~What's In It For Me~

Two Weeks Later

"I'm being serious Rogers, I know nothing about art. I can probably make stick figures, and oh! A perfect circle! I have perfected the art of circle making, fear my power!" Alex was trying to show him her prefect circles but they somehow always ended up as disfigured ovals, and her endless amount of attempts to prove that she could made him threw his head back and laughed. How they had gone from the anti-establishment movement in the sixties to discussing about art was a mystery to him, but he had an idea that Alex did it on purpose to diffuse the obvious tension that was in the air when the topic of Vietnam was brought up. In the past two weeks, Alex was somehow able to review the fifties in two sessions, the Korean War a major topic that blew his mind.

"Three years of fighting and nothing resulted in it?"

"Pretty much. They just ended up back where they started. The North wanted to spread Communism through the South but was opposed harshly. Even though America didn't declare a war with the North, we still joined forces with the South to stop its totalitarian rule. China sided with the North and basically had a three-year war that ended at the 49th parallel. A Demilitarized Zone that is basically impenetrable. And since a peace treaty was never signed, technically, the North and the South are still at war."

'But wouldn't Korea and Vietnam be the same situation then?' A thought that plagued Steve immensely through their history lesson; mostly, because he couldn't understand why they were two different situations. Which were the main reasons why they couldn't pass through the sixties and early seventies as quickly or as easily. Steve was getting frustrated with the Anti-Establishment Movement 'how could people be against fighting for their country?' completely for the Civil Rights Movement 'honestly, everyone should have equal rights by now,' and the war of Vietnam just downright frustrated him to no end. 'We had the right to contain Communism, but was war really a good way to go about it?'

"I should have been there." Steve sat with his head in his hands; slightly tugging on his neatly combed back hair. The laughter in the air slowly drained away, the art sketches no longer had their attention. Alex sat still; she knew that her distraction method no longer held Steve's attention. They both sat in the library of the mansion with multiple books laid out before them. The session only started a few hours ago, and Steve's head was ready to explode. Alex rubbed his back in soothing circles, something she found out that helped relax the super soldier when he was under extreme stress. Which had been a lot in the past two weeks.

"Breath Steve. It's only been two weeks since we started and only four months since you woke up. No one is expecting you to memorize and learn and accept everything by next week you know. Just take it slow, we'll take as much time as you need, and we won't move on until you get a grasp on it, okay? So just take a deep breath." Alex stood over Steve's form, as she just rubbed circles into his tensed shoulders.

"I just can't get over the fact that even after the war, there were more wars. Vietnam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Communism, Russia, Korea, President Kennedy's assassination; I could've been there. I should've been there. What would have happened if I hadn't crashed the plane into the ice? I—"

"Stop." Alex couldn't listen to Steve berate himself any longer, and if she put a little force into the command, then no one was the wiser. "Steve, stop blaming yourself for not being there. Without you, the Germans surely would've conquered Europe. Without you, America would've been bombed to Timbuktu. Without you, who would've given America hope when it needed it? You may not think of yourself as a hero, but everyone else does. Stop blaming yourself."

"It was my decision to crash the plane into the ice. I should've—"

"A wise man once told me: 'Any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for.' You had a dream to rid the world of bullies Steve, and you followed through on that. You went through a highly dangerous experiment because you wanted to fight for your country. What was it that you told me last week when you rescued the 107th battalion? 'I'm just a kid from Brooklyn?' How could a kid from Brooklyn ever have the chance that you had? How could that same kid ever know what was going to happen? You had a chance, Steve, and you took it to save the world. No matter how hard you try, you can't. Save. Everyone. You can save people's lives Steve, but you can't save them from the struggle that life brings. You're human, a super soldier yes, but still human." Alex dropped her hands from Steve's shoulders and sat in her chair facing him. Steve wouldn't look at her, but she knew that he was thinking over what she said. So she sat patiently, waiting for him to speak.

"Alexandria!" Alex jumped up from her seat in surprise and let out a curse as her foot got tangled with the leg of Steve's chair. If it weren't for his steady hands on her waist, she surely would've have landed on his lap. Face red from embarrassment, she murmured her thanks quietly and righted herself to come face to face with Hank. Steve's hands lingered longer than necessary, but she didn't say anything about it as he stood behind her. "My dear, there's something we need to talk about."

"Hank? When did you get back? Is something wrong?" Alex was genuinely surprised to see Hank so soon after he left to tend to his duties as ambassador in Washington D.C. a few days prior. But her surprise quickly turned into concern. She couldn't put her finger on it, but something was off about her blue furry friend. Even though his mind didn't betray him, his emotions seem to be in a mixture of nervousness and dread. 'But what about?'

"I returned this morning from a meeting with Senator Brandt, and things are not fairing well in Capitol Hill." Hank moved over to a bookcase and was looking over the book titles as if he was searching for something to read. But Alex knew he wasn't actually reading them, just skimming them.

"Hank?" Something about the way that Hank was acting was not sitting well with Alex at all. Her attention fully shifted to him and everything else fell away. Her eyes dazed the longer she stared at Hank and she could start to see the Senator in what appeared to be in an oval room. Words started to flow in her head but were completely derailed when her concentration broke when a gentle touch brought her back. She turned in surprise to see concerned blue eyes starring down at her and Alex suddenly remembered about Steve.

"Is this a national concern Hank?" Steve's steady voice calmed Alex's nerves; enough to remind herself that she was suppose to be in charge around the mansion and for her team. She needed to act a little more like Captain America, and less like Cyclops when it came to situations such as these. 'Calm with a level head. I need to learn a few things from Steve, because Scott surely didn't have those qualities when he was under stress.'

"Oh Steven! I didn't realize you were here." Surprise swept over Hank's features, but his body language, Alex noted, didn't portray his shock, as if he already knew that Steve was here. 'So why act shocked at all?' Alex's eyes narrowed in suspicion, and Hank tensed his pinky in response, a move that she knew that meant he was stalling for time.

"That's all right Hank. How are you?" Steve moved forward towards the furry mutant and proceeded to shake his hand in greeting.

"Under these circumstances, I can't be for certain." Hank moved his eyes to catch Alex's briefly from her position still by the table layered with books. Her hands clenched in worry, because she knew now what Hank was trying to do. He wanted Steve to leave.

"Is there a problem Hank?"

"Nothing to concern yourself Steven, I can assure you. I only require Alex's assistance about an old….associate…of ours that has recently surfaced and we must take precautions." Alex had no idea who Hank was talking about, but if he wanted Steve to leave so they could talk, then she knew that that conversion wouldn't be a good one.

"Which means Steve has to leave, doesn't he? Hank, we just started the sixties."

"The sixties, a time in history that had Russia and America almost raging war over our heads in Cuba. A terrible memory I can't seem to forget."

"Wait, you were there during the Cuban Missile Crisis?" Steve seemed alarmed at this piece of information, knowing that someone he now considers a friend was there.

"Indeed I was." Silence lingered in the room, something that Alex couldn't take. Both men seemed to be lost in their thoughts and she didn't like the looks on their faces. Walking up to Hank slowly, she touched his arm gently, so as not to startle him. He looked up in surprise, but relaxed when he realized that she was there. "Forgive me. It seems my nerves are getting the best of me." He turned away, walking towards the door of the library when he stopped. "When your session is done here, please meet me in my office Alex. We have much to discuss." And with that, Hank walked out of the library.

"Alex." Steve approached her gently. Alex looked up at him lost, not knowing what was going on with her dear friend. He knew, because that look reflected his own when he looked in the mirror now a days. And seeing that look on her now, he decided that he never wanted to see it ever again. "If Hank really needs your help, then I can leave."


"It's all right. I can read this week's material on my own."

"Are you sure?"

"Of course. I'll probably walk around the city for a bit; see the sights. Maybe go to this café that I've been meaning to try." Alex didn't look convinced at all, and actually looked torn between duty to help him and concern for Hank. So he made the decision for her, even if he really wanted to stay at the mansion and keep going through their session together. "Really Alex, I'll be fine."

"If you say so." Alex walked towards the table littered with books and helped Steve pick up his required texts and newspaper clippings to read, she also gave him a list of movies to watch, and a couple of music vinyl for his record to hear. After collecting everything he needed, Steve left with a worried look over his shoulder and relaxed slightly when she smiled at him. Although, he would've felt a lot better if the smile was bigger.

Steve never intended to sit on a train heading towards New York City so late in the day, but here he was. The buildings passed by him, but his mind refused to register what was going on around him. He was mentally preparing himself for the short trek to the café he wanted to visit. 'I should have at least stayed in the manor. I did promise Luke I'd play cards with him.' Steve smiled thinking about the little boy he had grown attached to in the past two weeks. Ever since that morning where he gave him fruit, Luke had practically glued himself to Steve's side. But no one really knew why the introverted little boy went out of his way to be with him. But every time they were together, Hank would always smile knowingly. He once asked the scientist why Luke was so attached, but Hank wouldn't say. So he left it at that.

'Maybe I'll buy him something from the city. Alex did say that he hasn't left the manor since he arrived.' Getting off the train was harder than he thought it would be, but Steve managed to do it anyway. He just didn't expect to feel overwhelmed so quickly, but it was still a wonder to see. The flashing lights, the moving advertisements, the advanced technology; it was as if it all came from a science fiction novel he read when he was a child. Everyone appeared to be in a rush to get somewhere and no one talked to one another. In his time, people would have at least shout a greeting to each other. Cracking a smile, he remembered what Alex told him when he told her about the differences between their societies.


"And that's another word I don't seem to know." Alex smiled at his poor excuse of a joke, and Steve returned it sheepishly.

"Its when a person uses their own culture as a standard to evaluate another culture. In other words Steve, you're comparing our societies together. Growing up in the twenties, thirties, and forties was radically different than growing up in this time. Women can do things now that they couldn't do then, technology is vastly different compared to that of your time; music, food, television, everything is different. You're going to be walking around hoping to find something you recognize, only to realize it's not the same. I'm sure you've already experienced it Steve, but I want to warn you, that you'll find nothing that's the same."

Steve can admit that what Alex said broke whatever hope he had left about this new era he found himself in. He knew, logically, that nothing would be the same. But he had hoped that it wouldn't be true. He was also grateful that Alex told him the truth when no one else seemed to want to. Alex treated him like an actual person, and that was something that Steve appreciated more than anything. In fact, practically everyone at the mansion treated him normally, and that's more than what he could say about SHIELD. He looked up to see the sun barely setting over New York's skyline when he saw a scantily dressed woman on a huge picture and felt his face burn hot. He immediately looked down and obediently kept his eyes forward, until he knew he passed the picture. He didn't stop looking down until he got to the café in fear he'll see something like that again, but no one needed to know that.

When Steve arrived at the café, he went straight to one of the outdoor tables and situated himself in a way that he could draw in his sketchbook comfortably without hunching over or hurting his neck. The sketchbook brought a new memory to the forefront of his mind.

"Your file said that you used to attend an art school?" Alex said as she put more books down in front of him. A few strands of hair fell freely from the loose braid she did hastily a few minutes ago and Steve's hand twitched to capture the strand on paper.

"Uh, yeah. I got in on a scholarship but dropped out to enlist in the army."

"Were you any good?" Alex collected her hair in her hands to redo the braid that was causing her so much stress and Steve was having a hard time concentrating when her hands kept moving. Steve didn't know what, but there was something about her hands that he wanted to draw. They were somewhat small when compared to his own, but they looked soft even with all the little scars.

"I didn't think so. I mean, I sold a few drawings here and there to make some extra green lettuce, but it wasn't exactly pennies from heaven." Alex looked confused and Steve realized what he said. "I meant to say that it wasn't easy getting extra money, I just sold a few comics to newspapers around the neighborhood." Her face changed to one of understanding, and Steve made a mental note to watch out what he said from now on.

"Have you done any drawings since you woke up?"

" Just doodles here and there. Nothing really definite." Steve said as he drew circles on the corner of his notes. He saw Alex smile slightly from the corner of his eye, which caused him to look up shyly.

"I don't know about you, but maybe you should start drawing again. Some people write to get things off their chests. Maybe drawing could be the same for you? You never know, it might help." Alex shrugged as she suggested her idea, and grabbed one of the books in front of her. The way that she moved made Steve wonder if she would model for him one day if he asked.

"Are you waiting for Iron Man?" Steve was so lost in thought, that he barely noticed the woman standing beside his table. Looking up surprised, Steve saw the blonde waitress that served him coffee earlier. The name tag pinned to her shirt clearly stated that her name was Beth.

"I'm sorry ma'am?"

"Most people just sit here for hours waiting to see him fly by." Beth looked up towards Stark Tower wistfully, as if the man himself would fly by any moment. Steve briefly glanced towards the tower and frowned in distaste. The tower was huge, there was no doubt about that, but there was just something about it that made Steve shudder in disapproval. Maybe it was because it represented everything he resented in this new time.

"Oh, no ma'am. I'm just enjoying the scenery." Steve gestured towards the skyline he'd been absent-mindedly been drawing when he was lost in thought.

"That's not a bad sketch actually. By the way, I didn't tell you when you got here but we have free wireless in case you're interested." And just like that she walked away, but Steve couldn't help but ask,

"Radio?" But she only turned back and smiled. An image of Peggy suddenly popped into his mind and he did everything to squish it back down. Feeling a tap on his shoulder, he turned around to see an older gentleman giving him a disappointed look.

"Don't be an idiot son, ask for her number." And he turned back around, as if he never said anything at all. Steve was utterly flabbergasted. His mind was reeling, but he couldn't get his thoughts in order when all of a sudden, a kid no more than fifteen plopped down in the chair opposite him. His brown hair was disheveled relentlessly and his glasses were awkwardly skewed on the bridge of his nose. Steve only raised an eyebrow in surprise.

"Sorry man. I got pushed and tripped over my shoes, really sorry. I didn't— I wasn't— Gosh, I'm really sorry." He was waving his lanky arms everywhere, and Steve suddenly thought of Jeff, another boy from the mansion that accidentally broke his nose last week when Jeff opened a door in his face. Of course Steve was fine after a few hours, but Hank didn't let him leave the infirmary until he was certain that he didn't have a concussion. He only smiled at the memory and raised his hands in a placating manner.

"Don't worry about it. Hey, calm down. Don't flip your wig son, are you all right?" Steve couldn't help but worry that something else happened and noticed a fading bruise on the underside of his jaw. His eyes narrowed dangerously and Steve had to turn his head away to not startle the kid with his anger.

"Wh-wh-what? Oh, y-yeah. Just tripped is all. Really sorry about that mister."

"Again, not a problem. What's your name son?" Despite the bruise, Steve really wanted to get to know this kid. There was just something about him that Steve liked.

"Peter. Peter Parker." Peter held out a hand to shake hands with, and Steve reciprocated the gesture. He noticed that Peter's grip was stronger than what a normal teenager's should be, especially for his height and lanky form. But Steve didn't question it.

"Hello Peter. My name is Steve. If you don't mind me asking, what were you in a rush for?"

"It gets me places faster." Peter smiled mischievously, as Steve chuckled. He couldn't help but agree silently.

"Well take it easy next time. Don't want you getting another bruise like the one under your jaw." Steve purposely pointed out to the young teenager and he noticed that Peter stiffened. He blinked slowly, and Steve could tell that he was trying to figure out what to say. "Bullies aren't worth your time, ya know." And with that, he noticed that Peter relaxed and smile gratefully at him. Something that Steve felt at peace with.

"Yes sir." Before Peter could leave, Steve jumped at the opportunity to ask him a question that he didn't want to call Alex for. Regardless of the fact that she specifically told him to with whatever question he had at the moment and couldn't wait for their next session.

"Um, can I ask you a question before you leave Peter?" Peter looked up from the camera he was fiddling with that Steve didn't notice until just then. What kind of soldier was he if he didn't notice that bulky object? 'A bad one, apparently.' When Peter nodded his head in confirmation, Steve took a big breath and winced at the question before it left his mouth. "What's wireless?"

"Wireless? You mean Wi-Fi?" Steve remembered the term to when Alex used it on their last session. It had something to do with the Internet, which she said could be connected to your phone by wireless. Steve felt both accomplished and stupid at that moment.

"Right. Of course. Thank you." Peter smiled at him, although Steve could clearly see the questions in his eyes. But Peter never asked, and for that Steve was grateful. As he wrapped his hand around the camera, Peter gave a mock salute before he suddenly took a picture of him. The flash blinded Steve and all of a sudden, he was transported back to 1943 London as the air raids began to light up the sky. The blaring of the warning bells rang in his ears and he began to hyperventilate as his mind came up with different action plans to head to shelter.

"Sorry! Just that the sun caught your hair and—I'm not being stalkerish I swear! It was just a good shot—And." The cloud surrounding his vision began to clear as Steve heard Peter's voice, although muffled as it was. 'Peter? That's not right. He shouldn't be here.' When the cloud fully went away, Steve understood where he was. He wasn't in war-ridden Europe, he was safe in 2012 alone. The thought saddened him more than the memory did. He wanted to reassure Peter that everything was fine and he didn't want to worry him, even though the kid looked ready to pass out with worry.

"It's—" Steve's throat was suddenly dry and he took a few sips from his now cool coffee before he decided to try to talk again. "It's all right, really. No harm done Peter." Steve couldn't be sure, but he hoped that the smile on his face was convincing enough.

"Well, I gotta go. Promised my uncle Ben I'd pick up something from the store." And with that, he upped and left into New York's crowd. Steve looked at the direction that Peter went and wondered about a time when things were so much simpler. His thoughts returned to the unwanted memory that bombarded him with Peter's camera. 'Note to self, stay away from flashes.' Looking up into the sky, Steve noticed that the sun was much lower then he anticipated. Not wanting to go to his apartment just yet, he gathered his sketchbook and pencils into his bag. Steve left a generous amount of money on the table and began his journey to his gym.

Newspaper clippings that Hank practically threw in her face when she stepped into his office almost immediately after Steve left bombarded Alex's desk in her father's –her - office, and a few threatened to topple over the edge to the floor. Multiple headlines screamed at her for attention; and some completely blew her away.

Erik Lehnsherr Implicated In Murder, 1963

Trask Announces the Sentinel Mark I Program, 1973

Xavier Goes to Washington, 1974

Minister Dubs Mutants "God's Curse," 1984

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, 1986

Berlin Wall Protests, 1988

FBI Cracks Down On Criminals and Mutants, 1989

South Africa Reforms: Declares Mutant Acceptance, 1989.

Alex picked up the article about South Africa and quickly skimmed through the passage. The paper was yellow with age and the picture of mutant refugees that entered the country was smudged over, but none of that mattered to her. 'Was that the reason I was in Africa for the first two years of my life?' With resistance, Alex put down the newspaper article on her chair to keep it out of the way, and returned her attention to continue to read the rest of the clippings.

Zapatista's Ally with Mutant Supporters: Take Down of Mexico's Government, 1994

'Zapatista's? They were the Pícaros parent group. I wonder if that was Juan's inspiration.' Alex lifted the article and flicked it aside. She concentrated on the piece of paper and created a shield around the article to stop it midair. The newspaper clipping hovered harmlessly in the compressed bubble of energy, and gently glided to the ground when Alex waved her hand dismissively. She returned her attention to her previous task.

Mad Cow Disease Outbreak, 1996

Guantanamo Bay Mutant Detention Center, 2001

Swine Flu Epidemic, 2009

Mutant Cure on the Horizon, 2010

Warring Mutant Factions Destroy the Golden Gate Bridge, 2010

U.S. Erects Wall to Strengthen Boarder, 2011

'That one I already know about.' She picked up the article and dropped it to the floor beside the desk; conveniently right on top of the Zapatista article, as Alex deemed it not important to her task at hand. She landed on her chair in a huff; Alex's nose scrunched up when she heard the crinkling of the newspaper she sat on. She grabbed it in haste, and noticed that it ripped down the middle but was still attached together by two sturdy strips. An irritated sigh escaped her lips, and she dropped the clipping to join the others on the floor.

Her attention was caught by her father's journals stacked neatly in the bookcase within arms reach of where she sat. One journal in particular, labeled 1973 on its spine, caught her eye. Alex grabbed the book and flipped it open to a random page, and curiously began to read.

I should've done something. Instead I was wallowing in self-pity, clouding my mind with the damn serum that gave me back my legs. How could Raven do this? Where did she lose her way? I should've fought harder for her, never should've have let her leave with Erik. But it's what she wanted, wasn't it?

Alex flipped a few pages ahead, and stopped short on a single passage with no date.

She's done it. She killed Trask. Her first human kill that will lead her down a road she can never turn away from.

There was that name again. Trask. It was everywhere. A knock sounded from her door, and she mentally called enter. She never looked up from her desk.

"Um, Fearless?" Her head shot up at the urgency of the voice. Bobby and Kitty were standing at her door. Behind them, she could clearly see Fury standing as intimidating as possible. They both stepped forward.

"We saw him walk up the road." Alex noticed that Bobby's hand was completely incased in ice, and his entire form was shaking in anticipation.

"Says you were expecting him?" Kitty stood completely still, not giving away any indication that she was nervous, and for that, Alex was proud of her.

"Sorry. Must have forgotten. Thank you Shadowcat. Iceman, if you could be so kind, to inform Beast I want information about Trask. As soon as possible. Thank you. You're both dismissed." They both gave stiff nods, and turned to leave. Not with out looking back to make sure everything was ok. 'It's all right. You both can leave, I can handle it from here.' They both nodded as Fury walked into the room, examining her father's office. Alex observed the mysterious man with the eye patch and didn't feel any guilt whatsoever when she invited herself into his head. After all, he invited himself to her home; she was just returning the act. But something was wrong yet again, as if every time she tried to sneak a peak into the director's mind, his thoughts would be muddled and disfigured. And that terrified her more than anything, but she refused to let it show in front of him.

"A warning before coming onto the school's grounds would be nice. I don't want the students to be afraid when government officials visit unannounced." Alex said as she stood slowly, her stance firm and her voice full of authority. Fury only smirked in response.

"I couldn't tell by the hostility."

"All students are banned from using their powers unless told other wise." Alex couldn't help but think that maybe Fury was laughing at her. That thought only annoyed her more than she was going to admit, even to herself.

"Does the same rule apply towards the X-Men?"

"They have the right to use their powers when they see fit; especially if the students are in any danger. Tell me Fury, are my students in danger." The atmosphere in the room became tense, as both Alex and Fury starred each other down. It wasn't until Fury took a seat in her visitor's chair that the atmosphere shifted.

"I'm not here about them or your team." There was something about his expression that Alex believed, but it didn't ease her mind at all. Mostly because the question still remained as to why was the director of an espionage organization here in the first place?

"So you can either tell me why you're here, or leave the grounds. Captain Rogers isn't even in the vicinity."

"I didn't come here for the Cap."

"Then why are you here?"

"Mutant Representation."

"I don't follow." Fury threw down a packet on top of her already crowded desk. Picking up the packet, Alex opened it to see a picture of a blue cube. Flipping through, she noticed various profiles. One of them being Steve's.

"What is this?"

"As of 24-hours ago, we were in possession of the Tesseract. A cube with unlimited power. SHIELD was trying to harness it for reusable energy." Something about that statement didn't sit well with Alex at all; as if Fury was lying. An upcharge in his emotions was a clear indicator that he was spewing out lies.

"Who took it from you?" Alex was flipping through the packet more thoroughly, albeit more slowly. She never took her attention off of Fury for very long.

"Someone by the name of Loki."

"The Norse God?" Alex looked up in surprise. 'Norse gods are real? Holy shit.'

"I'm sure you heard what happened in New Mexico last year."

"Mexican officials declared it not their problem. Still read the reports though. Almost destroyed an entire town. I was going to ask my father to deploy the X-Men, but the situation was already handled before I could." Sitting back down, Alex shoved off all the newspaper clippings in order to spread out the contents of the packet, some of which landed on Fury's shoes.

"Well, Loki has the cube. With two of our own." Fury, out of curiosity that Alex noticed, picked up the few articles that landed on his feet. Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, 1986 could clearly be readfrom Alex's point of view.

"Turned?" She asked. In reality, Alex didn't want Fury's eyes—er, eye— on anything she was working on. 'But they're just clippings. No way he can put it together. Can he?'

"Compromised. Under some spell of some kind."

"And you want me to what? Get in their heads?"

"I was actually here to talk about the Avengers Initiative."

"The what?" The smug look on Fury's face almost made Alex want to slap him, but she refrained from doing so. She did, however, grip the edge of her desk to keep her hands from shoving him away.

"A response team. A team of incredible people to fight the battles that we can't." Alex raised an eyebrow in response, and decided to say the second thought that came to mind instead of the first. After all, she was raised to have manners.

"An agency as big as yours, I would assume that you would already have a response team."

"I'm sure you've heard of the Fantastic 4?"

"Of course, Reed Richards was very much pro-mutant the last time I checked."

"They were supposed to be our first response team. But they're tying up loose ends in Latveria with a Victor von Doom. The details are classified, but the point is, we don't have a team at the current moment."

Alex sat in the same pensive position for hours, gazing at the debriefing packet that was laid out sitting innocently on top of her desk. Her emotions were annoyingly buzzing through her head as she heard the thoughts throughout the mansion slowly readying themselves for sleep. Until finally, the last coherent thought drifted off and she was alone with her thoughts that bounced back and forth with 'what ifs.' Alex was snapped out of her mind when she felt three familiar people walking through the walls to her office. She didn't even try to hide the packet or its contents, knowing that her closest friends would find out eventually. Which was why she regarded them coolly as all three walked through the door one after another. All three stood in front of her, but only Ororo scrutinized her with thorough precision.

"I'm going to assume that Fury said something to you to sit broodily." Alex couldn't help but to scoff in response. 'What am I? Batman?'

"I'm not brooding." However, Logan didn't look convinced with her statement at all.

"Sure kid. What's this?" Logan picks up the picture of the blue cube that was centered on top of her desk. He turned the picture upside down and sideways to try to understand what he was seeing but he couldn't decipher what it was; something that brought a smile to Alex's face. "What the hell is a tesseract?"

"Well, generally speaking the tesseract is the four dimensional analog of the cube; in other words, the tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square. Just as the surface of the cube consists of 6 square faces, the hyper surface of the tesseract consists of 8 cubical cells. The tesseract is one of the six convex regular 4 polytopes. It is also known as an 8 cell or cubic prism." Hank walked towards Logan and took the picture from him. His eyebrows furrowed in thought as he glanced down at the blue cube, and passed it on to Ororo. "Although, that is not what this is."

"It has nothing to do with geometry, although it is highly advanced. Fury said that the Tesseract is a cube with unlimited energy, which they had in their possession. However, recently, someone took it from them. A man named Loki, the same God from Norse mythology."

"And that's what this packet is? A retrieval mission? Alex, you don't work for them." Alex knew that Ororo would be the first voice of reason that she was going to get. But, she also put much thought into what this mission could turn out to be.

"Fury pulled the favor I owed him…he wants me to join the Avengers Initiative."

"Which is?" Alex turned her attention to the feral mutant, and noticed how his stance went from relaxed to defensive when she mentioned Fury's favor.

"An initiative that employs people with special powers and abilities to defend the Earth against threats that may be too complicated to handle."

"I had this exact same conversation with Susan and Reed not too long ago, that they have been working with SHIELD to ensure that a form of defense will always be available in case of threats." Turning towards Hank, Alex regarded his words carefully, thinking back to what Fury said about the blue spandex wearing team.

"Apparently, they're busy doing something in Latveria with Doom."

"Sounds villainy." Neither Ororo nor Alex found Logan's comment to be funny, but it did cause a chuckle to leave Hank's mouth. Ororo sat down in the unoccupied chair across from Alex, and spoke to her directly.

"So why not just call us then? We already have a team."

"The X-Men are not apart of nor fight for the government. We are not a response team. And that's what the Avengers Initiative is all about. To respond to situations that normal people can't handle.

"My dear, why did Fury ask you then?"

"Mutant representation, I guess fury wants to make a statement."

"Natasha Romanoff, Clint Barton Bruce Banner, Thor of Asgard, and Steve are all considered to be apart of this initiative. Anthony Stark is considered a consultant. Steve I understand, he is Captain America after all. But Alex, you're not serious are you? What about the team? What about us?" Ororo stood up to stand next to her friends, as if she was making a shield with their bodies so Alex wouldn't be able to pass through. She didn't want the young mutant to leave, or be put in harm's away again.

"I'm not leaving the team Ro. I told Fury, that under any circumstance, I'm not joining the Avengers. I'm going to evaluate the situation, if they need it, then I'll engage the X-Men for backup. After all, they're bringing people together with different personalities who have never worked together before. There are going to be repercussions to that."

"What about Trask? Alex, if we don't do something, things will escalate horribly in the mutant community." Alex knew that Hank would ask about Trask Industries, and looking towards Logan and Ororo, it appears that he already told them about the situation.

"We don't know everything about Trask Industries. Who took it over when he died? How has it managed to stay afloat all this time? I'm sure SHIELD has answers to all our questions. If we can be on SHIELD's good side, then the World Security Council will be able to see that the mutant community is not a threat. That Trask Industries' response to mutants are highly inhumane and won't allow them to go through with anything else they might want. And if they do, then the cure would be the least of our problems. We just need to play our cards right. And be patient. Besides, I don't trust Fury with this cube at all. What purpose does an espionage agency need to be in the energy business?"

"I don't think you should go alone Alex, at least take one of us with you."

"Well Ororo, you cannot go with her seeing you are headmistress. I am unable to assist; we do not want problems with the UN seeing as I am an ambassador. I cannot condone these actions. Kitty, Bobby, and Piotr are still struggling with their status as full members of the team. They can perform well together, but they cannot fight on their own. That is where they lack. That leaves us with Logan, Warren, and Remy."

"What about Kurt? His teleportation will surely come in handy."

"I don't think Kurt would feel comfortable being surrounded by people he doesn't know."

"Good point. Not to mention, both Kurt and Warren will draw too much attention to us, as horrible as I am to say it. Kurt's teleportation would be convenient, but I don't want to put any pressure on him like that. Warren on the other hand, is an amazing flyer and decent at combat, but his skills at undercover lacks considerably. Remy is too much of a hot head. I don't trust him near Stark if he's going to be there. Their personalities are too much alike for my liking. And no offense Logan, you have a short temper."

"None taken kid."

"But Logan is level headed when he needs to be. Plus I'll feel a lot better if Logan went with you than you going by yourself Alex. I know Logan won't let you get hurt if something were to happen." Alex looked at Logan expectantly.

"If you think you're going by your self Kid, then there's something wrong with your head." She smiled in thanks, knowing that she had someone to watch her six in case something happened out of her control.

"Then get packing Logan, we leave 0800 tomorrow."

Steve punched the bag again and again. Even though he had a somewhat good day, despite leaving the mansion only after a few hours, the memories were worse now than ever. He tried to remember the conversation he had with the Parker kid earlier, but he couldn't recall a single word. Which irritated him to no end because he had exceptionally good memory. Even before the serum. Even before her. Even before Bucky fell from the train. Even before he crashed the plane.

'I gotta put her in the water!'

The cold chill that he tried so hard to make go away came back with a vengeance, enough to cloud his mind. Feeling the cold wind nipping at his skin made his hands clench tighter and caused him to put more force into his punches.

'Please don't! We can work this out!'

He wanted the voices to stop. Steve just wanted everything to stop. Please STOP!Punching with everything he had, his fist connected with the bag. His eyes opened as the bag launched itself towards the floor, sand exploding practically everywhere. Reminding him of Germany. Before his memories could completely wash over him, the sound of approaching footsteps diverted his attention. Not being much of a surprise at all, Steve saw Director Fury himself in the doorway.

"Trouble Sleeping?" Taking a beat, Steve took the time to appear nonchalant as he unwrapped the tape from his hands. How does he want me to respond to that?

"I slept for seventy years, Sir. I think I surpassed the quota don't you think?"

"Then you should be out celebrating, seeing the world. You would think Ms. Xavier would allow you free time from your studies." Steve couldn't help but think that Fury meant something different from what he was implying. Not taking his eyes off from the Director, Steve began to putt his stuff away more slowly.

"When I went under, the world was at war. I wake up, and they say we won. Ms. Xavier has been trying to explain what we lost along the way. And from what I gather, we lost a lot." Steve noticed Fury raised his eyebrows in surprise when he addressed Alex formally, but there was no way the he was going to hint how close of a friend she came to be.

"I admit, we've made some mistakes along the way; some very recently." Steve regarded Fury with suspicion, knowing that something went wrong somewhere for the Director to ask help from a 90-year-old war veteran, even if he was Captain America.

"You here with a mission sir?"

"I am."

"This is a ploy to get me back into the world?"

"Trying to save it." Fury walked towards him, a folder in hand, something that he noticed that it was rather thin. Steve opened the folder, only to see the bane of his existence starring him straight in the face. The Tesseract was something he never wanted to see again, for the amount of hatred he had for the four-sided cube was immense. "Hydra's secret weapon. Howard Stark fished that out of the ocean when he was looking for you. He thought what we were thinking, that the Tesseract could be the key to unlimited sustainable energy." Fury walked away from him then, instead heading towards the ripped punching bag instead. "That's something the world sorely needs right now."

"Who took it from you?" It appeared that Steve's curiosity about the person who took the cube over shadowed his hatred, because the sentence left his mouth faster than he could think about it.

"He's called Loki, he's actually not from around here. But Captain, just know that if you take the mission, there will be a lot to bring you up to speed on. Something Ms. Xavier won't be able to help you on." Feeling as if he had to defend her in someway, Steve squared his shoulders back, looking Fury straight in the eye.

"With what I've seen, I doubt that anything would surprise me."

"Ten bucks says you're wrong." With a challenging tone that Steve acknowledged, the Director began to make his trek towards the door, but stopping half way to address him once more. "There's a debriefing package waiting for you back at your apartment. And before I leave, is there anything you can tell us about the Tesseract that we ought to know now?"

"You should have left it in the ocean. And no offense Sir, but you really need to stop coming into my gym unannounced." Fury smirked at the déjà vu feeling that went through him, feeling his plan starting to unravel before him.

"I go where I damn well please Captain."

"Not today."

"Doesn't matter how you sell me
I am just another number
Even when it's not for money
Use me like a cash register
You fool me once fool me twice, but the ends don't meet
Do you really think I'm dumb, dumb
I wanna know how you figure

Never really had to play this
Feeling out my alter ego
Hustling to your agenda
No gracias, mi amigo
You fool me once fool me twice, but the ends don't meet
Do you really think I'm dumb, dumb
Watch me go Evel Knievel

Every time you call up, I'm a put my wall up
Always a dilemma with the drama that you drum up
Even the bologna, part of your persona
Traded me a dollar for a floor of Smithsoneon
Undecided of whether you got it down yet
Undivided attention to how your brow sweats
How can I trust you, I'll be losing all bets
It's a gamble, I don't wanna pull yet
Paying me in jelly, beans in the belly
When you get nervous I can tell by the smelly
Do me Blue Bonnet, butter me up on it
You can toast love notes, I can burn sonnets
It's apparent I needed to say no
Throw a karat of diamonds on the floor
How can I trust you, all you want is more
I gotta bust you, this means war

You come around here flipping your tricks
I'm letting down my wall my bricks
Least you can do is riddle me this
What's in it for me?" What's In It For Me by Karmin

So, what else can I say but sorry for not updating in a half a year? But to be fair, this chapter is 17 pages long. Not to mention that this chapter has been sitting on my laptop with only a few parts to finish for months. Again, so sorry!

Anyway, not much to say this chapter except for the fact that I was going to put in Peter from the beginning and the Sony hacks had nothing to do with it. Just wanted to put that out there. And in case of anyone wondering how I'm going to incorporate Days of Future Past into this story, WORRY NOT! I already know exactly how I'm going to do it. I just have to get through Avengers (that has almost been going on for almost three years and I barely started the arc *CRIES*) and the Winter Soldier. There might be a possibility that I won't be able to incorporate Apocalypse into this and it just might be an AU of this with a younger Alex. But who knows? We'll see.

I know I should've said this earlier but this romance will be a slow burn between Steve and Alex, cuz ya know...he's still not over Peggy. BUT! I can honestly say that romance will be in the Winter Soldier, cuz I'm a sucker for that shiz and I wanted to let you guys know. Just not saying how, cuz I want to read your conspiracy theories LOL Till next time!