The elevator door shut. That brief happiness they'd shared was zapped from Steve's expression. Steve had gone to that distant place again. Tony didn't know how to get the omega out of it. This new task was where his mind needed to be. It was easier than lingering on his relationship issues. Maybe the honeymoon period was over. Banner's studies caught his attention.
Steve glanced back at the tower before getting into the car with Phil. He skimmed over the packet.
“We’ll drop you off at the nearest S.H.I.E.L.D. agency. There are other things that need to be handled,” said Phil.
“Do Clint and Natasha know?” asked Steve.
“Clint has been comprised,” said Phil.
Steve’s hands fisted his friend was taken.
“He’s no longer himself. Took a shot at the director,” said Phil.
“Clint would never do that,” said Steve.
“The technology used to do this is foreign to us,” he said.
“Does Natasha know?” he asked.
She had to be told. It didn’t matter where she was. She had the right to know.
“She’s been informed. Once she completes her task. She’ll rejoin us,” said Phil.
“Is he alive?” asked Steve.
“As far as we know yes,” said Phil.
Steve took a breath.
“I’m sorry for bringing you in on this in your current condition," he said.
Steve swallowed a growl. Too many knew! None of them were his alpha. Now it was a fact in a mission. A handicap that may affect his performance. It was never supposed to be that.
"Who else knows?" he asked.
"Fury and me," said Phil.
"Under no circumstances will you tell Tony or anyone else," said Steve.
“I’m under strict orders not to tell anyone of your condition by Fury. Especially Stark,” said Phil.
Steve spent the night going over the debriefing packet. The science went above his head. Tony could explain it to him. He pulled out his phone but tossed it away. Doing that would be a distraction for both of them. S.H.I.E.L.D. needed him more than Tony did.
The next morning they were in a jet.
“We are about forty minutes out from home base, sir,” said one of the pilots.
Steve was strapped into an aisle seat, watching the footage of the Hulk. The bears were nothing compared to this.
“So this Dr. Banner was trying to replicate the serum they used on me?” asked Steve.
“A lot of people were. You were the world’s first superhero. Banner thought gamma radiation might be the key to unlocking Erskine's original formula,” said Phil.
“Didn’t really go his way did it,” he said.
How many were affected by trying to replicate the results that made him? It was for the best that formula was lost.
“When he’s not that thing the guy is like a Steven Hawking,” said Phil.
The name ringed no bells for him.
“He’s like a really smart person,” said Phil.
“Like Tony?” said Steve.
“I'd put them on the same level," said Phil.
“What’s his field of study?” asked Steve.
“He’s an expert in biochemistry, nuclear physics, and gamma radiation,” said Phil.
Steve paced the small jet. He smiled when he caught Coulson following his posture. Even though Phil knew, it didn’t change how the beta saw him, which was a relief. He didn’t want people worrying over him. It would make his job harder.
“I hope I’m the man for the job,” said Steve.
He wasn’t sure how big of a job this would be, but he was willing to give it his all if it meant protecting the world for his family.
“Oh, you are,” said Phil.
“Even though I’m-
“It doesn’t matter. I mean it does, but not in this sense. You’re still the man for the job,” he said.
“I’ll do my best,” said Steve.
“We’ve made some modifications to your uniform. I had a little design impute,” said Phil.
“Uniform? Aren’t the stars and stripes old-fashioned?” he asked.
“Everything that’s happening the things that are about to come to light. People might just need a little bit of old fashion,” said Phil.
He hoped it would be enough to bring what little calm he could to whatever upcoming chaos there was. The jet descended, landing on the carrier. The well-practiced military motions being conducted around were calming. A pang of guilt hit him. He was more comfortable here than the moment when Tony was about to purpose. It was only nerves and the upcoming threat that was making him feel this way. He wanted to marry Tony, but he found comfort in the familiarity of a mission no matter how strange it may be. His inner omega snarled and clawed angrily his subconscious. It fully agreed with him on protecting the world so there be a safer place to raise their pup, but finding comfort here instead of with their mate was a massive no! Natasha was waiting for them. He forced a smile, hoping may offer a brief comfort to his friend.
“Agent Romanoff,” said Phil with a nod before leaving to whatever station he was needed in.
"We'll get him back," said Steve.
“We will,” she said.
Natasha would do anything to get Clint back to himself and to his family as safely as possible. It was the very least she could do.
“Has Coulson asked you to sign his Captain America trading cards yet? He’s been trying to build up the nerve to ask you for months,” she said.
“They’re vintage. He’s very proud,” said Natasha.
A confused man dressed in a brown suit beat up suit came into view. Dr. Banner. Steve smiled at the sheer out of placeness of the man. He had thick black wavy hair. For all the strength and aggression hidden within him, he had gentle brown eyes. His scent was strong for a beta. Normally, their scents were muted. It was earthy with hints basil, but there was something off about it that Steve couldn’t place.
“Oh, yeah hi. They told me you would be coming,” he said, shaking Steve’s hand.
Banner never thought he’d meet the inspiration for his work. He thought the man would be taller.
“Word is you can find the cube,” said Steve.
“Is that the only word about me?” asked Banner nervously playing with his hands.
“The only word I care about,” said Steve.
Such sincerity was refreshing. Most found his scent confusing too weak to be alpha or omega and too strong to beta. Steve and Natasha seemed fine with it.
“It must be strange, all this,” said Banner taking in the military organization.
He hoped it would remain in this state of calm. The other guy wasn’t a fan of guns or any kind of weaponized group. It didn't matter the side.
“Well, this is actually kind of familiar,” said Steve.
“Gentlemen, you might want to step inside in a minute. It’s going to get a little hard to breathe,” said Natasha.
“Flight crew, secure the deck,” ordered a voice over the radio.
Large metal parts moved, aggravating the water.
“Is this a submarine?” asked Steve.
They walked toward the edge.
“Really? They want me in a submerged, pressurized, metal container?”
A mist of cool water hit their faces. Large propellers emerged from the water. They chopped and turned it, before elevating that massive ship. Steve backed away as the powerful winds hit them. This was amazing. How could such a massive machine possibly fly?
“No, no, this is much worse,” said Banner.
Natasha led them to control station. A giant glass window revealed a blue sky spotted with white clouds. His hands fisted. He shook away the building tension. This hadn’t been an issue before. Steve looked around the room. At its center was Agent Hill and Director Fury.
“S.H.I.E.L.D. Emergency 193.6 in effect,” she said.
“Let’s vanish,” said Fury.
“Engage retro-reflection panels,” ordered Hill.
Fury turned to his attention to Banner and Rogers.
Steve wordlessly walked to him, giving him a ten. Some of the officers were stared at him with fascination. These weren’t the trainees that were used to seeing him on a weekly basis. He hated the attention but did his best to ignore it.
Banner was uneasy with his surroundings. They were high in the sky and things could go terribly if he were pressed too far. He kept an eye on Steve. Staying close to the briefly familiar was easier to focus on. Out of all the people here, Steve’s intentions were the clearest.
“Dr. Banner thank you for coming,” said Fury offering his hand.
He accepted the offer. Bruce was unused to people who knew what he was being so willing to offer physical connection.
“Thanks for asking nicely. So how long am I staying?” he asked.
“Once we get our hands on the Tesseract, you’re in the wind,” said Fury.
“Where are you with that?” asked Bruce.
“We are sweeping every wirelessly accessible camera on the planet. Cellphones, laptops, if it's connected to a satellite its eyes and ears for us,” said Phil.
It seemed like a breach of the public’s privacy, but under this circumstance it was reasonable. Even with all that would it be enough? He wasn’t sure how much time this would use up. Steve watched as Natasha peer at an image of Clint on the screen. Her expression yielded none of her worries.
“That’s still not gonna find them in time,” she said.
“You have to narrow your field. How many spectrometers do you have accesses to?” asked Banner.
“How many are there?” asked Fury.
“Call every lab you know. Tell them to put the spectrometers on the roof and calibrate them for gamma rays. I’ll rough out a tracking algorithm, basic cluster recognition. At least we could rule out a few places,” said Banner.
Fury nodded. That was the simplest request made of him all day.
“Do you have somewhere I can work?” asked Bruce.
“Agent Romanoff, could you show Dr. Banner to his laboratory please?” said Fury.
“You’ll love it, doc. We’ve got all the toys,” said Natasha.
Steve was left in the control room. He was tempted to follow after Banner, but he was afraid to hinder his progress. Watching the agents work proved to a pattern for him to focus on. Coulson moved next to him.
“I have these trading cards. I was wondering if you could sign them if you had the chance. If it isn’t too much trouble,” said Phil.
“No, trouble at all,” said Steve.
“It’s a vintage set. Took me a couple of years to collect them all. Near mint condition,” he said.
“Got hit a 69 no 79 percent match,” said an agent.
“Where?” asked Fury.
“Germany”, said the agent.
“Captain, you’re up,” said Fury.
Steve nodded. One of the agents showed him to a room, sitting on the table was a metal box. Inside was his uniform. He ran his fingers over the star. It had been so long since he last dawned the stars and stripes. He put it on.
“How do you like it?” asked Natasha.
"It's a bit tight," he said.
“Tony will love it. Shows off your butt perfectly,” she said.
It was an attempt to lighten the mood. Seeing Steve turned a deep shade of red normally got a smile out of her. Steve blushed.
“He probably will,” he said.
It was reassuringly familiar.
Hours later he got onto a smaller jet with Natasha flying toward their destination.
“How do you feel about going back to Germany?” she asked.
"The past won't affect my opinion of the newer generation," he said.
They took off in that direction. Standing in front of a kneeling crowd was Loki. He jumped from the jet, deflecting Loki’s blast.
“The last time I was in Germany and saw a man standing above everybody else we ended up disagreeing,” he said.
Steve strode toward Loki. Holding his shield slightly lower and closer to his stomach.
“The soldier. The man out of time,” said Loki getting to his feet.
Steve kept his eyes on the scepter, ready for a strike.
“I’m not the one out of time,” said Steve.
Natasha descended further with jet, weapon drawn ready to fire.
“Loki, drop your weapons and stand down,” she ordered.
Loki sent charge in her direction. Steve tossed his shield, hitting Loki's chest, catching it before charging forward. Loki’s staff slammed against his shield. It hit him in the chest sending him tumbling into a wall. He tossed his shield and ran forward. His fist made impact twice but had little effect. Again he was tossed aside. The point of Loki’s spear was pressed against the base of his neck.
He kicked the man, making distance between them.
Natasha watched Steve from above. There was no clear shot. They were all over the place. He was fighting differently carrying his shield lower, protecting his stomach.
“Agent Romanoff, did you miss me?”
Music played over its intercoms. Tony came flying toward them, hitting Loki with a blast. Tony landed in front of Steve. Multiple weapons emerged from his suit.
“Make a move reindeer games,”
Steve got to his feet. Instinct refused to let him move from behind his alpha. Loki's armor faded in a mist of golden light. He raised his hands in surrender.
“Good move,” said Tony.
They had to be professional in public. Everything in him wanted to nuzzle against the alpha's neck. They loaded Loki into the jet and restrained him. Natasha strapped Loki in. The entire time the man kept a playful smirk but said nothing. Steve doubted the restraints would hold. Loki's scent surprised him. It was sweet. A clear marker of an omega. It was a combination of rosemary and cinnamon. Loki is an omega. The only reason he picked it up was his enhanced senses. That green eyes glare set him at unease. He was planning something. It was all too easy. Steve saw the footage of Thor. Loki came from the same lineage and possessed the same strength. He was holding back. Steve's inner omega urged closer to Tony.
“I don’t like it,” he said.
“What the rock of ages giving up so easily?” said Tony.
“I don’t remember it being that easy. This guy packs a wallop,” said Steve.
“But you’re pretty spry for an older fellow. What’s your thing palaties?” said Tony.
“It’s like calisthenics. You might have of missed a couple of things while doing time as a Capsicile,” said Tony.
Steve bit back his frustration. This was Tony's main deflection technique. Tony was upset with him but now wasn't the time. Their issues could be put aside while they dealt with the greater good. He needed the alpha to be serious and actually listen to him. Whatever personal issues they were having they could wait.
“Fury didn’t tell me he was calling you in,” he said.
Why did he have to be here? The man's presence calmed and infuriated him at the same time.
“Yeah, there’s a lot of things Fury doesn’t tell you,” said Tony.
Lighting cracked the dark clouds above them. Thunder roared after each glowing bolt through the sky.
“Where is this coming from?” said Natasha.
Loki grew twitchy.
“What’s the matter scared of a little lighting?” asked Steve.
“I’m not overly fond of what follows,” said Loki.
There was a thud on the roof. They readied for attack. Tony opened the cargo door, moving to the exit.
“What are you doing?”
Thor landed on the cargo door. Aggression leaked off the large alpha. He tossed aside Tony. Thor yanked Loki from his seat before flying out.
“Now there’s that guy,” said Tony, getting up.
“Another Asgardian?” said Natasha.
“That guy is a friendly?” said Steve.
“Doesn’t matter. If he frees Loki or kills him the Tesseract lost,” said Tony.
“Tony, we need a plan of attack,”
“I have a plan, attack,”
Tony jumped out the back after them. Alphas and their egos! Tony was supposed to be smart. This needed be thought through! Steve yanked a parachute from the shelf. Now he had to go after them.
“I’d sit this one out, Cap,”
“I don’t see how I can,” said Steve.
Natasha stared at his stomach.
“I can handle it,” he said.
“These guys come from legend. They are basically gods,” said Natasha.
“There’s only one God, Nat. And I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that,” said Steve.
He jumped out of the back of the jet. Steve dove toward the ground.
“I’m sorry, baby,” he said.
Thor landed with his brother, tossing him to ground. Loki groaned slowly sitting up.
“Where is the Tesseract?” asked Thor.
“I missed you too, brother,” said Loki.
“Do I look to be in a gaming mood?” said Thor.
Alpha tone. After all these years Thor should have learned that it only annoyed him further.
“I thought by now you’d learned that tone doesn't make me wet and obedient like so many fawning idiots,” said Loki.
Thor growled, breaking eye contact with his brother.
“You should thank me. With the Bifrost gone how much dark energy did all-father have to muster to conjure you here? Your precious Earth,” he said.
Thor dropped his hammer, grabbing his brother, hauling him up to meet his gaze. How could Loki be so blind to how he was missed? Was there anything left of the brother he once knew.
“I thought you dead,” he said.
“Did you mourn?” asked Loki.
“We all did. Our father-
His hold loosened. How could he think that? Father loved them both it didn’t matter that they weren’t blood.
“He did tell you my true parentage did he not?” said Loki.
Loki braced his back.
“We were raised together. We played together. We fought together-
“Odin never meant that for me. As soon as he found out I was an omega he forgot whatever thoughts of me as a son. He wanted me to be your bride, hoping to unite two races,” said Loki.
“I always ever saw you as a brother,” said Thor.
Loki rolled his eyes.
“I remember a shadow, living in the shade of your greatness. I remember you tossing me into an abyss. I was and should be king,” he growled.
“So you take the world I love as recompenses for your imagined slight. No, the earth is under my protection,” said Thor.
“And you’re doing a marvelous job with that. The humans slaughter each other in droves, while you sit idly threat. I mean to rule them. And why should I not?” he said.
“You think yourself above them,” said Thor.
“Well yes,” said Loki.
“Then you miss the truth of ruling, brother. A throne would suit you ill,” said Thor.
“I’ve seen worlds you’ve never known about. I have grown, Odin’s son, in my exile. I have seen the true power of the Tesseract and when I wield it-
“Who showed you this? Who controls the would be king?” asked Thor.
“I am the king!” yelled Loki.
“Not here! You give up the Tesseract! You give up this poisonous dream! You come home,” Thor neared begged.
“I don’t have it. You need the cube to bring me home, but I’ve sent it off. I know not where,” said Loki.
“You listen well, brother-
Thor was shot off the cliff.
He laughed. Loki got comfortable and watched the show.
“Do not touch me again!” warned Thor.
“Then don’t take my stuff,” said Tony.
“You have no idea what you are dealing with,” said Thor.
“Uh, Shakespeare in the park. Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?”
“This is beyond you metal man. Loki will face Asgardian justice,” said Thor.
“Once he gives up the cube he’s all yours. Until then stay out of the way, tourist,” warned Tony.
A hammer slammed against his chest bringing him to the ground. He shot back at Thor, sending the god into a tree. With a kick, he sent the rival alpha all the way through. Thor raised his hammer, lighting shot from the sky, coursing through his armor. The charge was so intense he was unable to move.
“Power at 400% capacity,” said Jarvis.
“How about that,” he said.
He returned it at full power. They charged at each other in a mid-air battle. Each crashing against the cliff, before falling back into the woods. Thor grabbed Tony's arms crushing the metal in his grip. He opened his hand hitting Thor with a blast. Tony head-butted his rival causing the man to let go. There gong of metal as Thor copied the motion sending him backward. Thor grabbed him and tossed him to the ground. His thrusters activated before Thor could hammer could reach him. Tony used Thor’s loss of balance to his advantage.
Steve flung his shield at gaining the alphas’ attention. This pointless destruction they were allies. They were acting like children. Well, at least he was getting some practice in before the pup was born.
He jumped down to join them.
“Now I don’t know what you plan here-
“I’ve come here to put an end to Loki’s schemes,” said Thor.
“Then prove it put down that hammer,” said Steve.
“Yeah, no bad call he loves his hammer,”
Thor launched Tony in the opposite direction. Steve didn’t react. Keeping a calm head was the answer to this.
“YOU WANT ME PUT THE HAMMER DOWN!”
Steve raised his shield, in time to block Thor’s hammer. There was gong. The reflected energy force Thor backward. The sound echoed through their surroundings. They cautiously got to their feet.
“Are we done here?” asked Steve.
Thor and Tony nodded.
“Who are you?” asked Thor.
Thor nodded. He sparred a glance of blue-eyed omega. A fierce warrior indeed, there were too few omegas that were brave enough to stand against two alphas in mid-fight.
“Thor please take Loki back to jet where you can continue to keep an eye over your brother while we make our way to the helicarrier, so together we can figure out to handle him. Tony and I will be following behind, so we’ll know if you stray. Is that agreeable to you?” asked Steve.
“Thank you,” said Steve.
Steve took a deep gasping breath, once Thor left. The scent of two powerful rival alphas fighting was making his body haywire. He groaned when slick dampened his underwear. Steve hoped that Phil design of his uniform included some kind scent blocker.
“Take off your mask!” he growled.
Tony took off his helmet. Steve crashed their lips together. He pushed his tongue into Tony’s mouth. Steve pulled away before he could become too lost in the motion.
“Can you give me a lift?” asked Steve.
Tony nodded. He picked up the omega. In the distance, they could see Thor and Loki.
“Steve, are you alright?” asked Tony.
“It was a lot on my senses. I’m fine now,” said Steve.
Steve pressed his cheek against the cool metal of the suit. He loved flying with Tony. The moment of peace was too fleating.