Carter and Laynie could both barely contain their nervousness as they filed into the helicarrier's meeting room where they had first met the Avengers. Laynie couldn't help but wonder if this would be the last place she'd see them, though she knew that wasn't logical. They would still have to get their things out of the tower.
The two girls stuck close together, sitting beside each other in chairs as far away from Director Fury as they could manage. The two extra people in the room didn't escape their notice, either.
Laynie and Carter's social workers were nice enough, but often treated them like they were much younger. They both seemed to have been in the business for a while, but had less experience with teens.
"Thank you all for coming on such short notice," Director Fury started, "First order of business, the men who are after Carter and Laynie. We know it has to do with the usb Laynie found, which as of now we do not know what is on it." He turned to the girls. "Agents Natasha and Clint will be leaving in a few days to find whoever is coming after you two. Until then, there's nothing more for us to say on that subject."
Director Fury then turned to the social workers. "Secondly, Carter and Laynie, you will soon have new living arrangements. I will leave it to your social workers to explain." He motioned to the women sitting on the other side of the table.
Mrs. Brauer, Laynie's social worker, stood and straightened her jacket. "Mr. Walter Martinez was located in Santa Fe, New Mexico a few weeks ago. We've been speaking with him and working with the Santa Fe DSS to ensure he will be a dependable parent. We've deemed his living situations, behaviors, and location suitable for Miss Combs, and we'll be transferring her by train this Friday. Five days."
Before Laynie could react to the words, Tony and Pepper had both began loudly making their complaints known.
"Mr. Stark, Miss Potts, I can assure you that Laynie will be safe. SHIELD will continue to watch her as she's transferred, but now that we have the USB, she won't be in so much danger," Fury shouted over them both.
Laynie scooted closer to her friend, grabbing onto her arm as if it were the only thing keeping her in the seat.
Tony kept arguing, and Thor even jumped in on it. Laynie blocked everything out.
"That's enough!" the social worker shouted, silencing the two men. "There is no room for argument. All is said and done."
Silence fell over the room, the only sound made was Mrs. Brauer sitting in her seat and shifting around some of her files.
Carter's social worker, Miss Wright, cleared her throat and stood. "Yes, well, Miss Beckett's case is quite a bit different from Miss Combs. Miss Beckett has few living family members that we could find and the ones we did find were deemed unsuitable to care for her properly. With that being said, Miss Beckett, for now, will stay under the care of the state and will be sent to a foster family in the immediate area on Friday."
Almost immediately after Miss Wright finished, Tony started to open his mouth to argue again.
Seeing this, Carter stopped him. "Please don't argue with them."
Tony's first sentence died on his lips.
"I kinda figured this would happen. It's not a big deal." Carter smiled weakly.
Bruce slapped his hand down on the table, causing everyone to jump. Not only because of the sudden activity, but because of who it was that was causing it. "It's not okay! You can't just split these girls up! Laynie obviously does not want anything to do with her father, and there is no sense in just putting Carter in whatever home will have her! This is-"
"Just stop!" Carter shouted, "I'm fine. We all knew us staying with you all wasn't permanent. And like I said, I expected this."
Bruce met Carter's eyes, and instead of seeing anger there like she expected, she saw tears.
That was it for Laynie. She jumped out of her chair and left the room, not bothering to excuse herself.