A/N: Hiya! This is a multi-chap fic the idea for which popped into my head when I saw some Avengelock art on Tumblr. I know not many people are into crossovers and this is my first time writing something like this, so please bear with me. Feedback is much appreciated. Thank you and enjoy!
WARNING: Mild language
Chapter 1: First Impression
When one is the world's only consulting detective, one tends to attract a certain amount of attention from the public for one's brilliance. When one is the world's only consulting detective with an elder brother who is practically the British Government, one tends to attract a different sort of attention from private entities. Sherlock Holmes discovered this quickly when an American named Phil Coulson showed up at his door demanding that he come with him. He agreed only out of boredom and curiosity, though he knew his brother was involved. A half an hour later, he found himself standing in Mycroft's office with his brother and an American wearing an eyepatch dressed in all black.
"Mr. Holmes, my name is Nick Fury. I am the director of SHIELD and I'm here to talk to you about the Avengers Initiative." Fury held out his hand for Sherlock to shake, but he did not take it.
"The answer is no." the detective said and Fury raised his eyebrows. Mycroft grimaced.
"Brother, this is a matter of international importance." At this, Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"I have no interest in playing hero with your glorified police force." Sherlock drawled in response. He wasn't stupid. He had read the papers. He knew about the Avengers and how they had defended New York from an invasion. It all sounded very boring and thus not something he would want to be involved in. Besides, joining the Avengers and/or SHIELD would involve accepting a strict set of rules, rules that would damage the freedom he enjoyed so much.
"I anticipated that you would say that, Mr. Holmes. I have talked it over with your brother extensively. We could use someone like you. We need more clever people on our side and let me tell you, things can get very interesting at SHIELD." Fury said. If it was distractions this man wanted, then he would find no shortage in NYC. From all accounts, Sherlock Holmes rivaled Loki in intelligence and Fury very much liked the idea of having his own, semi-tame Loki. He watched the British detective for a long while. Sherlock was thinking with his hands steepled under his chin. The director waited patiently. He knew he had to be careful not to irritate Sherlock any further if he wanted him to join the Avengers. Eventually, he got a response.
"I will join you on two conditions. One, you allow me to bring John Watson and Molly Hooper with me. Two, you allow me to return home when I am unneeded." the detective stated, causing Fury to grin.
"Is that all?"
John and Molly had no idea why they were suddenly sitting on either side of Sherlock in a private jet to New York City. All they knew was that their friend had been roped into some sort of American government operation and he had requested that they come with him.
"This has to be the biggest client we've ever had." John said, attempting to break the awkward silence. Sherlock let out a sarcastic laugh.
"Yes, a client that we will have to take orders from. SHIELD is not exactly known for giving its agents a great deal of freedom." John's eyes widened at the mention of SHIELD. Then he frowned and let out and exasperated sigh.
"Mycroft recommended you for the Avengers Initiative, didn't he?" Sherlock smirked at John's deduction, confirming it. "Oh God...what did they do? Bribe you with alien body specimens?"
"I managed to bargain for a lot of things that will make our little trip to America much more interesting." Sherlock replied, still smirking. He suddenly turned to Molly, a slightly annoyed look in his eyes. "What is it, Molly? You've been glancing at me nervously for the past hour. I know we've gotten past that sort of thing, so something in particular must be bothering you." Since his fall three years ago, Sherlock had come to think of Molly in a similar light to John and when he had stayed with her for the time it took to take down Moriarty's network, she had learnt to stop being a nervous wreck around him, which he greatly appreciated. However, she still had a habit of apologizing for everything.
"Oh, sorry...it's just...what am I doing here? Why did you ask me to come with you? I'm sure SHIELD will have plenty of competent people to help you with your experiments." she replied, not looking him in the eye. Sherlock let out a sigh and gently put his finger under Molly's chin, forcing her to look at him.
"How many times do have to tell you, Molly Hooper? You do count. And besides, the people in the labs at SHIELD will either all be incompetent or unwilling to work with me." he said, giving her the look he always did when he thought she was being silly.
"How can you know that when you haven't even met any of them?" John asked in bemusement that quickly turned into amused realization when Sherlock ignored him. It was clear that his best friend wanted Molly here because he refused to trust anyone else in aiding him with his experiments and though he would never admit it, thought of Molly as a friend and wanted to have as many pleasantly familiar people with him on this trip as possible. He probably would have brought Lestrade too if he had been able to come up with an excuse for it.
"What are you so amused about, John?" Sherlock suddenly asked, noticing the look on his best friend's face. There was a slight hint in his voice of the tone that meant he was feeling genuinely vulnerable in some way. A rare sound and priceless every time.
"Oh, nothing." John replied, grinning with the knowledge that his answer would annoy Sherlock endlessly because he couldn't read what the doctor was thinking. It annoyed the detective even more when it became apparent from Molly's over-joyous grinning that she understood. Sherlock grunted in irritation and closed his eyes, retreating to his mind palace. The rest of their flight was spent in total silence. When they landed in New York City, they were driven to none other than Stark Tower. Sherlock, of course, was completely unimpressed, but John and Molly were giddy with the idea of meeting Tony Stark and the Avengers. They were escorted through the building by Agent Coulson and two other SHIELD agents. When they reached a pair of large doors, Coulson put his thumb in the scanner by the door and it opened to reveal a room at the center of which was a round table. At the table sat the people the Brits had seen so often in the papers: Thor, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Clint Barton, and Bruce Banner. They looked up when the door opened. Molly suddenly felt very small. Coulson gestured for Sherlock to sit in the empty seat between Natasha and Steve and he silently obliged. John and Molly stood off to the side with Coulson. A moment later, Nick Fury appeared looking miffed.
"Where is Stark?" he demanded upon seeing that there was still an empty seat at the table. He got his answer a minute later when Tony Stark and a red headed woman came through the door.
"What the hell, Fury? I thought you were handing The Avengers Initiative off to me and I know I didn't call this meeting." the man said loudly, glaring at SHIELD's director. Then he noticed the new person at the table. "Who is Mr. Cheekbones over there and why is he sitting at my table?" Sherlock rolled his eyes at this and John and Molly thought 'oh no here we go'.
"For a man who claims to be the most up to date with the times, you are displaying a ridiculous amount of ignorance in what's happened outside America. I am Sherlock Holmes, the world's only consulting detective. Really, I'm not surprised considering you were probably too busy drinking, shagging your PA, and playing hero to read news that didn't have to do with yourself. As to your other question, I would think the answer is obvious. I have been asked to join The Avengers." The reactions to this around the room ranged from raised eyebrows to dropped jaws. The red headed woman was blushing madly and Tony looked livid. He turned to Fury slowly, his jaw set in anger.
"You invited this British asshole to join my group?" he said, his tone a quiet sort of angry. Before Fury could respond, John spoke.
"Don't take what he says personally. He does that to everyone." Everyone looked over at him in surprise.
"And you are?"
"John Watson. I'm his colleague." Tony quirked an eyebrow at this before turning his attention to Molly.
"I'm guessing you're either his assistant or his girlfriend. Or both." It was obviously meant to be a jab at Sherlock, but the detective remained unaffected, though Molly blushed brightly and shook her head.
"Molly Hooper is my pathologist." Sherlock declared calmly, knowing that Molly was probably too nervous to introduce herself without making herself look silly. If the others in the room had seemed shocked before, they were totally surprised now.
"I'm sorry, your what?"
"My pathologist." He said it as if it was the most simple and normal thing in the world, but when it became clear that it wasn't he rolled his eyes and elaborated. "She helps me with the more scientific aspects of my cases." From the corner of his eye, he could see Bruce Banner smile at this. Obviously he appreciated having another scientific mind in the room. Sherlock socked that away for future use.
"So she is your assistant." Tony concluded with a triumphant smirk. Sherlock scowled at him.
"Not in the same way she is your assistant." he rebutted, pointing at the red haired woman who was now doing her best to stop blushing from embarrassment. Ironically, Molly was doing the same. Sherlock and Tony were staring daggers at each other until Natasha spoke.
"The tremendous amount of ego in the room is giving me a headache. Stark, shut up and take your seat. Holmes, just shut up." she snapped, earning her a look of gratitude from Fury while the others stared. Tony reluctantly took his seat, not wanting to incur Natasha's wrath further knowing she would find it very easy to jump over the table and take him down.
"Right. As you already know, this is Sherlock Holmes. He's joining The Avengers and helping us figure out what happened to those agents a month ago. Now I suggest you learn to get along with each other, as hard as that may be for some of you." The director sent glares at both Sherlock and Tony. "And Stark, before you start complaining that it's your team, try to remember that it hasn't been officially signed over to you yet. Mr. Holmes here is my last installment before I'm handing it off to you. You will also need to remember that some of the Avengers still work for me." At this, Tony seemed thoroughly put out. He wasn't going to stand for this. "Mr. Holmes, I'll let you take it from here."
"Yes, as I understand it, I am to be granted full access to your labs, equipment, and research data. You have no need to worry about providing me with lab assistants, as I have brought mine with me, or intruding upon the usual social functions of this team as I have no interest in such things." Sherlock explained cooly, clearly addressing Tony more than anyone else.
"Natasha and I have been commissioned to provide you with standard SHIELD combat training." Clint Barton suddenly spoke up calmly, though there was a hint of displeasure in his voice.
"Oh, that won't be necessary. I already know a few forms of martial arts and I'm a good shot with a gun." Sherlock drawled. He raised his eyebrows at the reaction this earned him from John. The blond's expression seemed to say 'that's not the point'.
"We'll be teaching you a lot more than that, Holmes." Natasha put in, glaring at the detective icily.
"And I suppose you are referring to military discipline and the ability to kill swiftly without a second thought for the life in your hands. Things you know quite a bit about, don't you, Ms. Romanova. Even more so than Barton." Sherlock shot back cooly. "I assure you, your lessons are unnecessary." Natasha glared at the man. John gaped.
"Sherlock, do you know who you're talking to? That's Black Widow. She could kill you with her little finger."
"I am perfectly aware of that, John. I did not mean to imply that her skills are any less than they are reputed to be. I was simply making it clear that military training is unnecessary for someone whose valued skill set is not in the area of combat. It is highly unlikely that I will be seeing any battle." This seemed to calm Natasha significantly and she was giving him a look of slight respect now.
"Just take the damn training, Holmes." Fury snapped. Sherlock opened his mouth to argue, but he was cut off. "That's an order." At this, the detective simply frowned and gritted his teeth, which obviously meant he was going to grudgingly comply. John resisted the urge to laugh. He never thought he'd see the day that Sherlock Holmes took an order from anyone.
"I am curious, Sherlock of Britain. What great skills do you possess if not those of a warrior?" Thor suddenly asked, a look of genuine curiosity on his face. Sherlock quirked a raven eyebrow at being spoken to in such a way, though it was clear to him what the Asgardian meant and he saw no reason to be snide in his answer, considering this man was not human or particularly familiar with Earth's ways.
"To put it simply, I'm very good in the thinking area." For once, there was very little condescension in the detectives voice. Something about Thor made him want to be more polite that usual. "I can understand a great deal about everything around me simply by observing. For instance, I know that you like poptarts and coffee and you have a brunette lady friend. Dr. Banner has an experiment he's eager to get back to. Agent Barton filed a long report last night. Captain Rogers had a mishap with a microwave this morning. And so on and so forth." He held back on the more in depth observations because he knew they would be deemed insensitive.
"That is an impressive gift, my friend." Thor commented, wondering what Sherlock had noticed that had allowed him to make those conclusions. The dark haired Englishman smirked. There was something deeply satisfying about being called impressive by someone who was worshiped as a god. John noticed this and shook his head.
"Don't encourage him. The last thing he needs is to have his ego stroked by you of all people." the doctor told Thor, a hint of amusement in his voice. Sherlock glared at his friend in a 'don't spoil my moment' sort of way.
"Alright, if you're quite through here, Agent Coulson will show you, Dr. Watson, and Dr. Hooper to your rooms." Fury interrupted, having grown tired of listening to these people banter. Sherlock wordlessly got up, clearly not enjoying the company of certain persons in the room and followed Coulson out, John and Molly close behind.
Within the next eight hours, Sherlock had discovered the labs and JARVIS and had figured out how most of the equipment worked. Molly got to know Tony's PA, Pepper Potts (starting with "I'm sorry Sherlock embarrassed you."). John just followed Sherlock everywhere, trying to make sure his friend didn't get himself in trouble. It was bad enough that the man whose name was on the the building didn't like the detective...at all. By the time dinner rolled around, Molly was helping Sherlock dissect a chitauri head and they were only interrupted when JARVIS spoke up.
"Mr. Holmes, your presence is requested in the dining room."
"Oh, for God's sake." Sherlock muttered, not even looking up from the high tech microscope he was fiddling with. "You can tell Mr. Stark that I don't need an apology he was obviously forced into." he snapped back at JARVIS. Molly, who was sitting next to him, frowned.
"It was not Mr. Stark who requested your presence. It was Captain Rogers, sir." This seemed to pique the Englishman's interest as he quirked an eyebrow. While it was obvious what Steve's intentions were, he found it interesting that the man would bother with him after he told the others how he felt about the social implications of being part of the group. For that reason, Sherlock decided to be whimsical and except the invitation. This could be very interesting.
"Very well. I will grant his request." he replied, standing up from the stool he had been sitting on. "Molly, please continue monitoring the progress of that sample's decomposition." With that, Sherlock disappeared from the lab, leaving Molly alone and a little confused.
"Okay..." she said softly.
Sherlock arrived in the dining room to find all of the Avengers sitting at the table, platters and bowls of delicious looking food set out, though he wasn't even hungry. Steve smiled at him when he entered and gestured to the empty seat next to him. The detective took it wordlessly.
"Mr. Holmes, I'm sorry we got off on a rough start. We-" Steve received a silent glare from Tony that convinced him to change the pronoun, "I thought we should give you a proper welcome as a new member of the Avengers." Well, actually, Thor had been the one to suggest the dinner, but Steve had completed the idea, much to certain other Avengers' displeasure.
"Oh, that wasn't necessary, Captain." Sherlock responded, hiding his genuine surprise at being treated with such kindness and respect.
"I know, but I want you to feel welcome here."
"You and who else? I was under the impression the rest of you found me to be a burden. Like it or not, I am here until I am no longer needed. I see no reason for such pleasantries when it is clear by majority rule that I am not welcome." What good would it do for the others to pretend to be nice to him? He hated being lied to, especially when it was such a glaring and obvious lie.
"You're selling yourself short, Mr. Holmes. I've read about all those things you did back in England and I've talked to Dr. Watson and Dr. Hooper about you. It seems to me your a great man." Bruce suddenly spoke up and everyone stared at him, not having expected him to say anything. Sherlock understood, though. Dr. Banner knew what it was to be the odd one out, hated for something he couldn't help.
"Bruce is right. You may have been a bit of a dick earlier, but Tony had it coming." Clint put in, earning him a death glare from the billionaire. "I'd have been snippy too if he had marched in on my first day, told me I didn't belong, and called Natasha my 'assistant'." The mention of Natasha as Clint's parallel for Molly caught the detective's attention and he socked it away in his mind palace for later use.
"Why is everybody suddenly against me?" Tony grumbled before grabbing his plate of food and walking out of the dining room.
"Childish." Natasha muttered as she watched him go. "Don't pay him any mind, Holmes."
"Wasn't planning to." Sherlock replied with a smirk. He was beginning to feel a little bit less annoyed by the others.
A/N: ...and there you have it. What do you think? Should I delete this or is it worth continuing? I've already got most of the next chapter typed up. It involves Tony taking a leaf from Loki's book and Sherlock in a jumpsuit. Anyway, I'm always self-conscious about my ability to portray Sherlock, so any feedback on that in particular would be marvelous. I appreciate every review I get. Thank you! ~T.Z.