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The Canary's Song

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Five hours. It's been five hours since SHIELD turned into a shit storm. Five hours since I was escorted by my handler Phil Coulson and ordered to sit in this debriefing room on the helicarrier and do nothing. Five hours of waiting with nothing but some water and a few of the health bars they put in our mission packs. It’s been five hours and I haven’t seen or heard anything from anybody about what the hell was going on.

 

I heard the lock on the door click and the door opened up, I looked up and saw Director Fury walk in with Coulson and Hill. I stood up, but was dismissed by Fury with a wave of his hand and sat back down.

 

Coulson spoke up first, “We’ve had you in here for quite a bit Madigan, I apologize for that, but we needed to have as much information was we could before speaking to you about the Code Red protocol.”

 

“So what’s going on? Am I going back in the field?” I had been a field agent in the past, but this past year that I’ve worked with Clint and Natasha. I was working as their strategist and gave them orders over the comms and only went into the field when they needed me.

 

“Not exactly Barton.” Hill said while handing me one of the electronic mission files. “At around 0300 hours a base was compromised. On that base we had some standard personnel as well as Dr. Selvig, who you studied with for sometime at the academy; they’ve all been compromised.” She hesitated for a second, “As well as your brother agent Clint Barton-”

 

My heart dropped to my stomach, everything else she was saying just started sounding like white noise. I liked Selvig it was fun studying astrophysics with him, even if I wasn’t really that good at the physics part of it. Clint though he’s my brother,my big brother who always chased away the monsters and made sure to sneak me some sweets after dinner when Barney said I couldn’t have any. He’s the one who should be worrying about me and what I’m doing not the other way around.

 

“Barton.” Apparently Hill finished while I was spacing out.

 

“Is he dead?”

 

Coulson sighed, “For now we are going to revert to using your codename to avoid confusion; we are assuming that he is keeping everyone under his control alive because he needs them for his plan.”

 

“What’s ours?”

 

Fury finally spoke up since entering the room, “We are initiating Alpha-Indigo-Four. I’ll be taking the Captain. Whether you like it or not you will be Coulson’s shadow until the team is on the carrier. For now you and Coulson will get ahold of Romanoff and have her find Banner while you two take care of Stark.”

 

“Yes sir.”

 


 

Coulson guided me out of the room soon after that and brought me to the bridge where they established a line on his cell to wherever Natasha was right now. He put the phone on speaker and when the call picked up a male voice answered in Russian.

 

“Put my agent on the phone.” Coulson responded, I assume the guy who picked up took the phone away from his face because his voice as well as another man’s were muffled from the distance between them and the phone. Another male voice answered trying to start threatening us, but Coulson cut him off. “You’re at 1-14 Silenski Plaza, 3rd floor. We have an F-22 exactly eight miles out. Put the woman on the phone or I will blow up the block before you can make the lobby.”

 

We couldn’t hear anything for a second then some shuffling and Coulson spoke up. “We need you to come in.”

 

We could hear Natasha’s voice come through, she sounded a little pissed off at us for interrupting her mission. “Are you kidding? I’m working.”

 

“This takes precedence.”

 

“I’m in the middle of an interrogation. This moron is giving me everything. Look, you can’t pull me out of this right now.” I could sense the frustration in her voice.

 

I could feel myself getting even more irritated than before. First my brother is brainwashed by some psycho demigod from outer space and SHIELD can’t even inform his partner properly because apparently an interrogation with some art thief is more important than the retrieval of one of their best agents. Coulson didn't have time to respond to her before I cut him off. “Nat, Clint’s been compromised.” There’s a few seconds of silence.

 

“Let me put you two on hold.” We could hear the shuffle of the phone moving, then some movement and what sounds like skin to skin contact. The sounds of his groans then more contact fighting a distance away, from what it sounds like I’d say there were at least one or two more with her and the thief she was there for. A few seconds after the fighting stops we can hear the sounds of chains rattling and the terrified screams of a man.

 

We hear the scratching of the phone as she picks up the phone from what I assume is the ground. “Where's Barton now?”

 

Coulson looks at me and then speaks into the phone. “We don’t know.”

 

“But he’s alive?” I can hear the concern in her voice, as much as she tries to mask it.

 

An agent comes over to us signaling that our ride was ready. “We think so. I’ll brief you on everything when you get back, but first we need you to talk to the big guy.” Coulson takes the phone off speaker and we begin walking down a corridor and out onto the outside of the ship towards the small jet that would take us to Manhattan.

 

I can hear a slight chuckle in her voice. “Coulson, you know that Stark trusts me about as far as he can throw me.”

 

“No, we’ve got Stark. You get the big guy.” I look over and see him smiling as he hangs up his phone. “Let’s go see if Mr. Personality will play nice this time.”

 


 

Coulson and I made our way up to the penthouse of Stark tower, having already gotten into the system Coulson was already trying to call Stark from his phone. As soon as the phone picked up he started talking. “Mr.Stark, we need to talk.”

 

“You’ve reached the life model decoy of Tony Stark please leave a message.” Natasha told me about his immature attempts to avoid SHIELD and it's obvious that this is going to be more of a challenge than I thought.

 

“This is urgent.” I could tell Coulson was getting frustrated with him.

 

“Then leave it urgently.” Also very snarky too from what she’s told me.

 

The doors of the elevator open to show Stark and Pepper with what I assume is champagne. Coulson stepped out first, blocking me from view.

 

“Security breach.” Not really, I’m sure the AI told him we’ve overridden his protocol. He pointed at Pepper, “I blame you.”

 

Coulson still holding his serious demeanor, “Mr.Stark.”

 

“Phil, come in!” Pepper, she stood up and started to walk over to us, Stark following her in protest.

 

“Phil? Uh his first name is Agent.”

 

Coulson had a very annoyed look on his face. “We can’t stay.”

 

Pepper looked towards me, noticing that I stepped out from behind Coulson, “Come in we’re celebrating.”

 

“Which is why they can’t stay.” Stark said now noticing me as well, still very adamant that we leave.

 

They walked over to us. “Hello Ms.Potts.” I smiled at her and she gave me a hug which I returned after a few seconds, not really sure it's okay with protocol though. We had met a few times before when Coulson couldn't make the meetings that Stark would bail on.

 

“You know you can call me Pepper, right Madigan?” She smiled down at me.

 

“Sweetheart, please don’t fraternize with the smaller agent.” I roll my eyes at his comment, it doesn’t take long for him under a person’s skin.

 

Coulson goes to hand Stark the electronic file. “We need you to look this over as soon as possible.”

 

He held his hands up in defense. “I don’t like to be handed things.”

 

“That's ok because I love to be handed things, so lets trade.” Pepper grabs the file from Coulson and hands him her glass of Champagne in return. She turns to Stark and does the same; giving him the file and taking his glass.

 

Stark looked at Coulson and I. “Official consulting hours are between eight and five every other Thursday.”

 

I rolled my eyes in frustration. Would it literally kill him to be serious for like two seconds. “This isn’t a consultation Mr. Stark.” He started to walk away with the file to a glass desk across the room. The desk was apparently a computer too because it started displaying all of the files for the Avengers Initiative; Banner, Rogers, Thor, and Stark himself.

 

Pepper speaks up with a look of interest on her face. “Is this about the Avengers-” Coulson looked at her with a raised eyebrow while I smiled to myself fully knowing that she knows all about the Initiative, she told me Stark told her. I did however tell her not to mention it again. Good thing it's just me and Coulson, anyone else would have flipped shit that she knew about it. “-which I know nothing about.”

 

Stark walked away with the file. “Psh, the Avengers Initiative was scrapped. I thought, and I didn’t even qualify.” He sounded offended, I’m not really sure why since Fury said that he didn’t want anything to do with the initiative or SHIELD in general.

 

“I didn’t know that either.” She noticed my smile and gave me a small one in return.

 

He turned to speak to the three of us, still walking to the computer. “Yeah, apparently I’m volatile, self obsessed, don’t play well with others.”

 

Pepper had a small smile on her face and said,. “That I did know.” I snickered, maybe a little too loud considering Stark sent a small glare towards me from across the room. I got back into agent mode and made sure my face was stoic, showing minimal emotion again.

 

Coulson, now with a small smile on his face. “This isn’t about personality profiles anymore.”

 

Stark waved Pepper over “Whatever. Ms. Potts, got a second?”

 

She turned to us and held up a finger then walked over to Stark and they began discussing something over by his computer while looking at the files on the rest of the initiative. She whispered something in his ear and he got a weird sort of scandalized grin on his face. Coulson and I tried to distract ourselves by looking around, his face was a little creepy. She made her way back to us. “So any chance you guys are driving by LaGuardia?”

 

“We can drop you off.” Coulson pushed the button on the elevator and we all started walking in a few seconds later when  the door opened up.

 

“Fantastic! Oh I wanna hear about the cellist. Is that still a thing?” Pepper asked as we all situated ourselves in the elevator.

 

Coulson pushed the ground floor button. “She moved back to Portland.”

 

“What? Boo!” She looked disappointed, I was too Coulson really liked her. It’s hard to find someone to be with especially if it's with someone who isn’t a fellow agent.

 

I smiled to myself, “It's the only thing, other than work, that he's talked about for the past two weeks.”

 

We both laughed at Coulson who gave a small chuckle as the elevator started to make it’s way down.

 


 

“We’re about 40 minutes out from home base, sir.”

 

I sat next to the computer station Coulson was at across from Captain Rogers while he looked at the electronic file that Coulson had given him when we met earlier getting on the jet. “So, this Dr. Banner was trying to replicate the serum they used on me?”

 

“A lot of people were.” Coulson walked over and stood next to where Rogers was sitting with the file in hand.

 

“Even SHIELD in it’s earlier days.” Rogers looked up at me briefly before looking back at the information in his hands.

 

“You were the world’s first superhero. Banner thought gamma radiation might hold the key to unlocking Erskine’s original formula.”

 

“Didn’t really go his way did it?” Rogers seemed to hold it close to heart that Banner turned into the Hulk, like it was somehow his fault. His files never really talked about who he was as a person, but from what was reported after Barnes and the train incident it seems like he is the kind to take that sort of thing on like he’s at fault and blame himself.

 

Coulson spoke a bit softer, “Not so much. When he’s not that thing, though, the guy’s like a Stephen Hawking.” Rogers looked up at him with confusion. He’s been in the ice since the forties and just got out like a week ago he’s not going to know Hawking, Coulson. “He’s like a smart person.”

 

“Great explanation Coulson.” I whispered to myself. They didn’t notice thankfully. “Captain. He’s a genius kinda like Stark, but instead of technology he works with Science.”

 

Roger’s seemed to catch on to what Coulson was trying to explain. Coulson looked a bit relieved that I stepped in to squash the awkwardness a bit so he continued talking. “I gotta say, it’s an honor to meet you officially. I’ve sort of met you. I mean, I watched you while you were sleeping.” Oh god no Coulson. Rogers got up to stand near the pilots and I just put my head in my hands. “I mean, I was present while you were unconscious from the ice. You know, it’s really just a huge honor to have you on board this.” He trailed off from there, god that hurt me it was so awkward. Why did he have to go and make it weird meeting his idol, I get that he’s excited to finally meet him and work with him, but come on Phil it was bad enough having to watch you be creepy you don’t have to let the guy know about it.

 

“I hope I’m the man for the job.” Rogers said as he looked ahead through the window, probably trying to spot the ship and avoid looking at Coulson.

 

“Oh, you are. Absolutely. We made some modification to the uniform. I had a little design input.” Coulson had a proud little smile on his face. Man, I gotta fuck with him.

 

I stood up and walked over to them, “You mean you volunteered all your free time and had all the input in the new suit design.”

 

“Watch it Canary or I’ll take away that new toy you wanted to test from the arsenal.” Coulson said playfully, both men smiled a bit so I think it’s a little better than before.

 

Rogers looked over at Coulson with a bit of confusion. “The uniform? Aren’t the stars and stripes a little old-fashioned?”

 

“With everything that’s happening and the things that are about to come to light, people might just need a little old-fashioned.”

 


 

Soon enough the jet landed and we were walking onto the helicarrier and Coulson started trying to shout orders to the personnel over all the noise. “Stow the captain’s gear.”

 

When we exited the jet Natasha met us and Coulson introduced her to Rogers. “Agent Romanoff this is Captain Rogers.”

 

“Ma’am.” Rogers gave a nod of acknowledgment.

 

“Hi,” Natasha looked over at Phil. “They need you on the bridge. They’re starting the face trace.”

 

He grabbed my shoulder encouragingly before walking away, the Captain yelling after him that he would see him there. We walked with Rogers on our way to get Dr. Banner from his jet.

 

“You were quite the buzz when they pulled you out of the ice. I thought Coulson was gonna swoon.” Natasha said.

 

I chuckled at her comment, “I think he almost peed his pants when he found out.”

 

She smiled and then asked him, “Did he ask you to sign his Captain America trading cards yet?”

 

“Trading cards?” He asked. Oh god that would have made it so much worse. I’m glad he's too afraid of ruining then to carry them on his person.

 

She replied, “They’re vintage, he's very proud.”

 

We came up on Banner outside of the jet. Rogers being the first to speak up. “Dr. Banner!”

 

He walked over and greeted Rogers with a handshake. “Yeah, hi. They told me you’d be coming.”

 

Nat picked up her phone, I looked at her with a raised eyebrow. She mouth ‘Hill’ to me and I nodded.

 

“Word is you can find the cube.” Rogers said to him.

 

“Is that the only word on me?” Banner looked around while speaking, his eyes stopping on me and Natasha for few seconds.

 

Rogers told him firmly. “Only word I care about.”

 

Banner nodded. “It must be strange for you, all of this,” he gestured to the ship.

 

“Well this is actually kinda familiar.” Rogers looked around as he said that.

 

Natasha hung up her phone and turned to the two men, “Gentlemen you might wanna step inside in a minute. It's gonna get a little hard to breath.” We both smirked watching them look around as an agent came on the PA giving the signal to prepare for our take off as the ship began it’s slow ascension from the water.

 

Rogers turned to us. “Is this a submarine?”

 

“Really, they want me is a submerged pressurized metal container?” Dr. Banner said while walking with Rogers to the edge of the carrier. They both realized that the ship was going to fly. “Oh no this is much worse.”

Chapter Text

 

Natasha lead the three of us through the ship to the command center where Fury was waiting. Rogers looked around in awe of all the technology in the room.

 

Once Fury finished ordering us in the air he came over to the table the boys were standing by. “Gentlemen.” Rogers handed him a ten dollar bill, for what I have no idea.

 

Rogers walked around the room more, Fury walked up to Banner and shook his hand. “Thank you for coming doctor.”

 

“Thanks for asking nicely. So how long am I staying?” The doctor asked.

 

“Once we get our hands on the Tesseract, you’re in the wind.” Fury explained.

 

Dr. Banner looked skeptical. “Where are you with that?”

 

Fury gave Coulson the go ahead to explain. “We’re sweeping every wirelessly accessible camera on the planet. Cell phones, laptops; if it's connected to a satellite its eye and ears for us.”

 

“It's still not gonna find them in time.” Nat said while looking at one of the screens.

 

“You have to narrow your field.” Dr. Banner explained. “How many spectrometers do you have access to?”

 

“How many are there?” Fury asked.

 

“Call every lab you know, have them put the spectrometers on the roof and calibrate them for Gamma rays. I’ll rough out a tracking algorithm and basic cluster recognition, at least we can rule out a few places.” Dr. Banner said to Fury. “Do you have somewhere for me to work?”

 

Fury looked to Natasha. “Agent Romanoff will you show Dr.Banner to his laboratory.”

 

She walked with Banner, leaving the room. “You’re gonna love it doc, we got all the toys.”

 

Coulson struck up a conversation with Rogers while I made my way over to one of the computers that was running facial recognition and searching for my brother as well as Loki. Then a computer down the line started sounding a small alarm that indicated it had found a match.

 

“Got a hit, it's a seventy percent match. Wait crossmatch seventy nine percent.”

 

I walked over to the computer with Agent Sitwell at it. “Location?”

 

“Stuttgart, Germany. He’s not exactly hiding.” He explained.

 

Fury looked in Rogers’ direction, “Captain, you’re up. Canary show the Captain to his suit and where he can change into it. I’ll alert Romanoff to meet you on the airstrip.” I heard him, but I couldn’t look away from the computer. I just kept looking at the screen with the surveillance of Loki. This guy took down a whole SHIELD base and kidnapped agents and he has the audacity to just walk around like he's come across space for a vacation. “Barton!”

 

I looked back at Fury who had a pointed look on his face. “Yes, sir.”

 


 

I led Rogers to the room where his suit was and got it out of its case. We walked down the hall to one of the larger empty bunk rooms that are usually for multiple agents.

 

“You can change in there.” I gestured to the attached bathroom, “I’ll wait here then we can head out to the jet.”

 

He nodded putting the shield onto the cot before going into the bathroom and locking the door. “So can you explain the situation to me more, Fury only gave me the basics.”

 

I look down at my hands, “SHIELD was working on project PEGASUS, doing some testing on the Tesseract at one of our bases and it activated itself. Loki, he is a being from another planet, he came through a portal the cube created.” I took a breath, my chest started feeling heavy as I started to talk about what happened to Clint. “He used some kind of magical sceptor to control the head scientist working on the cube, Eric Selvig, and the main agent Fury assigned to oversee the project, Agent Barton, as well as some of the personnel working with the cube and some of the security agents.”

 

“Fury called you Barton before. Is he your husband? You looked pretty shaken up when you saw the screen.” I could hear the concern in his voice as he spoke.

 

“No Captain,” I gave a small laugh, “he’s my older brother.”

 

I heard him give a breathy chuckle. A few seconds later I hear him speak up again. “So, I’m a little confused. Coulson and Fury referred to you as Canary too. Why is that?”

 

“It’s my codename. They figured since my brother and I share the same last name it would be easier to use my codename to avoid any confusion while he is,” I paused and sighed, not really wanting to say the words. “you know.” God I hate this feeling. I hope we find Clint soon. I can’t stand all this not knowing; sure when we had missions we would worry about each other, but not like this. It shouldn’t be like this.

 

He walked out of the bathroom in his suit and picked up the shield from the bed that it was on. He gave me a nod signalling he was ready to go. I lead him out to the jet where Natasha was waiting. We got in and headed out to Germany.

 


 

I was sat next to Natasha co-piloting the jet; as soon as we spotted him Rogers jumped out of the plane landing in front of an old man who Loki was about to blast with his scepter. The blast ricocheted off of the shield and hit Loki and Rogers began to walk towards him and talk to him, us only hearing his side of the conversation; Loki standing too far away for us to clearly hear what he’s saying through Rogers’ comm link.

 

“You know the last time I was in Germany and a man was standing above everyone else, we ended up disagreeing.” Rogers said as he walked towards Loki “I’m not the one out of time.”

 

Natasha and I positioned the jet, weapons ready with a clear shot of Loki. “Loki drop the weapon and stand down.”Natasha said over the PA.

 

Loki sent a blast from the scepter our way; we pulled the control and moved the jet out of the way just in time. Rogers and Loki began fight as we tried to stabilize the ship and get a clear shot at Loki if we need to.

 

“The guy is all over the place.” Natasha said trying to get the gun to lock onto him as a target.

 

I started flipping some switches to try and stabilize the targeting system for the gun on the bottom of the jet. “Yeah,no kidding.”

 

Just then a voice came over the intercoms, “Agent Romanoff, you miss me.” Stark. The screen between us showed a message ‘PA System Override’ and ‘Shoot to Thrill’ started playing. Stark came in with one of his suits and joined Rogers in his fight with Loki. After being blasted by one of Stark’s repulsor Loki surrendered and we landed the jet and opened the hatch to let them all on. “Tiny agent you’re here too that’s great.”

 


 

“He saying anything?” Fury asked over the communication line to the carrier

.

Natasha responded. “Not a word.”  She turned on the navigation to give us a route back to the carrier.

 

“Just get him here, we’re low on time.” Fury responded, the communication link shutting off.

 

Natasha and I continued to pilot the jet while Stark and Rogers talk in the back, watching Loki while he sits in his spot on the plane. We were still about an hour out from the carrier when thunder and lightning began cracking and I looked over to Natasha, “Where is this coming from?” I asked with a slight nervousness to my voice. Piloting I could do, piloting with lightning well not so much.

 

“What's the matter, scared of a little lightning?” I heard Stark ask from the back.

 

I stayed silent, I don’t care if he’s asking me or not I’m focusing on flying this Godforsaken jet. Loki replied a few seconds after. “I’m not overly fond of what follows.”

 

The jet shook as a giant thunk came from the ceiling as if something landed on top of it. I looked back to Stark; as his suit was attaching to him, he opened the hatch, some blonde man dressed in battle armor with a hammer came in and threw Stark into Rogers, he took Loki and shook the jet again as he flew off.

 

Natasha and I were trying to get the jet rerouted so we could fly in the direction that he flew off on before they were too far away for the jet to have an accurate location on where Loki is based on his handcuff tracker. She spared a quick glance back to Stark and Rogers as they got up off the floor and asked. “Another Asgardian?”

 

“Think he’s a friendly?” I heard Rogers ask, out of breath.

 

“Doesn’t matter, if he frees Loki or kills him the Tesseract is lost.” Stark said his helmet masking his real voice with a more robotic.

 

Rogers responded. “Stark we need a plan of attack.” I glanced back to see Stark getting ready to leave the jet.

 

“I have a plan. Attack.” Stark said and went after him while Steve got a parachute and put it on, ready to jump after them. Natasha looked back at him. “I’d sit this one out Cap.”

 

“I don’t see how I can.” He said as he finally had the parachute on.

 

I spoke to him, “Yeah, these guys come from legend, they’re basically gods.”

 

Rogers walked to the cargo door and looked back at us. “There's only one god ma'am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.” He jumped out after Stark and the two Asgardians.

 

I pushed the button to my left to close the cargo door, Natasha looked over to me. Both of us with a look of shock and surprise on our face. “Coulson didn’t ever mention dramatic. Did He?” I asked her.

 

“No he did not.” She said, turning around to open a communication line with Fury.

 

A few seconds later Coulson appeared on screen. “Romanoff, Canary you’re going off course what happened?” He questioned us.

 

“We had a little problem.” I said as I pulled the jet so we could turn around and fly to the location the jet locked onto, the tracker on the parachute Rogers jumped with gave us a larger area to find an open area to land the jet.

 

“What happened?” He asked.

 

I sent Natasha a sideways glance then looked back to Coulson and said. “Well this giant beefy blonde guy, who looks like he’s on his way home from Medieval Times kinda took Loki and Stark and Rogers went after them.”

 

He ran his hands over his face then looked back at us and said. “I’ll go tell Fury just get them back on the jet and to the carrier. All four of them.”

 

“Should we keep the new one on lockdown too?” Natasha asked.

 

“No, I’m sure with him there Loki will be under control better.” He said.

 

I pulled the ship to a stop in a field a couple hundred feet from where I could see the three men picking up Loki. I looked back at Coulson and asked. “How do you know that?”

 

“Because the big blonde with the hammer is his brother, Thor.” After he said that he turned the communication off.

 

Stark came over the comms a few seconds later. “Hey ladies, one of you mind opening the door?”

Chapter Text

When we landed the jet on the carrier there were SHIELD guards waiting in tactical gear, ready to take Loki into custody and put him in a cell on the ship. While they took Loki away Natasha and I lead the remaining three men to the bridge.

 

On our way there Coulson came up and stopped us to talk to Stark. “We have the case for your suit all set up Mr. Stark; I can show you to it.”

 

“Fantastic.” We all walked together until the next break in the hallway.

 

Coulson started to lead Stark down the opposite direction, he turned back to Natasha and I. “I’ll bring him back to the bridge.”

 

We nodded and continued down the hallway to the bridge. A few minutes later, we were all sat in various spots around the conference table aside from Thor and Dr. Banner who chose to stand instead. Soon enough the screens on the table popped up showing us Loki in his holding cell with Fury talking to him from the control panel in the room.

 

“In case it’s unclear, if you try to escape, if you so much as scratch that glass,” Fury was pushing button on the screen at the control panel and opened up the floor, the opening went all the way through the ship to the bottom. “It’s 30,000 feet down in a steel trap. You get how that works?” He gestured to Loki and then the control panel. “Ant, boot.”

 

Loki laughs, “It’s an impressive cage. Not built, I think, for me.” Natasha and I looked at each other, I could see Dr. Banner glancing at us from the corner of my eye. I’m sure she could see him too.

 

“Built for something a lot stronger than you.” You could tell from Fury’s tone that he was getting tired of dealing with Loki.

 

“Ph, I’ve heard.” Loki turned toward the camera, “A mindless beast.” I saw Natasha life her head up and look towards Dr. Banner. “Makes play he’s still a man. How desperate are you, that you call on such lost creatures to defend you?”

 

“How desperate am I? You threaten my world with war, you steal a force you can’t hope to control, you talk of peace but you kill because it's fun. You have made me very desperate, you might not be glad that you did.” You could hear Fury’s frustration as he spoke, he is definitely ready to just kill Loki and get it over with, but we need to Tesseract.

 

“Oh, it burns you to have come so close. To have the Tesseract, to have power, unlimited power And for what? A warm light for all mankind to share and then to be reminded what real power is.” Loki spoke with so much passion, he’s like some psychotic homicidal diva who's hellbent on ruling an entire planet.

 

Fury walked away. “Well let me know if real power wants a magazine or something.” Loki looked into the camera and the screens shut off.

 

“He really grows on you, doesn’t he?” Banner said sarcastically, Natasha, Rogers, Thor and I looking at him.

 

Rogers spoke, “Loki is going to try to drag this out. So Thor, what's his play?” He looked Thor waiting for him to answer.

 

Thor stood at the head of the table and explained Loki’s plan. “He has an army, called the Chitauri. They’re not of Asgard, nor any world known. He means to lead them against your people. They will win him the Earth, and in return I suspect he will hand over the Tesseract to them.”

 

“Unknown, that’s just great.” I said sarcastically, Thor looked at me for a second like I had grown two heads. The big guy probably doesn’t get sarcasm.

 

Rogers had a look of disbelief on his face, “An army? From outer space?” He asked doubtfully.

 

Banner was two chairs over from me standing next to the table. “So he’s building another portal, that's what he needs Erik Selvig for.” He said with realization.

 

“Selvig?” Thor asked with some concern in his voice.

 

Banner looked at him, “He’s an astrophysicist.”

 

“He is a friend.” Thor said with certainty.

 

“Loki has him under some kind of spell, along with one of ours.” I saw Natasha glance at me from across the table as she spoke.

 

“I wanna know why Loki let us take him. He’s not leading an army from here.” Rogers said.

 

Banner looked over at him and said, “I don’t think we should be focusing on Loki. That guy's brain is a bag full of cats, you can smell crazy on him.”

 

“Have care how you speak; Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard.” Thor said, getting defensive. This is the second time Loki has chosen Earth as his battle field, why is he defending him? He seemed to hesitate a bit before he spoke up again. “And he is my brother.” Okay, well guess that explains the whole defensive thing.

 

This time it was me who looked at Thor like he had two heads, “He kidnapped and brainwashed my brother and killed eighty people in two days.” I emphasised the part about Clint being under his control now

 

“He is adopted.” Thor said after a few seconds. Yeah, not really an excuse for trying to take over our planet big guy.

 

It was a bit awkward for a few seconds then Dr. Banner spoke up, “I think it's about the mechanics. Iridium, what do they need the Iridium for?”

 

“It's a stabilizing agent.” Stark said as we all looked over to see him finally walk in with Coulson. “It means the portal won’t collapse in on itself like it did at SHIELD. No hard feelings Point Break, you’ve got a mean swing.” Stark patted Thor on his shoulder when he passed him on his way over to Fury’s command station, turned in my to watch him as he continued to speak. “Also means the portal can open as wide and stay open as long as Loki wants.”

 

He began trying to tell people what to do, spouting off some weird jumbled pirate lingo that probably wouldn’t even be right if he was on an actual boat. He then pointed to one of the younger agents at the computers. “That man is playing Galaga, he thought we wouldn’t notice, but we did.” Stark covered his left eye at the station, then turned to Hill. “How does Fury even see these things?”

 

“He turns.” Hill said exasperatedly.

 

Stark had a look of disinterest on his face as he started explaining, “Sounds exhausting. The rest of the raw materials, Agent Barton can get his hands on pretty easily. The only major component he still needs is a power source of high energy density. Something to kick start the cube.”

 

Hill asked him, “When did you become an expert in thermonuclear astrophysics?”

 

“Last night. The packet, Selvig’s notes the extraction theory papers. Am I the only one who did the reading?” Stark said as if it was obvious that he had read it.

 

“Does Loki need any particular kind of power source?” Rogers asked bringing the attention back to the situation.

 

“He’d have to heat to the cube to 120 million Kelvin just to break through the Coulomb barrier.” Banner explained to him.

 

“Unless Selvig has figured out stabilize the quantum tunneling effect.” Stark countered, walking over to the doctor.

 

“Well if he could do that he could achieve heavy ion fusion at any reactor on the planet.” I thought absentmindedly, not realising I said it outloud.

 

Dr. Banner and Stark looked over at me like I had grown three heads, although Stark had a huge grin on his face so I guess he was pretty happy about that. “Finally people who speak English.”

 

“Is that what just happened?” Rogers asked, even more confused than before.

 

I shrugged, “Technically.”

 

Stark walked over to Banner shaking his hand, “It’s good to meet you Dr. Banner. You’re work on anti-electron collisions is unparalleled and I’m a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into a enormous green rage monster.” I rolled my eyes, really Stark. Does this guy just not have any sort of verbal filter?

 

“Thanks.” The sarcasm was practically flowing off of Banner.

 

“You!” Stark turned to me in my seat one over from Banner. “Why didn’t you mention you were a genius?”

 

My eyes widened slightly, not really wanting to gain the attention of the egocentric genius billionaire. “I-I’m not. I worked with Dr. Selvig for almost a year. I had to pick some sort of advanced physics classes at the academy and quantum mechanics was probably about as fun as it was going to get was going to get.”

 

Stark’s narrowed his eyes slightly at me, clearly not satisfied with my answer or willing to believe it. Luckily for me Fury walked in and spoke to him before he could question me further. “Dr. Banner is only here to find the cube. I was hoping you could join him.”

 

“Let's start with that stick of his, it's magical but it works an awful lot like a Hydra weapon.” Rogers said expressing his concern of the scepter.

 

Fury walked to the head of the table and turned to us all. “I don’t know about that, but it is powered by the cube and I’d like to know how Loki used it to turn two of the sharpest men I know into his own personal flying monkeys.”

 

“Monkeys? I do not understand.” Thor asked, genuinely confused by the Wizard of Oz reference.

 

Rogers very excitedly said, “I do! I understood that reference.” I smiled at his comment.

 

Stark rolled his eyes and turned to Banner, “Shall we play, doctor?”

 

“This way, sir.” The doctor said motioning to the door.

 

“Tiny agent come along.” Stark gestured for me to follow him without turning around as he followed Banner to the lab.

 

I sighed and stood up to follow them out the door patting Fury’s shoulder on my way out, “Don’t worry boss, I’ll make sure he doesn’t break anything.”

Chapter Text

 

After about 5 minutes we made it to the lab Dr. Banner was working in. I walked around inspecting all the equipment, making sure I didn’t touch anything, finally coming to the computer screen showing if the machines were detecting the Gamma rays that the Tesseract gives off and all the levels of that and any other radiation it was emitting.

 

Stark started going talking to me as he walked around the lab, “So I’ve decided Baby Barton you should come by the tower sometime.”

 

I narrowed my eyes at him, “Baby Barton?” Pepper said he had a knack for giving people nicknames, I thought they’d be better than this tired old shit that almost all the agents use.

 

“Yes, anyway. I’ve got lots of stuff we can tinker with; electromagnetic repulsion, ionic containment fields, molecular explosion chips that are smaller than your pinky finger nail.” I gave him a disinterested look as he held up his pinky finger to me from across the table. “Come on.” He whined. “I’m even thinking of making some energy and electricity based weaponry that fancy agents like yourself can use in the field without killing your targets.”

 

I sat at the stool that was at the table with the Tesseract and rolled my eyes at him as he continued walking through the lab, fiddling with things. “As cool as that sounds, I’m gonna pass on that one considering I know basically nothing about all that science crap and would probably kill someone if I touched anything. How’d you even know what my last name was?”

 

“I asked Coulson. Come on, it could be fun, also Pepper really likes you for some reason even though you haven’t had an actual conversation other than when you and Coulson barged in on our celebration.” He began to emphasize his words as though they were critical instructions on how to diffuse a bomb. “I am almost willingly and half-heartedly inviting you to the tower, inviting you to touch some of my things. That is pretty much the deal of the century.”

 

“No it isn’t and for your information Stark I have met Pepper before. All those times you made her take the calls from SHIELD, the meetings with Coulson; I was there for most of them. We even got lunch once when I had a few days off in New York. She’s great, I like her.” I countered leaving him to try and find a new way to lure me to his death-trap lab. The stories from Pepper have forever deterred me from ever going near the lab.

 

“So agent, I’ve read the file on the incident at the base.” I looked to Dr. Banner, who was across the room by the scepter, nodding for him to continue. “Stark called you ‘Barton’ so is the, uhm other agent somehow . .”

 

I could tell what he was getting at. “Yes, Dr. Banner I am related to the Agent Barton that is currently being mind controlled by the psycho god we have downstairs.”

 

“I went with Reindeer Games. A lot more fun.” I rolled my eyes at Stark’s comment. Pepper is a saint, how she deals with his immaturity is beyond me.

 

Dr. Banner was running a scanner over the scepter, “The Gamma reading are definitely consistent with Selvig’s reports on the Tesseract, but it's going to take weeks to process it all.”

 

“If we bypass the main frame and direct route it to the home cluster. We can clock this thing at six hundred terawatts.” Stark said as he messed with the controls of the computer to set up the new .

 

“All I packed in a toothbrush.” Dr. Banner said as he finished scanning the scepter, now using the tools at the table the we were at to inspect the device.

 

“You know you should come by Stark tower too. The top ten floors all R and D. You’d love it it’s candyland.” Stark looked to me as he walked past me and around the table. “Don’t worry, I’m sure I can put a playground in for you while the adults work.” I gave him a small glare as he made his way behind Dr. Banner.

 

“Thanks, but last time I was in New York I kind of broke Harlem.” Dr. Banner said sheepishly, stopping his inspection momentarily to look at Stark.

 

“Well I promise a stress free environment. No surprises.” He poked Dr. Banner with some sort of tool I didn’t see him pick up.

 

As soon as he did that Rogers walked in, both of us yelling. “Hey! Are you nuts?” “What the hell Stark!”

 

“Jury's out.” Stark said as he threw the tool onto the table and turned back to Dr. Banner, “You really have got a lid on it don’t you. What's your secret mellow jazz, bongo drums, huge bag of weed.”

 

“Is everything a joke to you?” Rogers asked him, anger practically steaming off of him.

 

Stark looked over at Rogers, “Funny things are.” Ugh, Pepper really needs an intervention for him because he needs to work on his people skills.

 

Rogers was getting even angrier with him. “Threatening the safety of everyone on this ship isn’t funny.” He turned to Dr. Banner, who was still processing the scepter. “No offense doc.”

 

Dr. Banner looked up at him, “It’s alright I wouldn’t have come if I couldn’t handle pointy things.” He gave a pointed look to Stark.

 

“You’re tip toeing big man, you need to strut.” Stark said, leading by example as he walked to the other side of the table.

 

Roger and I both shared an agitated look while he continued to mess around. “You need focus on the problem Mr. Stark.” Rogers said trying to get him back in check.

 

Stark looked at Rogers, irritated, as if he was being naive, “Do you think I’m not. Why did Fury call us in? Why now? Why not before? What is he not telling us? Can’t do the equation, unless I have all the variables.” Stark started fiddling with the tools on the table.

 

“You think Fury's hiding something?” Rogers asked, as Stark put down the tools.

 

Stark looked at Rogers explaining his concerns. “He’s a spy, he’s the spy. His secrets have secrets. Its bugging him too, isn’t it?” We all looked over at Dr. Banner as he briefly looked up from his work.

 

“Uh, I just wanna finish my work and-” Dr. Banner started stammering and looked back down at the scepter.

 

“Doctor?” Rogers said interrupting him.

 

Dr. Banner looked around at us before speaking, “‘A warm light for all mankind’, Loki’s jab at Fury about the cube.”

 

“I heard it.” Rogers said wanting him to get to the point.

 

“Well I think that was meant for you,” He pointed to Stark, who took the blueberries he was offered by the billionaire. Where they came from I have no idea. “Even if Barton didn’t tell Loki about the tower it’s still all over the news.”

 

Rogers face lit up with recognition, “Stark tower? You mean that big ugly-” He trailed off when Stark looked at him. “building in New York.”

 

Dr. Banner started to explain his point more, “It’s powered by an arc reactor, self sustaining energy source. That building will run itself for what a year?” He looked to Stark for confirmation.

 

“That's just the prototype.” Stark turned to Rogers, “I’m kinda the only name in clean energy right now.” He had a very smug look on his face as he looked at Rogers.

 

“So why didn’t SHIELD bring him” Dr. Banner said, pointing to Stark. “in on the Tesseract project? What are they doing in the energy business in the first place?”

 

“I should probably look into that once the decryption program finishes breaking into all of SHIELD’s secure files.” Stark said as he took out his phone.

 

I turned on the stool I was sitting at and looked at Stark. “What the hell?!”

 

Rogers looked to him as well, taking a step closer to him. “I’m sorry did you say-”

 

Stark cut us off, “Jarvis has been running it since I hit the bridge. In a few hours I’ll know every dirty little secret SHIELD has ever tried to hide. Blueberry?” He offered Rogers and I some, I took a few from the bag as I watched the screen.

 

“Yet you’re confused on why they didn’t want you around?” Rogers said crossing his arms at Stark.

 

Stark turned away, setting the blueberries back on the table, “An intelligence organization that fears intelligence. Historically not awesome.” He looked back from the screen next to the table with the scepter.

 

I stood up from the stool at the table and faced Stark, “You need to stop digging, you don’t know what kind of things you are going to get into Stark.”

 

Stark raised an eyebrow at me and asked. “And you do Agent?”

 

“We know what we need to, when it’s essential to our job. That’s why we have clearance levels.” I said, giving him a pointed look of ‘You need to stop digging. Fury is going to find out and it’s not going to end well.’ It didn’t work because he kept on letting Jarvis hack the files.

 

Stark pointed to me and said, “No, you know what they want you to know whenever they feel like it.” Which I can’t really argue with, I was told about Clint after they had everything calmed down and already put a plan into place; Natasha didn’t know until I told her.

 

Rogers, ignoring Stark, started explaining what we should be focused on. “I think Loki is trying to wind us up. This is a man who means to start a war and if we don’t stay focused he’ll succeed. We have orders, we should follow them.”

 

“Following is not really my style.” Stark said, completely forgoing Rogers previous comment.

 

Rogers turned to Stark, trying to intimidate him, “And you’re all about style aren’t you.”

 

Stark looked at him, trying to size him up. “Of the people in this room which one is A, wearing a spangly outfit and B, not of use.” Stark said, waiting for Rogers to come back with some kind of challenge.

 

Dr. Banner cut in before anything more could come from the two. “Rogers, tell me none of this smells a little funky.”

 

Rogers paused for a second then looked to me with a pointed gaze.“Barton?”

 

I sighed and looked at him. “Every organization has secrets Cap, even I don’t know a lot of them.”

 

“Just find the cube.” With that Rogers stormed out of the lab

 

I saw head in the opposite direction of the comand bay and quietly made my way out of the lab while Stark and Banner were talking and followed Rogers. I finally caught up to him as he rounded the corner of an empty hallway. “Captain wait-”

 

“If you’re going to try to stop me don’t.” He said as we both continued to walk down the hall of the ship.

 

“I’m not.” I gave a frustrated sigh as I continued to follow him around the carrier, “Look, Fury had my brother working on this project for months. I don’t have security clearance for the files on the project, but I need to know what my brother was involved in that ended up getting him put under the control of some power hungry alien who is trying to take over the planet.” When we stopped at the door I pulled his back by his arm causing him to turn to me with a distrusting look. “My brother is all I’ve got.”and grabbed his arm to turn him around when he wouldn’t stop walking.

 

His expression softened and gave me a nod, we looked at the sign next to the door labeled ‘Secure Storage 10-C’. I looked around to see if anyone was coming our way, I gave him the go ahead to open the door. He tried pulled the door back out of its lock  and it gave way after a few seconds as if it was practically nothing. So much for secure storage.

 

Rogers looked back to see if anyone was coming then we walked into the room, he pointed out the boxes that had extra warnings and labels around it. We heard agents and they seemed to be coming near the room.

 

He leaned down so he could speak quietly, “Get on my back I’ll lift us up to the second level.”

 

“Seriously?”

 

He was going to reply, but we heard the voices of the agents coming closer than before so he bent down and I jumped on. He jumped onto one of the containers and used it to grab onto the railing of the walkway on the second level. Once he pulled us up I got down and we quietly walked on the metal grates trying make as little noise as possible as we walked to the storage containers. Once we got there we both looked back at the door before turning back to the container. When Rogers opened the lid it revealed something I’m sure we both thought were long gone.

 

Hydra weapons.

 

Chapter Text

 

We made our way back to the lab, knowing Fury was already on his way over there, Steve carrying one of the weapons.

 

“What is phase two?” Stark asked Fury with an accusing look.

 

Steve placed the weapon on one of the tables behind Fury. “Phase two is SHIELD uses the cube to make weapons.”

 

I looked over at Stark who was now sending questioning glances at Rogers and I. “Sorry Stark, computers are a little too slow for our roll.” I could see the smirk starting to form when Fury started speaking to us.

 

He was getting very defensive, “Canary you know you don’t have clearance for that. Rogers we gathered everything related to the Tesseract. This does not mean that-”

 

Stark interrupted him. “I’m sorry Nick,” He turned the screen around so we could see it. “What were you lying?”

 

Rogers looked at Fury disappointedly, “I was wrong director, the world hasn't changed.”

 

“We lost an entire base all for weapons? Who knows what kind of intel the agents with Loki gave him or if any of them are even alive anymore!” I could tell Fury was already down to his last nerve with all of us.

 

Natasha walked in with Thor, Banner looked to her while pointing to the screen showing to weapon plans. “Did you know about this?”

 

She ignored him, “You wanna think about removing yourself from this environment doctor.”

 

“I was in Calcutta, I was pretty well removed.” Banner becoming defensive, standing his ground on the issue.

 

“Loki is manipulating you.” Natasha was slowly walking closer to him.

 

Banner looked at her accusingly, “And you’ve been doing what exactly?”

 

“You didn’t come here because I bat my eyelashes at you.” She said giving him the same look.

 

“Yes and I’m not leaving because suddenly you get a little twitchy. I’d like to know why SHIELD is using the Tesseract to build weapons of mass destruction.” Banner turned to Fury, waiting for an answer.

 

“Because of him.” Fury pointed to Thor.

 

“Me?” Thor was very confused by the accusation.

 

“Last year Earth had a visitor from another planet, who brought a grudge match that leveled a small town. We learned that not only are we not alone but we are hopelessly, hilariously outgunned.” Fury explained.

 

“My people want nothing but peace with your planet.” Thor said, still confused on why the weapons were needed.

 

Fury looked at Thor, “But you’re not the only people out there are you, and you’re not the only threat. The world is filling up with people, who can’t be matched, can’t be controlled.”

 

“Like you control the cube?” Stark asked accusingly.

 

“Your work with the Tesseract is what drew Loki to it, and his allies. It is a signal to all the realms that the Earth is ready for a higher form of war.” Thor explained, his voice carrying valor with it.

 

Rogers looked over at him, “A higher form?”

 

“You forced our hand, we had to come up with something.” Fury said.

 

“Nuclear deterrent, because that always calms everything down.” Stark said sarcastically with a small smile on his face.

 

“Remind me again how you made your fortune Stark.” Fury asked, giving Stark an accusing look.

 

Rogers put his hand on Stark’s shoulder, “I’m sure if he still made weapons Stark would be neck deep-”

 

Stark shook the hand off his shoulder. “Wait, wait, hold on how is this now about me?”

 

“I’m sorry isn’t everything?” Rogers said giving Stark an accusing look.

 

“I thought humans were more evolved than this.” Thor said.

 

I looked over at him. “Sorry to burst your bubble there buddy.” He looked very confused, I guess metaphors aren’t his forte.

 

“Excuse me do we come to your planet and blow stuff up?” Fury said giving Thor an incredulous look.

 

Everyone began arguing in circles. This was really not getting us anywhere, all of this pointing fingers back and forth isn’t doing any good. Hell if anything this was getting us farther away from finding the cube.

 

“You speak of control, yet you court chaos.” Thor said, trying to figure out why everyone was acting the way they are.

 

Banner looked at Fury accusingly, “It’s his M.O. isn’t it. What are we a team? No, no, no we’re a chemical mixture that makes chaos. We’re a time bomb.”

 

“You need to step away.” Fury said as he stepped closer to Banner.

 

“Why shouldn’t the guy let off a little steam?” Stark said as though he were oblivious to what would happen.

 

“You know damn well why, back off.” Rogers said to Stark.

 

Stark looked at Rogers and walked over to him. “Oh I’m starting to want you to make me.” I stepped away in Thor’s direction to avoid any fallout from Steve and Stark.

 

“Yeah big man in a suit of armor, take that off what are you?” Rogers said getting in Stark’s face.

 

Stark listed off the ‘great’ traits he was known for. Getting in Rogers face just the same and he did to him. “Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.”

 

“I know guys with none of that worth ten of you. I’ve seen the footage, the only thing you really fight for is yourself. You’re not the guy to make the sacrifice play, to lay down on a wire and let the other guy crawl over you.” Rogers said looking down at Stark.

 

Stark was starting to get snarky, even more so than before. “I think I would just cut the wire.”

 

“Always a way out. You know you may not be a threat, but you better stop pretending to be a hero.” Rogers continued to get in his face.

 

“A hero? Like you? You’re a laboratory experiment Rogers, everything special about you came out of a bottle.” Stark said, emphasising the end.

 

“Put on the suit, let’s go a few rounds.” Rogers was really testing him and one of them is bound to get hit if they keep going.

 

Thor laughed, “You people are so petty and tiny.”

 

“I don’t know about tiny, but we are definitely petty.” Thor looked at me with a small amused look.

 

“Yeah this is a team.” Banner said sarcastically.

 

Fury turned to Natasha, “Agent Romanoff, would you escort Dr. Banner back to his-”

 

Banner interrupted him, “Where? You rented my room.”

 

Fury started trying to talk him down. “The cell was just in case-”

 

“In case you needed to kill me, but you can’t I know I tried.” We all stared at him, my heart breaking for the troubled doctor. “I got low, I didn’t see an end so I put a bullet in my mouth and the other guy spit it out. So I moved on, I focused on helping other people. I was good until you dragged me back into this freak show and put everyone her at risk. You wanna know my secret Agent Romanoff? You wanna know how I stay calm?” He picked up the scepter without even looking behind himself.

 

Fury, Natasha and I had our hands ready on our guns, Steve spoke. “Dr. Banner, put down the scepter.” He looked down at the scepter that was now in his hand.

 

The computer beeped signalling it found a match, Banner put the scepter down and walked over to the computer. “Sorry kids you don’t get to see my party trick after all.”

 

“You’ve located the Tesseract?” Natasha walked over to the screen with Banner.

 

“I can get there faster with a suit.” Stark said, already walking to the door.

 

“The Tesseract belongs on Asgard.” Thor said, his voice booming over the beeping computer.

 

Rogers pulled him back, “You’re not going alone.”

 

“Are you going to stop me?” Stark look at him, waiting for Rogers to make a move.

 

“Put on the suit and let’s find out.” Rogers said getting in his face once again.

 

Stark had a smug look on his face, “I’m not afraid of you, bring it old man.”

 

“Put on the suit.” Rogers said emphasising each word threateningly.

 

The beeping continued and started getting faster, Banner started to panic. “Oh no.”

 

An explosion came from the south side of the ship and the entire carrier shook, sending Thor and I into the door, knocking it down off the hinges. There was so much dust and smoke in the air I could barely see Thor trying to help me up, the shock of the explosion still making me feel a little floaty and giving me some trouble catching my breath. We looked back into the room to find Fury leaving through the other door and a hole in the floor where Natasha and Banner used to be.

 

Thor turned to me and said. “We must go find the doctor, Loki means to unleash the Hulk and let him destroy the ship.”

 

I nodded, “I can get us down there, this way.” I lead Thor through the ship, making our way downstairs following the sounds of the Hulk’s screams and the stream of agents fleeing from the sound. We got to the lower level following the path of destruction caused by him. I saw the Hulk run past us through some pipes about forty feet to our left, but he didn’t see us because he was too occupied on catching Natasha. I tapped Thor’s arm and pointed in the direction he went. We both ran towards them, Thor swinging his hammer and propelling himself into the Hulk and the force making both of them break through the wall into the garage. Thor quickly took the attention off of Natasha and began fighting with the Hulk. I went to help her and make sure she wasn’t severely injured. There was a commotion over the comms saying we had another engine go down and the ship was crashing.

 

Fury came onto the comms, “It’s Barton, he took out our systems. He’s headed for the detention level. Does anybody copy?”

 

Natasha responded, “This is Agent Romanoff, I copy.” I grabbed her hand and helped her up. “I’ll get Clint, you head to the detention cell to try and cut anybody else off who's trying to free Loki.”

 

I nodded, “Got it.” and we both headed off.


 

I ran through the carrier, finally coming up on the room where Loki is being held. I could hear a big commotion going on and then Thor screaming no and then the rush of air, which I assume is the cell dropping. I walk into the room to see Loki walking away, not noticing me, and Coulson on the ground in front of me with blood on his chest.

 

“Coulson! What happened?” I got on the ground and applied pressure to his wound. I looked around for any kind of med kit, but I didn’t see one

 

“I figured out what this gun does.” God even when he’s dying he wants to make jokes.

 

Fury ran in and took the gun from Coulson, he knelt down next to him seeing the blood coming up from underneath my hands.

 

Coulson looked over at Fury, “I tried to stop him boss, but the guy rabbited.”

 

“Just stay awake, eyes on me.” Fury took hold of his face to try and help him focus.

 

As much as he tried he couldn’t keep his eyes open for long. “I’m clocking out here.”

 

“Not an option.” Fury said as though he was

 

“It’s ok boss, this was never going to work.” He looked over to me, my eyes starting to water. “If they didn’t have something to-” His breathing stilled and I started trying to feel for a pulse, not finding one. I started shaking him slightly to get a reaction. I felt Fury pull me away giving the medical team room. They looked back at us and shook their heads confirming that he was gone, Fury got on the comms to relay the news.

 

From there everything from there was a blur; the med team calling for a body bag, Fury pulling me out of the room and walking me to one of the empty kitchen areas. I was just running on autopilot, it felt like I was just watching everything happen from behind a TV screen. Being an agent of SHIELD you’re bound to see someone die in the field, but this- this is just so much worse. It’s always harder losing someone you know in the field, but I looked up to Phil. Even after all the crap this job threw at him he always tried to keep a positive outlook on life and now it’s all gone to shit.

 

When we got to the kitchen area I sat down at the small table while Fury continued to give orders over his comm while facing away from me. I could still feel the tears in my eyes, but now's not the time. I just need to buck up and move on because now Loki is on the loose and he knows where the tesseract is.

 

Fury turned back to me. “Take a moment, but be quick about it,” He paused for a second,” for now at least. Your brother is in room 18 in the infirmary block, Romanoff is with him.” He walked out of the room after that.

 

I wiped my eyes to get rid of the tears that we're waiting to fall and took a few deep breath to try and calm myself, but it only helps so much. I took another minute to prepare myself and walked out of the room, keeping my face out of view of any of the agents I passed on the way to Clint’s room. It wasn’t too hard to keep my face out of view since almost everyone is working on keeping the ship in the air and whoever was walking around wouldn’t bother looking at me because they're too busy.

 

Once I got to Clint's room I stopped and stood in front of it for a moment composing myself before using my thumb on the keypad to open the door. I was actually relieved to see that it was just Natasha in the room, I may be a SHIELD agent but I'm still a Barton so I'm going to avoid any sort of confrontation good or bad. I saw some movement from the corner of my eye and saw someone through the small window on the bathroom door and realized it was Clint. Guess I won't get to avoid it after all.

 

Natasha moved over on the cot and I took a seat next to her, I don't think either of us knew what to say or even really wanted to speak. We sat there for a minute and Natasha turned to me and looked like she wanted to say something, but she was interrupted by Rogers opening the door “Time to go.”

 

“Go where?” Natasha asked looking at him with caution.

 

“I’ll tell you on the way. Can you two fly one of those jet?” Even though his voice was sure you could tell he was slightly hesitant, I'm guessing this isn't exactly an authorized departure.

 

The bathroom door opened and we all looked over to see Clint drying his hands as he came out of the bathroom. “I can.”

 

I didn't really know what to do when I saw him step out, we just stared at each other. I figured we'd have time to actually talk and process everything that's happened.  This is definitely going to make for one uncomfortable ride home later.

 

“You got a suit?” Rogers said.

 

Clint nodded. “Yeah.”

 

“Then suit up.” Rogers started walking out the door.

 

Natasha got up and started walking with him, “I’ll come with. Let these two have a moment to themselves before we go.”

 

They walked out and the door closed behind them. Clint set the towel down on the table next to the bathroom door and sat down next to me where Natasha was before.

 

“Nat told me about Phil.” I tensed up and I'm sure he could tell. “I'm not going to say much for now at least, but I know he meant a lot to you and it's not easy to lose someone close to you like that. You can't let those emotions cloud your judgement though because we still have a mission and if you think you won't be able to handle it you don't have to come with.”

 

“I know, but I can do this. This mission isn't just about avenging Phil or anyone else we lost to Loki. This is about keeping us from losing everything to that slime ball.” I gave him a little smile, “Besides who'd keep you from tripping over your own feet out there and getting killed.”

 

“Hey I can keep myself from getting killed, I've done a pretty good job so far.” He actually looked kind of offended that I mentioned me having to protect him.

 

I scoffed at him, “I'd say it's more like a 'D'+’ job.”

 

Clint rubbed his hand over his face, “Please stop grading my mission injuries with Nat, I get enough shit from her and Laura already.”

He gave me a final squeeze before we left to meet with Natasha and Rogers. We found them and made our way down to get one of the jets from the garage. We all walked into an open cargo door, scaring the young agent in the jet. “Hey, you guys aren’t authorized to be here.”

 

Rogers held up his hand to stop him. “Son, just don’t.”

 

Chapter Text

We made our way in the jet to Manhattan, where Stark tower was located. Clint and I piloting the jet while Natasha and Rogers waited in the back.

 

“They move like one person, don’t they?” I spared a glance back, finally noticing Rogers staring at us. Anyone who has ever been a passenger for Clint and I is always a little freaked out at how well we move in sync, not ever speaking unless absolutely necessary like if it has to do with our destination. Natasha is probably the only one who has seen us have an actual conversation while piloting, only when it’s the three of us though. It’s usually just story swapping about missions every now and then, mostly it’s about what the others missed while one of us had time off and went to the farm.

 

“It’s a little creepy to be honest.” Rogers said.

 

“Don’t worry they’ve always been like that. I think it's some kind of family secret, but they won’t tell.” She said accusingly.

 

I was going to respond, but I could see the Manhattan bridge in the distance. “We’re getting closer guys, get ready.”


 

We made it into the city to find that Loki has already unleashed his army. People were running away from the tower, screaming.

 

“Stark we’re on you’re three headed northeast.” I said speaking into the headset.

 

“What did you stop for drive thru? Swing up Park, I’m gonna lay them out for you.” We prepared the machine gun as we flew down Park  between the skyscrapers. Seeing Stark fly down the street in front of us, Chitauri soldiers following him. We opened fire as we drove through them turning up, missing the building in front of us. We made our way flying up Stark tower towards the top trying to take out as many as we could.

 

We caught sight of Loki and Thor fighting, their fighting not giving us a clear shot at Loki. When he threw Thor to the floor we shot at him, in turn he sent a blast our way taking out our left wing. Natasha and Rogers held onto the rafters while Clint and I tried to stabilize the plane enough to have some kind of control over the landing. We weaved through the buildings, finally finding a big enough open space to land. Hopefully the city won’t be too mad about their wrecked sidewalk. We rushed to get out of our seats, Clint opened the cargo door and all four of us ran out into the city. Making our way back towards the tower we look up to see a gigantic space whale kind of thing with Chitauri soldiers jumping off it.

 

We made our way through the street hiding behind a taxi. “We’ve got civilians trapped.” Clint nodded to a metro bus on the street full of people.

 

We saw Loki on one of the ships going down the street with a pack of Chitauri following him shooting at everything in the street. “They’re fish in a barrel down there.” Rogers said looking after Loki riding down the street.

 

Chitauri landed nearby on our street and started shooting at us. Clint and I ran to another taxi across from Natasha and Rogers.

 

We looked back at them, Natasha turned to Rogers. “We got this. It’s good, go.”

 

He turned to Clint. “You think you can them off?”

 

“Captain,” Clint prepped his arrows and looked at me. “It would be my genuine pleasure.”

 

He picked an arrow, stood up and shot one of them. Smaller blasts came from the main arrow and hit the other Chitauri. Natasha and I stood up shooting with our guns while Rogers ran to the police on the street below and Clint helped the civilians in the bus. He came back and shot off arrows with us.

 

“Just like Budapest all over again.” Natasha said not taking her focus off the Chitauri.

 

Clint continued to take shots at the oncoming soldiers dropping from the sky. “You and I remember Budapest very differently.”

 

I ducked down behind the taxi I was at to reload my gun. “Are you two ever going to tell me that story?”

 

“I told you Madigan, it’s a story for when you’re older.” Clint said loading another arrow onto his bow.

 

I stood back up and took out  a few more between the three of us it only took a few more shots to take care of all the ones on the ground. “You said that ten years ago, I’m twenty four now Clint. I think you’re just holding out on me.” We could finally breath for a moment.

 

“Now's not the time for sibling bickering guys we got more coming.” Natasha pointed up to the other giant creatures and ships carrying more Chitauri.

 

They jumped in close to us; Clint grabbed one and pulled it to the ground stabbing it with an arrow. Natasha climbed on top of one struggling for its weapon while I used a piece of debris to stab one and take its weapon. I stabbed another with my newly acquired Chitauri staff while Natasha blasted the other with hers. More came down While Clint shot off arrows, Rogers came back and blocked the two that came up while Clint was reloading.

 

The entire group of Chitauri were electrocuted by Thor who was coming down from the sky. We walked over to him. “What's the story upstairs?” Rogers asked him.

 

“The power surrounding the cube is impenetrable.” Thor explained.

 

More Chitauri ships flew by as Stark spoke into the comms. “Thor is right we gotta deal with these guys first.”

 

Natasha looked at Rogers. “How do we do this?”

 

“As a team.” He replied still watching the ships that flew by.

 

“I have unfinished business with Loki.” Thor said looking at Rogers.

 

“Yeah, well get in line.” Clint said as he fiddled with the arrows he retrieved from the bodies.

 

Rogers turned walking towards us and started walking over to us. “Save it. Loki is going to keep this fight focused on us and that's what we need. Without him these things could run wild. We’ve got Stark up top, he’s gonna need us to-”

 

Banner pulled up on a scooter and we all walked over to him. “So, this all seems horrible.” I scoffed, he should’ve been here earlier to see that freaky whale thing.

 

“I’ve seen worse.” Natasha said looking at the doctor.

 

“Sorry.” He replied quickly.

 

“No we could use a little worse.” She said assuring him he should unleash the Hulk here.

 

Rogers spoke into the comms. “Stark, we got him.”

 

“Banner?” His robotic voice came over the comms.

 

“Just like you said.” Rogers said not taking his eyes off Banner.

 

“Then tell him to suit up. I’m bringing the party to you.” We saw Stark round the corner with one of those gigantic monsters following him as he came our way.

 

“I-I don’t see how that’s a party.” Natasha said taking in the image of the creature.

 

“I thought you threw good parties Stark.” I said, extremely unsettled by the sight of the giant creature barreling towards us.

 

“You got me. This isn’t my best one to date. Let’s have one after we’re done here, a big victory celebration.” Stark said soaring through the air down the street with the creature following closely behind.

 

Rogers addressed Banner. “Dr.Banner, now might be a really good time to be angry.”

 

“That's my secret cap, I’m always angry.” He transformed into the Hulk, the giant creature slamming into his fist and folding over itself, its armour coming off. Stark shot it with a missile, the creature exploding. Clint got behind another car while Rogers shielded Natasha and Thor pulled me back blocking me from the blast with his body.

 

Chitauri started surrounding us on the buildings, screeching as we prepared to continue the fight. Looking up I saw more of those creatures and Chitauri coming through the portal.

 

“Guys.” Natasha said looking at the portal as well.

 

Stark landed in his suit, “Call it Captain.”

 

Rogers looked at all of us and gave his orders. “Alright listen up, until we can close up that portal our priority's containment.” He looked to Clint. “Barton I want you on that roof calling out patterns and strays. Stark, you got the perimeter anything gets more than three blocks out you turn it back or turn it to ash.”

 

Clint turned to Stark. “You want to give me a lift?”

 

“Right, better clench up Legolas.” Clint gave me a nod as Stark took off with him.

 

He looked at Thor, “Thor you gotta try and bottleneck that portal. You got the lightning, light the bastards up.” He turned to Natasha and I. “You two with me on the ground, try to keep the fighting here” He finally looked to the Hulk. “and Hulk, smash.”

 

The Hulk jumped onto the buildings taking out Chitauri while moving; leaving Natasha, Rogers and I on the ground to deal with the oncoming soldiers. More came from on the ground and the ones from the buildings that Hulk didn’t get. Natasha took out one with her electric gloves, I picked up the spear I had earlier and started using it to stab some of the others coming up on her. She took the now dead Chitauri’s weapon and blasted it. How she figured that out don’t ask me I’m not gonna try. Rogers came down behind her.

 

She turned to him. “Captain none of this is gonna mean a damn thing if we don’t close that portal.”

 

“He said guns couldn’t touch it.” He replied.

 

“Well maybe it’s not about guns.” I could see the spark in Natasha’s eyes as I said that.

 

More Chitauri came down on the other end of the street flying in our direction going over us. The three of us looked at them and then to each other.

 

“If one of you want to get up there, you’re gonna need a ride.” Rogers said.

 

Natasha looked back at the ships. “I got a ride.” She dropped the spear and walked across the street from Rogers and I. She motioned for me to get out of the way. “I could use a boost though.”

 

“Are you sure Nat?” I asked as I moved to the Captain’s right.

 

We both had skeptical looks on our faces, Rogers stepping back to give her more of a running start.

 

“Yeah, it’s gonna be fun.” She said a little uneasily.

 

She came running towards him jumping on a car hood and then to his shield flying up and grabbing onto one of the ships passing by. A blast shot off nearby, I turned away from the blast and looked back to see more of the Chitauri coming. I used the weapon I had in hand, finally seeing trigger on the handle to actually use it properly, to start blasting the creatures. More came down, separating Rogers and I. I saw Stark come down and help Rogers with his group while I tried to take care of the five I had surrounding me when I heard Clint over the comms. “Madigan, drop down.”

 

I got down on my stomach and saw the Chitauri around me drop. I stood up and spoke into the comms. “Thanks Clint.”

 

“No problem you’ve got some stragglers coming up on your six.” He replied.

 

I turned around and took them out, using the last two blasts from the weapon and stabbing the third. I ran to help Rogers get another off of him.

 

“Cap, Madigan the bank past forty seventh, a corner lot of civilians.” Clint said.

 

“We got it.” Rogers replied into the comms, he and I ran to the bank taking out some Chitauri along the way.

 

“You cover the door I go in through the window.”

 

“Got it.”

 

I fought off the two Chitauri trying to stop me, once I took care of them I signalled for the police to come over and help the civilians that were starting to pour out of the bank. I looked around trying to find Rogers, when i heard a blast from inside the building and saw him laying on top of a car and ran over to him to help him off of the car. We were able to run back down the street near the tower and catch up with Thor, helping him take on a group of Chitauri. With the three of us fighting it didn’t take long to take care of the Chitauri surrounding us.

 

An explosion sounded off and I turned to see it was building Clint was stationed on top of. I was starting to panic, but I caught a glimpse of him swinging down on a rope through one of the windows.

 

I turned to Thor and Rogers, all of us noticing the small wave of Chitauri coming toward us.“Boys, I’m gonna go grab Clint. You got this covered?”

 

Rogers looked at me, “We’re good, go.”

 

As I ran into the building I tried to contact him over the comms, but they weren't connecting to Clint's. I gave up on them and ran up the stairs and hoping I'd run into him at some point on the stairs. I heard Natasha say she could close the portal. Rogers said to do it, but Stark was coming is with a missile and said he would put it in the portal. I ran into Clint halfway up the stairs and we made our way back down.

 

“Come on old man,” I said as I turned and saw him lagging behind half a flight. “Kids running you down these days?”

 

He scoffed at me, “With how much sweets you and Natasha give them when we babysit I’d say so.”

 

I gave him a pointed look, “Hey at least Barney and Laura get out.”

 

“Yeah, but at what cost Madigan.” He threw his arms up dramatically as we finally make it down the last flight of stairs.

 

We heard the Hulk scream as we walked out the building and saw most of the team just outside the building on the road, Rogers was helping Stark up when we made it to them.

 

I looked to Thor. “What’s the word with the army?”

 

“The Chitauri have perished thanks to the Man of Iron. Now we must retrieve Loki.” He said looking down at me.

 

“Well my suit is down and we need a fast way up there.” The Hulk picked Rogers and Stark and started to make his way to the tower.

 

Thor turned to Clint and I. “Come Bartons, grab onto me and Mjölnir will take us to the tower.”

 

Clint jumped onto his back while Thor held me around the waist with his left arm, swinging the hammer in his right. We took off and met the other guys along with Natasha at the top of the tower walking in to find Loki trying to get up from a hole in the ground that looked like a mangled dent of his entire body. He was trying to get himself up using the steps in Stark’s penthouse. Clint knelt down with an arrow ready aiming at his face as Loki turned to look at us.

 

“If it’s all the same, I’ll have that drink now.” He said looking at Stark holding his hands up in surrender.


We all stood around Loki, who was in chains, and Thor in Central Park as they prepared to use the Tesseract to go back to Asgard. SHIELD had cleared the area for us and Stark had already used his own money to hire a bunch of construction and cleanup teams to help with the damage that we did fighting the Chitauri

 

Thor came over to Clint and I. “Bartons you have good hearts and are great warriors. I apologise for the trouble that my brother has caused Clinton. Although I am most joyous to have done battle with you.”

 

Clint smiled at him and I said, “It’s been fun big guy, but next time we meet I hope it’s not to take on another alien army.”

 

He laughed, the sound booming through the air. “That is most agreeable Lady Barton. Until next time.” He walked over to Selvig, he took the Tesseract and stood next to Loki.

 

We all said our farewells, Clint already getting in the car and Nat seeing off Banner and Rogers. I walked over to Stark.

 

“Well Baby Barton it’s been fun.” I gave him a skeptical look. “Ok, maybe not very fun. Almost dying isn’t really fun. Anyway the offer still stands, Jarvis has sent you my number, he said you already had Pepper’s, so whenever you want to come just give us a call. You’ll probably get a better chance with her though because she actually picks up the phone.”

 

I laughed, “I’ll have to get back to you on that one Stark. Being an agent isn’t like a regular nine to five or being the owner of a multi-billion dollar tech company.”

 

He scoffed and rolled his eyes, “Oh come on, it’ll be fun. I’ll let you touch most of the stuff.” He said raising his eyebrow, as if he was daring me to refuse.

 

“You drive a hard bargain man, maybe throw me a pizza party and then we’ll see.” I smirked at him. He was probably going to try something extravagant to get me to come to the tower, but as long as I get that free pizza out of it I’m good.

 

“Madigan! Let’s go.” Clint started up the car and Nat got in. I walked over to the back door nodding to Banner on my way over and sending a wave to Rogers on his motorcycle as I got in. We started down the road.

 

“So what do we do now?” I asked putting my arms up on the seats near their headrests.

 

Nat spoke first, “Well Fury said we get a vacation-” she started trailing off.

 

Clint picked up the conversation for her, “and it’s been a little while since we've all been there at once-”

 

I cut him off before he could finish, “Thank God we're going to the farm I miss Lucky.”

 

“He's not even your dog he's mine.” We'll see about that when we get home Clint.