Defender of Mankind: The Tale of Alexandria Darcy
The Tale of the Dark Defender of Mankind
Author's Note: FYI, in my stories, since it wasn't particulary obvious before, I made Tony 7 years younger to better fit into my timelines. This is kind of like the liberties I am took with Howard Stark (nonetheless, Maria Stark was, in fact, killed by the Winter Soldier, which is why Howard is kind of the worst parent ever, out of grief, not that I condemn his behaviour towards Tony, grief is no excuse for abuse) and other characters...
Her story on this earth began as any other, with her birth.
It was a stormy day on 1993 when Leonora Darcy's water broke. At the time she had been at home all by herself as her husband was working in the Stark labs (London base, she was sure their location here had something to do with a certain Peggy Carter and her sidekick butler) and she was all alone. To make matters worse, a storm was raging on around her and although she had already communicated the situation to her husband, she knew he probably wouldn't make it in time (he still had to disinfect, change, and then drive all the way there to pick her up). This, of course, left her with only one choice.
"Hello?" a young man's voice answered.
"Oh, Anthony, please tell me... Is your guardian there? I have to speak to him urgently." (It was a happy coincidence that this was all occurring during one of the many trips the young Stark heir took with his butler whenever said man came to visit his home country).
"Mrs. Darcy?" Tony answered, shocked. He didn't know the lady much (although really she was only 6 years his senior), but he sure did know Dr. Darcy (who was honestly awesome, in his opinion, especially because he was always willing to hear his ideas out and was always such a good influence on his dad even if he was so much younger) and he couldn't help but worry about the purpose of this call.
"Yes, Anthony, it is me, now could you please get your butler on the phone?" she answered urgently,barely keeping herself from snappping.
Worried, Tony nodded, not realizing she couldn't see and immediately got the man she was asking for.
"Mrs. Darcy, is something the matter? Are you alright?" the ever British gentleman-like butler called out.
"Mr. Jarvis, I wouldn't be phoning you if something else could be arranged, but you see I have already phoned my husband and the storm is raging on and the streets are flooding and my water just broke," Leonora rushed out in one breath.
"I'm on my way, madame," he responded, motioning to his charge to follow him.
"Thank you and Mr. Jarvis..." she began then paused to inhale sharply before continuing through gritted teeth, "the contractions just started." Edwin Jarvis was out of the door in seconds followed by a young and unnerved Tony Stark.
In the end, the rush was for naught and the father arrived with time to spare. Leonora Darcy spent a night in pain and as if to agree with the ache she was feeling the skies darkened and thunder and lighting and rain all eventually turned into snow (it was an unusually early snow day they had that year, even for the country of grey skies and unending rains). It took a whole sleepless night for the parents to be and their waiting-room companions before they were able to finally greet the child into this earth.
And it was on this day that finally, after so many tiresome hours, Alexandria Joanne Darcy took her first breath of air.
Her next few years of life were quite ordinary as well.
She lived in London until she was four almost five and move to the United States and, from then on, it all turned sour. But for those first five years... oh, how amazing her life was. She grew quite nicely under her mother sternness and well-mannered pushing (and it would later, after many years and counseling, become clear to Alexandria that her mother was a good woman with good intentions but sometimes she made some terrible choices as any other human being was wont to do) and her father's mild manners and tender teachings of the world and all of its grandness.
It was for those first five years that not only did she have her parents and a pseudo big brother in Tony (who had loved her since the moment he had set eyes and her and had long now vowed to always protect) but also the care of Mr. Edwin Jarvis who tried his best to make sure she was raised 'properly British' as she should be for "not only was she born in Britain, sir, but her parents are English as well and therefore she must be raised in the proper manners of a young British gentlewoman, a real English lady, she'll be."
For the first five years, really, it was all happiness and love, always receiving more than she needed, but as her fifth year started, disaster stroke. 'The Tragedy' happened, her father perished at the hands of an alien weapon that Howard Stark had made him investigate. Jarvis and Tony both tried to rise to the challenge of her sudden fatherlessness. They both failed for it was only a brief time before Mr. Jarvis met his appointed date with death and the tragedy of it nearly killed Tony. As such, they became two very lost people trying to scrape up their lives together to even be able to move on.
The therapies and counseling started after the tragedies.
They were meant to get her through the pain, yet once she had started them, all of the good doctors stated she should have commenced them sooner: "she suffers depression and anxiety and has issues controlling her anger." But really, how could she not be depressed after all life seemed to be removed from her world and how could she not be anxious when she suddenly realized the fragility of life and how, how dared they criticize her correctly placed anger and ire because the universe needed to pay for its wrongdoings to her?
But as life always goes, another surprise came along. Howard Stark (in what was probably an act of guilt and remorse because of his friends' death) finally found her, Dr. Martin. She was the daughter of a former SHIELD specialist and knew all about the otherwordliness the universe had to offer. She knew, yes, but most of all, the young doctor understood. She saw the issues for what they were, the unbalanced reaction of a young child to such pain. With her, Alexandria finally started to get better. That is, until the Moores came into their lives.
Moving back home was the next step and with it came the Moores.
In hopes of helping her cope, it had been suggested by the young doctor that Alexandria and her mother returned to their home country. At the beginning, it honestly did help. And yet, six months into the move, her mother, who happened to be the daughter of a Special Ops officer and a military General, was reacquainted with a long-lost friend, General Joseph "Joe" Moore. And with him came his son, Samuel.
It didn't take much to rekindle the fire of friendship and even less to ignite that of passion between widow and widower. Soon, her turn up family of three became of five (of course, she including Tony in all of these counts). It was not all bad, of course. Joe Moore was nothing if not a good man; her mother still loved her deeply. And Sam was a nice kid, a sweet brother, extremely loyal and calm (just like the Hufflepuff he if, at least, that is where Alexandria would sort him in a few years later when she began to read Harry Potter only to fall in love with literature). But it was hard, moving on, moving around, spending so much time in the German and Honduran bases (which helped her learn two more languages), not seeing Tony except for the occasional summer vacation or holiday, and the family expanding.
At the age of 10, Alexandria Darcy became a big sister for the second time.
Taylor Moore, very much like her older sister, came into the world by taking it up in a storm, a small ball of fiery-red fury (she was most certainly a Gryffindor). She was energy and spirit and rage and passion and love all from a very young age. And so, as it is, the baby took attention, Sam still needed lots of help, and Alexandria, well, ten-year-old Alexandria was left to grow up quick and help. The moving got even more tiring, Alexandria felt ignored and pushed to the background. She stopped talking and became quiet. Dr. Martin tried to make her talk, her mother did as well, pushing her as much as she could to get Alexandria out of her shell. But in response, Alexandria simply repressed. She repressed words, feelings, and... memories. She contained it all until...
...She forgot and with it, came peace.
As the saying went, ignorance is bliss. As Alexandria repressed and forgot the better days and the darker ones, all she was left with was contentment towards her present situation. Her step-father was a good man, that loved ALL of his children, even if he did push, much like her mother, but that is a military general does. Her mother cared even in her strictness and finally managed to draw her out some, to make her more fearless, more brave. From them and through them she learned strategy and courage. From her siblings, she learned love and responsibility. They made her better, yet at the same time it was worse.
They tried to make her remember.
Tony, her parents, Dr. Martin, even her siblings did. They tried to get her to remember, recall the good and bad, so that she could be truly balanced. They tried to get her to face her demons and from there, move on. Yet, misfortune came knocking once more. Alexandria Darcy was only 15 when her 31 year old bother, Anthony Stark was injured, kidnapped, and almost murdered. It was a hellish year full of worry and overpowering anxiety. A year of nightmares and very close-calls and mental breakdowns and relapses of depression. It was the year her brother manufactured himself a robotic suit and made himself a superhero. It was 'The Nigtmare'of a year she hoped never to repeat. And it was all just a beginning of downwards spiraling whirlwinds for them all.
Two years later she gained her own set of superhero abilities, much to her chagrin.
Her curiosity usually got the best of her, and it did so with her brother as well. As such, it had been an easy task to convince him to take her to New Mexico. It was truly not the wisest move either of them could have made. But she was a teenager who often used surges of adrenaline and borderline craziness to deal with her pain. This surge for crazy had only increased by Tony's latest adventure that year (after being started and caused by his escapade with death two years prior), and well, at this rate her brother would be the death of her, or at least he would drive her to do something insane enough that it would end her.
As it was, this little journey of them came quite close. Needless to say, 'The Incident' (yeah, she had a thing for naming life-changing events, Dr. Marrtin called it one of her coping mechanisms) happened and with it came not only the discovery mythological gods, or powers that she gained from a hammer with a consciousness, or aliens and other worlds and all that crazy shit, no, it was worse. This was the first that Alexandria Darcy laid eyes on Loki Friggason and as her luck would have it, there was no going back.
It took two more years for things to get truly bat-shit crazy.
The break was appreciated, but it was not enough. Because as soon as her life had barely began to settle down again, even if she did now have a very unhealthy obsession with Norse mythology and electrical powers she could not quite control, someone had to go and stir things up. Everything had seemed fine.
She was in her second year of college. Her younger siblings were doing well in school and had friends even through all the crazy travelling. Her brother finally got together with Pepper (about time, in her opinion). Her parents were happy together. Everything was okay except for the fact that she was ruining late to her internship interview. At least, that was her greatest problem until Black Widow herself kidnapped her in broad daylight just as she was about to enter the building.
From there on everything went South. In a few hours she got kidnapped again only to meet once more with Loki. From there, she saw Thor, got back what belonged to her, met the whole Avengers ensemble, fought an alien invasion, and fell in love with the Norse God of Mischief and Lies himself. Talk about being mad as a hatter. She was bunkers, her life was nuts, and she was now forever stuck in this crazy mess her brother and her curiosity had gotten her into. Maybe curiosity did kill the cat.
Incredibly enough, it all got worse.
At first it all seemed fine. She finished college (double-major in psychology and sociology and a minor in mythology), did some volunteer work in Central America with modern-day Dr. Jekyll, saw her family often, somewhat dealt with her PTSD and tried to help her brother to do the same, and her alien-god boyfriend but imprisoned (but at least still alive) in a completely different planet. Normal enough, right?
Yet it all went down the drain. She was now sure that satisfaction did not bring the cat back, but curisioty certainly killed it twice. Her friend Dr. Jane Foster had fallen under the same trap Alexandria had not so long ago, that of the mysteries of space and mythology. She found an ancient hidden artifact, got possessed by it, caused a war for it by waken it up and therefore waking up the Dark Elves and bloody Malekith. She went from an overly curious scientist to a weapon of mass destruction in seconds.
This meant Alexandria was given a mission by her guardian entity. To get those Infinity Stones before someone (*cough cough* Thanos *cough cough*) tried to get their hands on it and not only kill Loki for failing but billions and trillions throughout the Universe. She could not let that happen, and according to Mjolnir, it was up to her to save them all. Talk about the weight of the world on ones shoulders. But this did grant her a small reprieve. She would get to see her Loki again.
And she did, only to loose him once more, this time to death, after almost losing her brother Tony yet again in much the same manner. This time, the tradegy is so bad, she cannot even name it, there are no words to explain her pain.
The nightmares start again.
She recalls Edwin Jarvis and his utter kindness, once hurt by the Tesseract, following Howard Starks's orders. She remembers her father, lost to the Tesseract, because of that same bloody man. She dreams of Loki, who made a deal with the devil, that bloody Thanos, for the scepter, who she lost to the Aether and miserable Malekith, the bastard. Were all the people she loved meant to be lost to those bloody stones? The mere idea ignites her ire, pushes her to new lengths. She is so tired in more than one way, but so determined not to lose anyone else. And so she pushes herself now. And she changes, and not all for good.
She keeps SHIELD's secrets and helps Coulson, Fury, and Hill on the sidelines. She works for her brother and learns from him, Banner, and young Adrian Prince, who was a young genius, quickly picking things up from the other two and teaching her while at it. She trains with the Black Widow and Captain America and Hawkeye and manages to forgive them (well, Barton and Romanoff that is, Steve had never done anything to her), to forge a friendship, to learn their secrets. She learns how to use her powers and investigates the stones (often using Frigga as one of her research sources... or the books she often sends). But she tries not to hurt anyone (at least not anyone who isn't herself she can't see how pushing oneself so much is harmful), at least that much hasn't changed.
She keeps away from battle and disaster, strives to do so, in fact. That is so until it happens, Loki's scepter (which she is well aware contains the Mind Stone) is found in the posession of Wolfgang Von Strucker, a HYDRA leader.
That day she finally joins the Avengers in battle once more, only for it to bite her in the ass yet again. (Sigh. She really should've known better by now than to think things would go nice and easy for once.)