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Brenna rolled her eyes and retorted, "as if I've never seen a house before." She spoke confidently, even though it had been years since the last time she saw an actual house. She set her bookbag down on a couch and looked around, taking in the features of the home.

"Brenna," Steve's voice pulled her out of her thoughts. She met his eyes across the living room to where he stood in the kitchen. "Nat says you met the Winter Soldier."

"Yes," Brenna confirmed, "and she said you'd wanna hear about it."

Steve raised his eyebrows and smiled crookedly as if to say, 'I'm all ears.'

Crossing the living room, Brenna met the two men in the kitchen and told them of her encounter. Natasha came in, too, while the young Stark told her story. The three older adults listened, their faces drawn in confusion and suspicion. "And then he just left," Brenna finished after telling all of the details.

"But he saw your reactor?" Steve asked for clarification.

Brenna nodded and replied, "no doubt." She met Natasha's inquisitive eyes momentarily before looking down.

Seeing this silent expression of guilt and shame, Steve sighed. He moved to stand beside Brenna and put a hand on her shoulder. "Don't feel bad," he told her, trying to lift her spirits, "even if you hadn't gone after him, he'd still have found out about you."

"Yeah," Sam agreed with furrowed eyebrows, "your story's being plastured on every screen and newspaper on the east coast."

"But this way, we all know what's coming," Natasha assured, "and you'll have us to help protect you."

There was a short silence before Sam spoke again. "Why not stay in the Avengers tower though?" He asked, "isn't that place super secure now?"

"Because that's where she lives," Natasha answered, "it would be HYDRA's first place to look if they want her. She's safest here, where no one knows where she is."

Brenna nodded in understanding, but still frowned. "..Why can't my dad know?" She wondered quietly. Her voice was small and it was obvious that she missed him already. She wished she had a cellphone, that way she could at least call him if necessary.

With a look of empathy on his face, Steve hugged her shoulders agaisnt his side comfortingly. "Because he'll think that the safest place for you to be is by his side," Steve explained gently, "but in this situation, that's where you'd be most vulnerable..I'm sorry, Brenna."

Brenna was touched by his warm words, she smiled up at him, then to Sam and Natasha. "Thanks for looking out for me," she spoke genuinely, then added with a smirk, "even though I'm pretty sure I can protect myself...it's nice to have back-up."

"Back-up?" Sam repeated with raised eyebrows.

"Alright, B," Natasha rolled her eyes and teased, "don't get cocky. We already get enough of that from your father."

Brenna shrugged, not letting her smirk fade as she asked, "what now?"

"Now," Steve told her, handing her a tan folder, "we go get Sam's wings."

As Brenna looked through the photos in the folder, her heartbeat accelerated. Then, Natasha asked her knowingly, "how do you feel about a little field test with your new skills?"

• • •

The four arrived back at Sam's house late in the night. The mission had been successful, and Natasha was impressed by Brenna's performance. Not only was the Stark daughter able to stay calm and level-headed, she'd also shown great promise with her ability to move quickly and stealthily. They didn't even need to use combat because of how elusive they were.

Brenna was showering in the small bathroom connected to the room she'd be sharing with Natasha. Steve entered to find the older woman sitting on her bed in deep thought. "Everything okay?" He asked.

Noticing his entrance, Natasha looked up and answered with her own question. "What do you think about that sun opal?"

Steve raised an eyebrow in confusion. "You think something's up?" He wondered as his own suspicion rose. He sat on the second twin bed, facing Natasha.

She pursed her lips in thought before answering, "it had the power to completely regrow Brenna's muscle and organ strength over a couple of days. I'm just wondering what else it might do."

Steve let out a deep breath before responding. However, he never got to speak. A short, shrill screech came from the bathroom, followed by what sounded like numerous object being knocked to the floor. "Brenna?" Natasha shouted in worry as she moved swiftly to open the door, but it was locked.

"Watch out," Steve ordered as he got up. Right as Natasha moved, he shouted in warning, "Brenna, we're coming in!" Then, he kicked the door open, breaking the lock. Inside, Brenna was on the ground in a bra and underwear, hair clumsily wrapped in a towel, staring at her hands.

Sam stumbled into the room to see what was going on. "What happened?!" He demanded in alarm.

Steve sighed in relief, seeing that Brenna was okay. He walked into the bathroom and picked her up, causing the towel to fall off of her head. "False alarm," Natasha told Sam.

The man immediately calmed down. "Damn," he muttered, "I thought someone was breaking in."

Steve carried Brenna to her bed, sat her down, and wrapped a blanket around her. She was obviously in shock from something. He narrowed his eyes and asked, "Brenna, what happened?"

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