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The Ant and the Boot

My Brother.

The Tesseract is mine.

I stood there, holding it in my hand – power, limitless power – feeling it surge through my veins as I turned the beautiful blue cube in my fingers. My scepter, infused with the power of the Tesseract, pulsed at my side.

The power was mine. The true power of a god.

I stood, overlooking the destruction of the structure known as S.H.I.E.L.D. It was the first of many conquests I would take over this world, as I showed these poor creatures the error of their ways. I would show them that they were meant to be ruled by their gods, and I would end their millennia of searching. I would bring them peace at last under my rule.

And my brother. Ha. My brother, Thor, Odin Son, would crumble as I took these pathetic creatures that he aimed to [i]protect[/i] – what a laugh, since all he had done was fret as they killed each other by the thousands – and made them my own. Yes, revenge would be sweet. This world would be the first of my conquests. I would make this world, Earth, my home. It seemed fitting, since Thor and father had thrown me out and left me homeless that I would reclaim my life on their [i]precious[/i] Earth.

I smiled, taking up my scepter again. The two humans that I had taken with me moved behind, calling back and forth to each other.

The scientist and the assassin. They would serve me very nicely, I think. How clever was it to use their own men of the earth against them? The power of the Tesseract was a powerful thing indeed. Maybe I would even find that girl that my brother was so attached to and change her into one of my -

Thunder rolled loudly overhead, lightning lancing across the sky. I stiffened and swallowed, retreating back to the car.

Even with the power of the Tesseract, it still wasn't time to fight against Thor. I would leave my brother for another day.

“Come, let us make haste to a safer place,” I said, getting into the back of the car. The assassin got into the driver's seat, face hard with the cold facade of a warrior. The scientist came in next to him, looking dazed.

“You, where is a good place to hide our operations?” I ordered. The agent though for a moment as he started the car. Rain began to fall outside.

“One of the abandoned buildings in the outskirts of Los Angeles. There are too many for the authorities to check them all, and most of them I can get up and running. A lot of them have underground levels.”

I smiled, glancing warily at the sky that still rolled with flashing lightning.

“Perfect,” I nodded. Thor could not reach me, not find me, underground. Not before it was too late.

“Take me to one of these buildings. We have much work ahead of us.”

[center]***[/center]

You could say that my German was patchy at best, infantile at worst. Being an American, my mother Russian and father – well, I didn't know, I'd never met my father – it had never been a language I was primarily interested in. I had learned English and Russian and assumed that would be enough. Apparently, under the heel of my brother, I was wrong.

It wasn't that I had anything against my brother. I loved him. He was just too good for me, and everyone knew it. While I was a good student who got honors in college he was one of those kids who got into college at sixteen and was out by the age of twenty. I knew two languages, he knew five. I struggled along with the piano, he was a chamber violinist that had played in Carnegie Hall at the age of eight and had been admitted to an international traveling orchestra by the age of ten. I was really, really good. He was brilliant.

And the hardest part, more than anything else, was that he knew his father.

We were half-siblings, having the same mother. He obviously got a good mix of our mother's and his father's best qualities, procuring our mother's extraordinary Russian beauty – she was a beautiful blonde with eyes the color of sea foam and a body that never seemed to get old – and his father's, an English businessman in military technology, vast intellect and quick wit. My brother was handsome, tall, with golden hair combed neatly over his head and light blue eyes that seemed so expressive I wondered if I could really see his soul through them. He was always kind and gentle toward me, so as children we were always close, but sometimes it was hard being his little sister. I loved him, but sometimes I just couldn't stand it.

Standing over a terrace in Dresden, Germany was one of those times.

“What's troubling you, little Dove?” he asked, coming up to lean against the balcony railing. I cast him a small smile, resting my head on his shoulder.

“I'm just nervous is all. I'm convinced mother is trying to marry me off at one of these parties we attend with you.”

“She's Russian, so she's concerned for your financial stability. Don't take it too personally,” he shrugged. “Besides, you got her good looks, and she always got married to keep herself afloat.”

“Yes. All four marriages. Because that's exactly what I want in life.”

He laughed, a warm sound that made you smile. He had the kind of charisma that just radiated off his skin like a warm glow. He tousled my hair, smiling broadly.

“I think you'll be fine, Dove.”

“Thanks. Do you think you'll win them over tonight?” I asked, glancing back at his violin case that rested next to his bed. He did too, still smiling.

“I will. Always do,” he replied with a wink. He clapped me on the back and hugged my shoulders, kissing my forehead softly.

“I'll look out for you,” he promised. I turned and hugged him back, smiling.

“Thanks, Prop.”

“That's what family is for.”

My brother walked away, whistling something cheerful as he went. His name was Prosper, Prosper Nickolai Blackwell. My name was Dovesary Natalya Lancaster. We each had one Russian name – our middle names – in honor of our mother's family, though our fathers had always been given the choice to our first names. My father, James Lancaster, had chosen my name two months before he went off to work and never returned. He worked for some U.S. Government agency. One day my mother just received a letter with a medal of honor saying how sorry the government was for his loss.

My brother's name fit him very well, I thought. I wasn't surprised, since Prop's father always had been very shrewd when it came to picking the best choices in all that he did. Even his marriage and divorce from my mother seemed like it had been carefully calculated so he could have an incredible son but leave in time for me to be born. I guess when you're an overseas consultant for Stark Industries, the leading weapons manufacturer in the world, you have to be shrewd.

I sighed, stepping back from the balcony ledge. I should probably start getting dressed before my mother came in and started doing it for me. She really did seem to want to get me married off, now that I had finished with undergrad in college.

I sighed, looking up into the air. I smiled, remembering just last month when I was with Prosper's dad, watching a demo done by Stark Industries. I'd shaken hands with Tony Stark once, after he'd taken off his suit. What I would have given to fly like Iron Man, making the world a little bit better one upgrade at a time.

But I wasn't a superhero. I was Dove, age twenty-two, trained as a journalist and psychologist in English and Russian. Instead of dark features and flowing charisma I was small, with delicate features and pale blonde hair, blessed with the same sea green eyes as my mother. Tonight I had a ball to attend, where my mother would show me off to the young social elite of Germany and I would support my brother with all my heart.

Notes

Welcome back to AatB! Or for first time readers - welcome to the party!

I originally started writing AatB seven years ago, about a week after the first Avengers movie came out in theaters. It's now back for your reading pleasure... with new chapters.

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