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“Hey, Yaya.” You said as you adjusted one of the wigs at Yaya’s booth, smiling as she smiled at you.

“Hi __y/n__!” Yaya said cheerfully, grabbing a lollipop from a bag underneath the table.

She popped the pink end into her mouth and sucked on it, flashing you another smile as you reached into a box to get a print out. You arranged them neatly on the table and chuckled in amusement as a cute little girl stepped nervously up the table, shyly asking Yaya for a picture.

Yaya agreed immediately, stepping away from the table and placing an arm around the girl while her mother snapped a photo. The girl squealed quietly as she walked away with her mother, practically bouncing in excitement.

That was one of the things you adored about Yaya, she was so genuine. She was sweet and nice to everyone, always willing to take a picture or sign a photo.

“How do I look?” Yaya asked, spinning around for you as she was preparing to leave the booth again.

You eyed her Amber from Sucker Punch costume up and down, from the green jacket to the black underwear to the fishnet tights.

“You look stunning, as always.” You said truthfully, eyes lingering just a tad longer than necessary on her chest area. It wasn’t a surprise to you that you had developed a crush on Yaya, you had been enchanted with her before you started working for her, and after getting to know her, it only increased.

Yaya smiled at the compliment, walking over to you and giving you a quick hug, before taking her sucker out of her mouth and looking at you appraisingly.

“Before I go, would you mind doing me a favor?” Yaya asked as she gave her sucker another quick lick.

“Not at all, what do you need?”

“Could you hold this for me?” Yaya asked, gesturing at her lollipop.

“Sure? How am I suppos-“ Yaya cut off your question by popping the candy in your mouth. You stared as she bounded away, __e/c__ eyes comically wide. When she was a good ten feet away, she turned around and winked at you, before turning back around and continuing her exploration of the con.

------------------------

When Yaya returned half an hour later, despite your best efforts, you only had a little bit of your/Yaya’s sucker left.

“I’ll take that back now.” Yaya said, eyes flicking to the lollipop in your mouth.

“There’s not much left.” You said apologetically as you handed her the stick, where only a teeny tiny piece of candy remained.

“That’s okay.” Yaya said as she offered you a smile. “There’s something else I’ve been dying to get a taste of.” Yaya continued, eyes watching your lips.

“O-oh. Do you want me to go get you some lunch?” You asked nervously, already knowing that that wasn’t what she had in mind.

Yaya shook her head, getting closer and leaning in until her lips were mere centimeters away from yours.

“I’d rather taste you.” Yaya admitted, eyes silently asking if this was okay.

You leaned forward the needed amount, your lips meeting hers in a chaste kiss, a mix of lipstick and candy.

Yaya broke away after a moment, licking her lips in thought.

“Just as I suspected, you’re definitely sweeter than any candies I know.”

You blushed bright red, screaming on the inside because YAYA HAN JUST KISSED YOU AND YOU JUST KISSED YAYA HAN AND YAYA HAN JUST CALLED YOU SWEET.

You smiled shyly at her before crouching down and digging two lollipops out from the bag, offering one to Yaya and keeping one for yourself.

“Care to test that theory again?”

End.   <3
I do not own Yaya Han, she owns herself. I also do not own the picture, all rights go to their rightful owners. I also do not claim that Yaya is homosexual (she's engaged to a man), this story is pure fiction.

I DON'T THINK I GOT YAYA'S PERSONALITY RIGHT AT ALL I'M SO SORRY

But yeah I love Yaya a lot and I didn't want to do my homework so I attempted a thing.

IT'S SO SHITTY I'M SORRY

And now I really need to go do my homework, night guys!   :iconamazingheartplz:
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Et voilà ma dernière participation pour le concours de DameOdessa CONCOURS: dernier jour pour participer!:star:DERNIERE EXTENSION!:star:
Après avoir subi des tentatives de corruption par gaufres parfum fleur d'oranger, été menacée par des yeux de pitou énamourés et avoir subi un chantage au suicide par pendaison avec spaghetto trop cuit, j'ai décidé de rajouter encore une semaine au concours (le poll ne m'a pas vraiment aidée 18 voix contre, 19 pour ^^;).
Le concours se finit donc
:star:18 MAI 2014 (à 23:59 heure française):star:
Mais alors là je préviens inutile de me demander un rab de temps sinon vous pourriez pour la première fois voir une Odessa, très mais alors, très en colère è_é
Note désabusée d'Urdryamnash: "C'est fou comme tes menaces sont crédibles..."
:star:Une place en plus sur le podium!:star:
40 participations! Pour moi, c'est simplement incroyable :faint:
Du coup, forcément, je peux me p
(Postée au finish! Woohoo!)

Pour le coté technique, je ne comprends pas trop ce qui c'est passé car la conversion en PDF m'a bousillé la mise en page, j'ai eu beau ré essayer plusieurs fois rien n'y fait. Je me demande si ce n’est pas lié au fait que j'ai une version d'essai gratuite du programme... Bref.. désolée...

Voici donc la troisième et dernière partie de mes participations au concours de DameOdessa . J'ai voulu les construire comme un triptyque: l'arrivée (avec "Bienvenue en Rodinia") / la découverte (avec le "Guide de Rodinia") / et l'adaptation (avec cette partie là)

Cette partie se déroule donc quelques années après l'arrivée des Pards sur les Terres Lacerées. ils ont commencé à s’adapter, à prendre possession de leur nouveau domaine, mais une menace rôde dans l'ombre et mes chachats n'auront d'autre solution que de demander l'aide de leurs amis autochtones, la Milice du Crépuscule!

Un petit résumé de qui sont mes personnages:

Katy Parduncia est une jeune  changeforme élevée par une famille humaine. Adoptée quand elle était enfant par Dana et Ivan qui la protégèrent d'un père abusif coupable du meurtre de sa mère et de sa soeur, elle a grandi sans rien savoir de ses origines et de sa nature profonde. Plus tard, elle partira, arpentant le monde pour trouver des réponses à ses questions sur sa nature duale. Son départ pourt les Terres ne sera pas volontaire: c’est Baireï qui a décidé de cet exode pour sauver son peuple d'un monde mourant, et le choc sera très important pour elle, mettant ses capacités d'adaptation à rude épreuve
Katy est une botaniste de talent, ce qui lui permet d'avoir une situation plutôt aisée bien qu'elle ne soit pas vénale.
Enthousiaste et optimiste, elle est courageuse, sociable, joueuse et énergique mais est aussi volatile, obstinée, impulsive, prompte à se vexer et incapable de suivre des ordres. Elle est aussi extrêmement curieuse et affectueuse et adore avoir des contacts physiques avec ceux qui l'entourent.
Elle n'est pas spécialement jolie mais a un beau corps, qu'elle entretient. Ses plus beaux atouts restent ses yeux et son sourire.

Elle ne sait pas s'habiller (plus précisément, elle a tendance à s'habiller de façon assez vulgaire et tape à l'oeil), elle adore flirter et boire. Elle ne supporte pas la cigarette mais est complètement accro au café.


Baireï Kalienski est un chef de mafia russe reconverti dans les affaires (tout en restant parfois à l’extrême limite de la légalité). C'est un enfoiré et il ne s'en cache pas, mais c'est le genre d'enfoiré qu'on adore détester. Charmeur, intelligent, il est déterminé et courageux mais est aussi égoiste, cynique et capable de mentir sans aucun scrupule. Il est aussi extrêmement cultivé, passionné par l'art et les voyages.
Contrairement à Katy, il maitrise parfaitement sa double nature, passant d'une forme à l'autre avec aisance. La couleur sombre de sa fourrure l'a fait surnommé le Tigre Rouge (et non, ça n'a aucun rapport avec le fait qu'il soit russe!).
Férocement dévoué à son peuple, il est prêt à tout pour les protéger, un sentiment plus né de sa possessivité que d'une quelconque éthique (en tout cas, selon lui).
C'est un grand séducteur et la relation qu'il entretient avec Katy est très libre: Katy n'est pas son épouse mais sa femelle, tout comme il n'est pas son époux, mais son mâle. Ils vivent très bien cette situation, chacun d'entre eux apportant à l'autre ce que personne ne pourrait leur offrir.
Il a monté sur les Terres avec l'aide des gobelins une petite compagnie d'importation qui lui permet de se contruire un réseau de contacts à travers tout le continent et de veiller de loin au bien être des siens.

Les Terres Lacérées appartiennent à DameOdessa .
Katy Parduncia, Baireï Kalienski et leurs petits @ spadiekitchenqueen



Comme toujours, commentaires, critiques constructives et feedbacks sont plus que bienvenus, merci :iconifeelfluffyplz:

Les terres Lacerées:
Heroes of the Lands by DameOdessa

Vous pouvez retrouver l'image de preview en meilleure qualité ici The red tiger and his silver lady by spadiekitchenqueen


Plus d'infos sur mes personnages:
Bienvenue en Rodinia by spadiekitchenqueen Katy by SYoshiko Eat my manly mojo, mortals! by spadiekitchenqueen
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The loudspeakers in the Vladivostok Shatterdome blared, the dreaded news echoing through spartan grey corridors. Technicians dropped whatever they were doing and scurried to their appointed positions. It took mere moments for the aging speakers in the mess hall to take up the message.

"Category 4 Kaiju detected. Designation: Charybdis."

Sasha growled like an animal, standing up from the table. She had neatly combed blonde hair, bordering on white. "Another, only three weeks later. In the middle of lunch. Inconvenient." Aleksis rose to stand beside her, an enormous bear of a man with a shock of black hair on his chin. His bowl of mushroom soup forgotten, he followed as she strode out of the mess hall.

A technician ran up to them with a tablet and gave them a salute. "Lieutenants!" he cried. Sasha didn't even slow down, leaving Aleksis to take the tablet and dismiss the man with a nod. "You really should pay other people some heed," he said. She didn't reply. It wasn't the first time he'd said such a thing, and they both knew it wouldn't be the last.

The pair strode across the hangar in lockstep, watching as their Jaeger, Cherno Alpha, was maneouvered into place. It stood a full two hundred and eighty feet tall, containing the sheer energy and destruction of an atomic bomb focused into an enormous metal form. With the conical head-stack silhouettted against the lights of the hangar, it was beautiful.

They entered their conn-pod together, their footsteps synchronised. They slid their feet into the boots of the drive-suit, firmly connected to the Jaeger's systems. It took less than five minutes for the crew to equip their drivesuits; first the chest and shoulders, then the legs. The metallic spines snapped into place down their backs. Dozens of tiny cables were fed into their shoulder plates. Finally, their helmets were locked into place. The visor slid down, augmenting the inside of the pod with a variety of holographic screen and readouts. A pattern of winking lights ignited on the faceplate.

The core was engaged, a massive reactor based on designs from nuclear submarines. The charges on the Tesla cells were checked and double-checked. Fuel reserves were topped up, and the synapse system was checked for leaks. Every possible precaution was taken to prevent another disaster. Another Russian Jaeger, Eden Assassin, had fallen in 2021 due to a catastrophic fuel containment failure. Such an event could not be allowed to recur.

Green lights flickered across the controls. Cherno Alpha was ready. The pilots felt the floor beneath them shudder as the Jaeger was moved, wheeled platforms bringing it outside the Shatterdome, where specially modified helicopters would fly it to the site of the Kaiju attack.

"Engaging neural handshake."

Their minds connected in a bluish blur of memory and emotion. As husband and wife, they had spent much time together. Seeing the same situation from two vantage points simultaneously was often frightening to inexperienced Rangers, but not to the crew of Cherno Alpha. They had seen off a dozen Kaiju assaults, with six recorded kills. Nothing could startle them.

meeting in the academy / dinner together / first Kaiju kill / marriage

Joyful as the memories were, focusing in on any one of them would cause the neural bridge to destabilise and eventually collapse. Happiness had the same emotional strength as fear. Wordless, Sasha and Aleksis floated, Drifting, snatches of memories like scraps of paper flying past.

"Left hemisphere calibrated. Right hemisphere calibrated."

Aleksis and Sasha looked up together, seeing through the eyes of their Jaeger, feeling its enormous steel limbs as their own. They gave a thin, grim smile.

"Cherno Alpha, ready for deployment," Sasha said.

~

"Loccent, where is the target?"

There was a pause from the other end of the radio. "Approaching Kharbarovsk. We should reach it soon after it hits the city. About ten minutes to drop. Cold weather, so no need to worry about overheating."

"Good. Drop us as close as you can to the bastard."

~

"As you can see, the Kaiju is nearing Kharbarovsk. It's being called Charybdis. Pretty large - a Category 4. It's already walked through a couple of small settlements, and we can hardly begin to estimate the property damage - Hold on, there's something - We're being asked to leave the area, as there is a Jaeger inbound. I'm getting word Cherno Alpha is being deployed. Stay tuned, this is going to be one hell of a show!"

~

Charybdis loomed over the houses of Kharbarovsk. The sirens had sounded some time ago. Most of the population were already hidden away in bunkers or had simply left town. Enraged by the lack of prey, it slammed through buildings, toppling structures in showers of grey dust mixed with the still-falling snow. It exhaled, foul breath clouding in the air.

There was a sound from behind it, the battlecry of some strange war-god. It turned in time to see a formidable foe plummet to the ground, a monster of metal with a conical head.

At last. A being that could challenge it. Charybdis roared and thrashed at the ground.

~

Cherno Alpha straightened up, motors in its limbs shifting into position for combat. Sasha and Aleksis took their first good look at their opponent. It was a Category 4, and that meant it was dangerous. It stood almost as tall as their Jaeger, but was considerablely wider. It was reptilian, like a bipedal iguana with dark bluish-green skin covered in glowing lines. Kaiju usually had six limbs, but this one only seemed to have four. Its head was thin and pointed, with two clusters of glowing eyes on either side. It roared, exposing a mass of iridescent tongues whipping around like tentacles. Cherno did not bother to taunt its opponent and charged, every step leaving a crater in the ground.

The Russian Jaeger swung its blocky fist, the entire weight of the charge directed into a single punch. It caught the Kaiju in the side of the head, making it squeal and stagger backwards. Cherno followed it up with a blow to the gut, knocking Charybdis back into an apartment block. It fell down onto the monster's head in a rain of bricks and cement.

The Kaiju rose to its feet again slowly, dazed by the beating it was receiving from Cherno. Aleksis laughed. "This one isn't so-"

Suddenly, it pounced onto them, moving faster than should have been possible. The Jaeger fell backwards onto an overpass, hitting the ground in a cascade of broken concrete and wailing car alarms. Charybdis roared into the cameras on their headstack, clamping its jaws on them. The rangers' view was obscured by the slithering mass of tongues, an insane caustic squid, acidic saliva eating away slowly but steadily at their hull.

True to their training, the Kaidanovskies did not panic. Aleksis reached down to press a button on the console with his free hand. "Activating incinerator turbines," he said. The cylinders on Cherno's shoulders began to whir, spinning faster and faster. Unnoticed by the Kaiju, a hellish red glow grew until they erupted in gouts of flame with a loud whoomph. A spew of igniferous chemicals powerful enough to melt through steel ate into Charybdis' flesh. It reared back, giving Cherno enough room to stand up. It delivered another punch, keeping the Kaiju unbalanced and confused.

"Deploying sluggernaut!" Sasha cried. A dense cylinder of metal slid out of Cherno's right arm and slotted into place between the Jaeger's fingers. With its right fist now a completely solid mass of metal, it grabbed hold of Charybdis' head by a horn and slammed the sluggernaut into its face. Once, twice, the blows impacted like an oncoming train. The Kaiju scratched at Cherno's headstack, unable to find a vulnerable area. It ducked under the third punch and clawed at the Jaeger's left shoulder, its talons catching in the incinerator turbine.

There was an incredible explosion, throwing both Jaeger and Kaiju back. The titans stumbled away, disorientated. Cherno crashed into a parking lot and used the structure to hold itself upright. Sasha groaned. "One turbine destroyed, and the other might explode if we try to use it. We need to finish this one off." Aleksis nodded.

They regained their composure as the Kaiju clambered to its feet. One of its claws was blackened and burned, a mirror of the darkening sky above them. The snow started to fall faster, eddying away in air currents behind their Jaeger's limbs when it moved. Charybdis opened its burnt mouth to roar, but then did something unexpected. It flexed its arms and spread some sort of iridescent wings, like an alien peacock's tail erupting from its back. The patterns swirled mesmerisingly in blue and green.

Sasha and Aleksis blinked together, hypnotised. Snow swirled in front of the pattern in just the wrong way, breaking the illusion, and suddenly the monster was in front of them. They blocked its first swipe with their arm, but the second hit one of their main camera-banks, and the third came dangerously close to piercing their conn-pod. Struggling to stay upright, Aleksis hit another key on the console. Twenty-foot spikes erupted from the soles of Cherno Alpha's feet and slid into the frozen earth, pinning it to the spot. Now unable to knock over its foe, Charybdis was visibly panicking. Cherno grabbed the creature by the neck with one hand, wrapped the other fist around its tail, and lifted the Kaiju into the air. The Kaidanovskies felt the pressure on their Jaeger as motors strained to lift the enormous mass. They brought the squirming monster over their headstack and threw it.

Charybdis landed in a frozen lake, shattering the ice instantly. The near-zero water seeped into its wounds, causing what must have been excruciating pain. It tried to open its hypnotic wing again, but Cherno ripped a fifty-foot slab of concrete from a nearby building and hurled it after the Kaiju. It hit the monster in the head, distratcing it for a few moments. That was all the opening Cherno needed to sprint up to it, deliver another punch to its gut, and grab hold of the wings. Charybdis let out a scream that shattered windows as the Jaeger ripped the membranes from its back in a shower of blue blood.

"You're not going to get another chance at that," Sasha growled. She tapped at a button with her free hand. "Telsa fists charging!"

Charybdis, like every Kaiju before it, refused to die quietly. It screeched, tearing a chunk of metal from Cherno's headstack with its claws. Before Cherno could retaliate, it took another huge piece of rubble and backhanded Cherno with it, then slammed the debris into Cherno's torso. A lucky hit from a piece of a steel beam protruding from the rubble tore a hole in the wall of the conn-pod. Searing cold Russian air whistled in through the gap.

Cherno responded by raising one of its massive legs and kicking Charybdis as if it was a misbehaving dog. The Kaiju scrambled to its feet, still hissing and roaring. The Jaeger activated the foghorns again and slammed its fists together. It was a taunt that the Kaiju could not resist, and it charged forward.

"Telsa cells fully charged," the computer reported.

Even after years of neural connection, where your partner could hear your every thought, there was still a certain visceral thrill to be gained from bellowing during combat. "Now!" Sasha shouted. Cherno spread its arms, the Telsa cells humming with charge, before bringing them together on Charybdis' head with a mighty crash. There was a roar like thunder as the Telsa fists discharged their payload, sending a ludicrous electric charge straight through the Kaiju's brain. It plummetted to the ground, unconscious for a few seconds. It was the chance the Kaidanovskies had been waiting for.

Cherno stomped over to the downed Kaiju, electricity still crackling around its head. It lay in a pool of its own blue blood, which was melting the snow around it. The Jaeger lifted one foot and planted it on Charybdis' chest. Sasha waited for the creature to begin to wake up. She waited until she could see its eyes focus on Cherno before pressing the switch that deployed the stabilising spikes. The steel slid through the Kaiju's chest, piercing at least one of its hearts. It gave a final death-rattle before its head slumped to the ground.

With the death of the Kaiju, Sasha's bloodlust subsided. She looked around, at the snow falling ever faster from the sky. Cherno gave one final foghorn blast, serving as the all-clear signal for the people of Kharbarovsk. They emerged from the shelter, looking both with horror at the destruction, and with pride at their Jaeger, their salvation.

"It's getting pretty cold in here," Aleksis said, turning his attention to the gap in the wall of the conn-pod.

"We're used to it," Sasha said with a rare smile. "Besides, we need to cool Cherno down somehow."

Its task at an end, Cherno Alpha stood still while the people cheered.
I loved this movie, and I loved writing this. I hear tell that the extended cut on the DVD will contain about an hour of new footage, including more Cherno Alpha and Crimson Typhoon scenes. I can't wait.

Charybdis is named after a creature from Greek mythology, and is based on a sketch of a Kaiju from Man, Machines and Monsters, the accompanying book of concept art and other information. It's expensive, but worth it.

I made up the bit about Eden Assassin. With the novel coming out, there's a lot of information about the Kaiju War I've yet to analyse. It could have happened completely differently.

Everything Cherno does here is mentioned in the background texts. It's a pity there's so little of it in the film.
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Universe: Iron Man MCU Pre-Avengers
Pairing:
Tony Stark x Scarlett Damien (OC)
Theme:
Action, Drama, Plot-Heavy Romance

--------

            When Scarlett regained consciousness it wasn’t at all how she had hoped or what she had expected. Instead, it was thanks to her body sending panicked signals of pain every which way. Eyes snapping open she immediately regretted giving into her instincts. The ice cold water she’d been dunked in burned her eyes and she instantly closed them and shouted in pain, another action she regretted considering she was under water.

            There was a hand on the back of her head, gripping her hair to hold her underneath since she’d tried to pull away from what was causing her pain. Choking on the water that had passed through her lips in her attempt to cry in anguish, Scarlett did the only thing she could think of. She thrashed violently. Throwing her arms out she reached for the edge of whatever was holding the water, it was smooth and metallic and just as cold as the water inside of it.

            Still it was her ticket to being able to breathe, and the water in her lungs, as cold as it was, was creating a panic she couldn’t escape. Fighting the hand on the back of her head, Scarlett kicked at whoever was behind her and swung her arms wildly. She at last managed to break free of the grip in her hair and then finally escaped the water. Inhaling greedily, she found there was too much water in her throat to breathe so instead leaned hunched forward and coughed, spitting out as much of the water as she could before it made its way into her lungs. It was hard enough to breathe before she’d been dunked under water and had ice cold water in her windpipe, with it had been nearly impossible. Still was as she coughed and gagged, unable to do much else than that.

            Usually in this situation, Scarlett would be on her guard and ready to fight her way out. She’d know in an instant how many villains were in the room, what she would have to do in order to escape and would locate her best exit. But Scarlett wasn’t herself. The fight with Scott had broken her spirit and her arm was throbbing miserably thanks to how she’d thrashed about. No one had bothered to tend to the gunshot wound so it’d crusted over and there was blood dried along her arm. At least it had stopped bleeding on its own.

            But whoever was torturing Scarlett, and as she finally looked up she saw that it was Mikhail, was well on their guard. She had been allowed to step back and breathe since she had been startled awake. Blinking her sore and swollen eyes she stared up at Mikhail, still hunched over. Her stomach was tender and aggrieved from being kicked around so many times and her flesh burned from the temperature difference outside of the cold water. She shook her head to try and ward off the pins and needles traveling throughout her face.

            Mikhail was staring at her expectantly, no emotion behind his gray eyes as he watched her every move. The defensive part of her mind was telling her she should say something snarky about her condition but instead she coughed and felt water dripping over her lips instead of words. Her reflexes weren’t working with her, not yet. The fight on the suburban streets of Russia had taken too much out of her and she wasn’t recovering as quickly as she had hoped. It was an unfortunate consequence of getting older, being kicked around, and being sick.

            “Can you breathe?” Mikhail asked, leaning over and looking mildly startled that she hadn’t lashed out at him. The Scarlett he’d crossed a month ago would’ve come at him the moment she caught her breath. Something had changed.

            Reluctantly she nodded, trying to gather her bearings. “Good.” Standing upright, Mikhail straightened his sport coat and nodded to a pair of guards nearby. Each guard grabbed one of her arms and dragged her back to the basin that she’d broken free from. It was filled with water and ice and she resisted instantly, recalling the pain of the water in her lungs. Twisting her hand free from one of the guards, she stomped on the foot of the second.

            Mikhail grabbed her hair and the gunshot wound on her left arm to weaken her. She howled in agony as the crusted over wound burst from the pressure of his hand and bled freely again. Before she could retaliate her head was shoved far beneath the water that she had desperately hoped to avoid. This time she’d at least had warning so she was able to hold her breath and close her eyes tightly. They had still burned from the freezing water getting in them before but now she would at least be prepared for the shock, depending on how long they chose to hold her underwater that was. Clearly this torture had been designed to wake her up, but she didn’t quite understand why it was happening in the first place. She’d fully expected to come to in a drug ridden stupor after some procedure had been done to her.

            If she had to guess only a few hours had passed since the fight in Suburbia, if that.

            Eyes clamped tightly shut, Scarlett’s lungs begged for air much quicker than she’d thought they would. The ice water was making her shiver and tremble and though she shoved and pulled at those holding her, she was only pushed further beneath the water. If they didn’t let her up soon she’d have to inhale and she’d already almost drowned once in the last ten minutes, she had no desire to do it again. The longer she struggled to breathe, the worse she felt. Her stomach churned and felt sick, her throat was burning with vomit she refused to release, and her heart was pounding so hard in her ears she was sure it was going to explode or stop dead.

            Just when she thought she was going to have no choice but to inhale and deeply at that, she was pulled up from the water by her hair. The tug hurt her already pounding head, but being under that water, even for just a few seconds had properly woken her up from the unconsciousness that had lingered on her thoughts. When she was brought up for air she breathed in greedily. Mikhail released her hair but the guard next to her was still holding her so she wouldn’t escape.

            Angry, Scarlett let him get close enough to check her pulse and then grabbed onto his wrist. She twisted it unnaturally and swung him in between her and the basin. She then head butted him hard in the face, knocking him back and almost sending him flying into the ice water. The second guard grabbed for her but she stumbled sloppily out of the way just in time and knocked him hard in the jaw. Unfortunately her left arm buckled under the contact and she saw stars. It had been easy to forget that her arm was injured when she’d been so panicked underneath the cold water. Still she somehow managed to be on her guard as the first guard regained himself.

            But Mikhail was quick to react and grabbed her hair with unnatural strength. She was dragged back to the water basin that she hadn’t managed to move far enough away from despite her attempts. He was cursing in Russian but Scarlett wasn’t listening and only knew bits and pieces of the language so it was impossible for her to translate more than common swear words. Stomping on his foot, Scarlett grunted as the guards grabbed her arms again to keep her from thrashing. He grunted in annoyance as she slammed his foot a second time but persisted. Mikhail purposely smashed her head on the top of the basin to teach her what would happen if she continued to resist.

            Dizzy with blood dripping into her eye, Scarlett braced herself for contact with the ice water again, rushing to hold her breath so that she would last as long as she was sure she would be held under. Mikhail pushed her under the water with more force than the previous times. Half of her body was practically underneath the water from how hard she was being shoved. The little remaining air she had managed to hold escaped her lips in bubbles and she struggled against Mikhail’s grip in order to break free to no avail. She couldn’t handle being dunked under again after this. Something in her head was sending off panicked alarms, warning her that if she went under a fourth time she wouldn’t be able to hold her breath and would actually drown.

            When Mikhail lifted her back up again, her head spun. Would she really be able to fight like this? She’d hoped that after she’d succumbed to the beating Scott had given her she would have some time to recuperate and reevaluate her situation. Twisting free now that she was slippery and wet was easy enough to do, so Scarlett broke away from the men holding her arms and turned, swinging blindly toward Mikhail.

            But her balance was worse than she thought and she missed entirely and stumbled backwards. Trying again to hit him, Scarlett found that she was unable to and placed her hands on her knees, coughing up the water that had gotten into her lungs the first time she’d been dunked beneath the freezing water. Her head was pounding from the constant temperature changes and her teeth were chattering when she wasn’t coughing. Chest aching, Scarlett couldn’t find any relief despite how much she continued to cough. Her body was shivering and in over drive, the water having drenched her black coat, dripping down the rest of her and making her nerves twitch.

            Standing up straight she decided that staying on the defensive was the right idea, considering she had little to no strength left. But it only took a few seconds for her to lean over and start coughing again. The cold feeling of the water that she’d inhaled wouldn’t go away and she continued to gag so hard she nearly fell over. Mikhail shook his head in disappointment, showing no other emotion than that. Then he nodded to the two masked guards, one who had his mask rolled up over his nose since Scarlett had busted his lip when she’d head butted him. The two grabbed her with ease and dragged her backwards and away from the basin. Scarlett was only partially relieved. Water torture sucked, but it was a breeze in comparison to at least at thousand other things Scarlett could think of. If she hadn’t been sick, then it wouldn’t have been nearly as much of a struggle as it had been.

            Apparently she had pissed MedCo off enough that they weren’t going to spare her any suffering. Recounting the last few weeks, she could see why they wouldn’t want to keep whatever experiments they were going to do painless for her. As much as being stuck in another hellish torture sounded like a nightmare, it would at least give her the opportunity to try and escape before anything terrible had been done to her. Well, more terrible than being beaten and abused that is. Scarlett was trying to look on the bright side of things and it was much harder to do when she was being strapped to a metallic chair in the center of a room designed for imprisonment and torture. Though her head was still spinning and one eye refused to focus she managed to take in her surroundings.

            There were chains hanging from the ceiling, presumably so she could be whipped at some point. The water basin was near the door along with a table where several instruments of torture were sprawled out, she assumed to pose a threat. They likely wouldn’t leave those in there with her when they were done with her if they chose to leave her alive. She would be too much of a menace with any tool they provided her. Unfortunately, it seemed that MedCo had learned that lesson twice now in the past. They’d held her once in Afghanistan and while she had been helpless for weeks she had still managed escape, by mere determination and then again in South Africa where they had chosen to provide her with the very tools that had aided her on her way out.

            She guessed she wouldn’t be afforded that luxury a third time. Her ankles were bound to the chair she sat on and her hands were tied behind her back so she wouldn’t be able to lash out again. Her left arm was done for the time being anyway. Even though she tried to move it, and her fingers obeyed the order, she couldn’t feel them well enough to get anything accomplished. She guessed that her grip strength was going to only get worse as the blood dripped down her arm. Plus she was so damn cold that she could barely feel her fingers on her right hand either. Never in her life had she wished to get rid of her jacket so desperately.

            Finally able to put the room back in focus, Scarlett realized the absence of the one person she had expected to be there for every moment of her torture. Scott was nowhere to be found. She’d really expected him to be there as the person to comfort her so that he could finally rescue that damsel in distress he’d claimed to clean up after for years. Anger surged within her again at the betrayal of someone she’d made the executive decision to trust. Talk about causing major issues, how was she supposed to trust anyone after this? But where was the slimy bastard if not watching her? If she got out of there, she was going to hunt him down and show him just how vicious she could be.

            Tony had once accused her of being obsessed with vengeance.

            Back then he’d been wrong but now she was so consumed with vengeance she found that she was gritting her teeth at the mere idea of finding Scott. How could she have ever felt guilty for what had become of him? He’d brought so much suffering down on her head over the years and didn’t bat an eye! Why couldn’t she have been this angry when she’d first found out… and more importantly when she’d had a gun?

            “Miss Damien.” Mikhail finally spoke, drawing her attention back to him and away from the spot in front of her she’d chosen to focus on during her musings. She hadn’t even bothered examining the left side of the room after she’d realized Scott wasn’t there. Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of a cot that looked eerily familiar to the world’s least comfortable cot that had been provided for her during her imprisonment in Afghanistan. Did every terrorist organization shop at the same Ikea or something?

            Scarlett finally turned her attention fully on Mikhail since he seemed to be waiting on her to do so. Cocking an eyebrow curiously she coughed and waited for him to continue. Whatever he had to say Scarlett didn’t care. She was so done with MedCo and the people who ran it that she felt there was very little left to say. The game of cat and mouse had ended and it had been made clear just what role she’d been given.

            Tony was right. She should’ve involved S.H.I.E.L.D. and she should’ve let him help when he offered the chance. They could’ve gotten it done from the safety of his basement workshop together. Instead she’d insisted on pulling old tricks and chasing after ghosts when she could barely keep her mind straight and get some damn sleep.

            “No greeting? Awfully rude, aren’t we?”

            “You just stuck my head in a pool of ice water. I think if it’s a contest you won.” Scarlett managed to find her voice at last which was scratchy from having coughed so much. Plus there was still that nasty cling of near frozen water in her throat that was threatening her windpipe.

            “Ailing and frail and still haven’t lost that spunk of yours. It is a relief to see. When you missed with that sloppy punch I was starting to worry about you.” Mikhail didn’t look worried at all, in fact he was stoic. Once again Scarlett became nervous of what he was capable of. He’d never gotten enraged with her. He’d never even rose his voice to her. Instead he’d remained calm through every confrontation and had barely blinked an eye when she had been getting the best of Scott for the brief few seconds she’d managed to gain the upper hand.

            Sociopaths were scary as hell and Scarlett was not at all pleased to be caught in the grasp of one.

            “Well, you know me… people pleaser and all.” Scarlett coughed, clearing her throat of the ever annoying cling that made it harder to breathe.

            “I have a few questions for you, Miss Damien. The next few minutes will be as painful as you choose for them to be.”

            “Oh goodie. This should be great.” Scarlett grumbled, closing her eyes. She was never good at this part of being held captive. Interrogations never ended well for Scarlett, not in a single situation she could think of. Even spirited debates usually ended badly for her most of the time. It wasn’t like she could help the insulting things that came out of her mouth faster than her brain could think them up. Sometimes being quick witted was a massive curse.

            “What is it that Tony Stark knows about us?” Mikhail stood in front of her, his arms crossed over his chest. The guards stood on either side of her and waited for her to strike out. Apparently Mikhail had learned a little bit at long last when it came to dealing with Scarlett’s mannerisms.

            “What?” Scarlett furrowed her brow, trying to wrap her mind around the question “What do you mean? What does Stark have to do with this?” Tony’s name was one she was hoping she wouldn’t hear. It was as she feared. He was too far involved now to get out scot free.

            “What have you told him? How did you get in contact with him in the first place? Your escape in South Africa, you can’t expect me to believe that was coincidence. Iron Man shows up on the same day you blow Erick’s brains out…”

            “Have you ever considered that maybe he’s just much smarter than you think he is? I thought he worked for you back then, so I didn’t tell him a damn thing.” Scarlett wasn’t exactly lying when it came to that part of the story. Tony had shown up in South Africa on his own volition after having discovered that his ex-business partner Obadiah Stane had been working with the company under his nose to smuggle out munitions from Stark Industries and sell them for an expanded profit to terrorist organizations. Tony had been trying to make amends for the wrongs he’d done over the years including having ignored that his weapons had ended up in the hands of people who had no problem harming women and children as well as American soldiers.

            It was simply coincidence that he’d picked Scarlett up out of the desert.

            Wasn’t it?

            Now was not the time for Scarlett to be questioning the validity behind Tony’s story. She trusted him, didn’t she? But then again she’d trusted Scott and this was the third time he’d managed to put her in a prison cell.

            She’d trusted him and look where it had gotten her.

            “I told you not to take me for a fool.” Mikhail spat his words. Was Scarlett finally irritating him? This was both a comfort and a threat for Scarlett. She had barely said anything and he was practically growling at her. Maybe the menacing glare he threw her was a design meant to threaten her. Either way, she wasn’t going to show him that it bothered her. Besides, she was too busy over-thinking everything to care.

            “Trust me, I know you’re not a fool. But even so what does it matter what Tony knows? I’m obviously the bigger threat here.” Scarlett’s head was pounding for a variety of reasons. The bump on the top of her head from being smacked against the basin of ice water was throbbing unpleasantly.

            “You were in contact with S.H.I.E.L.D. the other morning. What is it you told them when you met with their little agent? On that ship you burned to the ground setting us back a year in experiments… what did you show them from within?” This time Scarlett stayed quiet. MedCo was panicking! But why?

            She thought they didn’t care much about anonymity anymore! Considering they’d poisoned how many people in the last few weeks, she didn’t think that stealth was their number one concern. Attacking Tony Stark at a charity benefit weeks ago with robots, making no attempts to disguise who they were or why they were there wasn’t exactly the move made by a group of people trying to remain in the shadows.

            It seemed like Mikhail didn’t exactly agree with some of the decisions that were being made by his peers or at least that is what Scarlett would’ve guessed by his demeanor. Obviously something else had set him off, something bigger than Scarlett throwing a wrench in the gears of a well oiled machine. If that machine had been well oiled then he would’ve had no reason to panic when she’d informed S.H.I.E.L.D. of their attempts to play God.

            “What did you tell them?” Mikhail hunched over her, grabbing the back of the chair and sitting a good six or so inches away from her face, but letting her know he meant business. “Did you show them pictures, files, data? There’s no record of it that we can find.” Scarlett simply stared and kept her lips sealed for the time being.

            What did it matter? She was trying to rack her brain for the answer. The only thing she could think of was that she’d inadvertently found something they were still trying to hide, but what could it be? Or maybe it had something to do with the horrible zombie creature that she’d discovered on the ship and had nearly lost her life to.

            Either way, Scarlett didn’t think any answer she gave Mikhail would make things easier on her so she kept her blue eyes on him and tried to think her way out of her cell. She had to get Mikhail to leave her alone. Until he did, she wouldn’t be able to even dream of escaping. Mikhail shoved the back of the chair, making it slide against the concrete which made Scarlett’s ears ring and turned away from her. Teetering in the chair dangerously Scarlett leaned forward in hopes of preventing her balance from being lost. He walked over to the table of tools that had been laid out to use for torture and picked up a pair of scissors.

            “You know our engineers have developed some great and terrible things that can be used to get the truth from you, Scarlett. I could get answers from you in ten minutes if I wanted to brutalize you. But you are worth more than a few answers so you should consider yourself very lucky. Besides, I prefer simpler methods. They’re not as quick, but far more satisfying.” Mikhail held up the scissors so that she could see them but didn’t turn to face her. Scarlett turned her gaze instead to the guards that would surely be there to hold her down for whatever he was planning to do. Her stomach churned at the idea of being tortured again. Closing her eyes didn’t help either. All she could see were the bright lights overhead in a room where she was strapped to a table and being tortured in her mind. It was clear she’d barely recovered from the first bout of torture in Afghanistan. Would she really make it through a second time?

            Snapping her eyes open her breathing became rapid very quickly. She found herself repeating not to panic over and over again in her mind until finally the ringing in her ears that she’d suffered became the only remaining symptom of the attack. If she stayed on her guard she’d be okay. She’d gotten out of this once before, she could get out again couldn’t she?

            “I’m more hands on than most. My tools are more practical, everyday devices. Like these, for example. Not designed for torture I know, but really a beautiful device for delivering pain. One stab…” Mikhail slammed his hand against the table as if to prove a point. “Two blades so the wound is more substantial but then… then you open the handle.” He did and the heavy bladed scissor creaked purposely. “Your skin rips, organs destroyed in one blow. You will scream, Scarlett. You will beg to be free. The internal damage is astounding afterward. What was once a one inch wound is a six inch tear through muscle and flesh. The screams… they’re quite astounding.” Mikhail set down the scissors but Scarlett could feel her heart in her throat. Hell, who was she kidding? She’d been lucky to get out of Afghanistan with all of her fingers and toes, how did she expect to get out of this alive? She wouldn’t. The only thing she could think now was how desperately she did not want to be stabbed with a scissor.

            “Now, Scarlett.”

            “Miss Damien.” Scarlett internally winced. Why did she have to piss off the man holding the scissors? Why? What was it in her brain that broke when she was in these situations that caused her to be such an ass?

            “By the time I am done with you in these next few weeks, you will be praying… for your old torture. Do you remember what it was like?” Mikhail stepped slowly closer to her, staring her down. Thankfully he’d walked toward her unarmed. Maybe the threats of torture were all empty ones. She would be of no use to them with her body broken and battered, right? It was a nice theory and it was all Scarlett could cling to for the time being. “Do you remember how sick you were? They would give you just enough medicine to live and then take it away so you would suffer all over again. I remember that because I told them to kill you. I told them to make you suffer in every way imaginable. But there were lines they would not cross and I assure you Miss Damien there are no lines I will not cross. In fact, I cannot wait to watch you squirm. You were supposed to be an investment and instead you have become a liability.”

            Scarlett couldn’t listen to the threats anymore, mostly because she was sure that they were true. Every single threat he made was more than that, it was a promise to do her harm in ways that she could only imagine. Afghanistan had been terrible, worse than even her nightmares could recall, but the horrors Mikhail was capable of were even worse than that. Unable to smack or kick or do much fighting to get Mikhail to shut up, Scarlett instead spit in his face. Again, not the smartest idea she’d ever had, but it definitely did the trick. Mikhail stood up straight and stopped rambling about the various ways he’d been thinking of breaking her spirit. Without showing any emotion he wiped the spit away from his face and closed his eyes.

            Mikhail kicked between her legs at the metallic chair which fell backwards onto the ground, Scarlett’s head consequently smacking against the concrete and making her see stars. She blinked several times and felt dizzy but managed to stay conscious. The blow had been minor thanks to how she’d tensed up. Mikhail climbed over her and grabbed onto her already sore neck and squeezed, choking her threateningly. Still the lack of rage in his face was worse than anything she’d heard from his lips. It was true, this man was willing to do anything to get what he wanted. And since what he wanted was her this was pretty big trouble for Scarlett. There were no bargains to be made for her life, nothing she could trade her way out with.

            She was the target. Natasha had been right about that and it had taken awhile to sink in. Death was the only thing awaiting her when it came to MedCo.

            “I was hoping you would be a bit more cooperative since things are looking rather grim for you right now but I see that you are going to be stubborn until I cut that out of your brain, and believe me I will. You will do every damn thing I tell you to do, helpless to fight back. But I will make sure that part of you knows… part of you will realize you are helpless and your suffering will be eternal.” Mikhail kept his hand at her throat and Scarlett could do nothing to fight it. She was trying to loosen the bonds around her wrists, but even if she got them off she didn’t stand a chance against Mikhail. Scarlett was going to have to pick her battles from now on and this was not one of them.

            “I cannot wait until I slit your throat and shut you up.” Scarlett didn’t regret those words even if they got her into further trouble. If there was anyone she wanted to kill it was Mikhail. Scott was still a petty pain in the ass and not worth the trouble or jail time that would go into killing him. But Mikhail was a psychopath and if she didn’t do him in then he was going to be more than happy to pursue her for the rest of his days.

            Mikhail had apparently had enough of Scarlett’s taunting as well because he let go of her throat and stood up. There was still very little sentiment on his face as he stared down at her. Scarlett coughed and sputtered again. If they kept obstructing her airways then she was going to have some permanent damage to deal with and Scarlett was not okay with that. It was a relief that he wasn’t squeezing her throat any longer. The guards were standing back and out of the way with their hands behind their backs.

            Mikhail turned to walk away and then instead walked back over to Scarlett and gave her a swift kick in her side. His boot made contact with her stomach and Scarlett tensed up. If he broke her ribs she would be in serious trouble. The pain of breaking a rib was worse than most people anticipated. It made everything from walking to breathing difficult and Scarlett was already worse for wear. The chair slid across the ground, making a terrible creaking sound against the concrete.

            Mikhail followed and kicked her a second time, just as hard as the first but thankfully it was her stomach and not her ribs that suffered the blow. It still hurt, she even cried out and choked since he’d knocked the wind out of her but it was better that she didn’t break any bones in the process. Unless of course she ended up with internal bleeding, because that would suck just as horribly as breaking a rib would. Plus, internal bleeding would kill her much faster than the broken rib would.

            Thankfully he reconsidered kicking a third time and left her coughing and bleeding on the floor with the chair tipped over. Wiping his hands together as if to get something foul off of them, Mikhail scowled at her and spit on the floor next to her.

            “All this fighting and struggling, Miss Damien, and for what? To end up losing no matter what you do? You’re a very lucky woman. I have much bigger plans for you than breaking your neck.” Mikhail turned away from her, done with her for the time being. Scarlett laid there coughing, but working behind her back in hopes of getting the bonds undone for when she would inevitably be left alone to think about what she’d done. She’d been ignoring the consequences for her bad behavior for years, what was one more afternoon? “Dry her off. She needs some alone time. I don’t think she quite grasps the gravity of her situation.” Mikhail spoke to one of the guards and then allowed the other to join him as he walked out of the room. The heavy door clattered closed behind them and she could hear the sliding of a bolt on the outside.

            The guard that she’d head butted earlier was still standing there with his mask half over his face and his lip finally scabbing up though there was dried blood wiped over his chin. Great, they left her with the guard she’d pissed off. This was going to be so fun. The guard pulled off his mask entirely and shoved it into his coat pocket before glancing down at Scarlett curiously. He had grayish blue eyes a peculiarly set nose and a wide jaw. If he didn’t have a fat lip he would’ve been handsome enough.

            “Here, careful.” The guard spoke surprisingly kindly as he helped right the chair that had been kicked backwards. Scarlett was surprised by his generosity and narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously all the while working on what was going on behind her back. That was one positive thing about being kicked around. While her hands had been scraped up when the chair had fallen, so had her bonds and they had come loose. It would only be a few seconds before her hands were free.

            “I don’t need your help.” Scarlett wanted to be alone. She doubted she’d get lucky and this guard would be as kind as the one that had helped her and become her friend in South Africa. It was easier to get rid of him than it would be to convince him to aid her in her escape.

            “Scarlett, right?” The guard was surprisingly devoid of an accent from that side of the world. In fact, he sounded like was from, well if Scarlett didn’t know better, he sounded like he was from Brooklyn.

            Miss Damien, I don’t really like when people who dunk me in ice water call me by my first name. That opportunity was lost when I woke up.”

            “I was just trying not to blow my cover.” The guard wiped at his lip again. “And to be fair you almost broke my nose.”

            “Again, water torture. You’re lucky I didn’t try to do worse.” Scarlett was starting to wonder if her guard was more than what he appeared to be.

            “My name is Clint Barton, Scarlett.” He knelt down in front of her chair and looked at her seriously. “Also known more commonly as…”

            “Hawkeye.” Scarlett put the pieces together before he’d finished explaining. This was the man that S.H.I.E.L.D. had on the inside. She was guessing it wasn’t luck that he’d ended up as her detail. Natasha Romanoff was far cleverer than Scarlett gave her credit for.

            “I’m here to help you. I can get you out of here, but not until tonight.”

            “I’ve heard of you. Black Widow has some very nice things to say.” Scarlett’s attempt at being pleasant came across catty. She was in pain, an attitude couldn’t exactly be helped.

            “I’m sure she does.” Clint glanced behind him at the cell door then looked back to Scarlett and was surprised when she had moved her hands in front of her, holding the bonds between her fingers on the seat. “Nice job.” He looked impressed and Scarlett shrugged her right shoulder.

            “Sometimes the only way to escape is to get your ass kicked.” Scarlett nodded but was feeling sick to her stomach still. “So why do I have to wait until tonight? Why don’t we just go now?”

            “Something’s going on that they won’t give us information about. And broad daylight isn’t exactly easy to sneak out in. I’ve got some back up I can call in and then we can get you out of here in cover of darkness.”

            “I don’t need your help.” Scarlett reached down to her ankles and withdrew a pocket knife hidden in her boot. It paid to be well prepared for any situation, even if every part of her body was objecting painfully to this being any form of success. It didn’t feel like success. It felt like she needed a trip to the hospital and some morphine.

            Really?” Clint scoffed, an eyebrow cocked curiously. He didn’t think there was anyone more stubborn than Natasha, but he was starting to realize he was wrong about that.

            “Don’t look at me like that. That’s not what I meant. If you help me out, it blows your cover.” Scarlett released her ankles and was relieved, thankful for each of her limbs to be free. She then went about the process of wiggling her fingers, toes, and various joints to make sure nothing was broken and she wouldn’t be surprised when she tried to run later. She had never been the best at judging her limitations, but she could at least figure out that if her ankle was busted she shouldn’t put pressure on it. Simple stuff like that, Scarlett was a pro at. “You need to stay under with MedCo. I can’t do this anymore. I don’t know how to stop them and if I keep it up I’m gonna end up dead. So you’re the next best hope.”

            “You can’t get out of here without my help.” Clint didn’t seem to care much about blowing his cover. He must have been a much different kind of assassin than Natasha was. She knew that there was history between the two of them but she wondered now what it was. Clint seemed like a much kinder man, even if he didn’t show it right away. He got up from where he stood and retrieved a towel from the other end of the room that had been left for this exact purpose. Scarlett stripped off her sopping wet jacket and threw it onto the floor. Her left arm was aching and pulsing as though to scream out about being shot.

            Clint wrapped the towel around her shoulders so she could dry off and then retrieved a first aid kit. He could at least cover up the wound on her arm so that it would stop bleeding. The towel would help with her sopping wet long hair that had to be nearly frozen and incredibly heavy.

            “If you can create a distraction and tell me which way to go, then I’ll get out of here without blowing your cover. It’ll be a win-win situation. I’ll go find S.H.I.E.L.D. and tell them what I know for a price I’m apparently willing to pay for my life. And you can continue on with your business here.” Scarlett nodded, grateful for the towel that would dry her off. It was almost impossible to rid the chill from her bones after having been given that ice bath. Between that and the blows that she’d taken, Scarlett was going to have to do some serious work before she could be well enough to escape.

            “A distraction? Look it’s not going to be enough. This place is designed like a maze so that people like you don’t get out even if they do escape. MedCo learned a thing or two after you got away last time and they weren’t going to let that happen with anyone else, particularly when they caught you. You know they have a whole lab set up just for you? In the morning they’re going to come in here and they’re going to put you under the knife. I’m not sure they’re going to bother to sedate you. Not after the trouble you caused them. Marcia I’m sure would do that for you but I don’t think that Mikhail has any patience left for you.”

            “Yeah it wasn’t a good idea to piss off the sociopath, I sorta regret it. But I needed him to be rough with me. I was tied too tightly and I needed my arms free.” Scarlett shrugged her right shoulder again and then allowed Clint to deal with the wound on her left arm. It would help considerably for that to be taken care of.

            “I know what you were doing. It was clever and stupid at the same time. I would’ve done the same.”

            “Desperation is a last resort and I’m at the end of my rope.” Once her arm was wrapped up Scarlett rotated her left shoulder and moved each of her fingers. They were still numbed but if she kept moving them then she would be able to use them later, at least to climb and crawl. There were no guarantees that she would be able to make a fist or shoot a gun if she had to. She missed her Tesla glove. It had been her best friend for the last few weeks and without it on her hand she felt naked.

            “Let me help you. Please.” Clint looked at her seriously and she almost considered his offer.

            “I can’t blindly follow a plan, you know.” Scarlett shook her head. “I’m not good at that or following orders. If you can create a diversion I can get out. I’m clever and an engineer. If you can point me in the right direction, I can figure out the rest. Yeah it may be a maze, but building a place like this still requires logic or it doesn’t work.” Standing up she hoped she could prove that she was strong enough to do as she claimed she could. But the moment she tried to take a step forward her legs gave out underneath her and she collapsed. Clint caught her before she hit the ground and helped her sit back down on the metallic chair. Once again he sat on his knees and looked at her seriously. She averted her eyes, the guilt she’d suffered for the last month returning full force.

            He was giving her that look. The look that told her he saw right through her guise. She wasn’t okay and he knew that she wasn’t. Clint wasn’t going to fall for any of her games.

            “I’m not dumb, Scarlett. I’m not as fast as you or Tasha but you’re sick. Really sick.” Clint pointed at her and then looked again behind him, paranoid that someone would overhear them before he could put his plan into action. “You’ve had a fever since you got here. You need back up. I can be that back up and get you through here. Besides, I’ve got a plan for this sort of thing. Tasha thought it might come to this so we thought it out last time we talked.”

            “I’m sick, not handicapped. I know that things look grim from where you stand but the more I’m awake the more I’m okay. I’ve gotten out of much worse than this in much worse condition. Trust me.”

            “Yeah, I was brought up to speed by Mikhail. It sounds like it sucked.” Clint was still looking at her skeptically and Scarlett couldn’t blame him.

            “Sucked is a pretty good word for it. Not what I would’ve chosen but it definitely sums it up.”

            “Eloquence isn’t exactly my strong suit.”

            “I gathered that.” Scarlett offered the weakest and least sincere smile that she’d ever given in her life.

            “You need help. Stop being so stubborn and let me help you. Let Tasha help you. We’ll get you out of here. I’m going to come back at nightfall to bring you a meal and when I do, I’ll come back with clothing like mine. We’ll get as far as we can like that and then we’ll fight our way out if we have to. Between the two of us we can do it. I’ve seen your work, you’re talented but you need someone to have your back.”

            “There’s no way to avoid blowing your cover if we do that.” Scarlett exhaled deeply, shaking her head in disapproval. Despite that she knew deep down that Clint was right. She couldn’t escape on her own, not through a facility as massive as the one she was being held in and not in her condition. One good shot or one good hit and she’d be right back where she was now. In a prison cell and feeling like hell.

            “Some things are worth sacrificing.”

            “Even if it means missing your chance to take these guys down?”

            “We’ll get them one way or another, Scarlett. But you’ve fought too hard to die like this. So no, I’m not willing to sacrifice another person’s life to watch MedCo go down.” Scarlett guessed that this was all very much against S.H.I.E.L.D. protocol.

            Scarlett silenced and furrowed her brow. Clint barely knew her but he wasn’t willing to watch her die even when he had the chance to put a stop to all the nastiness that MedCo had become over the years. He was hands down ready to throw away all the progress he’d made to save the life of a woman who had caused nothing but trouble.

            She was starting to understand why Natasha felt any loyalty to him. If she got out of there alive, she’d have to tell that to her friend. Clint could tell Scarlett wasn’t ready to acknowledge what had been said but somehow he knew that even if she wasn’t going to admit it, she would’ve done the same for someone like him or for someone she cared about. It was easier for her to make the decision to sacrifice her life for the greater good but a much harder decision to miss a chance to stop something horrid from happening.

            Clint wasn’t going to try to push her on the matter, she’d been pushed far enough and he needed her with her wits about her if they were going to have any chance of escape. With a heavy sigh, Clint got to his feet.

            “Will you rest while I’m gone?” Clint placed his hands on his hips and waited for her answer. She nodded her head solemnly. “Good. Guards will be in and out for the next few hours. You’re a high priority prisoner so they’re not going to leave you completely alone for more than a few minutes. But if you play your cards right no one will hurt you further unless Mikhail comes back. Something tells me he’s got other things on his mind or he would’ve done much worse to you.”

            “Yeah, I gathered that, actually. It bothers me.” Scarlett wasn’t objecting to not having her fingers cut off or her feet slashed open, but she was worried about what it was that seemed more important than her at the moment. Not that she wanted to be the focus of attention when it came to MedCo, but what else could they possibly be focusing on that would be more important than her? They’d made a point to show her just how determined they were to get her back into their clutches and now that they had, they were distracted? So by what? She was scared that it was Tony that had become the bigger distraction.

            She wouldn’t forgive herself if anything happened to him.

            “You can’t think about that right now. We can only deal with what’s in front of us. We’ll deal with that once you’re free. I’ll be back, be kind to the guards and they’ll be kind to you. Most of them are actually really nice guys. They’ll be more sympathetic because you’re pretty so use that to your advantage. Try not to insult anyone else.”

            “Are you telling me to use my womanly wiles for evil?” Scarlett laughed. It was the first genuine smile or laugh she’d expressed in a long time.

            “I am actually. It’ll work. These guys are stuck with men like me most of the time. So women are treated a bit differently.”

            “Smart man, smarter than you look at least.” Scarlett held up her hand. “No offense.”

            “None taken. Just get some rest and I’ll be back in the evening.” Clint walked toward the door and knocked against it, pulling his mask back over his face to obscure his identity as he had been trained to do over the years. Once it had been opened by the guard outside, he left. He locked the door to Scarlett’s prison cell, let the guard at the end of the hall know what he had done with her and that he was returning to patrol the upper corridors.

            Once he was sure he was on his own, Clint snuck into one of the bathrooms and withdrew his phone. Even with the disguise and a distraction, it was going to be much harder to get Scarlett out of the facility unnoticed. She’d been the primary target for MedCo for weeks and now that they had her, he was sure they weren’t going to let her out of their sights, at least not easily.

            “Tasha?” He spoke when someone on the other line picked up and the woman sounded disappointed on the other end of the line.

            “They got her didn’t they?”

            “Yeah, she’s not doing so great. We have until tomorrow morning to get her out. I can’t stop what happens after that so we’ve got to move quickly.” Clint turned on the water in the bathroom so no one would overhear him on the phone.

            “So what do we do?”

            “I think it’s time to blow my cover.” Clint kept checking the bathroom door just in case. Natasha sounded exasperated on the other end of the line.

            “We’re going to catch hell for this. Fury’s not going to be happy.” Natasha didn’t sound like she was shying away from the challenge, but dealing with the fallout wouldn’t be easy either.

            “Could be fun though.”

            “Remember that time in North Korea? As fun as that, you think?”

            “I worry about your sense of delight sometimes.” Clint chuckled but after given some time to consider nodded his head. “I’d say as fun as North Korea. Maybe a little more since your friend will be with us.”

            “I’ll be there by nightfall. Be ready to let me in.” Natasha hung up the phone before Clint could say goodbye.

            It was going to be a very long night for Hawkeye and Black Widow.

 

Sorry that I'm a little late, I was out bottling wine tonight and my sister is in town for the occasion! Introducing yet another new character, this time it's the sassy Clint Barton. >:D I'm taking more of a Hawkguy approach to him than I am movie-avengers since we didn't see enough of him to judge his character. Anyway if you want to see more of my writing please follow my writing tumblr. I'm going to be posting some one-shots and more ridiculousness there so yeah. And if you ever have questions for my OCs, please feel free to ask on there!
I'll try to doodle responses.

First: Chapter One: Good Morning Mr. Stark
Previous: Chapter Twenty Eight: The Big Guns Pt. 2
Next: Chapter Thirty: Sour Exchange


Other Stories:

One Small Spark: A Killjoys Fan Fiction
Dreamers: A Killjoys Sequel
Between the Edge and Forever: A Killjoys One Shot
Iron Clad: Glass Heart
The Aftermath: A Zelda Fan Fiction
The Staff of Dreams: A Harry Potter Fan Fiction
Cursed: An Original Story


Click Here for Commission Info!
and to see sketches Follow my art Tumblr!
For more of my writing follow my writing Tumblr!
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An essay about one of the primary symbols of the steampunk genre, the humble gear.  It is also probably the most controversial symbol, as its overuse has at times lead to mockery.

For those who like the design I used for the front page and sidebar:
Omri's Sigil 1 by Windthin Omri's Sigil 2 by Windthin Omri's Sigil 3 by Windthin Omri's Sigils 1 by Windthin
Omri's Sigil 2 (PNG)
Omri's Sigil 3 (PNG)
Omri's Sigils 2
Omri's Sigils 3
Omri's Sigils 4
Omri's Sigils 5
Omri's Sigils 6

Also check out my essay on the use of color and metals in steampunk fashion:
Steampunk Fashion: Use of Color Theory and Metals by Windthin
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‎For ages we've walked past the problem so clear,
never to aid those gripped by anger and fear.
The victims of hatred, how they're subject to blame...
yet none deign to help them...for shame.

Diverse though we are, those different we shun,
their lives and their freedom we've sorely undone.
Our treatment of them is that of sheer hate,
solely for their lack of being straight.

But some of us – those straight, but "true,"
see in them more, and for them we will do
our part to remind them that they have their place -
a just, fair position within the human race.

And so, we who are Allies don armor and gear -
take up arms for those victims, whom we hold dear.
We polish our words – our non-violent tools,
and prepare our assault against homophobic rules.

As we Allies advance toward this battle we'll wage,
we reflect on our goal: to shatter the cage.
That cage, which holds captive our victimized friends,
will no longer be when it our strength rends.

We reach the battleground – meet our foe at last:
the enduring intolerance from ages long past.
Our foe is daunting, massive in size...
but through the air ring the voices of Allies:

"Love is our sword; compassion our shield!
To all are we saviors - to hate we shan't yield!
For acceptance we strive - for freedom we fight!
Our goal: to vanquish all hatred, our blight!"
I thought about my LGBT friends, and those of the LGBT community whom I don't know...and so, this poem was written.

I wrote this from a straight ally's perspective - my perspective. This is what I hope for - for straight allies to lead a continued assault on the homophobia and intolerance that the LGBT community is constantly subjected to...while providing support to those of the LGBT community who have been victimized by the hatred of intolerant heterosexuals. It's my hope that we allies can do this peacefully.

Yes, this is an extremely subjective piece, but I'm pretty sure the message is clear enough. Also, I know "Allies" is not a proper noun, but I wanted it capitalized in the poem to represent an army. Allied Forces, anyone?
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You broke my heart,
You left without any words...
Without even give a good farewell.

You left a letter on my bed,
Saying that you needed to go.

I didn't think it was true,
I didn't want to believe.
But then I saw your face crying in my mirror.

I broke the mirror like you broke my heart...
I broke it in a million pieces.
All made by me.
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its true love
that i feel for you
everytime im near you
i swear my heart skips a beat
i want to spend
forever in your arms
i wouldnt rather be with anyone else
you help me when im down
your there no matter what
ive never felt this way before
i never want to loose what we have
i never knew what it was like to be in love and loved in return
until the day you walked in to my life
i love every moment i spend with you
i wish they'd last forever
your my speacial someone
and i'll always love you
you changed me for the best
i couldnt imagine being without you
your the best thing thats ever happened to me
never let me go
each and every day
i love you even more
your my everything
my world
i cant stand being away from you
you mean everything to me
your my one true love
i think ive finally found
my mr. right
boy,
you have my heart
forever
and always
heres some love poems ive wrote
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Tragedy, abrupt to my very soul,
that left me far from whole.

The withered memory born unto my dreams again,
refreshed and once more binding me by chain.

The reopening scars I once upon a time, thought healed,
gape wide to open for the flood gates, red and revealed.

My witnessing eyes bleed out old tears from a rusted well,
Attempting again to put back out the fires of this age old Hell.

The rising waters find my feet and climb,
the two floods meet, where their cause is rhymed.

My heart from which the blood and tears flow,
now at where the pain does ever grow.

Close these outpouring wounds, build back up the walls...
Make for my feet, the forward movement from where my future calls.

Once again I will shed my skin,
leaving behind the marks of where I've been.
Let's shed the skin that beholds our scars, and move forward.


I DO NOT OWN THE PICTURE
Picture citation: [link]
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My body loosing its passion
I can’t seem to find you near me
You are gone
Flown away from me…

Goodbye my love
I won’t be here when you return.

I crumble out of the window,
In to the night.
My senses dancing with the stars,
Dancing above.

Goodbye my love
I will never see your face again.

The shell you call a body
Falling from the tower
The tower, you locked me in.
The tower called your heart.

Goodbye my love
You never loved me.

You locked me away in your heart.
Thinking I would stay.
You took my freedom.
Now I’m taking my life.

Goodbye my capture
I never really loved you.
Something just came up to my mind when I was sleeping so I wrote it down and it became a poem...

Thats really everything there is to say^^'
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