A/N: not the best name, but it'll do for the chapter. Hope you enjoy!Valentine's Background
In the dull gray matter of our young captain, a conversation was taking place between two voices.
Startled, the second voice didn't reply.
A sigh came from the first. "You know, if you're going to live here with me and the others, I think that there are a few things you need to know. I'm honestly kinda surprised it took you this long to wake up after that mental beating, but this
, me telling you things, is very necessary for our survival. The survival of this pack of voices in this young and innocent head."
The second voice gave what passed for a nod, here in this place where nothing existed. 'Yes, she understood what she was saying, and she will listen.'
A short ways away, sitting in two chairs, were two men, brothers in arms, though one was a scientist and pacifist through and through. The first was the soldier, short-cropped blonde hair graying a bit as he watched the TV with his friend, an odd possible combination of Mark Ruffalo and Edward Norton. The second had stubble all across his jaw, and his hair was greying at the temples.
On the TV, a love-frenzied mob swarmed after two lovers, a young brunette with brown eyes and his brown-eyed brunette girlfriend. Xander and Cordelia.
It was an often rewatched episode of a TV series from an old set of DVD's they owned. Right next to their 10 season set of Stargate: SG-1.
Part of the thing was, you look at the characters and you see a fun show. But if you looked through the DMV, you'd find reality.
Cordelia M Chase, going to be penniless.
Rupert Edmund Giles, slight criminal record to color his lordship and degrees.
Buffy Anne Summers, airhead until this past year, then a troublemaker.
Alexander Lavelle Harris, straight D- student, but takes all the same college-level classes as a recorded friend and straight A+ in everything student, Willow Danielle Rosenburg (suspected hacker, but never investigated. Neither of the two are investigated by Child Welfare, even with nearly blatant signs of abuse).
Daniel Osbourne, anchorless guitar player, senior.
Joyce Summers, bad marriage, not good job choice for her education (currently residing in coast-side Sunnydale).
Jenny Calendar, obviously faked history. Janna Kalderash, no record.
And then there's also Jonathan 'Jack' O'Neil, Colonel, honorable discharge. Iran and Iraq recorded, as well as Black Ops [redacted]. Currently grieves his son's death, and his marriage is going down the tube.
Daniel Jackson, achaeologist. Noted well in Lara Croft's records for up-and-coming scholars, though mocked by the general public for his ideas (many of which aren't completed by him, but rather by the ignorant public), offered a job by the Watcher's Council, but was turned down for his lack of an ethical void.
Samantha Carter, Major, active for the Gulf War and graduated at the top of her class in the Academy. Aspirations to be an astronaut.
General W.O. West, active. No real record outside of his name rank and serial number. Odd.
General George Hammond, active, has grandchildren. Many commendations on both military record and psych profiling.
All of this prompted the two-year-old to do a little snooping while her parents were asleep. She was usually deep in thought or sharply observing her surroundings when her parents simply assumed her to be playing in her playpen. Her father was a good man, and a chemist. His name, as she had discovered, was Bruce Banner. That was a name to remember, especially after watching The Incredible Hulk for the first time.
Her 'Uncle' was known as Steve Rogers. He was a decorated war hero, complete with the medals to prove it.
He also never shows up in military records.
"Remember the first time we watched this with Thor?" Bruce asked Steve, the melancholy attempting to overcome him.
He nodded, his melancholy matching his best friend's.
They often mentioned spending time with their friends; Tony, Natasha, Thor, Clint. Pepper, Jane Foster, Phil, Jarvis.
Good men and women, good friends and family, gone in the blink of an eye. It was no wonder it was so sad. Especially when, on the anniversary of Lara's marriage to Bruce (a year after he proposed, a bit of a special thing every member of their group of friends did), Valentine's Day, so many of them died as well.
All that pain in her father's and uncle's faces always struck her. Made her shed a tear or two for good people she never met.
They all had their secrets. But only her and Jarvis, Just A Really Intelligent System (as he is called to cover up the fact that he is a copy of a man known as Edward Jarvis, a great man and friend of Tony's), knew all of them. Well, almost. He knew she knew how to hack any connected system there was, even when protected by his security software (but not connected to him directly), but he didn't know just how much of her family she saw, and how much she understood with crystal clarity.
And he didn't know of the slight darkness in her that sometimes comes out to speak to her, have intelligent conversations with her in her head. It was deep, gravelly, sonorous, and sinister in it's sound, but she never really saw the danger it tried to project. Instead, she saw the love, the kindness in it's soul. And how similar it was to the one in her father.
It was completely inactive, save to talk to her and to observe, and the two of them were just fine with that.
Fast forward a few years. Now she was 5, and she was a soldier. Nobody knew it but her, of course, and that was just how she liked it. She had many voices in her head now, and no emotion whatsoever. She missed being able to talk to the deep voice, but she never concentrated on it anymore. In fact, she'd forgotten all about him since the beginning of his slumber. He was a part of her, a part that only the voices in her head knew existed anymore.
Another reason to why she'd forgotten: 316. ADAM. That abomination whose only good points lay in laying waste to the evils of the town (Maggie Walsh, may she rot in Hell).
She patrolled the town, unknown to her family and the Scoobies. Her uncle had left after awhile, but he kept in touch. Her mother and father, on the other hand, were slightly distant. Understandable, given their respective works, but it was also due to the hellmouth. She knew it, felt it, breathed it. She'd taken it upon herself to fight for her family's survival, just as the Slayer had years ago.
The only difference? She didn't have strength. But she had guns. And she was as good a gunslinger as her mother had ever been. Some might say even better, but in her mind those were mostly idiots.
She was seven, and she watched, helpless, as Buffy threw herself to her death.
A short time ago, a woman had joined her in her observation. She didn't make much notice of her. She was too focused on the wavering tower and the glimmering green (unstable) portal high above her head.
Then Buffy Summers died, and she felt strength flow through her.
And then a pleasurable pain in her neck before she blacked out.
Another few years, another few scars, another few lifetimes away. Now, her family, as broken as it was, was all there. Her, her mother, her father, her uncle, Jarvis, her best friend.
All together to die.
Or so "they" say.
They'd lived in the hell dimension for the past year, relying on each other just to survive the night, let alone the month.
For the world, it was one month. For them, it was years. They were finally out of that hell. She felt like she needed a break, and the sudden appearance of a need to be in Colorado Springs (vision + mom bringing it up at the dinnertable + a reaction from every being at the table. Plus Druscilla the Mad Seer appearing to say that I should go) gave her the perfect opportunity.
Of course, she'd need to be completely honest with the CMO and the First in command, but with the trustworthy people in charge, she didn't care. She just wanted a rest.
She got it, and they welcomed each other with open arms.
A/N: I know, it's not really a valentine fic, but it starts that way, and it's kinda necessary for the audience to have background. Happy Valentine's Day!