"Coming in hot."
"We are pretty hot, I will admit."
I groan and roll my eyes. "That was too easy." Carol shrugs.
"Not my fault you tossed the perfect ball. I just took a swing." She grins over at me as we enter Earth's atmosphere and flames begin to lick, wait for it, my very own spaceship. Not too bad my first time out of the country. The planet too, of course. "Little lighter heading down. You'll want to switch on the thrusters when we're close." Carol instructs and I nod as we plummet. Adrenaline shoots through me as the clouds clear and I can see the green-blue blur of my home. "Pull up. Pull up. Pull up, pull up, pull up!" Carol's pleas get louder and I tug my arms up frantically as we near the landing beside the facility. My eyes are slits as we slow and finally bump into the landing pad, then Carol flicks a couple of switches and we rumble down. I take a breath and unbuckle myself while Carol chuckles. "Well, we didn't die. Success." I laugh back and open the hatch, popping up and running out instantly. I take a deep breath of earth air and grin. This is still home.
"Our two favorite aliens, home at last!" A familiar voice bursts from the front doors belonging to Tony with a surprisingly bright-eyed Bruce beside him. Rhodes strides out just behind them too.
"Ah, and our favorite dumbasses come to greet us. Not you Bruce." Bruce waves this off as the four of us collide with hugs all around.
"Bring me a new toy?" Tony questions, nearly bouncing on his toes while Bruce's eyes alight with curiosity.
"Uh, it's mine. And I want it to stay all in one piece, thank you very much." I warn before my eyes scan the space behind the three men.
"Steve's coming back from a mission tomorrow with Sam and Bucky. Natasha's working with Wanda in D.C. It's just us here." Bruce tells me and I deflate slightly.
"Oh. Thanks, I was wondering where everyone was." I respond and he tilts his head towards me just enough so I know that he's aware of the very specific who I was searching for.
"So, you're stuck with us." Tony claps his hands as we head inside. "Come on, we're ordering pizza since none of us can cook worth a shit." My smile returns and stomach growls at the mention of pizza.
"And I want to hear about space. Obviously." Rhodes adds as Carol hip bumps him. We descend into a flurry of conversation as we eventually settle into the gathering room. What's Skadar like, what are the Canelians like, what kind of pizzas we're getting, etc. Carol and I regale them with stories of people with skin that can flush bright teal in an instant to match the planet under them, how they gifted me the last ship in the fleet that once belonged to my people, and the fact that pineapple on pizza is an abomination. We're all laughing at Carol as she does a pluriesian impression (it's an animal kind of a mix between a pig and a cat) and working on the last two boxes out of ten when someone arrives.
"...could've died, Steve."
"Yeah, but I didn't, Buck. It's fine." Steve is shoved through the doorway with an amused grin on his face and uniform smudged with soot. Bright eyes meet mine and widen as pretty pink lips part. "Reagan." His voice deepens from moments ago and sends a trickle of pleasure down my spine.
"Steven." I greet him back softly, a teasing lilt added that immediately coaxes a smirk out of the soldier.
"Yeah, hi we're here too." Sam waves as Bucky beelines it to the rest of the pizza. I blink and glance at the other two soldiers.
"Right, hey Sam. Bucky." I grin at both of them and hop up to hug them quickly, then end up right in front of Steve. "Hey." My words are quieter this time. More intimate since we're closer. Steve takes another small step towards me.
YOU ARE READING
The curtain around the hospital bed slides open to reveal an African American man with warm eyes. He walks in with an easy smile and a white man steps in just behind him with dark blue eyes and near black brown waves that fall to his shoulders. The...