It's Not a Competition Unless I'm Winning
"So what's the plan?" Harry asked, after they touched ground in New York City.
Captain America took charge immediately. "We need to contain the invasion until we can get rid of Loki." He spend a minute telling each of the others what to do, before turning to Harry. "Potter. I don't know what you and your sister can do, so…"
Harry nodded. "Got it. I think I'll fly and help out Tony." He turned towards Raven.
His 'sister' took a demonstrative step towards Black Widow. "I'll stay here, Master. I want to be able to tell everyone how I fought side by side with the great Natasha Romanov."
"Fair enough. I'll see you later then." He summoned his broom out of his bag, reversed the shrinking charm and took of immediately.
Once he had caught up with Tony, the Iron Man looked over towards him and nearly flew into a house. "Are you actually riding a broom?" Harry heard over the communications device.
"Isn't that a little bit too cliché?"
"Maybe a little," Harry admitted, "but it's fun."
"Still, couldn't you at least ride something a little less cliché? Like a Dragon or something?"
Harry snorted. "Been there, done that. Let me tell you, it's not half as great as you'd think it is."
Tony was silent for a little while, before he replied. "Alright, I need to hear that story later. And I need to stop being surprised by everything you say and do. And probably if we all want to survive this mess, then I should do those things in reverse order."
"Don't worry. I've been told I have that effect on people." Harry laughed.
"I can imagine."
They were interrupted by Captain America's angry voice. "Leave the chit chat for later and focus on the enemy."
Just as he said it, a large crowd of chitauri air hovering devices turned around a corner around five hundred feet ahead. Harry smiled. "Finally, some fun."
"Master, I'm in the lead against Black Widow!" Harry heard Raven's excited voice after five minutes or so.
"That's hardly fair." Black Widow complained. "You seem to be able to kill things with a look or a touch. I need to actually land a killing blow."
"Poo, you shouldn't have agreed to our bet then."
"I didn't agree to a bet."
"Yes you did. The one where you can't sleep with my Master if I win. I have to defend my Master's virtue." Harry resisted the urge to facepalm.
"I never said I wanted to sleep with him. Don't say things like that when other people can hear." Black Widow's voice sounded slightly panicked.
"Well, unless you step up your game, you won't get to anyway."
Tony seemed unable to keep out of the conversation any longer. "I guess you don't get a lot of action with a sister like that, Harry." He observed with a snicker.
"Actually," Harry corrected, "she does approve of a couple of people and somehow managed to convince them it's best for everyone if they share me."
There was a sudden shattering sound behind Harry. He turned to see Tony lying in the remains of a desk just behind a broken window. "Did you say they share you?" He asked while trying to get back to his feet.
"Yeah." Harry confirmed, smirking towards Tony. "Don't ask me how Raven managed to talk them into that, though."
"You don't suppose I could borrow your sister for a little while, do you?"
"No way, I stay with Master." Raven piped up again.
"Can we please get back to the matter at hand?" Captain America complained, not for the first time during the battle.
"I would still like to have it cleared up that I never said I wanted to sleep with Potter."
"Judging by your current kill count, it would be a disappointing encounter for Master anyway."
"What? Take that back!"
"Nope." Raven teased, popping the 'p' for good measure.
"Take it back." Black Widow growled. "I'm a goddess in bed."
There was another shattering sound behind Harry, when Tony flew into another window.
"You won't get to prove it unless you win our wager." Raven responded without losing a beat.
"This isn't a competition." Captain America reminded them.
"Says the guy losing to the two girls." Raven quipped.
"I'm not… it's… ARGH! Potter, do something about your sister."
Harry snorted. "Right. You first, Captain." Yes, he decided, he hadn't had that much fun in ages.
When he had time to pause for a minute, Harry looked up at the huge portal in the sky. Luna never said anything that should be taken literally, but in this case he couldn't help but think about the warning Astoria had given him from her. "Guys?"
"Yes?" The other Avengers asked back.
"When I talked to my friends earlier, one of them had a warning for me. Now, her warnings are rarely to be taken literally but in this case I'm not sure."
"What was it?" Captain America asked panting a little from his last fight, whatever it had been.
"She said that if I needed to close an intergalactic portal, I should make sure to get rid of the nuclear rocket first."
There was silence for a few seconds. Then, Tony responded "That sounds awfully applicable to our situation. Just need a nuclear rocket."
"That's why I thought I should point it out to you." Harry agreed. "Better safe than sorry."
"That's usually a good approach with nuclear weapons." Tony quipped. "Alright, so I guess if anyone sees a nuclear rocket flying by, let us know."
"Did your friends give you any other warnings?" Captain America wanted to know.
"Well… yes." Harry replied hesitatingly.
"What were they?"
"The Nargles are flying low today."
"The what now?" Tony asked in confusion.
"What are those?"
Harry shook his head. "To be honest, I don't really know. They are invisible magical creatures that go into your head and make your thoughts fuzzy, according to Luna."
"And what does it mean they are flying low?" Black Widow questioned.
Harry winced. "It can mean any number of things."
"Give us an idea of the range of different meanings."
"Well, it could mean that the market price for gold is about to plummet. Or that Luna's horny."
"Those are two rather different things." Black Widow observed.
"They are." Harry agreed.
There was silence over the comms for a few moments. Then Captain America instructed in an uncertain voice "Alright, why don't you keep us updated on that."
"Will do." Harry acknowledged.
Natasha was annoyed. The reason for her annoyance stood about a metre to her left, and was busy making her feel inadequate.
"One-hundred thirty-seven. One-hundred thirty-eight." Natasha growled and aimed her guns at twelve chitauri storming in their direction, trying to ignore Raven's mocking counting. However, before she could shoot even one bullet, every single one of the twelve chitauri suddenly fell lifelessly to the ground. "One-hundred fifty."
"Hey, those were mine!" Natasha complained.
"Didn't see your name on them." Raven shot back. "You snooze, you lose."
"No those were obvious kill steals. I demand they be counted for me."
Natasha narrowed her eyes. Sure, it may be cheating to have Raven's kills counted for her but she was a spy. She wasn't above cheating to win a competition. "Can I get a ruling from one of you guys please?" She sweetly asked the others over the communication device.
Captain America was the first to reply. "Concentrate! This is not a game or a competition."
"Shut up." Natasha dismissed him. "I need a serious ruling here. Those kills were clearly mine."
"Those kills should be Spider's." Tony agreed with her. "I could never stand in the way of another man getting lucky."
Natasha blinked. She had forgotten about the nature of Raven's pretended wager. Then she shrugged to herself. She wasn't above using sex to win a competition either. "Hah!" She shouted triumphantly.
"Not fair!" Her opposition wined. "Master, say something."
Potter snorted. "I'm not getting between you and an internationally renowned assassin, Raven. You started this, you finish it on your own."
Natasha saw the girl pout. "Meh, stupid Master." Then she turned away, back towards the direction that most of their enemies came from. She snapped her fingers, and a huge group of chitauri fell to the ground, never getting up.
"One-hundred seventy-five." Raven counted mockingly.
"Oh for heaven's sake." Natasha growled, before she started shooting with increased speed. She was not going to lose against someone who didn't even have a weapon.
"Okay, I'm bringing the party to you guys." Tony warned, as he flew ahead of the giant wormlike creature.
"Yay!" Raven squealed.
"I don't see how that's a party." Black Widow pointed out.
Suddenly, Harry saw Raven vanish from her spot on Black Widow's side and appear again right in front of the worm. Then she leaned in and gave the ugly creature a kiss on its cheek. Immediately, the worm crashed to the ground, obviously dead. Harry facepalmed.
"Potter? Did I just see your sister kill a giant space worm with a kiss?" Hawkeye's question came over the ear piece a little later.
Harry sighed. He just wished he was more surprised than he actually was. "Right. About that… Raven?"
"Yes, Master?" Raven answered sweetly.
"If you have to take on the giant space worms, can you maybe try and find a way to kill them without kissing them? Or at least do it where I can't see you. I don't need the image of my sister kissing… well, anything really."
"You got it, Master."
Then a huge groaning sound could be heard from the direction of the portal, and Harry watched as seven more of the worms came through the hole in the sky.
"Just to set down the rules, they may be giant space worms, but they still only count as one kill." Black Widow said quickly.
"This isn't a competition." Captain America repeated. He was ignored.
"I have two-hundred fifty-two now." Raven announced proudly.
"One-hundred thirteen." Black Widow responded morosely.
Raven simply snickered as a reply, which in turn caused Black Widow to snarl.
"THIS IS NOT A… ah, who cares." Captain America sighed resignedly. "Eighty-nine."
"Yay, that's the spirit." Raven squealed.
"Sure, him you cheer for." Black Widow complained. "I thought I was your hero or something."
"Yup, but Captain doesn't want to take my Master's virtue."
"I never said I want to… You know what, fine. I will win this imagined wager of yours, and then I'll seduce Potter and sneak in a camera and then I'll make you watch the film for twenty-four hours without pause."
"You do realise I can hear you?" Harry asked interestedly. Not that him knowing about that plan necessarily meant he would do something to prevent it if Black Widow actually tried.
"Also, I'd like to have a copy of the video. For research purposes." Tony requested, after he recovered from flying into yet another window.
"NO!" Harry, Black Widow and Raven replied all at the same time.
Clint blinked a couple of times, not really believing what he was seeing. Maybe it was an illusion. A trick the light played on him, or something like that.
No, there it definitely was again. A huge, green rage-monster jumping from building to building with a happily squealing and giggling girl on his shoulder.
"Your sister is a little crazy, isn't she, Potter?" Clint asked while trying hard not to lose his aim due to the distraction of a rage-monster with a girl on his shoulder flying by periodically.
Potter snorted. "Doctor Banner says and I quote 'That's the secret, I'm always angry' and then proceeds to turn into a large, green monster. And you think Raven is the one who's crazy."
Clint nodded. That point was well taken, even though it didn't really contradict his original statement. "I never said she was the only crazy one around."
There was a little bit of silence. "Oh… okay that's alright then."
"Hey!" The girl in question complained.
"You know he's right, Raven." Potter pointed out indulgingly. Raven huffed. "Hey, it's meant as a compliment. I like crazy."
"Suddenly I'm not at all in a hurry to meet your girlfriends, Potter." Tony interrupted.
"You'd love them." Potter remarked.
Tony didn't lose a beat. "Maybe, but in how much danger of dying would I be around them?"
That seemed to cut Potter off short. "Err..."
"You seriously need to think before answering that question!?" Clint, Natasha and Tony asked nearly at the same time.
"Well, think about Natasha, and then consider what kind of girls Raven allows me to date." Potter simply deadpanned in response.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Natasha asked dangerously.
However, Clint and Tony dutifully ignored her. "Fair enough."
"Hey!" Natasha complained. "Traitors!"
"Not to distract you from this very important discussion..." For some reason Clint couldn't quite fathom, the Captain's voice sounded rather strained, "but what are Hulk and Potter's sister actually doing?"
"I think... yes, they just got rid of all the space worms." Tony answered after a brief pause to look around.
"Oh... okay... never mind then." The Captain stuttered.
"By the way, did I mention that I knocked out Selvig and am ready to close the portal?" Natasha asked.
"No you didn't!" Everyone but Potter shouted.
"Huh, well better late than never." The others could practically hear Natasha shrug through the microphone.
"I guess it's time to bring this party to a close, then." Tony announced. "Wait... no. What is... Oh, come on!"
"What is it?" Potter asked curiously.
"That nuclear missile your researcher friend warned us about..."
"Actually, she is one of my girlfriends, too." Potter clarified in a fond voice.
"The one you talked to or the one who had her deliver the warning?" Tony questioned.
"Both, actually." Potter admitted.
"Could we please talk about the nuclear missile first and about Potter's love live later?" Captain bit out.
"Ah, yes, right. Nuclear missile." Tony seemed to get back on track. "Yes, well, the nuclear missile Potter's girlfriends warned us about was just launched and will arrive here in a couple of minutes."
"..." There were a few seconds of silence while everyone considered that piece of information, before Natasha asked "So... you're saying I should wait with closing the portal?"
"But how would we get the nuclear weapon through the portal?" Captain wondered worriedly.
"I know how." Tony answered, with a resigned but determined voice. "I can use my suit to fly the rocket through the portal myself."
"That's suicide, Stark." Captain shouted.
"Anyone got a better idea?" Tony asked sharply.
"I thought so."
Just as Clint watched Tony turn around to fly towards the missile, Potter stopped him. "Wait. I'm getting a mirror call." Everyone held their breath while listening to Potter talk on the mirror. "Yes, Story? I'm a bit busy right now... Yes, the nuclear weapon should be here in a couple of minutes... Oh, okay?... okay... I see, well that would work, I guess... You'll send it over right away?... That's great... I'll make sure to get Pudding for you and Luna on the way home... yes, I'll bring strawberries, too... What would you want a wedding cake for?... Alright, alright, I'll bring a wedding cake as well... No I can't bring you another nuclear weapon to experiment with... yes, I am certain... don't look at me like that, Story... Look, I'll ask whether I can get some of the alien bodies for you to experiment on, okay?... Great, now I really have to go... you'll send Fawkes as soon as you finish the call... Wonderful, see you tonight." When the call was apparently finished, Potter addressed the rest of the team. "You guys think it'd be fine if I took ten or so of the alien bodies and maybe one or two of the worms?"
"What about the nuclear weapon, Potter?" Captain urged.
"Oh, right. Luna and Astoria have a device ready that we can attach to the rocket in order to make it fly through the nearest galactic portal. I should get it any moment now... Ah..."
From his position, Clint could see a ball of flame appear in front of Potter, turn into a red and golden bird, drop something into Potter's hands, turn back into a ball of flame and disappear.
"Potter?" Clint asked carefully.
"Did you just get a Deus Ex Machina device delivered by some sort of firebird?"
"He's a Phoenix." With that, Potter vanished from the spot where he had hovered on his broom. A few moments later he announced "Alright, that worked. Nuclear missile now headed towards portal."
"Okay then..." Tony said slowly. "On the one hand, that was rather anti-climatic. But on the other hand, I didn't die. So I feel that I can declare this a glass-half-full situation."
"So... I guess we'll all just head to the tower to confront Loki then?" Clint suggested insecurely.
"I'll meet you there in a bit. Just making sure the missile doesn't meet with any stray Citauri on the way up there."
"... good thinking, Potter." Captain agreed. "Alright then, everyone but Potter to the tower. Let's teach that wannabe god never to underestimate Earth again."
"So, in the great scheme of things, I would think this could've been a lot worse." Tony concluded, as he and the other avengers sat in the Shwarma Restaurant together. "Agent Romanov, I just want to state officially that I approve of your new relationship with Agent Potter here."
"I never said I wanted to be his girlfriend, Stark." Natasha reminded him. "It was only about the sex..." Clint, Bruce and Captain, who all had coincidentally decided to use that moment to take a sip from their drink, collectively spit their drinks across the table and then started coughing violently. Tony congratulated himself for resisting the urge to take a drink himself just now. Natasha just looked at the men in an unimpressed way, then cleared her throat and continued. "Anyway, I never actually managed to finish Raven's challenge, so it's a moot point anyway."
"Oh, about that..." Raven interrupted cheerily. "Your killcount may have been... disappointing," Natasha gritted her teeth but didn't reply, "but you were the first to the Portal. So I'll make an exception. You may become one of Master's girlfriends."
Natasha frowned. "I just told you, I'm not interested in anything long term."
"Oh, don't worry about that." Raven waved the concern away. "After trying sex with my Master once, you will be. After all, Master can..." Raven leaned over to whisper into Natasha's ear and no matter how much Tony strained his hearing, he couldn't catch a single word. A second later the blush on Natasha's face told Tony he had really missed something. "And also..." Again, Tony couldn't hear anything, but Natasha's blush deepened greatly. "Then there is..." By this point, Tony was only surprised that steam didn't come out of Natasha's ears or something like that. "Not to mention..." Tony's eyes went wide when Natasha actually started drooling and one of her hands started travelling down her body. "And finally..."
"Err..." The internationally acclaimed, cold-blooded assassin that was Natasha Romanov stuttered haltingly. "Would it... would it be possible to get... something like a trial run before... I decide?"
"Certainly." Raven agreed with a smile. "Would tonight suit you?"
"Perfect." Natasha agreed.
"Do I get any say in this whatsoever?" Potter questioned.
"No." Raven and Natasha answered as one.
Potter shrugged. "Okay, just making sure. But you should know that I already told Luna and Astoria I would meet with them tonight, as thanks for their help with the nuclear missile."
"Goody." Raven clapped happily at those news. "Luna is even better at convincing girls to join the harem than Master is himself. I'm so excited. Today I rode the Hulk, and by sunrise tomorrow my Master will become the boyfriend of the actual Black Widow. This is the best day of my life."
"Also, we did stop a megalomaniac god and his army of aliens from invading earth." Captain pointed out.
Raven just peered at him, clearly not understanding why that should rate the same level of importance.
Captain sighed. "Just... continue."
Hope you enjoyed this little story. I certainly had fun writing it. See you around :)