Laughter filled the air, bringing a smile to Helen’s face.
Helen followed Klaatu to the entrance to the ship. She’d asked Bobby to stay in the command center, which he’d happily done if the video screen was left on, something Klaatu was happy to do.
“You don’t need to do the clean-up, my dear,’ Jacob said as Helen finished the last of the dinner dishes.
“I know,” she said. “But Mrs. Barley already dislikes me. I’d hate to have her return tomorrow to a kitchen full of dirty dishes. Besides, it’s been a long time since I’ve cooked and cleaned for anyone. Mrs. Crockett always does all the cooking at the boarding house, so I’m a little out of practice.”
Helen put the car in park and turned off the engine. She sat back, huffing with relief that she’d made it, even as she glanced all around looking for threats. It felt terrible to be suspicious of the people she saw on a daily basis, but then nothing about her world had been normal since Mr. Carpenter landed in it.
Perhaps there was a such thing as fate, after all.
Helen Benson looked up, surprised that it was already nearly noon. She flashed a quick smile at her co-worker as she started stacking up the files she had been reviewing. She’d been nervous and distracted all morning, thinking about Tom and the diamond, and everything Bobby had told them the night before.
Steve stood staring at the white board, littered with scribbles and pictures not unlike what he’d seen on television in the old timeline. He’d never admit that he’d gotten the idea from those shows, but he thought perhaps Tony knew that anyway.
Steve came awake slowly, not at all sure of what to expect. The last time he’d been through this, SHIELD had tried to fool him into thinking no time had passed. That had set him off, and he’d never really calmed down after that.
In the end, Steve had stayed almost a week at Bleaker Street. He’d talked to the Ancient One a couple of times, but mostly he’d kept to himself. Deciding how far back to go, as it turned out, had been the easy part. Deciding what he could change and what had to remain the same had been infinitely harder.
Steve paused to lean against a brick wall in a nameless back alley in Manhattan. He’d lost track of how long he’d been gone, returning the Stones to their proper places in history.
The day of Tony Stark’s funeral dawned clear and warm. The house, for so long a refuge for Tony and Pepper from the devastation and despair of the rest of the world, was full to overflowing with people come to say goodbye. What had once been a place filled with joy and life now had sadness lurking in every corner.
The Avengers beat Thanos, but the cost was high. Steve Rogers finds himself mourning yet another friend, wishing he could change the past and reshape the future. This time, though, he realizes he can. With the Infinity Stones in hand, and the Quantum Suit wrapped around him like a lover, he sets out to right a few wrongs. He wants a happy ending, but more than that, he wants his friends to have their happily-ever-after too.
Helen Benson is the practical sort. She lost her husband in WWII, so it’s just her and her son Bobby. She’s built a life, and although it’s not the life she’d expected to have, its comforting in it’s familiarity. Until Mr. Carpenter drops into that neatly-ordered life and turns it upside down. Now, she’s facing a future she never thought possible, with a man she can’t quite let go of. She’d be lying if she said she wasn’t scared, but she’s also excited for what the future holds, and that’s something she hasn’t been in a long time.