Avengers x Reader
Summary: reader is getting a tour of her new job at the Avengers tower, but happens to be the only one who notices an oncoming jet, about to crash into the building.
Word Count: 2064
Warnings: tension + fluff + swears
A/N: I’m really sorry if this one is a little boring, but the dust has to settle a bit after the shit-storm I created in the last two parts. Enjoy 💛
After a week and a debate with Mr. Stark and his Dr. Banner (the Hulk, who apparently I saved), the hospital finally allows me to leave. Dr. Banner insisted that a hospital room is no place for a patient struggling with PTSD. I don’t think of it that way, but I guess there’s a lot of things about me that are new.
“Enhanced?” I ask in fear. Mr. Stark holds his hands up to calm me.
“It’s not a bad thing!” he backtracks.
“But it was given to me for bad reasons.” I finish, trying to stay calm. I squeeze the stress ball the hospital gave me, looking around at my new living space for things to ground me. Mr. Stark, familiar with what I’m doing, gives me a moment to regroup before continuing.
“You’re not with people with bad reasons. Not anymore.” he says quietly. And I believe him. But it doesn’t change my fear.
He tells me that my apartment is unsafe, so he moves me into the tower on one of the gajillion floors he has. It’s like a big, luxurious hotel room. But it still feels empty. I nag Mr. Stark (who constantly reminds me to call him Tony) daily, asking about Penny. He says she knows the situation and that he’s asked her to give me some space until we can guarantee my safety. I don’t like it one bit, but I know it’s true. After my third day in my new suite, I get a call.
“I’m coming up right now, and I got your roommate with me.”
“Mr. Stark?” I ask.
“Tony.” he reminds me. “I have your roommate with me, she’s here to see you. Or should I send her home?” he says. I smile, jumping off the couch. I run to the door and open it, sprinting down the hall with my new, muscly legs. I’m so much faster than I used to be.
I reach the floor’s small (by Stark standards anyway, it’s really the size of my entire apartment) lounge just as the elevator opens. Penny is standing anxiously when it opens, and her eyes fall on me. Her corneas shine with tears as she runs out of the elevator and towards me. We collide, nearly falling over with the force of our embrace.
“Ohmygodyou’reokay.” she sobs. Her tears slip down my shoulder. She smells so familiar, and I choke up with the feeling of safety, something I haven’t felt in the last two months. “I was so worried.” she cries. I rest my forehead on her shoulder and cry equally as hard, and as stupid as we look, we don’t care. Not in the slightest.
After we’d calmed down, Tony brought up some men with suitcases for me, and I took them and Penny back to my suite. Once we’re back in, we sit on the couch, not sure where to go from here.
“You’re taller.” she says quietly, looking me up and down, her face sad. She must know that it wasn’t a natural growth spurt. I take her hand.
“I know.” I sigh. “It’s…weird.” I hate the tension. So much. “I guess this means I’ll have to carry my own groceries up to the kitchen.” I try to joke. Luckily, it works, because Penny cracks a smile despite the fresh tears slipping down her face.
After she’s helped me unpack all my belongings, we crawl into my large bed for the night, faces propped on our knuckles. I’m reminded of all those nights in college we would stay up and talk about our dreams. It’s so refreshing to have a sense of familiarity that doesn’t haunt me. Now, though, we are faced with the one question that will determine the future.
“So,” I mutter, tracing circles on the white bed sheet, “what now?” Pen looks at me sadly but reassuringly. I seem to be getting that look a lot.
“You’re gonna live here now.” she nods. “Mr. Stark says it would unwise for me to come live here.” her eyes don’t meet mine.
“I’m not safe as it is.” I agree. “There’s no reason for you to be unsafe, too.” Penny shakes her head.
“Y/N, you’re in one of the most secure places in the whole world. They’re gonna take care of you.” For some reason, I feel vaguely like a psychotic patient being moved into an asylum. I shake the thought.
“What about the apartment? You can’t afford to pay it on your own.” I ask. Penny smiles.
“Mr. Stark is gonna pay for the other half. He’s gonna take care of it.” I sigh.
“What do I do, Pen? How am I supposed to just…exist here? I don’t have a job anymore, I don’t live at home, I don’t know what to do or where to go when I wake up in the morning. And I’m scared. I feel like everyone’s handling me like I might break at any second. I feel fragile and weak and abnormally strong at the same time. My own body is different, my mind is going down the shitter with all the PTSD.” I shudder out a breath. Penny is squeezing my hand tight, swallowing down a lump in her throat.
“I know.” she whispers. “You’re gonna be okay, though. You’re okay now. As long as you’re alive. We can deal with the aftermath. But you’re here now. That’s all that matters.”
We stay up the whole night, just like old times, trying to talk about anything but what happened. About how Derek had come to spend every night with Penny while I was gone, how, “Oh my god, Tony fucking Stark is your landlord now.”, about Penny’s boss, Jerry, who always seems to have something up his ass. Despite all that’s happened, we push through, we gossip like little girls, we laugh and we cry and yell and whisper. We sit in silence, just letting each other’s existence be enough. I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad for someone to exist.
Apparently, Tony Stark is my father now.
Anyone would assume it, anyway, with all the care he’d put into my recovery. My heart swells for his concern, but I try to remind myself every-so-often that he’s equally worried about the girl who hacked him falling into the hands of his enemies.
He sets me up with the best therapist money can buy and installs multiple emergency protocols into my suite. If my enhancement kicks in, I press a button for help. If I need someone to calm me down, I press for help. If anything at all feels off, I press for help. If I have an itch on my back I can’t reach, I press for help. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone came to my suite one morning with a bottle and a diaper.
Tony visits me every two days or so, sometimes accompanied by Dr. Banner. I remember the first time Dr. Banner came on his own. He told me had wanted to wait until things smoothed over to come talk to me.
“I haven’t gotten a chance to thank you.” he said. “You were the one that redirected the jet. I didn’t really know what to say. I guess thank you is all I can really say. I’ll never be able to repay you. You saved a lot of people who mean the world to me.” As soon as he left, I had to press a button to get someone to help with my enhancement, because, as my therapist says, “Your powers are linked to your emotions.” It made me emotional, to remember the thing I had blamed myself for, and to finally realize that I really did save everyone in this building.
It took nearly two months to begin talking about what happened. Tony had been spoon-feeding me little bits of information every now and again, enough that it would only upset me a little. I’d been in his hold for five weeks. He had put me into a coma to work on my enhancements. They weren’t sure of the limit of it. All they knew for sure is that I could go invisible. After five weeks, he took me out of the coma to get the super serum into me and to brainwash me. Fortunately, the Avengers came to my rescue only a few hours after he had put my head in a blender and swiftly killed my captor, whom they still haven’t identified. I wasn’t being brainwashed for any longer than six hours. But it still fucked me up badly. Memories that I was unfamiliar with swirled in my head, past events from the 1940s, sounds of war and pain. People chanting, “Long live the oblivion child.” over and over and over. Sometimes, my body goes so cold it stiffens, that my lips turn blue. I break out into cold sweats whenever I hear an accent, or a small child. I’ve caught myself muttering things in different languages, languages I don’t even know how to speak. I don’t know how I haven’t gone insane. Maybe I have. Maybe I just don’t know it.
“It’s okay.” Dr. Simone says. He looks me straight in the eyes. To most people, this would uncomfortable, but looking me in the eyes means that I’m here and that I haven’t gone invisible, that I’m here, I made it out, away from him. He’s dead. He can’t hurt me. I inhale and squeeze my stress ball.
“Um…he was talking about viruses.” I begin. “And he was calling me 108. It’s…kind of fuzzy. The…the 108 Protocol. The oblivion child.” I close my eyes, eyebrows creased in a pained expression. “Romeo and Juliet.” I swallow. I know that Tony is looking at me through the one-sided window on the far side of the room. He insists on being here, for my safety so he can figure out why I was taken. Dr. Simone touches my knee. I open my eyes, and just like any person who looks at something that isn’t really there, his face shows he’s searching. For mine. “Sorry.” I whisper. He shakes his head as a way of telling me it’s okay. I calm myself down and feel the familiar stir in my chest, letting me know I’m back.
“Good job. It’s a start.” he says. But it doesn’t feel like one. It’s been three months. I started so long ago. It’s been too quiet.
The only people I’ve seen during my recovery are Penny, Derek (he came to see me after he found out I was back), Tony, Dr. Banner, and any Stark Industries employees helping me regain my sanity. Tony says it’s better to have a small little bubble of a world for me to feel safe in rather than send me out in the streets of New York to face all the people. But reality has to catch up eventually. Life goes on.
On the exact three month mark from my return, I wake up from a nightmare. It’s usual, but it never stops being scary. Dr. Simone hasn’t said anything about them, even though I know Tony told him I get them. It’s embarrassing, the way I have to baby-step into everything. I stand in front of my kitchen counter in my sweatpants and tee-shirt. I like to scroll through social media, something I did easily before my abduction. But because of all that is running around in my brain, it’s nice to have something that I know for a fact is real. Even if it is a celebrity baby shower.
I’m taken away from my phone at the commotion going on outside my suite. I frown. It’s four in the morning. What could they possibly be doing? I head to the door and open it slightly, just enough for me to peek outside. There are employees talking to one another quickly and rushing around with duvets and towels in hand. I stop one of them as he passes by. He halts his rolling cart of silverware. “What’s going on?” I ask, opening my door just a bit to speak. He quickly responds to my question before speeding off with his cart.
“The Winter Soldier is returning.”
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