Title: Deep Phases
Author: Del Rion
Fandom: The Avengers & Iron Man (MCU)
Timeline: Marked at the top of each chapter.
Genre: Drama, angst, hurt/comfort
Rating: K - M / FRC - FRM (individual ratings marked at the top of each chapter)
Summary: Short and thoughtful stories taking place throughout the "Turquoise" series.
All characters (so far; chapter-specific list at the top of each part):
Nick Fury, Tony Stark (Iron Man). Also: Bruce Banner (Hulk), Steve Rogers (Captain America).
Pairings (so far; chapter-specific list at the top of each part):
Warnings (so far; chapter-specific list at the top of each part):
Implied/mentioned suicide mission.
Disclaimer: Iron Man, Avengers and Marvel Cinematic Universe, including characters and everything else, belong to Marvel, Marvel Studios, Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, Shane Black, Louis Leterrier, Kenneth Branagh, Joe Johnston, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Universal Pictures. In short: I own nothing; this is pure fiction created to entertain likeminded fans for no profit whatsoever.
Beta: Mythra (mythras-fire)
Feedback: Much appreciated and cherished.
About Deep Phases: These are a collection of shorter stories that take place anywhere in the "Turquoise" series. They are missing scenes, extensions, small moments, character studies or just pieces that wouldn't stand alone very well.
In general: deep, dramatic, meaningful little moments.
Each part starts with a list unique to that chapter: it includes the timeline in relation to the rest of the series (no, these parts are not written in chronological order with each other or the rest of the series), along with the chapter-specific rating, lists of characters, pairings and warnings, as well as a summary. Please pay attention to that header in case of triggering content!
1: Request and Reply was inspired by an avengerkink prompt (avengerkink . livejournal . c0m /6565 . html ?thread=11936421 - see full prompt on the site!)
Chapters and statuses (so far): Below you see the writing process of the story's chapters. If there is no text after the chapter's title, then it is finished and checked. Possible updates shall be marked after the title.
1: Request and Reply (takes place after "Nuking the Stars")
. . .
Timeline: After "Nuking the Stars".
Rating: K+ / FRC
Characters: Nick Fury, Tony Stark (Iron Man). Also: Bruce Banner (Hulk), Steve Rogers (Captain America).
Summary: After debriefing the team there are some things Fury needs to talk to Tony about – for both their sakes; it isn't as much about clearing the air as it is so make sure they're on the same wavelength about Tony flying a nuclear missile into outer space.
Warnings: Implied/mentioned suicide mission.
Inspired by: An avengerkink prompt: Fury knew it was suicide.
1: Request and Reply
Somewhere outside New York City, NY, USA
"Stark," Fury called out as the debriefing came to its much-anticipated end. "A word."
Tony sighed and rotated his body to retake his seat while the other Avengers cleared out of the room. A few of them gave him peculiar looks and Tony half-expected that this had to do with the fact that he had come a little late to the meeting.
As the door closed, leaving Tony and Nick Fury alone in the small conference room, an awkward silence stretched out for a few seconds. Tony didn't volunteer to say anything, seeing as this wasn't his idea, and Fury scowled at him with his one eye until he seemed to reach a decision.
"We need to talk about the missile."
"Not you, too," Tony rolled his eyes. "Next time I'll just let it drop on the Capitol –"
"The other missile."
"Oh." Tony shut his mouth with a snap. "Why?" he asked when Fury refused to explain himself further. The first missile still gave him nightmares although he was hopeful those might become less frequent in the aftermath of his second missile-related adventure; he had no desire to talk of either one, least of all with the director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
"I need to know we're on the same page about what happened during the Battle of New York," Fury finally chose to elaborate.
"What, you think I'm going to sue you for space-related trauma?" Tony snorted.
"When that missile was headed for New York, I called you," Fury stated. "I knew what you would do – what you had to do, in order to save thousands of lives." He paused, either for effect or because the thought actually pained him. "I asked you to sacrifice your life."
Tony could have shrugged it off or simply stated that he was fine and everything had worked out in the end. However, now that Fury had mentioned it, his thoughts flew right back to those few crucial seconds of making the fateful decision that almost took his life. "I made a choice," he replied, looking at the empty table but not seeing it, his vision blurring a little between now and then. He could almost hear the Chitauri weapons… "You gave me the information and I did with it as I saw fit."
"Do you think I didn't know for a second what I was asking you to do?" Fury asked.
Tony forced himself to look up at him, and this time he had no difficulty choosing between the patch and the eye. "Did you know?" he challenged, although his tone was more subdued than he liked. "I could have pulled some genius trick out of the back pocket of my suit."
"I knew," Fury stated slowly, meaningfully, and it sounded like the air he needed to voice the words was sharp like razors. "I accepted that you weren't coming back."
"Well, I did come back," Tony said and shrugged to make himself let go of the memory – to convey he wasn't troubled by it. "We both made the choice, Nick – the only choice available to us in that short time frame." He didn't mean to blurt it out – not like that – but the words were there and Tony felt a bit better afterwards.
It was hard to tell whether the other man felt the same, but Fury nodded and seemed content for the time being.
"Are we done here?" Tony asked, trying to appear nonchalant again; to wear the attitude like an armor against the deepest, darkest moment in the Battle of New York. No one but them had known the weight of Fury's words, exactly as they were, as well as the implication they had held without actually being voiced. Tony preferred not to linger on it now that he was finally feeling like he had gotten some closure.
"Yeah, we're done," Fury agreed and Tony got up and left the room before the director could change his mind.
Tony had barely turned a corner when he almost literally ran into Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner who were standing in the hallway, strategically positioned so that they could not miss it when Tony left the conference room.
"What was that about?" Banner asked.
"A nice little bonding moment over missile-related incidents," Tony revealed because it might come up later and he wasn't in a mood to construct a white lie.
Rogers' face darkened a little. "You talked about the Battle of New York?"
Tony prepared himself for a resounding 'no', having no idea how Rogers had immediately jumped to the right conclusion. His face must have betrayed his true feelings, however, because Rogers sighed, tried to relax his shoulders – which made them look even stiffer when he failed – and the blue eyes tried to meet Tony's.
"I know we haven't talked about it," the blond started.
"And we won't," Tony interrupted him. "I don't need to hear it. Any of it."
"Even if it might be an apology?" Banner asked, receiving a surprised and somewhat annoyed look from Rogers. It was clear their leader hadn't planned on going as far as apologizing for the things he may have said the last time they were together on the Helicarrier, but it was also obvious Banner thought it was going to happen, and perhaps that pissed off Rogers the most: because he knew it, too.
"Especially if it's an apology," Tony decided, because he didn't want to put them all through that.
Not yet, anyway.
There might be a day, much like this, when they finally needed to hash out the whole 'lay down on the wire' thing, but that wasn't today and Rogers looked relieved when he was let off the hook.
"I'm hungry," Tony declared. "Anyone else?"
"Always," Rogers agreed, and Banner trailed behind them towards the hangar and their ride back to town.
- the end -