YA fic. After the cliffhanger of # 11, hence the title.

Summary: After the battle and Eli being shot, Billy's running on autopilot, which makes it good thing that Teddy's there.


After

Teddy stared up at him and even as the lightening surrounded him, shocking the world to blue, Billy could still see the blood on his hands as the red and white shield smokes holes in the pavement.

-
He doesn't say anything at the front door- moving just enough to unlock it and turn off the alarm, one handed because of he can't let go of Teddy beside him. He sees lights and sitting shadows on the couch, feels the parental worry and building anger; but he can't stop moving, even if their steps up the stairs are at a slow crawl.
He ignores the draft and doesn't look at the hole where his living room wall used to be.
-

"I can't lose you again. Won't let them take you. I'll never leave… follow you to the end of the earth and the Kree nation, even if you never listen to me."

A smile he can feel and Teddy murmurs in his ear. "I'm listening now"

-
"Ohh, here's the other sleeping bag, and a pillow, there's a toothbrush in the bathroom. Jim and Sam are over at the McGee's, so Billy, Teddy….ah, you should be fine."
Mom places the pillow on the floor and leaves the door to his bedroom open as she goes.
-

If he knew what Stockholm's Syndrome was he might have been more worried when Iron Man whispered and looked at Teddy with slit eyes. But the murmurs and gazes whirl around his head with the roaring wind, threatening to cast him away.

Green/pale arms keep him grounded, even though they're miles above the buildings and heading home.

-
He'd magic his clothes away, if only to keep from having to move off the bed, but the lightening flickers and the words don't come, so he gets off most of it before staring down at his shirt and pants in frustration, hands shaking.
"I…I…"
The words don't form, can't get past the numbness soaking his bones.
"Teddy…"
He understands and large tan hands help pull the stained shirt over his head.
-

They should be at the hospital, but the filtered air smelled like burning flesh, like heart break and failure, and-

Kate kicks them out and Tommy watches them go.

-
Eyes meet, up from the bed to down on the floor, and green eyes are filled with a broken pained look. It hurts, seeing that and being apart, the cool sheets pressing his limbs down. He slowly nudges Teddy onto the bed, back to chest, legs to legs- scared, even through the numbness, afraid of losing, of being lost.
-

"Please…please, don't make me go with them."

-
Muscles tense and he can hear adults downstairs, his mother's voice rising to a yell that is muffled by the walls.
Arms wrap around him, pulling him tighter, pulling him closer as the roaring in his ears fades to a steady heartbeat.
-

Warmth.


thoughts?