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An Avengers’ Christmas Ficlet

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It was the first Avengers’ Christmas, and Pepper was worried: Tony-the-athiest had insisted on decorating the tree all by himself, rigged pine-and-garland print curtains around it, and told JARVIS to warn him if any of them got too close. The occasional cackling was not reassuring.

But when the curtains finally dropped, it was . . . beautiful, simply beautiful. Reds, golds, and greens dominated the colors sparkling from the branches, perfectly Christmas-y. Then Clint started giggling, and she followed his eye-line to the top of the tree: the angel was a Captain America action figure with wings glued to his back and a pipe-cleaner halo. Looking closer, she realized all the ornaments were Avengers themed: Iron-Man toys in heroic poses, glittered grinning Hulks, glassy balls printed with Cap's shield, others with golden bow-and-arrows on purple. Little silver Mjölnirs with red-ribbon wrapped handles. She gasped when she caught sight of a crystalline spider climbing through the branches, iconic hourglass detailed in rubies. It waved at her.

She turned to see Steve gaping at the tree-topper, then glowering at Tony. “What? I couldn't decide between an angel and a star, that covers both. And he's got a stick up his ass -- perfect!”