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Chapter 4

"Well let me know if 'real power' want's a magazine or somethin'."
"He really grows on you, doesn't he?" Bruce crossed his arms and looked around the table at the assembled team. Natasha sat on the right side of Lex and Steve was on the left. Distance wise, Steve was closer to Lex than Natasha was. Steve was more comfortable with Lex than the other members. He didn't know why, but she was easy going and easy to talk to. If he didn't understand something due to his lack of knowledge on the current trends, she gladly filled him in without judgment.
"Loki's gonna drag this out. So, Thor, what's his play?" All eyes fell on the Asgardian as Steve asked the vital question.
"He has an army called the Chitauri. They're not of Asgard, nor any know world." Thor turned to face them. "He means to lead them against your people. They will win him the earth, in return, I suspect, for the Tesseract."
"An army…" Steve started.
"...from outer space." Lex finished.
"So, he's building another portal. That's what he needs Erik Selvig for." Bruce stated.
"Selvig?" Thor questioned.
"He's an astrophysicist. He's a friend."
"Loki has him under some kind of spell, along with one of our own." As Natasha spoke she looked over at Lex. Lex looked away and down at her folded hands on the table. She really wished people would stop bringing up her brother.
"Agent Clint Barton, Alexis' brother." Steve announced. Lex glared at the captain. "What?" Steve not understanding the cause for Lex's reaction.
"Nothing." She sighed and buried her face in her hands.
"I want to know why Loki let us take him. He's not leading an army from in here." Steve glanced over at Natasha and then Lex, whose face was still hidden by her hands.
"I don't think we should be focusing on Loki. That guy's brain is a bag full of cats. You could smell crazy on him." Bruce's comment earned a chuckle from Lex as she brought her face from her hands. Lex looked over her shoulder and at the scientist.
"That is probably the best thing I've heard all day." Lex leaned back in her chair.
"Have care how you speak. Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard. And he is my brother." Thor boomed, defending his mischievous brother. Lex understood where he was coming from; no matter how much trouble your brother caused you always defended him. Been there, done that.
"He killed 80 in two days."
"He's adopted…"
"I think its about the mechanics." Lex chimed in, changing the subject. Lex looked to Bruce for this one.
"What does he need the iridium for?" Bruce asked as Tony came walking into the room.
"Its a stabilizing agent." Tony and Lex both said in unison. Lex looked at Tony who seemed to already be looking at her. Steve noticed the tension between the two. Tony quickly looked away form Lex and continued. "It means the portal won't collapse on itself. Like it did at S.H.I.E.L.D.." Tony walked past Thor and gave him a pat on the arm. "No hard feelings, Point Break. You've got a mean swing."
"Also, it means the portal can open as wide for as long as Loki wants." Lex fell into her habit of finishing Tony's train of thought. Tony did the same with her. Whenever they worked together there was nothing, but the sound of the music that Tony was blasting. They knew how the other worked so there was little commutation needed most times. It was nice.
"Raise the mizzenmast. Jib the topsails." Tony commanded. Everyone looked at the billionaire with confusion. Everyone except Lex that is. She was used to his childish antics. 'Oh boy, here we go.' She thought. Tony walked over to Fury's usual spot, turning his back to them. "That man is playing Galaga," Tony pointed accusingly at one of the S.H.I.E.L.D. lackeys. "He thought we wouldn't notice, but we did," Tony then took his left hand and covered his left eye. "How does Fury even see these?" He the turned briefly, expecting an answer.
"He turns." Agent Hill answered him flatly. She clearly wasn't a fan of Tony Stark.
"Sounds exhausting." Within the blink of an eye Tony went serious. He turned to one of the screens in front of him. "The rest of the raw materials, Agent Baryon can get his hands on pretty easily. The only major component he still needs is a power source of high-engery density." As Tony turned back toward them, Lex noticed Tony attached something under the screen. Because she knew Tony she could easily spot this, but anyone else wouldn't have caught it. "Something to kick start the cube."
Lex looked at Tony and he met her blue eyes with his brown ones. He knew she saw him, he almost had to force himself not to smirk. "When did you become an expert in thermonuclear astrophysics?" Lex glared at Agent Hill who clearly had a stick firmly planted up her ass. Sure Tony could be a pain sometimes, but that was so reason to hate him. And by the tone of her voice, Lex could tell that she clearly did. Lex never liked Hill. She took things way to seriously. She was ten times worse the Natasha.
"Last night." This time it was Lex's turn to force back a smirk. "The packet, Slevig's notes, the extraction theory papers. Am I the only one who did the reading?"
Steve moved closer to Lex and leaned over. "What with you and Stark?" He questioned in a hushed tone. Tony noticed this, but tried to ignore it. There was practically no space between the two. 'Its complicated.' was all Lex said in return. Steve sat back up straight and shot Tony a question. "Does Loki need any particular kind of power source?"
"He would have to heat the cube to 120-million kelvin just break through the Coulomb barrier." Bruce stated in a scientific language in which only Tony and Lex understood.
"Unless Selvig has figured out how to stabilize the quantum tunneling effect." Tony continued using words that barely made sense to most people in the room.
"Well, if he could do that, he could achieve heavy ion fusion-" Lex interrupted Bruce mid-sentence
"At any reactor on the planet… oh shit." Lex didn't realize how massive this was. Maybe she should have went after the iridium instead of Clint…
"Finally, someone else besides myself and Agent Barton that speaks english." Again with this 'Agent Barton' crap. It was starting to get on her nerves. It would be fine coming from anyone, but him.
"Is that what just happened?" Steve looked at Lex confused. She chuckled at the super soldier. She gave him a pat on the arm, pretty much saying 'Its okay, Steve, not everyone can be as smart as us.'
"It's good to meet you, Dr Banner." Tony walked up to Bruce and shook his hand. "Your work on antielectron collisions is unparalleled. And I'm a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage-monster."
"Dr. Banner is only here to track the cube," Fury announced as he walked into the room. "I was hoping that you and Agent Barton might join him." 'Well this is gonna be fun.' Lex thought. She felt bad for Bruce who was going to be stuck in the middle of her and Tony's current dispute. Tony clearly didn't want to talk to her about… well you know.
"I would start with that sick of his. It may be magical-"
"We're scientist, not magicians, Rogers." Lex teased. He gave her a playful glare as he continued.
"But it works an awful lot like a HYDRA weapon."
"I don't know about that, but it is powered by the cube," Fury said. "And I would like to know how Loki used it to turn two of the sharpest men I know into his personal flying monkeys."
"Monkeys? I do not understand." Thor was genuinely confused.
"I do." Steve smirked proudly. He then looked over at Lex "I understood that reference." She laughed, she liked the fact that he was funny without meaning to be. Behind them Tony rolled his eyes, his annoyance of the soldier becoming obvious.
"Shall we play, Doctor? Agent Barton?" Tony pulled Lex's chair away from Steve, separating the two. He swung it around so she faced him. She knew what he was doing and gave him a stern look. Wasn't he suppose to me mad at her? Not worrying about her and Steve?
"This way." Bruce motioned for them to follow him. Tony gave her a sarcastic smile before following Bruce. Sometimes he confused the hell out of her.
"I'll see you later, Steve." Lex got up out of her chair reluctantly and followed the two men.
An awkward silence hung in the air as the three worked in their own areas. It had been like this a good 20 minutes. This was ridiculous. Being the outgoing person that she was, Lex decided to take a leap of faith.
"Your suit got pretty banged up with in that scuffle with Thor, didn't it?" Lex asked. Nothing. He didn't even look her way. Seriously? Even Bruce turned to face her and he wasn't even the genius she was taking to. "Tony."
"Yeah, so?" Tony finally answered. He still didn't facing her.
"You want me to take a look at it while you and Bruce work on finding the Tesseract?" Because clearly she wasn't wanted here.
"Nope." What?
"I mean-"
"I said no."
"Okay, you two need to stop." Bruce demanded. God, they were like children. "Whatever happened between you two, you need to solve it. This is getting ridiculous. You're worse then a couple of ten year olds."
"He started it." She said innocently.
"Enough. I'm going to leave and you two are going to talk. When I get back you better be at least civil." He was clearly done with their shit. He said all of this in a calm manner, but you could still tell that the two were getting on his nerves. He liked both of them and the fact that Tony refused to give Lex a chance at whatever she was trying to do made him want to be as far away from them as possible.
Bruce left the room, leaving the two alone.
"Look what you've done. You scared Bruce away." Tony said.
"Me? Are you serous right now? You need to stop this, Tony. Whatever you want to say, say it now." Lex snapped.
"Oh, you don't want to hear what I have to say. Its not very PG." Tony turned to face her, his face cold.
"Try me, Stark."
"Okay, here it goes." Tony walked closer to her. "You lied to me. You hid your past from me. I didn't even know what your real fucking last name was!" Tony scowled. "I trusted you. You were my best friend. When I needed someone this past year, you were there. At least Alexis Brooks was. I don't even know who the fuck Alexis Barton is." Tony paused. "NO, I take that back. She's a goddamn assassin that kills people for a living. She lies for a living, she builds fake relationships just to get close to people to figure out what makes them tick." Lex looked away from Tony. "Was any of it real?"
"What?" He wasn't seriously asking this, was he?
"Me, you, everything that was between us? Those long nights in the workshop working on my suit, the energy project, our conversations? Where you just there to keep tabs on me for S.H.I.E.L.D.?" Damn, he was pissed. If only he would let her explain…
"Don't 'Tony' me!" Tony roared. He stopped and looked at Lex. She refused to make eye contact with him. "Why didn't you tell me? Did you not trust me?"
"No, I-"
"I trusted you to an extent to where if you told me the damn sky was purple I'd believe you. But, that's gone now. You out of all people should know not to get on my shit list."
Lex, for the first time locked eyes with him. "If you'd just let me explain…"
"Why? So you can lie to me some more?"
"Will you stop?" Lex pleaded.
"Stop what? Stop telling you how hurt I am? How I feel?" He was seeing red.
"You made it clear how you feel."
"Oh have I? I made it clear that I hate you? I hate everything about you! I hate that I let you in! I hate that you lied to me! I hate this effect you have on me…" Tony trailed off. "I hate you, Alexis Barton… I hate you." Tony's face contorted into a pained expression.
Lex just stood there. Was he serious? Did he really hate her? "Thanks, for spelling it out." She looked at him one last time before leaving the room, trying her best to control her emotions.
Tony starred after her. He needed time to process what just happened. He leaned against one of the tables, his arms crossed. He stayed that way till Bruce came back a few minutes later.
"Where's Alexis?" He asked.
"She's gone."



hawkward hawkward

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