twenty-three.

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𝟐𝟑

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𝟐𝟑.| 𝐓𝐑𝐔𝐄 𝐍𝐀𝐌𝐄.

𝐇𝐄𝐒𝐓𝐈𝐀 𝐖𝐀𝐒 𝐐𝐔𝐈𝐄𝐓 𝐀𝐒 𝐒𝐇𝐄 𝐒𝐀𝐓 𝐎𝐍 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐂𝐎𝐔𝐂𝐇 𝐈𝐍 𝐉𝐔𝐍𝐈𝐏𝐄𝐑'𝐒 𝐋𝐈𝐕𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐑𝐎𝐎𝐌, 𝐇𝐄𝐑 𝐊𝐍𝐄𝐄𝐒 𝐏𝐔𝐋𝐋𝐄𝐃 𝐈𝐍𝐓𝐎 𝐇𝐄𝐑 𝐂𝐇𝐄𝐒𝐓 𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐇𝐄𝐑 𝐂𝐇𝐈𝐍 𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐃 𝐔𝐏𝐎𝐍 𝐇𝐄𝐑 𝐊𝐍𝐄𝐄𝐒. Juniper stood in the kitchen as she was brewing some tea to calm her cousin's nerves, and she couldn't help but glance over to Hestia, and all she wanted to do was call her by her real name. To call her Ellie, even if it wasn't something that Hestia had approved of quite yet. She wanted to call her by the name that she was born with, a lot of the Avengers did, but it was so much easier to continue calling her by the name that they had all met her with. Hestia was a name that stuck with them the longest and that it would be a strange change.

Holding two mugs in her hands, Juniper walked around the furniture in her kitchen as she made her way over to the couch and took a seat beside her. The two Blythe's sat there beside each other, and Hestia coddled the mug in her hand, before bringing the hot beverage to her lips and she took a sip. Tea wasn't something that Hestia had ever really tasted, but it was something that was still good. Something that she still could say that she would enjoy as she drank it.

There were things that Juniper wanted to ask her cousin, but she knew that they were sensitive topics; especially if they had something to do with the fact that the organization that had kidnapped her prior was after her again. Juniper wanted to know what Hestia kenw about who it was that had experimented on her for years and the knowledge about what they did. There had to be things that Hestia knew about them, Juniper knew that. And she was right.

Hestia knew plenty about the organization that had made her life a living hell, she knew quite a bit. But there were some things that didn't matter anymore, seeing as the young girl had killed them in the fire that had taken their base. Hestia had made sure that the people who had ruined her life would pay for what they had done, and she did. They had paid with their lives and even if Hestia had regretted what she had done, there were things that she should've done. She sometimes believed that she should've let them live so that they could be arrested, but she did not.

"I know that you probably do not want to talk about it, Hestia, but maybe we can talk about starting to use your real name?" Juniper asked her and for a second, Hestia didn't know how to react. The young girl glanced up from her cup of tea and she pressed her lips firmly together as she continued to stare at the older woman in front of her. "It's completely up to you because it would be an incredibly big change from all of us calling you Hestia, but perhaps we could try it?"

"Ellie . . . sounds so, normal," Hestia spoke as she stared at Juniper, and the other woman nodded her head. A small smile appeared on Hestia's lips as she thought about the name that she was born with, and what it stood for with her family. She didn't ever think that she would ever go by the name again, not until Juniper had brought it up. "Maybe it would be a nice change. It would separate me from the past that the name Hestia has been tied to."

"That's what I was thinking of," Juniper admitted with a small smile. "I thought that it would make getting over what had happened to you easier. That the bad memories would slowly fade into the deepest part of your mind," She glanced down to the mug in her hands, before she moved it over to the coffee table and reached for Hestia's hand, brushing her thumb against Hestia's. "I don't want to force you to do anything that you are not comfortable with."

"No, no, it's fine . . ." Hestia assured her, her small smile still placed on her lips. "Let's try it. If it doesn't stick, we can always go back to calling me, Hestia."

Juniper nodded her head as she held onto her cousin's hand, "Alright, Ellie, alright."

Juniper grabbed her mug of tea off of the coffee table once again as both of them began to sip it. The burning liquid filling their throats as it slid down and entered their stomach. Hestia didn't know what to really think as she sat in front of her cousin, wondering if her change of name was actually going to stick with the Avengers and their agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It was going to be a big change for all of them to accept as Hestia would soon say goodbye to the name that formerly held her life.

The name that linked her to her dark past as a human experiment, a lab rat for them to do whatever they wanted to. It linked her to how she was to get her powers of fire manipulation and the fire that burned so furiously in her core. Hestia inhaled deeply as she began to push all of the dark thoughts down to the deepest and darkest parts of her mind. She wanted to forget, though she knew that that was going to be the most difficult thing that she would ever be able to do.

Forgetting was never an easy thing to do, especially for those who have dealt with trauma and torture as she had. Hestia was saying goodbye to her former life as Project H.E.S.T.I.A, and she was welcoming her new beginning as Ellie Blythe — just as she had always been from the start of it all. And that was all she was going to continue to be, no matter how long it was going to take her to feel normal with the new name.

But she knew that it was going to be the best thing for her.

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