Chapter 1: Chapter One
“Just had to stop for food,” she huffed at herself as she ducked down a dark, gloomy looking back alley. She hadn’t eaten in four days and her body was feeling the effects of it as she ran from yet another S.H.I.E.L.D agent.
Thalia cursed as she spied the dead end ahead of her. It had been six months since the events of Sokovia and she was bring tracked by several organizations interested in talking to her. Amongst them, Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D were definitely the most persistent. She had learnt rather quickly that it was best to avoid Hydra whenever possible and did so religiously. The third agent they had sent to ‘recruit’ her had shot her twice when she had refused their offer. Again. It was pure luck and adrenaline that had allowed her to knock him unconscious long enough for her to get the hell out of dodge.
She had managed to break into an old motel room and had done a second-rate job of removing the bullets and stitching herself up. However, a week later she had almost been caught by S.H.I.E.L.D after being caught on a surveillance camera stealing antibiotics when her wounds had become infected.
The hunt for her sister had led her to New York. Their game of cat and mouse had left Thalia feeling angered and relieved. She desperately wished to put a stop to the mindless murders she knew her sister was committing; but she also knew her sister was too far gone to be reasoned with anymore. To save countless lives, Thalia was going to have to take her sisters.
A quick glance over her shoulder showed the S.H.I.E.L.D agent had followed her into the alley. Something was different about this one. Where the others had removed their guns immediately, this one never even reached for it. In fact, she seemed to look at Thalia with compassion; like she knew what it felt like to be an outside. To be a freak.
Her eyes darted around the alley and she sighed inwardly when she spied a door off to her left. She cried out when she jarred her shoulder busting down the door before she was up again. Thalia took the stairs two at a time until she reached the door with the EXIT sign flashing above it. Bursting through the door, she ran to where she knew the fire escape should be and slid to a stop as she spied its crumbled remains.
Frantically, Thalia searched for another way off of the roof. She wouldn’t be able to jump, the distance between the two buildings was too much. For a moment, she contemplated jumping off the roof; wondering if her powers would protect her from becoming a pancake on the sidewalk.
She heard the door burst open behind her and quickly formed a wall of black mist between her and the S.H.I.E.L.D agent. Thalia studied her as the agent studied the wall. She looked to be the same age as Thalia and a similar height as well. Her hair was chestnut brown and cut to her shoulders. Thalia could make out the Asian heritage in the young woman before her eyes focused on the hand that was reaching to touch the wall of mist between the both of them.
“I wouldn’t,” she warned, her voice as could as the frigid night air surrounding them, “I haven’t found anything that can touch it without be destroyed by it.”
“Except you,” the agent replied kindly, meeting Thalia’s black-eyed star unwaveringly.
Thalia gave a cold laugh, “yeah,” she sneered, “must be a miracle.”
“I know what you’re going through,” she replied softly.
Thalia scoffed. “You have no idea what I’m going through,” she hissed angrily. She thought about all the times her powers had caused her and others pain and misery. “You have no idea what it’s like to have a power so destructive and uncontrollable,” she continued sadly. She shook her head, her eyes hardening as she met the woman’s russet eyes, “I’ll never come willingly,” she vowed, “I’m here for one purpose only.”
“You’re tracking Samantha Jones. She’s suspected of killing twenty men in the last eight months.”
Thalia’s eyes narrowed at the woman, “how do you know I’m looking for her?”
“We’ve been keeping a close eye on you since Sokovia. You’re only ever in the location where the murders take place.”
“And that doesn’t make you question whether I’m the one doing the murdering?”
The agent took another step forward and Thalia was forced to push the wall closer to her body so she wouldn’t hurt the young woman. “It crossed out minds,” she answered honestly, “but we ruled it out. You were in Sokovia when the murders began. All we want to do is help.”
“Help?” Thalia sneered, “S.H.I.E.L.D will lock me away. They’ll label me a monster.” She shook her head, “they don’t care about people like me or my sister.”
“That’s not true,” the woman replied firmly before the ground beneath them began to shake. Thalia had to step forward to keep herself from going over the edge and when she looked up, she saw the agent’s hands facing the ground as waves of energy left them. She couldn’t believe it; she had always known there were others like her. There had to be, after all; but she had only met one other besides her sister and she didn’t really count because she had been born a mutant and not turned into whatever the hell Thalia had been turned into.
The agent met her eyes and the shaking stopped as quickly as it began. “Just give me twenty-four hours,” she pleaded, “if you’re not satisfied after that, I give you my word that I’ll drop you off wherever you want to go.”
Thalia thought over her offer. S.H.I.E.L.D had resources she could only dream about, but could she really risk her freedom based on the word of this agent. An agent whose name she didn’t even know.
Knowing she would likely come to regret it later; Thalia went to open her mouth to reply only to stagger forward when something pierced through her shoulder. She saw the agent’s eyes widen before she was running forward to catch her as Thalia fell forward. The agent pressed a hand to her shoulder and Thalia vaguely saw the blood that began to bathe her hand red.
“May! We have hostiles in the area!”
Thalia thought the agent’s voices sounded distant, like she was talking through a funnel or something.
“Hold on, Thalia,” the young woman urged her as she kept her eyes in the direction the bullet had come from. Thalia vaguely wondered why her powers weren’t reacting to the threat of danger. That’s when she realised she couldn’t feel anything. There must have been a paralytic substance on or in the bullet. Her head lolled to the side as she heard the agent frantically pleading for her to stay awake before it became too much, and Thalia succumbed to the darkness.
She didn’t awake with a gasp or a scream like they did in the movies. In fact, when Thalia opened her eyes, it was like waking up from one of the best sleeps of her life. Well, it would have been the best sleep of her life if she didn’t feel like her stomach had been empty for months. Her throat also felt like she had spent several weeks in the dessert without a drop of water in sight.
Blearily, Thalia looked around. She could hear the steady beep beep beep of the heart monitor beside the hospital bed. The beeping got faster as she realized she was in a small cell. It was padded and white with a large window on one side where she could see the shadows of people walking by every now and again.
She went to sit up and hissed when she felt a pull at her shoulder and her lower arm. Thalia roughly pulled out the IV that was connected to her before she threw it off the bed. She ripped the little circles monitoring her heart off of her chest and suddenly an alarm was going off. Having just woken up, Thalia’s sensitive ears couldn’t take the shrill sound and, sensing a threat to her person, her powers acted on their own.
Pretty soon, Thalia found herself sitting in a pile of ash where the bed had once been. Every piece of equipment that had been present had suffered the same fate as the bed. The alarm was still ringing, and Thalia covered her ears to try and drown the sound out. She could vaguely hear the commotion going on outside and wondered if maybe the alarm had nothing to do with her.
She froze. Thalia recognized that voice and suddenly flashes of the evets that took place before she passed out reached the forefront of her mind. She had been shot. Again. Her eyes drifted to her shoulder where she saw hospital gauze covering the bullet wound. She hesitantly tested her should, hissing slightly when she felt it protest her movements.
“Thalia, can you hear me?”
That voice was new. New and British. Her eyes shot up and she could see two faces peering into the cell. Sensing a threat, her gift surrounded her, hugging her body like a second skin. Thalia stood slowly, her body screaming at the motion. She could only imagine what she looked like; probably like a caged animal. She certainly felt like one right now.
Her eyes darted around the cell before her hand shot out and the black mist shot towards the door. When nothing happened, Thalia felt panic surge through her. Her breathing quickened and she felt herself getting slightly dizzy. “Let me out,” she whispered, turning to look desperately at the agent from the other night, “please, let me out!”
The agent went to move only to be stopped by an older, Asian woman with a blank expression on her face.
Thalia threw herself at the door, crying out as she thrust her injured shoulder at the door. “Let me out!” she screamed as she repeated the action.
“She’s going to re-open her wound!” the British accent rang out.
“Let her out,” came a male voice and suddenly Thalia found herself falling to the ground in front of the cell. “Miss Jones, you’re safe here,” the male voice tried to assure her.
Her head stayed down, quickly scanning the area until she spied a door. Without a moment’s hesitation, Thalia ran for it. Her legs staggered slightly but she managed to keep her balance as she rushed through the door to the sound of several people calling for her.
She shoved aside anyone who got in her way, a lot of them making a wide gap so not to touch her. Thalia had already pulled her gift back, but her eyes were still a deep black as she searched for a way out. She ducked down another hall and ran into something large and solid.
A hand grabbed her arm, the grip gentle but firm and Thalia looked up to see a large, African-American man looking down at her. She pulled at his grip on her, but he didn’t budge an inch.
“You need to calm down,” he told her, his voice a deep baritone.
“Let me go,” she breathed.
He didn’t flinch at the black eyes staring at him and Thalia took a moment to be impressed by it.
“Don’t worry, Kitten,” came another male voice, this one British, “Mack here is about as dangerous as you are.”
Her eyes shot to the man who had made an appearance next to the man he had called ‘Mack’. He was looking her over and she gazed down before flushing a bright red. She was in her black panties and white singlet that was quickly becoming red as her re-opened wound bled. Then his words registered in her mind and she glared at him. His answering smirk only served to infuriate her.
“I’ll bet he’ll let you go if you ask real nice,” he whispered to her, his face close to her own.
Thalia met his gaze and smiled sweetly at him, the sight throwing both men off guard before she thrusts her head into his nose. He stumbled back with a pain cry, his hand clutching at his nose. She could feel pain radiating from where her head had connected to his, but she ignored it, too satisfied with his now bleeding nose to care.
Mack’s deep laugh seemed to calm her, and she relaxed in his grip as her eyes returned to their silver hue. “Told you that mouth was gonna get you in trouble, Hunter,” he chuckled. His brown eyes returned to Thalia and he grinned at her, “you got balls, kid. Name’s Mack.”
They both turned at the sound of her name being called to see the agent from the previous night run up to them and engulf Thalia in a hug. She stiffened visibly and was thankful when Mack pulled the enthusiastic woman off of her. “Easy there, Quake, she just woke up in a strange place surrounded by strange people; give her some room to breathe.”
Thalia moved closer to Mack, knowing the man got her on some level. They were soon joined in the hall by the stern Asian woman, the middle-aged man in a suit, the young British woman and two other people she had yet to see.
“Miss Jones, I’m Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. What’s the last thing you remember?”
She stayed behind Mack as she answered, “I remember being shot.” She coughed after the sentence, her throat dry and scratchy. Had she sounded like that this whole time? Her hand came up to grip her throat as she swallowed painfully.
“Here,” the British woman offered, walking forward and holding out a glass of water for Thalia.
Thalia glared at it suspiciously. She watched as Mack reached for it, taking a deep mouthful before he handed it to her without a word. Getting the silent message, she nodded her thanks and took careful, controlled mouthfuls. When the glass was empty, Thalia cautiously held it out for the British woman to take.
“Our agents found a Hydra gun for hire a few rooftops away. His objective was to-”
“-capture me,” she answered, “or kill me if capture wasn’t possible.”
She watched everyone stiffen. Obviously, they hadn’t expected her to know about Hydra. She noticed Hunter move closer, flanking her left as Mack flanked her right. They looked like two concerned older brothers and, had she not found it so comforting, she would have laughed at the thought.
“Hydra have contacted you?” Coulson questioned.
Thalia nodded, “a month after I got to New York an agent approached me offering me a job. I refused and thought they would leave me alone. The third agent they sent shot me; twice.” She lifted her shirt to show the two puckered scars on her hip, much larger than they would have been had a professional patched her up. “So, you can understand why I don’t trust you. S.H.I.E.L.D, Hydra, you both want to use me in some way. The only difference it they’re more direct about it.”
“I see,” Coulson nodded grimly, “I’m sorry you had to endure that but S.H.I.E.L.D only wants to put a stop to the murders your sister is committing.”
“You’re going to kill her,” she stated, her voice cold and detached.
“We would like to help her,” the female agent from the other night replied, “my offer still stands, Thalia. Give me twenty-four hours; that’s all I ask.”
“I don’t even know you,” Thalia replied with a shake of her head.
The agent smiled brightly, “I’m Daisy. Daisy Johnson.”
“I’m Jemma Simmons.”
“And that’s Melinda May,” Daisy added when the older woman said nothing.
“We want to help both of you, Miss Jones,” Coulson continued, “but we can only do that if you let us.”
Thalia looked at each of them.
Bobbi seemed to be studying her as if she were some interesting puzzled she was waiting to solve. She sent Thalia a soft smile when their eyes met, and Thalia found herself returning it easily. She was beyond gorgeous; her long, blonde hair framing beautiful blue eyes.
Hunter still stood beside Thalia. He still held that arrogant air that annoyed her to no end. His nose had stopped bleeding and he was smirking at her. A soft smirk. He was tall and had dark hair and dark eyes. The way he leaned against the near wall told her he was the kind of guy that thought highly of himself. Not that she could blame him; he was a handsome man.
Jemma and Leo stood side by side. Leo was only a few inches taller than Jemma and both had light brown hair. His blue eyes looked at Thalia's silver ones with a slight trace of apprehension whilst Jemma's brown eyed gaze held nothing but intrigue.
Melinda May was looking at Thalia as if her stare alone would reveal all her secrets. By her tense posture, Thalia could tell that she didn't trust her; not that she could blame her. She had brown hair and brown eyes. Whist she stood at Thalia's height she looked like a fighter and the younger woman knew it was best to keep to her good side.
Mack, at first glance, was the very definition of the word intimidating. He stood taller than the rest of them and had muscles so large it looked like his shirt was straining to stay together.
Coulson looked to be the oldest; his hair thinning and his eyes kind. Upon closer inspection, Thalia noticed one of his hands was a prosthetic. He looked at her and gave her a small smile which she found herself returning.
Thalia didn't know if they would keep their word, but she had officially run out of options. Was she ready to trust S.H.I.E.L.D? Absolutely not. But was she ready to move on with her life and stop worrying about Sammy's next victim? Yes; and it was for that reason that she found herself giving a hesitant nod.
After her confirmation, Thalia was ushered into Coulson's office. Daisy had given her a pair of jeans and a loose jacket whilst Jemma had resealed and redressed her wound. Thalia was relieved when no-one commented on the markings that ran up her arms; though she saw the curious looks that they threw at her.
"Your twin sister, like yourself, is very hard to keep track of," Coulson started as Thalia sat in a large chair. "We are currently working on finding her location," he continued; looking at her with soft eyes, "is there anything you can tell us about her powers?"
"I don't know how far they've developed but I know it's not a clever idea to get close enough for her to touch you," Thalia explained, "Sammy has the ability to control someone after a simple touch. Men are easier than women," she shrugged, "she can use their lust to her advantage." Thalia pulled at the ends of the jacket, not meeting their eyes, "her kisses are fatal; I never learnt how or why but I do know that's why the coroners haven't been able to find cause of death with any of the victims."
"Anything else?" Coulson asked as he rubbed the bridge of his nose. Thalia could see the weight of her words settling on his shoulders as he looked at her with tired eyes.
"Nothing, Sir," she replied.
Coulson nodded before turning to Bobbe, Mack and Hunter. "I'm assigning Miss Jones to you three; she needs to be trained and a good few feeds might go a long way." Thalia wrapped her arms around her stomach at the comment; she knew she was slightly underweight but that didn't mean she liked hearing it. The three agents gave him a nod before Mack ducked out to head to the kitchen. Coulson then turned to Daisy, "you can help Miss Jones learn control over her gift."
His eyes met hers at her huff, "I'm sorry, Miss Jones, but it's obvious you have very little control over your powers and that could become a problem here." She sighed and nodded disheartened. "FitzSimmons will conduct some tests to see if we can come up with a failsafe in case your powers grow too out of hand."
"We can start in the morning," Jemma replied, "I'll set the lab up so that we can take blood and perform a physical. How does nine sound?"
Thalia nodded her head, "sounds fine."
"Daisy will take you to the kitchens; I'm sure Mack's no doubt got something for you to eat and then we'll arrange a room for you."
She watched as everyone filed out, lingering until only Coulson, Daisy and Agent May were left. "Sir, I was wondering if you might have a bigger version of that cell I found myself in earlier."
"We have rooms made from the same material; why do you ask?"
She had the attention of all three and Thalia shuffled under the attention, "I can't control myself when I'm asleep. I get nightmares and things in close proximity tend to get destroyed."
"Will this be a danger to our agents?" May asked; her stern eyes narrowing.
Thalia bit back a sharp retort and shook her head, "it shouldn't be a problem if no one enters my room while I'm asleep."
"Daisy can show you to one of the rooms after you've eaten," Coulson replied to defuse the tension in the room, "we'll see you in the morning, Miss Jones."
"Thalia," she answered as she allowed Daisy to steer her to the door. She met Coulson's eyes and smiled shyly, "call me Thalia."
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
Twenty-four hours had turned into two months and they were still no closer to finding Sam. Since week one, Thalia could be found between the kitchen, the lab, the gym and her bedroom. She rarely went anywhere else; though she was quite aware that the top-secret S.H.I.E.L.D base was huge.
That morning, Thalia could be found in the gym with Bobbie. Out of all her trainers, Bobbie was the only one who didn't hold anything back. She had told Thalia that the only way to learn was to just jump right in. Every morning they would practice Martial Arts and Thalia was steadily improving. Not enough that she could actually beat any of the agents she came up against; but enough that she wasn't getting her arse handed to her in the first minute.
She hissed as her legs were kicked out from under her, her body landing roughly on the mat below. Thalia glared at her offending limbs before she stood up. "Again," she growled, raising her fists like Mack had taught her.
In the last two months, she had returned to a healthy weight; the workout regime she was on ever allowed her to have the faint out-line of a six pack. Mack would practically force food on her whenever she would see him; which was quite a lot. Thalia was starting to think he followed her just to feed her.
Bobbie landed a kick to her ribs and Thalia stumbled as she tried to get a decent sized gulp of air. "Again," she breathed; her chest rising and falling rapidly as sweat beaded down her face.
"I think you've had enough for today, Thalia," Bobbie tried; already knowing the younger woman's answer.
"Again, Bobbie," she replied.
Bobbie shook her head.
"Come on, Bobbie, Kitten wants to go again."
Thalia growled at the ridiculous nickname Hunter had given her. She glared fiercely at him; a glare that would have had anyone else backing out of the room. But not him. It had become common knowledge around base that Hunter and Thalia were practically siblings. They fought like siblings; and they defended each other just as passionately. No one could mess with one without the other usually interfering.
"Don't. Call me. That," she hissed as Bobbie backed away from the training mats. She knew better than to interfere between the two when they were arguing; Simmons had patched up a couple agents who had tried to break the two apart.
"Tsk, tsk," Hunter goaded, "what are you going to do about it, Kitten?" He was circling the mats expecting her to back off like she always did; too afraid to lose control and hurt them. Bobbie knew it was why she hadn't unlocked her full potential yet. Thalia had all the makings of a top-level S.H.I.E.L.D agent, but she shied away. She often pulled her punches and would allow herself to be beaten instead of losing an ounce of control. She was so tightly wound that it was no surprise when she suddenly jumped at Hunter.
Thalia threw several punches at the older man only to have them blocked before he was sweeping her legs out from under her. Bobbie smirked when Hunter hit the ground shortly after, not having anticipated Thalia kicking him in the knee. They grappled on the ground and pretty soon, Thalia was straddling Hunter's waist. She threw a punch only the have her arm grabbed as Hunter bucked her off him.
Both of them jumped to their feet and circled each other like wolves. Thalia ducked the punch Hunter sent her way before she round-house kicked him in the face. Bobbie was more than impressed; she hadn't seen Thalia let loose since she had started training. She went to kick Hunter again only for him to grab her leg and smirk.
The smirk she sent back was almost identical to his own and if Bobbie hadn't known better, she would have actually believed them to be related. Thalia used her leg to jump up and wrap her free one around Hunter's head. Hunter turned and knocked her body into the wall; making Thalia fall from his shoulders and land roughly on the ground.
She was slumped over, her eyes closed and Bobbie watched the concern flash in Hunter's eyes. She would have been jealous had she not known that Hunter saw Thalia like a sister. He kneeled before her, gently cupping her face in his hands.
Thalia's eyes snapped open and before either of them could blink she had grabbed Hunter's hand, wrapped both legs around his torso and had thrown him onto the ground beside her. She was straddling him the next second with her fist raised and Bobbie actually saw Hunter freeze as he looked at her face.
"Your eyes, Kitten," he told her gently.
Bobbie watched Thalia jump off him as if she were burned. She took one look at them, her eyes flashing between black and silver, before she ran from the room.
No one saw hide nor hair of Thalia for the rest of the day. It wasn't until dark that Hunter found her back in the gym; punching furiously at the large punching bag in the room. She was wearing a pair of black shorts and a black sports bra; her arms left bare now that she believed she was alone. Ever since joining them, Thalia had refused to show the markings on her arms.
"Hey, Kitten," Hunter smiled as he walked in the room carrying a large black shopping bag. He knew that she hadn't been off-base in two months and could only imagine how crazy she was going being couped up on base. The others were out and he could finally get her to let loose.
"Don't call me that," she grumbled; though the usual heat behind her words was gone. Hunter felt guilt pang his chest at the sight of her slumped form; he had really gotten to her today. "What do you want, Hunter?" she sighed as she stood straight and turned to him; not even making a move for the long-sleeved top she had worn all day.
Hunter moved forward and embraced her, as sticky from sweat as she was. He felt her stiffen, a reaction she had had since she started here, before she relaxed into his arms and returned his embrace. "I'm sorry, Kitten," he whispered into her messy, mahogany hair.
"You should be," she pouted. He chuckled, earning himself a smile. "What's in the bag?" she asked as she tried to peak only for him to place it out of arms reach.
"I want to take you out."
She sent him a raised eyebrow, "I'm afraid you're not my type."
"First; I'm everyone's type," he glared playfully; earning himself a smirk, "second; I meant I wanted to take you to this charity event that Stark is holding tonight. Come on, drinking, dancing, more drinking; what more could you possible ask for?"
He could see that she desperately wanted to go. She was twenty-four for God's sake; he knew she should be living it up instead of being couped up here.
"What did Coulson say?" she asked hesitantly.
He had been expecting this answer and answered after a small pause, "he said I should have you back by midnight, so best hurry up, Cinderella."
She squealed excitedly, the action making her look ten years younger, as she jumped into his arms; her legs wrapping around his waist as she peppered his face with kisses. "I love you right now!" she squealed.
"Yeah, yeah," he laughed as he handed over the bag, "put that on, would you? Hurry it up, Kitten, we leave in thirty."
He watched her run from the room and once more felt guilty. Sure, he wanted to get her out of the base for a while; the poor girl needed to breathe after all. But Coulson had told all of them not to let her leave the base; she was too unpredictable. They had all gone to the charity event after reports of an inhuman planning on crashing the party; he, however, had been told to stay on base.
Hunter knew that the moment Thalia learnt the truth she would be furious with him; but he didn't understand Coulson's logic. If this inhuman was as dangerous as they all said than they should have as many hands-on-deck as possible. It was that thought that squashed the guilt down; because he knew that Thalia was ready for missions. Today was her first mishap in over a month; her training with Daisy having helped her to get a lid on the accidental outbursts.
He headed towards her room and heard her singing off-key as she got ready. Hunter smiled to himself; he had always wanted siblings and Thalia was exactly how he thought his younger sister would be. Kind, caring, a real pain in the arse when she wanted to be. Stubborn and fiercely loyal.
She walked out of her room twenty minutes later and Hunter felt his jaw drop at the sight of her. Platonic as his feelings were, Hunter couldn't deny that Thalia was beautiful. She had high cheek-bones and cute dimples that appeared whenever she gave you that million-dollar smile. Her silver eyes sparkled with excitement; accentuated by the smoky eye-shadow she had applied. Cherry red lipstick suited her lightly tanned skin and the emerald green dress he had bought her.
The dress itself was backless and bejewelled. It was a floor length piece with a thigh-high split up the right side. She had partnered it with the four-inch black heals he had bought and a pair of black, tear-drop earrings. He had made sure to buy a long-sleeved dress, knowing how uncomfortable the markings on her arms made her.
"Do I look okay?" she asked him shyly.
She looked like a million-dollars and he told her that. Her hair was in an intricate bun with a few loose pieces curled to shape her face. A small gold ring rested on her hand; a small ruby sitting in the middle. Hunter led her out to the car and they began their drive to the charity ball. They drove in silence, neither really finding a need to disrupt the peace between them. Hunter knew it would be broken when she realised what he had done anyway.
"When we get there, I need you to play the part of my wife," he broke the silence when they were two blocks away; knowing he was in for it now.
"Why would I need to…" he saw her eyes widen out the corner of his own and flinched inwardly when she glared at him, "we were never supposed to leave the base, were we?" When he didn't answer she threw her hands up, "what were you thinking, Hunter?! Coulson will kill me for leaving the base! Not only that but we're crashing a mission!"
Hunter waited for her to fall silent before he replied, "you needed to get out and I need to be a part of the mission tonight. They'll need all they can get with the inhuman."
"Inhuman?" she questioned, "is he dangerous?"
"They received word that he was planning on bringing down the building; though we have no idea how."
Thalia groaned next to him, "I cannot believe you dragged me into this. I'm not an agent, Hunter! I'm a liability."
"I think you'd make a fantastic agent; and right now, is the perfect time to prove it."
He had just pulled up out front of the charity venue and jumped out of the car to open the door for her. As he opened it, he saw her slipping her gold ring onto her wedding finger as she glared fiercely at him. "I hate you right now," she muttered.
"Well, then you're playing the part of my wife perfectly aren't you," he answered teasingly.
The chauffeur took his car keys as he wrapped a hand around Thalia's waist, "you look beautiful, by the way," he whispered into her ear; earning himself an elbow to the ribs.
"I'm going to get a drink," she sighed, "try to stay out of trouble."
Then she was gone.
Thalia circled the edge of the room until she reached the refreshments table. She rolled her eyes when she heard a group of women giggling about meeting the Tony Stark. Another was giggling about how he gave her that look and she scoffed into her glass. Last she had heard, Tony Stark was happily dating Pepper Potts. Only a fool would give up a woman like that for a groupie.
She had just taken another mouthful of wine when she heard a voice that had her eyes watering as she choked on the champagne.
"What is it, Wanda?"
Thalia would recognise that voice anywhere. She remembered the cocky smirk and the piercing blue eyes as if it were yesterday, not six months ago. His accent was still heavy and she quickly ducked into an alcove as she spied silver hair.
"Someone here has malicious intentions, Pietro," came a woman's voice; just as accented as the man from Sokovia.
Pietro. So that was his name. She smiled at finally learning it before her ears picked up the continued conversation, "do you know who it is?"
"No," the woman replied, "only that they are trying to hurt people."
"We'll go find Stark and tell him," Pietro told the woman; Wanda.
Thalia held her breath until she no longer heard their whispered words; chancing a look around the wall to see the spot now empty.
She sighed heavily as she picked up another glass and took a large mouthful. Did they mean the inhuman S.H.I.E.L.D was after? Before she could think of it further a shadow fell over her.
Thalia looked up to see a handsome man smiling down at her. His blue eyes showed kindness and his smile was laid-back. Dirty blonde hair was slightly tussled; giving him a 'fresh out of bed' look. Thalia returned his smile with one of her own. "Hello," she replied as she placed her glass back on the table, "can I help you?"
"I was hoping the most beautiful woman in the room would honour me with a dance?"
She blushed before she took his offered hand, not knowing what more to do. He led her into the middle of the room before placing a hand on her waist and pulling her close. Their chests were almost touching as he began to move her around the room, keeping in time with the music.
Thalia was beginning to enjoy herself when she felt him lean over so his mouth was even with her ear, "you really do look stunning. I had imagined you would look more like your sister." She stiffened at his words and tried to pull away but his grip on her was iron-clad. "But you scream innocence where you can practically breath in the darkness around her. I wonder, Thalia, if that innocence is what will be your end."
The way he purred her name made her shiver unpleasantly. Thalia's eyes darted around the room; searching frantically for anyone she knew. When she couldn't find them, she looked up at the man, her eyes bleeding into black. He chuckled at her, his warm breath ghosting over her face. "Stunning," he commented as he turned her elegantly.
Thalia tried to push her powers through her palms; but she found that nothing was happening. Her mind began to panic as she pushed harder, trying to get her powers to comply. Nothing she did worked; it was like there was an impenetrable wall that she couldn't get through.
"Now, now," the man breathed against her ear, "can't having you using those wonderful gifts until the right moment.
"When your sister told me what you could do I must say I was doubtful; then intrigued. Your powers really are a thing of beauty, Miss Jones."
She glared at him, her eyes still black regardless of her lack of powers, "who are you?"
"You can call me, Marcus," he grinned, "I'm inhuman like yourself. My ability allows me to block someone's gifts." At her wide eyes he continued, "now don't worry," he cooed, "it only lasts as long as I touch you. Once I let go your gift will push to the surface like you were trying to get it to do moments ago."
Thalia's eyes widened once more; this time in horror, not fear. Seeing the recognition in her eyes, Marcus laughed, "I see you've caught on to my plan. I have every intention of bringing this building down; I just happen to be planning on using you to do it, my dear.
"Imagine the destruction," he purred, "men…"
Thalia looked at the laughing men; talking about last week's game or whatnot.
Her eyes drifted back to the giggling Tony Stark fans.
"And we mustn't forget the children…"
Black eyes flickered towards the children running around the room as frustrated parents chased them; no doubt having wished they could have found a babysitter.
"But to make it all the sweeter," he continued; pulling her flush against his body, "not only is Tony Stark and the famous Pepper Potts present tonight; but an entire team of high ranking S.H.I.E.L.D agents."
Thalia felt her legs go weak as she thought of her friends and then electric blue eyes flashed before her face accompanied by silver hair. Pietro. With the thought of Pietro came the thought of the woman he was with. She had said someone had had malicious intentions; the woman could read minds.
She reached out, thinking loudly enough to draw attention to herself. The woman glanced her way and their eyes locked, the woman's eyes widening, before Thalia thrust the whole conversation she had just had with Marcus at the woman. She watched her stumble; Pietro reaching out to steady her as he looked around. Thalia ducked slightly behind Marcus' height, not ready to confront the man she had not been able to forget after all of these months.
At first, she thought it hadn't worked. Then, by some miracle, Pepper Potts took the stage. "Good evening everyone," she started calmly, "I have just been informed that there has been a gas leak. Nothing major," she continued as people began to panic, "but I have been asked to evacuate the building."
Thalia sighed heavily, her body sagging.
"You must think you're so clever," Marcus sneered at her; his handsome features darkening as his grip on her drew a cry from her lips. "No matter," he continued before his hands dropped from her body, "they'll never get out in time."
A cry left her lips as she felt her power pushing to the surface before she clamped down on it; pushing it to the centre of her body as she fell to her knees. She felt like her insides were burning as she tried to keep it in, at least until the building was evacuated. She hadn't felt this out of control since she had come into her powers and had levelled the floor her apartment had been on.
Thalia wanted to laugh at how high-pitched Hunter's voice had gone as he called her name but only a strangled cry left her lips as she doubled over herself.
She saw his hand out of the corner of her eyes and flinched away from him, "don't touch me. I- I can't control it!" Her eyes met his as a thin sheet of mist engulfed her body, "you need to get him. The man that was dancing with me," she breathed heavily, "he's the inhuman." When Hunter didn't make a move to go she glared at him, "go!" she yelled roughly. Black veins worked their way up her face; creating intimidating patterns on her paled skin.
Thalia felt her powers pulsing and she looked up to see if everyone was clear. Her eyes met electric blue and she almost lost her focus. He was just standing there; staring at her like he couldn't believe she was real. Beside him was Wanda, her eyes just as wide and disbelieving.
"Please," she thought; Wanda jumping at her voice in her head, "get him out of here. I'm losing control."
She nodded before turning and whispering to Pietro. Thalia watched the boy shake his head before his sister glared at him and he sagged. When they were out of sight Thalia felt her body pulse lightly before a scream tore from her throat and everything went black.
Chapter 3: Chapter Three
This is Pietro's POV beginning in Sokovia and continuing to the charity ball.
He heard the jet before he spotted Clint running for the boy. Pietro knew he wouldn't be fast enough to shield both of them and then get out of there before the bullets hit. Everything happened as if they were in a slow-motion movie. He pushed the car in front of Clint and the boy before closing his eyes and waiting for the bullets to hit.
There was a loud, ear-splitting scream and his eyes burst open to see a large black bubble surrounding them. It seemed to move and pulse; as if it were alive. He grunted as a few bullets hit his arm and leg. The rest seemed to disappear on contact with the black sphere.
Beside him, Clint stood up; the boy still cradled in his arms as he hid his face in the older man's neck.
"What is this?" Clint asked.
Pietro shook his head, "I'm not sure," he mumbled reaching out to touch it.
Before his hand could make contact, the bubble vanished; leaving no sign it was ever there except for the fact that Pietro was still alive and breathing. Another ear-splitting scream reached their ears but when he looked around he found nothing.
They slowly made their way back to the small aircraft that would get them off Sokovia, Pietro limping beside Clint. He saw Captain America holding a woman, she looked almost child-like in the man's arms. They got on the aircraft and Pietro watched as Captain America got onto another. From where he stood he could see him lower the woman onto the ground but that was all he had time for before Sokovia was dropping.
Pietro was in the med-bay getting patched up when Steve Rogers entered the room, carrying an unconscious woman he recognised instantly.
"I know this woman," he stated as he jumped off the hospital bed and approached the one she was placed on. She looked pale; her breathing ragged as she lay amongst the white sheets.
The older man looked at him, "do you know her name?" he questioned.
Pietro shook his head, "I met her for a moment," he explained, "we never exchanged names but I did see her fight. She is a brave woman; said she was someone who wanted to help."
Steve nodded as he sat heavily in the bed-side chair. Just then, Barton came in and walked up to Pietro; he gave him a firm pat on the shoulder as he smiled brightly. "Thanks for having my back, kid," he acknowledged.
"You are welcome," came his accented reply, "thought I do not understand where all the smoke came from. It was very hard to see."
"That was her," Steve interrupted; gaining the attention of both men as they looked from him to the woman on the bed.
"An enhanced?" asked Barton as he stepped closer to the bed.
"She is not one of Strucker's," he answered, "only Wanda and I survived the tests." He, too, was watching the woman curiously.
"I'm not sure what or who she is but the black smoke came from her," sighed Steve; rubbing the bridge of his nose, "every time the bullets touched it they seemed to disappear.
Pietro nodded; he had seen it first hand after all.
"But I think it takes a lot out of her; she fell unconscious just after helping the both of you."
The three men fell silent as they watched the woman. Pietro thought back on seeing her fight in the street; she had seemed scared but determined, like she wouldn't let her fear get in the way of her helping. He knew she wasn't Sokovian; he had heard her speaking; her accent was American. Her black eyes had thrown him for a loop; they had been different.
The silence was broken by Wanda.
He barely had time to steady himself when he found his arms full of his twin sister. "I am okay, Wanda," he assured her, "I am safe." He ran his fingers soothingly through her hair; his grip tightening on her when she began to sob.
"I thought I lost you," she whispered into his chest, "I felt the bullets pierce your skin. What happened?" She pulled away from her brother to scan him for injuries; when she found none, she drew him back for another hug.
"She saved me," he whispered, pointing to the hospital bed beside them, "she is like us."
He watched as Wanda's eyes snapped to the woman who had saved him. He could see how sickly pale she looked as she laid in the hospital bed which only seemed to make her look so small.
Pietro and Wanda stayed in the hospital with Steve until all three were called to a meeting with Fury. Barton had left to find Natasha a few minutes earlier. Steve gave the woman one last concerned look before leaving the medical bay.
Sensing his wish for a moment alone with the woman, Pietro felt Wanda gently squeeze his hand before she left the room to wait for him.
He watched the door close before he sat down beside the still unconscious woman. The medical team couldn't find the reason for her passing out and had no clue when she would wake up.
Running his hands through his hair, Pietro leaned forward slightly as he took one of her cold hands in his own warm ones. He squeezed softly, "my sister and I will be back after the meeting," he told her, "you don't need to be afraid of us; we are just like you. Please, just wake up."
When the woman made no sign of waking, Pietro groaned. As he got up he turned on the news. "Something for you to watch if you wake up," he mumbled as he, too, left the medical bay.
Pietro had learnt that he really disliked Nick Fury; maybe more than he disliked Tony Stark. The man had done nothing the entire meeting but talk about the dangers the 'three enhanced' presented. Pietro made sure to remind the man that it was one of his Avengers that had caused the Sokovia incident.
To everyone's surprise, his own included, it was Tony Stark that had come to his aid against the man.
The meeting was starting to heat up when alarms started going off.
"Hill!" Fury shouted, "what's going on?!"
"The unconscious Jane Doe just hijacked a S.H.I.E.L.D aircraft, Sir!"
Pietro felt his heart stop for a moment as the words reached his ears before he was rushing out of the room and towards the med-bay.
She was gone when he got there. Not a trace that she had been there in the first place except for the blaring alarms that told him she had made off with a S.H.I.E.L.D aircraft and a young agent. Pietro felt something in him shift and he couldn't help but wonder what it was.
He felt Wanda's hand on his shoulder as she squeezed gently, "we will find her, Pietro," she assured him.
Pietro only nodded.
"Why are we going to this again?"
Pietro stood in front of the full-length mirror in a ridiculously uncomfortable suit as his sister combed his hair back.
"You know why, Pietro," she chastised gently as she pulled away, happy with how his hair looked.
He turned to look at his sister, heavy bags under his eyes which had dulled over the last six months. Wanda knew he was having nightmares; when he managed to sleep that is. He was always with Stark, looking for the woman from Sokovia. Had it not been for Stark, Wanda feared what would have become of her brother. The older man would force him to take breaks so that he could sleep and eat.
"I do not like to dance," he growled as he once again pulled at the tie around his neck.
"You love to dance," she retorted hotly, "the car is here, Pietro, it is time to leave."
Pietro didn't talk to anyone until well into the charity ball when he saw Wanda stiffen. He pulled her off to the side of the dance floor.
"What is it, Wanda?" he asked as he gently cupped her cheeks.
She shook her head before her eyes met his, "someone here has malicious intentions, Pietro."
"Do you know who it is?" he questioned hurriedly; this was serious.
"No," she replied with another shake of her head; her curls bouncing around her face as she did, "only that they are trying to hurt people."
He nodded stiffly as he pulled her close and started to make his way through the crowd, "we'll go find Stark and tell him."
They did find Stark; talking to Pepper near the stage. "Stark," Pietro acknowledged.
"Speedy," the man nodded.
"There is someone here with the intentions to cause harm." Wanda cut straight to the chase; he knew she wanted to stop whoever it was.
Stark and Pepper stiffened; looking around as if they could find the culprit.
Beside him, Wanda stiffened. She was silent for a long time before her head turned and she stared wide eyed at the crowd. Pietro turned to followed her gazed but only found couples dancing. Wanda stumbled slightly and Pietro held her arms to steady his sister.
"We need to evacuate," she rushed out; her eyes panicked. Pietro had not seen her so scared since Sokovia and it put him on edge. "There are two inhumans in this room; one is planning on forcing the other to level the entire building."
Stark looked at Pepper who nodded before making her way to the stage.
"Good evening, everyone," she started calmly, "I have just been informed that there has been a gas leak. Nothing major," she continued as people began to panic, "but I have been asked to evacuate the building."
Even with the false assurance there was a stampede towards the doors. Pietro and Wanda watched as people fled the building before he heard a pained cry. In the middle of the room was a woman. She was kneeled, her head resting against her knees as a man talked to her. She looked up and Pietro felt the world stop as he recognised the face.
"Go!" she screamed at the man; her eyes a deep black.
Her eyes darted around before they met his and he watched her flinch. He couldn't believe she was there; only a few feet from where he stood.
He felt Wanda jump beside him before she was whispering to him, "she wants you to leave, Pietro, she's losing control." He shook his head, he wasn't leaving her again, "do as she says!" his sister hissed and he felt his shoulders sagged as he nodded.
Pietro picked Wanda up and ran from the building with her. They stood beside Stark and Pepper as they watched the building.
"Is everyone out?" Pepper breathed.
"All but the inhuman; she's struggling to control her power."
Stark turned to them, "it's her, isn't it? The woman from Sokovia."
They nodded in tandem before an ear-splitting scream pierced the air as the building was consumed by a black mist. People screamed and fled the street; trying to get as far from the building as they could.
"Thalia!" several voices shouted and Pietro turned to see two men and a woman running forward.
The biggest of the men, an African-American, went to run towards the building only to stop when the black mist vanished and the building collapsed in on itself.
Pietro heard himself shout as he went to take a step forward only to meet a wall of red. He turned his tear-filled eyes on his sister to see her own reflecting his; her arms outstretched to prevent them from going forward.
"Let me bloody through!" shouted the second man to run up as he hit the wall his sister had put up. "Thalia!" he screamed; the sound reminding him of his sister's tortured screams when she thought he had failed Strucker's tests.
When the building had completely collapsed, Wanda let the wall down and they all ran forward. Pietro began digging, calling out the woman's name now that he knew what it was. They dug for hours and found nothing; nothing but a piece of emerald green fabric.
He was so focused on the small piece of fabric that he didn't see the agents move back; someone having spoken to them through their comms. He missed Stark helping him off the ground and leading him towards the car. He even missed the ride home; his hand clasped around the flimsy piece of material.
Banner, who had returned three months earlier, gave him a sedative and Pietro fell asleep; still clasping the emerald green fabric that had been a part of her dress.
He clung to the only thing left of her.
Or so he thought.
Chapter 4: Chapter Four
Bobbi leaned against the frame of the door leading into the med-bay. She watched Hunter as he whispered things to Thalia; the younger woman laying pale and unconscious on a large white bed. It had been two weeks since the explosion that had levelled the function centre Stark had held his charity ball in. The news called it a gas explosion; a devastating accident. They knew better.
Hunter hadn't left Thalia's bedside since her body had been brought in; somehow, she had, miraculously, survived the building collapse. Unfortunately, she hadn't gotten off without a scratch. In fact, Thalia's body was basically one big bruise. Cuts and scratches littered her body and her chest barely moved; the only sign of life being the consistent beep, beep, beep of the heart monitor.
She knew Hunter's guilt was eating at him and she worried for his health. Bobbi had known Hunter for a very long time; she knew he didn't let people in easily. Something about Thalia was different; Hunter had taken to her like bees to honey. So, having the young woman be unresponsive for so long was tearing at his resolve.
Bobbi looked to her left as she was joined by Coulson. She had expected the older man to yell at Hunter for his foolishness. They had been ordered not to let Thalia off base. But Coulson had seen something in Hunter's eyes as he watched the S.H.I.E.L.D agents bring Thalia's near lifeless body into the base that made the man hold his tongue.
"I'm worried about them," he spoke quietly, "Hunter looks just as pale as Thalia and we don't know how long we can care for her if she doesn't start improving. Simmons says her neurology reports have come back normal; we can't take blood because her powers seem to be defending her body while she's unconscious."
She nodded absentmindedly, "I just want to know what's going on inside her head," she mumbled. Coulson nodded his agreement; neither understanding just how much trouble that thought was going to be in the future.
"Thalia Marie Jones, get back here this instant!"
Thalia giggled as she and Sammy hid behind a large oak tree. They could hear their fathers chuckle and their others exasperated sigh. It had been a long time since they had gone camping; long enough that Thalia had wanted to start exploring the forest the moment they had arrived.
Their mother was getting closer, Thalia could hear her mumbling about how they never listened to her. She could hear the fondness in her mother's voice.
"Shhh!" she shushed her sister who covered her mouth to hide her giggles, "if you don't be quiet she's going to find us!"
"She already has," came her mother's voice and the two girls screamed as they turned to her, their hands clutching their chests.
Thalia and Sam shared a look before turning back to their mother with shamed faces, "sorry, mama," Thalia started, "we just wanted to find the tree."
"What tree is that T-Bear?" asked her father, leaning against a tree with a fond smile on his face. Thalia watched him wrap an arm around her mother before they turned to look at each other. It was a look that spoke volumes about the love they had for each other. A look that, at the time, Thalia found gross but would grow to wish for in return. She would wish for someone to look at her like that. Like the way her mom and dad looked at each other.
"This one, daddy," Sammy answered as she pointed at the trunk of the oak they had been hiding behind, "we wanted to see if our promise was still there."
Thalia watched her parents look from her sister to her before they smiled, "and what promise would that be, sweet pea?" asked her mother.
Sammy didn't say anything, only motioned for them to look at a spot she was pointing at.
There, carved into the trunk of the tree was a promise Thalia and Sam had made to eat other on their last camping trip. A promise that made her mother's eyes mist and her father's smile grow.
Thalia knew her parents wouldn't grasp the full concept of the promise. She had promised Sammy she would watch over her; no matter what. Thalia would protect her sister from anything and anyone who would try to harm her.
What her younger self didn't know, was that the person her sister would need protecting from, was Sammy herself.
Thalia was walking down the hall when she suddenly walked straight into someone in front of her. She had been reading an interesting book and hadn't been paying attention to where she was going. "Oof," she huffed as she began to fall backwards only to have a pair of hands reach out and steady her by the arms.
Looking up, Thalia gave the boy in front of her a shy smile, "sorry; I wasn't really paying that much attention."
He gave her a dazzling smile; one that revealed his dimples and she felt my heart skip a beat at the beauty of him. His sea blue eyes danced with amusement as he pushed some stray brown hair out of his face. He was taller than Thalia by a good foot and was well toned by the looks of this.
"It's really no problem. I can't really complain about having a gorgeous lady bump into me, now can I?" he said flirtatiously and Thalia felt her face heat up. "I'm Adam, by the way," he continued as he held a hand out for her to shake.
"Thalia," she replied as she placed her hand in his and gave a gentle shake. Their hands lingered a little longer than necessary but the mood was broken by a very familiar voice.
"Thalia! Where the hell have you… Well, hello there," Sammy said as she looked over Adam from head to toe. "You are officially forgiven for being late to meet with me," she mumbled quietly but when Thalia saw Adam's smile widen she knew he had heard.
"Adam this is my sister, Samantha. Sammy, this is Adam; I kinda bumped into him," she replied casually, as if talking about the weather. As if he hadn't had her blushing moments earlier.
"On purpose, I'm sure," Sammy replied as she shook Adam's hand.
Thalia was saved from replying by the bell signalling the second lesson. Looking back to Adam she smiled gently, "it was nice meeting you, Adam."
"You too, Thalia. Maybe we can catch up after school sometime and get a coffee?"
"She would love to," replied Sammy before Thalia could even open her mouth. "And as lovely as this is we really must be going," she continued as she started to pull her twin down the hall, "goodbye, Adam!"
When they were around the corner Samantha groaned, "it was nice meeting you? Really? That was all you could think to say?"
"What else was I meant to say?" Thalia asked her as her eyebrow rose.
"How about 'Marry me I want to bare your children?'" Sammy pretended to faint dramatically and Thalia laughed at her theatrics.
"Okay, Okay; enough of that. Let's go before were late to class," she laughed as they walked to Art.
Thalia was in her apartment cooking some bacon and egg sandwiches when Sam walked through the door. She hadn't turned to confirm; already feeling her sister's presence.
"That smells nice," Sam said from behind her and Thalia smiled.
"They should be done in a moment; can you get us a drink and I'll plate these up."
She had this weird feeling in the back of her mind; a voice screaming at her that something wasn't quite right with what was going on. Thalia shook the feeling off, reminding herself that she was just being paranoid as she turned and placed the sandwiches on the table and sat down across from her sister.
"How was class?" she asked as she took her first bite of the sandwich; eying her sister curiously, "did you cut your hair?"
Sam smiled and it sent shivers down Thalia's spine. Something was definitely off.
"I did; dyed it too," she answered with a wicked grin, "do you like it?"
Thalia was speechless as she looked over her sister. She was wearing dark wash, distressed jeans and a white top. It was the bright red stain on the top that drew Thalia's attention.
"Oh my god!" she exclaimed as she jumped from her chair and ran around to her sister. "You're bleeding!" she continued as she kneeled before Sam.
"It's not mine."
She froze; her body going as stiff as a board as she registered her sister's words. It's not mine. The words should have comforted her; it was such a large amount of blood and the wound would have had to have been life threatening.
"W-whose is it then?" she stuttered; standing up and backing away from her twin.
"Does it matter?" her sister grinned as she moved closer to Thalia.
Their apartment seemed to melt away and Thalia found herself on top of a building overlooking New York. Thalia gasped as she spied the burning buildings and the bodies that littered the streets. Some of the buildings seemed to have collapsed entirely and others seemed to barely be holding together.
"What happened?" she breathed; her heart lodging in her throat.
Sam stood beside her; short blonde hair a sharp contrast to her natural mahogany locks. Her eyes were alight with childish excitement and Thalia felt fear course through her. "Isn't it beautiful?" her sister questioned, "I always knew you had it in you."
"I-I did this?" she stuttered once more; the sound strangled as her eyes filled with tears from the smoke surrounding her. "It can't be," she denied furiously, "I w-would never do this!"
"Wouldn't you, Thalia?" her sister mocked, "can't you picture a world plunged into chaos?"
Thalia let out a strangled cry as she watched a building collapse in on itself.
"We could be worshiped like Gods," her sister continued; a hunger in her voice that had Thalia taking a fearful step from her.
"I don't understand," Thalia frowned, "I'm dreaming. Why would I picture you like this?" Thalia had to be dreaming; there was no other reason for it. She couldn't remember what had happened before she fell asleep; like the memory would slip away every time she reached for it.
"You are," her sister agreed, "you see me like this because, whilst we may be in a dream, I am very much real. You see, we have a connection, you and me." Sam motioned between them with her hand, "it's a very recent discovery I must admit but it would seem I'm able to enter your dreams and I'm sure you could do the same if you really tried."
Thalia watched her sisters grin become Cheshire-like, "don't you see; we were meant to rule this pathetic planet, our powers make us better then all of them."
"You're delusional," Thalia gasped as she took another step back; disgust molding her features into a deep scowl, "why would I ever want this?" she questioned as she gestures towards the burning city, "these are innocent people, Sammy."
"Innocent?" her sister scoffs, "the moment they enter this world they stop being innocent."
Thalia shook her head, "you've lost your way, Sammy. I won't have any part in this."
"You won't join me?" her sister growled; her features morphing into that of rage and pure hate, "you're choosing all of them over me?! I'm your sister!"
"And I love you!" Thalia yelled as she took a step forward, "Sammy, stop all of this and come home; come home with me and we can work this out." She had cupped her sister's cheeks and was staring into her blue eyes but the rage never let.
Sam stepped away from her; a deep frown pulling at her lips, "I don't want to hurt you," she began, "which is why I'll give you one week to decide. You join me or you suffer with them."
Thalia watched as her sister slowly started to fade from view.
"One week, Thalia," came her voice on the wind before everything went dark.
Hunter looked up when the heart monitor picked up. His head snapped from the machine to Thalia before disappointment filled him as she remained asleep. Her eyes fluttered rapidly beneath her eye-lids; like she was dreaming. No emotions crossed her face as she lay there and he wanted to scream at her.
At the door, Mack watched the duo before him. He watched the heart monitor pick up and how Hunter's eyes alighted with hope before they became dull as Thalia remained unconscious. He didn't know how long his friend could hold up with the young woman staying the way she was. Hunter had become volatile; only letting the doctors and a select few agents into Thalia's room. Anyone else would be threatened until they scampered from the room.
"You need to eat, Hunter," he finally breathed out, stepping into the room as he did so, "and shower; you know she wouldn't want you doing this."
Hunter seemed to think on his words before he gave a slow, hesitant nod. Mack watched as he stood and leaned over Thalia, placing a soft kiss at her hairline. "I'll be right back, Kitten," he whispered to her before he and Mack filtered out of the room.
The steady beep, beep, beep of the heart monitor filled the room and, while no one was watching, the unconscious woman took in a ragged breath. "Sam," she breathed before once again falling still.
As the days ticked by and Thalia showed no signs of waking, the team grew anxious. Daisy had suggested taking Thalia to the new Avengers base where she could be treated by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner but Coulson informed her that the Avengers still thought he was dead and Fury wanted it to stay that way. The ensuing argument between them had ended with Daisy completely ignoring Coulson for two days.
As her friends worried, Thalia continued to dream.
She was in Sokovia, a few months after leaving New York and she still found herself looking over her shoulder and avoiding people. Thalia had moved into a small apartment with minimal furniture and a view of the street.
Her landlord spoke minimal English and only came to see her when rent was due. Thalia was thankful for this, it meant he didn't see the large piles of dust and the holes in her bedroom wall from where she had lost control in her sleep.
Thalia sat at the small, round table in her kitchen, a cup of scolding black coffee in her hands as she wrote out her monthly expenses. She still had her inheritance but couldn't touch it without raising suspicion. Instead, she did odd jobs for the Sokovians; mainly fixing cars or household appliances for cheap. She never made much, but it was enough to pay her rent and keep her fed so she wasn't complaining.
"This place is pitiful."
A heavy sigh escaped her lips as her sister sat opposite her, her nose scrunched up in disgust as she looked around the place.
"You said I had a week," she replied, taking a mouthful of the black liquid.
Sammy's eyes met hers, "it's been a week, Thalia."
Thalia frowned, "that can't be right."
"Time works differently here," Sammy shrugged, "back in the real world, it's been a week since we last spoke."
Silence descended upon them as Thalia finished her coffee and got up to wash her mug. Her eyes looked out the small window above the sink and she watched as the children ran around the street below.
"Why?" she asked, her voice barely a whisper.
"Why what?" Sammy asked from the table, eyeing her newly painted red nails as she propped her feet up on the table.
Thalia whipped around to face her sister, "why the hell would you want to destroy the planet?" she continued, her eyes ablaze with barely controlled rage.
"I don't want to destroy it," Sammy replied with a roll of her eyes, "I want to rule it."
"And how do you plan on doing that if I say no? Your power isn't exactly far-reaching in its destructiveness."
Sammy grinned, cherry red lips stretching over white teeth, "oh, Thalia," she cooed as she stood from the chair and approached her twin, "do you honestly think I'll divulge all my plans to you? I'm not an idiot."
Thalia squared her jaw and narrowed her eyes at her twin, "well," she replied cockily, "with the way you've been acting lately, I think it's safe to say you're a few fries short of a Happy Meal."
Sammy didn't seem impressed with Thalia's retort as her eyes darkened and her face contorted, "you think you're so clever," she spat, "Little Miss Thalia, the family Brainiac. How's that working for you?"
She watched Sammy move towards the sink, Thalia backing away from her and towards the door. "So, what's it going to be?" Sammy asked, her back to Thalia as she sneered down at the people on the street, "join me, or die with them?"
"You want me to become a murderer," Thalia hissed.
Her twin turned to face her, a smirk spreading her lips, "I promise you'll like it. There's no power rush quite like the one you get from watching someone take their last breath."
"I'd rather die," Thalia growled.
Before she could blink, Sammy was standing in front of her, gripping her shoulder's roughly.
"I'm not going to kill you, Tally," she whispered, "I'm going to do far worse. I'm going to make you watch as I take everyone you've ever cared about. In fact, let's start here, shall we?"
Thalia looked up as she heard the sound of pen meeting paper. Her mouth dropped as she spied Adam sitting at a desk grading papers. He didn't look up, not noticing them and Thalia realized she was still dreaming.
She watched Sammy walk around the desk and gently stroke Adam's cheek. She watched him shiver before he looked around the room. When he found nothing, he shrugged and returned to his papers.
"Let's start with the first man you ever gave your heart to," Sammy grinned.
Thalia felt sick.
She frowned as she heard Daisy's familiar voice ring out in the air.
That was May.
Thalia screamed as she was pushed into the classroom door. She looked into her Sister's deranged eyes.
"Let's make this a game," she said excitedly, "a race. Can you get to him before I do, Tally?"
"Don't do this," she begged.
Sammy's grin was equal parts excitement and anger, " then I think it's time you wake up. After all," she turned to Adam, "his time is running short."
Thalia screamed as Sammy thrust a pair of scissors into her shoulder before everything went white.
She sat up with a scream, her power destroying the I.V. attached to her arm. Wide, frantic eyes searched the room as her hand flew to her shoulder. She found no sign of a wound but the muscle memory was still there.
Her head snapped up and she caught the eyes of Coulson and the team on the other side of the room she was in. It was a similar room to the one she had arrived in and they were looking at her through the window.
"Thalia," Coulson repeated, "we need you to control your power so Simmons can check on you."
She nodded, her head feeling fuzzy as blurred images clouded her vision.
"His time is running short."
Her wide eyes took on a terrified gleam as she jumped from the bed, running to the glass window and looking straight at Coulson.
"We need to go," she breathed.
"Simmons needs to…" Coulson began only to be silenced when Thalia slapped the glass with a frustrated yell.
"She's going to kill again!" she yelled, "Sammy's going to kill again, and I know who she's going after."
"Who?" Daisy asked, moving so she was beside Coulson.
Thalia gulped audibly, her heart racing as she recalled candlelit dinners and romantic picnics on the beach. Her eyes wouldn't meet theirs as she whispered, "my fiancé."
"Thalia, we're here," Daisy muttered softly, her concerned russet eyes looking over her pallid friend.
Thalia hadn't spoken a word except to tell May where to fly the quin jet. Hunter, Daisy, Mack, May, and Thalia made up the team that would be going to intercept Sammy. Coulson had looked like he was going to throw caution to the wind and go with them until May reminded him about Fury's orders.
There was a large crowd standing in the car park and Thalia could see the grief written clearly across some of her old teacher's faces.
"We're too late," Thalia whispered, a solitary tear falling from her eye and down her bruised cheek.
She hadn't spoken to or seen, Adam since the week before her transformation. He had been in Australia on a business trip and though he had asked her to accompany him, Thalia had wanted to attend the interview for the Stark internship.
Adam, Thalia, and Sammy had shared an apartment with Adam and Thalia making plans to move out after their honeymoon. They had become engaged straight out of high school and had planned for a long engagement before everything had gone so wrong.
When Thalia had changed and destroyed her apartment and every other apartment on her floor, everyone had believed her to be dead. Not wanting to put Adam in danger, her powers too unstable, Thalia had allowed them to continue to believe it.
She had kept tabs on him until a year and a half ago when she had found out that he had met someone else. Happy that he was finally moving on, Thalia did the same thing and closed that chapter of her life.
Thalia followed Daisy and May into the school, bypassing the police tape as Hunter and Mack helped with crowd control. As they walked down the hall, Thalia didn't look around. Why would she? All it would accomplish was reminding her of a time when she was normal.
They entered Adam's office and just like every crime scene, it was perfectly clean. Adam sat slumped lifelessly over his desk, a wide-eyed look of fear on his face. Thalia walked over to his body and glanced down at the black rose that lay there mockingly.
"Why would she come here?" Daisy asked as Thalia sighed inwardly.
"Because she knows how to cause me the most amount of pain," Thalia mumbled as her eyes caught sight of a piece of paper Adam seemed to be clinging to.
Looking around and seeing the other two women occupied, she pried it from his cold hand, flinching as she was met with resistance.
Five simple words were scrawled on the paper in her sister's penmanship.
Another one bites the dust.
Thalia squealed happily as she ran into Adam's outstretched arms. He had just come back from a family vacation to Australia and she had been dying to see him.
"Adam," she laughed as he spun her, "put me down."
When he did lower her, his hands came up to cup her cheeks before his lips were on hers. She smiled into the kiss, her arms wrapping around his neck as she deepened it.
They broke up, breathing heavily as they wore cheesy grins. Adam removed one of his hands from her cheek and rummaged around in his jacket pocket before he pulled out a small black box.
Before Thalia could open it, Sammy ran up to them. "Hey, man," she greeted Adam with a one-armed hugged and a pat on the back, "good to see you home, now I don't have to listen to her drone on and on about you."
Thalia felt her ears heat up, "would you stop embarrassing me," she scolded as she playfully swatted her sister on the arm.
"So, what's in the box?" Sammy asked as a way to change the topic and Thalia smiled gratefully at her, her ears still red.
"A gift for your sister," Adam replied casually as he handed Thalia the box, earning a smile from his girlfriend.
Upon opening it, Thalia squealed happily at the small snow globe featuring the Sydney Opera House. She and Adam had talked about her collection of snow globes. Whenever her parents would travel, they would always return with a new globe.
"I love it!" she smiled, pecking him on the cheek, "but you really didn't have to buy me anything."
Adam smiled that million-dollar smile that made her knees week, "of course I did. You told me you wanted one from Australia and I knew it was the one when I saw it."
"God, you guys are so sweet I'm at risk of a cavity," Sammy groaned as she faked having a sore tooth, "can we please go get food now? I'm starving?!"
Adam laughed as he gave Sammy a nod and took Thalia's free hand. As the three of them made their way down the street, Thalia kept glancing at the snow globe.
Adam and Sammy must have noticed because they both chuckled. Thalia's blush deepened as Sammy threw her arm over her twin's shoulder and grinned brightly, "another one bites the dust, huh?"
Thalia's jaw tensed as she glared at the note before engulfing it in black mist.
As she turned to address the two women in the room, she saw both their gazes trained out of the window.
"Who is that?" Daisy asked.
Thalia followed their gaze, her whole body stiffening at the small blonde waving from the school oval. She was smiling as if she had won the lottery, her eyes alight with glee.
She stepped into the hall only to come to a halt when a calloused hand encircled her wrist. Thalia turned to look at Hunter, "what's wrong, Thalia?" he asked her softly, using her name for the first time since they had met.
"My sister," she replied flatly.
"What about her?" Mack questioned as he walked up beside them.
Thalia took a few steps back and smiled apologetically. "She's here," she told them as a wall of black separated the, "and I can't let her hurt any of you."
She turned and fled down the hall and out the door, knowing the wall wouldn't hold.
Thalia was thankful for the shot of adrenaline Simmons had given her before she left, she knew she was going to feel all of her injuries later but, for now, the adrenaline was keeping her on her toes.
She reached the school oval in record timing and found Sammy staring at her nails with mock interest. "You took a lot longer than I thought you would," she began, "I was at least hoping you would see him take his last breath. Thought I was you, looked like he had seen a ghost. Tsk, tsk, Tally, letting your own fiancé believe you to be dead."
Thalia ignored her Sister's taunts, "you need to stop this, Sammy, what good will any of this do?"
"I will stop all of this, right now, if you join me. Help me rule them like they deserve to be ruled and the people you care about will be spared."
Sammy took a step towards Thalia and her eyes softened a fraction. It was minute, but for one fleeting moment, Thalia saw her sister; the fun-loving girl she hadn't seen since the 'incident'.
"You know I can't. You know that this is wrong," she pleaded, placing her hands on her Sister's shoulders, "we are not Gods, Sammy."
The tender look in her Sister's eyes vanished and Thalia barely had time to adjust to her sudden mood change before Sammy's fist was connecting with her jaw.
Thalia fell to the ground like a sack of potatoes, clutching at the side of her face as warm tears filled her eyes. She glared up at her sister defiantly, not flinching at the look of unadulterated rage she saw there.
"You still chose them over me?" she hissed, her knee coming up to meet Thalia's nose. Thalia heard the sickening crack of her nose breaking but had little time to focus on it before Sammy was kicking her in the stomach, "me?! Your own sister?!" she screeched.
Thalia just managed to catch the next kick, tugging on her leg before letting go as Sammy fell on her arse. As much as she knew her powers could prevent her sister from doing any more harm to her person, Thalia couldn't find it in her to use them. Not on Sammy; never on Sammy. She had promised to protect her, forever and always.
She jumped to her feet, stumbling as she tried to stabilize herself when the whole world seemed to be spinning out of control.
As she looked up, Thalia could see that they had collected quite a crowd, including May who was approaching with her weapon raised and already pointed at Sammy. For a split moment, Thalia could only see someone who wanted to hurt her sister and her powers reacted, sensing the threat.
She could hear screams erupt as a black bubble surrounded herself and her sister. It would keep everyone out and Sammy trapped in so that she couldn't be hurt and couldn't hurt others. Thalia needed time, she needed to convince her sister to see reason because the alternative was too awful to think about.
"Please, Sammy," she begged, "see reason. Don't you miss what we had before all this happened?" Thalia's voice was small as she spoke, her breathing becoming labored at the physical and emotional toll it was taking to keep the bubble erected.
"What could I possibly miss from before?" she sneered, "we were nobodies! Mum and dad were dead and we had nobody to turn to!"
"We had each other. Was that not enough?"
Sammy seemed to think about her twin's words before her eyes became cold, "it was never enough. Not for me."
Her words crushed Thalia, but at that moment she was using most of her focus to keep the bubble in place and her vision was beginning to swim.
"Look at you," she spat, circling Thalia, "look at how weak you are. Have you even told them yet? Have you told them everything?" she questioned, "or do you know, deep down, that they will never accept you for who you really are."
Thalia opened her mouth to reply only to have something explode against the outer shell of the bubble, drawing a scream from her lips as she fell to her knees and strained to fortify the bubble.
She saw her sister look up before a wicked smile crossed her features, "it would seem we've drawn the eye of the Avengers. I read all about your little performance at the Stark gala, Marcus says you brought down the building. Literally."
Thalia looked up slowly, her head heavy, and her eyes landed on Iron Man surveying her bubble, looking for the weakest part to strike.
"You want to know something else I discovered after you ran away, Tally," Sammy whispered into her ear, Thalia jumping at the sudden closeness as their eyes met. "My gift doesn't just allow me to kill my victim's, it took me a while but I learned to control that. Now I can have fun with them before I kill them… now they beg me for death."
As much as Thalia wanted to move she felt her body growing weak, she needed time to fully heal and trying to maintain her gift this long wasn't helping.
Sammy kneeled so that they were at the same level before she smiled viciously, "I've learned that… well, why don't I just show you what I've learned?"
She cradled Thalia's face before leaning forward and placing a small, soft kiss on Thalia's forehead.
The effects were instantaneous as pain like nothing she had ever felt before rushed through her body. She fell back under the strain of it all, Sammy catching her head and laying her down gently as she ran a hand through Thalia's hair.
"Now, now," she cooed, "it will only last a few hours, but remember this the next time we come face to face. I may not be able to kill you, Thalia, but I can make you wish you were dead."
Thalia screamed as the pain coursed through her, her powers lowering the bubble and drawing inwards as a way to protect her. Scream after throat-tearing scream was wrenched from her lips as she withered on the ground, clawing at her exposed skin in a vain attempt to dig out the pain.
She vaguely felt someone lifting her, and wondered for a second how they could before she felt the wind rushing across her face. Her eyes peeled open a fraction and she could make out the vague outline of a man with a glowing stone on his forehead.
"I'm sorry," she whispered as she felt her powers pulse before they exploded out and she fell into unconsciousness.
Chapter 5: Chapter Five
Thalia came to with a groan, her entire body aching as she stirred from where she had been laid on some-what comfortable bed. She blinked up at the stark white ceiling above her head, her eyes slowly beginning to focus on the small silver swirls that seemed to be a part of the ceiling before her eyes narrowed in at the small black camera in the corner of the room.
When the memory of the what happened at the school came back to her, Thalia jumped off the bed only for her legs to give out on her and her knees to roughly hit the ground. She grit her teeth to keep from crying out as pain shot up her legs before she looked around the room cautiously.
It was small. A small room with a small bed and a door that seemed to have no way of opening from the inside save the small pad on the side of the wall. Thalia got to her feet and shakily walked over to the door, placing her hand on the pad and feeling the panic in her chest grow as it declined her print.
She was a trapped and she was terrified of enclosed spaces.
Thalia threw herself again the door, hoping to dislodge it but only drawing a cry from her lips as she jolted her shoulder. She repeated the action before she knock on the door roughly with her closed fists as a sob left her lips. “Let me out,” she cried, her breathing becoming labored as she looked around the small room. “Please, let me out!” she yelled as the tears fell freely down her cheeks. She ignored them, continuing to knock roughly on the door as she screamed for someone to release her from the cage she found herself in.
When no one answered, Thalia took a step back and raised her hand at the door. She felt her powers swirl before they shot forward from her hand. Thalia hadn’t wanted to use her powers, unsure if someone was on the other side of the door and fearful she may hurt them if they were.
But she was scared. She didn’t know where she was or where the others were. Were they safe? Had she killed them? God, she’d never forgive herself if she had hurt them. Where were they? Had they left her? She wouldn’t have blamed them if they had decided to cut her loose, she knew she was more trouble than she was worth.
The door vanished almost immediately after the black mist hit its surface and Thalia wasted no time in rushing from the room. She looked down the hall, contemplating which way to go before she ran left.
Thalia continued to run down the abandoned hall before she caught sight of a door. Though she didn’t know where it led, anywhere was better than running around aimlessly right about now.
Or so she thought.
The moment Thalia stepped through the door, several guns were trained on her and she looked into the eyes of several people she had never seen before. She raised her hands in surrender only for everyone in the room to stiffen. Looking over, Thalia quickly saw the problem and drew her powers back. She was hit with a sudden pout of exhaustion but thankfully, kept herself from falling to her knees again.
Everything that had happened with Sammy had seriously depleted her power stores and it would be a while before they were back up to par with how they usually were. Using her powers earlier had just made her more exhausted and she suddenly had the desire to sleep for a month. Unfortunately, there were still a lot of guns pointed at her so now probably wasn’t the best place to show just how exhausted she was.
“Oh, for the love of God, drop your bloody weapons, would you?” came the very familiar, and very welcome voice of Hunter. Thalia sighed heavily with relief when he came into view and rushed over to him.
She surprised him by practically tackling him in a hug, her arms tightly wrapping around his neck as she buried her face in his neck as fresh tears began to fall from her eyes.
His arm wrapped around her waist as his other came around her shoulders and one of his hands fell on the back of her head as he returned her hug after a moment. “Don’t you dare do that again,” he whispered to her, “you scared the hell out of me, kitten.”
She managed a wet chuckle that quickly turned into a sob, Hunter’s grip tightening on her.
“I think it’s safe to say you’re grounded,” he continued.
That got a snort from Thalia. “I’m twenty-four and you’re not my father, Hunter,” she told him, pulling away and wiping away her tears as she offered him a small smile.
Hunter folded his arms over his chest and glared down at her, watching as her smile became more sheepish. “You think that’s going to stop me from finding away to ground you?” he asked, raising an eyebrow as he looked her over.
He had expected a smartass reply; he hadn’t expected for her eyes to fill with tears and for her to fling herself at him again. “I love you, Hunter,” she whispered, the words catching him off guard and making it hard for him to breath for a moment.
He hadn’t been surprised by the words so much as who had spoken them. Thalia wasn’t known for being affectionate towards anyone; Hunter believed it safe to assume that it was because keeping people at a distance kept them safe from her powers. Sure, she was friendly with everyone she met unless they did something to truly bother her, but Thalia always kept her distance.
So, hearing those words fall from her lips made his heart stutter before it returned to normal and affection filled him. “Love you too, kitten,” he told her softly, pulling back so he could place a tender kiss on her forehead.
“What happened?” she asked when she pulled away from him for the second time, “where are we?”
Hunter motioned for her to follow him and led her back through the door she had come in through. “We’re at the new Avengers base,” he told her, “Stark had Vision bring you here when none of us were able to touch you.”
“How could this Vision touch me then?” she asked, a raised eyebrow directed at him as they turned left at the end of the hall.
“Apparently your powers don’t work on Vibranium, which is what he’s made of,” Hunter explained as he placed a warm hand at the centre of her back.
“Vibranium?” Thalia muttered, her thoughts beginning to race.
“It’s a rare metal found in Wakanda,” Hunter elaborated, “according to Stark, Vision and Captain America’s shields are made completely of the stuff.”
Thalia had multiple questions she was dying to ask but the sound of Daisy calling her name broke her from her thoughts. “You scared the hell out of us!” she exclaimed as she crushed Thalia to her body in a tight hug, “don’t ever do something so stupid and reckless again!”
Thalia managed a weak laugh, still not feeling a hundred percent. She needed to eat something and then sleep for a couple hours so her powers and strength could recuperate. “No promises, Daisy,” she muttered into the woman’s hair before Daisy was pulling away from her with a frown on her face.
She looked like she was going to say something but was interrupted by an unfamiliar masculine voice.
“How did you get out of your room?”
Thalia looked around Daisy and saw Tony Stark approaching them from down the hall. His eyes were narrowed at her and Thalia suddenly wished the floor would open up and swallow her.
“Uh,” she stuttered, her cheeks going pink, “about that… I-I’m not a fan of enclosed spaces; they make me uncomfortable.”
She looked back up to meet his gaze and was surprised to see his eyes had softened. “I can understand that, kid,” he told her, placing a hand on her should and squeezing gently before he stepped away, “I’ll have a room set up for you as soon as I can; lots of windows and plenty of space.”
Before Thalia could reply to him, Tony Stark was already moving down the hall, his phone out as he texted someone. She threw Hunter and Daisy an inquisitive look but they both only offered her a shrug in reply.
Suddenly, Daisy’s face lit up and she grabbed Thalia’s arm as she squealed excitedly. “Oh my God, Thalia, you have to come and meet the other Avengers!” she exclaimed, already tugging Thalia down the hall and away from a smirking Hunter. “They’re in the gym right now; come on, let’s go,” she continued, her tugging become more and more incessant.
“Alright, alright,” she replied through a yawn, “I’m coming; quit trying to rip my arm from its socket, would you?”
Daisy rolled her eyes but otherwise let Thalia go. The walk to the gym wasn’t very long and Daisy seemed incapable of shutting up about the Avengers. When they entered the room, Thalia from at the person she saw before her.
It was him; the silver-haired man from Sokovia, and he was looking at her with wide eyes before he suddenly dashed over to her.
“You’re here?” he asked as he grabbed her arms firmly, causing Thalia to tense further as he stepped closer to her.
Daisy noticed her deer-in-the-headlights look because she tugged Thalia out of Pietro’s grasp and sent him her fiercest glare. Pietro didn’t seem to notice as he continued to look over Thalia from head to toes; his intense perusal of her person making her even more uncomfortable.
“Pietro?” came a feminine voice that Thalia recognized as being Wanda and she looked over to see the woman approaching her brother.
When Pietro didn’t reply, Wanda looked in the direction of his stare and her eyes widened too when they landed on Thalia. Thalia felt a small pushing sensation at the forefront of her mind and glared at the woman fiercely. “Stay out of my head,” she hissed angrily, not at all happy to have someone trying to look into her mind.
Thalia’s little outburst drew the attention of the others occupying the room and she hid slightly behind Daisy when all eyes fell on her. Why do I always have to end up the centre of attention? she thought to herself as she tried to make herself as small as possible.
“Thalia, this is Steve Rogers; or, more commonly known as, Captain America,” Daisy began and Steve too a step forward and held his hand out for Thalia to shake.
She stared at the offered hand for a moment before hesitantly reaching out to shake it.
“It’s nice to see you’re alright, ma’am,” he told her, “I didn’t get the chance to check on you before you fled the helicarrier.”
Thalia didn’t miss the stern or disappointed undertones and frowned up at the man before dropping her hand.
“Yeah, well,” she began firmly, “I kind of had some things that needed my immediate attention.”
Steve seemed unhappy with Thalia’s reply but, sensing the tension in the air, Daisy moved Thalia on to the next person.
“This is Natasha Romanoff,” she introduced, “aka, the Black Widow.”
When the redheaded assassin didn’t offer her hand, Thalia merely gave her a small nod before she turned her head to the man next to her.
“Lady Thalia; I am Thor of Asgard!”
Thalia laughed at his overly enthusiastic greeting but tensed when he placed a hand on her shoulder. Her body relaxed a moment later when he merely smiled at her and gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze. “I am glad you are well; you arrived in a less than healthy condition,” he informed her, no trace of judgement in his expressive blue eyes. She smiled softly at him and nodded her head even as she felt her face flush.
She recalled what Hunter had told her about how she had arrived on base. God, she thought, mortified, I don’t think I’ve been carried since I was seven. At the mention of her arrival, Daisy turned to a red man with a yellow gem in his head. When Thalia turned to him, she saw him studying her. She tilted her head to the left and offered him a small smile.
“This is Vision,” Daisy told her, “he brought you here after you passed out.”
Thalia watched as Vision stepped forward, looking at her curiously. His intense gaze made Thalia think he was looking into her past; trying to reveal all of her deepest, darkest secrets. She coughed nervously as she held her hand out for him to shake.
“Thank you, for your help,” she mumbled sheepishly.
“You are welcome,” he replied as he gripped her hand gently in his own. Thalia hadn’t expected him to feel so warm, but his hand was the same temperature as her own; not cold like she had imagined the metal to be.
“You’ve already met Tony Stark,” Daisy continued, “Bruce Banner is still currently missing, and Clint Barton won’t be visiting for another few days according to F.R.I.DA.Y. So, that just leaves the twins,” Daisy finished as she turned Thalia towards Pietro and his sister. “Thalia, this is Pietro and Wanda Maximoff; they’re enhanced like us.” Thalia didn’t think anyone besides herself and maybe Vision heard the mumbled ‘sort of’ that left Daisy’s lips.
All she could do was look at the twins before the room began to feel like it was a lot smaller. This was the man she had been seeing in her dreams for almost six months. He was here and he was safe, but it was the feelings seeing him stirred within her that terrified Thalia. It was those feelings that had her backing towards the door, her eyes not once leaving his.
“Thalia?” he asked gently; his accent sending a shiver down her spine.
It was only one word.
Only her name uttered from his lips.
But that one word was enough to have her running from the room and away from him.
Thalia had managed to run to the roof where she was now sitting with her knees pressed to her chest and her head leaning on her arm. It had probably been an hour since she had gotten here, and she was just starting out into nothing as images of Sokovia flashed through her mind. Pietro did something her emotions that made her feel both excited and scared.
There was something about him that drew her in, but could she really take the risk of trying to see where her mystery feelings for him led? Thalia hadn’t even thought of another guy since her transformation and leaving Adam; she didn’t know how she could even think of a relationship with anyone when she could kill them the moment her emotions became too much for her.
So consumed by her thoughts was she, that Thalia shrieked when a thin hand was placed on her shoulder. She jumped up only to come face to face with a bemused Wanda Maximoff. Looking around, Thalia tried to find him only to look back at Wanda when she sighed sadly. “He is sulking in his room,” she told her.
“Why are you here?” Thalia asked as she say back down and continued to stare at the trees.
“I wanted to thank you,” Wanda answered as she sat next to Thalia, “for saving Pietro in Sokovia. I don not know what I would have done if I had lost him.”
They sat in silence before Thalia turned to look at Wanda.
“He’s your brother,” she stated, already knowing the answer but desiring the confirmation regardless.
“Yes. My twin.”
Thalia felt her heart lurch at the mention of twins. She knew all too well about the bond between twins; she and Sammy had been inseparable their entire lives. Now, they were fighting each other in a fight Thalia knew would end in heartbreak.
“It’s a horrible feeling when you lose your twin,” sh mumbled as her sad gaze met Wanda’s once more.
“I was informed your sister was still alive,” Wanda replied, confusedly.
Thalia sighed heavily, feeling like the weight of the world was trying to crush her. “And that makes it even worse somehow; because, whoever that woman was that I fought, she certainly wasn’t my sister. Not my Sammy. Sam hated violence; she’d avoid altercations at all costs. Now, she looks for them; she causes them, and she enjoys it.”
Thalia cursed inwardly when she felt a tear fall from her eye, roughly wiping it away before she felt Wanda’s hand on her shoulder once more.
“I’m sorry,” she said as she gently squeezed Thalia’s shoulder.
Thalia gave her a small smile before she held her hand out for the other woman. “I didn’t really say hello back there,” she said sheepishly, “I’m Thalia Jones.”
“Wanda Maximoff,” she replied as she shook Thalia’s hand with a soft smile. “My brother talks about you often,” she continued, and Thalia felt her eyes widen and her heart skip a beat at the mention of Pietro.
“He does?” she asked, mentally cursing herself at how hopeful she sounded.
“Yes,” Wanda nodded, “he searched for weeks to find you after you left the helicarrier; he barely slept or ate. I worried for him,” she sighed. “Then, when he couldn’t find you in the rubble after what happened at the Stark gala, he thought you dead; I’ve rarely ever seen my brother so distraught.”
Thalia felt her heart sink at the thought of Pietro not look after himself because he had been too busy trying to find her. Her heart only sunk further when Wanda told her about his reaction to thinking her dead.
“Why did you run away when Daisy introduced you to us?” Wanda asked suddenly, curious eyes watching Thalia closely.
She took a deep breath in as she started picking invisible lint off of her jacket. “I don’t know how to act around him,” she confessed, “he affects me more than I care to admit.”
There was silence for a moment before Wanda laughed lightly, a sound that had Thalia jumping and turning to look at the woman. “You affect him just as much,” she smiled, “believe me.”
Thalia blushed but said nothing further. Their conversation ceased after Wanda’s confession and they watched the sun set before Wanda went inside.
Before Thalia could get up to go inside, Thalia was already drifting off into unconsciousness.
She was back in Sokovia, her hands covering her ears as another explosion was heard from somewhere in the store she had hidden herself in. Her small apartment was already gone, completely demolished by the Iron Man soldiers, and she had run for the store across the street.
Thalia looked around and felt her throat tighten as she observed the fire and smoke that seemed to darken and brighten the sky simultaneously.
The scene changed and she was on the small air craft helping with minor injuries. At the familiar sound of the woman crying out for her son, Thalia once again lifted her head to see a man with a bow strapped to his back running for as small boy who had been trapped.
The sound of a jet could be heard, and Thalia watched as it started to fire, the bullets heading straight towards the man and the boy.
She ran off of the small air craft and tried to take deep breathes to ground herself. That was when she saw the familiar blue of Pietro running to assist the man. She continued to attempt to push her powers out of her body, to get them to corroborate but they didn’t seem to be listening to her.
Pietro pushed a car between the man and boy and the bullets. A scream tore from Thalia’s lips as she witnessed the bullets pierce his chest. She watched as he gave the man a cocky smirk before he fell lifelessly to the ground.
Thalia fell to her knees with another scream as her powers finally decided to work and the scene changed.
She was in the middle of the Stark Gala, trying to get control of her powers. No one was leaving; why weren’t they leaving?
Thalia whimpered as she felt the black veins crawling up her face before her powers pulsed as she threw her head back with a deafening scream as the black mist exploded out.
No one had the chance to scream or run; one second they were there and the next they weren’t. Thalia looked up with hazy eyes before another scream was ripped from her lips as she saw Hunter laying before her.
“No,” she pleaded, crawling forward to get closer to him. He was breathing rapidly, his lefts already missing and the rest of his body slowly turning to ash before her eyes. “No, no, no, no,” she cried as she went to touch his face only for it to crumble at her touch.
“What have you done?”
Thalia looked up to see May hobbling towards her slowly, her body slowly beginning to turn to ash but her eyes alight with fire as she glared at Thalia.
“I-I didn’t mean to,” Thalia cried, “I’m sorry.”
May fell to her knees as her body continued to crumble. “It should have been you,” she whispered before she fell to ash.
Every where she looked, there were people slowly turning to ash and Thalia lost her grip on her emotions and her powers. They flared again, swirling dangerously around her before they pulsed out again.
She heard a startled gasp and looked up to see a slightly older woman staring at her with wide eyes.
“Aries?” Thalia whimpered.
“Thalia,” she whispered as she fell to her knees, “what have you done?”
“No,” Thalia cried as she watched the woman slowly suffer the same fate as the others, “no, I can’t lose you too, Aries.”
“Thalia! Kid, wake up!” a masculine voice shouted in the distance as she was shaken from her nightmare.
Pietro and Wanda startled awake when a feminine scream echoed through the room. Wanda had fallen asleep in Pietro’s room when she had come to check on him after her talk with Thalia. The twins looked at each other before Pietro was picking Wanda up and rushing from the room with her.
They passed Steve Rogers who had run from his room with his shield in hand. “What’s going on?” he asked them, looking around wildly for any sign of a threat as Pietro stopped beside him and placed Wanda gently on the ground. Another scream pierced the air; this one causing the rest of the Avengers, Daisy, Hunter, Bobbi, and May to exit their rooms, ready for a fight.
It was the third scream that had Daisy and Hunter going pale. “It’s Thalia,” she whispered, everyone turning to her as she looked worriedly to Hunter who was quietly cursing.
“It’s coming from the roof,” Steve informed them all.
Before anyone could make another move, Pietro had picked up Wanda had had rushed off.
The twins made it to the roof only to find Thalia screaming on her knees. She was closed to the edge of the building and the siblings became concerned as they realised Thalia was still asleep. They turned around when everyone else burst through the door and the twins looked at them helplessly, unsure how to help the suffering woman.
It was Tony who pushed his way through the crowd, his hair mussed from sleep but his eyes very much aware as they looked at Thalia. He ignored the protests of the others as he made his way over to Thalia and kneeled before her. “Thalia,” he said firmly, shaking her shoulders gently.
He recognized the signs of being trapped in a memory you couldn’t escape; he still suffered from them and had wished there were people there to help him through them. He was also concerned about what might happen if her powers became unstable. He knew the moment she became a threat to any of them, Romanoff wouldn’t hesitate to shoot her.
“Kid, wake up,” he said more firmly, shaking her more forcefully.
When her eyes opened, Tony wasn’t prepared for the never-ending blackness he saw before she blinked blearily, her eyes returning to the silver he had been intrigued by earlier. She took in a deep, shuttering breath before she collapsed onto him, wrapping her arms around him as she sobbed into his shoulder.
Tony gently rubbed her back as he pulled them both away from the edge of the building, Thalia falling into his lap as se refused to let go of him.
“I killed them,” she was crying into his neck, “I killed all of them.”
“You didn’t kill anyone, kid,” he told her softly, turning to look at the others and motioning for them to give the two of them some privacy; the last thing Thalia needed right now was an audience.
When they were alone, Tony relaxed against the wall behind him and pulled Thalia further across his lap as he continued to rub little circles into her back. “You’re okay, kid,” he told her gently, “nothing’s going to hurt you here.”
Slowly, Thalia began to calm down and it was only when Tony began to hear her breaths even out that he shook her a little. “Hey,” he admonished lightly, “no falling asleep on me; I’m not carrying you to your room if you do.”
She grumbled incoherently at him and Tony chuckled before he gently nudged her to get her to stand. When they were both on their feet, Tony wrapped his arm around her waist and led her into the building.
“Thank you,” Thalia mumbled hoarsely, rubbing at her sore throat as she winced.
“I know how it feels,” Tony told her honestly, “if you ever need to vent, or get drunk, come find me, kid.”
She laughed at his words before he steered her down an empty corridor with three doors. Tony led her to the last door on the left and opened the door for her.
He led her over to the bed and help her under the covers, making sure to remove her shoes before he did. Tony knew she hadn’t paid any mind to the room but didn’t mind; she was exhausted, and she needed to sleep, she’d see the room in the morning.
“Remember to come find me if you need me, kid,” Tony told her softly as she blinked blearily, “I’m just down the hall.”
She mumbled something under her breath and Tony made sure to ignore the fact he had clearly heard the words, ‘okay, dad’ before he exited the room and made his way back to his own.
Chapter 6: Chapter Six
Thalia took shallow breaths as she continued to run around the Olympic-sized track. Her legs burned and her chest contracted painfully but it didn’t stop her from continuing. She had been running for almost an hour and was happy that it was helping to clear her head.
She had woken up this morning to find herself in an unfamiliar room. Fortunately, unlike the first room she had woken up in, this one had been spacious and very homely. In fact, it was absolutely gorgeous. It was large and painted a beautiful shade of violet. The king-sized bed was way too big for one person in her opinion, but it had been undeniably the most comfortable bed she had ever slept on. There had even been a walk-in wardrobe and various other pieces of furniture.
Her duffel bag had been left at the base of her bed and she had thrown on a pair of running shorts and a sports bra. Before Thalia left her room, she threw on a loose jumper and left to find a place to let off some steam.
When she had found the track and looked around to find that she was the only person around, she had discarded her jumper and began running. She was doing everything in her power not to think about last night, but a flash of green and yellow eyes almost had her stumbling on several occasions.
Her mind had wandered off again when Steve Rogers’ voice made it to her ears and past the fog in her head.
“On your left.”
She looked to her left and sure enough, Steve Rogers passed her not even a second later. Damn, that man is fast, she thought just as another man ran up beside her. He kept a steady pace with her, and Thalia turned to look at him curiously.
“Sam Wilson,” he grinned as he held his hand out for her to shake, not breaking the pace she had set during her run.
“Thalia Jones,” she replied as she shook his hand, wincing when his eyes moved to gaze at her tattoos.
“Nice ink,” he said simply before they both continued to run.
“On your left.”
Thalia raised an eyebrow and turned to look at Sam when he groaned as Steve ran past them again. “He does this every morning,” he told her, “I mean, it’s not like we were all injected with super serum!”
She laughed as an idea formed in her head. Focusing intently, she could just make out the footsteps approaching quickly behind them. “Get ready to run as fast as you possibly can,” she told Sam who looked at her with furrowed brows. Before he could say anything, black mist shot from Thalia’s hand and formed a large hole on her left just as Steve went to pass them.
Sam whooped loudly as they increased their pace and ran the rest of the distance to where their bags were located. They both stopped and started laughing as they watched Steve climb from the hole. Thalia was bent over, trying to catch her breath from both the running and the laughing when Steve stopped near them and glared playfully at her.
“Damn girl, gotta run with you more often,” Sam chuckled, fist bumping her before he passed her her water bottle. Steve shook his head but smiled at the both of them as he sat down beside them. Thalia noticed too late that she still hadn’t put her jumper back on because Steve started to look at her arms curiously.
“I didn’t know you had tattoos. You didn’t come off as the type to get one,” he commented as he looked at each symbol closely, “what do they mean?”
“Beats the hell out of me,” Thalia replied as she looked ahead, “when I ‘changed’ the silver eyes and these symbols were the only physical transformation. I’ve tried to research them, but they aren’t in any books I could find.”
They all fell quiet before Thalia’s stomach growled loudly. Both men laughed at her as she blushed before they stood, and each offered her a hand. Looking up at them with a raised eyebrow, Thalia shook her head with a smile before placing one hand in each of theirs. She stumbled slightly when they hoisted her up but managed to quickly right herself before they made their way inside.
She followed Steve and Sam to the cafeteria. They quickly grabbed breakfast and sat down. Thalia began squirming when some of the ‘early bird’ agents looked at her tattoos. Steve must have seen this because a moment later, he was placing a comforting hand on her shoulder.
Thalia’s eyes darted to his kind blue ones as he gave her a gentle smile. “Don’t worry about what people might think about your tattoos. They’re apart of you now and it’s time to stop hiding,” he told her firmly.
She looked into his caring eyes for a few more moments before she smiled and gave him a small nod.
As Thalia ate her apple and cinnamon porridge, Sam and Steve spoke in what they must have thought was hushed whispers. That, or they believed she was too busy eating to pay attention to their conversation.
“Man, all of my leads are cold,” Sam told Steve, “it’s like he just vanished.”
“He has to be out there somewhere,” Steve sighed, “I won’t give up until I find him.”
“I know, but I don’t know where else to look; he could be anywhere in the world right now, Steve.”
“We’ll find him,” Steve said determinedly, “he’s confused right now. He’s trying to remember a past that was stolen from him. All he’s known for so long has been being the Winter Soldier…”
Their conversation ceased as more agents and the rest of the Avengers filtered into the room. Romanoff, Tony, Wanda, Pietro, Vision, and Thor made their way over to their table after getting breakfast and sat down after saying a quick ‘good morning.’
“How’d you sleep, kid?” Tony asked between mouthfuls of porridge.
Thalia looked up from where she had been staring at her own half-empty bowl and smiled at the older man. “It was good,” she answered, “thank you for my room, it’s beautiful.”
He gave her a smug smile and a nod of his head before he went back to shoveling his food into his mouth. Everyone watched him with varying looks of disgust, but Thalia simply smiled, he reminded her of her dad when he’d eat all his meals. Her mother would constantly be scolding him for teaching them bad habits. Their dad would simply blink up at her innocently before he went back to inhaling his food as she and Sammy giggled.
The thought of her parents no longer hurt, and Thalia could now remember them and smile at the times they shared. Her thoughts were interrupted when Tony looked up from his phone with an exasperated look on his face. “Does anyone know why there’s a hole on the track field?” he questioned them all.
Thalia’s soft smile turned into a wicked smirk as Sam broke out into another laugh. Everyone turned to look at him and then to an exasperated Steve.
“My fault,” Thalia told them, drawing their attention, “I was evening out the playing field.”
Everyone save Steve and Sam looked confused but before anymore questions could be asked, Thor spoke up. “Lady Thalia, how did you get those markings?” he asked her, his eyes boring into her as he did so.
“My transformation,” she replied simply as she stole a piece of bacon from Tony and placed it in her mouth only to choke on it a moment later when Thor spoke again.
“They are Kree symbols.”
Sam gave her a few hard pats on the back as she coughed on her stolen piece of bacon before she turned her wide-eyed gaze to the blonde man. Holding out her hands, she gave him a pleading look as she asked, “can you read these? Do you know what they say?”
She studied his face as he studied each symbol before he shook his head sadly, “I’m sorry, Lady Thalia, I do not. These symbols are ancient. My friend, Heimdall, would know what they say; he has studied many of the ancient languages.”
“Can I meet him?” Thalia asked eagerly, “please, I need to know what these are.”
“It would require a trip to Asgard, and such a trip is not permitted unless situation calls for it.”
“Situation calls for it?!” Thalia exclaimed, standing from her chair and placing her hands on the table as her eyes flickered from silver to black and back again, “I destroy things at a touch of the hand, and I believe they are related to these damn symbols! I think the situation calls for it, do you not?!”
Thor looked at her with slightly wide eyes before Thalia shook her head and left the room in search of someone from the group she had come here with. As she walked around, she took deep breaths and tried to think of anything that could distract her. She almost jumped out of her skin when she heard a small ‘meow’ from behind her before a petite black and white cat moved between her legs.
“Hello,” she cooed, bending down to pat the cat behind the ear. Green and yellow eyes looked at her intelligently and Thalia found herself relaxing as she motioned for the cat to follow her. She made her way back to her room and opened the door so the cat could get through before she closed and locked it behind her. “Aries,” she breathed as she turned around with tears in her eyes.
The cat ‘meowed’ again before it began to transform and a moment later, an older woman was standing in front of her with her arms open and a sad smile on her face. Thalia flung herself at the woman, uncaring about the fact said woman was completely naked. She hadn’t seen Aries since she moved to Sokovia but she had kept in contact as much as she could so the older woman would know she was safe.
“I’ve been worried,” Aries told her as she brushed back Thalia’s hair, “when Hank told me you were seen at the Stark Gala before the building collapsed I tried to call, and you didn’t pick up your cell.”
“I was unconscious for two weeks,” Thalia answered as she pulled away from Aries and moved to get the woman a towel to wrap around herself, “when I woke up, I had to find Sammy and try and prevent her from killing someone.”
“Adam,” Aries nodded, “I heard about his death. I’m so sorry, Thalia.”
Thalia tried to shrug it off, “we haven’t spoken in years,” she sniffed.
“That doesn’t make his death any easier,” she replied softly, “our first loves tend to stick with us even after they’re over.”
“And sometimes you’re lucky enough to marry them,” Thalia teased.
Aries smiled softly at the thought of her husband, “yes, but that didn’t mean Hank and I didn’t have our challenges.”
“But you made it through.”
“That we did,” Aries nodded, “but I’m not here to talk about me and Hank; I’m here to make sure you’re okay.”
“I’m fine,” Thalia replied as she sat down on her bed, Aries following her shortly after once she had the towel wrapped around her body. When Aries sent her a ‘do you honestly think I’ll believe that bullshit answer’ look, Thalia sagged. “I’ve been better,” she corrected.
“I can imagine,” Aries answered, wrapping an arm around Thalia’s shoulder and pulling her close, “Hank and I have been trying to track Samantha but we’re not having much luck. Even Charles is having a hard time tracking her with Cerebro.”
“What does that mean?” Thalia asked fearfully; how could a mutant as powerful as she’s heard Charles Xavier was, not be able to find her sister?
“It could mean any number of things,” Aries replied, “but Charles believes that whatever makes her Inhuman has also blocked her mind to his telepathy. He believes this is accurate as he had been unable to find you with Cerebro as well. Unfortunately, we don’t know enough Inhumans to test the theory or see whether you and your sister are special cases.”
“How would we test that theory?” Thalia asked, her curiosity overtaking her panic.
“We’d need a few more Inhumans willing enough to potentially have Charles inside their head,” Ares answered, “but enough about that; you look like you need more sleep, Thalia.”
Thalia shook her head, “I can’t sleep.”
“Nightmares?” Aries inquired, her eyes softening.
“I don’t know what to do,” Thalia sighed.
“Have you seen anyone about this? Even superpowered people need to seek help sometimes, Thalia.”
“Who am I supposed to talk to about all of this?” Thalia groaned, running her fingers through her hair, “it’s not like I can just book an appointment at a regular psychologist.”
“No,” Aries agreed, “but I’m sure Stark could hire someone who can handle these kinds of situations. I’m actually surprised the Avengers don’t have a counselor on call; Charles has one for when the X-Men get back from missions or for the students with less than desirable childhoods.”
Thalia took Aries’ advice under consideration; she would need to speak to Tony about it later. For now, she just wanted to catch up with her friend.
And so they did. Aries and Thalia spoke about everything that had happened in their lies and when Aries realised Thalia was skirting around Sokovia and everything that had happened over the last few weeks, she let her. They spoke about Xavier’s School for the Exceptionally Gifted where Aries taught P.E. and English Lit. Thalia had never met another mutant besides Aries, but she had seen many of the X-Men on the news and had listened to a few of Charles Xavier’s online lectures.
“Hey, Aries,” Thalia suddenly began after a few moments of silence between the two women. When Aries made a low hum, Thalia continued, “why are your ears still transformed?”
Aries looked quite strange with human features and cat ears, but she also looked kind of adorable. Thalia had inwardly giggled whenever she saw Aries’ ears twitch and resisted the urge to scratch them.
“Charles informed me that there is a woman who can read minds in the building,” Aries explained, “when I’m fully or partially transformed, my mind becomes unreadable to telepaths.”
“So, Wanda can’t hear your thoughts?” she asked for clarification.
Aries nodded before she smiled wickedly, “which is probably a good thing. I’d hate to permanently scar the girl if she saw what Hank and I had been up to this morning.”
Thalia felt her nose wrinkle at the thought of Aries having any kind of sexual relationship. She hadn’t met Hank, but she had certainly seen him on the television a few times. Whenever Aries would join the Ambassador for an event, Thalia would smile at the way the two of them looked at one another. There had, however, been times when she had wondered if all of him was covered in fur. Don’t think about it, she berated herself inwardly.
Aries must have realised where her thoughts had gone because she was smirking wickedly in the next second. “he’s not completely covered in fur, but everything is blue,” she shared shamelessly, “and, well, you know that saying about men with big feet? Definitely applies there too.”
There was a loud thump as Thalia fell off the bed in her shock before the room was filled with the laughter and occasional snorts of Aries as she clutched at her middle when her ribs began to hurt from her laughing. “Dear Lord,” she giggled when Thalia sat up and glared up at her, “you should have seen your face.”
“You’re evil,” Thalia grumbled, “pure evil; why Charles allows you to teach impressionable children is beyond me.”
“Oh please,” Aries snorted, “you were thinking about it and I simply sated your curiosity. How is that evil?”
“I don’t want to hear about your husbands… you know,” she hissed.
Aries snickered, “and yet, you find it perfectly acceptable to think about my husbands… penis.”
Thalia groaned, burying her cherry red face in her hands as Aries began to laugh again. “Speaking of your husband, does he know you’re here?” she questioned, trying to change subjects.
“Who do you think dropped me off?” she smiled, “I can’t exactly drive when I’m a cat, now can I? Now, I’ve tried it in my monkey form; Charles even has it on video. Remind me to show you it one day.”
“There’s no way I’d forget,” Thalia replied with a large grin as the two women continued to converse.
Aries didn’t leave until after lunch when Thalia let the small dove with green and yellow eyes out of her window. She didn’t feel like eating so she simply stayed in her room and read a book. Almost an hour later, someone knocked on Thalia’s door.
She opened the door and offered a hesitant smile when she saw Pietro standing on the opposite side, leaning casually against the door frame. He gave her a charming smile before he held his hand out to her, “wanna do something fun?”
Thalia still felt uneasy around him, but she also couldn’t deny that he sent her heart racing and also made her smile without really trying. Later on, that would be her excuse for why she took his hand and shrugged carelessly at him. “Why not?” she replied before she was suddenly picked up and they were speeding off to God only knew where.
Pietro had taken them to a cliff face overlooking a gorgeous lake and Thalia wondered for a moment just how far they had gone to get there. She waited for him to catch his breath before she raised a delicate eyebrow at him. All she received in return was a smirk as he gestured towards the edge of the cliff.
“We’re going to cliff jump,” he told her as way of explanation before he began removing his shoes.
“You’re nuts if you think I’ll be jumping from way up here,” she exclaimed as she averted her eyes when he began to remove his shirt. She didn’t need to be distracted right now and looking at him would definitely be distracting.
There was a small gush of wind that blew her hair a little before two hands were grabbing her shoulders and turning her around. Thalia made sure to keep her eyes firmly trained on his eyes; unfortunately, even those were distracting. I’m doomed, she groaned inwardly.
“Are you scared?” he asked, his smirk widening into a boyish smile when she shivered as his warm breath ghosted over her face.
"No, but I'm not stupid either." Thalia was happy when her voice came out strong; not revealing how her body was truly reacting to being so close to Pietro.
"It is fun; you’ll enjoy it, I promise," his eyes didn't stray from hers and she had to look away.
As she stared at the neighboring trees she laughed lightly, "I'm fine up here, thank you very much."
"Okay then; I’ll be right back," he smirked before rushing to the edge and jumping off.
As Thalia looked over the edge, she saw the water rippling out from where he had landed. She waited patiently for him to come up but when he didn't and more and more time passed, she began to worry, "Pietro?!" she yelled and waited for some cocky reply. "PIETRO?!" Again she waited.
When he didn't reply Thalia stood up and removed her shoes; her jumper following and falling to rest with Pietro's. "I swear if he isn’t dead, I'm gonna kill him," she grumbled before she ran to the edge and jumped. As the water approached, Thalia took in a deep breath.
She had been a swimmer in high school and was very comfortable in the water. Looking around the unusually clear lake, Thalia couldn't find Pietro. When air became a necessity, she resurfaced with a gasp. She was just about to call for him again when something grabbed her ankle and dragged her under the water.
Turning to the source, Thalia was about to use her power when Pietro's silver hair came into view. He swam slowly up her body and when they came face to face, the young woman glared at him before shoving him away from herself. When she was free from his hold, she swam to the surface again; Pietro following shortly after.
"What the hell?!" Thalia yelled as he laughed lowly; the kind of laugh that would make any girl weak at the knees.
"I got you in," he gloated with his thick accent and had she not been royally pissed off at him, Thalia would have found it sexy. Swimming up to him, she smacked him in the chest; the slap stinging her skin upon contact. "Hey! What was that for?!"
"You scared the hell out of me!" she growled as she went to slap him again only to have him gently grab her wrist and pull her to his chest with a deep laugh.
"You didn't see that coming?" he replied huskily, and Thalia shivered when his breath once again ghosted over her face.
Her eyes moved from his eyes down to his lips and that damn warmth spread through her body once more. When her eyes moved back to his, she saw lust in his eyes; lust she had no doubt was reflected in her own. As he started to lean in, Thalia felt her heart rate increase and her body begin to flush with heat.
He was so close.