Chapter 1: The Cheetos
3:41 pm, Saturday
The magnanimous Stark mansion had seen many things throughout its years. Big things and small things, important things, and those that were not-so-much. Some freaky-ass things, a few truly odd things, and even the occasional downright disturbing thing. Of all the possible things that could happen in the universe, there were very few of them that had not occurred in the House of Stark at least once, at some point or another.
But on one profoundly average Saturday afternoon -partly cloudy, 18 degrees, wind out of the west- a certain vastly exorbitant Malibu beach house (more specifically, the living room of aforementioned house) became the location of the thing. You know, the thing that's on the absolute bottom of anyone's list of Stuff That Will Likely Happen. The last thing that anyone would ever ever expect to occur.
In the middle of the room sat a coffee table. On the coffee table sat a bowl of Cheetos. Parallel to the coffee table was a very small couch, something of a loveseat. Crammed onto this (rather uncomfortable) seating arrangement was a set of three rather imposing figures: the Man of Iron, the God of Thunder, and the Captain of America. Each decked out in full battle armour and wearing expressions of indignance (in the case of a certain Tony Stark) utter befuddlement (referring to one Thor Odinson) and apprehensive vigilance (regarding Mr. Steven Rogers.)
The three most powerful men in the world were gawking uncertainly across the room, blatantly ignoring the crisp bowl of Cheetos (which had been placed there by a hopeful Pepper Potts, no doubt an effort to break the overwhelming tension in the room.) The object of their interest (i.e., abhorrence) was sitting alone on the largest couch in the room, directly on middle cushion as though he'd done the math to find the exact centre point. Slender body leaned back comfortably, emerald eyes observing his companions with equal attentiveness, complacent expression belying the fact that he was no more comfortable with the arrangements than the boy-band known as the Avengers were.
It's more or less true that each new day brings unlimited possibilities, with a million-plus-one different potential endings. Being who they were, Avengers were no stranger to the bizzare, the random, and the utterly insane, but no one had anticipated such an ordinary weekend ending with the God of Mischief (aka Midgard's Most Wanted) sitting on Tony Stark's living room couch.
So how exactly had the world's most awkward faceoff-over-Cheetos come to pass?
It started with a phone call.
Chapter 2: Forcible Detainment
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
The Previous Day…
Not even a week had elapsed since the battle.
The Avengers themselves had escaped in one piece for the most part; the odd cut or bruise to be had, but nothing that had held any of them back from getting gloriously intoxicated the night after (Steve excepted, of course). And the night after that, and the night after that in a succession of celebrations that each rivalled a Stark birthday bash (Tony also discovered that Shwarma was the ultimate hangover cure). Thor and Steve had basically been hibernating in the Stark mansion (the one in Malibu) ever since, having taken up residence in two of Tony's abundant spare rooms. They spent the majority of their time sampling whatever junk food was to be had (Thor), testing -and somehow further complicating- every bit of 21st century technology that was to be found (Steve).
Clint and Natasha had disembarked to complete some minor reconnaissance mission for SHIELD. And Bruce had more or less come to inhabit the Helicarrier's lab.
The post-battle week had been an interesting one, that was for sure. But a week like that is one of those times that are fun while they last, but not something you want to live every day. Even if your mansion is Stark-worthy, cabin fever is inevitable. The holiday was over; it was time to disband. Tony had things to do, people to see, and stuff to manufacture. (And he missed having his house in a state of relative peace that simply wasn't available with a technologically dysfunctional supersoldier and socially challenged Norse god running around.) Steve was all set to do some more part-time S.H.I.E.L.D. work under Fury's supervision while he got used to how things worked 21st century in the hopes that he could someday replicate a semi-normal life for himself. And Thor was getting ready to head home to Asgard, most likely to smash some more stuff, drink a bit (i.e., a bunch), brag to his friends, and generally do Thor-type activities. Everyone was ready to get on with their lives.
The night before Steve and Thor planned to leave… Nick Fury called; AVENGERS (re)ASSEMBLE! Emergency meeting on the Helicarrier, we're landing off the coast of SoCal, I'll text you the coordinates, attendance mandatory, and yes Tony that means you too, and no I don't care that The Good Wife is marathoning onTV, and don't you dare grumble, I know you have TiVo, so you all need to fly your asses over here NOW. Don't make me come over there!
The trio of superboys obliged (with much grumbling from Tony) and loaded up the Stark jet. They plunked their butts down in Fury's office on the Helicarrier at 10:17 pm. And the briefing began.
It turned out the newly-apprehended Loki was not taking well to life in SHIELD's absolute-maximum-times-a-billion-security prison. Or perhaps absolute-maximum-times-a-billion-security prison was not taking well to Loki, by the sounds of it. He was under supervision 25 hours a day by the most highly trained professionals on the planet - he regularly made them cry. He was confined in the most high-tech containment unit the world had to offer - he turned the walls green for his own entertainment. The world's finest physiologic analysts had been flown in from every corner of the globe - they didn't know what to make of him. The only reason he hadn't escaped was a combination of sheer luck, Loki's inherent amusement at terrorizing his guards, and the fact that his powers had been depleted with the destruction of his spear. Oh, and Odin had seen the entire debacle and being unimpressed with his adopted son's actions, blocked him from leaving Earth through any means so that he was more or less grounded. This had been ascertained when Thor tried to dispatch him through a wormhole but he simply bounced back. Therefore, banishment/deportation wasn't an option. And seeing as he was immortal and all, neither was the electric chair. That left only one option - forcible detainment.
"Anyway," Fury had said. "This brings us to our current dilemma..."
As it turned out, Loki was being 'fired' from jail. As in, they just couldn't take him anymore. They were at their wits' ends. 7 guards in 3 days had gone on (paid) stress leave. They were under-equipped to handle a meglo-manical immortal. That sort of thing.
"Don't look at us." Tony had snorted with great irascibility. "We defeated the guy once, that was enough. He's national security's problem now."
Ever the honourable one, Steve shot him a reproachful glare. Meanwhile, Thor tried to puzzle out where exactly Fury was going with this. All along he'd had a sneaking suspicion that the Midgardian government would ultimately fail in their attempt to detain his brother, but he thought they'd at least last longer than a week…
Nick had cast his irritable one-sided gaze over the collection of men sitting in front of him, seemingly waiting for them to do the math. When they apparently didn't, he dropped the bomb rather bluntly.
"Avengers, you have a new mission. SHIELD is officially releasing the subject into your custody. Tomorrow, the subject will be transported to the facility the three of you are currently using as a home base, where he -and yourselves- will remain until further notice. You are to use whatever means necessary to keep him contained and ensure he is unable to pose further harm to society."
Following that was a moment of shocked silence, as each of them internalized the task that had just been charged with. Naturally, Tony had been the first to speak up.
"Okay, I get what you're saying here, but this is a see Mr. Fury, the facility we are currently using as our home base, just happens to be my actual home. Like, where I live. As in, where I eat, sleep, and occasionally-"
At that point he was cut off by a Fury launching into a lecture pertaining to the fact that Malibu mansion or not, the Avengers remained the only force on Earth that was capable of containing such a highly dangerous public menace as Loki (or 'the subject' as to which he was referred) and just because the battle had been won does not mean that they (they meaning Tony) could immediately return to life as they knew it. It was all in the fine print of the documents they'd been signing for the past few days. Like it or not, their duty was far from over. And in this particular case, 'duty' involved Thor's sociopathic little brother moving into his trillion-dollar beach house.
To no one's surprise, Tony threw something that resembled a hissy fit, kicked his chair over, punched a stack of official-looking documents, and attempted to climb over the table to strangle the living shit out of Mr. Fury. Thor and Steve had exchanged a sidelong glance, then calmly pulled a violently cussing Tony off of Nick and pushed him back into his chair. While the genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist was too angry to form a coherent sentence, Fury went on to explain how SHIELD officials had already been dispatched to the Stark mansion shortly to update and re-equip whatever security measures were in place, as well as add a few new ones to the mix. Once they were satisfied that the house was as secure as possible, 'the subject' would immediately be transferred.
"I have a full-time job, in case you weren't aware. I don't have time to babysit the God of freaking Mischief, and I can't run my business from my house. Trust me, I've tried." Tony had insisted with great determination.
"I'm certain your fellow Avengers will be more than a match for the subject when you are unavailable, Mr. Stark."
"With all due respect Sir, they can't even figure out the microwave. No offence, guys."
"The box of microscopic waves is force to be reckoned with." Thor contributed. Steve nodded in assent.
"What about the others? Last time I checked, Clint, Bruce, and Nat signed all the same legal crap we did. And I don't see you locking up a convicted supervillain in their houses." Tony sulked.
"They have other business to attend to. I can't stick all my Avengers on the same subject now, can I? You three have the physical capabilities necessary to subdue the subject if the need arises -"
"Were you at the same battle we were? We have a Hulk." Tony growled.
"Believe it or not, Stark, I have considered this. He's more useful to us as Bruce than Hulk. For now, we need him in the labs. And and in the cases of Mr. Rogers and Mr. Odinson, I understand you have a bit of free time on your hands. " Fury shot back. "Now, is there anything else before I kick your asses out of my office?"
"Uhm… I think we're all set, thank you." said Steve politely as he and Thor grabbed Tony securely by the arms in case he decided to re-launch his physical assault against the one-eyed SHIELD. official.
"The subject will arrive at the Stark Mansion at approximately noon tomorrow. I will see you all then. Good evening, gentlemen." Fury dismissed.
"Mr. Furry; before we retreat back to the palace of Stark, I do have a final concern." Thor spoke up.
"It's Fury, Thor. Just Fury. Not Furry. We've been through this." Tony scolded through gritted teeth.
"That is what I said! Furry." Thor replied obliviously. Tony face palmed as best he could with Steve steering him firmly out the door. "Sir, I hope you do not think me rude, but I fear you are tragically mis-pronouncing my brother's name."
"Is that so?" Furry/Fury replied tiredly.
"Yes, you see… I am unsure as to why, but you pronounce it something like 'the subject' whereas his name is quite simply, Loki." Thor explained earnestly.
"Fair enough." said Nick, appearing slightly disconcerted at Thor's pointed correction. "Very well, then. Loki will be escorted to Mr. Stark's home at 12 pm tomorrow. Until then, my dear Avengers."
"Wait!" Tony interrupted, firmly grasping the edges of the doorframe as he was forcibly removed from the room by his comrades. "Are you completely sure this arrangement is the absolute best solution you guys can come up with? You're SHIELD for chrissakes!"
"If you really want to know, Mr. Stark, plan B involved the three of you taking up permanent residence at the secure detainment facility 500 feet under ground, rather than the other way around. I'm sure you understand why I didn't feel the need to present this as an option to you. Unless you have an affinity for the prison lifestyle that I'm not aware of?"
"Um, yeah thanks but no 'll be all, Nick."
Fury pretended he didn't hear Tony's subsequent mutter of "Asshole!" as he exited.
Once a severely sulky Tony Stark had been placated with a trip to Burger King, the golden trio made fast tracks back to the mansion. As Fury promised, they were greeted by an army of SHIELD officials, technicians, analysts, scientists, etc., all of whom were on task to transform the lavish living establishment into a maximum-security holding area, like a twisted parody of baby-proofing one's house. There were lasers on every door and window frame, programmed to detect only Loki's DNA (But how they'd gotten ahold of his DNA in the first place? That was anybody's guess). There were almost-invisibly-tiny security cameras in absolutely every corner, each sending live feed to all of the Avengers' cellular devices, able to be viewed at will. There was even (Thor found this utterly hilarious) a trip-wire in place that would drop a net on someone who tried to exit through the fire escape. Every single bit of security technology on the entire planet had seemingly been implemented somewhere in this house, to Tony's absolute horror. JARVIS was even less pleased, continuously complaining about the high amounts of unfamiliar signals and radial interference until he apparently had a mental (could you call it that?) breakdown and shut off completely. Coffee in hand, Tony set about reprogramming his friend and resolved to make Fury suffer for this. It was going to be a long night.
Meanwhile, Steve dutifully educated himself about how the new systems worked until the technicians threatened to drop a net on him if he didn't cease curiously touching everything that sported a blinking light. Thor mowed through yet another box of PopTarts, not quite sure what to make of this situation. Of course he missed the days when he and Loki lived under the same roof, but that was childhood. That Thor and Loki had been two very different individuals than the ones due to be reunited in 12 hours' time. Thor was an Avenger now, and Loki… well, he was pretty much as opposite as one could get. They weren't merely brothers anymore, they were captor and prisoner. And Thor wasn't entirely sure he liked that notion. So he opened another box of PopTarts, deeply in thought…
Halfway through the box, his face lit up as though he'd eaten a lightbulb. Then he sprinted out to the massive deck overlooking the ocean, and proceeded to holler something about a 'handle', or at least that's what it sounded like.
"What the…?" Steve muttered, observing his friend's antics through the plate-glass window.
"Beats the hell outta me." Tony shrugged irritably, settling down into the spot on the couch Thor had just vacated and turning up the bass on his remote-controlled stereo to drown out Thor's racket.
"Did you fix JARVIS?" the supersoldier inquired kindly.
"Yeah, I had to program him to override about 30 different types of frequencies, and block the goddamn SHIELD server from accessing his database, but I think he'll live."
"Ah, those darn frequencies." Steve replied knowingly, sipping his mocha.
"You didn't understand a single word I just said." Tony smirked.
"That's a false statement. I understood, Yeah, and I think he'll live." the blonde retorted.
"Remind me to introduce you to DUM-E sometime."
"What's that supposed to -"
"My friends! I have most excellent news!" Thor's thundering tone echoed once again across the house as he gallumphed back across the deck towards the house - where he met an unfortunate fate with the sliding screen door.
"Bah! Damn the semi-invisible miniature net for attempting to defeat the Son of Odin! Friend Stark, why have you deemed this a necessary addition to your portal to the out-of-doors? I hope you are not under the delusion that it is a security feature for it does absolutely nothing to defend your palace against intruders." the god ranted vehemently as he extracted himself from the screen by shredding it to bits.
"It's a screen, Thor." Tony sighed with exasperation. "It keeps the fresh air in and the wild animals out."
"Yet Thor managed to get in anyway." Pepper commented dryly.
"Lady Potts, what are you implying?" Thor demanded indignantly as he shed the last of the screen.
"Back to your 'most excellent news'. Why were you hollering about handles just now?" Steve interrupted.
"Yeah, I didn't think you'd started drinking yet." Tony mumbled.
"My dearest family and friends shall be assisting us in our newest challenge! And it is not handle, Friend Rogers, but rather Heimdall. The all-seeing gatekeeper of my home, Asgard. He controls access to and from the Nine Realms with the Bifrost. I exchanged words with him just now, he has informed the mighty Odin Allfather of our current Midgardian predicament, and my father has offered to grace us with his assistance by placing ancient magic protection around these walls! And In the unlikely event that my brother is to evade this house and wander the Earth at large, noble Heimdall will locate him immediately and tell me of his whereabouts. You see, my friends, tis' a most foolproof strategy!" Thor finished, beaming like a child on Christmas at his own cleverness.
Tony and Steve stared back, slack jawed with confusion and considerably less enthused.
"21st century technology is looking pretty straightforward now, huh?" Tony muttered.
"You're not kidding." Steve sighed.
"Pepper, could I get a refill? Triple shot of espresso please." Tony inquired, holding his Iron Man-printed mug aloft. "And Thor, buddy, you're gonna have to repeat that. In English this time if you don't mind. God, this is officially the longest night of my life and that my friends, is saying something."
"I don't doubt that, Tony. Thor, you said your father is placing magic protection on the house? Do explain." Steve questioned uncertainly.
"Explain what you mean by explain? I know not how I can further clarify myself." Thor scratched his head.
"What we mean is, how the hell is your dad gonna do …whatever he's gonna do… from wherever the hell he is? Isn't Ass-Guard-"
"Asgard, Friend Stark. My home is called Asgard."
"That's what I said, Ass-Guard. Isn't that on the other side of the universe, or something?"
"The Allfather's power has no limit." Thor replied, stubbornly crossing his (very buff) arms.
"And what exactly is he planning on doing to my house?" Tony shot back, crossing his own (notably smaller) arms and determinedly staring his immortal friend down.
"Of that, I am uncertain."
"Hmm. I see. Now Thor, you know I trust you with my life, but I am simply not comfortable with-"
At that moment, there was a blinding-mind-blowing-skeletion-exposing-eyeball-debilitating flash of white light - not outside, but right there in the living room - and an accompanying roll of thunder that was nearly enough to render someone permanently deaf. Stricken with shock and panic, Steve immediately sought shelter beneath the coffee table while Tony practically jumped into Pepper's arms, effectively spilling the mug of hot coffee she'd just re-emerged with. Following the flash, the power went out and the House of Stark was plunged into pitch blackness. There was a moment of ringing silence where just about everyone feared they'd gone both blind and deaf, until the backup generator kicked in and the house came back to life to reveal Steve curled up under the coffee table. Tony and Pepper entangled on the floor in a pool of spilled coffee. And Thor staring down at Mjolnir which was glowing slightly and smoking.
"To answer your previous conundrum, Friend Stark, the Allfather did so lend us help by channeling energy through Mjolnir. Once Loki enters this house, he will be unable to leave unless I escort him with Odin's will. I doubt even my brother will be able to outwit the Allfather's power."
"And why, Thor, why on Earth, or Ass-Guard, or wherever, is your father doing this?" a very shaken Tony grumbled, climbing to his feet and looking disdainfully down at his coffee-soaked front.
"Because he has declared my dearest brother is to be… ah, what is the Midgardian term? Oh yes, grounded."
"So his dad doesn't want him any more than we do." Tony summarized bluntly. Thor found himself glaring at this comment, although he wasn't sure why.
"I'm sure this won't last forever." Steve interjected in a calming tone. "We'll talk to Fury again, figure something else out. There has to be another way to do this."
"Yeah. Short of moving to the damned prison." Tony snorted.
"Indeed, I highly doubt these glorified popped tarts are available in such a location." Thor contributed.
"They won't be available in any location if you keep going through them at this rate!" Pepper quipped, confiscating the box Thor had just picked up.
"That's all we need, Thor demolishing the nation's supply of PopTarts. With our luck, Fury would make us open and run a PopTart factory to make up for it." Tony speculated bitterly.
"Okay crabby, sounds like it's somebody's bedtime." Pepper informed him with a strikingly maternal demeanour. "Good God, it's 3:40 am!"
"Can't, mommy. I'm busy." Tony contradicted in an exaggerated whine. "But in all seriousness, we're gonna need some more coffee in here, like asap."
Unbeknownst to the Avengers, Pepper switched the coffee maker to decaf so in no time at all, three sleepy superheroes slowly dropped like flies until the only audible noise was occasional beep, buzz, or hum from the various gadgets of the house. And Thor's sonorous snores. The SHIELD technicians had long since completed their work and vacated the premises.
The scene in the living room was so pitifully endearing that Pepper just had to snap a photo: Tony was curled up on the couch, resembling a big grumpy baby. Steve had passed out sitting upright in a chair at an angle that probably wasn't doing his back any favours. Thor was stretched across the small loveseat which was shorter than he was; his face and feet were hanging off either end.
At 6:30 am, Tony awoke. The realization that he was on the couch, coupled with a mild feeling of sleep deprivation led to his first instinct being that he'd been partying last night. Still mostly-asleep, he began to tiptoe off into the direction of the kitchen for a snack. Until he tripped over Thor, who had apparently rolled onto the floor at some point during his slumber. There was a some very loud and violent speculation over "who dared to kick the Son of Odin?" until the god recognized his 'attacker' as his dear friend. Then he dropped Mjolnir, flashed his dazzling grin and wished Tony a good morning and a prosperous day.
It goes with out saying that Tony was now fully awake, and had remembered that last night had not been a party, it had been more like preparing for war because in about 5 and a half hours, the most volatile criminal in the world would be moving in to his actual effing HOME. As in drinking from his cups, using his bathroom, watching his TV, and eating his food. Oh lord, his poor food… He seriously hoped not all immortals consumed as much as Thor, because feeding two of him (plus a supersoldier) could potentially cause financial strain on even the most established billionaire. Not to mention that the mere thought of having another Thor generally being in the house was causing him some extreme discomfort.
By the time 11:50 am rolled around, the three-man army had each geared up as though preparing for the Armageddon. Tony was undeniably the most edgy of the three, he'd triple-checked that his suit functions (more specifically, his guns) were in perfect order and had drawn up an executive list of revised house rules, to be put into place immediately. Thor and Steve were considerably less flustered, likely because it wasn't their trillion-dollar beach house that was in transition to be a maximum security penitentiary. Although there was an alarming incident where Steve tried to step out through the fire escape for some fresh air… and forgot about the trip-wire. He was promptly scooped up in the net amidst the obnoxious sirens and flashing lights provided by the alarm system.
Tony and Pepper found him in the doorway, hanging upside-down and too shellshocked to blink. Pepper could not locate the release switch, and Tony deduced that the netting was not cut-able by the titanium blade built into the hand of his IronMan suit, and he couldn't use any of his various laser guns to cut the rope without causing damage to Steve or to the very expensive doorframe.
"Don't worry Steve, we'll get you down. Probably before Fury gets here." Pepper soothed the inadvertently captured soldier whilst gently patting his forehead. Steve himself was currently incapable of speech, due to the way his face was mashed against the bottom of the net.
"Where the hell is Thor when you need him? And didn't SHIELD leave a damn instruction manual along with their junk?" Tony lamented, sawing away at the thick, pliable fibreglass strands. They'd need some god-grade power for this one. "THOR, GET IN HERE."
However, the immortal in question was currently lounging in Tony's spacious upstairs bathroom. He'd just sampled every hair product he could find under the sink, and was now amusing himself with the hair dryer. Such fun he'd never known! Who would have thought the humans could confine the power of the wind into a handheld device? For a moment, he dared to hope that if Loki hadn't entirely lost his sense of humour, maybe he'd be willing to join his brother in the investigation of the inexplicably entertaining human customs… The god of thunder then lost that particular thought as he looked into the room across the hall and spied something that intrigued him greatly, which he had only seen used on several occasions. It was a small square-ish thing, roughly the size of Mjolnir. It was connected to the wall via a long white rope-thing, and emitted a high heat. Pepper would take various items of clothing and lay them on a perplexing collapsing table (not the same sort of table they ate meals on, mind you ), then run the device over them until they were satisfactorily flattened. It was beyond Thor why the humans took pains to ensure their clothes were flat before putting them on, but the device caught his attention nonetheless.
He casually set the hair dryer down (naturally he neglected to turn it off) and wandered across the hall to attend to the heated-garment-flattener. He was learned enough in matters of technology to know that almost everything came with an 'on' button. He located this immediately, but beyond that he was entirely stumped. No matter, it seemed the device was heating up quite nicely on its own. He then lifted one side of his cape and draped it over the table with some difficulty, as it was still attached to his shoulders. Finally, he picked up the heated-garment-flattener and set it down on the crimson fabric. And then he waited for something to happen. Surely it would indicate when it was finished. The washer of eating utensils, the box of microscopic waves, and the thing that made the bread vanish only to be replaced with toast, those all produced a birdlike sound to inform the user when they had completed their work. Surely this device would be no different… Pfffft, technologically challenged indeed… he'd show Tony just how adaptable he really was!
Meanwhile, SHIELD's net-trap system was proving a far greater challenge than anyone could have anticipated. The damnable net was apparently indestructible, and Tony couldn't deploy his laser saw without slicing Steve in half. JARVIS was currently researching SHIELD security, hoping to find something relevant to the situation at hand, but was having no such luck. Tony was livid that he, of all people, was stumped by a government-issue home security system. One so primal it involved a net, for eff's sakes.
"Well JARVIS, you can get started on a formal letter telling them where they can shove this-"
"Fury and his guys are coming up the driveway right now." Pepper noted, checking the security camera feed on her phone.
"Mmmphbllllsssfff!" said Steve.
"I wouldn't want Fury to see me like that either." Tony replied. "But look on the bright side, buddy. Living proof that SHIELD has completely screwed us over! Maybe you'll get compensation for this. Yeah, definitely demand compensation. You can borrow my lawyer and-"
"FRIEND STARK! LADY POTTS! I AM IN DIRE NEED OF ASSISTANCE! I FEAR I HAVE MADE A GRAVE ERROR IN JUDGEMENT!"
"Oh, god…" Pepper murmured
"Incoming." Tony commented in a mock warning tone.
Thor came careening around the corner as fast as his legs could carry him, wearing an expression of panic. The reason was quite apparent.
"Thor, your cape's on fire."
"I AM AWARE OF THAT, FRIEND STARK."
"Time to shine, DUM-E!" Tony hollered. Almost instantly, the glitchy fire-extinguisher-happy robot scooted out from the direction of the kitchen and locked on target. Unfortunately, Thor and DUM-E had never been acquainted, so the god mistook the appliance for an enemy and bolted in the other direction. Fearing the mental image of his entire house burning down, Tony tackled Thor football-style and held him down long enough for DUM-E to hit him with a good blast.
"WHAT IS THIS SUBSTANCE?" Thor wailed apathetically, spitting out a wad of fire-extinguisher-stuff. "It appears to be the frosted coating on the cakes-in-cups yet it tastes like toxic waste! What IS this Midgardian trick - OH ODIN, HALF OF MY CAPE HAS BEEN TURNED TO ASH!"
"Um, yeah. Wanna enlighten us on that one?" Tony growled, releasing the god but remaining lying on the floor himself, feeling incredibly defeated.
"Thor, I swear to God, if you touched my new hair straightener…" Pepper began threateningly, advancing on him and holding her pen like a weapon. Before the guilty-looking god could fumble through an explanation, there was a shrill buzz that indicated an incoming visitor.
Nick Fury knew very well that Tony Stark was none too pleased with this arrangement, and quite frankly he didn't blame him. But eccentricities aside, Stark was a highly sophisticated man who had the emotional maturity and intellect to handle almost any situation that could be thrown at him. Rogers was a bit stunted in understanding of the world, but he had a huge heart, courage to boot, and the determination to thrive in the face of adversary. Thor was severely stunted in his understanding of the world, so much so that Rogers looked like Steve Jobs in comparison. But there was also his physical capability and never-say-die attitude. Yes, Fury was confident that the three of them together could overcome absolutely anything. He was feeling pretty darn good about this decision.
Then he walked through the door. There was a moment of stunned silence, then:
"What the hell are you boys up to?"
It looked like there'd been a war between a giant tub of Betty Crocker cake icing, and a flamethrower. There were scorch marks everywhere and clumps of white goop clung to every available surface. The IronMan suit (presumably containing Stark) was lying face-down in a pool of the feet away, Thor was sitting down with his back against the wall, cradling a charred piece of red fabric and looking on the verge of tears. Ms. Potts was repeatedly bashing her forehead against her clipboard, cursing the Avengers. There was even one of Starks robot-things casually cruising around, making little chirps that sounded vaguely concerned. But where was the Captain? Oh, found him too. Hanging upside down.
"Welcome to the Stark residence." piped up JARVIS in a tone that Nick could have sworn was sarcasm.
Fury just stood in the doorway and took it all in. No one even seemed to notice he'd arrived. Shocked, horrified, and awestruck at the same time. His team of specialized SHIELD S.W.A.T. guys slowly filed in behind him, escorting the subject- ahem, Loki.
Like a shadow, the god of mischief silently edged over to the shellshocked Fury and patted his broad shoulder good-naturedly as he too observed the disaster zone.
"What is it you were saying on our way over here?" the ebony-haired master of chaos inquired lightly. "Ah, I remember." He purposely deepened his voice in a perfect imitation of a confident Nicholas Fury: "'Yeah. My boys got this.' They certainly do 'got this', Nicholas. They most certainly do."
A few notes to leave you with:
1. The mention of Tony's favourite show "The Good Wife" and Thor's manner of speech were both inspired by AvengersShouldntText , the most amazingly delightful Tumblr blog I have ever had the fortune of stumbling across. If you love to laugh your guts out, look them up. You'll spend the happiest hour of your life reading the whole thing. PS, look me up while you're at it. Link to my blog on my profile, loves :)
2. POV's will be swapping around a fair bit, because it's fun to see a situation from a few different sides.
3. This will be a collection of little adventures with no real plot. Well, maybe. It has to go somewhere, I suppose. I've gotten a lot of inspiration from my very favourite fics I've been reading on here, and there's lots of oh-my-god-they're-all-living-together stories, so I decided to put my own spin on it with the Loki-under-house-arrest concept xD
4. I'm not gonna be doing any major shipping here. I know Thor/Loki, Tony/Loki, Tony/Steve, and Clint/Nat are pretty popular but that just ain't my thing. Romance, IDGAF. But if it's your thing, you're welcome to read along and interpret the the bits o' fluff however you wish :)
5. I sincerely apologize if you are offended by any language I use, although this IS a T-rated story. I am personally not bothered by it (being a gifted pottymouth) and I mean, there's actual S-bombs dropped in the IronMan movies so I don't particularly feel like I'm violating the fandom or anything. But if you don't appreciate it, Tony will have JARVIS break into your computer and block out the offending words so you can read in peace. We just want everyone to be happy here.
6. I spent the entire Thor movie (first time watching) thinking they were saying "Handle" instead of "Heimdall". That's where that came from.
7. I decided to set it in Starky's Malibu homeland at least for now, because I think there's a lot of possibilities for fun there ;) plus I like beaches. So there.
Thanks for reading, please leave a comment ;)