It all started as a game. Cosmic Entities wanting to create the ultimate show. So they merged the Marvel and DC universes to see who was best. But it didn't quite work out that way and they lived in peace. Until the kabal of Circe, Dormammu, Darkseid and Thanos teamed up. Heroes and villains alike came together to stop them. When they were done the kabal was defeated but over half of NYC was destroyed and the heroes and villains who opposed them were left maimed and/or insane from the war. The rest were simply dead, along with millions. Now the next generation is nearly forced to step up, trying to save the world.
Apocalypse has arrived with his Horsemen and army. Titan Tower, Jean Grey Academy, Central City, Keystone City and more have fallen. Thousands, if not Millions of humans have been killed by the Plague. Human/Mutant relations are at their lowest in 15 years. SHIELD has been crippled by all the attacks and heroes are falling. Help may be coming though! CURRENTLY LOOKING FOR A MODERATOR. PM JJ GRAYSON IF INTERESTED! ALL CREDIT FOR CODING AND SKIN WORK GOES TO CHUCK
Tessa had her own guesses about why Sharon hadn’t told her that Dean had actually been alive this whole time. Well really only one guess, and that was that the woman hated her and didn’t tell Tessa out of spite. Maybe Sharon had actually had a good reason, like she knew Tessa would have simply sat by Dean’s side, day after day, wasting away into nothing. Barely eating and sleeping. Losing all connections with the outside world...Nah, it was totally the petty reason of keeping her son all to herself.
Tessa looked back at A Seb who was still going on like she was sitting across from him. ”No one important. Sebastian Blood X. Although, you got that entire scene wrong. He’d never take me out for anything, even a drink. We’d be spending…” She paused and turned back to Dean. ”Not at a cafe.”
She followed him as he went from door to door, reliving the glimpses of memories behind each one. ”Being a mercenary isn’t all bad. People think it’s just about renegades with guns who like money and don’t care what the hell happens to people as long as they get paid.”
She reflexively reached out and grabbed for his hand. ”I want to show you a memory.” Tessa looked down the row of doors. ”Do I just pull it open?” Recalling a memory while awake was so much easier to pull up a memory, especially a good memory. Her eyes stayed fixed on the man before her. She could still feel his chest pressed against her back when she’d put herself between him and Lewis.
She hadn’t been thinking then, just reacting, running on instinct. Looking at him now, she wanted to trust that instinct to trust him fully like she use to, but logic wouldn’t let her. He’d fooled her for years about who he was. What if he was still toying with her now.
He made a mental note to remember that name. Sebastian Blood X, apparently he was close to Tessa. Dean would need to find him and...chat with him, possibly after two bullets to the knees. Of course he was thinking that without knowing that Sebastian was a vampire and would heal. All he knew was another guy was interested in her. Of course he had been dead to her, but he still found himself insanely jealous, just trying his best to hide it.
"I didn't put him there, your mind did. I just set up the scenario and your mind put whatever guy interested you in there. Honestly not sure what I was expecting, kinda hoping for me or some random celebrity."
He said as he went around checking doors. He glanced over as she tried to explain or defend her self for becoming a mercenary. Of course he felt she didn't need to do any of that. He would always be on her side, even when there were times he shouldn't be. In his eyes she could never do anything wrong.
"You don't have to defend yourself to me. It just wasn't what I expected. I know you're a good person."
He said before she took his hand. He glanced down at their hands before looking up at her. As she asked him if she could actually open the door he shrugged a bit.
"I suppose it's possible. Can't promise you'll find what you're looking for but you can try. But yeah, the doors work like any kind of normal door. Just be careful, every memory is back there, even ones you've blocked out."
Tessa watched him. In here she didn’t feel like she had to pretend to be pissed. Here she just wanted to hug him. She still cared that he had lied to her for all these years, but she was also just damn pleased to see him. In here, no one knew if she was being strong or not. But still she just watched him, opening doors. He said that she didn’t have to defend herself to him, but she wanted him to know what had happened since he last saw her. She didn’t know why.
She jumped ahead of him to the first door she saw. A part of her also wanted to make sure he didn’t seen anything she didn’t want him to. She pulled open the door, maybe a bit too eagerly, expecting to find the little Chinese girl running up to give her a hug her. What she was not expecting was to see James’ bare ass in her bed. She quickly closed the door, wincing as a moan escaped.
”Nope! Not that one,” she announced, trying to move on to another door.
As she jumped in front of him he peeked over her shoulder as she opened the door. He quickly regretted it and shook his head. He shoulder understand, she had moved on. To her he was dead and she was moving on with her life. He couldn't blame her but he was still hurt none the less.
"I always told Buck he should get that looked at."
He may have recognized the bare ass and back. Between the mole and the scar it looked familiar. However he had nothing to base it on. He'd rather it wasn't the case but he never was the lucky type. He sometimes wondered if he had been cursed at some point. Given his childhood it was entirely possible he encountered someone who cursed him.
He moved from her, a little quiet and still hurt before checking another door. He shrugged a closed it before moving on to the next one. He wasn't too interested in the door. He just wanted to finish this up and try and get back to normal. That and there was a bottle of Whiskey in his locker with his name on it.
"Just some little Asian girl. I don't think Hatter was that messed up or taking orders from a child. Of course I wouldn't be that surprised either way to be honest. I spent a year in that psycho's head. It would explain why he got along with the Joker so well."
To be quite honest, Tessa was expecting a little bit bigger blow up about the last door than what he gave. She’d never tell a soul, living, dead, or damned that it actually made her feel a bit crestfallen. She didn’t want him mad at her, but his lack of reaction, well some sort of emotion would be nice. His last words pulled her out of her….head?
”What? No, wait!” She lunged forward and grabbed his hand, pulling on it hard to get him back to the door. ”This is what I wanted to show you.” There was quite a long pause as she looked at him, her features softening. ”I know you wanted to just get in and out, but I thought maybe we could actually talk, without anyone eavesdropping on us. Please.”
She kept telling herself that is was prove to him that she was still doing good in the world despite her title as a mercenary, but maybe it was more to prove it to herself. So many times she lay awake at night, all night, trying to avoid dreaming about the past. Of course, all she could then think about were the rich snobs she’d protected who didn’t even deserve protection.
She kept hold of his hand as she backed towards the door, opening it. The scene played out just like she remembered. A man and women were waving at her, them. Their little girl was running down the gangplank of their ship towards her. Tessa let go of Dean’s hand, kneeling down as the little girl rushed into her arms. She doubted that she’d ever get over that feeling of gratitude from the one little hug.
She let the girl go, watching her run back to her parents. Tessa looked over her shoulder at Dean. ”This,” she said, waving her arm behind her. ”I wanted...I wanted you to know.” She seemed to be having trouble keeping it together. Her eyes had begun watering. ”I do good things in the world. I still protect the good guys.”
"I wanted to get this over with for you. On the one hand you weren't exactly super happy to see me and on the other spending so much time in your own head like this can be dangerous. You can end up lost in here. But I gotta say compared to Lewis' this is pretty nice."
He said calmly before watching her re-enact something with a family. Seeing her like that made him happy, especially since she seemed so proud of it. She was doing her best to convince him that she was good. But honestly he was fairly certain that she was trying to convince herself as opposed to him.
"Tessa, you don't need to convince me. I always knew you were the best person on the squad. Well except for Bronson, mainly since I half expected to find him as Saint Bronson when I woke up. I just want you to be careful Buttercup. Mercenary work is a slippery slope, I've seen it so many times growing up. First you're just protecting families, then you're protecting some rich questionable people and soon enough you're taking contracts. Just be careful."
He said with a sigh. He knew that she likely wouldn't approve of his thought process. He also didn't blame her either. He just wanted her to be careful. She seemed good at justifying her actions and he'd hope to not have to arrest her one day. He also knew his mother was spiteful enough to send him after her for a variety of reasons.
"I'd like to say we're getting close to what we're going for but it's not linear. It's a matter of importance. Things you hold more important are first while things you missed are down a ways. Hence why we see important things, like our time patrolling the village, your time with the family and your time with Buck near the front. I'm sure as we go down you'll find more things of me and then eventually stuff you noticed without noticing it."
Tessa didn’t say anything, but she spent more time in here than he probably wanted to even guess at. She didn’t do it like this, just her brain sometimes forcing her to relive things while she tried to desperately cling to happier memories, failing about 99% of the time. Actually she couldn’t remember the last time she was able to fend off a flashback; best not to think about it though, least she somehow trigger one.
”I’m military,” she said simply. She knew that he knew that meant they compartmentalized more than the average person, and clearly a ton more than Lewis ever had. It better be all neat and orderly in here. She thought she was half out of her mind most days anyway, messy memories weren’t going to help.
”Killed a client once because he broke my rules. Had me playing bodyguard for some mystical artifact that got the transport attacked by Sebastian Blood X. Massacred his compound and cleaned out his vault.”
She seemed almost as proud of that as she had the hug from the little girl, but in a different way. In a way she was proud. Proud of herself for sticking to her terms and being able to demonstrate to any future clients what happens when you lie to her and break her rules. Tessa stopped dead in her tracks when he mentioned the door she’d tried to hide.
”Buck? As in Bucky, James Buchanan who was Winter So…..I Knew It. I knew I wasn’t wrong about that scar. He and I exchanged a few bullets while he was the second Winter Soldier. Then took out some thugs in a bar. He told me his name was James Rogers. I almost asked him about it as a connection to your dad, especially after the way he threw a try, but it didn’t seem important at the time.”
Tessa hadn’t say that much all at once since before...maybe ever. Tessa clammed up now though. Rambling had never been something she was fond of in others, and she was starting to annoy herself. This lead her to not voicing the comment she was thinking about how there had been two doors all the way at the front that she knew he’d skipped. One was the memory of a picnic with her brother and mother right before she enlisted. The other was when he’d basically cornered her in the bar and sang “Build Me Up Buttercup” to her while his friend looked on. Those two memories alone where sometimes all she had to keep herself ground and going on the next day. Maybe she’d mention it later. Right now she hurried to catch up with him, her eyes lingering on his ass as he walked ahead of her.
As she talked about how she killed a former client and apparently all of his guards or whatever he shook his head. This was how it started, how it always started. Eventually good mercenaries always went bad, it never stopped. Sure some took longer than others but it seemed to always go.
"So someone angered you and wiped them all out including people just cashing a check and taking questionable jobs as a means to support their families. Yeah, you did good Tessa."
He said shaking his head. The fact that she was proud of that fact she'd wiped out a small army with some...guy was concerning. She was already beginning down the dark path. He'd need to help keep her from that path, but it would be difficult. She was good at justifying any of her actions and this was no different. He would've kept going but then she brought up Buck.
"Yeah, Buck, my best friend growing up. I'm glad you managed to get over me so quickly. The last thing I'd want is to slow you down."
He said before moving on to another door. He hated this. He knew that he shouldn't be so cold and it had been a year. But at the same time, it had only been a year. He also blamed his mother for this. If she'd been told he was still alive none of this would have happened. Not to mention she likely would've been there when he woke up.
"Once we find all this out I'll talk to 13 and see what we can do about getting you off of SHIELD's radar."
He said moving on to the next door. So far he'd had no luck and things were just getting worse. He'd thought with Tessa it'd be a magical reunion but nothing. She was confused and then angry, and now he was angry and disappointed.
"Yeah, Buck, my best friend growing up. I'm glad you managed to get over me so quickly. The last thing I'd want is to slow you down."
How...how could he think that. Just because she was physically with someone? How was she suppose to know they'd been friends. She hadn't even know his real name until today. She felt like she hadn't known anything about him...except maybe the way he felt about her. It only took her two steps to close the gap between them. Her hand reached out to grab his shoulder and throw him against a door. She intended to pin him there if she could.
"Over you? You think I'm over you?"
She couldn't stop the quiver in her voice as she spoke. It didn't even register that her face was flushed and she barely noticed the tears in her eyes.
"I'm not over you, and I'll never be over. You are what drives me crazy and keeps me sane at the same time. But after losing you, and then being tricked by Lewis..."
Tessa paused, stepping away from him. She took a deep breath trying to steady herself. There was so much rage mingle right in with all the grief of his death and the relief of him actually being alive. She was angry at him, sure, but she was furious with SHIELD. They never had to reveal who he really was to her, just let her know he wasn't dead. Instead, they'd let her live in her nightmare everyday. They'd pushed her to get sucked into another one where Dean was trapped watching her believe Lewis was him.
She reached for a chair, sitting down. It didn't dawn on her how odd it was that one just so happened to be in reach when she wanted it. She folded her arms over her knees and hung her head and took a deep breath.
"And I didn't kill him because I was angry. I killed him because he was trying to kill me. I have rules. He broke them. I went to his place to rob him. His men opened fire. Sebastian saved my life and I lost a pair of wings."
He voice was almost eerily calm now, with little to no emotion in it at all. It was just like she was in a debriefing after a hard, emotional mission. There had been a reason she wanted him alone. In here was probably the only place in the entire world the two of them could ever really be alone.
"What if I don't want to go back."
"What if I just...I want to stay in here...Just trapped in a good memory."
"I'm sorry I got angry."
Her eyes looked everywhere but into his. She wasn't sure she could look at him and keep herself together. And she wasn't sure she was ready to let him see her break down.
Dean simply stood there as Tessa grabbed him and slammed him against the wall. She was angry and he could easily fight his way out of it. That was one thing he had always liked, he was stronger than he looked. Although that was mainly from the years of training as well as some after effects of his father's Super Soldier Serum. Plus they were in the dream world, this was essentially his playground. Sure, she too could also do anything but he had better experience manipulating the dream realm. He simply stood there, listening, hiding his smile. This was what he'd wanted. He wanted to know she was still his and whoever else had simply been a means to cope.
He watched her step back and sit down in a chair that appeared. He couldn't help but smile at that. She was manipulating the dream realm without even realizing it. She had a slightly better reason for killing them all, he'd admit that. It was partially self defense, that was enough for him. He still didn't know about this Sebastian character but he winced when she mentioned losing wings. It was painful for her, he knew that much. As she looked up at him and seemed to plead to stay he walked to her and knelt down in front of her. He smiled and looked into her eyes before placing both hands on the side of her head and kissing her.
"We can't stay Buttercup. If we spend too much time in the dream realm you can begin to go inside. Plus your body will begin to die."
He said before standing up and holding her hand out to him.
"C'mon, lets gets this over with. Then I'll answer any questions you have. My mom, dad, name, powers, brother and sister. My time with the Teen Titans, proper shield throwing etiquette, and most importantly why the lies, as well as who was really the most skilled person on the squad."
He said with a wink as he began to move towards the doors, her hand still in his.
"We just need to know if Lewis was working with anyone. We know about his small time gang relations, that was nothing to us. But he had to have someone else with him, someone higher up. You don't cut out a chunk of Gotham and Metropolis without some connections."
Her eyes followed him closely, watching him intently. She watched him kneel in front of her; her heart skipped a beat and she didn’t even know why. His hands were warm on her skin. She was just reaching up to lay her own hand against his when he leaned forward and kissed her. She inhaled sharply through her nose in surprise. Her mouth was currently too occupied for a proper gasp.
Tessa was just slipping off her chair to kneel with him, enjoying that kiss, when it ended way too soon. Her eyes fluttered open, watching him pull away. She listened to him, only partially hearing what he was saying about answering questions. There were too many emotions flooding through her right now. She needed to compose herself.
”Siblings? You have siblings?”
The one thing she’d ever kept from him, from everyone, she had a brother. She knew her job could lead her to have enemies, even more so now than when she was in the Army, and she wasn’t willing to put her little brother in harms way. She honestly couldn’t fault him for that one.
”Working with anyone? He was working with….no he had people working for him. But he would go to meetings. He had meetings.” She was trying so hard to remember. She wasn’t against helping them, not with someone like Lewis. After all, that had been her original assignment @olivier had given her, to take down Lewis from the inside.
”He never let me go. I never could figure out if he was protecting me, or didn’t trust me.”
His hand felt good wrapped around hers. Warm, comforting, safe. Tessa slipped her other arms around his, leaning against him.
”I’m sorry I never went to your funeral. I’m sorry I believed you were dead. I know I no reason not to believe it, but I feel like I still should have known, Mav.”
He laughed a bit as they walked and she latched onto the one thing he hadn't fully expected. Most people in the squad spoke about family very sparingly. Dean simply assumed that was because most knew the odds of them getting home were slim. So it made it easier not to think about that. They were a special Black Ops squad who could be denied if need be. He never asked why they needed to patrol certain villages, and never would. he was following orders.
"Yes, an older brother and a younger sister. You've probably heard of my brother, my sister, not as likely."
He said in a sort of off handed way as they walked. He knew people knew about his brother. His brother had always been sort of bitter he never got the Captain America title but even Dean agreed Buck was better. His brother was good but he was no Steve Rogers. His sister meanwhile was some super spy last he saw.
"My sister was actually the one who tracked down the group that grabbed us. Not sure what she did to the leader but I saw him, never seen a man so terrified. Then again seeing someone up and around you shot in the head could do that too."
He said with a laugh as he began checking doors. He glanced in and shrugged before moving on to the next door.
"Not sure I should be flattered or insulted you named your dog after me."
He said with a smile. He actually was flattered. It meant a lot to her based on how high that memory was for her. As she leaned against him he smiled a bit and kissed the top of her head.
"Eh don't worry about it. I didn't go to my funeral either. Pretty sure I never actually had one. It seems you and the military were the only ones who thought I was dead. I was in New York Memorial the whole time in a coma. Turns out people were actually visiting me the whole time. Or I assume they were based on the flowers around my bed."
She still hadn’t let go of him. Who knew when they could truly be alone again. She never really trusted her own apartment. Tessa was pretty damn sure that her place was bugged. She just didn’t really care enough to check. She didn’t have anything to hide, not when she was at the apartment anyway. ’I might now,’ she thought, glancing up at Dean out of the corner of her eye.
”Well now that I know your name is Rogers, yeah, I’ve heard of him,” she said with a smirk. She watched him open doors as he continued to talk. She was done being mad at him. She’d really only been mad at him for being alive and not telling her his real name. The first, there was no point in being mad at him for. The second...well he had his reasons for his secrets, just like she had hers.
”I would have loved to see that man’s face when your sister got a hold of him then.” Tessa was very serious. She wasn’t generally a sadist, but every once in awhile, someone just got under her skin. A part of her wasn’t sure if Dean would understand that darker side of her. She knew how dark her thoughts could be. ”Also, you should be flattered. I named him Maverick because he reminded me of you. His loyalty, his gentleness, his fierceness. But mostly his love.”
She didn’t know what to say next, so she simply walked next to him. She didn’t know how she could help him find what he was looking for anymore.
"She said that she recorded her 'interrogation' of him and he told her everything. WHo he was working for, their goals, even his grandmother's secret soup recipe. He was telling her everything just to get her to stop. My sister is a sweetheart, just with a dark side that even makes my mom uncomfortable sometimes."
Of course she'd never admit that to anyone. His mom was tough and worked hard to prove that to everyone. The one fight he always wanted to see was an all out fight between her and Coulson. Watching his parents spar was always intense and really just a lot of fun to watch. They went all out as it wasn't only practice it was also a matter of pride.
"I still don't know what I think about having a dog named after me. I mean sure it was meant to be sweet but...a dog?"
He asked shaking his head as he continued checking the doors. He kept one hand on her's, keeping her close. He was keeping her close for a variety of reasons. On the one hand he liked the idea of her being near him again, and on the other getting lost in your own mind was easy. He'd seen it happen countless times.
"I'm beginning to think that the Hatter was only working with himself. If he was tied to a grander group he had no idea. It was one theory they were looking at. He was being manipulated by a bigger gang, through a smaller one. He claimed to be working with the Joker but that seemed to be more of a truce since they were both operating in Gotham. We'll keep looking but I'm not finding anything."
He said with a shrug. The doors seemed relatively uninteresting and boring behind them. Just random little things here and there. WHat happened on a recent episode of a TV show. He watched that and groaned.
The warmth drained from her face, as did any life that had returned to her eyes. Her jaw clenched and she froze. ”What do you mean who he was working for.” There was no softness in her voice, only anger and hardness. She’d always assumed they were working for themselves, for their religious cause. She basically felt bipolar as she grabbed his shirt to spin him around. ”Who were they working for, Dean” She honestly wasn’t sure if she should be asking him. She knew that she’d want vengeance if she found out, but she had to know.
She didn’t actually have an answer for him about Hatter. She also didn’t care anymore. ”Can you just shut up for a moment about stupid shit like spoilers. Have you seen the video? And if you don’t think he was working with anyone, shouldn’t we go before I, you know, go crazy or something?”