A/N: I guess I should warn you for spoilers, since my Avengers knowledge is based solely on the films (+ a little extra research for the story). I plan on writing at least three more chapters, which will give the opportunity to work on the characters and their histories a bit more. A fair warning: there will be Tony/Steve and a hint of Coulson/Steve in the next chapter. Loki will be in this story eventually, the reason why he isn't in this chapter is because I wanted to focus on Phil and the girls.
(The title is a God Is An Astronaut song)
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
"Alright ladies, our objective is located somewhere in New Mexico."
"Who are we going after again?" Rachel asked, unsurely.
"Wait, wait. Thor?" Quinn shook her head in disbelief and shared a look with Rachel.
"That is right, Ms. Fabray."
"It sounds unbelievable and since this is your first mission I'll allow your surprise. When Director Fury introduced me to my first superhero I... Well, that isn't important now. Just remember that he's not from our world and may act savagely."
Rachel blinked at her new boss, finding this very unbelievable. She stirred her coffee and looked out the window of the roadside diner. "I can't believe we're going to meet our very first superhero."
Quinn was happily chomping away on a bacon burger but managed to nod in agreement. It was exciting. After two months of training at S.H.I.E.L.D. they had finally been cleared for fieldwork. Agent Coulson had, somewhat reluctantly, taken them under his wing and agreed to take them along on his missions.
Agent Coulson rolled his eyes at the girls and finished his tea. "We should get moving," he said, glancing at Quinn. She looked up from her burger and quickly wiped her mouth on a napkin. He stood up and walked towards the exit. Quinn shot a longing look at her unfinished bacon burger and got shoved out of the booth by an impatient Rachel. Quickly, they ran to catch up with their mentor, smiling sheepishly at the waitress they almost knocked down in their haste.
New Mexico was hot. Lucky for them, they weren't required to make a professional impression so they were free to wear whatever they wanted. Agent Coulson, however, was sweating through his Armani suit.
"Um, Agent Coulson?"
He was walking a few feet ahead of them, right past what looked like a hammer in the middle of the desert. Quinn shrugged when the man ignored them. "Agent Coulson!" she yelled loudly, tapping into her HBIC voice. Rachel rolled her eyes but it seemed to have done the trick.
"Ms. Fabray, may I remind you that we're on a top secret mission here?" Coulson hissed as he neared the girls.
"Yes sir, I know, but um, I think you should see this," she said quietly, nodding towards the hammer.
His sighed and looked down to find the very object he'd been looking for. He cleared his throat and felt his cheeks flush. "R-right." He quickly recovered and held his chin up high. "Good work, girls."
Rachel giggled softly and Quinn could barely hold her amusement. When he glared at them they both put on their poker faces and waited for him to give them orders.
"This is Mjölnir," Agent Coulson began. "Also known as Thor's hammer as it can only be wielded by him. It means that Thor isn't far from here, he would never leave this unguarded."
"Myol-neer? What does it mean?" Rachel asked.
"It means 'crusher'," Quinn replied absent-mindedly as she eyed the hammer.
Agent Coulson gave her an approving nod and he kneeled down next to the weapon. "It can literally crush anything, it's unbearably strong. He can also use it to create lightning and call up storms."
"I didn't bring an umbrella," Rachel muttered to Quinn.
Quinn and Agent Coulson promptly ignored Rachel and started examining the object. Rachel huffed but joined them in a crouch. Coulson put his suitcase on the ground and opened it. He took out an electric device and switched it on. It began to bleep hysterically and the girls shared a look.
"What does that mean?" Quinn asked curiously.
"It means that this object isn't from this world," Coulson replied and he put away the device. "Okay, here's what we'll do. I'm going to call my team in to secure the site and then we'll go into town and look for Thor."
"Do you have a magnifying glass in that suitcase of yours?" Rachel asked jokingly. Quinn chuckled under her breath while Agent Coulson looked at her, probably wondering what he had done to deserve this.
"No, Agent Berry, I do not. Now, shall we get moving?" It wasn't so much a question as an order and the two girls got up and together they walked back to the sleek black car.
A trail of destruction and a few odd electrical devices led them to Puente Antiguo, a small town a few hours from the Mjölnir site. A visit to the local diner got them a description of Thor, a large blond man who had an affinity for smashing coffee mugs, and a trip to Pet Palace taught them that Thor was no longer in the town.
"He asked you for a large cat to ride?" Quinn asked incredulously.
The pet store owner nodded and shrugged. "Believe it or not, but that wasn't the first time someone has asked me that."
Quinn, Rachel and Agent Coulson shot him dubious looks but decided not to reply to the man's revelation. "Right, well, thanks for your... help," Coulson spoke and gave the man a firm nod before leaving the store, Rachel and Quinn following behind.
"Where to now?"
Agent Coulson sighed and rubbed his forehead. "What do you think? I'm supposed to train you two so let's hear it."
Rachel looked at Quinn and frowned. "U-um, well, he doesn't have his hammer so if I were to guess, I'd say he's looking for it?"
Quinn smiled at the shorter girl and nodded in agreement. "I agree with Rachel, he would be looking for the source of his power. I assume he doesn't know where the hammer is so he has no idea where to look, unless word got out that a bunch of men in black were crawling around in the desert..."
"Back to the diner," Coulson said. "If anyone were to spill his guts, it's safe to say it would happen at the local hang-out." He looked at Rachel and Quinn and smiled. "Good thinking, agents."
The girls grinned back at him and then it was back to the diner. The sun was setting in the background and Coulson was supposed to have Thor signed on to Director Fury's secret plan by sunset the next day. The mission had sounded possible when he received his orders but Thor's unpredictability hadn't been taken into account. Still, Agent Coulson wasn't a quitter and he would persist and prevail. At least he had Mjölnir.
Someone had talked. Word was out on the hammer and the three agents hurried back to the site, leaving only a cloud of dust behind. Rachel was dozing off in the backseat and Quinn couldn't help but find her colleague very adorable. Coulson noticed and gently cleared his throat.
"It's best if you don't get involved with co-workers."
Quinn turned back to look at the road ahead but couldn't suppress a small blush. "I-I wasn't..."
"I see how you two look at each other," Coulson continued. "I'm not going to stop you or report you so you don't have to worry about that. It may not seem like it, Agent Fabray, but this job can be quite dangerous and working beside someone you love in dangerous conditions can impair your judgement. That's all I'm going to say."
Quinn hummed in response, already too busy thinking about the implications. Agent Coulson was right but one glance in the rearview mirror was enough to throw caution to the wind. Quinn and Rachel went through basic training together and had formed an unlikely bond. The smaller girl was loud and often obnoxious but instead of annoying, Quinn found it to be utterly endearing. Now they got the opportunity to work together and whether they took their relationship to the next level or not, Quinn would give her life to save Rachel. She was already doomed.
It started raining when they reached the Mjölnir site and the girls were amazed to see what looked like an entire city made out of white plastic built around the hammer. There were wired fences around the maze of tunnels and rooms and armed guards were everywhere.
"How long were we gone?" Rachel asked, still groggy from her nap.
Agent Coulson chuckled and guided them through the guarded front-gate. Once inside the compound they went to talk to the S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists assigned to the hammer. After having listened to them Rachel came to the conclusion that they had learned nothing of value. Only that there was a massive electromagnetic surge coming of the hammer that made their systems go haywire.
"Okay, let's call it a night. There's no use for all three of us to stay awake. I'll call you when something happens," Agent Coulson said to the girls.
Quinn looked like she was going to protest so Rachel smiled widely at Coulson and grabbed Quinn by the hand, pulling her through a tunnel until they reached a quiet room with a few chairs, a table and a coffee machine.
After a moment Rachel took off her jacket and bunched it up. She sat down on the ground and put down her jacket, intent on using it as a pillow. Quinn grumbled under her breath, not that keen on spending the night sleeping on a floor, but sat down when Rachel began tugging on her sweater sleeve.
"Do you think Thor will come here?" Rachel asked while she was trying to get comfortable.
"I don't know. Probably."
There was a moment of silence before Rachel spoke again. "I heard what Agent Coulson said to you in the car. I wasn't sleeping."
Quinn sighed and took off her own jacket. "Didn't your parents teach you it's rude to eavesdrop?" she asked tiredly, though she managed to throw in a little smile at the end to show Rachel that she wasn't angry.
"Well, I couldn't exactly help it," she replied with a huff. "He's right, you know."
Rachel released a puff of air and lay back on the floor. Quinn ran her hand through her hair and took a moment before leaning forward and draping her jacket over Rachel. "Get some sleep," she said softly before getting back up and pouring herself a cup of lukewarm coffee.
"What about you?"
"I'm not tired. I'm sure that'll come back and bite me in the ass but that's why coffee was invented."
The girl could be infuriatingly stubborn at times and it made Rachel ground her teeth. She reminded herself that she wasn't Quinn's mother, or keeper, but that didn't stop her from worrying. And she cared about the stubborn blonde, which only doubled her worry load.
"I'm fine, Rach," Quinn reassured the brunette with a gentle smile.
"Okay, okay," Rachel conceded and she turned onto her side, watching Quinn and pulling the jacket closer to her. She wasn't cold; she just liked being enveloped by Quinn's comforting smell.
A loud alarm sounded and Rachel jumped up with wide eyes. "Wh-wha?" she mumbled sleepily. Quinn took her hand and pulled her against the wall, turning off the light.
They waited in silence, hearing distant shouts. Rachel swallowed loudly and Quinn tightened her hold on the smaller girl. Suddenly a loud ringing filled the air and they both moved frantically to reach their mobile phones and stop the sound.
"Hello?" Rachel whispered, grasping her phone tightly, panting slightly from the small adrenaline burst. She looked at Quinn while listening to Agent Coulson on the other end of the line. She nodded a few times before disconnecting.
"That was Coulson, he wants us to go to the interrogation room. They've captured Thor."
Quinn nodded and wordlessly picked up their jackets before handing Rachel her own. "Let's go then."
Thor was different than Quinn had imagined. He was dressed in a shirt and jeans, for starters. He was also very attractive with his piercing blue eyes. Agent Coulson opened the door for them and they stood facing the Norse god.
"Mr. Odinson? My name is Rachel Berry, I-I work for Agent Coulson. Can-can I get you anything?"
Quinn suppressed a small smile at Rachel's thoughtfulness and studied the god instead. He was watching Rachel, probably trying to determine if she was dangerous or not. She almost laughed out loud at the thought of the small girl being dangerous. Rachel wouldn't hurt a fly.
"Berry?" Thor grunted. "The fruit?"
"Ah, w-well, yes." Rachel frowned and motioned a hand in Quinn's direction. "That's Quinn Fabray, she also works for Agent Coulson."
Thor turned his head to look at Quinn. He looked her over and turned back to Rachel, deeming her harmless. Quinn shrugged and felt relieved. Agent Coulson stepped forward. "I was asked by Nicholas Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., to recruit you to our new project. I can't give you any details until you sign a contract that you agree to co-operate. We will return your hammer to you and you will be released until such time as we need you."
"I don't know what this shield means."
"It stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. We protect the people, Mr. Odinson."
"And I get Mjölnir if I agree to this agreement?"
Quinn and Rachel looked on with baited breath, hoping Thor would agree. "There will be others joining you, if you choose to accept. I can't give you all the information but you will not be alone in protecting the human race. There are ... others, with superhuman strength, who we hope will join."
Thor weighed his options. He already grew fond of the human race and felt oddly protective of them, he wouldn't mind saving them now and then, and he would get Mjölnir back without having to kill any of Coulson's men. The little brown-haired girl smiled at him and he nodded.
"Very well. I will work with you." Agent Coulson swiftly moved behind Thor and released his handcuffs. He rubbed the skin on his wrists and stood up, towering over the three agents.
Rachel beamed at the god and just managed to refrain herself from clapping her hands in excitement. He eyed her warily. "Berry, you seem happy with this agreement," he said.
"I am! Oh, this is so exciting!"
Quinn shared a smile with Agent Coulson as they watched Rachel try to contain her enthusiasm. Thor smiled and put his large hand on her shoulder. She squeaked as the man hugged her, pulling her off the ground for a few seconds before setting her back down.
"I like this little fruit girl," Thor proclaimed loudly.
Rachel was slightly shell-shocked from the hug and stumbled over to Quinn, grasping her arm tightly. Agent Coulson smiled in amusement. "Follow me, I'll get you back to Mjölnir," he said to the tall man.
Once he got his hammer back, Thor gave Rachel one last smile which made her cling to Quinn again after having managed a small wave and left. They watched him walk away until he was out of sight. Quinn turned to Rachel and chuckled at the slightly dazed look on the smaller girl's face.
"You okay, Rachel?"
Rachel shook her head and beamed up at Quinn. "I hugged a god!"
Quinn groaned and turned to Agent Coulson. "We'll never hear the end of this, I'm afraid."
"Just wait until our next assignment," Agent Coulson said with a chuckle.
"Agent Coulson? Do you get hugged a lot?" Rachel asked curiously.
"It happens, now and then," he answered, smirking lightly. "And I think you two have earned the right to call me Phil."
"Phil," Rachel and Quinn said in unison, smiling proudly at him. He rolled his eyes and started walking to his car.
"Well, come on. Captain America isn't going to wait forever!"