Author’s Note: This was written as a RPG (roll playing game) between co-authors Hope1iz and BlackFox12. Set after the season one finale. Thirty-sixth in the Redeeming Grant series.
Disclaimer: We don't own anything from the television series Agents of SHIELD and Avengers movies and we're not making any money from this fic
Authors: Hope1iz and Cat2000
Warning(s): Spanking; spoilers for Agents of SHIELD Seasons one and two; spoilers for all Avengers movies to date.
Co-Author’s Website: BlackFox12's fanfiction.net page
Fury planned for him and his children to get breakfast on the road, which was why he was gathering their backpacks and sleeping rolls, along with tents, to take out to their van. None of the others had put in an appearance yet... though Fury was reasonably certain his sons, at the very least, were awake and probably getting dressed.
Brock was looking forward to this camping trip. The rest of the family had left on their vacations already and he was anxious to have some time alone with his own 'immediate' family. He wasn't certain where they were going for the trip; their father had kept that information to himself...something that didn't really surprise Brock. Fury had secrets within secrets- in this case, though, he knew it was because his father wanted to make the vacation special for all of them and wanted to surprise them. Dressing in record time and grabbing some last minute items to stuff into his backpack, he made his way to the foyer of the mansion. He smiled at his dad as he stuffed the remaining items into a side pocket of his pack then straightened up. "Where are Trip and Kara?"
"I'm here!" His brother's voice carried from the stairs. Trip came walking into the foyer, carrying his own last minute items and stuffing them into his pack. "I thought Kara would be here too, though....she's not in her room." Trip frowned as he glanced between his father and brother. "I don't think she's in the kitchen, either. Did she say she was going on a run this morning?"
Fury smiled at his sons, though a worried look came over his face as Trip told them he hadn't seen Kara. "She didn't say she was going anywhere." That wasn't unusual. His daughter didn't say much at all... but Fury felt uneasy and worried. It was an unspoken rule in the family that someone didn't just disappear without a word.
Trip's expression became worried as well. With unspoken agreement, he went back upstairs to check in the various rooms, while Brock began searching downstairs. They figured their father would stay in the foyer, in case Kara showed up while they were gone. Fifteen minutes later, they were both back in the foyer, their expressions grim. "I didn't see her..." Trip said quickly.
"Me either...but one of the motorcycles is missing from the garage," Brock reported, almost as quickly. "Dad?" He looked at Fury, wondering what they should do.
It was fairly obvious she'd left. The question was, why?
Kara stopped at a small service station to fill the tank on the motorcycle, glancing around to take in all available information on her location. She'd always been aware of her surroundings, at least it felt like it, but now she had double reason to be wary. When she'd started having dreams about various 'ops' that she could only assume she'd been on, at first, she'd kept it to herself, not entirely certain if the dreams were actual memories or just her brain trying to make sense of the life she was now leading. After days of having the dreams, it had been obvious to her that they were memories. They were always of the same place and the same people; the problem was, nothing ever happened in the dreams that would give her any clue to her past...she knew she'd have to go to the location she was dreaming about and speak to the people in the dream to try and find out more about herself.
It never even occurred to her to tell Fury what was going on. It never occurred to her to tell anyone, really. Even though the family had decided that she was one of them and treated her as such, some small part of her felt like she didn't deserve to be part of the family and, as a result, she held herself aloof. She'd find this place...this person...by herself and hopefully jog enough memory that she could actually begin healing.
Paying for the gas and buying a map, Kara took a few moments to figure out the best route to take. Her destination was actually closer to the nation's capitol in D.C. than it was to the mansion in New York. She'd have about a six hour drive to get close to the tiny little town she'd seen a welcome sign for in her latest dream. Once she was there, she would need to look up the bar that she kept dreaming about. Sighing, she folded the map and got back onto her bike. She figured she only had an hour at most before Fury figured out she'd left and began looking for her. She wanted to be far enough away that he wouldn't immediately intercept her. She wasn't certain, but she had a feeling he wouldn't like what she had planned.
It didn't take very long for Fury to begin feeling panicked and worried for his daughter. Even if he was good at staying calm now, he found it much more difficult to stay calm where his children were involved.
"I'm going to call it in," Fury said. "I don't believe she left for no reason. She would have done that before now if so. Something must have triggered it." He was taking his phone even as he spoke, calling it in so that he could get his people on the lookout for her through traffic cams and other security cameras.
Trip nodded briskly. "I'll load the SUV with all of our stuff; and some weapons, too, just in case. We should be ready to go at a moment's notice."
"I'll help you," Brock said quietly, moving to pick two of the packs up. "Do you think one of us should bring a pack for Kara? Just in case she didn't think to?" He looked at his father, his own worry clear in his eyes. "If...if she left because she started remembering things...she might not be thinking all that clearly...." He swallowed uncertainly. If she had started to remember things, it wasn't beyond the realm of possibility that she had run.
Kara continued on her way, blissfully unaware of the anxiety she was causing her family back at the mansion. Then again, it hadn't fully registered with her that they were her family, in every sense of the word. She wouldn't allow herself to admit that she felt close to them and safe with them and needed them. And she wouldn't allow herself to accept the truth that they loved her; believing that would mean admitting. She'd been on the road several hours already and by her way of thinking, she should only need to be on the road for another three hours at most. She was somewhere in Pennsylvania...finally pulling over to a rest area she stopped the bike and got off to stretch her legs. She had to make a plan for how she would make contact with her mark otherwise her entire reason for making the trip would be pointless.
Fury had hung up the phone by then, taking a deep breath as he made an obvious effort to calm down and not lose control. "I think taking a pack for her would be a good idea," he agreed. "I'll also check the vehicles we have... see if one of them's missing." It would give them an idea of whether she left of her own accord, or whether someone took her.
Helping his sons load up the car, Fury then pulled both of them into a tight hug. "We'll find her..." he said softly.
"Other than the motorcycle, I didn't notice any other vehicles being missing..." Brock frowned, not having thought about the possibility of someone having taken her. He'd felt so safe at the mansion, that the idea someone would sneak in and hurt his little sister was like a slap to the face.
Trip hugged his father tightly. "I'll go pack a bag for her. And hope that you get a call soon...."
Kara hadn't wasted much time at the rest stop, wanting to reach her destination before it was too late. The bar she'd seen in her dreams looked like a real dive; she figured if she got there in time for the evening crowd, she'd be able to apply for a job and maybe even begin working that same night (if they were desperate for help).
The scenery blurred by her as she sped down the road at what was probably too fast a speed; was too fast a speed. The only reason she hadn't been pulled over was because she knew what to watch for and always slowed down before passing patrol cars. Before she knew it, she was pulling up to a welcome sign that was all too familiar, considering she'd never been to this tiny town before. Sighing, she made her way to the lone motel with a sign that looked straight out of a Hitchcock thriller. Parking the bike, she went in to secure herself a room and get directions to the bar.
Fury was getting antsier by the second, even after they'd packed everything into the van. As he checked his phone yet again, he then glanced over at his sons. "We should stop off and get some breakfast." Even though he wanted to just drive around until they found her, he had a responsibility to all of his children... and one of those was making sure all of them had what they needed, whether food or otherwise.
"Yeah, ok, dad. That's a good idea. Need to keep our energy up for when we get some information..." Trip agreed, giving his father a worried look. He knew Kara hadn't fully accepted her place in the family, but that didn't mean his father hadn't fully accepted her. He knew his father was worried...because he was worried; and he wasn't the one who had accepted responsibility for her.
Brock kept quiet, but stood close in case he was needed.
Fury got into the van and waited for his sons to join him, before driving to one of the smaller diners in the town. As he parked, he spoke to them both. "I'd like to just drive around until we get a lead, but we'll end up running out of gas even faster that way. I figure we can grab breakfast and wait here until we get a lead." That way, they wouldn't have to worry about cleaning up and could just concentrate on finding Kara.
Brock nodded. "That's sound...hopefully, we'll hear something soon." Waiting for his father to get out first, he quickly followed Fury into the diner, where they were seated near the windows.
Trip forced down his instinct to not put his back toward a door and allowed his father to sit facing the door, Brock sitting next to their father.
Fury took a seat at the table, placing his phone on the surface so he could be sure of hearing it when someone rang with information. Even though he didn't have much of an appetite, he still glanced quickly through the menu and ordered some food and a drink, not wanting to start allowing bad habits.
Trip quickly followed suit.
Brock looked at the menu and sighed. "I'm really not hungry..." he muttered, but knowing his father would insist he eat something, he ordered oatmeal and a side of fruit. He didn't want to add to his father's worry.
Trip wasn't certain how long they were there for. They had finished their food and had taken to drinking coffee and fidgeting when finally, Fury's phone rang.
Fury answered his phone quickly. "Did you find anything?" he blurted out, not even bothering to give a greeting.
As the agent spoke on the other end, Fury listened intently, writing down information in a pad he'd taken out. At last, he spoke. "Can you look at her file? Let me know if that direction matches any ops she was on previously..." He listened a few more moments and then hung up. "We have a direction to go in." He'd already paid, so now he stood up and headed towards the door, knowing his sons would follow.
Trip and Brock quickly stood up and raced after their father. Brock glanced toward the pocket where his father had stuck the pad he'd written the information on. "Can I see that, dad?" he said softly, as they reached the SUV and began getting in.
Fury handed the pad over to Brock and then got in the SUV. Buckling up, he waited for his sons to do the same before pulling out. "I've asked them to check the files... see if she had an op in the past that took her somewhere in that direction." He wondered if Kara had been getting memories back.
"I don't know if she had an op in that direction or not, but I can name at least three different HYDRA 'hangouts' that are along that route, assuming she doesn't get off this particular highway and start heading a different direction...." Brock said somberly.
Trip looked worriedly toward his father. "If she's heading toward HYDRA hangouts, what do you think she's planning? I mean, if they recognize her.... The only hope we'd have of them not hurting her is if they didn't realize she'd been freed of the brainwashing and thought she was still loyal to them...."
Fury frowned in concern, even as he continued driving along the highway. "If she did have an op at any of those bases, I'll be told... and then we can hopefully intercept her. The alternative is that she's not aiming for a hangout... but a specific HYDRA spy."
Brock nodded. "My guess is that it is a specific person... these places I am thinking of weren't bases, as such; they literally were hangouts. Dive bars, really; one a Strip Club that HYDRA agents would go to exchange intel ... plenty of non-HYDRA people would go there too, so they could blend in. If she had an OP, then it was more than likely to meet a specific person...maybe we'll be lucky and the person will be on file as well...."
"If that's the case, then we really need to hope that whoever she's going after doesn't know that she's lost the brainwashing..." Trip muttered.
Fury's own worry was fueling his driving. It was hard to stay calm without one of his children there with him. "If we don't get any information, we'll have to case each of the hangouts until we get something."
When the phone rang a second time, Trip picked it up and put it on speaker for his father, so that he wouldn't have to stop driving. "Sir...we received another confirmed sighting of her on the same highway, an hour south from the first point we saw her..."
"How long ago was she spotted?" Trip interrupted, trying to figure out how far a head start his sister had.
"She was seen there about 30 minutes ago..." the agent reported. "I'll call again with more information when I receive it..." The call was disconnected.
Trip glanced at his father. "The location they spotted her at is about an hour and a half from where we are right now...if they saw her thirty minutes ago, then she's got a two hour head start on us. If she stops for any reason...we might be able to catch her."
Fury nodded, having listened intently to the phone conversation. "Hopefully before anything happens." He wanted to put on more speed, but was aware that he also had to think about his own safety... and that of his sons. "We're heading in the right direction. As long as we keep getting updates..." That was all they could do.
Brock nodded. "The fact she hasn't changed direction...I think my original thoughts about the HYDRA hang-outs are still correct. There is enough distance between them that if there is a sighting closer to one than the other two, I think I'll be able to lead you right to her...."
Kara had spent maybe an hour in the motel room... after showering and changing clothes, she'd taken a long look at a photograph in a fashion magazine and within seconds, the face in the picture was staring back at her through the mirror. She'd changed back to the face she'd been wearing since being freed from Whitehall's control, then back to the face from the photograph again. Sure in the knowledge that she would be able to return to the 'look' she'd been wearing, she finally settled on the 'new' face for her disguise, packed her bags and put them back in the storage trunk of her bike. She'd then gone to the club, TABOOS, arriving just after the doors opened.
"I'm looking for a job," she whispered huskily to the bouncer that met her.
He'd directed one of the waitresses to take her to the manager, who'd looked her up and down critically before asking, "Can you dance? Three of our dancers called in sick tonight so if you can dance, you go on in two hours...."
She couldn't help but smile widely at the offer. "I can dance," she almost purred at him. "You won't be sorry...." The manager might not be sorry, but her target certainly would be.
Fury nodded, glancing at his sons. "We'll get within a certain distance and then stop and plan out where we're going," he said. "I made sure to pack radios, so we can keep in contact that way." No matter how calm he sounded... he knew his sons would easily be able to tell how worried he was.
They had driven about another hour when Fury's phone rang one last time. Trip put it on speaker again. "She checked into a motel just off the highway she's been traveling down, five minutes ago..." A location for the motel was given.
Brock looked at his father. "I know which hangout she'll be going to..." he said softly. "It's the strip club...." He ran a hand through his hair. "Chances are she won't be at the motel when we get there...."
"We'll head to the strip club." Fury checked with his youngest son about which direction to go in and then started driving there. "I'll go inside... I'd like both of you to stay out here as backup." And because he didn't want to put his sons in direct danger as well.
Kara had been at the bar only an hour when the manager waved her over. "Another girl called in sick. I need you up there now."
Kara blinked a slight panic nearly overwhelming her before she regained control and nodded. "I need to change...I can be up in ten minutes...is that acceptable?"
The manager nodded and waved her away, having already dismissed her once she agreed. Shaking her head, Kara head to the back to put on a costume.
She wasn't terribly happy that the only outfit available was a 'school girl' outfit a la Britney Spears circa mid-nineties. She'd hoped for a tougher image, in case she had to confront her target while in costume. Sighing, she quickly began to change, hoping this escapade would be worth it.
They arrived at the bar exactly two hours after they learned Kara had checked into the motel. Brock's estimations were correct. Biting his lip, he glanced through the parking lot. "Isn't that one of Tony's bikes?" he asked quietly.
"Yeah," Trip answered. "She's definitely here. Do you want one of us to hot wire the bike, dad? In case you have to leave quick? We probably don't want to leave it behind and I know you aren't going to let baby sister out of your sight, so her driving it won't be an option." He smiled knowingly at Fury.
Fury nodded, even as he got out of the van. "Good idea," he agreed, retrieving one of the handguns and tucking it into his belt. Hopefully, he wouldn't actually need it... but he'd rather have it and be on the safe side. He took out the radios and gave one each to Trip and Block, keeping the third for himself. "I want to get in and out with her... but that might not be possible. I know you'll both be ready if I need you, but don't do anything that might put either of you in danger."
Trip and Brock watched as their father slipped inside, then Trip slid out of the SUV and grinned at his brother. "I'll get the bike; you be ready to get out of here fast if Dad comes running."
"Yeah..." Brock agreed easily.
Kara was ready and on stage in the promised two minutes. When the music started playing, she almost groaned. Between Bon Jovi's 'Runaway' and the school uniform costume, she was beginning to feel like a bad ‘After School Special’. She gamely began to dance, though, making herself as provocative as she could. She was attempting to get the attention of a certain HYDRA agent, after all...and at least that part of her night was going according to plan. He was sat in a back corner in the shadows, watching her.
Fury stepped into the bar, looking around. Kara wasn't immediately obvious. His eyes passed over the dancer, with the brief thought that it would be awful to see his own daughter up there... but he was moving carefully and trying not to draw any attention from those in the strip club. After all, he was fairly well known... even if he wasn't dressed obviously.
Kara hadn't wanted to appear too obvious or eager for her mark's attention and so had been glancing around the room, noticing all the men (and some women) watching her. It was during her second glance around the room that she saw Fury; he was looking straight at her and they made eye contact. The fact that he had come after her at all, let alone found her so quickly, shocked her so badly that her mask slipped for the barest of seconds. She regained control over it almost immediately and a fast look around at the other patrons indicated that none of them had noticed her face briefly change. Of course, none of them were looking at her face, so it wasn't a surprise. Her mark hadn't noticed, either, but he was waving her over, holding up a large bill. She glanced at the manager, as if asking for permission- she had to keep up appearances, after all- and when he nodded, she turned and smiled at her mark, slowly sashaying her way off the stage and around the side to meet him as he opened a side door and held it for her.
"I prefer a private dance..."
He gave her a smarmy look that made her skin crawl, but she smiled at him anyway and purred, "I'll be worth every dime...."
Her mark hadn't missed the change in her face at all...he'd noticed Fury come in...and he'd noticed her notice. And when her mask slipped, for those few short seconds, he knew exactly who she was. But he pretended otherwise. This was going to be a good night. He'd take out the bitch that had been Whitehall's downfall... and if he was lucky, he'd take out the bastard who had taken her in, too. He smiled and waved her over, pleased when she continued her charade. Good. She had no clue she'd been made. It would make taking her out that much easier.
Fury's gaze had shifted to the woman on the stage, in time to see her face shift... changing to his daughter's. It was only a split second, but that was enough. Fury didn't know how Kara was able to change her face... but it didn't shock or disgust him. After all, considering what he dealt with on an almost daily basis, changing a facial appearance wasn't that strange at all.
Fury noticed Kara moving over to the man and he thought that might be the mark she was after. He placed a hand on his holster, still making sure it was hidden, and began to make his way towards them.
Kara had followed her mark through the door, which led to a long hallway. She couldn't help but notice that every door they passed was reinforced and appeared to have soundproofing. It was suspect, to say the least, but she was so sure she hadn't been made, she wasn't worried for herself. Soon, the soundproofing would be to her advantage.
When they finally stopped in front of a room in the back, she teasingly asked, "Are you going to put up a do not disturb sign? So they know someone is in here?"
The mark looked at her, eyes roaming over her body in a sleazy and slightly worrying way. "Hang the remainder of your outfit on the door...they'll figure it out."
Kara glanced down; the only thing she still had on was one skimpy pair of panties and a pair of 'Mary Jane's' that had been part of the 'innocent girl' costume. Sighing internally, she kicked the shoes off outside the door then followed the mark in. Yes, she was practically naked, but he was creeping her out enough that even a skimpy pair of underwear felt like armor. Her nerves and gut were screaming at her not to go in, but she'd gone too far to give up now.
She should have listened to her gut. No sooner had the door closed behind her than she was thrown up against the wall, the mark's hands around her neck. "Thought you could take me out, didn't you?" he sneered.
Kara couldn't answer. She couldn't even scream. Eyes wide, she began to fight for her life, using training she'd forgotten she knew.
As soon as he was through the side door, Fury didn't even hesitate. The pair of shoes outside one of the doors indicated where his daughter had gone and he wasted no time in kicking the door in.
Fury was good at reacting fast. He pushed aside the terror of the situation he saw his daughter in and went for the man. His gun was in his hand, but his primary goal was taking the man's hands off Kara's throat.
One minute, Kara was using every method available to her to attempt to break free and the next...her mark was motionless on the ground. She looked up at her father- she had never noticed before how tall he was- and awkwardly crossed her arms over her chest (she had been undercover many times where she'd used her body in one way or another to get Intel and never felt the shame and guilt that she was suddenly feeling now). She looked down at the body with a wide-eyed look. "Is he still alive? I need information from him..." she said hesitantly, not certain if Fury was angry at her or not.
Fury removed his jacket and wrapped it around his daughter's shoulders. "You're not going to be doing anything about him," he stated. "Your brothers are outside. It's time to leave." His voice was firm and it was clear he didn't expect a fight.
Kara blinked at that, completely ignored the tone in her father's voice and protested, "He knows me! He has to have information about who I was...where I came from!"
She put the jacket on and zipped it, a whiff of the smell of her father mixed with leather wafting up. She didn't stop to think about how soothing it was and how it made her feel safe.
"Even if he has the information, he won't just give it to you and you won't get it out of him without resorting to measures that will leave scars on you." Fury spoke with a grim note to his voice. "We are going to leave." There was a hint of warning in his voice. He didn't want either of them there when the HYDRA agent woke up. If he had to, he'd carry his daughter out.
Kara frowned. She knew she could get the information out of him; and even if it did take methods that would leave 'scars', she didn't see how it could be any worse than the ones she already had. "It won't take that long to get at least a few names from him, if nothing else..." she argued, moving closer to the unconscious agent, the sounds of the door down the hall opening not registering.
Meanwhile, the HYDRA agent's 'friends' had noticed Fury slipping through the door their buddy had gone through; and while they hadn't seen his face and didn't realize yet who he was, they knew it was odd behavior. Two of them had come to follow him and see what he was up to.
Fury didn't miss the sound of the door opening and it took him only a split second to decide that he wasn't going to stand here and argue with his daughter, not while the danger was still there. He moved quickly, grabbing Kara and, without much hesitation, lifted her over his shoulder. With one arm holding onto her, it at least left his other hand free to handle the gun.
Kara was too shocked at first to do anything, but by the time Fury was exiting the room, she had begun squirming, trying to get loose. "Put me down! You can't just...." Three shots being fired shut her up and she twisted around to look behind her, finally noticing the two men. She began trying to get loose for an entirely different reason, wanting to help her father protect them...her desire to question her mark disappearing as she realized if they didn't leave immediately, they'd be trapped.
Fury returned fire, though he kept his body turned in front, protecting his daughter. One of the bullets pierced through his opposite shoulder and his arm went lax as he only just kept his grip on the gun. He began running, keeping a tight hold on Kara, even as he fought through the pain to access the radio, informing his sons of the situation as he moved at full speed towards the door.
Kara felt horrible. Fury wasn't putting her down; fighting, protecting her and running without letting her down to help him- she wasn't certain if it was because he was so focused on getting them to safety, or if it was because he no longer trusted her to do what he directed after her refusal to listen back in the room. Finally, realizing she was making things more difficult by struggling to get down, she stilled, not moving a muscle.
Fury managed to get to the exit and quickly moved through the door, still holding his daughter. Due to the bullet wound in his shoulder, he didn't think he'd be able to ride the motorbike, so he headed to the SUV, trusting one of his sons to take charge of the motorcycle.
Trip rode the motorbike up next to the SUV, his gun ready as he guarded his father's back.
Brock had the SUV running and ready to take off.
Kara didn't fight her father at all. By this point, she was realizing just how badly she had messed up everything. Twisting around to see where Fury was carrying her, she noticed blood. Stiffening up, she forced her voice to remain calm, even if she was frightened on the inside. "You were wounded, sir. Please put me down...I won't run or fight, but I...I don't want to make the wound worse..." Her voice cracked slightly at the end.
"It's in the shoulder. It's not bad." Fury's voice was a bit roughened from the pain, but he was being honest. By that point, he'd reached the SUV and he quickly helped Kara inside before getting in himself. As he worked to keep pressure on the wound, he quickly updated Brock about the situation... keeping the radio on at the same time so Trip could listen too.
Kara, noting Trip had her bike and therefore all her possessions that she needed to keep (she hadn't taken anything that could identify her into the club, so really, all she was leaving behind was one pair of clothes), immediately moved to make room for her father. While he was updating Trip and Brock, she quietly found a first aid kit to help her father while she listened to what he was saying. Each word caused her to feel more and more guilt and shame, but then she felt irritated about feeling that way. She didn't understand why she would feel like that; she hadn't asked them to come after her, had she? She didn't owe explanations or apologies for them coming after her, did she? So why did she feel like she not only owed explanations and apologies, but that she had been wrong to go in the first place?
Swallowing, she began to gently pull Fury's shirt away from the wound. "Do you trust me to cut it off, sir?" She winced at the guilty, shamed sadness in her voice. Great. Now, not only was she feeling things she didn't understand, but she was broadcasting those feelings. If it hadn't been for the fact that she wasn't certain if he trusted her (she'd really messed up not immediately obeying him), she would have just forged ahead and not said anything. She supposed she deserved his distrust now, if she'd ever deserved his trust in the first place, but it was a surprise how much losing it hurt.
Fury finished updating his sons, wincing a little as the wound was pulled. He placed his other hand on Kara's shoulder and squeezed gently. "I trust you." They were simple words, but still true. Even when something happened, Fury knew when he could count on his children and the rest of the family. Trusting Kara to help him with his wound was vastly different to trusting her to follow when he asked her to.
Swallowing back the relief she felt and the tears that caused, Kara nodded and, as gently as possible, began to cut Fury's shirt off, figuring it would be less painful than attempting to pull it over his head. As soon as the material was out of the way, she quickly began examining the wound, first making sure the bullet had exited and then carefully cleaning the wound while trying to determine if a hospital was needed. "It was my fault... If I had obeyed you..." she finally whispered. "I'm sorry...."
The wound was a straight through and through. Fury allowed his daughter to work, watching her. "I understand you want answers," he said quietly. "But leaving without a word meant that we might have been too late to stop you. You don't want to deal with getting answers in the way you were going to. Torturing someone isn't anything like as easy as it sounds."
Kara couldn't look Fury in the face, so kept her gaze on the wound as she began to stitch. She spoke softly. "It feels like I somehow already know what it is like," she admitted. "Maybe I wasn't a very nice person before...." She was nervous at that idea.
"Sometimes even good people have to do things that are horrible," Fury said. "It doesn't mean you aren't a good person... but you don't want to cross that line without good reason. Even if you did do it before and can't remember." He held still as his daughter stitched his wound, even though it was hurting.
Kara had to admit that, now that she had been caught and was actually thinking about what she had planned, it made her feel ill. "You stopped me from crossing that line..." she admitted softly. "Thank you."
"You don't need to thank me," Fury said. "You're part of my family. I'm going to protect you." He didn't say that she was his daughter, even if that was what he really meant.
Kara smiled crookedly. "Even from myself, apparently." She gently finished stitching then made certain the antibiotic and bandage was secure before sitting back. She took a deep breath; the scent of her father (even if she hadn't yet accepted him as such knowingly) helped calm her. "What now?" she asked hesitantly.
"We'll get away from here. Is there anything that you left at the motel you checked into?" Fury asked. He rested a hand on Kara's shoulder, squeezing gently. "Thank you."
"No," she said quietly. "I packed everything but what I wore into the club onto my bike and we can't go back for that stuff..." She shrugged.
Fury nodded. "A change of clothes is a small price to pay for an escape." He thought for a moment. "There's little reason for us not to continue with our vacation plans." He didn't think he needed to go to hospital... though he would have to be careful not to put too much strain on his shoulder while it healed.
"You still want me to go with you?" Kara was surprised and did not bother to hide the fact. "Why would you want me with you after...?"
Fury carefully slid his arm around Kara's shoulders, drawing her in close. "Because, even if you have trouble believing or accepting it, you're my daughter... part of my family. And I want to spend time with you as much as your brothers."
"I don't deserve to be..." she whispered. "I know I messed up bad."
"Everyone makes mistakes at times," Fury said. "Those mistakes are dealt with and then we move on. Clean slate."
"Yeah...ok." Kara sounded uncertain, but figured she deserved some type of disciplinary action for just taking off on her own.
Fury tightened his embrace around her. "We'll get settled at the campsite and then we'll talk. When did you last eat something?"
Kara bit her lip and fidgeted. She had a feeling her answer would make the older man irritated with her; more than he likely already was. "I had a bag of chips about four hours ago...before that, dinner last night...."
Fury sighed and then addressed his youngest son. "Brock... we're going to stop off and get something to eat as soon as we're sure we haven't been followed." The three of them hadn't eaten much since breakfast, worrying so much about Kara... and Fury knew that food had to be one of the first orders of business. He didn't scold Kara then... like the rest of his family, Fury preferred to keep things private.
Kara couldn't help but look down. The feeling of guilt and shame had grown to the point there was no way she could ignore it if she wanted to; and by this point, she didn't. Unable to face the man who'd claimed her as his child, she instead snuggled against him and hoped he could forgive her for causing him so much grief.
Fury kept his arm around Kara, keeping her close to him as he checked in on Trip, letting his oldest know their plans. He gently stroked his daughter's hair, keeping her close to him.
Brock glanced at his father and sister through the rear view mirror, noting how subdued she was and how 'careful' his father was being. "Should we stop at a hospital, dad?" he asked worriedly.
"I don't think it's necessary." Fury had had a chance to check his daughter over and although there were bruises, she was clearly able to move and talk without difficulty. And the wound in his shoulder was fairly minor. It was painful, but the bullet had gone through and there wasn't much more a hospital could do.
"Ok, well I don't think we're being followed by anyone except Trip. But if you think we can wait an hour, I know a place just outside of the national forest. We can eat there then continue to the campsite," Brock said calmly.
"I think an hour should be fine... though I have snacks packed if either of you are hungry," Fury said. He'd put them in their packs, which he'd made sure were easy to get to.
"I can wait," Kara said quietly. Truthfully, her appetite was non-existent, between her churning emotions and worry for Fury.
Brock agreed. "Waiting works for me, too. What about you, Trip?" he asked through the coms he wore.
"I'm good and can wait. I just lost our last tail, so I think we are safe to go on our trip," Trip agreed easily.
Fury nodded. "We'll wait, then... and it'll also be good to make sure to keep to less well-known roads, so anyone trying to follow will find it more difficult." He knew his sons knew that, but it was easier to focus on giving directions than the pain from his wound.
"Less known roads it is...tell me immediately if we need to find a hospital or if the roads make you too uncomfortable," Brock requested. "We're going into mountainous territory with curvy roads...."
It was fairly late by the time they reached the campsite. Fury got carefully out of the SUV and moved to help his children with setting up the camp. Knowing that they would worry, he was careful not to put too much strain on his wound.
Kara wasn't surprised to find that they all four were sharing a tent. Part of her thought she should be, but she wasn't. She also wasn't upset at the fact, which did surprise her. She couldn't help but watch Fury with worry, even though she knew he was being careful. Soon, everything was set up just in time for it to be dark. "What now?" she asked curiously, watching Fury closely.
"I don't know ‘bout ya'll, but I think it's time to hit the sleeping bag...." Trip grinned. "If you'd like to change first, Kare-bear....I took your things out of the bike and put them with the pack Dad packed for you."
"You packed a bag for me?" Kara looked at Fury with wide eyes.
Fury smiled at his daughter, giving her a quick, one-armed hug. "I told you I wanted you with me as well," he said, his voice gentle and sincere. "I included you in this... just as I include you in my life and all my plans."
"Thank you," Kara managed to force out through a suddenly tight throat. She didn't deserve to be wanted like this...her guilt grew stronger as she realized everything Fury had done for her- that she'd viewed suspiciously- had been done with sincerity and caring. Blinking rapidly, she ducked into the tent and grabbed a pair of pajamas from the bag, quickly changing. Regaining control of her emotions, barely, she stepped out again. "You guys can go get changed now...."
Trip smiled. "C'mon, dad. I'll help you with your shirt and while we're at it, I'll make sure the antibiotics are working."
Fury smiled reassuringly at Kara and then went with Trip into the tent, allowing his oldest to help him take his shirt off without argument or protest. He glanced over his sons. "You're both all right? No injuries?"
Brock smiled. "We didn't even run into any agents. We're fine. I think I just heard the SUV door, though. I'm not sure Kara is okay."
"I'll go and check on her." Fury waited long enough for the bandage to be changed and his wound to be checked then stepped out of the tent to see how Kara was doing.
Kara had crawled up into the backseat of the SUV and was just sitting there, staring at the spot where Fury had been sitting while she'd tended to him. Her face was an odd mixture of her guilt and shame, horrified worry and some other emotion that was hard to describe, although it could have been hesitant hope or nervousness (possibly both). She didn't look over when Fury came up to the vehicle, though she knew he was there.
Fury didn't hesitate in climbing into the backseat next to his daughter, careful not to put too much strain on his shoulder. He wrapped his arms around his daughter and just held her close.
Kara held tightly as she could, while being mindful of his wound. "You came after me...." Her voice was small and more amazed than she would have wanted to admit.
"You're my daughter," Fury replied. "Not coming after you was never going to be an option." He stroked her hair gently. "I didn't want to risk anything happening to you." His voice was honest... sincere.
Kara tried to put to words what she was thinking and feeling, but everything was a confused jumble in her head. "You saw me dance," she blurted out, her face going red. That wouldn't have ever been brought up in conversation if she didn't feel so unsettled.
"I did," Fury replied. "I also saw you change your face." He waited, to see if she'd volunteer an explanation.
"I...." Kara wanted to tell him about that ability, but wasn't sure what to say. She didn't know that much about it. "...Whitehall did something to me...I...." She shrugged again. "...I think I must have done ops like that in the past...most specialists have used sex or attraction to further a mission...at least once in their career...." Her voice was defensive, barely masking the guilt and shame she'd been feeling since Fury had rescued her. She had changed the topic of conversation because talking about her face scared her for some reason, but she winced at what she immediately resorted to. She didn't want to talk about what she'd done to try and get information, either. She squirmed uncomfortably, her face heating up in shame.
"You probably have," Fury agreed. "But that kind of op is more dangerous. Now that we've formed a family, we don't do ops on our own. We don't leave without a word to our family members."
The squirming stilled as she thought about what he'd said. "Is that why I feel so ashamed and guilty about it?" she asked in a tiny voice. "Because I was doing something you don't expect me to do anymore?" She finally looked up, her confusion clear on her face.
"I'd imagine so," Fury answered. "I know you must have seen how we expect our family to act... that taking off on your own is not acceptable and never will be acceptable."
"I saw..." she admitted quietly. "I didn't think it mattered for me, cuz I didn't...didn't believe you really wanted me." She bit her lip, looking up at him again. "I got you hurt!" she blurted in a choked voice, her eyes tearing up.
Fury tightened his arms around Kara. "I do want you. And getting hurt wasn't your fault. It's not like you wanted it to happen. But I came after you because you're my daughter and I don't want to lose you."
Kara couldn't stop herself from snuggling into her father. The tears in her eyes began to slide down her face, but she made no attempt to stop them. Finding out how wrong she'd been about her own place in the family eased a hurt she didn't realize she'd been feeling, but it also caused the shame and guilt she'd been feeling since seeing Fury walk into the club to overwhelm her. She was so confused and more than a bit lost. "I'm sorry..." was all she could think to say, even though she was certain it wasn't nearly enough to make up for her actions.
Fury stroked her hair gently. "I know you are. For right now, I think we all need rest. But once we're both up to it, we'll deal with what happened and then move on."
Kara snuffled, but didn't pull away. "Will you spank me?" She winced again; this time because her voice was high pitched and nervous. She wasn't trying to get out of punishment. She was certain she deserved whatever her father decided on. But with her memory gone, it may as well be the first time she was ever disciplined, ever, and she already felt so off balance, just the idea scared her.
"I will," Fury replied, his voice calm. "But a spanking won't cause you any lasting harm. It's a punishment used by family... and once a punishment is given, it's a clean slate. What happened won't be brought up again and it won't mean you're any less a part of the family... any less my daughter."
"Ok..." she responded quietly. She was still scared of the thought, but it was more because of not being sure of what to expect than due to fear of being hurt. She trusted Fury would never deliberately hurt her...not without good reason, anyway. "Can I sleep next to you?" she whispered, snuggling just that small bit closer.
"Of course," Fury replied, without any hesitation, holding her close. "Are you ready to go through to the tent now?"
"Yes, sir." Kara gave her father a trembling smile. She knew she likely wouldn't feel right until everything had been taken care of, but she also knew her father was wounded and the thought of putting him through any more discomfort was abhorrent to her. Waiting until Fury got back out of the SUV, she carefully crawled out after him, following him to the tent.
Fury got out of the SUV and wrapped his arm around Kara's shoulders, squeezing her gently. He walked alongside Kara back to the tent, carefully ducking inside with her.
Glancing around, Kara noticed that Trip had taken the sleeping bag nearest the tent flap. Brock had taken the spot closest to the back of the tent, leaving Kara and their father the spots in the middle; it was obvious the two men were placing their father and sister in positions where they could more easily protect them. She looked at her father to see where he wanted her.
Fury guided Kara towards the spot next to Trip, knowing a sneak attack would likely come from the back of the tent. He gave each of his children a gentle squeeze to their shoulders, waiting for them to all settle down before he finally did.
"Night, Dad; night, kids..." Trip smiled, ruffling Kara's hair, before snuggling down into his sleeping bag.
Brock said his good nights as well.
"Good night," Kara said to the tent at large, waiting till her father had crawled into his sleeping bag before shifting closer so that she could snuggle up to him. She still felt so unsettled and confused; being next to her father eased some of the unease, but not all of it. She kept inching closer and closer, waiting for the moment he told her to stay still or stop crowding.
Fury said his good nights to his children and then, as Kara shifted nearer, he stretched out an arm and gently gathered her in closer, stroking her hair as he hoped to help her feel better.
Something in her eased as her father pulled Kara closer. It didn't take much before she was pressed tight to Fury's side, her head on his chest, her fingers curled tight in his shirt. She took several breaths, her father's scent and heartbeat easing her to sleep.
The next morning dawned early and- after eating a hearty breakfast cooked over the campfire and Trip checking his father's wounds and putting more antibiotics on it before re-bandaging the wound- they decided to go on a hike.
Fury dressed quickly and walked with his children along the trail, having prepared maps of the safer places for them to go. He also made sure they had snacks and bottles of water.
Trip and Brock took all the items from their father without comment. While they knew he wasn't helpless or an invalid, they wanted him to rest his shoulder as much as possible to promote healing.
Kara took some of the items as well. She was slowly relaxing; as much as she could with the consequences from her actions still hanging over her head, anyway. She couldn't help but laugh at Trip and Brock's antics. She stuck very close to her father.
Fury stayed close to his daughter, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. He didn't protest his sons taking the packs, knowing they were worried about him. "Are there any trails in particular you'd like to follow?" he asked them.
"I just figured we'd walk and whenever we came to a marked trail, decide if that was the one we wanted or not..." Trip teased, laughing when Kara's eyes went wide.
"Which trail has the best view?" Kara asked cautiously, still giving Trip a suspicious look.
"They all have good views," Fury replied. "A few are more dangerous than the others... we'll give those a miss." He handed the map to Kara so that she could take a look as well.
"Are the dangerous ones marked on the map?" Kara asked curiously.
"They're marked as ones to avoid." Fury pointed out the trails marked on the map that weren't safe to use normally.
"Ok..." Kara nodded agreeably, before grinning at her family members. "Last one to where the trail branches takes care of dinner!" she announced, before turning and running up the trail.
Trip watched her, his mouth dropping open. "Did she just...?" He looked at his brother and father in surprise. This was the first time he'd seen the younger woman not reserved and almost hiding behind their father.
Brock chuckled, viewing her actions as a good sign. "Yeah. I believe she did," he answered, before taking off at a run after her.
Fury smiled after his children, but followed a bit slower, since he didn't want to risk tripping and falling on his wounded arm. It wasn't like he minded taking care of their food, either. And it was good to see Kara allowing herself to drop some of her reserved ways. He hoped this was a good sign for the rest of their holiday.
Trip didn't run after his siblings and instead walked next to his father. "I can help with dinner, dad. I was actually thinking Brock and I could catch dinner...if you feel like fish." He smiled at his father.
Fury placed a hand on Trip's shoulder and squeezed gently. "That sounds very good," he agreed. "I don't mind taking care of dinner, though. I've had to do a lot more with wounds worse than this." Although that was true, he still appreciated that his son wanted to make sure he didn't do something that would put too much of a strain on him.
"I know, dad...but it will give us time to talk...and maybe Brock and Kara will bond more; they have a lot in common." Trip smiled.
Fury smiled at Trip in return and hugged him close a moment or two. "Of course, I'm quite happy to talk and spend time with you." That was one of the main reasons the vacation was so important to him.
Trip grinned. "We might need to walk a bit faster...looks like the young'uns are arguing about which direction to go." He laughed gently, wrapping an arm around his father to offer support if needed.
Fury allowed his son to offer him support, even as he sped up his steps a bit to join his two youngest. "We have plenty of time to explore each of the trails," he said to them, as soon as he and Trip were within earshot.
Kara bit her lip then nodded, blushing slightly. "Yes sir."
"That's true," Brock said, with his own blush. "We can go down the trail Kata wanted first."
Fury smiled and freed his arm from Trip to touch the shoulders of Brock and Kara briefly. He didn't mention their embarrassment, but the smile and touches were meant to reassure them.
Trip grinned and let his brother and sister lead the way.
They'd gone a ways down the trail before Fury noticed a bear cub, rooting through the grass at the side. Knowing that the mother wouldn't be far away, he motioned for his children to step back, speaking in a quiet voice. "We should retreat back..."
Kara was excited...seeing a bear cub wasn't something she'd thought she'd have the opportunity to see. As a result, she didn't pay attention to what her father said and instead of backing away, she started inching closer, looking for a good angle to take a picture with her phone.
Brock frowned at the fact his sister wasn't quickly obeying their father and glanced at the older man, ready to grab hold of her and carry her out if Fury gave the indication he should.
Fury didn't want to raise his voice, not wanting to either spook the bear cub or bring the mother bear running. He looked at Brock and nodded, then began looking for any sign of the mother bear... any sign that might indicate they needed to run.
Brock immediately moved in, picking his sister up and throwing her over his shoulder in a fireman's carry, taking her back to their father.
Kara had the presence of mind not to screech when she suddenly found herself upended over someone's shoulder for the second time in as many days. She didn't refrain from pinching Brock in retaliation, though. Unfortunately, she did so right when they reached their father and Fury saw.
Fury frowned as he spotted Kara pinching Brock, but he motioned quickly to draw the three of them away from the bear cub, relieved that there seemed to be no sign of the mother bear right now. He didn't speak until he was certain raised voices wouldn't bring wild animals to them and then he addressed Kara. "I told Brock to bring you back, Kara. You didn't hear me warn the three of you to stay back."
Kara had the grace to look embarrassed at that information. "Oh." Her voice was soft and sheepishly guilty. She was pretty certain that admitting she'd heard but just not paid attention wouldn't make anyone happy. "Sorry," she said to Brock quietly. "You can put me down now...I'll stay with you all...."
"Sure thing, sis," Brock said, not voicing his suspicion that she'd known exactly what she was doing when she'd 'not heard' their father. He carefully and gently put her back on her feet, before giving her a semi-gentle swat that sent her in their father's direction, directly to the grasp of Fury.
Fury wrapped his arm tightly around Kara's shoulders, deciding that talking about safety and listening to him was going to be something they'd handle in the talk they needed to have. "I think we should go back to the campsite now," was all he said for the time being.
Trip nodded, motioning Brock to lead the way, then for his father to guide Kara back. He brought up the rear. "Brock and I can go fish for dinner once we reach camp," he said, loudly enough for his family to hear, but not to disturb the area's wildlife.
Fury nodded in acknowledgment. "Sounds good to me," he replied, aware that his sons would give him and his daughter time to talk privately.
It didn't take long at all, which was not as long as Kara would have liked, before they reached the camp and Trip and Brock were heading to the lake to fish. Kara watched them go before turning toward her father. "You want to talk to me now?" She asked hesitantly.
"I do." Fury led her into the tent, drawing her to sit down next to him and wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "I think there's quite a bit that we need to cover." He waited to see if she would volunteer anything before he continued.
"About my not listening so good..." Kara looked down at her hands, leaning against her father despite her sudden nervousness.
Fury nodded. "That's one of the things we need to cover," he agreed, tightening his embrace a bit. "We also need to cover you running... and I'd like us to talk about your ability to change your face, too."
"That's a lot of talking..." Kara said with a nervous laugh. "What do you want to discuss first?"
"Let's talk about your ability to change your face first of all," Fury said. "What do you know about it? You didn't have the ability before you were taken from HYDRA."
Kara shook her head. "I don't know much...just that Whitehall performed the surgery...as long as I can get a clear visual, I can change my face into pretty much anyone. The only problem is...I don't remember what I looked like originally. The face I wear now...I memorized it so I could have at least one constant, but I don't know if it is my real face or not. Whitehall wouldn't tell me..." Her voice was sad, depressed and a bit hopeless.
Fury gathered her in closer. "I knew you before, Kara," he said. "Before you were taken and brainwashed. This is your real face." He gently ran his fingers through her hair. "If you'd stopped to think about it, you would have realized that." His voice was gentle, not scolding. "The first time we saw each other after the brainwashing, you recognized me. And I recognized you."
Kara bit her lip and blinked, before leaning on her father and slumping. "I didn't think...." she admitted, somewhat embarrassed. "I should have realized...."
"I know you've been confused and upset," Fury said. "Instead of hiding how you feel, though, you need to learn to lean on the family... on me. I'm not going to let you down."
"I wasn't sure you really wanted me..." Kara admitted softly, unable to meet Fury's eyes. "Until you came after me...came and got me..." She swallowed. "I'm sorry about that you know...somehow it didn't seem so bad...until I realized you'd seen me..." She flushed. "I didn't think running off was so bad, until I knew you'd come for me...and you were hurt because of me."
"It wasn't your fault I got hurt," Fury said. "But you shouldn't have run off. I can understand wanting to find out about your past... abandoning your family to do that wasn't the answer. Quite apart from your own history with HYDRA, any agent would try to get their hands on you. It's no secret that I might as well have adopted you." And he planned to do that as soon as he was sure it wouldn't spook her into running.
Kara couldn't help but look down at that, shame making it impossible to meet her father's eyes. "I didn't think of any of that. I just...I figured it wouldn't matter, but even if you didn't care, just running was wrong. I knew that, or I wouldn't have done it so sneakily. The fact you do care makes it even worse...."
"It does matter," Fury said firmly. "You matter. I wanted to spend time with you as much as your brothers. When we realized you were gone... all of us were worried and scared. You have a family. You have a home."
"I'm sorry…for worrying you...for scaring you...for...for not thinking beyond my own self..." Her voice broke and she finally looked into her father's eyes. "I didn't mean to...I know it doesn't excuse me...but I am sorry...and I didn't mean to...." She blinked back tears, but didn't look away, letting Fury see the deep guilt, shame and regret; she truly was sorry. She hadn't meant to hurt anyone or cause problems. She certainly hadn't meant to scare anyone. The fact she hadn't believed they would care wasn't good enough reason for anything she had done. "I'm sorry for being disobedient, too...." She looked down again.
Fury tightened his arm around her, pulling her close enough that she might as well be in his lap. "It scared me because I love you and I don't want to lose you," he said honestly. He wasn't as open with his feelings as his best friend was, but just because he didn't say it as much didn't mean he didn't feel it. "And if something happens, I will always come for you. I won't ever abandon you... even if it's only to how you're feeling."
Kara felt broken inside. For months since she'd been rescued from Whitehall's control, she had been living under a fog of confusion, uncertainty and plain lack of knowing who she really was. She hadn't believed she was really cared about; she'd been afraid to believe it. But Fury had proven he did care. More than he should have had to prove, if Kara was honest with herself. And now he was offering comfort and affection and Kara couldn't help herself; she wiggled the rest of the way onto his lap and snuggled as close as humanly possible, wrapping her arms around his waist as tight as she could and pressing her face against his chest, her head under his chin. "You love me?" Her voice was a very soft whisper. "You really want to be my father?"
Fury pressed a kiss to the top of his daughter's head. "I knew I wanted to be your father straight away and as we've spent more time together, that's only made that desire grow stronger." He held her tightly to himself, relieved that it seemed she was finally accepting his place in her life. "I love you," he said honestly.
Kara snuggled a bit more, finally able to allow herself to believe what she had been told. Leaning up, she kissed Fury on the cheek, before pressing her own cheek to his and whispering, even more softly, "Can I call you daddy?" She supposed it was a rather childish term of address, and asking made her seem even more childish...but she'd heard Bobbi call Coulson that and Pepper call Steve that...and all the other women called their fathers a more personal term of endearment that seemed to cement their bond....she wanted that, too.
Fury smiled, gently stroking his daughter's hair and pressing another kiss to her head. "Of course you can," he replied, very happy to have that kind of step in their relationship... and wanting Kara to be his daughter in every way possible. "When we get back from vacation, I'll have the paperwork drawn up to make it all official," he said softly to her.
Kara relaxed as her request was granted. It was such a small thing, but Fury agreeing to it...and then saying he planned to make it official...chased away the last smattering of doubt she had regarding if he meant what he said. Snuggling against him, her head on his chest again, she thought about everything she'd done and all the problems she'd caused because she hadn't believed and the shame and guilt overtook her again. "I'm sorry for running and causing problems," she said again, her voice catching. "I'm sorry I didn't believe you...I believe you now...but I'm sorry I didn't before. I love you too, daddy...." She sniffled at the end, her eyes beginning to water.
Fury kept his arms tight around his daughter, not loosening his hold even a little. "You aren't the first one to run," he pointed out, gently reminding her that even Wanda had been scared enough to take off. "We will deal with you running off." Stroking her hair gently, he continued, "And also with you not paying attention to me about your safety."
"And then we'll be ok? You won't be upset with me?" Her voice was small and nervous. More than she wanted to admit.
"It'll be over and we can move past it," Fury promised. "No holding grudges. No bringing it up again. Just moving past it and continuing as a family. A family that won't be broken," he promised.
Sniffling again, Kara nodded then gently pulled away from her father's embrace, mindful of his wounded shoulder. "What do you need me to do?" She looked up at him, nervous but determined to accept her punishment like an adult; or at least as maturely as it was possible for her to do.
"I'd like you to lay across my lap," Fury replied, his voice gentle, even if it was still firm. "The spanking will be bare... but I'll take care of that once you're settled." So he didn't embarrass her any more than was necessary.
Kara bit her lip and blushed slightly, but nodded. Glancing at his wounded shoulder, she swallowed. "I...I can push my jeans down, if it will help," she whispered, forcing herself to look him in the eye.
"You don't have to push them down." Fury could see that embarrassed her, even though he appreciated her trying to stop him straining his shoulder. "Undoing them would help, though."
Swallowing hard- she knew Fury wouldn't hurt her...at the same time, she knew it was going to hurt- Kara quickly obeyed him, crawling off of his lap and undoing her jeans before carefully lying back down over his lap. She was surprised at how vulnerable the position made her feel...she'd been expecting to feel childish, but she was also surprised at how young it made her feel. Young and dependent. Swallowing again, she reached down and grasped her father's leg, needing the extra contact to settle her nerves. She thought what was about to happen shouldn't unsettle her, shouldn't scare her, as much as it did.
Fury rubbed Kara's back gently a moment or two before he gently bared her. He rested the arm of his wounded shoulder over her waist, drawing her in close, and then lifted his hand, bringing it down in a firm swat.
"Ow!" Kara squeaked, tightening her hand fractionally around her father's leg. She managed to hold still, even though her first instinct was to try and get away from what she knew was coming.
Fury repeated the swat and then two more just below the first. He was careful to hold back his full strength, but at the same time, he knew this needed to not only give his daughter consequences... but also to cement her place in his life.
Kara wanted to squirm...she really did...but she was afraid of hurting her father and so held herself stiff, clenching her fingers into his pants leg. Holding still was difficult. She didn't even attempt to keep quiet, letting out tiny cries of discomfort with each swat.
Fury continued the swats down to Kara's thighs before starting over from the top. It was halfway through the second circuit that he began talking. "I know it's been hard for you to believe, but you have a family. Taking off... running... is never going to be acceptable. Putting yourself in any form of danger will get you right back here, because the thought of anything happening to you is unbearable."
Kara had been whimpering and making tiny sounds of pain with each swat. When her father began over, adding his gentle admonition to the punishment, she lost complete control, beginning to cry brokenly and apologize profusely. "I'm sorry, daddy! So sorry! I love you!" she sobbed out, still holding herself stiffly, afraid she'd hurt him if she moved.
Fury stopped spanking and gently tugged his daughter into an embrace, using his other arm so he didn't strain his shoulder. He settled her in his arms and began stroking her hair, hugging her tightly.
Kara cried as if her heart was broken, the events of the last year of her life bleeding out through her tears. The knowledge that her father really loved her, wanted her and was there for her gave her the ability to let everything go and trust him to catch her. She pressed as closely as she could to Fury, holding onto his shirt with tightly clenched fingers, and hid her face against his chest, unable to stop crying.
Fury held Kara tightly, speaking soft, soothing words to her as he reiterated she was his and would always be his. It didn't matter what had gone on before and he tried to make that clear to her.
Eventually, her tears finally eased, leaving her weakly shivering and breathing shaky, hitched breaths. Kara hadn't released her father's shirt, or pulled away from his hold. She was weary, almost boneless. She also felt more at ease than she could ever recall feeling. "I love you, daddy..." she whispered out, with a hiccoughing sigh.
"I love you too," Fury said honestly, stroking her hair gently. "We can eat with Brock and Trip when they get back... but I think we should take it easy for the rest of the day and use this time to bond."
"Alright, daddy." Kara snuggled a little more, before reluctantly standing and fixing her clothing. She didn't get much further than that, though, promptly sitting on the floor of the tent at Fury's feet and putting her head on her father's lap.
Fury gently wrapped his arm around his daughter's shoulders, stroking over Kara's hair as he held her close, enjoying the contact.
"Do you think I'll ever remember?" Kara asked quietly. She didn't move from her position at his feet, the affectionate petting calming her and helping her feel more connected to the man who'd, for all intents and purposes, adopted her.
"I think you might get memories back gradually," Fury said, continuing the gentle touch. "It might help you to talk to Brock... he went through the same thing and I know that he's recovering gradually."
"Do you think I had family before? That miss me? They likely think me dead, so I guess it wouldn't matter if they missed me. It's just hard, not knowing. I'm just grateful...." She swallowed, looking up at Fury. "Thank you for not giving up on me. I know I fought you every step...but I need you so much and I think I'd be dead now, if it weren't for you." She gave him a tiny smile, only turning toward the tent flap when she heard her brothers returning.
"We can look into it," Fury promised. "If you have anyone, we'll find them." He continued stroking his daughter's hair, also glancing towards the tent flap. "I'm not ever going to give up on you," he said softly to her. "No matter what."
Brock tentatively knocked on the tent flap, before calling inside, "Trip and I caught four nice size fish; and have cleaned and deboned them already. We figured we'd roast them over the fire, if you both want to come join us...."
Kara looked up at her father, putting her chin on his knee and grinning. "I don't mind joining them now, if you've said all you need to say to me.... I do want to sit near you, though," she admitted quietly.
Fury leaned over and pressed a kiss to her head. "I don't think we need to discuss any more right now... and you can sit next to me," he promised. He hugged Kara gently, before looking at the tent flap, outside of which his youngest son stood. "I think we're about ready to come out."
"Great! Trip and I will start cooking, then." Brock grinned at his father and sister, before dropping the flap and heading back to his brother.
Kara carefully stood, holding a hand out to her father. "Let's go, daddy...I wanna see my brothers cook a fish!" She grinned impishly.
Smiling, Fury placed his hand in Kara's and stood carefully with her support. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders to guide her out of the tent. "Maybe you can help them cook fish the next time we have it," he suggested, joking, as he hugged her close against his side.
"Maybe," Kara said thoughtfully. "I could have been an awesome chef and just don't remember!" she boasted playfully, as she followed him out to join her brothers.
Trip looked up from where he was carefully browning the fish. "I'd be happy with that!" He grinned.
Fury's smile widened as he stopped near his sons, still holding Kara close. "It's possible you have all sorts of skills you've forgotten," he said to her. "You can try different things out... see if there's anything that seems familiar."
"This could be fun...finding out about myself..." Kara smiled and tried to make the best of the situation. It wouldn't be as hard now that she was more confident about her place in her father's heart.
Brock smiled. "I felt the same way...and it has been fun...if challenging sometimes."
"You have us to help you... both of you," Fury added, including Brock in that statement. "Even when it's challenging at times, there's a whole family you can lean on for support."
Kara and Brock looked at each other, before looking at their father and nodding together.
"Thanks, dad," Brock said.
"It means a lot," Kara added.
Trip grinned at his siblings, then at his father. "To all of us," he finished firmly.
Fury reached out to give each of his children a tight hug. "I think the rest of today is going to be more relaxing," he said to his sons. "I brought a couple of games... we can play those. Talk."
"Sounds good, dad," Trip nodded as he began to plate the fish and had it out.
Brock nodded. "What games were you thinking of?" He took his plate from his brother, but waited for everyone else to have theirs before beginning to eat.
Kara took her own plate then snuggled closer to her father.
Taking his plate, Fury took a seat next to Kara and began eating. "I packed a deck of cards," he answered. "Also a couple of board games. I thought the three of you could decide what we play... if you can agree," he added, with a trace of amusement.
"Spades?" Trip suggested cautiously.
Brock nodded. "I'm good with that."
"Me too," Kara agreed.
They all three smiled at their father.
Fury smiled at them in return. "Spades it is. I'm glad to see you all agreeing on something," he teased, remembering Kara and Brock arguing over which trail to take.
Kara blushed. She knew he was thinking of the argument she'd picked with Brock, since it had been the only recent argument she could recall. She'd deliberately picked that fight just to see what her family would do, however; and now that she was feeling more settled, it seemed like a very silly thing to have done.
Fury placed a hand on Kara's shoulder and squeezed gently. "We'll finish eating... and then, once cleanup is done, we can play Spades," he said, the tone of his voice reassuring more than anything else.
Kara smiled at her family happily. She had never been so glad to have been thwarted from one of her plans and 'caught' in her whole life.