Chapter 13: The final stage - Battle against Ultron
~.~ ~.~ ~.~
Thank you to all my readers and especially YazminBT, augustintodarkness, Wanessa, ZippyLove Zireal08, Hulk223, WisdomSea, cbelfon, Joel, LyHy, Will and Guests for the wonderful reviews.
It's been ages since my last update and I'm truly sorry for that. I've been busy in other fandoms since Infinity War.
But I just couldn't leave the fanfic unfinished. I didn't have the motivation to follow my Marvel related fandom ideas after a few of the phase 3 movies. I wanted to warm up to this pairing but I'm sure that in case I ever decide to watch Endgame I'll give up on it entirely.
After what I've heard from others Endgame would break my heart and kill all motivation to continue with any of the pairings I like. So I decided not to view it for now.
But I still hope to get this story done. Sorry for skipping most battle scenes of AoU, never been good at doing it, so I won't even try. Tried to make it as smooth as possible. After this there will be one, maybe two more chapters, possibly an epilogue to resolve Bruce's fears concerning the Hulk if you want.
And of course as a daddy in action.
I rewrote a lot of the actual movie quotes to give it a second meaning concerning the Hulk offspring. I hope you won't hate me for it.
No beta or second read through. I'll get to the mistakes when I know the story is of interest to anyone.
~.~ ~.~ ~.~
Staying away from the line of attack had left the soon-to-be mother without aid or defense when the robots came to take her. Natasha's next conscious thought was how dark and cold and damp everything felt. She grimaced and tried to shift but her strength dwindled too quickly. So she tried to get a clear assessment of her surroundings. Where was she? A cavern? A prison? Machinery?
There was a noise, footsteps but too heavy to be of a human. It reminded her of Iron Man. Was Tony…? No...
Ultron was standing right there in front of her and the only option she had to protect the lives inside of her was to sling her arms around her belly. He gave her something that could be interpreted as a smile. "I wasn't sure you'd wake up. I hoped you would, I wanted to show you."
With desperate movements she tried to avoid his touch.
There was a glimmer of hope in his mangled features she couldn't quite interpret. "I don't have anyone else. These machines are building themselves, similar to you women and your babies. Putting them together, making them grow." He tried to get closer again. "I think a lot about the babies you are carrying, the purity of them." He balled his hand into a fist. "And one day, they are ready to begin their new life. Why were you so adamant to keep them when you know they'll be your demise?" He seemed confused.
Natasha felt a chill running down her spine at these words. "They are… beautiful."
Ultron continued. "I was meant to be new. I was meant to be beautiful. The world would've looked to the sky and seen hope, seen mercy. Instead they'll look up in horror because of you." He stepped closer again, showing anger and boiling frustration. "You've wounded me. I give you full marks for that. But, like the man said, What doesn't kill me...just makes me stronger!"
Natasha watched in horror as he destroyed one of his drones. A new, bulkier version of him appearing behind the pile of metal.
As if nothing had happened the monster continued. "I want humankind to evolve. To reach the next step. And you... " His eyes were fixed on her belly, looking at the movements within her curiously. "You are closer than anyone else. But I think you aren't trying hard enough."
One of his clones appeared, carrying Natasha's bag in his hand.
"What are you doing?" She knew she needed what was in there. If they took it away…
"Helping you try harder." He pulled the injections out and looked at them disapprovingly. "That only covers the basics." He threw the vials away, the glass shattering, liquid spilling over the floor. "I have something better."
"No…" Tears welled up in her eyes before she could stop them.
More robots came with a table of supplies and a machine. "You took away my vision. Now I'll take yours."
Natasha knew it was futile in her state but fought against the robots holding her down. "Please, not my babies."
"If you want all of them to survive, you will do as I say." His thread held an even darker meaning.
~.~ ~.~ ~.~ ~.~ ~.~
Natasha tried not to think about the dull pain in her abdomen while she put together a makeshift radio to get into contact with the others. She used simple morse code to transmit her message to Hawkeye. "Let's pray Uncle Clint is listening… We'll get out of here, my little ones." She could only hope that they'd find her in time.
And her prayers were answered only a short while later.
"Natasha! Natasha!" Her lover's voice rang through the caverns.
"Bruce?" She fought hard to get into an upright position while the pain in her back got worse despite the adrenaline flooding her system.
"You all right?" He scanned her quickly with his eyes while clinging to the bars keeping her imprisoned.
"Yeah." She leaned in close, enjoying his scent, so male and capable and safe. With him at her side nothing was impossible.
Once he was sure she didn't have any fatal injuries he told her about the situation. "The team's in the city, it's about to light up."
She raised a cocky eyebrow. "I don't suppose you found a key lying around somewhere?"
"Yeah. I did." He showed her the gun secured on the strap around his shoulder.
She took shelter behind the wall as he shot the lock open. With a glad sob Natasha fell into his arms but regained her composure quickly afterwards. "So what's our play?"
He appeared confused, looking at her belly that was even more prominent than ever. Had their calculation been incorrect? She shouldn't be this far along already. "I'm here to get you to safety."
"Job's not finished." What good would it do if they saved their asses right now only to lose the world a few hours later?
"We can help with the evacuation, but I can't be in a fight near civilians. And you've done plenty. Our fight is over." He gently caressed her cheek before giving her a kiss on the forehead.
"So we just disappear?" She wouldn't budge. Holding his gaze she watched the shift inside of him, the determination.
"Come on." Banner took her hand and lead her outside. He wouldn't allow her to engage in the battle but making her see this as the only viable solution, well… easier said than done.
Natasha suppressed a groan and came to a halt. "Just give me a minute to catch my breath."
He followed her command instantly. Getting her heart rate up might wake the other side in the children so they had to be careful. "Are they okay? Did the serum work?"
"I couldn't use much of it. Ultron destroyed the vials and gave me something of his own creation. Don't know how it affected them. He only said that it was… the only option for them to survive." She admitted.
"What?!" His eyes scanned her belly more closely. God, she had grown much, almost… "We gotta move." He had to keep her calm and away from the danger. And they needed medical equipment.
"You're not going to turn green?" Her voice came in short gasps by now.
„I've got a compelling reason to not lose my cool." He looked down at her and touched her huge belly gently.
„I adore you." She kissed him with all love she could muster in a moment like that while the pain in her back grew fierce enough to make her blackout for a second. „And my water just broke."
He leaned backwards, disbelief in his eyes. Yes, she had grown a lot, but they were clearly preterm, way too young to survive outside of the womb. Although… if she suffered distress and the kids transformed, therefore growing faster… Oh shit...
„But..." She groaned and almost went to her knees while he looked at her in total shock, still staying human. „I need the other guy." With one hand she gripped her stomach, with the other she pushed him over the edge.
Hulk soared back out from the pit and growled at her angrily.
Natasha merely gave him a small smile. The contraction had passed for the moment. "Let's finish the job."
He very carefully cradled her in his arms before leaping up.
She screamed, not only because of the height and distance that put some severe Gs on her, but also the way her body responded to it. Her head was spinning and the pain in her back grew worse again. Crap… Why now?!
The Hulk tried to soften their landing as much as he could before gently setting her down again.
Natasha groaned in agony and knew how this must appear in the Hulk's eyes but she couldn't help it. Once she was able to breathe again she fought herself to her feet and joked. "I really hope this makes us even."
He grunted in response.
„Now go be a hero. I have two babies to give birth to." The main priority was to find Tony who could get her to safe medical help the fastest in this backwater area.
~.~ ~.~ ~.~ ~.~ ~.~
Her contractions had become a regular happening, quite predictable. So with Steve's help she could keep herself and the babies safe despite the onslaught of Ultron's drones.
Now it was clear. Her children would never even be born at all. They were minutes away from a calamity descending onto the world. Not even Ironman could bring her to safety now. So this was her last chance to enjoy being alive, to have had all those dreams almost coming true.
"Where else am I gonna get a view like this?" She said with a weary smile.
"Glad you like the view, Romanoff. It's about to get better." Fury's voice sounded over there earpieces. "Nice, right? I pulled her out of mothballs with a couple of old friends. She's dusty, but she'll do."
Natasha couldn't contain a sob.
"Fury, you son of a bitch." Steve shook his head at the absurdity of the helicarrier suddenly appearing between the clouds.
"Oooh! You kiss your mother with that mouth?" The director reprimanded him before turning serious again. "Tasha, you okay? I got Cho on my ship. She's setting everything up to make sure you and the babies are safe. One of our transport vessels will get you over here."
Natasha took a deep breath and wiped away a tear of relief. "I've got some things to do here. I can't leave the Hulk on his own in this mess."
"But your kids require our utmost attention right now. Banner can take care of himself." Fury tried to argue but was interrupted by his former right hand.
"And I need Bruce to get through this. The kids don't seem to be in much of a hurry. I've got a few minutes." With gritted teeth she added in her mind. 'Or possibly hours…'
~.~ ~.~ ~.~ ~.~ ~.~
"Romanoff? You and Banner better not be playing hide the zucchini." Tony joked at them.
At that moment Natasha remembered why she hated the engineer's attitude and speech pattern. So she responded in kind. „No, we are already past that. Actually, we have reached the point to plug the ripe fruit."
Natasha went down to her knees again, her hands clinging to a broken railing. „The babies are coming."
„You could not have found a better moment." Tony's voice was dripping with irony.
„I am not the one who gave them these 'inappropriate-timing'-genes." She managed to answer before all she could do was scream.
„But it's too early!" Clint shouted at into the comm.
Natasha shook her head, gasping for breath. „No, not after what Ultron did to me. They can survive, but... we will need some assistance. I need Bruce."
~.~ ~.~ ~.~ ~.~ ~.~
The Maximoff girl was guarding the drill and all the other Avengers were caught up either in fighting the bots or saving the civilians. Barton had chosen to use a car to get Natasha across the battlefield. They were trying to find the Hulk somewhere in all this panic and debris.
"Please, distract me, Clint. I can't... If I get too stressed, I will..." She doubled over in pain once more.
It took him only a blink and all his willpower to open his mouth, trying to manage a smile. "I know what I need to do. The dining room! If I knock out that east wall, it'll make a nice work space for Laura, huh. Put up some baffling, she can't hear the kids running around, what do you think?"
"You guys always eat in the kitchen anyway." Thinking about the calm environment of the Barton farm really helped her.
"No one eats in a dining room." Clint agreed as they finally reached the Hulk who groaned at the enemies around them angrily.
Natasha swallowed. In his state it would be difficult to talk him down.
"We don't have a lot of time." Barton said through gritted teeth.
Natasha motioned towards the helicarrier. "So get your ass on a boat." She could see how much he fought against the idea.
"I'll stay." The archer vowed.
This would either complicate things or be her only way out. If she couldn't calm down the Hulk, Barton might be able to get her to SHIELD's medical team, which surely included Helen. Alright… Main objective: Getting Bruce to change back. "Hey big guy." She said while walking towards him, her hand outstretched. "Sun's getting real low."
The Hulk raged again, not even listening to her and ripping apart a car with his mere fists.
Okay, different approach. The other guy knew about the kids. By now she had understood why he had cradled her belly when they fell asleep together. „Please, I need Bruce to help me with the babies. Stark is occupied and you are the only one..." She heard a sound behind her before the Hulk's hand crashed into her body, pushing her away so forcefully that she flew into the nearest wall, hitting her head hard.
„Natasha? Oh, my god." Clint ran towards her, holding her carefully while she regained conscience.
The first thing she saw was the Hulk's terrified expression as he stared at her. She almost wanted to laugh. Whenever the Hulk tried to save her, he only made it worse. Poor silly thing.
„Nat, are you alright?" Barton wanted to know.
„Yes, it's okay. Just a concussion, not noteworthy with physiology." She tried to get to her feet again before another powerful contraction hit her. No, this was not... The Black Widow looked down between her legs, a pool of blood forming down there. Fear gripped her even harder than the labor.
Clint saw it too. „We need to get you to a doctor!"
„I will lose them," she said between the sobs. It was all so surreal. She was scared, alone and powerless against these odds. For once, she had no plan at hand. Terror made her heart beat faster.
„You won't. We will find a way, we..." As Hawkeye looked into her eyes again, they started to turn into green glowing orbs. „Oh my..."
The next moment Natasha was blinded by the fierce agony of her belly stretching to its limits while the babies kicked inside her wildly. She pulled her catsuit down, looking at the bruises that were forming on her skin while the children made her body swell in size.
"They're changing!" He pushed a button on his comm. "Stark, we have a code green on Natasha. We need some help here. The babies are transforming and I have no idea what to do now." He had been there with Laura for one of their children, and he had been scared to death by her suffering. But back then they had assistance and it hadn't been the first time for Laura, so she had been a better comfort for him than he had been for her. Right now, Natasha needed him and he had no clue how to aid her.
Next to them the Hulk was still fighting of the robots, trying to protect his family in the only way he could, with destruction.
"I'm sending you Vision. He will know what to do. I am kind of busy right now. What about Bruce anyway?"
"He is still transformed and Natasha couldn't talk him down because we are constantly being attacked," Clint answered with gritted teeth.
"We're working on it." Was Tony's last reply while Hawkeye saw something flying past them before it set down a few feet away.
~.~ ~.~ ~.~
The next chapter is going to be a bit… much. But I can promise you a happy ending ^^
Do you want me to finish this fanfic? I know I haven't updated in ages but I just couldn't leave this work on never-ending hiatus.
(And I want to write Bruce acting all awesome daddy styled.)
Edit: After the first review by DarylDixon'sLover and our quick PM talk: You may be right. I just jumped on the Brutasha train. If more people think the way you do I might delete the story entirely. If people don't like the pairing there doesn't have to be such a fanfic out there.