Nebula, a blue robot lady, stood with her arms crossed while Bruce and Tony worked on the glove.
Her behavior had been different since she came back from the past, but Annabeth didn’t really think too in depth about it. She just sort of observed.
She was starting to get kind of suspicious of her, though. Nebula would narrow her eyes and glance around the room, and then appear kind of shocked when her eyes came across a piece of tech.
It was like she had never seen it before, but...she had been here a little bit ago. She had seen all this before.
Something wasn’t checking out…
Annabeth walked over to her.
“So, Nebula, do you miss anyone who dusted?” Annabeth asked.
“No.” She said shortly.
“I miss my dad, and my stepmom, and my stepbrothers.” Annabeth looked at her. “Do you have step siblings?”
Annabeth knew that Nebula had been a child of Thanos, but had denounced them.
“I have step siblings.” She said.
“Oh, really?” Annabeth said, narrowing her eyes. “I thought you didn’t consider them family anymore because they were evil.”
“Well, demigod, do you not have evil family?”
“No. Because there’s a difference.”
Nebula raised an eyebrow.
“My family is Athena, Matthew, Bobby, Dad, and my stepmom. I have so many more people related to me. But they are not my family. Technically, Gaea and Kronos are related to me. But they aren’t my family.”
“So how are you enjoying the future?” Annabeth asked, placing a hand on her bronze dagger.
“T-this is the present.”
“Not for you.”
Annabeth prepared for Nebula to launch herself at her, but Nebula went straight towards Bruce, Tony, and the Stones.
“No!” Annabeth shouted, and drew her knife.
Luckily, Tony heard her, and his armor came flying out of nowhere (she had to ask him where he put that). Annabeth charged towards the Nebula.
“Dr. Banner, get the glove out of here!” Annabeth shouted.
He grabbed the glove and ran. Nebula tried to chase after him, but Annabeth tackled her.
“Nuh uh.” Annabeth said, pinning her.
The rest of the Avengers had weapons drawn and pointed at Nebula, but Annabeth gestured to wait.
“She may have sent out a signal to the Thanos of her timeline.” Annabeth said. “We need to make sure she didn’t, but if she did, then we need to disable it, or rescind it.”
They searched Nebula, and found a small device, like a pager. They crushed it.
“Now, let's do this thing.” Bruce had returned, and he held up the glove. It had all but one of the Stones in it.
“Who’s gonna put it on?” Clint asked.
“Me.” Thor said.
Annabeth had been introduced to Thor, but in a way that had been, “See that guy over there? That's Thor.”
Annabeth tried to steer clear of him. He was a god. She had a rule: avoid gods at all costs.
He stood up, his beer belly poking out from under his shirt. He stank, and Annabeth had to fight the impulse to pinch her nose.
“No.” Tony said.
“You know what I’ve got flowing through my veins right now?” Thor asked, his words slurred.
“Cheez Whiz?” Rhodes asked.
“Lighting!” Thor said, glaring at him.
“Dr. Banner should do it.” Annabeth said. “He’s the same size as Thanos now. If any of us tried, we’d be blown to smithereens by pure power. He’s got a better chance than any of us.”
Everyone muttered an agreement, except for Thor, of course.
“Well, let's do it, then.” Steve said.
The glove expanded to fit Bruce’s hand. He put it on, but before he popped the last Stone in, Steve said, “Think about everyone lost. Focus on bringing them back.”
Bruce nodded, then popped in the sixth Stone.
Suddenly, streams of magic flowed up Bruce’s arm, charring his skin. He gritted his teeth in pain, and struggled to move his hand.
He raised his fingers up, and snapped.
The glove fell off his hand as he collapsed.
“Did it work?” Annabeth asked.
Scott walked over to the window, where he could see birds chirping and playing.
A phone on one of the metal tables vibrated. Clint walked over, and answered it.
Annabeth felt her own phone vibrate in her pocket. The caller ID read Dad.
“Dad?” Annabeth said.
“Annabeth!” Her dad said. “The weirdest thing-”
“I love you, Dad.” Annabeth said, and tears fell down her face.
“I- Annabeth, I love you too. What happened? Something mortals shouldn’t be involved in?”
“No. Most of the people on the team I’m working with are mortals. It's a crazy story. But, Dad, how long do you think it’s been?”
“What do you mean?” Frederick sounded confused. “It only felt like a few hours. Like a nap.”
“Dad, it’s been…” Annabeth took a breath to stop her tears. “It’s been five years.”
“Yeah. You and Matthew and Bobby and Mom didn’t age. But I did.”
“Yes. Now, Dad, I promise to fill you in on everything later. But I have to go.”
“I love you, Annabeth.”
“I love you, Dad.”
There were an equal amount of smiles, high fives, and tears all around. Nico even smiled.
“So, what now?” Annabeth asked.
“We all go home.” Steve said.
The ground began to shake.
The sky darkened.
Annabeth drew her knife, and everyone else drew their weapons.
Too late, Annabeth realized what was happening.
“Take cover! Get out of the building!” She shouted, as the spaceship descended above them.
She looked up as she was running, and saw the ammunition coming at the building.
Then it hit.
Annabeth went weightless.
Next thing she could remember, she was in a pile of rubble, coughing.
She still had her dagger, luckily, and her Avengers earpiece.
“Everyone okay?” She asked.
Several voices chimed across, confirming.
“I have the glove.” Clint said.
“Great.” Tony and Steve said at the same time.
“Who just bombed us?” Annabeth wondered.
“It's Thanos. It has to be.” Scott said.
“I killed him!” Thor shouted angrily.
“It's him from the past.” Annabeth said.
“They’ll be looking for us.” Rhodes said.
“Get moving. Don’t be a sitting target. Meet at the ice cream shop down the road.” Annabeth said. “Don’t bunch together. Scatter. Go.”
Everyone agreed and started to move.
Annabeth started to move. She heard rustling behind her, and held out her knife.
She decided she didn’t have time for a fight. She clawed her way out to the top of the rubble.
She stuck her head out first, just to make sure. There could be hostile forces that she couldn’t take by herself.
It was a smart move. Thanos himself, the big grape, was just a hundred feet away.
“Find them!” He roared.
He reminded Annabeth of the Titan Atlas, just...more purple.
She dug in her pockets, looking for her invisibility cap. She found it, luckily, and put it on.
Just then, her phone vibrated in her pocket.
No. No no no no. She thought.
It was a scam call.
If she survived this, she was going to trace that number and kill them.
“What. Was. That?” Thanos said.
Annabeth stayed as still as humanly possible.
“There is someone here.” He said.
Clint popped out of another hole in the rubble behind Thanos.
Thanos was turned away from both of them, so Annabeth took off her cap for a split second and gestured wildly: Don’t! Don’t!
Clint saw her, and drew his bow, but lowered down a little.
Annabeth climbed out as quietly as possible. Her foot slipped, and the Mad Titan heard.
“Who’s there?” He said. “Reveal yourself, and I may spare your life.”
Annabeth tiptoed swiftly to Clint.
“Take the cap.” She whispered. “You have a family.”
She took off her cap and became visible, then placed the hat on his head.
“I’ll see you on the other side of this, Clint. I expect my hat back, though.”
Then she turned to Thanos.
“Over here, you big grape!”
“A girl.” Thanos’s mouth crept into a thin, upturned line.
“I am no girl.” Annabeth said. “I am Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena. Holder of the Sky, Daughter of the Gods.”
“Impressive.” Thanos drew out the word, as if he was savoring it. “But how will that help you defeat me?”
“It may not. But it will hold you at bay.” Annabeth said.
Just then, she saw something flicker out of the corner of her eye.
Thanos looked at it, so she turned her head to look.
It was a portal...just like the one Dr. Strange had created that day in New York, five years ago.
Out of it came Dr. Strange himself, a man in leather, a girl with antennae, a grey muscly man, and a guy in red and blue tights.
“Thanos.” Dr. Strange said. “So we meet again.”
“I will crush you all, just like before.” He turned to Annabeth. “I give you one more chance, daughter of wisdom. Join me and survive.”
“Never. I would rather rot in Tartarus than join you.”
Thanos and his forces charged at the heroes. Just then, more portals opened.
Heroes from everywhere came through the portals. Wizards. Wakandans. Armies.
A group of teenagers in bright orange shirts stepped as one out of a portal.
It was her family. Camp Half Blood campers.
Annabeth shed a few tears seeing them all assembled.
And leading them was…
“Campers, advance!” Percy Jackson yelled, and the campers obeyed.
Annabeth almost started bawling.
Percy was alive.
All the Avengers climbed out of various holes in the rubble.
Steve raised Mjolnir. “Avengers, ASSEMBLE!”
And they all charged the Mad Titan and his army.
Annabeth found herself fighting next to the guy in red and blue tights.
“Hi!” He said as he wrapped spider webs (what was his deal? Annabeth wondered) around the enemy. “I’m Peter Parker!”
“Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena. Pleased to meet you.” She said, as she pulled her knife out of an alien. “What's with the webs?”
“Radioactive spider bite.” Peter said, and Annabeth almost jumped back ten feet.
“I don’t like spiders.” Annabeth said.
“I actually didn’t really either.” Peter admitted.
They battled, and eventually Annabeth made her way to Percy’s side as he slashed like a demon with Riptide.
“You died, Seaweed Brain. Do you know how much I grieved?”
“Sorry.” He said, and flashed her that trickster grin. “I remember a guy in a cloak, and then nothing, until I randomly showed up at camp. They told me...it's been five years?”
“What’d I miss?”
And they went forth to slay monsters together.
Finally, Tony came out over the radio.
“We’re not gonna beat this guy by brute force.”
“I agree.” Annabeth said. “We have to snap. But who has the glove?”
Peter said, “Me!” at the same time that Tony said, “I gave it to the kid.”
“Okay. Who’s gonna snap? Bruce can’t do it again.” Steve said.
“Me. I’ll do it.” Annabeth and Thor said at the same time.
“Annabeth, that thing’ll kill you.”
“If that's what it takes to set things right, then I’m ready.” She looked over at Percy, slashing through monsters, Riptide glowing amongst the chaos.
Just then, something exploded in the ship directly above Annabeth. It started to fall.
Straight towards her.
She tried to run, but she tripped on a piece of rubble, and her foot got stuck.
The ship stopped, mid-fall.
Everything got super bright. Annabeth remembered the day in the parking lot, when she had thought it was Apollo…
The ship rose a little, then got flung away, far away, crushing a legion of monsters when it landed.
Finally, she saw the source of the light. “Carol!” Annabeth said.
Carol flew down, and helped Annabeth pull her foot out of the rubble. “I heard there was a battle on earth I couldn't miss.”
She looked over at Peter, who was a hundred feet away. He clutched the glove close to his chest.
“I’m gonna need that glove, kid.” She said, and he tossed it, farther than Annabeth thought he should have been able.
Carol caught it, and offered it to Annabeth.
“This won’t be easy, Annabeth. I’ll see you on the other side of all this.”
Annabeth took the glove. “See you, Carol.”
And she put it on.
Pain went up her arm. She felt like she was in front of a god when they revealed their mortal form, or in other words, she felt like she was disintegrating.
Thanos noticed. “You were stupid to have the girl do it!” He said. “I am inevitable!”
“No.” Annabeth said through her pain. “And I. Am. Annabeth.”
She snapped her fingers, and the world turned white.
She dreamed she was in Olympus.
She opened her eyes, and Athena stood in front of her.
Annabeth bowed, but she said, “Rise, Annabeth.”
“My daughter, you are almost dead in the mortal world above.”
“Did I do it? Is Thanos gone?”
“Yes, and you are five years younger.” Athena raised an eyebrow, and Annabeth blushed.
“Why did you age yourself down?”
“I...All my friends, my dad, my stepmom and step brothers, they all dusted. I don’t want to be five years older than I was.”
“When you say friend, I think I know which friend you have in mind.” Athena said. “And I still do not entirely approve. Watch out with him, Annabeth.”
She blushed at the mention of Percy. “Am I going to live?”
“Yes, it seems. The gods are keeping you alive. We would not let the person who brought us back die.”
“It wasn’t just me-”
“They couldn’t have done it without you, Annabeth.”
Athena tilted her head, like someone was whispering to her. “You must go now. You are waking.”
And Olympus dissolved.
“Annabeth! Annabeth!” Someone was shaking her.
She squinted her eyes open. “Percy?” Her voice sounded like a frog that had been microwaved.
“I’m here.” She saw that he had tears running down his face.
“Stop shaking me. Everything hurts.”
“Of course, of course.”
“We go home.”
“The last time I heard that, we got bombed three seconds after.” Annabeth coughed.
She saw Steve smile. “For real this time.”
Epilogue: Two Weeks Later.
Annabeth sat watching the sunset over the Long Island Sound. She was finally healed enough to be out of the infirmary, according to Will Solace.
Percy sat next to her on the sand.
“So, when I died, did you cry, like, a lot?” He said.
Annabeth tried to give him one of her “Perfect Evil Ten” looks, but she couldn’t.
“Yeah, Seaweed Brain. Any other stupid questions?”
He pulled her in for a kiss. His lips were salty, and he smelled like the sea air.
“Did you enjoy that?” He asked.
Annabeth smiled. “I did.”
And they kissed again.