Disclaimer: I don't own the Avengers or any of the characters.

Tony's New Assistant (Part 38: Tony's POV)

Day-am, as the kids these days say. Sometimes Fury was just too cool for words, okay, and Tony was man enough to admit that. He was comfortable with his own level of coolness: ie, very. But Fury could stare down the King of the Asgard!

And Tony got to be there to see it!

But really, Odin was kind of an ass. Somehow Tony hadn't expected that.

The guy made one freaking half-hearted attempt to speak with Loptr about being, you know, alive and all that, before getting distracted by the son who hadn't been presumed dead.

He couldn't help but try to reassure his assistant. He put his hand on Loptr's shoulder and leaned in to whisper, "Man, your dad's an ass!"

Loptr glared at him.

And okay, it was reassurance Stark-style, but still. "If you want to commiserate sometime, we can get completely drunk and trade awful dad stories. You'll probably win, but I bet I can give you some stiff competition."

Loptr sniffed. "Maybe you could go get drunk with my brother instead. He likes that, and getting into random fights, too."

Ah, sibling rivalry. Tony had never given much thought to what it would have been like to have a brother or sister, but he bet it would have sucked. "Well, yeah, but I bet he didn't make his own magic hammer, now did he? I made my suit. Thor doesn't get to sit with the cool science kids until he does something cool, too. Well, maybe he can sit with Jane, since she seemed to like him, but he would definitely be a plus one rather than a club member in his own right."

Slowly, he could feel Loptr begin to relax under his hand so he continued to whisper.

"Now this day has been pretty spectacularly awesome. The Einstein-Rosen bridge was successfully created and Jane made her super-long-distance booty call. Aliens invaded and were soundly defeated. We got to eat at a SHIELD cafeteria which had surprisingly good food. And now we get to see Fury face down the King of the Norse gods. I'm impressed. This was a very successful day, I'd say. But! I think we might have set a super-high standard. And I'm not sure we can live up to it. What are we going to do tomorrow for entertainment?"

And Loptr finally smirked back at him in the way that Tony had gotten used to over the months. "Why, we'll do what we always do. Try to take over the world."

Tony took a moment to consider that. On the one hand: Pinky and the Brain! On the other hand, he wasn't entirely sure that Loptr was being facetious and not completely serious.

Then he realized that it didn't actually make a difference. Both interpretations were hilarious. He nearly fell over trying to stifle the laughter.

And, at the very least, tomorrow would involve trying to stake his claim to keeping his assistant, because he had most certainly not missed the claim Fury had placed on Loptr. Tony had absolutely no intention of losing his new assistant, not to Odin and certainly not to Fury and SHIELD.

Loptr was Tony's assistant and he was going to stay that way, if Tony had anything to say about it. And, who's he kidding, he was Tony Freaking Stark. Of course he had something to say about it.

A/N: And that is that. I know there are a fair number of loose ends here given the massive number of characters, but their fates didn't really impact the central focus that tried to stay on and around Loki. But as a quick reassurance, Banner and Hawkeye both survive the conflict perfectly well. This particular battle does make it on live TV and newspapers around the world, but it sparks a bunch of debate about whether it was all a massive hoax. Thor and Loki begin got get along slightly better now that they're not actually expected by anyone to get along perfectly and there are a lot of smart, experienced people to help buffer the relationship. (Darcy and Tony argue about whether it would be a brilliant idea or a terrible idea to show Loki "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog" before eventually realizing that it's brilliant terrible and they need to do this. At which point Loki begins to brood about how nobody loves him, Thor is offended by the existence of such a scoundrel as Captain Hammer and wants to do battle, life gets super meta for a while, and Pepper, Bruce, Jane, Coulson, and Fury all want nothing to do with it and leave Darcy and Tony to deal with that bit of fallout.) And, in general, life continues on. The End.