chapter four

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04 x a little test run


"Practice room first," Clint had declared, as myself and my two newfound tour guides went traipsing down the hall.

I had resisted the urge to ask what that meant, and instead followed after Clint dutifully. It had come as somewhat of a surprise to me, when Pietro fell into step beside me; I was kind of entertained by the fact that he still kept fidgeting; scratching his neck, brushing his hair aside, fingering the material of his shirtsleeves.

"Nervous?" I asked quietly, looking up into his eyes, watching the surprise ignite in them.

"Me?" he scoffed, tousling his own hair and looking at Clint's back for a moment. "No, not nervous. Impatient sounds better."

"Better, or more accurate?" I asked, shoving my own bangs out of my face.

"The last one," Pietro nodded rapidly.

I gave a quiet laugh. "Impatience seems to be a super-person thing."

"In your experience?" he asked me, seeming somewhat amused. "You met other super-people?"

"No, no," I shook my head. "Not before today."

"Lucky," Clint called over his shoulder. "They're all royal pains."

"Ignore the old man, he's just jealous," Pietro scoffed, waving a dismissive hand at Clint.

"Old man?" I repeated, arching a brow. "Clint can't be that old."

"Thank you, shorty," Clint murmured.

Pietro snickered. "He is older than you, and me, so that makes him old enough, yeah?"

"You heard the girl," Clint defended, "I'm not that old."

"Old enough to have three kids," Pietro mumbled, clearly hoping Clint wouldn't catch it.

I was sort of surprised when he didn't. Instead of drawing further attention to the conversation, and encouraging a fight between the two males, I merely hummed, hoping that Pietro would pick up on my intentions, and maybe change the subject.

"So . . ." he drawled, and I could've sworn I saw a blur that was his hand fix his hair before falling back to his side, "will you stay in the Tower? I know it is a lot to take in, but it is a safe place, and I am sure Steve would vouch for you-"

Man, he spoke fast. "Do you have super speed?" I blurted, though I was fairly certain I already knew the answer. I mean, he sucked at hiding it, though I doubted he was trying to.

Clear eyes shot toward me, a smile quirking his lips as he looked down at me. "That obvious?" he asked, a teasing tone to his voice.

I laughed dryly, sliding my hands into my back pockets and watching Clint's back for a moment. "A bit."

He laughed as well, but offered no further explanation. Instead he nodded toward where Clint had stopped; metal double-doors with no signs near them. "Practice room," he informed me, as Clint turned and offered me an excited smile.

"This is where the Avengers train," he told me, pulling one of the doors open and nodding that I should head inside. He kept talking as I went past him. "Tony made it so that each of us could train according to our powers, or skill sets, or in his case, tech. We can train together, or separately, and even in teams."

The space I walked into was huge. It had to be at least several stories of the Tower, and it spread out a decent ways. If I looked closely enough, I could see lines and edges in the walls and floor that I figured were panels of some sort, or part of practice courses.

I had made it a few steps into the room before I finally turned, eyes wide. The concept of having somewhere where I could actually train, where I could practice with my abilities without fear of property destruction, or causing harm- It was thrilling. Clint and Pietro were both watching me with smiles on their faces.

"Did you want to try a practice run?" Clint offered, arching a brow.

There was no hesitation. "Yes! Absolutely," I rushed to say, already giddy with the prospect.

Pietro's eyes widened, as though he wasn't expecting the response. "You think you can handle such a thing after earlier today?"

That sounded like a challenge to me, and my jaw steeled. Being underestimated? Never did work out well for me. "I don't think so, I know so. Why, you scared I'll kick your butt, Speedy Gonzales?"

His brow furrowed in confusion, and he looked over to Clint. "Speedy . . . Gon . . . what?"

Clint snickered as he shook his head, going past me toward a panel on the wall. "You're going to confuse Pietro," he informed me. "He's still at a loss for some English terms."

"What is this nickname?" Pietro demanded of me, rushing to my side with the slightest breeze before I could even realize what was going on.

I looked over at him with a sly smirk. "It means you're fast . . . and impatient."

His brow furrowed even further. "Impatient?"

Clint, meanwhile, was laughing loudly. When I looked over at him I caught him in the act of finishing punching a few buttons, before he turned and winked at me. "Careful picking fights there, shorty," he warned me, but it was evident from the look on his face that he was more than entertained by the situation. He looked to Pietro, then; "Try not to kill each other while I get my quiver and bow, hm?"

Then he was jogging toward a barely visible door in the room, and I was left with a now pouty Pietro.

"I am not that impatient," he grumbled, arms crossed tightly over his chest.

I shrugged, ignoring the slight rise in temperature in my hands. "And I am not incapable of handling myself."

He scoffed, looking away from me. "That is most certainly not how I found you."

I frowned at that, and gave him a slight telekinetic shove, just enough to knock him off balance.

He re-righted himself just as Clint came back, bow in hand. "You two ready? Because you've got about three seconds before things are going to get interesting."

I gave Clint a curious look. "What do you mea-" was all I managed to get out, before suddenly the floor beneath me shifted, and the walls began to move. The biggest change was the rise of some odd, weaponized tech in the center of the room, with what appeared to be multiple different projectiles, and . . . I was pretty sure that was an energy field. "Whoa," I breathed. I was about to turn and ask Pietro if he'd done this before, but he was out of my line of sight - and when I took a second to recompose myself, I realized the floor had moved down several feet.

I was floating midair.

Clint and Pietro were about a story below me. Pietro was just a blur, but Clint was a steady figure, ducking behind a large metal wall right before what I thought were bullets lodged themselves into his prior position.

Once I had dropped to the floor, I heard Pietro, but I couldn't see him. My hands were glowing steadily now, and I was trying to get a good look at the energy field, when he had spoken: "Hey! You going to be of use, or you going to prove me right?"

I barely caught sight of his cocky smirk before he was gone in a blur again, this time leaving me more riled up. A grin spread across my lips. "I think it's safe to say this'll be my coolest training session yet."

Clint's laugh brushed my ears, and I turned just in time to see him switching locations. "Just wait until you've had a chance to practice with Thor."

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