Dr. Benson was the only person Ellie saw for the next few weeks. The doctor ran an infinite number of tests trying to determine the formula that was injected in to Ellie. This meant a lot of blood tests.
"How long am I going to have to stay here?" Ellie was a little tired of staring at the walls of her cell.
"You'd have to ask Director Fury." Dr. Benson smiled apologetically, swabbing the inside of Ellie's elbow with a cotton ball and taking another blood sample.
"If I'm going to be here a while, can I have my stuff? My comics and my clothes?"
"You'd have to ask-"
"Director Fury." Ellie finished for her, rolling her eyes. "What about Phil? Can I see him?"
"I'm sorry sweetie. It's not up to me." Dr. Benson finished taking the blood and packed her equipment away.
Ellie sat on the floor of her cell and brought her knees to her chest, wrapping her arms around them. All she wanted to know was if Phil was okay. She was still in her waitressing uniform because nobody had brought her any clean clothes.
Phil was still adjusting to being a SHIELD agent. He had to learn an inordinate number of new things and his brain was on overload. Director Fury had said that Ellie was above his clearance level 1 and not his concern. This only fueled his desire to see her more. After Fury caught him trying to break into her cell for the third time, Phil was allowed to see her.
"Please go away." Ellie said, her head resting on her forearms from her position in the corner.
"If you really want me to..." Phil said in a teasing tone. Ellie's head snapped up and a smile spread across her face. She jumped up and ran into his arms, knocking the small stack of clothes and comics from his hands. Phil took her face in his hands and kissed her deeply. "I'm so glad you're alright."
"I'm better now." Ellie said. "You're okay too, right? Fury didn't do anything to you?"
"Not exactly." Phil said. He had ditched the suit before he saw Ellie. "I'm a SHIELD agent now."
"I told you I would always keep you safe and this is how I do it." Phil said. He gathered the clothes and comics from the floor. "I brought you these."
"Thank you." Ellie took the clothes. He had brought her a pair of her favorite yoga pants, Captain America t shirt and one of his sweatshirts that she liked to wear. "How long can you stay?"
"Not long." Phil turned around to give Ellie some privacy and reached into his pocket, pulling out a small gift. He waited a few more minutes to allow Ellie to finish dressing before he turned back around. Once he was sure she was dressed, he faced her and handed her the small paper wrapped parcel.
"What's this for?" Ellie asked, tearing the paper away and pouring the contents into her palm. It was a small homemade bracelet. He had spelled out Phil and Ellie with a small read heart between their names.
"Because I love you." Phil took the bracelet and tied it around her wrist. "Maybe if you have something to remind you of me, it'll help with controlling your abilities."
"They're not abilities." Ellie said, taking her hand back from him. "I killed two people."
"I know. But you didn't do it on purpose." Phil said. "You have a chance to be a real hero, El. Just like we used to play when we were kids."
"That was pretend." Ellie countered. "I'm not made to be a hero. I'm not brave o-o-or strong enough to be a hero."
"You are strong enough now." Phil promised.
"I'm 18 years old. I wanted to get married and have children and grow old and die." Ellie said. "I don't want to be this."
Ellie dropped to her knees, clutching her waist. The energy from the Tesseract was burning again as it changed her genetic makeup. Phil picked her up and placed her on the small cot in her cell. The change caused her heart rate to go up and the blue pulsing to begin again.
"Ellie, listen to my voice." Phil said loud enough for her to hear. "I'm here Freckles and I'm not leaving you. I promise. I love you."
The more he talked, the more she was able to slow her heart rate and bring the pulsing to a stop. When her body was clear of the pain she spoke. "I love you too."
"What happened?" Phil asked, helping her sit up.
"The energy from the Tesseract is changing the genetic makeup of her body." Director Fury said as he walked in. "It's a painful process from what Dr. Benson tells me."
"Will she be okay?" Phil rubbed her back as she tried to catch her breath.
"We're hopeful that once the changes are complete she will be." Fury said. "The doctor has shown me what her body is changing into."
"What is it?" Ellie asked.
"The energy levels in your body are exceptionally higher than most. Dr. Benson is confident that, should you learn to control it, you will be capable of producing high level energy field."
"What does that mean exactly?" Ellie was confused.
Dr. Benson joined them in her cell. "Everything in the universe is made up of energy. The Tesseract was a huge bundle of energy and now it's in you. Should you learn to harness that energy... well coupled with the added benefits of the Soldier Serum, there's almost no limit to what you could do."
"If I learn to control it, can I leave?" Ellie asked. "I can have a life?"
"The potential is there." Fury admitted. "SHIELD would always keep an eye on you though."
"How do I learn to control it?" Ellie was hopeful and squeezed Phil's hand.
"Learn your triggers and find a happy place." Fury said as he walked out. "Good luck."
It was a long process but she finally managed to learn to control it. Her triggers were anxiety, anger, and fear but her happy place was Phil. He kept her grounded and when they were finally allowed on missions together, she kept him safe. Dr. Benson had been correct. Once she accepted what she was and harassed the energy inside of her, she was almost limitless. She could create forcefields of enormous sizes, she could fire energy from her hands, and she could manipulate energy fields around her. Fury had the team design a pair of gloves for Ellie that could allow her to use her hands without using her powers at the same time. Once they found a suitable fabric that was capable of doing so, they remade her wardrobe using it. Fury allowed them to get an apartment and thanks to their paychecks from SHIELD it was a really nice apartment.
On Phil's 20th birthday, Ellie got up early to make him breakfast in bed. He surprised her as she was flipping pancakes by pressing a kiss to her neck. "Good morning."
"Happy birthday." Ellie said, flipping the last pancake onto a plate filled with scrambled eggs and bacon. She poked a candle made to look like the number 20 into the top of the stack of pancakes and lit it. "Make a wish."
"Hmm." Phil feigned thought for a few seconds, his hands on her hips and tugging her closer. "I wish you'd come back to bed."
Ellie giggled but moved one of his hands to take the plate from her. "Sit. Eat. Enjoy the time off."
"I plan to." Phil said, kissing her lips. Ellie kissed him back then put her hands on his chest, gently pushing him away.
"Eat your breakfast while it's hot." Ellie said. "I'll be back soon."
"Where are you going?" Phil sat down at the table, placing his plate in front of him.
"I have to pick up your birthday present." Ellie kissed his cheek. "I'll be back later."
He didn't want her to go. Their days off were few and far between. Phil wasn't sure how exactly she managed to convince the Director to let them both be off. He ate his breakfast quickly and got dressed so he could go pick up movies for that night. When Ellie did come back, there was a stack of movies on the coffee table and Phil was napping on the couch. She placed his present on the coffee table and put his birthday cake in the kitchen before going to wake him up.
"Hey." She shook him gently. "Wake up sleepy head."
"Hmm?" Phil mumbled as he woke up. He sat up and yawned. "You're back."
"I am." Ellie put the present in his lap. "Open it."
Phil tore away the wrapping paper and opened the box, revealing an incomplete deck of Captain America trading cards.
"They're not all there." Ellie admitted. "But most of them are—"
She was interrupted by Phil kissing her. "They're perfect. Thank you."
"You're welcome." Ellie smiled at him. "Happy birthday."
A/N: I wasn't going to update twice in one day but after getting six more follows and over 220 views on this story just today, I wanted to give you all another chapter. Seriously you guys are awesome and thank you for reading/following/favoriting/ and reviewing. Feel free to leave a review on your way out. I love all of you!
Littleheartache: Thanks for your review. It means a lot to me. :)