Title: Save Yourself (I'm Alive)
Summary: "I always wanted to be a superhero." "You're not a superhero, Britt. You're a science experiment. Everything special about you?" You let out a bitter laugh, shaking your head. "It came out of a bottle."
3:04am. It's dark. You nibble ardently on the pen held between your teeth, one hand slicked in motor oil, the other flicking through the numerous sheets of paper on your desk. The digits flood in patterns, groups, intricate pictures even, through your head and you reach for the pen, scrawling illegible ink swirls across the lines, down the margins, into the corners. The curve of your nostrils crinkle as you double take, crossing out an incorrect calculation on the bottom left hand side of the page, the tip of your tongue protruding slightly from your parted lips.
"A little light," There's a crash – the sound of a stack of paperwork hitting the floor – and you roll your eyes, "Seriously?" A robot arm, a silver glow illuminating from its three-pronged hand, whirrs at you oblivious as it throws your workspace into light. "You," A screwdriver finds its way into your left hand as you slip the pen haphazardly behind your ear, "are a disaster." The robot drones at you, blissfully unaware, and you smirk, sitting back on your heels and tapping the side of the desk absently with the pads of your fingers.
"Holy-" The sound of another human voice breaks the quiet solitude you've been wallowing in for the past five hours and you jump, your right arm jolting sideways, cursing as the sudden movement sends a cascade of screws tumbling into your lap. You let out a groan, eyes clenching shut. "The fuck, Quinn."
You hear a snort of indignation, and as your eyelids flicker open the blonde melts into view, her pale skin almost translucent in the low light. She cocks a perfectly shaped eyebrow, lips pursed, but you merely scowl, jaw set, arms folded defiantly across the slow rise and fall of your chest. She snorts again, shaking her head. "Lopez you ass." She tosses you your watch from where you left it however many hours prior, "It's three in the fucking morning." Your desk shifts slightly as she leans her back against it, a pair of dimly lit hazel orbs regarding your face with obvious contempt.
You shrug nonchalantly, "For sure this is not the latest you've caught me up, Fabray." You casually slip the screwdriver back into its draw before wiping your hands on the oily rag hooked around your belt loop, "And certainly not the worst thing you've caught me doing."
"Oh, you mean the she-male from Lima?"
She smirks, meeting your glare for a moment before brushing it off with a wave of her hand, "Whatever." She reaches for her pocket, "Surprisingly, it wasn't you who woke me up this time." She tosses you her mobile, "You've had a call. It's Evans." She sucks in a breath. "They want you to come in."
You lick your lips. "Schuester's little boys in spandex club?" You shoot the blonde an incredulous look, "Q, the man is some crazyass stalker with a vest fetish. Like, it physically pains me to be standing in the same room as him and not want to slap his horrifically misguided butt chin around the face with a wet fish." You push back your chair, reaching for the coffee mug Quinn is now handing you, before getting slowly to your feet. "And I thought the initiative was scrapped months ago."
The blonde shrugs, her attention now diverted to the large collection of copper wiring you have wrapped untidily around your neck. She shoots you a look. You ignore it. She shakes her head, picking up the mobile again and holding it out for you to take. "Well I guess he decided to bring it back."
You sigh, cupping your drink with both hands for a moment, your brow creased in quiet contemplation. You can see Quinn watching you now, her dark eyes unwavering as she fiddles absently with her shirtsleeves. Just waiting. She'd always been good at that, even as a kid when the ice cream man would take forever with the sprinkles, it would be you having the tantrum, kicking his tires, screaming the curse words you'd learnt from your grandmother. She'd just stand there silently in her perfectly clean clothes with her hands folded neatly across her front, and smile up at him politely once he was done. And then she'd always make sure to hold your cone for you until you calmed down.
You sigh again - "Fuck it." - shooting her a look of obvious contempt at the decision you were about to make, before gesturing for her to slip you the cell. A grateful smile passes over her lips as she watches you unlock the phone and rifle through her messages, scrolling down the first couple of pages before setting the mug down on your desk. You quickly move round to the other side of a large set of cabinets, "You up JARVIS?"
"For you ma'am?" A silky male voice echoes through the darkness, "Always." The workshop is instantly bathed in a blue incandescent glow, the numerous screens and monitors surrounding you in an almost submissive fashion, flicker into life. Your eyes aren't used to the glare, and you have to squint to stop them from watering.
"Good." You grab your glasses from their place on your desk and slip them onto your head, fishing a cable out from behind a stack of unfinished metalwork and plugging it into the dock of Quinn's phone.
Almost instantly a translucent wall of light appears, floating about 4 foot off the ground and taking up much of the space you were originally standing in. Various images and text are splayed across its luminous surface, and as you turn on your feet to face it, you automatically touch its corners, manipulating its display with a quick flick of your hands.
You pull up several video files, word documents still attached, your eyes darting back and forth across the vast array of transcript that begins to flitter across the screen. Promptly homing in on the bold print – 'Hulk' 'Captain America' 'Thor' 'Black Widow' 'Hawkeye', none of which means anything to you – you enlarge it, watching intently as the various video captures start to play in conducted unison.
The noise slowly weaves together in a mesh of screams and the sound of glass breaking. A clip labeled 'Abrams', filmed on a camera phone and peppered with interference, shows a colossal green monster – or man – ripping wildly through the streets of Harlem. You wince as it sends a car shooting through the side of a building, before tilting your head to the side when you spot a man with a bow and arrow running through the war-torn streets of Budapest in the bottom left hand corner, and a pink-haired woman putting a couple of bullets through some suited guy's head. You nibble on your bottom lip, eyes narrowed.
Before you can shift your gaze to watch the clip beside it, another document flashes up on screen. "Recruitment 7, ma'am," chimes JARVIS. You lift your up chin, curious. "Located on Evans' ghost drive."
"Santana-" You feel Quinn move beside you, her hand finding your wrist in an attempt to pull you back.
"Leave it, Fabray," you snap, shaking yourself free and swiping your finger to flip it open.
Within seconds a hoard of names and pictures are blinking back at you. A young gaunt man in glasses is the first to catch your eye, and your gaze immediately flickers to his name: 'Artie Abrams', the famous gamma ray scientist. You remember him from studying his work a couple months back. Scanning along, you spot another, this time a hazel-eyed blonde. You frown, your eyebrows knitting together as you lean in to get a closer look. "No way." Jaw slacking you stare at the name, eyes wide. 'Quinn Fabray'. "Q…" The woman beside you inhales sharply, and you turn to look at her.
You're about to turn back and draw out the attached files when you spot another name on the far side of the display. This one has no picture, just thick black lettering printed across its surface. You blink.
"Santana-" Quinn tries again, but it's like you can't hear her. Like you can't hear anything, save the incessant buzzing now thundering relentlessly in your ears. The name… You shake your head. Instantly you feel your blood run cold, your breath catching in your throat, your heart pounding against your ribcage.
You can't move, you can't breathe.
'Brittany S. Pierce'.
Your skin prickles.
And then your world begins to fall apart.