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Hela, Goddess, Mage, Warrior, Queen, Mother

Chapter Text

Hela stepped into the world of the living for the first time in years. The world seemed so bright compared to Hel but at the same time it was still dark. Her gaze washed over those before her upon her return from her banishment. She cared little about them as she reached out with her magic searching for the one she had left long ago when she had temporarily been able to escape her prison.

“You must be Hela, I’m Thor son of Odin.”

She spared him a glance completely uninterested in the second born child of Odin. Odin had banished her when she had grown up to be the war loving goddess he raised her to be. Her magic found what she was looking for and with her heart pounding with both excitement and anxiety she teleported from her younger brother and the other she hadn’t yet heard the name of.

When she arrived she stared uncertain what she was looking at. A trembling hand reached out to touch the far to pale man that lay in the medical room. The machines hooked up to him left her feeling terrified for his health. She could feel it on him; death was clinging to him desperately trying to claim him. He was her son though and he would fight even when he was weakened and should have been claimed if he were anyone else. She finally reached out to touch his cheek.

“My Anthony…my Tesoro.” She whispered to her son who couldn’t hear her.

In her rage at his current state her magic caused the machines attached to him to crash against the wall. Her magic engulfed the room to keep all others out but also to sink into his body mending all the damage she could find. Fearing Odin finding him she had been forced to hide away his heritage. With the limitations of his human nature he had aged at the normal human rate. She ran her fingers through his dark curls that had begun to grey with that aging. His face showed his age as a middle aged human male but he also bore the signs of a man stressed with his daily life.

“Oh my dear Mimmo, what has this world done to you?”

She lifted his still form as she cradled him close. Her magic took them from the sickly smelling room as she sought out his residence. It was fairly easy to find. Her precious child had always been so smart and talented. Even in his mortal state his magic found a way to escape and did so with his creations. Each one that was created with love and affection bearing a part of him in the form of his magic. It was how she found herself standing before a being unlike anything she’d seen before. She knew the gem within his forehead well; Odin had spoken of the infinity gems and their power on several occasions. If she had to guess she’d say it was the mind stone.

“Who are you and why do you have Mr. Stark?” The machine/person asked.

“I am Hela of Asgard, though I know it may not make sense to you I am his mother. I took him from that sickly place so he may wake healthy within his home.”

The red being studied her a moment before he gave a small nod.

“Did you heal him?”

“I did, I am as talented a mage as I am a warrior. And you are?”

“I am Vision; I was brought to life by Mr. Stark, Dr. Banner, and Thor Odinson.”

She would have to look into that later as she was uncertain how the three had produced such a being. His soul though was a result of her son; she could see his magic flowing through it. No one else could craft a soul in such a way.

“Very well, it is a pleasure to meet you Vision. Please lead me to my son’s chambers, I wish to put him to bed.”

Vision led her and watched as she tucked Tony into bed. She watched him for a few moments with a sorrowful gaze for how long she had been apart from him. When she left his room she looked at the being her child had created.

“You are his only family?”

Vision hesitated before he shook his head.

“He has others; would you like to meet them?”

She wanted to but not yet. She would seek his permission first before meeting the others his son had surrounded himself with.

“Later when he has awakened. For now I wish to know if he kept my piano.”

Asgard had no love of music other than for entertaining visiting royalty and nobles. During her years as the mortal woman Maria she had learned to play the musical instrument and had found it calmed some of the rage within her. She had taught her son to play in his youth when her husband had not been teaching him to craft as he did. To see her piano still well cared for she sat before it and let her fingers press into the familiar keys. She recalled the song she had sung the last time she saw her child. It passed from her lips with a familiarity that did not suggest it had been a few decades since she last sang it.

She played it a few times without argument from Vision. It was how her son found them when he woke. The healing process hadn’t taken long with her magic and once it had finished he’d awoken likely confused on how he had arrived in his home.

“Who are you?” Was his first question which hurt knowing he may not believe her next words.

“I am many things. I am a queen. I am a warrior. I am a mage. What you may know me best as though is a mother my little Tesoro.”

He tensed hearing her say that in an all too familiar accent. She lifted her gaze to him and offered a small smile.

“I bought this piano when you were but a boy. You had the most beautiful curious gaze when you looked at it. I picked you up and placed you at my side so I could play a song for you. It was something I had just come up with on the spot hoping you’d gain my same love of music.”

She began playing again the same song she had that day. It wasn’t anything that had existed before but she had been trying to covey feelings she could not with words.

“It sounds like a sad melody.” Vision said as Tony was still standing speechless.

She smiled sad and heartbroken.

“I told Anthony it was sad because mommy was very sad before he came into her life.”

“How?” Tony breathed out shaking with emotion. “How could you know that?”

She brushed her fingers over the keys without pressing them.

“My name is Hela Odindottir. Before Odin gave up on being a tyrant and warmonger he and I stood side by side conquering realms and slaughtering armies. I was his executioner; I wielded the power of Mjolnir as my weapon. When Odin had conquered the nine realms he decided he was done with war and would live as a peacekeeping king. He had raised me in war, taught me to love the battlefield, to love the conquest. Yet he expected me to change as he did then blame me for living as I was taught to. I did not wish to give up what he’d taught me to love and so he banished me to the realm of the dead. I attempted to escape but he sent his fiercest warriors the Valkyrie to stop me. I slaughtered many that day because Odin never truly intended for them to stop me. Only to stall so he may enforce the seals on my prison. For centuries madness and my rage at him grew but also my loneliness. I found a spell to escape my prison if only partly. I could be born into a human child destined to die. A stillborn that would never take a breath of living air. I would be free but not as myself and my gifts limited. I was born to an Italian family as Maria Carbonell. I fell in love with life and the wonders I never saw when at war. I wedded a man known as Howard Stark and came to treasure the small infant son we had together. When my life ended as that mortal woman I was returned to my prison until the day Odin died.”

“If you’re really my mom how did you die?”

Hela’s fingers froze over the keys.

“There was a man, a human that Howard recognized. Sargent Barnes but he did not recognize his own name when it was called. He hit Howard…three times. Then placed him in his seat with his head against the wheel. He did not speak to me as he choked me.”

She looked up at Tony to see tears in his eyes but he had always been a strong child and would not cry.

“What did you get me for my sixth birthday?”

She smiled.

“You didn’t want anything of possessions. You were an affectionate child and only wanted to spend the day with me, Jarvis, Ana, and your aunt Peggy.”

Finally Tony approached her and she stood to embrace her son. He clung to her finally crying silently in her arms. She politely asked Vision to give them some space knowing her little Anthony would not let his tears be heard by another.

“Always such a strong warrior, we are alone now Mimmo so you may cry freely.”

He wailed out his pain as he clung to her. She was careful to embrace him knowing how his mortal body could break under her Asgardian strength.

“You are my son and I wish to awaken your heritage. Though I was in mortal form it did not mean you didn’t inherit my godly nature. It is simply sleeping for I could not risk Odin finding you.” She said when he finally calmed down.

There was silence for a while before he spoke in a whisper.

“Sargent Barnes…do you blame him for killing you and Howard?”

She was running her fingers through his hair humming softly as she considered it. She didn’t know the facts behind why the man hadn’t recognized Howard or his own name. She did know he should not have remained as young as he was unless someone had done something to him. Last she had heard during her mortal years, he had been dead. She had the sinking suspicion someone had found him and altered him.

“No, I do not. I did not think he was in his right mind at the time. The dead speak and while in their realm I had heard many tales of his kills. Though many speak with hatred and fear a few are confused as he seemed off.”

“He was brain washed by Hydra.”

“I see…” She said knowing of Hydra. She had greeted many of their victims in Hel.

“Ok…you can awaken my heritage…just don’t leave me again. Ok?”

She smiled at him though he could not see it as he still clung to her.

“I shall strive not to.”

She placed her hands on his cheeks and allowed her magic to once again sink into his body. She found the locks within him that sealed away his true heritage and with ease she unlocked them. He winced in pain as he slumped against her as his body underwent the change. His magic was awakening, his body returning to what a forty six year old Asgardian would look like, and his body adjusted to the true strength within him.

The grey of his hair vanished, his hair became softer of an Asgardian youth, and age lines disappeared. She cupped her son’s cheeks to look at his youthful face and see the small smile he offered her.

“Oh Tesoro I’m so happy I can finally see you as you were meant to be.”

He collapsed against her sound asleep as the change had taken a lot out of him. She picked him up to return him to his room. Vision was standing nearby and looked at Tony not looking surprised by the change. Placed in his bed again she approached Vision who appeared to be protective of her son.

“Tell me why he was in such a state that the scent of death clung to him.”

Vision frowned slightly before he led her to an office. He handed her a document that was fairly large in size though nothing compared to some she’d been forced to read as Asgard’s heir.

“This is what the Avengers fought over. It was decided upon by the majority of the countries of this world. Mr. Stark sided with the 117 countries that pushed for this document to pass. His former allies chose not to and went as far as to commit various crimes in order to go against it.”

Hela made herself comfortable in the office as she began reading the document to understand it and the situation that led to her son’s injured state. When she finished reading it she looked up at Vision.

“I wish to know what transpired in the fight.”

She was shown video of the fight. She watched her son try to reason with a blonde man wearing an odd uniform. She watched the fight and the injury that happened to someone who was apparently friends with Tony. Seeing the visuals that Tony did of the suit when cars were slammed onto him with the full intension of doing harm she felt the protective rage of a mother fill her. These people were neither friends nor warriors. They had no honor of such titles and they lacked care for both their rulers and their people. Hela had been a warrior who acted for her people. She had been a princess who answered to her king. She understood both these things. Her people had sought war and she led them to victory. Her king had demanded war, spoils, and people to answer to him. She had granted this as she fought, took spoils of war, and subjugated various peoples of many worlds. When she had dared to turn against her king and question him there had been a valid reason. These people had no reason other than seeking to be gods among men, to answer to no one else. These people demanded to know their warriors did not act as though they were gods. To answer to them and their fears. So far it seemed most of these warriors had fought, killed, and destroyed without worrying about the consequences of these actions. Leaving the fallout of their battles and wars to the people. Such careless actions and careless people. They did not deserve the honor of the title of warrior.

“I require all the information you can give me on these people. I wish to understand how to best handle those who have nearly killed my son.”

More information and video were given to her. She was still looking it all over when a man wheeled into the office. She recognized him as James Rhodes, her son’s Rhodey.

“Colonel, I’m happy to finally have the chance to meet the one that has protected my son all these years.”

Hela stood to greet the man she recalled hearing of but had never met during her mortal years.

“Friday updated me when I arrived. You saved Tony’s life?”

“Of course, now that I have returned none shall ever harm my son in such a way again.”

Rhodey stared at her for a long moment before he nodded.

“Alright, so don’t suppose you’ve got some healing magic left. My legs are shot to hell and it’s hard to watch his back when I can’t even walk.”

Hela approached the mortal more than happy to aid his recovery so he could continue to watch over her son.

“I can do more than simply heal your legs. If you allow it I shall grant you power beyond what your mortal body could ever possess. You shall become as immortal as myself and my son for as long as my bloodline exists. You will become the first of my Knights of Hel.”

“Whatever gets me out of this chair and at Tony’s side so we can make Rogers and his group face what they’ve done.”

Hela lifted the mortal from his chair and allowed her magic to wash over him and imprint on him. He would be her knight with his power drawn from the realm of the dead. She would train him in the ways of Asgard. He was already a loyal and honorable warrior but she would strengthen his abilities and grant him the knowledge of fighting styles beyond mortal imagination.

When she pulled away he was able to stand on his own looking like he’d stepped right out of his MIT days. He looked at himself shocked before his gaze turned to her.

“So what else comes with this upgrade?”

“In time I shall explain. For now I require assistance to further understand what has transpired in the years my son has been associated with these Avengers.”

With his and Vision’s help she learns of the years the Avengers were together and the damage they had done both to the world and to her son. Though much of the footage was from when JARVIS was around, Friday had access to quite a bit of it. Hela listened as Rhodey explained who and what JARVIS had been.

“I wish to see this JARVIS’s core.”

Rhodey hesitated but he did as she asked. JARVIS like the others her son created each held a soul within them. Though she was the goddess of death her power lie in both ending lives as restoring them. It was taxing on her body to use so much magic but she was happy to do so for her son. Touching the core of what was her grandson she allowed her magic to pull his soul from Hel. It was a soul that felt different from others. It was well cared for and felt warm in a way a pure untainted soul did. All souls were tainted at some point. Reality of the living caught up with them. Sins tainting their soul making them feel colder as the years passed. This soul was not tainted and she had to wonder if all that her son created was like this.

Once the soul was being drawn towards the living world she glanced at Vision to aid in the creation of a vessel for the soul. She understood that JARVIS did not possess a body of his own so she intended to mend this. Crafting a body was not so hard; it was like creating a construct. With her power she could create a permanent body that would last so long as it spent time meditating to replenish its magic supply. She heard a gasp from Rhodey but she didn’t acknowledge him as she focused on placing JARVIS’s soul within the body she created for him.

Eyes opened to reveal blue eyes that glowed with the magic that flowed through his body. His short hair was white in color and his body pale in color much like her own. His body covered in a fitted suit and when he stood he was 6’3 just like Vision. Their appearances were similar as Hela had been aiming for a twin like appearance between the two knowing both owed their existence to Tony.

JARVIS looked at his hands confused for a moment before he looked up to see Rhodey and Vision.

“I was not simply offline…”

“You had died some time ago. I restored you but in a body of your own.”

JARVIS looked at the flesh body he had looking curious at it.

“I see, I appreciate it but I would like to check on Sir if at all possible.”

“He’s currently resting but I’m quite certain he’ll be eager to see you when he wakes.”

JARVIS nodded while Rhodey stepped closer looking in awe at the restored AI.

“JARVIS is that really you?”

“Indeed Colonel Rhodes.” He said looking at Rhodey before he crooked his head to the side slightly. “My scans show you are different though I cannot identify why other than your younger appearance.”

“Hela changed me; I’m a Knight of Hel now.”

“Just as JARVIS is. In restoring him I have granted him both physical and magical strength. Now I must rest for restoring the dead is one of the few tasks that may drain me.”

“Ms. Hela allow me to lead you to one of the guest rooms.” Vision offered.

“Thank you Vision, but please call me just Hela. You are family so there is no need for such formality.”

While Vision led her to a guest room Rhodey looked at JARVIS still amazed the AI had not only been restored but given what appeared to be a human body.

Chapter Text

Hela awoke to the door of her room slammed open. She was quickly on her feet with her blade in hand but found herself held tightly by her son. Confused she looked down to see her only child clinging to her with tears streaming down his cheeks.

“You brought him back…mom you brought back JARVIS.”

She smiled as she put away her blade and wrapped her arms around him.

“Yes Anthony I restored your son. No parent should have to bury their child.”

He clings for her for what seems like years and helps ease the pain of the decades she spent without him. When he finally pulls away it’s to introduce her to the others. Friday has a pleasant accent and Dum-E, U, and Butterfingers are adorable. Their personalities all varying as they would in flesh and blood children. It only further proves they possess souls due to Tony’s care in creating them.

Hela looks at the children her son had created and thinks of family that he had gathered around him in his time as a mortal. Still she could feel a tug inside her telling her that his family was not yet complete. She recalled the mortal who had stood beside their family as a warrior in her own right. Hela knew many had harmed her son and to stand against those threats to her own she would gather her warriors that she knew were loyal to her son.

“Anthony, I have others to return to you but it will require me to leave for a short time.”

Anthony looked at her with concern likely fearing she would vanish on him. She offered a soft smile as she kissed his forehead and held him close.

“I will always be here my Tesoro. Even if not in person I have placed protective magic on you to ensure that I will know if you are in danger. No matter what quest I’m on I will return to your side the instant I know you’re in trouble and need me. What I intend to do shall only take a few days. Trust in me my child, I will never fail you.”

“Promise you’ll come back?”

“I swear to you on my domain of death.”

She told the others of her plans to leave for a few days and received promises from her Knights that they would keep him safe for her. She did not intend to be gone longer than necessary but she knew there was much she needed to do now that she had returned from her banishment. Odin had done much during his time ruling that had harmed others as well as removed those he feared a threat to his own rule. Odin for all his claims of being a peaceful ruler now had never stopped being a cruel man and a deceitful ruler. Though Valhalla was not part of her domain she was well aware of the stories among its residents. She knew Asgard had forgotten about her. Memory of her existence erased as easily as the proof around the palace. She would begin undoing the damage he’d caused and return all of Anthony’s family to him. Even the family he did not yet know of. She had wanted to reveal the truth to him slowly so he could adjust to knowing fully of his heritage. Already she knew the shock of discovering her identity and she was not yet sure how he’d react to the identity of his father. Hela had after all learned the spell she used to become Maria Stark from another god of renounced strength.

She teleported to Asgard and gathered her magic around herself to cloak her from sight. She made her way to the vault to retrieve her most trusted ally from her childhood to the days as Odin’s Executioner. She would have all the allies she could get to protect her family. Fenris had been her only true friend growing up in Asgard. She’d raised her since she was but a pup and had treated her as she would a beloved family member. As she walked among the artifacts of Asgard she spied the false relics and something she had not thought to ever grace Asgard’s vaults. Surtur’s crown, the item that would doom all of Asgard should he be reborn. The fools had placed it in the same place as the Eternal Flame. Did they wish to have Asgard fall to his sword? She shook her head as she continued onward. She would deal with it later, one matter at a time and right now Fenris was her priority.

She summoned an ax and began tearing into the floor of the vault. The guards outside unable to hear the sound or see the destruction she was creating. Beneath Asgard’s beautiful appearance lie the dark secrets of Odin’s kingdom. Realms brought under his boot by war and death. She and the berserkers that had once served Asgard loyally all forgotten because Odin didn’t want his rule dirtied by his past.  She waved her hand through the fires of the Eternal Flame before jumping into the hole. She walked past the bodies of her loyal followers glancing at them as she passed. They deserved rest; they had served her and Asgard well during their lives. When she found herself in front of her precious friend she felt a wave of sorrow and rage over the treatment of her dearest friend.

“Fenris, my darling, what have they done to you?”

She used the flame to restore her friend who was just as happy to see her.

“Fenris my darling, we have much to do. Come, it’s time to undo the banishment Odin has done to my son’s father and his people.”

She repaired the hole when she and Fenris were free and grabbed Surtur’s crown as she went. She placed it within her pocket dimension before she continued on her way herself and now Fenris still invisible to the warriors around her. She needed to be in the throne room for this next part and she felt the need to hurry. Something told her someone would realize she was there sooner or later. She suspected it would be Heimdal but she could also sense another of extraordinary magical capabilities. She had sensed Thor had no talent for magic so she at least knew it wasn’t him.

As she entered the throne room she found it empty which seemed unusual but seeing as the idiots here had placed Surtur’s crown in the vault with the Eternal Flame she shouldn’t be surprised. She sat upon the throne feeling a sense of ease fall over her. This had been her birthright and she had no desire for it regardless of how right it felt. She summoned her magic allowing the invisibly spell to partly fall away as she’d need her strength. Unless someone walked in she would be fine. She was still hidden from Hiemdal’s sights. From the throne she could feel the lost connection to Olympus. It was in tatters and would take quite a bit of energy to restore. She began the process feeling the strain of such magic. She could understand Odin’s requirement of falling into Odinsleep so often. She was not nearly at full strength having been so far from Asgard but already she could feel her power returning.

As she completed the spell she became alert to another within the throne room with her. Her eyes flashed open and she looked at the one who had stood beside Thor when she had returned from her banishment.

“Who are you that you stood beside Odin’s second born?”

“I am known as Loki. Though Thor claims kinship I am no more than another relic taken by Odin Allfather.”

She raised a brow intrigued.

“From where do you hail Loki for I know it’s not Asgard.”

His smirk was false and she suspected he had no love for whichever realm he had come from.

“I am of Jotunhiem, rightful heir to its throne.”

“Ah, so Odin intended to possess more control over the Jotun. He has always been weary of them due to their bodies being just as much a weapon as any they could physically wield.”

“Indeed, I want to know why you so quickly left during our encounter. Odin seemed to think you intended to do great harm yet you made no move until now to take the throne.”

She smirked.

“I am only borrowing the throne at the moment. I have plans and it required my former husband.” She leaned forward not yet leaving the throne. “Do not think me a fool Loki of Jotunhiem, I see what you intend and I will not stay long enough for Thor to attempt to strike me down. If I wanted this throne it would be mine regardless of how many corpses I must have buried beneath it. If Asgard’s so called heir wishes to discuss matters with me then he can find me on Midgard with Anthony Stark. However if he comes with the intentions of harm towards me or mine I shall cut him down without mercy.”

With that she left returning to Midgard though instead of returning home she teleported to the meeting point between it and that of Olympus. From there she traveled to the once lost realm where Hermes awaited her. He bowed in greeting before he straightened to deliver the message given to him from Zeus.

“King Zeus wishes to meet with you.”

She smirked.

“Of course he does, it’s been so long. I do hope his wife will not be in attendance to this meeting.”

She could strike down Hera with ease but she did not come here for a fight. Already she’d used quite a bit of magic and she wanted to keep what she had left just in case.

“Queen Hera is not going to be present.”

She could only guess Zeus hadn’t told Hera of his latest infidelity though it shouldn’t be surprising at this point.  Zeus wasn’t a loyal partner and the fact Hera was still shocked by this said a lot about how low her intelligence was. Hermes led her to Zeus who looked about as friendly as he normally did. Nice to know things didn’t change.

“Zeus.”

“Hela, I didn’t expect you to actually restore our link to the other realms.”

“Anthony deserves to know his family. I did it for him.”

She leaves it unsaid that no part of her decision was for him. As the mortals Maria and Howard Stark they had been wed but now they were just two gods of different pantheons. Regardless of Zeus’s many lovers he remained husband to Hera and she his queen. Hela didn’t care either way, she had lived and loved and been gifted a child of extraordinary talents. Her Anthony was a treasure and as much as Hela hated to admit it, she had Zeus to thank for him.

“Anthony may be my son but he holds no rights to the throne of Olympus.”

She scowled at him.

“Truly, for how many bastard children you have it would take quite a bit of killing for Anthony to even rank someplace of worth in line for the title of heir.” She saw the flash of unease in Zeus’s eyes and smirked as she continued. “Anthony wants nothing of your throne for his has one of his own. A king in his own right on Midgard. He is also quite unaware of your true identity.”

Zeus was actually offended that Anthony had no idea who he truly was.

“You have not yet told him?”

She crocked her head to the side looking at him making him grow uneasy.

“Dear Zeus are you sadden by the fact your son doesn’t know you? I suppose I could tell him but you know I’m never one inclined to grant such favors without a price paid in advance.”

It was his turn to scowl at her and she just allowed a small smile that promised trouble if he didn’t do as she wanted. Even bound in mortal form Zeus knew not to cross her for her wrath could and would bring untold horrors.

“Name your price Hela.”

“As I mentioned, I want him to know his family. Allow any who wish to meet him to come to Midgard.”

“I shall inform them of Anthony then.” He said looking quite unhappy with the fact it meant alerting Hera to the fact he’d been unfaithful once again and sired another child with a different woman.

“I shall see you again then King Zeus, Anthony will be pleased to see you.” She paused as she turned to leave before she asked a question Anthony had once asked her. “Sargent Barnes, do you blame him for killing us?”

Zeus looked at her with a slight frown.

“He did not recognize his own name. I can only assume the mortals had done something to him.” There was a pause before he continued. “I do not, though now I’m curious. What has become of him and have the humans found Captain Steve Rogers?”

She turned a truly icy glare his way.

“Your precious Captain that you sought after for so long nearly killed our son.” She snarled at him. “Do not speak his name in my presence again for I fear even I will fail to control my temper. You thought him a worthy warrior among humans, you were wrong Zeus. He is a monster hiding behind the legend the mortals made of him. I intend to make him suffer for his crimes and if you stand in my way you to shall suffer.”

Zeus nodded and Hela did not miss the dark look that crossed his gaze. Perhaps she’d have another ally in her vengeance against the captain. She led Fenris away from the palace in order to attend to her next task. This one would take longer as she had to hunt down a soul within Hel as well as rest to recover her drained magic.

Hel was a familiar realm as she had ruled for the many years she remained in exile there. She sat upon her old throne and allowed herself to relax and close her eyes to rest. She was tired from her travels and spells. Crossing realms was no easy task when one was traveling between them so often in such a short time. She felt Fenris place his head in her lap and smiled.

“Soon Fenris, you shall meet my son and I know you will be as protective of him as I am.”

The wolf nuzzled her hand before he sat up ready for his mission he knew his queen would give him.

“Find me the soul of Margret Carter.” She told Fenris who rushed off.

Hela leaned back again and allowed a dreamless sleep to take her. She knew when she awoke Fenris would have found the last piece she needed. Though she would like to bring back Edwin Jarvis and Ana Jarvis she knew they were at peace and content to await Anthony to join them among the dead. The agent best known as Peggy Carter though was a different matter. So long as there was a battle needing fought with someone precious to her involved she would take up arms again. She would understand and join the living again to protect the child who had been her godson.

Chapter Text

Hela had seen much in her long life but somehow Midgard and its people still managed to surprise her. Her son’s reunion with his godmother had revealed more than she had expected. Her list of those who would suffer now included Sharon Carter who had informed Tony of Peggy’s death with cruel words. They had been raised together and when Peggy had died Sharon informed Steve though a text saying she passed in her sleep. When Tony received a call it was Sharon telling him coldly not to come to the funeral, that Peggy deserved to be honored and remembered, not have Tony make it about himself.

When Tony showed Peggy the security footage from the parking garage when Sharon handed over the equipment to Steve and his group even Hela nearly lost her lunch at the sight of Peggy’s niece kissing the man she’d been romantically interested in. It was sickening not because both woman had been interested in the same man but because it was not long after Peggy had been buried. For Hela who was a goddess and lived thousands of years it was not odd for family to at some point have crossed paths with each other’s lovers. It seemed to be a difference between her people and humans as Peggy was disgusted both because of the short period of time between being buried as well as the fact this was the man she could admit she was beginning to love during the war.

Peggy had spent a good amount of time ranting and promising pain to not only Steve Rogers but his team and her own niece. Sharon was already in custody for her aiding criminals but the others were so far on the run. When Peggy looked over the information she had looked to Tony with eyes that made him know he’d regret if he tried to lie to her next question.

“You know where they are.”

Tony shifted his gaze looking ready to run but Peggy reached out gripping his ear in a painful grip.

“Ack, Aunt Peggy!”

“Don’t lie to me Anthony Edward Stark; do you know where they’re hiding?”

“Yes!” He answered his pitch a bit high in his fear of his godmother’s wrath.

“Where are they?” Both women sounding like they were on a warpath asked/demanded.

“Look right now things are safer with where they are.” He said as Peggy released his ear leaving it red and sore.

“Why are you protecting them?” Hela asked her son trying to understand how he could allow those who had nearly killed him to remain free from the law.

“I’m not protecting them. I’m protecting civilians and those where they’re currently staying. Look, I know it doesn’t make sense but I know what I’m doing. I’m done protecting them when they don’t deserve it. I’m just trying to do the right thing.”

“Where are they Tony? We won’t do anything but you’ve got to give us something. They nearly killed you.” Rhodey cut in and the request coming from his loyal friend and brother seemed to finally do him in.

“Wakanda.” They all looked alarmed by that but before they could speak he quickly continued. “Princess Shuri told me why they’re there I can promise you its better they’re there instead of running around where they could be doing more damage with civilians in the crossfire.”

“Wakanda’s a third world country Tony, how are they even staying under the radar? It’s an African nation, other than Wilson the rest of them would stick out like a sore thumb.”

Tony sighed before he decided on something.

“Friday, contact Shuri and see if she’s willing to have a video conference with me. Update her on the situation and explain my family will be included in the call.”

“Of course bossman.” Friday chirped.

“How about we sit down and talk while we wait. Knowing Shuri it won’t be too long before she responds.”

They sat down in the conference room with Tony showing Vision and Jarvis how to make tea the way Edwin Jarvis had taught him. Peggy loved tea and whenever she use to visit when he was a kid they’d have some together. They brought it to the group gathered and sat down once everyone was served a cup.

“So what else did you have to take care of besides bringing back Peggy Carter and getting your friend here?” Rhodey asked looking at Fenris that was sitting in the massive conference room that still seemed too small for him.

“I reestablished the connection between Olympus and the other realms as well as invited Anthony’s other side of the family to visit and get to know him.”

Tony had been about to take a sip of his own tea before he faltered and looked at her with wide eyes.

“Wait what?”

“You recall me mentioning I wedded a man known as Howard Stark?”

Anthony froze his eyes showing he was considering now her wording when she spoke of her former husband.

“He wasn’t human was he?”

She smiled. He was her talented little genius.

“He was not; Howard Stark was in fact Zeus. He is the one I originally learned the spell I used from. He and his people had been outcast from the nine realms unable to return. While Odin sought to conquer and rule he found the Greek pantheon stood in his path. I have restored the connection to this realm and informed Zeus that you still live.”

“I…huh…so Zeus, wouldn’t have been my first guess if you said dad was a god.”

She raised a brow at him curious.

“I would have guessed Hephaestus if you mentioned Greek gods.”

“No he is your half-brother. You and he do share a love of the forge though. Perhaps if he visits you can show him your armor.”

“Bossman, Princess Shuri is willing to video call. She does request the same as she did with you if the call is to connect.”

“Ok, guys whatever you hear during this call stays between us. Wakanda has been isolated from the rest of the world for good reason. I promise Shuri can be trusted.”

They all looked at each other before they nodded in agreement and the TV on the far wall lit up with the image of someone that could not be out of her teen years.

“Is that a teenager? Tones please tell me you haven’t been having secret meetings with a teenager.” Rhodey partly pleaded with him.

“I promise I haven’t been secret meetings with a teenager. I mean Shuri is sixteen and we’ve been talking since she was thirteen but her dad knew about it.”

“How? Why? I have so many questions.”

Tony smiled at him before he turned his attention to Shuri.

“Hey Princess, how’s our favorite group of idiots doing?”

Shuri rolled her eyes.

“I swear some days I think it might just be better to launch them into space. I’m sure I could build a space ship to do it.” She teased with a hint of a serious tone to it.

“If you decide to turn your genius in that direction let me know, I’ll help.” Tony matched her tone.

“Sooo…how did you end up friends with a teenager that happens to be princess of an isolated country?” Rhodey asked confused.

“Oh she hacked me, well tried to at least. It was awesome and I hacked her right back. King T’Chaka was worried and freaking out about it but I promised him I wasn’t mad and that he didn’t have to worry about Wakanda’s secrets getting out.”

“Why? Why would she hack you?”

“To see if I could.” Shuri answered easily.

“Rhodey you remember when I told you how I hacked the pentagon on a dare? It was kind of the same thing. I wasn’t going to go after Wakanda for it, not when Shuri didn’t mean any harm by it. She’s a genius and I’ve had fun going back and forth with her on ideas. The only reason she hacked me and not someone else was she knew I was the best outside her country.”

“It’s true, he’s given me pointers on things and I’ve helped where I could to. It’s like mentoring. My father…” Her eyes changed with the mention of her late father. “My father knew the potential with our conversations. He was here for many of them but in time Dr. Stark came to be someone my father trusted and even conversed with regarding Wakanda’s reintegration into the world. Dr. Stark had my father’s respect and his trust, two things no other outsider has ever had.”

“When you say he’s the best outside of your country you make it sound like your own country’s abilities are beyond that of most others.” Peggy said catching something in the conversation most others didn’t seem to notice.

Shuri smiled and allowed her lab to be shown in the camera’s view.

“Wakanda is the most technologically advanced nation in the world. Our advancements are due to the vibranium that our country possesses.”

“You’ve managed to keep that a secret from the world for so long?” Vision asked curious because it wasn’t an easy feat.

“Yes, we didn’t want the vibranium to be stolen but there have been incidents in the past like with Klaue as well as when Howard Stark stole vibranium to make the shield used by Captain America.”

“The potential for such a metal I would imagine could be quite dangerous.” Jarvis commented earning a nod from Shuri.

“People in the past have been known to take what they wanted, Wakanda could not risk it.”

“We are curious why your nation has taken in the criminals that nearly killed my son. He seems to believe there is due cause for allowing this and not seeking to capture the criminals.” Hela spoke her gaze cold as she was not happy that those that had harmed her child were still free.

“That…it is a complicated matter. My brother felt guilty over having attempted to kill Sergeant Barnes for the death of our father. In an attempt to make amends my brother offered Barnes and Barnes alone sanctuary here in Wakanda until a way to fix the damage done to his mind by Hydra could be reversed.”

“That doesn’t explain-”

“You know Rogers.” Tony interrupted Rhodey. “You know how delusional he is and how he hears what he wants to hear.”

Rhodey made a face likely realizing what had happened.

“My brother did not offer Captain Rogers and his group sanctuary but when they arrived newly freed from the Raft my brother saw an opportunity to help. I spoke with Dr. Stark once he had been healed and he had a chance to contact me. T’Challa believes with the rogues here they will not be a danger to anyone else. They are content to enjoy the luxuries of the wing in the palace they’ve taken residence in and do not realize it is simply a gilded cage. They are not a danger to the world or civilians as they are now. They’ve already proven to be dangerous and not yet possible to contain when they know they are imprisoned.”

“They’ve broken out of the Raft, destroyed an airport, and hurt or killed countless people through the streets of Bucharest during the pursuit and attempted escape. They’ve proven to not care about the lives they hurt or take in order to escape the consequences of their actions.” Tony added to Shuri’s explanation.

“When a means to contain them becomes available Wakanda will release the rogues into the care of the authorities.” Shuri said.

“Unfortunately there’s also a very good chance that the rogues will be pardoned.” Tony said with a grimace.

“Why? They killed and destroyed all to avoid being arrested for very real crimes.” Rhodey argued.

“I know it doesn’t make sense but Rogers is still an American hero and our president is a fan. Also there’s Ross that was added to the mix. I’ve submitted all his illegal activities to the proper authorities. He stuck his head in every step of the way and with his corruption is revealed there’s a likely chance the public will blame him for what happened instead of realizing the rogues acted on their own and are responsible for their actions. Too many people are blinded by the American icon’s legend to realize it’s just that, a legend. Rogers did this to protect Bucky, Wanda has never been a hero and just wanted to avoid facing any punishment, Clint is an idiot that hates me, Romanov isn’t loyal to anyone, Wilson has a blind spot in the shape of Rogers, and Lang is a blind Captain America fan that had no idea what was going on and didn’t seem to care. Either way there’s a chance they’ll be back but for now they’re contained. If their location becomes known there’s a chance they’ll try to run again and we just can’t risk that kind of damage or lives.”

Their expressions darkened but they could agree there was always damage when they were involved.

“Why did T’Challa offer Barnes sanctuary though? He may not have killed his dad but Barnes is responsible for the deaths of others.” Rhodey asked.

“Because he’s been brain washed.” Tony began and Shuri added what she’d found next.

“Sergeant Barnes has been programmed with more than just trigger words. His actions show the depth of the programming that Hydra put into him. Even if the words are removed the winter soldier programming includes not being held by enemy hands and to avoid capture. He may have appeared calm when he was first captured but eventually he would have tried to break out of UN custody regardless of the words.  He would have studied his guards, his prison, and all relevant details before escaping. It’s also why he chose to run from both Rogers and the task force when they were sent for him. Hydra made sure their greatest weapon wouldn’t be taken from them. He’d managed to fight the programming enough to stay away from Hydra but everything else is still there. So even if he were sent to the authorities there would still be a threat of him escaping and hurting others.”

“What prevents him from escaping now?” Vision inquired.

“He’s currently in a cryostasis chamber. Dr. Stark has sent the B.A.R.F technology and we’re working on it to adapt to Sergeant Barnes in order to help him. When it’s ready we’ll unfreeze him and begin removing the triggers and programming. When he’s as safe as we can make him then we’ll discuss him going to the proper authorities to face trial for his actions.”

“He’s going to need one damn good lawyer not to end up spending the rest of his life in prison.” Rhodey said before his gaze turned to Tony. “You’re getting him a lawyer aren’t you?”

“He’s not responsible for his actions…even I can admit that. If Shuri’s right, and she usually is, he wasn’t even responsible for what happened in Siberia. I tried to capture him and became a threat. He calculated that with Rogers’s help he could take me out so he fought.”

“If he has been programmed to avoid capture and to stay out of the hands of enemies of Hydra why did he fight alongside Rogers? He ran from him before.” Rhodey pointed out.

“Because the other winter soldiers were a threat to Sergeant Barnes as well as Hydra.” Shuri drew their attention back to her. “The other soldiers were unstable and turned on their handlers which is why they were put on ice and only Barnes was used for assassinations. Zemo proved to be an enemy and when he intended to go awaken the other winter soldiers while they were unstable Sergeant Barnes calculated he would be unable to fight them and win on his own. An enemy of my enemy is my friend type of mentality as well as already knowing he’d beaten Captain Rogers before. He allied himself but would have escaped Rogers again once the necessary alliance was no longer needed.”

“It seems this Hydra were very careful and detailed in their control of this man.” Hela said sounding disgusted and impressed.

“They were. I spoke with Sergeant Barnes before he went back into cryostsis in order to know where to begin treating him. Our scientists have also been going over the data from the information dump and have been picking apart the programming recorded to ensure we don’t do more damage when we attempt to treat him.”

“If I may ask, what other contact has Tony had with your people?” Peggy asked.

“He helped to protect Wakanda during the Ultron attack.” Shuri told them shocking almost all of them.

“What do you mean?” Rhodey asked clearly being the most surprised by this piece of information.

“Ultron was seeking a way to destroy this world. He was unable to get the nuclear codes and then he was seeking vibranium. The idea that what little Klaue had was all there was didn’t sit right with him and he tried to expand to all corners of the world to find more. Dr. Stark gave my father warning and we strengthened our defenses to hide our country from his sight. When the attack was over he also compensated Wakanda for the vibranium that had been stolen and used to craft the Vision. Though it wasn’t necessary it was yet another action that earned him my father’s respect.”

Something seemed to occur to Jarvis then.

“Is your brother not aware of yours and the late King T’Chaka’s connection to Tony?”

Shuri shook her head.

“No, father didn’t think T’Challa was ready yet. T’Challa wasn’t as open to the idea of returning to the world. It was only recently that I’ve seen T’Challa’s opinions on Dr. Stark and with your permission, I was going to speak with my brother about you and what you’ve done so far for Wakanda and its people.”

“And what does T’Challa think of Tony? He can’t have a high opinion of him if he left him in Siberia to die.” Rhodey growled.

Shuri looked sadden by that and her gaze landed on Tony.

“I don’t think T’Challa left you on purpose. It is common practice among our people not to believe rumors. So regardless of rumors and stories spreading through the media about you, T’Challa’s thoughts on you would have been based on your published scientific papers as well as verified video footage. You are a genius that is nearly unmatched. The proof of your suit’s capabilities has been seen in the aftermath of your battles. You hold the highest count of kills during the New York invasion, you handled the Mandarin with your genius and suits almost without any aid of others, and you went toe to toe with the Hulk while preventing as many causalities as possible. He saw your attempts to keep the situation from escalating with Rogers and his team. He knows you understand priorities and that you calculate the best course of action. Taking all that into account one wouldn’t think Dr. Stark would have lost that fight, even when against two super soldiers.”

“So from a technologically standpoint of looking at it he shouldn’t have. That’s not taking into account Tony Stark’s personality. He wouldn’t have gone all out against friends, even one that kept the secret of his parents’ murder.” Jarvis spoke up thinking it over. “Tony has enough blood on his hands from the lives taken with his weapons when he was unaware they were being sold to terrorists. Even hurt and betrayed he would have avoided killing the two. King T’Challa would be unaware of this.”

“You could have beaten them, right? You were holding back?” Rhodey asked Tony.

“I have tank missiles in my suit. Yes I could have beaten them but I still thought maybe it was just the situation had gone south and no one was thinking straight. I still had hope for those I thought were my friends.” Tony admitted.

“What happened to change that?” Shuri asked carefully.

Tony hesitated in answer before he sighed deeply looking tired.

“I saw the look in his eyes when he was on top of me. If I hadn’t lifted my arms with the still active repulsers, Rogers would have killed me. I’m sure if not for that he would have decapitated me…the look in his eyes said it all. He wanted me dead. Whatever made me think we were friends was wrong. I’ve never been anything but a resource to him.”

There was silence as everyone processed that information. “They deserve to rot in prison.” Shuri surprised them with the venom in her tone. “Yeah but we’ll see what happens. Hey I know your father was considering letting you come to the states to maybe science it up. Maybe when you talk to your mother and brother you could come over and meet the kid I’m mentoring. He’s pretty smart and on his way to building the future.”

Shuri’s eyes lit up.

“Really? Anyone that’s drawn your attention must be smart. Is he part of that scholarship program you were working on with MIT?”

“He’s in high school but any college he wants to apply for I’ve got him covered.”

“I’ll talk to my mother and let you know. If she agrees I’ll arrive with the Dora Milaje.”

“Of course, I wouldn’t expect you to leave your bodyguards at home.”

With that their conversation ended and Shuri waved goodbye to them. The others seemed to be processing everything and both Vision and Jarvis stood to leave.

“I believe we require time to process…and understand what we’ve heard.” Vision stated.

Jarvis nodded in agreement.

“There is much about humans that I still do not understand and I find myself troubled by quite a bit.”

“If you need someone to talk to you know you can come to me.” Tony told them and they both smiled thankful for the offer.

“Of course.” They answered before they left.

“I think I will get caught up on the things I missed since my mind started going.” Peggy said standing up. “Where can I go to get caught up?”

“Agent Carter, a guest bedroom is available where I can assist you.” Friday offered.

Peggy double checked with Tony who nodded and told her that Friday would help her.

“I’m going to see what I can find out with the Accords council and the president. If there are pardons in the works or possibly going to show up I want us to have time to prepare.” Rhodey said getting up.

Tony looked towards Fenris watching the wolf and seeing how really he was too big to comfortably move around the compound. It was giving Tony idea for remodeling the compound. There was still that dangerous hole in every floor of the compound and he had been considering either simply having it repaired or doing a complete overhaul of the building. He’d need it a lot more durable if there was a possibility of gods residing within it.

“What are you thinking my son?”

“Plans for the future.” He answered looking at her. “What do you think of helping me remodel the compound?”

“You want me to help you design your home?”

“Our home yes. This place has too many bad memories and I think redoing the entire building might be better. Making it more open, more welcoming to the future heroes of this world.”

Hela smiled as she reached out for her son.

“We will make this place a home again. One that is safe for you and our family.”

Tony smiled relieved.

“I think it’s time you met Pepper. She’s perfect for helping with something like this and I’d love for you to meet her.”

Hela looked surprised.

“Is she your lover?”

Tony winced slightly at the mention of a relationship.

“Not…not anymore. She’s perfect…just…”

“Not perfect for you. I understand. I have had my fair share of lovers who were generous, honorable, and strong but simply not meant for me. If you wish me to have the honor of meeting someone dear to you I look forward to it.”

Hela was expecting to be impressed with the lover who still stood a loyal ally to her son. She was not expecting what happened when she finally met the woman. Hela for all as long as she had been alive had rarely seen anything that caused her to freeze. Beauty was something she had little care for as she’d been raised for war and to be a queen. This mortal who held herself as royalty, as a warrior always ready for battle, had her eyes widening and her heart pounding. She would swear this was love at first sight and only a few were granted such an experience by the Norns.

“Mom, you ok?” She only realized then that she had been staring at the woman he called Pepper.

“I am well.” She answered him unable to tear her gaze from the woman.

She reached out taking Pepper’s hand in her own and brought it to her lips to place a delicate kiss upon her knuckles. There was a slight gasp that was drawn from her lips as Hela looked up at her through her lashes.

“This realm has granted the nine realms a true treasure in your birth Lady Pepper.”

The blush spreading across her cheeks was truly a wondrous sight and if given the chance she would cause it appear countless more times.

“Allow me to treat you to a feast Lady Pepper, no other is worthy of your time, beauty, or talents.”

“Holy shit mom’s got game.” She barely heard Anthony breathe out.

“I thank you Hela but I’m afraid my schedule is rarely free. I’m sure your son already explained I run his company.”

“The burden of the throne is great, of this I am more than familiar with. What little time you have I only ask you offer to me so I may shower you with the admiration and treasures one such as yourself deserves. Never would I ask you to turn away from the kingdom you rule nor judge you for making it and its people your priority.”

The blush deepened and finally Pepper nodded in acceptance. Hela kissed her hand again in thanks before reluctantly releasing her.

“So…yeah, that happened apparently.” Anthony said looking between the two of them seemingly unable to believe what had just transpired.

 

Chapter Text

A week from the time Hela returned from her quest she and her family were settled into the tower and the compound being rebuilt with a new design in mind. Rhodey was aiding Pepper in preparing for the return of the rogues as Tony had proven to be right as the public began to rise up in the defense of the rogues. The UN was going over the information attempting to fix what had gone wrong to allow Ross as much power as he’d had. Damage was already done though and many were losing faith in the Accords. Tony was trying to navigate the waters of the mess as well as shed light on exactly what the Accords had intended to be and how the Avengers should be held accountable for their actions. Vision, Jarvis, and Peggy were often together learning of the world they lived in now. Vision had never properly been given the chance to understand what it meant to be human or what kind of world existed around him. Jarvis had seen the world through Tony and the projects he helped with but even that was limited. Peggy found herself wholly unimpressed with what Shield had become. She was catching up on world politics and everything she’d need to know for the modern world.

Hela had joined them in learning of the world she was now calling home while also offering what help she could in the political problems around the Accords and the rogues. While she was new to this world she was not new to politics. Even as a war loving god, Odin and Asgard still had such things. She tried to help ease some of the stress of the situation for Tony but she was limited in what she could do. It did not help when a week into living at the tower her brothers finally decided to make an appearance.

The tower shook with the force of the bi-frost. Hela was on the common floor when she sensed the bi-frost before she actually felt it. Her son apparently had sensors capable of detecting the bi-frost’s energy so the others gathered shortly after it could be felt. They stood a united force as Thor Odinson, Loki Odinson, and four other warriors Hela didn’t recognize arrived in the tower without so much as a knock or request for entrance. So far Asgard’s people were off to a poor start.

Thor looked ready to say something but paused when he looked at the group.

“Where is the man of iron?” He sounded so confused.

“Hey point break, is that really how you greet family? Well I guess it’s better than choking me again.” Tony said causing Hela’s magic to spark in rage and Fenris growled as he stood.

Thor saw the aggression towards him but was mainly focused on Tony.

“Stark?”

“It’s Helason actually.” He said with a sharp grin.

Thor paled and even Loki looked shocked.

“So what brings you to my home Thor? And without even asking to enter first. Did Odin forget to teach you manners while he was being a terrible parent?” So maybe Tony had picked up some of Hela’s anger towards Odin while they were spending time together.

“You dare speak lies of our former king?” One of the warriors, the only female snarled as she reached for her blade.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you. You’re in my home and on my planet. You can’t beat me.” Tony said which was the truth. Much like Hela drew strength from Asgard and Hel, so did her son of Midgard.

“We did not come to fight Anthony Helason.” Loki spoke up attempting to ease the mess their meeting was already. “I was told by Queen Hela that if we were to speak with her to come to wherever you were. King Odin had mentioned the dangers of her being freed from banishment and there is the matter of the rightful heir to the throne of Asgard. We simply came to settle matters.”

Tony smirked.

“You’re usually the one that fixes Thor’s fuck ups aren’t you?”

Loki was taken aback by the comment but seemed to decide on honesty as the best option.

“You have no idea.”

Thor looked offended and the warriors looked ready to turn on the trickster.

“Awesome so you’ll be doing the talking then. C’mon, I’ll get us something to drink while we talk.” Tony said as he motioned them further inside. “What can I get everyone?”

Thor opened his mouth to speak but Loki cut him off.

“Tea or water please.” Loki said with a small respectable bow.

Tony snorted.

“I know Thor would prefer beer and it’s not like it can get him drunk.”

“I’m aware but it is not proper of such meetings. I did not wish to insult you.”

“You’re fine Loki but thanks. Just make yourselves comfortable and try not to piss off mom or Fenris.”

The massive wolf decided to frighten the warriors a bit by baring his teeth. It did work to unsettle them as they sat down on the couches and chairs in the common room. Jarvis moved to help him gather drinks. He grabbed a beer for each of the warriors and Tony prepared tea for the others and Loki who didn’t seem to be one to drink like Thor. They returned and offered each person a drink.

“Thank you Anthony Helason.” Loki bowed a bit after accepting the cup of tea.

“No problem Lokes, so I’ve got to ask because the curiosity is just killing me. What happened to the whole bag of cats I’m going to make you kneel routine? I mean crazy wasn’t the best look on you but I’m surprised it’s gone. Was it just a phase?”

The warriors frowned at the tone while Loki smiled at the teasing.

“I would agree it was not the best look on me. I much prefer the elegance of a prince and the deadly skill of a warrior and mage. Madness you could say was a phase of sorts. It is why while ruling as Odin on Asgard I did not continue to maintain order throughout the other realms. I needed all of Asgard’s forces home in order to survive the threat coming.”

Thor looked startled by that while Hela looked interested.

“Oh? What threat has you worried.”

Loki’s expression turned deadly serious.

“Thanos.”

Hela rolled her eyes as she leaned back.

“Oh Norns not him again.”

“You know him mom?” Tony asked.

“Of course dear, he has been sending me offerings since I left him in hopes of regaining my favor. He was a fine lover for a time but I grew quite bored of him. He has yet to realize I hold no love for him and it’s not like I can just return all the souls he sent to me.”

Loki was pale and his hands trembling.

“You know of Thanos? You allowed that monster to court you?”

“Courting is not what we did. It was purely physical and I was quite pleased with the size of him.” Hela answered honestly while Tony covered his ears horrified.

“Things I don’t need to know mom!”

She chuckled before sipping her tea.

“Sorry my son, I will try and keep stories of my past exploits to myself.”

“So this Thanos guy is what, coming after you?”

“After all of us. He seeks the infinity stones, one of which is in your comrade’s forehead.” Loki said eyeing Vision.

“Oh shit, where are my manners. I didn’t introduce you guys. Loki, Thor meet my sons Vision and Jarvis. This is Peggy, my godmother and my brother Rhodey. Whenever the rest of my family decides to visit I’ll introduce you to them to.”

“Rest of your family?” Loki asked.

“Yeah apparently my dad is Zeus so he and my siblings should be visiting at some point.”

Thor and Loki both paled and Tony just smiled pleasantly at them like nothing was wrong.

“You are the son of two of the most powerful gods?” Thor asked sounding honestly horrified.

“Apparently, also my godmother, brother, and son have all been granted power as Knights of Hel. Isn’t that great? I’m sure we can begin preparing for Thanos. If he thinks he can stalk my mom and try and kill my son well, let’s just say my enemies have a habit of not coming after me or mine again.” His grin was sharp and a deadly glint to his eyes.

Thor swallowed before he spoke again.

“So Queen Hela, I understand that Odin was…wrong about many things. He kept many secrets and told many lies. I hope among them is that you are a danger to Asgard.”

“I was before I escaped my banishment for a time. I would have torn your armies apart to take my place as rightful ruler. Now though I am no threat so long as your people leave me and mine alone. I have a family here in Midgard and have come to take a worthy lover. I do not need Asgard’s throne built on lies and deceit.”

Thor nodded.      

“When the mad titan comes, we will stand with you. He aimed for Midgard once before when he sent me to retrieve the tesseract. It is likely he shall attack Midgard again before seeking to target Asgard.” Loki offered without consulting Thor.

“Thanks Lokes. We’re actually putting together a new team; we could use someone with your skillset.”

“What happened to the avengers?” Thor asked with a troubled expression.

“They betrayed me and left me for dead.” Tony answered a cold look on his face.

“They were not worthy to be your shield brothers.” Loki stated like he knew their team had been doomed to fall apart.

“How do you know?” Rhodey asked looking at the trickster.

“You forget the scepter had been in my possession. I was linked to it just as I was to Thanos’s trusted servant before the green beast severed me from both. I saw through the scepter the petty argument that transpired between this realm’s forces. I also received information of this realm’s forces from the hawk while he was under my control. The captain is a man out of time with no intention of learning or accepting this time. The widow is a creature of no loyalty and will sacrifice all she has to in order to survive. Not only that but I could tell through the report she gave that her judgement was clouded when spying on the man of iron. She judged him by rumors and stories; she failed to see the strength and potential of such a man. The hawk is skilled with his chosen weapon but his weakness lies in his temper, of that he told me himself. He and the widow spend their lives loyal to an organization that built a cage of one they were considering for the team they were creating. One has to wonder one kind of people work for such a group when they speak of teammates while also planning for their containment or destruction without consulting them first. The doctor that houses the beast is afraid of his other self and for good reason. When all who face them show nothing but fear it can grate on one’s nerves until they snap. He knew this and therefore planned accordingly by running and hiding at the first signs of danger. The avengers were a group doomed to fail and the only saving grace of the team was Anthony.”

“Brother I was part of the avengers.” Thor protested.

“Yes, part of a team created with Midgard and their laws in mind. You are a warrior with few who can stand against you as an equal yet you know nothing of this realm and its ways. You knew nothing of what you were fighting for and likely did not bother to ask any questions. I saw the argument between your comrades Thor. That organization Shield was building weapons to kill our people yet you didn’t seem to realize just how bad that was. You fought alongside the avengers even while they were under Shield’s command knowing they were planning on how to destroy our people even when you told them that Asgard was no enemy of Midgard and its people. In Asgard and on other realms you are a worthy warrior to stand beside in battle. Here in Midgard you were a fool simply looking for another battle without realizing what was happening.”

“He’s got a point Thor. I was actually surprised you didn’t seem to care that Shield was using the tesseract to build weapons to defeat your people.” Tony agreed with Loki.

Thor frowned but he at least seemed to be listening.

“Now brother, let’s discuss the fact you laid hands on my son.” Hela cut through the silence with a sharp tone that could put her blades to shame.

“My apologies sister. I was in the wrong, I was angry that he had messed with the scepter to create Ultron. I had entrusted him with it for a few days and I felt betrayed.”

“I told you that I didn’t create Ultron. My program for Ultron wasn’t that monster. Bruce and I weren’t even close to getting the program to activate. I told you that and you didn’t listen.”

“If I may shed some light on the situation. I recall what I had picked up with my sensors at the time.” Jarvis spoke up.

“What did you sense?” Tony asked his son.

Jarvis appeared troubled as he considered the information he had gathered then and since his return.

“I was unaware of what it was at the time but I have since been going over data gathered after I had died. There was an anomaly in your scans during the time following your return from the mission to retrieve the scepter. As it was an unknown I had not yet brought it to your attention and continued to look into the matter. You were not acting out of the ordinary so I did not believe it to be something that would endanger you and your health. However seeing further scans done by Friday after my demise I have come to realize that your mind was affected by an outside force. One that I now know is Wanda Maximoff. As you were attempting to put me inside the body that is now Vision, it was Friday that was in charge of my previous duties and took scans in the tower. She took scans of Wanda and her powers but did not have the information I did from before so she was not aware of the connection. If I were to guess I would think Wanda wanted you to take the scepter and have it within your possession for an extended period of time. Considering the scepter’s effect on you and the others on the hellicarrier it is possible that it had the same effect on the AI you were seeking to create. It is not something I would think you’d forget so it is possible your actions were guided by Wanda as it was her power affecting your mind that I picked up with the regular scans you had me doing.”

“Why did you have JARVIS doing regular scans?” Rhodey asked confused.

“It was my prevention measures in case of mind control. Sure Loki’s scepter failed to work on me but if it ever did? I wanted to make sure there were protocols in place.”

“That was a wise choice. Someone with your kind of power and abilities would have been a nearly unstoppable force.” Hela praised her son’s thinking.

“Didn’t work though I guess.” Tony said sounding bitter. “What did that witch do to my mind? Did she just affect my choice in taking the scepter for a few days or something more?”

Jarvis reached out and placed a hand on Tony’s shoulder.

“I have been going over all the footage and scans between the time I died and when I was brought back to life. She has affected you many times as far as I can tell but not to control you.”

Tony’s eyes snapped up to him.

“What has she done?”

“The number of nightmares you were suffering had increased greatly since her arrival to the team at the captain’s insistence. The scans showed the same power affecting you during those times.”

Tony stood rage burning in his eyes.

“I’ll burn that witch.”

“We shall help I promise you my Tesoro.” Hela promised as she stood and rested her forehead against his. “We will make them all pay for what they’ve done to you.”

“I am sorry for not having seen what she was doing.” Vision sounded so guilty and Tony moved away from his mother to place a comforting hand on his shoulder.

“You couldn’t have known, you were still new to this world and being alive.”

Vision tried to take comfort in that but it was reminder that he was still naive about the world he was a part of now. He had also had feelings developing for the witch and now he was experiencing his first heartbreak and betrayal all in one.

“We’ll need to plan things out for preparing for Thanos as well as bringing news of his impending attack to the proper authorizes.”

“Can we not just tell them now?”

“I don’t know, did you believe me when I told you something else was coming?” Tony countered making Thor shrink in on himself slightly.

“I know I did not believe you before-”

“None of you believe me which is why we can’t just tell people.” He clapped his hands together an idea coming together already. “Here’s the plan, Asgard is going to formally sign an alliance with Midgard.”

Thor made a face.

“Asgard is the protector of the nine realms; we are already your allies.”

Loki rolled his eyes before turning his attention Tony.

“Please explain your plan; I believe I know where you’re going with this.”

Tony grinned at him.

“Sign an alliance recognized by our world and our people. We’re separated by different nations but if Asgard signs an alliance stated they’ll side with us in the event of further invasions from outside forces,”

“Then we can bring the attention of Thanos’s invasion stating we’ve seen his forces heading towards Midgard.” Loki finished part of Tony’s plan.

“And we can formally bring you in as an ally as well as bring to light your own time being under the scepter’s control. As of right now no one will believe either. Asgard as a whole is an unknown to our planet. Thor you’ve just come and gone as you pleased and didn’t make things better with the attack on London and the fact you just left without trying to make up for the damage done or explaining anything that happened then. We need communications between our worlds which between me and a few other geniuses I happen to know we should be able to create a way to contact Asgard or vice versa. We can find a way to explain your absence with the fact your world protects various others and try and appease the anger of anyone who might argue by creating a team that will handle further issues between our worlds.”

“I believe this plan will work. Without the space stone Thanos’s forces likely will not reach Midgard for another few years. A formal alliance will take perhaps half a year to a full year, correct?”

“I think we can aim towards half a year.”

“Then wait several months before bringing attention to the fact Thanos is coming.” Loki said completely on the same wavelength as Tony in regards to the plan.

“Exactly.”

“You know it’s scary how similar you two are.” Rhodey broke through what had turned into a conversation between just the two.

“I’ll take that as a compliment because he has a big beautiful brain and I love it.” Tony told his best friend and brother.

“Ew, now I’m seeing the resemblance to Zeus.”

Tony punched him in the shoulder.

“Oh my god I meant platonically like with Brucie Bear. You’re just disgusting and that wouldn’t even make sense, Loki’s adopted so no blood relation there anyways.”

Rhodey still made a face like he found the entire situation terrible.

“I believe this plan the best course of action as well.” Vision spoke up.

“I will follow your lead on this.” Hela told Tony.

That just left Thor to decide if he wanted to follow this plan.

“Planning such as this has never been one of my strengths. If you both believe this to be best I shall go along with this plan. Asgard has been separated from Midgard to long. How would we go about forming an alliance with your realm?”

“You’d have to talk to the UN but first we need you to mesmerize this plan because I’m not going to let you mess it up. I’m going to contact Pepper, my PR team, and some of the best damn lawyers I can find on international law. You’re going to owe me for that last one by the way, they’re not cheap but no striking deals with the UN without someone to help you understand all the legal talk. Once we have all that taken care of then I’ll make arrangements for you to speak to the UN.”

Thor already looked overwhelmed by the entire thing.

“Before I contact them who exactly is the current ruler of Asgard?”

The three siblings looked at each other and seemed to have a stare off.

“I am ruler of Hel, I need no other realm to rule.” Hela finally said dismissing the option of ruling Asgard with a wave of her hand.

“No one would trust me to rule Asgard and I don’t feel like being assassinated.” Loki said crossing his arms over his chest and looking away.

Thor grumbled before he sighed having the duty fall to him.

“I am the current king of Asgard.” Thor finally answered Tony.

“Good, I’ll make the calls. It’ll take a while to get my team together so you can go back to Asgard or stay, either way I don’t care.”

With that he was off talking into his cell phone. As he walked away a glowing red circle formed under Loki drawing everyone’s attention. Hela quickly whispered a spell and the portal attempting to open there vanished. Loki moved away from where the portal was as though it might open again.

“Seems your sorcerer friend has attempted to capture me again.” Loki said annoyance dripping from his tone.

“What sorcerer?” Hela asked.

“Dr. Strange, apparently Midgard has sorcerers.” Thor said. “He wanted me to leave with Loki and our father but then Odin passed on and we needed to come here to speak to you.”

“Friday my dear, does this Dr. Strange have contact information?”

“Calling now.” Friday answered in a happy tone.

“Hello?”

“Is this Dr. Strange?” Hela inquired.

“This is. Who is this?”

“I am Queen Hela, ruler of the realm of the dead, rightful heir to Asgard and the firstborn of Odin Allfather. You’ve just attempted to capture my brother and violate the safety of my home with your magic. Do so again and there will be no place among the living or dead that you will be able to run to in order to hide from what I will do to you. Am I understood?”

There was a pause on the other end before Strange spoke.

“I am the sorcerer supreme, charged with protecting this world from all magical threats. Loki wasn’t suppose to return to this world. I told Thor that when I helped him find his father.”

Hela took a calming breathe before she disappeared from the tower. She was gone but a few moments before she returned to the tower holding an object in her hand.

“Right about now your fellow sorcerers will be alerting you to the fact the time stone is missing from your possession. I will be sure to return it to your so called protection when I receive a formal apology for the attempt to capture my brother. If you attempt to forcefully take the infinity stone back I can promise you there will be no time loop this time to save you from my grasp. Good day Sorcerer Supreme.”

With that Friday ended the call and Hela put the stone in one of her pocket dimensions. It also reminded her of something rather important as she spun around to look at Thor.

“You are a fool. You placed Surtur’s crown right next to the eternal flame that would allow him to rise up and destroy Asgard. Think before you act you fool!” She snapped at him.

Thor was taken aback by the anger in her voice and sudden change of subject.

“You were the one who took Surtur’s crown!” He snapped back jumping to his feet.

“Because you not only put it near the eternal flame but had in right in the heart of Asgard. How much of a fool could you be?”

Thor tried to protest but he couldn’t deny he’d been an idiot.

“I made a mistake yes, you needn’t yell at me for it.”

“Of course I do. You could have destroyed all of Asgard with that choice. Think you fool!”

“As entertaining as it is to see you two yelling at each other I think we should focus on the fact you just stole an infinity stone.” Rhodey cut in looking at Hela. “Not sure who the sorcerer supreme is but stealing is illegal either way and if he tried to open a portal he knows you’re here.”

“Colonel Rhodes is right, Doctor Stephan Strange is in the lobby requesting entrance.” Friday spoke up.

“Is he alone?” Jarvis asked.

“He has brought one other with him that I have not yet been able to identify.”

“Then shall we go meet our guests? He owes me and Loki an apology.” Hela said completely calm.

Loki smirked as he stood to follow her.

“Oh I do look forward to this.”

“Loki, behave yourself brother.”

Loki gave Thor a look before his eyes lit up with mischief.

“But brother, I’m simply following the lead of our elder sister.”

Rhodey bit off a laugh and tried not to find the situation hilarious. He’d dealt with Tony in his teen years, he was use to being around someone who was a little shit. Jarvis smiled slightly finding it also amusing though he hadn’t known Tony in his teens but had in later years when he was still a bit mischievous. Thor sighed and muttered something about wondering if he was the adopted one.

“Please do not start a war with Midgard or its sorcerers. I’m returning to Asgard for now; call Hiemdal when you’re ready to return brother.”

Loki just kept smiling looking far to entertained by the situation as he followed Hela. The two deities entered the elevator and headed down to the lobby.

“Do you actually care if they tried to capture me or was it simply the fact they used their magic to access your home?” Loki asked before they reached the lobby.

“It may surprise you but I do care for my family. Not just my son but my brothers and mother.”

Loki stared at her a moment before he whispered, “Frigga is dead.”

“I am aware though she was not my birth mother.”

Loki stared at her shocked.

“She wasn’t?”

“No, Frigga raised me but my mother was Jotun. Odin had many mistresses and like Zeus was not loyal to his wife. Though unlike Hera, Frigga delighted in raising children regardless of who birthed them.”

Loki turned away from her as he asked, “What of your birth mother?”

“I killed her. Odin made certain I did it during the conquest of Jotunheim. Sentiment was weakness and he could not have an heir that was weak.”

The elevator opened and the dark look in Hela’s eyes vanished as she smiled at the two sorcerers.

“Now which one of you is Dr. Strange?”

Strange stepped forward looking less than pleased.

“You stole something of mine.”

“And you broke into my home. Both things are quite illegal.” Hela countered.

“Difference is I’m in charge of handling magical threats and Loki is a criminal.”

“Loki is a prince and to target him would be to incite war between this realm and those of Asgard and Hel. You say you protect this realm yet you invite war. And to think people believe only the intelligent can become sorcerers.”

A snort came from behind both meaning Loki and Strange’s comrade were stifling laughs.

“The time stone.”

“Our apology.” Hela replied with all the false sweetness she could muster.

Strange looked like he sucked on a lemon.

“My apologies for trying to capture the criminal I was assured would be taken off the planet.”

“And?”

He glared.

“Sorry I broke into Tony Stark’s dedication to his ego.”

“It’s Anthony Edward Helason actually but apology accepted.” She summoned the stone and held it out to him.

“Do try to avoid getting on my bad side again.”

He took the stone and left through a portal.

“Oh that was delightfully entertaining. You know he had me falling through that portal for thirty minutes last time.”

“I do admit the idea of that happening is entertaining.” She chuckled as they returned to the elevator.

“I suppose now I must return to Asgard and help to ensure Thor does not ruin our plan.”

“He is not the brightest of people is he?”

“His talents reside in fighting. I had hoped when he matured he would take more of an interest in the other areas of being king.”

She raised a brow at him.

“Do you believe he can handle the task of being king?”

“Truly I have no idea.”

She made a sound of acknowledgement before she surprised Loki with her next words.

“Once things are settled between Asgard and Midgard I am going to make him regret ever laying his hands on my son. Care to help me? I promise nothing violent as he does need to be able to do his duties as king, I’ve been reliably informed you are the god of mischief and I could use such talents.”

Loki’s eyes lit up.

“I am at your service, is it just with Thor you require my talents?”

“No, I have been informed I’m not allowed to kill or maim those who have betrayed my son but I will ensure their lives are hell. I believe you are familiar with the people that were once avengers. Captain Rogers, Agent Barton, Agent Romanov, the so called witch, Scott Lang, and Sam Wilson.”

“I know some of them yes. I am not familiar with the witch, Lang, or Wilson. If you will give me what information you have on them to look over while I’m in Asgard I will begin plans for mischief best suited for them.”

Hela smiled.

“I think we may actually get along.”

She gave him files on the rogues before he left. Rhodey just gave her a look like he knew exactly what she was doing and while he shouldn’t approve he did.

Chapter Text

Tony ran his fingers through Fenris’s fur and was using his other hand to look through report for the new compound being built with the combined designs of him and his mother. Construction was going well and looked like it would be completed on time.  When Fenris’s head suddenly shot up Tony looked at the massive wolf wondering what was going on that caught his attention.

“What’s going on Fenris?

He didn’t get an answer of course but the wolf stood up and began growling at the door leading to the balcony. Tony almost thought of calling his armor when there was a loud knock at the balcony door. Seeing the massive towering form of a man that looked like he could give Thor a challenge in a wrestling match Tony told Friday to call Hela. The queen of the dead appeared within moments and smiled seeing the towering man that was bare chested other than the green and yellow strap going across it. Tony stared curious at the massive sword on his back as Hela moved to invite the man inside.

“Hercules, I see you decided to visit your brother.”

Tony stared shocked to hear this massive man was the legendary Hercules. He watched the much taller man grin brightly as he greeted Hela like she was a close friend. It seemed almost odd considering Hela was basically Zeus’s mistress, or former mistress as it was. Although considering most of Zeus’s history of love affairs maybe it just wasn’t that weird to the hero.

“It is a pleasure to see you Queen Hela. I am sorry to say I could not convince anyone else to come see the newest addition to our family. I had hoped to at least convince Hephaestus to come considering their shared talents. Sadly he is not nearly as social as I.”

“It’s alright Hercules, I am just pleased someone came. My son deserves to know the other half of his family. Is Zeus not coming to visit?”

“You know my father, he must be careful as his wife will be quite displeased to find he has once again taken another lover. He will come when he can. Now, I wish to meet this most talented warrior and craftsman Anthony.”

“Right here big guy.”

Hercules turned to look at Tony as he approached and Tony found himself looking up at the hulking man. Seriously he was taller than Thor, if he had to guess the man was six foot five. It was seriously unfair as it made Tony feel even smaller than he was already.

“Such a tiny warrior but surely you must be as strong as our father and your mother Queen Hela.”

Tony smirked as he felt the weight of Hercules’s hand on his shoulder.

“I’m not tiny, you’re just a giant.” He teased the taller man who grinned easily accepting the joking.

“We must celebrate our meeting brother. A feast!”

Tony chuckled.

“Sure Hercules, I’ll order food and call the rest of the family.”

Hercules grinned brightly excited to meet the others. Tony set out a mass text to everyone and had Friday order enough pizzas for their group. Jarvis and Vision were the first to arrive and Tony introduced them as his sons to Hercules. Hercules happily scooped them up into a bone crushing hug that would probably be painful with anyone else. Peter arrived with his Aunt May next and Tony introduced them telling Hercules he was mentoring Peter and that May was Peter’s aunt.

“Ah, adopting a young warrior who has no other father figure. A noble cause brother.” Hercules slapped Peter on the back in a friendly gesture. “Feel free to rely on me as one would their uncle. Any child of my brother is family to me.”

Tony considered correcting him but Peter looked so excited and even May didn’t look like she wanted to correct the alien warrior. Peggy arrived next and Hercules looked very interested in the female warrior.

“A pleasure to meet such a fine warrior.” Hercules greeted Peggy as he lay a kiss on her hand.

As they settled down to eat Loki arrived by bi-frost. Tony waved him over surprised by his arrival but the trickster wasn’t unwelcome. He greeted Hercules with a polite nod and received a hug in return.

“I see the family of Odin has been blessed with a truly powerful mage. Your father must be so proud.”

Loki tried not to react to the other god’s words.

“I fear not. Odin only desired warrior children and my trickster nature does not make for a worthy heir.”

Hercules frowned at Loki’s words.

“I do not understand. Odin is both a warrior and powerful mage. My own father spoke at length of Odin’s younger years where he was quite the trickster. A shame he has changed so much. You must tell me tales of your past tricks.” Hercules said leading a stunned Loki to a seat near him so they could talk.

Tony listened to the various conversations happening around him. It was nice he realized to be surrounded by family like this. He never really had this kind of relationship with the Avengers like he had hoped. He thought they had been becoming more but as he sat here among people who accepted him as one of them he realized he’d always been an outsider among the Avengers.

“Boss, there’s an incoming jet requesting permission to land.” Friday’s voice broke through the numerous conversations.

“A jet? From where?”

“It appears to be a Wakandan jet, the code given with the request is one granted to Princess Shuri.”

“She’s got permission to land.”

Tony got up to go meet the Wakandan royalty and was a little surprised when Hela, Hercules, Loki, and Jarivs all stood to join him.

“Guys I can greet Shuri on my own you know.”

“Nonsense, I wish to meet this princess of such an advanced nation.” Hela told him.

“I am quite curious as well.” Loki admitted.

He didn’t bother questioning why they were all insistent on joining him. Outside he waited for the jet to land and could already feel his excitement as he saw the advanced jet landing. He already knew to expect at least one bodyguard with Shuri but he hadn’t expected to see the two female bodyguards and Prince T’Challa as well.

“Tony!” Shuri rushed over much to the obvious displeasure of her bodyguard.

“Hey Shuri,” He accepted the hug from the young princess before he asked, “not that I don’t mind you finally visiting but what’s up?”

“I wanted to come see you and I’ve come to kidnap your kid for science.”

Tony couldn’t help the small laugh that escaped him.

“Well it’s not up to me if your going to kidnap him. His aunt’s inside with him so you’ll need to ask her.”

His eyes landed on T’Challa curious why he came as well. He suspected it was because he learned of Shuri being in contact with him before and just learning of it. He just hoped T’Challa didn’t use that to try and manipulate him.

“Dr. Stark.” T’Challa greeted which surprise surprise the prince of an isolated nation knew he had several PhDs.

“Just Tony is fine.”

“I do not feel I have earned the right to call you by your first name. I know you extended an invitation to my sister to visit but I felt the apology I owe you was best given in person.”

Ok so now Tony was confused. Apology?

“Pretty sure you don’t owe me an apology.”

“I do owe you one. I had believed from what I knew of your armor’s capabilities that you would not have lost the fight against Captain Rogers and Sargent Barnes. I had failed to take into account your actions at the airport where you attempted to stop the situation from escalating and tried to bring them in without further conflict. I should have realized without lethal means, you would have struggled against two enhanced fighters. You could have died and if I had thought about the situation properly I would have realized you required assistance.”

“He almost did die.” Hela hissed at T’Challa.

“Mom don’t, he couldn’t have known.”

“It doesn’t matter if he did or didn’t. He was there and he didn’t care enough to check on you. He tried to kill Barnes for his own father’s murder. Why shouldn’t I serve my own brand of justice for his own part in your injuries?”

The two woman moved forward ready to defend their king.

“Mom I’m ok now, better than ever even. No need to start a war with Wakanda.”

Hela scowled a bit and it was almost like seeing her and Loki as siblings for the first time. They looked the same as they wore matching scowls.

“I can totally see the resemblance.” Shuri pretended to whisper to him.

“I know right? It’s like really weird.”

“Well at least I share a resemblance with one of my siblings.” Loki said with just a tint of fondness in his voice.

“Alright guys, let’s go in and finish our pizza. Then Shuri can kidnap Peter and I can figure out what I’m going to do with our newest guests.”

Peter was delighted to meet Shuri of course and the Wakandan princess was already talking about Peter coming to Wakanda. As they continued to eat and talk amongst themselves T’Challa moved closer to speak with Tony. Hela and Jarvis both were trying and failing to be subtle trying to spy on the conversation.

“I am truly sorry I did not offer you aid before.”

“Seriously it’s fine. Look at me, everything worked out. I look like I’m back in my twenties, I’m a god, and I’ve been reunited with family I thought I lost.”

T’Challa was staring closely at his face.

“I had noticed your more youthful appearance though I thought it inconsiderate to ask about it. It is very obviously still you, both your appearance and personality still shine through and Shuri assured me while you do look quite younger that I needn’t question your identity.”

“Yeah godhood apparently restored my youth. If I still drank I’d probably be carded at the door.”

“More than likely.” T’Challa agreed with a friendly smile on his lips.

“Brother!” Hercules boomed loudly drawing Tony’s attention.

“Yeah big guy?”

“I wish to see this world you call home. What do humans do for entertainment?”

“A lot of things actually. We have movies, amusement parks, trips to the beach, things like that.”

“There’s mini golf, and lazer tag, and paint ball!” Peter added helpfully.

“Lots of food to try to.” May added also.

“I favor Midgard’s vast wealth of knowledge. Libraries and the internet are quite helpful for such things.” Hela stated.

“You might enjoy watching sports. We have several.” Jarvis added as well.

“I wish to experience what your realm has to offer. It shall aid me in understanding this realm and bonding with my new family.”

Tony looked at the others to see their thoughts. Peter raised his hand eagerly jumping up and down where he was sitting.

“Can I take Uncle Hercules and Shuri for lazer tag?”

Tony’s heart melted at Peter calling his brother uncle. It was like he’d adopted another kid and it was awesome.

“Alright I’ll make arrangements for lazer tag. How many do I need to account for?”

Everyone’s hand went up causing Tony to raise a brow at Loki.

“Really?”

“Just because I am not what one expects of someone from Asgard, I am very fond of competitions just as any other Asgardian warrior.”

He sighed.

“Oh this isn’t going to end well.”

No doubt if Loki was going so would Thor, the thunder god had a sixth sense about any kind of competition.

 

~

 

“Ok I feel like this will only end horribly.” Tony stated again as he and the others readied themselves for their ‘friendly’ competition.

Loki had a mischievous smirk on his face, Thor looked overly confident in his abilities for someone just now trying out lazer tag, Hercules was already discussing teaming up with Thor, and so help them all Peter was in a corner with Vision, Jarvis, and Shuri whispering amongst themselves.

“I do hope it is not so horrible that you will deny my offer of treating everyone to celebratory meal afterwards.” T’Challa spoke up loud enough for everyone to hear.

“Hey if you want to feed a bunch of gods and super humans  that’s fine with me.” Peter said grinning with Shuri at his side.

“Winning team decides where we eat. Godly family against you weak muggles.” Tony said pulling Rhodey to his side. “So me, mom, my awesome brothers, and uncles against you guys. Just to make things fair you can have Vision and Jarvis on your team.”

“I didn’t hear me mentioned.” Peggy said from where she was standing next to Pepper.

Tony ducked behind Rhodey for protection because he had honestly forgotten to mention Peggy but also because he’d forgotten Pepper had actually made room in her schedule for this event. Though the week time from when it was originally brought up did leave enough time to clear a day to spend with them.

“I believe three teams would be best. Myself, my beloved, and Peggy as our own team.” Hela suggested moving over to the other two women.

“Shit, we’ve already lost guys.” Tony said only have joking.

“Of course you have.” Peggy agreed.

“We shall see Lady Peggy.” Loki said sticking up for their team.

“We’re team Yeet!” Peter cheered likely referring to one of his pop culture references.

“Then we’re team godly tricksters.” Tony said earning a bright grin from Loki.

“I suppose we shall be team Superior.” Pepper said for her team.

Tony valuing his life didn’t argue that she and the others of her team were indeed superior over the other two teams. The following battle was…interesting. Peter, T’Challa, and Jarvis had amazing reflexes and Shuri was nothing to laugh at. Vision was taking a bit to become familiar with the game and comfortable enough to really get into it. Loki was a menace and it was the most amazing thing Tony had ever seen. Not that he was to surprise but Thor and Hercules were the first to be taken out because stealth was not either’s most talented skill. Peter and Shuri were taken out by Peggy, Loki got T’Challa, and Hela had taken out Thor, Hercules, and Rhodey.

Tony and Loki had all but disappeared as the others faced off against each other. Vision and Jarvis were working well together now that they had gotten the hang of the game. Vision even managed to take out Peggy which was an amazing feat considering her skillset. Hela promised to avenge her and was shot by Loki. Hela had clearly not been expecting that and swore her revenge. Tony gave Loki a look but the trickster smirked as both moved as one to continue to hide. They left Pepper, Jarvis, and Vision to duke it out amongst themselves.

The three did duke it out and when only Pepper stood the victor of the three Tony and Loki jumped out from their hiding places. Pepper missed while both Tony and Loki hit their target.

“Ha! We’re the best.” Tony cheered just as he was hit. Confused he looked at Loki who had shot him with a mischevious smirk on his face.

“There can only be one.”

Rhodey was laughing loud enough that Tony could hear him.

“Traitor! We were on the same team.”

“Well you paired up with a trickster, why are you surprised by this?” Loki countered.

“My revenge will come when you least expect it.”

Loki just smirked silently welcoming his attempts at revenge. Thor patted Tony on the shoulder with a grin on his face.

“One must always be careful when trusting Loki.”

Tony rolled his eyes but smiled as Hercules patted Loki on the back nearly making the trickster topple over as he congratulated him on his win. As promised T’Challa paid for their meal afterwards. Loki being the winner had chosen their destination after the game and choose seafood. No place was better for seafood than Red Lobster.

When their food came Loki looked excited to eat but before he could even touch his food each and every seafood item on his plate suddenly jumped up and ran off with the chant of ‘Nope, nope, no, nope’ causing people to stare in shock and Loki to glare at Tony who grinned.

“My vengeance.”

Loki just countered by stealing Tony’s food. Jarvis was kind enough to share his seeing as Loki was eating Tony’s food with a dagger in hand ready to cut him if he tried to take it back. Shuri and Peter both had their phones out recording the incident and no doubt it would be posted later on Youtube. Luckily Loki was shape shifted to hide his identity so no one would comment on the god of mischief being on the planet. Soon that issue would be handled though. As they ate Tony leaned over to his mom and whispered a thank you for her using her magic to help him get back at the trickster. Hela just smiled with a silent warning within her eyes. The prank war he’d just started he should have seen coming.

Chapter Text

Hela sat in the new avengers’ compound. Hers and Anthony’s ideas and designs mixed together showing a mix of their two worlds. Though the new HQ for the team wasn’t gold it showed her background as an Asgardian warrior in design. The open space and large arched doorways allowed Fenris to move around as he pleased. Due to the massive size of the property each member had been able to add to the request to the new compound. There was a separate building strictly for magic users to practice or perform their spells. Hela, Loki, and Strange had a place there. Hela still smirked at the sorcerer knowingly as her centuries of experience still gave her an edge over the Midgardian. After the instatement of Loki to the avengers once everything was worked out as her son had planned, Strange had applied and been added.

Other heroes were coming out of the woodwork seeking to join the Avengers. Due to the number and the different level of skills there were now different departments of the Avengers. Hela was part of her own department called The Knights, which also included Jarvis, Peggy, and Vision. Fenris was part of the team but as he was her loyal ally and not considered a ‘person’ he was not formally on any document as employed by the Accords. The Knights aided the main Avengers if they required help but otherwise they were for intergalactic threats.

Hela had met several of the Defenders as well as the X-men and Fantastic Four. She actually found herself rather fond of some of them. She spent a few nights drinking with Jessica if she didn’t have any other plans, she joined Danny and Matt for training on occasions interested in both men’s fighting style, and she had been talking with several of the X-men on occasion who were interested in learning about worlds beyond their own.

She was at the compound due to business suddenly coming up that took Pepper away from their promised lunch date. Hela understood the time a throne can take so she had assured Pepper everything was alright.

Seeing Fenris lift his head she put down her cup of tea and stood with all the grace of a goddess and queen. It didn’t take long to spot what had drawn Fenris’s attention. Coming into her home was the group who she and Loki had been working together to decide a fitting punishment for. Leading them was one of the Accords representatives. Hela had met the woman on a few occasions, if she recalled the woman’s name was Samantha Cross, she was a former Colonel in the military.

“Colonel Cross.” Hela greeted her with a small nod.

“Queen Hela, I was told someone would be present so I could give the new signees of the Accords a tour. Would you be my guide today or should I call the office?”

Hela smiled in a friendly manner towards the Colonel.

“I was unaware of this tour but allow me to find out who was meant to lead the tour. I’m afraid a call came in some time ago so perhaps the appointed person was directed elsewhere. If they were it would be my pleasure to aid you in the tour.”

“Why the hell do we need someone else to give the tour? We already have the Accords person here.”

Hela turned a blank look on the one who spoke, it appeared to be the archer known as Hawkeye. She kept her own hatred a secret because Loki had advised her to keep her personal feelings out of the picture so when they finally got their revenge it would be unexpected.

“It is the rules of any building that houses enhanced beings signed under the Accords. To avoid putting anyone at risk a level 5 signee must accompany those being given tours by an Accords representative.”

Hela decided she wanted to lead this tour as she made a motion to alert Friday that she sought her attention. The former Avengers stepped back shocked as a woman appeared dressed in white with red hair.

“Friday, please let whoever was assigned to give the tour know that I will be tending to this task.”

“Of course Queen Hela, I shall let the appropriate people know. Originally Doctor Strange was asked to lead the tour but he was called away for an interdimensional threat last night.”

“I see, very well.” She said as Friday disappeared.

“What was that? I’ve never seen something like that.” A man Hela quickly recognized as Scott Lang said having moved forward to get a closer look but Friday was no longer present.

“That was Friday, the AI that runs and monitors the Compound. When addressed by authorized personnel she will appear as a hologram to address whatever is needed.” Hela told him before motioning for Cross to begin the tour.

“Alright everyone, this is the common space. All public spaces are monitored at all times and there is always a security team on the premises.” Colonel Cross began explaining as she began walking.

Apparently the group hadn’t noticed Fenris until they passed right by him. His appearance caused a startled cry and Wanda immediately attacked. Her red bastardized magic hit a wall of green as Hela always protected her own.

“Colonel Cross, was this group made aware of the current signees of the Accords?”

“They were Queen Hela as per protocol.”

Hela nodded turning to the witch.

“That will be a strike against you Miss Maximoff. Attacking innocents is unacceptable of Accord signees.”

“Who the hell let a massive monster like that into the compound?” She countered yelling and stomping her foot like an overgrown child.

“Look, she was just startled.” Steve tried to reason but Hela leveled him with an unimpressed look.

“Do you wish to explain that to a civilian why she nearly killed them? Oh she was startled so you can’t be upset about her attacking them. If this is her level of control I will be advising the council to put her through some serious training before she is allowed on any mission.”

“Hey now that’s not fair.” Steve argued.

“Who the hell are you to decide that shit?” Clint accused.

“I am a skilled magic user, one of which can tell when someone possess no control or selective control. As a level 5 signee I am capable of making such suggestions to the Accords council. Now let us continue the tour. Another such incident though will end with the one responsible being escorted out.”

Fenris nudged her and earned a scratch behind the ears. They kept walking and Cross brought them to the large cafeteria where Hela spotted Eddie Brock and the man who had only introduced himself as Cable. The two were seated together even though there was plenty of open space to sit at separate places. Eddie didn’t often stay at the compound but when he did having times between chasing new stories he worked security. Cable worked full time as security for the compound.

“This is the cafeteria, it’s open during the hours of 9am to 10pm.” Cross explained.

“Why is there a cafeteria? What happened to the kitchen?”

“The kitchen is available only to residents. Private living spaces are not on this tour.”

“Why isn’t it on the tour? How will we know where our rooms are?” Natasha asked, not sounding as rude or disrespectful as the others had.

“I’m afraid an application needs to be submitted after you’re placed on the team you’ll be a part of.” Cross explained.

“The compound is for the Avengers, that’s our team.” Steve said sounding like he was lecturing Cross.

“Shut the hell up, your voice is grating on my nerves.” Cable spoke up from his seat looking rather tired as he’d just finished his shift and was eating before he’d likely go knock out for the day.

“Sorry Mr. Cable.” Cross told the man knowing he wasn’t the best when exhausted.

“Why are you apologizing for him being an ass?” Clint asked as he decided to storm over to where the two security guards were sitting. “You should be apologizing to Cap for being a dick.”

Cable stared unimpressed as he put another bit of food in his mouth.

“Go away, besides Rogers isn’t a real captain. He’s only ranked Private, really you insult every member of the military who earned the rank they’re called when you insist on calling him that.” Eddie said stuffing another bite of chocolate sauce covered tater tots into his mouth.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about dickhead.” Clint snarled at him.

“I’m a well-informed reporter, I know exactly what I’m talking about.” Eddie told him unimpressed eating another bite and earning a look of disgust as Clint realized what he was eating.

“Eddie, would you mind removing Clint Barton from the premises? I already gave him and the others their only warning and I’d like to have him removed now rather than wait for an on shift security officer.”

Eddie pushed his seat back and gave Hela a wink.

“Our pleasure.”

Suddenly Eddie was replaced by Venom causing Clint to quickly put space between them but it didn’t stop the giant alien from grabbing him and holding him upside-down by his leg.

“You come into our home and insult us and think there’s no repercussions? You’re a bigger idiot than we thought.”

“Hey let him go! He didn’t do anything wrong.” Steve snapped striding forward intent on starting a fight but Bucky grabbed Steve stopping him.

“Punk stop it, he was warned. We all were.”

Venom took the struggling archer out of the compound.

“Hopefully Eddie got enough food in his system otherwise the idiot’s going to be missing a limb.” Cable said unbothered as he continued eating.

“Venom is good about not eating people when it’s not a situation where that is an appropriate response.” Hela said as Cross began the tour again.

“Eating people?” Sam asked sounding horrified.

“It’s nothing to worry about.” Cross assured them. “Before signing onto the Accords, Venom strictly ate criminals.”

Hela wanted to smirk because well, Venom still ate people if they weren’t human or in the event of a mission with criminals refusing to back down he still did. Usually eating one head stopped the others.

“What are the chances we’ll be put on the Avengers team?” Natasha asked as they moved on from the cafeteria.

“I’m not certain, I’m not the one who decides that.” Cross answered.

“Who does?” Bucky asked.

“That would be the team leaders. You’ve already been given an introductory package that includes all enhanced signees of the Accords. Later once you’ve been evaluated you’ll meet the team leaders and be explained each department of Avengers and see where you believe you’d like to be. Of course after your evaluation you will also be told which team leader believes you best suits you. However if you do not like the teams recommended to you, they’ll work with you to see if the team you prefer will accept you as a good fit.” Hela explained.

“Who performs the evaluations and what do those involve?” Natasha asked eyeing her.

“Elected members of the teams perform the evaluations and what they involve will be revealed to you at the time they are performed.” Hela answered careful to not give away anything and being as vague as possible.

“We lived here before, why do we need an application?” Steve asked sounding so offended at the idea.

“An application is needed for any residence. They don’t just give apartments out, they check to see if someone can afford the place they’ll be living.” Cross explained as they arrived at the training area.

“Afford the place? We never paid rent before.” Steve argued earning a look from Bucky.

“Yes well the avengers and other teams are people that others look up to. We try to set a proper example and it would look quite ridiculous if young minds learned their heroes don’t have the common decency to pay for their living space and instead decided to live off another. Everyone who lives here works and contributes to the compound in some way.” Hela explained.

“Oh you expect us to believe someone who’s being called a queen works?” Wanda sneered.

“I do in fact work. I work at my son’s company though I volunteer my time teaching. Someone with my years of experience has much to offer a species that is sadly much further behind other worlds.”

“What do you teach?” Bucky asked respectfully.

“A number of things including fighting, history of the realms, and I teach magic though I have found few in this realm who hold the capability of using magic. Midgard I have found does not have many natural magic users.”

Their next stop was the parking garage where several vehicles were parked already.

“As the compound is a training facility as well as home to many enhanced, this is one of the parking areas so when you visit you will be given a pass to access this area should you have a vehicle. If you receive a pass it is for your vehicle only in the assigned location. You will be unable to bring any unauthorized people into the compound.”

As the tour continued Hela could see several members of the group growing increasingly unhappy. She was quite happy when the tour came to an end at the office where the group could choose to set up an appointment for an evaluation.

“If any of you would like to set up a time for an evaluation you can make an appointment now.”

Hela watched them all agree to be evaluated as soon as possible. She almost smirked when they stopped dead in their tracks at the sight of Laura Barton sitting behind the desk. She didn’t react to them the way they likely were expecting. She remained professional and set up their appointments without responding to any of their questions that had nothing to do with the appointment.

“That concludes our tour. If after your evaluation you submit an application and it’s accepted there will be a different tour of private spaces.”

“Colonel Cross if I may have a moment of Sargent Barnes’s time?” Hela asked knowing Cross couldn’t officially end the tour unless all members that arrived were accounted for having left.

“I don’t mind staying a bit longer. It’ll give me a chance to answer any extra questions people have.”

“Why do you want to speak with Bucky?” Steve asked eyes narrowed.

“Steve its fine, just give me a moment.”

“But Bucky, you don’t even know this woman.” Steve argued a hand on Bucky’s arm preventing him from moving away.

“If it is acceptable to you Sargent Barnes I could simply say what I was going to with your friend present. I am not attempting to cause issues between the two of you.” She lied so perfectly because really, when she was done Steven Grant Rogers would lose his best friend forever.

“Alright, yeah. I’m really not sure what a dame like you would want to talk to me about. Not sure you’ve heard, but I was the winter soldier.” Bucky said sounding a bit confused.

“I’m aware of your past Sargent Barnes, I actually witnessed it firsthand when you murdered me and my husband.”

Silence echoed for a moment before Steve screamed outraged, “That isn’t funny! If Tony put you up to this-”

Cold eyes turned on him then but Hela made no move towards Steve.

“My name when I walked among humans before was Maria Stark. My husband Howard Stark was the god Zeus, living in mortal form just as I was. To escape the places that had become our prisons we became mortal for a time.”

She turned a kind gaze to Bucky.

“I only wished to tell you that we do not blame you. We are aware your mind was not your own, that you had been twisted to suit the wants of others. I cannot imagine the turmoil in your heart having known you ended many lives while corrupted by Hydra. I hope knowing we understand and don’t blame you can ease some of the pain on your conscious.”

She nodded to Cross informing her that was all she wished to say. She moved to follow as Cross started leading the group back outside the compound. Before any of them left Bucky spoke to her again seeming to finally come out of his shock.

“So you…and Howard, I didn’t really kill you?”

“You killed our mortal forms that returned us to our immortal bodies. Neither of us nor my son blame you for what happened. He’d asked me what I thought regarding your actions and I assured him there is not a single part of me that blames you. In fact, going forward if there is any help I can offer please let me know. I can’t imagine your recovery will at all be easy and just having someone to listen can help.”

Bucky just stared at her for a few moments before Hela turned hearing several people running. She spotted her son running away from a charging Hercules. There was a big grin on his face as he laughed dodging a tackle from the larger god. Not far behind Peter was following in his Spiderman suit. He swung from the ceiling and did a backflip as he landed on Anthony’s shoulders as the older man continued to dodge and escape Hercules’s grasp.

“You’ll never catch me at this rate!” Anthony teased as he worked with Peter flinging the teen to ensure the door would be open and ready for his quick escape.

Hercules roared at the challenge while Peter escaped up the side of the building when Anthony was through the door.

“You know when I heard I might be working close with Tony Stark, I never expected this.” Cross laughed.

“My son has always been more on the energetic side. Regaining his youth with his awakened godhood has only increased that.” Hela said a smile on her face. “It helps that his brother is just as energetic. Hercules has mentioned Zeus does intend to visit soon and my brothers intend to visit as well. You should come, both Asgardians and Olympians do enjoy and respect warriors such as yourself.”

Cross gave her a look like she didn’t believe her.

“I’m very human and I’ve seen what you can do, I doubt I’d impress anyone.”

“It is not the strength that is impressive of a warrior. It is their spirt and honor as well as their skills. You are an honorable warrior recognized by your realm and its people. Come, I may have already promised Hercules you’d be present.” She said with a smirk causing Cross to roll her eyes.

“I’ll try and be there. Let me know when they arrive.”

Cross motioned for the others to leave, seeing the group staring where Anthony had run through.

“That was Tony?” Steve asked shocked.

“He looked so young.” Natasha commented.

“He is my son, when I returned from my banishment I told my son the truth of my origins as well as his own. He accepted his godhood and now shall live as long as I do…or he shall live as long his father’s side of the family. We’re not quite certain which side he takes after.”

“There’s a difference?” Sam asked.

“Yes, Asgardian do eventually age and die. Olympians do not age or die with the passage of time. Though with my title as a goddess that may very well make me different. I’m not entirely certain. Now I believed you were asked to leave.”

Reluctantly they left and Hela turned away deciding to go to the private garden that Vision tended to. There was a bench there for anyone who wished to simply relax in the massive garden and as she sat down she found herself with a guest.

“You did remarkably well for your first time playing the part of a trickster.” Loki praised.

“I don’t want any of this to come back on Anthony and you said so long as I show no signs of open hostility that it is unlikely they will come back from what we will do to them.”

Loki grinned.

“Yes, I have plenty of practice in doing such schemes. I assure you, there are more ways to destroy someone than simply killing them. With how they’ve acted so far they will destroy their image all on their own.”

“They’ve already made appointments for evaluations. I do have high hopes those.” She said a bit of excitement showing in her tone.

“Do remember what I told you for the evaluations.” Loki whispered before he vanished.

Hela smirked staying in the garden for a while longer as she ran her hand through Fenris’s fur.

 

Chapter Text

Tony stood in the room that allowed for viewing of the training room below. Natasha had her evaluation today and he and his mother had decided to watch. He knew who was preforming the evaluation and he could admit he was a bit concerned, not for the one doing the evaluation but for Natasha. He eyed his mother knowing she was planning something but for the life of him he couldn’t figure out what. He suspected it had something to do with the rogues considering the state the fight against Rogers and Barnes had left him in.

He turned his attention back as he saw Gamora and Nebula enter the training area. He frowned slightly before he saw the last member enter the room, apparently running behind it seemed. Tony watched Jessica walk over to the side of the room as her part wasn’t until the second stage of the evaluation.

“I am Gamora, level 4 enhanced. I will be leading this evaluation. To help me is Nebula level 4 and Jessica Jones level 4.”

Tony saw Natasha’s gaze look over the three and could practically see the wheels spinning in her mind.

“It was my understanding only level 5 enhanced performed the evaluations.”

“There are some exceptions.” Was all Gamora said on that matter before beginning the evaluation.

Natasha was a skilled fighter in terms of a baseline human, though against someone with advanced training like Gamora she fell short. Tony didn’t even need to see the report later to know that just watching as Natasha was forced on the defensive. The training room was set up with obstacles that neither side were familiar with to put them on an even playing field. Gamora obviously observed her surroundings to become familiar with them. While Natasha did a bit as well she seemed so confident in her skills that she didn’t become as familiar with them as she tried to force her opponent onto the defensive.

Tony saw the moment Nebula jumped in as the next stage to be completed. Natasha faltered a moment clearly not expecting to be facing two against one but she tried to find a way to separate the two sisters. The two were going easy in comparison to a real fight. When Jessica joined in to offer help to Natasha as per usual for an evaluation the widow was distrustful and refused time and time again the offered help. The session ended with all three level 4 enhanced being utterly unimpressed with her.

“What do you think?” He asked Hela curious about her opinion.

“Her ego was hurt when she discovered the sisters were better trained.”

Tony figured the same and watched as Natasha walked to the two sisters and tried to probe for information about them and their training. He knew both stayed knowing the widow was said to have skills with secretly interrogating people. Tony still wasn’t all that sure about her abilities considering all he knew was from the years working with her and the avengers.

Later when he looked over the report Gamora wrote up he almost laughed. Some of the delightful key points were that she was arrogant, overestimated her own abilities, and poor skill level in interrogation. She was listed as having a fair amount of skill as a fighter but her refusal of accepting help was cause for concern. Gamora believed it was because Natasha had no read on Jessica beforehand. She wrote in her report it was likely also why Natasha focused more on her and Nebula as opposed to her surroundings of the training field. She’d rather get a read on people rather than the place she was fighting.

If she passed to join the avengers her level would be a 2. Tony did laugh when he saw that. Though fighting and interrogation weren’t the widow’s only skills, at least according to her application. So there was another test to see her hacking skills. Something she believed were noteworthy so they had been included in her testing. Normally Tony was the one who performed those kinds of evaluations but considering the conflict of interest he wasn’t available for any of the former avengers’ tests. It was why Shuri was brought in to perform that section of the test. She was visiting for several days as part of the widow’s, Lang’s, and Barnes’ test considering all of them possessed some level of hacking ability.

Tony read the report from that as well which basically said the widow’s ‘hacking’ ability was laughable. She knew how to use equipment given to her with an explanation that would allow her to gather information. She herself did not possess any talent for that and the fact she put it on her application was actually a mark against her.

Next to take the test was Sam. Jean Grey was tasked with that examination with Quill of the Guardians and Ororo of the x-men aiding in the test. Sam wasn’t a leader type but following instructions he could do. When the two mutants were against him and Quill stepped in with instructions Sam listened. He could follow orders which were points in his favor. Sadly listing his work at the VA pointed out quite a few problems. Charles Xavier was tasked to test those skills and found that Sam was to star struck by Rogers to properly be considered for being useful as a counselor. Tony had suffered PTSD for years and Sam had been too blind to see it. When questioned on certain behaviors of his teammates, both past and present, Sam had been utterly clueless to issues.

Scott Lang was an interesting character but he didn’t think ahead or at the bigger picture. He took people at their word far too easily. His skills at hacking and as a fighter were impressive though. If either he or Sam passed they wouldn’t be put on a team with Tony. Lang hated Tony on Hank’s words alone, something he found hilarious for two reasons. The first being that he had never met Hank. The second being the real reason behind Howard’s (Zeus’s) actions when he and Hank had their falling out. Zeus without his powers had been limited to Midgardian technology. He knew there was a chance that Janet was alive after the mission that caused Hank to believe she’d died. Howard had attempted to not only use the technology to recuse Janet but to stop Shield from trying to replicate the Pym particles. It was why the attempts by Shield were so bad, Howard had been corrupting all of Shield’s attempts knowing that something wasn’t right with the organization. Howard hadn’t told Hank knowing Hank would want to be the one to go on the recuse mission if he figured out how to save Janet. Howard didn’t want to give his friend false hope, if he died on the mission it was no loss because Howard would just become Zeus again. Hank if he died that was it.

Tony had learned the truth when he asked his mom about it. She had explained everything and with full access to her powers had used magic to retrieve Janet. Using magic had taken a toll so in the meantime while Janet recovered she was in the medical wing under careful supervision. He had already tried to reach out to Hank but the man had done nothing but curse him out and hang up before he could get past a greeting. Calling Hope hadn’t been much better as she picked up the phone told him to not contact her again and hung up. So Tony was waiting for Janet to be up, awake, and healthy enough to travel and Tony would take her back to her family.

Steve’s evaluation was done by Logan. Originally Rhodey was going to be in charge of it but again, conflict of interest, so Logan had been asked. Logan was a level 5 enhanced and introduced himself as Lieutenant Howlett. Logan was brutal in his evaluation of Steve and when the mutant made his report he wasn’t kind. It looked like Steve wouldn’t make the cut.

When Wanda’s turn came Tony was both excited and a bit nervous. He didn’t want the witch anywhere near the avengers but he wanted to see what his mother would do. Though the conflict of interest should be an issue due to being his mother, so far she had been pleasant and professional towards the group so the council had allowed it. She and Strange were in charge of testing the witch. It went south almost immediately. A series of questions revealed the witch was more than willing and happy to invade the minds of others to manipulate or control them. Something when pointed out was against the Accord’s rules she scoffed at. Realizing Hela was staying for the test and due to the few powerful magic users it wasn’t up for debate, she lashed out. The attack with the reveal of the witch’s willingness to violate the rules of the Accords as well as the minds of others ended with her powers being bound. The witch screamed curses at the two before ultimately deciding to run away likely to cry and whine to Steve.

Barnes’s test was the one that drew Tony’s attention the most. His was given by Colonel Danvers with the help of Loki. Of all those on Roger’s team, only Barnes had a promising future. His level would be either a 4 or 5 as his skills as a fighter, sniper, and hacker were all good. Barnes also proved to work well in a team and adjusted well to new members.

Barton’s evaluation was much the same as the witch as he was listed as to volatile to be considered for the team. There was a psychological evaluation that was part of the overall testing for new members. Of them Rogers, Maximoff, Barton, and Romanoff didn’t pass.

The reveal of this information was given to the group as a whole as they all refused to receive the news separately even when the leaders advised them against it. As one of the leaders of the teams Tony was required to go. He, Hela, Luke Cage, Charles, Scott Summers, Susan Storm, Peter Quill, and Carol were in attendance. Several of the rogues looked unhappy considering Wanda’s powers were still sealed, Roger’s arguments of that treatment remained ignored, and Barton thought this was all a waste of time.

“Sargent Barnes, we’ll start with you seeing as you’ve done the best in the evaluations.” Carol started off stated as she looked at the report in front of her. “Considering your background Sargent Barnes we would like you to see a therapist but you are approved to join the team. We’d like to set you at a level 4 until you’ve completed a month of weekly therapy sessions at which point we’ll promote you to level 5. While you can apply to the team you prefer, The Knights, The Avengers team 1, and the Guardians have all expressed interest in you joining their team. The Avengers team 1 is led by myself and Colonel Rhodes, The Knights are led by Hela, The Defenders lead by Luke Cage, and the Guardians are led by Peter Quill though they do not always operate on earth so that would be something to consider when applying to a specific team.”

“We’re staying together as a team.” Steve spoke up trying to speak for Bucky and being ignored as it wasn’t his turn to be addressed.

“Next we’ll be addressing Scott Lang.” Carol continued as though she hadn’t heard Steve’s comment. “We’d like for you to explain your seemingly unfounded hatred of Doctor Anthony Edward Stark but otherwise you’re approved to join the team. The Avengers team 2 have expressed an interest in you joining but the council has expressed concerns considering it is a team lead by the one you’ve expressed hatred for.”

Scott sat up straight in his seat giving Tony a suspicious look.

“Wait, why the hell do you want me to join your team? Is this an attempt to steal the ant-man technology?”

Tony was careful not to roll his eyes.

“I have no interest in the Ant-Man technology. The team I lead has specific kinds of members. You fit the team I lead.”

Truth was Tony led something of a more anti-hero group. His team consisted of Venom, Logan, Loki, Cable, and Deadpool. Tony had been the only one able and willing to work with the group. Scott’s background of having stolen money from a company trying to cheat people had fit right up there in a kind of anti-hero feel. Truth was that Bucky fit that to but Tony doubted Bucky would want to join that kind of team. Tony was willing to let the past be the past with certain members of Roger’s group but he suspected his mom had other plans.

“I call bullshit, everyone knows you can’t trust a Stark.”

Hela slammed her hands on the table as she stood looming over it.

“First of all little human, he is a son of Hela and Zeus. Secondly, the one who gave you the suit you use to fight has never met my son. Thirdly, Hank’s reasons for hating my ex-husband are complete bullshit.”

“He tried to steal the technology before!” Scott argued.

“No he didn’t!” Hela stated loudly. “He kept Shield from replicating it when it became obvious they intended to try to replicate the technology for corrupt reasons. What Howard intended to do was use the limited resources this backwater planet had at their disposal in order to save his friend’s wife. Your ex-girlfriend could have grown up with her mother had Hank listened to Howard when he later tried to explain what was happening. Now Janet is alive and well and has missed out on so much of her little girl’s life because Hank can’t be bothered to listen.”

Tony was surprised by the outburst considering how calm and pleasant his mom had been towards the rogues until this point. He didn’t show it, but something about the entire situation had smelled slightly Loki-ish.

“W…what?” Scott said completely confused.

“Queen Hela, please calm down.” Carol finally tried to get the meeting back on track.

Carol pulled up the next file which was Romanoff’s.

“Natasha Romanoff, I’m afraid you did not pass the evaluation. The Avengers or any of the teams under the banner of that name are unwilling to take you on. We contacted the Accords council with our decision and they have deemed that they are not willing to take the risk of granting you a different position with them considering your choice to turn against the Accords after signing once before.”

“If this Stark getting back about the report I did on him that deemed him unqualified to be an avenger-”

“Wait, what report on Tony?” Quill asked confused stopping Carol from interrupting Romanoff’s accusations.

“When Shield was putting together the avengers I was sent to evaluate Stark. Did he forget to mention that to you?” Romanoff said it in a way like she was secretly trying to push Tony under the bus without anyone knowing.

“I’m just curious, how did Tony fail to make the cut when a man who just woke up from basically a 70 year coma did?” Quill asked looking honestly curious and confused.

Romanoff wasn’t expecting the question but she quickly recovered.

“Steve has experience leading a team during the war, he’s a national hero.”

“Actually that experience would be out of date.” Susan commented before she got a slight frown. “Also he committed crimes before and during his days as Captain America. He tried to enlist under false names after being rejected from the army. He also deliberately disobeyed orders which should have caused him to face punishment. I believe the report done by his commanding officer said he was more useful fighting in the war and after saving a great number of soldiers that there was no way they could reprimand him without bigger problems. It leaves to question how Dr. Stark was unqualified when someone who has repeatedly broken the law and disobeyed orders for their own wishes was qualified.”

“What makes you qualified to do such an evaluation?” Luke asked pointing out a big detail no one else had seemed to consider.

“It’s part of my training as a black widow.” Romanoff stated.

“The Black Widows were assassins trained to kill or in some cases seduce their victims to gain information or get better access to their target to kill them. How did you do this evaluation?” Carol asked before turning to Tony. “You never mentioned going into Shield to do an evaluation.”

“I didn’t.” Tony answered honestly not giving a full explanation.

“I went undercover at Stark Industries to do an evaluation. There was cause for concern about Stark’s health considering he’d appointed his PA as CEO and was selling off his assets.”

Several people frowned before Hela decided to ask him directly what had happened.

“Anthony, I’m not overly familiar with this realm yet as I do not understand.”

Tony sighed before explaining.

“I was dying, poisoning from the arc reactor. Romanoff entered my company under false pretenses to spy on me. I made Pepper CEO due to her being the most qualified and I didn’t want issues that could affect my employees badly if I didn’t have a successor with my death. I didn’t want issues with my money even with a will so I was selling off some of my things and giving the money to charities. At the time in my will, my things would have been split between Pepper, Rhodey, and Happy.”

“Poisoning like that would have affected your mental state though. You were in no position to be evaluated especially by someone with no official training or medical knowledge.” Susan said looking quite troubled by this news.

“So Ms. Romanoff committed a crime to write a report on you?” Luke asked. “Wasn’t what she did cooperate espionage? I’m curious what the others’ evaluations looked like.”

“From what I know no one else was evaluated beforehand.” Tony admitted having seen nothing that showed they were examined like he was.

Carol made some notes on Romanoff’s file.

“I will be informing the council of this. The pardons you received did not include cooperate espionage and a thorough investigation will need to be done. Considering the possibility of Dr. Stark’s compromised mental state at the time, he may not have realized what you were doing was wrong or known to take the proper action. If that’s the case, it would have been Ms. Potts that would decide to press charges.”

Romanoff’s eyes looked like they were about to bug out of her head.

“You can’t do that, she did nothing wrong!” Steve argued finally getting on Carol’s nerves as she pulled out his file.

“Mr. Rogers let’s address your results.”

“It’s Captain.” He snapped.

“It’s not, you don’t actually have a military ranking. You were allowed in as part of consideration for an experimental procedure. There is no paperwork supporting you as a member of the U.S army. As the only one given the experimental serum and having saved over a hundred soldiers, General Philips had no other choice but to continue allowing you to aid the U.S army. I’ve read the reports Mr. Rogers.” Carol said leveling him with a look.

She opened his file in the silence of the stunned shock of that reveal.

“Mr. Rogers you also did not pass the evaluation and I’ve recommended that any appeal be rejected at least until you’ve sought out counseling. As previously stated by Captain Peter Quill, you basically woke up from a 70 year coma and I cannot find anything showing you received proper help for acclimating to the new century. A lot has happened during the 70 years you were asleep and what might have been considered acceptable and normal in 40s may not be in the 21st century.”

“He’s a captain?” Barton sneered at Quill.

“Peter Quill is captain of his own ship, acknowledged as such by his crew and officials throughout the galaxy. As such I refer to him as his title as well as first and last name to avoid confusion of that title and a military title.” Carol explained.

“I don’t need to see a doctor. I’m not insane.” Steve protested. “This right here is exactly why the Accords are wrong!”

“I’m aware knowledge and care of mental health wasn’t as advanced in the 40s as it is now Mr. Rogers but it is something taken very seriously in this century. If you were to join the military today or the police force, a psychiatric evaluation is performed before someone is allowed entry into such a profession. The same is done for the Avengers, we wouldn’t want to allow someone mentally unstable into our ranks. If you believe I am being unfair you may take it up with the Accord’s council, just know they have a copy of the report done.”

Steve tried to protest more but Carol had already moved on to the next file.

“Wanda Maximoff, you are not qualified to join the Avengers. I have suggested to the Accords council that you be permanently banned from applying due to the eagerness and willingness you showed in violating the sanctuary of others’ minds. When given reasons for why this was wrong and completely unacceptable you constantly came up with reasons of why it was ok and I quote ‘there is no one capable of stopping me anyways’ end quote. As such on that alone you will not be allowed to reapply and I’m petitioning for your powers to be permanently sealed. I’ve also put forth a recommendation for an investigation be launched into your past. I can’t imagine with how much you seem eager to use your powers that you have not in the past done so. There may be victims in need of help to recover from what someone with little to no control over their abilities has done to their mind. It has also come to our attention during your evaluation that you were once a Hydra volunteer, after discovering this we consulted with the Accords council on the matter and until an investigation has been completed you will be held in Avengers custody to ensure the public’s safety.”

“Wait, she was Hydra?” Bucky asked something in his tone cold and his gaze murderous as he turned to her.

“Bucky she was tricked by Hydra.” Steve tried reassure his friend.

“You knew?! She volunteered! She wasn’t tricked.” Bucky nearly snarled at him standing up to move away from him.

“This is all your fault!” Wanda screamed launching herself at Tony even though her powers were still bound. He grabbed her and slammed her into the table with little effort.

“Friday, can you send in security?”

Clint tensed likely thinking Venom would be the one to arrive. Instead in came Colossus in all his giant metal glory.

“You called for security Mr. Stark?” He asked his Russian accent thick as he spoke.

“Yes, Maximoff here needs to be placed in a high level security cell. Please put her in the system as a temporary prisoner and ensure everything’s set in place.”

Wanda screamed curses the entire way out as well as promising she’d kill him. That unlike last time she wouldn’t make an elaborate plan and simply break his neck and let him rot.

“Now onto Clint Barton.” Carol continued on like they hadn’t been interrupted.

Clint having seen what happened so far with everyone else didn’t look hopeful, in fact he looked like he was finally realizing they’d fucked up.

“You also did not qualify for the Avengers. However you do have room to appeal after seeing a specialist. There was mention of past mind control and without proper knowledge of the capabilities of magical artifacts among Shield there’s a chance you’re mind has been compromised beyond what they originally believed. If you’re cleared by them, you can make an appeal and possibly reapply in the future.”

Carol moved onto the last file.

“Sam Wilson, you qualify for a probationary period. There were some concerns raised in your evaluation but they’ll be monitored during the probation period. Avengers team 1 has expressed interest in you joining them.”

“Team 1?”

Carol nodded.

“Yes, there will be a later meeting to inform you of the teams, their members, and of course the requirements of each team. Until then, those of you who are at least approved may submit an application for residence in the compound though those can only be accepted after the period in which you are under supervision as per your pardon’s requirements.”

“You’re just trying to separate us. We’re the avengers, you can’t kick us out.” Steve argued.

“You need us.” Romanoff tried the same shit she did when she and Rogers dumped all of Shield’s files.

“We do not, the avengers are strong and there’s plenty of members that we do not need to take members who are not qualified. Now I will escort you out of the building as this meeting is finished. Those who qualified can make an appointment for the next stage of meetings.” Carol said standing up prepared to lead the group out.

“You won’t get away with this Stark. We won’t let you push us around.” Rogers yelled after him but Tony ignored him and instead turned to Quill to talk about when Rocket would be available to work together on a project.

As the genius left he took a quick glance at his mom. Yeah, she was defiantly up to something but whatever it was she wasn’t telling any of them. He got the feeling this wasn’t even close to the last phase of her plans.

 

Chapter Text

Hela had been considering the growing closeness between her son and the Wakandan prince. She watched them talk and saw the fond smiles he sent the Wakandan prince. It was only a matter of time before they began officially courting. The throne was a heavy burden to bear and Hela worried T’Challa could not bear that and remain able to properly court her son.

“You are glaring again sister.” Loki whispered in her ear as he teleported behind her.

“I am thinking.”

“Oh I bet it’s terribly annoying thoughts. You mustn’t glare so much, you’re expression will stick that way.” He teased before taking a seat on the couch beside her.

“What makes you think my expression shall remain that way? That’s just foolish.”

Loki chuckled.

“It is a saying the mortals have, I find it entertaining. Now tell me what’s on your mind. If your thoughts are occupied with unneeded worries how will our trickery go according to plan?”

She sighed.

“I worry about that Wakandan prince getting close to my son.”

Loki hummed seeming interested by her worries.

“Perhaps a test then, one you can disguise as a gift should he prove himself a worthy suitor of Anthony.”

She gave him a curious look and listened as he explained. She could admit it was rather interesting and possibly within her abilities. She requested Loki watch over Fenris before she took her leave. Sadly unlike with Peggy Carter she could not take him with her. Though she the goddess of death, the Wakandan people were under Bast’s protection. Hela could not simply return a soul as she had with Peggy, she’d have to request Bast’s blessing first. It was straining on her body and magic to travel as far as she could to the ancestral plane under Bast’s protection. Though Bast herself didn’t appear one of her children did. It was known among those who did approach the goddess and her territory she more often than not spoke through her children.

“Hela of Asgard, Odin’s firstborn. You’ve come quite a way, what has brought you to travel so far?”

Hela recognized the man, Bast’s first chosen of Wakanda. A warrior shaman called Bashenga.

“I’ve come to request one of the souls here, an honorable man and loved man that was once king, T’Chaka son of Azzuri.”

Bashenga was silent a moment, likely hearing Bast’s response.

“You fear the union of a descendent of Midgard and that of Asgard. Bast is not so blind to the workings of Asgard’s most famous trickster. Did you think you could deceive her?”

Hela smirked.

“I knew I could not. I come with a request for T’Chaka’s soul because it is in both mine and my son’s favor but also for T’Challa. Bast cannot be blind to T’Challa’s actions, she must know the mistakes he’s made and that he is not yet truly mature enough to take on the throne. He is a fine warrior but not yet ready to understand what it means to bear the burden of a king and a warrior. Returning T’Chaka will grant both my child and that of Bast to grow as they need to. Whether it is my son seeing his possible suitor as unworthy and learning a lesson from that or it be T’Challa growing to be a proper king.”

Bashenga was silent a moment before he gave a nod.

“You may return the soul of T’Chaka son of Azzuri on two conditions. You do not interfere with the courtship between Prince T’Challa and Prince Anthony. You will also warn Prince Loki that Bast will be displeased should he attempt any schemes involving their courtship.”

Hela gave a respectful nod.

“I shall warn him and agree to Bast’s conditions.”

When Hela returned with T’Chaka she brought him directly to his children. T’Challa and Shuri were with Anthony,  Peter and to her surprise Janet. When they all looked up she saw the tearful gaze of both Wakandan royalty. Shuri was the first to run forward calling out for her Baba. T’Challa was slower to recover but when he did he rushed forward to hug his father. While the three had their reunion Hela went to her son’s side and asked if Hank and Hope were on their way to reunite with Janet.

“After hearing how they treated Anthony I’m going to stay here for awhile. Really, Anthony has never done anything to either and yet they were so rude to him.” Janet said with a shake of her head and eyes that spoke of how ashamed she was of her family.

“My apologies for bringing up such a painful topic. So what have you been up to? I didn’t expect to find you all gathered together.”

Tony glanced at the three hugging and crying royalty before he turned to focus on the project they had all been working on. Tony and Peter in equal measure were excitedly explaining it. Hela smiled seeing their eyes alight with joy over their work. Oh how she wished the others from Zeus’s side of the family would come to see the wonder that was Anthony Helason.

“Anthony, I wish to properly introduce you to my father.” T’Challa called over shocking the genius while Hela hide a smile by turning away. Hopefully T’Challa would prove to be a worthy suitor of her son.

With her son now fully focused on the conversation with the Wakandans Hela decided to go inform Loki of the warning she had been given to deliver to him. As she approached the common area where Loki was talking with Hercules and Logan. Carol was sitting nearby looking slightly stressed.

“Brother, Bast sends her regards and heavily requests no scheme of yours involves a certain courtship that may begin soon.”

Loki looked up his eyes twinkling with mischief.

“Now when has any warning stopped me?”

Hela shook her head. She suspected the warning wouldn’t but his fondness for Anthony would. She went to Carol to find out what had her so unusually visibly stressed.

“What troubles you?”

Carol sighed as she leaned back.

“Where do I even start? Maximoff has been a headache and a half. Her powers have yet to be sealed as Rogers and Romanoff have been hounding the Accords council regarding the evaluations as well as the treatment towards them. They’ve claimed that Tony has twisted facts to favor him, that they’re wrongly being painted the villains, and that the evaluation results were tampered with as Tony can get into any system he wants to. It’s caused quite the delay and headaches for everyone involved. All those who gave evaluations now have to report to the council in person and give a detailed report including the reasons for marks against them or in their favor. This includes the approved members which has brought some serious concerns regarding Barnes’s mental state. The temporary living arrangements that were arranged for them upon returning isn’t working out anymore for Barnes. He’s no longer willing to even be in the same room as the others after learning of Maximoff’s past. Rogers isn’t accepting Barnes’s choice of staying away from him and his therapist fears his mental state will only worsen as things are now.  With his approval also being put on hold Barnes has mentioned just getting a job and finding his own place but also brought up concerns about even being able to find a job with his background. There’s valid reason for his concern and that has added to his therapist’s worries. The entire situation is terrible for him and as much as I’d like to help the man I have no idea how.”

“If he needs a job I’ll hire him. I need a new bouncer at the bar.” Logan spoke up.

“Really?” Carol asked hopeful.

“Yeah, I knew him back in the war so I know he’s reliable. His enhancements and training just add points in his favor. I got a room here now so I haven’t been using the apartment above the bar. He can stay there until he’s approved for the team and decides if he wants to put in an application to live here.”

Carol gave a sigh of relief.

“Thanks Logan, you have no idea how much that eases some of my stress. I’ll go contact him and let him know.” Carol said standing and heading to her office.

“You are truly a kind soul.” Hercules exclaimed loudly as he pulled Logan closer to him with one arm.

Logan made a face at that.

“Not in the slightest, just been in his shoes before.”

Hela watched as Hercules ignored Logan’s comment and kissed him before running off as Logan let his claws out snarling at the god. Considering Logan didn’t go after him to kill him she suspected the two had finally gotten together but Logan just wasn’t an overly affectionate type. It reminded her that she should do something nice for Pepper. Maybe bring her lunch and some flowers.