chapter five

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05 x time flies

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The main issue was the energy field. Pietro had tried to bust through it (I'd heard more than seen that attempt, and what I'd heard was what I supposed was him cursing) but to no avail. Clint had tried an explosive arrow, but all that really did was make everyone's ears ring even more (added onto the fact that we kept having to dodge other projectiles and means of possible physical harm).

Now it was my turn.

"You think you can bust it?" Clint asked me.

We were both hiding behind the same obstacle, our backs pressed to the cold metal. Pietro was, well . . . trying to function as a distraction, so we'd get shot at less. "Bust it, or get rid of it?" I asked, ducking my head around an edge briefly to get another look at it. It was an odd orange color, and though I knew it had to be projected by technology, I wasn't sure if I could shut it down, given my limited knowledge of StarkTech.

"Isn't it the same thing?" Clint asked.

I sort of shrugged at that, shooting him a fast smile. "I'll let you know," was all I said, before I stepped out from behind our safe place, and began to move closer. I only made it a few feet before stopping - the bluish-silver blur that was Pietro yanked me out of the way of something before I was placed back on my feet.

"Handle yourself, right," was all I heard from him before he'd disappeared again.

I rolled my eyes. "Thank you!" I shouted, though I doubted he'd hear. Without waiting for any more trouble to find me, I lifted both hands palms out, and let the light surge through my body. It felt good to release; to stop holding back all the power that flooded my veins. And once I had, directing it wasn't so hard.

Light focused intensely on the energy field, and though I could feel my eyes burning, I ignored it in favor of pushing harder. Soon enough I heard an odd fizzling sound, and after several more seconds, the field disappeared completely. I stopped the blaze of light instantly, my hands dropping, my heart pounding loudly in my ears.

I swallowed thickly before finding my voice. "Clint! The field's down!" I shouted, looking down at my hands to ensure the light inside of me was retreating fully. When I looked back up, an arrow had lodged itself at the center of the contraption.

I realized it was an explosive one about thirty seconds later than I should have. But this time, I didn't need help.

My body phased to indestructible as though a switch were flipped, and though I staggered back some because of the way the sound was in my ears, I was unharmed.

". . . Megan?" I heard above the ringing in my ears, but I couldn't see through the smoke.

"'m fine," I mumbled, forcing myself to get to my feet. I coughed a few times as the smoke cleared, and tried my best to ignore the worry in Pietro's eyes. "I've had worse," I stated, in effort to brush him off.

"Well look at you!" Clint hollered, beaming at me as he came jogging through the wreckage. "You survived your first session - and with flying colors, might I add. Don't listen to Pietro, he's just a pessimist. C'mon, shorty, let's keep up with the tour."

Pietro grumbled something under his breath that I didn't understand (I think it was in another language), but he followed after Clint and I all the same as Clint guided me from the room.

"Before we, uh, keep up with the tour," I managed to get out before a coughing fit hit me, "-could I get some water?"

"Or," Clint said, guiding me through the hall, one arm loosely around my shoulder, "we could continue the tour and get you some water."

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Clint's idea of a tour apparently included the Tower's ginormous kitchen. Not that I was complaining, given I definitely got enough water, but I also didn't exactly need to hear about how many different kitchen appliances that Avengers had broken. The entire time Clint prattled on about that, Pietro was leaning against a counter, one foot tap-tap-tapping away as he made mocking faces behind Clint's back at me.

"-and then there was the time that the toaster literally caught on fire, and Natasha zapped it with her spider bites-"

"Barton," Pietro interrupted loudly, "I have had enough of this story telling time. You are boring me- how is it you say it?" his blue eyes flashed to me with a hint of amusement. "To death."

Clint frowned at that, but seemed to recover quickly. "Whatever. Did you get enough water, Megan?" he asked, apparently deciding that between the two of us, I was the better option for conversation.

He wasn't exactly wrong. I nodded, "Yeah, yeah. I'm good." I glanced at the clock on the oven, and tried not to groan when I saw the time. How in the world was it already almost midnight? What time had the Avengers found me? How long had we spent in the practice room- scratch that, how long had we spent in the kitchen?

Clint seemed to catch my gaze, and he followed it without an issue. His own brows rose as he looked at the time, and soon after he looked down at a watch on his wrist. "Man," he murmured, before looking up at Pietro and I. "Well, I missed a meeting," he shrugged. "Granted, worse things have happened, but ah . . . it is getting late. Not necessarily for me, because you know, super hero business, but-"

"I believe he is trying to parent us to bed," Pietro mused to me, interrupting Clint.

A small smile claimed my features. "I think you're right. Three kids you said? And that's the best he's got?"

Clint pulled a face, before planting his hands on his hips and attempting to look stern. "Don't make me use my dad voice."

Pietro snickered, so quietly I almost missed it. "Are you sure you have one of those, old man?"

Clint scowled at him, before waving a hand dismissively. "Ah, screw it. Speedy, take shorty to her room. I know you know where it is, because I'm almost seventy percent sure Wanda's told you by now."

I wondered if Wanda's abilities extended that way, but figured now was not the time to ask.

Pietro shrugged, not bothering to argue with Clint on this one. "And you will be doing what, exactly?"

Clint began to make his way to the door, "Telling somebody that Megan probably needs a better tour tomorrow. G'night, shorty," he called over his shoulder, before disappearing through the doors.

The briefest moment of silence passed between Pietro and I. "So," he said, breaking that silence, "you are tired, yes?"

I let one shoulder rise and fall in a shrug. "I think so. Don't really know; my sleep schedule's pretty screwy, if we're being honest."

He hummed at that, nodding slowly, before finally shrugging. "You want me to show you where your room is, or take you there?"

It took me longer than it should have to understand the second part of his offer. He was offering to just carry me - with super speed. I had to work real hard to keep my eyes from going wide. "As, um, exciting as that offer is, I think I'll have to pass. For now," I added quickly. "I can only take, you know, so much excitement in one day." I decided against adding that I wasn't sure how my powers would respond to that in my currently tired state of mind, mostly because I didn't want him to think he needed to prove he could handle himself against me.

He seemed to accept that answer, and for a moment I could've sworn a small smile quirked his lips, but if it did, it was gone just as fast as I had noticed it. "Come, then," he said, heading out of the room. "I will show you."

I followed after him obediently, and I swear he must've been being purposefully slow to let me keep up with him. Though my mind was all over the place, my body seemed to finally be recognizing that I needed sleep, and was consequently slowing down.

If I was to be completely honest, I'd have to admit I don't really remember how to get to the room they'd prepared to me. I may as well have let Pietro run me there; I couldn't even tell you what floor we were on (though I knew we used the elevator at some point).

The last thing I remembered about that night was Pietro making sure I actually made it to the bed, before I all but passed out on top of the covers.

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