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Chapter 5

Lex readied another arrow. Her hands were shaky and her eyes blurred from the tears threatening to fall. She will not cry over him or his hurtful words. All she had to do was shoot. Calm herself down and shoot.
As she was about to let her fingers slip off the bow string and send the arrow down range, the door behind her opened. She quickly swung around and let the arrow go, it puncturing the wood a mere inches from Steve's head. "Whoa there tiger, didn't mean to interrupt." Lex relaxed herself and let the bow rest at her side. She didn't say anything, she didn't want to. She just looked at Steve with her tear brimmed eyes as she stood there. "Alexis?" Steve moved closer to the archer with caution. Once he reached her, he took his strong arms and wrapped them around her slender figure. He was expecting her to fight him, but she didn't. She rested her head on his chest anddropped her bow so she could embrace the solider. Still nothing was said as the two stood there. Steve loosened his grip, trying to guid her to one of the near by couches. Once they reached it Steve sat first, guiding Lex next to him. She sat and he took his arm and placed it around her shoulders. She leaned her head on his shoulder, remaining quiet.
If it was any other time, Lex would't even consider letting anyone besides Clint do this, but right now she need someone to be there, just as Clint was usually. "Alexis?" Steve said again.
He wasn't the best person to do this, he had no experience when it came to comforting people, much less women. He figured he would never find someone as strong and brave and smart as Alexis like this. It was the last state of mind he ever expected to see her in. What had gone so wrong to make her this way? "In order for me to help you you have to tell me what's wrong."
Lex knew she needed to opened up to someone. That person had only ever been Clint. Seeing that he was not here, Steve would have to do. He was an honest and humble man, she knew she could trust him.

Tony walked down the hall, looking for the archery range. Natasha said that was where Lex was most likely to be. After Tony had told Bruce Lex had left, Bruce gave him somewhat of a silent treatment. Several minutes later Tony finally got him to spill. Bruce had compared himself to Lex, he said that they're pasts didn't change who they were and that Tony was wrong for what he did. He encouraged Tony to go and talk with Lex as much as he didn't want to. Tony knew that in order to find the Tesseract and stop Loki they had to work together though. So, here he was.
He finally managed to find the range. Before walking straight in he peered through the door's window. Lex shooting arrows was what he expecting, but not what he found. Again the sight of Captain America and Lex made his stomach turn, this time even more so, seeing him hold and comfort her. There was only one time he had ever seen her look like that. That look was heartbreak. Knowing that the second time around it was him who cause that look made it even more so.
"Its your turn to get him." Lex groaned as Happy stated this over the phone. Tony was out at a club, drunk, again. Pepper was out of town and so it fell to Happy and Lex to drag him out of the clubs. This time around it fell to Lex, seeing that Happy had got him the previous time.
"Ugh, fine. I'll be there in 10." Lex hung up the phone and reluctantly rolled out of bed. It was 2 in the morning and a club was not where she wanted to be headed, but as her job, as Tony's right hand gal it was something she had gotten used to. She pulled on a pair of jean short that came up about mid thigh, a tight long sleeve grey v-neck and a pair of black converse high-tops. She pulled her hair in to a pony tail and was on her way. She grabbed a taxi, knowing she's be driving Tony back to his house in his car.
Just like she promised, she was there in 10 minutes give or take. She went around back, picking the lock of the backdoor. Yes, there was a front entrance, but seeing that she would be exiting with Tony Stark, maybe the front wasn't the best idea. She then went in and grabbed Tony, Tony coming out without a fight. "So nice of you to show up, Lex."
"Yeah yeah yeah, just shut up and walk." Lex had gone through this plenty many times before. She pulled his car keys out of his pocket and dragged him toward his vehicle. "Get in." Tony obliged and climbing into the passenger seat of the Audi R8 spyder. That was one good thing that came out of picking Tony up, she got to drive his car.
They were back at his Malibu home in no time. She parked the car in his garage and pulled him inside. "Go take a shower, will ya? You reek." She pushed him towards the stairs.
"Only if you promise to be here when I get back." She could hear the slight slur in his words as he spoke. She nodded and watched him as he walked up the stairs. Not to soon later she heard the water start to run. She walked over to one of the tables he had in the room. There was a picture on it of her and Tony. She couldn't help but smile. It was when her and Tony where working on one of the car's in his garage.
Her eyes were ripped away form the picture as her phone started to ring. It was probably Happy wanting to make sure she had gotten Tony. She pulled her phone out of her pocket only to find out it wasn't Happy.
After the 15 minute conversation with her brother she hung up the phone. He was calling to check in, make sure everything was going good. He wanted to let her know that he was going on a mission and wouldn't be able to contact her for a while.
She heard the water stop and so she moved into the kitchen, grabbing a glass out of the cabinet, pouring water for Tony. He came down two minute later in nothing but a pair of navy blue sweat pants. His wet hair clung to his forehead.
"Feeling better?" Lex asked, handing him the glass. He smiled at her and gratefully took it.
"Eh. As good as I'm ever gonna get." He sounded more like himself now, but he still had plenty of alcohol running though his system and she knew she couldn't rust his answers. As he drank from the glass, Lex let her eyes wander to his bare chest, the arch reactor glowing brightly right in the center.
"Well, lets get you up to bed then." Lex knew that if she personally didn't escort him to his room, he would probably mange to wander downstair into his workshop. Drunk Tony + dangerous equipment isn't a good mix. She lead him up the stairs and into his room.
"Don't you ever get tried of doing this shit?" He asked at he plopped into bed.
"Anything for you." She meant it too. She'd do anything for him.
"Anything?" Lex raised an eyebrow in confusion. "You're staying. Its too late."
"No, its okay-."
"Nope, you're staying."
"Fine. I'll go stay in one of the guest rooms."
"Nope, right here." Tony patted the space next to him.
"Not gonna happen, boss." She chuckled. She could still smell the liquor on his breath, even from across the room.
"If you… if you refuse i'll…" The alcohol was slowing his brain function down that's for sure. "I'll fire you."
"No you won't."
"Watch me." Tony smirked at her. There was no arguing with this man, especially when he was intoxicated.
"…fine." Lex sighed. She just wanted to go home and sleep. Sleeping here will just have to do. She kicked off her sneakers and climbed into the bed, opposite of Tony. She made sure there was a fair amount of space between them before even considering getting comfortable. "Night, Tony."
"Night, Lex." Tony happily laid his head on his pillow, falling asleep instantly. Unfortunately though, he only managed to stay asleep for a few hours due to whimpering sounds. He sat up, his head pounding due to his new found hangover. He looked over next to him and saw Lex's face contorted in pain. "Lex?" Tony scooted closer to her. He tried his best to shake her awake. "Alexis?" He continued to shake her. Her whimpering was only getting louder. She was having a nightmare and it was beginning to scare him.
Tony gave one last good shake before Lex flung up into an upright sitting position. "Adam!" She gasped. Her eyes snapped open, her breathing fast and shallowed. She looked at Tony, terrified. She did her best to scurry away from him, it resulting in her landing on the floor. She continued to try to get as far away from him as posable, not stopping till her back hit the wall. She brought her knees up to her chest and she buried her face in the folds of her arms.
Tony just sat on the bed, horrified. What just happened? What could be so terrifying that it cause her to do that? And who was Adam? Tony pushed all those questions to the back of his mind as he slowing got out of the bed. He padded towards Lex, taking a seat next to her against the wall. "Lex?" he said softly.
She raised her head just the slightest amount, just enough for Tony to see the tears running down her cheeks. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulling her onto his lap. She wrapped her arms around his neck, burring her face in his chest. "Shh, Lex, it's gonna be okay. It was just a dream. I'm here, nothing is going to hurt you." Tony tried his best comfort her, trying to reassure her it was all just a dream. Little did he know, that dream was very real.
Tony took one last look at the two before deciding that leaving them alone was best, he would just head back to the lab. There was nothing he could do.
"Agent Barton, do you copy?" A voice rung though Lex's head as it sounded through her earpiece.
"I'm here. What do you need, Director?" Lex sat up straight as she answered Fury. She had managed to pulled herself together after a long talk with Steve. She told him all that had happened with Tony, why she left S.H.I.E.L.D. and all that she had been holding in. It was nice to get it all off her chest.
"I need you to interrogate Loki." Fury informed her.
Lex sighed in annoyance. Why her? She was in no mood. "Sir?" Lex questioned.
"He's got Clint. Clint is the wild in card in this situation. He's your link to Loki."
"…I'll head there now."
"Good." With that Fury ended the conversation.
Lex stood, removing herself form Steve's grasp. "I gotta go."
"Are you sure you're okay?" Steve asked, still concerned. This bond he felt with the assassin was even stronger now then it was before. She was his first friend since arriving in this new time.
"As good as i'm gonna get." She gave him a smile. "Thanks, Steve. I uh… really needed that."
"Me too." Steve returned her smile.
"I'll catch up with you later." She turned away from Steve and walked to the location of Loki's cell. All the while she realized that she wished there were more good people like Steve out there. She had made a new friend, found someone new that she could trust. These types of people didn't come around often for her, so when they did, she held on tight and protected them with her life.
"There's not many people that can sneak up on me." Loki turned to face his visitor, his infamous smirk firmly planed on his face.
"But you figured I'd come." Lex stood facing the god. She had made sure to compose herself before even stepping anywhere need the cell. She knew this man would do his best to get in her head. It was her job to make sure that didn't happen. Any emotions she left at the door. Well, at least she hoped she did.
"After. After whatever tortures Fury can concoct, you would appear as a friend, as a balm. And I would cooperate." Loki made his way closer to her, one slow step at a time.
"I want to know what you've done to Agent Barton." Lex demanded.
"I would say I've expanded your brother's mind." Lex tilled her head to the side slightly at the sound of his answer.
"And once you've won, once you're king of the mountain, what happens to his mind?" Lex stalked closer to the cell, crossing her arms as she came to a halt.
"Oh, the bond between siblings…what makes your connection to your brother so strong?" Loki's eyes connected with her's. She felt a shiver run down her spine. He wasn't looking at her, she was looking through her outer shell and deep into her. He walked back slowly to where he could take a seat in his cell. Lex did the same with a chair that was located next to the railing.
"He's the only thing I have left in this world. He's the only person I care about." She stated.
"And what will you do if I vow to spare him?"
"Not let you out."
"No, but I like this." He gave her a toothy grin as he leaned slightly forward. "Your world in the balance and you bargain for one of the only two men you care about." What? Did he say two?
"I've learned that feelings can only cause you pain. I learned that the hard way. That's why I left S.H.I.E.L.D.. I learned that the fewer people you care about, the less likely feelings get in your way. My brother is the only person that has yet to make me regret my choice to care for him." She sounded cold as she spoke.
"I guess those like Tony Stark and Agent Adam Hale have caused you to mold yourself this way." Loki's smile grew wider as the look of horror spread across the archer's face. "Your brother was kind enough to tell me the story behind Agent Hale's death."
"He was a double agent. I was doing my job." She hissed through clenched teeth.
"And what about Stark?" She looked anywhere, but at Loki.
"What about him? He was my boss." He was, not anymore.
Loki chuckled. "Oh, but he just wasn't your boss, now was he?" How did he know his? Lex refused to say anything else. She didn't like where this conversation was going. "Like many pathetic women before you, you fell for your boss." She looked at the god who was still wearing a smirk. She took a deep breath and decided to do the exact opposite of what he expected. Instead of denying it, she would except it.
"How could I not?" Loki looked at her curiously. She was supposed to fight him on this matter. "Sure he's broken. He's broken in a lot of ways and in a lot of places, but like anything else that's broken, he can be fixed. Whether he hates me or not… I'll always be there for him…" Lex looked down and away from Loki and thought over what she said. It was true as much as she wished it wasn't. He just pulled her heart from her chest and she was still willing to stand by him.
"Too bad he doesn't want anything to do with you."
"Okay, how the fuck do you know all this?" Seriously, this was getting annoying.
"I have my ways." He got up and started to pace, his hands intertwined behind his back. To be honest, the only reason he knew that last part was because she had practically told him. 'Whether he hates me or not' kind of gave it away. He was just trying to get under her skin. "Now that Stark is gone the only thing you have to hope for is your older brother," Loki moved to stand just a mere feet from Lex. They were face to face, the only thing between them was the glass wall. "Out of this entire world the only thing you have to show is your accomplishments in this agency. Its pathetic. You lie and you kill in the service of liars and killers. You pretend to be separate, to have your own code, something that makes up for the horrors. But they are apart of you. And they will never go away." Loki took his fist and slammed it against the glass, causing Lex to jump. "I won't touch your brother, not until I make him kill you in every way he knows you fear. And then he'll wake, just long enough to see his good work," Lex cringed and faced away from the god, moving away from the cell. "and when he screams, I'll split his skull. This is my bargain you mewling quim."
Lex stood there, her back facing him. Thoughts bounced vigorously through her head as her heart pounded in her chest. Her emotions threatened to break the hold she had on them. "You're a monster."
Loki chuckled at her response. "Oh, no. You brought the monster." Loki stood up straight as he looked at the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
That's when it clicked. Lex knew what Loki's plan was. She wiped her face of any trace of emotion and stood up tall. She turned to face to god, trying her best to look unfazed. "So, Banner. That's your play."
"What?" Loki looked bewildered.
Lex rushed away from Loki and out the door. "Loki means to unleash the Hulk." She said into her earpiece, relaying to Fury what she had discovered. "Keep Banner in the lab, I'm on my way." Of course she knew that that's where Tony was, but now was no the time to worry about that.



hawkward hawkward

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