The Seventh Avenger by ElrondsScribe

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Story Notes:

Bookverse Tolkien (no movie canon), movieverse Avengers (no comic canon).

You will want to read my story Omega to get an idea of where I am in the Tolkien universe.

Hello! This is the beginning of yet another experimental crossover AU fanfic. This one is an Avengers/Lord of the Rings crossover, as if you couldn't tell. It's actually a fic that tries to explore what it would be like for an Elf to be an Avenger long-term - from Avengers through at least Civil War and possibly Infinity War.

I can't see why this kind of fic is not more popular than it is. I mean, the sorts of geeks who like Lord of the Rings (and the rest of Tolkien's legendarium) are the sorts of geeks who like the Avengers too, aren't they?

Anyway, this fic is strictly book-verse Tolkien (no movie canon) and strictly movie-verse Avengers (no comic canon).

I own nothing, of course, except the plot and the few OCs that crop up. All else is the property Marvel Studios and J.R.R. Tolkien.

12/12/16: I'm going to be editing and revamping this story constantly, apparently. I'm sorry, to all who have been patiently following my story from the beginning.

Be that as it may, here's Chapter 1. No significant edits here.

July 10, 1969

Taking a shortcut home after dark was a bad idea.

It was a bad idea especially if you weren't supposed to even be out at all, and gone to see a girl your mother said was too young anyway.

Seventeen-year-old Nick Fury was quickly finding that out. The alley he'd thought would let him out onto the next street turned out not to be an alley at all - it was much darker than it had looked, and did not seem to lead to the street at all. Nick couldn't shake a growing uneasiness as he went, for the alley seemed to get darker and longer as he walked.

Then he began to notice a stench - one that smelled sickeningly like something dead. As soon as he was sure of it, he stopped short, peering anxiously ahead. The air seemed to grow heavy and thick, and he couldn't shake the feeling that something was watching him - or worse, following him. And the smell, which had been growing almost unbearable, was beginning to turn his stomach.

He glanced over his shoulder, but to his alarm he could no longer see anything in that direction either.

None of that now, young Night-fearer. I have you right where I want you.

Nick jumped back with a scream. It was not a physical voice, not one he could hear, but something had spoken to him. Something he couldn't see.

"What the hell?" he shouted, not caring who heard his language. "Who or what are you?"

The invisible Thing laughed at him, and he froze involuntarily, his heart pounding. Who am I? I'm the new you - or I will be, once I take your body from you.

Nick tried to shout again, but his lips and tongue seemed frozen. His own breath seemed unspeakably loud.

At least I hope I get to keep your body, the Thing went on. Such warm, vibrant blood you have! It's worth the mortality, really. And I've never had a brown one before. What broad shoulders!

Nick was aware of something like an icy finger tracing his features, and something cold and foul fluttered in his face like breath. And what a fierce spirit! Such fire, such rage! Shame, really, that I'm to pluck it out. But Master was most particular about you . . .

Nick choked, for the air seemed to have gone from his lungs. His sight grew dim, and strange vague phantom-like shapes danced before his eyes. All the sounds and rhythms of Life receded to nothing, and his ears were filled with whispers he couldn't quite distinguish. He thought he saw an almost-person bending over him, nearly complete but wavering around the edges, an expression of glee on its not-real face.

Then, without warning, a brilliant blast of golden sunlight burst through the mist, so sharply that it hurt his eyes and even his brain, and a voice ringing with music and power and realness cried aloud in some language he did not know.

There came a terrible split second when Nick was aware of a searing pain in his head and around his heart, and a dizzying sensation of being balanced on the edge of a precipice from which he must fall to destruction. But then the sunlight enveloped him once again, though oddly enough it began to fade away at once, leaving an ordinary night sky sprinkled with stars.

He blinked, and gasped for breath, and found that he actually could breathe. He felt strangely clumsy, as if he was trying to wear a costume for school that did not fit him.

"Easy, lad," crooned a rich, deep, musical voice nearby. "Your spirit will re-adjust to your body if you give them a moment."

"Wh-wh-wha - hap -" Nick tried to speak, but his mouth seemed to have trouble forming words.

"What nearly happened has been averted - for the moment," said the Voice tersely. "I think for the moment it would be best to get you home, and quickly."

Nick groaned and shut his eyes. "My pop's gonna have my ass for this," he said weakly, but in truth he wanted nothing more than to get home to the familiarity even of his father's switchings.

The Voice chuckled. "He may indeed, once he sees that you are all right. There was a shooting near your friend's home."

Nick couldn't seem to find the brainpower to reply. He now felt normal enough to sit up, and in doing so got a look at his companion.

The stranger standing over him was tall (certainly taller than Nick, who was taller than most of his classmates) and slim without being bony. His plain blue jeans and cotton shirt were a little too short and a little too wide. His hair was bright yellow, and so long and thick that it tumbled down his back in braids (and what white man braided his hair?).

But his face was what was most worth looking at, for it was unlike any face Nick had ever seen. It was perhaps one of the nicest faces he'd ever seen, certainly the most attractive by far, and its expression, under its immediate concern, was both stern and joyful. The eyes were especially fascinating: they were bright blue, and seemed to shine with some internal light like stars; and yet something about them was also old, older than anything Nick could imagine, and full of memory.

There was also a soft, faint glow that seemed to come from the man in general, aside from the specific radiance of his eyes.

Nick blinked up at the man, and the first words out of his mouth were, "You're white."

The man with the star-radiant eyes and yellow braids blinked back down at him. "Er, yes," he said hesitantly.

"This isn't the white part of town," said Nick's mouth while his brain began to catch up with what was going on.

"No, I suppose it's not," said the star-eyed man.

"What're you doing down here?" asked Nick suspiciously.

The man blinked. "Well, if you must know, I was tracking a Houseless that I thought was in service to the Enemy and was up to some mischief. I followed it to this alley and found it trying to kill you and take your body, so I drove it off." He rattled this off like it was supposed to make some kind of sense.

"Huh?" was all Nick could manage.

Star-Eyes shook his head. "Never mind. Just go on home - I'm sure you know the way."

Nick eyed the tall stranger suspiciously as he turned to go, but the man merely stood and watched him. He'd made it as far as the end of the alley when the musical voice spoke again. "One more thing," it said, and Nick automatically turned to look back. "In the future, you'll want to avoid . . . dark and dangerous places, especially when you're alone. Remember that."

Nick was so unsettled by this that he didn't even ask what the hell that even meant. He just walked away as fast as he could.

The golden-headed immortal followed the boy at a discreet distance, but also closely enough to be of aid if anything else went amiss. But the youth turned eventually and went up the steps of a solid brick house without further incident, though he did turn and look around as he knocked on the door. He must have had sharper eyes than the immortal had thought, for he squinted straight at him even as the door flew open and a woman's voice called, "Nicholas Joseph Fury, you get in this house right now!"

Instantly the boy's head flew around and his shoulders hunched, and he trudged into the house as the door shut behind him. The immortal stifled a smile - the poor child was almost certainly in for a proper grown-boy-whoopin' that night.

Better that, than what had nearly happened to him. The fair-haired immortal frowned as he thought back over it. It was unusual for a Houseless, whether in service to the Enemy or not, to take an interest in a mortal beyond merely seducing him to evil deeds. It was especially unusual for a Houseless to choose one far from its usual habitat and follow him to get him alone.

And then the spirit had not initially fled when he had revealed himself - he had felt its terror, but it had stood its ground and made a last desperate attempt to kill the boy. The immortal had had to ward it off with a Word of Command. He had the impression that the spirit had been acting under orders - orders to kill or destroy. Someone had singled the boy out.

Clearly, then, this boy, this Nicholas Joseph Fury, was to have an important part in something that the Enemy or some lieutenant of his wanted to circumvent. But what was it? And why did he have the distinct impression that he had only seen the beginning of something momentous?

April 21, 2012

"Secure office," said Director Fury.

All his office windows went dark, all visual and audio feeds into the room shut down, and all devices went into stealth mode.

"Open file classed as Goldenhead," said Fury.

"File opened," said an automated voice as a large screen on the wall lit up with various aliases, images of various documents, and photographs of an apparently young and very beautiful man with long bright golden hair.

"Update information with latest data obtained from STRIKE Team: Delta's Egypt assignment," ordered Fury.

After a few seconds, the automated voice said, "File updated."

"Close file and re-encrypt," said Fury, but at that moment Agent Phil Coulson keyed himself into the office.

"Didn't I say I was in the middle of something, Coulson?" Fury asked irritably.

"You said this was to take precedence, sir," said Coulson, and he placed a tablet down on the table. "Here's the intel you wanted."

Fury looked up sharply. "Did you find him?"

"Yes, sir," said Coulson. "We've found him."

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