At the request of a few reviewers, I proudly present "The Avengers Go to the Mall"!
Thank you for all the reviews! I love all you readers. :)
Natasha entered with her forehead cupped inside her hand. "Remind me again how you got me to come here with you all?"
Clint studied her. "I think you could hold a world record for walking around longest while in a facepalm. That's all you ever seem to do."
Natasha lifted her head up and sent him a glare.
"We just need to grab a few Christmas presents, and then we can leave," Bruce answered Natasha. "Let's just do it fast before the you-know-whos get too mesmerized." He gestured towards Steve and Thor, who were busy playing with the automatic doors again.
Natasha, getting ready to go back into facepalm mode, opened her mouth to say something before Tony interrupted, saying, "I'll go get them." He jogged off.
Clint looked at Bruce. "Make a mall trip fast?" Clint started snickering. "I've been shopping with Natasha before, and even though she's the top of her league, when it comes to go to malls, she's a total girl."
"Don't ever call me that again," Natasha murmured.
"You know, it's funny how annoyed you've gotten with our trips," Clint continued. "The first time we went to Target, you chased me down with a Nerf gun. That was fun. We should do it again."
"Bruce, I'm taking you with me!" Natasha declared. "You're the only one who has never annoyed me at these trips." She gripped his wrist and pulled him along.
Tony led Thor and Steve back to where Clint was at. "Where'd Natasha go?" Tony asked.
"Shopping with Bruce. So… you take one and I take the other?" Clint asked.
Tony looked back at Steve and Thor, who were eyeing the automatic doors and giggling as people walked in. "I'll take Capsicle," Tony replied. "Can you handle Thor?"
"Tony, I work for SHIELD," Clint answered.
"But you got your ass kicked by a girl," Tony retorted.
Clint's face flushed. "Come on, Thor," he called. Thor's attention went from the door to Clint.
"Where are we going?" Thor asked, his voiced booming.
"To buy some presents."
"For the celebratory event the group called SHIELD is throwing for a Midgardian holiday?"
"Yes, that," Clint said. "Let's go."
As they headed away, Steve and Tony met each other's glances. "So… shopping," Steve said.
Tony cocked his head to one side. "I just need to find something for Pepper and a few other things for you all, I suppose. Let's go?"
Steve nodded and followed Tony.
"What's that shop?" Steve asked.
"That's a hat store for people who like to support their favorite sports teams."
"Oh. And that?"
"A store for teenage punks."
Steve peered inside. "There is a shirt with my shield on it!" he said excitedly.
"Yeah, I know. Did you not see the teens over there?"
Steve stopped and looked over to where Tony gestured at. His face lit up. "Fans?" he said.
"Mm, not exactly."
Steve didn't seem to hear him because he headed over. Tony felt immediately amused, his hand moving towards his pocket where his cell phone rested. No, he wouldn't record it just yet.
Steve neared them and said a few words. The teens looked at him with confused expressions, a few glances cast between them. They smiled and answered something, making Steve smile as well. He waved and headed back to Tony. "Yep!" Steve said to Tony. "Fans!"
Tony rolled his eyes. Not the scene he wanted, but oh well. They headed past the stores again, the group of teens sending weird but amused looks to Steve as he waved. The two remained quiet for a moment until Steve asked, "What's that store?'
Tony internally groaned.
"I smell something most delicious!" Thor declared as Clint and he walked through the mall.
"That would be the food court," Clint told him.
"Food court?" Thor's eyes lit up. "Midgardian food is most excellent!"
"I'm not sure if I can buy you anything," Clint said. "All this money is for presents."
"What is that woman doing then?" Thor asked, pointing a finger towards a lady in a uniform.
"Handing out free samples," Clint responded.
"Free?" Thor smiled as he started over towards her.
Thor neared the lady. "I would like these free samples of food!"
"Help yourself," the lady said unenthusiastically.
Smiling, Thor took the tray. "Thank you," he told her, walking away with it.
Clint's face grew red as Thor headed back to him. "I got the free samples!" he shouted.
"You're only supposed to take one!" Clint whispered angrily, but Thor didn't hear him. Instead, Thor shoved two in his mouth.
"Mm." Thor closed his eyes. "Excellent."
"Excuse me sir, what do you think you're doing?" the lady asked angrily.
Thor opened his eyes and peered down at the woman, who was three heads shorter. "I'm sorry, did I do something displeasing?"
"Yes. Give me my tray back!" she demanded.
"But these are free samples," Thor answered, confusion sprawling across his face.
The lady placed a hand on her hip. "Ha, ha. Very funny. You think you're a regular comedian, don't you?"
Clint was so embarrassed at this point no audible words came out of his mouth.
"But these are free," Thor repeated.
"What's going on here?" A security guard stepped up to them.
The lady turned her attention to the guard and pointed at Thor. "He came waltzing in her and took all the free samples!"
The security guard looked at Thor. "Sir, I'm afraid you'll have to give the food back."
"But they are free!" Anger picked up in Thor's voice. "You're supposed to be a man of law! Where is the justice here?"
"Do I need to escort you down to my office?"
"I will not be escorted anywhere!" Thor grabbed his hammer and pointed it to the sky. "I am Thor, the mighty god of thunder!"
"Thor…." Clint said through clenched teeth.
"Who do you think you are?" the woman asked in an annoyed fashion. "See, this man is a regular wacko!"
Thunder rolled outside the mall.
"Thor!" Clint repeated.
"Do you know this man?" the security guard asked Clint.
Clint shook his head quickly, like a little kid denying eating cookies before supper.
The security guard grabbed Thor's arm. Thor jerked his arm away, throwing the guard against the glass that wrapped around the empty area that looked down onto the first floor. "I need backup," the security guard said into his walkie-talkie after he shook his head clear.
A couple of security guards answered quickly, and together, the rounded up Thor.
"She told me to help myself!" Thor yelled. Somebody pulled out a taser. The sound of electricity shot through the air as Thor slumped down. The crew pulled him up on his feet and started dragging him to the mall police office.
Meanwhile, Clint refused to stop hitting his head against the wall.
Bruce stared out of the mall window bored as Natasha debated over what color of wrapping paper would look best. "This red or this red?" Natasha asked, holding up two rolls.
"Um…." Bruce looked at them for a fraction of the second. "The one on the right."
Natasha glanced over at him. "You're not even looking, are you?"
Bruce didn't reply. At that moment, he was jolted out of his boredom as a team of security men dragged a much larger man by. "Thor?" Bruce said.
Natasha looked at the window as well. Bruce took a step away, sensing her anger growing. "Not again," Natasha said as calm as possible. She took a breath, and then dashed out of the store. "CLINT!" she screamed as she ran.
"Natasha, what about the wrapping paper?" Bruce ran out after her, stopping in front of the store, where a little bell was going off. "You didn't pay for it!" He watched the security guards turn around to see what happened at the store. "What about Thor?" he yelled.
A security guard stepped over to Bruce. "Excuse me sir, are you shoplifting?"
Bruce eyes grew wide. "No, no, I'm not. I'm just trying to find a friend!"
"Then what's this?"
Bruce looked down at his hand, where he was holding a figurine he forgot to put back. Panicking, he said, "I didn't know I was holding it!"
"Sir, would you mind coming with me to my office?"
"I didn't take it, I swear!"
The guard pinched the bridge of his nose. "Sir, if you would please."
"I didn't do anything!"
Bruce sighed angrily, trying his best to keep calm. "Alright!" he said. He glanced down at his hands. Relief flooded him as he saw they didn't even turn a tinge of green. He started towards the office with the security guard, who was now massaging his temples. "Long day?" Bruce asked.
"You wouldn't believe it," he mumbled back.
"Steve! Ask me what one more store is, and I'll—"
"Ooh, escalators!" Steve said gleefully. "I've always liked those things."
"Well, I guess we could go on the bottom floor."
Steve smiled widely as he hurried over to the escalator. The teens with the Captain America shirts were right in front of him, watching Steve scramble onto the escalator. They whispered something amongst themselves and snickered. Steve remained oblivious.
By the time Steve got to the bottom, Tony was only halfway down. When Tony reached the end, he asked Steve, "Enjoy the ride, Capsicle?"
Steve merely grinned.
The group of teens headed up to Tony as Steve ventured off. "Is that man okay?" they asked.
Tony rolled his eyes. "Sometimes I ask myself the same question."
"Hey, aren't you Tony Stark?" one of them asked.
Tony gave him a little wave before heading off after Steve, who was attempting to go on the escalator going up.
Thor stirred in his chair. "Midgardian's tools aren't as petty as I thought," he murmured as he woke.
"They use a taser?"
Thor looked over to his right, where Bruce sat. "Angry green one! What are you doing here?"
"I got in trouble."
"I accidentally took something out of the store that I didn't buy."
Thor patted Bruce's shoulder. "You forgot your lesson about having to pay?"
"Yes, I did."
Thor removed his hand. "What's this 'taser' you speak of?"
"It's a device that has many, many, many volts of electricity going through it."
"It must be mighty strong to take a god down. I believe I have been tasered twice before."
Bruce tried to hold back a laugh. "Really?"
"Yes. It is a bit embarrassing."
"Tell me about it," Bruce muttered.
Thor looked around the office. "Those men of justice do not seem to know how to enforce justice."
"A woman was giving free samples of Midgardian food and I was taken away for taking some!"
"Did you take the whole tray?"
Clint removed his head from the wall and shook it to clear the dizziness. As he watched Natasha storm towards him, fear washed over him. Even more so when he saw she was armed with two long tubes. His muscles tightened, getting ready to defend himself if he needed too.
"WHY WOULD YOU TAKE THOR IF YOU COULDN'T HANDLE HIM? HE'S BEEN TAKEN BY MALL COPS! HOW COULD YOU LET SUCH A THING HAPPEN?"
"Nat," Clint said, feeling embarrassed all over again. "People are looking…."
"STOP AVOIDING THE SITUATION AT HAND! YOU WONDER WHY I HATE GOING PLACES WITH YOU FIVE, AND IT'S BECAUSE STUFF LIKE THIS HAPPENS!"
"Nat," Clint repeated. "Put the wrapping paper tubes down."
Natasha stopped short, staring at the tubes she held over Clint's head. Somebody cleared their throat behind her. Clint's face turned a shade of scarlet as Natasha turned around to see yet another security guard, his arms crossed and his foot tapping the floor. Natasha looked down at the wrapping paper tubes again. "I didn't pay for these," she said plainly.
"Yeah," the guard said. "Come on, madam."
With a defeated look on her face, she hung her head. "I don't even care anymore," she started. "I'm done. I'm done with this." She lifted her head up and shoved the tubes into the guard's arms. With that, she stood tall, and marched down the direction where the mall cop's office was.
"Let's go in here to look for Pepper's gift," Tony suggested.
Steve eyed the store uneasily. "I dunno, Tony."
"It'll be fine."
Humiliated, Steve followed Tony into Victoria's Secret.
Tony roamed throughout the displays, Steve trying to hide his face. "These women in the pictures," he kept saying, "they're so scandalous!"
"Hey, don't act like you're not enjoying it," Tony replied, searching through the different pairs of underwear.
"How do you know Pepper would like it?" Steve asked.
Tony merely turned around and gave Steve a look that said, I'm Tony Stark, remember?, and turned back.
"Fine then, but how do you know Pepper's size?"
Tony gave a thin-lipped smile. "Don't worry, old timer. I know."
Steve's face contorted with horror as realization dawned over him. "Tony—"
Tony laughed. "Yep."
Steve stayed silent for a moment before muttering something about fondue.
After a few minutes, Steve whined, "Tony, can we get out of here?"
"Wait a moment. I think I found the perfect one!" Tony turned around and held up lacy yet decorative black panties and a matching bra. "What 'bout this?"
Steve almost fainted as his face flushed from all color.
"I'll take that as a yes," Tony said. He headed towards the checkout line.
Steve's face was almost the same shade as Clint's was as they stood in the line. "Two men inside a store full of women's underwear actually buying something," Steve murmured as he stared at the floor.
"Not a new sight," Tony answered, shrugging. "I'm sure there's been much worse."
"Tony, why did I have to be the one who shopped with you? I knew you would do something like this."
"Hey, I'm just buying something for Pepper."
Steve didn't say anything for a long time.
The door to the mall police's office opened. Natasha stepped in with as much dignity as possible, her head held high.
"I see you two can be trusted alone," the guard told Bruce and Thor.
Natasha looked down at who the guard was talking too. "Bruce? You too?"
Bruce grimaced. "I accidentally ran out of the store with a product in my hand after you went to go murder Clint."
"I wasn't actually going to murder him!" Natasha told the guard before turning back to Bruce. "I'm in here for the wrapping paper."
Bruce laughed. "I thought so."
"When can we leave this confinement?" Thor asked the guard.
"Until we get things sorted," the guard answered.
Thor stood up. "I think I would like to leave now."
"Um, I think I would like to do my job," the guard told him. "Now sit down!"
Anger flickered across Thor's face. "I'm tired of you frauds. You try to deceive others, saying you bring justice. Pah!" Thor raised his hammer to the sky.
"Sir, put the weapon down," the guard said in a threatening voice.
The mall rumbled, the sound of thunder echoing outside.
"Thor," Natasha said in a warning tone.
There was a flash of light in the room. Light filtered through the gaping hole now in the ceiling. The guard, his clothes and hair now charred, blinked, coughed, and then fell to the ground. "Let's leave," Thor declared, exiting the office.
Bruce started following when Natasha grabbed his arm. "Bruce!" she said sharply, like a mother scolding a child for following a wrong example.
Bruce shrugged. "At this point, anything to get me out of this mall is a good thing."
Natasha stalled for a moment, then shrugged and followed them out.
Clint saw the three head past the store opposite of him as he exited the restroom. Shocked, he jogged over to them. "How'd you guys get out?" he asked, amazed.
Thor patted his hammer and smiled. "Let us find the man made of iron and Steve."
Clint joined them as they ventured out to find the other two.
At about the center of the mall, Tony saw the other four. "Steve, there they are!"
Steve looked up from the ground and gave a sigh of relief. "Thank goodness!" He walked quickly over to them. "Tony dragged me into a store that sold women's under things!"
The other four eyes shifted over to Tony. Tony lifted the pink bag up and shook it. "For Pepper."
"All these women!" Steve continued. "Posing! While they were basically nude!"
Tony snickered. "Calm down, Capsicle."
Steve silenced his cries.
"Allfather?" Thor gasped.
The group looked over to where Thor was pointing. There sat a man playing Santa Claus, propping a child up on his knee. Tony bit his lip to hold back a smile. "I'm going to see what he is doing on Midgard with the children!"
"Thor—" Natasha started, but was interrupted when Tony put his arm out over her chest to keep her back.
"Wait. This is going to be interesting."
Thor cut through the line of children all the way to the man. Photographers and workers watched him, alarmed. "You look different," Thor started.
"Sir," one of the photographers started.
"What are you doing here, Father?" Thor asked.
The man stared up at him, confused. "What?"
"You changed your appearance and came down to Midgard! Why?"
Thor chuckled. "Father, why are you playing dumb?"
"Sir, we need you to please step out—"
Thor jerked his arm away from the worker. "I am talking to my father!"
The man playing Santa looked up at the worker. "I've never seen this man in my life!"
"Father, do you not recognize me?"
A couple of workers stepped closer.
"You do not recognize your own son? What have I done wrong?"
"Let go of me!" Thor roared, jerking around to face the worker. The worker, who was holding Thor's arm, went flying back and hit the camera, causing it to fall off and hit the floor with a loud thud. All the children screamed at the impact, and through the chaos, Tony's laugh was heard ringing out through the mall.
"Tony, stop encouraging it!" Natasha told him.
"How am I encouraging it? He doesn't even know I'm laughing. Come on, you want to laugh too."
Natasha sent Tony a glare that clearly informed him she wasn't in the mood.
"Hey, Natasha?" Steve said.
"What?" she snapped.
"Those guards over there were talking about three people who escaped from the office, and the descriptions sound like you, Bruce, and Thor."
Natasha froze. Her heart started pounding harder as guards raced towards Thor, who was now throwing the elf-dressed workers around like confetti.
"Let's get out of here," Natasha said suddenly, grabbing Clint's arm and jerking it.
"And miss this?" Tony had his cell phone out and was recording the scene. "This is YouTube material, hon."
"Tony Stark!" Natasha groaned. "I don't even care anymore. Bruce, Steve—come on."
"But who's going to get Thor?" Steve asked, his eyes wide.
The guards pulled out yet another taser. Thor cried out and slumped to the ground.
"Never mind," Steve said.
Natasha climbed into the car, her head in her hands. Clint tapped her shoulder, causing her to jerk her head up and send Clint a look that could kill. "Not in the mood," she said shortly.
Bruce sat in the passenger seat quietly, Tony still snickering over the event in the driver's seat. In the back sat Steve and Thor, who were silently chatting amongst themselves.
"So, that was the pole-eese force, as you Midgardians call it?" Thor asked out loud.
"Its police," Bruce corrected. "And yes. How did we ever manage to get them to let Thor go?"
"Beats me," Tony answered. "I would never know how to do it again. By the way, was I the only person who actually bought something?"
"I think so," Clint said.
The car was silent for a few minutes until Thor said, "When can we come back to the mall?"
"You CAN'T, Thor!" Natasha shouted. "Even if we still could, I wouldn't come! I'm never going anywhere with you guys again!"
"Why can't I?" Thor asked Steve.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Avengers were banned from the mall.