Hey everyone, this is my new story about Everett Ross and T'Challa! I've loved them ever since they both first showed up in Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther made that feeling even stronger. Now I couldn't hold back any longer and had to write something about them!
This is set after my story 'Knowing You', but you don't have to read it to understand this. It can be read alone. Just know that Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are a couple, so they didn't fight each other in Civil War. Instead, they worked together to catch Bucky and Zemo in Vienna and Everett helped them with this. That's where he met T'Challa for the first time.
In one scene, I've borrowed a few lines from the movie, but I hope you don't mind. I hope you like this story, please let me know after reading, that would be awesome!
I don't own the characters or places!
"Alright, we will have a look at it." Everett Ross said and took a sip of his coffee. "But don't expect the results before next week. We're incredibly busy at the moment." He grabbed a pen and a piece of paper. He knew that he wouldn't forget about this, but it was better to write it down anyway. While doing that, he listened to what the person on the phone said.
"No, I don't know where all the Avengers are at the moment. Why would you even think that, Secretary Ross?" He asked innocently. "I might be invited to the wedding of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, but that doesn't mean that they tell me everything they do."
Again, he listened and fought back a sigh. "Yes, of course I'll inform you as soon as I get to know more, Sir. If you would excuse me now? I have to look at a few reports before the day is over. There's also someone who wanted to send me something important, I have to check if it arrived by now."
When the phone call ended, Everett threw his phone on the table with a sigh and ran a hand through his hair. Ever since the events in Vienna, Secretary Thaddeus Ross wouldn't stop asking if he knew more about the Avengers. Where were they? What were they doing? Was there a possibility that they might cause trouble again? It was tiring.
Yes, he knew a few things about the Avengers since he kept in touch with Tony Stark ever since he helped them in Vienna after that failed conference. However, he would never tell Ross about this. Slowly, the Avengers were becoming something like friends to him and it felt wrong to tell anyone about their doings. Everett knew that he was supposed to tell Thaddeus Ross everything he knew, after all he was his supervisor, but he just couldn't do it. Honestly, it didn't even bother him anymore to keep secrets from him. A few months ago, this would have shocked him.
So many things had changed ever since the Avengers stepped into his life. First, there had been the Accords the Avengers refused to sign. Then the attack of the Winter Soldier on that conference in Vienna. Their fight to prove that he was innocent all along and Ross' role in this. And of course Prince T'Challa – now King T'Challa – of Wakanda.
That was most probably the biggest surprise in the past months. He would have never expected to call the king of Wakanda a friend. But that's what they were. They called each other regularly and T'Challa had even invited Ross to Wakanda. However, he couldn't make it to the coronation since he'd been busy dealing with the aftermath of the conference concerning the Sokovia Accords in Vienna. The Accords which were useless now since all the Avengers refused to sign them. Luckily, it hadn't bothered T'Challa that Everett couldn't come. He'd just suggested that he would visit another time.
That's what he liked about T'Challa so much. He was easy to get along with and he wasn't disappointed immediately when something didn't work. Everett also genuinely liked him. T'Challa was such an interesting person and even if their cultures were so different from each other, they got along well. There were endless things to talk about and the better Everett got to know him, the more time he wanted to spend with T'Challa. Well, did it count as spending time together when you were talking to someone on the phone? He decided that yes, it did.
Nevertheless, he wanted nothing more than to see Wakanda himself. See T'Challa again. Walk through that mysterious country in Africa with him and let T'Challa show him his life. It was a dream he had ever since T'Challa mentioned it for the first time, right after the Avengers had left Vienna. It was still strange that the king of Wakanda was so interested in him. Strange and exciting at the same time. Because Everett's heart always beat faster when he talked to T'Challa and when they didn't hear from each other for a few days, he even missed him. Actually, this wasn't good at all, but he couldn't help feeling this way. He was falling for the king of Wakanda. Bad idea. Really bad idea. But wasn't that all he ever did since Vienna? Stupid things? Why should he stop now?
The sound of his phone interrupted his thoughts and Everett groaned in annoyance. Who wanted to talk to him now? It was already late in the afternoon and he was still at work. Actually, he wanted to call it a day and go home hours ago. However, so many things had kept him at the CIA base and he didn't get a chance to leave.
Without looking at the screen, he answered the call. "Agent Ross here, what do you want?" He asked and couldn't keep the annoyance from his voice. He knew that he was being rude, but he couldn't help it. Not after a day like this.
"Actually, I just wanted to ask how you are. We didn't hear from each other in a few days. But I can also call again later if you're busy?" A familiar voice said and Everett's heart started to beat faster. Now he regretted his words. "You sound tired, my friend." Even through his phone he thought that he could hear concern in T'Challa's voice.
"Right now is fine. Very good, actually." He said hastily, hoping that T'Challa couldn't hear his relief. It was so good to hear a friendly voice. And didn't he just think about him? "I just had a busy day, that's all. I was expecting another unpleasant call."
"Did Secretary Ross bother you again?" T'Challa asked calmly.
Everett sighed. "The same as usual. He wants to know where the Avengers are, what they're doing, if there's a possibility that they might cause trouble... You know that stuff. Slowly, it's getting on my nerves."
"One should think that he knows you won't say anything by now." T'Challa noted. "Or is it because of the wedding invitation?" Tony and Steve had also invited T'Challa.
"Most probably. I think he said something like 'since you're friends with all of them, you would be the perfect spy'." Everett chuckled dryly and rolled his eyes, even if T'Challa couldn't see it.
"Then it's good that you're on our side now." He could hear the smile in T'Challa's voice. Our side. The words honoured him. He was working with the Avengers now. Back when he'd helped them with Bucky Barnes, he didn't even realize how much this decision would change his life.
"You can count yourself very lucky." He agreed, which made T'Challa laugh. "Without me, everything would be even more difficult for you." Before he'd met T'Challa, Everett had never been able to joke around with someone this easily.
"Without you, everything would have ended in disaster back in Vienna." T'Challa sounded thoughtful now. "And I would have made a big mistake."
"You already thanked me for that, you know?" Everett threw in. "No need to do it again."
"What if I want to?"
"I don't know. Is it appropriate for a king to apologize more than once?" He asked thoughtfully.
"I think I can do whatever I want." T'Challa paused. "Like inviting you to Wakanda once more. Since you missed the coronation last month. Of course I would understand it you're still too busy."
"I'm not." He interrupted him quickly. "Well, maybe I am, but that's fine. I need a holiday. I didn't have a day off in ages."
"You should take care of yourself, Everett." T'Challa said seriously. "You're working too much."
He chuckled. "I've always done this, don't worry."
"So you'll come soon?" Did he just imagine it or was he sounding hopeful?
"Yes, I'll come. I promise. As soon as possible." He smiled at this. It was so tempting, just to leave and go to Wakanda. Forget everything else. A real holiday. Until now, Everett didn't even realize how badly he needed it. "How are things in Wakanda?"
"The same as usual." T'Challa began. "We're living peaceful lives."
"Except for the Black Panther." He noted. "Or isn't he busy at the moment? Since Wakanda is safe?"
"He's always busy." T'Challa replied. "We're still looking for the person who stole our Vibranium. However, we didn't get a step closer in the past weeks. It's infuriating."
"Maybe you'll find something soon. I know how hard being patient can be at times, but it's worth it." Everett told him.
T'Challa sighed. "I hope you're right." Suddenly, Everett could hear other voices through the phone. Apparently, someone was talking to T'Challa. "I'm sorry, Everett, but I have to leave now. My sister Shuri wants to show me something."
"It's fine." He said, even if he felt a stab of disappointment. "I'm also still at work, I'm waiting for an important message. If it even comes today."
"Don't work too long. I'll call you again as soon as possible." The king of Wakanda promised before he ended the call.
Everett Ross looked at his phone for a few moments, but then he placed it on the table again. A look at his laptop told him that there were a few new messages. It didn't surprise him that one was from Thaddeus Ross. He ignored it and looked through the others. The last one made him hold his breath. Two words caught his attention.
Klaue and Vibranium.
T'Challa looked at his sister questioningly and tried to fight his impatience. However, he wasn't successful. From the look on Shuri's face, he knew that she could sense his unhappiness about the interruption of his phone call. It clearly amused her.
He really hoped for her that this was important. He didn't talk to Everett in days and now this, just when he thought that they could get a moment of peace. Everett didn't sound happy and T'Challa would have liked to ask more questions about his life. Was it just Secretary Ross who made him this upset or did something else happen? He'd heard the relief in his voice when Everett realized that T'Challa was on the phone. What did that mean? That he was looking forward to their conversations just as much as he did himself?
"You're thinking too much, brother." Shuri ripped him out of his thoughts. "He'll understand that this was more important."
He looked at her sceptically. "What is it that made you interrupt my conversation?"
"You'll see it as soon as we reach the lab." She said simply and grinned at him. Shuri always enjoyed driving him crazy.
He sighed. "I really hope this is important." He muttered. "We still had so much to talk about."
Shuri raised her eyebrows. "I still don't understand what's so interesting about him. You met him in Vienna, he helped you to deal with the Winter Soldier and Zemo and then what? Suddenly, you're friends?" Shuri was the only person he'd told about Everett yet. He'd feared that others wouldn't understand why he was so interested in an outsider. Apparently, his worries had been justified. Even his little sister didn't understand it. "You invited him to Wakanda again." This wasn't a question.
"He said he will come." He realized how hopeful his voice sounded.
Suddenly, Shuri stopped. They'd nearly reached the lab. "Look, I'm not making fun of you." Her tone was surprisingly serious. "I'm just trying to understand it. I would love to meet him." She smiled slightly. "He must be special if he stole your heart in two days."
T'Challa stared at her and then looked around carefully, but they were alone in the corridor. Until now, he didn't tell anyone in Wakanda that he preferred men, afraid that it might cause problems. Of course his family knew, as well as his best friend Nakia. There were also a few people who suspected it, but no one ever said something about it. Normally, it shouldn't be a problem. In Wakanda, sexuality wasn't an issue. Maybe it really wasn't an issue and T'Challa was just overreacting. Or it was about Everett's origin. Because he wasn't from Wakanda and that always caused problems.
Then he asked himself something else. Did Everett Ross, the CIA agent, stole his heart? Was he falling in love with him? It was possible, considering how he made his heart race every time he smiled at T'Challa. He also liked the sound of his voice, especially his laugh. He didn't laugh very often. He was handsome, with his blond hair and the blue eyes. And then there was this urge to make him happy and solve all his problems.
Why didn't he realize before that he was falling in love with Everett Ross?
"Brother? You still with me?" Shuri asked and crossed her arms. "You had this absent-minded look on your face."
"I'm fine." He muttered and without waiting for her, he continued to walk towards the laboratory. "I was just thinking."
"About your man?" She grinned.
"He isn't my man, as you call it." He corrected her. "He's a friend."
"You've never been this excited about the visit of a friend before." Shuri noted.
"Maybe because all my other friends are living in Wakanda?"
"It's not that." She said. "Something about him is different."
"It would only cause problems for him." He stated. "It would never work."
"So you really like him." She whispered, but then her smile faded and was replaced by a frown. "Why couldn't it work?"
"Because he's an outsider. You know how most people see this here."
"Most people are too old-fashioned for their own good." She muttered darkly. "I've always said that all this hiding isn't the solution to everything. We could help so many people out there."
He smiled softly. "I know that you see it like this."
"You do that too." She noted. "After Vienna, you've been thinking about this very much. I've seen you looking at maps."
"Those are just dreams." He sighed. "You know that the council would never allow it."
"I would support you. And I know that Nakia does as well." Shuri smiled.
"Unfortunately, it's not that easy. I can't just decide everything on my own."
"But you're also an Avenger now." She exclaimed. "Doesn't that change anything?"
T'Challa frowned at her. Was he really an Avenger? "I don't think so."
By now, they'd reached the lab and Shuri was walking towards three dolls which were all wearing the Black Panther armour. "I would really like to continue discussing your love life, but first I have to show you those new suits!" She exclaimed with a wide smile.
To say he was tired would have been the understatement of the year. That night, Everett barely slept, too busy collecting information and making plans. Ulysses Klaue wanted to sell a stolen artefact made of Vibranium in Asia a few days from now. He was looking for someone who wanted to buy it for a ridiculously high sum of money. Of course Ross and his team had offered to buy it immediately. This was the perfect opportunity to get a hold on him. Now he also knew who this thief was T'Challa had mentioned.
He knew that he should call him and inform him about the latest events, but Everett was just too tired. He was sitting at his desk, a cup of far too strong coffee in front of him and tried to stay awake. He knew that the team members he'd been able to reach the previous afternoon and who'd worked with him nearly the entire night weren't in much better shape. They all needed a break, but there was still so much to do...
Three days. They had three days until the deal with Klaue would take place. In South Korea. Another factor which made this difficult. Unknown surroundings.
Everett took a sip of his coffee and grimaced. Whoever had make that should get fired immediately. However, it kept him awake and that's what this was all about. He frowned at the screen in front of him. Maybe T'Challa and a few other warriors from Wakanda could even help them with their mission... But Secretary Ross wouldn't be amused about this. Of course they'd talked again about an hour ago and the task was clear. The CIA should get Klaue, not Wakanda. Nevertheless, he knew that he couldn't keep this from T'Challa. Maybe there was another solution to be able to work together. It had also worked in Vienna...
When his phone rang this time, Everett looked at the screen before he accepted the call. "Good morning." He muttered and tried to let it sound lightly.
"Good morning, Everett." T'Challa greeted him back. At least they didn't have to worry about time differences right now. Since Everett was still in Europe, that wasn't a problem. "You sound tired. Didn't you sleep well last night?"
He chuckled. "Did you sleep at all would be a better question."
"What happened?" The concern in T'Challa's voice was hard to miss.
"Remember that I've told you that I was expecting an important message?" He asked.
"Yes, what is it about? Only if you can talk about it, of course." T'Challa added hastily. Normally, Everett wasn't allowed to talk about his missions.
"I can since this is also concerning you." Everett muttered and ran a hand through his hair.
"What do you mean?" T'Challa sounded confused now.
"In three days, I have a deal with someone in South Korea." He told him. "A very rare artefact will be sold and this caught the attention of one of our secret CIA agents. The man I'm talking about is Ulysses Klaue and he wants to sell Vibranium."
"You know where Klaue will show up with the stolen Vibranium?!" T'Challa repeated incredulously.
"Exactly." Everett confirmed. "I will meet him there and during that exchange, we plan to get a hold on him."
"Klaue is dangerous." T'Challa warned him. "You shouldn't underestimate him."
"We won't." He said simply. "We know what we're doing."
"We will come with you." This was just what Everett had expected. "There's no way I'll let you near that man alone." Was he already so tired that he imagined things or did T'Challa sound overly protective now?
"That's what I wanted to talk about." He muttered. "I've already suspected that you would want to come with us. So we'll have to make a plan. He will recognize you immediately."
"You will let us come with you?" T'Challa sounded surprised. "Just like this?"
"What did you expect? An argument?" Everett asked back. The silence was answer enough. Yes, T'Challa had expected a fight about this. He sighed. "Look, I know that it's a big opportunity to have you with us. I might not be allowed to tell you to come, but I also know that I won't be able to stop you if you decide to show up there."
"I like the way you think." He could already imagine the way T'Challa was smiling now. "Should we start planning now or do you need sleep first? You sound like you might pass out any moment."
"Maybe sleep wouldn't be so bad." He admitted reluctantly. "But there's still so much to do..."
"When we start planning, you need to be in top shape, Everett. That doesn't work when you're this tired."
He sighed. "Alright, I'll call you again in a few hours?"
"I'll inform Okoye and Nakia about it." T'Challa was silent for a few seconds. "Honestly, I'd imagined our next meeting differently."
"Me too." Everett agreed quietly. But honestly, he didn't care very much that he would see T'Challa again in a situation like that. He was just happy to know that they would see each other at all.
"Stop moving around so nervously." Okoye hissed. "You're not a child anymore!"
T'Challa raised his eyebrows at her. "You're aware that you're talking to your king? I could lock you up just for talking to me like that."
She rolled her eyes. "You would never do that."
Next to her, Nakia smiled widely. "Of course not. He's far too nice."
He sighed. "Remind me again why I wanted to take the two of you on this mission?"
"Because we're a good team." Nakia replied immediately.
"Why are you even so nervous?" Okoye asked incredulously. "This is our best chance to get Klaue! You should be excited."
"I think it's because of a certain CIA agent." Nakia smiled knowingly and Okoye stared at her blankly. T'Challa knew exactly why. Feelings weren't her thing.
"I don't like that you've agreed to work with them." Okoye stated. "They will take Klaue and then our only chance to get him is gone."
"Without the CIA, we wouldn't even know where he is now." He said simply.
"I would have found out about this as well." She muttered darkly.
"I know." T'Challa tried to calm her down. "But this makes it much easier."
"You just didn't want to work against your friend." The way Okoye said it, it sounded like 'friend' was an insult.
"We can trust Everett." His voice was still calm. "Once we have Klaue, we'll decide what to do next together."
"Didn't he just say that to get your help?"
"Okoye." Nakia whispered in a warning tone.
She looked at her questioningly. "What? He's an outsider. They can't be trusted. And you like him too much." The last sentence was directed at T'Challa again. "I don't even understand why."
"You don't have to." T'Challa said simply, trying to ignore her words. Yes, he was nervous. But not because of Klaue. Soon, he would see Everett Ross again for the first time in over two months. He knew that it was stupid to feel nervous about this, but he couldn't help it. What he'd said on the phone had been true. He wished that they could see each other again under different circumstances. But wasn't it better to see him at all than to wait?
"We're nearly there." Okoye announced suddenly. "Then we'll have to take the car."
"How long until we'll be at the meeting place?" He asked calmly.
"About twenty minutes."
He wasn't sure if he should be relieved or concerned because they spent the whole drive in silence. He'd known all along that Okoye wasn't thrilled to work with the CIA. Nakia, on the other hand, wasn't judging him for this. She was rather curious about Everett, just like Shuri. Secretly, he suspected that the two women had talked about his love life behind his back.
They would meet Ross and his team in a small flat not too far away from the meeting place. Everett didn't exaggerate when he said that the CIA had a few hiding places in this city. The building looked shabby and T'Challa checked the address twice before they entered the building. Okoye went first, followed directly by him. Inside, it was dark and dusty. The air smelled old, like no one had been there for a long time.
"You're sure that this is the right place?" Okoye asked, hands close to her hidden weapon.
"It is." A familiar voice answered and they all stopped when Everett Ross stepped out of the shadows at the other end of the room. T'Challa noticed that a few other people followed him, most probably his team members. However, then someone switched on the light after making sure that all the blinds were closed and T'Challa only had eyes for the man in front of him.
Everett looked even more handsome than the last time he'd seen him. He wasn't as tall as T'Challa remembered, but that didn't bother him at all. Everett had his hair styled perfectly and was wearing a black suit which made him look very good. The blue eyes narrowed slightly when he saw T'Challa and there was a smile on his lips. For a few moments, they just looked at each other silently, taking in the others appearance. But then the moment was over and Everett cleared his throat.
"It's good to see you again, king T'Challa." He said politely and inwardly, T'Challa sighed. Everett had already warned him that they would have to act polite in front of his team. They'd all promised not to inform Thaddeus Ross about this, but they couldn't take any risks.
"Agent Ross." T'Challa bowed his head slightly and hoped that the other man could see from his expression how happy he was to see him again. "May I introduce my companions? This is Okoye, General of the Dora Milaje, and Nakia."
"It's a pleasure to meet you." Ross said and Nakia reached out to shake his hand. T'Challa had told Everett stories about them before so he knew who they were very well.
"The pleasure is all ours, Agent Ross." Nakia smiled widely and looked at him very closely. Okoye just nodded at the CIA agent.
"Now that we're complete, we can start to go through the plan again." Everett announced and clapped his hands. For a few seconds, his eyes met T'Challa's and he thought that he could see regret in them. However, the look was gone just as fast and then they all had to focus on the plan.
Once the discussion was over, Everett's team left the flat to have a first look at the meeting place. When Everett made no attempt to go with them, T'Challa gave Nakia and Okoye a sign to wait for him outside. Okoye hesitated at first, but after a forceful glance from Nakia, the two women left them alone.
"Are they always this... hard to deal with?" Everett asked and grimaced.
"You mean Okoye?" T'Challa knew immediately what he meant. She didn't try to hide that she hated their plan.
Everett nodded. "She's not happy to work with us." He stated.
"No, she isn't." He agreed. "For her, you're outsiders who can't be trusted."
"Do you also think so?" Everett raised his eyebrows and T'Challa smiled.
"I wouldn't be here if I did." He said quietly and took a step towards the other man. "If we all wouldn't trust you, we'd just crash your deal with Klaue and arrest him ourselves."
Everett chuckled. "Then I can be happy that you're on our side."
T'Challa smiled. "It's good to see you again, Everett."
"I would have preferred other circumstances." He replied but there was also a smile on his lips.
"Maybe you could just come to Wakanda with us once all this is over." T'Challa suggested without thinking about it.
"Secretary Ross would kill me." Everett muttered and shook his head. "He'll already be furious when he hears that you've been here with us."
"I don't want you to have trouble at work because of us." T'Challa hated the thought that he might have problems just by working with them.
"It's fine. I can deal with him." There was determination in Everett's eyes. "Don't worry about me. And I promised you to take a few weeks off as soon as possible, didn't I?"
"You did." He agreed and his smile turned into a grin. "I'll hold you to that."
Everett laughed. "I know you will." He glanced at the door and T'Challa knew exactly why.
"We should leave." He muttered and hoped that Everett couldn't hear the pity in his voice.
"Yes, they're waiting for us. And remember, we'll go in first."
T'Challa nodded seriously. "Be careful. Klaue is dangerous."
"I always am." Everett replied. "Try not to be too noticeable."
"Everything will work out." T'Challa said confidently.
Of course it didn't work. One of Klaue's men recognized Okoye and she sent him flying through the room without even thinking about it twice. Then chaos broke out and Klaue tried to escape. After a long chase through the city with Shuri's help, who could drive the car from Wakanda, T'Challa was able to catch Klaue again. By the time Nakia, Okoye and Everett arrived in one of the CIA cars, Klaue was already unconscious.
They took him to a CIA base, just like it had been planned. Okoye showed her disapproval of this several times, but T'Challa just ignored her. He was busy watching Everett Ross when the CIA agent wasn't looking. They were in the CIA plane now since they didn't want to let Klaue out of sight, their own jet was following them unobtrusively.
"I've seen the records of you fighting." Everett whispered once they had a moment to themselves. "But it didn't do you justice."
"Records?" T'Challa raised his eyebrows.
"Your spectacular chase with Iron Man, the Falcon and Captain America through Vienna." Everett's eyes were shining when he grinned. "Of course the material is top secret, but I could have a look at it."
A warm feeling spread in his chest when he imagined Everett looking at records of him. He smiled. "This was nothing." He said simply and shrugged.
"I've seen many things in my life, and this is definitely not nothing." Everett crossed his arms. "You're always so modest."
"In Wakanda, people don't brag about their actions." He explained. "It's nothing we do."
"There's still so much we don't know about each other." This time, he couldn't quite interpret the look on Everett's face. He was still smiling, but it didn't look that lightly anymore. Rather... sad. Or was this longing on his face? T'Challa couldn't tell. In the past two months, he'd told him many things about Wakanda, but it would need much more time until Everett knew everything. T'Challa had also told him a few things which weren't meant for someone outside of Wakanda, but he knew that their secrets were safe with Everett Ross. Like the Vibranium or that Wakanda wasn't as poor as the world believed.
"We will get the time to talk properly." T'Challa let it sound like a promise.
"I really hope so." Everett muttered.
He knew that this wasn't the right moment to panic, but T'Challa couldn't help it. Everett was lying on the ground, motionless and covered in blood. His own blood. He'd been shot while others had freed Klaue from his cell. He'd taken a bullet which had actually been meant for T'Challa. He'd saved his life. T'Challa was still trying to stop the bleeding, but then Nakia was kneeling next to him.
"Let me." She whispered and held up a small object. He recognized that it was a Kimoyo Bead. She pressed it onto the bullet wound. "This should stabilize him for now, but he won't make it here. It's his spine." She glanced at him and he turned away, not wanting to see the pity in her eyes.
His heart was beating wildly in his chest and T'Challa wasn't sure if he'd ever been this afraid. His mind was racing, trying to figure out what to do now. "Give him to us." He said suddenly and looked at the other CIA agents in the room. "We can help him."
The two people exchanged looks and nodded carefully.
"Our mission was to bring back Klaue." Okoye muttered. "We failed. And now you want to bring this man to Wakanda?"
Even while she said this, T'Challa took Everett in his arms carefully and stood up. The other man was heavier than expected. He glanced at Nakia and she understood immediately, running off to get the jet ready for them.
"He took a bullet for me." T'Challa reminded her. To be honest, he was surprised by Okoye's words. Didn't she know that Everett was important to T'Challa?
"That was his choice." Okoye replied simply.
"I will not let him die!" He hissed, trying not to lose his patience with her.
"As king, it's your duty to protect our country. We can't just take him to Wakanda." She exclaimed.
"I'm well aware of my duties, General." T'Challa said coldly when they reached the jet. "But we will take him to Wakanda, if you like it or not." He paused and narrowed his eyes at her. "And besides, I've invited him months ago."
She stared at him with wide eyes. "Why would you do that?!"
"Because I like him." He said simply and suddenly, he felt tired. "You don't need to understand this. Just accept it." Without waiting for her reply, he turned away from her and looked at Everett. He knew that they could help him, but the concern wouldn't vanish.
Everett Ross had saved his life. He'd taken the bullet which was meant for him without hesitation. Why would he do that? He didn't want this to end yet. There were still so many things they didn't know about each other. So many things to tell. He wanted to show Everett Wakanda and in return, he wanted to see more of his life. He didn't even know where the other man was from. His past in the air force as a pilot was well-known to him, but next to that? Everett didn't talk that much about himself and T'Challa wanted to change that. He was unbelievingly curious about this man. Even the first time he'd seen him in Vienna, right after the death of his father, the appearance of Everett Ross had startled him, though at that time, T'Challa couldn't tell why. He had to watch him closely to realize that it was curiosity he felt. And it didn't take long until he liked that man, even if he was standing between him and his revenge.
He reached out carefully and touched Everett's cheek. Please be alright, he prayed.
The first thing Everett noticed when he woke up was the hard surface he was lying on. That, and that he wasn't in pain, which surprised him since he got shot. Honestly, he was surprised that he was even still alive. When he'd thrown himself between T'Challa and the attackers, he wasn't sure if this wouldn't be the last thing he did. However, he didn't regret it. Saving T'Challa would have been worth it.
Slowly, he opened his eyes and blinked against the light surrounding him.
"Finally you're awake!" A voice close to him exclaimed and when he sat up, he saw that it was T'Challa. The king of Wakanda looked tired, but there was a smile on his lips. "How are you feeling?"
"Honestly, I'd expected worse after getting shot like this." He muttered and tried to feel the bullet wound on his back, but there was nothing. Just smooth skin. "But I don't feel anything."
"A little later and even we wouldn't have been able to help you anymore." The sadness in T'Challa's voice was obvious. "It was very close."
"Wait, where are we?" Everett asked, startled by his words. Well, and maybe also by the sad look on T'Challa's face. Was this because he was feeling guilty that Everett had taken the bullet for him and nearly died? Or just because he'd nearly died? He wasn't so sure.
"We're in Wakanda." T'Challa explained. "It was the only place where we could help you."
He stared at the other man. "Honestly, I'd expected my first visit here to be different."
This let a small, tired smile appear on T'Challa's lips. "Me too."
"Thanks for saving me." Everett said.
T'Challa raised his eyebrows. "Shouldn't I be the one thanking you? The bullet was meant for me."
He shook his head. "You don't have to thank me. I knew what I was doing."
"You nearly died." T'Challa sounded anxious while saying this. He could see the tension in his shoulders.
"I didn't." He said simply and smiled at T'Challa. There were so many other things he would have liked to say, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. I'd do it again without hesitation. It was worth it. Your safety is more important than mine.
"Oh, he's awake!" Another loud voice interrupted their conversation, which made them both flinch, and a young woman walked towards them. She grinned at Everett. "Finally, I thought T'Challa would sit here and wait for you forever!"
T'Challa didn't look too pleased to see her, but he smiled. "Everett, this is my sister Shuri." So his assumption had been right. T'Challa's little sister, the genius.
"Nice to meet you." He said and meant it. T'Challa had already told him a few stories about his sister and it was obvious that the two of them were very close.
"You too, Agent Ross." She exclaimed happily.
"Call me Everett, please." He threw in quickly.
"Everett." Shuri repeated his name. "How are you feeling?"
"Very good." He replied. "Which surprises me. Normally, I should be dead after this." From the corner of his eyes, he saw that T'Challa turned away from them. Everett suspected that he wanted to hide some kind of reaction from them.
Shuri grinned at her brother. "You see? I've told you a million times that he'll be fine once he wakes up!"
"Shuri!" T'Challa hissed and turned to her again slowly, but his sister just ignored him and looked at Everett once more.
"He's been sitting next to you for hours and refused to leave your side. Even if he's needed somewhere else. The council wants to discuss the events with Klaue. And they can't do that without the king." She gestured at T'Challa, who looked quite embarrassed now.
"You didn't have to neglect your duties because of me." Everett muttered, suddenly feeling uncomfortable because of all the attention he was getting.
"I wanted to stay by your side." T'Challa said reassuringly. "I had to make sure that you're alright." At this, Everett's heart started to beat faster, though he wasn't completely sure what this meant. Did the king of Wakanda feel guilty and stayed here because of that, or was he concerned about Everett's well-being?
"They asked for you again." Shuri threw in. "They don't understand what takes you so long."
"Just go." Everett said. "You don't have to stay here for me. This seems to be important."
T'Challa glanced at Shuri. "You won't bother him too much when I'll leave you two here for some time?"
"Of course not." She grinned, but it didn't seem to convince T'Challa since he sighed once more. The king of Wakanda stood up.
"I'll be back soon." He promised and right before he walked through the door, he hesitated again and looked over his shoulder. Their eyes met and Everett smiled at him again. Then T'Challa left him alone with Shuri.
For a few moments, they just looked at each other in silence. However, he could already see the curious look on her face. "What do you want to know?"
She tried to look innocent. "Who says that I want to know anything?"
He raised his eyebrows. "Your brother already told me that you're very curious. Especially concerning outsiders."
"It seems like he told you even more than expected." Shuri noted. "Alright, so you're a CIA agent? Former air force pilot?" This question was just the first one of far too many. However, it was kind of nice to talk to Shuri. Everett liked her. She even told him a few things about the technology in Wakanda.
Until they were interrupted by Shuri's communicator. It was Okoye, who didn't look pleased. "Where's T'Challa? His Kimoyo Beads have been switched off."
"Well, we are not joined at the hip, Okoye." Shuri replied.
"A man showed up at the border who claims to have killed Klaue."
"W'Kabi is transporting him, as we speak, to the palace. We need to find your brother!"
"An outsider?" Shuri asked incredulously.
"No, a Wakandan." Okoye said darkly and a picture of a man appeared on the screen.
Everett stood up slowly and shook his head. "He's not a Wakandan. He's one of ours." He muttered.
He really didn't expect his time in Wakanda to be like this. First, the bullet wound. Then the appearance of Erik Killmonger, as he called himself. A man Everett knew from several reports about his time in the army. The son of king T'Chaka's brother, who hated Wakanda for everything that happened in his past. The man who'd challenged T'Challa for the throne.
The man who killed T'Challa and was king of Wakanda now.
Everett didn't even get a chance to speak to T'Challa again. The last time he'd seen him before all this happened was when he'd left the laboratory after promising to be back soon. There had been a smile on T'Challa's lips. Relief and happiness mixed with something he couldn't quite place had been on his face.
Even if the circumstances hadn't been the best, Everett had been happy to be in Wakanda. It would mean being able to spend more time with T'Challa. But then he'd seen the picture of Erik Killmonger and everything changed.
Now he was on the run together with Nakia, Shuri and Ramonda, T'Challa's and Shuri's mother. They were searching for a way through the country, trying to get to a place where they would be safe for now. However, Everett didn't remember much of their escape. Ever since Nakia and Shuri had told him that T'Challa was dead, he was feeling numb. Should it really end like this? He wasn't even sure if he would survive his trip to Wakanda, but he didn't care about that. Now that T'Challa was gone, everything else just seemed... useless.
That's when it happened. They were just on their way to the territory of the Jabari tribe to save the last Heart-Shaped Herb when Everett realized it. He was in love with the king of Wakanda! A man he knew for a little more than two months now. First, that realization surprised him and he nearly stumbled over his own feet, but then an incredible sadness overtook him. Together with anger. He wanted to make those who killed T'Challa pay for what they did.
They'd warned him before that going to Jabariland was dangerous, especially for him, but Everett only realized what this meant when they were standing in front of M'Baku and he felt his gaze on him. It was obvious that he would have liked to kill him, the outsider in his territory. But then Nakia showed M'Baku the Heart-Shaped Herb and a thoughtful look appeared on his face.
"Come with me." He said and they exchanged surprised glances before they all followed him. While doing that, Nakia and Shuri walked on both sides of Everett, shielding him from possible dangers. He felt honoured by this. It was good to know that he wasn't completely alone in Wakanda, now that T'Challa was gone.
M'Baku led them to a small hut and gestured for them to enter it. Nakia was the first to go in and inhaled sharply. "Impossible." She whispered and Everett's heart stopped when he saw what caught her attention.
A few healers were kneeling next to a man who was lying in the snow. He was pale and his eyes were closed, but it was obvious that he was still breathing.
"He's in a coma, barely clinging to life." M'Baku broke the silence in the hut. "One of our fisherman found him at the edge of the river border. He brought him to me."
When Shuri, Ramonda and M'Baku started to discuss what to do now, Everett could only listen to them in silence. His eyes were fixed on T'Challa's face. Maybe there really was a chance to save him and win this war. A chance to get to know T'Challa better once all this was over.
But would Everett ever have a place in his life? Except for T'Challa's family and friends, the Wakandans wouldn't accept him, that was obvious. Even Okoye didn't accept him and she was so close to T'Challa. When M'Baku looked at him, Everett could also feel how much it bothered the leader of the Jabari tribe to have him here.
No, their lives were far too different. It had just been a dream. He would always be an outsider here, there was no place for him in Wakanda. Once all this was over, he should return to his normal life as a CIA agent. Not a friend of the Avengers or the king of Wakanda. Just the normal, boring Everett Ross, who had an even more boring life.
But first, he had to help saving Wakanda and make sure that T'Challa was alright.
"We must bury him." Ramonda explained and they all helped her with it. And then Everett prayed like he'd never done before.
"Please wake up, T'Challa." He whispered as quietly as possible. His eyes met Nakia's, who was kneeling on T'Challa's other side and the woman smiled weakly. In this moment, Everett was sure that she knew about his feelings for T'Challa.
When T'Challa finally woke up, gasping for air and looking around in confusion, Everett felt like he could finally breathe again. First, T'Challa's gaze fell on his mother and she wrapped her arms around him tightly.
Everett stood up and took a few steps back to give them all some space. Because then T'Challa saw Nakia and Shuri, who were also relieved to have him back. Slowly, T'Challa also seemed to realize where he was. His eyes fell on M'Baku and suddenly, the king of Wakanda tensed. His eyes scanned the room frantically... until they landed on Everett. Their eyes met and Everett felt his lips turning into a wide, relieved smile. He felt something wet in his eyes, but didn't dare to wipe the tears away, afraid that someone might notice that he was crying then. Suddenly, it was like all the tension in T'Challa's body vanished and he sank back into the snow.
"Do you have a blanket?" He asked no one in particular and Shuri chuckled in relief.
They helped T'Challa to his feet and Ramonda asked one of the healers for a blanket which T'Challa accepted gladly. M'Baku was still watching the scene in silence, but then he looked at another healer. "Get the king some clothes!" He muttered and the woman ran away quickly. Then M'Baku fixed his eyes on T'Challa again. "We need to talk."
T'Challa nodded seriously, but before he could reply, M'Baku left the hut.
"What happened?" T'Challa asked slowly and raised his eyebrows. He still looked tired.
"Killmonger took over the throne and we had to escape." Shuri explained shortly.
"She stayed in the palace." Nakia answered the question. "I couldn't convince her to join us."
T'Challa sighed. "I feared this." He muttered. Then he turned to Everett for the first time since he woke up. "You're here." T'Challa's lips twitched and there was wonder in his voice, mixed with relief.
"Thanks to your sister and Nakia." Everett nodded.
"We couldn't leave him there." Shuri threw in. "I don't think that they would have hesitated very long to kill him."
"Thank you." T'Challa said, but at her words, he'd flinched, even if he'd tried to hide it.
"That's what we're there for." Shuri grinned. Then the healer came back with warm clothes for T'Challa, which he accepted gladly. Once he was dressed, he breathed in deeply.
"We should go and talk to M'Baku." He decided and they all nodded.
However, before they could leave the hut, T'Challa touched Everett's shoulder carefully. "I'm sorry." He whispered sadly.
He frowned. "What for?"
"You're only here because of me." T'Challa explained. "I've brought you in danger by taking you to Wakanda."
"This is not your fault." He replied sternly. "And besides, you saved my life. Without you, I wouldn't be here anymore at all."
T'Challa sighed. "This should have been differently."
"It is what it is." Everett said. "I'm just so glad that you're alright."
At this, T'Challa smiled weakly. "Me too."
"Killmonger has the full support of our military. And he burned the garden of the Heart-Shaped Herb." Nakia explained and T'Challa would have loved to scream. They were in M'Baku's throne room now and discussed the current situation.
"Of course he did." Everett replied calmly and T'Challa looked at him. When he'd woken up and didn't see Everett with the others, he'd panicked once more, afraid that something might have happened to him. After all, Killmonger was king now and Everett was an outsider. T'Challa couldn't stand the thought that something happened to the other man. Especially not when he was responsible for all this. Because he brought him to Wakanda in the first place.
"That's what he was trained to do." Everett continued and crossed his arms. "His unit used to work with the CIA to destabilize foreign countries. They would always strike at transitions of power... like an election year or the death of a monarch. You get control of government, the military -"
"Our resources." T'Challa finished his sentence. "The Great Mound."
"Our Vibranium. All of my designs." Shuri whispered in horror.
"He will send our weapons all over the world." T'Challa's mind was racing. They had to prevent this! But how? He turned to Nakia. "You must get them out of Wakanda safely." He couldn't bear having his family in the middle of this war.
"What?" Ramonda asked incredulously.
"What about you?" Shuri added.
"The challenge will have to continue." T'Challa said simply and could feel Everett's eyes on him. The CIA agent looked troubled.
"T'Challa, we will not leave Wakanda." His mother said sternly.
"It's my duty to keep you safe." He replied calmly.
"If he gets control of our technology, we won't be safe anywhere." Shuri muttered. She pulled something from her pocket and he realized that it was a necklace. She'd saved his suit. He smiled. "The Black Panther lives. And when he fights for the fate of Wakanda, I will be right there beside him." His sister exclaimed determinedly.
"As will I." Nakia added.
"I'm in too." Everett said suddenly and they all stared at him. "What? You're going to need all the help you can get." He said and crossed his arms. There was a determined look on his face, T'Challa had seen it before in Vienna. He knew that there was no way to change his mind.
Suddenly, they were interrupted by M'Baku and T'Challa spoke to him in private. Luckily, M'Baku would let his mother stay at the Jabari territory while the battle was taking place. However, the Jabari wouldn't help them in this fight. He'd already expected this.
So it was just the four of them. Nakia, Shuri, Everett and T'Challa. They would have to save Wakanda alone.
He just hoped that it would work out.
"T'Challa?" A soft voice behind him asked just as the sun had vanished in the distance and he knew that it was Shuri. "Are you alright?"
He didn't turn around to face her. "I killed him." He whispered.
"You didn't have a choice." She replied softly and sat down next to him.
"I wonder if things would have been different if Wakanda had accepted him as a child."
"You'll never know that." Shuri said slowly.
"I want to make changes in the future." He'd thought about it a lot in the past hour or however long he'd been sitting there. "Help others, share our knowledge with the world..."
"I'll help you with it. And I'm sure Nakia is also in." She hesitated. "And Everett."
This name made T'Challa look at her. "How is he?" He demanded to know.
She chuckled. "Don't worry, your man is fine. He's tough. Destroyed all the ships on their way to the border on his own. When he left the air force, it was a great loss for them. He's very good. You should have seen him fly. He even continued when they were starting to attack the laboratory."
He froze. "He did what?"
"He risked his life to save Wakanda." Shuri explained with a smile. "The second time by now, as you might remember."
How could he ever forget that? Everett had nearly died to save him twice now?
"Stop feeling guilty." She ripped him out of his thoughts. "He doesn't regret a thing, I talked to him after the battle."
"Where is he?" Only now he realized that he'd let Everett alone in a situation where many people might still be angry at outsiders.
"He's with Nakia and Okoye. I would never let him alone where it's not safe." She winked at him and he relaxed slowly, though a few doubts stayed.
"Did Okoye say anything to him?" He wanted to know.
"She thanked him for saving Wakanda." Shuri explained. "Just like many others. He's a hero now."
T'Challa closed his eyes. "I'm so glad that this is over."
"We all are." Shuri smiled. "From now on, everything will get better." Suddenly, she stood up. "And now let's go back, your man is waiting for you." She held out her hand to T'Challa and he took it.
"I don't know what to do." He admitted. "About Everett."
Shuri raised her eyebrows. "Ever thought about just kissing him? He's crazy about you! Just like you are about him. When we all thought that you were dead, he stopped speaking at all. You're very important to him. And remember how you were sitting at his bed when you thought that the bullet would kill him?" She rolled her eyes. "I've never seen two idiots more in love than the two of you and you didn't manage to speak yet!"
"We know each other for two months." He stated.
"Does it matter?" Shuri asked. "You like him, don't you?"
He nodded. To be honest, he didn't just like him.
"Then give it a try."
"It could ruin his life." T'Challa sighed. "He won't have it easy here. And he's still working for the CIA."
"I bet you can figure something out." Shuri smiled slightly. "Maybe they would need an expert for Wakanda? Someone who can act as a middleman between our country and the world."
He looked at her in surprise. "That idea isn't so bad." He had to admit.
She laughed. "I'm a genius, stop questioning my ideas."
He grinned. "I can't wait for you to meet Tony Stark at that wedding in a few months."
Shuri chuckled. "You know that I'll behave then. After all, it's his big day. I would never ruin that." There was a mischievous gleam in her eyes. "After the wedding, however..."
After everything that happened, it was good to talk with his sister about other things. When they reached the palace where the others were waiting for them, there still was a smile on T'Challa's lips.
Everett stood on the roof of the palace in Wakanda and looked at the city in front of him. He was still trying to process the events of the past days. First, South Korea. Then the bullet wound and waking up in Wakanda. Erik Killmonger and the battle for the throne. The trip to Jabari territory and the battle afterwards. How he'd saved Wakanda with one of their jets. And now T'Challa was king again and Wakanda was undoing the damage Killmonger had caused.
Was the battle just yesterday? It felt like a long time ago already.
He breathed in deeply and took in the scenery in front of him. He would have to leave Wakanda soon. Most probably, Secretary Ross and many others at the CIA were already wondering where he was. Then, he would never return again. It was better this way. T'Challa deserved someone better than him. This could never work.
"It's beautiful, isn't it?" A voice behind him asked and then T'Challa stepped next to him.
"It is." Everett agreed with a smile. "Even better when there isn't a war."
T'Challa chuckled. "Peace has returned to Wakanda, that's true." The king agreed. "And soon, we will go out into the world and help others."
"So the council has agreed?" There had been a meeting this morning. T'Challa couldn't wait a second longer to inform them about his decision.
"Reluctantly, but yes, they did."
"Did you expect anything else? After years of isolation, it was obvious that they wouldn't be thrilled by such big changes." Everett threw in.
"That's true." T'Challa sounded thoughtful now. "I need to ask you something."
This caught his attention and he turned so that he was facing the other man completely. "What is it?"
"We know many things about the world, but they don't know anything about Wakanda. They don't understand us and I'm sure that it will take time until we're fully accepted. It would be helpful to have someone out there to represent us. Someone they trust." T'Challa smiled hesitantly. "I would be honoured if you would take that position."
Everett stared at him. "You want me to be the representative of Wakanda?" He asked incredulously. "But shouldn't that be someone from your country?"
"You are one of us now." T'Challa said simply, taking him by surprise again.
"What?" He could only looked at him questioningly.
"You helped saving our country." T'Challa explained. "Most people call you a hero now."
"The white hero, I know." Everett didn't like that name and rolled his eyes. "Shuri already told me about it this morning."
"You're always welcome here." Now he sounded serious.
"I will still be an outsider." Everett ran a hand through his hair. He knew that it would he hard to do this now since he wanted nothing more than to say yes, but he shook his head slowly. Most probably, this would break his heart, but it was the right think to do. "Look, T'Challa. I feel honoured by this offer, but I can't possibly accept this. It's too much."
He tried to ignore the hurt look on T'Challa's face and continued before the other man could speak. "I just don't belong here. I will never be a real part of your country, I mean, just look at me. It's obvious that I'm a stranger. If I wouldn't have helped you in the battle, I'm sure that I would get many unhappy looks once I leave the palace." He sighed. "I should just go back to Europe. Or the US. Ross wants me in New York, though I don't know why. I think..." Now that he was about to do it, the words just wouldn't come out. I think it's better if we don't see each other again. He couldn't say it.
"Everett..." T'Challa whispered and there was still this sad and disappointed expression on his face. But then the king of Wakanda breathed in deeply and looked completely calm again. "I understand your decision and respect your wishes." It felt just so wrong when T'Challa said this, it broke his heart. "But you should know that you'll never be an outsider here. You always have a place in Wakanda."
He swallowed, his mouth suddenly feeling dry. "Thank you." He muttered.
"When will you leave?" Even if T'Challa tried to hide it, he could hear the pain in his voice.
"As soon as possible." He whispered. "They said that they might be able to fly me to Rome tomorrow. From there, I'll find my own way back."
"There's no way we'll just drop you somewhere." T'Challa said sternly. "I'll tell my people to bring you wherever you want."
"You don't have to do that." He replied softly. "It's fine, really."
"You always say that." The other man whispered. "You're always putting other things first. Your job, the needs of others. When was the last time you did something for yourself, Everett?"
"You're also putting Wakanda first." He said, startled by this question.
To his surprise, T'Challa smiled sadly and shook his head. "You would be surprised by how selfish I am."
"You and selfish?" He couldn't imagine that and his lips twitched. "I would like to see that."
They looked at each other for some time and Everett could see several emotions in T'Challa's brown eyes. He understood some of them, but others he couldn't quite place. Suddenly, the king of Wakanda leaned forward slowly, giving him enough time to back away. However, this was the last thing Everett wanted.
Their lips met hesitantly at first and it was a strange feeling to kiss someone who was taller than him. When T'Challa was sure that Everett wouldn't pull away, he deepened the kiss and placed his hands on his shoulders carefully. It was even better than he'd imagined, kissing the king of Wakanda. Everett's heart was beating wildly in his chest and suddenly, he couldn't resist the urge to pull the other man closer anymore. He wrapped his arms around T'Challa's waist and the other man gasped in surprise. However, he didn't pull away but instead, he tightened his told on Everett's shoulders.
He couldn't tell how long they'd kissed each other, but when they parted, they were both breathing heavily.
"Wow." Everett whispered, not sure what else he could say. He smiled at T'Challa and suddenly, all his previous fears were forgotten.
"That fits quite well." T'Challa chuckled. They still had their arms wrapped around each other. "You see? I am selfish."
"Honestly, I don't mind." He admitted.
"What about all this 'I have to leave'?" This time, T'Challa's voice was more hesitant.
"I was trying to do the right thing." He tried to explain. "The king of Wakanda shouldn't chose someone like me."
"Someone like you?" T'Challa raised his eyebrows.
"A white man who's served in the air force for years, then accepted an offer from the CIA. He still has nightmares sometimes and is completely rule-obsessed. Though I have to admit that the past months changed that quite a lot. Dealing with the Avengers so much has a bad influence on me." He smiled slightly at this. "I can't give you anything." The last words were barely a whisper.
"I don't see you like that." T'Challa argued softly. "When I look at you, I see a man who knows what he wants. You're so self-confident and you're always doing the right thing, even if it might cause trouble for you. You don't hesitate to take risks for others. I was never this curious about another person. Everything just seems to be so easy with you and you never fail to make me laugh. Honestly, I want to know everything about you. And I want to tell you so many things. I want to show you my life. I want you to be part of my life. If you let me in." His expression turned serious. "That's up to you. I wanted you since the first time I saw you in Vienna."
Everett chuckled. "Honestly, I wasn't happy to see all of you on that day. I was furious. Especially since I knew that most of the Avengers would be with you, including Tony Stark. By now, you know that he's a handful to deal with." He grinned. "That was before I saw you."
He hesitated. "I thought I was crazy, you know? Because falling in love with the king of Wakanda is a bad idea."
T'Challa made a surprised noise. "I don't think it's a bad idea at all." He whispered and touched Everett's cheek. He closed his eyes.
"Do you really think we can make this work?"
"I'm sure of it." And then T'Challa's lips were on his again, making him forget about everything else. This time, their kiss didn't last that long, but when they parted, they were both smiling. T'Challa took his hand. "So you'll stay?"
He nodded. "Though I have to go back someday." He warned him. "After all, the representative of Wakanda has to be out there to deal with things."
T'Challa's eyes were shining. "And your job at the CIA?"
Everett shrugged. "I think Secretary Ross will find someone else for that."
T'Challa smiled. "You know, being our representative would mean that you have to know very much about our country. Which means that you should stay here very much to get to know everything."
"Sounds tempting." He smiled slightly.
"Come on, let me show you around." Suddenly, T'Challa sounded excited and Everett chuckled.
"Don't you have other duties as king?"
"Not today." T'Challa grinned. "Even a king can have a few hours to himself. Now come on!" He pulled him towards the stairs and Everett followed him willingly. For the first time in years, Everett Ross felt completely happy.
About a year later
"No, you know that it's not that easy." Everett said into the phone and walked around the next corner. The streets in New York were crowded as always. "I'll have to talk to them again tomorrow."
"If this doesn't work, then just drop it, love." T'Challa said on the other end of the line. "I'm sure we'll find another city that accepts our offer."
He chuckled. "You just want me to come back to Wakanda a little earlier."
"Is that such a bad thing?" T'Challa asked. "That I want to see my fiancé again?"
"I've only been gone for a week." Everett smiled.
"Far too long for my liking." Was the simple reply.
"I'll see what I can do." He promised. Suddenly, there was a loud crash close by and he heard people scream. "Something happened, I've got to go."
"Be careful." T'Challa sounded concerned now.
"I always am. I love you." Everett said.
"I love you too." Was the last thing T'Challa said before he ended the call.
When Everett ran around the next corner, he saw what had caused the noises. A very big, ugly spaceship was standing in the middle of the street. In front of it, he could see three figures. One of them was Tony Stark, the next one Bruce Banner, but Everett didn't know the last one. He was tall, with black hair and he wore some kind of blue suit with a red cape.
He swallowed, knowing that he'd just run right into a battle.
Thanks for reading! So what do you think? :)
I've left me the possibility to write more about Everett and T'Challa. For example what happened between their first kiss and the events in New York. I think you already know what will happen there? But that's another story (I will come back to that scene in my next story about Tony and Steve within this series). Would you like to read more about Everett and T'Challa? Please let me know!