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Hooked on a Feeling

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Bruce is the DM. Why he thought any of these fuckers would make it… well, not easy, per say, but perhaps refrain from making his job a living hell, is completely beyond him.

His first indication that this game isn’t about to go as planned is when Thor declares he’ll be playing a sentient tree. He gives some long-winded explanation that boils down to the fact that “there are indeed sentient trees in other realms, Stark; your science is quite unimaginative.” By the smirk he’s wearing, Bruce wants to think Thor’s trolling them all, but he can’t entirely be sure of that either. The sentient tree though, stays.

Still, the game starts out innocently enough. Clint wants to use some of his nifty toys, and he is a glorified space grifter, so Bruce sends him to retrieve some orb. He can’t roll worth a shit apparently, but it’s Clint, so improvising is the name of the game and Bruce entertains himself quite a bit before “Starlord” makes it on to meet the rest of the team despite a string of 1s and 2s.

(“Really,” Tony had said, “You’re calling your character Starlord?”)

Steve nearly takes him down when Clint first meets his character - an assassin named Gamora who apparently isn’t as much of a team player as Bruce was counting on - and then Thor decides his stupid tree has to drink out of the fountain, and Nat wants to start shit. The amount of joy it gives her to beat the shit out of Steve and Clint’s characters is a bit alarming, but Bruce tries not to think about that.

(“Wait, hold on a minute - I thought there was no attacking party members!”

"Well I want the orb, and besides, we’re not a party yet, Clint."

"I am Groot."

"Goddamn it, Thor."

"When the fuck do I come in already?")

He drags them all to an inter dimensional space prison: partially as punishment for fighting each other instead of the smugglers Bruce had planned, and partially to shut Tony up. He doesn’t even know how he managed to get them working together, between Nat’s constant checks and hoarding tendencies -

(“Okay, the battery made sense, but why do you want his leg?”

"I want his leg. Now can I get it?"

"Roll D20."

"Shit. Starlord, roll for that guy’s leg. I swear, it’s part of the plan.")

- and Tony being, well, Tony, and deciding he needed to have a chance at trying to kill the other party members since the others all got to earlier.

Steve was clearly anticipating a much more serious game than this is turning out to be, but at least he gets a chance to do some combat when Bruce sends the prison guards after them, even if Nat keeps interrupting to ask about pressing various buttons in the control tower.

About the time Clint rolls to see if he can go back for his character’s walkman - not even a magical or weaponized walkman, just a plain, fucking, garden-variety piece of bullshit outdated technology - Bruce gives up all hope that this game is going to be anything but utter crack.

By the time Tony decides he’s going to call the Accuser down to the trading outpost in the middle of nowhere (conveniently referred to as Knowhere; if they’re not going to take things seriously, Bruce isn’t even going to bother trying to come up with names for shit) he just sighs and tells Tony to rolls for it.

(“We haven’t even finished the trade yet!” Clint protests, “And I wanted to play with the alien-guy’s dog.”

"Trading is boring. My guy wants to fight some more shit.")

He thinks that’s going to be the end of their party, and considers fudging some rolls, because Ronan’s got some serious HP left and all of a sudden the five of them can’t seem to roll a dice if their lives depended on it. Which isn’t too far off. But really, Bruce thinks, they deserve everything they get, and gives Ronan a few MORE hitpoints just for shits and giggles. He had a whole awesome backstory worked out for the guy, but it’s already clear no one cares, so impossible to beat stock-villain number ten it is. They did this to themselves, he rationalizes.

A few more “Footloose” references, all kinds of off the wall gadgets from Nat’s raccoon, way too many one-liners, and the whole team unites around Thor’s dumb tree. Clint finally gets a decent roll - and it’s beyond decent: a nat twenty - but uses it to ensure music is playing from their crashed ship for him to dance to instead of attacking Ronan.

And they still manage to save the galaxy.

Next time he’s DM, Bruce is going to kill all of them off and not regret a single, goddamn thing.