“Where am I staying Sir?” Elizabeth asked Fury as the rest of the Avengers filed out of the command center.
“Follow me.” She followed Fury down a few hallways, past a white room filled with various laboratory equipment. It reminded her a bit of a fish bowl, wide open windows and no privacy. Finally Fury led to her to a doorway in a specific hallway. “Here you are, meet in the gym in 15 mins.”
Elizabeth entered the room and was startled to find someone already in it. Someone with his shirt off.
“O-oh I’m sorry. I think Fury led me to the wrong room” She stammered.
Steve Rogers turned around and quickly flung a white t-shirt over his chest. But not before Elizabeth caught an eye full of his perfectly sculpted arms and chest.
“No this is your room.” Rogers replied, “But it’s also mine. I guess when Fury built this he wasn’t expecting to find you or Falcon. Dr. Banner needs a room to himself for obvious reasons. Natasha and Clint are sharing, and so are Thor and Stark. Falcon and Agent Hill are also staying together, keeping the same arrangement they had throughout the summer leaving us to share.”
“Ok.” Elizabeth managed to get out
“I know this is slightly unconventional, I’m pretty uncomfortable about it myself but I guess we’ll have to deal with it. I requested a pair of curtains to separate our spaces so we-ah could keep some decency about us, if that’s ok with you?”
“Yes, yes of course. Ah thank you for thinking of that.”
Captain America hung his head in embarrassment “I can leave while you change if you want, the curtains should be here sometime this afternoon.”
Elizabeth held up a hand, “Oh no don’t worry about it, I’ll change in the bathroom.” She gathered her clothes and moved to the small bathroom that was attached to the bedroom. She stopped before she went in with one hand on the doorframe, “Do you know where this gym is? I have the feeling everyone else knows where everything is besides me.”
Her question was met with a small smile, “This craft is almost exactly like our old one, so yes everyone does know where things are. I can wait here for you and we can go together?”
“Thanks Mr. Rogers, ah Captain America, Sir” Elizabeth said hesitantly.
“Steve or Cap is fine Ma’am” Captain American said reassuringly.
“Alright Cap, thank you.” She turned to go into the bathroom once more. Before she shut the door, Elizabeth turned to face Captain America, “And Cap, as much as I’m enjoying the whole ma’am thing you can call me Liz or Beth if you want” She smiled at him and closed the bathroom door.
“C’MON ONE MORE! PUSH GIRL! PUSH!”
“Ahhhherrggg!” Elizabeth made her final two pull-ups on the bar and then dropped to the ground exhausted.
“Alright so here are your levels” Natasha Romanov said throwing Elizabeth’s numbers on an electronic screen, “Low strength in upper body, abdomen, and gluts, medium strength in lower body; thighs, calves. Low to zero hand-to-hand combat, and minimal knowledge of powers. ”
“Hey you forgot to add my high level of hand-eye coordination, medium to high intelligence and high reaction time” Elizabeth said defiantly.
“Minimal skills.” Natasha replied.
“Be nice Agent Romanov.” Fury said walking into the gym with Agent Hill, Falcon and Hawkeye. “She has potential, we’ll work on building her muscle tomorrow. Today we’ll focus on combat.” Fury nodded to a small raised square area at the edge of the gym. It reminded Elizabeth of a boxing ring except instead of being surrounded by elastic bands, it was guarded by tough plastic.
“We’re fighting in a plastic box?! Are you insane??” Elizabeth asked
“Don’t worry, we’ll take it easy today. This will teach you, actually all of you to keep your fighting to a confined space. We want to create the lowest area of wreckage as possible. The USA National Security council was on my ass about New York, I’d rather avoid that this time thank you.” Fury said, “Alright Falcon, Elizabeth you’re up first.”
“Good Elizabeth Good!” Hawkeye called. Elizabeth had been at it for hours and she could tell the rest of the group was starting to cheer for her. All the Avengers were now in the gym watching her work. She had learned from Falcon how to predict your opponent’s next move. She learned from Hawkeye how to react to your opponent’s movements and block and attack before it happened. She was against Black Widow right now and getting her ass handed to her. Fury had said they would take it easy on her but Natasha was giving her all.
“Don’t get distracted Blondie,” Black Widow said after she punched Elizabeth square in the jaw, “You’d be dead if this was for real”
Elizabeth steadied herself and swung at Natasha’s good arm. Elizabeth quickly blocked Natasha’s retaliation and did an aerial flip over her. She round house kicked Black Widow, Chuck Norris style in the face, sending her to the ground. Natasha looked up at Elizabeth in shock as the group watching applauded the new blonde recruit.
“Excellent excellent, Agent Romanov out, Stark in.” Agent Hill said making a note on her clip board.
“Me? Do you want her back in one piece?” Tony asked in disbelief. He looked at Fury who just nodded as if to say get-your-suit-on. After a few moments, Iron Man joined Elizabeth in the plastic box.
“As I’ll ever be TinMan”
“Game on” Iron Many replied as he clenched his iron fists and rooted himself to the ground. He waved two fingers as a ‘c’mon’ signal and Elizabeth complied immediately.
She ran towards Iron Man, aiming for where his armor joined to each other; his weak spot. She managed to get a punch in his neck before he grabbed her arm and twisted it behind her. Elizabeth felt a twinge of pain shoot up to her shoulder and neck.
“Dead.” Iron Man taunted, “C’mon Blondie, fight back”
Elizabeth gritted her teeth and wrapped her right leg around the knee of Iron Man, right at the joint. She applied pressure to the back of the knee and twisted her body around at the same time. Iron Man wasn’t expecting the movement of her whole body and didn’t react in time. Elizabeth got herself free and used the strength in her legs to swing her body and kick Iron Man to the ground. She stood on Iron Man’s chest, pinning him to the ground.
“Dead” Elizabeth said almost proudly.
“Good try” Iron Man replied. Suddenly he was standing again and she was on the ground beneath his foot. “Time to step it up a notch I think”. Iron Man had activated his blasters which propelled him from beneath his foot. He pressed his entire weight onto her chest, making it hard for her to get up.
Elizabeth tried to blow a piece of hair from her eyes but the sweat that masked her forehead kept it in her face.
“I think we’ve reached her maximum Agent Hill. That’s all this little cutie pie can give” Iron Man said.
“Shut up Stark I can do this!” Elizabeth replied.
“Awww the munchkin doesn’t want to give up, how sweet”
“I said; SHUT UP!” Elizabeth yelled. The pressure inside her that had built up finally released with her last words. Suddenly she found herself above Iron Man, very high above.
“Hey guys, is it just me or did she disappear?” Iron Man called to the watchers. Elizabeth looked down and saw that her body had disappeared and she was hovering in one of the corners of the plastic box. Her thoughts were disrupted by Iron Man shooting his blaster beams throughout the box, one narrowly missing her left leg.
‘Alright Stark, let’s go’ Elizabeth thought. She flew from corner to corner in the box avoiding his beams and then hit him square in his chest, pushing him to the ground. She forced all of his weight on him, until he tapped the ground beside him.
“I’m out, I tap out” Iron Man said unhappily.
Elizabeth stopped concentrating so hard and felt all the energy inside her drain. She fell to the ground beside Iron Man, completely exhausted. She heard yelling that sounded miles away, a male voice saying ‘Beth!’ and then nothing.