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Consequences

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Patience.

Just have patience.

Those words kept repeating themselves over and over again inside his head. Usually, he was a very patient man, he had to be. Being King, he couldn't let himself make any brash decisions. Doing so could be dire for his country and it's people.

And himself as well.

A lesson he should have learned after his rage filled chase of Barnes.

Given, at the time he hadn't known the mans innocence in his fathers death, but still he should have taken the time to process it all, to grieve for his father, to let someone else handle Barnes.

But he couldn't..

All he could see was red, a blatant fury that had consumed him nearly to the point of madness.

He had nearly taken the life of an innocent man.

Not completely innocent, he reminded himself. Barnes was still responsible for countless murders over the last sixty years and he would have to face the consequences for that eventually, but for now he was going to let the man have some peace.

Maybe, he thought, he might find some peace for himself as well.

Even though that was unlikely.

People like him never had peace. It was always the next fight, the next battle. Sometimes peace was just a pleasant dream.

"Where could he be?" T'Challa said into the night. Patience was clearly not meant for him tonight.

He had known where Rogers was going when he lent him use of one of his jets, but at the time he had so many things to deal with around the palace he didn't give much thought to what could happen if the Captain got himself caught.

Harboring a wanted fugitive, especially one of the Captains caliber could be unpleasent for Wakanda. The people always came first. They came before everything and everyone. Your family, your friends, and most definitely they came before yourself.

Whenever he felt himself being a bit thoughtless or selfish he always remembered his fathers words.

 You have to protect your people, your brothers and sisters. They are the lifeline of this land and every single soul is in your hands. A King can not afford to be selfish, T'Challa, for selfishness and greed, individual or national, cause most of our difficulties.

His fathers most important lesson, it had been driven into his mind since his childhood. Selfishness has no place in a King's heart, the kingdom would only suffer from it. He couldn't afford to be even a bit self-centered.

Was he being selfish when he allowed Barnes and Rogers sanctuary inside Wakanda?

He honestly couldn't be sure, he had just wanted to right a wrong, to try and make up for his actions toward Barnes. But right now all he could feel was worry.

Rogers had left with the jet over 24 hours ago, and he had heard nothing, not even a whisper from him for a full day. Since the jet had the ability to cloak itself it was virtually untraceable.

Except to him.

He wasn't worried enough yet to track it but if he wasn't here in a few hours T'Challa would have to take some action. All he could do for now was wait and hope Rogers would return soon. It was troublesome to say the least, he should have been back by now. Knowing that Barnes was back in cryo brought him a little reprieve. Rogers would never leave without his brother.

T'Challa could only hope Rogers hadn't seriously injured or killed any one on his quest. There had been enough death in the past weeks, God knows he couldn't handle much more right now. He was a strong man but even the strongest can break under to much pressure.

He understood the need to free his friends, his family, from their prison. Family would always have a duty to one another. But he didn't share the Captains belief that they were innocent, they had caused possibly thousands of deaths and injuries over the years, New York couldn't really be on them, they did what was necessary.

DC, Sokovia, Lagos, a different matter entirely.

Even so, it wasn't his place to stop Rogers. If he tried he knew it would be another battle, a battle so close to his people, and couldn't risk that. He knew that once they were free the former Avengers would be coming back to Wakanda. He wasn't sure just how he felt about that. Having Rogers here was one thing, but all of them together could prove a disaster in the future. The witch made him edgy, he didn't like knowing she could get inside your head whenever she wanted.

God, he hoped Rogers made it back before Shuri came home. She was still in Nigeria dealing with the aftermath of the explosion Maximoff caused. He hadn't yet told her he had Rogers and Barnes here.

God, she was going to claw out his eyes. She was fully capable, on more than one occasion in their training she had managed to knock him on his ass. They hadn't had any squabbles in a while, but if Shuri went into a rage he may have to hide out in the jungle for a bit. At least the panthers wouldn't kill him. With Shuri he had no guarantees.

She could be a terror.

T'Challa looked around his father's (now his) study. A place he had always come growing up whenever he needed his fathers advice, or if he just wanted to share stories about his adventures for the day. T'Chaka had always made time for him, he had no idea how his father had managed but he was always there for them. T'Chaka would sit behind the gleaming centuries old desk, with its hand carved panthers and images of old Wakandan royalty, and he would listen to every tale or problem they had.

God, how he missed his father. He could really use his guidance now. T'Chaka would never have gotten into this situation to begin with. His father had had more emotional control than he did.

If he let Rogers and the rest of his clan stay, eventually someone would find out where they were. A secret, no matter how well one tries to hide it, always makes itself known in time. But he also did not feel right about sending them away. There was nowhere left for them to go.

He could truly be their last hope.

T'Challa sighed noisily, his frustrations growing further. Shuri would be returning soon and then he had no way to stash the Avengers away. He looked out the windows of the study, staring out over the vast jungle, at the skyline cloaked in its blackness.

He prayed for strength, for guidance, for some kind of foresight of what may come.

If only his prayers had been answered. He would have been able to see what the Gods had in store for him. How his life was about to be shattered.

Nothing would ever be the same. His world would forever be changed, and he didn't even know it. All because he had offered another sanctuary.

But he couldn't see, so instead he prayed.

Prayed to see something, a glimmer of light, a blur on the horizon.

Anything but the vast darkness looking back at him.