Steve felt nothing but pain as he stared out at Thanos and his army. His shield was in pieces around him, and he held on tightly to the last large half. He thought about Bucky and Sam, trapped in the void with Peter, Riri, and Oliver. About Tony and his daughter and Natasha laying dead on Vomir. He grit his teeth and took a shaky step forward. Then another.
Wanda, fading away after watching Vision die.
Frost’s anguished scream when Oliver faded away and he was left without a corporeal form, and his best friend.
The look in Tony’s eyes when he came back from space with Nebula and Carol.
One more step forward.
“Cap, do you copy?” a voice asked. Steve stopped walking, unable to believe what he was hearing.
“I copy,” he said, voice barely a whisper.
“On your left,” the voice said. He turned slowly and saw a familiar golden portal begin to open up. Three figures began to appear, and soon he found himself looking at T’Challa, Shuri, and Okoye. The King of Wakanda gave him a nod right as Sam came swooping through the portal, and hundreds of others opened up around him. Sorcerer's swarmed around Thanos’ army, Wanda and Clea standing at their head along with Wong.
Riri landed beside Harley along with Pepper, all of whom walked forward to stand with Tony. A portal opened to Titan, and Steve saw Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Peter walk through it with a woman that Steve didn’t. Steve can hear T’Challa start up the Wakandan chant that he had heard before the Battle of Wakanda against Tanos, and he felt a final rush of strength fill him.
“Avengers,” he called s the last of their troops joined them. “Assemble.” With that, a cry went up, and they charged forward.
Tony shot into the air and dove down into the heat of the battle. He could see Stephen and Wong leading half the sorcerer's while Wanda and Clea lead the rest. Steve, Bucky, and Sam are running with T’Challa, Shuri, and Okoye as they pave the way to Thanos.
“Well I see someone likes her new armor,” he said to Pepper.
“Really? Now?” Pepper asked as she threw back a wave of Thanos’ minions. Tony smiled to himself and flew lower to help the newly returned Riri kept back Corvus Glaive.
“Tony!” she said. “I don’t remember much, what happened?” she questioned. Tony’s mind flashed back to Titan. To the look of fear as she slowly disintegrated away to nothing, and the horror on Peter’s face as he watched one of his best friends fade away. He had yet to realize that he would be suffering the same fate.
“I’ll explain later Ironheart, right now we’ve just gotta get through this,” Tony said. He felt a stab of gratefulness when Bucky runs over and leap onto Corvus, using his metal arm to break his staff.
“Where’s Frost?” Riri asked. “Oliver isn’t going to be able to survive on his own,” she said.
“He should be here. We haven't exactly been able to see him as he refused to take another host. We’re just gonna have to hope he finds Oliver,” he grit out as he blasted Corvus backward and allowed Bucky to take an opening to kill the child of Thanos.
“Good job Winter Boo-Bear, ten outta ten,” Tony said before shooting off to join the fighting elsewhere.
“Mr. Stark!” A voice called, making him freeze. “Mr. Stark! Woah!” it said. He turned slowly to see Peter skidding to a halt behind him. “This is crazy! I remember we were on Titian and then Riri was suddenly just gone, and I guess I must have passed out or something because then Dr. Strange was doing his glowy portal thing as he does and-” Peter was cut off when Tony pulled him into a hug. “Oh- this is nice,” he said.
“Come on, kid, we’ve got work to do,” Tony said. He flew up and Peter used his webbing to follow suit only for them both to suddenly be shot down. Tony’s ears rung as he slowly sat up and saw Peter doing the same. When the dust cleared he felt fear seize him as he realized that it was Thanos standing over them.
“Insect,” the titan growled as he pushed the hilt of his blade against Peter’s chest, forcing the air to leave his lung. Tony lunged forward, but one large, purple hand, forced him back.
“RAUGH!” a shriek filled the air followed by a blast of scarlet energy hitting Thanos and sending him flying backward. Wanda landed in front of the two fallen heroes, scarlet magic pooling around her.
“You took everything from me…” she whispered as Thanos rose again. The titan smirked.
“I don’t even know who you are,” he stated cruelty.
“You will,” Wanda replied. Her eyes began to glow, and all the surrounding rocks used with energy as they rose into the air. Magic crackled around them, and scarlet jets of power shot out and wrapped around the mad titan. “My training didn’t stop just because you locked me away in the soul realm,” she said. She gave another furious yell, and Thanos’ armor began peeling apart. She ripped metal away from him, leaving the titan completely undefended. Suddenly a stream of what looks to be pure darkness joined Wanda’s red, and another woman stepped out from behind Thanos’ hulking form. She looked to be the same age as Wanda and was wearing dark armor that writhed around her like a living thing. In her hand was a deadly looking scythe.
“Wait, Mr. Stark, who's that?” Peter asked, still trying to regain his breath.
“ I have a feeling that our universe wasn’t the only one sucked into the soul realm,” Tony said slowly. Thanos ripped himself free f the two women hold, but their combined power had clearly left damage. He grabbed his blade and began bearing down on Wanda. It looked for a moment like he was winning until with an impressive blast of scarlet, both parties were thrown backward.
Over the comms, Clint and Nebula were saying something about Gamora, and a second Nebula. All that really registered though was that the gauntlet was moving, and it needed to be protected.
“Kid, you alright?” Tony asked, pulling Peter to his feet.
“Yeah, yeah, I’ve got this, I”m good,” he said. His breath was mostly back and that would have to be good enough for now.
“Good. Then go watch the gauntlet,” Tony ordered. Peter gave a nod and ran off to do as he was ordered. Tony watched him go and turned back to the newcomer to ask who she was when a bang shook the ground, and both looked up to see an explosion of ice racing towards Thanos’ army.
“Frost,” Tony said right as the shadow woman whispered ‘Orûk’. So he had been right… this was one of Frost’s friends from his life before coming to Earth.
“Tony Stark… who are you?” he asks, holding a hand out.
“You probably won’t get an answer, she can’t talk much when she’s actively using her power. It takes to much concentration to keep them reigned in,” Frost & Oliver said as they appeared from the cloud of ice. The woman nodded at Frost before vanishing in a cloud of shadows only to reappear several yards away in the heat of the battle.
“Good to have you two back in,” Tony said.
“Oliver is glad to have returned,” Frost responded.
Peter jumped through the battle trailing after Wanda as she carried the gauntlet. His vision was blurred from Thanos’ attack, but he forced himself onward as the battle raged around him. This was all part of Dr. Strange’s plan, he told himself. Shadow Wielder and Wanda had pulled their attack off flawlessly, and now it was his turn to help protect the gauntlet until more help could arrive.
“Peter!” Wanda yelled, throwing the gauntlet to him as she was swarmed by Thanos’ army. Peter’s instincts screamed at him to go back and help her fight as she became overwhelmed by creatures, but he knew he couldn’t. Dr. Strange had made it very clear that the gauntlet was the most important thing.
Karen, activate instant kill,” he instructed as he became surrounded by Thanos’ creatures. The spider legs attached to his suit sprang into action and he grinned as the monsters surrounding him were ripped apart. He crossed ran and swung across the battlefield, very narrowly dodging multiple, would-be-fatal attacks. He was mid-leap when suddenly an explosion blasted him sideways into the rocky ground. Peter clutched the gauntlet tightly to his chest and curled around it, hoping against hope that this blast had not been caused by Thanos. When the dust cleared however, it was not the Mad Titan standing before him.
“Hello, Peter Parker,” Carol said with a slight smirk.
“Woah, oh hey Carol,” Peter said. “M-mr. Stark told me to protect the gauntlet,” he said.
“I’ve got kid, don’t worry. Scott and Hope need it at the van,” Carol said. Peter let her take the large glove and watched as her signature golden glow surrounded her.
“I don’t know how you’re gonna make it through all that,” he said as he stared at the uncrossable path in front of them.
“Don’t worry, she has help,” Okoye said from behind him, Riri by her side. They were soon joined by Pepper and a woman that Peter didn’t recognize who was riding a winged horse. Shuri and Kamala quickly blocked an array of blaster shots for hitting the group, and Peter watched in amazement as they paved a way through the battlefield. A green woman who Peter guessed from Quill’s description was Gamora and a blue one who he took to be Nebula were next along with Mantis, and Wanda, who it seemed had been able to fight off the swarm of Thanos’ monsters.
“That’s bad-ass,” Peter stated.
“Spider-man, we could use some back-up over here,” Harley’s voice says over the com. Peter looks around to see the Iron Savior fighting alongside Black Panther and Falcon.
“On it,” Peter replied. His part in the plan so far was complete, and so he supposed he just got to do whatever until he was needed again. With that thought, he swung over to where the others were fighting.
“Karen, instant kill!” he yelled.
Stephen Strange worked with Wong and the other sorcerers to fight Thanos’ army while keeping an eye on the events unfolding around them. Their time in the soul realm had given him an opportunity to perfect his plan. Not to mention that the appearance of other beings from Frost’s home planet had been quite helpful.
“Strange! Spider-man has passed on the gauntlet to Carol!” Bucky called through the coms channel that Strange had created solely for those who knew the plan.
“Good, all’s good over here. Where’s the Shadow Wielder?” he asked. While she was an ally, her powers were volatile, and he didn’t fully trust her ability to remain in control of the darkness that possessed her in such a stressful environment.
“She’s doing fine,” Frost’s voice cut in. I’m not sure how you and Silven did it, but it seems that the binding spells on her mind are working.”
“Good,” said mage said into the com. I’d rather not have a repeat experience of The Dria incident,” he said. Strange sent a blastwave through the oncoming wave of creatures and looked around nervously for Tony. He had not gotten a proper chance to see the man before the fighting had started.
“He’s to your left,” Wong said as if sensing what Stephen was doing.
“Tony!” he called. The Iron Man was currently fighting alone, swarms of Thanos’ monsters overrunning him. “Do you have it handled here?” Stephen asked Wong. The other sorcerer nodded and made a shooing motion as if telling Stephen to hurry up and leave.
There was a flash from the arc reactor and an explosion of light through back the oncoming enemies.
“Tony!” Stephen called again, the cloak flying him forward and depositing him beside the Avengers. His face was hidden, but Stephen could practically see the grin behind the other man’s faceplate.
“Stephen! I’ve missed you!” he yelled over the noise. Stephen wanted to say more, but just then Oliver’s voice came over the coms.
“That’s all romantic and all, but in case you hadn’t noticed we’re kind of fighting for the survival of the universe at the moment. So could you do us all a favor and get your heads into it!” the assassin snapped.
“Oh, go hide in the mind palace,” Tony snapped back. It was probably no use, for Frost would have been just as sharp if not a bit blunter had he been in control. “Where’s Thanos?” Tony asked Stephen. The sorcerer only shook his head.
“No one’s had eyes on him since he blasted back Wanda and Jax,” Strange said. Tony just took ‘Jax’ to be the woman with the shadows.
“Well guess you just jinxed it,” Came Carol’s voice, though she sounded strained. “Cause guess who just popped up?” Every head jerked in Carol’s direction to see that indeed, Thanos had re-appeared.
“My team, with me!” Tony shouted into the coms. Sam, T’Challa, and Rhodey gave similar orders. Carol was a bit too pre-occupied to order her team to converge, but they got the message. All the Delta teams, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Warriors of Enexion charged at Thanos. Okoye called the Dora through her vibranium bead, and they all leaped over rubbled and dodged numerous attacks to join her as they fought against Thanos.
Steve leaped at Thanos with Bucky by his side as Sam dived at him from above along with Ironheart and Iron Savior, Spider-man swinging behind them. He saw Wanda’s magic wrap itself around his large sword, and with a yell, she snapped the blade in half. With a scream of rage, the titan threw them all back and grabbed the gauntlet from Carol. The galactic warrior growled and held the gauntlet tighter. Thano’ head smashed forward in an attempt to knock the woman out, but Carol just glared harder, the Titan's attack bouncing harmlessly off of her.
Steve pushed himself up just in time to see Thanos rip the space stone from the gauntlet, and blast Carol backward. Not even she was strong enough to black the full power of an infinity stone. The titan grinned as he slipped the gauntlet onto his hand and Steve felt dread fill him. This was the end.