Barry was in the house he had grown up in, laughing as he sat down to dinner with the people he loved most. His daughter was in her high chair, babbling as she waved her rattle around. Barry smiled as he held his wife’s hand, listening to Cisco’s wild story, Caitlin occasionally cutting into to correct him. Joe’s hearty laugh filled the room as Freya threw her rattle, which landed in Cisco’s mashed potatoes. Wanda rolled her eyes and, with an apologetic look to Cisco, waved her hands. The rattle glowed red as lifted out of the food, the potatoes flying off it and back into Cisco’s plate before the rattle flew back into Freya’s hand.
Then, in an instant, it all changed. Suddenly, Wanda, Cisco, Caitlin, and Joe were all gone. Barry stood up, looking around in confusion as Freya began to cry, looking as confused and terrified as Barry felt.
“Cisco? Cait? Joe? Wanda?” Barry cried out, his heart hammering in his chest as panic began to fill him.
Barry’s blood ran cold as he turned around. Thanos stood there, eying him with a smug smirk on his face.
“I am inevitable,” Thanos said smugly.
Barry was jarred awake by his alarm going off. Barry’s groaned, rolling over in bed as he blindly reached for his clock. Finding it, he turned off the alarm before he sat up in bed, sighing. Another day, another nightmare, Barry mused.
Barry got dressed before exiting his room and walking across the hall to the room on the left corner. Barry opened the door and turned on the light, causing the room’s occupant to groan, pulling her covers over her head.
“Dad,” fourteen year old Freya Allen complained.
“Don’t ‘dad’ me. You have to be at school by six thirty. You have ten minutes to get up before I resort to your Papa Joe’s method of dragging you out by your hair,” Barry said before he turned and walked out of her room.
Barry walked into the kitchen, about to start the coffee, when he saw that someone else was already there.
“Morning,” Fitz said, passing him the coffee mug he’d just made.
Barry nodded in thanks before taking a sip. Fitz was the only other regular occupant of The Compound, the others never staying for more than a week. Barry would probably say that Fitz qualified as his best friend. They would never be as close as Cisco and Caitlin had been to him, nor would Barry have anything on Fitz’s relationship with Mack, but as Natasha had once said, we have what we have when we have it.
“So, her first day of eighth grade. You ready for this?” Fitz asked as he pulled out two plates of eggs, toast, and waffles, setting them on the counter.
“No,” Barry sighed as he ran a hand over his beard. “I wish Wanda was here to see this.”
“I know,” Fitz said sympathetically as he put a hand on Barry’s shoulder. “But you’re here for her. And, if I can say so, you’ve done of a great job.”
“Half the time I don’t even know what I’m doing,” Barry admitted as he sat down, beginning to pick at one of the plates.
“Everyone feels like that at some point,” Fitz assured him.
Further conversation was interrupted as Freya walked in. She had on a red shirt with a black jacket and regular blue jeans with red tennis shoes.
“How do I look?” Freya asked nervously
“I think you look great. What about you Dad?” Fitz asked as he looked over at Barry.
“You look beautiful,” Barry smiled sadly, confusing Freya. “I wish your mom could be here to see this.”
“She is,” Freya said confidently. “I can feel it.”
“Me to,” Barry’s smile widened as Freya sat next to him and they started eating breakfast.
A little later, Barry was walking Freya out to the front yard of the Compound.
“Why can’t you take me to school?” Freya complained.
“I would if I could; you know that, but it’s time for a weekly meeting. I’ll take you tomorrow, I promise, but for today, Happy’s gonna drive you,” Barry said as they reached Happy standing outside the car.
“Hey kiddo, ready for school?” Happy asked as he greeted Freya.
Freya moodily just sped into the backseat, not even waiting for the door to open, just phasing through.
“Teen years huh? Good luck with that,” Happy joked and Barry smiled slightly.
“I’ll need it,” Barry joked and Happy nodded.
“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure she gets in okay,” Happy assured him, running a hand through his greying hair.
“I know,” Barry said.
Happy got in the driver’s seat and started the car before driving off. Barry stood there for a minute before he turned and walked back inside.
Barry entered what had once been Steve’s office, what was now his office, and moved to stand behind the desk. He pressed a button, and soon, several holograms appeared in front of his desk. Matt Murdock, Rocket, Nebula, Okoye, Doctor Fate, Mack, and Rhodey all appeared as holograms, staring at him.
“Good to see you all again,” Barry greeted them genuinely, meaning it.
“You as well Barry,” Okoye greeted.
“Okay, status reports. Matt, how did that smuggling ring you were looking into pan out?” Barry asked as he looked at the man without fear.
“They were just a bunch of low lives; I turned them over to the police. Nothing I couldn’t handle,” Matt said and Barry nodded.
“Good, that’s good. Rocket, Nebula, can we expect to see you this month?” Barry asked as he looked at the off world Avengers.
“I wouldn’t get your hopes up,” Rocket said.
“What’s happening on Earth is happening all over the universe and not every planet has The Avengers,” Nebula said and Barry sighed.
“Don’t I know it. Okay, anything new to report?” Barry asked them all.
“Things are quiet in Wakanda, as usual,” Okoye said and Barry nodded.
“Just a typical mugger or robbery in Hell’s Kitchen, nothing new that I can’t handle,” Matt added.
“I have something that may be promising, but until I know for sure, I’ll keep you posted,” Fate said and Barry nodded.
“Okay. Well, this channel is always open, keep it that way. If anything goes south, call me,” Barry ordered. “Over and out.”
“Over and out,” Matt, Rocket, Nebula, and Okoye repeated before their holograms faded, leaving only Barry, Mack, and Rhodey in the room.
“So where are you two?” Barry asked.
“Mexico,” Mack said gruffly.
“Police found a whole bunch of bodies, looks like a whole bunch of cartel guys. Never even had a chance to fire off their guns,” Rhodey said.
“Might be a rival gang,” Mack said and Rhodey shot him a look that said exactly what he thought about that, something Barry noticed.
“You have a different theory Rhodey?” Barry asked.
“Yeah, I think it’s Morse. We know it is, Mack just doesn’t want to admit it,” Rhodey said with a look at his teammate. “I get it Mack, she’s your friend, but what she did, what she’s been doing for the last twelve years…you can’t protect her from this.”
“Find out where she’s going next,” Barry ordered after a moment of silence.
“And then?” Mack asked wearily, almost afraid of the answer.
“Try and reach your friend. And if you can’t, fight like hell to bring her in,” Barry ordered. “Over and out.”
“Over and out,” Rhodey and Mack said before the holograms faded.
Barry sighed, all but collapsing into his seat. He looked at a picture on his desk. It was one of himself, Cisco, and Caitlin back in the days of the original Team Flash, as Cisco would call them. He picked it up, staring at their faces.
“I wish you guys were here,” Barry said with a sigh. “I could really use your help.”
In a truck, a man with wild hair was bickering with a young girl when he hit something. Not wearing a seatbelt, he went flying out the windshield and hit the snow covered ground several feet away, to the shock of the girl, who called herself Rogue, who had hit he head on the dash. However, to her complete and utter astonishment, the man picked himself up and began making his way back to the truck, seeming to ignore the deep gashes on her head. As he neared the truck, Rogue saw the wounds were healing, shocking her further.
“You alright?” The man who called himself Logan asked.
She was too shocked to answer until Logan spoke again.
“Kid, are you alright?” Logan asked.
“I’m stuck!” Rogue said as she found her voice, finding her seatbelt jammed.
Logan moved towards the door to help her when he suddenly stopped. His hair stood on end as he felt something in the air shift. He sniffed, sensing they weren’t alone. He popped his claws as a man with wild, long blonde hair, feral teeth and claws jumped out of the tress, roaring.
Logan was thrown into a tree as Rogue looked back, seeing fire, started from Logan’s cigar, was spreading from the back. The feral man struck Logan with a tree branch and Logan was sent flying. He landed hard on the hood of his truck, knocked out cold.
The feral man was approaching the truck when a golden cross appeared in front of him, causing him to stop. It vanished and, sensing someone behind him, the feral man turned around to see Fate standing three.
“Victor Creed. Fate commends you to leave, now,” Fate said, his voice thundering with power.
Creed snarled, lunging for Fate. However, with a flick of his wrist, a portal opened and Creed rushed through it before it closed. With Creed dealt with, Fate approached the truck, saying a few words Rogue didn’t understand. Hearing something, Rogue looked over her shoulder and saw, to her surprise, the fire had been extinguish. Fate opened the side door and flicked his wrist. The seatbelt, which had been jammed, came undone as if by magic.
“Come Rogue, we must go,” Fate said as he held out a hand to her.
“Who-who are you?” Rogue asked as she found her voice.
“A friend,” Fate said simply.