Cross: SGA and Avengers
Summary: fluff. My reward for a long day and then managing to (mostly) post my crossover bb right.
Steve Rogers knew that SHIELD employed the best representative of every field. It was one of the reasons they put up with Tony Stark, in spite of his… personality quirks. So he really wasn't surprised by the competence of the 'copter pilot or that their designated pilot could also fly fighter jets and excelled in aerial combat. It was nice to know that they had excellent air support when needed. The man wasn't even phased by Thor's storms.
Steve tried to express his appreciation whenever possible but Sheppard just shrugged him off with an amused smile. Sheppard had an eye for predicting battle and for knowing the best place to drop the Avengers. He was so good at it that Clint Barton noticed. Tony and Bruce wouldn't notice anything that wasn't scientific, so the pilot wasn't anybody they cared to see. Natasha was too used to working solo to really notice support personnel.
Clint Barton had worked within the military structure and knew when someone did their job right. Steve was surprised that rather than thank Sheppard, he was wary of the man. Sheppard didn't care. He was so laid back, it was hard to recognize just how talented he was. Once, when Sheppard was transporting them into a battle, an enemy space craft fired on them. Sheppard calmly dodged the armament and shot off his own. He momentarily hid his 'copter in the trees and said, "Ride's over, folks. If you'd be so kind as to exit to your left."
"You're good," Stark blurted out. "Do you want a higher paying job?"
Sheppard ignored him. "Sir, there appears to be an unusual energy reading to the north."
Stark looked over Sheppard's shoulder at the 'copter sensors and snorted. "Piece of crap. I'll investigate personally."
Steve nodded in agreement. Stark was the best team member for the job. "Black Widow will accompany you." The Avengers exited the 'copter and Sheppard lifted off. He fought enough of an air battle to distract and disable the enemy. It was only after the battle was over and Steve was writing up the report at SHIELD did the super-solider realize how easily Sheppard had distracted Iron Man.
He cornered Barton and demanded, "Why don't you like our pilot?"
"He's an Air Force Colonel and he's flying."
Steve shook his head, not understanding. "Explain."
"He's still in the Air Force, he's just on loan. He's not a SHIELD agent but he's been tasked with taxiing us? Something's wrong there. He's a colonel. They lead people, but he is only responsible for flying. He should be commanding SHIELD air support, or at the very least, a squadron. He has led people before. I've tried to get into his file and I can only see up until he was a major. He's had some disciplinary problems and got sent to Antarctica to cool off. There're six years missing from the records and then he's lent out to us. I don't like it."
"Did you notice him manipulating Stark?" Steve asked.
Barton blinked. "When?"
"Stark offered him a job and Sheppard distracted him, right as we landed. Effortlessly."
"I don't like surprises. I don't like depending on people who are hiding something."
"We could ask him."
Barton shook his head. "Won't work. Six years of government work that I can't access? He won't tell us anything but what we want to hear."
Steve wasn't happy to hear that. He liked Sheppard. "We could ask Fury for someone else?"
"That's a bad idea," Barton grumbled. "Sheppard is probably the best pilot I've seen and he obviously cares about his cargo. He keeps us safe. He doesn't have the ego common in pilots. He's cocky but dependable and good backup. I doubt Fury has another pilot as talented."
"You just don't like surprises," Steve said.
"Yeah. I'd probably like the guy if I had some context, but…" Barton trailed off. He had made his opinion known and had nothing more to say.
He left Steve mulling over their conversation.
The context was filled in the very next week. The Avengers were cleaning up a fight of sentient crocodiles in California when Colonel Sheppard addressed him over the comm. "Captain America, a nearby base has requested assistance. Can you hitch a ride home with someone else?"
Steve glanced around. The Iron Man and the Hulk were demolishing the last two crocs. The Black Widow and Hawkeye were taking care of the stragglers. Steve really wasn't needed anymore. SHIELD agents were swarming the battlefield to contain the scene. "Barton and I'll come with you."
"That's really not necessary." Steve could hear the distinctive sounds of the Avenger 'copter lifting off. "I'll catch up with you later."
Barton had heard the conversation and grinned at Steve. He loosed an arrow attached to a grappling hook at the departing 'copter and braced himself for lift-off. Steve ran and jumped. He snagged Barton's rope and held on tight. They were flying.
"Really?" Sheppard asked. Of course he had noticed the additional weight. "Really? This problem does not call for two Avengers."
"Well, you've got them."
Sheppard grumbled through the communication link, but he didn't offer to set down so that they could climb aboard. He did fly softly so that they wouldn't sway too much. He flew west, over cities and then over the ocean.
"What base are we going to," Barton asked. Obviously, Sheppard wasn't heading for any base the archer knew of.
"Classified," Sheppard said.
One moment, they were flying over an empty ocean and the next, Steve could see a shining city unlike anything. Barton muttered a couple curse words.
"Hey, don't talk about my girl like that," Sheppard teased.
"Is this invisible like SHIELD HQ?" Steve was curious.
"We develop most of the technologies that SHIELD doesn't get from Stark."
Sheppard hovered over a dock long enough for Steve and Barton to drop safely. Then he flew a slight bit closer to the city –military base?- and landed. Steve noticed that he placed his 'copter between the Avengers and approaching soldiers. Steve and Barton hurried to step behind Sheppard. They caught the tail-end of the greetings between Sheppard and another Air Force colonel.
"Hitchhikers, sir?" the other colonel smirked.
"Nosy busybodies," Sheppard corrected him. He called to two soldiers waiting. "They don't have clearance for base, so zat them if they get frisky."
The soldiers saluted and then aimed unfamiliar weapons at Steve and Barton. "Whoops," Barton said with raised hands. Steve raised his hands in surrender as well.
Sheppard addressed the other colonel. "I'm supposed to be on vacation, Lorne. What's going on that gets me called from a battle mop up?"
Lorne did not look apologetic. "That's what you get when you make a deal with O'Neill for some time off saving the world."
"Well? You're a colonel now. You're supposed to take care of these things."
"It's Her, sir, and McKay. They're fighting over his revisions to the propulsion systems."
Sheppard rolled his eyes. "Fine." He looked at Steve and Barton. "Just stay put. This might take a while. Actually…" he walked over to one of the supports of the dock and tapped on the far side. Lorne looked even more amused and the two soldiers looked confused. When Sheppard was done, a force field separated the Avengers from the rest of the base.
Barton and Steve dropped their hands. "Well," Steve said. "What do you think now?"
Barton grinned. "We're his vacation."
"It's good to know that we're so relaxing," Steve was similarly amused.