He Without Sin

The Double Date

Tony Stark was an obsessive man.

He was especially obsessive when he had a project to work on or a puzzle to solve. A certain green eyed, dark haired woman with healing powers was both. After a quick run through Shield's files and servers, he came up with a few more mysteries.

The two blondes that destroyed Doom's bots.

A woman called Lockley that was apparently involved in evacuating before Doom's attacks.

And a very interesting (and by interesting he actually meant very dull) file on a Sharon Carter who was apparently Cap's neighbor. (And whom Romanov seemed to have a fixation on, judging by the ratio of interesting information to frequency of reports.)

So, three separate projects. Project Twins, Project Lock, and Project Widow's Web. (Because while Sharon Carter was completely uninteresting, the fact that Romanov was all over her was very fascinating.)

"What do you think, Jarv, jealousy over Cap? Or does our Widow have a thing for blondes?" Tony asked out loud.

"I wouldn't think it was either, sir," Jarvis replied.

"Oh, come on, Jarv! Where's your imagination?"

"I daresay you have enough for the both of us."

So, yeah, Tony Stark was not short on obsessions these days. What he was short on was information. Of the three suspicious people he wanted to find, there was almost no information at all. They appeared out of nowhere and disappeared the exact same way. So, without better options, he should probably just spy on Cap and his girl. I mean, there had to be something about her, right?

"Jarvis, call up Steve will you?" Tony said.

"Calling, sir."


"Hey, Capsicle!" Tony greeted. "What are you up to?"

"Tony? I'm not up to anything." Steve answered.

"Great! I wanna take you and girlfriend to dinner!"

"It's ten in the morning, Tony."

"Lunch, then."

"And I don't have a girlfriend."

"That blonde that Romanov's all over isn't your girlfriend?" Tony asked.

"You mean Sharon?"

"Yes. You and her, lunch. On me."

"Did Natasha put you up to this?"

"You know that I don't do what Shield tells me," Tony snorted. "No, I saw that Romanov was on your case and I'm curious. Come on, Cap, you know I'm on your side. That's why I keep Shield out of your place. I'm just... curious."

Steve sighed. "You're always curious, Tony."

"That doesn't matter, what matters is lunch. Two hours? Three? How long does it take to ask a girl to go to lunch with you?"


"You want me to ask for you? I can be there in ten minutes in the suit!"

"She might not even be home."

"Finding that out is step one."

Steve sighed again. "You're not going to drop this are you?"

"Nope," Tony replied, with a pop to the end of the word.

"I'll see if she's interested."

"See you at noon." Tony waited for the call to disconnect. "Jarvis, call Pepper."

"Tony, whatever you want, I don't have time," Pepper answered immediately.

"What I want is lunch," Tony told her. "Double date between you, me, Cap and his girl."

"Tony, we're not dating."

"I know."

"And Steve doesn't have a girlfriend."

"I know."


"So, twelve o' clock?"

Pepper sighed. "Make it one."

"Done!" He called. "Jarv, tell Steve we're on at one."

"I never thought I'd be having a meal with not one, but two superheroes," Sharon smiled at them as she sat down. Steve was at her side, Tony and Pepper across from her.

"I wouldn't call myself a hero," Tony replied.

"Even better," Sharon replied. "A superhero and a celebrity."

"Two celebrities," Tony said. "Allow me to introduce you to the famous Pepper Potts, CEO of Stark Industries."

"Nice to meet you," Pepper smiled at her.

"Likewise. I have heard very good things about you, Miss Potts," Sharon answered. "And I have heard the exact opposite about you, Mr. Stark, though Steve tried to portray it in the nicest light possible."

"Cap, a gossip!" Tony gasped and placed a hand over his chest in an exaggerated gesture. "Say it isn't so!"

Steve turned a bright red. "It isn't like that!"

"It's even worse, you're a terrible influence on him! Keeping him out all night and making him have fun. It's absolutely scandalous!" She grinned and Tony grinned in return.

"I never figured Cap's girl would be so much fun." Tony said.

"Tony! I told you we're not--"

"Of course you're not if you keep talking like that," Tony interrupted.

"Tony!" Pepper scolded, hitting his arm. "I'm sorry, I can't take him anywhere."

Sharon laughed. "Don't worry about him. He reminds me of a friend of mine, actually."

"A friend like Tony?" Pepper laughed. "Should I be wishing you good luck?"

"Luckily for me, I also have friends like Steve," Sharon replied, placing a hand on his arm.

"I like her!" Tony proclaimed.

"I hope you aren't trying to steal me away from him," Sharon winked. "And in front of Miss Potts!"

"Oh, we aren't together!" Pepper protested. "And please, call me Pepper."

"Oh, I didn't think so," Sharon told her. "Actually, I was half convinced that he was with Steve and Steve just didn't know about it."

"What?" Steve exclaimed.

"You ruined the surprise," Tony said, grin widening.

Pepper caught Steve's eye. "It looks like it's up to us to keep the conversation sane."

"And it's up to us to keep the conversation fun," Tony concluded.

"Alright!" Tony proclaimed when they were walking out of the restaurant. "I say we go back Stark Tower and have a movie marathon."

"I have to get back to work, Tony," Pepper said.

"You always do that," Tony complained. "Do this instead."

"That's not how work works, Tony," Pepper replied.

"If Tony is your boss, then he just gave you permission to take time off--" Sharon began.

"He isn't." Pepper interjected.

Sharon continued, "And if you're the boss, you can give yourself time off." Sharon smiled.

"That's settled. Cap?" Tony asked.

Steve rolled his eyes. "Sure, Tony."

"Alright!" Tony smiled.

"Tony Stark inviting me back to his place and keeping me out late, what will the neighbors think!" Sharon smiled teasingly at Steve.

They were still waiting for the car when something got their attention. A man stumbled toward them, red glowing beneath their skin. All around them, those who noticed the man started to move away seeing that something was not right. Steve was the first one to approach him. "Hey, are you okay?"

Sharon grabbed Tony's and Pepper's arm, pulling them as she took steps back. "Steve, that doesn't look like a good idea."

"He-help me..." The man rasped.

Sharon mumbled something that sounded like swearing. She pushed Pepper and Tony further away. "Stay here you two." Tony opened his mouth to reply, but Sharon cut him off. "Stay here!" She moved forward quickly, grabbing Steve as the red beneath the man's skin increased. "Steve. Steve!"

"He needs help!" Steve protested.

"There's nothing you can do!" She yelled as she tried to pull him away.

The man fell to the ground, beginning to scream.

"Steve!" She yelled and pulled him harder. Surprise lit his expression as he was actually pulled away. Steve thought he saw a shimmer of green around them before the man yelled and combusted on himself, the blast tossing them away. They flew in opposite directions. Around them, yelling and screaming broke out as people ran and panicked to get further away, but only the four of them were close by. There was notable damage to the area, but it looked oddly contained. Not that they were focused enough to notice the discrepancy.

"Shit!" Tony yelled, moving toward Steve.

Pepper just looked between the two of them in a panic. "What the hell was that?"

Sharon groaned as she pulled herself up, looking toward Steve. "Is he alright?" She asked.

Tony quickly scanned over Steve, who seemed to have been knocked out. "He doesn't look too bad."

"I'll call the police and an ambulance." Pepper said.

"No," Sharon said, shaking her head. "No, I'll..."

"Someone just exploded!" Pepper yelled.

"You're panicking." Sharon stated simply as she pulled herself into a kneeling position. "Tony, isn't that... shouldn't you do something with that?"

"Shit, Pep." Tony said, moving back to Pepper's side. "Pep, it's alright."

"Someone exploded, Tony!" She yelled.

Sharon picked herself up and moved to Steve's side, placing a hand on his head. She moved her body to block the view from Tony and Pepper and then her hand began to glow with green energy.

"Pep, it's okay. We're okay." Tony repeated, pulling her into a hug. She was too shocked to resist or reply. "Shhh," He whispered soothingly, stroking her hair.

The glow from Sharon's hand stopped as soon as Steve groaned. She propped him up, moving partially behind him so he had something to lean on. "Hey, Steve. You alive in there?" She joked weakly.

"Is everyone alright?" He asked, shaking his head as if to clear it.

"No one's hurt, but Pepper's... not doing too well," Sharon answered. "How do you feel?"

"Surprisingly... well," Steve told her.

"Me, too. That's something, at least." She let out a breath. "You worried me, Steve." Sharon projected her voice louder as she asked, "What happens now? We are not going to watch movies, are we?"

"We need to get you two to the hospital," Pepper told them.

"I'm not going to any hospital," Sharon said. "Not to offend."

"Let's all go back to the Tower," Tony proposed. "Bruce can look us over."

"I think I'll just go back to my apartment," Sharon said. "This is the kinda thing that superheroes take care of. I think I'd just be in way."

"I'll have someone take you back," Tony said.

"Thank you. The great thing about this is that I can tell people I went out with Tony Stark and my night ended with a bang." Sharon laughed slightly and Tony joined her. Pepper and Steve just frowned.

"Alright, there's a cab let's get you home." Tony said.

"Shouldn't we call Shield?" Steve questioned.

"You get right on that, Cap."

An hour later Natasha arrived at the tower. Tony and Pepper were having a drink, Steve sitting across from them. Natasha spoke as soon as she stepped foot off the elevator. "The three of you alright?"

"Yeah, we're fine," Tony sighed.

Her eyes quickly scanned over them. "There isn't a scratch on any of you."

"Sharon kept us away from the blast," Pepper answered.

"Did she?" Natasha queried.

"It was just lucky nothing more severe happened."

"I don't think it was luck," Natasha answered.

"What do you think it was?" Tony asked.

"How did she know to get you away from the blast?" Natasha questioned.

"His skin was glowing," Steve said. "It wasn't difficult to see that something was wrong."

"Then why did you approach him?"

"I thought I could help."

"And she tried to stop you. From helping." Natasha's gaze was steady and her face near blank.

"From exploding," Pepper interjected, giving an angry and confused look to the red haired spy. "What is this about? I thought Steve already told you everything?"

"I just want to be clear." Natasha replied.

"Or you just want Sharon Carter to be guilty," Tony said, sitting forward. "Why is that, anyway?"

"I'm only checking out the facts," Natasha insisted.

"Natasha, I thought we were done with this." Steve leveled her with a disappointed look.

Natasha sighed and gave Steve a look that was almost sincere. "You don't think anything is strange about this? That the day you three decide to go out with this woman, a man literally explodes near you?"

"She saved us from that!" Steve argued.

"Isn't that a little suspicious in and of itself?"

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that something is wrong with a man whose skin literally glows!" Pepper growled in frustration. "Even if there is something strange about her, doesn't it mean anything that she saved our lives!"

"And why isn't she here?" Natasha asked.

"Why would she be?" Pepper demanded.

"No offense, Pepper, but the two of you don't exactly have the best instincts about who you can trust."

"Does that include you?" Pepper asked angrily.

"Yes," Natasha responded without hesitation.

"Alright," Tony stood bolted out of his chair. "I think it's time for you to leave. Was there a reason you came here?"

"Fury wants a debriefing," She told them.

"Fine, tomorrow," Tony said. "Any reason that you had to come tell us that instead of him just calling?"

"Like I said, just fact checking." Natasha walked back to the elevator and left without another word.

The next time Tony checked out Sharon Carter's file, there was a note listing Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and Pepper Potts as compromised. Tony snorted at this and added Natasha Romanov's name. He would have thought a spy would handle jealousy better.

"Interesting," Loki said as he circled the illusion before him. He stared intently at the man with burning veins, studying the illusion closely. "And you say he burst into fire."

"Rather painfully so," Amora added. "Your Avengers are foolish. The Captain seems very determined on making friends with deadly situations."

"Then it's a good thing that he has you to look out for him."

"You say this just occurred," Victor questioned, facing his computer screens. The three were together in Victor's lab, the mortal typing on an expanse of keys and checking the screens every few minutes. Amora was seated a top on of the work tables, glowing hand held out as she kept the illusion in place. "Is this the incident?" Victor questioned.

The two gods looked to the screen, watching as the contents of Amora's illusion began to replay on Victor's computer screen. Amora dropped the illusion. "What do you suppose it is?"

"Well it isn't magic," Loki said. He turned to look at the mortal. "Shouldn't this be your specialty, Victor?"

"Without having a speciemen to study there is not much I can do," Victor said.

"What is this?" Raven asked as she entered the room.

"An incident that happened not long ago," Loki answered. The footage was repeating on the screen.

Raven stopped as she stared at Loki. "I was beginning to believe you disliked being a man." This was the first that she had seen Loki in any male form, let alone his own.

Loki laughed. "On the contrary. I enjoy it very much. I am a man, actually."

Raven's eyes took in his form greedily. "Is this your true form?"

"My most familiar form, I'd say," Loki answered. He gestured to the screens. "Something in this you recognize?"

Raven's face fell into a serious expression. "Yes. It's... The person I'm running from had been doing something... I objected when I found out but he..."

"Raven, what were they doing?" Loki asked.

"An experiment, but I don't know much about it. I just remember seeing... this," She gestured.

"Is it something we should be concerned over?" Loki questioned. "Or rather, something they should be concerned over?" He indicated the Avengers on screen.

Raven pressed her lips together tightly and did not respond. She turned to stare intently at the screen. Amora gazed curiously at the mutant. Victor began researching on another screen.

"Raven, do you know who I am?" Loki asked. "Do you recognize me?"

"Should I?" She asked in return.

Loki didn't answer that. Instead, he said, "I am Loki and I am a god. As is Amora. Whatever you fear, it will not cause us harm."

"Then what are you hiding from?" Raven asked.

"Other gods," Loki answered. "And a titan."

Amora looked up at this. "Titans?" She slid off of the workbench and walked toward him. "Loki, you don't mean--"

"The Mad Titan," Loki said. "Yes, I do."

"Loki, he's beyond a mad man! Everyone knows it!" Amora yelled.

"The mortals do not," he replied calmly. "And they would not believe me if I were to tell them. They would not believe anything from me."

"The All-father--" Amora began.

"Is the reason that Midgard has the attention of the Mad Titan in the first place." Loki finished for her. "He wants to destroy everything, he wants the infinity gems, and he wants to destroy me."

"Why would he want you, Loki?" Amora demanded.

"Because I stood in the way of him getting the Tesseract and betrayed him by allowing my attack on Midgard to fail."

Amora slapped him across the face, then grabbed hold of his arms and pulled him closer. "Why wouldn't you tell me this Loki!"

"I didn't think that I could trust you," Loki admitted. "I thought you would do something foolish like go to the All-father, but he will not help, because this is what he wants."

"You will tell me everything, Loki!!!" Amora yelled, eyes and hands glowing. "And you will tell me this instant!"

"Raven. Victor." Loki spoke calmly, but he did not look away from Amora's eyes. "I have a tale to tell and it shall start during a time that I was lost in space. In the void. And I would appreciate it, Victor, if you did not make any scientific inquiries during my telling."

"I shall try to restrain myself," Victor answered.

"Amora," Loki said lowly. "I am trusting you. Do not make me regret it."

Amora lessened the hold she had on him. "If you lie to me, Loki," she threatened.

"Not one lie shall pass my lips during this telling." Loki promised.

"That does not cover lies of omission," Amora pointed out.

"It never does," Loki smiled for a moment, before his serious expression returned. "But there will not be much to omit from this particular tale." Loki glanced at the mortals that had moved closer to him. "Let me tell you why your world is currently in danger."

And he did.

"Are you certain of this?" Loki asked as she stared down at her phone. She was leaning against a tree in central park with Raven, as Lockley, beside her. "I would rather not have you involved with them. They are not to be trusted."

"You don't trust them?" She asked.

"Of course not," Loki answered. "They are useful and I use them, but nothing more. If they were to capture you or I, I have no doubt what would be in store. You say you worry your kind will be captured, they would do it. You worry about being tortured and experimented upon, they would do it. They find things that don't belong to their world and try to twist and bend them to their will. They find beings that are greater than they are and seek to destroy them." Loki looked up to catch Raven's gaze. "You do not have to talk to them."

"I know more than you," Raven said. "You wouldn't know what to tell them."

"Be careful on that account," Loki stressed. "Do not tell them more than you intend. They already believe 'Lockley' to be a mutant, do not make them think she is also a threat. That is the only thing that will keep you safe."

"I see him," Raven said.

"Well, off you go, then. Call if there is trouble. No matter what, I shall hear you."

"Don't get into trouble either, Lunatic." Raven pushed off the tree to approach Agent Coulson and Loki remained in place.

"Sir." Jarvis' voice was drowned out beneath the loud music that played in Tony's lab as he worked on the suit. His focus was completely on the wires and circuitry before him. Abruptly, the music cut out and Jarvis' voice came again. "Sir."

"Whoa, Jarvis," Tony stopped abruptly and looked up, but not actually at anything. "What have I told you about not turning down my music?"

"There is a visual on project Lock and Project White Mage, sir."

"What when? Where?" Tony asked, putting down his tools.

"Both are in central park as we speak, sir." Jarvis reported.

"Great! Get the suit ready."

Loki was surprised, but mostly exasperated, when she heard the loud sound of Iron Man's arrival. Loki wanted to groan aloud, but instead she just slowly looked around the tree to see where Iron Man landed. Irritatingly, he was near where 'Lockley' and Coulson were speaking.

"If it isn't my favorite agent!" Tony said, lifting his face plate.

"What are you doing here, Stark?" Coulson asked.

"Just thought I'd take the opportunity to meet Shield's newest addition," Tony answered.

"I'm not Shield," Lockley replied.

"Then why did you assume that I meant you?"

"Agent Coulson, I believe we're done here," Lockley said.

"Miss Lockley--" Cuolson began, but Tony cut him off.

"Don't go so soon, we just met!"

"I rather think that for the best," Lockley said, turning on her heel and walking away.

"Hey now!" Tony called moving to follow her.

Loki moved into his path when he passed by the tree. "Mr. Stark, fancy seeing you here."

"Hey! It's you!"

"So it is."

"You ditched me last time."

"So I did." Loki smiled.

"No time for you to ditch me today," Tony told her.

"Is that right?"

"Yes. I was just..." Tony looked around, but already Lockley was out of sight. "Looking for someone..." Tony sighed. "As long as you're here..." He turned back, finding that she was gone as well. "Today must not be my day."

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