"Happy. Happy! I need the suit!"
He's diving out the way of a wrecking ball that slams first into an ornate dining table then into the plush carpet beneath their feet. The impact causes a majority of people to stumble and Thunderball grins and calls out to him as he rolls and tries to gain some distance between them. The lights flicker as the wall explodes with both Captain America and Bulldozer coming through. The latter is laughing as Cap holds his shield up and is trying to hold the madman off. There's dust and plaster raining periodically from the ceiling and though the majority of the guests have escaped from the room, Tony is scanning, looking for the one person he needs.
"Tony!" It's Natasha behind him. She's standing at the entrance of the servant's hallway. She's already out of her evening dress as the personal secretary to the CEO of Stark Industries, and in her uniform. In her hands she holds the briefcase Tony has been desperately looking for. "Suit up!"
She bodily throws it to him and it flies over, skids and he stops it with his foot. With a flip of the front clasp the case activates. It takes just a moment but it feels like an eternity before the process is done and the darkness around him lights up and JARVIS greets him.
"SHIELD has already been called, sir."
"Good. Natasha, where's Happy?"
"He's with Pepper. She was injured." Is all she says before she's running and in a complicated twist, brings Thunderball to one knee as she kicks hard into his ankle. He opens his mouth to speak but Hawkeye beats him to it.
"Not the time," comes Clint's voice over the mic, through the large window that faces the street an explosion goes off as an incendiary arrow hits Piledriver in the back. "Wrecker at 6 o'clock."
Tony doesn't have time to react as Wrecker appears behind him and with a mighty swing of his crowbar launches him into street through said window causing more people scatter and scream. All the screens in the suit go haywire, red words of ‘DAMAGE’ and ‘!’ highlight various parts of the suit. His tumble creates a gash into the asphalt and he rolls quickly to the side as Wrecker lands just where he was and slams his crowbar into the earth. Still on the ground Tony extends his arm out and fires a repulsor beam which shoves Wrecker into Piledriver. The two villains reorient themselves and Clint releases a barrage of arrows at them as Tony stands.
"Can someone explain why the Wrecking Crew is crashing a dinner party?" Clint asks.
"I believe they were after the Serpent Crown."
With a loud metal clang Bulldozer joins them out in the street but doesn’t go down. His focus switches from Cap to Iron Man and he charges. From behind him Cap throws his shield and misses barely.
“Woah big guy!” Tony stands his ground at the right moment cues hydraulics to launch him upward, effectively kneeing Bulldozer’s helmet hard enough that it wrenches his upper body skyward. In the same movement he plants both feet against the other’s shoulders and lets loose the hydraulics again, sending him into a smooth circle in the air and Bulldozer back into the fray with his friends. A signal goes off inside of his helmet and Tony looks to the right and sees Loki standing next to a light pole, a finger pressed to his lips.
“Sir, SHIELD has arrived.” JARVIS’ smooth voice announces the sound of multiple helicopters and the image of Loki disappears in a flick. Tony turns back to the fight to see Captain America jumping away from the Crew as Hawkeye rains down another barrage of arrows. From the interior of the banquet hall, Thunderball flies past Captain America and into the fray at an unrealistic speed. Standing on the frame of the broken window is Natasha, her hair looking to be a brighter red than normal, the Serpent Crown on her head. There’s a halo of snakes around her, making her look hellish than divine.
"That was easy." Is all she says and she takes a step down from window frame and walks over to Cap. She takes off the crown and hands it to Steve, who looks relieved. SHIELD agents rain down from above and Tony looks back to where he saw the image of Loki standing.
“JARVIS, get me Thor.”
Debriefings are never short and to the point. The meeting had begun at nine pm and by one am, they were free. Due in part that Tony couldn’t take it anymore and essentially walked out, and following his lead was no one. Steve looked tired, uncomfortable but had been unwilling to move, wanting to learn about the data Fury had found. Natasha still needed to be debriefed on what she had learned by wearing the Serpent Crown and Clint refused to leave without Natasha. The elevator was agonizingly slow as it brought him up to the roof and he was glad when it finally dinged and revealed the glistening city of New York.
He takes a deep breath as he takes in the sight before he places the case down and activates it. Another moment and Tony Stark is gone and Iron Man replaces him. A diagnostic is running in the corner of his eye and JARVIS comes to him.
“Thor has not answered, sir.”>
“Obviously,” He pushes off the ground and into the air. He loops lazily deciding his direction. “Status update on Pepper?”
“Non critical condition, she has been treated for a sprained ankle and was released two hours ago.”
“Good. I’ll be heading toward the Tower this evening, prep it for me, will you? Also, play some tunes for the ride home.”
AC/DC echoes in the lower speakers and Iron Man flies on, making a wide arc before heading home.
The bar lights are low and several bottles out, one of them on its side as Bruce leans against the bar. In his hand is a tumbler filled with coke and probably several alcohols if the bottles were any indication.
“What’s up with you?” The lights brighten just a tad for his entrance, the chilly New York air is replaced with the warm temperature similar to that of his estate in Malibu.
“He was standing where you are.” Bruce says, his voice quiet as he looks down at the liquid and downs some of it.
“Who?” Tony looks around, noting that nothing is out of place. The room is still in one piece, none of the wood or glass is shattered. He even looks behind himself and sees nothing there.
“Loki. He just stood there.” Bruce pours the rest of the drink in the sink and rinses out the cup and puts it on the side. He stands on the landing and looks at Tony, his hands in his pockets. “He just pointed.”
“Where did he point?” Bruce moves to the center of the room where the apparition of Loki had apparently stood and raises his arm. Tony leans over and looks.
Bruce retires and Tony stays up a few more hours going over schematics for his latest design before going to sleep to the sound of Daft Punk’s Robot Rock and the sun rising.