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Aug. 3rd, 2015


An Engagement (Steve, later Ariel, Edward)

It was to be today. James had everything in place. After having double-checked his work, he returned to Steve's apartment looking for Ariel - but found only quiet. Believing that she'd gone out to sun or to stroll, he went downstairs and circled the apartment building. Then he did it again. Dismissing the mild unease, he headed back up to wait.

But an hour passed, and she had not returned. The second hour ticked by, and he finally picked up his phone and tried to reach her on it. It wasn't unexpected that she didn't pick up. She never really seemed technologically minded. So he rang Steve instead. The conversation was stilted and harsh, at least on his end. His throat felt tight, and the back of his neck was hot.

He knew.

James knew, but was trying to deny it.

Steve was on his way back. James paced the front of the living room quickly, back and forth, and then shot a text to Dr. Quinn.

Today. That was all he needed to send to her; she'd know the rest. It didn't matter that night hadn't even fallen. And, he realized, it didn't even matter that he hadn't confirmed that Edward Nigma had kidnapped her again. He should have handled this long ago. It shouldn't even be a question.

After today, it wouldn't be.

Jun. 14th, 2015


The Inner Circle (Steve)

Barbara grit her teeth. She tugged hard at the collar and shoulder of the downed man's suit as she dragged his unconscious body toward the street. The only pause she took was long enough to assess the landscape. An array of trash bins lined the sidewalks, and so Barbara nodded. She grunted, pulling the man along the sidewalk toward the curb. Finally, when Barbara reached the curb itself she left the man next to the can, sat upright so he looked as if he belonged with the rest of the debris.

She brushed her hands together, done with the situation.

The letter in her pocket seemed to burn a hole in the pocket of her jacket and she removed it. On the front of the ecrue colored envelope was a sparkly green question mark. An insignia Barbara knew well. Riddler.

She opened the envelope and pulled the letter out.

In green pen, the script read:

Dear Bat Brat,

You know you have always been my favorite of the family.
Soon you should come have tea with me,
It would be delightful to see you again.
I would hate to have to come find you.
I hope that you like oolong.

Truly yours,


Barbara frowned. She wanted nothing to do with Edward. She looked helpless. The unconscious goon was one of Eddie's and she had made sure he was where he belonged. Out with the garbage.

"Damn it.." Barbara breathed to herself. Her shoulders slumped. This was not what she needed. She had a broken motorcycle and no place to store it to fix it, that was what she needed, a space to repair her Batcycle. She needed to keep looking without distraction.

Jun. 3rd, 2015


Planning (Steve)

The rooftop garden was an inspired idea, and James was glad to help Steve turn his best girl's dream into a reality. So it was that Steve and James were up on the roof of Agreeable Apartments, sweating in the mid-day sun as they constructed flower boxes and the frame for a couple of green houses. James had long ago abandoned his shirt. His torso was covered in grime and sawdust. He didn't seem to mind at all. In fact, his face had so few shadows these days that it seemed strange that he was the same man who'd attacked Steve months ago.

"My stocks account is here," James said, passing Steve a board he'd just measured and cut before reaching for the nails. "My savings account, too. It has accrued almost 90 years of interest." James shook his head at that. He was a very wealthy man, and had only just realized it when he picked up the smattering of mail in his mailbox and found the monthly statements waiting for him beneath a few flyers for dentistry and City restaurant coupons.

The money wasn't strictly necessary, especially in a place like the CitThe City was providing, and providing well, for everyone here. He wanted to work. Only -- until very recently (until Castiel, until that night on the beach with Ariel), he'd been afraid to take a job at all. Working now on Agent Carter's rooftop garden was a way for him to contribute, and he liked that he was allowed to do so. He'd find a job soon, maybe something that kept him close to Ariel...

... But no, the money wasn't really necessary. Not really, unless you just wanted to buy something.

As it turns out, James did. He stuffed a few nail heads in his mouth and knelt down, helping to position the board that Steve had in his hands, before positioning a nail to drive it in. He was having a hard time spitting out exactly what he was trying to get at with Steve. Still, he needed to tell him. He needed to get help.

May. 23rd, 2015


Back to the groove (Steve/Bruce log and then Thor; tbc in comments)

Avengers Assemble? )

May. 15th, 2015


The Long Awaited Dinner Party [Peggy, Ariel, Bucky]

It had taken far too long for this, but finally, finally, tonight was the night. Steve had agonized over what to bring, which wine, which tea, but he had finally settled on a pink sparkling moscato and a bit of Earl Grey bergamot for dessert. He'd also gone through several outfits before settling into a dark grey suit with a crisp white shirt, sans tie.

Facing the Red Skull hadn't been so nerve-wracking as a dinner date.

He'd kept asking Bucky's opinion. On the wine, on his clothes, on whether or not he was expected to bring flowers for Peggy. On one hand, he was already bringing wine and tea. On the other, wasn't that what you did for a date? Bring flowers? What kind of flowers? Roses seemed too formal, carnations too casual, lillies too somber. Fine, fine. Wine and tea. Wine and tea were perfectly acceptable.

Man, he hoped he wasn't screwing up already. He'd already missed their first date by seventy years. This one had to go right.

As he knocked at Peggy's door, he realized he had forgotten to ask if Ariel and Bucky liked dancing. This was a dinner date - why was he worried about dancing?

Yeah. Facing the Red Skull had been much easier.

May. 14th, 2015



There was a flash of light. The Bifrost was too bright, too quick to be a fleeting rainbow. In it's wake it left a scorched, circular pattern on the road in the middle of traffic. Thor knew what cars were and the basics of how they worked and awkwardly made his way out of the road, confused to still be on what looked like Midgard instead of his home of Asgard.

"HEIMDALL!" Thor bellowed to the sky. But nothing happened. The all-seeing, all-hearing Asgardian did not respond to the lost prince. Something was wrong. The people of the City continued to pass Thor on the sidewalk like the man in the red cape was merely an inconvenience. In many respects, he was.

"Excuse me. Excuse me, madame." Thor needed space to swing his hammer, launch himself into the sky, and get a better look of where he was, what city he was in or where his closest allies were. This place was busy like New York, if that was the case the Avengers Tower would be nearby.


Apr. 12th, 2015


Trials (Edward/Matt Narrative; will tag others involved)

Matt sat back against the hard wood of the chair, swiveling slightly on the mechanism to face his client some. Eddie whispered something in to his ear, a quip of some sort that Matt found distasteful and wrong. But Matt smiled anyway, albeit small and tight-lipped, offering a bit of encouragement to his client.

It seemed the entire courtroom was holding their breath as they waited for the verdict. All of the facts had been given for and against Eddie, the witnesses had been summoned and examined and the scenarios offered.

Matt had made the closing arguments to the jury and then the panel left to deliberate.

Some where behind him, Matt knew Rose sat. Her presence gave him confidence. He would need her support more than ever after the jury deliberated and came to a conclusion.

It took only an hour before the jury was back. The foreman stood, lifting the folded paper at which their decision lay.

Eddie leaned forward in his seat, primed with anticipation. Matt continued to sit settled against his chair.

"We the jury..." the woman breathed. She licked over her lips and her fingers trembled as she held up the paper "...find the defendant Edward Nashton not guilty of kidnapping and aggravated assault."

Matt emitted a breath.

Edward flashed a wicked smile and clapped Matt on the shoulder. The gavel hit the desk and the Judge dismissed the case and everyone in the courtroom.

Feeling like he was floating, Matt found himself standing on the steps of the courthouse. Somewhere in the distance Matt felt a pair of lips on his cheek; he knew the Nashton girl had kissed him. He felt outside of his own body and that brought him back a little.

The lawyer offered the girl a small, patient smile and a nod before he turned to look for Rose.

Edward beamed for a moment, proud, before narrowing his eyes in pain at the smack upside the head he had received from his husband. "Ow!" Eddie grunted, rubbing the side of his skull where Jonathan had hit him. But he was teeming with love and his long arms went around the thin frame of the man he loved.

It was over. Eddie was free and no charges were brought. Matt was far too good at his job, and Edward would make sure to compensate the man accordingly for it.

Mar. 31st, 2015


Adjustment [James]

Something was wrong. Steve could tell from the moment he entered the apartment building. Something was triggering his instincts, though he couldn't be certain what it was. But something was different, something was wrong. He hadn't been gone long, had he? Glancing at his watch as he navigated the corridor, Steve winced slightly. Three hours. He'd been gone for three hours. He'd done some shopping, done his usual workout at Logan's gym, and had planned to be back in time for lunch. He was within his time limit, but clearly something had happened while he was gone.

What had happened?

The door to his apartment was unlocked. Steve nudged the door open and paused in the doorway for a moment, taking stock. He couldn't identify the majority of items that were now scattered in pieces on the ground. He didn't mind very much - he hadn't had much attachment to the items that had filled the apartment. The small stack of records was unharmed, though the speakers for the sound system would have to be replaced. Wooden furniture was broken and scattered about, either outright shattered or flung in the aftermath. The door itself had cracks in the thick wood, impressive dents from what had to have been a metal fist.

Steve let out a slow breath and stepped into the apartment. "Bucky?" he called. "Ariel?" He didn't see any blood, but he hadn't seen the rest of the apartment yet. There was a scent of violence on the air, and the soldier set his packages by the door and cautiously moved towards some faint sounds in the kitchen.

Mar. 17th, 2015


Evaluation (Steve, Ariel and Bucky)

Harley stood in the hallway.

She was spent. Used up. Done.

In one hand she clasped a briefcase which was stuffed full of a variety of things. The other was lifted, fingers curled against her palm. She was knocking without realizing it. Number fourteen. Steve's apartment.

Scare beast had done a number on her psyche but she had a last promise she had to get out of her ledger before she could give herself entirely to the beast. And it had to be now. It couldn't wait anymore. Harleen had managed to change her skirt which had been rendered to tatters. Her button up shirt was halfway untucked from the waist band, and her hair was askew from the ponytail she had pulled it back into. Her blue eyes were hazed, but she made herself focus. Half of the collar of her shirt was pulled up, the other half was down as normal. Bruises and red marks riddled the flesh of her neck. She avoided them.

Again she knocked. Steve could tell her where the girl was, and they could be done with the assessment. She had to be done with it. It was that or she knew the beast would take her life. He had made her choose, and she had chosen him over the heroic life. Over protection. She was trying to save her friends. Steve needed to be alive, he needed to help people like Ariel. Bucky. Harley was past help. She had done this to herself.

"C'mon ya idiot, open tha door," she breathed, though she didn't mean it in a malicious way. She needed to get back. The timeline was growing thinner with each second.

Harley didn't realize how her makeup looked, it ran down her face. Maybe she had cried on the way over. Maybe it had been really hot in her car and she had sweated. She would never tell. But this had to be done. If she was even allowed to do the tests. It all would depend on Steve's friend. She needed the permission. She wasn't going to get squashed by someone just because she was fulfilling a promise.

So, Harley lowered her hand from the door and waited.

Mar. 15th, 2015


Regrets Collect Like Old Friends [Log]

He found it at the library.

It was an enormous building, far bigger than even the head branch of the New York Public Library. Steve had seen why almost immediately - there were exhibits and displays enough to merit this place a museum as well as a literary archive. Remembering how the phone book had updated itself with new residents, he took to the displays with hungry curiosity, to learn whatever he could about his fellow denizens. There was a lot to learn, and a great deal of it seems almost too much to believe.

Then he turned a corner, and was confronted with an image of Bucky. Etched into a thick pane of glass, the dark hair and eyes still so striking that the sight tugged at Steve's heart. He'd seen this wall before, dozens of times over, at the Smithsonian exhibit in DC. Knowing the historical importance of Captain America and the Howling Commandos, Steve didn't object to the display, but he was still mildly embarrassed by it. He had confronted the curators, however, insisting that his men be given their due recognition - the exhibit couldn't and wouldn't be about him alone.

Each of the Commandos had a wall, but Bucky's had been particularly poignant - the only member of the elite team to fall in the line of duty.

If only. )

Mar. 10th, 2015


Debriefing [James]

[backdated: immediately follows this]

Steve entered the apartment quietly, not sure if his guests were resting, but hoping that they were. Ariel at least needed the rest. He didn't know just how long she'd been trapped in Arkham's dungeons, but it had been long enough, and she was far more delicate than the soldiers who had come to her rescue. While he hoped that James might have decided to sleep as well, he didn't have as much faith that the mindbended assassin had found much solace.

After taking 'Eddie' to the police, and persuading him it was in his best interests to confess, Steve had filled out his own police report, and then looked for something for everyone to eat. He didn't know Ariel's tastes, but he knew his own and Bucky's, so he had filled in the gaps from there.

It was a small stash of food for the time being. Some pulled pork sandwiches, salad, fries, and a few pieces of chocolate cake for dessert. The cake was a special treat for Ariel, the pork for Bucky. The man Steve had known loved barbecue pork.

He heard movement as he slipped into the kitchen, and began to unpack the food.


Save the date (Steve; log TBC in comments)

Don't be late )

Mar. 8th, 2015


new friends [Harley]

After checking on his charges, making certain they had everything necessary to eat and rest, Steve headed back out, this time heading for Arkham Asylum. He didn't like the place, given his last trip there, but he had to return Harleen's car and keys, and pick up his bike. He also wanted to thank the woman for her help. She'd mentioned she was being framed, so he wanted to be sure she wasn't in any further danger from it.

He gave his name at the desk this time, waiting to be announced. The shield had been left home, but in his pocket was her bundle of keys, and he carried a bouquet of flowers in his hand. Women still liked flowers, right? The florist had assured him that it was appropriate, but her smile had suggested it might still be a little old-fashioned.

Oh, well. Steve Rogers was the very definition of old-fashioned in this age. Coulson had said it first. Maybe it was still something that was needed.

Steve declined to sit, waiting in a relaxed position, hands (and flowers) tucked behind his back.

Mar. 6th, 2015


Risky Compromises (Steve)

Matt pinched the bridge of his nose for a moment, feeling a headache coming on. Headaches weren't usual for the lawyer, not something that he incurred any more than anyone else might. But the call that had come in to the office pertaining to a certain incarcerated male was enough to spawn the beginnings of a whopper of a migraine. This was the last thing, for the last person on Earth, that Matt wanted to deal with at present. He had not signed up for all of the baggage when he agreed to assist Effie Nashton with her marital problems.

Effie was one thing, an easy enough ordeal fixed with a quick process. Edward was more complex and he was still trying to work through all of the details. When the call had come from The City Jail, Matt had managed to stifle a series of irritates groans as he discussed representation with the Officer. Edward had named him as the appropriate outlet of legal representation, and while Matt wanted to refuse....well, he really couldn't. Ethically, Matt avoided cases like these. He did not want to represent an obvious criminal against the justice system, but he knew that nobody else would take the case if he didn't. Matt was not going to push this case off on Laurel, either.

It was better that he handle it, clear it up and be rid of it as soon as possible.

So after a dreaded trip to the Jail to get the full story from the battered man he was supposed to offer legal counsel to, Matt found the idea of a late lunch to be welcome. And necessary. There was so much to go over, and from what his client had described, Matt knew Eddie had deserved every beating he had taken. Honestly, Matt would have been honored to shake the hand of he man responsible for beating up his client. The idea actually made him smile a little in amusement because Matt would have done the same thing to Eddie had the oppertunity presented itself in the same way. But he hadn't been out sweeping the streets looking for trouble, either, and he felt a little bad about it.

Rose would understand a nocturnal check of the surrounding area, right? He hoped so. If anything like what happened to Ariel even came in a breath near Rose, Matt would be doing more than putting a man in jail. He hoped it never had to go there.

He pushed open the door to the Deli next door, and the chime of the bell greeted him warmly. His briefcase was clasped in one hand, white-knuckled, anxious to get back to the office and begin sorting through everything needed to wrap this case up. The other hand was holding his baton, the end near the ground swaying back and forth as he moved. Only when Matt reached the back of the short line to the register did he stop.

This was turning out to be one hell of a day.

Mar. 5th, 2015


haven't we suffered enough? [log]

It was noisy at the gym, and it wasn't the kind of noise Steve was used to. He was used to barracks, where the chatter was overly cheerful, enthusiastic. Men who were shoving aside the realities of being in a war, trying to enjoy themselves with others in the same boat. They joked, and they teased, but in general, they respected one another and held together. If one soldier went down, they all went down, so there had been camaraderie, fellowship, and a grim determination to stick through it all together.

Even SHIELD had kept a sense of that. Steve hadn't usually had much of a crowd in the training rooms there, but when others were around, it was the same sense of togetherness. People who shared a common goal, working together. Holding together.

The noise here was ugly. )

Mar. 1st, 2015


Have You Seen My Mermaid? [Barnes, others later]

Cleaning up the apartment didn't take as long as Steve had worried it might. Of course, there was plaster to reapply and furniture that needed replacing, but within two hours, the glass and blood had been cleared away, the damaged walls tidied, the bed made up with fresh linens. The door was the final task, and once it was refitted and able to shut again (albeit with some resistance), Steve figured that was the best he would be able to do without a trip out to a hardware store.

He headed back to his apartment, hoping to clean himself up a bit before checking in on Ariel and Bucky.

The discarded basket caught his eye as he reached for the knob to his apartment door. Hadn't the redhead had something like that? He walked to it and picked it up, eyeing the business card within.

His eyes narrowed a bit. What was Harleen's card doing here? And where was Ariel?

A cold sensation nestled itself in between Steve's shoulders. He burst into his apartment, grabbed his shield, and then went to number seven, hoping he would find the pair resting together or talking quietly. He knocked twice and let himself in, the shield at the ready - just in case his instincts were superior to his desires.

Feb. 26th, 2015


Blank (Steve, later Ariel)

At first, The Winter Soldier suspected he'd been attacked somehow - rendered unconscious by some unknown foe, then left inert, tangled in a heap on the floor while they ransacked the hotel where he was staying.

But the door was locked; his safeguards were firmly in place; there was no sign of tampering or disturbance - at least, not around the points of entry to this hotel r -- apartment. It was an apartment, not a hotel. The Asset sat on the edge of the bed. He didn't recognize this place. No, that wasn't true. He remembered coming here, now, remembered being led by a red-haired, fragile thing. In the corner of the room, he saw the keychain lying half-against the wall, with the name 'BARNES' in precise, machined print on the back of the fob. Barnes. That was supposed to be his name. He didn't remember having a name.

The Asset raked his flesh hand back through the strands of damp hair clinging to his face. Analyze the situation. There was a large amount of glass on the floor, but it wasn't from the windows. A twisted metal frame lay on its side against the far wall. Against? Embedded. A glass coffee table, or what used to be one, thrown with force. On the other side of the room, a set of chairs and a small wooden had been reduced to splinters. All around the walls, there were large indentations. At his side, his metal hand flexed and relaxed and flexed again. But the windows and the door were undisturbed. And then there was the bed where he sat. The sheets were ripped halfway off, the duvet crumpled at the foot of the bed, the pillows mostly on the floor, and he saw, smelled, and felt that the sheets were damp with perspiration.

Finally, the Winter Soldier took stock of his body. His feet ached, and so he turned one bare foot over his knee. Dug a few bits of glass out of the sole. Repeated on the opposite foot. Flexed his flesh hand, felt the bones complain under their puffy skin, and stopped moving his hand.

No one had been in this apartment. No one but him.

And he didn't remember any of this.

It had been four days since he arrived here, four days since that red haired angel put her hand in his. He thought about opening the door to his apartment. He didn't. Instead, he dropped back into bed and slung his flesh arm over his eyes.


Filling in the blanks (Steve Rogers/Peter Parker log)


Feb. 22nd, 2015


Familiar Circumstances... [OPEN]

There was unfamiliar playing on the radio. Steve could hear it before he opened his eyes. There was a gentle commotion of traffic through the window, and a faint spring breeze running through the air. He could smell the scent of flowers, of ozone and carbonation, of the sea. It was an interesting mixture. The sheets under his skin were crisp and clean, though softer than he would have expected. Steve had been a soldier for long enough that the additional comfort was unexpected.

Eyes opened, and he could see sunlight pouring in from a window, cracked open just enough to allow the slight breeze. He didn't recognize the shapes of the building through the glass, but the very fact that there were buildings had him sitting up in bed before he knew it. Other sensory information flooded his eyes, categorized and assessed before conscious thought, and he knew he was in no danger. Only displaced.


Steve let out a sigh, and looked around. The room was much like the one he had been using in Washington DC, near the SHIELD headquarters he worked out of. Not quite Spartan in it's utility, but there were few marks of personality on it. It was a room for sleep, for meditation, not for living. He hadn't done much to leave an imprint in that room, and it's copy was reflected here.

His clothes were familiar enough - a plain white t-shirt with plain boxers. He got up from the unremarkable bed and found clothing that suited his taste in the unremarkable dresser and closet. Jeans, cotton, and leather. Something that appealed to his 1940's mentality, without being vastly out of place in the high-tech world he'd found himself in.

He didn't pay much attention to the rest of the apartment, only giving it a casual looking-over that raised more questions. Was he back in DC? SHIELD couldn't have set this up - SHIELD was no more. Despite the feeling that he was in no danger, Steve didn't like the way the apartment and the room were presented - they felt like a gift, inexplicable and sudden, and Steve didn't trust this kind of good fortune. There were always price tags. SHIELD had made him wary of such things.

He absently noted the apartment number as he locked the door behind him (number 14), as well as the name of the building as he left (Agreeable Apartments). Parked on the street, to his surprise, was his motorcycle. Frowning, Steve checked the pockets of his leather coat. He'd only noticed the single apartment key when he'd left, but now there was another key on the simple keychain that also bore his surname - the key to the bike.

He stopped, stared at the keys in his hand, and looked back at the motorcycle. Then raised a hand to his temples and began to fight back the headache brewing behind the storm of questions building in his mind.