A/N: I KNOW I should be working on Timor Mortis or Waifs and Strays, but this little story was niggling in my head and I couldn't get it out. I promise at least one of the above stories will be updated SOON! Don't lose faith, dear readers! This should be relatively short, probably four chapters at most. Enjoy.

NOTE: Hulk and Natasha aren't present for this fight. Bruce is off doing some Important Science, and Natasha is on a mission.

They crouched in the alley, hidden by the dumpster. Scott was leaning against the side, arms wrapped around his knees. A thick black blindfold was tied around his eyes, keeping them shut. He wore a grungy orange jumpsuit. His hair was short but dirty. A shallow cut ran along his forehead, oozing blood sluggishly. There was more blood on his jumpsuit. It wasn't his.

Emma knelt protectively in front of him, though she wasn't currently in her diamond form. She too was wearing the orange suit their guards had provided them, zipped to her neck against the cold. Emma could see her breath.

She scuttled back into the shadows as she heard a car pass, itching to transform but afraid of giving up their location. It had been difficult, so difficult to escape the lab, but they had done it. Many other mutants had tried to escape, but all had been recaptured. It was up to Emma and Scott now.

Mutants were a well-kept secret. There weren't many, and as soon as their powers manifested they were taken and kept in government labs. Some had been contained since birth, while others had lived most of their lives in the outside world. Mutations had an unfortunate tendency to manifest either at birth or during puberty, however, so many of the mutants held at the labs were only teenagers. Emma shut her eyes, wincing as she thought of all her friends at the lab. Jubilee, Kitty, Marie, John, Bobby, even Remy and Alex. Their lives were in her hands now.

Scott touched her arms gently, and she jumped and shushed him. Scott had been in a car accident as a child, and as a result had no control over his powers. Opening his eyes would release a destructive scarlet beam, which would smash through anything it encountered. He had to keep his eyes shut at all times or risk killing any number of people. No sight meant no aim.

But they had managed to escape. Emma, in her diamond form, had managed to saw of Kitty's power-dampening collar. Kitty had phased through the bars and managed to open two cells before she was overwhelmed by the guards. She probably could have stayed phased and escaped, Emma reflected sadly, but she had remained solid so as to open as many cells as possible.

From there, she and Scott managed to break out. Emma would position Scott and he would remove the blindfold, unleashing an unstoppable rush of energy. And in return, Emma had solidified into diamond in order to deflect the bullets the guards fired.

It had been three days since their escape, and they had managed to evade their captors, making their way gradually into the city. Now it was a matter of who to tell. The local police would be no help. The government was the one locking mutants up. The press might react badly and call for their arrest. After much debate, Scott had suggested the Avengers.

Emma's heart soared. The Avengers! She didn't know much about them (they were formed after her capture), but she did know the other, newer mutants spoke of them with awe. Captain America she knew about, having seen the cartoons and read the comics as a child. The parallel between the Nazi experiments and what was being done to mutants would surely sway him to their side. Bruce Banner was an experiment, and maybe if she told him about Laura and Logan, he would help them. Tony Stark she didn't know much about, and they others were completely unknown, but perhaps the support of the other two would convince them.

She shook herself roughly. First they had to find the Avengers. There was no way to talk to them, and they couldn't possibly just walk up to their tower (which, incidentally, Emma could see from her place in the alley). She stiffened as she heard footsteps on the near deserted street outside. She could feel Scott tense behind her and knew he heard it too. They men started talking, and her heart nearly stopped. She recognized those voices.

Gripping Scott's hand, she balanced on her heels, peeing around the dumpster. They'd wait until there was a gap, and then-

"Run!" she whisper-shrieked to Scott, and they sprang up and sprinted out, Emma clenching Scott's hand and leading him all the way. Men shouted behind them, and Emma could hear footsteps closing in fast. She was struck with an idea. She stopped, and Scott stumbled behind her. She turned him quickly, and yanked off his blindfold. Immediately, red light poured from his eyes. The men behind them were flung backwards, and his blast continued, destroying a car and sending it flying into a building.

"Close your eyes!" Emma shouted, and he complied. She grabbed his hands and they continued running.

Emma screamed as Scott was ripped from her grasp and strong arms encircled her waist, lifting her off the ground. A man was holding Scott, whispering to him. She could just make out the words.

"Your girlfriend is directly in from of you, open our eyes and she's dead."

Emma thrashed, twisting in her captor's grip. She grunted slightly and a fist connected with her stomach, and she quickly turned to diamond in response. She swung her elbow forcefully at the man's head, smirking slightly as he crumpled. She yelled hoarsely as several more men hit her from behind, pinning her arms to her side. She lifted her feet, and in her heavy diamond state they stumbled under her weight. She kicked angrily and caught one of them in the jaw. He went down, cursing. She twisted and rose to her feet.

Something hit the ground heavily near her, and she was knocked off her feet. Turning, she caught sight of a man wearing a cape and holding a large, square hammer. Thor. She nearly grinned with relief but soon realized that these people thought she was the enemy. Some sort of blast caught her in the chest, and she went flying back, landing near the man holding a struggling Scott. An arrow hit her shoulder, but bounced off the diamond. She saw a man raise a gun and point it directly at Scott. She leaped in front of him, and heard several voices hollering, "No!"

The bullets bounced off her chest, hitting the ground and the building behind her. At least one hit the man holding the gun, who went down shouting curses. Something hit her hard in the back of the head, and she heard a crack. Emma was forced to change back into her human form lest her head snap off from the blow. A dart grazed her neck, and she sank woozily to the ground, next to an already sedated Scott. Despair overwhelmed her. Distantly, she could hear a man in red, white, and blue shouting furiously at the gunman. Other men were picking her up now, and she twisted feebly in their grip. The head of the group charged with recapturing them was talking now, explaining away the battle.

"..dangerous. Their parents had been experimenting on them, and we found them locked in the basement of their home. They've been brainwashed, they think we're the bad guys, but look at them, that isn't natural.."

"No," Emma mumbled, her tongue thick in her mouth," ther lyin."

She had been laid on the sidewalk next to Scott. She couldn't tell if he was awake, as his eyes were closed. It was up to her, now, to stop the men taking them back. She grit her teeth, forcing herself to focus. Thor was standing nearby, listening silently to the exchange. Steeling herself, she managed to get her hands underneath her and rose shakily to her feet. Two steps to Thor, one, two, c'mon, Emma, you've got this.

"She's moving!" someone-the archer, Hawkeye- shouted, but it was too late. She launched herself onto Thor's back, wrapping her arms and legs around his thick torso. She locked her arms and hooked her legs together and turned to diamond. It would be nearly impossible to remove her without hurting Thor.

Thor, for his part, twisted and tried to pry her off, but she held tight. Hawkeye shouted again.

"We can't fire, we'd hit Thor! Cap, can you do anything?"

Captain America approached the wild girl who had latched on to Thor, hands raised in a placating gesture. He spoke calmly, glancing at his teammates before continuing.

"We're not going to hurt you. You've been through a lot, but these men are going to help you get better."

Emma was panting wildly, looking frantically around at the Avengers and government men surrounding her. She whimpered quietly.

"No! They're trying to take us back to the labs! They'll hurt us! They'll hurt the others!"

"Let go of Thor, and turn back into a person, and then we can discuss things like adults."

Somehow, Emma found words. "Explain the bullets."

Cap stopped, looking at her inquisitively. "What?"

"If they're trying to help us, explain the bullets."

Captain America turned to the men. "Explain the bullets."

For once, they seemed at a loss for words. The man nearest Emma and Thor growled.

"Alright, brat, if you're not going to come quietly-"

He turned his gun on Scott.

Emma's heart sank. She couldn't let anything happen to Scott. He was her best friend, and his brother was still back at the lab. If he was hurt…

Wordlessly, Emma dropped from Thor. The man clicked the safety off and grinned.

"Hands up, and back to human form, kiddo."

Captain America's comm crackled, and she heard him whisper a response, though she couldn't make out the words. She slowly raised her hands.

An arrow pierced the man's shoulder, pinning him to the wall. The gun went off, and Emma screamed as she dove on top of Scott, shielding him. The other Avengers sprang into action, mercilessly attacking the men. She didn't know how long it went on, but she never moved from her position over Scott, determined to keep him safe.

She jerked as a hand touched her diamond shoulder. Turning slightly, she saw a man in a black suit. He had sandy, slightly receding hair and a small smile. He offered her his hand.

"Let's get back to the tower and discuss your situation."

Taking a deep breath, Emma took his hand.