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Uncharted

Chapter Text

Unknown Location. Hydra Base

 

A venomous voice leaks through the thin walls of the dingy underground base.

“How did you let him slip through your grasp?” The dangerous women asks. She sits on a chair that stood a foot higher than everyone else. Her demeanour seemed calm, her face as cold as stone, yet her voice was dripping with anger and her eyes held so much contempt.

A yellow light bulb hung right over head, casting a shadow over her face. Only her hands and feet were visible. She was gripping the armrest of her throne with vice and her long legs were crossed and laid diagonally to the floor. Long emerald green boots with sharp teeth adorning the sides glinted in the dim light, threat seeping through every pore.

A man kneeled before her. He was of average height, grey hair slowly taking over his brown locks. His frame was built, but obviously older than most agents. He wore scrappy clothing, his pants were repaired more than once and there were streaks of mud on his boots.

“I-I I don’t know, ma’am. He-e somehow took out all th-the trackers. We c-can’t find them.” he stutters, he’s on his knees hands clutching his sleeves to prevent them from shaking.

“So, you are telling me, that you lost track of the Asset?” she hisses. “You had ONE job.” Her voice finally giving away some of the anger she felt.

“I’m sorry, Madame Viper, please spare me, we will find him again.” He pleads with her.

“Your pathetic attempt at an apology is useless. You are useless. I had high hopes for you Zemo. But, you just let me down.” Madame Hydra tuts. A moment of tense silence goes by, she finally lifts an elegant hand up. Her fingers wrapping delicately around the velvet leather of her whip, she swings her arm back and strikes him right in the throat, leaving him bleeding to death on the floor. She sighs as she signals some other soldier to take the body away and clean up the mess.

The rest of the audience of the room perks up, standing straighter as her unforgiving gaze passes through them.

“Find him.” She commands, and that’s all the persuasion they need before scurrying off to accomplish their task, hoping that the Lord will spare them of the wrath that is Madame Hydra.

 

 

Stark Tower, Avengers Base

 

 

Avengers, please go to Conference room B, an urgent meeting has been called on by Nick Fury, F.R.I.D.A.Y says through the coms. A collective groan echoes through the common room as the members of the team of heroes begrudgingly get up and hurry to the conference room.

Steve is already there leaning on the far wall and Director Fury stands tall, arms linked behind his back.

“God, it’s barely noon, why are we here?” Tony whines, he rubs tiredly at his eyes,

“Maybe if you weren’t hungover all the god damn time, you’d be awake enough to get herr without bitching.” the director shot back.

“Language.”
As the group settles down, Fury speaks up.
“We have found a potential new recruit,” he pauses as Maria hands out manila files to the Avengers, “We’ve been monitoring her for the last couple of months and she seems to be a perfect match.”

“That’s what you always say.” Tony yawns.

“It’s true.” Sam snickers.

“Alright, settle down, folks. From what we’ve seen she’s mastered more martial arts styles then I can count, she has the mutant ability to create portals and she has an intelligence that can match that of Tony’s and maybe even Banner.” The room goes silent and more than a few eyebrows raise.

“We’ll need two of you to extract the newbie tonight at around nine o’clock, understood?”
Fury says. “I want Cap on this one, whoever goes with him is your decision.” He points at all of them. With one last hard stare towards Tony, Nick exits the room, Maria trailing not far behind.

The moment the door closes, the room fills with uproar.

“Why doesn't Wanda go? She’s a girl, she’ll do better with another chick.” Tony shouts.

“Don’t speak to my sister like that.” Pietro retorts.

“Why don’t you go with Stevie, he likes you best.” Nat asks Sam, he rolls his eyes in response. “I’ve already checked on newbies, last time didn’t go well, I’m not going this time.”

“You know what, Vision should go.” Clint suggests. “I”m pretty sure we shouldn’t send in the red, powerful, synthetic being to go get the newbie. For all we know he’ll just pass through the wall of this girl’s apartment.” Tony snaps back. They all nod in agreement.

“You know what,” Steve speaks up, taking the powerful ‘Cap voice’,” Tony you’re coming with me.”

“What?” The man cries out in shock.

“Yep, Tony, you’re coming with me whether you like it or not. Everyone in this room has been sent to scout a new recruit at least once, except for you.” Tony gives him a ‘I’m done with your Star spangled ass’ look.

He groans, “Fine. But, you’re buying me shawarma.” Steve rolls his eyes.

“We’re leaving at 8:30 pm”.

Everyone exits the room to do whatever heroes do on their day off.

 

 

——————————

 

Your POV

“Ok, avocados, roman lettuce, cucumbers, olive oil, coconut oil, tomatoes, milk, oranges, strawberries…” you were walking through the isles of your local grocery store, going through you mental checklist making sure you didn’t forget anything.

You placed the items in your cart and once you were confident you didn’t forget anything, you went to pay.

“Would you like a bag?” The 16 year-old snot nosed cashier asked you.

“Yes, please.” You answer. He nonchalantly passes you two plastic bags, not bothering to actually help you on this ‘very’ busy Wednesday evening. You carry your groceries to your second hand car, get in, and drive back to your tiny 3 1/2 apartment. How strangely domestic, you thought to yourself.

Yet, you liked it. As a kid you were always one for adrenaline. After your parents died, you were passed through so many foster homes, it was an ironic game of hot potato. You ended up leaving the system and fending for yourself. The powers definitely helped out a lot. You found out you had them when you were maybe twelve, almost thirteen. You were running away from some bullies and ended up cornered in an alley, instead of panicking, you just ran straight through the wall. Throughout the years, you trained yourself to be a strong and independent woman, studying hard in school and training hard on your own.

You hummed to the generic song on the radio when you turn the corner of the street that lead to your apartment. You lived in a quiet part of Manhattan that was a little sketchy but you didn’t mind. The old building was made out of classic red bricks with stairs leading up to each apartment complex.

You juggle your groceries and try to open your door without dropping your keys. You don’t want to be the victim in a cheesy horror movie.

You flick the lights open and walk into your tiny home. It’s small, but cozy. Right behind the front door is a small hallway where you put down your jacket, your shoes and your keys. You walk down a couple of steps and there’s your kitchen, dining table, couch and TV. And, when you go back to the hallway on the left, there’s your bedroom.

You drop all your groceries in the kitchen go take a quick shower.

After, you start cooking your dinner. As a kid you had a lot of free time, so all you did was absorb information, as much as you could take in. You didn’t make friends to easily, partially because you were shy, but mostly because you didn't trust easily. You were always suspicious, your father taught you to be. When you started living on your own, you were so focused on your studies and your training that not having much of a social life never really bothered you. Friends came and went, but you somehow always ended up on your own.

You connect your phone to your wireless speaker and start playing some music. You press shuffle and the loud guitar riffs of Iron Man by Black Sabbath fills your ears. You start cutting up the ingredients and adding some oil to the pan, adding the onions in and letting the caramelise slowly. Another song comes to an end. You’re left with the gentle sizzle of th—.

“I like her already, she has good taste in music.” You hear a somehow familiar voice come from right outside your apartment door. You could tell that there were two men standing outside your home. You silently close the stove and turn off your phone. You walk carefully to your room, avoiding the creaky wooden panels. You pull out your 9mm and put your back to the wall waiting for their next move. They sounded pretty nice, but you were always cautious.

“Hi, (Y/n). Could you let us in? We would like to talk to you about a sensitive topic that would be better discussed in private.” The second voice said. How the hell does he know my name?
You don’t respond.

 

 

———————

 

Steve’s POV

“Tony you can’t just break down the door!” He tells him. Jesus, what was he thinking?

“No, of course not. I can’t break down the door… but you can.” The smaller man says happily, as if he just cracked the Da Vinci Code. The Captain puts a hand to his head and sighs disapprovingly.

“(Y/n), we promise we aren’t going to hurt you. Just open the door please.” He prods gently.

“Are you serious? ‘We aren’t going to hurt you’,” he repeats mockingly,” you heard Fury, she’s smart, that won’t work.” Steve rolls his eyes for what seems like the millionth time today, that’s the effect Tony has on people.

“Ok, we’re coming in.” “Finally.”

He lays his hand on the handle and easily twists it off the door, it swings back with a small creak. The smell of a dinner being cooked immediately fills their noses.

“Jeez, she can cook too?” Tony whispers.

The apartment was tiny, he could barely fit in the first hallway that leads to the kitchen, thank god he didn’t bring his shield, he would've been stuck. The stove was obviously left in a hurry, the spatula left messily to the side, the pan was still emitting a bit of steam; she’s still here. He hears Tony click on his gadget thing over his wrist and holds it up instinctively.

He motions his hand toward the door that’s about six feet away from them. She’s in there.

A small gush of wind blows their face and they stare at each other confusedly. A small swoosh accompanied with Tony yelping and swearing forces him to turn around in the tight space. He sees Tony, now kneeling on the floor, his mini propellor useless on the side with his hands in handcuffs behind his back.

“What the FUCK lady?” Tony yells. He turns around again and sees a small woman with (h/c) hair holding a gun up. She was wearing a loose AC/DC shirt with a pair of comfortably looking grey shorts.

“Who are you and why did you break into my apartment?” she asks, her voice calm and collected.

“Look, we just wanted to talk, we promise we aren’t here to harm you in any way.” he says reassuringly. She scoffs. “Are you serious?”

“I told you it wouldn't work.” Tony remarks from behind him. She tilts her head to the side and stares intently at him.

“Why is Tony Stark in my hallway? And why is Captain America also in my hallway after you break my door handle? Aren’t you supposed to stand for justice or something like that.” She puts her gun down and sneaks a glance at Cap who looks down sheepishly. She walks around him and Tony, kneeling on the floor, to flick the light switch, finally illuminating the two intruders faces.

Needless to say, that was not the reaction he was expecting.

Chapter Text

Your POV

“So, you’re telling me you want me to join a group of glorified heroes.” Despite the attitude that was laced through your words, you still said it shyly. I mean, Captain freaking America was sitting on your couch.

Once you opened the lights, you created a small portal right behind Tony to unlock the handcuffs you had placed on his wrists. You could here him mutter some incoherent phrase that sounded vaguely like insults.

“Please, sit.” You motioned them to your couch, you sat on one of your bar stools. “Would you like anything to drink?” You weren’t sure why you were acting like a housekeeper, but words were flowing out of your mouth before you could stop them. The two men declined, all you did was shrug. Fine. You opened a small portal and slipped your hand through, the second one appearing next to a water bottle that you slipped through the dark dimension. (That’s what you chose to call it, anyways.) You unscrew the cap and look up to the two visitors only to see them both with their jaws hanging wide open.

You redden realizing that you just did that in front of two strangers. What were you thinking? You don’t even know these people and you just openly flaunted your powers without a second of doubt.

“Um, ya, sorry- It’s force of habit, I don’t spend much time around other people.” You stare down at your hands, nervously playing around with the hem of your shirt.

“So, that’s what he meant when he said portals.” Tony remarks slightly airily.

“I’m sorry, who?” You ask. That’s when both men seem to realize that they’ve come here to do a job and not hang around with their jaws open. Both of the Avengers cleared their throats and straightened up a bit.

“Yes, we’re here to talk about the Avengers Initiative. Our Director, Nick Fury has had his eyes on you for awhile now and he sent us to recruit you.” Captain Rogers says.

“Um, why would I be of any value to the Avengers, sir?” You opt to address him in a more formal manner now that the embodiment of justice and righteousness is standing right in front of you.

“Please, Steve.” He replies.

“Well, apparently you are insanely smart, you know how to fight and you can do the crazy portal stuff.” Tony states. You stay silent for a moment.

“With all due respect Mr. Stark, Captain Rogers, I can assure you that my addition to the team wouldn't be all that helpful.” You knew you could fight, you trained yourself to. Yes, you had powers, but were you ready to actually face off first world problems, for example, saving the planet? You didn’t think so. You were just a small town girl who kept to herself.

“If I may, Mrs. (l/n), you never know until you try.” The Captain answers your unspoken question in a calm and assertive tone.

In about ten seconds, you assess the pros and cons. You might die, that’s definitely a con. But, you’ll die fighting for what’s right, that’s also a pro. You couldn’t deny it, but becoming someone that defends the people and saves them too is something you’ve always wanted to be. Despite the fact that this will wrench you from an everyday domestic life, it appealed to you.

“Ok.” You replied simply. You didn’t look at them in the eyes though.

“Ok? That’s it?” Captain asks, thoroughly surprised. Most potential recruits put up more of a fight.

“Yep, well ok is all we need. Let’s get going Cap, my Macallan 88’ is waiting for me.” He gently puts a hand on your shoulder to drag you out of your apartment.

“Wait, wait, wait. I’m leaving now?” You ask. They both nod as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“Could you at least let me grab some stuff?”

“Ya, of course kiddo.” You didn’t point out the nickname, but he might be compensating.

You grabbed a gym bag and filled it with the most important stuff. Once that was done, you changed into a pair of jeans and exited your apartment only to see a very expensive looking car. All you could do was lift an eyebrow.

“I’m Tony Stark, kid, what do you expect.” You chuckled lightly at his over-inflated ego.

You slipped into the back seat of the gorgeous car and closed the door, Tony driving away into the night.

The silence wasn’t awkward, but it definitely wasn’t comfortable.

“Where did you study?” Tony asked, he probably already knew since whoever Directory Fury was obviously told him practically everything about your life. You guessed anyways.

“MIT, but I dropped out.” He glances up at you in confusion.

“I got bored, so I dropped out.” You said, you had a hard time working with the students there. Even with the people there being well into their 20s, some of them were still assholes. The silence he replied was obviously an unspoken question.

“Let’s just say that some of the people there have a strange sense of respect towards women and I got caught in the crossfire. Not even the most astutely trained individual can beat the element of surprise.” You reply solemnly. You hated the men who harassed you, but hurting them wouldn't have done any good. You could feel the familiar sting in your eyes, but you bit your lip, keeping yourself collected.

“Alrighty, then.” Tony said, turning the radio on. Steve looked at you sympathetically.

The rest of the ride was silent, the only sound was filtered through the speakers of the car. You watched as the Tower slowly became larger and larger until it looked like it was towering over you. Tony expertly slid over to the garage, parking the vehicle in it’s respective spot amongst a dozen other cars that were probably worth your entire university tuition times twelve.

Steve, being a classic 40s gentleman, opens the car door for you, you slide out ungracefully and reach for your bag, but Tony beats you to it. He smiles smugly at you, you mumble a thanks still slightly overwhelmed by the fact that you are actually being escorted by Captain freaking America and Tony fucking Stark into the friggin Avengers Tower where you, yourself, will become an Avenger. Without even noticing, you were just standing there, staring at the ground.

“Earth to (y/n), we have to go now.” Stark says, almost sweetly. “Um, ya sorry about that. This is still a little bit surreal.” Steve chuckles at that, a small smile graces your features.

“Alright, come on, kiddo. Time to meet the team of righteousness.” He walks over to the elevator.

Welcome back Tony, Captain. Should I alert everyone to meet in the common room.

You look up and around trying to find the source of the voice.

“Ya, that’s F.R.I.D.A.Y, she’s an AI, she basically makes sure everything is ok at all times.” You look around in awe, how much time and effort it would take to make an AI. I mean, you wouldn’t even know where to start. He smiles at your reaction. “ Sadly J.A.R.V.I.S got turned into Vision. Well… sort of, actually not really.” he remarks.

You don’t really hear him because you’re just watching the little screen indicating which floor you were on. 40…41…42…50…55… Holy shit.

You start breathing a little harder, reality finally dawns on you. It hits you like a truck, you are actually going to meet these people. What if they reject you? What if you aren’t good enough and they just kick you out? I mean you can't just return to your normal life after this.

“Hey, (y/n), hey, hey. Look at me,” a gentle voice pulls you from your trance,” That’s it. Breathe. Everything is going to be ok.” You try to focus on Steve’s deep blue eyes, but your chest is still clenched tight and your hands are still shaking. His huge calloused hands are practically holding you up. You clear your throat and breathe in deeply, desperately trying to regain some control.

You clear your throat,” Yeah, I’m ok.” You see Tony looking unconvinced and Steve staring at you like a parent that caught his kid stealing from the cookie jar. “Really, it just… got a little overwhelming.”

“You know we can get you set up first, you can meet them tomorrow morning.” Tony says. You shake your head. You wanted to meet them as soon as you could. You wanted to avoid as many awkward encounters as possible.

The elevator slows down, the moment of truth.

“Welcome to the Avenger’s Base, (y/n).” Tony says, slipping an arm over your shoulders.

The doors slide smoothly open and you are met with quite a sight.

The common room itself is absolutely gorgeous. Huge windows go from the ceiling to the floor offering the most breathtaking view of the city. There is a second floor that can be reached by two spiralling staircases on either side of the far end of the room. Everything is either glass, chrome or black tile offering a sleek look to the architecture. There are expensive couches placed strategically around the room, TV’s and electronic gadgets spread throughout. But what surprised you the most was the honest to God cacophony. It was almost like a kindergarten.

“Guys! Settle down!” Steve shouts, “She’s hear.” That’s when everything goes still, you could hear a pin drop in the silence that ensues. Every single one of them stares at you with wide eyes. You were very close to just cowering into Tony’s side since his arm was already held securely around your shoulders.

“Hi” you wave awkwardly, cringing inside.

“Nice to meet you (y/n),” a smooth voice comes from the side. You turn your head to see none other than Sam Wilson himself. “I didn’t know Fury had taste.” You flush at the compliment.

“Knock it off, Wilson.”Tony snarks back, his grip on your shoulder tightening instantly.

You look around once again to see Clint waving a small hello and Natasha just nodding curtly. You gasp as a flash of blue passes right by your face and suddenly there’s a really, really handsome looking fellow right in front of you. His hair was silver, almost white and somehow he had a hold of your hand.

“Nice to meet you, princessa.” He places a gentle kiss on your knuckles. He smirks at your reaction, you’re about as red as a stop sign. A light female voice intrudes your thoughts.

“Pietro, let the poor girl’s hand go!” A young woman with a thick accent shouts from her spot on the couch. She has long brown hair and beautiful wide eyes. She stands up and slowly makes way to you.

“I’m glad another girl is going to be on the team. As you can see,” she looks around the room, “we are severely outnumbered by testosterone driven men.” You giggle at that, she smiles sweetly and goes back to her spot next to Clint, you like her instantly.

You notice the infamous Bruce Banner all the way in the back, he doesn't come to say hi but you could see the shy smile on his lips. You’ve been a fan of his work for so long, seeing him in real life was making you giddy.

“Alright kiddo, I’m handing you over to Cap now, he’ll show you the ropes.” Tony squeezes your shoulder one last time before retreating to his lab.

“Come on, I’ll show you where you’re staying.” He gently nudges you to the direction of the elevator, your eyes still scanning everything in slight disbelief. “I know it’s a lot to take in.”

The elevator doors close once again and you let a out a breathe you didn’t even know you were holding in.

“Alright, so on each floor there are two or three apartments. You’re going to be staying on my floor. There are three apartments, so if ever there is a new recruit, they are most likely going to stay there. By the way, we are on floor 59”He states, like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

You here an electronic ding, and walk past the threshold that you are guessing is now your new home. You’re met with a wide corridor with one door at the end, one door to the right wall and one to the left.
“Mine is straight up front and yours is on the left or the right, you can choose, it really doesn’t make a difference to me.” He tells you with an all-american boy smile. How can you not smile back?

You walk over to the one on the right and he hands over a key car. Yes, a key card. Not a key. You arch an eyebrow, but say nothing.

“Here’s your new home.” He opens the door for you and politely ushers you in.

Your jaw practically falls to the floor, your eyes bugging out of your head, as you take in the sight before you.

Jesus fucking Christ this isn’t an apartment, it’s an entire three story house on one floor!

“I know, it’s a lot to take in. If ever you have any questions, just come knockin’ or you can ask F.R.I.D.A.Y. Also, fair warning, tomorrow morning, Thor is scheduled to arrive and he’s… well he’s a lot to handle,” he pauses,” Goodnight, (y/n). It was nice meeting you.” He does a tiny little salute and leaves. Well, that was honestly adorkable. He just did a freaking mini-salute.

You turn your back to the giant apartment ahead of you, and set out to explore.

Chapter Text

The floor was made out of grey tiles that glinted in the iridescent moonlight, the walls were white and gorgeous light fixtures were emanating a soft glow. You entered a wide hallway that opened up to a kitchen and a living room to the side. The kitchen itself left you speechless.

The counters were dark grey granite with cabinets a sleek cold light grey colour. Appliances lined the far wall with beautiful ovens and stoves, a built-in microwave and a fridge that could store enough food for a restaurant. There was an island with a sink and a dishwasher, a wine cellar, a mini-fridge and so many drawers with what you could only guess was every single culinary gadget on the face of the planet. Bar stools lined the exterior side of the island and a modern french mahogany dining table stood to the left.

You felt like a kid on Christmas day.

You turned to your right and found the living room. An enormous L shaped couch that probably costed a fortune was placed in front of a giant flat screen TV with an over the top sound system that was placed strategically around the room to have a certain in-theatre feel.

“This is absolutely crazy.” you huff to yourself. This entire apartment screams rich, but that’s one of the things you get when you live with a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.

You make your way out of the living room and into the bedro—

Holy shit

THis iS nOt a bedROOM. This ‘bedroom’ is twice the size of your old apartment. The window at the far end of the room was ceiling height and lined the entire wall. The bed was a king sized with crisp white expensive silk and a mountain of well placed pillows. A fireplace was placed off to the side lighting up the room in a warm glow. It looked thoroughly inviting but you weren’t done exploring the premises.

To the far end of the bedroom there was a beautiful glass desk with a chrome chair. On the desk there was a Macbook and an Ipad. Was he nuts? You had just moved in and your net worth just went up a couple thousand dollars.

There’s a door about ten feet to the left of the bed, one that you could only assume was the closet. You opened it and it was just… wow. It wasn’t just the grandness of it all, it was the sheer elegance of it. It was a long corridor with cabinets and closets lining each side. The materiel was a warm toned brown that was sleek. Each storage compartment seemed to have it’s own purpose.

I don’t even have enough clothes to fill one of these!

The closet opened to the bathroom and that really just blew your mind. The floor was an immaculate white. Straight in front of you was a bath large enough for more than one person.
(A/N: obvious foreshadowing for something in the future) You turned to your left and there was a counter that reached from wall to wall. Large mirror panels were placed right over the sink that had a faucet made out of a circular piece of glass and a lever to turn it on and off. On the counter was numerous beauty products that were probably way too expensive, cotton pads, q-tips etc.

The shower to the right was a cubicle made purely out of glass and the hose was a spotless chrome stainless steel with beige tiles that lined the floor. This really was over the top.

You walk back to the kitchen, dropping your bag next to your bed, you’ll get back to that later. Ah, yes, the kitchen. Probably your favourite part in every house. You could make things, bake things, cook things. You opened the enormous fridge and see it empty except for a couple of water bottles and sodas. You’ll have to go to the grocery store. Again. The last time you got a bit interrupted.

Miss (y/n), may I suggest I order some groceries for you. I can have them delivered in an hour, F.R.I.D.A.Y says. You jump at the sudden intrusion, almost hitting your head on the shelf.

“Um, yes, thank you?” you respond, not sure how long it’ll take to get used to speaking to nothing. She was an artificial intelligence, but it still was very… different.

You started listing items that you’d like to have in your fridge and pantry. It took you a good half hour seeing as you have ten times more storage than you had before. And then, you realized something, how the hell are you supposed to pay for all of this. You walk over to your jacket and pull out your wallet. You see the pathetic couple of five dollar bills and coins, including a credit card you didn’t dare use unless an emergency was to occur. No one wanted debts. You sigh.

Miss (y/n), Tony left a message for you, he says,: “Hey kiddo, I bet right now you’re thinking about the whole money thing. Haven’t you noticed who you’re staying with baby cakes? I’m Tony Stark, go crazy, I don’t mind. Have fun, kid.”

 

“F.R.I.D.A.Y, could you help me get to Tony’s lab?” You asked ‘the air’, this is so weird.

Of course, Miss (y/n), follow the illuminated arrows on the floor, they will lead you to his lab. I am afraid Tony might be a little busy, so give him some time, she responds.

Alrighty, then. You walk out of your apartment, taking your phone and your keycard. (a freaking keycard). Soft white lights shaped in arrows start showing up on the floors, you follow them and find yourself in front of the elevator once again. You slide in wondering what to do now. The number 62 illuminates and the contraptions started moving up.

I’m glad I didn’t have to guess that, imagine if you ended up on Clint’s floor, or Sam’s?

You pinch your nose imagining the embarrassment.

Before you know it, a familiar mechanical ding echoes in the metal box. You exit, following the arrows until they just disappear. You look around, black tiles following the expanse of the room. You see a large staircase surrounded by glass fixtures. You walk towards it and open the surprisingly light glass door.

You walked up the beige granite stairs holding onto the metal rail, the walls were surrounded by beautiful paintings that you mentally reminded yourself to ask about later.

Once you hit the top, you walked through two glass sliding doors to be greeted with quite a sight. Four large and long tables surrounded one main square table. The entire lab was littered with metal contraptions, advanced machines, a considerable amount of blueprints and a metal arm that seemed to be moving at it’s own free will. To your right, there was another lab, from the outside, looked pristine clean. Inside there was Bruce who looked extremely concentrated on whatever formula he was inspecting under the microscope. You turned your attention back towards Tony who was… well, gently put, a mess. Streaks of grease were on his face, his arms and his clothes. He was wearing a dark grey tank top with a pair of comfortable looking pants. Sweat dripped off his forehead and his neck was glistening.

“Dum-E, I swear to God, if you break the blender again I’m going to sell you to the local science fair.” he says pointing at the mechanic arm that was just quietly waving around. He looks up.

“Oh, hey kid, what’s got you up at this hour?” Obviously surprised to see you here. You can tell he’s starting to treat you more as a daughter, but you didn’t mind. You never really had a father figure in your life. Your biological dad died when you were really young, you loved him with everything you had.. (Also, note the fact that it’s not even midnight yet and he’s acting as if you had a curfew on your first day here)

“Uh, ya. F.R.I.D.A.Y suggested that I fill up my pantry, and I saw the total,” He looks at you with his arms crossed,” and I know you left me a message, but I just wanted to make sure it was ok? Since I am new and stuff, I didn’t want to look like I was taking advantage of you, or the Avengers in general…” you trail off and reddening realizing that you were rambling. Great, you’ve made a fool of yourself.

“(Y/n), come sit here for a second.” He pats a small chair beside him. You hesitantly pace your way behind the desks and onto the chair he pulled up. You were now surrounded by incredibly advanced equipment and you were scared to move because you didn’t want to knock anything over.

“It’s ok, you can take a look.” he says kindly from behind you. You turn your head around, with your brows furrowed. Is he serious? “Ya, go ahead.”

 

Tony’s POV

God, her brows were scrunched up in the most adorable way. He honestly couldn't believe the words that were coming out of his mouth. He’d never, ever let anyone in his lab, unless it was Bruce or Pepper, or there was some incredible rare, unfortunate, life-threatening situation. Then, he would maybe let them in. This was his private play-ground, he knew what the majority of these things did, well, he knew enough, sometimes things don’t always tend to go as planned.

His gaze turns towards (y/n) once again. Her wide (e/c) eyes roaming over every inch of the tables, her hands itching to touch something, but remaining firmly by her sides. He could see the curiosity ooze out of her, finally, someone who understands. (Except for Bruce) Someone who understands the burning need to know more, see more and learn more. Her gaze hungrily eating up all this new information, it’s quite amazing to watch.

“F.R.I.D.A.Y, would you kindly Vac U Form a digital wire frame, I want her to have a manipulatable projection.” He told the AI. She tears her gaze from the arc reactor prototype and turns to him. A blue light scans over all five tables and lifts up into the air, showing an exact replica of everything that was on display.

“Woah” She gasps, that was cute too. “Can I?” She asks pointing at the floating blueprint. He nods his consent. She waves her hand around and makes it turn, pinches her fingers together to minimize it and flings her arms wide open to zoom in. She starts giggling, like actually giggling, like a schoolgirl in kindergarten who just sold girl scout cookies for the first time.

“This is SO cool.” She zooms into one thing in particular, the new arc reactor prototype.

“Is that the thing in your chest?” she asks bluntly. She pauses, and then covers her mouth realizing how blunt she was. “Oh my, I’m sorry Mr.Stark, I didn’t mean to say it like that, I read about it in the papers and I may or may not have hacked into your mainframe and found some plans. Wait- I’m not supposed to tell you that.” She stares at him with wide eyes. He just starts laughing, an honest chortle rumbles his chest. God, it’s been a long time since he's laughed like that.

“God, that’s funny, and cute. Hahahaha, I can’t believe this,” he keeps laughing, he’s not sure if she’s terrified, but she certainly looks like it. “HEY, BRuce! She hacked into F.R.I.D.A.Y and she doesn’t speak to me like I’m a ticking time bomb, I think she’s a keeper.” He shouts towards the other side of the lab. Bruce just looks at him unimpressed, but with a small smile on his face.

“Ok, first of all, stop calling Mr. Stark, that was my dad. Call me Tony,” she nods furiously,” and second of all, do you see all of this?,” he opens his arms wide, “this costs more money then you can imagine, so what I’m trying to say is, go crazy. I don’t care. Spend a thousand dollars on food, go ahead.”. And.. Wait a minute. How did you hack into F.R.I.D.A.Y?”

Your POV

I mean at this point you could start crying. You were never rich, you’ve been poor before, you know what it feels like to be hungry, thus your appreciation for cooking.

“Thank you.” Was all you said. He smiles sweetly at you and pulls you into a hug. At first you aren’t sure what to do, but slowly you relax into his embrace. He pushes you away and holds you in front of him at arms length, starring at your shirt.

“So you like AC/DC and Black Sabbath?” An infectious grin spreads across his face as you nod vigorously.

You ask F.R.I.D.A.Y to go through with your grocery list. For the next two hours, all you do is listen to music, occasionally go full on karaoke, have Tony discover your singing ‘talent’, (as he likes to call it) and discuss some science stuff.

He kindly walks you back to your apartment at around one in the morning and apologizes for keeping you up. How sweet of him? You never thought he could be so nice, most rumours involving him depict him as a rude, arrogant and incredibly egotistical person. Maybe he was, just not with you.

The groceries were neatly organized in your kitchen, by who? It didn’t matter, you were too tired to care.

You fell swiftly onto the crazy soft bed and succumbed to sleep like candles being blown out on a birthday cake.

Chapter Text

All you felt was warmth and fluffiness as you woke up. What? Where am I? Oh. You forgot, you were in Stark Towers. Memories of the last twenty-four hours flood into your mind. Captain America and Tony Stark breaking into your apartment, being recruited as an Avenger, meeting the group of heroes, moving in here. It was all pretty surreal. You lift your head up and see the light filter in through a gap in the curtains. You turn over and stare at the clock on your bedside table. 9:24.

You fling yourself off your bed and look at yourself in the mirror. Jesus. Ok, maybe you do need some help. Once you make yourself presentable you walk slowly to the kitchen, your feet padding on the cold morning tiles. The sun shines right through the window and casts a beautiful glow onto the area.

You turn on the insanely expensive espresso machine and get it running. A jolt of caffeine was exactly what you needed. Next, you pull out ingredients for all-american buttermilk pancakes, because why not?

“F.R.I.D.A.Y, do you have access to my Spotify account?” You ask her, it was starting to settle in as a normal thing, you know, having an AI talk to you.

“Yes, I have access to your account and any music you would like.” the AI responds.
You chuckle to yourself while whisking things in a bowl, this is absolutely absurd.

“Alright, could you play House of Gold?” You ask, the quick thrums of the ukulele fill the room.

You turn to the fridge and take out some fresh fruits.

She asked me son when I grow old,

Will you buy me a house of gold,

You let the batter sizzle on the skillet, waiting for it to cook. You start swaying your hips to the happy tune.

And when your father turns to stone,

Will you, take care, of me.

Steve’s POV

He toes off his running shoes and slips out of his sweat soaked shirt after his morning run. Sam flat out refused to come with him today, but promised to come next time. He takes his time getting ready since sleep evaded him even more than it normally did, his run was shifted a couple of hours earlier.

He glides onto the barstool, pulls out the newspaper and roughly reads through the columns. Despite being out of the ice for nearly two year now, technology still baffles him. There’s always something new coming up, constant new innovations; Stark was only the tip of the iceberg. Things were so different from back in the day, everything was easily accessible just from the click of a button or the download of an app.

Being so far from familiarity was something he continued to struggle with, it hung heavy on his shoulders along with the thoughts of Bucky, the one thing tying him to his past he cherished so much.

His gaze now looking at empty space, his thoughts wander.

He hears a faint strumming, super soldier hearing and all that. What was that? He could make out some lyrics being sung and the sound of pots and pans. Must be the new recruit, (y/n). As far as first impressions go, she seemed to be pretty nice, very shy, but nice. And judging by the sound of the music and how well Tony attached himself to her in the first few moments after meeting her, she’d adjust to life here just fine.

The reaction of the others wasn’t nearly as bad as he thought they’d be. With the last kid, Clint had fired a tranquilizer dart and he threatened to file a lawsuit.

He thought about the little amount of time you’ve met and how she already, somehow, contributed to a fraction of peace in his mind that he so rarely got these days.

I’ll go pay her a visit.

He exits his own apartment and walks the short distance to hers. Outside her door, he could hear the strums of a song he didn't recognize blasting loudly. He smiled softly. He knocked one time and the door automatically opened itself. She must've left it unlocked. He peeks through the small gap of the doors and finds something incredibly… adorable ?

She was wearing a shirt with a band he ignored the existence of, due to her height, the oversized shirt was nearly a dress if it wasn't hitched up to her hip where you could see grey shorts peeking out. Her (h/c) hair was tied up in a messy bun. She was dancing happily to the song that was playing and waving around a spatula and carefully maneuvering a pan at the same time.

He steps out completely and clears his throat. She whips her head around and looks like a deer caught in headlights.

Your POV

Finally, the last pancake cooked, even better, your favourite song started to play.

Then, you hear the sound of someone clearing there throat.

You whip your head around and find a slightly disheveled and surprised Steve standing awkwardly in the middle of your hallway. Oh. There’s a beat of silence.

“Um, hey Captain.” You try to play the situation off as normal. “What brings you to my humble abode.” what the fuck, (y/n). Abode. Seriously? You cringe inwardly, cursing to yourself.

“I just heard your music playing.” He chuckles and still standing still.

“Wait- how did you hear it through the apartment walls?” You asked, Tony had explained to you that most of the walls in the living complex were sound proof to save himself from the personal lives of any of the team members. “I value my mental health and the health of my ears.”

“That’s the serum’s fault.” He points at his ear and laughs shyly. You smile, he really is kind of a normal person.

“Would you like some breakfast?” You place the pancakes you’d made on a plate. He looked like he was about to decline the offer, so you spoke up. “I insist. I’ve only been here one night and you guys have done so much.” A gentle smile tugs his lips before he takes two long strides and sits himself on the breakfast bar stool.

“Here.” You sprinkle some fruits over the top and a little pint of maple syrup.

Captain Rogers, Tony has requested your presence in the lab. F.R.I.D.A.Y. Interrupts the quiet moment. Steve bows his head and groans, you giggle a bit.

“Just ask him to come down here.” He shouts back, your eyes widen a little bit.

Yes, Captain Rogers.

You immediately the corner and ‘calmly’ start making another batch of pancakes. Bghnb. H

“(Y/n), relax, this is Tony. He’ll appreciate it, but if you don’t, it’s fine.” He reassures you by shoving his stack of flapjacks in his mouth. “These are really good by the way.” You mutter a thanks, but continue cooking. Your shoulders aren’t as tense now and you ask F.R.I.D.A.Y to start playing your songs again.

By the time Tony walks into the room there’s already a plate ready for him and you are sitting down with your own watching Steve munch happily.

You could hear him walking in before seeing Iron Man saunter over to the counter.

“Hey, America’s Justice, why did you ask me— you made me food?” He looks at the plate you were holding up for him.

“Ummhm” you reply through the eggs you’d shoved down your throat. “Steve invited you over and I was already cooking.” You shrugged sleepily. He places two hands on your shoulders, forcing you to look up because of the height difference, he looks at you straight in the eyes and then looks at Steve.

“She’s a keeper. We. Are. Keeping. Her.” He sits down next to Steve and digs in his breakfast, leaving you a bit stunned. “Try and convince Bird Brain to not shoot her up. Also, Thor should be here any minute. Do you have any Pop Tarts?’

Isn’t Thor a norse god? And why would you need pop tarts, not that you don’t already have a cabinet full of them, they were your guilty pleasure.

“ Ya, I do, why?” You frown, sitting back down onto your barstool facing the two men, happily munching on your food.

“Great, he’ll love you. He’s basically a massively overgrown blonde puppy with hair so glorious it’ll give you a complex.” Tony says.

You look outside when you hear the loud bang of thunder, the two men stand up at the tell tale signs of the God’s arrival.
“Here we go.” Steve says. You were incredibly curious now, just the fact that you were on the team of heroes was already baffling, but knowing that there was a God From another planet! You’ll be seen as puny. You held a breath as a loud thud echoed through the apartment and heavy steps followed.

“AH, Captain Rogers! How do you fair?” He walk towards Steve and pulls him into a bear hug, practically lifting him off the ground. “Ah yes, the man of Iron, how are things with Lady Pepper?” He says gesturing wildly.

Woah.

He’s HUGE. Tony wasn’t kidding about the hair, it was glorious in itself. His face was lined with a blond beard and he was made with a structured angular jaw and piercing blue eyes. His build was thick and burly and he practically oozed power. His chest was covered in the steel armour, glinting in the sunlight, his blood red cape adding a dramatic flourish to his arrival. In his (giant) right hand, he was holding what you could only assume was Mjolnir. That’s real?!! You honestly felt quite faint. You were so busy looking at Thor, you didn’t notice Steve trying to hold back laughter at your awed expression.

“And who might this lovely maiden be?” He walks towards you and leans down grabbing your hand and placing a gentle kiss on the top of your knuckles. You redden furiously and he smiles back goofily. “I didn't know we were adding a member to the team and, might I say, a beautiful one.”

“Ya, Thor meet (y/n) (l/n), she’s new here.” Tony says introducing you. “Also, hands off the newbie Thor.” He adds with a disapproving dad-voice. You frown, that was endearingly strange.

“It was nice meeting you, Lady (y/n).” Thor says, his eyes giving you a once over appreciatively. You squirmed under the scrutiny. Despite his insanely attractive looks, he didn’t really appeal to you, he seemed very nice, but a bit too bulky for your taste, You were practically a midget beside him.

You walked around the counter and opened your cabinet of Pop Tarts and turn towards the god. “Steve and Tony said you liked Pop Tarts, I have plenty, you want me to make some?”

His head whips around and his face goes from the incredibly powerful seducer to one of a kid in a candy shop.

“Yes, that would be lovely Lady (y/n), thank you for making the most delicious meal out here on Midguard, the Pop of Tarts.” You giggle at his lingo.

The rest of the morning is spent talking with the three men while eating. Thor had almost scarfed down a quarter of your pop tart supply, you reminded yourself to restock on those.

The conversation slowly ebbed and replaced with a comfortable silence.

“Alright, (y/n), this has been great and all, but you are going to be a member of the team and we need to know what you’re capable of,” Steve stands up to clear the plates, despite your protests, “I want you to meet us at the training area in one hour,” he walks towards the exit with Thor and Tony trailing behind, “that means the both of you have to be there.” He points at his close friends, Tony rolls his eyes.

Once you finish wiping down the kitchen, you reflect on your first morning here at the Tower. You knew that Steve and Tony had already taken a liking to you, the reason for was blind to you, and Thor seemed nice enough.

Steve POV.

“Is Lady (y/n) supposed to do field work?” Thor asked, the two men knew what he was saying.

At first glance, (y/n) looked downright adorable, she was about the same height as Tasha, she had (h/l) (h/c) and big (e/c) But, all that was put to the side when he saw her in action in her apartment. She was obviously well-trained. Her steps quick and quiet, every move calculated, precise and efficient. The way she held an unwavering yet piercing gaze, keeping her surprise in check, and how she handled a gun perfectly. Her shoulders relaxed but her arms tense. Her wrists ready for the kick back and her index finger steady against the trigger. Unless Fury lied about her hand to hand combat, he thought she was practically a perfect soldier, maybe even better with the brains of the likes of Banner.

“Oh, yes she is.” Tony snorts, pressing the elevator button to his floor, “you’ll see in an hour,” he looks up at the ceiling, “can you tell everyone to meet at the gym in an hour.”

Chapter Text

Training Room, Avengers Tower

“And why are we here?” Pietro asks in his accented English, one hand slung over his sisters shoulders. The siblings were leaning against the stack of mats.

“We’re here to test out the newbie!” Clint says snickering a little bit.

The sound of a glass door opening and footsteps interrupts their endless teasing.

“Clint, please.” Steve walks towards the group with an exasperated glare. Natasha, Thor, Vision, Bruce, Clint, Pietro, Wanda and Sam were there, the only people missing was Tony and (y/n). “They’ll be here any second.” The rest of the group restarted chatting amicably before the two people they've been waiting for entered the room.

 

Your POV

You wring your hands together and pace the room while waiting for Tony. You were excited and nervous. You knew that you could do this, you've trained yourself for years and you were confident in your skills. But, even amongst a group of super human, sometimes enhanced, people, you had a fear of being the odd one out.

The pressurized air hush of your apartment door opens and a familiar sound of footsteps enter your household.

“Ready?” He asks standing next to you. You look up to him and you see something you’ve never seen before. Even in the short time that you’ve known him personally, there’s one thing you never thought he’d be. Tony was being serious, his brows were tightly knitted together and his lips were pursed.

“Hey, you okay?” You place a reassuring hand on his arm..

“Ya, it’s just,” he pauses, he rubs a hand over his face and slips a small smile onto his face,” actually, never mind. You’ll be fine.” You frown at him unconvinced, but leave it at that.

He places a guiding hand on the small of your back and leads you to the elevator once again. He presses a couple of buttons as you make idle talk about trivial subjects. He almost distracts you completely from your purpose. It lingers in the back of your mind, but bothers you less now.

You walk through a large and high hallway, or tunnel, that suited it better. Security cameras littered every couple of feet. You walked for a good minute before seeing two large frosted glass double doors with chrome handles and a keypad on either side.

“Ready?” He pauses with one hand on the handle. You give a shaky nod.

You walk through the door and hear the conversation die instantly. How wonderful, just kill the vibe the moment you walk into the room.

“So who’s going to step into the ring with (y/n)?” Sam whispers to Steve.
“Not yet.” He responded, Sam gave him a confused look.

You say hi to everyone and everyone responds in their one way. Sam, Pietro and Thor look like they're on an episode of the Bachelor, sporting boyish smiles and tight shirts. Clint and Natasha give you friendly smiles, you were a bit taken aback by Natasha’s warm welcome, but took it as a good sign. Steve just gave you a big grin, came over and put a welcoming hand on your shoulder. Bruce was standing casually in the back, observing quietly, alongside Vision who was floating, observing you curiously.

 

Steve turns to you and starts speaking, “Alright, so we’re here to see what you can do. Not that we don’t trust Fury or anything but still. Ok?” He talks as if he’s speaking solely to you, yet he’s obviously addressing the rest of the group too. You nod. “I want you to start off by demonstrating your powers. I only got a glimpse when we were in your apartment.

At this point, the room had shifted and held an air of curiosity mingling with a certain stranger-danger. You totally understood where they were coming from though, you were, in the end, just a university student.

As they looked at you intently, you stepped away from your blankets of safety and into the middle of the training area.

“Let’s get started” you declare.

 

Steve’s POV

Her petite body moved swiftly and quietly to the middle of the large expanse of semi-hard mats.

“Does someone have a soccer ball or like a baseball?” Her voice calm, collected.

“Uh ya, here you go.” Clint tosses a softball in her direction. She catches easily in one hand, not even blinking. Good Reflexes.

“Steve? Could you turn your back to me and stand right there?” He raises a questionable eyebrow, but follows her orders, turning his back to the other members of the team. “I take it you have good reflexes, so you should be ok.” She says, that piques the interest of everyone in the room.

“Here we go.” She mutters to herself softly. A beat of silence goes by. Then, a quiet gust of air washed over them and a jagged hole the size of a basketball just appeared mid-air. Seconds after, a second one showed up right in front of Steve. He stepped back in surprise, but went back to his previous position.

When you looked into the portal you could see the point of view of the other juxtaposing opening. From his view, he could see (y/n), in front of him. Around the edges of the portal were swirling particles of iridescent purple and blue hues seemingly suspended.

“I’m going to throw the ball through the portal.” She explains. Lightly, she tosses the ball straight through, where Steve catches it easily about ten feet away.

 

Your POV

“That’s one way I could use it. Most of the time I just use it grab some stuff around the house.” You attempt to lighten the mood. You’re met with admiring gazes and curious looks. You didn’t really expect much else.

“WOah, that’s so cool.” You hear the voice of a really young kid from behind you. You jerk your head to the side to see a kid that could only be about 15 years old, who is taller than you. (At this point everyone was taller than you)

Tony stalks over to the young adolescent.“What are you doing, Peter? F.R.I.D.A.Y can you tell me how Peter got in here?”

You let him have access to the Tower any time. I quote : “Just give the kid what he wants.”

“Alright, alright, I got it. Ok, Parker, you get to stay here, but be quiet. We’re testing out the new girl.”

The room quiets down from their barely controlled fits of laughter. Despite being the second newest member of the team, they really appreciated his presence. He added a youthful side to the team, always there to cheer them up with the naivety of any high schooler.

“Oh hey! I’m, uh, Peter, ya, Peter Parker.”

You smile lightly. “Nice to meet you Peter.” The young boy blushes a bit.

“Ok, who's going up against (y/n) in the ring?” Steve asks. You look at him incredulously, he just shrugs, an air of faked nonchalance hiding his discomfort. If you’re lucky, Steve probably feels bad for you, what a gentleman.

“I’ll go.” Clint says, sauntering over to your side. “Do I get to keep my gear?” He asks you tauntingly.

“Wouldn’t have it any other way.” You smile smugly, you hear a couple of people snicker.

You climb up into the ring, mentally preparing yourself for what’s to come.

You jump up and down, roll your neck one way then the other, crack your knuckles and stretch out your back. Clint is getting ready too, you could tell that his arms were ridiculously strong but his right arm might have more give then the left. His stance is solid, but given the chance to knock him down, the left knee would be a keeper. You see him assessing you in the same calculating gaze and you let him.

“Ready?” You give a curt nod and start circling each other.

It was clear he wanted you to make the first move and he would wait until the end of time for you to make it so you decided to play it dirty and call a bluff. You breathed in deeply through your nose and moved quickly sending a light jab to his right side making ure it was quick and short, not enough to hurt but just enough to wind. You took your chance to send a swift kick, testing the waters, but a strong hand pushes you back and sends you hurling backwards only to be caught off guard again by a series of calculated blows through your torso.

You grit your teeth and let out a low growl, blocking off the pain.

You hit quickly and efficiently maximizing the strength of your blows, making sure to lock your wrists. He was obviously taken aback, not recognizing the fighting style you were using. You easily blocked his attacks using his lack of knowledge as an advantage.

You quickly get down to one knee pulling his other leg towards you, he gives out a off-guarded shout and before he knows it, you open a portal small enough for your hand that leads to his other ankle. Your grab a hold of it and yank as hard as you can, making for an ungraceful belly flop by Clint.

He groans and you put one hand on the back of his neck, your right knee in the middle of his back with all his gear detached in your other hand.

You kneel there panting and sweating just a little bit.

“God, you’re like a tiny Bruce Lee.” He groans laying on the mat. You stand up, still a little out of breath and look around the rooms. You’re not sure whether to be scared or proud. Thor, Pietro, Sam, Spidey are all looking at you with mixed levels of attraction, fear and pride. Cap and Tony both have a knowing smirk that said I knew she could do that. Natasha had a small smile on her face, probably because Clint just got knocked on his ass. Wanda and Vision were obviously impressed, but smiled.

“Well, welcome to the team.” Tony says proudly. Everyone vacates the gym, still seemingly impressed by your abilities. You just stand there and turn back to Clint who is still laying on the floor miserably.

“Hey, Clint, you okay? Some of those techniques were rusty.” You offer a hand for him to get up. He looks at you and pauses at your outstretched hand, gauging whether he could trust you or not. He makes a decision and grips your smaller hand firmly and hauls himself up.

“You’re really good. I’m surprised, most people Fury brings in don’t even hold up when they hang around us. I’m impressed, you should train with Nat a bit, she’ll love it.” You blush slightly at the praise. Despite the fight you just had, he seems really nice, you couldn’t help but notice a fatherly vibe under all the childlike mannerisms.

“Thanks,” you look back at the door where Tony was waiting for you. “I better head back now.”
He huffs out a laugh.”Ya, he seems to have adopted you.” You chuckle at that. “I guess he has.”

You leave the archer and walk towards the billionaire.

“Hey sweet cheeks, how’s it going?” He slings an arm over your shoulders, you jump a little at the contact, but relax.

“I’m still… overwhelmed.”

He leads you over to his lab where Bruce is already working.

“That’s pretty normal. Now I know you dropped out of MIT for reason you will not disclose BUT I am granting you access to my lab as long as you don’t touch any of my stuff without my permission. And Bruce’s for that matter, God forbid that happens again.” He says shaking his head.

Then again, you don’t notice, because you can’t wrap your head around the fact that these people are being so generous towards you. A stranger.

You just stopped in your tracks, staring at the floor. You were still trying to get your mind to comprehend the fact that you deserved this.

“Uh, hey, (y/n). What’s going on? Because you know, if that was too much I could tell Cap, or maybe Clint. I could talk to Clint if you want… Or maybe…”

“No, no. It’s fine. It’s just- are you sure they’re good with me? I mean with me on the team?”

“Yes,” and the way he said it, so plain and so simple, it made you feel better instantly,” I can tell you're going to be an incredible asset to the team. I mean, you got Thor to love you, and Cap’s already convinced you're like a tiny ninja. Half the team is ogling you.”

You laugh a little, that last bit of doubt slipping away. He's really good at this comforting thing.

“Thank you.” The message you wanted to convey clear in those two little words. Tony seems to understand that and offers your shoulder a comforting squeeze before dragging you to your new workstation and rambling on and on about his new discoveries, inventions and ideas.

You couldn’t be more content being on the receiving end of his thoughts.

Chapter Text

Unknown Location
Hydra Operation
11:03 PM

“I have a simple way of tracking the Asset, ma’am.” A low grade Hydra agent stood on one knee, head bowed down in front of the ruler of the most dangerous worldwide subversive organization.

“Keep going.” She says.

“All we need is time,” she’s clearly about to dismiss him with the flick of her wrist,” Wait! Please… All we need is time because Captain America will find him soon enough. What we need to do is follow the Captain. Once they find each other, they won’t leave neither of each others sides.” He blurts out, hoping desperately that his idea was enough to prove him worthy of a future.

She pauses, then nods her head. She flicks her wrist, disposing of the agent, leaving her to her thoughts.

At last, the Asset in our grasps.

———————

2 months later

“Stevie, could you hand me the maple syrup?” You open up a portal for him to pass it through. “Thanks.”

“Hey guys.” Says Bruce, the last one to walk in.

Today was a day like any other. Except, since that faithful night in your apartment, every day has been a sort of unbelievable daydream. Mornings have been spent with the entire team in your kitchen. Tony, Thor and Steve had been permanent fixtures in your living area since the beginning. They seemed to enjoy spending time with you and became fond of your space. Sam just showed up with Steve one morning accompanying him through his daily routine. After hearing all the commotion, Wanda and Pietro wandered into your quarters.Then followed Clint, who you constantly scolded for entering through the vents, Tasha and Bruce, who mostly kept to themselves. And, lastly, Vision. You weren’t surprised, the guy didn’t actually need to eat.

You’ve only been here a short while but everyone’s already treating you like family. You were incredibly grateful and it showed through your kind words and especially your actions. The team couldn’t have chosen a better candidate. Plus, you’ve never been happier.

In the past two months, you’ve made more joyful memories than you had made in a year. This group of crazy, strong, super-serumed, nutty people appreciated your presence. It’s a wonderful feeling. Trust.

Like the first time Tony saw just how smart you were.

——
(Flashback)

“Look, all I’m saying is, Mach 78 or whatever wouldn't be shutting down prematurely if you’d just use multiple power sources throughout the suit; each one would independently fuel different aspects of the suit, therefore, you’d use less power, have a longer lasting suit, and if ever one goes down, you’d be fine. Because you’d have the multiple other ones supporting. I’ve already done all the calculations and if the core is not even 5% vibranium it’ll withstand practically anything.” You state matter of factly,” And, theoretically, if you aren’t too reckless, place the power sources strategically laced through the mechanics, nothing’s going to get damaged enough to be powered down.”

Tony stares at you for a beat, then slowly gets up and takes a few steps around the table.”

“GOD, you’re great! Why don’t I pay you?”

“You wouldn't be able to afford me.” You sass back with a big grin on your face.

——

Or the time you woke up because Steve was having a nightmare.

His scream made the hair on your neck rise and goosebumps appear on your arms. A wrecked shout pierced through the quiet night.

“God, please, PLEASE BUCK, no, NO!”

You immediately sprint towards Steve’s room, commanding F.R.I.D.A.Y to unlock the doors.

You arrive in his bedroom panting, your eyes softening sadly at the sight before you. Steve was twisted in the sheets, his fist gripping the white linen so tightly his knuckles were going white. He was pale and sweating, tears running down his face mumbling incoherently. Your heart clenched as you slowly approached a broken man right in the middle of the throws of a nightmare.

Knowing that touching a person who’s having a nightmare is a terrible idea, you start by asking the AI to up the lights to 30%. Once on, Steve seemed to flinch a little, but stayed unconscious.

You opted for your voice.

“Steve,” you gently sat down next to his tense form,” Steve, it’s ok” That's when his hand lets go of the sheets and turns to grip your wrists painfully hard. You hiss, but settle for getting him to wake up first. That’s when he starts shaking. To the point where you knew that if you didn’t wake him up now, he’s going to get himself hurt.

You leap up, straddling him and get ahold of his shoulders shaking him gently.

“Steve, wake up, it’s just me, wake up Steve.”

He suddenly jumps up, eyes wide open and alert scanning the room for intruders. His muscles tense, then relax when he lays his eyes on you.

“Hey, hey, just breathe alright?,” He looked so, so broken. You move up the bed and kneel before him, delicately putting one hand on his shoulder and dragging him into a very well-deserved hug. Your hand snakes up into his hair and you let him cry over your shoulder. Explaining that he relived watching Buck die again and again and again. He gripped you tightly as you soothed him, gently caressing his back, whispering I’m here, breathe, you’re okay.

At some point he shifted and you wondered whether you should leave. But, he held onto you pleadingly and snuggled you tightly to his chest finally letting himself rest.

You listened to his even breathing and watched him sleep dreamlessly before drifting off yourself.

Since then, you’d been closer to him. He was like a brother to you. He felt the same way.

——

But you didn’t only hang around Steve and Tony. You loved talking to Wanda and Tasha. You thought Pietro was really funny.

He liked you even more after you fixed his favourite shirt that was ripped in half because Clint thought it would be funny to test how close his arrows could get to a target without actually harming anything.

In short, you were having lots of fun and you blended seamlessly into a family of super heroes.

——

After a chaotic breakfast, you went to train. Your skills were even more refined and the team work came easily for you.When you had free time you switched between hanging out in the common room and Tony’s lab.

“Hey, could you pass me the—“ You mindlessly hand him the fourth steel ring made to seal the right wrist propulsor.

“Ya, also the blue prints for—“ You swipe a manila folder across the desk as you scroll through your Instagram.

Ten minutes later, both of you are working in a comfortable silence.

“SHit, I forgot my —“ You shove a hand in your pocket giving him the phone he left in your apartment after breakfast. You miss the look of awe he throws at you, you also miss the amused smile on Bruce’s face as he watches the whole exchange.

You sigh, screwing in he final bolt to your little project and start decluttering your desk. You head downstairs quick quick to grab something to drink knowing that Tony would want another one any minute now. He doesn't notice you leave, too engrossed in uprgrading his beloved suit. You didn’t mind, you found it quite sweet, him being so completely occupied by something.

You come back to the lab hearing him say the exact words you predicted him to say the moment you get back.

“(Y/n), would you mind getting me a —“ You gently place his steaming cup of coffee into his already open hand.

“Am I that predictable?”

“Only to me Stark, only to me.” You smile at him smugly.
He on the other hand couldn’t help but wonder how he got so lucky. To have a young smart, kind, woman keep him in check. He’d spent countless sleepless nights thinking about what you meant to him. He came to the conclusion that you seemed to fit right in in as a sort of daughter figure and an incredibly awesome assistant. He’d do anything for you, yet he couldn’t figure out whether that was a good thing or a bad thing.

———
Later on in the day

Agent (Y/n), please meet Tony in Conference Room B.” F.R.I.D.A.Y says over the comms. You look around at the rest of the team, but they all shrug not knowing why he’d call for you, not even in his lab, in Conference Room B.

You knock on the frosted glass door waiting for a response, you hear a muted Come in, and enter.

He stood there in an overly expensive suit and sunglasses in front of a metal suitcase. It looks like a scene from every 50’s mobster movie.

“Uh, what’s in the box?” You heard him giggle at the movie reference.

“You do realize I’m way more attractive than Brad Pitt.” He sasses back.

“Alright alright, handsome. Seriously, what’s in the case?” This whole situation seems ominous, but Tony looks like an overexcited puppy.

“Have you spoken to Cap today? “ He crosses his arms.

“No, he’s busy, what does that have to do with anything?” You stare at him confused. That last time you saw him was yesterday night, but that happens all time. He takes midnight strolls that last two days. Or sometimes it's a mission, personal or handed out by Fury.

“Ah, that makes sense.” He sighs walking around to the front of the metal box.

“Tony, what makes sense?” You're starting to get really annoyed by his act.

“Why he wanted me to make you a suit.”

Silence

“What? Why would he want me to- Wait a second. He thinks I’m ready?” He nods excitedly.

“Yep,” he says popping the p,” there’s a pretty big extraction happening, but we’re going to be briefed by Fury in about,” he looks down at his watch, “give or take ten minutes.”

“Yes!” You squeal in delight. “Um, I mean this is great.” You clear your throat trying to remain professional.

He smiles at you knowingly before gesturing towards the case. “Go on.”

You walk unsteadily towards the edge of the table and run a shaky hand around the exterior. The outside of the case is a platinum silver with ridges all throughout, you run shaky hands around the edges bracing yourself for what was inside.

Your fingers find the two clips at either end of the box and open the latch. The lid pops open with an audible click and lifts up slowly .

You gasp.

“Tony it’s beautiful.”

The first part was a suit much like Natasha’s. A stretchy, but incredibly strong fabric that was probably a thinned out version of Kevlar that worked just as well. The sheen resembled leather and the texture was soft. The pants held numerous belt loops and straps for extra weapon ‘storage’. A large belt circled your waist with a sturdy steel clasp. The top was the same material as the leggings with a very sturdy zip that went down the middle.

That was awesome. But, what really caught your eye was the overcoat he had provided. It was truly, truly in honour just to be wearing it. It could've been mistaken for a long trench-coat except the inside was lined with the same Kevlar like material and pockets for gadgets. The lapels near your ears held incredibly lightweight Stark technology and the gloves that came with were slip-resistant. They were lightweight and protective.


Not to mention the colour. Now, if this was any other article of clothing you wouldn’t really have cared about something as trivial as the colour. Except, the coat was purple. Not any type of purple, but the exact shade of purple that surrounded your portals whenever you opened one. The type of purple that glowed iridescently in the moonlight and the type of purple you’ve grown accustomed too.Tony had payed attention to that specific detail and it made your heart burst.

“Thank you.” You say, at loss for words. You wrap your arms around his neck for a hug. At first he’s surprised, but quickly gets that message and relaxes into your embrace.

“Ok, kid?,” you nod,” because Fury’s going to call us in for a meeting in 3… 2… 1…”

Avengers, please present yourself to Conference Room A, Nick Fury is waiting, F.R.I.D.A.Y announces

You laugh out loud at his impeccable timing. You follow him out of the room and into the one adjacent.

Other than Fury and Steve, you two were the first to arrive.

“Hey Fury, Capsicle.” He nods semi-respectfully at both.

You smile politely at Fury, not exactly sure how to act around your superior. You turn to Cap and give him a warm smile, one that he returns immediately with a whispered Hey Sweetie.

You spend a couple of minutes in companionable silence before the rest of the group of grown-up children file into the room.

Once everyone was settled down around the table, the Director began to speak.

“We have found the location of the Winter Soldier, and numerous of his files are in the database of this particular Hydra base. We suspect that Barnes is in the vicinity of this base to recollect his files. We’re planning on an extraction of the Soldier and the files.”

The atmosphere in the room went from playful to tense real fast. From what you’ve heard, Barnes was Steve’s best friend and that Hydra messed with his head real good. You couldn’t blame him for wanting to run. Fury quickly explains the rundown of the operation, not dwelling on too many details.

“Cap, you’re obviously on Barnes duty and I want someone with you on back up,” Steve’s about to retort,”no but’s, he’s unstable, you’ll need it.”

“And for the rest of you, here’s the game plan,” He points at a stack of files to his right,” we leave tomorrow at the crack of dawn.”

The team starts crowding around the files trying to get their fill on the mission. But, before you get a hold on a manila file, a large hand grabs a hold of your forearm and pulls you out of the room.

“Steve— what are you— I didn’t get a-“ you stare at him confused, he has a determined look on his face with his brow furrowed in worry.

“You’re coming with me for back up on Buck.”

 

 

Chapter Text

“Me? Why?” You ask him. If anything, you’d think he’d have chosen someone Bucky has met, which is everyone but you.

“Because he’s never met you before and I know you don’t like to hear it, but you look a little less threatening than Natasha when she’s in Widow mode or when Tony’s in his suit. He might trust you a little more. And I know you’ve volunteered with Sam at the VA, so you know how to deal with people with fragile minds.,” His voice goes quiet, “Look, Bucky, right now, is dangerous, but he’s all I have left. I only have one shot at this, and it needs to be right.”

You look at him with a calculating gaze. Steve talked about Bucky a lot, only with you though. He told you stories about all the trouble they’d get into when they were just little boys. You could see straight away how much this man meant to Steve.

“Alright. I will. But how’s this going to work? Fury already wants me on backup, and I’m pretty sure the guy’s on the ground need it.” You still had to make a good first impression.

“I’ve thought about that. Fury already talked me through the major details. You’re supposed to be backup only until the team breaches the second line of defence of the base and that’s quite early on. Once you’re done there, you’ll join me. I’ll give you my locations over the comms.”

“Ok, then.” You give him a small smile and reach up to your tippy toes for a hug, your arms up around his neck and his around your waist. A hug from Captain America is exactly like you’d think it’d be. You’re physically being wrapped around a thick layer of warmth and muscle, it’s a feeling of safety and comfort. “Everything’s going to be fine. I’m going to go check on Tony.”

You let go and flash him a comforting smile. On your way to the workshop, you grab the case with your new suit and your very first mission manila folder.

The moment you enter your favourite room in the Tower, you sense something off. Some tension lingering in the air. Even Dum-E is quiet for once. Maybe Tony’s in a bad mood. He seemed pretty ok before.

You see Tony shoulders hunched over some metal part with a magnifying lens barely an inch away from his eye. His brow is furrowed and his neck his tense.

“Hey Tony, everything okay here?” You ask packing your things on a desk. “You disappeared from the conference room pretty quickly, I couldn’t catch you on your way out.” You slowly approach him at his work station. He’s upset. “Hey, come on Stark, don’t pout.” You try and lighten the mood, failing miserably.

“Is Rogers taking you to get James?” He says quietly, with barely contained anger. It surprises you, you’ve only ever talked to him when he’s joking around or teasing. Maybe serious a couple of times, but not like this.

“Yes, he is.” You state simply. You flinch back as he abruptly stands up and runs a frantic hand through his messy hair.

“You can’t”

“What?”

“You can’t go with Rogers to get Barnes.” Now you were just confused. Why wouldn’t he want you to go? This was honestly, a fairly simple mission with many possibilities for things to go wrong, but that’s with every mission, whether it was a simple file extraction or to eliminate a threat.

“Why not?”

“Because he’s dangerous, that’s why.” You knew that wherever this was coming from, spouted from the incidents in Berlin. You knew little about the relationship between Tony and Bucky, just that it wasn't pretty.

“I know he is, but it’s part of the job. The goal is to get him out and if Steve needs me for that, then so be it.” You cross your arms over your chest and look him straight in the eyes.

“Ya but-“

“No but’s. I’m an Avenger now, and I’m not backing away.” He rings his hands stressfully and gives you a good look.

“OK, but if Barnes so much as lays a finger on you, so help me God he will not live another day.” A small smile tugged at your lips because a more fatherly, protective side of Tony peaked through.

“Come here.”He lifts his arms up. You happily skip towards him and hug him.You’re not sure how long it lasts, but after awhile he suggests that you and him go over the mission and memories the floor plans.

 

———

20 mins until dawn

“You ready?” Steve asks you through the entrance of your apartment. You lace up your heavy duty boots and tightly adjust your wrist supports making sure the little gap between your fingers were snug. You nod and he gently leads you towards the hangar.

Sam and Wanda were talking quietly at the bottom ramp as you approached Natasha to ask her a few questions.

“Is this always how it’s going to be?” You ask, almost all of you were on board, we were only missing Pietro who was injured from the last mission.

“Most of the time, we only send half the team in, but the situation is quite fragile, I think Fury feels a bit vulnerable right now but he’s not one to do anything rash.” You nod your head and join the others in the Quinjet.

Clint and Tony were in the cockpit, Dr. Banner talking discreetly on the phone with Dr.Cho, Thor was casually sitting in the right wing talking with Sam.

“Alright, Avengers,” Cap interrupts the banter with his authoritative and not to mention slightly (very) intimidating voice, “2 minutes till take off.”

Everyone scurries off to their respective seats, you’re wedged between Steve and Sam. Two impressive hunks of muscle despite Sam not being full of serum.

“You nervous?” Sam asks, his eyes narrowing at your tightly clasped hands. You chuckle slightly, forcing yourself to lay your sweaty palms flat against your thighs. “Just a bit.” He smiles reassuringly and tells you it's normal, but you’ll get a hang of it.

Tony walks out of the cockpit and hands everyone their earpiece. “New tech, don’t break it. It’s off for now, but it’ll automatically turn on once we are in range of the base.” He drops the tiny piece of genius engineering into your hand. It’s barely a centimetre in width. You gently drop it into your ear and feel it expand snugly into the crevices without being uncomfortable.

Over the sounds of the engines revving for takeoff, Clint announces the flight time, 3 hours and 22 minutes.

During the three hours you talk about nothing and everything with everyone. Somehow you ended up alone with Steve in the left wing while everyone else discussed what take out they wanted when they returned to the base.

You could hear them arguing in the background.

“I vote Thai Express!” You hear Sam say.

“I think that Shawarma is way more fitting for post-mission meals.” Tony argues.

“God! We always have Shawarma!” Everyone groans in unison.

“I heard that there’s a nice Italian restaurant that just opened.” Vision suggests.

“Dude, you don’t even eat.” Clint retorts. You weren’t sure if synthetic beings had feelings, but you sure as hell saw the insulted look on Vision’s face. “Sorry, Vision”

You giggle at their childishness, to be honest you were partial to either Thai Express, pizza or Mcdonald’s.

“Do they always fight about what they’ll eat after a mission?” You wonder inquisitively.

“Pretty much. That and what movie to watch on movie night.” You laugh again. But, there’s something off about Steve, his baby blue eyes aren’t giving off that happy shine he always has.

“You’re worried about Bucky.” You say, it was more of a statement than a question. He nods looking down at an old photo of them. Arms linked around his shoulders, pre-serum Steve was smiling hard at Bucky who looked like he was the happiest boy on earth, sporting the youthful glee you only got from being happy your whole life.

“I read up on your last encounter with him. It stated that he recognized you, called you Steve. I think he’s still in there. And I also believe that if we do this gently and coax him into recognition, this is going to be a success. But, what we need to be careful about, is how we act once we have him. He’s fragile, he’s broken, but he’s hella strong.” You lay a gentle hand on your best friend’s shoulder, giving it a reassuring shrug. “We’ve got this alright?”

A small smile tugs at his lips before he goes back into Captain America mode when Clint announce 20 minutes until landing.

“Suit up! First group is down in 15. Iron man, you need to dismantle those defences before we get anywhere close to that base.”

“Copy that Capsicle!”

“Clint go high up and Thor I need you to conjure up a mighty storm over the base.”

“Of course Captain Rogers, they shan’t see what’s coming.” He booms.

“(Y/n) you know what to do.” He sets his intense gaze on you. “ Let’s head out.”

Clint expertly lands the jet and opens the gate. First group immediately heads out as you and the rest of back up wait a few minutes. Over the comms you can hear a few grunts and gunshots but nothing too worrying.

“Defences down. OW! Shit!”

“Language” The entire team says in unison.

“Alright, Team Two head out.”

You run out, adrenaline pumping through your veins, the first line of defence has already been taken care of but the second seemed to be holding up quite well. Once you get there, three Hydra agents leap at you, you block their punches and send one through a portal, you land a swift kick to his sternum only to have another one yank your hair.

You yelp and grab his wrists flipping him over, and render him unconscious. The last one points a gun at you but before he could fire you open a portal behind his ankle, you yank hard and send him flying. You’re breathing hard feeling the burn of your muscles and the sound of gunshots ring in your ears. You assist the team throughout the next half hour until finally breaking through.

“Ok, Natasha you’re up, Sam and Vision took care of the first two decks you should be clear.”

“Copy that”

You see her disappear in a swirl of menacing kicks and red hair.

“(Y/n), meet me behind the base,” he grunts out, you could here the mechanical click of his shield reattaching itself to his forearm,” Bucky’s in a warehouse about a mile from here. I’m pretty sure he’s caught wind of what’s happening up here so he’ll be gone soon.”

“Got it.”

“Hey Tones, you think I can get a lift?” You ask through the comms, you’d get there impossibly faster which would help with the whole, Barnes getting away situation. You bat away a few other Hydra agents while waiting for a response. You were definitely feeling the burn in your tired muscles and you knew that your body would be littered in bruises for the next week.

“Sure thing ,dear.”

You heard the loud whizzing of the suit’s propulsers; you lift one hand straight up and in seconds you’re snatched up and flying through the air. You weren’t terribly fond of heights but you trusted Tony.

“Where to?” You hear the machine like voice that filters Tony’s own.

“The back of the base, Cap’s waiting.” You flew up and across the battlefield and before you knew it, he gently placed you back on the ground a few feet away from Cap impatiently waiting for you on his motorcycle.

You turn to Tony when he says,” Be careful.” You smile one last time before turning and leaping onto the vehicle, gripping Steve tightly around the waist.

He revves the engine once then twice before speeding off onto a gravel road surrounded only by trees with snowy tops. You bury your face into his back, shielding yourself from the harsh wind. He the takes a sharp right turn and abruptly pivots and stops.

“We’re here.” You swing your legs off the bike and place your hands up in front of you ready to attack. You decide not to pull out your hand gun just yet, again, he was unstable. His reactions were unpredictable and you couldn't imagine what he’d be like if you showed any sign of violence.

The warehouse was a two-story broken building, clearly abandoned and very old. Rust touched every metal surface and cracks buried itself through the concrete. You and Steve cautiously approached the building, using his shield, he snaps the lock in half.

You both quietly walk in, checking your blind spots and for anyone else present. For now, everything was silent. The first room you entered practically took up the entire warehouse. There were a few rickety chairs and machines you thought could've dated from back in the 50’s.

That’s when you heard a metal-on-metal whine followed by a pained groan. Your head shot up and you stole a glance at Cap who tensed up. You pointed towards a metal door to your right, indicating that the sound came from in there. He nodded and cautiously walked over.

He gently gripped the handle and mouthed:” 3…2…1” He pulled the door open and rushed in. The sight before you….

There he was.

A lone, broken man sitting on an old wooden chair. His body bowed down in defeat with dirty, greasy brown hair casting shadows over his face. He curled in on himself when hearing the harsh noise. His ratty jeans were mud streaked and his red sweater was torn in a few places. But, what shocked you the most was his mechanic arm clamped down between two giant metal plates, as if he was trying to contain himself.

You saddened at the sight. He really didn’t want to hurt anyone, the man practically trapped himself.

He limply grasps the metal box and shifts his legs a bit. From watching all the videos of him fighting and then seeing him in real life, like this, was truly heartbreaking.

“Steve.” He rasps, his voice, rough as sandpaper, cuts through the tension filled air. His gaze landing immediately on his long lost best friend.

“Which Bucky am I talking to?” Steve replies in an emotionless tone. He lifts his head up slowly and lays a long hard stare on Steve. Then shifts his intense gaze on you. Your (e/c) meet his and you’re momentarily out of breath. His eyes were these steely blue whirlpools of pain and sorrow. His long lashes cast shadows over the sapphire glaze and green hues that were burning holes through you.

You remained calm and met his glower with just as much tenacity. He took in a deep breath and turned towards Steve.

For some reason, you had one distinct thought in mind, the rest just blended in with the mindless chatter over the comms.

You wanted those eyes to lay upon you once more.

Chapter Text

There was a long pause.

You could hear his labored breathing. He shifted in his seat again before speaking.

“Your mom’s name was Sara,” he pauses and laughs the softest and saddest laugh you’ve ever heard,” You used to wear newspapers in your shoes.”

You take a peek at Steve and see that his expression has immediately softened to one of a man reminiscing good times with a brother.

“Can’t read that in a museum.” Steve says.

You could still hear the fighting over the comms, a few of your team members seemed to be struggling a little more than they should on such a low class mission.

You step closer to him and mutter quietly, “Steve, we’re going to have to go soon.”

You turn to James, his shoulders slouch even more, shrinking him. “What did I do?”

“Enough,” you answered. He lifted his head slightly and looked at you inquisitively. “We’re going to keep you safe, but we need to go. Now.” You opened a tiny portal at eye level, so that you could see what was happening on the battlefield. You saw Thor, Vision and Sam fighting relentless waves of Hydra Agents and Natasha weaving through bodies to get the files safe in the Quinjet.

You saw Bucky stare at you with curiosity.

You slowly walked towards him, making sure he saw your every move, you shifted to the side where his arm was clamped down and waved Steve over. Lifting the damn slab is going to be tough. He grips the metal on one side and you create a portal that opens up to right under the slab giving you enough leverage to actually make a difference.

“On three. One. Two. Three.” You both lift up, grunting with the effort. With a metal squeal, Bucky pries his arm free. You both stumble back with the effort, a bead of sweat slipping down your neck.

You see him flex, and stretch out his metal fingers. The metal plates shifting and adjusting, making little mechanical noises. God, the technology involved… Seeing as he could control its’ movements, the arm must be, somehow, connected to some nerve endings that sends signals to brain. How could they pull that off? You’d have to take a look and discuss it with Tony.

You’re taken out of your reverie by Bucky shifting uncomfortably under your gaze.

“Oh! Sorry, I don’t mean to stare. I’m just curious. It’s an incredible piece of prosthetic engineering.” You smile at him, once again walking slowly towards him and place your left hand forwards to help him up. Why the left hand? Because that ensures that Bucky will use his metal arm to hold yours. Working at the VA has taught you that the one thing the patient's hate the most is being treated differently. Being treated like their struggles give them a status.

And in any case, Bucky didn’t scare you. The Winter Soldier did. But, this is Bucky. A young Brooklyn born and raised boy who had nothing to lose, metal arm be damned.

His blue eyes widen and he stares at your outstretched hand with such intensity that he could've bore a hole through it.

He goes to move his arm but hesitates, like he’s rethinking his choices. You stay patient and wait for him to realise its safe.

Suddenly, a shiver runs up your arm, the little hair’s raise and goosebumps form. A large cool metal hand grasps your smaller one. You smile wide and pull him up.

Steve watches the exchange with a small smile before setting back into motion.

“Ok, we got to go. I think they need the backup.” Steve announces.

“Steve, Bucky, go first. I’ll give Tony a call over the comms, he’ll give me a lift.” You tell him as you walk out of the abandoned warehouse, Barnes trailing behind. But, he stops.

“You’re not coming with… us?” He asks, his voice low. You glance at Steve, searching his face for answers. This is the first time he’s addressed you in any way. His eyes darted from left to right and he seemed panicked. You gave him a once over. His hands were clenched tight and his shoulders were tight, he cast his gaze to the floor where his feet were shuffling nervously. Maybe, being alone with Steve was a little too much right now.

You put a finger to your ear and opened the line to the comms. “Tony, I need you to pick up Steve instead of me.” Before he could protest, you indicated your location and turned off the device.

“(Y/n)... what?”

“I’m going back to the Quinjet with Bucky, you go backup the team. They need you more than me.”

“You don’t know how to ride a motorcycle. (Y/n), this is reckless.”

“Not it’s not. They need you and Tony’s going to be here soon. So, me and Bucky have to leave. Plus, Bucky knows how to ride a motorcycle, I’ll tell him where to go.” With that, you walk towards Steve’s bike and wave Bucky over as Steve discusses the situation with the team.

His tall frame towers over yours, but you don’t cower away. His long locks hide his face, but his stare remains strong.

“You trust me?” He asks, his voice, barely a whisper.

“I trust that you know being with us is your safest option at the moment. Whether I trust you or not doesn’t matter because my job is to keep you alive from here to the Quinjet to the moment we arrive at Stark Tower.”

Seemingly satisfied with your answer, he swings his long leg over and revs the engine. You sit behind him, slipping your arms around his waist, holding on for dear life, because if you had to hold on with Steve, you’ll definitely have to hold on with Bucky.

You feel the solid muscle underneath his clothing and the warmth emanating through. Despite your mind telling you that this man was a trained assassin, you felt safe. You felt like he wouldn’t do anything to hurt you, that being said, you couldn’t predict a mind that has been so thoroughly tampered with. A mind destroyed into little pieces that’s he’s trying so hard to glue them back together.

“You good?” He asks. You nod against the wide expanse of his muscled back. With that he lifts his foot up and presses the gas.

“In about 500 meters you’re going to take a sharp left and then a sharp right onto a gravel road. We’ll reach the Quinjet in about 10 mins.” You shout over the wind. Thankfully, you studied the terrain enough to know how to get to the jet without having to pass through the battlefield. You were positive that he didn't want to see that.

He follows your instructions perfectly and, after an eternity of hugging the Soldier so tightly, you arrived in front of the jet.

You swing your legs off and stumble ungracefully on the snowy grass when a pair of (ridiculously) strong arms were lifting you back onto your feet.

‘Um, thanks.’ You brush yourself off. He answers you with a hard stare and turns to the jet, but doesn’t move. Maybe he’s going to make a run for it.

You walk towards the plane, leaving footprints in the snow. In a strange moment of peace, you breathe in deeply. Through the chaos, this moment, right here, was beautiful. It was quiet, only for the crunch of snow under your feet, except, you only heard your feet, not the second pair that should’ve been following you.

You turned around and see the Soldier standing awkwardly on his own next to the bike, unsure as to if he should follow.

“Are you just going to stand there?” You wait patiently by the plane, watching him shift from foot to foot, making up his mind. “Because you could go,” he looks up immediately,” you could leave, is what I’m trying to say. I mean, the motorcycle’s there. And if you do chose to leave, I’ll help pack up some things for you. Why? Because I can’t imagine being in your situation. So, if you want to leave, leave. But, I’m going to tell you one thing. I am or, if you choose to leave, I was looking forward to meeting you.”

You hit the side of the side of the plane in a series of hits that the team made up for Bruce to know it’s a team member and not an intruder.

You step back as you watch the ramp slowly descend. The plank lands softly on the ground, a cloud of snow lifting with the impact.

“So, are you coming?” You trudge up halfway, expecting him to turn around, but he doesn’t. He follows you into the Quinjet and doesn’t say anymore.

Inside, Bruce was sitting on a chair, tapping away on his Stark Tablet.

“Hey, (y/n). Nice to meet you Bucky, I’m Bruce Banner or the Big Green Guy.”

Surprised as to how Bruce knew his name, all Bucky did was nod.

“(Y/n), do you have any cuts or…”

“Ya, there’s a small one that goes down my calf.” He pats the chair next to him and takes out his kit. He rolls up your pants and examines the wound.

“You won’t need stitches, but just keep it bandaged until it scabs up.” He disinfects and wraps it up for you.

“Thanks, Bruce.” Forgetting that Barnes was watching the whole time, you smile sympathetically at him

You led him into the left wing, which was the most private, it had double doors, separating the section from the rest of the plane.

“So, this is where we’re going to be for the next few hours.” You plopped down on the bench. You closed your eyes for a few seconds, opening them to see him standing awkwardly.

“You can sit anywhere, by the way.” You motion to the seat in front of you. He moves quietly to the seat and sits down.

You spent the next twenty minutes in silent companionship, only sending worried glances his way every once and awhile.

Through the comms, you hear the team announcing that they were on their way back, that the mission was successful, zero casualties.

You looked towards the nervous soldier in front of you, he probably wasn’t accustomed to such a small, shared space.

“Hey, it’s going to be fine. I’m going to be honest, not everyone here is going to be super friendly, but they’ve all agreed to helping you.”

He assesses you silently, he seems to do that a lot. “Are you sure?” His voice, a deep vibration.

“I can speak for my team. But, I’m not going to lie, no one’s told me what happens once we land. You’ll be safe, that’s for sure.” You tell him honestly. When Steve approached you to help him, he only described your role in all of this. Which was to bring him back safely to the Quinjet, hopefully without the Winter Soldier popping up.
What happens once you all get back to the Tower, was unbeknownst to you. “This team is one big family, so there’s going to be a lot of bickering and childish comments. Don’t be alarmed, that’s just the way it is. I’ve already asked them to tone it down a little, but if someone asks you what’s your favourite food, don’t be surprised.”

You try and lighten the mood just a little bit. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t react. You don’t mind though, it’s better than having him leave.

You hear the Quinjet open once again, footsteps echoing on the metal ramp.

“Stay here, alright?” You step out of the double doors and receive several congratulating hugs. You completely forgot that this was your first mission.

Looking out, you see Tony stepping out of his suit.

“Where’s Cap?” You ask, not seeing the familiar red, white and blue suit.

“He’s coming, he said he wanted to make sure that they were starting clean-up.” You stand on your toes and give him a hug, glad that he was okay. “So, where’s the Icy Soldier?”

“Tony, don’t call him that!” You scold him. You’ve definitely had several conversations involving the Winter Soldier. For several months, Tony was filled with anger and hatred, but with time, he started to understand that, in reality, the person that killed his parents was not Bucky Barnes. It was a man who was built, tortured and brainwashed by horrible people. It didn’t change the fact that his parents were gone, brutally killed, but it did help him come to terms with the fact that Barnes would be staying with them, under their care.

At that moment, Steve decided to join them.

“Hey, Stevie, you okay?” He seemed to be in a bit of a daze. He nervously ran a hand up his neck and through his hair.

“Um, yeah, yeah, I’m fine. Um where’s Buck?”

“He’s in the left wing. Hey,” you grab a hold of his bicep, bringing his attention back to you,” Hey. He seems to be okay around me. He’s really jumpy, but I know, he’s nervous, especially when it comes to you.” A saddened look slides onto his face. “Steve, he’s happy to see you. But, he’s scared and right now there’s a lot of people on the jet and he’s hearing things. New things. He needs time,ok? I’ll make sure you come and see him a few times before we land.” He nods solemnly and enters the Quinjet, you in tow.

You ask Sam to fill in for you during the debriefing and during Fury’s team call. While the rest of the team chatters amicably through the exhaustion, you go back to the left wing. A complete compartment, made for him. You scoff.

Pushing the door slightly open, you visibly see him flinch and tense at your entrance, ready to attack.

“It’s just me.” You lightly close the door behind you and sit across from him again.

“Steve wants to see you.” He snaps his head up in alarm and sends a panicked look to the doors, ready to bolt.

“But, not right now.” You chuckle as his shoulders relax.” I told him to give you some space. That’s okay right?” He wasn’t very verbal, so you had to up on physical cues. His expressions.

He gives a low grunt in response before returning his attention to a rock on the floor.

And here you were, stuck with a very, very intimidating looking soldier with a metal arm, blue steel eyes and a serious case of “lost-puppy.” What were you going to do?