I continued to kick and scream as my lungs fought for fresh air. My head was throbbing from the lack of oxygen but I didn't think about saving my breath. Instead I just continued to scream


The pain in my head was intensifying and my eyes started seeing a very bright light. Dust and dirt fell onto me and I coughed then sneezed as voices chattered around me.

Cautiously I sat up and was meet with a very bright sunshine, apparently the voices were even real. Looking around I saw the Professor, Jean, Rogue, Logan, and two other people who I didn't recognise.

"Zinaida, this is Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff from SHIELD."

My head snapped to look at Professor Xavier as he introduced me to the new people. One of them had dark red hair and green eyes, who, as they were female, I would assume to be Natasha Romanoff. The other had sandy blonde hair – you could almost call it brown – with blue-ish eyes. I assume he was Clint Barton.

Looking around at the mansion nearby and not seeing Ava anywhere, I directed my question at the Professor

"Where's Ava?"

My voice from croaky from the previous bout of screaming, but no one seemed to notice – or they all just ignored it.

"Ava is currently doing assignments for SHIELD, but we can take you to see her – she'll be back this evening."

The man called Clint had a deep but clear voice and made it sound like he was the one in charge.

Nodding, I held out my arms for someone to grab. When no one did, I sighed and grumbled

"Isn't anyone going to help me out of this shithole?"

Rogue looked at me wide eyed but stepped forwards anyway, Clint also stepped up to help but Logan waved him away.

My feet were wobbly after having been in the coffin for such a long time, but my arms felt strong enough for me to climb out with just Rogue's help. I studied Natasha and Clint's faces but couldn't get a read from them.

I started to walk towards the mansion on my own when I saw Rogue at my side.

"What's up?"

She looked at me carefully

"You've changed."

I raised my eyebrows

"And what if I have?"

She shook her head and ignored my question

"I'll take you to where your possessions are, although most of them are with Ava. Then I assume you'll want to be on your way to SHIELD?"

I nodded

"Thank you."

Silence hung in the air and students gave me a wide berth and startled looks – I guess it's not every day that someone comes back from the dead. Rogue stopped by a single oak door and motioned for me to go in.

It wasn't my old room. It didn't have a window seat. However it must've belonged to someone, because there were personal items and photographs on the dresser and a floral bedspread neatly tucked into the bed.

I stood leaning against the door frame as Rogue went to the wardrobe and brought out a small duffle bag. A smirk grew on my face

"I guess Ava must've taken most of my belongings huh?"

Rogue gave me a small smile

"Yes, yes she did. By the way, you should probably talk to Quentin before you go."

A small frown played on my lips and I crossed my arms across my chest

"Why? What's the point? I've gotten over him, and besides, I'm going away again."

Rogue tilted her head

"Aren't you planning on staying?"

I shook my head

"No. I need to move on to a new life, although I may come back to visit."

Rogue pursed her lips and her eyes betrayed how hurt she felt, but she just handed the duffle bag to me and led the way to where Clint and Natasha were waiting.

A sleek shiny black car was parked on the main road that leads in and out of the mansion grounds. Natasha stood leaning against it and I could vaguely see Clint sitting in the driver's seat.


My head turned and I saw a flash of pink hair in the corner of my eye before I was eloped in a hug. However, my arms stayed pinned to my side and my face stayed stony. When I was released, Quentin's face showed confusion and then a flash of sadness. Up until now I had forgotten that he was also a telepath. He looked me in the eyes

"Come back to visit us, and make sure you're in one piece this time."

I laughed slightly on the inside and nodded

"I'm sorry that I'm leaving you like this. But the look on your face suggests that I do not need to explain myself."

With that I opened the car door and slid onto the light brown leather seats – in the back row of course.

The drive to the SHIELD base was very quiet, every now and then I would see Natasha shoot me quick glances in the mirror, but other than that we did not interact. The traffic started to clog up and then we reached a tall, triangular building.

I was led to an elevator that had one glass wall and then I was led through a series of corridors that were like a maze. I could hear voices coming from the corridor but stopped as Clint and Natasha stopped in front of me. Clint looked at me sternly

"Be careful what you say in there, she's not as strong as she would like you – and all of us – to think."

I nodded and stepped past him. The corridor got darker as I made my way along. Through a doorway I could see Ava sitting across the table from a tall African American man – he had an eye patch, so cool!

Just before they could see me I stopped and watched. The man hollered at Ava


Ava sighed dramatically as a response and rolled her eyes

"Look, I lost the dude alright? But it wasn't my fault."

The mans face showed a small hint of anger as he questioned her

"Wasn't your fault? You had him in your grasp and you just let him get away. You allowed a killer to go on a killing spree."

Ava shot her chair in defense of herself

"I did not let him go!"

The man crossed his arms and raised his eyebrows expectantly

"Then explain yourself."

Ava sat back down and her eyes found interest in her lap

"I just….I'm sorry. I had him and I tore of his mask and I saw…."

She trailed off and within the man's eyes (well, eye) I could see a slight bit of sympathy

"You saw what?"

Ava looked back up at him with saddened eyes "Zin's face."

Her eyes looked watery and she rubbed her eyes subconsciously. The man sighed heavily and placed a hand on her shoulder.

I shook my head and stepped into the light. Ava didn't see me because her eyes were looking at the floor. Quietly I cleared my throat and spoke

"Ava, a wise man once told me. There is no going back, there is only moving forwards."

The man looked at me, studying my expressionless face, while Ava looked at me with joy. My face stayed the same as I studied them both

"Hello Ava."

My voice came out cold and hard, not far from what I meant. Time had taught me that I shouldn't get attached, only now I wonder what Ava will say as she studies me.