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A snapshot through time

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“Tell me, boy, do you even know who your mother really is?” (IM Scientist Supreme to Francis Barton- Avengers World 11)

It’s business as usual- someone (namely, Tony) broke her heart. And it’s business as usual the way she dealt with the pain: all alone in the dark, crying and sobbing like she had always done, always alone.

Until he came: she didn’t know how he had entered her apartment (did he have the keys? She didn’t remember.); she realized he was there only when he kissed away her tears, his touch burning her skin in a way she had never thought possible. Because it’s her- and he is.. It’s him, so it shouldn’t be possible, but it is.

Next thing she knew, she awoke in her own bed, naked and sweating, and yet cold; he was asleep at her side, his features enlightened by the moonlight, his smile content and genuine.

(Like probably he hadn’t felt in a long, long time.)

It wasn’t a mistake, and she didn’t regret this- God knew if it hadn’t been a curiosity, an itch to scratch since they had met when she was just a teenager- but if there was a thing Chris Stark had never been good at dealing with, it was fear.

Fear of rejection.

Fear of losing her best friend.

So, she did what she had always done best.

She run.

Months passed.

A lot of happened, in so little time. Too much- even for her; it wasn’t the first time Chris said- thought- this, but this time, it was with a brand new kind of desperation.  Her life had always been… ad adventure, for lack of a better word, but this, this was different. And yet, it wasn’t, because she had already walked down that path once before. Oh, she knew she had the power to change things, but she didn’t want to allow herself to. It wasn’t right.

The first time she had gotten pregnant… she barely remembered it. Back then, her mind had been filled with lies, her memories erased by both telepathy and magic to allow her to escape the grasp of the Mandarin, but there was one thing she couldn’t forget: how she had felt like she had failed her children.

Her beautiful twins, children of an ill-fated affair with Hellstorm. Lost to the world long before they could see the light of day. Long before she could take them in her arms even only once.

And now… now, how could she handle this? She didn’t think she could. It would have broken her heart. She would have gotten to resent the baby. And in time, her child would have gotten to resent her. And that… she couldn’t have, because for all her actions, her battles and her strong words, she wasn’t strong or thought at all. was all an act. It was something she could do only when fighting the nightmares hiding in the shadows, the bogymen that mutations and gamma rays and experiments had turned real, but the idea of her son hating her (it was impossible to handle, not when she still remembered the heartbreak Charles had gone through when Scott had turned his back on him.)

But she loved it already. She hadn’t told anyone yet (with the exception of Cecilia, her doctor, her friend, her team-mate), not even the father, and yet she already loved her little pea with a  passion, and all she wanted for the little guy was happiness.

That was why she had to tell the father. Had to work with him to “fix” herself. Had to ask for his help to rise her- their –child. That was why she helped herself in his home late at night, grateful that his brother was fast asleep on the couch.

(Less awkward moments. Less explanations. No need for words- just her telepathy.)

While he still didn’t feel her presence, she took her time looking around;  the apartment wasn’t as messy as it was before, and she was starting to think that Hill had a point when she said that he was just exaggerating so that the enemies would underestimate him.  A little smile graced her lips, and she felt the sting of fresh tears burning her eyes: he was making progresses, was building back his family- and maybe, just maybe… he would have added up to it in few months’ time. Maybe not with her- she loved him, but she wasn’t in love with him and she knew that, despite not believing that their night together had been a mistake, they weren’t fit for a relationship with each other. But… they could do this. Rise their child together.

(While being single.  Or with other people.)

“Uh?” He muttered as he turned and saw her for the first time, her back against the doorframe of his kitchen, hands in the pockets of her leather jacket. Uh, Chris thought, was probably the right word. After all, how long had it been since she had vanished once again from their lives his life? And was there any chance that he wouldn’t have believed that it was because they had had sex? He wasn’t an idiot, despite what people often assumed, he still could add two and two together, and she vanishing after having sex with him for the first and only time, in his books equaled regrets. Or fears. Or both.

(Or maybe, knowing her… none of the above. )

Do you mind if I use my telepathy? She asked tentatively. She knew Sign language, but she was tired, and stressed and scared, and she needed to let it all out… and  if she spoke with her mind’s voice, getting back the connection they had shared when she was a kid and he thought her the way of heroes, well… she knew it wasn’t fair for him, but she wanted to think of herself for once. Just this once.

He nodded, getting closer and closer, his hand reaching out to touch her arm, tentatively. They both knew they weren’t in love, but a long time before, they had had those feelings for each other. And they still cared for one another.

They could do this.

She closed her eyes, felt the tears burning her eyes, and the words left her mind before she knew it.

I’m pregnant.

( She didn’t add anything more she didn’t have to. Or maybe she just couldn’t.)

So, he took her in his arms, and swore then and there that he would have done everything, anything in his power to make her happy. To make it easier. To make all of them as happy as they could be.

But he didn’t know the future. He didn’t know that Ultron would have risen- and taken away Chris from their child when all they wanted was to make it real, make it last.

That was why Clint felt a moment of perfect happiness as he welcomed little Francis- or maybe Isabelle – in his life, along with the mother of his child.