The Avengers Play Minecraft
This could be seen as a sort of epilogue to my other fic - Assembled We Are Strong, but it could also be a stand alone, set after pretty much any epic battle that the Avengers have been through. Mostly it's just a bit of fun.
I don't own the Avengers.
Tony was the one that started it, but it wasn't until Clint got involved that things became more serious. Clint was recovering nicely from his injuries and he had needed a distraction, so this had been Tony's idea of a distraction. It seemed to be working better than anyone had hoped.
"What are you playing?" Natasha asked Clint as he lay on the sofa with his laptop propped up against his knees.
"Minecraft," said Clint.
"What's that?" she asked.
"It's a giant world made of blocks and you can mine for resources and build things. I guess it's sort of like a huge Lego set but with extra stuff. Tony downloaded it for me. He's been playing for a while."
"Sounds… dull," said Natasha.
"It's strangely compelling," replied Clint. "Look, this is my house."
Natasha leaned over the back of the sofa and looked at the strange square world. Clint proudly showed her his house. It was pretty impressive, she had to admit, considering that Clint had built it himself using only blocks. It resembled an Old West homestead. He then showed her his farm, complete with strange cuboid cattle, pigs, chickens and sheep. Then he moved on to the hole in the ground that he called his mine which was accessed through a door in his house.
"You have to make sure everything is well lit because otherwise monsters spawn and try to kill you," said Clint.
"Now that sounds more like your kind of game," said Natasha.
"Want to see Tony's house? It's very… Stark."
Natasha raised an eyebrow. "You surprise me."
"You could join our server and see for yourself how much fun it is," said Clint.
Natasha raised an eyebrow. "I'm not sure I've got time to play computer games."
"Come on, Nat, it'll be fun. We can even go and grief Stark together," said Clint with more than a hint of mischief in his smile.
"Er, it's the fan's term for playing practical jokes. Burning down another player's house, that sort of thing. I wouldn't go that far, it wouldn't be fair after Tony's put all that time in, but I might hide some of his stuff," replied Clint. "But maybe that should wait until you're settled in and you've got your own base up and running."
"Like I said, I'm not sure I've got the time right now…"
"Please, Nat. It's keeping me occupied, and you wouldn't want me to get bored," said Clint.
"Blackmail much?" asked Natasha. A bored Clint was never a good thing.
"You're off duty until your arm heals too," said Clint. "And you could do with a distraction as well, before Steve comes back from the gym with more bruises."
Natasha rolled her eyes. Was it her fault if Steve wasn't as fast as she was? Maybe she was a little bored and perhaps she was taking that out on her sparring partner.
"I'll get my laptop and you can show me how to set it up," said Natasha.
"Yes!" crowed Clint in victory, while Natasha headed off to find her laptop.
It was worth the victory crow from Clint just to see him happy about something. There hadn't been a lot of things to be happy about over the past few months, and they were only just climbing out the other side of a serious period of PTSD for Clint. To be honest, if this helped, then she was all for it.
It had all started out peacefully enough. Natasha had punched a tree for some wood and built a very small house beside a lake, little more than a box. Then night had come and Clint had instructed her to get inside and barricade herself in until it was daylight again. At which point she discovered that there were a whole load of monsters roaming around her nice peaceful lakeside dwelling. She died a couple of times and had to walk back to her house from the spawn point. She started to build a better house and a defensive wall. Clint was right, the entire thing was strangely addictive.
She questioned Clint on the best way to mine for resources and protect her home, but found him unhelpful after he'd passed on the basics. He also wanted to get back to his own projects for his mine and house. She took to the internet and did some research. This proved to be a more fruitful avenue to gather information and several hours later she'd logged back in, found some sheep, killed them for the wool and built herself a bed. She spent the next hour reaching a more adequate stage of development, mining for iron and then started a farm.
Bruce walked into the Common Room to find both Natasha and Clint, sat with their legs stretched out, at opposite ends of the sofa, laptops on their laps.
"Hi there," he said, as he made his way toward a seat with the cup of tea that he'd just made.
"Hi," said Clint, not even looking up from his screen.
Natasha at least still had manners, despite the night approaching again. "Hi Bruce," she smiled and turned her attention back to mining enough iron to make a set of armour.
"You're not working, are you, Clint?" asked Bruce. "You're supposed to be taking it easy."
"I am taking it easy," said Clint. "Tony found me a computer game to play. Natasha's playing too."
Natasha winced a little at that. She wasn't sure she wanted Bruce thinking that she was nerdy enough to be playing a computer game on the network with Clint.
"Oh, what are you playing?" asked Bruce, as he sipped his tea. Natasha reminded herself that Bruce wasn't the kind to prejudge people just for playing a computer game.
"Minecraft," said Clint. "It's this game where everything is made of blocks…"
Bruce cut him off. "I know what Minecraft is. I used to play, although I haven't for a while now."
Five minutes later, Bruce had his laptop out and was logging on to the Avengers server.
"What mods have we got?" he asked.
"Ask Tony, he put the install together. There's one that does power armour, of course. I think he wrote it himself just so he could fly around being Iron Man," said Clint.
"Wow, there's all this new stuff. I don't think I've played since point two," said Bruce. "I think I may have forgotten how to mine. Creepers are still as evil as ever."
"Bastards," said Clint. "I built a massive fence with watch towers that I could snipe at them from with my bow."
"Very nice," said Bruce, clearly surveying Clint's house. "Do you mind if I stay with you tonight while I find somewhere to set up home?" Clint's ranch was pretty close to the primary spawn point for the world, so Bruce had made it there before night fell pretty easily.
"Me casa es su casa," said Clint.
"Thanks," said Bruce. "Nice place you've got here. Are those horses?"
"Can't have a ranch without horses," replied Clint.
"Hey, you made me build my own hut," said Natasha.
"Best way to learn the game, Nat," said Clint. "Besides, I'd have missed the look on your face the first time a creeper exploded."
Natasha scowled. "I will exact my revenge at the appropriate time."
Clint had the decency to look a little afraid. Bruce waited out the night and then went off to find his own patch of the world to set up as his home, far enough away that he could mine in peace. They bantered away happily exchanging crafting recipes and tips on gameplay. Natasha was beginning to feel like her house was finally getting to a respectable level of technology, but this was also the most comfortable that she'd been for weeks, maybe even months.
Tony had been in meetings for most of the day. Even though he wasn't in charge of the company anymore he couldn't get out of all of them. Pepper took care of almost everything, but sometimes he just had to prove to people that he was still alive and inventing new things that would make Stark Industries money. He was looking forwards to coming home to the Tower and putting his feet up, probably whilst his surrogate family cooked him a meal and asked him about his day. As it turned out, that wasn't going to happen.
The Common Room was strangely quiet, although he could hear the odd question from one of the three occupants, which was then answered by someone. There were long pauses between any talking at all. He frowned. He couldn't hear the television on, so they weren't watching a film. He gave up guessing and stepped into the room.
"Hey kids, daddy's home," he proclaimed, heading for the bar. He was stopped in his tracks because not one of his three team members had acknowledged his presence in the room. The three of them were sat with their eyes glued to their laptop screens. They hadn't even glanced up at him.
"What are you all doing?" he asked, a little annoyed at their lack of greeting.
"Minecraft, can't talk now," said Clint. "I've just opened up a cave system. It's dark and dangerous down here and I don't want to lose my stuff."
"Huh, maybe I shouldn't have logged you on to the server. Have you been playing all day? I think Legolas might have an addiction, Romanoff. We should probably organise an intervention before things get too bad," said Tony.
"Can't," said Natasha. "I've got a defensive perimeter to maintain and the creepers are really pissing me off at the moment."
"You're playing Minecraft too? I don't believe it. Bruce, tell me you didn't get sucked into this too," said Tony.
Bruce just gave an apologetic shrug. "Sorry Tony, but I'm way behind these two and I need to mine some resources to catch up. Incidentally, when did they add horses?"
"It's a 1.6 thing," said Tony.
"Is it a mod?" asked Bruce.
"No, it's in vanilla," replied Tony.
"Are you two speaking a foreign language?" asked Steve, coming in with a cup of coffee in one hand and the day's paper in the other. It was one of Steve's favourite ways to spend the afternoon when he had downtime, watching the city whilst sipping his coffee and scanning the paper.
"Uh, no, we're talking about a computer game," said Tony. "A little beyond you, I know."
"I can play computer games," replied Steve, with an annoyed look at Tony. "I just have better things to do with my time, involving the real world."
Four pairs of eyes rested on Steve, and Tony could see the moment that Steve realised that he'd just insulted everyone in the room. The short silence was actually a little painful. Captain America took in the three laptops and fully registered the fact that Tony had been talking about the same game before he spoke again.
"Erm, maybe you should just show me how to play," added Steve. "It could be a good team building exercise."
Clint didn't bother to hide his laughter at that. "Wait until you see Tony's house. I think we're way past team building."
"I just wanted my house to reflect how awesome I am," said Tony. "And of course I had to put my name on it."
"In letters that are sixty blocks high," added Clint, to no one in particular.
"And what is wrong with thinking big?" asked Tony. "You guys can stick to your piddling little ranches and homesteads, I've got machines to craft and I need space. Come on, Steve, I'll show you around."
Tony found a laptop for Steve and then took out his own. The Captain surprised everyone by being remarkably good at the game and taking to it rapidly, despite some early problems with controlling his character using the track pad on the laptop. There was then further confusion when someone referred to his character as Steve and it had to be explained that the generic name for the character in Minecraft was "Steve".
"You can change their clothes too," added Bruce. "There are hundreds of skins to download or you can make your own."
"You didn't tell me that," said Natasha to Clint accusingly. Tony got the impression that Clint had left a lot of stuff out on purpose when he gave Natasha the basics of the game. It didn't seem to matter, Natasha had been simply awesome at mining and building.
"I thought you knew," said Clint. His own skin included a purple t-shirt and shades.
There was then a period of furious skin creation from the newer players and suddenly Natasha's player was wearing her trademark black outfit with yellow belt and Steve's was in something that resembled stars and stripes.
"Oh dear god, what have I done?" asked Tony.
They ordered take-out pizza at some point during the evening because no one wanted to stop for long enough to cook. They even had to bully Bruce into being the one to quit for the ten minutes it took to phone their order in.
Tony's mansion was improved so that it had an intricate computer setup in the basement. Bruce was building a modernist, marble and obsidian cube house that looked pretty stylish, despite the mad scientist labs within and the nuclear reactor out back. Clint's ranch was getting more and more animals corralled within it, whilst also going upwards a floor. Natasha seemed to be building the largest medieval cobblestone fortress that Tony had ever seen, complete with a flaming netherrack moat and a drawbridge. Even Steve was creating a rather palatial looking cottage-shaped house, that came complete with a picket fence and a small-holding growing crops behind it. He hadn't got as far as adding animals to it yet, but he wasn't far behind the others now.
No one went to bed before 4am that night. Clint just gave up and slept on the sofa, whilst Tony fell asleep in the recliner that he'd been sat in. Tony was woken by Clint complaining at his laptop.
"Damn bow. I can't hit the side of a barn with this thing. Whoever programmed it clearly never shot a real one in their entire life," he berated his laptop pounding at the keys, apparently shooting at something.
"I can program you a better one," said Tony, sleepily.
"Sure, it'll be easy," replied Tony. "I'll write a new mod and call it HawkeyeCraft in your honour. It'll be awesome, I promise."
The others got up late and sleepily reclaimed their laptops, while Tony spent the day writing "HawkeyeCraft" a new mod for the latest version of Minecraft that included super accurate bows that only Clint currently had the crafting recipes for. The archer loved it. Everyone else hated it, because suddenly it was all that Clint could talk about and he'd sneak over to their bases and fire off arrows at their livestock from ridiculous distances. Tony gave in and let the recipes leak to the rest of the players, meaning the arms race was a rather short-lived one. Then he released the mod on the open forums and was pleasantly surprised to find that other people seemed to enjoy it too.
Tony added more arrows and better bows. Recurve bows, compound bows, crossbows, arm guards and quivers. The HawkeyeCraft mod had it all, and every single bit of work was worth it because every time he gave Clint a new version, the archer positively grinned.
Ever since Loki, Clint hadn't really looked happy in Tony's opinion. Minecraft seemed to actually make him happy, and, in fact, the entire team seemed to enjoy it. Thor hadn't got involved yet because he was currently visiting Asgard, and Tony wasn't quite sure if an Asgardian would even understand the concept of computer games, so it was probably for the best that he wasn't here. But everyone else was really enjoying this new hobby that they'd collectively found. He'd never have believed that they'd all enjoy playing a computer game together, but maybe Steve's team building exercise remark hadn't been that far off. Days passed while they all logged on and kept playing, usually for several hours each day.
Clint got everyone addicted to Minecraft parody songs for a couple of weeks and Bruce could be heard humming "How do I Craft This Again?" around the Tower. That became slightly more disturbing when Hulk could be heard singing it at the top of his lungs whilst smashing some bad guys. Tony gave up on how he explained that one to Fury and just went with "we were listening to some songs…"
The obsession didn't last, because Natasha's arm healed, and so did Clint's wounds. The two assassins were declared fit and returned to duty, so they just didn't have the hours to put in anymore. Bruce wanted to get back to his research and Tony actually had to spend some time working on the Iron Man suit. Steve was called in to SHIELD to be briefed on a solo mission. They all still played when they had time, but getting everyone online at the same time proved to be too difficult most of the time.
However, Tony had also heard Natasha's squeal of delight when Steve gave her a plush creeper for her birthday that year, despite the way that she'd quickly hidden her reaction and the creeper. He never did find out who got the Minecraft fridge magnets that they all played with whilst waiting for coffee to brew, but his money was on Bruce. Minecraft was still there in the background, it just wasn't the obsession it had been whilst Clint was recovering. More time passed and they started a new world because everyone had got fed up with the old one. It took them all much longer to build their new bases this time.
Tony thought that was pretty much the end of their collective Minecraft playing, but the following Tuesday the world did its best to end. To be fair, it had some help from some guy named Ultron, and afterwards they were all worn out and broken in various ways. They had a lot of healing and recovery ahead of them. Clint was on the sofa with his laptop again.
One by one they all joined him, logged on to the Minecraft server and got lost in their own world of stacking blocks and sniping at creepers. Thor was the last to come and find the group in the Common Room and because he hadn't been there the first time, he asked what they were doing. Tony told him.
"We're playing Minecraft."
"What is this Craft of Mining that you play?"
"It's a world made out of blocks," began Clint, and they got out a spare laptop, handed it to Thor and started to introduce him to the new world.
The evening disappeared with shouts of "I must take my revenge upon the zombie and all of his kind" and "the night holds no fear for a son of Asgard!".