Symbiotic Relationship: Chapter One

Tony would rather be doing anything else right now. Anything. Well, with the possible exception of that finance meeting Pepper kept dangling over his head. As it happened, however, he wasn't doing anything else, he was stuck doing this. Zipping around as Iron Man, trying to do damage control on his city (again), as Loki and Amora faced off (again) rather viciously.

It had become a worrisome trend over the past month, that instead of fighting Loki, their once clear cut enemy, the Avengers were stuck dancing around him like referees, trying to keep things from getting too out of hand, as he duked it out with the current bane of their existence, Amora.

The only difference today was that Tony was consecutively battling a mighty hangover that had him breaking out in sweats and tremors and seeing stars when he caught a particularly wicked sun glare. Not particularly conducive to his patented Iron Man airborne grace.

"Jarvis, remind me to cut back on the drinking," Tony groaned, as his eyeballs throbbed in their sockets.

"Of course, sir. I will continue to remind you with every glass," his A.I. quipped back to him, making Tony roll his eyes.

He focused himself back on the present issue as a blast of green, rolling like a cloud, flew from Loki's hands at Amora. He caught a brief flash of fear on her face as she just barely managed to hit the ground and flatten herself to it before the ominous magic passed over her and hit the corner of a nearby building.

A shout reached Tony's ears and he cursed, searching for the source. The Avengers had already evacuated this part of the city as the battle had begun ramping up; who the fuck had decided it was a good idea to stay behind?

He made eye contact with Clint, who was posted on a rooftop across from the one that had taken the most recent hit, and he pointed at the row of windows near the blast, on the 14th floor. Hawk had sharp eyes.

Flying in to take a closer look through the haze of smoke and dust, he could just make out the figure of a young man, frantically moving from one window to the next, trying to find a way out. The walls behind him had caved in with the blast, leaving him in a bit of a smoky death trap.

Wasting no time, Tony flew through the wreckage, smashing none too elegantly through an already broken window and a bit of wall for good measure. Looking up, he saw the guy frozen in place, wide eyes focused on Iron Man.

"Hey, kid, you're okay, yeah? I'm gonna get you out of here, you'll be fine, don't panic."

Tony watched in mild disbelief as said idiot kid slowly raised an amateur video camera up to focus on the most infamous Avenger. Making a face behind his mask, Tony spared a glance around the room and saw the mangled remains of a tripod next to one of the windows, directly facing Loki and Amora. His pulsing headache seemed to magnify and he rolled his eyes.

"Oh, fuck me, really? You decided not to evacuate like every other New York citizen in a mile radius because you wanted YouTube glory? Really, kid?" Tony was more than peeved.

"I'm a student journalist, I stayed behind to show people the truth!" the kid managed to stutter out, looking mildly indignant, but still mostly just petrified.

"What, the truth that two non-human, hyper-powerful entities have decided to make a few blocks of New York their personal boxing ring? Yeah, this shit has been going on for a month now, I think people get it. Own up, you wanted a cool video for your Facebook page."

"No, I-" Before he could force out a reply, Tony had crossed the room and wrapped an arm around the kid's waist.

"Hold tight and keep your head down," Tony grumbled, "idiot." He added for good measure.

Really, the hangover was doing nothing for his temperament.

The kid latched onto him with one arm like a lifeline, which Tony supposed, he kind of was, while still managing to keep his camera up and rolling with his left hand. Well, Tony thought, might as well give them a show…

With slightly more force than necessary, he rose up into the air and blasted out of one of the glass and debris free widows.

Moving quickly, he sped away from the battling psychopaths, and towards Steve, who was stationed down on the street, ground level.

"Hey Cap, we still have evac running?"

Steve kept his eyes focused on the rooftops above, glancing briefly at Tony, then his cargo, to make sure everyone was intact. As soon as they met his approval, his eyes snapped back towards the current threat, just pointing to the east block.

"Sure Tony, head down that str – Hey!" Steve exclaimed in surprise, as with a forced enthusiastic, "Great!" Tony shoved the troublesome kid at him, spun on his heel, and took to the air once more.

Because really, how was he supposed to deal with self-righteous adolescents lacking in all common sense when his head was pounding like this? It just wasn't humane.

He was jolted back to the present as a sharp crackle of thunder announced the arrival of yet another Asgardian to New York's rooftops. With enough force to make the building shudder, Thor landed near Loki, Mjolnir in hand, and rushed towards him.

"Brother! Let us once again take up arms together to defeat this common foe!"

"Keep your distance, Thor, I have no want nor need of your help. Your presence is most unwelcome," Loki ground out, trying to simultaneously keep his eyes on Amora and stare down Thor.

Hurt was written all over Thor's face at his once-brother's words, but he immediately hardened his features and faced Amora as well. Unfortunately, shoulder to shoulder and facing Amora, their backs were rather exposed. She jumped on the opportunity, clapped her hands together once, and the behemoth known as Skurge seemed to materialize into existence behind the two oblivious Asgardians.

"Watch your back, Thor!" Tony yelled, even as he flew towards them, blasters already trained on Skurge.

In a crash of metal and flesh, Tony slammed into Skurge, sending them both smashing into a rooftop air vent. As he struggled in the close quartered, hand to hand combat, Thor and Loki both barely spared a glance at them before turning to face Amora once more.

"Oh, yeah, it's cool guys, I've got this one. Don't worry your pretty, godly heads about the MONSTER back here, I've got him if you think the two of you can handle the tiny girl!" Tony snapped and he and Skurge continued to roll around, taking swings and grappling at each others throats.

Every time he looked up, Amora seemed to be giving as good as she was getting, lobbing attacks at Thor and Loki simultaneously, never letting her guard down for a second.

Tony finally found an opening in Skurge's bulky defense, however, and with a well-aimed blast, left a gaping hole through the villain's torso.

"Ha! Gotcha, fucker," Tony growled in triumph, struggling to his feet and throwing the enemy away from him.

Amora, Loki and Thor all seemed to focus their attention on him at once, and with a raised eyebrow, Loki snarked out, "Well, at least someone on your team seems competent enough to render actual assistance, Odinson. Do take notes."

With a ferocious snarl, Amora's eyes flashed as she looked at Skurge lying motionless.

"You know," she said, voice quiet and threatening, "it really breaks my heart to see brothers torn apart so. I think it's time I take my family home, and help you rebuild what's left of yours."

With a dangerous gleam in her eye, she summoned Skurge to her with one hand, while flinging two identical purple bolts of light at Thor and Loki with the other.

Reacting fast, Tony tried to shove Loki out of the way, while simultaneously launching himself at Thor in a full on tackle. Unfortunately for Loki, Tony's one-armed shove wasn't enough to move him even an inch and the purple light hit him full on in the chest. And unfortunately for Tony, while he successfully tackled Thor out of harms way, the purple light slammed into him instead, knocking the wind out of him.

Tony heard a scream, and was pretty sure it was coming from his own throat. But then, somewhere in the back of his pain-addled brain, he recognized a twin scream issuing from close by. He started to roll over and see where it was coming from, but at that instant, he felt something yank him at great speeds across the rooftop. He felt himself slam into another body, but before he could deduce much of anything, black spots took over his vision and he felt his mind go peacefully numb.

Disclaimer: I am obviously not Marvel. Or Disney. I own none of these characters. I certainly enjoy writing them though :)