Title: Some Days There Are Dinosaurs
Author: marcicat

Fandom: Avengers MCU, Jurassic World
Rating: T
Words: 4100

Characters: Betty Ross, Pepper Potts, Darcy Lewis, Wanda Maximoff, Pietro Maximoff, Janet Van Dyne, Maria Hill, Greg Quill, Peter Quill, Nebula, Gamora, Owen Grady, Harley Keener

Summary: It turns out a lot more of life is about making friends and knowing people than we were led to believe. Also, dinosaurs.

Author’s Note: The prologue to this fic is actually the set-up for a much different story, that takes place in a non-alternate dimension. But once I set it up, suddenly there was the raptor squad, and I couldn’t resist. Since it also, however vaguely, explains why this particular set of people might have ended up in a meeting together, I left it in.



*******
PROLOGUE
*******
2008
Betty Ross

Really, she was glad Bruce was safe, or at least safe enough to write a letter lying about being safe. And it was hard to imagine a more obvious message than mailing back her necklace. But the thing was, she’d already made the leap. She didn’t want to go back.

So she went to British Columbia instead, and was unsurprised to find Virginia Potts already there. (Well, a little surprised, because Virginia Potts, but less than she would have expected, six months previous.)

They met in a coffee shop, and she wrapped her hands around a mug of cocoa and said, “I want to help.”

And Virginia Potts said, “Give me an hour,” and, “Call me Pepper.”

And then an hour later, she said, “I have a job offer for you,” and pushed a hard copy folder across the table.

She opened the folder. “I didn’t think Stark Industries was involved in planetary defense.” (She kept reading anyway.)

“Not SI. It’s a Wakandan initiative, actually.”

She stared. “Wakanda is the most isolationist nation in the world.” The idea that they would sponsor something like this — international cooperation, shared technology, immigration rights? About as believable as — well, as a person being infused with gamma radiation and gaining the ability to transform back and forth into the Hulk. (She maybe needed to adjust her expectations.)

Pepper smiled, like she had followed a little of that train of thought just based on Betty’s facial expressions.

“Wakanda also believes that within the next ten years, our fates will be linked as one planet, rather than individual nations or coalitions of nations. There’s a copy of the charter in there; it’s a fascinating read.”

“And the goal?”

“In any global event, the key is communication. Networks of people, all willing and able to share information. We’ve been underestimating the power of community ingenuity for a long time, Dr. Ross. It’s put power in the hands of those who talk the loudest and the fastest and keep the most secrets, and I can’t say that I haven’t benefitted from that. But I can also recognize its potential for harm.”

Betty put a hand on the folder, and raised her eyebrows. “What is it that you want me to do, exactly?”

Pepper smiled again. “We just want you to make friends.”

*******

2015
Darcy Lewis

She woke up. To a sound that was definitely not her ring tone. Also, not her bedroom. The last thing she remembered was the meeting — officially to introduce Greg, but mostly an excuse to get everyone together and share gossip over an enormous amount of snacks.

So — kidnapping? Alternate dimension? Magic-induced hallucination? She took a deep breath; reminded herself to at least try to assume the best of people. She was awake, she was doing okay so far, relatively speaking.

Resources — she grabbed for the phone. Her thumbprint wouldn’t work, but the passcode was the same, which meant — something, probably.

Probably that the phone belonged to alternate!her. The contacts list was full of strangers, but flipping back through the photos, there she was. Alternate!her, anyway.

She flipped back one more picture, and stared. “What is that.” It looked like a selfie. With a dinosaur in the background. “That is a selfie with a dinosaur,” she said. It didn’t get any less weird when she said it out loud.

Finding out if anyone else had also woken up in bizarro-dinosaur-world was probably the next priority. Right after changing out of her pajamas. (They had little cartoon dinosaurs all over them. Very funny, alternate!her.)

When she heard someone knock on the door, she opened it without thinking, and there were Wanda and Pietro. They all stared at each other awkwardly for a few seconds, until Wanda said, “It’s her.”

Pietro nodded. “There’s dinosaurs. Dr. Ross thinks we’re in a parallel dimension. Everyone’s meeting in a break room we found.”

*******

Janet Van Dyne

This was not what she’d been expecting when she’d showed up for the meeting. The first meeting. (This one, which had started with ‘wtf dinosaurs’ and had yet to really progress much further, was actually pretty typical.)

She caught Maria’s eye over the table, and raised her eyebrows. One of them might as well step up. Maria shrugged.

Okay then. “Hey,” she said, and banged her hand on the table a few times. “Dinosaurs, yes. Not our top priority right now. We need to find out why we’re here, and how we can get back.”

The door slammed open and a man stepped inside. Weird-looking gun in each hand, seriously pissed off. “Where’s my ship?” he demanded.

A quick glance around the table showed that no one seemed too worried. Then Wanda said, “He’s not from here either,” and Pietro disappeared. When he reappeared seconds later, he was holding the guns, and the newcomer was on the floor.

“These are interesting,” Pietro said. “What are they, Stark tech?”

“Where’s my ship?” the man said again, standing up.

She rolled her eyes. “See, what I want to know, is why do you think we would know?”

For a second, he actually looked confused. “Same way you know I’m not from around here. Dimensional energy shift scanners. You’re lit up like Christmas.”

“We used magic, actually,” Wanda said. “And our first question was to wonder why we’re here. Funny that yours wasn’t.”

“Magic.” The man looked around the room again, eyes narrowed. “That’s a new one.”

She thought about banging her hand on the table again, but new guy seemed pretty jumpy. She stood up instead. “Let’s start over. I’m Jan, I’m from Earth, we’re all in a parallel universe, and there are dinosaurs outside. Who are you?”

“Peter Quill,” new guy said distractedly, tugging on his ear. “Is this working? Did you say Earth? Terra Earth?”

“Peter?” Greg was pretty spry for a senior citizen, but she wouldn’t have thought he’d been able to get around the table that quickly. He grabbed new guy’s shoulders and stared at him. “Peter?” he said again.

New guy’s eyes went wide. “Grandad?”

*******

Betty Ross

She wondered if anyone would notice if she snuck out. Not that the reunion wasn’t lovely. She was happy for Greg; they’d run into each other in the forums again and again, both with their crazy theories, and bonded over being the crackpots of the online community. But dinosaurs! Cloned, genetically modified dinosaurs were right outside!

But then Jan stood up again, from the huddle she and Maria and Wanda had been holding off to the side of the room. On a chair this time, and that definitely got everyone’s attention. “Peter,” she said. “Why are we here?”

(She wasn’t sure when she’d missed the part of the conversation that indicated it was Peter’s fault, but he didn’t look surprised.) Then again, he did start off by saying, “It’s not my fault.”

Then he looked at the ground, and gave a little half-shrug that she was pretty sure meant ‘yes it was.’ “There were these warlocks,” he said. “Showed up unexpected, kinda full of themselves, never seen them before. They were looking for the — this thing, that we definitely don’t have, anymore. We didn’t exactly stick around to ask who they were working for.”

Darcy groaned. “Please don’t tell me it was an infinity gem.”

Just based on Peter’s expression, it was pretty clear that yes, it was absolutely an infinity gem. “How did you know that?” he asked.

“These days? Safe bet any time there’s something horrible happening, there’s probably one of those things involved. Alien invasion? Infinity gem. Best friend possessed by evil? Infinity gem. Robots try to kill us all? Freakin’ infinity gem again!” She paused, then added, “Technically it was on our side that time.”

“There are three infinity gems on Earth?” Peter said, looking horrified.

“There were three,” Maria corrected. “Now there’s just the one.”

Peter threw his hands up in the air. “Oh, just one, that’s so much better. Except not, because one is still way too many!”

“Can we get back to the warlocks?” Jan said, and Peter frowned.

“Well, it was the usual. Threats, taunting. ‘Tell us what we want to know or we’ll kill your loved ones and make you watch,’ that sort of thing. Those guys were small time, though — no way should they have had enough juice to snatch me and six other people from so far away.”

Wanda was frowning too, which was usually a very bad sign. She said, “That might be my fault. We’ve never run into a warlock, but there was a shaman once. Our powers went weird around each other.”

Peter didn’t ask, but he looked curious, and Wanda conjured an energy ball in her hand, then flicked it away in a burst of sparkles. Peter just nodded. “Neat,” he said.

Betty’s practical side was slowly winning the battle over the SCIENCE! side. She hadn’t actually seen any of the Jurassic Park movies, but it would have been impossible to miss the basic thesis: cloning dinosaurs was pretty much a universally bad idea. Then add warlocks? “Is anyone else getting a really bad feeling about this?” she asked.

*******

Maria Hill

So, maybe she was regretting the decision to invite herself to the meeting that morning. On the other hand, they seemed to have displaced their alternate selves, so there was a strong chance that if she’d stayed behind she’d be dealing with them anyway. This was more interesting, at least.

She was mostly ignoring the conversation flowing around her. Obviously, yes, the dinosaurs were a bad call, but she didn’t think they were really in any position to throw stones. Plus, her alternate self apparently worked in security (not shocking), and had a startling amount of access to the personnel files and back-end operations of the park, all on her phone. Handy. Sketchy, but handy.

She caught Jan’s eye and gestured at her phone. “We may have a bigger problem,” she said, when Jan was close enough to hear her.

Jan glanced at the display. “You’re thinking shelter in place for the civilians, see if we can take it out?”

Maria stared. “You got all of that from this map?”

“No, I just recognized the map. Alternate me has one too; it’s in my amnesia file. Apparently we’re both paranoid and good friends in this dimension.”

Pietro, who’d been hovering nearby, stopped pretending not to listen in. “You have an amnesia file?” he asked.

“Of course.” Jan frowned at him, like it was perfectly normal. “Basic background, current events, comes in handy when you accidentally get amnesia. Or, you know, switch dimensions and need a quick primer.”

Wanda was edging closer too, while the other four remained locked in a debate about whether or not a brontosaurus was a real dinosaur. (Either way it was an herbivore; she hardly saw how it was relevant to their current situation.)

“Shouldn’t we be focused on getting home?” Pietro said.

She didn’t want to admit that she felt responsible for her alternate self. But alternate her had obviously put a lot of thought into trying to protect people, if the worst should happen, and it was sort of their fault that she wasn’t going to be around to do it until someone figured out how to switch them back.

Luckily, she didn’t have to explain any of that. Jan said, “Come on, you’ve never wanted to fight a dinosaur?”

Pietro stared at her. “No. Never.”

“I think we should help them,” Wanda said.

And that was that, apparently. Pietro shrugged, and Wanda nodded, and then Jan said, “How are we going to get close enough to scope things out, though?”

Suddenly everyone was looking at her. Even the brontosaurus argument had ended, or been put on hold, at least. “That’s the easy part,” she said, checking her phone again. “They already want the raptor trainer to look at the enclosure. That’s him.” She pointed at Peter. “You’ve got this, right?”

He was nodding before she’d even finished talking. “Raptor trainer, right, got it. Wait — what?”

*******

Wanda Maximoff

“Huh.” Peter was staring at the raptors. They stared back. (She rated them about a six on the unnerving stare scale, but she had the dual advantage of being able to read them, at least a little, and also not being the one who was going in there.)

“Well, they definitely know you’re not him,” she said, glancing back and forth between them.

They had split into groups — Darcy, Betty, and Greg headed for the lab sector, and Pietro checking civilian areas with Jan and Maria. She really wasn’t sure how important it was to make nice with the small(er) dinosaurs before they went looking for the big one, but the others had agreed that they should try not to totally screw up their alternate selves’ lives while they were there. If possible.

Mostly she figured she was there to keep Peter from being eaten, either accidentally or on purpose.

“You think?” He tilted his head to one side, and the raptors all copied him.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” she asked.

Peter kept his eyes on the raptors. “Well, my implant’s pretty much crap with anything that isn’t vocalized, but I’ve managed to communicate with weirder species. Probably.”

He stepped into the enclosure.

After five minutes, the raptors still hadn’t eaten him, and Wanda heard someone coming up beside her. “Hello. You must be the new intern?” The woman looked into the enclosure, and sighed. “What is he doing now?”

She checked. He was telling a story about space pirates, as far as she could tell. “Gesturing,” she said.

The woman gave her an odd look, but didn’t push. “If you see two boys wandering around where they shouldn’t be, would you send them back to my office? They’re my nephews.”

Since Wanda had no idea who the woman was, where her office could be found, or which areas were off limits, it was unlikely she’d be of any help. She said, “Sure,” and smiled anyway.

By the time Peter backed out of the enclosure, the woman was gone again. “They don’t know what it is, but it’s big and angry and freaks them out. And anything that freaks out a pack of those?” He waved a hand at the raptors. “I definitely don’t want to meet.”

She stared at him. “Is that it? That’s all they know?”

“They know lots of stuff, it’s just — raptor stuff. Smells and sounds; things like that. They want the other guy back. Owen.” He frowned. “Is it weird that other me has a totally different name? That seems weird.”

“Not that weird,” she said, shaking her head. “What about the other dinosaur? What does it want?”

Peter shrugged. “They have no idea.”

*******

Pietro Maximoff

“Earthquake drill.”

Maria looked suspicious. “What?”

This is why he usually stuck with the science teams. “Because,” he said slowly. “I’ve read every safety checklist between here and the gates, and an earthquake drill is the best match for what you want them to do.” He ticked off the points on his fingers. “Get the civilians to shelter, maximum lockdown on all animal enclosures, open transit for all park safety personnel. And they haven’t had one for 36 days, so they’re due.”

Maria just nodded, but Jan gave him a victory fist-bump. “I’m guessing it’s slightly more complicated than just pulling a fire alarm and running like hell,” she said. “Who do we need to convince?”

Five minutes later, they were standing in front of a couple control room techs.

“An alternate universe.” The techs exchanged a look, and one of them shrugged. “Well, it’s not the strangest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Gravity suddenly seemed to lurch sideways, and he was in motion long before it settled. There were three new people in the room — two looked dangerous; one looked confused. And one of the dangerous ones was tracking him even at speed, which was new. He stopped. She had a weapon trained on him, and her expression said she wasn’t planning on missing.

“Where’s Quill?” she demanded, even as he heard one of the techs say, “Owen?” That must be the confused one, then; he looked different with a mustache.

“Why are you asking me?” he said.

“Because you’re the one with his blasters.”

Right. The guns. He’d ‘forgotten’ to give them back in the break room. “He’s fine; he’s with the others.” He skipped the part about how they were probably in the labs by then.  Maybe it took one to know one, but it looked like she was one wrong move away from killing everyone and asking questions never, and he was pretty sure mentioning science experiments would be that move.

"How did you get back?" Jan asked, ignoring the crazy eyes completely.  

Owen -- the actual Owen -- gave a sideways glance at the people he'd showed up with.  "There were warlocks?" he offered.  "We -- hitched a ride."  He looked like he couldn't quite believe he was saying those words.  

So the warlocks were there too, then.  Probably not good.  On the other hand: efficient.  

An alarm started flashing above one of the screens, and the techs got a little wide-eyed.  Jan stepped forward.  "What does that mean?"

"Um.  It's an asset.  Ah, asset out of containment."

"Can you still lock down the park?  Run the drill?"  The tech nodded.  "Do it," Jan said.  "And stay here.  We're going to find the dinosaur."  

"And the warlocks."  He felt like it needed to be said, because it was the warlocks who — hopefully — were going to be able to send them back to the right universe.  And also he wasn't thrilled with the whole dinosaur fight plan.

The woman who was still aiming at least one weapon at him added, "And Quill."

"And my raptors," Owen said.  Everyone looked at him.  "What?  They're kids; I worry."

*******

Darcy Lewis

She thought she might be starting to get used to it — how a plan that would sound like ten kinds of crazy when she thought about it later, could somehow seem like a sane and reasonable course of action in the moment. (She’d blame the Avengers, but that wouldn’t explain Jane.)

It would explain why she was standing in a jungle, uncomfortably close to a pack of velociraptors, while said raptors apparently engaged in a frolic with their recently-returned-from-an-alternate-dimension handler.

(Of their goals -- find the escaped dinosaur, find the warlocks, find Quill, and find the raptors -- Quill and the raptors were the only ones they actually had a location for.  So that's where they started.)  Also, it was raining.  A lot.  And being at the raptor enclosure meant that at least some of them got to stand inside.

Most of the group was huddled around a computer screen, looking at a map of the park.  They were trying to figure out the best way to get a search started (and probably still arguing about whether the dinosaur or the warlocks were the top priority).  Peter and Greg were standing a little apart from the rest -- from the looks of it, there would be hugging and tears before long.

“What is that.”  

It was one of the people who’d showed up with Owen — the ones who knew Peter. Gamora? Nebula? They were both staring at her, anyway.

She looked around, trying to figure out which particular sight might be in question.  It didn’t seem to be the raptors themselves, which she would personally have called out as the weirdest element.  Aliens were bound to have a different frame of reference, she guessed.

“What is what?” she said finally.

“That you’re doing,” Gamora said, pointing at the phone in Darcy’s hand. She looked suspicious.

Oh. Well, that was easy, at least. “I’m writing to myself. Alternate!me. Letting her know what’s happening here — I mean, you hijack someone’s life for a day, potentially tank their career, and participate in a dinosaur-warlock-superpowers showdown at their place of employment; it kinda seems like leaving a note is the least I can do.”

The phone rang before Gamora could reply, and Darcy frowned at the display, then shrugged. “Hello?” she said, holding the phone up to her ear.

”Hi, this is Harley Keener, please don’t hang up.”

She frowned again. “This is Darcy Lewis. Why would I hang up on you?” So she knew Harley in two universes? Weird coincidence, or just standard-issue concurrency?

His voice was muffled, like he was trying to be quiet. ”This is going to sound crazy, but I’m from an alternate dimension and I followed some —“

“Wait. Harley? Our Harley?” She realized she’d cut him off, and added, “Sorry. I believe you, obviously. How did you get here? Everyone else was in the meeting.”

”Um, there may have been some air duct tag going on? And I may have been right above the room?”

That sounded — not completely unbelievable, actually. “How did you get this number? And why are you whispering?”

“I didn’t know it was you. I’ve just been calling the general park number and working my way through all the options. I — did you know there are warlocks?”

She nodded, even though he couldn’t see her. “Yup. They’re on the list. We’re at the raptor enclosure; can you get here?”

”Not exactly?” There was a noise in the background of the call, like a roar. She suddenly had a very bad feeling.

“Harley?” she asked.

”So, I followed the warlocks, because it was pretty clear they knew more about what was going on than I did. Also I have a brother here? And it was freaking me out. And it turns out they were looking for this dinosaur. Yeah, it’s also here now. I think they were going to try negotiating with it.”

“Yeah?” She wasn’t sure she wanted to know how that had gone. She was at the map by then, with everyone’s attention on her. “I’m going to put you on speaker, okay? We’re coming to get you right now.”

*******

Wanda Maximoff

The good news was that the warlocks hadn’t been eaten by the dinosaur before they could send everyone back to the correct dimension. The bad news was that it was still raining, and no one could decide what to do about the dinosaur itself.

“You can’t kill it,” Harley said — again. “It’s not even doing anything!”

Which was true, sort of. It was watching them, but it wasn’t attacking. When they’d first arrived, the dinosaur (no one was calling it a mutant, yet, but no one had managed to ID it, either, beyond ‘big and noisy’) had backed off. The raptors kept herding Owen to the farthest side of the clearing, and the warlocks were under guard by Nebula and the Quills.

Everyone else was just standing around, arguing. It was ridiculous. Sometimes she wondered how they got anything done at all.

It was the raptors that gave her the idea. They were smart — smart enough to keep a human in the pack because it got them more freedom. And they had told Peter that the new dinosaur was angry, and they didn’t know what it wanted. Not exactly an unfamiliar feeling to her.

She spun the idea out to the dinosaur, swirling magic across the space between them — what she could offer, what would change. There were risks, but sticking around had its own set of problems. She watched it work through the concepts. Ultimately, she watched it agree, and felt its curiosity increasing.

It didn’t take as much energy as she thought it would. A little push in the right direction, and she walked across the clearing before anyone could stop her. The dinosaur — now about the size of a small dog — jumped into her arms.

She turned around, and smiled. “Problem solved,” she said. “Let’s go home.”

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