Finally, May We Present...
Title: Finally, May We Present…
Disclaimer: We don't own anything belonging to MARVEL and we're not making any money from this fic
Summary: 51st in the Redeeming Grant series.
Authors: Hope1iz and Cat2000
Warning(s): Spanking – also for cathartic purposes and maintenance purposes; AU; violence; some descriptions of torture
Valkyrie slowly began to stir, her body stiffening as she remembered what had happened and realized she had no idea where she was or how she'd got there. The machines monitoring her began to give off tiny alarms as her stress registered.
Natasha had stayed by her side and as soon as the machines began beeping, she was awake and alert, moving to check on the woman and asking Friday to alert Bruce. "How are you feeling?" she asked.
Valkyrie jerked as Natasha's voice registered, but the words were filtered through a groggy haze and she didn't understand. "Wh... where... wh… who...?" she croaked out, shying away from Natasha uncertainly.
Bruce had arrived by then. "...You are in a safe place..." he quickly tried to reassure. "We found you in your pod... you crashed onto our home... or at least the land from it..." He pointed toward Natasha. "She's Natasha. I'm Bruce."
Natasha glanced at Valkyrie, concerned, and then looked at Bruce before addressing the woman. "You're on Earth. Midgard, I think you know it as. You've already woken up once... Odin is here," she added, wondering if calling her uncle back might make Valkyrie feel more at ease.
"Odin is here?" Valkyrie sounded a combination of skeptical and hopeful.
Natasha nodded. "Friday, would you ask Odin to return?" she requested of the AI.
"Yes, Miss Natasha. It has been done..." Friday answered.
Valkyrie did not look relieved at hearing the voice. In fact, she looked more upset; almost scared. "Midgard was not this advanced. This cannot be Midgard!"
Natasha moved a bit closer to the woman, though she didn't try to touch her. "You don't have to be afraid or worried," she said soothingly. "This is Midgard. You woke up here earlier and spoke to both me and Odin. You were fleeing from Thanos. Do you remember that?"
The woman looked terrified at the mention of Thanos. "Thanos! He did not follow me through? Of course, he didn't..." She answered her own question. "...We would be dead if he had..." She sunk into the bed. "He will come. He will and if we fail to stop him..." Her energy flagged suddenly. She darted an accusing, questioning look toward Bruce.
Bruce smiled sympathetically in apology. "You were becoming overexcited. And you are having short term memory loss because of your accident." At least he hoped it was short term. "You need to stay calm, so I gave you a light sedative. Our scans indicate you should be able to move around, though, as-long-as you take it easy. If our uncle Odin agrees." Only Odin or Bryce could truly know if she'd be dangerous to have running around.
"You're safe here," Natasha reiterated. "No one's going to harm you."
Having received the message from Friday, Odin knocked to announce his presence and then walked into the healing room.
"All-father..." Valkyrie slumped in relief at knowing they had told her the truth. The fact he could also approve her getting out of the bed and into some less flimsy clothing also occurred to her.
Odin moved over to the bed. "How are you feeling?"
"Confused..." Valkyrie admitted. "My head hurts a little. Other than that, I'm fine. Can I get my armor back? I need to fight if he shows up..." She sounded more upset at being vulnerable if Thanos arrived than the news that she was having short term memory problems.
"We'll have advance warning if he does show up," Natasha said. "There's an AI keeping watch on the outside of the planet."
Valkyrie looked surprised at that. "Midgard has advanced so far?"
"We have here," Natasha answered. "You will be safe. I promise."
Valkyrie glanced at Odin, as if to confirm Natasha's words, but she was already relaxing, sensing that the other woman wasn't lying. As distrustful as she could be, she was too tired to expend the normal energy required to be suspicious and if Odin seemed like he felt it was safe, which he did, then she could let down her guard and rest. "Am I allowed to leave your healer's rooms?" she asked the room at large, not certain who would make the final decision on her health.
"I think you should be able to, but I'd like Bryce to make the final decision, as he is more familiar with how you should be responding to things," Bruce said quietly. "I'll go get him." He quickly left her bedside to go hunt for the Asgardian healer.
"You live on Midgard now, All-father?" Valkyrie asked uncertainly, afraid she might have asked him that question already and not remembering...she didn't want to offend him by seeming as if she didn't listen to his responses the first time.
Odin nodded, moving a bit closer to the bed in the hopes that he could better reassure her. "My children are here. So are the rest of my family."
"We've all formed a family here," Natasha said. "You've only seen a small amount of the residents so far, but the compound is fairly big."
Valkyrie blinked. "Is it just the family here or are you like a miniature city?" she asked, in some confusion. She really didn't remember seeing much of anything before the crash, too focused on making certain she landed the pod in a way that would let her live.
"There are people who work here who are on the upper levels," Natasha answered. "The family rooms are below ground."
"Ah... so sort of a..." She paused, trying to think of a word, but unable to do so. Sighing, she said, "It seems to work for you all, at least. And I admit I feel more at ease than I have in a while... Still. I can't stay here." She began to get out of the bed, despite not being told she was allowed yet and the fact she still hadn't got what she'd consider adequate clothing. If 'he' had followed her through the portal somehow, she would lead him right to this group of people, including her king, and she didn't want to be responsible for that. She needed to put distance between them so that if 'he' found her, they wouldn't be hurt as well.
"I understand how you feel, but leaving isn't the best idea," Natasha said, standing up. "Here is perhaps the safest place you can probably be."
"There are a lot of protections here." Odin nodded. "You don't need to leave."
At that moment, Bryce walked into the room.
Valkyrie didn't argue with them; she didn't think they understood exactly how dangerous Thanos was and what would happen if his attention fell on them, but she noticeably didn't agree either. She quickly glanced toward Bryce when he walked in, giving him a sheepish look at the fact she'd already got out of the bed and removed the monitoring equipment.
Bryce raised his eyebrows at seeing Valkyrie on her feet, but didn't scold her for it, as he figured it wasn't really his place. Instead, he said, "Please sit down so I can check you over."
Valkyrie looked as if she wanted to protest, but then thought better of it and hopped back up onto the bed. "I feel much better..." she said hopefully.
"Let me judge that, as you are definitely suffering from short term memory loss, at least." Bryce moved over to begin checking her over.
Valkyrie slumped at those words, looking like a dejected five-year-old. She knew he was right and that bothered her more than she could admit.
Bryce was as thorough as possible in his examination before he finally straightened up. "I can let you leave the room, but you need to be careful. No over-exerting yourself."
"I'll stick with her," Natasha offered. "That way, if anything happens, I can bring you back here," she added to Valkyrie.
Valkyrie was just so relieved to be allowed out of the healing rooms that she didn't argue. "Thank you..." she said to Bryce and Natasha both. She would figure out how to sneak away so that Thanos didn't find her with them later. Once she felt more certain of where she was and if she would remember what she needed to do.
"I'll show you around," Natasha offered. "You'll probably see more members of the family too."
"Alright..." Valkyrie easily agreed. She didn't figure it would take long to meet the family, despite them saying it was large. How large could it possibly be? She'd only seen Natasha, Odin and Bruce. She didn't get the idea Bryce considered himself a part of the family. She got to her feet again. "Did any of my clothing survive the crash?" She looked down at the flimsy gown she still wore, not wanting to walk around so vulnerable, even if she was in a supposedly safe place.
"I don't believe so, but we're of a similar size and build," Natasha said. "If you'd like, you can borrow some of my clothes until we can get you some new ones."
"Thank you..." Valkyrie gave a tiny smile toward Natasha. "I appreciate it. I feel... exposed... in this..." She motioned toward the hospital gown.
"I completely understand." Natasha walked to the door, keeping her steps slow so that Valkyrie could walk easily next to her.
Valkyrie appreciated that while Natasha was obviously walking slower for her benefit, she wasn't hovering or drawing attention to the fact Valkyrie was moving slowly. The further she walked, the stronger her legs felt, and she was able to begin walking at a more normal, if still slow, pace. She had no clue where Natasha was leading her but wasn't too stressed about it. At least it wasn't a healing room.
Natasha led Valkyrie to her own room and stepped inside, holding the door for her. She then walked over to find some clothes for her. "You're in a safe place here," she said.
"I... I'm starting to feel safer. But it won't be safe for long if Thanos followed me here. I'd rather not put you and your family at risk by staying too long..." Valkyrie admitted.
"We've been at risk before," Natasha said. "You've only met a small amount of the family we have here. Even those without super abilities have had a huge amount of training."
"That's good. You'll need the training..." Valkyrie said firmly. She took the clothes Natasha handed to her and quickly shucked the hospital gown, pulling on the clothing. "Thanks again..." She motioned to herself once she was fully dressed again. She'd noticeably relaxed once she felt less exposed.
"No problem." Natasha smiled. "Now that you're more comfortable, we can continue the tour."
Valkyrie smiled back. "Lead the way..." She waited for Natasha to indicate where she should go next.
Natasha headed out of the room, walking with Valkyrie to show her around the compound.
Kara woke up a little later than usual, her body needing more sleep because it was growing so much, so fast. She grinned as she saw her youngest brother peering at her over their father's chest, the older man apparently still asleep. She impishly held a finger up to her lips to caution Gabe to be quiet and then carefully extricated herself from her father's arms and crawled off the bed, bringing Gabe's chair around to the other side so he could get into it. She signed to him that she wanted to bring her father breakfast in bed, so they had to be very quiet, so they didn't wake him.
Gabe grinned at her and signed back, 'Okay,' even though he knew Fury had woken as soon as he'd felt Kara move. He didn't have the heart to spoil his sister's surprise. He tried to figure out a way to let their dad know so that he would stay in bed and 'pretend' without cluing Kara into the fact their father was awake.
Fury was well aware of the fact his children were awake, but as they were trying to be quiet, he didn't move or otherwise indicate that he was awake, keeping his eyes closed.
Gabe motioned for Kara to go ahead of him; that he'd be behind once he'd gotten into his chair.
Not suspecting anything, Kara quickly slipped out the door.
Waiting a few moments for his sister to be out of earshot, Gabe whispered to his father, "She wants to surprise you with breakfast in bed, so please don't get up after I leave... even though I know you're awake..."
Fury gently squeezed his son's hand. "Don't worry," he murmured reassuringly.
"Thanks, dad..." Gabe whispered, before maneuvering himself into his chair and wheeling out after Kara so that she wouldn't come back looking for him.
Kara was in the kitchen pulling out ingredients to make an omelet. "Do you think they'll let me cook? Even though I'm not full size yet?" she suddenly asked, worried.
"I think as long as you have someone supervising, they won't mind. But if you want, I can ask one of our uncles. I know I saw a few of them up and about..." Gabe offered.
"Please?" Kara bit her lip and gave him a hopeful smile. "I don't wanna accidently get into trouble or worry daddy..." she admitted.
Gabe nodded. "Probably a wise thing. I'll go see who's in the family room that won't mind coming in and watching." He quickly rolled out to seek an 'adult' to supervise.
Remy had got up reasonably early and was heading to the kitchen with the intention of grabbing a drink. He smiled when he saw Gabe leaving the area he was headed to. "Morning."
Gabe grinned. "Uncle Remy! Can you please come help? Kara wants to make dad breakfast in bed, but we aren't sure he'd like her to do it unsupervised, since she's still a pip-squeak..." he said, with a grin.
"Of course. I was going to the kitchen myself anyway." Remy walked alongside Gabe back into the kitchen.
"Kara! Uncle Remy is going to help..." Gabe smiled brightly at his sister. "What do you want me to do?"
Kara grinned at Remy and threw her arms around him in excitement. "Yay! Thank you! You can cut the fruit, Gabe..." She glanced at her uncle. "I'll cut the vegetables and then I can make the omelet. I can make you one too, Uncle Remy! Since you're helping watch me..." She shuffled her feet almost bashfully.
Remy smiled at her. "I'd like that very much," he said. "Would you like me to help with anything?"
"No, thank you!" Kara gave him a beaming smile. "Just... let me know if I'm doing something that might be dangerous...? I'm trying to behave!" she said, with a quick and emphatic nod, as she began to carefully cut the vegetables she planned to put into the omelets.
"Of course," Remy replied, moving so he could see her clearly.
Kara began chattering away to her brother and uncle as she made enough omelets for her father, her uncle, all her brothers, plus at least six extra in case someone was really hungry.
Gabe listened in amusement, happy to see his little sister in such a good mood.
For a change, Skye had actually woken up fairly early. Checking in with her brother and sister, the three of them headed to their mother's room. Skye knocked lightly on the door.
May had already got up and taken a shower. She was sitting on her bed, combing her hair when she heard the knocking. "Come in," she called out, glancing toward the door.
Skye opened the door and stepped inside, waving her brother and sister in after her. "Morning, Mom. Did you want to get breakfast with us?"
"I would love to get breakfast with you. Are you ready to go now?" she asked, as she finished brushing her hair and put the brush back in its preferred spot.
"Yeah." Danny gave a quick grin, glancing at his other sister. "We're all ready. Right?"
"Then lead the way!" May smiled and motioned her children towards the door.
Danny, Hope and Skye began heading out of the room, walking with their mother towards the kitchen.
"I smell omelets. Now I think I know what I want for breakfast..." May said, wrinkling her nose playfully and sniffing.
Danny grinned. "Seems a good choice to me," he commented, wrapping an arm each around his sisters' shoulders.
"Great! You can cook them!" May said with a teasing grin.
"Sure. I can cook." Danny's grin widened as he headed into the kitchen with his mother and sisters and saw Kara, Gabe and Remy already there. "Morning."
Kara grinned over at her aunt and cousins. "Morning! I'm almost done here, if you want the stove!" she said perkily, plating the last of the omelets, before turning off the heat and moving her dirty utensils into the sink to clean later. She put a plate in front of Remy and in front of Gabe, asked Friday to let her brothers know that they had omelets waiting for them and then fixed a tray with an omelet, fruit, juice, toast and coffee for her father that she then began to carefully carry back to his room.
Gabe smiled. "You need help, Kar-bear?"
"I gots it!" Kara called back, still carefully balancing the tray and walking slow.
Danny grinned at his tiny cousin and moved over to use the stove to make omelets for his family, checking with them what they'd like.
Kara got to the door to her father's room and realized she couldn't open it. Biting her lip, she glanced around to see if anyone was near enough to help.
Leo had been making his way towards the kitchen, planning to get some food together for his father and siblings. Spotting Kara with the tray, he quickly moved to open the door for her.
Kara gave Leo a huge grin. "Thank you!" she said, slipping into the door and beginning her long, careful walk to her father, who was still in bed.
Fury didn't stir, though he was very aware of his daughter's approach...ready to 'wake' and help her if she needed it.
Kara heard the click of the door behind her and relaxed. She wouldn't have to run back and close it. Instead, she could focus on finding a place to put the tray where it wouldn't tip when her father sat up. "Daddy?" she finally whispered to 'wake' him.
Now that he'd been given 'permission', Fury opened his eyes to look at his daughter. "Good morning." He reached out to stroke her cheek.
Kara grinned widely at her father. "Good morning!" She slanted her face into his hand before kissing his palm. "I made you breakfast!" she proclaimed, with a mixture of excitement and pride. "Uncle Remy watched to make sure I didn't do anything I shouldn't..." she added, so that he wouldn't worry about her possibly hurting herself in the kitchen.
"I'm glad to hear that. And the breakfast looks really good." Fury moved into a sitting position and patted the bed next to him.
Kara carefully placed the tray on her father's lap before gingerly crawling up to sit beside him. "I hope it's good..." She smiled and waited for him to take his first bite.
Fury wrapped his arm around Kara's waist, drawing her closer, and began to eat. "It's good." He smiled at her.
Kara snuggled close. "I'm glad. I love you, daddy..."
"I love you too." Fury kissed her head, continuing to cuddle as he ate, making sure she could help herself to anything from his plate if she was hungry.
Kara hadn't really thought ahead to bringing a plate for herself; and probably would have had difficulty carrying it if she'd tried to put one more item onto the tray, but she had put enough food on her father's plate for three people, so when he gently nudged her to eat with him, she didn't argue, daintily picking up pieces of fruit with her fingers, since she'd forgotten to bring more than one set of silverware.
Fury made sure his daughter was able to eat the food, sharing his fork with her to make sure she could also eat some of the hot food, too.
It didn't take much for Kara to feel satisfied, so she just snuggled against her father while he finished eating.
Quill walked into the kitchen and noticed Danny cooking for his sisters and mother and all of Fury's kids, sans Fury and Kara, eating omelets. He wrinkled his nose. "Is Luis off this morning?" he asked curiously; mainly because if Luis was off, then he'd have to figure out what to eat, since he wasn't terribly adept at cooking food without causing small fires or possible poisoning incidents.
Danny shrugged. "I guess so. You want an omelet? I can make some extra."
"That'd be great man! Thanks!" Quill gave Danny a happily relieved look at the fact he wouldn't need to cook anything.
"Your dads and brother likely to want any too?" Danny asked, as he added in the extra eggs.
"I think they probably will..." Peter said, with a slant of his head. "I haven't seen them yet this morning, but they'll probably be hungry..."
Danny nodded. "Why don't you go and see if they're awake? By the time you've done that, breakfast should be ready."
"Okay! Thanks, Danny!" Quill grinned brightly and ran back toward his fathers' and brother's rooms.
Yondu was already awake and dressed, heading out of his room in time to see Quill running towards the rooms. "Hey, kid. What's the rush?"
"Danny's making us omelets!" he blurted, before banging on Kraglin's door.
Kraglin didn't take long to open the door- dressed and ready to go as well. "What'n the world, Petey?! Ya don't hafta break in my door!" He laughed.
"Food!" was all Peter said, before heading to Drax's door.
As Drax stepped out into the corridor, he looked at his youngest son. "Have you eaten sugar?" he asked.
Yondu snorted. "More'n likely, just teenage enthusiasm. Nice ta see it return." He slung an arm around Peter's shoulders and did the same to Kraglin.
"Yeah! Smells like Teen Spirit!" Peter pumped his fist in the air, before running ahead again to let Danny know the others were on their way.
Kraglin shook his head. "Teen Spirit? What the heck is he talkin 'bout?" He glanced between Yondu and Drax, his face the picture of confusion.
"It's a song by a group called Nirvana. 90's grunge. He's been catching up on all the music he missed while he wasn't on Earth..." Darcy had stepped out of her room just in time to have Peter rush past her and hear Kraglin's question.
Yondu grunted. "Kid's always been obsessed with Terran music." He kept his arm around Kraglin's shoulders as he headed towards the kitchen, Drax walking on the other side of Kraglin.
"Oh, I discovered that. And he is soooo much fun to give new music to! I mean, we went through my entire iPod and now I'm having to find music that I haven't listened to in years to try and introduce him to new songs!" Darcy enthused, perfectly happy that one person in the family was obsessed with music.
Kraglin snortled. "I'm sure he appreciates you just as much..." He grinned. By this point they had reached the dining area in time to see Peter helping Danny plate all the omelets Danny had made, passing them out to May, Hope, Skye and then putting them in front of empty seats so that his fathers and brother could eat as well as Danny and him.
It didn't take long for Yondu and Drax to sit with their sons and begin eating. More members of the family filtered in, drawn by the smell of food cooking and starting to cook their own food, whether to eat it in the dining area or to take it back to their own family rooms.
Quill had finished eating before any of the rest of his family and had spent the remaining time watching other family members, noticing how nearly all the de-aged kids were snuggled up to a parent (except him) and some going so far as to sit on said parent's lap (Bobbi and the new kid, Kaine). He found himself getting anxious, restless and more than a bit jealous. Which he knew was stupid. If he wanted to hug his fathers, neither of them would stop him. But something made him hold back, unable to show that he needed their affection while in public. Because he couldn't bring himself to do what he wanted to do, he found himself doing things he shouldn't do. Things such as harassing his brother Kraglin. "Someone really needs to take you shopping...or at least show you how to order stuff online..." he muttered to his brother. "You're dressed like a hobo!"
Kraglin gave his brother a slightly confused and suspicious look. Confused because he needed to ask someone what a hobo was; suspicious because Peter wasn't usually mean to him unless he was looking for a certain type of attention. He frowned and didn't respond. He didn't want to encourage misbehavior.
"Hey." Yondu leaned over, clasping Peter gently on the shoulder. "There ain't no need to take that tone, boy," he said warningly.
"What tone? I ain't got no tone!" Quill said, in a tone that was defiant for all it sounded mild... as if he were deliberately trying to rile his father.
Yondu gripped a fraction tighter, almost in warning. "I got no problem taking ya over my knee, kid," he said... because he didn't just spring a spanking on his son. Even when it looked like Quill was deliberately pushing for one.
Quill glanced around the nearly full room and huffed, yanking free and standing up in one motion. "Would have to catch me first, old man...!" His tone was snarky, bordering on snide and he began to walk away, as if he didn't care what anyone said or did, but he still kept a wary eye on Yondu. His father was wily, and Peter had no intention of being caught and upended in the dining room.
Kraglin sighed silently and began gathering his family's dirty dishes so he could wash them. He whispered, "Here we go again," to Drax as he took the larger man's empty plate. Peter had gone through this particular scenario so many times when a teen on the Eclector.
Drax glanced at his older son with a hint of confusion. "This is normal?" He'd had yet to see this type of behaviour from Quilll.
Expecting his youngest to move, Yondu was quick to stand and grab Quilll once more, drawing the boy close to him with a hand on his shoulder and giving him a firm swat.
"Ow! Daaaad!" Quil said, in an affronted tone, even though his face was anything but surprised. He jerked free and backed up several steps before turning and running out of the dining hall.
Kraglin nodded at Drax. "Oh yeah. It were common on the Eclector the first time Petey was a teen..."
Yondu didn't bother running after Quill, even though he did walk out of the room. Instead, he checked in with Friday on his son's whereabouts, so he could figure out where Quill was going and head him off at the pass.
"Why?" Drax asked in confusion.
"Peter would say it was because he was tired of being treated like a baby and wanted to be a full-on Ravager and go on the same jobs as everyone else..." Kraglin snorted softly. "...Thing is, he pretty much was already goin on all the same jobs as all the adult Ravagers... Yondu only ever limited him in areas where his being a teenager drew the wrong kinda attention. He'd never admit it, but I think he wuz jus lookin for attention that Yondu didn't feel able to give with all the Ravagers around, cept when they wuz alone after Peter'd got his self in trouble..." Kraglin's voice had dropped considerably, so only Drax could hear him clearly.
Peter didn't have a clue where to run to; he knew that wherever he went, he had to avoid all of the other family. His cousins would tell on him and his aunts and uncles would hold him in place till his dad got him. He grinned as an idea popped into his head. Yondu would never expect him to be hiding in his father's room. That'd be the last place he'd normally go if he was trying to avoid going over Yondu's knee. He quickly slipped into Yondu's room and then hid in the closet.
Friday was quick to relay his location to Yondu, not bothering to keep anyone else from hearing, other than Quill. "Your son has apparently decided the best place to hide from you is in your bedroom closet, Master Yondu..." she reported, with what sounded like amusement in her tone.
Kara giggled. "He soooo chose the wrong hiding spot!" She grinned.
Yondu grunted out a thanks to the AI and wasted no time in heading to his own room, opening the door and striding towards the closet. No sooner did he have it open than he was reaching inside, grabbing Quill by the collar and hauling him out.
Peter's eyes widened, and he nearly shrieked as one minute, he was hiding in the dark and the next, his father had pulled him out into the open to face him. He looked confused for a moment, before realization dawned and he groaned... "You told on me, Friday?" he said, in a betrayed voice. "I thought you liked me!"
Yondu placed his other hand on Peter's shoulder, gently gripping. "Ya don't run from your daddy, kid," he said seriously, before half-carrying, half-leading Quill towards the bed. Sitting down, he guided his son across his knees.
Peter winced at the words. He did know better than to run from his daddy... it was disrespectful and always dug him in deeper when he did it. "I... I'm sorry?" he said pathetically, even as he reached down and held onto Yondu's ankle with both hands. He didn't bother trying to fight or get away. That would just make things even worse than his running had.
Yondu rested one hand on Quill's lower back, while he proceeded to bare his son with his other, then let his hand rest on his son's bottom. "Ya don't need ter act out for my attention, kid. Not here. Not now." He gently squeezed one of Peter's thighs.
Peter blinked and swallowed hard. "I... I wusn actin out fer attention..." he protested. It might have been believable if his voice hadn't sounded uncertain and hesitant.
Yondu snorted. "Actin' mouthy and antsy right up until I turn ya over my knee, kid. Jus the same as when we was back on the ship." He squeezed Peter's thigh again and then lifted his hand, bringing it down in a firm smack before rubbing the spot he'd just swatted and then repeating the pattern.
Peter let out a tiny yipping sound at the first smack, but found himself relaxing immediately after, the rubbing letting him know that, even if he was in trouble, he was loved and Yondu would take care of him. "I... I jus don't wanna get in bigger trouble... s'why I'm not fighin anymore..." he argued faintly, no heat or vehemence in his words. He didn't really believe them himself. He knew the reason he wasn't acting mouthy or antsy anymore was because his father had just put him in his place, easily, and it was where he wanted to be.
Yondu continued the pattern down to Peter's thighs, swatting and then rubbing, before starting over from the top, this time delivering a couple of swats in a row before rubbing. "Don't need ta pretend otherwise, kid. Only me and you here."
Quill slumped, squeezing Yondu's ankle in response. "...Okay..." he said quietly, meeker than he'd been in several days. It was easy to be mouthy and putting on bravado where everyone else could see, but when it was just him and his daddy, he didn't have to act. Yondu knew him too well. It was better to let his daddy see the real him. And right now, the real him just wanted to be taken care of. Even if that included a butt roasting for a smart mouth.
Completing the second circuit, Yondu rubbed his son's warmed bottom a few moments before he resumed, this time putting a fraction more strength behind the swats... though he kept rubbing after every couple of swats.
Peter couldn't help but whimper as the swats became a bit harder. The sting wasn't fading as quickly now, even with the rubbing in between. He never understood why it always affected him like this, but he found himself relaxing even further over Yondu's knee, becoming more accepting of the punishment and less able to think of reasons why he shouldn't be getting a spanking (not that he'd voiced any of those reasons out loud, but now he was having a hard time thinking of any).
Yondu made sure Peter's body was as supported as it could be, even while he continued to swat and rub, keeping careful control of his strength so that, even smacking his son's backside harder, they were still not at full strength. "I don't need ter hold back from you when there're others around, kid. Yer don't need to misbehave over my knee to get cuddles and comfort."
"I... I know it in ma head..." Peter admitted in a shaky voice. "...S'hard to 'member when I need ya, though. Cuz s'long time ya couldn't let anyone see... could only get cuddles after I'd got spankins..." He sniffled and sighed softly. "...Kinda habit now...actin up till ya hafta handle me..." he admitted, blushing.
"I know, kid." Yondu paused the spanking but kept rubbing his son's bottom and lower back. "But you don't hafta do that now. 'Cause I can hold ya and cuddle ya without it seeming like yer weak to the others."
"...Is it weird th... that I like being over yer knee?" Peter asked hesitantly. "...Not that I wanna spankin, bu... but... it feels safe..." He wasn't sure how to explain himself. That being vulnerable with his father fully in control made him feel safer and less out of control. "...Like if I could jus be over yer knee without spankins... It'd be cool..." He bit his lip.
"It ain't weird, kid. And if ya feel the need to be like this, all you gotta do is ask. Or even jus' come and put yerself over." Yondu continued to gently rub and stroke his son's bottom and down over his thighs.
"Okay, daddy..." By this time, Quill was completely limp over Yondu's knee, only his father's firm grip keeping him from sliding off and onto the floor. "...I'm sorry I was such a naughty brat..." he said. This time, his voice held none of the defiant bravado he'd been displaying before. It was obvious he was truly sorry for the way he'd acted and was repenting the actions. He'd had no reason to treat his family like he had; especially not when all he had to do was go to his father and let him know he was feeling unsettled and needed to be kept close and even held.
"It don't matter how 'naughty' you are, kid," Yondu said, his grip firm and tight on his boy. "It don't matter what happens. I ain't gonna let you go. I ain't gonna stop loving you or wanting ya."
"Cuz yer my daddy..." Quill whispered softly. "...For real and true..." He sniffled quietly.
"Yeah, kid. I'm yer daddy," Yondu stated. "And I ain't never gonna hide that fact. Might mean more trips over my knee, but yer mine. And that ain't never gonna change."
"...Love you, daddy..." Peter said quietly, unshed tears in his voice. He wasn't trying to hide how affected he was by Yondu making it clear his position in Peter's life.
"I love ya, kid," Yondu said seriously. "No matter what happens. You are my son. My boy. And I won't let you go."
Peter relaxed the rest of the way at those words, just lying complacently over his father's knee, sniffling every so often, but not attempting to get away. He seemed perfectly happy to be 'restrained' by Yondu, receiving whatever attention the older man decided he needed.
Yondu didn't continue spanking his son, instead gently rubbing and stroking Quill's bottom and thighs, soothing the traces of warmth he could still feel. "I ain't never letting you go again, boy," he promised. "No matter what happens. Even if ya try to get away from me...I'll jus' come after ya. Bring ya back home. To me."
"Promise?" Quill winced at how young and needy his voice sounded... but it was still hard for him to believe he really was wanted and as much as he wanted to say Yondu's words were enough to ease the doubt he had about himself and if he was wanted, he knew his fathers would need to prove it to him more than a few times.
"Yeah, kid. I promise," Yondu replied. "No matter how many times you end up over my knee."
Peter smiled, squeezing Yondu's ankle again to show he believed him. "...Am I in trouble for being mouthy?" he finally asked softly. He hadn't really been spanked all that long or hard; his father had known what his acting out had been about. Still... he had been mouthy.
"Ye ain't in trouble for needing attention, kid," Yondu said seriously. "Even if ya act out because of that need, yer'll get spanked as much as ya need ter be...but you can lay over my knee like this any time ya need to."
"Okay, daddy..." Unable to do much more than squeeze his father's ankle in response, Peter wrapped his arms around Yondu's leg in an awkward hug, content to remain as he was.
"I got ya, kid," Yondu promised. "And I ain't gonna let ya go. No matter what happens. And no matter what ya need."
Grant had wandered into the kitchen shortly after Quill had taken off running, so he hadn't seen the latest episode of teenage angst and potential melt-down. He looked around at everyone eating omelets and then promptly went to the cupboard and got himself out a bowl, pouring in a huge helping of the most sugary cereal in the cupboard and then putting chocolate milk on it before sitting down next to Drax. "Hey, Krag... Uncle Drax. What's up?" he asked, before stuffing a huge spoonful of the 'sugar-rush waiting to happen' into his mouth.
Krag looked at what he was eating, his eyebrows shooting up. "What in the world are you eating?" he asked, unable to hide his disgust.
Grant frowned. "Lucky Charms!" He wrapped his arms around his bowl protectively and tugged it in closer, as if to keep it from Krag's scrutiny.
Coulson looked towards his son, arm wrapped around Bobbi's waist. "We've got plenty of the cereal...all different kinds of it," he commented.
Drax grunted. "I do not really like so much sugar."
"I eat other healthy stuff..." Grant mumbled, but still took the plate with an omelet on it that Karen handed to him.
Karen smiled at him, ruffling his hair before putting plates in front of her father, brothers and sister, then sat down herself.
Drax had been somewhat quiet since Yondu had gone after Quill and he now turned to his other son. "Peter needs to act out and receive attention. Do you have any similar needs?" he asked, trying to add more to his understanding of both of his sons.
Kraglin's eyebrows went up into his hair and he stuttered. "What? No!" He glanced around the room at all the family within earshot before he scratched his ear sheepishly. "I always was a bit more secure than Petey... poor kid. I was already mostly grown when I became a Ravager and I understood why dad couldn't be outwardly affectionate with me. I knew he showed he cared in other ways. But Petey? He was too young to understand crew dynamics, or that Yondu couldn't show him outward affection; cuz if he had, the crew woulda seen Petey as a weakness of Yondu's and used Petey in bad ways to get to the Cap. Yondu showed he cared in lotsa ways, but being a kid, Petey didn't understand those ways so much. He understood hugs and cuddles and he wasn't getting those on the ship... except when he got in trouble. No one begrudged the captain being affectionate with the welp when he'd got into trouble, cuz they figured it helped calm him down and made sure he didn't give them headaches." Kraglin snorted. "Unfortunately, Petey came to view getting into trouble as the fastest way to get the cuddles he wanted... so... this is what happens..." He shrugged. He wasn't certain if he should be speaking about this in front of the rest of the family; but then, Drax and Yondu never seemed to be all that secretive about how they handled things or when; and Petey never seemed to care who knew his business either. Another side effect of growing up on a space-pirate ship. He doubted Yondu or Peter would care if the rest of the family knew, although he didn't want to make the rest of the family uncomfortable either. He glanced around surreptitiously to make certain no one looked uneasy.
Drax nodded. "So. If Peter needs affection, he will act out and will be disrespectful. And if you need affection, you will just ask or approach for it?" he clarified, heedless of who might be listening.
Kraglin slanted his head, then nodded. "Yep. You got it." He smiled at his father.
May had been listening in quietly and couldn't help but comment. "I don't think he is the only one that seeks out attention in that manner. Hopefully, being here... being surrounded by family... he and all the others will be able to relax and learn that they don't have to act a certain way to get what they need."
"Good." Drax gently patted Kraglin's shoulder.
Coulson smiled slightly at May's comment, but didn't verbally respond, though he couldn't help but hope Bobbi was paying attention to that.
Bobbi was paying attention to it and couldn't help but slink down till she was curled up tightly against her father, hiding her face against his chest. She knew May wasn't specifically referring to her but given how many melt-downs she'd had the last week, anyone would be able to put one and one together and come up with two. She wondered if maybe she didn't owe more than just her father and grandfather apologies.
Coulson kissed her head. "I love you, sweetie," he whispered, stroking her hair.
"Love you too, daddy..." Bobbi mumbled against his chest, kissing him over his heart.
Grant watched his father and sister, a fond smile on his face. "What's the plan for today?" he asked the room at large, to try and get the subject onto a less personal subject for his sister's sake.
"I'm not sure we have any specific plans, as such." After eating breakfast, Fury had carried his breakfast items to the kitchen, bringing Kara with him. Glancing at Pepper, he added, "I'm sure you'll have plenty of offers of help with the wedding planning."
Pepper grinned. "I'm going to need all the help I can get. Even with the guest list being mainly family, there are some people I can't not invite due to their connections to the company... so..."
Kara snuggled close to her father before doubling over and moaning softly. "Ooooow..." She whimpered.
Bruce had been standing nearby and quickly went to his pint-sized cousin and knelt down so that he was at her level. "Is it your tummy?" he asked, wondering if they were about to have an outbreak of flu.
"No..." Kara whimpered again. "It's all of me..." She sniffled and rubbed at her arm and then her leg, before holding her stomach again.
Bruce sighed. "It could be the flu... but it could just as easily be that she's about to go through another growth spurt. I suggest you keep her in bed, resting... and if it gets worse, we'll move her into the medical rooms, so we can keep her monitored." He was talking to his uncle as he said this.
"But I wanted to be with everyone today..." Kara's whine was less petulant and more disappointed.
Fury nodded, unable to hide his concern. "I'll take you to my room." He wrapped his arm around his daughter, squeezing her gently.
"Will you carry me, daddy?" Kara asked, in tiny voice, snuggling into her father.
Gabe watched his 'baby' sister worried. "Will she need any medicine?" he asked Bruce, so his father could take care of Kara.
"I'll give you some pain medicine... it will help her relax, although it's just as likely to cause her to sleep. But it's better than her being in pain," Bruce said. "I'll bring it to your room, Uncle Nick..."
"Thank you." Fury carefully lifted his daughter into his arms and carried her out of the room and towards his own, where he could tuck her into the bed.
Bobbi watched her younger cousin and best friend being carried out and bit her lip. "Is she going to be okay?" she asked, in a worried voice.
Bruce nodded. "She should be fine, but I'll have Friday keep an eye on her so that we can move her into the medical room if necessary. She's just had to do so much growing in such a short amount of time... I'm actually surprised this didn't happen sooner."
"She's probably the only one of us kids that hasn't done something to cause problems or give her dad grief because of what happened..." Jessica said sadly. "...And she's the one that was affected the worst."
"You've all been affected in different ways." Steve gently squeezed Jessica's shoulder. "This was something no one anticipated. Everyone's been trying to make the best of bad situations."
"Some are making the best of it in better ways than others..." Jessica remarked softly. "...How have you managed not to get into more trouble than you have?" She turned toward Grant, her face open and curious. "Other than sneaking out that one time, you haven't done anything you shouldn't..."
Grant blushed at suddenly being the focus of every 'kid' in the room. "I just... whenever I felt anxious or irritable or anything that would have caused me to react badly, I hid out in my room. Or in one of the tree-houses. Until I felt like I could be around people without causing problems. The first time I was a teen... from the time I was fifteen until just before I turned twenty... I was alone, just me and Buddy. And sometimes Garrett, if he decided to pay me a surprise visit. When things get hard to handle, it's easier for me to take Copper and withdraw..." He shrugged, not entirely sure his coping mechanism was overly healthy, but at least it kept him from hurting or bothering anyone else in the family.
"Uncle Phil lets you do that?" Jessica looked surprised.
Grant smiled crookedly. "'Lets' is the wrong word..." he said teasingly. "...He actually allows me to go to my room to be alone, with the caveat that I realize Friday is watching and will inform him if anything happens he needs to know about, immediately. And when he wants to drop in for a visit, I don't try and keep him out."
Coulson smiled at his son. "And I hope that you're aware it goes both ways. That when you need me, I'm always available for you... for any of you," he added, letting his gaze linger on each of his children and grandchildren... including his newest son.
"I think we all know that, Baba... even if we forget sometimes..." Raina smiled at her father.
Jeffrey nodded at his new sister's remark. "We know. We just need to get used to acting like we know..." He spoke for himself, since he had just joined the family and knew it might take him a little bit to get used to going to his father for things. But he also knew he wasn't the only one with that problem.
Grant grinned. "What she said..." He nudged Raina with his shoulder playfully.
"It seems as if that is a normal attitude for this family," T'Challa commented, from where he sat next to his cousin. "To be there for each other, no matter what." He left unsaid that it was an attitude he hoped to adopt; that those he'd brought with him there were those he wanted to keep close and make sure were safe and well. Shuri and Nakia knew how he felt... Everett and Erik, he hoped time would convince them.
Erik glanced at his cousin and thought about how he'd chosen to be there for him, despite his actions against him and the country. "It is a good attitude. I hope to learn it..." he said quietly.
Everett took a sip of his coffee, just watching like the spy he'd once been and likely always would be, at least a little.
T'Challa smiled at Erik. "I believe you are starting to already," he commented. "You allowed me to bring you here." His voice was soft, only carrying to his cousin's ears.
Erik smiled at T'Challa, before glancing at Everett and slanting his head in the other man's direction. "What about him, cousin?" he asked, in just as soft a whisper, so that only T'Challa would hear.
"He is family as well," T'Challa answered, without hesitation. "Though I do not think he has realised this yet." He gently clasped Erik's shoulder. "I imagine I will have to prove it to him as I had to prove it to you."
Erik laughed in amusement at that, grinning when everyone looked at him to see what was so funny. "I look forward to that day, cousin..." was all he said, though the look in his eyes made it clear he believed his cousin was correct in his imaginings.
T'Challa gently squeezed Erik's shoulder. "I am happy to have you here, and in my life, cousin," he stated.
Erik smiled. "I am thankful you did not allow me to do otherwise. I'm happy too."
Everett had been looking at his phone, but at those words, he glanced over at the cousins and smiled. "I'm happy for both of you. Unfortunately," he stood and glanced around all the gathered family members, "I am unable to enjoy the rest of the day with all of you fine folk. I've been called in to a meeting with my superiors. I'm not sure when I'll return, but if the meeting runs late, I may just stay on site and return tomorrow..." He glanced toward Coulson. "Would it be possible for me to borrow one of SHIELD's vehicles, so I can get to my meeting?"
Coulson nodded. "Of course. Any of the vehicles in the garage are available for use," he said.
"If you need any help, you have my number," T'Challa said, looking at the other man.
"I should be fine. It's just a meeting after all... although if they fire me, I may need you for a recommendation..." Everett joked.
T'Challa nodded. "I will see you when you return."
"Of course..." Everett gave his crooked smile, nodded and quickly headed for the nearest elevator so he could go to his 'meeting'.
Bobbi snuggled a little closer to Coulson. "Daddy..." she whispered into his ear, so no one else would hear. "...I... I need you to help me be good..." she murmured. She'd started feeling restless and irritable again and was afraid if he didn't help her immediately, then she'd end up doing something that would hurt or upset him, and she didn't want that.
Coulson nodded and kissed her head. "Let's go to my room, then, sweetie," he murmured. "And later, maybe all of us can watch a movie together and you can curl up on my lap. Let Jeffrey properly meet his siblings..."
"Okay, daddy... that sounds good..." Bobbi smiled crookedly at him, sliding off his lap so he could lead her to his room.
Grant watched his baby sister go, then sighed, turning to face his new brother. "So... quite the welcome you've gotten into the family, what with everything being in upheaval from the de-aging and stuff..."
"It doesn't bother me..." Jeffrey laughed. "...I get the feeling things are often in upheaval, so better I get introduced to how things normally are than to be surprised later."
Clint chuckled at that. "Can't disagree with that. I have a feeling dad and baby sis are going to be awhile. The de-aging has been particularly difficult for her to handle, although I think he may have finally gotten her to tell him what the real problem is, so maybe he can help her now. But until they come back out, why don't we finish cleaning up breakfast and then move into the family room and play a game?" He glanced at Natasha, then at T'Challa and his group and then at the rest of the family. "You all interested in that?"
Natasha smiled, glancing at Valkyrie and Lincoln. "That sounds good to me. What do you both think?" she asked, automatically including Valkyrie in the family unit.
T'Challa glanced towards his small family group. "It sounds like a good idea to me."
Nakia smiled. "It will be nice to relax for a bit." After all, T'Challa had kept his promise about bringing Wakanda out into the world... and he'd stayed up quite late the night before, setting some of the plans into motion.
Toomes gently squeezed Kaine's waist. "You want to join in with the game? Or go back to the room for a bit?"
"I... I think I'd like to join in..." Kaine said, almost shyly. He'd never been shy before, but then, he'd had his whole world turned sideways and was relying on his father more than he'd ever relied on anyone that he could remember.
Valkyrie nodded. "It would be good to meet everyone else..."
Lincoln grinned. "Sounds good to me..."
Clint grinned at Natasha. "Last one done cleaning, goes last!" he teased, as he began to carry what remained of the dirty dishes to the dishwashers or sink.
Grant laughed. "I'll put the leftovers away... not that there are too many of them..." he noted, as he began to store what little food had not been consumed.
The others began to help clean up as well.
Toomes kissed Kaine's head and smiled at Harry as the teenager took the plates and utensils from him and his son, so Toomes didn't have to let go of his boy to clean up after them.
Bakshi cleared away his things and then moved over to his father. "I thought maybe I'd play for a bit and then go and see if Uncle Nick would like me to sit with Kara, so he can join in," he said.
Bucky smiled at his son. "I think that would be a good idea. Your uncle needs to relax some, and he's been so worried with Kara, I don't think he's done so nearly enough. He'll be able to, though, if he knows she has someone he trusts watching her..." He put an arm around Bakshi and tugged him in close for a side-hug, before kissing the side of his head.
Soon, everything was cleared, and everyone was moving into the family room.
Bobbi waited until her father had led her into his room and shut the door before spinning around and wrapping her arms around him tightly. "I don't know what's wrong with me, daddy... I just keep feeling anxious and upset and angry for no reason..." She sniffled. "I was afraid I was gonna do something n... naughty again if I didn't get help before it became too bad..." she admitted hesitantly.
Coulson kissed her head and guided her gently towards the bed, taking a seat and guiding her across his lap, wrapping an arm around her waist to secure her in position. "There's nothing wrong with you, sweetie. You're just struggling and need help."
"No one else seems to be having as much trouble as me, though..." Bobbi said, in a tiny, sad voice. "...Even Kara is handling it better and she had it worse than any of us..." She reached down and grasped onto her father's leg, already loosening up and relaxing so that he could have full control over her.
Coulson rubbed her back gently before he bared her. "It's hard on everyone. It's just that all of you are reacting in different ways. You need me a bit more than the others and in a different way. That's not a bad thing." He lifted his hand, bringing it down in a stinging swat that he then repeated.
Bobbi whimpered softly, but didn't try and get away, in fact wriggling just a little so that he could smack easier. "I do need you, daddy..." she said softly. "Even with the dreams... I still slept better last night than I have in weeks. Cuz you had me..."
"That's why I'm going to make sure you stay with me for the forseeable future. Even if one of your siblings needs to come in here, they'll be here with you and me." He settled into a pattern of swats, going down to Bobbi's thighs before starting over from the top.
Bobbi swallowed and relaxed further at the words. "Thank you, daddy..." she whispered, relieved that she wouldn't have to handle her dreams alone. And then she began to minutely shift as the sting from the swats began to linger.
"I love you. So very much." Coulson completed the second circuit of swats and then began a third, going a fraction harder and faster. "I will always be here for you. I won't ever let you go."
"I love you too, daddy..." Bobbi gasped out in a tiny voice, obviously trying to keep from crying and letting go the way she needed to; though it wasn't clear if it was because she was being stubborn, or if it was because she didn't want to upset him. "I... need to remember you're al... always with me. Al... always have me. R… remember t… to le… let you know when I ne… need you..."
"And remember that it's okay to let go, because I'm there to catch you. I'm always here to catch you, sweetie." Coulson began to focus more swats to her sit spots and thighs, stroking her back with his other hand.
"Y... You always catch me!" Bobbi agreed, her voice going up an octave and sounding strained, before she let out a tiny sob and then just melted over her father's lap, limp and accepting and crying. She held on tightly to his leg as she cried. "...Even wh... when I'm naughty and don't deserve it, you catch me and protect me..." she choked out. "I ... I don't wanna forget, daddy... please don't let me forget... help me 'member..."
Coulson brought the spanking to a stop and wasted no time in gathering her into his arms, hugging her tightly on his lap. "I won't ever let you forget," he promised, kissing her head. "I love you. So very much."
Bobbi pressed close to her father, hiding her face against his chest. Her bottom was sore, but not unbearably so; the sting would likely fade within thirty minutes or less. But it had done what she needed it to do. She didn't want to do something naughty anymore. She wasn't feeling irritable or anxious any longer. She snuggled closer still. "I love you, daddy..." she said back, her tears easing enough that she could speak clearly, even though it was obvious she was still crying at least a little.
Coulson tightened his arms around her, beginning to gently rock her. "Thank you for being honest with me," he said softly.
Bobbi looked up at him in confusion. "What do you mean, daddy?" She sniffled, squirming just a tiny bit because her bottom was still sensitive.
"For telling me what you need." Coulson stroked her cheek. "I know it's not easy to put voice to."
Bobbi smiled crookedly at the affirmation that she'd done the right thing; that he was happy with her. "It was really hard, but... I don't want to be a bad girl and I can't stop being one without you helping me. I hafta be honest so you know how... what..." She sighed and put her head on his shoulder. "I just need to be with you, daddy. Sometimes I just need you to take over until I can think straight again..." She shifted and looked up, giving him a crooked smile. "...Need you to remind me how to be your good girl..." She didn't realize she'd fallen into such childish ways of speaking about herself; at this moment, her father taking charge of her, she felt like a child.
Coulson kissed her head. "And I'm completely willing to do that," he murmured. "I love you. So very much. No matter what you need, I will always provide it."
"I know," Bobbi whispered, kissing him on the cheek before snuggling again, relaxing in his arms.
Coulson held his daughter close, perfectly content to snuggle with her for as long as she needed.
Bobbi eventually calmed enough that she was no longer sniffling, as well as no longer feeling any itch to behave badly. The sting in her bottom had all but disappeared, only a hint of sensitivity reminding her that she'd been over her father's knee, not just sitting on it. Sighing softly, she gave him a tiny smile. "So... maybe we can go join everyone and you can introduce my new brother to me? I was a bit too bratty to really meet him last night..." she said, with a hint of embarrassment. She noticeably didn't get off his lap or fix her clothing. She'd been earnest in her declaration that she needed him to be in control; she wasn't about to take control back from him. Not even for something as small and inconsequential as standing up and pulling her pants back into place.
"That sounds like a very good idea." Coulson kissed her head and then carefully replaced her clothing before he helped her up and then stood as well, wrapping his arm around her shoulders so he could guide her out of the room.
Those who remained in the family room were playing a trivia game when Bobbi and her father entered. She immediately noticed where Jeffrey was sitting and smiled at the other man, snuggling closer to her father and waiting for him to choose where they'd sit.
Peter had remained over Yondu's knee for a long time; he'd been surprised that Yondu hadn't insisted he get up, but his father had been as good as his word, letting Peter stay in place as-long-as he needed. Finally, though, Peter's backside was so sensitive from the affection Yondu was providing that Peter had begun squirming from it and he finally had to admit, "I'm ready to get up now, daddy..." in a slightly embarrassed tone. He'd never been that needy before and he wasn't sure if Yondu would be disappointed in him for being a big baby or not.
"Okay, kid." Yondu replaced his son's clothing and then carefully lifted Peter into his arms, giving him a very tight hug. "If ya want, when we go back, ya can sit on my lap and cuddle," he offered.
Wrapping his own arms around Yondu and holding on tightly, Peter asked, "You don't mind me being a baby in front of other people?" then bit his lip. He knew Yondu had explained why everything was different back when he was originally a kid, but emotionally, it was difficult to not be worried about needing to keep things hidden in front of everyone else. He squirmed just a tiny bit from his bottom being so sensitive. "It'll be hard for me to sit still," he admitted, with a blush. "They'll prolly think you spanked me really long and hard, not..." He grinned crookedly.
"No, kid. Not at all." Yondu stroked the side of his face. "We don't need ta worry about anyone here using our closeness to hurt either of us. And it don't matter what they think. Ya don't need ta say anything."
Peter smiled, slanting his face into Yondu's hand. "I don't mind if they think that. I was really bratty and naughty. But I don't mind if they know the truth either. Feels good not having to pretend I'm not yours... and I know I've not had to pretend ever since we came here, but it just... my feelings are all mixed up and I can't seem to control them, so I'm glad I don't hafta pretend..."
"You never hafta pretend again," Yondu promised, stroking the side of Peter's neck with his other hand. "And we'll go to the others. You sit on my lap. Sit with your other dad and Kraglin. So's everyone can see."
Peter grinned. "Okay, daddy..." he said, obviously happy that Yondu wanted everyone to know just as much as he did.
Yondu still kept hold of Peter, even as he guided his boy out of the bedroom and led him to the family room, where he could join the other two members of their family and, as promised, sit with his son on his lap, Peter gathered in close, arms around his son's waist.
Peter grinned at Kraglin and his Poppa, not able to keep from squirming every so often, just as he'd told Yondu. No one said anything, just as his daddy had told him.
Yondu kept his arms wrapped around Peter's waist, stroking his son's head or the side of his face.
As Bakshi had promised, he'd stayed for a bit of the game and then offered to sit with Kara while his uncle joined in the family games. He'd had to promise his uncle that he'd come and get him the moment Kara woke or needed him, but Fury had allowed himself to be persuaded to leave his daughter with Bakshi for a short while.
Gabe saw Bobbi snuggling with her father and Quill with his. He'd also witnessed how both of them had been reacting to everything the last few days. He honestly wanted a cuddle from his own father, but he didnt want a spanking preceding it. Going over to Fury, he gave a shy smile to the older man. "Can I sit on your lap, dad?" he asked, loudly enough for everyone to hear him.
"Of course, son." Fury smiled as he moved over to help Gabe out of his chair and settle his son on his lap, snuggling him close.
Gabe settled against his father, a big grin on his face.
Jessica looked at Bobbi, then at Quill, then at Gabe; who had been brave enough to know what he wanted and ask for it, then looked at Steve. "Can I?" She gave her father a winsome smile.
"Of course." Steve smiled and drew Jessica into his lap.
Harry sidled a tiny bit nearer to his father; not quite feeling brave enough to ask, but wanting to snuggle anyway.
Tony didn't even wait for his son to ask. He reached over, making exaggerated monster noises, and pulled Harry into his arms, holding him tight and kissing all over his head.
Smiling, Harry snuggled in close; then reached out so he could draw his mother and brother into the embrace too.
Seeing her cousins doing the same thing, Patsy turned to her father, tilting her head slightly to one side. "Daddy?" she asked questioningly.
Bucky chuckled softly, even as he held an arm open to encourage his daughter to join him on the couch where he sat. "I love you, sweetheart..." he muttered, as he pulled her close and tight, then motioned Lance to join them. He'd give extra attention to Bakshi when he returned later.
A few minutes later and Gabe glanced around the room with wide eyes. Every single parent had at least one, if not all, of their children snuggled up on their lap. "Did I do that?" he whispered to his own father in surprise.
Fury smiled and cuddled Gabe a bit tighter. "You feeling comfortable enough to ask meant they could as well." He kissed the top of his son's head, even as he positioned himself so that his other sons could move in and cuddle if they wanted to.
Brock sat down on one side, leaning into his father. "It's good to be reminded that we need to ask for what we want. Instead of going without." He smiled at his brother.
Ward sat on the other side. "That goes both ways, of course..." He gave Fury an impish grin.
Trip sat next to Brock and pulled Robbie down onto his lap. "And doesn't always have to just be parents and kids..." he added.
Fury reached out to give each of his other sons a tight, sideways hug, making sure not to jostle Gabe and that he was in no danger of falling off.
Seeing that his younger brother was relaxing, Robbie could do the same, letting himself cuddle into his big brother.
Shuri stood a few feet from where T'Challa sat next to Nakia, wide-eyed at the 'snuggle-fest'.
Erik looked around, then glanced at his cousin and raised an eyebrow. "Don't think of it!" he said mildly and with a hint of amusement, before moving to sit on the other side of his cousin.
Seconds later, Shuri bounded over and plopped herself onto her big brother's lap. "The colonizer's do have some good ideas..." she teased, wiggling into a more comfortable position, then smiling at Nakia. "Unless you would like this spot, future-sister?" She grinned impishly.
T'Challa smiled, wrapping an arm around Shuri's waist. "If everyone else is doing it..." he commented, stretching his other arm out so he could have the contact with Erik, if nothing else.
"I'm happy to let you take that spot at the moment," Nakia commented.
Valkyrie had come into the family room with Nat and Nat's son Lincoln and had quickly glanced around, noting that Odin was there with his family as well. She didn't want to intrude on the All-Father's time with his children...it appeared Loki and Lorelei especially needed his attention; and she could understand why, since both had appeared to be afflicted with whatever magical accident had deaged the Midgardians. But it left her uncertain of her own place or where to go, so she stayed close to Natasha without crowding the other woman. When Lincoln had followed the example of so many of the other deaged residents and sat on Natasha's lap, she hesitantly sat in the space he'd left behind. "Is this... type of closeness.. common here?" she finally asked nervously.
Natasha smiled, wrapping her arm around Lincoln's waist and then reaching out to gently touch Valkyrie's shoulder with her other hand. "We're a family here. We're used to being affectionate with each other."
"All of you are family?" Valkyrie blinked. "Even All-father?"
Odin nodded. "Everyone on this floor is family, or about to become family." He added that caveat because he had the feeling Valkyrie was going to be drawn in.
Valkyrie nodded at that, seeing no reason to disbelieve it; and the evidence of what he said was pretty prevalent around the room. She settled back into her chair, relaxing and smiling crookedly at Natasha when she noted the woman's hand on her shoulder. "I'm...not used to people liking each other so much..." she admitted, with a tiny laugh.
"It probably helps that most of us chose this family," Coulson commented. "Even when that choice was made very quickly."
"Quickly?" Valkyrie wrinkled her nose in curiosity. "Isn't choosing to devote your life to someone not blood usually a process that takes time? At least to get to know if you get along enough to want to be with that person?"
Coulson smiled, looking at each of his children and grandchildren before addressing Valkyrie. "I've felt drawn to my children almost straight away. And the moment I realised what I felt, I knew I didn't want to risk losing them. So I learned to act very quickly."
"So...you move quickly because you feel you might lose your chance if you move more cautiously?" Valkyrie slanted her head. "So much of your hurry is because Midgardians live for such a short time compared to other peoples..." She looked toward Odin for his thoughts on this.
"Even for those of us who live longer, there is little point in waiting when you are certain," Odin commented.
Valkyrie thought about that and didn't ask any more questions. If they were certain, there really wasn't any point in waiting.
Lincoln smiled at his potential new sister, if what he was picking up from his mother's actions was anything to go by. "To be fair, a lot of the family has met each other in extreme circumstances that allowed them to get to know each other much more quickly than would happen in normal circumstances..."
"And you don't know your children by blood as soon as they're born," Steve commented. "But they're still yours."
Valkyrie nodded in response to both Lincoln and Steve and didn't argue. She wasn't a parent, after all. Who was she to say how quickly a parent would bond with a child?
Natasha smiled at her. "You'll get used to it," she commented. "It works well for all involved."
"I suppose..." Valkyrie said hesitantly. She wasn't sure how she'd get used to it, unless they were planning on her living at the compound with them? In which case, she supposed she'd be witness to any new family joining, so she probably would get used to it.
Natasha gently squeezed her shoulder. "I know it can be a bit overwhelming at first. It's a lot of people to meet and a lot of things to take in."
"It is...but in a good way..." Valkyrie conceded, smiling crookedly at Natasha.
Natasha nodded. "It means there's a large support system around if you need it as well."
"That is always useful..." Valkyrie agreed, leaning further back into the chair, not seeming to notice or mind that it caused her to lean into Natasha.
Kara had woken up slowly, her whole body aching. Whimpering, she opened her eyes and glanced around, finally seeing Bakshi near to her. "Hi, Bakshi..." she said, in a raspy voice. "Daddy left me with you?" she asked, not concerned. She liked her cousin and, after all, he had been training as a medic at one point.
Bakshi smiled warmly and picked up a cup of water so he could help her drink. "He did sit with you for a while. I offered to take over, provided I touched base with him."
Kara drank from the cup before speaking again. When she did, her voice was clearer. "I'm glad he did. I know I worry him..." She glanced down. "...But he needs a break sometimes..." She smiled crookedly. "...Did he tell you to call him back if I needed pain medicine? Or did he just tell you to make your best call on if you should give it to me or not?" She gave him an impish smile, though it was filled with pain. "My whole body hurts..." she admitted, with a grimace. Looking closely, it was easy to see she'd grown at least three inches since that morning. She had another two or three to go before she would reach her original adult height.
Bakshi checked the time. "I know Bruce gave you the lower dose earlier. It's safe to give you more, but I'll match it. I'm not sure how your body will do with a higher dose right now."
Kara nodded slightly. "Okay..." she said, injecting all the trust she had in him into her voice.
Bakshi carefully gave her the medication. "There's plenty of water. If you're hungry, I'll ask someone to bring some food by."
"I probably should be hungry, but right now, I just feel queasy..." Kara sighed. "...And tired. Sorry I'm not much fun to be with..." she said quietly, obviously fighting to keep her eyes open.
"Don't worry about it," Bakshi answered reassuringly. "You need to sleep. Don't force yourself to stay awake."
"Mebbe we can hang out when I feel better..." Kara mumbled, as she fell asleep again.
Bakshi smiled, waiting for her to fall asleep before he asked Friday to update both his uncle Nick and Bruce about Kara waking up and her condition.
Friday updated both Nick and Bruce about Kara; and since they were in the family room with everyone else, everyone heard the information. There was a general sense of relief that she was doing okay and sympathy that she was feeling so bad.
"I can sympathize..." Matt whimpered slightly. "My body is starting to ache too..."
Sam gently hugged Matt. "You need to take something?"
"I don't like medicine...it dulls me..." Matt whimpered again, pressing closer to his father.
"I know, kid." Sam kissed his head. "But maybe it's better not to be in pain right now."
"If you want me to take it, daddy, I will..." Matt reluctantly agreed, laying his head on Sam's shoulder.
Luke and Yo-Yo watched their brother, worry in their eyes, feeling helpless to do anything for him.
"I'm not feeling so good either..." Grant admitted hesitantly.
It soon became apparent that all of the de-aged family members were beginning to experience body aches, some more painful than others.
The parents were quick to start taking care of their deaged kids, making sure they took pain medication and got tucked into bed, being kept close to their parents.
Luke, Yo-Yo and Karen helped their father with Matt by making certain that he had several bottles of water and some snacks nearby. He wouldn't have to leave his room until Matt felt better. "Make sure you get some sleep too, daddy..." Karen admonished, before heading off to her own room with Foggy.
Luke sighed and head back into the nearly cleared out family room. He wasn't ready for sleep yet. Yo-Yo followed with Mack, deciding she wasn't ready for bed either and she wanted to spend some time with her boyfriend.
Erik hadn't even left the family room, even though T'Challa, Shuri and Nakia had. He'd told his cousin that too much had happened and he just wasn't sleepy enough to lay down. That he figured he'd hang out in the family room until all the family had gone to bed. Get to know some of them better.
Danny had wound up going back to the family room, too, after helping his mother with his sisters. He was still feeling quite wide awake.
Luke grinned at all the ones still there. "So...it looks like at least five of us can't sleep."
Yo-Yo grinned. "Sometimes it feels like all I do is sleep. I'm used to being on missions..." she admitted, with a sigh.
Mack nodded. "Don't get me wrong. I love my family and I love how we are careful so that no one gets hurt... but it was a lot more exciting when I just jumped into missions..."
Erik snorted. "Yeah. I haven't been out of it long enough to miss it."
Danny leaned back slightly on his chair. "I guess things might pick up once everyone's all aged up again," he commented. "After all, HYDRA's out there still. And they already cloned at least one person. I'm guessing there'll be missions to see if there're more."
"I hope so..." Yo-Yo said. "They can't be allowed to get away with doing things like that." She frowned as she thought about how an innocent child's life was turned upside down because of HYDRA's actions; and who knew how Peter felt about it? Although he did seem excited at the idea that he had a younger twin (a few years younger, but still).
She blinked as Luke's phone began to ring.
"Hello...?" Luke answered quickly but hesitantly when the number wasn't recognized. He listened closely, his face becoming more and more concerned the longer the other person talked. "...Okay, hold on. Let me recap to make sure I understand you. There is a white man- you think he's a spook of some sort- asking questions in our neighborhood... and he's drawing the wrong kinds of attention? And you think there's been a hit put out on him?" He listened for a few more moments. "...You eavesdropped on a phone conversation he had, and he said he'd be heading back north when he was done... and I'm the first person you thought of?" He sounded skeptical now. "...Oh... he said he was going to a compound up north and I'm the first person you thought of..." He looked around the room at everyone else. "...Are there any other compounds in this area or further north that you know of?" He covered the mouthpiece of his phone and whispered.
Danny shook his head and glanced towards Erik. "The guy with you and your cousins. Isn't he some kind of spy?" he asked.
"Yes... he is. And he was supposedly going south for a meeting with his superiors, but he seemed a bit cagey about it when he was telling my cousin..." Erik narrowed his eyes. "I just figured it was because he doesn't fully trust me, but if it was because he was actually going on an assignment..."
Mack frowned. "If he was going on an assignment and has caught the attention of someone that's hired someone to kill him..."
"I'll be there with some friends within the next four hours. Can you keep an eye on him without him, or any of the men who he's pissed off, knowing you're doing it?" Luke nodded. "Thanks, Turk. Keep yourself safe..."
Danny quickly stood, glancing around at the others. "We heading to the garage?" he asked.
Yo-Yo nodded. "I'm thinking nondescript SUV?"
"That's probably best. We'll need something he can fit in, so we can bring him back with us..." Mack agreed.
Luke smiled. "Let's do this, then. Let's go save Casper..."
Erik just grinned and followed.
Soon, the five of them were in the SUV and heading south to Harlem. They just hoped they arrived in time. Since it was night and everyone else was asleep, no one noticed them leaving.
Danny didn't even think about the fact that they would be expected to let the rest of the family know what they were doing, just going along with the others. He was prepared to act as soon as they reached Everett's location.
No one talked much on the way to Luke's old neighborhood, other than to make plans on how they would extricate the man they were going to retrieve. Three hours was a long drive, though, so by the time they arrived to the location Turk had told Luke to go to, they had a plan in place. Luke would start out trying to reason with the men who wanted to hurt Everett. If that didn't work, Erik would step in and try and intimidate them; he had a reputation, after all. And if that didn't work? Then the four men in the group would begin fighting while Yo-Yo sped in, grabbed Everett and sped back out again. After she had Everett safely with them, then they'd make their getaway.
Of course, that plan flew to hell as soon as the men holding Everett prisoner opened fire on the SUV before the five even had a chance to get out and make their case.
"Damn it... we need to draw attention away from Yo-Yo, so she can get Everett. Then we're leaving. We don't have enough fire-power or men to keep a fight up with them, no matter how good a shot some of us are, or bullet proof some of the others are..." Mack looked at Erik and Luke as he said this. "Danny... you have an idea on how to safely do that? Because my idea just paints a big bulls-eye on my back and anyone else who draws their attention..."
Danny frowned. "They're not gonna listen to reason. Maybe we can drive at them? The SUV's bulletproof. They'll probably jump out of the way. Let go of Everett. We can grab him and drag him inside."
Yo-Yo was looking closely at the men outside. "I don't see Everett. I think they have him in the building somewhere. We're going to have to disable this group, then get inside and find him..."
"Then maybe just drive at them," Danny suggested. Even if they could only take out a couple of the group, it should still help them.
"Do we really want to possibly wreck our only way out of here and home?" Erik asked rhetorically.
Danny shrugged. "If you've got a better idea that doesn't end with any of us getting shot, I'm more than willing to go with that."
"Do you mind if the bad guys die?" Erik asked seriously. "I'm an assassin. I can get half of them before they even realize we're here."
Glancing around at the others, Danny said, "I think taking them out is better. Even if it does involve killing them."
Yo-Yo looked hesitant. These weren't HYDRA. Technically, they were civilians. Still. "This is your old haunt, Luke. What do you think?"
Luke sighed. "If they don't give us a choice, take them out. If possible, just aim to wound and stop..."
"I can do that..." Erik nodded, pulling out one of the guns he'd grabbed from the armory. Carefully aiming at a non-lethal spot, he made his first shot; surprised, when instead of a bullet, a pellet of some sort shot out. Blue stripes crossed his target's face and the man slumped to the ground, unconscious.
Yo-Yo have him a wide-eyed look. "You grabbed a night-night gun!"
"I grabbed a what, now?!" Erik looked at his chosen weapon like it had betrayed him.
Danny frowned. "Aren't those the ones that just knock people out? Do you have any more like that? We could use those instead."
"I only grabbed the one gun for me, along with the cartridge that was stored with it," Erik said apologetically.
Mack shook his head and grinned. "You won't need the extra cartridge unless reinforcements come. There are enough rounds to take out fifty people. There shouldn't be more than thirty here."
Luke nodded. "Mack's right. Turk said they had fifteen guards outside, but only four men inside, not counting the big honcho who is doing the questioning. If you can take out the men on the outside..."
"The men inside will be a piece of cake..." Yo-Yo finished.
Erik nodded, then aimed and took out a second, then a third man. At that point, he had to get out of the car to begin searching, as they were in different areas guarding the building.
Danny shifted, prepared to jump out...in case Erik ran into any problems. He might not have a gun, but he had his fists. And he didn't like the idea of staying behind.
Mack watched for a moment before he noticed men coming around the side of the building behind Erik. "He needs help," he whispered, before getting out. "Danny... You and Luke get Yo-Yo inside, so she can get Everett. Sooner we're outta here, the better."
Danny nodded, quickly moving with his cousins to get out of the SUV and into the building, prepared for any kind of attack.
There were only four men guarding the room where Everett was being held. Luke and Danny easily took them out. Yo-Yo took out the one who was questioning Everett, though. She made sure he'd wake up with a major headache and didn't feel bad about it at all... not after seeing the shape Everett was in.
Everett stayed awake just long enough to realize he was safe and passed out.
Luke picked up the unconscious agent and carried him to their vehicle.
Mack and Erik were waiting in front of the SUV.
"We need to go now... one of them called for reinforcements," Erik announced, when they were close enough to hear.
Danny waited for the others to get in and then climbed into the SUV himself. "You think we should call ahead, so he can get treated immediately?" he asked.
"As much as I don't want to alert the rest of the family... it might be a good idea..." Yo-Yo grimaced.
"It's nearly dawn. A lot of them will be up already anyway. And likely wondering where we are..." Mack said in resignation.
Danny winced at that. "I can't imagine we won't get in any trouble at all... maybe we'll get some points for checking in." He took out his phone.
Mack look amused at that hopeful comment but didn't say anything. They'd learn soon enough.
Erik had no such qualms. "If your parent reacts in any way like Coulson or Fury did when their offspring took off in the same manner..." He wasn't scoffing, but it was clear he thought their butts were toast. He also just as obviously did not include himself in the number of those whose parent was like Coulson or Fury. T'Challa wasn't his parent, after all.
"Yeah." Danny took a deep breath and dialed his mom's number.
The rest of the family had woken maybe thirty minutes before... just long enough to realize members of their family weren't in bed like they were supposed to be. They'd quickly conferred with Friday and learned where they were located, if not what they were doing exactly.
May answered the phone before the first ring had ended. "Are you safe?" she blurted before Danny could say anything.
"Yeah," Danny answered, a slightly sheepish, apologetic note to his voice. "We're bringing Everett back with us, though. He's in pretty bad shape..."
Sam glanced at May, hearing her question and guessing Danny had checked in. He relaxed a fraction but was still quite obviously worried.
"Everett?" May's tone took on a confused, worried sound. "You know what? Just save explanations for when you are here, and everyone can hear them. Be careful but get here as soon as you can... I love you..." she ended quietly.
"I love you too," Danny replied unabashedly.
It took all too long to get to the compound. Danny had moved to check over Everett, in case the other man had any broken bones or injuries that needed immediate attention. As they drove into the garage, the parents... plus T'Challa... had gathered there.
"Time to face the music." Mack sighed as he parked the vehicle, then stepped out and walked around to help get Everett out. The other man had woken at some point on the long drive back but was having difficulty focusing. Mack suspected a concussion.
Luke got out as well and opened the back, carefully lifting Everett out.
"I can walk..." Everett protested weakly. His voice sounded woozy, though, and he didn't struggle when Luke ignored him.
Yo-Yo trailed behind her brother and Mack, only moving to stand beside them when they stopped in front of the family to wait for instructions.
Erik shook his head and crossed his arms over his chest, standing next to them, but as he still didn't believe he was in trouble, he was much more relaxed.
Sam stepped towards his son and daughter. "Bruce is waiting in the medical room. We'll take Everett there and then you can tell us all exactly what happened."
"We will accompany Everett," T'Challa said seriously to his cousin.
Odin stepped over to Mack. "We will wait for the others to join us in the family room."
Mack opened his mouth to protest- he wanted to see Everett settled in- but then, realizing that too many people would hinder Bruce, he nodded. "Yes, sir..." he said, quiet and respectfully.
Yo-Yo nodded. "Okay, Papi..." She sounded like a little girl who was hoping being agreeable might get her out of trouble.
Luke just nodded and began walking to the medical room with Everett, wanting to get the man treatment as fast as possible.
Erik blinked at T'Challa, wondering if he'd somehow upset his cousin, but didn't say anything. Instead, he moved closer to the man, ready to follow wherever he wanted them to go next.
May waited till everyone else was moving before looking at Danny. "We'll wait in the family room as well." She put a hand on Danny's shoulder and squeezed gently, before beginning to lead him that direction.
T'Challa gently squeezed his cousin's shoulder as he followed the others to the medical room. He'd been worried... extremely worried... upon realising Erik had disappeared as well and something of that tension was revealed in the contact of his hand on his cousin's shoulder.
Erik could feel the tension but misunderstood the reason for it. "What? Did you think I had slunk off to do some bad shit again?" he asked in a teasing voice, but underneath was the hurt little boy that had needed a family. He was obviously afraid that T'Challa had thought exactly that.
Surprised, T'Challa focused his full attention on his cousin. "You disappeared without a word. I wasn't worried about you disappearing to do something bad. I was worried you had been hurt. Or worse."
Erik blinked at that, noticeably relaxing and being comforted by the remark. "I can take care of myself, cousin..." he boasted. But his tone was still apologetic.
"Yes," T'Challa agreed. "But you left without word to anyone and only with a handful of allies. If there had been more enemy there, I could have lost you. And I only recently found you."
Erik swallowed at that, then nodded. "I apologize. I didn't expect to worry you. That wasn't my intention."
"You are my family," T'Challa said. "I will worry when something happens." He kept his hand on Erik's shoulder as they stepped into the medical room, following Sam and his children.
Erik smiled. "I am..." he agreed quietly, following his cousin's lead.
Everett had been placed on a bed and Bruce was already scanning him, even as Jemma was cleaning and bandaging wounds. "They did a number on you..." he said to Everett, but loudly enough everyone could hear. "You do have a concussion. You also have several cracked ribs, a torn ligament in your left knee, your right shoulder was dislocated and this one gash on your side is at risk for infection. You're either staying in medical for the next week, or you'll have to stay with someone, so they can keep an eye on you."
"Is that really necessary? I can take care of myself at my apartment..." Everett protested weakly, his tiredness showing through.
T'Challa moved so he could be easily seen by Everett, though he kept his hand on his cousin's shoulder as he did so. "No. You will stay here, whether here in the medical room or where I can keep watch over you. You need to rest, and you need to heal." He made no attempt to hide his worry about Everett as well as Erik.
Everett slanted his head and stared at T'Challa curiously, as if uncertain he heard right. "I..." He winced as one of his many injuries pained him. Sighing, he gave in. "I don't have energy to fight you. I'd rather not stay in here, so I'll cooperate and stay where you can watch me..." He sighed.
T'Challa nodded and, after one last squeeze to Erik's shoulder, moved round to Everett's bedside, so he could help him up. "Is there medication I should take for him?" he asked Bruce.
"I've got it right here. The instructions are on the bottles." Bruce handed T'challa two containers, much to Everett's chagrin.
Friday interrupted. "The rest of the family has gathered in the family room, sir. And Luis is taking orders for breakfast. He will bring it down when the meeting is over."
T'Challa put the bottles away safely and then helped Everett to stand, so he could lead the other man to the room, gesturing for Erik to follow.
As soon as T'Challa had left with his two charges, Bruce glanced at Sam. "Meeting?" he asked curiously. "Or were there other injuries?"
"I wasn't injured," Luke answered quickly.
Yo-Yo nodded. "Neither was I."
Sam frowned. "I'd rather you both get checked out in case." While both of them were moving easily, he didn't want to risk there being injuries that he couldn't see.
Luke nodded and moved toward Bruce, so his cousin could scan him quickly.
Yo-Yo moved as well, but she frowned and said, "Mack and Danny were with us too and they didn't get checked out. Neither did Erik! And he was right here!"
"Mack, Danny and Erik aren't my responsibility. You are," Sam said. "And I can't imagine they won't be persuaded to get checked out, even if that does take place after the meeting."
"Yes, Papi." Yo-Yo sighed as Bruce began checking her over.
It didn't take long. "Both of them are fine. No open wounds and scans are clear..." Bruce announced, with a smile.
"Thank you." Sam wrapped an arm each around their shoulders, leading them to the family room.
May glanced in the direction of Sam and his kids when they walked into the room. "You'll be getting checked out after the meeting, but if you suddenly feel sick or in pain before then, tell me immediately..." she said to Danny, pulling him close.
Danny nodded. "I will."
Odin wrapped his arm around Mack's shoulders. "I expect the same," he said quietly. "As soon as the meeting's over, I want to make sure there aren't any injuries I'm not aware of."
"Of course, Dad." Mack smiled at his father.
May glanced around. "It looks like everyone is here. One of you want to explain what happened?"
Danny cleared his throat. "Well, um, we were sitting here after everyone went to bed and one of Luke's contacts called him to say that a guy was in his old neighbourhood, asking questions and drawing all of the wrong kind of information."
"Yeah. Turk said the guy was gonna get himself killed, then let slip that he called me because he'd overheard the guy mentioning a compound up north and he remembered me coming here and wondered if I knew him. He kept calling him a Spook," Luke added.
Erik finished, "When Luke mentioned all of that to the rest of us, I remembered Everett saying he was meeting his bosses... and it seemed like too much a coincidence for it not to be him... so we decided to go rescue said 'spook'. On the high probability it was Everett."
"I was bored and wanted to help..." Yo-Yo added sheepishly.
"Same here," Danny admitted quietly.
"How many casualties were there?" Coulson asked, preparing to call in a team for cleanup.
"Amazingly enough... none." Mack scratched his ear. "Erik grabbed what he thought was a rifle... ended up being a night-night gun. The ones he didn't put to sleep, we knocked out the old-fashioned way..."
Coulson nodded and sighed. "Still, I'll get people to keep watch over the place. Is there anything else we need to know?"
All the ones involved in the rescue looked at Everett. He cleared his throat awkwardly. "I was arranging a buy for my boss. I don't know what I'm able to tell and what is classified..."
"We need to know all of the details," T'Challa said seriously. "Whether you think it might be classified or not. You went into a dangerous situation and got yourself hurt. Hiding any information is no longer acceptable."
"If I tell classified information, I'd be lucky if all I was, was fired..." Everett looked around at the serious faces and swallowed. "I'm not sure they wouldn't try and spin it as treason..."
T'Challa gently rested his hand on Everett's shoulder. "I believe you have enough protection here against that, but I would not advise continuing to keep this information from us."
Everett swallowed again and glanced around at all those in charge. T'Challa was right about protection. He himself was likely able to protect him on his own, being a king with a highly sought after national resource at his fingers. Closing his eyes, he sighed. "I suppose I should consider this my unofficial letter of resignation..." He then began to talk, giving all the information he knew.
No one interrupted, but when he was finished, Coulson quickly made sure he had all of the information noted down. Glancing around, he saw it didn't seem like there were any more questions.
T'Challa looked at Erik. "I want to make sure you have no injuries that have been missed. I can either take you back to the medical room or check you over myself."
"No offense to any of your doctors, but... I'd prefer to avoid seeing them unless absolutely necessary." Erik glanced at his cousin.
T'Challa nodded, not that surprised. "You can rest in my room," he said to Everett, figuring he'd check Erik over in his cousin's room.
"Won't that make Nakia uncomfortable?" Everett asked in confusion.
Erik snorted softly. "I'll go to my room while you work things out with him..."
T'Challa nodded to Erik and then wrapped an arm around Everett, so he could lead the man to his room. "I would prefer to have you where I can keep an eye on you," he stated.
"I realize that... even if I'm not entirely sure why... but I doubt Nakia wants me that close and I do have my own room..." Everett said stubbornly, as he looked toward Nakia for confirmation, even as T'Challa led him away.
Erik took that opportunity to slip off to his own room.
"That is not something you need to worry about," T'Challa stated, leading the other man to his own room.
"How is my being in the way of Nakia not something I should worry about?" Everett looked frustrated.
"You will not be in her way. She and Shuri are happy to share a room until you are recovered." T'Challa opened the door to his room and guided Everett inside. "You are already in enough trouble. I would not compound it by to continuing to argue with me."
"I'm in... wait... what?" Everett's voice rose as T'Challa's words settled. "Why?!" He sounded genuinely confused.
"You lied to me," T'Challa answered. "And you put yourself in danger. Neither of those are acceptable actions to take."
Everett stiffened at those words, but noticeably didn't argue or try to defend himself at the accusation. By this point, they were in T'challa's room, the door closed. "I shouldn't have lied," he conceded. "I believed I had to keep my activity a secret, but I should have respected you enough to just tell you so, instead of lying. Putting myself in danger wasn't intentional. I didn't expect them to take exception to my asking questions... or figure out I was a government agent..." Everett swallowed hard. He'd heard enough in the short time they'd been at the compound that he knew how infractions were handled in the family. He just wasn't sure it applied to him, or if T'challa would handle things in that manner.
"If you had told me, I would have helped you," T'Challa said. "You should not have lied. Nor should you have taken those dangerous actions. And when you are fully recovered, we will be having a far more in-depth discussion."
"Your highness..." Everett swallowed hard. "I... I'm sorry I lied, but the rest... I genuinely didn't mean for that to happen."
T'Challa's voice softened and he gently squeezed Everett's shoulder. "We will deal with the lying once you are recovered. But, for now, it is important that you rest and heal."
Everett slumped. T'Challa had the will of a king and his own will wasn't strong enough to stand up to it. The fact that the other man was right? Didn't help. "Yes, highness," he whispered and obediently went where his friend led. He didn't argue anymore.
T'Challa led Everett towards the bed and helped him to lay down.
"Nothing makes one feel like a fully competent, adult, secret agent man than being tucked into bed..." Everett snorted softly in self-mocking amusement. He lay down and gave T'Challa a crooked smile. He was out in seconds, belying his acting like he was okay.
T'Challa lingered for a moment or two, just to make sure Everett truly was asleep and was okay, and then quietly left the room, going to his cousin's and knocking on the door.
Erik opened the door for his cousin, then stepped back into the room so that he could enter it. As soon as T'challa was safely inside, he closed the door and turned to him. "I have to admit I didn't really expect to be back in this position. But I can't claim I didn't know. That man you just left, though? He's not going to understand or know what to do. He didn't know he was family." Erik smirked.
"You didn't understand until I proved it to you," T'Challa commented. "And I'll prove it to him the same way I did you." He moved over to his cousin, so he could begin checking him over.
"True... do you make a habit of adopting strays?" Erik asked teasingly, stripping down to his boxers so his cousin could assure himself that he was fine more easily.
"I recognise my family," T'Challa stated, as he checked over Erik's entire body. Satisfied his cousin was unhurt, he gently closed his hand over Erik's wrist and led him towards the bed.
"I don't suppose I can talk you out of this by admitting I know where I went wrong?" Erik asked, even as he followed his cousin's lead.
"You put yourself in danger. You could have caused me to lose my cousin," T'Challa said seriously. "Endangering yourself is not and never will be acceptable." He sat on the bed and gently drew Erik across his lap.
"I didn't feel in danger... but I should have told you all the same. You may have seen what I didn't..." Erik sighed and braced his hands on the ground, not fighting or arguing.
"You have a family now. It is not acceptable to take those kind of actions." Taking a tight grip on Erik, T'Challa bared him and then brought his hand down in a firm swat that he then repeated.
Erik hissed and shifted slightly. "I understand, cousin. I will try to remember..."
"If you do not remember, we will repeat this as often as is necessary." T'Challa settled into a pattern of swats, going down to Erik's thighs before he started over from the top again. "But it will change nothing of our relationship. It will not drive a wedge between us. I promise you that, cousin. No matter what occurs."
"I believe you..." Erik's voice caught in his throat and he was surprised to find himself crying; not because of the spanking, but because of T'challa's promise.
T'Challa delivered a final few smacks and then he brought the spanking to a stop, replacing Erik's boxers and then helping his cousin up and into a tight embrace.
Erik held onto T'challa tightly, taking deep breaths to try and calm himself. "All the pain I have felt and not broken, and you break me with a word and a smacked arse. I don't understand it..." he whispered, letting his head fall onto T'challa's' shoulder.
T'Challa wrapped his arms tightly around Erik. "The pain you felt before was not from your family... not from someone who loves and cares for you," he murmured softly.
"Is that what makes the difference? You cause pain because you are trying to help me? Show your love?" Erik sniffed. "My father did that... before he died. I have not had that kind of love for a long time."
T'Challa tightened his embrace. "I am sorry you were alone for such a long time, but you will not be again," he vowed. "I will not ever cause you pain for any reason than to teach or correct your behaviour. And it will never be worse than what you have already experienced. I love you, cousin."
Erik swallowed. "I love you too..." he whispered. "It... it was a long night. I'd like to sleep a little before beginning the new day. Is that allowed?" he asked hesitantly. It was obvious he needed time to think over his new situation and his cousin's place in his life.
T'Challa nodded. "Get some rest, cousin. If you need me to stay with you until you fall asleep, I will."
"I think I will be alright on my own... but I know where to go if I need you. Thank you, cousin..." Erik smiled.
T'Challa smiled and gave him one last hug before releasing him. "I will not be far," he promised.
"I know. You are my protector. You are also Everett's... and at-the-moment, he is in more need of you. I will see you in the morning, Cousin." Erik gently nudged T'Challa to the door.
T'Challa nodded. "Sleep well, cousin." He slipped out of the room, heading to his own so he could keep watch over Everett.
The meeting over with, Sam wrapped an arm each around Yo-Yo's and Luke's shoulders. "We'll talk in my room," he said.
Sighing silently, Luke and Yo-Yo both nodded, leaning on their father as he led them away.
Sam didn't speak until he'd led his children into his room and closed the door behind them and then he asked, "Is there anything either of you need to add to what I know already?"
"No, Papi," Yo-Yo said contritely. "When the phone-call came in from Luke's contact, we just took off. Didn't even think about waking anyone else or waiting to make a plan..."
Luke's grimace was confirmation of her words.
Sam looked at Luke. "I know you're technically bulletproof, but you had several other people with you who weren't," he pointed out.
At those words, Luke's grimace of confirmation turned into abject consternation and guilt. "I... I didn't think about that..." he whispered.
Yo-Yo blinked. "It's not your place to think about that!" She frowned. "We should have thought of it ourselves. We know you can't be in more than one place at a time and there were four of us once we got Everett back. There's no way you could have protected everyone, even if you'd thought about it..." She tried to make him feel better, but it seemed she'd only made him feel worse, as he looked even more guilty. She slumped, giving first Luke then Sam an uncertain look; not sure why Luke was trying to take responsibility for everyone.
"It's something that you all should have thought about," Sam said. "No one holds more responsibility than anyone else. But even if you'd been going on your own, leaving without a word wouldn't have been acceptable," he continued. "You might not be able to be physically harmed, but that doesn't mean nothing could have happened."
Luke swallowed and looked down, feeling all of two-feet tall and like a naughty child. It had been a long time since he'd felt that way and he wasn't sure how to respond. "Y... you're right, sir..." he finally whispered.
Sam placed his hand on Luke's shoulder and squeezed gently. "Do you trust me, son?" he asked gently. "I know you won't feel the effects of a spanking with your abilities...but you know that Tony's been working with those collars that can suppress abilities..." He paused, watching his son carefully to see his reaction.
Luke winced before nodding. "I trust you, dad... and I know I deserve to be punished for my actions and that will... I don't want to be treated differently than Yo-Yo and if that helps so that we can be treated the same..." He swallowed hard.
Yo-Yo just bit her lip and tried not to start crying immediately. She was more upset for her brother than she was for herself.
Sam hugged both of them a bit tighter and then quickly sent a message to Tony, asking his nephew for use of the prototype collar.
A few minutes after the request was sent through, there was a knock on the door and then Friday said quietly, "The prototype has been left outside your door, sir..."
Luke swallowed again and looked at his feet while waiting for Sam to retrieve the device.
Sam walked over to the door, opening it and retrieving the collar. Closing the door again, he brought it back and gave his son a reassuring smile, reaching out to touch his cheek. "Would you feel better putting it on yourself?"
Luke looked up at that and straightened his shoulders. "No, sir... I trust you... and... I figure part of the punishment is my submitting, so..." He gave a tiny, if chagrined smile.
Yo-Yo sniffled, unable to keep from crying by this point. She didn't want to watch this. She didn't know what to do, though. "Papi..." she whispered helplessly, almost begging; even if it wasn't clear what she would be begging for.
Sam gently squeezed her shoulder and then led her over to one of the corners, turning her to face it. "Stand here," he said.
Sniffling again, Yo-Yo faced the corner, huddled in on herself, arms around his stomach. "Yes, Papi..." she said in a whisper, obviously already crying. She had never intended to worry or upset her family and just wanted things to be right.
Luke watched as his sister was led to the corner, but didn't move from his own position, waiting for Sam to collar him and then tell him what to do.
Sam kissed her head and murmured, "I love you," before he moved back over to Luke. Carefully placing the collar around his son's neck, he made sure it was secure but wouldn't hurt Luke, then took his son's wrist and led him towards the bed.
Luke was a big man; even without his bullet-proof powers, he normally was heads taller and a lot more muscular than other men he stood next to. That didn't help him feel better as Sam led him by the wrist. He hadn't felt this vulnerable and young since he was vulnerable and young. Part of it was the sudden loss he felt as the collar dampened his powers. The majority of it was that he knew he had disappointed his father and worried everyone; and guilt was a more powerful dampener than even the collar. He just didn't feel adult or in control or anything that would allow him to feel confident.
Sitting down on the bed, Sam gently drew his son across his lap, securing Luke with an arm wrapped around his waist before he proceeded to bare his son. "Leaving without informing anyone was not okay, son," he said seriously, before lifting his hand and bringing it down in the first firm swat that he then repeated.
Luke had become so used to not being physically affected that the first smack completely caught him by surprise with the fact that it hurt. He gulped in a quick breath, barely managing to avoid yelping- he didn't want to make any sounds that would upset Yo-Yo further- but he wasn't able to keep from immediately squirming. "I know, sir. I shouldn't have done it..." he said in a tight voice, filled with guilt and apology.
Sam settled quickly into a pattern, going down to Luke's thighs before starting over from the top. "You shouldn't have left without a word, son. If something had gone wrong, I wouldn't have known where to go to find you."
"I... I know, dad..." Luke's voice was strained and it was obvious he was already close to crying, although most of that was because of how guilty he felt at hurting his family. "I should have told you immediately when I received the call. I should have told T'Challa that his friend was in trouble, so he could help. I should have done so many things differently... I'm sorry, dad. I really am..." His voice caught, and a tiny sob escaped.
"I know, son. And I forgive you. I love you." Completing the second circuit, Sam began a third, going a fraction harder and faster.
"I love you too, dad... I love all of you..." Luke whispered, not trying to hide that he was crying by this point. "...I'll do better... I promise..." Slumping over Sam's lap, he just accepted what he knew he deserved and tried not to be too loud with his tears, still not wanting Yo-Yo to be upset by them, even if he wasn't trying to stop crying.
Sam brought the spanking to a stop and then drew his son up and into his arms, hugging Luke tightly and kissing his head. "I love you," he whispered.
Luke hunched down so he could snuggle more easily. "I love you too, dad..." he admitted quietly. "...I'm glad you got me..."
Sam tightened his arms around his son. "Always," he promised. "I'll always have you, son. I love you. So very much."
"You must... I can't see you doing this if you didn't..." Luke let out a tiny laugh, holding onto Sam just as tightly.
"I want to keep you safe," Sam said. "And I will do whatever it takes to make sure you stay with me."
Luke nodded. "I know, dad. And I'll do my best to make sure I help with that...so you don't have to do this again..." He winced faintly and shifted.
"Good." Sam kissed his head. "If it won't distress you, I'll leave the collar on until the end of the day." As there were several children he knew would be feeling the effects.
Luke nodded. "Okay, dad. I'll be okay. It's only fair..." he whispered, carefully standing up and fixing his clothing, then waiting for Sam to tell him what to do next.
Sam stood up, leading Luke to the corner Yo-Yo was in and gently guiding his daughter out, putting his son in place.
Yo-Yo saw the collar still in place and choked back a tiny cry, trying not to make things worse for Luke by being a baby. If he was able to accept having his powers drained so that he could be handled like the rest of the kids, she shouldn't over-react. It was difficult, though.
Sam gently squeezed her close to him, kissing the side of her head before he led her over to the bed, taking a seat and guiding her across his lap.
Yo-yo was trying to cooperate. Trying to stay still. If Luke could handle losing his abilities so that he could be treated equally the same as all the others, she should be able to hold herself in place and accept her own consequences. Only she couldn't. She could feel herself tensing up, ready to run... and while she'd always end up right back where she started from, using her own powers, just moving like that would make it impossible for Sam to do what he needed, and she'd feel even worse because she'd be fighting what the rest of her cohorts in misdeed had accepted. "I can't, Papi..." she blurted out in an apologetic voice. "...I can't hold still..." she said, before she was taking off.
Aware that this was more of a subconscious thing, Sam didn't get annoyed or upset. Instead, he simply sent another message to Tony, asking his nephew if there was another prototype collar.
Not too long after she'd taken off, Yo-Yo was back in position over his lap. "Sorry, Papi..." she whispered, obviously embarrassed. It wasn't like everyone didn't know how her power worked; and that she'd end up exactly where she began if she used it. On her way back, she'd passed Tony and nabbed the collar out of his hand, so that by the time the blur ended, the door was closed tight again, and she was holding the collar up to her father with a sheepish look on her face.
Sam took the collar from his daughter and carefully fastened it around her neck before stroking her hair. "Don't worry about it. I love you." He stroked her back and then bared her, before bringing his hand down in the first swat that he then repeated.
Yo-Yo stiffened as the collar was fastened, but then relaxed as she felt its dampening effects and knew she'd be able to stay in place, even if she couldn't exactly hold still. It was a bit scary, but it was more of a relief. She trusted Sam to protect her, after all. Whimpering as she felt her clothing shifting and the cool air on her bottom, she tensed up again briefly, hissing when the first swat fell. And then she immediately went limp, a sense of belonging and security she hadn't ever expected to feel, especially in this position, coursing through her. "I love you, Papi..." she finally whispered back, acceptance and contrite submission in her tone. Silent tears slid down her face. "...Thank you..." Her whisper was even more quiet.
"I love you. So very much." Sam completed a full circuit of swats down to her thighs and then started over from the top. "I can't lose you. Leaving without a word, into a dangerous situation, could have ended with you being taken from me. And I don't want that to happen."
"I love you too, Papi... I'm so sorry I left without telling you. I knew better. I shouldn't have done it... I'm sorry!" Yo-Yo said, her voice full of tears and apology.
"I know, and I forgive you," Sam said. "I don't ever want to lose you." He began a third circuit of swats, going a bit harder and faster.
Yo-Yo was already limp over her father's knee, not fighting in the least. When he began a third circuit of harder, faster swats, she began to squirm feebly for a few moments, but then slumped again in acceptance of the punishment. And began to cry vocally. "I'm sorry, Papi... I'm so sorry..." she whispered through her tears.
Sam brought the spanking to a stop and didn't waste any time in drawing his daughter up into his arms, hugging her tightly and kissing her head. "I love you," he murmured.
"I love you, Papi..." Yo-Yo whimpered, snuggling as close as she could and trying to hold still, even though her bottom was still stinging, and she wanted to shift and find a more comfortable position.
Sam stroked her hair and kissed her forehead. "I'm so glad you're safe," he whispered. "That you're home safe with me."
Yo-Yo slowly settled as Sam comforted her and showed affection. The sting in her bottom was bearable and she knew she deserved it. Wrapping her arms tightly around Sam, she snuggled close. "I'm glad too, Papi... I don't want to scare you or take myself away..."
Sam stroked her hair, tightening his embrace around her. "Good. Just make sure you let me or one of the other parents know next time and it'll all be fine."
"Okay, Papi..." Yo-Yo promised fervently. "I will... I'll tell you anytime I plan to leave the compound, even if it's just to go shopping..."
"I'm very glad to hear that." Sam kissed her forehead again, continuing the gentle affection.
Yo-Yo sniffled again and then sighed softly, relaxing in Sam's arms. She only shifted enough to fix her clothing so that Luke could turn around and not get an eyeful.
Sam wrapped his arm a bit tighter around Yo-Yo. "You can come back out, son," he said, situating his daughter enough so he could cuddle Luke as well.
Luke turned and came back to sit next to his father, wrapping his arms around the other man and letting his head settle on Sam's shoulder. "Is there anything else we should expect from our actions last night?" he asked quietly. "Are we grounded or anything like that?"
Yo-Yo bit her lip and watched her father closely while he decided.
"This is your first offence, so I don't think grounding you is necessary," Sam said. "But if it happens again, I will give serious thought to that."
Both 'children' were suitably contrite and agreeable to Sam's words. They knew they'd messed up badly and they were grateful he was willing to let them go with just a spanking. It wasn't like they didn't know the importance of keeping your superior officer informed. Sam wasn't just a superior officer; he was their father. They should have known better than to just take off without word and they knew it.
Sam kissed each of their heads. "As soon as you're ready, I can either take you through to breakfast, or you can nap in here and I'll stay in here with you."
"Maybe we can eat a light breakfast, then nap..." Yo-Yo said cautiously, not wanting to speak for Luke, but also not liking the idea of Sam missing breakfast so he could stay with them.
Luke nodded. "That sounds good to me..."
Sam smiled. "Then, as soon as you're ready, we'll go through for breakfast and then come back here."
"Okay, dad." Luke smiled and stood up, holding a hand out to help his sister up.
Yo-Yo leaned over and kissed Sam on the cheek. "Thank you, Papi... I love you," she whispered and smiled, before taking her brother's hand and standing up so that Sam could also stand.
Sam stood up, wrapping an arm around each of his children's shoulders and kissing their cheeks. "I love you both. So very much," he murmured, before guiding them out of the room.
Mack stood awkwardly as first Erik and Everett were led off and then Yo-Yo and Luke were led off. He glanced at Danny and gave a tiny wincing smile. There was no doubt in his mind that they were all in trouble and he knew why there were. It didn't make it much easier though. "I... should I wait in your room, dad?" he asked quietly.
May didn't wait for Odin to answer Mack. She was already walking over to Danny and taking him gently, if firmly, by the arm. "C'mon, Danny. We need to talk," she said, with a stern voice, as she led her son to her room.
Danny nodded, obediently walking alongside his mother without argument or protest.
May waited until they were in her room and she'd closed the door to speak again. "Do you understand what you did wrong?" she asked quietly. She was certain Danny did understand, but she wanted to make sure before proceeding.
"Yeah." Danny took a deep breath. "We shouldn't have left without letting anyone know. Without getting help..."
"That's right. So... you wanna tell me why you did leave without telling anyone else or getting help?" May smiled faintly, so that Danny would realize she wasn't angry. She just needed to understand his thinking, so she could best address his actions.
"I didn't even think of it," Danny admitted. "I just wanted to try and help."
May nodded and wrapped an arm around her son, pulling him in close and holding onto him. "You understand that I only want you to tell me so that, if something happens, I can be ready to help you? Don't you? Because I worry and don't want to lose you, not because I don't trust you? That's the same with all of us parents. We love you kids and don't want to lose you- can't fathom losing you- so we do everything in our power to stack the odds in our favor against it happening... Not thinking and taking off without telling us? It stacks the odds in favor of us losing you if something happens and that's not acceptable."
Danny was quick to wrap his arms around his mother as tight in return, pressing close. "I know, Momma," he murmured. "I understand. I'm sorry I worried you..."
"I know you are. But I can't still can't let it go. I need you to remember to think next time you're faced with the choice of going without telling or telling someone. Your telling me, or one of the other family, what is going on needs to become instinctual. Until it is, any time you forget, I'll be taking care of you so that you can remember next time." May held him tightly for a little longer before taking him by the wrist and leading him to her bed. Sitting down, she carefully drew him over her lap, holding him close and tight before baring him, raising her hand and letting it fall with a firm smack.
Danny winced, but tried to hold himself still, though he couldn't stop a soft gasp escaping from him, taken by surprise at the first smack.
May waited a few seconds for him to adjust to the fact he was over her knee being spanked before she landed a second smack. Then she continued to smack in a quick pattern that covered his entire backside and upper thighs. She didn't smack overly hard, but she smacked hard enough that his skin was turning a faint rosy color and becoming warm to touch. When she began a second circuit, she spoke again. "I love you, Danny. If there had been more bad guys, there? Or if they had been aware of you coming? Or if they'd had more weapons and their aim was just right? You could have been taken from me. That's unacceptable. I will not stand by and watch you take chances with your life and take yourself away from me. Not if I have any chance at all of preventing it..." Her voice caught at the end, as she thought about what might have happened if just one of the thugs had had better aim.
Danny whimpered softly, and a quiet sob caught in his throat, his emotions close to the surface; reacting as much to his mother's words as to the spanking itself. "I'm sorry, Momma," he whispered, tears falling down his cheeks.
"I know you are, son. I love you so much. I can't lose you. Not when I just got you..." May whispered back, beginning a third circuit, smacking a slight bit faster and harder, targeting his sit spots and upper thighs, so he'd feel it whenever he sat later.
Danny slumped, no longer resisting even a little in response to the swats, crying without pausing now.
As soon as Danny had gone limp May stopped spanking and gently drew him up into her arms, wrapping her arms tightly around him and rocking him slowly back and forth while kissing the top of his head. "I've got you. You're forgiven. I love you so much..." she whispered.
Danny wrapped his arms tightly around his mother and burrowed in close. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I love you too."
May just continued to hold and snuggle her son close, content to keep him with her as-long-as he wanted to stay.
Danny continued to hold onto his mother, but after a few moments, he yawned, having some trouble keeping his eyes open.
"Why don't we take a short nap... when you wake up, we can go get you a snack to tide you over till lunch...?" May said quietly, gently fixing his clothing, then drawing him back onto the bed so she could hold him while he slept.
Danny nodded, cuddling in close to his mother and closing his eyes. It wasn't long until he was asleep, tired out from the day's events.
Once he was satisfied Mack hadn't been injured, Odin wrapped his arm around his son's shoulders and led him to his room.
"I'm sorry, dad. You'd think I'd learn by now, not to just go off without word or any kind of warning what I'm up to..." Mack sighed softly to his father.
Odin gently squeezed Mack to him and, as soon as they were in his room with his door closed, asked, "Was there any reason in particular you chose to go with the others, rather than call one of us for help?"
Mack blushed. "Yo-Yo was going..." he muttered in embarrassment.
"Did you even try to talk her out of it?" Odin asked.
Mack winced. "No, daddy..." he said, looking at the ground. "...I didn't even think to stop her or tell anyone. I don't even know why. It's normally the first thing I'd insist on; telling one of you who is in charge..." He sighed and ran his hand over his face.
Odin nodded. "That needs to become instinctual. Telling one of us in charge when something's happened. Because you could have easily been hurt. Or worse. And I cannot lose you, son."
"I know, daddy. If I'd stopped to think, I never would have left without telling you..." Mack was truly apologetic and his voice and body language conveyed it.
Odin hugged his son tightly and then guided him towards the bed. Taking a seat, he gently pulled Mack across his lap. "Putting yourself in any kind of danger is not acceptable." He bared his son and then lifted his hand, bringing it down in a firm smack.
"I know, Daddy... I'm sorry..." Mack said contritely, reaching down and holding onto Odin's leg. He wasn't certain how hard the spanking would be this time; he didn't often get into trouble with his father, but when he did, invariably it was because he'd gone off without letting anyone know what he was doing. He just wished he'd think of that before he wandered off.
Taking a tighter grip on his son, Odin continued the firm smacks down to Mack's thighs and then started over. About halfway down, he began speaking. "It is not acceptable to leave without a word. Not when you are going into a potentially dangerous situation."
"Yes, daddy... I... I'm… sorry. I know and I'm sorry..." Mack whispered.
"I cannot lose you, son," Odin said, beginning a third circuit of swats, going a bit harder and faster. "You should not have left. Should not have allowed me to come close to losing you."
Mack slumped over Odin's knee, wrapping his arms around his father's leg in a tight grip, even as he began to squirm uncontrollably. "I'm sorry, Daddy... I'm so sorry... please, forgive me..." he managed to gasp out before the tears began to fall and he couldn't talk. He squirmed a few moments longer, feeling the burning sting.
Odin focused some more swats to his son's sit spots and thighs, even as he said, "I forgive you, son. I love you. So very much."
"I love you too, Daddy... and I'm so sorry..." Mack gasped out between his tears, before slumping over Odin's knee. His arms were still wrapped around the older man's leg, as if he was afraid to let go. He just held on tightly, crying and lying limp over his father's knee, accepting whatever punishment Odin felt he deserved.
Odin brought the spanking to a stop and then moved his son into his arms, hugging Mack tightly and kissing the top of his head. "I love you, son," he whispered.
Mack burrowed against his father, nuzzling into his chest like a tiny child. He didn't get into trouble often and when he did, his sense of guilt hurt him more than actual punishment did. "I love you, daddy..." he said, tears and guilt still thick in his voice, even if he was trying to calm down for his father's sake. "...I really am sorry..." he whispered.
"I know, son. And I forgive you. I love you." Odin kissed his head, stroking his back, hugging him close and tight.
"I feel so bad for worrying you..." Mack admitted. "...I know better, but I keep doing it..." he said dejectedly.
Stroking the side of his head, Odin thought about that. "In that case, maybe what you need is to be kept close to me for the next week or so," he said. "Sleeping in here, with me. Not allowed to leave the compound without permission. Effectively grounded."
Mack sniffled and hugged Odin tightly. "...Th... thank you, daddy..." he said, in a tiny, but grateful voice.
Odin tightened his own embrace around his son, pressing another kiss to Mack's head. "I'm going to keep you close, son," he promised.
Mack shivered and snuggled as close as he was able, not saying anything else, but showing in the way he was reacting how much he needed to be kept close.
Odin didn't so much as loosen his hold on his son, continuing the gentle affection, his hand rubbing over Mack's back... adjusting his son's shirt enough so he could stroke over bare skin.
"Love you, daddy..." Mack mumbled softly, before falling asleep in his father's arms.
Odin moved his position enough to make sure they were both as comfortable as possible and continued to hold onto his son, keeping him close... just as he'd promised.
Everett glanced up when T'Challa returned to his room. "I'm really surprised they didn't make the walls in this place a bit thicker..." he said, with a faint pink tinge to his face. He'd changed into pajamas, since T'Challa had insisted on his staying here.
"I expect there is little point, as it is clear everyone here is aware of how things are handled." T'Challa stepped over to the bed. "How are you feeling?"
"My chest and stomach are a bit sore, but the pain is manageable... The kids got me out in time..." Everett said, not realizing that he'd just called people not that much younger than him kids.
T'Challa stepped over and sat on the edge of the bed. "You need to know that you have become part of my family." He chose to lead with that.
Everett blinked, slanting his head and staring at T'Challa. "I... that... that was not expected. It feels surprisingly good to know, though. So why do I suddenly feel so nervous?" He chuckled nervously.
"Because I doubt you will have failed to notice how wrongdoings are dealt with here in the family," T'Challa commented.
"No. It is impossible to miss or misunderstand..." Everett sighed. "...And you aren't happy with how I handled my assignment. Because I lied. And even though my orders were classified, that didn't mean I couldn't at least give you enough information to watch out for me... instead of leaving you completely in the dark." It was obvious he'd been thinking quite a bit since the last conversation they'd had.
"You lied to me," T'Challa said. "And as a part of my family, that is not okay. And, therefore, I will respond as I would with any other member of my family who behaved the same way as you did."
Everett glanced up at T'Challa, searching his face, then nodded briskly and swallowed. "Okay. I... I shouldn't have lied. It felt wrong, even when I was doing it before I knew you thought of me as family. Now it just feels horrid. I... I won't argue with you or fight you. Whatever you think I deserve..." His voice trailed off hesitantly, as he pretty much already knew what he deserved and what T'Challa would do.
T'Challa nodded. "If you feel up to it, we will take care of the punishment now."
"Honestly, I don't know that I'll ever feel up to it... but... I can handle it now, as-long-as I don't try and get away from you. And it's probably better if I don't have too much time to think about the fact that I'm about to be spanked at my age..." Everett snorted faintly, trying to see the humor in the situation, even though he didn't feel much like laughing.
Shifting back on the bed, T'Challa arranged pillows and cushions to make sure Everett would be well-supported, sitting back far enough so that the other man wouldn't be dangling in any way. He then carefully moved the other man over his lap.
Everett took a slow, deep breath as T'Challa positioned him. He was nervous, but to his surprise, he didn't feel odd or wrong about what was about to happen. He thought he might, but it didn't feel wrong. It felt... not right, exactly, but like the reason it was wrong was because of why he had ended up there. Not that he was there. He winced as he realized. "I... I need to be here... I messed up and I need things to be right between us... " he admitted in a whisper.
In answer, T'Challa took a moment or two to rub the other man's back before he bared him. Taking a firmer grip on Everett, he made sure the position was as secure as possible and then lifted his hand, bringing it down in a firm, stinging swat that he then repeated.
Everett closed his eyes and hissed, unable to keep himself from tensing up after the first smack. His position was as comfortable as it could be under the circumstances and he managed to not jerk, so he considered that a win in the 'not fighting or trying to get away' box, but he had to take a deep breath to relax again. He knew he couldn't remain tense through the entire punishment, or he'd be extremely sore after; and not from the spanking.
Realising the other man was tensing up, T'Challa landed a couple more swats and then paused to rub; much as he had with his cousin the first time. "I know you are used to acting on your own, but you are not alone. You are part of my family."
Everett's eyes flew open as he realized T'Challa had stopped smacking and was actually... comforting?... him. He didn't think the punishment was over yet, T'Challa's words indicated as much, but he was being given a reprieve. He found himself relaxing over the king's lap and just listening. "Am I your cousin as well...?" he asked hesitantly, not certain how T'Challa could consider him family, but finding he wanted that close relationship.
"Or my brother. I consider Erik as such, even if he was born as my cousin," T'Challa answered, continuing the gentle rubbing.
"I can't fathom how you can care about me that way... but... I'm thankful you do..." Everett admitted. "…But it makes what I did that much worse. I'm sorry..." He took another deep breath and closed his eyes, hiding his face in his arms.
"I know." T'Challa rubbed for a few more moments and then resumed swatting... though he kept up the pattern, pausing periodically to rub before resuming, going down to Everett's thighs before starting over from the top.
Everett shivered and took several deep breaths to keep from tensing up. It became easier once his body caught up to the fact that it wasn't really under attack and that, while the swats hurt, they weren't so painful as to need an escape. He was finally able to lie still over T'Challa's lap and not tense up or squirm and try to move away. The sting was slow building, due to the comforting rubbing between swats, but eventually, even the rubbing couldn't ease the sting completely and it began to linger, his backside feeling the burn. He wasn't terribly surprised to feel tears sliding down his cheeks and soaking the pillow he had under his head. "I'll never lie to you again..." he promised, his voice quivering, showing how close he was to crying vocally.
"I am very glad to hear that," T'Challa said. "Because if you do, this is what will happen. You will face this punishment as my family. As my brother." He began to focus more swats to Everett's sit spots and thighs, still pausing every so often to rub.
Everett barely managed to keep from tensing up as the swats became more focused where he would feel them most but couldn't stop the tiny sob that escaped. Once the sob got away from him, he couldn't keep the tears in, continuing to sob quietly. The only reason he could keep from twisting and struggling to get away was because of how gentle T'Challa was being, even as he punished him. "...I'm sorry..." he choked out with his tears. "...I did... didn't know..." he added. "...S'not excuse... bu... didn't know... and I... I'm sorry..." He cried a few more moments before adding in a very tiny, surprised voice, "...It hurts..." He'd thought he'd be able to handle himself in a more adult manner, but he couldn't.
"I know." T'Challa's voice was very gentle, even as he continued the swats and the rubbing. "But I've forgiven you. My brother. I love you."
"Y... you love me?" Everett hadn't been fighting and he'd managed to avoid tensing up while being spanked, or at least he thought he had, but T'Challa's words of love, indicating genuine acceptance and forgiveness, led to him going completely limp over his brother's knee. He was accepting the punishment with no fight, mental or physical. "I love you too, brother..." he whispered through his tears. "...I'm your brother... yours..." He sounded a bit in shock.
Bringing the spanking to a stop, T'Challa carefully replaced Everett's clothing and then moved so he could bring his brother up into his arms, hugging him close...and as carefully as possible, so as not to aggravate his injuries.
As soon as he was right side up again and being held, Everett wrapped his arms around T'Challa and held on tightly, letting his head fall onto the other man's shoulder. "I'll never lie to you again and I'll do my best to remember to tell you whatever you need to know. And if I'm not supposed to tell you, then I'll tell you that and prolly end up telling you anyway..." He let out a tiny huff of amusement and just snuggled.
T'Challa hugged him a bit tighter, still mindful of his brother's injuries, and carefully stroked his hair. "Good. Because I do not want to lose you. And I was extremely worried about you when you were brought back in such a bad shape."
"As an agent... we're expected to act like we're okay and aren't afraid... but... I was. Afraid. I... I thought I was going to die. If Luke's contact hadn't told him about me... no one knew where I was. I would have been killed..." He shivered, his grip tightening fractionally. "They shouldn't have known who I was. What I was. But they did. Maybe it's time I got a different job..." he said hesitantly. "I either messed up somehow, somewhere, so they could make me... or my face has somehow become well known enough that I can't go undercover any longer. Either way..."
"Either way, it will be better if you were to take on a different job. After all, one of your main responsibilities is being a liasion between Wakanda and here," T'Challa said. "I would be much happier if you were safer."
Everett nodded. "Then that is what I will do. I want my brother to be happy with me, after all..." He smiled serenely at T'Challa, slanting his head. "Do you think they'd hire me here?" he asked jokingly.
Even though the question was joking, T'Challa still answered it seriously. "I am certain you could be hired here if that is what you would like. And it would make me happier to know you were in a safer position."
"You'd really be happier if I worked here, with SHIELD?" Everett paused, thinking about it. "...I guess it would let you keep an eye on me easier. And when you were home at Wakanda, you could ask one of the others to do so..." he teased gently, not sure how he felt about T'Challa possibly being so protective of him, but thinking he might not mind it all that much.
"I will still expect you to come to Wakanda at times, just as I will still continue to come here," T'Challa said. "I do not plan to be apart from any of my siblings for long."
Everett smiled. "I could just get a job with you. Go wherever you go. Do you need a butler?" His grin was impish, although working for T'Challa didn't seem like such a bad idea. Now that he was aware how his brother felt about him, he found himself wanting to be certain of T'Challa's safety as much as T'Challa worried about his.
"I could do with you at my side, no matter what kind of work you do," T'Challa said. "You already have a place both here and in Wakanda. So, wherever I go, you already have a place."
"I can always be your man Friday..." Everett said, with a smile. "Whatever is needed..."
T'Challa smiled. "I trust you to be that. And it keeps you close to me, which is a key advantage."
Everett smiled again, nodding at the words. He then couldn't stifle the yawn that overcame him. "Sorry... medicine is kicking in..." he said sheepishly, even as he put his head on T'Challa's shoulder.
"Sleep, brother," T'Challa murmured. "I will keep watch over you."
"You are good at that..." Everett whispered, before falling asleep.
T'Challa continued to hold Everett close, making sure his brother was safe and unlikely to pull at his wounds.
Grant sat on his bed, staring at the book he'd been trying to read for the last forty minutes. It wasn't working, though. He'd finally reached the limit of how much he could stand isolating himself. Considering he'd lived in isolation for five years of his life the first time he was a teenager, he was surprised at how little he could genuinely stand it now. The problem was, he'd got too used to family and friends. And his reason for isolating himself wasn't entirely what he'd indicated when he was telling the others. Yes, he felt more comfortable alone with all the changes going on in his body... but it was more to do with his fear that he'd act out and get into constant trouble, like Bobbi, than because he didn't want to be around people. He bit his lip. He knew his father had indicated numerous times that he'd help with anything they needed help with, if it was in his power to do so. He'd helped to curb Bobbi's need to do the wrong thing before she'd done it... he wasn't too clear on why it worked, but he knew the how of it. Maybe it was time to ask for his father's help, so he wouldn't act out and so he could feel safe being around the family again. He was tired of being alone.
Sighing, he wrinkled his nose. He didn't think he'd have the guts to ask his father to help him if he had an audience and with Bobbi needing to stick close to him nearly non-stop... "Friday? Could you let my father know I need to talk to him, please? When he has a moment? In my room?" he asked softly.
After Friday passed on the message, Coulson gently suggested to Bobbi that maybe she could play some cards with her uncle Steve, as his brother had come by the room shortly after. It wasn't long before he was heading to his son's door and knocking lightly to announce his presence.
"Come in..." Grant called out, shifting so he was sitting on the end of his bed, his legs crossed, picking nervously at a pillow.
Stepping into the room and closing the door behind him, Coulson immediately walked over to his son and sat down, wrapping his arm around Grant's shoulders and hugging him tightly.
Grant turned so that he could wrap his own arms around his father, hiding his face against the older man's chest. "I'm tired of hiding and being alone, daddy..." he admitted softly. "...But I'm afraid if I come out of my room, I'll start acting out like Bobbi was; and I don't want to cause problems..."
Coulson kissed the top of his head. "You wouldn't cause problems, son. But I've helped your sister before when she's felt out of sorts. I can do the same thing for you," he suggested gently.
"It seemed to help her a lot... and I need help, daddy..." Grant snuggled a little more before pulling back enough to look into his father's eyes. "...Please help me?"
Coulson reached out and stroked his cheek. "I love you, Grant. So very much." Kissing his son's forehead, he then moved him across his lap, settling his son in place securely before baring him.
Grant immediately reached down and grasped onto his father's leg. He also found himself relaxing immediately... it was different going over his father's knee because his father was helping him, instead of going over because he'd done something wrong and was being punished. That was quickly evident. Without the extra burden of guilt or shame weighing on him, he was more able to focus on other things; such as how careful his father was being with him. "I love you too, daddy..." he said, already feeling more peaceful with his father holding onto him than he'd felt not more than ten minutes before, when he was still alone.
Coulson gently stroked his son's back a moment or two, before he let his hand move a bit lower and lifted it, bringing it down in what was really more of a firm pat than truly a swat. He repeated it, still at the same force.
Grant let out a little huff of air and relaxed further. It wasn't pain he was after and he was relieved that the 'reminder' Coulson was giving wasn't hard enough to hurt. He felt it, to be sure, but it didn't hurt; instead, it reminded him of who was in charge and who he needed to obey. "I want to be good for you, daddy..." he said, in a whisper.
"You are, son," Coulson promised, continuing the firm pats down to his son's thighs before starting over, still at the same force and speed. "I love you. So very much. I know being de-aged has been hard on you, but I missed out on everything when you grew up the first time. I missed out on my little boy..." He took a deep breath, unable to help but feel emotional. Losing Grant had been so devastating. Even after adopting Clint and Natasha, that pain had always been there.
Grant sniffled a little bit at the words, smiling. "Well... I guess being de-aged again was good for one thing..." he said quietly. "...Now you've gotten to take care of me as a little kid and as an obstinate teen. I... I can't say I'm sorry it happened. Part of me wishes I could stay like this and just grow up again. Having you take care of me and love me and teach me... I missed that the first time. I just didn't know I was missing it and now I do..." He sighed. He squeezed his father's leg gently, closing his eyes and focusing on the firm pats. His bottom was becoming sensitive from the repetition and he shifted slightly; not to get away, but he couldn't help himself.
"I'll always take care of you. Love you. Teach you. I won't let you go, son. Not ever. And I promise that you're just as important to me even though the amount of siblings you have has grown." Coulson began a third circuit of the pats, making them just a bit firmer. "I always missed you, Grant. I never stopped wanting you back with me."
"And now you have me and I'm happier than I've ever been..." Grant sniffled, shifting a bit more as his backside warmed.
"And you won't ever lose me, son. I promise." Coulson began focusing more of the pats to his son's sit spots and thighs, just a bit firmer than before. "I love you. So very much."
"I love you too, daddy!" Grant sniffled, before beginning to squirm more earnestly.
Coulson took a tighter hold on his son, drawing him against his stomach as he put a bit more force behind the pats. "I've got you, son. I won't ever let you go," he promised.
"Never, ever?" Grant asked breathlessly.
"Never," Coulson promised. "I love you and I won't let you go. I won't leave you alone. And I won't ever stop loving you."
At those words, Grant went limp, not even squirming, though he did whimper a little.
Coulson stopped and wasted no time gathering his son into his arms, hugging him close and tight and kissing his head. "I love you. So very much."
"I love you, daddy...thank you for taking care of me..." Grant whispered.
Coulson tightened his embrace. "I always will," he promised.
"I think I can be good now, daddy..." Grant snuggled as close as he could, leaving everything up to his father.
Coulson smiled. "Do you think you might like to join the rest of the family for breakfast?" he asked.
"Yeah, I'd like that..." Grant sat up and smiled, kissing his father on the cheek before standing and adjusting his clothes. "Thanks, daddy..." he said, with a shy grin
Coulson kissed his forehead. "Any time, son. I hope you know that. Any time you need my help... with anything."
Grant nodded, hugging his father tightly once more, before following him out the door to the dining area.
Bobbi was already there and when she saw Grant with Coulson, she quickly snagged three chairs that were next to each other, so that Coulson could sit in between them.
Erik was standing toward the side of the dining area, waiting for his cousin to arrive. He still didn't know the rest of the family well enough to feel comfortable mingling with them.
Coulson sat down in between Bobbi and Grant, smiling at them both and then at the rest of the family members.
Stepping into the dining area, T'Challa moved over to Erik, gently squeezing his shoulder. "I was going to take breakfast to Everett. Would you like to join us?" he asked.
Erik blinked. "Yeah. Okay, cuz..." He grinned and moved to make himself a plate. He glanced over at T'Challa. "You need help getting Everett's together? And are Shuri and Nakia joining us too, or are they staying in the main dining area?"
"Shuri is staying in the main dining area..." Shuri said, in a sing-song voice. "...I want to talk more with Leo and Jemma about projects they've been working on..."
"I will stay here as well." Nakia smiled at the two men; not saying that she wanted to give them some time alone, but she figured it would be good for them.
T'Challa smiled at Shuri and Nakia, then nodded to Erik. "He'll need food that's fairly light to eat..." he said, thinking of the other man's injuries.
Erik nodded. "Toast, a boiled egg, some fruit?" he asked, as he got a second plate and held it still so T'Challa could put food on it for Everett.
"I think those are best." T'Challa began filling up the plate with said food.
Erik held the plate until his cousin was finished filling it (having already filled his own plate), then waited for T'Challa to get his own food so they could walk back to Everett together. He tucked a couple of bottles of water under each arm, so they'd have something to drink as well.
T'Challa walked side by side with his brother, heading back to his room. After a few moments, he said, "I do not just think of you as my cousin, Erik. To me, you are as much my brother."
Erik blinked, giving T'Challa a serious look. "Really? That's... unexpected. But it feels good. I have to admit you've become more than just my cousin..."
"You are a very important part of my life," T'Challa said seriously. "You, Everett, Shuri... all three of you are my siblings. And I could not imagine my life without you in it."
Erik smiled. "You're important to us...to me," Erik admitted quietly. He followed T'Challa into the room, nodding at Everett.
T'Challa smiled at Everett. "We have brought food for you, brother," he said, making it clear he wouldn't hide his relationship with any of them.
Erik grinned, walking over and carefully handing the plate he carried to Everett.
Everett took the plate. "Thanks..." He gave Erik a crooked grin, watching closely to see how he reacted to T'Challa's words.
"Yes, brother. Eat up. It isn't too heavy, so it shouldn't upset your stomach. T'Challa made certain of it..." Erik said, letting Everett know that not only did he know of T'Challa's 'adopting' Everett, but that he had pretty much been 'adopted' as a brother as well and was perfectly happy with the arrangement.
"And after you have eaten, I believe it will be time to take some more painkillers," T'Challa added, sitting down on the bed and encouraging Erik to sit with them.
"Any chance I can cut back on those painkillers?" Everett asked calmly, if a bit hopefully. Like many of those living in the compound, he didn't like taking medications if he could avoid it.
"You were very badly injured," T'Challa pointed out. "There is no sense in staying in pain when there is medication that will help you."
Everett sighed, but didn't argue. It wasn't like he'd expected a different answer. "Yes, sir..." he said quietly. Even if T'Challa wasn't his king... he was his family now. His brother. And even though Everett suspected he was the older of the two, T'Challa had taken on the role of 'older' brother; the protector and leader of the family. If anyone else tried to tell him what to do, Everett might argue, but not with T'Challa. At least not right now. Not when he knew T'Challa was right.
Erik chuckled. "You are a true king, brother..." he teased T'Challa. "You inspire obedience even among those who are not your subjects..."
"You are both my family," T'Challa said. "And I am sure you both know I expect obedience where your safety and health are concerned."
"Yes, sir..." This time, Erik responded with Everett, their voices echoing in sync around the room.
Everett shook his head. "I'm pretty certain you are younger than me. And I'm also pretty certain that the older brother normally isn't expected to obey the younger..." he muttered, but he sounded amused, so it was obvious he didn't truly mind the arrangement.
"Perhaps not, but I am not sure our relationship could be termed as normal," T'Challa commented.
"That is an accurate statement, if ever I heard one..." Everett chuckled, grinning when Erik outright laughed.
T'Challa couldn't help but smile. "And I do not believe how our relationship has fallen is a bad thing."
"And that would also be accurate..." Everett smiled. "...You make the perfect big brother, even if you are a little brother..." His eye had an impish gleam. "...And I know that I... I will likely test you sorely. Most people don't know it, but I don't tend to... be careful a lot of times..." He winced as he thought about what that would likely mean for him and his backside in the future.
"You aren't the only one..." Erik snorted.
"And I am sure I do not need to tell you what will happen if either of you are less mindful of your safety than you should be," T'Challa said. "Or if either of you lie to me."
"No, sir..." This time, Everett muttered, his face turning a bright red; not at the threat of a spanking, but at the reminder that he'd lied to T'Challa... and thought it was a good idea.
"If we do not pay attention to our safety or if we lie, then we deserve whatever we get..." Erik added.
"But even if you do, it will change nothing of our relationship," T'Challa promised. "It will change nothing of how I feel about either of you. I will never change my mind. Or give up on you. Or stop loving you as my brothers..."
Everett swallowed hard. "I believe you. Now can we stop with all the touchy-feely emotional stuff before I start crying like a baby?" He quickly wiped at his eyes to hide the fact they were already glassy.
T'Challa didn't point out that, just because they weren't talking about it, that didn't make how he felt any less true. Instead, he checked the dosage on the pain medication and began to pour some out for Everett.
Everett watched his brother pour out the medication and sighed softly, but obediently took it when it was offered to him. "You realize that I'm probably going to fall asleep again now...?" he said rhetorically.
"That's likely the point..." Erik pointed out. "...Sleeping will help you heal faster."
"And it will also stop you from being in so much pain," T'Challa commented. He didn't add that seeing any of them in pain was hard to see, figuring they would realise that.
"...Thank you..." Everett said, settling back into the bed with a tiny wince. "...It's been a long time since anyone cared about my pain level or... or anything for that matter..." he admitted.
"Well, I care." T'Challa reached out and gently squeezed his brother's shoulder. "You have that now."
Everett smiled, his eyes drooping closed. "It means a lot..." he said, in a whisper, before sleep overtook him.
Erik blinked. "Just how big a dose of that pain medicine did you give him?" He snorted, surprised at how quickly it had worked to knock the other man out.
"He was awake most of the night. And does have a concussion, along with various other injuries," T'Challa said.
"True. And he could be one of those lucky individuals that is affected strongly by medication..." Erik nodded. "...Shall we go join Shuri and Nakia and allow our brother to rest?"
T'Challa stood up and nodded to Erik. "That sounds good to me."
Erik stood as well and followed his brother out of the room, going in search of the rest of their family.
Bobbi had finished eating her breakfast and had stood to clear the table for anyone else who had finished. It would allow the rest of the family to relax and talk, but it also helped her to feel at least a little more useful. She was beginning to feel more like her normal self; her body fully back to the way it was before she was de-aged. The only part of her still catching up was her hormones... she only hoped they didn't take too long to get with the program. She wanted to talk to her father about her being allowed to go on ops again, but with all the grief she'd given him, she decided that it would probably be better to let him be the one to broach the subject, when he felt she was ready.
She couldn't help but keep glancing back toward the dining area and watching Coulson with the rest of his kids and grandkids. She wasn't feeling as jealous as she had been. She and Gamora had come to an understanding and she found herself liking the other woman. She also liked her new brother. She couldn't help but wonder if her newfound liking of her new siblings had been influenced by the fact she'd finally been honest with her father and turned herself over into his complete care. She sighed softly. So much of the anxiety she'd had in the last several weeks could have been avoided if she'd just been honest with him from the beginning, instead of bottling her feelings up. "Let that be a lesson to me..." she muttered to herself under her breath.
Coulson looked around at his children and grandchildren and then looked towards the kitchen, making eye contact with Bobbi. With a gentle smile, he motioned her into the room so that she could join him and the rest of the family.
Wanda was snuggled into her father, almost sprawled across him. She was back to her normal age but was still clingy.
Clint didn't mind the clinginess. He was just happy his children were healthy and happy, despite everything that had been happening. He cuddled Wanda closer, reaching over just long enough to pull Pietro in closer as well.
Bobbi smiled at her father and put the last dish into the rack to dry, then walked back into the room to join her family. She gently nudged Raina on her way by, smiling at the other woman. Raina was back to her normal age and temperament. It seemed as if her hormones weren't wreaking havoc on her; at least not that she was displaying.
Raina looked up and gave her sister a gentle smile. She and Bobbi had grown closer the last several weeks. As guilty as she had felt, causing such an upheaval in the family, she couldn't deny that she liked the results of said upheaval. She had two new sisters, a new brother and was closer than ever to the rest of her siblings. Everyone was healthy and happy and had grown closer to their families. It wasn't such a bad result, considering what it could have been.
Lincoln watched his aunts and uncles and cousins and shifted closer to Natasha. Not too close... he was back to his normal age as well and was feeling a bit sheepish at how clingy he had become while de-aged. Normally, he was a bit more aloof and he didn't know if he should go back to being that way, or if he should continue to be clingy and cuddly now that he was normal. Part of him wanted to cling. He eyed his new sister uncertainly. She wasn't being clingy, so maybe he should refrain?
Bobbi finally ended up next to her father. She didn't sit on his lap, wanting to let him decide if they'd be staying longer in the room, or if he was going to 'handle' her and then they'd come back. She'd been fighting him for several weeks, but once she'd made the decision that she wouldn't fight any longer and that he'd be in charge? Her entire mindset had shifted into not doing anything until he told her to. She wondered if that bothered him.
Coulson reached out and wrapped his arm around Bobbi's waist, drawing her gently into his lap. Kissing the back of her head, he whispered, "We'll go to my room in a few minutes." Then, to give enough room for some of his other children to cuddle, he situated Bobbi so he could cuddle one of his other children on his lap too.
Natasha wrapped her arm around Lincoln's shoulders and smiled reassuringly at him, wanting him to feel comfortable enough to seek out affection if he needed or wanted it.
Raina, not having spent nearly as much time over her father's knee while de-aged (and really not that much time sitting on it either, to be honest), found herself gravitating to Coulson. As soon as Bobbi was situated on one knee, she sat on his other knee and put her head on his shoulder. "Even though what I did was wrong and I'm infinitely grateful nothing worse happened because of it..." she started out. "...I can't help thinking some good came out of everyone de-aging..." she finished softly.
Coulson wrapped his other arm around Raina's waist and kissed her head. "It's like the first time some of the family members were de-aged. In some ways, it's allowed many of us to grow closer. Not to mention drawing more family members into the fold."
Nebula had been sitting close by without getting onto her father's lap. She slanted her head. "This de-aging has happened to the family before?!"
Jeffrey couldn't help but smile behind his hand at her incredulous tone.
Coulson smiled. "Yes, but it happened to considerably less members. But those members were de-aged down to actual children... and didn't remember their lives as adults. That time allowed a lot of the family relationships to form and grow stronger."
Nebula thought about that. "Do you think this time might have been easier if the adult memories were forgotten like the last time?" she asked curiously.
Coulson thought seriously about that. "It might have been easier for some of the family members if they had forgotten. But for some of the other members, I think it would have made things a lot worse."
Nebula nodded. "I am glad that the family is able to be back to normal. Even if being younger was good for some of them..."
Gamora didn't say anything, but she gave Bobbi a tiny smile.
Valkyrie hadn't been around for most of what occurred, so she didn't say anything about how good or bad it was. She did find herself gravitating closer to Natasha. She smiled at Lincoln when she noticed him gravitating closer as well, leaning on his mother and putting his head on her shoulder.
Natasha gently squeezed Lincoln's shoulders and wrapped her other arm around Valkyrie, drawing them both close to her. She didn't pull either onto her lap but wouldn't have a problem doing so if one or both indicated they wanted to be there.
"So… With all the new family members... I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a good idea for you all to take another family vacation, so you can have some one-on-one time and get to know each other better..." Paul said off-handedly. "...We'd love to have you visit the farm again and if you're all there, you can help add on that extra wing to the house, so that there are enough bedrooms to fit everyone comfortably, even if it ends up two or three to a room..." He winked at his wife and father, knowing that the renovations had already been done and were just waiting to surprise everyone when they came back to visit again.
Cathy smiled. "Yes, we'd love to have you visit again," she said, carefully not acting in any way that might draw suspicion from those of the family well-trained in observation.
Bobbi turned excited eyes onto her father. "Please, daddy?!" she begged. "Raina hasn't got to go yet! And now Gamora and Nebula and Jeffrey and Lincoln and Valkyrie are here too, and they need to see it!"
Coulson smiled. "I think that might be a very good idea. After the wedding, perhaps all of us can take little vacations," he commented, thinking about an idea he and Steve had talked about and one that could be taken care of while the family was away.
Grant grinned. "You wouldn't happen to have any more kittens on the way, would you?" he asked impishly, remembering how his Aunt Laura had indicated an interest in a kitten.
Paul laughed. "As a matter of fact, we had two stray tabbies wander onto the farm and take up residence... I wouldn't be surprised if we have a surprise when we get back home, since we couldn't get close enough to see what sex they were, or to even get them to the vet for shots. The couple that we hired to watch the place and take care of the animals while we're here said they'd work on getting them tame enough to at least have the vet make a house-call...so..."
"Perhaps we could have a word with your grandfather Logan about getting a kitten," Coulson said, able to tell where Grant's mind had gone.
Grant just grinned at his father, liking that Coulson could read him so well.
"Well...I'd love to stay a little longer, but I promised Bruce I'd come by the lab and explain in detail what I did with my particular experiment. We still don't know why it reacted to the apples the way it did, but he thinks the more we know, the better off we'll be. Maybe we can get together and play games later?" Raina asked, almost bashfully, at the end.
Coulson smiled and kissed the back of her head, giving her another cuddle before he loosened his hold, so she could get up. "That sounds very good to me," he agreed.
Raina leaned over and kissed her father on the cheek. "I'll see you at lunch, then..." She smiled, before heading out to find her cousin.
"If we're going to play games later, I should probably get my practice out of the way before lunch..." Grant grinned. "Now that I'm the right size and can actually do things I've been trained to do again..." This time, he eyed his father sideways, asking if he was allowed to do that without actually saying the words.
Gamora smiled faintly. "Nebula and I would like a chance to spar with our siblings now that they are at their right size, age and skill-set to be able to show their true abilities..."
Nebula just nodded in agreement with that.
"It couldn't hurt to practice off of each other..." Jeffrey said quietly. "It will give us a chance to learn each other's strengths and weaknesses, so we can better support each other on missions..." He too glanced at Coulson, as if asking permission.
Coulson smiled, looking at each of his children and grandchildren in turn. "I think that would be a very good idea. It might be worth seeing if any of the other family members would like to join in." Gently squeezing Bobbi's waist, he added, "Bobbi and I will just be a few minutes and then we'll join you."
"Okay, Dad..." Grant grinned and stood, heading to his room to change into workout clothes.
"C'mon, kiddos... you're working out too..." Clint teased his children, as he led them back to their rooms to change.
Lincoln looked at Natasha. "Me too?" he asked.
Valkyrie was already heading back to her given room, so she could change; as were Nebula, Gamora and Jeffrey.
Natasha nodded, gently squeezing Lincoln's shoulder. "Yes. You too," she responded. "I know you were training better with Danny... maybe we could ask him to join us," she commented.
Lincoln blushed. "I was a kid when training with Danny..." he pointed out. "...Maybe I'll do better now that I'm my real age again?" He sounded hopeful, even as he stood up, so they could walk back to their rooms and change.
Soon, it was just Bobbi, Coulson, Paul, Cathy and Ben. Bobbi glanced at her aunt and uncle and then at her grandfather. ""Do you all want to come spar with us? Or watch us? I'm sure the others wouldn't mind..." she said as she stood.
Cathy smiled. "We could probably come and watch you, at least," she commented, not sure they'd be up to outright sparring.
"We'll go to my room and then join the others," Coulson said to Bobbi.
Bobbi nodded. "We'll see you in the gym," she said to her aunt and uncle, before going over to Ben and giving him a big hug. "Thank you, granddaddy..." she whispered into Ben's ear, knowing he'd realize she was talking about him helping her wise up and go to her father. "...I love you." She kissed him on the cheek, before going to stand next to her father so that he could lead her to his room.
Coulson smiled at the rest of his family and wrapped his arm around Bobbi's shoulders, guiding his daughter to his room, kissing her cheek.
Bobbi leaned against her father, only stepping away once they were in his room; and that was only so he could shut the door. She went and stood next to the bed and waited for him, staring at her feet.
Coulson stepped over to the bed and sat down, reaching out to gently draw Bobbi across his lap. "I love you," he whispered as he positioned her.
"I love you too, daddy..." Bobby said softly, reaching down to hold onto her father's leg with both hands. She took a slow, deep breath, trying to calm and center herself. She needed this. Needed her father to take control and prove to her he was in control; and that he was able to handle her when she couldn't handle herself. She needed it, but that didn't mean it was easy. She'd had so many spankings in the last week and now she was having them daily (even if they were more reminders and not punishment) and her bottom was super-sensitive and she just knew if she didn't hold onto her father's leg, she would throw her hands back and try and block him.
Gently rubbing her back a moment or two, Coulson bared her and then took a firm grip around her waist before he started up a gentle patting of her backside... knowing she was sensitive and that it wouldn't take much to have an effect.
Bobbi whimpered and slumped, grateful for her father's gentleness, even if she didn't think she deserved it. She'd given him such a difficult time! "I'm sorry I was so naughty, daddy..." she whispered again, for what had to be the hundredth time. She couldn't forgive herself for how horrid she'd been to him. No matter how many times she went over his knee and submitted, a small part of her felt like she deserved so much worse than to be shown she was his daughter and he was in charge.
Coulson stroked over her lower back. "I love you. So very much. And you're not naughty now," he promised, continuing the gentle patting. "You're my good girl now."
Bobbi sniffled. "I wish I'd been good the whole time. I feel awful how I treated you..." she admitted, deciding he needed to know she felt guilty still. The chances of her acting out were always greater when she felt guilty.
"I've forgiven you for that," Coulson said gently. "I love you, sweetie." He began to pat a bit more firmly.
"I know..." Bobbi spoke in a tiny voice. "...I don't understand how you could forgive me. I was awful to you!" she sniffled, shifting her hands so she could wrap her arms around his leg and hug tightly. "I know you forgave me... I just can't forgive myself..." she admitted hesitantly.
"It'll take time," Coulson said. "But you are not a bad person, sweetie. You made some mistakes, but we've got past them and you're my good girl now."
Bobbi relaxed, closing her eyes and focusing on the firm pats. She couldn't help but squirm; she really was sensitive. "I love you, daddy," she said again.
"I love you. So very much," Coulson said, his voice warm and sincere. He began to focus more of the pats to her sit spots and thighs.
Bobbi slumped, her squirming ceased, and she began whimpering slightly, but otherwise not responding. She felt relieved; her father had her and would help her- was helping her. She hadn't messed up everything and pushed him away. He was pulling her to him and keeping her close. Even if she couldn't forgive herself, it would be okay. He'd forgiven her. "...Always yours, daddy..." she whispered.
"Always mine," Coulson agreed. "I love you. So very much."
Bobbi shivered and slumped the rest of the way, going boneless over her father's knee. She knew she'd feel the reminder for at least the rest of the morning (training was going to be interesting), but it didn't worry or upset her. She felt safe and secure and knew it was because she was safe with her father. She could feel how he was looking out for her. She didn't need to be worried or afraid, so she wasn't.
She let out a tiny, whimpering sigh, just letting herself feel. Coulson would stop when he'd decided it was enough. As naughty as she'd been, she wouldn't blame him if he kept going till she'd feel it to the next reminder. He wasn't patting hard enough to actually hurt her, just make her backside sensitive and feel discomfort. He could easily keep going and not do damage; although she knew if he did keep going, she might lose any ability to disagree with him she had. She'd definitely be good; she wouldn't be in a headspace capable of doing or being anything else.
Coulson landed a few more mild pats and then stopped the patting, bringing his daughter up into his arms, hugging Bobbi close and tight and kissing the top of her head. "I've got you," he whispered. "I won't ever let you go."
Bobbi shivered slightly, burrowing against her father, whimpering faintly because shifting wasn't comfortable. "...Thank you, daddy..." she whispered. "...I don't want to ever be away from you again... don't wanna pull away and forget where I belong..." She swallowed hard. "I love you..."
"I love you. So very much." Coulson threaded his fingers through her hair and kissed her forehead. "And I won't ever let you go. I promise."
Bobbi smiled. "It helps...hearing that..." she said softly. Swallowing, she admitted, "I was so difficult, but I can see now part of it was hormones, but... but part of it was fear and jealousy." She winced, glancing up at him apologetically. "I don't know why it upset me so much when you took in Gamora and Nebula, but it did..." She looked down again. "...I... I guess part of me was testing you... to see if I pushed hard enough that you'd give up on me... But I didn't want to be apart from you and it hurt me as much as it did you..." She sighed softly, a sense of acceptance and relief in her tone. "You never gave up on me or let me go..." She looked up again and smiled crookedly.
"And I never will," Coulson promised, stroking the side of her face. "I won't ever give up on you or let you go. And even if you do have three new siblings, they don't make my love for you any less."
"I believe that... sometimes my emotions don't go along with my head, though..." She blushed faintly, pressing her face into his hand. "...Guess that's when I need to come to you, so you can help me remember, huh?"
"Exactly." Coulson kissed her head. "And if you learn to do that, you'll feel much better," he murmured.
Bobbi nodded. "Like I feel better now. Even if my bottom is so sensitive, I can't move without thinking about being over your knee..." She blushed again. "I hope I learn to do that quick. I never want to be fighting you like I did the last few weeks. I was miserable..."
"I know." Coulson tightened his embrace. "And it was very hard to see you in that state. Which is why you'll be staying close to me."
Bobbi snuggled close, relaxing against him. "Part of me thinks the others are waiting for us, so I should stop monopolizing you; but the other part is so happy to finally be right with you again, I don't want to go..." she whispered. "Just wanna snuggle and be held and not be let go..."
"We can stay here and snuggle. We don't have to join the others just yet," Coulson said. "But even if you would like to join them, we'll still be right," he promised.
Bobbi nodded, sighing softly and shifting so she was more firmly attached to her father. "I wanna snuggle more," she admitted bashfully. She knew her siblings would understand. She just didn't want to be away from her father at all. If she wasn't sitting on his lap, she either wanted to be over it; or close enough that he could have a hand on her holding her and keeping her close. "You don't mind my being clingy?" she asked quietly.
"Not at all," Coulson promised quietly, kissing her head and drawing her in closer. "I would never mind."
Bobbi hummed happily, putting her head on his shoulder, shifting slightly again so that she was sitting more on her thighs instead of her bottom and wrapping her arms tightly around him. "I love you, daddy..." she whispered.
"I love you too. So very much. And I'm glad you're feeling better," Coulson said softly, stroking her hair and back.
Bobbi would have purred, if she'd been able. She hugged her father, her grip tight, and nuzzled against him. "...Only cuz you never gave up on me or let me get away with pulling away. Thank you for not letting me pull away..." she added.
"You're welcome," Coulson murmured, hugging her tighter to himself, kissing her head and stroking her hair.
Bobbi didn't know how long she sat on her father's lap, just snuggling, but she finally sighed a happy sigh and sat up with just the barest of winces. "I guess I'm ready to go meet the rest of the family and practice some..." she said, with a smile.
Coulson smiled. "And maybe, later, we can all sit in here and watch a movie. You can cuddle up on the bed with me and any other of your siblings who would like to cuddle."
"That sounds great, daddy..." Bobby leaned up and kissed him on the cheek, before carefully standing and fixing her clothing with a tiny wince. She smiled at him serenely. "Do you think I'm dressed okay for sparring?"
Coulson smiled. "I think you're dressed fine, sweetie." He kissed her forehead and then stood, wrapping his arm around her shoulders to guide her from the room.
Wade was back in his brother's room again, laying with his body on the bed and his head hanging off the bed, so he could view the world from upside down. He seemed a bit more pensive than usual.
Colossus noticed the look on his brother's face and reached out to gently squeeze his shoulder. "What is wrong, Wade?"
"Nooooooothin!" Wade drew the word out for so long, he almost had to take another breath to finish it.
Colossus pulled Wade a bit closer to him, almost preparing to pull his brother over his lap. "That is not true."
Wade glanced up at his brother, grinning a bit loopily (since he'd been upside down for several minutes and the blood had rushed to his head). "Well... it's nothing really important. I'm just... thinking." He wiggled his backside; both to non-verbally acknowledge the fact he knew Colossus was debating putting him over his lap and also because he was trying to get back onto the bed enough that his head wasn't hanging upside down anymore. It was difficult to carry on a conversation in the position he was currently in.
"What are you thinking about?" Colossus easily lifted his brother enough to drape Wade across his lap, making sure he wasn't dangling upside down anymore.
Wade blinked as he was finally not upside down, even if he was horizontal over Colossus's knee and facing the bed this time. Oh well. It wasn't like this position didn't make him more honest.
"I've just been thinking about the rumor I heard about there being a collar that stops a mutant's powers and makes them just like any other every-day Joe..." Wade said. "Wondering if it is true and how exactly it works. If you got hold of one, it'd be like you'd have an on-off switch for me whenever I got on your nerves!" he joked teasingly.
"Wade, do you understand what that would mean with a collar that stops your abilities?" Colossus asked, one large hand resting on his brother's backside. "It is your ability that keeps you alive. Removing that would also remove you. From my life."
"I... yeah. I know that. I was just being a smart-arse... I know you'd never use something on me that would actually harm me... " Wade said, thinking Colossus was upset that he'd said Colossus would put a collar on him that would kill him.
"This is not the first time you have said or done something that causes me to worry for your safety," Colossus said, the worry obvious in his voice.
"Aw... c'mon, big guy... it's not as if I have one of those collars that I could put on me..." Wade pouted, though he very obviously didn't try and deny that he'd said things in the past that could be worrisome; and he wasn't denying that he'd try to see what the collar did if given the chance. He was just stating that he didn't have one of those type of collars.
"And if you did have one, I would expect you not to try to test it out." Colossus patted Wade's backside gently in warning.
"That's asking a lot..." Wade whined, not wanting to promise any such thing, because he knew himself and he'd end up breaking that promise.
"No, Wade. It is not 'asking a lot'." Colossus proceeded to bare his brother.
"But it is!" Wade whined more. "...You know I have no self-control! I'd have to try it out... even if I know what it does, it's not the same as experiencing it!"
"You did experience it, before your ability was activated. It would eventually kill you." Colossus started to lightly swat his brother's backside... at least lighter than usual, as his hands were so heavy, a light swat would still sting.
Wade winced. He knew his brother was right, but he couldn't let go of it. Even though he knew he'd eventually have to admit the real reason and then... his brother would be upset. If Vanessa heard, she'd be upset. Everyone he cared about and loved would be upset and he didn't want that. He really needed to let it go before he upset everyone. But he couldn't. "That was forever ago! And I'm sure it must be different after having had powers, to feel... powerless..."
Colossus continued to lightly swat, moving his hand about fractionally so that the smacks didn't all land in one spot. "It is not acceptable, brother."
"It's... It's not like I'll ever have one of those collars available to try out, anyway!" Wade whined again, beginning to shift as the sting began to settle in and Colossus showed no signs of stopping.
Colossus began to smack just a bit harder. "Disregarding your safety is not acceptable, whether you have immediate access to one of those collars or not."
"I can't promise I won't try it if I get the chance!" Wade hissed as the swats went from stinging to painful, with just that small bit of extra strength. "I want to, but I know I'd end up breaking the promise!" His whine this time sounded a bit worried. He didn't want Colossus upset with him. He felt like Colossus was going to be upset and it bothered him. A lot.
"Why?" Colossus pressed, focusing more swats to Wade's sit spots and thighs. "You have a family. I thought you had stopped thinking up ways to take yourself away."
"I... I don't know why!" Wade snapped out. This wasn't a spanking he had sought out and because of the fact he hadn't wanted it, it made him feel small and guilty. He didn't like that feeling at all.
"I am sure you can tell me how you feel, Wade." The worry and concern came through obviously in Colossus' voice. "You speak as if you have no care for your own life and that scares me."
"I care..." Wade said, but it wasn't terribly convincing, not even to himself.
"If you did, you would not be willing to put yourself in danger just to try out a collar," Colossus said.
"I don't know why!" Wade choked out. "I just can't... stop thinking..." He swallowed back another choked sound and clenched his hands, before throwing them back to block his bottom.
Grasping Wade's hands, Colossus moved them out of the way, holding them against his back as he resumed the swats. "About what?" he pushed.
"I... I don't know!" Wade started to cry. Which was a lie. He knew exactly what he'd been thinking of and why he was thinking it. But he also knew Colossus would be hurt and upset if he learned of what his thoughts had been. And he didn't want to hurt or upset his brother. That was the last thing he wanted.
Wade tried to stop crying, but this spanking hurt and unlike all the other times where he'd wanted a spanking, he didn't want this one, so it was harder to ignore the pain and focus on the things he normally liked (such as Colossus holding onto him tightly and devoting his entire attention to Wade). He couldn't stop crying and ended up beginning to squirm in a desperate attempt to get his bottom out of the line of fire.
Colossus wrapped his arm tightly around Wade's waist, drawing his brother in tightly against his stomach, and began to gently rub Wade's bottom. "You are lying to me, brother. I believe you do know."
Wade ceased squirming as he realized the swats had stopped and Colossus was rubbing. He shivered and took a deep breath, swallowing hard. Finally, tears in his voice, he said, "...I do know. But it will upset you and I don't want to upset you..." His voice was tiny and almost childlike.
"You are upset. You do not need to go through this alone," Colossus said. "I love you, Wade. My brother."
"I... I don't deserve you!" Wade blurted, beginning to cry vocally. "I don't deserve you or your love. I don't deserve 'nessa. I don't deserve Soni. I don't deserve to be... be here with you happy and with... with a family..." He choked on the words and once they were out, he just slumped and cried.
Colossus winced and brought his brother up into his arms, hugging him tightly, while being careful not to crush Wade with his strength. "You deserve a family, Wade," he said.
"How can you believe that? I'm a horrible brother. I'm a horrible boyfriend. I con... constantly cause problems..." Wade was still crying, although he was snuggling as close to Colossus as he could get. He may not believe he deserved a family, but he wasn't about to push his family away when they were showing him affection.
"You do not care so much about your own safety and that is concerning behaviour. But I love you and it would hurt more if you were not in my life." Colossus pulled Wade closer, his hand stroking over his brother's head and back, down over his backside.
"I didn't want to worry you... didn't want to hurt you... s'why I didn't wanna tell the truth..." Wade admitted quietly, snuggling as close as he could get, almost laying on Colossus. "...Sorry I lied..." he added, knowing that was something his brother didn't like and would normally punish.
Colossus gave Wade's bottom a firm pat. "Lying to me is not okay, brother. No matter how you believe I will react, you must always be honest with me."
"Yessir..." Wade mumbled into Colossus' chest, hesitantly shifting so his bottom stuck out a little more in case Colossus felt he needed to be punished for the lie, but not actively seeking punishment. "...Need to be honest, even if it's hard and scary..." he admitted, sniffling. "...Didn't wanna upset you..." he whispered forlornly, positive that he'd done just that.
Colossus cuddled his brother tightly, delivering another couple of firm pats to Wade's backside. "Seeing you upset will bother me much more; more if I do not know the reason," he said.
"Okay..." Wade whispered, in a tiny voice, letting out tiny whimpers with each pat, but not trying to get away from them. He knew better than to lie. "I love you, big brother..." he whispered again.
"I love you too," Colossus said, seriously and sincerely, delivering a few light smacks before he resumed rubbing.
Wade whimpered, then slumped into his brother, nuzzling against him. "I really am sorry I lied..." he admitted, in a tiny, repentant voice before he reluctantly pulled away and shifted so he was back over his brother's lap. "...I know better..." he admitted sorrowfully, before closing his eyes and waiting for what he knew he deserved.
Colossus didn't start swatting again, instead rubbing Wade's bottom. "You do know better than to lie to me, especially when it comes to your safety. You are my responsibility, Wade. My brother."
Wade whimpered softly, the words making him feel bad for not only hurting and upsetting his brother but lying. It wasn't like the lie had done anything to help the situation. "I'm sorry, C'lossus. I'm sorry..." He began to cry again quietly, feeling very guilty.
"I forgive you, Wade. I love you, brother. So very much," Colossus said, continuing to gently stroke and rub Wade's bottom and thighs, rubbing out the sting from the swats.
"I love you too, big guy..." Wade said, with a hint of confusion in his tone (he'd expected a spanking for the lie). He didn't try and get away or 'convince' Colossus to spank him again, though. As guilty as he felt, he knew that it was up to Colossus what would be done to address his actions. He sniffled and let himself slump over Colossus' knee again. He'd move when Colossus told him to. Until then, he couldn't help but relax at the gentle affection.
Colossus continued to gently rub and stroke. "I expect you to tell me the truth next time, brother. No matter how you think it might affect me."
"Yessir..." Wade said, in a tiny voice, still obviously confused, but not wanting to push his brother to do anything... wanting to accept whatever Colossus decided and obey him.
Colossus wrapped his arm around Wade's waist, drawing his brother close and tight against his stomach. "Even if you do not believe you deserve this and to be here with me, having you here makes me very happy. After all, that was what I was trying to do. Bring you home."
"All those times you wanted me to join the X-Men was because you wanted me to come home to you?" Wade asked, his voice holding a hint of surprised wonder. He hadn't even realized Colossus viewed him as a brother at that point in time.
"Yes, brother," Colossus answered. "I already knew you belonged with me. No matter how much you fought and resisted it and me."
Wade sniffled, relaxing further. "I didn't believe anyone could really want me like that..." he admitted.
"I do, Wade. I did then, and I do now," Colossus stated, his voice sincere, his hand still stroking and rubbing his brother's bottom. "It relieves me you stopped fighting and let me bring you home."
Wade couldn't help but smile at the words, even if tears were still streaming down his face. "I'm glad I stopped fighting you too..." he said softly. "...Even if I don't deserve you, I'm glad I have you for my brother..."
"You deserve me," Colossus stated. "Even if you do your best to make things difficult for me at times." He rubbed and stroked a little bit more, then delivered a firm smack to his brother's bottom.
Wade's quickly inhaled breath escaped with a low, drawn out whimper... but he very noticeably held still and didn't try and get away. In fact, he seemed to relax. He'd been waiting for the consequences of his lying to be dealt out and now that it seemed they were, his confusion at not receiving anything for what he knew was a very naughty thing to do disappeared. "I... I'm sorry I'm difficult..." he said, in a tiny voice, reaching back and putting his hands against the small of his back so that Colossus could help him hold still. He knew he wouldn't be able to without help, no matter how much he believed he deserved what he was getting.
Colossus grasped Wade's hands, holding them out of the way, and continued to smack at the same force. "Even if you are difficult at times, you are still my brother and I would never regret having you with me," he said.
Wade closed his eyes, sniffling. "So... even... even though I don't feel like I deserve you... I... I don't have the right to take myself from you...?" he asked hesitantly, pretty certain that's why Colossus was so upset at hearing about the collar and what Wade had been thinking. He tried to hold still while his bottom was being smacked, but he couldn't help but begin to squirm.
"You do not, brother," Colossus said seriously. "You do not have the right to even think about doing something that would take you away from me."
"...If I do think of it...?" Wade asked helplessly, tears thick in his voice.
"You will be right back here," Colossus promised. "Turned over my knee, pants down and getting a spanking." He smacked a fraction harder for emphasis. "But you will be forgiven. You will still be loved. You will still be my brother."
Wade whimpered, but still didn't try and get away, despite the fact he was squirming a bit more frantically. "...Ho... how will you know I'm being that naughty and thi... thinking of it?" he couldn't help but ask.
"How do you think I knew today?" Colossus asked in return.
Wade thought about it. "...Because I was acting oddly? ...And ...and a bit guilty?" he asked, in a tiny voice.
"I do not believe you can hide it from me when you have those kind of 'naughty' thoughts," Colossus stated.
"You're right..." Wade admitted, sniffling. "...I can't hide when I'm thinking things I know you wouldn't want me to think..." He sniffled again, letting out a tiny, choked crying noise. "I'm so... so... sorry I lied..." he said again. "...I'll t... try so, so hard not to ever do it again!" he promised.
"I am very glad to hear that," Colossus stated, swatting just a little bit harder, moving his hand around to spread the swats out evenly. "I have forgiven you, Wade. Brother. I am not angry or upset with you. I love you."
"I... I... I love you too!" Wade slumped boneless over his brother's knee and just cried. He'd been so afraid he'd messed things up with Colossus. Maybe he didn't think he deserved to be happy and have him for a brother, but that didn't mean he wanted to lose the other mutant. It was a relief to know he had been forgiven.
Colossus stopped the spanking and wasted no time in bringing Wade up into his arms, cuddling him tightly on his lap. "I will never give up on you or decide you are too much work," he promised.
"I'm so lucky to have you in my life... and that you're more stubborn than me. I don't know what I'd do if you'd listened to me when I was being an idiot and refusing to come to you..." Wade whispered, snuggling as close as possible.
"I did not give up on you even when you wouldn't listen to me and cut off your own hand to escape," Colossus pointed out. "I would never give up on you, brother."
Wade snuggled close. "You're a good big brother," he said drowsily. "The bestest big brother ever..." he added on. He was obviously feeling a lot better, more secure; less confused and uncertain.
Colossus smiled and rubbed Wade's back. "You are the best little brother," he said.
"...Love you, C'lossus..." Wade mumbled against his brother's chest, hugging him tightly before relaxing again... and falling asleep in his brother's arms.
"I love you, brother," Colossus said, in what was, for him, a quiet voice, hugging his brother close to himself.
It was two days later and everyone was back to their normal ages. Bryce and Helen Cho had run scans, done blood tests and done physical examinations, with the end verdict that everyone was healthy and had no ill-effects of having gone through the de-aging. That was all the affirmation Pepper needed to start calling her caterers and planners. The wedding was going to occur the following weekend and they had just enough time to warn anyone not living on the compound that would be attending that things were finally going forward. Pepper was never so grateful to have a compound full of family members who were willing to help get things ready.
Tony watched as his fiance ran around frantically, then shook his head and looked at his father. "Kinda makes me feel guilty for going the easy route and planning our honeymoon to be on the island..." he said, with a tiny snort.
Steve smiled at his son. "At least the island is a good place... big enough for our part of the family to stay in and for you and Pepper to have some privacy."
"That's what we wanted. Pepper didn't want to leave the rest of the family, even though she also wanted some time alone with me... I figured the island was the best place for that. I hope she agrees when she finds out..." Tony laughed softly.
"I'm sure she will." Steve smiled warmly, wrapping his arm around Tony's shoulders. "Your boys will be close enough that you won't need to worry about them," he added.
"And they'll be with you. And Brucie. And Grandpa Logan and Great Grandpa Charles and Great Uncle Remy. So... I don't think we'd need to worry, even if we were further away..." Tony grinned impishly.
"Exactly." Steve smiled. "I'm sure, between us, we can keep the kids out of trouble," he joked.
"I hope so..." Tony grinned impishly. "Oh dear... NOT THERE!" he yelled at one of the delivery guys, who was about to place one of the tent poles into one of the flower gardens. He rushed off to show them where it should actually go, since it was supposed to be ten yards to the left.
Kaine had wandered outside to watch all the hubbub and was just in time to see Tony sprinting after a delivery man. He blinked. "That's... why would he put it in the flowers?" he asked, with some confusion.
Adrian followed his son outside. "Maybe I'd better see if they need any help," he muttered, gently squeezing Kaine's shoulder before stepping over.
Kaine grinned up at his father. "Can I help too?" he asked no one in particular.
"I'm sure there's something you can help with," Steve said to the youngster.
Adrian paused to wait for his son to join him.
"Great!" Kaine smiled at Steve, before running to join his father.
Adrian headed over to where they were setting up for the wedding, so he could find out what needed to go where, wrapping his arm around his son's shoulders.
Tony grinned at the newest family members. "Anyone talked to you both about plans after the wedding?" he asked jovially.
"I understand that there will be various vacations happening," Adrian answered Tony.
"There will..." Tony agreed, nodding at his father as he came up. "The families are breaking into smaller groups. Pretty much everyone will be away from the compound..."
Kaine bit his lip. "So, we need to go somewhere too?"
"Is there somewhere you'd like to go away to?" Adrian asked his son.
Kaine shook his head. "I'd never gone outside of New York City until my school trip to DC. I dunno where to go..."
"Why don't we look up some destinations and you can see where you'd like to go?" Adrian suggested.
"Yeah...okay..." Kaine smiled.
Adrian wrapped an arm around his son's shoulders, kissing his head.
It didn't take long before the tent was up, and chairs were being set up. Tony glanced at Toomes and Kaine. "You two give any thought to if you're going to stay in your school or transfer to one in the schools in town here?"
"I think it's still undecided at this point," Adrian commented, knowing his son was still struggling to find his place. He gently squeezed Kaine's shoulder, adding, "Maybe the vacation will allow you to relax enough to make those decisions."
Kaine nodded. "It's a lot to think about..." he said, in a whisper.
"You have my support, son," Adrian promised. "I love you."
Kaine smiled at his father, his smile turning a bit shy as Logan walked up to the group.
"Anything I can help with, kid?" he asked Tony.
Tony shook his head. "Most of what's left will be done by the grounds crew. You can confirm that you will be going to the island with us, though..."
Logan chuckled. "Laura is excited to see a beach and dolphins ... so yeah. We will." He glanced toward Kaine. Seeing the kid's interest at the words beach and dolphin, he turned toward Adrian. "You should consider coming to the island too. It will give you more time to get to know the others in a relaxed setting."
Kaine turned excited eyes toward his father.
Seeing Kaine excited made Adrian smile and he gently stroked his boy's cheek. "If you don't think it would get too crowded, I'm sure it would be good for both of us," he said, knowing how much Kaine's world had been turned upside down and wanting so much to help his son feel better.
Logan grinned as Kaine's expression became excited at his father's words. "I wouldn't have suggested it if there would be a problem," he said. "It's a safe place. Almost as safe as here. Maybe safer, in some ways. Least that's what I've been led to believe. I've never actually been there." Logan laughed.
Adrian smiled and nodded. "We'll come, then." He gave Kaine a tighter hug.
Kaine was grinning ear to ear now and he threw his arms around his father in an impulsive hug.
Adrian kissed the top of his son's head and cuddled him that much tighter. "I love you," he murmured.
Kaine just hugged more tightly and snuggled.
Tony smiled. "Great! Now that that's settled... I have a tuxedo fitting. You too, dad." He glanced at Steve, taking his arm and heading back toward the compound. "We have just enough time to grab quick showers before the fitters arrive."
"I've just got an urgent message from dad about the school, so I'm going to go check in in with him..." Logan smiled at Toomes and Kaine, before turning to follow his son and grandson back to the compound.
"Want me to show you the tree houses?" Kaine asked his father, even as he began leading him in that direction.
Adrian smiled, squeezing Kaine tightly against his side. It was still something of a surprise just how much he needed his son. Not only that, but he needed Kaine safe and happy. "Did you call Ned?" he asked, running his fingers through his son's hair.
"Not yet..." Kaine said hesitantly. "Not sure how to explain. Having you adopt me is the most normal thing to happen to me recently."
"Would it be easier to tell him face to face? Maybe after the vacation?" Adrian suggested gently.
"You mean, bring him here?" Kaine bit his lip. "...Maybe?"
"You don't have to make a final decision now," Adrian said gently. "But maybe it's something to think about."
"Okay, daddy..." Kaine smiled hesitantly, before tugging his father to the ladder. "Let me show you the best view!"
Charles wheeled his chair towards Logan as his son approached, a serious look on his face. "The school's been wrecked again," he said. "Thankfully, none of the students were there and they weren't hurt..."
"The other teachers and staff?" he asked worriedly. "Hank and Orora?"
Tony and Steve had just finished their showers and were heading to the office to meet the fitter and Tony overheard. "Everything okay? Do you need help, Great-grandpa?"
"No one's been hurt...it's just the school that's been completely destroyed," Charles clarified, for both his son and great-grandson.
A worried look came over Steve's face. "If this isn't the first time it's happened, maybe the location of the school should be changed," he suggested.
"I'd tend to agree," Logan said, with a sigh. "But the school was in dad's ancestral mansion. It'd be difficult to find a place with enough land for the kids to be safe, where the neighbors wouldn't complain." His voice was sad, if matter-of-fact about the anti-mutant feelings they'd be up against.
Tony glanced at his father, seeking his opinion. "We should probably bring it up to the whole family since they live here too... but I was planning to remodel while everyone is on vacation. We could remodel the floor below us for the family and then redo this floor into a school slash dorm for the kids from Xavier institute..."
"I don't think anyone would have any objection to that," Steve commented. "In fact, I think it would be a very good idea."
Charles smiled. "The offer itself means a great deal," he said.
"I don't see anyone disagreeing with the offer... Friday, if you could have everyone meet in the family room, so I can ask... we can get the plans rolling. It will be ready when we return..." Tony said.
After a few moments, the AI informed them, "Everyone has been informed and they are making their way to the family room."
Without waiting to see if the others were following, Tony headed to the family room, stopping only long enough to let the fitters know he'd be with them in thirty minutes. They were being paid by the hour and wanted a good recommendation by Tony, so they nodded agreeably. As soon as Tony got to the family room, he began talking, explaining his idea. "The rest of you live here too, though," he ended his explanation. "So, what do you think?"
"Personally, I think it's a good idea. It's not as if we can't make the space," Coulson commented. "There's plenty of room for expansion."
"And it might help other members of the family," Fury commented, thinking about how Clint had wanted to see if Charles might be able to help his daughter work with her abilities.
"So, there are no objections?" Tony asked, to be certain.
No one had any objections and most of the rest of the occupants voiced agreement and support.
Tony turned toward his great-grandfather. "Let whoever is in charge of contacting the kids and bringing them back know that they'll be coming here. I'll make sure security knows and Friday and Veronica will help as well. The floor should be remodeled by the time they need to return, but I'll have Maria keep tabs on it." He smiled at everyone. "Now, if you all will excuse me, I have to get a tux fitted."
Charles nodded. "I will do. And thank you," he said sincerely, before leaving the room to do just that.
Plans had been made for vacations. Everything for the wedding had been prepared or set up. And now the big day was finally here. The few non-family attending had come through portals Stephen, Wong, and Mordo had opened. Tony and Pepper stood in front of their family, Werner and Harry beside them. Both Pepper's father and mother had walked her down the aisle. Now she and Tony stood in front of Steve as he officiated their wedding. She gave Steve- her dad- a brilliant smile. She'd waited a long time for this day.
Steve smiled warmly at his son and daughter and then began the ceremony.
Pepper and Tony both had wanted things as simple as possible. They had one song, sang by Cassie. Steve's message was short, but poignant; their vows to each other simple but sincere. Soon, it was time to say their 'I do's'.
While there were a lot of people there to watch the ceremony, everyone was so quiet, a pin dropping could have been heard. All of those attending were respectful and listened... with the family glad that Tony and Pepper had finally been able to marry.
When Steve finally voiced the question, Tony had been waiting for, for entirely too many years, Tony responded so quickly and fervently that it caused chuckles throughout the audience. Pepper was a bit more sedate, though a huge smile on her face showed she was just as excited. "I do." Her voice carried clearly through the gathering.
They exchanged rings before kissing; then, putting their arms around Harry and Werner's shoulders, they turned and faced everyone else, waiting for their family to be introduced.
Steve smiled around at the people all gathered together and was quick to introduce his son and daughter...along with his grandsons.
The party after was everything that was expected of a Stark. Even so, Pepper and Tony bowed out as soon as it was socially acceptable, taking a limo to the boat that would sail to their island. The boys would arrive on a later boat with their grandfather. It was time for a new chapter in their lives.