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the future is a garden in a distant realm

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Natasha sits on the side of a cliff. No one is there. She can’t remember what it is she is supposed to do. Steve jumps from a speeding train. There is no one there to catch and as he tumbles, he isn’t sure why he let himself go. Scott stares at a van. He fishes for the keys in his pocket- they aren’t there. He isn’t sure where he left them. One day this will all make sense, in one version of reality anyway. Maybe it won’t. But that’s not for even me to decide.

When no one else is around, I tiptoe through the garden. I whisper to the branches, stroke the leaves, talking to the plants, a voice in the dark. Sometimes our heroes can hear me, but most of the time they don’t even try to listen. Sometimes I get bored and do a little landscaping. Most of the time, no one even notices.

Bruce runs into the fray, tensing and preparing to shift. He jumps, expecting his other self to take over. He stumbles and hits the concrete, his palms scraping, blood blossoming on tawny hands. There is only him. Clint reaches behind his back. His fist comes away empty. Sam calls out a name he doesn’t know, yelps in surprise when a bird shaped drone flashes by his ears.

I’ve gotten caught before, messing with the branches of reality and time. I am not usually punished but putting the pieces back where I found them takes time and effort, and I am often tasked with annoying errands after that. Maintaining the trails, preventing pests, tidying up and snipping stray twigs. It’s boring, but at least I get to stay in the garden. They let me keep watching them work, let me keep whispering to the plants as I sit on the garden wall.

Tony stares into an unused lab. He had a plan for it, but he can’t remember what it was. He shakes his head- he’ll need to ask JARVIS. A sharp pain runs through Bucky’s left arm. It never was the same after he was pulled from the ice. Carol thinks she sees a flicker of light twist through her arm- she must have been staring out into the sky too long again.

There is no branch for Thor. He isn’t in this garden. There is nothing I can do to him. When I sit on the garden wall, I can peek into his garden. I don’t recognize the plants there, but I see the tree with the seedpods that sometimes float into my garden.
Stephen thinks I don’t see him lurking, but he was never very good at staying put in his own garden. We have that in common I think. I always was nosy.