CHAPTER 2: AVENGERS VS OFFENDERS

Disclaimer: I do not own Eva, The Avengers, or the Marvel universe characters.

Summary: The Avengers join the Lady Liberators and the X-Men against The Offenders in order to save the West Coast from destruction.

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(Los Angeles, California. Formerly of the United States)

"What Do You Mean The Whole West Coast Is Gone?!!!" the tall, muscular, green-skinned woman known as She-Hulk shouted into her cellphone.

The group of female heroes just stared at their apparent leader and gasped at what she was saying.

Tigra, Invisible Woman, Spider Woman, and Thundra all just stared at She-Hulk as she was informed that the San Andreas Fault Line had collapsed. They were the only ones available as the other Liberators were on different assignments.

"Well. Did anyone make it out? No survivors? How is that possible? What do you mean..... oh god! You mean.... he did?"

"Who did what?" Tigra asked.

"It was Red Hulk! He....he actually blasted the West Coast apart! He's made his own island!" the emerald-skinned woman gasped. "And he wasn't alone! Apparently his Offenders Team was with him."

"Tiger-Shark. Baron Mordo. Terrax the Destroyer." Spider Woman hissed.

"Should have let me kill him when I had the chance." Thundra snapped.

"You just might get your chance!" She-Hulk snapped.

"What?"

"Ladies, we're going to the newly formed island of California to arrest that pig!"

"Arrest?" Thundra gasped. "But you said..."

"I said you 'might' get your chance. And it's a better one than before."

"But what about the others?" Tigra asked.

"No time to wait. We have to go and go now!"

Those were the last words that She-Hulk regretted saying, as she now found herself and her team of Lady Liberators bound and chained in what was once known as The Los Angeles Convention Center.

"It's so nice to see you again, green cheeks!" Red Hulk grinned as he stood over the bound and chained gammazon. "I was so looking forward to our reunion."

"Who we gonna start with, Rulk?" Tiger-Shark hissed as he stared at the bound and defeated squad of heroes. "This one..." he said, caressing the hair of the unconscious Invisible Woman. "..I think. Namor always had a thing for this one."

"No." Baron Mordo said. "I think this one..." he said, staring at Spider Woman. "...will be easier to break first. I sense a touch of darkness within her."

"Patience, gentlemen. One thing at a time." he grinned. "First... we need to break them."

"And by 'break' you mean..." Terrax said with a nasty grin.

"That's right, boys! It's time to satisfy those libidos!"

The trio of Offenders grinned as She-Hulk felt an overwhelming sense of dread well-up in her for the first time in her life.

These psychotic killers... all of them.... were going to rape her and her girls.

"No.... no.... no!" she whispered as she vainly struggled against her chains. But to no avail as these particular chains were seemingly forged from a metal as strong as adamantium.

"What about the others?" Tiger Shark asked.

"Let Hood and his gang have their fun. We have other matters to attend to." Rulk grinned.

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Amidst the ruins of what was left of San Francisco, stood the beautiful mutant Storm and her allies.

Colossus, the super strong steel-skinned mutant. Nightcrawler, the acrobatic, demon-like teleporter. Angel, the handsome winged flyer. And X-23, the female clone of Wolverine.

Cyclops and many of the others were dead, killed in the earthquake when the coastline separated. The separation had caused millions to die, and the survivors were lost, scared and confused.

It was odd, though, that Emma Frost-The White Queen-wasn't present when this happened. But it was a minor problem as they had more urgent matters to attend to.

Namely, the small army of super villains who were advancing towards them.

The Hood and his gang were advancing towards the last of the X-Men still standing.

Their ranks included Madame Masque, Scarecrow, Razorfist, Blood Brother, Bushwacker, Centurius, Vermin, Corrupter, The Wrecker, Piledriver, Bulldozer, Thunderball, Answer, Blackout, Wizard, Chemistro, Cutthroat, Brother Grimm, Living Laser, Deathwatch, Purple Man, Dr Demonicus, Griffin, Crossfire, and Jigsaw.

"So... what's it going to be, mutants? Fight and you die. Surrender and maybe you live." Hood said.

"As what? Slaves? I will not have it!" Storm declared.

"Then death it is!" The Hood declared as he and his men moved towards the group, surrounding them for a final strike.

The X-Men stood their ground, despite being outnumbered five-to-one at least.

If this was to be their last... then they were prepared to die fighting.

However, it would not happen as a jet rumbled through the skies and passed over them.

From out of the large, high-tech jet, four figures leapt out and dove towards the two groups.

Iron Patriot, along with Ms Marvel, Sentry and Captain Marvel, landed on the ground between the two teams.

"Are We Late For The Party?" Iron Patriot asked.

"What the..." Jigsaw gasped.

"The Avengers!" Madam Masque shouted.

"Or part of them." Wizard exclaimed.

"Our Teammates Are Aiding She-Hulk And Her Team. We Came Here Because We Got A Report About You. Now... Did You Cause This?" Iron Patriot asked.

"Cause this?" The Hood asked. "Cause what?"

"The Separation Of The Landmasses. Did You Cause California To Separate From The Mainland?"

"No. That was Rulk's doing. He thought it would be funny." Thunderball said.

"Well I Don't! You And Your Band Of Thugs Are Under Arrest!" Iron Patriot declared to Hood.

"With just the four of you?" Hood asked, just staring at the quartet.

"We can wait for you to call for back-up." Ms Marvel said.

"Cute." he snickered.

"So... shall we?" the blond heroine asked.

"Osborn's not paying you enough for this." Hood replied.

"Maybe, But This Is What Heroes Do!" Iron Patriot declared.

"Kill Them!" Hood shouted.

"AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!" Iron Patriot shouted, letting loose a powerful bolt of energy from the star on his chest that shot through the villains, knocking down Cutthroat, Purple Man, and Griffin in one shot. Rendering them unconscious.

Ms Marvel shot forward and punched Madam Masque in the face, knocking her into Scarecrow, and used her phasing powers to avoid Razorfist's blades, before back-handing him to the ground.

Sentry shot forward and tackled Bulldozer and Piledriver while Thunderball and Wrecker tried to hit him with their weapons. They missed and hit themselves.

Captain Marvel leapt into the air and kicked down Blood Brother, as Dr Demonicus and Deathwatch jumped on his back and Brother Grimm attacked his chest with his dagger.

Bushwacker was about to get into the fight, only to have Angel fly in, grab him by his jacket, and slam him into a nearby wall.

Centurius was knocked down by Colossus's steel fists.

Vermin was attacked by X-23, slicing him up like a piece of meat.

Storm blasted Corrupter and Chemistro with her lightning bolts.

Nightcrawler teleports through the group and kicks down both Blackout and Answer.

Iron Patriot blasted Wizard out of the sky as Hood tried to get away, only to have Nightcrawler come in via teleportation and punch him in the head. Iron Patriot spun around and blasted him with full repulsor beams, knocking him cold.

Colossus and Iron Patriot join forces to take out the Wrecking Crew alongside Sentry.

Jigsaw and Crossfire start shooting and Living Laser makes a play for Ms Marvel, only to have Captain Marvel blast the sentient energy being with one of his Kree weapons, rendering him out of action for now. X-23 leapt at Jigsaw and Crossfire, taking several bullets before she sliced them hard in their chests, bleeding to great excess.

Within seconds, the battle was over and the 26 villains were defeated.

"Wow. That was.... really cool!" a young boy who had been hiding nearby exclaimed.

"You X-Men Fight Well. I'm Honored To Stand With You." Iron Patriot said, extending his hand to Storm.

The weather goddess looked at the armored soldier's hand, then to his face.

"I.... I cannot." she said, feeling like she had just insulted him after he had saved her life.

"Why?" he asked.

"Because I am not sure if I trust you." she replied.

Iron Patriot lowered his hand. "I See. Because Of Who I Am? Or Who I Work For?"

"Yes." she replied. "If you truly knew Norman Osborn, you would not serve him."

"Perhaps I Don't Know Him As Well As Others. But I Know The Opportunity He Gave Me. To Give Hope To The World. I've Known Evil Men Before, And Even If Mr Osborn Is Evil Incarnate, I Will Do What I Have To Do. To Be The Hero The World Needs." he stated.

With that he turned around and faced his three teammates.

"The Others Are Headed For Los Angeles. We Need To Get There And Back Them Up!"

With that, Iron Patriot, Ms Marvel, Sentry and Captain Marvel took off into the air and headed towards the city.

"Ororo?" Colossus asked.

"Yes, Peter?" the dark-skinned weather-controller replied.

"He does not seem like a man who would serve Osborn." the tall Russian said.

"I have to agree, Ororo." Nightcrawler said. "He seems..."

"Noble. Naive. Take your pick." Angel said.

"I was going to say... kind of blind. Someone who could be easily manipulated by a man like Osborn."

"Someone... we could trust?" X-23 asked.

The group looked at each other for several seconds before making a decision.

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Sue Richards found herself being stripped of her blue and white costume by Tiger Shark's claws.

Spider Woman felt her costume start to melt off her body thanks to Baron Mordo's magic.

Thundra was slapped around again and again by the rock-hard fists of Terrax while he tried to strip her costume off.

And She-Hulk felt the large, strong left hand of Rulk wrap around her neck, even as his right hand started pulling her costume down.

However, their attempts came to an end, when a large high-tech jet plan roared overhead and four figures leapt out and plummeted towards them.

Ares led the attack, axe and sword in hand. Behind him fell a man in a brown and tan costume with sharp claws sticking out of his hands, a man in a purple and blue costume with a bow in his right hand, and a man in a black bodysuit with a white spider on his chest.

Ares slammed into Terrax, pushing him into the ground.

Hawkeye slammed into Baron Mordo, kicking him in the head to force him back.

Spider Man slammed into Tiger Shark, punching him away from Sue Richards.

Wolverine slammed into Rulk, claws slashing at his face.

The Battle Was On!

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Shinji's original plan was to head to San Francisco to enlist the X-Men's help in trying to put the two landmasses back together. However, while they were en route, they received two messages. One was that She-Hulk and her Lady Liberators had been captured, the other was that The Hood and his gang of 25 villains were attacking the X-Men in San Francisco.

As leader, Shinji quickly made a difficult choice.

He split up the team.

Ares, Wolverine, Hawkeye and Spider Man would continue on to Los Angeles and help She-Hulk and her team, while Sentry, Captain Marvel, Ms Marvel and himself went to help the X-Men against The Hood and his gang. Something inside him made him think that this was the right course to take.

He had chosen these three to accompany him because they were the flyers of the team. The plan was to leap out of the jet, fly down and fight the villains, and then catch up with Ares and the others because they could fly after them.

That battle done, Shinji and his team flew towards the L.A. Convention Center where the Liberators were being held hostage. With any luck his teammates would be able to either defeat the villains or, at the very least, delay them until he and his flying team could get there to back them up.

At the Center, the other Avengers were fighting a losing battle against the Offenders.

Ares was matching Terrax axe-strike for axe-strike. Hawkeye was leaping around, dodging Baron Mordo's energy bolts while firing off his arrows at the sorcerer, who blocked his attacks with a mystic barrier. Spider Man was dodging Tiger Shark's claws and throwing punches when he saw the opportunity.

Wolverine, however, despite his toughness, found himself quickly outmatched by the monstrous Red Hulk.

"This is getting boring!" Rulk groaned as he slammed Wolverine into the ground yet again. "I was expecting better, kid!"

"Did you expect this?" Wolverine growled as he stabbed at Rulk's hand, trying to get the monster to release him.

"I ain't like that brainless green baffoon." Rulk said, trying not to show painful expressions. "Your claws ain't that sharp, and I can actually form a plan! But you want to know the major difference between me and you, junior? I can think, and you don't have any of that adamantium stuff running through your body. That puts you at a severe disadvantage, pup!" he said as he slammed Wolverine into the ground again and again. "You jump around me, dodging my fists, which is actually a good idea, but when you got in close, I can actually get a hold of you. And that,"

SLAM!

"..is why.."

SLAM!

"..you will.."

SLAM!

"..die like..."

SLAM!

"..the dog..."

SLAM!

"...you are!"

BLAST!

The other combatants stopped fighting when a forceful energy blast caught Rulk in the back of the head, startling him and causing him to release Wolverine, who was battered and bleeding, his suit torn and ragged.

Though he would heal, a small part of him wished that he would die.

The Offenders had been on the verge of winning... when they heard an all-too common phrase that made the blood of every supervillain run cold.

"AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!" Iron Patriot shouted as he and the four Avengers flew through the skylight and quickly went to aid their teammates. "Cap, Help Hawkeye Take Out Baron Mordo! Marvel, Free The Liberators! Sentry, You're With Me!"

The team quickly leaped into action. Ares slammed his axe against Terrax's axe, starting to knock him back. Captain Marvel and Hawkeye were double-teaming Baron Mordo, firing energy blasts and arrows at the sinister sorcerer. Spider Man put his full strength into beating back Tiger Shark, knocking him through a wall in the convention center. Ms Marvel went over to the five bound and half-naked heroines and started breaking their chains.

While this was going on, Sentry and Iron Patriot tackled Rulk.

"What's going on?" She-Hulk asked as Ms Marvel freed the gammazon from her chains. "Carol?"

"Not exactly." Ms Marvel said.

Rulk was blind-sided as Sentry attacked him hard with a strike to the gut while Iron Patriot flew in and hit Rulk square in the face with his Repulsor blasts.

"Nice try. Seriously." Rulk said as he backhanded Sentry. "I'm going to enjoy recycling you."

"Make Sure You Get Top Dollar For Me, Lobster Face." Iron Patriot said, standing ready to fight the walking mountain of muscle.

Rulk moved in as several small slots popped open on IP's armor and fired directly at the Red Hulk's body, nailing him in a dozen different places, including his face.

"ARGH!"

"Adamantium-Tipped Sedative Stingers. Hope They're Strong Enough." Iron Patriot said as he leaped into the air and punched Rulk in the face, staggering him backwards.

Ares tackled Terrax back through a wall, Ms Marvel flew in and sucker punched Baron Mordo from behind as Captain Marvel was grappling with the sinister sorcerer, and Spider Man punched Tiger Shark backwards (after he had gotten out of the wall) as Hawkeye leaped over the underwater villain and fired off a barrage of arrows that pierced his flesh. He pulled out another arrow and fired it right into Tiger Shark's face, blasting him with strong knockout gas.

Wolverine, who had recovered enough to stand, popped out his claws and leapt onto Rulk's back, shoving his claws into the crimson beast's neck, causing him to growl out in mild pain. Sentry flew in and punched him hard in the side of his head as Iron Patriot continued firing off virtually every weapon he had into Rulk's face. Sentry kept punching, Wolverine kept stabbing, Iron Patriot kept blasting.

But Rulk still wasn't going down.

That was when the rest of the Avengers got into the fight.

Ms Marvel flew in and punched Rulk in the groin, Captain Marvel flew up to him and blasted him in the legs with his gauntlets, Spider Man leapt in and kicked Rulk in the face, Hawkeye leapt the opposite way and fired off an arrow filled with an explosive device, and Ares rushed forward with his axe and slashed Rulk in the back.

Across the way, the recovering Liberators were watching the fight.

"So those are the new Avengers, huh?" Spider Woman asked, glad that her red costume hadn't really been destroyed.

"Yes, and they are not doing too bad." Thundra said.

"And at least it's not Osborn leading them!" Invisible Woman stated, adjusting her blue suit.

"Is he really Captain America's son?" Tigra asked.

"Does it matter?" She-Hulk asked, putting her outfit back over her breasts.

"Actually, it does." a new voice said as a blond woman wearing a black swimsuit with a lightning bolt on her chest flew down toward them.

"Carol! You're here!" She-Hulk shouted.

"Sorry I'm late. Been busy." the former Ms Marvel said.

"Well, now what are you gonna do?" Invisible Woman asked.

"I'm going to help them!" Carol said as she flew towards them.

"I'm not gonna be beaten by a bunch of pathetic, whiny, costumed wannabe heroes!" Rulk groaned as he knocked the rest of the Avengers away before grabbing Iron Patriot and slammed him into the ground, repeatedly.

"Sorry To Disappoint You!" Iron Patriot said as he blasted Rulk's face with his chest repulsor, which caused him to release the star-spangled knight, who grabbed a large stone pillar and slammed it into Rulk's head.

Sentry flew in and continued punching like crazy as Wolverine slashed at his body hard, drawing more blood from his chest, arms, legs and back, even as they started to heal. Suddenly, a woman in black flew in and blasted Rulk hard in his back.

"What the... Carol?" Sentry gasped.

"Miss me, Bobby?" the blond heroine asked as she punched Rulk hard in the head.

"What are you doing here?" he asked as he punched Rulk again.

"I came to help out She-Hulk and the others, didn't know you guys were here." she lied.

Suddenly, Rulk grabbed both of them and slammed their heads together before tossing them into Wolverine.

"I'm Gonna Kill You All!" Rulk shouted.

"I do not think so, monster!" a new voice said as five figures dropped down into the Convention Center.

The voice belonged to Storm. The X-Men had arrived!

Storm blasted Rulk with a barrage of lightning, X-23 flew at him and slashed him several times before she was knocked away, and Colossus fell from the ceiling and slammed hard into the beast. Angel and Nightcrawler, being unable to do much in the way of help, stepped back and let their heavy hitters have at the crimson brute.

Just then, the formerly bound Lady Liberators filled Rulk's vision.

She-Hulk and Thundra punched Rulk hard in the face, Tigra slashed him with her claws, Spider Woman blasted Rulk in the face with her venom-blasts, even as Invisible Woman used her powers to trap Rulk's legs in place so that they could attack them.

All at once, the three teams flew in and hit Rulk with everything they had. Punches, energy blasts, kicks, hand weapons, claws, force fields, electricity, and anything else they could find.

However, the sedatives were starting to wear off, proven as Rulk's attacks got stronger, knocking the heroes away from him.

"Time To End This!" Iron Patriot said as he slammed his wrists together to activate one of his untested weapons that Osborn had installed in his armor.

Iron Patriot leaped up to the staggering brute as Rulk knocked Colossus and Thundra away, and cupped his hands over Rulk's ears, sending a massive pulse of paralysis sound waves into his head.

At full strength its effects would have shattered a normal person's ears and brain, so for someone like Rulk it only rendered them immobile but still conscious.

"You'll Be Fine In A Few Minutes. But By Then, We'll Have Placed A Sonic Emitter Over You So As To Keep You Immobile." Iron Patriot said to the crimson behemoth who laid beneath him. "As Of This Moment, You And Your Offenders, Are Under Arrest!"

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"Impressive." Carol said as Rulk, Baron Mordo, Terrax and Tiger-Shark were bound, chained, and equipped with power dampeners.

"You know... you're still under arrest." Sentry said to her.

"No." Iron Patriot interrupted. "She Helped Us Out With Rulk When She Could Have Easily Not. Besides, We're Going To Need Her Help Now."

"Help with what?" Carol asked.

"Putting California Back Together." he said.

"You can't be serious!" Ms Marvel gasped.

"I Am!"

"So... do we have a plan for getting the West Coast of California back together?" Captain Marvel asked.

"I Have A Plan... But We're Going To Need All The Help We Can Get." Iron Patriot as he took a look at the two Ms Marvel's. "Can We Count On You, Ms Marvel?" he asked the black-suited heroine.

"Actually, I think 'Warbird' would be better for me now. Someone else has been given that name." Carol said, looking at the other blond.

"Not gonna fight me for it?" Karla asked, figuring that she would.

"Normally I would, but if giving up my name gets me off the Wanted List..." Carol said.

"Done." Iron Patriot said.

Ms Marvel smiled as he said that, as if knowing what he was thinking. The eyes of the world were on them now. If they could pull off such an incredible feat, like putting California back together, then arresting Carol Danvers would make them all look really, really bad. It would go against Osborn's plan of making the Avengers the heroes the world needed.

Iron Patriot turned to talk to Storm. "Ms Storm?"

"Yes?" the weather-goddess replied.

"You Have The Ability To Control Weather, Correct?"

"I do."

"It's Time To See Just How Powerful You Are."

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One hour later found the heroes using their combined talents to physically push the western half of California back into place.

Iron Patriot, Ms Marvel, Captain Marvel, Sentry and Warbird were using their powers to push on the gigantic landmass up near San Francisco, while Storm used her weather-manipulating powers to create a massive hurricane that was pushing on the area near San Diego.

However, as powerful as they were, even they wouldn't have been able to accomplish all this, were it not for Ares using Terrax's axe in order to manipulate the gigantic landmass back to where they wanted it to go. Terrax had used his axe once before in order to raise the island of Manhattan off the ground and into space. Now it was being used on an even larger landmass, along with the aid of several of Earth's most powerful heroes, in order to reconnect the newly made island back to where it had once been.

All the available news services were using helicopters to video tape the heroes using their powers to literally push the massive piece of real-estate back into position. Satellite surveillance was able to confirm this and showed it to the world.

Everyone, even Norman Osborn, was impressed.

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(Los Angeles Convention Center)

"It's gonna cost billions to repair the coastal cities. The clean-up alone will take years!" the mayor of San Francisco stated.

"Yes." Storm said. "But we will have a chance to repair the cities, as part of the United States of America."

"True." the mayor sighed.

"So... am I still under arrest?" Warbird asked Iron Patriot.

"Actually, I've Spoken To Mr Osborn About That. Considering Your Assistance In This Matter, You Won't Be Arrested." Iron Patriot replied.

"I hear a 'But' or an 'Unless' coming." she said.

"Unless... You Serve On The Liberators." he stated.

"As leader?" she asked.

"It's Actually Co-Leader Status, Alongside She-Hulk."

"Hmm. I don't know." Warbird mused.

"It would be better than prison, Carol." Sentry said.

"I still don't like this... working for Osborn. But... neither do I want to be a fugitive." she said with a hung head.

"Then You Agree." Iron Patriot said.

Her mouth hung open for a few seconds before answering. ".......I do. For now."

"Welcome to the Lady Liberators." She-Hulk said, clasping a hand on her friend's shoulder. "And it's about damn time too."

"Whatever, Jen." Warbird huffed.

She looked at her friend and, feigning ignorance, decided to set a little ground work.

"So... who is the new guy in the fancy tuxedo?" Warbird asked.

"Iron Patriot. Actually he says he's the son of Captain America." She-Hulk answered.

"What? You can't be serious! When did Steve have a kid?" she asked.

"Long story. But it was confirmed by Reed Richards and Henry Pym. Genetically, he's Cap's son."

"Tests can be faked, you know." Warbird stated.

"True. But...." She-Hulk shrugged her shoulders.

"I'm not sure how Osborn did that.... and I'm not sure I trust him all that much." Warbird said.

"Granted. But HE saved our bacon this round." Tigra said, pointing at Iron Patriot. "So for now... I'm giving HIM the benefit of the doubt."

"You're awfully trusting pretty fast." Invisible Woman said.

"I don't trust Osborn. But this guy.... I think we can trust." Tigra said.

"Fine. For now." Warbird said.

Just then, a group of armored military soldiers arrived.

"Sir! We're here to take the Red Hulk into custody." the lead armored trooper said.

"He's right over there, commander." She-Hulk stated.

However, as the ten armored soldiers surrounded the massive red-skinned monster, the paralysis chose right then to wear off.

"RAGH!" Rulk shouted as he exploded upwards and knocked the armored soldiers away.

Before anyone could react, Wolverine had leapt into the air at the beast, only to get grabbed by a pair of large red hands, and was suddenly ripped in two.

A blood-curdling scream alerted everyone who wasn't aware to the incident as Rulk tossed the two pieces of the mutant Avenger away and advanced towards the three teams.

Iron Patriot, aghast and horrified, unfroze first and quickly reacted before anyone else got the chance.

Before anyone fully realized what was happening, the red, white and blue armor pulled apart as an athletic young man with short brown hair in a black bodysuit bolted away from the suit and dashed towards the Red Hulk. He grabs Terrax's axe from Ares and rushed towards the crimson giant. Leaping into the air with all the strength his legs could muster, he gripped the axe tightly and swung with all his might.

Nobody noticed the yellow glow his eyes gave off as the axe connected with Rulk's neck, and kept going until it emerged out the other side.

Everyone in the entire area gasped in complete and total shock, as Shinji Ikari, the Iron Patriot and son of Captain America, had beheaded the Red Hulk with the axe of Terrax the Destroyer, former herald of Galactus.

While Rulk had been advancing towards the other members of the Avengers, Shinji had been behind him as he shed his armor and struck him at his back. He had the element of surprise, but they could still not understand what just happened.

"H-H-How... did you do that?" Warbird gasped, truly surprised.

"Why did you do that?" She-Hulk gasped.

Shinji looked at them before he answered.

"No one messes with my team and gets away with it!" Shinji said in a deep angry voice.

She-Hulk and the others, even Ares, Thundra, and X-23 took a step back, when they saw the look of pure anger and rage within his eyes.

Their attention was drawn away from Shinji, fortunately, by Sentry when he pulled the two halves of Wolverine's broken body together, his power to reincarnate others proving far superior than the mutant's own healing powers.

"Alright, he's fixed." Sentry replied.

"You... fixed him?" Captain Marvel gaped as Wolverine groaned and sat up.

"I have regeneration and resurrection powers." Sentry said.

"Really?" Spider Man asked.

"Yes."

"Well that's cool!" Tigra gasped.

"Yeah. Don't Let Him Anywhere Near Red Hulk!" She-Hulk said, just looking at the unmoving head of Rulk.

"What... happened?" Wolverine asked, holding his head as if he was dizzy.

"Sentry put you back together." Hawkeye stated.

"He did? Where's Red Hulk?" he growled.

"He's dead." Thundra said, pointing at the decapitated body, a small smile appearing on her lips as she stared at Shinji.

"How?" Wolverine asked.

"IP took his head off... with Ares's axe." Spider Man said.

"He... did?" Wolverine asked. He did it... for me?

"Actually it was Terrax's axe." Ms Marvel said.

Shinji didn't look at anyone as he handed Ares back the axe, and stepped back into his armor. He did it mostly to hide the look of shame on his face for what he had just done. No one had noticed his eyes were now filled with loss and sorrow.

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(Avengers Tower, New York City)

(...heroic new team of Avengers defeated the deadly quartet known as the Offenders, after the defeat of the all-female team known as the Lady Liberators....) A first monitor replayed.

(...attributed their success in replacing California's coastline to the aid of mutant superhero team known as the infamous X-Men...) A second monitor replayed.

(...sources close to the incident state that it was the combined efforts of the new Avengers team, the all-female Lady Liberators, and the infamous mutant X-Men team, to defeat the deadly villains...) A third monitor replayed.

"They did very well." Norman Osborn said aloud, after hitting the mute button to silence the televisions.

"So... we've got Ms Marvel on board, have we?" Victoria Hand asked, making a note in her palm pilot.

"No. She's calling herself Warbird, and for now she's on our side." Osborn replied.

"Do you think it will last?"

"No. But for now, we can keep an eye on her." he stated.

"I'm actually surprised about something." Victoria said.

"What?" Norman asked.

"You."

"Pardon?" he asked, looking at the woman.

"That could have been you in that Iron Patriot armor. I'm surprised you didn't go that route."

"Oh, I thought about it. But having the 'son of Captain America' lead these new Avengers, was just something I could not resist." he stated.

"But he's not as... hard-core as the rest of the team." she said.

"He took on Ares, didn't he?" he replied.

"Yes, but that doesn't mean he has the killer instinct that Ares, Wolverine, Hawkeye or even Spider Man has."

"Oh, really?" he grinned, hitting the mute button again to return volume to the televisions.

(...responsible for the death of the infamous and incredibly powerful Red Hulk. The Avengers leader apparently used an axe wielded by Ares to decapitate the vicious brute in what some witnesses could only describe as possibly the single-most amazing and hardcore action that...)

Victoria Hand looked stunned. "Perhaps I was mistaken." she said as Osborn muted the television again. "But... will this make him easier to control, or harder?"

"I'm not certain. I'll have to speak with Karla about that." Osborn said.

"Dr Sofen? As what? His keeper?"

"Keeper, lover, psychiatrist. She would know better than anyone else."

"Still, he has done some amazing work. Fought Ares. Fought The Hood and his gang. Fought the Red Hulk, and killed him. Put the California Coastline back together. Recruited Ms Marvel, now Warbird, after she ran out on you..."

"I'm still not convinced we can trust her." Osborn said.

"...and probably gained the respect of his entire team with that little act." Victoria said. Fear. Respect. They often go hand-in-hand. she thought. This could be very interesting.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
(Avengers Tower, hours later)

Shinji was standing under the shower trying to wash away the horrible memory of killing someone. Even if the monster had ripped his teammate in half, and his other teammate had 'put him back together', Shinji had never before taken a life. Any life. Or at least a life that was vaguely human.

He was so distracted that he didn't notice a pair of strong arms wrap around his chest and a large pair of breasts press against his back.

"Shinji? Shinji-kun? Talk to me, sweetie." Karla said, whispering to him as she rubbed her hands across his chest. "You haven't said anything since you killed..."

"Don't." he said in a sad tone.

"What?" she asked.

"I... I don't.... I mean I.... I've never...." he stammered.

"You've never killed anyone before, have you?" she asked. More like stated.

"No. I..... that, Red Hulk, was my first." he replied.

Karla hugged him tightly. She had momentarily forgotten that underneath his athletic adult body was a teenager who had none of the experiences that Captain America had, which included the events of World War II.

She released her arms from his body and moved around him, lifting his face so that his eyes meet her own. His eyes were red and puffy from crying, his expression like that of a lost and scared kid. She caressed his cheeks before cupping his face with her hands and planted a soft kiss on his lips.

"I understand." she said softly to him, her mouth right next to his ear. "What do you need, Shinji? Tell me what you need." she said to him as she softly kissed his lips and cheek.

Shinji pressed his forehead against hers as he wrapped his arms around her shapely body.

"I.... I don't want to be alone right now." he whispered back to her.

Karla nodded her head as she turned the shower off and led Shinji back to her bedroom. Still naked and wet Karla helped the young super soldier into bed and spooned up against him, holding him tightly, her face buried in the crook of his neck. She pulled the sheets over them and just held her young lover as he held her in return.

Karla held him tightly as his body fell into sleep, tears falling from his eyes as his dreams replayed the events of the day to him. She kissed his cheek softly, her concern for this young man greater than anyone else she had ever met.

While she had never had a 'serious' relationship like the one she was in now, she realized why that was. Shinji was many different kinds of men.

He was strong. He was smart. He was sensitive. He was grief-stricken. He was frightened. He was courageous. He was invincible. He was vulnerable. He was loyal. He was selfless. He was tortured. He was young. He was old.

Shinji was many things, Karla realized, but most of all: he was her man! And because of that, she would protect him against any threat and pain in order to keep him from leaving her.

Selfish, yes, but Karla Sofen was not one to give up without a fight.

In Shinji she had found someone who would give her the life she never thought she wanted. And whether or not it was as heroes, she would not give him up for any amount of money or power.

You are mine, Shinji Ikari. She thought as she held him tightly. And I will do anything to keep you with me. My lover..... my leader.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Authors Notes:

Here is my second chapter, and it's.... rather obscure and hastily written. Some parts of it need to be rewritten, and other parts need to be forgotten. But I thought that wasn't bad, considering I've got a cold and can't sleep.

I will most likely re-edit this story, but for now this is what I've got.

Also, just so everyone knows, Shinji's ability to kill Red Hulk without his armor is a combination of things. The cosmic axe wielded by Terrax, Shinji's super soldier athleticism, and his dormant Angelic nature. Basically, Shinji's Angelic nature caused him to surround the axe with enough power to enhance its cosmic nature, and Shinji's new physical prowess enabled him to slice through Rulk with little difficulty.

Also, in the future, I will be changing up the Dark Avengers line-up. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I was thinking of using Songbird, maybe X-23, Deadpool, or even Thunderstrike. (It's possible, right?)

Anyway, leave me reviews to tell me what you would also like to see as well.