If there were words to describe Tony and Bruce’s relationship, then it would be these: science bros. They discussed everything and anything science, albeit new discoveries, technology, and sometimes it even revolved around the technology of Tony’s arc reactor, the silent reminder of how frail the human life is and how easily it can be ripped away from you. Bruce could make out the blue glow of the reactor through the thin material of Tony’s shirt. It always made him stop in awe, that someone was able to make a new element to help keep them alive. He thought of all the other things Tony could make possible with his unparalleled genius. He tried to wonder if he himself could find anything that could ever compare to Tony’s discoveries.
“I’ve found it.”
Tony, who was busy tinkering with some add-on he was going to install on the armor, stopped for a second to see what Bruce was talking about. He froze when he examined the board of equations Bruce was standing in front of; it was borderline gigantic, and it was covered in equations that made even Tony’s head spin. He stood from where he was sitting and slowly strode to where Bruce was standing, crossing his arms as he reached his destination. “What exactly do we have here?”
“I’ve found it,” Bruce repeated, jotting down a few things on the margins of the board and setting down the marker, taking a few steps back to examine his work. “I think.”
“What, exactly, did you find?” Tony inquired, eyes running over the board, mind calculating and whirring like a machine.
“You remember Demi, right?” Bruce said, smirking.
At that, Tony snorted and rolled his eyes. “Of course I remember Demi. Who doesn’t?”
Mentioning her name caused memories to flash through his mind. He remembered the fateful day that something crashed through his ceiling and making a huge mess, causing Bruce to Hulk out and nearly destroy a town over, learning that the thing that fell from the sky was actually and fluffy fourteen-year-old girl by the name of Demi Oakley. He remembered her snarky attitude and her face when she was told that she was famous in this dimension, how she got hurt during her first encounter with the god of mischief, Loki, their enemy, and how she ranted to him about her flavorless life, and they both shared a couple of laughs. He recalled the day she left, how she seemed sad that the time in this dimension was coming to a close and she would have to return to hers, and then he remembered the newest issue of The Misfits—the comic book she was in in this dimension—and how she had written the Avengers a note, letting them know that she was doing okay and that the paparazzi were harassing her. Tony had been confused at that; he didn’t know that they had paparazzi in Kentucky. If Demi knew he had thought that, she probably would have agreed. All of this happened in the short span of a week.
Tony remembered something he really didn’t want to dredge up: Coulson. Oh, man, Coulson. He recalled the way Demi had looked as he died in her arms. Her eyes were as big as a deer’s caught in a car’s headlights, unwavering and unmoving. Then, she just brushed it off and tried to act like it never happened. When she had Jarvis make coffee and invited him to have some, he thought back to what she had said.
“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.”
She had been unsure for a second there. Tony had only known the kid for a couple of day, and he was sure that she wasn’t an unsure person. She seemed to be oozing confidence and arrogance. Maybe it was just because she had seen someone die, and actually held them as they died, and that caused her whole world to come crashing down and her viewpoint to be garbled, blinding her.
And, he had been surprised to see that she liked coffee. He hadn’t met a kid who liked coffee.
He blinked, mind being distracted from its tangent, and his attention returned to Bruce. “Yes, dear?”
The scientist shook his head. “Very funny, Stark.”
“No, but seriously, what were you saying?”
“I’m saying that I found a way to make a portal that might be able to connect us to Demi’s dimension,” he said, adjusting his glasses.
Tony gawked at him for a reasonable amount of time before clearing his throat and saying, “And how do you know that this will work?”
“Well, I don’t exactly know that, per se,” Bruce murmured, tapping his chin. “I was just playing around with a few formulas, then started to wonder. You remember the Tesseract, and how Dr. Selvig built that contraption that brought Loki here?”
Tony nodded. Bruce continued: “I figured if we could find a power source to operate the portal, we might be able to open our own portal and go into Demi’s dimension. I’ve thought this all out, Tony, and it seems very likely.”
“But what would power it though?” Tony pressed.
Bruce reached over and tapped Tony’s arc reactor. “Something like that.”
It turned out getting the blueprints for the device Selvig built was easier than expected, because of the whole Avengers thing and hey, maybe they’re building something that’ll help save the world one day. Who knows, maybe it will. Build a dimensional portal, throw the baddies into it, problem solved. Unless, of course, they ended up in Demi’s dimension, and the thought made Tony cringe. He had been furious the first time Demi had been hurt, and the second, and he didn’t want to see it happen a third time. He didn’t know why he suddenly developed protective feelings for the kid. He blamed himself, and decided to lose himself in building the machine, wondering if Demi had changed any during the timeslot.
The device takes approximately two days to complete, and Tony’s gone for the second day, making a new power core for the machine, and it was no easy feat, but it wasn’t Herculean either. He knew what he was doing and was sure of his footing. Now, he just needed his teammates to trust him, and that definitely was a Herculean task, no matter what anyone said.
“You can’t be serious,” Clint deadpanned after Tony had explained Bruce’s idea after they had gathered the rest of the Avengers in a group. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”
Tony shot him a look that clearly suggested for him to ask the question again. Clint, apparently, was a daredevil. “You’re serious?”
“Obviously, Clint.” Tony sighed dramatically and carded his fingers through his hair. “Bruce and I have run through the schematics, the whole shebang. We’re ninety-nine percent positive that it will work. You guys need to trust us once in a while.”
“Oh, I trust Bruce,” Natasha piped, illegally long legs crossed delicately. “You, eh, not so much. What happened to the other one percent?”
“Come on,” Tony groaned. “We have to at least try. C’mon, who here wants to visit Demi again?”
Everyone glanced at each other and murmurs rippled through the small group, containing ‘yes’ and ‘sure’ and other approving terms. Tony was a bit giddy and continued, “Come on, I’m positive that this will work. Bruce was the one who drew out the whole thing, and you said you trusted him, right?”
Natasha sighed. “I suppose I should give it a whirl.”
Thor, who had arrived back from Asgard a week ago after returning his brother, raised his hand. “I am unsure whether or not it shall have the same effects of the Tesseract.”
“Don’t worry, I’ve got it all figured out,” Bruce spoke for the first time. “I had Tony modify a power core to hold at least half of the Tesseract’s full power—it was the full power that could bring Loki to this Realm. I’ve done some studying, and I’ve learned that the distance between Realms and dimensions are incredibly distinct from each other, that being that dimensions are rather closer than the Realms. From my calculations I concluded that the amount of power needed to transfer us to Demi’s dimension would be rather small, seeing as we share the same Realm. We only need a pollen of the original Tesseract’s power to travel to Demi’s dimension, but with this device that Tony’s made, we only need half.” Bruce coughed, smiling. “Does that make it clearer?”
Tony was honest in thinking that that was the longest he had ever heard Bruce talk. He grinned and clapped the other on the shoulder. “Awesome explanation, big guy. You’ve got brains.”
Bruce stammered. “T-Thank you.”
Tony grinned at the others. “Come on, the brainiac has spoken, and he’s apparently the more trustworthy of us two. Come on, please, you guys need to take risks, please, please—”
“Okay, we’ll do it, if it gets you to stop whining,” Steve said in exasperation, standing up from where he was sitting and straying over to Tony’s side. When he arrived at his set destination, he bent down to murmur, “You’re just lucky that I want to see Demi again, too.”
Tony tried to make it to where his expression was shocked. “What, you think that I’m doing this because I want to see that little kid again? I’m doing it for science!” He turned to Bruce and raised his hand. “For science, right, Bruce?”
The man shook his head and rolled his eyes, murmuring, “Nice try, Tony.”
Clint sighed and stood up, venturing over to the other side of the room. “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to see the kid again. Why not?” As he walked over, Natasha stood and joined him, too, along with Thor. Tony was giddy; he had finally gotten everyone on the bandwagon!
“Welp,” Tony said, nodding at Bruce. “Let’s get this show on the road.”
Ah, summer. The perfect time for me to goof off, read fics, write some, and play Pokémon. It was painstakingly warm outside, and in my room there was a big ass A/C that blew out freezing cold temperatures, making my room feel like the desolate Arctic climate of Jotunheim. That was why I was bundled up in a huge jacket and folded into a tight ball, eyes trained on my computer screen as I read the newest chapter of this fic I’ve been hooked on. It was twelve a.m. and if my mom knew I was awake she’d probably scream at me to go to sleep because she’s been uber-worried about me lately, like everyone else has been about me recently.
So, flashback to a couple of weeks ago, when school was still in session; me and my Avengers-obsessed friend Amelya were heading to government, and I stumbled upon a portal that caused me to be sent into the Avengers universe, landing me smack dab in the middle of Stark Towers, and in the middle of the Avengers. I had met so many awesome people, one annoying one, being the god of mischief Loki, who had caused me some physical and emotional trauma, all of which I’ve sort of recovered from, but it still kind of haunted me nonetheless. The only place I felt save in now was my house, mostly because people were nosy parkers and wanted to get in my business and want to know where I was for the small span of a week. I wasn’t about to tell them, because if I did I would probably get weird stares and admitted into a mental asylum. People just didn’t up and disappear because portals sucked them into different dimensions. The police wanted answers and I wasn’t speaking, and that was making them pissed and me even more pissed because they wouldn’t stop bugging me. All that should matter was that I was back home, safe and sound, and that was that. I hated that people had to make such a big deal out of something so small.
I snorted and ran my fingers through my hair, still a bit damp from where I showered today. My fingertips were ice cold and I could barely feel my toes, but I didn’t care because I liked the cold. Sometimes. Mostly I liked it because of the noise of the air conditioner.
Okay, I thought to myself, switching to Word and opening up one of my fics I’ve neglected to work on for a while. I need to get this thing done because people are starting to get mad at me.
As I began to type the first few words of the next chapter, I nearly jumped off my bed as the sound of crackling thunder reverberated through my eardrums and the whole house shook at its mighty force. I shut my laptop and scrambled off my bed, running to the window and looking out to see a lightning bolt was attacking the street in front of my driveway. Curious as ever, I slipped on some sandals and ran outside, breaths coming out in short bursts as I skittered to a halt a few yards away from the strange occurrence that was happening right in front of my eyes.
The lightning bolt retreated somewhere in the sky, and the scent of metal tainted the air. I slowly crept up to where the bolt had struck and nearly let out a squeal of shock and utter joy.
The Avengers were standing, disoriented, on my street, in the middle of the night.
I could only wonder what deity brought them here.