As the elevator doors opened, Tony stepped backward and dramatically swept his arms out wide. "Welcome to Stark Tower."
Carter and Laynie followed him out of the elevator into the living floor of Stark Tower. They held their school backpacks, while the rest of the baggage had been distributed between Steve and Thor.
"Pardon our dust," a redhead said, walking up with a stack of folders in her arms. "Tony can't seem to find a stopping point for renovations. Until then, this is about the only floor we can use."
"This wonderful woman is Pepper Potts," Tony said, wrapping an arm around her waist and planting a kiss on her cheek.
The woman pulled away and walked over to Carter and Laynie, holding out a hand to shake. "You can call me Pepper" She introduced herself with a kind smile, holding out her hand to shake.
Carter simply looked at the hand disinterestedly before turning her head back toward the ground.
Laynie elbowed her before shaking Peppers hand. "Thanks for letting us stay, Pepper. I'm Laynie, and this is Carter."
Tony scoffed. "Don't thank her, Fury's just ordering us around."
"You could've said no." Carter muttered under her breath.
Pepper gave the girls a sympathetic look. "We're glad to have you anyway. Now Natasha and I won't be so grossly outnumbered around here."
Laynie gave a little smile and nod.
"How about we show them where they're staying?" Natasha offered. "I'm sure they'd like a chance to rest and get settled in."
Tony nodded. "Right." He turned to Pepper, "There are rooms prepared right?"
"Yes." Pepper rolled her eyes. "Come on girls, it's just down the hall here."
Carter and Laynie picked up their bags and walked after her.
As they walked down the extravagantly long hallway, Pepper pointed out which room belonged to who. "And right there on the end is where Tony and I stay, if you ever need anything that's where to go." She stopped in front of one room on the left side of the hallway and unlocked the door, giving Carter the key card. "This is your room. There's a bathroom on the right side there. Let me know if you need anything."
Carter wheeled her suitcase into her room and shut the door behind her.
Pepper turned to the right side of the hallway and unlocked another, giving this key to Laynie. "The same for you Laynie. Oh!" She knocked on Carter's door and said when she came out, "there's a panel at the end of the hallway, that's JARVIS, Tony's artificial butler to put it simply. He'll also help if I'm not around."
"Thank you Ms. Potts," Laynie said.
"Yeah, thanks." Carter agreed rudely, shutting her door.
Pepper sighed. "She's gonna be fun." She slowly walked back down the hallway to the living area, where everyone else had made themselves at home.
"So... first impressions?" Bruce asked.
"Laynie seems nice enough, it's the other one that's so rude," Steve said bluntly.
"The 'other one' has a name." Natasha pointed out.
"Carter seems fun," Clint said with a smirk. "We'll have fun with her."
"Clint, do remember that we're supposed to protect these children, not provoke them."
Tony laughed. "Who said we can't do both? I like both!"
Pepper shook her head. "Really guys, it sounds like Director Fury was pretty vague about it all, but if they weren't in some pretty serious danger they wouldn't be here. Don't go getting big heads on this, but you're some of the most powerful people on earth, and Fury wanted Carter and Laynie with one of you at all times."
"And you all realize that their parents died. Everybody copes different ways," Bruce added. "So, maybe Carter copes by pushing others away." He shrugged.
There was a short silence, broken by Thor. "I like them! But I am confused of this Carter's gender. It appears to be female, but bears the name of a man."
Not even Natasha could resist giving a laugh to Thor's comment.