I am super excited to be introducing my new Avengers Fan Fiction: Beyond S.H.I.E.L.D. ! As I put it on the chronologically page:
“To the common observer, Carol Richardson is a young woman with a future as a combat trainer. Working part-time as a waitress and part-time at a small fitness center just down the street from her small New York apartment, Carol doesn’t have time for anything else. Deep down, well behind the walls that Carol has built around herself is a past life. A life that gave her purpose. When she meets the polite young man while working at the restaurant, will the life Carol has so carefully constructed for herself fall apart around her?”
Chapter 1: Barriers (part 1)
Carol stood behind the reception desk of Cardinal Fitness doing her best to ignore the session going on behind her. The Cardinal’s owner, the red-haired Audrey, was doing a session with the Cardinal’s biggest clientele, retired military. A smile slipped past Carol’s defenses just as new customer walked in the door.
“Welcome to Cardinal Fitness, how may I help you?” Carol recited doing her best not to sound mechanical.
“I am new to the area and was wondering if you had any open gym hours.” The older woman asked, looking a bit nervous.
“Open gym hours are between 4-6 pm every weekday and all day Saturday. Here is the schedule and the cost per week is here at the top.” Carol answered reaching down for a flyer and then handling it to her, indicating the location the price.
“Thank you, young lady. Have a good day.” The older woman replied, examining the flyer and turning to leave.
“You to, ma’am.” Carol responded just before the door closed. Feeling oddly like that hadn’t been successful, Carol looked down at the desk’s surface.
“Still feeling a bit robotic?” Audrey inquired cheerfully from Carol’s left. Starting, Carol turned and gave her employer a confused look. Before Audrey could elaborate, one of the men that had been in her class got her attention.
“See ya later, kid.” The older man said, waving to Carol with a fatherly smile. Carol smiled belatedly and nodded.
“Still working at Troy’s Diner, I see.” Audrey remarked, changing subjects.
“Yes ma’am.” Carol replied, returning her attention to Audrey.
“Don’t ma’am me, Carol. You and I both know I am only a few years older than you. Your making me feel old.” Audrey teased, raising an eyebrow and pointing a finger at her employee and friend.
Carol and anyone within hearing distance just grinned. They had gone over this almost everyday since Audrey had first asked her roommate to help Audrey with her father’s fitness center 5 years before. It never got old for any of them.
A few hours later found Carol walking the couple of blocks between Cardinal Fitness to Troy’s Diner. Wearing her spotless waitress uniform, Carol walked through the door into the middle of a dispute.
“It’s your turn to do reception.” Tanya stated firmly, glaring at the other waitress, Savanah.
“Well, I chose the b side already and I am not going to do reception. Do it yourself.” Savanah snarled back, turning her back on Tanya and walking back to the b section of the Diner.
“Don’t mind her Tanya, I’ll take reception. I need the practice anyways.” Carol told her, grabbing her name tag from behind the desk.
“You sure, Cass?” Tanya asked with a relieved smile.
“I am sure. Go on, I can wait.” Carol replied, smiling at the customer that had come in behind Tanya. As Tanya headed of to take orders, the customer came up to the counter.
“The usual place, Mr. Peterson?” Carol inquired, looking down at the diagram of the diner on the desk top in front of her.
“Yes, please, Miss Carol. New kid, A?” Mr. Peterson answered, nodding his grey head in Savanah’s direction.
“Indeed, Sir. Right this way.” Carol responded leading the way to Mr. Peterson’s favorite table.
“Ah, Peterson! Good to see you sir!” Troy greeted the old man enthusiastically.
“And you, Troy. How is Madam Mika?” Peterson asked as Carol returned to her station.
“Beautiful as ever, Mr. Peterson. What will it be this fine evening?” Troy replied merrily, pulling out his seldom used order book.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, over 20 years Ago
“Agent Richardson, are you paying attention?” The elderly professor asked, interrupting himself mid explanation.
“Yes, sir.” Carol answered quickly, looking more than a little confused as it was her question he was answering.
Looking at her a little oddly, the professor corrected himself. “Daniel Richardson, are you paying attention? Your older sister just asked a very good question.” He repeated himself, adding a bit more volume to his voice.
The room around her was filled with suppressed laughter, as Carol turned to give her younger brother a look. He looked right back at her blankly and then looked at the professor.
“I am trying sir.” Daniel responded apologetically.
Later as they walked down the hallway, Carol kept silent until they where out of earshot of the other students.
“You ok?” she asked her brother who was 3 years younger than her.
“Kinda. My head started hurting again. The medicine must have worn off.” Daniel answered, putting a hand to his head. “Having a concussion is no fun.” he added.
“Are you sure you don’t want to take me to try to get you another week off?” Carol replied, stopping him so that she look at his head.
“Yeah, I’m sure.” Daniel said sarcastically, brushing her worried hand away and running off to join his friends.
To be continued
Thank you so much for reading!