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.
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural, the Avengers or Torchwood but I do own Gareth and Marion Jones
“So those fools thought I wouldn’t learn about their plan. It doesn’t matter; they can try all they want and even if they do succeed in restoring hope it will be far too late. My plans are already in motion.” A dark and sinister smirk twisted the of features Hate’s current host body into a horrible parody of a human face. ‘All these fools can see is the small picture; not one of them has enough imagination or courage to look at the bigger picture.’ All of his plans were falling effortlessly into place; the only thing left for him to do was sit back, watch, and wait to see what would happen next. When the time was right, he would set the stage for his next step.
Three Days Later
After many long and grueling hours training and practice, of trial and error, of bickering and laughing, all of which had been bolstered by gallons of Ianto's wonderful coffee, the team had finally formulated a plan. It had been deemed the best of the lot when neither Dean, Tony nor Clint could find anything worth making silly, snarky or disparaging jokes about.
“So let me get this straight; basically we're going to travel to the site where hope was born and then late destroyed, in hopes that our belief in hope will be strong enough to return the Spirit of Hope to the world." Dean looked around the room. "Did I miss anything?”
Exhausted beyond measure by the many hours of hard work, Marion sighed deeply, “Look, I know it sounds like a stupid plan but I know in my heart of hearts that to return hope all we need to do is truly believe that hope exists. You all embody the very essence of hope, you inspire faith in others, and I guarantee that if you believe then everyone else will.”
"All it takes is the smallest ray of hope," Steve stated. "Hope is never completely lost. Throughout the eons, humans have always had the capacity to hope even in the darkest of times; right now they've just forgotten how. We need to remind them. Hope is a very power thing and there's no way that hate could have completely destroyed it. It's just not possible. We are the symbols of all that is good in the world, and it’s our job to remind everyone that even in the darkest hour, there is still hope." Steve spoke forcefully and his eyes blazed with the passion of deeply-held belief. "There will always be hope.”
“Spandex-boy is right. As much as I hate you guys, you do stand for something the rest of us don’t and that's hope. Our jobs,” Dean gestured to himself, Sam and Bobby and then to Ianto, Jack, Owen, Tosh and finally, the Doctor and Donna, “have to be done in secret. If people knew what was really out there the world would be nothing but an enormous panic zone. We have to move in the shadows, staying under the radar, we will never have a chance at a normal life. That’s what makes us the vigilantes and you guys the heroes.”
Steve looked a little ticked off by his new nickname and with a sinking heart, he wondered how long it would take for Tony to start calling him that. “So why all the physical training and defensive tactics?” He couldn’t help but ask.
Dean snorted with amusement as he hiked an eyebrow nearly into his hairline. “You don’t seriously think that the demons are going to make things easy for us, do you? This is paradise for them, an all-you-can-eat buffet of human emotions and frailties. We’re going to have a battle royale on our hand, trying to get anywhere near the sight of hope.”
“That may be true, but I can’t help feeling like this is all a little too easy. You'd think that it hate really did go to all this trouble, then he'd be out enjoying this as much as the demons are but there’s been no sign of him.” Sam looked troubled. "Am I the only one who thinks that's strange?"
Suddenly seeing Sam's point, an icy ball of concern settled in the pit of Dean's stomach, and he turned to face his brother. “You think he’s got something planned?” He asked hoping against hope that Sam would grin and say, "ha ha, joke's on you!', but he didn't.
“Well, it's that or this has all been one big ruse and hate actually has something else planned,” Bobby voiced his own opinions. He was glad to see that he wasn't the only one worried about what else might be going on behind the scenes of the current conflict.
“That's actually too terrifying to think about. Hate was destroying hope and throwing the world into chaos for what unholy purpose? Dean shuddered; he didn’t want to think about what could be possibly worse than a world without hope.
“I don’t know. Hell we’ve seen our fair share of powerful enemies but something tells me we need to be on our guard now more than ever.” Bobby couldn’t shake his gnawing feeling that they were missing something, something big and potentially more damaging than just the chaos and destruction they were facing at the moment.
All it took was one look at Marion to know that they were running out of time. Their angel of hope was becoming more and more transparent as the days went on, and the TARDIS was barely able to keep a hold of her. No matter how out-of-sync the time-travelling ship was with the rest of the world, hope was almost all but gone.
It hadn’t been easy to manage it but Donna, Pepper and Darcy had finally agreed to stay back. Of course, it may have helped considerably that Natasha had locked Pepper in their room, and an incredibly apologetic Steve had ended up handcuffing Darcy to the table. His ears were still ringing from the threats and promises his feisty girlfriend had used to make sure he knew just what she thought of that and him. Following suit, the Doctor had tried to order Donna to stay behind with the other women but to his chagrin, that backfired in his face. Being Donna Noble, she, of course, had insulted him quite colourfully, leaving him standing with his mouth hanging open, feeling the total fool.
Standing on the sidelines and gleefully bearing witness to the scene between the Time Lord and his latest companion, Jack, Dean and Clint had been secretly hoping to see the redhead slap the Doctor but that was not to be. Always the peace-maker, Ianto had calmly and collectively taken control of the situation by reminding Donna that her skills were invaluable to the success of the mission, and that she would be far more useful at SHIELD headquarters. Laying on the compliments, Ianto told her that they were counting on her consummate and incomparable ability to quickly organise and disseminate multiple sources of information to keep the fighting forces up-to-date with the rapidly evolving situation. To the men's immense disappointment, Ianto's well-spoken plea had worked and Donna had graciously announced that she had decided to remain at SHIELD Helicarrier and oversee the information front of the battle.
If Jack had had it his way he would have gladly and gratefully included Ianto in those who stayed behind but his lover flat out refused. "Jack, I am a well-trained Torchwood agent and a seasoned demon hunter, I am not staying back while the rest of you are out there doing battle. So unless you want to end up drinking instant coffee and going without sex for the foreseeable future you will drop that line of thinking immediately." To soften the severity of his words, Ianto planted a tender kiss on Jack's mouth, slipping the tip of his tongue across the seam of his lover's lips.
With a low moan of surrender, Jack reluctantly gave in; he hugged his young Welshman tightly and prayed to everything in the Universe that Ianto would remain safe.
Armed with all the essential demon hunting equipment at their disposal, and hoping that Iron Man’s armour and weapons combined with Thor and Loki’s powers would give them the edge they needed, the hunters prepared themselves physically and mentally.
The words remained unspoken but the consensus amongst the group was that they were walking into a trap.
"Okay, here's the deal, people. We are in for the fight of our lives and no matter how we approach it, demons will be waiting for us. They won't like that we plan on taking away their new piece of paradise, so they'll be gunning for a fight." Dean decided there was no point in beating around the bush; he had too much respect for his fellow warriors. "Demons are absolutely ruthless, they have no conscience whatsoever. You show the smallest hint of weakness and you won't be coming back." Dean looked at each member of the team as he issued his warning, but his eyes lingered on Sam the longest. As much as he hated to admit it he had come to like these guys and he would hate for any one of them to become demon chow.
Natasha finished loading her gun. "Don't worry, we can handle ourselves."
"Right, glad that's settled then." Dean was pretty damned sure that Natasha was scarier than any demon they would be up against. "Let's go save the world." The young hunter raised his gun in the air. "Here's to victory!"
Arriving at the final resting place of the Spirit of Hope, Dean and Sam shared a knowing look as Dean grasped the handle of the TARDIS' doors. Nodding his head, he watched as Sam cocked and aimed his gun, ready to have Dean’s back along with Ianto, Gareth and Jack. Knowing that he had such a formidable force behind him made Dean feel a whole lot better.
Silently counting down to three Dean yanked open the door to the TARDIS and with his gun raised to a ready fire position, he took his first cautious step out, hearing Sam fall into step right behind him. "All right, come on out, you bastards. We know you're here!"
One by one demons moved out of the shadows, each one wearing a hideous grin on its face. "Damn, I hate being right," Dean muttered under his breath
“Did you really think it was going to be that easy?” The lead demon taunted the hunter, his eyes pitch black.
Dean shrugged, trying to look nonchalant. “One can hope, I suppose, but, yeah, we kind of figured you bastards would put up a fight." He smiled at the demon as though they were discussing the weather. "But did you really think we would come alone?”
That was the pre-arranged signal for the others to step into action, and before the demons could figure out what was happening the other members of the team came pouring out of the TARDIS. Thor's mighty hammer crackled with great bolts of lightning as he dove into the fight; Loki was right behind him, prepared to defend his brother. The instant he was out in the open, Tony took to the air while Bruce's body rippled with motion as the big guy came out to fight. Jack, Ianto, Clint, Natasha, Gareth and Coulson joined the Winchesters as they watched their heavy hitters take out as many demons as they could.
The lead demon hissed angrily as Castiel and Balthazar emerged from the TARDIS and spread their wings. Suddenly, the demons still alive all cried out in fear as in a surprise move, Marion Jones made her appearance and the despite how weak she was, there was no escaping the burning hate glowing in her beautifully expressive eyes. She was pissed off by the horrible desecration of such a sacred place and the demons were about to find out just how completely outraged she really was.
"This is my lady's place and you have no right to be here!" Marion snarled and her eyes glowed even whiter as she summoned the last of her power. With her wings spread to their fullest extent, Marion was a magnificent sight to behold as she rose above the ground. She would not let demons destroy the birthplace of hope, not as long as there was single breath left in her body.
"Damn!" Tony whispered in awe. "Remind me not to piss her off!" Collecting himself, he called out the action over the comm link so that the people back at Helicarrier could remain abreast of the situation and analyse the data. His voice faded away as he watched Marion force several demons out of their hosts, and without their invasive presence, the human bodies crumpled bonelessly to the ground, grasping for breath. Standing tall next to her, Balthazar and Castiel added their own formidable powers and armed with swords actually capable of killing archangels, the three angels proved to be an unstoppable force as they destroyed their demon attackers.
"If you're going to do something you'd better do it now!" Natasha snarled to the angels and hunters; she never stopped her attack firing shot after shot and taking down as many demons as she could.
"Aww, come on, Tasha, aren't you having fun?" Clint grinned as he fired arrow after arrow doused in holy water. Out of the corner of his eye he was thoroughly enjoying the sight of Phil in action. 'Oh yeah, I'm so jumping Phil once this is all over!' Nothing turned Clint on more than his lover showing his badass side.
Pausing for a moment from his vicious onslaught, Sam turned to look at Ianto and Jack. "Everything in place?" he asked the Welsh hunter.
Firing off yet another successful shot, Ianto nodded his head, a smile coming to his face. "The Doctor and Bobby have everything set. We're good to go as soon as you say the word."
"All right then, no sense in waiting any longer. Sam, you and Ianto start chanting while Jack and I go piss off some demons." Dean shared a grin with Jack before he stole a quick kiss from Sam. "Be careful, I want you and Castiel back in one piece," he muttered against Sam's mouth.
Resting his forehead against Dean's, Sam whispered with a teasing grin, "I promise, but you better make sure you stay safe or there'll be no sex for a month."
While Dean and Sam were having their private moment, Jack wasted no time in pulling Ianto into a deep and consuming kiss. "You keep your fine Welsh arse safe and sound; I have plans for it later on," Jack growled against Ianto's lips. He absolutely hated the idea of being away from Ianto during the battle but at the same time he was overwhelmingly grateful that Ianto wasn't going to be a part of the main attack.
Flushed from the kiss Ianto nodded as he brushed his own light kiss across Jack's lips. "I will, just promise that you'll come back to me in one piece." He pulled Jack in for a hug and rested his head against the older man's shoulder, hiding his face so that Jack wouldn't see the unexpected tears in his eyes.
Jack, however, wasn't fooled for a moment; he could feel the slight tremor in Ianto's body and the sudden damp spot on his collar. "I promise, Ianto. Nothing will keep me from coming back to you, ever," he whispered. Unable to speak, Ianto just tightened his grip on his beloved immortal.
Slowly the demons were being driven back, literally herded into just the right spot but despite the best efforts of the hunters and the angels, there were still a few not yet in place which explained why Dean and Jack were going to do what they did best and that was piss someone off.
"You know I've seen some ugly, stupid creatures in my line of work but sweetheart, you take the cake!" Jack called out to the nearest demon with a mocking grin on his handsome face.
"Look, I know you're from hell and you have a thing against holy water, but would it kill you to actually bathe once in a while?" Dean waved his hand in front of his nose. "God, the stench could kill a maggot!"
Ianto and Sam shared a look as their lovers' taunts and insults reached their ears. "They're enjoying this way too much," Ianto muttered under his breath. Sam could only nod; leave it to Dean and Jack to find common ground over something like that.
"You two girls done chatting up the bad guys? Because the demons are in place," Bobby's voice came over the comm.
Sam and Ianto began speaking under their breaths in Latin while the others surrounded the demons, keeping them in place.
The demon in charge sneered at Dean, his mouth twisting into an ugly grin. "What's this, then, Winchester, a desperate plan? I always knew you were all talk and no bite." He looked at his fellow demons who laughed with him.
Dean grinned widely at the demon. "No, see you made it really easy for us. We figured you were going to be here, then we made use of the fact that we had access to a time machine and so we went back in time to and created a giant devil trap." Dean pointed upwards to a spot over the demons' heads. "See that? Thing of beauty, that is," he gave them a smug look. "Go on, look up," he encouraged them.
Ianto and Sam, their eyes closed as they held one another's hands, were joined by Bobby and Rhiannon and the chanting got louder as the four voices blended in beautiful harmony. As one, the demons roared, screaming and writhing in agony as their heads flew back and inky black smoke, reeking of sulphur and brimstone, escaped their lips in small clouds. Abruptly freed from the demons' possession and control of their bodies, their human hosts crumpled and fell unconscious to the floor in boneless heaps. Only the slight rise and fall of their chests gave any indication that they were still alive.
"Right, that was easy and everybody seems to be just fine!" the Doctor declared as he bounced out of the TARDIS, holding Mica safely in his arms. For the time since the Spirit of Hope had died, the little girl was awake and alert, her eyes shining brightly as she looked around at everyone.
With Castiel and Balthazar's help, Marion made her way to the altar where she reverently placed the broken pieces of Pandora's Box on the altar, taking great care to arrange them just right. Smiling with satisfaction, she waited until the Doctor had settled Mica on the ground before slipping her hand into that of the future angel's. Marion nodded her head; "We're ready." 'I just hope it's enough,' she prayed.
The plan was quite simple really. As one, the Avengers and the members of Torchwood were assembled in the place where hope had once lived and died. Having considered and discarded a myriad of options, it had been unanimously decided that it was their best shot. The others would channel all of their hope and focus it directly on to Marion and Mica. They would be praying that the angel and the angel-in-training were strong enough to harness that hope and send it back to their lady. If they were successful, the Spirit of Hope would rise from the ashes and wreckage like the proverbial phoenix.
When the others had taken their places around the altar, and Marion took a deep breath and smile down at Mica. "Hope is as fragile as its strong." Her voice was weak and soft as she began, but as she spoke, the conviction behind her words gave her strength and her words became more powerful. "It can give us the strength we need to help us though the darkest of times and without it we have no faith or love and we fall into the never-ending darkness of despair with no hopes of escape. All of you at one time has been touched and visited by an angel of hope; our job is to remind you that even in the darkest of moments as long as there is the smallest shred of hope there is still a chance. All of you inspire hope in others in one way or another."
Marion looked at each one of them, letting her gaze linger for several moments on Dean, Sam, the Doctor Jack and her brothers." It may come through saving people from what they are not yet ready to know about even as you remain in the shadows," she smiled at the Avengers, who acknowledged her with a brief nod. "Or it may emerge from those who fight out in the open against unbelievable enemies to keep the world safe on a daily basis." This time her smile was for the members of Torchwood and for the Doctor. "It doesn't matter whether you're known or unknown, for all of you inspire hope in the hearts and minds of mankind, and that is what we need now."
When Marion finished speaking, an intense feeling of pride and accomplishment swept through the men and woman gathered around the altar and there were actually very few dry eyes in the room.
"Please, close your eyes," Marion ordered softly and she waited for them to all do so. "Think back to the moment when you felt you had reached the very lowest point in your life, when you felt that you were completely and forever without hope." She paused, giving them each time to look back and reflect on their lives. "Now remember what it felt like when then suddenly and for no reason you knew it was going to be all right, that everything would work out. That was the moment when you were touched by an angel of hope."
One by one they all did as Marion asked.
For Steve it was the moment his crashing ship was about to hit the ice, and a smiling young woman appeared at his side. "It's going to be all right; at times you may feel lost but you are needed to lead and inspire those who are yet to come." She had been right of course, as alone as he sometimes felt, he could not deny that his place was in the present, with the Avengers and with Darcy.
Clint's memory brought a tear to his eye as he recalled that the moment he'd received word that Phil had been killed, a young man with kind eyes had stopped him in the street with a gentle touch. "Do not despair, the one who holds your heart is not gone; he lives and is waiting for you." After threatening and bullying Fury, Clint had found Phil, badly injured but still alive.
Phil squeezed Clint's hand; his own moment had come when he'd learned that Clint had been taken by Loki and was being forced to work for him. It had been Marion who visited him and with a sweet smile, she had eased all his fears. "Clint is stronger than you think, and he will find his way back to you. Your love will be the light that guides him back to you."
Gareth's memory was actually a simple one, was when he learned that Marion wasn't truly gone but that she was still out there watching over them.
Tony remembered his all too well but it wasn't an angel that had filled him with hope; it had been Pepper's voice calling his name, reminding him that there were people who loved and cared for him. Even though they were no longer a couple, she was and would always be his best friend and along with Bruce, his reason for living.
Most of Bruce's memories were filled with pain and very little joy; so many times he'd been driven to the edge and wanted to end it all only to be stopped at the last moment. Each and every time he reached the end of his rope, a young boy would appear to him, saying, "You are not a monster. There will come a day when you will meet someone who will help you to see that, and I promise that he will love both sides of you." Upon meeting Tony for the first time Bruce knew he was the one the boy talked about; he reminded Bruce how to hope again.
Natasha had many memories most of which were filled with pain but she remembered quite clearly seeing a small girl who would sit and talk with her about nothing and everything. The little girl could think to her, "Don't worry; you'll find a home and people to take care of you and who you will take care of." Natasha hadn't believed her until she met Clint and Phil and they became her family, as did the Avengers and Pepper.
The Doctor's hope lay within his memories of his wonderful Companions and every new wonder and joy that he showed them.
For Jack the feeling of hopelessness and loss that had engulfed him as he watched the TARDIS fade from sight on Satellite 5 had remained with him until one fateful night in Cardiff. he had forgotten what it was like to hope and love until a young Welshman had forced himself past walls and had opened his heart again. Every single moment he spent with Ianto filled him with lasting hope. 'Ianto is my angel of hope and he will always be.' Jack squeezed Ianto's hand in his and received a loving smile in return.
After Lisa, Ianto had lost all hope until Jack reached out and pulled him back from the edge of the abyss. 'I didn't need an angel of hope, Jack is mine.' Ianto returned Jack's squeeze and Jack leaned in and placed a gentle kiss on his temple.
Dean and Sam's lives were filled with overwhelming hurts, disappointments, anger and hate; at times they wanted to kill one another but somehow they always found a way to forgive the hurt and strengthen their love for one another. One thing that set the Winchesters apart was no that matter what happened to them and things looked their worst, they still had the smallest shred of hope.
Marion and Mica could actually feel the power of hope flowing through them like a living river of strength. Marion smiled, tears coming to her eyes as she realised that she had been right; the amazing people gathered around her had always carried hope deep within them. It was part of what had drawn her brothers and sisters to them, that and the great potential they each held for the future.
Channeling all of the hope surrounding them, Marion and Mica began to glow brighter and brighter until they outshone the sun and the stars in the sky. A powerful wind came out of nowhere and began swirling the dust and sand around them. It gently but briefly caressed everyone but it lingered for several moments on Mica and Marion, enveloping them in a see-through cloud without a single grain touching them.
Everyone's eyes with amazement as they watched the light dance all around them, gradually gathering in on itself until a ball of light appeared before them. Slowly the ball grew and shaped itself into a transparent form, one that smiled softly at them all before focusing on her angel. "Hello, Marion."
Tears fell unchecked from the angel's eyes. "My lady, you've returned to us." Marion's voice was soft and her gaze reverent. Next to her, Mica smiled and gave Lady Hope a little wave.
Hope nodded her head as she looked around at the heroes gathered there. “Yes, I have, thank you, Marion and thank you all for your hard work, your never-ending faith, and your strong sense of right. All of you have overcome such incredible odds and somehow kept hope alive within your heart. Now, with your hope empowering me, I can return hope to the world." Gracing them all with one last smile, Hope returned to her form of light and energy and then she drifted through the roof and rose into the sky to restore the balance.
"So now what?" Sam asked. He hated the sudden loss of adrenaline, adventure and purpose that always accompanied the successful end of a mission.
Dean and Clint exchanged looks. "Party time!"