So, this is what happens when I'm sick as a dog and can't sleep. TA-DA! ;)
This is sort of an Avengers-heavy oneshot, and, once again, I took an outside perspective to it. ^.^ Tis fun that way.
Also: I was inspired by one of my favorite scenes in the hit T.V series NCIS; for the life of me, my foggy brain cannot think of the episode. Sorry :P
Enjoy ^.^ I do not own Thor-or NCIS for that matter!
It had started out as an unusual day, and it stayed as such…right down to the part where Coulson won sixty dollars.
Pepper did not expect Jane Foster to show up on Tony Stark's doorstep on a Sunday morning, claiming to need time away from "SHIELD-scented testosterone" in a desperate fashion.
She also did not expect Natasha Romanoff to be standing just behind her, nodding curtly in agreement.
And so, Pepper Potts canceled the paperwork she had scheduled for herself that day (because of course she did not take time off; such ideas are sins….right?), gave Jarvis the message to give to Tony once he returned from a solo Iron Man mission, and headed out the door with the two women, an uncertain smile plastered on her freckled face.
She had not expected to have fun, either.
But, four hours and twenty seconds later, she walked back into Tony's house with teeth showing and laughter surrounding her.
She had not expected to find 'girl time' so rejuvenating.
And that's when Pepper realized the Avengers had come together for 'man time'.
Pepper frowned upon walking downstairs to Stark's lab, Romanoff and Jane following close behind. Forgoing the code that Jarvis normally required, she merely glared upward at one of the integrated cameras and smiled in satisfaction when the AI complied immediately, opening the bullet-proof glass door to allow them entrance.
The Avengers crowded near a corner of the lab, forming a circle and mumbling loudly amongst themselves.
She took immediate note of an addition; Agent Coulson stood just outside the circle, watching on in silence.
Pepper groaned exasperation. Turned to look at the women behind her.
"There's literally no telling what Tony has gotten them into. This could be disastrous."
She saw Jane's eyebrows furrow in interest and mild concern.
For her part, Natasha looked quite indifferent, but then again, the SHIELD super-ninja was used to being around the guys. She had probably seen it all.
Pepper shook her head and approached Coulson first as Jane, God bless her short stature, attempted to look over the three men crowding the corner to see what the fuss was about.
"Uh, Coulson?" The agent glanced over at her nonchalantly, a small smile on his face.
"Yes Miss Potts?"
"What is going on?"
Pepper gaped when Coulson chuckled lightly. He never laughed. Ever. It was against the law.
"Watching two of the strongest beings in the universe make idiots of themselves. And possibly getting money out of it."
She opened her mouth to demand he elaborate when Tony's voice reverberated in the air suddenly.
"That's right! What did I say? Alien beats science project! Just watch it!"
And suddenly, everything became clear.
Pepper shoved Tony aside, making space for Jane to come beside her. Wedged between the astrophysicist and Clint Barton, she closed her eyes and practically groaned aloud.
Steven Rogers and Thor Odinson sat at a small metal table, hands interlocked as their elbows dug into the cold reflective surface with such force that the poor piece of furniture threatened to transform into interpretative art.
The Asgaardian prince and the super-powered war hero were arm-wrestling each other.
"Is this serious? Are they serious?" Pepper smiled grimly as Jane mumbled beside her, her small voice laced with sarcasm.
Natasha could be heard demanding answers from Coulson behind them.
"Okay. Who challenged who?"
"Neither. It was Stark's idea.
"Of course it was."
Pepper glanced at the sharp-shooter to her left, nudging him slightly with an elbow.
"You guys actually bet money on this nonsense?"
Barton met her gaze, his face expressionless but his eyes betraying his amusement.
"Yeah. Most of us are betting on Thor. I mean…he is an immortal extraterrestrial. Coulson's in Roger's corner."
She glanced behind her at the normally stiff agent who now stood with his hands in his pockets, looking to be enjoying himself more than should be possible for his nature.
"SHIELD had a hand in the Captain's creation. I pretty much have to root for him."
Pepper saw darkness as her own palm settled across her face and she nearly screamed into it.
Instead, she inhaled deeply, stepped back a bit from the small crowd, and watched on in attempted patience.
She felt Jane shift beside her, watching on in both horror and amusement as Thor inched closer and closer towards victory against his ally and fellow powerhouse. She snuck a glance at Bruce Banner standing still and silent on the other side of Barton, and wondered for a brief (shameful) moment if the Hulk could win out against the Asgaardian warrior.
She shook her head and scolded herself.
"This is so typical. So much for avoiding testosterone for an entire day." Jane chuckled in an exasperated tone and Pepper nodded.
"And they placed bets. This is what happens when we leave for more than fifteen minutes." She watched Tony's head whip around to stick his tongue out at her.
"Hey. We don't need babysitters, Pep. We're the Avengers. Consider this a training exercise."
Pepper pursed her lips, preparing an easy comeback to throw at her lover's snarky remark. She halted, however, when Natasha suddenly came to stand just behind Jane, bending down to whisper something in her ear. She watched, curious, as Jane's cheeks flushed visibly and she gaped at the agent a bit before shaking her head vehemently.
She inched closer and heard Romanoff's whispered reply:
"They could go at this all day. I promise- this will end the idiot-fest."
She almost wanted to demand to be let in on Natasha's plan. The small, red-faced grin of her friend drew a bemused smile onto her own. She stood back and watched as Jane shook her head one more time, in defeat.
"Okay, you're right. This is ridiculous. I'll do it."
And so, Pepper looked on as Jane slipped in between Tony and Clint, snuck quietly behind the chair that Thor sat in, and, as Thor began to pull Steve's trembling hand closer to the table's surface, proceeded to lean forward, and lightly, quickly, run her tongue along the back of Thor's left ear.
She stifled a laugh as the 'mighty' Thor jumped visibly, eyes popping wide and head whirling to look at the source of the interruption with a small, audible gasp.
At that precise moment, she could see his muscles fail along with his concentration.
A loud, metallic pop sounded in the lab as Steve Rogers slammed Thor's hand into the table top, his eyes alight with shocked victory. He peered at his teammate in surprise and she could tell he did not quite understand what had just occurred.
Thor in turn sat rigid and Pepper could see his bright blue eyes darken slightly at Jane's giggling figure behind him. She felt one of her eyebrows raise; she knew that look. It was the same look Tony would give her when she took it upon herself to wear short skirts around the office on days that she knew he was most likely to be around.
It was the same look he would give her when he would come home from a mission and find her in his bed, waiting for him.
Pepper almost wanted to warn everyone. Thor was ready to pounce.
Natasha, however, had her own agenda.
"Okay, people. Fun's over. Take the party back to HQ so we can have a day of normalcy. Now."
Pepper smiled at the female agent. She was beginning to like the woman more and more. The men complied almost immediately, shuffling away from the corner, three of them stopping to pass what appeared to be twenty-dollar bills to Coulson on the way to the stairs.
She rolled her eyes and caught up to Tony, placing a peck on his cheek before pointing him out of his own basement.
Behind them, Thor and Jane still remained rooted to their spots, eyes sending pointed messages to one another in a heavy silence.
Pepper would find that Jane had lost interest in 'girl time'.
I would too, Pep. I would too. :D