Time Bomb

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*Two days after being released from SHIELD*

"This little group," Bruce said quietly, "I don't think it's working out." He looked down at the floor and shuffled his feet a bit. A lot of thought went into this decision, but he felt it was the right one. Everyone here was hurting his chances of becoming a great scientist and graduating at the top of the class. He was already in a hell of a lot of trouble for ending up in prison, and if he did anything else stupid again, his parents had threatened homeschool. He could not do homeschool. There was no way he would survive.

Tony nodded in agreement. "Bruce is right, guys. We can't hang out anymore." Not only was this group cramping his style, but he was also getting in more trouble than ever before. His need to impress these people who were seemingly unimpressed by him wasn't working out well for him. His father was pissed he got arrested for assisting in breaking into a federal agency, and he already had a lot of his usual freedoms taken away. If he didn't improve his behavior, there would be no doubt that his dad would decide to move them to a different state again where he would have to once again go through this process of finding friends who treated him like a normal person. 

Steve decided he might as well chime in too. "My parents are basically on the brink of murdering me and I'm really close to getting a girlfriend. All this group is doing is hurting me." His perfect record was now ruined and he has never felt shittier about himself. All he wanted to do was go to school, make a few friends, get good grades, and graduate. But with people who were such a bad influence, he was afraid that wouldn't happen. Not to mention his chances of getting Peggy Carter to go out on a date with him would completely be gone if he ended up in trouble again. 

Tom shifted his gaze from Nat to Clint then back to Nat. "I guess you're right," he mumbled. Not that he really cared. The only one who he had any remote interest in was Nat, he could live without the presence of everyone else in his life.

"If my brother agrees, then I must oblige. We are to stick together," Chris said. He liked everyone, he really did. It was nice to have friends here on Midgard, but he had to stick with his brother. If he stayed with the group and let Tom go off on his own, then it would be his fault if Tom got himself into trouble. He had to make sure that didn't happen. 

Nat looked into Tom's eyes and sighed. She nodded sadly, but didn't speak a word. That party ruined everything. Not only had she allowed herself to be emotionally compromised, but now SHIELD had her fingerprints and a mug shot. Oh yeah, and now because of her royal fuck up, she not only had to obtain all of the passwords to SHIELD's secure websites, but she was also suppose to take out the director. She knew allowing herself to get close to people could only end up badly. 

"You guys are the first group of people that just liked me for me and not because I'm popular. I'm going to miss this," Clint said with a sigh. As much as he liked having friends who would do anything for him because he had influence in the school, he liked it much more having friends who really liked him because of his personality. 

"I know I once said we were a team. But after the party, after SHIELD, we aren't a team. We are a time bomb." Bruce gave them each one last half smile and turned away. Before he could take a step, though, he had to say one more thing. "I'm sincerely going to miss having friends." He turned again and this time walked away.

Each of them watched him walk, then did the same thing. It was the end of the school day, so they all just headed home.

*1 month later*

Tom walked down the halls, holding hands with his girlfriend. Since the group split up, he had been more successful than ever. His brother stopped bothering him every five seconds, the girl he really liked went on a date with him, he was passing all his classes, everything just seemed wonderful. Maybe working alone was what he needed to do in the first place to succeed. With life like this, Midgard didn't seem like such an awful place. 

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