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How Steve Met Li

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“I'd hate to step on your...”

Those were the last words, Steve, remembered before his world cut to black. But now it was cold. It was so cold, why was it so fucking cold? He began shivering as he pried his eyes open.

The first image he saw with his blurred vision, was a grey woman with wild dark grey hair and black eyes standing over him. All of her except her black clothes and glove was grey, actually. That was more because he couldn't see the color brown than anything else, however. The Captain tried to move, but he was as stiff as board.

“Who're ya?” he tried to say, but his voice refused to work.

The grey woman put her hands on his face. There was a green light and then blue smoke. He immediately he felt ten times warmer. And sleepier.

The woman smirked at down him. The last sound, Steve, heard before he passed out again was her mocking voice.

“I would say take a chill pill, Capsicle, but it seems you’ve already ODed.”


 

Steve’s eyes opened once again, but this time he felt normal. He slowly sat up, still a bit stiff, but not nearly as bad as he was a few-wait how long had it been since he woke up freezing to death? He didn’t get long to ponder it because a woman came through his door, specifically, the same one that stood over him before. She smiled at him as he swung his legs over the side of the bed. Steve noticed her smile appeared forced.

“Hello, Captain," she greeted.

“Where am I?” he asked, dismissing her greeting.

The woman frowned slightly like she was annoyed with his question, or perhaps with his existence in general; and he could’ve sworn she glowed a bit green. But then she plastered that fake smile back on her face.

“You’re in the hospital recovering. You were missing for a couple of weeks before we found you.”

The supersolider looked around the room. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary, except the baseball game on the radio. It was impossible for him to be listening to it now because he lived it. And there was also the woman’s appearance in front of him.

She definitely wasn't a nurse or any type of support person. She had far too many honors attached to her uniform. Steve grew even more nervous about his current surroundings. He hated to admit it, but her race set off an immediate red flag in his mind.

It was near impossible for Black men in the military to become highly recognized officers, so who is this important looking Black woman? Surely, he would've bumped into her before. Surely, he would've remembered the too loose curls of her hair, her too wide green tie-it was a fucking man’s tie, and…

“Ya titties ain't cones, ma’am, I’m callin' bullshit,” he thought to himself.

No self-respecting woman he knew would be caught out in the open looking like she does. He stood up and started walking towards her.

“Where am I?” he asked again, “Really?”

She actually looked a bit relieved now and that didn’t make him trust her any more.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she claimed.

Steve was almost chest to chest with her with a glare that could peel the bark off of trees, but she didn’t seem at all intimidated. If anything she seemed excited. He was getting tired of her feigned ignorance. He moved to pick her up and move her out of the way of the door, but she put him on his back before he even touched her. She stood over him once again, but this time with a short, black heeled foot on his chest.

“Didn’t your mother tell how to treat a lady?” she smirked.

This woman cannot be serious. Steve grabbed her ankle and pushed her down as he sat up, slamming her on her back. He smirked at her shocked expression as he hovered just inches above her face.

“Yeah she did. Tell me if you see any around here.”

The solider quickly got up and jumped through the wall before the woman could react. He came to a huge hallway filled with business clothed people and people dressed in all black. The latter started pointing at him and chasing after him. He ran through wherever he was, through the door to the outside world, and-what the fucking shit. What fresh new hell? There were huge, sleek buildings with giant TV screens on them, weird looking cars everywhere, what was all this noise? What were people wearing? What th-.

Steve’s head started spinning and he thought he was going to pass out again until a voice yelled at him.

“At ease, soldier!”

The blond turned to see a darker grey man in all black and an eye patch. Standing behind him were his pursuers and the liar herself. She had a gloved hand out that was sending out the same blue smoke that calmed him before and now. The eye patched man addressed him again.

“Look, I'm sorry about that little show back there, but we thought it best to break it to you slowly.”

Steve’s brow furrowed. He glanced over at the liar, who had an unreadable emotion on her face. It wasn’t quite pity, but something close to it. Steve looked back at the man.

“Break what?”

The man definitely had the smallest bit of apology in his eye.

“You've been asleep, Cap. For almost seventy years.”

Steve went numb. There was no way. Impossible…but the proof was all around him. He turned away, about to cry. He felt a hand on his arm. He looked and saw that it was the woman. She looked on the verge of tears herself and, Steve, couldn’t break himself away from her dark eyes. They had no trace of her manic gleam from earlier, now they looked as raw and sad as he felt.

“You gonna be okay?” Steve heard the man ask.

The blond looked up at him and then back at the woman on his arm.

“Yeah. Yeah, I just...I had a date.”

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She was going to rip his head off. Slowly, by the hair. The now named Major, Li Ashton Jones, codenamed ReSpawn, and HYDRA's most feared weapon, made three very stupid tactical mistakes. The first one was allowing, Rogers, to live with her.

Her “assignment" began after, Steve, followed the Director of SHIELD, Nicolas J. Fury, back to his New York headquarters. Li kept close to the Captain as her orders were to be his glorifed babysitter. Well, more like she volunteered. In her defense, it was her mission to take him out if need be, Pierce, made that very, very clear. So what better way to keep tabs on Vanilla Ice then by living with him? She should've known better.

Of course, America's Golden Boy was a neat freak, a picky eater, and an insufferable know it all. Li was constantly nose to nose with the Captain over anything and everything. It was usually something stupid too. One minute she and, Steve, are happily ignoring the other's existence, the next they were tearing up her apartment in a wrestling match.

“ROGERS! Where's my glove?"

“Um, in the weapons case where it belongs."

“GOD DAMN IT, STEVEN! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU? STOP TOUCHING MY SHIT!"

“HOW MANY TIMES DO I GOTTA TELL YA T' STOP OVERSEASONIN' M' FOOD? AN' STOP CALLIN' ME, STEVEN!"

“BRING UP THE WAY I COOK IN MY OWN HOUSE AGAIN AND I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL KILL YOU, STEVEN!"

“I THINK M' BUNNY SLIPPERS JUS' RAN FOR COVER! AN' I THINK I BROKE YA STEREO AGAIN!"

“I FUCKING HATE YOU!"

“LIKEWISE!"

It took all of Steve’s strength to get her off him that day.

The worst is when they went on missions together. About six months into, Steve, acclimating to the modern world, Fury, decided it was high time for the Captain to start earning his worth. That resulted in him being placed under Li’s command. Which resulted in an almost blown cover, three broken ribs between the two of them and Li’s broken leg.

“GOD DAMN IT, ROGERS! YOU JUST HAD TO PICK THE TIME OF THE WEEK I’M LOW ON POWER TO PULL THIS SHIT DIDN’T YOU?”

“GEE, MA'AM, I’M SORRY YA PLAN WAS STUPID AN'-wait, Li, don’ waste ya power on me.”

“Steve, please stay still it’s fine. I’m fine.”

“Not gonna happen, Li, do yaself first.”

“I hate you."

“I know ya do."

Now on every mission that happened towards the end of the week, Steve, always refused to let her heal him before she healed herself. Eventually, she learned to just let it go. It was nice to have someone actually concerned for her, even if he didn't understand the way her healing works. Not that she cared. 

Her second mistake was letting him sleep in her bed. With her.

One of ReSpawn's strongest mutations was telepathy, not that she ever told the Captain that. Two months into her new living arrangement, she grew tired of Steve's nightmares.

She knew he couldn't help it and tried to keep quiet, but HYDRA only let her sleep three days out of the week and she be damned if she was going to let her unofficial target spoil that for her too. Also, Li, may or may not felt bad for the guy as she knew all too well how the past can haunt you for a long time.

Either way, one night, she hoisted him over her shoulder, despite his struggling, dragged him to her room, threw him on the bed, and told him to shut up close his eyes. She got out her glove and worked her relaxation smoke over him. He passed out almost immediately and she held his hand so her powers could continue to work their magic.

It was a good idea, he looked almost peaceful looking with the images of the Winter Soldier but not and Agent Carter going through his mind. If she saw the occasional thought of herself float by in his dreams, she didn't say anything about it. Li was finally able to sleep, and she thought she could live with this until, Steve, found his own place.

That is until she woke up sweating because 240 pounds and 100 degrees of American spirit was hugging her tight with his face buried in her neck. Of course, he was a cuddler. And if she never told him that well, that's her business. And if she let him continue living with her for longer than necessary, well, it was better than him dwelling on his memories in an empty apartment. And maybe she enjoyed company, even though he disrupts her well ingrained habits constantly.

Almost eight months into, Steve, coming to stay with her, she was painting at four a.m., something she always did when she had nothing else better to do on her weekly nights of forced wakefulness. She must have been playing her music louder than she thought because one minute she was singing “When the Day Met the Night” and then, just when it ended, she was grabbed from behind and lifted on to a shoulder.

“ROGERS! PUT ME DOWN, THAT’S AN ORDER!”

“You need to sleep more than a couple of days a week. Now, shut up and close your eyes!”

She groaned as she did as she was told and, Steve, laid her on her side of the bed. He laid down too, grabbed her hand, and fell back asleep. Li moved to get up again, but Steve’s eyes flew open with a growl and he put his arms and legs around her in an octopus death grip. His light grey eyes bore into her dark brown ones for a moment, challenging her to move again.

“I hate you so much, Steve," she grunted, admitting temporary defeat.

“No, you don't," he smirked the one she hated so much.

As she watched him fall back asleep for real, a fuzzy feeling that she hadn't experienced in decades, and certainly not to this degree, washed over her. Oh yeah, her third mistake.

She'll never admit what that was. She couldn't or HYDRA would keep her hidden away full time. Again.

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He was not in love. Certainly not with her, nope. Steven Grant Rogers felt nothing more than gratefulness and maybe slight pity for his Major. She gave him a place to stay since he had nothing now. He'd have to be pretty heartless to not be at least appreciative of her. And after a couple months, he knew he couldn't leave her all alone in her apartment again, not with the bad habits he started to notice about her. But he didn't care about her in that way not at all.

Besides, it's really hard to love someone who gets his blood pressure up the way only she can. Steve didn't even know why he agreed to live with her. No, that's bull. He agreed to an admittedly stupid idea because she cared. About him. Not Captain America, but Steve Rogers. Fury cared about him in his own give-Captain-Rogers-some-space-and-time-to-adjust way. Major Jones cared about him in her suck-it-up-and-carry-on way, which is what he wanted. He needed someone who would only tolerate his self-pity in small doses. And maybe he liked the company; it made him feel less alone in this new world. So yeah he moved in with his commanding officer, but it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows that's for sure.

Since day one of their new living arrangement, Li, just had a way of bringing out the combative side of him or the petulant child as she called it. One minute, his mind would be decades away and then all, Li, needs to do is breathe the wrong way and then next thing he knows he's brought back to the present by pushing five and third feet of rage off of him because he said something completely out of line.

“Come on, Rogers. You need to eat something! Have you ever even tried jambalaya before?"

“I'm not eating something that looks like puke."

“Either you feed yourself or I feed you for you."

“Not. Gonna. Happen."

Li nearly choked him to death with his own fork, but the food was actually pretty good. Not that he ever told her that, and if he got up in the middle of the night for leftovers so what?

The worst test of their patience with each other was on assignments, though. After about six months of being out of the ice, he approached the Director about going on missions again. He was starting to get restless. So, Fury, agreed to it...and put him under Li's command. Worst. Decision. Ever.

As a commanding officer, was he this annoyingly nit picky? This thoughtlessly reckless under pressure? This...self sacrificial? Sure it got the job done, but god damn it.

"Ya gonna get yaself killed, Jones! How many times have ya broken somethin' this month?"

"Your concern is touching, Captain, but I've handled myself this long I can do it now. Now come here so I can heal you!"

“Nope, it's Thursday. Ya know the rule."

“Rogers-!"

“Li, for once, please take care of yaself first. I can wait."

She never did stop insisting that he get fixed up first and he never stopped refusing. It was a game he was learning to lo-tolerate. The most annoying part of living with the Major, though, was probably sleeping with her. Or lack thereof to be exact. 

He had no idea what that blue smoke she uses to relax him is, but he knows that it's a god send. Steve just wished she'd use it on herself.

Even before she started making them sleep in the same bed so she could sooth his nightmares through the night, he noticed her extreme bouts of insomnia. Every Wednesday through Saturday like clockwork, she refused to sleep or more like she couldn't. He didn't know how long she had been that way, but by Friday she was always so distant and on Saturdays she would lock herself in her painting studio, playing her loud- what's it called rock music?- to drown out the crying he knows he hears. Eight months into his new life, he had enough of it.

Not that it broke his heart to see someone he lo-worked with so sad, but because her music was so loud he couldn't sleep. Or maybe it was the lack of her body heat next to him. No one will ever know. Shut up.

He snuck into her studio and found her painting a portrait. Of who he didn't know, but he liked watching her work so he stayed quiet until her song ended and then he picked her up and carried her to their room. She tried leaving again, but he wrapped himself around her. She didn't have to sleep, but he needed her to stay in bed so he could at least pretend that she was relaxing.

He starred into her confused black eyes. To be honest, he was confused too. He hadn't even known this strange, infuriating woman for a year and already he-snap out of it, Rogers. It's a good thing they weren't soulmates. After while, he started drifting off.

“What was that song you were singing?" he asked.

“Uh, “When the Day Met the Night". Panic! At the Disco."

“I like it."

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“Sir, are you sure about reintroducing this doctor? I mean what if the Asset-."

“Are you questioning me?"

Li stiffened and thought fast. Pierce must be in a bad mood to use such a threatening tone on her so fast. If she wanted to keep her freedom she had to be careful here.

“No, of course not, sir. I know better than that."

“Good," Pierce said, "Don't sleep tonight."

ReSpawn felt the chip in her head click in recognition of his voice command. She swallowed back a lump in her throat. There goes an entire week of sleep as the former Secretary already took away two days just because. Li said her goodbyes to her boss and disconnected the call. She let tears of complete exhaustion and the lost hope of relief flow free.

A few seconds later, the superhuman felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked up and met the grey eyes of a blond supersoldier. His eyebrows were knitted in concern.

“What do you want, Steve?" Li whispered.

“I want you to rest," he answered, “The only times you've come to bed all week is when I can't sleep. I mi-want to make sure you're ready for tomorrow."

Li briefly wondered what, Steve, stopped himself from saying. Her power was so drained from lack of sleep she didn't want to waste any on reading minds. She patted Steve's shoulder.

“I'm fine, love, don't worry about m-."

Her breath hitched as she saw her hand glowing a black light. Fuck not now. Please not now. Steve noticed her sudden mood change.

“What's wrong?" he frowned.

Li just shook her head and ran for her studio. She could only hold him back for so long. She slammed the door and locked it so, Steve, couldn't barge in.

“Finally! thought I'd never get out. Miss me, sister?"

“Define 'miss'," Li grunted.

“Ouch, cut me do I not-."

There was a knock on her door and her named was called. The Major leaned against the door to keep it from being forced open as the Captain has accidentally done that a few times.

“Go away, Steve, I'm faaahhhhhhne!"

A wave of pain over took her as her body was rearranging itself to accommodate her brother taking control.

“You don't sound fine! Let me in!" 

The door knob jiggled and, Li, looked at it in panic.

“NO! Stop go away! Please I don't want to hurt you!"

“Oh come now, sister, don't you want to introduce me to your boyfriend?"

Li whispered a silent apology to the Captain as she felt her control of her body snatched from her.

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The door slowly opened and, Steve, sighed in exasperation. He didn't care what it took, he was going to put, Li, to sleep. He couldn't let her start in on the Avengers' Initiative like this and besides that, being awake for a week and a half straight wasn't healthy. She was going to kill herself.

“Li-!"

Suddenly, Steve, was kicked hard into the hallway wall. He groaned when his attacker pinned him down with their boot to his chest. The person looked like the Major, but more masculine, red eyes, and glowing black light. They were smirking.

“Wrong, would you like to buy a vowel?"

Steve frowned, grabbed the person's foot, and pushed himself up. He hovered over them, switching into superhero mode.

“Who are you? Where is she?" he barked.

The person laughed and disappeared from under the supersoldier. Steve quickly stood up and looked around. Teleportation was one of Li's powers. If that bastard was possessing her, if they hurt her in any way- there was a whistle on his right. At the end of the hall was his target raising up their right hand. Steve felt himself stiffen and he couldn't move. The person came closer and started walking around him.

“So this is the great Captain America? Looks more like a beefed up twink to me," they sneered, “I thought you were supposed to be a challenge!"

“Where. Is. She?" Steve asked again.

They rolled their eyes and tapped their head.

“Oh, she's in here. And I'll tell you what she's enjoying the shit out of this. She's always holding herself back, holding me back. It's nice to be free for a bit." 

“What the hell are you talking about?!" Steve demanded.

The bastard laughed again and, Steve, felt the hold on himself tighten. 

“Of course she didn't tell you! Got to keep your dirty little secret till the end, huh sis? Afraid he'll lock us up just like everyone else? Well, don't you worry I won't let him touch us. I won't let anyone touch us ever again."

Li's brother looked back at Steve.

“You want to know the truth? Well-."

The man jerked violently and let go of the supersoldier. 

“No! How are you-?!"

He dropped down on his hands and knees, groaning and his skin literally crawling. Steve backed away a little. The man looked up at him with black, pleading eyes. Li's eyes.

“Steve. Steve, you have to-oh shit," she moaned, “There's a cage in my studio! You have to shove me in there and get out!"

Steve stood there trying to process everything that was happening. And he thought waking up in the future was as weird as it got.

“ROGERS! I GAVE YOU ORDERS!" Major Jones exclaimed.

Steve shook his head, carried, Li, to the specified area and shut the cage door. It was made of something clear and obviously stronger than plastic. Li was on the floor, glowing green. Steve kneeled down. He couldn't just leave her like this! What if she needed him? What if-?

“Steve, go I got it from here!"

“But-!"

“NOW!"

Steve growled, pounded on the case, and left the room. He closed the door to the room and stood outside it, praying for her to be okay. Suddenly, there was a long drawn out scream from inside.

“LI!" 

Orders be damned. He was busting down this door or at least that was the plan until he felt a pressure from the other side of the door keeping it closed. Eventually, he was able to get inside to Li. She was laying unconscious in the cage, chest not moving. 

“No no no...don't do this t' me, sweetheart, please!" he whispered.

Steve opened the door, gathered her in his arms, and put an ear to her chest. He sighed in relief and laid his forehead on her chest when he heard her heat beating. A second later, she gasped and groaned. 

“Please tell me nobody kissed me," she grimaced, grabbing her head.

Steve sat up. The Major was looking at a point just beyond him. He learned a few months ago that she goes blind when she uses all her power up. But she was smiling, she was breathing, she was alive! Steve could've cried. He hugged her tight and felt the rumble of her laugh.

“Come on, bro, no movie moments!" she exclaimed, hugging him back.

He let go of her slightly and looked into her eyes. He was feeling something warm, something he had felt with, Peggy, before, but never to this degree. He had the sudden need to know if her eyes were actually black. Li's eyebrows furrowed.

“What's wrong? Why are you being so quiet?"

Steve was silent for a few seconds more to find the words that wouldn't make their current relationship status awkward.

“Everything's fine, sweetheart. I just-I'm just really glad you're okay."

The Major laughed at his cheesiness and started to get up with the Captain's help. She leaned on him and he put his arm around her waist.

“Thanks for all your help, love. I know I'm infuriating and strange." 

Steve was about to ask why she chose those exact descriptors, but thought better of it. Instead, he picked her up bridal style, despite her protests and started for their room. There was no way he was letting her walk.

She never told him, but he was sure that that her power drain made her leg problems manifest themselves.

“It's easier for me to carry you so be still and it's ok, you'll tell me when you're ready. Just try to sleep okay?"

He laid her down on the bed and climbed in next to her. She started shaking, crying, and holding her head.

“I-I can't! He won't let me! It hurts so bad, Steve, and it never stops!"

Steve's face crumpled in confusion and sadness at seeing her in so much pain. He embraced her again, set her head in the crook of his neck, and stroked her back.

“I'm sorry, sweetheart. I'm so sorry."


 

An hour later, Li, got a call and when she hung up, she went out like a light. Steve sighed and kissed her temple. Finally, she could get a few hours peace. He curled up around her to go to sleep too, but thought of a better idea. This was a huge breach of trust, but he was desperate.

Steve knew she's accepted her life, but he can't. He can't stand watching her fall apart like this and without telling him why or who makes her like this!

Is that the crying he knows he hears? The pain of trying to keep her brother at bay? Of soul crushing exhaustion? How long has she been like this and has anyone cared enough about her to notice?

Judging by the slightly shocked and confused looks on her face whenever he shows even the smallest act of kindness that's not just human decency, he's going to guess not.

He grabbed Li's cell phone from her hand. She didn't have a difficult password, just the birthday of her favorite celebrity, so there were only two possibilities. He tapped on her recent calls and frowned. There were no recent calls. 

“Then who's...?" he muttered to himself. 

He didn't have long to ponder because, Li, started fidgeting in her sleep, crying out Steve's, and an occasional Tony's, name softly. He ignored the other name for now, laid down, and wrapped his arms around her, wiping away her tears. 

“It's okay, sweetheart, I'm here. I'm here."

He repeated this until she settled down and started breathing steadily again. Steve kissed her temple with a protective arm still around her and set his jaw.

She was going to decapitate him, but she had done so much for him in this last year, now it was time to return the favor. Steve took out his phone. The person answered on the second ring.

“Nick, how much can you tell me about Li?"

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Li blinked herself awake when she felt the sun shining in. She propped herself up on Steve's chest and slowly unwrapped his arms from around her. Waking up like this started to become her norm in the last couple of months and she couldn't bring herself to stop it. 

Nothing like a little platonic cuddling," she thought to herself.

The Major stood up and stretched herself out, taking in all the colors she could see around her. Pierce, mercifully, let her sleep and as a result she was able to get her power up enough to regain her sight.

As she stepped forward, she hissed in pain and grabbed her knee and her head. She didn't sleep enough to fix everything and while she had control of her body back, her brother was still scratching away in the back of her mind. Suddenly, a warm pair of arms pulled her back to bed. She turned to see worried light grey eyes staring at her. 

“Go back to sleep, sweetheart, I know you haven't charged up enough yet."

“Yeah, sweetheart, you're barely holding me back!"

Li sighed, ignored her sibling, and laid back down. She started picking at Steve's eyelashes to distract him from her sleep schedule. It was an annoying habit she picked up from her mom and she knew it irritated him like it did her. Today, he didn't say a word.

“I'm sorry for that little show, Stevie, I didn't realize how tired I was. But you met my twin though."

I wish my fist could've met his face."

Li muttered at the voice to shut up and, Steve, looked at her in confusion.

“Who are you talking to?"

“Yes, why don't you formally introduce us?"

“Shut up, brother! I can't you tell more, Steve."

“Why not? I've told you everything about me...do I get to know you?"

He's right. I won't hurt him...for long."

Trying to keep up with both boys was starting to make her dizzy. She dismissed her brother and took her hand away from Steve's face. He grabbed her hand in his and she tried to look away from his searching gaze, but he lifted her chin to look make her at him.

“You won't hurt me, if that's what you're worried about. You've done everything in your power not to."

He leaned in close to her. Li felt her cheeks burn at the soft look in his eyes.

Steve was always so good to her, even when they thought they hated each other. He paid attention to anything and everything she did, the only one who ever realized when she ran out of steam, and the only one besides Fury and Tony who concerned themselves with making sure she took care of herself.

She really shouldn't, but maybe just one kiss wouldn't-.

When did you get so sentimental, sister?"  

Li's eyes flashed at her brother's accusation and she pushed away from the supersolider. As much as she hated to admit it, he was right. The Captain was her target, she had to be prepared to kill him as soon as, Pierce, gave the green light. She could, under no circumstances, get more attached than absolutely necessary.

“Yes, I will hurt you, Captain. As I've told you before, being the best of the best is what I was born to do."

Steve frowned and sat up to pull the Major in his lap, but she kept pushing him away. Don't get attached. Don't get attached.

“Is it that bastard in your head? Is he telling you all this?"

“Are you just going to let him insult me like that!?" 

“No! Yes. I don't-fuuuucck!" she groaned as the pain in her head intensified.

Li started shaking and felt herself being engulfed by strong muscles as she slipped out of herself, going back into her days imprisoned in the major HYDRA base. Her brother always hated that place.

Once they found out about him they always made sure to let, Li, sleep just enough to keep him contained in the dark of her mind and if he ever started manifesting himself, they would pump her so full of drugs, she couldn't move.

She couldn't go back there! She had to keep, DeSpawn, under wraps! She-noticed a voice-Steve? Yes, Steve, was calling out her name.

“It's okay, Li!"

All she had to was focus on his voice. Drown out her brother.

No, it's not okay, dear sisterand you know why! You've gone soft, weak, allowed yourself to be swayed by this pathetic mortal and your companions! I can't wait till HYDRA forces you to drain your control again! Then I can take him apart piece by piece."

Li flinched and Steve's voice faded away.

“No..." Li moaned.

And you'll help me won't you? I know how much you love it! Remember tearing the arm off that soldier? Did it feel good, sister? Letting go of your misguided compassion for these humans and letting yourself-letting us be free?"

“Stop it..." she whispered.

You didn't have a lucid moment for two months after you almost killed that poor boy! The pain you put him through. How do you live with yourself knowing that you trained him to be you? "

“I'M SORRY!" she shrieked, pounding on her head, “I'M SORRY! I'M SO-!"

Li felt a sharp pain across her face and blinked a few times. Where the hell is this place? She looked up to see a blond man with his hand raised like he was about to smack her. She shrunk in fear.

“NO! NO! I'm sorry, sir! I'll be a good girl! I'll do as I'm told! JUST DON'T HURT ME ANYMORE, PLEASE!" 

The man looked confused and then looked at his hand and quickly put down. He crushed her against his chest, hugging her tight.

“No, no! I'm sorry I-I jus' needed ya t' snap out of it! I would never, ever hurt ya, Li, please believe me."

Li blinked a few times again. Why was he showing her mercy? She was bad, yes? That's why he hit her, right? Why was she not being punished? Who the hell is, Li? Wh-why was, Steve, holding on to her for dear life? She started pushing against him and the soldier loosened his hold on her and raised an eyebrow.

“Are-are ya okay?"

“Well, I was nearly suffocated by my number one, but other than that...I'm cool."

Steve continued to look at her like she had three heads.

“Don' cha remember the last ten minutes at all?"

“Steve, I haven't even been awake for ten minutes."

The Captain's face went impassive for a couple of seconds before he laid back down. Li couldn't read his mind at the moment, but something big was bothering him.

“What's wrong, Rogers?"

Steve turned to look in her eyes. His eyes were filled with confusion and fear. She wiped his bangs out of his face. Maybe he had a nightmare. Those she could help with without getting too close.

“Do you need to talk about it?"

He shook his head.

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Later on that night, Li, still appeared to have no recollection of her breakdown. Steve wanted to ask her about it, but after another nap at his insistence, she had to get ready for her assignment. He sat on the bed watching her for any wrong move. 

“Don't wait up for me!"

She always said that, but he always stayed up until she came back. He's gotten so used to her next to him that it's hard to fall asleep when she's gone. Besides, how could he sleep after what he just saw?

Now she's going god knows where to assess god knows what when she's only half functioning at best. Li pinned her communicator on the collar of her under shirt, turned away from the mirror she was facing, frowned at him, and came to sit down next to him on the bed.

“Okay, Rogers, tell me what's eating you. I can't leave you alone if you're acting like this."

Steve looked into her eyes, searching for an explanation for her behavior. Fury wasn't of much help. He only knew a little more than, Steve, and it wasn't anything important. He looked away.

“I'm just worried I guess. We haven't had solo missions in a while and the thing with your brot-."

Li cut him off with a gloved finger to his lips and a murderous glare. She started glowing green a bit and, Steve, knew he fucked up. She leaned in close.

“Do not question my control over him. That was the first time in a long long while that he's fully come out and I don't plan on it happening again. Are we clear, Captain?" 

Steve nodded fearfully. She took her hand away and gave him a hug. He buried his face in her shoulder. She started stroking his hair and he held her tighter. Li sighed fondly.

“Stop worrying, love. Don't I always come home?"


 

It was around four a.m. and, Steve, lay in bed still wide awake watching some infomercial. Li was supposed to be home two hours ago. Usually, he wouldn't be worried because time was an illusion to her, but-THUMP!

Steve shot up and saw a familiar figure laying on the floor by the door.

“LI!"

He quickly ran to her and saw that she was unconscious and shaking. He tried to touch her, but she was burning up...literally. Li had lime green smoke spewing out of her. Suddenly, her eyes shot open. They were completely the same green as the smoke.

“It-tessaract- I'm over loaded-"

She reached out with her gloved hand and put it on Steve's hand. The familiar trails of her blue relaxation smoke came out slowly at first and then in clouds completely engulfing him. It felt so nice.

Every muscle in his body was unclenching to the point of turning to jelly, every thing was slowing down...down. Steve felt himself being lifted up and then laid down on the bed. He was so sleepy that started nodding off immediately. A couple hours later, he woke up to, Li, massaging his naked torso. He groaned and tried to prop himself up, but she pushed him down.

“Don't move, I'm not done restoring your muscle strength yet."

“What the hell happened?" 

Li sighed and was silent for a few seconds before she scowled and her hands moved up to his chest.

“Our dear Director failed to tell me that a certain blue cube called a tessaract would be what we are guarding. I don't have to explain to you what it is, but what it does to me is act like a super fast portable charger. I get juiced up if I touch it and I handled it a little too long."

Her black eyes met Steve's blue ones, stopping her movements on him. 

“I'm so sorry, Steve, but I was about to go supernova. I needed to get rid of some of my power so I had to turn you into jello."

She looked down. Steve wasn't sure if she was blushing as her grey skin made it hard to tell, but the corners of his mouth twitched anyway. He sat up and hugged her. She relaxed and leaned into him a bit. After a while, he pulled away and took her face in his hands, shrugging.

“You don't need to be embarrassed about losing control of your powers, sweetheart. It happens."

She looked up at him still scowling and brushed his bangs out of his eyes. He enjoyed her complaints about it too much to keep it cut properly.

“Not to me it doesn't and certainly not both extremes in one week! And you need a hair cut!"

Steve rolled his eyes. She was doing her deflection game again. He didn't want to play along, but she just looked so adorable with her full, always slightly chapped lips pouting, her dark, messy, tightly coiled mop of hair.. the black eye make up that she never takes off before going to bed a bit smudged... the giant white t-shirt as the only thing she's wearing...is that his shirt? Damn, she looks good in it...probably even better o-

“Steve, what are you doing?"

The blond blinked and realized how close he was to his commanding officer's lips. He blushed, no doubt in his mind full body, and moved away from her, babbling some excuse about seeing something on her face.


 

“Let it go, Captain," Pierce said.

The call disconnected and, Steve, stood in the kitchen fuming. How the fuck was he supposed to let this go? His commanding officer had a severe mental snap right in front of him and then she comes home ready to literally explode after another mission, and he shouldn't worry about it? 

Steve slammed his phone down. Neither Fury or Pierce were giving him anything that could help him figure out what was wrong with his Major and he was starting to get pissed off.

Maybe this happens all the time," said a voice in the back of his head, “They've known her for years, so this isn't out of the ordinary for them."

Steve shook his head. So what if it's “normal" for her. It's not right to leave her like that! She needs help! She's obviously being bullied and no one has lifted a finger to stop it. Li's a strong, strong woman, but no one can fight alone forever, and she shouldn't have to! She has him now and god knows he would do anything for her...

Steve sighed and leaned on the counter, rubbing the bridge of his nose. He was so close to kissing her earlier. It was a good thing, Li, brought him back to his senses as that would've been highly consequential. The first and second in command shouldn't have a romantic relationship. Those kinds of feelings make missions too complicated.

“Don't change the fact that ya love her, Rogers."

Steve groaned. He couldn't even deny it to himself anymore, he does. He's completely infatuated with his annoying, snarky, bossy, beautiful, caring, gentle roommate. There's no question that Major Li Jones was a pain in the ass, she admitted it herself on multiple occasions, but she was his pain in the ass. He wished he could tell her how he feels. He wished-SLAM!

“Wake up, Rogers!"

Steve looked up and, Li, was standing in front of him wearing an amused expression. She finished getting dressed in her usual civilian outfit of sneakers, ripped skinny jeans, and a band shirt. How many of those does she have?

“My eyes are up here, Captain."

Steve blushed and immediately put his gaze back into her eyes. Li laughed and placed the hand she slammed on the counter on top of the one he has gripping the edge. She pushed his bangs out of his face and grabbed his hand.

“Time for you to meet the rest of the team! And I don't feel like teleporting today."

Steve allowed her to pull him out the door and to his motorcycle.

“Wait, have you met them already?"

Li raised her eyebrow and, Steve, realized how stupid his question was. Right. Agent of SHIELD for god knows how long, she's probably friends with them. He started up his bike and pulled out from in front of the apartment.

“We still have some time to kill. Let's go to the cafe, my treat."

Steve nodded and set course for their favorite coffee spot. They always went there when they wanted to get away from being superheroes and just wanted to be two people enjoying each other's company.

He felt her arms tighten around his middle and her hand lightly stroking his stomach, something she always did when she was about to fall asleep riding with him. He smiled.

At least for a bit, he could pretend they were together.


 

“I can't tell you how many different Budapest stories they have! I don't think they even know the truth anymore!"

Steve laughed hard. They were sitting outside the cafe in the shade of the umbrella trees, sharing a chocolate and vanilla milkshake while, Li, told him a bit about the Avengers team. They sounded like a bunch of characters, especially this Tony Stark.

He sounded nothing like what, Steve, remembered about Howard. Except the inventing part. Tony appeared to have inherited all of his father's intelligence and then some according to Li's stories. He couldn't wait to see how in God's name someone like Li and Stark's kid were soulmates, even platonic ones. 

“Hey, last one to finish drawing that ugly building over there has to buy dinner!"

“Bring it on!"

Li snapped and two sketchbooks appeared. Steve grabbed his and immediately went to work. This was his favorite game to play with her. She almost always won, but he didn't care. How could he argue with such beautiful artwork? 

“Done!"

They both held up their work to each other fifteen minutes later and, as usual, Li's was damn near perfect, but she frowned in mock sadness.

“Not bad, Captain! I concede." 

Steve smiled, brushed the hair from her eyes, and let his hand linger on her cheek. 

“I insist on taking you out anyway!"

“What a 'gentleman'! If I didn't know any better, I'd think you're trying to woo me, Rogers."

Li leaned into his touch a bit and laughed, black eyes twinkling at the supersoldier, before she went back to her sketch. God she was so beautiful. The Captain couldn't do anything besides stare in awe at the woman next him. Eventually, Steve, sighed.

Everything about his situation says that he shouldn't even think about feeling like this about the Major, so why does he feel so compelled act on it. He had just woken up from a seventy year deep freeze but a year ago, they just learned how to get along but six months ago, he barely knew anything about her, they weren't even soulmates. But yet...here he was. Wishing that he knew what color her eyes really were so he could so he could know what highlights played in her dark, wild hair in the sunlight and what color her lipstick was.

He wanted to be able to properly paint her if she ever let him, he wanted to know how she colors the world around him-

“Earth to, Captain Rogers, come in!"

Steve blinked and realized that, Li, was leaning in close to him, with her hand on his arm and bemused expression. She was really close. Everything except him and her melted away.

“Steve, you've been really weird all day. Are you sure you don't need to talk about something?"

He cupped her chin with his index and thumb, leaning in an inch from her lips. He smirked at her word choice.

“Maybe I am, tryin' t' 'woo' ya."

“Steve, Steve we-."

Just then her phone rang, snapping the supersoldier back to reality. He blushed, taking his hand and face away from his commanding officer's. Steve shook his head and closed his eyes for a minute to try and rid of the fog of desire clouding it. What was wrong with him? Pull it together, Rogers, come on! The Major nodded a few times and hung up. She grabbed his hand and tugged him to his feet, the last minute apparently forgotten. 

“We're late come on."

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“I'll handle my man child, Phil. You go ahead and take, Steve, to the base," Li ordered.

Agent Phil Coluson met up her and the Captain at the corner by the cafe. He was, as always, having trouble with Anthony Edward Stark aka Iron Man, aka Li's favorite asshole. In all honesty, Coulson, could've handled it himself, but he figured the Major probably wanted to see her soulmate again, so at the first sign of resistance on the billionaire's part he called her. She pulled, Steve, into a hug. When did you get so touchy feely, Jones, stop it.

“I'll see you in a bit, Rogers."

“I better!"

They let go of each other a bit and, Li, smiled. Steve was looking at her with the smirk she wanted to punch off his face constantly. This was the, Steve, she knew. Not the overwhelmingly concerned one from earlier or the one that wanted to kiss her, but her infuriatingly combative friend.

“Who's the commanding officer here?"

“The one that comes back in on time, not the one that comes stumbling in two hours late with no Starbucks."

“I have so much hate for you."

“No, you don't."

Steve squeezed her waist and then stepped back from her to go with the agent. Li stuck her tongue out at him, turned, and walked towards the ugly building she and, Steve, drew earlier also known as Stark Tower.

As she was leaving, she saw that, Coulson, looked between her and, Steve, with a slightly weirded out expression on his face. She didn't read his mind because she wanted to save her power for whatever, Loki, had in store. Li gritted her teeth a bit thinking about last night.

She knows that there was nothing she could've done to save those people, Loki, killed or, Clint, from being mind controlled because she was only running on a quarter of a tank, but she still slightly blamed herself anyway. She always did.

The Major took the slow elevator ride up to the penthouse. When she stepped off and came face to face with the “billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist” his face turned from one of sarcastic defiance to one of thinly veiled glee.

Tony. You helicarrier. Now. Hi, Pepper!"

Li shoved the Initiative folder at, Tony, as, Pepper, greeted her back.

Li. I'm on a date. No. Ignore her, Pep."

Yeah, right in the middle of the day. I know you, Tony."

“So you and Blondie are the only ones allowed to get it on during the day? No fair!"

The Major rolled her eyes. Why, of all the people in the world, why was this man one of the people she was destined be mentally linked with? Sure, they could only do it in close proximity, but it was still annoying.

“Life's not fair.  You get one kiss, make it count."

Li cut off their mental connection so she wouldn't have to listen in on his conversation with his girlfriend. After a minute, Pepper, left out and the Major pressed her forehead to his, gave him all the information he needed to know, and then grabbed his hand to pull him along to the elevator.

I hate it when you do that."

Shut up."

Wow, someone's salty today. What's wrong with you?"

“MAYBE IF YOU TALKED TO ME MORE THAN A FEW TIMES A YEAR YOU WOULD KNOW!"

Tony stopped abruptly and turned, Li, around to face him. She combated against the urge to cry. She knew she was being unfair as she never cared about keeping in contact before and in all honesty she didn't bother to call either, but she really needed her best friend right now.

Hey, hey, what happened? Tell me."

Li sighed and let the images of the last nine months flood through her and Tony's mind bond. When she was done, she felt much lighter and, Tony, squeezed her hand.

We all have our demons, kid, just find someone besides me to always lay them on. I love you, but Pepper's starting to flinch whenever I ask for a black light."

I don't even want to-."

Just then, the Major's phone rang. It was, Fury, telling her there was a situation with, Loki, that had to be dealt with now. She hung up and looked at, Tony, who rolled his eyes.

"I don't even have superpowers, so why am I the only one that can fly?"

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“Agent Romanoff! You miss me?"

“Of course not, you're an ass. She missed me, right, Natasha?"

Steve frowned at the exchange in his communicator. He recognized Li's voice but who was the metallic male voice? He didn't get wonder long as he had to dodge a blinding white and green light that blasted back Loki. He looked up and, Li, was riding on the back of a red and gold metal suit that he presumed to be Iron Man.

They came blazing in with “Shoot to Thrill" blaring in the background. Steve rolled his eyes as the song choice was probably Li's since rock is all she plays. When they landed, the Iron Man readied his weapons and, Li, turned completely green.

“Make a move, Reindeer Games," Iron Man and ReSpawn said.

Steve came up next to her, out of breath from his fight, lightly bumped her shoulder, and smiled. The Major turned to face the Captain with a wink at least he thought it was one as it was hard to tell since both her eyes were just lidless, white almond shapes. He was glad it was dark so she couldn't see the blush he was wearing. All three of them looked down at Loki, who's outfit faded away and put his hands up in surrender.

“Good move," Major Jones and Iron Man said at the same time again.

The suit put away its weapons as, Li, went back to her normal appearance. Okay, maybe the song choice wasn't all Li. Steve was starting to realize how she and Stark were soulmates. He nodded towards the suit.

“Mr. Stark," he panted.

“Captain," Tony nodded back.

Steve looked back at, Li, and noticed that the villain was glaring at the Major and she was doing the same to him. He took her aside when they were back on the jet.

“What's going on between you two?"

Li didn't answer for a few seconds, a sure sign that she was about to start telling a half truth when, Tony, came up beside her. They didn't say anything, just kind of stared at each other for a couple minutes before, Li, went to go sit next to Loki. Steve's brow furrowed in confusion, but decided that was a conversation for later. Right now their prisoner was priority.

“I don't like it," Steve said to Tony.

“What? That Rock of Ages is giving up so easily?"

“No, it's never that easy. I mean this guy packs a wallop."

Steve looked over at the pair sitting down, worried mostly about why the man is acting like he's going quietly, but also slightly worried for Li's safety.

He knows he shouldn't be, probably Loki's safety around her is more worrisome, but he couldn't help it. She's just so tiny that sometimes the urge to wrap her up and keep her away from anyone and everything that can hurt her just overpowers his rational thinking and-there was a slap to his shoulder. He blinked and looked over to see a smug Tony Stark.

“Are you listening to me, Cap, or are you staring at the smaller than average sized lady in black?" 

Steve blushed again. He didn't realize he was so blatantly gawking at his commanding officer. Again. What the hell was wrong with him?

“I-."

Suddenly, there was a crash of thunder. Then another and another increasing in size. There was a small groan and, Steve, looked over at the god again. He looked slightly nervous.

“What's the matter?" the Captain asked, “Scared of a little lightning?"

“I'm not overly fond of what follows..." Loki answered, looking up.

Just then the whole jet lunged forward as something landed on top of it. Everyone jumped into action except Loki. Steve went for his mask and shield when he heard Li's squeal of excitement. He looked in her direction and she was looking outside the back hatch while, Tony, was going towards it.

“What are you doing?!" he exclaimed.

At that moment, a-man? with long, blond hair? and a red cape? and a-hammer? landed in the back, crouching next to the Major. And Steve thought Li's brother was as weird as the twenty first century got.

"Thor!" Li exclaimed.

The one called, Thor, looked up at the woman, winked, knocked Iron Man back with his hammer, and flew off after grabbing Loki. Tony groaned, stood up, and started going towards the hatch again. 

“Another Asguardian?" Natasha asked.

“I dunno," Steve answered, “Think it's a friendly?"

“Doesn't matter," Iron Man dismissed, “If he frees, Loki, or kills him, the tesseract's lost."

He readied himself to blast off, but, Li, grabbed hold of him. They did their staring contest for a few seconds before, Tony, shrugged her off and went after Thor. The Major sighed and held her fingers up. She was about to teleport away.

“Wait, Li, we need a plan of attack!"

She didn't move her mouth, but, Steve, could've sworn she looked right at him and said "Who are you and what have you done with my Steve?". ReSpawn snapped her fingers and vanished. Steve growled in annoyance and went for a parachute, despite Natasha's protests. No way was he letting Li and Stark do this solo.

He pulled his "classic sass and bail" move as, Li, liked to call it, and went after his partner and Iron Man.

When he landed in the, mostly destroyed thanks to Tony and Thor, forest. ReSpawn was holding both of them up with her telekinesis, neither of them able to move a muscle. Despite the many times as he's seen her use it, Steve was still amazed by his girl's-his commanding officer's power. She was yelling at them and knocking their heads together.

“ARE. YOU. TWO. DONE. WITH. YOUR. DICK. MEASURING. CONTEST? Oh, hey, Cap, I got this." 

“What's he here for?" Steve asked, jerking his head towards the caped guy.

“I've come here to put an end to Loki's schemes!" Thor shouted, "Li, let me go!"

How did he-not important. Not. Important. The Captain told him to prove it by putting his hammer down if, Li, let him go. She protested, but then, Steve, gave her a "trust me" look. Li nodded once and put them down. Thor looked like he was about to comply with Steve's request until, Tony, shot off his mouth again and got himself back swinged into Li.

“YOU WANT ME TO PUT THE HAMMER DOWN?" Thor boomed.

Steve fought off his urge to go check on the Major and readied himself for battle. 

“I SAID ENOUGH YOU FUCKING OVER GROWN FRAT BOY!"

Steve looked forward and, Thor, turned towards the deep, computer like voice. ReSpawn was standing up again, completely engulfed in her lime green light. Her white eyes were boring holes into the god and the ground was smoking beneath her feet. Everyone froze. She rose up her hand, snapped her fingers, and Steve, Thor, Tony, and Loki were teleported to the base. Natasha and her co-pilot were there too and, Steve, was too afraid to ask how. Li looked directly at him with pure rage.

“I TRANSPORTED THE ENTIRE GOD DAMN SHIP HERE! IS THAT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU, VANILLA BOY?"

She lifted up, Loki, with her powers. Steve was starting to get slightly worried as he had never seen, Li, in a fit like this before. Not even that time he almost impaled himself after jumping out a plane without a parachute for the first time around her. 

“ONE WRONG MOVE AND I WILL END YOU, PRETTY BOY. DO YOU HEAR ME? NOW LET THEM TAKE YOU TO YOUR CELL."

Steve moved to let the guards take their prisoner away. Loki didn't even flinch. The Captain wasn't sure what brought on this aggression on, but it helped him realize why she was able to reach Major rank at only twenty-three. He also realized it was kind of-don't even go there, Rogers. She grabbed Tony's hand and dragged him out the room. Before she left she gave one last murderous glance to everyone, especially Thor.

“WE'RE DONE HERE!"

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Li pulled the engineer into a corner of a lab and started taking off his armor fretting over each little flinch he made. She was going to kill him, that god of thunder.

I'm fine, sweetcheeks! The suit's as strong as a tank!"

Li's eyes flashed green and she frowned deeply. For someone who got each of his seven doctorates out of boredom her soulmate was pretty dense.

You might as well have been hit by a tank, stupid! Now come here so I can fix you up!"

She started working over him with her green light. The Major used up a lot of her power transporting everyone back. While the tessaract gives her an insane amount of juice, it drains rather quickly. She just hoped it lasted the rest of this mission and at least a couple of days after because who knows when, Pierce, will let her sleep when he shoves her in her cage again...NO! She shook her head and resumed her work.

There was a time a place for those thoughts and that was not now. No one was getting hurt on her watch. She had to protect them for as long as she could. She...she had to do at least one good thing with her life.

Thanks for the unnecessary medical attention when your juice is limited. Now, what aren't you telling me? I can feel you blocking me out."

Li finished with her work and got up to walk away. She couldn't drag, Tony, down anymore and it was already bad enough that, Steve, wouldn't let things go. A hand on her shoulder turned her around and other hand on her chin forced her to look up into the annoyed and worried brown eyes of her soulmate.

You have me being the voice of reason here, fucking christ. Tell. Me."

Li looked down, back up, and growled in frustration.

They're locking me back up, okay? Somehow they found out about me losing control of my brother and they're putting me back in my cage."

Tony's face hardened. He was the only one, Li, had ever trusted enough to know everything about her. Well, almost everything. The only thing she couldn't reveal unless she wanted a two inch hole in her brain is who her boss is. The billionaire muttered something inaudible so, Li, had ask him to speak up.

“You're not honestly going to let them get you. Have you stopped to consider me?"

Li looked away again. Even though they could talk mentally only in close proximity, they could feel everything the other was going through at any distance. Something she learned when, Stane, got a hold of, Tony, years ago. The conversation between her and billionaire was not pleasant when she was finally able to show up to his lab.

Yes, I have! Why do you think I just let them have their way with me? They'll kill everyone I care about to prove a point, you know this Tones!

She hugged her best friend. The only one she ever had until a certain star spangled show off showed up in her life and made her start questioning her morals.

"Li, I can hear you know and you should tell him."

 The Major sighed and pushed back from him. He always has to play matchmaker with her. 

Tell who what, Anthony? That I'm unstable as fuck? That I'm a freak of nature comprised of a bunch of who knows what kind of DNA? That, Daemon, and I have been experimented on since we were a bundle of cells in a test tube? That I've been born and raised to be pretty fucking terrifying HYDRA weapon? That I've been lying to him since the beginning? That I-I..."

She couldn't even say. It would make it true and she could not under any circumstances put him in danger like that. Tony was silent as he could be, digging for the right words.

“Sweetcheeks don't you remember that I went through the same thing with Pep? Don't think that I don't regret dragging her into this life every day."

Li started to protest as it most definitely was not the same, but, Tony, silenced her.

“But that was her choice, Li. She chose to stay with me and still does through all the shit. The good, the bad, and the just plain weird. And I'm grateful for that every day. I just..."

Tony shrugged as the tips of his ears went pink and, Li, felt heat in her cheeks. This conversation was getting to feelsy for them both.

I just want you to find someone that makes me feel the way she does. Someone that makes you question why you think you're better off alone."

Li grunted at him in acknowledgment and he seemed to accept that as an answer.

Alright. Enough of this chick flick crap. Let's go annoy Fury and your boyfriend."

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“Iridium. What does he need the iridium for?" Bruce asked.

“It's a stabilizing agent," answered two voices simultaneously.

Steve looked away from Banner to see, Tony, out of his suit and in casual business clothes. Li was still in her all black uniform of specially designed, heat resistant cargo pants, an armored long sleeve shirt, and of course her high tech glove.

Tony was talking to, Phil, about something while, Li, went over to, Thor, and punched him in the arm before hugging him like it had been a million years since they saw each other. Judging by the way, Thor, embraced her back it might have been. Of course she knew the fucking God of Thunder.

As she turned away from the god and came toward the table, Steve, noticed she looked worn out, but after her blow up earlier he's not surprised. He still needs to ask her about that when they're alone together.

The Major sat down by him and he took one of her hands to give it a reassuring squeeze. She looked up at him with a sad look that he never wanted to see again before giving him a weak smile. Oh yeah, they really need to talk. 

“Tony, leave the man alone!" Li said, breaking eye contact with Steve, “If he wants to play Galaga let him."

“He thought we wouldn't notice but we d-shut up."

Li just smirked at the now slightly pouting billionaire that had another staring contest with the Major before continuing on. Steve wondered how they did that just talk with their eyes. He squeezed Li's hand again to get her attention.

“What's Galaga?"

It's a game I'll show you later. Tony, you know damn well I showed you thermonuclear astrophysics earlier today!"

Iron Man rounded on ReSpawn, narrowing his eyes. She stuck her tongue out at him and Steve rolled his eyes as much as he enjoyed seeing, Li, smile, her constant interruptions were getting them nowhere. He put the conversation back on track.

“Li, let him talk. Does, Loki, need any particular kind of power source?" Steve asked.

“He would need to heat the cube to 120 million degrees kelvin just to break through the cooling barrier," Bruce answered.

“Unless he's some how figured out to manipulate the atomic effect," Tony said, nodding at the biophysicist.

“If he could do that, he could achieve ion fusion at any reactor on the planet," Bruce said.

Tony gave, Banner, an impressed look.

“Finally someone who speaks English!" Tony exclaimed, going over to shake the doctor's hand.

Steve scoffed a bit and then felt a slow building pain on his right side. He looked down to see Li's green glowing hand crushing his while she was glaring dangerously at Bruce. Steve shook her shoulder and she seemed to snap out of whatever emotion had taken over her. She apologized, healed his hand, and crossed her arms, staring at, Banner, again. Wait was she jealous? No way.

The Great Major Li Ashton Jones prides herself on never feeling any emotion besides complete indifference. Eventually, her face softened and she smiled at Bruce. At that moment, Fury, came storming out, giving, Tony, a look.

“Dr. Banner is only here to help us with the cube."

“Well, let's start with this stick then," Steve said, “It works a lot like a HYDRA weapon."

Li shifted uncomfortably at the mention of HYDRA and, Steve, took her hand again and stoked it with his thumb, giving her an apologetic smile.

He forgot, Fury, told him she was undercover in HYDRA once. That probably wasn't something easy to forget. She looked at him with an unreadable emotion and then turned her attention back to the team. He did the same.

“....his own personal flying monkeys," Fury finished.

“Monkeys? I do not understand," Thor frowned.

Steve's mouth worked faster than his brain and regretted speaking the moment it came out.

“I do!" he exclaimed, almost jumping out of his seat.

There was an awkward silence. Bruce nodded and blinked; Tony dramatically sighed and rolled his eyes. Steve sat back in his chair again.

“I-I understood that reference," Steve said a little subdued.

Steve's face darkened a bit as, Tony, walked out behind, Banner, and, Li, stood up to follow them, but not before bending down to whisper in Steve's ear.

“Can you tell me what, Fury, meant later? I didn't understand either."

Steve smiled up at her curious eyes. She always knew how to make him feel better about his “man out of time" status, even when they thought they hated each other. If there's one thing he knew he could count on, it was that his girl was always there to keep him in the present. 

“Sure, sweetheart."

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Why did she do that? Why did she always do that? Of course, she understood Fury's reference. Everyone on the planet has seen The Wizard of Oz! But she just hated seeing, Steve, sad. It broke something in her that she didn't even know she had until the supersoldier came along. He rarely genuinely smiles, but when he does it's like the sun coming out, turning everything and everyone around it to gold. Especially when she's the cause of it.

Li sighed deeply entering the lab and she could feel, Tony, look over and scan her head.

When did you grow a heart?"

Same time you grew a dick. What's the bad news?"

Tony gave her a look and started walking around playing with a few screens.

“Nothing major. Just offering, Dr. Banner, here a nice, stable home in Stark Tower. Right, buddy?"

With that he, without warning, electrocuted, Bruce, in the side. If, Li, couldn't read minds she would've been more concerned, but she knew the doctor was pretty stable and it would take a lot more than Tony's antics to get a reaction out of him. Unfortunately, Steve, wasn't blessed with her powers.

“Hey!" he shouted, walking in, “Are you nuts!" 

He looked a bit irate so the Major looked into his head, but she couldn't see anything that would cause his overreaction. Li grabbed his arm to stop him from getting any closer to, Tony, her “protect your soulmate at all costs" instinct kicking in.

“Steve, it's fine!"

The Captain rounded on her, looking at her with rage she hasn't seen in a long time from him.

Just because he's your soulmate doesn't mean you should defend him, Jones!"

I'm not defending him because he's my soulmate! Bruce can control himself. What's wrong with you, Rogers?!"

“What's wrong is ya lettin' things slide for people that already get too many chances!"

“Steve, you know nothing about him!"

“I know enough t' see that ya just like every other bimbo that falls t' their knees for him! How many drinks did it take?"

“HEY!"

Li blinked, coming back to the lab and it seemed like, Steve, was coming out of a similar daze. They both looked over at the billionaire. To everyone else it would seem like, Tony, was about to have a casual conversation with the Captain, but, Li, could tell he was pissed.

“Didn't your mother ever teach you how to talk to women, Cap? Take it from me, they really don't like it when you insult their virtue. I mean some of them do, but those are the ones you gotta be on your toes with. I remember this one tim-."

“Is everything a joke to you?" Steve frowned.

“Funny things are," Tony shrugged, with a wink at Li.

She giggled. Can, Steve, not see that this is just how, Tony, is? She didn't even have to read the billionare's mind to know how he operates. It's more because they're almost the same person more than anything else, but still. Steve just kept arguing though and, Li, kept scanning his head for a reason why.

“Threatening the safety of everyone on this ship isn't funny! No offense, doc." 

As, Bruce, was saying how not offended he was by Steve's statements, she found it. He was thinking about his Howling Commandos. He was thinking about Bucky...

Li took his hand and squeezed it. He looked down at her with the thinly veiled pain of memories in his eyes. She couldn't do this.

Tony, drop it." 

Not a chance, sweetcheeks. No one questions your honor but me. Besides I don't need alcohol to get chicks to sleep with me, that was just rude."

He turned his attention back to Bruce. This was not going to turn out well if she didn't get a handle on her best friend and Steve.

“You're tip toeing, big man. You need to strut!" Tony said, getting a snack.

“And you need to focus on the task at hand, Mr. Stark," Steve ordered.

Li internally groaned. Steve must not know her very well because if he did he would've known that ordering, Tony, around was about as effective as telling her what to do. Which is not at all. She tried pulling, Steve, away, but he refused to budge.

“And you think I'm not?" Tony scoffed, “Why did, Fury, call us in? Why now? Why not before?"

Because it was on a need to know basis, Tony. I didn't like it anymore than you do!" 

Well, thanks for telling me! You know I can't do the equation withou-."

“Could you two stop doing that? As a team we need to know everything out loud."

Li looked up at, Steve, who was pouting and looking between her and Tony. Li found herself smiling a bit at the Captain's slight tone of jealously. Tony was torn in between wanting to reveal something big and waiting to see how it plays out.

“Oh, so only the Major and Captain can have private conversations. I see how it is," Tony smirked.

What do you mean, Tones?"

“You two don't even realize you're doing it do you? How cute."

“Doing what, Stark?"

“Fury's not just a spy, he's the spy," Tony said, ignoring the superhumans, “It's not just bugging me it's bugging, Bruce too."

Everyone glanced over at the doctor, who denied wanting anything to do with it.

“Doctor, you can't lie to me. You just can't trust me," Li sighed.

“Fine, Loki's jab about the Tessaract was directed at Tony. Even if he didn't know about the Tower, it was still all over the news," Bruce said, take one of the treats, Tony, offered.

Steve pulled on Li's arm to get her attention again. 

Stark Tower? That big, ugly building we were drawing?" 

“Ye-."

Tony cleared his throat and she looked at him. He was wearing the biggest bitch face, like, Steve, had insulted his science fair project. It took every bit of Li's willpower not to burst out in laughter.

Well, he's not wrong, Tones."

“Why don't you and your boyfriend take your opinions and go fuck each other with them," he snarked, “I'm kinda the only name in clean energy right now. That's what he's getting at."

“Right, so why wouldn't SHIELD bring him on this? What are they doing in clean energy in the first place? " Bruce shrugged.

Tony walked out from beside, Bruce, holding a tablet that he briefly showed Li. Great he's almost done breaking into SHIELD's files. Of course, he is. 

“I think Loki's just trying to wind us up. We have orders. We should follow them," Steve said.

Li let go of Steve's hand and turned to face him, cupping his cheek with her hand. Following orders is what, Pierce, said she's supposed to keep, Steve, doing, but there was something inside her telling her that she needs to plant the seed of doubt her Captain's mind.

Steve, what's wrong? I'm being for real. Since when do you just blindly follow orders. You've never completely followed mine or Fury's before now."

“This, Loki, means to start a war, Li, we can't let that happen. I know what that looks like and I can't do it again. There's too much at stake."

The Captain unconsciously, she knew, leaned into her hand and looked at her with an unreadable emotion. No, that's a lie. She knew the expression on his face, she could read minds after all, but she couldn't acknowledge it.

She couldn't put the only person besides Tony and Fury that never treated her like she was a monster in danger. She wished she could though. She wished she could afford to get lost in his light grey eyes. What color were they actually? Probably blue. She knew the American flag was red, white, and blue and blue that was the only color she couldn't see in Steve's suit. His really...really  tight suit. Has his body always looked that good?

Do you need me to buy you two a room? Stock it with Magnums?" 

For the second time today, the Major blinked herself out of Steve's gaze. This was getting out of hand. Steve was thinking the same thing as he shook himself out of his own cloud of want. He was also thinking about what Bruce and Tony said. Li saw the plan formulating in his mind.

“Just find the Cube," he ordered rushing out of the room.

Li followed him.


 

“Steve, I don't think-"

“You were the one who questioned why I was following orders, Li, this is me not following orders."

Li sighed as she watched the supersolider pry open the door to SHIELD's weapons' room. She hoped, Pierce, wouldn't have her ass for going along with this.

What does it matter, sister? You're letting him lock us back up anyway."

“Shut up, Daemon," she muttered.

Li saw, Steve, stiffen at her statement, but he didn't say anything as he pulled her in. Steve looked around for a bit before he moved to start climbing up the bars. Li yanked him back down and put her arm around his waist, ignoring his blush and accelerated heart rate. 

“Where to, Cap?" she said, lifting her hand to teleport them.

“Li, I don't think-"

“You were the one who wanted to come here knowing I would follow you. Now where to?"

Steve looked at her with that expression again and gestured to the top of the room. 

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

“Did you know about all this?"

She looked him right in the eyes and nodded once. Of course she knew. She worked for HYDRA. Everything SHIELD knows, they know. Steve's face hardened and, Li, felt his heart snag in disappointment. He stepped closer to her.

“Why didn't you tell me?"

Li stood her ground, never breaking eye contact even though she actually wanted to sink into the ground.

“It was on a need to know basis. You didn't need to know."

Li knew she might as well of slapped him in the face for all those words were worth. He looked down with betrayal in his eyes and then back up with an impassive expression. But, Li, could feel the hurt.

He picked up one of the weapons and climbed down with it, she didn't even try to stop him because she would've reacted in the same way if she was in his position. There were only so many orders she could defy before she put, Steve, at the forefront of her and the Winter Solider's hit list and she would sooner die forever then let that happen.


 

“Phase 2 is SHIELD uses the cube to make weapons!" Steve shouted, “And she knew about it!"

Fury looked angrily over at, Li, who crossed her arms and kept her head high. She actively avoided Tony's gaze and cut off their mental connection.

She could take Fury's...fury, she could even deal with Steve's attitude, but she couldn't stay strong through her soulmate's disappointment. Especially since she knew how he felt about weapons like this.

“Rogers, we gathered everything related to the tesseract. That does not mean we're making-," Fury began.

Iron Man angrily turned a monitor that showed weapon schematics in the Director's direction. He silently cursed.

“I'm sorry, Nick," Tony said to, Fury, but kept his eyes on Li, “What were you lying about?"

“I'm sorry, Director," Steve said, “But the world hasn't changed a bit!"

At that moment, Natasha and Thor stormed in.

“Did you know about this?" Bruce asked the red headed woman.

“Are you sure you don't want to remove yourself from this environment, doctor?" she said, ignoring his question.

“No, I want to know why SHIELD is building weapons of mass destruction!"

Li felt Bruce's heart rate spike in the most minute of levels. She glanced at where he was and saw how close he was to Loki's scepter. She started slowly making her way over while everyone continued fighting. That thing was dangerous. She had to get him away from it before something really bad happened. She could handle it's power to an extent, but these Homo sapiens were no match against it. They were so weak, pathetic, tiny, nothing like her!

“Li!"

She whipped her head around and everyone was staring at her. Steve was slowly coming towards her.

Sweetheart, put down the scepter."

 Li looked down and saw that she had unconsciously picked up Loki's spear. She was about to put it back when her hand froze. Why should she listen to that scum? She was more powerful than him. She could kill everyone in this room with a snap of her fingers.

Oh, dear. My real sister returns. About time!"

She felt a hand on her shoulder turn her around and she snapped out of her haze of bloodlust a bit. The hand belong to a blond supersolider who's eyes widened in fear when they met hers.

“Li, Li, listen to me. You can fight him! You have to!"

The HYDRA weapon shook her head. He didn't understand. It wasn't her brother she was fighting. She tried to push, Steve, off before she did something stupid. Like burn him alive. Or kill everyone in front of him, rip off his limbs one by one, and then burn him alive. First, she had to get rid of the extra body in her.

“What? Sister, calm down. This is no longer funny, put the scepter down."

“Cap! Get away from her!" Tony shouted.

ReSpawn smiled wide up at the supersoldier. 

“Okay I'll put it down."

She put the staff on the table. Then she lifted her hand and blasted the Captain back with her green and silver light.

“Get out," she growled at her brother, “And stay out of my way."

Sister, no! It'll kill us if we separate again! Stop!"

The superhuman forced herself apart from her brother's mind until they were two different beings again. Daemon looked at his sister in rage.

“Spawn! Stop now! This is out of hand!"

She just snapped her fingers and disappeared.

Chapter Text

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“He needs medical attention. I can provide that. Now all of you move before I make you move."

Steve groaned and tried to sit up but was met with burning pain in his chest. His head was swimming and he just wanted to pass out, but he couldn't, not when his girl needed him. He got up with a fist to the ground and made his way to his team.

“Captain, tell your 'friends' to back off!"

Steve focused on the man in front of him that he instantly recognized as Li's brother. 

“Why should I?" he winced, “Why should we trust you?"

Daemon stopped and blinked at Steve. And then he started laughing and laughing. Everyone tensed themselves just in case the villain made a wrong move, but then he stopped and glared at the Captain who glared right back. 

“See that's the kind of mindset that will make ripping your entrails out bit by bit so much fu- FUCK!"

He grabbed his chest and doubled over. The rest of the team was still holding him back from, Steve, so they just ended up supporting his slumping body. Steve frowned at the odd behavior.

“There's no time for these pleasantries!" he groaned, “We have to find my sister now!"

As much suspicion, Steve, held for, Daemon, finding, Li, was much more important. He told them to let him go.

“What?" everyone exclaimed.

“Just do it!"

Romanoff, Banner, Stark, and Thor all reluctantly stepped aside and allowed, Daemon, to get close enough to, Steve, to heal his burns. 

“What's wrong with her? Did you do something to her?" the Captain interrogated.

Daemon rolled his eyes, finished his work, and backed away, fists clenched in what looked like excruciating pain.

“I did no-ah!"

He grabbed his chest again and whipped his head in Tony's and Thor's direction.

“Tell him! I'm kind of in the middle of dying right now!"

Everyone looked at the billionaire and god who both shifted uncomfortably and looked at each other. Steve stepped forward with his most intimidating stare.

“Well?"

Thor looked down and then back up. Tony kept opening and closing his mouth, speechless for once. Steve felt his anger flare.

“M' gal's out in the open havin' some kinda episode so ya better tell me what the fuck's goin' on, 'cause if she hurts someone or hurts herself  'cause I ain't there, I swear t' God they'll be fishing ya both out the ocean piece by piece."

“That is no longer your mate, Captain," Thor mumbled. 

Steve looked up at him with a furrowed brow. This week just kept getting stranger and stranger. Thor gestured toward, Daemon, who was breathing heavily and leaning on the table that held the scepter.

“That is this one messing with magic he did not understand!"

“I WAS JUST TRYING TO HELP HER!" Daemon shouted and turned to glare at Tony, “She had grown so weak because of you, grown so human! She forgot how superior we are, she stopped fighting them back! She just let them have their way with us so they wouldn't hurt her precious pet!"

Tony rounded on him in a thinly veiled rage and the room dropped about ten degrees. Steve could definitely see how he and Li were soulmates. It was scary when they were pissed.

“I got a news flash for you, buddy, just because you're enhanced or whatever they're calling you two, doesn't mean you stop being human," the engineer sneered.

“'Enhanced'? Li told me she was born with her powers," Steve frowned.

Tony turned to the supersoldier and laughed, the pain of betrayal hidden in his eyes. 

“She told us a lot of things, Cap, only about half it is true. Yeah, she was born with them, but she's not a mutant. She and her brother's DNA was forced into mutation."

Steve's head was spinning again. Mutants? Enhanced he knew about, he was technically one of them, but.

“You mean like The X-Men?" he asked.

Tony gave him a mildly impressed look. Steve just shrugged. Li made sure he watched all her favorite movies. Multiple times.

“More like this is the Venom to her Spiderman," Tony slightly smirked.

A groan of agony brought everyone's attention back to Daemon. He was appearing to be slowly turning black. 

“We can explain the finer details of our biology later when I'm back with my sister again!"

Steve nodded. Li's brother was right. Search now, talk later. 

“How long do you have?" he asked.

“An hour, maybe- shit- maybe two before I go into a coma. Three before, Li, and I die."

Steve's heart stopped and he grabbed, Daemon, by his shirt front, slamming him to the table. He wasn't going to let that little tidbit go unnoticed.

“Whadya mean she dies too?" the Captain growled.

Dameon didn't answer at first, stubbornly refusing to open his mouth, but then, Steve, raised his fist.

“We're one being or something like that. The magic I preformed made so we can't survive separately for very long and if I die, she dies and vice versa, but she-I never told her that was a side effect."

Steve let go of Li's brother who quickly slid out from under him. His girl was dying and she didn't even know it. If he didn't find her she would die the way he promised she would never have to be again: alone. The room went quiet with the weight of Daemon's words and Steve's silent raging panic was causing a slight pain in his chest. Tony made a small whining sound. Steve looked over and saw that the billionaire had his hand over his heart too, slightly doubled over.

“A little less than that," Tony grunted, “You two have a little less than three hours. I can feel her. Gotta love the soul bond."

“Well, where is she?! Can ya locate her?"  Steve exclaimed.

Tony leaned up against a table, crossed his arms, and shook his head, making complete eye contact with the Captain.

“We're close soulmates, but not that close. Unless we're in the same room, I can't do much more than tell you that...that she's in pain," he grimaced.

Steve was about to punch something if he didn't start getting some helpful news. Of course she was in pain! Li was always in pain! Whether it was physical from her draining lack of sleep or mental because of her past and her brother's inability to shut up. He was tired of her constant silent suffering. Steve felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up to see that, Thor, stepped forward.

“I know not what help this will give, but I have an idea on where she might be," Thor volunteered, “My brother."

Chapter Text

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“What?"

“You heard me! Undo whatever my brother's done to me!"

Li was standing at the god of mischief's containment cell...well leaning on it rather. A few minutes after she separated herself from, Daemon, she started feeling weak. A minute later, came chest pains as her heart was struggling to beat and her lungs refused to expand. ReSpawn knew that could only mean one thing: whatever magic was worked on her by, DeSpawn, back fired in some way he didn't tell her about. It was the only explanation since this never happened when they separated previously.

“And why would I do that?" the god smirked, “You are of no threat to me now and your death would slow down Thor and his 'friends'... especially your Captain."

Li's fists clenched and her eyes flashed silver at Loki's mention of Steve. That mortal wasn't hers! He was dirt on the bottom of her shoe, pest, something to be eliminated like that insufferable inventor. Steve Rogers was nothing! Nothing!...nothing but the best thing that's happened to her since Tony...nothing but good to her...good in general......what is she doing here? She was just watching, Fury, arguing with the team and then-blank? She blinked up at Loki. He was frowning.

“Pathetic. Just like my foolish brother. Letting yourself be controlled by some lowly mortal."

ReSpawn snarled and turned green, her silver, pupiless eyes burning into Loki's amused, grey ones. 

“Get. Out. Of. My. Head."

The god just leered and walked backwards with his hands up. Li watched him carefully. She knew his tricks all too well and-

“SHIT," she screeched.

Another wave of agony overtook her body and she slid further down the cell and sat down on the floor. She heard the god chuckle and saw that he had come back to stand over her.

“By all means, exhaust all the limited over abundance of power the tessaract gave you."

“Shut up and fix me!" she demanded, turning back to her human appearance.

“I can not."

“What?"

Now it was Li's turn to be confused. In the two or so years she and Daemon spent with Thor and Loki while they were hiding from HYDRA, there wasn't anything the mischief maker couldn't undo. She glared up at him.

“There are some spells that strengthen with time. If you asked me ten years ago, perhaps I could have done something," he shrugged, “But now I cannot. The only way to save yourself is to rejoin your brother again."

Li cursed and punched the ground with her full force, an action she immediately regretted after she heard cracking in her hand.

She was already becoming relatively vulnerable again...but that wasn't important right now. There was no way she was fusing back with Daemon! The idiot accidentally made her and Stark cross paths, coloring part of her world in and nature forcing her to become overprotective of the man, causing her to develop a docile side!

She could not let, DeSpawn, make anymore stupid mistakes in her life in the name of “taking care of them both"! She would not allow HYDRA's mind control lock her away again. She would not allow that wannabe Captain sway her anymore.

Her calm Major Jones mind was so weak, allowing her thoughts to always turn to that beefed up twink. Letting him be the reason to keep her true mind, this mind, hidden, always wasting power healing him, comforting him.. keeping him in the present while not forgetting his past...making him laugh until he can't breathe just because it was so rare and beautiful...snuggling up close to him if she gets cold at night and sometimes just because she wants to feel his arms around her...getting lost in conversation for hours in his cool grey eyes...

“It always comes back to him does it not?" Loki said with a knowing look, “You do realize that you'll just end up hurting him or he will reject you when he knows your truths? You and I that's all we're good for. Hurting and being hurt. It's best to just stay away. We can trust only ourselves."

Just then, there was an explosion from where the team was. Li felt a slight twinge of pain from Tony's end of their weakened by distance bond, and her instinct to protect her soulmate was raised. Li heard metallic noises from next to her and turned to see, Loki, coming out of his cage. 

“This is your moment, Ms. Jones," he said, “Either you reunite with your brother, you two return to me, and Midguard falls to us. Or you return to your brother, contain him, and fight a losing battle against me and your true self."

Chapter Text

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Li.

As soon as, Steve, recovered from the shock of the explosion, his commanding officer was the only thought in his head. Knowing that she was still alive was the only important thing right now. It was like this irresistible urge pulling him in her direction and shutting everything out.

“Cap! STEVE!"

He whirled around at the feeling of a hand on his shoulder and saw an uncharacteristically somber Tony Stark.

“Captain, I know it's hard, but you have to fight it. You have to make yourself believe she's okay."

Steve blinked himself out of his clouded judgement and looked at him in worry. He was right. If whatever exploded knocks them out of the sky, everyone would be dead. Except him probably, he always gets the luck of watching the people he protects die. The supersoldier nodded and followed the inventor until he saw, Daemon, still on the floor not moving.

“Wait, we are not leaving him here alone with that scepter!" he said.

“Fine," Tony huffed, “Get him to, Li, and don't let them fuse until I get there!"

“Why-?" Steve began to protest.

“If you trust her, you can trust me!" Tony shouted as he ran to go get into his suit.

Steve groaned in frustration and went over to the man laying on the ground. Steve bent down to turn, Daemon, over and saw that he was unconscious, but still breathing. They were ragged breaths and the blacking of his skin was still creeping up on him. 

“Wake up!" The Captain ordered, shaking Daemon, “Come on!" 

DeSpawn's red eyes slowly blinked opened and he looked around in confusion for a few seconds before remembering his situation. Steve stood up and held out his hand so, Daemon, could get up, but as soon as he got on his feet, he crumpled against the supersoldier in pain.

“Take me to my sister! Now!"

Steve raised an eyebrow and slung Daemon's arm around his shoulders so he could lean against him while they moved to go find ReSpawn. After a few minutes, Steve, had a thought. He would take him to, Li, but not before he had a few questions answered first. Daemon was willing to tell him about, Li, before maybe now in his life threatening position he'd give, Steve, everything.

“Yeah, I'll take you to her. If you tell me what you were going to say the other day. How do you two know gods? What's this magic Thor was going on about?"

“What?" Daemon sighed in exasperation, “Can this wait until after I'm not dying?"

“No."

Steve stopped walking and DeSpawn glared at the Captain with as much scorn as he could muster.

“She told you she's 23 when you asked her age, right? Well, that's just her standard answer. We're actually closer to 100. But in this year we technically haven't even been created yet. We exist in a test tube in a HYDRA lab."

Daemon just started and already Steve's head was spinning. Li's around his biological age? But not really? Test tube in HYDRA? Steve just nodded at the man to continue.

“We were born in the year 2095 into one of the last remaining HYDRA facilities. We were their last hope to bring back their former glory. After over 150 years, they finally got the bright idea that adults have too much knowledge of what freewill and love feels like so they can't control them for long. So what's the next step? Create a weapon from conception to adulthood. Make sure they know nothing else, but greatness of HYDRA and the pain of any disobedience. But of course, like everything those incompetent fools do, it back fired.

We were born powerless, blind, and barely breathing. They were just going to kill us. Experiment #73143 just another failure, but our surrogate took pity on us and asked them to just wait and see. Maybe like the other mutants our powers would manifest at puberty. And they did."

Daemon sat down and, Steve, followed suit, feeling a bit overwhelmed. He knew what HYDRA was capable of, but this was just sick. Daemon went silent for a few moments with a manic gleam in his eyes. Steve brought him back to reality by hitting him in the knee. DeSpawn hissed in pain and at the same time Steve felt a twinge in his knee along with the distant sound of a growl.

“You hurt me, you hurt her, you idiot! What part of 'we're one being' didn't you understand?!" Daemon shouted.

“It's not like you were real clear on that! Just continue your story, how did you meet Thor?" Steve snapped.

Daemon sighed and upturned his mouth in disgust at his memory.

“Our adolescence was nothing short of torture. HYDRA kept us in a cage most of the time, just testing on us. They wanted to know every one of our mutations, their favorite, of course, being our inability to age.

Fast forward forty or so years, my sister and I were given orders to infiltrate the early SHIELD so they sent us back to the seventies to get into Howard Stark's and Margret Carter's good books. That's when my sister met the younger Stark because I insisted on sneaking into the elder Stark's office, but I didn't know it was bring your pest to work day." 

Daemon stopped due to being taken over by a coughing fit and Steve felt a similar tightness in his chest because he knew, Li, was probably in the same situation, but tried to shake it off. He knew he should be finding her, but this might be his only opportunity for the answers the Major refused to give. Finally, DeSpawn looked up.

“They became soulmates and Howard refused to let her be anywhere near the child, said he didn't trust the look in her eyes. My sister, believe it or not, is-was the more volatile of us both and the urge to protect your soulmate is instinctual almost to the point of animalistic if you've never loved someone before. So she saw the boy's father as a threat and sought to eliminate him, but when she saw the look on the boy's face she stopped. I've never seen someone calm her down the way Tony Stark can. At least until you showed up."

Daemon paused to cough again. Steve's brow furrowed as he has never been able to calm down his commanding officer in the entire year he's been with her as far as he could remember.

“Our handlers found out about my sister's newfound love and decided to use it to their advantage. I was so angry. It was bad enough HYDRA was controlling us mentally with those god awful chips in our heads-"

“Wait, chips?" Steve asked.

“Yes, Captain they make small computer chips-please tell me you know what those are-that can be implanted in the brain and used to make puppets out of people. Why do you think she never remembers anything after her breakdowns? They don't want her to remember what she's done or what they do to her, she might turn on them."

Steve was about to question further to see if he could know who the puppet master currently is when, Daemon, cut him off.

“No time! I'm about to lose consciousness. Anyway, our 'mother' liked reading us stories when were young and I remembered one about a god that could do all sorts of things. I figured I have nothing left to lose and I hated being a slave to you humans.

I teleported us to the story books in hopes of finding help. My sister, Thor, and Loki all took to each other immediately and when I explained our situation they were happy to help."

Daemon laid down and closed his eyes but kept talking.

“Thor offered us a place to stay in Asgard, but I didn't want that, my sister was already getting softer by the day! Why the fuck is it always love? It's so overrated. Makes for a good story I guess. Anyway, I wanted more.

I wanted those HYDRA bastards to be at my knees begging for their lives, but I couldn't do it on my own I needed Li's power. I needed her body to do it, but I knew she wouldn't do it willingly if it meant her soulmate getting hurt. So I found a spell that could bind us into one in the hopes of being able to control her body myself. It wasn't meant to be permanent."

Daemon went silent and, Steve, loudly cleared his throat. This exposition was not done yet. There was still a bit more time before the coma hit.

“But it back fired," Daemon finished, “I don't know what I did. I didn't consult the mischief maker before doing it. The next I knew I was floating in darkness, only in control when I felt my sister's lack of sleep getting the best of her. Don't ask me why sleep controls her powers because I don't know.

We made it back to Earth eventually and HYDRA found us again. Well, my sister. Li was the outward appearance in our now shared body and had the unfortunate task of telling them what happened to us and the punishment that was dealt..."

The man opened his eyes, giving a haunted look. Steve thought about the times he's accidentally walked in on, Li, getting dressed. All this time he thought her various scars were from her missions. He never thought...no wonder she gets so uncomfortable at the mention of HYDRA.

She's never known anything but pain and isolation because of them. The Captain went limp with all of this new information, trying to wrap his head around the fact that he just learned more about his girl now than in this past year.

“Satisfied?" Daemon huffed.

“Not even-" Steve began.

“Yes, he is. You can't just leave well enough alone can you?"

Steve turned to see, Li, limping up to them. She looked just as bad if not worse than her brother. Her body from her hands to her neck was entirely coal colored and the black was wrapping itself around the right side of her head. Her eyes were blood shot and screaming in agony. When she got close enough she ignored the blond man and sat down at her brother's feet. 

“Come on, D, I don't know how to do this."

“What makes you think I do?"

“BECAUSE YOU'RE THE ONE-"

Li was suddenly taken over by her barely functioning lungs having a fit, bringing up dark colored blood with every gasp. Steve moved to put his arms around her, but she stopped him, glaring at him with pure hate.

“Sweetheart-," he started but, Li, cut him off.

“I am not that foolish girl that has allowed her affection for you and that engineer cloud her judgment. Do not touch me."

ReSpawn returned her attention to her brother. Steve hesitated for only a moment before ignoring her warning and hugging her anyway. Which she struggled against, but he held her tight.

“Sweetheart-Li! Look at me! Come back to me I know you're in there. Please."

“Sorry, Captain," ReSpawn sneered, “The Major's not in. Let go of me now and maybe I'll kill you quickly."

Steve thought fast. Daemon said that she only gets like this when triggered and the scepter was that such thing and Daemon was the reason in the bedroom a few days ago. Maybe a shock like last time will bring her back. He wasn't about to slap her again though...wait a minute. Steve smiled and stroked her cheek. 

“She's still in there. If she wasn't I would've been dead when you burned me half an hour ago."

ReSpawn snarled and her hands started glowing green when, Steve, closed his eyes and put his lips on hers. She pulled away in surprise. 

“Steve! What the hel-?"

He face scrunched up and, Steve, frowned. Was he really that bad a kisser? Wait a minute. He looked down and saw that, Daemon, had a hand on her back that was glowing green and black light intertwined.

“I didn't think this would actually work!" he exclaimed, “Don't worry sister we'll be together again soon..."

There was a blast of red that threw, Steve, backwards. When he got up, Li and only Li was on the floor motionless. He rushed over to her and shook her.

“Come on, baby girl, wake up!"

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“I believe your Captain wants your attention, sister."

“He is not 'my Captain'. The soft girl in my head is the one that he wants, not that she'll be making an appearance anytime soon."

“Li, as much as I hate to admit it, she is still technically you and she will continue to fight you."

“Shut up, don't you think I know that? That I can't feel her scratching around? This is why we need to go to Loki."

“Do you honestly think he can help? He is called a trickster for a reason."

“Well, he's been more straight forward than you have! What were you thinking using magic without help?!"

“I needed you back, sis. Major Jones is disgusted and ashamed of me. I was hidden away for so long..."

“And don't worry. I will be back permanently, but first we need to be able to get near Loki. They'll restrain us like this though...but..."

“Oh, you can't be serious!"

“I'm not going to let her out. I will merely play the part. Lull the Captain and his friends into a false sense of security and then take it all away."

“If I were capable of love-."

“Don't ruin this for me brother. Keep the Major subdued."

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Steve felt like jello again when, Li, finally blinked herself awake after he spent ten long minutes holding her unconscious body. She sat up and smiled at him. She got up and walked around the room, calmly. He raised an eyebrow.

“Sweetheart, you feeling okay?" he asked in worry.

“I'm fine, Steve, why?"

He locked his eyes on hers for a minute. Those were the Major's black eyes, but there was something not quite right about them. They looked deader than usual? No, not dead. They looked uncaring, cold. Li pushed away from him and grabbed his hand.

“Steve, you're being weird again. Come on we have to go help the others!"

As, Li, pulled him forward the only thought on Steve's mind was that this was definitely not his Li. She was too calm about all this. His, Li, always scolded him for being reckless on missions when the safety of the team is jeopardized, but she was the same way. And after the way he saw her react to, Tony, getting hit by Thor's hammer, she would've been out there with her soulmate as soon as she woke up.

This was not his girl, but should he make it known that he knows? The Steve Rogers part of him said yes so he can save his best girl. The Captain America part of him said no let's see what this poser's plan is so he can save everyone.

“Li, where are we going?"

The Major stopped and and looked at the Captain with a deadly looking smile, like she was trying very hard not to kill him for asking questions. 

“Did you not hear that roar? Obviously, the Hulk is out as the distraction, Loki, wanted. You are going to help, Stark, out on engine three while I take care of Loki. Are we clear, Captain?" 

Steve hesitated. Since this woman isn't the Major, leaving her alone with the likes of, Loki, would be a bad idea. But if he refused to leave her side, it would raise her suspicions.

As, Steve, was debating the Hulk and Thor came crashing through the wall. 

“Steve!"

“Fine! Just be careful okay? I can't lose you."

Li gave him a soft smile. 

“Of course, Steve."

As the Captain followed his orders he scowled. He got sappy in the middle a fight and she got sappy right back. 

That was definitely not, Li.

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“I think he believes you, sister!"

“I think he does too, but let's not get too ahead of ourselves. Just keep the Major back, I felt my control over her slip when the Captain expressed worry for her safety."

Li turned her attention to Thor and the Hulk. The god was her ticket back to, Loki, but first she had to get the green bulldozer out of the way.

“We are not your enemies, Banner! Try to think!" Thor exclaimed, holding the Hulk's fist away from his face.

Banner let out a roar and flung the god into a pile of containers. Li grinned, raised her hands, and shot him with a blast of her green light. She walked over to the dazed giant.

“Why don't you smash someone your own size?" she smirked.

The Hulk roared again and moved to punch her, but she easily stopped him with her telepathy. She held out her hand and slowly started making a fist. The Hulk growled and whined in distress as his body was involuntarily curling up. Li opened her hand again to let him straighten up again. She tutted him and shook her head, turning completely green.

“Well, how about that it seems, I'm bigger."

ReSpawn closed her fist and the Hulk was manipulated into a ball. He roared in pain as a few of his bones broke through his skin. Li stood there clenching her fist tighter and tighter until something hard and metal collided with her back. The Hulk fell to the ground and, Li, couldn't move.

“ARE YOU MAD?" Thor shouted.

Li felt a weight lifted from her back and she turned around to meet the angry, grey eyes of a god.

“BANNER IS OUR FRIEND!"

“That was trying to kill us! I merely acted in self defense!"

“SELF-DEFENSE IS NOT EXECU-!"

Li silenced him with a kiss. At first, Thor, hesitated in surprise, but then he groaned and melted into her lips. When they broke apart, Thor looked a bit punch drunk.

“I told you many times. I can not be with you, Li."

“That was not a gesture to continue our previous relationship, Thor. I wanted you to shut up."

Li snapped and the Hulk disappeared. Thor scowled, grabbing Li's hand to scan her head.

“Where is he? M'lady, you are not yourself."

“I sent him someplace relatively safe. And I'm fine, so get out of my head."

Li started walking away towards Loki's cage room, having gotten the current whereabouts of the mischief maker from Thor's head and, Thor, followed.

“M'lady-!"

They reached the holding room and, Thor, ran towards the cage when it looked like, Loki, was escaping, only to find himself locked in. How could, Odin, think that his blond bimbo of a son could ever be a king?

“Are you ever not going to fall for that?" Loki scoffed.

The god of mischief sauntered out from behind the cage to stand next to the control panel and, Li, moved to stand beside him. Thor's eyes widened in disbelief.

“I see you made your choice," Loki smirked at Li.

“Don't worry I'm still tempted to rip out your spine for not helping me," ReSpawn sneered.

“Duly noted."

Thor grunted and pounded on the cage with his hammer. Loki mockingly jumped a bit as all that was accomplished was cracking the glass and upsetting the system keeping it in the ship. Thor's pleading gaze met Li's and she looked away, feeling the Major clawing for control.

“Brother! What are you doing?! Restrain her!"

“Sorry, sister! She's stronger than was a few decades ago! You've let her be in control for too long!"

“Did I ask your opinion, bro-!"

“LI!"

Li's met Thor's gaze again except it wasn't Thor in the cage, it was Tony.

“Loki, whatever illusion you are creating stop it!"

“I have done nothing! What madness are you spouting?"

She couldn't look away from the mind projection Iron Man was doing from probably right above her.

“Li, stop bullshitting around and get, Thor, out so you can- what is it, Cap? What? Fine, just start talking."

The image of, Tony, became, Steve, looking at her with that classic puppy eyed expression he has. The one that always made her think before she acted....The Major blinked at the Captain.

“St-Steve?"

“It's okay, sweetheart, I'm here! Just-just focus on me alright?"

The Major shook her head.

“Steve, what the hell is-?!"

“Oh no no no, I'm in control here, Major!"

Li shook her head taking back control. God damn the incompetence that is her twin. She leered at the Captain whose face went stony. Li raised a hand to the ceiling and shot a stream of light up. She heard the Captain's and Iron Man's cursing in her head and, Steve, turned back into Thor.

“Sorry, about that," she grunted at Loki.

“Move away, please!"

Both Li and Loki turned to see a balding man pointing a weapon at them. His eyes went wide.

“Major?!"

Li smirked and held up her hand to blast him away. Steve, Tony, Thor, and now this guy? Too many witnesses she has to take care of.

“NO! I'VE GOT ENOUGH BLOOD ON MY HANDS TODAY!"

Li's hand rounded on her and blasted her into the ground floor. Li growled and went unconscious so she could take care of the Major herself.

In this mind projection of the helicarrier, Major Jones, was sitting bloody faced on top of a beaten to hell Daemon. Li rolled her eyes at her brother and narrowed them at the Major.

“Foolish child!  When will you just give up already!?"

“I could do this all day!"

The Major moved to punch, Li, but she teleported behind her kicked the Major in the back. She lifted up her foot to break her spine.

“So can I.  But know the difference between you and I? You've lost sight of the big picture! You're weak! You let the enemy win!"

The Major rolled as, Li, brought her foot down, denting the metal. The Major laughed as she stood up.

“If you think, Steve, is a threat to us, you're the one that's lost sight, bro. That man could never hurt me and by default you."

Li swiped at Major Li, but missed and got her feet kicked from under her. The Major stood on her chest.

“I was so stupid! Letting Daemon and you throw me a non-stop self-pity party. Even when I was conscious I couldn't get away from you douchebags, but no more. I actually have friends that need me..."

Major Li kicked, Li, in the head and threw her with Daemon.

“And ain't nobody got time for me to feel sorry for myself."

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This was a shit day. Almost all the team was down, Coulson-Coulson was dead, Loki, got away, and his commanding officer lost her mind.

He looked down at her and pleaded for her to wake. Li had been out for an hour, maybe more by the time he found her, looking beaten to hell. The medical team fixed her up as best they could and now he was sitting in at the command bridge table with, Tony, holding her in his arms.

“These were in Phil Coulson's jacket."

The Captain looked up and he went cold. Fury was holding up the vintage cards of him he never signed, spattered with blood. He picked one up and looked at it. It was him in his tv uniform saluting. There was no way that was him. That guy looked like a man with a plan. The man he was now was lost. He wasn't Captain America. He wasn't even sure he was Steve Rogers anymore...

“Steve? What's going on?"

The Captain looked down to see the Major frowning at him through half closed eyes. Steve hugged her close, not caring who was around. He knew she was harder to kill than he was, but he still worried.

Rogers, we don't have time for this! Tell me why I feel like shit and why everyone is-."

She went wide eyed, mind talking with Tony. The Major sunk, dead eyed, back into Steve's chest. The Captain hugged her tighter and, Fury, continued.

“There was an idea, Stark and Jones knew about it which I'm starting to realize that means you know about it, Cap, called the Avengers Initiative, to bring together a group of remarkable people-Jones, sit down."

Li was trying to get up, but, Steve, held her down.

“Please, sweetheart, ya need t' rest."

“I'm fine! I just need to get out of here, okay?"

Steve stood up with, Li, in his arms, excused them, and walked into an empty room. He put the Major on the cot and and closed the door.

“I said I'm fine, Steven!"

“No, ya not. Ya blamin' yaself. Li, ya can'-."

“I COULD'VE HURT SOMEONE, STEVE! I COULD'VE KILLED SOMEONE! HELL, I PROBABLY DID, BUT NO ONE SAW IT!" 

Steve bit his tongue as the Major got up on wobbling legs and started pacing around the room.

“AND THE WORST PART IS, I CAN'T REMEMBER BECAUSE THEY WON'T LET ME!"

She started shaking and moved to leave the room. Steve grabbed her arm.

“Ya weren't yaself...that scepter messed with ya brains, sweetheart!"

“I. WAS. MY. SELF!

The room rose sharply in temperature and ReSpawn rounded on the Captain.

“THAT WAS THE REAL ME, STEVEN! THAT'S WHO I REALLY AM! THIS SUNSHINE AND CANDY CANES PERSON IN FRONT OF YOU IS AN ACCIDENT, A MISTAKE! SO STOP THINKING THAT YOU KNOW ME BECAUSE YOU DON'T!"

Steve just held her tighter despite her struggling. She didn't respond to subtleties, he had to be direct, firm. That was the only way to make her understand how self-destructive she was.

“JUST LET ME GO! I'M TOO DANGEROUS TO KEEP AROUND!"

“No. I'm not lettin' ya go hate yaself for things ya can't control! I know what bein' alone like that does t' ya! Ya know I know!"

Li growled and dissolved into tears while, Steve, sat them down on the cot and hugged her as tight as he could.

“I hate you so much! Why won't you let me leave? I don't want to hurt anyone else!"

“No. Listen t' me, sweetheart, please,"

He smiled softly, looking down at her. As his eyes met hers, everything seemed to melt away. They were the only two in the world.

“Ya right. I don' know the 'real' you, but I do know that ya blasted yaself t' keep from killin', Coulson. Loki killed 'im, baby girl-no, Li, listen t' me."

Steve put a finger to her lips as she tried to protest his denial of her involvement in the agent's death. After she promised to listen, he moved his hand to her cheek.

“Yes, ya hurt people, but know what? Ya not alone in this. We all got blood on our hands today. But ya know what a wise, beautiful woman told me? 'Suck it up an' carry on.'"

Li snorted weakly at the memory of the first time she got tired of Steve's unending self-loathing. She sighed, calmed down, and started drawing patterns on his chest.

“I really do hate you though."

“No, ya don'."

Steve stroked her cheek and, Li, looked up at him with questioning eyes and, Steve, found himself lost in her dark gaze.

“Yeah, I do..."

Steve leaned down towards her lips as she leaned up towards his.

“No, ya don'..."

Their lips met in a chaste, testing kiss. When they pulled back, Steve, apologized for not asking first. Li groaned in annoyance and pushed their mouths together again in a kiss that was anything but innocent, setting off fireworks in his head.

She swiped her tongue across his bottom lip and he happily gave her permission to deepen their embrace. As he laid her down on her back, Steve, felt like he could stay like this forever, exploring every inch of her with his mouth and hands, listening to every sigh and moan of his name she makes-

“CAPTAIN AND MAJOR!"

They jumped, headbutted each other, and looked sheepishly at the glaring Director in the doorway. Li pushed off of the Captain. Steve got up to follow her out the door when, Fury, stopped them.

“I don't get involved in personal affairs, but if they interfere with what we're doing here, I will. Are we clear?"

The soldiers nodded and, Li, was dismissed. Fury waited until she wobbled away from earshot to address the confused Captain.

“I understand that she's the first person you considered a friend in this century, Cap, but I'm telling you, don't. I like the Major, but I don't trust her very much. You may not want whatever her truth is."

Steve nodded and followed his commanding officer.

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Li found her soulmate beating himself up in one of the engine rooms. She rolled her eyes. Typical Tony. Typical her.

“I can hear you, Tones, and stop it."

“Stop what exactly? There's so many things I've been told to stop, you g-."

“ANTHONY, LOOK AT ME."

Tony Stark turned to look at her and his face softened as he rushed over to her.

“Hey, take it easy, sweetcheeks! You feel like shit."

“What happens when you have literally beat your inner demons. Something you have to do eventually. Good men die all the time, Tony, that's just life!"

“Coulson was an idiot, Li."

“Why? For believing in us? And thanks for talking out loud for once."

Li and Tony looked up to find a scowling Captain America. The billionaire backed up a little as, Li, leaned into the wall of muscle behind her. He put his arms around her and, Tony, rolled his eyes, walking back to where he was when, Li, walked in.

“Tony, were we...?"

“No..."

“Guys, stop being vague. Tony, answer my question."

Tony shook his head and frowned at him.

“He was an idiot for taking on, Loki, alone."

“He was doing his job!"

“He was out of his league! He should've waited!"

“And since when have you ever waited, Tones? You're not the only one who can take risks, sweetie!"

Li teleported to her soulmate who scowled at her power use. Li dismissed it and cupped his cheeks to make her boy look her in the eye.

“You have to give others the dignity of choice, as you once told me, Tones."

“And sometimes there isn't a way out, Tony."

Steve came up behind her because she was wobbling a bit. Tony sighed and walked to the other side of them, like an irritated teenager having to explain himself to his exasperated parents.

“Right, I heard that before."

“This the first time you lost a soldier?"

Li stiffened as, Tony, locked eyes with her for few seconds of silence, both of them remembering the day he learned about her immortality. He looked back at, Steve, with glassy eyes and his anger flashed.

“We are not soldiers!"

Li groaned slightly. This was going to use up the rest of her power, but she grabbed Tony's hand in her gloved one and made some of her blue relaxing smoke. She felt, Steve, stiffen as she slumped over a bit. Tony yanked himself from her grip.

“Li, cut it out! I'm fine!"

“I know you are. That's why I didn't ask."

Li sat down and, Steve, followed suit. She knew she needed sleep, but avenging, Coulson, was more important. Her soulmate not losing himself to guilt was more important plus had a good handle on her darker parts for now. Tony kneeled in front of her.

“Sweetcheeks, you need rest."

“Or the tessaract."

“Well, we're not getting that until we find, Loki, sweetheart, so sleep."

“How hard can it be to find a drama queen like him?"

Tony's mouth flew open and he shot up with his familiar manic gleam of problem solving in his eyes.

“Say that again, sweetcheeks!"

“Loki's a drama queeeeen- oh yes, Tony!"

Li got up a little took quickly and would've tumbled into the engine if it wasn't for her soulmate and Captain, but she recovered and started scheming with Tony.

“That's his point right? That's Loki's point!"

“He hit us right where we live to tear us apart..."

“Yeah, divide and conquer's great, but he knows he has to take us out to win, right? That's what he wants!"

“He wants an audience! We caught his act in Stuttgart!"

“He wants flowers, parades, he wants a monument built to the sky with his name plastered...son of a bitch!"

“The Tower, Tones!"

Tony gathered the Major in hug and spun her around. God she missed these times with her soulmate.

“Stark and Jones solve another one!"

“Mmm, I like Jones and Stark better."

“Fuck off, Watson-."

“Guys! I couldn't hear any of that, you were talking in your heads again! What's the plan of attack?"

Li and Tony looked at each other and then back at the scowling Captain with shit eating grins.

“Attack!"

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As, Steve, walked into the room where the Major was changing into a spare uniform from he hoped that things wouldn't be awkward between them now. That kiss was everything he had been fantasizing about for months and it seemed like, Li, was into it too, but what if she's changed her mind now that she's had time to think about it? He could take being-what's the term-friendzoned, but he couldn't take them drifting apart.

Opening the door revealed, Li, in just her sports bra and underwear, sitting on the cot and blasting her music. Steve blushed and moved to close the door.

“Steve, get in here. You've walked in on me wearing less."

Steve smiled nervously and sat down next to her. Li took his hand and they gazed into each other's eyes for a while.

“You look better."

“I found some spare tessaract power-and if I told you where I would honestly have to kill you."

Steve sighed and nodded looking down at the floor. He long since learned to pick his battles. There was another moment of silence.

“Why me? You're a living legend, a good, great man, you could have anyone. Why settle for someone like me?"

Steve looked back up into his girl's genuinely confused, dark eyes. She thought he was settling for her? Amazing. Did she really not understand how he feels? Even now? He claimed her lips in urgent passion and she followed suit.

"I-kiss-didn't-kiss kiss-settle...fuck."

He laid her down on the cot so he could kiss and touch every bit of her.

“Do you not know how incredible you are? How much you've done for me? You took in a complete stranger from a completely different century and became one of the best friends I've ever had. You keep me in the present, sweetheart. Ya saved me."

He made his way back to her lips and wiped off the tears forming in the corners of her eyes.

“You're such a sap."

“But I'm ya sap."

He kissed her again, long and gentle. She put her legs around his waist and ground against him. He blushed and hesitated and, Li, noticed.

“If you don't want to, Steve-."

“No! I want t', I just-I just don't want t' disappoint ya."

Li looked at him for a long time before snapping her fingers to make their clothes disappear and looked down him with a smirk.

“I highly doubt that you will, Captain..."

Steve smiled shyly back and kissed her again while she snapped her fingers again, making a condom appear. She rolled it on him and guided him into her. He thought kissing her was as good as it got, but this was really nice.

“Tick tock, Captain-fuck, Steve...yes, baby, YES, STEVE!"

Steve knew enough from Li's inability to close her tabs when she lets him borrow her computer and his natural curiosity to know where to put his hands and such. He knew he wasn't great, but he appreciated her enthusiasm. Oh, god did he appreciate it. He went faster and deeper.

“That's it, darlin', sc-scream my name! I-want everyone t' know ya mine! I don' care what, Fury, says!"

Li did as she was told and it sent waves of pleasure through him. Or maybe it was Li's nails digging trails up and down his back. Or it could've been her kissing his neck, whispering dirty things in his ear. All three was good. All three felt so good.

He tried to last until she had hers, but he just couldn't. Steve came with a cry of her name. He continued to thrust through his orgasm and she came a minute later. After a few minutes of putting himself together, he pulled out of her. He held her close at his side, both of them breathing heavily coming down from their highs.

“That was definitely not disappointing. I'd go for round two right now if we didn't to go kick Loki's sorry-."

Suddenly, the door burst open and, Li, snapped her fingers to put hers and Steve's uniforms on. Standing in the door was a fuming billionaire inventor with his Iron Man suit on in bits and pieces.

“NEXT TIME YOU DECIDE TO FUCK YOUR BOYFRIEND, WARN ME SO I CAN BLOCK YOU OUT! SOMEONE'S TAKING CARE OF THIS!"

Tony pointed at the tent at his crotch and Steve and Li laughed themselves off of their cot.

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“Wait, Tony!"

ReSpawn's warning came too late as Iron Man blasted the arc reactor atop Stark Tower, and it rebounded back on them.

“The barrier is pure energy sir," JARVIS said.

Li looked at, Tony, in annoyance, but she couldn't get too upset. This is what, Steve, felt like every day with her probably.

“Sorry, sweetcheeks. Plan B?"

“What other choice do we have, Tones?"

Iron Man nodded once, not taking his eyes off, Loki, once as they walked into Stark Tower. The Major and Tony cut off their mental bond so, Loki, couldn't intercept, but that doesn't mean, Li, couldn't use her telepathy. She felt her soulmate's detectable-only-to-her-fear and she held his hand, wrapping her blue smoke around it when they got behind the bar.

Loki's eyes flickered to Li's and they held each other's gaze for a moment. She betrayed the mischief maker, well her darker half did by letting the Major rejoin with the Avengers and there will be consequences for it.

“Please tell me you're going to appeal to my humanity," he scoffed.

“Actually, we're planning on threatening you," Tony answered in a convincingly bored voice, “Probably should've left the armor on, but its got a bit of millage and you've got your glow stick of destiny."

He walked out from behind the counter while, Li, stayed to keep an eye on Loki's every move and thought.

“Would you like a drink?" she asked, “I'm having one."

Li got out a bottle of Tony's best whiskey while, Loki, laughed and looked between them settling with a menacing glare towards the Major.

“Stalling won't help anything."

Li knew what he was thinking, she lived on Asgard with him for a few years and he's the god of mischief, of course he knows stalling when he sees it. Iron Man started heading back towards his soulmate because his protective instinct was kicking in.

“No, no," Tony corrected, “Threatening. Make me a drink too, Li."

The billionaire inventor came to stand beside her and she grabbed his hand again to relax him. Loki rolled his eyes and turned towards the window. The two soulmates tensed.

“The Chitauri are coming. Nothing will change that," Loki mumbled, “What do I have to fear?"

Li noticed the slight nervousness in his voice and was momentarily baffled. She stepped around the bar towards the mischief maker. She felt Tony's confused apprehension. 

“Someone's got you by the balls," she said simply.

“Get out of my head, you mewling quim!" Loki growled.

“HEY!" 

Tony stepped up to shield his soulmate, but she kept pushing him back. He pointed a finger at the god. 

“There is no version of this where you turn out on top. Maybe your army comes and maybe you'll win, but know this: you've pissed off at least six people here. If we can't save the Earth, you can be well damn sure we'll avenge it-Li, can you not."

“Sorry. I've always loved it when you get all righteous like that."

Tony winked at her and they looked back at a stunned Loki. After a minute the god laughed again and and came towards them.

“How will your friends fight me, when they're too busy fighting you?" Loki smirked.

He put the point of the scepter to Tony's chest, but the Major pushed him out the way. As the corruption of the scepter started spreading, she felt the other two occupants of her mind stir and wake.

“No..." she whispered.

“Oh yes! It's time I take over once and for all..."

“What about me?!"

“Perhaps you should've thought about that before you fused us!"

“Shut up, both of you!"

“You have no power, no backup, no anything Major!"

The Major fell to the floor clutching her head as she fought a losing battle for control.

“I think the first thing we should do, brother, is pay a visit to the Major's dear soulmate and then an nice, long one to her Captain-"

“I SAID SHUT UP!"

Li felt suddenly felt the power boost from the tessaract in the scepter. There was a huge burst of green, silver, and black light and then the brunette opened their eyes. There was silence in their head, not even their own thoughts dared to make a sound. They stood up and went towards, Loki, who backed away. Tony flew up in the Iron Man suit. 

“Oh and there's a seventh person. His name was Phil."

Iron Man blasted the god to the ground and the superhuman kicked him head first into the bar. Tony directed his attention to the kicker. The superhuman couldn't see his face, but could feel his concern and fear. It allowed the Major to reopen her mind connection with the inventor.

“Sweetcheeks-!"

“Yes and no."

“Li?"

“Quiet, pest."

“D?"

“Only she can call me that. It's Daemon to you!"

Whoever the fuck you are-"

The superhuman rounded on the inventor and he shrunk a bit at their gaze. Suddenly the arc reactor went off, shooting energy into the sky.

“Right, army."

Iron Man blasted off and the superhuman looked back to see that, Loki, disappeared. They frowned but then heard the god's brother shouting outside. Vaguely satisfied that, Loki, was being dealt with, the being almost took to the sky with Li's soulmate, when they felt a tinge of pain, annoyance, and adrenaline from-

“Steve? CAP! I'm coming, Rogers! Don't win until I get there!" the Major shouted into her communicator.

“Hurry up, I got 'em on the ropes!"

Li was about to teleport down when she looked up and saw, Tony, fighting off literally the entire army. She had to use her flight for as long as she had the power to, but Steve...

“Go help your boyfriend, sweetcheeks! I got this."

“But-."

“Listen, I'm trying to get you laid again!"

Li laughed and raised her hand to snap down when, Tony, flew over to give her a ride.

“Love you too, Tones."

“That's a dangerous word, Li."

Chapter Text

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“Does anyone have visual on ReSpawn?" Captain America asked.

“Well, it's not exactly, our Li , anymore but-," Iron Man began.

“What do you mean?"

“I mean that someone who looks like our Li and Daemon and acts like Dark Li with the self control of the Major, is currently riding on my back."

Steve closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He gave up on wondering how weird this century could get. As long as the mystery person was on their side it should be fine, but he wanted to see for himself.

Li always tells him to-stay in his lane?-during fights, that she could take care of herself. And he knew and understood that-it's one of the things he loved most about her-but he just couldn't.

Whenever he hears that she's in more danger then necessary, he was worried to say the least. He started getting involuntarily nervous and paranoid. There was just this pull he felt towards his girl. The urge to protect her at all costs. The Captain moved into cover with Widow and Hawkeye.

“I'm coming up there!" he shouted.

“No need, Captain," said a voice that sounded the Major but not.

The owner of the voice landed in front of him and Iron Man flew off to fight in the air. Stark wasn't wrong in his description, but he failed to mention the white eyes with green irises and red pupils. And the fact that they were engulfed in green, white, and black light. His eyes widened in awe as the superhuman settled beside him.

“Sweetheart-?"

“I'm fine, love, we got bigger problems right now."

“You think?"

The Captain felt a tap on his shoulder and blinked himself out of the Major's eyes. He turned to face the bemused expressions of the two spies he was hiding behind a taxi with.

“Would you two mind sharing with the class?" Barton asked.

“Right," ReSpawn said, “That hole in the sky's got-fuck."

Li grabbed her head and Steve put his hand on hers. She was burning up like when she turned him into jello.

 “Li-."

“I said I'm fine!" she exclaimed, eyes flashing white then green, “Civilians. Loki. Let's move."

Barton and Romanoff nodded and went out out guns and arrows blazing. ReSpawn tried to stand up, but immediately fell back down, shaking. Steve's face hardened. She was about to supernova.

“Li, I don't think-."

You're in no position to be giving me orders, Captain!" 

Her head fell forward for a minute and came back up. Steve felt that involuntarily over paranoia when she's in danger sneak up on him.

“No, I didn't mean that. Sorry, I got the over boost from the tessaract and the scepter's corruption battling for dominance. And yes, I'm about to supernova, as I'm sure you figured out."

She stood up and smirked at the Captain, her light surrounding her at full force. He stood up with his own smirk too, knowing what her expression meant. Nothing could keep her down.

“Try to keep up, old man!"

God, I love you," Steve thought to himself.

He scoffed and readied his shield.

“I could do this all day!"

Chapter Text

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She wasn't fine. Major Li Ashton Jones was the furthest thing from okay. Every step was excruciating pain, with every movement she knew she could explode and kill the entire population of New York State. But she sucked it up and carried on because her team needed her. The needs of the many outweighed the needs of the one. In this case her needs.

As the Major kept running and dodging through the wreckage of the streets with her Captain on her right, she felt like a super gymnast more than anything else. Eventually, they ended up in front of some police officers.

“There are people inside and they're going to be running right into the line of fire," Captain America pointed, “We need to set up perimeters as far back as 39th.

“And lead the civilians out of the city on the underground," ReSpawn ordered.

“Why the hell should we listen to you!?" the officers scowled.

As if in answer, the Captain fended off three aliens, including one that snuck up behind, Li, on his own and did it without a scratch. The Major blasted four away with, admittedly, more power than necessary while crushing another one about to attack, Steve, in midair with her telekinesis. Together they punched a last one out.

The officers immediately followed the soldiers' orders.

Steve gave, Li, his love sick puppy face again and would've been hit by a gun blast if she hadn't made a force field in time. The Major sighed fondly and pecked him on the lips before they continued on.

“Focus, Rogers! We're not done yet!"

“I'm multitasking!"

“Yeah, ri-FUCK ME!"

Steve tackled her to the ground to avoid a low flying Iron Man.

“God damn it, Stark!" Steve shouted, giving, Li, a once over as they got up, “Be careful!"

“You okay, Tones?"

“Never better, sweetche-!"

Their mental talk cut out as, Tony, flew too far away and the Major and Captain carried on, kicking, punching, and blasting their way through the city until they met up with Thor, Clint, and Natasha. 

“The barrier around the reactor is...YOU!" Thor shouted, “What were you thinking? Siding with my brother! ARE YOU ILL IN THE HEAD?"

The God of Thunder stormed up to ReSpawn, got nose to nose with her, and grabbed her hand so her telepathy could two way. She stood just as close, not breaking eye contact, but faltering at his hurt, confused rage as she read his mind and filled herself in with the rest of what happened on the helicarrier.

"I-I-I'm sorry! I-."

“You think that is enough to make up for all this damage you've caused? For all the people you've hurt? YOU ASSURED ME YOU WERE IN CONTROL!"

“I was! But the scepter-!"

Thor unconsciously gripped her hand tighter than necessary and she let out the smallest squeak of pain. She forgot just how strong he actually was since he was usually so gentle with her. 

“BRINGS OUT WHAT IS ALREADY THERE-!

“HEY!"

Li looked forward and, Thor, turned around to see a glaring Captain America. The Captain stepped up and, Li, felt a sudden sense of calm through her.

“This is exactly what got, Coulson, killed!" the Captain growled, staring daggers at the god of thunder, "She has no way of remembering. Now let her go."

The god looked down at her and read her mind. His hand relaxed and his face softened in apology while he slightly rubbed her hand. 

“It's okay big guy. I deserve it."

“No, I had no idea that you have no way of recalling what happened."

 “Doesn't matter it's still my fault. Here let me heal you."

“No, Li, stop!"

Thor's warning came too late as, Li, healed him all at once, thinking he just had minor injuries. She grabbed her side in surprise when she felt the sting of a fresh stab wound. 

“He stabbed you?!" Li exclaimed.

Thor nodded weakly and tried to support the Major who slumped at her sudden blood loss, but she slapped him away and healed herself.

“Never mind it's not important! What's it like upstairs?" she asked.

“Well, the power surrounding the cube is-."

“Impenetrable, yeah I know. And I assume you want to appeal to Loki's love for you again."

“So how do we do this?" Clint asked.

Li sighed and looked at everyone, finally settling on her Captain's mildly irritated looking gaze. The world went full color as he gave an answer.

“As a team."

Li started internally panicking. He can't be. It's too dangerous. She's too dangerous. She should've never have let their relationship get this far. She should've-her train of thought was cut off by the sound of an approaching motorcycle and everyone turned to see Bruce Banner. As soon as she and, Steve, broke eye contact, the world went grey again. Li sighed in relief.

“Well, this all seems horrible."

The Major and Captain walked up to the doctor. Li noticed he was blatantly avoiding eye contact with her and she felt the more than usual rage he was holding back. 

“I've seen worse," Natasha joked.

“Sorry," Bruce apologized.

“No, we could use a little-."

“Bruce, I'm sorry," Li said.

She turned back to her human appearance to look him right in the eye. The air needed to be cleared so they could fight as a cohesive unit. Bruce glared at her for a minute and the Major stared right back. Eventually, the doctor shrugged,

“I'd be the world's biggest hypocrite if I got mad at you for losing control, wouldn't I?"

Li smiled a bit and the doctor smiled back. The Major went back to battle form as her telepathy told her that, Tony, was on his way.

“Suit up, doc. I think my soulmate wants to bring the party to us."

Everyone looked around in confusion until Iron Man came around the corner with a large alien tailing him. 

“I-I don't see how that's a party..." Natasha wavered.

Li laughed and looked to, Bruce, who nodded once and started walking forward towards trouble. The Captain moved as well but the Major put a hand to his chest.

“Doctor Banner, now would be a good time to get angry!" Steve advised.

Bruce looked back and, Li, smirked.

“That's my secret, Captain. I'm always angry."

With that, the doctor hulked out punched the alien square in the face, almost splitting it in half. Iron Man blew it up and that must have done something because all the Chitauri went insane. They all stood in a circle for a bit surveying the situation as, Loki, sent in more enemies.

Li was loving this. The adrenaline rush, the stacked odds, the thought of tearing things apart with her bare h-.

“Sweetcheeks. Chill."

She felt Steve's hand slip into hers and she anchored herself. The Major looked up and met her Captain's reassuring gaze. She nodded and stood in front of the group as did the Captain.

“Until we can close that hole, we contain," the Major ordered.

“Barton, I want you on the roof," the Captain commanded, “Eyes on everything."

“Tones, anything gets more than three blocks out, stop it."

“Thor, you gotta try and bottleneck that portal. Light the bastards up."

“Nat, stay here on the ground with Steve and I. And Hulk...." 

“Smash," the two soldiers said simultaneously.

Everyone scattered and the Captain and Major looked at each other for a minute. This was it. All or nothing. The second biggest fight of her life. And this time, she wouldn't be alone-

“If you two are going to eye fuck each other the entire time, I'll do this myself!" Natasha exclaimed, while fighting off a Chitauri soldier. 

The couple blinked themselves out of each other's eyes in embarrassment. They were together together now, why did that keep happening? They went to go help their teammate. Li healed her, ignoring Steve's disapproving glare and read her mind.

“Nothing's gonna matter if we can't close that hole! Maybe this isn't about guns..." Natasha reasoned.

“I can give you a ride up," Li offered.

Black Widow nodded and, Li, snapped her fingers, making the spy disappear. At the same time she heard Steve's shield ring. More Chitauri were coming. The Major and Captain put up a good fight, covering each other as best they could and, Tony, flew by once to help, but, Li, knew it was starting to take its toll on her partner.

“Steve, let me heal you!" 

“No. It hurts you."

“Rogers-!"

The Major didn't get to finish her order as an alien tackled, Steve, and more were ganging up on her. As she blasted them off in a burst of green, white, and black light, she huffed. This is the exact reason why she never told him how her healing power works. She knew he would overreact. 

“Whadya mean I'm 'overreactin''?! Ya hurtin' yaself an' wastin' power for what Li? T' save us the 'pain' of some cuts an' bruises?!"

“Pain is a distraction! Why risk it?!"

“I told ya before, Li, I don't want ya hurtin' yaself t' help me!"

“Why does this always matter so mu-?!"

“It matters 'cause I-!"

“Captain. Major, the bank on 42nd and Madison. They cornered a lot of civilians in there," Clint warned into the coms.

They stood up and looked each other again. Steve eyes held no room for argument and Li's said that they were talking about it when they get home. 

“On it," the couple said.


 

When they jumped through the window into the bank they were met with a gang of Chitauri so, Steve, threw his shield to one side of the room while, Li, started power punching on the other. 

“Everyone, clear out!" they ordered at the same time.

The Captain got grabbed from behind and started struggling to no avail. The Major moved to help him, but was also grabbed. As she watched, Steve, squirm, she got a familiar urge. One that she only gets when Tony's in danger. The urge to protect him at all costs mixed with murderous rage.

She shouted and power headbutted the alien behind her with so much force that his skull was bashed in, pried, Steve, free, and disintegrated his assulter with a snap of her fingers. She closed her eyes focused on exploding the rest with her mind. When she was done, she surveyed the now empty room.

“Now that's the sister I know and lo-!"

“Li. Sweetheart, just calm down okay. I'm fine."

The Captain was slowly coming towards her with his palms up. Why must he treat her like some wild animal?

“I'm perfectly calm, Captain, I just-BOMB!"

They both looked at the object in question for a second before running for the window, but it went off blowing the couple out the window and on top of a car. Before he could protest, Li, put her hand on Steve's and healed him. 

“Jones! Didn't I-."

She teleported away before he finished. 

Chapter Text

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Steve pounded the top of the car. She was so infuriating! So reckless! So stupid! So him. Thor landed beside him, looking good as new as did Barton. Li's doing.

The Captain growled in frustration and told, Thor, to save it when he tried to tell, Steve, what he already knew. The God of Thunder nodded and he, Captain America, and Hawkeye compartmentalized outside feelings and went to work on fighting off more Chitauri.

Steve felt a strange ache fighting with, Thor, it was so much like fighting with, Bucky, with the way the god combined brute force with strategy, using the objects around him as weapons along with his primary hammer. But there were so many differences with them too.

“You ready for another bout?" Thor asked, helping, Steve, to his feet after a particularly hard hit.

“Why? You getting tired?" Steve teased.

Thor just silently nodded. Bucky would've teased right back. The Captain sighed. There are somethings that can't stop being missed. Suddenly, the communicators came to life.

“I can close the portal anybody copy?" Natasha asked.

“Close it!" Steve ordered.

Finally this could be over. The world would be safe. They'd help with clean up, of course, and he and Li could go home to-

Wait, don't close it!" Li and Tony exclaimed, “We got a nuke about to blow in less than a minute, and we know just where to put it!"

Chapter Text

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“Li, you know that's a one way trip!"

Her Captain swallowed hard when the Major didn't answer him. She knew he knew her mind was made up the moment she and her soul mate saw that bomb, but she appreciated his effort to talk some sense into her all the same.

“Sweetheart, sweetheart, please-."

“Steve, love. What do I always say?"

Steve was quiet for a moment before answering in a whisper.

“'Don't-don't I always come home?'"

“There you go. You're not getting rid of me that easily, Rogers!"

He laughed weakly and swallowed his tears again.

“Sweetheart...Li, I-I lo-."

“Steve. Steve don't...Save it for when I'm not in trouble."

She saw, Steve, nod at the waiver in her voice and smiled at the sky in her direction.

“I'll be waiting, baby girl."

Li nodded and swallowed back tears too. This wasn't the time.

“You get a hold of, Pepper, Tones?"

“No."

She nodded and hugged her soulmate tight as they flew into the portal, missile in hand. 

Space wasn't anything unfamiliar to the Major since she spent time in Asgard, but, Li, felt Tony's awe. And fear. And the fact that he wasn't slowing.

“Tony, you can-!"

At that moment, Iron Man suit gave out from the cold vacuum of space and they started free falling. 

“Damn it, Anthony!"

Li closed her eyes and gathered power to- wait. Where's all the excess power she had? 

It was tessaract power, remember sister? Depletes faster? You used it all helping those that didn't need it!"

“Shut up, Daemon!"

ReSpawn started panicking. Judging by the fact that she could still see, she had enough power to teleport one. She took a deep breath, gathered what remained of her power, and whispered an apology to Steve and Tony.

As she snapped her fingers, everything went void black. 

 

----------------Steve's POV------------

 

“C--c-close it," the Captain ordered.

Steve watched,  barely holding back tears, as the hole in the sky got smaller and smaller. Finally, he couldn't look anymore. She was gone. He had to make a tough call and his life was snatched away from him again. 

“Hey, look!"

Steve looked up again. There was something falling through the sky and it looked like-

“Stark!" someone exclaimed, “Li!"

Steve was never so happy to see a hunk of metal in his entire life. If, Tony, got out, so did his best girl.

“Wait. They're not slowing down!"

Steve smile faded at Natasha's observation and he almost started panicking until the Hulk jumped on a building near the free falling soulmates and caught them. Well, one of them.

“Where's Li?"

He looked up furiously at the Hulk, about to start shouting when he felt a hand on his shoulder. It belonged to, Thor, who looked just as heartbroken as, Steve, felt.

“I watched for her too as, Banner, jumped. She-she was not with Stark. I am truly sorry, brother."

Steve's heart stopped and plummeted to the ground. No. No. NO! He dropped to his knees and ripped off Tony's face plate. The billionaire was unconscious.

“SOMEONE WAKE HIM UP! NOW!" Captain America commanded.

The Hulk let out a roar and, Tony, gasped back to life and blinked.

“Please tell me-," he began.

“WHERE IS SHE?" Steve demanded. 

Tony sat up with wide, worried eyes and looked around in distress. For once in his life, he was speechless. Steve went numb. What had he done to deserve to have every bit of happiness taken away from him? 

“Li? Li!" Tony exclaimed. 

 

--------Li's POV-----------

 

The Major was never so grateful for the selfishness that was her darker half. Almost immediately after she resigned herself to endless deaths in the vacuum of space, Daemon and the other part of her combined the power they hoard from her and teleported the body they were stuck in a few feet away from her team. She got just close enough for her and Tony's mind speak to work before she collapsed and her vision went out. She felt cool metal embrace her.

“Princess, don't you ever fucking-oh fu-fuck!"

“I love you too, Tones."

After a minute or two, a pair of warm arms and muscle replaced the hard metal of Tony's suit for a few minutes, shaking her entire body. The hands of her hugger cupped her cheeks and kissed her until they were both starved for oxygen. Steve put his forehead on hers, their noses brushing.

“How? What happened?" 

“We won, love.“

Li felt, Steve, lift her up and carry her somewhere. She snuggled into his chest, breathing in his post battle musk. Li reached out a hand until she felt his lips and pushed him in for another searing kiss. The Captain buried his face in her neck when they broke apart and she kept reassuring him with the same two words.

“We won."


 

A few hours later, everyone was cleaned up and preparing to go their separate ways once more. Since it was still early in the week, Li, was able to rest enough to regain her sight, but still needed a bit of her Captain's help walking due to her bad leg. Tony came over and hugged her. 

“Keep fighting, sweetcheeks. You don't get to give up on me, Jones."

Li nodded into his shoulder, going numb thinking about her rapidly approaching return to her handlers. All she was waiting for was Pierce's call. Tony let go to go drive off with Bruce. She said her goodbyes to the spies and hobbled over to Thor and Loki.

“Give me a few with the My Chemical Romance reject here?" Li asked.

Thor understood that was an order, and backed up a bit. The Major glared at the mischief maker. Even after all this destruction, she couldn't bring herself to hate him. She guessed that's why she was one of Thor's soulmates.

“You get two minutes with her."

The Major closed her eyes and let the darker part of her mind take just enough control to talk to Loki. Li blinked, confused as to why she was conscious. Until she met the god's hurt eyes.

“Pathetic. You let her win, again."

“Well, you let, Thor, win. How is that any different than...oh, of course. All part of the plan?"

Loki said nothing, but smiled slightly behind his muzzle. There was a shout and the Major took back control. She gestured for, Thor, to come back over and hug her.

“See you later big guy. Say hi to, Jane, for me when you see her again."

“Aye. And if the Captain gives you any trouble-."

“I'll kick his ass back to world war one."

Thor smirked and kissed her forehead. He shouted for the bridge to be opened and Heimdall took him and Loki back to Asgard.

Li stared at the sky for a minute before looking down at her feet and laughing a bit. Suddenly, there was warmth surrounding her from behind and she leaned into his safe embrace. Steve laid his head on top of hers and they stood like that for a bit.

“You thinking what I'm thinking, sweetheart?" 

“Netflix and chill?"

“What?"

“It-nevermind it's not common lingo yet."

Chapter Text

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Steve felt and heard a snap in his left forearm as images of the war went through his mind, but he just kept punching and punching at the bag until a pair of familiar burning hot hands held his arm back.

“Please stop."

Steve went limp. He allowed himself to be lead to a bench next to the boxing ring and pushed to sit down. The hands took the wrap off his left hand and gently grabbed his fractured arm and started glowing lime green.

Steve tried to get her to stop healing him because it hurts her, but as usual his girl told him to shut up and sit down. Eventually, he let it go. He stared at the light until it stopped, and then looked down at his feet.

“Talk to me, Rogers. What's eating you, bro?"

The Captain stayed silent, not turning to look at the Major. It was too pathetic to bring up. It had been a month since the Avengers assembled and decades since his days as a Howling Commando. After being with, Li, for a year, his nightmares have almost stopped and he's started to live again. So why was his past hitting him so hard right now? Li groaned and turned his face to hers, wiping away his tears.

“If I have to talk about my problems, so do you, Captain. That's an order."

Steve's eyes bore into hers for a few minutes and then he took a deep breath.

“It's just. Saving New York, fighting with our new team. I- it reminded me of-of..."

Steve became overcome with emotion and, Li, just held him for as long as he needed.

“I miss 'em so much, Li! I miss her, I miss him! I know it sounds stupid and I know they're never comin' back, but..."

Li smiled, kissed the well worn dent between his eyebrows, and wiped away the tears on his cheeks with the soft smile that he could never be sad seeing.

“That's completely normal, love. No one expects you completely get over this. At least, I personally don't. And as for your war buddies, well, they're not all gone. Peggy's still kicking."

He looked at the Major with wide, angry eyes. Peggy Carter is still...and he didn't know...

“Why didn't ya tell me?!" 

“Don't clench your jaw at me, Captain. You never asked...and she-she might not remember you, Steve. She-she has Alzheimer's."

Steve brain stopped and he blinked for a minute. His one remaining link to the past might not even know who he is. The Captain looked up when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Li looked, like always, as sad as he felt.

“Talk to me, love? Do you want to see her?"

The blond nodded at his commanding officer. It would probably be useless, but this might be his only chance.

“Yeah-yeah I need t'-t'..."

“Get some closure?"

Steve was overwhelmed again so he nodded and buried his face in her shoulder.


 

Li walked in with, Steve, to make sure everything would be okay. Peggy's face lighted up at seeing the Captain and the Major took her leave. She smiled at, Peggy, promising to visit in a couple days and she patted, Steve, on the cheek. He leaned into her touch.

“Holler if you need me, Rogers."

“Yeah, I know, sweetheart."

Li left and, Steve, turned his attention back to his first love. So much had changed as it should've over several decades, but it just felt so surreal.

Here Peggy fucking Carter was laying in a hospital bed, silver haired, wrinkled, and health failing more every day, while he sat next to her as a pinnacle of life and youth. It wasn't supposed to be like this. They were supposed to be old together. They all were-

“You have to talk to me out loud, Steve. I'm not, Li, you know," Peggy chuckled.

Steve's brow furrowed, which made, Peggy, laugh even more.

“Finally found your right partner and you don't even see it," she smiled softly, “Please tell me you didn't tell her about 'fondue'!"

“Let it go, Peg!"

“Not a chance in hell."

They sat for a long time talking about old times and new. It was almost like nothing changed until a nurse came in to tell the Captain visiting hours were almost over. Steve nodded in understanding, feeling tears form in his eyes. He heard, Peggy, sigh and saw she felt the same.

“I'm so sorry, Peggy," he whispered, “I wish-."

“I know," she said, cutting him off, “But we can't change the past. I'm just sorry you didn't get to live your life."

Steve was about to say something when there was a knock on the door. It was Li. She looked like she was trying not to crack and, Steve, sprang up immediately to walk over to her. 

“Sweetheart, what is it? What's wrong?"

“Nothing, Steve. I just have to leave for a while. Duty calls."

The Captain cupped her cheeks to wipe away her unwillingly shed tears. He looked at her in distress when she slightly winced at his touch and swept back her hair to reveal a rapidly forming bruise under her right eye. She pushed herself out of his hands and he tensed, feeling rage in an amount he never had before.

“Who hit ya?"

“It's not important. I'll see you when I see you, okay?" 

She gave him a kiss and started to leave, but, Steve, grabbed her arm. He gathered enough from Daemon's story to know who, Li, was going to. 

“Sweetheart, please. Ya don' have t' go back!"

Li's shoulders hunched up and her fists clenched like she was about to cause a scene, before she exhaled.

“If it keeps you safe, love, yes I do."

She jerked her arm from his grip and walked away without looking back. Steve watched her until he couldn't. 

“You're not going to let her get away? Wow, you are terrible with people in general."

Steve looked around at, Peggy, who was smiling softly at him.

“That was a cry for help, Steve. Go after her. I'll still be here when you get back. I may not remember our conversation, but I'll be here."

She started coughing and, Steve, got her some water. As always, she was right.

“We may not have lived the lives we wanted, but they're the ones we were dealt. You had your adventure with me. Now go have another one."

Steve smiled and kissed her hand.

“Thanks, Peggy. For everything."

Chapter Text

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The entire ride back to the HYDRA base, Li, was numb. She always dreaded going back, but she tolerated the familiarity of it. At least they made her feel something, even if it was unending agony. She never actually hated it until now. In this moment, the Major despised it. She wanted nothing more than to burn this place to the ground.

You finally understand, sister."

The black transport van finally stopped and, Li, was pulled into her prison by her jury and executioner.

“Home sweet home," Davis sneered, unnecessarily tightening the Major's handcuffs.

“Bite me," Li spat.

Davis chuckled, put his hand on her shoulder, and paused for a bit before kneeing her hard in the stomach. She buckled a bit before standing up again, but, Davis, held her down.

“Don't forget, Pierce gave you to me," the agent snarled, “I. Own. You."

He picked her up by the hair, drug her to her cage, and threw her in. She scrambled to her bars and shouted at his back.

“Nice shiner! You can't control him either can you?"

Davis stiffened and turned to walk back over to her, grabbing a knife along way. He traced it along her cheek before sticking it into her stomach, his puke green eyes darkening in hate. Li collapsed against the cage as she bled out, but she refused to break eye contact.

“Don't think I haven't seen you with that star spangled twink," Davis said calmly, pulling the knife out and then back in.

Li's eyes widened in fear. Davis smirked knowing he had the Major by her leash. The last thing she heard before being taken by the familiar dark of temporary death was his sneer.

“I bet, Pierce, would love to hear about you two."


 

Li came back to life with a gasp and groan to find a dark skinned black woman with dark brown hair and eyes in a lab coat, staring at her through her cage bars. The Major tried to sit up, but she was still healing.

“Don't move too much, ma'am, you might reopen your wounds," she ordered.

“Thanks for the tip, doc," Li grimaced, "Davis send you?"

The doctor nodded, standing a safe distance from the Major. Li's eyes darkened with sadness. No one trusts her immediately. She didn't mind it before, but now it cuts so deep.

“He tell you I'm unstable and homicidal?"

The doctor smiled a bit and moved closer.

“Not in terms as nice as that, but yes."

Li laughed humorlessly, too exhausted to do anything else. Her sight was already fading as she felt her body working double overtime to heal her.

“But you don't seem like that to me."

The Major stiffened as she heard the woman come closer. She didn't think the lady would hurt her, but her life experience with HYDRA doctors didn't instill much confidence.

“You'd be one of the few," Li whispered.

There was silence and, Li, turned her head this way and that to use her ears to fill in the blanks her failing sight left. Her cage door creaked open on her left, and she felt a pair of cold hands on her.

“You're burning up! Is that normal for you ma'am? Does it come with your powers?"

Li nodded, appreciating the first gentle touch she's had in she had no idea how long. The woman seemed to sense that and kept her hand on the Major's arm.

“Well, you seem to be healing up without problems. There's nothing I can really do for you. I'm sorry."

The doctor's voice was tinged with sadness. Li reached out to put her hand on the woman's.

“There is actually one thing you can do. I'm not sure if he still lives there, but there's an apartment building a few blocks from here-it's the biggest one-. Could you go to number 505 and give a message to the blond man that lives there? He's my-he's a good friend of mine."

“Sure! I live in that building. I'm 503," the doctor promised.

“Oh nice, I don't remember ever running into you....?"

“(Y/N). And I'm here more often than there. I have my...good friend here," (Y/N) smiled in understanding.

There was a shout and, Li, felt the doctor getting up. Her cage door closed.

“Duty calls! Well, the racist asshole calls, but I'll see you later!"

Chapter Text

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Days turned into weeks which turned into three months as, Steve, waited for, Li, to come back, and he hated himself more every hour for not following her when he could. He knew she was locked up within HYDRA and he would be lying if he said he wasn't scared as hell that she wouldn't be able to come back. It didn't help that, Tony, seemed to be dimming more and more every day.

At first, he seemed to be able to ignore whatever emotional turmoil and physical pain was raging on the Major's end of their soul bond, but after a month, Tony, locked himself in his lab and, Bruce, asked, Steve, if he could live at the Tower full time to make sure someone was always looking after the inventor. The Captain agreed, but in all honesty he wasn't doing much better. He ached everywhere and he swears never stops hearing Li's cries of endless suffering. 

One day, two months after, Li, left, he overrode JARVIS to bring, Tony, food that would go uneaten, when he he dropped to his knees with a splitting headache. All that filled his senses was his Major curled up in a ball in a tiny, bared cage. It was like he was in the room, but not. She lie there shaking in the same clothes he last saw her in, but dirty, torn, and covered in dried and fresh blood. She looked like she hadn't eaten or slept since she left. Li was tightly cuffed by the wrists and ankles whispering to herself.

“Swe-sweetheart?"

Li stiffened at his voice.

“No, no, no. There is no good. There is no evil. Just the greatness of HYDRA."

Steve's heart felt like it was being ripped out of his chest as she began repeating “Hail HYDRA" to herself. He tried to get her attention, but every time he spoke, she just cried harder.

“Please-please, leave m-me alone! If he catches me talking about you, he'll use the acid again!"

Li looked at the table outside her cage. Steve was then able to see the bottles of undiluted hydrochloric acid. Among other things. The Captain felt that same rage that he felt in the hospital spike. Li jumped like she was burned and held her head.

“D-don't hurt me, p-please?! I'll be a good girl! Pl-please, n-no more punishment sir!"

She kept saying that over and over again, refusing to acknowledge Steve's voice. He was about to blackout from her pain when a sharp slap brought him back to the lab. A grief stricken Tony Stark was shaking him.

“Snap out of it, Steve! Come on!"

Steve shook his head and rubbed his eyes, the image of his girl, tortured and weakened, still burned into his brain.

“You're hers too, Cap. I've never seen you two talk out loud to each other once. Accept it and welcome to the family."

Steve looked dumbstruck. This was completely backwards. First, comes eye color, then comes being able to feel one another's emotions, and then comes telepathy. Her eyes were still black. Tony's hair was still grey.

“I don't understand it either. All I know is you two can long distance mind meld and I can hear you through her. And vice versa."

Tony sighed and helped, Steve, pick up the tray he dropped.

“Fat lot of good that does. She'll never let you save her. She'll just stay there and suffer in silence because she doesn't want us to get hurt. God, why does she have to be so much like us? Soulmates are supposed to be opposites. Two people that complement each other. Not two people that would make the same stupid self sacrifice plays and-!"

Tony bent over and started wheezing. A panic attack. Steve put one hand on the engineer's chest and another on his back.

“Breathe with me, Tony. I'm already a mess, I can't have you falling apart too!"

“She's never-never been away from me this long!" Tony cried, “What am I going to do if they do kill her?! How can I live without my other half?! I-I-!"

“TONY!"

The billionaire inventor looked up at the blond. Steve was holding back tears of rage and pain. 

“Stop talkin' like that! The what ifs'll drive you crazy! She's gonna come home! She always does. Even if I have to take out every last HYDRA bastard myself to get her."


 

Later that night, Steve lay on the couch in his and Li's apartment as, Tony, all but kicked him out of the Tower to “go keep Li's place warm". Steve knows it's so the inventor can drink his pain away in peace.

He was just starting to drift off when there was a knock on the door. He ignored it, not feeling like dealing with anyone. A few minutes later, he was going around closing windows for the night, when someone landed at his feet with a thump.

“Hi?" the person said.

Steve lifted them up and pinned them against the wall. They were a dark skinned woman with a lab coat with a HYDRA pin on it. She looked at the Captain with fear in her eyes.

“Don't hurt me! I live in 503! I forgot my keys on the kitchen counter and I was trying to get back into my place."

Steve looked into her eyes, checking for any sign of deceit. He was surprised at how much he immediately trusted this woman. She was HYDRA, she was the enemy. But he saw something in her eyes. Something that was distinctly, Li, and it wasn't just the color. He put her down and she made to go back out the window.

“Wait, this is 505 right? There's a woman that lives here? She said to tell you that she's sorry and she'll come home as soon as she can."

Steve went limp. She couldn't be talking about...

“Did-did you get her name?" he asked.

“No, I had to go back to work, I'm sorry," the woman sighed, “But she also said that if you come looking for her, she'll 'kick your star spangled ass back into the last century.'"

Steve made a choked laugh and nodded at the doctor. 

“Thank you, ma'am."

“You can call me, (Y/N)," she smiled.

Steve nodded and the woman was about to leave when he called her back. (Y/N) looked at him suspiciously, but he just smiled.

“Could you tell her that I...could you tell her I'll be waiting?"

Chapter Text

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“I hope you learned something, bitch!" Davis sneered, as he threw the Major into her apartment.

Li was too weak to get up try as she might, so she just smirked right back at the agent while holding, Steve, in the other room with her telekinesis.

“Yeah, I learned that you're even more incompetent than I thought. Alerting the enemy to the entire team's position! You're lucky that, (Y/N), was able to patch the Soldier up!"

Davis growled and kicked, Li, in the head before taking his leave. The Major let go of her Captain and he came running into the living room. When he tried to take her in his arms, she flinched away and his eyes darkened.

“Why didn't you let me-?"

“Because I can handle myself, Steve."

She rolled on to her stomach and willed herself to get up. Steve was there to help her, but she kept pushing him off and he was getting increasingly frustrated.

“Sweetheart, please let me help you. You're not alone in this anymore, baby."

Her Captain reached out for her, but the Major put a hand on his chest to keep him an arm's length away. He didn't understand that she wanted-no needed-to prove to herself that she was still strong enough to do it alone if need be.

“I have to do this myself, Steve, and I know you're here for me, love. It's just...."

Li sigh deeply, not know how to word it.

“They make you feel helpless."

"That's the long and short of it, babe. You can make me some food if you want, but other than that I got it from here, bro."

Steve nodded and hesitantly reached out for her again. She willed herself to not move away from him and allowed a hug.

“I'm not made of glass, Steve."

Steve was silent for a minute and they just stood there with her Captain stroking her dark, blood and dirt matted hair and, Li, trying not to fall asleep in his arms. She smiled slightly at the speech patterns he always tries to hide starting to slip like they always do when he's really stressed or distracted.

“I-I missed ya, baby girl..."

“Oh come on, Rogers, don't start crying on me! I'm not worth it!"

Li pushed off her Captain and wiped away his tears with shaking hands, holding back tears of her own.

“Why wouldn't ya lemme get ya, Li? Why won' ya lemme help ya?!"

“Because even if you did find me everyone is instructed to kill you on sight! And I-I literally can't help you!"

She pounded on the place where her mind control chip was. If she ever attempted to go completely against orders, the chip would eject a drug that inhibits all of her mutations and then burn a two inch hole in her brain. 

“Then where would I be? I can't lose you, Stevie. Not like that!"

She broke down and sobbed into her supersoldier's chest while he sobbed into her shoulder. When they wore themselves out, Li, looked up sleepily at Steve. 

“You know what, rain check on food. I have about an hour before..."

She tapped on her head and the worry line between Steve's eyebrows deepened while he nodded.

Li started hobbling towards the bedroom, ignoring her throbbing bad leg, but stumbled and fell hard. Steve tried to help her again, but she gave him the longest death glare from the ground and he faltered away. She felt bad that she was pushing him away like that, but she needed her independence, she needed to be able to be on her own, she needed-why can't she fucking get up?!

“Sweetheart...sweetheart come here. This one's on me."

Steve lifted her up and gently carried her into their room. She knew that he felt terrible that her leg wouldn't heal the right way no matter what she did, but it had been over a year since his overprotective nature towards her caused her severely broken leg. It was time to let it go. She had much worse to drag herself into her room with.

He set her gingerly on the bed before telling her he was going to run her a bath. She protested, but much to her irritation and expectations, he did it anyway. After she finished cleaning up, he wrapped her up in a towel and carried her back. She crossed her arms and rounded on her soldier.

“If you're here out of guilt or pity tell me now. You don't owe me anything, Steve."

Steve sat up with confused, hurt eyes. Li glared with impassive ones. If there was one thing she and the Winter Soldier were trained to never accept it was pity or sympathy. They didn't need or deserve it. And if he was only there because he felt bad for not going after her...The Captain took her hands.

“Sweetheart, ya know I don'-I know ya hate when people do that t' ya as much I hate it when people do that t' me!"

“Yeah, right. And besides that, I'm a weapon, a slave. So what do you want?"

The Captain's eyebrows furrowed and he put his hands on her cheeks as he searched her eyes. Finally, he sighed.

“I don' want anythin' from ya! I'm not like 'em! I care about ya, Li! More than anythin'!"

Li scoffed and turned away. Where she comes from caring and pity are one in the same and everyone wanted something from her...Steve turned her back around, stroking her cheek. 

“Li, go t' sleep. Ya haven't in months and right now ya only have a half hour, sweetheart. We can talk when ya wake up, okay?"

“Don't-aw fuck..."

The Major closed her eyes and quietly whined in pain as she felt her body finally starting to repair itself. She felt Steve's hands surveying her body for any mortal wounds and opened her eyes to meet his panicked ones.

“What's wrong? Is it-?"

“No! No, they gave me enough drugs to where they won't be a problem for at least another day. My healing factor on the other hand-that's kicking back in..."

“They kept ya from healin' yaself?!"

“Yeah, Steve, it's hard to keep someone in line if they-."

Sudden pain and fatigue hit her. She laid back down as her vision went dark. Li felt, Steve, settle her on his chest. She decided to follow his advice and rest.

The last thing she remembered before falling asleep was, Steve, kissing her forehead and holding her close.

“I'll never let 'em touch ya again, sweetheart."

Chapter Text

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Li slept for a good hour before her mind control chip induced weekly sleep schedule woke her up and kept her there. Steve almost cried at the dead look on her face when she told him she was going to spend the night in her studio. When he followed she all but begged him to go to back bed, but he refused to. She looked so small and sick. He wasn't going to leave her alone like that.

So that's how they spent a good bit of the night: sketching and talking. He didn't know if she would ever believe him, but he made it clear that he didn't pity her. At least, not since the jungle fiasco. She seemed satisfied with his answer after a while and became less hostile towards him. He swore he'd never been happier than when she finally snuggled into him.

Li got a call at around 3 a.m. and she kissed him, going out like a light soon after. He sighed, carried her to their room, kissed her temple, and fell asleep holding her as close as possible. They slept for a long while until he woke up to, Li, trying to push herself off of him. He loosened his hold on her and she scrambled to a corner.

“Baby girl, what's wrong?!" 

He went to move closer, but stopped when he saw the panicked non-recognition in her eyes and the inner turmoil raging in her head.

“Sweetheart. Sweetheart, look at me! I'm not gonna hurt ya!"

Li shook her head frantically and blasted him back. Once again he found himself burned by her green light and it didn't feel any better this time than it did the first. It's like being thrown torso first into a bed of hot coals covered in lava. He willed himself to get up just in time to see his girl run to a dark corner of the room.

“We need a plan of escape, Daemon! That man is lying!"

Steve's heart wrenched as he made his way over to Li. He was so angry. So angry that HYDRA did this to her. That they damaged such an amazing person. That the damage may be unfixable.  He sat down at the wall she was at.

"I'm not gonna hurt ya. I promise."

Li looked around for a source. As far she could remember, no one ever could talk to her telepathically. Steve smiled. 

On ya right, sweetheart. Look at me."

She turned her head to see that, Steve, was sitting at her side. He ignored the immense amount of pain due to the burns, Li, gave him and pulled her out of her corner into his lap. She started shaking and crying.

“Wh-what do want from me? If you're here to punish me, please just kill me too! I can't take it anymore!"

The Captain's blood ran cold as he took her face in his hands and locked his eyes on her beautiful black ones. The eyes that he had been barely hanging on without. If she ever...

“Don't say that. Please, sweetheart...We'll get through this, me an' ya, together." 

He kissed her chastly, hoping it would have the same effect as before. He couldn't lose her. Not now, not ever. He listened to her confused thoughts about his kindness, her full color vision, and why the hell he was kissing her until she remembered him and melted into his warmth.

Steve internally sighed in relief and moved to deepen their embrace, when, Li, reminded him that he was injured. She put her hand dead center on his chest and he almost passed out from the pain.

ROGERS!"

Steve groaned as, Li, pushed off of him, carried him to their couch, and took off the remains of his shirt in internal panic.

“ROGERS! WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU? I CAN'T SLEEP FOR FIVE MINUTES WITHOUT YOU HURTING YOURSELF?!"

She brought out her red light, the stuff she uses for intense self-healing, kneeled down and ran her hands up and down his torso until his wounds disappeared. He sighed again as the pain disappeared and he felt, Li, feeling his relief flood her too, but her panic still remained. She looked in Steve's eyes in awe and fear. He looked at her with soft eyes.

“Ya can see in full color."

“W-what? What nonsense are you-wait..."

Steve sat up and tried to pull, Li, up on the couch as he felt more fear and now self-disgust flow through her, but she refused to move. 

“I hurt you, Steve. Those burns are only ones I can make."

“Sweetheart, it ain't-."

“How many times have I attacked you? How many times have I burned others and no one's told me? And don't you dare bullshit me, Rogers. You know you can't."

Steve didn't say anything for a minute. He didn't want to say the wrong thing and make her disappear. Finally, he decided on the truth.

“Only one other time, sweetheart, but-."

Li growled and yanked out of Steve's grip to leave, but he held her back. 

“Li-!"

She swatted him away and disappeared. He sighed deeply as he felt Li's slight relief over her vision going grey again. Steve went to their room to put some clothes on to go to Tony's lab.


 

“What good to him am I alive, Tones? All I do is hurt him and everyone else!"

Steve was standing outside the lab, just out of Li's and Tony's visual. He couldn't bring himself to break up the moment. She needed to talk and for some reason she refuses to talk to him. She listens to all of his problems, but won't let him return the favor unless he forces it. It was frustrating beyond belief.

“Li, you didn't see him while you were locked up. He put on a good show, but he was hurting bad without you, sweetcheeks. We all were!"

“But that's my point, Tony! If I had just let them terminate me like they were going to before, Steve, was found, I wouldn't be here to ruin his life! I thought that maybe I could change. Will myself to keep in control for his sake, but I...this sunshine and rainbows side of me, still needs to die, Tones. I-I have to do this. I can't take it anymore!"

Steve stopped breathing and unconsciously dug his fingers into the door jam. She can't...He won't let her.

“I could deal with you being mine, but I can't deal with, Steve! It's too much feeling! I care too much! And, Davis, knows about us which means HE does! Tony, if they make me kill, Steve, I'm gonna lose my shit!"

“So what are you saying?"

“That maybe if I eliminate the problem now, let them erase this part of me-."

Steve heard a metal on metal noise and stiffened as, Tony, got up to shake some sense into his soul mate.

“What have I said about that kinda talk? You are not allowed to give up on me, Jones!"

“But-."

“The only 'but' I want to know about is yours walking out of here to go actually talk to your boyfriend. Please, Li, I can't lose you. Not to them. I don't want to give, Davis, the satisfaction and you shouldn't either!"

Steve relaxed as he felt, Li, give into, Tony, and calm down. He'd have to buy, Stark, flowers or something.

“When did you become the parent in this relationship?"

“When you fell in love with Vanilla Ice."

“That's a dangerous word, Tones."

“Since when have you worried about danger Miss Imm-."

Just then Li's phone rang. The Major picked it up and mumbled a few times before disconnecting the call.

“Fury wants to go over some things I missed. Peace out girl scout."

Steve retreated even further into the shadows as he heard, Li, about to come out. 

“Talk to your boyfriend!"

“He's not my boyfriend! That sounds so juvenile! He's more like my...well he's my Steve."

“You two disgust me."

“If you ever tell, him I said that about him, I'll burn your food for a week. He's sappy enough, I don't need to be too."

“Steve and Li sitting in a tree. F-u-c-k-i-."

He didn't know what, Li, did to shut the inventor up because his ability to hear them stopped, but he was grateful for it. He also couldn't wait for the Major to get back home so he could make love to her until she couldn't see straight.

As she walked out of the lab in an embarrassed huff, Steve, moved to follow her when he was yanked back by his collar. He met the unamused eyes of Tony Stark. 

“If you hurt her in any way, I'll put you back on ice myself. Now..."

He let go of Steve's collar with a smirk and started giving something he thought he'd never get from Tony Stark. Relationship advice.

“Wine and dine her, Cap. She eats that crap up believe me. She's telepathic, so you'll have to figure out how to block her out."

The billionaire inventor pushed the Captain out the door of is lab, but, Steve, was still on the part about Li's telepathy.

“Wait-!" he exclaimed.

“Good talk, Cap. Bye."

Chapter Text

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Li couldn't believe some of the information she was given and as soon as she saw, Steve, when she got back home, she lost it. He was sitting on the couch and she collapsed at the front door in peals of laughter. Li felt him come and turn her over on her back.

“Li, what's so funny?!"

The Major opened her eyes to answer, but then she saw the hickeys she's left along his neck and lost it again. Steve sat there and frowned until she reached out and ran her hand on her work.

“A-apparently, I got in trouble for-fuck me- I got in trouble for damaging you!"

She started laughing at Steve's look of confusion.

“You're government property, Captain, and apparently they didn't take too kindly to the visible bruises I've left on you!"

Steve blushed the brightest red she had ever seen him go when he realized what she was talking about. She gave him her best seductive smirk.

“But I'm not legally government property..."

Steve rolled his eyes and kissed her. She whined when he pulled away.

“Later, sweetheart, I promise. I have some other things for ya first though."

It was Li's turn to be confused as, Steve, led her to the bedroom and handed her little, dark grey dress. She couldn't read his mind, it was closed off from her somehow. He looked at her with a satisfied smirk.

“Put this on an' get dolled up. Meet me in the livin' room when ya done."

He walked out and the Major stood there blinking for a few moments before shrugging. It took her all of twenty minutes to put on some make up, lace up her boots, fluff up her already fluffy hair, and throw on her leather jacket.

The dress looked amazing. It was backless and gave her slim, boyish frame the slight illusion of curves. Li could tell it was originally strapless, but someone had the foresight to rectify the problem. She was always complaining about how her smaller than average boobs couldn't support a strapless dress whenever she had to dress up for undercover stuff. She had a suspicion that either Tony, Natasha, or both were involved.

When she walked into living area, Steve, just shrugged on his suit jacket. He turned around at her footsteps. He paired his black one with a shirt she figured was probably dark blue and black slacks. Damn, that man looked good. It hugged him in all right ways, showing off his well built body, and he was wearing cologne that made him smell absolutely irresistible. Major's brain went full stop for a moment and, Steve, seemed to feel the same, looking at her.

“Ya look-wow. I. Oh geez..."

He started blushing while looking at her with a shy smile and, Li, shook her head laughing. Why did no one scoop up this absolutely adorable man before she and him started dating?

“Well, what next, Captain?"

Steve regained his train of thought and offered his arm to her, but didn't say anything further as he lead her out to a car and held the passenger door open for her.

“Steve, where the hell are we going?"

“Just get in, sweetheart."

They drove for a bit and nothing would get, Steve, to talk. Eventually, they ended up at the Tower and, Steve, pushed her on the elevator.

“JARVIS, the roof please."

“Of course, sir."

The Major's patience was thinning and she opened her mouth to demand an answer when the elevator doors opened to reveal the decorated roof. There were dark red roses with lilies of the valley (had they really known each other for almost two years?) here and there, there was a table set with candles and all of her favorite foods, and there was a cover to keep the area warm from the late autumn air. This was too much. More than she deserved.

“Oh, Stevie..."

He turned her around and she met the beautiful, light eyes of her blond supersoldier. He held her by the waist and smiled softly at her.

“After this we could go dancin'....or we could go see that Breakin' Dawn Twilight movie."

Li laughed at his slight grimace and hugged her supersoldier. She would never understand how a monster like her got someone as good as Steve Rogers. They stood like that for a few minutes, just absorbing the fact that they were together again until, Steve, broke the silence.

“Ya need some relaxation, sweetheart. Ya deserve some winin' and dinin'."

Li thought her heart was going to explode out of her chest. She didn't deserve all this. She didn't deserve him. She never felt so wanted as when she was by his side, but that was what the problem was. He stopped her train of thought by cupping her cheek.

“Ya deserve the world, baby girl."

She scoffed, but didn't protest anything. He worked so hard and seemed over moon about her loving this so much. She pecked his lips.

“Let's start with this pasta before getting into world domination."

Steve smiled wide and helped her sit down in her chair.

They spent the rest of the evening eating, drinking, and getting, Li, caught up. They never did make it to the movie. Didn't even make it off the roof.

Chapter Text

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“You need us to do what now?" Steve asked.

Fury sighed and leaned forward towards the Major and Captain.

“I need you two to go undercover. This 'B' woman has some very sensitive information on SHIELD. Information that could get us into a lot of trouble," he ordered.

Nick stood up and came around to the front of his desk, holding two folders.

“Some how the tessaract weapons schematics got into this woman's hands and she is planning on selling them to HYDRA at their “charity" event in two months."

Both Steve and Li opened their mouths, but, Fury, silenced them.

“I know they've had tessaract weapons for decades, but SHIELD made some rather- look I don't want HYDRA knowing what we almost built. You two will be given two new aliases and the week before the charity, you will be her new neighbors until she's taken care of."

The Director handed the couple their assignments. Steve's new name was Christopher Evans and Li's was Sarah Evans. They've been happily married for five years and are a young couple moving up in the world. Li- sorry, Sarah, was Tony Stark's right hand woman and was paid a pretty penny for it. “Chris" was an up and coming artist/actor, who's already made a bit of a name for himself. Steve and Li looked at each other and then at the Director. This must be a slow crime month.

“Stark demanded to be able to keep an eye on you, Jones, and I've seen some of your drawings and propaganda films, Cap," he shrugged, “You two are the only couple I trust since Romanoff and Barton said no. Go."


 

“Steve, I can't do this."

“I'm sorry, but out of the both of us, who had to grow a beard?"

“THEY BLEACHED MY HAIR, STEVEN!"

“A BEARD THAT I HAVE TO KEEP DYED A COLOR I CAN'T SEE,  LI!"

They were standing outside their new home, waiting for neighbors to notice them. Sure it was a beautiful three stories and brick with a ton of windows with black shutters and white trimming. There was a heated pool and Jacuzzi in the back, but in all honesty, Steve, would rather be getting the crap beat out of him than have to fake this life until they get B.

Steve, I'd rather be getting the crap beat out of me right n-oh hi." 

Steve turned around to meet the face of their target. She was a rather attractive woman with tons of curly grey hair, but there was something distinctly disturbingly dead about her light grey eyes, staring at Li.

“Hi, you two must be my new neighbors," she said, holding out her hand, “I'm Beverly."

Li took it and, Steve, got everything she was getting. Including a very obvious interest in the Major.

“I'm, Sarah Evans, and this is my husband, Chris," Li smiled slightly strained, “A pleasure to meet you, Beverly..."

B smirked and held Li's hand tighter. After a minute, Li got her hand back and gave the woman a smile. The one she uses when she wants, Steve, to know there's something wrong, but can't blow cover.

“We're having a house warming tonight," Li offered, “Perhaps you could come? I would love to learn everything about this neighborhood."

Beverly stared at the Major for a few seconds and, Li seemed to freeze. Steve put an arm around her. 

“Sure, I'll be here around 8!" Beverly promised.

“Awesome, bro-I mean that would be lovely. See you then!" Li gasped.

Beverly took her leave and, Steve, caught his girl as she slumped over.

“Sweetheart, what's wrong?"

“What? Nothing. Nothing, I'm just tired."

“Li..."

She straightened up and turned around with a smile, but something was off about her. She was cold. Literally. Like the heat of her power was sucked away.

“Is someone jealous that our attractive neighbor was more interested in me?"

Steve rolled his eyes and went with it. They had a job to do. If, Li, was compromised she would tell him.

“That was so funny I forgot t' laugh. Why don't ya put that mouth t' better use like tellin' Fury, we made contact?"

“Or..."

Li snapped her fingers and they landed on the master bed. She unbuckled his pants while, Steve, sighed in half exasperation and half lust.

“Li, we do have t'...do our jobs...at soME-fuck-point...ya know...and...and oh sweetheart yeesss..."

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“You are not allow to shave like ever."

“Sweetheart, no I am not-."

“But-."

“No."

Li rolled over on top of him, with her puppy dog eyes. God damn those gorgeous dark abysses! She could probably feel his already weak resolve weakening further as he rolled his eyes. 

“But, babyyyy..."

“Fine. Fine! Maybe once in a while-."

“Yay!"

The Major cut him off with a kiss that he happily reciprocated for a bit before they pulled away so, Li, could go call Fury.

He really shouldn't let her sway him so easily, he realized as she walked around to find her phone, but he's never happier than when she's genuinely smiling. Especially, when he's the cause of it. He realized that if he got to see her light up like that because of him for the rest of his life, he'd be the luckiest man on earth.

“You're awfully quiet, Captain."

Steve blinked and looked up to meet the amused eyes of his best girl. He had been staring again, but who could blame him? He got to fall asleep and wake up with the most beautiful woman in the world every day for two years. And he would do it for a thousand more, if she'd have him.

“Steve...talk to me. That much silence from you is never good."

“It's nothin', sweetheart. Just thinkin' 'bout stuff."

The Major raised an eyebrow, but didn't push it while calling, Fury. The call wasn't very long, just letting him know that they met, B, and are inviting her over for dinner. Li disconnected the call and laid back down. Steve followed suit.

They just looked into each other's eyes for a bit. It was a comfortable silence. Just the distant sounds of birds chirping, the wall clock, and their steady breathing breaking the quiet. These were the times that he loved best. The times that he and Li weren't superheroes, just a couple enjoying being together. Eventually, Li, kissed him between his eyebrows.

“Come on, Rogers. We have a party to host."

“Wait, Li, just wonderin'...how do ya feel 'bout marriage?

“Like as far as this 'mission' goes or?"

“Just in general."

“Well, it's all fine and dandy for normal folks, but for people like me? We don't get a happily ever after. We're lucky if we get a happy."

Steve nodded sadly. Sometimes he forgets that her freedom is conditional at best...he felt a warm hand on his cheek and looked up. Li was trying and failing at reading his mind. He wanted her to use their soul bond, not her telepathy, so he always blocked that. She internally groaned in frustration.

Steve, love, talk to me. What's wrong?"

“The fact that I have t' let such a beautiful woman leave m' bed. Let's go before I change m' mind."

Chapter Text

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“What do you have at a house warming?"

“I dunno, Li, I grew up during the Depression!"

“And I grew up in a cage!"

The couple sighed and, Li, got out her phone and dialed the only rich person she knew. He picked up on the second ring.

“Hey, sweetcheeks! Everything okay? Do you need me to-."

“Mr. Stark! I'm so glad you answered. I just need some advice. What goes into house warmings?"

“What?"

“St-Chris and I are having a party to welcome our neighbors and we would really like your help, sir."

Tony was silent for a minute while he caught up to why the Major was being so formal with him. Steve was at the shelf next to her, messing with the candles. She suppressed a giggle at the way his nose scrunched up at smelling them.

“Wine and tons of it. And a have some harder stuff hidden away for you. Believe me after half an hour, you'll need it."

“And food, Mr. Stark?"

“Why the hell would you need food?"

“You need me to come in early and modify some of your suits?"

“I was kidding! Don't touch my stuff, girlie! Okay, food small fancy stuff. Muscles, scallops, weird cheese and crackers. Things like that. Nothing bacon wrapped. It's too poor for these people, you'll be the laughing stock of the block. Main course, you can't go wrong with steak and you're on your own with the sides. Dessert cheesecake is always a win."

Li finished her mental grocery list as, Steve, came back over with a couple candles in his hand.

“Okay, thank you, Mr. Stark! I'll see you Monday."

“Stay safe, sweetcheeks!"

They hung up and the Major felt the slightest bit of worry coming from Tony. She filed it away for later and took one of the candles from Steve's hand.

“'A Child's Wish'? Are you serious, love? You want me to burn this?"

“Well, it either that or 'Freedom'- stop laughin'!"

Steve's chastising came too late as, Li, was already on the ground holding her sides.


 

“How do I look, Rogers?"

Li had settled on a red vintage sundress and red flats. She blew out and curled her now honey blonde hair (someone's paying for that) and put on a bit of makeup. She thinks it turned out pretty well. She was giving herself a one over in the mirror when, Steve, came over.

He ran his hands over her shoulders and settled his them at her red belted waist. He smiled at her slightly too loose curls before focusing his eyes on hers.

“You look swell, sweetheart."

He gave his girl a kiss on the cheek, not wanting to mess up her dark red lips, and Li felt heat rise in her cheeks. How does he do it? She shook her head and diverted attention away from herself. 

Li took in Steve's soft grey button up shirt, tucked into a pair of pants that made his butt look like the eighth wonder of the world. He was wearing her favorite cologne. She had to admit that he didn't look half bad as a brunette and, of course, there was that beard. She ran a hand down his chest and he shivered slightly with a sexy smirk growing on his face.

“You don't look half bad yourself, Captain...sure you don't want a quickie?"

“Somehow a 'quickie' in the bedroom becomes two hours and we end up in the kitchen, so no."

“Tease."

“Look who's talkin'. Come on let's go set u-."

Someone rang the doorbell and then knocked. The Major and Captain looked at each other. It was too early for the neighbors and no one else knew them. Li went to go answer the door and, Steve, stayed in the hallway as back up.

“Took you long enough, bitch."

“What-what are? Um, please come in," Li said with more confidence than she felt.

Time stopped. Li was in her own little world of turmoil. What was he doing here indeed. She hadn't done anything wrong as of late, right?

Li was so wrapped up in thought, she didn't even notice that, Steve, had come in until she felt a hand on her shoulder and flinched into submission, preparing to be hit or worse.

“Sweetheart, what's wrong?"

The Major looked up to meet her Captain's concerned eyes. She laughed and waved her hand in dismissal of her behavior.

“You just surprised me, love, that's all. Now..."

The Major turned her attention back to her handler. He was, as usual, looking at her like a chew toy. Steve noticed Davis' expression and tried to put, Li, behind him, but she refused to move. She refused to show weaknesses again in front of this man.

“To what do we owe the pleasure of having you here, John?" Li asked nonchalantly.

Davis' hand clenched slightly and ReSpawn smirked. He always hated when she called him any thing other than “sir".

“Let's talk in private, Jones," Davis grunted, “This is a little above the Captain's pay grade."

“I-," Steve began.

“Of course, John, come into the office," Li superseded.

“Li, I don't think-," Steve tried again.

The Major rounded on him, staring coldly. She folded her arms and stood tall and firm. The Captain stiffened to attention, realizing that at this moment, they weren't a couple, they were a soldier and his commanding officer.

“Are you questioning my judgment, Captain?" Major Jones barked.

“No, ma'am," Captain Rogers answered.

“Are you doubting my ability to handle myself?"

“No, ma'am."

“Then I suggest you stay in your lane, Rogers. Are we clear?" the Major ordered.

“Crystal, ma'am," the Captain nodded.

Major Jones relaxed and gestured for Davis to follow her. Before she shut the door, she poked her head back out and smiled softly at her worried Captain.

“As you were, love."

Chapter Text

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That was the guy torturing her. It just had to be. Li doesn't flinch away from surprises, she punches them! And she hadn't gone into Major Jones mode in almost a year! He had to know what they were talking about and thank goodness for their soul bond.

“...for talking to me like I'm one of your soldiers. You keep forgetting that I own you, bitch," Davis snarled.

“Inhale my-oof-," Li snarked, “Didn't they teach how to hit in-ow..."

All, Steve, saw right now was red and he tried to ignore the phantom pain underneath his eye, in the back of his knee, and his head. How dare that bastard waltz in and start beating on his girl?!

The Captain almost went the office to confront the situation when he realized he couldn't move. He looked down at his feet and they were glowing green. Steve groaned in frustration and went back to Li's head.

“...won't bother us. Sir."

“Good. Now, the boss sent me here as the 'housekeeper' to make sure you and Wonder Bread out there don't mess with our plans at the charity next week ."

“What-ow! What did I do that time?!" Li snapped.

“I didn't say you could talk," Davis sneered.

Steve raised a hand to his cheek at the same time, Li, raised hers to try and rub away some of the sting. God, he wished she didn't have mind powers. He would've thrown, Davis, off the roof by now.

“All you need to know is let, B, do her thing. Don't stop her."

“I figured as much, but-OW WOULD YOU CUT THAT OUT IT'S LIKE BEING CONSTANTLY BITTEN BY A MOSQUITO!" the Major shouted.

Li internally cursed at her word choice and, Steve, went deeper into her mind so he could see what she could. The Major was on the floor, looking up at, Davis, who had nothing but murder in his eyes and a letter opener in his hand. He kneeled down to Li's level and she looked nervously between him and the weapon inches from her eye. 

Steve started panicking as his “protect your soulmate at all costs" instinct kicked into overdrive and his fear for his lover's life in general clouded his thought process. This guy was a psychopath and, Steve, was still trapped by ReSpawn's telekinesis so it's not like he could come and intervene. Think, Rogers, come on!

“I think I'm going to have a talk with the boss. See what I can do about you coming to live with us full time again," Davis said in a dangerously low tone, “Because you must be out your God damn mind if you-!"

“BABE THE KITCHEN IS ON FIRE! HELP!"

Li jumped and released the Captain as she ran out of the office. Steve sighed in relief as he decided to let, Davis, live for now and ran after his best girl. He couldn't believe that actually worked. Li was really off her game right now. She was looking around the kitchen and glared at, Steve, when he came in.

“Steve! There ismmmmmm..."

He pulled her in close for a long, relieved kiss only letting up when they both needed air. He took her face in his hands, his eyes skimming over her healing bruises.

“I could hear 'im in there hurtin' ya, sweetheart! An' were ya gonna tell me 'bout these mission compromisin' plans?"

“It was on a need to know basis, Rogers, and you didn't need to know!"

“I don't need t' know 'bout what HYDRA's doin'? I don't need t' know 'bout things that go against everythin' we fight for?!"

“You fight for, Steven! I'm a weapon of HYDRA's making! I can never be anything more than that! So let's just stop. Let's stop pretending that I'm on the side of angels. Let's stop pretending that I could ever have a hope of the good things I've done outweigh the bad. Let's just stop..."

She leaned against the counter, rubbing her eyes. After a minute, she looked at him with eyes decades older than her looks. She sagged with the weight of her eternal youth and, Steve, want to do nothing more than hold her and never let go.

“I'm so tired, love. I've killed and destroyed so many people. It may not have fully been me with this mind, but I think deep down the other me knew what she was doing wrong. How else could I have come about when I met, Tony?"

“Li, what-what are ya sayin'?"

“What I'm saying is that I'm no good for you! I'm no good for, Tony! I'm no good! And I miss loving that, Steven! This chip makes it so I can't remember when I freak out, but it doesn't give the mercy of making me forget about the people I've killed or their screams. So I'll eliminate that problem."

The timer on the oven dinged and she took the food out. Steve's heart was pounding as waited for her to elaborate.

“After this mission, I'm going to erase all of yours, Tony's, and SHIELD's memories of me and let HYDRA take back what's theirs. They'll erase this goody goody two shoes part of me and make damn sure I never see you or Stark again. And I'll be free again. I won't be bound by feelings. I won't won't be punished by my 'soul' anymore."

“Li, that's what they-ya're born an' raised t' not feel or care! How're ya supposed t' know any other way? For decades they poisoned ya mind, baby girl!"

Steve grabbed her shoulders and turned her to face him. He locked his pleading blue eyes on her empty dark ones, begging her to reconsider, to understand.

Sweetheart, goin' 'round like some kind of-of T-1000 ain't what freedom is! Isolatin' yaself ain't the answer! Ya know I know it ain't!"

ReSpawn pushed him off her, eyes flashing white and body glowing green. Steve didn't back down. He couldn't lose her. She may make him forget, but the feeling of incompleteness will always be there. He tried to calm her down, but she was beyond reason.

“YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT'S LIKE TO LIVE WITHOUT REMORSE FOR YOUR ENTIRE LIFE AND THEN SUDDENLY YOU'RE FORCED TO FEEL, FORCED TO CARE!"

Li stood there in front of, Steve, panting hard with all the unshead tears of her life's story running down her face. Suddenly, she turned around and pounded her fist on the counter, causing it to crack. 

“Their screams are so loud in my head, Stevie. All children and parents. All the people with bright futures, all the blood I've bathed in. I will never make peace with that like this!"

Major Li Jones collapsed on the counter in a broken mess along with the Captain's heart.

“I just want it to fucking stop, Steve! I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!"

Steve stood still a long time, just watching his best girl break down in front of him. The Captain didn't know what to do. She was right. He had always been bound by his moral compass. Black and white with no grey in between. But that was before. That was before he met her and threw him for a loop. 

Before he met her, he wouldn't have thought twice about punching out, Davis. He would've given, (Y/N), up to SHIELD. 

How could he say all that though? How could he say all that without sounding selfish? He decided not to say anything. Steve just put his arms around her and pulled her into his warmth to let her cry it out. He may have even shed a few tears of his own. After she wore herself out, he looked down firmly at her.

“Ya right. I can't even begin t' understand what ya been though. But I ain't lettin' ya go back t' 'em, Li. Not again."

Li sighed shakily and buried her face in his chest again.

“You and Tony just won't let me die in peace will you?"

“Nope, ain't gonna happen, sweetheart."

He kissed her forehead and put a protective arm around her as they watched some neighbors come up to the door through the window. Li snapped her fingers and everything thing on them looked good as new. She pulled, Steve, down for a kiss as the doorbell rang. She let it go for a few dings before pulling away. Steve's heart soared as she had that familiar infuriating smirk on her face.

“Get ready to work for a living, Rogers."

Chapter Text

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“Li, do ya think ya could keep it down when we're in bed here? The neighbors think ya cheatin' on me. With Captain America."

The Major was in the kitchen getting out some more food. The bacon wrapped stuff had been a hit and she couldn't wait to rub in Tony's face. She raised an eyebrow at her “husband" and read her Captain's mind to see what he was talking about.

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

“Captain America! Hi, I'm Sebastian, nice to meet you!"

Steve turned to see a blue eyed dark grey haired man that looked uncomfortably similar to, Bucky, but with a slight foreign accent standing behind him with star struck look. The Captain took a deep breath to assess the situation. Stay in character.

“Uh, no I'm Chris. Evans. You must be mistaken," Steve said calmly.

A look of disappointment followed by pity came over Sebastian's face and he looked like he was internally debating something.

“I know we just met, Chris, so it's probably not my place to say this, but I think your wife is uhh having friends over when you're not around."

“What?"

“She stepped out on you earlier today."

“Excuse me?"

“Jesus Christ, I think, Sarah, is cheating on you man! With Captain America. Your bedroom is connected to mine on the wall your bed is on and she was...loud about Captain Steve Rogers and he wasn't that much quieter. I don't think he actually knew her name, though, kept calling her 'baby girl' and 'sweetheart' among other things. For three hours straight."

Steve was internally screaming and blushing bright red, something, Sebastian, seemed to take as anger. The man patted his shoulder.

“Good luck with that, man. Sorry, it had to come from me."

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

Li doubled over in laughter. She knew that the situation was incredibly unprofessional and that she should be ashamed of herself, but the look on Steve's face was priceless. Steve just frowned.

“It's not funny!"

“It's a little funny!"

Li put herself back together, but Steve's frown didn't disappear. She rolled her eyes and pressed her body against his. He started blushing a bit and looked around to make sure no one was coming in. 

“If it makes you feel any better, Captain America is nothing compared to how Steve Rogers can make me feel..."

“Li, we have a job to do..."

Steve was blushing even more and breathing a little heavier, but the frown remained so she pulled out the big guns, ignoring his previous statement and running her hands through his hair, bringing her lips an inch away from his.

"Maybe if he gives me a smile, I could remind him after this party? When we're alone and I'm on his bed with nothing but-. "

“Sarah! There you are!"

Into the kitchen, came their target and Davis. Steve tensed and wrapped his arms around, Li, protectively. Beverly was all smiles and Davis was...Davis, glaring at the Major like she was doing something wrong by daring to be held by her "husband".

“The house looks wonderful! You and Chris have exquisite taste," she complemented, “And your housekeeper is a darling! Where did you find him?"

“Cleaning bathrooms in a washed up business actually!" Li smiled, “He was living in a complete rathole too so Chris and I took him in!"

Steve's grip on her waist tightened as Davis' fists clenched and his eyes flashed with rage. The Major knew she was in for a world of pain later, but it was totally worth it now.

“Oh, what a nice couple!" Beverly chuckled, “I hope to see you two at the charity next week?"

“Charity?" Li asked, feigning ignorance.

Beverly's eyes narrowed, the room dropped twenty degrees, and everything around, Li, except for her, Beverly, and Davis stopped moving. Beverly came inches away from Li's face with a poisonous smile. She cupped Li's cheek and the Major felt herself being drained of power.

“What the hell are you?" the Major demanded to know.

“I can't give all my secrets away! Even if it is to a pretty thing like you. All you need to know, my love, is that you are the precious 'tessaract weapon plans' that I am delivering. Well, your mutations are at least."

“What?! You mean-?!"

“Yes, my little one, we have and now it's time for you to come back home."

Li stiffened and, Beverly, laughed, pinching her cheeks. She couldn't get a single thought from this woman, but the lady could talk to her telepathically.

“Oh, my sweet child, did you honestly think, Pierce, was going to let you stay with Captain Twink over here? Your attachment to the younger Stark is bad enough, but falling for the very ideas we fight against, that's a big no no. We thought three months back in the cage would be enough, but it seems you were free for far too long."

Li's heart stopped. But-but she had to keep an eye on the Captain. Make sure he doesn't interfere with HYDRA's plans too heavily! Make sure he stays alive! She had to stay by his side!

“Oh, 73143, you've forgotten your place in all this and let that soulmate business go to your head again. You are the slave. We are the masters. You play the game by our rules or we take you out simple as that."

She backed away from the Major and started walking out the room. Li pried herself out of Steve's arms and started after her.

“Wait a-!"

Davis clotheslined her and pinned her to the wall, sticking her with a needle filled with the stuff that keeps her from healing. Then he reached over for a knife.

“Did I say you could move?"

Chapter Text

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Something was wrong with, Li. Something was very, very wrong with Li.

She was distant, she never left the room except for work, and she was jumpy. He couldn't call, Tony, because for this mission they aren't on first name basis and, Tony, never called him. The Captain was completely confused and worried as hell.

Davis never went near her unless, Steve, was by her side-he made sure of that-but every time the Captain so much as brushed her hand, Li, flinched away like she was doing something wrong by daring to exist. The Major's most worrisome behavior, however, was that he couldn't get anything from her side of their bond.

Try as he might there was nothing, but silence. They hadn't talked to each other that way in a year and a half, and the day of the charity he had had enough of it.

The Major had started the habit of getting up early and being dressed before the sun was even up. She thought that he was asleep, but he could hear her shuffling around trying not to wake him with quiet phone calls and fumbling around with first aid things. One day, when he was supposed to be away on a “business trip", he “came back early" followed her into the bathroom.

“Li! We need t'-! Li? What the hell?!"

The Major was at the blood stained sink, bandaging up some pretty nasty looking fresh wounds. He gave her a once over and found ones that looked close to infection too. He reached out for her, but she backed away, stumbling into the tub. Steve rushed over to her, but refused to acknowledge his existence.

“Baby girl, what're ya hidin' from me?!" he exclaimed.

There was a pound on the bedroom door and, Li, seemed to steel herself.

“Bitch, you've got five seconds to let me in," Davis barked.

Steve's vision went red and he stood up, about to go answer the door himself, when he found himself teleported and locked in their closet as, Davis, kicked the door open.

“Where are you?" the man growled.

“Right-right here, sir! I-eep!"

“When I knock you answer. What part of that was unclear?"

“I-."

There was the sound of skin hitting dry wall and a squeak of pain from, Li, and, Steve, was about to bust the door down when he found that ReSpawn had him in a full body bind.

“No, NO sweetheart!" Steve shouted, "Let me-!"

The supersoilder found his voice was taken from him too as the bedroom door opened and closed again. 

No need to be so rough, John," said a familiar voice, “There's plenty of time for that."

Steve froze. There's no way.

“Sorry, B, it didn't answer the door so," Davis answered.

“Oh really? Now that won't do! I gave you enough chances to follow simple instructions, young lady, now I have to be firm."

“No, no!" Li apologized, “I'm sorry! I'll take whatever my consequences are! Just leave the boys al-"

There was a slapping sound followed by a snapping sound and cut off cry of pain from the Major. Steve struggled against her control even more due to his instincts kicking into maximum over drive, but, eventually, the Captain had to stop because, Li, just kept tightening her grip on him to the point where he couldn't move anymore.

“What have I said about those ridiculous displays of sentiment!? You're better than that 73143! Stronger than that! You deserve this punishment!"

“I know I do and I accept it!" Li growled, “But leave Iron Man and my target out of it! Stark has done nothing wrong and the Captain is mine to deal with!"

Beverly made a disbelieving scoff and Li's cries of pain intensified.

“After all those times, Stark, took you for granted and even cut you out of his life! And you won't take, Rogers, out. You got too close. Lost sight of the big picture! You display more loyalty them than you do us! We who birthed and raised you! We who let you live even though you've disappointed us more and more throughout the last forty years!"

There was a sound of bones breaking and, Li, started making horrible, wet choking noises. Steve could feel her grasp on him weakening.

“You don't need a family, you don't need friends, and you don't need freedom, ReSpawn! Your life is about us and upholding our image. You don't need anymore than that and you shouldn't want more than that. You shouldn't want anything, but to serve."

“You get that, bitch?" Davis sneered.

Whatever the Major did must have satisfied the bastard because next thing, Steve, heard was a loud thump and the bedroom door opening and slamming shut.

The Captain could move again and closet opened a minute later. Li must have done it with her telekinesis because she was laying by the bedroom door. She was beaten to hell and back, but, Steve, didn't realize she wasn't healing until he came and turned her around, meeting her unseeing eyes. She gave him a small smile through her blood covered lips.

“Could you...open the door?....want my... fingers back?"

Steve stopped and blinked. Did she just?

Tony, told me.....love, my hand?"

Steve looked over and saw that her middle and ring fingers were caught in the tightly closed door. He complied with her request immediately and tried to keep red from blinding his vision. How dare they-he was gonna-

Love.....ch-."

She suddenly, passed out, but he didn't want to move her, not knowing what injuries she has. He got out his phone to tell, Fury, he was putting her out of the mission, when, Li, woke up and grabbed his hand. Steve's eyes went wide with disbelief and all higher functions except the need to get his soulmate medical care stopped. 

“Li, ya need a hospital!"

“No...be fine...can't show weakness...more punishment...."

“Baby girl, ya-ya dyin'! I can feel it!"

“No..hospital...Been...much, much....much worse. Can't keep...me down!"

She couldn't even take a big enough breath to laugh. Steve locked on to her blind, barely conscious eyes searching for why she hid this from him. 

“Sorry...Steve, but...."

“But, what?"

“Threatened...my little boy....and my fella...if I didn't...comply....I'm attraction at charity....not main....that's more....dangerous.."

Steve was in stunned silence. But why is she letting those animals torture her?! How were they doing it for at least a week without him knowing? Li made a noise that was maybe supposed to be a laugh.

My little, Tony......keep him safe..if I let Davis have me....B.... stops time...'cept for me.....Davis, and her."

Steve stared at her in disbelief, exasperation, and something else he couldn't even name. She was willing to die to protect her loved ones and he couldn't even be upset. And, of course, more enhanced. But that was the last thing on his mind right now. Their bond was still weakening due to Li's diminishing life force.

“Baby girl...ya need t' at least rest."

“Can't.....orders. You go......They think you're....gone....can't...protect you.... if...come back..."

“I'm not leavin' ya all alone, Li.

The Major frowned and moved to get up, but all that happened was, Steve, holding her down while she held back groans of pain. Eventually, she gave in and he smirked down at her.

“I...dislike...you."

“No, ya don't."

He got up to grab some things to clean her up as best he could, sending as many soothing thoughts her way as possible. This girl was going to be the death of him. But he wouldn't want to go any other way. Suddenly, the bathroom door closed and he couldn't move again.

“Alright, B, said the boss actually wants you at this thing so we need to speed you along," Davis grunted, “I'll be back in an hour so you better be ready or after the charity..."

Steve heard something snap loudly and the door slam again. The Captain was actually so angry that he didn't realize he could move until hearing his best girl cry out in agony. He rushed out to to find her glowing bright red and her injuries quickly healing.

“Don't....touch....Bastard broke.... my....spine....can't...feel legs. Need to...stay still......or you'll have to...break it again."

“Then what can I do, baby girl?"

“Stay.....but go if......too much."

“'C-course, I'll stay, sweetheart, as long as ya need me no matter what."

Li nodded and reached out with her newly healed right hand. The Captain took it, kissed it, and held it as she painfully put herself back together. He wondered about the other “experiments" like his girl. How many of them have to go through endless “punishment" for merely existing half the time? How many of them have grown a conscience that eats away at them until they think death is a better option?


 

“So what is the main attraction?"

“That, unfortunately, is above your pay grade, Captain."

After twenty minutes, Li, finished healing enough for their bond to reestablish itself and for, Steve, to be able to safely pick her up and carry her to their bed and they continue their conversation. As usual, though, the Major was being vague on the details regarding her involvement.

“What? Li, how's somethin' involvin' ya gettin' ya spine snapped above me?"

“Because I said so. End of discussion."

She moved to turn around, but, Steve, kept her still to search her eyes for what she's keeping from him. The Major looked away. Steve growled in frustration. 

"Ya gonna tell me what the fuck's goin' on. Now!"

"You're in no position to be giving me orders, Rogers!"

She jerked out of his grasp with a wince of pain from the quick movement and moved away from him. Steve knew he probably shouldn't be pushing her so hard when she's injured like this, but leaving him out of something like this was just too much.

“THE HELL I AM! WE'RE SUPPOSED T' BE A TEAM! PARTNERS, LI! I'M YA SECOND IN COMMAND! YA NUMBER ONE! I'VE BEEN WITH YA FOR TWO YEARS AN' YA STILL SHUT ME OUT!"

Steve grabbed her again and brought her inches from his face.

“Why can't ya trust me? I trust ya. I trust ya with m' life." 

 “I do trust you, Steven! I trust you to be a terrible liar! Even if you feigned ignorance, it would still be written all over your face!"

Li pushed the Captain off of her and walked out into the living room, but, Steve, wasn't done so he followed her.

“This is ya problem, Major! Ya keep choosin' what's best for me, instead of lettin' me choose what's best for me!"

“Because you don't know what's best for you in this, Captain! You don't understand what-what these people are capable of! What I'm capable of! I do!"

“Then help me understand, sweetheart! I can only understand if ya talk to me!"

Li sighed in exasperation, gesturing wildly, and reopening some of her wounds. Steve tried to get her to sit, but she ignored him.

If I tell you then-."

“Oh don't give me tha-!"

“IT'S THE FUCKING TRUTH YOU STUPID. NAIVE. IDIOT!"

ReSpawn started glowing green and her eyes went white. The room rose twenty degrees and every step she took toward the Captain caused the carpet to singe. Steve backed up a little, knowing he fucked up, but not sure how. ReSpawn hit the palm of her hand against the side of her head.

“ONCE THEY GIVE ME MY ORDER, IT'S GAME OVER! I KILL YOU AND THEN I'M OUT OF CONTINUES! THEY LOCK ME BACK UP UNTIL THE NEXT SPANDEX WEARING, SELF-RIGHTEOUS BUFFOON DECIDES TO SHOW UP OUT OF NOWHERE AND CAUSE PROBLEMS!"

“Li-."

“I. AM. TALKING! AND YOU WILL SHUT THE FUCK UP!"

Suddenly, Steve's head felt like it was on fire and, Li, blocked their soul bond. The Captain was feeling the full force of HYDRA's greatest weapon as she backed him into a corner, trapping him by making invisible walls with her mind. 

“THIS IS THE HUMAN POPULATION'S LIFE OR DEATH, YOUR LIFE OR DEATH, STEVEN!" she screamed.

She pounded her fist on the couch side table, instantly reducing it to dust. Steve paled. He never knew she could do that. He looked into her eyes and saw nothing that resembled his best girl.

“Li. Please-," he started.

ReSpawn came within inches of him and stroked his hair as the pain in his head intensified.

“Oh, I could squeeze your head like a grape, sooo easily and not lift a finger..." she sneered, “I don't play mind games...I just..."

She made a popping sound and the pain in his head went away as she teleported away. Seconds later, she appeared behind him with a knife to his throat. Steve would be lying if he said that, just for a split second, he didn't think she was going to use it on him.

“And it's not like you could defend yourself for long... I heal too fast. Faster than you!"

She pushed him away and slashed the blade deeply across her wrist. Blood started dripping down her arm. Then she snapped. Her glove appeared on her hand and she blasted herself with a concentrated beam of her light. The room filled with smell of burning flesh.

Li got up on shaking legs, her cold dead expression barely masking the pain she was in, but she was healing faster than he ever saw her before. 

“Sweetheart, ya made ya point-!" he begged.

She scoffed, started glowing slightly red as she finished healing her wounds all at once, and teleported to a centimeter from his face.

“I don't think I have because you seemed to forget about one of my finer personality traits," she said, calmly, “I'm forever young. Or did you forget about that when you decided to be with me?"

“Baby girl, I didn't forget!" Steve exclaimed.

“ARE YOU SURE? ARE YOU SURE YOU DIDN'T FORGET THAT I HAVE TO LIVE ON THIS SHITHOLE LONG AFTER YOU AND TONY DIE? DO YOU REALLY WANT PEOPLE GETTING THEIR HANDS ON THAT KIND OF POWER?" she shouted.

The Major went back to her human appearance, reopened their bond, and laid her head on the Captain's chest. He didn't dare even breath. 

“That's what we're dealing with, love. That's what HYDRA's selling. It's my mutations, my body, my DNA buyers are after. They've figured out how to synthesize them."

She hugged him in close and, Steve, tentatively put his arms around her.

“That's why they experiment on me, show me off, let people... borrow me to get funding.They want all the blood they can drink and still isn't enough. They do that with all their 'experiments'. Not  many of us make it. But the lucky few that do are puppets nothing more.

Even if we think we're the good guys we're not and never can be. But they raise us so sheltered or, in other cases, erase the mind so completely, we don't know any other way but the 'glory' of HYDRA. Tony is the only reason I know better."

Steve went silent with this new information. This was...sick, twisted? Those words didn't even begin to describe it. Li looked up at him with apologetic eyes.

“Sorry, if I hurt you, love. Immmmm..."

The Captain cut her off with a kiss. He put every bit of forgiveness in it. Steve wanted to understand and that's what she did: made him understand. And he did. He understood what she fights against every day and not just for herself, but to be with him. Eventually, he reluctantly let up and looked over her. 

I'm okay, love. Good as new."

Yeah, right. Don't ever do that to me again, sweetheart! Go-."

Suddenly, the Captain felt a sharp sting in his neck, Li yelling, and the world went black.

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Immediately after, Steve, went down the Major felt herself stuck with a needle as well and her vision went black. Then she was slammed to the ground, her hands and feet were bound together, and she was hoisted over a shoulder.

“This is no way to treat a blind person! I demand to-!" Li exclaimed.

Li's head was slammed into a hard surface and she felt her consciousness starting to sink and swim as wetness that could only be blood started running down her face.

“God, I can't wait to fix that mouth of yours," Davis grunted.

Li felt herself get thrown into something hard and a door slam close. The Major sat up and reached around to get a feel for her surroundings when she touched something soft, warm, and hairy?

“If you like your hand attached to your body, get it off my chin," a voice grunted.

Li removed her hand and ran it down the object she was sitting on. Eventually, she felt something cold and smooth. She rolled her eyes and then rolled over off the Winter Soldier and landed on the ground with a thump. She groaned and felt around until finding something she could sit on. The Major settled herself and began to try and wake, Steve, up, but it was useless as he was out cold due to the tranquilizer. She cursed and pounded her fist hard on the surface she was sitting on. A bad idea as she immediately felt two of her fingers break. The superhuman growled and cradled her hand as the Soldier let out a snort.

You're ReSpawn?" he scoffed, “Some 'crown jewel'."

“Shut up, Soldier, I've probably killed more people than you've ever met," Li snapped.

“Is that something to be proud of?" he asked.

“I used to think it was," Li confessed, “Now? I'm almost glad I'm immortal."

“Congratulations, you grew a conscience."

“Sometimes I wish I didn't."

The Soldier just grunted.


 

About an hour later, the Major's mutations were coming back enough to ask the Soldier to help her set her fingers so they would heal straight. Steve woke up in a panic and it took five minutes to calm him down. They talked for ten minutes before she cut off their mind speak because B and Davis came to get them out of the back of the vehicle the assassins were in. The Soldier was taken to a room with Davis and the Major went with B.

The room she was escorted into was small and bare. White walls with soundproofing, no windows, no anything, Li, could use to pinpoint her location. B shoved ReSpawn down in the singular chair, strapped her in, and then knelt down in front of her with that poisonous smile that, Li, wanted to burn off of her.

“Now, before we go showing you off I have to fix you up a bit. We can't have you embarrassing us with your misplaced loyalties now can we?"

“What are-?" 

B made a slicing motion with her fingers and, Li, felt a burning pain in her throat that made her open her mouth to cry out but no sound came out. B had cut her vocal cords. The Major's eyes darkened and her mouth squeezed into a thin line. She felt Steve and Tony go down from her sudden pain.

“There that's better. I always did like it more when you couldn't talk out loud, I don't know why they bothered teaching you...but no matter I've fixed it. Now..."

B stood up and ruffled the Major's hair before putting a hand on either side of her head. ReSpawn felt herself growing colder and colder and her consciousness fading as B started working her powers.

“Let's see what I can do about getting my daughter back hmmm?"

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Steve woke up with a groan to a house devoid of his best girl and the “housekeeper". After seeing blood on the carpet by the doorway, the Captain quickly got out his phone to gather up the team sans, Thor, since he was still in Asguard. He knew that this was part of the assignment, but he couldn't risk not having any back up, especially if, Li, was hurt.

Cap: Avengers! Assemble! Li was kidnapped!

Steve? You okay, love?"

The Captain sighed in relief and sat down on the couch. 

“Yeah, sweetheart, I'm okay. How 'bout cha, baby girl?"

“On my way to the main event. They inhibited my powers, but I'll live."

“Well, I'm on m' way with the team, but we won't do anythin' unless ya in real danger, deal?"

“I guess Captain Paranoia."

“Ya know what, Jones?"

“What, Rogers?"

“I-I-uh...Just come back t' me, sweetheart, okay?"

Steve sighed. This wasn't the time to open that can of worms no matter how much he wanted to. Li noticed his change in demeanor and laughed softly.

Don't I always? I'll be waiting for you, love."

At that moment, B, came and, Li, had to go. Steve turned his attention back to his phone and started walking to the kitchen upon reading the messages.

I am Iron Man: Already here. Open up

BB: I don't think the other guy needs to get involved in this.

Hawkguy: What? No way! She owes me $20!

BW: Barton, no1 cares

Hawkguy: @BW we're literally 2 inches from each other

BW: So?

I am Iron Man: @Cap u have 5 seconds 2 open up

Cap: Barton! Romanoff! Shut up and get here! Banner, I need as many eyes on her as possible so come. Stark, I'm coming right now.

“I'm already in."

Steve felt a hand on his shoulder that violently pushed him against the refrigerator. The Captain met the dark, furious eyes of Iron Man. 

“I'm only going to be nice about this once, Blondie," Tony said calmly, “What happened to my soul mate?"

Steve wanted to wait until everyone was here to explain, but by the oil across his forehead and staining his hands, his dirty tank top, his messy dark hair, and Iron Man suit standing right behind him, Tony, looked like he literally dropped everything to fly over here. It's a good thing he didn't know about the blood in the other room or else they might not be having these civilities.

“On her way to the charity." 

“And you didn't save her because...?" Tony asked.

“I couldn't. I was knocked out and even if I wasn't It's part of the mission for her to be there," Steve answered firmly, “I just talked to her, though, and she's okay, Tony."

The inventor backed off and leaned against the opposite counter. He closed his eyes and took deep breaths in an effort to get his soulmate protection instincts in check, something, Steve, was struggling with as well.

“I thought this was a simple in and out," Tony mumbled.

“Not anymore," Steve barely explained.

“Meaning....?"

“That's all I know."

Tony gripped the counter, glaring at the Captain with flames of hate in his eyes. Steve recoiled a bit. He had never seen, Stark, this angry before, not that he blamed him.

“What do you mean you don't know?" Iron Man growled, “Aren't you a part of this mission? Her partner? Her back up?"

“The only reason, Li, told me anything is because I walked into it."

Tony turned away from him fists clenched. The Captain moved slowly towards the billionaire to go make an effort to calm him down.

“To-."

All of the sudden, Tony, punched, Steve, in the face. It hurt him more than it hurt the Captain by the way he cursed and cradled his hand immediately after impact.

“Stark, what the hell?!" Steve exclaimed.

“EVER SINCE YOU TWO GOT TOGETHER, IT'S BEEN ONE THING AFTER ANOTHER!" Tony shouted, “I CAN'T KEEP WORRYING THAT SHE'LL BE TAKEN FROM ME EVERY MISSION, STEVE, I CAN'T!"

Iron Man sat down against the cabinets with a shaky sigh and Captain America followed suit. Steve was silent for a moment to gather his thoughts. He knew how, Tony, felt as he was technically Li's soulmate because of their mental bond even if they couldn't see each other's eye color.

“We've been soulmates since I wasn't even old enough to know what a soulmate is. No matter what HYDRA did to her, no matter how my parents tried to separate us, she was there for me when she could be," Tony said, voice cracking.

Steve put a hand on his shoulder and, Tony, made no move to shake it off. Steve was making everyone cry on this mission, damn.

“I've never had to live without her, Steve, and-and I don't think I can!" he cried.

Steve sighed and forced the man to look up at him. The Captain was taken aback for a moment when he realized how similar Li's and Tony's eyes were and his panic for her well being flared up again. The Captain quickly blinked out of it. He couldn't be distracted by nature right now.

“What would, Li, say if she heard that kind of talk?!" he asked.

“She-she would tell me to suck it up and carry on..." Tony laughed weakly.

“There you go! Now follow the Major's orders and get up!"

Steve stood up and held out a hand to help, Tony, up. The older man wiped his eyes (and smeared more dirt on his face in the process) and put on his trademark smirk.

“One, I am not a soldier. I do what I want. Second, what's the plan, Spangles?"

“Yeah! Share the wealth of tactical knowledge you possess oh great and powerful, Captain America," a voice snarked from the foyer.

Clint, Natasha, and a reluctant Bruce came walking into the kitchen to meet up with him and Tony. The three heroes took in Steve's full beard, dark brown hair, red flannel shirt and jeans. Clint didn't even try to hold back his amusement and Natasha almost broke her composure as well.

“Nice, lumberjack look you got going there, Cap," she smirked.

“How are you guys getting in my house?!" Steve exclaimed, “You know what never mind, just-SON OF A!"

The supersoldier collapsed in pain going through his throat and head. He didn't know how long it took him to shake himself out of it, but when he came back to reality, Tony, was on the floor too. They looked at each other, the same thought going through their heads.

Li!

“So are you gonna tell us what happened or?" Clint asked.

Steve got up on shaky legs as did Tony. They both started for the door, pushing the others along with them.

“We'll explain on the way. Let's move."


 

“Everyone in position? Good."

Steve went as close to the balcony as he could without being seen and, Tony, wasn't too far behind. They and Clint were dressed ready for battle, watching the “charity event" from a far. Natasha and Bruce were on the ground, mingling to keep an eye on, Li, up close when she appears. 

HYDRA was showing off their “assets" and, Steve, got the stage in his visual just to see the back of a dark grey haired man-that had a metal arm(?) disappear behind a curtain.

“Now, if you thought the Soldier was impressive, just wait till you see our crown jewel..." Davis said.

Steve stiffened. All he was getting from his soulmate was cold submissive fear. The same feeling he got from her when, Davis, first showed up at their house. She marched out with her head held high, though, what the Captain saw made him clench the balcony bars in white knuckled fury.

The Major was dressed in her tactical armor. Weapon holders, technologically advanced glove and all. Her hair was washed and dyed back to it's usual dark afro and her blue contacts were gone so her eyes were back to their gorgeous darkness, but these cosmetics weren't what was pissing the Captain off.

No, that award went to his girl's shackled hands and feet, to the people in the crowd taking pictures and gawking at her like she was some circus display, to Davis' close proximity to her, and the lethal looking instruments at his finger tips.

“I'm comin' for ya, baby g-."

The Major and Steve fell to the floor when acid was splashed onto her exposed skin and was followed by a stab to leg deep enough to hit bone to show how fast she heals. Steve knew because he felt every bit of it. He was about to jump down there on pure instinct when he felt a pair of metal hands holding him back.

“Not yet, Cap! Not fucking yet!" Iron Man scolded, “I know it's hard up close, but you've got to control it!"

Steve started fighting, Tony, off. He had to get to his soulmate! She was hurt, she could die, she needed-! The crowd “oooed" and “awwwed" as, Li, got up with a snarl, glowing red to heal her wounds all at once.

Steve relaxed and, Tony, let go of the Captain and continued to stand beside him, keeping an eye on Li. Steve looked over at the inventor. His face plate was down so he couldn't read Tony's expression, but, Steve, knew it was just as anxiety ridden as his.

“It never get easier to fight off, does it?" Steve asked quietly.

Iron Man shook his head, probably keeping an eye on Li's vitals as, Davis, made her show off her telekinesis. The Captain nodded and looked back down.

“Sweetheart, are you okay?"

No answer. In fact, her mind was strangely silent and cold. He called out to her again. The Captain didn't get an answer, but she looked up in his direction and his heart stopped. That wasn't his girl. The owner of those empty eyes couldn't be his Li.

“Tony-."

“I know, Cap, something's wrong, but I can't figure out how!" Iron Man whispered.

“What're you-?"

Tony made a shushing motion as the crowd suddenly went quiet. Steve looked down to see, Li, glaring up at him with her head turned slightly to her handler.

“And now for its last and greatest-what?"

Davis frowned for a moment before he smiled. Davis was smiling. Actually, genuinely smiling. That never bode well. The bastard undid the Major's bindings and turned back to the crowd.

“Well, you don't get to see its final trick today, but you will get to see it in action. Spawn! Take care of them!" he ordered.

Li raised her hand and snapped her fingers. The whole team was teleported to the show floor completely paralyzed. ReSpawn walked over to the Captain.

Her steps were so unhurried and incautious like she had all the time in the world. Which she did because they were completely at her mercy. When she got to him, she looked down at him like a he was nothing more than prey. Steve never felt more terrified in his life. Not for himself (okay maybe he pissed himself when she looked at him like that) but for his girl. She was in there somewhere fighting for control of herself.

“B killed that side of me slowly and painfully thanks for asking."

Steve blinked as he realized she was using her telepathy. She never was able to get past his blocking of her mind control before. It took him a minute and thinking back to just those few hours ago when she showed him the extent of her powers to remember that it's because she never actually tried. Li never actually tried, but this wasn't his girl...his girl was-no! He shook his head in disbelief. Major Li Ashton Jones doesn't go down so easily. ReSpawn smiled and bent down to his eye level. He searched her eyes but they were empty. No joy no remorse just nothing. He moved to touch her, forgetting his current state. She smiled wider.

“Baby, what did they do t' ya?!" he whispered.

ReSpawn grabbed his hand and started crushing it, squeezing painfully tighter with every word she spoke.

"They freed me. I don't care, I don't feel, I don't hurt. I'm taking back my crown, love."

Chapter Text

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“Mother! Let the Major go!"

“Quiet! I should have let the boss kill you the moment you came out of me! Your sister was the only one of use!"

“But I thought we were trying to break free from them mom! I thought we were trying to leave those incompetent fools at HYDRA begging for mercy behind us! But you seem to be joining them!"

“Because I am you stupid, naive, child!"

“But-!"

“GROW UP, DAEMON! Why do you think I let myself be your surrogate mother? One or both of you two were my ticket to eternal life! The boss promised if I had you two he would find a way to synthesize whatever powers you possessed and give them to me. Then you and your sister would be eliminated and I would be the one on the throne! BUT THEN YOU TWO HAD TO RUN OFF AND FIND SOUL MATES AND RUIN EVERYTHING!"

“B-b-but Mommy-."

“I'M NOT YOUR MOTHER! I HAVE NO CHILDREN! NOW SHUT UP."

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“Oh Captain, you should know by now....Heroes always get remembered, but us legends?"

ReSpawn stood up and sneered down at Steve. She went into her fighting form of being surrounded by her green light and her eyes went bright white.

“We never die."

“B! Stop fucking around!" Davis shouted, “Clock's ticking!"

“What?" Steve thought to himself.

He looked up and over at Li's handlers. Davis was standing by a, B, that was sitting in a chair in some sort of trance.  Steve felt himself being let go of her binding. The whole team was. The Captain stood up, nose to nose with her searching those empty grey eyes for any signs of his soul mate. She smiled poisonously and backed away a bit to gesture towards the entire team.

I'm going to give you guys a sporting chance. All of you against little old me."

Steve made a quick assessment of his teammates. Tony was standing with his arms folded and face plate up, obviously searching for the Major's consciousness. Nat and Clint were standing on guard and Bruce's eyes kept switching between brown and green as he fought off the Hulk. All in all no one was hurt. The Captain returned his attention to ReSpawn. She jerked her head in Tony's direction who was still being restrained. 

“Well, everyone except Iron Lung over there. He can't hurt me."

“You can't hurt me e-!" Iron Man began.

ReSpawn snapped her fingers and teleported him away. She turned back to the Captain and looked him in the eyes. For just a brief second, Steve, saw her eyes flash back to Li's color and he knew he could bring her back to him. But how? She raised an eyebrow.

“So what do you say, Captain? Four on one?"

Steve stared straight back. Technically, since they weren't fully soulmates there was nothing naturally stopping them from physically fighting each other. But she was being mind controlled! How could he...

“Because you have to."

Steve's brow furrowed as two voices sounded in his head at once. Voices that sounded like Daemon and Tony.

“Whoa, when did you change teams, Big D?"

“It's, Daemon, you insufferable-!"

“GUYS! I'm not fighting her. She's not doing this of her own free will!"

“Well, I can't do it she's fully mine! Plus she sent me miles away!"

“Then how are you in my head, Stark?"

“That's for me to know and-."

“Wait!"

“What?!"

The Captain didn't have to wait long for his answer as ReSpawn doubled over in pain and started shouting.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU LITTLE BRAT?"

“I never thought I'd say this, saving the Avengers. Deux ex machina style you kn-aw fuck..."

Once again, Steve, was face to face with DeSpawn. Like before the man looked as though he was suffering greatly. He looked up at the Captain with a scowl.

“As much as I hate you, Stark, and your little 'team' for turning my sister soft and ruining my plans for us to have these HYDRA bastards on their knees," he snapped, “I hate them slightly more."

Daemon smirked and stood up tall staring directly at B and Davis despite his pain. Davis had a slightly terrified look on his face so, Steve, found himself smiling for a moment before he paled as he felt Li's life fading.

“What's your plan?" the Captain demanded.

DeSpawn scanned everyone's face. They were all glaring suspiciously at him. Even in this severely weakened state, the Captain didn't trust this man as far as he could throw him. Finally, the man sighed, starting a cough shared by his sister. Steve looked down at his best girl that was lying at his feet, heaving up everything her respiratory system had to offer. The Captain frowned. This seems to be happening much faster than the last time.

“Because it is. The more times we separate the shorter the death timer, becomes," Daemon coughed, “Hurry up and do something before I die!"

Steve bent down to lift, ReSpawn, up to see if he could talk some sense into her. Immediately, she snarled and pushed him off.

“Sweetheart-!" he exclaimed.

“I'M NOT YOUR 'SWEETHEART'! I'M NOT YOUR BABY GIRL OR RIGHT HAND WOMAN, YOU IDIOT!"

Li went green and the room rose by at least fifty degrees. Everyone went on immediate defense. That brought out the Hulk, but mercifully, Banner was able to control himself. Steve went towards his girl again with his guard down. He had to show her that he knew she was still in there somewhere. ReSpawn started gathering power towards her hands.

“DID YOU HONESTLY THINK THAT SOMEONE LIKE ME COULD EVER LOVE YOU? DID ANY OF YOU THINK I ACTUALLY CARED?"

She rounded on Widow, Hulk, and Hawkeye, blasting them with a hand of blindingly bright light. Steve thew, Nat, his shield just in time for she and Clint to barely avoid getting incinerated. Bruce wasn't so lucky because of his size. The Hulk roared in pain and started towards, ReSpawn, who stood her ground, but, Steve, could tell she was fading. 

Li had gone back to her human form and the black of her quickly approaching death was spreading across her skin. The Hulk threw a punch but she held it back, crushing it with all she had. The Captain knew he had to do something and it was going to be reckless, but the big guy was seriously pissed. Li wasn't going to be able to stand strong forever.

“I know!" Daemon grunted, “That's why I'm going to do this! Talk some sense into her while I'm distracting the giant buffoon! I won't be able to hold my form for long."

Steve watched in disbelief as Daemon's body fell to the floor and a dark shadowy figure with completely red eyes came out of it. Now he had given up on trying to guess how weird the twenty first century could be. 

DeSpawn rammed into the Hulk and they vanished. Li was sent falling to the floor from being caught off guard. Steve ran over and picked her up while Clint and Natasha kept HYDRA agents at bay.

Li's face was covered in tears as she pounded weakly on the Captain's chest trying to get him off of her. Steve cupped her cheeks, looking her right in the eyes.

“Sweetheart, ya in there! I know ya are or else the team would've been dead! Come back t' me, baby girl, please!" Steve begged.

“NO, I DON'T NEED LOVE, I DON'T NEED FRIENDS! ALL THAT MATTERS IS MY DUTY TO THE PEOPLE WHO BIRTHED AND RAISED ME!"

The Major was shaking while her eyes kept switching between their usual dark and the cold grey of B's. Steve just held her tight while she internally battled for control of her body.

“LI JONES IS DEAD!"

“Then why're ya cryin', baby girl?"

“What are you talking about? My asset doesn't cry."

“Then what are these?"

Li frowned as the Captain wiped her eyes. He smiled softly at his girl stroking her cheeks as her eyes went from empty grey to black and filled with pure fear. Steve heard, B, loudly curse from across the room, the floor shook and people screamed as the Hulk landed on some HYDRA grunts, and Daemon's body stirred. All that was secondary to the woman in his arms. He never saw her so terrified. 

“But the things I've done...if I keep this mind-it'll  always hurt..."

“I know, sweetheart, I know. But we'll get through it like we always have. Me and ya, together ."

Li went wide eyed as her world went full color. She blinked and looked away, but the color remained. Steve felt something deep inside him soar. He was hers! One out of two wasn't bad. He-they could deal with that as it came. But, Li, was feeling the complete opposite. She pushed off him, clutching her head.

“No, no, NO! NOT AGAIN, P-PLEASE! I'M SORRY!" she screamed.

“Sweetheart, it's okay! I'm here! I'm-! Fuck!"

Steve collapsed to the floor, his head on fire with the screams and pain of all of Li's victims. The agony of it all. It just kept growing and growing until suddenly, it stopped. Steve looked up and, Li, was cupping his cheek with endless apologies in her eyes.

“I'm so sorry, love. I-."

“YOU INCOMPETENT, HORMONE DRIVEN BITCH!"

The couple turned to see, B. She was was glowing white with teeth bared in a snarl and hands clawed like she was about to tear the room apart. The temperature fell immensely as everyone felt their energy fading, but none so much as ReSpawn and DeSpawn as they started shivering while struggling to keep conscious. B started screaming again.

“I should have just let the boss kill you the moment you came out of me! Daemon, fuse back! Davis! Get your toys we're going home."

Davis was about to start walking to the siblings when a wine bottle hit him right in back of the head. He went down like a sack of bricks at B's feet while the man that told, Steve, that, Li, was cheating on him ran away shouting about how he helped the Avengers. B kicked, Davis, off of her.

“You brats have five seconds to come here."

Li's face steeled and shook her head as she was overcome by another coughing fit; this time she brought up blood as the black of the binding spell spread further. Daemon came up next to, Steve, with the same expression as his sister.

“W-we'd rather...die."

Steve's heart sunk and he looked down at his girl's determined, dark eyes twinkling and smiling that defiant smirk he loved so much.

“Stop worrying love. She used all her strength controlling me. Her power comes from D and I. We're dying. B's running on empty and she knows it."

“So starve her?"

“That's my smart boy. Maybe you'll be a Major some day after you actually become a Capt- baby, behind you!"

“Wh-?"

Suddenly, Li, swung, Steve, around in a 180. Daemon touched her hand and there was a flash of green and black light. When, Steve, opened his eyes, DeSpawn was gone and there was no longer black creeping across his girl's face, but she still had a pained expression. The Captain's instincts started setting off alarms in his head as he saw that she had taken bullets from three different rifles for him. She smiled that infuriating smirk, but, Steve, was having none of it.

“Li-!"

“I've been much, much worse. It.....kinda tickled....." 

“God damn it, Jones! I-Li? Sweetheart? Stay with me!"

Steve's pled came too late as his Major passed out, bleeding from so many places that he couldn't stop all of it. The Captain cursed, stood up, and started running out. All of the sudden, Tony, scooped him up. Steve's communicator crackled to life in his ear. 

“Steve, we just took out the rest of the HYDRA bastards here and B's gone," Natasha reported, “Where are you?"

“Getting, Li, to med! Just fill, Fury, in I'll come in when, Li, wakes up," Steve sighed.

“Where she was hit? That's an if not a when..."

Steve knows, Clint, didn't mean to let it be heard so he just kept his rage in control and held his girl tighter as, Tony, flew as fast as the suit would go.

Chapter Text

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She woke up to, Tony, arguing with someone. The Major was finally able to heal her vocal cords and tried to sit up so she could alleviate the situation, but was quickly held down by a pair of strong hands.

“Ya haven't finished healin'. Stop movin'."

She sighed and frowned at her Captain. He glared right back. 

“What was I supposed to do? Let you get shot in front of me!?"

“Ya could've died, Li! An' then where would I be?!"

“Alive! You would be alive, Steven!"

“MAYBE I DON' WANT T' BE WITHOUT YA!"

She got up with a gasp and a wince. He was right, she wasn't done healing, but this was important.

“You don't mean that."

“Yeah. I do... It's supposed t' be Steve an' Li. The Major an' her Captain. Me an' you, sweetheart. Together."

Steve said it like it was a statement of fact and the superhuman shook her head. He had to understand. She looked right in his bright, hurt, light grey eyes and-. Wait-grey? She held a hand out to his cheek and looked around. The whole world was in color except for her Captain's eyes. 

“Babe, I thought your eyes were blue?"

“What? They are blue. Ya can see 'em right? I-I thought I felt ya..."

Steve looked down in disappointment and, Li, could feel its pain stab him right in the heart. She felt her eyes water and, Steve, lifted his eyes back to hers, forcing the weight of her situation to look her right in the face. That's all she was good for. Hurting and being hurt.

“Baby girl, it's okay! I'm not mad at ya, baby!"

Li knew he was fine with it, they had been through this song and dance before. But that's what the problem was. Why could she see every blue except for his eyes? Why was everything she did so broken and backwards? Why couldn't she at least give him the satisfaction of him being hers? Why was he always okay with it?! The Major started crying and turned away.

“W-why can't-? I-I'M SORRY, I'M SO SORRY!" she screamed and teleported away.

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“Li, baby, please lemme in! Ya haven' slept or eaten in two weeks! Sweetheart, ya gonna die if-!"

“Go away, Steve."

Steve sighed and put his head against the door of the studio space, Tony, let's them crash in whenever the apartment isn't safe until their floor in the Tower is finished. Li locked herself in the studio after she vanished in distress from the hospital wing and hadn't left since.

Baby, please? I miss ya."

Steve listened to the confused, skeptical thoughts raging through her head, praying that he could get through to her and she would talk to him about this soul mate situation.

“I've ruined you."

“What? Whaddya mean?"

You care too much about me. And I'll never-I can't-people like you shouldn't be so attached to people like me. You deserve better."

“An' what 'bout ya, sweetheart? Don' cha deserve somethin' more?"

“No. I don't. Like I said, love, people like me don't get happily ever afters and I've learned to accept th-that.

He heard her shift on the other side and Steve's heart broke as he felt everything that she was trying and failing to keep locked up. He kept forgetting that there were so many things she never told him. Li finally spoke again with her “suck it up and carry on" voice.

“Eventually you will stop waiting for me or ask me to not come back. I-I can't take that coming from you, baby, so I'll leave before it gets that far. Where I don't know since I can't go back to HYDRA now...Have to wait until they find me."

Steve was even more speechless than the day, Li, told him that she wanted to die. He realized that there was nothing he could say. Everything that he thought of sounded insincere and empty even to his ears, but he didn't want her to see him like the others that betrayed her. He wasn't like the others! 

Steve felt the sharp pain of terror as he saw the door knob turn. Li came out of the studio shaking and holding two syringes. The Captain paled.

“What're these?"

“One is to inhibit my powers. The other's to finish the job."

The Major took a deep breath and looked the Captain right in the eyes. What he saw in them made him want to hide his girl away from everything that could possibly hurt her.

“If we cross paths again under less than stellar circumstances, promise me you'll take me out. Use both on me."

Steve stared at his best girl for a moment, reading her mind thoroughly to make sure he was fully comprehending what she was asking him to do. She looked unwavering at him, but he could see the same submissive fear in her eyes that she got around her handlers. The Captain shook his head and reached out for the needles, but, Li, held them out of reach. He frowned deeply.

Li, I can'-!"

“YOU WANT ME BACK THESE ARE MY TERMS! Steve, please."

“The team-."

“I'VE READ THEIR MINDS! THEY'RE ALL TERRIFIED OF ME! ME DYING'LL JUST RELAX THEM!"

She leaned against the door frame, breathing heavily and held his gaze. Her stony face said nothing, but there was no mistaking the defeat and hurt in her eyes. It was almost as bad as seeing her cry. Steve shook his head again.

They're only human, sweetheart. Well, 'cept, Thor, but the point is that it's not tha' they don' care! We're all worried 'bout ya, Li!"

The blond took the drugs from her hand and threw them on the floor. Then he cupped her cheeks and searched her head for how long she'd been contemplating this. He found that she was trying to find the right time to ask ever since the first time she got a glimpse of his eye color. Steve frowned deeply.

How could ya even think I would do ya dirty like that, baby? How would that make me any different than HYDRA?"

"B-because I'm asking you to do it. It's my choice!"

"No, it's mine! Ya askin' me t' be ya judge, jury, and executioner, Li! Ya askin' me t' put cha down like ya jus' some wild animal! Ya askin' me t' jus' give up on ya! I'm not doin' it, Jones! I won't!"

"I'm expendable, Steven! I always have been so why...Steve...what are...you...doing?"

Steve had unbuttoned her shirt and placed soft kisses on each newly revealed bit of skin before capturing her lips. He was angry, no furious, that the woman before him had been made to think that she's worthless when she means everything to him. He picked her up and carried her into the studio, slamming the door shut behind them with his foot. He laid her down on the couch since it was closer than the bedroom. She looked up at him with confused eyes and, Steve, sighed. Did she really not understand how he feels? Even now?

“Major Li Ashton Rogers'll never be expendable. I don' care that ya won' believe that."

Kiss

“Ya past don' matter t' me 'cause we've all got blood on our hands. What matters is now an' right now ya good, sweetheart. Ya so good t' me. I don' care if ya won' believe that."

Kiss

“I'll never regret us. Ever. Ya m' best gal an' I really don' care that ya won' believe that..."

He embraced her in a passionate kiss and, Li, melted into him. It was open mouth, with tangled tongues, nips leaving swollen lips, whispered promises of devotion, everything their relationship was about. When they broke apart, the Major was crying tears that the Captain promised her he would always be there to wipe away. Li laughed weakly at his sappiness and kissed the worry line between his eyebrows. 

“H-how did I get s-such a good man to care for m-me?" 

How'd I get gorgeous gal like ya t' deal with me?"

He stripped off the rest of her clothes and got up to quickly take off his own before putting his hands everywhere over the familiar planes of her body. He took in the contrast between smooth and battle scarred and made sure he kissed every bit. She didn't deserve that torture and he always told her that her scars were a marker of her strength, not HYDRA's.

“Ya gonna feel so good, darlin'. I'll be gentle an' take care of ya, baby. Forever." 

The Captain took her breasts and gave them the attention they needed, teasing them with his teeth and tongue while he he slid one of his hands down to tease her womanhood. The Major's mouth fell open and she started whimpering. Steve, increased his ministrations, but the Major started pleading for him. He just captured her mouth in a soft kiss, not stopping his hand's movement for a moment and she started moving her hips in sync with his fingers.

“Love, please...she begged out loud.

“Okay, sweetheart, okay. I gotcha, baby."

He moved his fingers, guided himself into her, and gripped her hips to start a slow, deep rhythm. Her rewarding moans and gasps were more than enough for him to know to give her more. He put his forehead on hers.

“Ya so special, baby. Anyone that tells ya otherwise don' deserve ya."

“Stevie..."

Steve moaned softly as his girl put her arms around his neck and sat up to kiss him while wrapping her legs around his waist. He put his arms around her and got on his knees, not breaking apart from her lips for a moment. She let out a muffled cry of pleasure as the angle allowed him to go deeper and got him even closer to her while she moved to kiss his neck. 

“I-love-you..." she confessed against his skin.

The Captain was overwhelmed by emotion as the Major repeated her sentiment over and over again. He doubled his efforts to make good on his promise as he looked her straight in the eye, stilling her hips so he could hit the spot he knew would make her see stars.

“I-I-love ya too-baby girl," he promised, “I love ya so fuckin' much..."

Soon, they were nearing their climaxes and with one final movement of his fingers, Li, loudly moaned for him as she reached her peak. He followed her few seconds later with a cry of her name. After a few minutes of putting themselves together, he flipped them over so she could lay on top and put the blanket that's always hanging off the back of the couch over them. They lay in a comfortable silence, breathing heavily as they came down from their highs. Steve stroked Li's back with one hand, and the Major held his other. After a minute, she broke the silence.

“You called me Li Rogers."

“I-?"

“GET OFF MY COUCH!"

Steve and Li sat up and looked in the direction of the door to see a scowling billionaire inventor. The Captain groaned and moved to carry his Major with him to the bedroom when, Tony, stopped them.

“Wait, the reason I actually came in here! Li, I need you."

“What? Tony no. I haven't seen her for a while!"

Tony sighed and had a private conversation with the Major who frowned more and more. After a minute, she turned around to face her romantic soulmate.

“Give me ten minutes, love, promise."

She looked so concerned that he couldn't help but give in to her. The Captain sighed and nodded.

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The Major came wandering back to her and her Captain's quarters an hour later. Steve was napping on the bed, so she crawled in next to him and buried her face in between his shoulder blades with a sigh. Now she understood how her boys felt when she constantly bottles things up. Li felt, Steve, stir and slowly turn around. She smiled slightly at his groggy, half open eyes.

“Look alive, sunshine."

Steve snorted and pulled her close to him, laying his head on her shoulder. As, Li, started stroking his hair, her thoughts turned back to her platonic soulmate. How could she make him understand that he was overworked and overly worried? He was going to give himself a heart attack and-!

“What's wrong, baby girl?"

Sometimes this soulmate bond thing really got on her nerves. She looked down into Steve's sleepy, but concerned eyes and sighed in exasperation.

“The usual. Tony was suffering in silence because we're too alike."

The worry line between Steve's eyebrows appeared. Li kissed it and laughed humorouslessly.

“My boy is under the ridiculous notion that one day I won't come back. Among other things that I don't think are my right to tell you about."

Li paused for a moment and the Captain raised an eyebrow.

“And I guess that, Davis, showing up in the middle of our conversation didn't help."

Steve stiffened and sat up. Li prepared herself for his questions and anger by answering them before he voiced them.

“Apparently, Pierce, let him go after he gave him some sob story about being mind controlled by, B. He came to the door of the Tower, I went down, he roughed me up a bit- it's already h-ow, Steve!"

He had poked her sternum, where her handler landed a pretty hard hit. Steve had murder in his eyes and she made some of her relaxation smoke in an effort to calm him down, but he wouldn't let her use it.

“Continue ya story an' stop lyin' t' me."

“Okay, okay, just quit poking me. He told me, Pierce, wants you and I to come in to meet with him tomorrow. I went back to, Tony, and had to spend an hour trying to convince him that mailing, Davis, to Cuba won't solve anything."

“Stark an' I finally agree on somethin'..."

“Steven-!"

The Captain pulled the Major down for a long kiss that derailed her train of thought until he let her go and got it back on track.

“Ya know the only reason I haven't gone t', Fury, or taken care of it m'self's 'cause ya don't want me t'. Now...is blue ya new favorite color yet?"

Li yelped in surprise as, Steve, smirked and laid down, pulling her down on top of him. She knew, Steve, was trying to be casual as she read his mind about how he wanted to celebrate, but disappoint was obvious on the man who never lies. She hugged him as tight as she could.

While she was relieved that he was safe from being bound to her for the rest of his shortened-if-HYDRA-ever-found-out-that-Captain-America-was-ReSpawn's-romantic-soul-mate-life, Li, want him looking so sad. He didn't deserve that.

“Why can't I see your eyes? Why can't you see anything? I thought it was supposed to be a mutual thing! Why can't I do anything right?!"

The Captain scowled and sat up, bringing her with him. She looked down in embarrassment, but, Steve, lifted her head up. There was nothing but love and acceptance in the cool grey color she's learned to care so deeply for.

Eventually, he kissed her, putting as much reassurance in it as he could. When they broke apart, he stroked her cheek with that same love struck expression.

“There ain't nothin' t' be sorry for, sweetheart. Can't force nature."

“Wonder boy, you are perfect," she whispered.

He scoffed and she nuzzled his nose. Steve kissed her again with more heat than before. They broke apart, breathing heavily with lust in their eyes. Steve smiled that smirk she always simultaneously wanted to punch and kiss. He moved to put her on her back, but she stopped him.

“Wait, I got something special for my soul mate."

The Major rolled off her confused Captain and went into the bathroom to change. Sure there were people HYDRA made her dress for in the past who paid for her...services. Most of the time she got away with making an illusion of herself for the perverted bastards, but anyway she had never done this voluntarily. Tony had assured her that, Steve, wouldn't be able to keep his hands off her, but that didn't stop the heat climbing up her face as she got into Steve's visual.

It wasn't anything special. She found a black leather bra and underwear set and found someone to sew red lace over it. She spiced it up further with black stockings held up with red garters, she did her make up on the smoky side of her palette, and her put her hair at maximum fluff. To finish it she put a present bow on herself.

She looked average at best and ridiculous in her opinion, but the way her Captain went to immediate attention made her feel like the sexiest person on the planet if only for a moment. She walked up to the edge of the bed and smiled in a way that she hoped resembled seduction while, Steve, continued to go over her with his two shades darker eyes.

“JARVIS, unless the world's ended, no one bothers me an' m' gal for the rest of the day," he ordered.

“Door is locked and message has been relayed,” the AI confirmed.

The blond smirked and grabbed the Major by her waist, pulling her back to their earlier position. Li laughed at his “dominance” and, Steve, nuzzled into her neck, sighing in great contentment.

“Happy birthday t' me, " he mumbled.

Chapter Text

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“What the hell's he doin' here?"

Steve couldn't believe, Davis, dared to show his face around them. It was bad enough that, Pierce, just let him go. The Major started tugging on his hand, but he refused to budge.

“Steve, it isn't worth it."

“But-."

“Love, please...."

The Captain looked down at his girl. She was looking at the lowlife that continues to torture her without penalty and the terror of that was clear in her eyes. Steve swore he never wanted to beat the crap out of someone so badly before, but he didn't want, Li, to be taken from him again. So he sat in fuming silence the entire debrief.

That is until the bastard started questioning the Major's competency as a commanding officer, heavily implying that her relationship with the Captain was clouding her judgement. Steve stood up with clenched fists on the table.

“Our personal lives have nothing-!" he began.

“Captain Rogers!" Major Jones reprimanded, “If you can't keep your emotions out of this, I will be forced to remove you! Now sit down."

Steve looked down at his commanding officer, she looked impassive, but he could feel her fraying nerves. He obeyed her order and felt relief flood her.

“Too bad you have to be civil. I would've loved a good fight, huh sister?"

She rubbed her eyes as she tried to hold back a laugh. The inappropriate behavior didn't go unnoticed by Davis. He leered at her, practically salivating to get his hands back on her. Steve frowned deeply and grabbed his girl's hand in a protectively possessive manner. 

That's how the entire debrief went, Steve and Li just having to take "subtle" abuse. The Captain was pretty impressed with how long he kept his cool, mostly because, Li, was in his head with her promises to put him back in ice. They were so close to making it home without incident until the douchebag was “relaying information" to the Major.

When he dismissed her it was with a butt grope and a remark about how he would teach her how to follow orders again like the nigger whore she needs to be reminded she is. Li in her embarrassment, disgust, and anger, walked right into a brick wall. That wall being Captain America, seething with rage.

“That's it," Steve growled.

She grabbed his arm and held him back. He rounded on her. In the back of his mind he knew she was right, but this was just-why was everyone fine with this? If, Fury, was at the meeting, he would've relieved, Davis, of duty on the spot, but, Pierce, didn't even bat an eye. 

Sweetheart-!"

“Steven, I do not, I repeat NOT need you to fight battles for me!" Li snapped, “I've taken care of myself this long I can do it now!"

“Li, refuse t' let some asshole treat m' best gal like that!" the Captain argued.

“Steven, don't make me-!"

“Hey, Rogers!" Davis sneered, “When you're done letting your bitch bust your balls, come over I-."

Steve didn't even know what happened. One minute he was arguing with, Li, the next she was separating him from a beaten unconscious Davis. After healing-she actually fully healed the bastard- she teleported them to the apartment and headed for her studio. Steve followed her, but she stopped him and slammed the door in his face.

“Li, I'm sorry! I jus' saw red an'-!"

She flung open the door, shaking with rage, fear, and fatigue. There were bruises that were once Davis' on her face and was slightly slumping in pain. She was barely healing which made him realize how late in the week it was. He swallowed the rest of his sentence and reached out for her, but she retreated back into the room.

“Don't touch me, Steven! I'm so pissed at you!" Li shouted out loud.

“Sweetheart, I-."

“I TOLD YOU NOT TO GET INVOLVED!" 

“WELL, WHEN SOME BASTARD THA' TORTURES M' SOUL MATE-WHICH YA WON' LET ME DO ANYTHIN' ABOUT-MAKES YA OUT T' LOOK LIKE SOME INCOMPETENT, HORMONE DRIVEN BIMBO SORRY IF IMA BIT UPSET!" the Captain screamed. 

They stood nose to nose glaring at each other for a few minutes. He knew he was wrong for letting, Davis, get to him so badly, but he's sick of it! He's sick of it all. Li glanced down at his clenched fists, sighed, and backed down.

“I don't have time for this," she grunted.

The Major tried to walk past him for the door, but the Captain wasn't done yet and grabbed her arm, causing her eyes to widen and fear to flash through them for the briefest moment before going back to anger. It made, Steve, soften in concern for a second, but then he continued.

“LI, WILL YA STOP RUNNIN' EVERY TIME THE CONVERSATION GETS HARD?!"

She yanked herself from his hand and went green for a couple seconds before stumbling a bit and flickering back to normal.

“I'M NOT RUNNING! THEY WANT ME AT A MEETING I'M ALREADY TEN MINUTES LATE FOR-SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT INVITED TO CAPTAIN. I'LL SEE IF I CAN MAYBE CONVINCE THEM THAT, DAVIS, GETTING BEATEN WAS MY FAULT NOT YOURS! I'LL SEE YOU TONIGHT."

She turned around and put her face in her hands, trying to calm down. Steve felt his anger give way to guilt.

“Sweetheart, I-."

“I SAID-!"

She rounded on him in white hot rage, but calmed down at the apologetic look in his eyes and thoughts in his head. The Major sighed, took his hands, and healed the bruised and split knuckles he was sporting. His injuries appeared on her and she lost some ability to focus her eyes. Steve wanted to say something, but thought better of it. Li turned to leave and closed their bond so he couldn't know what was happening at the meeting.

“I said tonight, love."


 

When, Li, came back later that evening, Steve, was in the kitchen setting up their little dinner table. He had went out a little after, Li, left and got some more of the decaf coffee and hot chocolate that she liked mixing together from their cafe and lasagna from the place next to it. They were going to be Steve and Li, not Captain America and ReSpawn tonight.

Li tried to sneak into the apartment as quietly as possible, but he still heard the quiet click of the front door closing. He walked out of the kitchen with a frown and flipped on the hallway light to reveal his girl leaning on the wall, trying not to put weight on her bad leg. His face softened in worry as he took in her appearance. The Major internally groaned and reopened their bond.

“Li-!"

“I'm perfectly fine, Steven."

“This is 'perfectly fine'?! Ya come home-did ya walk all the way here?! Why didn' ya tell me t' come pick ya up?! Ya come home beaten t' hell an' back, an'-see that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!"

Steve had reached to touch her and she flinched away as his hand slid over the deep cuts on her cheek and she almost passed out when he bumped her fractured ribs. He could feel his rage building as, Li, rolled her half-blind eyes and made her way into the bathroom, trying not to make her pain obvious. The Captain wasn't mad at her-never at her-but at the situation she was in. She never asked for any of this. She didn't ask to be born into HYDRA or to have her “enemies" as friends and soulmates, but she still continues to deal with it alone for his and the others' sakes.

His hand stopped her before she could even touch the hot water knob on the tub. The Major looked up in the direction of her Captain with a scowl. He gently guided her to sit down on the toilet seat and started running a bath. Steve finished, turned off the water, and faced his fuming soulmate. 

“Steve, I don't need-!"

He silenced her with a kiss filled with love and slightly thinning patience. When he pulled back, he lightly pecked the bruises on her face. The Major sighed shakily, faceplanted into his chest, and started crying. Steve just held her tight until she drained herself.

“I know ya don'. That's why I didn' ask. Now let me get ya out these clothes." 


 

An hour and a half later, Li, was cleaned up and sitting on their living room couch in pajamas. Steve smiled when his girl brightened slightly at the dinner he bought in from the kitchen. 

“I'm still mad, but I can call a truce for now."

The Captain blushed while handing over her food and sitting down to snuggle up next to her.

“I'm sorry for overreactin', baby. It's jus' I-I'm tired of seein'  ya hurtin' an' ya won' let me do anythin' about it! A-a fella should be protectin' his gal!"

Steve set his plate down on his lap and looked over at his soulmate. His appetite suddenly vanished. Li rolled her eyes and kissed the worry line between his eyebrows. He relaxed a bit. 

“Steven Grant, you protect me plenty. And I've told you before I've been in much, much worse shape..."

The Major sighed and looked down with the pain of memories all over her face. Steve took her hand and waited until she was ready.

“Like they left me in a tub of acid for an hour and then stuck me in a freezer for another two because I accidentally killed a guy when I was fifteen. I was trying to hone in my telepathy so the boss would stop kicking me to death every time I disappointed him. Turns out the guy was an important scientist in figuring out how to synthesize my mutations.  

Or the time they tested biological weapons on me for five years which now makes it harder or impossible for me to heal if I get injured badly enough.

Or the time they left me in the Sahara for a year that was fun.

Or when they were testing my time travel abilities and I landed in alley during the Depression where these two douches thought it would be fun to mess with me. I had used up all my power.

Some kid showed up. I don't know who he was because I was you know blind, but remember he was annoying with how he wouldn't leave me alone. Made me stay with him for a couple days, but he got drafted so I didn't get the chance to say goodbye." 

She laughed fondly at the memories and didn't realize, Steve, was staring wide eyed at her. There was no way...that was? The Captain shook his head and decided to keep his discovery to himself. He started and then smirked when, Li, pulled him down on top of her.

“Now come here...I wanna apologize for snapping at you."

“Hold on, I got a question for ya."

“What?"

“Ya- ya didn't think I was gonna take a swing at ya earlier, did ya?"

Li didn't answer, but her expression of embarrassment was all he needed to know. He sighed and sat up, bringing her with him.

“I won't never ever hurt ya, Li, got that?"

“I know you never would, Steve, but I've lived through enough tense situations of my own incompetence to always expect it."

“Ya shouldn't have t', sweetheart."

“Unfortunately, that's just the hand I've been dealt, Captain. I don't want to talk about it anymore."

Steve sighed again and agreed to let it go. Li thanked him while stroking his cheek. The Captain covered her hand with his before moving to pepper her face with kisses which made her start giggling.

“Rog-St-Steve! C-cut it out!"

Steve laid her down and started tickling her in every weak spot she had. Eventually, she flipped them, pinning him lightly to the bed. Steve smiled softly at her. He felt so many unexplainable things for this woman. Even close powerless she had so much fight in her.

“That's what I want t' see...m' best gal happy. Have I ever told ya how gorgeous ya are when ya smile?"

“You're such a sap, Rogers!"

“But I'm ya sap, Jones!"

With that he freed himself and pulled her in for a soft, unhurried kiss. Eventually, Steve let up, nudging her nose with his.

“I wanna make up this mornin' t' ya so badly, darlin'. Lemme take care of m' soul mate."

“Okay, okay...let me...make sure, (Y/N),...isn't-isn't home."

Li tried to speak, but, Steve, was kissing lower and lower. The supersoldier looked up at her, blushing.

“It's eight on a Friday, she ain' home t' hear us..."

Li raised an eyebrow at the Captain's words and he kissed her belly.

“Just make good on your promise, Rogers!"

“Yes, ma'am!"


 

Later on, the supercouple had just worn themselves out when there was a knock on the front door. Steve got up to answer it and, Li, wasn't too far behind him. Standing in the hallway was the resident of 503. The doctor shook her head, her dark eyes holding back laughter.

“I appreciate that I can only hear bits and pieces of your arguments, but could you guys not make up when I'm trying to enjoy my forced day off?"

Steve went bright red, stammering embarrassed apologies while, Li, smirked and, (Y/N), lost it.

“It's o-okay, Steve. I could tell you some stories about me and my soldier."

“Ooh, look at the time!" Steve joked, “We have to do a thing. That isn't listening to more of your stories."

The doctor rolled her eyes and started walking away when, Li, called her back. The doctor raised an eyebrow and opened her mouth when her eyes went green. Steve frowned down at his soulmate who was staring at (Y/N). After a minute, Li, blinked and slumped over, all of her power officially drained. (Y/N) shook her head and excused herself. The Captain carried his Major to their room while questioning what just happened.

“Li, what're ya messin' with in her head now?"

“As far as she knows our fight was about you getting me suspended for a week without pay after you nearly got arrested for a 'little talk with your principal, baby girl' to get him to treat me better."

Steve rolled his eyes. He hated lying to you seeing as you were one of his only true friends, but seeing as you worked directly with Li's handlers, the less you knew about the supercouple the better. He pulled, Li, in close, set his head on top of hers, and turned on the television as they snuggled in for the night. 

I don't know why ya chose t' be a fake teacher when the thought of child care terrifies ya."

Chapter Text

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“Sweetheart, are ya sure ya don't want t' go see Tony or Bruce or Cho or someone?"

“No! No, I-I'm-!"

The Major retched into the toilet while, Steve, rubbed her back. She was not fine. Li was the furthest thing from okay. Almost every morning (and the occasional afternoon) for the last month, she spent the first two hours of the day hugging the toilet. An all too possible explanation for her sickness hung with increasing thickness in the air between them, but neither of them wanted to admit that reality.

“You said you wanted to go to, Tones, about something today right? Go. I'll be fine!"

“But-!"

Li snapped her Captain away with a sigh and thumped the back of her head on the wall.

“Sister..."

“Don't even go there, D," she growled.

The Major put her head on her knees, fighting back another wave of nausea. She couldn't be...it was impossible as HYDRA always made sure to make her reproductive system useless whenever she told them she had to come back to li-!

“I never told them that I died to get control of you," she whispered.

“So you can get...how did you not think about that, Li?!"

“In my defense, I didn't plan on ever having sex with anyone at the time! Let alone with fucking Captain America nearly every ho--!"

“M'lady!"

Li looked up and around, too fast for her stomach as she buried her face in the toilet again. She felt a strong, warm hand on her shoulder and groaned.

“Is this a bad time?" Thor asked.

“Just a bit, pretty boy, what is it?!" she snapped.

“It's Loki-."

“I'm gonna have a heart attack and die from not surprise, Thor, what do you expect me to do?"

The Major turned to face the god of thunder with an irritated look, but softened at his expression of great worry. He'd grown up so much in an almost unfair amount of time since they first met all those years ago. 

“Please? You know what it is like to try to get through to your brother."

He had bent down and grabbed her hand so her telepathy could two way, begging for her help with his ocean blue puppy eyes. She rolled her eyes and tucked a stray piece of his long, golden hair behind his ear.

“Fine. I'll try whatever I can, but can it wait until tomorrow? I have something important I need to do today."

Thor broke into a wide smile and hugged his soul mate tight. Li sighed and hugged him back for a minute.

“Alright, you big teddy bear, I'll be there in the morning, ok-?"

A wave of nausea overtook her and she turned away from the god. He rubbed her back and whispered his gratitude before disappearing as suddenly as he came.

When she could safely move, the Major brushed her teeth and made her way over to the apartment next door. (Y/N) answered it in her pajamas.

“I'm sorry, I know that you just got home from work, but can you drive me to the drugstore? I'm not street safe and Steve's not home."

The doctor blinked while staring at the Major for a moment, her fatigued brain trying to process what she said. Finally, after an infuriatingly long time, she nodded.

“Just let me grabbed my keys," (Y/N) yawned.

“You plan on wearing shoes?" Li laughed.

“I barely plan on wearing pants."


One after another they all said the same thing. It didn't matter the brand or how long it sat out, those two pink lines didn't lie. Major Li Ashton Jones, codename ReSpawn, HYDRA's most feared weapon was carrying Captain America's child.

“Happy birthday to me," she mumbled.

“So are you going to tell him or am I?"

Li sighed, still staring at the last pregnancy test she took. Steve did have the sporadic dream of them with tiny ones, but there was a big difference between fantasy and the reality of raising children in this world.

The Major took a long shower, grabbed one of Steve's old plaid button down shirts, and looked over at the clock on the night stand on her Captain's side. He'll be hungry when he gets home.

“We-?"

“I'll tell him," she answered, “When I get back from Asguard though. He feels really happy right now, I don't want to ruin that."

Chapter Text

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Steve Rogers was a man on a mission. The most important one of his life. He was looking for Tony Stark, the one man that had known, Li, all his life. The man that is both over a century older and decades younger than she. The man that he wanted to ask for his blessing to turn Major Jones into Major Rogers. The inventor was found in his lab as usual, though, today he was in his Washington D.C. one.

“Tony, I-," Steve began.

“It was, Li! I told her not to set on fire, but she-!"

“Tony, Tony!" the Captain sighed, “What are you talking about?"

Iron Man shifted nervously under Captain America's gaze.

“What are you talking about?" Tony countered.

“Stark-! You know what? Whatever it is just fix it! I have a more important question."

Tony narrowed his eyes and picked up a particularly lethal looking tool while crossing his arms to look, Steve, dead in the eye.

“What is it?"

“I want to marry, Li, and I would like your blessing to do it."

The billionaire stared unreadable at, Steve, for a long time. The Captain didn't know what was so difficult about the question and was about to say as such when, Tony, finally answered.

“No."

Tony turned back to his work, but, Steve, grabbed his shoulder and turned him back in controlled confused rage.

“Why not, Stark?" he asked quietly.

“Because I don't like you. I think you're a self-righteous asshole who can't see in greys," Tony shrugged, “Therefore I don't want you with my mom. Good talk, Cap. Bye."

Tony shrugged off Steve's hand and turned back around again. Steve took a deep breath to compose himself, and started to walk out.

“So that's it? You're just gonna give up like that?"

Steve stopped and turned around to face, Tony, who was also trying to contain his anger.

“That's why I don't want you marrying her. I worked so hard to get to stop hating herself so much and the last thing I want is to see her ruined because she put all her trust in the wrong guy."

Tony got face to face with the Captain and, Steve, found a new respect for him.

“Tony-."

“I'm not done yet, Steve. You want my blessing? This is the speech that comes with it," Tony interjected.

The engineer closed his eyes and took a breath and, Steve, waited patiently for him to continue. Eventually, Tony, opened up again.

“You're the only person I know of that she has ever let fully into her life besides me and-and if you're just going to make her feel just as worthless as everyone else that she's ever met has at some point because you can't get off your high horse, then I won't-! I can't-!"

He stopped to reign in his emotions again, obviously fighting off a bad memory. After a minute, he opened his eyes.

“I love her, Steve, and I need to know that you do too. No matter what happens or you find out about her," Tony said firmly, “I need to know that she'll have someone in her corner when I can't be there anymore."

Tony looked the Captain dead in the eye while, Steve, was still trying to process that this was Tony Stark talking like this. This seriously, this sincerely.

“If you can't do that, Cap, then we have nothing more to say to each other."

Steve took a minute to let everything sink in. With the intensity Iron Man was glaring at him with right now, he wondered what kept Li and Tony from being romantic soulmates before he showed up. 

“I wasn't going to give up, Tony," Steve said, “I was gonna do it anyway."

Tony's face softened slightly as the blond continued. Steve smiled as he found his best girl was currently parading around the kitchen in one of his button up shirts dancing and cooking dinner while blasting some Panic! at the Disco song.

“I haven't looked at anyone else but her in two years, Tony, and I don't want to."

The Captain sighed and leaned on a table.

“There were so many times she could've given up and kicked me out. I was so angry and depressed, Tony. I pretended I was fine, but, honestly, I couldn't deal. But I refused to let anyone in. I couldn't trust anything around me! But, Li...Li wouldn't take no for an answer. Every time I slipped away she would follow and pull me back and I wanted to hate her for it. I did for the first couple months we lived together."

Steve shook his head and laughed at the memories of their stupid constant wars over anything and everything.

“I thought that she could never understand what I was going through, but the more we talked the more I realized how dead wrong I was. She never actually told me, but just with some of the things she let slip, I could tell that she didn't fit in here either.

Her words never were too sympathetic, but her eyes understood. I don't know how she did it, Stark, but every time all it took was one look from her and I didn't feel like I was alone. I didn't feel like 'a man out of time'. To this day I st-still need it to keep g-going sometimes."

The Captain started tearing up and had to take a minute to compose himself. He looked up at, Tony, but was really watching, Li, running around trying to save the kitchen from the sauce she just set aflame somehow. He rolled his eyes and told her to use the entire box of baking soda in the fridge. She did as she was told with a huff of relief.

“I knew that!"

“Yeah, that's why all the dish towels're in ashes."

“Shut up, Rogers."

“I love ya too, Li."

Tony cleared his throat and, Steve, said goodbye to his Major with a shake of his head. He felt so many unexplainable things for this woman. The Captain looked Iron Man right in the eyes and continued.

“Should I be ashamed of being with someone that was born and raised to represent everything I fight against? Probably.

Does she constantly piss me off and most of our conversations are just pointless bickering? Sure. But with her is the happiest I've ever been. She lit up the dark of my first year out of the ice, Tony, and every day since has been brighter and brighter. She's the moon and stars in my sky, she's my soul mate, she's my-well she's my Li." 

Steve looked down, blushing at his over confession of love and loyalty for his commanding officer. He looked back up when, Tony, started laughing. The dark haired man appeared to be back to his annoying, nonchalant self.

“Why are you still here? If you like it put a ring on it, Cap!"

“I still have to finish saving up to buy the ring so we still got a while," Steve sighed.

“What is SHIELD paying you in? 1940s money?!" Tony exclaimed, “Show me what you want. You'll have the cash in your account in couple hours."

“Tony, I can't-."

“Since, I will be funding the wedding whether you like it or not, yes you can."

The inventor turned back to his work and the Captain moved to leave, but then he remembered a question he wanted to ask.

“Did you say yes? Did you say you'd put her down if need be?" 

Iron Man stiffened and clenched his fists for a moment before sagging. He didn't look at, Steve, once.

“I made the mistake of saying no once and I almost lost her. I wasn't about to do it again," he grunted.

“What do you mean?"

Tony was silent for a long moment before gesturing at the Captain to sit down.


 

Steve still didn't know how to feel towards Tony. On one hand, it all happened almost a decade ago and obviously, Li, has forgiven him for the most part. But still he just let them take her...

When he walked into the kitchen that still smelled on fire he saw that, Li, was shaking her hips and using the wooden spoon as a makeshift microphone. It was the most content he had seen her in a long while so the Captain decided not to reopen old wounds right now.

“...I wanna know, why you got me going, so le-HEY!"

She exclaimed out loud as he wrapped his arms around her waist and she almost head butted him before she realized his presence. She always did get too into her music. The Captain just smirked, dodged and sang too.

...I think I'm ready t' leap. I'm ready t' live..."

Steve grabbed her hand and turned her around to face him. Li shook her head and laughed as he started swinging her around the floor as they both started singing the chorus.

I'm ready to go!..."

Chapter Text

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Early the next morning, the, thankfully nausea free, Major, was woken by a heavy hand on her shoulder. She grunted and snuggled into her Captain, but the hand wouldn't leave her alone. Li opened her dark brown eyes and met the ocean blue ones of the God of Thunder.

“Now?" she whispered.

“Yes, m'lady. The earlier the better."

Li groaned and told, Thor, to wait in the living room. When he left, she shook her Captain. His bright eyes slowly blinked open and the worry line between his eyebrows appeared along with slight irritation.

“What's wrong, baby? Did ya throw up in the bed again?"

“No! No, I'm going to Asguard, love."

That got Steve's attention. He sat up and the worry line deepened.

“What? Why?"

“Apparently, something to do with, Loki. Thor needs me to talk some sense into him for some reason." 

“What? No, Li! I don't want ya anywhere near that maniac!"

“Excuse you? Are you telling me what I'm not allowed to do?"

Major Jones stood up to glare down at her second in command and he glared right back. 

“Jones-!"

“That part of me is long gone, Captain. She won't interfere."

“It ain't ya I'm worried about, Major, I know ya can take care of yaself. It's him I'm worried about. I can't lose ya, sweetheart..."

Steve took her hands and kissed them. Li's face softened and she cupped his cheeks, stroking them briefly before leaning down to plant a long kiss between his eyebrows. How did she get so damn lucky to have him? It was almost unfair to everyone else.

“My love, don't I always come home?"

The Captain nodded and pulled her down for a goodbye kiss that quickly became more and more heated. Li broke apart when his hands started wandering up her shirt and he whined in protest.

“Jus' a quickie, darlin', please? We ain't had mornin' sex in three weeks an' I'm dyin' here..."

The Major gave him her most seductive smirk and slowly kissed him down to the waist band of his basketball shorts before stopping. He frowned and she sneered at him.

“Somehow a 'quickie' in the bedroom becomes two hours and we end up in the kitchen, so no."

Steve groaned as his own words were used against him and, Li, rolled off of him to get dressed. Thor could wait until she took a shower.

As she took off the shirt of Steve's that she uses as pyjamas so she could put on her robe, she heard the smallest of pleads from the bed. The Major rolled her eyes and laughed. 

“I think I'll need help getting all of me clean though, Stevie..."


 

“I see you and the Captain are still getting along?" Thor asked.

Li smirked, thinking about the thorough “cleaning", Steve, gave her that consisted mostly of her being fucked up the wall by Captain America for twenty minutes.

“Very well," the Major confirmed.

The god laughed and offered his arm to the superhuman as they made their way through the hallways of the palace. 

“As long as you are happy, m'lady, I am."

Li turned her head carefully, as she still wasn't used to being this fancy again.

She pinned down her wild hair into an elegant goddess braid and put on the long, golden, flowing fabrics of Asguard that even after twenty years, she couldn't bring herself to part with. It was much to Thor's delight and Steve's slight jealousy, but she just didn't want to draw attention to herself on the off chance that someone remembered her. She wished that she could stop the small levels of regret coming from her friend, though.

“Nothing bad that happened with us was your fault, Thor," the Major assured, “It was inevitable."

“I know, I know, but I still feel like I should have tried to reason with that side of you, before going to my father."

Li opened her mouth, but closed it again. Under the circumstances of why she was here, it was best if she kept her opinions of homicidal maniacs to herself. Instead she made up some of her blue relaxation smoke and, Thor, relaxed a bit, smiling down at her.

“We did miss you, Li. Loki missed you more than I thought he would..." the prince confessed.

“We barely talked to each other!" she exclaimed, “How-?"

Thor silenced her with a finger to her lips. They were at the door to room with Loki's holding cell. ReSpawn closed her eyes and put her mental feelers out to get a read on the God of Mischief. She picked up much pain and self hatred pouring out of him. 

“Thor, what aren't you telling me?" the Major asked.

He stared at her for a long moment before suddenly breaking down on her shoulder.

“We-we were attacked and our mother-she-she-!"

Li looked into his mind and saw the bloodshed that happened just the day before. Along with him and his family, sans, one, Loki, floating Queen Frigga's body down the river. The Major cupped his cheeks and locked eyes with him.

“I'm so sorry, teddy bear...," she apologized.

The god laughed weakly at the nickname before pulling himself back together. Li took her hands off his face.

“We cannot change the past," he said, “We can only...suck it up and carry on."

Thor smirked at his soul mate and she sighed and turned to go face the God of Mischief.

Chapter Text

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Steve got up off the couch to answer the door a couple hours after, Li, went out with, Thor. It was, (Y/N), and she barged barely holding back excitement.

“(Y/N), what-?" Steve began.

“How did you know, Li, was the one?" she asked, “Not soulmate wise, but in a 'I'd follow her forever' way."

The blond stopped and blinked for a moment. He had honestly never thought about when he fell in love with his girl, he just is. 

The Captain sat down on the couch and paused the show he was watching so he could think about how to string together his thoughts. Finally, he spoke.

“It's not something you know," he shrugged, “You feel it."

The doctor looked at him with skepticism and he ran a hand through his hair.

“If the thought of having to carry on without them is enough to make you feel like your heart's being ripped out you found them."

(Y/N) nodded carefully with a love sick expression on her face and, Steve, smirked.

“Who is it?"

She sighed fondly and sat down next to the supersoldier. Steve could tell she would be bright red if her skin was lighter.

“You know the solider at work that I've mentioned..."

Chapter Text

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Once again, Li, stood in front of a caged god of mischief. He was, as usual, smirking impassively at her, regal and composed in his usual black, green, and gold clothing, like he didn't have a care in the world.

“Sergeant Li, to what do I owe the pleasure?"

“It's Major Jones now to you if you haven't noticed. You lost your first name basis privileges," Li growled.

“Oh, is it not Rogers yet?" Loki mocked, “Dear me, by now one would've hoped that the Captain would stop waiting so long, especially with...well you know."

He looked down at Li's stomach and she instinctively shielded it. Loki's leering increased.

“You have told him, right?"

“This isn't about me, Loki, I'm here for you!" the Major exclaimed, “And if we're going to talk..."

Li snapped her fingers and teleported into the god's cage. ReSpawn snapped her fingers again and made all his illusions disappear. Loki was surprised for a moment before looking away. 

“It's going to be to be without lies or tricks."

The Major surveyed the cell. Everything in it was destroyed and the proud god was sitting against the wall. His long, wavy black hair was a mess, he looked impossibly pale, and he obviously hadn't slept or bathed in days by the wrinkle of his clothes and the bags of his eyes. Li bent down to put her hand on his cut foot and healed it. They weren't friends anymore if they ever truly were since she was attached to, Thor, at the hip most days when she lived here, but she still felt bad for him. Hurting and being hurt were still the aspects that bonded them.

“I'm-," the Major began.

“Do not," Loki interjected.

“-getting you out of here once we talk about a few things," she finished, “I won't insult you by apologizing."

Loki gave her a look that she remembered him giving her many times before. It was one mixed with equal parts suspicion and genuine gratitude. She didn't it understand now anymore than she did forty years ago. The god seemed to sense that and sighed.

“What do you want?"

“I came to talk some sense into you apparently, but I know from experience that you can only help those who want to help themselves."

“I don't need another lecture, Jones," Loki said with false calm.

“Well, good cause I wasn't gonna give one! I'm only here-what is it, D?"

She felt her brother scratching around for control inside their head and scowled.

“Let me talk to him."

“What? No!" she exclaimed.

“Am I not the brother who needed to come to his senses?"

Li sighed and traced the patterns of the Frost Giants' skin he hides, but she knows is there on his foot.

“I never thought I'd see your soft spot again, bro," she said finally.

“Don't get used to it."

“I keep control of the body and am also listening in though, got it?"

“Sure. Whatever."

Li closed her eyes and let her brother's mind become physical while hers floated into darkness. 

“Just go along with it idiot! Do you really want to risk rotting in here? Look at yourself! Some god!" Daemon started.

“Bold words from someone imprisoned in his sister's body!"

Daemon went silent, trying to keep himself snapping. Li could honestly say she felt terrible for her little brother, even though he put himself in this situation. She hated floating around in this nothingness when he takes what control she can comfortably allow. The Major could only imagine what it must be like to be like this 24/7. No wonder he became a little unhinged. Finally, Daemon, spoke.

“I came to terms with my situation a long time ago, Laufeyson," DeSpawn said in a calm voice, “Am I happy? Of course not, but people like me and you don't get happily ever afters. We don't get what my sister and, Thor, have. But at least I'm dealing with it."

Daemon didn't even let the god take a breath before cutting him off.

“And what are you thinking?! All you wanted was to be treated as Thor's equal yes? You know who always thought of you as such even if his words and actions around his friends suggested otherwise?

You need to get your head out of your ass. He's still your brother, if not by blood then by the shared experiences of growing up together. You need to start remembering that."

Daemon stopped talking again. Loki opened his mouth but then closed it and looked down.

“Where is Thor? He's the one that sent you here, is he not?" he grunted.

“Thor's-," Dameon began.

“Right here."

The god of thunder entered their field of vision, his maroon cloak whipping a bit behind him as he came through the cell door. Daemon, quickly let, Li, take back full control. She scowled at him for interrupting.

“Thor-!"

“There is no more time, I have to put this plan in action now."

“Plan? What plan?" Li exclaimed.

Thor ignored his soul mate in favor of his brother, who was eyeing him suspiciously.

“Help me to escape Asguard and I will give you the vengeance we both seek."

There was a beat of silence and the Major was bewildered by why, Thor, wanted her here if he was going to do all the talking. The raven haired man spoke again.

“You must be truly desperate to come to me for help," Loki laughed, “What makes you think you can trust me?"

“I don't. Mother did."

Li felt the room go colder as Loki's smirk was replaced with great guilt in his eyes. Thor looked down at him with a tired look.

“Know that-."

“I already got the lecture."

“-if you betray me, I will kill you."

Li looked up into her friend's deeply troubled ocean eyes. It was an empty threat she knew-right? If, Loki, was affected by his brother's words, he didn't let on.

“When do we start?" he asked.

“WAIT JUST A DAMN MINUTE!"

ReSpawn looked between the brothers as they looked at her in shock. She rarely got angry at them so when she raises her voice, it puts the fear of Odin in them.

“Why am I here? Really?"

Thor moved to leave with, Loki, in tow, but she paralyzed him and Loki to read his mind. The Major saw his plans about Jane and the Aether and saving everyone- at ReSpawn's expense. Li let him go and her eyes went silver. He looked honestly scared, but unashamed of his actions. She talked telepathically so, Steve, couldn't eavesdrop through their bond.

“So just because I'm immortal means that I'll just die willing?! You don't know how that stuff will mess with me!"

“I cannot just stand here and let my people nor my Jane die, Li! It is my duty to protect them!"

The Major glared at him for a long time. His blue eyes were pleading, but he stood tall and solid, ready to adjust his plan if need be. Li sighed.

Was he thinking rationally? No. But when have either of them ever when it comes to protecting the ones they love? The Major threw her hands in the air.

“Fine, fine! You big teddy bear! I'll do it."

Thor gave what to anyone else, a bone crushing hug, burying his face in her shoulder. She felt her romantic soul mate bristle a bit and had to bite back a giggle. Thor let up and kissed her hand. She actually did laugh at the feel of his facial hair on her skin. She got so used to Steve's clean shaven face that she forgot what Thor's golden whiskers felt like. Steve growled a bit at her thoughts.

Thank you...my almost queen," Thor said.

“I fucking hate you my soon to be king."

“Alright, hands off!"

“Steve-!"

“Li-!"

“Do not worry Brother Steven, my intentions towards your mate are pure."

“Thor-!"

“Can you let me go now?" Loki grunted.

Chapter Text

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Steve was restless to say the least. While a week had gone by in his time, barely four hours have passed in Li's. The Captain had exhausted every possible way to distract himself from his girl's adventures with her ex-boyfriend when, Tony, called.

“It's here."

Steve rushed to Tony's local lab. There for him was the small black box he waited what seemed like years for. He opened it and went misty eyed, thinking about finally getting down on one knee and putting it on Li's finger. Let HYDRA come for it he'll take out every one of them. 

“It's great, Tony, thank you!"

“Only the best for my girl."

“My girl, Stark. She's gonna marry me, remember?"

“You're about forty years too late, but I guess you can have her since you want to make it all official with paper work and stuff."

Captain America looked deadpan at Iron Man. The dark haired man was wearing his usual smirk, but his dark eyes held an amount of “suck it up and carry on" that couldn't be hidden.

“If you love her so much, why aren't you and Li romantic soulmates? You knew, Li, for decades before you 'met' Pepper. "

Tony's smile faded a bit and he looked down. Steve was immediately sorry he asked, but, Tony, elaborated anyway.

“Li's my only one actually."

“You and Pepper aren't-?"

“Nah, Pep's one of the lucky few born seeing every color. She's literally the complete package. Me on the other hand, I was lucky to meet my one and only early. For forty years, it's been Li and I against the world."

Tony sighed and shook his head. Steve didn't know whether he needed comfort or to be left alone so he stayed still.

“I didn't want risk ruining what I rebuilt with her so I waited. But I waited too long, you were found, and well the rest is history."

The inventor shrugged and spun back and forth in his chair with his foot a bit.

“I have, Pep, and she's the closest to happily ever after I've gotten or will ever get, but..I know it's a dick thing to say..."

“You still want, Li."

“But she fell for you so I backed off and got used to being Mr. Almost."

Tony laughed weakly at his reference and turned back to the invention he was working on when, Steve, came in. The Captain didn't know what to say. It's not like he planned on falling for his Major or that he was trying to take her from her first soul mate.

“Don't you have buy baby clothes or something, Cap?"

“We're no where near ready to have kids, Tony."

“What?"

Tony stared hard at the Captain and, Steve, could feel him scratching around in his head. Finally, Tony, doubled over in laugher and got up to put away some of his tools that needed proper storing.

“Where are you going?"

“To soundproof your floor."

Chapter Text

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“This is so unlike you two! Are you sure you wouldn't rather punch your way out?"

“We just might if you keep talking," Li and Thor muttered.

Loki smirked wider and the Major pulled on the God of Thunder's hand to speed him up. 

The trio hurried through the vast hallways of the palace, but to an outsider it looked like only Thor and Loki. ReSpawn opted to make herself invisible so, Thor, wouldn't be caught sneaking out two supposed to be prisoners. The God of Mischief always needed to complicate matters, however.

“Well, we could at least look less conspicuous," Loki sneered, “Have the guards think we are an innocent couple sharing each other's company?"

Suddenly, Li, reappeared and, Thor, went invisible. The Major was dressed, not in her flashy golden dress from earlier, but a simpler and strangely familiar dark green one. Loki wrapped an arm around her black ribboned waist and brought her in close.

“My dear, you look as ravishing as ever..."

Li groaned in disgust until she caught the sad look in his eyes. He covered it up as quickly as possible though and let go of her.

“Or maybe you would prefer one of your new friends since you love them so much?"

Loki morphed into Captain America and leered at the Major. She rolled her eyes and sped up again. Now she remembered why she never talked to h-why was she smiling?

“Of course, he would get a reaction..." Loki mumbled to himself.

Li felt him come up next to her, walking backwards while, Thor, told them to shut up from behind. Loki looked down at himself with a chuckle.

“The suit is a bit much...and tight, but I can see why you like him...trustworthy and honest. He is everything you wish you could be! Why I can feel the patriotic righteousness surging through me!"

The god turned himself back to normal and put his arm back around the Major. She slowly turned green with her building rage. He could always see right through her! Loki seemed unfazed by her mood change and continued to make another pass at her. She was glad she decided to block, Steve, out.

“You were always perfect to me t-."

Loki, was cut off by, Thor, covering his mouth and both he and, Li, were slammed to the wall. After a second, the God of Thunder nodded to his left with a “see what I mean" expression on his face. The mischief maker and superhuman saw two guards go past, and, Thor, let go of his brother with a smirk, but kept skin contact with his soul mate. Li pouted at her lack of attention.

“You always did let him distract you, m'lady."

“Shut-wait did I really? I never remember talking to him, but I feel like...."

“You two were joined at the hip. Always off in the gardens doing magic somewhere."

“No, you and I were always off picking a fight with  something...right?"

“On occasion, but mostly it was...you know the more I try to remember...the more I forget your time here."

“Same, teddy bear...almost like-."

“Are you two quite finished? We do have a plan to attend to," Loki cut in.

Li turned to face the trickster. Loki appeared nonchalant, but the tears he was holding back were real. Li unconsciously reached out to comfort him, but snapped back at the last moment. Loki looked more defeated then ever and, Thor, cleared his throat to cover the awkward moment.

“Sif, should have gotten-oh here they come now." 

Two long haired brunettes, one taller and gold armored, the other much shorter and dressed in a simple green gown, came walking up to the group. Jane moved faster upon seeing her boyfriend and his brother. Of course, the first thing, Loki, did was put his foot in his mouth.

“Hi, I am-."

Jane stopped him with a hook to the face. Everyone including, Li, was very amused, but, Loki, looked ready to kill. Li, groaned and grabbed his hand, making some of her blue relaxation smoke. As hot a look murder was on him, they needed to all get along for more than five seconds. Loki glanced at the Major in the corner of his eye before returning back to, Jane, with his usual smirk.

“I like her," he said simply.

“That's great, pretty boy," Li snapped, “But let's get out of here before I have my kid, okay?"

Thor stopped smiling proudly at his future queen and looked up at the Major with panicked eyes. He grabbed her hand hard.

“What? You didn't tell me you were-!"

“It's not important, Thor! It's not even a baby yet!"

“Does the Captain know?"

“I-well, he-."

“I do not have time for your lies, Li! Does your mate know he's a father or not?!"

“No. I-I was going to tell him after this, but there might not be anything to tell now."

Li looked away, but could still feel his eyes burning holes in her head. This was a choice between a living breathing beings and a bundle of cells in her stomach, of course she was going to choose the former! And what, Steve, doesn't know won't hurt him...right? 

“Father was right, you and, Loki, deserve each other."

Thor let go of her hand and turned away with a whip of his cape. 

“Let us go. Lady Sif said she would keep the guards at bay," the prince ordered, “Li, you stay with he-."

“Go fuck yourself, Thor."

ReSpawn stood tall in the heat of the god's rage as he faced her again with a deep frown. Maybe, just maybe he had a point. Maybe she should be taking, Steve, into consideration here, but she knew in her heart of hearts, he would grudgingly tell her to be doing what she was. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and all that bullshit.

“Li-!" Thor began.

“I'm not asking your permission and I'm sure as hell not going to beg for your forgiveness afterwards. Don't talk to me for another twenty years, I don't care, it's your soul that's gonna hurt not mine. But you dragged me here, I'm doing this. Let's go, Lokitty."

Major Jones turned and walked out the palace with the God of Mischief in hand. The others weren't too far behind.

“Oh, dear," Loki laughed, “History really does repeat itself."

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“Captain Rogers, please have a seat."

Pierce gestured to the couch in the middle of his office and, Steve, took the offer. Pierce smiled and sat down in the chair opposite of him. 

“Let's just get to the point of this, if you don't mind, Captain?" he asked.

“Sure."

Pierce nodded his thanks and stood up to pace the room. Steve looked at him with suspicion that he hoped wasn't obvious. The Captain was enjoying a day to himself. His anxiety over, Li, was as low as he could get it and the neighborhood was quiet. So, of course, it had to be ruined in some way. So here he was in Pierce's office.

Steve knew that, Fury, trusted this guy as much as someone like the Director can, but ever since the Captain tried to talk to him about Li's breakdown last year, something about, Pierce, rubbed him the wrong way.

“I'm sure, Nick, already gave you the 'I like her, but I don't trust her' lecture about Major Jones?"

“Yes," Steve answered, “He did."

“Good, no need to waste time with that then," Pierce said, “The only thing I need from you is why."

Steve had to stop and blink for a moment. Why would, Pierce, be concerned with why Steve's with his girl? Almost as if he read the Captain's thoughts, Pierce, put up his hands with a submissive expression.

“I'm assuming you know what Major Jones is. A known member of HYDRA in our organization-."

“Ex-member," Steve growled.

Pierce stopped walking around and raised an eyebrow at the Captain. Steve glared back.

“Ex-member?" Pierce scoffed, “Is that what she told you."

Steve didn't answer. He didn't trust this guy as far as he could throw him. Why? He couldn't put his finger on, but he decided that feigning some ignorance about his soon to be fiancee would be the best move right now. Pierce sat on the arm of his chair.

“Captain Rogers, as a friend who's been in this business for a long time, I feel...an obligation to help you here. You should leave her."

Pierce went straight faced as the supersoldier tensed every muscle in his body, trying to keep a cool head.

“People like her can't change. I've seen her in action for a long time and let me tell you a bit about your...girlfriend.

She's extremely narcissistic, manipulative. If you don't give her an answer she likes, she kills you, plain and simple. All that is wrapped up in a seemingly victimized little girl. She's lying to you Captain."

Pierce shook his head sympathetically while, Steve, was turning redder and redder with anger in his girl's defense. 

“People like her, unfortunately, there is no help for them. I don't know what her play is with pretending to love anyone but herself, but I'm telling you, Captain, you want no part of it. Leave her. She isn't worth your reputation or life."

Pierce looked expectantly at the Captain. Steve stared at the floor, debating the pros and cons of causing a scene, defending his girl, but with great self control, he held it together. Finally, he looked up at the former Secretary of Defense.

“You're right. She is all those things. She is very closed off, selfish, and bitter because for decades whenever she showed even an ounce of of sympathy, people would see it as weakness and try to harden that part of her.

Is she manipulative? Cunning? Unremorseful? Of course! How else would she fool people into thinking that she's okay? That inside she's a scar away from falling apart?

I can count on one hand that she has apologized for the way she is and you know what I've accepted that because I know she has been and could be so much worse."

Steve took a deep breath to keep his voice level. He was so sick of people painting the love of his life as a monster, pretending to know who she is when they never tried to even consider that her entire life is the reason she can't be “normal". Aren't people like her supposed to be the ones who need love most? Pierce raised an eyebrow again.

“Since when have you been on the side of bullies, Captain?" he asked.

“SHE AIN'T A BULLY! She's tried to be better! I've watched her try for almost three years, but there's just some damage that can't heal. There's somethings about a person that they can't change no matter how much they want to.

Is it unfortunate? Frustrating? Heartbreaking?  Of course it is! It hurts so much to watch her pretend that she doesn't wish she died in her sleep or watch her silently suffering on her bad days! But I'm not leaving her just because someone else hasn't apologized for breaking her! I'm not leaving her just because she can't just 'get over it'!

She's never left me despite everything you've said about her, so why should I be doing any less for her?"

Steve stood up abruptly and headed for the door.

“If you'll excuse me, I have to get home to my wife."

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“Jane, Jane I need you to stay still for me okay?" Li asked, “I'm gonna help you."

Li, Thor, Loki, and Jane narrowly (and hilariously) avoided death by Malekith and his army by flying off (meaning, Thor, crashed into everything) with one of his ships. Currently, they were flying on a small boat of Asgard's to the dark elf's realm.

Jane went down during the get away because the aether started to become active again, so as soon as it was safe, Li, sat down to take care of her side of the plan.

“H-how?" Jane groaned.

“I have healing powers. I heal your wounds-."

“By making them her own!" Thor shouted.

Li stiffened and scowled up at the god of thunder. He was leaning on the edge on the other side of his girlfriend fuming, but when the Major looked up at him he grabbed her hand, stood her up, and pulled her closer.

“Thor-!"

“You are with child, Li!"

“Yeah and not yours, like it would've ever would've been! The only reason you ever gave me the time of day was because, Loki, liked me! Or are your false memories still clouding your brain?"

“Li-."

“One battle together almost two years ago doesn't erase the years you spent treating me like shit because, I, a lowly Midguardian, am your soul mate. Don't pretend that you gave a shit when I disappeared!"

“I DID! FOR TWENTY YEARS, I WATCHED OVER YOU THROUGH HEMDIALL'S EYES JUST AS I DO, JANE!"

Thor looked down, trying not to make the unshed tears of guilt and worry over his entire situation apparent. Li softened a bit, she didn't want him crying...Finally, he spoke again.

“I was-we were all-just children. All I knew was approval from my father and my bond to you, especially after that spell made you go mad, took that at the time. I didn't know what to do."

Li turned up a corner of her mouth in a small smile as she cupped Thor's cheek and raised his head up. If there's anything Steve's taught her it's how to practice what she preaches and let go of the past.

“Well-well we're not children anymore. You no longer seek the Allfather's approval and I don't care what you think of me. Now let me help your Jane. She's only mortal. A strong one, but mortal nonetheless."

Thor in agreement when there was a noise of disbelief from the other side. Li sighed at the jealous rage flowing through the God of Mischief's mind. 

“You ruined her. She was perfect and you and your friends got into her head," Loki growled.

“No, brother. She grew up, she learned better, she moved on. Something we both need to do," Thor sighed.

He let go of her and she nodded her thanks before sitting down and putting her hands back on the astrophysicist, and started.

At first, everything seemed fine just, slowly turning the aether's energy into her own, just like she does with the tesseract.

“What does it matter, brother? She's mortal!" Loki asked, “Now, a hundred years? She's going to die sooner rather than later."

“The only woman's love you ever treasured..."

“Loki, your taunting isn't all distracting!" Li snapped.

“No, Li, let him speak."

Thor confronted his brother yet again. Li rolled her eyes and kicked herself for breaking her glove during their escape so she can't calm them down.

“Yes, I know she will die at some point. Will you be satisfied then?"

“Satisfaction is not in my nature," Loki scoffed.

“Boys, please!" Li shouted.

Loki turned his attention on, Li, and she shivered. She never did get used to the chill of his anger.

“Please, what, Major?" he asked, “You let yourself grow weak-!"

“No, Loki, she earned trust!" Thor boomed, “Something I wish I could extend to you!"

Li cursed and kept trying to concentrate on, Jane. The scientist appeared to be getting some color back in her and she smiled gratefully at her savior.

“Trust..." Loki scoffed, “I trusted you to protect mother! Had I not been in that cell-!"

“And who put you there?! Who put you there?!"

“You di-!"

Li felt a shift in the way the aether was flowing into her and by the way Jane's expression turned into heavy concern, she did too. It didn't feel like she was hitting her full charge wall, no it felt like the substance was rejecting her.

“Sister, I don't feel right..."

“I wonder why?" Li mumbled.

“No, no, really I feel like-."

“D? D?!" Li shouted, “Daemon answer me damn it!"

“Father tried to show you how you would lose everything with your actions by making us think, Li, was with me, but-! Wait! No, no mother would not want us fighting over the past..."

“She would not be shocked th-."

“BOYS, SHUT-!"

Suddenly, the aether flowed in all at once. Not just to her, but, Daemon, too. It forcefully separated them and then everything went red. All around the Major and her brother was red and black rivers of some unidentified liquid.

Li felt like she was floating and exploding. Her body felt like it was growing and shrinking simultaneously, there was so much power going through her! And then she, and only she, hit ground. Hard. When had they land-?

ReSpawn grabbed her head in excruciating pain, hearing voices of what she thought she had control over, of a life she gave up four months ago, of that all too familiar itch to kill...

“Sister-!"

“Sweetheart!"

Li opened her eyes to meet the cool grey of her romantic soul mate's. Her brow furrowed in confusion as she was surrounded by the dull browns and greens of “the Dark World".

“Steve, what-how?"

“I dunno, but I need you to calm down, baby girl, okay? You have control not her, sweetheart."

Li nodded her understanding and let everything in her mind melt away except her Captain. He smiled softly and planted a kiss on her temple before moving to ghost over her lips. Li closed her eyes and met him the rest of the way. Steve groaned and put a hand on the back of her head to push her in closer.

“My pet, you were holding back on me..."

Li opened her eyes to see the sharp green of Loki's with a surprised yelp and jumped back. He waved while the Major fought off the urge to rip his brain stem out cell by cell.

“Loki?!" Li shrieked, “You-!"

“It worked,  did it not? Now-."

“Shut up! The only reason I'm not telling, Steve, about this is because I don't feel like the lecture! Thor get over here!"

The golden haired god came over and smiled nervously at the Major, hoping that she forgave him for not telling his brother to back off. ReSpawn smiled sweetly back and raised her hand to slap him with all the force she could muster and got, Loki, on the back swing. 

“Thor, I know you became a pig over time, but I still expected more!"she scolded, “And, Loki, if you ever touch me again, I'm going to burden your ass with the glorious purpose of my foot!"

“Duly noted, my dear."

“Guys, as much as I enjoy watching, Loki, in pain, we got a situation remember?" Jane reasoned, “Aether, Malekith, world ending?"

“Sounds like business as usual."

“Shut up, Daemon!" Li shouted, ““Everyone just shut up! Fuck..."

ReSpawn's vision started going between red and normal as her headache started up again. She felt a strong pair of hands on her forearms, slightly shaking her. It was so annoying, maybe she should blast th-no!

“STOP! STOP TOUCHING ME!"

Thor immediately let go of her like he was burned and moved to back up, but, Li, quickly grabbed his hand.

“I'm sorry, teddy bear. I'm trying to control the overload. A-at least I think it's overload...it's like scepter just ten times worse."

“I understand, m'lady. Do you think you will be able to finish the battle here?"

“Does, Loki, need to lighten up on the hair care products?"

Thor let out a deep booming laugh and kissed, Li, on her forehead. She giggled at the feel of his beard again and there was the sound of someone clearing their throat from behind. 

“Okay, Thunder Boy time to focus."


“This plan of yours is going to get us killed," Loki grunted, “Well, except the Major of course."

Li, Thor, and Jane gave a dirty glare. They were standing at the edge of a small cliff, about to put their acting skills to the best use possible. Thor undid his brother's cuffs and handed over a dagger. Loki chuckled next to Li.

“Still don't trust me?"

“Would you?" Thor asked.

Loki shrugged slightly and moved into position. Li and Jane took theirs. Every one took a deep breath and, Loki, stabbed his brother, starting step one.

“No, I would not," he growled.

Loki threw, Thor, off the edge while, Jane, looked convincingly distraught and, ReSpawn, followed the princes to “help" the God of Thunder.

“Did you really think I cared about, Frigga? About any of you?!" Loki mocked, while kicking around his brother and back handed the Major , “All I ever wanted was yours and Odin's head at my feet!"

Li sighed as the God of Mischief "cut off" Thor's hand when he went for his hammer. Why did she always fall for the dramatic ones? Loki picked her up by the waist, pointed at the dark elf, and suppressed a shudder of disgust at his next words.

“I am, Loki, of Jotunheim! And I brought you a gift!" 

He threw, Li, at Malekith's feet as gently as he could, but hard enough for this whole thing to still be believable.

“All I ask is for a good seat from which to watch Asguard burn," Loki finished.

Malekith came forward and the Major looked up at the pale white figure with some honest fear. This was a being that slaughtered his entire species in some now pointless battle. The guy was insane, which is saying a lot coming from her. He held his hand up and began to suck his weapon out of her, along with-

“Sister, sister! He's taking me not-!"

Daemon landed with a thump next to, Li.

“-the aether..."

“What witchcraft is this now?!" Malekith shouted.

He frowned down at, DeSpawn, in a great rage. Daemon stood up and glared back with the same heat, a faint black light dancing on his edge. Li tried to stand up with him, but she suddenly felt weak. Not the weakness that usually happens when she and her brother separate-strangely enough she wasn't feeling anything at all from that-but a fainting weak.

“D-D...."

“It's bonded to us! I- Li? Sist-!"

Chapter Text

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“You going through a midlife crisis or something, Cap? What's with the beard?" Clint asked.

“Oh no bird brain," Tony smirked, “That's his 'I'm getting laid for next two months straight' beard."

Steve rolled his eyes and blushed as, Clint, smirked into the coffee pot he was using as a mug. He got up to get some breakfast for fueling up before his run. The Captain thought he would be able to avoid everyone and their taunting questions until he ditched his new facial hair.

He did a good job of it for a month his time, but about a day in Li's. Of course, it had to end eventually because he ran out of food in his level of the Tower. Steve ignored the inventor.

“When she comes home, I'm going to finally ask, Li, to marry me."

“Which she will," Tony interjected.

“And..." Steve smiled, “She loves it when I have a beard so there we go."


 

“JARVIS? Where's Tony?" Steve panted a bit.

He had come back to the Tower after his run to find it devoid of one Iron Man. Since the engineer rarely moved from the lab on Saturdays or any given day, honestly, he was concerned.

“Miss Jones fell ill while in Asguard. Prince Odinson brought her here two hours ago," the AI answered, “Master Stark has since escorted her to SHIELD's private hospital."

Steve dropped the food he had bought home and ran down to the garage. He hopped on his motorcycle, all the while calling Tony. If Li Ashton Jones had to receive actual medical attention something was very wrong. It kept going to voicemail. 


 

“Hi, I'm Steve Rogers and I'm here to see-."

“Oh yes, I know who you are!" the front desk nurse exclaimed, “Your wife's fine! She's better than fine! Come on!"

The man smiled wide and he took him to Li's room immediately. Steve paled when he realized why the nurse was calling the Major his wife. She was going to kill him.

“I had no idea Captain America was married!" he shouted.

“We were trying to keep it secret..." Steve mumbled.

“Well, Davis, told everyone after he heard it from Mr. Pierce apparently!"

He pushed, Steve, into his girl's room where she lie on the bed and a doctor was going over her stomach with some device and looking at a screen.

“I found Daddy!" the nurse exclaimed.

The Captain froze and stopped breathing. D-Daddy? The doctor looked away from the monitor and up at, Steve, beaming.

“Congratulations, Captain!" she smiled, “In about five months, you and Major Rogers are having twins!"

Steve felt his knees go weak and his vision swim. He looked over at Li. Him? Li? Twins? What...

The Major looked up at the Captain, her dark eyes filled with death wishes toward him, as, Tony, came up behind him with a cup of coffee.

“You two owe me a new couch," Tony smirked.

Only fucking, Stark, would do the math to make a point. Steve looked at the inventor and blinked once. Then the world went black.

Chapter Text

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“Oh, Tony, what am I going to do?! What are Steve and I gonna do?!"

Li groaned loudly into her platonic soulmate's chest and he put his arm around her. Steve had fainted when he heard he was going to be a father of twins and has yet to regain consciousness so, Tony, offered up the Tower and his comfort.

Li banged her head on Tony's chest, ignoring the pain of hitting the reactor in the dead center of it. How could she have been so stupid?

“I-I don't want to ruin his chance at having a family, but I can't bring children into my world! What if HYDRA finds out? What if they're immortal? What if they have my-my..?"

She pounded on the side of her head to indicate her...other personality. Tony put his hands on her shoulders and sat her up. Li hid her face in shame, so the inventor hooked his finger under her chin and lifted it.

“For one moment, forget about what, Steve, wants. Forget about HYDRA, forget about your other halves. What do you want, princess?"

The Major was silent for a few minutes. She just stared into the familiar comfort of her soulmate's dark brown eyes. Finally, she took a deep breath.

“I want to have them. They may be partly me, but they're also, Steve, too and we need more of, Steve, in the world."

Tony grunted something that sounded like “debatable" and gave, Li, a long hug. She sighed into his shoulder.

“You haven't called me that in a while, Tones. What did you do?"

“I can't call you 'princess' without-I told everyone Captain America knocked up his commanding officer."

“Anthony Edward! I-!"

That's when the calm and collected tactician that is the world's first supersoldier came stumbling into the living room of her and Steve's level of the Tower. Li jumped out of Tony's arms to go steady the blond. He looked at her in a daze.

“W-what happened?"

“I'm pregnant-hey there, at ease, solider!"

Steve had slumped over again, but, Li, held him up, looking right into his panicked eyes.

“Someone's got to be the level headed one in this family, Steve, and right now that looks like it's falling on, Tony."

“Not a chance in hell, sweetcheeks. I already called crazy uncle."

“Tony, could you please leave for a moment? I need to talk to the sperm donor."

“But-!"

“Now, Anthony!"

Tony grumbled all the way out the door. Li rolled her eyes at her man child and turned her attention back to her romantic soulmate, guiding him to the couch.

“What're we gonna do, Li? Can we honestly raise two at once int' all this? Is that fair t' 'em?"

“I've already made my decision, love. What do you want to do?"

Li blocked him out so his choice wouldn't be tainted by hers. After a minute, Steve, took her hands and answered.

“I want 'em, sweetheart. Anythin' that has ya involved'll always be somethin' I want."

Li sighed fondly and stroked his hand with her thumb, reopening their bond so he could know her similar decision. He smiled wide and kissed her temple. 

“So what now?"

He looked so relieved that every thing, for the most part, worked out and-whoa when did? Li smirked and ran her hands over his beard. He smirked right back. They could use a little stress relief. 

“Is this for me, Captain?"

“Yeah...I remembered how much ya loved it."

“Oh, you spoil me, Steven."

“That's the plan, darlin'-."

Suddenly, they were covered in confetti and the other Avengers came out of nowhere with their congratulations on the new additions to the team. Steve sighed and thanked everyone. Li buried her face in her Captain's chest in embarrassment.

“M' lady, Captain, I will make sure your offspring are the mightiest warriors in all of Midguard!"

“Teddy bear, no-."

“What? No, we'll them teach something practical, like being able to shoot an arrow without looking!"

“Can we name one Natasha?"

“Maybe-," Steve began.

“Their room will have the best security system I can build and as many toys as they want! As their Uncle Tony it's my job to make sure they like me more than you two-!"

“Everybody SHUT THE FUCK UP!"

ReSpawn let an eighth of her power loose and mentally closed the team's mouth. She was tired, confused, in pain, pregnant, and all she wanted to do right now was cuddle with her man.

“Pretty boy, my children will be warriors only if they want to be!

Birdbrain, actually that's a pretty good idea, I'll get back to you on that.

Nat, I don't know about names yet, but you can be godmother okay?

Anthony Edward Stark, first of all, you're their godfather, what are you talking about? Second, if you turn my kids into spoiled brats, they become your kids are we clear? Is everyone clear?!"

The team nodded warily, except, Clint, who smirked and teased everyone about being yelled at until, Natasha, tripped him. Li sighed and sat back down to snuggle into her supersoldier. He put his head on hers and she giggled at the feel of his dirty blond facial hair. Steve smirked triumphantly.

“Was someone jealous?"

“Me? Jealous? That's-okay maybe a bit..."

“Now, Captain, do I look like the type that can be lured by sweet words and pretty boys?"

“I dunno...that's what got us here."

“Shut up. I hate you."

“No, ya don't."

“Yes, I dmmmm..."

“Uh, Li," a voice said.

The Major growled and broke apart from her Captain, ready to make someone wet themselves, when she met the quiet brown eyes of Dr. Banner. He was standing uncomfortably in front of the couple, doing his nervous habit of messing with whatever was in his hands. In this case, it was a pen. Li quickly stood up and tried to keep her flustered expression from surfacing.

“Hey, Bruce, what's up?" she smiled.

“I can run some fetal tests that the hospital couldn't later if you want," he offered, “And we could put our project to the side right now."

Li nodded in agreement and, Bruce, gave her one back. He opened his mouth again, but closed it with a small sigh, ran a hand through his slightly greying brown curls, and turned to follow the others out. Li frowned at his silent hurt that Steve and Li will keep him separated from the twins popping up in his head.

“Hey, Uncle Bruce!" she shouted.

Banner stiffened for a second before facing his teammate. Li crossed her arms and raised her eyebrow.

“I better see you making my kids like you more than me and Steve, just like everyone else."

Bruce broke out in a wide smile that made him look ten years younger before he caught himself and nodded vigorously. 

Li sat down with a contented sigh and, Steve, chuckled. The Major squinted her eyes at him.

“'Not lured by sweet words an' pretty boys', huh?"

“Alright, it's you and your hand tonight, buddy."

“What? Come on! I was jokin'!"

“Nope."

Li stood up and started walking towards the kitchen, knowing full well the Captain would be right behind her. Sure enough, when she got to the doorway, he was on her heels.

“Baby girl..."

“It won't work, Steven."

She put a hand on the fridge handle, but, Steve, growled almost inaudibly and used one of his strong arms to turn her around, rubbing circles into her hip with his darkening blue eyes going over her slowly. Li rolled her eyes and scoffed at his antics, trying to ignore the effect it was having. She made a half hearted attempt of pushing him off, but he kept getting closer.

“Commere, darlin'...let ya Captain take care of ya."

“Nope...I'm mad at you!"

His eyes flashed with thinly veiled glee and he pinned her to fridge. Li had a brief worry that they would break it and have to explain it to, Tony, again, but the thought vanished when she felt Steve's lips on her neck and his hands wandering down to her waistband of his favorite pair of her leggings. She tried pulling him closer and the ass laughed at her.

“Here I thought m' sweetheart was mad at m-."

“Captain, Major?"

Maria Hill came in just outside of the Captain's line of vision and, Steve, clenched his fists and jaw, his temper flaring up at all the constant interruptions. Li didn't even have time to warn him to shut up.

“It's been a month since I've seen her an' I'm tryin' t' make love t' m' gal! Whaddya-?! Oh. Maria. Ma'am..."


 

Later that that night, the Major was shaken awake by an excited supersoldier's thoughts. She looked up at him and he was looking at her with misty eyes. She frowned in concern.

“Love, what-?"

“Am I really gonna be a dad? Or am I dreamin'?"

Li rolled her eyes kissed him between the eyebrows, and took his hand to put it on her small, four month belly bump. Steve's breath hitched as she moved his hand all the way around it.

“We're going to be parents, Stevie," she whispered.

Steve couldn't contain himself any longer and hugged her tight while crying tears of pure happiness. Li snuggled into his warmth and a couple tears of her own escaped. She was scared. She was scared as hell about what will happen when her handlers found out, but seeing and feeling her fella so joyful...she would do anything to keep him like this. 

Steve pulled back and cupped her cheeks, kissing her until they were starved for oxygen.

“Thank you, baby," he cried, “Thank you."

Chapter Text

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The following morning, the supercouple woke up early since, Maria, told them what the next step was. They had to tell Fury. 

As they walked into SHIELD headquarters, Steve, felt uneasy. Everyone was glaring at them. Well, him more so. People that never said two words to them before were coming up to, Li, and telling her that if she needed them to just call. And the Major was getting progressively more and more upset by the minute. After she told someone to piss off, Steve, took her aside.

“What's goin' on, sweetheart?"

“They all think you're-they think I'm-! Forget it, let's just teleport up!"


 

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN SHE'S PREGNANT?"

“'She's' right here so ask her!" Li snapped.

Fury turned his...fury...on the Major and, Steve, gripped her hand tighter. He sent calming thoughts, his blush deepening by the minute. 

Sure, he got over the shock of suddenly being a father and was getting excited about it, but now slight embarrassment was settling in. Once word inevitability gets out to the world that Captain America is having kids out of wedlock things aren't going to be pretty.

“...I'M PREGNANT NOT CRIPPLED NICK! I CAN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF!"

Li huffed out of the office and, Fury, rounded on the Captain. 

“I want someone on her at all times," the Director ordered.

“Good luck with that," Steve grunted, “I'm in her head and I barely know what she's doing half the time."

Fury sighed and sat back down in his chair. He rubbed his head, closing his eyes in thought. After a beat, he spoke.

“I didn't care to listen to them until you and Jones showed up but now I have to address it."

Steve frowned and crossed his arms, analyzing the Director. Fury looked the supersoldier right in the eye.

“There's a couple of rumors growing in SHIELD and I need to put them out, but first I need your side," Fury sighed.

“First, are you and Jones married?" he asked.

Steve thought about the engagement ring sitting in his drawer at the apartment and shook his head. Nick nodded and sighed.

“I know, Jones, is yours and Stark's soul mate, but I can't ignore where she comes from in this situation.

Are you absolutely sure she wants these children? There's no chance that-?"

“Stop right there, Nick," Steve said in a low calm voice.

Steve's hands and jaw clenched as he realized what the Director was asking. The eye patched man shifted back in his chair and looked expectantly at the star spangled man with a plan.

“She promised me that she wants them," Steve continued, “I would never force her to carry children she doesn't want. And she wouldn't let me make her do it either!"

Steve took a deep breath to calm himself down. Is that what earlier was about? Why does everyone that's not the team think that he's guilt tripping his girl into keeping the twins? It's like they don't know him and-!

“Captain! Captain Rogers, there you are!"

Steve turned around to see a chubby Hispanic girl with short black hair and soft black eyes, that couldn't be more than her mid twenties, come running towards him. The Captain felt a deep sense of dread when he realized he was only getting selective thoughts from Li's end.

“Agent See, what's wrong?" Fury asked.

“I just had to take Major Jones to the hospital wing," the girl panted.

“What? Why?!" Steve asked.

See pulled, Steve, out of the room and down the hall. When they got there the Captain's heart skipped a beat. Li was in a bed, her nose broken and dripping with blood along with many other parts of her face, and many rapidly forming bruises everywhere. She was absentmindedly rubbing her stomach with a fond smile, but scowled when she saw the Captain. The Major looked over at the agent who was smiling innocently.

“I told you not till I was done healing, Jay!" she signed angrily.

“I must have had my hearing aids off."

Li sighed and rolled her eyes back to the Captain. Steve keeled down to her level and stoked her cheek. The Major leaned to kiss the worry line between his brows.

“Baby, what-?!"

“Davis wasn't too happy about his favorite play thing getting herself pregnant so he took his anger out on my face and the rest of my body. I refused to move my arms so the kids are fine though."

She lifted her shirt and revealed her injury free belly. Steve smiled softly and kissed her tummy as, Li, ran her hand through his hair.

“He started a rumor that you were making me have your kids and we need to talk about this 'marriage' thing-oh, Steve, straighten my nose it's started to heal."

Li quickly sat up and, Steve, did as he was told with the smallest of winces from her. He kissed her hand in apology and she scoffed slightly.

“I know 'bout it, sweetheart. Fury told me. What are we gonna do?"

“Ignore it. Anything else would make you look even worse. And I guess I have to keep being Mrs. Rogers for the same reason."

“Ya-ya okay with that?"

“I'm gonna have to be aren't I?"

“Sweetheart, what-what if I did ask ya t' marry me?"

Li frowned in confusion at the question and looked down.

I can't imagine why you would, but I-I thought the whole point was the mystery of the answer?"

Steve gently cupped her bruised chin and lifted her head up.

“Usually ya ask someone t' spend the rest of ya lives together 'cause ya love 'em that much, baby girl. But yeah, the whole point is takin' that chance...an' it's one I'm willin' t' take."

Steve saw something on her that he'd never seen before no matter how badly she was embarrassed. Major Li Ashton Jones' face went as red as the grey of her skin color would allow to be seen. A thousand emotions flashed across her face before shaking her head and collecting herself.

“You're such a sap."

Steve was worried about the fact she didn't say that with her usual amount of tease, but he decided to wait until they got home to bring it up.

When the last bruise healed, Li, snapped her fingers to clean herself up and wiggled her nose to make sure it was okay, stood up good as new, and grimaced. Steve looked up at her expectantly.

“And the only way I'll tolerate 'protection' is if it's the team or Jaytee."

The Major smiled at the young woman, thanked her, and politely dismissed her. The agent nodded and backed out of the room, closing the door behind her. The Captain returned his attention to his girl. She had her hands folded underneath her belly and he leaned forward to kiss it again, before standing up to kiss the mother of his children too. 

He smiled against lips. Here was Major Li Ashton Jones, ready to put her stubborn pride aside for their family. For him.

He gently pushed her as flush to each other as they could give, and deepened their kiss. How did he get so lucky to have her? It was almost unfair to everyone else-.

“ReSpawn to Captain America, come in, Steve, over."

Steve opened his eyes to find her beautiful, dark eyes twinkling in amusement at him. Literally. Were those shiny white specks always in her eyes? Damn, he learned something new about her every day still!

“You plan on making it to the apartment, Rogers?"

The Captain took one assessment of his girl's red, kiss bitten lips, their quickening heart beats, and his uncomfortably tightening by the minute pants. He shook his head and picked her up to lay her back on the bed, causing her to giggle as he planted soft kisses on her neck.

“We're fine right here, darlin'..."

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“...the whole point is takin' that chance...an' it's one I'm willin' t' take."

He wanted to marry her. He wanted to marry her. Steve Rogers wanted to marry experiment 73143-A, Captain America wanted to marry the HYDRA weapon, his enemy, the thing meant to kill him, the thing that's-

“Li, Li! Sit. Sit down please."

The Major started feel faint and her breathing picked up to a suffocating level. She sat down on (Y/N)'s couch holding her head in her hands.

A family, stability? She's not supposed to want any of that, let alone achieve it! She's going to be painfully terminated as soon as the boss hears about her pregnancy, because there's no way she's taking those abortion pills sitting in her drawer! Steve will be killed and her children will be-!

“Li, I don't want to sedate you, but if you can't calm down I w-."

“I-I have to leave, (Y/N)," the Major gasped.

Li stood up on unsteady legs. Coming here was a mistake. She can't tell, (Y/N), her problems! She works for HYDRA, she'll be killed! Just more blood on ReSpawn's hands-!

Suddenly, Li, felt a prick and she felt her body relax. A pair of cold, but gentle, hands laid her down on a lap and started stroking her hair. The Major immediately started crying.

“You came here for a reason, Li," (Y/N) whispered, “Tell me what is so I can-."

“Y-you can't! There's no help for me! I should've ended it years ago!" Li screamed, “All I do is worry him and make life difficult for everyone and-!"

“Li, Li, just breath," (Y/N) ordered, “Now, what are you talking about?"

The Major took deep breaths trying to follow the doctor's orders. (Y/N) patiently waited for her friend to be ready.

“Everything is perfect. A-and all I want to do is disappear. I want to have these kids, run away, and never look back."

(Y/N) stopped touching her and, Li, could feel her heart rate pick up as she tried to gather the proper words.

“Have you talked with, Steve, about this?"

“He's always away now...work's always kept him busy, both of us really, but I never knew how much till it's just me sitting at home alone, you know?"

The doctor nodded sympathetically and, Li, laughed weakly.

“I never cared before. About being alone I mean. It's how it's always been just me and my brother..." she confessed, “But now it's just me."

“What happened to him?" (Y/N) asked.

“We were...very very close, but we got in a-a bad uh fight two months ago and went our separate ways," Li lied slightly, “He just disappeared. I-I miss him..."

A few more tears leaked out of the Major's eyes as she realized how true her statement was. Sure, for years she was ashamed of him and wanted, Tony, to have no part of him, but after a while and especially after helping to save her from B's mind control at the “charity". She was just starting to like him again. 

“But now," Li continued, “I can't stand it. I was always alone, but I never feel lonely until Steve's not around..."

“Then why do you want to run away?"

“Because he feels the same way about me and that scares me, (Y/N)," Li whispered, “You know my past...I'm no good for him."

“It doesn't mean that you can't be with anyone, Li-," the doctor reasoned.

The Major scoffed. She told the doctor that she was in a bad way in her younger days. Part of a gang, multiple suicide attempts. She wasn't completely lying.

“Yes, it does. He deserves so much better than me," she said, wiping her eyes, “I can't help but feel like it would be better to end it than continue to drag him down with me."

“Then why'd you marry him? Have kids? Why build a life with someone when you feel like you should destroy everything?"

Li sighed and turned around to look her friend straight in the eye.

“Because he makes me want to stay."

Chapter Text

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Steve came yawning back home as quietly as he could. It was the middle of the night as it often was when he got back these days, and his future wife was asleep.

He slipped in beside her and laid his head partially on his pillow and partially on hers, trying not to laugh at her dark, nappy hair tickling his face. He wrapped his arms in a protective embrace around her and rubbed her pregnant belly silently wishing for time to go faster so he could meet his babies.

The Captain kissed his Major's temple and lightly her lips, making her stir and open her gorgeous eyes in surprise. She hugged him so tight that he had to pry her off before she crushed his body. She proceeded to punch his shoulder and kiss him between the eyebrows. He sighed in contentment. That's it. That's what he fights to come home to.

“I hate you! You said you wouldn't be back till next week!"

“I say a lot of thmmmm....oh, oh, Li, I missed ya too, baby girl...oh god I missed ya..."


 

“I'm gonna take ya out tonight, baby girl. We're gonna go see a movie ya been waitin' t' see, then I'm gonna take ya t' dinner at-."

At that moment, Steve's phone started buzzing. He groaned in annoyance before answering. It was, Fury, telling him that Captain America was needed half way across the world. Again.

“I just got back two hours ago and now you-yes. Yes, I know who I am-okay fine just...I'll be in in a few."

The Captain disconnected the call and hit his head on the wall. This Mandarin guy was starting to piss him off. He should be here at home, making sure that, Li, has the most relaxing pregnancy on the planet. Instead, he's out for days at a time-

“Doing your job, Steven. In Nick's defense, he did sound pretty bummed on your behalf, love."

Steve made eye contact with his soul mate and almost started crying at the sad look on her face. 

“Sweetheart, Immmm...."

She cleared his mind momentarily with a kiss and a few tears on both sides happened. Steve pulled his girl as close as he could and deepened their embrace, trying to convey how sorry he was. After a few minutes, Li, pulled away with a sigh.

“Wars don't stop because I'm sad that my hero has to fight them so far away from me, my love. Go kick some ass, we'll still be here."

She put a hand on her stomach and smiled. Steve just stared.

Every bone in his body was screaming at him to propose now. There was no way he was going to want anyone else besides this unbelievable woman before him, but it just didn't feel right right now. Someone like her deserves the best. She deserves a fancy restaurant, champagne, and a candle lit dinner all leading up to the moment when he gets down on his knee and ask her the question he's been waiting months for the answer to. So instead he just kissed her temple, then her belly.

“Ya Pop'll be back soon, babies, I prom-hey!"

“What? What happened?"

“They kicked me! They both kicked me square in the face!"

Steve rubbed his nose and laughed loudly. They had some strength! Li laughed too and kissed his nose.

“Because they know the sooner you leave the sooner you get back!"

“Yes, ma'am!"

The Captain got up and angrily threw back on his clothes before grabbing his still packed bag. He turned around to kiss his future wife one more time, but she wasn't there. With a frown he ventured into the living room and there she was standing at the front door, holding a thin piece of paper. When he got over to her, she handed it over. It was an ultrasound showing both his children were developing fine, but blocking out if they were boys or girls.

“I went to the doctor's yesterday. She said they've developed enough to know what sex they are, but I want to wait until you can actually be thmmmmm..."

Steve pressed his lips against hers again. This woman. This fucking lady was going to be the death of him, if it was possible to die from overwhelming happiness.

Here she was being so forgiving and loving when she had every right to be upset with him. He knew it was mostly because she knows how going on missions is, but he knew in his heart of hearts that even if they were normal. Even if he was just a run of the mill Army man about to be shipped out again, his family would be waiting for him. He finally let up for air.

“I'm gonna make this up t' all three of ya soon. I promise."

“Yeah, yeah."

“I mean it baby girl. I love ya, Li."

“Love you too."

Chapter Text

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“I am not painting my children's room orange, Steven!"

“And maroon's any better?!"

The supercouple sat in the middle of the room in the Tower they designated as twins', deciding on the color they wanted for it. They already put furniture on layaway (Tony wanted to buy that too, but, Steve, put his foot down, since the inventor already let them take up another room on the level they live on bringing the total to three) and now with, Li, starting her third trimester, it was time to actually start putting the nursery together. Unfortunately, they were two very stubborn artists with two very separate visions.

“Maroon is calming and unisex!"

“It's depressin', Li!"

“And orange should be illegal! It's too bright, too....happy-!"

“What happiness is a crime now? I should've been arrested two years ago then for just bein' in the same house as ya!"

“Are you here to flirt with me or p-?!"

What the fuck was, Tony, doing? She felt a sudden sense of dread and tightness in her chest coming strongly from his end of their bond.

“I'm here t'- baby? What's wrong?"

Li shook herself out of Tony's side to look down at her romantic soul mate's concerned expression.

“It's-."

The Major's phone rang at that moment and she turned away from her Captain to answer it. On the other end was an exasperated CEO.

“Turn on the news," Pepper sighed.

Li snapped and the television came on. Apparently, the inventor gave the address to his Malibu house out on national television to show how unafraid he was of a terrorist named the Mandarin. Li talked to, Pepper, for a couple minutes longer before hanging up with a look of great irritation.

Steve groaned and, Li, sighed. Leave it to her boy to ruin their first long moment alone in weeks. With Steve's back to back assignments, mostly due to the Mandarin's shenanigans and the Major's forced maternity leave, they've barely said hello to each other in the last month.

“But if I kill him, I'm the bad guy. I'm sorry, love."

She smiled apologetically at her supersoldier and gave her a kiss. 

“Just come back t' me, baby girl."

“Don't I always?"


 

"ANTHONY EDWARD!"

“Yeah, mom?"

She teleported in to see, Tony, moving around the lab examining what seemed to be a crime scene. He didn't turn around when, Li, appeared, so she just kept going.

“WHY CAN'T I LEAVE A FORTY FIVE YEAR OLD MAN ALONE FOR MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES WITHOUT YOU ENDANGERING YOURSELF? I DO HAVE A LIFE YOU KNOW!"

“Sweetcheeks, I wouldn't call spending ninety five percent of your free time banging America's Golden Boy a life."

Li frowned. That voice didn't sound like her best friend. It sounded tired, stained. Two things Tony Stark never let be so visible. She took a deep breath and calmed herself down.

“Tony, don't make me read your mind. What happened, sweetie?"

The billionaire tensed, still refusing to acknowledge her physical presence until she put a hand on his shoulder and lead them both to sit down. He sighed and swiped the scene away.

“I haven't slept in days and the one day I did I had a nightmare so a suit attacked Pep, Happy's dying in a hospital, I threatened a terrorist, I have constant panic attacks and-!"

He stopped for a minute to catch a shaky breath and, Li, took his hand and rubbed his back. 

“I don't know what to do, Li. I can't protect you guys! I have all this I've built and I can't-I don't-!"

Suddenly, her soulmate grabbed his chest and started breathing heavily. Too heavily. Li got down on her knees to look him in the eye. Unfortunately, this was something she had great practice with, though, she was usually the one having an attack, not calming it.

“Hey, hey, look at me, Tony. Look at me!"

She kept repeating that and running her hand through his hair until he complied. He looked so lost and scared, all she wanted to do was hug him, but there would be time for that later.

“Now, look around. What do you see?"

“The you and the lab, and...someone at my door? JARVIS! How are we still on ding dong? This place is supposed to be...on total...lockdown...fuck!"

His erratic breathing picked up again so, Li, started using her relaxation smoke to calm him. He sighed gratefully and looked at her with his exhausted brown doe eyes.

What would I do without you, princess?"

“Be an adult. Now after we go deal with the 'security breach' it's straight to bed, understand? I'll hold down the fort."

“Do I at least get a bedtime story?

“Yeah, it's called 'Why We Don't Give Out Our Address On National Television'. Now come on."

“Wait, let me put a suit on. It makes me feel better, okay?"

Li sighed. Putting on a mask and hiding from his problems. The true Tony Stark way.

Fine, but we're talking about that later too."

The person turned out to be an “old, botanist friend named, Maya, that, Tony, had a one night stand with years ago. 

“Where was I during this?"

“In the cage. Please tell me there's not a twelve year old kid in your car, waiting for me."

“Actually, he's thirteen," Maya huffed.

Tony shuttered. Li elbowed him and tried to make him laugh.

“You'd be a great dad, Tones. They won't even notice you're old enough to be their grandfather."

“Sorry, with, Happy, in the hospital, I didn't know we we expecting guests!" said a voice from the stairs.

Pepper came over with a huff gesturing toward the doctor and, Tony, closed his eyes. Everyone started arguing and, Li sighed. Always a fun time at the Stark's. She glanced at the television that was showing Tony's house on the news. She froze for a moment. 

“Uh guys? Should we be worried about that?" Maya asked shakily.

At that moment a missle launched. The Major thought fast enough to put up a force field that cushioned most of the blow and, Tony, called the suit to cover, Pepper, but every one still slammed to the wall. Li recovered first and went over to her soulmate to heal whatever injuries he sustained.

Tony, sweetie, you ok-you were not okay. Wow, give me a minute."

The impact had fractured his skull and spine, something she wished she had known before she tried healing him all at once.

Sweetcheeks, you don't have a minute!"

Li swore when she saw the cracking ceiling through Tony's head. That was going to fall in soon. Tony would be fine because he was covered by Li, but it would fall directly on her injured back. Possibly killing her. She would be okay, but the children she was carrying...She shook her head. She had to stay focused for Tony.

“I'll be fine. Just take care of yourself and Pepper until I get back. I- I-I'll deal with telling Steve."

“Li-aw fuck!"

The Major braced herself for an impact that never came. She opened her eyes and, Tony, was looking up with a love struck expression.

“Gotcha," Pepper teased.

“Got you first," Tony smiled back.

“You are officially aunt of the yeeeere we go!" Li exclaimed.

ReSpawn stood up, cracked her back, and pulled, Tony, up too.

“We can't stay here! Let's move!" Major Jones ordered. 

She, Tony, and Pepper started for the exit as more missiles hit the house. Pepper and Li made it across to, Maya, before the floor caved in trapping, Tony.

I'm coming back over!"

“NO! You protect, Pepper, and get Maya. I'll find away around."

“Anthony-!"

“Li, stop stoping, and GO!"

The Major growled and moved to follow the  CEO. Before she picked up the botanist, Li, stopped her.

“Her spine might be injured hold on-wow! It was not her spine..." ReSpawn winced, “I healed her take her and go, Virginia! I'll be right behind you!"

“But-!"

Li groaned and snapped her fingers, making the pair disappear before laying on the ground to heal. Her soul mate making himself a target, fixing the bodies of two people within two minutes of each other. She was too pregnant for this. 

“Sir, Ms. Potts has cleared the building."

Li heard the sounds of metal flying over her and stood up to follow it. Iron Man was fighting off three helicopters alone-well he was alone. She blasted away the second one.

That's two!"

“Jones, didn't I-!?"

Just then, Tony, was blasted into, Li, and they both fell on the caving window, into the water below. 

Chapter Text

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“HOW ARE YA IN TENNESSEE?"

“I MEAN THAT TONY AND I DROWNED SO HIS SUIT AUTOPILOTED AND I WAS HANGING ON TO IT!"

Steve groaned and rubbed the bridge of his nose. There was extreme distress coming from, Li's, end of their bond which went dead after ten minutes of overloading him with a bunch of destruction he couldn't make out. After another ten minutes of no response from her, he was about to go to head to Florida, when, Li, stopped him. It was never a dull moment with them.

“Are ya okay, sweetheart?"

“Yeah, I'm fine, love and the kids are too...but I'm running low and the suit's dead so we got to get back home the old fashioned way. So don't expect me home for dinner. Or breakfast. In fact, cancel lunch too."

The Captain laughed a bit. They talked until, Stark, started waking up.

“I gotta deal with my eldest child, babe.

“I'll be waitin' for ya, sweetheart. Tony, bring m' family back t' me in one piece."

“I'm more worried about her not bringing me back whole, to be honest."

Steve tuned out Li's end a bit since she started arguing with Iron Man and took his jacket off. He walked back to the bedroom and called their favourite, but expensive restaurant to cancel tonight's reservation. As the Captain hung up, he dug out the little black box in his drawer. He sat down with a sigh on the bed and opened it, wishing just for a brief second that they were as normal as, (Y/N), thought they were.

He wished that he actually was just a work-from-home office grunt for Stark Industries, he wished, Li, was just a humble school teacher. Then he could maybe finally do what he's been trying to do for the last four months.

He sighed again and put Li's engagement ring back. Brooding would do little to sooth his fraying nerves. He needed to be distracted so he went to knock on 503 even though it wasn't movie night.

“Hey, Steve," (Y/N) smiled, answering the door, “Thursday comes before Friday, not after it."

“Funny. Can I come in?"

(Y/N) frowned at Steve's shortness and he sighed. It wasn't her fault his life was this way. He plopped down on the couch.

“Sorry. Li's travelling again and she got stuck somewhere," he apologized, “She won't be home when I thought she would."

“Well, you knew what you were getting yourself into when you chose a traveler as a partner, Steve. Working for, Stark, keeps you away too you know. For two months from what Li's been telling me."

Steve grunted and slumped further into the couch. Who was he kidding? A family, stability. The person who could have all that went under the ice seventy years a-wait two months? But, Li, was only four months along...right? (Y/N) rolled her eyes.

“Don't look confused at me, Steven Grant Rogers, you're not the only one who comes over here to take my food and relationship advice."

(Y/N) got up and got them a couple of drinks and snacks. Steve was deeply confused since, Li, always went to, Tony, for advice. 

“On what?" Steve asked nervously.

(Y/N) put down the glass she was bringing to her lips and looked at, Steve, for a second like she was internally debating something.

“I don't want to impose, but I'm asserting my duty as your best friend by telling you anyway."

She took a deep breath and, Steve, tensed in dread.

“She wanted to know if it would be better to end it than to- and I quote-'keep dragging him down with me.'"

Steve's brain stopped working for a second. What? She wanted to? She thinks she's?

“Steve, when is the last time you two actually talked? I mean like really talked?" the doctor asked.

The Captain frowned as he tried to remember when the last time he was home for longer than a couple of hours. He realized that he wasn't even sure what month it was.

“I...I really don't know...I've been so busy lately so I'm always working late and she's just been sitting at home since they made her take maternity leave...we just don't have the time to."

Steve rubbed the bridge of his nose in irritation at himself. How could he not know how long it's been since he last had a real conversation with the love of his life? The woman carrying his children for God's sake! (Y/N) nodded and looked at him for a bit again.

“Have you noticed how...bad she's getting again?"

Steve paled and went back through what he remembered through their bond. He had noticed that all, Li, does is sleep. And when she was awake, all she would do is work with Bruce or Tony until they would have to force her to take a break. And then there were other times where she'd just stare at a screen or papers on the verge of tears...

But she always acknowledged his exhaustion and long nights through their bond. She refused to answer any of HYDRA's calls and at least one of the Avengers or a trusted agent was with her when he couldn't be around. He will admit they've both started becoming more short-tempered than usual when he comes home, still haven't discussed what happened when she was with, Thor, and haven't been as physically intimate lately, but generally she seemed happy...

“Wha-whaddya mean?" Steve stuttered, “I mean I know she's struggled with-with s-s-suicide before, but she...I thought she was getting...she can't..."

(Y/N) her hands on Steve's shoulders and he looked up at her in panic. He knew he couldn't judge his girl as god knows he gave her quite the amount of frights in the first few months they knew each other, but it was different it was so different now. He couldn't let someone so good give up when she's gotten so far! (Y/N) shook him.

“She is, Steve, she is! It's okay, I'm not saying she will go through with it any time soon. Just that, she's not talking to anyone about her problems before the shit hits the fan again. I'm worried about her."

“Could-?"

Suddenly, he was hit with a strong, burning pain on the right side of his body. (Y/N) was trying to get his attention, but he was too focused.

"Li? Sweetheart? What's wrong baby girl?"

“Nothing! Just a little explo-ow Tony! I only have but so much power left, can I heal a bit please?"

“We don't have time for you to heal!"

“Ugh, fine. Just help me u-DO NOT STICK YOUR HAND DIRECTLY INTO MY BURNING SKIN!"

“Stark-!"

“Steve! Steve are you okay?"

The supersoldier blinked himself back to the doctor's apartment. He had unconsciously doubled over and was clutching his head. (Y/N) had a hand on his shoulder, shaking him. Steve shook his head and straightened up.

“I'm fine, I'm fine," he assured, “Headache. Now, what were you saying?"

She raised an eyebrow, but thankfully didn't focus on his odd behavior.

“You have to talk to your wife, Steve. Don't let her deflect attention away from herself anymore."

Chapter Text

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“Just-just let me sit, jeez..." 

The Major carefully sat down on the couch in the kid's makeshift lab with some help from her boy, and her aching feet thanked her.

After landing in the middle of a road in an oddly cold Tennessee tangled up in her platonic soul mate, having to escape from a crazy exploding lady, and having to deal with the thirteen years old version of, Tony, all over again, this was a much needed break. Li groaned and scowled down at her bloated stomach.

While she may have been barely noticeable three months ago, now she was close to looking like a beached whale. She thought that being a mutant would help with the stress pregnancy puts on a body, but no such luck since the kids seem to be superhuman too according to Banner.

Tony sat down next to her and wrapped an arm around her. Li laid her head on his chest with a slight ache in hers. She appreciated her little boy's help through everything-she really does. She just wished it was the twins' father holding her.

“You okay, sweetcheeks?"

“Yeah, yeah...I need to talk to, Bruce, again. Which ever one it is seems to be draining me faster than before now."

“Have you told, Steve, about them yet?"

“I've barely said hello to him in the last few weeks, let alone anything about the kids."

“He's gonna notice-."

“Tony, he hasn't even noticed that I'm due in three months not five."

Iron Man frowned deeply and his anger sparked a bit. Li mentally slapped herself. She should've kept her mouth shut about uninvolved fathers around the poster child for growing up with one.

“Tones-."

“I don't want to hear your excuses for him! I'm just as busy as he is and I still find time to take you and pick you up from doctor's appointments, make sure you're eating, sleeping-!"

“I never asked you to-!"

“YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TO!"

Tony held her tighter and looked down at her with the same love filled expression, Steve, does just not nearly as intense.

“You shouldn't have to ask me to help you through this because I care that much about you, princess. And you shouldn't have to ask, Steve, to be around either. He's just as responsible for these kids as you are."

“I know this, Tony! But I can't ask him to stop doing what he loves!"

“He's putting everyone else before his family-!"

Li sat up and slapped him across the face. Tony went wide eyed, surprised by her action as she's never done that before. A playful light punch or shove sure, but she never actually hit him. On her end, the Major was sorry for her uncalled for reaction, but...

“I don't ever want to hear you talk about my husband like that ever again. He's done more for me than I ever thought I needed a-a-and I won't tolerate any disrespect towards h-fuck..."

Li buried her face in her hands and tried not to cry. Who was she kidding? Tony was completely right! In his own way, Steve, does think he's doing the right thing by taking every mission thrown at him because he's protecting the world and by default his family. But he's missed so much.

She didn't have the heart to tell him, but that kick in the face he got was one of many that already started happening weeks back, all the unexpected complications that she's working through! She already knows what sex they are, but she didn't want to spoil it for him! Besides once she tells him what happened to make the kids monsters like her, he'll leave her anyway...Tony took her hands.

“Princess, I'm not saying he's an asshole, but he is being an ass. I could easily make a couple of calls to get, Fury, off his back. He's not a bad guy it's just his priorities need rearranging."

“I-I just don't want to worry him, Tones...he's under enough stress as it is."

“Not telling him will just make it worse, sweetcheeks. And your hair is greying by the day too, you know."

“Haha very funny, Anthony..."

“I'm here all week. Now help me fix this suit. I can't let someone six months pregnant have all the fun."

He lightly poked her tummy and the Major scowled. She poked him back and he let out a giggle. ReSpawn smiled poisonously and, Tony, backed up.

“Don't even-!"

Li tackled her soul mate to the ground and started tickling him all over. She was just about to get him to surrender when the door opened to reveal the owner of the garage they were hiding in.

“Am I interrupting something?" Harley asked.

“Just some important adult stuff," Tony grumbled, “So if you could, you know get out?"

A look of horrified understanding went across the teen's face and mind. Li's eyes went wide and she opened her mouth to set the record straight, but he already left.

“Tony, do you think before you speak ever?"

“I try not to. Why?"

“Your a boy, I'm a girl on top of you. Think about how that looks to anyone who doesn't know us."

“Still not-oh OH!"

Tony immediately jumped up and ran after the teen, shouting out the door.

“She's like my mom, kid! You're gross!" he pouted, “And where's our sandwiches?!"

Chapter Text

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Steve sat up at the sound of the click of the front door, signaling that his future wife had come home from her adventures with her soul mate. The Captain frowned at his realization that all she uses now is the door instead of teleporting in. He got up and went out into the living room where, Li, was passed out on the couch, her body glowing slightly green due to her recharging. He moved to pick her up, but her eyes snapped open and she curled into a protective ball around her belly.

“It's just me, baby g-!"

“Jesus Christ, Steven, don't sneak up on me like that! Why are you here? I thought you had another mission!"

The supersoldier slumped at her outburst, but wasn't entirely surprised by it. He had left her to fend for herself for the better part of two months. There was one quiet nag at him, though; how was it so easy to catch her off guard?

“Fury called an hour ago and said I could take off unless I'm really needed until after the twins are born, but enough about me. Are ya okay, baby?"

“Yeah, yeah, I'm fine, love. Power supply is a bit lower than I like is all. Oh and I have another doctor's appointment tomorrow morning. Yippy."

The Major stretched and rubbed her belly with a frown of uncertainty. Steve put a hand on her cheek to turn her head. He could feel her rampaging thoughts, but for some reason their bond was too weak to make out anything solid when they were conscious as of late.

“What is it, sweetheart?"

“D-do you want to come with me? I understand if you're too tired-."

“What? Of course, I want t' go, sweetheart. They're m' kids too."

Li nodded, smiled, and gave him a hug. Steve picked her up to carry her into their bedroom. She snuggled into him immediately. They lay like that for a couple of minutes of comfortable silence. He was none too eager to break it since they've spent so little time together in these last couple of months, but he needed to know what was going on in her head. He needed to know what the problem he felt her wall off from him was.

“Li, are ya ...happy? I don't want ya t' feel like I'm fadin' away or puttin' bein' Captain America before ya an' the kids. I don't want ya t' feel alone 'cause I love ya an' want ya t' be happy. So if ya not jus' tell me what I can do for ya an' I'll do it, baby ."

Steve's breath hitched as, Li, tensed up, closing off their bond. His heart sunk in dread as he continued out loud.

“B-b-but if that's too little too late an' ya want me t' leave, I'll go. I wo-I won't force ya t-t-t' b-be with me-fuck..."

Steve closed his eyes and took a deep breath to compose himself when he felt an oddly cold hand on his cheek. Li was searching his head and eyes for the reason this came up. Eventually, she sighed and reopened their bond. The Captain was alarmed by how tiny and quiet her voice was.

“I'm sorry."

“For what, baby girl?"

Li shook her head and buried her face in his chest again. Steve ran a hand over her dark coils waiting for her to elaborate.

“My love, don't you ever doubt how wanted, safe, and taken care of I feel now because of you. You do so much for me, but I can never return the favor, Steve. I-I..."

She got up and went into her dresser drawer while, Steve, sat up and watched with a suffocating feeling in his chest. Like the ones he used to get before an asthma attack. After a minute, she started.

“Thor needed me to heal, Jane, and help take care of this guy named Malakith. To do it, I had to absorb something called the aether."

She rummaged through her drawer slowly, trying to put together her words.

“The aether's some real shady stuff. Older than Odin, evil in a physical form, but vaguely similar to the tessaract so we thought that maybe I would be able to handle it.

I knew the risks to the kids' lives it would be-."

“Wait, ya knew ya was pregnant before ya left?"

Steve felt his heart break as, Li, nodded. His temper rose as he realized the hints that, Tony, dropped on him the entire time she was gone. Li jumped like she was burned.

“If they died, would ya've told me?"

“I-no. No, I wouldn't have. I couldn't hurt you like that."

“It hurts more that ya can't trust me enough t' know I would understand why ya did what ya did, Li! I do! I would've told ya t' save livin', breathin' humans over unborn ones, but ya didn't even give me the chance!"

Li seemed to shrink, but in the heat of his anger the Captain didn't notice. She sat a tiny, clear bottle containing two pills on the dresser. Li faced him with a shameful look.

“Davis gave it to me two weeks ago. Said that if I took them this would all go away and neither he, B, or anyone else would breathe a word of my pregnancy to the boss."

Steve's rage pumped hot through his veins as he stood up to look down on his commanding officer. She had gone along with some stupid ideas, but this... this was betrayal. Li's eyes went wide and stared warily at his hands as she stuttered out the rest of her story.

“I-I wasn't gonna do it, Steve! Believe me, baby, please! B-b-but then the twins started-the aether must have done something to them because I was fine until-I-I got so scared that I almost took them."

Tears of guilt started flowing down her face as she closed her eyes and looked at the ground. Steve, softened in hurt and worry, kicking himself. He was her soul mate and he wanted to be her husband! He should've known something was very wrong with her!

How did he get so disconnected from her? How did he not realize how this situation was effecting her?

“T-t-they're going t-to be like m-m-me as s-s-soon as they're born! I'd sooner kill them then let them go through what Daemon and I did!"

Steve's eyes flashed, fury going through him all over again. He lifted her head up so he could meet her dark, fear filled eyes. 

“Get yaself together, Major! Ya don' mean that!"

“Yes, I do! I can't let HYDRA get a hold of them! This is the kind of power they were looking for in Daemon and I at birth! This is exactly what I was afraid of!"

Li turned away from him, gripping the edges of her dresser tight. Glaring at the reflection of herself in its mirror. Steve came up on her right gesturing wildly, his feelings flowing over out loud.

“THEN WHY'D YA KEEP 'EM, LI? YA KNOW I WOULD'VE SUPPORTED YA EITHER WAY!" Steve shouted.

“I THOUGHT THAT MAYBE I COULD GIVE US A CHANCE AT A NORMAL LIFE, STEVEN! OR AT THE VERY LEAST THE GOOD IN YOU WOULD OUTWEIGH THE BAD IN ME! BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER!" Li shot back.

She slammed her fist through the mirror and into the wall behind it. The Captain felt nothing but guilt, self hatred, and physical pain pouring out of her. He swallowed his anger and reached out to take her injured hand out of the wall, but she refused help.

“AFTER ONE HUNDRED YEARS, YOU'D THINK THAT I WOULD REALIZE THAT I RUIN EVERYTHING!"

She ripped her arm out causing dry wall, glass, and blood to fly and moved to leave the room, but, Steve, hugged her in tight. He still had no idea what exactly was wrong, but there was no way that he was was going to leave her alone right now. The Major broke down in his arms.

“Li, calm down!"

“Thor told me to stay behind, but I didn't listen! This is all my fault!"

“Li, ya couldn't've knew what exactly was gonna happen! I would've supported ya decision t' do what ya had t' do, baby."

He realized she was too far gone to hear him as she sobbed apologies into his chest. The Captain hated that all he could do when she gets like this is let her drain herself out.

Suddenly, she dropped to the floor, shaking at his feet. Li grabbed her head and, Steve, saw flashes of the torture she's had to take over her lifetime, the last one being two weeks ago when there was a three day long period that, Li, was on her own. Davis burst into the apartment in the middle of a work day when, (Y/N), wasn't home and-.

The Captain's vision went red and he made a mental note to have a private meeting with him tomorrow afternoon. That got pushed out of his mind when he felt a tug on his pants. He looked down to find his best girl, basically surrendering herself to him.

“P-p-please? P-p-please, kill me?" she cried, “I can't take anymore punishment, sir! Please!"

She kept begging for that one shred of mercy from him over and over again. The Captain just bent down and held her tighter, unable to answer due to tears of his own.

When her hysterical sobbing finally calmed to whimpering as she came back to the present, Steve, picked her up, laid her down on the bed, and moved to get her some water, but she refused to let go of him and snapped her fingers to bring two bottles of water to them.

She tried to heal her hand, but couldn't and she almost started crying again.

“I-I haven't slept in a few days..."

“Then do it now. I'll still be here. I promise, I'm not goin' anywhere, sweetheart. I promise."


 

True to his word, Steve, didn't move an inch away from his soul mate, except to get some first aid for her hand, no matter his discomfort, while she slept. He used that word lightly. Every ten minutes she jumped awake and it took him another fifteen to get her to close her eyes again. She fidgeted around and her mind raced at a million miles a minute, telling her that she's to blame for everything wrong in everyone's life and she needs to pay for it.

After two hours she gave up and just laid in a small ball his arms. His ability to hear her thoughts weakened again now that she was awake and he almost voiced concern when she spoke with a tiny voice.

“Why do you put up with me?"

Steve looked down into his girl's eyes. All the light and previous excitement over her approaching motherhood gone, replaced instead with great fear and shame over the possible damage her self sacrificial tendencies have done to their unborn children.

“Sweetheart, what're'ya talkin' about?"

“I-I just feel like I'm manipulating you into staying with me, by always losing it like that whenever I can't de-."

Steve stopped her by putting his thumb on her lips and hugged her in close. This girl was going to give herself a stroke and a heart attack at the same time.

“Baby girl, ya not makin' me do anythin' ya always given me the option t' go, but I ain't takin' it, Li. I won't."

“But why? I'm fucked in the head, Steve. Dangerous! You and the kids deserve so much better!"

“Li, baby girl, no..."

He pulled back to kiss her temple, wishing that he could've made her past different, but at the same time wishing she could see that there was nothing that needed “fixing" about her. He used to think that, but now he knew how wrong he was.

Sure, there was something broken inside, but everyone is wounded in some way mentally and there was nothing wrong with the fact that her mind can't deal with it the way “normal" people can.

“I'm not puttin' up with ya, I don't pity ya, an' I'm not scared of ya. We're in this together. Steve an' Li, me an' ya, baby girl. An' eventually plus two that will be just as beautiful, amazin', an' good as their Ma. Got that?"

The Major sighed shakily and nodded, but he could still see the self-disgust on her face. Steve put a hand on her belly, trying to find a way to distract her from her current thoughts.

“We still haven't named 'em."

“Well, Tony and I once said that whoever has kids first has to name them after the other."

“An', I'd like t' name one after, Bucky..."

“How about, Antonia Natasha and Margaret Sarah for girls and, James Nicholas and Steve Jr, for boys then?"

“How about try again on a girl? How would you feel if your name was Antonia?"

“How about Amelia Martha worst case scenario, then?"

“An' James Anthony for the boy. An' ya favorite Doctor Who companions, babe. Really? Eh, ya know what? At least, ya didn't name any after Sam an' Dean Winchester."

Li smirked at him and he knew he narrowly missed a bullet on that one. One thing still had to be settled though...

“What about last name? Are we gonna hyphenate or?"

“No, no, let's make it Rogers. It'll make it easier if I do something crazy like accepting a marriage proposal."

Li winked at him and her face went slightly red. Steve buried his face in her shoulder, thinking about the little black box sitting in his drawer. He needed to marry this girl exactly yesterday. After minute more of holding her, he went to work peppering every inch of her face with kisses.

“S-Steve!"

She tried half-heartedly to push him off with a fake look of annoyance, but he wasn't going to let up until he got a genuine laugh out of her. It's been too long since he's heard it.

A second after he started tickling her too, she let out a giggle that grew into the biggest fit he ever saw from her. Even after he stopped, she was still in stitches. It took her the best five minutes of his life for her to calm down. Her nose and eyes were scrunched up due to how wide her smile was, she was holding her sides like her hands were keeping her together, and the sweet sound of her laughter was music to his ears.

“There's m' gal!"

“Y-you big sap!" Li exclaimed.

“But I'm ya sap! Forever, baby girl..."

“You're blocking me out now, Rogers. What's wrong?"

She was looking at him with a frown again. The Captain just shook his head and brushed his lips against hers, making her smile again. 

 “Commere, darlin'..."

He gave her a soft sweet kiss that quickly grew in passion. The Captain was about move things in a more intimate direction when, Li, involuntarily jerked away when his hands traveled down too far. Steve didn't think that she even knew she did it, but he needed her to know that she doesn't have to do anything she doesn't want to, even with him.

“Sweetheart, may I touch ya?"

“Of course, Steve, you don't have to ask me anymore you know."

“Yeah, I do. What ya want is important t' me."

She scoffed and looked directly into his eyes as he cupped her cheeks. Butterflies filled his stomach as he solidified his decision. Tomorrow, no matter whether it was over a steak cooked to perfection or the doctor's office parking lot, he was going to ask her to be his forever. He waited for the “perfect moment" long enough.

“I love ya, Li. Don't ya ever believe anythin' less."

“I love you too, Steve. So mu-."

Li's eyes went wide as she saw the blue of his eyes for a brief moment, but like always, it disappeared when she blinked. She felt disappointment more than relief now though. He kissed her temple.

“They're not that great, sweetheart, I promise."

“They're the best I've barely seen! Now...take me, please, baby? I need you."

The Captain nodded and kissed her gently while laying her on her back. She started crying quietly at his kind touch and he wiped away her tears.

“I'm here, sweetheart," Steve whispered, “I got ya baby girl."

Chapter Text

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Major Jones blinked herself awake to the early mid morning rays of sun. Despite the cold weather of late December outside, she felt warm and cozy in strong embrace of her still slumbering supersoldier. She could've stayed like that forever, but unfortunately, her stomach forced her to unravel herself from her human furnace. Sometimes it really sucked eating for three, especially when one of them was-no. No, she wasn't going to think about that right now.

As she tugged on the Captain's discarded shirt from last night, she looked around the tiny room and then she thought about how small the two bedroom apartment seemed in the context of two little ones running around it. Li, shrugged, stood up, and stretched. She and Steve would cross that bridge when they got there.


 

“Good morning, beautiful..."

“Steve, I'm literally at my grossest right now."

Li sighed fondly. She was in the kitchen, making a breakfast fit for a supersoldier and a pregnant superhuman when her soul mate came up behind her and wrapped her up. The Captain shook his head and hugged her tighter against him. 

“Ya always gorgeous t' me, darlin'...commere."

He started planting kisses down her neck, making her shiver with each one. Her starving belly wasn't having any of it though, so she swatted him away with the wooden spoon she held.

“Food and doctor's appointment first!"

“But-!"

Just then his stomach growled loudly and the Major smirked. Steve sighed and grabbed a plate. 

“Food and doctor's appointment first..."


 

“Okay, Mrs. Rogers, let's see..."

Li felt her face get ten degrees warmer and groaned inaudibly as, Steve, stroked her left hand with a small, daydreaming smile. As much as her anxiety was at an all time high over being now called Steve's wife because he had to stick his foot in his mouth talking to, Pierce, the Major couldn't bring herself to rain on his parade. She still didn't understand how those two words made him so happy.

“It looks like your having both a boy and girl! That's exciting!" the doctor exclaimed, “Both at the same time, won't need to try for the other sex now!"

She laughed as she cleaned Li's tummy off and the Major sighed in relief. They were healthy and the doctor was right. No need to try for anymore...right?

After the appointment, Steve drove them to their favorite coffee shop for lunch. Li could feel his thoughts rampaging in his head, he was blocking her out enough to the point that only her telepathy could get through, but she made an unspoken promise she wouldn't invade his privacy like that anymore.

When they walked in, their usual waitress came out from behind the counter and, much to the Major's surprise, and lead them without a word up to the enclosed part of the rooftop seating. Up there, a table was set with Li's usual order: two steak wraps with a bowl of sweet potato fries, an entire carrot cake, and a coffee pot of hot chocolate mixed with decaf. Li looked up at her supersoldier in confusion. The Captain was red as a tomato.

“Steve, wha-?"

“I don't wanna stop at two!"

“What?"

Steve finally made eye contact with her.

“Don't think about it right now, but sometime, in the distant future of course, can we try again? Ya know purposely get pregnant?"

Li blinked for a couple seconds. He actually wanted to-? What was wrong with this guy? Steve sighed and took her hands. 

“Like I said, don't think about it right now, but I never knew I even wanted kids until we found out about the twins, I didn't know I wanted more until the doctor said we could stop now since we're havin' one of each."

The Captain got down on one knee. Li froze.

“Family, stability. I thought the guy who wanted all that went under the ice an' never came back out, but then ya an' I got closer an' closer, an' I finally realized that that guy just had t' wait for ya to bring him back. I want that apple pie life, baby girl, but only if it's with ya."

Li's heart picked up speed as he pulled a small, black box from his pocket.

“I wanted t' make this moment perfect. I wanted to take t' take ya t' fancy restaurant with all the works, but I-I can't wait anymore baby! I want t' start this part of m' life with ya as soon as possible."

Steve opened the box. It contained a blue tinted golden ring with many tiny diamonds embedded in it.

“Li Ashton Jones, would ya make me the happiest man that ever lived an' be m' wife? For real?"

The Major looked at the ring in what she could honestly say was fear. Now, she played a dangerous game. If she accepted it, that's game over, visual proof instead of Pierce's word against Steve's. She would be literally dragged back into captivity by the roots of her hair and the Captain would be assassinated by the Soldier's hands now. HYDRA would take her back, take her children when they're developed enough to survive outside her body, and terminate her immediately after. 

“Or...the team an' I will protect ya with everythin' we've got an' ya get everythin' ya feel ya  don't deserve for some reason."

“Steve, I can't ask you to do that! It's not fair to you! Someone in the world outside of SHIELD is eventually going to find out the truth about me and the entire organization will be ruined! You're fucking Captain America, baby!

She hung her head, unable to make eye contact with the man that would give her the world without hesitation if she asked for it, but she can't accept it. She's not allowed a happily ever after, but that doesn't mean, Steve, can't one day find it with the right person...right? 

“Y-you're a living legend, a symbol of hope and freedom to everyone especially me! You're good, great man, Steve, and as much as I want to be your wife, what I want isn't important. The world needs Captain America more than Li Jones needs Steve R-!"

The supersoldier stood up to hook a finger under her chin and raise her head up. Steve's eyes held nothing but fiery determination as he took her left hand and slid the ring on. 

“Fuck the world an' screw m' reputation, Li! If givin' that up means I get t' spend the rest of m' life with ya, then I'll hand in m' uniform right now!"

He softened up, kissed her ring hand, and laid his forehead on hers. 

“It's Steve and Li, me an' ya, together, baby an' I mean that! Ya don't have t' accept it, but I'm not givin' it t' anyone else sommmm...."

Li smashed her lips against his in the most passionate kiss she's ever given him. This guy. This fucking stupid, stubborn punk was going to be the death of her. But there's no other way she'd want to go out.

He was right! Screw HYDRA and put aside for now her nonstop anxieties of worthlessness! Here stood a person who volunteered to take himself down to keep her safe. He gave her an out!  She'd have to be a damn fool to reject that! Eventually, she let him up for air. She smiled and kissed him between the eyebrows.

“First of all, Captain, you are not turning anything in, you're ass is too damn fine in that uniform. Second, if you're really that dead set on it, yes."

“Yes?"

“Yes, I'll marry you, you sammmm...."

It was the Captain's turn to take her breath away as he put one hand on the nape of her neck, and pushed her in for another searing kiss, trying to get her as close as possible without hurting her six months along tummy. After a full minute, he let up, but kept his forehead against hers.

“Major Li Ashton Rogers, Captain America's wife," Steve sighed, “Fuck that's hot..."

Li laughed at her fiancé's strangeness and looked down at her ring again. Every fiber of her being was screaming at her to give the ring back and run away, but he was so happy. How could she deny him this?

“I hope you know what know what you're doing, sister."

“I do too, D," Li grumbled.

The Major went wide eyed and pushed past her supersoldier. Down on the snowy street, she saw the male version of herself give a small smile and wave before vanishing.

“What's wrong, baby girl?"

Li laughed and shook her head. It was so wrong. It was so wrong for her to be this happy, but in this moment she could care less. 

“Nothing. Nothing's wrong, my love."

“In that case..."

The Major felt Steve's previous grip on her tighten and his hands wandering. She rolled her eyes.

“Steve, we're in public..."

“Then make us not public, darlin' before I make the entire block know my name."


Later that day, Steve took them to SHIELD headquarters. He wouldn't tell her what he was doing, verbally or telepathically, but after half an hour, she became restless just helping train the newbies. Eventually, she followed everyone's heads to the investigation rooms. There she found Thor and Tony in a room with, Davis, strapped to the table. Steve and Natasha were supervising.

 “Guys, what's going on?"

Natasha smirked and put an arm around the Major's shoulders.

“An interrogation," she smiled, “We wanted-."

“Let him him go!" Li shouted, “He'll-!"

“Never touch you again, sweetheart!"

Steve turned around to hug her and, Natasha, joined in while, Tony, looked at his soul mate with endless apologies for not being there to save her two weeks ago. Steve placed a long kiss on her ring hand and then her temple. 

“I'll never let him touch ya again, sweetheart."

“That's what you said the last time..." she thought to herself.

Chapter Text

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It was New Year's Eve and the supercouple was relaxing in the living room, waiting for the ball to drop. The Major wanted watch The Timetraveler's Soulmate for the four hundredth time (for someone claims that love gives her heartburn, Li, sure watches a bunch of romantic movies) until the DVR reminder clicked the channel over to Times Square.

They were sitting on the couch with Steve's arm around his girl's waist so he could lightly stroke her belly. Sometimes he still couldn't believe God gave him everything that he thought he lost his chance at. Well, almost. He looked down at his technically soulmate when he heard her barely audible coo when the two movie leads figured out they were made for each other. Her dark eyes were shining with emotions she rarely let be so visible.

“Hey, Li."

“Yeah, Steve?"

“What color are ya eyes? I mean, can ya describe what they look like?"

Li looked up and raised an eyebrow at him, causing him to blush. In his defense, they were a couple that still didn't know each other's eye color. Well, Li's seen glimpses of his but, Steve, hasn't gotten so much as a peek of hers.

“H-humor me?"

“They're dark brown. Close to black actually with silver specks in them."

Steve nodded completely lost and Li's brows furrowed in adorable concentration as she tried to expand on it.

“Brown is...how fresh soil feels and smells. It's what Bruce's chocolate chip cookies taste like. And silver...it's the way the moon shines I guess."

Steve nodded again, staring into the most beautiful colors he's never seen. As the Major was about to ask about this line of questioning, he cupped her cheek with one hand and intertwined her ring hand with his other, bringing his face towards hers.

Amazing...absolutely gorgeous."

Li's ears darkened and, Steve, smirked. He would never get tired of seeing that reaction from her. After a second, the Major rolled her eyes.

You're such a sap!"

But I'm ya sap, forever, baby girl."

The two superhumans started passionately making out, when, of course, the Major's phone rang. They groaned and broke away.

“He-hello?" Li panted.

Steve stroked her cheek while she talked, wishing for the caller to get to the point when, Li, stiffened. He could feel fear pouring out of her. After a couple more minutes, she nodded, hung up, and stood on shaking legs.

“Where're ya goin'?"

He stood up and turned around to watch her go answer the door. It was, Davis, and before he could even open his mouth Li's eyes glowed green and the grunt couldn't talk. 

“Inhale my dong," she said simply.

She slammed the door in his face. She turned around with shaking hands and smiled nervously at the Captain. He laughed so hard he had to sit down. He just kept going and going, he wasn't even sure why it was so funny. Eventually, he calmed down and pulled the Major, that had returned to the couch, on his lap. She was unamused.

“You done?"

Darlin', I'm just gettin' started with ya."

“Hold on a second there, Chuckles, I have a question for you too."

Li looked down in embarrassment and, Steve, raised an eyebrow as he waited for her to talk again.

“Why name me Li Ashton Jones? What's so special about it?"

The Captain's face crumpled in confusion. How should he know why HYDRA named her-unless...

“It was the one written in ya file. SHIELD gave ya that name didn't they?"

“Yeah, I was so confused when you called me that during introductions. I never had a name before. D only got one because he got sent out on more kills than me before we got superglued together, but once you name it, you start getting attached to it so."

“Ya not an 'it', sweetheart, an' what'd they call ya then?"

“73143. Or Spawn. Mostly bitch. The boss put me in the army and all my commanding officers have been HYDRA so there was nothing to explain.

Tony called me 'princess' for ages and SHIELD just called me 'Major' until you came along. I just changed everyone's memories to where they always thought Li Jones was my name and, Daemon, was just secretly happy his sister finally got a name too."

Steve sighed and looked into his girl's confused eyes for a bit. SHIELD probably gave her a name just to avoid more questions than necessary from the newly unfrozen Captain America.

No wonder she was so hostile towards him when they first met under somewhat calm circumstances. Here he was, a complete stranger and her target to boot, changing everything about her starting with the most identifying information about a person: their name.

“There's still some time before the ball drops want t' look it up?"

Li nodded and snapped her computer on her lap. After a while, they found that her name was a play on of an agent's that came from a less than stellar background as well. Over the years the person climbed her way up to almost Director-she turned it down because she felt, Fury, was a better choice-and redeemed herself.

The Major sat in silence and the Captain put his arm around her and nuzzled her neck, planting a soft kiss on her.

“See? Ya good, baby. Ya so good. Now commere..."

Steve smirked and brought his fiancée in for a long kiss as the balled dropped on the television, signaling the start of 2014. 

I love ya, Li."

“I love you too, Steve."

Chapter Text

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“Sweetheart, we're gonna be late!"

The Major rolled her eyes as she put on some floral perfume. Unless they were two hours early they were late in his eyes. This was a Tony Stark party; even he didn't show up on time.

“Just gimme a minute!"

Steve opened the bathroom door with a scowl and, Li, faced him with one of her own.

“That's what you said-!" 

He froze and looked her up and down. She raised an eyebrow. She wasn't wearing anything special. Just a midnight blue dress that was skin tight at the bottom and loose and layered at the top to accommodate and hide her baby bump. On her feet, she wore a pair of devil red flats that matched her lipstick almost perfectly. She just made her eye makeup more catty than usual and flattened her hair bone straight so now it went a bit past her shoulders.

“Steve, wh-?"

The Captain put a finger on her lips and picked her up to go lay her on the bed. He crawled on top of her and started kissing her neck, trying to decide what he wanted to do with her.

“Steve...you just said-."

Her sentence was cut short by the predatory look his lust filled eyes. The Major sighed in contentment as her supersoldier's lips forcefully met hers. As much as she loved her sweet, consent asking Steve, she was starting to miss her here and now Captain. Unfortunately, this was going to be her night today. Instead of giving in to his domineering kiss, she took over, pushing him on his back. Steve groaned when she pulled away.

“Baby, I wanna-."

Major Jones put one hand over his mouth and the other hand wandered down to the growing bulge in his pants. He whined in want and her eyes started glowing green. Steve's eyes went wide with equal parts fear and arousal. ReSpawn smirked as she realized how much fun she was going to have tonight. Maybe she should give a little preview. 

Li bent her head down, unzipped his jeans with her teeth, and started licking him through his boxer briefs. Steve whined out her name.

“I said later, Captain...but for right now..."

“OH FU-LI! Oh fuck fuckfuckfuuuuck..."

“Did you really just come in two seconds flat?"

“Ya-ya gonna do that again tonight!"


“You're an hour late!"

“Well, Steve, just had to let me know how pretty I look, Tones."

The inventor rolled his eyes as the trio made their way to the Tower's community living room. Well, she wasn't lying. He wouldn't let her out of the car unless he got to at least kiss her silly.

“You couldn't wait till after my party, Blondie? I actually came early to spoil my godchildren-!"

Li felt, Steve, tune, Tony, out of their bond and hug her closer to his side. She put her head on his chest with a sigh.

“Earlier was amazin' by the way, baby girl. Can't wait t' do it again in a few hours...."

“An hour wasn't enough for you?"

Mrs. Rogers, I could never get enough of ya..."

Steve cupped her cheek and brushed his lips over hers. The Major let out a teenager with her first love sounding giggle and she hid her face in embarrassment. Sometimes she hated that he could still have that effect on her. She looked up to see the Captain blushing at the unexpected reaction too. 

“If you two start in my hallway, I'm kicking you out," Tony said.


“What are we twelve?"

“That sounds like someone who has a secret crush.”

“Anthony Edward-!"

“Aww come on! I won't read your mind!”

“Fine.”

“Yay!"

Li sighed and, Tony, looked at Clint. After the presents and gushing over the Major's engagement ring (“It's made of vibranium and the diamonds are actually q-carbon," Steve boasted, “It's pretty much indestructible.") Iron Man thought it was high time to embarrass his platonic soul mate and her future husband. 

“So who's your secret crush, Birdbrain?" Tony asked.

“Pepper," Clint yawned.

“Li?"

ReSpawn went into Hawkeye's mind and saw flashes of a pretty brunette woman with two kids around her. Li blinked and, Clint, looked at her in panic.

"It's Natasha," Li shrugged.

Clint exhaled in relief and smiled gratefully at the Major. Tony looked disappointed at that obviousness, as he turned to his next victim.

“Alright Miss Spider your tu-."

“Don't even."

"Li?"

"I'm not stupid, Tones," Li scoffed.

Natasha smiled and, Li, saw, (Y/N), go through the assassin's mind for a long minute before she turned into a good looking black man with some sort of jet pack.

So there is a heart in there somewhere," Li smirked to herself.

“Doctor?" Tony continued.

Bruce blushed and started stammering about someone named Betty. Tony looked over and, Li, nodded.

“Point Break?"

“There is no one other than my Jane."

Li sighed and smiled do happy that the god had found his proper mate, even if it wasn't a soul bond. Tony was still forever salty on Li's behalf though.

"Yeah right," he grumbled, “Blondie?"

Steve smirked down at, Li, and pretended to consider someone else before laughing at the frown on her face that she didn't even realized she made.

"It's ReSpawn and Captain America. Forever."

He kissed her ring hand followed by her temple and, Li, rolled her eyes kissed him between the eyebrows. What a punk. 

“What about you sweetcheeks?" Tony smirked.

“Tones, don't ask stupid questions," Li sighed.

“Okay, Mrs. Banner."

“What?" Steve and Bruce said simultaneously.

“NEXT TOPIC ANTHONY," she exclaimed.

Li glared at her boy with a blush she was sure was obvious to everyone, especially, Steve, since it would be red against grey. It was made worse when she accidentally made eye contact with, Bruce, and they both blushed and looked away. Why did she agree to this? She should've just told, (Y/N), today was a great day for her baby shower.

“Alright, how about most embarrassing moments!" Tony shouted.

“Tony, no!" everyone shouted.

“Aw come on!" he whined, “I'll show you mine, too!"

“Stark, you didn't even tell your crush," Clint pointed out.

Tony didn't blush like everyone else instead, he looked sad, but quickly waved it off. He was clearing his mind pretty well, though.

“I don't get crushes, Birdbrain," he laughed, “I can get anyone I want."

Li took her boy's hand in concern. Now that she thought about it, after they reconciled with each other ten years ago, Tony, never expressed even the slightest interest in anyone besides his CEO at times, until, Li, got assigned to the Captain. Suddenly, Tony, was officially dating, Pepper.

He seemed happy enough with her, and never stopped talking about her, but-.

“WHAT WERE THE ORDERS I GAVE YOU ROGERS?! WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT CRAP THEY SPRAYED WAS!" 

Li's eyebrows shot up at hearing the familiar scene and, Tony, smirked and turned on his tv going through hallway cam footage at SHIELD. He settled on a pretty good angle of a year younger Major Jones and Captain Rogers.

“Anthony, what are-?"

“I COULD GIVE A SHIT 'BOUT YA ORDERS, JONES! THEY COMPROMISED EVERYONE'S SAFETY!"

“HOW DID YOU MAKE CAPTAIN IF YOU CAN'T FOLLOW SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS?!"

“OH, LIKE YA EVER HAVE! I FEAR FOR M' LIFE EVERY TIME I GET STUCK WIT YA!"

“THAT'S RICH COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO COULDN'T GIVE SIMPLE COORDINATES SO HIS ASS GOT FROZEN FOR A CENTURY!"

Li got nose to nose with the Captain, poking him the chest before letting her hand slide slowly down it. Steve grabbed her hand when it started to slide too low, but didn't move it. Everyone could see the unmistakable lust in past Steve's eyes before his anger returned. Present Steve sunk low into the couch while, Li, shielded her face.

“You may have gotten by with the muscles and the eyes back in your day, but I'm not one of your fucking soldiers, Steven! I'm your commanding officer and not afraid to tell Captain America that he needs to fucking grow a pair!"

Li had yanked her hand from Steve's, and started to walk away. Captain America grabbed her arm and slammed a smirking, ReSpawn, to the wall with pure desire clouding his eyes and mind. Li on the other hand was determined not to show any emotion, but she was very obviously trying not to take him right there outside of Fury's office if her black eyes were any indication. The Captain smiled darkly and pinned her body with his, tracing her lips with his finger.

“Better watch that dirty little mouth, darlin'," he growled, “Before I have t' fuck it."

“Is that a threat, Captain?"

“Baby girl, that's a fuckin' prom-."

“Captain and Major! Go to medical now!" Fury said over the intercom.

The footage cut off there and everyone looked wide eyed at the Captain who was redder than Tony's suit before bursting into laughter. Li sighed in relief when her platonic soul mate decided to have mercy on the couple and not to show what happened before the med team got them back to normal.

“We were sprayed with an inhibition inhibitor on the mission! We just got together two weeks before after suppressing our feelings for a year!" Li defended.

“I've seen that stuff before and it never caused a reaction like that," Clint laughed.

“There are some instances where a strong mental soul bond increases sex drive," Dr. Banner supplied, “Both parties can feel each other so the experience is intensified. The fact that their recovery times are probably non-existent-."

ReSpawn whipped her head towards, Bruce, and shut him up telepathically. He made a lock and key motion and she let him go. 

“Next. Topic. Anthony."

“But-!"

Li growled and her body went completely green and her eyes silver. Tony put his hands up and smiled nervously at his soul mate.

“H-how about meeting? Soul mate stories are innocent and nonlethal right?"

The Major relaxed, smiled sweetly, and nodded, kissing her boy on the forehead and ruffling his hair. 

“I knew you'd come around, Tones."

Li laid her head on Steve's shoulder and went silent for an awkwardly long time before answering. 

“I can't really say when the mental thing started since we didn't even realize we were doing it until, Tony, pointed it out...but the roof when I got back from those three months in the cage? That's when I realized I was in love with him. It kinda made me feel like the princess, Tony, thought I was when he was a kid."

She smiled up at the Captain and her ears darkened. Her romantic soul mate's face softened with love as she switched to mental talk.

“That's when us being together stopped being something I thought you would eventually get over or just sex...I actually felt like you were making love to me for the first time that night. I just didn't say it then because I thought you didn't-fuck..."

Li wiped the tears streaming down her face. Why did she always have to ruin everything with her fears and insecurities? This was supposed to be a day of celebration, and here she was crying over things that don't even matter anymore like some-

“Weak human 73143! You are a weapon, ReSpawn! My weapons don't feel, they don't think! The others have learned that why can't you? Now are you ready?"

“Y-yes. Ready for disciplinary action, sir."

She braced herself for whatever her handlers felt like beating her with that day. Instead two warm hands cupped her cheeks and she opened her eyes to meet cool grey ones.

“I said I'm ready for my punishment, sir."

The blond man in front of her frowned and tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear.

“Ya haven't done anythin' wrong, baby girl."

“Yes, I have. I cried. I felt-."

“Sweetheart, that's not-Baby, ya allowed t' feel, okay? Ya not with those people anymore, baby girl! Ya free with me an'..."

He trailed off at her look of suspicion, hugged her close, and planted his lips on the top of her head. ReSpawn's confusion deepened.

Why was-? Wait-! This was the blond man that said he would never hurt her! What was his name? Sam? Stan? St-

“Steve!"

“Yes, yes, sweetheart! It's me!"

“What did I do this time?" 

“Nothin', baby. Absolutely nothin', darlin'...."

Steve pulled her in for a kiss full of every emotion words couldn't express. The Major was confused, but not complaining and let him pull her in closer, but stopped it when his hands started messing her dress' zipper.

“Steve, we're in public."

“What? Crap, I forgot..."

The Captain let go of, Li, and looked down in embarrassment. They were so talking when they get home. Tony cleared his throat and the Major looked over at him.

“Can, Blondie, tell his story before you two start with the sappy shit?"

“I don't really know... it just kinda happened over time, slowly then all at once," Steve shrugged, “But I do remember when I realized I might have feelings more than friendship."

Steve lifted his eyes back to his Major's curious ones, tucked that stubborn lock of her hair behind her ear, and held his hand there.

“Remember when we got lost in that jungle?" he asked.

“Yeah! You broke my leg!" Major Jones frowned.

He blushed deeply and Li's look of confusion intensified. Of all their times together, that's the one he goes with?

“Use your telepathy if you don't believe me."

Li raised an eyebrow as the Captain opened his mind to her mutation and started putting the scene in everyone's mind.

Chapter Text

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The pair wandered through the humid, tangled, and muddy interior of the rainforest in silence, after their some what victory, looking for shelter. They kept a version of the supersoldier serum out of nefarious hands for another day, but they also just had to eject from twenty thousand feet in in the air. Of course there was a self destruct button. There's always a self destruct button.

As they trudged through, Steve, kept looking over at his commanding officer waiting for any sign of fatigue. She had been called in from another assignment for this so she wasn't running at full capacity to start with. Not that she'd ever admit it. The sharp breaths and winces at every step told him plenty, though.

“Li, it's okay if you need a rest," Steve offered.

Li's ears darkened in embarrassment at the suggestion that she needed to stop, but she said nothing. Instead, she sped up to surpass him and the Captain rolled his eyes.

“Major-," he began.

“I'm fine!" ReSpawn snapped, “Let's-shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucking, motherfucking bitch!"

The Major tripped over an unseen branch with the leg that she was limping on. Steve caught her before she hit the mud, but she still gave him a mouth full of her colorful vocabulary as she scowled in his arms.

“This is bullshit!" ReSpawn grumbled, “They pulled me out of Antarctica for this?!"

“What the hell were you doing there?" Steve asked.

“Training exercise."

The Captain raised an eyebrow at her obvious lie, but after almost a year of living with her and four months of being under her command, he tries not to push too hard about her personal life anymore. Especially, when she gets that dead look in her eyes. After a second, she shook her head and grabbed his hand.

“I can gather up enough power for a one way trip for one," she said, “Don't leave me waiting here too long, Rogers."

“What? Li, no! I'm not leaving you behind!"

Steve yanked his hand from hers, setting it back on her hip to support her. How many times does he have to tell her that? Li grumbled and almost started arguing back, when she pushed away and grabbed her head. The Captain put a hand on her shoulder and moved to turn her around, but she flicked his hand off. She sat down on one of the many moss covered rocks and, Steve, bent down in front of her. Suddenly, ReSpawn snarled and pushed him on the ground.

“GOD DAMN IT, ROGERS! YOU JUST HAD TO PICK THE TIME OF THE WEEK I’M LOW ON POWER TO PULL THIS SHIT DIDN’T YOU?”

It took the Captain a minute to recover and get off the ground to his earlier position. He never seen her so pissed off before, but what was he supposed to do?! Let her be the same sacrificial idiot he had been?

“GEE, MA'AM, I’M SORRY YA PLAN WAS STUPID AN'-wait, Li, don’ waste ya power on me.”

The Major had put her hands on his torso to heal his broken ribs, but he took them off. He knew that she had to have been hurt worse when he landed on her after free falling from that great a height in the airship.

“Steve, please stay still. It’s fine, I’m fine.”

“Not gonna happen, Li, do yaself first.”

Li glared at him for a few minutes before glowing red, making her cuts and bruises disappear. The Captain smiled and did a quick look over her. When he was satisfied he kissed her temple. Her ears darkened again and she pushed him off again.

“I hate you," she grunted.

“I know ya do."

The Captain stood up and held out his hand. The Major sighed and grabbed it. She stood for all of five seconds, before collapsing and cursing up a storm. Steve sat her back down in slight panic.

“What? What is it?"

“How badly did I...fuck...." she whispered.

Li had grabbed her right pants leg and ripped it off it. Steve paled. Her leg was horribly bruised and bloodied by the fact that her bones were sticking out the side of her thigh and calf. The supersoldier looked up at her her dead dark eyes. He was filled with guilt. He thought he heard something snap when they landed on the metal platforms, but she got up fine...

“Could you break it again and set it for me? I didn't how bad it was before I healed it..." she gasped, “If you don't want to, I can do it just-."

“No! No, don't-don't move."


 

“You okay, Li?"

“I'm fine, Steve."

She snuggled into his warmth, but was still shivering heavily. He put a hand on her forehead and jerked away as soon as he touched her. She was burning up more than usual. Dangerously more. Steve sighed and held her tighter.

They found an abandoned shelter, but one day became two weeks that they were stuck out here. Under ordinary circumstances, they would've been fine, but to go that long with the injury she has was deadly. Top that off with her not sleeping...

“Listen up, Captain, I'm almost out of power and when that goes, I won't last too much longer."

“Li-!"

“The apartment and everything in it is yours."

“No, it's ours 'cause ya not dyin', Major! We're both goin' home! Now get some sleep!"

Li sighed, moved her blind eyes to the floor, and whispered something.

Later that night, he woke up to a lack of body heat next to him and shot up. He found the Major in a corner, clutching her head. The Captain went over and hugged her from behind. At first, she froze, but then she leaned back into him, resting her head on his shoulder.

“I'm so sorry, Li," he whispered.

“It's not your fault, Steve," she sighed, “I shouldn't have let myself get so low on assignment."

She made a disgusted noise at herself and sat up from him to put her head in her hands.

“I haven't done that in years! I should be better than that, stronger than that! But once again all I've proven is that I'm a failure."

“What? You're not a failure!"

“Look at me, Steve! I'm dying of infection because I couldn't fix a broken leg! Healing broken bones is child's play! Do you know how many times they broke my bones to get me to be faster at it?!"

“What?! Who?"

“And what do I have to show for it?! This!"

She hit her leg, harder than she meant to, and a cut off cry of pain and some nasty stuff from her infected leg came out of her. The Major punched the ground in frustration. Too hard as she cursed and looked down at her hand now had a dislocated left pinkie. Steve sighed and went to get a towel to clean her up. He also started up a fire to boil some water.

“Gimme your hand so I can do your leg. It has to be drained again."

Li sighed, sat up against the wall, and held her hand out so, Steve, could pop her finger back into place. He stroked it with his thumb a couple times before turning his attention to her leg.

They both hated doing this every couple days. Li hated it for obvious reasons and, Steve, hated it because he was causing her all this unnecessary pain. If he'd just been more careful...but she would've died if he hadn't. No, that's bull she would've been fine. He just didn't want to take that risk. He wasn't sure why, but he had become rather protective of his commanding officer in the last couple of months.

Steve looked up from the nastiness he was gently pushing out of the Major's thigh at the person it was attached to. Her eyes were closed and her face tried to betray no emotion, but every time he pushed down on her wounds it would crumple for the briefest of moments.

“It's okay t' cry, Li, I know I'm hurtin' ya bad."

“Can't. That's weakness."

“What're ya talkin' about? Cryin' isn't a sign of weakness."

“Oh, what would you know?!"

Li finally opened her eyes. They were shiny with unshed tears as she stared in his general direction.

“I was born to be the best of them all. To want nothing but to serve the people who allowed me to exist. And I was!"

Her face crumpled and a couple of tears fell which she quickly wiped away.

“I was happy with that! But then I threw it away for a stupid child and an overly patriotic moron!"

She growled and hit her head on the wall when the Captain accidentally squeezed her leg too hard out of his own anger. Steve's eyes widened in apology.

“I'm sorry! I didn't mean t'! It's jus'..."

He took her left hand in both of his, trying to figure out how to word his thoughts.

“Why are ya always so hard on yaself? Ya jus' keep punishin' yaself like ya some awful person."

“Because I am, Steve! I-! Nevermind, I don't want to talk about it."

She walled herself off from him again and sat stoically while he finished relieving a bit of her pain. She never wanted to talk about herself. That was the problem. The Captain sighed and continued their admittedly futile efforts to delay the inevitable.

Afterwards, she took off the button down shirt, Steve, found and gave her since hers got torn up in the fight and setting, so he could see how close the infection was creeping up to her heart. For the last two days, the red streaks of death stayed in about halfway up her torso, but today it climbed higher.

Steve felt his guilt levels rise more and more every day over her condition, especially, when the yellowing of her eyes started last week and now she was barely using the bathroom. SHIELD couldn't find them without actually going through the jungle and finding the cabin by hand. By how fast this infection was spreading, when they find them Li'll be-it's a miracle she's lasted this long-

“Steve, Steve! Stop that!"

The Captain had started shaking with tears of guilt. Everything he was holding in for two weeks spilling out.

“B-b-b-but ya gonna-I ki-!"

“Steve, STEVE! No you didn't! Believe me this stuff happens all the time!" Li exclaimed, “It comes with the job!"

“B-b-but wh-what am I supposed t' do without ya, s-sweetheart?"

The Major started a bit and frowned at the pet name, not that the Captain noticed. Finally, he felt two uncharacteristically cold hands on his cheeks, but he couldn't make eye contact with who they belonged to. Li wiped his tears.

“What are you talking about, Stevie?" she soothed, “You do what you've doing for the last ten months. Suck it up and carry on. You don't need me, love, believe me, you're strong enough."

She spoke in the soft, kind tone she uses on the casualties of their fights she heals when she thinks no one is paying attention to her. It just made him feel worse. It was like she was trying to heal his emotional pain. The woman who thinks she's the absolute worst.

The supersoldier finally looked right into the Major's eyes and realized that he did need her. Maybe he wasn't in love with his commanding officer, but he did love her. She'd been there for him from the moment he was unfrozen to when he falls asleep at night and is still at his side when he wakes up in the morning. Sure, he was sucking it up, but only because he has her to watch his back, making sure he doesn't drown in the loneliness of his situation.

“Why are you so quiet?" she asked, “What's wrong?"

“I-um...it's just-Li? Li!"

Suddenly, she fell over. Her eyes were open, but she wasn't moving. Steve put a hand on her cheek and she was going cold at the same time she was burning up. His widened in panic.

“Out...power.....Sorry.....love," she whispered.

The scratching in his brain stopped and, Li, closed her eyes. Steve shook his head, tears falling afresh. This was all his fault. One of the only people who genuinely gave a shit about him, and they're dead because he wasn't thinking again.

He gathered her in his shaking arms and kissed her temple. Her body was freezing and her chest was barely moving.

“Hold on a little longer for me please, Li? D-don't leave me-!"

At that moment the door was busted down and a small group of semi-familiar people came in. One of them, Rumlow, came forward.

“Cap, are you-?"

Steve stood up, carrying his Major, nothing mattered besides getting her conscious again.

“I'm fine! She's not!"


 

Hours later, Steve still paced outside Li's room. When they got back to civilization, SHIELD's doctors immediately took her to their ICU. They gave him as much medical attention as a superficially injured supersoldier with basic survival skills needed and told him that they would do what they could with the Major. Finally, after a quick shower and change into civilian clothes, someone came to give him some answers.

“She's still alive, but barely. We can't get her to go into REM sleep which is what recharges her mutations' power supply and we don't know what could be used as an artificial one."

The doctor shook her head.

“The infection has killed her leg, her kidneys, and her heart is following. It's too far gone so no amount of antibiotics will help," the doctor reported sadly, “If we can't get her to truly sleep, she'll be gone within the day, Captain, I'm sorry."

Steve felt his chest constrict like he was about to have an asthma attack and his brain short circuited.

“C-can I see her?" he whispered.

“Please do," she consented, “To be honest, Captain...I don't think anyone else is."

Steve swallowed and nodded once before going into his Major's room. Li Jones was a tiny woman, just reaching his shoulder in shoes, but right now the Captain never saw his commanding officer look so small.

She lay in the bed, hooked up only to a heart monitor and an IV. Her eyes were closed and she took shallow breaths. Someone cleaned her up and he could now see how pale she became and how far her sickness actually spread. He took her hand and kissed her temple before sitting down. She stirred a bit.

“Li...Li, I-I'm so sorry, sweetheart. I didn't-I jus'-," he stuttered. She lifted her hand up and put a finger on his lips.

“Not...your fault, bro," she whispered.

The corners of her mouth twitched in the ghost of a rare genuine smile. Steve started tearing up as he realized was never going to make those happen again. She cupped his cheek and he leaned into her touch.

Thank....you," she laughed.

“For what?" he frowned.

“Being...a...friend."

She started crying. Actual tears were running down her face and her breathing was laboured. Steve's tears spilt over too. He laid his head down on the bed space next to her and, Li, put a hand of comfort on the back of his head.

He cried for he didn't know how long, Li's heart stopped long before he did. The doctor came in at some point to turn off the long, high pitched beep of the monitor and tell him she could only give him but so much time before, Li, had to be moved to the morgue. He nodded his understanding and the doctor took her leave.

Steve didn't know what to do. For the first time since moving in with his commanding officer Captain America was lost. The only constant in this new world was that Major Li Ashton Jones always came home from the fight, always came back to him. He never realized how much he depended on that singularity to help him cope with his situation. Now he's back at square one.

He made an exasperated noise at himself. Why did he let himself so attached? He knows everyone he trusts gets their lives ruined or taken away just by proximity to him! His parents, Bucky, Peggy, Erskine, and now...

The Captain took Li's hand in both of his, taking in her every feature. From her dark, large puff of tightly coiled hair that she either got disgusted or creepily fascinated looks over, to the distinctive mole on the bridge of her nose that she hated covering up for undercover, to the faint, unexplained scars on the grey skin he could see, to her slender hands that she never trimmed the nails of, down over her once strong and healthy body that swears he only knows the location of birthmarks on because he forgets to knock or she forgets that she doesn't live alone anymore and he has an eidetic memory. He's not a creep!

Steve sighed. Everyone else on their small team will probably celebrate her death tonight. They either feared or just down right disrespected her for reasons that he can tell run deeper than the usual sexism and/or racism, but she refused to give him any details. He'll be right here, though, one of two or three people in this organization committing to memory another fallen soldier.

“How sentimental."

The supersoldier turned to find a familiar looking someone in casual business attire with a device in their hand, coming into the room and over to Li's IV. Steve tried to move, but found himself paralyzed.

“Sorry, Cap. I don't need your kind of attention," the person said, “You'll have your girlfriend back in a few hours."

Steve passed out from whatever was in the man's hand for god knows how long, before waking up to a killer headache....and, Li, running her hand through his hair?!

“Look alive, sunshine," she smirked.

The supersoldier wasn't sure what happened. One minute he was staring wide eyed at her, next he was on the bed crushing the life out of his commanding officer.

“Yes, yes, I'm not dead! Now lighten up!"

“But you were! R-right? It's fuzzy now that I think about it..."

“No, they got my heart going again after a minute. Now get off my leg!"

Steve rolled his eyes and pulled away to sit back in his chair and look at her bounded limb. She followed his gaze and put a blessedly warm hand on his cheek to turn him back to her dark eyes. He leaned into her touch a bit just to take in the feeling of it.

“How is the leg anyway?" he asked finally.

“I can't do much with it on only artificial power, but it's healing. I should be able to fix it when I sleep again."

“Where did you get artificial? They said they couldn't make it!"

Li got a soft smile and glazed look as she looked over at the pinkish orange lilies, geraniums, and dark red roses in an elegant blue vase on her nightstand. The Captain felt a pang of envy towards whoever was making her look like that. He wanted to be on the receiving end of that look.

“I know a guy, I was worried he wouldn't make it on time."

“Yeah, right. Why don't you sleep? I'll make sure no one messes with you."

“It's Friday."

Steve looked into her exhausted eyes with a scowl. One day he will find out why she won't sleep.

“Well, what can I do for you, sweetheart?"

The Major held out her arms and pouted like a cranky toddler. If anyone else did that, Steve, would roll his eyes and walk away from their immaturity, but on the Major...it never stops being adorable.

“You can get back up here and keep me warm! Do they turn the heat on at all?!"

Steve did as he was told and she snuggled into him, kissing him between the eyebrows. She told him that she does it because her mother said it smooths out the worry wrinkle. All he knows is that he's never been more reassured than when she does it. As long as she was there to kiss away his stress everything would be okay.

“...kissing, Li, that would be ni-What? No! Where the hell did that come from?" the supersoldier though to himself.

The Captain shook his head and put his arms around the woman that he wasn't quite sure where his relationship stood with. He decided that was an internal investigation for another day as he hugged her in close and laid his head on hers. Li sighed in content, seemingly unaware of the new feelings her second in command was developing for her, as she traced patterns on chest.

“What does 'sweetheart' mean?"

Steve froze as she sat up to look him in the eye. The Captain didn't know what to say. Should he lie and say it means nothing or tell the truth and risk ruining their friendship? Finally, he decided on the middle ground.

“It's...it's just something you call a real close friend."

Li's eyes narrowed, but eventually she shrugged with an expression of both great relief and slight disappointment.

“Oh. Well, thanks, bro."

“Of course, sweetheart."

He kissed her temple before she laid back down. Her ears darkened as she gripped the fabric over his heart and hid her face in his chest. Steve felt a warm feeling grow then ebb in the place her hand lay.

“I hate you by the way," she mumbled.

“No, you don't," he smiled.

Chapter Text

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“You are such a sap!"

“I thought I was gonna lose m' best gal before I even realized she's m' gal!"

Steve put a hand on her cheek and, Li, leaned into it. The whole world was gone except for her and her soul mate as she met his pain filled eyes. She scoffed internally. Only if, Tony, couldn't come quickly with her artificial would she have truly died. Her mutation has a two hour grace period after her heart stops.

“I told ya, sweetheart, I can't lose ya."

He kissed her lips and, Li, sighed and kissed him back. When will he learn that he's strong enough just being him? That he doesn't need her? That he's better off without her? She started to pull away when, Steve, held her head in place and deepened their kiss for a second before letting up. He nuzzled her nose while wearing his cocky smirk. Li rolled her eyes and snuggled into him. Steve frowned at her lack of reaction.

“Baby girl, what's wrong? Ya been down for the past hour..."

Steve's worry lines deepened and the Major mentally slapped herself for letting her thoughts dampen what should be their third perfect day. She kissed him between the eyebrows and he relaxed a bit.

“I'm fine, my love. Honest."

“D-."

“Rogers, where are you doing? Medical is-!"

Both superhumans whipped around at the sound of their own voices. On the television was an overhead view of them on one of the elevators at SHIELD. The Captain had his hand over Li's mouth and the other on the emergency stop. The were unknowingly mentally conversing, so no one could hear him, but, Li, legitimately blushed as she remembered what he said.

“We have about three minutes before they come bargin' in an' I have a promise t' keep..."

He kissed the side of her neck and pulled back to push her to her knees. The past Steve and Li smirked at each other while the present ones died of humiliation. 

“Li, please stop him before I-."

ReSpawn snapped her fingers and destroyed the television. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief while Iron Man scowled at his soul mate.

“Do you have any idea how much I paid for that t.v.?!"

“Tony, why-?!"

“Time for the baby shower!" Natasha interjected.


 

When the couple got to their floor, Li, immediately steered the Captain towards the bedroom, blindfolded him, and sat him on the bed. Steve opened his mouth in question, but his fiancée closed it with hers.

Steve moaned and pulled her closer, leaning back onto his pillow. They kissed slowly for a minute before his tongue pushed on the seam of Li's lips and she felt the rest of his body waking up to the situation. That's when she pushed away. Steve followed her with a whine of protest and, Li, pushed him back down.

“Don't move," Major Jones ordered.

Steve slowly nodded his understanding and sat up on his pillow. Li went into the bathroom to change and when she came back out, Steve, had shifted slightly and was smiling. She smiled too that he was enjoying himself and pulled out a couple pieces of fabric.

“I thought I said don't move, Captain."

“I-."

“Shut. Up."

She tied his wrists to the bed frame behind him. He let out a deep breath as the bulge in his pants grew larger. She shook her head in amusement. She had no idea how much her Major mode turned him on until he stuttered and blushed his way through asking to do something new in bed.

“Lay back, Captain. The only words I want to hear from you tonight are 'yes, ma'am'...and 'stop'. Are we clear?"

The Captain nodded again. Li frowned at the nonverbal response and slight fear coming through their bond. She yanked his restraints just hard enough to hurt.

“I said 'Are we clear' Captain Rogers?" she asked in a softer tone, “Are you sure you want to do this?

“Y-yes, yes ma'am!" he blushed, “I'll tell ya if I need ya t' stop."

“Okay..."

She sat herself on the edge of the bed and looked at her Captain. He was already breathing heavily and straining against his jeans in anticipation. No sense in keeping him waiting anymore. 

She repeated her before the party actions of rubbing him through his pants and kissing his neck. Steve hissed every time she gave him a good squeeze followed by a nip to his neck and started bucking into her hand. She held down his hips and he groaned.

“Ma'am please?" he begged.

“Please what, Captain?" 

“Please-oh blow me, Li! Fuck!"

The Major pulled away and folded her arms, leaving her Captain hanging. She saw his fists clench and the fabric holding them give a bit so she stood up to tighten them again. 

“Are you giving me orders, Captain?"

“N-no..." he stuttered, “I-I'm sorry, ma'am."

She smirked. The Major undid his belt buckle, slowly slid his zipper down, and started to suck on him through his boxers. He started groaning out her name, but she silenced him by using her mutation to mess with the speech area of his brain.

“You lost your talking privilege, Captain."

She made his shirt disappear and straddled him so he could feel her chest through the thin fabric of her lingerie. She leaned in close to his ear and, Steve, shuddered underneath her.

“I should put that pretty mouth to better use.."

Steve nodded in agreement and the Major laughed a bit at his desperation to get one of them off as soon as possible. Instead of giving in, she upped his torture by pushing on his pleasure center with her telepathy like earlier. She laughed at the loudest moan she ever heard from him and left his head and body.

The Captain looked amazing. Flushed and sweating, trying his best not to bust through the cloth around his wrists and fuck her till they both couldn't move for a couple days, his cock dripping through his underwear, begging to be emptied. She could eat him alive.

“I have half a mind to leave you like this, Stevie. All hard and hot, only the ghost of my touch..."

“Please don't ma'am!" he begged, “Please ma'am keep touchin' me!"

“Nope you gotta show me you'll be a good boy."

She reached up and undid one of his hands. She slowly slid it down her body, partly to build him up and also to let him get a feel for what she was wearing for him. Steve swallowed hard as his hand stopped on her, in his “Li-if-ya-ever-repeat-this-I'll-!" opinion “second best only to ya butt" assets and the Major rubbed her breasts against his hand. 

“I might let you have fun with them later...make 'em any size you want?"

“They're fine the way they are," he muttered absentmindedly, slightly squeezing her.

Li refrained from kissing him. She didn't think he knew how unbelievably sweet he was. She finally rested his hand on the wet heat between her legs. He smiled and flexed his fingers a bit.

“Are you gonna be good and make me come, Captain?"

“Darlin' it would be m' pleasure."

Steve licked his lips as the Major let go of his hand. He swiped his fingers in anticipation of moving fabric, but smirked at his discovery.

“Dirty girl,"  he growled, “I feel the lace on ya butt so that only means..."

He swept his index finger through her slick folds before sinking it inside. She sighed as he quickly added his middle finger, slowly building her up. She laid her head on his shoulder.

“I got the other ones you were looking at for our honeymo-oh right there, Stevie. Yes...."

I can't wait, Mrs. Rogers."

“I'm not-oh, Stevie, faster please-your wife yet, Captain."

At that statement, the Captain frowned used his knee to push her further on his hand, and she let out a cry of pleasure that surprised herself at the same time it sent a shiver throughout him. 

“Ya been close enough for me for a while now, Li."

The Major blinked back tears as her fiancee's sweet words and magic fingers brought her to her end. Steve whispered out words of praise while bringing her back down, but kept shifting around which made her remember the predicament she had him in. She reached out and took his blindfold off.

“Oh fuck me..." he groaned out loud.

She had on red and black lacy outfit that she brought before she was visibly pregnant so now it was a tad too small. By that she meant her butt and boobs were damn near spilling out and her seven months along belly were all on display for the father of her children. The Major thought, Steve, might not want her in it, but, (Y/N), assured her it was fine yesterday though. Something about a friend's grandmother telling her that “Nothing turns a guy on more than hiked up boobies, ass cheeks and confirmation of his virility in the form of your pregnant belly!"

“'Besides," the doctor said, “I've seen the way he looks at you for too long. He honestly doesn't care what you look like.'"

At this point the Captain's eyes were completely dark and every part of his body was at full attention. The Major sat innocently between his legs and snapped away the rest of his clothes.

“That's the plan, baby."

Steve sighed and hit the back of his head against the bed frame as she seated him in her and started moving.

“You gonna come hard for me, Captain?"

“Y-yes, ma'am..."

He looked at her with his puppy dog eyes and she held back laughter at the great relief in them. She decided to give in, mostly because her sensitivity from her first climax and the addicting stretch of her Captain inside her was bringing her close again. 

“Oh yes, yes, sweetheart yes!"

The Major started messing with his pleasure center again just to see how far she could push him before he lost control. She didn't have to wait long as, Steve, let out a sound that could only be described as a legitimate growl, ripped out of his restraints, lifted her up, and put her back flush with his chest so fast she didn't even register the power switch until the Captain was pounding into her like it would be the last time. 

“How's a man supposed t' control himself around ya, darlin'?"

Before she could answer, the Captain buried his hand in her hair and pushed her in for a passionate kiss. She scoffed a bit, thinking about how they got here.

She was the first thing he saw waking up from the ice. He lived with her, was under her command, they both rarely left the apartment for the better part of a year. He never gave himself the chance to find someone besides her or more she never did since she went everywhere he did to keep an eye on him in this formerly new world.

Did she unintentionally make it so he had no other choice but her? Did she force him into this? What if she let the reigns go? What if she hadn't been his shadow? Would they still be together? Would he have found someone normal? Would-would he have been happier since he wouldn't have to deal with her sh-?

“Li..."

The Major opened her eyes to meet the deeply concerned ones of her soul mate's. She looked away in embarrassment at her weak minded insecurities, but, Steve, brought her lips back to his. This time their kiss was slower, but with a greater amount of love.

“Stop thinking, sweetheart."

He let her up for air and ran his hands down her body before settling on her round belly. The Captain smiled, grabbed her ring hand, and set his forehead on hers, showing the story of how they fell in love from his perspective and the zero regrets he has about it. Li blinked back more tears.

She wished that her mind would just always accept his love. He had no reason to lead her on, especially so far as to willingly raise a family with her. But no matter how she tried there was always that one sliver of doubt, and it was her greatest fear that he would one day tire of it. Steve wiped away the one tear that did fall with nothing but love in his touch.

“I'm not goin' anywhere, baby girl. I love ya, Li, an' one day I'll say it enough times that you'll believe me."

He held her tighter than ever with the same determination he had proposing to her.

“An' even if ya never do I'll still be here. It's me an' ya, Li. Together."

Li lost control over her dam of emotions and she sobbed. She cried for she didn't want to know how long. She didn't want to remember how many times she apologized for the way she is and for dragging the Captain into her life. She didn't want to know how many times, Steve, told her he was happy being with her, but to keep venting because it's been awhile since she has. She didn't want to remember how irritating, weak, and poisonous she is. All she wanted to remember was how sweet the love made to her that night was.

Chapter Text

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Steve woke up in the morning to his fiancèe twitching and muttering in her sleep, curled around her stomach like she expected to be attacked at any moment. He kissed her temple and she calmed a little, but, Steve, still felt terrible that he couldn't help her. Ever since, Li, hit her late third trimester all she did was sleep, barely move, eat just enough, and cry. Yesterday was the first time in a week she's gathered up the energy to leave the house. 

He consulted Tony, Bruce, and even the internet, but he couldn't deny the truth that his children were literally parasites right now. All he could do is hope everything would be better when the twins are born.

The Captain kissed her temple again and her belly before getting up to get ready for a run.

“Be gentle on ya, Ma, today for me, babies, okay? Ya, Pop, loves ya."

As he closed the bedroom door, Steve, did something he hadn't in a while. He bowed his head and he prayed.  He prayed for his family's safety while he was out, he prayed for the love of his life to feel better. He practically begged for them not to be taken from him.


 

“...oh, don't you wonder when the lights began to fade and the clock just makes the colors turn to grey...'"

Steve came back home to smell of chocolate chip pancakes and the sound of his wife singing. He walked into the kitchen to find her in one of his button up shirts, cutting up strawberries. He thought about announcing his presence, but it's been awhile since he heard her sing so he stood in the shadows of the doorway.

“...We'll stay drunk, we'll stay tan, let the love remain, and I swear that I'll always pa-fuck!"

She cut her index finger pretty deeply and, Steve, was about to go help her when a hand held him back. The Captain looked behind him to see Daemon.

“Don't," he said.

“She's hurt-!" Steve exclaimed.

“She's not hurt, Captain, that's barely a paper cut to us. Just look."

Steve turned back to see the Major cleaning up the mess she made and then continuing to cut up her fruit, carefully avoiding her bandaged finger.

“...Time can never break your heart, but it'll take the pain away..." Li continued. Daemon laughed a bit.

“Bandages? What have you done to my sister, Captain?"

“I still don't understand," Steve said.

DeSpawn sighed and went to go sit on the couch a few feet away. Steve peeked in at his wife again and she was making plates. She looked tired and a bit underfed, but she also glowed in self satisfaction. Something he hasn't seen in at least a month.

“I know you feel guilty for not being there the first couple months you two knew she was pregnant," Daemon said, “And I won't lie and say she's fine."

Steve didn't meet Daemon's eyes even though he felt them on the back of his head. He knew where this was going as it's been his future...brother in law's...concern ever since, Li, showed interest in the supersoldier, but he didn't want to hear it.

“You can't keep fighting battles for her, Captain. I saw what you did to Davis. I see you doing things for her that she can easily do herself. She knows how to cook, clean, and transport herself. She can still function when she's blind and beaten to hell.

The par-twins might be weakening her power wise, but you're weakening her independence wise." 

Steve's fists clenched and he took a deep breath to keep his anger in check. Daemon kept going though.

“What's going to happen when you're not around anymore? When Stark's not around? She's going to outlive you if you haven't noticed. We're going to outlive you all.

When you decide you don't want to be with someone you can't grow old with, who do you think she's gonna run to? Me!" 

“So I should should treat her like garbage?!" Steve snapped, “Make her nothing special, just like everyone else does?!"

“YES! THAT'S HOW OUR LIVES ARE, CAPTAIN,  AND WHEN YOU LEAVE HER, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, HYDRA IS ALL WE HAVE LEFT! THERE'S NO WHERE ELSE THAT UNDERSTANDS HOW WE FUNCTION!

YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW MANY TIMES WE'VE TRIED TO ESCAPE AND EVERY TIME IT'S THE SAME RESULT! THEY CATCH US OR WE GET DOWN ENOUGH THAT WE HAVE TO GO BACK!

YOU'RE GIVING HER A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY AND WE CAN'T AFFORD TO HAVE THAT! WE DON'T GET HAPPILY EVER AFTER, CAPTAIN!  I'M SORRY THAT I EVEN LET HER THINK SHE COULD!"

DeSpawn's eyes turned a dangerous shade of red, but, Steve, was too pissed to care. He thought he only had to deal with this from Stark.

“After all we've been through, I'm fuckin' married t' her in every way 'cept legally! She carryin' M' KIDS!" the Captain shouted, “I love her, Daemon, ya know that more than anyone! Why are you so convinced I'm gonna dump her?!"

“BECAUSE-because I know, okay?!"

Steve's temper lessened as he heard the waiver in DeSpawn's voice. He was hiding something. Steve didn't get to the bottom of it though because, Li, came out in that moment.

“D, breakfast is-oh, Steve, you're back just in time!"

She smiled wide and kissed him between the eyebrows while continuing to balance plates. Steve took one to relieve her and, Daemon, made an almost inaudible growl. Li rolled her eyes and held out the second plate for her little brother. 

“There's plenty to go around, D, calm down."

“Actually...there's someplace I got to be, sister."

Li's face fell and she turned angrily to her soul mate to see if he said something to piss her brother off. Steve blocked off their argument as best he could, knowing that the Major couldn't pry too deep. Eventually, Li, sighed and set the plate on the coffee table.

“...I understand. What did you want to tell me before you go? Did something happen with the aether?"

Daemon stared into his sister's physically and mentally exhausted eyes for a long minute before looking away with a sigh. 

“Nothing important. We can talk later."

“Okay...?"

DeSpawn hugged her tight for a long time and then stiffly patted his future niece and nephew. Li took Steve's hand, kissed it, and smiled up at him. He looked at, Daemon, who was giving her a look of great pity.

“I'll see you, sister. Take care of yourself, okay?"

“Don't I always?"

Daemon scoffed and shook his head. The superhuman made his way out the door. Li took the moment to give the Captain a proper welcome home kiss. She didn't let up for a whole two minutes and, Steve, got so lost in her that he almost forgot about Daemon's strange behavior.

But what was it all about though? Was it just the usual sibling/soul mate protectiveness? It seemed much deeper...

“Stevie..."

The supersoldier opened his eyes to the best sight possible. Himself sitting on the couch with the most beautiful woman in the world smiling, wearing his shirt half buttoned, holding a plate of chocolate chip and strawberry pancakes in her engagement ring hand, resting a fork on her nearly full term belly.

“Yes, dear?"

“Stop thinking, my love."

She took a fork full of food and fed it to him. As usual, it was the best thing he ever-well second best-thing he's ever tasted. Daemon was wrong. He could never-! Li was way too important!

They were engaged, expecting, and had the best friends in the world. These were the days they'll look back on in twenty years when the team is going grey with their small army of adult children and reflecting on their heyday. Together.

He stopped thinking about a nonsensical future, and gave his wife a kiss of appreciation that quickly turned into something else, when her stomach growled.

“Stevie, food first..."

He picked her and up without breaking away from her lips and took them to the kitchen to make some more memories.

Chapter Text

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“Are you absolutely sure?"

“Yes."

Bruce's expression was appropriately sad, but it was nothing compared to the pain in Li's chest. She knew one of the kids was draining her faster than she replenished, but she hoped it could be fixed. She bet hers, Tony's, and Bruce's unauthorized two months absence from missions on it.

But now that hope died.

“I'm sorry, Major, but there's nothing we can do," Bruce said quietly, “Whichever one it is, trying to change their mutant genes now might kill them."

“And they're still too underdeveloped to deliver now?" Li asked.

“Yes, your power is a major component of their growth," he nodded.

The silence was long and ringing as, Li, tried to pull herself together. The Major shook her head. She should've expected nothing less. The very thought of her was poison and now...Either she'll survive this and stay far away from her children so she can't corrupt them. Or she and the children both die, leaving, Steve, behind with the ghosts of what could've been. 

There was no win-win situation in this, all because of her, her stupid genes, and her lack of self preservation. 

“Li? Li are you still with me?"

The Major looked up into his soft brown eyes. He looked forward to their birth as much as she and Steve if not more since he knew them down to their genetic code. She brought this heartbreak on everyone; she had no right to be upset. Li smiled and patted the bioengineer's cheek.

“Thank you for trying, Bruce."

He ran a hand through his hair and then started messing with the pen in his hands.

“I-is there anything else I can do for you?" he mumbled.

“No, no, I'll be fine," she whispered.

She made her way to her studio before she started crying. The sound of, Bruce, putting his hand through the wall didn't escape her. It tempted her to do the same.

“JARVIS! My “I'm in a Rage" protocol! No exceptions! Now!"

“Yes, Major Jones."

ReSpawn sighed as the door locked and Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge came blasting through her speakers. She went to her easel. What she needed was-

Li frowned at an envelope sitting on her painting space. She opened it and unfolded the paper inside. It was a genetics report on- the boss? 

“What on-?"

Li's heart stopped and all the blood left her body. It-it couldn't be right? According to this, Steve Rogers was the boss' father, but she, Li Jones, wasn't the mother. She looked through it and the rest of the envelope frantically, to see if there was some sort of mistake, but the report and a piece of paper behind it was all there was.

She took it with the hope that it set everything straight, but it was just a note from Daemon.

Sister, I wanted to tell you this in person, but you looked so happy yesterday, I couldn't ruin it. At least not in front of him. He would just fill your head with more lies of love and loyalty to you. 

I'm sorry, Li. I'm so sorry. I went back. I went back to our time. Well, more like I was dragged back. I kept your whereabouts safe though, you're welcome.

The point is: You live through the parasites birth, but something happened I dunno whether it was a midlife crisis or what, but the Captain...he took the kids and left you. I leaked everything about HYDRA on my escape and found reports of your kills from the year after we left...and this.

I'm sorry for letting you have false hope of normality, sister. 

She read the letter over and over hoping it would change, but there was no denying the truth. The Major looked at  the floor and there she found something that shattered her heart. A picture of a middle-aged preserum Steve smiling with a teenage boy that looked like mostly like him. And a woman snuggled into the Captain's side. She had a face similar to the Major, but was frail in physique and obviously an age she can never be.

ReSpawn's rage ignited with a bang as she destroyed the room with just her power up alone.

“THAT SON OF A COCK SUCKING BITCH!"

The temperature of the room went up and started to catch fire, but, ReSpawn, just kept going. 

“HE PROMISED ME! HE-!"

Li went down as excruciating pain went through her heart. She went back to her human appearance as the sprinklers kicked in. She laid down on the floor. She got what she wanted. He found someone else, someone that made him happier, someone who he can grow old with.

“Li, Li?! Sweetheart, answer me! Damn it, JARVIS! LET ME IN!"

“Miss Jones requested no one bothers her until she comes out. No exceptions, sir."

“JARVIS, IT'S ME!" Steve exclaimed.

“Masters Stark, Banner, and Rogers in particular, sir."

“JA-!"

“Captain, calm down. I'm fine."

His sigh of relief as he collapsed against the door echoed through her head, and she smiled. It almost sounded genuine. 

“Li, baby, talk t' me. What's wrong, sweetheart?  I felt ya anger go through the roof, then ya cut me off. Then, Tony, told me there was a security breach and a fire in ya studio. I-I t-thought y-ya-t-they-o-o-oh god m-m' babies' are o-o-okay!"

He started crying and, ReSpawn, saw all the worst case scenarios flashing through his head. She teared up again. She wished she could trust him. She wished his concern for her would never waiver, but what her brother found. There's no denying it. 

Who was she kidding? Family, stability? Those are the dreams of a child and one with a normal upbringing at that. She was not normal and at the same time, nothing special. She was put on this earth for one thing and one thing only. To serve the people that allow her to exist. Her mission was to take out Captain America when need be. It's about time she remembered that.

“Baby, come out please? I want t'-."

ReSpawn cut off the Captain and teleported home. When, Steve, got back  to the apartment a few hours later, confusion and hurt etched into his face, she handed him a pillow and blanket and pointed to the couch. He looked so small and vulnerable searching her eyes for what he did so wrong, that the Major almost gave in. But the steady throb in her chest forbid her. 

She just turned and went to her bedroom.

Chapter Text

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“I dunno what t' do, (Y/N). She won't talk t' me, she won't look at me, I've been on the couch for two fuckin' weeks!"

Steve buried his face in his hands, trying not to think about the throbbing ache in his chest and near silence in his head. He hadn't felt like this since he woke up from the ice.

Li shut him out completely and he still didn't know why even though she obviously hurt just as badly as him. Wanting advice, but no prying questions, he turned to the only person he knew would be objective. (Y/N) put a hand on his shoulder as he blinked back tears. 

“I hear her cryin' all the time an' she's always havin' nightmares an' shoutin' for me all night, b-but she won't l-let me i-i-in!"

The Captain broke down. How did it go from good to bad so fast? How does the love of his life hate him overnight?!

“W-what did I do?!" he sobbed.

“Who talked to her last besides you?" (Y/N) asked quietly.

The Captain frowned in thought. They went to their engagement party/baby shower, then went to their floor and made love half the night. He got up for a run, came back to D-

Captain America turned a dangerous shade of red and stood up with a clenched jaw. He tried to be nice for Li's sake, but now her brother took his disapproval of his future brother-in-law too far. He walked out of (Y/N)'s apartment, ignoring her calling out for him.

“Steve? Steve, where are you going? What happened?!"


As soon as, Daemon, opened his door, the Captain grabbed him by the collar and slammed him against the door jam. 

“What did ya say t' her?! Why does she hate me now?!" Steve demanded.

“What are-oh she got my note then?" Daemon muttered.

DeSpawn teleported behind the supersoldier and, Steve, whipped around ready for a fight, but, Daemon, just leaned against the wall behind him.

“I'm guessing she didn't tell you then?" he sighed, “Of course, she wouldn't."

“What the fuck are you talking about?" Steve growled.

Daemon folded his arms and stared he Captain right in the eye. 

“Not my place to say."

Steve felt a vein in his temple throb. He was sleep deprived, worried sick, depressed, and had paper thin patience. 

“Listen here ya son of a bitch," he said frighteningly low, “Ya don't like me an' I definitely don't like ya, but ya have no right-!"

I have no right?" Daemon snapped, springing off the wall, “You had no right to even think about being with my sister! She was fine before you showed up!"

“SHE WAS DYIN', DAEMON! PEOPLE AIN'T MEANT T' BE TREATED THE WAY YA TWO WAS!" Steve exploded.

“HOW MANY TIMES MUST I TELL YOU? WE AREN'T-!"

“Daemon? Daemon is that you?"

Li's brother froze and his eyes widened in disbelief. Steve raised an eyebrow and looked to the still open door. There stood a good looking dark skinned black man with a lanky build. His kind looking dark eyes went back and forth between Steve and Daemon.

“Daemon is this guy givin' you trouble?" the man asked.

“Why would you care if he was?" Daemon muttered, “Go away."

Hurt flashed through the man's face and, Daemon, almost looked guilty. His eyes were still fixed firmly on the floor, though. Steve began to think he should leave.

“Daemon, I..."  the man began, “Sorry for intruding."

With one last warning glare at the Captain-did lightning just go through his eyes?-the man shoved his hands in his coat's pockets and went back out into the cold February day. Steve looked back at DeSpawn.

An impenetrable wall of black swirled around his body, his glowed bright red, he twitched, and the hallway darkened, dropping twenty degrees.

“Daemon?" Steve asked.

“Get out."

The animalistic snarl to DeSpawn's voice stood the hair on the back of Steve's neck up.

“Daemon are you-?"

GET OUT!"

Daemon's body fell to the ground and in its place hovered the red eyed shadow the Captain remembered from the charity. Suddenly, DeSpawn, rammed the Captain through his front door. Steve stared up at the grey sky, the wind completely knocked out of him and more confused than ever. Soon enough, DeSpawn, towered over him. 

“In two months, my foot will be permanently up your ass," he growled.

Daemon snatched his door from underneath the Captain and stomped away. Steve closed his eyes in relief of only having a few bruises. When will he learn to not piss off the Jones twins?


“Stark, what the hell are ya doin'?"

Steve came home to the billionaire picking his door lock. They never gave anyone on the team spare keys to the apartment, trying to preserve some level of privacy in their relationship. Tony ignored him and, Steve, took a deep breath before turning him around.

“Stark-."

“You don't feel it?"

“Feel wha-?"

Suddenly, his soul mate protection instincts hit him like a punch to the gut. Captain America shoved Iron Man out the way and busted down the door, running into his living room. Everything seemed normal, no sign of a struggle, but no sign of his family either.

“Li, baby, where are ya?!" he shouted.

“H-help....he-help m-me..." came a weak cry from the kitchen.

Steve felt all the blood leave his body at Li's voice. She never-he's never-!"

“Li? What's-? SWEETHEART!"

She was laying motionless on the floor, pale as a sheet, her blind eyes wide open with fear as she felt blood pooling around her head. Her breath hitched as she felt the supersoldier come up.

“Steve....help me.....please?"

Steve dropped to his knees trying to figure out what she cut herself on without moving her. 

Tony go call an ambulance!"

“Wha-what the fuck?!"

The inventor ran into the kitchen and froze at seeing his soul mate fallen on the floor. He whispered something that the Captain couldn't make out.

“STARK, CALL THE DAMN PARAMEDICS!"

“What's a hospital supposed to do with her?! She needs power!"

“SHE'S BLEEDIN' OUT! An' the hospital's closer than SHIELD! Just call 'em afterwards!"

Tony made a noise of irritation and whipped out his phone. The supersoldier turned back to his wife, taking her ring hand to anchor her. She looked like she was quickly losing consciousness. The Captain started panicking further.

“Li, ya gotta stay awake okay?"  he begged.

“......Steve.....I'm.....sorry...."

“Shhhh, save ya energy, baby," he whispered, kissing her hand, “Help's comin', just stay with me okay?"

“...can't......power t-."

Her eyes fell shut and, Steve, started shaking her, all rational thought leaving him.

“No, no! Baby wake up, please wake up!"


 

He should've been there when she fell. He knew how fragile she was right now! How could he be stupid enough to leave her alone for so long?!

Steve's grip on her hand tightened. When he let go of her after accepting that she was out cold, he heard the crunch of breaking glass underneath her head and her bleeding got worse. He lifted her head and saw the remains of a mug embedded in the side of her head. All she wanted was something to drink.

The ER doctor said she'd been on the floor for at least two hours. That means she fell a few minutes after he left to go to (Y/N)'s. His wife lie bleeding on the floor for hours, begging for help when he was literally next door. He's her fucking soul mate and didn't feel a damn thing happen to her until, Tony, brought it up. He was so wrapped up in his own hurt that he neglected her side.

The Captain kissed her ring hand and asked her to wake up. She lost so much power and blood at once that she went into a coma. No one could tell him when she'd be conscious. He didn't leave her side once. 

“Steve, you gotta eat."

“I will."

“Cap, you have to shower."

“I'll get t' it."

“Steve, it's been a week, get some sleep. She'll be here when you wake up."

“What if she wakes up? I'm not leavin'."

The Captain stroked her ice cold cheek and then planted a kiss on her belly. The twins were fine, thank god. Right now they were getting their power supply from the two every four hours bags of artificial dripping into their mother's arm. He felt them kick and smiled a bit.

“Strong and stubborn. Jus' like ya ma...did I ever tell ya how we met?"

The twins kicked again and, Steve, laughed. 

“Well, I'm gonna tell ya again! Now listen up...."


 

Steve woke sometime later to his wife's noisy mind and her crying in her sleep. Not what he wanted,  but it was her first sign of life in eight days. Steve put a hand on her cheek to turn her head towards him, but instead he found himself in her cage in the HYDRA base she grew (will grow?) up in.

Li and another him stood outside the cage completely unaware of the second Captain in the room.

Dream Steve's eyes hit the ground and his fists clenched. Li reached out hesitantly. 

“St-ow baby, you're hurting me!"

Dream Steve grabbed her hand in a crushing grip, bringing the Major to her knees in pain. Real Steve went to tear the door off the cage, but it wouldn't budge. Li cried out as the other Steve's grip on her hand started drawing blood.

“Steve, please I'm-!" 

The slap across the face she received as nightmare Captain America let go of her, rang in the real Steve's ears.

“Ya fuckin' bitch," the Captain growled, “I gave m' life t' ya an' this is how ya treat me?"

“There's nothing you could-."

“SHUT UP!"

He hit her so hard that her head bounced loudly against the floor and she became too dazed to get up. He started kicking her, emphasizing each one with an insult and ignoring her pleads to not hurt the kids.

“Ya mean ya demon spawns?!"

“Steve, please! Please stop!"

Steve started pulling at the cage again as the other Steve picked, Li, up by the throat and slowly crushed her windpipe.

“This is exactly why I left ya! Ya never think about anyone but yaself! He was more m' soul mate than a Soulless like ya could ever be an' ya turned him int' ya!"

“GET OFF M' WIFE!"

Steve tried to ignore the horrible gasps for air the love of his life made as he finally yanked the door free and threw it at the nightmare of himself. That jerked the supersoldier out of Li's head. He found her staring at a spot just beyond him, her face completely blank. Steve hugged her as tight as he could.

“Baby girl-" he started.

“I can't do this anymore, Steve."

“Do what, Li?"

“I-I can't," she said quietly, “I can't do us."

“W-what?"

He pulled away from her with a jerk. Tears were leaking from the corners of her eyes, despite her stoic expression and the Captain cupped her cheeks.

“Li," he said calmly, “Ya mind's not in the right place-."

“Steve," she whispered, “Please don't make this harder."

The Captain frowned and grabbed her upper arms, ready to shake some sense into her.

“Whaddya mean 'don't make this harder'?!" he exclaimed, “Ya talkin' 'bout breakin' up, after all we've been through!"

She didn't answer and moved her head so he couldn't see her start crying. She didn't want to do this either.

“Sweetheart, please," he begged, “Please tell me what's wrong."

She yanked herself out of Steve's hands and got up to lay on the recliner next to the window. She still wouldn't face him, but she shook in silent tears.

“I-I'm sorry, my love," she mumbled, “You and the kids have a future just not with me."

Steve stood up in a rage, his own tears threatening to fall. 

“Why not?" he demanded, “A month ago, ya wanted t' spend the rest of our lives together-!"

“Your life, Steven. I wanted to spend the rest of your life together."

Li seemed to make herself smaller both physically and voice in the chair.

“I-I thought...you and I could be different....that... we.........wouldn't........."

The Major trailed off and it took him a second to realize that she passed out. Steve's eyes widened at the growing stain of red on the chair. His eyes followed it back to-

“Oh fuck! Nurse! NURSE!"

Steve kicked himself for not realizing his wife's IV ripped out. He quickly took off his shirt and applied pressure to her bleeding arm after frantically pushing the help button. Li's eyes opened again, her eyebrows furrowing.

“Steve...stop...save James and Amy....and...j-just let me.....go."

Steve froze at the quiet tone of her voice and looked at her. She looked over a hundred, trapped by her own body's inability to deal with her lack of power and her unending nightmares on top of it. He never saw her look so defeated.

“Captain, we need you to leave the room."

“B-but..." he whispered.

Steve started to be pulled out by two sets of hands, but he refused to move. Not when his wife needed him! Her mind was in a terrible place and she needed him to bring her to her senses!

“Captain, you can't do anything for her right now."

“She out again, Steve, come on!"

Daemon and Tony pulled him out of the doctors' way. 

Chapter Text

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Li gasped and groaned as she came back to life. She tried to open her mouth to curse her at her expected misfortune. She couldn't though. She was completely paralyzed. Li internally groaned. Too little power to live, too much power to die. 

“When are you gonna tell him?"

The Major groaned again at the sound of her little boy's voice.

“Tell...who...what....?"

“Li-."

“H.......ow? It's...his choice........free....will and...all that.....shit..."

“This isn't Terminator sweetcheeks, this is your life! You're obviously not sleeping from the stress or we wouldn't be here! And when he does leave you then what? We both know what happens to soul bonds when they're not taken care of!"

“.....His.....choice....Anthony.....Besides.....I'm......invincible, remember...."

Her soul mate went quiet, self-debating on reminding her how terrifyingly long her heart stopped earlier today, but decided against it.

“Then why are you breaking up with him?! If, Daemon, hadn't told you anything, you and Blondie would be up each other's ass just like any other day! He loves you, Li and you love him! We all see the proof!"

Tony put a hand on her round belly and the Major shut down emotionally.

Of course, she wanted to stay with her Captain! Of course she wanted the out he was giving her! Of course she wanted to raise a family with him! But wouldn't be easier for all four of them if she just left without a fuss? Wouldn't be easier if the kids never knew her? Wouldn't be easier for, Steve, if he didn't have to see her for visitation and child support and-wouldn't it be easier for them if she just never existed?!

“Sweetcheeks, calm down! I don't want to see you get sedated again! I just want you to think. Are you doing it for him? Or doing it so you don't get hurt, Li?"


 

An amount of time she didn't know later, the Major woke up again. She could move now, even though her limbs still felt like lead. Next to her, she heard a small whine. She felt around until her hand landed on the stubble of her romantic soul mate's cheek. He twitched and muttered in his sleep, pulling her closer and closer to him. 

“Not her...not her too, p-please..." he begged.

Li frowned and sat up to press a kiss against the worry lines she made deeper and deeper in her husband every day. Maybe she should-

“Li?"

She felt his strong arms wrap around her and his whole body shaking. She put a hand on the back of his head and rubbed small circles around his scalp with her nails. He relaxed into her, breathing deeply, obviously still exhausted.

“I'm...sorry....I woke you. Go back....to sleep, my love."

“No no, I'm fine, baby girl. How do ya feel?"

“I feel....I feel.....eight...months pregnant."

Steve made a tiny snort and he pulled away to maneuver them so she was laying on his chest. Li felt one of his hands on her belly and the other messing with her ring.

“Do...do ya want me t' take it back?"

“....I-I don't-.....no...but you-......b-but......"

She let out a cry of frustration. Why did her brother do this to her?! Why couldn't he just let her live in blissful ignorance?! Steve's heart rate picked up at the sound of hers spiking.

“Sweetheart, baby girl, it's okay. Whatever it is, I don't want ya t' think about it right now, okay? Ya under enough stress as it-."

“It's.. not what you.........did do......what you......will do."

“What?"

“You.....'ll...find out.....when..older."

Li tried to smile as best she could, but she didn't need her eye sight to know the expression on her Captain's face. She gathered all her concentration and slowly sat a shaking hand on top of her husband's. She put the scene where, Reese, was about to tell, Sarah, about John's father, but, Sarah, stopped him because it would keep their free will intact, in Steve's head. The Captain's breath hitched before he started laughing.

“So I'm gonna do somethin' stupid enough t' make ya doghouse me now...but I can't know what I did, 'cause time travel rules?"

Li nodded once and they both burst into tears of laughter at the ridiculousness of their situation. The Major couldn't believe it herself. If someone told her even three years ago how much this man would eliminate her ability to think rationally...Steve embraced her and she buried her face in his neck. 

“Ya gonna be the death of me, baby girl. I feel like I should be pissed. I am pissed! We're a team, Li! Me and ya, together! I shouldn't let ya shut me out like that!"

The Major felt her face heat up at the feel of her husband's scolding gaze. She did feel sorry for the way she treated him these last two weeks. The day she collapsed was the day she was going to talk to him about her behavior. If he knew what she did, he would understand...and try to convince her she was being silly.  She needed the time to accept what's to come.

“Li, Li? Are ya okay?"

“.....Yes......I'm.....listening....love...."

Li felt a soft kiss on her temple and, Steve, put his forehead on hers, his hand still messing with her engagement ring. He sent calm and soothing thoughts her way.

“I get why ya do it though. Ya know the future and the past. Ya know HYDRA. Ya gone through more than anyone should have t'. If ya try t' explain it t' me...it might open scars ya can't afford t' pick at. So if ya need ya distance take it, baby girl."

Li's breath hitched and she turned so he couldn't see her cry. Why did he have to be so understanding? She wanted him to yell, she wanted him to get angry and leave. Maybe it would make the pain of losing him and the twins easier. Steve turned her head back to him.

“Stop thinkin' an' listen baby. The only thing I ask of ya is no more than a week, baby girl. I can't stand bein' away from ya longer than that."

“O....kay..."

“An' promise you'll talk t' me about it as soon as ya can. Ya don't need t' deal with it alone anymore. Ya always have me, baby."

Li burst into real tears and, Steve, just held her, blissfully unaware that his kindness was making her like this. After, who knows how long, she fell asleep again. She woke up to a dark world still, but everything hurt a little less. Next to her, she could smell the Captain snoring.

“Steve!......Steve......wake.... up!"

“What? What is it?!"

“You.....need......shower! Maybe.......two!"

“Ya no rose bush yaself, Li!"

“I've been......going in and out..of.................consciousness! What's.....your...... excuse?!"

“I've been here for over a week!"

“Wait...you never........left?"

“I didn't want ya t' wake up alone."

Li stayed quiet for a long minute, trying to gather her thoughts. Then she reached out to feel him. The wrinkled clothes, the greasy hair, the two week old stubble, and finally his soft lips.  

“That's....sweetest thing.....I ever....heard...."

She leaned over to kiss him with everything she had. Steve moaned and rolled over, just barely on top of her. As his tongue slipped into her mouth, Li, felt that familiar coil tightening in her belly already and, Steve, hardening on her thigh. Maybe, Bruce, was on to something about their codependent sex drives. The Captain is the only one who can-

“Wait, wait! Sweetheart-oh fuck, baby, fuck me-sweetheart, ya need t' rest. Ya sick..."

“Yes....from stress....you....relieve that."

“Are ya sure? Ya know how I am after more than a week without ya, baby girl. Once I start-."

She silenced him with a kiss and reached into his sweatpants to free what she needed most right now. Steve growled and pulled her onto his lap.

“Li are ya absolutely sure?"

The Major rolled her eyes and guided him into her, kissing along his jaw line. He whined for her verbal consent.

“P-p-pl-ease........S-St-Ste-vie," she stuttered.

Li smirked as Captain America's control snapped.


 

“...so no more strenuous activities until after your children are born, Major and Captain Rogers. That means-."

“We got it, Helen," Steve grumped.

They both forgot about the heart monitor hooked up to the Major, so when it got erratic enough to attract attention, Cho, saw more of the two soldiers than she ever wanted to. She also gave them a good scolding about, Li, needing no more stress on her heart.

Li laughed as she felt her fiancé's blush and frown. The doctor left and the Major snuggled into her Captain with a content sigh. Steve rubbed her belly and grumbled.

“How am I supposed t' control m'self for a month around a wife as beautiful as ya, darlin'?"

Li scoffed and shook her head sleepily.

“Not...wife.....yet.....Rogers."

“Four more months, baby girl. Might as well get used t' hearin' it. I know I love sayin' it."

“On....beach......"

“Summer'll be just beginnin' so the temperature'll be just right, sky'll be clear, pink, white, and orange flowers everywhere. The most beautiful woman in the entire world walkin' down t' me...Still can't believe ya want me, sometimes, baby girl."

“Who....doesn't...want....wait orange?  I...didn't...agree to.....orange...Steven!"

“What's wrong with orange?! Is it too happy for our wedding day, Li?!"


 

“So. You're staying with him?"

Li nodded and, Daemon, made a noise of irritation. The Major kept stroking her slumbering husband's damp hair.

The SHIELD doctors discharged her a couple of hours ago so she and Steve went home to take a long overdue, as innocent as they could, shower. Steve passed out in the bed immediately after they put on the bare minimum of clothes. 

Just as she snuggled into her husband's side and closed her eyes, Li, felt the the bed sink on her side. Daemon took her hand and immediately tried to convince her to come live with him. 

“Sister, please. I don't want to see you hurt again..."

“What...if........you're wrong? What....if..me......leaving-."

“You don't really believe that you leaving is what causes his change of heart do you?!"

Li frowned and grew silent. Of course, she wasn't naive enough to believe that, but...her hand moved down to the Captain's still unshaven cheek. He said he would grow it out a bit again for her.

“I......love him...Daemon! H....how..can I.... just?.....He's....so...good...to me....."

“They always are. But then-then they realize! They realize the reality of being with freaks, ReSpawn! And then they start to resent you and your mutations!

So you give them eternal life so they'll stay, but it's still not enough and they leave you anyway!

They don't even say good bye or give you a reason! I-it's like you two never happened and you have to learn how to live without them. And when you finally do, they come back because what they did to you happened to them and they expect you to forgive them and-!"

DeSpawn broke down in silent tears, but, Li, felt him shaking in hurt and anger. She held out her right arm.

“D...D....come......here, little man."

Daemon came over and buried his face in her shoulder. Li started rubbing circles in his scalp, laying her head on his. 

“I'm......sorry, D. I'm.....sorry that.....happened to you...I.....understand..........why you want....me to.....leave...Steve."

Li smiled sadly and moved to kiss her husband's forehead. She felt her brother stiffen, but she held strong.

“B-but I can't. This is the happiest I'll ever be, little man and I have to hold onto it for as long as he'll have me."

Daemon stayed quiet for a long time, trying to figure out what he could say to get her to come with him. She intertwined her ring hand with Steve's soon to have a ring hand and, Daemon, sighed.

“...There's no convincing you otherwise is there?"

“Nope. He....loves...me...for now...Good....enough...for me."

Steve started stirring and, Daemon, took that as his cue to leave. He sat up and actually hugged her. The Major teared up and hugged her little brother back as tight as she could. 

“Take care of yourself, sis."

“You too...and...just....talk to.....whoever....they...are, D......At least......you can't say.....you...........didn't try."

Chapter Text

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As times swept gently forward and winter turned to spring, Captain Steven Grant Rogers swore he never felt happier. The Avengers slowly turned into Earth's mightiest heroes as a team and individually, even if the public didn't always agree. He lived up to the serum injected into him, his sporadic dreams of a family were soon to be reality, and the twentieth first century finally started to feel like home.

Sure, there were still times that he wished he was the old veteran he was supposed to be, there were times that he wished he was allowed to die in peace. Thankfully, those days were few and far between, and he had only one beautiful woman he owed that to.

Today, he decided to go out for a run a bit earlier than usual since he and Natasha had a mission today. Li slept through him getting ready, but woke up right before he left. He went on his way after a kiss and a muttered promise from her to not exert herself without him around.

When he got to the national mall, he saw the same black man that he'd seen for the last week. The Captain already determined that the the guy served and he impressed him with how well he kept up with the supersoldier. For the last week, the two only talked in passing, today he decided to formally introduce himself.

After a few, admittedly, unfairly intense laps, taunts, and exasperated sighs, the man collapsed by a tree. Steve laughed, walking over to his scowling yet smiling running partner.

“Need a medic?" Steve smirked.

“I need a new set of lungs," he groaned, “Dude, you just ran like thirteen miles in thirty minutes."

Steve put his hands on his hips with a cocky shrug. He was happy this guy was so easy to get along with.

“Guess I got a late start."

Sam scoffed and raised an eyebrow.

“Oh, really? You should be ashamed of yourself. You should take another lap."

Steve scoffed too and they stared at each other, sizing one another up. Finally, Steve, spoke.

“What unit you in?" he asked.

“Fifty-eighth, Para-rescue. Two tours. But now I'm working down at the VA," he answered, holding out his hand, “Sam Wilson."

“Steve Rogers," the Captain nodded, helping up his new friend.

“I kind of put that together," Sam smiled gently, “Must have freaked you out coming home after the whole defrosting thing."

Steve grunted, his thoughts drifting off towards his soul mate and how she....was blocking him out. The Captain frowned.

“You must miss the good old days, huh?" Sam lightly teased.

“Well-," Steve started.

He was about to make a comment back when he was lightly pushed from behind. The Captain turned slightly to meet his tired, but cheerful fiancée.

Steve hugged her into his side, kissing her temple, and putting a hand on her due-any-day-now belly. Li set her ring hand on top of his with a roll of her eyes. He looked over at an amused Sam Wilson with an expression of great happiness.

“-things aren't so bad," the supersoldier finished.

The Major's face went a bit red in embarrassment. The Captain kissed her temple again and rubbed her stomach. 

Sweetheart, what're ya doin' here? I thought ya said ya would wait for me t' come back?"

Steve regretted his word choice as soon as, Li, frowned and tapped her walking stick against her foot. Steve felt the frustrations of the last two months rolling off of her. He looked at the ground, feeling bad for his soul mate.

He grew up struggling through various disabilities and illnesses so he knew the feeling of inferiority compared to his strong, tall, and healthy peers, but at least he was fully independent. Li grew up in a cage, blind and physically frail. She couldn't move or eat on her own for at least the first thirteen years of her life. But she was completely aware of the world around her.

She told him how maddening it was to be trapped in her own body and once her mutations kicked in she never wanted to go through that again. So of course her accident last month and subsequent hospital stay terrified her, even if she won't admit it to anyone, not even to herself. 

Now she can move mostly on her own and refused to let her blindness, weak heart, and bad leg hold her back, but, Steve, knew the toil on her mind this whole ordeal was taking. He lifted her chin up so he could read her face.

Sweetheart, I didn't mean it like-."

She cut him off with a finger to his lips and he stopped talking. He knew how tired of his sorries she was, though, she never vocalized it because she knew he just wanted her and the kids safe. That's all he ever was these days, sorry....he felt two cold hands on his cheeks and a kiss between his eyebrows. 

Stop...thinking..my love....I'm.....not...upset.....just..."

She sighed and snuggled into his chest. Steve stroked her back.

....I'm......not....dead.....yet. Wanted....sun..."

Steve nodded, planting a kiss on her head. Things would be better in a couple more weeks. They'll have their babies, she'll get her power back up, they'll marry in June, and all four of them'll be a family. But for right now, on day at a time.

Suddenly, his phone buzzed and he took it out.

BW: Mission alert. Extraction imminent. Meet at the curb. :)

Steve sighed and put his phone away. Li told him to start taking missions for both their sanity's sake as both their cabin fevers grew more irritating. He agreed, but only if they were simple in and outs and no overnights.

I understand, baby girl...Nat's about t' come get me so we can go. She can take ya home."

“I wanna.......walk more. He...looks.......like......he could.....show me.....a.....good time..."

“Who, Sam?"

Li nodded. Steve went quiet in thought. At home, he knew she would be safe because Jay or Tony would gladly keep her company. But he didn't want her just sitting around brooding like she has been when he's not around. He looked over at his new friend.

“Sam can I trust you to look after my family for a bit? Please?"

Sam nodded when a black car pulled up a smirking red head rolled down the window.

“I'm here to pick up a couple of fossils," Natasha teased.

“That's hilarious, Nat," Steve said.

Li made a move to walk over to, Sam, when, Steve, picked her up bridal style and hugged her close. She was about to protest being held until he bent down to give her a sweet kiss. He let up with a nuzzle to her nose, and said his goodbyes to his new friend and the love of his life. 

When he got into the car, Natasha, said something, but he was too busy staring at his fiancée out the window.

“Three more months, baby girl..."

“Show.... off."

“Why wouldn't I show ya off?


 

“Okay. That one's on me."

“Ya damn right."

Steve got up gingerly from the rubble of an enemy bomb to leave for pick up, and, Natasha, banged her head against the wall. This whole mission was a lie. A lie that almost got everyone killed.

They were just supposed to be rescuing hostages on the ship, a clean-up job. He hated being Fury's janitor, but it was safe. But then he caught, Widow, saving SHIELD intel. The Captain stopped walking and clenched his fists, thinking about-this was the whole reason he backed, Li, not going on missions after they found out she was pregnant-

“Steve, I-."

Captain America rounded on his teammate.

“It's not jus' the team anymore, it's not jus' me an' Li anymore, Natasha! I'll have kids in a couple weeks, a family, Nat!"

Black Widow stood firmly against his rage, but, Steve, saw the sincerity in her green eyes. Steve took a deep breath and slowly let it out.

“They need me t' come home after every fight," he said calmly.

“I know, Steve," Natasha soothed, “And I'm sorry, really."

“I know, 'Tasha. Come on let's go."

Chapter Text

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“Betraying HYDRA and joining the opposite team? All things considered, that’s a risky move, Major.

She was about to talk when there was a knock and, Steve, came in. Li felt him up. He was still in uniform, and freshly back from a mission with, Natasha, to save some SHIELD hostages. The Major felt his fatigue and slight irritation as he came up next to her and she took his hand.

“What's wrong, baby girl?"

“Nothing......some Major....to.....Director.... business...... love......... I'm......almost done."

He bent down so she could plant a kiss between his eyebrows and she felt his stress diminish significantly as he leaned into her a bit. After a couple seconds, she pulled back and, Steve, pecked her temple before moving to leave, but, Li, held his arm with smirk.

“And....Captain.......when...I'm.......done here....I'll...be...in....the.......locker room.....to help...you...change over..."

“Think ya can keep it down this time? I think Cho's on t' us."

“Look....who's......potty mouth...is......calling....the...kettle black."

Nick Fury loudly cleared his throat and stood up behind his desk. She quickly dismissed her Captain and continued her conversation with the Director.

“P-per-mission t-t-to s-speak fr-freely, s-s-sir?”

“Sure,” Fury allowed.

“I-I’ve b-been a we-weapon of H-HY-HYDRA f-for o-over a cen-cen-century,” she explained, “I-I th-think I-I h-h-have a p-p-pr-pretty g-good i-idea of-of wh-what dan-danger-ous is.”

ReSpawn closed her eyes and gave him just a taste of her life as Davis' pet. When she opened her eyes again, Fury shook his head and grunted.

“I-I was no-nothing b-but a mon-monster, b-but the C-Captain..."

Li smiled, thinking about her infuriating, snarky, bossy, combative, beautiful, caring, gentle supersoldier and the tiny humans they made together. She started unconsciously rubbing her third trimester stomach and, Fury, actually genuinely laughed for a brief moment.

“M-M-My p-place i-is w-with S-Steve. Which-which al-allies me w-with SH-SH-SHIELD. I-I wo-won't pre-pretend to be on th-the s-side of an-angels, b-but I'm not part-partying wi-with the d-dev-evil any-more e-either. T-There's to-too m-much at st-st-stake n-now.”

She felt, Fury, glared at her for a while trying to find any hints of deception, which he wasn't going to find. She promised, Steve, that she wanted these kids and she was going to prove it. The Director nodded.

“Welcome officially to the team.”

The Major thanked him and began to walk away but he called her name again.

“Major, whatever you're not telling me, whatever you're not telling him, you're just prolonging the inevitable. And if it puts, Captain Rogers, off his game, you will answer to it."

Li didn't answer for a moment, then she nodded understanding what her first order was.


 

The next day, Major walked into SHIELD's training room to talk to, Tony, who was taking mental notes on the new agents so he could modify their gear.

“How you holding up, sweetcheeks?"

“Well.....I'm...easily pissed.......off...constantly tired....and hungry......trying.........to get.....Steve.....to......stop hovering...So business....as........usual...But......listen......I need....some.....advice."

Li took a deep breath, trying to get together her thoughts. Tony waited patiently.

“What if.....I said.....I....had.....a secret? Something....that.....could.....possibly......make.....Steve....hate me....for...the....rest...of....his life?"

“I would say what could be that bad?"

“.....It....might....be...something......about his...best friend.......in...the....entire....world....and....me..."

“I thought we agreed that we'd never-!"

“No....not.......you...Jim-ow!"

The Major doubled over a bit, grabbing her pregnant stomach. Tony put a hand on her shoulder and she could feel the recruits staring at them.

“Li, are you-?"

“No, no......The.......doctor......said...that..since......they're....due.......soon....pains....like........this......are..........common...........oh oh no......Tony...Steve....m- my......water.....just.....broke..."

Li felt both her soul mates going faint at the same time her body powered up. Like the twins were bursting with all her energy. Some of the agents ran out to either throw up or find help. Jaytee came over to help, Tony, support the Major. Li gave her a grateful smile as the Captain found his voice.

“What..?"

“GET DOWN HERE, ROGERS! YOUR CHILDREN ARE COMING!"

Chapter Text

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“GET DOWN HERE, ROGERS! YOUR CHILDREN ARE COMING!"

Steve felt the world stop. This was it? Today? Right now?

“STEVEN!"

“I'm comin', baby girl! Tony, keep an eye on m' wife till I get there!"

“She's not your-know what never mind. Come on, sweetcheeks!"


 

The Captain didn't have to look long for, Li, when he got to the headquarters. He just followed her screaming at anyone stupid enough to come near her.

When he got to her room and saw its partially on fire state, doctors in the corners cowering in fear, and Iron Man trying desperately to get his hand out of his massively pissed off soul mate's grip, Steve, seriously considered coming back after the twins were born. No such luck.

“YOU! YOU DID THIS TO ME YOU MOTHER FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT COCK SUCKING BASTARD!"

Steve felt all control of his body robbed of him as, ReSpawn, noticed his presence and turned her powers on him. The pain of his fiancée's wrath filled his head and he looked to everyone for help, but no one dared even breath as, Li, mentally pulled him to her bed side. 

She let go of her best friend and grabbed, Steve, by the collar. Tony immediately cradled his severely broken hand and bolted for the door.

“Good luck, buddy!"

“Wait! Stark, don' leave me here with-!"

His sentence was cut off by the Major's grip on his button up's collar tightening to the point of choking him. As the Captain squeezed his eyes shut so he wouldn't go blind from ReSpawn's burning white eyes, he realized that if he ever thought that she wasn't the most powerful thing HYDRA's ever created, he certainly knew it now.

I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL BURN DOWN THIS WHOLE GOD DAMN BUILDING!"

S-sweetheart just calm down..."

DON'T TELL ME TO FUCKING CALM DOWN WHEN I HAVE TO PUSH OUT YOUR NAPPY HEADED DEMON SPAWNS-I'm not doing it."

“W-what?"

The Major let go of him and, Steve, hunched over to catch his breath before sitting down next to the fuming mother of his children. She pouted, drenched in sweat, arms around her hunched up knees, and legs closed tight.

“I'm not having them, Steve."

“What, no, Li, that's not how this works."

“It is today."

“Li, ya too late on this! I gave ya the choice five months ago!"

“Five months ago, I didn't feel like I was turning inside out!"

“Major-!"

“Captain-oh Steve! Stevie it hurts! Baby, make it stop! MAKE IT STOP BEFORE I MAKE YOUR HEAD STOP BEING ON YOUR NECK!"

Li started crying and raging again as she reopened her legs. The Captain looked around in panic at the doctors in the corners. One of them, an older small, dark skinned Asian woman with kind, but terrified eyes came forward.

“Y-you two are mental soul mates?" she asked.

“YeAH!" Steve exclaimed.

He looked down to see, ReSpawn, crushing his hand. The doctor came a bit closer, eying her patient.

“Captain Rogers, I need you to take at least half of her pain," she ordered.

“WhAAAHHHt?!" he shouted, “Baby girl, please!"

“SHUT THE FUCK UP BEFORE I SHOVE YOUR HEAD IN YOUR DICK!"

Blondie, I just watched your motorcycle spontaneously combust, so, friendly advice, do what the scary lady in labor says."

“You're fully dilated!" the doctor exclaimed, “Start pushing Mrs. Rogers!"

The doctor was sitting on a chair in front of the Major smiling wide. Probably in relief that her nightmare was almost over. ReSpawn sat up.

MAKE ME, BITCH!" she growled mentally.

“LI ASHTON!" Steve started, his patience thinning, “I'm so sorry Doctor...?"

“Tran, Captain and it's fi-."

JUST GET THEM OUT OF ME!" ReSpawn screamed, “GET. THEM. OUT!"

The Major followed orders and started pushing, crying out with every move. The Captain sighed in relief and closed his eyes to go into his commanding officer's mind so he could-oh oh god.

OH GOD!" Steve exclaimed.

He was dying. That was the only logical explanation. There was no reason for one person to have to live through this much pain through their entire body YOU BASTARD!

Baby, baby girl, let's jus' adopt in a few years!"

“I'm glad you see it my way, love! Fuuuuck!"

What felt like days, but was actually closer to twenty minutes, the doctor gave the blessed command of stop pushing. Unfortunately, Li, elected to ignore her.

“SHE TOLD ME TO PUSH AND I'MMMMmmmm...."

Steve shut his soul mate up the best way he knew how and didn't let up until he heard the first cry.

“It's your boy! It's your boy!"

Both superhumans looked down at the being Major's belly. They stopped breathing and the world went to a stand still. It was the most unreal experience they ever had. On, Li, lay a live, crying, screaming human that they made.

“Time to do the honors, Captain," the doctor whispered.

Steve's eyes widened as the doctor handed him scissors to cut his son's umbilical cord. The doctor smiled at the Captain's expression as she wrapped the child in a soft blue blanket and handed him to his mother. 

“H-he's so...I didn't think he'd be so small..."

Steve looked up at his wife. Tears shined in her eyes along with fear and she clenched her hands in restraint. The Captain gently brought the hand of the arm not holding their son up to the boy's face, but, Li, pulled back, shaking her head. 

“He's so perfect I don't want to ruin him...what if I-what if I'm just like mine?"

Li's tears spilt over and Steve's heart cracked right down the middle. He should've known this was coming.

“Sweetheart, ya not ya mother."

“She started out sweet and kind too, Steve. I-I don't-!"

“Li! Ya not ya ma!"

He set her hand on the boy's cheek and the Major gasped at its softness. The infant finally opened his eyes and the Captain's breath hitched. Li started audibly crying when she saw her son's eyes and shaking as she gently held him closer.

“Sweetheart, what's wrong?"

“He-he has your eyes! I-I know I can't see them, but-he has hope...he has a chance of not being like me!"

“Baby-oh-oh baby girl, I- I think-!"

“She's coming! THE OTHER ONE'S COMING!" Li screamed.

The doctor came running back over as the couple doubled over in pain again. Steve tried to take his now crying son to calm him down and give his wife a chance to push, but the Major refused to let him go.

“He's keeping me calm! I can get angry if-!"

“NO! No, keep him, sweetheart. I'm glad he's-."

“She's here!"

Captain Steven Grant Rogers is not a man that believes in instant gratification. It takes hard work, trust, and time to earn anything in this world. 

The moment Captain Steven Grant Rogers laid eyes on his little girl, he believed in love at first sight. In that moment, nothing mattered besides keeping her safe and happy.

Doctor Tran set his daughter down, clamped her cord, and let the new father cut his second child free. This time, Tran, wrapped the infant up in a pink blanket and, Steve, took her in his arms immediately, planting a wet kiss on her forehead.

“Hey there, little one, I'm Pop...oh god, princess, I'm ya daddy!" he cried.

She was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. How could she not when she looks exactly like her mother? From her dark hair and mole on her nose to her grey skin and-.

“Oh god, she has your eyes, sweetheart...she has your-! Li, it's okay-!"

“I-!"

“STOP! RIGHT NOW!"

Li immediately shut up and Captain America glared at everyone in the room.

“Leave!" he snapped.

The room cleared and, Steve, sat down next to the Major on the bed again. He rounded on his soul mate, trying to figure out how to word what he wanted to say.  Li held their son tight and stroked his cheek while staring at their daughter with shame in her eyes.

“These two're perfect an' it's because they have ya in 'em, Li. Ya not ya ma, ya not ya boss, ya not, Davis, ya not experiment 73143!

Ya Major Li Ashton Jones! Ya a hel-ckva commanding officer, one of the best da-dang agents SHIELD's ever had, an' co-leader of the fu-gin' Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! Ya m' soul mate, m' future wife, an' the mother of m' children!"

Steve softened up and kissed the tears off his Major's cheeks and brought their daughter closer to her. 

“Ya better than all those bast-bad people tha' tried t' beat ya down. That's who ya are an' if ya allow it, that's who ya children will become."

He planted a long kiss on her temple and she nodded her understanding which he hoped was real. Steve took her ring hand and intertwined it with his as he looked down at his twins. One pair of blue eyes and one pair of dark eyes tried to focus between their parents.

“So...what are we naming them, my love?"

“I think James Anthony an'...Amelia Martha."

“Steve, you don't-."

“I know I don't."

Li's eyes started watering again as she kissed him between the eyebrows. The Captain sighed in content as she laid her head on his shoulder. If only there was a way to stay in this moment forever. 

“Hey, Amy and Jamie, I'm your mom and this is your dad," Li whispered, “We're gonna take good care of you two, okay? You're gonna be the best of them all."


 

Later that night, the Captain jerked away to, Li, scrambling off the bed and over to the twins.

“Sweetheart, what's wrong?"

“She's not-!"

The Major ran to the door screaming for a nurse. One appeared like, Li, teleported them there.

“What's wrong, Major Rogers?"

“M-my baby girl-!" Li stuttered.

The nurse went calmly to the crib, but took one look in it and quickly wheeled it out. The Captain's heart sunk in dread and he went to the frozen Major. He turned her around to face him.

“Li, what's goin' on?!"

“A-Amy stopped breathing and I don't know for how long for! I didn't wake up until I felt her heart rate drop!"

Steve's eyebrows rose in shock at how quickly this happy birthday turned sour, but he quickly embraced his panicked soul mate.

“Thank god ya were here, baby girl. I don't want t' know what would've happened if ya wasn't...now let's go find our babies!"

Chapter Text

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“It's her. Of course, the it's one that looks most like you. Has your dead eyed stare. You're a disease that allowed yourself to spread-."

“Li! Sweetheart, are ya okay, baby girl?"

The Major blinked herself out of her head and looked up at her soul mate. Steve's eyebrows knitted together in worry. Li quickly looked back through the glass at her tiny daughter, covered in tubes, being put into an incubator. Her brother was in a crib next to her.

“W-why can't I have Jamie? He's not sick."

“Tran said somethin' about twins havin' this ability t' heal each other or somethin'."

Steve hugged her closer, but she went up to the glass for a closer look at her children. The white glow around everyone originating from, Amy, in didn't escape the Major and she hit her head on the window.

This is your fault. Brought another Soulless into the world. How dare you do this to an innocent child? How dare you do this to Steve?"

Li, I know somethin's wrong with ya, so tell me. Now."

“I-."

“Major and Captain Rogers?"

Doctor Tran came out of the room and gave the new parents a tired smile. Steve came up next to the Major and took her hand.

“You may come in now," the doctor said.

“Is our daughter okay?" Steve asked.

“I'll tell you inside, come."

The Captain's grip tightened with nerves. Li squeezed it, sending her calming smoke around him along with soothing thoughts. He sighed and began walking forward. Li went back to her private thoughts.

You know what she needs, Spawn. It's what your whole parasitic bloodline always needs...question is how long can you keep it up for her?"

Chapter Text

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“Major, Captain, I have good news and bad news," Doctor Tran announced.

The doctor looked somber and, Steve, held his soul mate closer. He could feel guilt pouring out between the both of them, despite her stoic expression. They nodded the go ahead.

“The good news is that, Amelia, is stable, has been for a good while, and there seems to be no permanent damage," Doctor Tran smiled a bit.

The couple let go of their collective breaths and smiled over at their slumbering little girl. The amount of butterflies the Captain felt in his stomach was unbelievable.

“The bad news, however, is that we don't know if this will happen again. Her lungs look less developed now then they did in your appointment last month.

But she's breathing on her own again now, so long as she stays stable through today, I will allow you to go home tomorrow, just keep a close eye on her."

The couple gave their thanks and the doctor took her leave. Steve and Li looked at each other, the same thought going through their minds simultaneously: “This is my fault."

“I-I never thought that...I thought the serum would...."

“No, Steve, don't you start."

The Captain looked everywhere but at the mother of his children. He never wanted them to get his weak immune system or asthma or arthritis or color blindness or any of the whole host of health issues he had. Li lifted his head up to her lips and kissed him between the eyebrows. 

“I was practically dead from the moment I was born until my mutations kicked in, my love. The kids had a one and a million chance of being born completely healthy, baby so it's miracle that it's only one of them hooked up, not both. It's not your fault, Steve."

The Major pecked his head again and sighed, looking down at him. When her dark eyes met his, he swore no one else could ever have as much of his heart as his best girl. He smiled and hugged her in close, burying his face in her shoulder.

What would I do without ya, baby girl?"

“Have a better life."

“Li, I'm being serious."

“So am I."

“Li..."

He lifted his head and pushed hers in for a brief kiss. How long until she sees herself like he sees her? When they broke apart, Li's eyes were misted over. Steve was about to voice concern when, Amy, started fussing which prompted, James, to start too. The couple looked at each other with lopsided smiles.

Ya get, Jamie, I'll get, Amy?"

“Sure...."

The Captain pulled up a chair to his daughter's incubator and gave her his hand to hold through the hole. She calmed down a bit and stared at her father for a moment before passing out again. Steve laughed and shook his head. They barely knew each other for a day and already they had some similar habits. Bucky always complained about his ability to fall asleep nearly instantly anywhere at any time.

“That's any baby, you meatball."

Steve looked up at his soul mate with a scowl that softened at the sight of his soon to be wife rocking their infant son. He lay lazily in her arms, staring sleepily at his mother. The Captain felt the same warm feeling he had when she accepted his proposal.

An' ya thought ya was gonna be a terrible mother."

Li scoffed in embarrassment and the tips of her ears just barely noticeably darkened.

This isn't mothering this common sense. Like knowing that sometimes the best thing to do is let them cry themselves out because honestly they just want over attention. Or bring extra everything when you go out in case they fall in a lake chasing ducks. Or don't bring them to a car show when they just learned how to hot wire no matter how much they beg you."

“Tony really put ya through it didn't he?"

Li smiled softly at the boy that had partial namesake of her platonic soul mate and stroked his cheek.

He's a, Stark, alright. Stubborn, arrogant, thinks with the wrong head...but I wouldn't change anything between us. He's always been the better part of me."

Steve frowned at the Major's admission. The part that she doesn't think she alone is good enough. Amy started fussing again and, Steve, moved the hand that was held by hers, but she wouldn't stop. The Captain turned his full attention back to his daughter. 

“Hey, princess, it's ya Pop-obviously. Now there's no need for all that fussin' we're here so ya got no reason t' worry.

Well, I shouldn't say that. There's plenty of reasons t' worry, but I won't let none of it get ya an' neither will ya Ma."

He looked up at his soul mate again. She turned away from him, but he knew she was listening to his every word so he continued.

“She's the strongest person I know. Ya Ma's been through a lot in her life. Whether or not she'll get int' specifics is her choice, but she knows trouble an' how t' beat it."

The Major finally faced him, her dark eyes filled with emotions he couldn't place and she refused to let through their bond. He continued.

“I only feel safe when ya Ma's with me an' I only feel like ya safe when she's around."

Li scoffed again. Steve whispered a promise to be back in a minute to their slumbering daughter. He made his way over to his girl. He kissed, Jamie, on the forehead and then his Major's temple. She stuck her tongue out at him and put their sleeping son in his crib. She stroked his soft dark hair for bit before she had to cover up a yawn. The Captain pulled her in tight.

“Let's take a page from the twins' book, sweetheart. First of many family sleepovers."

“You're such a sap, Rogers!"

“But I'm ya sap, Rogers! Forever."

They sat down on the couch, looking between their children. He knew that they would be okay, that, Amy, would live. Modern medicine was an amazing thing, and hell he made it through the Depression, but still...

Now I know how m' Ma felt. It ain't fair. She jus' made it out int' the world, her life won' truly start for years an' already she might not make it past go."

The Major rolled her eyes, kissed him between the eyebrows, yawned, and snuggled into him.

She's got Captain America's blood flowing through her. If she goes down-if either of them do-they're going down swingin'."

The Captain just grunted and she started to drift off. When she was fully asleep, Steve, kissed his girl's ring. He laid his head on hers, still holding her hand.

“They got ya fight in 'em too, sweetheart," he whispered, “Wish I could get ya t' see that."

Chapter Text

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Li woke with a start to the feeling of Amelia's heart rate dropping again. She quickly untangled herself from her Captain's arms and rushed over to her little girl. Passed out and turning blue, Amy, was definitely in trouble again and the Major heard the doctors running to the distress signal their equipment gave them.

ReSpawn quickly put her hand in her daughter's and immediately felt her power supply flowing into the infant. Then the Major invaded the response team's minds and turned them back around. The last thing the superhuman needed was the unending questions and probing on both her and her children. She had HYDRA for that.

“Sweetheart, sweetheart wha-?"

The Major turned her mind powers on her waking soul mate and put him back to sleep. She didn't need the questions and worry from him either. 

Li stroked her daughter's tiny hand with her thumb and laid her head on the cool plastic of the incubator. Amy's eyes opened again after a minute and the Major watched her stare cross eyed at her. Li smiled.

“Hi, baby girl, it's just Mama. Take as much as you need okay? Just don't tell your father."

The corner of Amy's mouth twitched up into an almost smile before she fell asleep again and, Li, laughed with a shake of her head.

“Smile just like your Daddy..."

She stood up and looked over at her son. He lay on his back, dead to the world, twitching here and there. Li rolled her eyes.

“And you sleep like him. Good. You two it keep up and maybe you'll be running around in spandex."

Li sat back down and closed her eyes, her family being the last thing on her mind before falling asleep.

“I love you, babies. See you in the morning."


 

“Sweetheart, sweetheart wake up!"

The Major jumped up and immediately went into a fighting position. She scanned the room, realized where she was, and relaxed. 

“Where's the fire, Steve?"

She turned to face her soul mate and his eyebrows were knitted in worry. Li frowned and looked around the room again. The kids were where they slept last night, except, Amy, lay next to her brother now and nothing was burning. Major Jones turned back to her co-leader.

“Captain, what's wrong?"

“Did ya sleep at all?"

“Yeah...as about as much as I could given the circumstances. Why?"

He put one of his warm hands on her cheek and stared straight into her eyes. Through him, she saw her unnaturally pale skin, eye bags, and slight wrinkles. She cursed herself for letting her power get so low again. He didn't go into specifics about it though.

“Ya just look really...tired. That's all."

Li internally sighed in relief and externally laughed. He didn't know a thing.

“I just gave birth, my love. You'd look tried for a couple days too."

She moved one inch and instantly regretted putting all her body weight on her bad leg. She kept going, however, and tried not to limp. Steve wasn't fooled for a second.

“Li-."

“Major and Captain?"

The couple turned to the door and a beaming Doctor Tran walked in. Li relaxed even more at the doctor's demeanor and looked over at her daughter. Amy stared right back. Li offered up her finger again and the little girl took it along with some of Li's power. Li sat down in a chair so, Amy, could continue to...feed.

“Amelia's clear to take home," Tran consented, “I have the discharge-Major Rogers, are you okay?"

Li quickly sat up, not even realizing she almost passed out until she felt her Captain's hand on her back. 

“I'm fine," she dismissed with a wave of her gloved hand, “Just pushed out two five pound humans out of me, is all."

The Major laughed, but Tran's and Steve's frowns remained. 

“Fatigue is normal, but you look thoroughly exhausted, Major," Tran observed, “You can stay here an-."

“No!"

Both the doctor's and Steve's eyebrows shot up at the outburst so, Li, knew she needed to back track. Nothing would keep her from being around her children, not when she doesn't know what they're capable of and, Pierce, no doubt has, Davis, sniffing around now.

“I-I'm fine really," the Major assured, “I want to go home with my family."

Doctor Tran ran over her patient with her eyes before reluctantly nodding. Li internally sighed in relief. Steve's hand started stroking her back and she felt every bit of his worry. Li took his hand to make him relax, but he wasn't having it.

“Captain Rogers, could I speak to you a moment?" Tran asked, “Here are your discharge papers Major."

Li thanked her and took the discharge papers. Steve walked out with the doctor. The Major debated on hearing their conversation, but decided against it. Besides she already knew what, Tran, was saying: blah blah worry about your wife even more than you already do. That's all she's ever done is make him worry...

Li sighed and took her finger away from her daughter. Amelia started fussing and, Li, quietly shushed her.

“You can have some more after I feed your brother and then you," the Major scolded, “You have to eat real food too ya know, sweetie."

Li kissed both her children's foreheads and tried to ignore the feeling of being watched on camera. 

“Your Uncle Daemon and I got so much to teach you two."


 

“Sweetheart, I can take care of the kids. Jus' lay down ya need t' rest, baby girl..."

The family finally made it back home. Li slept most of the car ride and woke up to her Captain laying her on their bed. The Major made a move to get up, but, Steve, held her down.

“Steve it's been a couple of hours, I need to feed them."

“Okay I'll bring them t' ya, jus' relax, please, sweetheart."

Li crossed her arms and hit her head on the headboard as soon as, Steve, left. She just traded one cage for another.

The Captain came back with both infants in either arm. He sat down next to her and, Li, immediately went for Amelia. She put her finger in Amy's hand after pulling down her shirt so the little girl could eat. Steve let, Jamie, suck on his finger and leaned over to kiss Li's temple. His warm lips were an always welcome change from the cold that's been plaguing her for a month, but he jumped back almost as soon as he touched her. She frowned.

“What's wrong, my love?"

“Uh...James' grip jus' caught me off guard that's all. He's pretty strong."

“Wonder where he gets it from?" 

“I dunno could be either one of us-."

“Steve just take the damn complement."

“Language! We have kids now!"

“They can't get into our bond, Steve."

“Ya don't know that!"

“You're unbelievable."

“Yeah, well ya beautiful."

Li rolled her eyes and blinked herself out of her Captain's loving gaze. Steve laughed and switched children with her. Then he put his arm around her to hold her and watch, Jamie, feed with vague curiosity on his face.

“They think it's the best thing since sliced bread if you're wondering."

“I-I-I-."

Li laughed at her husband to be's full blush and kissed him between the eyebrows. She wondered the same thing until she heard her son thinking it.

“They don't think in words but in feelings. Amy loves how warm you are and your son's just hungry."

Steve's face lit up and he looked between his children in wonder. Li smiled at giving him that one bit of awe. She looked back down at her nursing son and gently picked at his eyelashes. Steve laughed at the fact that her habit would now be deflected off onto someone else and set his head on her shoulder.

“I love ya, Li."

“I love you too, Steve."

Chapter Text

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“Captain Rogers, I need you to keep a very close eye on your wife. I can't make her stay if she's refusing to, but there are some complications that her appearance and behavior are making me concerned about. 

She could be internally bleeding, she could be developing postpartum anxiety, and she could be just tired Captain.

If she starts bleeding, passes out suddenly, has sleeping problems, if she or you becomes nervous about leaving her alone with the kids, if she won't separate herself from them. Any concerning behavior, come to me or the nearest doctor immediately."

 ------------

Steve never followed orders so thoroughly in his life. Yesterday, he didn't let his family leave his sight and today was no different. Luckily, nothing extremely worrying happened. Li seemed to adjust to her new motherhood just like the Captain knew she would.

She fed them regularly, changed them, and rocked them to sleep. She talked to them both verbally and mentally, watched in wonder, and handled them with such gentleness.

Sure there were somethings that made his heart rate pick up. Li still looked as pale as the day the twins were born, she took longer to respond to him waking her than normal, she always seemed to be looking over her shoulder, and of course, she barely let the kids be more than a foot away.

But their bond wasn't weak, she was more energetic, and she did let him have time with his babies too. So, Steve, decided that full normality came with time. This led them to the museum.

The Smithsonian created an exhibit of his life and he wanted to see the sub exhibition of Bucky attached to it. He and Li packed up a diaper bag, buckled the twins up in their car seats, and headed into town. When they got to the museum and saw the crowd of young and old the exhibition drew, Li smiled proudly and kissed him.

My fella getting some positive recognition. Congrats baby."

Steve smiled back cupping her cheek and nuzzling her nose. She watched the news, his head, and SHIELD's files. The public, slowly, but surly grew suspicious of the Avengers and whether they were more harm than good. He didn't blame them of course, but war teaches you that you can't save everyone, and the fact that people didn't understand that started wearing him down. But his wife and kids made it all okay, if only for a moment.

Couldn't've got back on the saddle without ya, Li. Can't save the world without m' best gal beside me telling me t' get m' ass int' cover."

He kissed her a little deeper and the Major scoffed.

You would've figured it out, my love. You're a survivor, Steve."

Maybe...but I'm grateful ya made it so I didn't have t'."

Tears formed in Li's eyes and she buried her face in his chest again. He felt a pickling in his eyes as he realized how true it was. 

You're a sap..."

But I'm ya sap, fo-hey look. Bucky's bio."

Suddenly, Li, stiffened and the Captain lifted her up in panic. She looked the way he felt.

What's wrong, baby girl?"

I.....it's nothing.....headache..."

Li-."

Steve it's-!"

She grabbed the place on her head her microchip courtesy of HYDRA still lay and Jamie's carrier slipped from her other hand. The Captain bent to catch it and stood up to find himself in a medical room, behind bars, in front of Zola. Steve whipped around as he heard springs creaking on a bed. Li lay in her cage on a bed that was more wires than mattress.

“I'm not a babysitter," ReSpawn yawned.

“Miss, please-," Zola began.

ReSpawn's eyes glowed white and she mentally grabbed him by the throat. Zola's eyes turned white too.

“I always wondered what your blood would look like on the wa-."

“Spawn!"

Steve felt sudden terror go through him and, Li, hit the floor, crawling on all fours towards a blond man that looked uncomfortably similar to himself...and Davis. 

“Y-yes, sir?" she squeaked.

“Get up."

Li did what he ordered immediately.  The man made a head gesture and, Davis, opened the cage. Then he yanked her out and smacked her hard across the face. 

“Did he say you could talk, bitch?"

Spawn frantically shook her head which earned her another slap. Steve tried to move, but found himself frozen.

“You answer me verbally when I ask you a question!" Davis growled.

“Now you're going to train him, Spawn, understand?" the blond man said.

“Y-yes, s-."

A burning pain spread across the Captain's cheek and the trickle of blood as, Li, received another slap, this time hitting the concrete floor head first due to its force.

“He wasn't done talking," Davis sneered.

Li tried to get up, but a heavy boot kept her on the floor.

“Don't worry, honey, I'll deal with your mouth later," he promised.

Li started shaking as the blond man told Zola and Davis to leave. The scientist nearly sprinted out of the room and the grunt followed. The blond man stepped in front of Steve's view when the door opened and closed again.

“Solider. Defend yourself. 73143, you are not to leave this room until I say."

Before ReSpawn could respond, Steve felt her kicked across the room into the wall. Over and over again she was thrown, punched, kicked, and stomped the moment she let her guard down until she finally snapped. Because of her boss' body blocking his viewpoint, Steve, couldn't see what happened. All he heard was a loud snap, pop, and rip, a blood chilling scream of agony, and a thick liquid splattering everywhere.

“Get up!" ReSpawn snarled, “I-!"

“SPAWN!"

“Oh.....no....I'm....."

“I SAID FIGHT NOT KILL!"

Steve forced himself to open his eyes. He found his wife backing away from him, fear etched in her face. The Captain came towards her to keep her from running away and figure out what that was all about. Li kept moving away.

Baby girl, I-."

“I-I'm sorry, sir!" she shouted, “He made me so angry! I-I didn't mean it!"

Baby girl, ya not there anymore! Ya here safe with me!"

He set the twins down and reached out for his soul mate. The Major dropped to the floor in submission and that's when it hit him, the reason why she always cowards before him or tries to run every time she has an episode. He blocked out the curious public and bent down to stroke her hair.

I'm not him, baby, ya know that right?"

He picked her up to hold her and she shook violently in his arms. He kissed her temple and she shook even harder, this time in tears.

“I-I r-ruined y-y-y-your d-day a-again! I'm sorry I'mmmmmm...."

Steve cupped her cheeks and stopped her train of thought. After a minute, he let up. 

Li, sweetheart, ya didn't do anythin' wrong baby girl. I know ya can't control it."

The Major quieted for a moment, looking into her children's curious eyes. Then she slowly worked her way out of his arms and turning to leave. Steve grabbed her hand.

Sweetheart, where're ya goin'?"

Home. I can't risk another flashback...People are staring, Steve, rumors'll start now. Everyone will want to know why Captain America's wife is insane!"

Li grabbed her chest with a groan of pain and, Steve, quickly sat all four of them down on the nearest bench. Tears started forming in her eyes.

“They already think you made me have Amy and Jamie because of Davis. People love drama, Steven! They'll dig into our lives! They'll find out about me! They'll turn against you completely because you're harbouring a monster! They'll come after the kids-!"

The Major started hyperventilating and, Steve, made her face him before she went into a full on panic attack.

LI! Enough! Ya gonna give yaself a heart attack! None of that is gonna happen!"

The Captain bent down in front of his wife and made her face him. She was paler and sweaty, her expression filled with pain. He stood her up and picked up the twins' carriers.

Come on, sweetheart. Let's go home."

No...you and the kids stay. It's your day and we wanted the twins to know about their godfather right?"

Li, ya just nearly had a panic attack. I'm not-."

“Steve. It's not-."

Li took deep breath, and Steve's face softened in worry as her famous “Suck it up and carry on" expression covered her face.

“It's not fair for my family to be caged up too because I'm crazy. Stay, I'll be fine."

The Major turned and walked out the exhibit. Steve followed close on her heels, but she refused to acknowledge him until they were outside.

“Steve, I'll be f-!" she began out loud.

“I know ya will, that's why I'm not askin'!" he scolded, “Sweetheart...stop thinkin' an' listen t' me, baby girl."

He sat them down on the bench outside the museum. Amy started fussing so, Li, snapped her fingers to bring her to her and cuddled her. The Captain grabbed, Jamie, and put an arm around his wife and daughter. He laid his head on his Major's and took her ring hand.

Before I got myself frozen, even when I had nothin' I had, Bucky. When I woke up, I had nothin' again, nothin' but ya Li."

Bucky did so much for me. He fought for me, took care of me, gave me a place t' sleep, an' I'll be forever grateful for his friendship."

The Captain cleared his throat as his emotions started surfacing. Li kissed him between the eyebrows and he continued.

“B-but h-he's go-gone, Li, an'-an' I've accepted that. Y-ya not gone, sweetheart. Ya-ya still here.

Ya done so much for me these last three years, baby. I could've been dead in a hundred different ways by now. Ya coulda killed me, I coulda killed m'self. Ya know how low I got, Li."

Steve hugged his family in tight.

But-but I'm here. I'm happy, Li. 'Cause of ya. Even though I pushed everyone, includin' ya away ya treated me like there was somethin' worth savin' about me. Not Captain America, but Steve Rogers. Ya brought him back out, Li. Ya made me feel again, baby."

He felt the fire of untamed determination blaze faster and bigger.

“I-I couldn't save Bucky, but I will protect ya, Li."

Li's face flashed through a hundred different emotions, the most prominent being guilt, before she spoke.

I was gonna kill you the day, Coulson, died. I was so tired of everything, but then I told you the truth and...You weren't scared of me or disgusted. Everyone always is when they find out what I am, but you just..."

Steve smiled thinking about the he declared his true feelings for his romantic soul mate. Sometimes he still didn't believe that God gave him such a beautiful angel. He kissed her temple.

“'Cause I love ya, Li. Always, baby girl. I p-."

Li put a finger on his lips and the look in her eyes was unreadable.

“Steve, you might find out some things about me sooner rather than later. Things that would make you want to have me killed on the spot. When you do, please remember today."

The Captain frowned, but, Li, didn't give him any chances to question her. She snapped the twins back into their carriers and grabbed them both, heading towards the museum.

“Come on! Jamie needs to know what he's living up to."

Chapter Text

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Li looked sleepily at her Captain as he held his newborn daughter in one arm and son in the other. They were finally back home from the museum, trying to sneak a nap in before they took their infants to see their honorary aunts, uncles, and second godfather at the Tower. The Major giggled at Steve's unending look of wonder as he looked from one child to the other.

“Did we really make 'em?"

“Well, you did cum in me without protection, so yeah it was a possibility."

Steve shot his soulmate a deadpan look that softened upon seeing her exhaustion. He leaned over and kissed her forehead. He smirked as she stuck her tongue out at him.

“Get some rest, Mrs. Rogers. Ya earned it."

Li felt some warmth in her cheeks and butterflies in her stomach at the thought of being Steve's Mrs...She was too tired to make a scene though.

“Hey, who's the commanding officer here? And I'm not your wife yet, Rogers."

Li yawned and began drifting off, snuggling into Steve's warmth. The last thing she heard before falling asleep was the blond's chuckle.

“Two months, sweetheart."


 

The Major woke up some time later to her Captain wrapped around her and snoring softly. She kissed him between the eyebrows and he smiled slightly in his sleep, his unconscious thoughts turning from guilt over how sick, Amy, was a few days ago to all four of them happy and healthy on some picnic in his head. Li rolled her eyes at his cheesiness and turned to her newborns.

"Hey guys. It's your mom and I have something important to tell you so pay attention.

It's gonna be tough. Life sucks and then you die. Well, most of the time you do-I hope you guys eventually do, but anyway-life's filled with tough shit and no one is going to feel sorry for you and there's nothing you can do except suck it up and carry on. But listen up, I promised your daddy I wanted you two. He never said as much but I know he wanted a family back in the day and I don't want to deprive him of that like I've ruined everything else for him, so I'll try my best to help you guys get through your time on this shit hole even if...I won't be there all the time physically.

I'm not going to lie. I'm probably the second worse possible person to have as a mama and there will be times that you'll hate me more than you ever thought possible to hate a person. My past it's not pretty, but I'm gonna ask your dad to not hide it from you. Just don't get mad at him though okay? It's not like fate ever gave him a chance to find someone better after he thawed out, and I ask whoever is in charge to please let the good in him outweigh the bad of me in you..."

Li laughed and shook her head as the infants woke up to stare at her through the bars of their crib.

“Listen to me. Worrying about things you won't understand for years to come like the mad black woman I am. Just promise me you'll take care of your papa for me okay? Who knows? Maybe his perfect match is right in front of him and he'll finally be able to see the world in full color when the grey of me is gone."

The Major sighed deeply and turned her attention to the blond she felt staring at her.

I thought you were sleeping, Rogers."

“Ya mind's too noisy. What's wrong, baby girl?"

Li held Steve's gaze for a while. She could wait for the day that every other word she says to him wasn't a lie. For now she just kissed him between the eyebrows and his frown softened.

Just wondering if the kids'll hate me."

“How could they? Ya the best Ma for 'em."

“Peggy Carter frowns in the distance."

“An' as great as she is, I didn't think about having kids with Peggy Carter. I wanted 'em with Li Jones."

Steve held, Li, in closer and she let out a shaky sigh. She was going to miss these times with her supersoldier. The Captain mistook her sigh as skepticism, however, and pushed her in for a long, gentle kiss.

I love ya, Li. The kids will too."

Whatever helps you sleep at night."

She smirked and, Steve, scoffed, rolled his eyes, and pecked her lips again before snuggling into her. When his breathing finally evened out and she started seeing dreams going through his head again, the Major turned to their daughter.

The tiny brunette that was the splitting image of her from the mole the bridge of her nose to her big feet, just like her brother. She was so young, she didn't know, she didn't deserve-!

Li snapped out of her rage before she accidentally woke up her slumbering soldier. She got off the bed as quietly as she could and left to go get something to drink from the kitchen. On her way, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and almost punched it. The differences were small and unnoticeable on the outside, a new wrinkle here and a grey hair there, but she could feel her inside weakening rapidly. 

“Sister, you have to say something eventually."

“I know, D, I know, but how can I?" the Major sighed, “He's the strongest person I know, but even, Steve, can only take so mu-."

Chapter Text

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The Captain woke with a start and his soul mate protection instincts going off at full force. He looked at the empty space next to him. It was still warm so she couldn't have been gone long. He got up and did a quick search of the room after making sure his children were fine.

“Li, sweetheart, where'd ya-Li? LI!"

Steve found her in the hallway, unconscious and bleeding from a blow to the head she got on the way to the floor from the table underneath the mirror. He wouldn't be as panicked if she was healing, awake, or if he could hear anything but nothing from her head.

“Oh, god, not again!" he begged out loud, cupping her cheeks, “Wake up, baby girl, please!" She didn't even twitch.

The Captain's breathing picked up as he ran back to their bedroom. He needed to get her to the Tower, but the kids had to be looked after. He gently picked them up and headed to the apartment next door.

(Y/N) shouted that her door was unlocked and he ran in. She sat on the couch with a guy that the Captain paid no attention to as he shoved his twins at the doctor.

“I need t' take, Li, t' the hospital so I need ya t' take the kids!"

He ran back over to his girl and picked her up. She was still out cold, literally. Li was freezing. The Captain grabbed the keys to the car and hurried down the stairs, ignoring everyone's stares.

“Stay with me, sweetheart, please!"


 

Steve put the pedal to the metal the whole way to Manhattan and nearly broke down the Tower's doors and elevator. When he got off the lift with an immobile, ReSpawn, in his arms, everyone froze and ran over, the first of course being Iron Man. The inventor took one panic filled look at his soul mate and pushed him back to the lift.

“I thought I felt something! What happened?!"

“I dunno! I woke up 'cause I felt somethin' happen t' her an' I found her like this! I'm not gettin' anythin' from her!"

Tony raised an eyebrow at him and then looked back down at the Major. Steve looked at him with pleading eyes. Tony sighed and pushed the button down to the lab. 

When they got there, Tony, gestured toward the couch and, Steve, quickly sat down with, Li, in his lap. She still grew colder by the minute and still no signs of life came from her head. The Captain cupped her cheek and kissed her temple, trying not to lose it.

“Ya gonna be okay, baby girl!" he whispered.

“Here, this should do it."

The inventor injected his soul mate with two doses of artificial. After a long, tense minute, her eyes fluttered open, staring at a spot just beyond him. Steve sighed and laid his head on hers before sitting back up with anger and worry flowing through him.

“Don' cha scare me like that! What happened?"

“A-all my power drained suddenly...I-I don't- love, p-please get off my leg..."

Steve looked down and saw that he was leaning heavily on her bad limb and moved himself around so she could get comfortable. She looked like she was going to cry and the Captain was about to voice concern when, Tony, asked him to go get some first aid things from the other room.

Steve sighed. Both he and Stark knew the only way, Li, was going to talk was if the Captain left. So he gently set his girl down on the couch with a kiss on her temple and went off to find the kit. 

“Sweetcheeks, what-?"

“I'M STILL DYING OKAY? LIKE ACTUALLY LEGITIMATELY DYING!"

“What?"

“I-if, Steve, hadn't gotten me here when he did my heart would've stopped! I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH POWER TO KEEP IT GOING IF I DRAIN AGAIN AND I CAN'T JUST HOPE YOU OR STEVE'LL FIND ME IN TIME!"

Steve felt his own heart stop and he almost dropped the supplies he was holding, as he looked into lab to see, Tony, trying to calm his hysterical soul mate.

“IT'S NOT FAIR, TONY! W-WHY COULDN'T YOU JUST LET ME DIE WHEN I WANTED TO? I WAS READY! I WAS HAPPY WITH THAT DECISION!"

Li was sobbing uncontrollably into the inventor's chest while he stroked her back. Steve's self control to not run in there was almost all used up, but he wanted her to finish getting her feelings out.

“B-but now I have so much! Even with my HYDRA past, even though I have to live with what I've done in their name, I still have everything I could ever want. I have a team that's one hundred percent behind me, I have two beautiful children, I-I have the bestest friend that anyone could ever ask for, and..."

The Major smiled and, Steve, felt himself go warm and weak in the knees with how much love and adoration was pouring out of his fiancee. He could almost see little cartoon hearts dancing in his vision. Was this the feelings for him she always held back? Because he could live with this feeling forever.

“...And I have someone who loves me so much that he's willing to put up with me for the rest of his life."

Li showed off her engagement ring and, Tony, just smirked as he remembered paying for part of it. She wiped the tears going down her face and laughed weakly.

“I don't wanna  go..."

Chapter Text

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“Baby girl, it's gonna be okay."

Steve held her tighter, but, Li, just retreated further into herself. After getting her power back to normal levels, Steve, took her to their floor for her to rest. Immediately, she went to her studio, but didn't close the door so he walked in.

“J-J, you know the drill," she ordered.

Her music came roaring through her speakers and she stood with her back towards him, head buried in her hands. The Captain stepped closer and closer to her until he could put his arms around her, setting his head on her shoulder. Li stiffened up before dropping her head.

“Baby girl, talk t' me? Please?"

“I've ruined these kids, Steve. I can't prove it yet, but I know have!"

She started crying, but just as quickly stopped. As tempting as opening his mouth seemed, Steve, wanted her to get it all out.

It's in my blood, Steve! I'm just-just some disease that's allowed myself to spread!"

The Major broke out of his hold on her and paced around the room. Steve watched her carefully, ready to move as soon as she even thought about hurting herself.

“Damn it, why didn't I stop myself? As usual, ReSpawn, whoring herself out to someone, just because they claim to care about her!

And of course, the first person that seems like they really mean it, she lets knock her up and ruin his chance at a normal family! No matter where he goes he has to live with knowing he fathered your demon spawns, you stupid bitch!"

She stopped at the window stared out of it, fists clenched on the window still. Steve moved closer to her until he could set his hands on hers and kiss her temple. Li put her face in her hands and went silent. Steve laid his head on the back of hers, trying to figure out how to put together his thoughts.

“Sweetheart, they ain 't shown any signs of serious mutation or severe development problems. The only thing wrong with 'em's their parents've shit genes mixed in with a bunch of God knows what chemicals."

He planted a kiss on her head. She started shaking slightly.

“Baby, ya spent the last three days convincin' me tha' Amy's lungs ain't m' fault, so why are ya so sure that they're gonna be bad 'cause of ya?"

“Because that's how my blood is Steve! We start out kind and human, but then our mutations kick in and-!"

She laid her head on the window still with a deep, defeated sigh.

“Ever since I absorbed the aether one or both of them have been over draining me. That's mutation, you know that Steve."

“Li, I told ya there's no way that ya could've known what would happen! They got mutations, okay fine, we knew it was possible. We'll deal with it as a family, Li."

“Steve, they'll come after us. You know they will."

“We'll deal with that too." 

The Captain sat his wife up and turned her around. Her dark eyes shined with unshed tears. He cupped her cheeks and gave her a kiss. He pulled back a centimeter after a minute.

“Sweetheart, they've taken from ya ya whole life with 'em. Ya out now. Ya here safe with me. They won't take that from ya too. Ya can't let 'em, I won't let 'em."

Li laughed weakly with a shake of her head and her tears spilt over. Steve wiped them away, waiting for her to say something, anything.

“Steve, these people can't be forced or reasoned with. They will kill a child, I've been-!"

Li took a deep breath and looked down.

“You can't protect us, my love."

“I can damn well try, Li. Ya forget, I dealt with HYDRA before an' lived t' tell the tale every time."

The Major scoffed, but wouldn't look back up. Steve bent down and smiled.

“I socked ol', Adolf, in the jaw over two hundred times?"

She cracked and gave him a genuine laugh. Li leaned on his chest and shook with her mirth. Steve ran a hand through her hair and sighed in relief.

“Ya can't prove I didn't!"

“I'm telepathic, my love, I can prove where you were a hundred years ago."

“Since I'm biologically twenty five an' was only frozen for seventy years, I'm gonna hafta call bull, Major."

“Are you questioning me, Captain?

Li smiled and cocked her head, looking him up and down with the authority she held over him in her eyes. Steve realized the mood change and straightened up.

“An' if I am, ma'am?"

The Major laughed and turned them around until his back was against the window still. She crossed her arms and rested her body weight on him. 

“(Y/N) fine with keeping the kids for a bit?"

Steve nodded and, Li, unfolded her arms, slowly dragging her hands down his chest to unbutton his jeans. His lower half started going to immediate attention.

“Well, Captain Rogers. You know how I hate being questioned. If I let you start going against me, then everyone thinks they can."

“If everyone can be so easily persuaded, maybe ya not as in control as ya-OH!..........Oh, god yes...."


 

“Ya good, baby girl?"

“Yeah, I'm good. How about you?"

Steve sat up on the studio's couch and gave her ring hand a kiss followed by her temple.

“I just made love t' the most beautiful woman in the world an' then took the world's best nap holdin' her. I'm great!"

Li rolled her eyes and pushed him off her onto the floor. What she didn't realize was how wrapped up in the blanket the were so she just fell on top of him. The Captain just laughed at her and turned to check the time. Such an ass, he was. Steve sat up and stretched with a satisfied smile on his face.

“We gotta go get the twins."

The Major watched her husband stand up with her in his arms, sit her back on the couch, and gather his clothes. The hairs on her neck stood up. She did miss her babies a lot, but she had a bad feeling about going home.

“Why don't you bring them here now? That was the plan for today and I'm already here if my power goes again."

“Ya sure, baby girl? I don't want too much excitement put on ya."

“Steve you just fucked me three times, ate me out twice, and made love to me all in the span of an hour and a half. I don't think there's any more stress to be put on my heart."

Steve picked up his keys off the nightstand with a deep blush and, Li, smiled at his embarrassment. His 40s idea of what gentleman is never left him so he always got self conscious when she mentioned anything that happened under the covers besides “making love". She scooted over to him and kissed him between the eyebrows.

“I enjoy every minute of it, Captain. But I think I'll enjoy watching, Tony, figure out how to hold our babies more."

“Right...I'll be back in a few."

He pecked her lips and her temple and made his way to the door. Li smirked watching his butt.

“I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave!" she shouted.

Li stretched out and stood up on slightly wobbly legs. She sighed in contentment. The things that man does to her. She wrapped herself in the blanket and went to the window to watch her husband drive off. Suddenly, two familiar warm hands grabbed her butt.

“Why don't you take that blanket off and show me what I'll be missing?" he teased.

“Steven Grant Rogers, go get my children!"

Chapter Text

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Steve arrived at back home to pick up his children at around five. When, (Y/N), answered the door she looked beyond irritated, held a towel that smelled of spit up around her neck, and shoved the twins at him.

“So where's your friend?" Steve laughed, shifting so he could hold his babies more comfortably.

“He's in the bathroom." (Y/N) sighed and a far off look came over her face. “Getting ready to leave."

“Shame,” Steve smiled, “I wanted to get a better look at the man who’s stuck with you.”

The Captain frowned as, (Y/N), rolled her eyes. Now that he thought about the little glance he got at the man earlier, he did look familiar. His eyes did, rather. Through the long hair and stubble, Steve, could've sworn...

“Now that I think about it, he kind of looked like Bucky…” he mumbled.

Steve shook his head, writing the thought off as silly, when a warm, fuzzy feeling went through his chest at the same time a flash of panic went through his mind.

“Li? Li are ya okay?"

“Yeah, why?"

“I felt-."

A wave fear and the feeling of being caged in went through him, and he felt Li's mind feel it too, before what felt like a door shut. She mumbled out a curse and her mind became deadly quiet. He couldn't voice concern though because then, (Y/N), cursed too. Steve looked down at the look of pure fear on his friend's face. She slammed the door shut before he even opened his mouth.

The twins started crying and he rocked them while hurrying the two steps to his and Li's door. When he got inside, he laid his now calm children down in their crib and kissed their foreheads.

“Ya Pop'll be right back babies okay?" he assured their confused eyes. The Captain switched to talking to his wife.

“Sweetheart, keep an eye on 'em okay?"

“Yeah, yeah..."

Even though he didn't like the distracted tone of his soul mate's voice, Steve was more worried about the shouting next door. He grabbed his keys so he could lock the door behind him before going to pound on 503. After the longest two minutes of his life, (Y/N), finally answered.

“I thought I was going-,” he began.

Captain America's vision went red around the edges as he took in the bleeding and inflamed gash on her cheek along with the tiny cuts around it, like someone slammed the right side of her face into something. His eyes then travelled down to the hand shaped bruises forming on her neck.

“Where is he?” the supersoldier asked with way more calm than he had.

“Steve-.”

“NO, (Y/N)!” he snarled.

The Captain pushed his way into her home, and started looking around for her assulter, ignoring all of her protests. Except one.

“Steve, please! He couldn’t control himself!”

Steve stiffened and nearly put his fist through her kitchen table as he thought about his babies being here just minutes before. She probably let the bastard hold them! Steve walked out into the living room and up to the doctor. She shrunk against the front door a bit.

“He just beat the crap out of ya an' I’m supposed t' just let that go?” he said in a low, dangerous tone, “I let that slime near m' children, (Y/N)! M' BABIES! WHAT IF HE-!”

Suddenly, there was a moan of pain from the direction of (Y/N)'s bedroom. Steve clenched his fists as panic went through her eyes.

“He’s in there isn’t he?”

“Steve, no! Steve!” she begged.

Her pleads fell on deaf ears as the supersoldier made his way over to her door. The door was locked and, Steve, prepared himself to break it down, when two voices sounded at the same time.

“STAND DOWN, SOLDIER!” (Y/N) and Major Jones shouted.

Li!"

That's an order, Rogers!"

Steve internally growled and turned to glare at the other woman telling him what to do. She was shaking, but stood tall, like she was ready to fight him if need be. She knew what he was and-wait how did she know?

“Captain, if you don’t get the hell out of my house right now, I’m calling the cops," she warned. Steve scoffed.

“Rogers. Leave."

“Li, I'm not-."

“That's Major Li to you right now, Captain. Get out and bring me my children. NOW!"

“Y-yes, ma'am..."

He took a deep breath and looked at the ground. Never was he so bitter over the power his fiancee technically had over him.

“Fine,” he said through gritted teeth, “We’ll talk about this later. I’m takin', Li, an' the twins t' her...mother’s an' I’ll be back in a couple hours.”

(Y/N) relaxed as he headed for the front door and pulled her into a hug. He stood there for a full minute to let her know that she's not alone.

“If ya need me, please call okay? Be careful,” he said softly.

“Always am.”


 

Li, what hell? Why did ya stop me?!"

His soul mate continued to focus her half-blind eyes on the floor, still not answering his question. 

When he got back to New York and gave her the twins so she could feed them, he asked her the same thing. When she laid them down for a nap, he asked again. Now they were in their bedroom and she just sat on the window seat, sicker than when he left. Steve growled and lifted her head.

We're not talkin' about this Major t' Captain! We're doin' it Steve an' Li, husband an' wife!"

Li batted his hand away and, Steve, clenched his fists. He saw, Li, stiffen and start shaking a bit before he calmed himself down with a sigh. He got down to her level.

“Sweetheart, please? I just want t' understand...he coulda hurt James an' Amy or worse."

“No, he wouldn't've. I looked into his mind, he's n-not a bad man. Something's just fucked with his mind. He really wasn't in control of himself."

“What? Who? Why? Throw me a bone, baby girl, please?"

She finally looked at him as best she could, but then what seemed like an electric shock went through her. She shook her head again. Steve frowned and stood up.

“Whatever it is, I will find out about it whether ya want me t' or not."

Li started shaking again and turned her back on him, holding her head. Steve held back tears of anger and worry, wishing he could understand why his future wife won't let him in. He kissed her temple. 

“I have t' run home again, but this conversation ain't over. I love ya, Li, okay?"

She nodded, but still refused to look at him. Steve kissed her temple one more time and left the room to go say good bye to his children. As he closed their door behind him, he heard, Li, crying deep, begging sobs while someone shouted at her through what sounded like a speaker. He tried to open the door, but she had it blocked by JARVIS.

Chapter Text

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“Please, sir! Please don't take my babies!"

“Don't worry, Spawn, you're coming home with them," Rumlow said.

Li stopped crying and stood up from her window seat. A small smile crept across her face. Good. She heard the phone switch hands.

“Fix your face, bitch. This place is surrounded and tapped, you're not protecting anything," Davis sneered.

Major Jones' smirk did fade a bit. Tapped? HYDRA really went the whole nine yards for this. She slowly made her way to the twins room, putting together her plan in the part of her brain she learned to block from her soul mates.

The Major knew she only had one chance on this. One wrong move, and everyone she ever loved and/or even breathed on outside of HYDRA would die. 

She closed her eyes and used her telepathy to poke around her handlers' heads. At least she would've if they weren't blocking her out with their helmets. Li laughed a bit. The boss finally learned. Unfortunately for him, his tech guy hasn't lived the last three years with an overprotective supersoldier for a soul mate.

ReSpawn easily bypassed their protection and gathered all the information she needed. She opened her eyes and swallowed hard. Unless, she went back quietly, Davis was telling the truth, she wasn't protecting anything.

Li pounded the wall before, fixing her face, and turning the corner to find her eldest son sitting on her rocking chair in the nursery. When he saw her, he jumped up.

Sweetcheeks, you sure you don't want us to-?"

I'm not letting them take my babies, Tones, and I'm not letting you or anyone else risk their lives to stop them. HYDRA is my fight."

Her soul mate went silent for a minute before sighing deeply. He laid his forehead on hers. He showed her HYDRA's plan.

That's everything right?"

Li stood a bit disappointed in herself, but not surprised, Tony, learned how to bypass her guards. Then she nodded and wiped away the tears he didn't even try to hide from her anymore. He took her hands and, Li, blinked back her own tears. Why did he have to make everything so difficult?

“Because I was raised by the best. You're not going alone, so what do we say to Steve?"

ReSpawn gathered every bit of power she had and closed her eyes. She cupped her little boy's cheeks before kissing his forehead. On every level of the Tower, she heard the thud of a body falling to the floor. Then she put her phone to her ear.

“I understand, sir. Do you want me to disable the security system?" she asked.

“No," Davis ordered, “Get them and bring them out. One wrong move and I blow this place sky high."

“Yes, sir."

Major Jones put her phone away again and went to her children. She carefully picked them up and buckled them into their carriers. They just stared at her. She kissed their foreheads before standing up with them and walking out.

Amelia gets her power supply only after she eats. Just because she doesn't need to, doesn't mean she doesn't have to learn how to."

"Li-?"

“I don't want to lie to him anymore than I have to. This way you can tell the truth of what happened here. I paralyzed everyone and left with the kids."

“Sweetcheeks, please be careful."

“Always am."

“I love you..."

Li softened and laughed before teleporting to the front of the building. Immediately, Rumlow, took the twins and, Davis, grabbed her by the roots.

“Welcome home, honey," he whispered while kissing her neck, “Our kids are gonna grow up on the right side now, huh?"

Li fought to keep her face neutral while he dragged her into the “inconspicuous" SUV and restrained her. Davis pulled out the detonator for the bombs attached to the Tower. ReSpawn blinked once and finally answered her soul mate.

That's a dangerous word, sweetie."


 

And my house was the only place-?"

“Yes, D."

Fine."

“Thank you, D. Anthony, you be nice to your Uncle Daemon and Travis."

“They are not-!"

“Sister, tell the green one to calm down!"

ReSpawn smiled as, Natasha, worked her knowledge of pressure points on, Bruce, and she took a deep breath while looking at Davis' wandering hand on her thigh. Then she looked up at Rumlow and her children. Both men were laughing about how easily, Steve, gave up after seeing his platonic soul mate. ReSpawn put a force field around her babies before grabbing Davis' hand with a cell crushing grip.

Didn't they learn their lesson from Daemon? One day anyone will fight back, using the same rage created in them.

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“Cap before you-."

“Tony. Tony what happened t' m' wife? Why can't I get anythin' from her end?"

“She's not your-."

“Stark-."

“She...cut her connection with us off and she left. With HYDRA agents."

“An' ya jus' let her?"

“I don't just 'let her' do anything. You're the only one still under the disillusion that she's gonna listen to reason."

“Stark, I'm gonna go find her when I get out of these handcuffs so jus' keep an eye on the kids an'-."

“Yeah, about that..."

“What?"

“Li took them with her..."

“Stark, don't fuck with me, I'm not in the mood."

“Cross my heart and I'm gonna die."

“So m' family's in enemy hands an' no one did anythin' t' stop it?"

“Well, Li, paralyzed us all so..."

“Tony."

“Yeah, Steve?"

“I'll see ya in a couple of hours. With m' soul mates an' kids behind me, holdin' me back."

“Looking forward to it."

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She thought she was prepared to face her soul mate and answer all of his questions. The moment he came into the cave and set his piercing light grey eyes on her she almost hit the floor to beg for forgiveness. She held it together though and allowed him to pull her into a private room.

When they got in, he turned his back on her, trying to keep himself calm.

“Li-."

“They had the Tower surrounded and bombed, Steve, I couldn't let-!"

He rounded on her, turning redder and redder by the second.

“I coulda helped-!"

“You were a bit busy with the Solider-!"

“The Soldier? Ya mean-?"

“Jimmy."

Steve took a deep breath that didn't help his anger levels at all and, ReSpawn, shrunk internally. She thought she was prepared for the day she made her Captain hate her for the rest of his life, but she was wrong. Steve's words became unsettlingly calm.

“How long, Li? How long have ya known? An' don't ya dare bullshit me." 

“I trained him to be the Winter Soldier back in the day. Everything he is falls on me."

Li instinctively started looking for a way out as, Steve, went a dangerous shade of red and clenched his fists. She had never seen him so pissed off.

“So lemme get this straight. Ya low on power, ya know people, that include m' dead best friend, are after ya aN' INSTEAD OF TELLIN' ME YA JUST RUN OFF WITH HYDRA AGENTS WITH OUR KIDS?" Steve shouted.

“IF I TRIED ANYTHING, HYDRA WOULD'VE STORMED IN AND TOOK THEM REGARDLESS, WHICH MEANS EVERYONE DIES! EVEN I'M NOT STUPID ENOUGH TO TAKE THAT BAIT!"

“YA DRAGGED OUR CHILDREN INT' YA BULLSHIT, LI, PLAIN AN' SIMPLE! YA OBVIOUSLY THAT STUPID!"

Steve looked at her with disgust and hurt, two emotions she never wanted to see directed at her by him again. She held his gaze though, her stubborn pride wouldn't allow her otherwise.

“An-an' why didn' ya tell me about Bucky? I COULD'VE SAVED HIM! I COULD'VE GOTTEN M' SOUL MATE BACK! I FIGURED YA OF ALL PEOPLE WOULD KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE T' LOSE ONE!"

She felt a nerve hit and felt her rage rise up to her fiancé's. He backed away from her while she started glowing a green and white light.

“He told you, didn't he?"

“Yeah, an' I gotta tell ya, I'm startin' t' agree with his decision," Steve snapped.

Li gasped and reeled back like he had slapped her. Which he basically had, but she decided to ignore it.

“THE DAMAGE WAS DONE SEVENTY YEARS AGO! HE COULDN'T REMEMBER HIMSELF LET ALONE YOU AFTER TEN! YOU WOULD'VE DIED GOING IN THERE AND I WOULDN'T'VE BEEN ABLE TO HELP YOU BECAUSE THEY'VE GOT ME ON A FUCKING LEASH, WHICH WOULD LEAVE EVERYONE, INCLUDING YOUR BESTIE, SHIT OUT OF LUCK!"

“SO YA THE ONLY ONE WHO GETS FREEDOM? YA THINK YA DESERVE IT MORE THAN HIM WHEN YA THE ONE THA' MADE HIM LIKE THIS?!"

"I NEVER SAID I DESERVE ANYTHING! AND I'M SORRY FOR WHAT I DID TO HIM! THERE'S NO AMOUNT OF APOLOGIES FOR IT, BUT YOU HAVE FIND YOUR CHILL AND WAIT FOR YOUR OPENING! AND I DID MY WAITING! ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN YEARS OF IT!"

“THAT AIN'T HIS FAULT, LI!"

“I DIDN'T SAY IT WAS! STOP PUTTING WORDS IN MY MOUTH, STEVEN!"

Three years. Three years and he still didn't fucking understand how the people she and Bucky were slaves to worked. Li moved to leave, but, Steve, stopped her with a hand on her chest.

“I'm so fuckin' tired of ya shit, Jones. Can't ya take some responsibility for once in ya god damned life?! Ya could think for yaself!"

“What like, the Soldier, can?!" she snapped.

The Captain's eyes flashed in fury and he slammed her into a corner, his rage coming out in hot waves. She glanced down at his one hand that was still tightly clenched and the other that was caging her.

“Get out," he ordered.

She pushed him hard out of her way and stormed out of the room so he wouldn't notice her fear. There was the sound of breaking concrete, she felt sharp phantom pain throughout her right hand and arm, and a steaming, Steve, followed her out with a bloodied right hand that had pieces of the wall stuck in it. They stood by, (Y/N), still arguing.

M' point's that ya never gave me the chance, Li!"

“YOU'RE STILL NOT-!"

“No, Li, STOP! Jus' fuckin' stop! Stop thinkin' ya know what's best! An' stop HIDIN' THINGS T' 'PROTECT' ME! I GOT MORE IMPORTANT THINGS T' WORRY ABOUT, OKAY?!"

Li's eyes widened in hurt and tears welled up in her eyes, but the Captain just kept going.

“I GOT MORE IMPORTANT THINGS T' WORRY ABOUT THAN WHETHER OR NOT I CAN TRUST YA!  I GOT MORE IMPORTANT THINGS T' WORRY ABOUT THAN YA, LI, SO KNOW WHA' FINE ! GO!"

Steve leaned in real close to her face.

“GO GET YASELF KILLED OUT THERE!"

He straightened back up and, Li, broke eye contact with him. She knew his rejection was coming so she took its sting and locked it up. ReSpawn looked back up at Captain America with emotionless eyes.

“Thank you for your honesty, Captain Rogers," she said calmly, “I'll keep it in mind."

Steve blinked at her cold formality and seemed to come back from his burst of righteous fury and his widened in shock at himself as he realized all he said. Li moved to go but, Steve, grabbed her hand.

“Sweetheart, wait I-!"

Her eyes flashed as she slapped him so hard across the face that he almost fell down and shut him out of her mind. Then she took her engagement ring off and threw it at him before she stomped away. His light grey eyes were filled with apologies, shame, and panic, but she didn't care anymore.

“Wait, Li! I didn't mean that!" he shouted.

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“Natasha, take over for me," Steve ordered.

The spy nodded and switched seats with the Captain so she was the pilot and he could sit in the back with his romantic soul mate. Li had her back to him and continued to get ready. She kept herself closed off from him. He put his hands on her hips, but she pulled away from him.

“Sweetheart, please. Please talk t' me. I'm sorry," Steve begged, "I shouldn't've flipped out like that at ya no matter how angry I was an' ya have every right t' be pissed off at me."

He turned her around and brought her in tight. Steve could feel the irritation radiating from her, but he couldn't let her go now. He planted a kiss on her temple.

“But we've never gone int' fights mad at each other an' I don' want t' start now," he whispered, “Please, baby?"

He held out her ring in front of her. After a beat, she didn't make eye contact with him or take the ring, but she did reopen their bond. He was relieved, but immediately was subdued by how tiny and quiet her voice was.

“I should've told you, Steven. He's your best friend and a good man and I made him the longest living prisoner of war. For that, I'll take whatever consequences are coming to me. But understand this."

Major Jones pried out of his embrace and finally faced him with a furrowed brow and a thin line for a mouth. Steve frowned as the cuts and bruises present on her when he arrived a couple of hours ago still weren't healed.

He racked his brain and hers trying to figure why. He paled seeing her teleporting everyone in the Tower miles away to her brother's house followed by her barely escaping HYDRA with the twins never leaving her arms. She's running on fumes-she brought him back to the matter at hand by continuing.

“You're right, I'm a liar, I'm irresponsible, and I should've never gotten involved with you."

Steve opened his mouth to protest her admission, but, ReSpawn, put a hand over his mouth.

But the next time you want to remind me what a waste of life I already know I am, remember that I've tolerated, sacrificed, and changed a lot in three years to make myself feel even the slightest bit worthy of being with you. And most of the time, I still don't."

She broke eye contact with him, but he hugged her again even though he was staring to feel the irritation radiating from her rising to dangerous levels.

"I never asked, wanted, or expected to be the most important thing in your life, Steve. I just thought maybe-you always seemed to-well, I guess my telepathy isn't as good as I thought. I still haven't learned a damn thing the boss tried to beat into me..."

Li shook her head, pushed him off, and put her head against the wall of the chopper. Her voice went almost inaudible.

“I'm not mad, my love. Just done. Now leave me alone."

Steve froze for a second before he turned her around and took his girl's cold-cold?-hands and locked his blue eyes on her black ones. Ones filled with hurt, worry, and exhaustion. Every emotion he, Steve Rogers, put there.

Yes, Bucky, meant just as much to him as, Li, did. And yes, learning that, Bucky, was alive and, Li, was the reason he was the assassin he was now was the biggest shock of his life. But he knew he was way out of line with the love of his life one too many times. Li jerked away from him again.

Sweetheart, please-!"

ReSpawn snarled-she actually snarled like a wild animal-and punched a hole through the metal. She was completely engulfed in black light and her eyes went blood red. The helicopter started going down and the Captain involuntarily shrunk in fear as did everyone else. This wasn't just ReSpawn's rage, this was DeSpawn's too. Steve knew he had really fucked up.

“SHE SAID LEAVE HER ALONE! NOW I CAN MAKE YOU LEAVE H-!" 

“No, D! Ha-haven't I hurt him enough for one lifetime?" 

“But, sister-!"

“Daemon please?"

Spawn sighed, snapped their fingers, repaired the helicopter, and curled up in a ball in the corner of their seat. Daemon let his sister take back complete control. Steve put a hand on her again and she jumped like she was stung.

“Sweetheart...please, please don't do this. I'm sorry, baby, I'm so sorry."

She sat up and looked at him in confusion. The same confusion he saw on, Bucky, just a few days before. After a second it turned into comprehension. 

“Don't be sorry, sir. It's better this way."

“What're ya talkin' 'bout?" Steve asked.

“I'm too low to read your minds, but I'm on my way to be terminated right?" she smiled.

No one said a word until they landed. At that point, Li, looked up and behind with the dead eyes of not his or HYDRA's ReSpawn that, Steve, never wanted to see again. She was “Li" again, but this ReSpawn's eyes were of someone who was mentally and physically depleted. She might as well have been dead on her feet.

He tried to keep her down, but she just pushed him off and stalked out of the chopper without a word. The Captain felt his friends' eyes on him, but he was too worried about his soul mate to acknowledge their concern.

He looked down at her ring and stared at it before cursing himself and following his Major and Sam out. As bad and un-Captain America like this sounded, he hoped that this would be just an in and out. He needed to make things okay between them.

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“Fuck..."

“We'll get to that soon, honey," Davis smirked down at her, "Good things come to obedient little whores. Something I have to reteach the hard way."

Li fought back crying out as, Davis shot her again. As soon as she left the helicopter and started for cover, the Major felt a sharp pain go through her leg. Before she could turn to face her shooter, they got her in the spine and put their foot down on her.

“Honey, I'm giving you a chance to make the last three years of being with that twink up to me and you're not even trying."

“I'd rather be injected with acid again," Li growled.

Davis gritted his teeth, sat down hard on her bullet wounds, and pulled her hair up by the roots to make her look into his sickening green eyes. She spit in his face and he slammed her head into the ground with every word.

“I. Wasn't. Asking. Bitch."

Li felt herself being picked up, dragged along the metal of the carrier to an empty area surrounded by boxes, and slammed on her back. Davis pinned her down and started tracing her down to crotch with his gun. The Major felt bile rise in her throat at the familiar feeling, but luckily, Daemon's chatter kept her from shaking. 

“Sister, I'm growing bored. Can I please-?"

“No, D, you're my life support right now remember? Now finish healing my back!"

Daemon sighed and continued to dump his power supply into healing as he remembered fusing in the cave with his worryingly stoic sister. 

“Yeah yeah...I can't believe he's actually dumb enough to think you would just come here on empty."

“Well he is-FUCK!"

Suddenly, excruciating pain went through Li's left arm. Spawn got a hold of themselves just in time to not give, DeSpawn, away. Li looked up at her ungloved hand. There was a knife stabbed through the palm with a familiar liquid-.

“D, D-!"

“I know he's not completely brainless! Let me concentrate!"

“Eyes on me, bitch." Davis grabbed her chin and forcefully turned her head towards him, squeezing hard. Major Jones never wanted to punch the sneer off of someone's face more. "I want to see what it's like to really make you feel me, honey."

“I'm done, Li! Let's kick his ass!"

Spawn smirked as they started to ready themselves for a fight. Time to get out of here. 

“I dunno, John," they taunted, “My projection wasn't that impressed-Steve, no!"

Li heard every bone in Davis' gun hand snap before she saw Captain America crush the weapon with one hand, murder radiating out his eyes.

“Don't cha ever. Ever." Steve punched, Davis, off the Major so hard he flew ten feet away. The supersoldier continued his walk towards her handler despite her orders to stand down. Li groaned and scrambled to sit up. She ran as fast as she could to her soul mate who was now throwing, Davis, around the base.

Even through the weakened state of their bond, Li, could feel the pure hate that went into every kick and punch connecting with Davis' body. The part that worried her, however, was how much the serum exasperated the issue. It wouldn't be a problem if he hadn't already had a serum enhanced anger episode today, but now, Li, knew she had to nip this in the bud.

Steve was slowly turning a dangerous shade of red, his muscles were straining the fabric of his uniform, every step bent the ground he walked on. Davis didn't even have a chance to defend himself before he was sent halfway to the moon with every attack. 

The Major hated what she was about to do, but she knew first hand what happens when a supersoldier doesn't get a hold of himself. And not everyone is immortal like her.

Li looked sadly at her husband and mouthed an apology before running as fast as she could in the Captian's direction. Hopefully, she could build up enough speed to knock him over.

“...even breathe my wife's air-!"

 Major Jones rammed into Captain America's back which sent them both tumbling a few feet away from Davis. Li sat up on top of her glaring Captain and folded her arms. Steve's dangerous shade of red deepened as he watched, Davis, run off. 

“Steve you can't just-!" Li started.

Li go home."

Captain Rogers stood both of them up. He repeated his sentence and started to walk away. The Major on the other hand wasn't having it. Home? Between the apartment and Tower blowing up, what home of theirs was still standing? Besides that this was just as much her fight. Her mistake to fix! She ran to block him. Behind his helmet, Li, knew the worry line between his eyebrows was deep, but she stood her ground.

“Stop giving me orders, Rogers!" Li commanded, "I am not going anywhere!"

Captain Rogers swallowed hard and closed his eyes in an attempt to control his emotions. Li could hear feel him trying desperately to not pursue and then disintegrate every bone in Davis' body as the past few hours replayed in his head. Finally his cold, grey flew open eyes started begging her.

“Sweetheart, please. I can't protect ya an' save Bucky! Go h-Li! I said-!"

ReSpawn clenched her teeth and started to walk away. The nerve of him, making it seem like she needs to be baby sat! After all the times she saved his sorry ass! She felt him wrap himself tightly around her. She struggled until he let her go, but then he turned her around and took her hands. 

Captain-!

Li...Baby, I just want-."

“I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU WANT,  STEVEN!" she screamed, “JUST GO AWAY! LEAVE!"

Steve's face fell in hurt. Li, almost felt sorry for her tone, but he was really letting his instinct to repair their bond get to his head. Thankfully, the Captain nodded once, turned his back on her, and ran off to find the Falcon.

ReSpawn moved to continue on her own way when someone shot her in the leg from behind. As she went down again, she internally screamed. More in frustration than pain since she knew who her shooter was. Since, Davis, was coming from in front of her. While he never joined in Davis' fun, he never tried to stop him either. 

“I'm not done with you, bitch," Davis growled.

“I hoped you weren't," Major Jones sneered, “And, Brock, I missed you!"


 

“Fuck me..." Li groaned, kicking, Davis, off her. 

“He must’ve been touching me when I teleported. God damn it-ow,” she told, (Y/N), while pulling herself up, “Out of power. Your dick is out of power.”

She kicked him again and looked around to assess the situation while trying to block out her romantic soul mate's panic. Once the Major landed, she felt Steve's protection instinct go off the charts. But she ignored that in favor of the Solider shooting at him and beating him up. If she could just slow him down...

D-."

Already done."

ReSpawn smiled as she felt her brother help give her a power boost and looked at the doctor.

“(Y/N), he needs you,” she said, “You and Steve both. I’ll hold him still as long as I can.”

She laughed at bit at the young woman's expression of shock, awe, and fear. She forgot not everyone has seen her in true ReSpawn battle mode. Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her bad leg and her vision darkened before she slammed to the ground.

“You’re not doing anything, bitch,” Davis snarled, shoving the drug covered knife deeper.

“Fucking-. I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS SHIT!" Major Jones shouted as she blindly kicked air. Plan B then. 

“(Y/N)! Give me your hand! Hurry up!”

She thankfully did as she was told and the Major sighed. Plan B was the last resort plan. It was her out of power plan. It was her keep S.H.I.E.L.D from knowing she's immortal plan. The last thing she needed was them experimenting on her too. The last thing she needed was for Steve and her babies to know and realize the very wrong situation she put them in. It also solved having to tell, Steve, his princess was draining her mother too dry. 

Her soul mate did need to know one thing though. She smiled sadly at (Y/N).

“I’m using my last bit of power for this so if I don’t get to, tell, Steve, it’s under the floor board, okay? I can’t believe I managed to keep that from him."

She also managed to land a kick right to Davis’ already broken nose. He jumped and let go of her. ReSpawn started to teleport her friend up to her soul mate. She smirked and Steve's panic levels rose.

“And tell him that-that, well he already knows that doesn’t he?”

The doctor disappeared and, Li, opened herself back up to her Captain one last time as she felt Davis' boot crush her ribs. She pushed straight up and thankfully he went down.

Jones-!"

“Steve, they won't ever leave us alone. I have to end this."

“No, Li, please, please-!"

“There's no protection you can give me that ends with you and the kids alive."

“You know I was given orders to kill you," Davis said calmly, “But that's too easy, honey..."

Li stiffened for a moment as Davis traced her body with his gun. She didn't realize he recovered so quickly. She had to make this goodbye now.

“So, yeah, I'll 'kill' ya. But you'll wake up again and coming with me, bitch. I'll teach you not to disobey me no matter how much time on your knees it takes..."

Li spat in what she hoped was the grunt's face, and immediately felt a boot to the head at the same time her soul mate's instincts went off the charts. She heard, Davis, take the safety off his gun.

“LI ASHTON-!"

Captain Rogers, don't worry about me! Bucky needs you, our babies need you!"

“But I need ya!"

“Steve, please?"

The Captain went quiet. The Major could tell he wasn't even attempting to fight, Bucky, back anymore. Not like he would've after shutting down the “project" anyway. Steve could never stop someone if they could be saved. She smiled.

“One more month, Stevie."

“Li..."

“It'll be nice happily ever after, right, my love?"

Li felt her Captain give a shaky sigh as a sharp pain went through her chest. She put a hand on it and came back wet. The Major whimpered in pain as, Davis, put his foot on her already broken ribs, leaned all his weight on her. She could tell, Steve, wanted to say something deep and meaningful, but neither of them liked the finality of that. Finally, the Captain spoke.

I'll be waitin'-."

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“-for ya."

Li's cry of pain as Davis' bullet hit its final mark echoed through Steve's head. As did the silence after it. 

“Li?!"

No answer.

ReSpawn, report!"

Suddenly, there was a sensation in his chest like something in him was being messily cut and ripped out. The Captain went numb. He was barely registering Bucky's punches.

“S-sweeth-h-heart?" he whispered.

Try as he might, he couldn't do anything through their soul bond, because he couldn't feel it. Li's body didn't have soul for him to connect to anymore. Steve felt hot tears forming in his eyes and he felt like he was slowly floating off.

“No! He’s-he’s my mission!” Bucky shouted.

Steve snapped back to reality. He just lost his romantic soulmate, he wasn't about to lose his platonic one again too. Besides, what did he have to lose now?

“JAMES, PLEASE STOP! HE-!” (Y/N) cried.

“Then finish it,” the Captain said.

(Y/N)'s jaw dropped in surprise of his stupidity, but he ignored her in favor of his best friend.

“Because I’m with you till the end of the line.”

Steve slightly smiled when Bucky’s eyes went wide with recognition and he slowly calmed down to (Y/N)'s hand on his shoulder. The blond was relieved that his friend had someone like the doctor to help sooth the pain of the seventy years he lost, just like he has L-.

The Captain's heart shattered completely as the helicarrier fell apart around him and he couldn't bring himself to care that he was free falling into the waters below. His last thought before he blacked out was maybe,  God, would have mercy and let him drown.

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Li came back to life on a sandy shore with a gasp and a loud groan. She was getting too old for this immortality crap.

“Not until you outlive me you're not."

Li sighed and smiled softly in the direction of her platonic soul mate. She felt Iron Man's metal hands go around hers but she told him to wait when she realized that it was her romantic soul mate's hand she was holding.

The Major turned towards him and took off her useless, burnt out glove. Tony looked at, Steve, so, Li, could see his face in his mind since she was physically blind. She cupped her almost husband's cheeks and planted a long kiss between his eyebrows.

“Believe me this is better for you guys," she whispered.

She took off one of her “dog tags ". She always wore them since she never knew when she would die in some unexpected way. The Major laid it on her Captain's chest. Tony took her hand.

“I hate being the voice of reason, but you don't have to leave, sweetcheeks. He's ass, but he's not an asshole. He might understand."

Li laughed weakly at his accurate definition of her almost husband.

“I'm immoral, Tony. How am I supposed to just let him him to be okay with that? I can't even give him the chance to grow old with me; how can I tell him that I've possibly cursed his children too? No, I can't do that to him, Anthony! I can't! Why do you think I never told him?!"

She took a deep breath to calm herself down before continuing.

“And I'm not just doing it for him ...Amy needs to learn to control her mutations. I don't want her to accidentally kill me by proximity before I teach it to her. She, Jamie, and Steve don't deserve to live with that."

“And how do you expect to teach her from HYDRA?! Your boss isn't just going waltz out at all hours!"

“I was always there for you right? I'll figure it out again."

She sighed and held out her arms for her little boy. He hugged her tight and she felt wetness spread on her shoulder. Li pulled back and wiped his tears as best she could.

“I'm sorry for what I'm about to put you through, sweetie. My offer still stands."

“No, no, don't cut me off. I need to know you're safe, princess."

The Major nodded and swallowed. Tony hugged her one last time, before flying off so, Davis, wouldn't see him. 

“I love you, Tones."

“That's a dangerous word, sweetcheeks."

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Steve blinked himself awake and found himself in a hospital room. He looked over to find, Sam, reading a book and the twins in a hospital issued crib next to him with soft music going in the background.

“On your left."

Sam looked up with a weak smile and, Steve, wondered what the problem was until he realized the complete silence in his head and the raw, open feeling in his chest. He went numb and cold. 

“Can-can I see her?" the Captain whispered.

Sam put his book down and gave his friend a look of great sadness. Was it possible to feel even worse?

“I'm sorry, Steve...HYDRA took her. Tony said he tried to stop them, but..."

Sam shook his head. Steve looked away, desperately trying to keep control of his emotions. 

“Steve, Tony, gave me these."

The Captain looked up to meet the flash of metal. Sam handed him Major Li Ashton Jones' tags. Steve took them and stared. He never thought he'd be getting hers...

The supersoldier put his head in his hands. She was gone. His “been in much, much worse shape" commanding officer would never come home again. The mother of his children was dead. And he couldn't even see her one last time.

“Steve, I-," Sam began.

“Don't-jus' don't."

The Captain rubbed his eyes, holding back tears. He didn't want sympathy or pity. He wanted the other half of his soul back. The twins started crying, and at the sound of his children's wails, Steve, lost the energy for a fight. Arguing wasn't going to bring his best girl back to him.

It wasn't going to ease the aching pain in his heart. It wasn't going make explaining to Amy and James, when they're old enough, why their mom wasn't there. It wasn't going to help him make peace with telling the love of his life that she's unimportant and to get herself killed. It wasn't going to change the fact that he turned his back on her at a time he never should: when she wants him to.

He couldn't even tell her how much he loved her in the end because he was too scared of the finality of it.  

Steve sunk back on the bed, exhausted and wound up at the same time.

“Please jus'. Jus' give me m' kids an' leave. I need t' be alone right now."

Sam nodded in understanding, pushed the infants to their father, and left. Steve picked up his children and rocked them. 

“Shhhh. It'll be o-."

Steve froze when he looked down at his children. James glared sleepily at him, like he just came back from long mission and wished he would shut up so he could sleep, before snuggling into his chest with a contented sigh. Every time, Amy, blinked her eyes kept switching from their normal black to completely white to completely green and back again. Both their body temperatures were higher than even his.

Steve broke down.

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“I'll take the kids, Steve, just come over when you're ready."

“Thanks, Sam."

Steve carefully handed his barely two weeks old twins to, Sam, who walked over to the inconspicuous car provided by Tony. The Captain sat at his girl's grave for a long while, trying to string together his last goodbye to her. But everything he thought of just didn't seem good enough. There were no words that could describe what she did, does, and will always mean to him. Finally, he took a deep breath, and started.

Hey, sweetheart. 'Member how ya always asked me 'Don't I always come home?' Well, I'm still waitin' for ya t' answer that now."

Ever since I woke up from the ice, it's always been the Major an' her Captain, Steve an' Li, me an' ya...I was-I was never alone here. S-s-so I'm b-beggin' ya please-p-p-please don't ma-make me h-ha-have t' be."

Steve paused to try and gather himself for a moment before continuing.

F-for three years ya stuck with me through the good, the bad, an' the jus' fucking weird. Ya gave me a home in this century, a friend...happiness. Ya the brightest thing in m' dark skies, baby. Ya m' moonlight, Li.

He started laughing a bit at his own cheesiness and shook his head.

“Wow, that was bad wasn't it? I half expect ya t' come up behind me an' tell me t' shut up an' get int' cover.

'Member all those times I was more focused on makin' sure ya was okay than makin' sure I wasn't spotted? I thought ya was gonna kill me some day, but ya never did. Ya jus' glared at me with those beautiful dark eyes an' told me to sit down so ya could heal me. Glad t' know it was just 'protect ya soul mate at all costs' instincts an' not me losin' m' touch."

He sighed, giving her grave a glassy eyed look for a long moment.

Y-ya can'-ya can't jus' let our babies-th-the twins need their ma, Li; I-I can't lead the team without m-m' wife at m' side!"

Steve started taking deep breaths in effort to calm himself down, but it was to no avail. He took her engagement ring out of his pocket, got on his knees, and tears started running down his face.

I'm an idiot, baby! I-I-I didn' mean anythin' I said! Turnin' m' back on ya was wrong! Ya know I know that, right? Right?!"

Soon he was crying so heavily he couldn't say anything further. It hurt. It hurt so fucking bad. In his twenty six years, he had gone through multiple near death sicknesses, had to bury his both his parents and he thought his best friend, lost the chance at a life with his first love, been experimented on, frozen, thawed out, shot, beat up, you name it and it's happened to him. But nothing, nothing compared to the deep agony present in his heart and soul since the moment he felt his and Li's bond end.

P-p-please, b-b-baby! Ya-ya can't be g-g-go-gone; N-NOT YA T-T-TOO, LI!"

Eventually, he realized he had to leave. He laid her ring on her grave, got up, and sighed shakily.

I love ya, Li Ashton Rogers. More than ya ever got t' know. Not even death'll change tha'."

The Major watched her soul mate walk slowly to the car and drive off. She asked, (Y/N), to move closer to her headstone. The doctor nodded and did as the Major asked. Li laughed slightly at the words engraved on it.

“Defiant 'til the end."

The superhuman directed, (Y/N), to pick up the ring. Li stared at it for a long time before putting it back. She wanted to run back home...she wanted to so badly, but she had to teach, Amy, control and the only way she could do that is that if her kids didn't know who she was and the team thought she was dead, just in case it goes south.

“So what are you going to do?" (Y/N) asked.

At that moment, ReSpawn's cage door creaked open, bringing in the smell of yesterday's dinner masquerading as today's and Davis. The Major took herself out of the doctor's head to prepare herself to resist disemboweling her handler.

“Suck it up and carry on," Li grumbled. 

Chapter Text

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The Captain walked into their destroyed apartment completely numb and disconnected from the world around him. Every day for the last month, he woke up to an empty bed hoping that it was all some twisted dream. But she never came. He really wished she would stop fooling around and come home.

He went around their home picking up what could be salvaged and holding back tears over the memories of her that couldn't be. Eventually, he made his way to her studio. Thankfully, it was still intact. 

Steve knew where she kept her private stuff before, (Y/N), told him, but out of respect never mentioned it. He took out the loose floor board by the door and began pulling things out. There were sketches of what she thought the twins were going to look like, needles filled with the stuff that boosts her powers, a couple of books that won't exist until next year, and a million and one wedding magazines that date back months.

He flipped through some of them, finding the dresses she was thinking about. Some of them had notes reminding her to ask Tony and Natasha about them and others were drawn over with her modifications. The last page held her “perfect" dress, but he didn't look. It was bad luck to see it before the wedding.

It was supposed to be today, but-

The Captain had to take deep breaths to keep himself from losing it. 

Steve stood up, taking some of the things with him, when two pieces of paper fluttered to the floor. He bent down to pick up the biggest one first.

 Hey, Stevie,

If you're reading this, chances are I'm not around anymore to tell you to stop touch my shit :p 

Okay, okay sorry I know you hate the emojis in handwriting thing, you hate it when secrets are kept from you, and you more than likely hate me right now for doing whatever it is I did to not be around anymore. For that I'm sorry. But I'm not sorry that it's giving you and the kids a better life. Find the woman in the picture,  Steven. She's your happily ever after, my love. Find her and I hope she gives you and our babies everything I couldn't. 

I love you, Steven Grant Rogers. I love you, James Anthony, and Ameila Martha enough to let you go.

 

P.S. if you haven't buried me yet, don't forget when you do make sure Welcome to the Black Parade is playing

P.P.S. The apartment and everything in it is yours. I love you, Stevie and the life we built here.

P.P.P.S. Tell Tones I love him and to stop buying Virgina strawberries even if he's just fucking with her. It's weird and she could die.

P.P.P.P.S. Tell (Y/N) thanks for everything 

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Tell Thor I forgave him a long time ago and to tell Loki that his feelings for her were reciprocated 

Okay I'm done-wait one last thing: I love you. 

 

Steve read over her last words, not sure whether to laugh or cry. He swore he could hear her doing both. Finally, he looked at the family photo sized paper behind her letter.

It was a picture of the twins all grown up, smiling behind him. He was middle aged in his preserum body with one arm around a teenage boy that looked like him and a middle-aged, frail bodied woman that looked somewhat similar to the Major snuggled into his other side. Both he and the woman looked sickeningly in love with each other. 

Steve immediately crumpled the photo and threw it on the floor.

He sat down and stayed down for a long time. It wasn't until, Tony, called asking him to come to the Base because the twins won't stop crying and he didn't know what to do and-Steve stopped listening at that point. He just let, Stark, finish his sob story and hung up. After ten minutes more, Steve, got up, took one last look around, and closed the door behind him  leaving the picture of his possible future family to gather dust on the floor. 

He didn't want a happily ever after. He wanted his baby back. 

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Okay, baby, let's try this again."

“You can do it, cupcake."

Li and Tony held their breath as, Amy, stared at the ball one more time. For the past couple of months, the Major telepathically worked with her daughter on her telekinesis while Iron Man kept a look out for Steve. Amy started with just moving one of her toy pieces from one end of the room to another, now she graduated all the way to making it hover.

The little girl's eyes started glowing white and a second later, her ball did too. Li and her platonic soul mate tensed when the toy started shaking a bit. That was more movement then yesterday. Stress showed on Amy's face and, Tony, frowned.

“You sure we're not putting too much pressure on her?"

“I was teleporting teams of people in my second month of training, sweetie."

“Li I don't think-."

“Tones look!"

Out of her boy's peripheral vision, Li, saw the ball move off the ground. By the time, Tony, looked up, the toy floated half an inch off the ground. 

“That's my girl!" Tony praised, throwing his goddaughter up in the air a bit before catching and snuggling her, “We're so proud of you, cupcake!"

Amy giggled and clapped her hands in excitement over all the attention she was getting. Li laughed weakly, desperately wishing she was physically holding her baby girl. She shook the thought out of her head at the feel of, Tony, noticing. What's done is done. Suck it up and carry on. 

Yes! Good job, baby. You can go play with, Jamie, now. Practice on h-."

“What's all the yellin' about?"

A gaunt blond man in desperate need of a proper shave, haircut, bath, and general self care walked in holding a well cared for little boy. Jamie stared at his sister with their father's famous worry line between their eyebrows. Steve's face was disturbingly neutral as he waited for an answer. Li sighed. 

Go ahead, baby, show, Pop, what you can do."

Amy smiled brightly as she took a minute to make the ball hover again. This time it went even higher and, Tony, smirked as he let the Captain know it. Steve's face lit up in awe and he came over to sit next to Tony. Ameila turned towards her father expectantly. He ran his free hand over her dark blonde little afro before settling it on her cheek, looking like he'd seen a ghost. 

“G-good job, princess," Steve finally whispered, "The best of the best jus' like ya ma."

He planted a wet kiss on her forehead before taking her from her godfather and holding her tight.

“How-how'd s-she-?" he cried. 

“Li left me with a few pointers a bit before the twins were born," Tony answered quietly, “She wanted to make sure they learned how to control their powers even if she wasn't around to teach them."

Steve stiffened for a moment before slumping. He handed his children off to their godfather before leaving, mumbling something about needing something from his room. A moment later, a door opened and slammed close. Tony's thoughts turned somber before he quickly shut her out and blocked all her attempts at breaking in. Major Jones scowled. 

Anthony-."

“Get up, bitch!"

Li sighed deeply and eternally at the order and continued to lay on the floor. She knew ignoring him wouldn't make him go away, but it would annoy him. A win in her book.

“Did you hear me, you little nigger slut?! Get up!"

Oh you've graduated from 'whore' to 'slut'. Good job, sis."

Thanks, D, I try my best. You broke both my legs, you id-."

Davis pulled her to her severely injured limbs by the roots of her hair. Both Daemon and Tony bristled, but she refused to give him the satisfaction of seeing the great amount of pain he's had her in for the last eight months. He yanked her head back hard to make eye contact.

“The only reason you're still alive is because I'm allowing it," he growled.

“Don't flatter yourself, I know it's because-!"

Li felt her face collide with the concrete floor and blood rushed out all over it as her head and vision went fuzzy. If that gave her concussion,  she wasn't admitting it.

“Did I touch a ner-?" ReSpawn sneered.

“71343, hush. John, get up."

Both Li and Davis immediately followed orders as the short, scrawny frame of the boss came into view. Her dirty blond owner was opening a letter and handed the opener to, Davis, when he finished. After a moment, the boss' dark brown eyes met hers. For the briefest moment, Li, thought she saw a bit of remorse before they returned to their usually emptiness. 

“Get it cleaned up and healed. It has some new Enhanced to train," he ordered. 

“Yes, sir."

When the boss left, Davis, again lifted the Major on both her useless legs.

“Don't got all day, Johnny b-."

Suddenly, the Major felt unimaginable pain through her right eye. She was pinned to the wall by the letter opener in her head, the familiar dark of death taking her. She always forgets how strong, Davis, actually is.

“Then let's do it the fast way," he sneered. 

Chapter Text

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He's okay.

One day without her became a week. A week became a month. A month became ten. Ten's becoming a damn y-!

He's okay. 

He knew the team was worried since he wouldn't talk about-. He just can't. After his breakdown at the funeral he gave her, he realized getting emotional was pointless. 

No one knew how it felt to suddenly lose both of his soul mates in the span of just a few years. No one knew what it felt like to have the engagement ring that he waited so long to give the love of his life thrown back at him. No one knew what it felt like to be left with nothing but barely salvaged memories in his destroyed home and two children that look just like-! HOW COULD SHE DO THIS T-!

It's okay. He's okay. 

This is what she wanted. She wanted to keep everyone safe and that is what she did. So he's okay.

He's okay. 

The twins were growing up fast and good. They were such good kids just like he told her they would be. It's not fair that she can't-!

The team grieved, especially after the proper funeral they had for her. They tried to keep moving forward, but it was obvious that everyone was hurting on some level. How could they not be?! They just lost part of their family! One of their leaders! His commanding officer! THE ONLY PERSON WHO UNDERSTOOD HIM AN-!

He's okay. He's okay. 

She deserved a team that finally gave her some respect to her earned name. He wished that he could show her that it wasn't Stockholm Syndrome on his part. He wished that he could show her that she was so loved despite what she was. He wished so many things.

He wasn't sad though. He wasn't angry or bitter.

At first he was. At first, he was testy and depressed, but then he realized, that wouldn't bring his almost wife back. She was gone and he didn't do a thing to stop her. She was gone because once again he, Captain fucking America, COULDN'T SAVE-! HE PUSHED HER TO THAT P-! It doesn't matter anymore.  

She's gone and never coming home. They would never marry and be a family and that's okay, he's okay.

He told that to the team. He told that to his twins. He stared at the cold, empty space next to him on the bed and told her that he's okay. He is okay.

He promised.

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“Get up, Maximoff!" ReSpawn snapped in Sokovian.

“Nah, I'm fine down here."

The speedster glared at his trainer from the ground while wiping the blood from the corner of his mouth. She smirked. Training the new Enhanced was her favorite time of the day, especially this Pietro. It was not so secretly his favorite time too. She wasn't sure why, but ever since she heard the boy's name, she's felt the uncontrollable urge to beat the shit out of him and he felt the same. For some reason, they just hated each other's guts.

On the upside, having a willing punching bag almost made up for the unexplained, nearly unbearable ache in her chest, and inability to see in color. Almost.

“Fine," the superhuman said calmly.

ReSpawn furrowed her brow and used her telekinesis to make her insubordinate student stand. His eyes grew even more icy and, she, laughed as she addressed his sister.

“You taking notes, bro?"

“Yes. I have an entire book of you hurting my brother vhile I have to vatch," Wanda quipped.

ReSpawn scowled and let, Pietro, free of her control. She didn't know whether she had gone soft or if this was just a new breed, but a decade ago her students wouldn't have even of thought about mouthing off to her. Then again, the boss doesn't let her kill anyone in front of her trainees anymore, so she's lost her only effective scare tactic. ResSpawn turned to face the Disney princess looking female twin.

“I've given you plenty of chances, Witch," ReSpawn growled, “You just haven't risen to the occasion."

“Because every time I do, you give yourself an advantage!" Wanda shouted, “How can I get better if ve aren't even close to evenly matched?!"

The superhuman felt her brain go to a complete stop. Where on Earth are they finding these children? To avoid any sort of accidental attachments, she never read their minds or asked for their backstory. Maybe it was time to share a bit of hers.

“Evenly matched. Evenly matched? Are you serious right now, Witch?" she cackled, “Do really think you're going to be 'evenly matched' out there? Where the real fight is?"

She got closer and in turn, Wanda, backed up a bit. ReSpawn heard, Pietro, prepare to take her down so she whipped around, her body turning into nothing but a pixelated mass of green light, full power on display. She blasted the speedster and he flew, hitting his cell bars with a hard “twang!"

“Stay down, boy!" ReSpawn ordered.

ReSpawn turned to look right into Wanda's wide, frightened eyes and telepathically gave her just a taste of her life as HYDRA's “crown jewel". When she was done she went back to her human appearance.

Breathing heavily and allowing, Wanda, to absorb everything just shown her, ReSpawn, went to the cross eyed, pepper haired boy and healed him just enough for him to get his bearings back. They stood and, Pietro, ran to his shaken sister. ReSpawn stayed by their cages, running her left hand on the bars as she worked to heal the serious concussion she just gave herself. Finally, she spoke.

“There is no one unconditionally on your side of the ring. I don't care if they're your family, your best friend, your soul mate."

She paused just long enough for the soul bonded siblings to recoil at her statement before turning her good eye on them.

“So you learn to watch your own backs and you'll get stronger. Never let yourself become dependent on others."

Wanda stared at her with great sympathy from her brother's hug while, Pietro, continued to glare suspiciously at the superhuman. She scoffed at him and started for the door.

“I'll keep watch. You guys do what you want till the boss comes to lock us all up for the night," she shrugged.

“Vait," Wanda said.

The trainee was standing tall in front of her wary looking brother. Her long, dark grey hair was billowing around her and her eyes and hands were glowing scarlet with the power of her mutation. Speaking of which, ReSpawn, could feel the girl scratching around in her head.

“What's up, kid?"

“I vant to train more."

“You sure?"

“I'm telepathic I'm alvays sure."

ReSpawn laughed at Wanda's feigned confidence. It was the most genuine one she'd had all year. When she finally calmed down enough to look into the confused twins' eyes she smiled wide. What she wouldn't give to be that young again.


 

Later that night, ReSpawn, still lay awake long after lights out. Partly because of Pietro's snoring, but mostly because she was thinking about the advice she gave her young ones. Sure, it was easy to say you'll never get attached, but life is never that kind.

What troubles you, pet?"

The same as usual..."

Perhaps if you stopped listening in every night and paid more attention to me..."

ReSpawn held back a giggle as her handsome king nuzzled her neck. She rolled her eyes in mock annoyance and turned plant a kiss on his cheek. In return, he gave her a deep kiss on the lips. ReSpawn smiled into it, but as always, something immediately felt wrong about it and she subtly broke it off. She wished she knew what was wrong, but the more she tried to remember, the fuzzier everything got. As a result, she couldn't remember much of anything further back than four months ago when she was strapped to the Soldier's chair.

Fortunately, he cleared up the gaps in her memory after calling a truce when she proceeded to punch his lights out for suddenly appearing in her cage. He told her that a long time ago they were ruling together in his kingdom of Asgard, but HYDRA captured her on a visit to Midguard. He'd been looking for her ever since. 

It all sounded pretty fishy to her, as HYDRA never let her out of her cage once in all her 115 odd years of life, but since he was the only outsider who seemed to know her, she just was happy this, Loki, showed up to keep her sane in this hell.

Her only gripe was how handsy he was. She didn't blame him since apparently they were together for a while, but that was then. Right now, while the thought of being with him in that way far from disgusted her, she didn't want to. Not with him.

My pet. You know you are merely driving yourself mad."

I know, Lokitty, but...I'm sorry."

The pale, dark haired king sighed. The pain of constant rejection ran deep in his emerald colored eyes, but eventually he smiled weakly and pecked her lips.

No need for apologies. Being able to hold you is plenty enough for me, my queen."

ReSpawn hugged him tight and laid him down so they could cuddle. When he fell asleep, the superhuman sighed and shifted to her other side, closing her eyes to go into a the mind of a little girl named Amy. She sat on her father's lap with her brother, Jamie, listening to their father tell them about one of his missions.

“Ya ma was so tempted t' just leave that awful man hangin' over the roof an' I would've had t' stop her even though I thought he deserved it for what he did, but..."

Captain America's breath hitched and he closed his eyes to keep himself together. ReSpawn felt Amy's concern for her father grow as the girl exchanged a sad glance with Jamie. ReSpawn's chest constricted, but she didn't know why. Why did she feel for these people? Who are they to her? The Captain spoke up again.

“Ya ma could never do that, though. She just teleported him t' Uncle Fury," he laughed weakly, “Her heart was always very big. Just like ya's."

The Captain hugged his children in close peppering both their faces with kisses until the room was filled with giggles. 

He stood up with them yawning in his arms to tuck them into their bed. ReSpawn watched him say good night to them nearly every night for the past four months. She just couldn't shake the pull of how much she wished that she was at Captain America's side. 

She wished the boy and girl were hers so she could peck their cheeks as their eyes slowly closed and their breathing evened out. Then, resting her head on her Captain's chest, they would get up to turn in for the night in their own way, just to wake up and do it all over again the next night.

But why though? Why was she mentally connected to this child? Why did she want to be with the man that she is supposed to kill when given the orders?

Like always when bedtime came around, ReSpawn's hold on Amy's mind started slipping as she fell asleep.

“I wove ya, Papa," the girl mumbled, “See ya in morn."

The Captain paused for a second with a peculiar look on his face before running a hand over his little girl's dark blonde coils.

“I love ya too, princess. An' ya, champ. Never think anythin' otherwise, babies, please."

He started silently crying as he walked out of the children's room. ReSpawn was pushed out of Amy's head, but she trusted nothing of the Captain's behavior.

Suddenly, a deep panic settled into her chest. So she did something stupid. She went into his head and she was so right to do.

“Fuck, fuck!" she panicked. Loki sat up to make her look him in the eye.

Pet, w-."

Sister, make the twins cry!"

Who are y-?!"

ReSpawn felt control of her head yanked from her for a split second before she was back and in Captain America's head, watching him run in the twins' room and check for anything out of the ordinary. When his search came up empty, he scooped up his wailing year old daughter and quickly quieted her. He talked to her for a few minutes before carrying her and the boy to his room, where they all fell asleep together.

ReSpawn sighed in relief out of the supersoldier's head. After a minute, she went numb with unexplainable guilt. Loki hugged her tightly as, ReSpawn, started shaking uncontrollably hard and hoped to whoever's in charge that, Wanda, was asleep.

Chapter Text

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How do I even begin something like this? I don't even I'm sorry. I'm sorry for more things than I can say, but this is better. For me, for the team, for the twins. I'm gonna be honest: I'm not strong enough. I'm fucking Captain America and I'm not strong enough. I'm a fucking JOKE

I tried. I fucking tried okay? You guys don't even KNOW HOW HARD I I tried to be okay with what's happened to, Bucky, because of my mistakes, I've tried being okay with being a man out of time, I've tried being okay with losing everything I had. And for a long time, I was starting to be okay because I had my best girl by my side and she gave me back what she could and then some.

But even she was taken from me and I couldn't even fucking BURY HER and I can't deal anymore okay? I've taken all the tests thrown at me, but this? This is I  I can't pass this one. It's too much. I'm sorry. 

The only thing I ask is keep my babies safe. Raise 'em to be better than their father.


 

When he put his twins down for the night in the room next door, the Captain set the letter he wrote earlier on his night stand and went to the drawer. The one he knew, Li, kept a gun in for in case of emergency. He went over, took it out, and sat back down on the bed, breathing heavily and grabbing his chest in a futile attempt to relieve the ever increasing amount of burning agony its been since soul mate number two died. His heart was in tatters, the ringing silence in his head got louder every day, and nothing was going to make all that go away.

Steve turned the gun on himself with the same thoughts he'd been having for longer than he wanted to admit.

Pull the trigger, end his nonstop pain, see her again. It would be easier for everyone, he knew. After all, Stark fathered Amy and Jamie more than him since he could barely find the will to wake up most days. If he was gone, the twins wouldn't have to grow up embarrassed by their father's weakness. Tony, despite his faults, would raise them right and they already worship, Pepper.

He took the safety off and put the barrel to his head as he solidified his decision more and more.

The team needed someone reliable, collected, not an emotional wreck of a leader, if he could even call himself one anymore since he started going on missions less and less. And how could he without-?! He told his friends that he wanted to spend time with his children, but it was obvious that he got so used to, Li, always watching his back that he forgot how to watch his own. It was like losing, Bucky, all over again...

Steve tightened his finger on the trigger. Natasha's become the rock that he once was, and the Avengers are carrying on better without him dragging them down with his self-hatred and incompetence. And as for Bucky and Peggy...they don't remember him anyway. 

Right before he pulled the trigger, came a whine from the baby monitor which made the Captain pause. It sounded like Amy-no, no. He needed to do this. 

Amy's fussing started to pick up volume and Steve's hand started shaking. 

“Pull the trigger, Rogers. What are ya waitin' for? The rest of ya family die cause of ya?!"

“P-P-PA-PA!"

Amy started screaming for him and, Steve, started crying too, throwing the gun on the bed and burying his face in his hands. 

“So fuckin' weak."

“PAPA! PAPA!"

The Captain did a quick wipe of his face and stood up.

“P-Papa's comin', princess!" he assured.

Steve walked in to the room to find his daughter wailing in her crib. As soon as she saw him, the terrified looking one year old stood up and held her arms out. Steve picked her up and cuddled her.

“What's wrong, princess?" he asked, stroking her mop of coils, “Bad dream?"

Amy nodded and buried her face in his chest. He could feel her bottom lip quivering. Steve sighed and kissed her forehead.

“Papa's been havin' bad dreams too. Wanna sleep in m' bed tonight?"

Amy nodded again and looked up at him with her mother's eyes. “Jay too?"

“'Course, princess. We'll make it a sleep over?"

Amy smiled eagerly and clapped her hands. Steve smiled back and bent over to pick up his dead to the world son. He carried them to his room. He paled when saw the gun and looked down to his children. Blessedly, they were both fast asleep. He gently laid them down on the foot of the bed and quietly put the weapon away to deal with another day.

The Captain gathered his children in his arms, laid down, and made himself comfortable. Both babies snuggled up to their father.

“Wove ya, Papa," Amy mumbled, “See in morn."

Steve's eyes welled up and he kissed the tops of his twins' heads before holding the most important things in his life as close as he could. 

“I love ya too, babies," he promised, “I'll see ya in the mornin'."


 

The next day, the Captain went out to the barber and cleaned himself up. When he came back, there was a note on his night stand, telling him to come to the Tower's public living room when he found it. At first, he wasn't going to, but curiosity soon got the best of him.

When he got there, the whole team was there. Tony, Thor, Natasha, Sam, Clint, Scott, hell, even Fury, Maria, T'Challa, Peter, and Sharon. Everyone except Fury and Maria came over and gave the supersoldier one big group hug. 

Steve froze for a minute before doing what he tried not to do in front of them for the past year. He cried. Captain America broke down in loud grief his family's arms.

“It ain't fair!" he sobbed, “IT AIN'T FUCKIN' FAIR!"

When he finally got himself together, he heard a sharp grunt come from, Fury. The supersoldier looked up and the Director and Agent Hill glared at him with unusually emotional eyes. Hill took out the gun he was going to use on himself and dismantled it, while looking the now embarrassed Captain right in the eyes.

“No one on this team is allowed to give up," Fury ordered, “Do I make myself clear?"

Steve looked around at the sad, pleading eyes of his teammates and sighed.

“Yes, sir," he nodded.

Suddenly, the twins popped up in his arms out of nowhere and started laughing and clapping in surprise. Jamie's eyes glowed a bright pink with his newly discovered power. Steve shook his head and nuzzled them both.

“Someone has to keep these two out of their ma's amount of trouble," he sighed fondly.

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“You've seen what they can do, sir. This is what we've been waiting for."

The boss stayed quiet, deep in thought. A familiar worry line appeared between his eyebrows as he paced around the room. 

A few minutes ago, the boss and, Davis, walked into ReSpawn's cage arguing about Captain America's children. Davis didn't understand why they weren't already in HYDRA's posession. The boss wouldn't give a good answer why. 

“It would destroy the Avengers, sir," Davis reasoned.

The boss stopped walking and turned to his goon with a blank look on his face.

“Bring them to me. Unharmed, John."

Davis smirked in a way that made, ReSpawn, simultaneously want to cower in fear and kill him at the same time. All she could think about was the Captain's daughter, Amy. Davis couldn't resist a pretty girl. 

“Yes, sir."

He quickly left the room, but the boss' headaches weren't over yet as ReSpawn's day guard opened his mouth. 

“Sir-."

“What is it, Brock?"

Rumlow faltered a bit at the boss' tone, but unchanged facial expression. Finally, he cleared his throat.

“P-permission to speak freely, sir?" he asked. 

“Granted."

“Sir...sir, I feel like you feel something for these kids."

The boss fell silent again for a full two minutes. The whole time, he stared directly into Rumlow's eyes. Rumlow didn't dare break eye contact any more than, ReSpawn, dared to read the boss' mind. 

“Yes," he eventually answered. 

“Y-yes?" Rumlow repeated. 

“Yes."

Rumlow waited, but his empty eyed superior didn't elaborate any further. Finally, the double agent nodded.

“Understood, sir," he confirmed. 

“Any further questions?" the boss asked.

“No, sir."

“Good. Go with, John."

Rumlow suppressed a grimace before nodding and walking out. When he was certain his grunt was gone, the boss sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose for a moment. Then he sat down on her tattered mattress. 

ReSpawn started trembling and prayed that whatever her punishment was that it was quick. But he did something unexpected. He took her hand. Against her better judgment, the superhuman looked up at her owner. His facial expression held a great deal of remorse. Utterly confused, ReSpawn entered a staring contest with him. He looked so familiar, why couldn't she put her finger on it?!

Eventually, he left without a word and the unexpected warmth of his hand was replaced with the always cold of Loki's. The prince looked down at her with panic in his eyes. ReSpawn sat up.

Lokitty, what-."

Pet...there is something I need to show you."

Chapter Text

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“So a year. Ya a damn good actress, sweetheart," Steve laughed weakly.

The Captain woke up to a cold, empty bed on the 365th day in a row with a heavy heart. Without even asking, Jaytee called to let him know that she's free to take the twins for the day if he wanted. Steve politely declined her offer. Amy and Jamie needed to visit their mother. 

“I brought the kids along. Don't want 'em t-t' grow up without ya. "

Steve, prompted the one year olds to wave at their mother's grave. Amy looked up and over at the trees while her twin messily wiped the tears going down Steve's face.

“Go play, Papa?" Amy asked.

“Sure, princess," the Captain consented, “Take, Jamie, and do not go past those trees!"

Amy nodded and toddled off with her sibling. Steve shook his head and looked back at his girl's grave.

“They're so smart, baby girl, more advanced than they should be. They both got superpowers. James teleported t', Tony, all the way in Japan last week, Amy accidentally broke m' hand grabbin' it yesterday even though she's got m' preserum size an' problems...Always gotta be the best of the best. Just like their mother."

Steve laughed again and he could've sworn, he heard Li's too. The Captain sighed shakily.

“I know ya probably saw me give up the other day an' I-I'm sorry, Li, but I-it's so hard-I can't follow ya orders! I can't forget ya, baby! I can't move on! I-I even went t' the church last June jus' t' see if maybe..."

He felt hot tears forming as he remembered going despite everyone's protests. He couldn't leave his room for three weeks after without snapping on someone. Steve took a deep breath to steady himself. He didn't want to be hysterical when the twins came back.

“I-I know it's gonna take more than a year, but I still feel like I'm not gonna even make it t' tomorrow without ya, sweetheart..."

Steve was silent for a long moment, just listening for his kids and to the sounds of the world that keeps spinning around him even though to him, it should stop for at least a minute in respect for the loss of his best girl. Finally, he laid the roses and lilies he brought her down on the dirt.

“I love ya, Li. Forever. I'll be back later though, okay?"

Steve made his way slowly over to the sounds of his children's giggles. They were playing patty cake with a dark haired person that had their back towards the Captain.

“Hey!" he shouted.

The person jumped at the sound of his voice and disappeared before he could blink. Steve decided it wasn't worth the chase and looked down at his kids instead. Amy looked convincingly ashamed, but, Jamie, was bouncing around.

“Just 'cause ya have powers don't mean ya can talk t' people, Papa, don't know!"

“Do know!" Jamie exclaimed.

“What?" Steve said.

Jamie moved to open his mouth again, but Amy put her hand over it. Steve frowned and crossed his arms.

“Amelia Martha Rogers-!" Steve started.

“It Ma!" 

Jamie broke free from Amy's control and started saying that over and over again. Steve went red.

“It ain't nice t' lie, Jamie," Steve scolded.

“It Mama!" the boy repeated.

Jamie looked so certain that, Steve, almost believed him, but it was impossible right? He got down on his knees and put his hands on his son's shoulders, looking right into the boy's bright blue eyes.

“Mama's gone, champ, remember? She's buried over there, Jamie. She ain't comin' home, baby."

“But, Ma, he-!"

“JAMES ANTHONY ROGERS, MIND YA, POP, AN' QUIT TELLIN' FIBS!" Steve shouted.

Steve immediately regretted his tone of voice as Jamie's face crumpled in confusion and he started crying. Steve knelt down hugged him in tight. If he ever saw that stranger again-!

“I NOT LIAR! I NOT LIAR!" James screamed.

Steve picked up the hysterical almost toddler and started rocking him in an effort to quiet him. He should've listened to Jaytee. The kids were too young for this emotionally no matter how advanced they are developmentally wise. 

“It'll be okay, buddy! We're always okay, right?"

The child sniffed and looked at, Steve,with tears streaming down his face.

“B-b-but no want, P-Papa, cry n-no more! W-W-WANT, PAPA, HAPPY!"

“I am happy, baby, I have ya don't I? How can I be sad with ya an', Amy, around?"

“But want, Mama, more..." Amy whispered.

The Captain softened in embarrassment and worry as he picked up his daughter too. He's really made them think that? Steve looked between his children for a moment. They were barely out of babyhood and already they've had to deal with too much. Finally, he spoke.

“I love ya ma very much an' I always will. She was m' soul mate an' one day ya hafta know what it means t' lose one. But..."

He hugged the most important people in his life in close and kissed their foreheads. One pair of dark eyes and one blue smiled up at him. 

“That don't mean ya two're any less special t' me. Ya all I fight for now. Papa can't lose ya babies."

Amy and Jamie cuddled into their father's chest and he stood up in relief. Across the way, there was a familiar looking silloquette standing there watching them. Steve blinked and they vanished.

Chapter Text

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As, Li, watched her family walk further and further away from her gravestone, her rage built more and more until she turned to the mischief maker that brought her here. The coldblooded demigod stood impressively unshaken by the heat of ReSpawn's fury, so she decided to lay into him.

Why did you wait so long to tell me, Loki?! You had four months to-! This whole time-!"

He continued to stare blankly at her, but she knew the pain and rage that simmered underneath. Right now, however, his feelings were the least of her concerns.

LOKI-!"

I only came to repay a debt. Any other actions were mere moments of weakness I will not indulge in again."

He finally broke eye contact. 

“You helped me escape my prison sentence and, Thor, in one day. I'm free in part because of you," he said quietly out loud, “I do not like the idea of owing, even if it is owing you, my queen."

“Loki, I-!" Li started. 

The Major didn't have time to work herself up again before, Loki, put his forehead on hers. Suddenly, she found herself in an unfamiliar room. She saw herself rushing around packing a duffel bag, while a frowning Captain America watched her from the bed.

Steve, they're calling me in again. Now. Tell the kids I'm sorry, that I have to rain check our picnic Immmm..."

ReSpawn's eyes misted over as, Steve, got up to grab her by the arm and pull her in for a kiss. Her sadness deepened as this version of herself smiled into it and wrapped herself around him as if this was her normal life for a long time. Li turned to the dark haired man behind her. Loki stared at the ground in a silent rage.

Loki, why are you torturing me-?"

“Sweetheartit's okay. The kids'll-."

“Leave again?"

Present ReSpawn's head whipped around at the sound of a child's voice. They were a boy that couldn't have been more than five glaring at the Li in Steve's arms with tears in his eyes that were the same dark color as the boss'.

Now that she was able to look, they were the same color as hers. ReSpawn felt her blood run cold as she realized that this small doppelganger of her owner looked nearly identical to the boy in the photograph, Daemon, showed her. There was no way...that's impossible, right?

Just...just pay attention, my queen."

The superhuman looked back up and the Captain's ReSpawn kneeled down to put her hands on the boy's shoulders. He shrugged her off and tears came to the woman's eyes. 

“I-I'm sorry, sweetie," Li stuttered, “I-I love you."

She moved to hug her son, but the boy just backed away from her in a rage.

“Why, Mama, never stay?!" he shouted, “It not fair!"

“Baby, I'm sorry!"

She reached out for him again, but he slapped her hand away. Hard.

“I HATE MA!"

Li flinched, trying to keep herself together. The boy repeated his sentiment again. Captain America's eyes flashed as he got over the shock of his kid's outburst. He moved his, Li, out of the way to stand in front of his son.

“RORY PETER ROGERS!" Steve shouted, “Don't ya ever let me see ya treatin' ya mother like that again!"

“But-!"

“BUT NOTHIN' RORY! Apologize now an' go t' ya room!"

“No!"

The boy teleported away and, Steve, growled. He moved to go, but stopped at the sounds of sobbing. ReSpawn watched him instead pick up his Li.

I-I don't know what more I can do! You and I can't both stay home all the time!"

Li tried to hold back her tears, but at the feel of her soul mate's warmth wrapping around her, she let them go on his chest.

We can't stop the future, Steve!"

Steve sighed and lifted his wife's head up so he could look into her eyes. Present Li leaned back on, Loki. So he is...no no.

Ya just have t' give him time, baby girl. He'll understand one day, sweetheart, just like Jamie. There's still time, baby."

Li nodded weakly and laid her head on his chest. Steve stroked her back and laid his head on hers.  

But don't ever lemme hear of ya givin' int' his tantrums though okay? Ya don't have t' take it jus' cause ya know who he might become."

Yes, sir..."

That's what I thought."

Steve smirked and pulled her flush with him. Red appeared on the tips of Li's ears as she smiled and rolled her eyes. 

General Rogers the world's in danger I need tommmmm..."


ReSpawn found herself back on her tattered mattress in her cage with only, Loki, at her side again. She got up to pace around, trying to mull over everything when she felt a scratching in her head.

I...might have made a mistake, sister. That picture wasn't the boss and the twins...well not the first set. And-and I never saw any medical reports beyond...and I didn't see anything about a Junior until now! Do you and the Captain know the meaning of 'contraception'?!"

D, what-? Where have you been?!"

Your mind locked mine away-!"

ReSpawn huffed to argue further when, Loki, turned her to face him. He looked just on the border of supreme irritation. 

My queen your brother's lack of enough common sense to properly research is not important right now. Focus; what do you remember?"

She felt a warm feeling come over her as she remembered details of Li-hers and the Cap-General's room. The room was painted maroon, her favorite color, while the accents were an obnoxious shade of orange. The bed was a mess and clothes were tossed over his side. Clothes he was putting back on while, Li, scrambled to pack.

There was a wedding photo on her nightstand, the frame engraved with the words “Always come home." On Steve's nightstand there was a photo of him play wrestling with two grade schoolers that were near clones of her, while she smiled fondly from the couch where she held a year old version of her boss in front of her early pregnancy tummy. Li shook her head. 

Loki he can't-. Daemon showed me that I never birthed anymore than the twins!"

Pet, be the perceptive woman I lo-know you are and stop denying the truth. Now look; there is more."


 

“Kids ya ma, sisters, and I gotta go out. I'll be back in a couple days. It might be a little longer for Ma and the twins," Steve said, "Listen t', Aunt (Y/N) and Vonnie, while we're gone."

One boy's eyes welled up, but he nodded. All five of the underage Rogers children hugged their parents and big sisters goodbye. The recently turned eighteen, Rory, however, sort of verbally acknowledged his father, but ignored his mother completely. Future Li looked down in hurt. Steve went red.

“Rory! Get back over here and say good bye t' ya ma!"

“She ain't m' ma! I don't have a ma!"

At that point, steam nearly came out of Steve's ears. He rushed forward, grabbed his son by the collar, and turned him to stand in front of his mother. Future Li looked away from the boy glaring daggers at her at the same time, ReSpawn, wanted to go to her knees in submission. 

“Apologize! Now!" Steve ordered. 

“No!"

The teenage boss teleported behind his father and, Steve, stepped forward. His wife, however, held him back. Present Li saw this version of herself reading her son's mind. Her face fell more and more. 

Li-!"

“I read the truth about her!"

Every head whipped around to, Rory. Steve and Bucky's faces paled. Present Li tightened her hand around Loki's as she saw the expressions that gave away that their wives were talking to them via soul bond.

“It's all over the web! She, Uncle Daemon, and 'Uncle Bucky' ain't nothin' but murders!"

“R-Rory, that ain't-," Steve began.

“DON'T LIE T' ME, POP, I'M IN YA HEADS RIGHT NOW!"

“RORY!"

“NO!" the boy shouted, “THEY NEED T' PAY FOR WHAT THEY DID, POP, AN' YA JUST AS BAD BY PROTECTIN' 'EM!"

Rory disappeared leaving a ringing silence in his wake.

“Dad what's he talking about?" a dark skinned young woman that looked like, Bucky, asked.

The Soldier's eyes aged instantly before he took his daughter's hand and led her away. (Y/N) followed with a deeply concerned expression. 

Future Steve stood shaking in fury, but that didn't last long when his wife started speaking in a subdued voice. 

“He-he's right, Steve."

“Li-! No, wait, sweetheart. D-don't-they're just kids, Li."

“They-the twins are over 20, Miles and Mariah are 17, Junior is a strong boy, and Virgil shouldn't be left in the dark, Steven."

ReSpawn's face hardened as she looked at the various shades of blue, brown, and one yellow that stared at her.

“Babies...Mama's gonna tell you a story. It's gonna sound like your Pop's but it won't end happy..."


Li swallowed hard as, Loki, took her out of that place in time. The shock and fear on the faces of her future babies cut through her heart like a rusty knife. She looked up at the feel of a cold hand wiping the tears from her cheeks.

“They did not hate you, pet, at least not for your past."

The Major frowned in confusion until she saw the image of everyone dressed in black surrounding a grave. Everyone except, Amy.

Pet...that mission. The mission you left for was a trap.

Ameila was lost, the Falcon lost his mobility. You, the Captain, and the Soldier lost your enhancements. The others would not have made it had my brother and I not come."

Li started sobbing as she took in the knowledge that her baby girl would someday be murdered by her own incompetence. Suddenly, her rage spiked and she stood up, trying desperately to keep herself in human form. 

“Lo-Loki, why are you torturing me? If it's to make me want to stay here-!"

No, no. Pet, you are...I show you this to ensure we never cross paths again."

Loki came over to her and rested his forehead against hers again.

Now, since, you were the one to give her order that set off the chaos, many blamed you for her death, my queen. I am sure you know who took it very hard..."

The somber scene returned, but only herself, Steve, her four youngest children, and Pietro remained. The Captain, now at his preserum build, looked up at the woman leaning heavily on him. Her blind eyes drowned in tears of guilt and grief. Steve hugged her tighter.

It ain't ya fault, baby, anyone of us could have-."

Stop justifyin' her! It's all her damn fault and she needs t' know it! She needs t' pay for it!"

Present Li and Future Steve both turned in a rage, expecting to find a teenage Steve lookalike who needed a severe attitude adjustment. No one was there. Steve's face hardened until the Major next to him collapsed.

Li!" 

“Ma-!" cried out a chorus. They were quickly cut and carried off by a flash of silver.

Steve picked his wife to lay her down but immediately went back down clutching his chest. After a second, he sucked up the pain and went to work on CPR. Try as he might, however, he couldn't get his wife's heart started again. 

“P-Pietro! She ain't breathin! Please get her-!"

Present Li suddenly found herself standing in a hospital room. Her husband lay next to future her in her hospital bed. He sniffed as all of his wife's monitors slowly beeped. She just smiled and kissed the worry line between his eyebrows. 


 

“Stop followin' me! I don't care!"

“P-p-pl-please I-I-I'm s-s-orry fo-for a-ask-asking y-y-you to hel-help me, b-b-but you-you've b-b-be-been th-th-the o-o-on-nly one-one ho-home i-i-in a-a-a wh-whi-le a-an-and I-I can't t-t-take my-my pills w-with-witho-with-out f-food, R-Ror-Rory!"

“GO AWAY!"

The sound of skin hitting skin rang out followed by a slamming door. Steve stepped into hallway to find his in desperate need of general care wife in her wheelchair at their son's bedroom door. Her shoulders were shaking and her hand on her cheek.

Steve frowned deeply and turned her around. Li's blind eyes widened in shock and she tried to go deeper into the dark of the hall, but he'd already seen it: a bright red handprint on her grey, sunken cheek.

St-Steve, he didn't mean-."

Captain America used every bit of strength his small body had left and broke down his child's door. Rory was in the middle of packing up a suitcase.

“Just where do ya think ya goin', son?"

“I'm movin' out. I can't stand it here anymore."

“What?!" Steve exclaimed.

“She's drivin' me up the wall!" Rory snapped, “After all she's done! The lives she ruined, she was barely around, she killed, Amy, and ya expect us t' take care of her when ya out on clean up jobs just because 'she's our ma'? No. I ain't doin' it."

Li watched as, Steve, sputtered. Her main concern was her future son, however. As she saw him throwing whatever he could into his bag, she didn't see anything in his face that matched his words. She could see the major moral battle he'd been fighting for a long time, though.

He didn't understand why he was the only one who cared so much about his mother's past and why it made him so angry. The more infuriated he became, the more his mother disgusted him. But he still loved her! All he wanted right now was to lay in her lap and feel her running her hand through his hair, like she did when he was a child. He couldn't though. She was wrong and he had to let her know it! He had to do what was right!

Suddenly, Li, was pushed out of her son's head. As she got her bearings back, the final words of the scientist that gave, Steve, his enhancements made sense. 

All of her children had their father's serum pumping through their veins. It was just a matter of controlling its effects. Rory couldn't. The Major never thought that she would feel bad for her owner. 

“Rory!" Steve reasoned, “For one second, stop thinkin' about what ya think ya know an' focus on what ya do know! 

All Ma's ever done is defend ya an' ya starvin' her? Ya beatin' on her?!"

“I'm tryin' t' make her wake up and realize I don't owe her a damn thing!" the boy shouted. 

He blinked and his bags disappeared. Then he stood as tall against his father as his tiny frame would allow.

“I don't have a mother, neither did any of us! That woman out there ain't nothin' but a booty call!"

“Rory-!"

Rory rolled his eyes and vanished. Steve let out a growl and a curse, but calmed at the sound of his wife's sobs. He turned around to see her at the doorway, her face buried in her hands. 

I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"

Li, baby, listen t' me it ain't ya fault."

Steve rushed over and took her hands away so he could wipe her tears. Future Li just shook her head. Present Li didn't like how ashen she looked. 

Yes it is! He's right! I deserve to die!"

Baby, baby please calm down, ya know ya heart's-Li-oh-oh fuck, b-baby, jus-jus' try t' calm down, p-please."

Steve paled as phantom pains in his chest and arm appeared. He fumbled for his phone while trying to console his scared wife.

St-St-Stevie...I'm...I'm.....having another...."

I know, I know, baby. Jus' breathe, baby, okay?"

“What is-?" the emergency operator began. 

“I need an ambulance," Steve ordered, “M' wife's havin' a heart attack!"


 

Please tell our babies I'm sorry, Steve, if I don't make I'm-."

Stop talkin' like that, General. Ya not gonna die! An' ya have nothin' t' be sorry for! Rory is so out of line right now! 

We'll be okay, sweetheart, ya never quit in all ya life, Li Ashton, don't start now."


 

“Sir?"

Steve looked up from his group chat with the remaining members of the original team to find a young nurse with a somber expression. 

“Yes?" he answered quietly. 

“I have good news and bad news.

The good is that the General'll be awake any minute now."

The girl's face fell further. 

“The bad news is that she had a stroke on the operation table. We had to stop and she's on by pass right now."

Future Li reached out for her soul mate as he sunk back in his chair. Loki held her back with a shake of his head. No touching the future. Right.

“Has she been taking her medications?"

“No," Steve whispered, “I trusted the wrong person t' take care of her when I work an' they haven't helped her with them in a while."

“Sir...your wife has been deteriorating for a while now and her DNA's constant mutations are speeding up the process. If she hasn't been taking her medication thus far, then I'm afraid now would be too little too late."

“Can't-can't ya do anythin'?"

“She's aging too fast for us to keep up with now. The only and best thing to do is keep her as comfortable as possible."

The nurse walked away. Steve threw his phone against the wall. 


Hey, baby girl-."

I'm....dying......aren't....I?"

“..."

Stevemmmm..."

Ain't nothin' t' be sorry for, baby. Nothin. Commere, darlin..."


“Rory, it's ya Pop. Again. Ma's real sick an-an' she ain't ever gettin' better, son. I dunno how long she's got so please. Please be here for her jus' this once, if not for her then for me an' ya siblings."


 

“Pop-."

“Whatever it is it doesn't matter anymore, Rory," Steve said, "Ya ma's gone. She's been gone for damn month an' ya jus' showin' up now?!"

“I had things to do, Pop, I didn't have time to-."

“DON'T BULLSHIT ME, BOY! YA KNEW YA MA WAS SICK FOR TWO FUCKIN' YEARS NOW, RORY!" Steve shouted, “ALL I ASKED WAS FOR YA T' COME MAKE PEACE WITH HER FOR ONE FUCKIN' DAY AN' YA COULDN'T EVEN DO THAT!"

“YA DAMN RIGHT! WE DON'T OWE HER ANYTHIN'! SHE AIN'T NOTHIN' BUT A LIAR AND A CHEAT AND-!"

The slap across his son's face rang in the quiet bedroom. 

“Ya think ya know everythin' because ya can read minds? Ya have no idea what ya Ma went through for us, what she put up with, what she sacrificed, what she had t' do. She nearly died for ya more times than I can count!

Ya just like everyone else, judging her before ya know her! Now she's gone and she had t' go thinkin' one of her babies hates her! Have a good life livin' with that."

“I didn't come here for her, I came to say goodbye. I found some people that understand me. People that think we should stop monsters before they can start."

“Rory, what are ya talkin' 'bout?"

“Goodbye, Pop."

He disappeared leaving behind a small circular piece of metal. Steve picked it up and sat down on his empty bed at seeing the HYDRA insignia etched into it. 

“I'm sorry, baby girl."


“Peter, if we bring the children here we can end it all. The Avengers, experiment 71343-A and B.

Then Project Insight can finally fix the world, what's to hesitate about? You came to HYDRA for a reason, obviously you thought the Avengers were wrong."

Project Insight isn't going to happen, Alexander. The Avengers and HYDRA need to burn."

“Peter-!"

“No, Alexander. This whole 'good versus evil' has gone on quite enough. We all think we're the heroes when the little guy knows nothing but suffering from both sides! It's too grey now. I need to end all of us."

The boss, Li, knew and feared had, Pierce, escorted out of his office before he started pacing around his room.

“I need to wait for an opening, though. I can't get Amy and Jamie with Ma and Pop around..."


 

The Major sighed in extreme exasperation as she found herself alone at her grave. Of course, the God of Mischief disappears before she can talk to him. She took deep breaths to calm herself down enough to think and take in everything, Loki, showed her. After a long while of prioritizing, she stood up.

She wanted to reopen her mind to her platonic soul mate so he could give the twins the best protection on Earth. However, she realized how big a mistake that would be. 

Steve almost completely stopped going on missions in the last two months to become a full time single dad. If it wasn't a simple in and out, he wasn't doing it.

She knew the tesseract scepter being located at her HYDRA base would not persuade Captain America out of near retirement. If he knew the kids were in danger he'd definitely sit it out. Li knew his strength and tact would be what the Avengers need to get past the Maximoff twins. 

Amy and Jamie had to be taken and brought to the base. And Major Li Ashton Jones would be ready for it.

But first she had a long overdue talk to have with her boy.

Chapter Text

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A couple of weeks after taking his babies to their mother's grave, Steve, woke up to a small thump from his children's room. Steve groaned. He would get bars for their beds, but it would be a pointless venture. The Captain slowly got up and stretched before walking next door.

“How many times do I-?" 

He instantly froze at the sight of two empty beds and an open window. The Captain rushed to look outside, but saw nothing but a black truck too far to catch. Steve felt everything around him slow down as his chest tightened up so badly that he was barely breathing.

“J-JARVIS, why didn't ya say somethin'?!" Steve gasped.

“About what, sir?" 

“Who the FUCK WAS IN HERE TEN MINUTES AGO?" he screamed.

“According to my sensors and memory bank, you are the only person besides the children that have come in or out all night, Captain Rogers," the AI reported, “Nor has anyone left or entered the Tower in the last 8 hours."

Steve punched through the wall next to the window. The kidnapping bastards messed with the security system so there was no way to track them.

Why didn't he come in here sooner? Maybe he could've-

Blondie, JARVIS told me-what happened?!"

Steve looked up at the just woken up Iron Man. Tony was wide eyed with worry at the Captain's bleeding hand and anguished expression. And then he saw the missing children.

“Rogers. Where are my-?" Tony began.

“They're gone. An' I didn't know a damn thing, 'cause I put hope in ya 'security system'."

Steve shut down as the rest of the Avengers that lived in the building came in. He barely registered Natasha's arms going around him. 

“Steve-."

“What more can be taken from me, Natasha?" he asked in a monotone.

He thought about his empty bed and looked at his babies' equally empty ones again. Then felt the emptiness of his heart. He buried his face in her shoulder.

“W-what's left for me t' live for?" he whispered.