Hello, and welcome to the prequel to my one-shot series "Of Highland Cows and Haggis". This story explains how it all began, from the first brochure to the last "cross check and all call". Reviews appreciated. ENJOY!


"What the hell?" Tony asked as the Avengers rounded the bend. "I swear to god the lines for this crap just keep getting longer and longer. I would think that at 5:00 in the afternoon the line for airport security would be the shortest, but nooooo."

"At least I convinced you guys not to check any bags." Bruce said.

Summer had come at last, and Steve Rogers made it his sole duty to find a nice, friendly vacation that he and the other Avengers could relax on and enjoy. After pouring through brochures and braving the internet, Steve settled on a self-guided tour of Scotland lasting about 8 days. Plenty of time to kick back and experience something other than fighting the baddies and eating shawarma.

Convincing everyone to leave wasn't hard, it was convincing Tony that they had to travel commercially and not on his private jet that was the challenge.

"It will add to the experience!" Steve argued. "I don't think the Asgardians have even seen an airplane before." After slight pressuring (involving serious bodily harm if rejected), Tony caved, but insisted they all fly first-class.

What have I gotten myself into? Steve thought. We're not even on the plane yet and problems are arising.

Fortunately, the line moved quickly, and the seven Avengers approached the security check.

"A lot more security than I remember." Steve remarked.

"About ten years ago, a bunch of kooks hijacked some planes." Clint explained. "Let's just say, we've learned our lesson."

"Tony, may I inquire as to what those large machines are?" Thor asked, pointing to the scanners.

"Sure thing, Point Break. You stand there, and they take a picture of you with X-rays so they can see through your clothes to make sure there's no guns or bombs, not that I mind them seeing me nude-"

"Tony, you know that's just a rumor." Natasha corrected. "Thor, just stand still, follow their directions, and make sure there's nothing metal on you." Thor nodded.

"Ladies and gentlemen, please remove everything from your pockets and place them in a bin." A security agent shouted. "Take all laptops, computers, game systems, et cetera out of our bags and place them on the belt. Shoes and jackets must also come off, unless you're under 12 or over 70, they go on the belt as well."

"Hey, Cap, guess you get to leave your shoes and jacket on." Tony teased.

"Quiet, Tony." Steve replied. "Geez, that's a lot of requirements." He proceeded to take off his shoes despite what Tony said.

Bruce was finished first, so he stepped up to the machine and held up his arms. Another agent waved him through. Loki was next, copying Bruce's movements. He too was waved through. Tony couldn't go through without making some crude remark about the people who are checking the scans getting a good show.

Thor was next in line, but he stopped just before the machine.

"Friend Tony, I am having doubts about this contraption." He said.

"It's no big deal, just step inside, hold up your hands, and walk out."

"But I don't want to!" Thor said. "I am a prince of Asgard, I should not be subject to such-"

"Sir, you're holding up the line, can you please step into the machine?" An agent asked.

"I will never do what you say!"

And thus starts the second issue of the day. Steve thought. He looked on as the agent and Thor argued. Somewhere behind him, Clint sighed audibly. Bruce was checking his watch, nervous about missing the flight. And Loki had both hands over his face, mumbling "Remember, you're not related, you're not related."

Eventually, Natasha gave up. "Fine! I'll go first. And Thor, if you don't follow me I swear I will throw you out of the plane." She walked into the machine, it swirled around, and she walked out, simple as that.

Suddenly, the machine beeped. A male agent stood up from his chair and approached Natasha, eyeing her. "Ma'am, you've been randomly selected for additional screening, please step over here…"

"Hey buddy, my face is up here." Natasha said, pointing to her face.

"I can't believe this guy!" Clint fumed. Steve turned around. "'Randomly selected' my ass."

"Feeling a little jealous, birdbrain?" Tony shouted.

"He'd better be careful, or I'm putting an arrow through his eye socket."

The guard was taking his sweet ol' time patting down Natasha, and when his hand started to stray, she kneed him in the balls.

The man gasped and fell over and the female agent on the other side of security started clapping. Natasha bowed and turned back to the machine. "Ok, Thor, your turn."

The rest of the team went through without a hitch, and they were now waiting to receive their bags from the conveyor belt. One by one they were unloaded, and they finally walked away from the security check…

...All except Tony, who was yelling at an agent.

"That's a several hundred thousand dollar watch your machine just ate, I'm not walking away until I either get the watch back or the money that it cost!"

"Sir, we can't just crawl in there and take a look, the x-rays make it too dangerous." The agent informed. "We can check underneath, but if it's not there we're powerless to do anything."

Is it just us? Steve thought. Or is everyone this unlucky…. Steve heard Tony getting into a full fledged argument with the agent. No, it's just us.

20 minutes later

"Bruce, run faster!" Clint shouted at the front of the stampede of Avengers. "The flight doors are closing!"

"Why don't you tell Thor to pick up the pace, he keeps slowing down at every restaurant we see."

"But friends, I am famished!" Thor shouted back.

"The point of first class is that we get food!" Tony replied, heaving.

"40, 41, 42!" We're here!" Natasha said, and the herd raced up to the ticket desk.

"Ah, you must be the Potts party." The ticket agent said. "Just in time, the flight leaves in five minutes."

Steve sighed. They had made it, and hopefully left all their bad luck back at the security check. Knowing us though, he thought, we probably didn't.

Epilogue

Time: 12:36 am ET, 5:36 am GMT

Location: Somewhere off the coast of Iceland

Altitude: 36,000 ft.

After a marginal meal (I thought you said we were going to get food, not this crap) and several even less than marginal movies, the Avengers decided that they might as well get some sleep.

Bruce and Natasha were out like a light, unmoving under their blankets. Loki and Clint had skipped the meal altogether, turning in just after takeoff. A wise move. Steve thought. Tony was still up, watching some sort of violent action movie, and Thor had just turned off his light. Steve decided that now was as good a time as ever to try to sleep, there was only a few hours left until they landed in Edinburgh.

Steve shut his eyes, trying to ignore the constant rumbling of the plane. He rolled over once, then again, until he found a suitable sleeping position. Sleep was just about to overcome him, when Thor started snoring.

Forget what I said about the team having bad luck, Steve thought, it's just me.


Poor Steve.

Hope you all enjoyed (and I hope none of you have had such a horrible experience in airport security, I know how uptight those agents can get)