Title: Avengers in Sunnydale
Author: Patrick Mallard (DWDuck)
Setting: Set after the the episode, "The Body" from season five of BtVS and after the Avengers movie. Time has been shifted forward in the Buffyverse ten years so that it takes place in the current Avengersverse.
Disclaimer: I own none of the rights to either BtVS or anything from the Marvel Universe, specifically the Avengers. I'm just thankful that they were created so the rest of us could enjoy these wonderful universes and that Joss Whedon is such a genius.
******Avengers in Sunnydale******
Pepper Potts leaned against the doorframe leading into the giant rec room near the top of the newly renamed Avengers Tower. A tear slid down her cheek as she watched her boyfriend, Tony Stark, palling around with a Norse god, a super soldier from WWII, a pair of super spies, and a scientist with serious anger management issues. They were having a chili dog eating contest and Clint Barton was holding his own with Thor. The rest of the team had pushed themselves away from the table. Pepper took a deep breath, wiped away the tear, and walked into the room.
Clint stood up from his seat slightly and let loose with an extra loud fart. Thor waved his hand in front of his face and deadpanned, "Perhaps I must seek a new name friend Clint, for truly thou art the real god of thunder." This set the team of superheroes into fits of laughter. Even Steve Rogers, who Tony said had a second shield shoved up his ass most of the time, joined in the raucous fun.
As if he knew Pepper was thinking about him, Steve turned to look her way. He saw the expression on her face and his laughter died instantly. During WWII, he had seen too many Army representatives knocking on too many doors to let people know their loved ones had died not to recognize the look on Pepper's face. He met her eyes and she glanced towards Tony. Steve nodded to Pepper and walked over to Tony, putting his hand on the other man's shoulder gently. For his part, Tony was about to protest being pulled away from the party until he saw Pepper's face. He rose and walked towards Pepper who led him into the hallway.
All conversation had stopped as the Avengers watched Pepper lead Tony out of the room. They couldn't hear what was being said, but they all gasped when Tony dropped to his knees sobbing. Pepper bent down next to him and wrapped her arms around her lover.
Steve's heart broke for the man he had come to think of as a brother. Sure, Tony was the annoying, sarcastic little brother that always made you want to punch him in the nose, but he was still a brother. He sighed loudly as Natasha's communicator beeped loudly.
Natasha Romanoff, the woman S.H.I.E.L.D. had dubbed "The Black Widow", had her communicator out as soon as it chimed, letting her know her boss, Nick Fury, wanted to speak with her. When Natasha was done talking with Fury, she looked over at Tony with compassion at odds with her nickname. "Director Fury said they just received word that Tony's older sister just passed away from a brain aneurysm," she told her team. That statement was met with confused looks from the rest.
Bruce Banner was the first to speak after that bombshell was dropped. "I didn't even know Tony had a sister," he muttered.
Clint stood up from the table, his appetite gone. "Joyce Summers was born Joyce Stark. She was several years older than Tony and had a big blow up with their father over the family business focusing on weapons," he told Bruce. "Joyce renounced her family, married a loser named Hank Summers, and refused to have any contact with any family member other than Tony while he was growing up," he explained. "When Tony took over the family business, he and Joyce had a blow up just like she had with their father. The two of them hadn't spoken since then," he stated sadly.
Natasha took in a deep breath. "Even though she was as removed as humanly possible from the Stark family, S.H.I.E.L.D. kept tabs on Joyce in case someone found out about her and tried to use her to influence Tony," she admitted.
Thor glanced over at the doorway where Tony was still huddled in Pepper's arms. "Will there be a funeral rite?" he inquired. Natasha just nodded her head. Thor had attended the funeral rite for Agent Coulson after Steve had explained to him the purpose of such a gathering. Steve had told him that the reasoning behind a funeral was to gather those who knew the deceased so they could comfort each other. "I will fill in for Anthony when it is his turn to patrol the skies over this country," he decreed.
Bruce looked over at his friend who had just risen on shaky legs. "Where's was his sister living before she passed away?" he inquired.
"A little town in Southern California called Sunnydale," Natasha replied.
******Avengers in Sunnydale******
Rupert Giles had his arm around Dawn Summers' shoulders as they stood next to Joyce's grave. He fought back his own tears as Dawn's flowed freely when they started to lower the casket into the ground. To take his mind off of Dawn and Buffy's suffering, if only for a moment, Giles looked over the crowd of people who had gathered to say their goodbyes to a remarkably brave and resilient woman. He saw many people he knew and a few he didn't. His jaw clenched in anger when he confirmed that Hank Summers hadn't bothered to show. Giles looked past the small gathering and saw two people standing a little ways off, facing their direction. The group consisted of a man and a woman. The man had black hair and a trimmed, black goatee. He was wearing an expensive black suit with black gloves. A pair of dark, designer sunglasses hid his eyes. The woman had bright red hair and was wearing an expensive, but tasteful black dress. She was holding the man's hand.
Giles had been too preoccupied to notice the pair's arrival, but now that he knew they were there, he started to worry. Buffy was still in a state of shock and was in no condition to fight a group of people who had an axe to grind with the Slayer. Giles let his gaze wander back to Buffy and Dawn as he heard Buffy try to stifle a sob. When he looked back up, the strange man and woman had walked away.
Giles was still thinking about the odd pair during the wake that was held at the Summers' home. He pushed the thought out of his mind as he excused himself to the kitchen to make some calls concerning Joyce's affairs so that Buffy wouldn't have to. He nearly yelled into the phone as he lost his patience with the person at the bank who held the mortgage to Joyce's home. "What do you mean you can't find a mortgage for this residence?!" he asked angrily.
"I'm sorry sir, but I don't see any mortgages for the address you gave me," the clerk repeated. "If you wait for just a moment, I'll try looking a different way and find out why it isn't showing up," she offered.
Giles sighed at the truly helpful tone in her voice. "My apologies for being so upset," he offered. The clerk had been genuinely sad to hear Joyce had passed away and was doing everything she could to track down the information Giles had requested.
After a brief pause the clerk said, "Oh... that's why I can't find it." Giles waited patiently for the clerk to continue. "I'm sorry, Mr. Giles. I was only looking at the active accounts. The Summers home had been transferred to inactive status this morning," she told. him.
"What exactly do you mean by 'inactive status'?" Giles requested. The last thing Buffy needed at the moment was a complication at the bank.
"The loan was paid off in full, so it is no longer active," the clerk replied.
Giles frowned in thought. They were still looking through Joyce's papers trying to find if she had any life insurance policies. "Paid off by whom?" he inquired. He heard the clicking of keys as the clerk sent in another inquiry.
"Um... I'm not really sure, Mr. Giles," the clerk admitted. "There's only an account number and routing code for the payout. The computer won't let me trace it back any farther," she said. "Is there anything else I can do for you or the Summers girls?" the clerk asked. "Joyce was always a good customer and made sure to say hi to all the clerks whenever she stopped by," she told him.
"No... no, that will be all. You've been most helpful," Giles replied as he hung up the phone. He looked up from the phone as he heard Willow and Xander usher the last of the visitors out of the home. He walked into the living room and sat between Dawn and Buffy on the large couch next to the windows. He put an arm around each of their shoulders and kissed first the top of Dawn's head and then Buffy's. Both girls leaned into their surrogate father for support.
The relative calm was shattered as the doorbell rang. Xander grimaced and stalked angrily to the door. He threw open the door, ready to yell at whomever was at the door, but his mouth simply hung open when he saw who was standing there. Waiting patiently with his hands clasped behind his back was none other than Tony Stark, owner of Stark Industries and if his press conference was to be believed also the superhero known as Iron Man.
"May I?" Tony asked as he gestured inside the house. Xander only nodded while stepping back to let the celebrity enter. Tony stepped past the wide eyed young man and strode into the living room. He looked around slowly, taking a measure of the people still at the home. Except for the man on the couch, everyone else seemed to be about Buffy's age.
Giles, who had little to do with celebrity gossip or TV in general, looked up at the stranger in the center of the room. He did recognize him from the pair that had stood apart from the others at the funeral. His protective instincts kicked in and he rose to challenge the stranger. "I'm sure the girls appreciate you stopping by to voice your condolences," he stated. "However, the wake is over and it's time for Buffy and Dawn to just be with family," he said. The fact that none of them were truly related made no difference in Giles' mind. The Scoobies were his children and that was that.
"Not really a problem considering I'm their uncle," Tony stated as he took off his sunglasses and put them into his pocket. This caught everyone by surprise, especially Willow who gasped in recognition of one of her nerd heroes. "I'm Tony Stark, Joyce's younger brother," he said simply.
Giles looked from the girls to Tony and back again. Buffy stood up next to Giles. "Mom never talked about her family, but I saw her marriage certificate once. Her maiden name was Stark," she told Giles. "It never even occurred to me she was one of thoseStarks," she added, making the name sound like a slur. Like her mother, she had never approved of a company that sold weapons so that humans could fight humans. She had enough problems with things not human wanting to pick a fight.
Tony managed a weak smile at Buffy's tone of voice. "You sound just like Joyce when she told me take my missile designs, fold them so they were full of sharp corners, and shove them where they really shouldn't go," he told her. His smile melted as he thought of his sister. "The last thing either of us said to each other was said in anger," he admitted. "I would take everything back that I said to her," he assured Buffy. After a pause, he looked down at his shoes in shame. "Especially since she was right all along," he muttered.
Giles heard the pain in the man's voice. He looked around the room and saw all of the chairs had been taken. He put a hand on Tony's arm. "Perhaps we should continue this conversation in the dining room," he suggested. Tony nodded and allowed himself to be led out of the living room. After a moment, everyone else followed.
Tony spent the next few hours telling Buffy and Dawn what he could remember about his older sister. Giles sipped on some scotch Tony had retrieved from the extra large SUV he had driven up in. Unless his taste buds were lying to him, that one bottle probably cost more than what he made in a month being a school librarian. When Tony paused in his storytelling, Giles cleared his throat. "I take it the girls have you to thank for paying off the mortgage on the house," he stated.
Buffy looked at Giles in shock. Her expression turned cold when she looked at Tony. "Thanks, but we can take care of things ourselves," she spat. It grated on her to take any kind of charity.
Tony chuckled a bit at the fire behind Buffy's eyes. It reminded him so much of Joyce. "Yeah... about that," he said. "I wasn't really sure how to go about paying off a mortgage so I just bought the bank itself and paid for the loan out of petty funds," he admitted. "I didn't think you would mind since I transferred ownership of the bank to the half of the company you and Dawn own," he stated smugly.
"Wait... what company? What are you talking about?" Buffy stammered.
"Stark Industries, of course," Tony replied with a smile. "Joyce was right all along and profits have soared since I refocused the company on renewable energies, search and rescue technologies, and space flight research," he told them. "It's only fair that I split the company with her heirs," he said.
Dawn tugged on Willow's arm. "Did he just say Buffy and I now own half of one of the world's largest companies?" she asked, wanting to make sure she wasn't imagining things.
Willow nodded slowly. "Yeah, Dawny, I think your uncle just made you and Buffy billionaires," she confirmed.
"Oh... that's nice," Dawn replied, still stunned from the news.
Tony's cell phone rang startling everyone. The ringtone was an instrumental version of a certain Black Sabbath song. "I'm sorry, but I have to take this," Tony apologized, stepping back from the table. He walked into the hallway to have some privacy. What he didn't know was that Buffy's enhanced slayer hearing let her hear every word of the conversation.
"I'm sorry to interrupt your first meeting with your nieces, sir," a male voice said on the other end of the phone line.
"It's OK, Jarvis, I programmed you not to bother me unless it was really, really important," Tony said. "What's going on?" he asked.
"I have been monitoring the local police frequencies and there are numerous reports of some sort of 'biker' gang on PCP terrorizing the industrial district at the moment," Jarvis replied. "According to the dispatchers, several officers are down and conventional weapons are useless," he relayed. "The police chief has ordered all units to fall back," the AI said.
Tony looked back into the dining room and saw Buffy looking at him with an odd look on her face. "I guess I'll have to cut this meeting short," he muttered, hanging up his phone. He walked back into the dining room, drained his glass of scotch in one gulp, and put the empty glass down. "Something has come up," he said simply. "I'll have my girlfriend call you to set up a time to sign all the papers transferring half of the company to you," he told his nieces. "I would also like to set up a time when we can get to know each other better," he said. "How about dinner tomorrow?" he offered.
Tony had walked out of the room before Buffy or Dawn could answer. The sisters and the rest of the Scoobies followed Tony outside to his SUV. Instead of getting in the driver's seat, Tony pressed a button at the back. A sort of cot looking contraption slid out of the back and Tony laid down on it. The cot retracted back into the SUV, taking Tony with it. The Scoobies heard a series of whirring and clanking noises before the roof of the SUV suddenly split open. A red and gold armored figured floated out of the opening, his hands, feet, and chest glowing a brilliant blue. Iron Man looked down at Buffy and said, "I'll send a car to pick you guys up at around eight." He looked up at the clouds and rocketed skywards at almost the speed of sound.
Dawn followed Iron Man's flight until he was out of her line of sight. She looked over at her sister and grinned. "I totally want one of those!" she exclaimed eagerly.