February 1st, 2012, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Director Nicholas Fury watched with mixed feelings of confusion and disappointment as yet another interrogator sped out of the borrowed interview room. This one, a middle-aged man who had been recruited for his tenure in Iraq and Afghanistan, looked even more spooked than the last. He avoided making eye contact with Fury, beyond the obligatory need to tell him that he wouldn't be able to continue with the woman, before he fled the viewing room. He had the decency to look ashamed underneath his discomfort, although that did nothing to lessen Fury's feelings of pure annoyance.
He had hoped the soldier would be able to make some sort of headway with the obstinate woman, girl more like, currently glaring at the two-sided glass. Apparently he had been wrong. It was a fact that didn't sit well with him.
Fury rolled his shoulders back and tucked her file under his arm and stepped into the obscenely bright room. She didn't look up, choosing instead to find a sudden fascination in her nubby fingernails. She picked at them, flicking dirt to the floor in a defiant way that made his eyelid twitch underneath his patch.
She was posturing, he knew that, and yet the action chapped him all the same.
"What did you do?" Fury folded his arms over his chest and narrowed his one good eye at the young woman. She continued to avoid his gaze. When she said nothing in response, he asked her again, more bite in his voice the second time around. "I'm not in the business of asking people twice."
"And yet, you just did."
Fury's eyelid twitched again, but he decided to wait.
"I didn't do anything," She said after a moment, looking away from her hands to the air conditioning duct that ran along the length of the room. She gazed at the small ice crystals that formed on the vent a bit closer than was necessary before she finally turned to look at him. Her large amber eyes were filled with anger and fatigue, although he was pleased to see there was small amount of fear. Fear was good. Fear produced answers.
"You definitely did something."
"I'm not going to talk just because the room's cold." All the same, she rubbed her goose pimpled flesh discretely, pale hands moving along her skin before she stopped and tucked them into her cap sleeves. It was his intention to make her as uncomfortable as possible so he did not find it in himself to care that she was a bit chilly.
Fury sat down in the chair across from her casually, dropping the file on the table. Her eyes slid from his face down to the manila folder, widening when she read her name printed brazenly across the front in red letters.
It was always the red letters that caused them to panic.
"You cause me concern," Fury said plainly, sliding the folder closer. She seemed conflicted, fingers twitching, before she reached a shaking hand forward to snatch her file off the table. He watched her, waiting for her to process the information. When the look of alarm finally showed on her face, unmasked, unaltered, he thought he might be making progress. She looked pale in the fluorescent lighting of the room, sickly almost. It took her a few moments to get to the last page and, when she did, she put the file down and closed it.
"Apparently, you aren't the only one I cause concern for. Does the government have files like this on everyone? Or am I just special?"
"Special is one way of putting it."
"But it isn't the way you would put it?"
There was a defiance in her voice that Fury did not like. It didn't reach her eyes, however, and the veins in her forehead and along her neck were starting to show. The pale blue looked make her skin look almost translucent and he wondered how long it had been since she had spent any solid amount of time in the sun. He wasn't in the business of caring, however, so he took the folder back and tapped it so the papers were neat and orderly.
"No, no I wouldn't."
"How would you classify it?" She tilted her head to the side just enough to cause her hair to swing over her shoulder.
"Bothersome, at best. Problematic, at worst."
"Director Fury would do," Fury corrected, noting the way her nose scrunched.
"I'm assuming it's problematic for you specifically."
"And for you," Fury said. "I don't think I need to tell you, you especially, what sort of trouble you're in."
"Enlighten me, Director Fury." She emphasized his title in a mocking manner. His eye twitched again, worse than ever. She was going to be a problem, he could feel it.
"Miss Gudrun," Her mouth twisted at the use of her last name. "Now is not the time and place…"
"Santa Fe, you mean."
"Santa Fe." Fury didn't question why she knew where she was, despite the fact that she shouldn't even know what state she was in, let alone which city.
"A bit bleak, wouldn't you say?" She leaned forward on her elbows. Her eyes flashed in the intense light of the room with the movement. Fury wondered what it was about her that caused three of S.H.E.I.L.D.'s best interrogators to leave after only an hour or so in her presence, if there was something about looking her in the eye that caused them to panic. It wasn't her size, which was unimpressive at best, nor was it her voice, which was accented in a way that most would consider to be charming. He had to assume it was her eyes, although he didn't find them to be particularly intimidating or remarkable.
"You haven't asked me any real questions," She replied, sliding the folder back towards him. "Or told me anything I don't already know."
"I haven't told you anything at all," Fury said, ignoring the papers she was giving back to him.
"You haven't, but they did." She leaned back in her chair, appearing calm. He muscles were tense, however, and he could see the way her hands gripped the sides of her chair.
"And what exactly did they tell you?" Fury hoped that he might be getting to the important part, the part he cared about.
"Why don't we start at the beginning then? Tell me what you know about the incident in Roswell."
"I passed a kidney stone yesterday." Avery looked up from digging through her wallet for her last wayward twenty, blinking rapidly. The saleswoman smiled brightly at her, entirely unaware of the inappropriateness of what she'd just said. "I kept it. It was my third one this year." The woman, Dolores according to her nametag, began to bag up Avery's small pile of toiletries. "I think I might start a collection."
"That's," Avery paused, the twenty completely forgotten. "That's really nice."
Dolores smiled even brighter. "Thanks, sweetie."
Avery looked away from the woman pointedly, suddenly finding interest in the convenience store instead. It was a smelly place and she had noticed, during her short time perusing the aisles, that it had a rather large selection of pickled foods, among other equally odd things. She imagined the smell was coming from the combination of moldy carpets and the stench of cat-lady wafting off Dolores, but in a town like this she wasn't sure.
"Cash or credit?"
Avery, who had been eyeing a rubber alien stapled to the wall, turned back to Dolores. "I'm sorry?"
"Cash or credit." Dolores had the nerve to look at Avery like she was the odd one.
"Cash." Avery handed over the crumpled up twenty.
"So, are you staying in town or just passing through?" Avery wished that she wasn't morally and socially obligated to engage in small talk. She found it to be rather useless and, often, horribly uncomfortable. "I would hope you're just passing through. I've never cared for tourists. All a bunch of nonbelieving ninny's." Avery rolled her eyes, extending her hand out for the change Dolores had completely forgotten about. "You know, it's real. All of it. I've been probed. You can't make that sort of thing up?"
"I'm late for work…"
"So you are sticking around, then?"
"You'll have to come to one of our UFO watch parties. They're a real hoot."
"I can only imagine." Avery scratched her head awkwardly, wishing nothing more than to never speak to the woman again. She hadn't been to a party that had been described as a hoot before and she had no plans of changing that anytime soon.
Dolores finally handed Avery her change with hands stained from years of cigarette abuse. She noticed her nails were covered in fluorescent pink nail polish, with a small green alien standing out prominently on each thumb. Avery couldn't exactly say she was surprised. She took her change and grabbed her plastic bag of stuff, hips already shifting towards the door.
"I'll see you around, sweetie."
Avery waved her hand and walked out without saying another word.
She started walking down the main street, hoping the smell of cat hadn't rubbed off on her. It wouldn't bode well for her first day of work. They had already done her a favor by hiring her and she didn't need to go and offend the customers right off the bat. She glanced around, trying to remember which direction the restaurant was. It all looked the same to her. Nothing but small town kitsch that was just as podunk as the last town she was in.
This one came with the added uniqueness of alien décor. It didn't help. In fact, it made it so much worse she could hardly handle it. She walked in the direction that looked vaguely familiar. She ignored the eccentrically dressed locals, knowing she was being rude but hardly caring. She didn't want them to think it would be acceptable to engage in small talk with her. It never turned out the way she wanted. People were always a bit too honest with her, a bit too forthcoming for her taste.
Avery ducked her head, walking along in the blistering sun for what felt like hours before she finally arrived at the doors of the restaurant.
It was garishly decorated with aliens and overflowing with fanny-packed tourists of the overweight variety. The one redeeming feature, in her eyes, was the name. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe had caught her eye when she had first pulled into town four days ago. Douglas Adams had been one of her personal favorites growing up. The clever name only went so far, however. The inside was still painted with shoddy stars and cheesy little green men. Her stomach squirmed at the thought.
Money was money, she had to remind herself. She would have to keep reminding herself until she didn't feel so miserable.
"Avery!" Avery looked up, not realizing how long she must have been standing outside the double glass doors. Her new manager, a balding man named Wayne, seemed to have seen one too many kids puking on his restaurant's black and white linoleum floors to put up with her shenanigans. He held the door open, gesturing with a wave of his hairy arm to follow him inside. "Move your ass, girl! You're blocking the way for paying customers."
Avery did not dignify him with a response.
"You'll need to get changed into your uniform. Nancy, in the back, will show you how to do your hair. Come find me when you're done."
He left her standing in the middle of the crowded restaurant. She looked around for a moment, wondering for what felt like the hundredth time why she decided that the restaurant industry was the best choice for someone who liked to avoid people, before she finally maneuvered her way to the back to find Nancy.
Nancy was a plump woman who wore a bit too much makeup and drank a bit too much on the job who smiled when she saw Avery. It was an awkward gesture that made the fat on her face pull up in odd ways. Avery realized, in that moment of judging Nancy, that she might have been alone for too long. She had forgotten her lessons on polite human interaction.
"Oh, Sug you'll fill out that dress nicely." Nancy eyed her up and down. "Size seven I'd guess."
"How did you know?" Avery asked, forcing herself to make an effort with the smiling woman.
"I have enough lovers to know how to spot a seven when I see one." Avery coughed and looked away.
"Don't worry. You aren't my type."
"I think we'll be friends, me and you." Nancy smiled once again, reaching over to pat Avery on the shoulder. Avery could think of nothing to say besides laughing halfheartedly in response.
Nancy gave her a dress, a green atrocity with a too short hemline, and showed her how to pull her hair back into a tight ponytail before she sent her back to begin her first shift. Avery supposed Nancy wasn't so bad. Her honesty wasn't as alarming as others and there were worst things than being told you filled out a dress nicely. It usually started out like that though, which is why Avery was hesitant. People had secrets that they didn't mind sharing and they had secrets that were secrets for a reason.
Around Avery there seemed to be no distinction.
One shift and 45 dollars in tips later, Avery found herself sitting on the counter nursing her wounds with a small slice of pie. Working in the restaurant industry, even for a mere six hours, left one doubting that there was any decency left in humanity in the slightest.
"Seven, if you keep eating that pie you'll get fat." Avery looked up, annoyed that she wasn't allowed to eat her dessert in peace. Nancy seemed as chipper as ever, even going so far as to swipe some of the whipped cream from the side of Avery's plate. "There's some stragglers you need to take care of, at table six."
"Why me?" Avery asked, pulling her plate away from Nancy before she could take more.
"Because I don't want to."
Avery stood up and handed her half eaten piece of pie to Nancy, knowing there wouldn't be anything left when she got back. She wanted to get out of her scratchy dress as fast as possible so she didn't mind being the proverbial muscle for the restaurant, even if it was only her first day. She thought the dye in her dress was cheap enough to run when it came in contact with liquid, making her absolutely certain her back was now vaguely green from sweat. The sooner she could get back home, a motel for the time being, the better.
She pushed the open the swinging doors, trying to remember which table was six when she saw them. There were three, all dressed for being out in the desert. All of their plates were empty and a bit of change was sitting on the table, indicating they'd already paid. The youngest of the three was talking loudly about something that seemed to annoy the other two. They nodded politely, however, neither of them paying too much attention to what she said.
"I don't understand why you thought I would like this place, Darcy," The other brunette said, sounding very tired.
"I thought you might enjoy the alieny theme."
"I understand they aren't all dreamboats, but they are from outer space so they have to get brownie points for trying."
"Blow-up aliens in a cheap roadside diner do not get brownie points."
"Well, they don't with that attitude."
"Darcy." The other brunette was worn out. Avery couldn't blame her if the other woman, Darcy, was always like that. "I just want to go back to…"
"Moping. You want to go back to moping. When Thor comes back he isn't going to like all that time you've been spending alone with Ben & Jerry."
The third person, an older man, twiddled his thumbs in his lap and waited for the other two to stop bickering. He glanced around the restaurant, smiling. He passed over Avery and started to move on when he realized that she could hear everything they were saying. He elbowed the talkative one, causing her to look offended for a moment before she too saw Avery.
"Hi," She said loudly. "Nice dress."
"We're closing up."
"Not one for small talk, are you?" Avery took a few steps towards them, wishing that they would choose to get up and leave before she needed to say something more forceful. "Apparently not."
"Look, we need to shut off the lights."
"We're leaving," The tired looking brunette said, standing up.
"Do you serve alcohol? She's had a rough day," Darcy said, forcing the other one to sit back down with a rough yank.
"We do, but like I said…"
"Jane's alien boyfriend, Thor, this super hunky Asgardian, promised he'd come back and he hasn't been seen for months. We spent the entire day in the blazing hot sun looking for signs and found nothing. Zilch. Bupkiss," She paused when she saw the look she was getting from both her dinner companions and Avery. "Why did I just tell you that?" Avery shook her head, hoping that Darcy was crazy. Otherwise, the people in this town weren't as misguided as Avery originally thought.
"Darcy," The other woman, Jane, hissed angrily. "We're leaving. Ignore everything she just said. It's true, but ignore it."
The man looked at the two of them like they had suddenly spouted three heads.
Avery wasn't quite sure how she was supposed to respond to them. In all of her life, in all of her twenty-two and a half years, never once had someone told her something so important, something so uncomfortably life-changing.
"How are you doing this?"
The accusatory look on Jane's face alarmed Avery, causing her to immediately take a step back. "I didn't do anything."
"Yes, yes you did. I would never tell someone something like that." Jane seemed simultaneously angry and confused. "It's a…"
"I get it. Trust me, I get it. It's a secret. It's yours. Why don't you three just go and we'll forget this ever happened."
"No. How did you do that?" Jane seemed genuinely angry. Avery shook her head, hoping that Nancy, or even Wayne, would notice the commotion out front and come rescue her from having to explain. "Tell me what you did to make me and Darcy tell you that."
"I," Avery held her hands up in front of her. This was the exact sort of thing that made her wish to live her life away from people. They said uncomfortable things, kept dirty, alarming secrets. "I didn't do anything. I swear, not intentionally."
Jane didn't seem convinced.
"Who are you?" She asked with conviction.
"Who are you?" She asked again, enunciating every single word.
Avery didn't know how to respond. No one had ever noticed it before. No one had ever asked about the odd amount of honesty that always seemed to be following her wherever she went. Jane was the first person to ever notice, and Avery found, now that she was confronted with explaining the anomaly that she was, she had no genuine way to answer her.
She stared at Jane for a moment longer before she turned around and sprinted towards the double doors, flinging off her checkered apron and ignoring their shouts as she went.
"You spin a nice story, but I hope you don't honestly expect me to believe you." Avery picked at her cuticles, allowing herself to look offended for a moment before she gave up the charade entirely, realizing she had used up the last of her ability to bullshit. Truthfully, she didn't think he ever really believed her in the first place. "Now, the truth, if you don't mind."
"I don't really think I'm going to tell you, so you might as well give up now before you waste any more of your time," Avery said very plainly.
Director Fury nodded his head, thinking something over. There was an awkward silence, during which Avery did her absolute best to look un-phased by the situation she found herself in. In general, and Avery tended to be a person who relished in generalities, interrogation rooms were not comfortable. This one seemed like it was ripped right of the screen of a cheesy buddy cop movie. She even thought she picked up the smell of stale coffee and outdated cleaner lingering. Perhaps they were piping it in to make her feel more uncomfortable.
She moved in her seat and tried to look tough, feeling very stupid, but trying all the same.
"Miss Gudrun, if you don't start cooperating things will go very badly for you, very quickly."
"I have rights. You can't keep me here for no reason. It's unconstitutional, inhuman." Even as she said it, it sounded flimsy and pathetic.
The only response Fury deemed appropriate was laughing at her. He leaned back in his seat, folding his arms over his chest as he continued laughing in a deep baritone that in other circumstances would seem pleasant. As it were, Avery thought he looked very much like a stereotypical super villain, eye-patch and all, laughing at her for suggesting something so stupid. After what felt like an eternity he finally stopped.
"We aren't the U.S. government, Miss Gudrun. Our scope is a bit bigger than that, and we're a hell of a lot more resourceful."
"You don't have to laugh." Avery hated how much she sounded like a child. "It's not like I use flash cards to brush up on my secret agencies every night just in case it's a Jeopardy question."
"I was under the impression that you already knew. You said so yourself. 'They told me everything.' I believe it was."
"I'm not a mind reader. It doesn't work that way."
"Explain, then," Fury prompted. His face was devoid of expression despite having just laughed, very effectively it should be noted, at her stupidity. "Tell me how it works."
"Do I get to leave?" She asked, hoping beyond a hope that he would say yes. With every moment that passed it became more and more clear that her usual stubbornness wasn't going to work. No matter how long she sat there, refusing to tell them anything, they could sit there longer. They had a bathroom after all, and she didn't. One could only be stubborn for so long before it switched towards being outright stupid. She thought it might be time for self-preservation above everything else. "If I tell you how it works, will you let me leave?"
"Depends on what you tell me."
She debated for a moment before she decided that she had no other choice. "I guess I'll start when I turned seven then."
"Avery Marie Gudrun!"
Seven year old Avery looked up from where she was currently melting plastic aliens on the steamy sidewalk. The blue one, the one she had dubbed Arthur, was already losing shape. His little fingers ran together in a small plastic puddle, sticking to the cement. She dropped the pink one next to the Arthur, hoping they would eventually melt together and create a blob of purplish plastic. She'd lost track of how long she'd been sitting outside in the blazing sun. Long enough to be missed, apparently.
"Avery! You stop ignoring me this instant!" Avery looked down at the little aliens and contemplated pretending she'd spontaneously lost the ability to hear, before she lifted herself off the dying grass and turned to look at the woman shouting for her. Her teacher, Mrs. Hibley, did not look impressed. She marched over to her, fanning herself with her large hand and stopped in front of Avery. "We have been looking for you for hours. We almost had to call your mother."
Mrs. Hibley said it as if it was a threat.
"Well?" She crossed her very large arms over her equally large chest. "What do you have to say for yourself?" Avery looked down at the little aliens again. "Oh, Avery. Why must we go through this every time?" Avery didn't have an answer. Mrs. Hibley reached down to grab Avery by the hand, causing her to squirm. She hated the feeling of her sweating hands on her own. It was the middle of September in southern New Mexico and impossibly hot. Avery could see the ever present moisture on her teacher's upper lip increasing with every extra moment they spent outside. "Timothy doesn't mean anything by what he says, Avery. He's just being a boy."
Avery didn't have the guts to tell her teacher she was wrong.
"Honestly, its children like you that make me regret becoming a teacher. My husband, the lazy so-and-so, is emotionally needy enough." Avery yanked her hands out of Mrs. Hibley's and took a step back, mouth open. She didn't even realize what she's said and was prattling on about how her husband liked to spend his evenings at the gentlemen's club on the far side of town. She didn't even know, but Avery did.
"It started with touches?" Fury opened his file to take notes. He started scribbling things down, which caused her to peer over and see what he was writing, which in turn caused him to move the papers back so she couldn't.
She sighed and continued. "I guess. The boy, Timothy, had been pulling my hair so I shoved him, and he told me something truly awful when I touched him."
"No." It was hard enough for Avery having to divulge something she had been guarding for so long to a man that had apparently never heard of wearing anything that didn't come in black leather. She was not willing to start spouting out all of the horrible things she'd heard over the years as well. "He was a creepy little kid and he said creepy little kid things."
"So, when you touched them they started telling you the truth?" Fury asked.
"I thought that at first." Fury sighed at her unhelpful answer, to which she responded with a glare. "But, I was only seven so I was bit taken by the idea that I might have been a human lie detector."
"But you weren't, aren't."
"No. Not in the slightest."
"I'm getting there. Calm down."
"Mom! It happened again today!" Avery dropped her backpack on the ground, kicking off her worn out converse as she started walking towards the kitchen. She could hear her mom singing, like she always did when she was alone. The sounds of Starship, her mother's favorite band for some odd reason, playing from the old radio in the crackly way that Avery was convinced her mother liked the sound of. We Built This City, a song that Avery was sure she would be able to recite in her sleep, was drowned out by her mother's obnoxiously loud singing.
"What!" There was a sound of frantic steps, followed by a click that killed the music. Avery rolled her eyes, leaning against the wall as she waited for her mother to come bolting from the kitchen. "You aren't bleeding are you?" Her mother slid into the hallway, slipping on her mismatched socks. Her ratty t-shirt was covered in what appeared to be a very large amount of paint, and she was wearing her self-dubbed 'creativity pants'. She visibly relaxed when she saw Avery looking at her with a snarky look on her face.
"Why would I come home if I was bleeding?" Avery asked, walking towards her.
"Avie, you know better than to scream at me while I'm painting." Her mother, Lally, as she had apparently named herself when she was three, reached out a paint covered hand to Avery. "Now what was it you were on about?"
"It happened again today."
"It? Like It It?"
"What else would I be referring to?" Avery moved past her mother into the brightly lit kitchen. She wished she hadn't. It was a true disaster zone. Open paint containers were on every flat surface available. A canvas that seemed to take up half the room was perched on a rickety easel. Avery almost turned around to walk out when she was stopped by her mother's hands on her shoulders. She was certain she would have blue hand prints, but she decided to ignore that.
"We need a name for it."
"Like what? Avery's freakish talent? Or, why Avery always seems to be in the middle of uncomfortable situations? Or, even better, why is everybody so disturbed?"
"What happened?" Her mother opened the fridge as Avery perched herself carefully on the dirty paint stool. She was looking forward to when her mother moved on to a less messy way of expressing herself. Last month it had been interpretive dance. She hoped for something like didgeridoo lessons next time. Avery had already sat in enough paint buckets for her liking.
"Same old, same old." Avery took the cookie her mother was plying her with, shoving it into her mouth moodily.
"Cameron, you know that weird kid with glasses that cover his face? He said he walked in on his mother having an affair with his uncle. I wasn't even touching him. We were sitting next to each other in the library and he just starts babbling about it." Her mother was unusually quiet. "It's never happened like that before. I've always had to touch people."
"I wouldn't worry about it, Avery."
"But mom, it's progressing!" Avery stood up from her seat. "What if it keeps getting worse?"
"And your mother didn't have an answer?" Fury was writing things down in her file so fast he didn't bother to look up at her. "She had nothing to tell you about your odd powers?"
"How old were you?"
"Thirteen." Avery remembered, very suddenly, how much she had hated being thirteen. It was the worst year of her life, for more reasons than one. She dug her fingernails into her palms, forcing her attention to move away from the painful memories.
"Why did you suddenly not need to touch people?" Fury asked, gaze drifting down to her clenched hands.
"I don't know. It just happened. One day I was avoiding touching people like the plague and the next day it didn't really matter."
"Is that what happened to Jane Foster?"
"Pardon?" Avery squeezed her hands even tighter.
"When you encountered the scientist Jane Foster did you use this power on her? You no longer need to touch people in order to get them to tell the truth. Is that what you did to Jane Foster?"
"First of all, I didn't do anything to Jane. Second of all, I don't compel people to tell the truth," Avery said through gritted teeth. She glared at Director Fury with all the malice she could muster. "I already told you I'm not a human lie detector."
"I am not playing games with you. I want answers, and I'm no longer in the mood to wait."
"Were you ever in that mood in the first place?"
"Jane Foster, along with Darcy Lewis and Eric Selvig encountered you on the evening of January the 23rd, 11:30 p.m. They divulged top secret information that only a limited number of people are privileged enough to know. And yet, they told you without even knowing your name. Why is that?"
"I was in the middle of telling you the story. You don't have to get snappy."
"You are a very real threat, Miss Gudrun. Playing innocent will not help your case. Now you either start telling me the truth about yourself, or I will be forced to take more drastic measures." Director Fury closed the folder and threw it on the table. He tossed the pen on top of it with so much force the cap bounced off. Avery took that as a physical representation of his general attitude towards her.
"What sort of measures?"
"The kind that you could easily compel me to tell you."
"I suppose." Avery saw Director Fury's upper lip twitch slightly.
"Can you control it?" He finally asked after a long moment. His one uncovered eye was appraising her in the sort of manner that people usually did when they trusted you about as far as they could throw you. She thought he might be able to throw her farther than he trusted her, but that was hardly relevant. Avery pondered for a moment about how to answer him. She hardly felt comfortable telling him the truth, in whole, but she felt even less comfortable keeping information from him. He seemed like he had the means to carry through on his threats, violent or otherwise.
"More than I used to be able to," She finally said, fully hating herself for even talking about it.
"Were you controlling it when you encountered Jane Foster?"
"No. I didn't think I would have to." Avery felt like the lights were suddenly much brighter than before. "I am right now though."
"And why is that?"
"People tend to dislike me. Something about spilling their secrets involuntarily makes them a bit touchy."
"I can imagine." Director Fury leaned back, re-crossing his arms over his chest. "Here's what's going to happen. You will tell no one what you conversed about with Dr. Foster, you will not write it down, and you will not think about it from this point forward."
"You can't exactly control my thoughts."
"I can damn well try."
"Fine. Can I go?"
"No. I'm afraid that's no longer an option for you Miss Gudrun." Fury stood up, scooping up the folder to tuck under his arm as her went. "As much as it pains me to say, and I am sure I'll regret not locking you up here and now far away from any and all human interaction, but it appears your encounter with Dr. Foster was your official application for employment."
"Excuse me?" Avery leaned back in her chair to get a better look at him.
"Welcome to S.H.I.E.L.D."
If you're a new reader of mine, welcome. If you wandered over here from the Hobbit or are rereading this story, hi again! I hope you enjoy this trip through the MCU with Avery and all her shenanigans!