I don't believe in heroes

Chapter 5

It happened when Phil and Ellie went off to college. They got to their apartment and had everything unpacked when they went to wander the campus and get some sense of familiarity with it.

"Hey!" A man about Phil's age called as they passed. The pair stopped and turned at the voice as the man jogged to catch up with them. "Hi. Sorry about the shout. It's just that I'm part of the art program here and she would be a perfect model for my photography."

"I'm sorry." Ellie said, exchanging a look with Phil. "Who are you exactly?"

"I'm Patrick Schmidt." He extended a hand and they shook it warily. "Hello."

"I'm Ellie Johnson and this is Phil Coulson." Ellie said.

"Pleased to meet you." Patrick smiled. "Now, back to business. Would you be interested in being my model?"

"Um...well I—I don't really think I'd be a good subject..." Ellie said.

"You're perfect. So beautiful, if I may say so, and that scar hints at mystery and gives you a very interesting look." Patrick said. He wrote his number on a scrap of paper and handed it to her. "Think about it and then give me a call."

Ellie smiled at him politely and took Phil's hand as they walked away. It wasn't until later while they were eating dinner did they broach the topic again.

"What could it hurt?" Phil asked, twirling spaghetti around his fork. "Let other people see you the way I do."

"And how exactly do you see me?" Ellie asked, her tone light.

Phil smiled at her. "Breathtakingly beautiful."

Ellie returned the smile and thought about it for a few minutes. "I guess I could. It's just a few pictures, right? What could happen?"

That was how Ellie found herself in a studio, standing in a wooded area with Patrick and his cameras. It felt weird to her but she had her phone with her and knew that Phil would get help if she needed it.

"Okay, perfect." Patrick said, looking through the lens. "Just turn a little bit to the right...there we go."

Ellie wasn't exactly sure how to pose for a camera so she followed Patrick's instructions. The session went well and she went with him to his developing room so she could see the photos.

"Why not use a digital camera?" Ellie asked as she watched him hang up the photos so they could dry. "Seems like a lot less work."

"I prefer it this way. Everything is digital nowadays. Nobody wants a little old fashioned." Patrick chuckled.

"Hey mate." Patrick's roommate knocked on the door. "Food's here."

"Come on." Patrick said. "I had him pick up extra for you."

"That's really nice but I need to get home. Phil's waiting for me." Ellie headed for the door when she felt something hit the back of her head hard. She fell to the ground unconscious and Patrick picked her up in his arms and carried her to a room they had kept locked. He placed her body on a table and strapped her to it. Colin, Patrick's roommate, joined them a little while later.

"Are you sure this is going to work?" Colin asked. "The tesseract isn't exactly stable when mixed with the serum."

"My grandfather wanted to create a series of weapons." Patrick said. "What better way than to turn a person into a weapon? If it doesn't work on this one, we'll just get a new girl."

Patrick filled a syringe with the glowing blue serum they had created using the Super Soldier serum and parts of the tesseract that their ancestors had used. Colin Erskine had received his grandfather's serum formula when he turned 18 and had received a scientific scholarship. Patrick Schmidt had always heard the stories of his grandfather's path to glory until that Spangled moron came and took it away. Now he had a chance to make his family proud. With a smile, Patrick shoved the needle into her arm. All they had to do now was wait.

They watched her for a few hours, waiting for something to happen. They were about to give up when they saw a faint blue light pulsing in sync with her heartbeat. It gradually pulsed faster, the light glowing brighter and brighter until she was engulfed in it. The light shining throughout the room caused the two boys to shield their eyes until it dimmed. Ellie was sitting up now, the straps holding her down broken, and the difference was subtle. Her femininity had been increased and her green eyes glowed blue but other than that she looked normal. Ellie was looking at her surroundings, fear in her mind.

"What did you do to me?" Ellie asked, her voice trembling.

"We made a perfect weapon." Patrick said, giddy. "We did it Colin!"

"I'm going for the police." Ellie hopped off the table and tried to run, only to have Patrick block her path.

"You're not going anywhere." Patrick said.

Ellie felt her heart pound and felt something burning as it coursed through her veins. She raised a hand to slap Patrick but instead a beam of blue light poured from her hand, blowing the man to smithereens. Ellie shrieked and stared at the burn mark on the wall and ground. "I didn't mean to. Please help me."

Colin was terrified now, backing away from her with his eyes wide. "Stay away from me."

"Please help me." Ellie pleaded as he ran away. She ran after him and was shocked at the speed she was able to run. She chased Colin to the field outside of the dorms, a few blocks from her apartment, and Colin tripped. He backed away from her as fast as he could as she approached him. "What did you do to me?"

"We had the formula for the Super Soldier serum used in the 40's and Patrick had a sample of the Tesseract." Colin admitted. "We made a new serum to create the perfect weapon."

"What?" Ellie asked, feeling violated and scared.

"You need to calm down." Colin said. "If you get upset, I'm afraid that you're going to take the whole campus with you."

"You made me a weapon?" Ellie stammered. "How could you do that to someone? Just use them for your own sick, twisted experiments?"

"Don't you understand? You're super human now. You can do anything you want." Colin tried to reason with her. "Just let me help you."

"No!" Ellie shouted, the blue light pulsing once again as her heart pounded. The burning in her veins increased and she dropped to her knees, clutching herself and groaning.

"Are you all right?" Colin asked, getting up to kneel next to her. She pushed him back and she vaporized him on accident, staring at the new scorch mark on the grass.

"Ellie?" Phil called from a few yards away. He started to run to her, only to have Ellie shout at him.

"Stay back!" Ellie said, tears falling. "I don't want to hurt you."

"What are you talking about?" Phil asked, stopping in his tracks. "Are you okay?"

"No." Ellie admitted. "They—they..."

"What did they do?" Phil asked, taking small steps toward her. "Did they hurt you?"

"They used a serum on me." Ellie said, her voice breaking. "They made me something else."

Phil had reached her and put his arms around her, holding her tight to his chest. The pulsing slowed to a stop the longer he held her. "Tell me what happened."

He took her back to their apartment and she recounted the whole story. Phil was silent until the end of it and Ellie looked at him carefully before speaking. "I understand if you want to leave. You didn't exactly sign up for a monster girlfriend."

Phil silenced her with a kiss. "I love you and I'm not going anywhere."

"What are we going to do?" Ellie asked. "I killed two men tonight."

"Don't worry." Phil said, rubbing her arm as she snuggled into his side. "We'll figure it out."

His solution was simple. They would have to move off campus to prevent anyone from tracing the deaths to her. They moved to New York and found a small one bedroom apartment.

"6 billion people live here." Phil told Ellie as she looked out the window of their apartment. He pressed a kiss to her hair. "We're safe here."

"Are you sure?" Ellie asked hesitantly.

Phil turned her around and looked into her now blue eyes. "I'm sure. I'll always keep you safe."

They both found jobs fairly quickly. Ellie worked in a small diner as a waitress and Phil found a job at an auto shop. They were paid just enough to provide what they needed and despite being classified as 'poor' the pair were exceptionally happy.

"Hello." Ellie greeted her customer with a smile. "What can I get for you sir?"

"I'll have some coffee." The man was black and had an eyepatch.

"Can I get you anything else?" Ellie asked. "They make a great apple pie."

"Coffee is fine." The man said.

"Coming right up." Ellie poured the coffee into the mug and didn't notice when several men in dark suits entered the diner. What she did notice was how they escorted all of the customers and workers out except for Ellie. "What's going on?"

"My name is Director Fury and we'd like you to come with us." He said.

"What? Go where?" Ellie stammered. She had been afraid that this would happen and her heart sped up, the serum in her body starting to shimmer with each beat. She tried to go to her 'happy place', as Phil called it, to lower her anxiety level.

"We just want to have a little talk." Director Fury said.

Ellie was escorted to a black armored vehicle and helped inside. The men in the suits were nice enough but didn't say much. When the car stopped, she was lead inside a large building and put in what she assumed to be a hospital room. She sat perched on the edge of the exam table, jumping when someone opened the door. A woman with kind eyes and apologetic smile stood before her.

"My name is Doctor Benson." She said, extending a hand to Ellie. "I just want to give you a little checkup."

"Am I in trouble?" Ellie asked as Dr. Benson checked her blood pressure.

"I don't think so." Dr. Benson said. "Have you ever been pregnant?"

"I'm 18." Ellie said.

"You'd be surprised how many pregnant teens there have been." Dr. Benson smiled again.

"No. I've never been pregnant." Ellie replied.

"How many sexual partners?"

"One."

"Any family history of diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and such?"

"Not that I know of."

"Height?"

"Five foot seven."

"Weight?"

"120 pounds."

"Perfect." Dr. Benson made some notes on her chart. "Would you follow me?"

Ellie slid off the table and followed the doctor to a interview room with a table and two chairs. She sat nervously in one of the chairs until Director Fury arrived. He had a file with him and dropped it on the table before sitting. He stared at Ellie silently for a long few minutes. "Ellie Johnson, what have you been up to?"

"What do you mean?" Ellie asked.

"We've heard what you did at your old college campus." Fury said.

"That was an accident." Ellie said. "I didn't mean to hurt them."

"Whether you meant to or not, you did. Two boys are dead because of you." Fury said gruffly. "What I want to know is how."

"I don't know how exactly." Ellie decided the truth was the best path here. "Patrick asked me to pose for some photos for class and him and his roommate injected me with some serum. They made it from notes and samples their family had."

Fury opened the file. "Colin Erskine and Patrick Schmidt had the Soldier serum and a small amount of Tesseract energy. They injected you with this serum?"

Ellie nodded. "Please, I just want to be left alone. We're happy here."

"We?"

"I meant just me." Ellie stammered, correcting herself to protect Phil. As if on cue, the door opened and Phil was escorted in. He immediately checked Ellie for any damage and hugged her tightly when he was pleased with her well being.

"What's going on here?" Phil asked, his arm still around Ellie.

"Your girlfriend here is a danger and we need to keep it contained." Fury gathered his file and stood.

"What does that mean?" Phil asked.

"It means she's staying here and it'd be in your best interests to find a new girlfriend." Fury said. The suited men snatched Ellie from Phil's arms and pulled her out the door.

"Phil!" Ellie shouted as she was dragged away. "Help me! Let me go!"

"You can't do this." Phil shouted at Fury.

"We're SHIELD, son. We can do what is in the best interest of the world." Fury said.

Phil ran a hand through his hair, thinking quickly. "Let me stay with her. I can help keep her calm and safe."

Fury watched the 18 year old carefully. He had been right in thinking that this Phil Coulson wouldn't leave Ellie which is why he was prepared for it. "Welcome aboard Agent Coulson."

A/N: Thanks for reading, all you lovely people. I love getting those emails so thanks for reviewing/following/favoriting.

Littleheartache: She will meet the Avengers. :)

Joanie: Thank you dahling. :)

Qweb: I'm glad you like Phil and Ellie :)

Please feel free to review. They're always appreciated. :)

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