To embrace the extraordinary
Summary: Leanne Barton has never been what you would class as normal. She is very good at pretending she is an ordinary girl but she's not and with her big brother in danger it is time for her to stop hiding. The time has come for her to embrace the extraordinary
Disclaimer:I don't own anything that you recognise. The idea is the only thing that's mine.
AN: hello again everyone, here is my newest chapter, working out the logistics of where Leanne was and when was actually kind of tricky but really fun. As always, I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I do writing it.
The helicarrier was in chaos as Leanne raced thought the halls, everywhere she looked there was either some sort of damage or personnel preparing for battel. The fact that no one spared so much as a second glance at the heavily armed, relative new comer in a snazzy purple suit spoke volumes about just how bad the situation was.
Skidding into what was left of the labs, Leanne's gaze flicked almost frantically around the room, she knew the others had all been here when the blast occurred. She wasn't sure if the fact they were no longer there was a good thing or not.
"Bruce! Tony!" she called out for the two scientists but neither of them answered, thankfully someone else did.
"Leanne, get out of there" Nat's voice rang out from where the Labs impressively large window had once stood. Disregarding the other woman's warning Leanne rushed towards the gaping hole in the wall, looking down she saw not just Natasha but Bruce too. She was so relieved that for a moment she missed both the tremors racking Bruce's body and the apprehension that filled Nat's normally unreadable eyes.
Her relief turned to dread the moment Leanne realized exactly what was happening, Nat's leg was pinned by a fallen pipe and Bruce was fighting a losing battel to contain the Hulk. A fear unlike any other she had ever experienced settled in the girl's chest, she had never wanted to run away as badly as she did in that moment but she refused to give into fear. For better or worse she had joined Fury's team and if there was one thing her big brother had taught her it was that you never leave a team mate or a friend behind.
From her vantage point above the pair Leanne spotted a patch of ground that was relatively free of debris and ignoring Nat's insistence that she "get out of here, now" she aimed for it as she jumped out of the Lab and down into danger.
Landing between Bruce and Natasha, Leanne was once again hit with a longing for the gift she had once so adamantly refused, being able to calm Bruce down right now would be worth any and all side effects she had to face.
"Leanne, what are you doing?" Natasha hissed at the young woman who had placed herself between the seasoned agent and the mild-mannered doctor who could become an unstoppable monster at any moment, "You need to go now" she ordered.
"I'm not leaving you here alone" Leanne responded to the woman behind her while not taking her eyes off Bruce. She had never been in a situation like this before but she was going to assume that turning her back on him even for a moment could end very badly.
"it's OK Bruce" Leanne held her hands out in front of her as she tried to calm and reassure the man she had come to think of as a friend, "we don't want to hurt you, you know we don't, we're your friends remember? Just breath, let the anger go and we can get through this together" she told him gently, hoping there was enough rationality left in him to allow him to listen to her.
Her hopes were dashed the next second when a ground shaking roar echoed around them follows by an unmistakable ripping sound as Bruce's shirt came apart due to his doubling in size.
For all her noble intentions, back in the Lab Leanne found she couldn't fight off her fear, it crept through her veins almost paralysing her, threatening to make her useless not just to herself but to Natasha as well.
"Bruce" Nat practically pleaded with the man and Leanne saw him shoot a desperate look at the trapped woman behind her. He didn't want to hurt them, he was holding the other guy -as he called him- off as best he could but it was quickly becoming clear that the Hulk was too strong and there was no stopping him now.
Taking what she was sure was a stupid risk, Leanne turned away from Bruce and ran to Natasha's side, in the spit second that the doctor was out of her sight, the corridor was shaken with another deafening roar as Bruce finally slipped away leaving only the Hulk.
Leanne expected the rage monster to be on both her and the still trapped Natasha in an instant but it seemed that in an effort to buy them some time Bruce had thrown his body as far away from them as he could just as the transformation was completed.
Leanne knew she didn't have long to free Natasha and looking at the pipe that lay across the woman's leg she also knew there was no way she could lift it alone.
"Get out of here, evacuate everyone you can" Nat told her as she tried to pull her leg free. Both women could hear lumbering steps in the distance and knew the Hulk was coming back.
"I told you I'm not leaving you" Leanne said as she got down on the ground beside the assassin. She braced her back against the nearest wall and firmly planted her feet against the pipe, pushing with all her might. Leanne could have cried when she felt the pipe begin to move "And I meant it" she swore pushing all the harder.
As both women fought to get Natasha free the Hulk just kept getting closer. Finally, with Nat's pulling and Leanne's pushing the pipe fell away, freeing the older woman's leg.
"We need to move now" Natasha said getting up and pulling Leanne with her despite her obviously injured leg. "get as many people clear as you can and keep yourself safe" she ordered pushing the younger woman down the hall.
"What about you?" Leanna asked but she had a horrible feeling that she knew exactly what the spy was going to do.
"Someone's got to run interference while you clear the place out" the other woman said in a matter of fact tone.
The floor they were stood on was constantly shaking now as the Hulk seemed to be almost upon them. Leanne wanted to pull Nat out of the hallway with her, she didn't want to leave the woman that meant so much to both her and her bother behind but she knew Natasha was right, if someone didn't hold the Hulk off no one was getting off this floor without serious injuries.
Leanne badly wanted to hug the woman before her but she knew they were short on time so she settled for a shaky smile and a whispered plea "stay safe Tasha" she uttered before turning to follow the instructions she had been given. She couldn't see the woman's face so she didn't know what Natasha made of her new nickname but Leanne promised herself she would find out once they both got through this.
The first few halls she ran thought were already empty and Leanne was beginning to think her task might be a relatively easy one but then she came to a room full of Lab Coats who were clearly attempting to save their experiments and research instead of themselves.
"OK people, move it we need to go now" she ordered them but not one of them moved. "We have a Hulk on the loose and you all need to clear out" she tried again but still there was no movement from any of them. It was as if they just didn't hear her, Leanne had heard of dedication but this was ridiculous, that was the moment her ear bud began to buzz again.
"Barton, report?" Fury demanded the instant she activated the bud.
"Bruce has lost it, he Hulked out on us" she told him grimly deciding that now was really not the time to correct him on how she would prefer to be addressed. "Nat's doing what she can and I'm trying to clear the area but your science types are not cooperating" she informed him.
There was a moment of silence before Fury came back with more orders for her "Put your damn mask on and get those people out of there Sparrow" he told her coolly before disconnecting. She guessed it made some sense that on a ship filled with government agents anyone in a super suit could automatically pull rank even the new girl.
Pulling the silver mask from her belt and slipping it over her head Leanne decided to try a new approach. She jumped up onto the nearest table not caring if the stuff she was knocking over was important or not. "Alright people" she yelled at the top of her lungs and this time the scientist actually paid her some attention, she couldn't believe Fury's mask idea really worked.
"The Hulk is loose on this floor" she told them firmly "right now I don't care how important what you are working on is, it is my job to get to out of here, so move it and move it now" she yelled pointing at the Labs large doors.
She was shocked to say the least when every single person in the room dropped what they were doing -some more gently than others- and made their way out of the doors. The next few rooms were easy to clear, there was a straggler here or there but every one of them listed to her when she ordered them to evacuate.
When she was finally sure that all of the Lab's and other rooms on her floor where empty Leanne turned to run back the way she had come, she had no idea what if any help she could provide Natasha but now there were no more innocents around she wasn't going to leave the other woman to fight alone.
"Tasha" she called pressing her ear bud "Tasha do you read me? The floor is clear I'm coming to back you up, Tasha where are you? Come on talk to me" the girl yelled again and again but she got no response from the infamous Black Widow. "Come on Natasha, don't do this to me" Leanne muttered angrily as she reached the spot where she had left the woman only minutes ago.
The hall was in even worse shape than when she had left, there was a clear trail of destruction that showed the path that the Hulk and she assumed Natasha had taken. she had only taken a few steps to follow them when a large strong hand caught hold of her arm and stilled her progress.
Reacting with a speed that she was sure would have impressed even Clint, Leanne spun herself around, the move not only freed her from her captors -admittedly quite gentle- grasp but also gave her the chance to pull one of the longer bladed knives from her hip holster. She planted her feet and readied herself for a fight but it wasn't an enemy she found herself facing, at least not technically, it was Thor.
"The beast you hunt is a game far too big for one as young as you" the alien prince said gently.
"The beast I hunt, as you put it, is my friend" she corrected him "besides I'm not after the Hulk, I have to find Natasha, she might need help" she told him turning back to her original path.
"The female warrior is the fiercest mortal I have met in a long time, I do not believe has any need of you young one" Thor sounded almost like he was laughing at her, Leanne had every intention of telling him exactly why he of all people should not find this situation funny but she was interrupted by a horribly familiar roar that came from relatively close by.
"Tasha" Leanne gasped, she slid her knife back into its holster and made to run in the direction that the sound had come from but she was apprehended by Thor once again and this time there was no getting away from him.
"I will go and I will help your friend, both of them if I can" the huge blond swore "you were charged with protecting and removing the innocents from this area and that is what you must do" he told her, it hadn't occurred to Leanne that Thor would also hear the orders Fury had given her.
"Who are you to tell me what I must do?" she wanted to know. "This is all happening because of your beloved brother, he is taking over good people's minds and using them as his own twisted little play things, I don't know how things work where you're from but here that is not ok" she spat angrily at him.
"Loki will be punished for his actions and I will do everything in my power to return your brother to both you and himself, I promise you young one" Thor spoke as calmly and gently as he had before, as if she had not just ranted and raved at him over his brother's actions "but first this madness must be stopped" he remined her. "I am better suited to the tracking and protection of your friend's and you have innocents that may have need of you" the god stated firmly.
As much as Leanne hated to admit it Thor was right, not only that but all of her earlier vows to eternally hate him were slipping away from her. There was just something about the humongous man that she couldn't help but like. Before either of them could say any more another Hulk roar sounded, this time even closer, there was no time left for talking they needed to move now.
Thor physically picked Leanne up and set her on the stairs that led up to the next deck before he -literally- jumped into action, he disappeared thought the hole the Hulk had left so quickly that he almost appeared to be flying. Despite knowing the chances that he would hear her were slim Leanne couldn't help but call out after him. "Be careful" she yelled into the empty around her before turning to run up the stairs, she hoped that whatever was happening up there was not as bad as the goings on down here.
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