A/N: Hello all! Kelli here with the story that's been four years in the making! I think about a year ago I posted an author's note introducing the idea for this to the public, and I received plenty of excited responses, and now it's ready to be posted and enjoyed. "Why the gap?" you may ask, the answer is, at the time I thought it was ready to post, but little did I know that this idea would develop and become a whole series—a whole universe on its own. The idea was birthed from a thought and my love of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes tv show. I wanted so badly for the show to continue, I decided to make it happen. And so comes Avengers: Generations.
This series will be a continuation of Earth-8096's timeline in real time i.e. moving from the year the series ended (2012), and span over several seasons, that is if you—the reader—enjoy it. I have big plans both for plotlines and my original characters, also including characters I feel should have been introduced or more incorporated in the original series. Avengers: Generations is set in the year 2042 and focuses on the legacy Tony Stark's Avengers left after the show, namely their children. This first chapter is a set up for the future, and may seem confusing, but as the story progresses, hopefully you'll start to see how everything connects. I plan on posting flashback chapters focused on a particular character that minds the gap left by the series and my series. So don't worry!
I just want to take a minute to thank all the people who have helped me with this story over the past four years. My friend Nicole, who encouraged me to pursue the idea to begin with. My good friend Asa, who has helped me and critiqued my work in its many developmental stages. The many shows and show writers whose shows I've drawn inspiration from such as Young Justice, Spectacular Spider-Man, Wolverine and the X-Men, and many more. My brother Joshua, for listening to me ramble on and on about my ideas. My mother, for proofreading and encouraging me. My dog Libby for putting up with my long hours of writing in bed. And my Beta reader, Penpal678910 for helping me in so many ways! She's why this story is ready to be read by human eyes other than the people listed, haha.
So, without further ado, my brain child, my baby, the universe in my head, Avengers: Generations.
Disclaimer: I do not own Marvel, Avengers: EMH! or the original characters and series from which this story stems. But I do own my original characters, places, plotlines and continuing timeline involved in the story, and hope one day Marvel will notice it.
New York City, New York. Monday, December 12th, 2016. 10:43 am.
The team stands together on the raised stage, donning their uniforms and staring out into the sea of reporters and cameras gathered below them. When the Avengers began their journey, they never imagined they would end up like this, standing in the main conference room of the United Nations building. But they called this meeting for a reason and it concerns the entire world.
Steve anxiously looks down at his wrist watch. It's almost time for them to go on air and Tony hasn't shown up yet. Hank and Janet were the first to arrive, other than Steve himself, and Clint and Bobbie had followed in behind them. T'Challa even flew all the way from Wakanda to be here, but the Starks live practically down the street and they're late. Steve feels a heavy hand lay on his shoulder.
"The Vision assured us they will be here," Thor reminds him. The tall, muscular demi-god offers a smile to his friend, and the Captain nods his head, breathing in deeply.
He's right, Steve thinks. They'll be here. Maria is probably holding them up. They will be here. Steve hopes his android friend can hurry them along, but thinks about how difficult his infant niece can be for the new parents. And, just for a moment, thinking back a few months when Maria was born begins to lessen the wad of nervous energy building in his stomach. The day Tony and Pepper made him their daughter's godfather was a day he'd not soon forget. Ever since Steve has been brought back from the icy depths of the past, there's been a constant feeling that he doesn't belong, he told himself he'd never have a real family again. But after years of living, working and fighting alongside them, Steve was more than happy when he realized his team was his family.
The blonde smiles to himself as he watches his friend's interacting with each other. Hank and Janet sit close together at the far right end of the stage. Their fingers are intertwined and the hazel-eyed genius wipes a tear away from his red-headed fiancé's face. Clint and Bobbie are seated behind him, whispering excitedly about their plans to move to California since Bobbie's departure from S.H.I.L.E.D. Steve's eyes cast towards Thor who smiles widely at Jane, his caring companion that waits in the crowd along with half of the world's leaders and country's news stations. T'Challa's dark frame is planted firmly next to the Barton's, but his chocolate eyes constantly survey the sloped conference room. He watches people coming and going from the many rows of pull down seats, even spotting the familiar faces of Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Scott Lang and his daughter, and The Fantastic Four in the crowd.
Even though a couple of Avengers weren't able to make it—Spider-Man in school, and Falcon on mission for S.H.I.E.L.D.—there's something about this that feels right. Something in this moment feels meant to be. The main eight here, together. They know that today could be a sad day, but the calmness they all display says they've known this was coming all along. The feeling is hard to describe, but somehow, there's no dread or pain in their decision. There's no emotional weight clouding their judgment, or nostalgia steering their thoughts. Today isn't a sad day, and the only word Steve can think to capture the feeling—is peace. His teammates are at peace. At peace with their decision to disband the Avengers.
"Stark is late again, I see," sounds Nick Fury's voice beside the Captain. Steve faces the recently former Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. with a grin.
"Nothing out of the ordinary," Steve replies. The one-eyed man chuckles and shakes Steve's hand. "Glad you could come and make me nervous," Steve adds. The dark, trench coat wearing man simply smiles and views the crowd of ambassadors and dignitaries conversing amongst each other in the cramped conference room.
"Quite a crowd for this important announcement of yours," Nick points out with a wink. Fury was informed of the team's decision to step down a few weeks ago, enough time for S.H.I.E.L.D. to make preparations for the Avenger's absence. That is, before he himself stepped down as Director, handing over trust and control to Daisy Johnson. The young and powerful woman who became his right hand during the Secret Invasion.
More and more people seem to be filling in the crowded room by the minute, and finally, the President of the United States has arrived. He seats himself with the other world leaders towards the back rows of chairs. Steve straightens at the sight of the Commander in Chief and the finality of the situation hits him.
This is happening.
Now only if Tony Stark will show up. "Five minutes until we're live," warns a young man with a clipboard below the stage. The reporters in the front row are readying their recorders and all cameras are trained on the podium that Steve's speech sits on.
"That's my cue," Nick says. "Good luck." He pats Steve on the back and steps off the stage, taking his place standing amongst the crowd since all the seats are now filled as announcement time nears. The Captain takes a breath and motions for his friends to gather near him.
"Where's Tony?" Clint asks, annoyance clearly audible in his tone. Bobbie rolls her aqua eyes and assures Steve he's coming.
"Even if he doesn't show up, you still have to make the speech," Hank reminds him.
"I know, and I will," Steve says. "But we have five minutes to change our minds."
The statement draws mixed reactions.
"This is what we all wanted," T'Challa says.
"I never wanted to do this," Janet interjects but Hank shoots her an unhappy glare.
"Friends, we are no longer needed in such a manner," Thor reminds them. "Besides that, it is imperative that I return to Asgard."
Bobbie speaks up, "I agree with goldilocks over here. All of us need a break."
"Everyone calm down." Steve exhales heavily. "I just wanted us to be sure. Because once we tell the world the Avengers are stepping down, there's no going back." The Captain stretches out his arm to the middle of the team's makeshift huddle, his fist tightly clutched. "Are we together on this?"
The question hangs in the air a moment, each clearly considering his words. Clint glances at Bobbie, raising his eyebrows expectantly. She nods and they both place their hands on top of Steve's. "We're with you," he says.
Thor is next to add his hand. "Asgard needs me now." Hank gladly adds his hand to the mixed pile in the center of the circle and Janet begrudgingly follows. T'Challa glances around the circle of friends, meeting each one's eyes before laying his hand on top.
"Our time has passed, my friends," he says. "It has been an honor to work alongside Earth's Mightiest."
Steve nods and, for the last time, the Avengers Assemble. They break apart, all standing behind him supportively as Steve steps up to the podium, looking out at the anxiously awaiting crowd. Off stage, the young man with the clipboard counts down to air time on his hand. 5…4…3…2…
"Good morning, I'm Regina Wells," a chipper reporter in front of the raised stage says. "We're interrupting your regular television programming to bring you a live, special national newscast. The Avengers have called together a U.N. meeting that concerns all of us." The young lady looks up to the stage and smiles. "Captain America will now address the nations. Take it away, Captain."
Steve nods, shakily holding his index cards in his hands. As soon as the cameras are on him, he freezes. His words stick to his throat and a bead of sweat runs down his forehead.
I can't do this, he thinks.
Steve's blue eyes fixate on the double doors at the back of the room, knowing he can't make this speech unless Tony walks through them soon. The Captain wonders if it's too late to postpone and he notices the reporters below the stage silently begging him to say something. With his eyes still trained towards the back and the silence becoming unbearable, he spots a familiar set of faces finally push through the doors. Tony Stark's signature smirk accompanies him down the sloped aisle, along with baby Maria in Pepper's arms, and the Vision trailing behind them. The family of three find a place to stand in the crowd while the android joins the team on the platform. Steve's eyes lock with Tony's for a moment. He offers a reassuring wink and the nervous Captain sighs.
Now everything is right.
Steve clears his throat. "Ladies, gentlemen, and allies from around the world, thank you for coming all this way to listen to me," the Captain lightly begins. "I know we probably scared you when we called this meeting, but I assure you, it's nothing to be afraid of." He smiles and the crowd chuckles.
"Over the past four years, the Avengers have had the opportunity to do great things. Great things that have initiated acts of peace around the world," he continues. "Super criminal organizations are not something of a normality anymore, and thanks to the faith the nations have in us, we've helped the world work together to achieve a common goal, Peace." He pauses, and looks out to Tony, the hero who handed him the reins of leader to start a family several years ago, who's proudly holding his thumb above the crowd to encourage his friend.
The Captain smiles back at the man and carries on. "But we're not here today to talk about what this team has accomplished. We're here to announce to the world that after intense discussion and many weeks of careful consideration by each member—current and reserved, the Avengers have decided to put that same amount of faith in S.H.I.E.L.D. and S.W.O.R.D. and step down. The Avengers team is disbanding."
For a fragment of time, the world stops turning. The room is still and quiet enough to hear the nervous heartbeats of everyone present. And just as suddenly as the world stopped, it begins turning again. The entire room erupts into a jumbled mess of questions, comments, and concerns.
"What are you thinking, Captain?"
"But we need the Avengers!"
"How do you think the world will react to this outrageous idea?"
"What if the Kree or Skrull come back?"
"What if someone reforms Hydra?"
The verbal bombardment ceases when Steve raises his hand. The hundreds of questions deafening him now quiets to an unsettled murmur, and he explains. "Yes, I know this may sound like a harebrained proposal, but I assure you, it's within reason. The Avengers have served the world for over six years, and during those six years, we've given up everything for the good of the public. Hydra and super villains aren't a constant threat looming over us anymore, and if we can be honest, we're tired. Many of us have started families or intend to one day," Steve gestures to Tony and Pepper in the crowd, and his teammates behind him. "And isn't it the right of every person to want something that resembles normal, even superheroes? Don't we deserve to pursue the American dream?"
The room is quiet as Captain America continues to explain his team's decision. Everyone around the world is either listening or watching the compelling speech Steve offers, even the Avengers unable to be there.
S.W.O.R.D. Space Station, Earth's Orbit. 10:48 am.
Carol watches the Captain closely on a monitor in her office, hanging on his every word. She knew eventually the team she walked away from more than a year ago would want what she had strived so hard to get.
"Commander Danvers," echoes a voice in her earpiece. "Your husband is on line four."
"I'll call him back," she insists, not wanting to miss a minute.
"He wanted me to mention your son is attempting to speak," the girl tells her. But she keeps her eyes on the screen as Captain America continues his speech.
"My team and I fully trust S.H.I.E.L.D. to take our place, and we hope that you will understand where our hearts are. There's only so much we can sacrifice for the greater good. S.H.I.E.L.D. and many other heroes around the world are just waiting for their chance to serve and protect, so let's allow them that chance. The chance to be Earth's Mightiest Heroes."
Waypoint, Maine. 10:49 am.
Steve's voice carries through the taxi Bruce rides in. The small-framed man is clean shaven and wears a purple button up shirt, khaki pants and dress shoes, an extreme contrast to what he would normally wear. He listens to the radio and smiles, thankful Steve allowed him to leave the Avengers prior to their announcement for personal reasons.
Bruce's cab comes to a halt in front of a pale yellow, wooden townhouse in the heart of small-town USA. A scenic little city in the middle of a harbor. He steps out of the cab with a duffle bag slung over his shoulder and walks up the whitewashed porch of the home. Bruce hesitantly rings the doorbell and waits for an answer. A few minutes pass and a lovely young lady opens the door. Her dark brown eyes stare at his for a second, and the two quickly embrace each other, both dropping everything to savor a moment they've been denied for years.
"I missed you so much," the girl whispers.
"I missed you too, Betty," Bruce replies softly.
Main Conference Room, U.N. building, New York City, New York. 10:51 am.
"We're people just like you, who want a life of our own. But we're not leaving you without protection. We'll still be here. We're still willing to drop everything in a minutes notice to protect our world, we simply don't feel that a team of superheroes is necessary in the time of peace we worked so hard to attain," Steve concludes. Flashing cameras and reporters with their microphones outstretched wait for the Captain's final words to be spoken.
"On behalf of the Avengers, we hope you accept our decision and know that, no matter what happens to our team," Steve looks back at his team, his friends, his family one last time. "We are still Avengers."
The crowd roars with questions and clapping, but through the chaos the team stands together, ready for this new adventure. They could remember this day as something sad, or the end of an era, but they choose to see today as an opportunity. An opportunity for a new start. A new start that can change their worlds forever.
A/N: Ready for the first chapter? Also, the cover pic was made by me! I will try to keep a posting schedule of a chapter a week, so chapter one will probably be next week...but I may post earlier.
Hey I just posted this...and this is crazy...but since you've read it...review It maybe?