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Only Human After All
6/21 (early A.M.) | Tag: Amora?
Marvel-MCU

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#1
Only Human After all

Spending time with Wanda had been… Enlightening.

It had also been enjoyable. Maybe one of the first truly enjoyable moments he’d been able to have since Tony had arrived in Hub.

Not that Tony being here was a bad thing! He was incredibly happy to have the man back in his life; he was just not so happy him hurt. Again. God, watching him fall through the sky again, that had hurt in a way that Steve hadn’t honestly been prepared for.

As Steve walked home, he considered the last year and more of his life. Waking up from the ice had been hard, finding out he’d been gone for over half a century had been even harder, but he had done his best to acclimate. New York, the formation of the Avengers, that had given him something solid to hold onto, to ground him, and he had been so grateful for them, for his new home. Then Bucky had ripped open a wound that had only just started to really heal.

That had been a defining moment for him, hadn’t it?

Steve stumbled as he made the realization; Bucky’s return had started this downward spiral, not because of anything his friend had done or hadn’t done, but because of how Steve had dealt with it. Or rather, how he hadn’t dealt with it. He hadn’t talked to anyone about it. He hadn’t trusted a soul other than Natasha with the information, and if he were being very honest with himself, he’d only trusted her because she’d been there, been present during the whole incident. His choice not to tell Tony hadn’t been a solitary decision, it had been part of a much larger problem.

Watching Tony fall from the sky again had made Steve realize a few things. He cared about Tony far too much to continue the path that he’d been walking. His decision to return to New York, to try to meet with Tony and see if they could even begin to mend the chasm between them had been the right choice, but he hadn’t gotten far with that before he’d found himself here in Hub.

Now, a week and a half after that, a week after Tony had left to go do...whatever… Steve was wandering back through Hub’s version of New York, more stumbling than walking, the alcohol still coursing through him. And even though so many things were left unresolved for him, even though there were still so many problems that needed solutions, Steve was smiling just slightly. It had been nice to just talk to someone, to not worry about how what he was saying would be heard. Sure, back home he had friends. He had Sam and Clint. (Wanda and Scott weren’t exactly his friends, but they were there, too.) But he still felt like he had to be Captain America with them. Sometimes it was almost like an obstacle course; Steve felt as though he couldn’t just open up, couldn’t just talk to them, they couldn’t see his doubts… He was the leader, and he had to keep that appearance up for them, even when inside he was breaking down, when was filled with apprehension and regret.

Wanda saw him as… A man. Capable of making mistakes, having regrets and doubts. Of being an idiot.

Arjay treated him as a comrade, younger than the elf (which was odd but actually quite welcome in a way), and again saw Steve as able to make mistakes, and struggle to rectify them.

Steve looked up for the first time in twenty minutes, trying to get his bearings. The tower was further away now than it had been when he’d started walking, wasn’t it? Had he taken a wrong turn? He had no idea.

Yep. He was an idiot. Well, that might as well be, but he was an idiot that needed to figure out how to get himself ho-- back.



“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Marvel Comics-Avengers Academy

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#2
Tonight was a profitable night.

Amora had been in the Hub for a week or so, and her interest in the place was beginning to wane. Oh, it was amusing to find feasts and parties across worlds, to enthrall the various little people of this strange nexus, but when you got down to it, she hadn’t really met anyone consequential. Ever since that run-in with the unfortunately colored harlot, she’d begun to suspect that Tony’s little effort to impress her had opened a gateway into a glorified refuse bin for people that no world wanted. It was the only explanation that satisfied her, and obviously it meant that she didn’t belong here.

Tonight, though, she found proof that she’d misjudged the place. At first, she wasn’t sure, he was obviously older than she remembered, but on taking another look, it was unmistakeable. That was Steve Rogers, and against all odds, he appeared to already be intoxicated. How that happened, she had no idea, but she wasn’t going to second guess a blessing like this. Of course… as she noted, he did look older, while she still looked as she always had. Well, that could easily be rectified, she supposed.

A few light glamours were all that she needed to keep him wandering, and honestly she didn’t even think she needed those. Meanwhile, she was Amora the Enchantress, mistress of enthrallment and beauty of nine worlds. All it took was a bit of makeup (one of the few things that the humans got right) and a little more illusion… Yes. She examined her reflection in a small compact as she trailed Steve from a distance. She might only naturally appear to be about nineteen, but done up right, she could appear to be in her mid twenties. Not as old as this Steve looked, of course, but closer, enough that his sensibilities might not be violated.

At this point, she saw that yes, he had noticed where he was, and how far abroad he’d wandered. Here was her chance. “Well now,” she purred, walking up behind him. “I had quite given up on this world offering me anything at all appealing, and then you wander back into my life.” She slipped her arm under his as she came up beside him, peering up at him with a smile that was as close to innocent as she could come. “Looking like you’ve had a long night as well. I do hate when I miss a party… I hope it was entertaining?”
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Marvel-MCU

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#3
Only Human After All

Okay. He had definitely drank too much. Way, way too much. How Wanda had managed to keep up with him at all was beyond Steve’s ability to figure out. Unless her abilities could negate the effects of alcohol... Huh. That might be possible. He'd have to ask her. Tomorrow. Or the day after. He had a feeling tomorrow would be spent nursing one hell of a hangover.

He was trying to get back to the tower. Back to Tony and Justin and... Friday. Steve managed to suppress a groan at the thought of the Al, but only just barely. Friday hated him, he was sure of it. Oh, he had hopes that he could better his standing with her, but he was also pretty certain that first he’d have to make things right with her creator. And what that meant was that she was angry with him still, and the next 24 hours were likely going to be miserable.

Suddenly he didn't mind being a bit turned around. He was no longer in a hurry to get back to the tower.

The appearance of the lovely blonde woman was a surprise, but not a wholly unwelcome one. "Hm?” Steve turned, looking for the source of the voice. Amora continued to speak, and Steve blinked at her words. 'This world', and ‘back into my life' specifically. As familiar as she treated him, Steve couldn't place her for the life of him.

It was the same as it had been with Justin and Wanda. She knew a different Steve Rogers from a different world. "A long year, really… It wasn’t a party, so you didn't miss much. Just two friends drinking very strong drinks and telling stories." He shifted, turning his head to get a better look at the lady that had sidled up to him, "I'm sorry, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not who you think I am." he paused before adding, "That tends to happen here." It wasn't a dismissal, it was a genuine apology. Whichever Shue Rogers she knew, it wasn't the one she was currently speaking to. Besides, he didn't know her, but he hadn’t known Justin either. And Wanda, whom he had spent hours drinking with, hadn't been the one he had known; it didn’t mean he wouldn’t enjoy her company. And he really wasn't in a huge hurry to return to Tony, who didn't remember the last year, and an AI who seemed to loathe and disapprove of him.

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Marvel Comics-Avengers Academy

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#4
Unlike Justin, Amora didn’t seem to be put off by his lack of recognition at all. Rather, she just offered him a cheeky, knowing smile as she walked the fingers of her free hand up the arm she had hers threaded through. “Oh, aren’t you ever the gentleman, darling. Yes, I’m well aware you aren’t the Steve Rogers I knew. You’re a bit older… not much, though. Much more put together, as well…” She stopped to squeeze his bicep, a happy little shiver running through her as she did. “Mm, much more, yes. But you don’t know me? My my, this is an interesting development. I suppose that just means no real competition.”

She started leading him across the street, peering about this dismal part of the city… of course, all of New York looked dismal, didn’t it? “Well, then, I suppose I’m the one who needs to do the introducing, don’t I? You may address me as Amora, the Enchantress of Asgard. On my world, we were… hm, teammates, I suppose?” She couldn’t exactly call him a minion, he hadn’t succumbed like that to her advances or her enchantments. It had been rather frustrating, in all honesty, but maybe this one would be different. “The All-Father, Odin, decided that the Avengers would have the help of gods and goddesses, and so I was one of those who was hand-picked to lend her power to keep the mortals safe.” It was, after all, true, and the finer points of the situation were completely irrelevant.
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Marvel-MCU

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#5
Only Human After All

Justin's disappointment was understandable, but it was so dang nice that Amara didn't seem to mind that Steve didn't recognize her. Well aware, she said. Was he so different from his other-world counterparts? Older, she said. Age difference, too, seemed to be a theme. Had he awoke from the ice earlier or later in those worlds, then? That could make a difference; seventy years was a long time, a decade could make quite a difference either way. He actually snorted in amusement when she called him more put together. Physically, perhaps, but emotionally, Steve was lost, and he knew it. "No. I'm afraid we've never met in my world.” He paused, then asked, "Competition?”

What did she mean by that?

Amora the Enchantress of Asgard? "That's a mouthful. You don't just go by Amora?” Thor had always just been Thor... It seemed a little bit… What was the word? Um... Hmm... Pretentious. A little pretentious, yeah. That… “You're an Avenger?” Another Asgardian on the team. That seemed powerful. While Steve was fully aware that Amora was being rather… Touchy-feely, he didn’t comment on it. It was nice, really, though he was starting to think that she only liked him because of his physical traits. Which he owed entirely to the serum.

He was more than that, though..... She had called them teammates, but not friends. "Are you new to the Avengers, or have you been a member for awhile?”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Marvel Comics-Avengers Academy

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#6
“Mm… Generally, I go by Enchantress, but you can call me Amora, darling,” she confirmed. She preferred the title, of course. Was it pretentious? Naturally, but she was a goddess, it came with the territory. She thrived on the adoration and exultation of the commoners… but for a man like Steve Rogers? Yes, the more… intimate form of address was much more pleasing to her.

How to explain the very… unique nature of the Avengers without saying too much yet? That was quite the difficult proposition, but she was up to the task, she believed. “Hm… we’re all new to it in my world, I’m afraid. Nick Fury started a sort of… academy, I suppose, to train us all to be a team. It’s a rather informal setting, but it suits us.” Now, did she excel at the whole ‘team’ thing? Of course not. She thought that the fact that she hadn’t subjugated all of the men was a testament to her dedication to the team, though, wasn’t it?

“So, darling, what, might I ask, has made this year so long? It must have been quite something to leave you in a state like this, filled with enchanted alcohol as you are.” Oh, she could tell that much… the question was, if she wasn’t around already, who had been enchanting a drink for him? Certainly not Loki… or was it? “Surely there’s nothing that our dear Captain can’t overcome, is there?” Say what you want about his physicality or his pure heart, the good Captain’s strength of will was what intrigued her the most.
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Marvel-MCU

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#7
Only Human After All

It was very pretentious. Asgardians were an odd bunch. But then, he hadn’t really met all that many of them. Thor and Loki, and really, it was leaning toward the idea that maybe, just maybe, the majority of Asgardians were more like Loki than they were like Thor. It wasn’t a comforting thought, really. Thor spoke highly of his people, of course, and they were certainly an advanced, impressive race, especially from the stories that Thor had shared with them, but certainly he had chosen his friends with care. Steve wondered if Asgard was much like Earth in that way; filled with a diverse population in color, stature, skill, and personality. That seemed more likely to Steve… It took him a few moments, much longer than it would normally, for him to draw this conclusion, which left him standing quietly for a minute as she gave him permission to call her by her actual name. ”Well… Thank you for that. The title is a bit long, too.” It was true; Steve was still very inebriated, and really, it was a lot to say.

It was a really interesting word, though. Enchantress. Enchaaaaantress. Enchantresssss.

An...Academy? To train them. Run by Nick Fury. Steve blinked blankly at Amora, trying (and failing) to imagine Nick Fury running a school. Because that was just wrong. That was so, so wrong on so many levels… ”A school?! Tell me that Tony isn’t a teacher there… That… Nick Fury runs a school? How… How does that even work?!” Yeah, alright, he was having a really hard time wrapping his head around this idea, even a little bit.

What has made this year so long? Steve frowned, turning to look up at Avenger’s Tower, where he had been heading before Amora had stopped him to talk. ”I haven’t been able to go home. I don’t… Everything changed for me.” Steve sighed quietly and added in a whisper, ”I’ve missed Tony. And the tower. I miss all of it.” The Avengers had been his family, his home, and he couldn’t have it anymore, not the way it had been. There was no going back, though. And he didn’t want to veer off away from what had happened, which only left one way: through. He just had to work through all the bad to come out on the other side. Tony was in the tower now, Tony was here, and so Steve had a chance to make things right with him.

”Enchanted alcohol? I don’t know… It was from Thor. Wanda had it.”

Captain. Steve flinched at the title, ”Please, don’t. Just Steve. I gave the title up a year ago, Amora.” No, he’d given up that title the same time as he’d given up the shield, as hard as that had been for him. Captain America was good and right, and after he’d seen what he’d done to Tony? No, Steve definitely couldn’t be Captain America.

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Marvel Comics-Avengers Academy

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#8
Well of course her title was long. How else was one supposed to know that a person is important unless their title tells them so? Still, she wouldn’t begrudge him this ease of addressing her. “I suppose that there’s something to be said for brevity,” she allowed. She liked the titles… and not just for herself, really. What did ‘Amora’ mean? What did ‘Steve’ mean? Those names told people nothing about you, but if you said that you were the Enchantress, or if you said you were Captain America, that told people all they needed to know of you, or at least gave them a very good idea. Still, mortals seemed so very adverse to titles… at least, the ones who hadn’t been born to them did. Maybe dear Captain Rogers could grow accustomed to it after some time.

The very idea of Tony being a teacher made Amora let out a ringing, pleasant laugh. “Oh, darling, no. Tony… oh, he can make the director furious with his slacking off, his womanizing at the sake of his work, his utter lack of seriousness. As for how it works, we all train, we all go on missions, we thwart Hydra and their ilk, and Director Fury does his best to hide all of his operations from us and keep as many secrets as possible. Really, it’s terribly amusing, trying to put together or pry from him what secrets he’s really working toward.” And there was one of the truths that kept her at the Academy. When all was said and done, it wasn’t boring, and if her magic grew stronger, taking her rightful place of power would eventually be much easier.

His utter despondency, though, led her to frown, peering up at him curiously. This was most certainly not what she’d expected to find from him. Something had gone wrong, enough so that he was rejecting his title, the role that he, himself, had created and defined. That was a crises of self that she couldn’t say she ever would have imagined the good Captain going through. The man was… vulnerable, in a way that she never would have thought possible.

Slowly, as they walked, a small smile tugged at the corners of Amora’s lips.

“Very well, Steve,” she said. “I suppose, there’s only one question I can ask, knowing what a trying time you’ve been through.” She stopped, stepping in front of him, placing her fingertips on his chest to stop him, the very enchanted presence of her serving to stop a man in his tracks more effectively than the Asgardian strength she could put into her hand. Once he was stopped in front of her, she reached up, running her fingers along his face, weaving the subtle spell into her voice as she smiled up at him. “Put your worries aside for the moment… they’ll be there in the morning when your mind is clearer and the divine hangover is settling into place. Right now, there’s no problems, no Avengers, no Tony… just you and me… and though you might not know me, we can certainly fix that. The measure of a man doesn’t change so much between worlds that I can’t say that I know you. I might be missing bits of history, but…” She smiled cheekily up at him, tracing her fingers along his jawbone. “I can see the parts that count.”
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#9
Only Human After All

Really, being important wasn’t something that Steve considered. He certainly didn’t prioritize it. If he were important that was because of what he did, or what he could do in service to people, not because of any title he held or because of who he was. Captain America was important to many people, but not because of the title, but because of what Captain America stood for, what he did, how he acted.

And Steve would argue to the end of his breath that Captain America didn’t tell anyone all they needed to know about him.

The idea of Tony Stark being a teacher was… Shocking. But in a way, Steve could see it. He could see Tony getting along with a classroom of kids, old enough to reason and talk and discuss, and young enough not to let certain social norms and ideals get in the way of said talking and discussion. Still, it was an incongruent idea to just come out of nowhere, and Steve couldn’t help but to blink at it. Frowning slightly, ”Tony can be serious. Very serious. And I hardly think his work suffers because of any interest in… Womanizing. Your Tony must be very different from the man I know.” Fury sounded pretty much the same though. Amora seemed to have interest in finding those secrets of Fury’s, and honestly, he could imagine that there were a few others who would find that just as engrossing as she did. Tony, for starters, maybe his womanizing and antics were a cover for his actual curiosity. He couldn’t help but to think there were others who would be interested in helping Amora uncover Fury’s secrets, too.

Steve didn’t consider himself despondent, but then, he wasn’t paying that much attention to himself. He’d left Wakanda and gone to New York in hopes to try to make things right with Tony. To see if he had a prayer of coming home again, even if not legally, to at least have a chance of being welcomed by Tony if no one else. But he had ended up here instead, and hadn’t gotten the chance of seeing Tony again. Until Tony had crashed into Hub, anyway. And now Tony didn’t remember any of what happened! It was beyond frustrating! But yes, he knew that he wasn’t Captain America anymore. He didn’t even have the shield anymore, he’d given it back (as hard as that had been to do) when Tony demanded it. When Tony said he didn’t deserve the shield. And Steve had realized that Tony was right; he didn’t deserve the shield or the title. He hadn’t been acting like a hero for days, what right did he have to call himself one?

The smile was… Suspicious.

Every touch the younger woman made was… Sensual. Even drunk as he was, Steve understood what those touches were angling at; he was drunk (and old fashioned, sure) not stupid. He always wasn’t dead, and only a dead man never had any interest in a beautiful face. Put his worries aside? Huh.

No Avengers, no Tony.

Amora would feel Steve’s jaw set at those words. Maybe the Avengers were broken, split and separated, but they were still all Avengers. And Tony might be angry with him, he might not remember, but he was still Tony. Gently, he caught her fingers in his own, ”Can you? I’m not the man you knew, Amora, that Steve has lived a different life. That Steve still holds his shield, doesn’t he?” Steve shook his head, ”I don’t. Because I don’t deserve it. I’m not the hero you admire, I’m just a man.”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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