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The HYDRA Chronicles 1: Hunting Diana

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Diana entered the Avenger's floor and looked around her in awe. There was technology everywhere, from tablets on almost every surface in the room, to holographic blueprints of machines and robots she had no intention of knowing how they worked. Right in front of her was a huge, white sofa with a beautiful oak coffee table in the middle, with a couple of television remotes, various magazines and several lone arrows resting on its surface. Directly across from the sofa was a huge state of the art television hung on the wall next to various pictures of each Avenger in frames arranged in a neat and orderly fashion. Diana was fascinated, she couldn't believe she was going to be living here.

After the fake robbery, she met with Director Nick Fury, who took her to SHIELD headquarters. After what seemed like hours going through the legal proceedings, she was made an Avenger. She had tried to gather her belongings back at her home but found it completely empty. Stark had some people pack up and sent to the tower. Part of her was peeved that strangers had been touching her things, but seeing her new home completely erased the feeling.

Now she stood by the windows looking down at the city. Despite being on the fifty third floor, she was still able to clearly see the ground. She saw the hustle and bustle of people clutching their shopping bags in one hand and their cell phones in the other. She saw people get out of their cars in the middle of rush hour traffic and start swearing at each other and shaking their fists in true New Yorker fashion. She saw street venders hand consumers their overpriced food. After a year living in the city that never slept, Diana still found it hard to adjust. It was loud, polluted and overpopulated, not like the tiny town of Forks that she had escaped from.

"I had your things placed in a room for you." A voice interrupted her reverie. It was Tony Stark, the infamous -or famous depending on your point of view- genius, playboy, billionaire, philanthropist inventor. Diana had always thought he was a bit self-centered and egotistical but having spent some time with him as she was waiting to meet with Fury her opinion of him changed. He helped calm her nerves when she became overwhelmed with the amount of information that was being thrown at her all at once. He helped her understand the legal jargon involved with reading her contract with SHIELD. She realized then that she had him figured wrong and decided to disregard the rumors and gossip surrounding the billionaire.

Diana continued to look out the window but gave Stark a nod in acknowledgement. She felt his gaze at her back, and then heard his footsteps walk away after a few moments. She felt out of place, awkward even as she looked out at the city, overwhelmed. She felt the concerned glances the other Avengers were throwing her way but felt no reason to turn around. She would face them when she was ready. After a while brooding, a set of footsteps approached her and stopped right beside her. She snuck a glance at the man beside her and grew even more anxious. Steve Rogers had that effect on people sometimes.

Steve had taken to Diana instantly maybe because she reminded him of Peggy or maybe it was something else, he had yet to figure out. Either way, he was drawn to the woman and when he saw she was still looking out the window withdrawn and forlorn, he knew he couldn't stand by and not do anything to help her relax. He seized the opportunity by walking on over and planting himself by her side.

For a few moments it was silent between them, Steve trying to find the words to say and Diana hoping he wouldn't say them. But her hope was short lived as out of the corner of her eye she saw him open his mouth to speak.

"It's a nice view from up here, minus the noise and pollution." He began, and Diana relaxed, only a little bit but Steve noticed. He made up his mind to keep going.

"It takes some time getting used to but once you do, you'll find living here has its perks." And Steve saw the corners of her mouth lift.

"Like what exactly?" she murmured, lips twitching in amusement. "Watching Stark drink himself to death?" Steve laughed.

"Oh, trust me, I've seen him drunk, it's not something someone would want to see. it's not pretty. And he isn't like that anymore, thank god."

Diana let out a giggle that made Steve's heart leap in his chest. "I've seen a video of him on YouTube so drunk, he pissed in his Iron Man suit. At his own party, too. I know it's not funny, but he makes it look so hilarious!"

"That sounds like Tony." Steve grinned at her, trying hard to focus on the conversation and not openly ogle the woman beside him. If Bucky saw him right now, he would never live it down. And speaking of Bucky......

"What are ya giggling about?"

The man appeared at Steve's side as if out of nowhere and stared at them intently. Diana impulsively shivered and Bucky shot her a grin. Steve rolled his eyes at his friend's antics and turned to look at him. "If you must know, we were talking about the times Tony has gotten drunk in front of us."

"I haven't seen him drunk, but I'm sure I'm one of the reasons he drinks. After all, I did kill his parents." Bucky said, almost nonchalantly. Diana's eyes widened in shock and surprise.

"Bucky!" Steve scolded, glaring at his metal armed companion. "What?" Bucky asked innocently. "I bet it's true! And you know I was Hydra's bitch! I had no control over my actions that day. I didn't want to murder them!"

"BUCKY!"

Diana watched as the two began to argue. She contemplated walking away and as she turned around to do so, she bumped into a certain red-haired Avenger.

Natasha Romanoff considered herself to be quite proficient when it came to reading other people. She knew everybody like the back of her hand. She noticed Clint picking his fingernails whenever he was anxious. She noticed all the times Wanda tensed whenever she was uncomfortable. She noticed how Tony flinched every time Steve raised his arms, or how he stiffened every time Barnes walked by him.

She knew everyone's triggers, but Diana was a complete enigma. She had watched the other woman stand by the window for a couple hours, tense. She silently observed Diana, but she was giving nothing away. Of course, she was still so new, so Natasha decided to keep watching her, hoping to learn more about her new teammate.

"Going weeks without a mission is making them a little crazy." She commented, nudging her head in their direction. Diana smiled shyly at her. "Bold of you to assume they weren't already crazy." Nat smirked. "It's true when they said you go crazy in your old age." Diana bit her lip nervously, and Natasha added lip biting to her list of Diana's nervous ticks.

"Are we making fun of the old geezers over there?" a voice cut in and the two women turned to see Scott Lang headed in their direction. Scott was a newer Avenger, joining the team after they came back together, having separated after the fight in Germany. Scott had no special abilities, except having a suit that made him shrink to the size of an ant or grow as big as a giant. He was known as the Antman, a name that was frequently the butt of jokes at the Tower. He didn't blame them; it was a stupid name.

"Who wants to know, another old geezer?" Nat teased, shooting him a grin. Scott dramatically threw a hand over his heart. "I am not old!" he protested, and the red head laughed. "So please explain to me how you're not old because yesterday Clint saw you bend over, and he swore that he heard your back groan."

Scott scowled. "Clint has a gossiping problem." He turned around and stalked off. Diana snickered, and turned to her companion. "I don't know what the big deal is, there's nothing wrong with growing older. I myself am older than all of you."

Natasha raised an eyebrow in disbelief. "Super soldier?"

Diana smirked. "Demi-god."

Natasha nodded in understanding. "How long have you been around for?" Diana opened her mouth to respond, but there was a loud, sudden burst of laughter behind them. Both women turned and saw Scott wrestling with Clint, who had the upper hand. Scott was very close to getting put in a headlock. Tony and a man Diana never saw before who was skinny and had braces on his legs-were laughing at Scott's stupidity for wresting with someone who had more experience with fighting than him.

Natasha turned back to the demi-god. "We can continue this elsewhere if you'd like." Diana nodded in agreement and together they both left the room, not knowing that a certain super soldier was watching them.

"You got it bad for her, punk."

"Shut up, Bucky."

Diana and Natasha walked down the hall, the noise disappearing behind them. For a few moments, neither of them said a word.

"There's your room, if you want to check it out." Natasha pointed at a door in front of her. Diana nodded and opened the door, her jaw dropping as she surveyed the room. Natasha was sure that Diana hadn't known the comfort of nice things, but she was mistaken. Diana had known the Cullen's and how extravagant they were but of course Natasha didn't know that. Diana was still taken away by how beautiful her room was. It was huge and it had a view. One of her walls was actually a window, looking out at the city with curtains on either end to give her privacy from any flying peeping toms-chances of there being any are slim, but never zero.

Her walls were painted a light shade of purple-just like her room at Forks-with a beautiful Queen-sized bed on the left from the doorway. On the right was a big oak desk with a swivel chair, and on top of the desk was a state-of-the-art laptop and a new cell phone branded with the Stark Industries Logo. She couldn't explain why she wasn't surprised by this.

And in the room in the corners were boxes and boxes of her belongings. Diana was happy to see that Stark had gone above and beyond to do this for her, a woman he barely knew. The Amazon felt tears well up in her eyes as she thought of the nice things she was being given. She didn't deserve them.

"Are you okay?" Natasha asked her softly, watching a variety of emotions display across her face.

"I need to be alone." Diana choked, a lone tear running down her face and more threatening to follow.

"Is there anything I can- "

"Please, just please leave." Diana turned her face away. After a few moments, the read head left, softly shutting the door behind her.

Diana felt horrible about being mean, but the grief welling up inside her was becoming too much for her to handle and she didn't want to cry in front of a complete stranger. She felt like a burden, like she didn't deserve their kindness. It was all too much and too soon. She threw herself on her bed and began to cry.

Meanwhile Natasha stood outside the door and listened to Diana sob into her pillow. She was confused as to what brought that on suddenly, but she wasn't going to press it. She was probably a little anxious, the assassin decided and with that she walked back down the hall.

In the room, Diana had curled herself into a ball and let the grief swallow her whole. She was touched by their kindness, believing in her heart that she didn't deserve it. After all, she did get her previous two lovers killed. Once the others found out about that, she doubted they would be kind to her again.

Diana rolled over on her other side and wiped her face. After a few moments, she got up and began to unpack.

Natasha walked down the hall deep in thought. It appears that there was more to Diana than she had thought. Nevertheless, she was still going to keep an eye on the newest Avenger.

"Nat."

Natasha kept walking; completely unaware someone was trying to get her attention.

"Nat!"

The red head jumped slightly, bumping into Steve, who steadied her.

"Is everything okay?" he asked, staring down at her in concern. "You're not normally so distracted."

Natasha hesitated, and then decided to voice her concerns about Diana. When she was finished, Steve looked pained.

"Maybe she just needs time. So much has happened to her in such little time, she hasn't had time to adjust."

"I thought so too, but I think there's more to it."

Steve nodded thoughtfully. "Well, whatever it is, we'll just have to give her space, but let her know we're here if she needs us."

Nat agreed, and headed over to the mini bar. She needed a drink.

Diana never emerged from her room that night, not even for dinner. Steve being the worry wart that he is decided to check on her. The next morning, he found himself outside her door and gave it three gentle knocks. It opened up immediately and there she was, looking radiant in a Black Sabbath t-shirt and jeans. She had her hair pulled back into a ponytail that fell to the middle of her back. Steve felt his heart beating fast in his chest.

"Did you need something?" she asked him, but Steve barely heard her. He was staring at the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen.

"Steve?"

He cleared his throat. "Sorry, I just wanted to check up on you, see how you were doing." He cleared his throat again to hide how husky it sounded.

Her plump lips twitched in amusement. "I'm fine, why wouldn't I be?" She stepped out and shutting her bedroom door walked past the super soldier and toward the kitchen. Steve followed behind after a confused pause.

Diana entered the kitchen, startling Tony who had been making coffee. His eyes immediately fell to her shirt and he smirked.

"It's about damn time someone else in this Tower knows good music." Diana gave him a smile, letting him believe that she even listened to Black Sabbath. She just bought the shirt because it looked cool.

She opened the fridge and pulled out what she needed to make a BLT.

"I'll have what you're making." Tony slapped a hand on her shoulder as he passed her.

"Maybe if you ask her nicely, Tony." Steve came into the kitchen, picking up The New York Times that was sitting on the counter.

Diana smirked at Steve. "It's okay, Steve. I'll make it, but I won't be putting bacon on his."

"What? But the bacon is the best part of the sandwich!" the billionaire protested.

"Ask me nicely, and I'll consider putting bacon on yours." Diana stared Tony down.

"Okay, okay," Stark put his hands up in the gesture of surrender. "May you please make me a BLT?"

"Did Tony just use his manners?" Clint walked in, amused disbelief on his face. "Did the word "please" seriously come out of his mouth?"

"Fuck off, Barton."

The kitchen erupted in laughter.

"Okay, I'll make your sandwich." Diana turned to the stove, hiding her smile.