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The Country (TWD/MCU/GA - AU: Original Story)

Chapter Text

Everything seemed surreal.

There was no explanation for anything, at all.

There was no way she could explain what was happening nor what had happened. She could not even be sure if it was real.

She really could not.

"Izzie Stevens"

The lady jumped back when she heard the calm voice calling for her. She was leaning against a huge window of what seemed some kind of high tech plane.

"That is your name, am I correct?" the other lady asked her, holding a tablet on her hands "I have to be honest I cannot access to much information on you"

Izzie took a deep breath, staring at her "I used to be..." she looked through the window, once again "I cannot be certain, anymore" she closed her eyes

"I am sure you are confused, Izzie" she sadly smiled at her "I promise you, we will help"

"You do not understand..." Izzie breathed

"Trust me, I do" she extended her hand "I am Melinda May"

"Where are you taking me?"

"A safe place." she spoke "The country"

Izzie raised her eyebrow "What about all this? How do you have all this... technology? Trust me, the last time I checked, with all these dead walking around here, there was no room for technological advances"

May chuckled "There is, where you are going" she spoke, inviting her to sit on the couches "It will be a lot to take in, Izzie. But I am sure you wll eventually adapt"

"What if I do not?" Izzie asked "You will force me to stay somewhere I do not want to be?"

"Would you rather go back to that cage you were barely surviving?" May asked

Izzie looked down, as the lady continued "How did you get in there?"

"It's... complicated"

May smiled "I'm sure it is..."

Taking a deep breath, Izzie stared at her "I have been alone for the past few months. I... This makes no sense"

"It has been a few years since the apocalypse. What is your story?"

Izzie gulped, staring at her "A few years... right" she sighed "You will not believe me, anyway."

"Try me" May raised her eyebrow

Glaring at May, Izzie decided she had nothing to lose "Here is the thing... I think..." she hesitated "I think I died years ago"

 

(...)

 

*Unknown Location*

 

"Look at that!" The tall muscled man chuckled at the armed young lady in front of him, after he decapitated a walker with a single strike, with the axe he had atached to the very end of his rifle.

"You are supposed not to kill them, over here, Mac!" she snapped, before chuckling as he took a bowat her.

"Daisy, they are already dead"

"You know what I mean, Mac" she rolled her eyes as both walked through the group of walkers, carefully, until they reached what would usually go by nothing, in the middle of nowhere. "This will be fun"

However, as Daisy extended her hand in the air, she was able to touch what seemed like a wall. And it instantly revealed itself.

"Permission to enter the country" she spoke as Mac smiled at her

"Name?" An eletronic female voice spoke

"Daisy Johnson"

With no further words, the door simply opened for them to enter and, as soon as they got inside, it immediately went to camouflaged mode again, with reflector panels, making the place easily go unnoticed as nothing in the middle of the huge green forest.

Although it was a huge place, it did not take them a long time to reach the city council on the covered town known as the country.

Both were quite late to an important meeting, with the council.

ut they brought important news with them, as well.

"Agents Daisy. Mac" They were greeted in the big room, the oval table surrounded by their colleagues and mainly the heads of the most important departments that kept order and safety within the country.

"Sup" Mac sat down, patting Natasha Romanoff, who did not look amused, at all.

"Had fun out there?"

Daisy chuckled as she listented to Tony's words, more concentrated on the screen in front of him. "Oh it is a surprise to finally see you in a council meeting, Mr. Stark" she sat next to Natasha, stealing the pen from her before starting to draw something on a piece of paper.

"Order" The tall man with an eyepatch spoke, in a serious tone. "We have been waiting for the both of you so we could start the meeting"

"We only bring informations. You know we do not usually attend to these... meetings..." Daisy spoke, concentrated in her draw

"Is she always this feisty?" Tony spoke, yet again

Natasha rolled her eyes "You do not want to know the answer to that"

Daisy looked up, smiling at him as he finally let out a chuckle, turning to her "I like that" he spoke

"Oh please" Bruce spoke

"Yes, Banner is right" Steve agreed, next to the famous doctor "Let's get started already"

"Very well, captain" Tony smirked, shoving the hologram away so it disappeared "Miss Romanoff, you have teams outside the country. Any useful information for us?"

"As if you would not know, genius" Natasha leaned back against her chair "I had Agents Daisy and Mac on the ground for a few days, they will soon report to us. I also have a team up in one of out helicarriers, with Agent Coulson and Agent May, a few of Dr. Banner's doctors and three of Captain Roger's men. I believe they are bringing someone in. Female."

"We were not notitied we would be having another citizen" Fury spoke

"Chill, eyepatch" Tony took a deep breath, already bored to be sitting in that place for longer than ten minutes. "Let us get to know more first"

"I think we should start with Daisy and Mac's report, so they can get the hell out of here" Romanoff madly took the paper of Daisy's hands, as she was provoking Steve Rogers with some kind of naughty draw.

"I thought she was drawing a map of what we saw" Mac innocently spoke, internally laughing.

"And what did you see?" Fury spoke, annoyed to see Tony smirking

"Well" Mac was the one standing up "There are only a few small communities close to the country. That, we already know. Plus, despite them being the closest ones from us, they are still pretty far. I do not believe they will ever suspect the country exists. And if they do, we are talking about pacific people, just surviving"

As Mac continued to speak, Daisy threw a drive at Tony, who quickly worked on showing to everyone what they saw.

"The good news, we found yet another water source, not far, about 15 miles northeast from here"

"Great news" Bruce spoke

"Yes" Daisy interrupted Mac "The not so good news is this weirdo we found surrounding the area" she spoke, signaling Tony to change their recordings.

"He was probably just observing the local communities and the water source" Steve spoke

"Probably" Mac continued "But we followed him. He got dangerously close to our area and we are probably talking about one of those guys we have seen before, as well."

Tony remained silent, waiting for someone else to share their opininions. Steve was, once again, the first speaking "Guys... these small communities... they were always have clashes with other communities. There are constant fights for supplies, for survival. It is... it is jungle law, these days, out there"

"Steve..." Natasha leaned forward "I do not disagree. But at least we should know more about them. Just in case"

There was a long silence before Tony finally spoke "Alright, I'll have Fitz get a few drones check up on these folks. Mac you think you can help him find their location?"

"Sure, Mr. Stark. That should not be hard, at all"

"Alright, then, you are both dismissed for now"

Daisy was the first getting up, to leave, followed by Mac.

"You need to get a tighter grip on your people, Nat" Steve spoke

Tony chuckled "Was something going on there? Cuz I couldn't tell"

"Will you ever take things seriously?" Steve frowned

"Only serious things. And she's a funny one" Tony smiled

"Tony" A sudden hologram showed up in the room, showing Phil Coulson's face

"Coulson, what do you have for me?"

"We have a situation" he spoke

"Shoot" Tony leaned back

"We cannot access information on this lady we have. Nothing big, at least"

"And what is the problem, exactly?" Tony asked, watching Agent May appearing next to Coulson

"Well, she says she died several years ago" She spoke

Everyone was silent in the room, with the exception of Tony, who took his hand to his face, sighing.

"Here's a picture of her"

"You know" Tony breathed "I have many projects for the country. Building a psychiatric ward is not yet one of them..."

"Wait!" Meredith Grey, head of healthcare department, who had gone unnoticed until that very moment, stood up.

"Woah! I really would have not noticed you there, Dr. Grey" Tony spoke

"I know her." She trembled, in shock "And yes, she... died?!"

Tony raised his eyebrow "Alright, Jarvis? Maybe you should call the main construction engineer, after all"

Chapter Text

Special Forces

"Be gentle with that" Steve smiled as he entered the gymn, watching Sam Wilson strongly working out on the punching bag.

He smiled once the captain approached "We have pretty good workers now. You knew they can make this stuff here, now?"

"I do not doubt the country will be able to manufacture whatever we might need. Even what seem unnecessary things"

Sam chuckled "It is not unnecessary, dude" he patted the captain "We just are past survival mode, now. It is time to live, man!" he excitedly said, getting his bottle of water "So, how was that council meeting?"

"Pretty much the same. Annoying agents and weird facts"

Sam raised his eyebrow "You talking about Daisy?"

"What?"

"I saw her and Mac returning, they went to the meeting, did they not?"

The captain looked at his friend, surprised, as he continued "Is there something you are not telling me?"

"What?!"

Sam chuckled, turning around "Anyway, everything is pretty chill, today, as usual. We have our folks distribucted in each main frontier, on watch. Then we have a few doing rounds and some others just on the city. They have been questioning if it is possible to make four shifts instead of three, during the day?"

Steve walked alongside his friend as they approached the recruitment section "Maybe, we might have to reunite all the men first, though" he spoke, before calling out for Clint, who was observing the trainings of his younger men.

"Cap" Clint approached to greet both men

"How are these people doing?" Sam asked

"Slow, but some will be pretty good. Some others should just... find something more useful for their lives and the country" he spoke, turning around once again to watch the huge group of people training.

"Well, these people are your responsibility. I trust your judgement. Just get me more men and not just some agents for Natasha"

Clint laughed "Are you joking me? I am always fair in numbers. You get always the same Nat gets for her teams"

Sam rolled his eyes "Such a liar!" he patted Steve "Shall we get to work?"

Steve laughed "Yes, let's go"



(...)

Department of Scientific Investigation

"Gemma" Bruce Banner approached the Dr.

"Hey, Bruce" she smiled, turning away from her work, for a second.

Bruce stared at the three walkers, stuck on the metalic beds, on the other side of the glass, in a locked room. "Good news?"

Gemma sadly shocked her head "Unfortunately, no, Bruce" she spoke, approaching the glass "There is absolutely no difference in all the tests we have been making"

"Suggestions, Gemma?" Bruce stared at her

"We should do more tests on... us. On people. Living ones"

"We have been doing that, Gemma" Bruce walked around, watching the screens and their work "You mean more invasive tests..." he finally spoke

"Yes, Bruce"

"I will not disagree, Gemma" he looked up at her "I do believe we should really have something solid before taking that step. I do not like to search for the unknown"

Taking a deep breath, Gemma nodded "Of course, Sir"

"We have a new citizen coming to the country. For what I know, she might be overstressed, she will do the usual procedure with Meredith, but I want you to be part of it this time, alright?"

"Sure, Sir. What is it I am looking for?"

"She says she died years ago" Bruce spoke, earning a puzzled expression from her partner

"After that you get her results to Tony" he finally said, before turning back to get his white lab coat

"Of course, Bruce" She spoke, still intrigued.

 

(...)

 

Department of preventive forces and investigation

"Have you gone to Fitz and get that tracking done?" Natasha suddenly entered their operating room, finding Daisy and Mac with only a few other agents.

"I was on my way" Mac stood up

"Daisy, you need to go to the construction engineer. I believe Tony already spoke to him as well. We need to create a direct path from that water source to here."

"Yes, Nat" Daisy stood up, with a smile on her face "And protect the source"

"Exactly" she spoke

"When will Coulson get here?"

"Soon" Natasha spoke, turning to the other agents "Found anyone interesting on these local communities?"

"Still observing and we will report to you soon"

"Good, tell me if someone catches your eye"

"Of course, Agent Romanoff"

 

(...)

 

Workshops

"That is great, J" Tony smiled, focused on the device in front of him

"I believe we are getting our chance of producing clean energy for the country, Sir"

"You are a genius, buddy" he chuckled, taking a sip from his coffee

"You programmed me, Sir"

"I know, I'm the best" he spoke

"Did I hear correctly?" The sound of heels approaching was more than familiar to Tony's ears

"Hi Peps" he smiled as she hugged him from behind "You did"

"That is incredible news, Tony" she spoke

"I really hope you are not here to ask me for weird favors" he spoke, turning around

"Oh?" she bit her lip, with a smirk "Did I ever?"

Tony smiled "Such a naughty girl. And yes you have"

"Well, I might need to ask for a few very logical favors. Not weird at all"

"Oh no. I'm busy" he turned around once again

"Tony." she forced his chair to turn around again "You know we need to work a lot on a possible educational system"

"Pep..." he stood up, taking his hands to her shoulders "We need to be patient. Do things in its own time. We cannot to everything at once"

"I know. But it is so needed!" she exclaimed "You know it is incredible people have been requesting for permission to open social places, restaurants, bars... We have gotten to that level, Tony! So we need to work on something bigger now! And we have babies. Kids. We need people to teach, we need more professors, we need..." she took a deep breath "You would be a great professor"

"Not a chance" Tony spoke

"Please Tony, just.." she leaned to whisper on his ear "Think about it?"

"That way I will think about a whole bunch of things except teaching."

"See you later, Tony" she kissed his lips before leaving him alone, once again

"J?"

"Yes, sir?"

"Track me possible professors, within the country"

"Of course, Sir"

 

(...)

 

Central Hospital

"Meredith?"

The doctor turned around to face Gemma Simmons, smiling at her "Hi, Gemma" she softly smiled "I am guessing you are here to help me with Izzie?"

"Izzie Stevens, am I right?" Gemma approached her "I was notified they will be here in 5 minutes"

Meredith gulped "This is surreal. I watched her die and I am not crazy, Gemma"

"You worked together, am I right?"

"Yes" Meredith looked down "I thought I have lost everyone that ever worked with me, after the apocalypse. Now... guess what? I have the news my friend that died years before it, is alive, after all"

Gemma took a deep breath "We will find out what happened, Meredith" she smiled "See the positive side, you will get more help here"

Meredith smiled "We have a few good doctors already. Besides, Bruce helping me teaching young people has been incredible. We have plenty who want to learn and work here"

"I know." Gemma smiled, taking a deep breath "Let's get Izzie, then?" she spoke, glancing at the watch

Meredith gulped "Yes"

Chapter Text

  "Dr. Stevens" Phil Coulson called out for the doctor, who was sitting on the couch, lost in her thoughts "We are about to arrive"

Izzie hesitatingly nodded, standing up to approach him "Coulson, right?" she whispered

"That's right, dr." he smiled "Come check this out" he excitedly said

The doctor followed him to another division, with a huge window that allowed them to watch everything, on the outside.

"What the hell..." Izzie breathed, trying not to be impressed, once again, by the huge plane they were in and, simultaneously, taken aback by the huge green fields that provided her one of the best images she has ever seen in her life.

Coulson smiled, standing next to her "It is beautiful, is it not?"

"Yes..." She breathed "Although I cannot possibly see how there is this community you told me about in these fields"

"Oh, you are about to see that. And we are not just a community. We are more than that" Coulson smiled at her "You will soon be aware of that"

Soon, Izzie noticed they were going even higher, all of a sudden, before trespassing a huge wall that would certainly go unnoticed unless you were above it "What the hell is that?!" she gasped, watching the once green fields were no longer in her sight. Instead, a huge city was staring back at her. Buildings, houses, roads... she could even see parks and other places people could gather and just... socialize.

"What..." she stared at Coulson

He smiled at her "Do not freak out, I am sure you will adapt to everything you just saw" he smiled "We protect our borders with walls of reflector panels. It camouflages the entire city to everyone from the outside. Even this helicarrier has those panels, no one can see us in the air"

Izzie raised her eyebrow "How the hell did you create all this?"

"We have the best minds in this city."

"That is far from enough, what about resources?!"

The agent looked down, nodding at her "You know, Dr. Stevens. This apocalypse might have almost caused the extintion of men, but whoever caused this did save our planet"

"So you are saying this was caused?!" Izzie asked, bringing yet another subject to the table

"That is something that we could be here discussing for hours, Dr. Stevens" Coulson spoke "What I am saying is... after the apocalypse, all the means this planet can provide to us are out there and there are no fights or interests over those" he spoke "Well, not like before"

"Obviously, people are much more interested in food and shelter than... whatever you need to build these walls!"

Coulson smiled "Exactly"

"Why would you need to hide so bad, though? These walkers are not much of a threat if you just build other kind of walls"

"Dr. Stevens, I am sure you did not have much contact with this post apocalypse world, you said so yourself" Coulson spoke "It is not the dead you should fear"

Izzie stared at him, questioning everything was always something that was stronger than her "Well, what about in the air? Who could possibly get you up here?"

Coulson smiled "I actually almost agree. But we have orders not to. Let's say it is for precaution"

The doctor took a step forward, still amazed "Well... despite all the circumstances, this seems an incredible place"

"Let's get our feet down there and you will see for yourself"

 

(...)

 

 

 

 

 

"How would you feel about more invasive tests on us, living ones?"

Tony was surprised by Bruce entering his workshop, but did not move, so he continued working underneath one of the cars "I would feel encroached"

"Gemma talked to me about it" He leaned against his friend's material table

"I am starting to wonder if I should give her your spot then" Tony teased

"Tony." Bruce warned "I am just trying to be fair, here. Well, I am trying not to be unfair"

 Tony smirked, rolling underneath the car so he could face his friend "Cuz there's a difference there"

 "Yes, there is and you know that"

 Tony took a deep breath, standing up "Hand me that tissue" he asked, walking to wash his hands "Don't you think we run enough tests when someone arrives at the country? That is already a bit too much. So let's not think of stricter measures for now"

 "This is a big philosophical and ethical question which is hard for you to debate, Tony"

 Tony stared at him "I'm wounded." he smirked "Look, Bruce, I know we have reached a great point of stability now and we should probably start wondering about these questions again. But trust me, it is still too early and we still need to worry a lot about other things than the dead out there and their... dignity"

 "This is not just about them, Tony"

 "Oh, but it is, when you really think about it, right?" Tony approached "What would be these tests for then?"

 "So we would not..."

 "So we do not live with the fear of becoming one of them, when we die" Tony finished, patting his friend's shoulder "Bruce, let's wait, alright?"

 Bruce took a deep breath, in defeat "Coulson is about to land. Let's check out the resurrected lady?"

 Tony smirked "Another living Messiah, but a lady this time, that comes to save us after the apocalypse" he pointed at Bruce so they could leave the workshop

 "You could wound a lot of susceptibilities there" He commented

 "Me? I am the nicest guy you will ever meet" he smirked as both left to meet Coulson and the newest citizen of the country.

 

 (...)

 

Meanwhile, on yet another workshop, Leo Fitz was eagerly running, trying to find his boss.

"Tony went with Bruce to welcome the new doctor, Fitz, what do you want?" Natasha asked, as he passed by her

"Oh, there is something he really needs to see!"

 "Did you get something on this guy we followed?" Mac approached both when he heard Fitz approaching

 "You bet, he is from this community. Trust me he is not the only weirdo" Fitz looked at both "Their boss is a crazy one!"

 "Well there are lots of crazy people around" Daisy joined, behind Mac, with a smile on her face "In the country there are plenty of those"

 "Fitz, get more information, we'll all meet later on and talk about this... community"

 Fitz stared at them "Guys, I don't think I made myself clear, I have a bad feeling about..."

 "Hey" Natasha grabbed his shoulder "You're worried, I get that. Who knows we keep an eye on these guys. But we will all meet first and discuss that"

 "Stark will not want to loose time with that!" Daisy exclaimed, turning around to leave the group

 Natasha rolled her eyes "She has great talent to get into my nerves" she breathed, earning a laugh from Mac

 "She's great, though, Natasha" he spoke "Let me go with you, Fitz, it that makes you feel any better, to let all that eagerness out"

 "Thank you!" Fitz spoke

Chapter Text

Izzie could not hide her jitters, as soon as they landed and left the hellicarrier. She could see the group of people, already waiting for them, outside.

"Welcome, Dr. Stevens" One of them approached her, encouraging her to walk up to them "I'm Tony" he smiled at her

"He's the boss around here" Coulson told her as he greeted him

The doctor nodded, incapable of letting a word out. At least until she approached the rest of the group, since, by then, she spotted a very familiar face.

"Meredith?!" Izzie gasped, watching her friend taking a step forward, with tearful eyes.

"Izzie" she breathed, pulling her into a hug "I did not want to believe this"

"You are here!" Izzie exclaimed "H-How did you get in this place?"

Meredith smiled "It is a long story. I bet yours is better than mine"

"It most certainly is" Bruce approached both "I know this is a lot for you, to take in, Dr. Stevens. It's new and you are glad you finally found a familiar face... but we'd like to talk to you for a bit, then you are free to stay and do whatever you wish"

The doctor stared at Bruce, before glancing at tony, once again "Sure" she finally whispered

"Cool!" Tony exclaimed "Let's go then, everyone will introduce themselves inside"

Izzie nodded, staring at her friend, who held her hand tightly, to reassure her everything was alright.

It was good to finally see a familiar face, indeed.

 

(…)

 

"They have pretty good facilities, given the circumstances" MAc sat next to Fitz as he showed him a few imagens that they were receiving from the camouflaged drones they had in that area.

Fitz nodded at his friend "They use walkers as a defensive line"

"We do that too" Mac replied

"Exactly" Fitz spoke "Whoever wants to get to them has to go past the walkers. Maybe they could suspect us? The guy you an Daisy saw was pretty close from here. They might think it is weird to see a good number of walkers in the middle of nothing"

"I doubt that, Fitz" Mac smiled "We are safe. Relax for a bit, dude"

Fitz looked at the screen, guiding the drone to a convenient place. There, they could see a group of men.

"Can you get a vocal?"

"I'm working on that" Fitz spoke, pointing at the screen "That's your guy, right?"

"The one we saw, yes" Mac agreed

"And that..." Fitz said, pointing to the tall man, wearing a leather jacket and holding a baseball bat "... that's the guy in charge"

Mac raised his eyebrow "Closer image, please?" he asked "Is that... barbed wire?"

Fitz nodded "I told you he's crazy"

"You cannot just assume that because he walks around with a bat wrapped with barbed wirse, Fitz..." Mac said, earning a frown from his friend "Alright, just a bit..."

"It is not just that, Mac" Fitz spoke "He as a large community. He runs that by factions, I believe, for what I've been seeing. He has many workers, some pretty heavily armed. Yesterday they left their community, I followed them. They went to another community and took a lot of their stuff and supplies! They did not even protest, as if they feared them as hell!"

Mac stared at Fitz, not really knowing what to say. "Look, Fitz..." he finally whispered "I am not saying it is alright. I am not saying this is ok to do... But, out there.... that's the jungle, man. We actually have no idea how living out there is, so we cannot really judge any actions or doings from these folks, or any other community."

Fitz rolled his eyes, in frustration "Mac, this is not fair!"

"We cannot save everyone, son"

Both were surprised by Nick Fury, approaching them.

"If we tried to, we would harm our own people, in its time." Fury continued "This is human nature, Fitz. This is why we choose specific people to welcome in the country"

"But, Sir, we could try turn things around! We could help more people without even making them our equal citizens!" Fitz protested

"Maybe we could change a few things, yes. But not now, Fitz" Fury spoke

"That would actually force us to reveal ourselves" Mac spoke "I don't think we are ready for that"

"You are wrong in this one, Fitz. One day outside these walls would prove you how wrong you are" Fury took a deep breath "Cuz out there, there is no wrong or right. There is survival, nothing else. And these communities, they do everything in their reach to survive, to keep themselves alive, even if that means a slaughter"

"This is an endless debate" Mac spoke, noticing the not so amused look in Fitz's face.

"Anyway" Fury turned around "Convince Tony to gather everyone to talk about this. Meanwhile, do keep an eye on this leader with the bat" Fury said "He may be one to watch" 

Fitz eyes widened, but said no other word.

"Now where is everyone?"

"Welcoming the new lady, Sir"

"Oh, lemme go and meet this resurrected lady as well!"

 

(…)

 

"So, Dr. Stevens" Tony spoke "You are telling us you woke up in a clinic, which was already abandoned"

"Yes, I was alone there"

"But that was not the place where you... died"

"No, that clinic was totally unknown to me..." Izzie whispered

"Guys, I went to her funeral" Meredith spoke "None of this makes sense..."

"I am telling the truth, though! I am confused too... alright?!" Izzie spoke "At first I thought that place would be my hell! I remember my last days, alright?" she gulped "Then I just remember waking up, there. I was alone for a few months, then... you guys found me"

Tony stared at Bruce, hoping his friend would say something.

"So you did not have contact with anyone, after you woke up, until today?" Bruce finally asked

"No!" Izzie exclaimed "I saw the walkers, I knew something was really wrong. I tried to get out once, but got scared as hell! I even tried to run a few tests, but all I got were some results I could not really understand..."

"You ran tests on walkers?" Gemma excitedly asked

"Not now, Dr. Simmons" Tony warned "You will have plenty of time to get Dr. Stevens on top of the situation, I am sure she is far behind"

"Did you have supplies there?" Nick Fury suddenly interrupted them, entering the meeting room.

"This is Nick Fury, Dr. Stevens"

"Uh..." Izzie hesitated "Yes, I had some things to eat, though sometimes I used IV's so I could save supplies and not to get dehydrated"

"So the place was locked?" Fury asked "How did you keep the walkers from getting inside?"

"All exits were well locked... I... uh... I guess whoever was there before had that precaution"

Everyone stared at each other, in a long moment of silence, until Meredith spoke

"Is this really not enough for today? Yes, we need to figure out more. To understand what exactly happened to Izzie and what was this place she was in..." she spoke "But she has already told us everything she knows!"

Tony took a moment, looking at everyone around him, specially at Izzie, before nodding “Alright, we’ll make sure to get you a good place to…”

“She’ll stay with me” Meredith immediately said “For now, at least, then…” she smiled at Izzie “It’s her choice”

Izzie smiled at her “Thank you”

“Good, well, you still have to go with Dr. Simmons here and run a few tests first, if that’s ok” Tony stood up

“O-Of course” Izzie nodded

“Good. Welcome to the country, Dr. Stevens, take your time to adjust, feel free to ask for whatever you need for now. Then we all should meet again, soon” Tony spoke, before leaving

“Not so fast, Stark, I need to talk to you” Fury rushed after him

“Well, Izzie, Dr. Simmons will stay with you…” He looked at Meredith, knowing she would not leave her side in the next few hours “… and Meredith.” He turned to Gemma “Call me if you need something”

“Sure, Bruce” Gemma smiled, before turning to Izzie “Let’s go?”

“Yes” Meredith spoke, signaling Izzie to follow her

“Is there someone else here?” Izzie eagerly asked

“You mean… some of our friends”

Izzie nodded, noticing the sad expression on Meredith’s face “I’m afraid not, Izzie…”

The doctor took a deep breath “There is still a lot you have to tell me”

“I will,” Meredith smiled “Don’t worry, Izzie, everything will be alright”

Izzie smiled “Is it?”

Chapter Text

"Hey Daisy!"

Daisy smiled, waving to her colleagues "Go ahead," she spoke, passing by the special forces department "I'll meet you guys in a sec"

Turning, she walked to enter the building, making her way to the gymn where she was sure she would find someone.

She was not wrong.

Immediately, she saw Steve working out, lost in his own world. She doubted he was alone, since there were lights on the other side of the place, near the bathrooms.

"Working out late, uh?" she jumped from the stairs, smirking as she approached him

"What are you doing here?" he asked, surprised, holding the punching bag.

"Well," she smirked "I was passing by... I'm going to this new bar that just opened, I'm sure you heard about that. It's not like we have many of these to go to, nowadays"

Steve raised his eyebrows "That has nothing to do with me"

"Duh" Daisy took a deep breath "You seriously cannot recognize an invitation?"

"I don't drink. Particularly with you"

Daisy smiled at him, before turning around "Alright, then, Mr. I don't do drinks with you"

"Hi Daisy, sup?" Sam suddenly appeared, coming from the bathrooms

"Oh, maybe Sam is a fun guy! How about checking this new bar, Sam?"

"Sure thing!" Sam excitedly said "It's day off tomorrow, anyway" he patted Steve's shoulder before following Daisy, who smirked back at Steve "Bye, righty Stevie!"

 

(…)

 

Izzie comfortably sat on the couch, after a good shower and an incredible meal, as she could not recall having. Meredith had lent her a few clothes and both had been relaxing, talking about the last few years of their lives.

"What am I supposed to do, then?" Izzie whispered

"Find a way to move on, Izzie. We have to learn how to live like this." Meredith spoke "It could be worse..." she spoke "It could be a lot worse."

"All our friends... our lives..." Izzie bit her lip "Everything is a mess"

"Take your time, Izzie. I took mine, too, back in the day."

Izzie took a deep breath "Well, at least this feels good now" she clanged against her own body "And at least I found you"

Meredith smiled, hugging her "That's right" she spoke, as both were interrupted by the doorbell.

"Expecting visitors?" Izzie asked

Meredith looked at her friend, hesitating "Uh..." she stood up, going to the door.

"Hey, Dr. Grey"

Meredith smiled "Clint! I was not expecting you"

Clint entered the place, holding a few bags "I know, I'm sorry 'bout that" he noticed the rests of food still in the table "Wasn't sure if you had eaten already" he showed her the bags "But I did bring a few drinks as well"

Meredith smiled "Yes, I did, Clint, but thank you" she took the bags "Izzie is here with me so we had dinner already"

"Oh, right" Clint followed her, rubbing his head "I'm sorry, I forgot... bah, I should not have come" he spoke

Izzie smiled as soon as she saw him, staring at Meredith with a questioning look

"Izzie, this is Clint Barton"

Clint went to greet her "You must be the newest citizen"

"Izzie Stevens" She whispered

"Nice meeting you" Clint spoke "The guys told me about you. How are you?"

"I'm... good, thanks"

Clint smiled "Worry not, take your time, you are safe here. This is life now, unfortunately"

Izzie looked down "Yeah, I guess so"

"She's famous all over, already, uh?" Meredith spoke, sitting next to Izzie, once again, as Clint took his own seat

"How could she not" Clint spoke, staring at Izzie "Everyone we welcome here is special in their own way, but Izzie here... she's a rare case"

Izzie rolled her eyes "I can only imagine"

Clint smiled "It's not everyday we have a resurrected lady"

The ladies laughed at his words

"Laugh as much as you want, that's what they call you"

"Oh, god" Izzie took a deep breath

"Anyway, usually, every new person gets to choose a working space or area, I'm guessing you will stay with Meredith, being a doctor"

"Clint... she will take as much time as she needs to, first" Meredith spoke

"Sometimes it's good to keep yourself ocupied, though" Clint spoke "Might be helpful"

Izzie smiled.

Maybe he was right.

"How about a toast to the new lady in the country?" he smiled

Meredith stood up "Lemme get the drinks!"

Izzie smiled, looking at both. She admired them.

Well, she admired pretty much everyone in there.

Life was horrible.

Life was a mess.

But they still managed to find something to hold on to.

 

(…)

 

*The next morning*

"Coulson I do not want anyone to leave the country today" Natasha spoke "Tony called for an urgent meeting. I want to have everyone available, just in case"

"Sure, Nat" Coulson nodded

"Meanwhile, get to Barton. Make sure to remind him we need good agents. Let him know Steve has some guys that would have made better agents than... soldiers" Natasha said

Coulson smiled "I'll go talk to Barton"

"Good" she turned to leave, facing a sleepy Daisy entering the room, with a cup of coffee in her hand

"You better double that one" Natasha warned, pointing at the coffee

"Yes, boss" Daisy sleepily said.

As Natasha made her way to this urgent meeting, she crossed paths with Steve Rogers, who she assumed was going to the same place.

He smirked, escorting her "You sent someone to Clint while I am away from him, did you not?"

"Don't know what you are talking about"

Steve smirked "It's a shame, I did that"

Her eyes widened "I am going to kick your ass"

"You will try to" he smirked "Besides, you always get the best ones"

"That is so not true"

"What? That's totally true"

"No, that's not"

"Hey guys, going to this meeting?"

They came face to face with no other than Clint Barton

"What are you doing here?"

Clint raised his eyebrow "Tony... called me. Did I interrupt something?"

"Nothing"

"Absolutely not"

"Alright, I'll go ahead" Clint smirked, turning around

"I said you did not interrupt" Natasha grabbed him and forced him to stay close to them

 

(…)

 

"Tony I really need to talk to you!" Fitz exclaimed as Tony walked away

"Later, Fitz, I'm sure it can wait"

"You are going to a council meeting, please I have something important to discuss"

"And what would that be?" Tony sighed, giving up on trying to push the younger man away

"It's about this community. Remember the guy Daisy and Mac saw? I think they might be really dangerous"

"You are keeping an eye on them, though, are you not?"

"Yes"

"So, everything is under control" Tony smirked "You're great at what you do, I'm sure you know that"

Fitz stared at him, surprised "That's the nicest thing you ever said to me"

"Well, don't get used to it. Just keep up with the work"

"Wait!" Fitz exclaimed "I would still feel better if you gave a look at it?"

Tony took a deep breath "Fitz, we are fine and safe here, alright?"

"Please, Tony"

Tony rolled his eyes "Fine, send something to Jarvis, I'll take a look when I have the time"

Fitz was not entirely happy with that answer, but at least it was not a negative one "Thank you, Sir"

"See you later, Fitz!" Tony said, finally reaching the floor of the meeting room.

It did not take him long to reach the room and he was not surprised to see everyone already waiting for him.

"Sup, everyone"

"Meredith couldn't come. She's with the new lady and all..." Bruce spoke

"That's fine" Tony relaxed into his seat "What we have to discuss does not really concern her experienced opinion in health care. I might only need a few of her people"

"Are we going out?" Natasha asked

Tony nodded "I need a full diversified team. A good one."

"We are going back to the place they found Izzie Stevens?" Bruce asked

Tony nodded, yet again "Jarvis?" he spoke

Instantly, the AI started speaking "Searching the database, there is no other pertinent information on Izzie Stevens, apart from everything that is known, already."

"What will we look for, over there?" Clint asked

"What is he doing here, anyway?" Bruce asked

"Thanks buddy" Clint rolled his eyes

"Well, no offense, Barton" Bruce raised his eyebrows

"The recruitment is going just fine," Tony spoke "Now it's almost Barton is having some holidays"

"Are you kidding me? Do you know what it is like to keep up with these two everyday?" He pointed at Natasha and Steve "Always fighting over me"

Tony smiled "Anyway, I'm sure you can leave your post for a while. I might need you in this one"

Clint smiled "I kinda miss it, anyway"

"Good" Tony smiled "Maybe you can find some security room over there, some sort of office or... I don't know, something that may be recovered and may give us hints of what happened in that clinic before"

"Sure thing" Clint spoke "Who is to come with me"

"I'll go" Steve immediately said "I can have Sam taking over for me, for a while too. I'll bring a few of my men"

"I can send Coulson with a good one, from my part" Natasha said

Tony nodded "Good. Bruce? You can send Dr. Simmons and only two or three more people. Get also one or two doctors, talk to Dr. Grey"

"You want to separate Fitz Simmons? He is already going insane" Bruce smiled

Tony smirked "I'll take care of the kid, you go now. You can depart still today"

"Tomorrow" Steve spoke

"Why, you have plans for the night, Rogers?" Tony smirked, standing up to leave the room

 

(…)

 

*later on, that day*

 

"What are you doing here?!" Meredith exclaimed as soon as she saw Izzie showing up at the hospital.

"Oh," Izzie looked around "You showed me around the country and all... that was nice" she smiled "But I cannot just... stay still at your place"

"Izzie, you have to rest" Meredith spoke

"I'll go crazy, alright?" Izzie breathed "I know this is too hurried and all but..." she sighed "Well, I kind of miss this environment, let me so something around here"

Meredith looked at her "You will have a breakdown"

"I don't care. Keep me busy, Meredith, please?"

Meredith finally allowed herself to show Izzie a smile "Well, I should inform Tony first but... I'll handle him, later on" she approached Izzie "You think you are staying around then?"

Izzie smiled "Where else should I go? At least I have you"

"Good, Izzie" she smiled, handling her the process she was previously carrying "I still need to explain to you how things go, around here. For now, we have this situation on room three, over there. You can find some scrub over there, first" she indicated the place to her friend

Izzie smiled widely "Thank you, Meredith" 

"She's already asking to work, uh?" Bruce surprised Meredith, after she was left alone

"Yes... she was always kinda crazy"

Bruce smiled "Let her be, for now." he spoke "That's a good thing"

"That's what she'll find out"

"Anyway, someone talked to you?"

"Yes, I already talked to Gemma" Meredith spoke "You are about to leave?"

"No, I'll stay around." Bruce spoke "But they will leave in a few minutes"

Meredith nodded "You think it is so important or dangerous for you to take such a strong team?"

Bruce smiled "I don't know how to answer that, but well... you were the one missing the meeting!" he turned around to leave

"Hey, I was occupied!" Meredith exclaimed as he left

 

(…)

 

"Everyone ready?" Coulson asked as Tony waved at them, down on the floor.

They were already at the hellicarrier, about to leave, but everyone seemed to be still overstressed for leaving in such a hurry.

"Oh, hey, Stevie!" Daisy chuckled as she watched Steve walking by her "Don't tell me you also joined the great team!"

Steve rolled his eyes "Your team is as good as mine"

She escorted him as both walked inside so the hellicarrier would take off.

"Of course!" Daisy exclaimed as they, soon, reached the main room.

"Why the long faces, folks?!" She smirked, letting herself sit on the comfortable couch, grabbing a notepad on the process

When no one replied to her, she spoke, once again "So this is the location, should still take us a while to get there, how did you find this lady in the first place, again?" she turned to Coulson

"We were on the neighborhood. You know you always have to check on the big places you find, right?"

"Why did you not do this job, back then?" A grumpy dude said, on the other couch

"Shut up, you" Steve immediately hit his back "We will go there all the times that's necessary"

The guy rolled his eyes, attitude that did not go unnoticed by Coulson "Are you questioning this mission, soldier?"

"What if I am?" the guy spoke "You are no boss of mine"

"Oh!" Daisy smirked "What do you say about Natasha keeping me down, again? Just look at that!"

Steve sighed, not letting his irritation take the best of him. Mainly because, for once, he actually agreed with Daisy.

"And you should get more familiar with respect" Mac suddenly spoke, not enjoying the guy's previous words.

"Someone talked to you?!"

"Stop it" Steve pushed him to stand up "now"

The guy was angry, but remained silent, after that.

"So you think this is just an easy task" Daisy stood up, to approach him "That we get there and get it done in only a few minutes" she spoke "That only three or four people would do this job..." she smirked "Who do you take Tony Stark for? An idiot? A fool?"

The guy gulped, not finding the right words to reply, just like everyone else.

"For what we know, we have a new lady that died and came back from the dead! And we all know very well she is not a damned walker, guys!" she spoke "If she was taken to this clinic, god knows why or by who, we need to figure it out!"

"That was before the apocalypse" Yet another soldier spoke "After that... what do you expect to find over there?"

"Now did your dear Captain tell you everything?" She smirked at Steve "Because for what I know, not a single walker was able to break inside. And Izzie Stevens was definitely not who did that. Now you all know what that means, right?"

When no one replied, it was Steve who finished "It means there might be more like Izzie." he whispered "It means someone might still have that place under radar"

"THANK GOD, special forces are not so stupid after all!" she spoke, turning around to leave.

"Happy, now?" Steve furiously stared at his colleague

"Sorry" he looked down, before leaving as well.

"We have to keep all this behind us if we are working together" Gemma suddenly joined them

"I know, I apologize" Steve spoke "Where's Barton?"

"With the other pilots"

 

(…)

 

*that night*

"What are you doing?" Pepper was surprised to see Tony sitting on the couch, watching something on the screen in front of him "You are not coming to bed?" she asked, kissing him before sitting next to him.

Tony pulled his arm around her "Was just watching these... guys" he spoke, staring at the TV "Fitz is a bit worried about them"

"Is this a community?"

Tony nodded "According to Fitz they have big numbers and resources. They almost enslave the other communities around them. They even seem to have people working for them unwillingly."

Pepper took a few moments, staring at the images. "They did have the same idea we did, with the walkers"

Tony nodded "It seems like this dude runs the place" he spoke "Fitz has gotten me a few vocals, I think they have other places. Their community is not only down to that spot. They call themselves the saviors"

"Are they kneeling when he passes by?" Pepper's eyes widened

"Cool, right?" Tony smirked, earning a slap on his chest

"I know they managed to survive, that's true but... he's a sociopath" Pepper spoke "Follow him, Jarvis"

"Of course," Jarvis spoke, following the tall man in a leather jacket, his bat wrapped in barbed wire swinging on his hand.

"How can you see on the inside?"

Tony smiled "Honey, I'm a genius, don't you think I know how to create a silent tiny drone for these situations?" he spoke as they watched the man walking around the place, finally reaching a large room, filled with women

"God, please tell me he does not rape them"

Tony raised his eyebrow, suddenly intrigued. Both watched as he only talked to a few, keeping a huge cocky grin on his face.

"I don't think so. He might mentally abuse them but not..." Before he could finished, they watched one of the ladies kissing him "... physically"

"Do you think we should worry about this?" Pepper asked

Tony stared at her, not really knowing what to say.

"Is the country safe?" Pepper asked, once again

"That's the priority, right?" Tony sighed

"Your own words bothered you, right now"

Tony chuckled "Look, at least he keeps his people safe. As crazy as it sounds, as crazy as he might be... I mean you say I'm crazy all the time"

"Oh, and you definitely mentally abuse ladies, without knowing" Pepper smirked

Tony's eyes widened "Never knew you had some dark humour in there, Pep" he leaned to kiss her.

"SIR!"

Their eyes quickly went back to the screen when they noticed it was someone on the other side. A man had just entered the ladies room, where their leader was.

"What the fuck are you doing here?!" he exclaimed

"Sir, one of our post was attacked!"

That certainly caught the leader's attention "What the fuck you just said?"

"These guys from Alexandria! We don't know who they are for sure! I don't think we have survivors, Sir"

The leader slowly pushed the lady away from him, grabbing his bat once again, with a furious face.

"Negan?" A lady called out for him

"Sir?" The guy asked again, snapping him out of his thoughts.

"Gather everyone" he muttered

Pepper stared at Tony, with widened eyes "That brings up a whole new question up”

"Indeed" Tony spoke and, immediately, he saw an incoming call from Fitz

"Tony I have something to..."

"Worry not, Fitz. I saw it"

"You did?! It's crazy! These communities will start a war out there!"

“Yes, who’s the crazy leader, after all?”

Fitz stood silent for a moment “I don’t know who attacked, Tony”

"Get me more details, Fitz. On everyone. Everything you can get me. We will decide then"

Chapter Text

"So, Clint left?"

It was early in the morning and Meredith was continuously surprised by Izzie's determination.

"So, despite refusing my comfy place to relax and take your time to adjust, you rather work your ass off and plus, you are already talking to people around"

Izzie raised her eyebrow "I told you I need to keep myself occupied"

Meredith nodded "I understand" she took a deep breath "And yes, he left. Which is unusual"

"Everything seems to be so perfectly managed here. I have to give you guys that"

Meredith signaled to the kitchen, so Izzie could serve herself some breakfast "Tony is good in what he does. And we have some of the best as well"

"This had to be an old secret agency location, right?"

"I'm not sure"

Izzie raised her eyebrows "Maybe you have to ask Clint" she chuckled

"There is nothing going on, just so you know..."

"Don't tell me he's... married?!" Izzie smirked

Meredith rolled her eyes "He was, actually." she whispered "He lost his wife and one kid on the apocalypse"

"Oh" Izzie stared at her "I'm really sorry to hear about that"

"We're just friends, Izzie" Meredith stood up "So, up for a new day?"

"Yes, yes" Izzie smiled "I just need to get more stuff you know. Clothes and all... mainly"

"We have a few dressmakers and tailors, a few small shops already. I'll go with you to get something, later, deal?"

Izzie smiled "You got everything around here, then?"

"Most communities have to go out, constantly, to get supplies and stuff like that" Meredith smiled "It's a good thing we can produce our own"

"That's great" Izzie escorted Meredith out of her place

"Oh , by the way, do not be surprised if Bruce pays you some visits. I'm sure he'll keep an eye on you in these first times"

Izzie stared at her, silently, suddenly feeling uncomfortable

All she wanted was a break and a brand new start. She was given that chance, after all.

 

(…)

 

*a couple of days later*

 

"All good so far" Bruce typed his access code to Tony's workshop. "I've talked to Steve and Coulson. They might be on action still today. All we can do for that is wait." he approached him, finally noticing he was not alone. "Oh, Fury"

"Banner" Fury greeted "And how's the resurrected lady?"

"Good, actually." Bruce sat next to the older man as Tony seemed to be tinkering with something "She's a good one, actually, refusing to take her time and to relax. She asked Meredith to give her something to work, at the hospital, on her second day here"

Tony raised his eyebrow "Oh? Meredith did not tell me anything"

"She did try to call, Sir" Jarvis spoke

"Oh"

"That's not important, anyway." Fury spoke "It's not like she is a threat"

Bruce agreed "She's not. We just need to figure out what happened. Someone clearly did something to her"

"Like what? Dig her up and relive her?" Fury chuckled

"Maybe she never made it to her grave" Bruce wondered

"We should leave this discussion for later. This is why we have a team out there. To get answers" Tony spoke

Bruce raised his eyebrow, glancing at the amused Fury "What's up, Tony?"

Tony took a deep breath, standing up to sit with them

"Woah, he's actually worried" Bruce teased, smirking alongside Fury.

"I'm not sure whether we should really worry or not." Tony confessed "It just bothers me not having a full hand on the situation and... well, I don't like it"

"Care to explain?" Bruce asked

"Jarvis, show the images" Tony spoke and waited as both men watched the images of an old satellite outpost. Tony decided to let them know exactly what he knew, so far. The Saviors, as they called themselves, an intimidating and well armed community that used other communities to survive, by taking many of their own supplies, had been attacked by some people, causing them to loose a large number of men. Tony could not help his interest in following those events and, even if he had Fitz working on it, he had been keeping an eye on them. He had watched the furious saviors going to that outpost and already planning revenge.

"So you are concerned about this war that's about to happen"

"Oh, this developed quite fast." Tony spoke "Plus, something caught my interest. Jarvis, show them the place we found"

"You found?"

"Yes, old workshop. Old equipment. Old school. Still equipped with enough stuff to build ingenious stuff"

"Tony. Only you can do that, you know? And probably Fitz would do fairly well in that, too" Bruce spoke

"You never know, guys." Tony spoke "I just want to feel relaxed"

"Well" Fury nodded "That is no problem, send some guys to get whatever can be dangerous from there"

Tony nodded "Yes, I've been thinking about that. About these guys though, I'm not sure if we should wait of not"

Bruce looked at him "Well, we can never know which side is right, here. We know these things happen"

"I know" Tony spoke "I just have a feeling this might get larger proportions than we initially might think"

Fury looked at Tony, understanding, but disagreeing "Tony, c'mon. You're the best I have ever met, we are safe, I am sure of that. There is nothing in this war that may put us in danger"

Tony nodded "I know you're right." he smirked "Still, just wanted another opinion. I really don't want to underestimate Fitz again. I've been ignoring the kid and he was actually right I had to be aware of this"

"Yes, you have. We should still keep an eye on these folks. A distant eye" Bruce spoke

"Exactly"

"Still, you might want to check some of these guys. Search the database, this leader seems an interesting fella, we might be interested in some of these attackers as well" Fury spoke

Tony looked at him "Maybe. I've already told Fitz to get me detailed information in everyone"

"Good job" Fury patted his shoulder "Why so worried over this?"

Tony smirked "Me? Worried? Never" he stood up "I just like control. And I had a bad feeling about this”

"I'm sure we should not worry that much. Out there, its the jungle, as we always say" Bruce spoke

 

(…)

 

"It is definitely not a surprise this place is surrounded by walkers" Steve spoke, as he landed on top of the building, alongside one of his men, Daisy and Mac.

"It is a surprise how they cannot get in, though" May spoke, holding the communication device on her ear, next to Clint Barton, as they stood on top of yet another building, in front of their teammates. The road was, indeed, filled with walkers, making it harder for them to freely walk around there. They would have to find another way in as  May and Clint stood watching their surroundings. Coulson, on the other hand, had eyes everywhere, from the hellicarrier, and was ready for a quick extraction, if necessary.

"So, found a good place to sneak inside?" Daisy asked, watching Mac and Steve trying to put down the stiffened small door that lead to the interior of the building, from the top.

"I don't see movement on the inside" Barton spoke in their ears

"Alright" Steve spoke, finally kicking the door open "Let’s go"

May watched them entering the building and patiently waited. They have studied the building before, after all, she and Coulson had been there before, when they rescued Izzie Stevens. They simply did not know she would be this mistery lady and that the place might have answers. They honestly believed she was only taking rescue in that place. May even felt stupid for not suspecting the fortified locked openings, preventing the walkers from invading the place. It was obvious Izzie alone would not have done that.

"Do you really believe something big may come out of this?" Barton asked, behind her, as he watched the other side of the road. There was always the possibility of finding someone around.

May took a deep breath "It makes you think, though. She's supposedly dead. Even if you can explain that by someone secretly reviving her, that someone had to be keeping her alive all this time. She could not be alone in there, in a coma, right?"

"Yes, obviously someone else has to be involved in this." Barton spoke "Or simply that person has just become one of those things, over the time."

"I don't believe that unless I see it"

"Guys" Daisy spoke in their ears "I've reached the main coms room." she spoke "Lemme hack this baby"

"Is it silly if we try to find something on paper?" Steve asked

Barton chuckled, still concentrated on all the surroundings "You were always a man out of your time"

"Can you even say that after the apocalypse?" Steve grinned, searching for something useful.

"Yes, he definitely can" Daisy provoked

"I detect movement on the floor. Fast movement, probably a vehicle" Coulson spoke in their ears "West from your location, May and Barton get me a view. Friday, you there?"

"Always, Sir" The AI spoke

"Can you command drones around this place?"

"Sir, I am specifically designed for mission support"

"I hope that was a yes" Coulson said "May?!"

"Just a minute, I have no visual" May spoke, trying to spot something

"I have!" Barton immediately spoke "Car, at least two people, probably a minute away from here."

"They won't reach here with all these walkers" May spoke

"What, do you think they are heading here?" Mac asked

"Don't lose your focus over there, Mac." Coulson ordered "We got these folks"

"They may be harmless" Barton spoke "Let's just keep an eye"

"Don't let them see you" Coulson agreed, watching yet more images now that FRIDAY had more drones all over the place. It did not take a long time for him to hear the AI's voice again

"Sir"

"Yes, Friday?"

"I detect two people in the car, they are using some kind of electronic device"

"They have stopped" Barton informed as May knelt next to him, curious.

"Guys should I hurry?" Daisy's voice echoed in their ears 

"Relax, we got this." May spoke "They do not leave the car and they have a device with them. A bit suspicious, right?"

"They are smart enough not to get the walker's attention. Means they know where they are"

"Friday? Something more useful?"

"I got a visual, and they are carrying a laptop" Friday spoke

Suddenly, and before any of them even knew how to proceed, they saw the car quickly turning around to speed off the streets.

"SHIT!" Barton immediately stood up to point a bazooka at them

"Do not engage...!" Coulson did not have the time to finish, the car had already exploded

"What the hell?!" May snapped at him

Barton raised his eyebrows "They were a threat"

"Even if they were!" May snapped "We had to keep them alive"

"Oh? How? Exactly how would you catch them?"

"I would"

"No, you wouldn't. Not while we are in the middle of a mission and we are all divided"

"You could not have just killed them!" May yelled

"They would have had the time to inform whoever they had to inform. Maybe they still did! We should have blown them up the minute we laid eyes on them!"

"That's enough" Coulson said in their ears "We'll talk it through later"

"Clint..." Steve spoke in his ear, with a disappointed tone "This is exactly why you Tony kicked you out of missions"

"Tony never kicked me out! He just could not go against all your... votes!" He yelled "I did what I had to do!"

"Chill, everyone, alright? Clint is probably right" Daisy spoke "Now shall we finish this first and leave all the debate for later?!"

Coulson took a deep breath "Friday can you get info based on the images you got from them?"

"Yes, Sir. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to conclude the hack on their device"

Coulson took a deep breath "Keep me posted, Friday"

 

(…)

 

Back in the country, Tony continued with the company of Bruce and Fury, but Natasha had also joined them.

They stood in silence, eager for news of the mission of their colleagues.

"Maybe we should have called Meredith" Natasha spoke

"This is not a council meeting." Tony spoke "We'll see what we'll do and who will we call based on what we get from this"

"Yes, boss" Natasha teased

"Sir, Friday has been sending me intel." Jarvis spoke

"Go...!"

"I have Agent Coulson on the line"

"Put him through!" Natasha quickly said

"Tony?!"

"We're all here Coulson" Tony spoke as his image appeared in front of them

"We are preparing for extraction. We still do not have much but we will won't leave until we decide what to do with what we got"

"Something happened" Fury deduced

"We had company" Coulson agreed

"Got a view?" Tony asked as the agent told them about the events on the mission.

Everyone saw the images of the car, the two unfamiliar faces and, finally, Barton exploding the car.

"Just so you are already on top of the situation when we all discuss what to do next. Can we schedule a time or...?"

"So Barton blew up a car with people who could possibly carry vital information?" Natasha asked

"He could not let them just run away, could he?" Fury replied

"Still, Nick...!"

"We are not discussing Barton's actions" Tony snapped "We focus on what we have and only that"

Bruce stared at his friend "Tony this makes us no different from the ones outside the country."

Tony looked at his friend "Are we? Not really, buddy. We save as many people as we can, we kill some in the process. Call me what you want"

"I'm not..." Bruce sighed

"We do what we have to do, folks" he spoke "Jarvis will inform you later about the meeting, Coulson"

"Hmmm... sure" Coulson spoke before ending the call

"Tony's right..." Fury started, but everyone was interrupted when Fitz abrutply entered the room

"Sir!" he was holding an ipad and immediately screened what he intended to show them "You have to see this"

Tony leaned back, deciding not to snap at him for breaking in like that

"Is this about the communities?" Natasha asked "I thought that was not the priority"

"Please?!" Fitz excitedly asked

Tony took a deep breath "Jarvis keep up with the other work" he spoke "Alright, what do you got for us, Fitz?"

"Names. History. Background" Fitz spoke "Alright, Rick Grimes" he said, showing images of the man "Leader of the community who attacked the outpost. Used to be a cop and..."

"Skip details, kid, give us the important facts. We all have time for the details, later"

"Alright, alright" he changed images "Daryl Dixon. Grimes best buddy. Kinda an archer man, good fighter"

"Great, another Legolas" Tony whispered "Barton will like him"

"Or not" Natasha smirked

"Glenn Rhee, Abraham Ford, Sasha Williams, Michonne, Rosita Espinosa, Maggie Greene... all good fighters, all with Grimes and Dixon." Fitz excitedly said, continuously showing them images "Their community is Alexandria. Now, there are several other communities. We also have the Kingdom"

"What?" Tony giggled

"The guy,  he calls himself king Ezequiel. And he has a pet" Fitz said, showing them the image of a tiger.

"A tiger?"

"I am not joking" Fitz spoke "They also have pretty good fighters. Like Morgan Jones, Carol Peletier..."

"Alright, we got the point. Good fighters" Fury breathed

"Alright. It's needless to say that the saviors, the ones who were attacked, have the largest number of men, good..."

"Good fighters, we got that, Fitz" Nat said

"Alright. For what I was able to understand, this community, the Hilltop, which is the weakest in terms of defense, and Grimes made a deal."

"That's why Grimes attacked the outpost"

"Yes. The saviors have several outposts"

"What do these saviors did, again?" Natasha asked

"They bully and threaten other communities to give them supplies. That's how they survive" Bruce explained

"All except Alexandria, so far."

"Oh... ok..."

"Anyway, I know we have all talked about this not being a priority and I am done trying to make my point here" Fitz spoke "I will insist no more, I will keep my eyes open on this one, as you told me to" Fitz sadly looked at Tony "But this is not why I am here"

"Then... why?" Natasha asked

"You see... I got everyone’s information and background. Easily" Fitz said, eagerly. "Everyone except..." he said, showing them one last image

"And who is that?" Natasha asked, raising her eyebrow at the man in leather jacket, holding a bat over his shoulder. A bat wrapped in barbed wire.

"The leader of the saviors" Bruce spoke

"He goes by Negan" Fitz said, looking at Tony intensely

"What kind of name is that..." Natasha whispered

Tony stood silent as everyone stared at each other.

"Well, there was an apocalypse, Fitz. It is normal there are glitches on the database"

"That's what me and Tony have been working at for a long time. Jarvis is always working on that." Fitz protested. "The glitches may be more probable on the dead ones, and only outdated information. Certainly nothing like this. Nothing justifies a missing person"

"The database may not contemplate everyone in this planet, Fitz" Natasha spoke

"It has to!" Fitz protested

"Maybe that is not his name" Bruce spoke

"I tried that. I did facial recognition. Well, Jarvis did" Fitz spoke "Nothing" he stared at Tony, hoping he would be on his side.

He insisted, when Tony remained silent "C'mon Tony. Don't you think it is weird that suddenly we have unfinished files and missing files?"

Tony glanced at him.

He knew there was no glitch.

Izzie Stevens was a different case. At least, he hoped it was.

But he could not deny his frustration. He was developing the database himself, after the apocalypse. He had access to the files of every living person.

Nothing could justify a missing file.

That was impossible.

Chapter Text

"Alright everyone you all heard the plan" Coulson spoke, facing the team in the hellicarrier as the awaited meeting with everyone in the country had finished "We will stay for a few days. We already know the identity of the two men Barton blew up, but that lead us nowhere, unfortunately. So, if they were part of a community or a team, they will come look for them"

Steve nodded, sitting next to Barton "I can organize a few small teams to go down there and make a perimeter we could keep watching. Some can keep eyes from here"

May nodded "Yes, meanwhile, Daisy, you can start checking on everything you can find from what you hacked"

Daisy nodded "I'm already on it!" she exclaimed with a laptop in her hands

"You think they are coming back, Coulson?" Mac asked, quietly. He was glad things seemed to be calmer, at least.

"I cannot be sure, Agent Mac" Coulson sat down "They did act like they knew their way around"

"Yes, it doesn't mean someone else will come for them" Mac sighed "Anyway, I'm on first watch" he spoke, loudly enough so Steve could hear him.

The captain nodded as he watched the agent leaving the area "Well..."

"You should go organize those teams and shifts" Barton spoke

"Clint, relax" Steve smiled "You did what you thought was best. We will find a solution, anyway"

"We were never killers, right?" Barton whispered

Steve stared at him, knowing he was talking about their past days, working for the secret agency. "No, we were not." he whispered "But we are now, Clint"

"We all are, now. We say its the jungle outside the country, but we are already part of the jungle."

"You still do what you believe in, what you believe is right" Steve spoke

Barton nodded as Steve continued "I've noticed you around Dr. Grey lately" he chuckled "Is there something going on?"

Barton raised his eyebrow "She's great. We'll see..." he chuckled at his friend "What, have you jumped Daisy yet?"

Steve immediately frowned, standing up.

"Oh, don't tell me, you jumped her already?" Barton grinned

"Shh" Steve looked all around, but everyone seemed to be busy already "Stop it, alright?"

Barton smiled, watching his friend go away "Hey, cap?"

Steve turned to face Barton once again "Relax, we are in the jungle, remember? Things are not what they used to be. People are not what they used to be."

Steve took a deep breath, moving his eyes to Daisy who seemed to be focused on her laptop, in a far corner of the area "Thanks, Clint"

 

(…)

 

"Will you calm down, Fitz?" Gemma spoke, lying on the bed of her small room on the hellicarrier. She had taken the chance of the little time she had to rest to also call Fitz.

"Gemma... Tony won't say it, but I know he got it now. This is also bothering him"

"Fitz, you and Tony are the only ones working on the main database. You have created separate and private databases for the country, for possible recruits and for..."

"What if we are not the only ones, Gemma?"

"You are suggesting someone knows about the country and even hacked into our spectacular super-secret database, Fitz? Hello, there was an apocalypse, remember?"

"So what, Gemma? It is not impossible, is it?"

"It is highly unlikely, Fitz..."

"Besides, it is not like the main database is private. We just worked on it for too goddamn long and..."

"Fitz, relax, alright?" Gemma spoke "Whatever is going on, it will be alright"

Fitz took a deep breath, in frustration, he felt he was the only facing this reality with top priority.

At least he knew he successfully called Tony's attention.

That was a start.

 

(…)

 

"You should just get some rest, Daisy" May turned to her

Daisy had decided to join May in the communications room, filled with screens. It was late in the night, where they were, so May was alone, watching over whatever happened in the ground, while a small team remained down there.

The younger agent, however, remained focused on her laptop, trying to find some helpful information on that clinic or simply some suspicious images from the security cameras. She was surprised to know she could access to the recordings from before the apocalypse, even. So there was a lot of work ahead for her.

"I'll go grab a coffee, Friday can keep an eye for a while, right?" May stood up

"That is my job all the time, Agent May" Friday spoke

May stared at Daisy, who didn't seem to be listening. "Well, if anything happens, Daisy is here. I should only take a few minutes"

"Of course, Agent May."

Daisy didn't mind May leaving the place, she was too focused on her work. She had to admit she loved her job. Even with all the crazy things that happened to this world, she knew it was the only one she had to live in, so worked hard everyday to find motives to keep going.

"You're alone?"

She would have totally ignored those words, if she was not surprised by the sudden appearance of Steve Rogers. Her eyes widened "Woah, did you just talk to me?"

The captain rolled his eyes "Yes"

She smiled "Did something happen? Last time I checked, you did not talk to me"

Steve approached and sat next to her "You are so obnoxious"

Daisy grinned "You are boooooring"

Steve rolled his eyes, hiding a small smile "So, found anything yet?"

"This is way too much info and I don't want anything to slip through my fingers. We are talking years, here"

Steve looked at her, surprised "You really care, uh?"

Daisy stopped her work, staring at him with widened eyes "You are so full of yourself, Captain, thinking you are the only one around that actually..."

Steve interrupted her "Tell you what, get a break, I'll get you a drink" he stood up again, extending his hand to her

She was surprised, but chuckled, once again "Are you feeling well?" she asked as she accepted his hand, putting the laptop away "Really, you're not sick?" she asked as both left the room

Steve smiled "Alright, I'm just fine"

"Are you sure?" Daisy's eyes widened as she went on her tiptoes to observe his head "No one hit you in the head?"

Steve looked down, biting his lip, before he finally decided to grab her arms "You talk too much" he spoke, before slamming his lips against her, pushing her back until she hit the nearest wall.

It took Daisy a second to realize what was, indeed, happening, but then she smiled against his lips "You can't resist me, Rogers"

Steve bit her lip, picking her up to hold her against the wall as her legs surrounded his waist "Shut up, Agent"

 

(…)

 

"Sup, kid"

Fitz almost jumped from his seat, he was not expecting anyone and was way too focused on his work. Plus, out of everyone, he was certainly not expecting Tony.

"God, you scared me!"

"God?" He chuckled "I always knew you had me in such a high standard" he made himself comfortable in the couch

"Tony" Fitz rolled his eyes "What are you doing here?"

Tony smiled, taking his time as he observed Fitz work "Well, I want to find out if there are more. I want to know if there are more people erased from the database"

"How can we know that?"

Tony looked down "Jarvis?"

"Sir" The AI's voice spoke

"Share with Fitz what we have been thinking"

"It is, indeed, impossible to detect someone who may not be in the database. The fact we found someone who is not part of the database brings several variables to the equation"

Tony smirked "I love your expressions each day more, J"

"You programmed me, Sir"

"Alright, alright. The fact this crazy leader is not part of the database can only mean someone might be pulling some strings on the database itself!"

"Fitz, relax, kid" Tony looked at him "Look, you did great. You were right and I'm sorry I kinda ignored you at first. I am as concerned as you are, right now. But we need to think above that."

Fitz stared at Tony "What's your plan?"

"You may be right. There might be some insane dude out there who happens to be as good as you. You see, he won't beat my genius"

"Alright, I feel stupid now" Fitz took a deep breath

"We need to start calmly, Jarvis? Continue"

"Of course, Sir. The fact this man, who is called Negan, is not part of the database, it opens the possibility there are more people in this world that are not in our database"

Fitz nodded "That's right. We can never know that, though"

"It also opens the possibility some files may be deceitful" Jarvis spoke

The young man immediately looked at Tony "That could be easier to figure out"

Tony smiled "Do you know some weird case?"

Fitz eyes widened "Izzie Stevens!"

Tony patted his shoulder "Very well, kid."

"Dr. Stevens file is correct, however" Jarvis spoke "The fact that she is alive but presumed dead in the files would be a possible thing to investigate, if there were no witnesses who actually affirm she died"

Tony nodded "Yes, but there is a date, right? Time of death?"

"Yes, Sir"

Tony smiled, staring at Fitz, who spoke "We can try access to the hospital system? Where she died?"

"That's why I have you with me, Fitz" Tony spoke, before standing up to leave

 

(…)

 

*a few days later*

"Nothing new, we should just leave" May sighed, turning to Coulson, who nodded at her

"Yes, I think there is no need for us to remain here. I'll..."

"There are two guys" Mac spoke in their ears "I have eyes on two guys."

Everyone suddenly became alert "Where?" Coulson immediately asked

Friday immediately showed the images of the two people, as everyone gathered around to watch

"What are my orders?" Mac asked

"Bring them in" Coulson immediately said

 

 

(...)

                     

"This would be a lot quicker if we just sent another team to this hospital. There are still lots of vital information on paper" Tony sighed, taking a sip of his glass while in the company of Pepper, Bruce and Natasha.

"That's nothing impossible, Tony" Natasha said "Come with me, I'll get only a two or three men, we could take Meredith, since she knows the hospital"

Bruce stared at both, not enjoying the idea, but knowing he had to agree "You could just get this guy and ask him a few questions as well"

"I don't believe it is the right time for that" Pepper immediately spoke "Besides, they are in the middle of a war, you would have to join a stronger team. And we have some of the best away right now"

"Yes, and still nothing new from their side" Natasha sighed "I think we would be enough to bring this Negan guy in, though"

"I say we focus on learning more info for now" Tony spoke "Eventually, we'll have to get Negan, he'd be a good acquisition anyway"

Bruce chuckled "I'm not so sure about that"

Tony grinned "C'mon, at least the guy seems cool, what could go wrong?"

"He bashed the heads of two guys with that creepy bat, Tony, at least." Pepper rolled her eyes "He's dangerous"

"I've seen worse" Tony shrugged "Anyway, that's not what bothers me about him"

"I say we join a small group, get a quinjet and pay a visit to the hospital Grey and Stevens worked at." Natasha said "Meanwhile, Bruce can stay here with Fury and Pepper, we should not take that long."

"I'm surprised" Tony stood up "I actually agree with you" he turned to the others "You keep an eye on this war out there, and particularly on our guy, Negan" Tony spoke