00078. Dealing with Grant’s issue.
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Here is another chapter for everyone to enjoy this week. Hope you all have a good weekend. Grants parents were never named in the show and neither was his sister. So I gave his sister a name.

After taking care of Bucky and getting the girls from the red room settled into the base. Ezekiel made time to check in with all of the other kids they had rescued. He wanted to make sure he didn't run into any issues like he had with Erik.

He started with Hope Van Dyne who just turned sixteen, it had been over a year since her father brought her to the base. He knew they had started to reconnect and Hank had finally told her the truth about her mother. But he just wanted to check in with her and find out what she wanted to do in the future.

It turned out after she found out what happened to her mother and what her mother and father really did. She wanted to follow in their footsteps, to be a hero like the both of them. Hank wasn't completely against it, but he told her she had to train for it and he wouldn't allow her to go on missions until he found her completely ready. Beside that she had just started to take college level courses for physics and chemistry under her father and Bill's mentorship.

After he finished with Hope, Ezekiel checked in with the now fourteen year old Ava Starr. While she still missed her parents, she had fully connected with Bill Foster and considered him her new father figure. Her training in the mystic arts had gone extremely well and Tao praised the girl highly for how gifted she was.

She had also made a little progress on using the mystic arts to help keep her body stable. She now only needed to stay in the special chamber Bill and Hank had built for her for about ten hours a day. So she was mostly in the chamber only to sleep and the rest of the time she spent with her friends or studying the mystic arts.

Ezekiel also checked up on the two newest members since he had been busy working since they were brought in. Cessily had become good friends with the other kids and the only issue she had was not being able to enjoy things like she used to. Mostly food, she couldn't taste anything and while she knew she no longer needed to eat. She did it mostly out of habit and to spend time with her friends. 

Ezekiel already had plans in the works to figure out a way for people to turn their x-gene on or off. So while he didn't want to give Cessily false hope, he did tell her to practice her gifts as much as possible and she might one day be able to turn her powers off on command.

Since Cessily was sixteen, Ezekiel asked what she wanted to do going forward with her schooling. She hadn't thought about it much after her change and currently had no idea. So Ezekiel set up a little work study program under different people so she could find something she would enjoy doing. She shadowed ten different people before she found something she liked. Which turned out to be cooking.

While she couldn't taste anything, she only considered it a minor setback. She also found a great way to use her powers helping her to cut, measure and prepare food. Ezekiel was a little concerned at first, but after they did some testing on everything she handled with her powers. They determined that there would be no issues with contamination or health issues. So Cessily was now spending four to eight hours a day working and learning from Jarvis in the kitchen.

Next was Laura. Since she had shown up it was a slow process of her opening up. But with Cessily acting as her older sister and trying to include the girl into everything she did. It didn’t take long before Laura was acting more like a normal kid and would interact with the other kids on her own. She could still be a little brooding and distant, but Ezekiel chalked that up to being a clone of Logan. As for what the fourteen year old wanted to do, she had already decided to follow in her mother's footsteps.

Speaking of Laura's mother, Ezekiel was pretty sure something was happening between her and Logan. He had found them on more than one occasion spending time alone together and when Ezekiel asked. Both of them just said they were talking about Laura, but with how close they had been each time Ezekiel was sure something else was going on.

Mary Sue Poots or Skye as she now asked everyone to call her, was the next person Ezekiel checked in with. She had recently turned ten and while she was still the youngest kid there. She knew exactly what she wanted to do when she was older. She wanted to work with computers, which Ezekiel encouraged and even started to teach her a little about programming. He made sure she focused on her normal school work, but he would give her one special programming type of assignment a week.

The last person Ezekiel talked with turned out to be the one with problems. When Grant came in and started talking with Ezekiel, it became apparent that something was on his mind. So Ezekiel asked, "What's wrong Grant?"

"Nothing."

Ezekiel smiled the tiniest bit as he said, "If that was true you wouldn't look so distracted. So tell me what's on your mind and I might be able to help you with it."

Grant chewed on his lower lip for a while before he blurted out, "Can you help my brother and sister?"

Ezekiel paused, while he had a lot of knowledge about the world he was in, he didn't know everything. The only thing he knew about Grant was he was picked up at a young age and inducted into Hydra. After he picked up Grant he thought everything would be fine, but it seemed he was possibly wrong.

"Why would you think your siblings are in trouble?"

Grant looked down, his voice was low as he said, "My mom. She would… She would do things to me and my siblings… Terrible things…"

Grant started to hyperventilate as he spoke, so Ezekiel reached over and put a hand on his shoulder. He gave it a gentle squeeze as he said, "It's alright, take a deep breath and hold it for ten seconds, before you slowly release it."

Grant followed his directions as Ezekiel said, "You'll be okay, she can't hurt you anymore and I will see about helping your siblings."

Grant looked up and he had tears running down his face as he said, "You don't understand, it wasn’t just her. My older brother is just like her. He… He made me hurt my little brother."

Grant broke down and started to cry for a while while Ezekiel patiently waited. When Grant calmed down some he said, "He is a monster just like her, he made me watch as he tried to drown Thomas in a well."

"Why didn't you say something sooner?"

Grant looked down again as he said, "I was afraid if I asked, I might be sent away. Maybe even sent back home."

"What made you change your mind? You definitely weren't thinking about this the last time I saw you."

Grant rubbed the tears from his face as he said, "Erik."

Ezekiel paused for a few moments before he asked, "What did Erik do?"

Grant looked back at Ezekiel, his voice still unstable as he said, "Erik changed, he used to be like my older brother. He was distant, uncaring about the others around him. I don't think the others noticed it, Erik was good at hiding it. But I noticed because he was just like my brother Christian, except Erik didn't hurt anyone."

Grant took a breath, steady himself a little more before he said, "But he's changed, he's more open with us now. He's actually friendly and seems to care now."

Ezekiel nodded his head in agreement as Grant said, "I asked him in secret what happened to him. He didn't wanna talk about it, but he told me you helped him with a family problem."

Ezekiel stood up and said, "Alright Grant, I'm gonna look into helping your siblings. While I do that, I want you to meet with a friend of mine."

Ezekiel led Grant to his work area and introduced him to Ino. While Ino started to work with Grant on fixing up his mental issues, Ezekiel dug into Grant's family background. After he found everything he needed, Ezekiel brought Inoichi with him as he went to find Kaecilius to take a little trip.

It was early evening when Ezekiel stepped through a portal followed by Inoichi and Kaecilius. They looked at the big two story house in front of them for a moment before they moved to the front door, which Ezekiel knocked on a few times. It only took about half a minute before a man answered the door. He looked a lot like Grant, except for his aged face and his hair had a hint of gray.

The man looked over Ezekiel and the others for a moment before he asked, "Can I help you with something?"

Ezekiel smiled as he said, "Yes we are with health and wellness services and need to check up on your kids."

Before the man could say anything his eyes lost focus for a few seconds before he said, "Welcome to our home, come inside and I'll go get my wife and kids."

The man turned around and led them to a formal sitting room before he disappeared deeper into the house. After a few minutes he came back followed by an older woman and three kids. As everyone entered the sitting room, the woman asked, "What's going on?  Who're these people?"

Ezekiel, who was studying some family pictures on the wall, turned around as he said, "Who we are is unimportant, what matters though, is what you've been doing to your kids."

As he finished talking the Ward family had their eyes glazed over as they collapsed on the ground. Ezekiel glanced at Inoichi as he said, "Check the parents first, followed by the oldest, then the kids and let me know what you find."

It took about an hour before Inoichi was done and his face looked a little pale compared to normal. He took a few minutes to collect himself before he said, "I've seen terrible things in my life, but torturing your own kids is near the top."

Ezekiel frowned as he sarcastically said, "That memory packet is going to be a delight to see later."

Inoichi nodded his head as he glanced down at the parents for a few seconds and he said, "It was mostly the mom. While the father never beat them, he did do some things to his own daughter…” Inoichi’s fists clenched tightly as he finished.

He stood silent for a minute before he looked at the oldest boy as he said, "He isn't much better than the mom, I think they both have some kinda psychological or brain disorder. Lady Tsunade would be a better judge than me though."

Ezekiel glanced over the family for a few minutes before he said, "I was planning to take all the kids, but now I am not sure if I should."

Inoichi glanced over at the family one more time before he said, "We should take the younger kids and dispose of the rest."

Kaecilius spoke up and asked, "Why should we kill them? Just taking the kids should be good enough?"

Ezekiel nodded in agreement before Inoichi said, "No. Those two will just hurt more people if we let them roam free. The father… I’d love to show him some of Konoha's advanced interrogation techniques, but I will settle for just killing him instead."

Ezekiel only took a few moments to decide the fate of three people before he said, "Will take the kids to the medical base first and we’ll toss these three in the incinerator while we're at it."

Kaecilius opened a portal the next second to the medical base which Ezekiel stepped through before he used the intercom to call for some help. Within a minute Tsunade, Sakura and Shizune showed up with some hospital gurneys. As they loaded the kids up Ezekiel said, “Do a full medical intake on them. I will be sending Inoichi and Ino over soon to help.”

As Ezekiel and the others picked up the parents and older brother Tsunade asked, “What happened?”

“Just people being trash. If you really want to know, check out Inoichi’s memory packet after you dispel.”

After they took care of the other Wards and Grants other siblings were checked over. Inoichi and his daughter took care of helping them sort through their mental issues. They would still need some help for a while, but they would recover and be fine with time. Once they were cleared, Grant had a very teary reunion with his older sister Elizabeth and his younger brother Thomas.

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