Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow © Lionsgate/Marvel
Next Avengers: Son of Ultron
Chapter 03: Of Girls, and Boys.
A week had gone by since the "Teen Avengers" brought home Flynn Foster. and, while they continued to retrieve more human survivors, Flynn remains the most mysterious of them.
mainly, because they still had no idea who he really is, or where he's from.
On the bright side, Flynn's vocabulary had increased to the point that he was forming longer sentences (Though his reffering to himself in third person showed he still had a ways to go.)
it was also quite clear that Flynn bonded more with Torunn than he did the others (a fact that Francis was quick to poke fun at.)
But, James was less concerned about it than Francis, and let Torunn be Flynn's 'closest friend' and do what she had to.
[The Savage Lands, Morning]
As the sun rose and the chorus of prehistoric animals began to sound, Torunn opened her sky blue eyes. she yawned real loudly, and arched out her back as she rose from her bed.
she then looked across her room..and, saw that Flynn was still sleeping in his bed.
Though many protested the idea of Torunn and Flynn sharing the same room together (well, Francis mostly) the asgardian girl was adamant that she didn't want Flynn to be alone, and sharing the same room would be helpful in his "development"
James (while equally concerned over "some strange boy" sleeping in the same room as his surrogate sister) knew better than to argue with the 'Daughter of Thor', and allowed it to happen.
Needless to say..Torunn's belief was well founded, and Flynn had indeed become more sociable the longer he spent with her.
Torunn smiled as she watched Flynn sleep. she finally got out of bed (revealing that she was wearing a simple nightgown) and made her way to a blind where she quickly stripped and put on her traditional asgardian armor.
..it didn't take very long.
Torunn than approached Flynn. pausing for a moment, the blonde finally nudged him gently. "flynn..Flynn, it's time to wake up."
Flynn's eyes fluttered open. he yawned, then at last looked up at Torunn.
"Did you sleep well?" asked Torunn, speaking in a kind voice that only Flynn was accustomed to
"hmm..yes." replied Flynn "Flynn sleep okay. had another "sleep story."
"You mean a Dream." said Torunn, by now understanding what Flynn really meant when he used the wrong words for something.
"What was it about?!"
Flynn took a moment to think. "Flynn..doesn't know. dream was strange."
"Perhaps if you explain it to me, I can help you make sense of it." said Torunn
Flynn paused for a moment..a bewildered look on his face. "In..Flynn's dream, Flynn was in a dark room. It felt cold, and Flynn was scared."
"go on." said Torunn, curious
"Flynn saw red eyes in the dark..many red eyes watching Flynn. Flynn was on a table, Flynn's arms and legs strapped down..a-and, then..Flynn was-" Flynn stopped right there.
"What?, you were strapped down and then What?!" Flynn looked right as the 'Thorsdottir' "Flynn..can't remember."
Torunn exhaled softly. "well..if that is all you can remember, then I guess we cannot help that."
"What does Flynn's dream mean?" asked Flynn, innocently. Torunn was at a loss for words. "I'm..not really sure, Flynn. my best guess is that you had a nightmare about Ultron."
Flynn tilted his head like a puppy, apparently confused. "Nightmare?..what is a "Nightmare?!"
"a nightmare is like a dream..only it's scary, and usually reflect our fears. other times, they can be an omen..or, bad memories that we are trying to forget."
Flynn stared at Torunn. "Does..Torunn have nightmares?" Torunn froze at this..she then let out a pained sigh. "sometimes..yes."
"What are Torunn's nightmares?" Torunn looked at Flynn. "they are..a little complicated."
"Torunn listen to Flynn..Now, Flynn listen to Torunn."
Torunn exhaled sharply. she then sat down on the bedside near Flynn. "We..I, haven't really explain our purpose to you."
Flynn didn't say anything..he only stared at his friend as she continued speaking.
"Ever since I was but a baby, myself and my "brothers" were told the story of our parents: The Avengers.
how together, they protected and saved the world from many threats to it..the greatest of all being Ultron."
Torunn sighed sharply as she paused for a moment. "shortly..after our birth, Ultron returned even more powerful than ever. he was too great for even the Avengers to overcome.
So..we were all taken away to a safe place, a place where Ultron couldn't get to us..where we could grow, and someday avenge our families and the world they failed to save."
"What does that have to do with Torunn's nightmares?" asked Flynn
Torunn shut her eyes, tears escaping them. "because..I failed my mission. and, my failure cost the life of one I considered a father..and, maybe even any hope for the future."
despite her best attempt..Torunn began to break down in tears. as she silently cried, she felt a soft, gentle hand holding hers. she looked, and saw Flynn looking at her with very soft, caring eyes. "Don't cry, Torunn."
"but, it's my fault..I thought I could stop Ultron by throwing him into space. but he came back, and killed Tony and Bruce right before our eyes." Torunn wiped a tear from her eye. "now..only Vision is the only remaining Avenger on earth. and, how long until I fail HIM as well?!"
as Torunn cried more..Flynn put his arms around the girl, hugging her. "Torunn..made mistake. but, Torunn also saved Flynn: Torunn NOT a failure."
Torunn looked at Flynn with wide, tear filled eyes..she then smiled, choking up a bit. finally, the asgardian embraced her friend (though, not too tightly so to not crush him) "thank you, flynn..that means a great deal to me."
Flynn smiled cheerfully. "Good. If Torrun Happy, then Flynn Happy."
Torunn smiled. "Well, you have made me Very Happy, Flynn." Torunn paused, then her eyes lit up. "Say..I don't have any missions right now, so do you want to walk with me in the forest near the Village?"
"Okay!" said Flynn rather quickly.
Torunn chuckled lightly. "Wow. You didn't think too long about that."
"Flynn likes Torunn." said Flynn. "Flynn ALWAYS likes to be with Torunn."
Torunn smiled (and, blushed slightly.) "yeah.." began Torunn, brushing one of her braided bangs away. "I like being with you, too..Flynn."
The two stared at each other for a few minutes..Then, Flynn spoke again. "Flynn get ready, now."
To Torunn's surprise (and, embarrasment) Flynn immediatly began taking his clothes off right in front of her.
Torunn's face had turned every known shade of red as she struggled to keep face. "Y-You can't just..UNDRESS in front of me!"
"NO!, You can't! (especially not in front of a GIRL.") muttered Torunn, under breath
"Why not?" asked Flynn, innocently.
Torunn began to stutter, TRYING to think of a simple way to explain this 'situation' to Flynn.
"Well.., umm.., You see..(deep sigh.)" Torunn began to rub the bridge of her nose stressfully. "Look, Flynn..People wear clothing for MORE than just to keep warm. There are..'certain' parts of our bodies that must ALWAYS be covered when in public.
It is considered "inappropriate" to show these parts to anyone!"
Flynn looked quite puzzled. "Parts? what parts?"
Torunn smacked her face lightly. Evidently she had no choice but to have "The Talk" with Flynn.
"Well..y-you see..B-Both Boy and Girls have parts between their legs that are "private."
"Why?" asked Flynn, still innocently naive.
"Because..they are..Used for R-Reproduction. for making babies..for creating LIFE."
Flynn stared at Torunn..Then, he said the one word that Torunn dreaded. "How?"
Torunn jaw grinded sidways at this. she really DIDN'T want to explain this.
Flynn continued to stare at the asgardian girl. Confused.
Finally, Torunn relented, and TRIED to make an effort in explaining "The Bird's and the Bee's" to her child-minded friend.
"Okay, It's like this..Inside every girl is an "egg." Torunn made a circle with her hands at her waist to emphasize this. "But, It's NOT like a normal egg. It's more..Fleshy."
Flynn continued to stare as he listened.
"and, Boys..l-like YOU, have "seed-like" things in your bodies. The egg needs these seeds to grow a baby.
Boys can give the girls their seeds, and by doing so..a baby grows within the girl, an-"
"How do boys give girls their seeds?"
("oh, just take me to valhalla now..") grumbled Torunn in her head. "Th-They do it by.."C-Connecting."
"Yes, they, uhh..L-Link their parts together. That is why these parts should ALWAYS be covered! They are only to be used to create life with one who is truly special."
"Somebody you LOVE. someone..you wish to share your life with." said Torunn, a hint of sadness in her voice.
Flynn thought about this. "well..Torunn special to Flynn. So, Flynn loves Torunn."
Torunn looked dumbfounded. "W-What?! N-NO, Flynn! that isn't what I-"
"Torunn love Flynn?"
Torunn froze, totally speechless. She found herself having a hard time answering this question.
"Flynn..I don't think you fully understand what "Love" is."
Flynn frowned. "Flynn not understand?" Flynn pondered again..then, looked at Torunn. "Flynn WANT to understand. Torunn teach Flynn?"
"I will do everything I can..but, the question of who you love can only be answered by your HEART, not Me, or anyone else."
Flynn smiled. "Okay. Flynn get dressed somewhere else so Torunn not see Flynn's private parts."
"Yeah..that's a really good idea." said Torunn, with a weak chuckle
As Flynn walked off, Torunn looked down sadly. Flynn's earlier words still replaying in her brain..
(("Torunn Love Flynn?"))
Torunn breathed out sharply. For the first time, beginning to see Flynn "differently."
"i..i don't know. I just don't know." muttered the asgardian
"FLYNN READY!" exclaimed Flynn, who was now wearing simple looking clothing.
Torunn put on her best smile as she approached Flynn. "G-Great..let's go."
Torunn took Flynn's hand, and the two then left the hut.
[Vision's Underground Lab]
"I still don't trust him."
James and Azari eyed Francis..who was leaning against a walkway railing, crossarmed. "Who?"
"that Flynn guy. there's something about him that doesn't feel right."
James groaned at this. "Francis, ENOUGH. Flynn has been with us for a week. I think if he were a spy for Ultron, he would have tried something by now."
Francis scoffed at this. "Say what you want, ROGERS. But I've been fighting Ultron's machines since I was a toddler..I can Sense things, you know.
and, I don't what it is..but, 'something' about "Torunn's Pet" is giving me bad vibes."
Azari grinned as he took a bite out of an apple. "I think I know what that feeling is called. JEALOUSY."
"I am 'NOT' Jealous!" snapped Francis, glaring at the 'prince.' "I'm just being cautious, That's all!"
"Sorry, Francis. But, I'm with Azari on this one." began James, as he approached his teammate. "Flynn has lived with Torunn since DAY ONE. and, I would think that if Flynn was as dangerous as you think, she would have told us by now."
"AND, Besides..Flynn seems to be the only refugee thus far that you've been suspicious of." continued James. "We have up to One-Hundred new people here..and, only ONE is in your target sights? Admit it, Francis. You're just JEALOUS Torunn's affection of Flynn, and taking it out on him."
"I am NO-"
"Unless you have PROOF that Flynn isn't what he seems, then I don't want to hear anymore of this for you." said James, sternly.
Francis growled at this. James then placed his hand on his shoulder. "Look. I'm not saying you have to like him..but, could you at least be NICE to him? For Torunn?"
Francis eyed James..then, exhaled sharply. "fine."
Just then, one of the mechanical doors opened. and, in walked two figues.
one was a familiar face: Henry Pym. but, WITH the boy was an older girl.
"Hey, Guys!" said Henry, cheerfully.
"Hey, Pym." said James, as he and Azari approached. "What's up?"
"Well, mostly HER." said Henry, pointing at the girl next to him. "Meet Anita. She's one of the recent refugee's that we rescued."
"Well, that's great, but..why did you bring her here?" asked James.
Before Henry could answer, Anita spoke up. "Because I'm good with tech. and, Pym here thought that I could help the Avenger Vision."
"Really, Is that so?" said Azari
"Trust Me, guys. She's GOOD." said Henry with confidence.
James thought for a bit..then, smiled. "Well..if Henry thinks you can help Vision, then that's good enough for ME."
Anita smiled. James then reache dout his hand. "Welcome to the Team, Anita."
Anita took James hand and shook it. "Tina. Please call me "Tina."
James grinned. "Okay..Tina, then."
Francis eyed Tina, examining her features.
the teenage girl had long, shoulder length hair that was a reddish-brown color.
her eyes were blue, and she sported freckles on her cheeks.
grinning, the platinum blonde boy approached the girl. "So..your Tina, huh?" began Francis. "Hi, I'm Francis-"
"Barton, I know. Henry told me about you, "Eagle Eye" said Tina, bluntly
"uh, That's Hawkeye."
Tina smirked. "Yeah, I know."
Francis stared at the girl..then smirked as well. "oh, I like her." said Francis to the others.
James and Azari bore unamused expressions on their faces. ("yeah, that's no surprise.") muttered Azari
"So..Where IS Vision?" asked Tina.
"Follow me!, I'll show you." said Henry, cheerfully.
as Tina followed the boy down the walkway to the main lab, Francis just breathed out sharply.
"Man..How can someone who looks THAT good be an egghead?"
James just groaned at this. ("he still doesn't get it.")
Flynn and Torunn were walking together through the village as they made their way to the surrounding forest.
as they walked by, Flynn examined the natives that mingled with the refugees.
Torunn looked to Flynn. "Yes?"
"Why do girls wear shirts, but boys don't?"
Torunn's face turned red again. at first she was confused, but when she looked at some nearby natives, she figured out what Flynn meant.
sighing sharply, she tried to answer her friend.
"b-because girls chests are..'different' from boys. they HAVE to be covered."
Torunn was getting fidgety now. She didn't like talking about this (much less near so many people.)
she then moved closer to Flynn, and spoke at quietly as she could into his ear.
"remember what I said about how babies are made?" whispered Torunn.
"well..when babies ARE born, they need to be fed milk. they get it from their mother's breasts."
"the things one your chest."
"It's a private thing between a mother and it's child." continued Torunn. "and It's inappropriate for them to be exposed like boys."
Flynn paused as he thought about this. "Flynn confused. if milk comes from chest, and it has to be covered. then..why is it different for boys?
does milk come from boy's chest?, why don't BOYS cover chest?"
Torunn was beginning to sweat a little from all this questions. "I..I don't know, Flynn. they just DON'T, Okay? Can we not talk about this right now?!"
Flynn looked down. "Flynn sorry."
Torunn sighed, feeling bad now. "It's okay, Flynn. you didn't do anything wrong..there are just some things you can't talk about in certain places."
"okay." said Flynn, timidly
Torunn then stopped to face Flynn. she looked at him with warm, loving eyes and gently touched his chin. "hey..It's okay." said Torunn, kindly.
"It's good for you to ask questions. I am suppose to teach you things, aren't I?"
"I promise. In time, you will understand all you need to know." said Torunn
Flynn looked at his friend..then, smiled. "okay."
Torunn then took Flynn's hand, and the two continued to walk through the village.
It wasn't long before they entered the forest, and began their leisurely walk.
Torunn exhaled softly, closing her eyes as she took in the momentary peace and tranquility.
"Torunn?" began Flynn, breaking the blissful silence.
"yes, flynn?' said Torunn, her eyes still closed.
"Could you tell Flynn more about your home? about Asgard?"
Torunn opened her eyes..and, smiled. "Asgard..is beautiful." mused Torunn, as she reminisced the brief time she spent at her ancestral home. "Earth's Legends describe it as a Shining City, the Jewel at the Center of the Universe..and, it IS. it really is."
"Tell Flynn. tell Flynn MORE."
Torunn smiled contently. "Even the town surrounding the palace is just as golden. It is so Majestic..Beautiful. Like something out of a dream."
"Does Torunn miss Asgard?"
Torunn stood still. she gripped both her arms as a frown replaced her smile. "yes..I do. Everyday, I do."
Flynn looked down sadly at this. "is..Torunn going to go away? Go back home?"
Torunn quickly turned, and faced Flynn. "No, Flynn..no. I'm not going anywhere."
"b-But, Torunn said-"
"I do miss Asgard, AND my father who rules that wonderous kingdom, yes." Torunn paused..then, spoke again. "But, if I choose to return home..I will end up missing my "other family" on Earth."
Flynn looked at Torunn..then, smiled. "Flynn happy Torunn isn't going away. Flynn LIKES Torunn, and Flynn would be sad if Torunn's gone."
Torunn smiled weakly..then, touched Flynn's face gently. "thank you, Flynn." Torunn then lightly kissed Flynn on his cheek. "That really means alot to me."
Flynn touched the place on his cheek where Torunn kissed him. "Flynn feels..Funny."
Torunn blushed bright red. "That's okay, Flynn. (grins) "Torunn feels 'funny', too." chuckled Torunn, playfully
Flynn began chuckle with her..but, then two became distracted with a sudden noise.
"What's that noise?" said Flynn, both curious and worried.
"I..don't know. It's sounds like-"
Just then, a strange creature emerged from the brush.
It was obviously a dinosaur (one of many species native to the Savage Land)
but, it was no bigger than a chicken (was shaped like one, too.) and, had a broad, ridged head.
"What's that?" asked Flynn, NOW more Curious, than cautious.
"It's some kind of Dinosaur. D-Don't Worry!, I think it's a plant eater."
Flynn tilted his head as he watched the creature nibble at some pebbles.
"I thinks it's called..(oh, what did Vision say.)" continued Torunn. "Homa..Homa-Lo, uhhh...Homalocephale!"
Flynn lowered down to the ground, his hands gripping his bent knees.
the Homalocephale looked at him. Curious, it hopped closer to Flynn and inspected him.
Flynn then slowly reached out his hand.
"Careful, Flynn!" warned Torunn. "It might bite!"
Flynn continued to reach out his hands. Amazingly, he managed to touch the dinosaur's beak-like snout, and pet it's head.
Torunn was bewildered at this. ("how odd..")
The Homalocephale soon grew bored, and quickly turned and walked off.
Flynn then stood up, and looked at Torunn.
"Flynn likes Dinosaurs..Dinosaurs are cute."
Torunn grimaced at Flynn. "Not ALL dinosaurs are cute, Flynn. and, for YOUR sake, I hope you never find that out first hand."
Flynn eyed Torunn. "Flynn not understand."
"You will. Vision will teach you."
"Flynn thought Torunn is Flynn's Teacher."
Torunn paused for a moment at this. "well..I suppose I am. But, there are some things you should know that is beyond even me. Things that only Vision can teach you."
Flynn pondered this for a moment..then, smiled. "Okay. Flynn understand."
Torunn smiled, content that Flynn was being so cooperative.
Flynn then saw a butterfly fluttering by, and began to follow it inquisitively.
Torunn exhaled softly. "the world truely is a wonderland for you, flynn." mused Torunn to herself. "even if it HAS gone halfway to Muspelheim."
Ah, the THIRD Chapter..at last.
a majority of this chap establishes Torunn and Flynn relationship.
the other half of it is introducing the "new" character Anita/Tina.
At first, the time span between this chapter, and the previous one was "months"
but, as Flynn's own speech pattern reflects Torunn's progress in educating him..I felt that months is too long of time
(and, given that at this point, he's only learned to speak in third person, his education being HALFway complete makes him seem too stupid.)
So, I shortened it to just a week (seems reasonable enough.)
I also decided to have a little good-natured fun with Flynn's naivety, and Torunn's own mixed feelings about him.
by having Torunn 'HAVE' to explain to Flynn the difference between Boys and Girls, and why he can't do certain things.
One can say I am crossing a line between being Funny, and "dirty"
but, this is really no different than a parent explaining 'The Birds and the Bees' to a curious child.
I'm purposely being vague about this, but anyone whose read my DeviantART journal entry that details my updates in Next Avengers
that that character of "Tina" is actually Tony Stark's daughter, and will succeed him as an "Iron Woman."
Part of including this character (and, one other who will appear in a later act of the story)
is to "give readers a treat" to make up for the 'bitter medicine' of me killing off Tony Stark and Bruce Banner.
So, consider this the start of building of the Next Avengers team so it truly will be a successor to the original Avengers.
Comic Fans may ALSO note that Francis Barton is beginning to like Tina.
this is my treat for THEM, as is most media, Tony Stark and Clint Barton (their respected parents) had a real "love/HATE" friendship.
So, there is irony there.
Also (just to REMIND people what kind of place the Savage Land is) I wrote in a dinosaur.
said dino is a lesser known species from the game Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis.
the purpose of which is to show that Flynn truly is 'gentle', and has a curiosity and respect for life
(It is important to make this point clear before I get to later, DARKER chapters.)
Torunn also shows how versed she is in Norse Mythology by name dropping "Muspelheim" (one of the nine realms of Asgard)
'Muspelheim' is the realm of the Fire Demons (the counterparts of the Frost Giants) and, the homeworld of Surtur.
and, given that it's a firey worlf of sulfur, brimstone and lava. It's the closest thing to "Hell" on Asgard.
(hence why Torunn phrased: "This world's gone halfway to Muspelheim." which is the same as saying "It's gone to hell.")
Little cultural humor there.