126 Circumstances
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I think this will be the last chapter I'll be posting for this story for a while. I wrote it and I'm not really happy about how it turned out. It's a bit preachy and not really the direction I wanted to take things. It seems too much like a break from the point of the story while also staying within the plot. That's quite a pickle, isn't it? LOL

Anyways, here's another 3,200 words.

Two days later, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Natasha Romanoff, and Clint Barton watched the footage of the masked figure as he saved a Black Widow assassin from a hail of bullets and then blasted several Russian police cars. That was shocking on its own. The implications of the portal that took the trio from Moscow to the east coast of the continent instantaneously, was mind-numbing.

“It's not doctored.” Natasha reminded them again. “He's not wearing a powered suit under his clothing to explain the energy beams and I have no idea how he made a portal like that.”

Fury gave Maria a pointed look. They both speculated that Ben was tapping into the tesseract somehow to do it, even if the portal energy was orange and not blue like the tesseract usually made.

“I'm not as concerned about that as I am with his offer to my sister.” Natasha said.

The three others around the table nodded.

“As soon as she signed the contracts, which he let the both of us read before Yelena enthusiastically signed them, he took off his mask and then...” Natasha skipped to the right file and the four of them sat there and listened to Ben's assertion that the Yakuza and Russian Mafias were not happy that he had removed their links to New York by killing all of their operatives and contacts.

“Is he right about that?” Clint whispered.

“Yes. Listen as to why he believes it.” Natasha whispered back.

“...the latest assassination was by the doorman at Avengers Tower. At least, that was who he was pretending to be at the time. I knew something was wrong, because Frank didn't banter like usual or said anything when I tipped him. He always says something.” Ben said. “They somehow found out that it was me that ordered their extermination from New York and are determined to make me pay by any means, including using magic spells and demon summoning.”

“What the hell?” Fury asked, shocked. “Is he serious?”

“Unfortunately.” Natasha said and pointed to the screen as Ben showed them several barrier spells, including the small ones he could create on his palms. “He refused to show us any demons, though.”

Fury could only nod at those words and paused the footage. “How did they get to the doorman?”

“The same way they got to the janitor at Midtown High.” Maria said and handed over a folder. “They found out who they were, killed them, had someone alter their appearance temporarily, and slipped right into a trusted position and tried to kill Agent Parker.”

Fury frowned at the information in the folder. “Why does this seem odd to me?”

“They knew the cover wasn't going to last and went for a shot as soon as they thought they could be successful.” Natasha said. “The guys were just low level thugs and their appearance eventually faded or changed back about an hour after they died. Ben wouldn't have discovered that if the police investigating the doorman's death hadn't kept both Ben and the body in the lobby as they waited for the medical examiner.”

“That's how he knew it was magic?” Clint asked and she nodded.

“They're either attaching the assassins to minor demons or they have a greater one to tap into and he links them.” Natasha said. “Bodies don't normally speak after they're killed.”

“What are we going to do about it?” Clint asked.

“We are not equipped to handle magic.” Maria said. “We discovered that with Loki's incursion.”

“What does Agent Parker have to say about all of this?” Fury asked.

Natasha nodded at the screen and Fury started it up again. What they heard next made their blood run cold.

“Yelena, I know I just hired you...” Ben started to say.

“I will do anything you ask of me, Ben.” Yelena said and Ben smiled at her.

“I'm promoting you to Operations Liaison. I need you to contact all of the other Black Widows on the Red Room's list. Since I've freed them from their control agents and mental blocks, I think they need to prove that they can still function as people, operatives, and assassins.” Ben said.

“I knew agreeing to whatever you wanted was the right choice.” Yelena said, seductively.

“Ben, you can't do this.” Onscreen Natasha said.

“If you're worried about what Director Fury is going to do about this, don't. None of the Black Widows besides you have defected or are having a crisis of conscience. They have no conflicting loyalties, no corrupted politicians holding their leashes, and definitely no one whipping them physically or mentally.” Ben said. “They are as far removed from the control of any spy agency as they can possibly get.”

“Oh, fuck.” Clint whispered.

“You really do understand us.” Yelena said with a bit of awe.

“I do, because I'm not offering them a new yolk to control them. I want to hire them for the foreseeable future. They will be considered independent contractors and will have contracts similar to yours, only altered slightly because they will be working internationally and without oversight... unless they request it.” Ben said. “I will also be providing new equipment, weapons, and resources that they can access from anywhere in the world.”

Yelena let out a sound that was almost a purr. “I want you so bad right now.”

“I would be tempted to let you have some innocent fun if my betrothed wouldn't gut me with her mechanical claws.” Ben said with a grin.

“Really? I must meet this wonderfully vindictive woman.” Yelena said with her own grin. “She sounds like a kindred spirit.”

Ben laughed. “I think Princess Shuri will like you, too.”

Natasha turned off the screen. “As you can see, Yelena was all for it.”

“What was Agent Parker thinking?” Maria asked, rhetorically.

“The real question is, how long will it be before he starts his own spy agency?” Clint asked.

Fury looked down at the folder in front of him. “He doesn't need to start one. He already has one. This one.”

Natasha caught her breath and it was her turn to curse. “Oh, fuck.”

“Hill, you need to check...” Fury started to ask and Maria was already on her cell phone. He waited for several minutes as Maria's face changed from stoic to worry.

“Clean Sweep Three has been initiated.” Maria said with a whisper. In the quiet room, it was almost like a shout. “All data has been disseminated about potential Russian targets that have been identified from all over the world.”

“Send the counter order and have all SHIELD agents stand down.” Fury said.

Maria shook her head. “No contact protocols have been enacted. They won't check in until their targets have been eliminated or at least tracked down and they ask for confirmation.”

“Deny that confirmation and log it into the computers.” Fury ordered. “We can't have our own agents eliminating...”

Maria did as asked and she nodded. “All kill orders have been changed to continue monitoring.”

Fury nodded. “Get Agent Parker on the line. He needs to stop working independently of SHIELD's goals.”

“But, I'm not working independently of SHIELD's goals.” Ben's voice said over the intercom.

“You've been monitoring us?” Fury asked.

“No, I have a program set to notify me if anyone says my name, code name, or nickname.” Ben informed them. “If it's relevant, I'll check personally and see what's going on.”

“You're not worried about breaching secrecy oaths and NDAs?” Maria asked.

“My legal department informed me that as long as I am a topic of conversation or had participated in some way, I am included in those NDAs and oaths.” Ben said. “I personally don't think the implied permission would stand up in court; but, that's just my opinion.”

Fury sighed. “Agent Parker, you need to stop whatever you're doing.”

“Why?” Ben asked.

“We are not permitted to interfere in the political situations of foreign countries.” Maria said. “We are a peacekeeping force and...”

“I am ensuring peace.” Ben said and then chuckled. “That sounded really pretentious. I apologize.”

“Ben, you can't just do what you want.” Natasha said.

“Oh, but I don't want to do this.” Ben said, which surprised them all. “I have to. It's part of the whole protecting myself, my family, and the world.”

“Ben...” Maria started to say.

“I haven't called in any heavy hitters, so you can relax. Everything is happening quietly.” Ben said and there was a sound of a soft laugh near him and a woman's muffled voice. “I already apologized for that and sent three new police cars. The police weren't happy until they realized the cars were armored and the bribe went through to make them forget about you.”

There was a sound of a kiss and then Ben hissed. “Dammit, my ear is not a chew toy!”

“You won't let me chew on anything else, krasivyy (handsome).” Yelena said and her laugh faded away.

Natasha felt both embarrassed and jealous, because it could have been her.

“As I was saying, I'm ensuring my own peace as I hunt down where they are getting their information and magic from. As soon as I have that and eliminated all opposition, the world is going to be a much better place.”

“Who gave you the right to make decisions like that?” Clint asked.

“Honestly? No one. I don't need anyone's permission to protect myself, my family, and the people I care about. If I have to kill every criminal element on the entire planet, I'll do it.” Ben said. “In fact, that's a great goal, isn't it? No more crime?”

“Ben...” Maria started again.

“I won't put you out of a job, Maria. Peace still needs to be kept. The people need to be kept safe.” Ben said and sighed. “I know it's a long and hard road. There will always be someone that's ambitious, or ruthless, or even callous enough to try and make a little kingdom for themselves.”

“Which is what you're doing.” Fury pointed out.

Ben was quiet for a moment, then the screen on the wall lit up. “You're kind of right. With enough money, I've made a company conglomerate that produces tech and innovations that are changing the world. I've hired hundreds of people, some great, some questionable, and some are downright murderous.”

“Like the Widows.” Clint added.

“Yes. I've put a system in place that will allow them to prosper, earned their loyalty, and I will be able to call upon my friends in my time of need. Like now.” Ben said. “They can use their skills, just like Natasha uses hers for SHIELD. Like I told Natasha and Yelena, and now all of the other Widows, their pasts are just that, the past. All they can do is come to terms with it and move on. Some will do that and some will cling to it like a drowning person.”

Natasha blushed and looked away from the screen.

“Guilt is a funny thing, isn't it? The red in your ledger is pretty much gone now, Natasha. With each Widow we freed together from the Red Room's influence, you made up for all of the things you did for the Red Room. There's almost nothing left for you to make up for.”

“Ben, I... even though...” Natasha looked back at the screen. “You're going down the wrong path.”

“No, my dear Natalia.” Ben said with a warm smile to take the sting out of using her real name. “I'm forging my own path. Right? Wrong? They are both subjective concepts. If you do wrong to make things right, are you wrong or are you right?”

Natasha couldn't answer that. She had done a lot of wrong things in her life and a lot of right things. Some of the wrong things turned out right and some of the right things had turned out very wrong.

“I see the realization on your face.” Ben said and looked at Fury. “The thing about building a kingdom is that someone will always try to topple it or take it for themselves. I've got the makings of a kingdom and I'm not interested at all in completing it. Kingdoms never last. Loyalty can be lost. Trust can be squandered.”

Fury waited for him to say something else and he didn't. He sighed and had to prompt him. “What are you trying to say?”

“There's one thing that will always be there. It might be lost, or forgotten, or change, or become something unobtainable.” Ben said and nodded to each of the four people at the table. “Purpose. We all have it and we all strive to complete it. Without it, we will accomplish nothing.”

Natasha caught her breath. “You're giving them hope!”

“You got it. Well done.” Ben said and grinned at her. “Without hope for the future, then what's the point? Everyone needs to do something with their lives and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that those I've accepted into my life have it. Whatever it takes, it will be done.”

Yelena walked back into the room and she wore only a thin sports bra. “Are you done talking to the stuffed shirts yet? You are supposed to be training me for the next mission.”

“Stuffed shirts?” Ben asked her and pointedly looked at her barely concealed breasts.

Yelena laughed and grabbed his face and shoved it into her chest. She rubbed herself all over his face and then let him go. Ben was flushed red and Yelena's nipples were now quite prominent.

“He will call again when he can talk without biting his tongue and can stand without adjusting himself.” Yelena said and reached for the cut off button and giggled. “Perhaps in a week or so?”

Fury, Clint, Maria, and Natasha all got a fantastic view of Yelena's cleavage before the signal died.

“Hill.” Fury whispered.

“I'll try, sir.” Maria whispered back. “I doubt I can successfully revoke any of his permissions.”

“He said he removed all of the backdoors to the computers.” Fury said.

“Hydra's backdoors.” Maria corrected.

Fury let out a curse. “I really should suspend him and...”

“Why not fire him?” Clint asked. “If he's working against SHIELD and not listening to orders...”

Maria sucked in a sharp breath and gave Fury a pointed look.

Fury sighed. “Why didn't we think of that?”

“What?” Clint and Natasha asked.

“We could have ordered him to do a mission or two for us, which would make him too busy for his own agenda.” Maria said. “As it stands now...”

“He's already declared he's incommunicado.” Fury said and rubbed his forehead. “Put something in the pipeline for him. Something difficult. Something very far away from Russian operatives.”

“Bolivia.” Natasha and Clint said at the same time, as if they had practised it.

Fury gave a small smile and nodded. “Hill, do it.”

Maria nodded back and changed the assignment to add Ben into it. Little did she realize that Ben hadn't been calling from his rooms in Avenger's Tower.


Yelena did her best to not cry as Shuri's advanced medical scanning bed beeped and showed them the results. “I knew I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up.”

“I am sorry, Yelena.” Shuri said and moved the display aside. “If they had left even one of your ovaries inside, we could have healed you enough to reconnect it and restarted your biological cycle.”

The door to the medical lab opened and Ben walked in with a purpose.

“B-Ben.” Yelena whispered and tears formed in her eyes.

“No, don't give up.” Ben said and took her hand.

“But... but, this...” Yelena waved at the medical technology around her. “It was my last...”

“No.” Ben interrupted her. “No, Yelena. There's one more chance.”

“Only one?” Shuri asked.

“Unfortunately.” Ben said. “Like you said, since they were removed, there's nothing to heal. However...”

Shuri gave him a look and saw his smile. “When will it be available?”

“The Convergence of the planets won't happen until the winter of next year.” Ben said and looked down at Yelena. “If things work out like I think they will, I'll be able to give you the best Christmas present ever.”

Yelena looked at Shuri's happy face and looked back at Ben's. “I can have your babies.”

“If that's what you want.” Ben said.

“I do.” Yelena said, adamantly. “I would have signed the contract already if I was allowed.”

“We know.” Shuri said and took her free hand as she wiped away the tears on the other woman's face. “Now about you shoving your breasts into Ben's face...”

“He has already told me the rules.” Yelena said with a smile.

“You have already worked out how to get around them.” Shuri huffed. “Do not abuse his good nature.”

“I am standing right here, you know.” Ben said.

“Your opinion doesn't count in matters like this.” Shuri said, haughtily.

Yelena gave her an appreciative look. “As soon as I heard about you, I knew I would like you.”

“Of course. I am magnificent.” Shuri said.

“No, I'm magnificent. You're majestic.” Ben argued.

“I thought you were majestic.” Shuri countered.

“You can become a human-shaped armored cheetah. If that's not majestic, then nothing is.”

“Hmm.” Shuri said and then kissed him before she smiled. “I will accept your opinion. Just this once.”

“Thank you for being magnanimous about it.” Ben said with a laugh.

Yelena looked from Ben to Shuri and saw a dynamic there that she hadn't seen between Ben or anyone else. She knew he was dedicated to her and that he wouldn't endanger it by doing anything without Shuri's knowledge or permission.

It was a very odd thing to discover that Shuri was perfectly fine with Ben spreading his seed as far and as wide as possible, as long as there was a chance that her nation could benefit from it. It was also something Yelena wanted to take full advantage of. That Ben was honorable, powerful, and absolutely delicious, just made him that much more appealing.

Yelena then realized that they both still held her hands. Hers and not each other's. Her eyes widened as they kissed again, only it wasn't a quick peck like the last one had been. No, it was a full on 'I'm going to do you right now' kiss that made her wet.

“Please excuse us.” Ben said and let Yelena's hand go and led Shuri across the room, shoved her up against the wall and tore off her clothing, then he screwed her right there.

The yells of her pleasure brought two guards inside the medical lab. One she had met, Jubadi, and another she hadn't. To Yelena's shock and growing desire, both women stripped off and started to help. Then they joined in. Then they screamed their own pleasure. Then they had body shaking orgasms. Then Ben turned towards her and sprayed himself all over all three of the women's eager faces.

Yelena was nearly done fingering herself and she came right after he did. Yes, she definitely wanted a piece of that. A big piece. And she wanted it bad.