"Honey, can you pick up Monica from school after work today?”
Carol frowned and put a finger in her ear so she could hear the phone call better. “Is everything okay?”
“Maria?” Carol caught Fury’s eye across the hangar and he gave her an inquiring look. She waved a hand at him in a shooing motion.
“There’s, um, uh-”
“There’s been a- well, Monica’s been in another fight.” Maria said, sighing. “And I think it would be best if you went in. Maybe in your uniform.”
“Why do I have to go?”
“Because your job is to be Earth’s ballistic missile defense; you’re pretty good at being menacing-”
“So are you!”
“I went last time.”
Maria won the argument over who
went to pick Monica up had to deal with Monica’s teacher.
Carol sighed. “Okay. I’ll be there. Love you.”
“Love you too.”
Carol hung up and turned to face Fury.
“Is everything okay?”
“Monica’s been in another fight.”
“And I have to go and get her from school.”
Fury sighed. “Shall I give PR an advance warning?”
“When do you need to leave?”
Carol thought for a moment. “Probably at normal time.”
“Okay. I just got a message from Alice in Algorithms; the program…”
Monica Rambeau-Danvers did not get in many fights. She was well behaved, she did what she was told, she was nice to the other kids and did her homework on time. She had plenty of friends and didn’t really have any issues with the other kids.
So when she did get into fights, there was always a good reason for it.
“I’m heading off now.” Carol called to Fury as she walked past his office on the way out.
He stuck his head around the door frame. “Good luck with Monica.”
“It’s not her I need the luck with; it’s the teachers.” Carol said grimly, then carried on walking out to her car.
Carol made quite an unusual sight among all the other parents waiting outside the school gates.
Most of them were in jeans and t-shirts, some in hoodies, some in work uniforms. A few had small children balanced on their hip or in a pram, some had small, badly-behaved suburban dogs on leads.
Carol was there in her Captain Marvel outfit looking angry and trying not to send sparks shooting out of her fists.
Enough children to form a small army came streaming out of the school and across the playground, heading towards their respective adults. Monica was at the back of the crowd and she waved to catch Carol’s attention.
Carol made her way through the sea of small children to Monica, who was fiddling with the straps of her dark blue rucksack over her unzipped hoodie. There was a cut on her forehead.
“What happened to your forehead?” Carol demanded.
“Got hit.” Monica said.
“Mom said you got in a fight.” Carol said, frowning. “Is that true?”
“Yeah. My teacher said you have to come and see him so he can talk to you.” Monica turned around and began to trudge back into the school.
“Why did you get in a fight?”
“Coz someone said that having two moms meant I was a freak and then she wouldn’t listen to me when I said that wasn’t true and then she said you and Mom were incapable of raising a child together coz every kid needs one dad and one mom and so I should be taken away from you. So I hit her.” Monica finished smugly.
“I’m not mad at you.” Carol said. “I don’t think you did anything wrong. I’m proud of you. Who said those things to you?”
Carol looked at Monica incredulously. “Kirsty Robinson? Again?”
“Oh, man.” Carol groaned. “Does that mean her mom’s gonna be there?”
“Probably.” Monica grinned up at carol brightly. “You’ll be fine, though. You are a superhero, after all.”
Monica led Carol through the school to her teacher’s office. “He’s in here.”
The door was open and Carol didn’t bother knocking as she strode in, shoulders back. Monica struggled to contain her look of glee as the teacher looked up to see Carol in her uniform, towering over his desk.
“I’m sorry, who are you?” he asked skeptically.
“I’m Monica’s mom.” Carol set her jaw and eyed up Kirsty Robinson and her mom, who were waiting in the corner.
“Ah.” the teacher set down some paperwork. “Uh, Ms-”
“Captain Rambeau-Danvers.” Carol said, voice icy. “Monica, sit down.” Carol sat down and Monica sat down next to her.
The teacher seemed rather taken aback. “Uh, okay, so Captain Rambeau-Danvers and Mrs Robinson, you have been called in today because your daughters have been fighting.”
“Monica started it.” Kirsty Robinson said primly.
“I hit you first.” Monica acknowledged. “But you called me a freak and you were rude about my parents. I wouldn’t have hit you otherwise. And then you hit me.”
“That’s enough.” The teacher said. “Captain Rambeau-Danvers and Mrs Robinson, as you are both aware, fighting is not allowed in the school-”
“Neither is bullying and homophobia.” Carol said sharply. “It very much seems to my like my daughter was being bullied. Wouldn’t you agree, Mr Smith?”
The teacher seemed a little bit flabbergasted. “Uh…”
“Will Monica be punished for fighting?” Carol asked.
“She will be required to write a letter of apology and complete a detention.” Mr Smith said.
“I think Monica has suffered enough from the bullying she has received.” Carol said. “I have complete faith that Monica would not have started a fight had she had more faith in the actions of teachers to stop this bullying and I personally have lost all faith in your punishment system as clearly Miss Robinson has not learnt her lesson from the last time an incident like this happened.” Carol said. “Come on, Monica. We’re going home.”
Carol stood up and marched out of the room. Monica followed after her.
“You were brilliant!” Monica whisper-yelled as soon as they were out of earshot of the office.
Carol grinned. “Thanks. But there will be no more fighting at school, you hear me?”
“But I thought you said I could defend-”
“Hang on, there’s more. Next time a kid’s giving you trouble, you walk away, you tell Mom and me, and we get Aunt Pepper and Uncle Tony to press legal action against the school. And if someone else attacks you, you can defend yourself.”
Monica breathed a sigh of relief. “Not gonna lie, you had me at the first part…”
They burst out giggling.
They arrived home to find Maria stitching up a cut on her calf. She looked up from her leg. “How’s it go?”
“Never mind that, how’d you cut your leg?” Carol demanded, anxious.
Monica nodded her approval. “That’s pretty badass.”
“Speaking of badass, how cool was Mom?” Maria asked Monica.
“She was a total badass.” Monica grinned. “Just like you.” Monica sat next to Maria and beamed at her and carol. “My two badass moms.”
Carol ruffled her hair. “And our badass daughter who hit a homophobe.”
Maria gaped at Monica. “Did you?”
Monica nodded, still beaming, and recounted the tale to Maria.