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The Winter Soldier - Capter 4 (Final Chapter): Missing Assassin

You had fallen asleep on the couch a few times – or past out, you didn’t know what it was anymore. You had followed the news, which had, as you expected, broadcasted the whole fight between Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. from a helicopter. You swore you saw Bucky several times, but when he was on a mission he didn’t seem the man you knew from your times alone. The media made him seem cold and cruel, even though you knew that was not who he really was or wanted to be.

When the wound on your stomach started to bleed again, you took out the first aid kit you had stored somewhere in your kitchen. The improvised stitches had let go. With some paper towels and alcohol you cleaned your stomach before attempting to stitch the wound again.

You bit down on your teeth hard as the needle went in the sensitive skin. You cursed softly thinking about the morphine you had left behind in the Hydra lab. You wouldn’t recommend doing this to anyone. It hurt like hell and the chance for infections was quite high. If you weren’t a doctor you knew you would have died already. Maybe it was stupid not going to a hospital, but you were more save in your own home. Especially now S.H.I.E.L.D. had been able to shoot down the helicarriers. A lot of people would be save because of Captain America… You were not so sure however how save you were.

You sighed looking at the lines underneath the female newsreader.

“Information from government organization S.H.I.E.L.D. and secret division HYDRA leaked onto the internet.”

It had been several hours since the end of the fight. Captain America was still alive and the Winter Soldier was still missing. It wouldn’t be long before they would find out who you were, where you lived and what you had done.

As you put the needle and alcohol back into the box there was a knock on the door. Your heart started to beat faster as you were thinking about who it could be. Maybe it were other Hydra agents that came to finish the job. It could also be S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that came to interrogate you about the Winter Soldier. As you walked to the door you thought about Bucky and where he might be.

When you opened the door, keeping on the little chain lock you had installed, you looked into the familiar blue eyes. Bucky looked at you with a cold glance. He had put on normal clothes. His hair was put in a ponytail and a cap made it nearly impossible for anyone to recognize him, but not for you. Those eyes you would recognize anytime, anywhere.

‘Bucky?’ you mumbled.

Before you could say anything else he pushed the door open. The strength of his metal arm broke the chain on the door. Astonished and a bit frightened you took a step back, leaving room for him to walk inside. He closed the door behind him softly and looked into your eyes. It was the same nasty glare he used to give Pierce when he wasn’t looking. Pierce was dead now. Was Bucky here to kill you?

‘Wh…what’s wrong?’ you stuttered as he took a step in your direction, still not muttering a word.

With a quick move he slammed you into the wall. The muscles in your stomach tensed, causing shivers of pain to go down your spine. The cold metal of his hand tightened around your throat. Your feet only barely touched the ground as he tightened his grip on you even more.

‘Bucky…’ you whispered, while it was difficult for you to breath and the pain intensified. ‘It’s me!’

‘I know who you are, doctor,’ he said coldly. ‘I need you to tell me what happened.’

‘Happened when?’ you said hoarsely, trying to get your fingers between his hand and your throat, but it was no use, he was too strong.

‘After my dream, what happened to me? What did I do… who did I kill?’

His grip loosened a little so that you could talk. ‘They put you on ice. My grandfather knew Hydra didn’t need you at that time, but was surely going to need you in the future. Over the past seventy years they woke you from cryofreeze to eliminate men or women that were a threat to Hydra’s world order.’ You coughed. ‘Please, Bucky, let me go.’

‘Not until you tell me everything.’

‘I don’t know anything more. They only told me what I needed to know to take care of you. Please, you have to believe me.’ Tears were running down your cheeks from the pain. You thought you could pass out any second.

‘Lies!’ he yelled at you, tightening his grip again. ‘He said you were only nice to me because he told you to be.’ As you looked into his eyes you saw he was hurt. Tears appeared in the corner of his eyes. It made your heart ache. ‘That you don’t really care about me…’

You smiled sadly, putting your hand against his cheek. ‘They tried to kill me, Bucky,’ you swallowed hard as a wave of pain went through your body and you lost consciousness for a few seconds. When you opened your eyes again, Bucky looked at you, still hurt, but also concerned. ‘Because I care about you even though they told me not to,’ you continued, trying to take in a deep breath.

‘What do you mean?’ he asked, slowly letting go of your throat. You didn’t have the strength anymore to stand on your legs. As he let go of you completely, you fell onto the floor.

Bucky looked around him, his eyes catching the bloody paper towels you hadn’t thrown away yet. He turned to you again. You smiled sadly, your hands pressing against the wound on your stomach that had probably started bleeding again. The coldness in his eyes disappeared as he lowered himself to you and put your shirt up a bit to see the bullet wound that gushed blood every time your breathed in.

‘Doctor?’ he whispered.

‘It’s [Name],’ you said. ‘I’m not your doctor anymore, Bucky.’

He nodded, taking you into his arms and carrying you to the couch.

‘The box,’ you whispered, pointing at the aid kit you had left next to the couch. You put your shirt off and looked at the wound that had torn open again because of the tension.

‘Damn it!’ you cried out, touching the sensitive area and pulling out the stitches again.

‘I’m sorry…’ Bucky said as he handed you the box. ‘ I should have known Pierce was a liar… Is there anything I can do to help?’

You shook your head, taking out the alcohol, cleaning the wound – trying not to scream too much with Bucky so close by – and stitching it back together again.

‘I used to believe him too,’ you said, going through all the stuff in the box looking for a compress patch.

‘What changed?’

‘You…’

He stared at you for a few seconds and then smiled at you. It wasn’t a sad smile. It was a genuine happy smile. You had never seen him like that.

When you had finally found the patch, you pressed it against the wound to make sure everything would stay in place. You closed your eyes and tried to lay as still as possible on the couch.

‘Are you okay?’ Bucky whispered, touching your hand.

‘Hmm, hmm,’ you nodded. ‘I just need to rest for a while. There is some food in the fridge if you’re hungry and the bathroom is down the hall if you want to take a shower or freshen up.’

Bucky nodded, leaving you alone with your pain. You could hear him opening and closing the fridge. After a while you also thought you heard water fall into the shower, but you were already slipping into a light sleep.


*****


When you opened your eyes again, you saw Bucky sitting in the chair next to the TV.  His hair had already dried and a grey t-shirt seemed to cut into his arm muscles. He probably stole his clothes from somewhere. You would have to buy him some good fitting clothes.

A remote lay in his hand. Angrily he pushed the buttons, but the channel didn’t change. As you looked at the TV you saw a video of him, shooting at innocent people at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters.

“Extremely dangerous Hydra assassin still missing. When encountered immediately call 911. On order of the NWPD: do not engage.”

He didn’t notice that you were awake. You took out the remote for the TV from underneath the pillows and clicked the TV off. Bucky turned his head to you, the anger slowly fading from his face.

‘Thank you,’ he mumbled. ‘I still don’t understand how everything works. I think I also broke your shower.’

You smiled, while straightening yourself and looking at the compress patch. No blood had leaked through, which probably meant the stitches had finally hold.

‘It’s okay. I’ll look at it later,’ you pushed yourself from the couch and walked into your bedroom. You could hear Bucky’s soft footsteps following you. You pulled a clean t-shirt from the closet and put it on.

‘They are coming for me, aren’t they?’ he asked you, looking at you more serious than before.

‘Who?’

‘S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, it doesn’t matter, they are the same.’

You sighed. ‘They will come for me too. I’ve done some things I’m not proud of, Bucky. But they would have killed me if I didn’t.’

‘I know,’ he said, coming closer to you, slowly putting his arms around you. ‘God knows I’ve done more terrible things than I can even imagine.’

‘If you stay here, they will surely find you. I don’t care what they do to me, but I won’t have anyone hurt you again,’ you paused, looking into his blue eyes. ‘Maybe you should go. S.H.I.E.L.D. will be here soon.’

‘I don’t care,’ he said, pulling you closer. ‘I promised I wouldn’t let them hurt you. I’m not leaving you. Not again.’

You lay your hand against his cheek and smiled. You didn’t even mind the cold metal of his arm pressing against your lower back. You were happy he finally held you in his arms.

‘Can I say something?’ he said seriously.  

You nodded. ‘You don’t have ask anymore, Bucky.’

He smiled. ‘I think I love you, [Name].’

You pressed a kiss on his lips, which he responded to by pulling you even closer to him. You felt his heart beat against your chest.

‘I think I feel the same…’ you whispered against his lips, touching them with your fingers as he smiled at your words.

You shook your head, smiling back. ‘No, I know I do.’


THE END
Hee everyone!

The fourth and final chapter of my The Winter Soldier (Bucky x Reader) fanfic. It's called: Missing Assassin.
Sorry it ends rather abruptly. If people are interested I could always continue to write about what happens next.

Hope you like it!

Previous chapters:
Memory Wipe
Come back to me
A debt to pay

Also see my other series
Rise of the Fallen Part 1 (Bucky x Reader)
Lost Artifacts part 1: Meeting a God (Loki x Reader)
Seeker of Truth chapter 1: The Battle of New York (Avengers x Reader)
Time after Time prologue: Prologue (Tony x Reader)

Also see my Avengers one-shots:
Finding your Purpose (Avengers x Reader)
Always (Steve x Reader)


Disclaimer: I do not own the picture or any of the Marvel characters, but I do own the storyline (I think...)
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:bulletred: :bulletwhite: :bulletblue: Steve-x-Reader: Raining Men :bulletred: :bulletwhite: :bulletblue:


Steve Rogers, the one and only Captain America, had never believed himself to be a particularly soulful man- in fact he’d never even considered such a thought. But despite this, his live-in roommate and ward- (F/n) (L/n) had decided that he housed hidden qualities that made him the perfect ‘Soul-Brutha’ material.

Now what this actually meant, Steve couldn't say. But the man did know was that he would enjoy being a potential Soul Brutha, if it meant that (F/n) was happy. And from all the obvious signs, the young woman was.

Where she had once been mistrusting and skittish, she now seemed at ease, laughing and joking with him on near constant basis. It was a nice change from the abused, disheartened eighteen year-old that Steve had found on the streets nearly twelve months ago. 

Now, after the near year of a peaceful life, (F/n) was . . . lively and vibrant. . . Now that her figurative shell was gone the young woman was beautiful to behold (in both physical and mental attributes) and Steve was admittedly entranced

So at the end of every day, when the sweet-tempered hero returned back to the apartment that he shared with (F/n), Steve found his spirits lifted. No matter what kind of day he had had at S.H.I.E.L.D, or what kind of horrors he had experienced, his roomie made him forget it. And whenever (F/n) gave him that goofy grin that she had become infamous for, Steve felt his heart melt just a little more than before. 

The Super Soldier doubt that today would be different, though he had yet to see (F/n). 

Captain Rogers entered the apartment without ceremony; quietly closing and locking the door behind him. Then placing his leather coat in its proper place, and running a hand through his hair thoughtfully, the man calmly walked the length of the back hallway and found his way to stand outside (F/n)’s door. He would have knocked immediately- then entered without a second thought, as per usual- but as his ears picked up sound from within he stopped with his hand in the air. 

(F/n) was . . . singing . . . and from the way that the sound was bouncing off the hall’s walls, the song itself was turned up to the max. Curiously, Steve silently opened the door so that he could hear and see (F/n) better. 

The sight that met him, made Cap's eyebrow lift in both surprise and amusement.

In the midst of her small bedroom- (F/n) stood, hairbrush in hand- singing her heart out. Her head bobbed of its own accord, making her hair fly freely as she did a singular dance step that had her whole body moving. And yet despite this, she ultimately stayed in the space spot in her room- center stage and unabashed.  The young woman was passionate as she swayed eagerly and belted out the song- and quite nicely too, Steve noted. But it was the lyrics that caught the man’s attention more than anything else.

 

“Humidity is rising . . . Barometer’s getting low.

According to all sources: the street’s the place to go.

Cause tonight for the first time, just about half past 10

For the first time in history, it’s gonna start raining men~!

 

It’s raining men! Hallelujah! It’s raining men! AMEN!

I’m gonna go out, I’m gonna let myself get- absolutely soaking wet!

 

It’s raining men! Hallelujah! It’s raining men, every specimen!

Tall! Blonde! Dark and lean! 

Rough and tough, and strong and MEANN!!”

 

Here (F/n) began to clap to the beat with her free hand, and swished her hips with extra emphasis to the tempo, which made Steve want to laugh and look away at the same time.

 

“God bless Mother Nature! She's a single woman too~!

She took off to heaven and she did what she had to do

 She taught every angel to rearrange the sky

 So that each and every woman could find her perfect GUY!!

 


It's Raining Men! Hallelujah! It's Raining Men! Amen!


It's Raining Men! Hallelujah! It's Raining Men! Ame - - nnnn!

 


I feel stormy weather moving in- about to begin

Hear the thunder. . .  Don't You Lose Your HEAD~!

 

Rip off the roof and stay in bed! 


Rip off the roof and stay in BED!

 

It’s RAINING MEN, YEEEEAAAAAHHH~!!!!”

 

After yet another rousing time through the chorus, the song finally came to its close, and (F/n) stopped singing. And when the last note had faded, Steve found himself applauding her. 

The young woman jumped- startled by the unknown presence- but upon meeting her roommates gaze, she couldn’t help but give a mock bow.

“Hey, Steve!  . . . How long have you been there?”

“Since the beginning of the song,” he answered truthfully, smiling widely. “I had no idea you could sing like that.”

(F/n) shoulders shook with laughter as her trademark goofy grin slid into place. “I usually don’t sing like that . . . But it’s my go-to jam, so I kinda have to make it work. . . I think every girl has rocked out to it though, at some time or another.”

Steve blushed slightly- remembering some of the more risqué lyrics- before he shook his head with a chuckle. “It's some song you got there, F/n), for sure. Though the idea strikes me as somewhat disturbing. . . It doesn't leave much to the imagination.”

Here the young woman gave him an apologetic look, before her eyes turned undeniably soft. “I’ll admit it’s a bit free, but I love it anyway. . . Despite the fact that it isn’t exactly appropriate for me these days . . . ." 

"Why is that?" 

(F/n) smiled somewhat shyly. "Well . . . the song talks about single women finding their perfect guy with the help of a figurative men buffet... And I don't need that anymore. . . . . Cause there's only one guy I want, and he’s already here with me.”

For a second, the connection didn’t click. But when it did, Steve’s eyes grew wide and he sputtered shamelessly.

"(F/n)?”

But (F/n) wasn’t saying anymore. Instead she leaned up on tip-toes, placed a quick kiss to his clean-shaven cheek, and then waltzed away- leaving him in a state of shock-  still standing in her room as she gave a final call over her shoulder.

“I'm heading to the gym, so I'll see ya later, Steve! Feel free to borrow my IPod if you want to.” He could hear the giggle in her voice, even though she was out of his line of sight. “I’m sure you’ll want to give the Weather Girls another listen. It’s nice to know the actual lyrics of a song that’s stuck in your head. Don’t you think?”

Then without another word, (F/n) exited the apartment, leaving Steve alone- with a particular soulful song echoing rather loudly in his mind. 

The man stood, debating for several long minutes before he sighed in defeat, and reached out to grab the IPod, hitting the repeat button before he could think better of it.

Discovering what (F/n) had just brought to light meant that things would have to change. . . the man's whole life would change. . . And if this was a song (F/n) enjoyed, he’d get accustomed to it for her sake. . .

. . . Or that was the excuse the Super Solider made to himself as he began to hum along with the bouncy tune that was once more blaring through the house. Though deep down- as he ran a somewhat shaky hand through his hair- Steve Rogers had to admit that it really was a good song.

 


                                                   

 

Well, that was fun. :XD: Poor Steve. . .  Oh wells! :icondivaplz: 

The song used is Raining Men, by the Weather Girls.

 I have a lot of good memories connected with this song, so I thought that it was appropriate for this. :aww: I apologize now for grammar and spelling errors- I only did a singular edit because of how tired I am. 

How did I do on my first Captain America story? Was Steve in-character? Gosh, I feel like I might have killed him! :noes: :nuu: SAVE CAPSICLE! :nuu: 

Disclaimer: I do NOT own the cover photo used, Marvel, Captain America (Steve Rogers), or Chris Evans. :sniff:  
Raining Men (c) The Weather Girls
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‘Avengers assemble!’ Nick Fury’s voice echoed through Stark Tower. ‘I repeat Avengers assemble!’

You were wobbling nervously on your feet. You had obviously heard of the Avengers after everything that happened in New York the last couple of years, but even though you were a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, you had never actually met them.

You had only been an agent in training during the attack of New York and when S.H.I.E.L.D. got attacked by Hydra you were knocked unconscious by one of the members of the S.T.R.I.K.E. team. You were one of the few agents Fury still fully trusted.

When he had come to you only several days ago to ask you to join the Avengers, you had laughed in his face.

‘I don’t have any special powers!’ you had cried out.

Fury had frowned at you, probably remembering your ‘vibes’, as you called your instinctive shivers you would get every time something bad was going to happen.

‘You may think you are not special, agent [Last Name], but you don’t fool me,’ he had said. ‘You are exactly what the Avengers need.’

You had doubted his words, and now, as the members of the Avengers slowly walked into the room, you doubted them even more.

‘As you can see,’ Fury started, ‘agent [Last Name] has joined us today to…’

‘So… no mission I take it?’ Clint Barton asked, looking bored.

‘No, agent Barton, but if you would let me finish, you would know why I asked for all of you.’

Clint shrugged his shoulders, letting himself drop on the couch. He lay his bow on the table and made himself comfortable, before turning his gaze to you.

‘As I was saying…’ Fury continued. ‘Agent [Last Name] has joined us today because she will be joining our team. She is the only reason I still live. I have treated her as if she was already part of the Avengers, and so will you.’

Before you, or any of the Avengers, could say anything Fury had already pushed you forward. Natasha Romanoff was the first one to approach you. While she was introducing herself and making you feel welcome, you saw one of the others walking towards Fury. He was wearing blue jeans and a tight black shirt. His long, golden hair was tied back, but he was still unmistakably the Asgardian God, Thor.

‘Nick, if I may have a word?’ his voice was only a whisper, but you could still hear him loud and clear. ‘Do you think it is a good idea to bring in another powerless mortal?’

‘Powerless does not make her defenseless, Thor.’

‘I know that. Natasha is more than capable of taking care of herself, but…’

‘I wouldn’t have put her here if I didn’t think she could handle it. We ‘mere’ mortals can do more than you think. But… since you are so worried about her, you get to be her partner!’ Fury smiled, padding Thor on the shoulder and walking out the room, leaving Thor to think the conversation didn’t really go as planned.

‘So…’ Tony Stark grinned. ‘How come I haven’t seen you before. Such a pretty girl as yourself, I would have remembered.’

You laughed. ‘Let’s get one thing clear, Stark. I’m not here for your entertainment. I’m not a ‘pretty girl’ and you would do good to remember that. I count more than ten ways in this room alone to kill you, without anyone noticing.’

Clint and Steve Rogers almost choked on their drinks when you spoke those words, while Tony’s grin disappeared from his face and he looked around the room, wondering which ten ways you were talking about.

Natasha smiled, looking at you, her hands folded in her arms. ‘We are going to get along just fine,’ she laughed.

‘I’m sure,’ Bruce Banner also looked around the room, counting the ways he could think of to kill Tony, ‘but let’s keep her away from the lab for now. Even I can count more than ten ways to kill someone there.’

‘Don’t worry. I’m usually a very nice person.’

‘No doubt!’ Clint said.

‘Well, I would want to welcome you to the team,’ Steve said. ‘Tony takes a little getting used to, but overall we are also very nice people.’

‘Some people just can’t handle my charms!’ Tony winked to you. ‘But Steve is right. We are very nice, overall. Only mister sourpuss over there might take some time to warm up to.’ Tony pointed in Thor’s direction, who was leaning against the wall near the door, observing your conversation with the other Avengers.

As you looked at him, your eyes met. He looked at you intensely, seemingly trying to find out what kind of person you were. The eye contact was broken when Tony lay his hand on your shoulder and Thor walked out of the room.

‘Is it something I did?’ you asked the rest, while they led you to the dining room, where Tony’s girlfriend, Pepper, was already cooking.

‘No,’ Natasha said. ‘He’s been like this ever since Loki died and he and Jane broke up. He doesn’t want to talk about it. My guess is, he doesn’t want to let himself close to people again. You know, afraid of being hurt.’

‘But he’s a God…’

Tony laughed. ‘Even Gods have feelings as it turns out.’

‘That’s not what I meant…’

‘Don’t mind him,’ Natasha said. ‘He is still angry because he wasn’t worthy enough to pick up Thor’s hammer.’

‘What? No one said I wasn’t worthy. I just had an off day!’

Natasha laughed. ‘I’m sure you did…’

You seated yourself at the large table, while Steve offered everyone a drink and Pepper put a steaming pan on the table. It smelled delicious and you couldn’t wait to sink your teeth in the pieces of meat she also put on the table.

‘What are we going to do without you, Pepper!’ Clint cried out, putting a piece of meat in his mouth. ‘Can’t you just send Tony on vacation alone for two weeks and stay with us?’

Pepper smiled, shaking her head. ‘I’m not your mother, Clint. Besides, you’ll do fine on your own. I happen to know [Name] is a great cook as well.’

Your face turned red as everyone turned their heads at you, while you had just taken a large bite. You quickly chewed and swallowed and nodded.

‘My exes have told me I make a mean lasagna.’

‘That’s settled then!’ Clint smiled. ‘Lasagna for two weeks!’

‘We could always order take out…’ Bruce mumbled, thinking he wasn’t going to eat the same dish for two weeks in a row.

‘Thanks for always taking such good care of us, Pepper,’ Natasha said. ‘I think the two of you deserve a nice vacation.’

Pepper nodded gratefully and smiled at Tony lovingly. He took her hand in his and squeezed it. You could see the bond they had, but also the bond everyone had. You couldn’t imagine you would be part of that someday.

You listened to all the conversations and tried to have a conversation with Clint, but he seemed to be more interested in the food than in you. After a while Fury also joined the team and Pepper handed him an extra plate.

‘So, how is everything going here? Did they treat you nicely, agent [Last Name]?’

You nodded. ‘Definitely. I felt right at home.’

‘Good. I do have some bad news however. There have been reports of suspicious activity in several nuclear plants throughout America. Agent Hill has been monitoring two plants in particular for several days now and she believes Hydra may be involved. Clint, Natasha, I want you to go to the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant in Pennsylvania. Because Tony is going on vacation, Bruce, I need you to go with Steve to the Salem Nuclear Power Plant in New Jersey. The mission is simple. Find out what is going on and stop it.’

‘Wait? I’m going on a mission? No, I have never been on a mission before. Why can’t Thor go?’

‘I know you have never been on a mission, Bruce, but if something is wrong with the plant, you would be the first one to notice. Thor is staying here to train agent [Last Name] and get her up to speed about everything.’

‘But…’

Before Bruce could finish his sentence, Fury had already left the table. ‘You are leaving tomorrow, 08.00 sharp…’

Everyone was quiet, staring at Bruce, who had turned pale.

‘You’ll be fine,’ Natasha smiled. ‘You’ve got Steve with you, the best partner you could wish for.’

‘Hé!’ Clint cried out, trying to sound hurt.

Natasha elbowed him to shut him up. ‘Seriously, Bruce. Everything will be okay.’

‘I guess…’ Bruce sighed. ‘I just hope nothing bad is going to happen.’

‘We’d best get ready for tomorrow then,’ Steve said, picking up his plate and glass and putting them on the kitchen counter. He walked over to Pepper and pressed a kiss on her cheek. He padded Tony and the shoulder and walked towards his room. ‘Have a nice vacation. We’ll see you in two weeks!’

The rest did the same until you were alone with Tony and Pepper. ‘I think I will also be going. I overheard Thor talk with Fury and he didn’t seem very pleased about me joining the team. Maybe I should bring him some food, as a peace offering?’

You brought your dirty dishes to the sink and helped Pepper get a clean plate to put some food on.

‘Don’t worry, [Name],’ Pepper said. ‘He will warm up to you.’

You smiled, nodding and walking towards Thor’s room. ‘Have a great vacation.’

You walked onto the hallway and decided you should just confront Thor. It was no use sugarcoating it. He could think you were powerless, but that didn’t mean you wouldn’t be valuable. You had been through a lot to get here and you weren’t going to let some ‘God’ stop you from feeling at home.

When you thought you were at the right door, you knocked three times. There was some stumbling, until slowly the door opened and a bare chested Thor opened the door. You swallowed hard, staring at his muscled chest, only barely able to turn your gaze to his face.

‘H…hi…’ you mumbled. ‘I brought you some food.’

You couldn’t read his expression. His eyes were cold and his lips just a thin stripe on his face. You wondered how he looked like if he would smile. Would it make you even giddier?

When he didn’t take the plate from your hands, you sighed. ‘Look… I know I might be just a ‘powerless mortal’, but I’m part of the team now, so you just have to get used to that…’

Thor’s expression changed for a few seconds. He licked his lips and seemed to swallow hard. He broke eye contact and took the plate from your hands. He opened the door further and gestured you could come inside.

‘Thank you…’ you mumbled, stepping inside his room.

Several tokens from his homeland, Asgard, were hanging on the walls. His suit was laying over a chair and his hammer was carefully positioned in the corner next to the window. When you turned around, you saw he had already finished his plate. You smiled inside, thinking bringing him food was a good idea.

‘Are you going to tell me what you have against me or do I have to work my charms?’

‘Charms?’ he smiled. ‘I do not falter because of charms, agent [Last Name].’

‘You may call me [Name], if… if you want to…’

He nodded. ‘Very well… [Name]… I do not have a problem with you. It would be inappropriate to judge you, without even knowing you. But I have lost more powerful people than you in my life. Is it strange for me to be worried about your wellbeing?’

You smiled. ‘No, but I know the risks and I can take care of myself. Life can be over any minute. I can walk outside tomorrow and be hit by a truck. Why not spend the moments that I do have, fighting for what is right? Protecting people from things they couldn’t even dream about? I’ve lost people too, Thor. I know how it feels. The sorrow, the anger, the gut wrecking emptiness… I know and I wouldn’t want anyone to feel that way about me, ever. But I’m not afraid to die… not for a good cause.’

Thor nodded, smiling a little. ‘You would have made a great Asgardian…’

‘Except I’m not. I know I’m not as strong as you or Steve, or as smart as Bruce or Tony. Heck, I’m not even as good a fighter as Clint or Natasha, but…’

‘Your heart is in the right place.’

‘You sound like Fury…’ you sighed. ‘What I’m trying to say: you don’t have to be worried about me.’

‘I understand.’

‘Great, then I’ll leave you to… whatever you were doing,’ you mumbled, looking at his bare chest again. ‘I will see you tomorrow. The rest is going on a mission, so we have the whole day for ourselves.’

You walked out of his room, onto the hallway. He closed the door behind you, but not before looking at you all the way up to your own room and smiling, thinking he might have been wrong about you. The feeling that was spreading through his stomach he had thought he wouldn’t feel again in a long time.


******


When you woke up the next morning it was already nine o’clock. The rest of the Avengers were already off to their mission and Tony and Pepper had also already left for their vacation. You stretched your arms up in front of you and rubbed the sleep from your eyes. You quickly hopped under the shower and thought about what you would be doing today. After you had dried yourself off, you put on some comfortable clothes. The black jeans your mother had bought you for Christmas and a simple white blouse.

You made your way to the kitchen, where Thor was already sitting, sipping from a steaming cup of coffee. His hair was tied back again and the blue sweater he was wearing really complemented his eyes. You bite your lip, trying to get the funny feeling in your stomach to go away.

‘Morning!’ you smiled.

He nodded at you, taking a bite from the cinnamon roll on his plate. ‘How was the first night in your new room?’ he asked.

You seated yourself next to him, the hot cup of coffee between your hands. ‘Strange at first, but I’ll get used to it. How about you? What was it like for you to come here?’

‘Even stranger. I had lived on Asgard my entire life. Being on earth left strange, but also like I was coming home.’

You nodded, thinking about the reason he had come back to earth – you had read all of their files, before joining the Avengers – and you couldn’t imagine what it must have felt like when Jane, the reason he had come back, had broken up with him.

‘Don’t you ever think about going back?’

He shrugged his shoulders. ‘I have made my choice. I find comfort in the friends I have made here.’

You smiled, leaving the silence linger between you for a few moments, until Thor cleared his throat.

‘What I meant to ask you yesterday… If you are not as strong or smart as the rest of us, why do you think Fury wanted you to join the team.’

You swallowed hard, looking into your cup of coffee. ‘I… I have this ‘gift’, as Fury likes to call it. I get these ‘vibes’ every time something bad is going to happen. I can’t tell what or when, but I just know it’s bad. Just before Pierce had the winter solider trying to kill Fury, I felt weird every time Fury came to check up on me. One day I just decided to tell him that I thought something terrible was going to happen which involved Pierce. I told Fury I didn’t trust Pierce and something bad was going to happen to Fury. Somehow I guess he believed me…’

Thor nodded. ‘So Fury lied to me…’

‘What do you mean?’

‘You are not powerless.’

You laughed. ‘I wouldn’t exactly call it a power. It’s just instinct I guess.’

‘Maybe… What do you feel with me?’

You face turned red as he stared at you intensely. Those blue eyes seemed to look straight through you. ‘I… I don’t know. Nothing right now… It is difficult to explain. I feel…’

An intense pain went through your heart. The feeling had never been so strong before. It felt like a heavy burden was weighing on your shoulder and it got difficult for you to breath.

‘What is wrong?’ Thor asked, looking worried as you started to breath heavily. ‘What do you feel?’

‘Something really bad is going to happen...’

You stood up and looked outside the window, knowing something was going to come through any minute. You turned back to Thor, who had also stood up from his chair, letting his hands rest on your shoulder and waist, as you were about to fall over from the intense feeling. You stared into his blue eyes, seeing the pain he had felt when he had lost his brother…

‘Loki…’ you whispered.

You pushed Thor out of the way, just before a large explosion threw you in the air and slammed you into the kitchen counter. A sharp shiver of pain went through your body as you fell to the floor again. You looked over at Thor, who had already picked himself upand was running in your direction, holding his hand up in the sky to call Mjolnir, his hammer. Within seconds it came crashing through the wall and found its place in Thor’s hand.

He helped you get up your feet again and let you lean against him, his arm pulling you close against his side.

´Tony is not going to be pleased when he gets back…´ you mumbled.

´Let us not tell him then.´

You smiled, looking up at him and turning your gaze to the smoldering hole where the large windows had been. ´Oh, I think he´ll notice.´

From the hole a man emerged. A scepter lay in one of his hands and a helmet with reindeer like horns rested on his head. A grin covered his face and his green cape floated in the wind.

´Loki?´ Thor mumbled astonished. ´What… How? I thought you were dead!´

´And I thought you would have found better company by now…´

´I do not understand, Loki. I watched you die in my arms.´

A weird laugh welled from Loki´s throat. ´You should have known better, brother…´

´What do you want?´ you hissed.

´What do I want?´ Loki said, still laughing. ´It has never been about what I want!´

´Then what is it about?´ Thor said angrily.

´Oh, you know, brother. It is about what has been done to me. About what I am entitled to. Redemption.´

He pointed his scepter at Thor. The blue fluorescent orb lighted up and a stream of blue light slammed Thor into the wall, keeping him several inches from the ground. His hammer was swept from his hand, landing several feet next to him. Having lost your support, you fell back to the floor.

A stream of blue light tightened around Thor´s throat. Thor tried to get his fingers between the light and his neck, but it was no use. His face slowly turned red, while you could nothing but watch.

´Father will never let you get away with this…´ Thor whispered.

Loki laughed hysterically. ´Odin is dead, brother and so will you, if you do not tell me where they took the Aether.´

Thor frowned, trying to figure out what had happened. ´What have you done, Loki…´

´You have lost your mind!´ you cried out. ´We are not giving you anything!´

Loki turned to you, smiling. ´I see you have took liking to yet another one of those creatures, brother.´

´Do not touch her, Loki!´ Thor screamed, still unable to move, but the blue light around his throat had loosened a bit. ´She has nothing to do with this…´

´They never do…´

You pushed yourself from the ground and tried to seem more brave than you actually felt. Tears were stinging in the corner of your eyes. You were not ready for this kind of work, but you couldn’t let Loki kill Thor or get what he wanted. You would rather die yourself.

Loki walked up to you and your heart started to beat faster and faster in your chest. His hand closed around your jaw. He squeezed hard and lifted you from the ground. You tried to get his hand from your face, scratching at his arms, but it was no use. He was too strong.

´Leave her!´ Thor screamed again. ´I beg you, brother. This is between you and me.´

Loki grinned, pointing the scepter at your heart. Before he could put you under his control, you spit in his face and kicked him in his stomach. He let go of you, causing you to drop to the floor again. He seemed to be more amused than angry.

You knew he was too strong for you to fight. You had to outsmart him. But how?

Your eye caught Thor´s hammer. You were probably not going to be able to lift it, but if Loki was focused on you and maybe be too busy killing you, he would loosen his grip on Thor.

Without further thinking about it, you ran towards the hammer. A weird laugh welled up from Loki´s throat again.

´This one keeps surprising me, brother,´ Loki laughed. ´Do you really think you can lift Mjolnir? You are even more pathetic than I presumed.´

´[Name], please. Just get out of here!´ Thor cried out desperately, thinking about all the things Loki could and would do to you. This was what he had been afraid of the moment he lay eyes on you. You would do anything to protect everyone but yourself. Even if that meant you would die.

When you reached the hammer, Loki was right behind you. You closed your hands around the hammer and a weird feeling spread through your body. The hammer formed to your hand and an electric current send shivers down your spine.

Just as Loki was about to strike you with his scepter, you lifted the hammer from the floor and slammed the scepter out of his hand. The great astonishment in Loki´s eyes was almost amusing. In his head he had already killed you.

The blue light holding Thor to the wall disappeared, causing him to be free. For a few seconds he looked at you with the same amount of astonishment as Loki. You had lifted his hammer. It still lay in your hands. No one other than him had ever been able to lift the hammer. No one had ever been worthy enough. But you… willing to give up your life to give him a chance… you were worthy. A small smiled curled his lips as he looked at you.

Thor quickly ran towards Loki´s scepter and picked it up. You were still pointing the hammer in his direction, when Thor joined you. The astonishment in Loki´s eyes had made way for pure hatred and it was all aimed at you.

´You knew…´ Loki hissed, turning to Thor. ´That is why you screamed to leave her alone, knowing I would not.´

Thor swallowed hard, letting his gaze turn to you for a few seconds. ´No, brother… I… I did not.´

´I told you…´ you mumbled, still overwhelmed by what had happened and by the feeling the hammer gave you. You wouldn’t be able to hold it much longer. It was too powerful. ´We won´t give you anything.´

´My mistake then…´ Loki sighed. ´I guess you will be taking me back to Asgard?´

Thor nodded. ´I do not know what you have done, brother, but you will be punished for your crimes. I wish… I wish things would have been different. I know that deep down you feel the same pain that I do. Deep down you are a good man, Loki. Why will you not let us see him?´

Loki laughed. ´You are mistaken. I am nothing like you…´

´Don´t bother, Thor,´ you said, putting the hammer back on the floor and letting your hand rest on Thor´s arm. ´He´s not worth it.´

Thor looked at you, sighing. ´You may be right. Let us bring him back to Asgard.´


******


Several hours later, you were waiting in one of the large rooms in the royal palace. Thor has asked you to wait for him there, while he dealt with Loki and the death of his father. As it turned out Loki had been pretending to be the king for several months and no one had noticed anything, until he started to ask about the Tesseract and the Aether. Thor´s old friends knew something was wrong and had wisely told him nothing about the whereabouts of the Aether. But now that there was no king anymore, the throne fell to Thor and he didn´t know if he wanted to be king anymore.

After a few hours of waiting and getting weird glances from all the Asgardians, Thor came walking into the room.

´Sorry for keeping you waiting so long,´ he smiled, walking up to you in his Asgardian uniform. The same one you had seen in his room back at Stark Tower.

´Don´t worry about it. I completely understand.´

´Loki is locked up again. Hopefully he will not be causing any more trouble.´

´It´s Loki,´ you laughed. ´He´ll find a way.´

Thor nodded. ´I guess you are right. He is still my brother. Even after everything he has done, I cannot let my people kill him.´

´I understand… Family is important. So, I guess you are staying here. Be king and all.´

Thor sighed. ´For now, yes. I have no other choice.´
´I will tell the others… Oh, God… What do I tell Tony?´

Thor laughed. ´Do not worry, [Name]. He will understand.´

´You know… I´m actually kind of sad that you won´t be coming back with me,´ you whispered, avoiding eye contact. Normally you wouldn’t say things like this. But normally you also wouldn’t fall for someone like this. When you joined the Avengers just a day ago you had never thought you would fall for any of them. It was inappropriate.

´As am I,´ Thor sighed.

´But it´s lovely here,´ you smiled, looking around you. ´I can´t believe you gave all of this up to… you know... But I think I get it. Jane could have never lived here. I thought I was already going crazy with all the glances I got in just a few hours, let alone…´

´You think they started at you because you are from earth?´

You nodded. ´Yes, why else would they stare at me?´

Thor shook his head. ´No, they stare at you because you are worthy.´

´Worthy?´ you frowned, no understanding what he was talking about. ´Worthy of what?´

´Lifting the hammer and therefore rule Asgard…´

´What?´

Thor took your hands in his and smiled. ´You do not have to go back if you do not wish to. You can stay here, with me.´

´And rule Asgard?´

´With me…´ Thor nodded. ´I left Asgard because I thought I could be more happy somewhere else, but if you were to stay with me here… I would no longer have any reason to leave.´

You stared into his blue eyes, which were still able to look right through you. ´But I´m not…´

´You are.´

´B…but you don´t…´

´I do.´

´They… They won´t...´

´They will.´

He stroke the hair out of our face and caressed the side of your cheek. He slowly moved his face towards yours, until his lips lingered on yours and you let out a shaking sigh.

´You will…´ he said, before pressing a kiss on your lips.

He held you in his arms and smiled at you until you dared open your eyes again. ´What about the rest? What about Tony´s house?´

Thor silenced you by pressing another kiss on your lips and pulling you closer to him. ´Let us not worry about others for once and enjoy what we now have. Someone told me life could end any minute.´

You giggled. ´Sounds like a smart person.´

´She is, and very beautiful…´

´Now you are just flattering me, Thor Odinson, king of Asgard…´

´Hmm,´ Thor mumbled. ´I will have to get used to that title.´

´What about me… What title would I get íf I decide to stay.´

´Any title you want, milady.´

You smiled, laying your hand on his cheek and looking into his eyes. ´How about… the worthy one?´

Thor laughed. ´We will talk about it later…´

´Why? I think it´s rather captivating!´

Thor led you outside the room, while you were still trying to get him to warm up to the name. You were joking. You couldn’t care less about the title, if any, was given to you. You didn´t even know if you wanted to stay in Asgard, but right now, being with Thor, was the only thing that mattered.




***** EXTENDED ENDING *****


Tony rushed into Stark Tower. The alarm had gone off while he was at the airport and neither Thor or you was answering your phones. Pepper walked behind him, the bags in her hand. She sighed, thinking her first vacation in several years would probably not going to happen. She quickly ran into the kitchen when she heard a high-pitched scream.

´Tony, what´s...´ She stopped when she saw the large hole where once had been windows. The whole kitchen had been destroyed and there was also a hole in the wall. ´What happened?´

Tony pointed at the note that lay on the remains of the kitchen counter and let himself drop into one of the chairs at the up side down dining table.


Sorry about the mess.
We had a problem with Thor´s dead brother.
We´ll fix it later!

Lots of love,

Thor and [Name]



´Well… At least they warmed up to each other, right?´ Pepper smiled.

Tony sighed. ´That´s great… just damn great!´




THE END
Hee everyone!

My first Thor x Reader fanfic. I don´t know if I portrayed him properly, but I hope you like it! If you do: please comment, fave or watch. Would mean a lot to me and I will always thank you for it!


Also see my series: 
Lost Artifacts part 1: Meeting a God (Loki x Reader)
Seeker of Truth chapter 1: The Battle of New York (Avengers x Reader)
Time after Time prologue: Prologue (Tony x Reader)
The Winter Soldier chapter 1: Memory Wipe (Bucky x Reader)
Rise of the Fallen Part 1(Bucky x Reader)
Thinking about you - Part 1 (Steve x Reader)
Stay with me (Steve x Reader)

Also see my one-shots:
Finding your Purpose (Avengers x Reader)
Always (Steve x Reader)
Forget about me (Steve x Reader)
Crazy about you (Chris Evans x Reader) 
Cross my heart (Chris Evans x Reader)
Coming Home (Scott Summers x Reader)
Heroes of New York (Steve x Reader)
Two Pink Stripes (Steve x Reader) One-shot
I love you too (Steve x Reader) One-shot
You don't have to be alone (StevexReader) One-shot


Disclaimer: I do not own the picture or any of the Marvel characters, but I do own the storyline (I think...)
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Enough tears
Enough crying
I've had too much
I've had enough

Too many sleepless nights
Too many miserable days
Too much of black and white
Too much of grieve and pain

Enough is enough
And that is where it ends
I wanna be myself
I wanna live again

I want to smile
And laugh like crazy
I want to cry
From being happy

I wanna colors back into my life
I've had enough of black and white
I just want to live and breathe and feel
I want to be alive again, I just want to be me
I haven't upload poems cause I was writing complete bullshit. This is an attempt of positive writing... Fuck I really suck at it. I generally suck at writing so yeah... I don't even know
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Donovan Ashton was greeted by only one Raven.  His Raven, to be precise.  She stood at the end of the narrow hangar, just outside of the marked yellow lines, with her hands folded behind her back.  She was dressed in black, her skirt to her knees, her shirt clinging to her body from wrist to just under the chin.  Curiously, she was barefoot, and her black hair was to her waist and cut in a severe line across the forehead.  The Prime Terras of Foerster unbuckled from his seat, ignoring his pilot's protest that the landing sequence wasn't done yet, and leaned forward across the dash to get a better look, such as he could as the small craft bobbed in its descent.  There was a lurch, he swayed as it settled to the ground, and the engines whined as they shut down.

“She's not very imposing,” Donovan complained.

“Doesn't have to be imposing.  Just has to be smart,” the pilot replied, distracted by shutting down the ship.

“I would think there is more to war than simply being clever.”

In truth, Donovan didn't know much of war.  No one did, except the Ravens.  After the the Last World War, with the skies sundered and the most of the continents shattered and uninhabitable, the teaching of war was eliminated.  Books were burned, no matter how old or priceless, and any records pertaining to modern military methods were destroyed, along with all the equipment.  The first order of the new governments – and the remnants of the old – was to scour the remains of their civilizations and destroy any weapon they found.  These were the accords of peace.  The world could not afford another war.

Donovan approached her alone, as escorts were not permitted within the Spire.  The Ravens had been explicit with their directions – that he was to remain here until the war was concluded and that he was to come alone.  Once Donovan's belongings were unloaded, the pilot would leave and not return until Donovan contacted him.  The Prime Terras was not used to being alone.  Walking out across the hangar floor, for the Raven refused to come meet him, was unnerving.  Disrespectful, even.  He supposed that was the intent, to humble him, but he merely found the effect irritating.  He stopped a yard away from the woman and she blinked slowly, her long lashes languid, and raked her brown eyes up and down his slim figure.  She looked young, he thought.  

“Prime Terras,” she finally said.  “Follow me, if you will.”

“Are you my Raven, then?” he asked as she turned and led him into the Spire.

“I am.”

“What is your name?”

“I have none.”

He slowed his pace a moment, the only indication of surprise he would give, and narrowed his eyes at her back and the curtain of her hair.

“Then how am I supposed to distinguish you from the other Ravens?” he complained.

“You aren't.  I do not come at your beck and call, Prime Terras.”

Her tone was coldly polite.  There was no insult here, just a statement of fact.  He grimaced and followed her in silence through the wide corridors of the Spire.  The pilot had circled the building on their approach to give him a good view of it.  It'd been built in the rubble of the most densely populated city before the war.  Now, it was an expanse of slagged metal, the buildings drooping like melted candles, puddling at the bottom with debris piled up into rivers between the mounds.  They built the Spire out of the remains of ships and tanks, melting down the accoutrements of war into walls and floors.  At its prime, the Spire must have gleamed in what little light filtered through the clouds.  That hadn't lasted.  It was stained with soot, dusted black, and it loomed over the devastated city, pointing towards the sky in slender towers, the edges sharp.  Pointing to the heavens and reminding everyone what humanity had done.

The Raven led him to an antechamber, round with a dome ceiling, the struts silver and the inlaid panels black.  His opponent was already there and Donovan exhaled slowly as he approached.  Kelly Marian, Prime Terras of Augusta.  Her territory sat on his border and while she controlled a much smaller country, it was far richer both in terms of agriculture and monetary wealth.  This was why they were going to war.  Donovan needed technology and his attempts to buy, beg, or steal it from Kelly's nation had all failed.  He would take it by force, Ravens willing.

She had four of them flanking her and his jaw tightened at the sight.  By right, every nation was entitled to one Raven.  Extras could be purchased, of course.  Donovan couldn't afford such an extravagance, no matter how desperately it was needed, and so he had to gamble on this one Raven and hope she succeeded.  He approached, Kelly walked to meet him, and they paused there in the middle of the room and regarded each other.  Her hair was cut short, just below her ears, and he saw the metal stud of implants at the corner of each eye.  She was a stocky woman, short but muscular, and her clothing was comprised of severe lines to minimize what few feminine qualities she possessed.

“Donovan,” she said coolly.  He did not react to the use of his first name.  “I do not appreciate this interruption.”

“Nor do I, Prime Terras,” he replied.  He would show respect, even if she did not.  “I hope this will be concluded before harvest season is upon us.”

A slight shrug and she looked away.

“It matters little to me.”

He did not reply, feeling the muscle in his jaw tighten.  No.  Of course not.  She had artificial sunlight over the fields and irrigation.  Her people could plant and harvest at their leisure, no longer subject to the erratic seasons of this sundered planet.  Her people did not have to worry about storms that would herald a period of near-starvation.

“This is your first war, is it not?” Kelly asked, her eyes narrowing as she turned back towards him.

“It is.”

“You'll find it tedious, I'm sure.  Hopefully you'll be better company than some of the other Primes I've warred against.  God knows the Ravens aren't the most interesting bunch.”

He was surprised to hear scorn in her voice.  As a child, he'd been raised to fear and revere the Ravens, and once he went into politics he found that having access to them, being able to demand they run a war for him, did nothing to assuage the mysticism.  Perhaps that would change, he thought, if he did this more often.

“You know this is nothing personal,” he said abruptly.  “I just--”

“I know.”  She waved a hand and turned her shoulder to him.  “Of course it's not personal.  You just want something and are taking shortcuts.”

With that, she walked away, leaving Donovan standing there with his hands clenched so that the nails dug into his palms.  Her four Ravens followed her and they departed down the far hallway.  He could hear Kelly haranguing her entourage, demanding that this be settled quickly.  Donovan forced himself to relax as his own Raven came up to stand beside him, watching her sisters depart.

“Is that what I'm doing?” he asked of her, his voice tight.  “Am I taking the easy route and telling myself it's the only option left?  Have I lied to myself?”

He was aware of the Raven studying him intently.  He did not think it was so – but – he needed to be certain.

“I will be assessing your situation this evening,” she said.  “Do you want me to inform you as to what conclusion I draw?”

“No.”  He exhaled hard.  “That won't be necessary.”

She led him away, to his rooms.  They would be sparse compared to what he was used to, she said, but adequate.  They did not allow communication outside the Spire.  It was enclosed, a world of its own, and he would remain here for the duration of the war.  She had all the information she needed already, all the vital statistics of his nation.  Population.  Economy.  Education.  Industry.  Given these variables, and her own knowledge, she'd wage a war on his behalf.  A silent one, behind closed doors, fought in theory alone between her and her sisters.  In the end, they'd decide the victor and what was lost and how much was gained, and the nations would be expected to abide by their decision.

There were consequences for those that did not, she said.  She did not specify what they would be.  The Ravens worked in secret, always, and the threat alone was enough to enforce compliance.

It was an elegant solution for a world still teetering on the brink of destruction.  A war of theory and logic, hypothetical, with no actual loss of life or capital involved.

They paused just outside the door to his room.  It was open and he could see his bags already placed inside.  He turned to face his Raven.  He had to look down to meet her eyes.

“One last question,” he said.  “Is Prime Terras Kelly always this rude?”

“The Spire does not have the comforts she is accustomed to.”

“That doesn't exactly answer my question.”

A pause and he saw her blink, slowly.

“Yes,” she finally replied.  “She is.”

He let out a soft huff of disgust and then stepped inside the room and shut the door behind him, encasing himself in silence.  He stood there in the half-light, listening to the beat of his own heart.  He was the middle child of five and had grown up in a crowded house, then gone to a crowded university, the only in his family to be accepted.  Education was a precious commodity, afforded only to the best.  Then he'd gone into politics and his time had been consumed with endless meetings and negotiations... and then he'd been elected Prime Terras and earned himself an ever-present bodyguard.  Now, here, in the silence of this room in the remote confines of the Spire, surrounded by a city devoid of life, he'd never been so alone.

There had been dozens of reasons to come here.  He'd reviewed them all, over and over, in endless meetings with his experts and panels and the conclusion was always the same.  Foerster did not have the resources to sustain a scientific initiative and the only alternative left was to take what they needed, no matter the risk.  Now, however, with only his own thoughts rattling around in his head, encased in the eerie isolation of the Spire with the ruins of the Last World War built into the very walls of his room, he wasn't so certain.

It was too late for second guesses now.  War had been declared and he'd pinned his country's future on this lone, barefoot girl.

He hardly slept that night.



The Ravens made them wait to announce the results of their initial assessment.  They sat in a small cloister off the war room, in which only the Ravens were allowed.  It was protected by heavy metal double doors, twice the height of a person, arched and carved with ravens across every inch of the surface.  The pattern was discordant and unsettling to look at, the black lines seeming to draw the eye into the pits and crevices in the metal.  He was too uncomfortable to look at Kelly either, for she had settled on a bench with her back against the metal wall, arms folded across her chest, with an expression that said she was clearly unhappy to be here.  He stared at the floor just between his feet instead, hands drooping between his knees.

“I'd heard that you entered politics just after finishing university,” Kelly said abruptly, finally breaking the silence.  Donovan just grunted in response, unsure where she was going with this.  “I also heard that you're the youngest Prime Terras yet.”

“I promised them war,” he said frankly.  “I told them something had to be done to address the growing technological gap, and that we'd take it to the Ravens.”

“You sold them on hope,” she said, scornfully.

“That's true,” he admitted.  “I won't deny it.  How did you come to be elected?”

“Worked at it.  Took almost twenty years of navigating and making the right connections.”

“You're older than you look.”

She nodded slightly, looking away towards the double doors.

“And you're younger than you look,” she replied.  “You've seen your fair share of the outdoors.”

“Of course.”  He shrugged mildly.  “We don't have climate buffers covering our fields.”

She seemed startled at this, her bored demeanor finally crumbling and she peered at him in renewed interest.  He raised his gaze to meet her sharp green eyes.

“What were you doing in the fields?” she asked.  “I'd have thought your career path--”

“Everyone works,” he interrupted.  “The university cancels classes when the harvest comes in, no matter what point of the year we're at, and all the students go out into the fields until it's done.  It's no different for the politicians or other upper class citizens.  When the harvest is ready, it has to be gotten in before a storm hits or the season turns.  We don't have the technology to do that -- so -- everyone works.”

“But you're Prime Terras now.”

She said it like a statement of fact and Donovan just laughed harshly.  Naive.  Very naive.

“Everyone works,” he repeated, his tone flat.

That effectively killed conversation until the Ravens appeared.  Both Primes shot to their feet as the five women exited the chamber, single-file.  Donovan caught a glimpse of a table, lit up with holographic grid, dominating the room, then the doors slid shut behind them.  They fanned out, the four standing off to one side, his Raven off to the other.  They were all similar in appearance, lithe with black hair and brown eyes, features like carved ice, and even their clothing was identical.  His Raven, however, had fewer lines near the eyes or mouth, and she was still barefoot.  She was younger than the others.  He felt his heart sink a little.  He, too, was young for his position but he was keenly aware of his own inexperience and how heavily he relied on his advisers.  She stood alone, apart from her sisters, and had no one to support her.

“We've analyzed the initial situation,” one of the four intoned.  “We believe the war will decide in your favor, Prime Terras Marion.”

She looked smug.  Donovan turned his gaze to his Raven, not wanting to see Kelly's glee, not wanting to hear his prospects either, however.  The Raven met his eyes and something about her posture, about the quiet confidence he saw there, reassured him.

“I've analyzed your initial situation,” she said quietly, her voice much softer than her sister, “and I believe this war will end in your favor, Prime Terras Ashton.”

He was afraid to breathe, that any movement would shatter this moment.  He'd sold his people on hope and in doing so, he'd sold himself as well.

“That doesn’t make sense,” Kelly finally said, her tone impatient.

“That is my assessment,” Donovan's Raven replied.

“You're not very good at this, then,” the woman huffed.

She stalked away and after a moment, her four Ravens drifted after her, moving in one silent, eerie group, shoulder to shoulder.  Donovan watched them go before returning his attention to his own.

“You mean what you said?” he asked her, softly.  His heart felt like a bird's wing.

“We always speak the truth,” she said and finally, he heard a hint of emotion in her voice.  Reproach, but it didn't affect him.  It was at least some sign of humanity inside her small, frail body.

“Okay.”  He ran a hand over his chin, feeling the faint stubble there.  “Can I ask--”

“No.  The details remain our own, as always.”

“Of course.  My apologies.  It's just--”  He exhaled, hard.  “It just seems impossible.  I know the odds were slim to begin with, but I hoped since we have more people than them, or that sometimes even the losers can still gain something from a war--”

She couldn't comment, he realized, and he trailed off.  Like arguing with stone.  Little wonder Kelly derided the company of the Ravens, yet Donovan thought there was something there nonetheless.  Her pronouncement was formal, yet, there had been something in there directed at him.  For him.  

“How many wars have you won?” he asked her.

“None.  This is my first.”

“Well, that's reassuring.  Of course, I'm hardly one to talk.”

“Your lack of experience is balanced by your willingness to listen to your appointed experts,” she said softly.

It wasn't what he'd been driving at, and for a moment he only laughed under his breath.  He'd been told that the Ravens were coldly logical and that any display of emotion from them was rare, but he hadn't expected it taken to this extreme, such that even casual conversation was beyond their grasp.  

“I thought you weren't supposed to disclose details,” he said.

Her posture shifted, her shoulders drawing back.  A defensive gesture, he thought.

“It's no worry,” he continued.  “I won't speak of it.  And I certainly won't let Kelly know how new you are to this.  She can complain about something else.”

“You do not want her to speak poorly of us,” she said.  She sounded surprised.

“No.”  

He considered a moment.  It was more than his dislike for how she treated the Ravens with disdain.  He'd pitted this young woman against her sisters in coming here, divided them along lines and now she performed her duty, with him ignorant as to how much it wore on her or how heavy a burden she carried, with the fate of a nation resting on her decisions.  At least he had the comfort of other minds alongside his, weighing the governance of the country in tandem.  She had only herself, standing alone on one side of that table with four of her elder sisters opposite.  Lonely indeed.

“I do not want her speaking poorly of you,” he corrected.  “You're my Raven, after all.”

Then Donovan turned on his heel and walked away, quickly, before she could recover enough of her wits to respond.  He had no idea where that had come from, the sudden possessiveness, and he wasn't certain he wanted to examine it further.  He was here to wage a war, after all.  Nothing more.



She found him, early the next morning.  He stood on a balcony overlooking the city, staring at the silent ruins.  There was no life among them, he'd heard.  The radiation had seeped in deep here, wrapped claws into the earth and lay waiting in the still soil, a poison hidden underneath all that twisted metal.  There were bodies down there, they said.  Decayed by now, he suspected, but the bones would remain, just more debris among the rest of the detritus of war.  The Spire was built upon the skulls of the dead.

“Humbling, isn't it?” she asked as she approached.

“I've never seen a city so big,” he responded.  “Not even close.”

“Millions of people once lived here.”

She stood directly beside him, her hands resting on the railing like his own.  Her fingers were thin and the skin was smooth.  She had small hands.

“Augusta doesn't even have a million people in its entire nation,” he commented.

“You do.”

“I have a lot more land.”  His gaze roved over the city once more.  “Do you like living here?”

It took a moment for her to reply.

“I – don't know,” she admitted.  “I've never really thought about it.”

“Then you've been here your entire life?”

“I have.”  She hesitated.  “We're born here, but I think that's not quite the right term.  We're all the same, cloned from one set of DNA that was selected for intelligence, and we're grown in a lab.  I have no mother or father, just dozens of sisters.”

“I have three sisters and one brother.  I'm not even sure how many cousins I have.”

She was quiet at that and he wasn't certain why.  He felt a need to keep her talking, to not let things settle into an uneasy silence.  She seemed comfortable enough with it, but he came from a busy land with people all around him, and he found he could not tolerate the quiet.

“Do you like being a Raven?” he asked.

“You ask a lot of questions,” she said, and he wasn't certain if it was a reproach or not.

“I'm curious.  Do you?”

“I don't know yet,” she whispered.  “I suppose I'll know when the war ends.”

He wondered if he should be here, talking to her like this.  From everything he'd heard, the Ravens were remote, almost mechanical in their duties.  Inhuman, some said.  He did not expect to hear such uncertainty from this nameless woman beside him and it frightened him.  Donovan turned to go, but he stopped halfway to the door as the Raven spoke again.

“Donovan,” she said gently, “you weren't wrong in your decision to come here.  I can't speak to your motives, but you were right to declare war.  Is that comforting?”

He rubbed at his hair, his thumb brushing the edge of the scar above his left eye.  How was he supposed to answer a question like that?

“No,” he said, erring with honesty.  “It won't be comforting unless we win.  Will we?”

“I'm trying.”

She sounded earnest.  Young, timid, and earnest.  He almost regretted the war then, for coming here and dropping this on her.  At least he had chosen his path, chosen to take up the mantle of Prime Terras.  She'd been created for this with no say in what she would someday become.  Here she was, deciding the fate of his nation, and she had no say in her own fate.  The bitter irony of it made him want to laugh, so instead he hurried away, shivering against the chill wind, and he dared look back only once.  She stood there with her back to him, leaning on the railing, her black hair fluttering in the wind like bird wings.  Staring out across a barren city littered with the bones of the long-dead.



The war settled into a routine.  He would wake in the morning and eat breakfast, alone, then wander the halls of the Spire, also alone.  There was little to see and boredom ate at him, mingled with worry for his nation and curiosity as to how things were proceeding.  If the crops continued to grow or if a sudden frost had killed them.  Then, in the mid-afternoon, he'd gather with Kelly to wait for the Raven's update on the progress of the war.  They talked some.  Sporadically, with long stretches of silence between them.  Sometimes the Ravens made them wait longer, sometimes there was little wait at all.  It was impossible to predict.

“You always seem so impatient,” Donovan said one day, growing weary of the incessant tapping of Kelly's foot against the floor.

“Don't you want to get out of here?” she snapped.

“I do, but--”

“I mean, we can't even contact the outside,” Kelly interrupted.  It was a habit of hers, he was finding.  “I know that doesn't seem like such an inconvenience to you, but it's a terrible setback for me.  I have opponents in the political arena.  They'll capitalize on this.”

“But if you win the war, what do they have to use against you?”

“The fact there was one.”

Her eyes fixed his, like pieces of stone.  He met her with his own cold gaze, not a stranger to this form of sparring.  Neither of them would back down.

“This is your first war,” she continued, “but it is my fifth.  I have not started a single one; this is no fault of mine, but I'm forced to be here and let my opponents speak in my absence.”

“They cannot hold the wars against you, surely.”

“They do.”  Her tone was bitter and she stared down at the floor.  “They say that perhaps if I were better at negotiating or some nonsense, as if such a thing is possible when wars are so simple to declare.  The consequences of losing aren't severe enough.”

“What would you suggest?” he demanded, not able to keep the crossness from his voice.  “That we return to the days of killing each other?  There aren't enough people left to accommodate that.”

“I know.  I know.  I just want – something.”

He heard genuine frustration in her voice and for one brief moment, he thought he understood it.  They sat in silence for a while longer, until Kelly muttered something under her breath about the Ravens taking their sweet time this day.  Even he had to agree.  At that, the woman flickered her gaze up to him again and he saw her eyes focus in on his left brow, just above the eye.

“Did you get that scar from the blood sports?” she asked.

He laughed, genuinely amused.  He'd been wondering if she'd work up the nerve to comment on it.  The scar was certainly prominent enough.

“I did,” he admitted.  “I was a bit more enthusiastic than my teammates and so, well, our opponents felt confident retaliating in kind.”

They'd cornered him, three against one, and broken his ribs and left a gash above his left eye with the cudgels they used, but it gave the rest of his team an opportunity to roll through the remainder of their opponents in force.  He could no longer play, of course, not as Prime Terras.  There was little restraint in the blood sports, and fewer rules.  It was violence, without apology, for while humanity might have done away with war, it was far harder to rewrite nature.  So they fought, in bouts, where the only objective was to subdue the opponent.  It was an outlet and while safety wasn't guaranteed, it was at least close to immediate medical care for the inevitable injury.

“I played a bit when I was younger,” Kelly admitted.  “People would try to knock me over, especially the men.  They thought they could wrestle me down because of my size.”

“Didn't work out for them, did it?” he guessed.

“Nope.”  She sounded grimly pleased.  “It didn't.”

“You miss it?”

A long pause while she considered the question.  When she answered, her words were reluctant.

“Yeah.  I do.”

“I do too.”

There was a click of the double doors opening.  Both of them shot to their feet, waiting to hear what the Ravens had to say.  They fanned out, as they always did, and he met the eyes of his own Raven, hoping to see something there.  She gave him a thin smile, only for a second, and her face slipped back into its cold mask.

“We've concluded the war,” one of the other Ravens intoned.

“Finally,” Kelly hissed.

Donovan couldn't speak.  He waited, heart in his throat, and the Raven continued to talk.  Lauding both nations, explaining that the war had come down to a matter of numbers against technology, and that the size of the technological gap was what determined the victor.  And that the victor was Augusta.

It took everything that he was to not collapse.  His knees felt weak and his stomach twisted around itself.  This -- it had been his one hope -- and now --

He heard someone calling his name.  His Raven.  Dimly, he raised his head and looked at her and she raised a hand and touched her brow, just above the left eye.  He mirrored the gesture.  Off to the side, Kelly was talking heatedly with her Ravens, clearly displeased by something, but he wasn't listening.  He felt the smooth ridge of the scar.

That day still stood in his mind in vivid clarity.  They'd beaten him severely and he'd just laughed, down on his knees, clutching at his broken ribs.  Perhaps that was why one finally struck him across the brow, spurring intervention by the referees.  They'd carried him off the field in a stretcher and one eye had been shut against the blood that poured along the edge of the socket, but he could still see his teammates sweeping the field, rolling up the flank to win the day.  It made the pain worth it, he'd thought, to see that.

“Then,” he asked her in an undertone, “the war isn't quite done, is it?”

“The war is finished,” she replied, just as softly.  “The aftermath, however, will take years.”

He swallowed hard.  She'd said the war would end in his favor.

“Are you serious?!” Kelly snapped, her voice steadily rising in volume and forcing his attention.  “Do you have any idea how hard it is to integrate a conquered population?  We don't need that land!”

She whirled on Donovan, anger in her eyes.  Blaming him for whatever had happened.

“The plains,” she stressed.  “They awarded me the plains.  They're worthless.”

They served as a buffer between their two nations and he had to agree with her assessment.  The lack of uneven terrain allowed the storms to roll across it in constant succession.

“Let Donovan's people emigrate back to their own land,” one of the Ravens suggested.  “Fill it with your own people.”

“That could force a crisis among my own nation,” Donovan said stiffly.  “You'd be sending them to starve if you do this, Kelly.”

“I didn't want to win like this,” Kelly hissed, turning her back to all of them.  “I don't need this!  I have enough problems – okay.  I'll... I'll keep the people and the land.  We can do some emergency construction over the fields, get some climate buffers in at least.  I'll keep the citizens as long as I can but if there's unrest, Donovan, I'm exiling them all right back to you.  This is going to look terrible.  They'll plaster photos of starving children up and put my name all over it.”

His country was a mess, he knew this.  It was the situation he'd been born into and assumed control of, willingly.  Kelly had just been given this problem and now, it seemed she would be blamed for it, regardless of how much or how little of it she actually had a hand in.

“I'm sorry,” he said, awkwardly.  “Our politics aren't so ruthless.”

“I know.”  She ran a hand through her short hair and sighed.  “You're too busy being concerned with growing enough food for the year to worry about idiotic things like public opinion.  You know I can't simply give you the technology you want, right?  There would be outrage.  I'd be removed from office.”

No.  He didn't understand.

“I know,” he just said.

“This is ridiculous,” she snarled, spinning on her heel and stalking away.  “I hired three extra.  You should have done better than this.”

He watched her go for a while, and the four Ravens went with her.  His own came to stand just beside him, close enough that he could smell her hair, perfumed with lavender.  It had been a long time since he'd smelled that particular flower anywhere.

“So I'm a bit slow in following,” he said quietly.  “What, exactly, is my endgame here?”

“We predict that Kelly will try and keep your people as her own for as long as she can,” the woman said demurely.  “When she does open the border up for them to rejoin their homeland, it will be messy and disorganized, as she will be ready to simply be rid of the political embarrassment this will become.  They will be able to take certain things with them.  We expect that with the knowledge and stolen technology they'll acquire, you'll be able to make up the technological gap in roughly three years.”

“We?” he asked sharply, not missing the plural.  She turned her face up to his and he saw fierce pride in her eyes.

“Yes,” she said, sharply.  “We.”

“Five Ravens,” he marveled.  “I had five all along.  We both did.”

“After the Last World War, the division of resources was done hurriedly,” she said.  “It was not... efficiently distributed.  We expect this problem will remedy itself, in time.”

He laughed in an undertone.  So here was the truth of it.  Not a war at all, merely an organized... redistribution.  Framed in the context of a game, just as the blood sports were simply violence given a more civilized veneer.  Augusta was small and the population was burgeoning.  Perhaps it wasn't an issue now, but someday, they would outgrow their allotment.  With the plains, they now had enough room to expand when that time came.  And if the Ravens were correct – and he suspected they were – he had the solution of his own country's troubles as well.  Perhaps not today, or tomorrow, but someday.  In just three years or so.

“Why not call it what it is, then?” he asked her.  “Do away with the pretense?”

“Because there will always be wars,” she replied, “and in one way or another, there will always be ravens to watch over them.”

She wasn't just referring to herself and her sisters.  Something had stripped those bones clean out there in that dead city.  On impulse, he turned and stepped in close to her, so that he felt the beat of her heart against his chest.  He put a hand back behind her head, feeling the smoothness of her hair in his fingers, the scent of jasmine filling his lungs.  It was a presumption, he knew this.  He felt her stiffen, heard her startled intake of breath.  Yet she did not move, did not try to draw away, and he kissed her first on the cheek, near the jaw, then on the lips.  She felt cold to the touch and she was unyielding, her body straight and taut, and he drew away after a moment.  Her eyes were wide.

“Thank you,” he whispered.

Not an apology.  Not an apology at all.  Then, he turned and walked away.  He'd find his pilot in the hangar, he was certain, waiting to take him home.
I was all like YEAH I'M GONNA TRY AND GET A SHORT STORY PUBLISHED SOMEWHERE and then I realized that the short story market is a pain in the ass and I hate trying to get short stories published.
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Stephano was wandering aimlessly, as he usually did when he was

waiting for Pewdie to show up. His golden fingers shone against the

old crumbling walls, as he traced the cracks in boredom. Suddenly,

he perked his head up at a noise he heard from a nearby room.
"Who's there?" He asked the shadows.
His voice echoed away, and all he could hear was the faint sound of

footsteps, coming closer and closer. He nervously grasped the hilt

of his sword, ready to cut throats if necessary.
All tension was released when he saw it was only his best friend,

Mr. Chair. But... he looked a bit pale.
"Oh, Mr. chair, you scared me, I-" He was silenced as his friend

raised two fingers.

"Can you hear it, Stephano?" He whispered, frightened.
Stephano looked around and listened, but couldn't hear a thing.
"I... no." He answered faintly.
"Exactly." Mr. Chair trembled. "The silence..."
He fell to the ground, and Stephano rushed to his side.
"What the hell happened to you?" He asked as he held him up.

Mr. Chair wouldn't answer. The best Stephano could do was lift him

up into a sitting position against the wall. Not knowing what to

do, he sat beside him, listening to the silence.
Mr. Chair was right. The longer he listened to it, the louder it

rang. It was almost deafening.

The silence couldn't be broken. They didn't know how.

They froze there until the silence almost devoured them completely.
Swed Ver: [link]
I also made a second part, because a lot of people asked ^-^ [link]
I wrote this one in plain old English, and I am NOT going through the horrors of translating back and forth... UGH so no Swedish version.
I am a shame to my country OTL

Stephano and Mr. Chair (c) *Pewdie
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Darkness. Pure darkness.
That was all that could be seen from behind my shut eyelids. However, I was used to this sight devoid of light yet…this time it felt more desolate and melancholic than usual.
A face-- her face-- filled my mind for a brief second; filled with pain and fear.
Then I saw the never-ending darkness once more and a high-pitched tone ringing through my ears was the only thing I could hear from the unknown place around me.
Yet, voices still resonated in my mind.

“No! Don’t let go! Just a little longer…Come on! Hang on!”
“N-N-No! I can’t…hold on…!”

I tried to open my eyes but to no avail—it was like they were glued shut. I couldn’t’ move…I couldn’t speak…I-I didn’t know if she was still with me anymore.
That darned tone didn’t waver as I laid there unmoving; it just kept ringing and ringing.
And as the darkness became too much, even for me, I heard her pleading scream and my desperate shouting mix with the high-pitched tone; creating a repulsive mixture of sounds as I succumbed into the dark.

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

As my conscious returned to me I heard a sort of rustling sound but it wasn't harsh, no, it seemed soft-- gentle even.
It just seemed so weird to me; hearing a sound that, for once, wasn't harsh or one showing signs of agression.
And then a pang of unesiness tugged at my heart.

"______...?" I asked, my voice barely rose above a whisper. I didn't know if we were still there but I didn't want to take that chance only to find we were still in that perpetual world of darkness.

...That gentle rustling was only thing that replied. And that was enough to make not only the uneasiness grow but for a sense of dread to join in as well.

"______?"
...Nothing.
"______?! Are you here?!" I asked once more, my voice rising into a yell. I couldn't help it anymore-- I couldn't keep still any longer-- and so my eyes snapped open. And the instant I opened my eyes was also the instant that they would shut tightly once more; trying to hide from the blinding light.

"Arrgh...!" I groaned, quickly shutting my eyes and placing my right arm over my face in hope of keeping out that far too bright light.
The place we were in...was definitely not the dull world that we came from, that's all I knew.
But maybe she was with me here too, just trying to block out the harsh light too. So I dared to open my eyes once more; my curiosity overcoming my desire to protect my sight.

"_____?" I wandered, squinting my eyes so that they were almost close. Though there was still no reply, and the light was still far too strong, I felt...somewhat happy. As I slightly opened my eyes more, I saw an array of vibrant colours; each holding their own unique personality.
I opened my eyes a little more and ignored the stinging pain that came from the light reaching into my eyes. But it was all worth it, this whole place was so bright and so...at peace. Hues of colours that we had determined from books to be green, blue, brown and yellow flooded my vision. The leaves on the trees and bushes actually moved and the dew dripped off of the edge of the many yellow and blue flowers' petals.
It was beautiful.
I opened my eyes fully and sat up, looking up into the sky which was now a light shade of blue rather than the bleak, dark sky that filled our world. However, an extremely bright ball of light caused me to flinch noticeably and look back down at the plants.
It was then I noticed that she was missing.

"She must've gone on without me." I sighed heavily to myself, looking around for something-- anything-- that showed that she'd left. However, nothing was there; no note, no message carved into the trunk of tree, nothing.
Those feeling came back once more.
Where was she? More importantly, was she okay?
I shook the dreadful thoughts from my mind and attempted to focus on the bright world now around me.

...That gentle rustle still filled the air but I couldn't pinpoint where it was coming from. I mean, it was near the trees but I wasn't too sure.
Making my decision, I stood up and walked over to one of the big trees; admiring it's colours and the details on the leaves and the bark-- something we were never able to have seen. Breaking a branch off of the tree, I stared at it cautiously; waiting for it to move like it was mere seconds ago.
Nothing. It didn't move.
So I looked up at the tree again and eyed the moving leaves before glancing back down at the branch I held in my hand, starting to move my hand side to side. As I did, the same sound came from the leaves and I jumped slightly; trying not to drop the branch in shock. Holding the twig up to my ear, I moved my hand again, listening to the rustle coming from the leaves as I did.
Did all plants do this here?

"What a strange place..." I muttered to myself, dropping the part of the tree onto the ground and placing my face into both of my hands; inhaling deeply. Yes, I was still worried but I knew that she wouldn't be wasting any time-- ______ wouldn't do that so neither should I.
I should start moving, this looked like the dark forest we found a time gear in back in our world, this world's future. I should be close to one then.
I started to venture into the forest of trees, passing by the tree who now had a half broken branch hanging down, and never once did I see any darkness mimicking our world; it remained so bright even when I could no longer see the sky. Into the distance, however, something caught my eye-- it was something far too familiar. Walking over to the blue object above me in the distance, I instantly recognised what it was and started to run over to the object hanging from a high branch on one of the trees.
I jumped up onto the next branch and the next until I reached the top; where the blue object was. Feeling slightly saddened by what I saw, I still picked up the sky blue bow and hung my head in regret.
This was ______'s bow.

I should have held onto her...I shouldn't have let her go.

Holding one end of the bow in one hand, I carefully pulled the bow until it was a long, single piece of silk ribbon. It was dirtied for most of the part by what was now brown dirt and dark red stains-- what would have been grey and an even darker grey in our world since they were the colour of dirt and blood respectively. I felt a small smile find its way onto my face as I tied the old ribbon around my wrist, feeling as if she was here with me like old times.
So I looked out and stared at the sky filled with life, thinking to myself that...
She's out there somewhere.
Yeah, I don't even know why I wrote this...
It started out so good and by the end it was just...meh.

So...I guess I should end this with a little something...
I'm sorry for being gone for four weeks but I bet none of you noticed I was gone! Hehehe~ ^.^
I didn't tell any of you because I didn't have the time to and I only did get time to tell one person who kept her promise.
Oh, she knows who she is :)
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“The difference between grace and mercy is simple.
Mercy is not getting what you deserve, and grace is getting
What you do not deserve.”


~



As Loki walked around the palace, he made his way to the gardens. He still couldn’t believe that Thor had simply let him go without a punishment. Yes, he had sentenced Loki to imprisonment in the palace, but it was no different from what his life had been before he’d escaped to Jotunheim. There was no added stipulation, there was no privilege removed. Nothing had changed.

He continued to walk, lost in his thoughts, until he heard someone come up beside him. Glancing over his shoulder he saw that it was Frigga.

“May I join you?” she asked.

Loki nodded. “Of course,” he replied, and the two continued to stroll through the variety of trees and flowers.

“I am pleased with Thor’s decision,” Frigga said as they walked.

Loki glanced at her. “I still don’t understand why he did it. He, more than any of you, would know every reason why I should be imprisoned, or better, executed.”

Frigga nodded slowly, considering her words. “That may very well be, but you have been given a second chance.”

“Why?” Loki questioned, stopping abruptly. “Why did he let me go?”

Frigga gave a soft smiled. “You ask a question that you already know the answer to, Loki.” She replied.

Loki stared at her, still not understanding, which nearly drove him mad. That, or he simply did not want to admit why.

Frigga laughed softly at Loki’s confusion. “The child, Loki,” she said at last. “She is why he has shown you grace.”

“I would have at least expected mercy from Thor,” Loki said absently.

Frigga’s smile faded slightly. “You were given mercy the day you were brought back and were not killed,” she replied. “And Thor has shown you much grace.”

Loki nodded slowly as he resumed walking. “But how did Caedra convince Thor?”

Frigga smiled again. “When she was there, with you, Thor at last saw the truth. He saw your love for her with his own eyes. He saw how you were with her. The way you held her, how you spoke to her. You’ve never treated anyone with such love.”

Loki nodded again. “She is an angel, mother,” he replied. “She is my light.”

“Then keep her as your light,” Frigga said with gentle encouragement. “She is what holds you back from the darkness you have for so long been lost in. The bond you two share is a powerful bond. She is your light and you are her guardian. For as much as you protect her from dangers, she protects you from yourself. Don’t ever let that bond be severed, for you will be again lost without her.”

“I swear I won’t,” Loki promised. “She is as her name means – a saving light.”

Frigga nodded. “Then go to your saving light,” she said, looking forward. Loki also turned his attention to the path before him.

As they rounded the corner, a few yards away near the fountain were Sif and Caedra. They were walking towards Frigga and Loki, though they weren’t extremely close just yet, and neither had noticed that they were not alone.

At the sight of Caedra, Loki felt relief and pride as he watched her walk. Her laugh, her smile, it was all Loki needed to see to keep any anger away from his heart. That was Caedra’s gift.

Caedra looked up quickly and saw Loki. Immediately her eyes grew wide with excitement as she tore away from Sif and started running towards him, calling his name with childish laughter.

Loki smiled and took a few steps towards her, and as she neared him he knelt in the ground with his arms out towards her. She ran to him and threw her arms around his neck, laughing with delight.

As Loki held her close, he felt the warmth of her love seep into him as it had so many times, and at last he understood why. She was his daughter. She was his saving light. She would be what kept him from the evil that was within him. He was not a perfect man, nor would be ever be, but for this child he would try. He had been alone and dead inside for so long, but with Caedra, he was alive again. He was done running from himself. He finally had a reason to start living again.

It had stared in the silence, with the soft sound of a child’s cry. It had been a journey that had showed Loki that he could still love and be loved. All that had been needed was someone to love him and trust him as Caedra – as his daughter – did.

THE END
Cover made by ChristaRennerston 

A Child's Cry Folder

Finally, the end. This is really just the cherry on top of everything else :heart:

From the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you for reading through this, and for following and encouraging (and catching the typos ;) ) me throughout all of this. It many not be the longest story I've ever written in my life, but by far this has the most heart in it. I have discovered so much of my own way of writing and even a lot of who I am because of this story. So thank you for giving me the encouragement that I needed to keep going. And I hope that you all will continue to follow the stories that I write in the future and continue being the wonderful support that you all are. :heart::hug::blowkiss:

~ If you like this story, please add it to your favorites :heart: ~

PLEASE COMMENT!!! :happybounce:

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Part 1 - SilencePart 2 - InnocencePart 3 - GoodnessPart 3.5 - KindheartedPart 4 – AcquiescePar 5 - TemperancePart 6 – ConsequencePart 7 - IgnorancePart 8 - DisseverancePart 9 - DefiancePart 10 - ResistancePart 11 - RevelationPart 12 - AlliancePart 13 - RemembrancePart 14 - ConfrontationPart 15 - RetributionPart 16 - DeliverancePart 17 - GentlenessPart 18 - MeeknessPart 19 - CertaintyPart 20 – JudgmentPart 21 - ReunitedDance With Cinderella [One Shot]Fireflies [One Shot]Promise [One Shot]What Came Before - Part 1What Came Before – Part 2
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Breaking through the Surface takes place in "The Southern Raiders"



Katara shook her head to get rid of the confusion. She still couldn't believe what Zuko had suggested. All her anger, pain and sadness had built up inside her. Revenge was the only thing she could think of.
Of course Aang didn't understand. She didn't expect it anyway. He never had parents himself, he was brought up by monks. Even if Monk Gyatsu was a fatherly friend to him, it wasn't the same.
She packed up her things regardless and threw them onto Appas saddle in this very moment.

Her hair was into a braid again and she wore an entirely unusual outfit.
It was a skinny fitting leggings, a knee-long dress with long sleeves and slits on both sides which reached till her upper thighs, a hooded cloak, fingerless gloves and some fabric over her face, everything pitch black like the starless night she would be disappearing in soon. Really quiet footsteps approached her and she didn't need to look up to know it was Zuko. She felt hot breath tickle the skin below her ear, which made shivers run down her spine, when he leaned over her shoulder without touching her.
"Are you ready?" he breathed
She could feel her body going tense at his husky whisper and it wasn't because she was afraid of the upcoming trip.
He stared at her for a few seconds until she looked at him to whisper "I am.". She could have sworn he was blushing when she turned her face his way, but he quickly turned away while taking a few steps back and it was too dark to be sure.
She shouldn't be wasting thoughts on this. She had set her mind on revenge. Zuko climbed up into Appas saddle and held his hand out for Katara. To his surprise she took it. Her cold, smooth fingertips traced his palm lightly as he released her hand. It was only then when she blinked in confusion, her gaze flicking from her hand to his and back again. She shook her head and climbed on Appas neck and reached for the reigns. In the second she inhaled deeply to set her mind again, Aang and Sokka appeared.
"So you're going anyway, huh?" Sokka said. Aang looked sad and worried but his eyes also held a hint of disappointment.
"Of course" Katara coldly replied.
"I will bring her back safely, I promise." Zuko said looking directly in Sokkas Eyes. Sokka looked into Zukos golden eyes for a few long seconds, searching for any signs of dishonesty but found none and finally sighed "Fine."
"Yip Yip"
Appa leapt up into the air, heading into the dark and starless night.

"I don't need someone to protect me."
Zuko heard annoyance and anger in her voice.
"I know." he said with a hidden snort "But your brother is always worried about you, so I tried to convince him I would take care of you and it worked."
Katara responded with an absent minded noise of approval.

It was strange that he knew exactly what to do so things would be easier for her.
Like convincing Sokka to let any discussion drop.
Like speaking up against Aang to express how important a mother is.
Like this whole trip.
well, here's my second Zutara Fanfic!
I was so proud and encouraged after the positive feedback I got for my first fic Betrayal of the Heart that I wanted to publish another one.

This is kind of a sequel to Betrayal of the Heart, meaning I wrote this story while having in mind what happened before, but you dont have to read BotH to understand this story.

I really hope you enjoy this story and I would love to hear what you think.



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Characters Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko

Story Ideenkotze
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Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
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