He can’t get out of bed.
The world needs saving, people need to be brought back to life.
But Scott can’t bring himself to get out of bed.
He’ll get up and face the world tomorrow, but today? Today he’ll allow himself to lie in bed and be sad, because dammit, it hurts.
His entire family is gone. Hope, Maggie, Jim, Hank, Janet. Cassie. They’re all gone, turned to dust, and he’s stuck here, living and breathing and trying to move on when all he can think about is finding a way to join them. Being without all of them, without Cassie, is too much. He scrolls through his phone looking at pictures of his daughter. Tries to remember the way she sounded when she laughed, how her eyes crinkled when she smiled. He thinks about the last time he hugged her and blinks back tears. Did I tell her that I loved her? Did I call her peanut? She always loved that.
Peanut had been his special nickname for her, something for just the two of them to share. Now he’d never call her that, or hug her, or tell her that he loved her ever again. He tries to remember how she felt folded up in his arms, and hates himself for his inability to turn his brain off.
What is his pain compared to others’? Why should he only be concerned about what he went through, what he lost? He’s not the only one who lost his entire family, his child. He should be grateful. The Avengers have taken him in as one of their own, are relying on him to help save the universe. Barton lost all three of his children and his wife. Stark held his kid as he cried and crumbled to ash.
What is his pain compared to any of that?
It’s not fair, Scott thinks. It’s not fucking fair.
He wonders if she suffered, if she knew what was happening. If Maggie or Jim were with her, or if she went alone, scared and confused. He should have been there, should have been able to hold her, to comfort her, but he wasn’t.
He’s never around when it counts, and his Cassie girl is always the one who pays the fucking price. He tries so hard to be a good father, to be better than his own family was, but in these quiet moments Scott thinks that maybe he’s worse. Maybe he’s never purposely hurt Cassie (he’d sooner cut off his own arm), but he’s missed so much, and now?
Now she’s gone. Turned to ash along with half of the universe. And Scott has this gaping hole inside of him, and even if, by some miracle they manage to reverse this, it’ll never go away. He’ll never be whole again, even if he gets Cassie back. He’ll always be watching, waiting for her to turn to dust in front of his very eyes.
Maybe she won’t turn to ash. Maybe it’ll be a car wreck, or an illness, or maybe she just won’t want to see him anymore. He hopes she didn’t die wondering where he was, why her daddy wasn’t coming to save her.
Some dad you are, Lang. Couldn’t even save your own kid.
How can he call himself a father when he no longer has a child? He’s no father, his sweet girl is dead. And he’s stuck here, and all that burns through him is rage, fury, sadness, numbness because what is the point? He never imagined himself becoming a childless father, never expected that anything could hurt like this.
But he is a childless father. And it hurts more than he has words for. The tears come hard and fast and he lets them, lets himself feel the agony churning its way through his veins.
Tomorrow, he’ll get up and try to help save the universe. For now, Scott curls up under his duvet and allows himself to sob and to miss his daughter.