerie half-light of the night shrouding the two of you, were trained on yours with an intensity that threatened to burn you down with everything it conveyed. The numb pain which had raked its claws over your heart this past week roared to life with the ferocity of a caged beast, and its force made you gasp.
For a few heartbeats, in the silence spreading between the two of you, all you could do was gape at him, wondering if you were still in your bed, dreaming. If this was a beautiful dream, or the result of a nightmare sitting on your chest to choke you. The thoughts dissipated when Zemo began to walk towards you, crossing the remaining distance with slow, deliberate steps like the most beautiful mirage until there was only one last step parting the two of you. Then, he tilted his head, eyes scanning your shocked face with his familiar watchful curiosity. It was all it took for your stunned trance to subside.
“I’m trying”, you finally whispered, so quietly that you wondered if he could even hear you against the sounds of the downpour. “I’ve been trying to make it right again. The Queen wants war with Sokovia and –“
“I’m not here because of politics”, Zemo interrupted you, and the firmness flashing in his eyes as he said these words seemed to flood through the cracks in your soul, like the first rays of the spring sun melting the sheets of winter’s glittering snow with its gentle warmth, thawing away the cold to resurrect the died and shrivelled garden beneath.
Zemo ascended the last two steps into the pavilion, his boots thudding on the wooden planks. “I’m here because I missed you. Every single day since I’ve let you go, I regretted it. Deeply. And no matter how hard I tried these past few days to rekindle my rage, to hate you for what you’ve done to me, I can’t.”
Your thoughts drifted back to the memory of a night, lonely in the darkness of your room, when you’d jolted out of a dream of hazel eyes and sweet kisses shared in secrecy, only to realize that you had begun falling for the Baron you were meant to betray, and the fall was hard and fast. Falling out of hate is so much easier than falling out of love.
“You’ve crushed my heart into a million pieces. And it’s still yours, every single broken piece of it”, Zemo continued. He was so close now that you could see the droplets of rain that had caught in his long, dark lashes, like dewdrops in a spider’s web, the pattern of little freckles and scars scattered across his beautiful features, every single one memorized by you with the caress of your fingertips and the touch of your lips like a scholar would memorize a map of stars.
“How can you be so sure, Helmut?”, you said quietly, “You’ve never seen me without the spy’s mask. This marriage is built on lies and betrayal. How can you be so sure you love me, not the idea of what could have been?” You sounded desperate.
“Did you lie when you told me you loved me?”
“No. What I feel for you has always been real”, you rasped, “My love for you will forever be imprinted on my soul, even if every single day without you feels like there’s an essential part ripped away from me. And it won’t stop bleeding.” You watched his eyes soften with every tear-choked word tumbling from your lips. This might be the last chance to tell him everything you never had but always intended to, and you would be damned if you would let it pass like a distant shooting star, so when he opened his mouth to say something, you raised your hand in a halting gesture to silence him again. “My whole life was spiralling around the desire for revenge. That was my sole purpose. Until I met you, and you pulled me out of this orbit with your arrogance and your quiet humour and the way your smirk that makes my heart somersault and the stupid head-tilt-thing you do whenever you’re observing something. But how can you still love me after everything I’ve done? I’m a traitor. And a liar.”
“A rather excellent one, I might add, yes”, he agreed, and the traces of his familiar wicked smirk played at the corners of his lips before his expression grew sincere again, “But that is the very definition of love, isn’t it? It means to love the whole painting, not only the beautiful parts. I’ve seen the painting of your soul, every dark shadow and every spot of light. And I still love every single brushstroke with all my heart. So please, come back to me, moye serdtse.”
Zemo reached out to brush away a stray tear which was running down your cheek, the contact of the pad of his thumb on your skin so tender and fleeting like the life of a dragonfly, and you closed your eyes at the tingling, burning sensation it left in its wake, the singeing ache for him it had stoked in your heart. His hazel eyes were brimming with a kaleidoscope of emotions; a silent plea mixing with a raw vulnerability you’d never seen him display before.
“Come home with me.” Zemo was a proud man. Hearing him plead like this, for you, robbed you of your words.
Slowly, he raised his hand, his palm angled to you, and the whisp of a smile flitted across his handsome features when you mirrored the movement so your fingertips were grazing the rain-wet skin of his palm and the lifeline running across it, before you locked your fingers with his.
You didn’t know whether it was you or him who closed the last few inches between the two of you – and it didn’t matter. Zemo’s fingers gently grasped your chin to tilt your head up and meet his lips in a desperate, greedy kiss so fierce and full of everything said and everything unsaid, of heartbreak and grief, of hope and love. The gardens became a blur around you while every single one of your senses came alive, narrowing in on Zemo.
His tongue grazed your lower lip, begging for entrance, and you opened your mouth eagerly for him, and the sweet taste of his kiss mixed with the rain and salt of your tears. Tell me this is real, your lips moving against his seemed to beg, tell me you mean it.
This is real, his sigh against your lips reassured, It’s real and I love you and I need you. In every single way. His fingers threaded through the soaked strands of your hair, pushing them away from your face as his hands gently tilted your head to deepen the kiss, and your back thudded against the wooden pillar of the pavilion when he pressed himself against you. He was already hard against your thigh, beneath the layers of soaked fabric between you, and you could feel your own familiar heat blooming in your belly at his desperate kisses and urgent touches of his hands, roaming across your waist, the peaks of your breasts, over your neck and back into your dripping hair as you did the same, eager to feel every inch of his skin beneath your trembling fingertips, from the firm planes of his abs to the rain-soaked chocolate curls of his hair. Together, the two of you sunk down onto the stairs, Zemo beneath you and you on his lap, with your legs straddling him, and neither of you cared about the rain pelting down on you in ribbons, the hard wood of the pavilion’s steps underneath. Rain and night became your guardians, veiling you from the prying eyes of the rest of the world. His clothed erection rubbed against your own arousal when you leaned in to continue the kiss, sending jolts of pleasure through your body as you slowly rolled your clothed core against him. The heat of his firm body seeped through the fabric separating you from him and into yours, and the ache to feel his bare skin against yours became an overwhelming tide.
“I missed you so much”, Zemo murmured into the kiss, “Don’t leave me again. Please.”
“I won’t. I promise I won’t, my love”, you vowed with a broken voice.
The drenched fabric of your nightgown had ridden op your thigh, and Zemo groaned beneath you when you eagerly rolled your hips and his hardened length pressed into your crotch through the layers of wet clothes between you, sticking to your skin, and the sensation flooded you with pure bliss, a raw need to feel every inch of him inside you.
He loosened the grip from your hair as he noticed what it was you wanted and his rough hand roved down your spine as he continued to nibble on your lower lip, sliding his fingers down the loosened, dripping brocade of your robe and under the lace-rimmed seam of your nightgown to push the fabric up the rest of the way. His thumb brushed against the wetness pooling beneath your thighs which had nothing do with the pouring rain and everything to do with him, and you arched into the feeling of his skilled fingers caressing you, circling the bundle of nerves where you needed him most, and you whispered, “This feels so good.” He growled against your lips, and your words seemed to spur him on.
With each feverish kiss, each lingering caress of his hands, each whispered “I love you. I’ve missed you so much”, was another ray of sun thawing the ice that had settled over your heart and coaxed the dead, wilted garden of your soul back to blooming life, vibrant colours blossoming like a rose garden in early spring. The endless well of emptiness was filled with the radiant glow of your love until the last whisps of shadow disappeared like morning mists under the rising sun.
“Don’t stop”, you gasped, and threw back your head as another current of pleasure rolled over you, and your fingers left his soaked hair to undo the buttons of his pants – a difficult task with everything drenched with rainwater, and he chuckled when you growled in frustration as your hands slipped from the buttons, before you finally managed to undo his fly and pushed the fabric away to free him. Your slick hands wrapped around his length, and when you began to gently stroke him, your name tumbled from his lips like a plea for more, which you gladly heeded. His eyes fell shut and his soft lips parted to let out a low, sensual moan which nearly drove you insane with love and lust.
“You have no idea what you’re doing to me”, he whispered into the night, “No idea what I would do for you.” The knowledge that you were the only person in this world he let himself be so vulnerable with, the only person allowed to see the softness and the capability for a love deeper than the deepest ocean and fiercer than the wildest thunderstorm, filled you with a rush of pride and love so overwhelming that you thought you might burst with it.
Zemo’s hands answered your caresses as he let them roam freely along the outside of your thighs, his fingertips painting invisible swirling patterns on your damp skin. A trace of sparks erupted in their wake as his palms travelled up over your hips that slowly moved back and forth against him, soft waves of pleasure rolling through you with each time his tip grazed the slickness between your legs.
“I can’t wait any longer”, he breathed. “I want to feel you and I want you to forget everyone and everything else but me, my love.”
Zemo’s hazel gaze on yours, your breath caught at the intensity of emotions displayed in those depths and both of you moaned in unison when you slowly sunk onto him, sheathing him in your throbbing walls that stretched around him until he filled you completely until you felt as if you could feel the red string of fate that tied his soul to yours. It hadn’t torn, hadn’t been snapped apart and you knew it never would. It would always be there to guide you back into each other’s arms, no matter how dark the night and how lost you’d been on your path. You blinked, never tearing your gaze from Zemo’s – the man who loved you so much that he would cross an ocean to get you back, despite all the pain and heartbreak you had inflicted upon him. And still, he looked at you like this, the warm hazel colour of his eyes brimming with such love and wonder and desire as they took you in, both of you just basking in each other’s closeness, the intimacy of your bodies becoming one just as your souls already had, like stars colliding.
A guttural groan escaped his lips when you began to languidly roll your hips as he began slowly thrusting up to meet you, his pace matching your own perfectly as your hips snapped together and he grazed the sweet spot deep inside of you, sending searing jolts of pleasure spreading through your body in glowing hot currents like the flashes of lighting above, and you clutched the dripping fur of his collar for purchase. The sweet sounds which tumbled from both your lips intertwined with the pattering of the rain to form the most beautiful melody.
You watched every movement of his body against yours, every expression flaring in his eyes before his eyelids fluttered close in the throes of passion. Droplets of rain dribbled out of his hair and ran down his cheeks, glittering like little gemstones beneath the dim moonlight shining through the clouds. You took in the way his hair was slicked back; took in the movement of his lovely mouth as it parted slightly to let the wanton moan escape which the spell of your touches was summoning from his lips.
His wet hands found their way under your soaked nightgown and grazed the sensitive skin of your breasts, cupping them in his palms, letting his thumb graze over the tips to steal a soft whimper from your lips as you continued to gyrate your hips to meet his.
“I love you,” you whispered into Zemo’s ear, over and over again, while he made love to you while he held you with a desperation as if he were afraid that if he let go, he would lose you again, and it broke your heart to know that you’d inflicted this fear in him. You would spend the rest of your life showing him that you meant what you’d promised, that you would never leave him again.
And with very whispered “I love you”, you set the ragged shards of his heart back together, mended the cracks between them and made him come alive with this bliss of your bodies and souls connected. It hadn’t snapped, and you knew it never would. It would always be there to guide you to each other, no matter how dark the night and how lost you’d been on your path.
You let your lips graze his delicately as you continued to roll your hips forward, burying him deeper into your wet heat, bringing him even closer while you plunged deeper into the ocean of pleasure that was flooding your senses with every thrust of him and every graze against the bundle of nerves deep inside of you. He’d never be close enough, though.
Zemo angled his head to nuzzle the side of your neck with his nose, and the caress made your sensitive skin tingle before his teeth gently grazed the spot below your ear and you sunk into the sensation. “You’re mine”, Zemo growled into the crook of your neck. His hand brushed against your hip as he let it travel down to circle the nub between your legs with the rough pad of his index finger, and you cried out at the torrents of pleasure the contact sent through your body, robbing you of all strength left in your muscles. The dark possessiveness of his words paired with the vibration of his raspy voice against the crook of your neck and his fingers playing with the sweet spot between your legs while his thrusts pushed him even deeper into your throbbing heat sent you over the precipice of bliss with another whimper tumbling from your parted lips.
Your first climax was a gentle force, like a warm wave slowly drowning you alongside him, and you wished to never re-emerge. To stay like this forever, soaked with rain and happiness and him. The second one, fuelled by the feeling of Zemo coming undone beneath you, inside of you, with the loveliest moan, cascaded over you like a flood wave, knocking you down and dragging you away with the forceful current in its wake, leaving your lungs ringing for breath and sparks jolting through your vision as you rode it out together.
When you resurfaced again out of this ocean of bliss, Zemo pulled you closer to his soaked chest and your hands flew up to settle above his ribs to feel the wild thumping of his heartbeat against your palms while he righted himself so sit, rather than lie, on the pavilion’s steps with you on his lap.
“Are you cold?”, he asked breathlessly, and despite your panted, “No”, began to pull the embroidered nightgown closer around your form. The rain was warm, a nice, cooling sensation after the summer heat of the last days.
“How did you find me?”, you finally asked.
“Stark told me you’d gone to the palace. Summoned by the Queen.” Zemo’s voice was still rough with desire as he replied. “Will you come back with me, moye serdtse?”
“I can’t”, you whispered, closing your eyes to avoid the sight of the heartbreak on his face, “I have to stay until I –“ you took a deep breath, gathering the strength to tell him everything you’d learned in the past days. There was so much you needed him to know, and so much he needed to tell you in return.
“Helmut, I don’t even know where to start. I found the letter. In your desk.”
“About Tony, I know.”
“No. The other one”, you said and pulled away a few inches to look at him. “The one from Hydra. A man named von Strucker.” The question woven in your carefully chosen words weighed down heavy on you. When his eyes widened with the first traces of horror, you were quick to reassure him, “I don’t think you’re involved with Hydra. I stopped believing this a long time ago. But you know something, and it’s time for you to divulge this secret to me. If I’m still worthy of your trust…and of your heart.”
There was a beat of silence stretching on between the two of you with only the song of the rain around you calming to a slight drizzle. Another silent question in your words – love would never be enough if the trust was gone, and Zemo had every right to never trust you again. It felt like hours before Zemo mustered a reply, and the anxious beast in your belly roared to life anew in the few heartbeats it took him to choose his words.
“You’re worthy of both”, he finally said, and you could feel the sincerity radiating off him to silence the dread in your stomach once and for all.
“Then tell me what you know”, you urged, “And let me stop this madness before the Queen can start it.”
Zemo sighed. “When we travelled to the palace, you asked me to tell you our side of the story of the bloody war with your country. The Sokovian side. When your Queen’s knights hunted down Hydra all these years ago, some of them were able to escape and flee. Your Queen did not care to ask questions first. We were knee-deep in our own Sokovian blood before our spies could make sense of it. They learned what Hydra was, and what they’d achieved with their alchemy and their horrible experiments. And why your Queen wanted them so badly for herself.”
“Wanted them? Achieved? They didn’t achieve anything – they were hunted by the Queen’s knights because they were a cult of murderers and madmen.” The naivete of your own words hit you as soon as you’d voiced them, and you cringed at how you’d never even gave a second thought as to the truth in them. You’d grown up with this story, as a member of the household of Stark. It had been fed to you since you were nothing more but a scared and orphaned child.
Zemo chuckled grimly. “Hydra was an organization founded by the Queen of your country herself – the most brilliant alchemists of the kingdom, united to serve the crown. She wanted an army so strong that nobody would ever be able to stop them. And so, Hydra started to concoct a serum to create soldiers stronger and faster than any human could ever be – and it cost many lives in the process. You know better than anyone else what they were capable of, my love. Though they succeeded, eventually.”
You swallowed, thinking about your own family. The onslaught of your own horrible memories. Zemo placed his hand on the back of your head, in the soaked strands of hair, and gently guided your head to rest against his collarbone while he continued the story, his thumb caressing your cheek in soothing circles.
“When the serum was ready, the leaders of Hydra didn’t want to serve the Queen any longer – they wanted to use these newfound powers to take her throne for themselves. The knights were able to hunt most of them down before they could, but a few escaped. And they took the recipe for this magic serum with them. We didn’t know it, at the time. When my father found out about Hydra, it was too late. Your Queen was desperate, panicking that Hydra would share their secrets – and hers – with us, so she let us bleed. Our armies were too weak to stop her, and so my father was forced to strike a bargain with Hydra. They agreed to provide the serum for our own armies and called it the Winter Soldier Project, and my father used the agreement as a leverage. The Queen was frightened enough of his threat to sign a ceasefire agreement. The war was over and Sokovia lay in ruins. And only days later, Stark gave the order to assassinate my family, covering it with a fire. A convenient accident – probably because our father already knew too much. The Queen couldn’t risk the secret of her own role in the rise of Hydra to spill, and the peace agreement had been signed by my father. His death prepared the way for another war in the future.”
“What happened next?”
“I took the Sokovian throne and used my father’s connections to seek out the remaining members of Hydra. They were executed, every last one of them. None of them saw it coming, this time, and they paid with their lives for the war they’d wreaked at the side of your Queen.”
You shifted on his lap to gape at your husband. “What happened to the notes on the serum?”
He shrugged. “I burned them.”
Your eyes widened.
“You burned the one thing to lend the power of gods to an army?”
“So many innocent lives had been lost for this piece of parchment”, Zemo elaborated with a thoughtful expression. “I didn’t want any of it. Nobody should possess such power. It does not matter if it’s in my hands or in those of the enemy. Hydra doesn’t exist anymore – the letter you found was addressed to my father. Your Queen, though, still wants it. She wants her army of Gods, convinced I’ve hidden the instructions on how to brew the serum somewhere in Sokovia.
“That’s why she’s looking for reasons to start another war”, you concluded, eyes wide with horror at the realization. “So she can raid Sokovia and start searching for it.”
“And I’m certain she will find the reason in the near future”, Zemo added. He looked so tired all of a sudden. Dark shadows painted the skin beneath his watchful eyes, and a frown tugged at the corners of his lips. You raised your hand to lovingly trace your fingertips over his eyebrows and across the small line of worry which had appeared between them, and it smoothed like silk beneath your careful fingertips while Zemo leaned into your touch, still as starved of your caresses as you were of his.
“I took the letter”, you confessed with a calmness you didn’t feel. There was a storm of panic brewing in your ribcage.
“I figured you had.”
“Don’t you want to ask me if I handed it to her?”
“Don’t you want to ask me if I returned not for you but to get it back and elude a war for a little while longer?”
You blinked. “No”, you replied with genuine surprise. “I trust you.”
“As I trust you. I never thought you would hand it over.” Zemo didn’t even ask where Hydra’s letter was now, leaving it to you for safekeeping.
“I burned it”, you finally admitted, and he chuckled.
“Ah, yes. The theatrical aesthetic of witnessing an encumbering secret devoured by flames”, Zemo mused with a snicker, “We truly are kindred spirits, my darling.”
You huffed at his words. “You see why I can’t join you on your journey home”, you said quietly. “I need to save your country.”
“Our country”, Zemo corrected and brushed a soaked strand of hair away from your forehead, a gesture which made your heart stumble with its softness.
“I need to make things right.”
“And the first idea that came to your mind was to infiltrate yet another court?”, he smirked. “You’re certainly the most daring person I’ve ever met, moye serdtse. Remind me not to get on your bad side.”
You grinned back at him. “It worked, though. When I arrived at Stark Manor, I wrote a letter to the Queen and told her that I’d infiltrated your court and feigned a visit back home to spill your secrets. I never even needed to request to stay at the palace. She was staying at her summer house for the week, but she immediately sent a messenger to request my attendance at the palace. To stay with the rest of her spies so I was safe from any Sokovian wrath, should my secret not be as secret as I thought. Tomorrow, when she arrives back at the palace, I will meet her.”
“Sokovian wrath. Alluring”, he teased, the seductiveness in his voice affecting you even now, spent in his arms and riddled with anxiety for the future ahead. “What will you tell the Queen?”
“She wants war, there’s no way to persuade her otherwise,” you conceded, and you could see Zemo’s dark eyes already light up with the spark of an idea, the cogs of his beautiful, cunning mind whirring while you went on, “She will host a ball in three days, with every European regent invited. I bet she will try to forge an alliance with them to make sure they will support her in the upcoming war. And to achieve such a thing, she will spill her lies like poison to everyone who listens.”
“Then we have to make them listen to us,” Zemo said and there was a predatory smile playing on his lips. “All we need to do is find something we can use against her, to force her to sign a real peace agreement. Something which would turn her precious allies against her in the blink of an eye.”
“It sounds so easy when you say it”, you quipped.
A sudden sound rang through the rain-filled night air of the gardens, and you stilled, feeling Zemo tense beneath you. Somebody had called out your name.
“Tomorrow at midnight. Meet me here”, Zemo whispered in your ear, before he gently lifted you back on your own feet as he rose from the wooden step and melted back into the shadows just as quickly as he’d stepped out of them. As if night was nothing but another well-fitting coat he could wear.
“Baroness?” You had just righted your nightgown when the timid voice sounded anew, closer to you, and whirled around. It was one of the maids tending to you while you were staying at the palace, and she looked frightened, as if the night itself would shred her to ribbons with its claws any second.
“What are you doing here?”, you inquired, firmly but friendly.
The maid bowed before you, her eyes carefully averting yours.
“I was worried. I heard you leave your quarters, and when you didn’t come back, I was afraid something could have happened to you, Baroness.”
You were enough of a liar yourself to recognize the deceit. But you were Baroness – of course the Queen and her other spies didn’t trust you yet. As long as you were in the palace, there would be eyes watching your every step, ears listening to your every word. Mouths reporting it all back to the Queen herself. You were no guest here, you realized – you were a hostage. You were a leverage, and a good one at that. Because if the Queen had you in her grasp, she would be able to make Zemo dance on her strings. You felt stupid, all of a sudden. You’d run willingly into the lioness’s den, thinking you could trick her. You were nothing but a mouse among a court of prowling beasts.
Tomorrow at midnight. Meet me here.
Never before had a day passed so slowly. After you’d returned from the gardens, at the side of the handmaiden sent to shadow your every step, soaked with rainwater and filled with a radiant happiness, you could feel the weight lift from your shoulders, the shackles of guilt and grief falling away like the petals of a wilting flower. Zemo still loved you, despite everything you’d done. You were still worthy of his heart. You would be together. Now, you just had to find a way to stop the war. Though the task ahead was a heavy burden to bear, that night you slept the peaceful slumber of the dead, wrapped up in Morpheus’ embrace until the maids barged in to rouse you and prepare you for the day – for your meeting with the Queen, who had returned from her summer palace just this morning.
The jittery, anxious feeling returned to flutter in your stomach when the guards led you to the throne room the next day, and it intensified when you sunk into a deep bow before the Queen’s predatory gaze.
“So, tell me, little spy”, the Queen crooned, “what you found in Sokovia. Tell me everything, every last secret the Baron hides behind the walls of his palace.”
Voice steady and listless, you obliged. “As you wish, my Queen. Sokovian secrets are hidden well. In my time at the palace, I never found a single clue as to any plans for war,” you began, weaving your words like a spider its web, careful not to spill any of the knowledge you’d gleaned.
“Then I find myself wondering why you’re wasting my time in the first place.” Her nails clacked as she tapped them against the armrest of her throne.
“I’m Baroness”, you were quick to add, “No matter how closely the Baron guards his secrets, people will believe my testimony.”
The Queen raised a single painted eyebrow. “What are you suggesting, then?”
Your eyes trained on the pattern of black and white marble tiles on the floor which seemed to turn the throne room into a giant chessboard, the irony of it not being lost on you, you spoke, “If you let me know what the rest of your spies could glean over the past years, I would be able to weave a convincing tale for your allies, Your Highness. Of a Sokovian army strong enough to ravage the whole continent if the kingdoms refuse to unite against this force.”
“An interesting thought”, the Queen admitted and stroked her chin while she contemplated your proposal. The gesture reminded you of a villain in a theatre play.
“Why shouldn’t I fabricate a testimony myself?”, she finally wanted to know, inclining her head.
“I have lived at Sokovian court for weeks – longer than any of your spies was able to infiltrate them, Your Highness. This is why my father sent me. This is why I married the Baron. I already sacrificed everything to bring Hydra to their knees. The thought of any more deaths at their hands, families torn apart by their deeds, pains me every day.” You, you seethed in your mind. It has been you all along, watching the things that happened to the families under your protection. To my family. To Helmut’s family. It was difficult to ban the tremble of fury from your voice, but the slight shake would only support your act.
“You’re telling me I should trust you, then?”, the Queen inquired, and you felt that it was a test.
“It’s not my position to tell you anything, Your Majesty,” you replied timidly, “It is my honour and my privilege to be of use in your noble deeds to stop the evil lurking on our doorsteps.”
There was along pause in which the Queen scanned your face, a hawk readying itself to pounce on a poor mouse.
“Guards”, she finally commanded, “Show our guest to the library and gather the rest of our spies.” To you, she added with a flash of her teeth, “Remember, Baroness: as long as you’re of use for me, you will have my protection.” Betray me, and you will face my wrath.
“I am nothing but a loyal servant, my Queen.” To myself, you evil wench, you added in your thoughts.
It was a balancing act, you knew. Walking a tightrope across a glaring abyss ready to swallow you whole. You would need to tread carefully if you wanted to survive.
When you finally returned to the gardens that night and the warm, flower-infused night air wrapped around you like the embrace of an old friend, your heart was nearly leaping up your throat with all the exhilaration which filled you at the thought of seeing Zemo again, with the thrill of the secrecy of your meeting, the longing to talk to him, hear his smooth dark voice seep through the night like honey, the melody of his slight accent, and feel his touches on your skin. There was also dread – the happiness the two of you had found with each other was as fragile as a butterfly’s wings, and with the bloody sword of war hanging over your heads, a deep chasm of horror to lose him had opened up in your chest.
He whispered your name as soon as you’d sprinted the last few steps to the pavilion, like a spell on his lips, when he stepped out of the shadows beside you as if he emerged from the fabric of night itself. This time, he was clad in a black cloak lined with matching black fur at the collar, and his hair was smoothed back from his face. He looked like a dark king stepping out of a fairy tale to whisk his bride away. The glimmer in his eyes was attentive and searing when they came to rest on you, and for a moment you felt like the goddess of spring herself, stealing away to meet her secret lover at the gates of the Underworld.
Before you could say anything, Zemo’s lips were on yours, coaxing your mouth open, threading his fingers through your hair while he pressed his body flush against yours.
“I’ve missed you”, you sighed against him and clutched the fur of his coat’s black collar. His kisses were getting greedier still, and a low growl escaped his lips that made your knees weak and incited the familiar longing in your core – until he pulled away, panting and flustered and smirking, his hands resting on the curve of your waist and you longed to get rid of the fabric of your nightgown so you could feel his rough palms against the bare skin.
“I enjoy the awe-struck look in your stunning eyes whenever you lay them upon me”, he teased.
“Again, you give yourself too much credit, beloved husband”, you deadpanned, “I’m merely fascinated by your continuous choice to wear fur in the blazing breath of summer. You must be sweating as if the fires of hell themselves were licking at your skin.”
The malicious laughter which rumbled through his throat while his tongue flicked out to seductively graze your lower lips was rousing the glowing desire in your lower belly and you barely contained the strained sigh which threatened to escape your lips at the sensation.
“It is not the lick of Hell’s fiery tongues I desire on my skin, my sweet Baroness.”
You parted your lips for his tongue, allowing him to taste you and the moan you’d held back freed itself from your throat to tangle with his own delighted growl. You felt like you could find your climax by merely the sensation of his tongue swirling against yours, the knowledge of what he was capable to do with his mouth alone, and the sounds he was eliciting didn’t help to cool the want flickering in your body. Zemo grabbed a fistful of your hair at the back of your head to tilt your head and deepen his ravenous kisses with his tongue, and just when you contemplated to beg of him to just ravage you then and there, he pulled away. The devilish grin on his lips told you that he knew very well what you’d had hoped for in this meeting. His eyes, darkened with his own arousal, lingered on your lips and told you he’d had very much the same entertainment in mind.
“These clandestine meetings under the veil of night start to feel rather Shakespearian”, he mused with heavy breaths, “And as desperately as I wish to see you unravel so beautifully beneath my Sokovian wrath right now – we have a scheme to forge, my love. And a kingdom to save.”
You couldn’t argue with that. Starved of the feeling of your body underneath his touch, he placed his hands back on your waist and pulled your closer into him. You hummed in response and angled your head to the side to rest your temple against the place above his heartbeat. It was the most beautiful tune, to hear it quicken with your closeness.
“As I told you last night, the Queen has invited the other regents of Europe – there will be a ball in their honour tomorrow night. A masquerade.”
“She’s gathering her potential allies”, Zemo concluded, and you nodded against his chest, a scowl of worry drawn on your features.
“It would be best to confront her with any leverage when the other regents have arrived for the masquerade”, you added, biting your lip.
“It will probably the only chance”, Zemo added with a slight nod, “Because if we threaten her when the other leaders aren’t present, she would have enough time to spin another lie and it will be her word against ours. She already told them Sokovia was allied with Hydra and a threat to them all – she will easily fabricate another lie. It has to be at the masquerade.”
“Which only leaves another day for me to find something to use as an incentive to change her mind.”
“It cannot be very difficult.”
You angled your head to glare at him. “Then you breeze into the palace and scour every single study and every single library for a written document condemning her”, you deadpanned. “Because that’s what I’ll do while you’re sitting in the gardens, lazily tanning yourself in the summer sun and waiting for me to succeed.”
“I’m not a cat”, he snickered with a rather cat-like head tilt. “What I intended to say was that the Queen has a vast number of skeletons in her closet. All we need to do is find one document with her seal and her signature to verify it. She founded Hydra, she allowed for my family to be eradicated. And these are only the crimes we know of.”
You’d reached down to intertwine your hands with his when you’d noticed the slight falter in his voice at the mention of his family.
“Tell me about the audience today”, Zemo said.
“I told her I hadn’t gleaned anything to use against you, but should she provide some of her own information, I would be able to weave a tale for her and give testimony at the ball, in front of her allies.”
Zemo raised his eyebrows. “And she believed you?”
“Of course not. All I learned was that she believed Hydra was on your side, building a secret army of god-like creatures. It’s probably the same lie she told the other regents. What I already knew of Tony’s accounts is that somewhere in the palace, there’s a hidden study where all important documents are kept. Only the Queen’s advisors and closest guards carry a key with them to gain access to it. I went into the meeting in the hopes they would at least show me the hidden room, but it would’ve been too easy.”
“So you have one day left to steal one of these keys and find the hidden study”, Zemo summed up, and you gently shoved his shoulder.
“A minute ago, when you spoke of saving the kingdom, it was we”, you mocked, “Though now that the task at hand is getting more difficult, it’s me.”
He grinned and his teeth flashed in the half-light of the stars which had risen above. “This ball is a masquerade, you say?”
You nodded, and his grin widened. “Then I’ll meet you at the ball and we will confront the Queen together.”
“And if I don’t find the documents?”
His thumb tenderly flicked across the back of your hand in a soothing gesture. “Then we will find another way.”
“How will I recognize you at the masquerade?”, you pressed, and Zemo gave you a smug smirk.
“I’ll be the most beautiful man there, of course”, he teased, and you couldn’t help the small giggle bubbling up your throat, before Zemo’s tone grew serious again.
“They’re watching you, are they?”, he asked, and you bit your lip before you answered with a curt nod.
“You didn’t think they would trust me, right? I’m her leverage against you.”
“Then come away with me tonight”, he said. There was a thread of despair woven into his voice. “I can’t lose you again.”
“As you said, this might be our last chance to stop her”, you said.
“As I said as well, we will find another way.”
“But Sokovia –“
“No”, he interrupted with a forceful whisper. “No. I won’t lose you again, Y/N. You’re not a pawn to be sacrificed on the chessboard of politics. You’re my wife. I can’t lose the other half of my soul, not even to safe my country.”
You blinked back the sting of tears in the corners of your eyes and opened your mouth to muster a reply, but there was a lump forming in your throat which choked your words.
Zemo cupped your cheeks and captured your lips in another feverish kiss that stole the air from your lungs and a sigh from your lips when you sunk into him, leaving you craving for more. But there was no time. You both knew that every minute of this clandestine meeting put you at risk to be caught, so you pulled away.
“I should go back, before they start searching for me again”, you said. “But I will let you know as soon as I found anything to use in our favour.”
“How? You can hardly send a letter.”
“I’m not a fool, you know”, you huffed, rolling your eyes, “I’ll tie a red ribbon around one of the pavilion’s posts”, you told him and pointed to the white wood leaden with the climbing roses. “If there’s no ribbon, we’ll have to improvise when you meet me at the masquerade.”
“It feels wrong,” he finally replied with a hushed voice.
“I love you, lyubov' moyey zhizni. But you need to let me do this”, you whispered, and the affection brimming in his hazel eyes at your words, reflecting under the light of the stars, made your heart soar like a bird. Love of my life.
“You’re as stubborn as a mule”, he retorted, “I love you, too. Bud' ostorozhen malen'kaya moye serdtse.“
Be careful, my heart.
With a last desperate kiss, the two of you parted beneath the silent watch of the moon and the stars. A lonely shooting star darted across the sky as it fell from the heavens, and the streak it left behind made it look as if it had been bleeding. A strange feeling of dread crept into you, coiling in your gut like a venomous snake as you wondered if you would ever see him again. Something was coming for you. You could sense it with every fibre of your being, lacing in the warm night air around you like an invisible rope ready to coil around your neck.
Tomorrow would be the day of the masquerade. Time was running out – if you wated to stop this madness before it started, you would have to do it now. Tonight. You would have to find something incriminating, something that would make the Queen cave in to Sokovian demands without a doubt, without a moment of hesitation.
You reached the edge of the gardens and breezed back into the cool hallways of the palace, ignoring the guards stationed at the entrance as if you had every right to be here, wrapping yourself in an air of cold arrogance when you strode between them. It would be best to start your search for any hidden doors in the palace’s wing which contained all the official studies, as well. One last chance. You would need to make it count.
You never reached the palace’s wing with the official offices. You didn’t even reach the end of the corridor when a pair of hands was pressed over your mouth from behind to muffle your scream, so forceful that the impact drew blood when your teeth sliced open your lower lip.
When the sun rose and the sky blushed faintly with its gentle glow, taking on the hue of the roses climbing up the pavilion’s posts in their blooming glory, Zemo had just arrived, emerging soundlessly out of the dawn-illuminated gardens. He could feel that something was wrong before he even ascended the two wooden steps. Was it something in the air that had changed? Was it a tug at the invisible red thread of fate tying his soul to yours? He would never know – what he knew, though, was that something had happened to you, and a deep sense of dread settled over him when his eyes fell to the thing attached to one of the posts, the colour stark against the white paint of the wood.
A ribbon. Not red, but black, its silky ends fluttering in the gentle morning breeze sweeping through the garden, carrying the heavy scent of flowers and grass, of decay and earth. There was a small, folded note attached to the black ribbon, and his hands trembled when he read it.
Stay away, Baron. Else, it won’t only be your country to bleed.
THIS IS NOT THE LAST PART! This story will have 5 parts, and the last part will be posted somewhere next weekend 🖤
Let me know if you’d like to be added to the taglist for part 5/the general tag list! 🖤
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It Was Too Late (A Loki Poem)
Just a small poem from Thor’s perspective
- - -
I wanted you home, by my side
before you overdosed on jealousy.
You where loved as a brother, as a son
yet it was not enough for you.
It was never enough
until it was too late.
It was too late to save you.
Believe me, I tried.
But you betrayed me far too many times
that I long gave up ever trusting you.
So I stopped trying to save you;
you could not be changed.
You where already set in your ways.
I wonder if things could have been different
if we had noticed your pain from the beginning.
Or was it fate to become a mad man?
To never feel quite satisfied?
Loki, you were destined for so much more
than a life wasted on delusional dreams.
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Part Seventeen of The Fixers is up and running, and it’s probably one of my favourite chapters to date 🤓
The Silvertongue and the Professor
Author’s Note: Hello all! I’ve had this story in my head and in my Google Drive for probably about a year and a half. I wasn’t sure where it was going to go, but then I started watching the Loki TV series and I’ve been re-inspired. I don’t know if anyone is going to read this, but I sure hope that you do. Just a reminder, I do have hearing loss and I try my best to make sure this is as accurate as possible. If I miss something, please tell me! This is multi chapter, so let’s just dive in, shall we? Please let me know what you think. The more I know, the better I’ll be able to write this bad boy <3
“And on that note, class, we will wrap it up here. Next time, we’ll start the section on the legends and mythology of Loki, the Norse God of Mischief and Lies. I expect you all to come prepared and ready for an in-depth discussion. Okay then, class dismissed!”
A pastel pink-haired woman signed the words, while another woman sitting by her side voiced them to the hearing students in the large auditorium. The woman with the vivid hair, clearly the professor, waved at her students as they filed out of the room. Most waved back at her fondly. As she gathered up her papers and slipped her laptop into her briefcase, a tap on her shoulder brought her attention back up.
“These two would like a word with you, Professor Andersson. I believe they are some sort of government officials, but I’m unsure; they refuse to disclose that information to me,” the interpreter signed.
Professor Andersson nodded, gesturing her interpreter forward, “Lead the way, then Amber,” her hands replied.
The two women made their way to the imposing figures standing in the far corner of the room, partially hidden in shadow. Professor Andersson took a moment to take in the two so-called government agents’ appearances. The woman was petite with fiery red hair, wearing what looked like a uniformed catsuit and various weaponry attached to her body. The man was a head taller than the woman. He was wearing a professional-looking black suit, and he, too, was armed. Clearly, these people weren’t run-of-the-mill agents for some governmental alphabet; they were something more. She didn’t quite know what yet, but she was sure that she would soon find out.
Amber situated herself between the two parties and slightly to the side. She alerted the professor and the agents that she was ready when they were.
The man nodded his head before looking at Amber. “My name is Agent Coulson, and this is my colleague, Agent Romanoff. We come in search of a Miss Igna Andersson concerning an urgent matter.”
Igna sighed in annoyance as Amber relayed the information. “First of all, look at me, not Amber. Amber is my voice here at the moment, but you are speaking to me. If you wish to converse with me, you best learn that quickly. Secondly, it is either Doctor Andersson or Professor Andersson. I have earned those titles, and I expect you to honor them.”
Amber voiced the professor’s words while her colleague’s hand flew.
Agent Coulson paled slightly at being told off, angling himself to look at the small woman with her bubblegum locks. “My apologies, Professor, I meant no disrespect. We have an urgent matter to attend to, and you have popped up on our radar as being able to help us.”
Igna quirked a perfectly arched brow as she waved her hand, waiting for him to continue.
“Our research suggests that you are proficient in the myths and legends of the Norse Gods.”
“Proficient? I wrote the textbook on the subject that is used in most colleges and universities. I would say that I am more than proficient, as I have my doctorate in that area. I would say that I’m the most well-versed scholar on the topic in the world.”
Agent Coulson nodded his head, impressed. “Well then, you’re exactly what we need. It also states in your file that you’re fluent in Swedish, if I’m not mistaken.”
“My mother tongue, so to speak. I was born in a town not far from Stockholm.”
Agent Romanoff interjected, “And yet somehow, you ended up here in Boston, teaching Norse legends and mythology at Harvard. Impressive. We must continue. We work for a government agency called SHIELD; I doubt you would have heard of them. What if I told you that we need your expertise because we have a Norse god in our possession here on Earth? A real, live god of old. We need someone with a leg up, someone that at least has a better idea of what we are up against. You know all the stories, the legends, the myths, which means you’re our best bet to figuring out how we best go forward from here.”
Agent Romanoff was waiting for the look of shock and disbelief to cross the professor’s face, but none ever came. She stayed cool, calm, and collected as she absorbed the information presented to her.
The professor sighed, shaking her head, before looking at the agents straight in the face.
“This is regarding what happened in Germany three nights ago, isn’t it?”
A look of shock passed over both of the agents. She was speaking. The professor was speaking for herself. It was a quiet, strangely accented English, but it was there.
“Thank you for your time, Amber. It’s best you go now. I believe I have somewhere that I need to be. I won’t keep you longer than your schedule allows.”
Amber moved to protest, to tell Igna that she was willing to stay, ready to help however she could, but she was silenced by a hand telling her to stop.
“I believe that I will manage from here, Amber. Your children will be out of school soon, and I expect they’ll be waiting for you.”
The interpreter nodded before gathering up her belongings and heading for the day. She cast a worried glance back at her colleague before she hustled out. Igna was right; she would be late to pick up the kids.
“Agents, if you’ll follow me to my office, I shall collect my things, and we shall go. If you wouldn’t mind making sure that you’re facing me when you’re talking, I’d be grateful. I can read lips quite well, but that requires me to actually see your lips,” she smiled ruefully.
They fell in line behind her as they made their way through the hallowed Havard halls. They stopped after about a five-minute walk to a door in a dark corridor. The professor fished out a key before stepping into the office. It was rather large, for a university office, covered wall to wall with bookshelves stuffed to the brim. She shrugged on her trenchcoat, threw on her scarf, grabbing her purse and briefcase as she did so. She hadn’t a clue where she was going, and as it was a chilly Massachusetts autumn afternoon, she figured she should play it safe. Just as quickly as she hustled them in, she hurried them right back out again, locking the door behind her.
“Agent Coulson, Agent Romanoff, you said this was a matter of urgency. I’m ready to be off when you are.”
The trio silently made their way out of the University and into the streets of Boston. As they made their way towards a parked car, Igna gestured to a motorcycle parked on the same street.
“I’ll follow you if you don’t mind. I’d rather not leave her here overnight. I’ve done far too much work on her to risk her being vandalized or stolen. Don’t mind me, hop in the car; I’m right behind you.
The agents watched in astonishment as the 5 foot 5 inches tall pink-haired woman secured her bags and hopped onto the motorcycle, still in her professional dress and heels. She kicked out the stand, revving the engine, looking towards the agents expectantly.
Romanoff shook her head, clearly both impressed and amused by the professor.
“Looks like we’ve got ourselves one hell of a badass, Coulson. I think I like her already. Hop in the freakin’ car; looks like the professor is ready to go.”
Coulson grinned at this, playfully punching her arm, “Looks like you might make a new friend, Natasha. That will make how many friends now? Two?”
Natasha shoved him, laughing at his teasing.
The two agents got into the black sedan, rolling out. They guided Igna along familiar streets and into the Boston Public Gardens. She was surprised at their route but didn’t let it show. She was sure that all would be found out, in time, it always was. She parked the bike next to the car and waited for further instructions. She grabbed her bags, ready to move onto the next leg of their journey. It was a bit chilly out that evening, and no one was around. The park was practically deserted.
“Leave the bike here; SHIELD will have it transported to your place. Have no fear, Professor, I wouldn’t allow anyone to harm a thing of beauty such as that,” Natasha grinned.
They made their way through the gardens, stopping by the lake. As they approached, some sort of flying vehicle appeared out of nowhere. Cloaking technology, Igna mused; she shouldn’t be surprised. She eyed the vehicle with interest. It looked as if it was some sort of matte black jet; only its wings were folded up at a strange angle. Secret government spy techno plane, this should be interesting. They made their way aboard quickly, there was no time to stare, and they had no desire to draw attention to themselves in the middle of Boston. The last thing they needed was a few looky-loos with a phone, waiting to snap a photo or two. As the door of the jet closed, it faded into oblivion once more.
Natasha took the pilot seat, strapping in quickly. Coulson took the copilot seat, turning to the professor behind him. He waved his hand, grabbing her attention.
“Dr. Andersson, I suggest you secure your belongings on the rack above and then buckle in. We won’t have time to chat; we’ve gotta focus on getting the Quinjet in the air and back to base as fast as possible. It shouldn’t be a long flight; I apologize that we can’t be more hospitable. We’re on a time crunch here.”
The doctor nodded, grabbing her two bags and strapping them in securely before sitting down in her own seat and buckling up.
Coulson gave her a thumbs up, which she returned as he turned back to the instruments in front of him.
Igna was left to her thoughts as the jet took off into the air. She sucked in a surprised breath; the takeoff was almost completely vertical in the air! She was pushed back into her seat as the vehicle gained speed. No wonder Agent Coulson had told her to buckle up; if she hadn’t, she would have been thrown straight to the back of the plane. She settled down, getting lost in the labyrinth of her mind. She wondered how she could genuinely be of use to these people. Spies and secret governmental agencies were certainly not her forte. Nevertheless, she would do what she could to be of assistance, for she knew whoever they had in their possession was clearly a sinister being.
She ran through the files in her brain of the various Nordic gods and goddesses that it might be. There were multiple options for her to contend with; best to be prepared for whatever may come. She stopped at one name, but no, it couldn’t be. The odds of it being him...how did she even know that he truly existed in the first place? All they had were stories, lore for long ago. It’s not as if there was any guarantee whatsoever that things were actually factual. Her mind couldn’t help but linger on that one name, a little voice nagging at her, telling her that he was the one. Loki, the God of Mischief and Lies, he was the one causing havoc on Earth; she just knew it.
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Not to brag but the playlist I made for my story "Love in the suburbs" is pretty good 😍 but maybe I'm biased 😂
If you want to check it out, go to my Ig carrot.writes 💜
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The process through security was seamless and it wasn’t even a full hour before we were on the tarmac, me scrambling to gather all my bags as we went straight from the car to the plane. At most airports this was a feat. At LAX, a miracle.
I took the few steps up carefully and ducked my head as I got on board behind Patrick, feeling even smaller than usual in the jet we were clearly traveling on alone today. As always, I made sure to wave to our pilots, happy to see one of my favorites was joining us again. The longer trips made me nervous. It was nice to see a familiar face.
“Hey, Ms. Dylan. How are you today, sweetness?”
“I’m good, Mr. Henry,” I replied. “How was graduation last weekend?”
“Good,” he beamed. “Emma told me to tell you both thank you for the card and flowers. You didn’t have to do all that.”
I waved a hand dismissively, despite how long it had taken to throw together. And I hated that Patrick was getting credit. But I guessed, at the end of the day, it didn’t actually matter. I had made some Marvel fangirl very happy, with a card signed by all the Avengers before they had even been officially dubbed that by a movie still in the pre-production phases. Oh, the joys of having the inside track on future powerhouse franchises.
Life could always be worse, I reasoned. “It’s nothing,” I lied with a wide grin. “Come back and have dinner with me if you get bored, okay?”
Mr. Henry gave me a soft chuckle and shook his head as I made my way to the chair across the aisle from Patrick, right in the middle of the airplane. He had hardly looked up from his phone as we’d walked, and even now as I sat down not two feet from him he didn’t even acknowledge me. Not that I expected it anymore. He was busy. He was the one who handled the schedules, the budgets, and well… everything. I just wrote. And I loved it that way. He had all the responsibilities. I got all the fun stuff.
Like a private plane to London. One outfitted with all the amenities. It was strange to have no one else here with us, except for Mr. Henry, his co-pilot, and the obligatory flight attendant. The gold accents and glossy wood panels made the opulence of it all stand out even more. Thankfully, the cream-colored interior set me slightly at ease since it reminded me of our office. Or rather, parts of our office. The middle. The common ground. The place we met not wanting to swing too far to his side or mine.
My phone rang as the twin engines started up. I furrowed my brows as I pulled the offending little device out of my pocket, ready to alert whoever was on the other end I’d have to call them back when we landed nearly twelve hours from now.
But when I noticed Charlie’s name on the caller ID, my absolute best friend in the whole wide world, I knew I had to at least pick up and say a quick hello. Anything less and he’d have people ready to arrest Patrick for kidnapping, or something equally wild, when we landed. Besides, we hardly ever went a full twelve hours without some type of communication. If I didn’t let him know we were taking off, he’d be upset, and the idea of that made my stomach churn. Co-dependent probably didn’t begin to describe our relationship, but it worked for us.
“Oh, hello there, Mr. Hunnam. And how are you this fine afternoon?” I questioned, using the fake British accent that never failed to make him laugh.
Right on cue, the deep, rich, throaty sounds of his chuckle reached my ear and I smiled. Patrick scoffed. He hated when I talked to Charlie. And the feeling was mutual. From the beginning, they’d always had some strange, antagonistic, maybe even slightly competitive, back and forth going on. But I’d learned long ago not to try and interfere. Making them play nice wasn’t possible, so I’d stopped.
“We’re about to take off,” Patrick explained unnecessarily. “You can’t have your phone on.”
I looked down at the one in his hand pointedly without pulling mine away. “Is that Captain Douche?” Charlie inquired. “Tell him I said hello. And that I owe him a tap on the nuts next time I see him.”
I stifled a giggle. “I’m so not doing that. I try and make it a point not to talk about my writing partner’s nuts, ya know?”
I turned in time to see Patrick’s eyebrows shoot up in confusion, which only caused Charlie and I to laugh harder. And Charlie couldn’t even see what was happening, making it even funnier to me that he still knew what was going down.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“Oh, nothing,” Charlie answered with a heavy sigh. “Are you two already on your way here?”
“Yes, dear,” I retorted mockingly. “Are you going to meet us at the airport?”
“I’m going to meet you at the airport. Yes,” he corrected.
God, they were ridiculous. “Okay, well, don’t do anything fun until I get there, okay?”
“Of course not, sweetheart,” he promised.
“See you soon,” I vowed. “I’m gonna try and sleep until we get there, so I’ll just keep my phone off.”
Charlie and Patrick snorted derisively in unison. “Yeah, right,” Charlie contradicted out loud. “You’re going to spend half an hour trying to fall asleep, only to give up and stay awake all night writing. And you’ll be basically delirious by the time you show up. Then you’ll spend three days sleeping before you can do anything substantive. But, it’s fine because you always spill the wildest secrets when you’re tired.”
“I do not,” I gasped.
“Uh-huh. Right. Well, have fun sleeping.”
“Bye,” I said, dragging out the ‘e’ until the line went dead.
I managed to stow away my phone just in time for takeoff, and even though I was more than ready to get onto Patrick for being a hypocrite, when I turned to him, he was buckled up and his own phone was out of sight.
“Do you want to work on Dark World? Or are you going to try and actually sleep?” Patrick wondered.
“I’m going to actually sleep,” I countered, more than a little hint of sarcasm in my voice. “Why is that so hard for you two to believe?”
“Other than the fact that you historically speaking rack up a grand total of four hours of sleep each night?” Patrick asserted. I nodded. “No reason.”
He looked down at the magazine propped up in his lap, luckily not seeing me rolling my eyes for the hundredth time today. I leaned over, the gently curled ends of my dishwater blonde hair falling down and creating a curtain between us as I unzipped my luggage and pulled out my favorite plush blanket and goose down pillow. Then I toed off my Vans on the way back to the couch, curling up quickly so I didn’t have to deal with any more of his snide or critical comments.
To everyone’s surprise, mostly mine, I was asleep before we’d even been in the air officially ten minutes. When I woke up again, the sun was rising. Its bright burnt orange rays seeping in through the partially opened shades near the front of the plane. Traveling this far was always disorientating. And I couldn’t even turn on my phone and figure out what time it was like I often did, or where over the Atlantic we were currently.
I didn’t feel like starting the morning out with a heated, and I’m sure passive-aggressive, fight with Patrick, so I stayed quiet. I was determined to have a good day. I got to see everyone I’d been missing for almost a month. People I’d only been able to call or text for three and a half weeks.
I stretched wide, my arms up over my head, and yawned as quietly as possible. But when I rolled over to my right side, I noticed Patrick there, staring at his iPad, probably reading either The Hollywood Reporter or Variety. Something that would keep him informed on the rumblings in the industry without causing him to stoop to the depths of People or Us Weekly. It never failed to shock me how pompous he could be about every single aspect of our jobs. Even magazines, apparently.
He sipped his coffee in silence, not even looking over at me, but I knew he could tell I was awake. He’d changed, though his aesthetic remained the same. Buttoned-up businessman. Very Serious Person, his outfit screamed. To me, though, it said something else entirely. More like, I’m super self-conscious and jealous of anyone who is higher than me in ranking. A ranking that I made up in my head and consists solely of other men.
But I couldn’t say any of that to him. And he made being an adult seem exhausting.
I pushed myself up, folding my legs underneath me as I pulled my blanket back up to my chin. Even with my faded USC hoodie on, that I couldn’t even remember waking up to get, it was still freezing. Just the way Patrick liked it.
“Good morning,” he said finally, not looking up from the glowing device. “I rewrote the dialogue from yesterday. As soon as we land, it’ll be sent over to Kevin. That way he can get a look before we show up.”
“And Tom,” I tacked on.
“Kevin has to approve it first,” Patrick argued.
“Right, but I promised Tom…”
“What you promise your little boyfriends is none of my business,” he interrupted. “I didn’t care when it was Kurt and Charlie and I sure as shit don’t care now that it’s Tom fucking Hiddleston.”
He peered at me over the top of his glasses, daring me to contradict him in any way, but I knew that wouldn’t amount to anything. So, I huffed. I wanted it noted, at least in some small, even slightly childish way, that I felt it important to extend a professional courtesy to the actors one worked with in order to produce a more well-rounded and polished script. Patrick, however, had never seen the merit in it. He always went right to the showrunner, the producer, or whoever he felt signed his paychecks. Actors were always beneath him. And I agreed with him on some points, not the last one one, obviously, but I had never seen the reason to act holier than thou on a movie set regardless. We worked as a team. That was the agreement since the industry had been founded. Without one person, one department, the whole house of cards fell down. I just didn’t understand how he couldn’t see that anymore.
“How long until we land?” I asked, in desperate need of a subject change before I bit his head off. I was so tired of arguing. “And what are we doing for breakfast?”
“We are about 45 minutes out,” he explained. “And I already had breakfast. There’s a spread in the galley, if you’re hungry. But I’d rather you not shovel food into your mouth like a wild animal after you get dressed, so if you’re starving and can’t wait, do it first. I set out your clothes and I’d rather you not have crumbs all over them when we show up.” He pointed toward the only set of chairs on the plane, near the middle of the aircraft. “There’s also dry shampoo and I put all your makeup in the bathroom.”
I pursed my lips to keep from shouting. And I knew I should say thanks, but I couldn’t muster it. Patrick was forever ignoring the boundaries I’d insisted on when we’d agreed to our partnership. He treated me like a child. Lately, it had gone from bad to worse. And what always hurt my feelings if I thought about it too long was the fact that he hadn’t been like this when we’d met. When we’d both been pulled out of one of our first classes in college for an internship on a brand new medical drama with an unknown, at least at the time, Black woman showrunner. Now, he was someone I didn’t recognize, using Shonda and her influence as social currency and to show his progressive stance on issues. He claimed to be a feminist, and in the beginning I might have believed him. Not anymore.
I tried not to focus on the outfit he’d picked for me as I grabbed a PowerBar from the front of the plane where coffee and juice were situated. But it was hard. He knew it wasn’t my style at all. Granted, he’d never been particularly concerned with my feelings. Those weren’t important, he’d tell me. Only how people perceive me. If I wanted to be taken seriously, he’d frequently said, I needed to look the part. And evidently, when I was allowed to decide what I was going to wear like a big kid, it upset him.
I rushed through my morning routine, knowing that if we were landing in close to half an hour, I actually had more like fifteen to do everything I needed to do. I didn’t exactly like holding on for dear life as the plane descended, even if Mr. Henry would let me get away with it.
Either way, I couldn’t believe I’d actually slept the entire ride over. Patrick hadn’t been lying, or even over-exaggerating, when he’d said I had a habit of hardly sleeping. But when I did get the time, it seemed to always turn into a mini-coma. Like my body was going to force the issue when necessary. Probably a good thing, too. I wasn’t exactly the best at knowing my limitations in that portion of my life.
The tan tailored pants with no pockets he’d selected were tighter than anything I’d traditionally wear, but I wouldn’t deny the way they hugged my hips well. Honestly, I didn’t remember even packing them. And I didn’t feel like a particularly curvaceous woman, but I knew I looked good in these. Even if my slender frame typically made me resemble more of a little girl trying on her mom’s clothes when I attempted to dress in Patrick-appropriate attire. Today was a rare exception to that rule, and I was determined to roll with it. After all, I was never going to tell him he was right to sneak these into my bag, along with the light blue velour Louboutin pumps that complimented the balloon-sleeved cable knit sweater perfectly.
As I was expertly applying my eyeliner, there was a soft knock at the door. He didn’t say anything, but I knew that was Patrick telling me my time was up. And I scoffed, hoping he couldn’t hear me over the noise of the engines roaring nearby. Not that I thought he’d actually confront me about it if he did. As long as he kept me under his thumb, and publicly presentable, he didn’t care.
I stowed everything back in my suitcase in a hurry, noticing my Vans were shoved down at the bottom of my bag, before rushing to buckle up just as Mr. Henry was pointing the plane toward Heathrow airport. And I couldn’t help but feel a little antsy. I’d slept way too long, in my opinion, and all that routine anxiety hadn’t had a way to be released in over ten hours. It craved my normal level of adrenaline, which it wasn’t currently getting. Made sense that my hands were shaking and my leg was bouncing up and down.
I tried not to count the individual seconds, and I was glad it wasn’t long before we were on the runway, taxiing to a private section where our car would be waiting to pick us up. We still had to go through customs, but there was a separate entry for that as well. At least for us. Occasionally, it paid to know people, and it was never more glaringly obvious than in moments like these. Sometimes, I couldn’t help but feel guilty about it. I never felt it was deserved, for one thing, even if I was putting in fourteen-hour work days for a solid four months at a time.
But I remembered what Shonda had taught me as we were being ushered to the front of the airport through a much more quiet section, one devoid of cameras. As long as I helped the person behind me by being the best version of myself, they’d get a shot too. And that made me feel better. Only a little, but it beat drowning in guilt.
The clacking of the keyboard was all that could be heard in the office I shared with my writing partner, Patrick Dean. Patrick, now staring at me over the top of his computer as I typed. Me, trying desperately to ignore him. I hated when people watched me work like that. He knew this. We had the same script open, so he could’ve been watching them appear on screen instead. There was no real reason to make me intentionally uncomfortable. Unless you asked him, of course. He thought the pressure made me a better writer.
I sighed heavily as I finished the last line of dialogue and then folded my arms across my chest. I mouthed the line to myself a few times, barely audible even to my own ears. I bit the inside of my cheek and looked over my own laptop to meet his piercing green eyes. His lips were pursed. He didn't like it. Ugh, he hated it. I could tell. If he liked it, he’d say something. Quiet meant bad.
My heart started to race uncomfortably. Under normal circumstances, someone else’s opinion of me and my work didn’t matter. I’d always stood by every single thing I’d written. Even if it made some people hate me. But this wasn’t normal. Nothing about my life was anymore. And Patrick was different. Patrick with his unruly mop of curly brown hair, expertly coiffed. The very same hair he was running his fingers through and pulling at the ends of in frustration. Patrick, who was lounging on the cream-colored sofa in the middle of our oversized office, surrounded by the off-white and beige accents that provided the perfect compromise between our individual ends of the room.
“What?” I hissed.
He tapped a finger to his nose a few times. I rolled my eyes. Great. That was his way of telling me it sucked. It was too ‘on the nose’. He was telling me I sucked. I huffed dramatically next and turned my navy blue velvet chair around until I faced the wall, my bare feet skimming the matching blue and white rug. And I couldn’t help but stare up at the four minimalistic-style art prints I’d spent hours obsessing over, each with its own deeply personal meaning, which were all hung on the wall with care and lined up with precision between the gold and marble bookcases.
“We can fix it on the plane,” he offered.
“I’m not going,” I returned.
“Dylan,” he sighed heavily, “I’m not doing this with you.” I didn’t need to turn around to know he’d taken off his round, wire-rimmed glasses and was pinching the bridge of his nose. “We don’t have time. You can pout all the way to London if you want, but it’s happening.”
I rocked my feet back and forth, the chair creaking in time with my movements as tears welled in my eyes quickly. I’m not a sensitive person. I never cry. Not at work. Around him, I couldn’t seem to help it. Like all my nerve endings were raw and exposed.
“I’m taking our bags to the car,” he announced, standing up behind me. “Kevin’s been waiting two days already. We can’t make him wait anymore.”
“Oh, come on now. Feige would wait forever for her,” a voice called from the doorway.
My face lit up before I could stop myself as Jon Favreau’s voice washed over me. When I turned my head to the left, a full-fledged grin crept across my features. He gave me a wink, and I sent up a silent prayer that he hadn’t been standing there long.
“I’ll be down in the car,” Patrick repeated with less authority in his voice. As he passed Jon, he cast him a scornful look. “I’m giving you five minutes before I throw you over my shoulder.”
I smirked as Jon was the one who rolled his eyes this time. He uncrossed his arms and came to sit down in one of the two chairs on the other side of my desk, and I turned around in my own until I faced him.
“What are you doing here? I thought you were going over too,” I said, my lip poking out slightly at the thought of not having him on a Marvel movie set for the first time. “It’s going to be so boring now.”
He chuckled lightly. “I’ll be there in a few weeks. You can’t get rid of me that easy. I just, uh, have a few things to tie up here. Like, oh, I don’t know, processing Patrick’s severance package.”
I couldn’t help the giggle that spilled from my lips. Thank God Patrick wasn’t here. None of the higher-ups ever reserved their already thinly veiled hostility toward him for when he wasn’t in the room. And Jon was the biggest offender.
“You can’t do that,” I replied. “You know I can’t write by myself.”
He gave me a hard look. I’d seen it many times. “Right, well, you keep telling yourself that. But the rest of us know that boy is just riding your coattails, lady. Not the other way around.”
“Sure,” I mumbled.
It had gotten hard to take compliments anymore. Especially from people who didn’t understand our process. Patrick had always pushed me to be better. Do better. I didn’t always like it, obviously, but if they ever saw my rough drafts, they’d know the truth. And I loved my job. I wasn’t ready for them to find out the truth when it came to my supposed skill set.
“When you get in, though, will you call me?” I inquired. “I’ll definitely be ready to scream by then and I’ll need a drink or, ya know, twelve.”
“You got it, kiddo. And now that you’re legally able to do that in public, I’ll take you to a bar and everything,” he teased, standing up. “Be good, okay? Let me know when you land.”
He laughed again and held out his arms to give me a hug. I didn’t waste any time as I stood up and raced over to him, wrapping my arms around his middle. The only part I could reach, being all of five feet tall. I pulled back shortly after, though, and looked down at my watch. It had already been two and a half minutes. Patrick didn’t issue threats he wasn’t willing to make good on.
I sat back down hard in my chair again, slipping on my leopard print Vans. A quick scan of the desk and I saw my gray crossbody Coach bag and identical, albeit much larger, briefcase. One more look over my shoulder as Jon walked me to the elevator made me feel confident I hadn’t left anything behind. And I blew him a kiss as the doors slid shut.
By the time the elevator hit the ground floor, a genuine smile was firmly planted on my face again and I pushed the mirrored Ray-Ban aviators up further to shield my dark blue eyes from the harsh sunlight threatening to blind me. I walked briskly to our chauffeured town car, waiting only a few feet away near the curb. Patrick, of course, was already tucked away inside and typing frantically on his phone. I thanked the man holding the door open for me as I melted into the supple leather interior, refusing to let Patrick ruin another second of my day.
“Straight to set?” I asked, unwilling to be anything less than chipper. “Or can we go to the hotel first?”
“You can sleep on the plane,” he muttered, sparing me only the minimal amount of attention as he said it. “Straight to set.”
I turned to stare out the window instead of focusing on the sharp tone he hadn’t dropped with me, allowing myself the opportunity to commit to memory every last palm tree that lined the road leading to the Marvel Studios headquarters in Manhattan Beach. A place I wouldn’t see for at least three months. If that. Again, I knew I held the most coveted position in my corner of the world, so I was determined to be grateful. Sure, the honor was shared with Patrick, but it still rang true. And I wouldn’t have gotten this far without him.
I hoped he felt the same way about me. But it was seeming less and less likely each day.
“Is that what you’re wearing? Or are you going to change before we land?” Patrick questioned, taking a softer approach this time.
He looked me over again and then turned back to his phone. I did the same, taking in my plain white tank, tied in a knot right at my belly button, meeting the top seam of my expertly ripped jeans without showing any additional skin. And over the top of the tank was my light brown cable knit sweater with the huge, almost comically large buttons.
I thought I looked cute.
“Why do I need to change? No one cares about me. I’m not the talent,” I argued petulantly. “Are you going to change?”
He gave me a smirk and motioned to his own outfit. I hated to admit it, but he was better dressed than me. His black slacks instead of jeans and starched striped button-up dress shirt with plum-colored tie certainly made him appear more professional. I, on the other hand, looked the part of a college student slash background actor. Not that it would matter, even if I did decide to try harder. My high cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes condemned me to a life of looking younger than my birth certificate claimed. Patrick might only be a few years older than me, but he hadn’t been carded in forever. And no one had ever taken his ID and tried to cut it up in front of him because they thought it was fake. I was comfortable. I didn’t see why anything else mattered when all I was going to do was sit in front of my computer and type all day.
“If you didn’t bring anything better, we can go shopping when we get there.”
I sucked my bottom lip into my mouth and began to chew on it. A nervous habit. A habit only engaged in when I was around Patrick because he made me jittery. After three years working together, I was still trying to decide if that was a good thing or bad thing.
“Fine,” I murmured.
Ten minutes in the car with him and my good mood had evaporated. Lovely. I closed my eyes, letting my head hit the cushion behind me as I tried to focus on where I was headed and why I was allowed to be in that space. And possibly more importantly, who I’d be able to see, talk to, and hang out with when I got there.
It had only been a few weeks between the wrapping of the last movie we’d worked on and this one, but I found myself incredibly antsy to be back. We were still in what Kevin lovingly referred to as the first phase, but it hadn’t taken long for us all to form a bond on set and build a family. Even the crew traveled with us. Mainly because it was hard enough to find people that would keep your secrets when you worked in this industry.
I reminded myself that when I arrived, wearing whatever was deemed suitable by His Highness, Patrick, I’d be walking onto a finished set this time. There’d be no fussing over and approving last minute wardrobe pieces or scrutinizing every single line in the scripts. No painstaking deliveries of the most minuscule objects that only the eagle-eyed fan would even spot. I’d just get to walk up and get to work.
And just like that, my good mood was back. Patience restored. Now, I just hoped it would last.
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“Show me how much you really love it.”
Relationship: Natasha Romanoff x Reader
Warnings: SMUT, NSFW, bondage, fingerings, dirty talk - 18+, minors DNI
Drabble Summary: Natasha learns just how much you enjoy a little bondage
“Comfortable, sweetheart?” Natasha asked as she tightened the ropes holding your wrists together. You were kneeling on the bed, legs spread, wrists bound behind your back, practically on display.
You nodded. “Yes, ma’am.” Natasha let out a borderline dangerous laugh at your tone.
“You sound so innocent,” she sighed. “But that’s not the case, is it? No innocent little girl would be this worked up just from a little rope.”
Then, without any warning, Natasha ran a finger through your folds, collecting some of the wetness that was growing quickly, and brushed over your clit. Your gasp turned into a pleased moan.
“Hmm,” Natasha began, “You are really enjoying it.” She slowly began rubbing small circles on your clit.
You didn’t know what to do besides nod. You couldn’t register much other than the feeling of her fingers and that burning orgasm building. Yes, you loved this so much. You loved being at her mercy, unable to do anything but just take whatever she decides. It didn't have to be anything intricate, just being lazily spread out on display for her without freewill made your whole body hot. The entire situation was already too much as your eyes began fluttering shut.
Natasha wasn’t allowing that, though. She gave a hard yank on the rope binding you, forcing your eyes to open. She was kneeling over one of your thighs now, still keeping up the rhythm on your clit. She was looking down at you as she held your wrist’s rope tightly. The material was scratching and burning your skin, sending a whole new sensation to your core. Pain and pleasure.
“Keep your eyes open, baby,” she gritted. “I wanna see your eyes as you get off to the fact you’re under my control. You’re bound for me and you absolutely love it.”
Her hand suddenly switched its pace. She inserted two fingers in you, keeping her palm pressed hard on your clit. Between the rubbing and pumping… you were about to lose it.
“Yes, yes,” you cried out. “I love it so much. I love being at your mercy.” She picked up the pace, now hitting that spot that made you just gush. You let out a loud shriek.
“Yeah, you love it?” Natasha asked. You nodded weakly, staring into her lust-filled eyes. “Then cum for me. Show me how much you really love it.”
Next thing you know you were yelling nonsensical words as Natasha worked you through the orgasm filling your body. You squirmed at her touch but she held you in place, close to her and really at her mercy. You bucked your hips a few times then felt as the sensation began fizzling. Natasha gave a couple extra pumps of her fingers before pulling away, satisfied.
“You okay, honey?” She asked, watching you slowly try to recover.
You gave her a weak smile. “Yes,” you sighed, happily. “Thank you.”
“Anything for my baby,” Natasha smiled then placed a sweet kiss on your lips.
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For Juneteenth I want 500 dollars.
Venmo: @ Natalene-Rehan
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AO3 update on It Was You All Along - woke up to a nice flurry of kudos being left & a few more bookmarks too! 🥺 Thank you to everyone who’s been showing love both on tumblr & also on AO3, still very blown away by the response.
Have to admit, I haven’t started the new chapter yet as life has been more hectic again than expected! I’m also super reluctant to accept I’m nearly finished with it 😅 But I’ll keep you all updated & let you know when the next chapter is on its way! 😃💜🎉
✨Want to read the fic so far? You can do so here on tumblr or over at AO3✨
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I just had to write this after watching episode 2.
~878 words, ao3
Loki was interested in what Mobius had mentioned earlier about candy. Candy. So there was “candy” that wasn’t just grapes, and nuts, and the like? Or bars of sweet grain dipped in honey? There was more to it than that?
Well, he supposed he deserved a break from studying himself. It was ridiculous, at times, or exhausting, or just plain… painful.
But that wasn’t something that was important to think about. Not at all.
So Loki got up from his desk, and he went to the “cafeteria.” Why not just call it was it was: a great hall? Then again, it was rather lacking for a great hall. A feasting hall? No, everyone’s meals were too subdued for such a title. Either way he went to one of those odd, rectangular machines that seemed to have a lot of colorful packaging. He figured it was food that was stored in there. What else would it be doing in a “cafeteria” if it wasn’t food?
He put a hand on his chin as he studied the odd names. Snickers, Reese’s, Butterfingers, Mars Bars, Milkyway, Sour Patch Kids (dear Niflheim, they eat children?), Skittles, and much, much more.
Deciding which to try was difficult when he had no prior knowledge as to what any of this was, so he randomly pressed buttons.
The machine asked for money.
It’s not like I have Asgardian coin on me! Ridiculous. They expect me to pay?
Loki surreptitiously looked about him. No one was paying him much attention despite the back of his jacket clearly stating him as a time variant, so he turned back to the machine and focused his will upon it. It was quite easy to understand the inner workings of it, and to have his magic flow into it and get the machine to do what he wanted. In no time at all, various colorful packages of what was hopefully food were cascading down, the coils holding them twirling and twirling and setting them free.
Having the machine thoroughly figured out now, Loki knew he was supposed to stick his arm in the metal opening in the bottom. A small part of him worried he wouldn’t get his arm back, but that was utterly ridiculous.
Now with many eyes on him, he crouched down and grabbed the candy, beginning to scoop it into his arms. Satisfied, he took his glaringly bright treasures to a table and settled in.
He ripped one open, and was met with creamy dark brown, and a sweet scent wafted up to him.
At first he wanted to back out and didn’t actually want to take a bite, but then he imagined Mobius seated across from him, possibly urging him on, or smiling at Loki’s “ridiculousness.” He took a large bite, and a myriad of sweet flavors exploded on his tongue.
He almost spit it out, but that would be highly undignified. The candy began to melt in his mouth, and he chewed. There was a crunch to it, but a creamy delightfulness. The longer it stayed in his mouth, the more the flavors made some sense. He finished that bite, and then took another.
A small moan left him.
Yes, this was good. Asgard was sorely missing out.
Loki wanted to finish the whole bar, but he looked at the cluttered table in front of him. He had to try more.
The next bar was even crunchier and stuck to his teeth. It seemed distasteful at first, but then he grew to like it.
There were sour flavors that pleasantly bit at his tongue mixed with a fruity goodness. Sure, it was clearly manufactured and fake, but it was good. Perhaps humans weren’t all bad.
The more candy he tried the more he wanted, until soon he couldn’t take another bite and the table was scattered with wrappers and half-eaten sweets.
His mouth seemed to be overflowing with sweetness, and that’s how Mobius found him, sitting at the table and wondering when the Hel all these flavors would leave him alone.
“Looks like you overdid it,” Mobius commented.
Loki glared and pointed a finger at him, “Not. Another. Word.”
Mobius grinned and sat across from him. Loki tried to hold his glare, but it was difficult when thinking of the kindness this idiotic being had shown him. Or perhaps… not idiotic. Just different?
No, of course not. They were all beneath him. Though that was difficult to think about while his mouth seemed to crave something other than the overload of sweetness he’d subjected it to.
“So what’s your favorite?”
“On the one hand I favor the Sour Patch Kids, and was pleasantly surprised to learn they weren’t kids.” Mobius hid a laugh behind his hand. “But Snickers have a delightful mix of flavors and textures that blend together perfectly, like a well-cultivated palace garden. And then the Butterfingers are actually… interesting. For some reason it feels good to bite after it gets stuck to my teeth. But aren’t you worried about losing teeth eating that?”
Mobius shrugged. “Some people would be. So… gonna go back to your grapes and nuts?”
Loki started shoveling the candy into his arms, getting up.
“Why in the nine realms would I do that?”
He left with his bounty.
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i say it to my friend all the time and they probably think i’m a bitch now so imma say it here
still don’t like peter parker centric fanfictions
i know, i know, controversial
I just there’s something that seems so unauthentic about his entire personality...like a pick me boy
but no one is that likeable....except scott lang who lowkey has the personality of an older version of Peter but i find better written in almost all fanfics
(i’ve established its because i don’t like nice ppl...it’s a certain type of nice ppl that i can’t describe the feel of just weirds me out man)
and when i wanna read angsty fanfics i don’t need all of them being peter and tony dad angst....
if i wanted to know about a teenager with daddy issues i’d go on tik tok or talk to half of my friends/hj
anyway i don’t hate peter i can’t lol (contradicting i know) i just hate how ppl write him like they’ve never met a teenager before
but he’s still peter and still mostly adorable
Disconnected Drabble (2)
Summary: In which you learn to deal with jealousy
Fandoms: Avengers, Marvel, MCU
Pairings: Steve Rogers x Mutant!Reader, Avengers x Mutant!Reader (platonic)
Warnings: seriously just silly fluff, some language, I may have traumatized Sharon
A/N: A drabble for my completed Disconnected Series that nobody asked for. I keep going back to this pairing and this universe when I need a little pick me up. This is me just getting my writing mood back up and hopefully it entertains some of you.
No permission is granted to repost, translate, or steal my work. Tumblr is the only place I post my writing. If you see it anywhere else please report it.
Drabble 2: Learning to Deal with Jealousy
Tony had taught you that it was only natural to sometimes feel jealous and protective over people and things that are important to you. You understood that pretty easily. Tony was protective of you because he was a sort of father figure or big brother to you.
“If Steve breaks your heart I’m going to shove him back in the ice myself.”
You were protective over Peter too, wanting to preserve that starry-eyed wonder he always had whenever you were working with new tech.
“Y/N! Can we build a tiny army of exploding ninjas?”
“We can build whatever you want, sweetie.”
Jealousy though sprouted with Sharon. Now that you were in an official relationship with Steve, it kicked in that you didn’t like having another woman making the moves on him. America’s ass was yours. You trusted Steve, but you didn’t like that Sharon was being persistent despite knowing about your relationship.
“Put the flame thrower away, Y/N!”
“She keeps touching him, Tony!”
You’ve never felt jealousy before so Tony had to teach you firmly that it was okay to feel it, but it wasn’t okay to set the other person on fire. It apparently also wasn’t okay for you to demand that they never work together on any missions. However, Natasha also told you that you shouldn’t just let another person disrespect you like that either.
People were complicated.
So you had to get creative.
A briefing was underway for a mission you weren’t involved in. It was just Tony, Steve, Nat, and Sharon in the conference room going over the intel. Naturally, Sharon took your absence as an opportunity to sit close to Steve. Just as she was about to lean in closer to him, the table rumbled and made a whirring sound. A glass partition folded out from within the table to snap in place between the two.
Sharon huffed and tried to go around the barrier, but it adjusted quickly to again block her path. She tried several times and each time it zipped into a perfect position to stop her. The glass also kept wiggling back and forth as if taunting her, daring her to go keep going.
The other Avengers couldn’t help, but chuckle. Tony was particularly relieved that your methods now didn’t include fire or shrapnel and Steve found it endlessly adorable. He couldn’t wait to get out of this meeting and kiss the life out of you.
None of them expected you to have installed the same across the whole Compound. It didn’t matter if they were in the gym, the kitchens, or any of the hallways. Some type of barrier always came up to block Sharon’s advances. One time it smacked her right in the face as it came out from the ceiling. It needed some adjustments. It was a prototype. It wasn’t intentional.
Not at all.
Sharon still didn’t give up though and she was convinced that she would get an opportunity when they shipped out for a mission. Outside of the compound you would have no control of the environment and wouldn’t be able to monitor her and Steve. The mission was successful and they were packing up to leave.
Natasha raised an eyebrow at the obviously predatory strutting Sharon was doing on her approach to Steve. The man saw and looked at his friend pleadingly, begging to help him avoid whatever the blonde agent had planned. He sighed when all he got as an answer was a shrug. He had been blunt with Sharon, clearly stating that all his affection was happily occupied by you.
“You wanna stop by my place when we get back for a drink?” she said in a sultry tone, fluttering her eyelashes up at him as she stroked down his arm. Natasha let out a low whistle at the audacity.
Before Steve could answer a low whirring could be heard coming from the star emblem on his chest. They jumped back as an opening appeared on it where countless Nano particles spilled out, swirling in mid-air until it formed a small robot that looked eerily similar to Eve from the movie Wall E. Steve subconsciously recalled your recent fixation on the animated film.
It turned to smile and coo adoringly at Steve, winked at Nat, then it’s digital eyes turned a glaring red toward Sharon. Its little arm raised and reassembled as a blaster aimed right at her shocked face. Tony said no fire.
But he didn’t say anything about water cannons.
Nat and Steve stared dumbfounded as the tiny robot relentlessly chased Sharon around the area, drenching her while it made noises that suspiciously sounded like cackling. During the ride home on the jet it settled on Steve’s lap, cuddling and purring against him like a pet cat while intermittently hissing at Sharon in warning.
Steve chuckled and shook his head as he petted the robot’s smooth head. He couldn’t wait to get home to you.
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- Hp characters that I write and accept requests for:
~ (Marauders era) Sirius black, James potter, Remus lupin, lily evans, Marlene McKinnon and Regulus Black.
~ (Lightening era) Harry Potter, Ron weasley, Hermione granger, Draco Malfoy, Fred & George weasly, pansy Parkinson, Luna lovegood, Oliver wood and Ginny weasley.
- I'd like to write fics for other fandoms as well, such as mcu and dps, maybe grishaverse as well. So if you got any requests, don't hesitate.
Requests are open.
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Stuck A/B/O Series Part 1
Stuck (Alpha!Stuckyx Omega!fem!reader) Series
Part 1-a rock and hard places
!!! T.W.: physical abuse by parent, emotional abuse by both parents, A/B/O dynamics, language, hurt and comfort. insecure reader, reader needs a hug from her Alphas, Polyamory.
Part 1: A Rock and Hard places
A/N: Y/N’s parents names are Annie and Joseph
This was a horribly bad idea. But Gods you needed them. They were everything to you. And in truth, you were everything to them and more. You seethed at the thought of not being completely theirs. Being stuck inside this limbo, this constant back and forth. You were the only Omega living in the compound that was unclaimed. You were a tennis ball and the rackets were your parents' house and the Avengers Compound. But ever since your father had that foundation shaking car accident on his commute to work when you were in your senior year of high school, you felt obligated, dutiful as you are the only child they had. Your parents were not the typical dynamic couple. Your mother is an Alpha and your father is a Beta. The accident left him wheelchair bound and your tiny family of three financially crippled. For five months you'd follow the pattern of going to school, coming home, doing whatever you could in the house as chores, homework that needed your immediate attention, Mom calling you out from the house to visit Dad a hour away in the hospital. He didn't look the same at all. He was this swollen monster hooked up to numerous machines, all equipped with their own monotonic melodies.
Your friends from highschool barely knew, you'd put your emotional mask on the moment you would spot them walking to the bus stop in the morning. Soft giggles, smiles, and inside jokes is what you armed yourself with. You couldn't let the storm break through, you could never tell them about your dad. About how he'd had a seizure the night before but came out of it okay. About how he cried and said he was sorry when he woke up. About how you had to be strong for your mother too. Your friends didn't need that, they didn't want that kind of drama put onto them. The only drama they knew about was how the cliques did or didn't get together to form alliances to defeat the Preppy bitches or whomever was dumb enough to fuck with the little guys. You surprised yourself by passing even if it was just barely. You'd graduated and it didn't even feel right. You'd felt cheated by fate. You remember one night during choir in highscool, your last performance, looking into the crowd to see if they'd showed up and weeping when you didn't find their faces. That stinging pain in your chest and eyes watered over when you heard your choirmates wave to their family members attending. You should have gotten a clue then, that, something wasn't alright with your parents and that you deserved better.
But that was a million light years away from what was happening now. You never knew you'd be joining the company of THE AVENGERS. If anything in your life went right, it was that. And you were grateful for the opportunity to be with them. They felt like a breath of fresh air, more so like you were breathing for the first time. You found great friendship in Wanda and were more closed off to Nat, but warmed up to her eventually. You weren't a tomboy and weren't a girly girl either. Rather you found yourself in the middle. You'd gotten there from one of your days out grocery shopping. Wanda was the one who'd recruited you, having a freak accident with a bicycle paperboy and a Mack truck almost happen before your eyes. You did it like normal, a reflex in both muscle and thought. Seeing it just about to collide in front of you, bringing your arms forward and flashing your fingers outward, like magic it had stopped.
Your arms still full with grocery bags, you had to act fast, after all you only had 45 seconds and the clock was ticking. You weren't even sure you had the strength. Ten seconds gone. You grab the Paperboy's arms and tug, working against the stillness of your powers and the gravity weighing him down. Ten more seconds gone. You wished you'd paid more attention in gym class as you tugged budging him just enough. This time giving it all you had, you heaved and, in the knick of time saved him. The Mack truck whooshing by as if nothing would have happened. The paperboy was wildly angry with you, not the praise you'd expected from saving the gentleman. You could pause time momentarily. Wanda came up to you and gave you her number. By nighttime you were invited to a Tony Stark gala.
That’s right, the fucking Tony Stark wanted to see you, just some Omega treading water in New York City. You were surprised your mother even let you go, but in hindsight you figured she couldn’t pass up the chance to have her Omega daughter be seen and scented in a superhero Alpha den like the Avengers Tower. She’d used you to tell all her co-workers that you went to a Stark gala just to advance her Alpha ego. Your relationship with your mother was beyond fractured. poisoned from the word go.
Having a birth mother be an Alpha was pretty rare. you were born too early as a result. Her own Alpha hormones saw you as a threat, tried to attack you from within the womb. the both of you were essentially killing each other. She almost lost her life when you were born. and you were left with severely scarred lungs. You were born at 26 weeks. An impossibly tiny baby girl clinging to life, weighing only 1 pound and 5 ounces. You stayed in the NICU for the first three months of your life. Steve and Bucky, your Alphas said you were born a fighter. But you didn’t see it.
They were your rocks, they made you so happy. if it was up to you, you would have been claimed by them by now, but both your perfect Alphas, were traditionalists. You couldn't blame them for that nature, not only were they Alphas, but they were both from the 40s. After all that’s why you were here back at home, to take care of your father and to ask for their permission to be claimed by Steve Rogers and James Barnes. Steve was one of the most esteemed Alphas in history but your other Alpha, the scarred one, Bucky that’s what you thought your parents would have trouble with. This is going to be a disaster, they’d never say yes to you being claimed by Bucky. Sure he was an Alpha and by today’s standards polyamorous relationships have been more widely accepted.
You were so afraid of what your parents might think about his reputation as the Winter Soldier, you wept by yourself in your room for it. You loved him so much there was no way you could think of a future without him. Not without both your Alphas by your side, together for the rest of your years. You wanted that so bad, and you wanted to have their pups. They’d be such great Alpha Dads. But that felt like a fucking pipedream. It took everything you had to be here and say those words to them tonight. To ask permission like a good, docile, Omega that you were raised to be.
Dinner was finished and you decided it was now or never, your palms clammy and your throat dry. You took a sip of water, chills traveling at lightning speed up and down your spine. Your Mom noticed this and didn’t let it slink past her. She was an Alpha after all.
“You reek of nervousness, Y/N. What’s on your mind?” she asked. You cleared your throat as your father perked up, staring at you with a curious intrigue. You tucked a lock of hair behind your ear, you found yourself choking on your words. they were stuck inside your throat. You averted eye contact. A growl came from across the dinner table, a primal sign forcing you to spit out your words.
“I-I wanted to ask your permission. to be, um. To be c-c-claimed by Steve Rogers, a-a-an-and B-B-Bucky Barnes.” you struggled to force the words out. Your mother’s eyebrows raised at Steve’s name but clenched together at the mention of Bucky’s. You fucking knew it. You knew this was a bad idea. you almost broke then and there.
but you had no time to sort out your emotions. And they spoke to each other as if you weren’t in the room. Only acknowledging your presence periodically to answer their questions.
Annie: "I've never seen her work hard for anything."
Joseph: "You're running into a trainwreck"
Annie: "What? What the fuck is wrong with you, Y/N? That's not natural, she has to pick one. Joseph she is like this because you always let her get away with shit!!"
Joseph: "Like hell Annie, maybe if you would have let her hang out with her friends more often she wouldn't act out by falling for bad boys."
Annie: "He's a criminal Joseph! She fell in love with a stone cold murderer!"
Annie: "God how are they gonna get any money? Or- or health insurance?! You know what kind of meager wages they make." Annie claps her hand to her face gasping in silent realization," oh my god, are you pregnant? Is that why you're doing this? A super soldier's pup?! Jesus I thought we taught you better than that!"
You: "What? No, I'm not pregnant. But why would it matter if I was? Steve and Bucky, they--"
Annie: " they what? Love you? I knew you were stupid but not that stupid."
Joseph: "Look sweetheart, we care about you. You've still got time to make a decision. At least you're not pregnant. We all know how your aunt Rhonda turned out. You wouldn't survive in the streets, hungry, alone, and ready to pop like a balloon. We don't want that for you."
You: "They'd never abandon me like that. We've never had an argument and they'd never hit me. Not in a million years."
Joseph: "Never had an argument? Y/N, You're stuck in a fairytale, sweetheart. That can't be real. It won't last"
Annie: "You need to go back to school! Quit keeping your head in the clouds with them. How long have you even known them?"
You: "three years is long enough, Mom." your voice was so quiet, any amount of hope you had mustered up before was being shattered.
Annie: " yet you've never lived with them? What's the longest amount of time you've spent with them?"
You: " there was a couple times I was able to spend the weekend with them alone. Mom, they're always busy. They save the-- no. We save the world from countless bad people. You have no idea what kind of stress we have to deal with."
Annie- scoffs "Stress? You want to talk about stress? The neighborhood wouldn't give us the time of day because of you! I worked so hard to get you to learn but nothing ever stuck! I can't believe I gave birth to such a retarded abomination! You've always been a freak! Y/N! I had a job at 14. 14! You're 26 and you're frolicking around with, Superheroes?! Get a fucking life! I had to take care of you because you were always sick! Working dead beat jobs just to put food in your mouth and clothes on your back and medicine in your system because your too feeble. You can't handle that. The real world is gonna chew you up and spit you out buttercup! Look at me when I'm talking to you!!"
Annie slaps you across the cheek and your glasses go flying across the room. She grabs your hair tightly and close to the root slapping your face continuously. You are crying uncontrollably you don't notice your lip is busted and bleeding. You have to pause the situation. You do, and you run out of that place, didn’t think about going back to grab your shoes. Your phone was in your pocket and you tugged it out into your palm shaking.
You couldn’t bring yourself to dial Steve or Bucky’s numbers, you couldn’t believe what had just happened, but part of you knew it would end like this. Your mom has been abusing you off and on since you presented as an Omega at 13. you had no idea why she treated you so bad. Aren’t Alphas supposed to protect Omegas? It was snowing outside and all you had on your feet was a pair of socks.
You followed the sidewalks of blocks until you found the Avengers Compound just outside the main part of the city resting near the river. You felt like a broken phantom of yourself. A shell lost in space. Nat opened the door and you couldn’t bring yourself to make eye contact.
She immediately noticed your busted lip and bruises starting to form on your jawline. Her scent was mildly comforting since Nat was an Alpha too but you needed your Alphas. Nat brought you into the compound.
“Y/N? What happened? Where are your glasses? Your shoes? Who did this to you?” She crouched down, peering up at you as tears started to form on your features. Your teeth chattered wildly, frigid from exposure to the elements.
You started to hyperventilate and thought you might pass out. You needed Steve and Bucky right now. Experiencing this kind of trauma without the support of your Alphas, could be deadly. Nat knew this and yelled out for them. You’re sure your distressed scent had wafted through the entire complex by now. Most of the avengers were in the living room, keeping their distance. no one wanted a fight to break out with you in such rough shape and your Alphas seeing you like this.
You heard their heavy footsteps but couldn’t bring yourself to look at them. Steve’s scent hit your nose first, Musk and the kind of smell you associated with an Irish Pub. His hand went straight to your own. Nat left to get some blankets.
“Omega-Darling? Baby Girl, Who did this?” Steve tried to get you to speak but you were still lost. Bucky made it to you last, staring at you from the threshold of the hallway, his features shocked and confused.
Bucky walked up to you, his hand cradling your cheek very gently. He’d had more than enough experience of being out-of-it, so he could pull you out better than Steve. Bucky gingerly dragged your nose to his scent gland, on his neck, purring to calm you. He smelled like cedar and forest rains.
“Doll?” he uttered and that was enough to break you. Your knees gave out and Bucky caught you, cradling you tight to his chest. You sobbed and wailed like a defeated animal. Steve stood in shock, anger brewing and bubbling beneath the surface. Nat returned with the blankets, fresh and unscented by anyone. She got too close however and Steve snapped at her. growling possessively and even his claws came to the surface.
“Back off, Nat. She’s our Omega. We take care of her.” he warned ending his sentence with a firm growl.
“Shhh. Shhh. Hey. It’s alright, ‘Mega. We’re here. Both your Alphas are here.” Bucky cooed as he took you down the hallway. Steve followed close behind. You needed the safety of your nest and your Alphas. Bucky sat on the bed cradling you in his chest, continuing to purr until you stopped crying. Steve scented blankets and draped them over your shivering form, grabbing your hand and stroking it gently with his thumb. Steve too was on the bed, as close as he could get to you and Bucky.
it was an hour before you could regain some sense about you. Steve perked up, noticing something change in your features.
“Alphas?” you questioned. Steve let out a gasp of relief, smiling bittersweetly. Happy to see his Omega back.
“They said no, Alphas. They said no. M-Mom was so angry. She hit me. I just wanna be a good Omega. I just wanna be a good Omega.” you were starting to lose yourself again.
Steve leaned in and began fervently kissing and licking your scent gland, where he was supposed to put his claim. “Their opinion doesn’t matter. they hurt you. We’ll make it all better my sweet Darling Omega.” preened your Cap.
“You’re an amazing Omega, Y/N.” Bucky said softly.
“You don’t mean that.” you choked out feeling so insecure in that moment.
“Yes you are Baby Girl. You’re the best Omega we could hope for. We love you so much.” Cap continued his encouragement.
“I love you too. Both of you. I can’t live without you...Alphas? Do you mind if we stay like this for a while?” you asked.
“Of course,” your Alphas replied in unison. You knew you’d have to tell them every detail. but you were drained and didn’t have the mental stamina left. You just drowned in their beautiful scents and fell fast asleep in your nest, with them watching over you. They’d protect you, they’d keep you safe, and that was all that mattered.
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Hi! I am absolutely obsessed with your SV stories - you are an amazing writer. If it's possible to make a request... a ff about the rest of the team forcing Wanda and Vision to acknowledge their feelings <3
hello! thank you for this fic request! you could say I took it and ran way too fast with it. anyway! it's called 'call it what it is' and I've planned for this to be 4 parts long ☺️ here's the first part and I hope you enjoy!
Call it what it is - part 1
synopsis: The pining between Wanda and Vision is starting to become a problem. The rest of the Avengers are sick of the tension that has them walking on eggshells, though the pair seem oblivious to it. Tony and Natasha lead an effort to send Wanda and Vis on a getaway disguised as a ‘mission’, complete with lush beaches, smart dinners and a bed that is the perfect size for a couple. With Wanda and Vision resigned to 72 hours in each other’s presence maybe it’s finally time to call their relationship what it is.
read on AO3 ~
“I think everyone knows why I’ve gathered you here today.”
The team stared at Tony apprehensively. He paused; his hands folded as he sat before them at the head of the briefing table. Nat was by his side, rolling her eyes at such dramatics.
“It’s about Wanda and Vision,” Tony continued, looking around at everyone meaningfully. A few shoulders slumped in relief at this, everyone had been a little high strung lately. They had big weapons bust happening in a few weeks that had taken months of careful work.
“Is something wrong with them?” Steve asked, his eyes sharpening in concern. He glanced over his shoulder cautiously as though expecting the pair to enter the room at that exact moment. But they were cleverly tucked away and distracted by Friday in a different part of the compound.
“I wouldn’t put it that way,” Tony said, “but I’m sure you’ve all noticed the tension between them.”
The table broke out in noises of agreement, Sam in particular made a rather loud exclamation of exasperation. Yes, everyone had definitely noticed. It was hard to keep a secret when you lived and dined with your colleagues. Not that Wanda and Vision were very good at keeping their attraction a secret.
“You know I was in the kitchen with them the other day,” Rhodey said, and everyone turned eagerly to listen, “and I kid you not there was electricity literally in the air. Wanda handed Vision a plate to dry, barely brushed his hand and boom! All the kitchen lights went out.”
“I saw them training the other day,” Sam chimed in, “and I felt like I needed to go bleach my eyes afterwards. Every time they touched it was so –” he shivered as he spoke “—tender.”
“So, you get the problem then?” Tony said.
“Not really,” Steve replied, he’d smiled at Sam and Rhodey’s stories but became serious. “It seems like it’s their business Tony, I don’t know if any of us should be butting in.”
Tony nodded in understanding, stroking his chin in consideration. “I’m not one to get in the way of young love. But they’ve been getting careless in training, distracted. We can’t afford any big accidents next month just because Wanda’s got the hots for my boy.”
Nat snorted. “Your boy is half the problem, don’t forget.”
Tony continued, unphased. “The idea is we send them away on a simple mission, and they can,” he made a convoluted gesture with his hands, “and then they come back ready for work again.”
Rhodey looked at Tony in mild disgust. “What the heck is this?” He imitated the hand movements.
“I think that goes beyond words,” Tony said, eyeing Peter purposefully. The kid had sat quietly throughout the whole discussion, fiddling with the moleskin journal he carried round the compound with him. Maybe Tony needed to remind him he’s not actually an intern again.
“Uh, it’s okay Mr Stark,” Peter said looking around as though he wasn’t quite sure he was allowed to speak, “I’ve already had the talk.”
Tony sighed something between exasperation and fondness. “Great, kid.”
“Back to the plan,” Natasha prompts and with a few taps on the tablet before her the report appeared on the big screen spanning one wall of the room. “This is the target, Stevie Vern. She’s going to be in Santa Monica next week for a wedding, so we’ll put Wanda and Vision in the same hotel.”
“Isn’t it a bad idea to put them on a mission while you’re trying to get them to address their... tension?” Sam asked, his phrasing delicate.
“That’s the thing,” Tony continued, “we already know everything we can from Vern, but we’ll tell Wanda and Vision that their job is to figure out why she’s in California, see if she’s meeting another buyer, that sort of thing.”
“We already got the intel this morning that Vern is only there for a wedding, relatively speaking, she’s not that big a player,” Natasha finishes, folding her arms.
“Still seems risky,” Rhodey frowns.
“To be frank, right now they are useless to us and themselves,” Tony said honestly. Tony could see everyone thinking things over and even Steve seemed to resign himself to the necessity of the plot. “We do this, help them address their shit and then everyone is fighting fit for next month’s operation.”
Steve pulled Natasha aside as everyone left the room to return to their daily routines.
“I’m not sure about this,” he said quietly, leaning against the doorway and frowning in consideration.
“I wasn’t either, until Tony convinced me,” Natasha said, looking after their teammates as they trailed to the stairs, some going down to the training rooms while others continued to the kitchen for lunch. “He asked what I thought about their relationship, and I told him I think they’re good for each other, but not as they are now. Wanda barely sleeps some nights; I hear her pacing from my room. Vision’s been getting careless the last few weeks; he’s gets too caught up in keeping an eye on her that he forgets to do his job properly.”
Steve looks at the ground as he took her words in. Natasha continued solemnly. “It seems light-hearted now, but if anything were to happen...”
“They could hurt each other, get careless during a mission and hurt someone else,” Steve finished her thoughts aloud. It was a sobering consideration and something they both hated to think their friends capable of.
“I trust Wanda, but I don’t always trust her power.” The admission hung heavy in the air. “If anything were to happen because of a careless error on her part, she’d never forgive herself. This feels like a way to at least help with one part of that carelessness.”
“You’re right,” Steve sighed. “Damn, I hope this goes okay though.”
“Come on,” Nat said putting a hand on his arm as they started towards the staircase. “Nothing is going to go wrong. I’m sure we’ll all be laughing about this years from now.”
“I admire your optimism,” Steve mumbled, trudging up the stairs after Natasha
Remarkably, when dinner arrives Sam, Rhodey, Tony and Nat had roused themselves to join Wanda and Steve in the kitchen. She’d helped him cook the spaghetti bolognaise and guessed that it was the smell of the spices and stewing meat that brought everyone up to the dining table. Vision was sat at their already, having spent the half hour in the lead up to dinner with his nose buried in a book. At least Wanda thought he was reading; it was difficult to tell when he was so still, and the pages turned so slowly. For all Wanda knew, Vision was miles deep in his head scouring the internet. He had become frustratingly difficult to read.
With everyone sat around the table, Steve began serving at the same time that Tony set his tablet down in front of Wanda’s plate.
She looked between Tony and the screen in confusion, mostly just wanting to eat her steaming bowl of spaghetti. It had been a long day, after an even longer, sleepless night. But Tony gestured for her to look closer and so she did.
“It’s your next mission.” Tony said, twirling his fork around and scooping up spaghetti and sauce.
“Santa Monica, target is Stevie Vern.”
Wanda hummed curiously, still a bit confused, but excited at the prospect of traveling to the other side of the country. She scrolled through the in-depth report Tony had given her. It was pages and pages long, filled with background information on the target all pertaining to the big weapons deal the team was planning to crash in just two weeks time. It was an important task then, she decided. Wanda hated to admit it but having Tony trust her with it made her feel a tiny bit proud. As she came to the end of the file she frowned; there was a pair of return plane tickets.
“Who’s going with me?” Wanda asked.
“Vision,” Natasha replied for Tony as he held up a hand, mouth filled with food. He nodded in confirmation.
Wanda’s stomach dropped even as her heart fluttered at the potential. A trip? With Vision?
“Me?” Vision asked, sounding just as surprised as Wanda felt.
“Is that going to be a problem?” Tony asked.
“Of course not.” Vision’s response was so quick that it sounded false, even to Wanda’s ears. Everyone else around the table had suddenly become conveniently interested in their food.
“Why us?” Wanda asked. Though she really wanted to know why it was only them assigned to the mission. She’d never been on a solo mission so far from the Compound before and she couldn’t help feeling a little bit suspicious. Why was Tony pairing her up with Vision? They certainly hadn’t had the best track record recently.
“Because we can’t afford to send anyone else,” Tony supplied casually. “And you have the perfect cover to figure out why Vern is in Santa Monica. The official words is she’s there for a wedding but we think there’s more to it than that. You and Vision can easily blend into the resort and pretend to be a couple on a honeymoon or something.”
“Excuse me?” Wanda choked out.
“We’ll do what?” Vision exclaimed at the same time.
“We’ve all been undercover for missions before. And no one will ever question you two being an item,” Natasha said, meaning to sound reassuring but missing the mark.
Wanda tried to ignore the warmth on her cheeks at that and the sly look Nat sent her. Biting back a snide comment, she stuck her fork into the spaghetti and began to eat. Vision asked more questions as they ate, what exactly they were expected to do once in California and how they were going to get their intel, but Wanda struggled to pay attention.
It wasn’t until later that evening as she packed a small bag that Wanda came to terms with the face that the trip was really happening. She was going to spend three days interstate with the very person she’d spent four months desperately trying not to fall for.
Everything was going to be fine.
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Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Loki (TV 2021)
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Darcy Lewis/Loki, Darcy Lewis/Lady Loki (mentioned)
Characters: Loki (Marvel), Darcy Lewis, Mobius M. Mobius, Hunter B-15, Lady Loki - Character, Tom Hiddleston, Thor (Marvel), Frigga | Freyja (Marvel), Odin (Marvel), Jane Foster (Marvel), Heimdall (Marvel), Sif (Marvel), Ravonna Lexus Renslayer
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Time Travel, Falling In Love, Romance, Alternate Timelines, Fluff and Angst, Fluff and Smut, Redemption
When the variant Loki is captured by the TVA, he learns not only of his future's end on the sacred timeline, but of a love he never met. In aiding Agent Mobius and the TVA, he'll learn that the Time Keepers are not the greatest power in the Universe. That power is love.
Contains alternate storylines for Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War.
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