Chapter 1: One
Anya landed back on earth with a dignified sound, exhausted and filthy and surrounded by about fifty people of various alien species, some of whom where clinging to her and some of whom were at her feet, making sounds and hums that reminded her of prayer, while one or two kissed her feet, making her uncomfortable, and trying very hard not to twitch. She was rather ticklish and she didn’t want to accidentally smack a guest in the face with her foot because she couldn’t control her own body. Steve was the first one at her side, grabbing her hard and clinging to her, kissing her in front of every camera in NYC. Tony kissed her next and she grabbed onto his armor so hard she could feel it give under her enhanced strength, leaving behind small indents from her fingerprints. That only seemed to get Tony excited, then the genius turned to look at the ship she had crashed. He had the same look on his face as when he was really close to cumming and Anya noted that in her head.
She took a step forward as Thor landed nearby and greeted her with a gentle hug, one that sent her sinking into the shifted and damp ground of Central Park, and she felt something crack in her back and she groaned in appreciation. Thor set her down as he looked to the other aliens that had emerged from the ship, packed in the ship with Anya very tightly, all looking terrified, nervous, naked and bruised. Thor introduced himself, using his famous and useful Allspeak to greet them and welcome them to Midgard, to Earth. The omega aliens just stared.
Anya walked back to the ship just as one of the Warriors Three was asking about the King of the Silik. Thor remarked that many wished for his head. Anya puled the king’s head from the ship and dropped it at Thor’s feet. “Consider it payment to Asgard for all the help.” Thor looked ready to refute the payment, but Anya held up her hand. “The help from you and your people and friends has probably been the reason we lasted long enough to blow their ship to hell. That was a lot of fun by the way, Tony, can’t wait to tell you about it.” Anya took a step forward and stumbled, her exhaustion catching up to her and Steve and Tony both reached forward to catch her.
“Let us seek out the remaining Silik. They are hiding like snakes here at Midgard. You warriors have fought well, but you are tired. Return to your home and rest. We shall keep watch in your absence.” Lady Sif stood steady behind Thor, who nodded at her words and Steve looked ready to protest, as did Tony, but Anya could see the exhaustion on their faces and in the way Tony was holding himself in his suit; it was basically the reason he was still standing.
“Lady Sif is right. We aren’t good to anyone like this. We should shower and get some food and sleep, and don’t even start Tony. Or you Steve.” Anya pointed to both them in turn as she felt them about to say something.
“You ready for a ride?” Tony snarked as Anya and Steve hung onto his suit, but he flew low and slow to the Tower, until they reached the platform to remove his armor, and slid into the opening in the window. The Tower had taken a hard hit, but, as Tony had said, “I rebuilt the damn thing with shit like this in mind. You doubt my genius? I’m hurt, Cap, I really am” to Steve rolling his eyes. Tony had built it so that it could stand and not topple over even if all but one of the main structural supports were removed completely. Steve had been secretly impressed with the design, because it meant that Tony had been listening to him when Steve had said that the Tower was their base of operations and needed to be able to handle all kinds of abuse.
Bucky escaped from medical was waiting for them in the Penthouse, looking drawn, exhausted and ready to collapse that very moment. Anya slid into the shower, and was shorty after joined by Tony, Steve and Bucky. They lathered soap on each other, Steve scrubbing hard into Anya’s hair to get the dried blood and viscera out of it, then massaging her scalp, ooh, that was very nice. Anya was boneless by the time Steve was done and he moved onto Tony and then Bucky. Steve liked to do this, take care of his lovers, plus washing them down made sure he knew they were ok and uninjured. Tony had an unfortunate habit of hiding his injuries to the team. Group showers was the result. Of course, no one complained.
They all slid into the bed together after drying off, Tony and Anya curling into one another in the center, the omegas wrapped in each other’s arms, Tony’s head tucked besides hers. Steve slid in behind Tony, wrapping his legs and body around Tony until he was bracketed in place and almost completely covered by Steve’s body. Tony was out instantly. Bucky slid in behind Anya, his metal arm wrapping over her body, his chest flush against her back, his nose in her neck as he breathed in her scent and the pain-laced alpha scent in the air dissipated until it was hidden under the scent of clean bodies and soap. Bucky’s hand moved over her body until it interlaced his fingers with Steve’s hand, wrapped over Tony. They all exhaled as one, content and happy, then fell asleep soon after.
Of course, this peace couldn’t last long.
“Ms. Smith.” A quiet, British voice insisted over and over again and Anya opened her eyes, angrily glaring at the ceiling, wanting the speakers JARVIS used to implode and fritz out. No such luck and JARVIS’s voice insisted she wake up.
She groaned to show she was listening and JARVIS brought up an image of SHIELD HQ, and it looked to be flooded with the omega aliens Anya had rescued, along with the fifty or so prisoners she had freed from those collars, and almost all of the human omegas she had freed on the ship.
“SHIELD and Thor have requested your assistance. It appears the alien omegas refuse to act without you present and have recently started lashing out in fear, despite Thor’s reassurances.” Anya groaned louder and Bucky peeked his eye open, looking at her. She shook her head, motioning for him to go back to sleep, but he rubbed his eyes with his metal hand and slowly moved up, waking Steve in the process. Steve snapped his eyes open, shield already in his hand, then stopped when Anya raised an eyebrow at him. Tony woke much more slowly, and with significantly more whining.
“Time’sit?” Tony mumbled, before not bothering to get an answer and flopped back down onto the bed. Tony needed more sleep than the supersoldiers on the team, and curled tightly to a pillow that was covered in Steve’s scent. Anya kissed his forehead, prompting a faint blush on his tanned skin, but he fell asleep soon after, his face relaxing.
Anya slid into the shower again, still feeling grimy from all the viscera and blood she had on her from the night before; she could still smell it on her, even if she couldn’t see it, and scrubbed herself harder in the shower as Bucky brushed his hair and Steve brushed his teeth. It was all very domestic and normal, it punched her right in the gut with how nice and stable it was.
Steve inhaled an entire box of Rice Krispies, dry, before he headed out for the day, most likely to relieve Thor and continue search and relief efforts. JARVIS informed them Clint, Natasha and Wanda were doing better and were awake, but it would be some time before they could leave medical. Bucky was still very sore and hurting, and he tried to hide it, but both Steve and Anya could see it. There would be no arguing with him though, he was going to help with cleanup. When Steve tried to tell him to stay back and heal for a few more hours, Anya snorted out a laugh.
“You really think you would do that Steve? Get some rest while hundreds are missing and there are still hostile aliens lurking around?” Steve got a faint blush on his face, but he still looked just as stubborn. “How about this: Steve, go do what you had planned. Bucky, you can help search and rescue lift heavy things, and make sure no one steals some alien tech. Coulson said that it happened when the Chitauri were here and it was a pain in the ass to recover it all.”
“So, I’m a glorified guard dog?” Bucky crossed his arms over his chest, then unfolded them when they pulled and ached. He’d nearly been gutted less than 24 hours ago, even he couldn’t heal that fast.
“Not at all. You’re also a search and rescue dog.” Anya smiled at him, teasing, and Bucky conceded, mostly to keep that puppy-dog look off Steve’s face, the one that almost always got him what he wanted from Tony and sometimes Anya. Seriously no one that big and strong and alpha should be able to handle that kind of look.
They went their separate ways, Anya finally making it to HQ and was instantly swamped with the aliens from the ship, some were looking like they were crying, though most fell to her feet, then hid themselves behind her. Anya understood what they were trying to convey. She had saved their lives, she had freed them from a brutal life of sexual slavery, but they were on a strange world with a lot of alpha smells around them and she had left them. Anya felt bad now that she thought about it.
Thor came up to her and she smiled and hugged the big guy, trying to convey that Thor was safe, but the alien omegas just stayed where they were, making themselves as small as possible.
“Thor, what have they said to you?” Anya looked to him, keeping herself between him and the omegas that were hiding behind her. Thor looked like a kicked puppy at their fear, but Anya understood their trepidation. She had been nearly knocked over the first time she smelt Thor’s alpha scent in person. She’d nearly attacked him the first time he put his hand on her shoulder, and it had only been Bucky nearby that stopped her from acting on that impulse.
“They are from many different planets, and have pledged their lives and service to you and those you command, in payment for your heroic deeds. They are indeed heroic, they have told me how you bested the king of the Silik with your brilliance and superior fighting skills.” Anya couldn’t stop herself form preening at the praise; she hadn’t told anyone yet about what she had done, that would be for the debriefing that Coulson was now telling everyone they would have to attend, and if Tony tried to get out of it, Coulson would taze him and drag him to the debrief. Anya laughed, there was clearly a story there.
“Well, I think we should treat this as a mission of rescuing hostages. I think a decontamination and medical check should be first on the list, followed by identification.” Coulson came up behind Anya, dammit how could he still do that even with her enhanced hearing.
“That should have been done the moment they came to Earth. There is no knowing if one of them is carrying something we have no immunity to,” someone dressed in a white labcoat came forward, looking harried and working on half an hour of sleep.
“That may be true, but I doubt they would have followed directions without Anya present. They would have just been backed further into a corner, and it would be even harder to get them to comply with any request.” Coulson raised an eyebrow a fraction at the man in the labcoat, who promptly shut his mouth, then muttered under his breath about dammed omegas and their weak constitutions.
“I’m sorry, what was that?” Anya scowled and leaned into the man’s space, who then gulped, no doubt remembering Anya’s enhanced everything. “A dammed omega is the reason you’re still alive and not a pile of blood smeared on the wall from alien weaponry. An omega was on a hostile alien warship and took it down, along with their leader. Where were you, exactly? Cowering under your desk?” the man in the labcoat bristled but remained quiet at a look from Coulson. “And I don’t want someone with your attitude near any of the alien omegas. It will be nothing but detrimental to gaining their trust.” The man in the labcoat looked ready to explode as his pudgy face turned bright red, but Coulson nodded to Anya.
“Very well, you do have a point. Perhaps the only people the alien omegas contact for the time being are omegas. I’ll get a small crew together for you to oversee. Most are in medical, seeing to the injured, but I know of a few that would leap at the chance to meet omegas from other worlds.” This was why Anya liked Coulson. The man knew things without being prompted.
“Can we get a large shower area cleared out, and then some place for the omega aliens to bunk afterwards? A holding area for them, with beds, some things to keep them entertained, maybe paper and pens and pencils, books for people just learning English. And a few people to interview them, with Thor as a translator, if you’ll oblige.” Thor nodded before looking out the window.
“You can head out and check on your friends and the Avengers. We won’t need your services for a few hours. Can you instruct them to follow me before you go?” Thor nodded, eager as always, and spoke to the aliens, before telling Anya they understood and were willing to follow her anywhere, before heading out the door and flying off with a whirl of wind.
Anya led the nervous omegas through halls, walking side by side with Coulson, trying to not get lost in the maze of the place. He had already secured a holding area for the omegas where they could be together in a large group, right beside the fifty or so prisoners Anya had freed from their collars. The walls separating them were thick, but a section was movable and made a window for them to converse if they wanted to. Several seemed to be of the same species and some greeted one another when the male prisoners seemed to smell the omegas of their species. A few looked relieved to see someone of their species, others didn’t seem to even notice.
Suddenly, one omega alien rushed from the group behind her and grabbed through the window at the thin extending hands of a male prisoner of the same species as her. Anya didn’t need a translator to know that this was a happy reunion, tears streaming down both their faces from colorless eyes, grasping one another’s faces and bodies. Anya couldn’t stop herself from tearing up, wiping them away and smiling at the group at large.
The omega rejoined the group and followed Anya to the main sleeping room, where a few dozen simple metal frame beds had been arranged with thick foam mattresses and plain white but soft sheets. Everything smelt like cleaners and bleach, and the room looked like a sterile place, with light coming through the skylights and frosted windows in the ceilings. Simple scrubs lay on each bed, all in a variety of colors, and one brave omega dashed forward and snagged scrubs in a bright yellow color, where it stood out against the black midnight of her scaly skin. She held them to her body, unwilling to let them go, and Anya nodded to her, motioning her to lay them out on the bed and trying to motion and convey that that omega would sleep there, and it was now her bed. Anya wasn’t sure it got through, though, and decided it best to take everyone to the showers before they put on the clean scrubs.
Anya led them to the showers where about twenty shower heads gleamed in the bright overhead fluorescent lights and the omegas smelt nervous. Anya removed her clothing just as someone came in the main room.
“Anya? Agent Coulson said I might find you here.” Anya smiled and looked out the shower room to see Kate. She looked so tired and bruised, but smiled at Anya as she was welcomed into the shower room.
“Did Coulson send you to help me?” Kate nodded and smiled, then looked confused as several of the omegas began to bow to Kate, one falling to her knees to kiss Kate’s scrub slippers. Anya wondered what this could be, then remembered that Thor said they had learned what she had done before finding them. Which meant they might know about Kate leading the charge of the human omegas.
“I think they believe you to be my second in command. Thor says they have pledged themselves to me for saving their lives. They would probably follow your lead just like mine.” Oh, Anya hoped so, she did not want to be here all the time, being a babysitter when there was so many other things to do.
“Me…but, I…” Kate looked so confused and unsure of herself, before Anya hugged her and nodded. “If you think about it, that’s what you were on that ship. While I went looking for a way out and the primary enemy, you led the charge. You were my second in command. And from what I hear, you did a damn good job of it.” Kate blushed but looked pleased with herself nonetheless. “It was pretty epic.”
Kate and Anya showed the alien omegas how to turn on the water, how to get it a good temp, and how to clean themselves off. Some looked terrified, others were clearly enjoying the water and being clean for what was probably the first time in a long time. Towels had been piled up near the door and Anya showed them all how to dry themselves off really well, where to toss the dirty towels and then how to put on the scrubs. That same omega from before raced to those yellow scrubs and put them on, though the shirt was on backwards and Kate corrected her.
When it was all done, there was a knock on the door and Anya was sure it was Coulson, the man just knew things and had an amazing sense of timing. Sure enough, when Kate answered, it was Coulson, with several omegas in tow, all wearing medical blue scrubs, the only color none of the aliens were wearing, and white coats with pockets filled with lab equipment. They looked to be vibrating out of their skin, one running forward and dragging Anya into a hug before she knew what was happening. Anya just smiled and gave her a one-armed response before letting the omega doctor pull back.
“oh my god, real omega aliens, this is so exciting, I can’t believe this is happening, I didn’t think there were so many other species out in space, this is so amazing, thank you Agent Coulson…” the woman continued rambling, without taking a breath and Kate looked to be holding her breath as the woman talked, eyes slowly getting wider.
“Doctor Bright,” Coulson finally stopped the woman and Kate inhaled a heavy breath, making Anya cough to hide a laugh. “Anya will be overseeing the omega aliens, while Doctor Jones will be responsible for the rest in the staging area next door. First and foremost, we need to make sure none of our guests have a contagion that we can’t cure.” Anya nodded.
“Have any of the human omegas from that ship displayed signs of illness?” Anya wasn’t a good marker for illness, her enhancement made it almost impossible for her to catch or give anything.
“None so far, but all are still in quarantine, except Kate, who managed to somehow escape her guards.” Kate looked sheepish for a moment, but Anya smiled at her and gave her a thumbs up when Coulson turned away. His face revealed he had seen it and was not amused.
“Well, since you are the only way to get them to cooperate, you will need to go through all the tests first,” one of the omega doctors spoke up. She had a pixie cut dyed blue, sharp chin and no-nonsense look on her face. Maybe that was why Coulson chose her, she gave off an air that she was in charge of the doctors.
“Figures. Has Coulson ever mentioned I don’t like needles?”
The tests involved taking several vials of blood, some that were taken into a container and sent to a lab deeper in SHIELD where it could be looked at in greater detail, and Coulson had already promised that no one would use it to develop a Supersoldier serum, without having to say a word. The doctor palpated every part of her, from head to toe, feeling in her hair, taking a few pieces of hair for sample, looking in every orifice she had, including ones that made her blush, and then a full body scan.
There was a collected gasp and awe from the alien omegas when the images were shown on the screen for them to look at, to see it was safe and just pictures. One touched the screen, where Anya’s heart was, and then touched her on the chest, feeling her heartbeat underneath. That alien omega then sat on the machine bench and refused to move until her pictures had been taken. When she saw them, she touched the screen where a large, pulsating organ was seen in her lower torso, then touched her skin where that organ rested. She looked in awe, touching it and not letting anyone else near the machine until Anya had the tech print the pictures out. The omega then sat in the blood-draw chair, looking the pictures over as Dr. Bright looked at the pictures as well to find a suitable vessel, pale green blood flowing from the body into the tube.
Every alien omega had been assigned a number starting at 100 and had an –O afterwards to denote they were an omega, or a –B to denote they were a beta and one of the male prisoners. The human omegas used their names, except the ones that didn’t speak English or refused to give their name. They were given a number and the international initials of the country they were determined to be from, using appearances, spoke language and accent. Anya hoped to be able to get the names of the alien omegas soon, or at least learn what they wanted to call themselves.
It was the next day when it was all done, the alien omegas were sleeping in their beds, an omega guard outside the door while Kate planned on staying with them, clearly needing some sleep herself before Anya was able to leave HQ. And the moment she left the building, she was swamped with paparazzi shoving recorders or phones or whatever in her face, asking her questions that she didn’t bother to decipher. Anya just kept walking down the street, trying to block them out, until an alpha reporter from Fox stepped in her way, eyeing her up because she was an omega and beneath him, at least how he saw it.
“There has been debate that as an unmated omega you…” Anya stopped the man right there by grabbing the phone from his hand and crushing it with her bare hand, letting the pieces of broken plastic and metal fell to the pavement below her.
“As an unmated omega, I save you and knotheaded alphas like you because it’s the right thing to do, because if I don’t then you are well and truly fucked. So take your mightier than thou bullshit and shove it all right up your self-righteous ass. While you sat hiding in your studios reporting, real heroes were saving the world, including omegas who would have been trapped in space. I was ready to die to close that wormhole if it came down to it. Have you ever cared enough about anything in your pathetic, entitled life to say you would die for it? To kill for it?” the man was silent, slowly turning a bright red color in his face, looking like an erupting tea kettle right before the steam comes out.
“I didn’t think so. No get the hell out of my way, I have more important things to do than deal with ancient fossils like you with long outdated ideas.” Several of the younger reporters were snickering at the middle-aged man, others looking on in glee, hoping something would happen. Anya walked around the alpha, who was putting out rage and anger like a heavy fog, but it couldn’t faze Anya, she had lived through too much.
That was when the alpha made the mistake of grabbing her shoulder, starting to yell and her and tried to twist her arm to put her on the ground. Anya spun in his grip, grabbing his wrist as she turned, and she felt the bones of his wrist crack under her strength and he cried and whimpered as he fell to the ground, clutching his swelling wrist.
“What indication did I give that you had any right to touch me?” Anya was pissed off, then left the man on the ground sobbing, the horde of vultures not far behind, but keeping some distance from her.
The doors to the Tower slammed shut behind Anya, and she rubbed her face. She had no idea where that had come from, but she knew she still had a lot of issues to work out. But that asshole had deserved that broken wrist, he touched her without her permission, the alpha knothead.
Pepper was standing in the main lobby and crossed her arms the moment she saw Anya, which could only mean that the images of Anya breaking that guy’s wrist were already on the news and were no doubt on Fox, against the backdrop of showing she was an unstable, supersoldier omega that needed to be put in her place. Anya rubbed her face, knowing that Coulson would be just as pissed at her once he was back in the Tower.
“We will be having a conference today at 6pm. You need to be there to apologize.” Anya bristled and opened her mouth to argue. “I don’t need you to apologize to that reporter from Fox, he clearly had it coming and had no right to put his hand on you because you are not his omega. But you do need to apologize for losing your cool like that. The Avengers already have a lot to wade through right now after another alien invasion in NYC, and you don’t need to be adding to it.” Well, Anya looked down at her feet, feeling like an inch tall. Pepper was a terrifying woman, Tony was very right about that.
“I’ll be there.” Pepper looked her over before her gaze softened a little bit. “Besides, the world wants to know what happened on that ship out in space, and all the alien ass you kicked.” Anya nodded then remembered she hadn’t been to the Debrief yet.
“I thought Coulson would want to debrief me first, before I say something way too gory for public TV.” Pepper sighed and then smirked. “Anya, there is nothing you could say or do that Tony won’t be able to outdo.” Anya smirked. “Fair.”
Pepper also touched on the fact that even Tony didn’t have the kind of money needed for rebuilding, and they needed to have some kind of fundraiser, which Tony suddenly chimed in through JARVIS’s speakers. He already had that started, including all kinds of Avengers’ merchandise, which Anya learned included her. She was confused until Pepper reminded her that she was inspirational for girls, women and omegas everywhere, and was the only enhanced woman on the team, and had single-handedly destroyed most of a hostile alien race.
“When you put it like that you make it sound like I was sitting with my thumbs up my ass, I was important too. I fly around and make things go boom.” Tony’s voice was petulant and teasing. Anya laughed. “No Tony, you didn’t have your thumbs up your ass, only Steve or Bucky can put anything there.” Anya couldn’t stop herself and Pepper sighed while Tony laughed, his voice going sultry and warm before Pepper stepped in and stopped Tony from going anywhere dirtier. She turned her steel eyes on Anya and sighed out, “don’t encourage him.” Anya looked at her with a completely blank face and said, “I can promise nothing, certainly not that I might join the previously mentioned activity.” Pepper looked at her then turned to her phone and looked at it as it pinged relentlessly. “I never thought there was someone worse than Tony.”
“That’s hurtful Pep. Clint is way worse than me,” Tony whined through the speakers. Anya choked on a laugh.
Chapter 2: Conference
This was the third rewrite. Sorry it took so long.
This is mostly about the conference that Pepper and Coulson force Anya to attend.
It goes as well as you think.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Anya rubbed her face and groaned as her phone once more went off, alerting her to someone calling for her help regarding the alien omegas. Thor had stated that they all revered Anya as some kind of goddess, which sounded cool at the time, still does, but now meant the alien omegas were prone to anxiety when she wasn’t around. Thor had done his best to convey that neither he nor his fellow Asgardians meant them harm, and Kate had been doing the best that she could, but there was no consoling them without her there. She had a lot to do, a public appearance in one hour for her outburst, her speech already prepared and everything, and she needed to be there or face Pepper’s wrath. Not touching that one, she heard enough horror stories from Tony.
Back in HQ, the alien omegas were still in their scrubs, but huddling in a corner, some warming up to Kate, but the rest didn’t move until Anya came back into the room and then they all swarmed her and huddled around her, some still bowing or kissing her feet, making her feel ticklish again. Coulson still looked as unflappable as ever, but he looked to be near the end of his patience. Anya had only seen him look like that once before, when Clint had been badly hurt on a side mission for the remnants of SHIELD; he must really be at the end of his rope.
Anya looked ta her phone, she had to be at the conference in forty minutes, and Coulson looked like he was getting himself ready for it as well; Pepper said it would be several announcements rolled into one, and Anya appreciated that the other announcements were going to take the attention away from her apology, but still left a bad taste in her mouth. But that would have to wait for another time, another day, when the world wasn’t reeling from another alien invasion and NYC wasn’t still in smoldering ruins. But she would get there, she would say what she wanted to say someday soon.
Anya looked up to Kate, who simply nodded and promised with a look to stay and look after the omegas. No one had any idea what to do with them, where they had come from or even if their homeworld was still there. The Silik had a policy of leave none alive, completely obliterating populations to nothing, and taking some omegas as sex slaves, some betas as slaves and then slaughtering the rest in brutal fashion. Thor had discussed in “hushed” (hushed for Thor anyway) tones what the omegas had witnessed at the hands of the Silik. It made what Anya had gone through in her own captivity at Hyrda’s hands look like a day at an amusement park.
Anya thanked Kate and waved goodbye to the omegas, some of whom were protesting and looking personally affronted, but she needed to leave, or Pepper would be pissed, and she did not need that on top of everything else. As she made her way out fo HQ, she could smell and sense the fear and unease from the omegas and felt bad, but she was needed in more than one place, she knew that. It didn’t make the guilt go away at all, but she hoped if she told herself that enough times it would make the feelings less.
A car was waiting for Anya at the doors of HQ and Happy ushered her through the crowds that were not allowed into HQ, the doors were flanked by some very intimidating alphas in heavy tac gear, and into the car before the door was slammed shut behind her. She looked up at the familiar smell and smiled at Pepper, who was still on her phone but acknowledged Anya was there. Pepper’s phone was constantly beeping as she got a new text or message or a tweet came up regarding the avengers, which meant it never stopped. Anya was glad her phone was buried in the wreckage of the Tower.
The conference was being held at a hotel outside the city, one of the few places in the area that had survived completely and had a large enough place for news cameras from all over the world. Pepper mentioned she had gotten requests from every news agency in the world, including from Diane Sawyer herself, and Jon Stewart himself, along with Fox and CNN and BBC. Anya only heard Diane Sawyer and Jon Stewart. The rest she didn’t really care about.
Pepper let a faint smile on her face at the faintly awestruck look on Anya’s face at the mention of the names, and asked if in a week or two, would Anya want to go on one of those shows. Anya opened her mouth to squeal in excitement, then thought about the last time she had been in the camera’s view, that night when Tony had revealed her new gel for pheromone masking and the ensuing panic attack. It had not gone well. Now that she thought about it, she was getting nervous now. She had slammed an alpha into the ground less than 24 hours earlier, and there were some assholes that would no doubt try to antagonize her, just to sue her or prove that she was unstable or unfit for whatever reason.
Pepper smelt the fear in the limo choking her and looked up at Anya, who had gone distantly white and was gripping the seat so hard it was ripping and groaning under her hands, the metal beneath the cushions giving and warping. It was happy that pulled her from her own head.
“Don’t wreck the limo now. This is the second one we’ve had this week.” Anya couldn’t help the snort. She knew that Thro loved limos, and with his strength, it wasn’t hard for him to do damage to the metal structure of the vehicle. Bucky and Steve were just as bad, though Steve would do it when holding back his inner alpha against Tony and something he said or did, and Bucky did it because he was a troublemaker when he was having a good day. Seriously the guy could be a little shit when he wanted to. Between him and Clint it was hilarious, like a never-ending frat party and prank war all in one.
The limo stopped in front of the hotel, which wasn’t that far from HQ, only about a 15-min drive, but with the debris, traffic and people trying to get into and out of the city, it took nearly an hour. Anya stepped out to find she was flanked on all sides by red ropes and people taking pictures, some shouting insults at her for being an omega, some saying she was driving a wedge between the Avengers, while others asked what happened on the ship, what it was like to fuck a supersoldier, and what her new role would be on the Avengers. There was one or two that asked for a picture or autograph, but Pepper put her hand on the small of her back and moved her forward through the flurry of noises and smells, and into the more organized conference rooms.
The main lobby of the hotel was now a staging area, where security was checking everyone, and the largest conference rooms had the wall dividing them removed, making enough room for about 300 people with rows of chairs, 5 deep before there was a narrow aisle down them for people to walk up and down. A large podium was erected in front of the projection screen with room for several people to stand up there and talk, and then sit down when it wasn’t their turn.
Pepper pulled her into a small side room as Anya began to panic at the sheer number of people. It was a smaller conference room, and Coulson was there, as was Tony, looking better and well rested, his camera persona on his face, sunglasses on the table in front of him as he adjusted his watch and had Pepper apply a little bit of makeup on his face from where some bruises hadn’t healed yet. There was no way he could do it without looking like a rejected circus clown; that image made Anya smirk and felt better as she used a little makeup to make her face shine less under the bright lights and look more human. She had been neglecting herself for a long time, and really hadn’t had much time to recover since her strenuous heat, which, God, had ended just a week ago. It felt like ages ago, but it really had been just a week.
Pepper had an outfit for Anya all ready and helped her straighten out the shoulders and creases as Anya shifted in it, feeling odd in the suit that cost more than her first car. The shoes were nice though, very nice, as she looked the sleek, short heeled shoes over, enjoying how she was just a tiny bit taller and the shoes were surprisingly comfortable. Yeah, Pepper was not getting them back. Pepper smiled at her like she knew what she had been thinking and offered for them to go shopping someday, just all the girls, once everyone was cleared by medical.
Pepper straightened the rest of her suit and skirt out and looked at herself in the mirror folded on the table once more before looking her phone over and handing Tony some cards, and then handing some to Anya. Her speech was short and basically was geared around the omega aliens. Good, that was good, something she could talk about and not panic; or strangle an entitled alpha over.
Pepper led the way out of the conference room just as Coulson’s phone buzzed and he looked at it, but his face didn’t change and he didn’t look concerned. Anya’s phone buzzed as well as Tony placed his hand on her shoulder to steer her into the conference room, the white lights and flurry of noises assaulting her and making her jumpy. She was still exhausted and grumpy and terrified of what might happen next, of what still needed to be done. Letting out a breath as Tony smiled at her, a real smile not the fake one that he had for the cameras, he put the sunglasses on over his eyes as the lights flashed more and Anya looked at her phone once more.
It was from Kate.
Kate: the omegas are getting nervous already. Got any suggestions?
Anya: idk, let them watch tv or something. Show them books, I’m sure there’s something in HQ that u can use to entertain or calm them. See if Sif is around, they seem to like her more than Thor.
Anya looked up from her phone once she sent the message and had to ignore the next ping as Pepper began speaking. She talked about the basics of what happened in NYC, what needed to be done and how everyone could help.
“There’s rumors that many aliens were removed from the spaceship, is this true? And considering that the last aliens were hostile, should they be here?” Christine Everhart sat in the front row, a ballsy beta woman that Tony had a grudging respect for, but Anya was now just seeing red. Pepper placed a hand on her shoulder like she knew that somehow the blonde reporter sitting in her suit in the front row had pushed something she shouldn’t have pushed.
“Those aliens are actually omega aliens, from a total of 32 different races, and were held hostage aboard the Silik ships as sex slaves. From what I understand, they were taken from their respective homeworlds when the Silik invaded them. And most seem to agree that they would have nothing left to go home to, given the Silik’s track record. They are here as guests. They have been screened for any possible pathogens, have had physicals and exams and have already gone through a decontamination process. They were attacked by the Silik just like we were, but they weren’t able to defeat them. They couldn’t defend themselves and spent who knows how long as their prisoners.” Coulson put a hand on her shoulder as she knew she was rambling, and there was silence in the room for a second, only broken once more by Anya’s phone beeping, again, and once more.
Then the room exploded and Anya took a half step back at the sudden noise. All the reports wanted to talk about were the aliens, what races were they, did they speak any human language, were they possible hostile or brainwashed, when could the public meet them. Coulson stepped to the front of the podium with a raised hand and silence fell over the room. Damn, that was impressive. Out of the corner of her eye, Anya caught sight of the man that she had flipped over onto his back after he had touched her. He was glaring at her, pissed and angry and no doubt waiting for his turn to talk about her temper and how it proved his point about helpless omegas or some other oldworld bullshit.
Anya’s phone beeped again, and so did Coulson’s, over and over again. Anya finally took a half step back and looked at her phone to see a group of texted from Kate that steadily get more panicky.
K: the alien omegas are getting very nervous
K: Could only find that one Asgardian that looks like a dwarf. The aliens don’t like him and some are very scared.
K: couple alien omegas are hiding, can’t find them. Shit
K: Anya! Help! I can’t find that one that likes the yellow scrubs
Anya looked over at Coulson, who was now back from the podium and looked his phone over once more, meeting her eyes and realizing he probably got some similar texts about a missing alien omega. If she got out of HQ somehow there was no telling what might happen to her. Anya felt her anxiety rising as the talking continued at the podium.
“Ms. Potts, I have concerns about how, or rather who, is leading the charge with the alien omegas.” Anya knew that voice as the man she had put in his place earlier. She did not need this now.
Anya looked up to meet the man’s eyes and they were bordering on red, a sure sign he was soon going to rut and become violent. Pepper raised an unimpressed eyebrow at him. “one of your ‘team’” he said with disdain and sarcasm, “assaulted me earlier. I could file charges on her, but I think I might suffice to hear she’ll be put in her place as an omega.”
The silence in the room was palpable, so thick it was choking and Anya felt the anger from everyone on stage and several of the younger reporters were glaring at the man from Fox. Anya stepped to the podium and took a breath, gathering herself before she look at him.
“If anyone here needs to be put in their place, it’s an entitled, abusive alpha alike yourself.” There was silence once more. “I can smell the blood of your wife on your knuckles, see the cracks on your fingers from where you slapped her. I can even tell you hit her in the mouth because I can smell the saliva from her mouth on your hand. Saliva obtained from the mouth during violence smells like adrenaline and fear, different than kissing or just spitting.” There was a heavy silence as the man turned red and subconsciously rubbed his hands, trying to hide the marks on his hands without really knowing he was doing it. And while you were beating your wife, I was in another dimension, saving you, your wife and everyone that you know, love, and hate.”
“But more than that, I have actually had to work for things in my life. I’ve had to struggle against oppression, constant demeaning remarks the assumption that I will bend over for something I want or need. I have been homeless, I have been kidnapped. I have been held hostage and raped and beaten and branded. What was the hardest thing you ever had to do in your life? As an alpha, you think the world should fall at your feet. Just because you were born a certain way, with a knot on your penis, doesn’t mean you are smarter than the person beside you. It doesn’t make you stronger or better or more of a person. All it makes you is complacent.”
“This world wasn’t saved by alphas or super heroes. It was saved by a group of captive omegas that decided they were done with the shit they found themselves in. We fought our way out of the ships in space, we found our way back without alpha help. In fact, it was nothing but alphas that were trying to stop us. Every step of the way we were stopped and attacked and some killed by alphas. Which sounds an awful lot like the values you adhere to.” Anya knew she was hitting hard, comparing the man in front of her to the alien assholes that had just tried to kill humanity, but that was her point.
“And as to the assault you allege happened, I was defending myself. You touched me without my permission just hours after I had lived through an incredibly traumatizing experience. You came up behind me and grabbed me without my consent or a warning. Considering my supersoldier strength and my training, you should count your lucky stars I didn’t snap your neck as a reflex.” Anya was glaring at the man now, who looked so red he was purple and slowly looking like a bottle rocket with no place for the pressure to go.
“I do regret my outburst afterwards, and am sorry for that. It was unprofessional. I am not however, sorry for defending myself. Sometimes its people like you, that have that kind of entitlement, need to be reminded they are not always on top. So I will not lose one bit of sleep over that. Perhaps you should consider it a friendly warning, otherwise you may find yourself being put in your place as a pompous, abusive alpha with dying out views.”
The silence in the room was deafening, it was heavy and its own presence as Anya took a step back from her podium to the stunned silence of the room. Then one of the younger reporters got a pic of the very red-faced alpha, and loudly typed something out before saying to the group in general, “Dude. Hashtag spanked.” The room rumbled out faint laughter, except some of the older reporters, and many of the alphas.
Tony wasn’t bothering to hide his laughter as he put an arm over shoulder and Pepper just shook her head, while Coulson was doing his best and rather failing to keep a smirk off his face. “That, ladies and gentleman, is why this badass omega is a member of the Avengers.” He smirked at the screen, because he knew their alphas would be watching, before locking his lips to hers, for all to see. Anya froze for a moment, then melted into his warm hands, her hand going into his thick curly hair. They pulled apart and she tried to follow his kiss, but he laughed a little before giving a peck on the lips and turning to look once more at the cameras.
Pepper would kill Tony later, and probably Anya too, but it would be later. They still ended to talk about other things, more important things, but Pepper could see why Tony had done it. Anya had let it slip she was a supersoldier, an omega supersoldier. She had unknowingly painted a target on her back and on the Avengers’ backs. No government would miss the opportunity to snatch up a supersoldier, and an omega would be easier to manipulate, if given the right materials and time. There was also the idea that because the supersoldier serum was in the DNA, it would be passed from her as an omega to her children. By claiming her as an Avenger, he put a curtain of protection around her and gave the impression that she was claimed and was being kept in check by alphas. The dinosaurs and alphas would see it that way for a little bit at least. Plus, Anya had been looking flustered as she ended her speech, her mind clearly going somewhere it shouldn’t so Tony had brought her back.
Anya’s phone once more buzzed and beeped, and Pepper was finding it worrisome and annoying as she tried to lay out the plans for the next few days as the remaining Silik were hunted down, clean-up began and rescues became recoveries. Then Anya finally got on the phone as she received call after call, her voice trying to placate the person on the other end, until she said loudly and clearly panicking, “You’re where?!”
Silence fell over the room, starting from near the door to the far end of the room as eyes and cameras moved to look at the main entrance to the room. A young woman stood in the doorway, Anya’s age, and Pepper knew her as Kate, the other omega that was looking at the alien omegas. Behind Kate was a short, very dark-skinned…alien.
Anya felt her throat tighten as she looked at the black-skinned alien that really loved the yellow scrubs, and several other omega aliens behind her, all wearing scrubs. One by one, they pushed past Kate to huddle around Anya and some fell to her feet, looking scared, then the alien in the yellow scrubs looked around at the people and the cameras. Anya put a hand on the most terrified of the alien omegas and looked over at Kate, demanding an explanation.
“They started to panic without you, and that dwarf Asgard guy spooked them. They scattered. I put on the TV, but this was only thing on. Some snuck out and tried to find you. I don’t know how they did, but they did. But all are accounted for.” Kate ended on a good note and Anya exhaled relief. She couldn’t handle it if there was an alien omega missing, there was no telling what might happen to her.
“Everyone, these are some of the alien omegas rescued from the Silik ship. According to Thor and his Allspeak, many see me as a Goddess that has freed them. And they see humanity as ‘The Righters of Wrongs.’ We can’t seem to understand them without that cool ability Asgardians have. They are also very skittish around alphas but like omegas just…fine.” As if on cue, the omega in the yellow scrubs walked to the nearest omega reporter and looked her over, then paused for a moment, hand in the air, before long, htin fingers moved through the reporter’s hair and touched and tugged, fingers touched the suit she was wearing and looked down at her own scrubs. The reporter took out her phone and reached out to take a selfie of all things, and the alien omega looked at her, before trying to mimic her facial expressions, revealing a set of third eyelids and nostril-like holes just below her eyes.
Pepper and Coulson looked daggers as Anya and Kate, and both woman could take the hint to get the aliens out of here. Anya touched the yellow scrub alien and gently pulled her to the side and back out the main door, as the room exploded in noise. Anya knew that every government agency would want to meet the aliens, and would probably try to barter or something for one of them, despite them being sapient and intelligent. And they would certainly want access to the exams and their results.
Kate sighed as she stopped the omegas on the street. They would need to walk back from here. Anya looked back at the conference that was still going on and groaned. There would be hell to pay from both Pepper and Coulson, while she imagined Tony wasn’t even hiding his mirth. Kate was looking at her very nervously and Anya took pity on her.
“Well, that could have gone better. But at least everyone it accounted for.” They headed back to SHIELD HQ, getting stares from everyone around them and Anya’s wondering if perhaps someone helped the alien omegas out. Oh well, there was nothing to do about it now other than head back and make it up to Pepper and Coulson.
Yeah, she and Kate had a lot of making up to do, and Anya had a feeling it involved smoozing it with rich alphas at the fundraisers Pepper mentioned.
“We’re in so much trouble aren’t we?” Kate asked, once more looking nervous. Anya patted her shoulder as they stopped in front of HQ, with many glaring and angry agents staring at them, but in the middle was Steve, giving his best disappointed face.
“Yes, yes we are.”
This was going to be just 1 long chapter, but it turned into like 30+ pages, so I had to break it up. Next chapter starts a major plot point in this sequel.
Chapter 3: Gala
Anya needs to remind Steve of some things, the alien omegas need more attention, Bucky really likes Anya's speech (a lot), and Anya sees old faces at the Gala.
Panic attacks, flashbacks, and a hot makeout scene. Let me know if I forgot something.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“What happened?” was the first thing out of Steve’s mouth as he looked from Kate to Anya and back again, then at the alien omegas, who were now cowering behind Anya. Steve was a powerful alpha, and he smelled like it too. Anya glared at him for the pheromones he was putting off the smells that were making the alien omegas nervous, and Kate was starting to get fidgety too with that thick of a smell.
“Put away that face Steve it’s not helping anyone.” Anya was still upset with him regarding how he had spoken to Tony after finding out he was an omega. Seriously, the man didn’t make it a day before dangling that in Tony’s face. Steve seemed to sense the anger and balked, before getting angrier. Anya pulled him aside after asking Kate to take them all back to the holding area and she would speak to the omegas later about wandering off.
“Steve, cut this shit out, you are not helping any.” Anya glared at him harder and let her ‘I’m done with your shit’ smell and face bore into him. She was done with him right now, and the look he kept giving her like she was the cause of all the trouble the conference had been. “I do not regret saying what I did and I do not regret how that went. I said what I wanted to say and I feel good about it. I know that Pepper is going to murder me later and I’m fine with that, but still.” Steve crossed his arms over his chest and Anya raised her eyebrows at him. He looked angry, but something else too.
“You’re…you’re jealous. Because Tony kissed me? He’s kissed me before Steve.” Anya lowered her arms and looked at him, really looked and yeah, it was that. But it wasn’t that at the same time. “You know that Tony loves you, right? He kissed me and I kissed back for the press and because it’s fun watching them go nuts.” Steve let his disappointed face come back and Anya rolled her eyes at him. “Ok, that was more Tony talking that I care to admit, but you know I’m right. Everyone thinks now that I’m his omega. Is that what’s bothering you? Or is it that you want him to come out so you can claim him?” Anya narrowed her eyes at Steve, who was putting on his face again, with those eyes that should not be allowed on such a big man that made him look like a kicked puppy.
“Steve, you couldn’t even go a day before throwing your old school views on his designation in his face. Why in the hell would he come out for you right now?” Steve angrily flinched and growled at her and she growled back, not something she was meant to do but it shocked Steve into shutting up. “Steve, you threw him being an omega into his face the moment the situation came up. You gave him the impression that you are no better than that asshole alpha I just humiliated in the conference. That he is less of a person, of a hero, of an Avenger, just because he was born a certain way, a way he had no say in. You really think he likes being an omega? I can tell you that it fucking sucks dealing with all this sexist bullshit, and I would love to not be an omega. It’s even worse for him, because he was raised by Howard, asshole extraordinaire and was constantly told that he was never good enough because of it, and was never meant to run a company or be more than a hole to fuck. Despite that, and despite what the world would think, he still manages to be who he is now. He’s an amazing man despite all the shit that’s been thrown at him. And as soon as you find out he’s an omega and you’re in the field you throw that all back at him and remind him that he is an omega and therefore not good enough, not enough, in your eyes.” Anya has said something like this before when Tony was first upset and came back from the mission in California, shortly before the Tower was attacked, but Steve was stubborn and rather dense when it came to ideals and worldviews like this. Especially when it involved Tony.
Steve looked at her, hard and then she just walked away from him, letting him think it over, or stew in his own emotions, whatever, he needed to come a revelation on his own, no one would be able to change his views but him. She just hoped he wouldn’t do something else stupid in the meantime.
Anya smelt rather than heard someone else making a line for her and she smiled and greeted Bucky as he came near, but she stopped at the look on his face; from this distance, it looked like he wanted to murder her, but as he got closer, that wasn’t his murder face, it was his ‘fuck you against a wall’ face, and there was a smirk under that glare. She knew he would have been laughing his ass off as she told off that alpha, and she knew it might get him all riled up but not to this extent. Without a word, he pushed her back against the wall and she tensed, a reaction that she still had trouble getting over, until his soft lips hit hers and she melted. It was like he was trying to fight her with his mouth, pressing his body against hers, completely ignoring the whispers around them as his metal arm grabbed her lower back to pull her around the waist closer to his body.
Anya pushed back against him, her tongue tangling with his as he tried to fight for dominance over her, his teeth scraping over her lips that made her knees buckle and a very embarrassing noise emerge from her throat. Bucky smirked wider, she could feel it against her own smile as he plundered her mouth for a few moments before they both had to break away for air. Anya leaned forward into his warm, body expecting more, but he pulled away and Anya made a very annoyed sound. Bucky just smirked, the little shit, before putting a gentle kiss on her lips and walking off with a spring in his step and look over to vent in the wall. Anya just knew that Barton had something to do with that, and whenever Barton and Bucky teamed up, there was nothing but trouble in the making. She was so going to destroy Bucky when she got back to the tower, and not in the throwing things way, but in the way that would be so much worse. She had a lot planned for him as a dark smirk crossed her own face.
Anya looked up at the vent she had seen Bucky looking at and hissed at it, “Barton, I know you’re in there. Get back to medical before I tell Coulson on you.” Clint shouldn’t have left medical yet, he had been badly injured. He shouldn’t even be awake yet, let alone crawling in the vents where he might not be found if he passed out. Clint slunk away, Anya could hear him with her enhanced ears, though she doubted that anyone else would have been able to. Anya she also knew that Coulson would know he wasn’t in his hospital bed without her involvement and would bring about his own form of punishment. Most likely in the form of paperwork. Clint hated paperwork, just like Tony did.
Speaking of Coulson, he came into HQ looking for Anya and found her getting something to eat in the massive cafeteria, taking a moment to gather herself and think. She rubbed her eyes, worn out and tired. She found she could go fairly long without getting any sleep or food or water, but if she didn’t get enough of it for her body, she became testy and short-tempered and she was not pleasant to be around. That, and she would feel exhausted regardless of how tired she really was. She hadn’t eaten since before she had been taken by the Silik, now that she thought about it. She was eating a salad, enjoying the crisp coolness of the lettuce covered in so many veggies and toppings it was like a meal on its own.
Anya looked as the man sat, composed as always but looking like he was about to go to war with a formidable foe. Anya set her fork down and looked at him, giving her full attention, because whatever it was, must not be good.
“I spoke with Pepper earlier today, after your conference,” and here Coulson couldn’t stop the very hidden but still there smirk at her outburst he secretly approved of, “and there is not enough money in the emergency funds to keep things going for much longer here in NYC. So, we’re having a fundraiser and inviting anyone and everyone that can come that has some money to throw around. Everyone that can make an appearance will be making an appearance, and that includes you.” Anya felt her chest go tight, but she slowly exhaled. She was stronger now that she was last time she had been in a position like that, plus she had Tony and Bucky to lean on if she got overwhelmed. Bucky would death glare anyone into submission, regardless of how powerful that someone else thought they were, and Tony could out-talk anyone. So, she felt like she would be ok. And it was for a very good cause. So, she let the air out of her lungs again and just nodded to Coulson before taking a sip of water.
“Good. Pepper says she is waiting for you to go pick something out to wear, she’s outside in the car now.” Anya furrowed her brows and looked at Coulson, wondering what this was about. “Wait, when is this thing?” Surely it would be in a week or so, maybe later. There was no way that Pepper could organize something like this on top of everything else that she had to do with the cleanup and recovery of NYC.
“Tomorrow night.” Anya choked on her water and Coulson calmly handed her a napkin to wipe it up. “That’s so soon. How…” “It’s Pepper,” Coulson simply said to her unasked question. That was true, the woman was amazing at things like this. Terrifyingly amazing and efficient.
Anya sighed as she looked at her food and set it into the trash. She knew it wouldn’t be wasted at least. SHIELD had a lot of dogs they had to feed with some of the scraps, and what wasn’t given to dogs was put into a giant composter of some kind that produced methane to run some part of the facility, at least that’s how she understood it.
Pepper was waiting in the car on the curb, reporters all over the car but keeping back as Happy growled at them and Pepper leveled her terrifying look at them. Anya slid into the back and they headed out of the city and into a very expensive row of shops with fancy Italian names. Anya sighed as she looked at the stores, knowing that none of them were really her style but willing to let Pepper chose for her. But Pepper could sense something was wrong.
“Anya? What, don’t like Armani? There’s a Gucci store down there,” she said and pointed to the storefront with the name over the top of it. She knew it wasn’t nice, but she couldn’t stop herself.
“I just don’t understand this sometimes, especially with these kinds of functions. Why buy a dress that costs as much as a car that only gets worn once? And it had no kind of real attachment to it like a wedding dress might. I get you like coming here for the security and such, and no one bats an eye when you do, but I just never got. I bet that shirt costs as much as my car payment did.” Anya pointed to the shirt in the nearest window, which she really didn’t think was all that pretty anyway.
“Do you like wearing the name brands because they’re comfy, or because they’re name brands?” Anya looked at Pepper and she thought about it for a moment. “I understand that as CEO, you have an image you need to project, so I’m not condemning you for it. I’m just saying I never really got it. But that store looks kinda promising,” Anya added because she knew she had been on a rant and she didn’t want to hurt Pepper’s feelings.
Pepper stopped her and smiled at her, then started to laugh and Anya wondered if she was doing it to not cry. But Pepper had real happiness on her face and nodded to Anya and got back in the car without a word, headed for a row of shops that looked familiar. They were all small boutiques, small businesses, and Anya realized she had been here before, a few times actually during the school year when she and some of the omega nurses from the University met here to browse and visit a few of them at their jobs. Anya hoped she might run into one of them here.
Anya smiled wide when entering a nice dress shop and realized she knew the girl behind the counter as Heather, a nurse that would be starting her final year come fall. They hugged and she greeted Pepper with a reverence on her face that made Anya think of floating on Cloud 9 for some reason. There were few women that couldn’t admire Pepper for her fierceness and intelligence, she was someone that little girls wanted to grow up to be.
Anya and Pepper looked around while Heather tried not to stare and failed, and took a few pictures for her Instagram. Anya and Pepper talked about what they liked in clothing, what they didn’t like and Anya knew that Pepper would need more expensive things, because she was a CEO after all, and he had an image and reputation to keep up, but Anya didn’t feel comfortable spending that much money on something she would never wear again. Because Pepper would never let her wear the same dress again to another event, or ever, and if Anya somehow managed to, she would never hear the end of it.
Then Anya saw it, the perfect dress. The top was a sweetheart neckline, a deep purple boddess that fit her perfectly, and flowing layers of thin tulle fabric in a soft lilac color that flowed out at her hips and downwards. It would let her hide a knife and its holder on one of her legs at least. She spent time around Natasha, what would you expect?
Anya spun around in it and she loved it. It felt so nice on her, being able to move around. It was about at her knees, and the tulle was uneven when it fell down, creating the image of a flower and its falling petals around her. And it gave her an idea of what she wanted to do to the dress further to complete the image. Pepper seemed to see Anya’s wheels turning and smiled at her as she paid for the dress and they headed out to the next store, which had more formal gowns to choose from.
“Pepper, you don’t have to indulge me here.” Anya said before walking in. Pepper shook her head and looked at the window, where a beautiful gown was on display, with a deep back in a metallic blue color. Anya swore she had seen the dress before, but wasn’t sure where.
Pepper tried on the dress and it fit really well, except it was too big in the bust, but Pepper had a tailor on speed-dial and had already called her about the dress and had her waiting to fit it. Then they left and headed for the tailor. The tailor was supernaturally efficient and had the dress fitted and almost finished by the time Anya was done looking around, then stopped when she saw a large collection of butterflies in varying sizes on display as a decoration to add to dresses or hair. Anya asked about them and waited patiently as she was also fitted for the butterflies and where they would look best. Anya loved the look and knew that it would cost a lot less than people would think. The tailor also gave advice on how to do Anya’s hair to best match the outfit and Anya thanked her and vowed to look it up on YouTube.
They headed to a coffee shop where they just enjoyed the open air away from the chaos fo the city. The coffee shop had been a place that had taken in people that had fled the city, because it wasn’t far over the bridge, and now that it was day, people were already up and sipping coffee that the owners were giving out for free. Someone put down a large cup of coffee for Anya and she looked up because she was still drinking her first one.
“On the house,” the man said and smiled at her before he reached out his hand to her. “Thank you for what you do.” Anya took his hand, but her confusion must have shown on her face because the man continued in a thick Italian accent. “My granddaughter is an omega too. Before you, she was so depressed, with her limited options. Then you come along and saved the world. She’s so smart and now she sees the world ahead of her. She deserves that. Many young omegas do. And you helped start that.” The man walked away with tears in his eyes, gratitude, and Anya wiped her own face as Pepper patted her hand and smiled at her gently.
“This is something you might need to get used to. You kick ass, you’re a woman, but most of all you’re an omega and an Avenger. You have opened a lot of doors that have been nailed shut for a long time.” Pepper smiled at her again and pulled her hand back before swiping the coffee that Anya wasn’t sure she could actually drink, but didn’t want to be rude. “I don’t know if I will ever get used to that.” Anya wiped her eyes but smiled through the emotion of it all as Pepper took half of the massive cup of coffee into her own cup and sipped it down in record time.
Anya took the rest of the coffee to go, she didn’t want to be rude, and Tony called her all kinds of wonderful things when she returned to the Tower and gave it to him. Steve seemed to be avoiding her and Anya didn’t really care, because Steve needed time to think about what she said. He did emerge before they all got some needed sleep, even Tony who was dragged nearly kicking and screaming from his workshop by Anya without Pepper even asking her, and looked at them as they slid into bed one at a time. Funny, they had only slept in the same bed a few times before, but they all had spots already and preferred ways to sleep. Except Steve, who was standing in the room, looking at Anya.
“What?” Anya looked up at him over Tony’s body, moving around that made Bucky growl lightly at her movement. “Will you be ok tomorrow? I know last time you were…” “Don’t.” Anya growled, actually growled, at Steve as he started talking, and she felt Bucky gripping her tighter and growing hard against her back and she smirked before turning to look at Steve.
“I’m better now Steve. This isn’t like last time. Don’t.” Anya stopped him before he tried to say anything more. He looked unsure now, wondering if he was even welcome, looking confused once more as he looked at her and the bed, and at Tony’s back, and it was clear what she had said was in his mind still as he looked at the billionaire.
“Steve, stop it. Come to bed.” Anya extended her hand to him but he still looked unsure, moving his weight from one foot to another. “Punk, you heard the lady. Get in the bed and stop worrying.” Bucky looked over her shoulder and both could see when Steve slid in behind Tony and his stupidly muscular arm went over Tony’s body the brunette was asleep almost instantly.
“Besides, this won’t be anywhere near last time.” Anya stroked the blonde’s cheek gently, a question in his eyes. “Because now I have you.” Anya pressed a kiss to Steve’s lips, gentle and caring. She loved the ever so faint blush that crept on his cheeks. She pressed a kiss to Tony’s hair. “And I have you,” she whispered to the smaller man. She turned to face Bucky. “And I have you.” He smiled as she kissed him and tried to get more, but she smiled at him and pulled away before turning back to sleep, her hand on Tony’s, Steve and Bucky’s arms over the omegas and their fingers intertwining between the two omegas. It was just wonderful and perfect.
JARVIS once more woke them up with an alarm stating that Pepper needed Tony to sign things, which meant that everyone else was awake anyway and had things to do. Anya headed outside and into the lobby of the Tower, helping clear it of remaining debris to get it functioning again while Steve and Bucky did heavy lifting, literally, outside in the remaining parts of the city that were still rather demolished. Rescue had long turned to recovery, since Tony’s armor no longer could see any heat signatures.
Anya was called back to SHIELD HQ for the omegas, but they seemed to be doing better. They were fascinated with some TV shows including Project Runway and several cooking shows that Kate deemed were safe to watch. Some of the omegas had also picked up on very basic English like hello, goodbye, thank you, please and “where is Kate” or “where is Anya.” Kate and Anya hoped that watching the TV shows might help them learn some English, because Anya had learned that a lot of people learned another language like that. But not another species, so she wasn’t sure how that would work, but many of the omegas were fascinated by the clothing and how it was put together on Project Runway and many would look at their clothing and then at the outfits on TV. Or they would watch as food was put together and the looks on their faces made Anya think they wondered how it would taste, or what it smelt like. It had been hard finding foods that all the omegas could eat, but after a lot of help from Sif and Thor, every
omega had a diet they could eat and digest.
Sif was a permanent fixture in HQ now and she was definitely showing an interest in one of the omegas, and Anya said she needed to be patient because these omegas had been through a lot, but that Sif could in due time make a move. Anya suggested some old school courting, because it was gentle and subtle. It wasn’t until that conversation was over with and Anya had left HQ that she realized Sif had been asking her permission to pursue one of the omegas. Huh. That was something.
Anya also took some time to get some purple hair dye, a different color than her dress before picking up her dress and Pepper’s dress too while she was there and heading back to the Tower. There wasn’t a lot of people on the street, mostly just police, SHIELD agents and a few construction workers. With civilians gone from the area, every building was being cleared and any remaining people were being led out of the city to holding areas while each building was deemed safe to live in, all the while construction equipment from all over the country was beginning to arrive. Crews from as far as California called and offered help. Coulson was orchestrating all this while Pepper handled the politics and funds.
Anya knew that SHIELD was here to make sure no one took any alien tech, and that it was all cleared before they let in the volunteer crews. Plus, a lot of the city wasn’t safe to be in; that massive laser weapon had bore a hole through many buildings and made them all unsafe, making the area around them unsafe as well. Some of them needed to come down asap. SHIELD was working with SI and several other companies for this, and once it was safe enough, the crews would come in and start demo.
Anya made it back to the Tower without issue, aside from a few construction workers looking at her, but were smart enough to not say anything, and she quickly dyed her streak purple again. It was something she had started years ago and kept up because it was just very her, something she loved to do. Plus Clint seemed to approve, but he loved all things that had to do with purple so he didn’t count too much.
Anya got dressed as Happy called to say he would be there in an hour to pick everyone up, and yes that includes you Tony, and did her hair in the soft bun on the back of her head but pulled to the side she had seen someone do on YouTube. She got it right after her third try.
In the limo, Tony looked impeccable as always, his fake smile plastered on his face while Bucky looked like he might murder someone, his left arm on full display because Anya had seen him rip it off and he had reprimanded him for wrecking the suit. She then bought some fabric glue and soothed the ragged edges of the ripped sleeve, but not enough to hide the fact the sleeve had been violently ripped off. Clint would make a very short appearance later, as would Natasha and Coulson, and Anya knew the archer would also come in ripped shirts and hoped that Coulson convinced him to at least let someone take off the sleeve rather than rip it. Oh, who was she kidding, Clint would rip it just to spite Coulson.
Pepper looked gorgeous in that fitted metallic blue dress that flowed off her body perfectly, her hair was done simply, just a small section pulled back, while the deep back had extra fabric clinging to where the deep back ended, just above where her back began to curve. Anya swore she had seen that dress before, but still wasn’t sure where. Steve was dressed in a military uniform, as was Sam, while Wanda had made an appearance dressed in a deep red dress that was nearly the same color as her powers. Vision had on a simple charcoal gray suit but with a tie that was the same color as Wanda’s dress. Anya thought it was cute they would match like that.
The ride was quiet, despite Tony being in it, but he was busy looking his tablet over. He clearly would rather be back in his workshop, but he was better at getting rich people like this to throw money at his causes than anyone else. Though Pepper was a very close second.
The gala as Pepper had called it was held at a very nice mansion-looking hotel upstate that had sprawling gardens all the way around it with fountains and trees and plants of all kinds. A smooth driveway curved around to the front of a stone staircase outfitted with a tasteful navy carpet which led to massive golden doors held open by two men dressed alike that Anya thought might be related because they had similar facial features. Inside was just as beautiful as the outside with chandeliers not doubt made of real crystals, expensive art and décor all over the place.
The main room was big enough to house 400 people, an orchestra playing in the background with waiters holding up trays of alcohol and small pieces of food that seemed to float through the crowd of people. People gathered at the bar and at the main food table, where Anya knew Bucky would gravitate and so would Clint once he arrived. Pepper and Tony put on her smoozing faces and began their work to get as much money as possible. Pepper and Tony had told Anya all she needed to do was try to not punch every asshole alpha she came across, (unless they touched her than Tony said to knock them the fuck out while Pepper and Steve frowned but Bucky gave a metal thumbs up), and to answer questions. Pepper said most would ask her about the alien omegas, but to not reveal anything important.
Sure enough, everyone seemed to walk to talk to her about the alien omegas. Where were their homeworlds, what species did they identify as, what did they eat, were they hostile, when could they meet one. Anya answered nicely, because some were genuinely curious about it, aliens that were not hostile, not to mention so many different species of them, were big news and would invoke a lot of curiosity. Then there were the alpha trophy hunters that would no doubt try to get an alien omega for themselves just to say they had one, and those with even worse things in their heads that Anya could smell coming from their every pore. (She had to repeat in her head over and over again that she would NOT punch the asshole in the face).
Then there were those that just wanted to speak to her to show their disdain for her, but she pointed out that they were speaking to her, which meant they found her worthy of their time. The looks on their face was priceless and Anya knew that Bucky was listening to her talk, make sure none of the alphas got handsy; he started to glare murder at one or two of them, enough that Tony had to tell him to quit it with the face.
Anya was tired after just an hour and a half of talking to these people and headed over to the food table to get something to eat when she heard something. It was very faint, barely there; if she hadn’t been enhanced she wouldn’t have heard it, but she did. She hadn’t heard it in so long and she turned to look, her hand getting tight on her glass as someone moved aside.
Bucky could smell her distress long before the nearby alphas did and she looked over at her, seeing her frozen as her face went blank, her eyes going to somewhere far away, staring at a middle aged couple that were laughing and talking to a few other rich people. Bucky just had eyes for Anya, who was starting to shake, tears filling her eyes as she looked at the couple, who turned, the woman sipping her champagne, wrinkles around her eyes as she smiled and laughed. The woman was a few inches shorter than her husband, who was balding but dressed well and from what Bucky heard from the conversation, he had invested and made a lot in the stock market. The woman turned to look at saw Bucky, and she smiled and talked forward to greet him. Until her eyes fell onto Anya and she stopped in her tracks, her glass falling to the ground. People turned to look at the sound, and silence began to ripple through the crowd as eyes stared, finally smelling the distress the omega was putting out.
Steve made his way over just as Tony did and the crowd began to press in, all wanting to get a good look, some backing away at the smell of distressed omega and an alpha that was becoming protective. Steve looked from Anya, whose face was pale, her body shaking and tears falling from her face onto her beautiful dress. Steve looked at the woman, who was wide eyes and fearful, her husband behind her, trying to pull her away as fast as possible, but the woman was frozen. As Steve looked from Anya to the woman, he took in the distress that raised his hackles, but also took in their eyes, which were the exact same shade of green.
Anya finally opened her mouth, as wave after wave of horrible emotion hit her, each one as powerful and horrible as the last. Images of pain and betrayal and her time in Hydra hit her, images of her begging and crying for help that was refused. Finally, unable to stop it anymore, unable to contain it anymore, Anya opened her mouth, her throat dry, her makeup running and every horrible memory replaying itself in front of her eyes.
Next chapter will have a short look into what her parents and family did after getting their money.
BTW, there were 2 references in there, one with Anya and one with Pepper. I'll post in a few days what those are if no one guesses them.
Hint: Anya's is a reference to a very colorful and fun music video that came out in the last year.
Pepper's references something in one of the movies.
References: Pepper's dress here is the same one she wore in Iron Man 1 to the gala where she and Tony danced.
Anya's dress is a reference to Taylor Swift's music video Me, the first dress she wears. I have a thing for Brendon Urie.