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The Need to Protect

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November 2029

Bobbi and Hunter were both in the car, driving along the road, seeing all the suburban houses as they passed. If someone had told them back when they had to be disavowed from SHIELD that they would have this kind of life with two, beautiful children, they probably wouldn't have believed them.

Additionally, they probably wouldn't have imagined being called by their daughter's school, telling them she was currently at the principal's office. They couldn't really imagine what kind of trouble their fourth-grade daughter could've gotten herself into. Both were pretty confused as Isabelle was a pretty well-behaved kid. If there was someone she didn't like, she typically just tried her best to ignore them, no matter how much she wanted to punch them in the face.

They dropped their first-grader son, Damien, off at a friend's house before driving back to the elementary school to be with their daughter.

"What if she beat someone up?" Hunter suggested.

"You really think she would do that?" Bobbi asked. "Come on, Hunter. You and I both know our daughter wouldn't do that."

"Maybe not near us," Hunter added. "But we honestly have no idea what she's truly like at school. Sure, teachers have told us she's a joy to have in class, but what is she like to other students?"

"Teachers have told us that she's really good with other students too," Bobbi argued. "I just don't understand."

HUnter smirked at his wife. "Now, when she first started kindergarten, weren't you the one telling me that we can't have biases towards her because we don't exactly know how she is with other kids aside from her cousins."

"I know, I know," Bobbi teased. "It's just hard to picture her as someone who gets in trouble."

Hunter shrugged his shoulders. "Well, you are teaching her how to fight. She may have used those skills. Sure, she's only been training with you for a couple of months now, ut she really is a fast learner when it comes to that type of thing."

Bobbi sighed. "I can't believe you're being the level-headed one in this situation."

"Well, we can't be sure what happened until we actually get there."

It wasn't that Hunter didn't trust his daughter, because he really did trust her and knew how she is when interacting with others, but he knew that he didn't have the full story of what happened, so he couldn't have a bias towards Isabelle, no matter how much he wanted to. He wasn't going to be one of those parents who acted like their kid could do absolutely no wrong. He wished he could, but he knew better. However, he also knew that Isabelle would be truthful to him and would be willing to face punishment if she felt like she deserved it. That's what she got from Bobbi.


The two parents walked through the halls of the elementary school until they reached the principal's office. Outside the office, there were about four chairs. They spotted Isabelle sitting in one of them, her head down and her hands in her lap. They weren't expecting May and Lillianne to be sitting in the chairs to the left of her.

"May?" Bobbi asked, not expecting to see her. "What are you doing here?"

"It seems Lilly was a part of the situation too," May said, comforting the eight-year-old sitting next to her.

Bobbi nodded, knowing that when Daisy and Daniel were on trips to space for SWORD, May stayed with their kids and was their legal guardian until they returned. Bobbi bent down to take a look at Lilly. There was a bruise forming right under her right eye and she had a few red scratches over her body.

"Sweetie, are you alright?" Lilly shrugged her shoulders, not really sure how to feel about everything that had happened. "Third grade really that bad?"

"That was the fifth graders," Isabelle said in a harsh tone.

Bobbi and Hunter turned to their ten-year-old daughter. They were shocked to see that she was in even worse shape than Lillianne. She had a few bruises on her face, one of which was sure to leave her left eye being a black eye. Her lips were also busted up a bit. Like, Lilly, she had scratches all over too, blood threatening to come out of a couple.

Hunter took the chair next to her. "Bella, what happened?"

"It wasn't my fault, I swear!" she replied.

"Woah, woah, woah." Hunter put his hand up in defense, stopping his daughter from rambling on. "What do you mean it isn't your fault?"

"That's all I was able to get out of her as well," May added. "I tried asking Lilly too, but she seems a little traumatized." May pulled Lilly closer as she buried her face into her grandmother's shoulder.

"So you got into a fight?" Bobbi asked, crossing her arms. Isabelle slowly nodded her head. "Honey, you know what I said about using the fighting skills I've taught you only for self-defense and nothing else?"

"And that's exactly what I did!" Bella argued. "I was protecting Lilly from getting beat up by those mean fifth graders!"

Bobbi looked towards Lilly. "Is that true? Were those older kids hurting you? I promise that we're not mad at either of you, we just need to know the full story."

Lilly nodded. "They cornered me and started calling me mean names. And then the tall boy shoved me against the wall and hit me in the face, calling me dumb and stupid."

May was obviously shifting her seat, not happy at all by the treatment of the young girl. At this point, she didn't blame Bella for what she had done.

"Yeah," Bella added. "I saw this happening as I was walking through the hallway. I pulled that boy off of her. I asked him to stop hurting her before I did anything, but then he called Lilly... something else."

"And that was?" Hunter prompted.

Isabelle sat there, looking down at her hands. "Um, I'm not allowed to say that word to begin with, so I don't think I should tell you..."

Both Bobbi and Hunter nodded, also feeling slight anger in them because some kid just decided to call Lillianne a horrible name, especially knowing that Lilly most definitely didn't do anything towards the bullies that prompted them to treat her that way, especially since they were basically two years older than her.

"That's when I punched him in the mouth," Isabelle said. "He and his friends all punched me back, but I couldn't just let them do those things to Lilly. I'm really sorry, mom and dad. I'll take whatever punishment, but I don't regret doing what I did."

Bobbi let out a sigh, seeing how Isabelle was right now. She was a lot like her parents, wanting to protect those she was close with. Bobbi placed a hand on her shoulder. "Bella, take a breath." Isabelle inhaled deeply and let the breath out slowly, letting herself calm down. "I understand where you are coming from, and honestly, I would've done the same thing."

"What?"

Hunter nodded. "You were using your skills to protect a loved one," Hunter explained. "And it's not like you were the one who started the fight in the first place, so I can't say I'm exactly mad. Sure, we would've liked today's events to play out differently, but you did what you had to do in order to protect Lilly."

"And you did," Lilly told Bella. She gave her a smile in return. "I'm really glad you're my cousin."

"Me too. I promise I'll always protect you. Since my mom taught me to fight, you don't have to be scared of big kids when you're with me."

Lillianne looked up to May. "Can you teach me to fight too, Lao Lao?"

May chuckled. "Um, I would love to, but I promised your mom that I wouldn't teach you anything until you and your brother are at least ten."

Lilly grumbled in response, but she still had a small smile on her face.

"But did you kick those big kids' asses?" Hunter asked Isabelle.

"Lance Hunter! This is an elementary school!" Bobbi exclaimed before turning to their daughter. "But seriously, did you beat his ass?"

Isabelle nodded proudly. "You bet I did."

May laughed again. "God, she really is your guys' kid."

"And laughing and smiling May is something I will never get over no matter how long it's been since we all reunited," Hunter added.

They all shared another laugh before the principal called them all in.


Everyone took seats in the chairs in front of the principal's desk.

"Where are Mr. and Mrs. Johnson?" the principal asked. "I would expect both parents of all parties to be in attendance."

"Lillianne's parents are on a classified mission for SHIELD right now," May explained. "My name is Melinda May, and I am her and Michael's legal guardians until their parents get back to their mission. You can also find my name and number under emergency contacts for both the twins."

Everyone was glad that SHIELD was reinstated as a legal agency again, so they didn't have to hide their identities. It also made explaining things to others a little easier.

The principal eyed May before searching her in their system. She was pretty shocked to actually see her name as the first emergency contact after Daisy and Daniel. She also saw that she was a professor at the Coulson Academy, which was one of the top schools in the country now, so she shut up really quick.

The principal then went over the events and both of the girls explain both of their sides. She had already heard from the fifth graders, so she needed their statements. Thankfully, she was a little nicer than she when began.

"Now, I understand that what Isabelle, here, did was in defense of Lillianne, but we want you to understand that we have an absolutely no violence policy," the principal explained.

"Yes, we fully understand," Bobbi said.

"Which is why I'm only going to give her a couple of days lunch detention as opposed to suspension since she wasn't the one who started the fight. Does that seem fair, Ms. Hunter?"

Isabelle nodded. "Yes, I understand. I'll take the detention."

Bobbi and Hunter nodded. This was the daughter they knew. She always recognized if something she did was against the rules, despite that she did it for good, and she was always ready to take responsibility for her actions. They were happy they got that right with her.

"And Lillianne, those kids won't be bothering you anymore. I will be making sure of it."

"Thank you," Lilly said.

After a couple more minutes, everyone left the principal's office. Isabelle and Lillianne ran off to the cars as May, Bobbi, and Hunter walked behind them through the parking lot.

"How much do we need to bet that you're gonna search that boy and make sure he doesn't even look in Lilly's direction?" Hunter asked May.

May shrugged. "I don't know. I may be an educator now, but that doesn't mean I won't do anything to make sure my grandkids aren't being bullied or picked on."

"Oh god," Bobbi began. "Once Daisy hears about this when she gets back, she's no doubt gonna want to quake those kids' asses."

"Well, luckily, we can say our daughter took care of it for her," Hunter explained.

"I swear, she really is your kid," Bobbi said. "Always wanting to do the most to make sure the people she loves is protected."

"Eh, she gets the need to protect from you too," Hunter said. "Don't you remember Russia?"

"Whatever happened to you two fighting over who you want her to be like?" May asked. "You guys used to fight over the fact that her positive attributes came from yourselves while the negative ones came from the other parent."

"Oh, they still do that," Isabelle interjected. "I apparently have dad's hot-headedness while I have mom's stubbornness."

May nodded. "Sounds about right."

"Okay, fine," Hunter said. "Alright, get in the car, girlie. We're getting you ice cream."

"Yay!"

"Come on, Lilly. Let's get back home to your brother and sister, and maybe get the swelling under your eye to go down a bit before your mom and dad get home and want to beat my ass."

"Okay," Lilly replied as she skipped to May's car. "Bye, Auntie Bobbi! Bye, Uncle Hunter!"

Both waved at the eight-year-old as they got in their car. Sure, they were to have a more serious talk with Isabelle about repercussions, considering they knew about horrible, life-changing repercussions, but right now, they were just happy their daughter was able to stand up for someone who couldn't. She truly did want to be a protector of those she loved.

She was definitely their daughter.