A/N: Second One! Only the last one to go, and the story is over!
With a wrapped present in my hands, I and Chhaya walk towards the door to Maria Rambeau's house. Our lands were separated by just a fence, but our houses were nowhere close. We had to walk 5 minutes to go from our house to our fence gate, and then 2 more minutes to reach Maria's house.
Maria lived practically alone, with only her now 3 year old daughter to keep her company. Her parents had died when she was at Air Force training school, and her boyfriend, Monica's dad, was not in the picture anymore.
I knew her parents, they were good people, worked hard to give Maria the life she deserves. It was a sad state of affairs when they both passed away in that accident.
Chhaya.. no, Martha nudges me to bring me back to the present, and knocks on the door. The door opens, and we're met with a sight that was frequently seen around Maria's house.
"Mr and Mrs Kent!" Carol Danvers, Maria's best friend, and Monica's godmother exclaims, wearing a big smile on her face. She tilts her head inside, and says, "Come on in, we were just about to cut the cake."
Martha hugs Carol as a hello, and I walk inside towards the room where I can see a small crowd gathered. There were a few children, all from around Monica's age, standing near the dining table. Monica herself was sat at the head, with a giant smile on her own face, ecstatic to cut the cake.
Then there were the kids' parents, mingling with each other, and the other guests. And finally, there were a few guests from the Air Force, or some Military organization or the other, talking amongst themselves.
Walking in, I hand the present to Maria, and say, "Hello dear, we aren't late, are we?"
Maria shakes her head, and says, "Right on time, actually. Monica's just about to cut the cake."
Soon, Martha and Carol join me from their talks, and we all start singing the Happy Birthday song for Monica, who doesn't really understand things yet, but knows that it is a celebration for her.
Once the cake is cut, and snacks distributed, we separate to start talking amongst the other guests, a can of beer in my hands. Meanwhile, the children were all playing around the house, with a few adults, including my Martha, keeping an eye on them.
"So what do you do then?" The old Air Force Colonel asks me, looking curious.
I point my hand at the small light visible in the distance, and say, "I've got a farm over there, don't I? Martha handles that, though, for the most part. I have a garage in town where I repair stuff. Cars, trucks, tractors, lawn mowers, anything really. If it ain't working, I fix it for ya."
I've been here for literally 40 years, and my physical age had to show it. We had to wear illusions that showed our ages as 60 years old, just so people don't get suspicious.
"Fascinating." The old man, Harold, says, and then asks, "I've been having some issues with my old Ford lately, think you can look over it? It's been making some sort of noise, and then shutting right off."
I shrug, and say, "Why don't you bring it over at my shop, and we'll see. It's right next to old Poncho's Bar, the name's Johnny's Garage. Can't really miss it."
Charles, another of Maria's Air Force seniors pipes in and says, "You know, I think my wife's been having the same problems."
"Oh, how come?" Harold asks.
Charles smiles widely, just itching to laugh, and says, "She makes a whole lotta noise too, she just doesn't shut off like your Ford does though."
We all laugh at his joke, while I see a lot of women roll their eyes at the immature joke.
In the middle of the party, I finally see her come in, the Kree. Mar-vell, the rebel Kree. She's been here for a few decades, enough that she had an iron clad identity in the American database.
I just watch her talk with Maria and Carol, and the other guests of the party, not wanting to make the atmosphere of the party miserable.
When the guests start leaving, however, I approach her, and ask, "I don't believe we've met, have we? Johnathan Kent, I live in the House over."
Dr Lawson takes my offered hand, shakes it, and says, "Dr Wendy Lawson. I work with the Air Force."
I make an 'ah' face, and say, "Thought so. Most of the folk at the party were either people from the town, parents of the kids, or they were from the Air Force. So, you a medical kind of doctor or the scientist kind? Because I've got some questions about my back, that I'd love answered."
Lawson chuckles, and says, "The scientific kind, I'm afraid. I have a PhD in Energy Physics, and a Masters in Enginnering."
"Oh, nice. That's.. good?" I say, hesitantly, making sure to seem like an ignorant old man.
Lawson just waves her hand, and says, "It's not that interesting, I assure you." She then looks towards the door, and with a smile on her face, she says, "I would love to continue our talk, but I'm afraid I need to leave now. Have to work tomorrow, I'm sure you understand."
I close my eyes, and gesture, 'fair enough' with my face. I say, "See you around, then." Getting a nod goodbye in return.
Lawson turns around to walk away from me, towards Maria, but before she can take more than a single step forward, I say, "Just an advice, Dr Lawson. Please get off this planet as soon as you're done with your project."
Lawson stops in her spot, and only then she notices that everyone else had stopped too. They were all frozen in place, as if Time itself had stopped moving forward.
She turns around, now with a Kree Energy blaster aimed at my face, and a fearful look on hers. She says, "Who are you? What do you know?"
I calmly sip at my drink, my body slowly transforming from a frail old man, to a strong old man, and say, "I'm.. a Guardian, of sorts. It's my self appointed duty to protect this planet from all the outer threats, the people obviously don't know this. And I know a lot of things. I know of your project with the Tesseract, your ship floating Invisibly in space, and the group of Skrulls that are depending on your goodwill to live their own lives. I akso know, that you are a Kree scientist, that left because she was disillusioned by the hypocrisy of the Kree Empire. Shall I go on, Dr?"
"What do you want?" Dr Lawson asks, lowering the blaster, as she inherently feels that the blaster won't be enough to kill me.
I smile at her disarmingly, and say, "Didn't I just say? I want you to leave this planet alone as soon as your project is done with. I don't want the Kree or the Skrull, roaming around my planet, thinking it theirs. I'm not threatening you, Dr Mar-vell, I'm just asking you not to threaten my planet."
Dr Lawson nods shakily, and slowly puts her blaster down. As it disappears back into the form of a wrist band, Dr Lawson says, "I'll leave as soon as the Engine is completed, don't worry. I'm assuming that Ms Rambeau doesn't know?"
Snorting, I just turn away from her, and start walking towards Martha, turning the flow of Time on once again. The cacophony of talking adults brings Dr Lawson's attention away from me, and I take the opportunity to leave the house, Martha right with me.
"You think I made a mistake? Revealing myself to the Kree?" I ask Martha, once we're back inside our own house.
Martha frowns at empty air, and says, "She could reveal it to someone, you know. The Skrulls would make our lives really annoying if they come knocking everyday."
Smiling, I hug Martha close, and say, "Don't worry, Mar-vell won't be able to mention the fact that I'm anything more than a normal Human to anyone, not even the Supreme Intelligence. I'm not stupid, you know."
"You certainly feel like it sometime." Martha mumbles, as she walks towards the kitchen.
I follow behind her, to help her in the cooking, and say, "Hey, now. You married me, multiple times, so who's more stupid?"
Well, at least Mar-vell is warned of our presence, so hopefully she won't take too many risks with the Tesseract. It is an Infinity Stone wrapped in a highly durable conductive glass, of course I'm going to worry about it destroying the planet by mistake.
It should never have been allowed in the hands of mortals, but alas, some things are meant to happen. Not even I can change things as significant as the Red Skull finding the Tesseract in Norway.
A couple years later, when Monica is 5 years old, we get the news that we'd been looking forward to. A Kree contingent had found that Mar-vell was hiding out on Earth, and came to take her away. They wanted the Engine plans, the Tesseract, as well as the location of Mar-vell's ship, so they can arrest the Skrulls for being Skrulls.
The events occurred just as I had seen happen countless times in my Time travel shenanigans. Carol and Mar-vell had a dogfight in the air, which resulted in Carol's jet crashing. Yon-Rogg killed Mar-vell, and Carol destroyed the Engine power core.
This time too, I couldn't help but watch it happen in slow motion, as Carol Danvers absorbed the Energy of the Core into herself.
And so, was born the strongest mortal in the Universe. Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel.
Until this moment, not much had changed about this Universe, even with my meddling. The Collector was still collecting, the Grandmaster was still an ass, Thanos was still an egomaniac, and the Eternals were still in hiding, etc etc.
But soon, I know. I know that I will have to personally enter the goings-on, interfere a bit more, so that I can fulfill my Purpose in this Universe.
Protect the Infinity Stones from destruction. That is what I was born for, that is what my Prime Directive is.
But, nothing says I can't have fun while doing it, does it?