"If she can change things as they go into the Hex, what happens if we send something in that requires no change?"
Darcy heard the question, but as she was starting to think of ideas, the conversation between and Director Hayward during the briefing came to mind.
'She used her powers against the Avengers, is that correct?'
'Right, before she earned their trust and became one herself.'
"I have an idea, but it's risky," Darcy perked up, gaining both Jimmy and Monica's attention. "Have either of you been in contact with Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross?"
"Director Hayward has since we found out Wanda was involved. Why?" Jimmy questioned as the gears continued to turn in her head.
"Because he already has an Avenger in custody, one who was around during the fight in Germany. If we can bring him here, maybe he can talk Wanda out of it," Darcy explained while going over to the computer in the evidence room and pulling up the footage pulled from the phone that was now public information before turning the monitor toward the pair.
"He's a felon, Darcy. A murderer, in fact," Monica protested as soon as her eyes shifted from confusion to anger. "Why do you think he would even want to help?"
"Because I don't think we got the full story, and besides, who else are we going to ask? Tony Stark is dead, Captain America is dead, Black Widow is dead, Hawkeye is retired and no one has seen Hulk and Thor since everything happened. I'm not going to demand names from a grieving wife, so unless Jimmy has been in contact with his buddy Scott Lang recently, this is our only shot."
Monica groaned and pinched the bridge of her nose, clearly angered and annoyed before finally looking up at the two of them. "I'm going to go find drones from the 80's. You two can carry out this stupid plan." And with that, she walked out.
"You made her really upset," Jimmy pointed out, but Darcy knew that. She just swallowed before turning back to Jimmy.
"Let's go get Spider-Man."
"Who are you, again?" The guard demanded with a raised eyebrow, and the expression was really starting to make Darcy mad, especially with the way he was looking at them like they were children.
"I'm Agent Jimmy Woo, and she's Dr. Darcy Lewis," Jimmy explained before lowering his voice. "Just tell Secretary Ross to come out here."
"And why should I tell him to come out here and talk to a FBI agent and a scientist about letting out a terrorist?"
"Okay, Mister," Darcy spoke as she stepped forward, looked him dead in the eyes, and poked at his chest. "You're gonna get your boss, and in return, I won't tell him how rude you were being to a woman who clearly outranks you. Sexism doesn't look good on a resumé." She had to keep her expression neutral as the man got up and walked out of sight, scowling.
"Good job," Jimmy spoke softly, obviously not wanting to make her mad as well. "I'm impressed."
Before Darcy could respond, however, the guard was back and ushering them inside the offices, stopping at one with a nameplate outside that said 'Secretary of State' on it. "Secretary Ross will be with you in a minute," the guard told the two before he disappeared behind the hall.
Darcy only had one train of thought going through her head once she heard the footsteps behind her. 'Please let this work.'
"Hello, Agent Woo. Nice to see you again." Darcy watched the older man move toward Jimmy as the two engaged in a handshake before he made eye contact with her. "And you must be Dr. Lewis." He extended his hand toward her and she shook it, feeling just how cold but firm his grip was. "You scared my guard pretty well, but I'm sure you two had something more important to talk to me about."
Darcy waited until the man was fully sitting before she explained everything: Wanda taking Vision's body, turning an entire town into a sitcom, launching Monica into the sky after she infiltrated the Hex and finally ending with her plan to get an Avenger that Wanda knows, and who had gone through a similar experience, to talk her out of it.
"So you need help contacting an Avenger? Then why are you here and not speaking to Nick Fury?" Ross questioned, and she could see the look of confusion but also concern in his eyes all masked by his coldness.
"Not exactly." Jimmy spoke softly, clearing his throat before speaking louder. "We were hoping you would release Spider-Man into our custody temporarily."
"You do realize that it killed someone and nearly destroyed London, correct? It's a terrorist and a murderer."
"With all due respect, Secretary Ross, Wanda will destroy New Jersey if we don't act fast." Jimmy cut in, which was probably better for their chances as Darcy was trying to stay calm so this would work. "It's only while we try and reason with Wanda, and we will bring him back as soon as we're done."
Darcy watched as Ross pinched the bridge of his nose and groaned in frustration before looking at both of them. "Fine, but we're doing this on my terms."
"Which are?" Darcy tried to keep the annoyance out of her voice as she watched Ross smile a tiny bit.
"Once you relieve New Jersey of Maximoff, you bring her and Spider-Man back here."
"She's processing trauma, sir, I don't think she's even aware of what she's doing." Darcy tried to reason with the older man, but he just shook his head.
"Dr. Lewis, I think you're smart enough to know that she, as you told me, purposely launched Captain Rambeau out of Westview. Not to mention took an entire town hostage and stole the corpse of the Vision out of SWORD headquarters." He stood up and walked towards the door. "You can take Spider-Man to reason with Maximoff and then bring them both back here. It'll be safer for them and the world that way. That's my only offer. So," he offered his hand to Darcy, "do we have a deal?"
She took a deep breath, trying to steady her emotions before looking Ross directly in the eyes and gripped his hand a little tighter then she usually would. "Yes, sir, I believe we do."
"Fabulous." He broke into a grin. "I have to get some things in order, but I will take you to Spider-Man. Pleasure doing business with you again, Agent Woo." He headed toward the door before turning to Darcy. "Same for you, Dr. Lewis." Then, as he disappeared down the hall leaving the two of them in the office, Darcy grabbed Jimmy's arm and whispered.
"We can't bring him back."
His foot wouldn't stop tapping against the ground.
He had been in here for around three weeks, and his foot wouldn't stop tapping the ground.
"Spider-Man's real name is Peter Parker!"
Upon hearing Beck's voice come on the giant billboard TV screen, he immediately jumped off the large post he was sitting on and took off running. Below him, the hundreds - if not, thousands - of New Yorkers' broke out into murmurs and hushed whispers as they looked to him running to escape. Behind him, he briefly heard Michelle's scream of "Peter!" and wondered if he should go back to get her, to bring her somewhere safe and away from the crowd, but ultimately decided against it.
'She'd be safer without me," he thought to himself.
He knew that, out of the six of them, out of Ned, MJ, May, Happy, Morgan, and Pepper, he was the one that was in the most amount of danger. No one would hurt them or kill them. It was him they wanted. Cops would be scouring the city for him, people would be reporting his every move and every place he visited, everything he did. Everyone he was with.
'God,' he thought. MJ was literally the last person he was with and people were probably bombarding her with questions right about now; and, in the middle of it all, he'd just abandoned her while he ran like a coward, like Flash always said he was. He was an idiot and a coward for not making sure MJ was safe - for putting his life first and hers second.
But he couldn't turn back, turn around now. If he wanted to keep everyone safe, he had to keep running.
He ran for a week; hiding in alleyways and crashing on couches. He had five hundred dollars in his pocket when he left, courtesy of extra savings for Europe, and he knew these people could get in trouble for harboring a fugitive, but he had to get away from New York.
By the time he crossed into Rhode Island, he did something absolutely stupid.
He successfully blended into the homeless population, just another person down on their luck. But, with a seventy-five thousand dollar reward out for his arrest, for turning in a supposed murderer, he shouldn't have been surprised by the fact that someone ratted him out.
The next thing he knew, he was dragged out of one of the tents and tased, the volts of electricity coursing through his veins and forcing him to the ground face-first. The cold voice of the man with the taser rang in his head, and he could still feel the harsh scraping of the handcuffs as they were shoved and locked around his wrists.
"Peter Parker, you're under arrest for terrorism, first-degree murder, and evading arrest. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney and if you cannot afford one, one will be provided…"
So, that's what he did. Remained silent.
But walking on the walls and ceilings got boring after awhile, and he wasn't interested in the few trashy romance novels they allowed him to have, so now he was sitting on the bed, looking down at his hands while his foot kept tapping on the floor with one thought in his mind.
'God, I hope May is okay.' She had no idea where he was, was probably incredibly worried about him, and Peter hated to think of-
...Everything he had put her through.
Secretary Ross' gruff voice broke him out of his thoughts and a slight buzz that meant the code to unlock the door had been activated went off before the door opened and a man and a woman stepped through - the man wearing an FBI jacket and the woman wearing glasses, a bright blue beanie, and looking around in wonder. "You've got visitors," Ross then spoke before the door slammed shut behind the two guests.
The two made it over to just outside his cell, with the only thing separating them being the heavy metal, barred doors.
"I have a feeling you two aren't my lawyers." Peter swallowed as he stood up, the itchy blue material of the Raft uniform brushing against his skin as he looked at them both.
"No. I'm actually Dr. Darcy Lewis and this is my coworker, Agent Jimmy Woo," the woman introduced the two of them and Peter nodded, knowing he heard about the man before. "We understand that you worked with Wanda Maximoff at the battle of the Avengers' compound?"
"Kind of...? Why? What's this about?" Peter questioned, curiously.
"We need your help. Wanda Maximoff has stolen the Vision's corpse and is living in a sitcom-esc world with it. She has seemingly taken an entire town in New Jersey hostage to live in this sitcom and now she has twins. Since we've seen the footage and we know you fought with Wanda against Thanos, we were hoping to recruit you so you could try and snap her out of it."
Peter nodded, even though he was still trying to process what the woman said. "Only one problem, though: I barely know her. I was fighting with Mr. Stark and she was fighting with Captain America, so she could just, you know... blast me."
"We're hoping she recognizes you long enough to snap out of it." Agent Woo spoke softly, much calmer than Dr. Lewis. "And we know that you have experience with people who can create illusions and manipulate reality, since you helped Quentin Beck take down the Elementals. So, are you in?"
"Yeah." Peter nodded. "I'm in. What do you need me to do?"
"...and then if everything goes successfully, Wanda will come with us and we can take her in for questioning," Agent Woo finished explaining, just as they arrived back to the base outside of Westview. The van door then slid open and, as Darcy stepped out, Jimmy took a minute to unlock the teenager's handcuffs. "As soon as this is done, though," he instructed, "we gotta put them back on, okay, kid?"
Peter nodded, and watched the man tuck the key back in his pocket, before he stepped out of the van and followed him outside to the field. There, at the very beginning of it, at the very bottom of the hill, stood about fifty or so SWORD agents, Director Hayward, Captain Monica Rambeau, and... and Wanda.
Wanda, with about a thousand lasered guns pointed at her.
"You have to understand us, Wanda!" Director Hayward shouted and, as Peter was led closer, he could make out more of what the director was saying. "The missile was just a precaution. I mean, you can hardly blame us, with what you've done."
Wanda tilted her head, and Peter could tell she meant trouble. "With what I've done?" She asked, bitterly, as her jaw tightened and a red cloud circled, starting to form in her palm. "What about what you've done? Sending one of your agents-" At this, Wanda glared at Captain Rambeau pointedly, but kept her eyes on Director Hayward. "-in after me and sending a missile after my family when I sent her back? Was that your plan?"
"Wanda." Captain Rambeau spoke up as she marched forward, unafraid of the Avenger. "Please, you have to-"
"Oh, I don't have to do anything," Wanda whispered, her voice sickeningly sweet. She turned her whole focus to Captain Rambeau and the cloud in her hand started getting stronger and glowed a bright red. "And I cannot believe that you are still here..."
Seeing as this was the only chance they were gonna get, Darcy lightly shoved the teenager forward and Peter took the opportunity to run forward and join the crowd, stopping just several feet ahead of Wanda but a few steps to the side of Director Hayward.
"Wanda, wait!" he called out and saw a brief flicker of recognition in her eyes as she turned her gaze towards him. "I... It's Peter, okay? Spider-Man! We fought together against Thanos and fought each other in Germany a few years ago, and I know stuff sucks now, but you don't want to do this. You don't mean to do this and if you just come with us now, we can help you," he pleaded, seeing the psionic energy she held in her hands dim momentarily.
Unfortunately, Peter's words held little to no impact, though, as Wanda's powers came back stronger and she turned back to Hayward. "This," she seethed, her eyes glowing an angry red, "will be your last warning. Stay out of my home."
Peter watched as Wanda let go of the red, fiery blast, aiming it right towards Director Hayward, and the world seemed to move in slow motion. One second he was standing just a few feet before Wanda and the next he was running, listening to the buzzing feeling in the back of his head until he screamed "Move!" and shoved the man to the ground, the full force of the blast hitting him.