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Purple Tulips

Chapter Text

"Not only did you hesitate but as we can all hear, also completely missed any vital points." The monotone quiet voice of Miss Winters seemed to echo around the room seeming louder then the muffled screams of the bleeding man kneeling in front of her. "We do not tolerate failure here, you know what will happen now Y2, don't you? " She was talking to the boy beside her, the boy who had failed to accomplish what he had been ordered to do, terminate the unknown man. Y2's crying, which had begun when he had been handed the gun to kill the man, intensified. He even resorted to begging, something that he should have known could only make things worse for him. She took the gun from his hands.

"Please Miss Winters! I can do it, I can!" Miss Winters seemed to consider his words, something probably done simply to give him hope, she turned towards the other children emotionless staring at each of the seventeen kids standing rod straight in a semicircle before addressing them.

"As Y2 decided to plead his case we will from now on change what happens when you fail a simple task we ask of you." She looked around the room one more time, some of the older children, Y1, X2 and a few more were almost stone faced, some children showed fear and pity, but her eyes stopped on the youngest of the group, she had tears running down her cheeks, but wasn't actually making a sound, already knowing not to attract too much attention to herself Miss Winters eyes stopped on her. "X6 come."

The smallest girl in the group stiffened , the boy beside her pushed her forward, and with a stumble she started to walk towards the group in the center of the room, Y2 looking a bit hopeful, and the man still whimpering from the gunshot wound. When she reached them she stood straight looking ahead, not up at the woman and stayed quiet, she had not been given permission to speak. "You will take this and finish what he failed to do." The woman extended a hand with the gun to the girl, who took it with shaking hands looking up at the woman in shock. "Are you going to fail me too, X6?"

All the other kids were shocked, most of them hadn't had to kill a person yet, only animals, Y2 was the fourth to have had to do it, and the second to fail, Y1 had gone first, on the day he was told was his seventh birthday, X1 was next a few days later, also on her seventh birthday, she failed, she was dragged out and a few minutes later her screams were heard, she never showed up again, all the other kids knew what that meant, then X2, almost two weeks later, followed her also on her seventh birthday she was successful, that was only a few days prior to Y2's own seventh birthday, so they didn't understand why she was ordering X6 their youngest, barely three to do it.

"No Miss Winters." With shaking hands she raised the gun level to the man's head. The didn't move, just stared her in the eyes, she glanced at the woman and saw her also starring. Focusing back on the man she inhaled closed her eyes and pulled the trigger, the recoil sent her on her back and the room went quiet. X6 got herself back up, the man lying dead, blood pooling beneath his head and splattered behind him. She tried to hand the gun back to Miss Winters, like she'd seen X2 and Y1 do but the woman shook her head.

"You're not done yet." With a nod of her head towards Y2 two guards came in the room grabbing the boys arms, and making him kneel. He tried to struggle out of their hold. "You can't close your eyes on this one can you?"

Her eyes widened. He was struggling, with his head moving around, she shakily raised the gun. "Please X6, don't do this, please!" She began to lower it but raised back up when she heard the woman clear her throat, aiming for the heart as his chest was moving a lot less then his head. A loud bang was heard and she went flying to her back again and again she got up, slower this time, not daring to look at the boy the guards were no longer holding up, and hesitantly tried to hand the gun to the woman once more, this time she took it, scrutinizing the girl.

"We'll make something out of you yet." Miss Winters turned X6 towards the other kids and placed a hand on her shoulder. "From now on whoever fails this step will be taken care of by X6. So don't fail me. You are all dismissed." The room began to clear out every kid glaring at X6, still held in place by the woman's hand on her shoulder, as they left.

That was the first day that all the other children showed any animosity towards her, and as time went on and Miss Winters seemed to favor her more and more so did their grudges towards her. They didn't know that on that day she'd only been allowed to rest hours later, in excruciating pain that she was not allowed to show, due to the punishment she received for showing any hesitation in following Miss Winters orders.

All they saw was that she'd gotten her own room, she went on her first mission long before graduation, long before any of them, and until the death of Y4 the last of them to die, they never found out that the only reason she'd gotten her own room was that Dr.Ronald Hugh had taken a special liking to her, after her sleeping arrangement changed to her being away from the other children, some of the other scientists and guards decided to take advantage of the situation. All of this was happening with the knowledge of Miss Winters, in fact, she was only chosen for the first mission that she went on, at six years old, because of what was happening. Due to the knowledge they had of the targets... tastes, Miss Winters knew that X6, with her experiences, would be just his type. Since he and his wife had been trying to adopt a child for a few years, so she went undercover for a few months as Agatha Wagner a little orphan girl who after a few pulled strings was adopted by Ernst, the target, and Catrin, his wife. Only when they got the intel they needed was she ordered to kill them both. His life was the first she felt no qualms about taking.

Chapter Text

"As you have all been informed, our very own X6 is coming back today from her very first mission." There were a few visible jaws clenching in the room. "Now what you do not know is the she also turns seven today. And when you turned seven you all went through on of the most important tests you will ever have in the academy. Now,as she has already accomplished far more than any of you had at that age that test is unnecessary as she has already shown herself worthy to pass it." Miss Winters stared at each of them, pleased by the jealousy and anger she saw in them at her words, it would serve her plans quite well. "However, there is another test. A test you will only be ready for in a few years, one we believe her to be ready now." More clenched jaws. "For that test she will need a partner, so one of you will have to be tested today as well." She could feel the disdain they had at being partnered with the younger girl, but also the urge to prove themselves above their peers with the test. "As soon as she steps foot in the academy one of you will hunt her down. She dies you pass, she lives you fail and you know what I think about failure. Any volunteers?"

All the seven children in the room raised their hands, exactly what Miss Winters was expecting. "Then you will all hunt her down then. However you will stop after one of you is down, even if she remains alive. Only the first to beat her or get beaten by her will pass or fail, the rest of you will go through the test at a later date, when you are truly ready for it. The alarm will ring once we have a winner. She is not to be told of the test." She could see the determination in their eyes, good, she believed X6 would come out alive, but if she didn't then the girl was not good enough and there would be no real loss.

X6 had completed her first mission. She's gotten Miss Winters the intel she needed, though she had no idea what it was, and had been changed back into the white tank-top and shorts that all the children wore during the winter, during summer they wore thick woolen black sweaters and black and black sweatpants, and of course, they had different clothing for training, they had to learn how to fight in all types of clothing, and environment.

Dr.Hugh had done a few tests to verify that everything was as it should be and after positive results she was sent back to the academy. She could tell something was off as soon as she was basically thrown through the front door by the guard and it was shut behind her. No one was allowed to be outside the rooms without supervision even X6, and she had been left alone. When he pushed her she stumbled but didn't fall, she'd been trained better than to let that happen, if you fall in a fight your opponent will try to take advantage of it. She held her head high and walked towards her room, all the while trying not to show how aware of her surroundings she actually was.

It didn't take long for someone to try and sneak up on her, after the first turn she passed by she heard very light footsteps behind her but she only did something about it when the person behind her actually moved to attack her, counting on them being certain of her not having noticed them, dodging out of the way and using their momentum to send them to the floor, taking the knife they had in their hand. "Y1? What are you doing?" X6 didn't sound surprised, merely curious.

The eleven year old boy didn't respond, merely got up and tried to attack her once more, the fight didn't last long ending with the boy passed out with a bleeding wound on his head. She stared at him for a moment and frowned, she could kill him, she'd done so to the nine other kids who failed their seventh year test, but that had been at Miss Winters command, she hadn't killed anyone without being ordered to do so, so she just kept walking towards her room, leaving the boy behind her but taking the knife with her, if he attacked her chances are he wasn't alone.

She didn't make it very far before X4 popped out, after her Y12 tried his luck, not being any more successful than the ones that came before. X2 managed to catch her by surprise but went down as well, she made it to her room when Y9 and Y8 attacked her together, they were the only pair of twins who had both lived past two, and as soon as the last standing hit the ground Miss Winters voice rang through the speakers. "Very well done X6, but this isn't over yet. One of them needs to fail the test and so far none of them have been put down, why is that?"

X6 looked at one of the cameras, she was confused."I did not have orders to terminate any of them Ms Winters. I am only to terminate who you tell me to. And may I ask what test it is Miss Winters?"

"Good, since you've done exemplary work yes you may X6, just this once. It is your seventh birthday, and you know of the seventh year test. You've already passed more than enough of those, even if none were your own. You were ready for a more advanced one. None of your peers have awoken yet, and since only one of them could win, only one can fail, who fails X6?" The girl seemed to think for a moment before a determined look appeared on her face. "You've made your choice?" A nod was her response. "Then go." And without wasting time she went, she left Y8 and Y9 in her room, and stopped and X2, who, just like Miss Winters had said, was still unconscious. Without seeming to have a second thought X6 bent down and snapped the other girls neck. The alarm rang twice. and guards passed by her in the direction of her room, probably to get the twins and take them to one of their doctors. She followed behind them, unprompted, and when they left they looked her inside her room, this was what she had been expecting the first guard to do.
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"Did you just let her kill our second most promising student?" The man was still staring at the screen where X2's body was pictured.

"Why would we need the second best when we've got the best already in the making? But the most important question is why would she choose her?" Miss Winters stared at the screen with the images from the camera in X6's room. "Did she choose her for being the one who would be more likely to kill her, or simply for her actions against her?"

Miss Winters had seen and had been told of the way X2 treated X6, all the other children seemed to dislike X6, but X2 seemed to have made it her mission to get in the way, as much as possible, of X6 completing any order she was given. whenever she succeeded X6 would be severely punished for her failure, without the knowledge of the other children, who just believed she'd only been confined in her room alone for a few days, especially since the younger girl never looked to be in pain or discomfort after she'd been gone for a those days after her seemed failure. X2 also made sure X6 knew what she thought of X6's position in the academy, calling her Miss Winters pet, and what Winters had seen actually make the younger girl clench her fists to hold herself back, Dr.Hugh's pet. X2 must of also seen her reaction as she began to use that every time the two crossed paths as her go to get X6 to snap and later be punished for attacking someone without being receiving the orders to do so, it had only worked on time in the beginning, but X2 didn't stop trying.

"Perhaps it was both?" The woman hummed.

Chapter Text

"And this is the strongest dose we've given her?" Miss Winters was standing by the gurney X6 was strapped to. Only she, X6 and Dr.Hugh were in the lab, nobody else was to know about this part of X6's training. "I've overlooked a lot of your behavior over the years, but that was only because it suited my purposes,but if she is in any way damaged because you couldn't find a way to not need such a strong last dosage in the eleven years you had since we started this, death will seem like an unreachable dream." If her words didn't already make him shake with fear, the glare she was directing at him would certainly make sure it happened anyway.

X6 stayed always stayed silent all through out the process, even when, with still shacking hands, Dr.Hugh stuck the needle for the IV bag into her arm. These lab visits had been a part of her routine for ever since she could remember, according to the conversations she heard between Miss Winters and Hugh, she'd been getting the light pink liquid injected into her blood since before she was born. X6 was used to the hours she had to lay on the table whilst the liquid slowly dripped out of the bag, she was also used to not feeling like anything was happening for the first hour, until the liquid started to actually take it's affect and the pain began. The girl didn't know what the liquid did or what it was, never felt like asking either, it was just something that happened that she had no control over, like most things in her life, she just knew that it hurt and left her sore afterwards, but even if he amount of pain it caused of the years stayed the same, her tolerance for it grew to the point where she'd stopped showing any reaction to it while it occurred.

This time, however, something was different, she wasn't prepared for the level of pain she felt when the first drop entered her. X6 didn't make a sound, she knew better than that, or she didn't for the first few hours, she let out the first whimper after the four hour mark, after the seventh, her first scream and when that happened she couldn't stop, struggling against the straps that did not release her. It took another two hours for the pain to stop and the soreness to take it's place, Dr.Hugh, who had stayed in the lab during the whole process, Miss Winters orders, removed the needle from her arm, and then the restraints. Only after making sure there was no damage to the girl did he have someone call Miss Winters to the lab.

"What are the results?" Winters asked as she walked into the room, running her eyes over X6 who had since gotten up and was simply standing by the gurney staring ahead. "Report on your condition X6?" She asked the girl, interrupting the man who had opened his mouth the answer her previous question.

"The soreness that usually results from this procedures seems to be stronger than usual, everything else seems to be the same." At her response the woman turned her gaze towards the man, his eyes widening .

"Her blood is being tested as we speak, but the physical effects should start showing soon, we have never reached nearly this far before, so we have no point of reference to go by, all the other successful births died with the first month, and the few alterations she has already make her one of the best in the field..." He did his best not to stumble on his words but failed on a couple occasions.

"X6, as usual, you are to report any change personally to me or Dr.Hugh, not any of the guards. You're dismissed." X6 left the room and a guard accompanied her to her room. "There is no need to inform me of what I already know Ronald, that you failed with all the others." The man's eyes widened. "X6 is your last chance, we've been working on her for eleven years now, and I don't care how good she is right now, I want her to be better, it is your job to make it so. You are going to tell me what the results are not even a second after you get them, if you failed and lie to me... Well, you won't fail will you?" The doctor quickly shook his head. "Good. You have two hours to get those results to me." She left after that, leaving behind a man desperately trying to rush through all the testing he needed to to on the samples he collected on X6.

X6 was intercepted by X4, who was with her own guard, when she was almost at her room. As of the last week, she and X4 were the last two people in the academy, at fourteen X4 had finally gone through what X6 had at seven, she was paired with Y1. "Ah, was little X6 punished again?" She spoke to X6 in a mocking childish tone. "Do you ever do anything right? You're only alive because Miss Winters took a liking to you, you know that right. You shouldn't be here, one of the others should, one of the others you killed, remember them?"

X6 smiled sweetly up at the older girl. "Yeah, but I also remember Y1, do you remember him? He loved you didn't he? That why he let you kill him? What? didn't think I knew? I also know that you loved him, yet you still killed him, I can't say I've ever killed someone I loved." Her smile turned into a smirk. "And you don't need to know, but I've just returned from a mission. Something you'll probably never be able to say."

X6 took the moment X4 seemed to be in shock and sidestepped her, her smirk falling back her regular emotionless expression, but before she could round the corner X4 spoke softly. "At least I had someone to love and to love me, something you definitely will never be able to say. You're nothing but a monster."

X6 didn't turn around or stop but chuckled and responded with. "I know."

Chapter Text

X6 could feel the glare X4 was sending her way without even looking in her direction, choosing instead to stare out the window of the car they were in. They were currently heading to the house they were to be staying in for the next few months. Steven Thomson was with them, driving the car, he was a foster care social worker who was unknowingly dropping them off at the locations of their mission. X4 was mad because Miss Winters had instructed her to follow X6’s orders during the mission, which was actually her first, she didn’t like the fact X6 was there at all.

It has been a few months since X6 has had the last dosage of whatever they had been injecting into her, and she had noted some changes, she has gained the ability to change some parts of herself, she can’t shape-shift, but is able to change her hair color and length at will, she is also able to change her eye color, those two new changes come very in handy when she has to go undercover, she has also noticed how all of her senses feel like they have gotten better. Dr.Hugh claims that over the next few months or years she should gain other characteristics, X6 believes that he is only saying that so Miss Winters doesn’t terminate him.

For this mission she and X4 were instructed to go with blonde hair and blue eyes, as to fit the image of the perfect little princesses the Braun’s wanted has children, X4 had to dye her hair. The Braun’s were an immigrant very wealthy family from Germany who already had a child of their own, a fifteen year old boy who was not happy with his parents for deciding to foster the two girls. The boy, Fynn Braun, was their target, He was good with computers, very good, already having hacked into a couple of government agencies, and the girls were to find out if he would make a good alie or if he was a potential future threat. That was X4’s mission, X6 another one, she was to keep an eye on X4, watch out for any behavior changes, according to Miss Winters, Fynn would remind them a lot of Y1, something that could compromise X4, and if it did, then X6 knew what she had to do.

The first introductions to the family went as expected, with the boys parents taking and immediate like to the younger girl shyly hiding behind her disgruntled older sister. It didn’t take long for things to go as they planned, with Marie and Emil giving more and more attention to X6 and consequently less to Fynn, the boy developed a close friendship to X4 started by their common dislike of the younger girl, Following Miss Winters orders, X4 had to be wired at all times so that x6 could know what was happening and just a few weeks in she deemed that the boy would never be their allie, and was in fact a strong contender to be a future threat. He already knew of their organization and showed a strong hate for them. She waited for X4 to get to the same conclusion but the girl kept claiming she needed more time to make a call, and X6 understood that she had been in fact compromised. During the time she spent undercover she had had to go to school and integrate herself there,making a small circle of friends had helped achieve that, she used that circle of friends to have an excuse to be out of the house during the same weekend when her foster parents were to be on a business trip, planning a sleepover at one of the others girls houses, when asked about it by X4 she told her that Fynn might open up even more to her if they were alone, with just a disinterested babysitter. When Fynn’s parents got the call that there had been a gas leak during the night and no one inside the house survived, they were devastated, and when they told their younger foster daughter that her sister was gone she was inconsolable, and became even more so when an agent posing as a social worker came to take her to her new foster home.

When X6 returned to the place she had grown up in, Miss Winters was waiting for her outside her room. “Very well done X6. You have made yourself the last one standing. Your success rate is outstanding, and for that I feel as if you deserve a…” The woman paused. “A reward if you will. Do feel free to do as you wish with it as I have no use for it anymore.” She opened the door the the girls bedroom. On the bed was Dr.Hugh, each of his limbs tied to the bed frame, Caught completely off guard, X6’s eyes widened the slightest bit, but she smirked once she understood what was happening. “I see you’re not disappointed. Good. You have exactly thirty-nine hours and…” She glanced at her watch. “ Twenty-two minutes with him. After , you are to be at the entrance hall ready to depart.. Do not be late”

X6 took complete advantage of those thirty-nine hours, only letting the life drain from his eyes at the last possible moment, his muffled screams, she wasn’t looking for an annoying headache, he’s caused her enough pain as it were, were music to her ears.

“You didn’t have any doubts X4 was going to be compromised did you?” The man stood beside Miss Winters, both looking at the same screen, watching how X6 dealt with Dr.Hugh.

“Of course I didn't, do you take me for an amateur? I just needed X6 to recognize it.” Miss Winters sent a glare in the man's direction.

“And you truly believe she is ready for relocation, she’s only eleven, surely she isn’t done training.”

“She is ready when I say she is ready, and I’m saying it now.”

Chapter Text

The sound of giggling filled the room. “Stop, Mister Matters! I give, you win!” The man stopped his assault, sliding his hands to the girls waist.

“Then why are you still calling me Mister Matters? We are alone, are we not?” The graying man smirked when the younger girl turned her head to hide her blushing face.

“Sorry, mister…. I mean, John.” A hand went to her chin to turning her head back towards Jonathan.

“Mister John huh? I can work with that.” He said, his head closing in on hers.

 

A little pink cross, the stick had a little pink cross on it, it couldn't be, but it was, all seven of them held their respective positive signs. X6, for the first time in her short life, didn't know how to react, she just sat on the toilet seat with the most recent positive in her hands. She was currently mid assignment, one in which she was completely incommunicado, so there was no way to reach Miss Winters to let her know what was happening and request her permission to get rid of the... thing inside of her. "Y/N darling, could you set the table for me? John should be here soon." That took her out of the transe she had found herself in, she still had an assignment to complete, she would focus on that.

"Kay, Aunt Linda!" The, for now, red-head replied, trashing the stick and going to do as she was asked. There was a slight problem with focusing solely on the assignment she had to complete, there was no deadline. She had already been undercover for a little over five months. When she was assigned to protect Linda Winters she had been surprised. Her usual missions involved either killing or spying, not babysitting, Not only that but the fact that there was someone Miss Winters cared enough about to send out a manhunt to locate and dispose of those who were threatening her sister was unbelievable, even if that someone was her sister and her life was only being threatened due to Miss Winters job. According to Miss Winters the two sisters had been estranged for a while, so when a social worker showed up at her door with fourteen almost fifteen year old in tow, who had the Winters’ family icy blue eyes, claiming the child as her recently orphaned niece, Linda had no hesitation in opening her house up for the young girl.

X6 had expected Linda to be strict, even if not so much as her sister but the woman seemed to be her total opposite, she had no problem demonstrating her emotions, even crying for the loss of her sister in front of her niece, who of course joined her in her mourning. She seemed to truly care about the teen she’d only just met, going out of her way to make sure the young girl knew it. That only made it easier for her to be manipulated by the one she believed she was helping. It also made it so much easier for people to begin caring for her without realizing it.

X6 set the table like her aunt had requested, setting it for three, her aunt, herself, and the man who had unknowingly made her life so much harder. Jonathan Matters was, by all accounts and purposes, an average man, X6 had looking into him, making sure he would be no threat to the woman for whom she served as a bodyguard. However, when he began to show romantic interest in Linda X6 felt the strange need to test him even more, her job wasn’t to keep the older woman from having her heartbroken, she didn’t understand why she decided to seduce him, and why she was so disappointed when he actually fell for it, or why she actually was trying to keep him away from her, which if everything went according to plan, her aunt should inform her of his sudden unavailability to join them at dinner, It’s funny what a few photos and recordings could make someone do.

“Actually, it’s just for two tonight.” X6 internally smirked. But pretended to be slightly disappointed,

“What happened? Mr.Matters okay?”

“Yeah, everything is fine, he just changed his mind, that’s all.” He hadn’t just changed his mind, X6 knew that but Linda didn’t know she knew. Linda didn’t seem to upset, which made sense since she and him had only had a few dates. “But I do need to talk to you about something I found in your bathroom.” X6 , who was returning John’s plate to the kitchen nearly dropped it.

“I…” She truly looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Linda smiled at her softly and slowly approached her, one of the many things Linda did that Miss Winters would never do.

“It’s okay, sweetheart. I know you must be terrified but everything is going to be okay, I promise you Y/N.” When Linda reached the young woman she wrapped her arms around her and for the first time since she was four years old, X6 felt real tears slide down her cheeks, she knew everything was not going to be okay, she had no idea on how Miss Winters would react to the news, and to top it all off she realized that for the first time ever in her life she actually cared about someone else.

Chapter Text

She knew everything was not going to be okay. She knew and still did not stop herself from caring about Linda, from caring about the tiny thing growing inside of her. It was hard not to grow any sort of attachment with the pre-human when Linda seemed so excited about every step of X6's pregnancy. The night she found out the news, Linda had sat down with X6 to try and figure out what the girl wanted to do, but without being able to reach Miss Winters she could not say she wanted an abortion, and so it was decided that she would carry it to term. Or until Miss Winters gave the all clear. Linda also tried to get X6 to admit the identity of the child's father, but when the girl refused she only seemed a bit concerned, no sign of her being upset or angry with the young girl.

. After the first prenatal appointment, which had been scheduled by Linda the morning after they both found out about the pregnancy, X6 discovered that she was seven weeks pregnant, meaning it took her a little over six weeks to realize. She was disappointed in herself she was better than that.The doctor had done an ultrasound, to make sure everything was as it should be, Linda's eyes watered, and so did X6's but only because it was what was expected, she did not know how someone could feel anything by looking at a blob the size of a blueberry. Although she could perhaps logically understand why Linda was acting the way she was and the way she would continue to act for the rest of the time X6 stayed with her. Linda could not have another child, she had had one when she was younger, in her twenties, but the boy only made it for a few hours after being born.

It was only a few weeks later when she heard it's heartbeat for the first time. Linda, once again, by her side. She felt a tug in her heart that she could not explain. She’d never felt anything like that before, ever the care she felt for Linda did not feel anything like it, and when she thought of what Miss Winters would most likely have her do to the child, what she herself had wanted to do, it almost felt like something in her hurt.

She cared for the thing. She knew not stopping herself from caring for Linda was a bad move but she understood how it could happen, she was not perfect, a flaw was bound to show itself, but now she cared for the thing too, and that she does not understand how it could happen. She hadn't even properly seen it, how could she have grown attached to something simply because it is with her at all times, simply because it is inside her, she’d had assignments where she'd be with certain people twenty.four/seven but she’d never grown to care for them. Growing to care for the thing inside her was an even worse thing to happen then caring for Linda, Linda is safe, Miss Winters somehow cares for her, the thing is not.As soon as her assignment with Linda was done Miss Winters would decide it’s fate, and whatever that was would not be good.

They were returning home after one of her appointments, they had just found out the gender. "You know Y/N Linda is a perfectly good name for a baby girl." Was said in a joking manner

"Haha. You're hilarious." The sarcasm was evident, X6 knew that usually adult did not react as Linda was to teenagers becoming pregnant, but she did enjoy the way the woman seem to fuss over her even more than before.

"Do you have any idea on what you're going to name her?" The girl shrugged, her hand had been intermittently rubbing over her stomach since they left the clinic, she seemed to not be doing consciously has she would stop once she realized what was happening, only to begin doing it again shortly after..

"Not a clue." The woman eyes widened.

"I know! We should stop by the bookstore on the way home, buy one of those baby girl names books." The red-head was about to give her positive answer when she saw it. they were at an intersection and out of the left side window a truck was rapidly approaching them and did not appear to even be attempting to stop. She didn't even have time to warn Linda before the truck hit them full force on the drivers side.

X6 woke up in a very familiar medical facility. Miss Winters stood beside the bed, a glare present in her face, “You failed..” The words that simple proved what she had thought when she recognized where she was hit her stronger than she thought possible. “The diver of the truck was shot whilst driving down that street. Someone knew where you’d be, and you didn’t know they knew, you have greatly disappointed me. But you brought me a gift.” Miss Winters placed a heavy hand on X6’s stomach and the girl had to fight the urge to knock it aside. “Your punishment will be decided once we find out if she survived the crash because she is like you, and for your sake, she better be.”

“And if she isn’t?” X6 couldn’t stop the question leaving her mouth.

“Then she is useless and you can be properly punished for allowing what happened to happen.We are conducting the test on the fetus’ DNA as we speak, we should know the results in a couple of days, max.”

Miss Winters left after that. X6’s hand went to her stomach, under the blankets and right as a tear left her eye, she felt the little girl inside of her move for the first time. And aware of the cameras around her but knowing that she could not make things even worse for herself she shushed the child inside her and softly said. “Everything is going to be okay.” It felt like a lie, but her entire life consisted of nothing but lying and deceiving others.

Chapter Text

There was blood everywhere, and bodies lay scattered around the facility. This was not the first time X6 had caused such a scene. However it was the first time she had done so not just without receiving the order to do so but going against the order to not do so. The first time she went against Miss Winters direct orders, but she had to get out.She had to, not for herself, but for the one still inside her who they had very recently found out to be completely normal. She did not inherit any of the genetic mutations given to X6 by her treatments.She did not plan to do what she had done.

X6 was locked in her room, laying on her bed simply staring at the ceiling when a guard walked in and harshly ordered her to get up,manhandling her to the medical section of the facility. X6 knew the results before they were told to her by a very angry looking Miss Winters, that guard would not have been as rough as she was with her if the child was to be useful to Miss Winters. Miss Winters left the room after telling the doctor who had replaced Doctor Hugh to get rid of the thing, and the guards to take X6 to “the room” afterwards, X6 had only been in it once before, right after they were moved into the new facility, hadn't even done anything wrong, Miss Winters just wanted her to experience what would happen to her if she were to disappoint her, she truly did not want to experience it again.

X6 could feel her hands begin to shake as the doctor go closer to her, holding a syringe. X6 tightly closed her eyes when the woman raised the needle , but right when it touched her skin, the still red-headed girl instinctively grabbed the other woman’s hand, and within a few seconds, too fast for the guards in the room to comprehend what had happened, the doctor lay dead on the ground, her neck bent at an unnatural angle. The guards were shocked, the girl had never lashed out like that before, she hadn’t needed to be tied up for anything in months, but once they got over their shock it was too late to do anything,

There were no alarms ringing, at first there were no obvious sign that something was happening, but X6 knew Miss Winters Knew what she had done, all of the guards, which was not nearly as many as they had at the previous facility, were after her. She could handle them though, after all, she had handled all of the ones from before, the only difference being that the previous time Miss Winters had ordered her to do so, this time she was ordering her not to using the speakers spread throughout the facility. It was harder then she thought it should be to disobey the older woman, but thinking of Linda and the child inside of her gave her the willpower to do what she hadn’t even thought of doing before, get out.

It didn’t take nearly as much time to get rid of all the guards as it had the first time, when she had received the order by Miss Winters. “This is all your fault, none of this would have happened if you hadn’t tried to get rid of her.” One of her bloody hands went to her stomach. Miss Winters was cornered, she’d had X6 trained too well, the teens abilities surpassing her own, perhaps even without the enhancements. She had lost her weapons to the girl who had just tossed them aside, out of both their reaches. X6 had a knife she had taken from one of the first guards she had dealt with and used to deal with the the rest of them. She had no qualms about taking a knife to a gun fight.

“That thing will only be a burden to you. You can't kill me, what are you going to do afterwards, you know nothing but this life. You think that child will love you? How can something so innocent ever love something so tainted as you are? You are nothing but a monster made to tailor my needs.” X6 smirked.

“You’re right. I am exactly what you made me, but now it’s not your needs i wish to fulfill anymore. And I do have to thank you for making me the way you did, after all, it does mean I can enjoy what I am going to do to you without any remorse, monsters don’t feel that sort of thing, do we?” X6 did not make Miss Winters suffer for as long as she wanted to, she had more important things to worry about, one of those being gaining access to the computer only the older woman had ever accessed. She looked up files that made any mention to herself and the other kids she’d lived with and saved those in a small USB stick to take with her. She also gained access to Miss Winters business bank account, the account she knew the payments for missions she did for other people would go to and set up a transfers to several foreign banks who wouldn’t ask many questions. It was a very large sum. She had to set up an identity for herself, she’d never gotten to choose who she had to be so deciding that had taken a little longer than it should have. But she settled on the first name she had had during the only time she had truly experienced a sliver of happiness, no matter how much she cared for Linda she refused to have the last name Winters, and it wouldn’t be smart to have the exact same name anyway, so just a little out of spite for Miss Winters, she settled on the opposite. Her name was Y/N Summers.

Before she left, X6 picked up one of the purple tulips Miss Winters had kept as a small decoration, and carefully placed it on the woman, the flower immediately getting soiled by her blood. She knew what purple tulips meant, she’d needed to befriend a flower enthusiast during one of her missions, and one of those meanings seemed perfect for her at that moment, the moment when X6 died, to be reborn as Y/N.

Chapter Text

When you first arrived in the city you decided would be the one you would live in for the foreseeable future, New York City, you stayed at several hotels, not for a long period of time, just under a month, whilst you found a suitable apartment to either buy or rent. You found one to rent relatively fast, it was expensive, situated in Manhattan, just a short walk away from central park, but most importantly of all, all it’s tenants passed the background checks you had done on them. You’d started your search on other less expensive parts of New York, but the cheaper the place the more people living near it that didn’t pass your background checks, you wanted the little girl you’d fought for to be as safe as you could possibly make her. You could clearly tell that the realtor who showed you the place was judging you harshly, but she quickly changed her tune when she learned you were an emancipated orphan who’d just gotten her inheritance, her very large inheritance. She still gave a few side glances to you ever growing stomach though, which went ignored by you. The apartment didn’t come furnished, you fixed that pretty quickly with quite a few online purchases, the nursery being the room you started with. It looked almost exactly like the one in the magazine you had copied it from, the only difference being the lack of the baby’s initials above the crib, you didn’t know what you would name it so you had none to paint there. The rest of the house also followed magazines, even your room, it all ended up coordinating well, you didn’t have your own taste, but you knew what other people tend to like.

You only accessed the files you’d gotten in Miss Winters office after all the apartment was finished. You didn’t not like what you found, especially the fact there there seemed to be another man involved in, what you learned to be called, “Project Gloria”. His name was never mentioned, only being written down as “he” or “him”, he never signed anything either, but there are records of his visits to the academy and to the new facility, although the latter did not see much of his presence. It is also recorded that he was sent updates on you every month, with copies of what was sent and transcripts of phone conversations, you notice that there is no updates on the time you spent with Linda, and the few days you spent on the facility before getting out. You were grateful for that, it meant that he most likely did not know about your state. You considered trying to find him, going after him before he could go after you. But you were held back, going after him could make it easier for him to find you and you knew nothing about him, only that he was a he, so you didn't know the sort of resources he had, what he was capable of, so for the safety of your unborn child, you decided not to, however you would make sure to pay even more attention to potential threats, not that you weren’t already doing so but doing more would not hurt. You were going to destroy all the files you knew what had happened but nobody else needed to, you hid the USB stick instead, and for years it didn’t even cross your mind.

It took almost a month for you to properly meet your next door neighbor, Darlene, you had seen her in the halls a few times and already knew everything about her before you even moved in, but obviously pretended not to. She knocked on your door one late morning, a covered dish in her hands. You had opened the door, showing none of the hesitation you were feeling, you did not appreciate that caring for Linda seemed to have opened a hole for more emotions to show up, even actively trying to keep them down did not seem to work that well, what started out as weak barely there feelings seemed to grow in strength. You could hide them perfectly, but the fact that they were there was very annoying, and that was also annoying. Darlene Adams was a fifty-six year old woman who had never had children, according to what you found she was once happily married to James Adam, they had not had children and James had died of natural causes almost twenty years prior, Darlene hadn’t found someone else nor did she seem to look for someone. She uncovered what the dish as she asked if you allergic to anything and telling she had made you her, according to her, world renown lasagna. You had smiled and introduced yourself, thanking her and inviting her in, she stayed for a while, you’d served each of you a plate, subtlety waiting for her to take a forkful of the food you had served her, masking your unwillingness to eat by talking animatedly mostly about how much you loved your new place, the background checks you’d done on her had been to your liking but you could have been wrong.

During the last three months of your pregnancy you got closer to Darlene, at first she was the one to come to you, she’d do so every couple of days, always with what she called an offering, you told her she didn’t need to bring you so much food but she insisted. Eventually, on one of the days where she wouldn’t be at your place you went to hers, you knew she would knock on you door the next day but you had a prenatal appointment and wouldn’t be in the apartment, you weren’t going to warn her, you had no obligation too, but a little after the time she usually showed up at your place you changed your mind, so, pulling up your sleeves, you began to bake. An hour later you were knocking at her door. You slowly began showing up at her door on the days she didn’t show up at yours. You were at her place when your water broke, you had been feeling contractions before, but figured them to be braxton hicks again. your eyes widened and Darlene remained calm as she helped you head to the elevator, stopping by your apartment to get the diaper bag with everything you’d need that you kept by the door, you didn’t need her help, you’d experienced worse pain then the contractions, but it did feel nice, you’d never admit it though. She went with you to the hospital with you, staying even after hey told you it could take a few hours before the baby was ready to come out. Looking at you for permission when she was asked if she’d be in the room with you, permission you readily gave. You had a natural childbirth, refusing the epidural. You screamed during it, didn’t need to but it was expected, Darlene made sure to hold your hand, and you make sure to squeeze only what was expected, you perhaps went a little low, not wanting to hurt the woman you had found yourself unable to no care about. After several hours of labor you found yourself holding your baby girl, you hadn’t decided on a name, remembering how excited Linda had been about choosing one every time you tried to pick one, but, looking down at her, you knew who you wanted her to be. Elizabeth Nadine Summers was born on the fourteenth of June, exactly sixteen years ahead of the date marked on your file as your birth date, and seventeen according to the forged birth certificate you had. Even though you hadn’t done exactly what Linda had jokingly asked for, you still named your daughter after her, choosing to give her the woman’s middle name as her first.

When you took Elizabeth home, your apartment actually began to feel like what you assumed a home to feel like. You woke up each time she stirred in her crib, often already by her side when she began to cry, you didn’t like the feeling her crying gave you, even though you knew babies were meant to do so. You didn’t have a lot of pictures before she was born, you didn’t have any at all, but now the one Darlene had taken of you as you held Elizabeth for the first time, stood proudly on your nightstand, being the first thing you saw when you woke up and the last before you fell asleep. Sometimes you had nightmares, most nights really, something that hadn’t happened until you allowed yourself to care for Linda, you refused to admit that you had no control over that happening, that you had no control over the care you felt for Darlene and the love you felt for Elizabeth, you still don’t acknowledge the fact that you had tried to stop it, but had failed. Your nightmares ranged from things you have done to things that have been done to you, sometimes your daughter replaced the people you hurt, sometimes she replaced you when you were being hurt. Sometime you dreamed of the car accident, of what you could have done to stop it, sometimes you stopped it, and Linda met your daughter. Those dreams made your first waking moments a lot harder than normal, when you remembered that she did not get to meet the child she was so excited to meet. What all those dreams had in common is what you did once you were awake, before you used to lie in bed, waiting for an appropriate time to start the day, but after Elizabeth, you quietly headed to her room, sometimes you would carefully pick her up and sit on the rocking chair, sometimes, when you didn’t trust yourself, usually after the dreams where you hurt her, you just stand beside her crib, watching the steady rise and fall of her chest, assuring yourself that she was safe, even from yourself.

For the first year of her life, you never let her out of your sight, everywhere you went she went with you. You didn’t go to a lot of places, you went grocery shopping every once in a while, and you went to Darlene’s place. Once a week you took Elizabeth to central park, just to walk around and allow her to get some fresh air, Darlene took up on your open invitation to join you, every other week.The older woman volunteered to babysit in case you wanted to go out and have fun, do things people your own age usually enjoyed doing, or just enjoy alone time as most parents seemed to crave it. You knew she wasn’t lying when she claimed that it would be no bother at all to babysit Elizabeth, you had seen the way she interacted with the infant,the way she looked at her, and every time you would see the resemblance with how grandparents were with their grandchildren. Elizabeth’s first word had been “mama” followed very closely by her second, “nana”. That had been how you introduced her to Darlene in the hospital, the woman had tears in her eyes then, tears that returned when Elizabeth called her that while requesting to be picked up.

What made you decide to finally take Darlene's offer of watching Elizabeth so you could have some time to yourself was you, finally, realizing why you’d grown jittery, why it was becoming easier and easier to put you on edge, you were never meant to live the kind of life you had been living, you were made for action, and you were growing bored. So, making sure that Darlene and Elizabeth would be in your apartment while you were out, yours was safer than Darlene’s, although you had installed some of the security devices you had on your apartment in hers, you planned a day out. Everything went according to plan. You hadn’t done any of the things the woman suggested, you did tell her you did though. It didn’t take long between deciding what you wanting to do to having everything ready to go. That first day Darlene babysat Elizabeth, the day after you left in the early morning, telling her that you were going to try and enjoy alone quiet time in the library, returning noticeably more relaxed in the middle of the afternoon, a body of a woman was found, a few blocks down, in her own living room. A woman who before her death seemed like a completely average Jane, a fact disputed by the contents of a manila folder laying next to her, a folder in which sat a single purple tulip.

Chapter Text

"Happy birthday Eli." Your voice is slightly louder than a whisper, Elizabeth is not properly awake yet, you're stroking her arm, gently waking her up. On any other day she'd be the one in your room, waking you up not nearly as gently, or so she thinks, her steps in the hallway usually wake you before she even reaches your door, you'll never tell her though, but the night before she stayed up later than usual, to excited for her upcoming birthday to fall asleep..

"No, mommy..." She groans, pulling the covers over her head and you smile but let out a disappointed sounding sigh, slapping your hands on you legs and begin to get up.

"Well, okay. I guess I'll have to eat all those birthday pancakes all by myself." She reacts exactly how you expected her too, sitting up so fast you're surprised she didn't give herself whiplash, the covers bunching up at her waist.

"Birthday pancakes?" Elizabeth asks enthusiastically.

"Yep, very yummy, very special, birthday pancakes, but since you don't want any..."

"I want any! I want many pancakes!"

"Then you have to get up." She does so in a hurry, you hold her as she almost falls from the bed in her haste to leave it. "Whoa there my little tiger, we still gotta brush your teeth."

"Aw, do we have too, I want my special birthday pancakes." Elizabeth whines, pouting up at you as you carry her to the bathroom. The bigger she gets the more you cherish the moments when you hold her, you fear the day when you'll have to stop.

"Yes we have to." You say in the same whining tone, she tries to hold back a smile. "We don't want all your teeth to rot and fall out do we?" Her eyes widen and she quickly shakes her head. There's not much in the world that can make you let out a real smile, bet Eli and her antics never seem to fail in doing so.

The rest of her birthday, and yours, seems to pass by incredibly fast yet so slowly at the same time. It's on a Friday, and Elizabeth as preschool, but you decided beforehand that she wasn't going to attend it on her birthday. You informed the school of her absence beforehand, and you spent the time with her, Darlene joined you two at lunch time, afterwards taking Elizabeth to central park while you got everything ready at your apartment, you're so lucky there were only minor damages in your vicinity during the strange invasion a year ago, and those were quickly taken care of.

When Darlene and Elizabeth return home, the little girl seems very pleasantly surprised by the presence of her classmates. The party isn't very big, with a few games and activities, but she and the other kids seem pretty happy with it, even the adults seem pleased in the kid free kitchen, leaving you and Darlene to watch over all the children. Between hanging out with people you can't stand and watching over the tiny people you can't stand, you choose the latter, at least the only tiny person you can actually stand is among that group.

The weekend passes by, on Sunday Elizabeth spends a few hours at Darlene's while you do what you've come to address as your side job, which got easier to do once you put Elizabeth in preschool last year since you no longer have to leave her with Darlene each time you need to get out of the apartment.

When you pick Eli up from preschool Monday afternoon she's bursting with energy. "Mommy! Mommy! Guess what happened today!"

"What was it?" Your day hasn't been going great but the smile on her face seems to brighten it, she holds your hand as you walk, violently swinging both of your hands in her excitement.

"No mommy! You have to guess, that's the game." She pouts at you.

"Okay, okay... Did you make a new friend?" She shakes her head, still smiling brightly, you hum pensively. "Did you get an extra cookie at lunch?" This time she pouts as she shakes her head. "Well then, can you give me a hint?"

"The Avengers are coming tomorrow!" She screams, causing quite a few heads to turn your way, which you ignore. You feel yourself tense up, luckily she's far too young to realize. "Miss Melody said we only get to see one, 'cuz they have to go to all the classes, but we don't know which one is gonna go to our class yet. Miss Melody said that we have to pick an avenger and make something for them. I picked the Hulk 'cuz nobody else did and I don't want him to feel sad for getting nothing.."

"That's nice, sweetheart." You're listening to her rambling, but most of your focus isn't in it, why are The Avengers going to her school, it may be no more than a coincidence, they may have picked a school at random, but they may also have purposely chosen your daughters school. There are easier ways to get to you, but you can never be too careful, you decide that a check up on SHIELD and Stark is in order. " Do you know what your gonna make for him?" You ask.

"I'm gonna make him a picture, 'cuz you and nana always get happy when I give you my pictures." There's a pause and a gasp. "Do you think he's gonna put it on his 'fridgerator door, like you and nana do?"

"Maybe, you just have to make sure it's a really special picture, won't you?" She nods her head enthusiastically then grows quiet, possibly thinking on how to make her gift extra special. Your mind is more on what you're going to do if their little school trip is more than a coincidence.

Chapter Text

“So, who did you see?” Nothing you found has made it seem like they know who you are. They know of you, the tulip becoming known as your calling card, associating all your kills to each other, as you had intended, but they don’t know who you really are, so you’re more carefree when talking to Eli, who is somehow much more excited then she was yesterday, about their visit.

“We got the Black Widow, mommy. Did you know her name is Natasha?” You become a little less carefree when you hear that, you’d been hoping her class would maybe get Steve or Bruce, Thor would do, even Tony, but of course she got one of the assassins, even Clint would have been better, at least in your eyes. You tried making it so it would be Steve but they truly seemed to be going to random classes, there was nothing says who would go where. “I really like her hair, it looks like mine! She said my hair was really pretty!” Her hair is almost the exact shade yours was when she was conceived, and it was pretty, you’d give The Widow that.

“Was she nice?” You ask already knowing the answer, your daughter wouldn’t be as hyped has she is if the woman wasn’t. You’re not far from the preschool yet, when you walk with Elizabeth, you walk at less than half your regular speed.

“Yeah! When we gave her our presents she gave us a pin!” She stops and lets out an overly dramatic gasp, You blame Darlene. I forgot my pin!”

“I’m sure it’ll be there tomorrow, just ask Miss Melody in the morning.”

“No mommy, I have to have it now, if I don’t have it I’m not an honary ‘venger. Please can we go get it? I want to show it to Nana.”

“Honorary.” You automatically correct her. She’s giving you the puppy dog eyes, the ones you sometimes give Darlene, and you’ve resisted torture, a lot of it, but you somehow can’t resist those. You sigh, “Okay, let’s go, but honorary Avengers eat all their vegetables, and they better eat them today.” You chuckle at the disgusted face she makes and pick her up before heading back.

You’re almost at the school as, what appears to be the last nanny and child duo, leave. The teacher standing by the gate looks around, which raises suspicion in you, before nodding someone you can’t see. Your grip on Eli tightens before you set her down and nudge her behind you, but she seems to realize who the people who appear at the gate are, just a second after you do, as a result of that and your surprise, you just fail to catch her as she sprints past you. You lose your hope to catch her before they see her when she decides to yell out at the absolute top of her lungs. “Miss Natasha!” You’ve never felt a stronger urge to cringe,

Thanks to her scream every member of The Avengers looks your way. They now know what you look like, great.You have no choice but to follow Eli so, as much as you don’t want to get closer to them, you have to. The first words you say to them are “Sorry about...” Your hand does a couple round motions in your daughters direction. That motion also encompasses Natasha, seeing as the thing you're apologizing for is the way she is basically clung herself to the woman, hooking her arms around one of her legs, looking up and just excitedly rambling on, “That.” The guys seem to be amused, and the former assassin, for her credit, seems to be indulging your daughter, her eyes occasionally going to you and giving you a reassuring look, most likely due to your embarrassed look. “Eli come on, we have to go get your pin don’t we?” Her arms reluctantly release their grip on the woman. You take one of her hands to make sure she doesn't decide to run off again,

“Yes mommy.” She definitely sounds a lot less enthusiastic than before.

“Again, sorry about that tackle attempt.” This time you’re addressing the woman.

“It’s nothing, don’t worry, you have an adorable kid.” Your daughters face light up as Natasha ruffles her hair. She proceeds to introduce herself, only introducing the others when Clint clears his throat. You, of course, know them all, but pretend no to know the assassins by name. You were hoping to avoid introductions, because that would mean introducing yourself, and that means they’ll know your name and you face. Left without a choice you introduce yourself, you’re interrupted when you go to introduce your daughter. “Elizabeth, my little twin.” You were surprised she remembered your daughters name, your daughter’s school was the last one the Avengers went to, but they had gone to three other, on a couple they had to go to more than one class, meaning she met a lot of kids. If you were any other parent, you probably would have liked that she remembered Eli’s name, but you weren’t, so you aren’t. You can pretend to be though.

You leave with the excuse that you have things to do, you don’t. And are in a hurry to get the pin you’re beginning to hate. You hope that you didn’t raise any red flags for the Black Widow, but the eyes you feel on you all the way to the front door make you believe otherwise. They’re thankfully gone when you exit the building not long after, Eli seems disappointed, but you're not. However, you feel like you’ll have to keep a very close eye on them for a while.

Chapter Text

It hasn’t even been a week since The Avengers, you’ve been busier than usual since then. You haven’t stopped researching your potential targets, ever since you started doing, what the news are calling, vigilante work, you have never gone after someone you had even just a sliver of a doubt of them being innocent. However, that doesn’t make you busier, what is giving you more to do is the more in depth research you’ve been doing on the avengers and and several government organizations.

They know you’re in New York, but that’s extremely simple to deduce since most of your hits are performed in the city, something you can’t help for not wanting to be far from your daughter for too long, lest someone try something. They suspect that you have access to some government agencies databases which, again, is not something very hard to deduce, some of your hits are people of which they have evidence of wrongdoing yet are unable to do anything about due to the power the people have. Nothing you find even mentions the possibility of having a child. Nothing you find point to you being the illustrious ‘Tulip’, or at least nothing did until you on a whim , almost giving up entirely, decided to search for the location of the place that had housed you and the other children Miss Winters used as nothing more than pawns. That’s when you learn they’re not even looking for ‘Tulip’, they’re looking for X6.

From what you can gather from the files they have, the discovery of that place was done by following outdated intel, believing it to be an active genetic engineering and training facility. They had gotten that intel from an anonymous source. You don’t have to wonder what the place looks like now, there’s a few pictures in the files, most of it is burned to the ground. However they were able to salvage some information from what used to be Miss Winters quarters and office. They were able to salvage some video and text files. The text files don’t have much information that could be useful for them, the videos however show your face.

You don’t know what you feel about the fact that one of the few videos they recovered contained the image of your very first human kill. You’ve already seen this exact footage before, even with higher quality, but back then you didn’t have Elizabeth’s face to unwillingly put in all the other children’s place. You keep on with the files and try to rid yourself of the images that sometimes star in your nightmares.

When you reach the end of what they have on who you used to be, you’re relieved to finally have confirmation that they do suspect you of something, you’re not happy about it, but you’re relieved. The fact that you’re not the only one suspected of being X6 also makes you breathe a little easier. Aging people from pictures as low quality as the one’s they had available may lead to what occurred, the facial recognition programs matched a few people within a close percentage. You’re not the first they’ve looked into,in fact you’re one of the last. Elizabeth’s presence in your life may have something to do with it.

When you finally close your laptop it’s almost time for Darlene to be stopping by to drop Elizabeth off. Possible scenarios of action are going through your mind as you busy yourself by making a small lunch for Eli when she arrives. You’re almost done when the front door opens with a bang..

“Elizabeth Nadine Summers!” You smirk has you hear Darlene exclaim. Eli’s rapid footsteps halt their progress, and you know the look she’s giving Darlene, having been on the receiving end of it far too many times. You’re taking advantage of their delay to place the finished ants-on-a-log on her usual counter seat.“What have we told you about the doors?”

“Not to slam them, but I didn’t, Nana. I didn’t closed it, I opened it. You can only slam doors when you close them.“

“If there’s a bang like that when you use a door, then you slammed it. Doesn't matter if you’re opening or closing the doors..”

“I’m sorry. I just really wanna tell mommy!”

“Fine, don’t do it again though, now go on.” Elizabeth begins to run towards the kitchen, but is slowed down by the older woman when she says. “No running inside!”

She doesn’t run until you’re in her line of sight, you’re setting a glass of apple juice by the plate when she full speed body slams herself into hugging you legs. When you look down at her she has a very bright smile on her face.

“Hi mommy!” You pick her up setting her on the stool and placing a kiss on her cheek.

“Hi baby!” You’re going to ask her what happened to get her so hyped but she starts rambling on before you can. Sometimes you wonder if she got that from you, if you would have been like as bubbly and as happy as she almost always seems to be, if you hadn’t been raised in the conditions you had.

Darlene sits in one of the stools while Eli talks, the only greeting you give each other is a knowing smile Eli misses entirely. You do manage to set a cup of freshly brewed tea in front of the older woman. This happens almost every time Darlene picked Eli up from preschool, even when the girl doesn’t have seemingly very exciting news to share,

“”We won Mommy! We got the prize, so we get to go to the tower, well, you have to sign the paper so that I can go, and I can't forget to take it to school, Miss Melody said that if we forget that we can’t go, but I won't forget, and you will sign right, mommy?” .She hasn’t touched her food yet, almost bouncing on her seat staring expectantly at you.

You’re confused, You don't remember any mention of a contest going on at her school but Darlene doesn’t seem worried about it so that alleviates some of your concern. From what you gather, her class won a field trip.

“How about you go get the permission slip, I’ll read it whilst you eat and then I’ll decide.” Her face falls a little, yet she does go, almost beginning to run however a glance to Darlene slows her down but leaves her with a cheeky grin.

“So, what is all that about?” you ask, after jokingly finally properly greeting the older woman.

“Her class won some sort of art thing, Something about the Avengers. I don’t know any details she’s being too hyper to explain anything properly.” There’s a fond exasperated look on her face.

Elizabeth comes back, paper in hand, she only sits down and begins to eat after being instructed to do so, meanwhile her hopeful eyes remain glued to you as you read the slip.

Elizabeth and her classmates won a surprise contest, held due to how many drawings and other small things the Avengers got on their school visits. According to the note, it wasn’t something that was planned from the beginning, but the winning class would have a day long field trip to the Avengers tower. You really didn’t want to sign the thing, On the one hand you doubt any of the other parents would refuse to let their kids spend a day with the superheroes, if you did that would be very suspicious, however on the other you didn’t want her near the people who were investigation you.

By the time Elizabeth is finished with her snack, you have made up your mind.

Chapter Text

Eli is going to the tower, the permission slip has long been signed and handed to her teacher. The trip is still a few days away, planned to take place on the last day of school, when Eli approaches you with a request.

*_*_*_*_*_*_

You’re sitting beside Eli, your hand running through her hair has you read her the bedtime story she had picked before laying down. Her eyes are staying closed for longer periods of time each time she blinks. “Mommy?”

“Yes, baby?” You stop reading and give her your full attention, the hand on her hair continuing its motions

“Can I cut my hair?” Your hand finally stops and the girl seems to become more awake, now staring back at you, waiting for an answer.

“You… You want a haircut?” Her answer, to you, is a simple nod of the head. “Why is that, darling?” You don’t want to cut her hair, her now long beautiful locks have only been touched once and only to save the first lock of hair cut in her baby book. You love running your hands through it, just as you had been doing before, and considering how often she’s the one who grabs your hand and puts it on her head, you’d say she also enjoys that part of you nighttime routine. Another thing you really enjoy is the amount of hairstyles the length allows you to do almost every morning, even if it never seems to return in the same state once she comes home from preschool. However you figure that perhaps a friend of hers has recently gotten their hair cut and now she wants it too, children, after all, seem to follow the saying monkey see monkey do, even yours. You figure that making an appointment at a hair salon to trim her ends might be enough.

“I wanna cut it like Miss Natasha’s so we can really look like twins, and I can show it to her when we go to the tower. Do you think she’ll like it, mommy?” She’s looking at you expectantly, her puppy dog eyes turned to you with their full force. She’s asking for a lot more than what you’re really comfortable with, but you know it will make her happy and there's nothing you wouldn’t do to make her happy.

“I think she’ll love it.” You make a note to book an appointment first thing tomorrow, and when she’s had it cut, she’ll look just as beautiful as she does right now, even if she’s trying to emulate someone other than yourself. She doesn’t even attempt to match with her nana, but you’ve had to make sure that she has outfits that can match yours, even if with just the same color scheme, she doesn’t ask to match you everyday, but often enough that buying them felt necessary.

*_*_*_*_*_*_

Eli’s going to the tower tomorrow and her hair is freshly cut and she can’t seem to stop touching it. She’s as happy and beautiful as you knew she would be and that makes it worth it. After asking you what you were planning to wear tomorrow and basically forcing you to decide it, she already had her matching outfit folded on her desk,socks included, shoes on the floor beside it. During the night you have nightmares of her being in your place under Miss Winters care, but during the day, you imagine if you would have been as happy go lucky as she seems to be if you had a normal childhood.

The Avengers talk around your house seems to have peaked and you hope it will decrease after the visit. Over the past few days she’s been working on presents to give to them, she only needed help with her present to the Widow.. You did feel the urge to use the presents as a way to spy on them, yet refrained from doing so, the less you do the less likely you are of being caught.

“Are you done wrapping it, mommy?” Eli asks you just as you place the last bit of duct tape on the only gist that required wrapping, the others needing only envelopes. Only her head is peeking through the kitchen doorway. Since she can’t read yet, each envelope is covered in stickers of the hero they will go to, the Widow’s present is wrapped using wrapping paper from her merchandise.

“Yes I am, you can put them in your bag now, so we don’t forget them tomorrow.” She’s asked you to wrap it insisting that she’d wanted it to look perfect. When the rest of her body appears in the doorway, her hands are behind her back, clearly hiding something. “What are you hiding, missy?”

“I know it’s not perfect, but you couldn’t wrap it or you’d see!” She holds out her hands, in them is a poorly gift wrapped small box, opening it confirms your suspicions on what it might be. You smile at your daughter pulling her in for a hug, the box still in your hands.

“Thank you, baby, I love it!” She’s smiling wide when you release her, mumbling something about putting all the gifts away while picking them up from the table. You watch her fondly as she runs out of the kitchen, this time you even let the running go.

Soon after, when she returns to the kitchen you’re getting ready to prepare dinner,and when, as expected, she asks to help,you don’t hesitate to say yes. Even if, at this age, she mostly gets in the way, you still like to have these moments with her, despite them always leaving you feeling that, after all you’ve done, you don’t deserve them, especially since you took away other people’s ability to have moments like the ones you seem to have been blessed with.