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Fic: Hope's Last Breath Chapter 8/10

Title: Hope's Last Breath
Fandoms: Supernatural/Torchwood/The Avengers/Doctor Who
Pairings/Characters: Dean/Sam/Castiel, Jack/Ianto, Coulson/Clint, Tony/Bruce, Natasha/Pepper, Thor/Loki, Steve/Darcy, Balthazar/Gareth Jones, Bobby, Marion Jones (OFC), Andy/Tosh, Owen/Maria Hill, Nick Fury/Donna Noble, Rhys Williams/Kathy Swanson, Martha Jones, the Doctor
Summary: Greek Mythology says that when Pandora disobeyed the Gods and opened the box, all the world's evil was unleashed but hoped remained inside. Unfortunately, hate found Pandora's Box and destroyed it. Out of his depth, Nick Fury has no choice but to seek help from others who have knowledge of and experience with this kind of stuff. But without hope in the world, it's only a matter of time before humanity falls into chaos.
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, the Avengers or Torchwood but I do own Gareth and Marion Jones
Beta: RoyalLadyEmma

Chapter 8

 

Tony Stark was bored and a bored Tony was a very dangerous thing. "So how long do you plan on keeping us here? In case you haven't noticed the world has gone to hell in a hand basket." Tony grumbled glaring up at Fury then around at his fellow Avengers, Darcy and Pepper. "Where are Super Agent and Legolas?"

An adorably confused look graced Thor's face. "What is this hand basket you speak of? And how would the world fit in it?"

"Don't worry about it, big guy, it's just a saying," Darcy reassured Thor as she patted him on the hand.

Fury sighed feeling the normal headache he usually got when having to deal with the Avengers. "Agent Coulson has gone to get us help, people who are used to dealing with this kind of thing."

Steve's eyebrows furrowed together as he looked at Fury, "If you don't mind me asking, sir, just who has Agent Coulson gone to collect? And is it safe for him to be out in this turmoil with only Hawkeye as back-up?" While Steve knew Phil and Clint were capable field agents and would do their best to never let any harm to come to one another, the world had exploded with unprecedented violence and hate.

Before Fury could respond to Steve's questions, an unfamiliar and odd grinding noise filled the conference room and every eye in the room was drawn to the sight of an transparent old fashion police box fading in and out. Strangely unalarmed, Tony and Bruce's fingers itched to study the strange machine appearing before them and they all watched as the box became solid. Immediately on guard, Steve and Natasha fell into protective stances in front of their girlfriends. Darcy and Pepper exchanged matching eye rolls, they were well used to this action.

The door swung open and a bouncing Clint exited first with a wide grin on his face. "Dude, that's a time machine! I got to ride in a freaking time machine!" Clint wasn't above bragging as he happily informed Tony and Bruce, proudly awaiting their reaction.

He wasn't disappointed.

"You did not!" Tony gasped in outrage as he looked at Clint, then at the blue box and back at his smug-looking teammate. "No way, man!"

"I did too. Phil, back me up!" Clint whined slightly at his lover who had just exited the TARDIS.

Coulson rolled his eyes and shook his head but before he could respond a new voice cut in.

"We're supposed to train these children? We might as well give the demons the key to the world and be done with it," Dean grumbled as he left the TARDIS. "Oww! What was that for?" The hunter reached up to rub his aching head.

Bobby just shook his head as he passed Dean. "Because you're the picture of maturity."

Sam chuckled as he came to stand beside his pouting brother. "You did walk right into that."

Arms crossed over his chest Tony narrowed his eyes with suspicion as he stared at all the people filing out of the little blue box. "You brought us a bunch of crazy people who believe in demons? And what the hell is that heavenly smell?" Tony's nose twitched with anticipation along with everyone else's.

Ianto had had the foresight to make a large batch of his famous coffee; he knew that it would have a calming effect on all those going to be involved in the meeting. Jack and Owen were already happily sipping away at theirs, after all, he wasn't about to unleash his lover and Owen onto SHIELD right away. Well, not without a plan anyway. "Would anyone like a cup of coffee?" the Welshman asked as he placed the tray of cups on the table and then graced them all with a smile that made it hard for anyone to say no to him.

Coulson, Clint, Dean, Sam and Bobby all made grabby hands for Ianto's coffee, Ianto didn't worry about those still in the TARDIS he had made sure that they had all the coffee they needed.

Cautiously the Avengers reached out and eagerly snagged a cup of the delicious smelling brew, each adding their own cream and/or sugar to their coffee. All eyes widened in amazement and pleasure as the first drop landed on their tongues.

"Pepper, we're hiring him," Tony immediately told the redhead; he had to take her hum as an agreement because she was too busy savouring the flavour to actually speak.

Jack growled low in his throat as he took up a protective stance behind Ianto, clearly showing  them all that the younger man was off limits. "Try it and I'll rip your head off," Jack snarled his warning.

"He'll do it, too, you know," Sam piped up.

Ianto smiled up at Jack and stroked his hand along the side of his lover's face, moving on down to the centre of his chest, resting his palm directly over Jack's heart. "It's all right, Cariad, I'm yours now and forever." Jack pulled Ianto into his arms and hugged him, placing a single kiss on the side of his head even as he glared at Tony. Realising that he'd lost the battle, Tony made a great show of sipping, savouring and 'mmmm-ing' over his coffee.

Seeing that Tony had had enough sense to back down, Sam continued. "What we need to focus on is getting their training started, and as soon as possible. The demons know it's a free-for-all on Earth and there's no one capable of stopping them right now."

"If you don't mind me asking, what kind of training are you talking about?" Steve was a little confused as to what these strange people were doing in the Avenger Tower.

A wicked grin crossed Dean's face. "We're going train you to fight demons and every other nasty thing from your worst nightmares."

"Yeah, right," Tony snorted with laughter, narrowly avoiding spilling his coffee. "If any of you believe that I have a bridge in New York to sell you." He shook his head. "No, you're not going to make a fool out of me; there are no such things as demons."

Coulson merely blinked innocently at Tony. "I was a hunter at one time, so trust me when I tell you that there are indeed demons."

Before Tony could continue to debate the existence of demons, Thor took control of the conversation. "Aye, Man of Iron, demons are very real. I have battled more than my fair share and to defeat them is no easy feat." Thor's eyes sought out Dean and Sam. "You must be among the bravest of your warriors."

"Finally! Somebody understands just how hard our freaking job is!" Thor's words proved to Dean that not all the Avengers would be stuck-up, ignorant assholes.

Seeing that his boyfriend was about to open his mouth, no doubt to utter the next smartass comment laying on the tip of his tongue, Bruce non-too-gently elbowed Tony in the ribs and the soft glare Bruce sent him spoke volumes about consequences. "Please excuse Tony; I'm still teaching him how to place nice with others."

Sam smiled brightly at him; he knew right away that he was going to like Bruce. "No problem, I have one of my own just like him." He couldn't help but smirk toothily. "Sometimes I find that a rolled-up newspaper helps."

Dean cast a dark look at Sam. 'Oh dear brother, you will pay for that later; once we're alone I'll have you begging for mercy!' Dean vowed. Oh yes, he knew just how he was going to punish Sam for that little comment.

"Could we please get back on track? I for one want some answers as to what is going on." Darcy demanded, tired of everyone ignoring the main issue. "People are dying out there, for god's sake!"

Coulson nodded his head in agreement with Darcy. "Miss Lewis is right. We should focus on the matter at hand, you children can have a pissing contest later."

Steve crossed his arms and looking like the soldier he is, gruffly demanded, "What is going on? No more vague answers, we want the full truth."

At Steve's tone, Ianto and Sam couldn't help but shiver, both new easily recognized the tone the handsome man was using; it was one their lovers used when they were in full-on leader mode. Hearing it – especially in the bedroom – was turning out to be a big kink for them. It was a reaction that didn't go unnoticed as Jack and Dean both growled and slipped protectively in front of their respective lovers.

"Oh, for crying out loud! Enough of this over-the-top male show! The Spirit of Hope, which really was in Pandora's Box, has been destroyed by hate and as a result, the world has fallen into chaos!" Gareth's pissed off voice cut through the air. The young hunter stalked out of the TARDIS with Balthazar trailing protectively after him; Castiel came out next and headed straight towards Dean and Sam. It didn't escape anyone's attention that there were two powerful-looking guns strapped to Gareth's thighs or that his fingers kept twitching towards them.

"We're suppose to believe that hate himself hunted for and found Pandora's Box which in fact did contain the spirit of hope and said emotion then proceeded to destroy the jar with the very first weapon ever used by man to kill someone out of pure hate, thus destroying hope?" Tony laid every detail on the line, wanting to make sure he was hearing the entire story correctly.

Dean nodded his head. "That about right and trust me, that's not even the craziest thing Sam and I have ever dealt with.

Tony just shook his head. "I hate to tell you this but you're completely insane. There is no such thing as a Spirit of Hope." 

Ianto raised an indignant eyebrow. "My sister is an angel of hope and my niece's soul has already been marked. She is indeed very real and it would be in your best interests not to piss off one of the last of her kind."

Gareth favoured Tony with a purely shark-like grin. "Hear that, Balthazar? He doesn't believe in the Spirit of Hope, so do you think he’ll believe you're an angel?" he asked his lover mischievously.

Tony snorted. "There are no such things as angels."

"Oh really?" Balthazar virtually purred before turning to face his brother. "What do you say, Castiel, think we should give them a little show?"

Being the more introverted of the two, Castiel wasn't one to normally show off but they clearly didn't have time for ignorance. Channeling his power forth, his eyes began to glow a brilliant blue and the shadows of massive wings appeared on the walls behind him; out of the corner of his eye, he saw Balthazar doing the same.

Jaws dropped in shock and amazement as the group stared at the sight of two magnificent angels standing before them. Tony was the first person to some to their senses and he cleared his throat as casually as he could. "So... I guess we have to restore hope then, yeah? Shouldn't be a problem," Tony declared.

"Someone ever wise once said: 'Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, of listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering," Dean stated.

Sam, Ianto, Bobby and Gareth simply stared at Dean like they had never seen him before. Sam, used to his brother's crazy ways, was the first to get over his shock as his lips twitched into a smile. "Dude! Did you seriously just quote Winnie the Pooh?"

Behind them Darcy and Clint snickered while Tony openly guffawed at the idea of the big bad hunter actually quoting the honey-guzzling bear who lived in the Hundred Acre Wood.

Dean shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly as he crossed his arms over his chest and glared at his younger brother and their friends. "I'll have you know that for a bear, he was seriously deep. And none of you guys," Dean included the three snickering fools behind him in his glare, "have any room to judge me as you all clearly know where that quote comes from."

A muffled laugh stopped what no doubt would have evolved into an all-out brotherly bitch fest. As Dean and Sam's gazes were drawn to the other three men in the room, they saw that Ianto was biting his lips to keep his laughter in check. Gareth, on the other hand, had no such troubles and he was holding his sides and howling with laughter. Finally, Bobby was just staring at them with a look of long-suffering patience on his face.

"You two ladies done yet?" the older hunter asked as he idly scratched his head. "If not, maybe you could take it outside to the sandbox so the rest of us can get some work done?"

Trying to play off his bout of the kiddies, Dean shrugged his shoulders. "Yeah, I'm done, not sure about the other children around here." Dean cast a glare at Sam, Gareth and then over his shoulder at Tony, Clint and Darcy who were all three still sniggering and snorting.

Thor, however, had a thoughtful look on his face, he couldn't see what was so funny about Dean quoting this Winnie the Pooh fellow, in Thor's mind anyone who could speak so wisely must be a great warrior. "This Winnie the Pooh sounds like a wise speaker and I wish to hear more about him."

Castiel, on the other hand, had a look of confusion on his face. "I do not understand; who is Winnie the Pooh, and if he's a bear how can he talk?"

"Seriously, you guys have no idea who Winnie the Pooh is? What's wrong with you people?" Dean threw his hands up in the air in defeat. "Cas, Thor, you're coming with me, it's time you were introduced to the greatness that is Winnie the Pooh... and pie."

Sam rolled his eyes; he was sure that if he could, Dean would marry a pie. "Riiight, I'll leave you alone with your love affair with baked goods."

Dean nodded his head, his brother's sarcasm going right over his head. "You do that. Go figure out a way to save the day." With that, the hunter dragged Thor and Castiel out of the room determined to start their proper education immediately.

******

It hadn’t taken long for everyone to fall into their natural roles; Bruce and Tony instantly fell in love with Tosh and the three of them were usually seen with bent heads working on a new problem.

True to their word, the Winchesters and the Jones twins were teaching the Avengers and the few SHIELD agents that seemed unaffected by the loss of hope the best methods of fighting demons and other nasty creatures that went bump in the night. It didn’t surprise anyone when Clint, Natasha and Steve picked up the training right away and even started coaching some of the others.

Owen spent a lot of his time training the SHIELD doctors and nurses in the proper use of the alien medical devices Jack had allowed him to bring from Torchwood, plus a few the Doctor had allowed him to borrow from the TARDIS' medical bay. Every waking moment he wasn’t supervising his students in their practical applications of the equipment, he spent flirting with Maria Hill. Clint had semi-joked that she was clearly smitten with the snarky doctor since Owen had stolen dozens of illicit gropes and casual caresses and she hadn't yet killed him in any one of a hundred different gory and painful ways.

Despite her lack of hands-on experience dealing with aliens and their artefacts, Donna was proving why she truly was the world's super temp as she kept everything and everyone well organized and on schedule. She'd even managed to please Ianto with her detailed notes of the meetings between Jack and Nick Fury. Being Donna, she of course did a lot more than just take notes, she actually flirted up a storm with Fury and to everyone’s shock and horror the man didn’t seem to mind. In fact, he even seemed a bit, dare they think it, sweet on Donna.

Tony, of all people, summed up the Donna and Nick situation in such a profound way that everyone could only agree with him.  “It really is the end of the world.”

Against the Doctor's advice and her brothers' pleading, Marion decided that she needed to make an appearance before the assembled Avengers. Even though she trusted the Doctor to effectively state her case, she wanted to make sure the superheroes knew just what was at stake.

Of course, it didn't take long for Tony to open his big mouth, "You're an angel of hope? You don't look like one." Apparently he hadn't learned his lesson when he'd belittled Castiel and Balthazar earlier on.

Bristling with indignation, Marion summoned the last of her strength and power and brought out her glorious icy white wings, unfurling them to their full span; one gentle flap raised enough wind in the room to send papers flying about like a snowstorm. Well-pleased with herself, Marion smirked at the stunned look on Tony's face; she thought he did an excellent imitation of a gaping fish, with his mouth flapping open and closed silently.

The awe-inspiring sight of her beautiful wings triggered long-forgotten a memories in each of the Avengers present. "I remember seeing a woman appear just before I hit the ice; she had wings just like you." Steve had a thoughtful look on his face. "As soon as I saw her I knew everything was going to be all right. I felt a strong sense of hope even at that horrible moment when I was about to lose everyone and everything I'd ever loved."

Marion nodded her head in quiet understanding as she rested heavily against the Doctor; she was still very weak and it was obvious to everyone that she was getting worse but despite her failing strength and increased pain, her eyes still shone brightly. "That was one of my sisters you saw; we only show ourselves at the very moment when a person needs hope the most," Marion explained softly as she looked at each person in the room.

“At the time of your greatest hardship, each of you has been visited by one of my brothers or sisters. All it takes is for the smallest bit of hope to remain in one's heart to make the greatest difference. The world as it exists right now is without hope, and if we do nothing else, we need to remind them of what it’s like to have that little bit of hope once again.”

“The angel is right, you know; your precious mortals are without hope. They're going to destroy one another!" A new voice cut through the air, one that was gloating and gleeful, one that the Avengers, hoped they'd never hear again. Pepper and Darcy looked at their counterparts in bewilderment; they didn't recognise the voice and couldn't understand why everyone was so upset.

“Loki!” A huge smile split Thor’s face as he moved to embrace his brother and to everyone’s surprise, Thor included, Loki allowed the God of Thunder to hug him, although he didn't return the embrace so enthusiastically.

Dean and Sam shared a knowing look; the body language between the two brothers reminded them of their own. There was deep love there but also deep hurt. “I think we’re looking at Norse God versions of ourselves,” Sam murmured in a low voice to his brother and lover.

“Well, let’s hope they have an easier road than we did,” Dean whispered back softly as he snagged Sam’s hand; the two made no secret of their relationship or of the fact that Castiel was their lover as well. Dean had told them all quite bluntly, "If you don’t like it, don’t let the door hit you on the way out."

Like his two lovers, Castiel also recognized the looks of love, hurt and longing flowing from the two Norse brothers. “Perhaps we should give them a moment alone. It would seem Loki isn’t all that welcome here.”

Dean snorted. “Well the dude did try to take over the world not too long ago and he nearly got Coulson killed, so yeah, I can understand the lack of love in the room.”

“We’ve all done things we’re not proud of." Sam shook his head. "Just look at me; I unleashed Lucifer onto the world. How is what I did any worse than what Loki did? I think we should give him the benefit of a doubt; he must have come here for a reason and Thor looks like our best chance of figuring out if he’s here to help or not.”

“I hate it when you’re the voice of reason,” Dean muttered under his breath as he stalked forward. “All right, class dismissed. Let’s give blondie and his issue-challenged brother some privacy.” When no one moved, Dean turned to his secret weapon.

Ianto fought back an amused smile as Jack stiffened next to him and growled low in his throat. Dean sent the Welshman his most persuasive puppy-dog eyes and said the one thing absolutely guaranteed to get everyone moving, “Coffee, anyone?”

Jack shook his head as Dean's promise of his lover’s coffee got the assembled group on their feet and moving towards the door, and he sent a piercing look at his Welshman. “I’m still not wholly convinced that you’re not getting us all addicted to your coffee so you can take over the world.” He wouldn’t put such a brilliant plan past Ianto's crafty mind, and given how addicted everyone had become in such a short time, it actually had a chance at working.

Ianto favoured Jack with a small mischievous smile. “How do you know that’s not my plan, Sir?” He purred the last word and then smirked as he watched Jack swallow hard and his eyes darken with instant and undisguised lust.

Looping an arm around Ianto’s waist Jack tugged his lover in tight against his body. “As long as I get to be your one and only boy-toy, my new supreme leader, then I don’t have a problem servicing your every need.” To emphasise his point, Jack pressed his manly bits into Ianto's, making sure the younger man could feel every throbbing inch.

Smiling happily at what he was feeling, Ianto pressed his body flush against Jack’s and placed a teasing kiss on the edge of the immortal’s mouth. “Let me get the others caffeinated and then you can get to work servicing my every need.” Ianto nipped at Jack’s lower lip. "There's quite a list."

Dean rolled his eyes at the speed with which Jack dragged a very willing Ianto out of the room. “I think they're going to have sex. Sounds like a plan to me.” Dean turned to his two lovers and waggled his eyebrows up and down; teaching the Avengers was seriously cutting into their naked time and he didn't like it one little bit.

Sam shook his head with amusement. “And you call Jack sex-crazed!” he muttered under his breath.

Dean’s lips curved up into a sexy smirk. “Ahh but you didn’t say no,” he pointed out. “Cas, you in for some loving?” he asked the angel.

“As you humans say, I am down with that,” Castiel said with a serious face but Dean and Sam saw the hungry lust in their angel's eyes.

“Dude, never say that again,” Dean ordered Castiel as he snagged both his lovers' hands and dragged them out of the room, leaving Thor and Loki alone.

“Why are you here, brother? Do you wish to help us?" Thor could see it in his brother's eyes; there was something he was keeping from them.

Loki sighed; he knew that his eyes reflected the turmoil he was feeling. Like his brother, his eyes were the windows to his soul, and neither of them had ever been able to successfully shutter them from one another."I met an angel of hope, Elisa, and she was one of the most beautiful creatures I've ever seen."

Thor's eyes widened at his brother's softly spoken admission.

"She stayed by my side through my darkest moments, and even when I was locked away she was the one light I had, the only friend I had. And I was helpless to help her." Loki's voice broke. "I watched as she simply faded away into nothing. The one person who stood by my side and who led me through my toughest challenges has been taken from me and I want her back." Loki had a fond look in his eyes as he spoke of the young angel; it was uncharacteristic of him to be so open about his feelings.

Jealousy bubbled and churned in Thor's belly as he saw the light that entered his brother's eyes when he spoke of this angel, Elisa. "You love her," he stated what he knew to be true and as he spoke the words he knew his brother was truly lost to him. "I will help you save your angel then and wish you a good life with her." Thor turned away from Loki, not wanting the other god to see how heartbroken he was over the news that he loved another.

Loki rolled his eyes with fond amusement mixed with a just a little bit of exasperation as he shook his head but a small smile played at his lips as he realised his dear brother was actually jealous. "Yes, I do love her. She reminds me that in the darkest of times there is always hope, that the one you love can and will someday open his eyes and see what is right before him. At the same time, she made me see that the reason I was so jealous and bitter of my own brother was because he did not see my love I so clearly had for him."

Thor's head snapped around so fast that the bones in his neck cracked ominously and Loki couldn't help but wince at the sound, but at that moment Thor didn't care about the slight pain in his neck as he moved towards his brother. "You love me?" he asked softly, focusing on the only thing in Loki's speech that he had truly heard.

"That's the only thing you heard? Yes, I love you, you big oaf, even though I don't know why!" Loki snapped out in irritation, letting his nervousness and fear overrule the part of him that was screaming, "You're going to push Thor away!"

The God of Thunder seemed unaffected by Loki's harsh words as he grinned brightly at his adopted brother. "I love you as well." He felt his heart swell in his chest as he spoke those words aloud for the first time; 'I never knew anything could feel so right!'

Loki's jaw dropped as he stared up at his brother, he hadn't fully believed Elisa when she said that Thor loved him the same way that he loved Thor. “What about your mortal woman, Jane?” Even though he tried, he couldn’t keep the bitterness out of his voice; he'd spent far too many lonely nights wondering what Thor could possibly see in a mortal, what were they doing, when was Thor going to come to his senses.

Thor was quite pleased to see the jealousy blazing in his brother’s eyes. “Jane is a dear friend, nothing more. At one time I thought she could have been the one, but it wasn’t to be. My heart belonged to another long before I even noticed.”

“Good and it better stay that way; I do not like to share, brother,” Loki growled possessively as he yanked Thor closer. “Now shut up and kiss me.”

Thor raised an eyebrow and smiled brightly, he was really enjoying the more forceful side of his brother and soon-to-be lover. “As you wish.” The God of Thunder wasted no time in claiming that what he'd wanted for so very long.



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