~We're not dead! Sorry but as it's my first year in college and it's also SunshineGirl's first year in college, we have been very busy and we also are in separate cities so collaborating is harder. But we finally managed to figure it out and now we have the seventh chapter! Hopefully the next one won't take so long to get out and hopefully not everyone gave up on the story. Enjoy!
"Alright, this is the last time I am going to say this, does everyone have what they need?" asked Bruce
"Yes!" chorused the group of child avengers and Loki
"Okay, good. Once we get in that van and drive off we are not coming back, no matter what you forgot to bring. Now, everyone to the van!"
They all squealed in delight as they ran forward. The previous night it was decided that they would go to the zoo. Steve had really wanted to see how zoos had improved since his time, and both Loki and Thor had never seen a wide variety of Midgardian animals before. Pepper and Rhodey were here to help Bruce this time, since there was no way he would be able to handle all of the avengers at a zoo by himself. In the back row of seats was Thor on the right side, Loki in the middle, and Tony on Loki's other side. The middle row of seats had Steve, Clint, and Natasha, with Bruce driving. Pepper and Rhodey would follow along behind them since there wasn't enough room for all of them. Thankfully the drive over to the zoo was not too awful, with Bruce only having to tell them to be quieter or not hit each other a couple of times. As they parked and got out of the van Bruce turned to Pepper and Rhodey.
"I think it's best if we stick together for now. If they want to see different animals then we can split up but then meet back up for lunch time."
"That sounds like a good plan to me. Don't worry about the tickets Bruce, I'll handle those." Said Pepper
"You've already done so much, besides, Stark Industries can afford it."
Bruce nodded gratefully and they escorted the children to the front entrance of the zoo. While Pepper bought the tickets Bruce laid down the ground rules for the day.
"First off, you cannot wander away from Pepper, Rhodey, or myself. Second, make sure you have a buddy to stick with for the whole time, that includes bathrooms although Natasha will have to stay with Pepper for that. And above all, BEHAVE yourselves. No getting in fights, no bothering other people, and do NOT jump into any animal exhibits or mess with the animals, or free them, or anything like that, okay?"
The Avengers all mumbled reluctant yesses.
"I want you to promise me, clearly, and without any fingers crossed behind your backs."
Tony huffed in annoyance as he pulled his crossed fingers out from behind his back.
"Now, promise me."
"We promise Brucie!" they all said
"Good. Now, let's go to the elephants first."
"Yay!" they all shouted
As they approached the massive enclosure where the elephants were kept, all of the kids ran forward to the fence and pressed their faces against it to get a better look. Steve's eyes were wide with amazement because although he had seen these animals before it had been a long time and these new types of enclosures allowed better viewing of the animals. Thor was even more excited than Steve, having never seen these Midgardian animals before. Loki didn't even bother to hide his fascination that much as he stared with wide green eyes at the strange looking beast.
"Is it some type of warrior beast? It looks big enough to ride into battle." Commented Thor
"No, silly! Elephants just hang out in Africa and Asia, they are ridden into battle!" Clint said while Natasha nodded
"Are they at least dangerous beasts? Would one kill you if you came across it in the wild?" Loki asked
"No, they are actually very peaceful animals." Steve said
Loki looked slightly disappointed at this.
"Don't worry Loki, there are lots of cool looking, dangerous animals here. Oh! Let's go check out the tigers and lions and cats and stuff! They can kill you with just one swipe of their paw!" Tony yelled as he grabbed Loki's arm and dragged him off, with Thor following close behind. Rhodey sighed and jogged after them.
"Is there any particular animal you would like to see you guys?" Pepper asked Steve, Clint, and Natasha
"Birds!" yelled Clint
"Insects and reptiles." Said Natasha
"Anything really." Steve said shyly
"Well the insect and reptiles houses are closer, so we'll go to those first." Said Bruce
Clint looked disappointed and folded his arms angrily.
"Don't worry Clint, we'll see the bids right after." Said Pepper in an appeasing tone
"Well we better." Pouted Clint
Meanwhile, with Tony and the gods of Asgard, they were busy staring at the snow leopards. Loki had loved the tigers, watching them pacing around their enclosure for fifteen minutes straight while Thor walked from one different type of feline to the next. The lions were declared boring by both Loki and Thor, since they did nothing but lie around and sleep.
"They remind me of my brother," commented Loki, "big, golden, and lazing around."
Tony giggled, not commenting on how Loki was calling Thor his brother.
As the three of them stared at the beautiful spotted cats, Loki sighed.
"I really want to take one home with me."
"Why not?" asked Tony
Loki and Thor stared at him.
"Dude, with our abilities, we could totally take one back home."
"They would make a most interesting pet." Agreed Thor
"I would take care of it! And I'm not scared of dangerous animals. Thor and I are gods, we would be in no danger."
"Absolutely not!" interrupted Rhodey quickly
"But Rhodey!" whined Tony
"Remember your promise to Bruce? Besides you don't know how to take care of it. And it would be lonely without being around other leopards."
"Then the solution is simple, we'll take all of them." Thor said as he smiled brightly
"Thor, that was actually a rather good idea you just came up with." Loki said in surprise
"Thank you brother!"
"Yay! Game plan!" yelled Tony
Rhodey facepalmed. Hopefully things were going better on Bruce and Pepper's end.
At the insect house, Natasha was glued to the wall lined with spiders. Clint just sat on a bench in the middle of the room, swinging his legs around in boredom. Steve had looked at a few walls of insects before he got weirded out by all the creepy looking things and just stood politely by the exit, waiting until Natasha was done.
"It's getting close to lunchtime Bruce, do you want me to call Rhodey and have him meet us at the outside café?" asked Pepper
"Yeah, that sounds good, I'll let the other know."
Bruce walked over to Natasha and Clint got up from his bench and came over so he could hear what they were talking about.
"Time to go Nat, it's lunchtime."
"Can't I look at them a little longer Bruce?" asked Natasha sadly
Bruce had never seen Natasha show so much interest in something before, she was usually so reserved.
"Sorry, but we have to go eat. We can always come back some other time."
Natasha gave one last longing look at the spiders, then followed Bruce towards the exit with Clint, who was looking happy to be leaving so he could eat.
"We are so going to the bird house after this!" he declared
As the three of them, soon joined by Pepper approached Steve, he smiled.
"Are we leaving?" he asked in a barely concealed hopeful voice
"Yes, we are meeting the others for lunch." Answered Bruce
"Good, I'm hungry."
"This is going to be a long lunch." Muttered Bruce
At the tower, Thor, Steve, and Bruce himself after a few Hulk transformations always ate a lot. Natasha and Clint ate normal portions but they were picky with their food, and Tony barely ate anything at all, so Bruce always had to try and force him to eat something. As their group approached the café they saw an irritated and tired Rhodey standing next to a disappointed and sad Tony, Thor, and Loki.
"What happened?" asked Bruce reluctantly
"They were foiled in their attempt to bring home all of the snow leopards." Rhodey replied
Bruce groaned and rubbed his face with his hands.
"What did I just make you guys promise me at the gate?" he asked
"We're sorry Brucie." Tony mumbled
"Just stick to the promise please. And you can still have a good time without taking the animals home."
"I guess." Loki muttered
"Now, take a look at the menu and decide what you want for lunch." said Pepper
"I shall!" said Thor with excitement
Food always cheered him up. They decided that the simplest way to get all the food was for Bruce, Pepper, and Rhodey to split the orders up amongst the three of them. As Bruce was ordering for Thor and Loki, a large woman in a sunny yellow dress and wide brimmed hat looked down at the two children and said "Oh aren't they just adorable! Look at their little faces! Are they yours?"
"Uh, yeah." Said Bruce
He was so surprised by the woman's random outburst that he didn't realize fully that she thought he was their father.
"Are you two good little boys?" she asked Thor and Loki
"Yes?" asked Thor in confusion
Was it the custom of Midgardian women to faun over little children they did not know at all? Loki just gave her a scathing look, thinking about what dastardly prank he could pull on this woman to make her leave them alone. As if sensing Loki's intents, Bruce put a restraining hand on his shoulder.
"You are a lucky man, they seem wonderful. And ain't it amazing how children just don't look like their parents?" she asked
There was a long pause. Bruce stared at her to see if she was being serious and she actually was. Thor frowned in thought. Did she believe him to be Bruce's son, he and Bruce had no features in common whatsoever. Loki just stared in wide eyed amazement at the stupidity of some Midgardians. Tony, who had overheard the conversation was trying his best not bust out laughing with Clint. Not was Thor not even close to looking like Bruce, but Loki didn't look anything like him either.
"Lady," said Bruce after the pause, "just walk away."
When she opened her mouth to say something else Bruce interrupted her.
"Just walk away."
She looked over at the children, where Tony, Clint, and Loki all stuck their tongues out at her. With a huff she stalked off. Once she was gone most of the kids started laughing.
"Okay, let's just take our food and go get a seat." Bruce said quickly
This was going to be a very long day.
~And there ya go! Hopefully you liked it. We will try to get the next one out soon, so stay tuned and thanks for supporting the story!
Misto and SunshineGirl