Captain America: Secret War (TWENTY-SEVEN)

Sharon Carter woke with a start. She sat up, gasping for breath, her heart pounding in her chest. She looked down, immediately noticing the shimmering grey smock she was now wearing. She felt her abdomen, searching for a sign of her deadly wound. There was none.

Her gaze rose and she found herself located in a place she had never seen before. It was a bright room with stone walls riddled with neon blue veins. She lay on a strange platform that was surprisingly warm to the touch.

Putting a hand to her head she took a deep breath. She had to regain her composure. The last thing she remembered was being run through by a jagged piece of metal. Now she was in a strange place. She didn’t know how she managed to survive, nor who brought her…here, but she had to be prepared for the worst.

She stood, her bare feet touching the smooth stone floor. She was just about to start walking when she heard the door to the room open. She immediately adopted a battle-ready stance only to cry out in relief when she saw Steve Rogers, now wearing a simple black tunic over black pants and grey shoes, entering the room.

“Steve!” she exclaimed, running forward and hugging him.

He held her tightly.

“You’re okay,” he said. “Oh, thank goodness you’re okay.”

With her arms still around him, she looked into his eyes. “But how am I okay? I almost died.” She looked around. “And where are we?”

“This is Wakanda,” he told her with a smile.

Her jaw dropped.

“We had to bring you here or you would’ve died. Their methods of healing far exceed ours and, well, they healed you in a matter of hours.”

She moved away from him. “This is Wakanda?”

He nodded. She laughed in delighted surprise.

“Wow.” She took in her surroundings in a different light now. “I’ve always wanted to see Wakanda. I just wasn’t expecting it to happen like this.”

“Come,” he told her.

She smiled, taking his hand and following him out of the room into what was definitely a lab. Wakandans in white coats watched her with relieved and pleasant expressions. Acknowledging her with dips of their heads she realized that they must’ve been the ones to save her life. To say she was grateful was an understatement. If she wasn’t so shocked by everything that was taking place she may have cried.

Through the lab, Steve took her, up a spiraling walkway, and eventually out of what she soon learned was an underground chamber as they emerged onto what was a cliff overlooking Wakanda. The beautiful night sky was clear and full of stars, the full moon hovered in the air like silent guardians watching over them all, and in the distance sat a city glimmering with lights. Sharon had never seen anything so beautiful.

“Wow,” she said, the wind blowing her dark brown hair softly to the left. “It’s breathtaking.”

Steve smiled. “I know.”

Staring at the incredible view she was suddenly overcome with gratefulness to be alive. Just a few hours ago she had been a goner. Now, by a miracle, she was still alive.

Growing solemn she said, “What happened after I…?”

She didn’t finish the sentence, for uttering her near-death experience almost felt like bad luck. With a grim expression upon his face, Steve told her what happened in London. When he was finished she bowed her head solemnly.

“So what now?” she asked him.

He looked toward the moon. “We rest tonight and we start over tomorrow.”

She gazed at him, at the perfect outline of his handsome features, at the sadness in his eyes, and suddenly she realized how much she cared about him. Not in a romantic way as she once did, but as a friend.

Placing a hand on his shoulder she said, “Everything’s going to be okay. I know it.”

And when he looked at her, with a slight smile upon his face, she knew he believed her.

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