The Dark Knight Initiative

A/N: Alright guys, to clear up some things, the fic is set six months after The Avengers and during The Dark Knight Rises. The story will be told mostly from the Avenger's perspective while the actual story of TDKR unfolds, with some tweaks of course so they flow into the story.

Disclaimer: I don't own either of these movies or franchises, if I did, or rather if anyone did they wouldn't be putting it on the internet but rather make the crossover happen in reality right now. Lol

Ch1: Return

It's known as one of the most famous cities in the whole country of America, New York City. Its structures and people are finally living in peace since the Chitauri invasion six months ago. Six months since the sky was torn open and aliens came out from some portal no one knew where it came from, six months since civilians panicked as the invaders armed with advanced technology and giant creatures that can fly through the sky and destroyed everything in its path. Six months... since six heroes stood up against the seemingly countless army and defended the city, not only the city and its inhabitants but all of mankind as well. No one knew how they came together but some of them they recognized.

The most well-known was covered in red and gold armored suit, soaring through the skies and armed to the teeth with tech that could rival the alien's own. Everyone knew who he was underneath the layers of armor; he was Malibu's favorite son... Anthony Stark, genius billionaire playboy, but right now they all know him as the armored avenger, Iron Man.

The second one was more recognizable by the elderly, or those who lived through the Second World War, and by those who knew enough of their American history. Dressed in what seemed like an old-fashioned red, white and blue suit but obviously made with modern equipment. The younger generation may not know who he was... yet. But everyone recognizes his shield, with the same colors as that of his uniform and a single white star in the middle, able to deflect and is impervious to any type of damage, he is the first avenger, Captain America.

The next one seems like a monster, wearing nothing but torn black shorts, with green skin and hair, muscles that make any kind of bodybuilder look like a dwarf in comparison. He tore at the armies of aliens as if he was just taking a stroll in the park, but the ferocity which he destroyed them bellies that metaphor. Though underneath that bestial body and mind lies a brilliant scientist, Dr. Bruce Banner, a meek individual who is the top scientist who specializes in gamma radiation, few are privy to this detail, but those who do know to stay on his good side, and there are others who seek to harness what he has in his blood. Some may recall his other form as that monster that broke half of Manhattan a couple years ago, and the military surely identifies him as one of their accidental experiments that they keep a secret. He may be considered a monster by many, but he is also the strongest there is, The Hulk.

Following him is a man wearing black and silver armor reminiscent of warriors of old, a long flowing red cape that indicated he's no normal warrior but must have been of higher rank, perhaps even royalty. His golden locks and rough yet handsome face probably proves that, and to his closest friends and his current teammates, he's now recognized to the world as the god of thunder, Thor Odinson.

The remaining two are still not that well famous in the eyes of the public, perhaps because they don't stand out as well as the other four, but they helped either way with the protection of the world. One of them being a remarkable marksman, able to see and hit anything at any given distance, his choice of weapon being only his trusty bow and trick arrows; the other, not only being the only female of the group, with beauty that would make every man turn, wavy red hair that resembles a wilder side, or that of the amount of blood in her ledger, a combat specialist and master spy. They may not have superpowers, enhancements, genius intellects or even born as gods, but Hawkeye and Black Widow have become an indispensable part of the team. And the six of these misfits have become the defenders of Earth... The Avengers.

Present Day...

As the city of the big apple continues with its daily routine, everything having been rebuilt thanks to donations from some of the government, including some of the wealthiest companies in America such as Lex Corp, Oscorp, Wayne Enterprise, and especially Stark Industries, no one has noticed a huge object hovering ten thousand feet above them, but considering the giant helicarrier has activated its cloaking device it's not hard to guess why.

In the main room of the Helicarrier, all the personnel staff are busy performing their duties, whether gathering reports from terrorist activities to infiltration to even the local news they are keeping eyes on everything they can get their hands on. And the man overlooking all of these is merely standing by the glass window, dark skinned and wearing all black combat suit and a long black leather coat, but his most distinguishing feature is an eyepatch over his left eye and some visible scars underneath indicating he must have lost it. This man is the Director of SHIELD, Nick Fury as he stood by the glass windows looking outside of the newly rebuilt SHIELD Helicarrier. After the New York incident, they pretty much had everything handled after that, nothing major happened since the team made their debut. Everyone feared this team of heroes that was able to stop an alien invasion. Yet despite that, he couldn't help but feel anxious, but that's part of the job, you never know when something might happen or who will make the next move.

As he simply stood seemingly lost in thought he suddenly remembered something from ten roughly years ago. SHIELD had just started out and he was elected as the director by the World Security Council, the same council that elected and dared to launch a nuclear bomb to New York. Why he even kept serving them he didn't really know. It was when he started out as the Director of SHIELD and was looking over some files of any odd news that may be occurring around the world, when he stumbled on a file that read "Giant Bat seen flying over Gotham City", something like that would have him consider the author either too high or too drunk to consider seriously, and he did just that, skipping over the file and paying no more mind to the ridiculous article he just read. There were more important things in the world than an urban myth.

A few months later he found out that same urban myth might not be as absurd as he thought it might have been, news have been popping up about this so-called "Batman" appearing to take down big time criminal names in their most tightly secured base of operations, including taking down dozens of henchmen and then disappearing without a trace.

Several other reports indicate him somehow being in two places at one time, some thugs have even suffered post-traumatic disorders that they came clean and never had committed a crime after their encounter with the Bat, the streets were slowly becoming safer from organized crime since. Nick had to admit, this kind of achievement for one man to do, he was an ideal agent for someone like SHIELD. Fury spent the next few months tracking down whatever he could on the vigilante, but all he got were just sightings, blurred videos of one man taking down dozens of mooks, and pictures of a shadow disappearing in the darkness. Not even an exact measure of his height, build or possible weight, everything he heard from witnesses were nothing but exaggerations. 'As tall as a shadow extending on the ground, built like a monster of the night, bullets seem to pass through him, a voice that sends shivers down your spine,' it was nice and all but it didn't help him one bit on tracking him down. Whoever the Batman is, he was good, not even a single trace of his whereabouts, until a year later when Gotham came under attack by a criminal known only as… The Joker.

This psychopath managed to singlehandedly do what the mob and police couldn't, he made the Bat seem human, openly killing innocents and causing the whole city of Gotham come into panic while making threats to the vigilante that it wouldn't stop until he takes off his mask and turn himself in. SHIELD could've come to its aid, but they were stuck in the sidelines, mainly because the World Security Council stated it was a local problem that didn't need to involve global security. That, and if an organization like SHIELD were to interfere it would cause further panic and make people ask questions on how secure is a country superpower like America. Needless to say, Fury was beyond pissed at that statement, but he had his orders to follow. Then suddenly, the Joker was apprehended, and then the Batman disappeared again, but this time for good. Though he did hear that the Batman was involved in a few cases after The Joker's chaos, it was never made public.

Fury didn't exactly know why the Bat did what he did, but he had to guess it had to do with the death of the DA Harvey Dent, all news pointed to the Batman having killed Dent and five other people, two of them cops, but there were no facts or evidence to support this, only hearsay from a Commissioner James Gordon. But the facts never added up, during the couple years Batman operated not one criminal has been killed, so why start now? And in one night after all that time? It was obviously all a cover up. But it was too late now, despite using every resource to find him, Fury never had such luck, their tech back then was insufficient enough to be able to follow the Bat, whose tech could rival Stark's. Giving up the search after a few months Fury just resigned from recruiting the "Dark Knight" as they now call him, probably because of jealousy for killing Dent, dubbed Gotham's "White Knight".

'Oh well, at least he managed to make Gotham a safer place, so far there's no more crime, at least no organized crime as far as I heard,' Fury left himself in his own thoughts.

"Sir!" One of the monitor staff called out to him, "I think you may want to look at this!"

He pulled it up on the monitor to show everyone, and what showed on GCN didn't seem real, the article read "The Return of The Batman?" underneath along with a video of the Dark Knight riding the same high-tech bike he was seen in all those years ago when he chased down the Joker.

'I can't believe it, he's back,' Fury's only eye widened a bit as he kept on watching.

Batman kept driving his bike towards downtown, with what looks like all the GCPD hot on his tail and some more coming onto him from the front. Taking a sharp turn down a dark corner it seemed he trapped himself into a dead-end. The Deputy Commissioner was seen holding out a megaphone and was about to call out Batman and to read his rights, when suddenly white light shone brightly on the police officers, temporarily blinding them. While the Batman, on a new vehicle that moved like a silent aircraft, hovered over them before flying away and once again disappearing into the night sky.

The news feed then cut off as the looks of everyone in the Helicarrier simply stayed where they were in awed silence.

"Well what are you all still staring at the screen for?! Monitor all video feed and see if we can finally track him down!" Fury ordered immediately towards his staff, which moved as fast as they could, trying to catch if the Bat left any trail for them to follow.

Soon after, a woman with straight black hair tied into a bun, beautiful yet strong facial features and ice cold blue eyes that showed authority over nearly everyone except Fury himself walked up next to the Director and asked, "Sir, why are we chasing after the Batman? Compared to the current members of the team, he wouldn't stand a chance against more than half of them one-on-one."

"Been reading my old reports again Agent Hill?" Fury asked as he looked towards the agent known as Maria Hill, his second-in-command.

"It helps kill time sir, and you didn't answer my question. The Batman may have been a valuable asset back then, but our technology can match his now, not to mention Stark's tech is currently number one in the world. Captain Rogers can beat him in hand-to-hand combat with a battle of attrition. Agent Romanov matches him in stealth and Agent Barton can easily take him down from afar, and there's also Thor and Doctor Banner-"

"You make good points, Agent Hill," Fury interrupted her, "But I believe the Batman has some things that will make him an asset for the Avengers," he replied, "And he has some qualities that could also equal if not surpass the team."

"Which is?" Maria tilted her head.

"... I think you should give Agent Romanov and Barton a call, see if they can help us find him..." Was all Fury said to her, with the subtle hint of 'You're dismissed' read between the lines.

Agent Hill simply gave a short inaudible sigh and proceeded to follow her orders. As she left Fury repeated what she said in his head, 'What she said may be true, but the Batman does have some qualities that personify what we do, and he executes them perfectly, I may have lost the chance years ago, but this time, this time we can't miss this opportunity,' he thought, 'I wonder if the others have seen the news as well.'

Little did Fury know that despite the Avengers scattered across the country, with Thor being off world, each of them has seen the news of the Batman's return, and as they have done before, they have different opinions from one extreme to the other...