Thor knows a tracker, one that could help with finding the Tesseract.
None of the other Avengers are quite sure what he means by that, but apparently, he does, and they go along with it. Thor mentions visiting parts of the world that are hidden from the rest, ones that have changed as much as the rest of Midgard, but separately, with less technology-magic, and more magic-technology.
He calls them the Elemental Nations, and the rest of the team is once more left scratching their heads in confusion.
When Thor brings the tracker by, they're surprised to see that it's just a young girl, one with a peculiar shade of red hair, and that three boys barely her age flank her.
Half of them doubt the abilities of the four before them, but Thor is quick to assure them that the kids, because they are just kids, can play on a level field with the rest of them, barring the girl, whose skills he'd already mentioned.
He doesn't mention that the girl is prone to bouts of anger that destroy the head of one of the boys. He also doesn't mention that said boy can collapse into water, reform, and laugh in the girl's face after seemingly dying.
Neither Thor nor the other boys seem all that surprised, but even Black Widow is clenching her jaw to try and keep from showing just how disconcerting she finds it.
Then the girl snaps her head back around and waspishly asks for a 'sample' of the energy she's supposed to be tracking, or at least a description, and Stark decides to be a gentleman and show her the way to the lab before Fury can lay into her for disrespect.
They're lucky that they've still got Loki in custody, because Tony's sure that they wouldn't have that spear of his otherwise. But they do, which is good, because now he gets to see just what this girl is capable of doing.
The Tesseract's energy output is absolutely enormous. It's so large, in fact, that the girl can't accurately gauge the distance. Karin, as they eventually find is her name, however, can give them a very accurate direction, one which she reaffirms for them every hour or so.
It's more to go on than just the gamma radiation they were using to track it before, so they go along with it.
After the first directions are given, Tony drags Banner into the lab and starts questioning the shinobi (Tony's tempted to make a joke about Obi-wan hitting his shin, but brushes it off as not good enough) about what they could do, about what the tracking consisted of, about the water, about what they could do that would make even Thor just the teensiest bit impressed.
Strange looks cross their faces, and the kid with the white hair and the big sword (would a compensation joke be too cliché?) mutters something angrily about a snake, but they agree to answer what they can.
Tony can't get them to agree to any experimentation beyond using different types of cameras to record what they already do.
He's almost giddy when he starts figuring some of it out, if only a little.
Banner notices the 'kid' watching him. Granted, said kid is actually eighteen and taller than even Thor, but Bruce still sees him as a child.
He's a little annoyed at that, and eventually just asks, though politely, just why the kid (Juugo, right?) seems so ridiculously interested in him.
He watches the strange jets form, the hands turn to axes, the sclera deepen in color, until there is not an unusually tall teen standing before him, but a creature that most would call a monster.
Juugo holds the form for several seconds, and then goes back to normal.
Bruce blanches when Juugo tells him that he's been randomly going into bouts of uncontrollable, murderous rage since he was a child, destroying everything around him due to some hereditary disease regarding 'natural energy.'
The nature of this illness hits a little too close to home, but Juugo smiles then, and informs Bruce that the reason he stays with Sasuke is because Sasuke is the only one that can stop him without injuries on either one's part.
The sting of jealousy doesn't feel as immature as he thought it would.
Steve's main issue, once the tracker and her friends appear, is that they're too young. He knows he went into war young, but their stories imply that they've been fighting for their lives since they were twelve, possibly even younger. He doesn't want them on the ship, because Loki is here, and if anything happens, he doesn't want it on his conscience that he let a bunch of kids die.
He doesn't voice his concerns to the others. He knows that Natasha started training for her own career when she was younger than them, and Thor's understanding of time isn't exactly normal, since he would live for millennia. Clint isn't on the ship, and Banner obviously has his own issues, seeing as he's been talking a few times with the eldest, along with the kid with the black hair. That just leaves Fury, Hill, and Coulson, all of whom are too busy to talk about the 'issues' here.
And when Steve tries to ask the white-haired kid that normally just stands in a corner, drinks obnoxious quantities of water, irritates Karin, or jokes with Tony?
Well, Suigetsu just laughs in his face.
Natasha doesn't interact much with the kids. Sure, they were raised to do the same things she does, but they come across more as frontline fighters, and in Karin's case, support. They don't exactly seem the interrogation-infiltration types, and she feels that it's fine to leave it at that.
But then the ship is attacked, and Clint is helping, and she is running from the Hulk, and the black-haired kid jumps in front of her and, with spinning eyes, sends it to dreamland.
Then the kid just snaps to and ran off, while Natasha got a call on the radio to go get Clint.
Coulson, like Natasha, doesn't interact with the shinobi beyond asking Karin which direction the Tesseract is in. So it's a surprise, he supposes, when she runs in, just before he tries to shoot Loki, with something like anger in her eyes. She only manages to get in one kick before Loki throws her into a wall, but the kick is probably strong enough that a normal man would have ended up with a broken jaw.
The black-haired boy, Sasuke, runs in a few seconds after Loki disappeared, looking at Karin in vague worry. She just points, and he's gone again.
When Karin comes over to him without too much damage from being smashed into a wall, Coulson can deal. He's dying, after all, and has seen far too much to actually be surprised by someone not dying when they should be. When Karin pulls up her sleeve, pushes it against his mouth, and tells him to bite and drink the blood, or he'll die… well, even he is a little surprised.
Surprise, surprise, it works.
But it does.
Fury doesn't like the interlopers. They're young, and two of them are overtly rude, not even bothering to hide any of it.
However, he can push aside whatever annoyance he has, because they're useful. Just like Stark, it doesn't matter how annoying they are in the process of doing the job, so long as they get the job done.
And when they go above and beyond, like saving Coulson and recapturing Loki? Even he can commend them for that.
Besides, they wouldn't be able to get to New York early enough to stop the portal from activating if Karin didn't already have them so close.
Clint watches, even if it's from dozens of feet away, as the kid with the black hair holds back Loki's head and forces them to lock eyes. Neither moves for minutes, beyond their quiet breathing and the slow spin of the boy's red eyes.
Then they both scream, and Thor tries to interfere.
Hearing that Loki had been under someone else's influence was strangely cathartic and amusing. A little childish? Perhaps. But Clint feels that he deserved to laugh.
Agent Hill blinks at her immediate superior, feeling somewhat at a loss.
Is it legal to induct minors into SHIELD?
A/N: When I write this many one-shots, just assume that I'm suffering writer's block for my main stories.
I tried to include one scene for each Avenger, but I'm not sure how I did, especially since Hill doesn't have much characterization beyond being a bit of a deadpan Only Sane Man.
This particular one-shot came about due to me RPing as Karin right before watching Thor, and then deciding to run with it.