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may your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground and carry on

Chapter Text

Gamora had only herself in this desolate orange place. She had no concept of time whatsoever, it felt only like hours but she knew it must not be just hours. But how could she know?

Sometimes she tried to sleep while other times she just walked along with the place only for it to change to her old room on the Milano. It was too painful to sleep in here, so she slept in the pilot's seat (Peter's seat) and just stared off until her seat changed. Everything changed, to be exact meaning that something must have happened.

Gamora tensed as she heard the quickening of footsteps which was impossible because only to her knowledge she was the only soul in this place. How?

"Hello?" She called out. A beat passed and Gamora hoped that it wasn't her imagination making someone up just because she was starved of companionship, of someone anyone to see- "Hello?" The voice, a feminine voice called out to her.

Gamora got up from her seat, it was the pilot seat as the place changed. It looked like a big fancy area. Probably on some planet that whoever was here lived in. As Gamora turned another corner, she was in an office with too many windows an a lone person with red hair, the tips of it ending in striking ashy blonde. It was in a braid, as the person whipped around to see her.

She had her guns trained and all Gamora, small tiny defenseless Gamora could do was put up her equally tiny fists ready to fight. As she was taught to do at such a young age by her father.

The redhead woman looked at her before putting down the guns.

"Your Nebula's sister. Gamora." The woman stated it as if it was a fact. It was a fact because even though it was true she still had no idea how this person knew about her sister or herself unless... maybe, it could be possible?

"Are you one of the Avengers Thor talked about?" She asked tentatively to the stranger. The person's eyes looked at her before saying yes, she was one of the Avengers.

It was no problem figuring out how she got here, the same way Gamora was here in the first place. This person ended up with the same fate she had.

"I did it, to give them a chance to fix everything." The redheaded Avenger told her-her name was Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow was her alias. "They are getting the stones to reverse what Thanos did, everyone will come back."

Gamora started to cry and carefully Natasha scooped the little girl int other arms. Gamora didn't fight it, didn't punch the stranger because she wanted a hug.

How long as it been since she's talked to someone? Been held by someone?

"How long as it been since I-since Thanos?" Gamora hiccuped. Natasha brushed a few strands of her purple hair away from her eyes. "Five years."

Natasha told her that this was Earth, at least the Soul Stone's version of it. This was the compound where the Avengers (Famous Valiant Destructive Earth Mightiest Heroes Avengers) lived. It was only the two of them now, as they laid in Natasha's old bedroom because Gamora didn't want to be alone anymore and Natasha didn't mind her company.

Hours or days passed by them, it was hard to tell as Gamora mentioned that to the woman. They didn't need to eat or sleep but they did so anyway. Food was always in stock here as Gamora knew it being stuck here for five years.

Five years that she has been dead. Five years since Peter, Groot, Mantis, Drax have been dead for those years from the deed that Thanos did.

His brilliant sadistic plan she thought to herself.

They thought they would be here forever, it seemed to be that way until another person came through and that's when everything changed even more.


Natasha was the one that was alerted, the hairs on the back of her neck standing up, she whipped around her guns in hand pointing at the two figures.

A woman with jet black hair, a black and green jumpsuit and next to her was Tony fucking Stark. Natasha felt the air in her lungs stop because it happened, she could just feel it in her bones looking at Tony who tried to crack a smirk.

"Miss me, Agent Romanoff?" His voice cracked and that was enough for her. Natasha walked straight to him, pulling her dead friend into a hug. He didn't fight it, melting in her arms.

"We won Nat, we won." He said his voice with so much exhaustion that made Natasha's vision blurry as he started to sob. "It's okay Tony. You did it, you saved everyone."

"Can't take all the credit Agent Red," He said. "You're as much of a hero as I am. We both did it." He told her, pulling back to stare at her. He wiped a tear that rolled down her cheek.

Natasha was about to introduce him to Gamora only to remember the scary goth looking, woman. She seemed to have walked away, sitting down on one of the seats in the board room next to a record player that seemingly appeared out of thin air. The Soul Stone usually did that some days, Gamora told her when she met the little girl.

It was playing an old song, possibly from the 1950s or 60s? Natasha wasn't too sure on the exact date but it sounded decades old.

Oh, a storm is threat'ning
My very life today
If I don't get some shelter
Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away

"Well, I don't have all day," Goth Lady stated in a posh accent that sounded familiar to Natasha. She just couldn't pin-point it from where she heard it. They sat down, Tony, Natasha and Gamora on the side of the table as the song continued to play loudly. Tony looked at the recording before he turned towards Goth Lady.

"Rolling Stones... not bad pick Hot Topic." He said in an oh-so-Tony Stark way that Natasha was worried that Goth Lady was going to choke him. She didn't but looked annoyed at him. "I still have no idea how my brother put up with the likes of you pitiful mortals." She sniffed at them.

That caught both Avengers off guard. Brother? What brother? Natasha thought.

"And may I ask Hot Topic who your brother is?" Tony asked snarkily. Goth Lady smiled, her bright blue eyes gleaming surrounded by specks of green and the smudge of her eye makeup. "Why Thor, the god of whatever he is." She said waving her hand acknowledging that she didn't care about her brother's importance of godhood.

"Thor?" All three of them said at the same time in shock. "I thought Thor had a brother?" Gamora asked. Goth Lady rolled her eyes. "Ah yes, Loki. They're my little brothers, my name is Hela. I am the goddess of Death."

"Mistress Death," Gamora murmured, eyeing Hela with newfound wariness. Natasha didn't blame the kid one bit, now noting how the goddess got her. She's Death, of course, she can get into the Soul Stone, it was her area of expertise in a way. She was Death.

"So what do you want?" Tony asked. "You mentioned when you brought me here that you had some offer, what is it?" He sounded tense because the last time they faced Thor's sibling, New York was invaded by aliens. So, both Natasha and Tony weren't on the warm receiving to Hela.

"I came here to offer a do-over, for the sake of the universe." She stated, a serious tone taking over and now Natasha could see a bit in Thor in Hela, but she was wise enough not to mention that to her. They all thought the exact same thing, How? But she was Death if anything she could reverse it. Could she? "It needs to change and I believe you three are the best to change it."

"Why not Thor?" Tony asked bluntly. Hela shook her head, lips turning into a grimace. "He and I-Our relationship isn't chummy or warm, more like I see you and I kill you." She explained to the trio. They nodded, Tony and Natasha remembered Thor drunkenly, slurringly stating something about his sister. Hela's eyes that were turning dark green, glowing with power stared into their souls. "You three are the chance because, to be frank, you are dead. Hence, it'll be easier to send you three to a certain time before everything that has happened."

Tony exhaled a shaky breath. "How do we know this will work? Where will we land? Fuck, what year?"

"So many questions Anthony Stark," Hela smirked. "We don't know if it will work but we can try and not mess it up more, just change a few things. The biggest one obviously is stopping Thanos before it all went to hell. I will be there to talk and guide you three if needed but the rest is up to you three. You cannot let anyone and I mean anyone knows about the future, make sure the outcome isn't shot. For your sake and fate."

Natasha felt Gamora grasp her hand and she squeezed her hand tightly as tight as a little child could. "We can go back? But what time will we be landing in?" Gamora echoed slightly the last question Tony asked the goddess.

"Somewhere in time after you're," She pointed at Tony. "Proclamation as Iron Man in 2008. We begin there."

"And?" Tony questioned. Hela was still staring at them, eyes piercing them. Natasha wondered what made the goddess of death want to change everything, to have the fate of a whole timeline in the hands of these three dead heroes? "

"Because you three are the only ones at the beginning, so there will be a chance that-" She was cut off by Tony who's eyes were wide with hope, so much hope in them. "Everything in the future won't go to complete shit." Hela nodded as if telling them, Yep.

So they agreed to the outlandish plan because it wasn't the craziest adventure Tony and Natasha and even Gamora had been. They followed Hela into a circle, she created it and it looked black and bubbling ominously. Natasha didn't like it but what else could she do? Be stuck in here for eternity instead of changing the future? Nope, not going to happen.

The song that played on the record player was loud as they stepped through the portal.

War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away
War, children, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away

Natasha looked at Hela, whose eyes held determination just like the rest of them. "Where will we be able to find you?"

"I'll be unable to contact you that much because of Odin's imprisonment on me, but I'll try. Maybe there's a chance that I can contact one of my idiot brothers, possibly Loki to change the tides. Once I get out or have enough power to contact the three of you. Good luck."

"Back at ya Hot Topic." Tony gave her a two-fingered salute before grabbing both Gamora and Natasha's hands and walked into the freaky bubbling black portal. Hela walked behind them and all Natasha could think was, Let's hope we can pull this off.

Then she blacked out.

When she woke up again, all that ran through her head was Holy shit, it worked! It actually worked.

Because she was back in her apartment in Malibu. She noticed her phone and grabbed it, the date on the screen was May 14, 2011. Natasha wanted to scream to the sky or to someone.

It worked, it worked, it worked, it worked, it fucking worked!

They were back in the past, before the attacks in New York, before Sokovia, and before Wakanda. Back before the Avengers were founded. Hell, before any of the founding Avengers were actually found like Steve, Banner, and Thor.

Her phone rang and she knew what it would be about, that Tony would ask her where she was. She was his assistant, undercover for SHIELD. God, that meant that Nick, Maria, and Coulson were alive.

Hela actually sent them back in time, so that meant Tony was in his Malibu home and Gamora... she was back in leagues with Thanos. Natasha hoped that she could hold herself against her adoptive father and escape earlier possibly with her sister. Natasha, like Tony, was fond of Nebula, so having her back would be good. They had a chance to do-over everything but they needed to regroup and plan this correctly. They couldn't just barge in an announce "Hey, we're from the future and here's the 411!" That would probably send them to some psyche ward or get questioned non stop by Fury for sure.

So, all Natasha could do is start the day as Natalie Rushman, going to the home of Tony Stark to get info for Fury, for him to begin the Avengers Initiative and for them to start slightly changing their future. Natasha hoped that Tony landed in the same exact year she did.

Because if he wasn't with her in this year, she was rightfully going to lose her mind.


"Good morning sir." The voice that Tony knew so very well greeted him in the morning. He wanted to cry as he slowly got up and looked around his Malibu room. He was back in Malibu before it got destroyed, his home.

"Jarvis," Tony croaked trying to stop the sob that was so close to erupting. It was a long time since he heard his old AI speak, not since Ultron and that whole fiasco. "I-It's good to hear you."

"Likewise sir?" The AI said a bit confused. "Miss Rushman is here with food for you sir. Shall I-" Jarvis was about to ask something but was cut off by Tony who quickly said, "No, send her up, I need her input on some clothes."

"Very well sir." His AI said.

Tony got up and went to the bathroom to freshen up. A few minutes later he was greeted by a familiar figure and Tony wanted to cry once more.

Get a hold of yourself Stark. I don't even know if this is the real Nat, Hela didn't explain if she was going to send us all to the same exact time.

"You ready for a do-over Stark?" She gave him a knowing smirk and that was all Tony needed for him to hug her. She was here, they were actually back in time. Natasha laughed and it sounded like Christmas for him. She sounded relieved to know that they were both from that future, brought to the past. 

Tony pulled back his face with a shit-eating grin as he said to the spy, "Where do we start Red?"

Where to start, indeed.

Chapter Text

Gamora felt a jab at her side from where Nebula punched her. She's getting rusty having been stuck in a gem for five years does that but she didn't want to hurt her sister.

You need to play the part, she told herself. It's the only way to stay under Thanos radar.

Stay underneath it, get Nebula to side against Thanos and head to Earth to find Tony and Natasha, then find her family. Peter, Drax, Manti, Rocket, and Groot. She didn't realize that this timeline Groot was the old one that had died... Still, Gamora was determined to make sure her family made it out unscathed and Thanos dead.

So, she did the usual things she did when on the ship. Train, wait for orders, train, wait for orders. It's what she did, what she always did when she was brainwashed by her adoptive father. But not anymore, she was going to find an opening, kidnap Nebula if she had to and leave. No way she was going to leave her sister behind, not again.

Gamora tried to talk to Nebula, just trying to do something. Letting her win, even if Gamora's competitiveness wanted her to win, she let Nebula win. It made her giddy with pride only diminished slightly by their father's disappointment that Gamora had lost. She held back her tongue and looked down.

Nebula found her in her room later and demanded to know what was wrong with her. She looked dumbfounded because she was. "You never let me win. Why start now?"

Gamora gripped her sword before looking at her sister.

"I think it's time we become sisters," The shock on Nebula's face was something that Gamora wished she could sear into her brain for years. She continued, "I want a sister, my sister. Please, Nebula, I'm sorry for how I treated you but it was for survival. We both know it, it's survival here not love, not from him."

You failed. And do you wanna know why? Because you love nothing. No one

Nebula still looked suspicious of her and Gamora didn't blame her. But she knew her words would stick with her dear sister until she finally woke up from that hazy spell Thanos put them under for years and when she did, they would leave. But she didn't have that much time

No. This isn't love.

"No tricks?" She said in a small voice. Gamora shook her head. "No tricks Nebula. I want a sister, my sister."

Nebula's facial expression flickered into joy and hesitation for the first time she was hearing those words that she always wanted to hear. Gamora took a few steps before slowly wrapping her into a hug. Nebula awkwardly put her arms around her and stayed there for a few minutes before pulling away. It was a start, she'll give her that.

As Nebula left and she turned around to face the window overlooking the vastness of space.

Now to figure out how and when to leave, she mused to herself.


The prison that Hela was held in all those years, she did not miss it yet she was back. All because she wanted to do was to re-do their timeline for people to survive. For her idiot brothers to survive.

Niflheim, the icy prison that she detested, not as much as she detested her father but it was a close second. She was imprisoned in a cave till Odin's grip became slow for him to hold her, or at least that's what he told her.

Granted, Thor survived but he was so broken and still in so much grief after Loki's death.

Hela knew it wouldn't be easy getting both Loki and Thor's trust considering Odin was still alive and that would be tricky but Hela was stubborn. She knew that there was someone else alive and if she could get her attention, it could change everything early for them. She hoped.

Norns please grant me a bit of luck, she pleaded.

She used her magic, as much as she could muster and directed it to the person she wanted to call up. "Oh, Queen Mother," She chanted out loud. "I call upon-"

"Hela."

Her eyes fluttered open to see her mother, beautiful Frigga standing in front of her and very much alive. She wanted to weep but held off, biting her cheek and swallowing a sob.

"Time has not been kind to you," Her mother said, as she outstretched her arm and touched Hela's face through the bars where she was imprisoned. "Both past and future." Her eyes twinkled and Hela let out a wet laugh.

So she did know, of course, she did. She always loved how her mother was clever, wanted to be just as clever as her when she was a small child. But did that mean Odin know?

The thought of her father knowing about her time traveling plans sent fear through the pit of her stomach and a flurry of thoughts only to be clenched by her mother. "He doesn't know my little wolf. The only thing he knows is of what's in front of him most of the time, but not about the future or its burdens that follow it."

She didn't need to ask how her mother knew, it was Frigga. She was a sorceress, who taught her magic when she was small and was the one who bound her to her prison all those years ago. She could still hear her mother's sobs as Odin locked her way, as Frigga sealed her only daughter to her prison for eons. Now, they were back here.

Frigga muttered a few words, waved her hands and the bounds were unlocked. She made a tiny crack to which Hela escaped from. It would be a matter of time before Odin found out about her escape but Frigga made sure that he wouldn't know till the time was right.

"What is your plan?" She asked her. "I and a couple of mortals have come to change things. To stop the destruction on the entire universe."

"Yes, but why the change of heart my little wolf?"

Frigga was the only one to call her by that name, little wolf. Odin called her a monster, Thor and Loki called her a villain but Frigga called her little wolf.

"I want to change, I want my brothers to survive-granted that they are imbeciles but still. I want you to survive mother." She grasped her mother' s skirt like she used to do as a child. Before Odin trained her as a killing machine before she was locked away here. Frigga petted her hair.

"It's dangerous to change time, you and I know that," Hela nodded. "I cannot help you with your entire quest but with family, I will."

Hela was grateful for that because both Thor and Loki adored their mother and so did Hela. 

"Now, let's get you away from Niflheimr and then we can see how this plan of yours will go. You'll need a disguise, I can make you as one of my handmaidens and you can be safe." Hela nodded at her mother's words, knowing that Odin was a bit busy with whatever her little brother was up to at this moment in time to think about her.

She'll need to contact those mortals soon and ask them about Thor and how he got entangled with the mortals but for now, she was led away from Niflheimr, her prison by her mother. She was going home.


Tony and Natasha made up a list. The list contained few key things that they needed to change early on that damaged the Avengers in the first place.

Number one) Find Barnes and undo the brainwash

Number two) Keep Coulson alive

Number three) Find the Maximoff Twins

Number four) Assemble The Avengers

Number five) Find Strange or T'Challa

Those were the only five so far, they would wait for the rest of the Avengers to come soon but those were the ones that they can play into their hands for now. Barnes would be the tricky one to find considering they had no idea where Hydra kept him. They did know before he was kept in Serbia, possibly he was still kept there if not there would be clue lying around for the next area that Hydra might have stashed him in.

They kept the list on a simple black notebook, Tony kept it in his closet inside an old box that Peggy gave to him years ago. It would be safest there away from any hacking or Nick Fur's prying eye.

Natasha and Tony were in his lab, as he found the fix to his arc reactor. The past events played out, but Natasha was still his secretary, and Fury hasn't bugged him yet about joining the Avengers yet. For now, he and Natasha were left to play with the tools of fate and time at their disposal.

He tinkered with a new arc reactor, not wanting to deal with his poison again as Natasha helped him out. They were still playing their roles, biding time until they can find a break and start on their plans. Instantly an idea came to him, he stopped whatever he was doing. He lowered the volume of the song that was playing, some Britney Spears song that Natasha played much to his displeasure. She mumbled the lyrics under breath. The only songs he knew from Britney Spears was Baby Hit Me One More Time, You Drive Me Crazy and Toxic.

"Sharon," He told the spy. "What?" She looked at him confused at what he just said. So he kept going, explaining, "Sharon Carter. She could get us much more info because of Aunt Peggy. Her Alzheimer hasn't kicked in yet, so she may still remember things about... my parent's deaths and possibly about the Winter Soldier."

Natasha bit her lip. "That could work, we find him before they use him. But where are going to hide a brainwashed Hydra agent Tony?"

"That," Tony said slowly. "Is a very good question. We'll figure that part out once we cross that bridge."

"Tony," She said shaking her head making the red curls swish back and forth. "We can't risk anyone knowing about Barnes. Especially Steve, once we meet him."

"I know that Nat, god it's going to be a fucking reversal of what he did to me," He let out a bark of laughter. "But it's better than having another Civil War again. We'll figure something out, maybe once we have Sharon on board there could be more options but for now, we go with this." Natasha nodded.

"Well operation Break Winter is coming soon," Tony said making Natasha snort. "Did you seriously make a Game of Thrones joke Tin Can?"

"Either way, we better make sure we leave no stones unturned or else we'll be screwed. Now, let's see about those tickets to Serbia?" He muttered to himself as he pulled up on the screen to an airline.

Chapter Text

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear daddy!

He could hear Morgan's voice singing the birthday song, a big grin on her face as she waited for him to blow out his candles. Could hear her echoing laughter in his head through the day as everyone said birthday wishes to him.

"Tony?" Pepper looked at him, concern coloring his voice. "Are you okay?"

He gave her a smile and kissed her cheek. "Yeah, I'm alright Pep."

"Okay, I'll see you downstairs then." He nodded at her before going to change ad look at at the arc poison. He knew that Natasha was still playing undercover for SHIELD and if his memory served him, his poison wasn't doing so good.

Time to get ready for the birthday bash, he told himself. He put on a buttoned-down shirt, some black slacks and a tie hung loosely over his neck as he checked the poison from his arc reactor. Natasha told him that she'll get the sedative soon.

"You ready?" Natasha walked in, announcing her presence. Before Tony could turn away, she jabbed something into the right side of his neck.

"Ouch!" He said as Natasha put the sedative on his neck. Instantly the poison on his neck was quickly leaving, but not healing. "Warn me will you!" He told the spy. Natasha rolled her eyes before scanning to see if it worked, it did. Satisfied she sat down on the side of his bed as Tony finished getting ready.

"Not chipper for a birthday bash are we?" She said teasingly with a smile. Tony tried to smile but memories of his birthday with Morgan swam in his head and made his heartache. "No, but we've got people down there... can't leave them hanging." He said a wistful look passed his face. Finishing buttoning his shirt, she tied his tie together and gave her a million dollar smile.

"Why not?" She said to him. "Let's ditch the party, grab a bottle of alcohol, find a burger place and go to the beach." She gave him a look, knowing full well her dear friend didn't really want to party all that much. Tony gave her a mischievous look. "Why Romanoff, have I finally corrupted you?"

Natasha rolled her eyes before grabbing a jacket from his closet and throwing it at him. He took it and quickly put it on along with a pair of sunglasses. He got his wallet and head out the door of his bedroom with Natasha. "Let's go or do you want to stay here?" Tony shook his head. "Then let's get the hell out of here Tony."

Together they managed to doge Pepper and Happy, along with the trickle of guests coming inside. Natasha quickly got two bottles of scotch that were still unopened, before following Tony. Making it to the garage, they got into a sleek white Audi R8 Spyder. Tony buckled his seat belt while Natasha did that as well. Tony then put the keys in, starting up the engine and gunned it out of the garage and into the cool California night.

"You know that in a couple of weeks Thor will be landing here?" Natasha said over the loud song that Tony had blaring in his car along with the roaring Cali air. Some AC/DC song that she knew Tony liked, she wouldn't be surprised to find albums of the band in his house. "And Hulk should be appearing soon. We'll need those tickets to Serbia soon, find a date and go find Barnes."

He had forgotten about his dear friends and the plan. All of that will appear soon and then after the Hulk-Thor battles, the world will soon rejoice over finding Captain America stuck in ice for years, now slowly defrosting. He's probably defrosting right now!

Natasha typed into the maps to find the nearest burger location, finding one close by. "There's a burger king still open." She said. Tony answered with making the car go a bit faster to reach the place. Once they did and laughing over the freaked out the cashier, ordered two cheeseburgers, large fries, and two large milkshakes. Strawberry for Tony and chocolate for Natasha.

Getting their order, Tony speed away to Zuma beach which was close by to the Burger King they were at. Natasha grabbed the bag of food and a bottle of scotch while Tony got the milkshake tray. They found a pit, started a fire and sat on his jacket while the heat from the fire warmed them.

"We should have invested in a beach towel and some more wood for this fire," Tony said as he took a swig of the scotch. Natasha hummed in agreement, taking a bit of her cheeseburger. Both their phones vibrated incessantly-Pepper, Happy and Rhodey kept going to voice mail while Fury and Coulson texted or called which also got sent to voicemail. Natasha looked at the three calls from Fury, knowing full well he was thinking she was going a bit rouge from her initial job but she didn't care. She was here with a friend drinking scotch, eating a burger while sitting on a beach.

Best day in her book by far.

Tony looked out as he finished his burger, balled up the wrapper and put into the bag. He took his milkshake and started drinking it while they both sat silent. The waves crashed and their phones were still lighting up.

"Are you thinking about Morgan?" Natasha would know, she's a spy. He didn't look at her but nodded, still drinking his strawberry milkshake. Natasha took a swig of the half empty bottle of scotch before passing the unopened on to Tony. that they both almost polished before taking some of the fries. Tony took the bottle and drank from it. "Tony, it's okay to remember her. She'll be there when we fix this, she'll be safe."

Tony gripped the bottle tighter and clenched his jaw tightly. She was right.

"I just," He choked out from his grief of not being with his daughter and the alcohol buzzing, maybe it was a combination of both. "I miss her. God, Nat I miss her so much and she doesn't even exist yet! But I still hear her voice and think that she's still here somehow."

He let out a chuckle that turned into a sob. Natasha wrapped an arm around him. "She used to tell me, I love you 3000. That's what she said, that she loved me 3000."

"Well, live for now and then you can tell her that when she's here," Natasha said. She grabbed the bottle and held it up to the stars. "Happy birthday Iron Man."

Tony wiped the tears off his face, chuckling. He grabbed the unopened bottle of scotch and tipped it up to the sky, mimicking what Natasha did. "Thank you Black Widow. May we, hopefully not fuck up the timeline." He opened the bottle and took a swig while Natasha finished the rest of the first bottle.

They stayed on the beach, finishing up their milkshakes, being slightly drunk from finishing the two bottles of scotch and walking around the beach late into the night. When the sun broke over the horizon, Natasha and Tony gathered their garbage, made sure the fire pit was put out before leaving to cure their slight hangover.

"Donuts and coffee are calling us." He said. Tony and Natasha drove to a cafe with a giant donut at the front, remembering that this was the exact place where Tony found out that Natalie Rushman was actually Natasha Romanoff. Before entering, Tony gave Natasha an extra pair of sunglasses and an old sweater he had, while putting on his MIT one. Natasha put it on, grateful for having something slightly comfy to wear in the cool morning air.

"Sorry if it stinks, forgot to take those out after going on a walk around the beach one day," Tony said before exiting the car. Natasha did so as well and waited for Nick Fury to make his appearance. For now, the duo went inside to get some well-deserved coffee and donuts to cure their obvious hangovers.

They sat there and tore into the big box of donuts. Now to wait for Fury to arrive.


It didn't take that long for the director of SHIELD to track them down. Tony had to stop himself from hugging both men, looking at Nick and Coulson alive.

So he stuffed a sprinkle donut into his mouth looking over at Natasha who still had Tony's pair of sunglasses looking like she wanted to sleep. He didn't blame her, the scotch hit them very badly.

"Mr. Stark, Miss Romanoff." Fury said tensely like a father about to give a verbal smackdown on his kids. Coulson just stood to the side observing them with a mixture of curiosity and disappointment the latter possibly at Natasha, but something behind his shoulder caught Tony's attention. It was two other SHIELD agents, one that Tony did not know very well and one that Tony knew very well. Coulson caught on because he waved the agents towards him.

"Romanoff, you remember Agent May and Agent 13," Coulson said waving his hand to the women next to him. Agent May seemed to be the type of person that could kick his ass and Agent 13, well Tony knew more about her-except the part that she was with SHIELD. He gave a wave to them before grabbing the rest of his donut and stuffing it into his mouth.

"You derived from specific orders. We'll talk about that later-"

"Ah, so you aren't a secretary then Rushman?" Toy teased. Natasha flipped him off which made Tony grin all the while the four SHIELD agents and director looked at them in utter confusion.

"Did you know that you've been a pain in my ass for a while now Mr. Stark," Fury said his arms crossed over his chest. Tony nodded. "Yeah and I told you that I didn't want to be part of your super secret boy band."

"No, I'm past that. Both of you left, sending us into a panic trying to find both of your asses. Guess we should have figured out that you two would be drunk on a beach eating burgers." Fury said sarcastically. "Look, I'll be dealing with you Agent Romanoff later. But you, Stark need to figure out your poison and start getting your shit together."

"Is that an order?" Tony asked raising his hand up like he was at school. Natasha quickly grabbed it lowering his hand before Fury decided to Glock him.

"You are not the center of my universe Stark. Now I want you to get up and head to your house, Romanoff you'll be out of guard commission for him. Agent 13 was more than happy to take over for you." He said. Natasha and Tony exchanged a look before grabbing the box of donuts and their coffee to follow the four SHIELD agents out.


"So you're part of SHIELD," Tony said as he dug through the box that belonged to his father during his time as SHIELD's founder. "Could have given me a heads up."

Sharon rolled her eyes at him. "Yeah well, I'd say the same to you when you and Agent Romanoff got drunk at the beach."

Tony shrugged as he rifled through the box. So far he found a blueprint of the old arc reactor that Howard and Vanko worked on years ago and some other junk. Nothing that screamed arc poison solution but he did remember the whole design of the Stark Expo. He texted Natasha when she left for a chit chat with Fury, telling her if she could swing by and bring it from Pepper's new office since she was the CEO's assistant now.

He found what he was looking for, the old tapes. He played one as Sharon came back with a bowl full of popcorn.

"I'm not going to starve while watching old home movies. Want some?" She said, offering the bowl to him. He took a handful and started the machine, Howard Stark appeared making Tony's gut feel like it's been punched.

The last time he really saw his dad was in the 1970s and the last time he saw Sharon was eight years before he died. It was still jarring for him to wrap his head around the fact that he died and was now flung back in time to correct everything. His life is weird.

He continued watching it as did Sharon, who was munching on popcorn. Tony wanted to ask her how Aunt Peggy was doing if she was still living in DC which was stupid because she still was there. Maybe he could ask Sharon to bring her to New York, make it a day trip?

His father continued to talk, Tony noted that his younger self came in to interrupt his father's video.

"Maria!... Tony!" Howards said on the tape.

"How's Peggy doing?" He said nonchalantly to the blonde. "Good, she misses you."

Tony nodded. "I know, might go up to visit her. Maybe take a trip to New York with her or visit SHIELD headquarters just to screw over some rookies considering my dad was one of the founders." He finished drinking his soda as Sharon threw a piece of popcorn at him. "I'll see if she's up for it and let me know when."

"Next week?" He said. "Okay, now what are we-"

"Stark!" Natasha's voice made its way down the stairs as the tape finally ended, his dad's message to him heard. "Tony, help!"

She came downstairs with a big miniature city that Tony recognized as the Stark Expo from his office. He and Sharon quickly helped her bring the stuff down to the garage and place it on the table, all three pieces. Tony quickly got to work, ignoring both women as he found the element he needed to save himself. 

He told them what he needed and they quickly got to work. By the end of the weekend, he got the new arc reactor done, while Natasha helped Pepper with the Expo of Justine Hammer. That flew over Tony's mind, Hammer and Vanko were still walking (and alive for the latter). He was still being looked at weird by both Rhodey, Happy and Pepper for his ditching birthday party with his assistant. He'll explain the fib to them later but he still needed to stop Hammer and Vank first before going off with his and Natasha's secret plan. 


"In breaking news," The brunette reporter said. "Leakes surfaced that Justin Hammer, CEO of Hammer Industries. had a hand in the escape of Ivan Vanko, who attacked Tony Stark back in Monaco Race. The Expo that was going to be held all week is now canceled due to this news surfacing. Mr. Hammer has expresses that he's innocent during his arrest."

Tony looked at the screen before Romanoff and Fury walked in. Coulson was nowhere to be seen, having mentioned to Tony while he worked on the new arc reactor that he was headed to New Mexico for a mission of importance. Tony knew already what that was-Thor was here. There was already news last week on Hulk rampaging around that town and General Ross attacking the big guy, send him into hiding. It would be years till Banner would be found. 

Fury told him that he would be a consultant to the Avengers. Some things never change He thought to himself. "But," Fury said making Tony perk up with attention. "Agent Romanoff has vouched that when it comes to world saving, that you are willing to play with others."

He looked at Natasha, standing behind Fury and gave him a small smirk and a wink. 

"So these Avengers," He said slowly. "Who else is nominated for this band?"

"That is none of your concern Stark." Fury said briskly. "We will let you know when you will be consulted for this. For now, just don't be a pain in our ass or I'll have to bring in the big guns."

Nope but I will be one to the universe, Tony thought to himself.  

 

Chapter Text

Asgard looked the same and yet different for the goddess of death.

Then again, she wasn't outright slaughtering millions and burning the place to the ground so of course, it would look entirely different to her. She looked different as well.

Her black hair was blonde like her mother's and she wore a soft green dress instead of a black outfit. Frigga made sure her sword was transformed into a simple necklace to carry around but Hela felt weird. She had always looked gloomy, as if ready to fight never in these clothes that she remembered her mother wearing. Now she was, walking arm in arm with the Queen of Asgard up to the hall where Frigga would introduce Hela as a new handmaiden for the Queen.

Hela's grip tightened once they were in the Throne room and Odin, Loki, and Thor were gathered around looking directly at them. At that moment she wanted to vault towards her father and slit his throat. Instead, she held tightly to Frigga's arm no doubt leaving nail marks on her skin.

They both bowed to Odin.

"Frigga, who might this be?" Odin asked directly. His eye looked at Hela and she hoped her mother's intricate enchantments fooled them. "My name is Hillevi Eirason."

"She is my new handmaiden and new student." That caught both Loki and Thor's attention. To their knowledge only Loki was Frigga's student at magic, how can this handmaiden get that same treatment? Odin, on the other hand, seemed to preoccupy to care, no doubt he was already plotting to send Thor down to Midgard, Hela thought.

He dismissed them all, Hela and Frigga bowed. Thor and Loki followed them wanting to get to know more about this new person.

"Mother," Loki's smooth voice stopped them. Hela turned to get a better look at both her younger brothers. They looked very young, no lines across their face and Thor still had both his eyes intact. As if they haven't turned on each other, faked deaths or tried to kill her. "I guess you've managed to replace me as a student then?"

Hela could hear a trace of bitterness in her brother's tone and that Hela tensed at it. She will have to navigate this carefully. "I have not come to take you to place young prince," She said. "I've come to help your mother and learn at her hand at magic."

They nodded, Thor, smiling at her. "Well, we welcome you Hillevi! For a moment mother, I thought you brought a distant relative to Asgard." He laughed and Hela let out an awkward laugh, her nerves slowly loosening as she still held a death grip on Frigga's arm. Her mother patted her hand as if to say release little wolf.

She did but not entirely. At least she wasn't puncturing her mother's arm with her nails.

Hela gave them a bow and walked away from her brothers to her room. She needed a drink.


For the next few days, it was trying to act normal as a simple handmaid under the Queen, not draw suspicion from her father and brothers.

Thor seemed to take a liking to Hela much to her bewilderment. Maybe it was because of the fact that she hadn't murdered him yet or hasn't taken his eye out. She was just Hillevi, a handmaiden for the Queen of Asgard. He chatted with her sometimes, kindly yet arrogant. Earth did wonders on him, Hela thought.

She needed to act quickly, didn't help that Loki was getting suspicious about her before Thor left.

He would ask her different questions trying to get more backstory about "Hillevi" much to her chagrin. She played it off very well until she stumbled on Lady Sif's question on her family.

"My whole family died years ago. My parents and... my younger brothers." They said their apologies and to Hela, it did feel like they were dead, she barely knew her brothers to begin with. Knowing this part of their lives because the Norns liked to fuck with her and gave her this information for the sake of the universe.

Both

Loki later caught her as she was going to her chambers.

"Are you a spy?" He asked her point blank. Hela raised her eyebrows at him before giving him a smirk. "If I was, you'd be dead."

She didn't shake him off her scent the next day, only when Frigga kindly told Loki to leave during the private lessons that they had. Hela told her mother her concerns but all Frigga said was, "in due time little wolf. Your brother doesn't know he's Laufey's son and it crushed Loki the first time, I do not want it to happen again... all of this will leave him wrecked along with Thor."

"What will mother?" His voice made both Hela and Frigga jump. Loki and Lady Sif stood behind them, weapons pointed at Hela. Frigga put her arm between Hela and Loki. "Loki, no!" She yelled at her son.

"Who is she? She is not some handmaiden!" Loki said, his eyes narrowing as if debating whether to throw is daggers at Hela. Sif stood with her sword pointed at her, ready to charge and attack Hela as if she was going to hurt them. In another life, she would have but now... not so much.

"You are-" Frigga began before she stopped. Her lips trembled and Hela gently touched her mother's arm that was protecting her, grasping her hand tightly. Loki's eyes softened at his mother's expression as did Sif. "Loki... Your father made me swear never to utter this secret and I should have. I should have told you and Thor everything from the beginning to spear you this heartache."

"You are adopted, Loki. A child of Laufey, you were taken after Odin and Laufey entered a peace treaty after the war, Odin came across you. Loki you were left to die but Odin got you away before that could happen. I should have told you sooner Loki, I'm sorry." Hela held her mother's arm while Frigga grasped Loki's limp hand that held one of his daggers. Loki's eyes searched for trickery or lies but she held the truth in them and Loki's hand trembled. Sif stood quiet for so long that Hela forgot that she was there.

"But why does she know all of this?" She said jutting her chin at Hela's direction. Hela looked at her mother before looking at Sif and Loki. "I know this because I am Frigga's first born, I am Hela The Goddess of Death."

Saying her title out loud in Asgard felt thrilling yet vulnerable, the pit of her stomach tightening as if Odin could overhear saying it out loud and drag her back to Niflheimr. That did not happen much to her melodramatic mind taking over for a minute. Sif and Loki both looked like they couldn't take any more surprises, especially Loki whose entire world had been shattered. Frigga grabbed her youngest son's shoulders and pulled him into a hug. He stood there before clinging to Frigga like a lifeline.

"But Odin's first born is Thor?" Sif said, looking in the direction of Frigga who was still holding onto a clinging Loki. "No, Lady Sif. Hela is my first born before Thor, Odin... he imprisoned Hela a long time ago."

"Why?" The goddess whispered. Hela balled up her fists as memories of war and bloodshed rushed into her mind, seared there forever. "Because I was too powerful for Odin to control anymore."

"Too reckless, dangerous... a monster." Hela spat. "That's what Father called me as if he wasn't worse. Hiding behind his mask, a conqueror with blood on his hands. So he imprisoned me on Niflheimr. Never to see my family... I did not even know I had siblings. Mother, she released me and is helping me."

"Helping you with what?" Loki asked. His eyes were a bit puffy but he still had an air of dramatic-ness around him. "My plan to save the Universe."

"What do you mean to save the universe?" Sif asked.

Hela hesitated. She needed more allies besides her mother but telling Sif and Loki about this could either damage the plans later on or save it. She would have to take a risk, either way, she got this far with Loki not going on a murder spree against Thor, a victory in her mind. She just wouldn't tell them the truth.

"I've had dreams of Asgard in flames and the universe torn apart by a Titan." Her voice felt old, older than she actually felt. She had the attention of her audience when she told them of this being of a Titan called Thanos who got a hold of the Infinity Stones and tore the universe apart just for balance.

"And you want us to help?" Sif said, her back straight as if Hela had just told her she was going to war at this moment. "I am, I need your help."

She made them swear not to tell anyone, especially Thor. They would, as they walked out of Frigga's chambers some of the guards were running past them. Frigga stopped one, asking him what the commotion was going on about. "Lady Frigga, your son and his warrior friends have attacked the Frost Giants. He might have dragged us all into was again with Jotunhiem."

Well... shit, Hela thought. If they stopped Thanos from rising, Hela would be the one to murder Thor.


Loki, Sif, and Hela watched with wide eyes at Odin banishing Thor to Midgard. Hela had to hold Sif back as she lunged forward and Loki stood there looking at the spot where Thor was with wide eyes. Frigga had tears in her eyes and Hela realized that she must be reliving her banishment all over again.

Once again, Hela hated her father.

Hela knew she couldn't stay on Asgard for so long. She needed to meet with those Midgardians and see how their progress was doing, Hela did promise to contact them once she escaped. That was more than a week ago, maybe more? She didn't really know how much time could pass on Earth.

Sif and Loki were adamant to accompany her which surprised Hela. When she asked them that, their response was "We cannot help you by being here on Asgard." She wasn't in a chipper mood to fight them, so allowed them to come not knowing how this would change the timeline. But if Thor could defeat her and Thanos, then he could defeat whatever was rampaging on Earth that year.

"Good luck little wolf," Frigga said, kissing Hela's cheek. She told Heal that her glamour would still be up, to protect her from Odin's watchful eye, even as he slumbered in Odinsleep at this moment making Frigga acting 'King' of Asgard. She hugged Loki and Sif before they went through the Bifrost down to the location of those Midgard heroes called the Avengers that her little brother was so fond of.

They blasted through what appeared to be a dark and old compound of sorts underneath the Earth.

"What the fuck was that?" Came a woman's voice followed by, "Hey it's that rainbow bridge Thor uses," A man's voice said out loud.

The two Midgardians came up from behind wearing a suit of armor that covers his body from head to toe and the woman wore a tight-fitting black suit holding two guns. She lowered them just as Sif was about to pull out her sword to defend them. Hela shook her head at the warrior signaling, No.

"You changed you're outfit Hot Topic," Tony Stark said. Natasha still looked at her before looking at both Sif and Loki, the latter regarding him with wariness. "I'm guessing they are to help?"

"They are. What are you doing? Is this where you both lived?" Hela asked looking unimpressed with the mortals living situation. Tony snorted. "No, it is where an old ally of ours lived in, been captive here for decades and we're just about to bust him out."

"What are we waiting for?" Sif said. Hela rolled her eyes, she was just as noble as Thor and those other companions of theirs. "If it is a rescue mission we are after, then we must save this person!"

Chapter Text

Siberia said the large screen in the airport as Tony and Natasha walked out of the airport. Twenty-two hours of flying to land around 1 pm to the brisk city of Tyumen.

"Not so bad for a private jet," Tony said as he and Natasha drove in a rental car he got from the airport to their hotel. As he drove, Natasha looked over the news on her phone. They laid low for a few months after Hulk destroying Harlem and Thor's appearance in New Mexico, the whole week of Tony and Natasha's return as he dubbed it.

In the end, they decided to lay low for a few weeks till they could go into it further. They had jobs to do and couldn't ignore it but Tony and Nat still plotted. Tony did keep his promise to visit Peggy, going to DC and taking her around. She was slowly forgetting somethings, which made Tony's heartbreak. They finally decided on the eve of a new year in 2009 to go find the Winter Soldier before he leaves Russia in 2014 to hunt down Steve during the fall of SHIELD. That was another thing, Natasha wanted to stop SHIELD's downfall and with Bucky turning to their side early, he could somehow help.

Now here they were ready to find the Winter Soldier and help him before he followed orders once more.

It took a while to find the place, Tony remembered it pretty well but still, he and Natasha made it. He was glad they packed a backpack full of food and water for their day trip after being jetlagged for hours. It was best to find Barnes first before recuperating throughout the week. The old place where he once had to fight against Zemo still looked the same as they entered the place. It hadn't been used for decades, the Hydra agents that infiltrated SHIELD probably got Barnes before the fall of SHIELD and put him in another location. That wasn't going to happen.

As they made their way down, they both made sure nobody was here, they walked into a hall, the same one he found Barnes and Steve. He shook that memory aside and pushed forward. No time for going down memory lane.

They were about to head down further when a blast knocked them a bit back and all Tony could see was a rainbow falling down. When it was over, Natasha spoke first. "What the fuck was that?" She said followed by Tony who pointed out, "Hey it's that rainbow bridge Thor uses." Indeed it was and the people who used it, well was surprising to them both as they were about to blast them to kingdom come.

He recognized Hela and Loki instantly but the other warrior looking woman, he wasn't familiar with and neither was Natasha. As they explained what they were doing here to Hela, the warrior woman loudly proclaimed. "What are we waiting for?" Sif said. Tony noticed Hela rolling her eyes at the woman. "If it is a rescue mission we are after, then we must save this person!"

They followed Tony and Natasha down the corridor where all the Winter Soldiers were left to hibernate. The one in the middle, another back room that leads to was Barnes, tucked away from the others like a prized possession too great to be seen. He told them to not get the others out, "They're unstable, it's best to leave them there."

Tony hacked the system, opening Bucky's capsule and after getting him out, he blinked with wide dead eyes at them. His hair was frozen, looking like icicles sticking on his hair and he looked very much in a daze. He and Lady Sif, as she introduced herself, practically dragged his body as Hela and Loki opened up a portal to Tony's room after giving them a description of the place. "Wait!" Natasha said. She looked at Barnes before muttering a sorry. She slammed the butt of her gun to his skull knocking him out unconscious, he went limp in both his and Sif's arms.

"Nat?!" He was too shocked to speak. It took a few seconds to get his wits together as he finally spoke towards his friend. "What the-"

"Just making sure he doesn't attack any of us. Can't be too sure, plus I don't want to go to round three against this guy again." Natasha said defensively. With that, they placed him on the bed. Natasha told them that she'll meet them back there as she was going to drive the rented car back and stop at the store to buy a few things. She walked back into the portal that Hela still had up. So, Tony stayed with the three Asgardians and a Hydra assassin in a hotel room.


He checked Bucky's breathing, knowing he was out cold and made sure there wasn't any weapon minus the metal arm before sitting down to face Hela.

She looked very different than the last time he saw her. She was blonde, wearing a pretty robin blue dress without the heavy eye makeup. But it was the same woman that sent him, Natasha and Gamora back in time. His mind quickly wandered to the young green alien he had met. How was she doing this time around? Has she escaped her dad yet? He did not dwell on his other time partner and focused on the three Norse gods in front of him.

"So Hot Topic, we meet again," Tony said. Hela nodded pushing a strand of her long blonde hair away from her face. "What have you been doing so far?"

Hela rolled her eyes but told him of her time in Asgard and told Tony about Sif and Loki's knowledge of her plan. Tony was a bit wary of Loki being here, still remembering the attack of New York but if that meant that the attack could be avoided then it was good enough for him. But something else nagged him at the back of his mind, who would Thanos send to attack New York for the stones this time around?

That question would have to wait. Tony told them about Thor still being monitored by SHIELD at the moment and not getting his hammer up from New Mexico. It was still being kept hush-hush at the moment. The only reason Tony knew was that Natasha informed him while they were here. They still were discussing their other members like the Maximoff Twins, they had no idea where to find them and what to do since they did not have their powers yet.

A double knock at the door and a glance into the peephole indicated to Tony that Natasha arrived with more supplies. "Charged it to your credit card," She said with an apologetic look to Tony when she entered the room. "Here, water and some fruits."

Tony got her up to speed and as they looked at the soldier in their room, had to wonder what would their next plan be? They had to hide the Winter Soldier somewhere and why did Hela come here. To catch up?

Apparently, that's what she wanted. "We will be returning back to Asgard, at least these two will. They will keep an eye around, hear for a certain Titan." She told them. "What about yourself?" Natasha asked her.

"I will be going to find the other Stones, with Loki's help. Lady Sif will be staying here with you to help Thor." She said.

Thor was currently detained by SHIELD, his hammer was still in New Mexico. He was unworthy to lift it. Tony nodded, now more stressed to have two gods and a Hydra assassin around him.

"What are we going to do about this?" Natasha asked him. Tony shrugged, it the best answer he could give her.


"Will he be alright?" Sif asked them once Hela transported them back to Washington DC, the apartment that Natasha had was too small. So they decided that Tony's older homes would do. It had enough rooms to hide Sif and Bucky for the time being.

They managed to put bucky on a bed, still out cold for the time being. Sif looked at the man with concern and confusion. "Yeah, we just can't have him awake at the moment," Tony explained. "If he does, he'll probably try to kill us."

"Why is that?" She asked him.

"Because they messed him up," Tony said. "Made him into a weapon, when they should have left him for dead."

It was the truth, sound cold like the winters in Siberia. But he wanted Bucky Barnes on his side this time, that it could change the war for that matter to come, a Civil War that both Tony and Natasha wanted to avoid once more.


"Welcome to Midgard," He told Lady Sif. They were driving to Project Pegasus where Thor was kept, Natasha pulled strings telling Fury about how Tony and the companion that could help them 'crack' Thor and that hammer in New Mexico.

"This Pegasus, is it really like the horses that the Valkaryies ride?" Lady Sif asked him as Tony turned to the gated area. Tony had to stop himself from making a sarcastic comment. "No, they just called it that because they're dramatic."

Once he pulled in the box spoke, asking for him to turn around. "No can do." He told the person. "I'm here from an invitation from Fury. It's Tony Stark."

He waited for alarms to start ringing but instead, the gate was opened and he continued to drive. None came.

They got out of the car and walked to where Nick Fury and Agent Coulson were waiting for them. Tony introduced Lady Sif to the Agents who have had Thor on lockdown since he landed. "The hammer," Nick began as he led them to the cell. "What does it do?"

"And more importantly," Coulson added. "How do we get it out from the ground?"

Sif explained that the hammer can only be picked by someone worthy. "Meaning that if Thor cannot pick it up, then he himself is not worthy. It will stay there until the hammer deems him worthy to pick up."

Well, this could be interesting, He thought to himself. Never met Thor before he was in the Avengers...

Thor Odinson looked exactly the same as he did when Tony met him when he carried Loki away into the forest. Without the armor that he wore into battle, Thor looked like some normal guy with muscle.

When he looked up, he seemed to be ready for a fight only to stop when he saw Lady Sif standing next to Tony. "Sif?" He sounded so heartbroken as Lady Sif went and hugged him. 

They talked amongst themselves as Lady Sif tried to keep Thor from exploding on the agents with his temper. Tony was very glad that the god of Thunder did not have that ax with him or they wouldn't live to see another day. Instead, Sif gave them a signal which Tony took as an all clear. 

"So, Thor," Tony began much to Fury's annoyance. "God of Thunder, what can you tell us about that hammer?" Thor looked irked and Tony tried to deescalate it. "We just want to help you, that's all Pointbreaker."

Tony did not know how but he'll try. That's all he could do for now is try that is if Thor even let him help. 


"Sargent Barnes?" Natasha said cautiously as if talking to a wild animal. Bucky Barnes just woke up, with a crazed and possibly delirious facial expression. She spoke again in English making sure he knew that she wasn't one of the bad guys. 

"My name is Natasha Romanoff," She told him. "I'm here to help you."

"Where am I?" Was the first thing he said to her, looking at her with suspicion. 

"You're in New York, we got you out of Siberia. They can't get to you." She stated rather firmly. "Me and a group, the one that got you out are going to help you. I promise you that." She wasn't going to break it, no way she was going to let Barnes walk around with his brains still programmed to serve Hydra. That was the last thing they needed. 

The real kicker for Natasha though, now that they had the Winter Soldier, how can they deprogram him? 

 

Chapter Text

"I know where Wakanda is Tony but I'm not going to barge into the country that's fucking hidden!" Natasha hissed. Tony rolled his eyes at the spy. "C' mon, what's the worse thing that could happen?"

"They could interrogate me and could start a war which we don't want right now or ever," Natasha countered.

The argument that they have been having since getting Bucky Barnes out of Siberia a mere few weeks ago was coming to a standstill once more. Tony was trying to crack whatever control Hydra had on Bucky's mind, just to get that obstacle out of their way. But it has been getting harder and harder to pin-point it. He had wanted to try and befriend T'Challa, and then get their help with Bucky but Natasha had vetoed that idea to the ground.

"What about the Maximoff Twins?" Tony persisted as he made his way to the kitchen. Sif was with Bucky, probably training him. The warrior was curious about many things and of those things was Bucky's arm. Needless to say, Tony found his basement gym half-way wrecked by both the Winter Soldier and the lady-warrior of Asgard. They were still training but made sure to pick up after themselves, it was a good outlet for Bucky at the moment.

Frozen in ice, Tony and Natasha had dropped a few hard bombshells on the old soldier. He, in turn, has been reeling with his past and what Hydra had done to him years ago. It was only a matter of time until Steve found him... Tony was a bit frightened to see what Cap would look like at this revelation this time around.

For now, it was trying to help Bucky Barnes.

Tony fixed the adjustment of his phone to his ear. He could hear someone else talking to Natasha on the other line, he could hear Nat say "Not now Barton", before going back to their talk. He had forgotten that Clint was still working with SHIELD before his retirement.

God... Tony felt old as fuck. How could he feel so old when he looked pretty young right now? Time traveling back can do that, he thought. 

"So what do we do?' He asked her. "I may have a plan already..."

"Which is?" Tony asked Nat. "I may have taken a communicator from our dear eye-patch boss to contact an old friend."

"Natasha!" Tony hissed. 

"What Tony!" She said. "She could help us out more, especially keeping the other stones away from Thanos."

Tony had to give it to her. Natasha had a good point, Carol Danvers was a formidable ally. If they could get into contact with her it could help them greatly but how to explain it to Fury down the road later... well that would need a lot of bullshitting on both their parts. But it was a risk they were willing to play into to get the stones. 

They continued to chat as Sif and Bucky waved tired hellos to him before disappearing to their rooms in the house. 

"Alright," He told Natasha. "Contact Danvers. Keep me updated, don't get caught by Fury and dinner in DC today? Around five. I'm making tacos and invited Sharon over."

"Sharon?" She asked him. "Yeah, I think it might be a good idea to bring her into this plan. One more agent to even out the playing field, plus she could be useful." Natasha merely hummed in agreement before telling him that she'll bring ice cream and hung up on him. 

Tony stared directly at the wall for a good second. Everything was totally different, they couldn't fool themselves on that, not by a long shot anymore. It was like when he tried fooling Morgan, it never worked because she was so brilliant with her little mind, he couldn't do it. It was the same here, even though he was fooling everyone he wasn't entirely doing it well. He wasn't doing it well for the people closes to him. Like, Aunt Peggy. 

He had managed to get Sharon to move her to New York, he would be living here for a while so he can keep an eye on her while Sharon did her 'Agent duties' as he called it. Peggy was elated to see him again, kissing his cheek. He remembered his name, not confusing him with Howard like she used to do in those final years. 

Tony wanted to introduce Peggy to Bucky again but the timing wasn't right. There was also the fact that he was going to bring in a new Avenger into the roster and some new friends. 

Hope Van Dyne to be exact. 


 

The cat was freaking her out. 

The way it looked at her made it seem that the cat knew more than it was letting on. Maybe it was a cat thing? 

Natasha had no clue, she was barely around any cats to know about those creatures. But the cat in Fury's office was freaking her out. 

She had managed to get into contact with Marvel, chat with her for a few hours before letting her know to never tell Fury about this conversation when she got to Earth. Carol was suspicious but did agree to the secrecy and told Natasha that she would meet her when she was done meeting with Nick. It pained her to lie to her mentor but the world needed to be saved from its fate. 

No matter the cost, She thought. Whatever it takes...

She quickly put the old pager right where she found it from (under the floorboard underneath Fury's cat. Go figure.) before her boss found her here. The cat no matter how much it crept her out got up from its spot as if letting her hide the thing again. She did and quickly left.

The cat still unnerved her.

She drove out of SHIELD Headquarters and gunned it towards her apartment before heading to Tony's house. 

The house in question still had the old school stylings from the late '60s. Tony mentioned to her that it was her mom's doing for the style and he did not have the heart to change it. Natasha liked it and so did Peggy Carter. 

Peggy Carter was sitting in her wheelchair, her eyes still on the old record player, it was playing a very familiar song as Natasha put her coat down on the chair. 

Stalwart and steady and true,
(See how this guy can shoot, we tell ya, there's no substitute!)
Forceful and ready to defend the Red, White, and Blue!

The old director of SHIELD was humming to the tune of the song as Sharon popped in carrying a tray of lemonade. Behind her was Sif and Tony, the latter looking nervous by the second. Now she was growing uneasy as to what her friend could be doing. 

They sat down, Tony introducing Sif as his new bodyguard (both explained to Sif her "cover story" while they were here. She decided to play the part of protecting Tony even though he could take a few hits he didn't mind being protected especially by a formidable warrior as Sif.) "You missed dinner," Tony mumbled to her when she sat next to him on the couch. Peggy got a conversation going with Sif. The older woman asked her about her accent, "Where are you from?"

"She's from Sweden," Tony said quickly. "But she can also speak Old Norse, at least that's what they call it in Europe last time I checked on google-" He was cut off by the British woman. 

"What are you hiding Tony?" Peggy asked. The sweat on Tony's brow kept going and Natasha was sure the cover was blown as he looked at Peggy with the saddest eyes ever. Her eyes kept looking at Tony. "What is it dear?"

"Aunt Peg," He began before trailing. "There's someone here I need you to meet." Sharon raised an eyebrow while Natasha kept her composure as Tony left and came back a few seconds later with a cleaned up Bucky Barnes. Sharon instantly reached for her gun, eyes wide with disbelief. 

Peggy, on the other hand, looked at Bucky before reaching out to him with her hand. "Sargent Barnes?" Her voice was shaking as her eyes looked up and down at Bucky. Bucky, furrowed his brows as if trying to remember who Peggy was to him. Tony explained to the Carters, Sharon's emotions on her face hitting from disbelief to anger to, finally realization. 

"Are you out of your mind!?" She hissed. "How can you be hiding Hydra's version of-" 

"Because he's been psychologically damaged by Hydra and if we have him on our side, with the stuff Hydra did gone-he can be safe. Right?" He looked at Bucky who merely shrugged. "Pretty much ma'am."

"Don't call me ma'am," Sharon said swiftly. Bucky nodded. 

Peggy merely looked at Bucky, her eyes shining with tears. "It's good to have you back with us Sargent," She said. 

Bucky's voice cracked just a bit as he responded back with a "Thank you... Agent Carter."

Peggy smirked, that famous smirk that her enemies and people who doubted her only saw. 


 

Carol Danvers finally landed months later as 2011 turned into 2012. 

That year would be a major turning point with Steve Rogers being officially returned to the United States after being under the ice for so long. The news came around Christmas sending Tony and Natasha into a bundle of anxiety as they knew that the Avengers would be introduced just differently. There would be no threat, not yet at least if they could stop it. 

And they would, they just needed the gang back together and more to stop Thanos. 

Carol Danvers landed on the Heli carrier which was in mid-flight, sending many agents of SHIELD into panic at the sight of the glowing woman. Secretly, to Tony and Natasha, it was a welcome sight to see their old (future) team member walking inside and head towards Fury. Fury introduced the agents to an "old ally" making Carol rais her eyebrow in amusement. She locked eyes with Natasha for a few minutes before going back to looking at Nick. 

Bruce, Steve, Thor, and Clint just looked utterly confused at who this was.

Tony and Natasha seemingly shrugged it off as "a literal old flame of Fury's" Tony joked making Steve frown at the disrespect Tony was showing towards Fury.) Tony merely kept his eyes on Carol's back as she walked in step with Fury to a conference room away from prying eyes.

Later, Fury introduced the Avengers to their namesake. 

"Aww Nick, you named them after me? I'm touched," Carol joked with the old man. Said old man rolled his eyes at the warrior as if having her here was aging him quickly. "Carol Danvers, I'm known across the galaxies as Captain Marvel."

"Oh geez there's two of them?" Tony muttered. Carol grinned as she turned to look at Tony. "Damn right."

"Can we keep this Captain?" He joked once again earning two eye-rolls from Steve and Fury. 

She told them about how she and Nick met in the 1990s, her powers and how she wouldn't be joining the Avengers but would be there to help in case of emergencies whenever Fury called. "I'll be sticking around but I don't have a place to crash." 

Tony offered his place and she said yes (much to Fury's dismay and Tony's elation)

Now that they had Danvers here, the plan can continue to go forth. No Loki to stop, he was far away with Hela trying to track down more stones. He knew both the Time stone and the Tesseract were here, still under the protection of SHIELD and Strange's wizarding school, whatever the hell it was called. So it was fine so far, what he needed was for Carol to keep an ear out for Thanos and for Nebula and Gamora's whereabouts. 

Everything was changing, Tony did not know if it was for the better or worse. 

He hoped for the better... He really did.