Chapter 1: This Day Just Got More Exciting
I started out every other day with gym because my school had block scheduling. To be quite honest, I hated gym, mostly because I was the fluffy girl that ran as slow as a sloth and had the reflexes of a koala bear—which, I mean, I don’t think they’re very good, but who the hell knows, I lived in Kentucky, for god’s sake. An average-sized town in Kentucky, whose only big thing that attracted visitors is its quilt show, and that caused my mom to have to work more at the hotel and come home tired and late, thus going to bed and me not being able to spend time with her—damn, there I go again, always going off on a tangent. I did it all the time, I couldn’t help it.
So anyway. Back to the amazing story in which I’m about to tell you.
After gym I was sweaty and tired and I wanted to go home and get on the internet, because I found it more educational than school in every way. Well, maybe because I just needed to update my fics and stuff, but mostly because I was antisocial in most situations and liked to be by myself, because people generally aggravated the hell out of me. I had a low tolerance for people and being around them every freakin’ day really didn’t help my tolerance, especially if you had to deal with the people at my school. A lot of the girls were whores and most of the guys were dicks, and I had to put up with it on a daily basis. The only thing that kept me remotely sane was releasing my pent-up anger using my sarcasm and talking about the Avengers with my friend Amelya.
I was going to see the premiere. Amelya was kind of pissed at me for that.
And this is where my story takes an interesting twist.
I had arrived at my locker and tossed my stuff in it, slamming it and sighing. Just the rest of the day, I thought, and then the weekend, and then next week is the premiere…
I was so wrapped up in my reverie that I hadn’t noticed someone was behind me until they reached out and poked my shoulder. I shrieked and turned around, waiting for it to be Kristyn, but instead it was Amelya, staring at me like I was a complete retard. She wasn’t far off.
“Dude,” I grumbled, glaring at her as she moved pass me to get to her locker, grabbing her things for government. We had the same class. “You don’t just come up behind someone while they’re fantasizing about stuff and just up and poke them. It’s just common courtesy.”
“Why are you fantasizing in the hallway in the first place?” she countered, and I really wanted to roll my eyes.
“Oh, just…you know…Loki,” I said, and she smiled.
Funny story about Loki. Well, not exactly funny, because if you made a funny story about Loki he would know and probably kill you in your sleep for it. Amelya had gotten me into the Avengers solely because of the god of badassery known as Loki. She kept blabbering on and on about him and she forced me to watch Thor and the other Avengers movies, Iron Man being my favorite, just for the pure fact that I believe Tony Stark and I shared a few personality traits. I liked him because he was a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist and he had a sense of humor. And I thought he was cute. People cringed when I told them that, but I ignored them, because what I think is what I think and they could sit there and deal with it.
“Of course, people always think about Loki,” she said, like it was obvious, and to us, it sort of was. I swear, if it weren’t for Amelya, then I would be ignorant to most awesome things, like Loki or Tony Stark or Cherik. Yes, I shipped Cherik, just as I did Pepperony, Stony, and Lony. If you want to know what those things are, get on Tumblr. Or any fan fiction website.
“Come on, let’s walk to class so we can talk about Loki,” I said, hoisting my Gir back over my shoulder, along with my Macbook case, and started to follow her as the hallway population started to dwindle. We exited into the courtyard to cut across, like we always did, when something caused me to stop in my tracks. A straggler student rushed past us, concerned about being late. I lost this concern a long time ago.
Amelya stopped and turned around. “Demi? What are you doing? We’re gonna be late.”
“Do you feel that?” I asked, spinning around the sidewalk. Something wasn’t right.
“If you mean the feeling of being late, then yes,” she muttered, crossing her arms. “What are you doing?”
And that was when I spotted it—a glowing pool of blue at the other side of the court. Amelya followed my eyes and we made contact, her green eyes saying, Okay, whatever the hell your planning to do, do not do it.
Of course, I wasn’t one to read people’s eyes.
I started to change my path and made my way down the court yard, approaching the blue. Amelya stayed planted on the sidewalk. “Demi, where are you going? You’re going to get in trouble!”
“Give me a minute,” I said, steadily closing in on the blue. Amelya groaned and rushed up to me, copying my pace as we stepped near the blue pool. I could feel something different in the air; like something weird was going to happen.
“What in the actual fuck is that thing?” I whispered as we reached out destination. A whirring sound emanated from the portal, its insides swirling cerulean blue.
“I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out. Come on, Demi, let’s go, I don’t like the look of this.” Amelya tugged at my sleeve. “Seriously, this could be bad, dude.”
“I really do not want to go to government…” I mused, scratching my chin. I on purpose took a step closer to the portal, my Converses touching the edge of the gaping mouth of blue.
“Demi, what are you thinking?” Amelya asked catiously.
“I’m thinkin’ I need some spice to add to this gumbo,” I replied, and then I leapt into the puddle of blue.
“Demi! What are you doing?” Amelya glanced around in confusion before she groaned and hopped in after me.
The next thing I remember is landing on my back on a very hard surface.
Lesson number one, kiddies: Don’t jump into a portal without parental consent.
Oh, shit, where was I?
I kept hearing voices—they were frantic, some excited, exclamations of joy and stuff, and one calm, British-sounding voice that seemed oddly familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. I could feel people tugging at me, then being lifted up and carried somewhere, and that freaked me out because who the hell was strong enough to carry my fat ass? Certainly no one I knew, and that was saying something. Had the portal actually taken me somewhere? And if so, where?
I cringed and then I heard someone’s breathing stall. I found my hands and clenched them into fists as I recovered the effort it apparently took to open one’s eyes. Soon light bled through my cracked lids, illuminating one of the most curious sites I have ever seen in my existence.
“Jesus Christ,” I whispered when I realized I was in a room with the Avengers.
Chapter 2: Well, Fellas, I Ain't Acting This Time...
They think I'm an actor.
It was like I had woken up from a blissful dream, only to see the contents of the dream standing in my room, staring at me with the most curious gazes. I jerked back and hit my head on something hard, and then I hissed, realizing it was a headboard, and I was on a bed. A very soft bed, I noticed, but then it made me miss my bed, where my dog and cat usually laid, getting their freaking hair all over the black blanket—get out of the freaking tangent, Demi! I growled at myself, wishing that I had the ability to calm the hell down.
“She has awaken,” commented a big, burly blond guy with blond scruff, and then I recalled that it was Thor, the god of freaking thunder. One of my other friends who were into the Avengers thought that he was sexy; I thought he was a tad good-looking, but I liked Tony a lot more. Call me crazy, but that was just how I rolled.
“We got that, Thor,” said another blond guy—Steve Rogers, also known as Captain America, the poster child for the Avengers. Now, I’m not the one to cry for characters in movies—there was this one time where me and my mom bawled when we watched the movie Hachi, but that was about it. When I finished Captain America, I didn’t cry. I didn’t tear up. I had calmly put the DVD back into the case, went outside, and thought. And then, I was sad for the day.
“She looks like she got hit by a freight train.” Oh boy, it was Clint Barton, or Hawkeye. When I watched Thor for the second time I was surprised to see that Hawkeye was in it, because I was wondering what movie he did a cameo in. I knew Black Widow had appeared in Iron Man 2, and she had kicked all kinds of ass and taken everyone’s names. I think I rewound the movie like fifty times so I could see Natasha kick everyone’s ass.
And then, Natasha rolled her eyes and muttered, “Nice, Clint, every girl wants to be told that.”
My head hurt and it felt like everyone was talking at the top of their lungs. I moaned and rubbed my temples. “God, stop with the yelling already.”
“Sounds like someone has a hangover.”
And then, sweet baby Jesus, there was my favorite Avenger, Tony freaking Stark, aka Iron Man. He was wearing a Black Sabbath t-shirt (Ah, I liked Black Sabbath) and held his signature glass of whatever alcoholic drink he decided on that day, making it look cool as hell. I seriously wanted to let out a fan girl squeal and ask for his autograph, but then I decided that that wouldn’t be a good idea. I had no idea where the hell I was.
I didn’t know what I should do. Should I have asked where I was, or should I have waited until they asked? I kept silent, wondering if I was hallucinating. Maybe I was because I hadn’t eaten breakfast and I actually did stuff in gym, and that made me all dizzy and stuff. I racked my brain, remembering how I got here. There had been that portal and I had jumped in, just for the pure fact that I was five flavors of retarded and wanted to know everything, and so, why the hell not? It got me out of government, and maybe the rest of the day, so why was I complaining? I wasn’t.
But Amelya had jumped in with me. And where was she, I wondered?
“Do you speak?” The question made me jump and I glared at Tony.
“Nope, I’m a mute,” I replied, smirking. “No words pass these lips, no sir.”
“Oh Jesus, please don’t tell me we have another Tony Stark,” Natasha groaned.
“That’s impossible, no one can be as awesome as me,” Tony said, grinning, tossing back his drink and setting the glass down on the table lining the bed. “So, what do we have here, I wonder?”
“Welp,” I said, resting my head on the headboard, not bothering to conceal my true self. “What we’ve got here is a very peculiar site indeed. We have a fourteen-year-old girl who has fallen through some portal and doesn’t know where she is. Would you like to buy a vowel?”
Clint threw up his hands. “Damn, it’s the female version of Tony. We’re all screwed.”
“Wait, hold on.” Steve ran his eyes over me. “Doesn’t she seem familiar?”
And then they all looked at me, sizing me up. I scoffed and said, “Staring is considered rude in my world, you know? I’m sure it is here, too.”
“Oh my god, it’s her,” Natasha whispered.
Something about her change of demeanor caused me to go on high alert. “What do you mean? What about me?”
“Yeah, what about her?” Tony added.
“Tony, remember? I forced all of you to go see her movie! She’s Demi Oakley!”
Everyone gasped and all eyes were on me. I scrabbled out of the bed and backed away from them, hands up in front of me. “Okay, I have no idea what you guys are talking about.”
“Are you talking about that movie, the Misfits?” Clint asked.
“Yes, that’s the one!” Thor said.
“Oh my god,” Natasha kept repeating.
“Whoa, whoa, hold the freaking phone for a minute here!” I exclaimed loudly. “What are you people talking about? What movie? I wasn’t in any movies!”
“That’s where you’re wrong,” Tony told me quietly. “You’re a movie star. And you fell from the sky into my house.”
Oh, I thought before I sank to my knees. That explains the major back pain.
Chapter 3: I Embarrass The Manly Men Of The Avengers
The story in this chapter is true, actually.
I really needed to stop overreacting about stuff.
I seriously was about to lose my cool in front of the Avengers, Earth’s mightiest heroes, and that really would put a dent in my inflated ego; yes, I admit, my ego is huge, why do you think I’m writing a self-insert fic in the first place? Anyway…moving on to the plot.
“That’s impossible,” I whispered, standing up on legs that seem to have become the consistency of jelly. My voice was shaky, and that freaked me out even more, because my voice was never shaky. “I’m not an actor. That’s—no. you’re lying. That’s impossible. I’m sorry, but it is.”
“Tell that to the tabloids,” Clint said. “Your latest movie killed the box office; it just took the top spot again for the fifth week in a row.”
“I loved you in New Kid.”
There was a new voice; one that was familiar but hadn’t been in the conversation until now. I turned around to see Bruce Banner enter the room, shirt torn and ripped, as well as his pants, and then I realized: He’s the freaking Hulk.
“Bruce!” Thor said cheerfully, going to clap the other on the shoulder. “Are you doing better, my friend?”
“Yeah, I am. Sorry I freaked out on you guys, but I’m not accustomed to having people fall through a roof and land on me.” He sent a pointed stare in my general direction.
I blushed and seriously wanted to jump off a building. “Oh, my god, I’m so, so sorry! I didn’t mean to—I’m surprised my fat ass didn’t crush your spin and oh my god what the fuck is wrong with me—“
“Jeez, she’s got a mouth on her,” Steve said, sounding perturbed. He returned his gaze back to Tony. “She’s just like you, isn’t she?”
I was still freaking out over how I landed on Bruce and he was trying to reassure me about how he was fine and how I did nothing wrong. While I was freaking out, all of the others had slowly gathered into a small group, and I somehow knew they were talking about me. After years of being bullied, I knew. I had this ability to sense when people were making fun of me behind my back. Lately, I’ve just begun to brush them off and laugh at them, because if they wanted to say something to me, they should say it to my face and not act like a complete coward and whisper to their friends.
“You know, I know when people are talking about me, so trying to act all secretive about it really doesn’t help,” I told them, and then they went silent, sending looks in my direction. I rolled my eyes and dug around in my pocket for my phone, finding it and fishing it out. I wondered if I could text Amelya and see where she was.
‘Hey, where r u?’ I typed, sending it. I hoped she responded, because I needed someone to talk to.
“Are you sure you aren’t the famous Demi Oakley?” Steve asked me, and I nodded.
“Well, tell us a bit about yourself. Maybe that might help us try to figure out what to do about you,” Natasha told me.
I sighed and crossed my arms. “What do you want to know?”
“Everything,” Tony replied.
Great. I loved talking about myself. That was the truth, I wasn’t being sarcastic. It showed how full of myself I was. “My full name is Demirus Jewel Oakley, but I go by Demi, since some idiots can’t pronounce it. I’m a fourteen-year-old freshman in high school. I also write fan fiction and various stories, and I guess I have an ability at drawing things. I’m a potty mouth, sarcastic, and my mom thinks I’m a narcissist and have a superiority complex. I have a laundry list of character defects, mainly my weight and my addiction to sweets. I have two pets: a dog and a cat.”
“I’m liking this kid more every second,” Tony whispered to Steve, who rolled his eyes. “So, how did you get here?”
“My friend and I—her name is Amelya, and she’s like obsessed with you guys, by the way. She loves the Avengers movies.”
“Wait, you know we’re the Avengers?” Bruce said, incredulously.
I blinked. “Of course—you guys have your own movies in my realm. Except for Natasha and Clint.”
“What? Why don’t we get out own movies?” Clint sounded pissed.
I shrugged, indifferent. “I don’t know, I think it’s because you guys aren’t the most important Avengers, but you did have cameos in two movies. Hawkeye in Thor and Black Widow in Iron Man 2.” I turned to Natasha. “I’m personally a big fan of yours, Natasha. You kicked all sorts of ass in that movie.”
She smiled. “Why, thank you. And I think you kicked all sorts of ass in your movies, too.”
I really wanted to see these movies, because I didn’t remember kicking anyone’s ass, but I continued on, but before Clint said, “Did I kick any ass?”
I shrugged. “No, not really. You were in Thor for a fraction of a second and really didn’t even get to shoot your bow. But you were good in other movies, or so I’m told. I haven’t seen Ghost Protocol yet, but I think I might check it out.”
Clint seemed disappointed and I felt a tad sorry for him. “But don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be good in The Avengers! I’m going to see the premiere once I figure out how to get out of here.”
“So…in your world…” Thor was trying to sum this up. “We’re what’s known as a movie.”
“You got it, big guy,” I said. “And I guess in this world, I’m in movies. I never expected it to be like that.”
“So you know everything about us?” Steve asked.
I nodded. “Yeah, but my friend Amelya’s the expert; she’s the one who got me into The Avengers. She’s seen all of the movies like a trillion times and is obsessed with Loki—“
“My brother?” Thor breathed.
“You support our enemy?” Natasha muttered, eyes glinting dangerously. I felt my heart jump up my throat and I choked.
“Now, Natasha,” Steve murmured. “Let her finish her story.”
“Yeah, don’t do anything rash,” I stammered, but cleared my throat and continued on. “You see, this world is fiction in my world. You guys don’t actually exist, and neither does Loki. You are just played by actors. Like, everything that’s happened in the Avengers universe hasn’t actually happened. You guys are just based off of comic book characters.”
“Wait…it’s the same for you in our world,” Bruce told me. “You’re based off a comic book character.”
I halted, staring at them like I had just discovered the cure for cancer. “Wait, what?”
“What the Hulk speaks is the truth,” Tony uttered. “In our world, you are based off a very popular comic book series called The Misfits, you being the main character. Any of that ring a bell?”
I didn’t speak, because I was trying to gather my wits about me. How could I be a comic book character? My life was far from interesting; how could it be featured in a comic book?
“How…does this even work?” I breathed shakily.
“I’ve read the comics, and I must say that you are a very relatable character,” Natasha told me. “You have struggles in your life and you have doubts, but you always try to find a way to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and laugh about it in the end.” She got a wistful look about her. “I have March’ issue, if you want to look at it to confirm what we’re saying.”
I nodded and she smirked, standing up and sashaying out of the room. How did she walk in those high heels?
“So…I’m confused. Am I a comic book character slash movie character slash actor or what?” I mean, did they say I was an actor?
“That’s actually a good question,” Thor said.
“From what I can tell, you are the real Demi Oakley, the one from the comics and the movie,” Tony responded, scratching his chin. “There’s an actor who plays you. We got it mixed up.”
“Jesus, I’d hate to see who plays me,” I muttered to myself. “They must have made me look like a mega bitch.”
Tony tried to smother a laugh but failed. I sent a pointed glare at him and rolled my eyes. “Shut up, Tony. I already know I’m a bitch.”
“You don’t seem like one,” Clint said. “What is it with girls hating on themselves?”
“I don’t know. If I knew that, then the world would be a better place and there would be no more of this nonsensical blather about nothing.” I sat back down on the bed, tucking my shoelaces back under the tongue of my Converses. “No matter what I say about myself, everyone counters it and gives me reasons why I’m not what I think I am.”
“We know that, we’ve seen your movies,” Bruce murmured.
“And I have seen yours,” I replied. “And Bruce, I must say I’m a fan of yours, you know, especially the way you turn into a green rage monster.”
“Tony said the same thing to me.”
“I know. It was in the trailer for The Avengers.” I sighed. “Man, I hope I get out of here before the premiere. I really want to see Loki throw you out of the window, Tony. I’ll probably laugh my ass off.”
“Wait, he throws me out of a window? What the fuck, man?”
“Tony!” Steve hissed. “Language.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. Everyone turned to stare at me and I rubbed my eye. “God, I love you two. There’s a whole fandom dedicated to Steve and Tony.”
A pregnant silence followed my statement, but it broke when Thor repeated, “Fandom?”
“Yeah, fandom. Steve and Tony is Stony. Tony and Pepper is Pepperony—which I just think is perfect, by the way. I totally ship you guys.”
“Uh—Stony?” Tony repeated in a sort of shaky voice.
“Don’t freak out, Stark. There are some freaky people in my world that write about you and Steve having hot guy sex—I don’t write about you having sex, by the way, I just can’t—and being together and stuff. Hence the name Stony. Steve and Tony. It’s called slash.”
Steve’s face was redder than a ripe tomato, and Tony was as pale as a sheet. Clint was laughing really hard, and Bruce was shaking his head. I smirked and said, “But you guys aren’t the only slash Avengers couple. There’s Clint and Bruce.”
Clint choked up and flushed darkly, and Bruce started to chortle. I smirked and said, “I ship you guys, too. And then there’s Clint and Phil.”
“Phil Coulson? Coulson? Are you fucking serious?” Tony exclaimed. “Oh god, you are putting images into my mind, please stop, please—“
While Tony was freaking out, I was enjoying everyone’s expressions. I wasn’t going to tell Thor about his fandoms; Thor/Loki just plain ol’ freaked me out.
“And then there’s Tony and Loki…”
“Jesus Christ, shut up! Do you like torturing me?” Tony exclaimed.
“Tony’s on top in that relationship, but my friend Amelya thinks it should be the other way around; Steve’s on top in the Stony fandom, from what I’ve read so far…” I grinned as Steve started to bite his lip and Tony covered his ears, humming some song I haven’t heard of.
I heard the door open and Natasha sing, “I’m back! What did I miss?”
“She’s telling us about her world and the creepy-ass people that write fan fictions about us,” Clint told her, looking sick.
“Dude, you didn’t know that? I read about them all the time—by the way, I totally ship Blint.”
I busted out guffawing and covered my face. Bruce started to look really perturbed and I suggested, “Maybe we should stop, you know, before Bruce gets angry again.”
All of the others huffed in agreement. Tony was glaring daggers at me, but I smiled sweetly at him and said, “Okay, where are these comic books you’ve been telling me about?”
Well, it was only one comic book, and it was in her hand. She handed it to me and said, “Be careful, don’t mess it up. I liked this one.”
“I got this.” I gingerly took it and examined the cover. My eyes grew to the size of dinner plates when I realized that I was on the cover, along with my friends, but I was up front. It was exactly what I looked like: fluffy, wearing a band t shirt, hair styled spiky and punk-rocker-like. A piece of hair hung in front of my left eye, just like it always did. I stared at it for a while before I opened to a random page and gasped.
I remembered that day, because my mind always remembered the things I didn’t want to remember. My friends and I had been minding our own business at lunch, and these seniors decided to pick on us.
I didn’t care if you picked on me. But when you picked on my friends, it was go time.
I remembered challenging one of seniors—a big black guy who could probably kill me with one hand behind my back. I remember standing up so fast my chair nearly knocked over and the table pushed back, exclaiming, “Bitch, you wanna go?” to no one in particular. One of the girls at the table, some girl who we’ve had trouble with in the past, came over to me and started to get in my face. If my friend Brook hadn’t come over there and calmed me down, then I wouldn’t popped her in her face. I didn’t think when I was angry. One of my flaws.
I read into the comic. It was a perfect drawing of Brook, glasses and all. “Come on, Demi, let’s go.”
In the comic I pushed past her as she got my stuff. I walked swiftly out of the cafeteria, but at the midway point before the door I ran and burst into the hallway, running up the ramp and into the girl’s bathroom.
I slowly closed the comic. That had actually happened, and ever since then, no one’s messed with me.
“This…is…too much,” I whispered.
I had started to forget what had happened that day.
But this had refreshed my memory.
Chapter 4: Avengers, Assemble! Demi, Stay In The Car!
So apparently while I was wallowing in self-pity, evil decided to get freaky with it and destroy New York.
I knew this because something beeped and Steve answered something that looked like a phone. The expression on his face turned serious, and then he announced, “Loki’s trying to destroy the city.”
Everyone started to rush around, getting their crap together, and I was stuck in the middle, eyes rushing as they failed to keep up with the Avengers. I wasn’t just going to sit there and look pretty; I wanted to go with. So I gathered up my stuff and removed anything important, deciding that I was probably going to be back here later, until Bruce’s voice behind me made me jump. “You seriously aren’t thinking of going with us, are you?”
Everyone stopped in their tracks to send glares at me, and I smirked. “I’m not going to just sit here and be pretty. This is the first time in my life that something actually awesome is happening and I’m not going to just sit back and wait until the big boys get stuff done. I want to see you guys in action.”
- “Jeez, you’re just like you are in the comic book.”
Tony was full on Iron Man, and I had to admit, the way the suit made his voice sound was pretty freakin’ awesome. I flashed my pearly whites at him and asked, “Okay, team, what’s the plan?”
I ended up riding with Phil Coulson. I was happy with that. I liked Phil just for the pure fact that he could turn anything into a weapon, and I saw a clip from the movie where he goes fan boy over Captain America, and that honestly made my day. I mean, when my friend Amelya told me about it, I seriously imaged Phil with big, shiny anime eyes and squealing over Steve like I did when I saw cute fluff fan art for any of the fandoms I supported. He didn’t do exactly that, much to my utmost disappointment, but what he did sufficed.
“Phil, I just want to say that I am a huge fan of yours,” I said from the backseat, whom I was sharing with Clint, because before we got in Natasha had declared, ‘Shotgun, bitch’ and called it before Clint could even get a word out. I was nearly jumping in my seat; if only Amelya were here! I checked my phone to see if she responded to my text; my inbox remained empty. I frowned, then returned the phone to where it once was. That depressed me—and worried me. I wondered, if I was in a parallel universe, what universe was she in?
“Thank you, Miss Oakley,” he replied in his usual ‘I’m Phil Coulson’ tone. “I must say that I’m a fan of yours, too. I read your comics; I really enjoyed your character.”
Oh my god oh my god oh my god—“Really? Dang, a lot of people must have read these things.”
“Did you seriously say ‘dang’?” Natasha repeated.
“Yeah, I’m trying to stop cursing; it was one of my New Year’s resolutions. Even though that was like…four months ago…whatever, it still applies.”
Clint was chuckling beside me. I glared at him and said, “Shut up, bow boy, before you take an arrow to the knee.”
And surprisingly, a chuckle was goaded out of Coulson. “I actually get that.”
“Yeah, you were obsessed with that phrase in the January issue of The Misfits,” Natasha told me.
“Oh my god, how many of these issues are there?” I muttered, leaning into the seat. “When did the series start, anyway?”
“It started when you changed schools. When you were in seventh grade, I believe. That was when I sort of got the feeling we shared something.” Natasha glanced at me from the rearview mirror. “I know what it’s like, to have to move. I originally lived in Russia.”
“I knew that,” I said. “Why don’t you have an accent, though?”
Clint groaned. “Oh god, don’t ask her that—“
“I did, but I’ve been in American for so long that it’s disappeared. I still know Russian, though.”
I sighed. “I’ve always wanted to know different languages.”
“What kind?” Clint asked.
“Japanese, Spanish, Swedish, German, and that’s about it,” I said, tapping my chin. “Spanish just for the pure fact that it’s America’s second language, Japanese so I can get Pokemon games before they come out in America, and Swedish and German because I think they’re cool languages.”
There was a silence, and then Phil said, “She is Demi Oakley, isn’t she?”
“Exactly from the comic book,” Natasha said, and I would have laughed, if it weren’t for the fact that Phil slammed on the breaks suddenly and the car screeched to a halt. We nearly escaped a fiery car as it was sent into a building we were driving past. I gasped and yelped, my heart skipping a beat. I wound my arms around my Gir bag and screamed, “What the hell was that?” Screw my New Year’s resolution.
“That was Loki,” Clint answered, slinging his quiver over his shoulders and opening the door, disappearing into the chaos. I watched as he went.
“Phil, get this kid to safety, pronto,” Natasha told him, grabbing a pistol and shoving a magazine into it. She twisted around to look at me. “Whatever you do, don’t leave this car. Understand?”
Not wanting to question the almighty Black Widow, I nodded, voice caught in my throat. She beamed at me before she burst out of Phil’s car and went to kick all kinds of ass.
Phil slammed on the gas and the car groaned in protest at the sudden order, lurching forward with a sudden jerk. He used his awesomeness and directed the car somewhere in an alley, leaving the keys in and unbuckling his seatbelt. “I need to take care of some things, and for the love of God, do not get out of this car. Understand?”
“Jeez, I understand, god.”
He shook his head and shut the door behind him, jogging out of the alley and making a left turn. I took the opportunity to shimmy my way up the driver’s seat and lifting up the visor to try and see some action. I squinted my eyes to see Captain America on his motorcycle, looking all legit and stuff, battling these giant robots. I wondered if these were going to be in The Avengers, because giant robots were always a fun time. I didn’t recall seeing any in the trailer, though.
I squealed when he took down one by slicing through its head with his shield, having it return to him, only to have him lob it at another robot. I flinched when Cap got hit by a bot’s swinging arm, hoping that he would get up; or course he did, he was Captain America, for god’s sake. He was supposed to get up, he was a super soldier.
I heard the sound of jets flaring and I looked up to see Iron Man blasting some flying bots to smithereens; I cheered him on, and I swore he glanced down at the car like he knew it.
Well, while I was sitting here, I should have some music. I pulled out my phone and turned on the player, going to some Alesana. I hummed the lyrics and tapped my feet to the beat, completely oblivious to what was about to happen to me.
I didn’t have enough time to react, so I let out a choked sound when something hit the back of the car so hard that I was catapulted out of the front seat, doing a front flip before rolling on the ground. My phone was clenched in my hand, and I paused the music and put it back in my pocket, wincing as blood ran down my arm. I tried to push myself back up, only to fail and grunting as my arms gave up.
And then, I heard the silky smooth chuckle that made every sound in the battlefield stop. Literally.
Loki in the movie seemed intimidating, but actually encountering him in person was a completely different story. Waves of omnipotence rolled off him like beads of condensation rolling down a glass of cold water in a hot room. My throat felt dry and I so desperately wanted to scream, to do anything, but something prevented me from doing that. I stayed silent, watching as Loki approached. He was in his armor, holding his staff that was incrusted in fabulous jewels—never mind, that was just in a picture I saw on Tumblr.
“What have we here?” he murmured, staring down at me like I was a little kid. Which, I was to him; everyone was, since he was thousands of years old. “Something that’s not supposed to be here, hm?”
And then all of the Avengers had gathered around us, staring at the site before the with confusion. Natasha hissed, “I told you to stay in the car!”
“I did,” I snapped back.
Loki had his magical staff aimed at me. “Make any moves, Avengers, and the girl dies. What shall you do?”
“Loki, you cannot do this,” Thor said cautiously.
“Why can I not? Do you not know who this girl is or what her appearance in this world could do?”
“Could someone please kick his ass so we can leave?” I groaned. I felt the tip of his staff prod my throat, digging into the skin.
“Be careful, little one,” he warned, green eyes glinting. “Having a sharp tongue can cut your throat.”
Then, in a flourish of green, he disappeared. All of the others rushed to my side, asking me if I was okay and if I was hurt. I scooted into a sitting position and sank my teeth into my lip as pain slithered down my side. I saw blood soaking the fabric and groaned. “There goes my shirt.”
Just freaking great.
Chapter 5: Can We Go To Hot Topic?
I had gained a few injuries from the little scuffle: a badly scraped up arm, my back bruised purple, and a slice across my cheek that would hopefully make a kickass scar that I could joke about, telling people bogus stories about how I got it. I was in a pile of pain, drowning in it. I had taken like fifty Tylenol but they weren’t working, so I was laying in the bed for the rest of the day, alone in the room that Tony was letting me stay in. He told me, before he went sulking down to his basement, that “If you get any of your girl cooties on my stuff I will personally kick your ass back to your dimension.”
“What cooties? Are you afraid that you’ll get my girly-ness and become attracted to hot guys in tight clothing?” I was talking about Captain America, and good god, he had chiseled abs.
He glared at me and then stalked down to his basement, meaning that I won the argument. And cooties, really? I knew Tony Stark had the mentality of a six-year-old, but come on.
“He’s just angry because he found a little kid like him,” Clint told me, leaning against the wall in the room I was in. All of the other Avengers were in there, save Tony, I guess because they wanted to keep me company and to get some of the details on me.
“I’m not little, I’m fourteen,” I muttered. “And I weigh more than you. So eat that, Hawkeye.”
“Weight really doesn’t matter in America anymore,” Bruce said. “Since the obesity rate is so high.”
“And hon, I’ve seen people bigger than you,” Natasha said, smirking. “Some that would make you look anorexic. Have you ever ate five Big Macs in a row?’
I shuddered. “Dear god, no. I’ve never eaten one Big Mac. I’m serious. The only thing I eat at McDonald’s are the chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and the salads. And obviously the fries.”
“See? Don’t you feel better about yourself?”
I smiled and leaned back against the headboard. “Yeah, I guess I do.” But then I sighed. “I miss my realm.”
The whole room fell into silent agreement. I pulled out my phone and there were no new messages, no missed calls; my heart dropped to my stomach. I set the phone on the nightstand and crossed my arms. “I guess I don’t get signal here.”
“Why do you say that?” Steve asked me.
“Because I had sent a text to my friend Amelya, the one who jumped in after me in the portal, and she hasn’t texted me back yet.”
Thor looked to Natasha. “What is this texting in which she speaks of?”
While Natasha was explaining to Thor the wonders of a cell phone, I stared dejectedly at the pristine ceiling. So much had happened today, things that I would have never thought could possibly happen to me. I had wished for this kind of thing previously, sending prayers to whatever deity that watched over humanity, and I guess they were answered. I had been tired of my insipid life and I wanted to add some flavor to it. But this? This took it to a whole new level of WTF-ery.
A voice that came from nowhere jerked me out of my thought process. My head swiveled around, trying to pinpoint where that voice came from when I remembered.
Mr. Stark is sulking in the basement, and he will not answer me, so I suppose I have to resort to letting you know that we have guests waiting at the front door.
“Holy snap, is that Jarvis?” I exclaimed.
Natasha chuckled. “Thank you for letting us know, Jarvis. Oh, by the way, this nice girl here is Demi Oakley. She’s going to be staying with us for a while until we figure out how to get her back home.”
It is an honor to meet you, Miss Oakley, Jarvis said. Mr. Stark very greatly enjoyed your movie and series of comic books.
“He knows that I’m a comic book character?” I whispered to no one in particular.
Of course, and I also have gathered that you are not actually supposed to be here, Jarvis articulated, sounding all British and stuff. I loved the British.
“I’ll go see who’s at the door,” Clint offered, stepping to the door. “It’s probably Coulson and Fury.”
When the door shut behind him I repeated, “Fury? The Nick Fury?”
“Lemme guess: you’re a fan of his?” Natasha assumed.
“Of course, he’s freakin’ hilarious.” I recalled in Iron Man 2 when he rebuked Tony for letting Rhodey fly away with his suit: ‘He took it? The little brother walked in there, kicked yo’ ass, and he just took it? Is that possible?’ Samuel L. Jackson made everything funny. Especially with an eye patch.
Clint’s assumption was right, and he returned to my room with Coulson and Fury in tow, Coulson in his regular suit and Fury in a trench coat thingy. I sat up, cursing the throbbing pain in my side to the pits of Tartarus, and grinned. “Nick freaking Fury. Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too,” Fury replied, coming over to shake my hand. “I must apologize for your experience with Loki. I thought that the Avengers wouldn’t have let you join them when they went to battle.” He gave a one-eyed glare to the others.
“She gave us the Bambi eyes, Fury.” So Tony decided to join us after all. I sent a quizzical glance at him, but he just grinned at me and came to my bedside. “She got her ass handed to her, though.”
“Finally decided to come out from under your bridge, troll?” I said, smiling at him like the little cherub I was. “Be careful, wouldn’t want to catch my cooties, now would you?”
“She’s another Tony Stark,” Natasha explained.
“I like her,” Thor said.
“Who doesn’t like me?” I added. “I’m so kuwaii desu.”
“I’m scared to know what that means,” Tony murmured.
“Eh, I’m still sketchy on the details of it,” I told him, then entwined my fingers behind my head. “So, Fury, Coulson, what is it you need from me?”
“We need to debrief you.” Coulson kept his hands behind his back, looking professional as always. “The circumstances you have found yourself in seem to be something we’ve never quite dealt with before, besides from Thor’s arrival on Earth; however, that had different occurrences. We need details, Miss Oakley.”
I groaned. “Okay, what do you want to know?”
“Who are you, in your world?”
“Normal high school girl.”
Coulson had a notepad at the ready. “Describe. Full name, including middle, hobbies, anything of the sort.”
“My full name is Demirus Jewel Oakley, but I go by Demi.” I racked my brain. “I despise math and am currently failing freshman algebra. I hate people and being around them on a daily basis really does not help. My mom and my friends constantly tell me I’m a smartass, and I can’t help it. I have a superiority complex and I really don’t care about people’s negative opinions about me—being positive is what I strive for, people.” I knew I was going off on a tangent again, but I didn’t care. “I have a dirty mind and can make anything perverted. I hate most people my age and my family says I have the mentality of a forty-year-old sometimes.”
Tony snorted beside me, and I sent a glare in his direction. “You wanted to say something, Stark?”
“Nope, nothing. Carry on, carry on.”
I huffed. “Anyway, continuing on. I hate teenagers who use YOLO as an excuse to do whatever the hell they want—“
“’YOLO’?” Thor repeated.
“It’s an acronym for ‘you only live once,’” I explained. “And I absolutely want to meet its creator and punch them in their stupid face. You can’t just use a simple saying as an excuse to do whatever you want and say, ‘Oh, well you only live once!’ I hate teenagers that use it. I seriously want to just pop them in their faces.”
Coulson seemed to have lost interest in taking notes and had been sucked into my story. “You seem far from a usual teenager. Tell me more about what you think.”
“Okay…give me a topic and I’ll give my opinion.”
“Teenage pregnancy?” Natasha offered.
I was on it like a vampire on blood. “Teenagers who get pregnant are ignorant. They just do it because they think they can make it to fame by getting on MTV—and what is up with that, anyway? Why are they promoting teenage pregnancy and making it look appealing? It’s not! And I despise teens who say, ‘Well, God must have wanted me to get pregnant.’ God wouldn’t have wanted you to have premarital sex, you dumb bimbo. This is why I hate people, because they always use religion as an excuse for everything.”
Everyone’s eyes were trained on me as I continued on one of my signature rants; I was stubborn, I supported my opinions.
“What’s your opinion on religion?” Clint asked.
“My opinion on religion is simple: don’t use it as an excuse. When has religion been right in the first place? We’ve had war over religion. And I hate it when people try to sell me their beliefs.” I dragged a hand down my face. “Here’s what I think: Religion is like a penis. It’s nice to have one. It’s okay to be proud of it. But don’t just whip it out in public, and don’t try to cram it down my throat.”
Everyone was trying to keep a straight face; I didn’t notice as I continued on. “And I hate it when people assume I’m an atheist. I’m not. I don’t have a religion. It means what it means. If I were an atheist, that would mean I had a religion, therefore making me a hypocrite, something that I’m not. And I also hate when people presume that I’m a Satanist because of my necklace.” I pointed to my necklace, which was a pentacle. It had the symbols of the planets ringing the star in the middle. “They think that this star is evil. It’s an inverted pentagram that’s evil. And again, Satanism is a religion, something that I do not have.”
“Gay marriage?” someone supplied.
“Gay marriage? I don’t give a flying fladoodle about who you marry or not. It’s a free country, so shouldn’t you be able to marry the person you love? And again: don’t use your religion as an excuse. The gays aren’t doing anything to harm you. And I hate homophobes. Homophobia is usually a sign of closeted homosexuality, you know—“ And then I cut off when a searing pain slithered down my side. I hissed and clenched my flank, sinking my teeth into my lip. “Gah—“
“What’s wrong?” Natasha inquired, at the other side of the bed.
“I think I was talking too much,” I confessed, swallowing. “Can someone please get me something to drink?”
Steve hopped up. “On it! What do you want?”
“Water will suffice.”
He left the room and Fury said, “That was very…interesting. You are one interesting teenager.”
Coulson tucked his notepad into his jacket, just as Steve arrived with my water. I took it and nodded my thanks to him, tipping it back and downing it within ten seconds. I wiped my mouth with my hand and he took the glass from me. “Thanks, Stevie.”
Tony snorted. “Stevie?”
“Question my motives and I will cut you. Got it, Iron Man?”
He put up his hands. “Fine, fine, it’s just that you’re talking to Captain America.”
“No, I thought I was talking to a cactus.” I rolled my eyes and said to Steve, “You don’t care if I call you Stevie, right?”
He blinked. “It doesn’t hurt me a bit.”
“I think we’ve gathered enough information for now,” Coulson said. “Miss Oakley, let us know if you want any compensation for what has occurred today, and we shall give it to you.”
I thought for a bit, then snapped my fingers.
“Can we go to Hot Topic?”
Chapter 6: Tony And I Have A Heart-To-Heart
Tony and I have a nice chat and he motivates me to stop being such a little emo kid.
Apparently I couldn’t go to Hot Topic yet because I was injured and in no condition to leave the mansion, thus leaving me stuck in bed until my injuries mended enough so I could do things without being in pain. I was bored; everyone was gone, doing superhero stuff, Tony was always in the basement doing god knows what, and I was stuck in the middle. It had been a day since I had made the choice to jump into that portal, and we still haven’t figured out how to get back. Thor had suggested Heimdall, but something told me that I didn’t want to go there.
And still, no Amelya.
That freaked me out, because her parents already hated me even though we haven’t even met in person, and if they figured out that I was somehow tied into their daughter’s mysterious disappearance, they would get the best lawyers and have my butt thrown in jail before I could even hear my Miranda rights.
My mind went further into the places I didn’t want to go. I wasn’t there, and my family was probably worried sick; it was just my mom and my brother, but still. If they called the police and assembled a search party then they would turn up empty handed…unless there were security cameras monitoring the courtyard, which I guess there were, and then they could see how I magically disappeared into a blue portal.
I grimaced. These thoughts made me feel uneasy; I wished I hadn’t jumped into that portal. I wished I would have heeded Amelya’s advice and just went to government. But oh no, stupid me just had to investigate further. I sank deeper into the bed, dread weighing in stomach and pulling me down. I hadn’t eaten since…the day before yesterday, and still wasn’t hungry, probably because of all that’s happened to me so far.
“You’re not talking. That’s making me worried.”
I was startled and cast my eyes on Tony, who was leaning against the doorway opening into the room. Through his crossed arms I could see the telltale light of the infamous arc reactor glowing in his chest. I rolled my eyes and leaned against the headboard.
“Maybe I just don’t wanna talk,” I murmured, eyes locked on something in the distant New York City skyline.
“I heard that talking makes it better.”
“Strange, that’s the exact thing I heard too.”
A silence fell between us, and I breathed out. “I don’t know why I jumped into that portal. Or, maybe I do.”
Tony cocked a brow, looking at me expectantly. I eyed him back. “What, Stark?”
“Are you going to tell me what’s bothering you or did I come up here for no reason whatsoever? Jarvis made it sound like it was urgent, so spit it out.”
“Jarvis?” I repeated.
“Yeah, he called and told me that you were acting all sad and stuff, and that someone should talk to you before you went all manic depressed on us and jumped out of the window.”
I did not word it in that way exactly, sir, Jarvis voiced from the great beyond. I merely suggested that someone needed to come up to talk to her, and, seeing as you two share a few personality traits, I assumed you would be the best candidate.
“Why, thank you, Jarvis,” I said to the ceiling. “I feel honored to be told that Tony Stark and I share traits.”
I can sense the sarcasm in that, Miss Oakley, Jarvis told me.
“I like him,” I told Tony, and he shook his head. “Anyway, I’m fine, so…you can go back to tinkering in your lab—“
“You’re not fine,” Tony muttered, entering the room. “Jarvis could sense something was wrong with you. So tell me what’s up before I get angry.”
I smirked. “What are you gonna do, Stark, lecture me on engineering and the technology of tomorrow?”
“Okay, you really are me, and I must say, damn, I’m annoying.”
“Tell me what’s bugging you. Natasha’s not here and she would be mad if I knew something was wrong with you and didn’t try to talk to you about it. Because she actually likes you, for some weird reason. I think it’s just because of the comic books and stuff.”
I groaned, carding my fingers through my hair. “Tons of things are bugging me; you wanna hear ‘em all?”
“Hey, I like you, kid, so anything you need to say, say it.”
So I did.
“First off, my friend Amelya had jumped through the portal with me and I haven’t seen her since, my mom and brother are probably really worried and that scares me because I don’t want to put my mom under any stress because she has heart problems and stress is bad for her, I nearly got killed today by the god of mischief because I can’t keep my fat mouth shut and I couldn’t do anything about it, I’m failing math and my mom won’t stop bugging me about it, I’m an outcast, no one understands me, I haven’t had sugar in nearly two days and I’m freakin’ out man, I’m freakin’ out—“
“Demi, calm down—“
“I’m stuck in this mansion with endless possibilities and I’m bored out of my mind, I’m injured and that prevented me from going to Hot Topic, my crush doesn’t even notice my existence, I blew up the wheels on the crazy train, I got ninety-nine problems, but a guy ain’t one, and my life is as insipid as tap water!” I threw up my hands. “There are my problems, world! Eat your freakin’ heart out.”
My hands dropped to my sides and I huffed at the exertion, head lolling against the headboard. I craned it around to get a good look at Tony, who was gazing at me, trying to figure out the enigma known as Demi Oakley. Well, I really wasn’t that hard to read; I didn’t speak in metaphors and I was straight to the point because I wanted to get it across.
“Uh…I understand the first few…but aren’t the others just of a typical teenager?”
I stared at him. He stared at me back. We did this for a while until I muttered, “This doesn’t happen to a typical teenager, now does it? I mean, I was looking for something to give spice to the gumbo of my life—I actually said that before I jumped into the portal, by the way.”
He laughed at that, dragging a hand down his face. “Oh god, I can actually see you saying that.”
“I’m sure a collective groan was emitted from the studio audience,” I said, pursing my lips. “Anyway, that’s what people always tell me. Just like everyone tells me I’m pretty. I mean, seriously. This face is a face only a mother could love.” I indicated my mug, which was pale and round, with chubby cheeks that always had a shade of pink dusting them. I wasn’t trying to Mary Sue or anything; this is what I actually looked like. I almost never got pimples and my eyes never stayed the same color, one day green, one day blue, one day grey. One was always a tad different than the other.
“I think you’re pretty.”
“Don’t start with me, Stark.”
“What? That is the honest to God truth. I’m sure if you asked all of the others they would agree with me.” He flashed his charming smile.
I shook my head. “They would feel obligated to compliment me.”
“Because they probably feel sorry for me.”
I groused. “You seriously need clues? I thought you were a genius, Tony. When did this turn into a game of twenty questions?”
“You’re avoiding the question.”
“Which wouldn’t be happening if you hadn’t inquired me in the first place.”
Tony put up his hands. “Ooh, watch out, we’re dealing with an extended vocabulary over here. Please tell me you know what that means.”
“It means to ask, obviously,” I replied. “Of course I would know what that means; if I didn’t then why would I use it in conversation?”
“You just don’t seem like…”
“Like what, someone who uses proper grammar? I’ll let you know I despise it when people use incorrect grammar.” I thumped my head against the headboard. “I hate it even more when I post a fic, read it, and then realize I have a plethora of mistakes that I didn’t spot before. That really ticks me off.”
He chuckled. “Fan fiction? Aren’t you supposed to like, proofread it or something?”
I sighed. “I skim through it, my eyes don’t catch on to any mistakes. It’s because I just really want to get it posted.”
“Sounds like you enjoy writing.”
The statement caused my lips to quirk into a small smile. “Yeah, I like to write stories. It’s what I enjoy. And I really like it when people leave nice comments or kudos my work. It’s like a little high, I guess you could say. To know that someone, somewhere in this big world, has caught ahold of my work and took the time to read it, and to enjoy it and leave feedback? It’s like whenever I check my page to see I have something in my inbox, I get so giddy—you probably don’t understand.”
“Well, I can sort of guess,” he said quietly. “It’s nice to know that people are using my weapons to kill other people. Does that count?”
I snorted. “I guess.”
“So anyway, back to the original question—“
My loud groan cut off his statement. He scoffed and said, “Man, you’re such a kid.”
“And you’re such an adult.”
“Seriously, just explain your reason why.”
I huffed out a long-held breath. “You want a reason? Fine. I’ll give you a reason. A lot of people pity me for various things, like my lower-middle class family and my lack of a father figure, along with my all-around lack of a figure.” I pointed to myself. “They say that my pretty face makes up for it all, and that it’s basically my best feature.”
“Kid, you can’t let what other people say bring you down,” he told me, a look of understanding in his brown eyes. “If I had allowed that to happen to me, then I would have probably killed myself already. What people think is what people think and you can’t do anything about it. You’re going to go through this world—well, your world—and meet all kinds of dicks wanting to rain on your parade. And you know what you’re supposed to do?”
I couldn’t help but smirk. “What am I supposed to do?”
He put his hands on my shoulders and stared me straight into the eyes. “You ignore them.”
I sighed and smiled. “My mom tells me that all the time. And I do try my best. Usually the people that pick on me are little cockroaches that I could crush under my size eight and a half sneaker.”
“Wow, eight in a half? Your feet are small.”
“So are my hands.” To prove my statement, I put up one of my hands and offered it to him. he put his against mine and his nearly swallowed mine whole.
“Damn, that’s freaky.”
“That’s actually what a lot of people say about them. My cru—some guy I know calls me a ginger midget all the time.”
I pointed to my hair. “Yeah, a long time ago I had gotten my hair done professionally and it had been dyed this blood red color, and it faded and turned me into a ginger. I had dyed it again and it’s faded, and here’s the result.”
“That’s not ginger.”
“Yeah, and he’s kinda stopped calling me a ginger, but insists that I’m a midget, which I can kinda understand. You probably could too—“
“Are you insinuating that I’m short?”
“It’s not an insinuation, it’s a statement of fact.”
He stared at me for a long moment before reaching over and flicking me on the forehead. I despised when people flicked me or poked me, and it hurt when he did it. “Ow, what was that for?”
“You said I was short.”
“Big freakin’ deal, I get told that on a regular basis!”
“Yeah, well, I do too!”
And at that we both started to laugh, because we both knew we sounded like children. I was surprised to feel a rebel tear slid down my cheek, making its escape futile as it dripped down my chin and plopped on the back of my hand. I wasn’t crying because I was sad; I was crying because I had found someone who understood me.
Chapter 7: The Ultimate Wingman—The Girl Version
And we have finally arrived at the mall.
I nearly bounced out of my seat. “Are you serious? Are you abso-freakin’-lutely serious?”
Natasha was grinning. “Yep. SHIELD gave us clearance, so we can basically take you anywhere besides out of the State. Since you wanted to go to Hot Topic, we figured we should take you.”
I seriously wanted to shoot up and hug everyone. I was in my room, looking out onto the vast landscape of the city, taking in all of the buildings and bustling cars and tiny people that looked like ants. I wanted to throw a parade and run down the streets of New York declaring, “I’m flying!”
“But…Coulson did tell us that you should at least have some form of disguise, since you’re so famous and stuff.”
My face dropped. “What exactly do you mean by disguise?”
My disguise was not elaborate, I’ll tell you that, but I guessed, from looking in the mirror, that no one could be able to tell that it was me. My hair was tucked into a newsboy cap (it really wasn’t a lot of hair in the first place) and I was dressed in a grey pea coat and my jeans that I’ve been wearing ever since I’ve gotten here. Before I had taken a well-needed shower, washing away the grime of all that’s happened, and using a combination of random soaps that Tony had bought for me (“You are not using guy soap.”) with his own money, and they were some that I had never even seen before. So, here I was, feeling all fresh and stuff, looking at myself in the mirror, dressed as a completely different person. I had to admit it, I did look cool, but I wish I was skinnier, then I would have looked epic.
“Everyone’s coming with us,” Natasha reminded me.
“Oh god,” I murmured, twirling a lock of hair that had fallen out of my cap. I imagined Steve inside of Hot Topic, looking all confused and possibly scared for his life. I kind of was too, the first time I went in that store, but I would guide him through it. I just hoped no one would stop and ask for any autographs. “I’ll probably need to hold Steve’s hand through it all.”
“I told him and Thor to be on their best behavior,” she replied. She was dressed in something other than her skintight leather clothes, opting for a more PA look with a tan cardigan and pencil skirt. Of course she still had on her high heels.
“It’s not like you guys can’t just leave me in Hot Topic and come back in an hour or so,” I said, turning to her. “I don’t think Loki would show up in Hot Topic to try and kill me. And why does he want to kill me in the first place?”
“Because he thinks you could put a dent in his plans.”
I scoffed. “I could barely put a scratch.”
“I doubt that. Something not natural brought you here, and I believe that’s the thing he’s worried about. He thinks you were brought here for a reason.”
“I thought this guy was clever, not a complete idiot.”
“Trust me, what he thinks may be true. You don’t just fall into a different dimension from a portal.”
I shook my head and grabbed my phone. “Let’s go.”
We ended up taking two cars to get everyone in; I was with Tony, Natasha, Bruce, and Clint, and Thor was with Steve and Coulson. I had called shotgun before anyone could say anything, so I daintily took my spot while Tony got in the driver’s seat.
“Oh god, you’re driving? We’re screwed,” I muttered, smirking. He glared at me and shoved the keys into the ignition. He sent a glare at me and muttered, “Don’t push my buttons, kid.”
“Would you rather I pull your levers or spin your turbines?”
Natasha busted out guffawing in the backseat, and Tony glared at her from the rearview mirror. I smirked, pleased with myself, and leaned back into the seat. “Well, come on, Tony. The mall awaits us.”
He rolled his eyes and started the car, muttering something under his breath along the lines of ‘damn kid.’
When we pulled into the mall parking lot, I seriously was about to just rush out of the car and into the store, finding Hot Topic and losing myself in the awesomeness, but since I was in a public place, I was going to conduct myself in a manner that would not damage anyone’s reputation.
“Come on, come on, come on!” I urged as I waited from everyone to get out. Steve, Coulson, and Thor had already joined us, and everyone else except Tony already lined the parking lot. Perturbed, I skipped to the driver’s side and banged opened it up.
“What?” Tony stared at me.
“Are you purposely going slow just to piss me off?” I countered.
He grinned. “Maybe.” He dragged the word out.
I scoffed and threw my arms at him, winding them around his left arm and tugging him out of the car with all my might, which really wasn’t that much, but he ended up out of the car and stumbling onto the pavement. I continued to drag him along till we met up with the others at the front of the car. “Got him! Can we go now?”
“We’ll need to divide up into teams,” Phil said, sounding like we were about to venture into a covert operation instead of going to the mall. Either I was fine with. “Who would you like to accompany you, Miss Oakley?”
I stopped, then tapped my chin, eyes running over the motley crew presented to me. Who did I want to accompany me? Or course Tony, mainly because I liked to piss him off, but who else…?
“Steve.” I pointed to Captain America; his face lit up and I wanted him to say at least a little ‘yay’ but his expression sufficed for me. He stepped over and took his place on my other side, the one Tony wasn’t occupying. “And Natasha.”
She grinned too, and made her way over to my side. “I think that’s good. No offense, you guys, I love every one of you, but these guys here are my wingmen.”
“Oh, and I’m not?” Bruce sounded hurt.
“Aw, c’mon, Bruce, don’t be like that.” I felt kind of bad. I mean, I wanted to take every one of them with me, but something told me that having the Hulk in a small store wasn’t exactly a good idea. “Here’s what we’ll do: We’ll walk around the mall for an hour or so, and then we’ll meet up at the food court because I haven’t eaten breakfast and I’ll probably be hungry. Sound like a plan?”
The others nodded and I grinned, turning around and skipping to the front. “Shopping time, shopping time, I love shopping—“
“In the comic books you don’t like shopping,” Tony grumbled, trailing after me.
I stopped and turned; we were at the entrance, people streaming in and out like ants out of their anthill. “I don’t like clothes shopping, or shoe shopping, or grocery shopping. Well, I take back the clothes shopping—I love getting new clothes—but everything else, yeah.”
Tony sighed and rolled his eyes in disbelief.
After trotting around the mall for what felt like ages, we finally stumbled upon the store that was probably the only place I ever actually bought things from in a mall: Hot Topic. The familiar black walls lined with band t-shirts were just inside, and I could smell the teenage angst and Goth from a mile away. I wasn’t Goth; I was more like a scene kid, or emo, or punk, mostly like all of those things mixed together, but I did love Hot Topic.
“I’m scared,” Steve whispered from behind me. I stopped and suddenly got a brilliant idea.
“Okay, Nat and Stevie—wait here,” I said, clenching Tony’s arm again. “Tony and I need to chat it up. Don’t talk to strangers!”
“What are you doing?” he asked incredulously as I yanked him out of earshot.
I snapped my finger. “Did you not hear what Steve said?” I indicated the blond Adonis with the slight of my wrist. “He’s scared.”
Tony gazed at me like I had just told him I was from a land full of magical unicorns that bathed in pots of gold. I groused and pinched the bridge of my nose with my forefinger and thumb. He clearly didn’t get what I was trying to get across.
“You’re supposed to tell him it’ll be all right and that you’ll be there,” I continued.
“Because out of the two days I’ve been with you guys, I’ve noticed the way you two look at each other. Something is going on here and I’m going to make it happen, no matter what. I’m the ultimate wingman—just in girl form.”
He glared at me. “Are you serious right now?”
“Serious as a heart attack. Come on, Tony, I have women’s intuition, just let me do my job. I know you guys like each other.”
“What do you expect me to do, hold his hand?”
I started to grin and he stammered, “No, no, no no no no no—“
I turned on my heel and skipped towards the others. “Okay, we’re back! Steve, don’t be scared—Tony will protect you.”
I felt Tony flick me on the back of the head and I couldn’t help but giggle at Steve’s expression, the way he blushed and looked somewhere else. Natasha sent me a quizzical stare and I mouthed, “Don’t ask—just let the wing-girl do her job.”
Chapter 8: A Sanguine Nightmare
My hands were red with blood, and my vision was crimson with pure rage.
READ FIRST PLEASE! Okay, I saw the premiere and I must say, OH MY GOD THAT WAS THE BEST MOVIE EVER. I just want to let you know that there is a sort of spoiler in this chapter. Sorry for the people who haven't seen the movie yet; yes, I know I promised that I wouldn't put spoilers, but I felt like I really needed to call attention to what happens in this chapter.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
In the familiar enclosed space of the store I felt nice. It reminded me of the Hot Topic in my town, the familiar items and clothes, the trends and fads that would fade away next week. I breathed in and couldn’t help but smile. I knew I must have looked like an idiot standing in the middle of the store with a goofy grin plastered on my face, but I didn’t care at the moment. Right now I was enjoying my little slice of heaven with a side of arrogance, because humility was for the weak and I was tired of acting like a little girl who didn’t know what to do. I was always like that; when bad things went down, I usually hid in the corner and waited until they blew over, not doing anything. Well, sometimes, but mostly I look at my problems right in the eyes and shoot ‘em the bird. It was the solution to most of my issues. Sure, it backfired at most intervals, but it worked mostly.
“You shop here?” Steve whispered to me with a tone of incredulity. I snorted and cracked my knuckles, his tone of voice telling me he was scared out of his wits.
“Come on, Steve, don’t worry,” I told him, patting his beefy arm. Good god, he had muscles. “The only things you have to worry about here are snarky scene girls. I got this.”
Someone tapped my shoulder, and I turned around to see who it was. Tony was behind me, and he grabbed my hand and folded something into it. My eyes dropped down when my palm opened to see a plastic card. No—a credit card.
“Go wild, kid,” he told me.
“Wait, you’re—is this your credit card?”
He rolled his eyes. “No, it’s the key to the city.”
I clapped my hand to the side of my face. “You don’t say? I always knew the key to the city would be a rectangular cut of plastic!”
Steve sighed. “Can we please not do this?”
I frowned and patted his arm. Good god, his muscles… “Sorry, Cap. It’s normal to fight with your significant other.”
He stared at us for a while before he put up his hands and muttered, “I don’t get the twenty-first century.”
“S’okay, Steve,” I said, grabbing his hand and proceeding to tow him in the opposite direction, Tony’s credit card snug inside my other hand. “Come on, let’s go shopping!”
“Wait—I’m not ready for this!” He tried his weakest attempts at pulling us away from the destination I had set, which was just a weak tug.
I yanked back, smirking. “The more you struggle, the worse it gets.”
Natasha stared at me. “Demi, that was kind of…”
“Weird? Yeah, it know.” I won in the tug-o-war and started to tow Steve to where we were previously heading. “Don’t fret, Stevie, they aren’t going to jump off the racks and maul you, they’re just shirts.”
I whipped around and put up a finger. “Steve Rogers. You are a super soldier, right?”
He stopped, then nodded.
“And do super soldiers fear mundane things such as t shirts and emo kids? No, they don’t,” I said before he could reply. “So suck it up, big guy, because this is what I do whenever my mom gets money. I get band t shirts.”
Before I could even pick out the first one, something bad just had to happen.
It started off fine at first, but then Steve’s buzzer went off and he fished it out of his pocket. His eyes widened and he turned around to look at Tony and Natasha, who were wearing the same expressions of disbelief. They returned their gaze to me and Natasha murmured, “We have to go.”
“Why?” I inquired.
I cursed mentally. Why couldn’t Loki just let me have my shopping day?
I trailed after the others as we ran back to wherever Coulson had told them to go; I was just following slowly behind, trying to pick up the pace. We arrived at the doors and burst out into the open to see the definition of havoc being wreaked on the parking lot. Loki’s army had arrived and was causing mass destruction, blowing up cars and sending blast upon blast into buildings clustered around the lot. I noticed a sleek black car speeding towards us and it screeched to a halt in front of us, the window lowering and a briefcase being tossed out of it carelessly. Tony let out a breath and caught it, dropping it to the ground. It popped open and then I realized that it was the briefcase suit.
Another item was thrown out of the car—Cap’s shield. He grabbed it, saluted the person(s) in the car, and ran somewhere in the general direction of the enemy. Soon Tony’s suit was assembled and he shot me a glance. “Stay out of the way kid.” His helmet dropped and he was off, rocketing toward the first enemy he saw and blasting it with his laser beams.
I heard Natasha inserting a clip into her gun. “You heard the man, kid. Stay low and out of our way.”
As she entered the warzone, I backpedaled and started to run towards the mall, but something fell in front of me that stopped me in my tracks. I gasped and skidded to a halt to see Loki looming over me, the memories from that fateful day replaying in my mind like when my music was on shuffle. Over and over, the blood flowing, the fear that made my throat clench tight. And those eyes—those eerily green eyes that seemed to pry you open and search for your every weakness. I hated that, when people tried to dissect me and figure me out. It made me feel like a science experiment waiting to be tested.
“We meet again, little one,” he breathed as everything seemed to go silent around me, though the battle was still in progress. I felt lightheaded as he approached me, towering over me like most people did, but with an air of power and godliness that my knees began to wobble, wanting me to sink to the ground and kneel before him. I bit back the desire and stood my ground, not wanting to show any weakness. “You have not changed a bit.”
“Yeah, well, it’s only been two days,” I reminded him coolly.
He chuckled. I noticed that his outline was beginning to shimmer; he was changing his appearance. Well, not exactly his appearance, more like his garb. He went from the suit-and-tie to the helmet-and-leather. I swallowed when he smiled down at me, pointing his scepter straight at my chest. I whimpered quietly, feeling the cold tip of the spear dig into my chest. I started to shiver as a cold feeling washed over me, becoming colder and colder, freezing—
“Put it down, Loki.”
Coulson was standing a fair distance away from us, holding a large weapon that looked like it could brain an elephant, and it was aimed straight at Loki. My head turned and I stared at him with my signature ‘Wtf are you doing?’ stare.
“What are you doing with that gun, mortal?” Loki hissed, not even looking at him.
Phil narrowed his eyes. “I’m going to ask you again. Put down the staff and step away from the girl, and no one gets hurt.”
Slowly, Loki lowered the staff away from my heart and began to back away slowly from me. I was about to let out a sigh of relief, but then I noticed that Loki was teleporting away. I stood up and shouted, “No!”
He flashed out of sight and I looked around anxiously while Coulson approached. “Not to worry, Miss Oakley, I think he received the message—“
Something horrible was happening right in front of my eyes.
I watched as Loki popped up behind Coulson, and, without a hint of remorse, stabbed him in the back. He flashed away just as blood started to stain Phil’s blue shirt and his eyes went wide with either pain or surprise. Probably both.
“Phil!” I screamed, heart thumping in my chest as he fell to the ground. I closed the distance between us with a few strides before I was kneeling next to him, watching black blood pour from the stab wound that was so deep it pierced the front of his shirt. He looked pale and sickly, blood beginning to drip from the corner of his mouth. “Phil, please, stay with me.” I looked to the battle field and howled, “Natasha! Tony! Anybody, please help!”
He reached up and clenched my arm, the effort causing a thin sheen of sweat to drape his forehead. “It’s no use, Miss Oakley. The wound—it’s too deep—“
“No, shut up, it’s not, we’re okay, you’re okay,” I stammered, throwing off my hat because it was hot and I was too damn sweaty. I took off my pea coat and wadded it up, pressing down on the knife wound; apply pressure to wound repeating over and over in my head like a mantra. I was shaking, my hands caked with Phil’s blood, my coat becoming the same.
So much blood—
“Your attempts are for nothing,” Phil rasped.
“You don’t know that,” I spluttered, voice wavering. “You—don’t—know—anything.”
“I know enough.”
“Oh really?” I hissed, tears welling in my eyes. “Why, Phil? Why did you have to try and challenge the god of mischief? He could have killed you! Why did you risk your life for mine?”
“He did kill me,” Phil corrected, then sank his teeth so hard into his lip that the bite marks filled with more blood.
“You’re not dead!” I screamed. I was not going to let someone die because of me. Tears rolled down my face and mixed with the drops of blood splattered on my cheeks.
“I risked my life because I know that you are meant for something that will stop Loki and his ambitions,” Phil ground out between clenched teeth. “You coming to this realm—it happened for a reason. Just as this is happening for a reason.”
“Because that bastard stabbed you,” I droned. Why was nobody coming to help us?
“Everything happens…for a reason.” I noticed a tear roll down his cheek. A single, solitary tear, not being joined by its fellow comrades. With a final smile, he went still.
So did my reason.
It felt like I was trapped in a nightmare, a bloody, sanguine nightmare, always running, never moving forward. I felt empty inside as I stood up slowly, holding the gun Phil had been toting, my vision tinged with pure red rage. I bent down and shut Phil’s eyes carefully, because I didn’t want him to see what I was about to do. I was about to go postal.
“Loki,” I sang, voice warbling. “Where the hell are you, you frenetic bastard? Come out and play!”
I surprised myself by the tone my voice had taken, sounding like a creepy doll out of a scary movie. I raised the gun and screeched, “Where are you?!”
My whole body was shaking and my vision was teetering to the side of murky, tears burning my eyes and throat tight with sobs. I was going to find Loki and kill him, for Phil. I was going to get vengeance. Loki would not kill another innocent person on my watch. Not anymore. I was sick of him picking on people that were smaller than him, including me.
I dropped the gun and fell to my knees, just as a hand touched my shoulder. I knew it was Tony.
I covered my face and burst into relentless sobs.
With this, I'm going on a hiatus with this project. I need to delete a few other projects that I'm probably not going to complete. This may be updated in the future, depending on my mood pertaining to it. Thanks for reading!
Chapter 9: Grocery Shopping Might Take Your Mind Off Of It
I kept having nightmares and Jarvis made me some coffee.
Oh hey, I'm back. Sorry if you had been waiting on this one, I needed to do some things.
Strong arms wrapped around me and a soft voice whispered in my ear, “Demi. You gotta calm down.”
I couldn’t concentrate on what the voice said over my out of control sobbing, and I couldn’t even figure out who it was. Tears streamed down my face, plopping on the concrete. Everything was quiet around me, and I was distorting the silence with my cries. I was shaking so hard it was starting to hurt and I wanted to kill myself because Phil was dead. He was dead, and we would never be able to see him again. He was gone. Dead. Kicked the bucket. He’s pushing up daisies.
And I couldn’t do anything about it.
Eventually I stopped crying. That was when I noticed someone’s arms wrapped around me. I was too busy staring at the pavement to take notice. Soon sirens started to blare every which way, and I heard someone murmur, “Agent Coulson is down.”
At the statement, I didn’t burst into tears. I merely let out a keening sound while the voice breathed, “Come on, let’s get her out of here.”
Everything that occurred after that was a blur. I can’t really remember most of it. All I recalled was being dragged into a car and the arms that had wrapped around me were still around me, trapping me in a warm embrace. I only realized it was Tony after I looked up for a fraction of a second and then returned my gaze to the back of the driver’s seat.
My dreams were painted in blood and anguish. I woke up at least two times in the middle of the night screaming and covered in sweat. I scooted back and leaned against the headboard, trying to control my breathing. I could still see Loki’s face as the spear went through Phil’s chest. I could feel the hot, pulsing blood staining my fingers. I remembered what Phil had told me.
“I risked my life because I know that you are meant for something that will stop Loki and his ambitions. You coming to this realm—it happened for a reason. Just as this is happening for a reason.”
This is why I hated my mind sometimes. It always replayed everything I wanted to forget, as if showing me my faults and my mistakes would make it better. And when I had almost forgotten something, it goes and remembers it. It made me want to scream at the world and then set it on fire. Yes, I have issues, okay? Leave me alone.
I threw the cover off of me and padded over to the window. Curtains blocked my view and I twitched them aside to reveal a sleepy-looking New York. It was dark, yet still some lights were on, contrasting against the dark backdrop. I smirked and then swallowed, realizing that my throat hurt like a mother. It always did, and I didn’t know why. I sighed and turned around, feeling my way around the room until I remembered. “Jarvis, could you turn on the lights please?”
The lights flickered on immediately and I smiled. “Thank you, Jarvis.”
Not a problem, Miss Oakley.
I found the door and opened it, entering the hallway. It was lit with a dim light so I could see a bit better as I stepped cautiously down the hallway. It was quiet, the only sounds being my light footsteps. Tony’s house was so freaking huge; I didn’t want to stray very far, or else I might get lost. I didn’t want that to happen. I just wanted to find the kitchen because I was thirsty. And maybe wanted a pop tart, or some other breakfast food. It was so early, I didn’t even know why I was bothering. Then I remembered that sleep may bring nightmares, and nightmares do not a happy Demi make.
“Jarvis, where’s the kitchen?” I muttered after traipsing around the house for what felt like hours.
There seemed to be a tone of amusement in his voice, but I decided to ignore it and instead paid attention to Jarvis’s directions. Apparently I needed to go down a couple of flights of stairs and then make a left at the nearest four way. Whatever that meant. I wasn’t good with directions.
I finally found the kitchen, and it was a huge kitchen at that, putting my kitchen at home to shame. I frowned a bit, mostly in envy, and decided that hey, maybe I’ll be rich like Tony Stark one day and have a big ass house in Malibu and a big ass tower in New York just for the hell of it.
I scoped out the area and located the fridge, going over to it and opening it. I narrowed my eyes at the contents and shut the fridge, muttering, “He has nothing to drink here for people under the legal age of twenty-one, does he?”
Cursing Tony’s alcohol addiction to the pits of Tartarus, I dug around the pantry to find a box of granola bars. I thought for a bit. Okay, so there’s a huge mansion full of hard-working superheroes, and it seems to me that the only sustenance here is Smirnoff and crackers. Something about that just didn’t make sense. Then it came back to me and I sighed. They were busy. They ate out all the time.
I set the granola bars on the counter and found a coffee maker. I stared at it and the tub of coffee grounds sitting next to it. I worried my bottom lip, thinking of the possibilities. If I ever wanted coffee, then my mom usually made it for me, and I had no freaking idea how she did it. It involved a filter of some kind, measuring, and water, didn’t it?
Then I thought of something else.
“Jarvis?” I said. “Do you know how to make coffee?”
Apparently, Jarvis was an expert on making coffee.
After I had asked him, he had inquired me about what flavors I enjoyed, giving me examples such as hazelnut and Irish crème and vanilla and caramel; there were so many others that it made my head spin. I told him I liked vanilla the most (who didn’t?) and he began to brew the coffee, somehow. He asked me if I wanted anything else, and I said no, mostly because I was still a bit in shock about the whole thing. Soon the coffee was done and I reached up to grab a mug out of the cabinet. “Thank you, Jarvis. You’re an awesome AI, has anyone ever told you that?”
Thank you, Miss Oakley. I’m sad to say that no one except Mr. Stark has really ever commented on my abilities.
I scowled as I poured my coffee. Steam swirled off the tan liquid and I sighed, sipping it tentatively. Yes, I was fourteen. Yes, I liked coffee. Call the law. “That’s lame. You deserve a medal.”
“You talking about me, Oakley?”
I was a tad startled but swiftly recovered, recognizing the sound of the voice. Tony was awake, and that was a bit of a shock to me. He didn’t seem like an early riser. Maybe he had been up all night and he hadn’t went to sleep at all.
“Stark, how nice of you to join me,” I said, then I jerked my head to the coffee pot. “Want some? Jarvis just made it up.”
“He did? How nice of him.” Tony ambled over and snatched a cup from the cupboard, making himself a mug and sipping it. He sent a droll glare in my direction. “Not my favorite flavor, sadly.”
“Aw, what’s your favorite flavor?” I asked, smirking. “Jagermeister with a dash of hazelnut?”
Tony reached over to muss my hair. I was too late in trying to duck away from him. “Smart ass.”
“That’s one of the best compliments you could give me. Thank you.”
He snorted and drank a gulp of his coffee. “So kid, why are you awake at such ungodly hours? I took you for the sleep-in type.”
Instead of replying with a snide remark, I stared down into my coffee, no reflection staring me back. Tony took in my countenance but didn’t say anything. I took a breath and murmured, “I…had a bad dream.”
“Yeah.” My hands tightened around the coffee cup. “And it’s weird because I never have bad dreams. Well, I do…but I just brush them off and go back to sleep. These are…different.” There was a catch in my voice; I covered it up by drinking a huge gulp of coffee, feeling as it slid down my throat.
I didn’t expect it, but I felt Tony’s arms wrap around me, enveloping me in an unsure embrace. I sighed and set down my mug, hugging him back. It felt nice to huge someone, anyone.
“We’re all sad, you know, about what happened,” Tony said, still hugging me. “You barely knew him but you’ve seemed to have taken it worse than we have.”
“Yeah,” I said quietly. “I bond easily.” I pulled away and smiled at him. He looked genuinely concerned. “What’s with that look? Don’t tell me you’re worried about a little kid. That’s just not the Tony Stark way.”
He rolled his eyes and snorted, and went to mess with my hair again. He failed as I danced successfully out of the way, grabbing my coffee cup in the process. “You missed, loser.”
“You’re the loser.”
“Moi? How am I the loser? This coming from the guy who doesn’t have any food in this house whatsoever.” I gestured to the whole place. “I mean, seriously. Eating out all the time is not healthy, Tony. We need to get some food in this place and cook.”
“Are you going all home ec on me now?”
“Believe it or not, I’m actually taking a foods class back in my realm,” I told him, rolling my eyes. “And passing. I can at least boil water without causing collateral damage. Come on, Tony, you should take us to a grocery store.”
He scoffed, mug at his lips. “I can’t even remember the last time I was at a grocery store.”
I snapped my finger at him. “Which is exactly why we need to go. Come on, Tony, when was the last time you had a home cooked meal?”
Something in his face changed; the features became softer, and his eyes grew distant, like he was remembering something from a long time ago. He finished his coffee slowly, setting the mug down and leaning against the counter. I stared at him for the longest of times, trying to figure out the enigma presented to me now. Why had he grown quiet all of the sudden? Had I said something that made him yearn for an age long passed?
Then I remembered.
“Oh, Tony,” I whispered. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—”
“You didn’t do anything,” he told me. “I was just thinking. Yeah, maybe we could go for a home-cooked meal once in a while. But do you think you can handle feeding all of us?”
“Are you presenting me with a challenge, Stark?” I countered, grinning like a maniac. He smirked too, stepping over to me.
“Depends on what you mean by a challenge,” he replied.
I tapped my chin. “Well, cooking dinner for a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, two master assassins, a scientist with extreme anger management problems, and a Norse god does seem like a hefty challenge, wouldn’t you think?”
He rolled his eyes and clasped my shoulder, staring me straight in the eyes. “Hon, with all that you’ve been through, you could probably handle more.”
I smirked and put my hand over his. “I’ll test that theory.”
Chapter 10: Avoid The Paps, At All Costs
Later in the morning after everyone had been briefed on my plans, we were sitting in the living room. Everyone was awake, but I still felt a tad tired. Those nightmares last night had sucked all of my energy and the only thing keeping me awake was the coffee, and I knew that it wouldn’t last long. It never did, that was why people had like ten cups. I could only drink like two.
“Grocery shopping?” Bruce repeated, sounding skeptical. “Are you sure that’s okay? I mean…”
I shared some of his concern, but I wasn’t about to back down. “I know what you mean, but honestly, we need some food in this house. You can’t just eat out all the freaking time. Superheroes need good food. So that’s why I’ve decided to make you guys a meal!” Before anyone could object, I continued, “A home cooked meal, not of this crappy fast food that you eat when you’re done fighting evil. I may be fourteen, but I know a little bit about cooking.”
Everyone stared at me, but Natasha spoke up. “I like this idea. So, when are we going?”
I shrugged. “When I figure out what to cook.”
Tony raised his hand and started to make excited sounds, like a kid in class who finally knows the answer for once in his life. I rolled my eyes and pointed at him. “Yes, Iron Man?”
“Shawarma!” he said cheerfully. “It’s the best thing ever, come on, you gotta make it.”
I tilted my head to the side. “Uh…shawarma?”
He stared at me like I had just shot him in the chest. Kind of impossible, with the arc reactor in the way. “You don’t know what shawarma is? What rock have you been living under?”
I allowed my tone to become sour. “It’s called being a lower-middle class Kentuckian, Tony. You’ve probably haven’t heard of it, because it’s so underground.”
Tony sneered at me. “Don’t tell me you’re a hipster, too.”
I shrugged and interlocked my fingers behind my head. “Hey, what can I say, I use Google Chrome. Not my fault that it’s better than Internet Explorer.”
Everyone stared at me in confusion. I cleared my throat and said, “Okay. Who else wants shawarma, raise your hand.”
Everyone seemed in favor of the decision, and I sighed. “Can I get a recipe?”
With the recipe and ingredient list in hand, I was ushered out of Stark Towers and into a sleek car. Natasha slunk to the passenger’s side and ducked in, and I followed, entering the car and sidling into the back seat. It was cool inside, and I almost had a heart attack when I saw who was in the driver’s seat.
Pepper Potts turned to smile at me. “Hello. You must be the infamous Demi Oakley I’ve heard so much about. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
My mouth hung open and I blinked a couple of times before I stammered, “Uh, it’s nice to meet you too. Uh, you’re Pepper Potts. You’re…Tony’s assistant.”
“Indeed I am. You seem shocked.”
“Oh, it’s just that…ugh. I’ve been meeting so many people who I think are awesome, I think my brain’s about to explode.” I knew I sounded awkward; I always did when I talked to people who I knew about but didn’t actually know. If you catch my drift.
She laughed lightheartedly. “I understand. I was like that when I first became Mr. Stark’s assistant. But, it fades over time, and you end up talking to each other like two best friends.”
Natasha glanced out the window. “Speaking of Mr. Stark…”
I followed her gaze and saw Tony approaching the car. Confused, I scooted next to the door and lowered the window. “What do you want, Stark?”
He opened the door and muttered, “Scoot over.” Without waiting, he started to push me to the side and got in the backseat with me, shutting the door and putting his hands in his lap. “Come on, let’s go.”
“Tony, what the hell are you doing?” Pepper inquired, eying him suspiciously. “I don’t think we can go to a grocery store without being attacked by a mob of paparazzi.”
“There’s a simple solution to that,” Tony replied, resting his hands behind his head. “Avoid the paps, at all costs.”
I stared at him. “That’s kinda impossible, Tony.”
He glared at me. “How is it impossible, Demi?”
I tapped my chin. “Let’s put it like this: the paparazzi are ruthless in their dastardly attempts to get candid photos of their favorite celebrities. Seeing as I’m a celebrity here, apparently, and you are too, along with…everyone in this car, I figured that the paparazzi will, you know, maul us.”
“You don’t know that,” he retorted.
“And how could you know that I don’t know?” I shot back.
Pepper sank back into her seat. “Oh god, you were right, they are the same.”
Tony must not have heard her, though. “Because you are a little kid that’s barely in high school. Obviously I know more about life than you.”
“Oh, whatever,” I muttered. “At least I don’t need robots to do normal stuff for me.”
“At least I can build robots,” he countered. “And what can you build, little miss Demi? A diagram on the solar system for a little science project?”
I could honestly say that Tony Stark was pissing me off. “For the record, we’ve finished studying the solar system, and we’re now studying for the final—which I’ve missed.” I stared ahead, feeling suddenly empty inside. Tony fell silent.
Then I started to laugh. “Thank god, I was probably going to fail it anyway. But…” I ran my fingers through my hair. “I wonder…if they’re worried about me anymore. Maybe they’ve forgotten about me, given up—”
“Don’t think like that,” Tony hissed, and the tone of his voice caused me to stare at him. “You can’t just think that they’ve given up searching for you. I know they wouldn’t. They wouldn’t give up on a kid like you, Dem.”
I frowned. “My friend Brook called me ‘Dem’.” That made me miss her already.
Tony smiled sadly, taking my hand in his and staring me in the eyes. “We’ll figure out a way for you to get home. Right now we have to focus on the task at hand.” He pointed forward. “Onward, comrades, to Whole Foods! Avoid the paps, at all costs!”
Shaking her head in disbelief, Pepper jammed the keys in the ignition and the car roared to life.
Chapter 11: For The Record, The Avengers Aren’t ‘Domestic’
We're going shopping, Tony!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
We arrived at Whole Foods (someplace where I’ve never been) and we were heading inside. While we stepped up to the doors, I noticed some people eying us in disbelief. Murmurs of concern rippled around the small crowds that were beginning to gather, and I snorted and took the lead, heading into the store first and muttering, “God, it’s like people think that we’re aliens.”
“Some of us are,” Tony murmured, smirking at me. I shot him a glare.
“I’m not an alien, I’m from a different dimension,” I replied. “And I was talking about Thor.”
“He’s not an alien, he’s from a different dimension.” Tony grinned at me. I gave into the childish urge to stick my tongue out at him, and he seemed to as well.
I turned my attention to the ingredients list and sighed, muttering, “Okay, we need some garlic, lemons, olive oil, curry powder—”
The list was snatched out of my hand by Pepper. I stared at her as she smiled at me. “We’ll handle some of the ingredients. We’ll get the garlic, lemons, and curry powder; you get the chicken and pita bread, and the tahini for the sauce. Sound good?”
I nodded and saluted her. “Yes, ma’am! C’mon, Tony, you heard the woman.” I grabbed his arm and started to tow him away.
“What? I have to shop with you?” He tried to sound disappointed, but he failed. I snickered and nodded. “Laaammmee.”
“Oh, shut up, Tony,” I grumbled, trying to figure out where you would find the chicken, and pita bread. What exactly was pita bread, anyway? I mean, I knew it was bread—that was obvious—but I had never tasted it, never even actually seen it. I didn’t know what the heck tahini was either. I lived a sheltered life.
“Do you actually know how to cook or are you just playing us?” Tony asked as I scoped the meat isle. Chicken was poultry. Poultry is meat. Or was it different in this universe? I mean, when I went shopping with my mom, I remembered the chicken having its own area—ah.
“One does not simply ‘know how to cook,’” I said, picking up a pack of boneless chicken breasts and throwing them into the basket I had picked up at the front. Then I halted and grabbed another package. And another. Tony eyed my suspiciously.
“You sure that’s enough? We might need more.” Nah, that wasn’t sarcasm in his tone. No freaking way.
“Tony, I’m just making sure,” I replied, calculating things in my head. “Okay, so we have a Norse god who eats like no tomorrow…” I stared down at one of the packages, containing four medium-sized chicken breasts. “Thor could probably eat like ten of these and still be hungry…” I rubbed my temples. “Damn, is this how my mom feels? It sucks.”
“What, trying to figure out how much everybody’s gonna eat?”
I nodded. “Yeah. With my brother, she spends a lot more and it’s not very much. He’s supposed to move out in a month, so maybe we won’t have to spend as much.” I realized I was talking as if I was actually going to be able to go back. I fell silent and returned my gaze to the chicken, mind whirling. Tony noticed my hesitation and touched my shoulder.
“Hey,” he breathed. “Remember what I said? Don’t give up on the chance that you’ll get back home. There was a way to get you here, and there’s a way to get you out.”
I smiled sadly. “Be that as it may, if we were to find a way…I don’t think I would want to go back.”
Tony stared at me, dumbfounded. “Why?”
“Well, Tony, let’s take this into consideration.” I started to stray away from the chicken after taking another package, and he trailed after me, face a mask of confusion. “I’ve already briefed you on my life in my world, you know, the flavorless, boring excuse I call living?” I spun around once. “And then, I took a chance and ended up here, in the Avengers universe, surrounded by brilliant people and action and adventure. Now, if you were me, which would you choose: insipid or flavorful?”
I snapped my fingers. “And that’s my point. I know that I’m going to have to return to my universe eventually, so I’m trying to make the best of it here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed to God, to any deity willing to listen, for something like this to happen to me. And then the portal appears, out of the freakin’ blue, a chance waiting for the taking—I would have been stupid not to take it.” I realized that I was straying completely off topic and decided midway to get back on it. “What I’m trying to get at is that, yes, I miss my world, my friends and family, and I would totally go back. But, all in all, I’m glad this”—I motioned to Tony, then the rest of the store—“happened. I’m glad I met you, I’m glad I met the others, heck, I’m glad I met Loki. My friend Amelya would probably be jealous as hell if I told her that I met her favorite god of all time.”
Tony seemed amused. “So, you’re the ‘I can do anything better than you’ type, aren’t you?”
I rolled my eyes. “Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. Maybe what my mom says about me having a superiority complex is true. Who knows?”
“What I do know is that the others would miss you too,” Tony replied. “If you were to leave.”
I tilted my head to the side. “Why would you say that?”
“Because you seem to want to take care of us. Like, you know, you care about our wellbeing. Something maternal, I don’t know. All I know is that you’re trying to make us domestic. And the Avengers aren’t domestic.”
“What, just because I want to cook a meal for you guys I’m suddenly the mother hen of the Avengers?” I halted, remembering. Coulson had been the nanny, now it was my turn. What, did he give me the job when he died, somehow? I didn’t want to babysit superheroes!
Or did I?
Yeah, I did.
“You want to take care of us,” he repeated. “We all come from different lives—some hard, some easy. Well, not exactly. It shows that you care. You may put up that ‘I don’t give a fuck’ exterior but really you’re like ‘Oh, Steve, don’t run with the scissors’ or ‘Tony, don’t blow up the Tower!’.”
I snorted and punched his shoulder. “Come on, you can’t really believe that. Did you dement yourself into actually buying that?’
“I dement myself into believing a lot of things, in case you haven’t noticed.”
I laughed and shook my head. “Yeah, I do, too…” I trailed off.
Tony stopped. “What now?”
“Huh? Oh, I was just thinking.” I halted. “You ever get that weird feeling that someone’s watching you?”
The two of us exchanged glances as we started to sing ‘I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me’. We both laughed boisterously and gained a few unsure glances from some shoppers, but we ignored them.
That’s when I felt a cold hand curl around my throat.
Chapter 12: Off My Rocker Yet Again
I lose my mind again because Loki's a royal jerkwad.
The second to the last chapter. :O
By the way... /italics?/
Every single one of my senses went on high alert as the cold hand wrapped around my neck and I dropped the basket at my feet. My eyes grew to the size of dinner plates and I felt myself gasp, but didn’t hear it. It seemed as if time slowed to a halt, and the only people moving were me, Tony, and the person whose hand was tightened around my throat. I shivered involuntarily, and I heard a soft chuckle from behind me. Goosebumps prickled my skin as I deduced who it was.
“Loki,” Tony muttered, eyes narrowed and trained on the mischievous deity behind me. “You just can’t let us have our shopping days, can you?”
Loki chortled again, amused. “Not when my throne has the chance of being overthrown.” Loki’s fingers snaked into my hair and yanked, causing me to yelp. “Especially not by this short little urchin.”
Something clicked within me, and I didn’t know why I did it, but I cocked my arm and buried my elbow in Loki’s ribs. He let out a sound that was a mix of surprise and slight pain, allowing me to take advantage of his confusion. I escaped his grasp and took my place behind Tony, receiving an approving glance from him. “Didn’t think you had it in you, kid.”
“Me either,” I breathed. My heart was thundering in my chest. I couldn’t believe that I had actually elbowed the Norse god of mischief in the freaking ribs and was still alive. I probably wouldn’t be for long. “I think I made him mad.”
I gathered this from the waves of green rolling off of him and the death glare that he was shooting me. Me being the usual cocky little brat I was, I stuck my tongue out at him and wiggled my fingers. “You mad, bro?”
“He mad, brah,” Tony added, and we both laughed.
Loki growled, “Enough with this insolence.”
I put up my hands. “Okay, Loki. Calm down.”
Suddenly the tip of his scepter was prodding the skin between my eyes, and all of the humor in this situation was drained like dirty dishwater in a sink. I could hear my heart hammering in my ears, the blood singing through my veins. Loki seemed to sense my fear and smiled evilly. “You put up a tough exterior but really you are a scared little girl.”
My mouth had a mind of its own and didn’t consult me before speaking. “Huh, seems we share a few traits.”
Even Tony seemed concerned. “Dem, I really don’t think you should make him angry.”
I didn’t have a chance to reply because suddenly I was being thrown across the room. My back connected with some freezers and I heard the glass crack at the impact. I slid down to the floor and groaned as pain blossomed through my back and radiated down my sides. Tony was at my side immediately. “Demi!”
“You jackass, you broke the freakin’ freezers!” I called, letting Tony help me up. He seemed concerned.
“Demi, are you okay?”
“Okay? I’m better than okay, I’m freakin’ amazing.”
I heard some commotion and someone shouting Tony’s name, and I turned around to see Natasha and Pepper running over to us. I noticed Pepper sporting a colorful briefcase that I registered to be one of Tony’s suits.
“What the hell?” Natasha murmured as she took in the damage. Her eyes trailed over to Loki and then she hissed, “We seriously can’t go shopping without him following us, can’t we?”
“Apparently not,” I growled as Pepper tossed Tony the briefcase, it popping open and mechanical parts whirring to life as Tony was adjourned with his suit. As soon as the helmet dropped down he had his hand pointed directly at Loki.
“Natasha, Pep, get the civilians out of here,” Tony ordered. “You too, Demi.”
Loki growled. “Oh, no, she isn’t going anywhere!” And then he disappeared in a green flash and was at my flank in two seconds flat. He wound his arm around my next and flashed away. The last thing I saw before I encountered black was the pure shock and horror on Tony’s face.
“Ugh!” I groused as the blackness enveloped me. What, were we in a black room now? I struggled in his grasp. “Let me go, for the love of God!”
Loki smirked and threw me to the ground. It was cold and dank. I wondered where he had brought us as I tugged myself up and brushed myself off.
“I’m going to take great pleasure in killing you,” he breathed as he raised his arm and in a flourish of shimmering gold, he was holding his scepter. He pointed it at me and smiled creepily as he did so. “You put a dangerous dent into my plans, Demirus. Do you realize that?”
The way my name slid off his tongue made me want to shiver, but I decided not to. Instead I steeled myself and muttered, “Don’t call me that.”
Loki seemed amused. “Call you what?”
I glared at him. “You know what. Demirus. And how did you even know that’s my name?”
He smirked. “I know many things about you, Demirus. Many things.”
I snorted and crossed my arms. “Like what?”
He smiled again, twirling the scepter around in his hand. “You’re fourteen years old. Your birthday is August 6th, 1997. You live with your mother and brother, along with your dog and cat, Brownie and Purdy, I believe? You have a superiority complex, meaning that you act and think you’re more superior to everyone else but really you know deep down that you’re nothing. You talk big but you’re really harmless and could probably get killed in a fight. Just like that one time. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? That one time?”
I gritted my teeth together as his eyes dissected me and revealed my every weakness, my every flaw. It made me feel so vulnerable, so exposed, that a small “Stop it” escaped my lips. Either he didn’t hear it or he did but didn’t acknowledge it, as he continued on with the tirade.
“Oh, you’ve got tons of other weaknesses, don’t you,” he purred. “Like your addiction to sweets. Your blood is ninety-nine percent sugar. I’m surprised you haven’t went into diabetic shock yet. What, you can’t go a day without something sweet? Afraid you’re going to go rampant and kill everyone within a ten mile radius?”
I clenched my hands into fists at my sides. “Stop.”
“Oh, what’s this?” Loki chuckled as he scratched his chin. “You can’t even tell your crush that you like him. I thought that you were braver than that. But it’s unrequited, by the way.”
“Shut up,” I hissed.
“And this is just shocking.” I was surprised to see Loki’s scepter stretch over to hook onto my pants leg and lift it up. “Scars. You cut yourself.”
I jerked away and nearly lost my balance. He chuckled and clucked his tongue. “Self-harm? What depressed you so much to have you sink to that level? Did someone steal your lunch money? Did someone call you fat? What? Did you just do it for attention? Is that it? Why—”
“SHUT UP!” I screeched to the top of my lungs. “JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY! YOU TALK TOO GODDAMN MUCH! MIND YOUR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS, YOU BASTARD!”
Loki doubled back, blinking in shock. I was breathing hard, shocked at my sudden explosion, because I never really got mad like that. Except for that one time.
“Ah, and it seems we have another problem.” Loki tilted his head to the side. “You have anger issues.”
That was it. All of my vision was laced in red as I screamed some obscenities I was too angry to even focus on. I charged toward him and surprised myself when I yanked his scepter out of his hands and struck him over the head with it. He stumbled backward, shocked, and fell to the ground at my feet. Satisfied, I pointed the scepter straight at his heart, it glowing a profuse blue.
“Tell me my flaws again,” I spat. “I dare you. I double dare you, motherfucker.” Hell, I haven’t even seen that movie.
He put up his hands. “Now, Demirus—”
“Don’t call me that, dammit!”
“Okay, okay, Demi,” he murmured in a calm, soothing voice. “Let’s be reasonable here.”
I was far beyond reasonable. “Reasonable? You’re talking about being reasonable? The god of mischief, being reasonable? Are you stupid?”
Loki actually seemed scared for his life. I smirked and dug the tip of the spear into his chest. He winced involuntarily. “Here’s what we’re going to do, Loki. You’re going to take me back to where we once were. You’re going to go back to Asgard to face judgment for the crimes you’ve committed there and on Earth. And you will never mess with Midgard ever again. In fact, I hope that what happens in Norse mythology happens here.” I chuckled darkly. “I hope they sew your mouth shut and torture you. You’ve earned it, after everything you’ve done to these innocent people.”
Loki seemed frightened, and he raised his hands and flexed his fingers. The blackness faded away and suddenly we were back in the store, eyes all over us, expressions from horror to shocked. I realized that I still had the scepter prodding Loki’s chest and I wasn’t about to move until I was sure that he wouldn’t move an inch. I suddenly noticed something.
“We never left, did we,” I murmured. “You just conjured up an illusion. Everyone saw, didn’t they.”
Loki offered a cocky grin. I gritted my teeth and poked him in the chest with the scepter again, hearing him grunt in annoyance.
I recognized the deep, accented voice, and I was soon greeted my Thor’s crushing embrace. I grunted in surprise as he did, and said, “Thor?”
“My brother has not harmed you in any way, has he?”
I shook my head. Not physically, but mentally…I was a bit unstable. But everyone was, so it really didn’t matter. “I’m fine. Uh…did you see me—”
“Lose your fucking cool? Hell yeah we did,” Tony piped, still clad in his Iron Man suit with the helmet flipped up. “Good god, I seriously didn’t think you had it in you.”
I felt my face warm up. “Shut up, Tony.”
Thor chuckled. “Here, I shall take care of Loki from here.” He bent down and hoisted Loki up like a ragdoll. I still held his scepter in hand.
“Can I keep this?” I asked cheekily. I seriously liked the way it felt in my hand. It made me feel all-powerful.
“I don’t think that would be a very wise decision,” I heard someone say, and I thought that it was Steve.
Sighing, I handed it over to Thor, just as I heard someone exclaim, “What the hell is that?”
Curious, I turned around to see a glowing blue portal gaping wide in front of us.
Chapter 13: Epilogue - And Here, We Have The End
And so, I'm off.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
I was in utter shock as I watched the swirling blue of the portal swish below me. I couldn’t help but murmur, “Maybe…this is…”
“Your ticket back home,” Tony said, coming up behind me. We stared at each other for a long time before breaking eye contact to return it to the portal.
“Wait, you mean that this is the thing that brought you to our world?” Bruce asked, and I wasn’t surprised to see he had joined us. He seemed confused about the whole portal thing as I was.
I nodded, staring down into the swirling cerulean. My chest felt empty as I realized that I would have to leave everyone. I didn’t even get the chance to cook for them.
“Hey,” someone said, and I realized it was Steve. I turned around to see him holding my Gir bag. I thanked God for the man and took it from him, smiling.
“Thank you,” I murmured, casting a sad glance on everyone gathered around the portal. Well, just the Avengers. “Thank you so much. This has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. When I get back, people will probably think I’m crazy if I tell them about what’s occurred here.”
Tony smirked and ruffled my hair. “Well, don’t tell ’em, then.”
“Well, of course I’m going to tell my friend Amelya, if she’s there when I arrive.” A heavy weight seemed to have made its home at the pit of my stomach. “Oh, man, I almost forgot about her. I hope she’s all right—wherever she is.” I kneaded my bottom lip worriedly and tapped my toe. I was hesitant to jump into the portal. That mean leaving the Avengers, and I seriously was going to miss them. They had taught me so much, and I’m pretty sure I taught them a few things too.
“Well, what are you waiting for?” Tony murmured.
Sighing, I turned around and brandished my phone. “Can I at least get a picture with you guys?”
They all exchanged glances and nodded, murmuring a few ‘sure’s and ‘okay’s. I switched to the camera option and said, “Could someone trustworthy hold this?”
A woman dispatched from the crowd of people gathered around our motley crew to volunteer. I pointed to the button to press and scurried over to where the others were standing. Tony threw an arm over my shoulder and smirked at me cockily. “Are you going to file this away for future reference?”
I rolled my eyes and made a peace sign just as Tony did. We both shot a glance at each other just as the clicked the button and this moment in time was captured, saved on a file on my phone. I was about to withdraw, but Tony pulled me into a tight hug and muttered, “Stay strong, kid, and don’t get into any trouble. You here?”
I chuckled and returned the hug. “You have my word.”
The woman handed me my phone and I thanked her. She returned somewhere in the crowd as I examined the photo. A small smile quirked my lips up and I felt a hot tear slid down my face. I turned back to them and began to hug everyone, because hey, I wasn’t about to miss a hug from an Avenger.
“Welp,” I said as I returned to the portal. “I guess this is the end of this adventure.”
“Not really,” Steve said, and I craned my neck to glance at him. “For all we know, it could be the beginning.”
I sighed, shoulder slumping. “I hope so.”
Well, I shouldn’t be standing here all day, so I stood at the very edge of the portal, back to it, facing the Avengers. I put on my game face and raised my hands, making peace signs. “Well, I’m out, guys! See ya later, I guess!”
Then I jumped and fell backwards into the portal, watching as they gathered around in and their faces disappeared into a white abyss.
3 weeks later
Tony was sitting in his lab, working out some kinks in the Iron Man suit, when the loud, heavy music switched off. He sighed, straightening up his back and turning around. “How many times do I have to tell you, Pepper, don’t turn off my music—”
But it wasn’t Pepper, he came to realize. It was Natasha. And in her hand, was a comic book. The way her face looked told Tony something was up.
“Hey,” she murmured, slowly stepping down the stairs. “The new issue of The Misfits came out today.” She motioned to the comic book in her hand. “You might wanna take a look at this. It’s surprising. I just finished reading it.”
She tossed him the book and he caught it with fervor, turning to the cover and gasping at the title.
“’The Misfit Meets The Avengers’,” he read. “Oh, god, this is gonna be good.”
After an hour, Tony had final reached the final pages of the book. Everything that had happened during Demi’s stay in the tower had somehow made it on the paper, creating a colorful story. He was on the second to the last page when he noticed that the comic book Demi was writing something. Curious, he read on.
‘To the Avengers, because I know you’ll be reading this,
I just wanted to say ‘hello’, because honestly, I miss you guys. When I came back I was back in the courtyard where I found the portal—along with my friend Amelya, along with cadaver dogs and policemen who looked shell-shocked to see two teenage girls appear out of nowhere. One of the dogs licked me. I thought it was gross, but I’m used to it.
I had been taken to the hospital and sort-of debriefed—oh man, Coulson, debriefing won’t be the same to me because of you. I wish he was still alive, but then again, everyone does. I was unsure of what to say, and then my mom busted in at the right time, and man, was she hysterical. I thought that she was about to have an aneurism. Honestly I can say that I was sick of hugs for the first few days of my sudden appearance.
Apparently Amelya had been in Asgard, chilling with Odin and stuff, and apparently she made him mad or something, and she was cast back to Midgard, just as the portal opened here. I think she was mad at him because of the way he treated Loki, because she has a sort of obsession with him, but you know.
Anyway, I still have that picture on my phone—it’s my background. I look like a total dork, but at least I have something to remember you by. I showed Amelya and she’s been pissed at me ever since. Oh, and I got to see the premiere, too! You guys kicked ass in it, by the way. Best movie I’ve seen the whole year.
So anyway, it’s summer here. I’m going to be a sophomore next year, and guess what, I passed algebra by one point! Can you believe it? I sure couldn’t. I’m glad I won’t have to deal with annoying freshman next year.
So basically, everything’s been hectic on my side of the dimension. I can’t even go anywhere without being harangued by people, asking me about where I was and what happened. My mom’s starting to get suspicious, too. I still haven’t come up with a story yet, but I’m getting there. It seems I’ve become a local celebrity. I even heard the Today show wants to interview me.
Moving on, I just want to say…I miss you guys. I really do. I know that this has probably been in the newest issue of The Misfits. Oh, and if you’re reading this, Tony…I just want to say that being harassed by paparazzi sucks.
The comic book Demi chuckled in the panels crumpled the paper up, tossing it somewhere in her mess of a room. Her dog stared at her in confusion as she looked up at the ceiling—making eye-contact with Tony—and gave thumbs up. Then she turned around and left her room.
Tony shut the comic and began to laugh.
I just want to say, thank you to all who've read this and commented or kudos. I think I might make a part two. After, you know, I finish the other fics I've neglected to work on.