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“What the…”

“Seriously, I don’t even know.”

“It wasn’t me.”

The low murmur outside my door was too much for my curiosity. I left my study, to see something I’d never have expected. (Selay’uu has a tendency of showing me the unexpected, but even so…)

Connor, Peter Parker, Winter, Gilan, and Steve were standing in the hallway. Horatio had been thrown over Steve’s shoulder and was apologizing profusely.

“I am so sorry. I didn’t know it was going to… and then… I swear I will never touch a portal again!”

“Especially not when you’re tipsy,” Sam Wilson added, appearing behind everyone covered in mud and walking Bucky, who was wearing a pair of broken sunglasses, toward them.

“How did that happen?” I asked. As one, all the men turned slowly to look at me and answered in a ragged chorus.


I looked them over again. Horatio looked a little green, while Connor seemed somewhat dazed, and had lipstick on both his collar, chin, and in his hair. Gilan looked as if he had gotten into a fight with Shelob and lost–there were spider webs in his hair. But from Peter’s guilty look and shuffling feet, I thought I could tell where the spider webs really came from. Winter was looking as silent, aloof and mysterious as usual, but the effect was somewhat marred by the fact that he was too obviously wearing an outfit that was mostly Bucky’s, with one of Steve’s jackets thrown over it.

“What happened to you?” I blurted out. Sam decisively took control.

“I think we can all agree that we should never speak of this again.”

“All of you lost me partway between the leprechaun that insisted he’d known Steven’s parents… and the dragon.” Horatio mumbled, slipping out of Steve’s grip and crumpling into a boneless heap on the floor.

“What did you do?” I gasped.

“And another thing we can agree on,” Winter continued, “is that if you see the Winter Soldier dressed up in a pink tutu you should run like…”

Language,” Steve interrupted tiredly.

I never did find out what had happened to them.