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Of Soulmates and Superpowers

Chapter Text

Last Time:

Daisy took a deep breath and pressed the elevator open button. The first thing that the two saw as the door opened was Joey and Pietro Maximoff making out on one of the couches that ringed the room, set apart from the bulk of the teams, who stood chatting in little clusters.

Steve took one look at Joey and Pietro entwined on the couch and turned to Daisy with a smile on his face and in his eyes. “See, I told you the teams would get along.”

***

Joey and Pietro finally stopped sucking face once they became aware of their team leaders standing still a bit shocked in the elevator. Joey looked nervous as he tried to explain, “This is … we’re-“

Pietro laughed a little as he took over the explanation in his thick Sokovian accent. “What Jos means to say, is that we are Соулматес, um, soulmates, I believe is the English word.”

Daisy shook her head and smiled. Joey deserved to be happy. All of her team did. “I kinda figured that. Not even Joey is that good.” She smirked and bumped her shoulder against Joey’s - or more accurately, against his chest. Then she leaned up to whisper to Joey, “I’m really happy for you. And, as your team leader, I give you permission to scram whenever you want. You’re not obligated to stay the whole time.”

When Joey looked ready to argue, Daisy leaned back and spoke in a normal tone. “I’m just giving you the option. It’s your choice. I just want you to know that you’re not obligated to stay the whole time. Now, c’mon. If you guys aren’t leaving, then let’s go introduce everyone.”

Daisy had noticed that the groups standing around the room were mostly divided between Avengers and Inhumans. That wouldn’t do at all.

Once brief introductions were made, everyone sat down at the long table on one side of the cozy room. Tony had made sure that the teams were split up so that they had to talk to each other, a factor which Daisy was extremely grateful for.

Dinner led to several interesting developments, chief among them being several soulmate pairs. To Daisy, Alisha and Wanda made sense together. Both of their powers were out of the norm, even for superheroes.

Sam Wilson and Anthony Sanders were another, odder pairing which Daisy couldn’t quite believe. Though, Anthony was very different than he had been three months before. He smiled and talked more than he had before.

As dinner finally finished up, the teams dispersed throughout the room, with most of the soulmated pairs opting for either the dancefloor or one of the more secluded areas around the room.

Daisy and Steve moved in unison to the dance floor and started swaying along with the slow, quiet music coming from the speakers all around the room. Soon, other couples had joined them. Looking up from where her head was buried in Steve’s shoulder, Daisy took note of the other couples swirling around them on the dance floor. Clint and Natasha were wrapped around each other; Tony was snuggled up against Pepper, who towered over him in her very classy three-inch stilettos. Lincoln held his soulmate Lacey close. Mack stood tall over Elena, whose pale blue dress accented very well against her olive skin.

Lincoln and Daisy made eye contact over their soulmates’ shoulders. Both smiled, in absolute bliss of the way that things had all turned out. Daisy remembered the long-past time where she had a short-lived crush on Lincoln. Then Lincoln met his soulmate, and Daisy saw how perfect they were for each other. That was the moment that Daisy began to truly want for her soulmate. Now here they all were, one large, strange family. Filled with love and joy and laughter.

Daisy was pulled out of her thoughts as the music in the air changed. From a slow, melodious tune to an upbeat swing song. Steve leaned down closer to Daisy and whispered, “Can you swing dance?”

“Um, yeah? I mean … theoretically. I haven’t exactly had time for my dance classes since I joined SHIELD.”

“Well in that case, Daisy Skye Johnson, may I have this dance?”

“Of course, Steve. Wait, can you dance? All the history books seem to universally agree that you were terrible with it.”

“I’ve always known how, but until the serum, I was really clumsy. Then, there was a war, so I really never had a chance to practice either. I guess the two of us could piece it together if you want?”

In answer, Skye pulled Steve back into the center of the dancefloor and started a slow rhythm, each trying to learn the other’s movements. They began picking up their pace until they were doing a frantic swing which left them both out breath, panting for precious oxygen.

As Daisy pulled Steve off the floor, she let out a breathless giggle. “Well, it looks like both of us remember a bit more than we thought. That was fun.”

***

Steve laughed and pulled his soulmate to his side as they sat on a loveseat. “Where did you learn to dance like that? I thought you were joking about dance classes?!”

Daisy looked him in the eye and deadpanned, “I never joke about my dance classes.” Then she got serious and said, “When I was a kid, I needed an outlet. Shit was pretty bad about 99.9% of the time. One of the few good foster moms suggested dance as an outlet. She was a dance teacher. I was only there for 47 days, but I guess she made an impact. I did odd jobs in the couple blocks around the orphanage, stupid stuff. Walk dogs, babysit once in a blue moon, that kind of thing. Enough that I could go to dance class and take all the kids out for ice cream once in a while.”

“You got them all ice cream?” Steve’s look told her that she was about as cute as a box of kittens and puppies napping together. “Even though they weren’t your responsibility?”

“They weren’t really anyone else’s responsibility either. No one except the nuns, but there were a lot of kids, too few adults, not enough money either.”

There were practically hearts in Steve’s eyes as he looked at his beautiful, wonderful soulmate. “That is why I love you.” He could see the blush start to grow on her cheeks as she ducked her head, could hear her heart beat a bit louder in her chest at the words that he regretted not having put in her head so much earlier.

Steve slid off of the loveseat and onto his knees before her, entirely at her mercy. He took her face in his hands and pleaded with her from his heart.

“Daisy, please don’t look away. I love you. I will say it as many times as I need to, until you believe it. I love you. I know I should have said it before, but I didn’t want to push you into anything that you didn’t want. Daisy Skye Johnson, I love you, and I want you to be a part of my life forever. I want to make up for not saying how much I love you by proving it every day for the rest of our lives. Would you make me the happiest man alive and do me the honor of becoming my wife?”

He reached into his back pocket and pulled the ring out, which had been sitting in his nightstand for over a week, and held it up in his palm. When Daisy sat dumbstruck in her seat and didn’t respond except to clasp a hand over her mouth, Steve waited, nervousness like he hadn’t felt since before the serum blooming in his stomach.

***

Steve looked so vulnerable in front of her, as if he held his still-beating heart in his hand for her to either cherish or destroy. Once Daisy got over her immediate shock, there was only one thing that she could say, “That depends, Captain Rogers,” Daisy let a wicked smile curve her mouth, “Can you make it worth my while?”

Steve’s voice was deep, pupils dilated as he answered, “Oh doll, you’re about to see just how worth your while I can make this.”

While he swooped in for a kiss, Daisy took the ring from his hand and slipped it onto her finger, where it fit perfectly, as if it was always meant to be right there. Next thing she knew, Daisy was being scooped up and walked to the elevator amidst hooping and hollering. She didn’t really care though, since she and Steve never broke their kiss.

Chapter Text

Steve made it into the elevator and set Daisy down, finally breaking their kiss. They both stood in the elevator, just beaming at each other. Steve was reveling in how perfect this all was. Four years ago, all that Steve could think about was all of the people he lost. Now all he could think about was the people he had gained. He had friends, his team, his family, who he cared about. He had his soulmate, something he never thought he could’ve had before the ice.

This woman was perfect for him in every way. He was reminded of this when she stretched up to kiss him again. Then she pulled away and said all the things he had been wanting to hear since the day they met. “Steve, I love you too. I’ve been thinking it for a while, but I didn’t want to ruin this. But now, you’re stuck with me,” Daisy breathed out a tiny giggle.

“Well doll, how’s about we go upstairs and I show you exactly how much I want to be stuck with you?”

Daisy groaned and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, stretching up for another searching kiss.

***

Steve had been driving Daisy insane all night long. Between his reaction to her dress, the looks at dinner, and the dancing, she was already totally ready to drag him off and have her wicked way with him before he did that thing where he turned into an adorable little puppy and poured out his heart and soul for her.

As odd as it may be, Steve’s cuteness only made him seem sexier to Daisy. She wanted him so much. Based on the bulge in Steve’s suit pants, she wasn’t the only one getting worked up.

God, Daisy. You drive me crazy.” Steve’s voice was a husky growl that sent shivers up her spine.

Daisy hummed, “Oh, I can tell.”

The elevator door finally opened, and Daisy dragged Steve out and towards the bedroom. They only made it about ten feet before Steve pulled Daisy back and twirled her towards himself.

Daisy turned to Steve exasperated, “What? There’s a bed-umph!”

Steve pulled Daisy into a kiss and backed her against the wall. Daisy moaned, totally on board with the way this was going.

***

Jesus Christ, Steve thought, this woman is gonna be the death of me. And that she would. When Daisy wrapped her legs around Steve’s waist and started grinding against him, Steve knew that he wasn’t going to last long.

Steve set Daisy down and turned her around.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Steve?” Daisy was practically whimpering at the loss of friction.

Steve heard his voice drop an octave, “I told you earlier, doll. All I could think about at dinner was coming back upstairs and unzipping you. You drove me nuts all throughout dinner, now it’s my turn.” As he finished talking, he pressed a kiss to the back of Daisy’s neck and slowly started unzipping the dress that clung to her delicious curves.

As each new bit of skin was revealed, Steve took the time to kiss it all, until Daisy’s dress finally slipped off of her shoulders and pooled at her feet.

When Daisy was free of her dress, Steve turned her around so she was facing him again. Steve knelt at Daisy’s feet and she pleaded with him, “Steve, I need you. I need you in me now. Please, Steve!”

Steve chuckled, his face inches from Daisy’s sweet perfection. “Doll, let me enjoy this. I wanna give you some pleasure before I fuck you against the wall.”

***

Daisy let out a keening wail at Steve’s extremely hot dirty talk and the pleasure he gave her when he buried his face in her cleft. When she finally regained a little sense, she managed to say, “Language,” before she was back to mindlessly panting and moaning while Steve expertly worked her over with his fingers and tongue.

“Oh, come on, not you too! It was one time!” Steve managed to pull himself away to respond before redoubling his efforts to get Daisy off.

It really didn’t take much, not with the way Steve was stroking his tongue inside Daisy’s passage, fucking her with his tongue, or the way that his thumb chafed lightly at her clit while his other hand lightly pinched and twisted her nipples.

Daisy shuddered as she came with a breathy scream. It took her a few moments to pull herself together, but when she did, all she saw was Steve sitting on his haunches before her with a total shit-eating grin on his face.

“You,” Daisy breathed heavily, “Are so going to regret that. Or who knows, maybe you’ll like this.”

***

Steve was just about to question when Daisy moved with surprising speed. Before he knew what was happening, Steve was up against the wall with Daisy standing in front of him. She kept eye contact while she slowly unbuttoned his shirt. She pushed his shirt and suit jacket off his shoulders, kicked them away from them both.

Then she knelt at his feet, unzipped his pants while maintaining looking at Steve through hooded eyes. Finally Steve’s pants were around his ankles. His briefs soon followed. Steve’s cock bobbed as he kicked his pants away.

Daisy was still making intense eye contact as she slowly slipped her mouth around the tip of Steve’s cock. Using her hands to assist her, it took hardly any time at all before Steve was panting just as Daisy had been mere minutes before.

Then, Daisy was doing something with her hands that had Steve losing his mind, unable to hold off from coming in her mouth. He had been aroused all evening and, given a minute or two, he would be ready to go again.

Or maybe not … Steve slid down the wall onto the floor and pulled Daisy into his lap.

***

Daisy giggled. She couldn’t help it. “I think that we’re just a bit sticky now. Wanna get a shower? I think I’ll need help washing my back.”

She saw as Steve’s pupils blew out, noticed as he licked his lips in what seemed to be slow-motion.

Next thing she knew, Steve had Daisy already in the bathroom. He set her on the sink as he went to turn the shower on.

***

When he turned back around, Steve stopped everything. He had to remind himself to breathe when he saw Daisy playing with herself, her fingers sliding over her clit, creating just enough friction to get her close to the edge again.

He heard his voice drop down an octave as he asked, “Want some help with that, doll?”

Daisy’s only answer was a whimper and a shaky nod. Steve was eager to oblige, even if he was hard as a rock. He knelt at next to the sink where Daisy’s legs were spread open, buried his face in her cleft, brought her close to the edge in a matter of seconds.

***

Daisy was so strung out, insanely close to the edge when Steve slipped two fingers inside her passage. She was still panting and moaning when he crooked his fingers and rubbed against her sweet spot. Daisy spasmed and her thighs clenched against Steve’s head as she came even harder than before.

Steve was still lapping at her juices as she came down from that wonderful peak.

Daisy had trouble thinking, let alone stringing words together aloud. “I-I think- I really need that shower now.”

Steve finally pulled away and smirked. “I’ll bet you do, doll. Let’s go.”

With that, Steve picked her up and carried her into the shower where the water was still running, fogging up the glass door and all the mirrors in the room.

Daisy was insanely wrung out, and the night was just beginning. She came to her senses a bit more as Steve set her in the hot shower spray, just the temperature she liked. She grabbed a washcloth and the soap from the shelf along the side of the shower.

Before she knew it, Steve had taken the soap and washcloth from her and was lathering it. Once he had done that, he started rubbing small circles on her shoulders, working his way down to her breasts. Despite all her pleading, he continued washing her thoroughly, only stopping once she was all clean.

Once she was all rinsed off, Daisy stole the washcloth from Steve, pushed him against back the wall. “My turn,” Daisy practically growled before she started soaping him up. She took a much more tactile approach than Steve, running her hands and mouth all over his delicious flesh.

When they were both clean and wanting more, Steve gave Daisy a searching look, asking silent permission. Daisy answered in a very verbal manner.

“Oh god, Steve, I need you in me now. Fuck me up against the wall, please.

***

Steve couldn’t deny a beautiful dame. Not just any dame either, his soulmate, his flower.

“Your wish is my command.” With that, Steve lifted Daisy, his forearm wrapped under her butt. Steve could feel the second that their soulmarks matched up and he suddenly remembered seeing the mark on the underside curve of her butt earlier that day.

“Daisy, if we do this, we’ll end up bonded.”

Daisy’s eyes snapped to his, confused. “I want that. Don’t you?” The look in her eyes was so vulnerable, a lifetime’s worth of bitterness and rejection all clouding over her beautiful brown eyes.

“Of course it is. I wanted to make sure that that’s what you wanted, doll.”

“Yes, Steve, bond with me.” Steve still had Daisy pressed against the wall, so it was the work of a second to slide into her welcoming core. As he thrust home, Steve could feel the connection between himself and Daisy blooming into existence, increasing with every thrust, every second that he stayed locked within her.

He felt the loneliness wash over him, consuming him, the result of years of abuse and neglect. Steve wanted to find all of the people who hurt her in the past and beat them into the ground. But not right now, he thought as Daisy’s inner muscles clamped on him, milked him as the water cascaded down around them.

They both were driving each other to new heights, the feedback loop between them increasing their pleasure as each felt the pleasure of the other.

Finally, they could go no higher and they both tumbled over the edge into the blissful abyss.

Eventually Steve came back to himself and pulled out of Daisy, setting her slight weight back on the ground and resting his chin on her head.

“I will love you until my final breath. You’ll never be alone again, even if anything ever happens to me. You have a family, Daisy. They might not be blood, but don’t ever doubt that they are your family, and they love you.”

With that, he pulled her out of the shower and onto the bathmat outside. He turned off the water as Daisy started to dry herself. The two finally made it to the bedroom and tumbled onto the bed for another round or three.

Chapter Text

Steve woke up the next morning to melodious singing floating out on the steam issuing from the open bathroom door. It was a haunting tune, one that seemed as if it supported another. The lack of the stronger melody line was obvious.

He crawled out of bed and went into another bathroom to get ready. Much as he would like, they couldn’t spend all day in bed. As Steve walked back into the bedroom with a towel around his waist, Daisy was just zipping up a pair of combat boots. All of her clothing was the type that every SHIELD agent learned to look for. Aesthetically appealing, but enough room or stretch that she could fight easily if she needed to.

Steve strode to his dresser and grabbed a t-shirt and his dark-wash jeans that were worn to the point of perfection. It took him less than two minutes to get dressed and grab his leather jacket from his closet.

“You ready for this, doll?”

“What, you mean facing our family for the first time since we got engaged, plus trying to stave off Tony from planning a space wedding or something?” Steve saw the half-grin that curved Daisy’s mouth. “Frack yeah, let’s do this thing.”

Steve laughed, walked over to Daisy, wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his chin on her head. “I love you.”

Daisy’s grin turned into something softer, more sincere. “I love you too.”

Each felt the sincerity in the words through their new bond, strengthened throughout the night. Steve also felt when the outward emotions got to be a bit much for Daisy, so he pulled back. “C’mon, let’s go face the music.”

“Is the music we’ve gotta face swing? That was fun last night. We should do that again sometime.”

“Doll, we can do that again whenever you want.” Steve grabbed Daisy’s hand as they walked to the elevator, needing a physical touch to remind himself that this all was real. All of his dreams were coming true, the things he had never hoped for before were possible.

***

The duo passed the ride to the common floor in an easy silence. Both teams were seated around the long table already munching on breakfast as Daisy and Steve joined them.

Once everyone saw them, the couple was instantly surrounded by both teams.

“About damn time, grandpa!”

“I’ll be expecting you to keep him in line.”

“You’d best take care of her.”

Daisy finally broke in, “Whoa, guys, take a step back.” She glanced at Lincoln and Lacy, who were giving her the space they knew she needed, “What the frack, our crew wasn’t this bad when you guys got engaged!”

Lacy giggled, “Yeah, but you doubled the size of the family. You, my dear, have no one to blame but yourself!”

As the rest of the team finally backed away, Lincoln and Lacy went to talk to Daisy. Lacy gave her a giant hug, the sisterly kind that they had developed in the two years since Lincoln had shown up at the Playground with Lacy in tow; a scared Inhuman with no grip on her power. Lacy was an empath, able to sense and influence people’s moods when she chose to. Daisy and Lacy shared a special bond, even within their SHIELD family.

As Lacy’s mouth was near Daisy’s ear, she whispered, “You deserve this, hon. I know how much you’ve wanted this.”

As she pulled back, Daisy and Steve exchanged a look and she was reminded of his superhearing. Her thought that he had heard all of that was verified by the rush of warmth she felt through their bond.

Her sight of Steve was cut off when Lincoln and Lacy exchanged places so that each could talk to the other of the happy couple. Lincoln just leaned down and said near her ear, “I’m glad you’re happy. If he ever does anything wrong, let me know. It’s surprisingly easy to fuck up someone’s life by zapping all of their stuff.”

Daisy laughed; that was such a Lincoln thing to say. He was darkly intense, but he had a wicked sense of humor underneath his thick layer of childhood traumas. Daisy could relate.

Lincoln was just standing there as if unsure what to do or as Daisy liked to call it, being an awkward duckling. So Daisy pulled him into a Mack hug (the equivalent of a grizzly bear hug). “Hell, if he does anything wrong, I’ll quake his ass out a window. But I appreciate the support, Pikachu.”

Lincoln snorted and pulled back. “Pikachu? Really?!”

“Oh heck yeah. Your reaction just means that’s gonna stick. Maybe I’ll even switch it out with Sparky or Sparkplug sometimes.”

Lincoln sighed dramatically as the group walked to the buffet table so Daisy and Steve could grab some food.

***

Steve made sure to walk beside Daisy and he whispered, “Should I be scared? I just got two very serious shovel talks from two rather powerful Inhumans, and I’m not sure if they’ll take preemptive measures.”

Daisy laughed, “They won’t. They know well enough that I can take care of myself.” She batted her eyelashes in a manner that was innocent and yet still struck fear into Steve’s heart. “Besides, you wouldn’t do anything that they would need to kick your ass. Would you, Stevie?”

“The shovel talks only gave me some incentive to never piss Lincoln or Lacy off. I would never do anything to hurt you, doll.” Sensing Daisy’s anxiousness at the heavy conversation through their bond, Steve turned the topic to the original reason for them being there. “C’mon doll, let’s grab some food.”

***

Daisy eventually set her plate of delicious-smelling pancakes on the table at one of the two open seats left, Steve by her side. “So, what’s the plan for the day? I think …” she glanced around at the members of her team “that we can slack off on training for the day. Just for today.” She made eye contact with each of the Inhumans.

“Well, I heard rumors of shopping, financed by Stark.” Natasha piped up from down the table. “A bunch of us need to get new clothes, and someone,” she glared at Steve, “needs to go record shopping because he’s an old-timer who still listens to records.”

“Ok then, shopping it is.”

***

It took about three different false starts before they were able to find a store where everyone could find something to fit their style. Daisy was having a blast hunting for clothes with Elena, Lacy, and Natasha. Alisha and Wanda had gone to the mall food court, saying that they both had enough clothes. Knowing that the soulmated pair just wanted to get to know each other, Daisy didn’t kick up a fuss.

Besides, it was a lot of fun to just try on outfits with the girls, get to know them better, their sense of style.

When she wasn’t on mission or training, Natasha was actually really girly. After all, she couldn’t just wear her tac suit all the time. They picked out a few nice dresses for Tasha and some flowy tops before moving on to Lacy. Lacy preferred mostly lighter colors that contrasted with her black skin, while Elena and Daisy were more into darker colors.

After they had the essentials down, each of the girls picked out other outfits; one for each of the others to try on. Daisy picked the wackiest combinations that she could find, while Natasha went with the sexiest and most revealing outfits. Elena was sincere in her pickings for the others, and Lacy’s style was evident from the soft flowyness of the dresses she chose.

The four had a great time and a good laugh, but eventually they had to meet up with the rest of the team in the food court. The crew walked together to the record store, chatting in small groups, soulmated pairs all walking together with hands clasped.

Steve and Daisy wound up walking with Lincoln and Lacy, the four trading joking insults like old friends, eventually moving on to other conversations. “What do you mean, you’ve never had a pet? How did I not know this?!”

“I lived in a van Lincoln, where did you think I had room for a bunny rabbit in the van? Maybe under the bed?”

Lacy popped into the conversation. “How long did you live in the van?”

“Um … seven years off and on. I had an apartment for a while, but I didn’t like it that much. It’s actually kinda comforting to have a tiny little space that’s all yours.”

The conversation ended as they entered the record store. The place was the epitome of a stereotypical record store: dirty, dusty, and looking like no one had been there since the eighties. Everyone in their group split off into smaller clusters, spreading throughout the store, each on their individual missions, seeking out their own corner and style.

Daisy went with Steve to look for his oldies music, Natasha and Clint tagging along just to poke fun.

“You really think this is music, grampa?” Natasha joked, “These records are older than Daisy and I put together!”

Steve dropped into an old man’s voice that he used only when Natasha brought up his age. “Well, see here, girly. This music is older than the lot of ya, so I think you’d best show it some respect!”

Daisy was about to fire back when she heard Lacy calling from the other side of the store. “Daisy! You get your butt over here right now! You got some ‘splainin to do!”

‘What? There’s no way … this would be the type of place to have a copy though.’

Daisy sprinted over to Lacy’s aisle, hoping to do damage control if what she thought was true. She turned the corner to see everyone surrounding Lacy, who was holding an album in her hands.

Chapter Text

 “Care to explain?” Lacy turned the album towards Daisy, eyebrow arching perfectly. Daisy groaned and buried her face in her hands.

“Not really.” Her voice was muffled, even to her own ears. She heard Steve, Natasha, and Clint turn the corner behind her.

It was Tasha who piped up. “What’s going on?”

“That.” Lacy’s eyebrow was still raised as she handed the record off to Clint, who passed it to Tasha, who in turn made Steve look at it.

Natasha burst out laughing, peering over Steve’s shoulder to look at the cover again. “Is that you?! Shit! I mean, damn, girl, I knew you looked good in eyeliner, but that is intense! What’s this whole thing, your goth phase?”

On the cover of the album, just as she knew it would be, Daisy saw herself, clad in mostly black from head to toe. Gray beanie atop her long black wig, black leather jacket over ratty blue-and-black flannel, her favorite pair of combat boots covering her jean-clad calves. Worst of all, she was sprawled out on the hood of a classic Chevy, her guitar sitting on an angle in her lap, the rest of her short-term band leaning against the body of the car.

Lacy fake-gasped, trying to act offended. “Daisy, why didn’t I know about this before?! Also, what is this?”

Daisy mumbled behind her hand.

Lacy held a hand up to her ear, “I’m sorry, what was that? I couldn’t hear you because I don’t actually think you said anything, hon.”

Daisy steeled herself and moved her hand away from her mouth. “I was in a band, alright!”

“We kinda got that, hon. We want to know everything else. Everything, girl. Who, what, where, when, why, how? C’mon, girl, I need to know!”

“Ugh, fine. I had just gotten out of the system, I didn’t have any money, no place to stay. I crashed on Chase’s couch for a month, ‘til we finished the album. We weren’t super successful, but enough that I had a little bit of pocket cash. I played guitar and sang, plus I wrote the songs.”

“Wow. Ok, we so need to buy this and listen to it as soon as possible.” Lacy was practically beaming with excitement.

Daisy groaned again, “Can’t we just let this die in peace?”

“No! I need to see into the mind of itsy-bitsy baby Skye.”

Daisy turned to Steve, looking for support. “C’mon, babe. Back me up on this?”

“I’m sorry, doll. I love you, but I need to know.”

Daisy covered her face yet again with her hands. “Fine. There’s nothing I can do to stop you guys anyways.”

Lacy threw her hands up, dancing just a little bit. Daisy could feel the surge of energy that emanated out from Lacy, a side effect of her power. “Yes! Let’s go, guys! I need to know!”

With chuckles all around, the team filed out of the record store, Stark stopping off to swipe his card in the dinky cash register, before dropping a fifty in the tip jar. He walked out without registering the bug-eyed look of the teenaged boy behind the counter.

Daisy’s face was still tomato-red as the teams filed into the two stretch limos that awaited them at the curb. Being financed by Stark, nothing could be done by half measures. By silent agreement, the people were shuffled so that soulmated pairs could sit together. Daisy sat by Steve, leaned into his side, their new bond demanding physical closeness of any sort.

Everything was going well on the ride home. All were laughing and joking around until Daisy looked out the window as they were crossing an intersection. An SUV that was approaching on their right didn’t stop at the red light, instead plowing through the intersection and slamming into the side of their limo.

The limo rolled once, coming to rest with the roof to the pavement. Before Daisy could comprehend what was happening, masked men had broken through the window were in the limo. While one slashed through Daisy’s seat belt, another held two guns, one to her head, the other to Lacy’s.

“You’re coming with us, Miss Johnson.”

Daisy’s head was pounding, pulsing as the goon who had caught her when he slashed through the belt stuck her with a syringe and depressed the plunger. She lifted her hands. To do what, she wasn’t sure. To push him away? Hit him with her powers? Instead, her hands curled into fists as she fell unconscious.

***

Daisy’s head was still ringing as she woke up on a cement floor. Nothing came back to her in a rush, she just knew what had happened. As she started to take stock of her surroundings, a feminine voice rang out behind her, causing her to whip her head around so that it swam even more than it had before.

“Y’know, Skye … oh wait, I’m sorry, it’s Daisy now, isn’t it? Well, y’know Daisy, I never really liked Coulson. Great minds may think alike, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to slit his throat every time he walked into the command center. But I’ve been out of the intelligence game for a while. So when I heard that Coulson’s new protégée was out on her own, I just needed to see it. And you’re Inhuman now, no less! Well, congratulations, Daisy! Or should I say my condolences? Agent Triplett was a decent agent; he didn’t deserve the end he got.”

“The good ones rarely do,” Daisy practically spat, “Weren’t you dead a while ago?”

“You of all people, Daisy, should know that death is even less permanent than life.”

***

Back in the Tower, everyone was waiting for Steve to have a breakdown. Instead, he had a cool look of distaste on his face as he surveyed all the notes in front of him.

It was Natasha who said what they were all thinking, “Hey Steve, it’s ok to let go for a little while. You don’t need to be strong all the time. Don’t beat yourself up. There’s nothing any of us could’ve done differently; the goons would’ve shot Daisy or Lacy, then where would we be?”

“I’m not beating myself up,” Steve said, a terrifyingly frigid look in his already ice-blue eyes. “I’m saving all my beatings for whoever took Daisy. When I find them, they’re going to wish they’d never messed with my soulmate.”

Chapter Text

Now Steve was starting to lose his shit. He hadn’t slept in the three days since Daisy was taken, and he wasn’t sure when Natasha had last forced him to eat. There wasn’t any new information either. If that had been the case, maybe he would’ve felt better, piecing together bits to get Daisy’s location.

Instead, he stared at the footage on loop, poured over all the photos and the files, anyone who might’ve wanted to hurt his soulmate. There really weren’t that many who weren’t locked in one of SHIELD’s bases or under constant surveillance. He had briefly toyed with the idea that HYDRA had come after her again, but some thorough checking showed that HYDRA really had come crumbling down with Ward’s death, the ashes having been stomped on by SHIELD.

Steve sat back and rubbed at his eyes, deciding that a few hours of sleep couldn’t hurt. He was driving himself insane staring at the same info over and over. Besides, if he wasn’t ready when they found Daisy, Steve didn’t put it past Nat or Tony to sedate him and lock him up.

So Steve trudged into their bedroom, filled with memories of him and Daisy. He laid down on Daisy’s side of the bed, burying his face in her pillow. Even as he fell asleep, he could feel the sore pulsing of the bond in his head, missing his other half. Daisy was still alive, he would feel if she wasn’t, but she was cut off from him somehow.

Steve had one last thought as he drifted off to sleep, ‘Whoever took Daisy, I hope they know that once we find them, I will kill them.

***

Daisy woke up once again on the cold cement of her cell. The little bitch wouldn’t even give her a bed. Her cell had one thin blanket that did nothing against the chill, and a toilet. She was taken out at irregular intervals to wash up, and a tray of food was pushed through the slat at the bottom of the steel door at what she guessed was twice a day.

As if the depressing conditions of her cell weren’t enough, there were Inhibitors locked around her wrists that prevented her from using her powers. If the Inhibitors hadn’t been there, Daisy would’ve broken out already. But her captor was too smart for that.

Speak of the devil,’ Daisy thought wryly as she saw the flash of pink hair in the darkness outside the barred window. “Hiya, Vicky. What’s up? You back to question me about our ops again? Cuz I’m still not telling you anything.”

“The time for questions has passed, Agent Johnson. If you’re not going to answer my inquiries, I’ll have someone who you will answer, willingly or not.”

With that, Hand motioned from the goons standing behind her to the door. One of the goons opened the door while the other stalked towards Daisy, handcuffs at the ready.

She turned around willingly and waited until the guard was right behind her. When he was so close that she could feel his breath on her neck, Daisy threw her elbow back to connect with his stomach. Spinning around, she trust her open palm up into the underside of his nose, shattering it.

Taking advantage of the other guard’s surprise, she kneed him in the balls and waited until he was doubled over to kick him in the head, sending him back into the doorframe.

Just as Daisy reached Hand, she saw the other woman hold up a palm-sized remote with a single button and a dial on it. Victoria pressed the button, and the Inhibitors around Daisy’s wrists sent powerful electrical shocks up her arms. She tried to stay awake, but the pain brought her to her knees.

As she lost consciousness, Daisy looked up and saw Victoria Hand standing over her, a vindictive smirk curving her ruby-red lips, her pink-streaked hair framing her face.

***

Steve jolted awake in his bed with a gasp, his breath coming in hard pants, tears streaming down his face. Daisy was out there somewhere, and she was hurting. She was hurting bad. Steve looked at the clock, which shone three am. He had been asleep for eight hours.

Good enough,’ he thought, getting out of bed. On his way out the door, though, Steve stopped at Daisy’s dresser, catching a glint of gold in the corner of his eye. It was her favorite necklace, a golden cross, something that had been passed around the members of her team before coming into her possession, a symbol of faith. Steve knew that she wasn’t religious, that to her, the cross was actually a symbol of her faith in her team.

Steve gently picked the necklace up and wrapped it around his hand before clenching it into a fist, still staring at the cross dangling between his middle and ring fingers, only praying that he would someday see a wedding band grace his finger, a visible, tangible reminder of the love he shared with his Daisy, his love, his heart.

***

I’m getting real sick of this shit,’ Daisy thought as she jolted into awareness again. This time, though, she was strapped to a lab table, like the one that Simmons occasionally used for autopsies.

Hand was standing over her, several lab techs at her back. “Hello again, Daisy. Let’s get straight to the point. I’m extremely curious about these so-called Inhumans, and since you seem to be one, I’ve decided that my scientists are going to take a poke around your physiology while I turn you over to the man whose questions you will be answering. It will hurt, and of course there’ll be no anesthesia unless you are direct with your answers. The more you answer, the more anesthesia the techs will be likely to give you for the remainder of your tests. If you try to escape, they will make it hurt more. Is that quite clear?”

“I suppose it’s a good thing I’ve got a high pain tolerance,” Daisy said between gritted teeth.

“Yes, I suppose it will.” Hand turned on her heel and stalked out of the blindingly white and pristine lab.

As the lab techs prepared to cut in to her and the interrogator stepped forward to stand directly beside the lab table, Daisy took a minute to take better stock of her surroundings. She took note of the room: the lab tables against the wall, the high ceilings with standard fluorescent lights, white cinderblock walls painted the clinical, maddening white that bathed the entire room. The techs themselves were clad in white as well, wearing white, disposable scrubs and gloves. An unwelcome image of her blood tainting the pure white of those outfits, painting the stainless steel instruments and table, splashing onto the white tiled floor, rose in her mind.

To rid herself of those morbid thoughts, Daisy turned her focus back onto herself, evaluating what was happening to her that she couldn’t see. She could still feel the Inhibitors locked around her wrists, so powers weren’t an option, but the straps on the table were only leather, not metal. If there was any sort of lubrication on them, she might have been able to slide her hands or feet out. She tried to deny the tiny part of herself that whispered, ‘Blood’ as an answer to what she could possibly use to slip out.

Daisy tried not to freak out when she realized that her engagement ring was no longer on her finger. She couldn’t jump to conclusions. Daisy wracked her brain, trying to remember if she even had it when she first woke up. They had taken all of her things from her before she woke up the first time, so there was no reason that they couldn’t have taken that from her as well. She desperately tried not to feel as though she had lost her last connection to Steve. Their bond was still there, the signal, as it were, was just interrupted by the Inhibitors. It appeared that beyond dampening her powers, the Inhibitor cuffs also dampened a soulbond.

Steve was out there, somewhere, looking for her, right?

Right?

***

In fact, Steve was currently poring over the files once again, trying to determine anyone who had any reason to want to take Daisy. The only things that he could think of that would make her a target were her connection to SHIELD and her status as an Inhuman, neither of which was widely known outside of SHIELD.

But if they were only after SHIELD information or Inhuman secrets, why hadn’t they taken someone else as well? There had been three Inhumans besides Daisy in the car, why her?

Eventually, Steve came to one conclusion: this was personal.

Steve had just reached that conclusion and let his head thunk to the table when he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. He turned to see Lacy standing behind him, with Lincoln backing her up. Lacy’s eyes were puffy and red, looking as if she had been crying.

She cleared her throat before she said in her soft voice, “Hey Steve, how are you doing?”

His voice was harsh from disuse and having to force himself to hold back the constant screams that bubbled up in his throat. “I won’t be fine until we get her back.”

“I know what you mean,” Lacy said, eyes closing involuntarily as she turned her face to the ceiling, trying to hold back the flood of tears that beat at her eyes once again.

“Um,” Lincoln jumped in, “Tony wanted us to bring you this.” Steve’s breath caught as Lincoln held out the engagement ring that had rested on Daisy’s finger for less than a day. “Apparently it came off in the crash or the kidnapping; Tony found it when he was combing through the wreckage.”

Lincoln must’ve seen the tears building in Steve’s eyes. He stepped forward and put the ring in Steve’s open palm, folding his hand around it before putting a firm hand on his shoulder. “We’re always around if you need us, man. But we’re calling our people, checking around to see if any of the Inhumans know anything. A lot of them aren’t actively involved with SHIELD, but Daisy likes to meet them all, form personal connections. Most of them adore her. There’s nothing so far, but we’ll let you know, ok?”

Steve only gave a mildly shell-shocked nod, so Lincoln and Lacy left. Once they were out of the room, Lacy turned her face toward the ceiling. “JARVIS?”

“Yes, Mrs. Campbell?”

“Please keep an eye on Captain Rogers for me. Inform myself and Dr. Banner if either his vitals or his emotional state take a turn for the worse. That cool?”

“Understood, ma’am.” The AI’s voice sounded from everywhere, though at a reasonable volume.

“Thank you, JARVIS.”

“Your welcome, ma’am.”

Lacy turned back to her husband. “There. Hopefully JARVIS doesn’t have to call me, but at least we’ll know.”

Lincoln didn’t say anything, just pulled his soulmate into his arms and kissed her hair. He didn’t have to say anything, she could feel it all through their bond: his fear that someone would take her, his worry about Daisy, about Steve.

***

Meanwhile, Steve was still on the seat that he had been when Lacy and Lincoln came in. But instead of staring blankly at the same five files again, he was staring intently at the engagement ring still in his palm.

The ring looked dainty, made with a silver metal worked into a slim band. There were two center stones, with other, smaller stones set around them in the shape of an infinity symbol. At least, they looked like stones. In reality, Steve had asked Tony to make the ring to help or at least not impede Daisy’s powers, so the stones were really synthetic crystals that he had made that amplified her powers. The silvery metal was actually vibranium that Tony had taken after the mess in Sokovia. After numerous simulations and tests, Tony had determined that the ring could actually improve Daisy’s powers, and that it wouldn’t break- even if she lost control.

Steve’s favorite thing about the ring, though, was that which couldn’t be seen about it. Another thing that he had Tony do that was a bit out of the norm was the engravings. There was the relatively standard engraving on the inner part of the band which read ‘For Now and Forever’, but he also had Tony do almost microscopic engravings on the crystals themselves.

One crystal was blue, and it had ‘Daisy Skylar Johnson’ (Daisy’s full name) engraved on the top. The other crystal was brown, and that had ‘Steven Grant Rogers’ engraved on it. Each crystal was their favorite color.

What neither had consciously put together was that their favorite color was that of the other person’s eyes. Daisy preferred icy blue colors with hints of green, while Steve had developed an appreciation for deep, rich browns.

Steve pulled the cross necklace out of his pocket and held it side-by-side with the ring in his hand for a while before sliding the ring onto the necklace chain and clasping it around his neck. When he found Daisy and got her back, he’d give them both back to her.

But right now, he needed a little faith.

Chapter Text

As the techs started drawing blood and the interrogator started asking questions, all Daisy could think about was her ring. She hoped that it came off in the car so that it wasn’t lost forever, but she really wished that she had been able to feel it right then.

She closed her eyes against the pounding of her blood through her veins, and instead tried to take herself back to her first date with Steve.

Little did she know that, across that seemingly endless gap between them, Steve was thinking about the same thing.

***

It had taken about a week after the initial HYDRA fiasco that had brought them together before they both could get time off and meet up. Daisy had flown out to New York and made her way to the Tower, where Steve was waiting on the sidewalk.

He looked up and a smile grew on his face, a grin that lit up the shadows under the blue ball cap and sunglasses that appeared to be his entire disguise. “Figured I would wait out here for you. You don’t seem like you’d want Tony to have Bruce poke at you with needles til they could replicate your healing factor.”

Daisy arched a single eyebrow, a move perfected at three am one day with a drunk Agent May as her tutor. “Haven’t they gotten their hands on your perfect musculature and healing genetics yet?”

“If they had done that, don’t you think that everyone in the world would be have the superserum by this point? Naw, my DNA’s really mucked up; it’s hard to tell what’s me now vs. what’s pre-serum me. One little mistake and everyone would be a pack of little runts like I was.”

Daisy laughed a bit, moving closer to lean against the wall next to him, turning to face him. “Eventually, I’ll set them straight when it comes to needles and me. But for now, let’s just deal with us. Deal?” She stuck out a pinky in obvious promise.

To her slight surprise, Steve accepted the juvenile pinky promise. “Deal,” he said, humor in his tone.

Daisy perked up as she took a better look at Steve. He was wearing an unzipped tan hoodie with the hood pulled up over the baseball cap, a pair of sinfully tight dark-wash jeans and a light gray shirt that was clingier than she was. Her eyes stopped at the picnic basket by his feet.

Her voice was teasing as she said, “What, are we going on a picnic?”

“Actually, yeah. I figured you’ve already met the team, but I don’t want them scarin’ you off,” Steve said with a shy grin.

“There’s nothing they could do that could scare me away from you, Steve.” Daisy felt the smile that curved her face.

“Be that as it may, doll, I really wanted this to be just us.” With those soft words, Steve stooped to grab the basket with his left hand and slipped his right hand into Daisy’s.

“A man who enjoys his privacy. I’m connecting bits and pieces, Steve. I’ll figure out what kind of man you are.”

“I’m the kind of man that wants to do everything I can to make you happy,” Steve said, sappy smile still in place as he stared into Daisy’s eyes, everything about his face showing his quickly growing adoration.

“You can start by feeding me,” Daisy teased, breaking eye contact.

Steve seemed to feel her apprehension at his quick affection and let her turn her face away, changing the subject, “Wanna go to the park, doll?”

“Absolutely!”

Steve was trying to not let his heart eyes take over (he really didn’t want her to bail), but it was almost impossible. She was just so stunning, and it wasn’t just her looks. He was falling in love with her. Not just her looks, not just her intelligence, just her. She was absolutely intoxicating, and it was a feeling that Steve had never had before.

The two walked the three blocks to the park in companionable silence, hands still firmly clasped. They were both just enjoying the warm afternoon and the pleasure of each other’s company, the soothing feeling that they felt from being near each other through their incomplete bond.

When they reached the park, Steve led Daisy to a shaded spot under an enormous tree, where he let go of her hand long enough to spread out a traditional-looking red-and-white-checkered blanket from the top of the picnic basket. He sat down, Daisy facing him, and started lifting items out of the basket. Containers of food, paper and plastic dishes and utensils, two chilled drinks: a beer for him and an iced tea for her.

“So, what’s on the menu today, my good sir?” Daisy asked in a phony posh accent.

“We’ve got … some lovely potato salad, turkey and cheese sandwiches, and potato chips.”

Daisy took note of the glass Tupperware containers that the sandwiches and potato salad were in. “Wait … did you make this all?”

Steve ducked his head, a blush rising up his throat and on his face. “So what if I did?”

So what?” Daisy asked incredulously, “Steve, this is so sweet!” Daisy leaned forward across the containers between them impulsively and pressed her lips to his. “I can’t believe that you actually made us food! Most guys I’ve known would’ve just ordered some food or grabbed something at the supermarket, not made anything.”

“It’s just sandwiches and potato salad, doll. It’s not a four course meal.”

“It’s still really important to me, Steve,” Daisy said, unexpected tears filling her eyes, “No one has ever cared enough about me to do this.”

Daisy scooted around the food to wrap her arms around Steve’s torso, pressing her cheek against his chest, her tears darkening his shirt to a deep heather gray. She was practically sitting in Steve’s lap when she stretched up to kiss him again, her tongue delving into his mouth.

Steve could taste the salt of Daisy’s happy tears when his tongue darted out to mingle with hers.

They finally broke apart, though Daisy was still sitting across his legs, her hand still pressed against his chest.

Steve panted a bit, still trying to catch his breath from the assault of Daisy’s tongue on his. “If it gets that reaction from you, doll, I’ll make you food all the time. I want to do all the things that people have never done for you, if you’ll let me?”

He could see the way that her eyes widened, the flush of pleasure that rose on her cheeks at his sweet, simple words. Even if she hadn’t told him, in that moment he could’ve seen the way that the men she’d dated before hadn’t cared for her. A dame, a woman like Daisy deserved everything, not half-truths and psychopaths.

A teasing glint surfaced in Daisy’s eye as she said, “Well, I suppose we’ll have to see if you’re worthy. There might be a few shovel talks in your not-so-distant future from some very powerful people.”

“Bring it on,” Steve said, shifting so that he could bring a hand onto Daisy’s shoulder, handling her gently. “Coulson’s already got to me, so has May. How bad can the rest be?”

Daisy laughed, “Oh, I haven’t told you about my team, have I?”

Steve looked quizzical. “Technically, I’ve already met them, but I wasn’t really paying that much attention to them once I found out that you were my soulmate.”

“Well, let’s see,” Daisy had a twinkle in her eye that told Steve he was in for a doozy, “Lincoln is my platonic soulmate, he manipulates electricity. He and Lacy are married; they’re soulmates. She’s an empath. Joey manipulates and melts metal, Elena is a speedster, Alicia multiplies herself. Mack is my mission partner, he’s the only full human permanently on my team. He kinda keeps us grounded, tells us when we’re out of line.”

“All that means is that there’re more people protecting my girl when I’m not around, doll. A few shovel talks can’t be that bad.”

“Oh yeah?” Daisy’s right eyebrow inched up, showing her disbelief. “When we got to her, Elena was going around and messing with corrupt police. Joey melted his entire apartment and everything within five meters of him wherever he went. Lincoln can kind of fly, and Lacy calmed a rioting crowd. Alicia is trained in martial arts and can control all of her bodies at once, and Mack has his shotgun-axe.”

Shotgun-axe?” Steve asked with a little grin, “Do I even want to know?”

“Yes, you do. It’s awesome!” And off she went, chattering about Mack’s side project with Fitz a year or two before. Steve leaned back against the tree, serving their food and listening to Daisy, watching the way that her hair floated in the air, the way her eyes sparkled when she talked about something that she found interesting.

***

The interrogator was still asking Daisy the same questions. She wasn’t actively listening, but she could heard the same repeated stress patterns in his voice. She was trying to tune everything out, but it wasn’t really working. If she tried not to focus on the interrogator’s voice, then all she felt was her pain. Focusing on the voice was more irritating, but it did help to dull her pain.

Her little experiment complete, Daisy focused on the interrogator’s voice. “If you tell me what I need to know, this will all get easier. Who are the Inhumans currently working with SHIELD?”

As if I’d ever tell you that,’ Daisy thought, focusing back on her restraints. There were only two doctors in the room now, and they had finished drawing blood. One of them moved to her right leg, while the other handed him a scalpel.

The one wielding the scalpel drew it slowly, deliberately down her calf. Daisy hissed against the searing pain. The wound wasn’t deep, just enough to draw blood. But the size of the cut meant that blood was soon beading on the length of it, rolling down to the restraints around Daisy’s ankles.

It took a few minutes of hazy confusion for Daisy to remember why she should be happy about her blood on the restraint. The word ‘lubricant’ eventually sprung to mind, though by that point the other doctor had begun cutting into her right arm.

After inflicting the cuts, the doctors went over to the instrument panel to stare at the readings her wounds were making her give off.

Daisy started to wiggle her wrist and ankle, trying to slip out without alerting her interrogator. It took a few minutes for the blood to slip underneath the restraints that held her. Once it had penetrated the leather, it was the work of a minute for her to wriggle her appendages out of their respective restraints, though her left side was still completely immobilized.

When the doctors turned around, Daisy knew she would need to act quickly. She waited until the doctors were hunched over the instrument tray next to the table, whipping her bloody hand out in an incapacitating jab for the doctor closest to her.

The other doctor caught his colleague as she went down, allowing for Daisy to kick the unconscious doctor, knocking both back into the instrument tray.

The interrogator stood still in shock for a moment before reaching to his waistband for a gun. By that point, it was too late. Daisy had used her now partially free position to wrench the other leather cuffs out of their position in the table, not wasting time on getting them off her wrist yet.

She ran at the interrogator, grabbing the barrel of his gun and twisting her body so that her back landed against his chest, wrenching the gun out of his grip. Judging by his howls of pain, she had probably broken his wrist as well.

As almost an afterthought, Daisy kicked his legs out from under him so that his head hit the floor before she darted to the cabinets on one side of the room. She wouldn’t be getting far if she lost much more blood than the amount already smearing the table from her escape, not to mention the blood the doctors had already drained.

Daisy grabbed a few rolls of gauze just as alarms started going off throughout the facility. She only allowed herself thirty seconds to wrap her arm and leg up as best she could before she had to leave.

She wrenched open the lab door and strode down the hall, gun in hand. She wasn’t sure where she was going, only that she wasn’t going to wait around for someone to subdue her again.

It was unfortunate that these people apparently didn’t have any type of ICERs. Daisy was aiming for people’s guns as she came across them, knowing that she really couldn’t afford any more blood loss. Each guard … agent … whatever she came across had a gun with them, which she took and tucked in her pants.

After she turned another corner, Daisy stopped dead, staring at someone she had hoped never to see again.

His voice was oily-slick as always as he said, “Hello, Skye.”

Chapter Text

“Hello, Skye.” Two words she had never wanted to hear again, not in that tone of voice; the condescending, know-it-all tone of an influential person used to getting their way.

Daisy took almost no notice of the gun clenched in his quivering hand, instead stalking towards the bastard. When she stopped in front of him, her hand whipped forward on its own, making contact with his face.

The blood spray from his mouth and nose that tainted the white cinderblock wall and the concrete floor gave Daisy a slight sense of satisfaction. As he reeled from the blow to his face, Daisy noticed the gun in his hand. She grabbed the wrist of the hand that held it, smashing his wrist over her knee. She felt the bone shatter, relished the bastard’s screams.

She wrenched the gun out of his grip, turning it back on him, cocking it, loving the sound of a bullet sliding into the chamber. “I might not have used this the first few times that we met, but I suggest you not test me this time. You’ve already shot me twice, Quinn, I feel like I need to even the score.”

Ian Quinn quivered from his spot on the floor, whimpering while holding his right hand gingerly with his left, cradled against his chest.

He still managed a cocky attitude even as he ground out around a mouthful of blood, “It’s nice to see for myself that you survived, Skye. Not that I haven’t been watching from afar for quite some time.”

Quinn’s grin was that of a man unhinged. His mouth was open to reveal his blood-stained teeth, with only hints of pure white visible through the bright red goop. He continued, “So, aren’t you going to ask me how I’ve been? I know everything that’s happened to you, of course, but you haven’t seen me since I watched the life drain from your eyes.”

By this point, Quinn was on his knees and one hand, obviously still trying to keep off his shattered wrist. Daisy stared down at him, listened as he tried to reassert himself into a position of dominance. As he moved so that he was kneeling, Daisy had a single moment of petty rage. She sent a powerful kick aimed at his stomach, knocking him back down to the ground.

By the gasping and coughing that issued from his mouth, Daisy could tell that she had broken at least one of his ribs. “Just end it,” Quinn hissed in a hate-filled voice, “I know you won’t let me go alive, so just end … it.

Daisy narrowed her eyes as she stalked towards him. “I don’t think so, jackass. You’re coming with me. We’re going to leave, I’m going to see my fiancé, you’re going to tell the Avengers everything you know about this lovely operation, and then you’re going to rot in a jail cell the size of a postage stamp until you eventually die, hopefully in great agony. Understood?”

When Quinn didn’t respond, Daisy sunk down to his level, wrenching his head up by his hair so that he had to meet her eyes. He made eye contact for a scant second before spitting blood in her face. Daisy wiped the wad of blood off her cheek with a smirk and said, “Fine. We’ll do this the hard way. And my name’s Daisy.”

Quinn didn’t have to wonder what she meant about the ‘hard way’ for more than a second before Daisy had delivered a strike to his temple that rendered him unconscious. She stood up and looked at the nearly 200 lbs. of deadweight on the floor, then looked at the Inhibitors which she still hadn’t gotten a chance to take off.

Shaking her head, Daisy bent down again to grab one of his legs, hissing profanities at the unconscious asshole as she inched her way down the corridor.

***

Daisy made her way through the facility, all but annihilating everyone in her path. They were all still alive, she could tell by their labored breathing, but thankfully none would be in any sort of shape to follow her. She wasn’t sure how much more she could deal with. Her wounds had already opened back up, and she had to pause every few yards to pull her makeshift bandages together, trying to stem the bleeding.

She was checking each door that she passed, praying for something, anything. Better bandages, something to take the Inhibitors off, a cart to put Quinn in so she didn’t have to drag him through the halls (though it did give her a measure of satisfaction to hear his head bump on the floor or thump against a wall).

A door marked Maintenance led the way to a treasure trove of goodies- just the miracle she had hoped for. As the door opened, Daisy saw a pile of folded sheets and a dolly cart of the type for moving boxes.

She grabbed one of the sheets and tore it into strips, replacing the gauze with the sturdier cloth, taking the time to tie it properly. Her next order of business was to strap Quinn to the hand truck using a roll of duct tape form behind the door, making sure to strap him down tightly enough that even if he woke up, he wouldn’t be able to break free.

In her search for duct tape, Daisy had come across a power saw, shuddering at the dark brown stain on the blade that could’ve been either rust or dried blood. After strapping Quinn down, she choked her disgust at the appearance of the saw down enough to cut off the Inhibitors, feeling grateful for her short stint as a carpenter in her late teens that meant she didn’t lose a hand freeing herself. She felt an intense feeling of relief as the second Inhibitor hit the ground with a clink, the blue light that said it was active dying out.

She could feel her soulbond as it snapped back into place, felt Steve’s worry for her from across the distance separating them. Even regaining her powers paled in comparison to the elation she felt from being able to feel Steve. She detected the moment that he registered the undampening of the bond, felt his euphoria.

For the first time since she broke out of her bonds, Daisy truly thought that she could do this. She could fight her way out of this, could get back to Steve. His emotions were a beacon, a compass, leading her back to him. She sent a wave of love towards him, trying to comfort him, to let him know that she’d be home soon.

Her confidence surged as she felt the vibrations that ran through the concrete, the wires that were a different density. She ran tremors through the wires that supplied powered the base, followed them back to the generator in the basement, all from the relative safety of the maintenance closet.

She wouldn’t be safe for long, though. She could hear soldiers two rooms away, sweeping every nook and cranny in every room. Daisy didn’t have time for her normal fine-tuned precision that situations like this normally called for. She could feel the generator in the basement below her, the backup only one room away. Quinn was cocky. He probably didn’t think that anyone would be able to get this far in anyways. Too bad they brought her in to them.

Daisy backed herself and Quinn into a corner, perching on one of the shelves attached to the wall and holding onto the cart with one hand. She sent a wave of vibration into the floor, cracking through the concrete. She jumped straight into the hole in the floor, still dragging the cart. As she felt them get close to the floor, she sent another wave of vibration out, slowing their fall until they came to rest gently on the floor. She herself couldn’t deal with much more blood loss, and she needed Quinn alive.

It was the work of a minute to blast both the main generator and the backup into bits, and another thirty seconds to hide herself in the room, waiting for the soldiers, already on high alert and searching for her, to check out what was going on.

It was the stupidest place to hide, the most vulnerable, and in that way the most ingenious. Directly behind the door is a place often overlooked, especially since she left Quinn in plain view, a tempting treat that they may not have even known she had. With the soldiers’ attention focused on freeing Quinn from the layers of duct tape, Daisy was able to slip around to the side, focusing a blast at the soldiers while being sure not to hit Quinn.

The soldiers hit the wall and slid down, unconscious but not dead, like all of her previous victims. She grabbed Quinn’s hand cart and pulled him out of the room, keeping one hand free to defend herself.

It was a matter of minutes before Daisy came across the main control room. She spent a precious second outside the door centering herself, just like May had taught her. She wouldn’t be any good to herself if she charged in haphazardly and got herself shot.

Despite her bare feet and the gown she wore, she called upon the sniper persona that resided in her even after the years since May had worked on calming with her. As she felt a wry grin curve her mouth, Daisy faced the door.

She kicked it inwards, saving her powers for the fight within. She stormed in with a gun in her right hand and her left hand ready to unleash her powers. It took two seconds for anyone in the control room to turn and draw a weapon; two seconds that would cost them dearly.

She knocked over the row of soldiers closest to her with a single wave, grabbing one of them to use as a shield against the hail of bullets that followed. She threw that soldier down and dove behind one of the metal command tables, using it as cover. She darted back and forth behind the table, alternating bullets with tremors from her hands.

The number of bullets became fewer with every one of her shots, until all the bullets finally stopped. Daisy stood slowly, still wary. But everyone in the room was unconscious or … there were a few whose heartbeats she couldn’t sense.

Daisy wasn’t sure what she was feeling. Guilt, most definitely. But not like when she shot Donnie Gill. He hadn’t had a choice … hadn’t had a chance. These soldiers had made their choice. Maybe she shouldn’t have seen it as black-and-white as she did, but it was the only way for her to come to grips with it and to not go insane.

As she picked her way over bodies both unconscious and dead to get to a computer, Daisy saw a flash of pink amongst brown hair. Her pursuit of intel and communication was temporarily abandoned to check on Former-Agent Hand. To her disappointment and intense relief, Hand was one of the few people in the room without a telltale heartbeat pounding against her chest.

Though it was a loss of potentially valuable intel, Daisy would have been lying if she had said that she wasn’t at least a bit glad to see Victoria Hand dead on the ground, one of Daisy’s bullets through her heart. The woman had been enough of a nightmare- Daisy would make sure that she was taken care of this time. Though she had been a nightmare for Daisy over the past few days and a bitch before her first death, Hand had once been a SHIELD agent, and Daisy was going to make sure that she got the respect she was due for that.

Daisy turned her back on the dead ex-agent and focused on the arrays of computers before her. She moved quickly to the central hub, not sure how long the soldiers would remain unconscious. She grabbed an empty flash drive from one of the drawers and set to work downloading every single file she could get her hands on.

Once the files were automatically downloading, Daisy found a drawer full of burner phones and dialed the one number she knew she would never forget- Steve’s. In less than half a ring, she could hear his frantic breathing on the other end of the line.

“Daisy?” Steve asked. He must have felt her reaction through the bond, because he didn’t wait for her to reply. “Are you alright? Tony is tracing the phone now.” Daisy could hear a ping in the background, heard as the quinjet they must have been on changed course. Tony said something that Daisy couldn’t quite make out over the phone.

Steve’s voice was worried. “We’ll be there in an hour, doll. Can you hold out that long?”

“Of course I can,” Daisy said with a false sense of confidence that she tried to project through the bond as well. “I’ve basically got the whole base on lock already.”

“Who was it, doll? Who took you?” Steve sounded different now, angry, “Please tell me they’re still alive so I can kill them myself.”

“All I know so far is that Victoria Hand and Ian Quinn were both major players in this. I’m downloading all the files I can get to on their mainframe now. I’ve taken out most of the base, but most of them are just unconscious. I’m not sure how long until they wake up.”

She heard the pounding of boots in the corridor and tried to hide her worry, both from her voice and from the bond. “Steve, I’ve got to go. I’ll call back once I deal with the next round, ok?”

Some bit of her worry must have bled through, because Steve let out a hiss. “We’ll be there soon, doll. Hang on. I love you.”

With a hurried, “I love you too,” Daisy hung up the phone and squared her shoulders at the door.

Chapter Text

It took every ounce of self-control in Steve not to scream at Tony to make the jet go faster. He could feel only vague thoughts and feelings from Daisy, and they were mostly a mix of pain and worry, running around in circles, each heightening the other.

When the jet touched down at the coordinates that Tony traced from Daisy’s call, Steve sighed in relief. He could feel that she wasn’t too far away. Storming out of the jet, he broke through the metal door with one swift slam of his shield.

His bond acted as a compass, guiding him through the base to the command center where Daisy was holed up. Any soldiers between him and his soulmate met with an unfortunate fate, though one that he didn’t regret at that moment. The only thing that he could feel was the need to see Daisy again, to hold her.

Before he met his soulmate, Steve had thought that the stories were exaggerated. Stories of people who went insane, went on rampages, killing sprees when their new soulmate was kidnapped or died. As he stormed thorough the base, Steve had a moment of clarity. ‘I’d burn the world down for her.

***

Daisy’s eyes were drooping, her neck felt too weak to hold her head up anymore. She could feel that Steve was getting close to her, but she wasn’t sure that she could hold out any longer. Massive blood loss and over-exertion did take quite the toll on a person.

It certainly didn’t help that her mental control over her powers had to be so absolute. One little slip could bring the entire building down around her ears, but she really didn’t feel like dying today.

The closer Steve got, the stronger the bond felt. But even as he approached, Daisy waned. She was barely conscious when he broke his way through the locked door of the command center. She smiled faintly when she saw his worried blue eyes. “Heya, soldier,” she whispered faintly, her head dropping back against the chair.

The last thing she heard was Steve’s frantic voice, “Daisy? Daisy, stay with me!” As she opened her mouth to reply, the world went black.

***

It took only a few seconds for the concerned soulmate in Steve to take a backseat to the soldier. He didn’t need to feel her pulse; he could feel it through the dimming bond. She was fading fast. ‘Not fading,’ he reminded himself, forcing the harshness upon himself, ‘Dying. She’s going to die if you don’t get her to the jet now.

The horrible thought fresh, Steve gently scooped his soulmate into his arms. He cradled her head against his chest, holding it there with one hand as he began to run, even faster than he’d ran to the control room. About halfway to the jet, he ran into the rest of the team, who’d been busy clearing the base. Steve yelled for Tony and Sam to follow him, while the others kept tending to the enemy wounded and clearing out the dead.

When they reached the jet, Steve placed Daisy gently on the fold-out med cot. Sam was all business, ordering Tony to put the heart monitor on Daisy’s finger. Once Sam had gloves on, he strode over to Daisy. When he pulled off her blood-soaked makeshift bandages, he winced.

“That bad, huh?” Steve whispered hoarsely from a few feet away.

“She’s lost too much blood,” Sam said, still examining her injuries, “and I’ve done some research on her. None of the blood we keep in stock will work for her, it’s too different. She’s Inhuman, she’d almost need…” Sam whirled around, eyes lighting up. “You scared of needles, Cap?”

“How will my blood help?” Steve asked, “If anything, wouldn’t it be worse?”

“You two are the same blood type,” Sam said, already moving around to grab a needle, blood-bag, and several tubes from various drawers, “And you’re the peak of human health. There should be enough in common for her body to accept the blood. Plus, your healing factor should help speed up her recovery. It’s up to you.”

Sam stopped, waiting for Steve’s answer. “Let’s go then, Doc,” was Steve’s only reply. He stepped forward, hardly even feeling the swab of antiseptic or the bite of the needle. His eyes were locked on Daisy, looking for any change in her pallor, any sign of movement. He hadn’t felt anything through the bond, but he knew that she was still alive. He didn’t feel the excruciating pain of a broken bond, only a horrible hollowness where Daisy’s thoughts and feelings should have been.

When Sam finally took the needle out of his arm, Steve asked, “Do you think she’ll be ok?”

“That’s up to her,” he replied, “One thing I can say: your girl’s a fighter.”

***

When the enemy base was cleared and the prisoners captured and the dead ready for transport, the rest of the team ringed the med bay of the jet, watching Steve and Daisy sleep, Daisy in the cot and Steve in a chair that was pulled up to the bed. Lacy’s heart broke to see Daisy’s gold chain wrapped around Steve’s hand, her engagement ring glinting next to the golden cross.

Sam stood in the corner at the sink, scrubbing his hands raw, though Daisy’s blood had long since washed down the drain.

Finally, Anthony came up behind him, reaching around him to turn the water off. His distraction aside, Sam turned to the team. All of the soulmated pairs were next to each other, clinging to each other: Mack and Elena, Lincoln and Lacy, Clint and Natasha, Joey and Pietro, Alisha and Wanda.

It was Mack that finally broke the silence, “Is she going to make it?” His voice was heavy with sadness, the weight of his partner’s life on his shoulders.

“The next hour will tell.” Sam looked to the bed, a fire in his eyes. “What they did to her … it was brutal. Lacerations on both arms and legs, too many needle marks to count, some stab marks that look like they’re there just for the hell of it. She was struggling; the cuts get more jagged towards the end. They wanted to study her, sure, but they wanted her to hurt. Any ideas why?”

“That actually makes a bit more sense now,” Natasha piped up. “I saw Victoria Hand with the dead ones; Coulson mentioned that their team had a bit of a past with her. The way he made it sound, though, she was dead already.”

“Are there any other connections that you know of between Daisy or the team and the other ones?” Lincoln queried to the room in general.

“I recognized Ian Quinn. We have him in containment,” Joey said. At everyone’s surprised looks, he continued, “What? He was on the cover of Forbes.”

“Ian Quinn,” Mack repeated in horror, staring at Lacy and Lincoln, the only other two whom the name seemed to affect quite as much.

“What are we missing?” Clint asked.

Lincoln and Lacy exchanged a look, and Lacy began, “Back when Daisy first joined up with SHIELD, they had a run-in with Quinn. He had co-opted a scientist into working with him, helping him use a new element he called ‘Gravitonium.’ Quinn’s manor/ base of operations got destroyed, but Quinn didn’t just give up. Daisy –Skye then- met him again in Italy, and Quinn shot her. Two shots, point blank in the stomach. She should have died, but Coulson wouldn’t give up on her. May beat the shit out of Quinn. When HYDRA revealed themselves, Quinn allied himself with Garret for a while before skipping town. Since then, he’s been remarkably good at keeping off the grid. And that’s with Daisy looking.”

“Well it looks like we know why now,” Mack scoffed, “He’s been working with … whatever this group was. Did we get any files off their servers?”

“Only one server was uncorrupted,” Stark started from his perch on one of the counters. “I grabbed all of them, but even FRIDAY is having issues with this one.”

“Daisy can help with that,” Lacy said, “When she gets better. Because she will get better.” Her eyes were steely. “If she doesn’t, I’ll finish what May started.”

Chapter Text

When Steve woke up again, he was clutching Daisy’s limp hand. He looked at the heart monitor for a moment before dismissing it as utter gibberish, and called for Sam instead. He appeared in the door to the med bay, his weariness evident in the lines in his face.

“How is she?” Steve asked with a strained voice.

“I think she’ll pull through. It’s just a matter of time until she wakes up.”

“Good.” Steve sat up and tried to work the kinks out of his neck. “Where’s everyone else?”

“Stark went back to retrieve the backup quinjet, and now the others are loading the live prisoners up.” Sam hesitated for a moment before asking, “Are the dead ones hers … or yours?”

“They’re mine,” Steve growled. “And I don’t regret it, not for a second. They were in my way.”

“I know man, I know. A soulmate bond is a powerful thing.” Sam’s head turned almost of its own accord towards the cockpit. “Anthony’s in the front, but I can feel him right next to me.”

Steve waited until the sappy look had begun to melt off Sam’s face before he interjected with a bit of reality. “Do we have any idea who was behind this?”

Sam shrugged. “Joey recognized Ian Quinn as one of the live ones. Some of the old SHIELD kids said something about Quinn and Daisy having gone at it before?”

All of the color drained out of Steve’s face. “Quinn. Where is he now?”

“Last I heard, still waiting to be loaded up.”

“When will we be able to head back to the Tower?”

Sam strode over and grabbed the tablet resting against the monitors, flipping through several readings. “We can go whenever they’re ready. Daisy’s stable enough to move, and Helen Cho is at the Tower. She’s an actual trained doctor and not just a field medic anyways.”

When the rest of the team was on board, they started the trip back to the Tower. Steve sat by Daisy’s side for the entire journey, ignoring everyone who passed through the med bay.

When they reached the Tower, an entire med crew rushed out, taking stock of Daisy’s condition and vitals. When Doctor Cho met the crew at the door off of the landing pad, Steve was still by her side, walking alongside the moving gurney. He passed the doctor the tablet with all of Daisy’s medical information.

Even as they rushed through the hallway, Helen arched an eyebrow at Steve. “You gave her your blood?”

When he nodded, she said, “I’m going to need samples. It appears to be working well, so I think that we should just keep her on your blood for the time being. I haven’t done nearly enough study on how human blood reacts with Inhuman physiology.”

An hour later, Steve was still by Daisy’s side. The only time he’d left the room was when Helen had changed Daisy out of the blood-soaked hospital gown into a gray shirt and pants.

He sat, waiting for any sign of improvement. Steve hated her deathly stillness, the unnatural pallor of Daisy’s skin. She should have been filled with vibrant energy like always, bouncing around the room, not lying in a hospital bed. Steve’s eyes were so intently trained on Daisy’s comatose form that he saw the tiny curl of the fingers on her right hand.

At first, that’s all it was. A tiny flex of the fingers, a fluttering eyelid, a small shoulder jerk. Eventually, she groaned and tried to roll over. Steve shot to his feet, leaning over the bed.

***

The first thing Daisy saw when she opened her eyes was Steve’s gorgeous baby blues. He was standing over her with a worried expression. When Daisy opened her mouth to speak, all that came out was a small croaking noise.

Steve grabbed the glass of water off the table as Daisy began to cough, and held the straw to her mouth.

“Doctor Cho said that your throat will feel a bit dry until you drink some water. She was pumping fluids in through the IV, but not quite enough to offset what you lost.”

Daisy nodded and drank the rest of the water before she rasped out, “How long have I been out?”

“About a day.” He let out a long, drawn-out sigh. “I’ve been so fucking worried.”

“Steve said a bad language word,” Daisy teased, a grin sliding over her face.

He shook his head, trying to keep his own grin off his face. He couldn’t; he was too excited. His Daisy was awake. “Y’all always seem to forget: I was in the Army. Even if I didn’t curse, you can bet everyone else did.”

“It’s just really hard to imagine you as a recruit, sassin’ everyone.” Daisy started laughing. She groaned and put a hand lightly against her ribs, feeling the bruise that remained as a remnant of her fight with one of the soldiers.

“Gentle, now,” Steve said, “You’ve been through a lot. Once you’re better, I’m going to give Quinn hell. He’ll wish he was never born.” Daisy had never seen that look on his face, a savage, deadly stare. It sent chills down her spine, even though she knew it was meant for Quinn.

“You got everyone in the base, then?”

“The prisoners should be headed to a secure SHIELD base for interrogation right about now, and they’re taking care of the bodies as well.”

Daisy began to tear up. “Will someone tell their families what happened?”

Steve nodded. “Their families deserve to know.”

***

It was only ten minutes before members of the team began to trickle into the room where Daisy and Steve were. Lacy and Lincoln were the first to arrive, the former practically sprinting into the room, flopping into a chair by the bed. Lincoln was much more subdued as he strode into the room, though the intensity of his smile matched his soulmate’s.

“We just got back from dropping the prisoners off when JARVIS told us,” Lacy said without taking a breath. “I’m so glad you’re awake, Daisy. I don’t know what I’d do if you’d stayed out for much longer.”

Lacy put her petite hands over one of Daisy’s, clenching hard as if to anchor the other Inhuman to the bed.

Lincoln piped up from the foot of the bed, “She’s been bouncing off the walls for hours. It’s even worse than your pacing.”

“I don’t pace!” Daisy insisted. Steve’s laugh was cut off my a swift, playful smack to his shoulder. “I don’t!”

“Sure,” Lincoln deadpanned.

“Glad to see you’re up, Tremors.” Mack made his presence at the door of the room known.

Elena pushed past him with a quip of, “Too slow, turtle-man.” When she reached the bed, the Latina said, “I am glad to see you are awake, Daisy.”

“I’m happy to see you up and … well, not quite about yet.” Tony said from the hallway, entering the room once everyone was looking his way. “I thought that the Capsicle was going to pace a hole in the quinjet’s floor on the way to pick you up.”

“Pick me up? That’s a pretty mild way of putting it. I’d be dead if it weren’t for you guys.”

“Don’t doubt yourself like that, Daisy,” Steve spoke up. “I’m sure you would’ve been fine. You’re too damn stubborn to lose to Quinn.”

“Damn straight I am!” Daisy tried to put some pep into her voice, to pull away from negative topics. “Can someone call Helen in here? I wanna know how long til I’m outta here.”

There were protests from almost everyone in the room, but she focused on Steve. “You just woke up! You’ve been conscious less than an hour.”

“But I’m bored,” she half-whined. “At least let me have a laptop so I can fool around with some hacking.”

Steve sighed, “JARVIS?”

“Yes, Captain Rogers?” The AI responded instantly.

“Contact Doctor Cho and tell her that Daisy is awake. Ask her to come to the med bay, please.”

“Right away, Captain.”

“Awesome. Thanks, JARVIS,” Steve responded almost absentmindedly. After so many years of living in the Tower, it was natural to thank the AI for things, even if he wasn’t a ‘person’ by definition.

A moment later, the sunny doctor walked into Daisy’s room. “How are you feeling now, Daisy?” The woman bustled around the room, checking Daisy’s monitors and vitals and ensuring that everything was in place. She frowned a bit when she saw the empty IV bag, but just hooked a new one up to it.

“I’m not really sure. Not as bad as that time I got shot twice in the stomach, but I could be doing better.”

“Well, let’s take a look at your wounds, shall we?” Helen pulled away the bandages on her leg and arm, exposing the puckered scars that looked weeks old. The doctor’s jaw dropped. “This … this isn’t possible. Even with Captain Roger’s blood, you shouldn’t have healed this fast.” She stopped a moment before saying, “Are you sure you don’t have your own healing factor, Daisy?”

“Oh shit, did I not mention that?” Daisy sighed, “Sometimes I forget who I’ve told. It must not have made it into the files. I got a watered-down version of my mother’s healing factor, but I don’t need to … y’know … kill people to make it work. I just eat a shit-ton of food.”

“That’s remarkable,” Helen breathed. “Absolutely astounding. I’ll need to take samples of your blood … once you’ve had enough time for your blood to replenish itself.”

“So,” Daisy questioned, “When can I get out of here? Not that it isn’t great, but it’s just a bit too stark-white and asylum-looking for me.”

“With the way you’re healing and the amount of liquids you’ve been absorbing, you should be good to go in about three hours. I want you to stay relaxed as much as possible. Ideally, you wouldn’t even be walking on your own, but I’ve basically given up with trying to get these guys in wheelchairs.” She glared at Steve before continuing, “You will need to stay sitting or lying down as much as possible for at least a day, until your blood level replenishes itself.”

Daisy sighed and let her head thump back to the pillow with a groan. “Three hours.”

***

Throughout the rest of the afternoon, all of the members of the Avengers and Secret Warriors teams stopped by Daisy’s room. Tony, bless him, brought Daisy her laptop. Sam promised her a drink once she was cleared for it, and Tasha snuck some her some delicious chocolates, with a promise of more chocolate and Russian vodka once she was out.

“We need to have a girls’ night,” Daisy suggested. “You, me, Elena, Wanda, Alisha, Pepper, and Helen. Let’s do it. Movies, popcorn, drinks. Oh, and let’s call in Jane and Darcy. It’d be nice to get to know them better.”

The Russian laughed. “The most powerful women in the world gathered together, watching rom-coms. Sounds like fun. Let’s do it.”

***

By the time that Helen released Daisy from the hospital floor, the Inhuman was practically bouncing off the walls out of sheer boredom. Even with her laptop, she couldn’t deal with just sitting in the stark room. So when Helen handed Steve five bottles of water and told him to make sure that Daisy drank all of it over the period of a few hours, Daisy hastily agreed.

“I’ll be checking in with you,” Helen said, a slight warning in her tone. “I expect that you’ll take care of yourself. No more running around and almost getting yourself killed. And no ops. You’ll come back every day for checkups, and I’ll asses every day how much closer to operation-readiness you are.”

Steve got Daisy settled into their room, setting the bottles of water on the nightstand. Daisy yawned loudly from her perch on the bed. “Take a nap, doll,” Steve suggested gently, feeling her fatigue from the short walk through the bond.

When Daisy lied down, Steve moved towards the door, not wanting to disturb her. He was stopped by the tiny whine from the bed. “Don’t leave me, please.” When Steve was back by the bed, Daisy asked, “Will you stay with me?”

He pulled the armchair to the side of the bed and took a seat. “Of course I will, doll.” The last thing that Daisy did before she fell asleep was grab Steve’s hand, holding it to her cheek.

***

Later, after Daisy had woken up from her nap, Steve settled her in with some food, instructing her to drink some of the water Helen had given him. Then, he left, going down several floors to the interrogation room.

He slammed through the door, allowing it to slam against the wall. There sat Ian Quinn, hands handcuffed on the table in front of him. His fingers were steepled despite the cast that covered his forearm and his face was perfectly neutral, but Steve didn’t miss the slight bounce of his knee, the involuntary tensing of his shoulder muscles.

Quinn took a deliberately deep breath before he opened his mouth. “Captain Rogers. How interesting. You-”

Steve cut him off by slamming his hands down on the table, which creaked under his unleashed strength. “You don’t speak except to answer my questions,” he bit out sharply. His shoulders were tense, his eyes hard and merciless. “You’ve hurt enough people, and now you’re going to do some good. Even if I have to force it out of you.”

Steve could see Quinn putting together the pieces in his mind. “You sly dog, Captain,” Quinn quipped. “This wouldn’t have anything to do with a certain SHIELD Agent, would it? Maybe a … soulmate? The scientists saw her words. That must have been an interesting first meeting. Then again, everything gets interesting with that bit-” he was cut off this time by Steve’s clenched fist flying through the air to connect solidly with Quinn’s jaw.

Steve must have been leashing his strength for that punch, as Quinn’s jaw wasn’t shattered. There was a rather large bruise already starting to bloom, but no skin split.

“What’s the name of your operation?”

“It doesn’t have one, really,” Quinn ground out as he raised his cuffed hands to massage at his jaw. “I’ve picked up all the pieces, the rubble SHIELD’s left in their wake over the past few years. Bits of HYDRA, Centipede, Cybertech, everything. The enemy of my enemy, right?” He laughed.

***

Unknown to Steve or Quinn, Daisy sat behind the two-way glass in the observation room with Natasha. Daisy was practically vibrating with rage as she looked at the face that still plagued her nightmares, almost five years after her near-death experience at his hands.

She felt a surge of almost … vindication when Steve punched Quinn.

“What other bases did your unnamed operation have?”

“I don’t know,” Quinn said.

Steve raised his hand again, this time open to strike. “How can you not know?

“I don’t!” Quinn insisted quickly, raising his hands defensively. “I swear I don’t!”

Steve lowered his hand, and gestured for Quinn to continue. “I’m just the money. Some of our computer people siphoned all of my money even after SHIELD froze my accounts. I really didn’t deal much with the day-to-day, and Victoria Hand is the only one who knows where all of the bases are located. Ask her!”

“That’s going to be a little bit hard,” Steve said dispassionately, waiting for it to sink in.

When it did, Quinn looked shocked. Then, his face cleared entirely of emotion. “Was it you, or was it your little freak?” he hissed.

Steve struck out before he realized what he was doing, pushing Quinn’s chair back and flinging his head backwards. He grabbed the arm that was encased in the cast and began to apply pressure just above where the cast ended. When Quinn was writing in pain, Steve released his grip.

“Call her a freak again, and we’ll see exactly how many places I can break your arm before bones start to poke out. Now how else can we find the other bases? How many others are there?” Steve growled in a deathly tone.

Quinn panted his answer, gripping his arm and trying to ride out the pain, “There are at least five, but no more than ten. That’s all I know. Hand had a file with the locations on a special hard-drive, but it was impossible to crack. I had our best tech try, and even she couldn’t get it. Something about a geo-lock. The only way to crack the encryption is to be at certain coordinates. Without knowing the coordinates, it’s impossible to beat.”

Daisy began to laugh. Natasha shot her a look, not bothering to ask when the question was so clear in her eyes. Rather than answer, Daisy stalked through the door of the observation room and into the interrogation room.

“Hi, honey,” she chirped, “I need to talk to you for a minute.” She led him out of the room.

“What’s wrong, doll?” Steve asked worriedly.

“Nothing,” Daisy replied hastily, “I just know exactly how to crack the encryption on that drive. It’s no wonder none of their techs could get it.”

“So how do you know how to crack a geo-lock?” Natasha asked from the doorway.

“Crack it? I invented it.”

***

When Tony heard, he was practically ecstatic. “I can’t believe we’ve never talked about this before. Coupling the encryption key to a set of coordinates? Brilliant!

Daisy laughed, “I haven’t even told you the best part, have I? It’s not just a set of coordinates I can link it to. I can also couple the encryption key to an altitude without being at that altitude. I was on ground level when I coupled a hard-drive to unlock at 30,000 feet.”

“When the hell was this?” Tony was incredulous. He had a look of pure awe on his face. “Daisy, that is amazing.

“It was … right after SHIELD fell,” Daisy said, her face falling as she thought about the circumstances surrounding that drive. “I had to unlock it because I didn’t want to watch my traitor of an SO die. He was HYDRA, but I think that a small part of me still thought he could be saved.”

“I’m sorry, Daisy,” Tony said softly, gently for once, “That’s hard.”

Steve came up behind Daisy and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her so that she fit perfectly against him. That feeling was the best thing she’d ever felt.

She was a whole person on her own, she didn’t need someone else. But that made it better. She didn’t need Steve, she chose him. Again and again, every day, every moment, she made a choice. He did too. Even if they weren’t soulmates, even if they’d never had these marks telling them that Destiny had picked them, Daisy knew that she would choose Steve every time.

Chapter Text

“Let me get this straight,” Lincoln said in the team meeting, “You designed an entirely new type of encryption, but you know exactly how to crack it? Doesn’t that kinda defeat the purpose of the encryption?”
Daisy opened her mouth to explain, but Tony jumped in, “No, it’s actually brilliant. I’ve been searching the coding for hours, and I can’t find the hole anywhere. Not to brag, but I’m one of the best hackers in the world, and even I can’t find Daisy’s little trick spot.”
Daisy laughed a bit. “That’s because I created a secondary layer of coding that is invisible under the primary layer. All that is contained in the secondary layer is the provision for the place that any of the geo-locks will crack.”
“And where exactly is that?” Sam asked.
“The place I grew up. St. Agnes Orphanage, in New York City. I perfected the encryption right after the Chitauri Invasion, and I was spending a couple of weeks with the nuns, helping to clean up and repair the orphanage and surrounding neighborhood. I figured that it was a pretty inconspicuous place.”
“Well, you were right,” Lacy piped up. “It would be impossible to know without your history. It’s brilliant, Daisy. So when can we go?”
Steve butted in, “I think we should wait a bit. Daisy’s still healing. Hopefully we won’t run into any trouble, but I want her to be in top shape just in case. You all know our luck.”
Lincoln nodded. “We really should wait. I took a look at your chart, and it shouldn’t be too long. Two or three weeks at most.”
Daisy was going to at least try to argue, but she saw the steel in both Steve’s and Lincoln’s eyes. They were determined to keep her safe. She knew if it were either of them, she’d be saying the same thing.
***
Three days later, Daisy was regretting giving in so easily. She was just about done with everyone treating her like she was made of glass. Steve slept in the spare room on their floor, Natasha refused to spar with her, and Tony kept shooing her out of the computer lab, insisting that she rest.
She reached her boiling point when Clint pushed her back into her seat at the island in the kitchen. “I’ve got it. Don’t get up. You need to rest,” he insisted, moving to get her coffee for her.
She snapped, “I don’t need to rest. If I hear one more person tell me that again, I’m going to scream. I don’t need seven dads and eleven moms; I’ve gotten by just fine for the past thirty years without any. I don’t need any more sleep, I can walk just fine, and I’m not going to break if I lift more than two ounces at any given time!”
“Alright,” Clint said, backing away slowly with his hands in the air in a placating gesture. “You know we’re just looking out for you, right?”
“I know,” Daisy sighed, recognizing that she had gone a bit too far. “I know. I just don’t want everyone doting on me. I’m going to be fine.”
Clint stepped aside with a nod, letting Daisy get to the coffeemaker on her own. He took note of the way she clutched at the counter with one slightly tremoring hand. The physical toll that today was taking on her was obvious. She had done her first workout with Natasha since she was released.
***
Nat had taken it easy on her for once. The pair didn’t spar at all; they were more focused on getting Daisy’s endurance back up to snuff. Five minutes on a punching bag, five on the treadmill, then repeated twice more.
Daisy didn’t whine at all, something that Natasha didn’t ever remember happening. The younger woman was laser-focused on doing her best. When Nat said something about it, all Daisy would say was, “I need to get better.”
***
Daisy continued to get better. The deep cuts on her arm and leg were now scars that looked months old, Helen had taken her off all the meds, and she was finally cleared to drink again. “Thank god,” she said when the doctor told her, shooting a quick text off to Nat to start planning the girls’ night. She invited Helen, whose normally stern look gave way to a smile.
“I’ll try to make it,” she said, rolling her eyes. “Why am I not surprised that the first thing you do is plan a drinking party?”
“Hey now,” Daisy protested, “There’s also going to be rom-coms and popcorn. It’s not just liquor.”
***
Considering that they were all absolutely trashed by one a.m., Helen was probably exactly right about it being pretty much solely a drinking party. It started simple, with Miss Congeniality playing on the massive screen in the home theater, and at least five huge bowls of popcorn circling the room, passed between chairs and women.
Then, Elena introduced a drinking game. Every time that Grace said Eric’s name, they all took a sip. Every time that Grace had a new outfit to wear, everyone had to finish the drink that they were on then. With shots of Nat’s Russian vodka circling and several bottles of wine scattered around the room, it wasn’t even twenty minutes into the movie before Daisy’s face was flushed and warm.
She giggled a bit too much. Everything seemed just a bit brighter, shinier, louder. As everyone’s volume rose, the TV got turned down lower and lower until the movie was playing silently. Pepper turned music on then, and suddenly all of the ladies were singing along to Hamilton. It was chaos. One second, Daisy was sing Hamilton’s part, the next Eliza’s. They discovered during Guns and Ships that Lacy could rap like hell. Even well on her way to wasted, Lacy did better with that lightning-fast rap than Daisy ever had.
Then they moved on to a drunken game of ‘Never Have I Ever.’
“Never have I ever … kissed a guy,” Wanda slurred.
All of the girls except for Wanda and Alisha took a sip. “C’mon,” Daisy said, “Thas not fair to the straight ones in the room.”
“Boo-hoo,” Alisha giggled, trying to keep a stern look on her face, “I’m tearing up at the injustice.”
“Well fine,” Daisy slurred on her turn, “Never have I ever kissed a girl.” She paused, watching almost all of the women take a shot. “Damn. Was not ‘specting that.”
“Never have I ever … been an alien,” Helen said next.
“Well fuck you too, Helen,” Daisy said, taking a shot along with Elena, Alisha, and Lacy.
***
The after-effects of the party weren’t as bad as Daisy had been expecting. She woke up on one of the couches in the home theater, her legs on top of Natasha’s. She had a headache, but not nearly what she had been expecting for that amount of alcohol. She’d only ever gotten close to that shit-faced one time, back when she was still together with Miles. The hangover had lasted two days.
As she started to stir, so did Lacy across the room. Lacy was clutching her head, groaning slightly. “Damn,” she whispered, “Probably not the greatest idea.” The empath made eye contact with Daisy, “How you doin’, sweet pea? You drank me under the table.”
“Healing factor means I’m pretty good right now,” Daisy whispered, trying not to wake any of the other ladies. She worked her way off the couch without waking Natasha and started towards the door. “I’ll be back in a minute,” she whispered to Lacy.
Daisy darted down the hallways to the common room and grabbed one of the bottles out of the liquor cabinet. She scurried back to the theater and grabbed a set of clean shot glasses. Lacy groaned, “Daisy, what the hell? I don’t think I can take anymore alcohol without liver failure.”
The other women started to wake up, most clutching their heads. Daisy said gently, “C’mon girls. I just need everyone to drink this.” She handed a shot glass to each of the ladies.
Natasha sniffed the glass. “The hell is this, Daisy?”
“Just drink,” Daisy insisted. The women all shrugged and tossed back the drinks. Almost instantly, their eyes were more alert, their posture better, and their eyes squinting less from the bright theater screen.
“Whoa,” Alisha said, “What the hell is in that?”
“I don’t know,” Daisy replied. “Tony concocted it for an incident where any of the Avengers would need to sober up before a mission, but this seems like a good use too.”
“Oh,” Pepper said, “His ‘go-juice.’ He was telling me about this, but I thought it wasn’t ready yet?”
“He finished it yesterday and he knew we were planning to drink a bit, so he told me where it was. I didn’t think we’d be needing quite this much, though.”
***
It was still another week before Daisy was cleared to be in the field again, and only after dozens of medical tests by Helen, and several sparring sessions with Steve and Natasha so that they were both satisfied with her ability to hold her own.
The second that she was combat-cleared, Daisy ran to the main room where Tony was planning their mission to St. Agnes’. All of the other Avengers were already there, ready for Tony’s briefing.
“You cleared, pipsqueak?” he asked as she slid into the room on sock feet.
“I’m cleared!” Daisy was practically bouncing as she went to stand between Steve and Lincoln. “So what’s the plan, boss?”
Tony smirked and made a gesture that brought up a hologram of the section of city where St. Agnes’ was. “Here’s the thing,” he said, mostly making eye contact with Daisy, “Any Avengers activity will be noticed in this area of the city, especially since they’ve got that Daredevil running around. People are much more observant now.
“That being said, Daisy at the very least has to go in. She’s the only one who can crack the encryption. She’s also one of the ones with the least known about her, so she’s less likely to be recognized. She’s going to go with Lincoln, who also doesn’t have a lot of footage on him. The rest of us will be scattered within a block of the orphanage. We all need to be extremely careful of our covers on this one.”
***
A day later, Daisy was standing on the steps of St. Agnes’ orphanage, Lincoln by her side. She lifted the brass knocker on the door, letting it fall with a loud bang. As she stood there, Daisy forced herself to maintain natural movement, not fidgeting too much or staying unnaturally still. The door opened within a minute, and a middle-aged nun was revealed.
“Skye!” The woman cried, throwing open the door and reaching out to embrace Daisy.
“Sister Diana!” Daisy replied joyfully, wrapping her arms around the other woman.
“How have you been, Skye? You haven’t been back in years.”
“I’m sorry, Sister. I just haven’t been in town for a few years. A lot has changed since the Chitauri invasion.”
“That sounds oddly specific, Skye,” Sister Diana said, arching an eyebrow. “Why don’t you and your … friend-” she glanced at Lincoln- “come inside. We’ll have a cup of tea and a talk.”
As Sister Diana led them through the entryway, Daisy whispered to Lincoln, “Sister Diana is one of the good ones.”
Lincoln questioned, “How much are you going to tell her, Daisy? Can we trust her?”
“She wouldn’t say anything, but I won’t be telling her anything that could compromise her. I don’t want to put her in any sort of danger. We don’t know who of Hand’s organization is left.”
Lincoln and Daisy remained quiet the rest of the way through the house to an upstairs room with a desk in one corner and leather furniture around a coffee table in the center. Daisy and Lincoln took seats on the couch across from the sister, Daisy setting her laptop bag by her feet.
“So who’s this?” Sister Diana got straight to the point. “I’m assuming soulmate, but if I recall correctly, you have two. Is he romantic or platonic?”
“This is Lincoln, Sister Diana. He’s my platonic soulmate.”
Sister Diana smiled sincerely. “I’m happy for you, Skye.” A sly look came over her face. “And what about your romantic soulmate? Did you find him yet? Or her?” she added, “I don’t judge.”
Daisy laughed, “You never were very good at being subtle, were you?”
Diana just shrugged.
“To answer your question, I have found my romantic soulmate. His name is Steve, and he’s better than I could’ve imagined.” She lifted her left hand to show off her engagement ring.
“I hope he deserves you, Skye.”
“He does.” Daisy smiled.
Sister Diana smiled serenely for a moment before her expression sobered. “So what brings you back here, my dear? I know it wasn’t simple nostalgia. Especially not since I’ve been seeing you on the television, Quake.”
Daisy simply laughed, “Perceptive as always, Sister. And my name is Daisy now, just so you know. I found my parents.” Diana’s eyes lit up with joy for a moment before Daisy continued, “My mom died when I was a baby and my dad died not long after I found him. Daisy was the name they gave me.” She brushed the tear away that came to her eye as she thought about her parents. What she’d told sister Diana was true. Her mom had died when she was taken, or at least the good in her had. And the man that had been her father was essentially gone, replaced by the man he could’ve been if he hadn’t met her mother.
“I’m sorry, Daisy. I know how much you wanted to find them.”
“It still hurts not having really known them, but I’ve found a family in the people I work with. And that’s why I’m here.” Daisy straightened up, taking control of her emotions and the situation again. “I just need to wire myself into the church’s system for a little while.”
“What’d you do this time?” Sister Diana asked with a long-suffering sigh, a smile playing at her mouth.
“I finished an encryption while I was here the last time, and I programmed a bug into it so it would unlock when I wired in here. Then I put the encryption on the dark web for anyone to use. I wasn’t really a good person the last time I was here. I called myself a hacktivist, and people got hurt because of information I and people I associated with collected and distributed. Now, I need to stop more people from being hurt.”
“You know I can’t officially allow you access to the church’s system unless you’re a member of the clergy.”
Daisy hung her head in defeat until Sister Diana continued, “However, you were an orphan in our care, and a trustworthy one at that. There would be nothing amiss if I left the room to get more tea … perhaps I’ll run into Father Ben on the way … maybe I’ll have to go to the church for a few moments.”
A smile grew on Daisy’s face. “Thanks, Sister Di.”
“For what?” Sister Diana left with a wink thrown in their direction.
Before the nun was even fully out of the room, Daisy was grabbing her laptop, detaching the wiring on the desktop in the corner and wiring her laptop in. A few swift keystrokes, and she was putting her hand to her ear, switching her comms back on. “I’m in.” She plugged the hard drive with the base locations into the laptop, and Lincoln lost track of what she was doing moments into the process.
There was silence for a grand total of thirty seconds before Lincoln asked, “So I thought we weren’t telling Sister Diana everything?”
“Meh,” Daisy shrugged, “She knew about me being Quake anyways, and I didn’t reveal any sensitive information. Just personal stuff.”
There wasn’t really any argument that Lincoln could make against that, so they lapsed into silence again, the only sound the rapid-fire clacking of the computer keys.
True to her word, Sister Diana delayed her return for almost fifteen minutes. By that point, Daisy was all packed up, the unencrypted base locations on a flashdrive in her inside pocket. Her laptop was back in its case, the desktop wired back in, and everything back in its place with perfect precision.
Sister Diana glided into the room with a smile on her face. “It’s been lovely catching up with you, Daisy, but I’m sure that whatever you just did with that encryption of yours means that you have a bit more world-saving to do soon.”
Daisy and Lincoln both stood up from the couch, walking towards the woman. “I’m sorry, Sister,” Daisy said, “but yes, we’ve got a bit of work ahead of us. I promise I won’t wait another five years to visit this time.” She stepped forward into the diminutive woman’s arms that had so often held her during her rough adolescence.
Eventually, Daisy stepped back and began to walk out of the room towards the front hall. She was just close enough to hear Sister Diana say to Lincoln, “I’m fairly certain that if you’re hanging around Daisy you have powers. Please protect her.”
“I will,” Lincoln vowed in return. “Not that she needs it.”
***
“So, what’s the plan?” Tony asked as they looked at the locations of Hand’s bases displayed across the holotable. There were seven operational bases besides the one where Daisy had been held: one in the US, two in Western Europe, one in Russia, one in Brazil, one in Saudi Arabia, and one in Japan.
“We almost need to hit them simultaneously,” Nat said. “We know that the main base didn’t manage to communicate to the others when we cleared it, but that doesn’t mean that one of the other bases wouldn’t be able to get the word out. If we mess this up, we might not get a second chance to take some of these bases out.”
“Alright,” Daisy said. “So we’d need to find enough people for 7 strike teams, personalize each attack plan, and make sure that we all start at the same exact time with our attacks.”
Daisy called up the schematics of all seven bases and a document which she started typing into, creating a list of all of the Inhumans and Avengers as well as their powers and strengths. In about five minutes, she had divided all of them into seven pairs, one for each base.
“There’s not enough of us to have more than two people per team. If anyone gets in trouble, they are to retreat to their quinjet immediately. Losing one of you isn’t worth it. I’m going to program the quinjets to come straight back here so even if you’re hurt you can get back here. Helen and her team will be waiting in case anyone is injured, along with anyone else we can rustle up. Also, I’ll talk to Coulson and see if the non-powered SHIELD agents could serve as a backup team or two. If we have them waiting in the supersonic quinjet above the Atlantic, they could be anywhere they were needed within about five minutes. Does anyone have any better ideas?”
“Sounds good,” Natasha said. “When do you think we could do it?”
“We have to do it soon,” Daisy said. “We don’t know how long it’ll be before they get suspicious about the lack of communication from the main base, if they haven’t already.”
Tony said, “Daisy, Steve, and I will finish working out the pairs and creating a plan of attack for each of the bases, keeping stealth in mind along with that pair’s powers. We can have that banged out in a couple of hours, and we’ll leave at 1500. We’ll catch most of the bases in the night or early morning, so they hopefully won’t see us coming. Now everyone, go get ready: take a nap, sharpen your knives—whatever you have to do.”
***
When it came down to it, the attacks on each base were rather anti-climactic. For once in their goddamn lives, no one came back with a life-threatening injuries, there were no big surprises, and Daisy didn’t have to face someone that she had known and kill them. She sobbed when she was in Steve’s arms again though. It felt like it might finally be over. Maybe, just once, they would catch a little bit of a break.
But that would just be too easy.
***
Daisy heard the clink of her engagement ring against the porcelain toilet bowl as she threw up the pancakes Steve had made her an hour or two before. Her head pounded and her arms shook while she heaved until there was nothing left.
Once she had brushed her teeth and taken a shower, she calmly walked to the medical floor. She found Helen reorganizing one of the drawers, just as Daisy knew she would be. Helen was never satisfied with the way things were organized, she thought there would always be a better way.
Daisy stood tall as she asked Helen to run a quick blood test.
“Holy shit, Daisy, what’s wrong? Why on Earth do you want me to take your blood?”
“Helen, I think I’m pregnant.”
The good doctor’s mouth dropped open for a second before her eyes lit up. “That’s wonderful darling! Come on, come on!” Helen led her to the medical exam table and had her sit up. She drew blood Daisy’s blood quickly and efficiently and loaded the vial into one of the machines on the lab table before she poked at her stomach for a minute. “Obviously I’m not an OB-GYN, but I did take a few extra classes about pregnancy. I am so excited to be here for you.”
After a few moments, the machine beeped, and Helen grabbed a tablet from the side table. After a second of pause, she said, “Congratulations, Daisy, you are going to be a mother. I’d say you’re about six or seven weeks along.”
The instruments on the side table rattled for just a second as Daisy took it in. “Helen, is my baby going to be alright? That whole thing at Hand’s base, Steve’s blood transfusion, my powers … so much has happened and I don’t know if my powers are going to affect them or if I can even give birth, what if I lose control of my powers while I’m pregnant, what if they inherit my powers, what if?-”
“Daisy!” Helen cut off her long, panicked rant. “I’m going to run some more tests, we’re going to do ultrasounds, and we’re going to do whatever we can to make sure that your baby is safe and healthy. Do you want me to call Steve back from shopping? I think he and Tony left like half an hour ago.”
“No, it’s alright,” Daisy said faintly. “I have somewhere I need to go, someone I need to talk to.”
***
Within 20 minutes, Daisy was in the air in the newest quinjet. It took her less than an hour to fly to New SHIELD HQ. She swiped her badge and strode in as if she had never left. She was met in the kitchen by Jemma, who pulled her into the biggest hug possible.
“Daisy! What on Earth are you doing here? Why didn’t you let me know you were coming?”
“Jemma, can you grab Fitz and meet me in the lounge? I need to talk to you guys.”
Jemma rushed out of the room, recognizing that Daisy was actually serious for once. Daisy went to the lounge and started brewing herself a nice cup of decaf tea. She was going to miss her coffee, and she knew that everyone else would miss her having it too.
Jemma strode in with Fitz on her heels. They sat on the couch across from Daisy’s chair. Daisy settled in with her tea still steeping. “What’s up, Daisy?” Fitz asked.
“Well apparently birth control does not work terribly well with two slightly non-human people. I’m pregnant. Helen thinks like 6 weeks.” Daisy had to stop talking because Fitz and Jemma both squealed. Jemma started going on about how Daisy needed to eat and how she would love to take blood samples throughout the pregnancy. Fitz talked at the same time as Jemma, but about how he wanted to design a state-of-the-art baby monitor and toys for the little one. Despite all of her worries about her baby’s health and her own, Daisy found their excitement infectious.
***
A few hours later, Daisy flew herself back to the Tower. She had told Steve that she would be back soon, and that she had a surprise for him. It shouldn’t have been surprising that he was waiting on the landing pad for her then. Daisy couldn’t keep the secret from her soulmate at all.
“What’s up?” he asked. “I can feel your anxiety and excitement through the bond.”
“I’m pregnant,” Daisy blurted.
Steve stood there for a second, eyes wide with shock. Then, he let out a joyous, hearty laugh and swept Daisy up in his arms, pulling her close to him. “I’m gonna be a dad! You’re going to be a mom! Holy fucking shit!”
Daisy laughed through her happy tears. “Language,” she chastised. “The peanut can hear you.”
Steve had tears rolling down his face as he swung Daisy around in a circle. Then he set her down and looked into her eyes. “Let’s get married. Today. We can go to the courthouse right now, and Stark has enough money to grease and wheels to get us married today. Let’s go.”
Tears still glimmered in her eyes when Daisy agreed.
***
They got married that day.
Their son was born 7 months later.
James Philip Johnson-Rogers. 8 lbs, 6 oz. Born 7:19pm
Coulson loses his shit when he holds this child in his arms and hears his name for the first time.

And God help them all, because Daisy and Steve’s mischievous streaks are passed down and doubled in their child. Well, children.
And when their children are old enough to make their decision, they go through Terrigenesis. Of course they would get one child with fire powers and one with ice.

Daisy and Steve’s lives were never quiet, but they were the best lives they could have wanted, so much better than they could ever have hoped.