IMPORTANT! I have edited this because I looked back on it and couldn't stop myself from cringing. It still might be cringe-worthy but it's better. I'm seriously not happy with the lack of variety in my sentence openers even now but oh well. I've added in a couple of paragraphs, so look carefully.
I have borrowed the fic Papabear by the spectacularly talented and funny as hell Bleeding Jazz Gums with her full permission. Although I guess borrowing wouldn't be the word. Utilising, maybe? I'm utilising her awesome fic. Also, I know that there are two more chapters to Papabear but as of now, I'm not planning on continuing this. I might include the other chapters but I'm not seriously considering it.
For the people who are waiting for me to update Of Hair Gel and Mechanical Hearts: Sorry it's taking so long. I was kind of on a roll when I wrote the first chapter, like, 2 days after Protecting What's His, which I wrote and published in 2 days. I blame that for all the bad stuff before. I should've taken a breather before looking over it one last time. (BTW I'm talking about PWH, not oHGaMH.) So, sorry and I just wanted to reassure you that I'm not abandoning it, I'm just lazy and busy. Alternatively. ^~^ (That's me scrunching my nose. I look kinda blithe, don't I? Or like a demented owl.)
Disclaimer: In no way do I own the Avengers or Papabear.
In hindsight, maybe accepting Loki's 'Sorry I tried to take over the world. Next time I'll be more subtle' gift wasn't the best idea. But in their defense, Frigga was the one who convinced (read forced) Loki to offer it to them in the first place. Really, it was all her fault.
Everybody loves the blame game, especially SHIELD.
As it was, Reindeer Games had given them documents detailing a mistake pertaining to the Avengers Initiative in the nearby future and as shocking as it might be to some, SHIELD kinda has an issue with sticking its nose where it doesn't belong. Maybe their day's one-way trip to hell could have been avoided if Tony Stark didn't have the same issue.
To put a long story short- SHIELD pretended to have the documents destroyed; nobody bought that; Tony snooped; Tony found the documents; and then Tony dragged the rest of his team to HQ to have a calm and rationale discussion with Fury.
"With all due respect sir, we have a right-"
"THIS TREACHERY IS MOST DISPLEASING!"
"The future, Eyepatch, the future! How could you have seriously-"
Okay, so Steve was the only one being calm about this. It was meant to be a calm and rationale discussion, however, and it's the principle of the matter, really.
"Enough!" Fury snarled and amazingly, the yelling cut off.
The tension within the conference room was palpable. Clint was glaring at nothing, an arrow clenched in one tight fist. Natasha's face gave nothing away but she clearly wasn't happy either. Bruce 's head was in his hands as he struggled to keep calm and Tony was standing at his side, one hand on his science bro's shoulder and the other holding on to a martini glass that they all could have sworn he didn't have 10 minutes ago. Thor and Steve were facing off against the director, Thor a little louder than was strictly necessary but hey, principles.
"You don't have to read it because we will. SHIELD will read it and prevent the issue from happening. There is no need to involve any of you and frankly, nobody wants you motherfuckers here!"
"Well," Tony muttered under his breath, causing Bruce's lips to twitch.
"Why haven't you already read it?" Natasha's sharp voice sliced through the room, her eyes narrowing dangerously.
Fury's lips compressed into a thin line as the team turned pointed stares in his direction.
"It hasn't been cooperating," he admitted through clenched teeth.
"The paper," Nat said slowly," hasn't been cooperating."
"Probably cause it was waiting for me to get here," Tony proclaimed loftily, sprawling lazily beside Bruce so that he could prop his feet up on the table. The other genius relaxed minutely at his friend's comforting presence. (*snort* I JUST CALLED TONY STARK'S PRESENCE COMFORTING!)
Steve rolled his eyes. "Listen Stark, now isn't-"
"The Man of Iron's diagnosis of this… interesting… situation might very well be correct."
Everybody turned their heads disbelievingly in Thor's direction.
"Seriously?" Clint muttered at the same time as Tony said, "It is? I mean, of course it is, I'm a genius. Ummm, how exactly is it correct, for, you know, the benefits of the less amazing."
"I would be unsurprised to find that my brother placed a charm on these papers so that they may only be read by certain individuals. The papers were intended to be read by us, so he prevented anyone else from acquiring them."
The silence following this surprisingly insightful statement was broken only by Tony's, "Right. That's what I meant."
Bruce cut Fury off before he could start." Look, the only way you're ever going to find out what mistake you make in the future is if you read it with us. You can't read it without us and it would be far too easy for us to get a hold of the papers without you or your coveted permission." And if Tony didn't absolutely swell with pride at the palpable sarcasm.
Clint supressed a snort, not wanting to interrupt the silent stare that was eventually broken by Fury's growl of frustration. He reached behind him and came back up with a stack of papers.
"Really!?" Tony exploded. "They were here the whole time?"
"I'll read if you don't mind, sir." Clint was already reaching for the stack as he asked for permission. "Everybody get comfortable."
The first time S.H.I.E.L.D. tried to 'commandeer' his AI, Tony flipped his fucking lid.
Everybody jumped in surprise (except for Clint, Natasha, and Fury cause they're unflappable) as the sound of shattering glass echoed throughout the room.
Tony calmly brushed off the remains of his martini glass before smiling placidly at Clint. "Go on."
It was understandable, really. And it didn't matter what Pepper said in those meant-to-be-soothingly undertones, it didn't matter that she said there was absolutely no way they could legally take him(and even if they tried less than legal methods, there is absolutely no way, absolutely no fucking way that they would succeed, not with Banner or Clint or Cap under their roof, he's not so sure about Natasha even though he's sort of grown to like her kickass attitude. And normally, y'know, he would never, ever want to cross paths with her even in the suit,
"Well, at least you're not completely suicidal," Clint muttered.
but if she crossed him on this, crossed him when his 'bots were involved, he had no qualms about pulling all of that pretty hair out. Or at least going down trying.), they still tried. The fucking audacity...
"Why would you attempt to hurt the Man in the Walls?" Thor asked sternly.
" Jarvis has access to information anybody would kill for," Bruce answered for the director," I'm surprised they haven't attempted it before."
"We try to humor Stark as best we can," Fury said dryly.
Everybody turned towards the billionaire who simply raised an eyebrow," Is that what you try to do?" Steve and Bruce shifted uncomfortably at the unnaturally icy tone.
He's sure he's been under their radar for a while now, he's not exactly subtle, so his opinion of them has gone from 'occasionally stupid with a few shiny stuffs' to 'downright fucking ignorant'
Natasha and Fury bristled indignantly but didn't interrupt.
First of all, they really should have taken in the fact that he is Tony Stark.
*Cue eye rolls*
He built a suit from scrap metal in the middle of a goddamn cave in the desert for Chrissake under constant surveillance.
"Cave?" Steve turned abruptly towards Tony, his expression and voice drawn tight with alarm. "What cave?"
"The first Iron Man suit was built in order to escape from a terrorist group that I had been held captive by for 3 months," Tony answered monotonously. He still had that little half smirk/half smile on his face, as if he was laughing at an inside joke that nobody else was in on. The cold rage in his eyes ruined the image.
Blue eyes downcast, Steve swallowed any response he could have made. There wasn't anything he could say. He should've known this though. He was the team's leader after all. For Tony to have not said anything was understandable and altogether unsurprising. The older (younger?) man was tightlipped about his past and anyway, how could you possibly explain something like that? Had their situations been reversed, Steve wouldn't have said anything as well for fear of pity. Fury should've informed him, or at least alluded to Tony's past experiences, though. It was just another reminder of just how secretive SHEILD and its director actually were.
Before that, he made the worlds most advanced AI...It would be decades, decades before others were advanced enough to create the kind of intelligence that was JARVIS. Even if Tony was helpless(which he wasn't), even if all he could do was stand back and watch(which he absolutely would not), JARVIS... JARVIS would not accept anything lying down. He was his creators greatest invention, after all. All of that sass and awesome wasn't just for show, thanks and oh fuck you by the way.
"What about the Iron Man Suit?" Bruce asked softly, even though he was pretty sure he already knew the answer.
Tony's response was slow coming as he struggled to verbalize his thoughts towards the subject. "The Iron Man armor is a tool. I mean, it's a part of me, a second skin born of my sweat and blood and I would never part with it, but Jarvis, Jarvis is family."
Thor and Bruce nodded approvingly while Steve stared at his friend's son in a new light. Natasha narrowed her eyes. Perhaps she had misjudged him. Clint considered the man in front of him. His bow was an extension of himself. Without it, he couldn't help but feel slightly naked. If Tony's words were to be taken to heart, then they were even more alike than he had originally anticipated. He hid a smile. Yeah, they would get along just fine.
Second of all, c'mon, seriously. Tony Stark here.
The red-head scoffed. Maybe she hadn't misjudged him.
"Is the threat of your name supposed to scare me Stark? So far, I'm not seeing my mistake."
Tony smiled predatorily at Fury. "Nobody ever does at first."
Ignoring the fact he is rich and a genius and pretty much made of awesome, one of his most blatant and overly developed characteristics is that he does not share. You want money? Whatever, he was plenty more where that came from. Housing? Hey, as long as you don't snore and he-relatively-likes you, take one of the dozen or so rooms on whatever floor you like.
But if you want his technology? His workshop? Blueprints? Passwords? Security clearance codes? A spare lightbulb?
Kiss his ass.
"That seems a bit of an extreme payment for a lightbulb. Do you even have lightbulbs?" Clint asked, partly to lighten the mood, partly out of curiosity.
Tony opened his mouth and then closed it again. Finally he said, "You know, I'm not sure."
"How can you-"
"READ!" Fury snarled.
Tony Stark will be in Hell, sipping ice cold margaritas(oh yes, he'd find a way) before someone touches his shit. Most likely though not even then.
"If the Man of Iron's level of ingenuity exceeds my brother's as I suspect it does, his traps of boobies will succeed," Thor said gravely, causing the others to stare at him. "What?"
Nick Fury and him don't get along on the best of days. Seriously. That's a good day; Tony snarking, Fury staring at him with dolls eyes, that sorta thing. At most they'll argue. On a bad day, they'll be butting heads over everything and throwing out threats like rice at a wedding. They don't get along, and both of them are totally fine with that.
But for even thinking of giving the go-ahead to try to hack JARVIS...
Tony grit his teeth. Oh yeah, Fury would regret it. Hell hath no fury like a creator when his inventions are, oh you know what he means.
They'd been in the middle of a debriefing, all of the Avengers standing in Fury's office. Cap and Bruce flanked his left and right respectively, while Clint hung back with Natasha to his far left. He'd been doing that one eyed smoldering thing while Capsicle recounted the days events(apparently Tony had been just the barest bit off on his aim and had his repulsor beams go through at least seven buildings, but he was maybe just a little bit concussed so cut him some slack for chrissake,
Steve rolled his eyes, though that was more out of exasperated affection than any real irritation.
and Hulk had gone a little too smash happy once he was flown into a shopping mall and had to be coaxed out with the promise of a rematch with Thor)
Bruce cringed slightly and lowered his head, his hands fiddling subconsciously with his shirt.
while Tony had in an incredibly miniature version of a Bluetooth-except much more advanced and basically better in every way-in his ear while JARVIS recounted the damages to the suit.
"Damages are considerable to the left side, Sir. Specifically the joints, and will require a number of hours of repair before they will move without hindrance. Damages are considerable to the left side."
Tony growled under his breath. Jarvis was amazing and, at times, he seemed more human than Tony felt. It wasn't fair.
"Is there a glitch in the Matrix, JARVIS?" He asked, casually cutting into Steve's careful recount and having them all turn very pointed looks in his direction. There was a beat.
"...Yes, Sir, I believe there is."
Tony was already out the door.
"You're loyalty towards friend Jarvis is most admirable, Man of Iron," Thor said, an odd note of gentleness in his voice.
Picking up on it, Tony's eyes softened slightly. "Tony, please."
"Stark!" Fury barked. He didn't even pause.
"You better hope you're not behind this, Fury." He calls back, his voice unnaturally calm and even.
Much like it is now, Natasha thought.
The distinct silence has followed him out into the hallways, but he's already rounded the corner and is gone.
As it turns out, Fury is behind it. Rather, S.H.I.E.L.D. lackeys are, but it's the same thing, really. He can pretty much see all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s pitifully untalented fingerprints all over JARVIS's code, and this enrages him. They should not have been able to get in as far as they had, which, admittedly, wasn't very far at all and not nearly as far as they wanted, but they got into his coding.
Fury frowned. He didn't like Stark, not one bit, but even he had to admit, albeit grudgingly, that he was smarter than half of SHIELD combined. (How cute. He thinks it's only half.)
They got into his fucking coding, the thing that made JARVIS exactly what he is, snarky and British and one of the most sarcastic dicks Tony has ever known, himself included. They got into that, forced their way into that, laid their grubby sticky fingers on as much of it as they could before JARVIS caught the fuckers and forced them out,
"How would that feel for Jarvis?" Steve asked delicately.
"Like rape," Tony said simply, even as his chocolate brown eyes darkened with smoldering rage.
consequently frying any equipment they had used in the process.
It's an extremely small price to pay, and Tony is going to ensure that that price rises. Significantly.
Clint grinned darkly. Well this ought to be entertaining.
He spends the first three days in his workshop, pouring over every detail he can manage while JARVIS helps and Dummy fetches coffee and makes reassuring whirring and beeping noises at the wall, patting it with his claw comfortingly.
JARVIS' sigh is long suffering, but the gratitude is real when he thanks Dummy and tells him yes, yes he is feeling better now.
Fury scoffed. Jarvis was a glorified computer. He didn't feel anything.
Natasha's thoughts were similar except with a sliver of doubt. Dummy was a robot and he was trying to be comforting. Besides, she thought if anyone could create a computer capable of feeling emotions, it would be Stark.
Pepper comes down, most likely to try to talk to him, but the moment she opens her mouth he raises his head very, very slowly, and just looks at her.
Her jaw closes a moment later and she sighs.
"A Natasha stare then," Clint joked weakly. The Russian in question looked at him and he promptly turned back to the papers. Yup, that was the one.
Bruce looked amused for a brief second before turning back to look at his best friend in concern.
"JARVIS," she says, sending Tony an exasperated affectionate look. "Are you feeling... Well?"
A pause. "I am feeling much better now, yes. Thank you for asking, Miss Potts."
"Of course, JARVIS." She continues, in a sweet and earnest voice, "We'd be lost without you."
"...Thank you again, Miss Potts."
"Not at all." The sound of heels on concrete accompanies her on the way out. Tony waits a beat.
"JARVIS?" He murmurs quietly without pausing what he was doing.
"...I would like another firewall, Sir. If at all possible..." Here, JARVIS hesitates. If anything, Tony's hands fly even faster over the on screen keyboard. "...If possible, looked over by you beforehand."
The Avengers bit back smiles. For all that their teammate claimed to not have a heart, he obviously adored Jarvis.
He steps it up and creates the firewall itself from scratch. Right next to JARVIS, it's the most advanced piece of code he has ever created. Another three days are taken to look over it, again and again and again, with Tony actually sleeping at periodic intervals because he's not going to fail JARVIS on this, he just fucking won't, but it gets done. It's done, and it's perfect, and it kind of feels like he can feel the shrapnel in his chest actually move with stunning precision past the arc reactor when he asks, "It's all good, buddy. Do you... Want me to go? So you can install it?" Because that's just silly, about the shrapnel part, not with JARVIS. He can't blame the AI if he wants a little time to himself now, just to be alone and be reassured that he's patched and alright and there is no way in hell they will ever get back in again.
Tony nodded resolutely, ignoring the impressed stares from the others. He would go through Hell and back for Jarvis, but, honestly, he'd be damned if he let it get that far.
"No!" JARVIS cuts into his thoughts in what some would call calm precision, but what Tony knows is more like a little panic. "No. No, Sir. It shouldn't take more than forty five minutes, twelve seconds to complete the necessary installation." There's that hesitance again, that brief moment of silence that makes the edges of Tony's vision turn red. Oh yes, he was going to make people pay dearly. "You have no meetings nor prior engagements, but if you would like to visit Doctor Banner or perhaps-"
"Here." He says firmly. "I want to stay here."
"...Thank you, Sir."
"No need to thank me Jarvis," Tony muttered.
Steve frowned heavily. "Do you still not see your mistake, sir? I believe it's quite obvious."
Fury rolled his eyes. "I highly doubt that anything Stark throws at me will be too much to handle." Stark was used to getting his way but it was high time he was put in his place.
He doesn't answer because there isn't any more to say. He stays the forty five minutes and twelve seconds, and then another thirty so JARVIS can get accustomed and comfortable. Dummy, nearby, is ready with the fire extinguisher.
Tony sighed long-sufferingly," Dummy is a helper bot and the first AI I ever made. He has… issues. An obsession with fire extinguishers is one of them."
The shocked silence was broken when Bruce laughed," Only you Tony."
"This Dummy sounds like a mighty warrior. He handles his weapon of choice, the deadly fire extinguisher, with great skill," Thor proclaimed, looking for all the world like a proud parent… or teacher. Odin help the god of Thunder if Tony so much as gets a whiff that he might have been the cause of Dummy's 'choice of weapon'.
"Feelin' good, buddy?" Tony asks, a hint of amusement in his voice.
"Need me for anything else?"
"Not at the moment, Sir, no."
Tony smiled, upper lip curling and teeth exposed in what actually passed more as a viciously gleeful snarl than anything else. "Good. I believe I'll be paying S.H.I.E.L.D. a visit then."
"Very good, Sir."
Fury leaned forward slightly, interested despite his earlier doubts about what the genius might do.
He arrives at S.H.I.E.L.D. later that day, sunglasses firmly on his face and in his most expensive suit, posture as lazy and comfortable as if he were at home instead of walking straight past a loudly complaining Agent Hill right into the Tech division.
In the end, he makes three different people whom he knows had nothing to do with the hacking cry,
Steve choked as Natasha's eyebrows shot up into her hairline. Clint, Bruce, and Thor hid smiles. Well, Clint and Bruce hid smiles. Thor laughed outright. Fury's face was expressionless as he, along with the others, slowly turned to regard Tony. Tony looked at them in mock surprise and offense.
"What? You don't really think that's all I did, do you?"
but at this point he gives absolutely zero fucks whatsoever and he's really just trying to prove a point now. He knows exactly who had the (un)lucky break to somehow get into JARVIS' code, has his eye on them the entire time he informs the Tech division that most of them have utterly destroyed credit scores and the rest are considered sex offenders in thirty seven states.
"Genius!" Clint crowed happily.
"Well duh," Tony responded, his voice lilting in amusement..
Steve was too shocked to blush or reprimand Tony for his arrogance and, though they didn't show it, Natasha and Fury were kinda shocked too. Thor was laughing again as Bruce smirked. He had a feeling there was more.
If he just so happens to let his eyes mingle on the two little asswipes who thought they could touch his shit and get away with it for a beat or four longer than necessary, well, that's his business.
Also theirs, if they happen to step into any of the aforementioned thirty seven states.
Which included this one.
"Damn Stark," Natasha muttered. Thor and Clint were cracking up. She snorted when their fist bump ended in Clint cradling his hand to his chest and swearing up a storm. Steve chuckled, sounding slightly disbelieving. Fury watched with sharp eyes as Bruce muttered something in Tony's ear, causing the other man to smirk sadistically. Maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't be a good idea to try to hack into Stark's AI. As it was, he had the sinking feeling that retribution would be achieved whether he did or not.
There are some protests, but not a lot, and they trail off before they actually really form. Tony's smile is slow coming and razor sharp.
"That's what I thought."
Thor nodded proudly. The Ma- Tony- had proved himself to be a worthy opponent in a Battle of Words. If ever the time came when Mjolnir would not be an appropriate weapon, the dark haired genius would be his first choice in partner. The similarities with his brother were astounding, except for one crucial detail. While Loki had soothed his wounds caused by his father's secret keeping with thoughts of mass destruction and death, Tony comforted himself by helping others…. except in the case that those he cared for were hurt. Then, fire and blood would rain down upon his enemies. Thor most definitely, did NOT disapprove.
Just for good measure though, he'll have to freeze their Facebooks and bank accounts. Not forever; he was a dick, but he wasn't a complete and utter asshole. They'd be unfrozen in a couple months. Maybe. Most of them. Yeah.
And because he's Tony Stark and he knows most, if not all, of S.H.I.E.L.D. is watching, he turns to the not so secret security camera in the corner and slips his sunglasses down his nose just a barest inch. "And to you all-yeah, that includes you, Popeye-if any of you attempt anything again on any of my 'bots or technology, I'm going to personally make sure that none of you are legally able to set foot in Columbia again." His smile bares his teeth. "And then send you to Colombia. Do you know what they do to you in Columbia? Absolutely fucking nothing that could hope to compare to what I will do to all of you if you go near what is mine again. This is nothing. You should thank me for only going as far as I did. Because I promise you, if this happens again, which I know it won't, this place will burn."
He strolls out of Tech, out of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nobody stops him.
"The End!" Clint finished cheerfully. The archer stood up and looped his arms around Bruce and Tony, leading them out the door. "Now, you've got to teach me how to…" his voice faded as the trio left HQ.
Thor nodded decisively, "Aye. I also wish to hear the words of Friend Stark." He strode out the door, leaving Fury, Steve, and Natasha alone.
"Well," Natasha drawled, "that was enlightening."
Steve nodded, his eyes on Fury. "Are you still going to hack Jarvis? This entire… thing… was a complete waste if you don't learn anything from it."
Fury was quiet for a second. "Very well. You are dismissed Captain."
Steve eyed the director in disgust for a moment before walking out, head held high.
Natasha waited until he was out of earshot before speaking, "Stark'll be on guard now. He'll probably rewrite Jarvis' firewalls just to prevent this from happening and then get revenge anyway just because he knows the thought has taken root. There is no point-"
"All this has done is show us what not to do," Fury interrupted. "The potential benefits of a successful hacking-"
"far outweighs the potential problems, especially if we know what to avoid now."
Natasha stared blankly at him before saying," Your death wish," and spinning on her heel.
Fury grabbed a bottle of Advil as she left. He was gonna need it.
Please review! I would love to hear your input, especially since I've changed it a little bit. Feel free to criticize my writing ability as long as you're not mean. Being mean and being a bully is what drives hundreds of people to either suicide or self-destructive habits. I'm not saying I'm going to do that! Just to be careful. You never know, maybe I've saved a couple of people by this little, mini-rant