Yes, I'm back. No, I haven't abandoned this. Yes, we shall see it to the end. Besides, it's a one shot series, people. It's not like it has a specific plot line or any...oh…
ANYWAYS!...You know how I said I was going to be capping this series off at about 35 chapters? Well...I was recently bombarded with various other tidbits and ideas for these two, and I just can't get them out of my head. So...I am now seriously considering a second one-shot series about Spidey and Carol, to be entitled...ok, that isn't figured out yet; baby steps, ya know?
Ok, guys, thank you for being so patient, and I shall reward you as such. For your enjoyment, the next segment of "Marvelous and Amazing," featuring Avengers vs. X-Men!
*Disclaimer goes here*
Chapter 24: Stupid but Noble
"...nk Go…..t…not goi...ke thi…
….ides, we managed….them, so…."
Her head was killing her; Carol tried opening her eyes, but quickly shut them again upon the bright light bombarding her pupils. Slowly, she began to move her body, which was aching for reasons yet unknown to her. Where the hell was she? The last thing she remembered was battling Rogue and then both of them ending up Magik's other worldly dimension...and then being….being…!
"HE-owowowowowwow…" Carol attempted to scream with a rising jolt before pain literally consumed her body. Luckily for her, this did not go unnoticed.
"Whoa, easy there, Carol," came the unmistakable voice of Tony Stark, and she felt two hands grasp her and gently lay her back down onto...a mattress? Carol once again opened her eyes, blinking rapidly to adjust to the bright lighting. Within a few seconds, she was soon able to see clearly once again. She found herself lying in a bed in some kind of medical infirmary. Not only that, she gasped as she saw Captain Britain, Falcon, Mockingbird and even Red Hulk in the room, each in a not so good shape.
"Well, you're awake, so that's good news," Stark's voice said again, and Carol turned to see Stark, Logan, Steve, Danny and Wanda standing next to her bed. Behind them she could see the unconscious forms of her fellow prisoners Luke, Jess, Natasha, Ben, Clint & Pietro, as well as Thor who was awake, but looked like he had seen better days.
"Welcome back, Danvers," Logan said with gruff smirk.
"Um, thanks," Carol moaned as she slowly sat herself up. The jolts of pain were now subsiding, and her body was returning to normal. But she was still a bit confused; the last thing she had remembered was awakening in that horrible demon dimension, being saved by a team of Avengers, Colossus and Magik trying to stop them, and then a pretty big fight before she blacked out... "Can someone tell me what the hell happened? The last thing I remember was..."
"Easy soldier, don't push yourself," Steve said as he pulled up a chair, with Logan and Wanda doing the same. "We chose to send a team to get you all out of there. I have to say though, we couldn't have gotten there or known where to look at all if it hadn't been for Storm. Myself, Logan here and some other Avengers along with Storm and Charles Xavier found the volcano or demon portal or whatever that was and found you."
"But Pete and Ilyana sensed us bein' in there, and they came after us," Logan added. "We got into one helluva fight. We had 'em outnumbered but the had us outpowered and outgunned. We almost didn't get out, and it looked bad. But...we managed to get out, all of us...then Slim managed to get here to Ku'un Lun. Luckily, Wanda and Hope sent him back to Earth. We're still safe, for now."
"Although Ku'un Lun has seen better days," Danny sighed as he took off his mask. "But Hope still has a place to train and ready herself for what is to come, and right now, that's all that matters."
"Oh God..." Carol whispered, not believing what she had heard. Another place of peace was now destroyed in this war. She then looked up to the others, and then towards the other Avengers that had been rescued. "What about them? Are they going to be ok?"
"They'll be fine," Tony said with a smile. "T'Challa, Strange, myself and all the healers that this place has have been working to make sure you were all ok. You guys all regained a bit of conscious when Cap and his team were getting you out of there, but then lost it when you arrived. Thor was the first to come back, being he's Asgardian, and you're now the second to wake up. Since you both have different biological makeups than the others, it explains it. But they'll be ok."
"Aye, Ms. Marvel," Thor said from his bed, giving the group a smile. "They shall all be well within a short wait."
Carol couldn't help but chuckle. "That's good to hear." And it indeed was, knowing that her teammates and friends would be ok. She really couldn't wait until Jessica woke up again. She was her favorite person on the Avengers to hang out with...well, besides the other person, but that was besides the point. Although, as Carol looked around, she noticed that the other person that had flashed through her mind at that moment was in the infirmary, making sure she was ok. That sparked a small bit of sadness inside her, but she forced it away; other things at hand were more important. She wondered what had happened to Rogue...
"Carol, are you ok?" Steve asked, snapping her out of her thoughts.
"Huh? Oh, yeah I'm fine, just thinking about some things," Carol replied. "I wonder if Rogue is ok...she was with me when Magik captured me..."
"I seen her around," Logan sighed. "She's fine, far as I can tell from this side."
"That's good," she replied, before she suddenly realized something, and she wanted an answer. "Hey, I forgot to ask...how did we get out of there?"
"What, you weren't paying attention?" Stark chuckled. "Cap and his team got you all out."
"No I got that," Carol replied, "but you said that it looked bad and that you almost didn't get us and yourselves out. We're here, so how did we manage to get out?" Carol expected a quick answer to her curiosity-spawned question, so she was surprised when she got silence and Steve, Tony, Wanda, Danny and Logan exchanged looks.
"Oh...that..." Stark mumbled.
"What? What's going on?" Carol asked. She was finding herself growing worried because of the lack of response. Wait... "Oh...did...someone stay behind...did we lose-?"
"No, Carol, we didn't lose anyone," Wanda replied quickly, trying to calm the woman down. "No one gave their lives, thank God, but...someone did stay behind to make sure we managed to get out. If it wasn't for the distraction of Scott coming into Ku'un Lun though...he would've died."
"That's not helping..." Logan remarked.
"I don't...can someone just please tell me what happened?" Carol pushed.
"Ok," Wanda replied as she came closer to Carol. "There's no way to sugarcoat it so I'll just say it."
"But you won't like it," Danny warned.
And he was right. Carol did not like it. At all.
*About three minutes later...*
"The power of laughter?"
"It was a spur of the moment...type...thing..."
"Wow...I'm sorry but wow," Hope replied, unable to keep herself from chuckling and from keeping a smile on her lips. "I'm sorry, Spider-Man, I shouldn't be laughing, but..."
"Hey, it's alright, Hope," Peter smirked, adjusting his position on his bed, albeit with a bit of backlash pain. He was currently in a different infirmary, one all to himself because of how bad his injuries were from holding back Colossus and Magik to give the other Avengers time to flee. Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Stark and even "the Kung Fu master," as Peter called him, had not held back in providing him as much medical care as he needed. Thankfully, the magic spells and medicine, along with Peter's own healing factor, were helping him to heal better than if he was doing it just with his own healing. The healers had left him now to heal on his own, and Hope had come in just 10 minutes before upon hearing that he was going to be ok, and insisted on seeing him.
"Well, it was pretty brave of you," Hope said, before she grew a somber face. "I don't know if I could ever do something like that."
"Well, that's what the training is for," Peter replied, patting Hope on her shoulder.
"Yeah, I know," the redhead replied. "Seeing all that though...I was wrong, I still am not ready. I don't know what I'll do when MY moment comes."
"Well, at least you were paying attention when I said that, so I guess I didn't get turned into a pile of goo for no reason," Peter chuckled, and Hope found herself chuckling as well. "But seriously, when it comes, you'll know, and that's what the training is for."
"Ok," Hope smiled. "Soooo...since you're crippled right now-?"
"You're still training, young grasshopper," Peter smirked. "I'll make it work, but you're still training."
"Oh come on!"
Both of them jumped in surprise at the door slamming open. To their surprise, standing in the doorway was Ms. Marvel, tattered costume, IV hookup and all. And she looked mad.
"Hope," Carol said in a strangely calm voice. "Get out."
"Carol, you need to get back to the infirmary!" came Stark's voice as he, Steve and Logan came running up to the doorway. "You still need to recover, and your-!"
Carol simply turned and gave him a death stare, complete with glowing eyes.
"Ok, never mind," the billionaire quickly replied as he shrunk away.
"Um...what's going on here?" Hope asked, gaining the attention of everyone who had just arrived.
"Yeah, and Carol shouldn't you be in bed, recovering?" Peter added to Carol, only for him to receive the death glare that Carol delivered unto Stark.
"Logan, did something-?"
"Kid, it'd be better to just leave like Carol said," Logan said plainly, interrupting Hope. "And Peter...it was nice knowin' ya." With that, he walked off, soon followed by Stark and a smirking Cap.
"Try not to kill him," he told Carol as he left.
Hope simply followed the three retreating Avengers with her eyes, before looking back at Carol, then Peter, and then back and forth between the two. Then, a face of realization lit her face, but was quickly followed by a sigh of defeat and annoyance. She got up and left the room, but not before stopping at the doorway and telling Carol, "Well thanks a lot, Ms, Marvel. Now I owe Logan $20." And with that, she left the room, a smirk on her face. "So Logan was actually serious..." she mused to herself.
Carol and Peter, meanwhile, were in surprise at Hope's words, and a stunned silence floated between the two. Carol was the first to snap out of it, though, and her anger (and mind numbing worry & fear) returned as she slammed the door shut. Her glare them focused on Peter again. Peter, upon seeing this, began to fill up with uncertainty and dread...not to mention confusion. He had no idea what she was doing here...not that he was complaining; in reality, he was actually wondering if Carol would come see him...but apparently, there were some different circumstances at play here.
A silence of ten seconds followed, with Peter breaking them with, "So...Sup, Carol?" He regretted it the instant he said those words, if Carol's facial response was anything to go by.
"Sup?" Carol replied, walking to Peter's bedside. "That's what you have to say for yourself, 'Sup?'"
"Do you know how badly I want to slap you and beat the crap out of you?" Carol said, not even bothering to grace Peter with a response to that last statement. "You are so lucky that you're crippled right now."
"...Um...ok," Peter replied, not really knowing what else to say. "Should I be concerned about this? And I thought we were past the whole I-want-to-kill-you phase of our friendship."
"Peter, stop it with the stupid jokes and be serious for once in your life, dammit!" Carol screamed as she slammed her fist into the wall, shocking the Webhead.
"What the hell, Carol?!" Peter exclaimed, actually jumping out of the bed...and crashing onto the floor. "OW, DAMMIT!"
"Ohmigod!" Carol gasped as she quickly rushed to the Webhead, helping him up and gingerly taking care of his injuries. "Peter, are you ok?!"
"Yeah, I'm fine," Peter groaned as Carol helped him sit back on the bed, her sitting next to him. "It's not like I need this leg or anything..."
"I'm sorry, Peter, I just...wait, no I'm not sorry, I'm still freaking mad at you!" Carol exclaimed as she got back up and angrily stared down at Peter.
"Mad? At me?" Peter exclaimed in surprise. "What the heck did I do?!"
Carol gave him an incredulous look. "Are you serious?! Why am I mad at you?! LOOK AT YOU! What the HELL made you think it was a good idea to take on Colossus and Magik on their own turf, ALONE?!"
Peter stared at the human-Kree hybrid before him in shock and realization, and Carol thought she had made her point across...until Peter crossed his arms and a look of agitation on his face came up.
"You know, most people usually would say thank you instead of yelling."
"AUURGHH!" Carol yelled as she pulled at her hair. "Peter, be serious!"
"I am being serious!" Peter retorted. "I risked my life to make sure that you all got out ok, and you thank me by asking me if I'm an idiot for going up against those two?!" This usually was normal for Peter, actually, saving people and not getting any thanks at all, instead just being yelled at. But coming from Carol, it was completely different. Peter risked life and limb to make sure the other Avengers got out ok, and when he was doing it, Hope wasn't the only woman he was thinking of as he was getting the tar beaten out of him. "It seemed a good idea because it meant that you all would get to safety!"
"But you did it without thinking!" Carol yelled back.
"Without thinking? I was thinking, alright! I was thinking about how if I didn't do it, we wouldn't make it out of that hell hole! That we would all be captured and tortured, and that the Avengers would lose one of their leaders! That if Cap was captured, we'd fall apart, and that if Logan was captured then Hope would be all alone!"
"But you gave no thought to your own safety! Yeah, you saved us, that's great, but putting yourself in danger like that-!" Carol was interrupted abruptly as Peter stuck his hand out to her, as if waiting for her to shake it.
"Hi, Peter Parker, better known as Spider-Man. You might have heard of me through my works, like when I saved Spider Woman from Mandrill, or perhaps from my numerous battles with my Rogues Gallery."
It took Carol a few seconds to register Peter's words, and when she did she grew even more infuriated. A part of her mind, though, knew that she was angry because she couldn't bring herself to say why she was making such a huge deal about this. Other Avengers had made sacrifices of this magnitude, but they never impacted her like Peter's did right now. She made to give another remark, but Peter beat her to it.
"Carol, you know that this kind of thing is what I'm known for. I jump into these kinds of situations all the time, since I was 15. This should be of no surprise to you," Peter said. "Not only that, other Avengers besides me had a moment when they chose to risk themselves for the greater good. You never gave them this reaction."
"It's...different," Carol muttered as she crossed her arms, looking away from Peter. She was getting really uncomfortable with this now.
"I don't see how," Peter countered, picking up his mask with his hand from the bedside table. "I'm an Avenger just as much as anyone else."
"You're my friend, Peter," Carol said softly as she sighed. "It's...it's different when it's a friend doing it."
"That's not true," Peter countered again, making Carol look at him. "We're all friends here, and we've all had a moment like I just had. And we'll keep having those moments. You're my friend, Carol, yet I didn't confront you when I heard that you went Binary up in space, or that it was you had to make the big decision and banish Noh from the team and from Earth. You have other friends here besides me, yet you don't confront them about their choices. Why am I so different?"
"You...it just is, Peter," Carol replied with a sigh of frustration.
"No, I don't think it is," Peter pushed. He knew that there was something different that seemed to be bothering Carol about this, and he wanted to know what. "You know me, Carol, so you you know I won't let go of this until I get an answer. Why is this so different from someone else doing something like this? What makes me so different-?"
"Because I can't lose you, ok?" Carol snapped, interrupting Peter. It took her a few moments to register what she had said, and when she did, Carol immediately blushed, but that was the least of her worries. She slowly brought herself to look at the Web Head, nervously awaiting a response.
Peter, meanwhile...was not expecting a response such as what Carol gave him.
"What...what did you say?" Peter asked after a few moments of shocked silence.
Carol stood silent for a moment before bringing her arms up and hugging herself. Peter found it quite a sight, the mighty Ms. Marvel looking so vulnerable and unsure. Finally, in a quiet voice, she replied, "I said...I can't lose you." Again, she was met with silence. Carol soon thought that this was just a mistake, and made to quickly leave the room, embarrassment and regret slowly overtaking her. Just as she was about to reach the door, however...
"This is about what happened in Asgard...isn't it?" Peter asked, making Carol stop. He shifted his position so he could see her better at the back of the heroine. The fact that this apparently had to do with some...awkward confessions during the Siege of Asgard, if Carol's body language was anything to go by, surprised Peter, in more ways than one.
Carol brought her arm up slowly to the other and began to rub it softly. She closed her eyes, not able to turn back to face Peter, and all she could bring herself to say was, "It...it might."
Again, Carol was met with silence, and she began to fear that this was a mistake, that maybe she had been wrong...maybe there really was nothing there, or maybe there was once, but now after so long...perhaps it would be better for her to just leave, and she had been about to do again, but again, like before...
"You know..." Peter said, stopping Carol again and regaining her attention, "when I decided to hold of Colossus & Magik to give the others time to escape, I was immediately struck with thinking of Hope, because what I did reflected the same advice I had given her just that morning. Then I thought about the Avengers, and how they were now depending on me and my efforts to give them time to get you guys out, and that kept me from giving up. But then, when they were beating seven shades of snot out of me...my thoughts started going to someone else...and I realized that if I didn't do what I did, and succeed...that person wouldn't make it out...she'd still be a prisoner, and still be under God knows what kind of torture she was going through. That...that, while it was maybe a bit selfish, it motivated me even more to keep getting back up, even after they broke all those bones, and kept beating me down. At that moment, it was my responsibility to make sure she got out, no matter what. Maybe...maybe I didn't want to lose her either."
Carol soaked in the words that Peter said, surprised and unsure if she actually heard it correctly. Peter was now looking right at her, still sitting on his bed. A few moments passed before Carol walked over to Peter's bed and sat down besides him. "You must really care about this person to think about her through all of that," she said softly as she kept her gaze on the ground.
"I guess I do, yeah," Peter replied. He then slowly slid his hand into hers, intertwining his fingers with her own. He was pleasantly surprised to see that she offered no resistance. "I'd like to think that she cares about me, too, even after all this time."
"I think she just might," Carol replied, offering Peter a small smile which returned.
A few more moments of silence followed, but this time it wasn't an awkward silence, but rather a comfortable one. Both Avengers simply sat there, hands intertwined and smiling at each other.
"Maybe I did make a reckless move-" Peter began, before he was interrupted with a hard glare.
"Reckless? You think? That wasn't reckless, Peter, that was outright stupid." Carol's expression then softened greatly and she surprised them both as she leaned forward and placed a quick yet soft kiss on his lips. "But...it was noble."
"Thanks...I guess," Peter replied, still a bit dazed that Carol had actually kissed him. Carol simply chuckled quietly and leaned her head on his shoulder. Once more, a comfortable silence passed between them.
SHEESH...that was a hard piece to write. I hope you all enjoyed it. Oh, and just to be clear, this chapter has no continuity relations with Chapter 2 of this story...I think...well, the other chapter with AvX content. Not the same. Completely separate.
Now...if you have noticed, I have updated most of my stories :D All those things with getting ready for the next semester, I burned myself out between advisor appointments and counseling sessions, and I've been keeping these on Google Docs to sneak in some writing on my phone during work. I haven't been caught yet, so it seems good so far.
Expect more updates in the coming weeks :D Remember to review!
Next time...we either see Black Cat vs. Ms. Marvel over Spidey, or some of Carol's deep dark secrets and passions and lusts and guilty pleasures and stuff...
Well, until next time, readers.