Hecate's Curse

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Natasha wasn't a nurse. Never was. But as she helplessly watched Clint bleed, she wished she had some sort of medical experience. His arms were badly scraped from the lashes of Carnage's whip. He lay propped up against the wall, unconscious.

"Rose!" Johnny called. He landed beside her and put an arm over her shoulders. Together they limped over to the injured archer. Rose immediately knelt beside him and examined the wounds. Natasha wasn't sure if she trusted the demigod. She was very likable and strong, but her powers could be deadly. Communicating with minds wasn't Poseidon's power, so where did she get it from?

"Do that thing-," Torch started.

"Shut up." Rose snapped. She spread her hands as if she were worshipping an invisible god. Spouts of water materialized out of the air and flew to her hands obediently. She gently touched Clint's palms and the water rushed up his arms. Clint groaned in his dazed state and tried to pull back from her grip. Rose muttered words in a language Natasha didn't recognize and Clint slowly relaxed.

She removed her hands and the water vanished, only leaving red scratches on his arms. His breathing was much more even.

Rose got to her feet but suddenly collapsed, too weak to stand. Johnny caught her and helped her get to her feet. Natasha hid a smile. Rose was always so tough and stubborn, it was strange to see someone else have to help her stay on her own two feet.

Budapest. Natasha forced herself to forget about the...incident.

"We need to get out of here," Steve said, looking around anxiously. So far no one had seen them.

"Not the Helicarrier," Rose warned, leaning heavily on Johnny. "They can't know about Carnage."

"Why not?" Natasha demanded.

"Because then they'll try to go after her. And they won't stand a chance." Rose replied. Red lines were forming on her arms and she cringed. Only Natasha noticed.

"Where would she go, then?" Steve asked.

"Places with big lifeless statues," Rose said. Her eyes grew clouded with pain as the lines dug deeper into her skin. They looked a lot like the ones that had previously been on Clint's arms. Natasha eyes narrowed.

Had she taken away his pain and branded it on herself? She thought.


I thought I had finally gotten used to my strange powers until I healed Clint. The second I touched his wrists I knew something was wrong. My arms began to sting and my energy level dropped even further. The wings were just to intimidate Carnage, but I thought Clint's injuries weren't so bad I would have to heal him.

I sighed in relief as his eyes fluttered open, weak but alert.

"What-?" he started, but Natasha put a finger to his lips to silence him.

"We need somewhere safe," I said, struggling to hide the pain in my arms. Johnny heard the tension in my voice.

"Baxter Building," he suggested. "It's barely a block from here."

My ears were deaf to the world. I concentrated on a boy that stood at the entrance of the alley, his jaw dropped in awe. I reached out to his mind and looked for the area that processed images. I felt horrible messing with the kid's head, but I wasn't planning on hurting him. I found the image processor and switched his mind.

You are looking at an empty alleyway. To my amazement, he blinked and left, his interest long gone. I added 'manipulating minds' to my Freaky things that I can do list.

"I have an idea," I said.

It was simple; every person we saw, I would manipulate their minds so they couldn't see us. Problem was, every time I deceived a mind, my energy level dropped lower and lower. By the time we reached the entrance of the Baxter Building, Johnny was practically carrying me.

Clint was limping but otherwise unharmed. Steve was uneasy as we brushed past the last few stragglers who didn't even look at us. Natasha's expression was neutral but her eyes told me she knew I was in tremendous pain.

The last person was the doorman at the very front of the building. Despite the burning sensation in both my arms and my scar on my back, I penetrated his mind and easily found the processing center. My energy was at .05% but I somehow managed to deceive him.

There is nothing interesting with these people, I told him. His mind adjusted and the doorman ignored us as we walked in. I closed my eyes and allowed myself to lose consciousness.

Johnny held Rose's slender figure in his arms with ease. Her eyes were closed and her breathing was steady, but she was trembling as if she had a chill. Natasha pressed the button to the elevator.

She scared him to death.

Steve looked at Rose with worry clouded in his light blue eyes. He was everything Johnny wasn't. And Johnny was everything he wasn't. The only thing they had in common was their courage.Rose tensed suddenly and muttered words in ancient Greek.

The elevator doors slid open with a cheerful ding. The noise didn't boost anyone's spirits. Clint limped in first and leaned on the rail as the others followed. The doors closed gently behind them.

"Which floor?" Steve asked.

"Top," Johnny replied.

A song by Justin Bieber came on. Natasha shot the speakers before he could say 'baby' again.

Yep, scary as hell, Johnny thought. Clint smiled, clearly amused by her act. His smile was short lived and faded as Rose grimaced and began muttering.

"She took away my pain and put it on herself, didn't she?" he asked. They all knew it would be pointless to lie and Steve nodded. Hawkeye shook his head in frustration.

"She shouldn't have." He muttered angrily. "I would've been fine."

"You know that's not true," Natasha told him. "She's able to withstand things that most people can't."

"Why?" Johnny demanded as Rose began shivering again. "Because she's a demigod?" To his dismay, the spy shook her head.

"No," she said. "She was cursed by a goddess of magic. She can perform magic arts that a regular offspring of Poseidon wouldn't be able to do. But it comes with a cost. Either it slowly saps her energy or it inflicts great pain on her scar."

"Scar?" Steve asked, beyond confused.

The Black Widow gently pulled Rose's sleeve, revealing just a section of the scar. Rose tensed at her touch. She was burning with a fever. The doors slid open and Johnny immediately led the way.

The lights were dimmed but brightened gradually as he went deeper in the darkness. He knew the way to his room by heart after living with the other three for so long.

Rose's eyes suddenly snapped open, but their sea green was replaced by a blood red. She didn't seem to notice her surroundings.

"Never, I would never hurt them..." She started, and then her eyes closed and began coughing. Johnny continued on. Finally he opened the door to his room and carefully placed Rose on the bed.

"Move, Storm," Natasha ordered. She barged in the room like it was her home. She carried a syringe in her left hand, but before he could ask she explained. "Only used in emergencies. This counts as an emergency." She pulled back Rose's sleeve and injected the needle.

The demigod opened

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