Proxima was panting in pain. Her combat suit was ripped in all sorts of places, some of which were bleeding blue blood that stained the glass floor she on kneeling on. Instincts told her to cover them up to stem the bleeding, but she couldn't. Not with her arms chained up on the wall behind her. Her arms were being pull back, forcing her to lean back to avoid getting them torn off, exposing her bare chest.
It was a humiliating position, but Proxima ignored it. She was far too focused on the person in front of her. The one that had deceived her for nearly all her life.
"Honestly, Proxima." Said Thanos as he looked at his daughter from his throne, a disappointed expression on his face. "Why must you upset me like Gamora and Nebula? Why do my daughters betray me while my sons' stay loyal? I had thought you would be more loyal than your sisters, but it seems I was mistaken." Glaring at Thanos with hatred, Proxima spat at him, something that Thanos ignored.
"You were mistaken in a great deal of things, father!" Yelled Proxima, spitting out the last word with so much venom that Thanos was sure it would poison the person next to her. "All my life, I served you faithfully, blindly and stupidly believing in your cause, when it reality it was all nothing but genocide masked as salvation. I may damned myself for all eternity for following you for so long, but it'll all be worth it when I help people kill you for the monster that you are!" Chuckling at his daughter's fire, Thanos got up from his throne and walked over. Still glaring at her father, Proxima didn't even scream when he grabbed a fistful of her hair and pulled them out. Looking at the strands of hair, Thanos could see pieces of scalp came with them and Proxima was bleeding from the part of her head that Thanos ripped her hair out of.
"Still not willing to submit." Said Thanos as he tossed the hair strands away and he walked back to his throne, grabbing his giant double-bladed sword that was resting next to it. Grabbing it he examined the sword before making his way to Proxima. "That's what I always liked about you Proxima. The unwillingness to show weakness in front of your opponents." He then rested one of his sword's blades at Proxima's throat and causally slit it, cutting in deep so blood will spill everywhere.
Gasping for air, Proxima looked at Thanos with hatred even while blood was spilling all over the floor. She kept that look of hatred even after her eyes began to close.
"*Gasps*" Proxima got up from her bed in shock. Panting, Proxima looked around her and saw that she was in her room on her personal ship. Just to be sure, Proxima checked her throat and hair, the parts that Thanos damaged personally. After making sure they were there and not a figment of her imagination, Proxima got up from her room and went to her personal bathroom.
Looking at a mirror, Proxima could see that she was sweating all over her body and her nightwear was damp. Reminding herself to clean them later, Proxima took off her clothes.
Upon doing so, one could see her firm but still feminine body was riddled with scars, reminders of her past battles in service for Thanos. Once she saw them was marks of honor, but now all they reminded her of the genocides that she partook in. Gritting her teeth in anger, she then went to a shower in order to freshen up. As she did so, she spotted the makeshift bandages that Steve Rogers had made for her.
Looking at them, Proxima remembered his words last night and how he was willing to sacrifice his own life for her. She still saw him as foolish, but his sentiment…was appreciated. Removing them gently, Proxima then went into her shower and turned on the water. As she bathed, she began to look at all the scars that were everywhere on her body again, specifically the ones marring her torso.
Tracing one that went from her left hip to her stomach, Proxima remembered how she got it. It was during her first mission to…"save" a world from itself. She had received it when an enemy soldier fought her. She had been careless, and he swung an axe at her, breaking her combat suit and digging into her flesh. If it hadn't been for Ebony Maw, she would be dead right now. After that, she had to be taken in for treatment, something that Proxima hated that day. Since that day, she trained hard and to never underestimate her opponents.
The others had been earned from opponents that have actually stood a chance to her. They didn't have the same humiliating effects as the first, for her opponents were usually worthy enough to fight her, but she still felt shame for having them.
Now, upon learning the truth of her adopted father, the shame was gone, replaced by new shame. Shame that she had unwittingly been a part of so many genocides, all in the name of the greater good. Tracing another scar, Proxima clenched her free hand and punched the wall, not enough to break the metal, but enough that it sent ripples of pain through her body. Clenching her teeth, Proxima finished her shower and adorned a spare combat suit from her locker. After putting it on, she left her room to find Steve and to get new bandages for her hands.
Eventually she found Steve fiddling with a machine in the middle of her kitchen. Based on his expression, he was trying hard to understand how it worked.
"What are you doing with that?" Asked Proxima, making herself known to Steve. Looking at Proxima, Steve gave up on the machine and spoke.
"Trying to make breakfast, but…" Steve said before sighing. "I don't know how to work any of your kitchen items." Looking at the machine that Steve was fiddling with, she rose an eyebrow.
"That item you're fiddling with is not meant for handling food." Said Proxima, unimpressed at Steve's lack of understanding of her machinery. "It's meant for distributing medicine." Blinking in surprise at what she said, Steve looked at the machine and watched as Proxima activated it, placed her hands in front of a scanner-like bar. Upon placing her hands in front of the bar, a red line began to scan both of her hands fully. Once it was done, it distributed out a small cylinder and some bandages. With those items, she began to treat her wounded hands, spraying some liquid from the cylinder into her hands and then beginning to wrap them with the bandages. Once she was done, she looked at Steve. "Were you intending to make some food for us?" Steve just nodded.
"Yeah." Said Steve. That caused Proxima to raise an eyebrow.
"Without knowing what goes well with what?" Asked Proxima. "Not knowing what kitchen items are used for?" To his credit, Steve just shuffled around in embarrassment.
"To be honest, I needed something to do." Said Steve as he looked at Proxima. "Thought might as well do something productive while I'm at it." Proxima just rolled her eyes at that.
"If you wanted to cook, just come to me." Said Proxima. "I'll teach you how to cook it all." She then went over to a rectangular object in one side of the room and opening it, revealing a large content of food stuffs. Looking at the contents, Steven could see some things that looked like meats, vegetables, and containers, likely containing whatever the alien equivalent is to orange juice or milk. Watching Proxima take out some things from the fridge like object, Steve watched as she brought them over to a table and placing them gently on it. Going over there, Steve watched as Proxima looked at him.
"Since we're probably going out in the field again, we'll need to eat a lot. Might I ask if you're a vegetarian?" Asked Proxima. Steve just nodded at that before speaking.
"I'll eat anything. Just as long as it nutrient." Said Steve. Proxima nodded at that before going over to her kitchen utensils to cook. Watching as she brought out several strange contraptions, Steve wondered what they'll do next now that HYDRA is no longer an issue for them.
"I think we should contact some of my allies." Said Steve as they ate the food that Proxima prepared. Taking another bite of the, what he guessed, salad Proxima prepared, he looked at Proxima who also ate the salad.
"About me and Thanos?" Asked Proxima. Steve nodded at that. "That's a wise decision. They must know of Thanos and his methods to fully understand the threat that will come to them. And they must prepare extensively, for when he does, he will do so with the full might of his armies. Who do you want to speak about him first?"
"Scott." Said Steve. "He already helped us, and his shrinking abilities can prove a great benefit for us." Proxima just frowned at that before nodding. She had to admit, the weak human can prove quite a useful spy when Thanos comes for Earth. The only problem was that he was under house arrest and likely won't help them anytime soon. Not unless they force the government to give him a pardon.
"Are you sure?" Asked Proxima. "He's under house arrest and he likely won't be of much help in the coming days."
"I know." Said Steve. "But it's still worth telling him about Thanos. He has the right to know as anyone else on Earth." Proxima nodded at that, knowing that Steve was right.
"Very well." Said Proxima before finishing her food. "Clean up and get another shirt for the one that you ripped for me. We have a weakling to warn." Steve just frowned at Proxima calling Scott a weakling, but nonetheless finished his food and went to get a spare shirt that he got from his apartment back when HYDRA sent assassins to kill him.
Few minutes later
"Yo! You actually fought with captain America!" Yelled Luis as Scott told him what he did yesterday with Hope, Captain America, and that alien cap had with him. "And you got away with it!? How did you do it?"
"Well," Started Scott as he swallowed a mouthful of cereal. "For starters, Cap's got this creep alien chick with him that gave me some robot that posed as me to fool the government. Got the ankle brace removed and attached it to the robot. I just said some things I usually do and…voila! The thing fooled the government agents and I get to work with cap in fighting off HYDRA."
"Dude!" Yelled Luis with a smile and wide eyes. "That's amazing! What's this alien chick like!?"
"Well, she's got blue hair, grey skin with some black stuff on the upper parts of her head." Said Scott, placing a hand over his forehead to demonstrate what he was talking about. "Also got some horns on the sides of her head that framed that hair of her. Personality wise, she's somewhat…vicious. Like, she thought I was fat or something and she's got a way to make you seem inadequate. She's also…ehh…quite crazy in battle. Like, I think I saw her stabbed a man in the eyeballs with her weird spear thing. Think I also saw her turn a person to ash with that spear too." Just as he finished saying that, the door bell rang. Thinking it was the mailman, Scott got up and went over to open the door. "Anyway, word of advice Luis, don't be near that crazy alien chick. Because she's one crazy ass…" Scott couldn't say anymore because, when he opened the door, Captain America was there with Proxima Midnight. And based on her scowl, she heard him say she was a crazy alien chick.
"Uh…you didn't hear that, did you?" Asked Scott as he smiled nervously at Proxima, who simply brought out her hidden sword on her left brace.
"You're lucky you're an ally." Said Proxima with a glare. "And that you're a friend to Steve." Sighing at that, Steve placed a hand on Proxima's sword, causing her to sigh as retract it as soon as Steve removed his hand. "We have grave news, human. News that you need to hear. Along with all that you trust."
"So, let me get this straight." Said Scott as he processed all that Proxima and Steve just told him. "Some purple guy is going out killing people in order to get some stones of incomprehensive power in order to kill half of the universe because he thinks he's saving everyone. Is that right."
"Yes.' Said Proxima, looking at both Scott and Luis, who were wide eyed and scared.
"And you're his daughter!? That helped him kill a whole bunch of people." Yelled Luis, shocked. Proxima just nodded, a guilty look on her face.
"Regrettably yes." Said Proxima, regret in her tone. "In my blindness, I killed countless people. All in the name of fake saving." Remembering the screams of her victims, Proxima briefly touched her stomach, where some of her scars were before steeling herself and looking at Scott and Luis. "If you hate me, just say it. Just don't let it blind you to the fact that I'm extending you my help. And, believe me, you'll need all the help you can get in order to beat Thanos."
"I mean, I don't hate hate you." Said Scott after recovering, looking at Proxima with a bit of fear still. After all, how couldn't he when he heard that she murdered countless people all in the name of saving them in the long term. It scared him. Both her and Thanos. "Sure I hate what you did, but you're trying to repent. Right Luis?" Looking at Scott, Luis nodded.
"Yeah." Said Luis. "I mean, she's kind of like us, man. We did bad things, but we now realize they're wrong and we're trying to make up for them. It's just that her crimes are more bloody. Like way bloodier. Like world's bigger. And I'm talking really world's big. Like a…" As Luis was going on, Steve looked at Proxima, who was looking away from Luis. It may not seem like it, but she was clearly disturbed with what Luis was saying. Seeing this, Steve coughed and caught both Scott's and Luis's attention.
"Moving on." Said Steve. "Scott, I know this sounds a lot, but I need your help. If Thanos comes of the Infinity Stones on Earth, he'll stop at nothing to get them. He won't care who gets hurt or dies. All he cares about his getting those stones. And we can't let him get them. Because if he does, countless people will die. Innocents. Criminals. Children. Elderly. It doesn't matter. He won't discriminate." Scott, knowing what Steve was going at, nodded.
"*Sighs* And here I was hopping that I was done with the superhero life." Said Scott before looking at Steve again with a smirk. "But I guess it just finds a way to drag people like us back, huh?" Steve just grimly nodded.
"It does." Said Steve. "But if it means saving the innocent, I'm willing to bear it. Alone if need be." Scott just shook his head at that.
"Nah, man." Said Scott. "I got your back, cap. No way am I going to let something like this go. Not without me helping out someway. Once I get out of probation, I'm going to help you mate. I'll try to get Hank and Hope into this as well."
"I got your back to, cap!" Yelled Luis with a smile. "If Thanos comes, he'll have to contend with all of us."
"And what do you bring to the table?" Asked Proxima, thinking that Luis was all talk and no bite.
"Moral support, duh." Said Luis. "Keep you guys in the fight. Keep your spirits up. Moral is important, man…gal." Rolling her eyes at Luis, Proxima got up and looked at Steve.
"I'm leaving. You can finish up." Said Proxima before leaving for her ship. Steve just sighed at her behavior. That woman was insufferable sometimes. Looking back at Luis, he apologized for Proxima, but he just waved it off.
"Nah man, it's cool." Said Luis with a smile. "She like old school man. Like amazons or medieval times old school. It's cool. Just…help me when she tries to tear my arms off or something." Thinking it was likely that Luis would get that should he push Proxima enough, Steve promised to do so before looking at Scott and said thanks for his assistance.
"No biggie, cap." Said Scott with a small smile. "Though I am concerned with the Avengers and the governments. Like, they're going to still be gunning for you cap. Along with a bunch of your friends." Steve just nodded at that, knowing that Scott was right. He needed to make amends with them, especially Tony, or else they'll be facing Thanos divided and without direction. And they can't let that happen. Now when the whole universe was at stake.
"If it comes to it, I'll promise turn myself in once Thanos is no longer a threat." Said Steve. Scott looked like he wanted to protest, but Steve raised his hand. "We need everyone on the same boat, Scott. Even if it means that I have to take the fall in order to get everyone on board."
"But cap." Said Scott. "Don't you think you can just…talk to Tony Stark. I mean, from what I heard, you guys used to be best pals, right?" Steve just looked at the ground and sighed.
"We used to be, Scott." Said Steve in a mournful tone. "But then I betrayed his trust." Hearing that, both Luis and Scott sighed.
"Well, I think that wraps it up." Said Scott. "If there isn't anything else you need."
"I'll give you a call." Said Steve as he got up. "Once I find an untraceable phone, I'll send it to you so we can keep in contact."
"Sounds good, cap." Said Scott. "Just, don't send it via mail. The FBI will.."
"I know." Said Steve before leaving. "Take care Scott." Scott just waved his hand goodbye as Steve left the house. Once he did, he left to find Proxima's ships and talk to her.
"We helped finish off HYDRA, now is the time to inform Steve's allies about the situation we all face." Thought Proxima as she waited in the cockpit of her ship, waiting for Steve to arrive so they can plan their next destination. Sure enough, a few minutes later, Steve arrived and made to the bridge. Looking over at him, Proxima asked who he wanted to warn next.
"You know of Wakanda?" Asked Steve, causing Proxima to nod in confirmation. "He has to be informed of what is going to come so he can better prepare his people for Thanos."
"Yes, I've heard that they have access of large amount of Vibranium." Said Proxima. "The same substance made out of your old shield. The one that you used during your time as Captain America." Steve just nodded at that, a bit solemn now. "And if I recall, you don't have it anymore, correct?" Steve just nodded.
"I lost ownership of it after I betrayed Tony, the son of the man that made it in the first place." Explained Steve, looking away from Proxima. "I know you may find this foolish, but I don't deserve it anymore. Howard Stark was a good man. His son was a good man. They both helped me during my time as a hero. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be here. And I betrayed them." Seeing this, Proxima growled and was about to reprimand Steve when he spoke. "I know I promised you that I'll speak with Tony about my failings, but I still felt that I don't deserve that shield and his forgiveness." After a minute, he looked at Proxima who just stayed silent.
"Steve." Said Proxima in a soft tone, surprising Steve a bit. "I don't believe this Howard Stark would want you to be this pitiful in regards to this incident. If he's a good man, he would be understanding of your actions and forgive you for them so long as he sees that you truly regret them and want to atone. Same for his son as well. If they don't, then they're not worth your time nor regret." Steve frowned at that and argued with her.
"Some people aren't all like that Proxima." Argued Steve. "Some people, when deeply hurt by the betrayal of their closest friends or allies, can be hard to forgive them for their mistakes, especially when it was over something like defending the murderer of their parents. Tony is stubborn and is unlikely to forgive me, yes, but he's worth regretting over." Proxima just clinked her tongue at that.
"You will regret that when he finds you and attempts to bring you to your weak leaders." Said Proxima, her soft tone now gone, turning away from Steve in disaproval. Steve just frowned at that, getting a bit angry over what Proxima said.
"I know you don't have the most…positive relations with people, but trust me on this, once you get to know him, Tony is a good man at heart. I didn't think much of him when we first met, but now he's one of my closets' of friends. It's similar to your relationship with Gamora. Isn't it?" Asked Steve. Upon hearing that, Proxima turned back at Steve and looked at him with a neutral look on her face. She didn't say anything or glare at him. He just looked at him, as if processing on what he just said. Eventually she spoke.
"I suppose the similarities are there." Admitted Proxima. "But there are also significant differences between them. First and foremost, Gamora isn't as stubborn as your friend is. Not to the point, she won't be reasonable with me if I was in the same situation as you."
"You're sure about that?" Asked Steve, challenging Proxima a bit. He didn't know why, but she got under his skin with how little faith she had with his friends. "Have you ever did something to her like what I did to Tony? Did you ever betray her trust or choose her over a close friend before?"
"No." Said Proxima after a bit of silence. "I don't have friends. Just my family. Nor did I ever betray her over anything."
"Then I wouldn't be too sure of her." Said Steve. Upon hearing that, Proxima glared at Steve, her temper showing. "Sometimes, we don't really know how our friends or family will react when we betray them. Especially those that we're the closets to. How would Gamora react if you were the one that executed her mother or let Super Giant kill her when she was a child?" That last sentence caused Proxima to get up from her seat and march over to Steve, a glare of anger on her face. As she made her way towards the man, she brought out her hidden sword and placed it in front of him. Steve just remained calm in face of the sword.
"You're fortunate that I need you." Said Proxima after a minute of the two glaring at each other. "If I didn't, I would flay you alive right here and now for that remark. I would never betray Gamora for that witch, Super Giant. And I had no part in the death of her mother. Only the decay of her world." Steve wanted to say that wasn't any better, but he saw that beneath the anger of Proxima, lay hurt at what he said. Seeing the hurt beneath the anger, Steve suddenly thought of what he said and immediately felt bad of what he said. Knowing that he had to make things right, Steve sighed and spoke.
"I know.' Said Steve. "I…I'm sorry." Upon hearing that, Proxima blinked in surprise before looking at Steve to see if he was serious. Upon seeing that he was, Proxima retracted her sword and took a step back from Steve.
"What is this?" Demanded Proxima, looking at Steve in suspicion. "First you insult me and my sister, then you stare me down like a fool who thinks he's in the right, and then you apologize."
"I realize I'm at fault." Admitted Steve. "I shouldn't have been angry with you. It's just that…Tony was badly hurt when I fought against him when he tried to kill the man that killed his parents. I didn't look much into his eyes when we fought, but when I did, I saw the anger of me siding with Bucky, but also the sorrow and pain of me choosing Bucky over him. It's why I tossed my shield away. I used it to end the battle between me and Tony." Steve then sighed. "I used the shield that his father made for me as a way to end Tony's ability to enact his revenge against Bucky." Steve sighed again as he replayed that moment in his head. The pain, shock, anger, and hurt Tony had when Steve pressed his shield against his armor, disabling it. And then he had to push it even deeper by telling him the truth. That he didn't deserve his father's shield. Not anymore. And he was right. Taking a deep breath, Steve went over to Proxima and asked for her forgiveness. Looking over Steve, Proxima sighed before nodding.
"Moving on.' Said Proxima, now fully calm. "We'll make our way to Wakanda. Hopefully, your friend won't shoot us down the moment we enter their airspace." With that she went back to the pilot's seat and began to pilot the ship to their next destination. As she piloted her ship, she stole a glance at Steve and saw him minding his own business. Feeling a bit sad over his own self-loathing, Proxima made a note to help him in reconciling with this Tony Stark. He promised to do so after they dealt with Thanos, but Proxima knew that it would be a hard thing for him. She still thought that this Tony was a fool that didn't deserve it, but then again, she didn't have many good relations with people. Her only ones being with some of her siblings, and Steve. Sighing mentally, she went back to piloting her ship, a bit of her mind still on Steve and his problems.