When the Bough Breaks

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When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:51 pm

Mariah had actually been excited to show both James' parents and Steve the sonogram. Alex was surprised by their change of heart but was truly happy for them both. This was going to be a new chapter to their lives and though they knew it was going to be tough and scary at times, they knew they could tackle it together. Over the next few weeks they began to look at pregnancy and baby books and they even cleared out the second room in their apartment for the baby's room. At the mansion everyone was thrilled for them and even threw them a surprise party in celebration of their happy news. Though Mariah wasn't doing field work with the rest of the Avenger's team, she continued to help out wherever she could on the ground at HQ and was kept in the loop about everything that was happening. Her opinion was valued and sought after and she appreciated that. However, her favorite part of the day was going home to James, who was extremely attentive to her needs. Some nights were quiet nights in, while others were much more passionate, but either way they were happy and content. In fact, neither of them had been this happy ever and they were looking forward to the future with their baby.

It was a Friday evening and Mariah and James had decided to walk from their apartment to a pizza place they loved a few blocks down the street. It was a warm summer evening and both of them were practically glowing with happiness (I'm really setting them up for what is about to happen lol). They were playfully discussing baby names as they walked into the restaurant. However, very quickly Mariah knew something was wrong. Looking up she saw several masked men. They had guns and had them pointed at several of the terrified customers while the leader had a gun pointed at the owner of the shop demanding money. They all looked over at James and Mariah as they walked in. Immediately, Mariah switched into Avenger mode.

"Let these people go...now."

The leader smirked at Mariah through his mask. He recognized her, but didn't feel threatened by her.

"And what exactly are you going to do?"

Mariah was unarmed, but that wouldn't stop her from doing what she needed to do. It was built into her DNA. She simply couldn't turn away when someone needed help.

"I'm not sure you really want to find that out. Nor what my husband will do."

"Oh yeah? Let's see it then."

Out of the corner of her eye she saw one of the gun men start to move and she quickly sprang into action. To her right was an empty metal pizza plate sitting on the edge of the table. She slammed her fist down on it and it flipped into the air. She grabbed it and struck one of the gun men in the face, knocking him unconscious. She then flung the plate at another gun men, hitting him in the nose while James took out another. She started towards the leader and suddenly he pulled out a large, serrated hunting knife from his pants. Mariah began to engage him in hand to hand combat, while James ushered the customers out of the building and to safety. Being pregnant she was not as fast as she had been before, but she still held her own and even managed to pull off his ski mask. However, she began to tire and felt a panic come over her when he began to get the upper hand. She tried to knock the knife from his hand, but he managed to grab her and throw her against a few of the tables. That was when she knew she was in trouble and she did something she had never done before.

"Please...please let me go," she begged. "I will let you walk out of here and won't go after you."

He grinned as he towered over her. "What is this? An Avenger begging for mercy. And why should I let you go?"

She felt a few tears come to her eyes. "Because I'm pregnant."

He looked at her for a long moment. "Well...that is a very compelling reason," he teased as he began to run the edge of the hunting knife down Mariah's body towards her womb "...but you've pissed me off Bitch."

He then plunged the knife into Mariah's lower belly in one quick motion and she screamed in pain.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by VoltKimo on Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:51 pm

James hurried as man of the civilians as he could barking at one of them to call the cops. Seeing that Mariah wasn't with him he cursed and rushed back inside. Idiot you should have made her get the others to safety he yelled at himself as he pushed open the doors. His heart and blood froze heraring Mariah scream out in pain. He saw the knife and the blood, and most importantly where it came from. Shock seen became overwhelmed by fury at the man that hurt his wife and he all he could see was red.

"get away from her!!" He roared as he threw himself at her assailant wanting ot tear him apart with his bare hands.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:59 pm

Blood was rushing from the knife wound in Mariah’s lower abdomen and pooling on the table underneath her until it began to drip onto the floor. Mariah’s face turned white from blood loss and her body started to shake as she began to go into shock. She was trying to stay conscious, but everything began to fade in and out. Someone came back in and saw Mariah and immediately screamed at someone else to call an ambulance. Mariah managed to turn her head, not realizing that tears were streaming down her cheeks from the pain she was in, to look at James.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by VoltKimo on Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:10 pm

James swung at the leader but missed in his rage. Seeing that someone was called for an ambulance he fled with James scrambling after him. His mind screamted him to stop and return to Mariah. His eyes were sparking brightly as he turned back seeing Mariah's tears. He rushed over and pulled his shirt off and placed it firmly on her abdomen his fear for his wife and unborn child gripping him. "Hey hey it's ok." He said cradling her head so she could see him clearly. "Just a little nick is all, just stay awake with me Mariah." He said doing his best to bluff that she was fine. It was a lot of blood and he was instantly reminded of the subway.

"you'll be fine Mariah just stay awake." James said holding her close keeping pressure on the wound.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:24 pm

Mariah winced when James put pressure on the wound. She could see the fear in his eyes and knew he was bluffing when he told her the wound wasn’t that bad. She was scared and James would be able to see that in her eyes. Her blood soaked through his shirt and she could feel herself starting to lose consciousness.

“I’m sorry James...” she managed to get out before the darkness took her.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by VoltKimo on Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:38 pm

James watched as Mariah's eyes closed and all he could do was pray that her heart kept beating and that everything would be alright. He held her closely as the distant sirens grew close. He held her close to him even as the paramedics tried to get him to let go. He sat there in shock as they loaded her up in the ambulance...

Some time later...

James was sitting in the waiting room his eyes staring forward unblinking as his mind tried to piece together a coherent thought. One of the staff recognized James and went ahead and phoned Alex after seeing she wasn't with him. Another staff member was being fetched to speak to James as it was obvious his mind wasn't firing on all cylinders.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:49 pm

Alex had been in the middle of telling Andrew that she was going to finally retire when they received the phone call. They immediately ran out to one of the cars and were currently speeding towards the hospital. Steve had also been notified and Alex could only imagine what was going through his head.

Dr. Williamson had been asked to go and speak to James. Mariah was still in surgery and it was clear that the young man was in shock. Dr. Williamson walked into the waiting room with a tee-shirt since James' had been used to try and stop the bleeding. He sat down next to him and handed him the shirt. He was quiet a moment before speaking.

"She's still in surgery. They're doing everything they can. She's strong Andrew."

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by VoltKimo on Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:11 pm

Upon hearing the news Steve had damn near dropped everything he could to get to that hospital. Once the news broke that she was pregnant everyone had been thrilled for her and some were even taking to call Steve Grandpa America.

James flinched when the good doctor said the word surgery. He had full faith that Mariah would pull through and that she would be fine albeit weak for some time. But he feared for their child and where she was stabbed. As if the man intentionally targeted that spot to hurt Mariah more. "Will..what about about our child?" James finally managed to stay slowly looking up at the doctor.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:17 pm

Dr. Williamson looked at James when he asked about their child. He sighed a little and shook his head. "I can't say James. I don't want to make any promises that I may be unable to keep. When I know more I will let you know."

In that moment Alex and Andrew appeared with Steve close behind. Alex rushed over to Andrew with worry etched into her face. "What happened?"

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by VoltKimo on Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:31 pm

James watched the doctor dance around it, he understood why he coudnt give a straight answer but it filled him with doubt. He held his head and just stared at the ground. His heart beat pounding in his head his mothers voice managed to reach him. "Group of armed men were robbing a place and...one of them drew a knife on Mariah." James said his voice void of emotion.

Andrew placed a hand on Alex's shoulder as he saw Steve arrive. It was obvious their son was rattled horribly, "Think you should take over with talking with the doctor." Andrew said placing a hand on James shoulder helping him with the shirt. "let me get you a coffee son.." He said not wanting to think of the worst outcome.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:39 am

OOC-I was just thinking about what you wrote earlier about people calling Steve "Grandpa" and I remembered that at this point on one, apart from a few people, know that he is Mariah's father. That is why Ibrahim is able to blackmail her.

IC-Alex glanced at Andrew when James told them what happened. She could see the fear in his eyes and knew that it must have been bad...very bad. She nodded when her husband suggested that she go find someone to talk to. She hugged her son and then looked at him.

"I'm sure everything is going to be fine. Just wait here and I will go see what information I can get."

She rubbed Steve's back to try and reassure him also before walking out of the waiting room and down the hall to find someone to talk to. About 15 minutes later she reappeared with no news yet. After another two hours a doctor appeared. Together, they all walked over to a more private area. The doctor looked at James.

"I am Dr. Anders. Mariah lost a lot of blood, enough to need a transfusion. Thankfully, SHIELD had prepared for a situation like this and had both Mariah and Steve give pints of their own blood in case it was ever needed. Mariah will live, though I must admit that it was touch and go for a while right after she arrived."

Alex looked at him. "What about the baby?"

Dr. Anders was quiet for a long moment and Alex's heart sank. She knew this wasn't going to be good. She instinctively put an arm around James' shoulders to comfort him.

"The baby didn't survive. The damage done to Mariah's uterus was intentional and extensive. She...may not ever be able to conceive again I'm afraid."

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by VoltKimo on Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:14 pm

OOC: oh right right, i also thought of something with Ibrahim. Yeah he'll open up with blackmail but what if he offers her the guy who stabbed her? Like yeah at first its just minor things he uses her for but the major thing he tempts her with the baby killer

IC:

James felt relief when Anders explained that Mariah was alright. During the whole time he was silent letting his parents and Steve ask any questions and try to get some answers sooner. He was grateful when his mother asked about the child as he dare not ask fearing the worst. When Anders didnt answer his eyes looked up at him and his knees went weak. Andrew helped Alex keep him standing.

Guilt just overwhelmed him as he blamed himself for not having Mariah lead the civilians out. "wh-what am i going to tell her?" he asked his voice barely above whisper as tears just began to well up in his eyes. He wanted to scream and rage at the world for taking away something so innocent but all of that emotion was impossible for him to get out. He wanted to find that man and just inflict pain on him, just endless pain for all time for robbing Mariah a chance. "just..why.."

Andrew helped James sit trying to help his son cope but didnt have the words. "is Mariah conscious?" He asked the doctor straightening up thinking that James could have time to figure out how to break the news to her.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:33 pm

OOC-I'm trying to figure out how to get that to work with what we originally had planned which was for Ibrahim to blackmail Mariah in exchange for keeping silent about Steve being her father and also about what actually happened to her mother (which at this point Steve still doesn't know). I think we were talking about having Ibrahim start out with small things, but things that eventually catch the attention of the other Avengers (who don't realize its her) but then he asks her to kill Sam Wilson (for reasons we had not yet figured out) and she hesitates and that's how Sam and the others find out. She then tells Steve what Ibrahim told her about what happened to her mother which leads to a huge fight between Steve and Nick. They manage to keep it out of the media that Mariah was behind what had been going on, but she is arrested by SHIELD and placed under psychiatric care and during that time James starts to work with the Avengers. What if James is the one to locate the guy who stabbed her (and thus started all of this) and convinces Nick to let her out and they kill him together? Or, James just kills him himself for her?

IC-Alex's heart broke for her son and daughter-in-law. She had suffered a miscarriage a few years after James was born and knew what that pain felt like. This, she could only image, was worse...much worse since this baby was deliberately taken from them. Looking over at Steve she could see the pain in his eyes as well and could tell he was fighting back tears. Alex wished she knew what to say to each of them. Words for situations like this came easier for her when she was removed from it. But trying to find the right words for this...it was almost impossible.

Dr. Anders sighed and shook his head. "No, she's not conscious. She likely won't be for a while...or even days."

Alex looked at the doctor. "When it is safe to move her I would like for her to be transferred to the SHIELD medical facilities."

The doctor nodded. "Of course." He started to walk away and then stopped and looked back at James and placed a hand on his shoulder. "I'm very sorry for your loss."

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by VoltKimo on Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:35 pm

OOC: I think we can just stick with the original idea, dont need to complicate things. I know James wants to stay by Mariah's side but as soon as he's able he's going to start hutning that guy down with that suit of his

IC:

Things were grim in the room the men were quiet as James did his best to keep his emotions from bursting out. Andrew kept close to his son grateful for Dr Anders kind words. Small consolation but what would anyone say in this situation? James thought of what Mariah was going to wake up to. "I have to see her." He said getting up. at the very least he wanted to make sure she was comfortable.

He stood his body shaking a bit and Andrew and Steve helped straighten him. "Why dont you get some rest James..just a bit of shut eye so you can gather your thoughts ok?" Andrew asked not wanting him to push himself.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:52 pm

OOC-Ok, sounds good. We will have enough drama going on for a while. I guess what we need to figure out is why Ibrahim would want Mariah to kill Sam Wilson.

IC-When Mariah was stable enough she was transported via helicopter to SHIELD's medical facility where Alex had once worked. The facility was designed to treat SHIELD agents and the Avengers and Alex knew that this was the best place for Mariah. The young woman was still unconscious and her vitals weren't as strong as Alex would have liked them to be, but she knew that if she made it through the next 48 hours it was more likely she would survive.

In the room where Mariah was placed a cot was set up for James so he could remain with her. She was extremely pale and even though she was unconscious she didn't appear to be resting peacefully. She almost appeared to know that something was wrong, but she couldn't wake up. Her middle was bandaged quite heavily and she was hooked up to an IV drip as well as a heart and BP monitor that gave a steady beep of reassurance that she was still alive.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by VoltKimo on Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:02 pm

OOC: Outside of the usual he's a threat...will have to brainstorm that one. Maybe Sam gets close to finding out his hideout or something. Or interrupts a deal

IC:

James world was foggy for the next 24 hours. But after getting a bit of rest he was able to actually mourn for his lost child. He kept close to Mariah just brushing the side of her face. "i swear i'll find him.." found himself whispering to her. Tears welled in his eyes at their loss, "Just come back to me Mariah..i know the world wont be as bright i cant face it alone." James said holding her hand. I'll find him and make him hurt he thought to himself forever burning that mans face in his mind.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:12 pm

OOC-I think either of those ideas would work.

IC-Another 24 hours passed. Slowly, Mariah's vitals started to improve. Zoe, Jayden came by to see James while and the others from the mansion, as well as Lani and Azari sent flowers and cards. Thankfully, Nick was able to keep that Mariah had been pregnant during the time of the attack out of the media. As far as the world knew Mariah had been stabbed and nothing else had happened. The media wanted to talk to James, but instead a carefully worded statement was released to the public and security around the medical facility was tripled. Alex and Andrew would bring food and fresh clothes for Andrew, but there was little else they could do apart from grieve with him.

It was about 7 am on the morning of the third day after the attack when Mariah slowly began to stir. Her breathing began to increase and she shifted and then groaned from pain.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by VoltKimo on Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:45 pm

James was finding sleep becoming easier as time went on thankfully. He would still wake from time to time to see if Mariah was waking but still she slept. He was reading a book that Andrew had brought him so he would have something to entertain himself with that wouldn't bother Mariah when he heard her groan. A mixture of relief and fear overwhelmed him as he rushed to her side. He took up her hand and waited patiently, "Mariah, easy try not to move." He said.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:50 pm

Mariah winced and groaned, but she heard a voice...James' voice. She felt his hand take hers and somehow just feeling his touch brought her some comfort. Ever so slowly her eyes opened. Everything was blurry at first, but eventually James' face came into focus. She was in pain and she felt incredibly weak. However, James would see a look of relief come over Mariah's face.

"You're...ok...I...I didn't know...if anything had happened...to you."

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by VoltKimo on Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:07 pm

James looked to Mariah and couldn't help but smile, "always worrying about others." He said brushing her cheek. He put on a brave face and kissed her head. "But try not to move you're..hurt and you need to be resting." He said having no idea how to even approach the topic of their child.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:13 pm

Slowly the memory of what had happened at the pizza parlor returned. She remembered the leader of the gang had drawn a large knife and she had fought him. She remembered being overpowered by him and then pleading with him to let her go. She remembered revealing to him that she was pregnant, hoping that would persuade him. She then remembered the excruciating pain as he had plunged the knife into her lower belly and thinking she was going to die as she screamed in pain.

She looked at James and saw the false brave face he was putting on. She could see right through it and tears began to come to her eyes.

"Please...tell me our baby...is alright..."

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by VoltKimo on Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:31 pm

James watched as Mariah was becoming more and more awake and finally that question came. He swallowed as he saw the tears and he took hold of her hands. "Mariah..i'm sorry Mariah..th-they couldn't save the baby." he said as tears of his own began to show. He wanted so terribly to tell her that everything was fine and that she would be on her feet and they would go through all the normal things a young couple of soon to be parents would experience. But it was taken from them. "I'm sorry Mariah." he said hugging her.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:40 pm

Mariah knew the answer before James even said it. However, hearing the words made it real...very real. How could this be happening to them? They had finally realized that having a baby was a good thing for them and they had been happy...very happy. They had been planning and an official statement regarding her pregnancy had been due to be released only a week from now. But now that message would never be sent and the room they had cleared out would never been used for the baby.

Grief and pain like Mariah had never felt before suddenly gripped her and she began to sob as she realized that man had taken away their baby. Her sobs were heartbreaking and she felt like she wanted to scream and throw things. She began to get so upset that a couple of nurses rushed in and administered a sedative to keep her from injuring herself even further.

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by VoltKimo on Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:51 pm

James watched as the nurses sedate Mariah. He did his best to keep her calm but it was obviously a failed attempt. He kept brushing her hair back in an effort to soothe her. "relax honey.." He breathed out tears running down his face. He leaned up and kissed her head and remained at her side...

OOC: jump ahead a little bit?

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Re: When the Bough Breaks

Post by Admin on Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:06 pm

OOC-Sure

IC-For Mariah the next four months were an emotional and physical hell. Having been trained as a soldier almost since birth and taught to keep her emotions in check, just letting her emotions out was difficult. She would dramatically jump from periods of deep depression where she could barely get out of bed to suddenly being enraged to then sobbing on the kitchen floor. Slowly, over time she began to rein those emotions back in, but it would be evident to those closest to her that she was suffering. She blamed herself for what happened that day. She knew that her strength was compromised, and yet she tried to fight. It had been a decision that had taken away something precious from James and herself and had nearly taken her life. She and James spent a lot of time together during her recovery process. He supported her emotionally and physically and was there for her when she needed him. Ever since being told that her chance of ever conceiving again was very slim she and James had not spoken about it again.

Mariah was finally given the all clear to start building back up her strength and working out and she couldn't have been happier. She needed to get out of the apartment and do something physical. She had been going stir crazy and had started watching Soap Operas (though she told James if he breathed a word of it to anyone she would punch him in the throat). Today, though she was back at Avengers HQ in one of the training rooms with Sam Wilson, aka Falcon. Mariah was close with Sam and thought of him almost as an uncle. They had been on numerous missions together and worked as a great team.

Mariah was currently working on doing some chin ups while Sam spotted her.

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