Winter Gods

Avengers and ROTG. These two fandoms go together surprisingly well!

Anyway. This is a response to a challenge on the ROTG Kink Meme. Basically, the OP, nike, prompted this: "So I want a fic where everyone outside of Midgard/Earth thinks Jack is a god. Not an Asgardian pretending to be a god, but a honest-to-god god."

This is the response. I took the idea and ran with it. This is a multi-chapter fic that will most likely be about 10 chapters long. I posted this a month ago, but have only just been getting back around to it thanks to some IRL trouble. Sorry for the wait, those who found this fic early on! I think I've got all my fanfiction ducks-in-a-row now.

Reviews are welcome, critique encouraged. So, please read on, and I hope you enjoy it!

Ch. 1 – Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

It is not the weirdest conversation he's ever had with Thor, but it is perhaps the funniest.

"So you mean to tell me," Thor begins, eyes furrowed and perplexed. "That this… Santa figure… stalks the younglings of Midgard all year."

"Yes," Tony nods, trying to hide his amusement. He sees you when you're sleeping…

"And this… man?" Thor casts an unsure glance to Bruce, who is trying—failing—to keep a straight face. Banner just nods in confirmation, and Thor continues. "…Judges on their behavior."

He knows if you've been bad or good—

"Right." Tony says patiently.

Thor shifts his weight, looking between the stoic Tony and the not-so-stoic Bruce. He's suspicious, and it's clearly Bruce's fault for not keeping a straight face, but he continues on anyway. "If their behavior that is deemed satisfactory, the young ones receive rewards…"

"Naturally," Tony says. His casual manner makes Bruce snort back laughter.

Thor finishes with, "And if their behavior is irredeemable, he threatens them with death?"

And there it is, the moment Tony's been waiting for. The moment when the conversation goes completely off the rails.

Bruce finally breaks down and turns away, whole body shaking with silent laughter. He crosses his arms and clamps a hand over his mouth, trying to hold it in. The laughter bubbles out anyway, and Tony enjoys it. The man is always so careful and contained; it's good to see him loosen up and laugh once in a while.

"W-what?" Bruce finally manages, after catching his breath.

Thor looks positively uncomfortable. Pulling out the music lyrics Tony lent him, Thor reads aloud, "…So be good for goodness' sake? Is this not a threat?"

"Oh," is all Bruce can say, a new wave of laughter in his lips. "…Oh. No, no, Thor, it's—no."

"Though that would be a good way to encourage better behavior out of kids," Tony adds offhandedly, making Bruce look down and grin.

"If that was how it worked, you wouldn't have made it past age three," Bruce comments. He takes a deep breath, finally regaining his composure. Brushing a stray curl back in place, he turns back to Thor. "No, Thor—naughty kids just don't get presents. Or they get coal in their stocking on Christmas."

"A fair judge," Thor says at last, crossing his arms over his chest. "And a generous ring-giver. Although coal does not seem like much of a punishment. So this Christmas—when is it?"

"Tomorrow," Bruce answers, and Tony does a double take.

"—Wait, wait. Are you sure?"

Bruce casts a wary glance at his teammate. "Tony. Today's the 24th."

He checks his watch and, lo and behold, it is tomorrow, not next week like he'd thought. Time sure flies when you're tinkering on making advancements to your crime-fighting technology.

"You forgot to go shopping, didn't you."

Tony just shrugs at Bruce's accusation. "I can always just… go… make something."

"Tony, No." Bruce says flatly, like he is scolding a bad puppy. Bad Tony. No.

"What, you don't think Pepper would like a handheld missile launcher?"

"Tony. No."

"Will Santa not present Pepper with a proper treasure?" Thor cuts in, confused. "Her behavior has been most exemplary, I would assume."

"Ah—no, Thor, uh…" Bruce is distracted by the question, leaving Tony off scott-free. "…Santa's gifts are typically reserved for children."

"Hm. I—see." Thor looks doubtful. "So he rewards all good children in the world… overnight?" Bruce nods. "How does he carry and deliver the presents?"

Without missing a beat, Tony cuts into the conversation, sweeping his arms wide. "First, his magic elves make all the necessary toys—millions of toys, mind you," he feels the need to add. "Then he stuffs them all into a magical sack about the size of a kitchen chair, and loads them onto his sleigh."

From the skeptical look on Thor's face, Tony can tell he's not buying a word of it.

"From there," Tony continues, voice extravagant, "He gets his eight flying reindeer—and Rudolph—to fly him all over the world to every house on Earth. He lands on the rooftops and slides down the chimney and puts the presents next to the Christmas tree."

Thor looks downright dubious. "And this Santa—he is a tiny man?" The demigod holds his thumb and forefinger apart to demonstrate. "To fit down the chimney?"

"No, Santa's about my height, maybe taller," Tony answers. "A jolly, portly, bearded man…"

"Now I know you are just testing me," Thor interrupts, raising an eyebrow and crossing his arms. "This tale makes no sense. I have seen reindeer, they do not fly. Midgard does not yet have dimensional technology to make the sack you described, and even if he were small enough to fit down a chimney—which he is not, you say—then he could not carry such a heavy thing to deliver the presents. And he visits every child in every household in one night? How is this possible?"

Tony stops for a moment, eyebrows kicking up in surprise. Thor does not usually catch on to Tony's games this quickly.

And maybe Tony is a little impressed with how Thor can spot the flawed logic from a mile away, despite just being introduced to the concept. Thor is sharper than most people give him credit for.

Tony likes keeping up the act, though, and so doesn't concede to the question. "Oh you know. All things are just so magical at this time of year," Tony insists, trying to tease Thor back into the game. "Christmas cheer, holiday joy, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, all that."

It is downright startling how quickly the skepticism slides off Thor's face. The demigod stands stiffly, suddenly dead serious. "Jokul Frosti takes part in the ritual of Christmas?" he demands, his stare boring intensely into Tony's eyes.

He takes a step back—but only because he enjoys his personal space—all while puzzling over Thor's behavior. He thought the demigod would pick up on the magic, or the ritual, or—"How can you not know about Santa but be familiar with something as obscure as Jack Frost?" he asks, trying to find the logic. Even most humans didn't know about him. Nowdays, that name is more of a saying than a myth.

"Jack Frost's myth originates from Norse Mythology," Bruce murmurs his answer, but his eyes are perplexed. He's studying Thor's face, sensing something amiss. "Jokul Frosti. I think—a lesser God? An ice elf? It's an obscure myth."

"Originates?" Thor scoffs at Bruce's answer—in fact, he seems downright offended by it. "…Lesser God? Blasphemy."

"Sorry, is he a friend of yours?" Tony asks, tilting his head.

Thor stands proudly, like he is about to give his you-shall-honor-my-customs spiel. "Friend? He is my God. On Asgard, we set aside a feast day on High Winter for his worship."

Bruce and Tony are staring, sputtering at the thought that actual-god Thor worshiped someone else. Especially if that God is someone as obscure as Jack Frost.

Both Tony and Bruce would later regret not asking Thor to elaborate. Now, though, they only stare, dumbstruck, until Thor straightens with a nod. "If Jokul Frosti participates in your Christmas Ritual, then clearly it is important. I must prepare—I have not gathered any of the necessary materials. Where can I procure a Tree of Christmas?"

"…Uh…" Bruce says with a slow blink.

Thor strides to the door, scolding himself. "No—that is folly. Surely there is more to the ritual than erecting a tree. I will get Jane Foster to guide me through the proper steps. Or Hawkeye, if she is busy. And you—" He turns to point a demanding finger at Tony. "You will not dishonor The God of Winter. If Christmas requires you to obtain a gift for Pepper, then do so. Angering Jokul Frosti is highly unwise."

And with that, he's gone. The two scientists are left standing, baffled, in his wake.

"That went better than I expected," Tony says finally, immensely pleased at himself.

"That was… odd," Bruce mutters to himself, and turns his head away from the door. "You do know he's going to be disappointed come tomorrow morning when there are no presents from Santa," he points out. "And I highly doubt you're intending to play the role of Saint Nick, since you haven't even gotten a present for your wife."

"Nonsense. You warned Thor that Santa only brought things for children. He won't be expecting anything." Tony replies, clapping his hands together and turning back to what he'd been doing before the interruption—tinkering with his computer screens.

"Still wasn't nice," says Bruce. "You could've at least told him Santa wasn't real. The others are going to tease him relentlessly about that." True - Thor already seems plenty mixed up on the subject of Jack Frost.

"Hey, all I'm saying is, the tower could use some Christmas cheer," Tony says with a wiggle of his eyebrows, "And I just got someone else to decorate it for me."


"Besides," Tony shrugs as he reaches for a nearby tool. "It's the guy's first Christmas, right? He should enjoy it—and what's a traditional X-mas without good ol' Saint Nick? Just watch, he'll enjoy himself. It's harmless."

Bruce finally sighs and gives in. He isn't one to pursue arguments, especially not with Tony. Before he can turn away, though, Tony chips in one last quip –

"Oh, and by the way, I'll be taking pictures all evening." He flaunts his phone in the air, sounding pleased. "Would you like some copies when I'm done? They'll be great blackmail material." And once again, Bruce devolves into a fit of laughter.

It's going to be an interesting Christmas Eve.

The photo opportunities do indeed prove spectacular. About an hour after the conversation, Thor returns to the tower with an oversized evergreen tree that he proudly uprooted himself. It's a challenge, setting that gigantic thing up around the fake fireplace, but well worth the trouble.

The rest of the night is spent in, as Thor calls it, "Merriment." Somehow, all the Avengers wind up getting involved. Thor conducts the whole operation, decorating the tree and hanging the stockings and frosting Christmas cookies with Steve. All the while, he sings Christmas carols as though they were tavern drinking songs, belting out the lyrics with such vigor that he almost breaks the chandelier.

Tony, gleeful, documents it all. By the night's end, he's got enough pictures and video to fill an entire photo album.

After Clint mistakenly tells Thor that in his childhood, he stayed up late every 24th to see Santa, Thor gets it into his head that he also must participate in the "Christmas Vigil," and sets up by the tree to wait. He even writes Santa a letter, though it ends up being more about Jokul Frosti than Christmas.

Come morning, he's still there. Tony sneaks in to add his presents to the stockpile at the base of the tree and confirms it… the big man is sound asleep. When Tony finds him there, stretched along the length of the couch—barefoot, clad in cloud pajamas, with a teddy bear tucked beneath his arm—Tony can't resist the temptation to pull out his phone for just one morepicture.

Soon after, though, his good mood is dashed. When he kneels next to the tree to put his presents down, another present's tag catches his eye.

"To Clint… from Santa?" Tony picks it up and squints. Okay. That's weird.

He sifts through the other presents; there seems to be twice as many as before. To Natasha, from Santa. To Steve, from Santa. To Bruce, To Thor, To Tony—To Tony from Santa?!

Okay, no one's gonna believe that.

It's perplexing, but doesn't worry too much at first. He figures one of the others must've taken pity on Thor and added a few more presents beneath the tree. Something about that explanation seems off, but it's an ungodly hour to be awake, so he doesn't think too hard on the subject – until later on as they're all gathered around the tree, and Tony sees them all absolutely bewildered at the additional presents. Though no one mentions it, their faces are clear; none of them were responsible.

Well, maybe Natasha. She's a brilliant actor. Or maybe Fury snuck in overnight?…

Tony wants to ask, but doesn't, because… well, Thor. He's just so pleased with himself. Upon waking, the Asgardian was so overcome with excitement that he raced through the halls like a little kid, waking everyone up to declare that yes, the man called Santa had indeed come, accepted the cookies, left the presents, and taken his letter to Jokul Frosti with him. Upon reaching Tony's room, he shook his hand, apologized profusely for ever doubting him, and giddily demanded that he come down to open the mysterious gifts.

It was as if the man was under some enchantment of wonder and joy. As Tony watches Thor unwrap yet another gift – a whole collection of Disney princess movies – he decides not to bring it up. Thor's mood is just too good to spoil.

So Tony goes about his day, adding more pictures to his collection as the morning wears on. In the back of his mind, though, he sets a firm resolution. The signs are all too clear. Against all odds, someone had broken through JARVIS's security system.

And Tony is determined to find out who.