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Let the Dust Settle

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A tear fell from Tony’s face.

 

“What the hell was that?” Tony said, his voice barely audible. He stared at his ash-covered hand, or what was left of Peter. But that couldn’t be him, right? There was no way Peter was gone. There was no way that any of them could be gone, right? The alien that showed up in the middle of the fight turned around to face him.

 

“He did it. Thanos got all of the infinity stones. He killed my sister, he killed half the universe. He won.” She stated coldly. Tony shook his head, closing his hand into a fist to tightly hold the ashes.

 

“No, that can’t be. There was one more on Earth that was inside a damn android’s head. Bruce would’ve called Steve himself to get help and protect it. There’s no way that they failed.” There’s no way that they’re gone.

 

“Did you not see what just happened, human?” She stalked forward in front of him and gestured to the empty spaces where the others had recently stood. “They are all gone because we failed. They are dead…”

 

“Well then what are we supposed to do!” Tony stood up and yelled at her. He grabbed his stab wound on his stomach in pain. “What are we supposed to do?” he said quietly.

 

“We need to get off this Godforsaken planet, or we will die here too.” She said harshly. “My ship was destroyed. We need to take the Milano, it was the Guardians ship.”

 

“We-we need to get to Earth. I need to know if they’re okay,” he spoke. “I know a place where we can both go. After what just happened, the entire Goddamn planet is probably in shambles.”

 

“Good, we need to leave,” she told him and walked towards the ship. Tony looked back. He looked down to the spot Peter had just died. He had just died and Tony was already leaving him. There was nothing left behind of him other than the ashes that stuck to his blood covered hand.

 

He walked to the ship. The woman was already inside, sitting at the controls. Tony sat down in one of the chairs and leaned his head against the back and shut his eyes.



-



“It’s really your fault I’m here.”

 



“Mr. Stark? I don’t feel so good.”





“I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t understand!”





“Please!”



...

 

“I don’t want to go.”





"I'm sorry."





 








Peter gasped. His eyes were shut tightly. He started breathing heavily as he was being suffocated before. He sat up from the ground, or whatever he was laying down on.

 

"Where am I?" He whimpered. He opened his eyes and all he saw was nothing but an empty orange void. Suddenly, a hand touched his shoulder, and Peter jumped up in fear, using his webs two web whoever was there to the ground. But instead of an attacker, Doctor Strange stood in his webs, along with the other Guardians who he thought he saw disappear. He guessed that maybe that it was just an illusion. He saw Thanos do them on Titan. The orange place was probably an illusion too.

 

"I'm sorry for startling you, Peter." Doctor Strange said, calmly and gently.

 

"No, it's-it's fine. I'm sorry for, uh- webbing you down." Peter scrambled down to remove the webs from his feet, glancing a look at the Guardians who stood behind him. Peter stood up and there was an awkward silence. The once cheerful Guardians were quiet, and they looked heartbroken and mournful. Peter decided to break the silence.

 

"What's going on? Where's Tony and the other person, the blue one? What's her name?" Their faces looked even more depressed if that was possible. "Guys?"

 

Doctor Strange sighed. "He's not going to be here, Peter."

 

Peter was confused. Where was Tony? What happened. "What's going on?" He repeated.

 

"Thanos, he-he," a grim look flashed over the older man. "Thanos won. He got the stones and he killed off half of the universe. We died, or really, we are trapped here. Tony didn't, he isn't here."

 

Peter's face fell. They were...dead? How is that possible. They were supposed to win. They were the heroes, that's how it's supposed to go.

 

Did that mean, everything that happened on Titan was real? The Guardians and Doctor actually disappeared. He really disappeared in Tony's arms. He's...

 

His heart pounded in his chest and his hands shook. His breath shortened and the ground swayed underneath his feet. He felt someone grab him and hold him up. He felt like he was going to throw up. He felt like he was actually dying. He could barely hear Doctor Strange talk to him over the pounding of his blood in his ears.

 

"Peter, you need to calm down, okay?" He instructed. "Breathe okay?"

 

"I-I am breathing." Peter panted.

 

"No, not like that Peter. Don't breathe from your chest, take in deep breaths from your stomach, nice and slow. Keep your eyes closed.

 

Peter tried to do as he was told he shut his eyes tightly. He remembered what Tony and May did to calm him down when he had panic attacks. His breathing labored for a few seconds, but he manages to slow them down and calm down.

 

He opened his eyes his vision was blurred by tears he wasn't aware came out. He wiped his eyes and collapsed to the ground, everyone rushing to see if he was okay.

 

But he wasn't okay. None of this was okay.

 

"I'm fine, don't worry. That just tired me out."

 

Doctor Strange sat in front of him and put a comforting hand on Peter's knee. "That's to be expected. Are you sure you're okay?" Peter nodded shakily. Then Mantis knelt down beside him and touched his shoulder.

 

"You are lying. You are scared and sad. You have an overwhelming sense of fear and dread." she revealed

 

Peter looked down, not meeting her eyes. He hated her power. He curled his legs to his chest, crossed his arms over his knees, and buried his head arms. “I’m sorry,” he mumbled. He cringed, but it went unnoticed.

 

“You don’t need to be sorry. It’s alright,” he consoled. He helped Peter off the ground after a few more moments to make sure he was ready.

 

“Thank you, Doctor Strange,” Peter murmured to him.

 

“It’s Stephen.”

 

They stayed standing there in silence, with an occasional sniffle from Peter. It wasn’t an awkward silence, but it was because they didn’t know what they were supposed to do or say. Peter looked awkwardly at the Guardians. He blushed in embarrassment he realized that they all saw that. He was going to say something to them but Peter Quill beat him.

 

“I’m so sorry you guys. This is all my fault. I was so mad about G-.” he paused and let out a shuddered breath. “I was just so mad, that I lost my cool. Now because of me, we’re all stuck here for God knows how long.”

 

“I don’t think we should be playing the blame game here,” Stephen advised. “Plus you are hardly to blame in this situation.”

 

“We had him, and I blew it. I’m pretty sure that counts as my fault.”

 

“You were furious that he killed your girlfriend. If we are doing this with your rules, then we can blame anyone here, but we won’t because it wasn’t of our faults. Do you understand?” he asserted. Quill gave a slow nod to show that he understood but still felt guilty.

 

Peter awkwardly raised his hand, to show he had a question. Stephen just rolled his eyes. “Yes, Peter?”

 

“You are a master of the mystic arts and stuff like that, and you know a lot about, well, everything. Do you happen to know where we are?”

 

Stephen hummed. “I’m not completely certain, but I believe that we are currently trapped inside of world inside of the soul stone.

 

“After Thanos collected the stones and used the gauntlet to...kill us, I believe anyone who was affected was transported into this place.”

 

“That’s so crazy,” Peter said, taking in the information, as did the others. “Can you use your magic too? She-” Peter pointed to Mantis because he still doesn’t really know her name yet. ”-used hers on me, and maybe if you can use yours, then you could use it to try and get us out of here, or at least find anyone else.”

 

“I have tried using my magic to get to everyone, but I haven’t been able to use one to get out of here, but I do think I know who we can find with them.” Stephen said. He turned away from the group and lifted his hands.



 

 







 

When they finally woke up in the strange world, Wanda, Bucky, Sam, and T’challa were alone. They were all terrified, and confused, spending the first hours screaming for their friends until their voices were hoarse. Then they just walked. They didn’t know where they were going, but they could feel something pulling at them, something trying to lead them somewhere.

 

After Sam walked for God knows how long, he spotted someone in the distance. He sprinted to the figure as fast as his legs could take him. When he got close enough, he could finally recognize the figure as Bucky. Bucky saw noticed Sam racing towards him and they were both running towards each other.



The two were both clueless about what was going on, where they were, and where everyone else was. But they both did have that feeling that felt like they were being drawn to something. They both decided to keep following the feeling since it led Sam to Bucky. The two found King T’challa and a walking and talking tree walking with him named Groot, and Wanda found them not too long after.



Wanda, Bucky, Sam, T’challa, and Groot were then just wandering around in utter confusion.

 

None of them had any idea what had happened. One second, Thanos snaps his fingers, the next, they’ve gone and disappeared and arrived in this orange void. Not to mention, a walking and talking tree was with them and it couldn’t say anything but, “I”, “Am, and “Groot”, specifically in that order.

 

“Are we dead?” Wanda asked them, but it was completely pointless because the boys knew the same amount of information she knew in that situation which was nothing.

 

“If we are dead, then I’m assuming that this isn’t heaven,” Sam said. “This place is literally an endless orange hell. There is nothing but us and orange. Everywhere.”

 

“I am Groot,” Groot added.

 

Sam side-eyed the tree. “Right.”

 

“Is that thing, like, normal? Or is everyone else just as confused about that thing as I am?” Bucky whispered to T’challa, pointing at Groot.

 

“I think it is safe to say that anything that happened this day was not normal, but yes, we are all confused about the tree,” he answered.

 

“I am Groot!”

 

“Right, about Groot.” T’challa corrected himself.

 

While the boys talked amongst each other, Wanda stood by the side, her head low. The images of Visions dead body still fresh in her mind. She wondered what would’ve happened if she just destroyed the stone in the first place. He would die, but he ended up dying when she didn’t. He had to die twice. Vision told her to do it in the first place, she should’ve listened. Then, maybe he didn’t have to die to Thanos.

 

Wanda’s head shot up to the left of her, the boys and Groot looked in that direction too. There was an orange circle forming, it looked like sparks circled around it.

 

“Oh wow.” Sam scoffed. “Fancy orange now. Thanks hell!” He said sarcastically.

 

Suddenly an image appeared in the circle, it looked like the world that they were in, but there were people. The people inside of the circle steppe closer, and then through it. Five people came out. Five very odd looking people. When they entered, they don’t recognize the people, but the spider on the boy's suit. Before they could say anything, one of the men ran up to the tree, two of them following behind him.

 

“Groot! Oh my God, it’s you! How is this even possible.” The blond man cried when he reached him.

 

“I am Groot!” Groot’s limbs wrapped around the man’s waist, an odd-looking woman with antennas and a man with a purple pattern running all over his body placing a hand on the tree.

 

Wanda looked behind the four towards the boy in the metal suit and the man in the cape. Though the suit looked different, she knew his logo.

 

“Spiderman?” she called out. His head shot towards her and his face lit up in awe. She got a good look at his face. He looked young, very young. He was a child, she concluded. He walked towards the group, the man behind him followed closely.

 

“Yeah. You’re the Scarlet Witch, right?” he asked.

 

She nodded. The tree and the three strangers had stopped their hug. Bucky, Sam, and T’challa looked even more confused than before.

 

“What the hell is going on,” Bucky asked, putting his hand on his temple and squinted at the sight before him. He thought he must've been seeing things.

 

“I guess I should explain this to you too.





 








“Steve, what just happened,” Natasha asked. She didn’t know what she just saw, but she knew whatever is happening is bad. She couldn’t get an answer out of Steve. He stayed sitting on the ground in a pile of ashes, next to Vision’s body. He looked like he close to tears.

 

“No…” Bruce murmured. “No...No-he-he can’t. He couldn’t have.” He looked green, but not because of the Hulk.

 

Rocket sat against a fallen tree stump. He stared at his hands, remembering the last time Groot had died, but this time, nothing was left behind. Nothing but the ashes he disappeared into, but those are gone too.

 

Thor screamed, lighting shot down around him, electricity passing through his fingers. “Damn you Thanos!” he threw Stormbreaker at the boulder Thanos trapped Bruce in earlier, causing the rock to be destroyed, bits of rock and dust flying everywhere.

 

“Thor, Calm down!” Steve shouted, shooting up, making his way to the Thunder God.

 

“No!” his head snapped towards Steve, his eyes no longer showing. Instead, lightning appeared in its place. “After what Thanos did to me, my family, my people, everyone! I can’t just calm down.” he raged. More lightning shot down from the sky, striking the nearby trees.

 

Thor was suddenly blasted backward, landing on his back.





 








“So we really are dead? And this place is basically hell?” Sam asked him once Stephen finished his explanation. Stephen nodded. “This is all insane.”

 

“How is any of this even possible. How did this Thanos guy manage to get the stones? They’re powerful, right? Then why weren’t the more protected?” Bucky said angrily.

 

“He got the first one after he decimated a planet named Xandar. Apparently, he took the space stone from a friend of yours I’m assuming, Thor. He took the reality stone from the Collector on Knowhere then destroyed the planet, he got the soul stone from-” Quill blinked away the tears that threatened to fall. “-from killing my-my girlfriend, and the timestone from us,” he explained grimly his voice breaking.

 

“You fought him too?” T’challa asked them.

 

“Yes. Us, Tony, and a friend of theirs.” he gestured to the guardians.

 

“Tony? As in Stark?” Sam confirmed. They nodded. “God, a lot of us thought he had died!”

 

“Is that all?” Wanda asked Stephen.

 

“That’s basically the gist of it.”

 

Bucky rubbed his hands over his face, “Jesus Christ.” he sighed.

 

Peter stood back as the adults conversed. They all seemed really frustrated and confused, and he didn’t want to make it worse. He sat down and poked the ground, not knowing what else he could do. Wanda spotted him and approached him with a small smile.

 

“It’s Peter, right?” she asked and sat down next to him.

 

“Yeah, I guess my secret identity has been blown.” he joked. “You’re Wanda Maximoff. I am a huge fan of yours. Actually, I’m a huge fan of all of you. I didn’t really know Doctor Strange or the Guardians before today, but they are cool.”

 

Wanda smiled. “Thank you. I may not know a lot about you, but I do know of a few of your achievements.”

 

“Seriously? That’s so cool. Anyways, I’m sorry for helping to beat you and your friends a couple years ago.” He scratched the back of his head, then looked up as he heard footsteps approaching them.

 

“You didn’t beat us up,” Bucky said, joining in on their conversation.

 

Peter grinned. “You’re the guy with the cool metal arms. Sergeant James Barnes, we learned about you in school. This is so amazing that I get to properly meet you guys.”

 

Bucky laughed. “You know, you’re a lot easier to handle without a mask on.”

 

“Yeah, everyone who knows my secret always says that. They always say Spiderman and I are so different, because well, we are two different people.”

 

“Don’t you mean Spiderboy?” Sam teased, him and the other’s joining their conversation to get to know the boy. “And let me say, you were a little asshole” he said, earning a shove and a glare from Wanda.

 

‘I’m sixteen, sir.” He answered timidly, faltering from Sam’s comment.

 

“Aren’t you a little too young to be doing this?” Sam questioned.

 

“I have a younger sister around his age, and she too is doing wonderful things for our country,” T’challa chimed in.

 

“And if you don’t remember, I was still technically a kid when you first recruited me,” Wanda added.

 

“Yeah, that’s what everybody else said, ‘I am too young’. But usually, I was just trying to look out for the little guy, you know? Muggers, robbers, saving cats from trees. Things like that.” Peter answered.

 

“Fighting a mad titan is a lot more different than saving a cat from a tree.” Sam pointed out. “I don’t think someone like you could handle this.”

 

“Yeah well, I did and I didn’t mean to be here. I mean, I was on the school bus on my way to a field trip, when that giant circle thing came. I put on my suit and hopped out of the bus. Then I saved Mr. Stark from getting hit by this big metal thing, and he told me that the alien was trying to steal a necklace from a wizard and then suddenly, Doctor strange came flying by!

 

“Mr. Stark told me to help him, so I chased him and another alien. He hit me with a sign, but I was fine. Then, when Doctor Strange fell, I caught him with my webs and tried to get him to safety, but the big circle thing started to beam him up, and then it started to beam me up.

 

“They took Doctor Strange onto the ship, but I was trapped outside, so I needed to try and get him. But we were in space and there is no oxygen in space, so I couldn’t breathe. Then Mr. Stark came to save us! He told me to let go, but then I ended up falling down. Luckily, Mr. Stark called out the suit he was working on for me and it caught me before I fell into the void of space.

 

“He tried to send me home, but it was a really long way down and I just thought of Mr. Stark on the way and then I just stuck to the side of the ship and made my way inside. Mr. Stark was really mad when he found out, but Doctor Strange was still trapped by the alien, so he asked me for a plan. Did you guys ever see that really old movie Aliens? Well, we did one of the scenes from that and we blast a hole in the side of the ship and the alien was sucked out, then we saved Doctor Strange!”

 

“You guys nearly killed me.” Stephen chimed in.

 

Peter’s face was slightly red from being out of breath from explaining the whole story to them. “We saved him.”

 

“Well…” Bucky coughed. “That was an interesting story.”

 

“Thank you, Sergeant Barnes.”

 

“How long have you been Spiderman?” Wanda asked.

 

“I don’t know, a couple of years I think,” he answered.

 

“Do your parents know about it? Or do you sneak out and pray to God that you don’t get caught.” Bucky asked.

 

“Well, um. My parents are… No, they don’t.” Everyone’s faces fell, and pity replaced their smiles. They could tell by Peter’s reaction that the topic wasn’t a happy one. Peter picked the imaginary lint on his suit and awkwardly laughed. “But, my Aunt May knows. She was the last to find out, though. Mr. Stark was obviously the first one since he recruited me for some reason, and my best friend Ned was second. Actually, that story was really funny. I came in on the ceiling of my room not knowing that he was in there…”

 

The others laughed at his story and the more that he shared after that. Thankfully, any awkwardness there was from before was gone, or was at least lessened. A few of the others even shared some of their stories. Peter Quill shared some of their adventures, Drax told them about his family, and Bucky told them about the forties, which caused Sam and Wanda to groan. And for a moment, they forgot what was going on.