BySophie Stratton, writer at


"So where are you heading now that you've got some time off?" Natasha questioned, as she, Clint and Alex drove away from Central Park.

The Avengers were disappearing for a while, but all three SHIELD agents knew that it was only a matter of time before Fury called them back in.

Clint looked back at Alex, who was gazing out the window in the backseat, and shrugged. They both needed to get away from the city, definitely away from New York at least, and there was always one place that they could go to get away from it all. Some place that they couldn't be touched by it all.

"Doc says I need to go and recuperate after my 'traumatic experience', so we'll probably head to the farm."

"We as in all of us, Romanoff," Alex murmured, her eyes still unfocused as she stared out of the window, barely noticing the buildings or the people as they sped past. "Family recuperation time. No exceptions."

"Yes, ma'am." Natasha teased, though Alex knew that she was grateful to have been given the order. Natasha's run in with the Hulk had left her shaken, even if she was skilled at not showing it. She needed the time to rebuild her defenses as much as she and Clint did.

"You wanna talk, Lex?" Clint asked, and Alex sighed and turned her eyes forward to see him already looking at her.

"I'm just...this isn't the end of this. You know that, don't you?"

"The end of what? We took out those Chitauri motherfuckers and closed that wormhole. I think that's the end of it." Clint replied, and Alex shook her head.

"Loki's was far too powerful for a race like the Chitauri to have created it...there's something else at play here, Clint," Alex insisted, and Natasha glanced back at her through the rearview mirror and felt her body tense at the fear in her mentor's eyes. If Alex, a 3,000 year old demi-goddess was afraid, then maybe they all should be. "I fear it's something much bigger than us."

"Like what?" Natasha questioned, and Alex took a deep breath.

"Nothing I say leaves this car," Both Clint and Natasha nodded, knowing that if Alex wanted to keep it a secret than it was serious stuff and they shouldn't reveal any of it. "On Olympus, there are stories...myths really...about gems of great power."

"Sounds like a kid's story."

"Note to self, do not let Clint read bedtime stories to any child ever. These stories always ended with death. Always. Especially when the story ended with one of the stones in the hands of a mortal."

"Why is that?" Natasha asked, and Alex stared at her.

"Power as great as the power in just one of those stones can severely hurt immortal beings. In the hands of a mortal, they'd die and cause destruction all around them before they did," Alex continued, the words of her father echoing in her head. He had warned her about all of this centuries ago when he had found the Tesseract and offered it to Odin to deal with. "These six gems controlled different things, but used together would be unstoppable in the wrong hands. I think the Tesseract was one of them, the space stone, and that Odin hid it here on Earth to protect it from being found."

"And Loki's scepter?"

"It could be the mind stone or just a weapon powered by it...whoever gave it to Loki was of a higher power than the Chitauri. They were just an army for hire. There is someone else behind all of this. I just don't know who yet," Alex paused, taking a deep breath until she could continue. Her thoughts were all jumbled together from lack of sleep and her own confusion, and she was beginning to get irritated by it all. "And until I can figure out who for sure...we don't tell Fury."

"Why?" Natasha asked, and Alex chuckled.

"You know why. We tell Fury that there are Infinity Stones out there, possibly even on this planet, and he would have us hunting them down and turning them into weapons. These things are too dangerous to be in mortal hands."

"So what do you want to do?"

"Nothing. For now, we do nothing. There's nothing we can do, but I would love to be able to examine the scepter, to confirm my suspicions-"

"Yeah, but now we're on vacation so you can't examine anything until Fury calls us back." Clint cut her off, and Alex blinked at him owlishly as he gave her orders. "We're going to finish renovating that last guest bedroom on the farmhouse and then we're going to have a barbecue and you can invite Sharon and we can see if Bobbi is back together with her English man-child and Nat can get you drunk again on shots. It'll be like the last time we were on vacation."

"Sounds nice. A quiet, friendly barbecue with friends and family."

Alex smiled, though her mind was still swirling with dark thoughts. She wondered if Loki had known what he potentially had in his possession, and where he had gotten it from. He had already confirmed for her that there was another player in this game, but wouldn't tell her who.

She'd find out.

On her father, the King of all Gods, she would find out and she would do everything in her power to stop whoever it was from getting anymore of the stones.

Even if it was the last thing she did.


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