Disclaimer: The Avengers is not mine.
"Avenger Assemble! Avengers Assemble! Avengers Assemble!" chirps Steve's phone.
Steve sighs and looks up from his drawing. He's pretty sure even in the modern time a phone should not be able to announce that without using a ringtone or text to speech capability. However, it's a StarkPhone so anything is possible. He wouldn't be surprised if the phone also records his movements and reports it to Stark or SHIELD.
The problem with Tony calling for Avengers Assemble is that two out of three times the call isn't really related to saving the world but more about saving Tony, mostly from Pepper. The last assemble initiated by Tony was because it was their fourth year anniversary - that alone was a miracle that Tony could have a long term relationship with anything humanoid, let alone Pepper - and he didn't know what to get for Pepper as a present.
The look from the rest of the Avengers was interesting once they knew the purpose of Tony's call for assembly. Natasha mentioned something about neutering someone to save the gene pool. Clint said the way to a girl's heart is a pair of throwing knives, Steve suspected that it was a Freudian slip on Clint's part. Thor suggested a taser to protect Pepper from any assailant since she was the girlfriend of a mighty warrior. Bruce, the only one who had sort of a normal relationship with a woman when he was not on the run, suggested expensive dinner and jewellery. Steve agreed but said he'd rather give a more personalized gift to a woman to show his sincerity rather than jewellery but it was up to Tony.
Tony surprisingly took it all to heart. He said he'd combine all the suggestions and decided he'd personalize an Iron suit for Pepper which sort of works like his Iron Man suit but could also throw knives and taser people. He'd present it to Pepper during their romantic dinner.
Steve should've seen this coming. He didn't expect Tony to take their suggestions so seriously. He was sure only Thor and Clint agreed with this gift choice. Natasha said she'd really want to pay for a ticket to see the look on Pepper's face when he presented the gift. All of them actually really wanted to, even Steve. JARVIS said he'd take pictures if he could.
Back to the assembly business, there's a one out of three chance the call is genuine and he'd blame himself for the rest of his life if he doesn't go. That's the reason he drives his motorbike all the way from Brooklyn to the big ugly building called the Avenger Tower at midnight. He really regretted calling it ugly because it ended up as their headquarters. He guessed it's karmic retribution for him not being so nice to Stark.
JARVIS lets him in and he takes the lift to the top floor which is now serving as the Avenger's meeting room. He's the last one to arrive. Bruce is already there since he's practically joined at the hip with Tony after the Loki incident. Thor is there since he can fly. He's surprised that Natasha and Clint are already there.
"Oh finally, the Spangly soldier decides to grace us with his presence," Tony teases.
Steve's used to this and just says, "Well, I live across town and I try my best."
"Well, if the world is ending, a few minutes make a big difference," Tony says dramatically.
Steve slightly pales and continues. "What's the problem? Please brief us quickly!"
Tony pouts and says, "My friend, the world is coming to an end because apparently people write fanfictions about us!"
-This chapter is beta-ed by the awesome Irish-Brigid from fanfiction.net. I take credits for the remaining mistakes.
-I initially wanted to write this one but was distracted and wrote "United States of Steve Rogers" instead. However, I got depressed after watching Puncture so I'm back to write this one.
-The reason why Steve seems to be familiar with technology and modern terminology would be explained in one of the upcoming chapters.
-What do you want to see they discover in the world of fanfiction? I have my mind in quirk, hyperbole and slash but I'm open to suggestion.
Chapter 2: iPad 3 vs StarkPad
The chapter in which Clint is obsessed with Angry Bird, Steve with Sherlock, Thor is confused with fanfiction, and Tony is being Tony.
Disclaimer: I don't own The Avengers, iPad, The Hunger Games and Sherlock.
Warning: Slight Spoiler for Sherlock Season 2
This chapter is beta-ed by the awesome Irish-Brigid from fanfiction.net. The remaining mistakes are all mine.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Tony pouts and says, "My friend, the world is coming to an end because apparently people write fanfictions about us!"
Steve resists the urge to roll his eyes, he didn't know he was capable of rolling his eyes before he knew Tony. "How could you call us just because of fanfictions? It's not the end of the world. What happened to freedom of speech?"
"WHAT? WHAT? Are you OK with people writing fanfictions about us? Well, not you and me, specifically, although there're plenty of those." Tony wriggles his eyebrows and adds, "I meant us as the whole Avengers! It's libel!"
"Is this any different from all the paparazzi stuff about Tony Stark?"
"Touche. But I still want to see what they said about us."
"May I interrupt? I don't know what these fictions of fans are. What have they got to do with us?" inquires Thor with furrowed brows.
Clint, who knows the definition but wants a more official description, quickly pulls out his iPad3 and searches Google. The first entry is from Wikipedia. He reads "Fan fiction (alternatively referred to as fanfiction, fanfic, FF, or fic) is a broadly-defined term for fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator. Works of fan fiction are rarely commissioned or authorized by the original work's owner, creator, or publisher; also, they are almost never professionally published . ..."
"OK, OK, enough, I don't want a lecture from you, especially at midnight. Is that an iPad? What happened to the StarkPad 5.0 I've given you?" Anybody who doesn't know Tony well will think he might be sulking, those in the know know that is certainly the case.
"Well, I like iPad3 better, more user friendly," Clint shrugs non-committally.
"What's this Eye Pad 3? Does it have anything to do with Director Fury? But he's only 1 eye, he doesn't need 3 pads."
Everyone just ignores Thor and listens to play back and forth between Clint and Tony.
"You just want iPad 3 because it has Angry Birds Season HD, Grand Theft Auto 3 and Infinity Blade II. My auto-correct technology is far more superior than those dime-in-a-dozen iPads!"
"Does StarkPad 5.0 have Angry Birds?"
"No, but I've Angry Hulk ..."
"Well, I want to play Angry Birds so I'll stick to iPad 3"
"You have what? TONY! Are you SERIOUS?" Bruce can't believe what he's hearing.
"Well, I've the prototype. I also plan to have other games such as Charming Iron Man, Ogling Captain America, Flying with Thor, Hawkeye vs Katniss Everdeen, and Dangerous Liaison with Black Widow." Tony continues proudly, missing the shocked looks his team mates have given him.
Natasha, who's been dangerously silent, is massaging her temples to remove her incoming migraine, finally speaks, "Anthony Edward Stark, you're forbidden to create games based on The Avengers. It's a serious security breach. No one will take us seriously with the silly games you have created or plan to create. I'll make sure you abide this rule and personally ask Director Fury and SHIELD to put a stop to it."
"I agree completely with Black Widow, Tony. We need to take our Avenging business seriously. Besides, I don't think it's appropriate to ogle me or to liaise with Black Widow," Steve adds while his cheeks turn slightly pink. He hopes he has misunderstood the meaning of liaison in the similar vein of fondue.
"Besides, no contest, I definitely will shoot circles around Katnis Everdeen. Good luck for anyone wishing to liaise with Black Widow!" Clint adds helpfully.
"OK, OK, no Avengers game. For a bunch of superheroes with tights and capes, you're extremely prissy."
Thor who's been slightly hurt since people ignoring his eye pad question finally joins the conversation and, bless his Asgardian heart, actually sticks to the initial topic, "But why would Midgardians write this fiction of fans? How is it different from any other fiction?"
Thor had managed to grasp the meaning of fiction after a long conversation with Steve. Apparently in Asgard they don't actually have fiction, only tales of great deeds which Steve suspects also got fictionalized but he didn't have the heart to tell that to Thor.
"Well, at first they don't have to create their own universe and characters. Second, some fans are ..." Clint answers Thor's questions systematically. Steve wonders why Clint is so familiar with fanfiction, he suspects Hawkeye may have read one or more fanfictions or even dabble in some. God knows when the archer finds the time and he wonders what genres he's interested in.
Tony quickly interrupts Clint's second string of lecture, "Yawn, enough with your lecture for tonight Clint. Thor, fanfiction is a fiction written by fans as opposed to the original authors. Hang on a second, how come Capsicle who got defrosted six months ago knows about fanfiction but not Thor, who has been around Midgard longer than Cap's defrosting?"
Everyone glances at Steve but except for Tony, noone else dares to ask the question to their leader.
Steve blushes and answers the best way he can without revealing too much because this question is not related to the team and he'd like maintain some privacy. "Well, you know me and my obsession with Google and Wikipedia. I came across the term when I searched through Google."
Tony is about to ask more questions but thankfully Thor is still not satisfied with the purpose of fanfiction and asks further questions in which Tony and Clint are competing to answer. Bruce just takes the chance to catch up on reading the latest medical journal, while Natasha cleans her knives and looks half amused with the flow of conversation.
That leaves the chance for Steve to reminiscence about how he knows about fanfiction. What Steve said earlier about his obsession with Google and Wikipedia is true. When he first got "defrosted" as Tony pointed out earlier, he was deep in depression because everyone he knew, except Peggy, had died while he was still around. To ease his mind, Agent Sharon Carter, who's actually Peggy's niece, had introduced him to the wonder of Internet.
She'd taught him how to use search phrases to find the information he needed from Google. He's amazed that most information could be found by typing a few keywords instead of in the 40s when people needed to do a lot of legwork to find scraps of information. She also said that most information about a lot of topics could also be found in Wikipedia, which was usually the first result returned by Google anyway. However, she warned him not to trust the Internet results entirely and use his common sense.
She told Steve the story that Tony changed the entry in Wikipedia about Nick Fury when he was rejected to join the Avenger Initiative. Steve was surprised that given the secret nature of the organization, SHIELD and Nick Fury even have entries in Wikipedia. Tony decided to edit Nick Fury's entry to say "a pirate wannabe who does not recognize the greatness that is Anthony Edward Stark, even if it bit him in the ass", complete with a hyperlink to Tony's personal webpage. Steve couldn't help but laughed at it, even Sharon, who always looked stoic, had a twinkle in her eyes when she told the story. He didn't tell her that was an attractive look for her.
He then asked her whether they still have Sherlock Holmes because he had always enjoyed reading the stories. She said there was something better now which was DVD. He still couldn't believe it even now - a moving picture you can enjoy at home any time you want.
She gave him a box set of Sherlock Season 1, she said most people enjoyed it and Sharon herself was a big fan especially of Mycroft Holmes. Steve thought Sharon secretly compared Nick Fury and Mycroft and wasn't sure who was superior in her mind.
Steve himself also loved the series with the great London setting. He imagined walking with Peggy through the modern London but stopped his train of thought there as it wouldn't do him any good. He sympathized greatly with Watson, coming back with PTSD, and having to deal with an egomaniacal genius 24/7 and an equally egomaniacal villain. It seems the world now contains only egomaniacs, well actually it was the same in the 40s with Red Skull and Hitler.
He himself wouldn't have Watson's patience and that was something because he was supposed to be Captain America. Watson must have the patience of a saint. When PBS showed Season 2, he couldn't really wait to watch it. When he suggested Sharon watch with him, she immediately agreed. They watched it together complete with popcorn and enjoyed it immensely. He couldn't believe the ending of the series and discussed the possible solutions with Sharon who said there were a lot of means to fake deaths.
He also went to search through the Internet for any theories out there, hence his first encounter with fanfictions. He thought some of the fans put really good theories out there. He made the mistakes of clicking on the stories with Sherlock/John and Lestrade/Mycroft with the M or explicit rating, it's the understatement of the century that these stories really opened his eyes. Since then, he stopped reading fanfictions. As Barton would fluently say, not enough mind bleach would be able to wash out the imagery burned in his mind.
"Earth to Capsicle! Earth to Capsicle!"
"What, Stark?" barks Steve. He was really surprised of his own tone and thought "See, no patience of a saint." He quickly adds "Sorry, what do I miss?"
"Thank you for joining us, Captain. Thor has given up understanding the meaning and purpose of fanfiction. Now we decided that we're going to to read what has been written about us."
"Can't we wait until tomorrow morning and have some sleep now? The stories would still be out there even tomorrow," enquires Steve.
"That's what I've been saying but it seems no one listens to me!" Bruce adds tiredly.
"OK, all in favour of continuing it in the morning?" Tony asks. Seeing four hands raised, he says, "You guys are no fun. Go on, go to your boring sleep. I'll read what has been written about me. Thor, you're a champ accompanying me here."
Thor clasps his hand on Tony's shoulder. "Man of Iron, I couldn't wait to see what great tale of fictions the Midgardian fans have been written about me."
Natasha and Clint smirk. Steve thinks it's disconcerting that they even synchronize their smirk. Clint adds, "Good luck! I hope you like what you read." With that, they walk out of the meeting room.
-In the comics, Captain America indeed supports the freedom of speech, even if it was given by his old enemy, the Neo Nazi.
-This chapter had a mind of its own. I wanted to write The Avengers reaction to the fanfiction but ending up with the bonding between Sharon, who hasn't appeared at all in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Steve. I will really start to write their reaction in the next chapter (look at the preview below).
-Steve and Thor in this fic are not techno-phobes (Steve flicks through the tablet in the movie). Steve is just uncomfortable with some aspects of modern time and Thor is just an alien with a different culture.
-While waiting for the next chapter of any fanfiction, not necessarily mine, or just feeling bored in general, may I introduce you to "How Avengers Should Have Ended" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZkqC4Lz8dU )? The site contains a lot of alternative endings to different popular shows including Inception, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and our beloved Avenger movies (Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America). I'm not affiliated to the site in any way, but I'd just like to share as it's really fun.
Chapter 3: Intermezzo 1: Pepperony or Stony
The chapter in which Pepper rues the day Tony discovers fanfiction. Hint of pepperony.
"What do you want, Tony?"
"Pep, have you seen these sites? I'll send the links to you."
"I'm busy! I need to be the CEO of your company and also your babysitter. What are these sites about? Is that about the new clean energy for the whole city I ask you to research on?"
"You know, all work and no play makes Pepper a dull girlfriend. It's about the new Pepperony sites I recently found. We should try the positions they've written. It seems pretty inventive, much more than my own personal experience, which is plenty."
Pepper feels the incoming headache induced after talking to Tony is speeding like there's no tomorrow. Ignoring the jab about being dull, she says, "Tony, I'm in the middle of reading the new contracts with the UN. I'm not going to try any new position whether it's doctor approved or not." Her curiosity piques despite knowing she is going to regret it and asks, "What do you mean by Pepperoni sites? What did I tell you about eating healthy Tony? No pepperoni or salami every day!"
"Oh Pepper, it's Pepperony with a "y" instead of an "i". Pepperony is the name of the pairing for Pepper and Tony used in the world of fanfictions, which is us. Do you know that there are some communities dedicated to Pepperony? I think we should become their members."
"No, Tony, we don't have the time! You should focus on your clean energy research and the Avengers."
"Does it mean you are not going to try those positions?"
"I'm certain I won't. I don't think they are safe. You shouldn't try it either Tony. I'll know if you do."
"You're no fun. I bet I'll get more fun asking Cap to try these positions although perhaps I should look at Stony or cap_ironman communities for that."
"No, Tony, leave the nice Captain alone. He has suffered enough from you! He has seen you more often than me because of the Avenger business and even I've had my share which can last three lifetimes!"
"Or what Pep? What are you going to do? Asking me to attend more meetings? You see how well it turned out."
"No, Tony. I would sic the original characters on you. Do you have some more illegitimate daughters or nieces or forgotten love interests? I'm 112% sure I can find plenty of that if I put my mind to it."
"NO! NO! You wouldn't! That is too cruel even from you. You still have not got past the twelve percent comment, haven't you?"
"No, I haven't." Pepper allows herself a little smile because it's very hard to ask Tony to act mature but it seems she has got the key to handle at least this problem.
"How do you even know original characters when you didn't know what Pepperony was?"
"Art imitates life, Tony. I have seen a lot of women claiming to be your lovers, wives, daughters, nieces, neighbor's cousins or something in the tabloids. I don't think the fanfiction world would be any different. And I'm not completely oblivious to the existence of fanfiction." She hears Tony giggle, most likely imagining Pepper reading fanfiction. She can never overestimate the level of Tony's maturity. "Now if you don't have anything else to talk about, some of us have real work to do!"
"Wait, Pep! Don't sic any OC on me, OK? I mean it." She can hear Tony's panicking voice.
"I won't, Tony, as long as you behave. Don't ever call me again regarding fanfiction! In fact, most of the time don't call me regarding any urgency unless it's life or death situation, or someone is going to jail or in an accident, or if you manage to finish the real work you are supposed to do. And don't harass Steve!"
"You drive a hard bargain, Virginia Potts! JARVIS, please record everything Pepper said! I don't want to miss anything and have some random woman knocking on the Avenger tower."
She can hear "Certainly, sir!" in the background. "Bye, Tony!" She hangs up and rues the day Tony Stark discovers fanfiction, to be fair to the world of fanfiction, she just rues the day she met Tony Stark.
-Thanks again for the awesome Irish-Brigid from fanfiction.net for betaing this chapter. Also thanks for livi16 for her great feedback. The mistakes are all mine.
-I was supposed to write the whole team fic but there was a death in the family so I wasn't in the mood. This chapter was written a couple of weeks ago so I swapped the chapter around. The next chapter would be continuing from the previous chapter.
-I'll insert occasional intermezzo chapters such as this in between the chapters about the whole team. The intermezzo chapter doesn't involve the whole team and doesn't follow the flow of the main chapters. The next intermezzo will be about Nick Fury and fanfiction. Yes, you've read it right, I put “Nick Fury” and “fanfiction” in the same sentence. It's not as cracky as you may think, perhaps only twelve percent.
-I am not against OC, some OC stories are great. I just think any normal man will be worried if out of the blue someone claims to be his daughter, hence Pepper's threat is effective.
-I love Pepper Potts and Peggy Carter. They're strong, smart, and no damsel in distress.
-Show at least 12% love for this fic by commenting.
Chapter 4: To flame or not to flame
Now the team has started reading the fanfictions. The new chapter in which Thor discovers the disadvantage of Allspeak, Tony sulks and flames, Natasha worries about security breach, Bruce wants to be left out of it, Steve wonders why Stony is so popular, and Clint just ships Stony not secretly!
When Steve and the rest of the team walk into the meeting room the next morning, a strange sight welcomes them. Well, strange is a relative term, what normal people consider strange may be normal for the Avengers. But it's indeed strange even for the Avengers' standard.
Thor is typing furiously on his StarkPad while Steve is pretty sure that he was supposed to be reading fanfictions, not writing anything when they left him last night. Meanwhile, Tony is putting different files into different folders by the wave of his left hand using the holograms and it seems Tony is tweeting something using the other hand as he sees the Twitter symbol. He knows Tony is a genius for different kinds technology but using two hands for different purposes is a show of great ambidexterity.
He looks up when he sees them standing at the door.
"Oh Capsicle, Hawkeye, Natasha and my science bro! Do join us and thanks for bringing coffee and breakfast! Hang on a second! I need to tweet this last fanfic link, this story really showcases how awesome Tony Stark really is. There are plenty of excellent authors out there although there are some who do not get how awesome Tony Stark or Iron Man is."
All of them take a seat, Steve and Natasha distribute the breakfast and coffee while Clint grins and says "And I presume you don't tweet the latter stories."
"Of course, I don't. I have more common sense than what all of you give me credit for."
"We do give you more credit as compared to a normal six-year-old."
Steve thinks he needs to take control of the situation before it becomes a juvenile bantering session, which surprisingly happens quite often at the meeting of the Earth's mightiest heroes. He asks, "Thor, what are you writing? You can stop and have breakfast first."
"Friend Steve, Man of Iron asked me to make different accounts for these different fanfiction sites so that I can give detailed opinions of what I think of their stories. Some of these sites ask strange questions such as my mother's maiden name or my birthplace so that they can recover my password in case I forget. We of Asgard don't easily forget. Since then, I have been reading all stories from the beginning in this one site in different languages and leaving my reviews in all of them accordingly, I am only up to five percent of this one site. I haven't even gone to the other sites to read and review. I didn't know that this fanfiction reading exercise is such an arduous task. We should never under estimate Midgardians." Thor is nearly out of breath speaking such long sentences so he gulps his coffee and eats an egg sandwich.
Steve thinks there are different issues that need to be addressed by Thor's answer. He then gives a quick look to Tony, who is cuddling his coffee cup like it's his life savior. "Tony, what files do you put in those different folders?"
Tony shrugs and replies "I put the files into ignore, tweet and/or follow, plus flame."
"Tony, you can't flame those writers. They don't get paid for writing it. You can just ignore those you don't like. So flame off."
"Flame on. Don't you think it's a cool phrase? I can review or flame any story, just watch me. JARVIS, please create two decision trees, one is to review and praise, the other one is for flame, also please extract the ISP and IP addresses of those files to include them in the review or flame, please record my sentences to be included into the review ..."
Steve knows a lost cause when he sees one so he doesn't stop him. He chooses to tune out Tony's instructions to JARVIS who will actually be the one sending the review or flame. He has been really good at ignoring Tony's antics lately. For example, when he slept at the tower's guest room last night - actually this morning - he got five text messages from Tony asking him to check on the positions at cap_ironman, stony, stark_spangled and the like communities. He has an inkling what these sites are about from his Sherlock experience so he just chooses to ignore it rather than reply which would add fuel to the fire. He chooses to help Thor instead.
"Thor, I didn't know you spoke all these different languages. You could just read the English parts of the fanfictions so the task wouldn't be so daunting."
"Aye, friend Steve, I speak Allspeak which means I can understand every language. I shall heed your advice and just read the English portion for now. Even that task itself is already enormous."
"Well, you can choose which character or genres you want to read so you don't have to read all of them. They are usually included as tags in some sites or keywords in others. You can even choose to read either works in progress or complete works, they usually give the word counts so you know how much time you need to spend. I shouldn't give you this advice but it seems that you need it. You don't have to review things you don't like, if I can't find anything good to say, I choose to be quiet rather than offending people. I usually give praise, encouragement and positive criticism. Don't follow Tony's example!"
"Thank you for your timely advice! I believe it will cut down the amount of time I use to read and review."
"Don't mention it!" Steve is waiting for Tony to finish instructing JARVIS. He remembers what Natasha asked him on their way to the meeting room. She asked Steve to inform the team if they find any breaches in the fanfictions they read in which case she needs to report it to SHIELD.
When Tony gives him the all clear signal, he says, "Our main concern is not the fact that there are fanfictions about us but what they think about us. If they consider us as threats, then we need to rectify that. The other concern is whether there are any leaks or security breaches that go into fanfictions. In that case, we need to fix those breaches."
"Chilax, Cap, I've read plenty of fanfictions the whole night. I don't think any of them think of us as a threat to general public, I think most of them actually objectify us," Tony says that and wriggles his eyebrows suggestively. Steve doesn't know how Tony manages to convey any movement suggestively but he is very good at doing that. Tony adds quickly when he sees Steve furrows his brows, "But I know I can't sue them so I may as well enjoy them. As for security breaches, I haven't seen any threat and remember that I record all their IP addresses so I can track them down easily."
"It's good to know but I think it's best we cover our bases. OK, how about we read those fanfictions for one hour and we gather some reports afterward. Since..."
Tony quickly interrupts, "Only Capsicle would manage to turn the joy of reading fanfictions into a chore."
"Oh, I agree with Steve completely that we need to monitor what people write about us. Clint also agrees with me," Natasha says.
"Do I?" inquires Clint, but after receiving a death glare from Natasha, he quickly adds, "Of course, I do. I'm 100% behind it."
Tony grins widely, rubs his hands, and says, "Hawkeye, you're so whipped. I bet Cap also listens to Black Widow as he didn't care what people said about the Avengers last night."
Despite what Tony says is true, Steve actually agrees with Natasha and he admires her for thinking ahead which is a good quality for a spy. Before said spy kills Tony with her bare hands in five seconds, he says, "It doesn't matter whose idea they are but I think it's important. Before the interruption, I want to say that there are a lot of things to cover, I guess it's best if we read the fanfictions about our own character ... "
Tony interrupts again and grins "That I have been doing the whole night."
Steve draws his breath and counts to ten before he explodes by the constant interruption. After feeling calm, he continues, "We know, Tony, we know. Anyway, choose any genre you like but Thor, since you are new, I suggest you choose stories with G, PG or T rating, don't go any higher, trust me on that one. And Tony, don't go anywhere near cap_ironman and the like, we want to see if there is a security breach, not as you said objectify ourselves." He fixes his glare at Tony.
Tony raises his hands in placatory mode and says, "Wow, you have been near Fury too much. You even learned his glare. I've been wondering whether you get those text messages but I guess you just ignore me. I'm deeply hurt." He puts his hands at his arc reactor.
"Sir, please remember your agreement with Pepper."
"Not now JARVIS!"
Steve is intrigued and asks, "JARVIS, what has Tony promised Ms Potts?"
"JARVIS, please remember that I'm your creator and whatever passed between me and Pepper is confidential!"
"Captain Rogers, I'm not at liberty in answering your question but I will make sure that Pepper knows if he breaks his agreement."
Steve is not stupid so he has an inkling what Tony has promised to Pepper, he couldn't help but smile, "Thank you, JARVIS. Now shall we start reading and report in one hour?"
Bruce, who has been quiet the whole time, rubs his glasses and asks, "Is it OK if I don't want to be included in this exercise?"
Steve is about to say yes but Tony quickly says, "No, you have to participate in this team bonding exercise."
"OK," Bruce says and shrugs non-commitally, "Please note, if I get angry with what I read, I'll not be held responsible."
Steve adds, "Bruce, perhaps it's best if you read something humorous and light. I'm sure Natasha, Clint, and I can read the heavy stuff."
Thor throws his grateful look so Steve guesses he had rough time last night reading those different genres while Tony sulks and says, "How about me? I can handle heavy stuff."
Natasha snorts, Clint smirks.
"You can read whatever you like, Tony," Steve answers and he quickly regrets his words because Tony looks like a cat who has got his canary, he resigns his fate and says, "Shall we begin?"
1 hour later, just on the dot ...
"I can't take it anymore. Why do the fans keep describing me as 'playboy, billionaire, genius, philanthropist'? Don't they have other nouns?"
Natasha smirks, "Yeah, whatever happened to volatile, self-centered, and doesn't play well with others?"
"Those are adjectives, dumbass." Tony quickly realizes his mistake as he sees Natasha's flexing her fingers so he retracts. "Er, I just want to point out that they're adjectives, Black Widow."
"Man of Iron, I don't understand the second and fourth words," adds Thor quickly so Steve guesses that Thor has been wondering about those words but didn't have the opportunity to ask until now.
"Don't you have a dictionary in StarkPad? Hang on, how can you understand the other two?" answers Tony.
"Friend Tony, there is indeed a dictionary in StarkPad and I don't require a dictionary as I speak AllSpeak. What I meant is those second and fourth words don't have the equivalents in Asgard."
"Does Asgard have the equivalent for the first and third one?" Tony asks incredulously.
"Aye, indeed, a lot of warriors in Asgard are playboys as they often change their partners. Loki is a genius. However, we use gold so we don't need billions of them. We have no concept of philanthropist as all Asgardians are very well off."
Steve concedes that Thor does have good points. He answers, "Well, I think we can safely say that a billionaire is equivalent to the richest Asgardians and we just need to accept there is no philanthropy in Asgard because you don't need it. My main concern is what Tony said was on the hellicarrier so there was no way those fanfic writers could know it unless there is a breach somewhere."
Tony huffs indignantly, "That is your main concern instead of the writers not using other nouns to describe me."
Steve fixes Tony with his "Fury" glare. "I'm sure it's news for you but the world doesn't revolve around Tony Stark."
"It should!" Tony pouts.
Natasha sighs and says, "I will report this to SHIELD. Anything else?"
"I'm not obsessed with Pop Tarts!"
Natasha massages her temples, draws a long breath and says, "I mean anything relevant to our task of finding any sign of a breach or people viewing us as threats." Everyone shakes their head. "OK, then I guess the meeting is over unless you want to continue."
Tony jumps at the chance with glee. "Now, the boring part is over we can go to the fun part. What do you think of what people write about us? Come on, we are all humans, except Thor, no offense, we must have had some opinions."
"None taken. I'm still not happy to be described as a technological fool with obsession with Pop Tarts."
"You know, you can just give feedback or flame the author. Or best, write your own fanfic to correct your image."
"Oh, can I do that?"
"Well, it seems everybody with access to the internet is doing it so why not?"
Steve quickly interrupts before Thor really rushes to write fanfictions. "Thor, you can write anything you like but please remember your position as the prince of Asgard and an Avenger so don't do anything you would regret. Plus I still don't agree about the flame on but of course it's your personal choice."
"Don't listen to Capsicle, Thor, that is the view of an old man. Does anyone else have anything to say?"
Bruce adds shyly, "I'm sure it's nothing but I'd like to state that I do own other items of clothing besides purple pants and shirts as described in most fanfics. Not that it matters in the grander scale of thing."
Tony smiles as he usually does when he talks to Bruce. "Well, Bruce, I will give the same advice to you as what I give to Thor and others if they ask. I'm sure Cap will repeat what he said earlier so we don't need to recap it."
Steve nods in agreement.
"I personally don't see what's wrong with purple shirts and pants. In fact, I fancy my costume to be purple but I think Fury wouldn't agree," Clint says wistfully. Natasha just smiles and ruffles his hair playfully.
The rest of the team, except for Thor who is engrossed in reading, is shocked because they hardly see Black Widow smile so this must be one of those days, the calm before the storm.
"Cap, Hawkeye, Black Widow, you have not offered your opinions about the fanfics you read. Is your reading too heavy or top secret so you wouldn't like to share with the rest of us simpletons?"
Natasha's smile disappears swiftly and answers, "Stark, reverse psychology won't work on us. Perhaps we don't want to share."
"Come on, be fair. Throw me a bone here!"
"OK, I'm not happy that people describe me as romantically linked mostly to Clint or some of the other Avengers, mostly you Steve, and even Loki." Steve looks shocked because he hasn't come across those kinds of fics, well, mostly because he avoids any romance in his reading. "Who I see is my own personal business and I don't want me being a woman to automatically mean I'm the love interest. Although most people seem to know that I'm dangerous and don't objectify me, unlike you poor guys." She shakes her head at them and Steve sees her eyes are bright so she must be hiding her laugh. "I don't need to review, I know one of the names of the pairing they give me and Clint is BlackEye, I'll give them black eyes should they offend me."
Tony raises his hands conciliatory and says, "Wow, wow, take it easy Black Widow, you're even worse than me in giving feedback! Clint? Cap?"
"I actually have nothing to complain, I just hope writers would take it easy for pairing me with Loki, I freaking hate that guy," Clint says. Everyone turns at Thor but he is still concentrating on reading something very seriously. "I guess the fact that I'm straight has no weight because I see the majority of pairings are between us male Avengers although I know all of us look straight. The keyword being look. I can see what Natasha meant earlier about poor us."
Now they turn to look at Steve.
"Cap, come on, I know you have a lot of opinions, especially about me, but you have been awfully quiet," whines Tony.
Steve thought he could remain quiet without anyone noticing but it seems there is no chance with Tony being persistence. Being a naturally fast reader, even pre-serum, he has read plenty of the fanfics so he has the gist of what is written about him in different genres, except romance, but he is not sure whether he should share it as he knows it would end with endless teasing, mostly from Tony.
"Fine, it seems that people think I blush so easily, but I don't blush just at the mere mention of sex as people did have sex in the 40s."
"But we do see you blush very often, Cap," Tony teases.
"Yeah, if it's anything related to me personally then I blush," Steve answers and is annoyed that his cheeks proves his answer. The rest of them grins in understanding.
"So how about the mention of sex to you personally?"
"What part of anything you don't understand?" growls Steve to cover his embarrassment.
"Wow, wow, easy Cap, we don't want you to have cardiac arrest here, anything else?"
"Why can other people answer in a short sentence but I need to answer a lot?"
"Truthfully, we are nosy plus it's always fun when we question you, we have been lacking in entertainment lately!"
To Steve's surprise, Clint nods in agreement to Tony.
Steve adds dryly, "I'm glad I can be of service. That's what Captain America is for."
"Steve, you still haven't answered my question," insists Tony.
"OK, I really wish people would not write so much of our pairing. Why do they think we are a good match?"
"Come on, Steve, our pairing is great entertainment for the readers as the opposites attract. You know, what the romantic comedies are made of. Besides, I think some of the best writers actually write our pairing so we should be grateful."
To Steve's horror, the rest of the team, sans Thor, nod their heads. Clint grins and says, "We read some of them, Cap, and they're really good."
"OK, fair enough, freedom of speech. I also wish there weren't so many of the hurt and comfort fics featuring me. It's very disconcerting."
Whatever the rest of the team are about to reply is cut out by Thor's bellow.
"Captain America, Man of Iron, please state your intention with my brother Loki!"
"Oh dear, I guess Thor has discovered slash," Clint says happily while clasping Steve and Tony's shoulders. "Good luck!"
-Happy Independence Day for those who celebrate it! Also happy birthday to Steve!
-As usual, thanks for the awesome Irish-Brigid from fanfiction.net for betaing this. All mistakes are mine.
-I plan to write a chapter about reviews left by the Avengers next. Afterward, we can come back to what we left off here. For Loki's fans, yes, he will make an appearance. The common non-canon pairings that I know of are: Loki/Thor, Loki/Tony, Loki/Steve, Tony/Steve, Clint/Natasha, Clint/Coulson, Tony/Bruce, Steve/Thor, and of course the OCs. Are there any popular pairings that I miss? I can't promise to address all of them at once as there are indeed too many permutations.
-I'm going to update "United States of Steve Rogers," so yes, I haven't abandoned it (yet).
-As for review, you can choose to be Steve or Tony or Thor. No Black Widow's style of reviewing please.
Chapter 5: Avengers' Reviews
Reviews made by The Avengers. Play the game of who gives which review as all reviews are anonymous.
“It is amazing that you Midgardians can regale people with any topic under the Bifrost, not only heroic deeds. My heroic Midgardian friends have mentioned there is such a thing as artistic license which is apparently important for writing of this fiction of fans. Despite of the artistic license, I still want to clarify one thing as it puts Asgardians in a bad light. Loki has never been abused. He might not be regarded as a warrior but he is still treated as a prince.”
“Please edit out the security detail of SHIELD and/or The Avengers or else!”
“Congratulations for writing pairings to cater for all tastes! I'm impressed. Please go easy on the pairing of Loki/Hawkeye because there is no chance in the nine realms that it's ever going to be happen unless mind control is involved. *shudder* Otherwise, good job!”
“I was told I need to leave at least one review so I choose this. You have done some good research before writing this, your scientific explanation actually makes sense and is repeatable in a lab environment. Perhaps you should venture out to become a scientist if you haven't done so. It's a rare talent to make science interesting.”
“What kind of rubbish is this? My programmed AI can write better than this. Your characters, especially the awesome Tony, are OOC. Please rewrite the characters or I shall send this automated review every hour until you change your story or remove it. Don't even think of blocking it as I can hack into SHIELD so this site is child’s play. Please remember that I have also recorded your IP address so I literally know where you are!”
“I'm really glad I found this story.You are the saving grace of the Avengers fandom. You do get your characters especially the awesomeness of Tony Stark. Please be assured that you will get more positive coverage and reviews as I have shared the link to your story on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Please continue to spread this awesomeness!”
“I really enjoy your writing. Your plot is original and engaging, your characterization is spot on, your explanation makes sense, and I hardly spot any grammatical and spelling errors. Having someone to beta read for you wouldn't hurt. Based on the quality of your writing, I think you have a great future as a writer. Have you ever considered writing professionally? I will gladly read whatever you produce even as original work or non-fiction.”
- As usual, this chapter is beta-ed by the awesome Irish-Brigid from fanfiction.net
-I purposefully left out the names but I hope it's clear who writes which review.
-Next chapter would be continuing from the previous chapter. Please stay tuned as Loki will make an appearance!
Chapter 6: Thorki is not a misspelling for Thor!
The new chapter contains poor Thor finding slash and Thorki, JARVIS defending Tony's straightness, and Steve wishing he were elsewhere. Oh yes, Loki finally appears!
"Thor, you need to calm down. It's only fiction, they aren't real, just the product of some over imaginative writers. Well, I haven't read any of them so I don't know what they say but I think it must involve a lot of imagination to write non-existent pairing. Please rest assure that I have no intention whatsoever to date or wed your brother," Steve says in a placating tone.
"You'd better be not playing with Loki's heart and not wed him!" Thor answers, a bit calmer but not assured.
"Yeah, like Loki is my type. Don't people remember that Tony Stark's types should have boobs?" inquires Tony defensively.
"Are you saying that my brother is not attractive?"
"I'm saying that I'm not gay or bi-curious or bisexual or whatever the terms they use now. Not that I'm against gays, they're cool. But don't people read in the tabloids or news that Tony is a womanizer? Besides, I have Pepper now. Don't you all remember the four-year-anniversary?"
Steve wonders how anyone can forget the four-year-anniversary, as it was so recent and Natasha still has some pictures of Pepper's expression when she received the Iron Man suit plastered all over the common room wall.
"Stark, I don't read tabloids, I have standards. Besides, it can be a cover up. Does 'Brokeback Mountain' ring any bell? You may have a wife and can still be gay. That's what I said before about all of you seem straight and the keyword being seem," Clint adds with a smirk.
"You're not helping the situation here, Clint," Steve says, shaking his head and before looking at Natasha. She nods her head and seems to indicate she will handle it if it goes out of hand. Steve hopes she means handling Tony or Clint because even Black Widow can't handle Thor if he is angry.
Thor seems more agitated. "Is that true? Man of Iron, are you interested in men and hiding it?"
"Thanks a lot, Hawkeye. Just wait until we discuss all your slash pairings to a great extend. No, Thor, I'm not gay and you can ask JARVIS. JARVIS, have I ever brought any man to date, flirt or sleep with?"
"Not that I know of, sir, no, you have not."
"Voice on the wall, when you said 'not that I know of', does it mean there can be some thing happens that you don't know?" asks Thor.
Thor often refers JARVIS as 'voice on the wall' so the team is used to that. However, Steve doesn't know that Thor is quite intelligent in finding a loophole in phrasing.
JARVIS answers patiently, "Mr. Odinson, I'm aware of nearly every action of Mr. Stark, unless I go offline but I haven't for a long time. He asks me questions in nearly everything including which restaurant to go, the traffic condition, or even whether he has eaten lunch." Every team member besides Tony and Thor can't help but smile at JARVIS's answer about Tony's dependence on JARVIS. Tony looks slightly embarrassed, which is something given Tony's nature. "So no, I know nearly every action Mr. Stark does except his choice of women, he never asks me that."
Steve is slightly horrified to be reminded of the lack of privacy with JARVIS's presence. He has never been more grateful to live in his own apartment and only lives here during emergencies.
Thor seems to be more calm after receiving JARVIS's answer. Steve should give him credit to trust more an objective source rather than just take someone's word for it. Thor is not as simple as he seems to be with his boisterous manner.
"Thank you, voice on the wall. However, Man of Iron, if you never flirt with a guy, how do you define your questions to friend Steve about the positions? Is that not flirting?"
Clint loses it and holds his side and laughs. Natasha just cocks her head to the side and seems to come to the same conclusion as Steve about Thor's intellect. Bruce actually cracks a smile.
Steve blushes and wants to be elsewhere, anywhere but here. Perhaps there will be a battle with Doombots soon, those battles might be time consuming but not as life threatening as others. Dr Doom hasn't been terrorizing New York for three weeks, he must be up to something. With Steve's luck, he may attack soon but not at this particular time.
Tony seems unsure of himself. He should be used to all the karma coming back to bite him in the ass but doesn't expect it so soon. He says, uncharacteristically cautiously, "Thor, what I said to Steve was just pure teasing, which I think is really fun, you all should try it, and no, I'm not going to quit anytime soon. Teasing him I mean, not flirting. Although if you want to flirt, I'm more than OK with that. I'm 110% sure Captain America is straight, for all I know he may be asexual, given how he avoids looking at any remotely attractive woman longer than three seconds. I don't ever catch him staring at guys."
Steve isn't sure whether to be glad for Tony's answer. He seems bent on teasing him, but at least Thor can be assured that Steve is not interested in Loki.
The next remark surprisingly comes from Natasha. "Speak for yourself, Stark. I think Bruce, Thor, and I don't tease Steve endlessly, occasionally as a friend yes, but not at yours and Clint's level of childishness. I think Steve is being respectful of women which all of you guys can learn. Although he does need to learn not to blush so often."
Natasha looks at Steve and twitches her mouth to cover a smile. Steve blushes and ducks his head because it really just proves Natasha's point. He is glad that his team members consider him as a friend. They have come a long way since they met. He asks, "Are you OK, Thor? Please remember it's all fiction."
"Aye, friend Steve, I'm assured now. What kind of mind you Midgardians have to invent a lot of non-existent pairings? I think some of them don't even spell my name correctly as they call me Thorki. Please let me have a look!"
All of them really want to snatch the StarkPad out of Thor's hand but he is too fast. Thor looks like he has been electrified when he clicks at the pictures. He releases the StarkPad which luckily is very robust. It drops on the floor for all to see.
Steve keeps wishing for the mind bleach that Clint mentioned. Except for Thor and him, the rest of the team looks amused, Tony even seems happy.
"Hey, Point Break, you keep accusing of me and Steve liaising with Loki but how about yourself? I didn't know that Asgardians could be quite so bendy. Points for them looking so realistic, I may want to read it now."
Thor pales. And quickly snatch the StarkPad from the floor. He stammers, which is unusual for the Asgardian, "But how... how can those writers and painters think of that? Loki is my brother, adopted or not, we grew up together. I'll never think of Loki as anything but my brother."
"Well, I'm glad you keep disillusioning yourself, brother," Loki answers as he suddenly pops on an empty chair next to Clint.
Clint jumps three feet from his chair, Natasha draws her guns out so quickly as if she has been holding them all the time. Bruce is surprisingly calm, Tony amused, and Thor conflicted.
Steve wishes his shield is with him, he put it in the backpack under Tony's chair as he distributed the breakfast this morning. He knows it will look really awkward to retrieve it now given the picture of Thorki they just witnessed and Tony's constant teasing of Stony.
"Brother, I thought you were in Asgard," Thor says while he hugs Loki and both his hands pass through Loki's body as if his body is not there.
"Well, I am but someone summoned me here!"
- This chapter is beta-ed as usual by the awesome Irish-Brigid from fanfiction.net
-I'm so sorry to take this long to update. I got really sick for a few weeks, I even have the medical certificate and everything to prove it, then I got really busy.
-The answers to the previous chapter are: Thor, Natasha, Clint, Bruce, Tony, Tony, and Steve. Yes, Tony sent two types of reviews as he promised. Congratulations for those who get them right! You know your Avengers well.
-I promised another guest star would appear in this chapter but as I'm busy, I need to cut this chapter short. He/she will appear eventually. I also haven't mentioned any other crack pairing besides Loki/Tony, Loki/Steve, Thorki, and Stony but they will come, well the ones that I can think of and popular.
-Please let me know what you think and any suggestion of the type of fiction they read as well is great.
Chapter 7: Everybody reads Harry Potter
The new chapter contains Clint being too obsessed with Supernatural, Steve thinking vampires shouldn't sparkle and still wishing to be elsewhere, Loki not realizing Voldermort was a work of fiction, and Tony finally getting his comeuppance.
Warning: Slight spoiler for Harry Potter! But you should already know the ending unless your name is Loki, in that case tough luck!
Disclaimer: I don't own The Avengers, Harry Potter, Supernatural, Twilight, and Hostel. Phew, I never write a chapter with so many references before.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Two arrows fly in quick succession and pass right through where Lokis's left and right knees should be. Loki's image flickers when the arrows pass through him but he remains unharmed. The arrows fall uselessly to the floor after they hit the legs of Loki's metal chair.
"OK, that confirms the part where you said you were not actually here but who in their right mind would want to summon you?" Clint asks while directing his bow at Loki's heart.
"Eye of Hawk, why do you want to harm my brother?" bellows Thor, he nearly jumps at Clint but Steve, who is sitting next to Thor, manages to press his right hand at Thor's shoulder.
"Isn't that obvious?"
Steve takes all his strength to hold on to Thor but he thinks it will be futile unless he mediates quickly. "Thor, no harm is done as apparently your brother is not physically here. Clint, please refrain from further violence as Loki is not capable of hurting us at the moment."
Thor relaxes slightly and Clint actually puts his bow down although he still grumbles, "Well, he is the God of Lies so he can still harm us psychologically with his words or his magic."
Thor answers swiftly, "I can usually feel my brother's magic but I think he is not possessing any magical power at the moment." He adds fairly, "Unfortunately, I can't say the same about his lies but I believe we possess the power to recognize them"
"Well, that's why you need me," Natasha answers with a smirk as she also lowers her guns.
Steve thinks that the guns will be useless against magic anyway. He still needs to get around the idea that magic really exists.
Tony, who has been unusually quiet, finally says with a laugh, "Wow, Barton, don't you think you take the joke of taking an arrow to the knee a bit too far?"
Steve doesn't really get the reference. He sees Clint seethe with anger at Tony's remark and Natasha is not too happy either. Before things get out of hand again, he quickly says, "Just let this arrow incident go, the most important question now is who summoned Loki. Who summoned you?" He looks at Loki who is sitting opposite Thor.
"Finally! Someone with an ounce of common sense. It's you, The Avengers, of course," Loki answers silkily while looking straight at Steve as if to challenge him.
"Hell, no! We've been sitting here from the morning and we don't draw any pentagrams or use any holy object to summon you. I know for sure that you're lying!" Clint answers hotly. Steve has never seen Clint lose his cool. It's actually quite a scary sight.
Natasha rubs Clint's back soothingly. She rolls her eyes and says, "Clint, enough with your Supernatural obsession! It's not enough that you subject me to watching it with you, must you bring it into The Avengers' meeting?"
Tony, who is bent to get back at Clint after his joke about Tony being gay, looks like a kid who is told that Christmas has come early. "Trouble in paradise, Hawkeye?"
Clint and Natasha swap their glare from Loki to Tony. Before Steve can say anything, Clint quickly replies, "Nat, how could you say that? You seem to enjoy watching Supernatural with me. I'm sure you don't mind looking at the Winchester boys all day. In fact, we all can benefit from watching it for the team bonding exercise that Cap is so adamant about. Cap, I'm sure you will enjoy the plots, in one episode it even makes fun of Twilight. Tony, the boys also have father issues. In fact, Loki may watch it with you so you two can bond over your father issues." Tony seems to be offended by that and it seems the statement also causes some discomfort in Loki's part. Clint is on the roll as he continues, "Thor, some episodes have Loki, Balder, and Odin in them. Bruce, I don't know why you would enjoy it but I guess the music and humor is nice."
Bruce is surprised to be included as he is barely mentioned in any earlier conversation. He quickly replies with a wry smile, "Thanks, Clint! I will keep that in mind."
"What in the Hel do you mean by father issues, Barton?" answers Tony, then he realizes something else. "Wait, doesn't Capsicle like Twilight? He never mentioned it to me. I thought he would be happy with the no sex before marriage thing."
"Please don't bring my daughter into this!" Loki says glaring at Tony. He then looks at Steve and adds, "How do you manage these unruly so called heroes? You seem to barely get along." The last sentence is uttered with a degrading smirk.
"How do you know I mentioned Hel instead of Hell? Is that an Asgardian thing?" asks Tony incredulously.
Steve thinks the boring debriefing with Nick Fury has been long overdue, if only Director Fury called him this instance, he'd be very glad. He's even willing to fill in the paperwork in triplicate. He actually hates paperwork and barely tolerates debriefing so that's saying something.
"Clint, now is not the time to mention a TV show. Tony, please don't ask those irrelevant questions. Loki, would you be so kind as to tell us how we summoned you?"
"As you asked me so nicely, Captain, and you don't resort to violence nor insulting me, I will answer it," Loki answers and winks at Steve, who in turn blushes. He hopes Thor doesn't take it the wrong way. Loki continues, "It's because one of you mentioned my name five times. I guess you must really need me if you call me that many times so how can I not grace you with my presence?"
"Which yahoo mentioned your name five times?" Clint asks.
"It's my so-called beloved brother of course."
"Hang on, did Thor really call you for five times? JARVIS, could you please count how many times each of us mention Loki's name?" asks Tony.
"Certainly, sir. Since this morning, Mr. Odinson has mentioned Loki five times, you mentioned him twice, Agent Barton and Agent Romanoff once each. Only Captain Rogers and Dr Banner haven't mention Loki's name before his appearance."
"That can't be true, I'm sure Capsicle refers to Loki before during the Loki/Steve's debacle."
"Sir, Captain Rogers used the words 'your brother' when he talked to Thor."
"Don't mention it, sir!"
Tony practically glees with the implication of mentioning Loki's name can actually bring Loki, he asks, "So Reindeer Game, it has been an honor that you grace us with your presence with the mere mention of your name. Does it only apply for us or also any random people in Midgard? In that case, you will be very busy!"
"I'm afraid, it's only the six of you plus Nick Fury," answers Loki with a mock bow to Steve as he is the captain.
"Oh joy, lucky us!" answers Clint, "How do we get rid of you? Calling Odin's name five times or something?"
"Why must I tell you? Where is the fun in that?" Loki puts both hands behind his head and uses them as a makeshift pillow as he leans back on his chair. Steve thinks that for an illusion, he interacts really well with his surroundings.
"Brother, are you being punished? How did Father treat you?" Thor asks with concern.
"Thor, don't pretend that you care. I'm still awaiting judgment. Father treated me as he always does, as a second fiddle to you. He didn't treat me harshly but he still thinks I'm not worthy to be a prince of Asgard," answers Loki with venom.
"Wow, not only you have father issues but also centennial sibling rivalry, and people say I have issues," Tony says with a big smile, not realizing that his teammates wince at his statement.
"Stark, do the words pot, kettle, black, ring any bell? Barton said that you have father issues and you grew up living under the shadow of your so-called beloved Captain," retorts Loki and point his chin at Steve.
Steve thinks that Baron Zemo also hasn't done any attacks to single him out lately. Perhaps now is the time so he can be called away. Apparently, no such luck. Instead he says, "Tony, I'm so sorry, I have no idea, I didn't mean any of it to happen."
"Save it, Cap. I realize now it's not your fault as you were not around. If he wasn't looking for you, my father would be obsessed with some other technology or women anyway as he was not a family man by nature. I know that he loved me though," Tony answers surprisingly with great insight.
"Tony, I'm so sorry. Howard was a nice man and I'm sure he tried his best," Steve says sincerely. Perhaps Tony will reform some of his ways with his realization.
"I know Cap, although, if you want to make it up to me, you can read all the fanfictions featuring me and vote which one is the best. You can help with a lot of Stony stuff as well," teases Tony while he wriggles his eyebrows suggestively again.
Or perhaps not, it's Tony Stark after all.
"Are you two done?" Loki asks with a yawn, "Do you know that you two sound like an old married couple instead of siblings?"
Both Steve and Tony glare at Loki.
Tony says, "I think you're just jealous that there are more Stony than Thorki fanfictions around. Although to be honest, Thorki is icky as you are brothers while Cap and I are not." He said that with a wink to Steve.
Steve blushes and wonders why he has become the object of winking and eyebrow wriggling the whole morning. He can't possible make another wish to be elsewhere, can he? He can't possibly endanger his teammates just for his selfish desire not to be teased.
"I honestly have no idea what you are talking about," answers Loki with genuine confusion. At least as genuine as someone can believe Loki is capable of.
"Do you know that the God of Lies shouldn't use the word honestly? It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Ask your brother what we talked about, I have been explaining the concept of fanfiction to him the whole night," answers Tony with less enthusiasm.
"Brother, you don't want to know about Thorki. So far, I haven't found much fault with Midgardians. I may revise my opinion slightly as only Midgardians can think of such a sick concept," answers Thor with a fresh horror thinking he has to explain Thorki to Loki.
"It's nothing compared to Wincest, at least you're not blood related. Wincest is so wrong on so many levels," Clint says with expression of pain in his face.
Natasha hisses and whispers audibly at least to Steve's enhanced hearing, "Clint, enough with the Supernatural, we need to focus on Loki for now!"
Loki looks genuinely interested and says, "And you complained when I wanted to take away Midgardians' free will. I'm fully intrigued now. I guess fanfiction is a suitable tool for me to sow disconcert in this realm."
The Avengers wince once again thinking of the implication of Loki using fanfiction as a weapon.
"Don't you dare! I can always turn into Hulk," Bruce says with a surprisingly menacing glare at Loki.
Loki looks alarmed and answers, "Or I can just read these fanfictions with you to enrich my knowledge of Midgard."
Tony says, "Yeah right, your knowledge of Midgardian must be so rich. Do you know that jinxing your name has been done by Voldermort? I'm sure you Asgardians and Steve won't know the reference."
Steve answers, "Tony, I actually know who Voldermort is," while at the same time Thor says, "I really enjoy reading how the brave kid with the thunder mark defeats the Dark Lord."
Loki says, "Where do you think I got the idea of jinxing my name from? From the greatest wizard in Midgard of course."
The rest of the Avengers are shocked that Steve, Thor, and Loki are actually aware of Harry Potter. They look at the three of them in turn.
Tony recovers quickly and says, "I guess the statement that everybody reads Harry Potter is true! Who would have thought that even people out of our realm and Capsicle read Harry Potter? Who introduced them to you anyway?"
Steve answers, "Miss Carter," while at the same time Thor answers, "Lady Darcy."
Tony shakes his head and says, "You two blonds have to stop answering me at the same time. Point Break, please send my regards to Darcy, that girl is gutsy and like Coulson has a penchant for using tazers." Thor nods in agreement. He continues, "Capsicle, I'm hurt that you spend more time with Sharon than me. You even listen to and act on her recommendations and secretly hate my recommendations. I'm deeply hurt that you reject me even before our first date!" He puts his hand with mock expression of hurt in front of his heart or to be precise at the arc reactor.
"Tony, the last time I followed your recommendation, I ended up reading sparkling vampires. Vampires just don't sparkle. I prefer the classic Bram Stocker's Dracula. I followed your movie recommendation and ended up watching Hostel. That's just so wrong, humans shouldn't behave like that. Whatever happened to decency and kindness? That's why I don't listen to your recommendations anymore. I keep quiet because I don't want to hurt your feelings."
"Do you think you're not hurting me now? I'm deeply hurt," Tony says that with the mock gesture again. "Next you will be breaking up with me saying 'It's not you, it's me.' Hang on, you will actually say 'It's you, not me' as you're Captain America so there cannot be anything wrong with you but plenty wrong with me. How could you?"
Steve feels exasperated and wonders why Tony likes to get back to Stony when they have Loki bent on world domination using fanfiction. They don't even know how to deal with this non-corporeal version of Loki yet. He says, "Tony, now it's not the time and place. I would never say such a thing. Do you realize you are getting carried away by reading all these fanfictions? We're straight, you even have Pepper who is very devoted to you. End of story!"
"Well, not according to all the fanfictions out there. We have mutual feelings that we haven't realized."
"Tony... I don't even know how to reply to that. I hope you realize they are all fictional!"
"Come on Cap, where is your sense of humor? How about your comment earlier about freedom of speech?" Tony says with a wink.
Steve can't take it anymore, he says, "JARVIS, what has Tony promised to Pepper? Has he fulfilled his promise?"
"Captain Rogers, no, Mr. Stark hasn't fulfilled his promise. In fact, I have been planning to call Ms. Potts the whole morning. I'll inform her right away," answers JARVIS a little bit too enthusiastically for an AI system.
"JARVIS, don't you dare! I sometimes wonder whose side you're on. You know that I created you."
"Yes, sir, I'm aware of that. However, you have programmed me to have my own simulated thought process. Besides, we already had an agreement with Ms. Potts this morning."
"Fine, be my guest. I know my genius will be my downfall. Teasing Capsicle is not so fun anymore when other parties are involved. How about you, Loki? Any lady friend recommending Harry Potter to you as well?"
Loki harrumphs, "So now after being jilted by your boyfriend, you turn your attention to me. How flattering! No, I didn't come across Lord Voldermort by such a petty means as a lady friend. I did some research to discover who the greatest wizard in Midgard is and fashioned my method after him."
Clint laughs uncontrollably and says, "Well, considering that Voldermort always loses to Harry Potter, it's very appropriate. He doesn't even know it's only fiction."
Loki glares at Clint but Natasha glares back at Loki. If only glaring could burn, there would be two piles of ashes where Clint and Loki used to be. Loki replies icily, "I didn't know there was such a strange concept such as fiction in Midgard. I thought it was history. I didn't know Voldermort would lose either since there are so many books to go through. How such a powerful wizard could be defeated by a teenager really baffles me. Anyway, when I realized it, it was too late as I was sent to Asgard by you so I couldn't cancel the jinx to be replaced by something else more wicked."
Well, that explains Loki's strange method of summon, Steve thinks.
Tony thankfully for once focuses on Loki's problem or at least the teasing of Loki. He looks at Loki and asks, "Will you care to explain the time limit for calling your name five times? Is that within one day? Do the twenty-four hours include yesterday? Do you count weekends as well? Do you use the Norwegian or American calendar?"
Clint and Natasha grin. Bruce chuckles. Thor is confused. Steve doesn't know what else he should wish for now. Perhaps a low level HYDRA attack which can be handled by himself so as not to endanger anyone else?
Loki stares disbelievingly at Tony and says, "Why should I answer questions that won't benefit me?"
Tony as usual doesn't give up, he addresses the team in general, "Well, in that case, we need to find a new name for Loki so we won't summon him by accident. We can each nominate a name and everyone else can vote for and against. The one getting the most votes will win. If we haven't found a name in the first round, we can go to the second round and so on."
Before anyone can reply to Tony's suggestion, JARVIS suddenly announces, "Sir, there are three women outside the tower claiming to be your ex-lover, your daughter, and your sister. Shall I let them in?"
Tony uncharacteristically shrieks, "Arrgh, Pepper is really on to me this time. She must have their numbers on speed dial. I'm doomed!"
-I by no means want to insult the supporters of Thorki or Wincest. I think it's just a normal reaction for the characters. It's a parody after all.
-I'm sorry about my Twilight's comment. Steve is an old fashioned guy so I don't think he can accept the concept of sparkling vampires. I haven't watched Hostel but I heard it's very gruesome, not the stuff Steve will enjoy.
-As for what the team will call Loki, I already have some ideas although I welcome some suggestion as well.
-Please be assured that the team won't be sitting around the whole day discussing fanfiction, there will be an upcoming battle but I'm not sure which chapter as this story keeps growing. After all, at least one of Steve's wishes will come true. The problem is some of the team members (any guess?) won't shut up about fanfictions even in the middle of a battle.
-I've also promised an intermezzo with Nick Fury, it'll be in the next chapter.
-Some people suggest about FrostIron, Steve/Natasha, and Clint/Coulson pairings. I will definitely address the last one. The first two were implied in the previous chapters although if the plot allows I may explore more. I think I may have maxed out my Stony jokes as people may get bored with it (unless you don't then do let me know).
-Do you have any ideas for a fanfic that the whole team can enjoy together? Kid fic perhaps? I explore different topics for fanfictions, not only crack pairings.
-You know that pretty comment button at the bottom, please press that button on your way out to let me know what you think. Thank you very much!
Chapter 8: Intermezzo 2: Interesting Punishment
The new chapter in which SHIELD discovers some possible security breaches in the form of fanfictions and Nick Fury gives interesting punishment.
As usual, this chapter is beta-ed by the awesome Irish-Brigid from fanfiction.net. I also thank Lord Sanguine for correcting my Hunger Games' quote. The rest of the mistakes are mine!
Disclaimer: The Avengers and The Hunger Games are not mine. Agent Sydney Young, however, is totally mine.
Warning: Swear words with asterisks, original male character (don't worry, he may only be one off in this chapter although I quite like him.)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"Enough is enough! I have had it with these m*****f******* fanfictions in this m*****f******* office!"
Agent Young has the good sense to bow his head and quickly take away all the folders from the Director's desk.
Director Fury stares him down with his right eye and dares him to speak. He wisely chooses to remain quiet.
45 minutes ago in the SHIELD canteen.
Agent Sydney Young is bone-tired. He has had an 18-hour shift watching SHIELD monitors in case there is any computer security threat occurring all around the globe. All he wants is a bowl of minestrone soup, a shower, then bed.
He is in the middle of the third spoon of the soup when Agent Sidwell walks in with a stern face. Well, the stern face is usual. The unusual part is, of course, the fact that he walks into the canteen at all. Sydney thinks that all those upper echelon agents have their food delivered to their quarters.
The room suddenly falls eerily quiet.
Sidwell walks to the center of the room and asks, "Who wants three extra days off by doing a simple favor for me?"
The agents look at each other and nobody dares to say anything. One of the requirements to become a SHIELD agent is high intellect and everyone knows the offer is too good to be true.
Sidwell looks disappointed and says, "I thought you're tougher than this. Don't you feel curious?"
Still blank looks from the agents. Finally, a brave soul, Sydney thinks his name is Stevenson, asks "What's the catch?"
Sydney doesn't like the gleam in Sidwell's eyes. Sidwell replies, "Agent Romanoff has informed us that there is possibility of a security breach within SHIELD in the form of fanfictions. A few ..."
"In the form of what?" asks someone, Sydney thinks his name is Lee.
"Fanfiction, in case you don't know what that is, I recommend you search through your SHIELD issue tablet right now before I continue!"
There is frantic typing in the canteen in the next two minutes. Some of the agents seem to know what fanfictions are and they just look shocked that there are fanfictions about SHIELD.
Sydney knows about fanfictions as his girlfriend, Joyce, has read some of them and even relayed some of the stories to Sydney. He personally doesn't understand the appeal.
After a while, the typing finishes and is replaced by remarks such as, "I couldn't believe a such thing exist!" and "Why will people write fanfictions?" and "I know I have been missing something in my life. Now I know it's fanfiction."
Sidwell looks satisfied and says, "Now, that we are on the same page, a few of my agents have collected some of the suspect fanfictions and I'd like someone to bring them to Director Fury."
If the room was quiet before, it's nothing compared to the new silence that follows. Nobody dares to breath.
"How about two weeks paid leave?"
Still no sound.
"Fine, in that case we will need some sort of lottery."
In the next five minutes, all agents in the canteen (Sydney wonders why he didn't go straight to bed as he usually does after a long shift) have to put in their names inside a cup. Well, there are around 40 agents today so perhaps the chance is not too bad.
Sidwell shakes the cup. Somebody, Sydney doesn't know his name, is a Hunger Game enthusiast and says, "May the odds be forever in your favor!"
He finally draws a paper out and announces, "Agent Sydney Young. May you have the honor!"
Sydney groans and remembers what Joyce said yesterday about his zodiac this week, something vaguely about "Be careful. Difficulty at work." He thought that was helpful, as if his work in SHIELD is ever easy.
"Can I have one month paid leave instead?" Sydney is surprised with the question and is even more surprised that the questions is actually coming from HIM. When did he become so brave?
"Well, as I said two weeks."
"No, one month, otherwise I'll tell the Director that you are too afraid to tell him personally and has to ask some poor rookie agent in the canteen to do it."
Sydney can't believe he said that. It seems it's true what his friends say that sometimes his brain doesn't have control over his mouth.
Sidwell looks strained and replies, "I think you must have learned bargaining from Tony Stark, Agent Young. OK, one month paid leave but no mention of my name."
"OK, deal! I want that in writing."
Sidwell just drops the folders on his table and leaves quickly with the excuse of something urgent in Bolivia.
Sydney guesses sometimes his mouth can give an advantage. Now, he just needs to drop these folders on the Director's desk, easy peasy. He is not sure whether SHIELD will cover his psychiatric trauma from this encounter.
Well, he thinks that like waxing it's best to do this unpleasant task quickly. Of course he hasn't experienced it personally, that's what Joyce told him when she ranted how much sacrifice she had made for him. Not that he knows the connection between waxing and loving him. Where is he? Oh yes, break the news to the Director and stay alive.
There are a few murmurs of "Good luck!" and "Such a brave soul" and "Nice knowing you, I'll claim your room" from his colleagues as he walks purposefully, at least he thinks so, into the Director's office.
At present in the Director's office.
"May I know your name?"
"Agent Sydney Young, sir."
"How long have you been at SHIELD?"
"8 months and 5 days, sir."
"Do you know what I hate the most from my staff?"
"For people to waste your time for something trivial, sir." He adds meekly, "I am well aware of that, sir. However, there is the possibility of security breaches contained within these folders and you may want to review it. As you know, sometimes we need to do the unpleasant tasks for the greater goods, sir."
Sydney can't believe he said that in front of the Director. Perhaps he shall sew his mouth shut like what he had read about Loki in the Norse mythology. However, eating will be tricky. Not to mention the horror and the pain.
"Do I look like someone who reads FANFICTION?"
"No, sir. But as I said, it's for the greater good."
Director Fury looks amused and Sydney thinks there is a ghost of a smile on his face.
"I like you, Agent Young. You've got guts. I guess I have got a dilemma. Do you have any suggestions?"
"Sir, you can always delegate."
"Good idea, Agent Young! Are you interested in reading these fanfictions for me to follow through the breach?"
Sydney pales. "With all due respect, sir. No, I prefer not to do that. My specialty is cryptography and computer security. I think I'm not the best person for this role, sir!"
"Well, rookie, it's not your place to defy me!" Fury says with a slightly sharp voice but somehow Sydney feels that Fury is testing him.
"Sir, when we go into SHIELD, we are told to say and act what is right. I really don't think it's a good fit for me to read all these fanfictions. Besides, I need to increase our security before Stark hacks into our system again."
"Gutsy, I like it and you happen to mention one sore point for me that is Tony Stark. I see that you may have learned psychology besides cryptography. What do you suggest I do then?"
Sydney thinks he sees that Fury's eye crinkles but it's so fast that it may have been his imagination.
"Sir, perhaps you can give the task as some sort of punishment?" suggests Sydney weakly as he hopes he isn't the one to be punished.
"Good idea, Agent Young. Do you remember the name of the agent who plays Galaga during Loki's attack?"
Well, so the rumor is really true then that Agent Krauss played Galaga on duty and was caught by Tony Stark.
"That would be Agent Peter Krauss, sir!"
"Would you be so kind to tell Agent Krauss to meet me. I'll promote him to lead the division to read all the fanfictions related to SHIELD Are you sure you don't want that promotion yourself, Agent Young?"
"I'm positive. Shall I get him now, sir?" Sydney asks with relief.
"Sure. And on your way out, please let Agent Sidwell know that I don't appreciate a senior agent to act cowardly for such a matter. What did you get out of him, anyway?"
"One month paid leave, sir."
"You have a good deal, Agent Young. I appreciate your bravery."
"To be honest, I drew the short straw quite literally, sir." Sydney now dares to smile.
"You make the good out of a bad situation. I like that in my agents, that's why I favor Agent Hill. So Agent Young, now I'm aware that you exist, I'll make sure to keep an eye on your progress. If there is any more bad news, I'll prefer you as my news bearer. I'll also prefer if you present me with the solutions beside the problems."
Sydney is not sure what to make of that. He replies, "Thanks, sir. I'll keep that in mind."
"However, I deny that I ever gave you any compliments in this room. I have a reputation to keep." Nick Fury may have added the last sentence with a smile but Sydney understands that he will deny it with his last breath.
"I understand, sir."
With that, he closes the door. First stop will be Agent Sidwell (he totally keeps his bargain, it's not his fault that Director Fury is too smart) then Agent Krauss (poor guy, but then he was stupid to play games on duty and get caught). After that a shower and bed with the dream of a holiday.
-I found out that this story was criticized on Tumblr. I agreed with some of the criticism so I'll change some of the wording in the previous chapters. However, I don't appreciate the fact that the critics don't tell me directly through anonymous reviews, instead I found out by accident through Google. I was thinking about discontinuing this story, however Irish-Brigid, Bombshell1701, livi16 and marie-nomad from fanfiction.net have convinced me to continue. I'd like to dedicate this chapter to them and I'd like to thank them for their support!
-Because of the demotivation, I wrote the intermezzo chapter instead of continuing from the previous chapter to raise my spirit and hopefully make you laugh. I have this chapter just because I want Nick Fury to say the first line in this chapter. You're welcome! I hope Nick Fury is not OOC but do let me know if he is.
-I've also written a new spin-off series titled "The Avengers' Bookclub" based on the fact that Steve, Thor and Loki have read Harry Potter in the last chapter. Bruce is there too. You can blame or credit this to Bombshell1701. LOL
-In the next chapter, we will continue with The Avengers and Loki adventure in discovering fanfiction.
-If you have any thoughts or comments, I'll appreciate if you tell me through review, even anonymously, or PM rather than through other means that I'm unaware of such as Tumblr.
Chapter 9: Don't call me dearie!
A new chapter in which Loki got introduced to the wonder of DVD at the risk of Natasha's wrath, all the team members got nicknames for their fanfiction characters.
Thanks for all those those who review and give kudos!
Warning: Some swearing!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Tony runs out of the room so quickly, the casual observers can be forgiven to think that one of Iron Man's powers is having superspeed.
"Well, that was abrupt," Clint comments.
"But not unexpected. I know Pepper is good for something," Natasha adds with a smirk.
Both assassins then look at Loki. Clint asks, "Why on Earth are you still here? Don't you see that we're done?"
Loki shrugs casually and says, "Oh, I don't know. I'm so intrigued with these fanfictions of yours so I may stay around. Besides, my whole purpose in being here is indeed to annoy you so I can say it has been quite a success so far."
Clint nearly jumps at Loki but Natasha holds him. He huffs, "I like it better when I can just shoot you anytime I wish."
Steve says "Perhaps we should take a break for a few hours and just come back around two pm unless our Avengers' duty calls." Steve actually expects that those duties will really call. He continues, "I hope Tony is OK. I feel bad telling JARVIS to call Pepper."
JARVIS adds, "Don't feel bad, Captain Rogers. I would have called Ms. Potts myself even without your instruction."
"Thanks for consoling me, JARVIS," replies Steve.
"You are welcome, Captain," JARVIS answers politely.
If he didn't know any better, he would have thought that JARVIS empathizes with him. This only shows how good Tony's AI system is. He needs to make sure to never get on JARVIS's bad side.
Steve goes for a long walk to clear his head. He knows a lot of fanfictions depict him destroying sandbags when he is frustrated. That was true for the first three months after he was found. After that Natasha introduced him to yoga. He is much calmer and more accepting of his unique circumstances now. However, he could never compete with Natasha in regards to flexibility.
What worries him is the fact that those fanfics know about him destroying sandbags. How did they know that? Apparently the security breach is more serious that he dares to imagine.
After a quick lunch, he returns to the conference room to find that Natasha and Clint are already there. Both of them concentrate on reading something from Clint's iPad. From the sound that suspiciously like giggles coming from Clint (Steve notes that Natasha never giggles), it must be something really funny. He doesn't want to disturb them so he switches on his StarkPad to catch up reading "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" which is recommended by Bruce. He quite enjoys the series and given his recent adventures, the premise of the books is not that farfetched anymore.
Bruce walks in around half an hour later, carrying a stack of paper to read and sits next to Steve. He says, "Sorry I'm a bit late."
Steve answers, "Don't worry, Doctor, it's not even two pm yet. Besides Tony, Thor and Loki are not here yet."
"Now I'm really worried, I'm not sure what those three are up to without any supervision," Natasha says.
"Well, at least there hasn't been an explosion or wormhole yet so I wouldn't worry too much," Clint replies with a forced shrug.
It seems to calm Natasha a bit but now it's Steve's turn to worry. He then thinks of his yoga practice and tries really hard to stay in the present moment. He begins to suspect people with the mantra "living in the present moment" don't have teammates and Norse gods who can cause havoc and literally the apocalypse at the present moment.
After mentally counting backward from 10,000, it's only down to 3,278 when the Norse gods finally decide to grace them with their presence.
Thor is in high spirits which is not unusual. It's the sight of Loki being cheerful that worries them the most.
Natasha asks, "What have you two done?"
"Nothing to make you worry, dearie. Besides, Thor was with me the whole time," Loki replies and plops himself opposite Steve and gives Steve a wink.
"Don't call me dearie if you value your life," Natasha says with a venom.
"Please calm down, Lady Natasha. I wanted to introduce Loki to the wonder of Digital Versatile Disc so we went to the entertainment room. We then found your collection at the top of the stacks. I really like your taste, Lady Natasha. Even Loki said so. He even copied the manner of speech of one of the characters."
"Oh no, you didn't! First Harry Potter, and now this," Natasha sighs and holds her head with her hands.
Bruce and Steve are really confused. Steve asks, "Could someone please enlighten us with what's going on?"
Clint answers, "Well, apparently these Asgardians have found Natasha's "Once Upon a Time" DVD set and watched some episodes. I think Loki has been imitating Rumpelstiltskin."
Loki answers with a pride, "Of course, dearie. Rumpelstiltskin is the most powerful and manipulative character in the show. He is practically an Asgardian."
Clint narrows his eyes and says, "Don't call me dearie!" while at the same time Natasha mutters something that sounds like "Just wait until Season 2."
Thor defends Loki and replies, "He has been calling everyone, even JARVIS and the robot Tony called 'Dummy,' dearie. I don't think he's going to change anytime soon. Please don't take it personally."
Bruce shakes his head and says, "I can't believe you watch 'Once Upon a Time.'"
Clint replies,"Hey, I'm just accompanying Natasha since she needs to suffer through Supernatural. Besides, it's quite a popular show and I think a lot of guys watch them too."
Thor continues, "Eye of Hawk, Loki and I think it's an excellent show. I think Midgardians have been in denial saying there is no magic. This show and Harry Potter prove otherwise."
Steve sighs and says, "Thor, what did I say about fiction?"
Thor shakes his head and answers, "I know, friend Steve. However, I believe magic can really exist even in Midgard."
Steve can't really argue with that. The world is really a difference place now. How could he prove that magic doesn't really exist?
Clint asks, "Thor, don't you think the guy playing Prince Charming resembles your friend Fandral."
Thor visibly brightens with Clint's comment. He says, "Indeed, Eye of Hawk. Loki and I have been so excited to see our friend Fandral on screen. Of course I now understand that's an actor playing it but the resemblance is uncanny. I need to convince Loki it was an actor and not really Fandral."
Steve could only imagine how that conversation went. He then asks, "Thor, how do you know it's Natasha's DVD and not Pepper or Tony's?"
"It's very easy. The cover of DVD has a sticker saying, 'You're welcome to watch it. However, if you just so much as making a scratch, you've better sleep with your eyes open as I'll hunt you down and turn your intestines inside out.' I believe friend Tony and Lady Pepper wouldn't say something like that," Thor answers cheerily.
To which, a voice from the door replies, "Damn right, I wouldn't. I'd just write something like 'JARVIS watches everything and he controls the hot water.' What did I miss?"
"Tony, you're back!" Steve accidentally yells.
"No thanks to you, Cap. It's good to see you too. I know you'll miss me," Tony says with a wink. Tony pours himself a liberal amount of Vodka, sits himself near Clint, and lifts his legs up on a table. When he sees the raised eyebrows of his teammates, he adds, "Don't you think I deserve a drink after all the commotion?"
"So how did it go?" Steve asks.
"Well, I barely survived. Thankfully, my wit saved me," answers Tony.
"That means you called Pepper at the last minute," translates Natasha.
"Darn it, Black Widow. Why do you need to spoil my fun?" pouts Tony.
"Did you or did you not call Pepper to help you out?" Natasha asks with a raised eyebrow.
"OK, OK, I did. Pepper made me promise I wouldn't tease Cap about the Iron Cap slash fiction. She then whipped out information regarding DNA tests and alibis of my whereabouts whenever the incidents claimed by the women occurred. I didn't even know that she kept track of me, I think I must thank JARVIS for that."
"Don't mention it, sir. It's all for your own good," replies JARVIS with a hint of amusement.
"With friends and staff like that, who needs an enemy?" Tony whines. He then realizes that Loki is there and adds, "No offense, Reindeer Games."
He adds, "JARVIS, please remind me not to cross red headed women ever. They could literally kill you and bury the evidence."
"Noted, sir," answers JARVIS.
"Damn straight we could," Natasha says.
All the male members, including Loki, visibly pale at the thought.
"That's a cheerful thought. What did I miss?" Tony asks.
Clint quickly explains the situation to Tony.
Tony whistles and says, "It's good that you're practically immortal Thor. I wouldn't dare to touch Natasha's DVDs. I'd rather buy my own. You're welcome to watch my collection though."
"Thanks for the offer, Man of Iron! I will learn more about Midgard from your collection," booms Thor. He stands up and clasps Tony's shoulder which makes Tony winced.
Steve has seen Tony's DVD collection and he very much doubts that it will educate Thor. He clears his throat and says, "Do we still need to read fanfiction or can we go to do our own training? There is no point for us to be here."
"Then why did you call us here, Cap? You were the one asking us to gather here at 2 pm," Clint answers.
"Well, our first meeting had ended so abruptly. I just asked everyone to be here in case there was anything else to discuss," Steve says.
"How about finding a nickname for Thor's brother so we won't summon him by accident? I propose we have a round to see our suggestion. Before that, I'd like to give our characters in fanfiction their own names so we won't confuse the real person with the fanfiction character," suggests Tony.
"I can call you all dearies," Loki says with a smirk.
"NO, just NO," Clint replies, horrified.
"I'll start. I shall name my fanfic character 'awesome!Tony' although the real Tony is even more awesome," Tony says.
"In that case, I'll name my fanfic character 'cool!Clint,'" Clint answers enthusiastically and high-fives Tony across the table.
"Well, I'm partial to the name 'scary!Natasha,'" Natasha adds.
"I like this naming game. I shall call myself 'mighty!Thor!'" booms Thor with a wide grin.
"I shall call myself 'wicked!Loki!'" Loki says.
"No, no, no. You're not in our team. We shall give you the nickname. Calling your chosen nickname may literally cause the apocalypse," Tony replies and adds "Who agrees with me?"
Five hands shoot up.
Tony says, "You have been vetoed. Who's next?"
Bruce answers meekly, "Can I call myself 'calm!Bruce?' I shall also call my alter Hulk as 'irate!Hulk.' Is that OK?"
"Sure, Brucey. As usual, Cap hasn't said a word. What is your nickname Cap? 'boyscout!Steve,' 'angel!Steve,' or 'goody-two-shoes!Steve?'" Tony asks.
Six pairs of eyes bore into Steve.
"Can I just go with 'normal!Steve?'" Steve asks.
"No, Cap. You can't. Are you saying that the rest of us is not normal?" When Tony sees Steve is about to reply, he quickly adds, "Please don't answer that! It's just rhetorical."
"I don't see why I can't choose my own name while others can. How about 'sensible!Steve?'"
"Sure Cap, just insult everyone while you can" pouts Tony.
"Tony, I don't mean that. I'm not saying that you're not sensible," replies Steve. He hears snorts from Natasha and Clint's direction. He continues, "It just seems that others choose the quality they're proud of. I don't posses any extraordinary quality. The only thing I can think about is my sensibility."
"I guess it's better than 'normal!Steve' which is so boring. OK, I'll accept it," Tony replies. He rubs his hands gleefully and says, "So, now what will we name our uninvited visitor?"
Six pairs of eyes look at Loki.
Loki is uncharacteristically meek. He asks, "Can you just call me 'dearie?'"
Disclaimer: I don't own "The Avengers," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," "Supernatural," and "Once Upon a Time."
-I'm sorry for not updating for so long. Life can be very distracting.
-I thank Irish-Brigid from fanfiction.net for betaing this chapter; a guest and Marie Nomad from fanfiction.net for giving me the idea to name the fanfiction characters to separate them from the real characters.
-In the next chapter: Loki gets a nickname and the team reads a fanfic together for team work building exercise.
-Agent Sydney Young is quite popular so he may reappear later.
-Merry Christmas for those who are celebrating, Happy Festive Season for the rest. See you next year!
-Don't forget to leave a comment!