Living with the Avengers

Chapter Fourteen

Laynie barely walked through the door to her apartment before she began crying. That's why she had insisted upon going in alone.

Tony, in full Iron Man armor, and a handful of SHIELD agents had taken her to her old apartment to finish getting her things out.

The walls of the once so homey apartment were bare, the photographs that had once adorned them put in storage. Her mother's room was stripped empty of everything but the bed frame, and her own room was mostly packed up. It was a horror. The home had once been so beautiful to her, and she had never really appreciated it. Now that she was being forced to leave it behind, she realized how much she loved it.

Being there left a knot in her stomach and tears in her eyes. She could still smell her mom's favorite air freshener all over the place. She could still see her mother standing over the kitchen stove, making dinner for the two of them. She could still feel her mom sitting beside her on her bed after she had returned from a mission, venting about her frustrations with her boss.

It was all too much for her. All Laynie really wanted to do was lay across the floor and die. It sounds melodramatic, but it's true. She wondered how she had gotten along without her mother so far, and how much longer she could do it. It was a knife in the chest every time she remembered that her mom would no longer be there to guide her through life, no longer there to witness the things she wanted to accomplish.

Laynie finished packing her room, putting some things she wanted to have with her at Stark tower in a backpack. She knew this would be her last time in her house, so she decided to amble around it before calling in Tony. Even though it hurt to be there, it was a dull pain in comparison to what she would feel upon leaving for the last time.

She made sure to check in all the cabinets, drawers and closets around to make sure nothing was left, and found nothing but a stray lipstick, a clothes hanger, and a bobby pin.

Finally, she realized she couldn't stay any longer. Tears began welling up in her eyes again as she made for the door. Laynie walked slowly, taking everything in one last time, dragging her fingers along the walls.

Before she made it through her home, she decided that she could no longer call it that. It was her mother and their things that made it home. Without all that, it was simply a New York apartment. She knew were her home was, and with whom it belonged.

She flipped open her cell phone in the doorway, calling Tony and saying nothing else but, "Take me home."

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