A/N: Hello! This is my first Avengers story, and I'm excited to start writing it! I'm not an Avengers expert or anything, so please don't criticize too harshly if I get a fact or two wrong. This story focuses on Bruce Banner and an original character that I've created, but will involve all of the Avengers. PLEASE leave a review and let me know what you think! Thanks so much for reading! Enjoy!
"All Avengers report to the briefing room immediately."
Bruce sighed and set down the sample of mineral he had been examining. He had been deeply engrossed in his project, and wasn't aware of any meetings scheduled for the day. Regardless, he stood and made his way to the door, glancing behind him to make sure everything was in order. Once satisfied, he flipped off the light and headed towards the briefing room.
A few months ago, the Avengers team had defeated Loki and saved New York and the rest of the world from destruction. After Stark tower had been damaged during the attack, Tony had come up with plans to rebuild, and had converted it into the Avengers headquarters. Personal living quarters had been constructed for each Avenger, and after a while, everyone had moved in in some capacity. Thor flitted in and out between Asgard and Earth, but most of the others remained there permanently. The rooms had been built to fit their specific needs and personalities, so none of them felt the need to go anywhere else.
Bruce was the first one to reach the briefing room. He settled in one of the armchairs which formed a semi-circle around a large monitor on a table and waited. Not long after, Thor's booming voice echoed through the room as he greeted his friend.
"Ah! My mighty friend! Good to see you! I just returned from Asgard this morning."
Bruce suppressed a grin and nodded. He had in fact seen Thor earlier that morning, but decided not to mention it. "Good to see you too, buddy."
Clint and Natasha arrived next, each holding a coffee and each other's hand. They had gotten together recently, and their relationship seemed to be going swimmingly. They were followed by Steve, who took the seat next to Bruce and yawned.
"I was just taking a nap. Any idea what this is about?"
"Nope, none. I didn't think we had anything scheduled this week."
"Me neither. Where's Stark? He's always late." Steve turned to converse with Thor, who had just noticed him.
Finally, Tony strolled into the briefing room. "Alright, I'm here now. We can begin. Oh wait - no we can't, because Fury's never here on time. I'll give him five min-"
"Sit down Tony." Nick Fury shot Tony a look as he strode past him to the table at the front. Tony frowned and took a seat. Nick ignored his pouting and began.
"As you all are aware, we lost a member of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team earlier this year when Agent Coulson was murdered by Loki. We've gotten by for the past few months, but now we've decided to fill in the gap and hire another team member."
"So what do you need us for? Are we supposed to pick someone out?" Steve inquired.
"No. We've done that. We're going to introduce you now so that she can get started working with you and getting to know her way around here."
Tony perked up. "She?"
"Yes, Stark. She. And how is Ms. Potts doing?"
Tony scowled and sat back in his seat, muttering what sounded suspiciously like, "Just because I've already ordered doesn't mean I can't still look at the menu…"
"Anyway… I'd like to introduce you to our newest team member."
The door at the front of the room opened and out stepped a woman who looked to be in her mid-twenties with long sandy brown hair.
"Everyone please welcome Miss Chelsea Barton."
Clint spat out his coffee. Wiping at his mouth, he stared up at the woman disbelievingly. "WHAT? No, no way. Are you kidding me? She's too young! She's only 26!"
"Age has nothing to do with it. She's extremely qualified, Clint."
"Qualified? She has a freakin' English degree and is a high school teacher! I hardly call that qualified!"
Chelsea stepped forward. "I haven't been a teacher for 3 years now. Ever since the incident in Budapest, I've been training with the CIA. So actually, Clinton, I'm pretty qualified for this job."
Clint scowled. "Don't call me Clinton. That's not the point. You shouldn't… you can't… you're too –"
"Too what? Young? I may still be your younger sister but I'm not a baby anymore. Besides, this isn't your decision. I'm here and that's final." She crossed her arms and took a step back. "Sorry for taking over, Agent Fury. My brother may need some time to get used to the idea of me being here."
Nick smirked. "It's fine. Now then, over the next few days you will each have a session with Agent Barton so that she can assess and understand each of your abilities. She will be one of the main strategists during missions, so she will need to be familiar with what you all can do. You'll find out your session time by tomorrow morning. Meeting adjourned."
Clint immediately got up to argue some more with Nick and Chelsea. The rest of them stood up casually, chatting with each other, and headed out of the room. Bruce remained seated for a few minutes, watching the new agent. He was not looking forward to his session with her. He never liked the fear in people's eyes when they saw him transform for the first time. However, it was best to get it over sooner rather than later so that she wasn't frightened of him during a mission. Still, it was a whole new person to get used to being around, and he couldn't help but feel a sense of dread about the whole situation. Only time would tell though, so he left the briefing room and tried to put it out of his mind.