Bruce was hesitant at first about leaving Neva alone again when he just got her back. He rubbed the back of his neck, he was still in some pain. He wished he could just pull her up over his shoulder and bring her to safety. He knew deep down though that someone had to go get Xavier and someone had to stay behind and hold the incoming doom that was set before them.
He kissed the top of Neva’s head and whispered in her ear. “Be safe.” With that he took off running towards Xavier’s study.
He raced down the hallway and stopped right at Xiaver study. He took in a deep breath to steady his breathing and didn’t even bother knocking and bursting in the door.
"Xiaver! We’re under attack!" Bruce yelled.
Once upon a time, Neva would have been instantly petrified at the sudden sight of Magneto before her, threatening her and all she knew. But she had come a long way since she had moved to Westchester County, having left the mouse she had been well behind. She had had no choice but to harden the moment she had realised that she had it in her to take another’s life; the moment she realised that others around her had it in them to take her own. She flexed her fingers, the hair on the back of her neck bristling as she locked eyes with the man before her. Her sister had slunk back into the background of the scene now that she had realised she had been bested, hidden behind the man whose ego was personified in his very being.
"Good girl, Adalia. You can leave this to me now." He spoke in a somewhat bored sounding tone, his eyes fixed on his prize. He already had plans for the woman and her powers. It was just a shame that she had managed to break away from them and warn the school before they could comb the area and collect those students who would be most useful to him. Neva refused to budge away from the door, however, her arms raised as though begging the man to launch an attack. "You want a fight? Oh, I’ll give you one. You’re not touching my kids!" she snarled, thrusting her arms forward and sending a shockwave of force in the man’s direction, knocking him clean off of his feet.
Xavier had been privvy to the commotion going on in the staff room and adjoining building, but he had been biding his time. Waiting like a coiled Snake for th enemy to show too many of the cards they held. He had already sent the Professors he had been in meeting with to the rooms where the students were obliviously sitting down to dinner with clear instruction to hide them in lower floors. Having been sitting by his study window, he turns in his chair as Bruce bursts into the room, wheeling himself around his desk. “Dr Grey and Remy are taking the students to safety as we speak. I think we better get to your friend’s side before she gets herself into even more trouble!” he explained quickly as he moved past the Doctor, letting him follow on at a pace he chose. He had quickly struck up a mental connection with Neva as soon as she arrived back in the building, and the rage he felt coming from her had made him extremely nervous. He had known colleagues to suffer such anger right before doing something so heinously stupid that their deaths had been the only result.
Bruce had turned back into himself just before he his the ground with a thud. He heard a crunch next to him and sat up. He had to double take when he saw his Neva standing with a pipe in her hand and starting at the imposter Neva. Bruce thought for a split second. Wait… This couldn’t be..? He remembered Neva mentioning a sister once, but she also said she didn’t know where she ended up. He looked over at the imposter. This had to be her sister, no doubt about it.
He looked down and took note that most of his wounds healed up already. If he needed he could always call upon his counter part once again, but for now his mental state need a few moments to rest. He watched the two sisters stare each other down. He held his head with that now had a dull throb in the back of it. It’s almost true what they say about twins… There is always a good one and a bad one. He thought while standing up slowly.
Neva continued to glare at her sister as she walked over to Bruce, never once facing away from her as she head learned quickly what the woman was capable of. She had similar powers to herself, but she had tainted them. Had made them into something evil and unbridled. She had found her immediately more unsettling than the other, established evil mutants she had come across whilst feigning work for Magneto. Offering a hand to Bruce, she slipped it underneath the man’s arm before pulling him to his feet. She didn’t risk looking at him though for fear of Adalia choosing that moment to strike again; instead she turned her back to Bruce and formed a shield around him as the woman before her made to step forward. Neva was too quick for her however, as her free hand flexed and the woman was pinned in position mid-step. “Come any closer and I swear to God I will rip you in half.”. It wasn’t something anybody who knew Neva would expect to fall from her mouth, but the woman had attacked her lover and her home, and she wasn’t about to let her off lightly.
Even the sight of Magneto coming into view behind her sister did little to quell her rage. She had enough dealings with him now to know what to expect. “Bruce….Go and get Professor Xavier. He’s in his study…..” she instructed him, although she knew well enough that he would hesitate. She knew him too well to expect anything else from him. “Now!” she hissed, her eyes filled with anger as she turned around for a moment to look at the man, urging him to do as requested rather than act on his own personal loyalties.
Bruce held onto her hand and looked down at Grace. “We are a family… We need to keep each other safe… We will do what we can.” He stood up with Grace still in his arms and closed the gap between them and Neva, pulling them both into a hug. “I am so happy to be back here…. I missed you both…” He kissed both of there foreheads. He gave Grace back to Neva.
"I’m going to take a shower…" He smiled. "As soon as I am out, we should probably talk about what are game plan is." He then walked up stairs to the bedroom to take a long, hot shower to calm his mind.
Well at least Bruce seemed to be seeing sense now. Running away hardly seemed like the best option in terms of their own happiness, but there was no denying that it was something they were both used to for different reasons. It was just hard to know that they were forcing Grace into the lifestyle when she deserved nothing but the best of everything. They were both teachers, so her education wouldn’t be lacking when she was older. But constantly moving made it difficult to make friends, and she would never enjoy the usual things children had. She couldn’t have her own treehouse, friends she could go visit after school, favourite places to go when she was older and rebelling against her parents. But they could make up for all that. She hoped. She rose to her feet as Bruce did the same, the action telling her that he had movement lurking in his mind already. “You better have missed us..” she teased him weakly as she hugged him before pulling away, taking their daughter into her arms as he handed her over. “But you just got out of the sh-” she began to argue, although she silenced herself with a smile and shake of her head. She could understand why he would feel the need to wash away the events of the past year.
Bruce sat as his desk and quietly assessed the days that had passed by. When he found out that Neva had become pregnant his whole like was turned upside down. Bruce could only now wonder what their future would hold. Could he keep both the child and Neva safe. Bruce sighed as Neva walked in, and turn around and leave as soon as she saw the student working in his office. He would of gotten up and ran after her but he could not leave his student alone. This was one of his trouble makers, who couldn’t be trusted to be left alone for more that 2 seconds.
He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose and relaxed back into his seat, only to wonder what Neva wanted to talk about. Ever since school started back up they rarely had anytime to talk to each other. As soon as they got a spare moment together something would always come up. He knew they would eventually need to sit down and talk. He looked up and smiled at his student who now stood at the head of his desk.
"Sir… I’m finished." The student said handing Bruce the essay he assigned. "I hope next time, you will learn to do this in class, instead of goofing around all hour…." Bruce said scanning the piece of paper over. The student only nodded and ran out of the room. Bruce sighed and stood up to stretch. He could always grade the paper in the morning. Right now he wanted to find out what Neva needed. He packed up his belongings and locked everything up.
Bruce took the 15 minute walk to the room he and Neva shared. “Neva, you here?” He called out upon entering the room.
It was only a matter of time before Bruce was able to leave his classroom and join her in their shared room. Only a matter of time before the conversation she had been internally dreading would have to happen. And she wasn’t even remotely ready for it. How exactly could she broach the subject of the baby; and the fact that she had given equal thought to aborting the baby as she had what they would do if they were to proceed with the pregnancy. Before meeting Bruce and falling in love with him, she couldn’t have ever imagined herself thinking of killing her own child. But things were simpler then. She had imagined that she would still be in her dead end, dull teaching position with a dead end, dull partner and their children would be normal. Their family would be beige and uninteresting, and she would no doubt be miserable with the man she had settled for. But the fact was she had chosen a man who would never be able to make her any happier than he had done in merely accepting her. But the man she had chosen brought with him so many curiosities that they could never have that beige life. They could never exist in safety, knowing that absolutely nothing was lurking behind them to use them for their own ends. And the thought that the man’s curiosities could be passed to the child she carried only made it a harder pill to swallow.
Running her hand delicately over the front of her shirt as she sat on the end of their shared bed, she slowly looked down to where she had planted one of the small throw pillows underneath to mimic a bump. It had seemed like a good idea at the time, the image of the bump hopefully being a trigger to make up her mind one way or another. But the only feeling it had exaccerbated was her guilt for not knowing if she even wanted the baby. It only served to make her feel like a terrible person; a person definitely not worth the love Bruce had bestowed on her since they officially became a couple. “I….I’m in our bedroom…” she quietly called as she heard Bruce exclaim from their front room. The students were granted nought but a basic bedroom, but Professors had been granted the luxury of their own apartments within the building. At least it was a little privacy in a building full of hormonal children and teenagers.
Bruce took Grace into his arms hesitantly and smiled down at the squirming little girl, and watched her with curious eyes. He wished he could back in time and be there for Grace and Neva, but knew that would never happen. He smiled turned into a frown. He thought for a minute or two wile watching the little girl, and sighed. “Staying here probably wouldn’t be the best for us, would it…. Now that I’m free…. They would do everything to get me back into there hands… I …. I need to find a way to stop them..” He said hugging grace a little closer and kissing the top of her head. ” They know to much on me now, and they know a way to immobilize the other guy. What am i suppose to do if they find this place Neva. ” He looked up at his wife with worry in his eyes. ” I can’t let that happen to you guys, I might as well be dead if it did…”
Neva’s eyes were wide with concern for a few moments as she watched Bruce take their daughter into her arms and envelope her in his safe embrace. She wasn’t used to allowing others to take her daughter from her, and so it was a little daunting to hand her over to say the least. But this was her father, and Neva knew Bruce well enough to know that he would do all he could to protect those he loved. She only hoped that, despite the amount of time they had been torn away from each other and how small a part he had played in the girl’s life, that he could find it in him to love her. “Then we pack tonight as soon as Grace is set down to sleep. We leave in the morning and go far away from here. Xavier doesn’t deserve to know where we moved on to. Not after what he did….” Now that she knew he had lied about her husband being dead, Neva couldn’t find it in her to have any loyalty towards the man any longer. Although she had Grace, if she had known Bruce was still alive she could have fought for him and clawed him away from the government. She wouldn’t have rested until he was safe with her again, but Xavier had robbed her of that chance. Leaning forward, she lightly took Bruce’s hand in her own and brought it to her lips, kissing his fingers tenderly in a comforting gesture. “Bruce…Please don’t put so much on yourself. It’s not good for you. Protecting our family is as much my responsibility as yours, so don’t worry more than need be. Let me take some of the burden..Please.”
In the back of the Hulk’s mind Bruce watched in horror as Neva, the one he thought was so good natured, mutilated the men around her. Why isn’t she doing anything to me though? He thought. The pain in his chest started to grow. He was started by the Hulk growling. He was also confused, he knew how his alter ego felt about the woman who had him in her clutches. He tried to wiggle free once again but the pressure was too much. Bruce could feel the Hulk starting to loose himself and weaken. If this kept up, the Hulk would have to let his defenses down and Bruce would have to take over. “Come on big guys, stay strong, I need you right now.” Bruce said to his altar ego in his head. The Hulks eyes closed in frustration. “Why?” The Hulk was able to groan out.
Magneto hadn’t counted on one thing. Neva was very protective of the ones she loved; Bruce especially. People assumed that because of his alter ego he was a hard person. On the contrary, he was very vulnerable and sensitive, probably more so than herself. It had taken her a time to realise this, but she knew it to be true. As the woman in front of Bruce ran her bloodied finger over the perfectly still, Hulked out Bruce, very faint footsteps could be heard behind her. It wasn’t loud enough for her to hear, not until the owner of the footsteps lifted an orphaned pipe from the side of the room and knocked her to the ground with the heavy object. She landed on the ground beside her bloodied victim with a dull crack, although she didn’t lose consciousness for any length of time a she pulled herself to her feet whilst wiping her lip with her hand.
"Well that was just rude…!" she snapped at the woman before her, her hand slowly rising in front of her as she watched her with a mixture of shock and inconvenience. "Then don’t touch my stuff…." Neva retorted, cocking her head to the side and glaring at her sister, almost goading her into her next move.
Neva had mentioned to Bruce that she had a twin sister, and she had also mentioned that she hadn’t seen the woman since they had shared a uterus. It wasn’t until she arrived at Magneto’s hideout that she had come to meet the woman; her sister having been working under Magneto for quite some time by what she had learned. Adalia had brought herself here after making sure Neva couldn’t escape - or so she had thought - in the hopes of taking over Neva’s place. As soon as she had met her, she had taken a dislike to her. It had only increased when they had finally learned she had been sent there as a spy for Xavier. Then she had thought nothing of ruining her life. How better to do that than removing the best thing in the woman’s life?
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