Enemy
Familiar friend
My beginning and my end
Broken truth
Whispering lies
And it hurts again...

Still the same
Pursuing pain...

Is it worth all I have gained?

It finds me
The fight inside is
Coursing through my veins
And it's raging
The fight inside
Is hurting me again

It finds me
The war inside
Is hurting me again

Pulls me under

Without you
The fight inside is breaking me again...

~Nothing and Everything – Red

~Part 3~

Chapter 49: Everything to Gain

There was nothing to lose and yet everything to gain.

The Abomination had a distinct feeling that this was one fight that he would win.

He had the one weakness of the Hulk literally within his grasp: A young wife pregnant with his child.

Dr. Bruce Banner was certain to take his- the Abomination's- life should his young family be thrown into the wrong hands. The Hulk would try everything in his power to kill him and save his woman. Yet, the thoughts of this did not bother him. He already had the upper hand in this situation. No matter the outcome of this fight, young Mrs. Banner would not be home safe with her husband this night...

-o-

The Little Guy had once again, willingly, given him full reins.

It was often this way when it came towards Ana.

Towards Cin.

There was no disagreement when it came to the safety of their women. The only time they had ever come in agreement before was toward the safety of the ones they loved. Betty had filled that void at first... but now...

Anamaria... Erin...

Her true names rang through his mental link with his wife.

Ana and Cin. Two halves of one whole. So much like they were...

The Little Guy knew that the only way to save their women and their young was to allow the Hulk to become dominant and try to defeat the Abomination. There was no war within this time. Now, they were both in sync with their desires: Save their family.

The location of the stores that Ana had gone with her mother was not far from Stark Tower and it didn't take long for the Hulk to jump from one building to another, following after the pull his mate had on him. The sight of destruction here was much as it had been then in Harlem: total chaos and pandemonium. However, it was the sight of the Abomination holding an unconscious Ana that got the rage to a boiling point. With a huge roar of anger, the Hulk had swung down from the tall building he had clung to and aimed straight for the monstrosity.

The Abomination heard him before he saw him and held out the female, her slightly round belly on display and in target of the Hulk's wrath. The Hulk saw this and immediately turned his body in an almost impressive display of flexibility, changing his aim and instead landing twenty feet away against some abandoned cars. Broken pieces of concrete flew in an explosion from the force before the dust settled and the Hulk got himself out of the crater he had made. His eyes were only on the enemy before him, a deadly enemy that now held his mate and young within his grasp. The Little Guy was aching from deep within...

Save her... Save our babies... Our wife... Our children...

"Ours," said Hulk, his voice grumbling deeply as he clenched his massive green fists. "Always. Let... her... GO!"

The Abomination let out a deep chuckle as he pulled his hand close, pulling Ana close, and gently sniffing her hair. "Yours?" he said, his gravely, monstrous voice echoing across the now abandoned street. Save for a few dedicated SHIELD members who stood in alleyways and on rooftops, everything else was deserted. "She is, isn't she?" He sniffed her again and chuckled. "She has your scent all over her... On her... In her... You were thorough with this little whore, weren't you? Found the one female in heat that could take you and you stake your claim." A chuckle escaped the monster, a terrible manic glint in his eye as he leaned down, not to sniff her, but to trail his tongue slowly against her neck. "Perhaps she needs to be shown what a true Alpha male is..."

The Hulk's roar of anger was like music to the Abomination's ears as he turned to properly face his nemesis. "Heh... If you think you can get her back... Then come take her." He tightened his grip on the woman before he looked as if about to brace himself. He rolled his shoulders and then...

He leapt onto the roof of what was left of the historic church before leaping to the building across from it. The Abomination had a set course in mind and he knew that the Hulk would follow. Sure enough, the Hulk was right on his tail, his roars of rage echoing for miles around. The Abomination's large feet were destroying the roof of each building that he ran on. Off in the distance, he could see what he had expected: An unmarked black helicopter making its way toward him.

The smirk touched his face as he caught sight of the large net that was being lowered from the helicopter, opening itself up. He kept on running from roof to roof until he was close to the helicopter to take aim. Since he had a four-foot advantage in height, his longer more limbs meant that the Hulk was having a hard time keeping up. He heard the Hulk's roars cut short the moment the woman was airborne.

The unconscious woman went sailing through the air, her limbs waving dangerously about, before she was caught up in the net. Her body was showing signs of red veins glowing with suppressed heat, her clothing was showing burning holes in various places but more so around her round belly. The Hulk let out another roar, this one filled with pain as he hurried past the Abomination to get to the helicopter that was carrying his mate away. His green eyes were focused on the swaying net that he barely noticed the Abomination cutting in front him and, using his momentum, taking the Hulk by the arm and swinging him back down to the street below.

The Hulk crashed through the brick wall and glass windows of a building across the street. He could hear the sound of screaming and scurrying feet as the people who worked in this building attempted to avoid being hit. The Hulk rolled to a stop but didn't hesitate to get back to his feet. He rushed back out the way he had been thrown and used the building for leverage as he leapt back toward the rooftops. He crashed to a stop, his green eyes searching the skies frantically above. He could feel the pull of his mate stronger than ever now. He followed the link between them, moving quickly across the rooftops. He could see the helicopter in the distance, its precious load swaying dangerously close to the buildings around it. He let out another roar in panic as he pushed his body to the limits. He had to get to his mate...

He could hear the sound of grumbling laughter as the Abomination appeared from his left, slamming into the Hulk with enough force to throw him back. "Hulk... You're not going to win this one..."

The Hulk was getting desperate as he got back to his feet, wiping the green blood from the cut on the corner of his mouth. His eyes were still focused on the sight of the fleeing helicopter. His mate was in that net and he couldn't get to her...

His rage was blinding as, instead of attacking the monstrosity, he turned away and raced in the opposite direction. He could feel the pull of Cin with deep within his mind and heart, the aching pain of being so far from him was making her own anger rise, even while unconscious. If he could keep the Abomination away and follow that pull, he would get to her no matter where they took her. However, the Abomination was not going to give up so easily and was quick to block the Hulk's attempts at trying to get to his mate.

Each attempt at trying to past the bastard was met with pounding fists, roars of rage, and chuckling laughter. The Abomination was winning this round... Simply because, the Hulk was so focused on getting to his mate instead of fighting him. The Hulk, seeing that he was not going to make it, roared and started pounding his frustrations against the Abomination.

"That's more like it," said the monstrosity as he took each hit. "Show me how much you hate it. The weakness... It's eating at you. You can't save her." He raised his fist and threw a powerful punch against the Hulk's face. The green being went flying back from the force and off the rooftops back to the street below. He let out a groan as a huge shuddering thud landed right beside him. He opened his eyes as he held a hand to his head. The Abomination was standing over him and placed a heavy foot against the Hulk's chest. "Such a waste..."

The Hulk growled as he stared up at the Abomination, his hatred for this monster was deep and unyielding. He dared to take his mate, touch his mate... He would die for this.

The sound of a jet flying overhead did not gain the attention of the fighting monsters.

However, the feel of a very heavy projectile slamming him away from the Hulk did get the attention of the Abomination. He was thrown back from the force and crashed into the building behind him, one that was still showing signs of rebuilding from the previous battle in the city. The monster crawled out of the rubble of the ground floor of the building, turning his attention to the sight of blond-haired male close by. The projectile had turned out to be a hammer and it was caught by the male, his red cape flowing from the rising breeze of the power that flowed through him. His voice spoke with an authority that bore no mistake to any who had happened to be listening. This man was angry. "You have chosen your battles poorly this day." He started to swing his hammer, the wind rising around him as his sparking gaze focused on the Abomination. "This family is under the protection of the House of Odin."

And with that, Thor flew forward and swung his hammer, knocking the Abomination clear off of his feet...

-o-

The helicopter that was fleeing the scene of the fight had one particular passenger aboard that wished he wasn't in this situation. Dr. Anthony Parsons had been assigned to join in on the mission of obtaining the specimen for recapture. He was armed with only a single gun that housed tranquilizers which were meant to be fired at the female should she be awoken prior to getting her back to base. So far, everything seemed to be going according to plan. Occasionally, he would glance out the window, catching sight of the female swaying in the net beneath them. Each time he saw her, a twinge of guilt would assault him. Though they had worked several months for this, Dr. Parsons couldn't shake the feeling that everything they were doing now... was just wrong.

He could see that this female was not a project any longer.

She was going to be mother. She had people who loved her and would fight to the death for her. From all he had seen of these people over the months, they cared for one another deeply. How many people had he known would be so willing to die for another? No one in the company he worked for, that was for certain.

Dr. Parsons swallowed the tightness in his throat as he looked at the gun in his hand and then up at the pilot and the guard in the seat beside him. His hand trembled once before resolve gave him the strength he needed. For the first time in twenty years, the doctor finally listened to the nagging voice of his conscious. Quietly, un-buckling himself from his seat, he lifted the gun and fired a dart at the armed guard, the dart hitting its mark in the bare neck of the man. The guard let out a shout in surprise before slumping over in a dead faint. Dr. Parsons quickly got out of his seat and held the gun to the neck of the pilot. "You're going to turn this thing around and land... Be careful with the cargo."

The pilot was caught off guard by the sudden aggressive doctor holding the dart gun against his neck. Not looking to be brought under the same involuntary nap as his coworker, the pilot had no qualms with turning the copter around. They didn't pay him enough for this shit. His job was just to fly the copter to where the passengers needed to go. His passenger needed to land so, he would land the thing.

Just as the pilot was turning the copter, a jet passed over them at surprising speeds. The next moment, something had landed with against the nose of the machine. It landed with such force that the helicopter veered off course and was starting into a tailspin. All within the machine were thrown by the force of the thing that had hit them. The doctor had managed to get himself up right and caught sight of a pair of glowing, yellow eyes staring right back at him. The gender was all wrong. The skin was completely crimson. Yet, there was no mistaking what this creature was.

It's claws were burning with heat as it pried the door open and the last thought that Dr. Parsons had was relief. He wouldn't be dying this day with a guilty conscience. He started laughing, a manic glint in his eye, as he took the dart gun and fired it at the pilot, knowing what was coming. This man didn't need to be awake for this. The moment the claws had found their mark in the doctor's lungs, he was still laughing. The heat that engulfed him brought him a sense of peace. At least, the female would be able to get back to her family. And he hoped that they would get the LIFE Foundation in the end...

-o-

Iron Man had chased after the helicopter the moment he caught sight of the Hulk battling with the Abomination in the streets below. The moment he saw Thor flying down from swirling clouds above, the metal man wondered if the god of thunder had felt the loss of Sido like the rest of them...

Ignoring the battle that was raging below, he pushed all he could into the suit, his flight decreasing the distance between himself and his little sister. He could see her swaying in the net, not moving an inch. Pain pierced his heart at the thought of his little nieces or nephews being hurt.

"JARVIS," he growled but the AI was already far ahead of his master as the visor displayed his calculations of a successful capture should he fire the helicopter down and catch Ana at the same time.

The odds were not in his favor.

There was just too much of a chance of him harming his little sister in the process.

"Fuck," he muttered as he kept on after the copter, the pull in his mind and chest leading him straight to his sister. He kept running scenarios over and over in his head, looking at the local area. The best bet for him was to try to shoot the thing down while they were over a body of water. But the lake was too far from the direction they were going and the nearest river...

His thoughts were cut short as a very familiar black jet flew overhead in the opposite direction. The back hatch was open and a very tall, crimson-skinned, figure had leapt from it. From the height of the being, it had enough leverage so that when it had jumped, it was careening straight for the copter. It was letting out a serious of deep roars and the sight of the fire burning from its clawed hands and feet told Iron Man more than enough. This thing was on his side.

The moment it landed on the copter, it had made the machine go into a tailspin. It was melting the side door and glass of the machine before it had gotten halfway inside. The helicopter continued to spin out of control and with it, the net holding Ana was dangerously close to slamming into one of the buildings.

Without hesitation, Iron Man flew straight for his sister, taking aim and firing an energy blast at the cable tethering the net to the copter. The moment the cable snapped, the net holding Ana began to fall...

He caught her just before she hit the roof of the building below them. He held her close as he landed on the roof. He was careful as he set her down, pulling the net off and away from her still form. His scanners checked her vitals, her body, and the babies within. Surprisingly, with all that she had gone through, there was no sign of physical trauma. He let out the breath he had held before he glanced up, catching sight of a fantastic explosion as the helicopter continued to fall and crash down to the street below. The creature had emerged from the fiery rubble, bending and melting the broken pieces of the cockpit that kept it trapped. The fire had no effect on its crimson hide and the glowing veins were testament to the fact that it was a definite ally. Its glowing eyes immediately found Iron Man and, once free of the wreckage, it took a huge leap up to the building and landed right in front of him.

For the first time, he could appreciate the lineage Cin called her own. This Lyttan male was the real thing. Ten feet of lean muscle and glowing clawed hands and feet, the dark frazzled hair that hung around his gaunt face failed to hide the yellow orbs that stared at Ana. Not paying Iron Man any mind, he gently reached out clawed finger to gently run it against Ana's bare cheek. The moment the contact had been made, it was like a set of floodgates had been opened within Iron Man's mind.

Memories flooded from within him, memories that showed of a time and place that no human had ever known...

-o-

The sight of a curly, dark-haired girl with beautiful russet skin could be seen running through some caves that glowed with ethereal light. She had turned her head to look at him and deep blue eyes danced with love as she waved at him. Love filled his heart at the sight of her. "Brother, come!" she cried, her excitement was contagious. "The lake is just this way!"

She started to run faster but he had no problem keeping up with her. She glanced back at him again and her laughter echoed off the walls of the cave. "Erai! This place is just beautiful!" She danced ahead of him as she held out her hands to him. "Come my brother! My twin! We must dance for the ancestors!"

He reached out to take her hand in his own, the same beautiful russet color, and he was pulled into a dance that had no name save for pure, unadulterated joy. She kept on circling around him, his own deeper laughter joining with hers as he twirled her. Her skirts flowed about her as they came to a stop on the edge of an underground lake. Deep within this lake, plants and fish glowed with phosphorescent colors. The light flowed up through the surface and covered the surrounding walls in a myriad of colors.

"Look my brother," she said, as she kneeled on the edge of this lake. She pointed to the wavering surface as he kneeled down beside her. He looked down at the water and caught the pair of the same blue eyes as his sister staring back at him.

"We resemble one another exactly," she said as she reached out to take his hand. "Yet, we are the two halves of other souls lost somewhere in those Nine realms." She gave his hand a squeeze as she looked up at him, her deep blue eyes showing worry. "We share the same side of their souls and they share ours... I worry we may not find them in this lifetime..."

"Erin," he said, his smile was gentle as he reached out a hand to brush his sister's cheek. The sight of her red veins glowing from his touch was shared by the sight of red veins glowing in his fingertips. "We will find a way out of this dark realm and when we do, our mates will find us."

"Do you think so, brother?" she asked, the smile on her face was bittersweet.

"I believe it," he said, his hand fell from her cheek as he turned to stare at his reflection, his frazzled dark waves falling from the ponytail that kept it in check. "We are still young but our people's lifespans are long. If they have not been born yet within the Nine Realms, they will soon. The longer we stay here, the harder it would be for them to find us. The harder it would be for our people to find theirs. The Bonding of Mates are so rare between our people now... We're dying because we are trapped in this place. We are stagnant. We have to free out people from this place."

"I'll find us a way out Erai," said Erin, casting her blue gaze to the lake. "I swear it... We'll be free as a people and then... we will be free to flourish with our destined mates."

-o-

Iron Man would have stumbled back from the sudden jolt of memories that flooded his mind if the suit had not kept his feet firmly planted on the roof. If he had thought that the link between Ana/Cin and him had been strong, it was nothing compared to what she had with this male Lyttan. This was her real brother by blood. Her twin.

The name Erai continued to bounce around his head as he stared at the Lyttan than at Ana, who had sighed softly from the touch. The red veins in her cheeks were glowing softly before they faded. Ana seemed to be more relaxed than she had been a moment ago, even unconscious she knew she was close to those she trusted.

"Bro... ther...," Erai growled as he reached out a large, clawed hand and settled it firmly against Iron Man's shoulder. He gave it a gentle shake, mindful of how much smaller the metal man was compared to him, before dropped his hand and turned on his feet. "Hulk... Bruce... Bonded -bro...ther. Help."

Iron Man didn't need to ask the Lyttan twice what he meant and he gave a firm not as he backed away from the Lyttan, Ana held carefully in his arms. "Go on Erai, I got our baby sis. Go help the Big Guy. And... make sure that bastard pays."

Erai nodded once with understanding, the smirk on his crimson lips a sight to see, before he leapt from the roof...

-o-

Thor found himself being thrown back against the broad form of the Hulk, the punch from this massive beast was a hell of a lot heavier than expected. The force had knocked both of the Avengers clear off their feet and into the rubble of another building.

The Abomination was laughing at their pathetic attempts at trying to subdue him. He was much stronger now. He was more than a match for them. "Pathetic," he growled as he flexed his massive fists. "Is that all you got?"

The answer to his question came flying at him, several projectiles exploding against his broad frame. He growled as he whirled around, his attention diverted by the sight of a black jet hovering some several hundred feet away. It was distraction enough because the humming sound of Thor's hammer slammed into him yet again, knocking the monster straight off his own feet and skidding down the street, breaking concrete along the way. He crashed against an abandoned city bus, which than crashed into the nearest storefront of the building behind it.

The Hulk was letting out heavy breaths as he got to his feet to stand beside his friend, his rage still brimming beneath the surface. The panic he had felt had abated the moment he felt the calm from his mate through their mental link. She was with her brother. Iron Man had managed to get her back. His mate was in safe hands and now he could concentrate on killing this thing in front of him for taking her in the first place.

The Abomination had gotten to his own feet, wiping the blood from his eyes as he pulled himself out of what was left of the city bus. He caught sight of the black jet flying overhead before hovering low near the Hulk and his blond friend. Its back hatch had opened and let loose another passenger, this one dressed in red, white and blue and carrying a round shield that bore the same patriotic colors. Once this new player to the battle was safe on the ground the jet had pulled away and was flying out of sight.

The Abomination could not believe this.

This was supposed to be a fight between the Hulk and himself. Not against these weaklings.

The Abomination had taken several slow steps forward, his massive fists clenched tightly as the anger began to show. "What the hell is this?!" He roared, his thunderous voice echoing. "This is between you and me, Hulk!" He stopped, his gaze traveling over the sight of the others before setting on the green form in the middle. "You were always weak! Now, look at you! Too weak to even fight on your own!"

The Hulk heard all of this and his growl was deep as he curled his large hands into fists. He took a step forward but not before Thor had reached out a hand to curl around a massive forearm. Hulk looked at Thor, his green eyes intense as the anger began to grow at being held back.

Thor was not the least bit worried of being attacked, he could see the worry in the big male's green eyes. "Do not throw yourself into harm's way my friend," he said, his blue eyes focusing on the approaching form of the Abomination. "You are to be a father. What would your mate and your children do should you be harmed?"

Hulk could appreciate the sentiment but he pulled the god's hand from his arm and pushed him back away. He looked Captain America and reached out to push him back as well. "My... fight," he grumbled. "Stay away."

Both men would have protested but both men could understand the need. This was his fight and his fight alone. One's own honor. If he could not beat this monstrosity to protect his family, what good was his strength? They heeded his request and stayed where they were as Hulk started to walk forward, preparing himself for a fight that was going to be much worse than the last.

He took in a breath as he started running toward the Abomination, his anger rising with each step he took as thoughts of his mate being hurt, of the one who was mother lying dead not several blocks from where they were, filled him. The Abomination was running right at him, a terrible smirk dancing on his monstrous lips, a nightmarish rehash of their earlier fight, though this time it was in Midtown and in broad daylight. With a clash that sounded like two large boulders slamming together, the two monsters crashed together.

This time though, it was the Hulk's force that threw the other monster back. Before they had even landed in a crashing sprawl against the broken concrete of the street, Hulk was already throwing punches. There was no holding back as he repeatedly smashed his fists over and over into the face of the creature he hated above all others. They both fell over and over before the Abomination had taken Hulk's fists and threw him off with their momentum. The Hulk went sailing into the nearest building just as the monstrosity got to his feet and spat out a wad of blood. He wiped his mouth and ran after the Hulk, intending to finish this battle once and for all.

It went on this way for some time, both large creatures fighting from one end of the street to the other, both creatures showing no signs of slowing down. It was a devastating scene and those that were watching knew that they were going to have to put a stop to this soon, or else there would be no more Midtown to defend. It was when the Abomination had taken the Hulk by the neck and slammed him down against the broken street, that the group decided enough was enough.

They were about to make a move when a blur of fire had emerged from the rooftops and down to the broken street. It moved quickly over topped street lamps, crushed cars, and rubble from broken buildings. It did not stop in its haste toward the two monsters fighting until it had slammed into the Abomination. The explosion that followed a brilliant sight and what was even better was, after the explosion had dissipated, seeing the massive set of claws that were now stabbed deep into the torso of the Abomination.

The monstrosity stared into the glowing, yellow orbs of this new creature that had come into the fray. The crimson-skinned thing let out a snarl before another explosion of heat and flame erupted from inside the Abomination's skin. He flew back from the attack, mottled moss colored skin ripping away as the pain that tore through the Abomination's senses was the first true pain he had felt in a long time. He fell in against the broken street, more pieces of concrete flying as he landed in a bloody heap. Struggling to raise his head, he looked at the sight of his own stomach torn to shreds. It was already healing but the fact that he had been damaged so easily caught him off guard.

He struggled to his feet, intent on killing the little red skinned shit that came from out of no where, when he paused at the sight before him. The red thing was helping the Hulk to his feet, it was taller than the hulk but much skinnier in muscle mass. It said something along the lines of "help" and "brother" before it reached out a clawed hand and gripped the back of Hulk's neck tightly.

The Hulk didn't fight off the thing, instead he focused his green eyes on the Abomination, and a wicked grin appeared. The red thing had pulsating glowing veins emerging from its skin and with each sickening second that passed, the red veins would latch onto various places on the Hulk. His neck, his shoulders, his torso, his arms and legs. The sound of popping and crunching bones and of skin ripping apart was too much for those around them to bear listening to much less see. However, it was like some gruesome car crash, you couldn't help but look.

The red thing looked to be in immense pain but it gritted its teeth as its own skin separated and began to latch on to the Hulk. Glowing heat erupted as muscles, tendons, tissue, and finally bone, were absorbed by the red veins that were now merging themselves with the Hulk's massive frame. After several sickening moments, the last of the creature could be seen at the very base of Hulk's neck, a hint of crimson skin, before the green skin grew over, revealing nothing more than fiercely growing red patch.

Throughout this whole ordeal, the glowing red veins could be seen pulsating under the Hulk's green skin. He had gained two feet in height, he had gained muscle mass, and the moment his green eyes faded to nothing more than glowing, yellow orbs, those watching knew that the battle had just been outmatched.

The Hulk clenched his massive green fists before he opened them. Two large balls of fire could be seen in his hands, the flames wavering underneath the glow of the red veins pulsing beneath his skin.

This was more like it...


(A/n) Sorry guys, have to stop it here. Have to work in the morning and it's late for me here but y'all let me know where you would like it to go from here. Hope it didn't disappoint like the interlude. This should be fun, xD

Also, thanks for reading! Over 242,000 total hits! You guys are hard core! A major thank you to my recurring favorites and my new ones for leaving awesome reviews! Thanks to those who alert and fave as well. This story would be nothing without your guys' support so thank you! I'll be seeing you in another week with the finish to this last battle and a new storyline for our favorite family. :D Till next time!