A/N: Warning, series contains characters that are heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual. CANON characters will most likely make an appearance in the story, sooner or later. When? I'm not sure. Also, there might be typos. If there are any, I apologize.
Please enjoy the chapter and review! Feel free to ask questions.
"THIS IS ALMOST TOO easy."
"Shut up! You wanna draw attention to us?"
"Sorry, man, but seriously. I can't believe we're about to get away with all this cash."
There was a thud on the top of their car. The two masked men looked at each other before the driver suddenly made a sharp turn, scolding his partner for jinxing their luck. He continued to swerve the car through traffic, praying that whatever had landed on the vehicle was long gone. Of course it wasn't that easy, though. The blade of a sword pierced through the top of the van they drove that was loaded with cash. The driver cussed as his partner grabbed a gun and the sword began making a square in the roof. The square was ripped off the top and both criminals found themselves staring at a teenage girl. She had long blonde hair and blue eyes covered with thick black makeup. A long red cape flowed from her back and underneath was a strapless silver shirt, black pants, and red heeled boots. A silver headband went around her forehead in a circle.
"You know what I can't believe, boys?" a smirk was on her face as she hung onto the car, "I can't believe that you almost got away with a robbery."
"Shoot her, you idiot!" the driver screeched as his partner nodded and began firing at the girl. Sierra Cortez flew away from the car, her sword sizzling as electric sparks ran through it. She cried out as a bullet hit her left arm. Hayden Barton ran across the rooftops, an arrow knocked and ready. He wore his usual black and dark purple mask, black leather jacket, dark purple shirt with an arrow design on it, tight black leather pants, and black boots. His eyes narrowed behind the mask when he saw Sierra get shot. Those men would pay for that. He pulled back on the bowstring and let the arrow fly. It sliced through the air, slamming into the hood of the car and hitting the engine, causing the front of the car to explode.
The two criminals climbed out of the wreckage and attempted to pick up as much cash as they could. A red-tailed hawk screeched as it flew down and sunk its talons into the arm of the man who held the gun. The driver took out another gun and fired at the bird, missing as the creature squawked and flew off into the sky.
"Damn it," the driver sneered as he tried to pick up some more cash and stuff it into his jacket pockets.
"Man, you two sure look pathetic," the men looked up to see a boy who looked to be on fire hovering off the ground in front of them. Through the flames they could see short, somewhat spiky blonde hair and dark blue eyes surrounded by a small black mask. They could make out the outline of a black long-sleeve shirt with a 4 pictured over where his heart was, black pants, black boots, and black gloves. He had his arms folded across his chest and a frown on his face. "It's sad when you see two men reduced to getting their money from the street."
"Now, now, don't tease the idiots," Jessica Pym said as she flew next to Andrew Storm. She was about the size of his index finger but soon enlarged to her normal size. She had long, wavy dark hair with an almost white streak near her left eye. Her eyes were brown and she was dressed in tight black pants, a yellow and black stripped t-shirt with a gray jacket unzipped on top, yellow boots, and a gold belt strapped around her waist. "I think their day is going badly enough, wouldn't you say?"
Sierra flew to Hayden and landed on the roof with him, watching as he hurried to her, brushing some strands of his blonde hair out of his ocean blue eyes. She gave him a look that kept him from asking if she was alright. Without a word, she sheathed her sword back onto her belt and grabbed his hand, flying him to where their two teammates were. The criminals stumbled to their feet and pointed their guns at the four teenagers. Hayden held out an arm and the hawk returned, landing gently on his arm.
They're just kids, the driver thought, though his hands were shaking. We can take them.
Are you so sure about that? a voice asked in his head. He swung around, gun in hand, and pointed it at a brown haired boy with emerald green eyes. The boy was dressed in a dark trench coat with a black shirt underneath, dark jeans, black sneakers, and a belt with the X-Men symbol on it. Jacob Summers smirked. I highly doubt you could take all of us. We may be kids, but we have powers if you haven't noticed and we sort of outnumber you.
"Surrender and you will not get hurt," Anthony Stark stated as he landed, his armor making his voice come off as robotic. He was in a full body armor designed similar to his father's old armor, except instead of red and gold, it was blue and silver. He looked over as their leader, Stevie Rogers joined them. Stevie had short blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. Strapped to his arm was a newer version of his father's shield, though it looked the same. He wore a dark blue mask, the kind that only covered his eyes, unlike Hayden's that wrapped around his head except for his mouth. He also wore a dark blue jacket half-way zipped on top of a red shirt, black pants, white boots, and white gloves. On the back of his jacket was the picture of a large, white star.
"Won't get hurt? They shot her!" Hayden snapped, swinging a hand out in Sierra's direction. Sierra glanced away, tightly holding where her wound was to apply pressure and make the bleeding stop. "I ought to shove an arrow in their heads!" The hawk squawked and flapped its wings, only calming down when he patted its head. "See? Claw wants them hurt too."
Stevie looked over at the criminals. They obviously weren't experienced, since they had yet to try to take off as the team had been bickering. Either that or his team actually scared them... Yeah, it was probably the first option: little experience. He started walking toward the men, who fired a few bullets at him. He quickly brought his shield up and deflected the bullets. Suddenly lashing out, he slammed his shield against the side of the partner's head, knocking him out. The driver went to fire at him while his back was turned but cried out as he felt a blast hit his back. The team looked over to see Jacob's eyes glowing a faint red after having fired his optic blast. Andrew landed on the ground as the fire vanished from around him, his clothes unharmed. Stevie tied the criminals up as he heard sirens heading their way.
"C'mon, let's get out of here."
"How the hell did you miss them?" Maria Scantar's boss, Carl Smith, scolded her as she flinched back. Her wavy, light brown hair bounced against her shoulders as she held her hands up defensively. Her brown eyes had concern written all over them. She could lose her job over this, she knew. The biggest news going around Washington D.C., and even America, was the Avengers Next, a team of teenagers rumored to be trained by the Avengers. The other day they had stopped two robbers from getting away and she was supposed to have been able to catch them and interview them. It was a rather impossible task. It was tough, since they left quickly before police even arrived. No one had ever had an interview with the group of teenagers, nor had anyone taken a picture that wasn't blurred or from far away.
Carl ran a hand through his choppy, dirty-blonde hair, his dull eyes glaring daggers at Maria. He grabbed a picture and slammed it down against his desk, causing her to jump. Jerry Oscar, her best friend and favorite photographer stepped into the room, and she hoped he was there to bail her out, but she doubted it. He had slick black hair and dark blue eyes. He was dressed in a black jacket, white shirt, and denim jeans, looking a lot better than their boss, who wore a sloppy white tank-top, and grimy denim jeans.
"Now, this is Avengers Next," Carl hissed as he gave Jerry a look that stopped the nineteen year old from leaving the room. He stepped up next to Maria, who was twenty-five, while Carl was somewhere in his thirties. "What can you tell me about them?" The two looked down at the blurred picture their boss was pointing at.
"Well from what we've gathered, that's Freedom," Jerry replied, pointing to the picture. "He's probably a Cap-wannabe. That's Ironlad, obvious due to his armor. That girl there, in the yellow, we believe she's called Hornet. We only know this from witnesses saying they heard them being called those names. We believe the girl with the sword is called Thundress, and that the archer is called Longshot. The flaming boy, obviously the Human Torch, or well the second Human Torch. No clue about the hawk, and that other boy... we don't know."
"That's all we know about them," Maria added, crossing her arms over her chest. "If the Avengers, or former Avengers, are training them, then they're keeping it a secret. Also, no one has access into Avengers Mansion and Mr. Stark is hardly ever seen going there."
"So basically we have no leads," Jerry said with a shrug, looking at his boss. "Carl, we don't even know if these kids live in Washington D.C. as well. They've been spotted all over the country."
Carl slammed his hands against the desk, a habit he had gotten into strangely whenever he got frustrated or even when he was simply thinking. "There has to be something, anything. The Avengers have to be involved. I don't give a shit whether they claimed to have disbanded or not."
Maria sighed. "Do you honestly think the Avengers would risk the lives of those kids? They don't seem to be the type to put kids in danger like that, especially not Captain America."
Carl scoffed, obviously not pleased with her answer. "Find some way to pin this on the Avengers. I don't care if you have to make it up. Anything to get their attention. This Avengers Next has been running around 'saving the day' for almost a week now. Find some sort of dirt to get them and the Avengers out in the open. These teenagers shouldn't be hard to find. They're young and obviously inexperienced. Plus, summer is over. Since they're teenagers, they're going to be attending high school, none the less. Go to all the high schools in areas members of Avengers Next have been seen the most often in. I don't give a crap if it's out of the state. Just do it!"
Anthony sighed and tugged at his black and white uniform he was forced to wear. Why had the summer come to an end? Why couldn't it last forever? He didn't want to go back to high school, though he was starting out as a junior. He and Jessica were the eldest members of the team at sixteen years old. Their teammates were all fifteen and sophomores in high school. While Jacob, Sierra, and Jessica went to the same school in Washington D.C., and Hayden, Stevie, and Andrew attended the same school in New York, he was forced to attend a private school in New York. Being the heir of Tony Stark, it made sense he'd be sent to a school filled with snotty rich kids. He hated it. The only thing he had in common with his classmates was the fact that he was rich.
He brushed some strands of his short brown hair out of his hazel eyes. He slung his gray backpack onto his shoulder and walked into the school. He could hear students and faculty muttering and gossiping. He tried his best to ignore them, until he heard someone mention the Avengers Next. Opening his locker, he glanced over to a group of guys and a couple girls. Like everyone else, they were trying to figure out who the Avengers Next were. He resisted the urge to grin. No one would figure it out, and not even the Avengers knew. The Avengers hadn't put the team together, it had been all his and Stevie's doing. They had practically grown up together along with Jessica, and Hayden. The four of them had started the Avengers Next. Sierra had joined when she had saved the team on their first day as "heroes". Andrew, on the other hand, had actually tracked down the team and insisted on joining. They had ran into Jacob as he had been trying to take down a group of gunmen by himself. Claw, had come along with Hayden since the archer had saved the hawk when it had been a fledgling.
Anthony had no doubt in his mind that his father and the Avengers knew they were the Avengers Next, but so far they hadn't confronted them on it. Then again, they made sure their parents never had the time to confront them. They didn't want to get a scolding and a lecture about running head first into danger without training. The team was doing alright, for the moment. Clint, or Hawkeye, had taught Hayden archery when he was a little kid. Sierra had gotten her sword from Thor when she had been a little girl, before her father had been forced to leave to Asgard and leave her with her aunt and uncle. Jessica, Andrew, and Jacob had come with their own powers that they could control good enough. Anthony had supplied himself with his own armor, having gotten his father's old specs and added a few modifications. He had also supplied Stevie with his shield that folded into a case on his arm, as well as the team's communicators just in case Jacob was unable to mentally link them up.
"Hey Stark!" a boy called his name and he looked over. He faintly recognized him from last year. He pursed his lips, remembering that he didn't like this boy.
"You know anything about this Avengers Next? Your dad after all was Ironman."
"Key word being was," Anthony replied calmly, "He is retired from that line of work and he does not talk about the Avengers nor Avengers Next. Both he and I know nothing. Sorry to disappoint you." The boy frowned, not happy with his response. But what else could he say?
Anthony held back a sigh of relief as the boy returned to his friends. Had it been obvious that he was lying? He hoped not. His father was retired from being an Avenger, at least as far as he knew, though he did know his father kept his armor lying around somewhere. He hoped Avengers Next wouldn't somehow force the Avengers to take up their costumes again and return to crime fighting. It was time for a new generation of heroes. He didn't want his father to get hurt when he was still young and could probably hold up better in a fight than his old man.
Anthony? Jacob's voice filled his head and he raised an eyebrow. What did the mutant want?
Who's Shakespeare? My English teacher is going on and on about him as if I should know.
Anthony felt a pang of sympathy for his teammate. Jacob had no memories besides the past three months. He didn't remember who his parents were and only knew his name because of a dog tag he wore that had it engraved. He obviously was related to Scott Summers and Alex Summers, former members of the X-Men, but who his mother was, was more difficult to figure out. Could have been Emma Frost or even Jean Grey.
He's a writer who is long dead, Anthony mentally replied, Look him up on the internet or in a book after school. He looked up when he heard the first bell ring, stuffing some books into his backpack before shutting his locker. Sorry, Jake, I got to go. Time for class and it is hard to concentrate when you are in my head.
Oh... Sorry. He could feel the mental link leave and felt slightly disappointed. He didn't have any friends at his school and it had been nice to talk to Jacob, but also weird. He was used to how it had been during the summer, not needing a mental link to talk to the boy. It would be strange, not seeing his friends as often. Thankfully he was what was considered a "child genius". He had certainly inherited his father's brain. He figured if he got any homework, he would finish it in the blink of an eye. Then he could join his teammates wherever they decided to train at or wherever trouble decided to show up. Hopefully trouble decided to take a break for a little while.
Jacob frowned as he broke his mental link with Anthony. He had a slight headache from having to focus. He rubbed the bridge of his nose, wishing the bell would ring for him. Sierra sat across the classroom, looking just as bored. Their team had only been together for two weeks, though the public had only known about them for about one week, still they felt like they had known each other for more than a year. His eyes drifted over to Sierra, who was dressed in a green t-shirt and light blue denim jeans with black sneakers on her feet. She wore no makeup, unlike when she was in costume. Jacob, on the other hand, was dressed in a black t-shirt with the X-Men symbol pictured on it, dark denim jeans, black sneakers, and black fingerless gloves on his hands. Perched on his head were pitch black sunglasses.
"Alright, now since this is the first day there shall be no homework," the teacher said, flicking some strands of her long black hair behind her shoulder. "But I want you to look over the classroom guidelines, especially behavior. I have high expectations for you all."
Higher expectations than being a hero comes with? Jacob asked, gently pushing his thoughts into Sierra's head. The blonde looked in his direction with a small smile.
She probably thinks so, the half-Asgardian replied, a smirk replacing her smile. She looked back at the teacher, who sat down behind her desk and started typing on her laptop. Damn, this is going to be so boring.
Imagine how it is for me, Jacob thought, I don't remember what school's like. Now I have to re-learn how boring it is.
Sierra held back a small laugh, turning her eyes back to Jacob and slightly shaking her head. Her mind wandered off to their team, however, no longer interested in school or making fun of their teacher. She couldn't help wondering if her father had noticed the Avengers Next from Asgard. When she was a baby, she had been adopted by her aunt and uncle and took on the last name Cortez instead of Foster. Her father had only visited her once, to tell her about her demigod powers and give her the sword she used to control lightning and electricity. Would he approve of her heroic actions, or attempts at being a hero? Did she even care?
Her eyes found Jacob once again, but she didn't register that he was staring at her, unintentionally reading her mind. Jacob lived with her and her family in Washington D.C. She wondered how his parents would react, if they ever figured out who his parents were. It was obvious he was related to the Summers boys, but which one was his father? Who was his mother? She figured whoever his parents were, they'd probably freak out the second they hear about him. He lacked almost all of his memories, so he could have been missing wherever he had grown up. He could have been kidnapped, or he could be a runaway. Either way, she hoped his parents would be happy to see him if they ever did. But how would any of their parents feel about Avengers Next?
Should we really care? the mutant's voice filled her head, pulling her back to reality. Odds are, some of our parents already know or are figuring it out at this very moment. If they disapprove, however, would that stop us? What we're doing is the right thing, correct?
Sierra hesitated before replying, It feels like the right thing.
Then would they be able to stop us? Jacob's eyes locked onto hers. She didn't need to answer. No, their parents wouldn't be able to stop them, no one would. The best thing for their parents to do was probably support them and train them so they wouldn't end up dead, buried somewhere under the ground. Their parents would probably disapprove of them and the team, but that wouldn't stop them. They had a planet to protect, whether it wanted their protection or not. A new generation of villains were bond to show up any day, and they would be ready.
The bell rang. Jacob stood up and slung his backpack over his shoulder, meeting Sierra by the door. She shifted her book bag on her shoulder. They walked out of the classroom, meeting Jessica by her locker. Their older friend was dressed in a black skirt, black boots, and a red tank-top. She had her locker open and her backpack sitting on a knee as she held her leg up, stuffing books into her bag.
"Late?" Sierra asked, raising an eyebrow at her. Jessica hadn't been there in the morning to meet them, so she figured she had just arrived at school.
"Shut up," Jessica grumbled, slamming her locker shut and slinging her backpack on. "I forgot to set my alarm clock, thus I slept in. I'm lucky my dad woke me up before he went off to work." The three of them started walking down the hallway, falling quiet as they heard bits and pieces of conversations, several involving the Avengers Next team.
We haven't been around for that long, Jessica thought after Jacob set up a mental link between them, Yet we're already the talk of the school.
It's kind of cool, I think, Jacob said with a smile on his face.
Actually, it's not, Sierra pointed out, earning a glance from her two friends. We don't want to draw that much attention. Last thing we need is everyone trying to figure out who we are.
Good point, Jessica and Jacob thought in unison, It's not like we're the only teenage heroes out there, though. Remember those teams we've heard about on the news? The ones fighting crime all over the world, not just in America?
You mean the X-Kids, Rebels, X-Force, X-Ryders, Zero, X-Gears, X-Blades, Rangers, and Legion? Jacob asked, counting his fingers to make sure he had gotten all of them. What's with all the Xs? Is that like a popular letter to have in the name of a mutant team?
Jessica shrugged. I don't know, and yeah them. They've been around for about a month now and the media is all over them as well. No one knows their identities. It's strange. Members of Zero and Rangers have the same powers as my mom and dad.
Let's hope it's just a coincidence, Sierra thought as she stopped walking, Sorry guys, my next class is right here. She gave them a wave before walking into the classroom. Jacob and Jessica walked on in silence until Jessica went to her math class and Jacob went to his history class. All three of them couldn't help wondering if forming this team had been the smartest idea of their lives or the dumbest...
Stevie walked into his first period math class, earbuds in his ears as he listened American Soldier by Toby Keith. He sat down in the third row, setting his backpack down and taking his earbuds out. He looked around the classroom. Though he had lived almost all of his life in New York, it still amazed him to see how different everyone was from each other. He slipped his red sweatshirt off, revealing a plain white t-shirt. His eyes drifted to the front of the class as a girl walked in. She had slightly dark skin and black hair styled in an a-line. She was dressed in a collared black and pink shirt, short denim skirt, and black heels. He didn't recognize her and figured she was new to town, or at least his school. He resisted the urge to smile when she sat down next to him, setting her hot pink book bag on top of her desk.
She was cute, he wouldn't deny it. When her eyes went onto him, he felt his cheeks heat up with a blush. She gave him a smile before speaking, "Hi, I'm Carol Tanner, new student here."
He quickly replied, hoping his blush wasn't obvious. "Hey, I'm Stevie Rogers. I can show you around after class if you'd like."
Her smile grew. "I'd love that! I almost got lost coming here believe it or not."
"Well this school is big, so no need to be embarrassed," he was glad she seemed to like him. He didn't have many friends at the school besides Andrew and Hayden. He didn't have any classes with Andrew, though, and he figured Hayden was ditching, probably off somewhere with Claw. "So you new to just the school?"
She shook her head. "I moved here two days ago from Los Angeles. My parents were sick of it down there, not enough people." She grinned to let him know she was joking. He lightly chuckled, though he didn't get the joke. He had never been to Los Angeles, so he had no clue as to what it was like there. "You must like this country."
"You're wearing red, white, and your jeans are blue." He looked down at his outfit before shrugging.
"What's not to like?"
"Depends on your opinion."
He couldn't help frowning, feeling like he was missing something that was probably obvious. The second bell rang and the class quieted down as their teacher began talking. Every now and then, Stevie glanced at Carol out of the corners of his eyes. She wasn't just cute, he thought, she was hot and beautiful. He wondered if she would say yes if he asked her out. He figured he should at least try to be friends before he started flirting with her.
Anyone there? he thought, not sure if Jacob had left their mental link from the other day or not. No one responded, so he figured their link had been broken after they had stopped those robbers. He was on his own in a boring class. Geometry, a subject he knew he would loath. Even Anthony, a genius, had hated the class. This is certainly a great way to start off the school year, he added sarcastically. Since starting the Avengers Next, he could barely sit still. He needed action and it seemed like nothing was going to happen besides his teacher tripping over his own feet.
Andrew tugged his shirt off and replaced it with a gray tank-top, having replaced his jeans with a pair of black shorts. He didn't like having physical education first thing in the morning. Especially since lots of his classmates knew him from last year and would most likely bully him. That was the price he paid for being open about his sexuality, but he didn't really care. He could burst into flames and figured that would make them stop, but he couldn't do that. They couldn't know he was a part of Avengers Next. If they knew, the world would eventually know. He figured it was good, then, that they thought someone like him couldn't be a hero. It was sick and discriminating, but it was also good. They wouldn't suspect him as part of the Avengers Next, even if his father was a known former member of the Fantastic Four.
"Damn it," he heard a voice hiss. He looked over to see a boy with spiky dark hair that looked to be about a year older than him, struggling with one of the lockers.
"Need help?" he asked as he walked over to him, "Name's Andrew Storm."
"Name's Victor Williams," the boy replied, "And yeah, that'd be great. I wanna put my clothes in here so they won't get taken as some sort of prank."
Andrew raised an eyebrow, was this guy new? "You think someone would take your clothes?"
"If they find out I'm gay, then maybe," Victor replied, giving Andrew a pointed look. "That's how it was in LA."
Andrew blushed, suddenly noticing that the new-student had yet to put his PE shirt on. He forced his eyes to stay on Victor's face. It would be embarrassing if he was caught checking him out. "Wha-what's the combination?" Victor told him and he easily opened the locker. He received a thank you and merely shrugged. He looked away as Victor pulled his shirt on. "S-So you're new here?"
"Yeah, moved here about two days ago," Victor explained, smiling at the younger boy. "Say, you won't tell anybody I'm gay will you?"
Andrew couldn't help frowning. "What's wrong with being gay?"
Victor shrugged. "Nothing, I just want to see the look on their faces when I have a boyfriend. At my last school it was quite amusing." He smirked, but Andrew didn't get it, still frowning. Narrowing his eyes, he didn't take long to figure out why Andrew had asked. "You're kinda cute, y'know that?"
Andrew blushed. "I'm not interested," he stated bluntly before pushing past Victor. The second bell had already rung and that meant he was late for roll call. He felt his wrist get grabbed before feeling his back slammed against the lockers. Wincing, he tried to move, when Victor placed a hand on either side of his face, against the lockers, blocking him with his arms. He looked down at the blonde, grinning. "I said I'm not interested."
A pained look went onto Victor's face as he brushed his fingers against Andrew's cheek, causing the boy to shiver. "Maybe I am." He leaned forward, his lips almost touching Andrew's, but the boy shoved him away before he could.
"Screw off," Andrew hissed, storming out of the locker room. Victor stood there for a moment, a grin stretching across his face.
This is going to be fun, he thought as he followed Andrew out.
A/N: So what do you think of the first chapter? It's just mainly introducing most of the main characters. The only main characters that haven't shown up are Axel Winter, Thanatos Mortimer, and Nastusia Mortimer.
So got any ideas of my plans for the story? Let me know if you have a guess. Hope you enjoyed the chapter. Chapter two will hopefully be coming soon.
FUN FACT: Anthony's backpack contains his armor. When he clicks a hidden button on the left strap, it opens up and wraps his armor around his body. It was inspired by Tony's armor in Iron Man: Armored Adventures.