- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- Abuse - Child
- Dark Themes
- Death - Child
- Death - Minor Character
- Discussion - Child Abuse
- Discussion - Murder
- Discussion - Other Trigger Topics
- Discussion - Suicide
- Discussion - Torture
- Disturbing Imagery
- No Beta
- Permanent Injury
- Suicide - Attempted
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Violence - Graphic
- Action Adventure
- Alternate Universe
- Fix It
- Rule 63
- Science Fiction
Author’s Notes: Okay, so I was going to wait until I had all of this chapter done, but I decided to just go ahead and post this bit of Chapter 2.
Art by WaterSoter
Don shuffled through his briefcase, counting files he would need as they drove through the ruins of downtown New York. Everything was there, the same as it had been on the plane, and before that and before that. When it was first handed over to him like they were handing the codes for every nuclear weapon on the planet. And maybe they were. In a way they were just as dangerous.
Finally satisfied, he sat back and watched the horrible scenery pass them by. He’d seen all the reports, the photos in the papers and magazines. Everything that was possibly available and it still didn’t come close to the reality of it.
New York looked like a war zone. The piles of rubble where buildings had stood, entire pieces of buildings missing like something big with a lot of sharp teeth had taken a large bite out of them. Police and national guardsmen and about any type of law enforcement was out in full force.
Even SHIELD, who normally kept to the shadows displayed their emblem openly.
He saw the suits and the uniforms. Mostly when it came to dealing with the alien tech and wasn’t that going to be a headache. God knew how many of it had already grown legs and made it across borders and continents. The black market was going to be saturated with the stuff and the day-to-day law enforcement agencies wouldn’t have anything to fight it.
Not his problem right, he reminded himself. He had his orders and his mission that was going to be enough of a challenge in of itself. He gripped the handle of his suitcase again. Tempted to riffle through the files one more time. Bad habits. Nervous habits that he hadn’t quite been able to stifle even after all these years.
A part of him expected Coulson’s wry glance out of the corner of his eye. A dry comment about bad habits and exploitable weaknesses. A constant when he’d been a junior agent placed under a more experienced supervisor.
Don swallowed past the lump in his throat. Focused on the window and the bright orange vests of the construction crews. It looked like the closer they got to ground zero, the more of them there were. Mostly he tried not to think about he surveillance videos from the helicarrier. There would be time for that later. Right now he prepared himself for a situation that could go very wrong if he misstepped or misspoke.
“Traffic’s a bit backed up right now, sir.” His driver said. A kid that probably drew the short straw or had pissed someone seriously badly to get that assignment. Don caught the twitchy dark eyes and fidgety way he shifted his hands on the wheel and tried hard not to roll his eyes.
Don sighed. Wished that Hill hadn’t assigned someone driving him. It would had been faster if he drove. Not to mention it would give him something to do other than letting him mind wander.
“That’s fine.” He thought for a moment then added, “It’s not like they’re expecting me.” With a bit of a wry tone of his own. Of course the kid’s lips didn’t even twitch. Instead shifted in his seat like he was thinking about jumping out of the car and making a break for it.
What the hell had people been saying about him? The kid couldn’t had been around when Don was still an agent. He looked barely out of puberty with that soft face and wide eyes. Don pegged to be around twenty five if that.
“Relax, kid. I don’t usually bite unless provoked.” Okay, that went down about as well as that time Clint challenged their team to a game of helicarrier tag. To say Fury and the brass hadn’t been amused was an understatement. For a year and a half after, Fury had made sure they got the kind of missions that had even Clint whining like a little girl.
Don’s hand snaked for his suitcase, stopped, then spread them flat over his thighs. The kid kept sneaking glances over at him. Don watched as people were redirected away from certain streets. Cars searched. Memorials set up all throughout the worst hit blocks. Didn’t glance at his watch no matter how much he wanted to.
Even as Stark Tower loomed ahead, Don forced himself to relax. Soon, he was going to be dealing with the kind of personalties that should never be near each other, much less be able to work in a cohesive team. That they had, was making Don twitchy. Dossiers, personality and psych profiles and the only thing Don really knew about any of them, was that when it counted, they came through.
Don honestly had no idea what to make out of any of that.