Issue #: 00 - Prologue
Authors: pandanoai and axolotllan
Pairings: Steve/Tony, Hank/Jan, Peter/MJ, etc., etc.
Disclaimer: Marvel's- though we honestly think they abuse Steve and Tony more then we do
Rating: M (yeah… we're off to a great start for something we want everyone to read .)
Warnings: CRAZY pet project of Pandax Productions. Contains slash, copious amounts of random banter, a slight reworking of Marvel canon, and male pregnancy ya heard me! \ o /.
Summary: Life for the Avengers can be wonderful, painful, breath-taking, bone-crushing… all at once.
Acknowledgements: A special thanks to shannanigans85 for inspiring this fic. And of course, thanks ever so much to our lovely beta! This story would be dead from run-on sentences and horrible pacing if not for charlanka. :D
Why it's Called Moth:
MOTH used to be an acronym. We're pretty sure it stood for Matters of the Heart which is something terrifiyingly fluffy so of course I would name it that. But Moth just became the fic itself so that's what we're calling it. It's kind of like SHIELD, you have no clue what it stands for half the time and the other half you don't even care. :D
Why it just HAD to be done:
Well, it all started with a conversation between me and my roomie. Afterwards I remember thinking seriously about my fav fictional couple. Since most of the fanfic I read and write is centered around the Steve/Tony pairing, I wanted to know what might be the next step for them after they got together and knew it would work.
Then I thought, ok what would be the next step for them in their crazy-messed-up-insane lives? Normal occurrences aren't exactly an option for them. Thus Moth was born. I'm pretty sure Lan went along with it because it wasn't mainstream and it satisfied all of her summer fic challenges from her prompt table. :D
Random bits of Canon:
For non-616ers, you might want to wiki the following characters for their major canonical plot points, as they show up in the fic quite a bit:
Hank Pym, Janet Van Dyne, Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson-Parker, Clint Barton, Carol Danvers, Henry "Beast" McCoy, Reed Richards, and Franklin and Valeria Richards.
Special Guest Appearances by:
Nick Fury, James Rhodes, Mrs. Arbogast, Pepper Potts, Luke Cage, Sam Wilson, Jessica Jones-Cage, Danielle Cage, Emma Frost, Sue Richards, Wolverine, the entire cast of the Young Avengers, Mystery Evil Person, and a slightly shaky poodle.
Spoilers go where?
There are spoilers in this fic for Civil War sporadically, Mighty Avengers: The Ultron Initiative specifically, and Marvel back-canon in general up to the fifth issue of Secret Invasion. There are no real spoilers for the Secret Invasion other then-- Skrull came in droves to attack the earth, people and places were absolutely decimated, Tony received an evil Skrull virus that destroyed all of his old tech, and the Helicarrier blew up. Anything else we say about the Skrull War is made up and purely of this AU. We don't really explore the Skrull Invasion much since it's not the focus of this story and we don't know how the SI affected our beloved Marvel Characters psychologically or physically. We mostly use it as fodder to further the storyline.
The only other explanation needed would be where we diverge from Marvel canon. The story starts about a month after the tail end of the Skrull Invasion. The events in The Ultron Initiative (namely Ultron turns Tony into a girl) take place AFTER the Skrull Invasion.
Brand New Day didn't happen. It just didn't. We like Peter and MJ.
Rhodey isn't a cyborg thingy… thank goodness right?
Hank is with the Avengers in a purely support/research capacity.
Oh! And just for your own personal assurances, in our story Tony Stark has a penthouse one floor above the Avenger's floors of the Tower. So it goes roof, Tony's Pent House, the Three Avengers floors, a gym, Tony's office, random labs including one Tony gave Hank, other offices, the main lobby, and underneath the building is Tony's garage. (I was thinking about drawing a diagram .)
Join us! Yes please join us! oO
After our fic is complete feel free to add mothballs of your own. I mean seriously, if you ever wanted Steve and Tony to have a kid and didn't want to do any of the hard work explaining that one away here's your chance.
We hope you all enjoy our insanity!
Issue #: 00- Prologue- Conception
He was back…
Had it really only been a month?
It was almost unbelievable the amount of change one man could affect in such a short amount of time… that was unless you knew Cap.
His return, and their public reconciliation it seemed, was all that was needed. Brilliant men and women were in and out checking on the red, white and blue Avenger to be certain he was himself.
Same said brilliant persons who had previously been informed by the anti-registration side about the growing concern for sleeper agents of the invading Skrull army; Reed, as usual, being the one to figure out how the Skrulls were hiding.
God, how could he have not talked with him about this sooner? Especially considering Reed's extensive Skrull background…
When had he forgotten how to trust anyone? Hadn't the Illuminati been created for that exact purpose?
Anyway one viewed life, nothing was easy. At the heart of it, no matter what words had been said before and during the Civil War, Cap's death had affected them all. After the burial, any depiction portrayed was only as the hero Cap truly was. Tony had made sure of it. It was the least he could do.
Steve was back.
Tony found that for the first time in his life he didn't really care about the why or the consequences of such actions, and he most certainly didn't want to know the how for fear of shattering this dream and losing Cap forever.
He'd learned his lesson with the unThor. Sometimes there were things you didn't know; sometimes you just had to let things be.
And all he wanted was to be with Steve.
But he couldn't find the words. They were lost to him. He'd said them all to a dead man on the SHIELD Helicarrier. He couldn't hope to have him now. To be worthy of someone who could take a broken America, broken heroes, broken families and help them find each other again; A man who could actually save the world.
Cap could help all of them; he could help them because he was a real hero, unlike Tony Stark.
Tony could see his reflection in the glass windows of a skyscraper. Long hair, lips sharper and fuller than before, lashes longer, the weight on his chest unfamiliar but not unappealing.
This was he, Tony Stark, just as he had sometimes fantasized. Thought about secretly when he was younger.
He admired women; they were beautiful and capable and always seemed to have something he wanted. And as an adult, certain thoughts were inevitable… If he were a woman, maybe Steve would want him.
Seeing Cap standing on ground level, saying things he could barely hear, as the Avengers (some old and some new) tried to get his new form to come down... They were trying to reason with him but he wasn't there. He was above them all and she was the one in control.
He couldn't remember much more after that. He woke as a man days later. He was told they were worried about losing him. It rang hollow. He thanked Reed and Hank for putting him right. They tried to get him to remain in the cold hospital bed. They said they'd been having problems with some of the scans.
They thought it might have been interference due to Extremis or Ultron taking him over or whatever. It wasn't their business. And Tony hadn't really been listening…
Normally, he would have cared, he should have cared, should have been interested and even participated in figuring out why they'd had trouble, but really he wasn't in the mood. His life had just been made a public mockery; and he had done things as Ultron...
He didn't want to think about it. Things like that made him thirsty. He couldn't afford it right now. He was fine and he was going home. If something needed to be checked he could do it himself… later.
Returning to the Tower, darkness pervaded the Avengers' floor. Everyone was elsewhere it seemed. The quiet was almost inviting, though Tony had secretly traveled to this floor in hopes of someone to talk to. He shrugged it off and headed back to his room, head bowed, lost in thought.
Suddenly he knocked into someone. A warm solid someone, with the clean sweat smell of Cap. Tony lost his balance but strong arms held him. He didn't fall.
"You're not supposed to be back yet." Came the soft baritone of Cap's voice. He whispered his concerns, always considerate to others possibly sleeping behind the Tower's doors.
"Surprise." Tony wanted to hit himself for all of the things he couldn't say.
Cap shook his head, his arms still holding Tony almost tenderly. The darkness shadowed their features giving a forgiving and almost anonymous feel. Tony considered saying...doing... something even if he had no right to.
"Tony," Cap breathed softly near Tony's body. He could feel it on his neck. "with Ultron, I was so afraid. I had been… and now I'm back and I've thought of all of the things I meant to say, to do." Cap's voice caught. "I thought I was going to lose you… again… before I could ever tell you I-"
Tony pressed forward and kissed Cap's lips. He couldn't let him finish that sentence. He could hope for one fleeting kiss that it meant what he wished it did, and maybe for at least that moment it might be true.
The kiss was light. Cap's mouth was open and loose. Fearing this chance may never come again Tony began to slip his tongue inside the warm cavern of Steve's mouth. He heard a groan slip from Cap, and felt hands grip his arms almost painfully. They shifted closer, and while Tony had initiated the kiss, Cap was now taking full control, pushing Tony up against one of the doors in the hall.
Tony's mind began to reel. Full of desire, he couldn't even think as to which Avenger's room they were up against; it was either Spiderman or Carol's and he wasn't sure he cared.
The arms released him only to loosen his collar and then tighten the embrace once more. Tony writhed against Cap trying to regain control of the kiss. His hands splayed across Cap's back, moving down his spine.
Which of course meant that Steve released him and backed up.
The hall was dark and he could smell Cap so strongly. Echoes of Steve's touch danced across his skin. He heard footsteps moving even further away. His heart was pounding.
This wasn't fair. They were so close. What happened…?
Tony's heart plummeted in his chest. Steve had just come to his senses.
Tony's vision began to blur. Cap was back in Tony's life, but nothing could be like it had been before. He'd just made sure of that…
Tony's entire family had been the Avengers. They had been his home. When that had been destroyed by Wanda's powers, Tony had barely enough strength to pick up the pieces. The one constant in all of this had been Steve. Cap kept Tony focused and they had understood each other as friends, as brothers in arms.
But now Tony had crossed a line. He'd done something that could never be undone. They might have had a chance to revive their old partnership, the way things used to be… that should have been all that Tony had hoped for. But now that Tony had outed himself to Cap, they could never go back. He could never go home again.
With thoughts of Civil War and Ultron and everything else that had happened eating at his brain, Tony heard himself release a short choked sob before slumping to the floor.
The footsteps stopped and the steady tap of feet against floorboard neared.
Looking up, Tony was surprised to see Cap leaning over him. He could feel the pained look on Steve's face even if he could barely see it in the dark.
He felt Cap's calloused hand brush against his brow to cup his cheek and tilt his head up toward him.
"I can't take advantage of you like this."
"Advantage." Tony mouthed the word.
"Tony, I can't just be with you for one night. Especially not this night… after everything you've been through," Cap looked at Tony on the floor. He looked away. "You're vulnerable right now. I couldn't in any good conscience…"
"Cap," Tony interrupted him. "Steve. Who are you to decide whether or not I'm vulnerable… or want this? And not for just one night. I kissed you."
Tony batted Cap's hand away. "If you don't want me say it… but don't leave me like this. I've spent half a year, with the war --and after-- without you."
Tony looked up at Cap through the shadows. "I've also spent more than a decade with you in it, wanting you more than life itself! I don't deserve you. But this whole thing has shown me that even if I don't, it doesn't mean I shouldn't try because… I lov—because I need you and I regret it everyday that I waited until it was too late to tell you… last time. I can't make that mistake again."
I won't survive that mistake again.
Cap was instantly holding him once more, but now the hands were light and warm. The hug itself was undemanding, but the kiss that followed was a promise.
Pulling his lips away, Cap's breath hot by his ear, the blond released a guttural whisper, "Tony, if you want this to last, I don't ever want to hear you saying something like that about yourself. You fucking well deserve to be loved."
Tony eyes went wide. He released a shaky breath.
When the profanity left Cap's lips, Tony's fading arousal peaked once more and their next kiss was passionate and primal. This was about need and want.
Moving against each other more quickly now, Tony felt hands helping him to his feet and unbuttoning his shirt while he himself reached for the clasps on the crotch of Cap's uniform beneath the hem of his pants.
This time it was Cap who ended up pressed hard against the same mystery Avenger's door...
Feeling Tony's motions, Cap shifted, groaning, and slammed his elbow into the oak door splintering it slightly and rattling its hinges.
Like shocked teenagers, the pair grabbed their abandoned clothing and held hands running to Cap's room. Tony's might have been more luxurious but it was an entire floor above them… and honestly, who could wait?
In Cap's room the pair caught their breath. Well Tony did. Cap was too busy laughing.
Tony looked around the room. It was decorated in modesty, containing mostly bookshelves and art supplies, while the shield hung lovingly above the bed. Tony located a lamp and turned on. It bathed them in a warm glow and created a peaceful ambiance, one that didn't break the atmosphere. At least not anymore than Cap's deep chuckle. The sound of it made Tony's body fill with heat.
By the lamp Tony noticed a photo of himself and Cap with the original Avengers, his arm over Cap's shoulder. Knowing that the items in this room were everything Cap held dear Tony allowed himself to smile as he realized that he himself loved this photo so much he'd had a portrait commissioned of it for the Avengers Mansion. It had miraculously survived the destruction and now stood, slightly worse for the wear, above his bed upstairs in the same position Cap's shield was now displayed.
Tony turned to Cap, when the other man had finally contained his laughter. Determined to get the mood back, Tony moved forward, and grabbed at the arm that had hit the door. There wasn't even a bruise but Tony slipped his tongue out and lightly twirled it around the area. Pulling away, he blew on the slight wet trail before ending with a kiss.
"That feel better?" He smirked, looking at Cap invitingly.
This was enough to cause determined hands to release his belt buckle, pants slipping easily to the floor without them. He pulled down Steve's own night clothes, revealing Cap's uniform pants still on. He couldn't help but smile as he moved his head down level with Cap's hip and used his mouth to open the last clasp on Cap's costume.
Tony was an expert at getting people out of clothing.
Cap mumbled happily as Tony pulled down his blue scaled pants.
Before he could even touch Cap he heard Steve gasping the word bed while carding his hand through Tony's hair. Tony moved away and tried to stand; Cap pulled him up the rest of the way and steadied him on top of the white quilted covers.
Hours went by before they woke to crusted sheets and the smell of sex. Cap stepped into the shower first. After he finished, he said he would meet Tony in the kitchen and gave him a kiss.
Tony took a long warm shower thinking of what they would do now. Of everything that could finally be said.
Walking back into the room he borrowed a shirt and boxers off of Cap, and threw everything else, including the bedding, into the laundry shoot. He was glad he paid his people well… They certainly put up with a lot from him.
Stumbling for lack of caffeine, Tony moved to the dinette attached to the kitchen. Seated there already was Peter, who immediately turned to him apologizing.
His brain was still half asleep. He couldn't seem to get a word Pete was saying. Finally, Cap peeked around from the kitchen with two plates of waffles and, thank God, coffee.
As he began sipping it, he heard Cap tell Peter to speak slowly and clearly...
"I woke up and I swear the door was just like that, I don't sleep walk anymore. That's why I have MJ, she keeps me still- sometimes. I mean obviously we… but I dunno how the door broke…" Peter looked about ready to cry.
It took all of Tony's willpower not to spray his coffee across the table. Cap let out a soft chuckle before looking at him beyond where Peter sat.
And for the first time in a long time Tony felt loved.
"What, what are you guys smiling about?"
He was home.