Stark. That name was very popular in a high school political science course. Especially when the topic was current events. Kathy Mayfield sighed. In her eighteen year old opinion she had better things to do than listen to her lovesick teacher gush over the cocky billionaire. And it seemed, judging by the amount of heads that were face down on the desks, her classmates shared her sentiments. As far as she was concerned the Stark heir was a conceited bastard. She wasn't influenced by her mother or anything though. It's not like Kathy's mother would watch the news and when Stark showed up on screen, had a shot, well more than one, of scotch and start mumbling what a bastard he was and how much she hated him. No, Kathy's opinion wasn't influenced at all.
Kathy was starting to get restless. She had a bad feeling about today. Something big was going to happen she could feel it in her blood. And on top of that, as if she wasn't on edge already, Isaac fucking Perez was kicking the back of her chair and tapping his pencil against his desk. Her head was killing her. She would never be able to explain it, but she knew, she knew, something bad was going to happen right now. And this asshole was still kicking her chair. She clenched her fist and glared out the window, gritting her teeth, trying to keep calm. The last time she had a fit like this, well, let's say there was a lot of damage.
Her hands were starting to shake. Kathy could feel her body temperature rising. Isaac was still kicking her fucking chair. She tried to breathe. In. 1,2,3,4,5. Out. 1,2,3,4,5. The class was distracted by a knock on the door. A man in a black suit entered. "I need to speak with Ms. Mayfield," he told the teacher. Kathy squirmed as the spotlight was put on her. It didn't exactly help calm her down. But regardless, she took a deep breath and followed the man in to the hallway.
Kathy wasn't going to lie to herself. She knew she wasn't calm. She knew that the next bad thing to happen would set her off. So when the man said, "I'm so sorry to have to tell you this. But your mother was found dead earlier today," she lost it.
And we'll just say that it put her on S.H.I.E.L.D's map. And not in a good way.
Two years later…
"Agent Mayfield," Fury greeted her as she passed him in the hall of the Hellicarrier. Agent Hill merely nodded at her. Kathy knew the Hill held certain…distaste for her. Which she found was very well placed all things considered.
"Director. Agent," Kathy answered politely. She was definitely nervous around them. Fury almost smirked as he watched the twenty year old wring her hands and look anywhere but him. Had it been anyone else he would've considered it disrespect, but he knew Mayfield and knew it was just a habit of hers. He'd deny it if anyone asked, but he had a bit of a soft spot for the girl. He was there when they found her alone in the forests of Canada, poorly clothed and nearly starved to death. Fury watched her grow from a puny girl to a strong woman. He was proud of her. Of course, not even she knew that.
"Your presence is required on deck immediately," he told her. She looked at him confusedly before regaining her posture and headed in that direction. Hill regarded her boss carefully.
"Are you sure she's qualified for this Director?" she asked. She had her doubts about Kathy's control. She had progressed a long way from when she had first joined S.H.I.E.L.D but there were more than a few close calls. Fury looked at his second-in-command thoughtfully before answering.
"Whether she is or not, we need her for this." Agent Hill nodded in understanding before Fury continued. "Besides, this may be just what she needs."
I remembered the first time I stepped foot on the Hellicarrier deck. It had taken my breath away. And every now and then it still did. The room was large, filled with state of the art computers and technology that most people have never seen before. But mostly it was the view of the sky that took my breath away. I felt so confined here, always fighting for control, but seeing the sky reminded me of freedom, that all I had to do was go on the airstrip and I could have as much space as I needed to stretch my wings if you may.
Even though I kept myself isolated from most, well, all my fellow agents, I normally recognized every face on the deck. So it came as a small surprise when I came across four strangers surrounding the round table. The red head I had heard of. Natasha Romanoff a.k.a Black Widow was S.H.I.E.L.D's greatest assassin and spy. Last I heard she was on a mission in Russia or something like that. I really wasn't all that up-to-date on recent events I was ashamed to admit. I kept to myself and everyone else left me alone. I spent my time either sleeping or studying in the lab. I wouldn't call myself a genius, but I was quick to pick up on things. Whether that had to do with my genes or my little gift I wasn't sure.
Three of the four men sat at the table while one, who dressed like someone who had come straight from Medieval England, stood. As I walked over to the table I heard a the last bit of their conversation.
"…but he is still of Asgard and he is my brother," the standing one said. Asgard? The hell?
"He's killed eighty people in two days," Agent Romanoff responded matter-of-factly. The other man looked sheepish.
I know it wasn't funny but I couldn't help the small giggle that escaped my lips. Their attention turned to me and I felt my face flush pink. "Sorry," I mumbled.
"Who are you small woman?" the man demanded of me. His voice was deep and commanding. It went well with his uhhh costume. His eyes were a stormy blue and his face was framed by shoulder length blonde hair. He towered over me and held his hammer- a hammer?- threateningly in his hands.
"Oh, uh, um I," very smooth Kat, very smooth. I felt myself tremble a bit as those thundering eyes stared me down. A part of me growled at the thought of me being afraid and fought for dominance. I clenched my fist, thanking the Lord that the pain of my fingernails digging into my palms distracted me.
"Thor, uh, I think you're scaring her," a voice from the table called with a small laugh. I glared at him. I wasn't afraid, merely startled. The guy known as Thor smiled at me apologetically.
"I am sorry small woman. I meant to give you no fear. I forget how easily startled you mortals are on Midgard." He gave me a reassuring smile. I smiled back.
"It's alright," I said with a nervous chuckle. I held out my hand. He looked at it confusedly.
"You shake it big guy," a new voice entered the room. The man was dressed in an off-white suit with big sunglasses. His hair was slicked back and he had a neatly trimmed goatee slash mustache thing going for him. A look of comprehension dawned on Thor's face as he grasped my hand and shook it, except he shook it hard enough that my entire body moved with it.
"It is very good to meet you small woman!" I laughed. When was the last time I had really laughed? It felt so nice. "Now do tell me your name."
"Kathy," I answered breathless. "Kathy Mayfield."
"Ah Kathy of the Fields of May," I had to raise an eyebrow at that, "I am Thor Odinson King of Asgard and wielder of Mjolnir!" he bellowed and motioned to his hammer. He named his hammer? At least he didn't have a name for his muscles. "Let me introduce you to my fellow warriors!" Oh my God this guy was like an over excited kid. It was adorable.
"That's quite alright Shakespeare," the man with the sunglasses said. "I'm pretty sure we're capable of introducing ourselves. By the way, no hard feelings. You pack a mean punch," he patted Thor of the back in an almost demeaning way.
I made eye contact with Coulson. Of all the agents, he was by far the nicest and my favorite. He also put up with a lot of bullshit from other agents. My face must've shown my discomfort and panic because he smiled and mouthed 'Calm down' to me. The man in the sunglasses took over the introductions.
"The stunning red head at the table you probably already know is the deadly Black Widow or Natasha Romanoff." Natasha just nodded at me, looking at me warily. "You've met Thor our resident god of thunder." God? What? "The man dressed up as my grandfather is Steve Rogers, better known as Captain America." The Captain was dressed in a yellow plaid button down which was tucked into brown slacks. His light blue eyes shone with kindness as he stood up to shake my head.
"It's a pleasure to meet you Ms. Mayfield."
"Please call me Kathy or Kat. And the pleasure's all mine Captain," I smiled. His hands were soft. Like baby skin.
The other man continued his introductions. "That brilliant mind over there is a man with breath taking anger management skills, Dr. Bruce Banner." Dr. Banner glared at the man but offered me a shy smile. My breath caught in my throat. His brown hair was curly and unruly and was graying on the sides. His skin had a light tan to it which was more pronounced against the purple shirt he wore. The eyes though, the eyes are what caught my attention. They were brown, a beautiful shade of brown, but they held so much pain, and shame. They showed a reluctance to be there and hiding in the back I saw…anger? Yes, anger.
The man in the suit stood in front of me and removed his sunglasses. "And I am the genius Tony Stark aka Iron Man." My fist clenched so tightly I gasped. I could feel blood dripping from my hand, the cuts made from my fingernails stung but I paid it no mind. Standing in front of me was Tony Stark. I remembered how much my mother hated this man. I remembered why she hated this man. "Wow, she's so in awe of my presence she can't even speak," Stark bragged.
"Ms. Mayfield," Dr. Banner said softly. "Your hand. You're bleeding."
I unclenched my hand and looked at it. The blood covered my entire palm, starting from the little crescent shaped cuts. I looked up to see everyone staring at my hand, at me curiously. Especially that damned Tony Stark. He actually looked concerned. Well maybe concern was the wrong word. He was…intrigued. I couldn't take it. I couldn't breathe. And without a second thought I turned and ran from the deck. Someone called my name but I ignored them.
I didn't stop running until I got to my room. I felt my control slipped away from me. I slammed the door and made sure it was locked. Once that was done I finally let myself go. All the pain I'd ever felt overwhelmed me. The emptiness I felt after having lost my mother, the loneliness I felt even though I was surrounded by people, the anger I felt at the man known as Tony Stark.
He was the man who left the woman known as Sophia Mayfield twenty years ago. He was the man who left her alone and bitter and broken. He was the man who left her to raise a child by herself. He was my father, and I hated him. I screamed. It was loud and painful. It didn't sound like me. It sounded like an injured animal.
And then I blacked out.