Living with the Avengers

Chapter Three

The next day, Carter cautiously unlocked her door and peeked her head outside. When she saw that no one was around, she stepped out and started to wander the building. She was about to step into the living area when she heard talking. She took two steps back and was about to turn around when she heard her name. Not able to deny herself the satisfaction of eavesdropping, she crept up to the corner, just out of view of whoever was in the living area.

"I've never seen such a rude child, I understand that she just lost her parents but she could be a little more respectful," Steve said

"What do you expect? She's a teenager," Clint responded

Steve sighed. "That's not how it was in my day. I just hope Director Fury finds suitable guardians so we can get them out of here."

"What're you doing?"

Carter jumped when she heard a voice behind her. She turned and found Bruce Banner himself standing behind her.

"Are you okay?" Bruce asked.

"Fine," she answered shortly. Was he angry? Should she run?

He awkwardly gestured to the living room. "Eavesdropping? That's generally not good for you."

"I don't remember asking your opinion. And I wasn't eavesdropping."

He smiled. "Whatever you say. I'm going to make a snack, would you like something?"

"No than-" Carter started to say, but was interrupted by her stomach calling out to her for food.

His smile widened a little, and he walked down the remainder of the hallway, silently motioning for her to follow him into the kitchen. He walked right to the fridge, pulling out several plastic bags of vegetables and a bottle of ranch dressing. "What would you like?"

She shrugged as she took a seat at the island. "I dunno. Anything I guess."

He shrugged back and got an extra plate, loading them both up with pre-cut vegetables and a dollop of ranch in the center. "So, how are you liking it here?" he asked as he sat down across the island from Carter.

"It's fine," he mumbled, nibbling on some celery.

He raised an eyebrow. "Answer honestly."

"How do you know I'm not?" Carter narrowed her eyes.

He thought about it for a second. "I just do. And you may or may not need a little practice lying. You'll have to take that up with Tony."

A smile graced her lips before she could stop herself.

"Look at that, you can smile."

Quickly wiping the look off her face, Carter shook her head wildly, "I wasn't smiling."

"Sure, right." They sat in silence, munching on their snack. "You still haven't answered my question, you know."

"Isn't kinda obvious I don't want to be here?" She replied bluntly.

He nodded slowly. "It is. I think you offended Pepper a little. Or worried her at the least. She's always telling everybody that they can just ask her for anything and she doesn't know what to do with people who refuse her."

Carter felt a little guilt at this. "I wasn't meaning to. I haven't exactly been having a good week and right now, I don't think I really care who I offend."

"Be careful. A mindset like that, once you accept it, is hard to get rid of." When he did not receive a response, he said, "Sorry. I'll stop now." He got up and put his plate in the sink. "Thanks for chatting with me."

She nodded listlessly. "Yeah..." Her mind stayed on his last sentence even after he left.

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