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Post by Conleth on Wed May 01, 2019 10:45 pm

Before he could tell her what he was really feeling Tony appeared. “Peter, can you let everyone know I want to call a meeting...say 1 hour,” he said and looked at Serena. “What’s up kiddo, id like to take you out to dinner later, You game?”

Steve held Kate close to him. He had spent a lot of days alone in this bed and right then he didn’t want to let her go. His arms wrapped her up as she lay in front of him under the blanket. Her hair was in his face but he didn’t care. He snuggled up to her and took in her warmth. He chuckled in her ear.

“I for one am glad these rooms are sound proofed,” he said. And felt her face break into a smile. “When I was among the troops all they used to talk about was either getting home to their mothers, their fathers, their sisters or their girlfriends and wives...their children,” he said and his grin faded thinking back. “Many of them never made it back. But you did and your all the family I Really have Kate. I let that fact influence my behavior. I tried to get in the way when it came to putting you in danger. Now that I’ve had a chance to think about that I know that was a mistake. It won’t be easy but I have to do what’s best for the mission not what’s best for us,” he said.

“If I tell you, your not going to like it,” Malcolm said. “But I know I need to do it,” he added. “It will be televised,” he said. “Hey...you guys...uh...Mr. Cross? You in there?” Peter asked from outside the sauna. “Tony called a meeting in an hour,” he said.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Thu May 02, 2019 6:25 am

Serena's heart began to beat a little faster when she saw Peter hesitate and run his hand through his hair nervously. He struggled to open his mouth and she began to fear what he was going to actually say. However, before he could get the words out her father showed up and Peter seemed relieved to get out of there. She sighed a little as she watched Peter leave before looking back at her father. "Uh...sure...that's fine. Can I sit in on the meeting?"

Kate was almost deliriously happy. She had dreamt of this moment for almost seven months and here she finally was, back in Steve's arms. No one else could make her feel the way he did. She knew in her heart that they were meant to be together and she would do anything to make him happy.

As she lay there on his chest she listened as he began to speak. She let him speak without interruption and then slowly turned her head and looked up at him. "I love you Steve."

A few seconds later she heard her phone beep, signaling a text message. She used her telekinesis powers to bring the phone over to her and she read the text from Nat. "Tony is calling a meeting in 1 hour apparently. Do you know what this is about?"

After Peter left, Natalya lay there a little while longer thinking about the press conference and the huge risk Malcolm was taking for her. "Why do you love me Malcolm?" she asked softly.

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Post by Conleth on Thu May 02, 2019 7:49 am

To be honest Malcolm did not want to move. Feeling her against him, in the steamy heat was like a dream. He smiled at her question though in truth he could only give her a half answer. For some of it, he did not know he just knew that he did. “Because even after all that you’ve been through, everything, all of it, you still get up every day...and try,” he said. “I know you have bad dreams and waking moments when your thoughts go deep into the dark places of your memory. I notice your expressions, sometimes. How they can change so abruptly and only for an instant. Something will remind you of the past, of some horrible event or moment and you will recall it in your head. Despite that, you still ‘want’ to be loved. One day I hope that you come to believe that you deserve it. And perhaps I just like hard luck cases,” he added though his smile grew when he said that last part.

“Should we get up?” He asked and reached around her and squeezed her butt cheek. “I’ve never had sex in a sauna before,” he said seductively but they both seemed to sigh at the same time. “Oh alright,” He said and they both got up to get dressed.

Peter had informed everyone but more importantly he had made a decision about Serena. She was out of his league and he needed to accept that. He would just be her friend and nothing more, he thought. He arrived early in the conference room and was the first one there.

Steve held onto Kate as she tried to pull away. Steve sighed and eventually let her go though and they both began to get dressed.

In the conference room Serena was there before anyone else. Tony had said she could come and he went to retrieve the case he had brought. She had that, slightly sad determined look on her face and she came right up to him and sat on the table next to him and in such a way he could not avoid her.

“Serena,” Peter began, he did not like her looking at him as she was. She always did that when she wanted him to tell her what he knew he should not. Usually about a mission or what they were facing. This time though it was about his behavior.

“Well if you don’t know then I’m certainly not telling you,” He blurted out as if dragged and crossed his arms in front of his chest stubbornly as if that was some kind of shield against her. His face had a slightly sad and neutral expression. He always put on a good face in front of the others.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Thu May 02, 2019 8:00 am

Natalya wanted to stay there in the sauna with Malcolm. However, they both knew that if they didn't get up now then they weren't going to. She stood up and got dressed. As she dressed she glanced his way and wondered how she had gotten so lucky. She had never imagined she would find any other man who would understand and accept her like Logan had. And yet here he was in front of her, wanting to love her for who she was.

Serena was surprised that her father was allowing her to join the meeting. However, she did not question it. She just nodded and left to go find Peter. She found him in the conference room alone. She walked over to him and hopped up to sit on the table beside him. She looked at him and for a long moment silence hung between them.

"I do know...at least I think I do," she finally said. She looked down at her hands. "Peter, you're my best friend. I just don't think of you in that way. But you mean more to me than any other guy. Besides, my father would never let me date a superhero."

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Post by Conleth on Thu May 02, 2019 8:43 am

Her insistence that she needed to ‘vocalize’ it did turn his frown into more of a scowl even though her words felt like honey to his ears. She was just letting him down easy was all. “Then there isn’t anything more to talk about,” He said coldly though part of him was dying inside. God he loved her...what ‘was’ he going to do! Get over her, that’s what. He knew he had to, somehow.

Logan and Pharaoh entered first, though Pharaoh still had a limp. Then Steve and Kate then Tony with the case. Pharaoh sat immediately but Logan waited by the entrance to the large room for Natalya. And then remembered that he shouldn't be. Knowing that felt...odd to him. He felt as if part of her was pulled away from him. He didn't like that but there was little he could do about it now. He didn’t know why he felt a stab of jealousy toward Malcolm but it was there. He didn’t like that either. He sat next to Pharaoh and Malcolm let Natalya enter before him and he waited for her to sit before he did. Logan normally sat next to Natalya but he hadn’t this time and he avoided looking at her as well. He saw Natalya look at him more than once but he felt a clean break was best. He felt...odd about her with Malcolm, as if he didn’t know how to act around her now. He figured the oddness would pass in time but he missed how close they used to now.

Malcolm, Kate and Steve seemed to be unusually happy and Tony picked up on that right away. “So I guess I missed alot while I was gone,” he said then mumbled, “The Tower is turned into a couples retreat,” as he stepped away toward the case.

“I’ve had quite the holiday...so naturally I got some work done. I met with our old friend Dr. Strange who told me about a book I needed to find,” he said as he surveyed the room. He grinned. “And me not much of a reader wondered what he was talking about,” he said then moved up to his case and opened it. He brought out a long, cylindrical bar of what looked like a blued metal of some sort. It had no other markings.

“Oh, Uru,” Pharaoh said simply. Logan had never really paid attention to things like ‘material compositions’ of things so he had no clue. Peter gasped just as Kate did. Natalya and Malcolm had never heard of the substance so they looked on interestly to find out. “What would Dr. Strange give you that?” Steve asked and looked at Kate with a confused expression.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Thu May 02, 2019 10:14 am

Serena felt like her heart was breaking into a thousand pieces in her chest. She knew in that moment that she had lost her best friend. Nothing would ever be the same between them and she felt like part of her soul had been ripped out. She wanted to scream and cry and throw things, but instead she just slipped into a seat and sat there. An awkwardness settled between them that she had never felt before with him. It was strange and she hated it.

Kate walked in with Steve and they sat down next to one another. Kate took note that Logan at first seemed to be waiting for Nat, but he then sat down away from where he usually sat, which was next to her. Nat walked in with Malcolm and they sat down together. Nat sat in her usual seat and Malcolm took the seat next to her, which up until that moment had always been Logan's. Nat looked over at Logan, but noticed that he was purposefully looking away from her. She decided that she needed to talk to him. She would not lose him as her best friend...she just wouldn't. Malcolm would need to understand that. Logan had come first and he would always be in her life.

Kate looked at Tony as he stood up in front of everyone with the metal case he had returned with. As he pulled out the long, cylindrical bar of blue metal Kate almost immediately knew what it was. When Pharaoh confirmed it she wondered why Dr. Strange would have given that to Tony.

"Mjolnir is forged from Uru," she told Steve, Natalya and Malcolm. "How did Dr. Strange acquire it and more importantly why did he give it to you?"

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Post by Conleth on Thu May 02, 2019 10:38 am

Tony looked at Pharaoh that seemed to have an unusual insight to alot that most people didn’t know or understand. “Pharaoh,” Tony said plainly and set the cylinder down on the table. Pharaoh looked at the bar or metal indifferently. “Uru is not a normal metal by any means. It is extremely strong ofcourse but its uniqueness lies in its ability to be enchanted by magic and hold its enchantments indefinitely. The enchantments must be added during the forging which can not be accomplished by any mundane means. As I said the metal is quite strong. However an enchantment, once added will be increased several degrees in this metal. That and Uru takes some of the strength and power of its wielder and adds that into its power when used,” He said as if he had read it somewhere….which he likely had.

“Well the professor is right and he gave it to me because he said he ‘needed to,’” Tony said. “I mean, I won’t begin to understand what a wizard knows but he would not say more than that. “And to keep it in a safe place,” Tony added. “He also,” he began and picked up the cylinder, placed it in the case and lifted up an old book that looked as if it were bound in leather. However upon seeing it Pharoah looked away from the book and touched his head as if looking at it had hurt him physically. “Take it away!” Pharaoh croaked in obvious distress and Peter’s jaw dropped. Steve’s expression grew to one of deep concern though Logan looked curious more than anything else. Malcolm did to but frowned knowing whatever it was, he knew he didn't like it. Peter looked at Serena for a moment then looked away when he saw her eyes shift over toward him. Tony’s face didn’t change but he put the book back into the case then closed it. Once he did that Pharaoh seemed to relax and take a breath.

“Pharaoh?” Tony asked calmly. “I acquired the book from Wanda Maximoff but Strange told me exactly where to find it. She tried to stop me from taking it but I managed to escape with it,” he said. Pharaoh appeared to have collected himself. “That is the Asenath Grimoire. It once belonged to Mephisto and it is bound in the human flesh of a sacrifice. Black magic,”He said worriedly. Logan swallowed visibly. Pharaoh was afraid of nothing and he looked terrified right then.

“Do you think she will try to take it back?” Steve asked.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Thu May 02, 2019 11:00 am

Natalya was extremely curious about the Uru and listened intently as Pharaoh informed them a little more about the mysterious metal. It now made more sense as to why Thor’s Hammer was so powerful. It came partly from his own strength, but partly from the Uru. Serena’s eyes studied the blue metal as much as she could before her father put it away. She had her father’s innate sense of curiosity and wanted to study the metal more closely. However, she knew that her father would probably never allow it. After Tony put away the metal cylinder he picked up what appeared at first to be just an ordinary, old, leather bound book. However, it became immediately apparent to everyone present that it was not in any way ordinary when Pharaoh reacted so strongly to its presence. He shrank back away from it like a vampire would to sunlight. He appeared…afraid. That was the first time Natalya had ever seen him afraid of anything. It unnerved her. Serena felt Peter’s eyes on her and she looked back at him and then he looked away. She sighed softly but didn’t say anything. He was still in the room with her, but she felt as if he was a million miles away.

After Tony put away the book Pharaoh seemed to relax and return to normal. Everyone anxiously waited for him to tell them about the book, but what he said shocked everyone there. Kate’s eyes widened upon hearing that the book was bound in the flesh of a human sacrifice and contained black magic.

“So, if someone has this book then they can magically enchant the Uru with black magic?” Serena asked.

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Post by Conleth on Thu May 02, 2019 11:56 am

“So why would Strange put these 2 items together and give them to us?” Steve asked. “Because, if someone came for whomever had them, they wouldn’t be as able as we are to stop them,” Malcolm said. “So maybe he knows someone will come if they find out we have them both,” Peter said and Logan nodded in agreement. “But...who could use the book?” Peter asked and all eyes shifted to Steve when he sighed but it was Kate that answered. “Doom,” She said softly and the room itself suddenly became chilly. Malcolm shifted his hand to take Natalya’s into his and he squeezed it and felt relief when she squeezed his back.

Tony’s logic was sound though it just put them back into the meat grinder. If Doom discovered where the items he wanted were, he would come for them for certain sure. There was a moment of silence in the large room as everyone came to that same revelation.

“Let him come,” Logan growled and he grinned at Natalya. He was always ready for a fight and this was no different as far as he was concerned. The meeting began to break up and people began to filter out of the room. Peter came right up to Serena and pulled her aside.

“You don't have to stay here, you know. Doom isn't after us, specifically. Only the book and the metal,” he said without his former irritated tone. His words were soft and heartfelt. He already knew though that unless Tony made her leave, she wouldn’t. They shared a small secret between them. Ok, not so small. They had worked out how she could use her powers to power one of Tony’s suits, and likely a few of them. Wear it just like he did. They also developed a program that would allow her verbal commands to work with Jarvis if she gave Jarvis the verbal code. All of that could get them both in alot of trouble with Tony if he ever found out. That’s why whenever he saw her alone in his lab...it made him nervous. Serena was genius like her father and he knew she was likely working on something.

Malcolm saw the looks between Natalya and Logan and as they stepped out of the conference room he whispered to her. “Go talk to him...I’ll see you tomorrow.” Which meant he had decided to leave now and his offer for her to come along was no longer valid. He stepped away from her and he didn’t look back.

Logan had gone straight to his room. Pharaoh did to as well as Kate. Steve and Tony were having a quiet conversation as they walked toward the stairs.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Thu May 02, 2019 1:42 pm

Kate was terrified at the thought of Dr. Doom using the book and the Uru. If he was able to get his hands on them then he would be virtually unstoppable. The knowledge of this sank in with everyone around the table and the room became quiet and still for a moment. They needed to ensure that didn't happen. It was now clear as to why Dr. Strange had entrusted those two objects with them. They were the ones who could protect them the most easily. However, that also meant Dr. Doom would know where to come looking for them.

After the meeting was over Kate headed up to their room for a few minutes to contemplate everything that had just happened. As Natalya was leaving with Malcolm he stopped her and whispered to her that she should go talk to Logan. She nodded and watched him walk away. She would have to wait until tomorrow to see the press conference and hear what he had to say. She went to the kitchen and grabbed two bottles of beer and headed up to Logan’s room. She knocked on the half open door and stepped inside. “I was hoping we could talk for a little while,” she said as she offered him one of the bottles.

Serena meanwhile had made a decision. She looked over at Peter after everyone had left. “No, I want to be here. I feel it in my gut that this is where I’m supposed to be...what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m going to find my mother’s suit. I know it’s here somewhere. I know I can do this. Dad won’t even let me try.”

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Post by Conleth on Thu May 02, 2019 1:58 pm

Peter sighed seeing the resolve in Serena’s eyes. “Oh alright, I’ll help you find it then,” her said reluctantly. What this meant was that when Tony found out they’d both be in heaps of trouble. “I guess we might as well get started,” he said but grimaced when he poked in Tony’s direction.

Logan accepted the beer and squeezed off the cap. He felt the coolness of it in his hand and looked at the amber color as tiny bubbles clothed quickly to the newly exposed surface. He took a long drink.

“I think it’s just going to take time,” he said plainly. “One moment I felt as right as rain about us and the next...I don’t know, maybe part of me had hopes we’d find a way to get back together,” he said. His timing to say these things now was horrible but he hadn’t considered that and he continued.

“I mean I think I’ve learned my mistake like Steve has. The missions come first and we all need to trust the other to do their part. I let my end falter and innocent people died. Well, your here now and I’ll never be able to feel sorry about it. If we weren’t here at all, more people would have died. I call that a win even though I know I screwed up,” he said plainly and in his usual gruff demeanor. He did look down a moment and plainly did not look on her direction.

“I know I have feeling for Jean but...she’s not mine to have. And will never be,” he said though he looked as if he had just eaten something that tasted terrible to say it. He looked up at her. “I think about you Nat, I feel myself wanting more...wanting you,” He said plainly. Logan was never one to beat around the bush. “I guess what I need you to tell me is that it’s to late for us,” he said. “Or it isn’t,” he added as he looked at her. Hoping that their history together counted for something.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Thu May 02, 2019 5:26 pm

Serena was surprised to hear that Peter was going to be helping her. She hadn't expected it...not after the conversation they had had before the meeting had started. However, she wasn't going to turn down his help. Perhaps this would help repair some of the awkwardness between them. She promised herself thought that if they did get caught by her father that she would ensure that she took all the blame and that he didn't punish Peter for helping her. "I know my father kept it because he told me he had when I asked him a few years ago. All he told me though was that he hid it away because every time he looked at it he thought about my mother."

Nat opened up her bottle of beer and sat down on Logan's bed. Memories of passionate nights together in this room filled her mind for a moment before she shook them away. She looked at Logan and let him speak. Part of what he said didn't surprise her, however...the last thing he said did. She had never expected him to ask her something like that. She hesitated a moment as she considered what to say. "Logan...I am always going to love you. That will never change. I mean I owe you so much. You spared my life. You had the opportunity to kill me that day. You had gotten the upper hand and I was down, but you decided to give me another chance. I doubt anyone else would have done that but you. You then helped me figure out who I am and where I belong and have stood by me through it all. You are so much more than a friend and with you...us...it will never be fully off the table Logan, but right now I'm with Malcolm...and I love him. He's a good guy and I want to see what happens with us...but I don't want what you and I have to ever be changed. Please don't be upset with me..." She looked down and tears came to her eyes. "I couldn't bear to lose you Logan. I don't know what I would do."

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Post by Conleth on Thu May 02, 2019 11:07 pm

Part of Logan, a big part knew what her answer would be before she even started to speak. Knowing didn’t make it any easier though. He had blown his chance for love...for the second time. “Nat...you know me better then that,” Logan said. “I’m always on your team,” he said. He managed to keep his face neutral but it was not easy. That and his heart was beating a mile a minute. It had taken a lot to put himself out like that to her. He did respect her decision though. And he would never really say it out loud. His pride was wounded but what was was and he would not lose a friend like Natalya because she loved another man.

“Well, now that that’s clear...we need to have a plan for Victor,” he said with an abrupt change of subject. “He will be coming and he is very powerful,” he said.”We almost didn’t make it back on the last mission and he wasn’t even there,” he said.

They began in Tony’s lab. Serena had found one of Tony’s vision devices and she was scanning the lab foot by foot. “The suit could be anywhere,” Peter said as he began to examine the walls near some of the larger machines. For the moment it was just the two of them in the lab. “Logan and Natalya are good friends,” Peter said. “Even after...you know, they were together,” Peter said though he wasn’t looking at her when he spoke.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Fri May 03, 2019 8:39 am

Natalya knew that it had taken a lot for Logan to be as honest as he had just been. He had put himself out there and she felt as if she had hurt him. She knew it was just going to take time, but he seemed willing to work to continue to keep their friendship as it was. When Logan changed the subject to Dr. Doom, Nat was grateful and took a sip of her beer as she considered the problem. "Well, we do now have Kate back on our side. As long as he doesn't put another spell on her then she will be a great help against him."

Serena was scanning the lab inch by inch. She knew it had to be in here. She had just started scanning the walls when she heard Peter's comment about Nat and Logan. She glanced over at him slightly and noticed he wasn't looking in her direction. She raised an eyebrow slightly. "...Yes...and...?"

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