Author: Taylor Hayes

Title: It's a Strange World (1/1)

Rating: PG/K+

Pairings: none

Warnings: Does Tony being a douche count?

Summary: Thor is hiding from the rest of the Avengers after Tony convinced him to help with a prank. The woman whose garden he finds himself in is surprised, but welcoming. In other words a normal person's reaction to the Avengers.

Author Note: This is actually based off a dream my bff Kate had. *laugh* The idea was too fun to pass up.

It's a Strange World

It was the first real day of summer, with the sun beating down hot and heavy in the sky. A light breeze kept the temperature from becoming overwhelming, and it was early enough that the sun was still low to the horizon.

Carrie-Ann Steele wandered out into her garden, gloves and a trowel in one hand, a water bottle in the other, and a wide-brimmed straw hat more suited to a tea party on her head. It wasn't until she reached the gazebo to put down the water and pull on the gloves that she noticed the man.

Her first instinct was to run screaming. Her second consisted mainly of the thought that he looked like a gigantic, kicked puppy. Her third came when she recognized him, and she did her best to suppress the voice in the back of her head shrieking to get an autograph.

Carrie-Ann approached him with the same slow movements and gentle care as when she found an injured animal in her backyard.


Abruptly straightening up from a slumped position, silver armor gleaming triumphantly, crimson cape fighting to escape from beneath him and blow wildly in the wind, he blinked. The large, regretful eyes and the disheveled blond hair only added to the comparison with a sad, gigantic Golden Retriever puppy.

"My apologies, fair lady, for taking refuge in your well-plotted garden without first seeking your consent."

"Wha-what? I don't- Why are you-?"

At her disbelieving stutters, he smiled widely. The expression was open and welcoming and adorable, making a blush creep up her neck and over her cheeks.

"My good friend Anthony did convince me to take part in a "prank" against our fellow avenging warriors." The use by the giant of air quotes was disconcerting, and caused Carrie-Ann to take a few extra moments before she could make sense of his words.

A "prank" on his "fellow avenging warriors"? Someone had got Thor to play a joke on the Avengers? What kind of an idiot was this Anthony guy?

With no idea what else to say, she fell back on "Would you, uh, would you like something to eat?"

At the mention of food, Thor's smile grew, and his eyes lit up. "I am most famished, fair lady, and would be expressly grateful for sustenance."

It wasn't until they were actually inside that she finally considered what she could offer the superhero.

"Um, I, uh, I made french toast for breakfast this morning. With fresh fruit. And milk," she said, pulling out a plate and utensils.

"The Lady Darcy has fed me this repast before. It was most satisfactory," the armor-clad man nodded, taking a seat at her round kitchen table.

"Oh… okay."

She piled all the leftover breakfast on the plate and stuck it in the microwave. Thor hopped up out of his seat to watch the food rotate, making several comments about "ingenious magics". By the time the french toast was hot, she'd set out a huge glass of milk, a serving bowl full of berries and chopped up melon, butter, syrup and powdered sugar.

Retrieving the nuked food, she fought down a laugh as he eagerly retook his place, reaching for the knife and fork.

Last night's pork roast, potatoes and carrots, the lemon meringue pie for tomorrow's dinner party, all the cookies in her cookie jar and the ice cream in her fridge, two pots of hot chocolate, a full gallon of milk, three smoothies and six ham-and-cheese sandwiches later, she knew objectively that the glamor of having Thor in her house should have worn off.

But he was so innocently, sweetly kind and enthusiastic. Between bites, he told her hilarious stories about his teammates. (Ones that should probably never be made public, considering the world thought of the Avengers as their first line of defense against invading alien forces.) Carrie-Ann would never have guessed that the intimidatingly beautiful redhead, whom Thor referred to as "Lady Tasha", would be the first to start a water fight. Or that the stoic, patriotic, and seriously good-looking Captain America loved romantic comedies.

When she came to the conclusion that "friend Anthony" meant Tony Stark, she was surprisingly unsurprised that he was the team's resident prankster. But hearing that the sculpted Clint Barton enjoyed making said jokes worse was more funny than hearing that the Hulk was the most even-tempered of the whole group. And the blond spoke in glowing terms of someone he called "Son of Coul", who had apparently been part of some group called "shield", worked with the team, died "valiantly", gone to Valhalla (Which was insane, but then again she was hosting a Norse god in her kitchen.) and been brought back to… complete paperwork?

It did make her hold her breath and pray that no one would die when he mentioned his "brother, Loki" was running interference, keeping the rest of the Avengers busy until Stark could fix whatever he had gotten Thor to mess up.

It was just as he basically finished eating her out of house and home that there was a knock on the door, accompanied nearly simultaneously with the knob turning and the wooden barrier swinging open, and Tony Stark sauntered in.

"Hi there," he greeted, accompanying the words with a confident grin, wink, and a snap that turned into pointing his fingers at her like guns.

Thor was adorable. Stark was not.

Before the billionaire, or the god, could speak, she snapped, "It's polite to wait until the homeowner invites you in before you enter, you know."

She could sense Thor's flinch behind her and was actually disappointed when Stark just pouted, obviously not at all apologetic.

"What, am I a vampire now?"

"Might as well be," she clucked, turning back to Thor, expression brightening. Still, she felt a lecture coming on.

It took Thor swearing to no longer immediately trust Stark when the man said he had an "awesome idea", and to always get a second opinion if said idea involved another team member's personal items before she stopped scolding him. From all that she had heard, she suggested approaching the Hulk or "Son of Coul" to double-check before obliging the playboy's whims.

Stark, on the other hand, stared when she spun on him, demanding he use his "supposedly gigantic brain" before acting. A few times she almost stopped herself because, what the hell? She was lecturing Tony Stark. Iron Man! But she pressed on, ordering him to learn to respect other people's property and feelings, and to leave Thor out of his more destructive pranks.

In the end, Stark paid her back for all the food Thor had eaten (Plus an extra $2,000 because apparently he had no idea what normal groceries cost.), the large, blond god promised to visit sometime soon (Carrie-Ann nearly swallowed her tongue when he mentioned how much his brother would enjoy her garden.), no deaths were reported from Loki's trick of turning the Statue of Liberty into a statue of himself, and she did eventually get to work on her hydrangea bushes.

The world was strange, yes, but she really didn't mind.