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Double Trouble
Chris, Safi, 616 Steve | June 26
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#1
“I’m just saying that we could find our own place for when we’re staying here.” Anywhere, honestly, would be preferable to the mansion that they had currently taken up residence within.

Anywhere that Tony Stark wasn’t going to be was far, far preferable for Christian.

He really sort of hated that guy. No no, there was no sort of. Sure, Tony was gorgeous, but that meant nothing. Because Tony was the jerk that Safi liked and flirted with and looked at the way he looked at Tony, and that… Chris hated that. Hated Tony for it. Haaaaaated.

So even as they walked into the mansion, he fought having to come here, because really, anywhere else. “You know, like we have at home. We could have a nice little apartment, somewhere that’s just ours. That would be nice, don’t you think?” He wasn’t pleading, he wasn’t begging, but he was sounding more and more earnest, and really, if it had been anyone other than Safi, he might have been bothered by it, but it was Safi, so it was okay.

He wasn’t, however, expecting anyone else to be in the hallway and Chris drew up short, blinking at the sight before him.

Safi. But not Safi.

“Hi.” the word just sort of took its time breathing out of him, and he blinked again, turned to the man walking next to him, and then back again. Two Safi’s.

Okay, take it back, the mansion wasn’t all that bad.

Sure, Tony Stark’s presence was a terrible marr on the face of the place that Safi had chosen to house them in while in Hub, but… Safi 2 did quite a lot to wipe off that malignant blight. Like, a whole lot. Chris flushed just a touch, tipping his head forward, just a tiny bit demure, “I’m Chris, and this…” he motioned to his companion, “Is Safi.” (You!) He smiled winningly at the newcomer, offering a hand, “It’s very nice to meet you.”
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#2
“Because staying at a mansion for free, is always better than paying for a place? Also a mansion that has its own staff and security?” Safi wore a half amused, tolerant smirk, looking down at the little man's back. He'd already done his due diligence the first night they had stayed and was assured and comfortable enough to not be 100% paranoid bodyguard mode.

That however did not mean he wasn't on. A hair trigger, this place screwed hard with all his professional instinct, Chris froze and Safi responded instinctively to the perceived threat.

The sig seemed to appear in his hands, pointed at the intruder. The one wearing his face.
‘Hi…’

He didn't flick his eyes as the smaller man panted out the greeting keeping the other him squarely in his sights. “Hey good looking.” The words might be light his tone was anything but.

Younger, no beard. Safi’s eyes assessed the other him with cold professionalism. Crew cut, posture… “Army?” He'd started there himself before retiring from the elite hostage and terrorism counter unit of the Israeli special forces to become a ‘security specialist’ aka body guard at Lex corp.
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#3
Steve was exploring the mansion, still trying to process the strange path life had taken him. This mansion was identical to the one he left behind.

Steve turned the corner and nearly ran into two strangers, one of whom could have been his twin. What? How? Did clones exist too now?

Steve sighs quietly to himself. He would very much like to go back to bed and pretend everything was normal for a little while. The one wearing his face stood tense, ready for a fight.

"Hello. Can I help you fellas?" Steve says, keeping his postire relaxed and nonthreatening. Steve raises his hands, keeping his shield firmly on his back. "I am army, and unless you want a fight I would lower that gun if I were you." The warning is clear in his voice.
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#4
Ten minutes ago, Christian didn’t care that the mansion had its own staff and security. Or that it was free. Because it had Tony Stark, and he…

Christian had the rather unfair thought that Tony Stark might just be the devil. Oh, it wasn’t rational, or kind, or even true. Objectively, Tony Stark was just like so many of the executives of Lexcorp; haughty and spoiled and dismissive and aggravating. He was also extremely attractive, which Safi had certainly noticed far too much for Chris’ liking. “But if we’re going to stay here regularly, it’s not really right to invade someone else’s home like this.” It was an excuse, of course it was, but still…

Good looking was definitely right. This Safi was younger, maybe closer to his age or even a touch younger than the Safi standing to his side, and he was absolutely beautiful.

The mention of the gun earned Safi #2 an appeasing and eager smile as Chris reached out with one arm to get Safi to lower the gun he held. Obviously, there was no trouble here. Obviously they could all be friends! “Right, come on, Safi, free mansions are going to come with pleasant surprises. That’s part of living with other people in one giant house.” You never knew what you were going to run into.

And this version of Safi was just… He was a big, lost puppy and Christian wanted to keep him. The smile he gave Steve now was an invitation, “Not sure what help, maybe, but company is nice. Right? Would you like company? I could make us some lunch… We're friends of Tony's. Do you know Tony? He said we could stay here.” As long as all the tension between Safi and Safi#2 could just.. Be less tense.
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#5
‘Fellas?’ Safi mouthed the word back, eyebrows raised; if he were ten years younger, still a hothead he'd have given into the urge to state ‘oh, I'd like to see you make me.’

Safi’s eyes narrowed as Chris reached out oh so casually to try and lower his gun. There was a good moment of resistance, making it very clear that Safi was allowing this to happen, and he could very easily ignore the pressure.

Meeting other his eyes Safi waiting a long heartbeat waiting for the other man to blink, look away, he was falling prey to the urge to be the ‘top’ version of himself.

The long beat over Safi put up his gun, making it damn clear it was his choice and not either of them.

Grunting Safi inclined his head to Chris; Robert Safi Wasem was slightly leaner than his younger counterpart, faint scars could be seen on his hands from close quarters knife fights. He also favored his right side just very slightly, in the manner of someone who had been badly injured and some damage lingered.

The other him didn't blink, and part of him respected that.
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#6
Steve Rogers didn't like guns. He could, and had on occasion, use them, but given the choice he preferred his shield to any gun. He also didn't like the way his bearded clone was staring at him. Steve could tell that this man was dangerous, and Steve didn't plan on letting him out of his sight until he was positive that he wasn't a threat. Steve studies him intently. The man had old wounds and the look of someone who has seen active combat and Steve wondered where he served.

The smaller man was much more open, with an easily smile, and handsome face. He also claimed to know Mr. Stark. Were these people future Avengers like Wanda? If so, they didn't seem to recognize him like Wanda had. Steve watched the man try to lower his clone's gun, with limited success. Although the gun was no longer pointed at him which was a small comfort, Steve didn't like the way he still had it. This man was clearly an expert, and could have that gun pointed at him again and shoot at a seconds notice. Steve prepared himself to grab his shield if necessary.

"I'm Steve Rogers. How exactly do you know Mr. Stark?" Steve asks. He keeps his voice neutral. It's not that he didn't believe them, it's just that Mr. Stark hadn't warned him of anybody else being around at the moment. Of course, it wouldn't exactly be out of character for Mr. Stark to forget to tell him that armed strangers with hair triggers were stalking the halls.
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#7
Okay, so Safi was being cranky, which was completely understandable and even reasonable, if not the best thing for making new friends. Chris was totally not trying to force anyone to do anything; he was asking. He always asked and Safi knew that. In fact, the touch of Christian’s arms to Safi’s didn’t last beyond that one initial moment of gentle pressure; Chris knew quite well that he couldn’t force Safi to lower the gun, and he didn’t bother pretending it was a possibility. Hell, he’d bet good, hard-earned money on Safi being able to ignore him if he latched onto his arm and hung from it. He could probably do pull ups on Safi’s arms and Safi would barely notice…

Enough dwelling on Safi’s arms. Really Verglas, get it together here! There was Safi, right next to him, all but ignoring him in favor of pointing a gun at… Another Safi. Another younger, friendlier seeming Safi. A Safi that didn’t necessarily come predisposed to disliking him, or finding him annoying. Yes, let’s take half a second to consider the ramifications of that.

Because this was a Safi that maybe Christian stood even half a chance with.

The moment that Safi lowered his gun, Christian relaxed a smidge and moved forward to properly greet Steve. This Safi was called Steve. Okay, Chris could do that; it would make it easier to differentiate between the two! Good! “It is my absolute pleasure to meet you, Steve. We met Mr. Stark when we came through a portal from our world. He helped me locate my sister, who had accidentally come through to this world.” Chris nodded, attempting to gently take Steve’s arm to guide them all to the kitchen. Food would make them relax. Food had its own sort of magic, after all. It was a commonality, something to enjoy and bond over and talk over… “And he was very kind enough to invite us to stay here while we’re in Hub.” Chris nodded to himself; no matter that the man left him with a bad taste in his mouth, never mind that a few moments before Chris had been arguing vehemently that they should find their own place. Safi wanted to stay here, and now they’d met Steve, and he seemed nice enough!

“Lunch! Lunch would be a very good thing, don’t you think? I make excellent fried green tomatoes and cornbread, unless you don’t like that…” But Chris knew that Safi liked it, and offering one of his roommate’s favorites was an attempt to appease him. “This place is very strange and very terrifying, isn’t it? I think so. But it’s amazing, too. Makes you want to explore, or at least it does me. Have you explored this place yet, Steve? Maybe we could together, if you’d like.” The last was spoken more softly, almost demurely, but with the same bright, hopeful smile Chris had been giving the Safi look-alike since they’d run into him.
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#8
Absolute pleasure? Safi rolled his eyes. Oh just great. Safi did not like seeing a younger, buffer, and...old fashioned? Version of him. And add to that Chris acting like he'd just adopted the world most stacked puppy? Not apt to calm his threat instincts.

Following the pair Safi kept a careful balance of enough distance to pull his weapon with out being easily disarmed and being able to react if Mr. Jacked and Stacked got any funny ideas.

And than Chris decided to offer Steroids in a can a private tour and-

Safi sighed torn between quite a few conflicting emotions, on the one hand he supposed it was nice to see him interested in someone? But his face so...was it an age thing? And than the whole ‘new place Chris is going to end up in a gutter’ paranoia….

“That sounds great.” He ground out. “Doesn't it sound delicious Rogers?” Because fuck if Chris was going to crush on someone safi would make SURE they appreciated him!
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#9
Steve was feeling very overwhelmed. Mr. Stark had given him a brief overview of the Hub and the Portals, but it was still quite confusing. However it would be very in character for Mr. Stark to open his home to lost vagabonds, so he believes their story.

Christian moves forward to great him and offer lunch. It was very nice of him. It reminded Steve of Mr. Stark when he firsr came out of the ice; very enthusiastic to help and make him feel welcomed. He allows himself to be pulled down the hall.

Safi keeps his distance and Steve has to shift to keep him in sight out of the corner of his eye. He doesn't like the idea of Safi walking behind him. The unmistakable sneer in Safi's voice when he says his name makes Steve's hairs stand up on edge. This man clearly doesn't like him for some reason, and Steve can say the feeling is rapidly becoming mutual.

Not being one to beat around the bush, and not wanting to spend all lunch on edge, Steve pulls himself from Christian's grip and turns to face Safi.

"Do we have a problem Mister?" He asks.
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#10
Food was one of the ways that Christian expressed himself. He wasn’t a chef, but he was a rather good cook, and he had tried to show Safi that he cared about him by cooking for him, but that hadn’t gone quite as well as Chris had hoped. Still, he had picked this particular meal he to offer Steve because, well, Safi loved it.

Unlike Steve, Christian was perfectly comfortable with Safi at his back, and it showed. He chattered happily, far more relaxed than he’d been during their standoff, and seemingly oblivious of the continued tension between them, though he really wasn’t. Still, he hoped to downplay how suspicious and ill at east Safi was by filling in the silence, while holding onto the hope that maybe his rush of words and smiles would help Safi feel better (he wasn’t holding his breath for that, though, he was pretty sure Safi would just turn his annoyance on Chris, but that was preferable, really).

It was several things that tipped Chris off that there might be a problem brewing. The position Safi had taken up, for one thing; it doesn’t bother Chris for Safi to be behind him, the small man trusted the bodyguard implicitly, not so much as hesitating as he moved, all energy and hope and cheer.

Until Safi spit out two sentences that made it sound like things were definitely not alright. Because Safi didn’t sound okay, not even a little. And Steve pulled away and Chris turned, looking first at Steve, then to Safi, frowning as he took in the bodyguard’s face, the cant of his body, the tone he’d used. “I could make something else if you’d prefer… But I thought…” Chris sighed quietly at himself, promising himself he wasn’t going to pout, or cry, and steeling himself, back straight, eyes carefully on Safi, “I thought fried green tomatoes were one of your favorites…”

A problem? Chris could think of half a dozen problems, really, and that was right off the top of his head. But… “Mister Rogers?” Why did that sound so familiar? Chris was too focused on the present situation to give the familiarity of Steve Rogers too much thought. He gave Steve a small, but uncertain smile, “Not directly, that I know of, not with you. But Safi and I aren’t from here, and he…” Christian’s gaze grew a bit self deprecating, “The way we get here is not Safi’s favorite mode of transportation. And this place is unknown, and he is, um, he’s the sort of person who protects others. And we don’t know you yet.” This time, his smile was hopeful, “So perhaps if we could fix that, get to know you some, my...Safi...could relax a little bit?”
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#11
“No. Your tomatoes are delicious and he should appreciate them.” Safi’s flicked to the buffer version of him, “coat them in protein powder perhaps.” Than he could help maintain his bulk.

‘Do we have a problem?’

Safi’s eyebrows raised, “you have my face, but not my name, magic makes you and this is wrong.” Did roid rage wanna start something? Safi would oblige.
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#12
The tomatoes were a delight, too bad Steve couldn't say the same about the company. Christian was friendly and Steve had no problems with him, but Safi continued to rub him the wrong way.

 Steve frowns a bit at the use of Mr. Rogers instead of his title. He knows that it is petty to care about such a small thing, but since these two had shown up things had been tense, and he wasn't in the mood to 'be thd bigger person'.

"Captain" he corrects shortly.

'you have my face, but not my name, magic makes you and this is wrong.'

That draws a wry smile out of Steve.
"From where I'm standing, you're the one with my face," He says, "and while I appreciate that this is a strange situation I don't have a lot of patience for rudeness or people getting too friendly with their forearms."
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#13
His tomatoes were delicious! Chris didn’t even try to hide his reaction to the statement; his smile grew wider, reaching his eyes, and he flushed slightly. He had suspected that the tomatoes were one of Safi’s favorites, but he had called them delicious twice now, and… And that Steve should appreciate them? Chris blinked, “If he likes them… Not everyone likes them?” But the look of, well, there was no other word for it except disgust, at the mention of protein powder, drew Christian’s eyes toward Steve, then back to Safi, “That doesn’t sound delicious…”

A problem, no no no, no problem. Please no problem. “Um…” Chris looked at Steve when Safi accused him of being magical. Really, really looked at him, opening his senses up to the man, because where had Safi gotten that idea?! Chris could, at least, confirm or deny the accusation. He looked at Steve for a long moment, studying him, then shook his head, “No, Safi, he’s.. There’s nothing magical about him or anything he has on him.”

But he had noticed things.

Steve Rogers, who was a Captain, apparently. Not magical, sweet and old fashioned…

“I’m dreaming, right? Tell me I’m dreaming, Safi. Tell me that we’re in the apartment, and I fell asleep with a comic book on my lap or something…”
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#14
Captain.

Safi felt a grin pull at his lips, oh. Oh my. Only active military were suppose to use their rank, active or reserve...like him. Safi was still very technically a member of the IDF, his discharge had come with the caveat that he could still be tapped for missions at the discretion of his commanders.

Which meant as that he technically held the rank of Major-(he'd been bumped as a courtesy but he'd held it for a week active). Protocol only demanded the salute if he were in uniform...unless the other man was active military and stated so.

“Sir.” He repeated Roid rage’s statement correcting it “‘do we have a problem here...sir.’”

Safi Wasem hated superior assholes that did the rank game just to rub your nose in it. He had rarely rarely used his rank to force respect. Mostly because he understood that you can't force respect, only obedience.

But this case for drug testing wasn't in his unit. And he didn't need his respect. “Sorry let me reintroduce myself Major Wasem. IDF.”

“And Captain I will get as friendly with my firearm as I deem necessary because I have that body and you-” his eyes seared down the bulky frame. “Aren't possible with out something extra. He says it's not magic. Well fine than. But I don't like seeing a twisted steroid abusing reflection of myself. So until and unless I can determine for a fact that you aren't about to snap I'm going to protect my partner and I don't really give a flying fuck if you like it.”

“Yeah. Sorry pretty sure this is real.” He answered Chris not taking his eyes off the threat.
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#15
Steve raises an unimpressed eyebrow. He was beginning to think these two were insane. Paranoid and insane. What were they even talking about? Magic, why would they even think he was magical? It wasn't like he was Thor or something. Steve shakes his head at the craziness. At least Christian was a pleasant crazy person, his pal on the other hand...

"I've known guys better than you who never made it past private, so forgive me if I don't put too much stock in rank...sir" steve says coldly. He had no time for the type of fella who thought he was better than others just because he had more bars on his uniform. At the end of the day any person willing to give their life for their country was just as much of a hero as the next person. Bucky never held rank and he was a hero.

"Steriod abusing? Is that how they're referring to Doctor Erskine's work these days?" Steve asks angrily. Doctor Erskine was a good man who gave his life creating the serum and Steve would not sit by and have the man's life's work insulted like this.
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#16
Chris felt sick to his stomach.

Safi was arguing with, annoying, and needling Captain America. Seriously…

Because this, this mess of tangled everything, was his goddamned life.

As Safi pulled rank, Christian winced visibly, reaching to place just the tip of two fingers to the other man’s arm, not a ‘stop’ gesture, but rather a request for attention, “Safi? If you get into a fight or shoot Captain America, Tony’ll be very, very cross with us.” He didn’t bother to say insult, because that boat had sailed and was off at sea, now.

On the other hand, when Steve insulted Safi, Christian frowned, his eyes narrowing slightly. He spoke, more firmly than he felt, but steadily, calmly, “You don’t know that. You’re making a snap judgement about him, Captain. You’re better than that. Or at least they say you are.” Chris shifted to look at Safi, moving from behind him so that Safi could see him, “And you’re doing the same thing, Safi.” He motioned toward Steve, “I know who he is. I don’t know him, not really, but I know who he is, and I know who Tony Stark is, and neither of them are bad people. Not how it counts. They’re like…” He considered, “Like Flash,” he motioned toward the Captain again, “And Batman.” Terms that Safi could understand, heroes he knew of.”

Eyes still somewhat narrowed, Chris glanced back to Steve with a sigh, “He doesn’t know who Erskine was. We’re not from your world, Captain Rogers, the stories of Captain America are for lonely children who need something happy to lose themselves in from time to time, not a part of our history.”

He flushed when Safi called him his partner, the comment stopping Christian in his tracks for half a moment before he chanced a look at Safi’s face. He needed to not read into that. Really, he needed not to, because… Because. Still, Chris gave Safi a small smile and when he dished out the fried tomatoes, (because yes, he’d been serious about that) he put extra on Safi’s plate.
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#17
Erskine? Safi blinked, “Abraham Erskine?” He glanced up and down this ‘Steve’ “What does my grandfather have to do with-” he gestured at Steve broadly.

“Comics.” Safi snorted dismissively, “How much is real?” Safi hardly glanced at the files plate his attention held by the man in front of him.

“You knew our grandfather?” For Safi he was a vaguely remembered figure from a childhood spent sick more often than not.

Different worlds.

His mother complained that he never quite bulked up like his frame promised because of the myriad of illnesses he'd contended with as a infant and child.

Clearly this version of him never had that problem.

“Rank is for staff pukes.” Safi agreed a small jerk of his head, “I don't like you.” He opened with honestly, “Last time I saw someone wearing my face they had half my team's blood on it.” His lips thinned out. “Magic.” The word was spit out, “and you are arrogant enough to make me want to take you down to show respect.”

Safi’s eyes flicked to Chris, “But you are a hero to him.” He took a breath. “So live up to it and I will curb that instinct.”
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#18
Steve deflates properly chastised. Christian is right, he had let his temper get the best of him and that was never a good thing. Then the rest of what Christian says sinks in. A different world where he didn’t exist. He had given a lot of thought to worlds with other versions of him, but had never considered that there were also worlds that didn’t contain Steve Rogers at all. What else didn’t exist in their world? Did that mean the War never happened at all either? Or did the fighting happen, just without a Captain America leading the charge?

“Why would anyone make a comic about my life?” Steve asks in confusion, “The War wasn’t exactly good subject material for children. It’s not very happy.”

Steve looks closer at Safi. There’s a certain leanness about him that Steve hadn’t picked up on before.

“Doctor Erskine wasn’t my grandfather in my world. He was the doctor who created the serum that changed me from an unhealthy 95 pound weakling into this. He was killed by Nazis,” Steve says softly. His death still bothered him. His was the first life he’d failed to save.

A slight smile graces his lips as Safi tells him exactly how he feels about rank. It quickly slips off his face when Safi tells him about his team. Steve can’t imagine losing Bucky in that way.

“I’m sorry about your team,” Steve says honestly, “and I highly doubt I’m like how the comic books portray me.”
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#19
Okay, really, he was going to simply fall over, dead as a doornail, if this kept up. Christian couldn't handle anymore childhood heroes coming out of the woodwork of this place.

Turning his attention first to Safi, Chris blinked, "Enough that I know who he means..." The surprise was evident in Chris' voice, "Wait, you... Are related to Doctor Erskine?" The connection to just who Steve was, who Tony Stark was, had been slow. It had taken clues and work and time. The idea that Safi could be Captain America in his world? That clicked almost immediately, sending Chris' head whipping between them as the realization hit him. And that, friends was a quick flutter of emotions on Christian's face; awe, glee, surprise, and then sorrow as he realized that of COURSE Safi had liked Tony Stark. Of course he had, because he was Captain America and Tony was Iron Man and so maybe Chris was a hardcore Stony shipper.

Who wouldn't ship that?

Still, hearing Safi agree to play nice for his sake earned Safi a blush and a smile from the smaller man. It was always nice to be thought of. "No, but kids don't think of war as the bloody mess it is. And when your life is.... Turbulent... and lonely... Having a hero to read about that you can relate to on some level is a good thing to have."

Steve's modesty earned a chuckle from Chris, "No? Well... in the comics you're pretty much strong and good and the peak of human perfection... which, looking at you? Pretty much nailed it."
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#20
“I never saw them.” But now he was curious that his grandfather might have inspired a character. “The comics...we have super heros why make stories about them.” Safi took a bite of the wonderfully crisp spiced tomatoes, “needs eggs.” He moved to get up and fry himself some, “weakling?” His eyebrows raised following the line of very not-

“You are saying grandfather experimented-” safi frowned fuzzy childhood memories coming to the forefront of his mind-

No that was silly.

“My grandfather died of old age surrounded by his family in our homeland.” Safi shook his head, “he escaped with my uncle and grandmother, survived the war and moved to Israel when my mother became ambassador.”

...peak human…

Safi’s teeth ground together, pulling an egg carton out. “Fried or scrambled.” He ground out the question to mr perfect.
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