Welcome to Earth
It's funny how quickly that Steve Rogers-Man Out of Time-has accumulated to being seventy years in the future, what with the vast differences in culture just the tip of the iceberg of things that he's had to come to grips with, but there really is nothing that surprises him more than the fact that a female that had literally crash landed on top of a Tower only a few hours earlier had traveled the entirety of S.H.I.E.L.D's helicarrier clad in only a hospital gown and now is following them back to the conference room without asking for any clothes or even something to cover up the gap in the back of the gown...
As a matter of fact, it's only Steve's rapidly heating crimson face-he is walking right behind her-that alerts anyone to the fact that there is a scantily clad female in their midst... that, and the fact that Clint takes a moment to comment on whether or not Steve's 'enjoying the view'.
Sarah seems more embarrassed by the fact that Steve was embarrassed than any inadvertent indecency on her part, leading to a few minutes of the pair of them apologizing to each other and Sarah trying to get the parts of the gown to close in the back as she points her nether regions at the nearest wall, only semi-successful in covering her back end up. It makes the rest of the group look between the two flushed and stammering individuals with various levels of amusement and for Tony to ask Sarah if she's managed to travel from the forties as well, or if she might possibly be related to Steve, with causes the pair of them to blush and stutter even more.
"As amusing as all of this is," Fury's voice once more cuts through the atmosphere and causes everyone to tense up as he glares at the lot of them, looking incredulous at the idea of people having fun in his helicarrier, "I think it might be a good idea for Sarah to get dressed before Rogers bursts a blood vessel... We need all the superheros we can get if there are going to be random people popping out of the woodwork, and I don't need any more of you being compromised than there already were."
His comment makes the redness dusting Steve's cheeks grow in both magnitude and color as well as causing Clint's shoulder to twitch slightly before both men school their faces(and bodies) into a neutral state, but the reactions have been spotted by the rest of the group and that earns Fury a few glares when he turns to continue his trek to the conference room, leaving a group of embarrassed and irritated Avengers behind him... Well, a group of superheros plus one random girl with what might be amnesia, or just a very clever ploy to throw the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D off guard so that she can kill and/or capture them to be tortured by unknown forces...
Steve mentally sighs at the suspicious cast of his thoughts, but after what Loki did and everything they've been through, nearly anything new or that has any suspicious behavior is considered a threat until otherwise proven by either him or the other members of his team.
The current threat, however, was looking less like a possible enemy and more like a girl who was acutely aware of the fact that she was in the midst of a group of men with what Tony had called 'half a wrapper' covering her while trying to walk in a way that wouldn't show anyone any of her... indecent parts. It took all of two minutes of her trying to walk sideways down the corridor before one of the Agents offered her his coat so that she could follow him and get 'something a little more decent to wear'.
Yet, before she can take it or make any other move toward the man, Bruce clears his throat in that 'I-would-like-your-attention-if-it's-no-trouble' way of his that has nearly everyone looking at him in surprise; despite the fact that he can turn into a literal angry giant, there are times when the man is so quiet and unobtrusive-so unlike Tony that Steve wonders how the two of them even get along-that there are moments when Bruce startles them simply by announcing his presence.
"I may be alone in this thought," Bruce states in that quiet voice of his, hands carefully folded in front of him as he looks almost apologetically at Sarah from where she stands with her back to the wall, "but I think it might be a good idea to get some of the substance that came with Sarah to one of the labs to be identified. It might help us find out how she lost her memories, or at the very least, where it is that she came from and maybe a way to send her back..."
"Here I thought Stark was supposed to be the genius..." Clint quips as Tony immediately started ordering J.A.R.V.I.S to have someone 'scrape some of the goo' off of the Iron Man landing pad, only to be told that the remains had already evaporated and the only remnants were the splotches that covered Just Sarah's form, making the scion curse as Sarah giggles at the nickname the A.I has apparently decided to insist on calling her; it would be odd, that the A.I would call her that instead of her given name, if Steve hadn't known that J.A.R.V.I.S had also called Clint 'Mr. Badass' for months until Tony had reprogrammed it to call the archer 'Birdbrain' instead.
It had been hard to take the A.I seriously whenever J.A.R.V.I.S had informed them of Clint's situation while they were on missions and Tony had-eventually-changed it back, but not before the man had to suffer through what was no doubt the entirety of S.H.I.E.L.D being informed that 'Birdbrain was injured on field and in need of medical assistance', leading Director Fury to yell at Tony for a solid ten minutes about 'acting like a prepubescent teenager' and 'screwing with military operations' by having his 'mechanical monkey play tricks'.
Clint, on the other hand, had been a pretty decent sport about the whole thing and even tried to get J.A.R.V.I.S to call Natasha 'Lady In Red' until Thor pointed out that she had never worn red before, making Clint shake his head and throw up his hands in defeat.
"I have an idea."
Steve snaps himself out of his memories just in time to see Clint pull a knife out of his boot and start toward Sarah, who instead of looking terrified, simply tilts her neck towards him; the act is very much like the one she made when she first showed up on the Tower, back when Clint had been just as suspicious of her as he is now, and Steve can tell that the assassin is aware of the significance in the way his eyes narrow as the grip on the knife tightens ever so slightly.
"Is this going to be a habit? You, sticking pointy things at me?" Sarah's quip does nothing to stifle the unease in Steve, the same unease that filled him when they were in a similar position on the Tower's rooftop, but it does make Clint let out a snort before he takes Sarah by the chin and scrapes a line of the unknown crystallized substance off of her cheek, dropping it into a small Ziploc baggie that an Agent that seemed to have popped out of the metalwork holds out for him.
Clint's hand still grips Sarah for a few minutes, once more staring at her with an intensity that many would find intimidating, but the girl simply stares back in an almost perfect mimic of the archer's glare; the posing would look almost romantic if you just happened upon the two and you didn't notice the knife against Sarah's cheek, but it was very clear that neither one really trusted the other and that getting in the way of the psychic argument going on was a good way to get you killed or in an awful lot of pain...
"Well, now that we have that taken care of," Once more, it is Bruce's voice that cuts across the tension that has started to build up, making Clint release his grip from Sarah and for her to finally be able to accept the coat that the Agent had offered her, tying the arms around her waist as a makeshift skirt, "I think Sarah might like to get something decent to wear and we'd all better get back to Fury before he's the one that bursts a blood vessel."
There are various noises of amusement at that statement as Sarah nods at the Agent who gave her the coat to proceed her down the corridor, Tony-who has been surprisingly silent during this entire exchange-hollering after her that her look is very 'hospital chic' before she disappears around the corner, not even bothering to grace him with a reply; it does, however, make Steve give him a Look that the smaller male returns with a shrug of his shoulders and his own glance that says he isn't sorry, nobody will convince him to be so and if Steve doesn't like it, that's his problem.
It's an expression that Steve has come to know very well in the past couple of months that he's been living at Avengers Tower, and one that he's sure that he'll be seeing even more of in the months to come...
They've made it back to the conference room by this point, Fury just pulling up a video feed as they enter, showing the laboratory that Sarah was in and her response from when she woke up to when she barreled into the command center of the helicarrier; there are winces all around at the very audible crack from the blow the first scientist receives upon her awakening, no doubt spurred by the fact that the man has a needle in his hand when he approaches her, something that causes Bruce's hands to clench into fists on the conference table.
"Bruce?" Clint's voice is surprisingly tentative and nearly everyone is looking at the physicist in various levels of unease, so they all see the flash of emerald that overtakes his eyes before they fade back to their original ocher hue, a clear signal of how close the Other Guy is to breaking free; there is a tense silence in the room, the only sound being Bruce's labored breathing and an occasional body shifting, before Clint speaks again.
"You still with us over there?"
A few more minutes past, Bruce's breathing slowly evening out, and then a gruff, "Yeah, I'm fine."
In. Out. In. Out.
The silence that followed was a heavier one than it was just a few minutes ago as they watched Sarah fight her way through a horde of Agents, a plow cutting past the wheat standing in its way, before she managed to get out into the hall and the feed suddenly was cut out. It didn't even reappear when Tony ordered J.A.R.V.I.S to run through the data with a fine tooth comb, cursing when the A.I informed him that the same unknown mechanical reading that was within Sarah's DNA code had also managed to leave her body long enough to short circuit the cameras.
"So, to recap; this girl lands on Stark's Tower, claims to have no memory prior to being there and suffers some sort of fit when trying to remember anything," Fury's voice is surprisingly even more annoyed and irritated than when he's dealing with Tony after a mission and that is saying something. "She then beats the holy hell out of one of S.H.I.E.L.D's researchers, takes down over five teams of my top Agents, is unaccountable for over an hour of time, before she just strolls into the control room of our helicarrier acting like the past... three hours was one big misunderstanding. Tell me people; why is this girl not in custody where she belongs?"
"Well, I may be stretching a bit here, but perhaps it's because her initial reaction was one of a frightened individual who had just woken up in an unknown place, completely unaware if the people holding her were going to turn her into a cadaver to poke at or treat whatever it was that turned her mind into an Etch-A-Sketch somebody had decided to smash with a hammer." The sarcasm in Tony's voice is so thick that you could practically use as a spread and he cuts to the point with all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop, but it also breaks down the time that they have to dance around the issue in an attempt to keep Fury from just putting a bullet in a couple of people's brains, so Steve bites down on the reprimand that he wants to give and just waits for the brunet to finish before he can add his own thoughts to what should be done with Sarah.
"Maybe if we had her in a room with, I don't know, an actual bed and not that creepy Stepford household shit that you pulled with Cap, as well as someone that didn't have a needle in their hand, Sarah would have reacted a lot more cooperatively; she might have even waited to find out who we are and what we do before bowling down your people like she was playing tenpins." This earns a muffled snort from Bruce, Clint rolls his eyes at the room at large, and Steve just shakes his head as Tony winds up his rant by throwing his hands up in the air, "I mean, come on! It's like Cap said earlier; are you really surprised that she reacted the way she did after she woke up locked in a lab?"
The fact that Tony has mentioned something he said previously, without any derision or ridicule, throws Steve for a few second and he has to look around the table to make sure that he actually heard what he thought as Fury and Tony get into another argument; Bruce's brows had taken a little trip up his forehead and he was now massaging his temples as the disputation went from talking to screaming while Clint simply looked around the room like he wanted nothing better than to make an escape through one of the ventilation ducts.
As the yelling behind them grew even more heated, Steve was beginning to want to join him, perhaps even being the one to open up their way to freedom... Who had decided that having Fury and Tony in the same room was a good idea...?
"Gentlemen!" Not really the first thing that Steve wanted to call the pair of them, but his Momma had raised him to be polite even when no one else was, so he bit back the next three things he wanted to say and continued with something a bit more placating. "Regardless of where she came from, Tony is correct in saying that her actions were out of fear in what she believed to be a hostile environment. I'm sure that if Thor was here, he would tell you that his first impression of Earth wasn't all that great either and that we should give her a chance."
It was times like this that Steve wished the Asgardian was there; the man had a way of deflecting Tony's snark away from Fury and saying outrageous things that make the Director lose whatever anger he had for Tony as he tried to figure out what exactly it was that the Thunder God said, bringing everyone's temper back down to a place where they could discuss things rationally. They had tried to get a hold of him on their way to the helicarrier, but the 'landlines' or whatever they were had given J.A.R.V.I.S some problems and now they had to wait a couple of days until Thor had planned to return...
A couple of days that Steve just knew were going to test his patience, if today was anything to go by.
"Fine, Stark! If you're that damned willing to risk your neck and the neck of everyone else on this team, the girl can fucking stay at your damn Tower!" Pushing past the rest of the people assembled, Fury threw one last shot over his shoulder before slamming the door behind him. "Just don't come crying to me if she decides to murder all of you in your sleep!"
"Half of the people in that Tower don't sleep anyway, so I don't think that will be a problem!" As usual, Tony had to have the last word and Steve finally released the breath he was holding as Tony turned to the rest of them with a huge smile on his face, a little kid who had got his way over the adults over the room. "J.A.R.V.I.S, is Sarah finished dressing yet? Man, I'd give a portion of my company to find out why it takes women so damn long-"
"Just Sarah has been dressed and presentable for the last fifteen minutes of your discussion with the Director, sir."
Tony blinks as Steve suppresses a snort at the thought that the shouting match between Tony and Fury could be called a 'discussion', despite the fact that it had been one of their more low-key disagreements. Tony apparently gets over the fact that Sarah was breaking 'woman rules', as well as J.A.R.V.I.S interrupting him, and demanded, "Well, then why isn't she here, then? Did Fury have one of his monkey suits put her under house arrest or something? Because I taught you how to call off his hounds like, three upgrades ago."
There is a slight hesitance and if Steve didn't know any better, he would say that the A.I sounded... concerned. "There seems to be something that is distressing Just Sarah, sir. She has retired to the bed that is situated in the room and has not moved since. She did, however, retreat to the bathroom beforehand to stare at the mirror for five point three minutes-also without any movement for the entire duration-uttering one phrase before leaving and situating herself on the bed."
It's not the A.I's voice that answers, but Sarah's; it's pitched low, confusion and fear evident in the few words that are said. It makes Bruce's hands tighten into fists again, Clint lean forward to stare at the table like he would like nothing less than to burn a hole through it, and for Steve to glance at Tony, only for him to be looking back with almost the exact same expression on his face. The vote is silent and unanimous, the gathering moving as one to a small room with a single occupant.
I don't know you... I don't know my own face.