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Teacher & the Titan

Chapter Text

She wasn’t super, not by any definition of the word.

Sure, if you asked her mom, she would certainly gush about the “enormous difference she made in the world”, or how “lives are brighter because she was in it.” But that was just obligatory mom-talk.

But she wasn’t super, especially not in a world where ripped men carried tiny shields, teenagers could throw cars with their minds, and convicts shrunk to the size of a bug.

Well, maybe not the bug guy, he hadn’t been seen in forever. Perhaps someone had gotten him.

But this world, this world had actual superheroes. These men and the women wores tights and had super powers and fought aliens.

All she did was not kill 18 five year olds each day.

She graduated from a local college at 22, landed her first teaching gig a month after graduation, and had stayed at the small, local school ever since. Shiloh, Tennessee wasn’t very exciting, but it was home.

Ellie Jetsper had started at the national park in Shiloh, but the day had been so nice, and her playlist had been so jamming, that she had probably wandered further away from her car than she had intended. Her class was learning about birds, and the life cycle that a bird went through, so she came to the park scouring for pieces of egg shells. She had tried to just show her students an egg from Walmart, but that wasn’t enough for them. Their minds were too inquisitive, too active to accept that a Walmart egg was part of a bird’s life cycle.

So she hunted, humming softly along to the song that played from her phone, just some old school Katy Perry song. She had long since wandered off of the trail, her hiking boots covered in mud and muck.

Ellie paused to take a swig of water when something caught her eye. It almost seemed to be a reflection, but that couldn’t have been right. She was at least 3 miles off of any man-made trail, and if it was a creek, the reflection shouldn’t have been just above eye level. She shook her head, it was probably just a trick of the light. The sun was going to start setting soon, it wasn’t anything important. Besides, it was getting late and she still hadn’t found any egg remains to show her class.

So she trekked onward, further away from her car and deeper into woods. She brushed aside some overgrowth, and found herself in the middle of… a lawn?

No, that couldn’t be right.

But it was. A decrepit house stood in front of her. It looked so out of place, but also like it had always belonged in this spot. Ellie had hiked here dozens of times before, but she’d never seen this house. This place seemed like it had never been touched by a human. Her sense of excitement overtook her, and she doubled her pace, heading straight for the oversized door. On a whim, she tried the handle. If this place really was untouched and uninhabited, there was no reason for it to be locked, right?

Surprisingly, the door opened easily, giving way to a… rustic looking interior. If the outside was serene and peaceful, the inside was the exact opposite. Broken glass was scattered all around the floor, but all the windows were in place. The wooden floors were covered in mud, dirt, and blood? That certainly looked like blood.

Where the hell was she?

Ellie knew a horror movie scene when she saw one, she quickly turned to leave but the door slammed shut, eliciting a scream from the back of her throat. She spun on her heels, in search of another exit. The setting sun cast dark shadows through the windows, making everything seem twelve times more ominous than it was forty eight seconds ago.

“Hello?” She called out into the empty house, knowing good and well that anyone that might be hidden inside this house, would not be so easily swayed by a school teacher’s pleas. “I didn’t mean… I’m sorry for barging in… I’m leaving!” She said, less confident than she sounded.

“How did you find this place?” A voice called out, deep and booming. Ellie couldn’t pin down the location of the sound. And if she was being honest - it sounded like it had come from… everywhere. “How did you find this place ?” The voice repeated, with a rising anger.

“I was… I was hiking. Looking for bird eggs. I was hiking.” Ellie sputtered, a cold chill wracking through her body. “I’ll leave. I’m leaving.” She went to open the door and run, but the door wouldn’t budge. A dark shadow was cast on the door, a large , dark shadow. She heard footsteps behind her, someone was approaching.

“Look at me.” The voice said, right behind her now. She was physically shaking now. Her entire body frozen in place. She couldn’t comply to the voice’s commands. “ Look at me , or I will make you look at me.”

Move! Move!

She told her feet, she tried to will herself to follow the voice’s directions. MOVE! She began to turn, slowly. Painfully slow. She kept her eyes on the ground, trying desperately to not meet the voice’s gaze, or anger it any further. But as she finished facing the voice, she couldn’t keep her gaze downward.

He was large, unbelievably large. He had to stand over 7 feet tall, he had to. She had never seen a man of this size. But he wasn’t just a partial giant, he wasn’t human . His arms were the size of basketballs. Each. Individually. He could probably crush her skull using just his arms alone. But even that wasn’t the part about him that stood out the most. His skin was purple.

Ellie blinked a few times, convinced that her sheer terror had caused her to see something that wasn’t there. But when she opened her eyes, he was still standing in front of her. Seven feet tall, more ripped than The Rock, and purple.

“Who are you?” He bellowed, filling the entryway with the sound.

“I’m Ellie. Ellie Jetsper. I’m a kinder-”

“Silence!” He shouted, turning his back to her. “You’re nothing special.” He laughed, it wasn’t a joyful sound. The noise sent a shiver down Ellie’s spine. “Do you know who I am?” She shook her head, afraid that if she spoke again, she would anger him even more.

“I am the most powerful being in the universe. I was created to bring balance to the galaxy. And that starts here. Soon.”

Ellie stood silently, unwilling to speak another word.

“I am Thanos. The Mad Titan. And you will not leave this house.” He, Thanos, raised his hand, and she flinched, afraid she was about to be struck. But he did not hit her, instead, she noticed he was wearing a rather intricate golden glove of sorts. He snapped his fingers, a metallicy echo reverberated through the house, followed by the sound of an electronic pinging.

The door was gone. Just… gone. It had vanished into thin air. She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out, her voice had vanished.

“I might have some use for you, yet.”

Chapter Text

There was no way that she lived through this. There was not a single scenario that she made it out of this wooded prison home, and back to her job, her cat, her life - alive. So, if what she did next was risky, it was only because she wasn’t going to go down without a fight. This was her hail mary.

“I have to go to work.” She said quietly, staring directly at her hands. She was seated in what she guessed would have been the living room, had this been a normal cottage and not some crazy alien’s summer get away house. She had been sitting there for hours, it felt like. Neither of them speaking.

“What?” He, Thanos, replied, he back to her. His voice was even, and not nearly as angry as she expected it to be.

“I have to go back to work. I’m a teacher. I can’t just not be there .” She paused, and in that time, he laughed at her. That same dark, chilling laugh. “I’m serious.” Ellie continued, her voice a little stronger now. “My coworkers, they knew what I was doing. They knew I was out here searching for eggs for my class. They’ll know exactly where to start looking for me if I’m not at work.” She stopped, swallowing hard. She felt as though her heart could beat out of her chest.

“I can just move the house.” He said, with a hint of amusement in his voice.

“If you’re going to kill me. Just do it.” Ellie said finally, standing up. “But - if you’re going to keep me alive for whatever plan you have concocted… I have to go back to work.”

“And why should I adhere to your wishes, human ?”

“Because… I asked nicely?” She huffed, defeated. It was worth a shot, she had literally nothing left to lose.

“Fine.” He said after a long silence. “But if we’re going to do this. We do it my way.” He told her through gritted teeth. She was dumbstruck. She knew it was the longest of long shots, but she never expected him to actually agree to her.

He didn’t like that this was happening, Ellie could tell that he would rather just kill everyone she knew and be done with it. But he hadn’t done that yet, and he hadn’t killed her either. For reasons she still hadn’t figured out.

Thanos slid the golden gauntlet over his fingers once again, clutching his hand into a fist. Ellie still didn’t quite understand how this magical glove worked, but she knew that it was a force to be reckoned with, and could probably decimate the world without the bat of an eye.

So why this all-powerful being used it to change his appearance, she couldn’t even begin to understand. Something about him was different this morning. He was still definitely a giant, scary, purple, alien probably-murderer, but she was hanging on to the fact that he hadn’t killed her.

Yet.

After a lackluster transformation took place, ending with a sort of fizzling sound, he stood before her. But he didn’t stand as an almost-seven-foot extraterrestrial being, but as a man.

A human man.

Ellie cast her gaze to the ground, avoiding his eye contact at all cost. He was still tall, but it was more natural now. Where the lines on his chin were, now sat a brown scruff. His head was still void of hair, but the bare look of his skin was more pleasant on the eyes. At least it was a human color now.

“If I have to be seen in public, don’t you think it’s best if I don’t give myself away before I’ve completed my mission?” He asked, offering her an explanation that she hadn’t asked for. She nodded, afraid that her voice would betray her if she tried to speak

The next part happened in such a blur, that Ellie wasn’t even sure she remembered it at all. He balled his hand into a fist once, they were at her car. Severely disoriented, she stumbled into the driver’s seat and cranked the engine. ABBA’s Mamma Mia came from the car stereo for a millisecond, before he clutched his fist again, and they were outside the school. Ellie gasped, both hands gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles. She drew in a long breath, hoping that whatever had just happened, was finally over.

Slowly, she turned off the engine and opened her door. Humanized Thanos stood at the front of the car, exactly where he was in the forest. But the golden glove wasn’t a glove anymore. At least, not a medieval gauntlet. It was just a normal, brown, “it’s starting to get a little chilly here” glove.

“What… What’s the plan?” She asked, relying on the car frame to keep her standing. She was still a bit woozy from the major reality shift she had just experienced.

“The plan is me making sure that you don’t squeal. If you tell anyone what you know or what you have seen, there will be hell to pay.”

“You’re just going to follow me around the school all day? They’ll call the cops.”

He glowered at her, “I don’t have to be with you, to keep an eye on you.” He said, stepping closer to her. He pass the once-gauntlet glove over her wrist, revealing a bracelet with a blue hue to it. “I can hear everything you say and see everything you do, right from this. Don’t test it. Don’t test me .” He was closer to her than he had been before, and she was, in a word, terrified. “If you say anything, if you breathe a word about what you have seen, I will flatten the entire school before you even have the chance to blink.”

It was like he had hit her to her core, he had found the one thing, the button she had that caused her to snap. She could take a beating, she could lose everything she had. Hell, he could even kill her, but no one, no one , laid a hand on her students.

Her hand flew up out of nowhere, striking him square on the cheek.

And he laughed .

Pain rippled up from her fingers and into her arm. Ellie clutched her hand to her chest, swearing quietly under her breath. Thanos continued to laugh, but this laugh wasn’t like the one she had heard before. This laugh wasn’t ominous or foreboding. It was a genuine, gut laugh.

“Perhaps we shouldn’t do that again, hmm?” He said, a hint of mirth in his voice.

“Don’t… don’t hurt them. I won’t say anything. Just don’t hurt them.” She said, clenching her jaw.

“Now then, are we ready?” He asked, gesturing towards the school.

“I mean, not really.” Ellie motioned vaguely at her outfit. She was still caked in mud from yesterday’s hike. Her clothes were meant for outdoorsy adventures, they were ratty and completely unprofessional. “I can’t wear this into my place of work.”

She could have sworn that she had heard the Titan groan, or perhaps grumble something under his breath, before closing his gloved hand again.

This time, whatever he had done, didn’t take her brain on a reality vortex roller coaster, it simply replaced her grubby clothing with a dark golden maxi dress. On the bottom of the dress there were seemed to be several, multi-colored squares. On closer inspection, Ellie found that they were not dissimilar to the gems on the gauntlet he owned.

“Seriously?” She said, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

He didn’t reply, as they were cut off by a voice shouting in their general direction.

“Ellie! Ellie!” The voice called, making its way over to where the two of them stood. “Did you find the bird eggs you were looking for? I was hoping I could borrow them to show my class when you were all finished. I tried to show them store bought eggs but -” The woman stopped mid sentence, staring directly at Thanos. “El, who is this ?” She asked, wiggling her eyebrows in a ridiculous fashion.

“Jayden, this is… Th - “ Thanos shot her a deadly look. “Jason? This is Jason.” He looked even more upset than he had before. Ellie had to physically bite her tongue to keep from bursting out laughing. He was furious . “Jason, this is Jayden! She teaches across the hall from me.” She smiled, reaching for his arm. She leaned into him, smiling broadly at her colleague. “Well babe, I guess I’d better go, duty calls!” She stretched up on her tiptoes, forcing herself to kiss him on the cheek.

“This is how you don’t get caught, but my way.” She whispered quickly, before breaking away. “I’ll see you after work!” She called back after him, leaving him staring incredulously after her.

She grinned, having finally had the last word.

But she was sure he would be waiting for her when she left the building, her wrist-monitor device clinking as she walked.

She was quite certain this was only the beginning of something much, much more difficult.

Chapter Text

“Is Jason coming this weekend?”

“Who? What?” Ellie asked, torn from her thoughts as Jayden popped in her room.

“...Jason? Your hot new boy toy? The fall festival is this weekend, is he coming with you?”

“Oh…” She trailed. “No, no probably not. He’s not that kind of guy. He’d think it was super lame anyways.”

“It is super lame, El. But boyfriends and husbands come and help out, it’s the unofficial rules.”

Ellie shrugged, going about her morning routine. Her day was, honestly, very normal. Her children weren’t misbehaving, her schedule was lining up pretty well. Her work day had run very smooth.

Except, you know, for the tracking beacon on her wrist that was was reminded of each time she moved.

Ellie packed her bag up and grabbed her car keys, uncertain of what would be waiting for her when she got to her car. Much to her delight though, he wasn’t there.

Maybe I imagined the whole thing , she thought as she tossed her purse into the passenger seat. ABBA’s Mamma Mia began playing once more when she cranked her car up.

“What the hell happened in the last 24 hours?” She asked herself as she pulled away from the school. She was kidnapped, spent the night in a rotting cottage in the middle of a forest. Watched a giant purple man change into a human man, and then teleport them to her school. And now it was all? Gone? Her whole life had flipped upside down, just for it to turn right around again?

She had to get out of town, she decided. She would go visit her grandparents in Virginia. She’d call out sick and spend some time away from this place. That made the most sense to her.

Ellie rushed up the stairs to her apartment, flinging the door open. She wasn’t sure why, but a sense of urgency overtook her when she parked her car. She dug her suitcase out of her closet, and started throwing clothes into it. Dresses? Sure, why not? Casual clothes? Absolutely, who knew how long she would be gone. Athletic wear? I mean, only if she had to.

“Where are you going?” A voice asked out of nowhere. His voice.

She screamed, startled by the sudden intrusion in her panicked packing. “I… uh… was getting stuff to bring back to the cottage?” She said, her words sounding more like a question than a statement.

“Sure” he said, grasping her shoulder tightly. Ellie closed her eyes, preparing for what was about to happen this time.

The reality jump was still… difficult to cope with. But knowing that it was coming made it a hell of a lot easier to wrap her head around. Upon entering the house, Ellie found that there was a bed where the ratty couch used to sit. “What’s this?”

“If you’re staying here…”

“Staying.” Ellie said, making a face at the use of such a voluntary way of putting it.

“If you’re to stay here,” Thanos started again, beginning to sound frustrated, “I figured you could use a place to sleep.” He waved his hand dismissively. “Goodnight.”

“Actually!” Ellie called after him, grimacing (a playful attempt, at least). “So there’s a festival at my school this weekend.”

“No.” He answered, without even turning around.

“See, normally I wouldn’t even press it except now that you met my coworker, Jayden, and she’s asking if you’re coming and she’s telling a bunch of other coworkers about you and it would be weird if you didn’t and we’re stuck in this thing together now and-”

“If I say yes, will you stop talking?”

“Absolutely, yes.”

He groaned loudly, rubbing his forehead. “Fine.”

 

The festival arrived quicker than she expected it to, but maybe that’s what happens when you live with a purple alien that may, or may not, have control over the space-time continuum. Ellie smoothed the front of her dress, waiting anxiously for Thanos to be ready.

“Humans bother themselves too much with fashion and clothing. Armor is simpler and only has one function: protection.” He was fiddling angrily with a button on the shirt he had conjured up for himself.

“You look fine, let’s go.” She said, holding her hand out and closing her eyes. She was used to it now. Or, well… as used to it as she could be. He held onto her arm, hand, shoulder, and teleported them someplace. All-in-all, it wasn’t something she would ever get used to, but as least she knew what to expect now.

The festival wasn’t necessarily a calm place to be, but it was fun. At least, Ellie was having fun. She was certain that Thanos was not enjoying himself. He was half-assing every conversation they found themselves in, and refusing to partake in any of the activities that were set up for the day.

At one point, she turned to ask him a question, and saw that he looked… panicked. That was a look that she hadn’t seen from him before. “Is everything alright?”

Thanos grabbed her and tore her away so quickly, she was certain she would get whiplash from it. “Who did you tell?” He asked, seething. He was holding tightly onto her arm. She was backed up against an outside wall of the school, mostly hidden from view.

“I… What? What are you talking about?”

“There’s an agent here. Out there, she’s talking into an earpiece and looking for suspicious activity. Who did you tell ?” He was so close to her, his face inches from hers. But something was different than the first time she had been this close to him. He was at her fall festival, at her school. He could have killed her days ago but she was still here. He wasn’t going to hurt her.

“I haven’t told anyone.” She whispered harshly. “You’ve been listening to my every word and watching my every motion.” Ellie reminded him, jingling the bracelet she still wore on her arm.

“Do you honestly think I’ve listened to you each day? Teaching children about numbers and writing ? I am a god. I don’t have time -”

“Shh!” Ellie said, glancing over to where the festival was still being held. A woman she had never seen before was walking in their direction. Quickly.

“How dare you tell me -”

She had no other choice. If he was caught on this day, in this place, she would go down with him, and she would never survive in an alien prison. Or any kind of prison for that matter. Or if she was released, she would certainly never be allowed to teach again. So she did the only thing that would keep him from talking any longer.

She kissed him.

Ellie stretched up on her toes to press her lips against his, using her free hand to cup the back of his neck, pulling him closer. Thanos didn’t fight her, but he also sort of just… froze.

“Is everything alright back here?” The unfamiliar woman called, continuing to walk closer to them.

Ellie broke the half-kiss, leaning her head against Thanos’ chest. “Hmmm” She hummed softly. “We’re good, right?” She asked, glancing up at her fake boyfriend. He nodded, not offering any more of an answer.

“Alright… just checking. I thought I saw something… I guess I was wrong.” The woman turned on her heels to leave.

“What was that?” Thanos asked, finally.

“She’s still watching us, darling.” Ellie said softly, with a coy smile, dragging a finger along his arm. She wasn’t sure how long she could keep this act up.

Thanos grumbled something under his breath, before pulling her in for another kiss. This kiss, however, was much different. He stepped closer to her, his body pressed flush against Ellie, and Ellie pressed against the wall. He moved his hands to either side of her face, holding her close to him. Her arms snaked back up around his neck, holding the two of them in place.

It felt like time and space had stopped. (And to be honest, she wasn’t sure what his magical glove could do, or if it had the power to do that, anyways). But the way his lips moved, the way his body felt pressed against hers, it felt like it was out of a dramatic romance movie.

That was until, he broke the kiss, putting space between them once more. “There were other ways we could have handled that.” He said curtly, heading back out into the festival.

“Excuse me for not being an alien god who knows just what to do in every situation .” Ellie huffed, following behind him. “I did the best I could. I’m a kindergarten teacher. I’m not trained for anything like this. I took two years of acting in college, not classes on how to live a double life.” She had to pick up her pace to catch up with him. “Where are you even going? We need to leave. What if she talks to us again?”

“Well, I’m sure you can just kiss me, that seemed to work so well for you the last time.”

“I didn’t see you offering up any sort of plan. Some things you can just poof away from, you know that, right?”

“Shut up.” He said, putting an arm out to stop her. “I need to find out what she’s looking for. We need to find out what she’s looking for.”

“I’m not a spy, I’m a teacher, remember?”
“You don’t have to be a spy, you have to be able to stand close to her and listen to what she’s saying. Now, be quiet.”

Ellie was scared, if she had said she was anything other than that, it would have been a lie. This wasn’t what she had ever wanted from her life. Following in the stride of an alien, possibly a murderer. She reached for his hand, holding tightly. She wasn’t even sure which direction was up anymore.

Would he protect her?

Should she tell the agent what was going on?

Would he kill her ?

So many thoughts rushed through her mind as she stood next to him, gripping onto his hand for dear life. She didn’t know what her choices were, of if she even had any choices. It was getting harder for her to breathe, and a dull pain arose in her chest.

“J-Jason?” She said, feeling a little lightheaded.

“We need to leave.” He replied, turning quickly for the exit. “ Now.”

Her entire body ached, her breath coming in even shorter bursts now. “I need to sit down.” She said, letting go on his hand. Thanos stopped dead in his tracks, turning around to look at her. Ellie was crouching down on the ground, her hands in her hair, and tears on the verge of falling.
“You’re scared.” He observed, getting on her level. He was quiet for several moments. “I’m scared too. But we have to move, now. Or this whole building is in danger.” He offered a hand out to her, helping her stand. She wiped the tears from her eyes, drawing in a shaky breath.

“Where are we going?”

“To the car.”

“Okay… and then where?”

“Wherever you can drive us.”

“I… What?”
“Whatever is left of SHIELD…  Their agents are tracking the reality shifts. We - I can’t use the gauntlet anymore. At least not to move us. I don’t know what else they can track. We have to hide somewhere. Somewhere in plain sight, and we need to do it fast.”

Chapter Text

“My apartment.” Ellie said finally, after several long moments of silence. “We can go to my apartment. We can stay there. It will be normal, a totally regular thing that people do, move in together. It won’t send up any red flags at all probably.”

“I didn’t come to Earth to live a domestic life in an apartment complex with a school teacher.” Thanos growled.

“Maybe you shouldn’t have kidnapped a school teacher, then.” Ellie snapped back, hands gripping her steering wheel tight. “Do you have any better options?”

He didn’t answer, so Ellie took that as a no, pulling to her apartment parking lot.

They exchanged no words between the time she parked, and the time they got to her apartment. When Ellie opened the door, she was greeted by a loud mewling, and a small cat attaching the strings on her shoes. She tossed her bag aside, picking up the feline. “Hey baby. Hello my sweet Jazzy. I missed you.” She cooed in a typical “i love my pet very much” voice, doting. The cat licked her face. Ellie had forgotten that it had been over a week since she had last been home.

Thanos slammed the door behind him, grumbling the entire way. “If you’re going to be grumpy.” Ellie said, setting Jazzy back down on the ground. “You can find somewhere else to hide from the strategic hazard intervention espionage logistics directorate… division. Or something. I don’t know. You can stay somewhere else.”

Thanos adjusted his shirt, revealing a golden-gauntlet dog tag, he ripped it off, tossing it onto the counter in Ellie’s kitchen. As he did so, the transformation began. He went from six feet tall, to almost seven. His skin morphed back into the crackly purple color, and his face went from soft and human, back to the… kind of grotesque alien face.

“And that’s not going to attract SHIELD’s attention?” Ellie asked, scrunching up her nose in confusion.

“They’ve got shape-shifters on their own damn team, I think this will slip right by them. Besides, human skin is fragile and disgusting. I couldn’t live like that.”

She rolled her eyes. “Whatever. Make yourself at home, I guess. I’m going to take a shower. Don’t answer the door.”

“I’m not a fool.” He snapped back, pacing the small living room.

Ellie didn’t answer, shutting herself in her room. She grabbed some pajamas from her dresser, taking a moment to revel in the fact that she was home, in her apartment. Sort of safe, save for the giant purple alien in her living room.

But what could she do about that.

She turned the water a little hotter than normal, and she had every intention of taking a longer-than-normal shower. She deserved it, after all.

The water stung her skin, but in such a good way. It wasn’t a relaxing shower, however. So many thoughts raced through her mind. Why had she brought him here?

Why hadn’t he killed her?

Would he make good on his deal, and truly hurt the people she loved if she snitched?

She didn’t want to risk it, she never wanted to put her class in danger, it was the sacred oath that she had made. To herself.

It wasn’t a real oath.

But when she noticed the world around her going to shit, fast, she knew that she would be one of those teachers that would use herself as a shield to keep her students safe.

This wasn’t any different, was it?

Why hadn’t she alerted that agent at the festival to what was going on? Surely she could have helped her, right?

Or maybe Thanos would have heard her, and decimated the entire school in front of her eyes.

There were too many variables in play. She didn’t know what she was doing anymore. Was she aiding and abetting an evil super villain? Was she his official accomplish?

Was she a hostage?

Ellie groaned, reluctantly turning the shower off. This was too much. She was a relatively good person, she definitely didn’t deserve this.

Kidnapped by some sort of alien.

Held hostage by said alien.

Forced to kiss that alien to keep from blowing her cover.

A cover that she had to use… because she was kidnapped by an alien.

This was exactly the kind of situation where it seemed totally normal and probably even necessary to cry. A lot. But Ellie couldn’t even force herself to do that. It was like she was numb. She had been living in a forest cottage with his man, this creature, for over a week. She ran a towel through her dark locks, praying that maybe this was all a bad dream, and she would wake up from it soon.

But of course, of course , something couldn’t go smoothly for once. A loud knock echoed through the small apartment. Ellie rushed to wrap the towel around herself, knowing exactly who it was at the door.

She hurried to the door, ignoring the large alien that was now sitting on her couch. Cracking the door a bit, she smiled “Hey mom.”

“Hey El!” The older woman responded, trying to push the door open.

“Oh, oh sorry mom. I’m… I’m not decent.” She poked her head around the door, in an attempt to show her mom that she had just gotten out of the shower.

“Not decent, eh?” Her mom said, wiggling her eyebrows in a ridiculous fashion. “You don’t have a gentleman caller here, do you?”

“No mom, god. No.”

“So let me in! It’s Saturday night, our dinner?”

“Mom, I completely forgot, I’m so sorry. I had the fall festival at the school today and it must have slipped my mind.”

“Well that’s alright, we can order in Chinese!” She attempted to push the door open again, smirking knowingly at her daughter. “Oh Ellie… you wouldn’t lie to your own mother, would you?”

“No mom, of course not.” Ellie said through gritted teeth.

Then, like a scene out of terrible romantic comedy, a voice called from inside the apartment. “Ellie…” His voice was low, almost resembling a growl.

“Oh my…” Her mom said, grinning from ear to ear. “You really aren’t decent, are you”

“Mom, oh my god.” Elle could feel the blood rushing to her cheeks. This couldn’t have been going any worse if she had planned it.

“Ellie’s friend, would you like to join us for dinner tomorrow night?” Her mom called into the apartment before Ellie could stop her.
“No, no he wouldn’t. I’m sure he’s busy.”

“I’m not busy.” Thanos called from inside the apartment. Ellie could have sworn she could have heard the smirk that he was making.

“It’s a big family date!” Her mom clapped her hands excitedly. “I can’t wait to tell your father!”

Ellie closed the door, she couldn’t take it anymore. “Love you mom.” She grumbled, just loud enough that her mom could probably hear.

“What the hell, man?” She said, spinning on her heels and walking into her living room. “You’re a giant purple alien. You can’t meet my parents. You can’t go to dinner with them. Aren’t you here to kill everyone? What did you even need from me, anyways. What was so important to you?”

Once she stopped ranting, and actually looked at him, she could see the issue. Jazzy had perched herself on his shoulder, and had been treating his ear to a very kind… tongue bath. “ She’s a cat, and she likes you.” Ellie said, rolling her eyes. But he didn’t seem to be too worried about the cat anymore. His eyes were on her. “I don’t know why…” She trailed off, shifting her weight uncomfortably. His gaze… it almost appeared… hungry. The way that he was looking at her, it almost seemed primal.

It was a look that was unmistakable, no matter what species he might be.

“If you’re done gawking at my fragile, disgusting, human body, I’m going to go change.”

“I don’t think I used the word disgusting.” Thanos replied smoothly, his gaze never leaving hers.

“You did.”

“Hm.” Was all he offered, following her with his eyes as she left the room.

Ellie shut the door behind her, propping herself against it as she did so. This evening could not have gone any worse if SHIELD themselves had bombed her building and killed them all. At least then she wouldn’t have to deal with her mom and her brand new alien boyfriend.

But there was nothing she could do about that at 7:42pm. She would have to wait until tomorrow to solve both of those issues. So she decided she would enjoy her first evening back inside her own apartment, even with a purple man right outside her bedroom door.

Ellie changed into her pajamas, she was really home, back where she belonged. With her cat, her shoes, her bed, her clothes, her shower. No more having to deal with whatever he snapped up for her, or allowed her to have.

Taking a deep breath, she left her room. She started to stay something, but stopped herself when she heard Thanos talking quietly to… Jazzy?

She didn’t understand the language, so it must have been his native tongue, but the way he spoke sounded so soft, so gentle and kind? And Jazzy was mewling right back at him. It was like the two were having their own tiny conversation. Thanos scratched Jazzy behind the ears, eliciting a purr loud enough that Ellie could hear it from where she stood.

“She likes you.” She said again, smiling. “She’s a pretty picky cat, too. She doesn’t like everyone.” She perched herself on the armrest of the couch, furthest away from where he sat with her cat. “This couch pulls out to a bed.” She said. “I’ve got some extra sheets somewhere. I figured you can sleep here?”

“Thank you.” He replied, not taking his attention off of the cat in his lap.

“I guess tomorrow we can go shopping for some clothes for you. You can’t exactly wear that to meet my parents.” She said, her voice falling flat.

He grinned, “If this is our cover, we might as well play it up, right?”

Your cover.” She corrected. “This is just my life, Thanos.”

Upon hearing his name, he looked at her. It must have been the first time she had actually verbalized his name. His real name. She had been too afraid to say it before, like saying it would make this real.

It didn’t get more real than him sleeping on her pull-out couch and meeting her parents.

The evening went by slowly, but pretty calmly, all things considering. Ellie was finally back with her laptop and wifi, so she was able to work on her lesson plans for the first time in what felt like forever. Thanos spent most of the night talking quietly to the cat, which, once she got over the initial shock that he wasn’t speaking English, was rather endearing.

Bedtime came soon enough, and she shut her laptop. “Goodnight, I guess.” She said, walking over to where he sat.

Thanos stiffened as she got closer. She scooped Jazzy up from his lap. “Sorry I…” Ellie started, wondering why she was about to explain herself to him. “I don’t sleep well without her and…” You’ve had me locked up in your cabin and without her for days.

“I understand.” He said, avoiding her gaze. “Goodnight.”

She shut her door behind her, putting the cat down on the ground. Ellie ran a hand through her hair, shaking her head. “What have I gotten myself into?”

Chapter Text

It was dark, everything around her was dark. She tried to move, but her body wouldn’t respond. She opened her mouth to scream, but no noise came out. She tried willing her hands to move, to reach out and to touch something, to ground herself. But she was frozen. A statue. She couldn’t move. Couldn’t speak. Couldn’t breathe.

Help!

She thought, trying once more to force her voice to sound. But there was nothing. Nothing but stillness, silence, darkness. It was suffocating. Ellie couldn’t catch her breath, she felt faint.

Help…

She thought again, but to no avail. Whatever this was, wherever she was.

She was going to die here.

“Ellie!” A voice called in the distance, strong and deep. It was so far away. Could she run to it? Would it save her from the crushing darkness that surrounded her?

I’m here!

She tried again, this time, feeling her arms and legs start to move. She was alive. She would make it. She opened her mouth once more, and screamed.

“Hey, hey hey hey!” The voice said, louder now. She felt a touch on her arms, skin. Someone was here. Someone would save her.

I’m alright!

She couldn’t make her voice form coherent words to alert this being that she was going to make it. All she could do was scream.

The voice continued to speak to her, softly, kindly. She wanted to be with this voice. This anchor that told her she might make it.

The pressure on her arms was stronger now, perhaps she was being shaken? She wanted to be free of this darkness.

Just like that, her shackles were released and her eyes shot open. She sat up in a panic, pushing her covers off of herself, her heart racing.

Two large hands steadied her, keeping her from flinging herself off of her bed. “You’re okay, you’re okay.”

Her head snapped to the sound, the voice. “Thanos.” She whispered, breathlessly.

“You’re awake now.” He said softly, his voice was kind? She looked over at him, wearing only a pair of ill fitting sweatpant, he was half on her bed, half off. “Are you okay?” He asked, his hands still holding her upright.

Ellie nodded, afraid that if she opened her mouth to speak, nothing but a scream would come out. Gently, she placed her hand on his wrists, pushing them away.

“I have them too, sometimes.” He said quietly, standing. “The dreams you can’t run away from.”

Ellie scooted over to one side of the bed, patting her empty spot next to her gently. Truth be told, she didn’t quite want to be alone right now. Granted, she wasn’t sure she necessarily wanted to be with him, but he was all she had.

He smiled, setting himself down next to her. They sat there in silence for several moments. Thanos leaning against her headrest, Ellie sitting cross-legged facing him.

“Titans, my people, we arent - they aren’t… well” He gestured to himself.

“Giant?” Ellie asked, half smiling.

“No, we are. They look more… like you. And less… like me” He moved his hand, almost as if he was going to touch her, but dropped it back by his side. “My mother she…” His voice trailed off for a moment. “She was less than happy to see me. When I was born… I was her first son. I was an abomination.”

Ellie didn’t know what to say. Her instincts told her to comfort him as he was sharing this story but their past history told her that he did not deserve comfort.

“She tried to kill me. I was just a babe and… I remember it so clearly. Tried to slit my throat with the doctor’s scalpel.”

“Oh my god.” Ellie muttered, horrified. Without thinking, she placed her hand gently on the side of his arm, her other hand covering her mouth.

“It was… a very long time ago. The memory does not pain me the way that it used to. The nightmares, however, they still haunt me. I dream often of that night.” He smiled, a pained sort of smile. “Would you like to talk about your night terror?”

Ellie shook her head, moving to sit next to him. They sat there for a while, speaking of nothing consequential. The weather, her students, life on Titan.

She wasn’t sure when she had fallen back asleep But when Ellie woke up, for the briefest of moments - she felt at peace. Until she blinked her eyes and remembered just exactly where she was.

Her cheek was pressed up against Thanos’ bare chest, her arm wrapped around his thick waist. Their legs were tangled together underneath the soft comforter. She went to move but found that his arm was snaked around her waist, holding her close to him.

And he was much stronger than she was. She tried to move but she simply couldn’t make his giant arm budge. She was stuck.

“Thanos?” She whispered quietly, trying to wiggle out of his grasp. “Thanos, wake up.” But he didn’t stir in the slightest.

So here she was, quite literally, canoodling with a half-clothed (possibly murderous) alien, in her room, in her bed, in her apartment.

Ellie felt her cheeks redden as she actually looked at the alien in bed with her. His muscles were so defined. The lines on his skin deep, powerful. He could quite literally kill her with one hand. But asleep - he just wasn’t as scary when he was asleep. He almost seemed gentle? It was the oddest, briefest moments, but Ellie wasn’t afraid. She wasn’t even uncomfortable laying here.

Slowly, carefully, she moved her hand from around his hips, tracing the lines, the scars, up his chest gently with her finger.

What had he seen?

What had this man been through?

He stretched slightly, stirring underneath her touch. He was slowly beginning to wake up. “Good morning.” He said, with a sleepy grin. “Enjoying the view?”

“Hi.” She responded quickly, finally able to wriggle out of his embrace. She hurried out of bed and to the other side of the room, putting as much space between them as possible. “We’ve got a busy day today. You should probably get dressed.” She said, looking at the wall and gesturing vaguely to his half naked form. “We need to get you some clothes before dinner with my parents tonight.”

“Whatever you say, dear.” Thanos responded with a grin.

Chapter Text

The noise resonated so loudly in her kitchen, she thought that the entire army was taking aim at her. It was louder than anything she had heard when warping through reality with Thanos. Ellie screamed, her bowl clattering to the ground, spilling milk and cereal all over her floor. Covering her mouth quickly, she flung herself on the ground, hiding behind the island in her kitchen. She hugged her knees to her chest, she prayed silently that whatever was here - it was here for Thanos, and not her.

“Your pets are normally not so timid, master.” A nasally voice chimed. A dark figure rounded the corner. He was… long . His legs and his arms were so unproportionate to the rest of his body. The man (if you could even call him that) clasped his hands behind his back as he looked Ellie over.

She shut her eyes tight, hoping that whatever was about to happen, would be quick and painless. This was it, this was the end. Right here, in her Hello Kitty pajamas, in her kitchen.

What a terrible way to die.

“She’s not a pet.” A voice said.

A voice that caused relief to wash over her.

A voice that definitely should not have made her feel so at ease.

“Come now.” Thanos said. She looked over to where his voice was coming from. He was smiling at her offering a hand to help her up. Ellie, all too willingly, took his hand, standing back up. She was still trembling.

Whether he noticed that or not, she was unsure, but as soon as she was steady on her feet, he drew her close to him, tucking her underneath his arm. Her head barely cleared his chest. He towered over in such a way that she couldn’t help but feel safe next to him. Instinctively, she wrapped her hand around his thick waist, clutching onto him for dear life.

So there the three of them stood. Ellie in her pajamas, covered in milk. Thanos half clothed and coming to Ellie’s rescue. And this… thing. Tall and lanky and kind of mean.

“My lord, if not a pet, what purpose does she serve? Is she pleasing you, master?” He grinned, his teeth misshapen and grey. Ellie would have rather him continue speaking about Thanos’ sexual pleasures than had to have seen that wicked smile.

“In her own way.” He responded, grinning down at Ellie. “I enjoy her company.”

“Company doesn’t warm the bed, my master.” The alien grinned, crossing his spindly arms over his chest. “I could bring one of your whores to this planet.” God, she wanted to be anywhere but here right now. She wished that she could take that stupid glove and disappear from her apartment. She shifted uncomfortably, resisting the urge to hide her face against Thanos’ rough skin.

“Maw, what are you here for, other than scarring my… Ellie.”

“Ellie.” Maw repeated, taking a step closer to where she and Thanos stood. His grin became more pronounced and, if possible, even more gruesome.

Still rattled from the earlier encounter with this man, she took in a sharp breath, attempting to put even more of Thanos between the two of them. “Maw.” Thanos said, his voice rising slightly. “Why are you here.”

“There’s been a scent. A whiff of a stone, my lord. The slightest of traces far into the galaxy.”

“Why are you here then?”

“To inform you, mighty Thanos.”

“Go.” He said, releasing Ellie and stepping closer to where the Maw stood. “Go and find the stone, do not gossip to me about its whereabouts.” The other alien cowered under Thanos’ shadow. “You waste my time again, child, and there will be consequences.”

The creature grumbled an apology before leaving, just as loudly as he had arrived.

“Did he hurt you?” Thanos asked, both his voice and his expression softening as he turned to face her. He placed his hands gently on her arms, crouching slightly to meet her gaze. “Ellie, did he hurt you?”

She stood, mouth open and eyes wide. She hadn’t heard that raw power in his voice since that first day in the cottage. She had forgotten how commanding and… scary he was. She shook her head, unable to find her voice.

“Good.” He dropped his hands at his side. “Didn’t you say we had things to do?” His familiar grin appeared on his face, walking past Ellie and back into her bedroom. “Hey.” He called, turning on his heels right before he closed the bedroom door. “I don’t have whores.”

“Okay…” Ellie sputtered, confused as to why he felt the need to make this declaration.

And confused as to why a tiny flood of relief washed over her when he did.

 

She had one goal in mind when they pulled into the thrift store:

Cheap.

Men’s.

Clothes.

Thanos had requested that they (she) get clothes for Jason, and for Thanos. He didn’t want to stay in his “disgusting meat suit” all the time, but he would need clothes to fit his giant alien form.

“I can’t guarantee that they’ll have clothes for a seven foot man here.” Ellie said as they walked into the store. The familiar stench of Goodwill greeting them as they entered.

Thanos shrugged, offering no addition to the conversation.

“What do you want? Button downs? T-shirts? Polos?”

“Those words mean nothing to me, you should know this.”

Ellie laughed, offering a hand. “Follow me.”

They spent about an hour (And almost $100…) at the thrift store. Thanos was able to find a single pair of pajama pants that were long enough to fit him as an alien.

 

“You ready for this?” Ellie said, anxiously smoothing the front of her dress as they stood on her parent’s porch.

“Parents love me.” Thanos responded cooly.

“Aren’t you an alien murderer?” She asked, cocking an eyebrow.

He shrugged, knocking loudly on the door. “Murderer is such a negative word.”

“Remember - this isn’t serious. You are just a friend. Just pick some normal human earth job and don’t go too crazy in detail. Keep it simple, keep it light. We’re going to eat and leave.”

The door knob turned, and as the door opened, Thanos snatched Ellie’s hand, holding it in his own. “Good evening!” He said with a broad smile.

Ellie knew she was in the for the longest night of her life.

“How did you two meet?” Was the first question out of her mom’s mouth. They had barely settled in at the dinner table when she asked.

“Hiking!” Thanos answered before scooping a large helping of tortellini into his mouth. Ellie coughed, nearly choking on her drink.

“Is there a story behind the meet cute?” Her mom asked, taking a sip of wine.

“No.”

“Yes there is.” Thanos said, nudging Ellie with his elbow. If his grin got any bigger, he’d probably bust out of his human disguise. “Ellie was hiking.” He started, setting his fork down. “I was camping out in the woods.”

Camping ” Ellie said, rolling her eyes.

“Yes, camping. El was out searching for… oh what was it babe?”

“Bird eggs.” She said, fighting every urge she had to roll her eyes.

“That’s right! For her class. Anyways. This girl gets so lost that she stumbles into my campsite - mind you, she about takes my tent right out, too.”

“That definitely sounds like Ellie.” Her dad snorted, shaking his head. “What do you do, Jason? When you aren’t helping my poor daughter find her way out of that damned forest, that is.”

“I…” He paused, glancing over at Ellie. Her eyes were wide, silently pleading him to keep it vague. “I work in human resources.” He said, winking at her as he said so. “You know, checks and balances in the workplace, all of that.”

“That is so important.” Mr. Jetsper replied, waving his fork around as he said so. “Too many people just do whatever they want in their place of work these days.”

“Enough shop talk.” Adrianna, her mother, interjected. “How long have you too been… consciously coupling ?”

“Mom!” Ellie said, shooting the older woman a look that could kill.

“It’s an innocent question. I think I have the right to know since you cancelled our dinner last night for him .”

“It’s only been a couple of weeks, Mrs. Jetsper.” Thanos said, a polite smile gracing his lips.

Who was this guy? Because this was definitely not the same man that she had been living with.

The rest of the evening was filled with uncomfortable small talk, and her mother making terrible sex jokes. As they left, they said their goodbyes, and Thanos draped his arm around Ellie’s shoulders, walking to the car. He opened her car door, but blocked her from getting in.

“They’re watching us.” He stated, his voice low.

“They’re my parents , of course they are.”

“We don’t know who they’re working for."

“Are you suggesting that my mother is a SHIELD agent?”

“No, no that’s not what I’m saying.”

“Alright, let me past, then.”

Thanos rolled his eyes, stepping closer to Ellie. She was backed up against the car now. “My turn.” He muttered with a devilish grin, his voice almost a growl. Gently, he cradled her face in his hands, pressing his lips against hers.

Ellie froze momentarily, taking a moment to get her bearings. Leaning back against the car, she let her lips part slightly, welcoming the kiss.

After a moment, she grinned against his lips. She pulled back ever so slightly. “Making out in my parent’s driveway was your solution?” She asked, scrunching her nose at the thought.

Thanos leaned down, pressing his forehead against hers. “You did the same exact thing yesterday, dearest. I thought it only fair to return the favor.”

“In front of my parents though. That’s what I’m getting at.”

“They stopped watching before I kissed you.” Thanos replied, an arrogant grin appearing on his face.

“Are you kidding me? Move.” She said, pushing him away. She cranked the car on, ABBA’s Waterloo coming from the radio as she did so. They exchanged no words the rest of the night. The car ride home was silent, save for the radio. Thanos did offer up a half hearted “goodnight” as she shut her door.

Despite what he had told the alien man earlier, she was starting to feel a little more like a pet, and a little less like a hostage.

And she wasn’t sure which one was worse.

Chapter Text

She shot up in her bed, her face flush. A thin layer of sweat sat atop her forehead. “What?” She muttered, shaking her head slightly.

His hands on her hips, his mouth on hers, on her neck, her clavicle - lower. The animalistic look in his eyes as he shed his clothing.

Ellie’s breath caught in her throat. She shut her eyes tight, begging the leftover dream to vacate her mind. Glancing over at the clock, she groaned. 2:01. Not even close to sunrise, or the start to her day. Grumbling quietly under her breath, she dragged herself out of bed.

She needed Advil.

Now.

Opening the door slowly, so as to not wake Thanos, she crept out of her room. She tiptoed to the kitchen, the floor creaking with each step. It wasn’t until she turned the kitchen faucet on, that she noticed him. He was standing stock still, staring catatonic out the window. She wasn’t even sure he was breathing.

Ellie swallowed roughly, her eyes drifting over the muscles of his bare back. Memories of her dream came flooding back

Their lips met, a low groan rumbling from the back of his throat. Her hands raked down his chest, running along the defined muscles. He broke the kiss, pushing her gently back on the bed.

Thanos turned his head, glancing back at where Ellie stood, her mouth agape.

“I’m - I’m sorry” She spluttered, yanking the Advil bottle out of the cabinet. “I didn’t mean to bother you.” She felt her cheeks redden, this time out of embarrassment. “I thought you would be asleep. I’ll leave”

“Stay.” He said, his voice quiet, yet strong. “Your presence a comfort to me.”

“No, no.” She said, shaking her head. “You’re obviously in the middle of… something.”

“This world, your world, is calm at night. Everything is asleep.” He took in a long breath, exhaling loudly. “It’s peaceful.”

Wordlessly, Ellie padded over to the messy pull out, placing herself on the edge. She crossed her legs, waiting for Thanos to say something more. He didn't. Not for several minutes. The two sat there in a muddled silence.

“It is, however -” He started after the long pause. “Polluted.” He gestured for Ellie to come to the window. She stood next to him, admiring the stars that sprinkled the night sky.

“I don’t understand what you mean. The stars shine so brightly here. It’s better -”

“Shhh.” He interrupted, fetching the gauntlet off of the nearby end table and sliding it onto his hand. “Look.” His voice was a whisper now. He clutched the gauntlet into a fist, the red gem glowing brightly.

Ellie gasped slightly as his hand found its way to the small of her back. But the surprise quickly passed and was replaced with awe. A crimson sparkle trailed across the sky, and as it moved, it was replaced by billions of stars. The sky was so bright, it was as if daytime had come early.

“Humans contaminate the skies with artificial lights and take away from the natural beauty that the universe created for us to enjoy.” He smiled down at her, taking a step back. “Do you trust me?” Thanos asked, holding his hand out.

“What?”

“Do you trust me?”

She offered a smile, reluctantly taking his hand. Her heart fluttered as their skin touched.

He hovered over her now, his hands in her hair.

“We should stop.” She told him, breathlessly.

“Do you want to?” He asked, his breath hot against the skin of her neck.

She pulled his face back up to hers, kissing him fiercely. “No.” She muttered against his lips.

“You’re anxious.” He noted, gently pulling her closer. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

It was the first time he had said that. And she wished that she believed him. She did believe him. Ellie just knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this… whatever this was, would only end in hurt. For a moment, the air seemed to freeze. He was looking at her so intently, she truly believed that he might kiss her. Afraid to break his gaze, she shifted her weight uncomfortably, chewing on her bottom lip.

“Hold tight.” He says, pulling her against him and wrapping his non-gloved hand tightly around her waist. Balling his hand into a fist, the blue stone glowed. She knew what this was, she had done this a dozen times over. Her stomach lurched this time, however. When they arrived on the other side, they were in a field.

At least, she thought it was a field. The meadow was covered in beautiful waves of red grass, blowing gently in the breeze. Stalks of purple and blue flowers were scattered across the field. “This is beautiful.” She said, taking in the scenery around her.

“Look up.” He whispered, using his free, gloveless hand to gently turn her her face towards the sky.

“Oh.” She breathed, wonderstruck by the sight she took in. The sky was just as bright as it had been outside her window (with Thanos’ help…), but the colors. The vast amount of colors and streaks and lives that she saw in the sky took her breath away.

“This planet is called R'makl'z.” Thanos explained. “It is inhabited by a species called the R'makl'i. They’re like the trees, that you have on earth. But alive. They don’t use electricity to power their lives. So at night, when their sun sets, you see beautiful light shows.”

“Have you been here before?” Ellie asks, plopping down on the ground. She lie down in the crimson sea of grass.

“Just once.” He replied, sitting down next to where she lay. She took her eyes off of the sky, and looked over at him, smiling softly. “A long time ago.” Hesitantly, he lay down next to her, watching her for any signs that she might not welcome the company.

They lay there for a while, watching the stars glide across the sky, and the planets twinkle in the distance. She had never felt so close to someone like this before. Little by little, he seemed to be revealing himself to her. How could she keep these guards up? He wasn’t the monster that she thought he was. He couldn’t be. Monsters don’t go out of their way to make someone feel safe.

Right?

Cautiously, carefully, she reached her hand out, inching it towards where his lay in the grass. Her hand bumped his gently, sending electric shocks up her arm. A ghost of a grin crossed his face as he rolled his wrist slightly, allowing her to sneak her much smaller hand into his.

They stayed there for several, peaceful moments. That is, until a yawn wracked through Ellie’s frame, reminding her that she was still a human being that needed rest.

Thanos smiled knowingly, standing to his feet. He offered her a hand up, and clenched his fist back into a ball, the blue stone glowing again.
“Won’t SHIELD be able to track us?” Ellie inquired, fighting back another yawn.

“It’s harder for them, off planet. Plus it’s been a while. I bet they’re not watching it anymore.” He grinned.

Returning back to her dark living room, she glanced over at the microwave. It read 4:36 A.M. “I”m gonna try and sleep, at least until my alarm.” She explained, walking away from him.

“No desire to share my bed, tonight?” Thanos asked, cocking an eyebrow as he did so. He gestured grandly to the couch bed, a smirk on his face.

She didn’t answer, just smiled softly at him, before closing the door to her bedroom.

Her alarm greeted her rudely a few short hours later. She rose begrudgingly, washing her face and brushing her teeth.

Ellie had to admit, she felt a little crestfallen when she opened her bedroom door to find her living area empty. Jazzy sat perched on the couch bed, mewling for something to eat. She fed her cat, slipped on her shoes, and walked out the door.

She didn’t own him, nor did he owe her any explanations of where he was, or why he would leave. But she couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed that he disappeared like that. Especially after the moment that she thought that they shared.

At school, she greeted her students as they entered the classroom, a fresh smile on her face. She had much to do today, and very little time to spend moping about her fake alien boyfriend. She sat cross legged on the rug with her students, singing the days of the week before circle time began.

A loud knock rapped on the door.

“Chase, go check and see who it is.”

The boy, Chase, ran from his seat to the door, peering out the small window. “Do you know who’s at our door?” Ellie called from her spot on the rug.

He shook his head, making a face as he shrugged. “No, Ms. Jetsper.”

“Okay, come have a seat.” She said, standing. Peeking through the window, her heart dropped. Outside her classroom, complete with a visitor sticker, stood Thanos.

Jason Thanos.

He gave her a wave, gesturing with one hand for her to open the door. The other hand was behind his back.

Was he about to make good on his deal from the cottage?

Was this the moment she had been fighting so hard to avoid?

She turned the doorknob, awaiting whatever Thanos had on the other side. 

Chapter Text

Ellie attempted to smile at him as he stood outside her door. “Hi Jason.” She forced out. “What are you doing here?”

He continued to beam down at her, no trace of maliciousness in his features. “I wanted to surprise you.” He grinned, offering her what was behind his back. She flinched, which didn’t go unnoticed by Thanos. In his hand was a bouquet of flowers. Blue and purple.

Her heart fluttered, relief setting over her, which was soon followed by guilt. She had really thought that this was the end of her and her students. She hadn’t trusted him at all. “Are these…?” She asks, trying to keep her composure. She knew she had eighteen pairs of eyes on her as she stood in her doorway.

“They are.” Thanos replied smoothly, his blue eyes twinkling.

“Come in, come in. We’re almost ready to go to art class, then we can chat!” Ellie said, turning her attention back to her class. “Boys and girls, this is Mr. Jason. Can you all say good morning? Mr. Jason is a very good friend of Ms. Jetsper’s.”

“Is he your boyyyyyfriend ?” A small child chirped, grinning.

Thanos, taking this opportunity to catch her off guard, put her hand on her waist pulled her close to him, placing a soft kiss in her hair. “I am indeed.” He growled playfully.

Ellie swatted his hand away, shooting an unhappy glare in his direction. The children, however, giggled.

She’ll hear about this one, for sure.

“Come, come.” Ellie said, motioning for her class to stand. “Let’s take you to art. Maybe Mr. Frenks can take you a couple minutes early today.” She clapped happily, encouraging her students as they lined up.

“Be right back!” She said to Thanos, skirting out the door.

After an earful from the art teacher about ‘strict specials schedules’ and ‘respect for your colleague's time’, Ellie managed to make her way back to her classroom, shutting the door behind her. “Sorry! They’ll be gone for about fifty minutes now, though.”

His back was to her, still holding the foreign flowers in his hand. “I can take those, put them in some water. Are these from R… Rm…” She grimaced, unable to remember the planet that he had taken her to.

“R’makl’z.” He reminded her gently, turning. He offered the flowers to her, his gaze solemn. Ellie took them, searching for a vase in her cabinets. “Do you trust me?” He asked, the question echoing the one that he had ask much earlier this morning.

“I…” She trailed off, “I think so.” She said, uncertain. “I think so.”

“Then, I’m going to need you to play along.” Was his reply, and by the time Ellie turned around, he was himself. Tall and brawny and purple. She immediately went into panic mode, looking at all the doors and windows to make sure no one was in the direct vicinity.

“Thanos!” She hissed, pushing past him to draw the curtain on her door window. “What are you doing? People are going to see you.”

“That’s the plan.” He said, advancing towards her, a look of ardent determination in his eyes. Startled, Ellie took a step back.

“What’s going on?” She asked, her voice barely a whisper. “Thanos, what are you doing?”

“I’m not going to hurt you.” He said, inches from her now. His gloveless hand grabbed her by the arm, pulling her back against his chest. “But… it would be better if you played along.” He dipped his head, whispering in her ear.

Genuine tears welled up in her eyes as she felt the gauntlet around her throat. But it didn’t tighten. The snap she was expecting never came. He rested his hand around her neck. “Let’s go.” He said with a grin.

Shuffling to the side, he kicked her classroom door open, the glass window shattering as he did so. Thanos led her out the door and towards the front of the school. “If you wanted to keep crying.” He muttered softly behind her, “That would make for a good show.”

He was leading her to the front of the school. The front desk and the cameras. “Oh god…” She whispered, shaking.

“Hear me!” He shouted as they came into view of the welcome desk and secretary. “Hear me and listen well . I am Thanos of Titan. I have come to bring balance to the cosmos, and I am willing to rend asunder any that dare stand in my way.” He was looking directly into the security camera now. He removed the gauntlet from her neck, creating a fist in his hands. “I already have two stones. That makes me the most powerful being in the galaxy.” His voice reminded her of how he had spoken to her in the cottage the first time.

She was truly frightened, trembling before him.

“Come and get me.” He snarled, before the two of them were swallowed up by a portal.

It spit them out in Ellie’s living room, two duffle bags tossed on the floor before her. “Pack.” He said quietly, letting go of her arm. “We don’t have long.”

Numb, Ellie stumbled into her closet, grabbing haphazardly at the clothes that hung there. She grabbed everything from dresses to pajamas to shorts.

What did she need?

Where was he taking her?

When she was satisfied with the disarray of clothes she had picked out, she returned to the living room, stuffing them into the bag. In the second bag, she noted, was the clothes that they had purchased for Thanos. A sob escaped her mouth, causing her to shudder. “What’s wrong?” Thanos asked, his voice even.

“My parents. What’s going to happen to them? Are they going to hurt them?” She ran a ragged hand through her hair, stifling another whimper.

A large finger turned her chin to look at him, his gaze expressionless. “Darling,” He starts, “ I am the villain in this story.” He laughed, a cold, cruel laugh. “And you and I? We had a deal. Remember?”

Ellie swallowed, nodding her head. She leaned over to strap the duffle bag over her shoulder, when a resonating shot echoed in the house. A sound she was all too familiar with.

“Maw.” Thanos said, turning his attention from Ellie.

“More whispers, father.” Maw started, crossing his arms. “They’re hunting you. In this town. Now.” A sickening grin crossed his face.

“The clearing.” Was all Thanos said, before shooing Maw with a flick of his wrist. “Do not leave.” He said, returning his gaze to where Ellie stood. “Do not open the door, and do not leave.” He reached around her, and she thought he might be pulling her into an embrace.

She stiffened.

Reaching into her back pocket, he grabbed her phone, sneering down at it. Easily, he crushed it in the palm of his hand. “Just to be safe.” He said, before vanishing.

Her mind reeled. Everything that had taken place over the last… thirty minutes rolled through her brain. All of a sudden, she was a part of something massive. Even more so than when she had stumbled into the cottage all that time ago. She was a known hostage of the man that had just threatened the world.

Then, as if controlled by someone else, she began to move. She hauled both duffle bags over her shoulders, grabbed her keys, and ran out the door. It wasn’t until she was halfway down the first flight of stairs that she realized her car was still at the school, and she had no phone to call anyone. She was stranded.

Flinging the door open, she gasped. She didn’t know how, or why, but she knew who. Her car was sitting in its spot, beckoning for her. She silently thanked the Mad Titan for delivering her car to her, before throwing the bags in the trunk.

She had just one, quick stop to make.

They didn’t live far, twenty minutes at most. But she needed her parents to know that she was okay, for now. And she had an ulterior motive…

She flung the door opened, revealing a teary-eyed mother standing by the television, clutching to her phone for dear life.

“Ellie!” She shouted, about knocking her over with her embrace. “Oh dear, oh lord. What happened? It’s all over the news. They say he’s an… an alien. Ellie, what’s wrong? What’s happening.”

She wormed her way out of her mom’s embrace. “Mom, I need you to open dad’s gun safe.” She said, wild eyed.

“Ellie… you’re scaring me.”

“Mom,” She said, holding the older woman’s hands. “I’m okay. I’m solid. I just… I need to do this. I need a gun.”

Her mom nodded silently, motioning for her to follow. After opening the safe she turned to her daughter, blocking her from the same. “Please, please be safe. Is he making you do this?” Tears fell freely.

Ellie hugged her mom tight, wishing that she had never went on that hike. “I’m safe mom, I love you. So much.” She smiled, wiping her own tears away. She found the gun that she needed, the one that her dad had taught her to use in college. “Can I ask one favor?” Ellie questioned, frowning as she did so.

“Anything.”

“Can you get Jazzy? Just while I’m gone. I’ll be back. I promise.” She smiled softly at her mom before darting down the stairs and out the door.

It was almost as if muscle memory brought her back to the parking lot, the exact spot where she had parked her car before. She hadn’t been back to the park since. Not that she had had the time, mind you. But now, a frantic feeling was rising in her chest as she slammed the door shut.

So she ran.

And, oh my god did she run.

Everything seemed to be a blur, nothing in her mind was making sense. Everything was jumbled up, nothing was clicking.

SHIELD. They were the good guys, right?

And Thanos, he was the bad guy.

Right?

That’s what he himself had said back at her apartment.

So why, as she dodged trees and roots, was her only thought about getting to him, making sure that he was safe.

Tears stung her face as she ran, she didn’t know what she was doing. All she knew was that he was at the cottage. The one in the woods from so long ago, and that she couldn’t live with herself if anything happened to him.

But why?

Her legs burned, begging her to pause for a moment’s reprieve. But she didn’t have time. Ellie could hear the gunshots in the distance. Whatever was happening, it was happening now. And she could lose him.

It had been so long since she had first found the cottage, she wasn’t sure if she could even remember the way back, so she followed the noises, the terrible explosions ahead of her. She didn’t care call for him, or yell out at all, less she cause a scene, a distraction, anything that could hurt him.

She had stolen a gun from her father’s safe. Her dad had taught her how to use it years ago, and she doubted she even remembered, but she needed an insurance policy. Something that might guarantee that she could get out of her alive.

The gunshots were getting louder now, Ellie could hear voices in the distance. So many of them. The clearing wasn’t far off now. She could see the battle.

There he was, one against… many. She watched in horror as the sights unfolded before her. So many agents, so many guns aimed at him. Every sense of morality inside of her was in turmoil. Everything that she had been taught growing up was at war within herself.

He was the bad guy.

He wasn’t the one that was supposed to be saved.

Her eyes scanned the battlefield, and what she saw struck fear inside of her. She gasped softly, covering her mouth with her hand. The clearing was littered with bodies. Over a dozen agents, just laying there.

But… not… dead?

She studied the one closest to her, noting that her chest rose and fell.

He wasn’t killing them.

He wasn’t killing them .

It was inopportune, but it was almost as if relief washed over her in that moment. Maybe, maybe they were wrong. Maybe everyone was wrong.

Maybe he wasn’t the villain in this story after all.

Just as this happened, an agent, hidden in the woods behind where Thanos stood, revealed himself, toting what looked to be a small cannon.

Oh my god.

Ellie’s adrenaline coursed through her, she revealed herself as well. But before she had the chance to say anything, someone saw her.
“It’s her!” The voice yelled. “The girl from the footage!”

Ellie’s heart stopped. Oh god.

“Ellie, Ellie Jetsper, right? Ellie, come with us. Come with me. We can save you. We can end this.” The agent stretched a hand out, offering her safety. Ellie’s gaze quickly flickered to the armed agent, now hauling the canon up on his shoulder.

Before her stood two choices.

Freedom.

Or Thanos.

God, if she was confused before, she felt downright desperate now. She was cornered. Could they save her? Could these humans even stand a chance against Thanos? What if all it did was piss him off, and leave her deader than she was before.

Ellie took in a ragged breath, her cheeks tearstained. She could see only one option.

“Hey jackass!” She called, pulling her father’s gun on him. She clicked the safety off. “Pick on someone your own size!”

She pulled the trigger.

And missed.

But it was enough to throw him off guard, enough for Thanos to whip around in their direction, and allowing him the briefest moments, to take him out.

“Ellie!” Thanos bellowed, rushing over to where she stood.

She dropped the gun to the ground, astonished at what she had just attempted to do.

“I…”

“Are you hurt?” He asked, pulling her close to him.

She shook her head, unable to find her voice.

She had tried to kill someone.

“Close your eyes.” Thanos told her softly. “Now.”

She did as he said, hiding her face against his chest. He held her tightly, and in that moment… even with a battle raging around them. She felt…

Safe.

She heard the gauntlet shift, the ever familiar noise of him clutching it together, but this… this  was different than before. This one left an effect that was eerie, reverberating through the clearing. She felt a large hand on the back of her head, holding her close to him.

And as everything went silent, the echo of the snap hung in the air.

Thanos took a step back, sliding the gauntlet off and taking Ellie’s face in his hands, gently. “Are you alright?”

She nodded, crying harder than before.

He brushed a tear away with the pad of his thumb, pulling her into an embrace. “I’m sorry, Ellie.”

And as she scanned the battlefield, the body count had doubled. Possibly tripled. But this time, they weren’t breathing.

“Thanos…” She started, her voice barely a whisper.

“I did what I had to do.”

Oh god, was she in the thick of it now.

Chapter Text

Had he been wearing his armor this whole time? Or had he changed into it after decimating the field of agents? Ellie tried desperately to remember what he had been wearing. It was golden, looking as though it had been smelted and forged for him and him alone. More than that, she tried to make any sense of what was happening.

“Things have been set into motion.” Thanos remarked, his face grim. He twisted the gauntlet back into place. “No turning back now.” An eerie grin flash across his features. “Let’s go.”

She opened her mouth to respond but he held a hand up, silencing her before she even began. Her eyes flickered to the gauntlet, watching as the blue stone illuminated. She had very little time to think before the blue expanse swallowed them both whole.

Upon arriving on the other side, a shudder wracked through Ellie’s frame, causing her to wrap her arms around herself in an attempt to warm back up. Every other time they had traveled in such a way, Thanos had always held onto her. But, going through the shift alone, left her feeling more empty than she had ever felt before. Wherever they were, it was dark. Very little light lit up the room that they were in. If it was even a room, the walls held the appearance of a cave.

Ellie turned to try and locate Thanos, only to see that he was already barking orders at several groups of people.

Aliens?

Alien people.

Everything was happening around her so fast, she felt as though she barely had time to breathe. She was approached by two beings. “These two ladies have been in my service for many years.” Came Thanos’ voice. He wasn’t looking at her. “They will take care of you.”

Before she could conjure up something to say, Thanos was gone, and she was being ushered away by the two women. They were speaking, but Ellie couldn’t understand them. They said so much, so quickly. Each one had her by one arm, and they were toting her away to a place unknown.

Her heart rate elevated, what was happening? Their touches weren’t forceful but it was still unnerving to dragged around a foreign area. After walking for what felt like hours, they arrived at a room. It was a giant, stately room. Ellie wouldn’t have been surprised to find out that this was, indeed, Thanos’ room.

She had very little time to sightsee, because she was ushered through the room, and into the extravagant bathroom. The women released her, standing in front of her now. “Misa.” One of the women said, pointing to her chest. She had long, white braided hair.

“Jayne.” Said the other, imitating Misa’s motions. She had short, grey hair, cut precisely and cleanly.

Misa turned her back on Ellie, drawing a bath. She then pantomimed undressing, smiling as she did so. “Clean.” She said, waving her hand to the bath. “My Lord has a big meeting. Requests your presence. You are not suitable for the meeting.”

Ellie nodded and, as if in a trance, began unbuttoning the buttons on her blouse. She half expected the ladies to turn around and give her some privacy but that didn’t happen. Her hands were shaking. In the last forty five minutes she had been through so much, she couldn’t steady herself. And now she was standing somewhere, in a giant alien bathroom, undressing in front of two blue skinned old ladies.

After shedding her clothing she tried, in vain, to cover herself up. The women paid her no mind, and shooed her into the tub. The water was warm, almost a relaxing feeling. A soft sigh escaped her lips as she sunk down lower into the water. The tub was huge, it almost seemed to be the size of a hot tub. She closed her eyes to enjoy a moment’s reprieve but was not allowed even that. Something was dumped on her head, and she felt multiple hands in her hair.

“I can… I can do it myself” She sputtered, trying to push their hands away.

“No no no no. You are a guest of His Majesty. You will be treated as such.” Misa replied hastily. Or maybe it was Jayne. She wasn’t sure, as soap was now dripping into her eyes.

Ellie closed her eyes and allowed it to happen. Their hands were gentle, it was not unlike a massage. And honestly, it was nice to have physical contact with someone that wasn’t… a giant murderer alien.

When the bathing was over, she was led out of the tub and into a vast sitting room. She no longer attempted to cover herself up, and sat where she was instructed to. The women exchanged a short conversation before one of them, Misa, disappeared into another room, while Jayne rummaged around in a nearby drawer. She returned with something that resembled an ivory vine, but was a beautiful silver color.

“That’s too much, I can’t wear that.” She said, waving her hand.

“His Grace commands it. And if His Grace asks that his lady is decorated, he will receive that.”

His lady.

She didn’t like that. Not one bit.

Misa returned toting a long gown, carrying it carefully, so that it did not drag the ground. “Up up!” She said, tugging the dress over Ellie’s head. She stood, watching as the women bustled around her. Jayne was in a chair now, doting over Ellie’s auburn locks as she meticulously twisted them up and into the ivory crown. The dress was a deep grey, with one strap over each shoulder, and a another pair of straps that fell off the shoulder. The dress itself was gorgeous, but she had to admit, Ellie felt a little out of place wearing it.

The most dressed up she had ever been, was when she was a bridesmaid at a college friend’s wedding…

“Come come.” They said, dragging her along once more. “His Majesty is waiting for you. You are ready to see him.”

They walked down the same path that they had taken coming in, and stopped outside a grand doorway. Thanos stood outside the entranceway, hands clasped behind his back. He was still wearing the golden armor from earlier, but the helmet was gone. A smile crossed his face as they came into view. “Thank you.” He noted to the women, kissing each of their hands respectfully.

They skirted off, and Ellie couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sadness as they left. They had been so kind and gentle with her. “You,” Thanos started, turning his full attention to where she stood. “My lady, look ravishing.” She felt the blood rushing to her cheeks as she avoided his gaze. “You’re about to have a front row seat to the beginning. The beginning of a new universe. A safer one, a better one.”

She blinked, taking the arm that he was offering. They entered a room, a very large room. At the end sat a giant throne. Any chatter that had been ongoing before they entered was silenced immediately. An eerie stillness replaced it. There were so many eyes on them. On her. Once they reached the crowds of people, the whispers began.

Is she a human?

God knows a terran couldn’t handle Thanos.

Leave it to the Mad Titan to bring a human into space with him.

Whether Thanos heard the comments or not, he did not react at all. His face was stoic as always, emotionless as they approached the throne. The steps up to the throne were steep, but Thanos climbed them with ease. He grabbed Ellie’s arm, pulling her close to him. “Sit.” He whispered, his breath hot against her ear. “At my feet.”

She did as she was told, dumbstruck by the command. The ground was cold and unwelcoming. She tucked her legs under her, folding her hands delicately in her lap. If she was to play the part of a whore of Thanos, the least she could do was play it well.

The meeting was long, boring, and kind of pointless, she thought. They spoke of balance several times, and often in a language she didn’t understand. She looked out into the crowd, desperate to see some sort of familiar face. She never thought she’d see the day where she would be happy to pick Ebony Maw’s face out of the crowd, but here they were.

As the meeting seemed to draw to a close, someone mentioned the words arena and information , which seemed to peak the interest of several parties in the crowd. Thanos stood, offering a hand to Ellie. “My lady.” She took the outstretched hand, standing. She held tightly for a moment too long, afraid that her legs might give way underneath her.

He put his hand on her cheek, leaning down so his mouth was near her ear again. “This is an important networking time. Do your best to stay out of trouble. Make friends.” And then he was gone. Ellie floated down the steps, trying her best to look elegant and graceful as she did so.

She would have given anything to be able to slip out of that room right now, and she considered wiggling her way through the throngs of people and out the door. But she didn’t know anything about where they were, she didn’t speak anything other than English and quite honestly, she would have just wanted to be with Jayne and Misa again.

A figure approached her from the side, catching her off guard.

“Hello.” The voice hissed, deep. Ellie turned to face the sound, and found that the alien was much taller than she was. Shorter than Thanos, mind you, but taller than her. “Enjoying your time on the Sssssanctuary?”

“The Sanctuary?” She asked, puzzled.

“The Mad Titan’s sssship. That’ssss where we are.” The being answered, a twinge of annoyance in their voice. “Ssssurely the Titan didn’t leave you alone with no knowledge of appropriate cusssstoms?” They asked, inching closer to where Ellie stood.

“He did.” She said, shrugging. She tried to step back, but the alien advanced on her again. Her eyes darted around the room, begging for anyone to look over at her.

“A shame.” An arm was extended out, sharp claws at the end of long fingers. They dragged one claw down her cheek, grinning. “To leave ssssuch a pretty flower, all alone.” A step closer. “I’ll take care of you.”

“I’m… I’m fine. Thank you.” She answered, mustering up all the courage she had left, and pushing the clawed hand away from her face. Their other hand darted towards her, grabbing her wrist tight.

“I wassssn’t assssking.” A growl. She felt a claw trail down the line of her spine towards her backside, causing her to shudder. How was she supposed to fight back against a literal clawed monster?

“Make a different choice.” A booming voice came from behind her, and the claws disappeared from her body. The alien shrunk back, quickly bowing their head.

“Your worshipnessss, I wasss merely-”

“Silence.” He said, placing his hands on Ellie’s shoulders. “She is spoken for. You are not to lay a foul claw on her again. Is this understood?”

No answer.

Thanos side-stepped Ellie, putting her behind him. With his gauntleted hand, he grabbed the alien by the throat, lifting to his eye level. “Is this.” He squeezed. “Understood?”

The alien gasped for breath, nodding as much as the titan would allow. Thanos released them, dropping the limp body to the ground. “Good.” He turned back around. “Are you alright?”

She nodded, wringing her hands together.

“I should not have left you alone. These kinds they can get… restless among humans.”

“Great to know.” Ellie responded flatly.

“Come, let us retire for the evening.” He offered his arm out to her again.

“What about your alien networks?”

He didn’t answer, only laughed quietly.

Ellie walked silently beside him, her hand resting on the crook of his arm. As they passed, everyone would stop in their tracks and bow to him, averting their gaze to the ground. They arrived at a door. “You can stay here tonight.” He said, punching a code into the keypad beside the door. “The ship is yours to explore. You will be treated with the utmost respect.”

She swallowed hard. “You’re not staying?” She asked, staring adamantly at the floor as she did so.

He cocked an eyebrow. “I was under the impression you did not wish to share sleeping quarters with me.”

“I’m on a weird spaceship, with aliens that either want to kill me or sleep with me. I don’t particularly want to be alone.” She took a deep breath. It took every ounce of her willpower to swallow her pride. “Not tonight.”

“Very well.” He responded, allowing the door to close. “This way.”

The two of them arrived at the same room that Ellie had been in earlier that day. She smiled softly to herself, knowing that she had been right about it being Thanos’ room. But now, upon entering, she had time to really look at the room.

The bed was the focal point of his bedroom, and rightfully so. It was bigger than any bed that she had ever seen before. Which made sense, as he was a giant. But the headboard and the sheets were so grandiose, that Thanos caught her gawking. “I’m not here often.” He offered. “So when I am, I enjoy certain luxuries. One of those being a bed I can lay in comfortably. It is yours for the night.”

“No, no wait I can’t do that.” Ellie said, feeling a little guilty. “This your room, I can sleep on the couch or something.”

“Ridiculous. You have never slept on an exotic, non-terran mattress, it would be a pity to deny you that experience.” He paused for a moment. “I have… a suggestion. But I fear you will not take delight in it.”

“Go on.”

“The bed is obviously large enough for the both of us to enjoy a full night’s sleep without noticing the other’s presence. If at any time that makes you uncomfortable, one of us will withdraw to the couch. Is this a fair proposal?”

He was right, she didn’t like the idea of willingly sharing his bed, but it looked so comfortable, and the last 48 hours had been so intense, she deserved a good night’s rest. “Deal.” She said.

“Misa and Jayne informed me that they prepared some sleepwear for you. You will find it in the closet inside the bathroom.”

Ellie thanked him, and slipped into the bathroom. On entering the closet, her face flushed a deep red. All of the items of clothing laid out in this room were pieces of extremely risqué lingerie. She dug through the clothes, managing to find a set that wasn’t too revealing. It was a simple pair of linen shorts (very short shorts), and a camisole. It was embarrassing, but better to sleep in then the dress she was wearing. She left the bathroom to find that Thanos was already settled in the bed, seated against the plush headboard.

Noticing her return, he lifted his arm, beckoning for her to join him. She pulled back the sheet, crawling up into the bed.

He was right, this mattress was heavenly.

He grabbed her arm, pulling her into his side. She gasped, startled by the action. “Thanos…” She breathed, allowing herself to relax against him.

“Shhh.” Was all he responded, placing a chaste kiss against her hair. “Don’t talk.”

“I thought we weren’t going to -”

He chuckled, the deep voice echoing in his chest. “I said, don’t talk.” He lay down, moving her along with him. Her back was against his chest, his arms draped lazily around her midsection. After a moment, she rolled onto her back, looking up at him. “I just-”

He laughed again, softly. A smile ghosted over his lips. His hand came up to her face, he traced the outline of her lips with his thumb. “You’re never satisfied, are you, my darling?” He asked, the slightest hint of mirth in his tone.

Ellie’s breath caught in her throat at the intimate motion. She would never tell him this, but it was nice to replace the feeling of cold, scaly claws on her skin. His hands were no softer in feeling, as callouses covered his rough skin, but his touches were slower, more delicate.

“Sleep.” He said quietly. “Tomorrow will bring many new trials for us both.”

Chapter Text

Ellie blinked the sleep away, stifling a yawn as she did so. A chill traveled up her body, and as she began to gain an understanding and wake up a bit more, she remembered where she was. She couldn’t move much, but she had kind of anticipated that. The last time she had woken up next to Thanos, his massive arms kept her in place. This, however, was an entirely new sensation. Her cheek was, once again, pressed against his chest, but that was about the only similarity between this time and the last.

Both his arms encircled her waist, her shirt must have ridden up in the night, because his skin was against hers, and emitted a warm, welcoming touch. She stirred slightly, finding that she lay notched between his legs. Before her mind could catch up, Ellie found herself nuzzling closer to him.

Thanos took in a sharp breath, groaning ever so softly as he exhaled. “Good morning.” He said, his voice husky with sleep. He shifted slowly, moving his hands from around her waist. “I take it you slept well?” He asked, his voice laced with innuendo.

Ellie blushed furiously, attempting to sit up.

“I was not implying that you must move.” He continued, his hand spanning the whole of her back and he gently pulled her back against him. “I was quite comfortable. Tell me, Ellie-” He sat up, leaning back against the plush headboard. He then pulled her up with him, so as to keep her close. “Why do we always find ourselves in this situation?”

“There’s never enough beds.” Ellie said, adjusting herself to a seated position.

They sat there for a moment before Thanos spoke again. “You are not going to be pleased with today, I’m afraid.”

“Has there been a day I was supposed to enjoy?” Ellie asked, laughing grimly.

“Ah but I’m afraid this day will have all the others beat. Come come.” He patted her back gently. “Misa and Jayne will be waiting for you, we have much to prepare before we arrive.”

“Arrive where?” Ellie asked, yawning once more as she did so.

“In due time, my darling. You will find out in due time.” Was all he offered, removing her from his lap and standing.

He had been correct, Misa and Jayne were waiting for her when she finally drug herself out of bed. Faces beaming, they offered her another new dress. This one was a deep maroon color, decorated with gems up top. “This is way too fancy.” Ellie commented as Jayne ran a comb through her bedhead.

“Our Master requested the finest of Titan silks for today, m’lady.” Misa chirped, smiling up at Ellie.

When all was said and done, she felt even more ridiculous than yesterday. A small golden tiara sat atop her head, despite her strongest suggestions otherwise. The ladies were under strict orders from Thanos, and they would not waiver.

“I’ll make a Titan queen of you yet.” Came a familiar voice, standing in the doorway. Thanos stood, decorated with his extravagant armor. Ellie noted that the gauntlet was not on his hand as it normally was.

She shook her head. “I have no desire to be a queen. Titan, English, or Alien.” She replied, smoothing her dress as she avoided his gaze. “I just want to be Ellie.”

“I will never ask that you be someone else.” He noted, stepping forward to usher her along. “We’re almost there. Let us go.”

“Almost where?” She tried again, but whether he heard her or not, he did not respond. They walked silently together for what felt like forever, before arriving at a part of the ship she had yet to see. (Not that she had seen even twenty five percent of it, but it was still new). Several much smaller spaceships sat docked inside the hangar, waiting to be boarded.

“Come, my darling. Let us board.” Thanos said, his voice sickeningly sweet.

“Where are you taking me?” Ellie asked, her stomach doing a nervous flip at the sound of his tone.

“I am taking several people to the surface of a nearby planet. There will be information on something I am seeking on the surface.” He made a grand gesture towards the ramp of a ship. “There, together, we will find that information.”

“Together? Thanos I’m just a school tea-”

“You are of use to me, no matter your title, Ellie.”

She swallowed hard, boarding the small spaceship. Despite what he said, there were very few others on the ship with them. A pilot, maybe a copilot, and Maw. And that was all she could see.

“You might wish to buckle up, my lady.” Ebony Maw sneered, his sinister smile jutting across his lips. She did as he said, clicking several locks into place. No one else followed suit.

Desperately, Ellie looked to Thanos, who was seated several spots away from her. He offered her a reassuring nod. “It’s your first time travelling through space in this manner, it’s best that you are secured.”

The takeoff was rough. At least, to her it was. Her stomach lurched as the ship undocked from the hangar, and again when it left the ship. Once they were airborne, she twisted in her seat to look out a nearby window. The sight brought tears to her eyes. Not even R’makl’z could compare to the view that was laid out before her now. Hundreds, if not thousands of multi-colored stars sprinkled the sky, illuminating the entire space around them. The planet that they were headed to was covered in a blue-green fog, swirling fervently over the surface. It was as if someone had taken a page directly out of a children’s book, and placed it into the area around her.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” His voice came from behind her, startling Ellie. Thanos was leaning over her chair, looking at the expanse before them as well.

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Anything.”

“Your golden… glove. Gauntlet? Whatever you call it, where is it? I’ve never seen you leave a room without it.”

“It was a hazard and a risk I was unwilling to chance today. It is safely locked where only I can retrieve it. No need to worry.” He answered, unbuckling her straps. She had noticed that he had become more… intimate with her. She wasn’t sure why or where or how, but he didn’t refrain from touching her like he had before.

And she wasn’t sure if she liked it or not.

“Come, much awaits us below. We have arrived.”

The planet’s surface was just as colorful as it had been from space. Dozens of different species of aliens traversed the surface, speaking in so many different languages and dialects that Ellie found herself even more confused than before. But more than that, she was in awe at the diversity that sat before her. At one point, Maw broke away from them, leaving the two of them standing at the entrance to a very large structure.

“This is the part, I’m afraid, you’re not going to like.” Thanos said eventually.

“Can you please tell me what’s going to happen?” She pleaded with him.

“It will be easier if you stay ignorant for as long as possible.”

“Thanos…”

He put her hand on her back in an effort to move her forward, but her feet stayed planted where they were. Thanos rubbed his temple, taking a deep breath before speaking again. “You know that I can, and will, force you into doing my bidding. Please do not make it harder than it needs to be.”

Defeated, Ellie walked forward. She wasn’t sure what frightened her more: What lay ahead of them, or what Thanos was capable of doing to her.

Inside of the structure looked so much different to the world outside. The smell of decay hung in the air, men and women both limped through the halls, trailing blood behind them. She put a hand over her mouth to keep herself from gagging as she watched a man drag his detached arm behind him. “Where are we?” She said, reaching for Thanos. He slung his arm over her shoulders, drawing her closer to him.

“A lawless land.” He replied, leading her deeper into the depths of this god forsaken place. “But inside lies a prophet that is told to possess a power strong enough to answer any question asked of them. All you must do is win. Win the game of blood.” He paused. “My children have been searching for this place for a long while. We had heard echos of it, and it was suggested that this prophet could see what I need, but this place is… not easy to come by.” He laughed, his familiar dark laugh. “I’m sure you can tell why.”

He paused before another entrance, turning to face Ellie. “To enter, however, you need a collateral. Something worth much more than mere gold or silver.”

Slow realization dawned on her as she stood there. Horror spread throughout her face as she tried to back away from him. He was faster than her, however, and grabbed her arm before she could make a break for it. “You can trust me, My Ellie. This is a fight I will not lose. The collateral is returned to the victor, and you will be returned to me.”

She stood there, mouth agape. Hot tears stung her cheeks as he guided her forward. This was it.

This was where she would die.

A slug looking creature sat at the window (if one could even call it that), as Thanos approached. “I wish to enter the game.” He told her, his voice stern. “I am Thanos of Titan, and I have come to claim an answer from the prophet.”

“Your pledge, Thanos of Titan?” The slug’s voice was deep, nasally.

“My bride. She hails from Xandar, but she is half human. Her mother was a Terran. Pure blooded.”

“You wish to submit your bride as your offering?” They asked, peering over the spectacles that sat on their face. “With the knowledge that if you lose, she will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.”

“This is correct.”

Ellie was shaking now. Why had he lied about her species? She was a pure human, from Earth itself. What was about to happen to her?

“The offering will be escorted to the viewing box, so she may watch her fate as it rests in your hands.” The slug said grimly, and it was as if a trace of a smile lingered on their lips.

Thanos cradled Ellie’s face in his hands, but she refused to make eye contact with him. Her tears flowed freely now. “Don’t fight them.” He told her, pressing his lips softly against Ellie’s forehead. “If you are complicit, this will go smoother. And most importantly-” He paused, dropping his voice to a low whisper. “Don’t tell them where you’re from. Humans don’t last long around here. Even half Terran is appealing to these degenerates. I will return for you.”

“I bet.” She spat, tearing herself away from him.

The guards were rough with her, but it was no worse than she had imagined Thanos being. They lead her to a small viewing box, where she was alone. They tossed her inside, slamming the door closed behind her. She approached the window, looking down at the grimy arena before her. Thanos was already in the ring, pacing back and forth as he awaited his contender. She had never seen him fight before, least of all without the gauntlet to give him a leg up in a battle. She took in a sharp breath as the gate opposite him opened, revealing the challenger.

It wasn’t human, or even humanoid. The creature looked feline, but didn’t have any fur. Instead, it’s body was covered in long, thick scales. Two tails splitting out at the base of its body, It snarled, approaching Thanos without fear.

Thanos also showed no hesitation as the creature drew nearer to him. He cracked his knuckles, an eerie grin appearing on his face. Ellie couldn’t bare to watch as the fight began. She heard screaming, roaring, gnashing of teeth. But she couldn’t take her hands away from her eyes. Horror swept through her as she awaited the final sounding of whoever would win.

A gong chime echoed throughout the arena, signaling. Steeling herself against the results, Ellie removed her hands, blinking twice before taking in the arena. The feline-esque creature lay in a heap, several guards coming to drag it away. Thanos stood victorious, wiping the sweat from his brow.

A red circle lit up above the arena, one of four. Four battles he had to win, four opponents he had to defeat. He had finished one. Only three more stood between him and his answers.

And her freedom.

She turned her back before the second fight began, unwilling, once more, to watch as her fate rested in Thanos’ ability to fight. The gong chimed again. This time, a long necked creature lay crumbled on the ground, Thanos standing triumphantly above the body. Guards again came to remove it from the arena.

He looked up to where she stood, hands pressed against the glass. A sly smile crossed his face, and he winked up at her. Warmth spread across her cheeks and down her neck. She waved sheepishly, feeling quite silly all of a sudden. He rolled his shoulders, prepping for whatever waited for him behind the gate.

What was happening to her?

The third fight was over before it really began. It was a human, or at least someone that looked very human. Thanos was able to collapse them within seconds of the gate dropping.

She forced herself to watch the last fight. The final contender looked a little similar to earth’s Hulk, except he was much much shorter. He roared, beating his chest with his fists. Thanos grinned, cracking his neck and widening his stance as the monster grew closer to him. He launched himself at Thanos, using his hands to push himself off the ground. Thanos sidestepped him, grabbed the scruff of his neck and slammed him into the dirt. The creature bucked against Thanos, trying to knock him off balance and onto the ground. Thanos took his arm and with one smooth move tossed him a quarter-distance across the arena. However, his opponent was quick: charging at him before he could regain his balance, Thanos found himself defending against a series of rabbit-punches and face-grabs and soon he stumbled.

This proved to be his detrimental mistake. Before Thanos could rise the behemoth of a creature was on top of him, pinning him to the ground. He used his weight, knees on either side of Thanos’ heaving rib cage, to keep him still.

“No!” Ellie screamed from her balcony, pounding on the glass. The creature began to whale on Thanos, throwing punches at him from every direction. Pummeling his ribs, slapping his face, even scratching down his chest, there was no relief from the onslaught. The fists assaulting him were like iron, the nails like lava running down his skin.

Thanos roared in pain, his purple blood slicking the sand in bright, almost jovial patterns.

It was at this moment that he looked up and caught sight of her. She had her hands pressed to the glass, eyes wild with terror, tears streaming down her face. His heart skipped a beat and he knew he had to win this match at all costs.

For the both of them.

Ellie couldn’t stop the tears. She was going to lose him. She’d never seen him bleed. She could only think of how he lay there bleeding as the alien continued to hit him. Every sound faded away, the rest of the arena blurred into nothing. She was alone with the images before her, of Thanos, her Thanos, so far away on the packed dirt arena floor, dying.

And she couldn’t do a damned thing.

Suddenly, the behemoth opponent found himself rolling over unwillingly. His face transformed from an expression of rage to surprise and then to terror when he realized that the roiling shifting mass beneath him was waking up from a victim to a terrifying war-machine. Thanos was ready to kill him in an unstoppable fury now.

Having grabbed his fists when he twisted his hips to roll his opponent off him, Thanos now simply squeezed and crushed them. An unearthly screeching wail burst forth from his contorted face. Thanos showed no pity on his face, nor did he show any signs of giving up. His joints almost seemed to be liquid at this point from exhaustion. He carefully placed the now-mangled fighter’s fists beside his head on the ground and leaned over him. He wasn’t fighting back but wailing in agony. He head-butted his opponent, crushing his skull with one final blow.

And then he fainted.

He had done it. He had won. Four battles.

Four battles were over and he was alive and she was going to be free.

Ellie shifted uncomfortably, a growing heat inside of her. She had hated fights and wrestling when her dad used to watch it. But something about watching Thanos tear into this monster made her feel a way that she had never felt before.

Suddenly, A platform lowered, a booming voice filling every crevice of the arena. “Hail to the victor!” The voice cried, and the audience cheered. Ellie found herself, too, hollering with the crowd. Thanos stood, covered in the monster’s (and his own) blood. “Who are your people, champion?”

“I am Thanos, of Titan.” He replied, firm in his words.

“Thanos of Titan, what do you wish to ask of the prophet?” The platform was low enough now that Ellie could see the prophet, the entire reason they were here. He was birdlike in stature, with a large nose peeking out from the hood of his robe.

“I wish to ask the location of the missing infinity stones.”

“Bold, you are, Thanos of Titan. A large question you ask of me. I will give you two. Two stones. Both located together. Both on Earth. But you have been to earth recently, Thanos of Titan, have you not? But retrieve the stones, you did not. Why, champion? What was your quest on earth?”

“I do not have to answer to you.” Thanos said, anger rising in his voice.

“Indeed, you do not. You have your answer, Thanos of Titan. Return to earth and finish what you have started. Accomplish this, I fear you will. May the gods have mercy on our souls. You may retrieve your offering now. She awaits you.”

Excitement bubbled up in Ellie as the doors opened. The guards ushered her out, and back down a narrow hallway. They said nothing, but neither did she. A door at the end of the hall slid open, revealing the bloody Titan. She grinned, looking back at the guards. They had halted in their tracks. Reading no queues from them at all, Ellie started towards Thanos. She watched as a grin stretched across his face at the sight of her. She couldn’t help herself as she started to pick up her pace to reach him. She herself was smiling now too. She truly thought she would never see him again, never have the opportunity to listen to him speak or ramble on. And she hated how much it had shook her to her core.

How much she might actually care about him.

She was getting gradually faster, trying her hardest not to run to him. When she finally reached him, he took a step towards her, causing them to collide. In a swift, smooth motion, he used her momentum to hoist her up, winding an arm tightly around her waist. Her legs easily wrapped around his own waist as he lifted her up. She grinned down at him, feeling his other hand on the back of her neck. Before she knew what was happening, he pulled her down to him, and his lips were on hers. Her arms twined around his neck, holding the two of them in place in that moment. He kissed her slowly, carefully. And although there was quite definitely a difference in size between their two mouths, she had never experienced such a passionate kiss. He broke the kiss abruptly, however, setting Ellie back on her own two feet.

“I apologize for my actions.” Thanos said, clearing his throat as he did so. “I believe I was caught up in the emotions of winning.”

Ellie felt the blood flood her cheeks. “No, me too. I thought I might nev-”

“There they are!” A mechanical voice called, waving a weapon in their direction. “The Titan lied. She’s full human. The prophet himself said so.”

She looked to Thanos for any sign of directions or actions that needed to be taken. Anything at all. But all she could see was the gears turning. He was focused on something. “Thanos…” She started, taking a step closer to him. He grabbed her hand.

“Run.”

So she did. Hand in hand with the Titan, they ran across the muck and mud of the arena, dodging guards and aliens that wanted her for themselves. A pure human. As they grew close to the large archway of a door, Ellie’s heel snapped. “Shit!” She muttered, hobbling for a second before coming to a complete stop.

Thanos turned to look at her, “We have to move. Now .”

“I know, give me a second.” She snapped, ripping her shoes off. She gathered them both in one hand, took Thanos’ hand in the other and gave him a gentle squeeze. Running barefoot through an alien planet, holding the hand of an alien in one hand, and the hem of an alien dress (to keep herself from tripping) in the other, was definitely not how she saw this day ending.

But it was better than the outcome she was expecting.

They were close, she could see the ship that they had come in on. They just had to make it through the airlock doors, and they would be safe. The ship could take off and they would go back to the Sanctuary in one piece. Thanos looked back look over their shoulders before saying, “Don’t look back. Keep moving forward.”

Ellie tried hard as she could to keep her eyes on the ship they were headed for. Focus on what was in front of them. But, she might as well have been a pillar of salt, because she gasped as she glanced behind them. There had to be three dozen, if not more, aliens running after them now. Her heart sank. They were gaining on them every second. What would they do to her if they caught up? Thanos was powerful but there was no way he could fight off a small army of lust driven aliens without his gauntlet.

“Just a little more. Just a little faster.” Thanos called, and as he did, the worst thing Ellie could have imagined - happened. She stumbled, tripping over a loose piece of fabric. She cried out, as she hit the ground hard.

“Ellie!” Thanos growled, pulling her up by the arm. He wasted no time waiting for her to recover, instead, he crouched down, adjusted his hold on her, and hauled her up over his shoulder. She hollered at the sudden motion. His arm was wrapped around her thighs, holding her as she was jostled.

Within several, large bounds, he had arrived at the ship. The airlock opened and they entered. The aliens continued to grow closer. Thanos pounded the button on the door, setting Ellie down next to him. The door began it’s slow descent, and Ellie shrieked as one of the pursuers tossed a lance in their direction. The door shut, snapping the spear in half as it closed.

GO!” Thanos roared, and the ship began to vibrate. Feeling the ship move underneath her, Ellie sunk to the ground. She put her head in her hands, covering her face. Thanos crouched down next to her. “Are you hurt?”

She shook her head, tears streaming freely. She opened her mouth to speak, but a harsh chuckle escaped her lips. She didn’t make any attempt to stop her laughter. Why should she? She had been used as a bargaining chip, watched as her literal life rested in the hands of a man who had kidnapped her days before, and then was chased by a gaggle of aliens that wanted to have their way with her, a pure human. She just had to laugh.

What surprised her, was that Thanos joined in with her. He sat down next to her, and also allowed himself a freeing laugh. The two of them sat there for several moments, surrounded solely by the sounds of their laughter.

At one point, Ellie just pointed at the half of the spear that lay in the middle of the airlock, and laughed even harder, wiping the tears from her eyes. After she finally caught her breath, she wiped her eyes once more, and then stood up.

“We should be nearing the ship now.” Thanos said, standing as well. “Are you certain you’re uninjured?”

“A scrape here or there, but nothing that needs serious attention.” She said with a shrug.

The ship docked, and the airlock reopened, allowing them to walk freely amongst the ship. Ellie slipped her hand back through Thanos’ as they traversed the long hallways back to his quarters. He entered first, with Ellie trailing behind. The door shut, giving them their first moment of true privacy since this morning. Ellie perched herself at the edge of the bed, drawing her skirts up to look at her knees. Her tumble had scrapped them up pretty badly, but it wasn’t anything that required special medical assistance. Thanos moved to the side of the room, pulling his tunic off as he did so.

He winced, drawing in a sharp breath.

“Are you okay?” Ellie asked, standing. Her dress was ripped in several places towards the bottom, and it created an odd sensation as she walked towards him. Thanos tossed his shirt to the ground, lifting his arm to see where he was injured. “Is it bad?” She inquired, reaching her hand out as if to comfort him.

Thanos took her wrist gently, moving her hand to his skin. “There is no blood, is there?” He asked softly. Ellie’s hand rested against the sinewy muscle of his side. She took in a deep breath, trying to focus her attention on her hand, and her hand only. She shook her head, allowing her hand to brush down his bare side.

“Then it is not a serious injury.” He replied, watching her carefully. He took a step away from her, taking her by the hand once more. He lead her to the bed, and her heart rate increased tenfold. She sat down on the edge once more, and he knelt before her, his hands on her knees. “May I?” He asked, bunching the ripped fabric up in his hands. “Forgive me, but I don’t believe that you are not hurt.” She nodded again, and he drew the fabric of her dress up modestly, just above her knees. He brushed his thumb gently over the cuts on her legs. “I knew you lied to me.” He said, a hint of suggestion in his voice.

His eyes met her, and his brow furrowed in concern. “My Ellie, are you unwell? You’re flushed.” He lifted his hand to her cheek, cradling her face in his hand. Her breathing hitched as she sunk to the ground in front of him. When she spoke again, her voice was barely a whisper.

“Kiss me.”

Chapter Text

They sat there for an eternity. Neither of them moving, speaking. After several excruciatingly silent moments, Thanos moved his hand to the nape of her neck, he lowered his head so their mouths were inches apart before stopping. “Is this what you want?” He asked, desire evident in his voice.

She didn’t answer, not with words. She let out a slow, shaky breath, before closing the small distance between them. His lips moved cautiously against hers, judging the situation before them. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she was aware of one of Thanos’ massive hands moving slowly down her back before settling on her hip. His fingers drummed a nonsensical rhythm against the fabric of her dress.

Ellie’s breath caught in her throat as she felt his hand close around her hip, pulling her flush against him. Their bodies shifted as he pulled her into his lap, and once more, her legs wrapped easily around his waist. Thanos pulled back slightly, grinning against her lips. He pressed a short, chaste kiss to her lips before placing another soft kiss to her cheek, her jaw, and her neck.

The hand on her neck shifted slightly, using his thumb to tilt her chin up. Ellie felt a breath of a chuckle against the skin of her neck, before it was replaced with an open mouthed kiss. His lips stayed there, sucking gently on the sensitive spot on her neck.

A small gasp escaped her lip, followed by a breathy moan. “Excited, are we?” Thanos asked, pulling back to look at Ellie. She avoided his eye contact at any cost, suddenly feeling very childlike and silly.

He grabbed her chin gently, forcing her gaze to meet his. His calloused fingers were rough, controlling. It sent a shiver of excitement down Ellie’s spine. “I didn’t say stop.” He growled playfully. His words echoing his sentiment from earlier in the day. Her mind reeled, it felt like a lifetime ago they lay together in this bed. bantering. His hands left her neck, moving slowly. As if he was memorizing every inch of her, her every curve.

Ellie’s breathing hitched as he began to bunch her dress up in his hands, drawing the bottom up around her waist. He was focusing his energy on the placement of his hands. He trailed his fingers along the outside of her thigh, moving tantalizingly slow. Each time his fingers came in contact with her skin, her heart felt like it would leap out of her chest. She bit her lip to keep herself from moaning again.

She did, however, rock her hips against his growing arousal. She needed to be closer to him, feel his body against hers. A low grunt escaped from his throat before he steadied himself, placing both hands firmly on her hips. “Patience, my Ellie,” he purred, pressing his forehead to hers, “There is no rush. Let us enjoy this moment, together.” He took a deep, slow breath before standing, lifting Ellie as he did so. He untangled her legs from around him, and sat her on the edge of his bed.

With a grin, he carefully pushed her knees apart, standing between her legs. He tipped her head back, kissing her once more. As his did, he hands found their way into her hair, easily destroying the hard work that had been put into the style earlier in the day. Her russet locks fell down over her shoulders, and he pulled back. He smiled once more, “Beautiful.” He muttered, his hands back at the bottom of her dress again.

This time, he did not allow any distractions to keep him from his goal. He tugged the dress upwards and over her head. He may have overestimated his strength, however, because as he did so, several beads popped off and clinked onto the hard floor. Ellie couldn’t help the giggle that escaped her mouth as she watched her dress get, accidentally, destroyed.

She realized shortly after that she was on display for him to see. With nothing but undergarments keeping her covered. A shyness overtook her, and she leaned forward, resting her forehead against his chest and, once again, avoiding his gaze. She felt the blood rush to her cheeks as Thanos chuckled again. “Human emotions,” he started. “Always getting in the way.”

He knelt down before her, “You have nothing to be ashamed of.” He told her, his lips against the inside of her knee. His mouth traveled, slowly , upwards. Each time his lips left her skin, a rush of disappointment over took Ellie.

“Thanos…” She muttered, her voice barely a whisper. She felt him smirk against her inner thigh. “Please.”

He removed himself from between her legs, standing up. “Don’t go anywhere.” He said, winking, before he quickly disappeared through one of the many doors in his room.

Ellie fell back onto the bed, running her hands through her ragged hair. “What am I doing?” She asked herself, squirming at the thought of actually, physically, being with him.

She heard a door slam, following by heavy footsteps. She began to push herself up on her elbows before she heard his voice crackle through the air. “Do not move.” He said, assertive. Ellie dropped back down on the mattress, almost trembling with anticipation. He was back at the foot of the bed again, his hands on her thighs, pulling her closer to where he stood. As he did, she could feel him through his trousers. Her entire being ached, desperate.

He shifted against her, she wasn’t able to see what he was doing, but the unmistakable sound of metal clinking on the ground gave way. He moved again, removing his pants legs from around his ankles.

“Now…” He started, his fingers creeping upwards, twisting around the band of her underwear. Gingerly, he tugged them down and tossed them to the side. Without her permission, Ellie’s hips rose, her body begging to be touched. Thanos chuckled again, using a hand to gently push her back down on the sheets. He leaned over her, nipping at her earlobe. “Patience.” His hand found hers, tangling their fingers together. His thumb rubbed assuring circles against the back of her hand as he lifted their hands above her head, pressing down into the mattress as his mouth began to journey lower.

He paused at her neck once more, eliciting another quiet moan out of her, before continuing downward. Upon reaching the cusp of her breasts, he stopped, grazing his teeth gingerly across the tender skin. Gently, he passed his thumb over her peaked nipple. Ellie’s toes curled at his touch, her free leg lifting up to hook around Thanos’ waist.

He did not scold her for the action, like he had before. Instead, he used her momentum to scoop her up, and shuffle the both of them up to top of the bed, laying Ellie down lightly on the plethora of pillows. He kissed above her belly button, and then below, peppering several short pecks across her stomach before venturing to where her heat was beginning to pool.

Settling between her legs, he began to taunt her, placing quick, restrained kisses along the crevice of her thighs, and around her essence. This elicited a whimper from Ellie, causing her to flounder against him. Thanos grinned, hiking her leg over his shoulder for easier access.

“Thanos, Thanos. Wait wait wait wait.” Ellie breathed, thoughts beginning to jumble. “I need… I need a minute.” Once more, he untangled from her, using his elbow to prop himself up above where she lay. Using his other hand, he smoothed her hair, kissing her forehead tenderly.

They didn’t speak, not for several moments. Ellie was the one to break the silence. “I thought today was…” She shook her head, racking her brain for the right words.

Thanos shuffled off from above her, flopping down on his side next to her. “What is it?” He asked, passing a thumb over her bottom lip. Ellie smiled, rolling over to face him. The familiar, intimate action giving rise to butterflies in her stomach.

“I thought this was the end, today.” She blurted out, finally.

“They wouldn’t have killed you. A human is too valuable to kill.” He answered grimly.

“That’s not… That’s not quite what….” Ellie groaned, dragging a hand across her face in frustration. “I thought you were going to… die. I thought you were going to die today.” She said, defeated.

A smirk appeared on Thanos’ face, confidence exuding off of him. “Are you saying, Ms. Jetsper, that you would be devastated if I were to meet a terrible fate?” He trailed a finger down her ribcage.

“I’m saying that…” She could feel her face turning red. This wasn’t the conversation she wanted to have naked in his bed. In the midst of her embarrassment, she took in the sight before her. He was gorgeous, chiseled from marble and placed in front of her. Her eyes continued to venture lower, allowing herself a peak. He was huge, and not just a normal huge.

He was massive.

My eyes are up here, my sweet.” He said, his tone mocking.

“This whole thing is wild. Scary. And even though you’re the one that brought me into it, I… I trust you to protect me.” She was rambling, her nerves were starting to get the best of her. “If something happens to you… I don’t know what happens to me.”

“I will keep you safe.” He said, his voice serious once more.

“But what if they had gotten me?” Ellie asked, faltering at the end as she recalled the day’s earlier events.

“I would reduce entire planets to ash, one by one, until you were returned to me.” He moved his hand between her legs, dragging his finger over her entrance. “You are mine.” He growled, dipping a finger inside of her. A moan escaped her lips as she scrambled to get closer to him. She tightened around him, groaning once more as his thumb rubbed at her bud. He sat up, garnering full control over the situation. Without warning, he inserted another finger, stretching her even more. Ellie writhed beneath him, grasping at his bicep as he pumped his hand against her.

“Thanos… please.” She uttered, her voice barely a whisper. “Please.”

His hand was removed from between her legs, and he pulled her up. “Are you sure?” He asked her again, his eyes searching her face. She didn’t answer, just nodded, biting her bottom lip as desire built up in her. Carefully, he lifted her up, as though she was weightless. He had adjusted himself so he was sitting, waiting.

Thanos lowered her slowly down into his lap. One arm was tight around her waist, the other arranging himself for her. He paused as his tip came in contact with her entrance. “Tell me if it is too much.” He said through clenched teeth, restraining himself.

Ellie nodded again, her eyes rolling back as he pushed past her folds. She moaned, feeling herself stretch even more as he slowly pushed into her. He held back, giving her a moment to adjust to his size.

After a moment, he began pumping his hips slowly up into her. His own deep groans joined Ellie’s as they picked up momentum, rocking against each other.

Her hands wrapped around his neck, using him as a way to keep her balance as he slammed into her. His hand found its way back between her legs, and flicked at her pearl.

“Thanos!” She moaned, throwing her head back in response to the intense pleasure. He grabbed the back of her neck, forcing her to meet his gaze. In that split second, she thought she could see past the titan. See that perhaps she hadn’t been wrong about him.

“Ellie…” Thanos hissed, slowing his movements down.

“Don’t stop.” She muttered, dropping her mouth to his. With a hand on either side of his face, she kissed him deeply. Their lips moved in unison as she rolled her hips against him. He pinched once more at her bud, causing her to clamp hard around him. Her climax rocked through her so strongly, she thought perhaps she had left her body momentarily.

Thanos followed shortly after, roaring as he reached his peak. He spilled into her, gripping her hips so tight, she felt like she would crack.

She slumped against his chest, nuzzling her face against his slick skin. “I’ve got you.” He whispered into her hair, softly.

“You’re safe. I’ve got you.”

Chapter Text

She stirred, stretching her tired muscles. Doing this, she felt a lick of pleasurable pain sweep through her, reassuring her that last night was real, and not just another wild dream.

“You’re awake.” His voice came from the side of the room. Thanos was sitting on the armchair near a desk, hands clasped and head down. Ellie sat up, stifling a yawn. She pulled the covers up with her, in an attempt to feign some kind of modesty.

“Why are you… over there?” She asked, trying not to sound as disappointed as she felt.

“I have been alive for a long time. Many different people have shared my bed. I have -”

“Cool.” She interrupted, her voice falling flat.

“Let me finish.” He scolded. “I enjoyed each of them in their own, sexual way.”

“I love this conversation so much, please keep going.” Ellie spat.

Thanos stood, walking back over to the bed. He stood at the end, almost glaring at her. “I never said that I would be your lover.” He responded to her, equally as hostile. “I did not plan to share my bed with a human.”  The last word was filled with so much malice, it made Ellie’s stomach churn.

His features quickly softened, however. “I didn’t expect to enjoy it.” He held up a hand, stopping Ellie before she could comment again. “For it to make me feel things that I haven’t felt in a very long time. Sex has always been just that, sex. A physical action satisfying a physical need.” He moved from the edge of the bed, standing near her now. “But you’re…” He trailed off, reaching out to brush his finger against her arm. “You are soft. Too soft. My Ellie, you are breakable.”

He pulled the sheets away from her, and she shivered. His finger continued lower, stopping at her hip. “I almost broke you.” He told her. Her eyes followed his arm to her hip. It was then that she noted the cause of her pain a few moments ago. Deep purple bruises spanned the length her hips, almost wrapping all the way around her waist.

Ellie looked up from her marks, watching his facial expression change. “I’d never lain with a human before. Not before last night.” He dipped his head, as if to kiss her.

Ellie wanted it.

But he did not, he pressed his lips innocently against her forehead, sighing. “It can’t happen again.” He said, dropping his hands from her side.

“Thanos…” She started, but did not have time to complete her thought as a loud knock echoed throughout his chambers. He walked to the door, leaving Ellie in the bed.

Maw stood outside the hydraulic lift, his face stoic as ever. He side stepped Thanos into the room. “My lord, you told me -” He stopped, eyeing a very naked Ellie in his master’s bed. He sneered. “All women of Thanos have one purpose, and one purpose only.” An eerie laugh escaped his throat.

“Maw, did you come solely to mock my guest? Or have you brought information?”

“Apologies, my king. You asked me to report if any news came from SHIELD regarding Ms. Jetsper, yes?”

Thanos nodded, not sparing Ellie a glance. Her heart rate increased, nothing good could come from this. “We have received a transmission containing the name Jetsper. Perhaps her highness should join us.” Maw bowed and then exited the room.

Thanos turned to face her, finally. “I am certain Misa has placed a robe in your closet. You should grab that quickly.”

“I’ll probably just find something else to wear…”

“I’m afraid we might not have the time.”

Ellie rose from the bed. Thanos was correct, there was a delicate looking floral robe in the front of her closet. It wasn’t modest at all, she tugged the hem down in an attempt to make it look longer.

“No one will be looking at you.” Thanos said, standing in the doorway. Ellie opened her mouth to respond but he cut her off. “Everyone on this ship knows the consequences of coveting something that belongs to me.”

“I don’t belong to anyone.” Ellie retorted.

He smirked, reaching forward to grab the front lapels of her robe, pulling her against him. He lowered his head, lips inches from hers. Her eyes fluttered shut as she leaned in, involuntary.

Thanos laughed, “Don’t you though?” He asked, letting her go. “Fix your robe, you are immodest.” He chuckled once more before stepping out of the closet.

Ellie groaned loudly, rubbing her temples. If he wasn’t so… him all the time. She tightened the sash around her waist and followed behind him. She was unaware of how time passed on a spaceship, but the halls were hustling and bustling with aliens of all different kinds. Most of them wore armor, and all of them bowed in reverence to Thanos as he passed by.

“Hey could you wait up?” Ellie called, her bare feet padding the ground as she tried to catch up to him. “I’m going to get lost.”

“My dearest, we are almost there. No need to fret.” He said, offering his arm to her. She took it begrudgingly, trying her hardest not to scowl as she did so. They passed through a simple door frame, and into a room filled with screens. Someone handed Thanos a device that resembled a terran tablet. He passed it immediately onto Ellie.

“Not here. We will go somewhere else.” He said, placing a hand on the small of her back. “It’s never wise to receive bad news where it is inconvenient to react to it.”

Ellie’s face contorted in confusion, but obliged nevertheless. Thanos lead her down a familiar hallway, and into his throne room.

It looked so different now that it wasn’t filled with dozens of diplomats and oligarchs. The throne was solid rock, carved and placed here for him and him alone. Where the guests had sat a few nights prior, small lakes of water sat, reflecting the rooms surface. A small amount of light trickled in from holes in the ceiling, but other than that, it was dark and cold. “Go on.” Thanos called, pulling her out of her thoughts. “Have a seat.”

“In your chair? I’ll pass.” Ellie retorted, nerves beginning to cause her stomach to do flips.

“Sit.” He whispered, suddenly much closer to her than she remembered him being. She obeyed, her movements almost robotic as she made her way up to the chair. Sitting down, she crossed her legs as delicately as she could, trying to make herself as small as possible. “There, now we are in a safe place. What does the transmission say.”

Ellie fiddled with the device for a moment before finding the screen she was to read. The beginning of the message just recapped the events on earth. The actual kidnapping, and then the events in the forest. They were claiming that “confusion” and “possible mind control” is what caused her to shoot at a SHIELD agent.

But as she read further, she felt a sadness rise in her chest. She’d read words like these before. But never in this way.

The tablet clattered to the ground, screen shattering.

Thanos was standing at the bottom of the throne room steps, watching her. “What does it say?”

Ellie blinked through a film of tears, trying to clear her vision.

“It’s my dad. He’s… He’s dead.”

Chapter Text

She was vaguely aware of him kneeling down in front of her, of his hands on her arms. He might have even said her name or tried to speak to her, but she was so far off, that it didn’t matter. Her mind was reeling.

“I have to go.” Ellie said, standing abruptly. “My mom, she doesn’t have anyone else. I have to go.” She pushed passed him, heading for the door.

Thanos grabbed her arm, stopping her dead in her tracks. “You can’t go, Ellie. The funeral will be laced with SHIELD agents. It is unwise and unsafe”

“Man, fuck you.” Ellie snarled, yanking her arm out of his grasp. “My dad is dead, you absolute ass. Show a little compassion.” She continued towards the door.

It was easy for him to overtake her, his long strides overpowering hers. “You need to take your emotion out of this, and look at it logically, Ellie. You aided me in the forest. You fired a shot at a SHIELD agent. For all we know, you could be a wanted woman on earth. It is a tragic loss you have suffered but we cannot risk it.”

“Don’t you understand?” Ellie said, trying not to break down. “You kidnapped me, and now my dad is dead. My mom has no one. She’s alone, Thanos. My grandparents have been dead for years, and I’m an only child. You want to force my mother to mourn this loss alone?”

Thanos pinched the bridge of his nose, exhaling loudly. “We cannot go. You cannot go.”

“Please. There has to be a way.” She could feel the tears welling up again. She reached out, grabbing him by the hand. “Please, Thanos.” She begged, a sob catching in her throat.

He sighed once more, his face void of emotion. “Go wait in our -” A pause. “My chambers. I will retrieve you when I am ready.”

“Thanos…” She started.

“Go.”

Slowly, she made her way back to his bedroom. She didn’t attempt to hide her sorrow any more. There was no reason to. Tears wet her cheeks as she entered the room, the door slamming behind her. She wanted nothing more than to crawl into the massive bed and never leave. But even the bed was tainted with now unpleasant memories. She sat herself in the massive armchair, curling her knees to her chest.

If she had never gone hiking that day, none of this would have happened. The kidnapping, the forest, the sex. None of it would have even been a speck of a thought in her mind. Maybe her dad would even still be alive. She had seen him go through so much, and survive. Maybe it was his daughter’s alien kidnapping that finally pushed him over the edge.

Some time passed before the door opened again, Thanos stepping in. In his hand were several bags. The same duffel bags that they had used to pack in her apartment. “Pack.” He said, tossing a bag towards her closet. “We leave when you are ready.”

“What?” Ellie asked, blinking away tears.

“Maw is in the process of connecting with Terran allies. They will find us a safe location to stay. We use the gauntlet and disguise ourselves.”

“We?” Ellie questioned, sniffling.

“I’m not going to let you go alone. That would be cruel of me.” He said, “Hurry.”

She scrambled to the closet, tossing a couple of black dresses into the duffel. She packed sleep clothes and everyday wear, too. Lugging her bag out of the closet.

“There’s one rule to this.” Thanos said, “No one can know that it’s you.”

“That defeats the whole purpose of even going.” She started, panic rising.

“I am taking you back to earth so that you can offer your mother comfort in her grief. No, it will not be as Ellie Jetsper, but at least you can see for yourself that she is okay. We could always not -”

“Shut up.” Ellie spat. “Just because you’re technically an alien overlord doesn’t mean you get to speak to me like that. We’re not regressing back to the cottage days just because you hated sleeping with me.”

Thanos chuckled, rising to his feet. “Grief makes you angry, dearest. Anger is powerful.” He held out a hand, taking her bag from her. “But for right now, we are expected in Tennessee.”

There was no warning, no walk to the spaceship hangar or prep time. He grabbed her around the waist, and clutched his hand into a fist, the stones glowing and then swallowing them whole. Ellie gasped, clutching onto the fabric of his shirt as they appeared on the other side of the portal. “One last thing.” Thanos noted, clutching the glove again. A red light surrounded the both of them, transforming them into two brand new people. “Now, let us go.”

Ellie looked around, it seemed that they had popped out behind a hotel, and a run down one at that. Thanos was removing the gauntlet, shoving it into her duffel bag.

Upon entering the check-in building, Ellie shivered. This place was so old, it was possible her grandparents stayed here when they first moved here. Thanos dropped a credit card on the counter, and Ellie made a mental note to ask him where he had gotten a credit card. The clerk grunted a response, handing them a room key and exiting.

Their room was lackluster. Two beds, a bathroom, a television. Only the necessities. She dropped her bag on the musty bed and caught a glimpse of her pseudo-self in the mirror. Her hair was long and blonde, her face thinner and her lips a much brighter shade of red. Thanos looked much different, too. His hair was jet black, curly locks framing his face. He was still built, perhaps even more so than he had been as Jason. “What am I?” Ellie asked, running her hands through her new hair. “Some manic fantasy of yours?”

“No. You are simple. You will blend in.” He took a step closer to where she stood, appearing in the mirror behind her. His hands hovered over her hips momentarily, before dropping back to his side. “I much prefer you.”

“What?” Ellie asked, twisting away from him. “What the heck? What’s wrong with you? Do you want to sleep with me again? Not four hours ago you were telling me what a huge mistake it was. No. No, you don’t get to say things like that to me anymore.” She stormed away from him, settling herself on the bed farthest from him. She steeled her eyes against the wall, and refused to look elsewhere.

She must have fallen asleep, bc she felt a gentle shake a long while later. “You need to get ready.” Was all he said. Begrudgingly, she got out of the bed, dragging herself to the bathroom. The sun was beginning to rise, dusty light filtering in through the windows.

Ellie exited the bathroom wearing a simple black dress that cascaded to the floor. Thanos was buttoning the jacket button of his suit. He procured a large handbag from one of the duffels, handing it to Ellie. “This bag does not leave your sight.” He told her, “This is an extreme lesson in trust, for me. I have not let the gauntlet out of my possession since acquiring it. Please…” he trailed off.

“Please…?”

“Please don’t make me regret it. Come now, we do not want to be late.”

“How are we getting there?” She asked, buckling the clasps on her shoes.

“I took the liberty of ordering us a taxi.”

“How in the world did you do that?” She stood, walking over to him.

“It took extreme precision and deft ability. I walked to the main lobby and inquired about taxi pick up.” Thanos smirked at her. “From there it was just a matter of telling the clerk the address we needed to arrive at.”

“Shut up I know how a taxi works.” She said, fighting back a smile.

“Are you ready?”

“Not at all.” Ellie took a deep breath. The jokes and bantering were comfortable to a degree, but they couldn’t distract her from the reason she was back in Shiloh. She had been able to distance herself back at the hotel. Use her anger and hurt she felt towards Thanos and block out the real pain she was feeling. But now, as they sat in the back of the taxi, there was nothing to distract her.

Tears gathered in her eyes once more, threatening to fall. She kept her head facing the window, refusing to let Thanos see her cry. They arrived, exiting the taxi. The funeral home was simple. Ellie started in, but he grabbed her by the hand, spinning her around.

“Compose yourself.” He said softly, brushing tears off her cheeks. “You are not Ellie. Not right now.” She nodded, taking several deep breaths.

“I’m ready.”

They entered the building. Soft piano music played in the background, as several people talked quietly amongst themselves. The casket was closed, causing Ellie to gasp. She felt a hand on her hip, anchoring her. “You’re okay.” He whispered into her hair. “You’re okay.”

Her mom was standing near the casket, speaking to a friend of the family. Ellie looked back at Thanos, who nodded once.

They made their way over to where she stood. The family friends walked away, and allowed for Ellie to step forward.

“Hi.” She said, smiling softly to her mom.

“Hello, I’m so sorry but I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Erin.” Her mom replied

“No, no we haven’t. I worked for Mark for a little while. I interned under him. I’m Cassie.” Ellie took a slow breath. “I was absolute devastated when I heard the news.” A rogue tear escaped, causing Ellie to panic.

“We all were, my dear. It was even harder to bear without my Ellie around.” Erin watched her carefully. “Cassie, will you take a walk with me? I need some fresh air. Surely this kind gentleman won’t mind.”

Thanos shrugged, catching Ellie’s eye before they left. “Hold my bag, William?” Ellie asked, offering an unspoken treaty between them. He smiled.

“Of course, my darling.”

Erin and Ellie walked out a back doorway, into a small garden. “I miss her.” Erin mused, breaking away from Ellie to admire a flower.

“I can’t even imagine.” Ellie said, biting her bottom lip.

“Do you think he’s hurt her?” Erin asked, turning suddenly to face Ellie. “Cassie, do you think he’s hurt my Ellie?”

“N-no. No I don’t think so.” She spluttered. “She’s probably valuable to him? Maybe. I don't know really.”

“Maybe… Cassie, do you think she’s safe?”

Ellie was starting to get a little worried now, “I, I don’t know, Mrs. Jetsper.”

“Cassie.” Erin was oddly close to her now. “Is she happy?”

“Mrs. Jetsper I… I can’t answer that”

“Yes you can, Cassie.”

“I didn’t know Ellie, but Mark always talked about her like she was an optimist. I would think someone like that would try to make the best out of whatever situation they’re in. Even if they miss their parents a whole lot.”

Erin grabbed Ellie and pulled her into a tight hug, smothering her.

“It’s a trap, Ellie. You need to go. Now.”

Chapter Text

Ellie stepped back, “What?” She spluttered, trying to cover up her tracks. How had she given herself away? Her mother offered her a soft smile, but nothing more. She gave no explanation, no insights.

All she said was, “Run.”

Ellie moved quickly. Trying not to move so fast as to alert whatever undercover agents were lying about. She pushed past a gaggle of people and to where Thanos stood. “We need to leave, my dear.” She said, stretching up on her toes to whisper in his ear. “It’s time for us to depart.”

His face echoed a similar confusion that hers had moments ago, but he did not argue. He offered her bag back to her, but she turned it down. “I think it’s best if you keep it for a while longer, darling.” She said through clenched teeth. He nodded.

She hoped he understood, because she took him by the hand and carefully pulled him behind her. “Call that taxi back.” She said once the door to the funeral home shut behind her.

“They aren’t returning until later on.” He retorted, still looking confused.

“We need to leave. Now.” Ellie said, feeling the panic beginning to creep into the back of her mind. But he didn’t move, he stood anchored to his place. She groaned. “Do you remember the conversation we had at home yesterday?” She asked him.

“Yes? What of it?”

“Do you remember how you said that in careers like ours, sometimes people take the low road, and we have to escape from their traps so they don’t drag us down with them?”

“That’s not quite what we were talking about, my dearest.”

“Listen. To. Me.” Ellie said, her words short. “I feel trapped in this place. In this town. We should leave.

“Oh…” Thanos said, musing. If a light bulb could have pinged on over his head, it would have, as sudden realization dawned over him. “Oh!” He said, grabbing her by the hand and yanking her down the small flight of steps. They quickly removed themselves from the area, and ducked behind a small drug store a few blocks down the street.

“What’s the plan?” Ellie asked, resting her hands on her knees as she caught her breath. Thanos ran a hand through his ragged black locks, groaning as his fingers tangled up in them. This caused Ellie to chuckle. “Not used to having hair?” She asked, grinning.

He shot her an awful look before settling into a soft smile. “It’s been a while. Probably over a millennium since I have had hair.” He took a breath, pausing as if to think about the question. “Never. I’ve never had a head of hair. That’s what I’m getting at.”

“Woah woah woah woah. Hold up.” She said, standing up straight. “Are you telling me you’re almost a thousand years old?”

“Over.” Was all he replied, the smug grin still on his face.

“Holy sh-” She started, before she was cut off by a large hand on her mouth. He pulled her against him, and back into the shadows of the alley they were in. She didn’t fight him. She pretty much knew now that Thanos seemed to know what he was doing. In that moment, she hated the way she relished the closeness between them. It was a terrible, life threatening situation, yet her heart skipped a beat because of his hand wrapped tightly around her waist.

Two men in suits passed by them, one holding a phone and speaking very quickly into it. Thanos dropped his hand, giving Ellie space to turn and make eye contact with him. She furrowed her brow, as if asking a question.

He responded with a nod, his expression no longer lighthearted. They passed by, but the silence hung in the air for several more moments before either of them said anything.

“We should probably…” Ellie started.

“Yeah we should go.” He finished her thought, taking her by the hand and onto the sidewalk. “Back to the hotel.” He said, waving a taxi down.

“Why the hotel?” She asked, sliding in next to him. She waited as he gave the address to the driver.

“It’s cheap.” He said, shooting her a look that told her not to question it any further.

“We’re still not done talking about this age difference, though.” She said, elbowing him playfully in the side. His smile returned once more, and he reached for her hand.

They rode the rest of the way in silence, Thanos tipping the driver as they arrived. They slipped into the room, locking the door behind him.

“Why the hotel?” She asked again, sitting down on the edge of her bed to remove her heels.

“This place is skeevy. It’s a dive. They keep no records of who is here. The credit card is a scam card, programed to read accurately for a few days and then the number shuts itself down. They won’t know our names or who we are. Until tomorrow morning, it’s our best bet to lay low. They’ll be watching the reality shifts and patterns tonight. Watching the skies for ships. If we’re here, they won’t find us. At least not anytime soon.” He too sat down, removing the gauntlet from the satchel. Sliding it onto his hand, he sighed, clenching his fist and allowed both he and Ellie to return to themselves.

“Oh yeah, and a bright red light sparkling through the window isn’t going to cause any sort of alarm at all.” Ellie said, rolling her eyes. Thanos chuckled, rolling his shoulders and cracking his neck. “I think I’m gonna take a shower.” She said, standing.

“Room for two?” Thanos asked, cocking an eyebrow.

“Don’t speak to me ever again.” Was her response, sticking her tongue out at him.

She closed the door and turned on the shower. Leaning against the frame, she sighed, allowed her eyes to close. The peaceful, albeit musty sanctuary the bathroom offered was welcoming to her. She peeled off her funeral clothes and stepped into the shower. She found herself highly disappointed by the temperature, and the pressure, and honestly just the shower itself. But what was she expecting for a half-a-star establishment?

She pulled on a night shirt as she exited the bathroom, toweling her hair and she did so.

“Miss me?” She asked, plopping herself down on her bed.

“The moments without you were pure agony.” He responded, his words dripping with sarcasm.

“Hey, you don’t have to be a butthole.” She responded, tossing her wet towel at him. He grabbed it without looking up, his reflexive instincts stronger than anyone she had ever met. “What are we supposed to do?” She asked, flopping back on the stuff mattress, her legs dangling off if the edge of the bed.

“Wait.” Was all he offered.

The time passed by so slowly. They watched television for a while, a riveting series of episodes of a weather channel show. Ellie napped a little off and on. They ordered a pizza. When it was finally an acceptable time to sleep, she shut the television off and curled up under her blanket.

“No sharing tonight?” Thanos asked, attempting to get comfortable on the too-small-for-him bed.

Ellie grumbled a response, which consisted of “I finally get an entire bed to myself” and “You take up too much room anyways.”

She drifted quickly, pure boredom allowing her to fall asleep fast. She wasn’t sure how long she has slept for, however, when a loud crack of thunder echoed in their small room.

She shot up, taking a moment to get her bearings. The rain was pelting the window heavily, and she could hear the wind howling outside. “Sounds like a bad one.” His voice came from the bed besides her, causing her to jump.

“It’s just a storm.” Ellie said, waving her hand. Not that he could see her through the blanket of darkness between them, though. “Did it wake you?”

“Indeed. While I have experienced storms before, Terran storms worry me.”

“There is no way that Thanos the Mad Titan is scared of a thunderstorm.” Ellie retorted, trying her best not to laugh.

“No, not the storm. Terran buildings are made so terribly. This one could crash down around us before the storm even reached its climax.”

“Really, climax was the only word you could think to use in that sentence?”

“My biggest fear is plucking glass shards out of you when that window shatters.” He told her. A flash of lightning illuminated the room for a split second, and she could see genuine concern on his face. “Come here, please.” Another flash showed that he was offering a hand to her. “I promised to keep you safe, and I can’t do that if you’re over there.”

“Thanos,” She started with a yawn. “I can guarantee you that this storm isn’t going to be the thing kills me.”

“Ellie, please.” He sounded so serious that she was taken aback. Begrudgingly, she left the warmth of her own bed, and crawled in besides him, shimmying beneath the covers. “Isn’t that better?” He asked. “Wait. I’ve got an idea.” He reached over her and grabbed the gauntlet off of the table, clutching a fist. The red gem shone through the darkness before shimmering over the bed. The wood frame stretched and groaned until it was big enough for the both of them.

Or mostly just Thanos, Ellie already fit.

He removed it once more before laying down. “There,” He remarked, “Now we can both rest without disturbing the other.”

She scoffed before scooting closer to him. “You and I both know that this is how we would end up anyways. Why waste time?” She asked as she curled up against his side, placing her cheek on his chest. He hummed contently, rubbing her back with his hand.

Ellie tried to fall back asleep, but the storm was too loud for that. “Thanos?” She whispered, not wanting to wake him if he was already asleep.

“Yes, my Ellie?”

She chewed on her bottom lip for a second before answering. “I want to ask a question, but I don’t want… I don’t want anyone to be mad.”

“You know that you may always speak freely, dear heart.”

She wondered if this was the right time. She didn’t know if there would ever be a right time to ask him this. But she felt like she deserved to know if she were to continue sharing his bed.

“What are the stones for?” She asked finally, her stomach doing anxious somersaults.

A crack of thunder rolled through the room, making the atmosphere appear even more tense.

He sighed, “A long time ago, I was handed a destiny. Tasked with the hardest deed I would ever, could ever accomplish. And with the stones, once I retrieve all six of them, my task, while still daunting, will become simpler. Easy.”

“What is it that you have to do?” Ellie pried.

She felt his hand move to her cheek, his thumb rubbing soft circles against her skin. “Another time, dearest one. That is a story for another time.”

“Thanos.” She said, sitting up. “Thanos, I have put a lot of trust in you. Maybe now you can put some trust in me?”

A heavy groaned escaped him, as he followed suit in sitting up. “I just don't think that you’ll understand” He said. A bolt of lightning lit the room up, and she caught a glimpse of his expression. Solemn. Downtrodden.

She reached out into the darkness, looking to reassure him. “We can’t know that unless you tell me, Thanos. Trust me, please.”

“This world, my world, every planet across this universe. It’s too much. There are too many mouths to feed and too few resources to provide what those mouths need. I can bring balance. I can save lives for eons to come, but it means taking lives now. In the present.”

He paused, waiting for a comment from Ellie.

She stayed silent.

“I thought I could simply create more resources. Use the stones and their infinite power to constantly create food, shelter, water. But even the stones need to be fed, even they need an energy source. I would run out eventually. I did the math for years, trying to find a solution where everybody lives, Ellie. But it doesn’t exist. For planets, for societies, for life to continue to succeed, people must be eliminated.”

“Why does it have to be you?” She asked, finally. Her voice faint. The sound threatening to get lost in the storm.

“I’m the only one strong enough to act on it. It is terrible. It’s painful and it’s unfair, sometimes. But I have been chosen for this. I must complete this task. Do you understand, Ellie? This is not something that I want to do. It is something I must do.”

She nodded, dumbfounded by his answer.

“You must think I’m a monster.” He continued with a dark chuckle.

“Have you killed people before?” She asked, steeling herself for the answer.

“I have. And I will have to do it again before my task is complete.”

“Were you going to kill me?”

“No. Even as you walked through the door in the woods, I knew you would be important to me. I believed this was for diplomatic purposes, however. Not that you and I would grow to care for one another.”

“Do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Do you care about me?”

He smiled, and though she couldn’t see it, she could hear it when he spoke again. “More than you know, My Ellie. More than you could know.”

She nodded, laying back down in the bed. Her mind reeled as she lay there, watching lightning dance around the room. She has always assumed that he was the bad guy, and in many ways she was still right about that but…

Didn’t the bad guy normally take pride in his criminal accomplishments? Thanos’ heart felt so heavy as he shared with her just now. There was no pride in his words, no malice or hate for any single species of man.

He sounded… conflicted.

She took a deep breath, rolling on her side to face where he was still seated. “So…” She started, waiting until a burst of light to make sure she had his attention.

“A thousand years old, really?”

Chapter Text

Upon waking up, Ellie reached out for him, but only to find the bed empty. She sat up, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes as her heart sank. This wasn’t the first time he had vanished without a trace, and she had an inkling it might not be the last. Unless, of course, he was gone for good. But this time, she didn’t fight back the feeling of remorse. This time she allowed herself to be sad at the thought of losing him.

She rose, stretching as she stood. She made her way to the window, pulling the curtain aside to check for any signs of him. She grinned as she saw his human form, struggling to open the door while holding a bag and two coffee cups.

She opened the door, taking the coffee out of his hand. “Good morning.” She smiled, shutting the door behind him. “Where did you find this?” She asked, waiting for him to fetch the gauntlet and revert to himself once more.

“There’s a small restaurant down the road, grabbed us some breakfast.” He replied, setting himself on his bed. Ellie followed suit, sitting on other bed, using the nightstand as a coffee holder. She crossed her legs, digging through the bag.

“I have… some questions.” She started, dividing up the food. “About everything.”

“I assumed that you would.” Was his reply, opening up what appeared to be a type of biscuit.

“You don’t have to answer them.” She spluttered, nervous all of a sudden.

“My Ellie, I will answer every question you ask me, as truthfully as I am able to do.”

“So there are things you can’t tell me?”

“As I live and breathe, I will keep no more secrets from you.” He told her, dropping his food back on his plate to look her in the eyes.

“Isn’t that foolish though? I’m a human. What if I’m working with SHIELD?”

“Are you?”

“No, but how can you know that?”

“I have interacted with a lot of secret agents in my time. But none that have been so… convincing in the bedroom, dearest.” Her face flushed a deep red and she ducked her head, avoiding his steady gaze now. “What are your questions?”

“They’re mostly dumb, I think. Like when you balance the universe, will that take animals with it?”

“‘Animals’ is a term only truly used on Terran planets. Other species are so vast and innumerable that some of them would appear animalistic in your eyes, but have civilizations far more advanced than anything you see here on Earth.” He replied, ripping a chunk of bacon in half.

“Ok, wait sorry - let me try again. Dogs and cats and lions and zebras. Will they get… snapped?”

He nodded, holding up a finger as he swallowed his food. “I believe that they will. All species are making up this universe, and taking up resources. So they must be balanced.”

“What about the planets you balanced… manually? Will they have to suffer a loss again?”

He paused, furrowing his brow in thought. “Ellie, I had not considered that. I… I do not know the answer to this question. You have stumped me.”

Ellie stood, brushing her crumbs onto her hand as she began to clean up her mess. She offered a hand to take Thanos’ too. She was avoiding his gaze now. There were only two more questions she had for him, and they were the ones that were hanging the heaviest on her heart.

Mostly because she was afraid she already knew the answer.

“You are troubled, my Ellie. Speak freely. What else do you have to ask of me?”

When she finished cleaning up the breakfast remnants, she leaned against the wall, watching Thanos as he shuffled awkwardly about the room. “Children, too?” She asked him, quiet.

“The good thing -” He said with a heavy sigh, “- if you can call it a good thing, about the gauntlet is it is no longer for me to decide whose life is lost in the balance. I control the weapon, but the stones make the decision. So yes, most likely, children too.” He answered, now he was the one avoiding her gaze.

“And me? What if I get chosen by the stones?” Her voice quivered at the end.

“I’ll find a way to bring you back to me.”

“That’s unfair then, isn’t it? To use the power you have fought others for, so that the stones can do your personal bidding?” He was closer to her now, she shifted so that her back was against the wall.

He took a step towards her, his body pressed flush against her own. He took her face in his hands, dipping his head low. “I am only a man, my dear.” He muttered, before sweeping her up into a breathtaking kiss.

Her thoughts swirled as their mouths moved together, her hands winding around his neck, holding him close to her. He hummed a note of praise as she did so, his hands moving slowly from her face and down her sides before settling on her hips. She felt herself being lifted, her legs wrapping around his midsection, and his hands gripping her backside. He gave her a gentle squeeze, causing her to gasp against his lips.

“I thought - “ She started, breathlessly, pulling away from him “- I thought you said this was a mistake.” She said finally, his lips leaving her mouth and finding the sensitive spot on her neck.

He laughed, “I changed my mind.” He told her, nipping at her skin. Ellie bit her lip, her mind too focused on the devilish things he was doing to her skin to be worried about what he had said earlier.

Before they could get any further, however, a loud knock echoed throughout the room. Thanos growled, releasing his hold on Ellie and setting her back on the ground. He stomped towards the door.

“Wait!” Ellie whispered, gesturing to him. “Don’t open the door looking like that!”

“Into the bathroom.” He demanded, grabbing the gauntlet off of the bedside table and entering the small bathroom. Once again, they were in very close proximity.

The knock was louder this time, followed by a voice shouting “Federal Agents! Open up!”

“We could just ignore them.” Thanos said, his eyes were almost glazed over with a familiar hunger.

“We can’t. They’ll knock down the door.” Thanos groaned, but quickly used the gauntlet to change them into the people that had entered the hotel room last night. “Go, go get the door. I’ll be right behind you.” Ellie told him, grinning.

He left the bathroom and she could hear him attempting to speak to the agents through the door. In the meantime, Ellie stripped herself of all her clothes and hopped in the shower, doing her best to get as drenched as possible in the shortest amount of time. She shivered as the cold water hit her skin. Leaving the shower on, she stepped out and wrapped a very small towel around her chest. It fell just atop her thighs, leaving very little to the imagination. “Babe?” She called loudly from the bathroom, opening the door. “Are you coming?”

She made her way to the door, dripping water everywhere as she did so. “What’s going on?” She asked, tightening the towel around her. She was at the door now, peaking around human Thanos and to where the agents stood outside. “William, what’s happening?” She asked, grabbing a hold of his arm. “What do they want?”

Thanos turned to look at her, his eyes traveling down her body and back up again. She caught him, briefly, pausing on the cleavage visible from the top of the towel. Playfully, she swat at his arm. “Later, Romeo.” She said with a wink. “Is there something wrong, officers?”

“They’re asking if we were at the funeral yesterday.” Thanos told her, shrugging.

“For Mark Jetsper.” One if the agents added, shifting uncomfortably.

“We were at the visitation, but we didn’t stay for the funeral itself.”

“And how do you all know Mr. Jetsper, ma’am?”

Ellie smiled, “I worked for him a while back. William is just my fiancé. He came for moral support. Plus, he works so much that we never get any time together.” She shrugged, dragging her finger up Thanos’ arm. “If that’s all, officers.” She drawled, winking at the men outside their door. “We were kinda in the middle of something.”

They nodded an awkward good day before leaving, Thanos slamming the door behind them. Ellie tried to make her way back to the bathroom but he grabbed her wrist, spinning her around so that she was backed up against the door. “What the hell was that?” He asked, growling.

“I just helped you out of a situation that you were bound to get us killed in.” She snapped, anxious butterflies sprouting in her stomach as he leered at her. He placed his hands against the door, on either side of her head.

“I had everything fully under control.” He said through clenched teeth.

She laughed, “You absolutely did not. What was your plan to get out of that mess?”

“Where I come from -” He started, speaking slowly and precisely, “Women that speak out of turn in such a manner get punished.”

“Oh yeah?” She mocked, finding herself feeling a little more confident when he was in his human disguise. “Who’s going to punish me? You? You couldn’t hurt me if you wanted to.”

He leaned down close to her, his mouth inches from her ear. “Get on the bed.” He whispered, his breath hot against her ear.

“Aren’t you going to change first?” She asked, giving his scrawny human form a once over. “You’re hardly menacing like that."

He growled again. “I’m not going to break you, Ellie. You just need to be put in your place.” A wicked grin crossed his face. “It will be easier this way.”

Ellie smiled, ducking past him. He turned to watch her leave, but was left surprised when she did not stop where she was told to. She stopped at the bathroom door, winking before scooting in.

“Ellie…” His voice scolding.

When she re-emerged from the bathroom, she was holding the gauntlet in both hands, grinning wildly. “I guess…” She started, moving as if to put the gauntlet on. “I could make you change first.”

“Ellie, that is not a plaything. That is a weapon.” He told her, taking a few steps forward.

“So I shouldn’t put it on?” She said, wiggling her eyebrows as she shoved her hand into the glove. It was way too big for her, threatening to fall off as she balanced it.

“You could wipe out all of Tennessee if you are not careful.” More steps forward.

“What are you gonna do about it? I’d just be making your life easier.” She retorted quickly, crooking a gloved  finger in his direction, beckoning him.

“Take it off.” He said, shortly.

“No.” She clutched her hand into a fist, focusing her entire mindpower on Thanos, her alien Thanos. The red stone sparkled on the glove, returning him to normal. She quickly followed suit to return herself to Ellie. Before making eye contact with Thanos again.

“If you’re finished playing…” He said, glaring at her.

“Get on the bed.” She told him, trying her best to echo his statement from earlier.

“I don't take orders from humans. Especially not orders in the bedroom.” He told her, planting his feet.

“What are you going to do? Force me?” She mocked him again, curling her fingers in the gauntlet.

“Yes.” A grin appeared on his visage again, and he was in front of her. He gripped her around the waist. “You’re wearing significantly less than me, my dear.” Using his free hand, he settled his finger between her breasts, gripping the thin hotel towel between his thumb and his finger. “It wouldn’t take much forcing.” He breathed against her skin, pushing her gently into the bed. The towel untangled around her as he did so, he tossed it to the side without a second thought.

She grinned at him from the bed, sticking her tongue out in a childish fashion. He crawled in over her, hovering as his eyes scanned her face. “I have told you my plans, my destiny and my purpose, and still you would sleep with me?” He asked, a softness leaking into his features.

“Everybody’s got something.” She said with an alluring shrug, dragging a golden finger up Thanos’ arm. She enjoyed watching pinpricks of pleasure appear on his skin as she did so. “Maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome. Maybe I’ve always had a thing for the bad boys. Maybe Maw’s got me under some kind of alien spell.”

“Let’s… not talk about Maw in the bedroom.” Thanos replies with a chuckle.

“The way I see it. You’re powerful. Even the prophet on that disgusting planet said you’re going to succeed. I’d be a fool if I didn't side with the winner when offered the chance.” She said, using her still-gloved hand to pull his face down to hers.

“So it’s about power?” He asked, cocking an eyebrow. He grinned, flipping them over so that she was straddling his waist. Ellie made a motion to remove the glove, feeling his hips begin to buck against her. “No.” Thanos said sternly, running his tongue over his bottom lip in hunger.

“Leave it on.”