Christie ran into the newest S.H.I.E.L.D base, and both Renesme and Delilah had welcomed her on arrival and she stepped through the main doors. She smiled at each trusted S.H.I.E.L.D agent as she passed them and they all smiled back, all of them knowing full well that she could be trusted.
Well – nearly all of them.
Christie swiftly made her way into Fury's recovery room where he was sat on his laptop, with a glass of chilled apple juice on the small table next to him, and he saluted her with a smirk. "I gotta say Agent Darmer, ya did good," he complimented her, with such pride in his voice that it made Christie's pale skin blush.
"Thank you sir, as did you," she hummed, ducking her head slightly before she remembered why she was there in the first place. "But I'm actually here because I think I've figured something out, and I need you to tell me if I'm crazy or not - cos I know you out of everyone would."
"Oh yeah? And what might that be exactly?" Fury frowned curiously before taking a sip of his juice.
"Loki's…Loki's alive, I know it, I just know it," Christie blurted out, mightily aware how insane she must've sounded. She winced and waited for Fury's reaction, which she assumed would be for her to stop talking rubbish - but was shocked to hear him let out a simple sigh instead.
"That creepy lil dude just doesn't stay dead does he?" he murmured.
"Well…no, apparently not," Christie shrugged with a small smirk before sitting down on the chair next to his bed. But before they could continue the conversation, Agent Hill stepped in with an extremely confused faced Natasha and Steve. Natasha's eyes grew dark at the sight of Christie and, without hesitation, she leapt over to her to roughly shove her onto the floor. But Christie got there before she could, grabbing her shoulders and spinning her round so that she had pinned Natasha down instead.
"Yikes - still sloppy, Tash. You have a bullet wound in you but you still tried it, huh?" Christie tutted playfully, still wrestling her onto the floor. Steve hovered awkwardly, half wanting to step in, but then half knowing that the girls would eat him alive if he even tried to get involved.
"Miss Romanoff, please get up off the damn floor," Fury told her loudly, the boredom lingering in his voice.
"First of all, you're meant to be dead – secondly, she's been double crossing you the entire time," Natasha hissed as Christie rolled her eyes and let go of her in disgust.
"My god, you really are a fantastic idiot," she muttered, standing up in one go. "If you must know, I was doing the opposite of half the agents in this damn organisation - working with HYDRA to feed Fury information - and as you can clearly see, it paid off. He's alive because of me and we busted the sh*t out of HYDRA - so do hold the applause."
"I told you it probably wasn't as bad as you thought it was," Steve hummed to Natasha under his breath, crossing his arms.
"So, if it was all 'just a mission' then explain the brand! You have a HYDRA brand and we all know what happens to those that have the brand," Natasha leapt to her feet as well, still injured but determined. "It's on your hip, right? Show them." Christie sighed and lifted her shirt, showing everyone in the room the HYDRA brand. Fury raised an eyebrow, considerably impressed of the lengths she went through on one mission. Then Christie raised a cocky brow of her own and reached down to pick at her skin, subsequently peeling off what appeared to be a thick flesh coloured sticker with the word HYDRA stamped onto it.
"Never existed clever clogs - the power of SFX makeup is real," she smirked smugly, flinging the sticker at Natasha's irritated face. "God, you really thought I'd betray this organisation in a heartbeat, huh? In fact, you were hoping I did!"
"Aside from the helicopter blunder, you were pretty smooth, I admit," Steve let out a small, jovial chuckle before turning serious again. "But… do you know what they're doing with The Winter Soldier?" Christie frowned at his question, unsure of who he was talking about. This wasn't the first 'Winter Soldier' she had read about, so whether or not it was the same one Steve was talking about was the question.
"Who? Who, you mean James?" she frowned as she mentioned his name.
"…James? So it is Bucky!" Steve gaped in wonder, his eyes glazing over slightly at the thought of his old best friend not only being alive, but also now being an assassin for a terrorist organisation.
But everyone else was confused.
"Wait, so you know the guy?" Fury blinked at Steve in shock. Christie raked her memory, knowing this sudden revelation had answered at least one of her many questions deep down, but struggling to remember which one.
But then, within a few more seconds, she finally realised which one it was.
"SO YOU'RE THE STEVE HE WAS TALKING ABOUT, IT IS YOU!" she jumped up suddenly with an amused yelp. "Yes Steve he remembers you, you know each other! The dude said he knew a Steve!"
"Ohhhh so let me guess, over time you've grown to like the evil HYDRAnated assassin as per your everyday character arc?" Natasha began, rolling her eyes heavily as the medic tended to her wound. Christie blushed at her assumption and glanced away. If it were that simple, James would be saved by now and they'd be running off into the sunset with her grabbing his metal arm.
And clearly - that wasn't the case.
That evening, Christie sat snuggled up on her sofa alone whilst scrolling through her information tablets - when suddenly, her front door burst open, making her jump. Mostly because she never got visitors anyway…let alone visitors able to burst down her metal door.
Of course, there stood James himself. "
James?" Christie gasped over at his abrupt presence. "God, please don't do that again, the silent assassin thing is only okay when it's me-"
"Who am I?" James interrupted her by asking. Christie suddenly fell silent, unsure of how to answer such a specific question.
"W-what?" she finally spluttered out.
"Who am I?" James repeated blandly, his eyes pleading for an answer as Christie slowly began to approach him with her storkatts prowling curiously on either side of her.
"You're…wait, why do you wanna know so badly? What triggered this?"
"Just tell me? I know I've done some terrible things and I-I-I don't know who I am anymore-" James begged desperately. Christie shook her head, grabbing his human hand with one hand and attempting to shut the front door behind him with the other.
"Just shut up and get in here," she told him slowly, dragging him inside. He staggered in and she finally managed to shut the door behind him, locking it shut as well. The storkatts recognised James' scent, so they decided to prowl around the apartment instead before finally finding a comfortable place to settle down and sleep for the night. James sat himself down on one of the plush leather sofas and Christie sat beside him, wondering where to start but also how to keep him as calm as possible. She didn't know what mental state he was in right now, and the last thing she wanted to do was to trigger him to do something stupid. "James…what happened?"
"I was fighting one of the guys on the bridge and he said a name – I knew it was me that he was referring to even though I didn't recognise him or the name too well…but, did I know him? Just tell me the truth."
"Yes, you did know him," Christie nodded immediately. She didn't want to lie to him anymore - enough was enough now. "You did know him, you definitely did. I don't know if you remember, but you told me about a guy called Steve once and I said I knew a Steve too? Turns out it's the same guy that I knew. Captain America, Steve Rogers? He was your friend." James' dull eyes began to flicker as he concentrated harder on the name. "What, you don't remember him?" Christie asked anxiously.
"I don't know…I just can't remember anything. But this guy, jogged something in me – I think I'm starting to remember stuff and I don't want to forget it…I'm scared," he whispered croakily. Christie tucked her hair behind her ear as she was a little lost for words, but the hair just fell forward again - so James fixed it for her instead with his only human hand, before moving his hand to cup her cheek. "I don't expect you to have all the answers by the way. You've done so much for me already." Christie smiled shyly into the palm of his hand. He was so sweet to her; so incredibly gentle. He always had been - and she felt terrible about the fact that she had pretty much been leading him on all this time.
She just couldn't move on from the man she was still hopelessly in love with - particularly now that she was convinced he was alive.
"I'm…I'm sorry for running off on you the other day…I had a bit of an epiphany," she apologised quietly, as she distantly heard her storkatts purr peacefully in the background.
"Yeah, I guessed. Are…are you still in love with your old boyfriend? Because I can and will back off, I realise this whole thing is…pretty bizarre," James told her honestly, his eyes almost begging her to say no but his smile giving a ray of comfort that allowed her to believe that it was okay to decline. Christie clenched her jaw uncomfortably at the question and thought about it carefully. Of course she was in love with her 'old boyfriend', so much so that it was hurting her. But realistically, she couldn't risk an entire trip back to Asgard based on a hunch - not without talking to Thor first at least, and she had no idea where he was either.
Could she? Should she? If Loki loved her so much, why the hell didn't he reveal himself before she left?
That wasn't love. Allowing someone to grieve knowing full well that you were perfectly fine is not love.
"Listen, I'm not saying I can just 'move on'…I am saying that it's a possibility…in the future maybe at some point perhaps," Christie concluded reluctantly, shuddering slightly at the thought of letting Loki go, but attempting to accept it with each word she spoke. James picked up on the uncertainty in her tone, but that was enough for him as he smiled, joy clearly radiating off his face.
"I've been waiting for those words for as long as I can remember…literally," he told her as he slowly started to bring her face closer.
"Oh, so you mean like…yesterday?" Christie let out an amused laugh, before closing the gap between them, finally. "Listen, regardless of what we are - I won't let them ruin you anymore. It's time to take action, they're done, I'm done with HYDRA, okay?" she panted once they broke apart from their kiss. James leaned in again - when suddenly, there was the sound of commotion coming from outside. Christie sighed, knocking her head back. She knew that they were back. She leapt up and immediately rushed both the storkatts into the spare room to ensure they didn't get too violent, whilst James automatically got up and assisted her panic. Once they were safely put away, she whacked her front door open, ran up the stairs two steps at a time and burst outside, ensuring her hands were firmly on the gun she took with her. James followed close behind her.
"You're time with us is over, Darmer!" came Pierce's irritated voice as they stepped out to the glare of white lights and helicopters surrounding the home. "You double crossed us and now it's time to finish this off for good." Four agents came out of nowhere and dragged James backwards into the nearby van, even though now both Christie and himself were shouting and struggling.
"It will be okay! Everything will be okay!" James reminded her as he was shoved into a big black shiny van.
"No it won't ever be okay! It never f*cking is," Christie cried, whacking the agents like mad as she attempted to scramble out of their grip.
"I…love you," James reminded her calmly, causing the agent to stare at him as if he was mad. "No matter what they do to me I love you. Okay?!" Christie nodded and watched the big black van doors slam shut, when she just realised what she didn't say back.
But she couldn't because she didn't.
She didn't love him because loving someone other than Loki didn't even feel humanely possible, especially not after all she had been through with him. It was ridiculous but it was true.
"Don't forget who you are!" she screamed instead, finally breaking free from the agent's grips and running up to the van before it could drive off, slamming the door repeatedly over and over again. She even didn't know if James could hear her in there. But he definitely did, hanging his head down as his heart shattered into pieces, knowing that in a few minutes he wouldn't remember this moment. Christie turned around as the black van sped off to face the few agents that were left there, pulled out her pistol and shot all three of them almost instantaneously, one after the other, now having no sympathy for anyone that got in her way.
She was done with it all.
That is the end of Christie's mini story! She'll now be rejoining her sister Ashley's journey in Naturesque: A Fall Of Freedom…thank you for reading! x