Sitwell wasn't a BNF for nothing. Oh, no. He'd worked for it. Okay, so most of the work had been done in the time period 1989 (and didn't that make him feel old) to 2011, which, when you did your math, meant 22 years' worth of work and on average some 90 to 100k words per year.
Yeah, he'd recently learned to think in terms of word counts and not pages, thanks in part to NaNoWriMo. The other reason was AO3.
And anyway it wasn't technically true that he'd been writing since 1989, not for real, anyway, that'd just been the year Clint and Phil had met, but he'd found a scrap of paper in an old folder which definitely dated back to 1989 on which he'd written "twenty bucks those two are screwing before the year is out", which hadn't happened - but as he'd been betting with himself, no money was lost - and the point was, it kinda counted. Kinda.
The writing hadn't started in earnest until 1991. (This upped the average word count very little, so what the hell. It was more impressive the other way, even if no one but his dear wife knew.) Now, in 2012, the word count was on the scary side of 2000k and he'd only posted about 600k of it all (among which was the epic tale of how they got together; it was precisely 567,342 words and he'd just posted the last chapter in the last installment).
It was the most popular story on AO3 (not fanfiction.net, he'd been warned against it and so he never ventured into that part of the internet, even if a small part of him wanted to try it out just to see if he'd get more hits) and it was apparently a fandom classic.
He was damn proud of himself, that was what he was. And he was excited. Nevermind the fact that the story was ten years old - he'd read it through and reworked a few parts before he started posting it - he was excited, because this was THE END, the very thing his fanbase had been waiting for since he put up the first chapter in the first installment, nearly eight months ago.
And the stats were going wild. The comments section was exploding. AO3 might just go down (in history, he thought wishfully).
"Jasper," his wife called from the kitchen. "Natasha is on the phone and wants to speak with you!"
"One second!" he called back, refreshing the page once more before he got up to answer the phone. "Natasha. Or Agent. Which is it this time?"
"RussianKitty24," Natasha said. "Have you thought about expanding into superhusbands fic?"
Jasper Sitwell was not only a BNF, he was also one of the best goddamn SHIELD Agents. Clearance 7. He did not get scared (okay, he did on occasion, but only Phil knew). He thought he might've peed his pants a little.
"What did you just say?" he asked, rewinding her words. "Did you say - oh my god are you RussianKitty24? The RussianKitty24? The one who just left a glowing review on - HANG ON -"
Natasha snorted. "Honestly. First of all, you call yourself AgentS. Second of all, the only other people in existence who would've been able to put this much detail into the fic are one, me. Two, Phil. Three, Clint. It's not me, obviously, and it's not Phil because he hasn't the time nor, I imagine, the desire to retell the admittedly embarrassing story of how he and Clint danced around each other for ten years, and it's not Clint because it's been on his to-read list for three months and he's intimidated by words, so I doubt he's ever going to read it - which you should count yourself lucky for."
"I," Jasper said. "You - wait. It's on Clint's to-read list?"
"Yes. Back to the point, Jasper, which is: Superhusbands fic. Have you considered it?"
"Er." He flailed helplessly, turning around to look for his wife. She was silently laughing at him. "Why?"
"I want to offer you a co-writing deal. With me."
"...are you sure that is wise?"
"Look, you are the most popular shieldhusbands writer in the fandom, and I'm the most popular superhusbands writer in the fandom. Together we can not only bust a few fangirly arteries, but also become legends."
Jasper thought about this. His wife was still laughing. She was also clearly listening in on the conversation. "What if we get the thorki BNF to -"
"No," Natasha said firmly.
"Is it -"
"Trust me, you don't want to know."
"...okay." Jasper eyed his laptop. He was itching to go over and refresh the page to see how his stats were doing. "How do you propose we do this?"
"I've a wip 120k words long about how Tony and Steve actually got together, and I know you have a fix-it in the works on your harddrive. I read it already - not a word about hacking, your home security is atrocious - and I want to combine the two. It'd need a little work, but it can definitely be done. And the fans will love it."
"I'm not going to have any other option but saying yes?"
"Think of the fans. Think of the stats. THE GLORY." Natasha paused. "Legends. You. Me."
"All right." Jasper grinned. "Cool. We'll do it. Writing date at my place?"
"I'll bring the coffee." Natasha hung up.
"Did that just happen?" Jasper asked as he put the phone down.
"Mmmhh," his wife responded. "It's your turn to make dinner tonight, honey."
"Oh. Okay." He cast one more glance at his laptop. "Yes. Dinner. I'm on it."