The New Arrival
It was a rare, quiet day at the Avenger Tower; Thor was off in New Mexico, visiting Jane and checking in randomly via phone calls, Steve was down in the newly refurbished gym, beating six kinds of holy hell out of the punching bags that were needed to be replaced with much less frequency these days, Clint was making his happy way through the ventilation ducts that crisscrossed Avenger Tower, supposedly checking to see if there were any breaches in their defenses, but Tony was of the mindset that the guy just liked the things way too much to go without wandering around in them for too many days at a time...
Natasha was Gods-knew-where, doing Gods-knew-what, and Bruce was in one of the laboratories that Tony had set up for the brain that was even in a close approximation of his own, so that meant that everyone was doing something and that this really was one of those once-in-a-blue-moon quiet days that they had to themselves...
Then why did he feel like something was about to go horribly wrong?
Well, maybe, because that was when things normally did go wrong; there were a few days that had started out like this one, that seemed like it was going to be peaceful and then there were people screaming, evil bots attacking everything in sight, Doctor Doom being a megalomaniac asshole, the only time it was quiet and peaceful again was when the fight was over as everyone collapsed into bed or the nearest horizontal surface.
He had found Thor passed out on the common kitchen's table one time, even went as far as using the Thunder God's chest to balance his tablet on before the big guy woke up, demanding 'sustenance after a mighty battle with his fellow warriors' in a booming voice that nearly took out Tony's hearing for half an hour...
So, when he asked J.A.R.V.I.S to run a scan of the whole house, hack into S.H.I.E.L.D computers to find out where the hell they sent Black Widow and make sure that Clint knew about the new security on the sixth floor before he tripped it and Tony had to deal with a wounded bird on top of everything else, Tony wasn't being paranoid.
He was being cautious.
J.A.R.V.I.S reported back that Bruce, Steve, and Clint were where they should be and that there was nothing abnormal about their behavior-that definitely had been one of his top 'let's-not-do-that-again' days-Clint had found his newest addition before the A.I had even mentioned it, and had found a way around it, before finally reporting that Black Widow was scheduled to be returning to the Tower within the next few days, sooner if air traffic allowed, which-with a few clicks and voice commands-it would.
Releasing a breath he hadn't even realized that he had been holding, Tony relaxed as he finally accepted that this might be one of the quiet days that where few and far between, that he could actually relax for once...
...Which, of course, was when the Tower rumbled as something hit it with extreme force.
Tony sighed, the tension returned to his shoulders as he admitted to jinxing himself, all the while having J.A.R.V.I.S access the damage done to the Tower.
"There seems to be slight structural damage done to the Iron Man landing pad, sir. Otherwise, the Tower is almost completely intact."
"Define 'almost', J.A.R.V.I.S."
"The normal cracking and shifting of foundations that come from whenever the Tower has been damaged, sir."
"Great, remind me to call a construction crew in the morning."
"Very good, sir." If Tony didn't know any better, he was say that the A.I sounded just as disappointed as he felt at having their calm evening interrupted; yet, before Tony could throw out a joke about having a download by the fire cut short, J.A.R.V.I.S was showing him readouts from the hit... and there was something that he didn't see every day...
"The attack came from a strange radiation burst that has disappeared as quickly as it appeared and there have been no other attacks reported or seen in any other parts of the city, sir. The landing pad is covered in what seems to be an organic fluid and there appears to be life readings emitting from the middle of the pad." J.A.R.V.I.S paused as he ran another scan, Tony only half aware that Steve had made his way up from the gym in the meantime, watching the displays on Tony's tablet before demanding answers. "The life readings appears to be human in genetics, with some slight alterations that I am having trouble pinpointing the exact nature of."
"Aw, come on, J.A.R.V.I.S! Don't tell me you're getting old on me now..."
"Not at all, sir," The A.I's voice has definitely gone frosty, which makes Tony grin and Steve roll his eyes despite the seriousness of the situation, "It is just that the organic fluid is interspersed mechanical properties that are making it difficult to get a proper reading on the life form within, sir."
"Which would explain why Banner's out on the landing pad right now."
Clint's voice causes both Steve and Tony to start, Tony to threaten to put a little bell on the archer that makes him grin at the billionaire, before the meaning of his words finally sink in.
"Bruce is where?!"
Bruce was currently examining a slightly viscous, light yellow substance that seemed to be acting like some sort of engineered birthing liquid for the unconscious form that it was still mostly covering, but steadily sliding off of... an unconscious, naked form that was starting to shiver as more of the liquid evaporated and slid away.
He had left the laboratory as soon as the Tower had trembled, worried that another attack had happened, knowing that by the way the Tower had rocked that it wasn't because one of Tony's experiments had exploded this time; genius he may be, not everything Tony made was perfect right off the bat, despite what he would tell people...
Telling J.A.R.V.I.S to inform him about what was going on, Bruce had been on his way to the common area, where he knew that everyone that was still in the Tower would met up to discuss what their mode of attack would be-which Tony mostly ignored anyway-before heading out, when the A.I informed him that the 'attack' was really just the one strike and that there was an unidentified substance on the Iron Man landing pad that may or may not hold a new life form.
It was definitely a life form; it appeared human, female, between eighteen and twenty years of age, pale, with dark hair-but that could be because the substance was still clinging to it and making it darker than would be normally-and the shivers that had started when the air had hit her bare skin when was 'born', for lack of a better term, had turned into tremors that shook her from her unconscious state into full wakefulness so fast that Bruce jerked back when she started upright.
Her eyes, a bright blue that rivaled Rogers', grew wide as she took in the skyscrapers and buildings surrounding her, and they grew even wider when she realized that she wasn't alone on top of Avengers Tower... As a matter of fact, if Bruce was being honest, the sound she made when her gaze focused on him would've been the closest he ever heard someone squeak.
Finding it ironic that she was frightened of him before she even saw the Other Guy, Bruce kept his hands up and his voice low. "Do you know where you are? Or how you got here?"
His answer was a shake of her head.
"Can you speak?"
Her mouth formed the words 'I don't know', but no sounds came out, nor for anything else she tries to say. Bruce is considering trying a different language before the girl frowns and shakes her head, clearly frustrated by the lack of communication on her part.
"Do you know who you are?"
A moment of thought, then another shake of the head, more frantic this time.
"It's okay, memory loss is normal in this type of situation, it's okay..." Bruce was lying through his teeth; he had no idea what was normal for this type of thing, but the girl's eyes were starting to grow teary and if there was one thing he had absolutely no clue with, it was a crying mute, amnesic female. He was good with crying females, knew that sometimes they just needed to let out some steam the same way a guy might go after a fight, but he was lost as to what he would do with a girl that had no idea who she was.
"Making new friends, Banner?"
Bruce did not jump at the sudden question, but his shoulder did give a reactive twitch and the poor girl let out another squeak and scrabbled back a few paces, her trembling kicking up a few more notches; enough for Bruce to be worried that she might rattle her teeth out of her head, but when he turned around to reprimand Clint for scaring her, he saw why she was trying to put as much distance between them as she could... not that it would do her any good...
Clint was dressed in full 'Hawkeye' regalia, a bow drawn and ready at his side, seemingly casual, but Bruce knew that he could go to deadly in a second flat. The girl had obviously realized this as well, if the fact that she was at the very edge of the roof, looking between the drop and the two of them as if deciding which one would be the lesser of two evils was anything to go by... Bruce knew what that feeling was like and he hated it with every fiber of his being, so his reprimand came out a little sharper than he was going to use.
"Do you think you can stop scaring her for five seconds? She was with me for a while before you showed up and had plenty of time to attack and she didn't," That part might be debatable, considering that Bruce has no idea when exactly Clint showed up, but he is sure of one thing; she did have time to cause him harm, so his next words are spoken with utter confidence, "She's no threat, to me or to the team."
"J.A.R.V.I.S says that there is a genetic code in her that he can't seemed to get a lock on, despite the fact that Tony has run at least three different scans by now, so for all we know she might have her very own Other Guy just waiting to come out and play," Clint gives the girl a once over that has her attempting to cover herself for the first time since waking, "Or should I say 'Other Girl'?"
"I doubt scaring her death is going to endear her to us if she does have a Hulk of her own, Hawkeye," Great, now Steve has decided to join the party; Bruce would be willing to bet the girl would've jumped by now if it had been anybody but Captain America, because the moment his eyes land on the girl, he blushes like a teenager and sets down a bundle of clothing before backing up a few steps. "I figured you were getting cold out here. These should fit."
The man manages to look like a kid with a present he hopes his parents will like and is half expecting to hear them say it sucks, so how in the world can anybody be afraid of that? Not at all surprised, Bruce watches as the girl smiles at Captain Puppy Face and moves away from the edge of the building to pick up the clothing, twisting them in her hands for a few minutes before looking pointedly at the three of them before it finally hits them what exactly it is that she's asking.
Steve, of course, blushes all the way to the roots of his hair and spins on his heel, Bruce turns without comment, but Clint merely raises his brow at her, making the girl huff and turn her back on him as she starts to dress, ignoring Clint's comment of "Nice ass." with a skill that Natasha would normally employ. As it is, Clint gets an elbow in side from Steve for his remark and he tries to hide how much that actually hurt, but the girl smirks at him anyway when she turns back around.
"Well, now that we've taken care of that," Steve states, his blush back under control and his eyes fixed on the girl's face in a friendly-but-slightly-intimidating stare, "We need to figure out just where it is that you came from and what it is that you want. Is there any reason why you've decided to... land here, for lack of a better term? Is this some sort of attack? A ploy for us to lower our defenses? Female or not, we will show no leniency toward you if your intentions are hostile."
The girl nods her understanding, before spreading her hands in the universal signal for 'look, see, no weapons; completely harmless here, don't kill me' and mouths the words 'I don't know, I'm sorry.' as Bruce informs the other two of his attempt to find out who/what this girl really is. The way she looks, terrified and honestly lost, with her eyes darting among the three of them as if they might suddenly pop up with all the answers has Steve believing them right out of the gate, but Clint is still suspicious and makes his doubts very clearly known.
"I don't like it; it's too convenient," Steve shoots Clint a look that is part admonishment and part plain disapproval, but the archer doesn't bat an eye as he continues, "She just happens to land on the Tower and has no clue as to how or why? Oh, and she also seems to have oh-so-coincidentally forgotten who she is as well!"
The girl's eyes narrow in a way that suddenly reminds Bruce of Tony when he's about to do something very, very stupid; so it's with no small amount of panic-as well as willpower to keep the Other Guy in check-that Bruce watches as the girl marches right up to Clint, who draws his bow and aims it at her approaching figure, and stands not five inches away from him... close enough for her to lean forward and place her neck against the arrowhead of his weapon, her eyes holding his in a gaze that would have done any solider proud.
They hold like that for an indeterminable amount of time, seeming to communicate in the way that Bruce only thought Clint and Natasha were capable of, before Clint finally lowers his bow and slightly loosens his stance to a parade rest. The girl, however, still stays perfectly immobile and now that the arrow had been removed, Bruce could see that it had been pressed hard enough to leave a drop of blood behind... Once more, he was struck by the thought that she seemed to have Tony's inclination toward making a statement.
"I'm still on the fence with you, kid," Clint was saying, drawing Bruce back to the here and now, as Steve moved forward to look at the blood on the girl's neck, because Steve was a self-sacrificing boy scout that was nearly impossible to be mad at because he was just so earnest, "and I reserve the right to put an arrow through your eye if you decide to screw us over."
"Well, now that we're all done playing 'impress-the-assassin' and 'is-she-for-real?'," Nobody jumps this time, either too tired, too tightly wrung, or just too used to all the strangeness that has happened in the last couple of hours that Tony's voice booming over the loudspeakers does nothing more than make them sigh, groan or smirk, "Why don't we escort the little alien princess into the Tower so she may meet the King of this domain?"
"And if she turns out to be an enemy?"
"Aw, Clint, you say that like it's something new! You're so precious, I knew there was a reason I kept you around!"
As Clint swore obscenities at Tony under his breath, Bruce guides the strange girl into the Tower, trying not to worry about the fact that she looks like jumping off of the skyscraper might have been the better choice...
I don't need any more fandoms to be a part of! Do you know how many stories I have on this site?! Damn plot bunnies and their inability to leave me alone!
Tell me what you think as I go and try to convince the PTB that I should be working on one of the stories that I already have instead of giving me anotherone to stress over...