And now we're moving forward. This was where I always intended to go with the story, albeit with the group acquiring a witch/magic user instead of Xander bringing Amora with him to America to start the team. We're actually going to end up with a team of six by the time this is all said and done, instead of the quintet implied in Chapter 2. I think you can guess who at least two of them are based on the folders… and there are only so many canon children of canon Avengers, which means the third folder isn't impossible to figure out ahead of time either. The sixth, I've given no clues yet that I'm aware of, nor shall I before the character decides to force themself on the team…
"Do you have any idea how much money I've raised for your department, Captain?"
"Yes, Mister Bishop, but the fact remains that they constitute a clear and present danger-"
"The only clear and present danger here is to your career if you finish that sentence."
"Mister Bishop. We are fully willing to write off what your daughter did as self-defense. But one of these girls is responsible for the murder of three men, while the other is on the 'call the Avengers on sight' list. At the very least, they need to come downtown for-"
"And where was this kind of initiative when my family and I were being held hostage?"
Deirdre NicConstantín bit her lip to avoid laughing as the flustered police captain did his best to deal with the increasingly irate Derek Bishop. While the policeman was right in that she had killed men tonight… well, they'd kinda been asking for it with the whole armed robbery thing. Letting them go would have just allowed them to prey upon others, while trying to apprehend them outside the cathedral could have resulted in the deaths of police officers. She and Amora had done the NYPD a hell of a favor tonight in her books, and it was nice to see that at least one person in the hospital's lobby recognized that.
Honestly, if not for Katherine - Kate, Deirdre amended, the brunette had asked them to call her Kate - they'd have bugged out a long time ago. The Slayer would have either asked Amora to cast one of her handy dandy teleportation ring spells or, well, gotten up and walked right out of the hospital. It wasn't as if the cops could actually stop them if they decided to leave. After seeing the mess she'd made in the cathedral, Deirdre doubted they'd even try beyond a few strong words. But Kate… Kate had been magnificent this evening. Kate was one of the three girls they'd come to New York to find. And so until they had a chance to talk to Kate about joining them, they were going nowhere fast.
Suddenly, Amora perked up and gave Deirdre a quick kiss on the lips before rising to her feet. Without offering a word of explanation, she turned on her heel and snapped her fingers, causing one of the teleportation rings that the redhead had just been thinking about to sweep over the Asgardian. She disappeared into thin air, leaving Deirdre all by her lonesome… just as the emergency room's doors slid open to admit an entire SWAT team's worth of reinforcements for Captain What's His Name. "Okay, now this is just getting ridiculous." Slapping a fresh clip into her Barrett M82A2, she hopped to her feet but kept her massive anti-materiel rifle pointed downward as she backed a few paces further away from the police. "See, I can understand you wanting to have a few words with me… but isn't bringing an entire SWAT team a bit of overkill?"
"After what you did at St. Patrick's, Miss?" One of the SWAT officers brought a rather wicked-looking black shotgun to bear on Deirdre as his teammates raised an assortment of shotguns and rifles. "I think we brought just enough kill."
Cassandra Lang scowled as she stared at the chunky black SWAT truck parked out in front of Lenox Hill Hospital, wondering how her brilliant plan had managed to go to shit. It had been too simple to fail, or so she'd thought. Step one: sneak out of her house. That had been easy enough, given how little her parents actually cared about her when they weren't in a courtroom. Step two: make her way to the hospital where the NYPD had brought everyone from the St. Patrick's incident. Also easy, given that she knew the city's mass transit system like the back of her hand. Step three: get inside and find a way to talk to the Black Widow girl, Amora Junior, or both. Or maybe one of the other Young Avengers if they showed up to pick up their teammates. Whichever. She'd been working on that, which would have segued neatly into step four: convince the team to let her join up.
Except now she couldn't because her step-father's coworkers had shown up to interrogate and probably arrest the girls. Cassie knew from her days in the Avenger's Mansion that there were some superhuman prisons scattered around the country, where individuals that traditional penitentiaries couldn't handle were sent. Not only were they all out of her reach but, well, she couldn't exactly team up with jailbirds. And as things stood, they were her only lead on the Young Avengers.
God damn it.
Raising her hand, Cassie offered the police a one-fingered salute before turning away from the hospital… and slamming face-first into someone's breasts. Green breasts. But not Jen green breasts, wearing green breasts. Taking a step back, she looked up and gasped. "You!" Because while it was younger than it was supposed to be, Cassie recognized that face. This wasn't some kind of wannabe Amora, this was the real damn thing!
"Me." Arm flashing out faster than Cassie's eyes could track, Amora tangled her hand in the young blonde's hair and pulled her closer as her green eyes locked with Cassie's blue orbs, the Asgardian's free arm winding around Cassie's waist. "I thought I felt the witch's son, but you've been tainted by her as well. Not nearly as deeply, but enough to explain certain… discrepancies." What? "I'm hardly complaining, though. You're far more useful to us this way, to say nothing of your blossoming beauty."
Cassie blinked a few times before blushing on account of holy crap, a goddess had just called her pretty. Even if Amora was a Neutral Evil goddess and semi-regular Avengers villain, compliments were few and far between for her and so Cassie was going to take what she could get. "Um, thanks?" Looking down as best she could with Amora holding her in place, she chuckled nervously. "Any chance you can let me go? This is a bit awkward. And by a bit, I mean a lot. Like, Hulk-sized awkward."
Laughing softly, Amora instead let her hand drift down out of Cassie's hair, ghosting over the smaller blonde's neck and then down her back before… eep! Holy crap, there was a goddess grabbing her ass! "Must I? You really are quite pretty… like a flower that's been growing unnoticed behind a wall, waiting for someone to peek over and discover it."
Another compliment. If this kept up, Cassie was liable to get a complex. Still… "Don't you have a girlfriend? And didn't you try to kill my father a few times?"
"Actually, unless your mother slept with another height-multiplier altogether, I never fought against your father." Amora offered a lopsided smirk as she looked Cassie up and down slowly. "Hmm. They're both blue-eyed blonds, and I'm not familiar enough with either to recognize their features in you. Perhaps that's a question best left to Maury?"
Was she seriously suggesting… eww! And not just on normal parental sex thought grounds, either. Janet Pym was ridiculously pretty. Given the choice between her and Cassie's mom, who in their right mind would sleep with… well, Hank wasn't always in his right mind. But still! Shaking her head to try and dislodge those thoughts, Cassie shuddered. "So, um, why are you here? What do you want from me? What's your favorite kind of ice cream? Insert any other question that would derail our current conversation here?"
Amora laughed again in reply before leaning down so her lips brushed against Cassie's earlobe. "You saw what my girlfriend and I did tonight." While it wasn't exactly a question, Cassie nodded in response. "What would you think of taking up your late father's mantle?"
"Listen, Miss Redback-"
"Deirdre. Deirdre NicConstantín. I'm sixteen, birthday is April 1st, and I'm from Dùn Dè in Alba. And if you're writing any of that down to run through the computers, you're wasting your time because I'm just reciting the information on my fake ID."
"…lovely. Listen, Miss NicConstantín. You may have had noble intentions for getting involved at St. Patrick's but at the end of the day, three men are dead at your hand. You're going to need to take responsibility for your actions and-"
"Why?" Kate's eyes bounced back and forth between the police and Redback-slash-Deirdre, amazed at how calmly the redhead was handling things. After a bit of performance anxiety to start - undoubtedly due to the sheer number of guns being pointed her way - the teen had settled down and was doing an admirable job of fending off the police's questions. "Question for you, Captain. A train is running out of control down the tracks. A mile up ahead, a villain has tied five people to the tracks. You're standing at the points lever. If you realign the switch, the train will go onto a siding… where a single person is tied to the tracks. Do you flip the switch or do nothing?"
"I don't see what-"
"On the contrary, my friend. It has everything to do with tonight." Deirdre gestured at the large television hanging on the wall, which was displaying CNN's coverage of the incident at the cathedral. Huh. That was… almost impossibly convenient, Kate mused. Was the redhead a technopath on top of everything else, or did she just have really good timing? "One track had five people on it. The other had two hundred civilians, dozens of your fellow police officers, and all the future victims of these men. So I threw the lever."
"And you think you have the right to make a choice like that? To decide who lives and who dies?"
That question earned the police captain a sigh and a shrug from Deirdre. "You know, I once asked someone that same question. Or something close enough. She never gave me an answer. Personally? I don't know." The redhead tapped her fingers against her hip for a moment before gesturing to the floor. "Do you want to get philosophical? I mean, there are beings out there who function as death gods and goddesses for our world. While I shot the men, they didn't have to claim my prey. They could have gone 'hey, flattered by your offering, thanks but no thanks' and kept those three men from crossing over. So if you look at it from that perspective, while I did in fact shoot those men, it was someone other than me who ultimately decided their fate tonight. Probably Hades, since Hela's gone at the moment…" Her soft alto voice trailing off, Deirdre looked around wildly for a few seconds before smiling widely. "At any rate, I've been stalling for time but my ride's here now. So I'm gonna go. We'll have to do this again sometime, though. Kate? My pistol?"
Eyes jumping from Deirdre to the protesting Avengers to her lap, Kate's eyes widened. Oh. Right. For some bizarre reason, neither the police nor the hospital staff had so much as tried to get her to relinquish the black pistol she'd been openly carrying since she'd pulled it from Deirdre's thigh holster. In retrospect, though, she probably should have expected the redhead to want her gun back at some point. Kate had hopped online at one point to distract herself from all the arguing; a new Glock 26 went for roughly five hundred dollars and, well, while that was a pair of shoes to a woman in her family, she didn't really know where Deirdre sat financially. Picking the gun up by the barrel, she offered it to the redhead… who grabbed Kate's wrist rather than the gun's grip. The next thing the brunette knew, she was standing with Deirdre's arm around her waist, the redhead pressed against her back and a gun poking against the side of her head. "So. Human shields. Something you're familiar with then?"
"Nope. Not that hard to figure out, though." Deirdre gave a little tug on Kate's waist, gently guiding the brunette backward. While the hospital undoubtedly had other exits, it was an odd move given that the closest path to freedom was a short walk straight forward. Sure, the cops were between the redhead and- "Mister Bishop, your daughter's purse? And please don't cancel the plastic when you get home; I'm pretty sure I'd go broke in a week trying to keep her fed and clothed in the manner in which she's accustomed."
After looking back and forth between the police and the two teenage girls, Kate's father nodded before retrieving his daughter's purse from where it rested atop the uncomfortable plastic hospital seat beside the one she'd been occupying. Approaching them slowly, he waited for Kate to bow her head and then looped the strap around her neck. His eyes flicked back and forth between Kate and Deirdre, and then he lowered his voice. "The only reason I'm not doing something incredibly stupid right now is because I know my daughter could kick your ass if she wanted to." Kate blinked; she hadn't realized her father thought so highly of the distinctly 'unfeminine' skills she'd been accumulating as of late. The validation was nice in a way. Poorly timed, but nice. "Who am I to stand in the way of… whatever she's planning for you?"
The quiet laugh that shook Deirdre's body made Kate uncomfortably aware of how close she was to the girl she'd kissed earlier that night. "Hopefully nothing that'll get me in trouble with my girlfriend. Speaking of which, I'd back away if I were you. The last thing you need is for your foot to get teleported out when we leave while the rest of you stays here." Nodding rapidly, her father backed away, leaving Kate and Deirdre alone in the center of the hospital lobby. "Gentlemen, m'lady. You will always remember this as the day that you almost caught Deirdre! Nic! Constantín!"
Kate looked around.
One of the police officers coughed.
And then behind her, Deirdre groaned. "Really, Amora? You couldn't just let me have my dramatic exit?"
A tinkling laugh echoed through the room, followed by a brilliant flash of yellowish-green light and a rough tugging sensation that yanked Kate down through the floor.