AN: Hello everyone, and welcome to my second story! First let me reassure you, my other story, Mutants of the Carribean, will still continue, hopefully with a regular updating schedule. It shall also be my priority while writing, so expect slower updates on this fic. That being said, I'm really exited to see where I can take this story, and I hope that by the end of this chapter you will be as well.
So before we start a couple of things should be established. First is powerlevels. Hancock is as strong as Thor and the Hulk, possibly a little bit stronger. However, the Hulk becomes stronger the angrier he gets, which means if Hancock can't put him down fast, the Hulk will eventually overpower him. Which brings us to the next part of the powerlevels. Durability. If you look on wikis or comicvine, you'll see that both Thor and Hulk possess near-invunerability. However, Hancock IS invurnerable. Simple as that. Unless somehow he and Mary are forced into close proximity to each other, NOTHING will put Hancock down. Not even putting Mjolnir on his chest. Hancock wasn't able to lift Mjolnir during his homeless, alcoholic vigilante period, but is capable of it now. Honestly I see no reason why he shouldn't. In terms of speed, Hancock is currently the fastest being alive, capable of outflying Iron Man.
Now the second part. Hancock has been in the McU all along. Which means that there is 80 years of history to explore, or in Mary's case, 3,000 years of history. I will not go into all of it, but he and Cap served in WW II together and are sort-of-buddies. Steve is somewhat too by the book for Hancock, while Hancock is sometimes to crass for Steve, but they know they got each-others backs. Hancock is also the only tangible thing Steve has left from, what for him is yesterday, but to the world is the better part of a century ago. I will definetely either make flashbacks to the war, or simply do a few chapters about the first Captain America movie.
As to what Hancock is. The director of the movie says that Hancock is supposed to be the reincarnation of Zeus (or something). That's why there's the whole theme with eagles. Hower, the Greek Pantheon is already represented in the comic verse. (Hercules and Thor are regular drinking buddies in fact.) So I'm just going to ignore that. I will however use the link between the Greek pantheon from myth and the McU established Asgardian realm and history.
Given that this AN has become ridiculously long, I'll shut up now and let you continue with the story. I'll see you guys at the bottom of the chapter for a quick note.
Chapter 1 – An offer you can't refuse
John Hancock was many things. Most of those things should never be mentioned in the presence of ladies or children but nevertheless, John Hancock was many things. He was arguably the most powerful being on Earth. He was strong enough he could toss cars and trucks much like a normal man might toss darts. If said man were terribly drunk and had even worse aim, that is. He was so strong; he could throw a small annoying child with a girly French name into lower orbit. Hypothetically speaking, of course. He was currently the only being that could fly despite not having wings. Or a suit. Or a mystical hammer. The last few years had seen that Hancock wasn't the only thing in the air anymore, besides birds and planes. He was also the only being to have traveled to the moon on his own power. Granted, it got rather nippy in space, but the view was fantastic. He was also the envy of women everywhere, since he didn't age. In fact, if his ex-wife was to be believed, he had not aged a single day in over 3,000 years.
In short, John Hancock was….
So utterly, totally, mind-numbingly bored.
After cleaning up his act and taking the responsibility that came with his powers seriously, John Hancock soon found himself with not much to do. Whenever there was criminal activity, John would be there in minutes. Who knew inadvertently causing millions of property damage could slow you down so much? The result was that within the week, major crime in L.A. had all but vanished. Sure, petty crimes still occurred, it was a large city after all with millions of people, and while John was many things, there were not many John's. But things such as heists, dangerous car chases or just an idiot with too little intelligence and way too much firepower were no longer a concern for the citizens of Los Angeles.
After ridding L.A. from organized crime, John looked beyond the limits of his city and started a crusade of fighting crime across the globe. During this crusade the world saw the rise of others like Hancock. Unusual people, who were capable of doing what others could only dream of. The most prominent of these was Tony Stark, the billionaire previously known as The Merchant of Death, who had become the Iron Man. Together, they had pretty much ended war in the Middle-East after Stark decided that he was not okay with terrorists using the weapons that he had built.
Then, about a half year after that, the world saw the return of the Hulk to the spot light, who battled what the media had called the Abomination. The conflict between the two behemoths had broken Harlem, a feat previously thought only Hancock to be capable of. John knew of the Hulk, since the U.S. Army had hounded him for several years now to assist in putting down the rage monster. John's reply had been… less than polite. It was their mess after all, so they could take care of it on their own.
Then, three years after he had started his campaign, had come something that hadn't shocked the world since 80 years ago, when an amnesiac man took to the skies. Because this time, something descended from the skies. An actual god. Granted, the god was stripped from his powers, but nevertheless a god had come to earth. The religious debates that had followed reminded John of when the world learned about him. There was a mass hysteria going on, with everybody pointing fingers at just about everyone else for creating a living weapon. Religious factions almost started a global holy war not seen since the Crusades but on a much more destructive scale. The world almost went completely down the drain, until the president at the time, Herbert Hoover, showed the world John's medical file, reports of eye witnesses, and a statement of John himself, in which he explained to the world that he had no idea who or what he was and begged someone, anyone, with any information to tell him. Nobody had answered.
However, learning that the Asgardians of myth were actually real and had visited Earth before had rekindled John's hope to learn what he and Mary actually were. Mary herself was also interested, since she didn't know who the people were that had created them. It could very well be the Asgardians who had enhanced regular humans. Or maybe they themselves were Asgardians, left behind after the Asgardian host had come to Earth the first time. This last theory had become really popular with the U.S. government, amongst others. Hancock had heard through the grapevine that there was an investigation going on to find out how to establish a connection with the Asgardian realm. Should a connection be found, two messages would be sent. The first one would be rather short and to the point: "we come in peace". Immediately following the first message the second, distinctively larger, message would be sent: the total amount of property damage Hancock had caused over the last 80 years, and if they would please be so kind to pay for it all? He was their mess after all, so they should pay for it.
After his crusade, which had lasted four years in total, Hancock returned to his city only to find that there really wasn't any need for him to be there. Together with Iron Man, war had been almost completely quelled. After his reform and subsequent crack-down on the criminal elements in the world, crime had dropped to an all-time low. Hancock tried to think of ways to use his powers to better the world, just like Ray had intended, battling poverty or world hunger or something. But Ray had already taken care of it, it seemed. With Hancock behind his project, Ray had managed to get government funding, not just from the U.S. but from the EU and Asia as well. Now All-Heart was not just simply a brand, but one of the largest corporations in the world. Ray was steadily making sure that poverty and hunger were things from the past.
While John was happy for his friend, he himself felt somewhat lost. When he had been a vigilante the world didn't want him. Now as a hero, they didn't need him. So John decided that he would leave L.A. It wasn't as if he couldn't get there in minutes if he really pushed himself anyway. He left for New York. Somehow, over the last few years, the Big Apple had been a hot spot for the unusual. And while Hancock was many things, one of the most obvious and most agreed about, was that he was very unusual.
Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., regarded the tall figure standing on the ledge of the Chrysler Building as he quietly walked towards him. His military boots didn't make a sound as they hit the roof, and his leather cloak shifted around him without making any noise. Despite that, Nick knew, the man was already aware of his approach. He didn't think there was anyone outside of the Black Widow who had a chance of sneaking up on this man and even she would need a healthy dose of luck on her side.
Having reached the man, Nick wordlessly joined him on the edge of the building. He had no fear of heights and he was confident in himself that he at least had the physical and mental capabilities to stand upright. Looking out over the sprawling lights that made up New York, Nick had to admit the view was worth climbing all those damned stairs. Both he and his target remained silent as they overlooked the city that never sleeps, content to see which one of them would cave in first. After a few more minutes, in which Nick's ears and nose had become rather cold, though he would rather die than admit it to anyone, his target caved with an exasperated sigh. The man turned towards him, a confident smirk on his face.
"Well, it's been a long time since I've seen you Nick."
Inwardly smirking over his small victory over the immortal man next to him, Nick turned to face him.
S.H.I.E.L.D. knew of Hancock of course. Hell, there probably wasn't anyone on Earth who didn't know about Hancock. But S.H.I.E.L.D. knew of him before S.H.I.E.L.D. itself even really existed.
When World War II broke out and the Nazi's revealed Hydra and their superior technology and armaments, the Allied forces were scrambling to come up with an answer. That answer was Hancock. An amnesiac that had woken up eight years before the war began and who could do things previously thought to be reserved for gods and the like. Despite the racism at the time, John Hancock was approved for service, strapped in military gear, pointed towards Berlin and told to wreck the place.
Which he did. Very effectively.
However, Hydra was not to be deterred. True, nothing could really stand up to the superhuman, but he could only attack one place at a time. The rest of the Allied forces were still regular humans and died just as easily as everybody else. And died they did, as Skull's cruelty and Zola's genius proved unmatched with the power of the Tesseract behind them. So for every base Hancock hit, Hydra would raze a town, or execute POW's or completely wipe a battalion of Allied forces of the map. The realization quickly came that just one heavy hitter was not enough, when Hydra had the superior technology and thus, the better army. The response was to create the better soldier, and Project: Rebirth was born. A project which would elevate humans to the level of Hancock, meaning that what they did with Hancock, they could do with their entire army.
The project delivered only a single super soldier, Captain America. While nowhere near Hancock's level, the man proved nearly as effective and a rallying point for the people and the soldiers alike, regardless of nationality. After the war ended, alongside Captain America, the Strategic Scientific Reserve, which had lead Project: Rebirth, formed S.H.I.E.L.D., lead by Director Carter. The Director, personal friends with both the superhuman and the super soldier, allowed Hancock to walk away from war and decreed that S.H.I.E.L.D. would never try to recruit him unless Hancock approached them first. A decision many had thought to be a mistake, Nick himself included, but one that he had always honored. But the one-eyed Director needed Hancock, no, the world needed Hancock. S.H.I.E.L.D. had done what it could for close to 60 years, but they simply could not handle the threats Nick was sure would come. Hancock could.
Said godlike being looked him up and down a couple of times before scrutinizing his face. As Director of one of the most widespread and thorough spy agencies in the world, Nick knew some of Hancock more… destructive feats better than anyone else. Yet, despite being blatantly examined by a man who could break everything in his body by accident, Nick Fury didn't flinch or fidget like a lesser man would have. His single eye didn't even blink once, as Hancock finished his examination. Finally the superhuman spoke up.
"You haven't aged a day."
It wasn't entirely an accusation, but the question was there. It was warranted after all. The last time Hancock had seen the one-eyed Director must have been close to 30 years ago. Nick had taken a serum, similar to the one given to Captain America, but one who didn't have such blatant results. One of the results however, was that he aged slowly. Very slowly, in fact.
Allowing a cool smile to slide over his face Nick responded.
"Again, likewise John."
Hancock snorted in amusement and stared intently at the superspy, obviously waiting on an explanation. Seeing that Nick wouldn't give him one, the strongest man alive sighed and turned back to look out over the blinking city scape.
"What do you want Fury?"
Noting the change in the way he was addressed, Nick internally grimaced. He needed Hancock to join him willingly. Not because he had any problems with forcing the man, he would do anything to protect the human race. No, it was simply because Nick had absolutely no idea how he could force a being like Hancock to do something he had no intention of doing. In all honesty, after hearing that Hancock, after counseling with the director of All-Heart, Ray Embrey, would turn himself in and serve his prison sentence, Nick was sorely tempted to track the man down and put him in a S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform. That man had one silver tongue to make John Hancock do something which he really, really didn't want to do.
"I want what is best for the world John. I always have and you know this as well as I do. S.H.I.E.L.D. has done what it could, but we need more. We need people like you John, if we want to keep people safe."
Hancock turned back to him, a frown on his face. Nick didn't care. He was listening, which meant he was interested, which meant Nick could sway him to his side.
"Safe? Read the news Nick. The world is safe. It has been safe since I completed my "crusade"."
"Is it? There are new threats now John and you know this. Threats like the Abomination. If the Hulk didn't cooperate when he did, it would have been more than just Harlem in pieces. Our only hope would have been you. Or what do you think of Stark's weapons? You both know that for all your power and his smarts, you can't have found them all. His latest weapon could erase cities, John, and he could make them in a cave. None of my boys could do anything if one of those weapons goes off, but you can. Or what of the Asgardians? Not just an individual with powers John, but an entire race. When they decide that tazing their crown prince is not something they are going to take and they take action, who is it going to be that humanity can put its trust in? In some shadowy organization they have only heard rumors of? Or in the superhero that has stood by them for as long as most of them have been alive?"
Nick paused to take a deep breath. He rarely talked for so long or with such intensity, but S.H.I.E.L.D. needed Hancock. The world needed what he had in mind. Dark things were coming, terrible things; Nick could feel it in his bones. And if humanity didn't stand prepared, it would be swept away. Hancock looked a little taken aback by the outburst of the usually stoic Director before furrowing his brow. Nick allowed himself the tiniest sliver of hope, maybe his impromptu speech had convinced him, maybe he could-
"Wait. We tazed the Asgardian crown prince?"
It took all of Nick's immense self-control to keep himself from face palming. All his face revealed was a slight twitch by his visible eye.
"Yes.", the Director ground out.
"Then give me the short version."
"There isn't one."
Nick's replies became terser with each sentence until he was almost growling. Hancock simply had a smirk on his face. Suddenly the superhuman turned serious.
"Why would I join you Nick? Even if the threats you think are coming, I can handle them just fine. Why would I let S.H.I.E.L.D. tell me what to do?"
Nick managed to keep the predatory grin of his face. Mostly. Hancock had fallen for it hook, line and sinker.
"Because S.H.I.E.L.D. can help you. For all you strength and power, you have little knowledge of martial arts or hand-to-hand combat. We can help you with that. We also have detailed files on Asgardians. Probably the most detailed in the world right now. We might have the answers you have been looking for for more than 80 years John. We have the answers Mary has been looking for for almost 3,000 years. S.H.I.E.L.D. can help you John. You just need to let us."
Hancock looked torn. It was obvious that the possibilities of answers, of finally knowing where he and his wife came from were agonizingly temping to the immortal amnesiac. Seeing he almost had this in the bag, Nick showed his final trump card.
"We also might reconnect you with some of your old war buddies."
At this Hancock looked confused.
"Those that aren't dead are damn close to it by now. Didn't know you hired gramps to do your dirty work Nick. That's low, even for you."
Nick sent a chilling smile at the man, shutting him up.
"We are willing to hire you, aren't we?"
Hancock looked dumbfounded for a second, before chuckling.
"I actually meant someone else, other than the surviving commando's."
Hancock looked at him confusedly.
"Look Nick, I know that despite everything, people never stopped telling tall tales of my days during the war. But you of all people should now that the stories are just that. Stories. I never really hung out with anyone back then. Times were different then Nick. It was just me, the Commando's, Peggy and Stev-"
Hancock suddenly paused, looking disbelievingly at Nick, who allowed a satisfied smirk to grace his face.
"We found him John. After 70 years of searching, we found him."
He saw Hancock swallow before almost hesitantly asking his questions.
"How is he?"
"Confused. But other than that, as far as we can tell, not a day older than the day he went into the ice. There wasn't even any muscle deterioration."
"I guess Erskine was even better than any of us thought."
Hancock turned back towards the city, although Nick was pretty sure he didn't really see any of it anymore, since the immortal was deep in thought. Silence descended on the rooftop as Nick patiently waited for Hancock's answer. He had pushed and prodded and played his cards. Now it was time to wait. And wait he did until the sun started rising above the horizon. As high up as they were, Nick silently admitted to himself that seeing the sun slowly bathe the city in light was an amazing sight. The serenity was shattered by a piercing cry coming from high above them. Looking up, Nick saw an enormous eagle flying in lazy circles, riding the warming air currents. Turning back towards Hancock, Nick saw that the immortal had a wistful smile on his face as he watched the majestic bird. Hancock turned back towards the Director and Nick knew that he had accomplished what he had come to do.
"You help me find out where I came from. You teach me how to fight. And when those threats that are making you so paranoid finally prove you right, you point me in the direction you need me to go."
Nick opened his mouth, but before he could speak Hancock interrupted him.
"Let's get this straight right now Nick. I'm not going to be one of your S.H.I.E.L.D. flunkies. I'm going to help you save the human race, but I'm not some agent you can order around on shadowy missions. We cool?"
Nick merely smiled. The World Security Council would probably have an aneurism and probably call for his head. Unfortunately for them, and extremely amusing to him, he now had John Hancock on his side. Which meant that, whatever objections those old crones could have, his head would remain firmly on his shoulders. He gave a nod.
"Yes. We cool."
Hancock nodded, before giving a grin.
"So where's Steve now?"
"Probably helping some training equipment into the afterlife."
"Seems to me, he could do with an old friend."
"Agreed. He's at one of the older safe houses in the sub-urbs, one of the mandatory installed by Director Carter. You probably remember which one I'm talking about."
Just because they were on a roof, didn't mean Nick would say secure locations out loud. It was the same principle that had lead to him training himself to not talk in his sleep.
"Sure do. Nice seeing you Nick. I'll tell Steve you said hi."
The superhuman bend at the knees, powerful thighs bulging underneath his suit. Before Nick could react, or offer any form of protest, Hancock shot into the sky, a sonic boom following in his wake, and disappeared into the rising sun. Nick looked down at where Hancock stood mere seconds ago. A deep crater surrounded by spider cracks marred the pavement of the roof. Nick sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Hill's gonna have my hide for this."
Looking up as he heard a second sonic boom and saw a small speck getting even smaller, Nick couldn't help but grin.
"But damn if it doesn't look cool."
AN: And that's chapter one folks! I'm really sorry that this was rather exposition-heavy, but like I said, there's 80 years of history for Hancock, and I want him firmly grounded and established in the McU. Also sorry that this chapter was more Nick Fury than Hancock himself, but if I want to make this a good crossover I need to be able to tie the two franchises together in a way that makes sense. In this case it made sense that Nick Fury would try and recruit the most powerful being alive. Be prepared for some chapters in which other character such as Steve and Thor get the spotlight as well, when we either explore some of Hancock's backround, or if I lay some more groundwork to establish Hancock in the McU.
Fun Fact: During the scene in which we see Hancock fly for the first time, he crashes into some birds and narrowly avoids collision with a plane. This is a wink towards the famous Superman expression: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's... a flying drunk.