A/N: Welp, here it is. Hope people are excited, I'm looking forward to getting back into writing.
(The Start of Fury's Big Week)
I stood off to the side dressed in the standard SHIELD Agent's uniform, my legs spread apart and hands clasped behind my back as Nick Fury ignored me in favor of the silhouette of a man on his wall, "You want me to take an untested unknown and integrate him into my organization on your say so? Is this a direct order from the World Security Council?"
The irritation in the shadowy figure's voice is apparent as he answers the Director, "Against my better judgment it is not. Mister Masters has asked that we make this a request and give him the chance to convince you of his own worth. You will hear him out, that is all that is required of you."
After a long moment Fury nods, jaw tight, "Fine."
He moves to end the call but is stopped by the silhouette holding up a hand, "Keep us appraised of how your evaluation of Mister Masters goes. If you choose not to make use of him, we have several sensitive projects that will benefit from his involvement."
The threat is not at all subtle and Director Fury is a bit vicious as he presses the button ending the call. He turns away from the now dark wall and looks at me for a long moment before moving to his desk and sitting down. I'm content to stand there as the most badass man in this universe gives me the cold shoulder for several minutes, instead focused on his computer.
He does stand up again soon enough though, walking around his desk to come to a stop in front of me, staring me down for only a moment before speaking, "Who are you?"
I restrain myself from a full blown smirk, but the corners of my mouth do lift up in the faintest ghost of a grin. SHIELD's databases were definitely some of the best in the world, and regardless of this being the first time meeting me, Fury had more than enough to go off of to dig around and try to find me just now.
Not much time obviously, but he had clearly come up with absolutely nothing, and decided to confront the source of his blind spot instead of going any further. I inclined my head slightly at the man in a show of respect before replying as frankly as I could, "As you know Director, my name is Vali Masters. My identity is not unknown. What you're looking for is not a question of who, but what."
The emphasis I put on the word what has him clenching his jaw even as he rephrases his question through gritted teeth, "Fine. What are you?"
I do not move from my spot, do not bring my hands from behind my back nor straighten up my posture. That doesn't stop him from reacting almost instantly when my eyes turn black and gold, the veins around said eyes pop out and my fangs extend in my mouth. His gun is drawn and trained on me quickly, though if I wanted to I could have raced forward and disarmed him halfway through the motion.
Instead, I remain still, only moving my lips as I explain, "I am what you would call an alien I suppose. I am not the first to come to your world, nor will I be the last. But I do believe I'm the first to approach your organization."
After a long moment of silence where I continue to remain still, Fury slowly lowers the gun in his hand, but refrains from holstering it for the time being. When he responds, his tone is as expected, quite skeptical, "If you are an alien as you say, how did we miss your… arrival? How did you come to be on our world? What others of your kind have been here?"
I smile at that and finally unclasp my hands, spreading my arms to appear as nonthreatening as possible, "I was… dumped through a portal onto your planet a few months ago. You missed my arrival because I am not the sort to make a scene. I knew nothing of the world I found myself in, and sought out shelter until I had a better idea of what I was dealing with. I am trained and very accomplished in my specific set of skills. Thus, I was able to stay… under the radar is how you humans say it."
I pause only for a moment before continuing onto the other half of his question, "As for others… none of my kind have ever been to your world before. But you have had alien visitors in times long past. There's not much I can tell you about them, but they call their realm Asgard. They call yours Midgard. I imagine that will mean something to you."
Now Fury looks rather incredulous, "You expect me to believe Norse Mythology is centered around aliens who came to Earth in the past?"
Shaking my head, I let out a sigh, "I have no way of proving what I say Director, so I expect you to believe only what you wish to believe. What matters is I have found myself stranded on your world and in the short time I've been here, I've discovered it to be quite the quaint little place. However, I have begun to fear that your world will soon find itself mired in conflict it is ill prepared for. That is why I revealed myself to your Security Council and why I now place myself under your command."
That gets his attention, "Are you saying there's an invasion on the horizon?"
"As I said, I have no proof of anything except what I've shown you. But things are coming to a head. The man in New York, Tony Stark… Iron Man… he's the beginning of something larger. You must see it as well. Your small world is growing and becoming more difficult to contain."
He looks at me for a long moment before nodding slowly, "On that we can agree. That is SHIELD's purpose, to protect the planet from the things out there. I wasn't expecting that to extend to aliens quite so soon though. Which brings us back to my original problem with this. How can I trust you? You're an unknown, a threat. Even more so now that you've revealed your… nature to me."
I smile at that, if only he knew, "I won't deny that I am capable of being a threat Director. But all I want is to help. If you can't trust me, then keep an eye on me. Either your own, or someone you trust. All I ask is that you use me effectively… I think we both know that the Council would love to have me for their own personal use, but I've come to the conclusion that your judgment is quite frankly better than theirs."
This seems to give Fury pause as he considers for a long moment. Finally he gives another nod, "You're right in that, though I couldn't tell you whether their threat or your flattery is more hamfisted. Fine. I have an agent for you to… apprentice under. You will treat him with respect and follow every order he or I give you. We'll see exactly what you're capable of, and just how trustworthy you are."
I throw up a salute and snap to perfection attention, "Thank you Director Fury. You won't regret this."
He stares for a second before shaking his head, "Don't do that. We aren't the military and I don't like you pretending to be human when we both know you aren't." Pulling a phone from his coat pocket he dials a number and waits patiently for an answer. A moment later he's speaking, "Agent Coulson, are you still on board? Excellent, make your way to my office as soon as possible. I have something for you."
Tony Stark's Beachfront Property
(Iron Man 2 – After the Donut Shop Meeting)
Stuck glued to Coulson's side as I was, I only got a glimpse of Natasha Romanoff in her tight leather cat suit, before she and Fury went one way and Coulson and I went the other to babysit Stark. Honestly, I think I liked her better with this longer hair, then the short cut she ends up going with in the Avengers. It was unfortunate that I'd decided on the long con, or I'd be sorely tempted to grab her right there for a bit of ravishment. Ah the sacrifices I make for the plot.
Standing off to the side I watched as Phil Coulson and Tony Stark chatted. I especially enjoyed the line about tasing Tony and watching Supernanny while he drooled on the carpet. Unfortunately, that didn't come to pass and soon enough Stark focused on me, the current unknown.
Eyeing me up and down, he made his opinion known, brash as ever, "And who's this Agent? Doesn't have a suit like you, so I assume he's the brawn to your brains? Using those terms loosely of course."
I smiled at his inability to keep the verbal jabs to himself, pausing for a moment to look at Coulson, but he seemed more interested in how I responded. So I turned back to Stark and smiled a bit wider, "I'm a big fan of your work Mister Stark. But I'm not allowed to discuss any personal details about myself with civilians."
That got his attention, even as he covered up his sudden interest with feigned disdain and a waved hand, "Who isn't a fan of my work? I'm pretty amazing."
Despite his flippant attitude, I knew I'd snared him. He would break into Shield's computers to learn more about me even if he still thought me to be simple muscle. And from there his interest in me would more than likely grow greater and greater as he turned up very little. At least, that was the hope. With that parting statement, we left Stark to his work.
Coulson and I hadn't really gotten a chance to talk since Fury assigned me to follow him around like a good little assistant. Thus, when we were finally alone, it was only slightly surprising when he turned to me and said offhandedly, "So, alien?"
I raise an eyebrow at that, but I can't help remembering just how… informal Coulson and Fury could both be at times. With a half shrug, I nod, "Yes sir."
He raises an eyebrow back, "You look human."
Unable to stop myself, I smile as I respond, "Or perhaps it is you humans who look like my species."
He's quick as ever, "Oh? Your species got a name?"
I pause for a moment as if in thought, but I've long since decided how I intend to explain this one, "Yes. Interestingly enough, there is an English word is translates into. Hybrid."
That causes him to look at me oddly, "That's strange. Why is your species named after the combination of two different elements?"
I smile and launch into my explanation of pure bullshit, "My kind began as two separate entities. Two very distinct and very opposite entities. You could compare it to your dualities of light and dark or chaos and order, but it would be better to compare it to the concepts of change and stagnation. The clashing of two races that embodied such things eventually led to the combination you see before you."
He continued to stare at me searchingly for a long moment, "And how exactly do you embody change and stagnation, if you don't mind me asking?"
"I do not, if Fury wished for me to keep anything from you, he should have told me. It's quite simple really. I embody change through the ability to transform into a different form. A creature quite similar to one of your animals, funnily enough."
As I expect, he latches onto that immediately, "Care to show me this other form?"
Chuckling, I shake my head, "I'll be glad to later sir, but I do have to strip naked first, or I'll tear apart this lovely uniform I've been provided. To satisfy your curiosity, the creature I transform into is akin to a larger and stronger version of your world's wolf."
He takes this in but seems to be in agreement for waiting until later, "And stagnation?"
I smile, "I and those like me do not age past a certain age. It will probably surprise you to know that I have lived for four thousand of your years."
This he clearly has a hard time believing, "You're trying to tell me your immortal? And you expect me to believe someone with that sort of age would submit themselves to the authority of an organization as young as ours?"
Chuckling, I shake my head, "As I told the Director, you will believe what you wish to believe. My kind is not technically immortal, we just don't age. We can still die after all. And part of having lived the time I have Agent Coulson, is knowing that it is not the length of one's life, but the effort they put into it. Humans may only exist for a short time before expiring, but it makes it all the more exquisite, the amount of work you lot put into your fleeting lives. Your organization has accomplished more in its short existence than most of my people could lay claim to."
"Frankly, I am not representative of most of my race. I used the word stagnation for a reason, as despite the joining of the two species that make my own, my people do not have the same drive, the same sense of adventure that humanity does. In that, I am perhaps alone amongst my entire species. That is why I find myself identifying with your species so easily, despite your youth. And that is why I submit myself to your organization's authority, in an effort to help."
He falls silent to that, and I know not whether I've convinced him of anything I've said. I am confident that he will pass this information onto Fury though, which is absolutely fine by me. My claims will grow all the more valid very soon. Incredibly soon as it turns out, as not a day later Coulson is reassigned to a certain crash site in New Mexico.
I can't help smiling as I am of course assigned along with him. It'll be nice to see Darcy again.
A/N: Let me know what you think of my characterization of Coulson and Fury. At first I was afraid I was making them too informal, given their roles. But rewatching some of the scenes of Iron Man 2 for this chapter, I'm beginning to think I didn't make them informal ENOUGH. Fury's voice in particular I'm not sure I'll ever really get the tone right on.