Avengers’ Isle: Bird Call

I apologize for not posting an Avengers’ Isle episode last week. I plead life. I also apologize that this section is short, but I must admit, it ends quite well. 🙂

Natasha walked quietly into the forest, avoiding overhanging branches and twigs on the ground. The complete silence around her was making her more edgy than usual, and the dim not-quite-morning light didn’t help. Calm down, she told herself. Nothing was going to happen. Tony was wrong. They were alone.

She knew that was a lie. In fact, she embraced the truth. After all, not being alone was better than strange arrows just randomly flying through the air.

The sound of a bird call made her freeze. It wouldn’t be out of place… except that there had been absolutely no sign of birds on the entire island.

Another bird call echoed through the silent forest, sending a chill down Natasha’s spine. She shouldn’t have wandered into the forest alone. She should have waited for Tony and Loki to wake up. Fun how she wouldn’t mind having Loki by her side right now.

A twig cracked nearby. Natasha began to move slowly back towards the camp. Hopefully there weren’t any more dart shooting people out there. She picked up her pace, moving faster. More twigs cracked, heading in her direction.

Natasha whirled and took off at a dead run, dodging trees and bushes and overhanging plant growth. Footsteps pounded behind her, and she risked a glance behind her.

A tree root seemed to reach out and grab her ankle, sending her flying through the air and thudding to the ground. She could barely see Loki and Tony sleeping on the beach through the trees. She opened her mouth to scream, but a hand clamped over her mouth. She felt a tiny prick on her arm and then went limp.

Mwahaha… A like gets you Fury’s spare eyepatch, a comment gets you Coulson’s vintage Captain America trading cards.

Avengers’ Isle: Breakfast Time

Oh, you poor, poor people. I hate to leave you hanging, but… no, actually I don’t. I enjoy it. This is probably going to happen a lot. 😛 Hang on tight! Things are about to get crazier.

Tony scratched his head, yawning. It was too early to be awake. Natasha was crazy. How could she look so chipper, this early in the morning? And how in the world did she look like she’d just spent an hour doing her hair and make-up, when he knew for a fact that she had no make-up and had just woken up five minutes ago? At least Loki looked just as sleepy as he did. He would’ve laughed at how tangled Loki’s hair was, but he probably looked just as bad, if not worse.

Natasha sat down next to them, running her hands through her red hair. “Okay, we need to find some food. Loki, any chance you can use your magic to–”

“No,” Loki said, frowning. “I have already tried. My magic is not working.” He frowned over at his scepter. His Glow Stick of Destiny, Tony thought with a smile as he remembered the nickname. It certainly wasn’t glowing anymore. Tony figured that was good.

Natasha frowned. “That doesn’t make sense. Why not?”

Loki shrugged. “I do not know. It has not worked since we got here. Otherwise I would most certainly be somewhere else.” He gave Tony a glare.

Tony faked an innocent look. “Why would you want to leave our wonderful company?”

Natasha growled. “If you two so much as look at each other wrong, you’ll be tied to separate trees until your attitudes are straightened out. Got it?” Both men fell silent immediately. “Good. Now, my guns are useless, and we don’t know what kinds of animals and things are on this island.” She glanced at Loki’s scepter. “Anyone tried spearfishing?”

Banner didn’t know what time it was when he woke up, but the sun was just peering over the horizon. Fury was stirring what was leftover of their fire. He tossed a prepackaged bag of trail mix to Banner. “Here. That is probably all you’ll find for breakfast. I haven’t been able to find much else.”

Banner frowned. “Where did you get this?” he asked as he opened it.

“I like to be prepared,” Fury said as if that explained it.

Banner shrugged and dug in. The trail mix tasted good, since he hadn’t eaten much. “Have you seen any wildlife or anything?” Banner asked. He wasn’t too scared, but, honestly, he didn’t exactly want to hulk out on this tiny island.

Fury shook his head. “Nothing. No natives, either.”

Hopefully there weren’t any. Nothing like island natives with blow darts to stir things up. And bring out the Hulk.

I apologize for the short episode, but I honestly didn’t have much time to write this week. Longer post next week!

A like gets you a piece of pi, a comment gets you a virtual pie…

At The Amusement Park

This fanfic is really long (although I wrote it in one sitting) but I didn’t want to split it up, so here it is, all in one post! Oh, the humor, oh, the feels… Let me know what you think! And check out the newly updated Novella page – I’ve finished covers for several of my stories!

“Come on, Steve. You’re always so serious. You need this,” Natasha urged. “It’ll help you lighten up.”

Steve frowned. “But really, an amusement park? Why not somewhere more fun?”

Natasha shrugged. “Well, all of us are going. And I can’t think of anywhere more fun than an amusement park.”

Steve continued to protest, but eventually the other Avengers sided with Natasha, and there was no way he could resist all of them. He agreed. Clint and Thor both whooped and raced down the hall to gather everything they’d need. Before long, they were all shoved into a spare SHIELD van and were en route to the amusement park.

Steve gazed out the window as they drove up to the front gate of the amusement park, noticing the signs for the day’s special attractions, ranging from different games to a water ski demo. Clint stood up through the sunroof, shielding his eyes with his hand as he looked around. “Ah!” he cried triumphantly. “The first ride is the Ferris wheel!”

Tony shoved Clint’s leg, nearly making him topple over. “No way. Do you see the Raptor? That is the first ride.”

Clint growled. “How could I not see that dumb roller coaster?”

Natasha pulled the car up to the admissions booth. “How many?” the man asked.

She snorted. “Six adults. Unless you’re going by actions, then we’ve got a couple of kids in here.”

“FUNNEL CAKES!” Clint yelled from the sunroof. The admissions guy looked up at him and then nodded in agreement with Natasha. She rolled her eyes.

They drove through the huge parking lot trying to find a space. With Clint’s help from the sunroof, they were able to find one fairly close. People were flooding the place.

Natasha didn’t let anyone leave the car until she verified that their cell phones were on and she could track them with her own phone. “Have fun, Captain,” she called as she and Clint raced to the Ferris wheel. Steve stood there, feeling lost and not knowing where to go. Thor came up and stood next to him as Banner wandered off to find a quiet place to watch the commotion.

“I do not know where to begin, either,” Thor said, frowning.

Tony stepped between them, grabbing their arms. “Come on, we can go ride the Raptor. You guys will enjoy that.”

Tony dragged them through the maze of rides, games, and concession stands. Somehow they ended up with nachos and drinks on the way to the rollercoaster. Steve found that the nachos didn’t taste quite as bad as they looked. Suddenly, Thor stuck his arm out and stopped them. “Look,” he said, pointing.

Steve and Tony glanced to where he was pointing. A man held a giant hammer with a long handle. An amusement park employee stood next to him, pointing to the tall, lit-up board. The man stepped up to a big button and swung the hammer down. The board lit up halfway and the man sighed in disappointment.

“Yeah, it just a stupid hammer strength game meant to waste your money,” Tony grumbled, looking disgruntled. Steve figured that he’d tried the game before and lost.

He glanced back at Thor and paused. There was a gleam in the Asgardian’s eyes. “Uh, Thor…” Steve began.

“Do not worry, I will not break it,” Thor announced as he headed over to the booth.

Ten minutes later, they were once again on their way to the Raptor, now with a giant stuffed panda in tow. “What are we going to do with this dumb thing?” Tony growled, trying to see around the bear. Thor had elected him to carry it.

“Do not insult my bear,” Thor said, happily sipping his drink.

Tony rolled his eyes, looking disgusted. Steve shot him a warning look and he kept his mouth closed.

It didn’t take them much longer to reach the Raptor. Steve gazed up at the ride as they got in line. Thor insisted on the panda occupying the seat next to him. He apparently didn’t trust the “mortal’s flimsy safe lockers” to keep his prize safe. Tony rolled his eyes yet again. “Which means you’ll be stuck with me,” he said to Steve. He grinned. “I didn’t exactly want to sit next to Thor anyway. He’d probably be yelling in excitement and whack me in the face, and I’d prefer to stay conscious during the ride.”

Steve gave him a smile as they took their places on the ride. Tony sat down next to him and pulled down the bar across their chests. “I had to pay for the bear to ride,” Tony grumbled. Steve gripped the bar tightly. This thing was a lot more open than the rides he was used to. Thor sat down in front of them, resituating the panda before pulling down the bar. Steve could see that he kept a tight hold on the stuffed animal, just in case. Steve could hardly see around the bear’s giant head.

The ride started to move, and Steve couldn’t help but grip the bar tighter. The roller coaster cars started to climb upward, and Thor pointed down at something below. “Look!” he yelled.

Tony rolled his eyes. “Don’t listen to him. It’s best not to look down.” He glanced sideways at Steve.

“I’ve been on a roller coaster before,” Steve told him. And ziplined onto the back of a train.

After ages of climbing, they reached the peak. There was a pause, and then the cars raced down. The color drained from Steve’s face at the sickening feeling of falling…

“Right now I’m in the middle of nowhere. If I wait any longer a lot of people are gonna die. Peggy, this is my choice.” He opened his compass with the picture of her and set it on the plane’s controls as he started to make the plane go down.

“Peggy…”

“I’m here.”

“I’m gonna need a rain check on that dance.”

She gave a choking half-sob. “All right. A week next Saturday at The Stork Club.”

“You’ve got it.”

“Eight o’clock on the dot. Don’t you dare be late. Understood?”

The ground drew nearer. “You know, I still don’t know how to dance.”

“I’ll show you how. Just be there.”

“We’ll have the band play something slow. I’d hate to step on your…”

———

“Captain?” Tony shook the other man, worry building up. Steve was clenching the bar on the roller coaster car, staring straight ahead, his eyes glazed. A terrified look was frozen on his face. Tony shook the super soldier again. “Rogers!”

Thor stepped out of the car in front of them, holding the panda. “What is wrong?”

Tony moaned and ran ah and through his hair. “I don’t know for sure. I shouldn’t have made him come.”

Thor looked to the impatient waiting people. “We should move him.”

They managed to peel his fingers off the bar and drag him to a nearby bench. “What shall we do?” Thor asked, setting the panda down next to Steve.

Tony frowned down at Steve. “You text the others, I’ll get some water and see if I can get him to snap out of it.” Thor nodded and pulled out his phone.

———

Natasha glared at a grubby-looking man who got too close to her stash. She was guarding the prizes she and Clint had won while Clint rode the bumper cars. Needless to say their time in the shooting gallery had been well spent.

She had a good view of the bumper cars from her position. She needed to remind Clint to take it easy. He’d already give two people whiplash, and one of them was an adorable little girl.

Her phone buzzed and she pulled it out. A text from Thor. She frowned and opened it.

Distress! Trouble, by large metal hill. Come immediately!

Natasha frowned and waved in Clint’s direction. He caught her eye and managed to get out before the round was over. “What’s up?” he asked. She showed him the text and he checked his own phone. “He sent it to me, too. So he finally figured out how to send texts to multiple people.”

Natasha rolled her eyes. “What do you think he meant by ‘large metal hill’?” She scanned the surrounding area.

“The Ferris wheel?” Clint joked.

She elbowed him. “Help me carry the prizes. We’re heading to the roller coaster.”

———

Tony paced next to the bench, occasionally glancing over at Steve. The younger – older? – man still had a terrified, glazed expression. It worried him, but he didn’t know what to do. Thor had sat down on the bench, sound asleep with a smile, one arm around the motionless captain and the other around the stupid stuffed panda. The panda’s staring eyes taunted him with the same glazed look as Steve had.

“Tony?”

He turned to see Natasha and Clint approaching, each with an armful of stuffed animals and who knew what else. They stopped next to him and set them down. “What’s going on?” Natasha asked, surveying the scene. She frowned. “Did you text us with Thor’s phone? Is this a joke?”

Tony opened his mouth but was interrupted by Bruce joining them. “What’s up? Wait, he’s asleep. Tony, did you—”

Tony threw his hands up in the air. “I didn’t do it. At least, I didn’t send the text. I mean, it’s my fault, I guess, but – ugh…” He groaned and ran his hand through his hair. Why was he so frazzled? It was just Steve, after all. Steve, whom he argued with and insulted and teased. Why did he care so much?

Natasha’s frown deepened, and she grabbed him by the shoulders, forcing him to look her in the eye. “Tony. What. Is. Wrong?”

Tony ground his teeth. He would not show weakness, would not break down. Not here. Not now. He nodded to the bench. “Steve. He’s… zoned out. Has been ever since the roller coaster.”

Bruce and Clint hurried over to Steve, waking up Thor in the process. Natasha gave Tony a murderous glare. “What kind of idiot are you? Didn’t you think that a roller coaster might be a trigger?” She stormed over to the bench. Tony felt insuppressible guilt rising in his chest. It was his fault, after all. Why had he been so dumb? His shoulders slumped as he turned and walked away.

———

Steve’s eyes began to focus more as the others talked to him encouragingly. Finally he blinked and gazed around. He groaned and rubbed his forehead as he caught sight of the roller coaster and remembered. “I think I should stay off roller coasters for a while.”

Natasha smiled and stood up. “He’ll be fine. What happened?”

Steve closed his eyes. “I-I guess going down that fast reminded me of… you know”

No one spoke for a second, just letting the silence hang awkwardly before Thor reached over and patted Steve’s knee. “I do not know about all of you, but I believe I have had enough excitement for today.”

Bruce nodded. “We should head back to the tower.”

Steve looked around and then frowned. “But where’s Stark?”

Natasha grimaced. “I may or may not have told him off. He’s probably being his usual grumpy self and waiting for us in the van.”

Tony wasn’t at the van. Natasha tried to call him, and the sound of Black Sabbath’s Iron Man nearly burst their eardrums. They quickly found Tony’s cell phone stuffed into the glove box.

Natasha groaned and rested her head on the steering wheel. “Maybe I was too hard on him.”

Steve opened his door. “I’ll be back in a minute.” No one questioned him or protested ash he hurried back into the park.

———

Funny how he knew Tony better than the others. He found him in the stands of the water ski demo that was going on, right where Steve had thought he would be. The billionaire was staring but not seeing, and he certainly didn’t hear Steve coming. He nearly jumped out of his skin when Steve sat down next to him.

“It wasn’t your fault,” Steve said quietly, staring out at the water skiers.

Tony shrugged it off. “No one said it was.”

Steve turned towards Tony, his gaze piercing him through. “Apparently Nat did. I blame myself for things a lot. The tired look on my mom’s face, her death, the death of innocents during the war. But, in the end, it’s not always my fault – it’s just a passing of life. Something that has to – needs to – happen.”

Tony turned to face him, the faintest of smiles tickling his face. “Thanks.”

Steve slapped his knee and stood up. “Ready to head back to meet with the others?”

Tony shrugged. “If we must. I’d sure like a—” Steve sighed. “—snowcone, though,” Tony finished.

Steve smiled. “I think we just might be able to arrange that. We should get ones for the others, too.”

Tony laughed. “Hey, it’s my treat, and you’re the only one who gave me a pick-me-up. They skipped the counseling session, they go without snowcones.” And the two of them laughed as they headed towards the snowcone stand.

It’s Never Boring At Avenger’s Tower…

Once upon a boring day, when Thor was on Asgard and Banner was out shopping (that‘s a story for another time)…

Something was wrong. Something was very, very wrong.

Steve frowned as he stared down at his shield. There was something off with the weight. He readjusted it on his arm. Yep, something was definitely off. He pulled the shield off of his arm and gripped both sides tightly. A second later, he split the shield in half with a resounding crack.

There were only two people who could’ve snuck into the room to replace the shield while he was absorbed in the baseball game, and there was only one person who would have the expertise to make such a realistic replica. “Clint! Natasha! Stark!”

Natasha poked her head in the doorway. “Steve, what’s – whoa! What happened to your shield?” The look of surprise and shock on her face was enough to almost convince him that she wasn’t to blame, but best not to rule her out too soon.

Clint came in another door, his jaw dropping. “In a destructive mood? Let me guess, the Dodgers lost.” But there was a little gleeful twinkle in his eye that assured Steve that this was the culprit.

“Tony!” Steve yelled again.

The billionaire poked his head around the doorway. “Nice job,” he grumbled to Clint. Natasha leaned on the other door frame, a grin spreading across her face.

Steve nodded solemnly. “You’re lucky we didn’t have an emergency or anything.” He kicked one half of the broken pseudo-shield and it slid across the floor towards the pair. A quirky smile came onto his lips. “This isn’t over.”

Clint grimaced. “Uh-oh, I don’t think I like that look he had on his face.”

Stark grinned and picked up the shield piece. “Ah, what harm can he do? He’s just an old guy. I’ll bet there weren’t even pranks in his day and age.”

Natasha smiled. “He may just surprise you.”

Tony walked into his lab, humming. He was working on a surprise for Pepper – the vacation cruise she so desperately was longing for – and that had put him in a good mood.

JARVIS’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “Sir, I finished the modifications to the Mark V.”

Tony frowned. “What modifications? I didn’t order any modifications.” Why was he getting a bad feeling about this? He hurried over to his suit area and stopped dead in his tracks, horror crossing his face. The Mark V was now pink. Bright pink. Who – who would have done this? There was only one possible answer. “Did Steve do this?” Tony yelled at his AI.

The AI gave an uncharacteristic chuckle. “You should see your face, sir.”

“It was him, wasn’t it?”

“I’m not at liberty to say, sir.”

Tony stomped to the other side of the room. “Now JARVIS is keeping secrets. Perfect.” He left and stomped down the hallway. “Steve!”

Clint stood in his room in his plain white t-shirt and shorts. Natasha always teased him about never cleaning his outfit. What she didn’t know was that he actually regularly cleaned his outfit. He had two, so when he was washing one, he would wear the other. “Girls,” he growled as he slid open his drawer. He stopped, his jaw hanging open.

“Pink?” he squeaked, his eyes growing wide. His hands were gripping the drawer as if it was the only thing keeping him on the ground. “It’s pink!” he yelled.

Steve.

Steve!”

When Natasha saw Tony run by, his face inflamed, she set down her book (in spite of it just coming to a very tense moment) and thought she might as well follow. It would be interesting to see what happened. She could only assume Steve had exacted his revenge. As she stepped into the hallway, she was nearly bowled over by Clint, who yelled something unintelligible as he hurried on. Natasha hoped it was an apology, otherwise… Ah, well, she had enough satisfaction seeing him running around in shorts in a t-shirt. Since when did he do that? She had a feeling this was going to be good.

She hurried down the hallway and found them facing Steve in the kitchen. She smiled. Steve was attempting to look innocent while helping Pepper put away a few groceries and trying not to laugh. Innocence and laughter don’t go too well together.

“You had JARVIS spray paint my Mark V PINK!” Tony yelled, his face furious. “That one is my favorite!”

Pepper frowned at him. “I thought you said the—”

Tony shot her a glare that could fry an egg. “They’re all my favorites,” he growled.

Clint pushed Tony aside. “And my vest! Seriously, my vest? Why would you do that! Pink does not fit my personality.”

“I’m not sure I’d agree,” Natasha said under her breath, earning her a glare from Clint. She grinned.

Steve smiled. “It’s okay, guys. Tony, the paint is washable. I already gave JARVIS instructions on how to wash it off, and he’s probably doing it right now. And, if that really was your favorite, in my defense, I just asked JARVIS to do one, I didn’t specify which. Clint, I already got you another vest.”

The two glowered at him. “This isn’t over yet, Rogers,” Tony growled and the two of them hurried out. Natasha moved into the kitchen and started helping Steve and Pepper.

“Feel like you need an accomplice yet?” Natasha stuffed the cereal into one of the cabinets.

Steve smiled. “You just want in on the fun, without being a target. Clint hasn’t even seen his new bow and quiver yet. They were on clearance.”

Natasha’s jaw dropped. “You didn’t.” Steve just smiled.

There was a very unmanly shriek from down the hall. “STEVE!”

The Avengers: We Have A Tiger – Part Thirteen

At the request of the amazing erinkenobi2893, I’ve decided to post this Avengers fan fiction I wrote a while back. It’s quite long (twenty-eight pages) so it’s going to be split into quite a few parts. I hope that you will all enjoy it!

*DISCLAIMER: This story is based off of the end of The Avengers. There are illusions to spoilers for said movie, so read with caution, but most are not major. Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, are not taken into account, and have not been watched by the author. That said, enjoy.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

Part Nine

Part Ten

Part Eleven

Part Twelve

“Do you have your ropes off yet, Natasha?” Steve asked.

She shook her head. “My hands are pinned to the magnet, and my shoulder aches. There’s no way I can get them undone. Besides, Loki tied my hands plenty tight enough. What about you two?”

“No success,” Barton reported. Steve agreed.

“I think I’m almost there,” Stark called. “I’ve just got a little ways to go. This dagger he so kindly left in my shoulder early isn’t very good at cutting ropes.” He suddenly froze. “Act innocent. Somebody’s coming.” He frowned. “I thought it would take Loki longer than that to beat Thor, even without his hammer.”

Aila burst into the room and hurried out the opposite door, still looking regal, although she looked slightly downhearted. Just as the opposite door closed behind her, the one that she’d come in through opened again. Thor stood in the doorway, blinking as his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting. He looked up at Clint, Natasha, and Steve on the wall, confusion written all over his face. He shook it off. “Where’s Aila?”

“You and that stupid girl,” Stark growled. “Untie me. Now. Where’s Loki? Did you beat him?”

Thor made a face. “Not exactly, but he’s… out of commission at the moment.”

“Thor!” Aila exclaimed in a scolding tone as she stepped back into the room. “You should have brought Loki in. In case he regains consciousness.” She stuck a key in a keyhole – in the middle of the wall – and turned it. A buzzing sound filled the room and the magnetic portion of the wall began sliding slowly downwards, until everything stuck to it was simply sitting on the floor. Thor stared, and then turned and headed out of the building.

“Hey, untie me first!” Stark called, but Thor had already left. He eyed Aila. “You better stay away from me.”

She rolled her eyes and ignored him, walking over to Banner’s cage and unlocking it, letting the huge door swing open, and then went over to the three who had been on the wall and used a knife to slice through their bonds. “There’s antiseptic and bandages in the other room,” she told them.

Thor dragged Loki into the room and used some spare rope to tie his wrists and ankles. He raised an eyebrow when he saw that Stark was still tied to his chair. “Why did you not untie him?” he asked Aila.

She shrugged. “He’s a jerk. But he told me to stay away from him, too.”

Stark grimaced. “That’s not what I meant.”

Thor untied Stark. They cleaned the few wounds serious enough to need immediate attention while Aila stood awkwardly to the side. Stark got back into his suit, Thor retrieved his hammer, Cap his shield, Hawkeye his bow and arrow, and Natasha her gun. Natasha stuck her earpiece in her ear and contacted Fury. They went outside and waited for the jet to come to pick them up, with Steve and Hawkeye both keeping very close to Aila, just in case.

“It’s over,” Natasha mumbled softly to herself, rubbing her temples. “It’s over.”

———-

Fury met the jet as it landed just outside of SHIELD headquarters. The faces of all of the Avengers were worn and tired, and all of them had injuries of some kind. Banner was the least seriously injured, with just the knot on his head from when he was knocked out. The rest were all worse. Cap helped Aila out of the jet and led her towards the building, and her cell, his hand grasping her arm firmly. Thor grabbed Steve’s arm, stopping him. “Take her to the medical people first,” he said. “She may not look like it, but she is injured.” Cap raised an eyebrow but merely nodded and prodded Aila forward. Thor moved over next to Fury as the rest of the Avengers exited the jet.

“You did well,” Fury said. “Why didn’t you tie up Aila, though?”

Thor looked at the dirt. “She saved my life. Loki was about to kill me. She…” His voice trailed off. “Saved me.”

“There’s more, isn’t there,” Natasha said quietly from his elbow.

Thor sighed. “She said it herself. She said that she would lose either her freedom or-or me. And she chose to lose her freedom.” He stopped. “For me,” he said chokingly.

THE END

I hope you have enjoyed this story! What did you think? Keep an eye out for more stories coming soon!

The Avengers: We Have A Tiger – Part Four

At the request of the amazing erinkenobi2893, I’ve decided to post this Avengers fanfiction I wrote a while back. It’s quite long (twenty-eight pages) so it’s going to be split into quite a few parts. I hope that you will all enjoy it!

*DISCLAIMER: This story is based off of the end of The Avengers. There are illusions to spoilers for said movie, so read with caution, but most are not major. Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, are not taken into account, and have not been watched by the author. That said, enjoy.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Natasha stepped into the cell area. The area was always awfully dark and dreary, but it seemed more so today. She made her way to Aila’s cell. She saw her sitting on her cot, staring absently at the wall. Natasha realized that the girl wasn’t as young as she had thought she was; her size and her action had made Natasha think of her as a teenager, maybe early twenties, but now she realized that Aila was actually somewhere in her early thirties, or, at the very least, her late twenties. Somehow that made her pity the Aila less.

“Aila?” Natasha asked cautiously. The girl looked frightened.

“How’d you know my—” She stopped. Her voice was sweet and almost musical. “Thor,” Aila stated.

Natasha nodded and leaned against the glass. She could never bring herself to enter a cell with a prisoner. There were very few people who would take chances like that, and she was certainly not one of them. “Why did you break into SHIELD?” she asked. Aila tipped her head forward, letting her blond hair fall over her face, hiding her from Natasha’s view. “Please talk to me, Aila.”

Natasha continued to attempt to interrogate Aila for almost half an hour before she finally gave up and left. She hurried back to the meeting room, frustrated, both with herself and with Aila.

“Any success?” Clint asked. Natasha shook her head in reply.

“She won’t talk,” she told them.

“Well, I’ll give it a try,” Clint said.

“Maybe she falls for cute guys,” Natasha said teasingly.

“Then Thor better go next,” Clint muttered.

Natasha rolled her eyes. “I’m not sure that would be much of an interrogation.”

Clint left the room to do the interview, and the small group stayed silent while they waited. If Aila could resist Clint, they were in pretty big trouble. Natasha couldn’t help wondering if Stark could get Aila to talk. Their personalities certainly would clash, and that might help get her into an argument where she would actually talk.

Barely twenty minutes had passed before Clint stomped into the meeting room. His face was furious. “I have never met anyone as stubborn and untalkative as that – that…” He stopped and growled before turning to Fury. “Don’t bother asking. I didn’t get a single word out of her.” Natasha was clearly hiding a grin.

“Well, Thor, it’s your turn,” Fury announced. Thor nodded and headed out of the door, quickly making his way to the cell area. He found that he was clenching his hammer tighter than he needed to. Why did seeing Aila again make him so nervous?

He opened the door into the cell area slowly and made his way down the rows of glass cells. He stopped in front of Aila’s cell. She was staring at the ceiling, but she heard his footsteps and looked over. Her face darkened and she looked back at the ceiling. Thor unlocked the door and walked in, locking the door behind him. Aila didn’t look at him as he sat down in a wooden chair.

“What is wrong?” Thor asked. Aila still didn’t move. “Did I do something to upset you?”

Aila was silent for a minute. “Why did you tell them my name?”

Thor sighed. “Fury asked me,” he told her.

“You didn’t have to tell him,” she said softly, still looking up at the ceiling.

“I’m sorry,” Thor said, his voice equally soft. “I couldn’t lie to Fury, but I’m sorry that I upset you by telling him your name.” He paused. “Why didn’t you want them to know your name?”

“Does it matter?” Aila said, pulling her knees to her chest. Thor felt a pang in his chest at the sight of her huddled up on the cot. “You might as well leave. I’m not going to tell you anything, and you’ll just get angry like Hawkeye and the Black Widow did.”

“You know us by sight?” Thor asked.

She shrugged. “Doesn’t everybody?”

Thor looked at her. Her back was turned to him, her blond hair cascading loosely down her back. If only… he pushed the thought away. “How old are you?”

She turned to face him, her blue eyes flashing. “I’m not a little kid, and I’m older than most people think. Really, that’s all. I’m not going to tell you one more thing.”