"T-this is becoming out of my control" Thor said as he plopped himself down on a chair. Captain Steve was sitting in with the children while Thor waited out in the hall. They both thought it best that they stay out of each other's company for the time being.
Captain Rogers was a great man. A fair man, Thor knew that better than anyone, but he did not understand the burden that came with a crown. He did not understand that, no matter how unjust a situation may seem, it is the duty of the ruler to place their subjects before anything else.
Thor understood that. While he did not mean to harm Raven, she was still a danger, and that was something that needed to be rectified by any cost.
"What're you doing out here?"
Thor turned to see Lady Natasha standing before him, her hair fell to her shoulders, and her lips curled into a scowl.
"Captain Rogers has relieved me of my burden for the time being…I wanted to take this time to oversee our situation."
Lead with a calm mind, as his father taught him.
"Yeah, I see what you mean." If someone had told Natasha that she would be babysitting that offspring of famous fairy tale characters, she would have laughed. She would have laughed. But now…she wasn't so sure anymore.
"The captain and I, we had a disagreement," Thor said as he leaned deeper into his chair. "It was about Raven, and her world."
Natasha looked to Thor. "Let me guess, you guys are starting to pick sides, right? Destiny against free will?"
"Lady Natasha, do not act as though the idea has not passed through your mind as well." Thor did not pretend to know how Natasha's thoughts worked, but he did know that every moment she was always thinking of a way to maneuver herself to new positions. Always calculating. Always thinking ahead. She and Loki were the same in that regard.
"You're right. Frankly, I feel for Raven, but I think she should suck it up. Needs of the many and all that."
Natasha spoke with a ruthless tongue, but what else was there to say?
"I suppose that makes us Royals, eh?" Thor said as he began to grin.
Natasha shrugged. "Guess so."
No matter what, the one thing Raven knew was that she had a choice. She always had a choice, even if others didn't want her to know it. Headmaster Grimm built his career on keeping choice away from his students, but…that didn't meant it was gone.
Raven's mother knew that. Her mother chose to overreach. Her mother chose to poison Wonderland, even though it was not a part of her tale.
Raven had a choice. She chose to deny her destiny. She chose to seek out a way to thwart her own fate.
And now, as she sat in this strange hospital bed, he had a choice that stood before her. She could run, run swifter than the White Rabbit, out into a world she knew nothing about…or she could stay. She could stand up for herself.
Raven smirked. "It's an easy choice."
Raven threw her comforters from her body, and unplugged herself from her heart monitor. She had slept long enough. This was her story after all. She knew what she needed to do.
"Miss Raven?" Jarvis said. "What are you doing?"
Raven smiled. "I'm rewriting my destiny." She stretched the wrinkles out of her dress and stood up straight and tall. She placed one foot in front of the other.
"Miss Raven, This is not recommended. If you wish to speak with your friends I can simpl-"
"No, that's quite alright Jarvis." Raven said as she moved out of the door and down the hall. She had never let others make decisions for her, why would she start now? When Raven was younger, she was used to being picked on. The glances, the stares, the whispers that marked her.
Destined to be evil.
But even back then, she never let that sway her. She never allowed others to brand her. Raven had passed Tony's lab, she had passed Clint's range room, and Natasha's study. She was getting closer. She could feel it.
What would Apple say? It didn't really matter any longer. Apple was her friend, but that didn't mean she could make decisions for other people. Headmaster Grimm was their teacher, but that didn't give him the right to tell her how to live.
Raven could hear voices now…closer, familiar, pounding against her chest like a shield.
"What are we supposed to do?" Was that Apple?
"Apple this is ridiculous." Was that Cerise? Was she here too?
"If she doesn't wake up then…" Cedar? Cedar had come as well?
"Everyone just simmer down, we'll get this worked out." That had to be Captain Steve…she had never heard anyone use the word "Simmer" in a sentence like that before. Not even in Ever After.
She was close…so close…too close.
Raven came to the edge of the hallway, and she stood in front of a long door that towered over her like a giant. They were right behind there, waiting.
She placed her hand on the knob.
"Rewrite your destiny," she whispered. And like magic…the knob turned.
And she took her first step.