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Better Now?

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So my story starts off simple—but tragic. I was captured by Hydra in Germany when I was barely 18 years old. I was on my way home from University for the summer when my car broke down. I waved down a car, thinking they were going to help me—Lord, was I wrong. They tortured me and experimented on me, it was an awful way to spend 8 years of my life. They kept me at their main headquarters that they decided to base in Russia, which is where they had all the latest equipment and torture devices—it’s there that I got my powers. My powers are—well, weird—they call it cryokinesis. Basically, I can manipulate cold, ice and water, frost, and some other things—I’m still learning to control it.

They wanted to use me as a weapon, a secret agent sort of thing. I could infiltrate bases with ease and take them down in a matter of minutes. I hated how easy it was for me, but the more I did it—the less I cared. It started to become like second nature, like a reflex. At first, I thought if I made them happy I would eventually find a way to escape and return to my life. After 4 years, I gave up hope on ever escaping or even being happy.

Once S.H.I.E.L.D got word that Hydra had started doing illegal human experimentation they infiltrated the base that I was kept at to have it stopped. When they found me, they interviewed me and decided that I would be a good asset to them—saying that my powers didn’t have to be a curse, I could help save people. By that time, all I wanted was to return home and try to pick up the pieces of my life. I didn’t know how much of a life I would have because I knew my family was dead—Hydra had found them and killed them early into my captivity. They felt that family gave me too much of an emotional attachment and would interfere with their experiments.

So, when Agent Coulson talked about taking me to America with them, I didn’t want any part of it—I just had this feeling they were going to stick me in a room and watch me like some zoo animal. I decided my best option was to fight my way out and escape—which I did. Unfortunately, I knew nothing of the Russian wilderness, so after a few days, I got lost; it was Agent Barton who captured me and took me back. I was cold, starving, and tired when he found me, so I didn’t put up much of a fight—even though I could’ve.

Once in America, I was placed in a secret government facility because they were still unsure of how extensive my powers were. It was like a prison. I had a bed, desk, and a toilet, all in the same room. I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be kept there, I tried my best to cooperate, hoping that that would show them I wasn’t Hydra—I was just a girl. Nothing I did seemed to help. I saw a bunch of doctors and scientists over my many months there. I ended up growing a friendship with one scientist in particular—Dr. Bruce Banner. He was kind, gentle, and genuine. He listened to every word I said and I could tell that he really did care about what happened to me, almost like he understood the torment that I was going through.


PRESENT DAY

“So Y/N, how are you doing today?” Bruce softly smiled at me and closed the door behind him, “Still feeling alright?”

“Sure. If you call living in this hell-hole, alright.” I roll my eyes and stand up from my bed, “How are you, doctor?”

“Y/N, please call me Bruce.” he smiled at me from behind the protective energy field, as he touched the panel in front of him.

There was a large barrier that broke up the room I was kept in, it was so others could see me and I could see them, but no physical contact was permitted. There were cameras in each corner of the room and I had a tracking bracelet on my wrist. It all made me feel like a zoo animal—but was told it was all necessary and for my protection as well.

Bruce smiled at the panel and then looked back up to me, “How would you like to get out of here?” he gestured to the surrounding room, “I’m not saying you can go home, but you could leave.”

I raised an eyebrow and walked up closer to the man, “What, you need me in a smaller cell? You still think I’m dangerous? Because I’ve been trying my best to prove I’m not.”

He shook his head, “No, nothing like that. You’ve been doing quiet well here and I know that you mean no harm to any of us.” he began to fidget with his hands and looked at the floor, “I know Fury has asked you before to join the Avengers.”

I roll my eyes at his words, “I have no interest in saving the world, doctor.” I cross my arms.

“Why not?”

I raise my eyebrow at the unfamiliar voice and peak my head around Bruce to see that there’s another man standing in the corner—I never even heard him enter. He noticed me looking at him suspiciously, chuckled to himself, and walked into the light, so that I could see him. He was slightly taller than Bruce, but a bit more well built. His black hair was spiked up and he had a nicely trimmed goatee. He had on a tight fitting black suit with a blue tie and dark framed glasses. I couldn’t help thinking he looked familiar.

“Why wouldn’t you want to save the world?” the man asked.

“I’m sorry, but do I know you?” I asked.

“I’m sorry.” Bruce shook his head, “Y/N, this is Tony Stark. Tony, this is Y/F/N.”

I tense up and my arms fall to my sides, “Iron man?” They both laugh and I feel my cheeks burn.

Tony looked me up and down, “Yes and it’s nice to meet you too.”

“Um, thanks.” I look at the ground. My confidence—gone.

“Anyway,” Tony looks over the file that he has in his hands, “Frost huh? Nice codename. It fits.” he puts it down on a nearby table and I glance at it. It had my picture on the front with the name that Hydra gave me. “You have some impressive abilities.”

"I suppose. I’d rather I’d gotten them a different way.”

They both nod, "Understandable.” Tony agrees, “How about you put them to good use then? Save some people, put that brain of yours to work. Banner says you’re pretty smart.”

"Why would I do that? Like I said—I have no interest in saving anyone.”

Tony sighs and shakes his head, “A girl like you with such talents should want to do more, so why not?”

I run a hand through my long white hair—side effect of the damn experiments—and start to pace, “It’s not that I don’t want to save the world. It’s just—I’m a girl from Dresden, I’m not meant for something that big!”

“So,” Bruce tilted his head to the side, “You think since you’re from a small city, you can’t save the world?”

“Dresden isn’t small…” I say quietly.

“Then what is it?” Tony rolled his eyes, getting a bit impatient.

“I’m scared ok.” I confess—and begin to pace. It was the truth, “I was used as a weapon for Hydra for 8 years. I’ve killed so many, there’s so much blood on my hands—I’m trying to make my peace with all of that. Besides, I don’t trust myself to start doing the right thing—not yet.” I pause and sigh, “Plus, my entire family is dead—bonus of being a Hydra captive. I don’t have a reason to save the world, like it’s a nice idea, but what’s the fucking point?” I turn back to them. Both of them are looking at me, with understanding and kindness, “I have no friends, no family, no one loves me.” I chuckle while fighting back the tears stinging my eyes, “So yeah—I’m scared. It’s not even about dying. I’ve thought about how to kill myself for almost 9 years. I’m scared to continue living.” I pause and look up at them, “If I continue living, who do I live for?”

Tony hit a button on the panel and the energy shield came down. He stepped closer to me and pulled me in for a hug, “You continue living for you.” I hadn’t had loving human contact in years and froze—unsure what to do—but eventually I melted into him and nuzzled into his chest, “This is your life, darling. If you come with us, we’ll be your family.” he held me for a few more moments, then let me go and held me out at arms reach, “Don’t go thinking that family is only blood. I’ll take care of you, ok?”

“Me too.” Bruce walked up to us and smiled at me, “You’ve made a big difference in my life—in a good way.”

I smile at them both, maybe they were right. I mean, my parents and I weren’t exactly close and loving, but I still missed them. I missed my sister the most, she meant the world to me. I never got to say goodbye or get one last “I love you” from her, and that will always haunt me; but that doesn’t mean I should stop living, none of them would want that.

I look back and forth between the two men in front of me and take a deep breath. Both of them have been through a lot—yet here they were—wiling to help some bat shit crazy girl get her life on track. They barely know me, it made me feel—special. I haven’t had people care about me like this in years.

I sniffle a bit , “What if everyone else doesn’t feel the same way?”

“Tony is the most difficult one to get along with and he just gave you a hug.” Bruce chuckled, “They’re all gonna love you.”


When I first got there, Tony introduced me to everyone and they were all really nice and welcoming. They all shook my hand, gave me a pat on the shoulder, or in Wanda’s case gave me hug.

“So this is the girl Fury’s been talking about?” Steve smiled after shaking my hand, “It’s nice to finally have you on board.”

“Um—thanks. Still not sure what my part is in all of this, but I’ll try my best.”

“So what can you all do?” Sam asked excitedly and then looked around at everyone glaring at him, “Oh come on, I know I’m not the only one wondering!”

“Still Sam,” Natasha rolled her eyes, “she just got here.”

“Give her some space.” Bucky said shaking his head.

Sam glared at him, “I was just curious!”

I chuckled at their banter and shrugged, “It’s ok, honest.” they all turned to me and I smiled, “I can manipulate ice, water, frost, basically anything cold.” I shrugged, “Actually, since working with Dr. Banner, I’ve learned a few things. If I’m calm enough, I can create a snow storm.” I smile weakly.

“That’s so awesome.” Sam grinned which made me tilt my head in confusion. I’ve never had anyone tell me that what I could do was cool, I’ve always thought I was a freak.

“I don’t know about awesome, but thanks for not calling me a freak.”

Tony put his hand on my shoulder, “That won’t be happening around here and if it does, just let me know. I’ll take care of it.”

I nod, “Thanks.”

After a bit more small talk with the team, Tony decided that he would give me a tour of the place. I knew it was a big compound—I’ve seen pictures and heard stories—but I didn’t realize how extensive it really was. The place had two gyms—one for combat training and one for weight/cardio training. There were a bunch of conference rooms, hangar where they kept the Quinjets, basketball court, swimming pool on the roof, and each Avenger had their own room. There was also a huge R&D area, which is where we ran into Dr. Banner and some other people I didn’t know.

“So I see you’re showing our new trainee around the place.” he smirked without looking up from what he was working on.

“I didn’t expect to find you here, doctor.” I raised an eyebrow and sat on a stool across from him, “Why are you here?” I eyed the piece of machinery he was working on and didn’t recognize any of it.

“I help out occasionally with new research, new tech, things like that.” he looked up at me, “Now that you’re going to be living here, I’ll be here a lot more.”

“To monitor me? Make sure I don’t kill anyone?”

He scoffed, “To help you.” he continued, “You’re not a guinea pig here, Y/N, I’m not going to do any experiments on you. All I’m doing is making sure you’re comfortable in your own skin.” he shrugged, “So if you think there’s something I can do to help you, just let me know.”

“That’s a lot coming from you, Banner.” Tony patted his shoulder, “But I guess you would know about that.”

Bruce looked at Tony and shook his head, “Don’t turn this on me. If I can help her be happy, then that’s all that matters.”

“I wouldn’t say I’m unhappy.” I interjected, “I just—I need some time to adjust to all of this. It’s all so new.”

“Of course.” Tony smiled and walked back over to me, “I can show you where your room is if you want.”

I smiled, “That would be great.”


“So this one is yours!” Tony opened the door and gestured to the room, “Wanda is across the hall, she insisted you be close to her.”

I walk inside and smile, “Mr. Stark, I don’t know what to say.” I can feel tears start to form at the corners of my eyes, “Um—thank you.”

“No problem, you’re home now, so make yourself comfortable.” he smiled and gave me a small hug, “If you need anything, don’t hesitate to let me know. Even to just—I dunno talk or something.” I nodded and thanked him again as he closed the door behind him.

I looked around the room and tears start to fall down my face. I wasn’t sad, these were happy tears. I mean, I haven’t been in a normal bedroom in 9 years. The room was beautiful. The walls were painted a soft white, with one grey accent wall by the queen-sized bed, and the floors a dark brown wood. The bed was on the far wall away from the door and underneath a pair of skylights, and it had a grey fluffy rug underneath it too. There was a dresser on one side of the room with a desk and then a large bookshelf on the other wall. I walk over to the bed and sit down—it’s so soft—I hum to myself and lay down. I decide to get under the covers and sleep, even though it’s 2 in the afternoon, I didn’t want to do anything else—for a while.


TWO DAYS LATER

“Do you think she’s ok?” Natasha asked while sipping her coffee, “It’s been twodays and none of us have even seen her.”

“F.R.I.D.A.Y. said she’s just been sleeping. Lord knows that last time that girl’s gotten a good night’s rest.” Tony said picking at his food, but eventually pushing the plate away, “We all knew this might happen at first.”

“Give her some space.” Wanda chimed in, “She’ll come out when she’s ready, we can’t force that on her.” They all nodded in agreement, knowing full well Wanda knew what she was talking about, “When she does come out though, don’t treat her differently.”

“What do you mean?” Natasha raised any eyebrow.

“Just talk to her normally.” Wanda pushed her empty plate away and talked to the table, “Don’t say things like, ‘Nice of you to join us’ or ‘What took you so long?’ because that may just make her think you don’t really care that she’s out of her room at all.” Everyone nodded in understanding.

“How do we know if she’s eating though?” Steve asked, “None of us have actually seen her eat anything.”

“Well—“ Wanda stood up from the table and walked into the kitchen, “I’ll make her a plate and set it outside her door, so she doesn’t have to come out.”

“Like she’s a kitten?” Bucky laughed and Wanda glared at him, “Ok—I’m sorry—that was mean.”

Wanda rolled her eyes, “She clearly isn’t ready to come and join us, which is understandable.” she glared at Bucky, “You should be more understanding.”

“I said sorry.” Bucky’s voice darkened—with a hint of a threatening tone, “Trust me, I do understand.”


I was lying in bed staring up at the sky though the skylights. I hadn’t really looked at the sky in years—almost forgot how beautiful it was. The stars twinkled down, dancing in the sky, making me smile. Ever since I was a little girl the sky always fascinated me. Back home in Dresden, on Saturday nights my older sister, Leia, would take me to this cliff outside of our neighborhood—very remote, not many people knew about it—just to watch the stars. She told me she loved how happy I was when I was looking at them. Leia and I were very close, she meant the world to me since our parents weren’t the greatest. I lay there reminiscing, when I heard a knock at my door and I freeze.

“Hey, Y/N, it’s Wanda. I brought you some food. I’ll just leave it out here for you ok?”

I let out the breath I was holding and get up from my bed. I wasn’t trying to avoid them—honest—I just didn’t want to make small talk with anyone yet. I didn’t know what to say, I had nothing to really talk about. I take a deep breath as I reach for the doorknob and open it.

Oh!” Wanda was still there holding the plate, “I didn’t expect you to come to the door.” she smiled softly and handed it to me, “It’s spaghetti, Steve made it.”

I took the plate and faked a smile, “I didn’t know Captain America could cook.”

Wanda laughed, “He’s actually really good, just don’t tell him I said that.” she winked at me and started to walk away, when I called out to her.

“Um—can I ask you something?” She turned back around and nodded, so I continued, “Dr. Banner said that you went through—um—something similar to me.” I take a deep breath and continue, “How did you—um—get use to all of this?”

She sighed and fidgeted with her fingers, “I won’t lie to you, it was hard.” she looked me in the eyes, “I did like you did though, stayed in my room for a while, not ready to face the world yet.” she paused, “I didn’t go through what you did, so I can’t tell you the right way to adjust. Everyone is different, so do what you need to make yourself better.”

“I’m not making anyone mad by staying in here, am I?”

“No.” she shook her head, “Everyone here has been through something at one point in life. We will give you time and space because we know it can help.”

I nodded, “Thank you.”

“If you need anything or if you want to talk to someone, I’m right across the hall. No matter the time, just come and get me, ok?” she smiled sweetly at me and I nodded, “Good, now eat. Food helps too.”


TWO WEEKS LATER

Wanda and I had grown close over the past few weeks and I’ve started to trust her more and more. At first I wasn’t sure if I could, scared that she would judge me, but after my first vivid nightmare at 1am, I knew her and I would be good friends. She heard my screams and came bursting into my room and talked me through the whole thing. She stayed with me the whole night, making sure I could sleep, and then she brought me breakfast. I was starting to feel like I belonged here.

I look at myself in the mirror, Wanda had given me some of her clothes because she was worried about me; I tried to refuse, but that was pointless—she was strong willed for such a small person. She gave me some jeans and a t-shirt that had a picture of a pug in a top hat on it—I love dogs.

Today, I decided I would venture out of my room and see what all went on during the day. I’m hopeful, since it’s 1 in the afternoon, most people would be busy with something or on a mission, so they wouldn’t see me. I take a deep breath and open my door and walk down the hallway, deciding that food would come first—so I headed to the kitchen.

“Hey Y/N, what’s up?”

I barley make it into the kitchen when a voice catches me off guard. I look to where it came from and see Steve and Bucky playing chess on one side of the room, “Oh—umm—I got hungry.” I point to the fridge, they both nod, and I make my way into the kitchen to see what’s stocked. I wasn’t extremely hungry, so I really just wanted a snack. Dinner here seemed to usually consist of a bunch of food, so I didn’t want to get too full. I open the fridge and scan the shelves, not having any idea of what I wanted.

“There’s some apples if you just want something small.” I turn around and see Bucky smiling at me from a nearby stool, “Wanda said you like those.” he pointed to the apples that were on the counter and I nod.

“Um—thanks.” I close the fridge, pick up one from the basket, and rinse it off in the sink, “So, what are you guys doing?” I ask without making eye contact.

“We’re playing chess, but Steve isn’t very good.”

“I heard that.” Steve shouted from across the room—still staring at the board, “I’m rusty, ok.”

I giggle and Bucky rolled his eyes, “Do you play?”

I took a bite of my apple and look at the ground, “I haven’t played since—“ I take a deep breath, “um—it’s been a while.”

“Well, if you want, you can play winner.” he smiled gently and it made me blush.

“No thanks, I was gonna walk around a bit.” I tilt my head and eye his arm—just noticing it’s all metal. I’m not saying I knew nothing about everyone here, but I wasn’t exactly keeping up with the news while I was being tortured. Wanda had mentioned to me that Bucky had been tortured as well, so I knew he went through something similar, “Does it hurt?”

His eyes widen and he looks at his arm, “Um—not physically.”

I continue eating my apple and nod, “I get it.” I look at my hands and shake my head. I finish my apple and toss it to the trash can, “I’ll see you guys around then.”

“Do you want someone to go with you?” he stands up and walks over to me—but not getting too close, “I can show you around if you want. It can be a little overwhelming at first.”

I smile shyly, “Um—that’s nice, but I wanna be alone for now.”

He purses his lips, “Ok, see you later.”

I wave to Steve and begin my journey through the compound.