I own the plunny.
Dedicated to: elizabeth14 for being the first reviewer of wishes of happiness :3
Italic - Flashback
When Tony is a small child, he meets an extraordinary creature.
Tony crawls through the quiet garden of mansion. He's five years old and this isn't the first time that he's home alone by himself. Tony is use to it. He finds playmates in bugs, robots and imaginary friends. The sky is the limit for his imagination. This flower garden he's crawling through, it's a secret escape passage from castle. Just a little bit further and he'll be free.
As he wiggles through another hedge, Tony comes across a startling discovery: a white fox. It large like a dog, sitting there licking a wound on its foot. It stops as Tony wander further out of the bushes, its gold eyes watching carefully.
"Oh, you're hurt," Tony says. He takes out a handkerchief that Maria is always forcing him to carry from his pocket. Slowly, Tony inches forward, careful not to make any sudden movements.
The fox's ears perk up, wary but let eventually it lets Tony approach. Tony gently ties the handkerchief around the fox's leg. "There all better," Tony says. He feels proud that he accomplished this. It feels good to help someone.
The fox leans forward and licks Tony on the cheek before reaching up and touching Tony on the forehead with its nose. Then it gets up to its feet and darts away back into the bushes.
Later when Tony's parents arrive home, he runs up to meet them eagerly wanting to tell them about the fox he found. Instead, Howard takes one look at his son's dirty clothing and slaps him across the cheek. "How dare you boy! Those clothes were expensive!"
It's an incident that Tony buries deep inside himself, forgetting that it ever happens. Never once does he look back and question why a white fox was in the garden and why it had more than one tail.
Tony stares at the younger CEO of Kinga Company and tries not to flinch. Tier stares back at him, icy expression still set on his face. The tension feels thick and heavy and it is taking every single ounce of willpower for Tony not to go running out the doors.
Then Tier sighs and some of the tension dissipates. He rubs his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose. "Mr. Stark, I do not normally inquire about people's private lives, but it would help if you tell me why I make you uncomfortable so I may do something about it."
Tony stomps down as hard as he could on the rising panic in his chest. "It's... really not something you can do anything about," he weakly says. No there really isn't. Tony just has to stop projecting Howard on to Tier and everything would be alright. It isn't like Tier looks like Howard... just acts like Howard with his expressions and tones. It has been four months since Tony agreed to deal with Kinga Company and even though he now knows that Tier has a heart under all that ice, Tony has yet to get use to talking to Tier.
Tier sighs again. "Would you prefer to talk to Ayame? We can always reschedule this meeting if you rather discuss this with her," he offers.
There is a small part of Tony that really wants that. Between the seemingly cold hearted CEO and his insane genius weird vice president/head of R&D, Tony much rather spend time with Ayame. Ayame, Tony has found out, is a genius in her right, easily keeping with Tony and Bruce as they fire off rapid science talking and experimenting. Tony is definitely sure she's insane but in a good way. There is a manic feel when Ayame creates, but Tony can't really blame her. All geniuses are unstable in some form and way. Tony has... issues and Bruce has Hulk. He wouldn't be surprised if Ayame had some tragic childhood or something.
"Why don't you come to Japan?"
Tony blinks. "What?"
"Why don't you come to Japan?" Tier repeats
Tony doesn't understand why this is being offered. In all the meetings with Tier and Ayame, they have always been in America, at Stark Industries. It's incredibly selfish of him, but Tony likes remaining in America, near his teammates, where should anything arise, he isn't halfway around the world and unable to help. Of course, it's possible that Tier doesn't know this and is feeling tired of traveling back and forth to America where Tony is always rescheduling on him.
"Why?" Tony manages to squawk out.
Something shifts in Tier's body language and suddenly Tony is getting the feeling that Tier is now feeling uncomfortable. "Ayame," Tier starts, "Ayame doesn't exactly work for Kinga Company during the summer months."
Tony blinks rapidly. How does Ayame not work for Kinga Company during the summer months? She's their vice president and head of R&D, how could she not?
"Well," Tier tries to explain. "She does, only not as often, during nights and..." Tier trails off. Taking a deep breath he tries a different approach. "Ayame's family owns a shrine. Her father was a monk and she inherited the place when he passed away. During the year it's taken care of by an old monk, her father's teacher. However during the summer months, Ayame goes to help. It's... it's her way of honoring her parents."
Tier pauses to take another deep breath. Tony on the other hand, marvels at the chance to see pass Tier's icy mask. Ayame told him once that Tier has a big heart under all that ice but he never sees the need or perhaps he never had the ability to properly express it. 'In rare moments, his guard will drop and you'll see every emotion display across his face.' Tony is sure he was seeing one these rare moments.
"I could... call her to America," Tier hesitantly says. "But... this is important her."
"Okay," Tony agrees. "I'll go."
In that instant, Tier's icy exterior returns and cold professionalism slides back into place. "Feel free to bring along guests if you like," Tier says, in his usual cold tone.
Oddly this time Tony doesn't feel the urge to flinch at it. In the future, when he has to meet Tier, if he pictures this moment every time, Tony thinks he handle meeting Tier. Flustered and shy Tier has nothing on cold icy Tier.
When Tony is twenty he meets a witch.
Tony wandered the streets of Venice, lost in the alleys. It was a beautiful place to see. The entire place a whimsical feeling to it, like he was stepping back in time. As he turned the corner, something caught the corner of his eye.
It was a white fox.
Curious, Tony dashed after it. The fox took off, weaving around the people and down the alleyways. It jumped over a river as Tony crossed with the bridge. Finally it stopped and waited at the end of a narrow alley.
"You -puff- stupid -puff- thing," Tony muttered, huffing and puffing to catch his breath. Just why was he chasing this damn animal? He wiped the sweat off his chin with the back of his hand.
The fox just tilted its head and waited for Tony to approach. Tony grunted as he squeezed through the alleyway. He really needed to cut down on the sweets.
Just as he reached the end, the fox leapt forward, jumping over Tony's head and pushing off of Tony's back. Tony stumbled forward, crashing to the ground. "You stupid fox!" he cried out after the fox, shaking his fist in the air.
Tony grumbled and got to his feet, brushing the dirt off his clothes. That was when he turned around to see where he was. "Wha-" he said. Before him was a Japanese house. It had two stories tall with a large circle hanging above the front door. A moon shaped weathers spun lazily on top the red roof and the smaller attached green roof of the tower.
"W-what is this place?" Tony asked.
Tony jumped as he realized there was someone to the side of him. It was a Japanese woman with pale white skin and crimson red eyes. She dressed in a shimmery white short kimono. A long red silk train came from under the hem of the white kimono in the back. Her long black hair was pinned up by a silver fox shaped pin.
"Who are you?" Tony asked.
"Yuuko Ichihara. I've been waiting for you Anthony Edward Stark."
Tony stepped back, surprised she knew his name. "How do know my name?" he demanded.
Yuuko smiled. "It was not an accident that you arrived at my shop. There is no such thing as coincidences in this world. There is only the hitsuzen."
"The inevitable," Yuuko clarified. "Come inside. You have a wish do you not?"
Tony hesitantly followed her inside. He trended softly over the dark wooden floors. "I don't have a wish," he said, entering the room after Yuuko slide the dark colored sliding doors open. The room was spacious. The shouji doors were opening, giving view to the beautiful garden.
"Ah but you do. You wouldn't be here if you didn't," Yuuko said wisely. She took a seat on a small cushion on the floor. Tony sat across her, on the second cushion, mimicking her motions by folding his feet underneath himself.
"What kind of shop is this?" Tony asked.
"A shop that grants wishes."
Tony scowled. That was impossible. Magic didn't exist. "So if I wish for a time machine you'll grant it?" he challenged.
"I could," Yuuko said. "For a price."
Tony scowled hard. There was the catch. This was clearly a scam. "No thanks," he said, rising to his feet.
"Sit," Yuuko ordered.
There was something in her tone voice that caused Tony to immediately sit back down.
"There must always be a balance. Equivalent exchange if you will. In order to obtain something you must give up something in equal value. Nothing more, nothing less. And young man, I am not talking about money." Yuuko leaned closer to Tony, her fingers grazing his cheek. "What is your wish? The one thing you desire more than anything in this world?"
The one thing? Tony felt his heart clench as he thought back. His uncaring parents, the loneliness and the pain. He remembered the desperate desire for affection, for love and the all too rare touches of contact. Tony remembered wishing for hugs, wishing for someone who cared.
"A family," he whispered.
Yuuko pulled back and smiled "That shall be granted."
"What?" Tony asked startled. "But what about the price?"
Yuuko looked past him and into the garden where a white fox romped through the garden. Its tails, swaying as it playfully chased after a butterfly. She doubted the boy in front of her even knew what blessings and gifts he possessed.
"It has already been paid for."
The incident fades into distant memory but even today Tony still clings to the notion that his wish will come true.
Tony walks into the Tower's living room to find it, well a mess. There's orange juice on the wall, poptarts on the floor, and that suspiciously looks like pizza sauce on his couch. Paper balls litter the floor, there's an arrow in the loaf bread and oh no they didn't, someone did not just break his "Trust Me I'm an Engineer" coffee mug.
In one corner, Thor and Clint are hiding behind the kitchen counter, armed with oranges and apples. Natasha is behind the table on its side with butter knives and bags of flour. Bruce is sitting on a stool at the bar, sipping tea seemingly obliviously to it all. Steve and Phil look the worse of everyone covered in everything that was on the floors and walls from head to toe.
"BARTON PUT DOWN THOSE ORANGES! THAT IS AN ORDER!"
"Natasha will you please stop throwing knives!"
"A food fight? Really guys?" Tony interrupts. Everyone stops to turn and look at him. Thor at least looks sheepish. Steve and Phil just sigh in relief. Clint and Natasha don't even bother looking guilty.
Tony grins. "I want to join!"
"NO!" Phil and Steve roar leaping forward.
"Don't encourage them Tony!" Phil snaps out. "I SAID PUT DOWN THOSE ORANGES CLINT!"
Steve disarms Natasha from her butter knives. Thor gives up the apples and Clint gets his ear pull by Phil until he surrenders the oranges. Phil then sends the three of them to their rooms, then orders Steve to shower and snaps at Bruce and Tony to clean up the mess.
Tony frowns. "How come we have to clean when we didn't make the mess?" he complains. Tony sulks. He didn't even get a chance to play in the food fight and yet he has to clean up the mess? So not fair. He opens a door a small white cleaning bot zips into the room and starts cleaning.
"Because Mom said so," Bruce says with a chuckle. "And beside, Mo is cleaning, not you."
"Poor Mo," Tony says. "He's not equipped to clean up these kinds of messes." At least Mo was great for cleaning dirt and possibly for handling the orange juice. The poptarts and pizza sauce? Not so much.
"Oh no," Bruce says, recognizing the look on Tony face.
"Off to the lab Bruce!" Tony says, dragging him off.
"Phil is gonna ground us when he realizes we didn't clean the living room."
When Tony is forty, he sees a wedding.
The flight to Japan was a smooth one. Tony steps off the plane and stretches with Steve right behind him. Steve was the only one who wanted to come to Japan so Tony figures if he's going to get lost in a foreign country, he'll at least have Steve with him.
To his surprise, the place where Tier and Ayame live is actually a small rural town located on the side of a mountain. It had a population of 850 people, where everyone knew everyone. Most of the surrounding mountain side was apparently owned by either Tier or Ayame, all inherited according to Tier.
Tony doesn't believe it at first; expecting that those two would be living in city, say like Tokyo instead of some small no-name town. However as the taxi drives them up the mountain and leave them at the edge of the town, Tony can kinda see why.
There's a cool breeze that rolls through the town, rustling the lush trees that surrounded the entire small village. A pair of birds chirps in the distance, flying over a couple carrying groceries. Tony looks behind him. Down the mountain was an entire sea of green trees. Their leaves swaying back and forth in the wind. The sun shines brightly above in the sky.
"This is really beautiful," Steve says.
Tony agrees. It takes your breath away.
They wander into the town, exploring. A light shower breaks out, but the sun was still out so Tony and Steve did give the rain much thought. The civilians greet them and even though Tony and Steve can't understand them, they wave back and smile. One elderly lady takes Tony's hand and pats it. She says, "Otenki Ame. Kono you na yoi zenchou o motarasu."
Tony doesn't understand her but says thank you anyways.
As they approach an intersection, Tony trails behind Steve and comes to a stop. Down the street sits a white fox. He immediately heads toward it, not noticing that Steve continued onward without him.
As Tony approaches, the fox takes off, leading Tony out of the town. Tony ducks and weaves under branches and over bushes, chasing after the fox. Tony rolls out of a bush and onto a winding stairway. "What is this?" he asks, stun. The stairway stretches up the entire mountain and all the way down. Tony couldn't see the start or end of the stairway. Red tori gates lined the stairway up and down.
Tony begun to climb, leaves dance on the wind around him. Higher and higher, passing under the red gates. The light rain made some of the steps slippery but Tony presses forward. Time seems to stretch and wind backwards. He looked around, never seeing any type of life forms. The only sounds that could be heard were the soft rustling of leaves and Tony's short breaths. It was beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Tony couldn't describe it. This heavy feeling sits on his shoulder, pressing down on him as if telling him he isn't alone.
Tony shook his head. "Man, what I am thinking? It isn't like I'm going through a portal into another world," he said to himself. He was just about to turn around and head back down when the white fox appeared in front of him. It runs around Tony's legs before darting back up the stairs.
"You stupid fox," Tony mutters to himself and returns to climbing.
Soon he happens across a small sunny clearing just outside of the stairway. The white fox is rolling around in the clearing. Tony steps onto the clearing as the light shower turns into a slightly heavier one. "Great, the rain had to get worse," Tony grumbles.
Bells ring in the distance. Tony turns back toward the stairway to see a fog roll in. A light glowed through the fog as the ringing of the bells grows louder. Tony feels his breath hitch, catching in his throat.
Out of the fog, appears a small boy with brown hair tied with a blue ribbon. He's a blue shirt with a white pattern, a light brown vest and dark vest. A small white lantern is what lights his way. Tony tries hard not to make a sound as he realizes that boy has a light brown tail sitting out.
Following after him are two taller girls. The first was in a blue kimono with another lantern. On her head, nearly hidden by her black hair, were black fox ears. Her black tail sways behind her. The girl next to her had brown hair and brown ears but no tail. She was wearing a red kimono.
After them, a couple appeared. The male with blond hair and blue eyes held the hand of his wife. His blond fox ears were large. The lady was wearing a long white kimono, a sharp contrast with her crimson red hair and ears. Behind them was a male fox carrying a large red umbrella over the couple. Tony could see there were still many lights in the fog behind them, going up what Tony assumed were the rest of the stairway.
The couple came to the stop and turn to look at Tony. Tony lick his dry lips. His body is shaking as his brain tries to make sense of the procession in front of him.
The bride lets go of her husband's hand and steps off the stairway. She glances back to her husband who nods and smiles. Tony squeaks as she approaches him. She takes off her necklace and loops it over Tony's head. Then she smiles brightly at him and returns back to the stairway.
The bells ring again and they continue down the stairs. Tony watches as they pass in front of him, disappearing into the fog. As the last lantern bearer disappears into the fog, it disappears and the rain stops.
Tony drops to ground. "W-what was that?" he cries out in half in confusion half in terror. He closes his eyes, taking in deep breaths, trying to calm himself.
Once he manages this, Tony opens his eyes and looks down at the necklace that was placed around his neck. It's a simple design of a life with a spiral in it. "Why on earth would she give me this?" Tony asks. At least it was proof that what he saw was real and not some half baked illusion.
He rises to his feet and enters the stairway. Taking a look down, Tony designs to continue going up. He doesn't want to chance it and continue to follow them. So he climbs.
Soon he passes through the final tori gate and into a shrine. Two fox statues with red kerchiefs guard the entrance. Tony eyes them cautiously before turning his attention to the shrine.
The shrine looms over him, standing grand and call. The entire building is white trimmed in loving red details. A red bridge leads up to it; a river gurgling underneath it.
Tony jumps to see Ayame appearing before him, falling to the ground in surprise. She's wearing in a white haori and a red hakama. Her hair is tied back by a white ribbon.
"What are you doing here?" she asks, extending a hand out to help him.
"Got lost?" Tony says weakly. He notices for the first time her silver fox shaped bracelet around her wrist.
In return, Ayame notices the leaf necklace Tony is wearing. She smiles. "Did you witness a kitsune no yomeiri?" she asks. "That's a good omen."
Before Tony can answer her, Steve comes out of nowhere in engulfs Tony in a hug. "Tony!" Steve shouts. "Are you alright? You disappeared without telling me. Where did you go? Do you know what could have happened if I didn't run into Ms. Ayumu? We're in the middle of the foreign country! Where we both can't speak the language! Are you sure you're okay?" Steve is patting Tony down, searching for injuries.
Tony on the other hand, groans. "Oh god, Steve, you're a worse mother hen than Phil when he's trying to stop Clint and me to stop fooling around." Something clicks in his head as he says that. It's... a notion that Tony never considers for, an idea that seems still too impossible to consider.
But... if Phil is the mother, that makes Steve the older responsible brother. Bruce is his science twin bro; they call each other that more than often. Clint is definitely the younger brother that Tony loves causing troubles with makes Natasha the scary older sister. If... Tony looks at it this way, he's had a family for at least the last ten months and never notice it.
That witch really granted his wish.
As Steve frets over Tony and Tony is lost in thought, Ayame smiles to herself. Neither of them can see it, but there's a white fox weaving around Steve and Tony's feet. It leaves them and approaches Ayame, looking proud of itself.
Ayame leans down to pet it. The white fox preened, its nine tails swaying in happiness. "Okitsune-sama. Anata ha, kare ga anata o sukut ta hitotsu de at ta watashi ni it ta koto ha ari masen,"she tells the fox. The fox grins at her, mischievously before running back into the bushes.
"What?" Tony says. Both Steve and Tony are staring at her.
Ayame smiles. "It's nothing much," she says mysteriously. She wonders if Tony can see all his fortunes. Kitsune are tricksters and mischief makers, but doing them a favor can earn one so many blessings. Her smile grew wider as she looks at Tony.
"You have the blessing of the gods."
Translations (The sentences were translated with google translate, not expecting it to be very accurate...)
hitsuzen = Fate/inevitable
Shouji = Japanese sliding doors
"Otenki Ame. Kono you na yoi zenchou o motarasu." = Sun shower. You bring such good omens."
Tori = Japanese gates
Haori = Japanese top
Hakama = Japanese pants
kitsune no yomeiri = fox wedding
"Okitsune-sama. Anata ha, kare ga anata o sukut ta hitotsu de at ta watashi ni it ta koto ha ari masen" = Okitsune-sama. You never told me he was the one who saved you
Kitsune = fox
So this is the sequel to wishes of happiness. In wishes, it was about hoping for a better tomorrow and showing Tony that he was a good person. Blessing of Gods' purpose was to show that Tony is blessed in many different but not normal ways. Basically he's going in reverse. The love, affection, fun, friends, family that Tony was suppose to have in his childhood, didn't happen until he grew up and meet the Avengers. Because pairings aside, I really view the Avengers (at least movie verse ones) as some of dysfunctional family.
For those of you not familiar with Kitsune(foxes) and how they work, here's a brief run down is that if you do a kitsune a favor it will repay you back with gifts. These gifts are non material (so if you get a material object like money that fox is playing a trick on you) such as knowledge, luck etc. (In Tony's case he already has a great gift of knowledge and his luck, while terribly out of balance at times is pretty great. Even if his bad luck gets him into extreme situations, the cave and flying the nuke through the portal, his good luck gets him out i.e. creating the Iron man armor or falling back through the portal in time). Kitsune are tricksters but some are protector gods. They're a whole shade of grey.
So in all, I hope this story holds the same vibe and feel as wishes and I hope you guys enjoyed.
Please review :3