What Lies Beneath

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Post by Conleth on Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:15 am

The next morning Kate had been stitched up and her wounds dressed and cleaned. Steve was at her bedside as SHIELD wanted to keep her overnight for observation. Serena has regained consciousness almost as soon as she arrived at the hospital but she was extremely weak. They gave her material to break down though and lots of food. Her and Peter were picking through the large pile of food that had arrived for her. They were eating some of the puddings that were brought, most of it was high calorie, high fat foods, playfully fighting over who would get the chocolate.

Evan had gone through several tests but he appeared to check out alright. He had woken up during the night but hadn’t spoken until he saw Natalya that morning. SHIELD, naturally wanted to know what happened and Tony and Steve had been thoroughly debriefed by Fury and Coulson personally. Nick had been unusually curious about what Evan had did and he agreed in the doubt that Doom was actually dead.

It was a forgone conclusion however that they did not like Evan’s methods. But his power was specific and each time he came close to death, his power seemed to grow stronger exponentially. There was quite the buzz about Evan in the cafeteria. Agents mumbling about exposing their world to some other plane of existence. So much for keeping anything secret but in this particular incident. There was also alot of praise for the Avengers for taking Doom down and saving the civilians that worked at the complex.

Tony, all things considered, was the most injured. He was just a bed away from Serena and smiled at her and Peter talking softly to one another and giggling like they were a couple of high school sweethearts. He looked up at Isabella who was watching him like a hawk. Apparently those energy lances had damaged his nervous system and his last tests were not all that great.

Logan and Natalya were buying coffee to bring up to everyone. Evan was always drinking it and after a bit of begging her he finally got her to go get him some. Pharaoh was with them, following behind them with the cardboard carriers to take up everyone’s orders.

“So what do ya think Doom is doing right about now? You think maybe he’s taking over whatever place he ended up or maybe just trying to stay alive?” Logan asked. “I hope he’s done for, I’m tired of seein his ugly mug,” He said gruffly. “Doom is alot more resilient than we’ll ever know,” Pharaoh said and saw the neutral expression on Natalya’s face. He took it as her being concerned for her man though. “He’s been given a clean bill of health Natalya. They said he would be sore for a few days. You should have seen Nick’s face when Steve told him you were not giving SHIELD the mask. I thought he was going to give himself apoplexy he was so much in disbelief. A good call, though I don’t know what you will do with it,” Pharaoh said. Logan thought that a grand joke though he would. Kate thought it was a good thing as well. SHIELD wasn’t exactly completely trustworthy these days and wanting something so badly didn’t sit well with Steve either.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:36 am

Kate had tried to tell Steve to go back to the Tower to get some proper rest, but he refused and insisted on remaining with her. She was too tired to argue with him and rather quickly fell asleep with him watching over her. Her leg was going to be fine. She would just have to be careful with it for the next few weeks. That meant no training or fighting. Kate was a lot like Natalya in that she hated just sitting around when she could be doing something. It was going to be a long few weeks for her.

Serena had gotten some rest with Peter remaining by her side. When she awoke she was starving and was thankful when the nurse brought her some food. She and Peter playfully fought over what was there and whenever Peter looked at her he would see nothing but the love she felt for him in her eyes. Knowing that Doom likely hadn't been killed made her feel better. She didn't like the idea of killing anyone. She had been raised on the idea of always using non-lethal methods whenever possible. The thought of taking someone's life and having that be on her conscious for the remainder of her life did not sit well with her and she silently wondered how Natalya dealt with all that she had done.

Isabella was concerned about her husband, but tried not to show it too much. She wanted to remain strong for him. As he always was, he didn't seem overly concerned about the test results. He played it off and hid whatever he was feeling. Isabella did not push him to open up to her. Instead, she made sure he was comfortable and had whatever he needed.

Natalya was relieved to know that Evan was alright, however her relief only slightly masked the deep worry about him that was building up inside of her. He was growing far too powerful and she was concerned about what that would do to him long term. She wanted to speak to his father privately and see if he could ease her worries. Evan had wanted some coffee so she, Logan, and Pharaoh had gone out to get some for everyone. Natalya wasn't convinced that this was the last they were going to see of Doom, but she hoped it wouldn't be for a while. She had no intention of giving the mask to Fury and she had told him that. Fury didn't trust her and she didn't trust him and there was no point in trying to rectify that. They each had reasons not to trust each other. She looked over at Pharaoh and gave him a little smile when he commented about the mask.

"I'm actually thinking about hanging it on the wall in my bedroom as a trophy," she replied with a grin.

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Post by Conleth on Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:05 am

Pharaoh grinned at what she said but then he shifted his gaze over to Logan. “Logan, may I speak to Natalya alone for a moment?” He asked and maintained his grin. Logan shrugged and took up one of the cup holders filled with coffees. “I’ll see ya upstairs,” he said simply as he looked what the coffees actually were and headed off. Pharaoh watched him go then turned back to Natalya. His eyes scanned the area near them and decided they had relative privacy.

“You are with Evan but yet, you hold yourself back from him. If I didn’t know you better, I’d say you were afraid to put all of yourself into your relationship with him. Evan is young Natalya. Young to have that much power. He needs you and your guidance. You need to get past who you used to be and what you’ve done and be there for him if this thing between you has any chance to really work. He watches you sometimes when you are not looking. He knows I think, that you’re always holding back. It is your choice ofcourse, love him or push him away but you might consider one or the other. If you let him go now he might be able to handle that break fairly well if it is a clean and sharp one. You always have Logan yes?” He added at the end but she’d know what he meant by that. Sometimes having something or in this case, someone to fall back to gives a false sense of security. ‘If she just dangled her feet into Evan’s pond and he stepped away she still had Logan. Not particularly fair to Evan nor Logan for that matter.

He was concerned about Evan, they all were and he was only voicing that concern out loud for her to hear it. “No one is asking you to be what you’re not or to give what you aren’t ready to. But perhaps, think about what Evan wants and what he needs. If it is not what you are willing to give, you should be honest about it...to yourself. Evan might say he is willing to take whatever you are willing to give, but no man is really truthful to himself when he says that. If I embarrass you by speaking of these things, you have my apologies. I do not know him well but I do know you and care for you a great deal...as the younger sister I never had,” Pharaoh said as he put his hand on her shoulder.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:43 am

Natalya was a little surprised when Pharaoh asked to speak to her alone. She wasn't sure what he might wish to say or ask her and she glanced at Logan as he walked away. When Logan was gone she turned her attention back to Pharaoh. She listened to what he had to say about her relationship with Evan. She sighed a little, though it wasn't a sigh of anger or frustration. It was more a sigh of knowing that what Pharaoh said was true.

"You're right," she finally said. "I am holding myself back. I have never truly been in a relationship before. Malcolm and I were just at the beginning stages, though he was clearly further along emotionally than I was," she admitted. "To be honest, being in a relationship and having someone depend on me terrifies me a little. I'm much more comfortable emotionally manipulating men, but I guess that will change with time. It doesn't help matters that I know that I love Logan. I feel as if I am tangled in a web of my own making. I want to give myself entirely to Evan, but I am growing concerned about him and his powers. Perhaps though I shouldn't be and I am just making up excuses to keep myself emotionally distant."

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Post by Conleth on Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:00 am

Pharoah found it difficult to hold back his smirk at what Natalya was saying. ‘What woman didn’t want, in at least, some minor way, to manipulate the men in their lives?’ He wasn’t certain he knew any. Men were usually more open about their manipulation than women were...well, in his experience.

“I think Evan might like you to manipulate him. He has that ‘nurturing’ way about him. He craves to be needed and being able to comfort you has been a good start. Have you considered giving him tasks? Unreasonable requests to make his head spin? Other more ‘intimate’ requests? You are a mystery to him I think and yet you refuse to put him out. Men like to work for their supper Natalya. Perhaps it is you that needs to feel loved? Which is different than ‘being’ loved. I think Evan feels that for you already,” He said and smiled so brightly at her his eyes twinkled. Pharaoh was such the romantic. He had women 'occasionally’ in his life. But none that made him want to stick with one particular woman. “Mix things up, I doubt you’re ever against a little excitement!” Pharaoh said with enthusiasm. “You my dear, are a prize for any man...or woman,” He said. “Make him earn you,” he said.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:12 am

Natalya nearly blushed at what Pharaoh said to her and it wasn't easy to make her blush. Pharaoh had a way of talking to her that made her feel wanted and needed that even Logan couldn't always achieve. She wasn't in love with Pharaoh, but she liked having him in her life. He was a man she could really talk to that she wasn't concerned was saying what he was saying because of any emotional attachment to her. She always got the truth from Pharaoh and she appreciated that greatly.

She and Pharaoh continued on and she brought over two coffees to Evan's bed. She sat down on the edge of the bed and handed him his before taking hers out of the carrier. "I hope that even though we have defeated Doom, at least for now, that you will continue to stick around at the Tower. It's been nice having you there."

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Post by Conleth on Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:50 am

Evan was actually feeling much better. Serena could have easily killed him but her restraint and control had won the day. Hers and Natalya’s. He was laying on his back when Natalya came into his room. He smiled at her and lifted up his head. He was still on a white hospital gown under a white sheet and white blanket that did almost nothing to make him feel warmer. He was cold and the prospect of something hot to drink perked him right up. He frowned at what Natalya had said but as he turned his head to look at her he smiled.

“Well, I can think of a few reasons to stay,” Evan said suggestively. “I will admit, I need alot of training. I’m tired of being in hospitals and beds after…” he said. He wanted to tell natalya that he loved her. Being able to help her through her night terrors made him feel closer to her. As if he was really being helpful to her. “God you’re beautiful,” he said softly though he had initially thought it was just what he was thinking. He had actually said it out loud. He covered his embarrassment though by taking a sip of coffee.

“Being on that edge though,” Evan began as he thought about it. He had that glint of excitement in his eyes. “A razor’s edge between life and death. Feeling as if I used anything more I might be burned into nothing and a little less and be scoured away in a storm of ice. It was...exhilarating,” Evan said honestly. “Doom was...is a terrible man who hurt people to show others he could. I think I understand now...my mistake...at the SSB complex,” Evan said and his frown returned. “I don’t ever want to be like that. Everyone’s life is precious...even Doom’s I guess,” He said though his expression said he didn’t like that it might be true as far as Doom was concerned.

There was alot that Evan wanted to say to Natalya. But they...their relationship was only moving as fast and as far as she wanted it to move. She had said for him to be patient and he was. Well he was trying to be patient but it wasn’t always easy to be. Fighting alongside Natalya had been exciting as well. She’d have to drive him away to get him to leave now. He took another sip of his coffee.

Tony had needed help to go to the bathroom. Once there though he told Isabella that he’d call her when he was finished. In the bathroom he brought up Jarvis on his wrist. “Jarvis, I need a deep body scan,” He whispered. “Commencing the scan now sir,” Jarvis said. After a few moments Jarvis began listing off everything that was wrong with him. He had suffered some pretty serious nerve damage and it was affecting his motor abilities. ‘Just great, Isabella was already worried about him, now this?’ “There is a chance sir that it is a debilitating effect. Therapy will help slow down its effects but you are likely to get worse,” Jarvis said. Tony leaned back against the wall, his eyes filling up with tears as he considered his predicament. He didn’t want to end up like his friend James. Needing the suit just to get around. He couldn’t tell Isabella though, not right now anyway. “Jarvis, begin working on…” he began. He would design an implant to help enhance is ability to move and hide the fact that he was getting progressively worse to everyone.

“Hey, be careful where you point those things!” Peter joked at Serena who was about to shove him back playfully for mocking her. ‘I love you’ He mouthed to her so her mother would not hear. ‘And I want you to’ He added and loved how she blushed. He was beginning to really enjoy being in a real relationship with Serena. And living in the tower afforded them the best of both worlds. Though he would like to have more privacy. They were still sneaking around when they wanted to ‘be physical’ with one another. But he was alright with that for now.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:38 pm

As Natalya looked at Evan she could hear Pharaoh's words echoing in her head. She needed to open herself up to Evan more, make him feel like she needed him...which she did. He was one of the few who had seen her at her most vulnerable. He did not judge her because of her past and he let her be herself around him. She wanted to know what it was like to be in a real relationship. One built on trust and love. Opening herself up to Evan would be difficult, but that above anything else would show him just how much she cared about him. She smiled a little at his comment about her being beautiful, particularly when she realized he had not meant to say it out loud. It was nice to hear though. She knew she was attractive, but beauty was something else entirely. Beauty involved the body, heart, and soul. She had never considered herself to be beautiful before...not after all she had done. Hearing those words made her feel good inside and caused her to smile warmly at him.

What he said next though caused her smile to fade a little. It worried her to hear him say that it thrilled him to be on the edge of death. She understood that feeling though. She felt the same way. It was built into her DNA. Being close to death made her feel alive. However, with what Evan had been doing he very easily could have been killed. She was quiet a moment before looking at him. "Evan, I cannot tell you not to feel the way you felt fighting Doom because I feel that way myself when I am fighting. I just ask that you be more careful when you are using your powers like that. To be honest it frightened me not knowing how to help you. I just got you back into my life. I'd rather not lose you just yet because I...I love you."

When she said these words Evan would know she was being sincere and not just saying what she thought he wanted to hear.

Isabella was trying to hold herself together, but it was difficult. She was exhausted and though she no longer needed to be worried about Serena, she was still worried about Tony. He was her husband, best friend, and partner. She couldn't live without him and she needed him to be alright. She stood near the bathroom to listen for when he needed her help and leaned back against one of the walls. Though he was trying to be quiet she could hear what he asked Jarvis to do. When Jarvis began listing everything off she felt a few tears roll down her cheeks. They would get through this though...one way or another she would ensure that they made it through.

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