Well, I haven't been on Fanfiction in a while, but I have been obsessing over Avengers I just had to write one about it...or two or five...they're still all a work in progress. More may be coming if I feel they are decent enough to post. Anyway...here it is, and DISCLAIMER: I, sadly, do not own Avengers or anything related to it.
In Asgard Thor spent days trying to get answers from his brother, Loki. No matter how he tried, Loki didn't say a word, instead just staring off into nothing, looking completely withdrawn. It just wasn't like his brother, to do what he had done in Midgard, so Thor was trying to get an explanation from him in hopes that his punishment would be less severe. Thor believed his brother was incapable of doing what he did, so he hoped there was someone else controlling the strings, but no matter how hard he tried, how long he asked, his brother never said a word. If Loki had said something though, it might have helped Asgard prepare for what was to come after him.
Thor was once again with his brother where he was being kept imprisoned, trying to speak with him when the ground began to shake and a cracking sound like stone breaking cut through the air. Just as Thor was about to leave to see what was going on, he saw Loki become even paler, a look of terror crossing his features.
"Do you know what is going on Loki?" Thor asked.
"Looks like you just might get your questions answered brother," Loki replied.
Thor stood there for a few seconds, waiting for Loki to say something when the ground rocketed beneath them, causing Thor to lose his footing and Loki to fall from his seat. There was another cracking sound, and as Thor whirled around to face it, there was someone standing there. He had the stature of a man, but his appearance was nothing similar to an Asgardian or Midgardian. His skin was a deep purple color, and he was massive. He seemed to look past Thor at Loki as he sneered.
"You disappointed me," he said, his voice deep and gravelly.
Thor raised his hammer and charged at this invader, and as he brought down the hammer, the man simply batted him aside. Picking himself up, Thor looked over to his brother to see him in complete panic mode, something he rarely saw, if ever. Loki backed away from the man before mustering the last of his strength and magic, when he suddenly disappeared.
"Typical of a trickster," he growled, "Always a coward."
Thor finally got to his feet as the man turned to face him.
"Who are you and what do you want with Asgard?" Thor asked.
The man smirked, "So your brother didn't mention me?"
Thor continued to glare at the man, spinning his hammer in preparedness to attack. The man chuckled, as if his efforts were in vain before saying.
In the mountains of Northern California was a small town, tucked away from the busy cities in the valley, a peaceful area surrounded by the beauty of nature. With fall approaching, the leaves were starting to turn red, orange and yellow from its normally vibrant green color. It also meant deer hunting season for most of the citizens, and two girls, sisters, were out on the first day open of it. Their dad was a big deer hunter, and taught them how to use a gun, and he would have been out with them on this trip if he didn't need to make a trip to his parents place to help his dad take care of his ill mother so they were on their own.
The girls moved unnaturally quiet through the brush, one would had thought something odd was in play, which they would be right, only it would be difficult to explain how. The sister in the front held up a hand and the one following stopped in her tracks.
"Spotted something Dianne?" the girl in the back asked.
Dianne motioned her forward, "Right over there Olyvia."
Olyvia stepped forward, again no sound made as twigs were blatantly crushed beneath her feet, and stopped at her sister's side. Peering through the brush where she was pointing was a three-pointer.
"He's a big one," Olyvia commented.
"Since it's your birthday in two days, I'll let you have a shot at him," Dianne said.
"You sure? You spotted him first," Olyvia asked.
Dianne nodded, "I'll just move over here and if he bolts hope I can get a shot in."
Olyvia nodded, and her sister moved away, again, no sounds made as she moved through the brush and snuck up a small incline so she would have a good view. Raising her rifle, Olyvia looked through the scope and found her target. Almost instantly she saw that it became twitchy as it sensed some sort of disturbance. Olyvia could feel it too. She briefly looked away from her scope to look around. What was that? It was just this…sort of ghostly feeling down her spine.
Olyvia heard her sister do a bird whistle, one that meant 'take-the-darn-shot-already', and Olyvia dropped her head back to her rifle. Taking aim once more, she was about to pull the trigger when a loud popping sound echoed in the air, startling both her and the deer as something else suddenly appeared in her sights. As a reflex to not wanting the deer to bolt, she squeezed the trigger before she saw a human drop. Lowering her gun she let out a horrified scream as she slapped a hand over her mouth.
"LIVY!" she heard Dianne shouted in horror.
"I know, I know! I'm sorry!" Olyvia shouted back to her sister, and began crashing through the brush to see what damage she dealt, not caring that she could possibly scare more game away, "He just suddenly appeared! And right in my crosshairs. Not my fault!"
"Right, you couldn't have dropped your line of target," Dianne rebutted as she hurried to catch up with her sister, "I've never shot anyone!"
"Yes, and the first time I ever go hunting, I do," Olyvia said as she finally stepped out from the brush to find the man lying on the ground, clutching his left shoulder in pain, "Ugh, worst birthday ever!"
"Your birthday is in two days," Dianne said as she joined her sister.
"Still, two days, this is technically my birthday week," Olyvia said, "And he's wearing green, he sort of blended in."
"Livy, it's Fall."
"Almost fall, it's in two days too," Olyvia rebutted, "And he was standing next to a pine tree!"
"Right behind him is an oak tree though, and it's mostly orange."
"Oh shut up!"
"Whatever, we need to help this guy," Dianne said as she knelt down, "I am so sorry about this. My sister is a horrible shot."
Olyvia frowned, "Shouldn't that be a good thing? That meant I missed his heart."
"Get away from me you pathetic mortals," the man hissed.
Dianne leaned back, taken aback by his comment, and raised an eyebrow before looking up at her sister, "Mortals?"
"Sort of would explain how he just magically appeared right there though, don't you think?" Olyvia asked, "I mean…if he's not…mortal."
"S-s-stuff like that just doesn't…happen though Livy," Dianne said.
Olyvia gave her sister a blank stare, knowing full well she would know what she was thinking. Which she did, and Dianne sighed.
"You're right, I know," Dianne said, "Help me get him to the truck? We need to take him to the hospital."
"I don't need help from you mortals," the man again growled, "I am Loki! Son of Odin and I do not need your aide! And I will not have a girl carry—."
He was cut off by Olyvia hoisting him off the ground and slinging him over a shoulder, being careful not to jar his wound, but he cringed anyway. Loki struggled, but the girl had a grip of steel. No, stronger than that. Who…no, what was this girl?
"You sure a hospital is what we need?" Olyvia asked, "Sounds more like a mental institution."
Dianne rolled her eyes, "Just get him to the Trooper."
"Just saying, keep it as an option," Olyvia said.
"Whatever, you stay in the back seat with him, I'll drive," Dianne said as she hurried a little faster down the hill to where their vehicle was parked.
Olyvia slowed to a stop, her face going pale, "Um…how about you stay in the back with him and I drive?"
"You were the one who shot him, you stay with him," Dianne rebutted.
Olyvia gulped, "We're all going to die before we reach the hospital."
In S.H.I.E.L.D headquarters, everyone was running about crazily as they were trying to get a reading on a disturbance recorded all the way on the other side of the U.S. Looking at the data, it looked a lot like when the Asgardians traveled to Earth, so they could only assume that perhaps it was one of them, or someone else who had that ability.
"I want a team of agents out there now to find what made its way here," Fury ordered as everyone continued to scurry around. He wasn't going to take any chances of this being another attack.
Eventually a group of agents got themselves organized together and headed to the hanger to take a quinjet to California. Being on the other side of the country, they could only hope that whatever arrived, didn't go far. Fury glanced down at the pager on his hip that he had in case he needed to get in contact with the Avengers. He hoped he wouldn't have to use it.
At the hospital, Olyvia was a nervous wreck. She thought she would end up being arrested, or charged with something for shooting someone. Having taken off her camo cap, she let her curly blond locks loose from her ponytail and out of a nervous habit, kept wrapping a finger in a strand before pulling it loose, then doing it over again. Dianne herself was nervous, tugging anxiously at the braid her long dark brown hair was kept in.
"Do you think I'm going to be arrested?" Olyvia asked quietly as she and her sister waited in the lobby, where they were instructed to wait for the police to arrive to question them.
"Not arrested," Dianne replied, "They'll most likely take away your hunting license, and your gun safety license. You'll probably have to take that class over."
Olyvia grimaced, "That's it, I'm never hunting again. Bad things happen when I go hunting."
"You've only gone once, you can't determine that from just one outing," Dianne said.
"Yes I can," Olyvia rebutted.
Dianne sighed. There really was no arguing with her sister when she got like this. Once the police arrived, Olyvia was nearly pulling her hair out she was really pulling on that strand hard. As Dianne expected, Olyvia's gun safety license was revoked, as well as her hunting license. She was also expected to pay for the man's medical bills.
"Well there goes my college money," Olyvia sighed, "I won't be going to college this semester."
"I'm sure it won't be too much money," Dianne said, "You've been saving up for a while haven't you?"
"I have, but I bet you the hospital will get as much as they can from me," Olyvia said, "This sucks."
"Well maybe you should have been paying attention to what you were doing," Dianne said.
"I was Dianne!" Olyvia nearly shouted, tears springing to her eyes, "You saw what I saw. He just suddenly appeared there. It was not my fault he just happened to be directly in front of me. I was trying to shoot the deer, not him!"
"Okay, okay! I'm sorry," Dianne said.
Olyvia wiped away the tears that began sliding down her cheeks. She was just so angry and frustrated with herself, and overwhelmed with the situation that she couldn't help but cry. Olyvia was a very emotional person and had very few middle grounds with them. Her highs were high, and her lows were low. When she got angry or sad, it was not a pretty sight. After the news covered the destruction in New York City, showing some clips of the heroes who saved the day, their little sister Rosemary couldn't help but comment that the damage done when Olyvia was angry looked similar to what that green hulk thing did. Needless to say Rosemary had a bruise on her arm for a week after that comment.
"Livy, don't beat yourself up over it," Dianne said, "Hunting accidents happen all the time, and most of those incidents are deadly. You hit the guy in the shoulder."
"What am I going to tell Dad though?" Olyvia sobbed, "He's going to ground me for life!"
Dianne placed a consoling hand on her sisters shoulder, "Livy, he'll understand. It really was…a freak accident."
Olyvia grabbed a tissue from a nearby Kleenex box and blew her nose, "No kidding. Do you really think that guy is…Loki? I mean…that's Norse Mythology."
Dianne shrugged, "I don't know. I mean…we both know it's a possibility. We know there are… different people out there."
Olyvia nodded in agreement, "That or he's whacked out on drugs."
"Doesn't explain how he magically appeared out of nowhere," Dianne said.
"Maybe he's from Hogwarts!" Olyvia said excitedly, snapping out of her depression just like that.
Dianne brought the palm of her hand to her forehead, "One, that is, unfortunately, fiction. Two, he is far too old."
"He could be a teacher," Olyvia said, "Defense against the dark arts you know. Those guys die off every year!"
Dianne face-palmed her forehead once again, "Whatever, I'm starting to believe the Norse Mythology more now."
"You're no fun."
"Whatever," Dianne said, "Come on, let's go see how he's doing."
"Wait, wait, wait!" Olyvia called out to her sister as she began walking away, and jogged over to her to catch up, "If he's not from around here…where is he going to go."
Dianne's face paled, "Uh…we might have to take him home with us."
"Mom will not allow that," Olyvia said.
"We can't let him just…wander the streets though," Dianne said, "Not with a bullet wound that's healing."
Olyvia chewed on her bottom lip as she continued to follow her sister down the hospital hallway, "Then…I guess our only option would be to sneak him in. He could stay in the barn. The weather is still warm, it shouldn't be so bad there."
Dianne nodded thoughtfully, "Yes…he could stay up in the loft. You're in charge of the barn chores anyway, it's not like we have to worry about Mom or Rosemary stumbling across him."
"Or Dad," Olyvia said, "because we don't know how long…Loki might have to stay there. You know, saying Loki just sounds weird to me."
Dianne rolled her eyes, "That is true, but we'll just have to see how things go. Ah, here's his room."
"They're just letting us go see him?" Olyvia asked in confusion as Dianne opened the door.
"It's Trinity Hospital."
Stepping inside the room, they found Loki pulling on his jacket, having just finished getting dressed, though he was having some difficulty pulling on the jacket.
"Um…where you discharged or something?" Dianne asked.
"What are you two doing here?" he asked bitterly, "I do not need you following me around like children. Leave me be."
"The saying is following you around like a puppy," Olyvia said, "Just saying."
"What?" Loki asked in confusion.
"Anyway," Dianne said, shooting her sister a look before turning to Loki, "We just wanted to make sure you were okay."
"Yeah, I'm really, really, really sorry about shooting you," Olyvia said, "It won't happen again."
Loki looked at her with an expression that said 'it better not' as he clasped the buttons of his jacket shut. Dianne wondered how he was not burning up wearing all that long and heavy clothing.
"I was wondering…do you have anywhere to go?" Dianne asked.
Loki paused, "Why does it matter to you?"
"Well…if you don't have anywhere to go…you're welcome to stay with us for a while, until you're better," Dianne said.
"I do not need your aide," Loki said, "And it is better anyway that I do not stay in one place for long."
"You're still hurt though, and you shouldn't just…wander off with it still healing," Dianne argued.
"It'll heal within a few days," Loki rebutted, "I don't see why you care so much."
"Um, one, it's my fault your hurt," Olyvia joined in, "So I at least feel an obligation to make sure you're all okay. And two…I can't think of anything. Dianne help me out."
Dianne sighed, "Secondly…if you don't have anywhere to go…we want to help."
Loki's face was unreadable as he just stared at them for a few seconds before speaking, "I am flattered by your kindness, but believe me, it is a kindness if I leave you, and your home, far behind me."
Olyvia leaned over to her sister, "Sounds like he has something bad following after him."
"You have no idea," Loki said, "Now if you'll excuse me."
Striding past the girls, he headed out the room door and down the hall. Poking their heads out, they found no one seemed to notice he was leaving and Dianne was pretty sure he wouldn't have been discharged so soon.
"We should probably get out of here," Dianne suggested.
"Good plan," Olyvia said, quickly slipping out the door and moving at a fast walk down the hall.
Dianne quickly followed, their footsteps silenced as they walked to the door, so no one hardly paid them any heed either. Once outside, Dianne moved to her sister's side and gave her a look before nodding to Loki, who was only twenty feet ahead of them, his hand holding his shoulder. It was obviously causing him some pain. With a small sigh, Olyvia moved faster until she was right behind Loki. With a swift movement of her arms, she picked him up and had him slung over a shoulder again.
"What are you doing!?" Loki exclaimed, "Put me down this instant!"
"Sorry, but we believe you'll be better off, at least for the next few days, staying somewhere that you can actually get your rest," Olyvia said as she walked over to the Trooper parked in the lot, "So stop struggling and accept the fact that people are going to help you."
"I think kidnapping is the term you are looking for," Loki spat.
Olyvia rolled her eyes as she climbed into the backseat and unceremoniously dumped Loki down on it, "Now sit. Stay."
Loki leaned back in the seat with a huff. This mortals were…frustrating. He didn't understand the appeal Thor had for them. They were annoying, and stubborn, and…stupid! Even though he believed them to be a weak race, there was something about these two girls that gave him pause. Not even Sif could keep Loki in a hold long, no matter how hard she tried, not to mention carry and drag him around wherever she wanted. He had to admit, it was his curiosity about them that really was keeping him from leaving. He could use his magic again to just disappear, but that would cause too much strain on his body, which would in turn prolong his healing time. So perhaps he would suffer through a few days with these humans in order to let his body restore itself, and then he would leave. He needed to keep moving, to get as far away from Thanos as he possibly could. He didn't know what he was thinking, following the Mad Titan, promising to get the Tesseract for him. No…that was it exactly, he wasn't thinking. He could remember everything clearly, but the reason why he did it…it was still a little fuzzy to him. That was why Loki couldn't give Thor any answers. He was still trying to figure them out himself.
Arriving at the house, Dianne asked Olyvia to stall their mom while Dianne took Loki to the barn to get him…somewhat settled before they could sneak more supplies out to him. Saluting her sister, Olyvia then grabbed the guns and headed inside, looking for their mom as she headed to the gunlock to put them away. She found her in the sewing room, where the gunlock was, as well as a window looking out to the barn.
"Hey, how was your hunting trip?" her mother asked.
"Uneventful," Olyvia replied, placing the guns away and then leaned against the window sill, trying to cover as much window as she could with her body, which was certainly more than either of her sisters could. Olyvia was much brawnier than the two of them, having inherited her father's skeletal structure and muscle mass, "Found a three pointer, but it got away."
"Well that's too bad," her mother said, her gaze focused on the sewing machine, "Where is your sister?"
"She's grabbing the rest of the stuff from the Trooper," Olyvia replied, "She takes a lot of supplies, for just in case you know."
Her mother nodded, pressing her foot down on the pedal and running the fabric through the machine, "Well, maybe the next time you go out you'll get something. I know Allen wanted to take you out on your first time, but maybe he'll get the chance to at least take you out sometime this season."
Olyvia bit her lip. How would she tell her parents she lost her hunting license and gun license? The one option she had in order not to tell them was to just take the class and get them back again, or she could just spill her guts that she shot someone, and lost them. Her gut was telling her to just tell her the truth, to just get it out because lies were the worst kind of poison. It would eat her from the inside out. Oh Dianne would probably berate her for this later, but at least Olyvia wouldn't have to spill that they were letting the guy stay in the barn. She couldn't live with the guilt, so she had to say something.
"Actually…Mom…please don't be angry with me but…," Olyvia swallowed hard, trying to keep her tears back, "Our hunting trip…was anything but uneventful."
Stopping her sewing and leaning back in her chair, her mother removed her glasses as she looked up at her daughter to show she was listening.
"Mom I…I accidentally shot someone," Olyvia confessed, dropping her head in shame.
Her mother's eyes grew wide as she slapped a hand over her mouth, which had gone slack from the shock, "Livy!"
"I'm sorry I didn't mention it right away," Olyvia apologized, the tears brimming close to the edge again, "I was just…ashamed of myself. But that's what really happened. I went to shoot the deer I mentioned, and ended up hitting someone else. I lost my licenses. So Dad…will just have to take Dianne out."
Getting to her feet, her mother crossed the room and embraced her daughter in a hug. Olyvia returned it before she realized that her mother had a clear view out of the window now.
"Thank you for telling me," she said, "And I'm not upset with you. I'm sure it was an accident."
"Most definitely," Olyvia said. She wasn't sure if she could actually purposefully shoot someone. The thought just…sickened her.
Olyvia pulled away from her mom and moved back to the door so her mother would turn around, "So what are you working on now?"
"I'm making a dress for River," she replied. River was Olyvia's niece, her oldest sisters youngest kid out of four, and the only girl, "She's gotten so big now, I just hope I can finish it in time for her to wear it at least once."
Olyvia smiled, and glanced up to the window when she saw Dianne running by, giving her a thumbs up.
"Well then I will let you get back to work," Olyvia said as she walked backward out the door, "See you at dinnertime."
Heading back to the front door, Olyvia met up with her sister in the living room.
"He's just sitting out there right now," Dianne said, "We need to sneak a few blankets out there for him. Something he can sleep on so the hay isn't poking him, and then one to keep him warm."
"I'll go grab a sleeping bag he can use to sleep on, you get a blanket," Olyvia said, "Plan blanket is a go!"
Olyvia somersaulted her way to a stairway heading down before moving all sneaky like down it, and Dianne rolled her eyes. Her sister was a dork a lot of the time. Running upstairs, Dianne headed into her room, and grabbed a blanket from her bed. No one but her would miss it, which would keep suspicions down. Folding it up, she headed back downstairs, and headed to the barn the other way around to avoid the sewing room window as much as she could. As she headed into the barn, she found she had arrived before her sister. She was probably still digging around the basement for a sleeping bag. As she walked in, she had only taken a few steps forward when she noticed Loki was down by the horses. He had taken his jacket off, either he got too hot or it was just bothering him, wearing just a light green tunic underneath it, and he was petting one of the horses, speaking softly to it. Dianne couldn't help but smile. It was such a cute picture. Dianne blushed a little at her next thought. Loki himself was rather cute.
Clearing her throat to announce her presence, she walked over to the stall Loki was inside of, "I brought you a blanket to use."
Loki looked at the bundle of fabric in her arms before moving his gaze to her eyes, "Thank you."
"That's Blaze, by the way," Dianne said, motioning to the pure black horse he was petting, "She's my horse."
"Blaze?" Loki asked, as if he couldn't believe she honestly gave the horse that name.
"Hey, I've had her for years, I was a lot younger when I got her," Dianne defended, "I thought it was a cool name back then."
Loki merely shrugged, instantly regretting it as pain shot through his left shoulder.
"And what about the others?" Loki asked.
"Well that Appaloosa down there is Livy's, her name is Cara, short for Caramel, because of her mane and tail color," Dianne explained, "She is rather temperamental, Livy is the only one who can really handle her. The two brown Quarter horses are my parents, April and Boy, they got them from my grandpa, and then the pony, Kit, is Rosemary's."
Loki raised an eyebrow at the painted pony, "Any reason…it's a…pony?"
Dianne smiled, "Rosemary's nickname is midget. She's not going to grow any taller than she is already. The pony is the perfect height for her."
"Ah," Loki said, "That explains it then."
Just a few seconds later, the barn door opened and Olyvia slipped inside. Dianne had just turned around to talk to her when she chucked the sleeping bag at her. Dianne caught it between her face and arms, which still held the blanket as well, with an "oomph!"
"Rosemary is looking for me so I need to go distract her now," Olyvia said as she began backing out the door, "You can get him all set up right? Good. Bye."
Dianne glared at her sister over the sleeping bag as she quickly left. She could hear Rosemary shouting for Olyvia though, and they didn't want her catching them sneaking blankets and such out for Loki, let alone seeing Loki. But geez, Rosemary was loud, they could hear her clear as day and Dianne knew she wasn't close to the barn at all, but most likely on the other side of the house. Turning back around to face Loki, Dianne adjusted her grip so she could better hold the blanket and sleeping bag.
"You'll be sleeping up in the loft," Dianne said, "So you can just follow me."
Heading to a ladder, she again adjusted her items to where they were slung over a shoulder, and pinned them there with her head as she climbed up, doing her best to not let either fall or lose her balance. This was why she was hoping Olyvia would be there to help, she could have just tossed both items up into the loft easy, despite it being thirty feet up in the air. Dianne was more than relieved to have reached the top, flopping the blanket and sleeping bag down before hoisting herself up. As she began to make a pile of hay behind the mound of it to place the sleeping bag over, Loki reached the loft as well, his jacket slung over an arm. He looked around a bit before moving to the window on the right wall. Looking out, he could see the house, and the road leading to it. It was a good vantage point to see if anyone was coming from the obvious path to the barn. Moving to the other side, he opened up the wooden panel for the other window. That view was of the hillside, and he couldn't see much further than a hundred feet into the woods before it became too thick with trees.
"So…dinner will be in about an hour," Dianne said as she unzipped the sleeping bag all the way and laid it down over the pile of hay she made, "I'll try to bring something out for you."
"You don't need to trouble yourself with me anymore," Loki said.
Dianne looked over at him with a blank expression, "I'm not going to let you go hungry. Besides, my sister is making burritos, and her burritos are really good."
Loki didn't know what these burritos were, they didn't…sound all that appetizing. He could fend for himself, he had been practically his whole life. Though…the last time he was out on his own, it didn't really go over all that well.
Once happy with the way the sleeping bag was laid, Dianne tossed the blanket down on top and turned to Loki, "Well…I'll just be going now, unless you need anything else."
Loki merely shook his head so Dianne waved goodbye before heading to the ladder and making her way down. Tossing his jacket onto the makeshift bed, Loki went and sat down, placing a hand over the injury on his shoulder, cringing slightly from the pain. He was used to injuries like this though, after what he had been through, and he knew it would only take a few days to fully heal. Being an Agardian, or even technically a Frost Giant, he healed much faster than a mere mortal. He was a little concerned though, staying here a few days. He didn't want to make it easier for Thanos to find him, or cause trouble for these people. They had shown him kindness, even though they did not know him, and the least he could do was not bring about their demise. He was intrigued by them though, wanting to study them a little while he was here, perhaps even just a little longer, just to see if he could find what made them different. He knew there was something, and he wanted to find out what.
Dianne brought Loki food a little over an hour later, and he hadn't moved from his spot on the bed. After a short conversation in which Loki ate, Dianne headed back into the house with the plate his dinner was on, and Loki had to admit, this…burrito or whatever Dianne had called it was rather good. A little too spicy perhaps for him, but otherwise good. Once Dianne left, Loki laid down on the bed, and just pondered over things until it grew dark out. He wondered how Asgard fared, whether his family survived…or if anyone survived for that matter. Loki knew how powerful Thanos was, nothing could stop him. It wasn't a matter of whether the Asgardians beat Thanos, it was a matter of whether he decided to leave and give chase after Loki, or destroy the place before moving on. Closing his eyes, he tried to think of better things as he let himself drift off to sleep.
When another atmospheric disturbance was detected, this time in the New York vicinity, Fury was starting to worry. The team heading to California would nearly be there by now, and here they had another problem. He was quick to get a team out there, and a half hour later heard the report from the agents. His stomach dropped hearing it. Thor was here, and he had bad news. Fury didn't even wait to have Thor brought in to tell him what was wrong now and grabbed the pager on his hip. It was time to call for the Avengers. He could only hope they would arrive quickly, despite it being in the middle of the night. He expected though Stark would take his sweet time, and arrive in the morning. Fury just hoped that whatever catastrophe was about to happen, that it would hold off to allow Stark to get his act together.
Agent Barton and Romanoff were the first to arrive at the conference room of course, since they were already on the helicarrier, and Thor was brought in not long after. He spoke to Fury privately so he knew what was going on, before waiting for the rest to arrive to be debriefed. Steve arrived next, having been brought on a quinjet by an agent who went to fetch him. Next was Bruce, arriving bleary eyed and still half asleep, but he was still there. As Fury expected though, Stark didn't arrive until late the next morning, arriving in his Iron Man suit. Everyone slept in their chairs, knowing full well they would have to wait for him.
"You do know the meaning of the word critical, don't you Stark?" Fury asked as Stark waltzed in and took a seat next to Bruce.
"Do you understand the meaning of the middle of the night," Stark rebutted.
Fury didn't bother with a retort, instead sweeping a glance over the group, "We have a situation."
"We sort of assumed that, given that we're here," Stark said.
Again, Fury just ignored Stark, "Last night we detected an atmospheric disturbance on the west coast, similar to the one caused when the Asgardians travel here. Thor arrived nearly six hours later, with some news you won't like."
Thor took this as his cue and stood from his seat, "My brother has escaped Asgard."
"Wait, so we have to stop him from destroying the world again?" Stark asked exasperatedly.
"I do not believe that is his plan," Thor replied, "He was running from someone, who goes by the name of Thanos. He…he nearly destroyed Asgard before leaving. I believe he only left to go after Loki."
"I have a question," Stark piped up, "Why was this Thanos guy after him?"
"That I do not know," Thor replied, "I tried getting answers from my brother when we were in Asgard, but he would not give any. I hope to find my brother, and get those answers now."
"So this disturbance on the west coast," Steve began, talking more to Fury, "You believe that was Loki?"
"We believe so, yes," Fury replied.
"So we're going to…what?" Stark asked, "Find him, figure out who this Thanos dude is and take care of him?"
"I'm afraid it won't be as simple, or as easy as you might think," Thor said to the billionaire, "This…Thanos, he broke into the weapons vault in Asgard, and stole the infinity gauntlet. He went there to get the Tesseract, but my father removed it so instead he took the gauntlet."
"And what does this gauntlet do exactly, that makes it so dangerous?" Bruce asked.
"The gauntlet is designed to hold six soul gems," Thor went to explain, "When they are all mounted on the gauntlet, it gives the wearer immense power over their abilities, and has absolute dominion over the universe. He could easily destroy any world, with a simple snap of his fingers."
Everyone's eyes grew wide.
"That doesn't sound good," Stark said.
"Wait a second," Bruce began, catching something the others hadn't, "You said it is designed to hold six gems. Does that mean it currently…does not have any?"
Thor nodded, and the group visibly relaxed, "My father knew that it would be far too dangerous to keep it all in one piece and in one place. He removed the gems and scattered them throughout one of the realms."
"Wouldn't it have been a better idea to put them in more than one place?" Stark asked.
Thor shot Stark a look before continuing, "Luckily Thanos doesn't know where they are hidden, but I know it won't take him long."
"Do you know where they're hidden?" Natasha asked.
Thor pursed his lips, "They're all somewhere in Midgard."
"Well isn't that…peachy," Stark muttered.
"So then Thanos is after the soul gems," Steve said.
"And after Loki," Clint added.
"And just so he can attempt to gain the Tesseract's power as well," Thor finished.
"So limitless power isn't enough for the guy huh?" Stark said sarcastically.
"You know what this means then don't you," Fury said.
Everyone went silent as they looked back at him.
"You're going to have to stop him before he gets that far."