Chapter Twenty-Two

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Her heart was pounding out of her chest as she stepped out of his arms. She hadn't realized how long they had been standing there after they told Clint that they were on their way, but it felt like hours. She knew that she didn't want to move and he hadn't either. While she collected herself, he managed to avoid eye contact with her for several seconds.

Her awkwardness was further thwarted when she heard the distant sound of a battle ensuing. That was when she shook off her apprehension and began to prepare for battle. Checking her magazines one last time, she took off towards the sounds. Even though she didn't look over at him, she could tell that he was right beside her.

By the time they arrived at the battle, Christine almost paused at the site. The city that they had once been in a couple of weeks ago was in shambles. A building that once stood tall was crumbling and falling to the ground. The ground was littered with debris and fallen concrete. Gunshots rang out which caused her to turn her head to find where the noise was coming from. Up ahead she could see someone toting a shotgun and shooting at the threat. Her attention wasn't focused on him for too long as she could hear the faint cries of people as they ran past her to escape the city. A mother carrying her child stumbled and bumped into Christine. She caught her arm before she fell, helping her up. The woman nodded at her before cradling the infant's head and rushing off.

"Hey, are you okay?" Steve gently touched her elbow causing her to flinch away. His frown deepened further and she regretted her actions.

"I'm sorry, just...familiar"

He nodded his head in understanding. "We won't allow anything to happen to you, by the way."

"It's not me I'm worried about."

Steve parted his lips to say something, but before he could the ground began to tremble. Christine stabilized herself as the trembling got worse. She could hear the surrounding people scream even louder and she understood their terror. It was then that she noticed the feeling of being lifted. Focusing her eyes on the treeline she noticed a break in the tree line and one part kept moving while the other stayed stationary.

"Are we flying?" someone yelled.

Christine hesitated before calling out "Steve?"

She looked over at Steve and was met with an even more confused face. As another tremble shook the city, Christine braced herself. Even with her bracing, she was still unable to prepare herself for the massive tremor that rocked her. After she lost her balance a bit she collected herself and managed to regain it. She grabbed onto the side of a street sign and held on while the tremors passed.

"We need to move, now," Steve said.

She chose not to respond as she flew into action. They went in the opposite direction, the panicked people were going. As soon as they arrived, she ducked down and narrowly missed a pillar being tossed at her head. Grabbing her guns, she shot at the android targeting her. As her bullets distracted the android, Steve finished it off with his shield. She threw Steve a grateful look before running into the line of fire. She summoned two shadows to help her out as she took down one more robot. She used a shadow knife to cut through its armor and she defeated it with her hands. She drew the shadows from the nearby buildings and weaponized them. Two more robots surrounded her and she grinned at the challenge.

As she fought, Her shadow puppets cleared debris and guided people away from the main fight.

Christine was busy with the same robots when she heard someone cry out. Her head whipped to Steve being tackled off of the overpass that they were on. While she was distracted something tackled her too and she was hurled into a nearby vehicle. Groaning, she paused to assess any damage she had. Her ribs were killing her even more and she tried to smother the cry that fell from her lips, but she failed. Her mobility, although painful, was not limited and she was still able to move. Each movement more painful than the last, she attempted to get up. With her back pressed against the shattered windshield, she carefully placed her ungloved hands on the glass. After taking a deep labored breath, she finally managed to sit up. From her new position, she was able to see how deep the gash was. A shard as big as her palm was sticking out from her shoulder and if she wasn't already weak she might have passed out from the sight. The glass magnified the intensity of the sun blinding her in the process. With her limited vision, she poked around the wound to gauge sensitivity. The small prodding managed to shoot ain radiating from her neck all the way to the middle of her back. She hissed when her hand grazed it after feeling around the wound, she decided on removing it. She bit down on her lip while she mustered up the courage to yank the glass out of her shoulder.

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