Title: Bar Tab
Author: Jordanna Morgan
Archive Rights: Please request the author's consent.
Characters: Thor and Tony Stark.
Setting: Sometime prior to Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Summary: Thor gets a lesson in responsibility from the most unlikely of people.
Disclaimer: They belong to Marvel. I'm just playing with them.
Notes: Written for the prompt of "Check" at Fan Flashworks.
It started as a celebratory outing after a successful dismantling of a Hydra base, and it ended as these things usually did: with a barroom brawl instigated by Thor over some perceived slight to his honor.
Between them, the rest of the Avengers finally managed to break up the hostilities between the Asgardian and a whole pack of surly bikers (although Tony was pretty sure Natasha took every opportunity to get a few cracks in during the confusion, just for the fun of it). …That is, it was the rest of the Avengers except for Bruce, who spent the entire incident crouching behind an overturned table. Which, granted, was less cowardice and more a strong desire not to be triggered into going full Hulk by an impact from a flying whiskey bottle. Discretion being the better part of valor, and all that.
In any case, the aftermath of a war between one Norse demigod and a dozen drunk mortals looked very much as one might expect. Few pieces of furniture, and none of the booze bottles that once stood on the shelves behind the bar, were still in one piece. The scenery was reduced to a wasteland of shattered glass and broken wood.
Faced with the extremely irate proprietor, Thor merely laughed and waved a hand in Tony's direction. "Not to worry, my friend. He'll take care of the damages."
That was when Tony dropped the bombshell.
"Uh, sorry. I'm done doing that."
The smile was instantly wiped from Thor's face.
"What do you mean?" He sidled toward Tony, looking positively confused. "But you've always paid in these circumstances."
"And how many times have we had these 'circumstances' now?" Tony shook his head as he began to turn away. "That's enough. I'm not picking up the check for recreational fistfights anymore. A bar tab isn't supposed to include the cost of the bar."
As Thor followed the billionaire, an almost comical expression of growing anxiety crept over his features. "But after all, a few chairs and cases of alcohol—that's merely pocket change to you. And besides, you've never complained about the cost when he levels entire buildings!" He gestured toward Bruce, who automatically groaned and covered his face with his hand.
"Yeah, no. The whole Hulk-smash thing is in the line of duty. This is apparently the Asgardian idea of a hobby." Tony spread his hands to indicate the wreckage around them. "It's not about the money, Thor. It's about you being… irresponsible with other people's stuff." He grimaced at himself, remembering how many lectures exactly like this one he had received from his father—and had never even thought about listening to until, well, pretty recently in fact. "Sorry, but on Earth we have this little thing called boundaries, and it's about time you learned them. You're on your own with this one."
With that, Tony strode out of the bar. Over his shoulder he heard Thor address himself to the proprietor once again—this time with considerably more nervousness.
"…Right. So, I'm afraid I don't happen to have any of your Earth currency on me…"
Thor eventually made a deal to pay off the damages with a series of well-publicized autograph sessions at the bar. The eight-by-ten glossies made a handsome profit at twenty bucks a pop, to say nothing of the bump in alcohol sales.
It must be said that he didn't completely give up picking fights with Earthlings who affronted him. However, for those occasions when he just couldn't resist, he now made sure he carried enough Asgardian gold to compensate the aggrieved barkeeps he left in his wake.
Tony decided that compromise was just responsible enough.
2017 Jordanna Morgan