So, this is a story I wrote back in January, obviously long before Avengers came out. I posted it in the Thor archive and it got pretty popular. But now Avengers is out to the public and I'm rebooting the story to make it more movie-compatible and better in general.

This is the prologue, and the only chapter that didn't/doesn't have to be edited. I have 5 chapters to edit and post, then the rest of the story will continue from scratch.

Please note this is WILDLY AU.

Enjoy :)

the cheetos

3:41 pm, Saturday

The magnanimous Stark mansion had seen many things throughout its years. Big things and small things, important things, and those that were not-so-much. Some freaky-ass things, a few truly odd things, and even the occasional downright disturbing thing. Of all the possible things that could happen in the universe, there were very few of them that had not occurred in the House of Stark at least once, at some point or another.

But on one profoundly average Saturday afternoon -partly cloudy, 18 degrees, wind out of the west- a certain vastly exorbitant Malibu beach house (more specifically, the living room of aforementioned house) became the location of the thing. You know, the thing that's on the absolute bottom of anyone's list of Stuff That Will Likely Happen. The last thing that anyone would ever ever expect to occur.

In the middle of the room sat a coffee table. On the coffee table sat a bowl of Cheetos. Parallel to the coffee table was a very small couch, something of a loveseat. Crammed onto this (rather uncomfortable) seating arrangement was a set of three rather imposing figures: the Man of Iron, the God of Thunder, and the Captain of America. Each decked out in full battle armour and wearing expressions of indignance (in the case of a certain Tony Stark) utter befuddlement (referring to one Thor Odinson) and apprehensive vigilance (regarding Mr. Steven Rogers.)

The three most powerful men in the world were gawking uncertainly across the room, blatantly ignoring the crisp bowl of Cheetos (which had been placed there by a hopeful Pepper Potts, no doubt an effort to break the overwhelming tension in the room.) The object of their interest (i.e., abhorrence) was sitting alone on the largest couch in the room, directly on middle cushion as though he'd done the math to find the exact centre point. Slender body leaned back comfortably, emerald eyes observing his companions with equal attentiveness, complacent expression belying the fact that he was no more comfortable with the arrangements than the boy-band known as the Avengers were.

It's more or less true that each new day brings unlimited possibilities, with a million-plus-one different potential endings. Being who they were, Avengers were no stranger to the bizzare, the random, and the utterly insane, but no one had anticipated such an ordinary weekend ending with the God of Mischief (aka Midgard's Most Wanted) sitting on Tony Stark's living room couch.

So how exactly had the world's most awkward faceoff-over-Cheetos come to pass?

It started with a phone call.

If you really want more, you can go read House Arrest: the original. Just keep in mind it was all written long before the movie was ever seen. I'll try to have chapter 2 up as soon as possible, that one will require more editing than the rest because it sets up the entire situation.

Please review. If you're a reader of the original House Arrest story and already reviewed it over there, I'd still love to hear your suggestions on what I should add to this now that the movie is out :)