14 – Finale 1

Desperately, Mockingbird leapt towards it… 

Despite the blood, the pain, her hand reached out…and caught the bottom of the grenade right at the end of her leap.

She went headfirst over the railing, tumbling towards the ground but she managed to weakly bat the grenade back at Punisher as she fell. Spinning in mid air she heard the whump of ignition, felt the wave of heat even below the explosion.

Her body knew what to do, pulling her into a spin and she nearly made it. She landed hard, on one leg, and felt her ankle give under her, sending her sprawling.

Above her, on the walkway, there was an enraged bellow of agony and seconds later Punisher hit the ground next to her, staggered and fell. One of his legs was on fire.

Despite the pain in her hand, in her ankle, somehow Mockingbird got to him and dropped heavily onto his legs and bear-hugged them. 

Her suit was fire-proof and started to smother the flames immediately. Like a crocodile she spun them both across the ground, using the motion to help put out the fire.

Mockingbird sat up, coughing and gasping. She looked up and saw to her dismay that the walkway above was dripping fire and it was starting to creep up the support beams. 

Punisher shoved himself up onto one hand, glaring at her, his face contorted in pain. Raw flesh was visible through his pant leg. He must have just caught the edge of the fire itself because if any of the actual incendiary had gotten onto him nothing would have put it out.

She felt a surge of pity and rage at the same time. She didn’t have the time for him right now.

“Get out of here Frank. You lost, okay? You lost. You have second degree burns, minimum, and it’s your own damn fault. You lost. Go. Go. I’ll get these guys out and call the authorities. Just…just stay away from this group, all right? Leave them to me. I swear they’re not going to get away with anything.”

Something went out of his eyes, some righteous wrath, some hunger. Pain and weariness filled them instead.  He nodded just a tiny bit, his gaze dropping away from hers. 

She didn’t care anymore. She had to move a couple dozen limp forms out of harms way with one hand and a broken ankle. Punisher could do what he liked now. 

Mockingbird levered herself to her feet and staggered to where she could see her other baton lying, splattered with her own blood. Turning them into a staff again, she used it for support and quick-hobbled towards the table and pool of light, away from the fire. She supposed Punisher could have shot her in the back but somehow she knew he wouldn’t. Her phone was already in her hand, calling 911 to report the fire, summon her team.

Mockingbird turned her back on the Punisher and went to save the lives of the bad guys.

It was what she did.

She was an Avenger, after all. 

End result: Mockingbird wins, or as I like to think “The only proper ending”

Want to try a different path? Head back to 1

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