|The Magnificent Octopus
Author: LouBlue PM
Pepperony/Avengers. Sequel to 'Precious'. The newly formed Avengers are still trying to find their way as a team. Love is in the air for some of the members, with some surprising outcomes. But nothing is more surprising then the new menace the Avengers will soon be facing as they fight to save not only the Avengers, but the world.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Humor - A. E. Stark/Tony & V. Potts/Pepper - Chapters: 78 - Words: 244,831 - Reviews: 1,767 - Favs: 260 - Follows: 278 - Updated: 12-20-12 - Published: 06-16-12 - id: 8225372
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Amazingly I've managed another chapter in the whirlwind of my day. Phew.
Okay, so I know some people weren't happy with the scenes between Natasha and Clint in the last chapter, but I do have a method to my madness and the chapter after this one is going to reveal all, if you're so inclined to find out where I'm going with this. It's tricky trying to match up cartoon history against the movieverse one because the movieverse does take liberties, so you end up as a writer of fan fic trying to work out your own truth for the characters while still trying to make them recognisable. For those of you who feel I've deviated too much from cannon with BW and H, I'd ask for you to be patient and as I said, see where I'm going with this.
The other thing is that one of my reviewers brought up an interesting point in saying they didn't feel there was enough action or Pepperony in my story. Comments like that always make me stop and think about what I'm doing and crystallise my game plan so to speak, which is always a good thing. The thing is, with this many characters, I want them all to have a voice, which means that some things have to give a little. It's not that I'm necessarily writing any less Pepperony or action scenes then I would have if I was not taking as much time with the other characters stories, it's just that the story would be shorter if I hadn't given Steve a story arc, or H/BW etc. LOL Does that make sense?
I thought about the Avengers movie and there weren't that many action scenes really, it was a lot of standing around and talking which was necessary when you had to make an audience invest in so many characters and ultimately care when they are faced with danger. I think Joss Whedon is always so great at finding that balance and making the standing around talking just as much fun as the action. Now, I'm no JW by anyone's standard, but I can relate to his kind of storytelling, because I'm a big old dialogue ho, just like Joss seems to be. ;)
Sorry, just thinking aloud there and I know I'll never write a story that is perfectly balanced in everyone's eyes, no one can, but I just thought I'd let you in on my thought processes, for anyone who is interested. :D
Okay, on with the show and as always feedback is welcome, good and constructive criticism.
Steve regarded Thor with interest as he stared out of the large window in the media room which had become the unofficial congregation place for the team. They were waiting on Nick Fury to arrive and fill them in on the latest about the mantis attack. Tony hadn't arrived yet, no surprise he was going to be late and Bruce, as always, had his nose buried in scientific data and looked completely engrossed, but Steve's attention was on Thor. He came to stand beside him and look down at the view of the city still in heavy clean up phase. "Have you made a decision about going to see Jane?" he quizzed the blonde man.
Thor's brow furrowed as he continued to stare out the window. "I wish to do the right thing." He paused. "I just do not know what that right thing is."
Steve understood where he was coming from. This new world seemed endlessly more complicated than the one he'd been taken from. "I know, things can get real confusing, real quick in this world."
"Tony Stark believes I should not make the decision for Jane, but let her have her own voice in this matter."
"That doesn't sound like horrible advice."
Thor gave him a sideways look, an amused smile hovering around his lips. "Your countenance is such that those words seemed to have caused you pain, Steve Rogers."
Steve made a wry face. "They didn't feel good coming out and I've got a nasty aftertaste at saying Tony might be right about anything." He gave Thor a pointed look. "Which I'll deny if anyone asks, got it?"
Thor gave a deep chuckle and shook his head. "The way you two quarrel, 'tis as though you were brothers."
Steve pulled a stricken face. "You've got to be kidding me, Thor. Brothers? We can't stand to be in the same room as each other. The guy drives me crazy."
Bruce broke into the conversation from across the room, not looking up from his papers. "Sounds like brothers to me."
"We have nothing in common," said Steve sharply, the memory of his conversation with Pepper still rolling around in his brain.
Thor gave a louder laugh this time. "Do you really believe that, my friend?"
"Yes," said Steve indignantly.
Bruce peered at him from over the top of his glasses. "So, you both don't want to be the top dog in the room, you don't both always think your way is the best way, you aren't both passionate and bull headed?"
Steve scowled. "Tony Stark and I are nothing alike," he insisted stubbornly.
Tony's voice suddenly joined them as he walked into the room and caught that last statement. "He's right, because I'm awesome and Steve is like the antidote to awesome. He's anti-awesome."
"Now, now, children," tutted Bruce, "if you can't play nicely together, then don't play at all."
Tony walked into the room more and gave a sweet smile at Steve. "Oh, Cappy Crappy is all about playing nice, especially if it's with someone else's girlfriend. Isn't that right, Rogers?"
Steve walked up to him and faced off. "If you've got something to say, why don't you just say it, Stark?"
"Stay away from Pepper," Tony bit out.
"I guess that's up to Pepper," said Steve, not backing down. "We're friends and it's not up to you to tell either of us if we can be just that."
"Yeah, but you don't want to be just friends, do you, Captain Cuckold?" asked Tony in annoyance. "Don't think I don't see what you're doing."
Thor looked over at Bruce in concern. "Should we stop this, Bruce Banner?"
Bruce shrugged. "Nah, it's been brewing for awhile, it's probably good to get this all out in the open."
"What I'm doing is being a good friend," said Steve sharply. "Pepper needed an escort and I stepped into the breach. The breach left by your lack of concern for Pepper I might add."
"Keep it above the belt, Steve," Bruce advised the other man.
"No," said Steve tightly, "he needs to hear what a jerk he is and I'm just the guy to do it. Pepper looked so disappointed when you broke your promise to her and I didn't want to see her sad, so I volunteered."
Tony's eyes narrowed at the obvious implication in that statement. "You think I don't want to see her happy as well?"
"I think you don't see her at all half the time," said Steve roundly. "You're so self-involved you barely have time for Pepper in your life."
"Oh yeah," said Bruce laconically, "this is not going to end well."
Tony took an aggressive step forward and jabbed a finger at Steve's chest. "You don't know the first thing about us, Rogers," he snapped. "I'd give my life for Pepper, you don't know what we've been through. There is nothing I wouldn't do to protect her if she was in danger."
Steve batted his hand away and glared at Tony. "Life isn't made up all those big events, it's made up of a hundred mundane things. No one is questioning that you'd rescue Pepper from a burning building or face death for her, Stark, but what about all of those moments in between? What about Pepper knowing she can rely on you for all the little things that a relationship needs? You're just not there for her and you seem to think that's okay." Steve's jaw hardened. "Well, where I come from, that's no way to treat a lady."
"What do you know about women, Rogers?" Tony snapped back, obviously furious. "The closest thing you've come to getting lucky in the last seventy years is having a penguin take a crap on you!"
Steve couldn't hear one more frozen joke, he was done. He didn't even think about it, his fist snapping back and then punching Tony squarely in the face. Tony staggered backwards in surprise but recovered quicker than Steve thought he would, charging at him and tackling him to the ground.
Bruce and Thor stepped out of the way as Tony and Steve crashed to the ground, locked in a violent struggle. Bruce looked down at the men rolling around on the floor. "Well, no surprises that this was going to be how it ended up."
Tony and Steve were throwing punches but not managing to get up off the floor as they knocked over chairs and tables, yelling insults at each other.
"Someone needs to teach you a lesson, Stark!"
"You couldn't teach kindergarten, Rogers!"
Bruce looked sideways at Thor who was smiling as he watched the men create carnage around them in their mutual rage. "What's so funny?"
"Things are being destroyed." Thor's smile widened. "And 'tis not my responsibility."
Bruce's lips quirked. "Good feeling, huh, buddy?"
Thor nodded. "I break a lot of things," he admitted ruefully.
Nick Fury walked through the door and came to a halt when he saw the fight still raging between Tony and Steve. "What's going on here?"
"A fight that is lasting longer than I expected," Bruce remarked. "Steve may be a supped up soldier, but Tony's surprisingly fast."
"Aye," said Thor in admiration, "'tis true. I thought Steve Rogers would have the upper hand without Tony Stark's suit of iron."
Steve was getting increasingly frustrated that he couldn't get a proper swing at Tony. He could hear the other's commentating and they were right, Tony was a very nimble adversary and he managed to get in more than one good hit which Steve hadn't been expecting. He knew he was going to ultimately win, his training and greater size and strength all but guaranteed it, but it seemed Tony was going to do this the hard way.
"I'm here for a meeting," said Fury flatly, "not to watch a pissing competition. You two, stop that now."
Steve and Tony ignored the stern command completely continuing with their all out brawl.
Bruce folded his arms in front of him. "Got a plan B?"
"I've always got a plan B," said Fury coolly. Without missing a beat, he walked up to the struggling men who were currently on top of the sofa, each one struggling to be on top. Currently Steve was and Fury reached into his jacket and pulled out a taser and tasered each one in turn. Steve made a strangled noise and convulsed off Tony and onto the floor, twitching uncontrollably. Steve was trying to work out what had just happened as his body was flooded with electricity and immobilised him completely. Every muscle in his body was in spasm as he fought against the shock.
Thor was looking on in surprise. "This plan B is most effective."
Bruce was laughing out loud now. "You're my new favourite person, Fury," he said around his laughter. "That was awesome."
Tony's jaw was clenched but he was still trying to curse out the older man. "Y-you ssson of a bbbb-"
"Wh-what happened?" stammered Steve, still trying to get his body back under control as it continued to spasm wildly.
"The Director hit you with his lightning stick," Thor informed him. "It was most impressive."
"And funny," Bruce chimed in, "don't forget funny."
"I got a city in crisis, a mad man on the run and you two seem to have nothing better to do then roll around like third graders," growled Fury.
Steve sat up unsteadily, but couldn't hold himself up, flopping on the floor on his back. "I feel like I've been kicked by a mule."
Tony groaned and tried to sit up as well but ended up rolling off the sofa instead and face-planting on top of Steve, face in his chest.
"Get off m-me," ground out Steve.
"I'm trying," grunted Tony. He tensed and strained valiantly but didn't end up moving a muscle. "Ta dah," said Tony sarcastically when he failed dismally to get his muscles to cooperate.
Steve heard a clicking sound and he managed to look sideways to see Bruce taking a picture on his cell phone. Bruce gave a satisfied smile. "Daddy's got a new screen saver."
Steve didn't know what those words meant but he had bigger concerns right then. "I feel wetness," fretted Steve, trying to look down at Tony who was still on top of him, "are you drooling on me?"
Bruce grimaced. "Best case scenario it's drool, Cap."
"A little help," gasped Tony.
"As you wish, my friend," said Thor, as he walked over and picked up Tony like he weighed no more than a child and then he did the same with Steve, sitting them both on the sofa as the effects of the taser slowly wore off.
"Director Fury, we have an emergency." The disembodied came over the intercom of the Avenger's Tower. "Another attack from metal creatures is being reported in Havana, Cuba."
Fury registered no emotion at the news. "I guess it's time for the Avengers to assemble."
Bruce wrinkled his nose as he regarded Steve and Tony. "Or at least try to unclench."
Fury glared at the two men. "You two had better sort this out. I'm not running a day care here. The next time I see that kind of idiocy, you're going to think of the times you were being attacked by mantis creatures as the good old days." He turned on his heel and stalked away. "I'm too old for this crap."
A/N: Okay, peeps, pack your bikinis and board shorts, we're off to Cuba in the next chapter! :D