Danny left soon after breakfast for some company function. He and Ava shared a look but that was all. After more idle chatter, and a Call of Duty tournament, the others left back to their place.
Sam had been contemplating go back home but didn't really want to so he stayed at the Carrier. But after a while he got bored and as the sun was going down he took his helmet and flew.
It wasn't hard to follow the sound of sirens in Manhattan. He flew by Town Square quickly and shot a beam to hit the getaway car the cops were after. The tires melted and they skidded to a halt. Sam smirked and gave a salute then was gone. Not too far he heard more sirens. He flew down but as he peered over to the alleyway the cops were in, the man was already hanging from the wall by an arrow. Sam frowned but went on. He found two guys trying to mug a jogger in Central Park and merely swept down and grabbed them by the back of their shirts. They started yelling and screaming.
'Oh, shut up!" he teased.
One tried to shoot him but because of his heat he easily melted it.
"Nice try!" he smirked. He dipped and disposed them right on top of a cop car then flew off.
Awhile later he caught sight of another car driving off with police right on their tail. He flew towards them but as he rounded the corner the car had been hit with expanding foam, an arrow off to the side. Sam growled and flew off.
It was turning into a game, whoever could find more people who needed help. An hour later Nova was pretty sure he was down by two.
He heard a lady cry. "My kitty! Please get my !"
"I got it!" Nova cried and sped off. "I got! I'm here!" he came to a tall tree with an old lady standing under it.
"Oh! It's all right young man! This lovely young lady just swung by and helped my Mrs. Tintsy down!" the lady smiled as she held the fluffy white cat close to her and cuddled it's face. "Didn't she?!" The cat purred happily.
Nova growled in frustration and ended up burning the tree to ash. The cat gave an angry hiss. "Oh bite me!" Nova yelled angrily at it.
Suddenly a small chuckle seemed to echo out of a nearby alley.
Nova stiffened and quickly took off after it. He flew into the alley and glanced around. He swore he saw a shadow stir and took after it. It was hard for him to fly in the close alleys without hitting a wall or fire escape.
"Oh, duh!" he said looking up and decided to merely fly up to see her from above. He flew up to the top of the building. He floated for a moment and barely was able to dodge it.
"Aahh!" he cried and flew off to the side as an arrow pierced the brick wall right where he had been standing. He glared at the figure standing on the opposite ledge. "Watch here you shoot those things!"
"Why were you following me?" Hot Shot asked, her voice had mirth in it.
He glared at her and flew closer. "Why are you hogging up all the crime?!"
"What are you talking about?" she feigned ignorance.
"You know exactly what I mean!"
"What? Are you mad just because 'I'm a lovely young lady'?" she smirked, biting back a grin and how angry he looked.
"Shut up! That's the last thing you are!"
"Not according to that lady. Or the cat."
"Hate cats." He grumbled.
She raised an eyebrow from behind her mask. "I'm sure your friend would love to hear that."
He blinked. "That's not what I meant. And don't tell Ava!"
She laughed, "Don't worry I won't." She turned and began to walk off. "But you can go home now. I got things covered." She teased him.
"Whatever! I've been doing great in case you haven't noticed.
Before he could go on the sounds of sirens erupted sharply. He gave a quick smirk "I got this!" and was gone in a blue blur.
She rolled her eyes but ran after him.
Somewhere down East 64th ST a fire was starting on the 10th story of an apartment building. The firemen were having trouble getting in and it was too high for the hose to hit. Nova floated above to survey the scene. He chose a window and flew in.
Inside everything was smoldering, smoke blurring everything. But Nova was able to handle this pretty good, after all wasn't he able to stand certain heats from stars? He looked around and saw a lady huddled holding her son close. He scooped them up and a man next door and flew out and quickly placed them by the fire truck. When he flew back in he saw the familiar blur of purple. Hot Shot was carrying a baby and leading a man to the window she gave him a zip thing and held the baby close as she zipped down her arrow line and they landed on the ground safely too.
Hot Shot had given a little boy his hamster back when Nova was coming out of the fiery structure. "Girl you need to hold still. Everything's fine!"
Hot Shot turned and noticed how excessively the girl was wriggling around desperately trying to get out of his grasp and pointing aimlessly to the building. Her eyes were rolling back feverishly, most likely from the smoke. She was mumbling incoherently and had a small wail; she was near ten years old.
Nova landed and gently tried to put her in the grass but she had started kicking and Nova was bewildered. 'Whoa, it's okay chill!"
Hot Shot ran over to them and kneeled next to her and they set her down. "Sshh sshh, it's okay. You're out," she soothed "you're okay."
"No!" the girl cried sharply. "I have to- she-" her breath was short gasps. Nova had motioned to some nearby paramedics to check her oxygen intake.
"Sshh just wait and-'
"No!" she shrieked and her eyes cleared for a moment. "No, my grandma is in there! Please, I need- she need- she's all I have.' She mumbled off as she began to lose it again.
To Hot Shot it was like everything had frozen. In her head came the ringing of a young girl's voice. She didn't move till Nova gave her shoulder a gentle shake.
"Hey, Hot Shot? Hot Shot!"
She jumped then noticed that the paramedics had arrived. She gave them the girl gently as she continued to mutter.
Nova witnessed Hot Shot's briefly leave to a place in her mind and saw her eyes then flash with revival and determination. In an instant she was back up and heading to the slowly crumbling building. Nova blinked and cried out "Hey wait! It's too hot for you! Hot Shot!"
But she had already entered the blazing building and had somehow climbed up to the same floor Nova had just flown out from.
Nova cursed and flew back in.
Hot Shot coughed from all the smoke and mentally cursed herself for not have but hr rebreather in her belt. She began searching through the fire a black smoke. She walked and jumped back as part of the floor crumbled down to reveal more flames from bellow growing. She jumped over it and continued to search. She caught sight of a huddled figure inside one of the rooms. She quickly dashed to it and sure enough an elderly woman was passed out.
"Hot Shot!" Nova yelled into the flames. He was now fervently cursing her and he was beginning to get this odd panicking feeling in his stomach. He was about to yell again when he caught a flash of purple. He whirled and saw Hot Shot struggling to carry a woman while she looked ready to pass out. Nova didn't give it a second though as he flew over to her and was able to grab both of them and flew out.
He set them down on the grass and immediately paramedics ran over. They took the elderly lady to a 'bus' and one tried to help Hot Shot but she sprang up and took a step back.
"Hey, hey! Take it easy!" Nova said as he gently patted her shoulder, her costume had slightly burnt edges but nothing more.
She stood still then turned to walk away but slightly wavered. Nova held her up as she glanced around and she smiled slightly at seeing the girl running to her grandmother who was now conscious. She struggle to stand on her own again and this time was able to take a few steps.
'Hey you should get checked up." Nova said as he let her get out of his arms.
"I'm fine.' She waved off as she took some more steps.
'She should get looked at.' The paramedic insisted with concerned.
"Yeah but she's really stubborn." Nova told him blandly then turned back to Hot Shot. "Ack! She's gone!" he cried and looked around for her.
He flew and found her sitting at a nearby building still catching her breath.
"Yo, what's up with the ninja disappearing act? No what the hell was up with all that in general? You just ran into a crumbling building like nothing!" he yelled angrily, glowing brighter.
She gave a ragged sigh and a glare. 'I had to find the lady. She was still in there."
"Yeah, but you didn't have to go in and get her! I could have easily gone in and gotten herself myself!"
'I was perfectly fine!" she snapped.
'Uh, no! You were being stupid and you weren't thinking! The logical thing would have been for me to go in and get her because I would have been able to stand the heat! You could have died! What the hell were you trying to accomplish?!"
As he ranted she hugged her knees and looked out over to the lights of the city. After awhile she whispered "Closure.' But it sounded more like a question.
Nova sighed as he floated closer. "Look Hot-"
"No.' she cut off. She shook her head and stood up. "You're right but- but you don't get it. This hit home for me.' She said softly. She sighed. 'I have to go." And with a jump and a flip she left.
Nova considered going after her but at the same time he felt that she needed her space; she had such a haunting look in her eyes. It reminded him of another pair of chocolate eyes.
Hot Shot made her way through the city she had adopted as her own and a beeline to a home of hers. She knew he would be there and she needed him. And she was right.
Maria bursted into Avenger's Mansion and she felt her chest constructing tighter. She ran up the stairs with a small nod of acknowledgment to Hank but nothing more as the familiar sting behind her eyes grew. She ran through the halls, her breathing starting to become short gasps. She turned a corner and he had actually been walking in the hall when he saw her.
'Hey you!" then he took in her face "What's wrong? Are you okay!?"
She ran up to him and into his arms as a everything came crashing out.
He was bewildered by her response and became more alarmed as a sob racked her body and he held her close. 'Sshh sshhh, what is it?" Clint hushed. "What's wrong?" he led her into his room.
"It hurts! It still hurts!" she was able to get out before more tears spilled.
Clint immediately understood what she meant ad really wish Nat was there with them. But her rubbed her back soothingly and cradled her. "I know sweat heart, I know.'
Nova couldn't let it go, he mulled over what had happened as he flew to the Helicarrier. He just couldn't let it go and was being bugged by it. He felt like there was a connection he should be seeing, like it was plain in front of him but he just couldn't get it to click.
He flew in and headed to take a quick shower. Then he went to his room. He was thinking. Thinking over what had happened today and the look in Hot Shot's eyes. Like he had seen it before. Then he fell asleep thinking of another, yet the same, pair of eyes but this time in a dimly lit Italian restaurant and a warm comfortable hand in his.
He was so distracted by his thoughts that he didn't know about the spat between the tiger and the dragon till the next day because the tiger was gone.