Disclaimer: I don't own Young Avengers or anything Marvel related.

Epilogue


Teddy and Billy had spent most of their space travel resting and recuperating, lying on the floor or sitting in the driving seats. They talked for hours, bits and pieces of how they spent their time away from one another without the use 0f their telepathic link. Both boys felt unadulterated guilt, as if their separation was in any way of their own fault. They spoke of their sadness and loneliness, even amidst the company of others. Billy had looked away, tears brimming in his eyes and threatening to flood over. Teddy instinctively changed the topic, bringing up his delight and soaring joy when Billy had started contacting him through the telepathic link. He let Billy know through numerous compliments what a talented young sorcerer he was and how proud of a boyfriend he was. Billy gave a hiccoughing laugh, and turned to the blonde, eyes bright with fresh tears of happiness and pride. The larger teen had reached over, wrapping his arms around his boyfriend's waist and held him tightly.

They whispered to one another for an hour, locked in their solid, tight embrace, promising to one another that nothing would ever stand between them; that they could now overcome anything.

The two Young Avengers watched as their countdown finally reached one hour until landing - the question was where this would take place. Earth was a pretty big - huge - planet. It wasn't as if they could land it in New York City, bulldozing down the concrete and tearing up the place, putting citizens in harms way intentionally. Billy thought about it for a few minutes, and then turned to Teddy.

"What if I tried to spell the pod to land in the harbor?" Billy inquired, leaning against Teddy.

"I know you can do that," Teddy replied with a smile. Billy turned to look at him, before giving the shape-shifter a soft kiss.

"I won't let you down, Captain," the mage declared with a wink. "We're going to make a decent splash."

"Cast away," Teddy encouraged, releasing Billy and making a sweeping gesture with his arm.

Billy sat stock still, eyes closed with concentration, speaking under his breath. He chanted faster and faster, until the whole escape pod lit up in a bright blue aura. Billy's honey eyes flicked to the side to catch Teddy's, who offered him a bright smile and a wink. Billy offhandedly thought the expression was sexy. The azure aura dissipated upon completion of the enchantment, bringing Billy to stand.

"Ready for me to take charge?" Billy asked, moving to straddle Teddy's lap while he sat in the command chair. Teddy's eyes locked with Billy's, his eyebrows raising. Billy could feel Teddy harden instantly, and his muscles grew taut, waiting in anticipation. Billy let out Teddy's favorite laugh, his genuine carefree laugh. "You're silly," Billy chided lightly as Teddy's hands landed on his waist.

"You're not going to, uh," Teddy trailed off, giving Billy the look. The one that said, we both know what's going to happen here.

Billy provided a coy, seductive smile, and leaned forward to kiss Teddy. "No, I don't think we have time for that now," Billy stated, and with realizing their stark nakedness, magically clothed them. Teddy pouted immediately.

"Aw, Teddy," Billy whined playfully. "Don't pout."

Teddy cast him an innocent look, eyebrows arching up, casting his eyes slowly downward. Billy placed a hand to the side of his face, smiling adoringly. Billy kissed the larger boy's forehead. He leaned forward and brushed his lips against an ear lobe, whispering, "We have all summer. Think of all the things we could do, and learn about one another; our bodies." Teddy stiffened all over.

Billy sat back up, leveling their eyes to meet. "Now that I have your full, undivided attention, I'm going to contact the others. You throw the ship up into a faster speed. I'm going to get Tommy to get to the Avengers, who will contact a nearby hero who can hold off our wave; preferably Namor or Sue Storm."

"Then what?"

"I reward you for your patience and cooperation," Billy said with a promising smile. Teddy's eyes shined eagerly.

Billy retreated to the middle of the ship, sitting on the floor once more and prepared himself to draw open his vast psyche-network. Billy closed his eyes and began to envision his psyche, the familiar blazing blue comet, and sent it down toward Earth. The psychic projection reached Earth in moments, and his scan of New York City had begun. Finally, after a minute, Tommy's consciousness was found.

Tommy, Billy intoned, jolting the boy awake.

Billy! What the hell? Tommy growled back.

I need your help, Billy beseeched, lacing his voice with seriousness. The thought was half-command, half-plea.

Oh? Help from your bigger brother, Tommy thought back. Where are you?

We're hurtling toward Earth right now in a Kree escape pod we stole.

Billy felt Tommy preen when the dark-haired twin mentioned the word 'stole', as if he had learned the talent from Tommy.

We?

Billy sent an image of himself smiling to the white-haired teen down on the planet below.

I got the boy, kicked alien ass, and we're on our way back. We'll be on Earth soon.

Hell yeah! Tommy yelled, making Billy grimace outwardly. The speedster punched an arm in the air, now wide awake. His teammates in the living room stopped their activity to stare at the boy, who quite honestly was acting like he was spasming.

I need you to get to the Avenger's - any of them - and tell them that we'll be landing in the New York Harbor sometime within the next half an hour. Our wave is going to be extremely large, at this rate, because I can only slow us so much. Ask them to send the Atlantean, Namor, or Sue Storm.

The Invisible Woman. For a woman in her thirties, she's hot.

Right, well, make it your mission to zoom around New York then and find her specifically and get her to the harbor, please.

Can do! And, Billy?

Yes, Tommy?

I'm really glad you're both okay and coming home.

Aw, Tommy, Billy cooed.

I'm missing my two favorite verbal punching bags. There's no one else I like to cockblock, either.

Billy deadpanned, and then his face filled with a wicked smile. No need for that anymore, little brother.

We both know I'm older, and why not? It's my favorite hobby! Aside from eating and making sexual passes at Kate.

Billy only smirked, sure his brother was going to be blind, but could not help himself. Billy sent him an image of Billy pressed up against the glass, Teddy behind him, their hands interlocked on either side of Billy.

Tommy screamed, both out loud in the Lair and in Billy's mind, deafening both worlds simultaneously. The Young Avengers on Earth all cowered, unsure of what had possessed the speedster. Billy laughed loudly in his and his twin's minds.

Run, run, run, as fast as you can, Billy laughed. Or my sex images will catch you, my little gingerbread man.

Tommy let out a shriek, genuinely horrified, and zipped out of the Lair at his highest speed possible. Billy's mind winked out of his brother's. Billy stood, laughing genuinely, and turned around, bumping into Teddy who scooped him up in his arms. Billy's laughing didn't die off, but continued as Teddy assaulted his neck with kisses and a hand attempted to tickle him as best as possible.

"I've - I've - haha - scarred - haha - my brother," Billy panted, causing Teddy to stopped his ministrations.

"How did you make that possible?" Teddy inquired, looking at the boy in his arms curiously. Billy flashed him the same image he had sent to Tommy.

Teddy roared with laughter, jostling the temporarily cozy sorcerer.

"You're the wicked witch of the East," Teddy joked, planting a firm kiss on Billy's cheek. Billy flashed his best smile.

"I do what I can for others," the sorcerer replied, placing a hand on Teddy's cheek. "We better get buckled in. I've never blasted through Earth's atmosphere and hurtled into a body of water before. It sounds dangerous, and rough."

"Well, if it's rough that you like..." Teddy smirked after trailing off.

"I give you my virginity, and you turn into a total sexual monster. You're going to be worse than my brother. Imagine that."

Teddy pouted, saying: "I'm sorry. I'll behave."

Billy snorted; again with the pouting. How could pouting be attractive? Billy figured only his Teddy could manage it.


Tommy was running at the speed of Quicksilver, totally focused on finding Sue Storm. The terrible, terrible image Billy had forsaken him with burned in his mind. It stung his eyes and made his stomach heave. How dare he; a) lose his virginity before Tommy could - admittedly - and b) forever ruin the sanity - what was left of it, anyway - the speedster had.

Rushing through mid-day traffic, he vaulted himself over taxis and parked cars, heading straight for Tony Stark's new tower where many of the Avengers congregated. He flew past the front desk receptionist, barking a quick hello, and ran straight through each and every room. He saw neither Sue Storm nor Namor. Finally he reached Tony Stark's main office, where he ran his business affairs and headed the superheroes. A tall, dark-haired man sat behind the desk, typing on his computer.

"Mr Stark?" Tommy asked, drawing the man's intelligent eyes away from the large screen. "I was wondering if you knew where Sue Storm or Namor were currently?"

Ah, yes. Thomas Shepherd of the Young Avengers, Tony realized. The teenager had broken out of a super-power detention center. A speedster with the ability to outrun Quicksilver, induce explosions by sheer force of super heating objects, phase through walls by way of shifting his atoms fast enough, and considered a potential threat to greater society. Tony remembered the boy.

"I do not," Tony replied, leaning back in his chair. "What is it that you need?"

"My brother and his boyfriend are hurtling toward Earth in a stolen Kree escape pod and they need force fields or a hero that can bend water to their will. They plan on landing in the harbor," Tommy said slowly, making sure to speak clearly so his objective could be achieved faster.

Run, run, run, as fast as you can, taunted the chant that took up haunting him.

"I really, really, need to speak with one of them," Tommy groaned, undeserving of the horror that would result if he failed.

"This means that Teddy Altman is returning to Earth?"

"Yes, he's back. My brother basically reality-warped the shit out of the Skrulls and Kree and they're coming back," Tommy replied without thinking.

Reality-warped? Tony thought, frowning as memories of Wanda sparked in his mind. He made a mental note to keep a keen eye on Billy Kaplan, known as Wiccan in the hero community. This can't be good.

"Well, I think Sue is in the Baxter Building, if she's not out on a mission currently - though she is getting married in three weeks. She could be doing...wedding things, or something," Stark said, unsure of what wedding things were.

Tommy was gone, a thank you trailing behind him in his self-made wind.

Tommy zipped along the roadways, avoiding pedestrians and cars, a two minute run for him to reach the Baxter Building. Tommy threw himself through the doors, giving Ernie a kind hello, and dashed to the elevator. Elevators were slow. He spotted the staircase and headed right for it. Twenty-three levels later Tommy was at the top, hardly affected; who was he kidding, that had hardly been a walk.

He approached the door to the Fantastic Four's penthouse, steeling himself. He knocked on the door four times, waiting patiently - which was hardly - and silently. There were loud noises coming from the room on the other side, and Tommy prayed to God that Sue Storm was home.

The door opened to reveal The Thing. The huge hero overshadowed Tommy's lithe body, casting him in shadows. The other man's voice was gruff, asking, "Can I help you?"

"I'm Tommy, Speed, from the Young Avengers, and I was wondering if Sue was home," the white-haired teen said politely.

The Thing put himself into reverse, making space to allow Tommy entrance into the penthouse. Wow, the thing was huge! Not just the teammate, but the house they were residing in. The ceiling went up and up, and there were spiral staircases and just so much space. Tommy felt free.

"Susie!" Ben called out, his voice literally shaking anything in range - Tommy included.

"One second," a feminine voice replied. Sue Storm walked out onto the second-story landing moments later, leaning over the elegant banister. Her long blonde tendrils hung around her face, and Tommy could only stare in awe. Too bad you're in your thirties, Tommy thought wistfully.

"I've only just turned thirty," Sue replied, causing Tommy to blush. Had he really just said that out loud? About the Invisible Woman, who could, you know, crush him or suffocate him or turn him invisible so cars could hit him.

"I wouldn't do any of those," she said nonchalantly, rolling her eyes and jumping over the banister, a force field lowering her to the floor.

"Why does my brain think I'm saying things internally, but my mouth projects them?"

The older woman laughed, throwing her hair back. "It's fine, really."

Tommy blushed, color ascending his neck.

"Tony just called me," the blonde said by way of covering up Tommy's awkwardness, "He said a juvenile detention center escapee acting as a super hero would be visiting soon to ask for my assistance." Tommy's face dropped.

Sue smiled beautifully, casting no judgement upon the young hero. Tommy felt himself relax at the facial expression.

"Tony's just a hardass, known to belittle others and make them feel as if their existence doesn't compare to his own. We've all had it thrown in our faces. Between you and I," she said, dropping her tone low, "he's just a man in an expensive metal suit."

Tommy grinned. The Invisible Woman was his kind of girl. Witty, smart mouthed, strong, and capable. Kind of like Kate... wait, not the time.

"Well my brother and his man are starting off the pride parade by exploding into the New York Harbor, and their float is going to cause an enormous wave," Tommy said.

"And my psionic energy will hold it at bay," Sue assumed casually.

"Assuming they clear the atmosphere without burning up or dying, yes," Tommy thought a little cynically, but hoped and prayed the two would be fine; against his better judgment. Sue smiled, and Tommy was sure he was being transparent with his emotions.

"It just so happens I don't have any fittings until about seven, you know, exclusive wedding dress try-ons," the bride-to-be said. "What's a little water going to hurt?"

"Can you do it in a bikini?"

Sue reached out a hand and ruffed Tommy's hair, causing his heart to flutter.

"No such luck," Sue replied, turning herself invisible. Tommy frowned. Her voice floated out from somewhere in the penthouse, though Tommy couldn't predict where. "See you at the harbor in fifteen."

Tommy whipped out his cell phone, calling Kate and telling her the plan that had been set in motion. She responded in kind, telling him the team would meet up with him at the harbor.


Billy grasped Teddy's hand when the pod alerted them to atmospheric changes. "I love you," Billy said, as if he planned on this being the end.

"I love you too," Teddy said, giving his boyfriend's hand a gentle squeeze. "We'll be home before you know it."

Teddy clicked the shield button with his left hand, and suddenly the pod was encapsulated in a thick material that blocked the bright rays of heat that had begun to seep through the windshield.

"It's probably better I not watch," Billy breathed. The pod started to pump oxygen and cool air into the large-truck-sized ship.


Tommy stood stationed on a piece of dock, spaced out from his teammates. They were all equidistant, covering the harbor. The plan was for the Invisible Woman to keep the water at bay, and whoever was closest would begin to retrieve the two teenagers, and the others would assist when they made it to that section of the dock. The eldest hero stood in the middle, hair flipping in the gentle breeze. She wore her Fantastic Four uniform, the blue material hugging her body. Kate noticed Tommy's stare and scoffed.

Tommy, having heard the noise, miraculously, turned to see Kate. Even from a distance and behind her dark designer shades, he knew she was glaring at him. He blushed and dropped his eyes, causing Kate to give a smile of triumph. She would eventually train him properly. Boys in control of their emotions and sexual side made better boyfriends.

"I am sensing movement above us," the Vision intoned, his robotic voice projecting loudly. "They will be upon us in but a few minutes."

"How do we slow their descent?" Cassie asked, growing thirty feet tall, covering her eyes to look up into the sky. When she couldn't make out anything dropping, she grew larger and larger still until she was as tall as most of the buildings in New York City. "I can kind of see them!"

The Kree pod continued to drive forward, having lost its initial fire after entering Earth's atmosphere, cleanly plummeting as Billy's spell directed it.

"Think Billy's screaming yet?" Tommy asked, making himself laugh; no one else did, though. He grimaced, forgetting his jokes, and concentrated on the task at hand. That's when he had an idea out of no where.

Tommy took running into the water and ran as fast as he possibly could.

"What are you doing?" Kate yelled, hands cupped over her mouth. Tommy kept on running in circles, so fast over the water it held his weight. Kate and Sue's hair whipped violently from the force of Tommy's speed. As Tommy continued water sloshed upward from the energy, and a column of wind had begun to coalesce, stretching up into the air, surpassing Cassie's height.

Sue Storm smiled watching Tommy's determination. He had the same amount of love and respect for Billy as she had for Johnny. There was an unspoken connection between siblings; the drive that would lead them to doing anything for the other. She and the Young Avengers continued to watch as Tommy created a tornado, something impressive in itself. Sue cast a large wall up to protect nearby cargo boats and buildings, hoping the speedster wouldn't create something that would be uncontrollable.

It was after two minutes that Teddy and Billy approached the funnel, the winds slamming into the craft violently. It continued its descent through the funnel at a rapid pace, driving Tommy to abandon his run and dive through a hole in the shimmering purple energy Sue held in place. The winds battered the vehicle for moments more before the tornado evaporated. The spacecraft continued to fall, and suddenly everyone was holding their breath as it closed in on the last hundred feet. The Kree technology glowed bright blue for a moment, and then the aura fizzed out. The spacecraft made an ugly, wrenching noise as it struck the water, causing Cassie and Kate to gasp audibly. Tommy stood stock still, mouth open, while Eli recoiled in a small flinch. The impact sounded horrible.

The Invisible Woman stretched her force field wider to encapsulate a forty-foot wall of water. The force of impact shocked the shimmering psionic energy, causing Sue to jolt, but she maintained her focus. Years of fighting Victor Von Doom and his Doombots prepared her well, shaping her mental and physical concentration to high levels. The water continued to slam with residual waves.

There was a sudden blast of blue energy, a shockwave spilling out through the air and slamming into the force field as well, with lightning sizzling against it harmlessly. Sue opened her mouth in surprise as two forms fell toward the water which boiled with heat from the escape pod. Sue threw her hand out, capturing Billy and Teddy in a force field and levitated them onto the dock. Sue panted, bending down to rest her hands on her knees. There was no real physical strain, but she took the moment to breathe with relief. If there had been two dead Young Avengers, and she was the only veteran hero around to assist, she would have been distraught. To have both boys alive and well made her smile with satisfaction.

Billy and Teddy were sprawled on the concrete for a minute on their backs. Billy's hand crept from his stomach and along the ground to grab Teddy's. He turned his head sideways to cast him a grin.

"We did it," Billy breathed out, relief evident, and a small laugh departed from his lips.

"We did it," Teddy echoed, also grinning wide.

Then there was a small crowd of people surrounding them, looking down on the two teenagers who closed their eyes and breathed.

Home, Teddy thought peacefully, breathing in the familiar atmosphere.


The following week had been spent in Stark Tower talking to Iron Man, Captain America, the Fantastic Four, and a variety of other superheroes the Young Avengers all looked up to. Billy stayed mostly silent, intently listening to Teddy recant his pieces like he was on trial. The Avengers had plenty of questions, but Teddy did not seem too enthused to want to answer. His time in space had been boring, relatively speaking, until Billy showed up and wowed the entire cosmos. Teddy had been telling the older heroes about his rescue, when simultaneously all eyes headed to fix on the teenage sorcerer.

Billy looked at his feet, suddenly uncomfortable with the scrutiny. Teddy couldn't contain his awe and amazement at his boyfriend's powers, and after he had concluded his tale the veteran heroes all exchanged glances in silent discussion. This concerned the Young Avengers, who had started to look to Billy, and then echoed the adults with their own meaningful facial expression discussion.

"So, you had a power surge?" Iron Man asked pointedly.

"Well," Billy began shyly, still looking at his hands in his lap, desperately trying not to fidget under the scrutiny. Teddy bravely reached over to grasp one comfortingly. "Yeah, I guess I did. They seemed much stronger than usual."

"So he's a mutant," Wolverine stated, stressing the word mutant. Immediately it seemed like red flags were going off in the adults' minds.

"How would you describe you powers, Billy?" Captain America inquired. What was this, an interrogation?

"Levitation, spell-casting, lightning projection," Billy enumerated.

"Would you add reality-warping to that list?" Wolverine asked all but too quickly.

"Reality-warping?" Billy asked, tilting his head.

"Changing objects into something different by will, for example," the older man drawled, looking at the sorcerer with steely eyes.

Billy thought back to Veranke; he had turned her into cherry blossoms. Was this something he wanted to admit in front of what was seemingly a council of judges?

"No." It was Teddy who answered for Billy, the power behind his answer causing Iron Man to nod. Billy looked up, honey eyes meeting baby blue. Teddy silently pleaded Billy to remain silent. The mage turned to face Wolverine, his face set with resolve and new ambiguity.

Wolverine looked unconvinced.

Iron Man adjourned their meeting, and on their way out Teddy could've sworn he heard Wolverine growling, "He's a twin of Wanda's. We've got to keep a close eye on that one. You know what happened last time."

Suddenly Wolverine was off of Teddy's favorite superheroes list. Wiccan, however, was at the very top.


Thankfully Billy's parents were none the wiser about his trip to space, Kate having covered for him. Billy also thought that he didn't receive the third degree because Teddy was around, making Billy full of energy and not eternally depressed. Billy was back to his normal self, and Jeff and Rebecca could not have asked for more. Billy went back to babysitting the twins while his parents worked, and at night Teddy would go over for dinner. For the Kaplan family, life was back to normal, and for Teddy, life was better than ever.

It was a warm Saturday morning, Billy stretching wide and yawning. His alarm was buzzing at the top of its metaphorical lungs, forcing him to leave the realm of dreams and enter the world of reality. He snapped the switch to off, and threw his covers back. He walked down the hall, brushing his teeth, combing his hair through, and then returned to his bedroom to throw on a pair of cargo shorts and a tank top.

The twins bounded into the room, energy turned up to high, and laughing.

"It's time, it's time!" They echoed one another before bounding away and down the stairs. Billy smiled wide, stooped low to grab his pre-packed duffel bag, and turned to head out of his room. When the door clicked shut behind him, he headed down the hall to the staircase. Setting his bag down he walked into the kitchen, where he was surprised to find Teddy sitting at the island, spooning cereal into his mouth. He looked gorgeous, blonde hair cropped short and face bright, his tank top revealing smooth skin and nicely developed biceps.

Since no one else was in the kitchen, Billy approached him quickly, sneaking in a tight hug and milky kiss. Billy stood, laughing and wiping drops of milk off his lips. Teddy stuffed his mouth full of cereal and jokingly asked, "Want some?" The blonde smiled and Billy let out a peal of laughter.

Billy sank his teeth into an apple and some toast, talking to Teddy after he finished chewing. They made light conversation, happy to be feeling whole and normal once more.

"Got your bags, guys?" Jeff Kaplan asked as he popped his head past the arch into the kitchen.

"All set, Mr. Kaplan," Teddy replied.

"Me too," Billy said.

"Teddy?" Mr. Kaplan called.

"Yeah, Mr. Kaplan?"

"Call me Jeff," his voice rang back. He popped open the front door, "Or dad! Whichever you prefer!"

Billy and Teddy looked at each other wide-eyed, eyebrows high.

Mrs. Kaplan walked through the kitchen, ruffling both boys' hair, adding warmly, "Welcome to the family, Teddy. Now come on you two, the twins are waiting rather impatiently. It's time to start the Kaplan vacation!"

Billy and Teddy stood, smiling wide, and followed Rebecca outside bags in hand. They loaded the car up fully, both of the twins whining about how late the family would be, Billy countering that you couldn't be late for vacation. When Dad asked them if they'd like the car to be turned around, they quietly said no.


There you have it readers! The end to what is my favorite work I've crafted. I feel like I've left it open-ended. I'm so sorry for the delay, but veterinary school is like nothing you have ever experienced (and hopefully you never will - unless you want to get into the profession that is). I was going to upload this not long ago, but I decided before I uploaded I would finely polish it and re-read for errors and what not.

I hope you all enjoyed the conclusion, and overall the story. If you wouldn't mind dropping a review with your thoughts, I'd appreciate it very much! I would love to get your feedback and get ideas from you all as to where you think this could go post-return home (I did mention a possible vacation story - you guys still on board with me?)

I have a two week spring break coming up at the end of this week after my latest exam. Then I'll be off to a nice sunny spot with my boyfriend for down time and ocean views. I'll definitely be writing on the car ride there, and while I'm on vacation (hopefully he'll understand my pent up craving to be creative and write).

With that said: do you guys have any prompts you'd like to see me write? I'll note them down and get to them when possible (see: spring break) and credit the prompt to you when I post the completed story.

See you all soon.

- Ced