Hero Training (Hetalia/Avengers X-Over)

Author: Ashynarr

Summary: Being a hero is more than just about beating the bad guys. It's also about teamwork, learning your strengths and weaknesses, and allowing others to help you up when you fall. It's about small choices having big effects, and taking responsibility for your actions. Ultimately, it's about making the right choice, even when facing your worst fears.

Disclaimer: Hetalia's not mine. Avengers isn't mine.

Warning: Set sometime after the events of Iron Man 3, but before other yet to be released Marvel films. Also a rewrite of an older idea, and meant to read as sort of a novelization of a (non-existent) movie.

[Prologue]

~0~0~0~0~0~0~0~0~

[1942,

Verta Military Complex,

Classified Location]

There was a flurry of activity inside the complex, the starch white lab coats of the scientists almost matching the halls they walked or ran through.

Dr. Johnson, well used to this, simply turned down the corridor once he left the elevator into the base, carrying several important documents in a folder under his arm as he navigated himself through the massive sprawl of a complex. The entire place was a testament to what the government dollar could buy given sufficient motivation, and even with the endless documents swearing him to secrecy Dr. Johnson felt humbled to work at the cutting edge of science here.

Several of the doors along his twisting path were open, revealing scientists from around the country, and in some cases the world, going over various formulas and piles of data sheets as they worked on their own projects, ranging from medical research to weapons development and everything in between. Before he had been recruited for his current project, he had been on one of those teams, studying the effects of chemicals on the human body. In retrospect, his expertise in the area was probably what had gotten him moved in the first place.

He turned down another corridor, this one completely bereft of any doors other than the one at the far end, which was guarded by the infamous Private Smith. Dr. Johnson shuddered lightly; he had never liked confronting the man, as he talked very little and overall gave the vibe of not being quite normal. There were rumors that he was in fact a Stark product, and anyone who confronted the soldier would be hard pressed to deny it.

Dr. Johnson stopped before the other man, pulling out his identification card and holding it out for the larger man to inspect. After cold blue eyes scanned over it, it was deemed legitimate, and Private Smith stepped to the side smoothly, silently granting access. The scientist quickly entered, not wanting to linger any longer than necessary.

Once inside, he pressed a button on the side, causing the elevator to shudder lightly as it descended further into the complex. When the doors opened, he was once again briefly struck by the difference in technology between here and up above.

Seeing as all of this was Howard Stark's pet project, it wasn't hard to guess why.

He made his way down the steps to the main floor, passing by chemists testing various balances of chemicals and biologists tinkering with formulas on a clear whiteboard. He knocked on a closed door, only opening it when the voice inside told him to enter.

"Dr. Reinstein, the data you wanted."

The man looked up from his papers, waving to him to hand it over. "Thank you; you can go back to what you were doing, Dr. ..."

"Johnson, sir."

"Right."

With that the other left, leaving Dr. Abraham Erskine alone with his work again. He opened the document, scanning through the sheets before throwing them down on the table with a frustrated sigh. His head came to rest in his hands, fingers rubbing at his forehead.

Another failed formula. It figured.

So engrossed in his thoughts, he failed to hear the door open and shut until the document was pulled out from under his elbow. Lifting his head showed Dr. Howard Stark, the primary funder and co-head of Project: Rebirth, scanning over the data, a light smirk on his face.

"Don't say anything."

"I told you doubling the reactants would backfire."

"The first trials showed a positive effect; what else were we supposed to do?"

Howard sat back in the chair, throwing the document back on the table. "You aren't going to get anywhere with this mix, and we need results soon or else some people will start to get upset."

They both knew who he was referring to. The military leaders who had the privilege of being 'in the know' were also adamant that they provide results and soon, as the war was only getting nastier outside of their isolated complex.

"Then what do you suggest?" Abraham asked, barely keeping himself from snapping at the other. The last thing he needed was to get into a fight and put the project even further behind.

Dr. Howard Stark smirked. Smirking was never a good sign, and Dr. Erskine was already beginning to worry on what this one meant. "I recently happened to come into the possession of a most interesting substance that I believe may be the key."

With that he was handed a small vial filled with a dark red liquid, which he only realized was blood after tilting it and watching it flow. "Is this a joke?"

"Not at all. I've already made some preliminary tests with it, and it's shown extreme promise. With this added to an adjusted version of one of our earlier formulas, it should provide all the benefits we hoped for and then some."

Abraham set the vial down, looking Howard Stark in the eye. "Where exactly did you get this?"

"That, my friend, is something I can't tell you, as my... provider, shall we say, has sworn me to secrecy."

"That's never stopped you before."

The other man shrugged. "He was very persuasive. I believe we have a formula to test?"

"Alright, but I still think the line we're following now has promise..."

The door shut behind them as they left the office, papers still strewn around the desk.

~0~0~

[2012]

The same room, seventy years later, was much dustier and darker, the place long ago abandoned. The top of the desk was empty of the papers that had once covered it, only grime hiding the solid oak underneath.

The door handle rattled; when the door refused to open it was rammed against once, then twice, before bursting open, revealing a soldier with a flashlight. Corporal Nelson swept the room, grimacing only slightly at the state of the place. From what he could tell this place had been state of the art in its day, if not beyond, but now it was just dust and old military secrets.

Once again, as he bent down to open the drawers of the desk, he wondered why General Ross had been so insistent on coming to this place. From what he could tell anything of vital importance had long been taken from here, sealed away in some forgotten corner of the CIA's archives with all the other national secrets.

The first two drawers had nothing in them, as expected, while the third had only an old forgotten stapler. Pulling it out, he set it on the desk, scanning the room for anything else of interest. The only other thing besides the desk and chairs was the bookshelves lining the back, which had probably once held swathes of important documents.

He leaned back against the desk, hands gripping the edge as he sighed again. Hopefully they were almost done here, and he could go back to his normal work of mission planning. A field agent he was not, and never would be if he could help it.

His index finger ran over a small indent, and without noticing he pressed in, making him jump when one of the bookcases moved slightly with a puff of dust. Standing up and heading over, he pressed his fingers to the now visible crack, forcing the rusty secret door open and causing an even greater upwelling of dust.

After coughing most of the dust out of his lungs, Corporal Nelson's flashlight once again came up to investigate the hidden corridor. Stepping forward carefully, he swung the light back and forth slowly as he progressed, only stopping when he reached another door. This one opened without the use of force, and he was able to step inside a lab that was, if possible, even more advanced than the one right outside the office.

The hand not holding the flashlight brought the radio up to his mouth, figuring this was important enough to warrant reporting in ahead of schedule. "General Ross? I found something in the office on the main floor. A hidden corridor of some type, ending in a lab. Whatever they were working on here looked pretty important, sir."

Within minutes he was joined by several others of his squad, the general leading them and waving for Nelson to lift the light again so he could look. "Good work, corporal, this was just what I was looking for. All of you, spread out and look for anything suspicious. Vials, documents, the works."

The group spread out, flashlights illuminating the room. Drawers were opened and closed, cabinets thoroughly inspected, and even the floor was carefully checked for hidden doors. Another soldier, across the room from the corporal, spoke up, drawing the attention of the room. "I found something!"

Tucked in the back corner had been another hidden room, this one much smaller and only containing a single cabinet in the back. The soldier who had discovered it entered, cautiously crossing the room and opening the cabinet, before grabbing whatever was inside and bringing it back.

General Ross held up the half-empty vial, inspecting it under light. He smirked, fingers closing around it, as he looked over the other in the room. "Men, I believe we've found our objective."

~0~0~0~0~0~0~0~0~

AN: Oh look I am here hello. Have you all missed me much?

Anyways, the first few things you'll notice is that the first thing I focused on was the MacGuffin of the series, like in a movie, I introduced the bad guy instead of being all fancy and vague about it, and I decided to keep some headcanons and discard others based on how my thoughts have changed on the matter since I originally started the first version.

I emphasize again that the plot will be the same as I had planned originally, just with some changes as to how things come to pass. Also, I am going to do my best to write this like the novelization of a movie, so chapters won't be frequent, but they will be long. (I'm hoping maybe around five thousand or so words a chapter minimum? I won't be certain until I actually get to writing them and find a comfortable length.)

For those confused with my mental timeline, I basically have The Avengers set in late spring 2011, Iron Man 3 in early to mid-winter 2012/2013, and the majority of this story in mid to late spring 2013. Which means that yes, Tony has a new suit, and no does not have the arc reactor in his chest anymore. Also, this is apparently different than the 'official' timeline, but really that's not a huge deal in my books.

Also, I will probably be pulling the other version once the next chapter of this goes up, so yeah. I hope you like this new version, so share your thoughts in the review box below!