Tony wasn’t sure why his head was pounding or what he had been doing last night to deserve such a massive headache. It had been a while since Tony felt the need to drink himself into oblivion. (Contrary to belief he did have some sort of self control and while he may get tipsy, Tony rarely let himself get drunk beyond belief.)
However there was someone else in the room with him. Definitely male because Natasha wouldn’t enter his lab and the lack of Pepper’s perfume tell him that much. It can’t be Thor because Thor hadn’t worked out how to use the keypad yet, Steve too for that manner. Nor could it be Bruce because JARVIS would have mentioned it anyways and Clint had never bothered to come by either.
Regardless of course of the fact that Pepper was the only one with the code to enter his lab and JARVIS would have announced anyways. So... that left one person. “Phil?” Tony said, lifting himself off the floor. His body protested moving, muscles aching and the pounding in his head increased. He managed to get to his knees before mentally giving up. Hopefully Coulson would give up on the usual lecture. Pepper was sinking to a new low sending Coulson to do the scolding. Tony looked up from the floor.
… There was a single eyeball staring at him.
Tony blinked a couple times, willing his eyes to focus. Correction. Standing before him was a yellow... pill shaped creature with a single eye, goggles and blue overalls. It bobbed its head and waved its hand, pointing to itself as it said, “Fil! Fil!”
Tony stared and stared. “Phil?” he faintly repeated.
The creature nodded. Then it hit Tony. Yesterday was Coulson’s funeral. That was why he had drunk himself into a blackout. Something wound tight in Tony; the feelings of anger, abandonment and sheer sadness bubbled up to his throat. He wanted to curl up into himself and will the world to go away. He wanted to punch someone. He wanted to curse the gods. He wanted... Coulson back.
The anger and sadness dispelled as Tony felt his head being patted. Tony lifted his head to see the creature patting him, looking worried. Once it saw that it had Tony’s attention, it pulled a banana from its pocket and offered it to Tony.
“Banana?” it said.
“... Thanks,” Tony managed to croak out. He gently took the banana from the odd thing. Once the creature deemed as satisfactory, it reached out and hugged Tony. It hung around Tony’s neck, barely able to close its hands in a circle, garbling something in a language that Tony can’t understand.
Tony choked on the hysterical laughter threatening to break free. He was being comforted by a yellow pill shaped creature which if his other senses are to be believed is really there and not some hangover illusion. It was strange, illogical and weird but Tony didn’t care.
Several hours later after Tony held the creat-- No Phil, silently crying and Phil just let him, Tony settled down into solving what exactly Phil was and where he came from.
Initial scans from JARVIS told Tony that Phil was a living being, so not something Tony had created while drunk. However there were no clues as to where Phil had come from. The security cameras just had him suddenly appearing in Tony’s lab. The only thing JARVIS could tell Tony about Phil’s biology was that Phil was male.
Phil’s language was not recognizable in any shape or form to existing language. However he did have some English words Tony observed such as Banana and Idiot. Speaking of bananas, apparently they must be Phil’s favorite food and giving Tony the banana had been some huge gesture. Tony had come to this conclusion after watching Phil looking longingly at the banana he had given Tony. When Tony had offered it back to him, Phil jumped immediately, grabbing it back and hugging it.
Also, Dummy loved Phil. Like completely adored him. And Phil loved him back. They were currently zooming around the lab together. It was kinda adorable.
“TonYYY WHAT IS THAT?!”
Tony turned around to see Pepper standing in the lab. Huh, he didn’t even hear JARVIS announcing her entrance. Dummy came to a stop next to him, waving his mechanical arm at Pepper in greeting and Phil waving from on top of Dummy’s arm.
Knowing what she was referring to, Tony answered, “Pepper this is Phil. Phil this is Pepper.”
Phil shouted something, “Writty!”
“I think he said you’re pretty,” Tony added on.
“What?” Pepper faintly asked.
Tony looked at Phil, placed his hands under his chin and batted his eyelashes. “Pretty?” he said slowly.
“Yup, he thinks you’re pretty,” Tony said proudly. He was picking up on Phil’s language faster than he thought.
“What is he?” Pepper asked.
Tony looked at her. “I don’t know,” he said in a serious tone. “According to the cameras he just showed up in the lab. His favorite food seems to be banana. While we can’t understand what he’s saying save for a few English words here and there, he seems to understand everything we say to him. He’s a living being, so not a sentient robot I created. You can’t blame me for this.”
“And you named him Phil,” Pepper said in a knowing tone.
Tony winced. He can see where Pepper was going with this and he can agree with the idea. Then again, only Coulson would get himself reincarnated as a yellow overall wearing... pill thing as revenge for all the times Tony pissed him off. He was not projecting his issues with Coulson’s death on this creature! Beside Phil told him his name was Phil, so there was that. “He said his name was Phil,” Tony weakly replied. “Well it was more like Fil but I’m pretty sure it was Phil?”
“Oh Tony,” Pepper said, reaching out to hug him.
“I miss him,” Tony admitted softly. He didn’t mind telling Pepper this, because it was Pepper. She understood that even if Coulson and Tony weren’t exactly friends, there was an understanding, an amount of respect that they had for each other despite all the teasing and hardship Tony gave the agent.
“I know. I do too,” Pepper whispered back. She rubbed small circles into Tony’s back.
She held him for a few minutes longer before pulling away. Looking down at Phil who shyly waved back at her, she looked Tony in the eye. “You can keep him,” she said. “But you better take care of him. That means feeding him, giving him a place to sleep and no experimenting on him.”
“Aww but I got an anti-gravity potion I want to try on him,” Tony mockingly moaned.
Pepper rolled her eyes. “No Tony.” She kneeled down to see eye level with Phil was had climbed off Dummy was and was now standing near her feet. “Keep an eye on Tony for me okay?” she said.
Phil nodded and Pepper leaned over to kiss him on the forehead.
Tony decided not to inform the team about Phil’s existence. He didn’t see a reason to and just because they’re now teammates and living together didn’t mean Tony had to share every secret about himself with them. Beside Tony wanted to see how long he could keep it a secret from Natasha and Clint. It was always fun to pull the wool over trained secret agents.
That and no one but Pepper came down to his lab while he was in there anymore. Well Tony didn’t give them a reason to at least. Steve even remarked how Tony was regularly making it to dinner with the team every night without having someone to come down to drag him up.
That was because Tony now had a ‘pet’ so to speak and Pepper said if he wanted to keep Phil, Tony better take care of him. So while Tony can go days without sleep and food while experimenting in the lab, Phil can’t. When Tony took an extra plate down with him to the lab for a “midnight snack” no one seemed to question it and Tony didn’t bother to correct otherwise.
Speaking of Phil, he turned out to be a competent lab assistant. Tony had left a blueprint out an engine one night and the next morning Phil had a working prototype. The little guy was some sort of genius. Tony had him helping various smaller projects that didn’t need Tony’s careful eyes watching every step of the way. Or at least that was happening when Phil didn’t get distracted.
It was oddly amusing. Phil carried himself in a very professional manner until something distracting came his way. It could be almost anything (though bananas were the worse culprit) including shiny things, a cow mooing toy and the copy machine. Dummy was a bad influence too. Tony caught them playing catch and cooking strange... things.
Nevertheless, Tony enjoyed having Phil around. It was comforting. Tony still didn’t have a clue where Phil came from, but at this point he didn’t care.
Until he woke up one night with a heavy weight on his stomach.
Tony bleary opened his eyes. He recalled falling asleep on the couch in the lab. There was something heavy on his stomach, making it hard to breath.
“JARVIS raise the lights a little,” Tony called out. Phil probably fell asleep on him and Tony wanted to move the little guy to the bed Tony had made in the lab before stumbling upstairs for more sleep.
“Of course sir.”
The lights dimly lit the room. As he squinted his eyes, Tony could make out that Phil was asleep on his stomach. Wait a minute. There was a Phil on his legs too. Tony peered closer. The one on his stomach had two eyes instead of one and looked a little taller than Phil.
Tony reached for his starkphone, fumbling with the numbers. It rang a few times before Pepper’s tired and angry voice answered. “Tony it’s 4 in the morning!”
“They’ve multiplied Pepper,” Tony hissed quietly into the phone.
“They’ve multiplied! There are two Phils!”
“Tony,” Pepper warned.
“I’m serious Pepper! The second one has two eyes!”
“Tony,” Pepper groaned into the phone. “Deal with it in the morning.”
“Deal with it in the morning. Like after the sun rose and it’s past seven. Not a minute before that Tony. Go back to sleep,” Pepper instructed. “The second Phil isn’t doing anything right?”
“Go back to sleep then. I’ll stop by later.”
Pepper hung up after that. Tony looked at the phone, looked at the second Phil on his stomach and gave up. He tossed his phone aside, laid his head back and closed his eyes. Deal with it in the morning.
It turned out that the second Phil wasn’t a Phil. His name was Peter and unlike Phil who took the work Tony gave him seriously, Peter was all energy. Like Phil though, Peter loved bananas and adored Dummy to pieces. He also loved climbing up things. Tony couldn’t understand a word Peter was saying but he also seemed to like jokes since Phil burst out laughing (or ended up punching Peter) at whatever Peter saying.
Tony had a sense that they were very sarcastic comments.
Pepper showed around noon with bananas in tow and looking annoyed. “Alright, Tony,” she said with a sigh. “What happened?”
“No idea where they’re coming from,” Tony answered. “JARVIS said they just appear in the lab isn’t that right JARVIS?”
“It is true, Miss Potts,” JARVIS said. “There is no security footage of Peter entering the lab.”
“Peter?” Pepper asked eyebrow rose.
Tony shrugged. “That’s what he said his name was.”
Pepper shrieked as a light suddenly went off on the side of her. She looked down to see Peter holding a slip of paper up to her. “Writty!” Peter said.
Blinking as she recognized the word, Pepper took the slip of paper. “Thank you,” she said. She held the paper to the light, watching as her picture appeared on it. Pepper looked at Tony questioningly.
“Peter likes taking pictures,” Tony said with another shrug. “Not sure where he got the Polaroid camera from though. I think he built it.”
“And you don’t have any idea where they’re coming from?” she asked.
“Well as long anymore don’t show up, this should be fine.”
Famous last words.
Four days after Peter showed up, Joshua appeared. Joshua... Tony didn’t have the right words for Joshua. He acted flirtatious, snobby, clever and unpredictable. There was this air of arrogance that surrounded him. Joshua was smaller than Phil, more square-ish in shape and had a single eye. He also liked crossdressing into woman clothes and took to starkphone tech like a duck does to water. Tony is never informing his board of directors that the last ten new Stark Apps and gadgets came from Joshua’s tinkering.
Two days after Joshua, Tony nearly tripped over Daniel. Daniel was the same size as Peter, tall, skinny and with one eye. He also liked to sleep... a lot. The reason why Tony nearly tripped over him was Daniel had fallen asleep in the middle of the room and Tony wasn’t paying attention as he walked with his tablet in hands sketching out his next latest idea. Turned out, Daniel can fall asleep anywhere doing anything. Tony just left him on the couch to dream away whatever he dreams.
Three days after Daniel, twins Dick and Tim show up. Tony can’t tell them apart aside from the fact that Dick has longer hair than Tim. Other than that, they were completely different in personality. Tim was shy and quiet, always typing away at a computer. He was also really good at puzzles. Dick was a performer, always jumping off high places like he was an acrobat of some sort.
A day after them Ron showed up. As small as Joshua but not as square-ish, Ron was a bundle of issues. He scared easily, especially of monkeys and liked tacos. Ron was clumsy too, very clumsy. Tony just let him play next to the sleeping Daniel. It was better for everyone’s sanity.
Two days later, Edward showed up. He was the smallest of all of them; something he constantly flew into a rage about. But his love for science, especially chemistry was there. In about a month Tony was thinking of opening up a medical branch for people to test all the drugs and chemicals Ed kept making.
Another two days later Zack appeared with what Tony assumed to be his smaller younger brother, Cloud. Zack... Zack was like a puppy and was constantly dragging Cloud around. It was adorable really. Cloud was quiet like Tim but Tony could see that a strong determination. Both Zack and Cloud were much stronger than they appeared to be too.
Ultimately in two weeks Tony was now housing ten of these yellow creatures. Pepper gave up trying to understand (Tony believed it was because every one of them called her pretty when they first met her). Tony ended up giving them the floor underneath Natasha for them to live in as they could no longer all fit into the lab for sleeping.
Surprisingly, despite the chaotic mess they made, Mo the cleaning bot loved these guys. Possibly because they helped clean up the mess. Dummy adored every single one of them and bananas were their all time favorite foods. JARVIS wasn’t above using them to fetch things or keeping Tony on track (and regularly getting sleep). Thanks to Pepper giving Phil a kiss on the head, every one of them demanded a good night kiss from Tony when he put them all to bed. Tony counted his blessing that they didn’t ask for a bedtime story.
This was... nice.
“Tony,” Bruce called out, entering the lab. He stopped mid-step as he looked at the sight before him. Tony sat on the couch, surrounded by a small sea of yellow. The smell of popcorn and butter filled the room as JARVIS was projecting the movie UP on a blank wall.
“Oh hey Bruce!” Tony called out. “JARVIS, pause the movie!”
The movie paused as Tony stood up, wiggling out of the crowd of yellow. “What are those?” Bruce asked, pointing the strange odd creatures.
“They...” Tony paused. Before a lightbulb went off in his head. “Minions! They’re minions.” That was a perfect name for them. “They’re minions! Perfect little lab assistants.”
“You made them?” Bruce asked, looking over them warily. All of them stared back at him.
“Nope. Just showed up one day,” Tony said. “Why don’t you take one of them to help you? When I say they’re the perfect lab assistants I really mean it. Hey Ed!”
Bruce watched as the smallest of the yellow creatures wandered out of the crowd. Tony bent down closer to Ed’s level. “Ed this is Bruce. Bruce this is Ed. Ed’s the best at science out of the bunch. You’ll love him.”
“Uh, hi Ed,” Bruce said.
Ed waved back at him and garbled out something Bruce couldn’t understand. Bruce looked at Tony, eyebrow raised.
“You pick up on it eventually,” Tony said with a shrug.
Bruce shrugged back and decided to go with the flow of things. He and Ed left the lab as Tony sat back down and started the movie again.
Later Bruce would show up, telling Tony that Ed was the best thing ever. Tony just patted him on the back and said, “I know.”
He was so damn proud of his minions.
The numbers steady increase over the next two months. Philip show up next. A bit odd even by minion standards. He was always reading a book... that was always blank. Under the right circumstances, he glowed like a glow-stick. The poor guy didn’t even realize half the time that he was glowing. He was even more easily distracted than all the other minions but as Tony found out, rivaled JARVIS in knowledge. Tony came home to a lab covered in writing detailing every single thing related to pasta. After having Mo scrub down the entire lab, Tony invested in setting up a bunch of white boards for Philip to write on.
Phineas and Ferb were brothers that show up after Philip. They were as small as Ed (something Ed was quite happy about) but their mechanic skills were off the charts. Tony finished building more machines and prototypes in the last week since they showed up than the last six months put together by himself. It was amazing.
Sho... well Tony is convinced that Sho was evil. But whatever Joshua did, kept him in line regardless of how Sho acted. It was a little scary to think about that one of them had the potential to become the next world’s evil villain. So Tony made sure to marathon a bunch of Disney movies and was extra nice when Sho first arrived. Sho had a talent for math and took to randomly shouting out SINE COSINE TANGENT for no apparent reason. Tony didn’t have the heart to stop him. Sho loved numbers so much.
Luke was clearly the youngest. Strangely he was taller than Ed than though. His two eyes are always being covered by a blue hat that was too big for him. (Like usual, Tony didn’t have a clue as to where they were getting these items from). He also loved puzzles to a fault meaning he spent all his time following Tim around.
Tony found Wally in the fridge, eating food up like a storm. He was round shaped and quick on his feet. Yet like Ed, he took to sciences like a bird does to air. It was entirely strange to see. Wally also loved covering things in lightning bolts for some reason.
And they just continue to appear on and on and on.
“So... they’re still multiplying?” Pepper asked.
Tony was sitting next to her on the couch as they watched the minions scurry all over the lab. Dummy went zooming by with three of them on his hand. There was a working airplane being built in the back and a telescope in other corner. A few small explosives went off and Tony was convinced that another banana fight was going on behind the table.
“Yup,” he said.
“So how many do you have now?”
“About thirty or so. Another three are helping Bruce though,” Tony said, counting. Another explosion went off. Phil who was sitting in between Pepper and Tony hopped off the couch and shouted something. A collective response answer (Tony figured it was sorry) and the explosions stopped.
“Wow, they all listen to Phil huh?” Pepper remarked.
“Yup,” Tony said, proud. For some reason (probably because he was the first) Phil was the leader of the group of minions. They all listened to him. Phil was Tony’s favorite (don’t tell the rest of them that).
“So what are you planning to do with them?” Pepper asked.
“No clue. They seem to like it here. They have their own floor and all the bananas they can fight over. They’re amused at the smallest things. Dummy, Mo, Butterfingers, You and JARVIS love them. Between you, JARVIS and all of them I seem to have a normal sleep and food schedule now.”
“Good,” Pepper said. “I’ve been trying to get you to have a normal sleep schedule for years. It’s good that you’re not always locking yourself up in the lab.”
Tony shrugged. “Eh, I guess. The team insists on bonding too, so it all works out I suppose.”
“Have you told the team yet?”
“Nah. Natasha and Clint haven’t mentioned them yet so I’m willing to bet they still don’t know.”
“Really? It’s been five months since Phil showed up.”
“I know. It’s awesome.”
This wasn’t a good day, Tony decided.
Well it wasn’t a good week. The supervillains decided to ban together for some trauma conga line for the Avengers. Monday was another alien invasion. Tuesday was gas explosion in the mall. Wednesday there were doombots running rampant downtown. Thursday was a terrorist bomb cell, exploding subway stations, office buildings, banks the local post office. Friday was another alien invasion. Then Saturday was Loki’s turn.
It started with Loki appearing on the balcony of the Tower. He first summoned some sort of blue magical creature that started smashing through buildings left and right. Bruce transformed into the Hulk and he and Thor took off after the blue gel thing. Tony would have gone after them but all the armors with the suitable firepower to handle the creature were decommissioned after a week of endless battles and the last working armor was still being repaired.
So Tony was stuck with a regular gun with Clint, Natasha and Steve trying to corner Loki.
“Where’s your armor Iron Man?” Loki mocked. He casually stepped back to avoid Clint’s arrow before summoning a barrier to stop Natasha’s bullets and Steve’s shield.
“The dry cleaners, thanks for asking,” Tony snarked back.
“I’m getting really tired of you,” Clint added.
“But we had so much fun together, archer,” Loki said.
“We still owe you for that,” Natasha said.
“Give it up Loki. You’re not going to win,” Steve said.
“We will see about that,” Loki said. His illusions swirled to lift, creating copies of him around the room.
Clint let loose another arrow. It passed through Loki; an illusion then. Tony felt something approach him from behind and twirled around, gun ready. Too late, Loki punched him, sending him flying into the wall.
“Tony!” Steve called out.
“You’re nothing without your suit of armor,” Loki taunted.
Tony just groaned, ready to snap a witty comeback. Only the ground underneath Loki began to creak and groan. Tony watched as something... yellow burst from underneath the god of mischief. Whatever it was it grabbed Loki and threw him into a wall.
“What is this?” Loki shouted.
The dust settled to reveal a yellow robot. It looked a little like the Iron Man armor, only bigger and bulkier. It was yellow for starters too. Instead it being a fully enclosed armor though, Tony could see into the chest cavity area to see who was controlling the armor.
“Phineas? Ferb? RON!!” he shouted.
The robot armor they created waved at Tony before grabbing Loki and throwing him into the bar. Each of them were shouting, a fast stream of chatter.
“I don’t know what these creatures are,” Loki started. He didn’t get a chance to finish his sentence as a sea of yellow flooded into the room. Out from the air vents, the tiles in the ceilings, through the doors and the shattered remains of the windows popped out all of the minions. Each one of them were armed with various tools and weapons ranging from toothbrushes, wrenches, a working repulsor gauntlet, baseball bats to giant swords they shouldn’t be able to lift.
Phil stood in front of them all, holding what Tony can only describe as a giant key. Pointing the key at Loki, Phil shouted, “PAI CHIKA!”
They leapt at Loki.
“Stark,” Clint began. “What the hell are those?” He loosened his stance as he watched Loki get mobbed by small tiny yellow pill shaped creatures.
“Minions,” Tony answered proudly. His friends built a working armor! They were the best things ever. Hands down.
“Where did you get them?” Steve asked. They weren’t like anything he had ever seen before.
“They just appeared one day. It’s the truth.”
“For how long,” Natasha asked.
Tony grinned, looking smug. “You haven’t noticed? They’ve been living on the floor under you for at the last six months.”
He wandered into the crowd of minions. “Okay guys, I think you got him.”
The minions parted to let him though. Tony found Loki in the center, tied and gagged with duct tape. Phil gave him another whack on the head for an extra measure.
“Puny god tied up.”
Everyone turned to see Hulk and Thor had returned. Ed slipped out of the crowd and ran over to the Hulk. “Uce! Uce!” Ed scrambled up onto Hulk’s shoulder.
“Small helper!” Hulk greeted. He patted Ed on the head.
“What strange creatures!” Thor said. “What are they?”
“Minions!” Tony said cheerfully.
The minions, now realizing there were more people in the room began to spread out and examine them. Natasha got several cries of “Writty!” and to her endless frustration Tony refused to tell her what it meant. Clint and Dick instantly bonded and many of them were being tossed into the air by Hulk. Thor watched as several of them climbed onto top of each other to see eye level with the god. A few more tried lifting mjolnir to Thor’s amusement.
Steve was the only one, put off by their appearance. He stood, flustered as they circled around him, grabbing at his shield. It took Peter snapping a picture of him for Steve to start relaxing around the strange creatures. “Thank you,” Steve said, petting Peter fondly.
Tony reached down to pick up Phil who was standing at his feet. “Good job today Phil,” he said.
Phil nodded. Tony looked at his teammates and the minions scattered around in the living room. The room was trashed from the fight, something Tony was going to have to repair (again). It was chaotic and messy. The minions could be heard chattering with his teammates; both sides wondering what each other was. Loki had been captured. There was still time for movie and pizzas tonight.
This was all Tony could ever hope for.
“You guys are the best.”