Summary: **Part of the 2020 LiveJournal's Twisted Shorts FaD** challenge. Captain America isn't received back with open arms.
Challenge: for the livejournal 2020 August Fic-a-Day Challenge
Timeline: AU post-series for BtVS and post-Civil War for MCU
A/N: Another quick one, but I knew that by the time I traveled to my mom's and finished socializing (from a safe distance), it would be close to the cutoff to post, so I decided on a tribble instead of the Summers Twins story. I didn't have access to internet while writing, so I couldn't double-check all the lore. Sorry if I get something wrong.
Disclaimer: BtVS/AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. MCU Characters belong to Marvel. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Walking back into the Compound was bittersweet for Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. There were a lot of happy times, but the final moments were so filled with anger and contention… He shook his head clear of the memories and put on his trademark smile to greet Tony Stark's personal assistant who had taken Black Widow's place years earlier. She didn't look especially happy to see them, but he wasn't prepared for just how unhappy she was. As soon as she got within range, she struck out with her right fist faster than he could react – mostly because he wasn't expecting the blow – and was able to knock him to the floor.
He stared up at her in shock. How could she be that strong? Why she struck him was obvious, though. It went back to those final memories of being an official Avenger. He pulled himself up and held out his hands placatingly. "Ms. Summers, I understand that since Tony was your boss, you'd naturally be on Team Iron Man, but you can't understand what we were being asked to do."
"Team Iron Man?" she repeated mockingly. "What are you, a Twilight girl? I don't care about your disagreement over the Accords."
"So, you think we should allow ourselves to be dictated to by a bunch of politicians?" Barton accused.
"Didn't I just say I don't care about that part? I don't know what the right answer for that is. A case can be made for each side because corruption and arrogance are universal standards – both in normal people and the superpowered. I've seen what happens when a super goes unchecked and also what happens when the wrong people are allowed control over supers. My issue with you is that I'm Team Team. You don't try to kill a teammate unless they are trying to end the world – and only then if there are no other options." She glared at Rogers and added, "You certainly don't strike him with enough force to cause life-threatening internal injuries, then leave him to die in a bunker somewhere."
"I had to get Bucky away," Steve defended his actions.
"And you could have called somebody so they could rescue him," she shot back. "Fortunately, FRIDAY notified me of the fight, and I was on my way there before your last lethal blow to his chest. It was still a close call. If I hadn't had a backup Arc Reactor with me, the stasis program would have failed he would have died! The mini reactors weren't enough to protect him from the elements and stabilize his life signs artificially. The only reason I'm letting you back in here is because you are the lesser of two evils. If it weren't for the latest big bad, you wouldn't get through the door." With that, she turned and left the room in a huff.
When she got back to her office, Rhodey was waiting for her. "Feel good to get that off your chest?" he asked with a small grin. He had watched the confrontation over the monitors and wished he could have been the one to hit that smile off the Cap's face. But he thought it would be better for all involved to minimize his contact with them until he grew used to their presence.
"Not really," she answered with a heavy sigh. "It just brings up too many memories of my own past. Mostly of the last battle I had in my reality before I came here. Maybe we would have worked it out in the end when it was over, but given the fact we never dealt with issues before, I'm guessing we would have buried it again until the next time we disagreed about something."
Only a handful of people knew her true backstory. Tony, Pepper and Rhodey were three of them because they were instrumental in setting up her history in this reality. After Spike's sacrifice, she was sucked through bottom of the Hellmouth into this world of superheroes. She had signed the Accords because she had superpowers, despite the fact that she didn't use them often. She needed the break from having the world's safety on her shoulders day after day, year after year. So Pepper took it as a personal challenge to mold her into a worthy PA for Tony.
But with this latest threat, she'd have to come out of retirement again. At least she had some teammates she could count on, and she knew upfront the ones she had to be leery of.
A/N: I will admit to not watching Civil War because I don't like the idea of heroes fighting each other, especially if they aren't tricked into it. Came off a little more anti-Team Cap than I intended, but I'm not bothered by it. I like Tony more than Steve. EDITED to fix the apparently world-ending error I made concerning the Arc Reactor.