Fandoms: The Avengers
Characters/Relationships: Tony, Steve, Bruce, Thor, Clint, Natasha, Maria Hill
Word count: 28,728
Spoilers: Uses elements up to The Avengers.
Content Advisory: Action/Adventure, medical emergency
A/N: The second half of this story written for wipbigbang (first 11k written in 2013, last 17k finished in 2017). Amazing art by ensign_c. Also on Tumblr here. Thanks to brighteyed_jill for betaing!
Art: Amazing art by ensign_c can be found here.
Summary: The Avengers Initiative is assembling: The Thunderer - Tony Stark, Iron Man - Thor Odinsson, Captain America - Natasha Romanov, and The Black Widow(er) - Steve Rogers are being thrown together to go after one Clint Barton, who can become a rage monster known as the Hulk, and his bow-wielding protector, the radiation scientist Dr. Bruce Banner. Together these six people might just be able to save themselves and the world they've taken by storm.
On Ao3 or below the cut
“This isn’t some trick?” Banner asked, glaring at Steve. “Some test to see how we perform?”
“We just lost a dozen people trying to fend that thing off the Helicarrier,” Steve said grimly, making sure his guns were ready. Natasha’s heart clenched at that news and Banner looked abashed.
“What are we looking at, Big Thunder?” Tony demanded. The thing was soaring closer every second, and if Thor recognized anything…
“The Destroyer, one of the protectors of the vaults. A dumb machine, but powerful and self-healing, fueled by forge-fire and powered by magic. It is meant for one purpose, to seek and destroy.”
“A machine?” Tony asked eagerly.
Thor shook his head and seemed to be searching for words. “Golem. No circuitry inside,” Thor said, sounding apologetic. “It cannot be reasoned with-.”
“No one’s gonna shed a tear if we rip it apart?” Barton asked, his voice still unsteady.
“Not one,” Thor said firmly.
“Clint, don’t,” Banner said-- no, pleaded. “Don’t do it.”
“I never plan to,” Clint said, smiling very slightly.
A line of fire appeared in the sky, streaking towards them, and Steve’s eyes went round as it approached. “This thing is huge!” He holstered his guns and dug around in his backpack, coming up with a long container that he tossed to Banner.
“Happy birthday, Doc. Don’t drop them, they tend to explode,” he said tersely. “The R&D team says they’re a little heavy – aim high.”
Banner ripped open the top, eyes widening when he saw it was a quiver stuffed with arrows, different groups marked with different symbols – explosive, gas, stonecutting. He strapped them on his back without a word and pulled one out, holding it against the string. Natasha snapped her shields back in place and crouched, ready to spring.
“What are you going to do?” Natasha asked, keeping her voice low even as her eyes widened at the size of the Destroyer.
“Play target. But we all have to work together”
She took a single deep breath, looking at the five men around her, all of them tensed for action. This was Canada, not Europe, a magical robot and not one of HYDRA's death machines, but this was what she had been doing for years. She locked eyes with Steve.
“Romanov, call it,” Steve said, eyes on the descending trail of flame.
“Tony, light it up, Thor come in immediately afterward with heavy ordinance. Split and fall back, I’ll draw its attention so Banner and Rogers can have their shots. Barton, you’re in reserve in case none of that works,” she said very quickly, and punched her hand forward. Tony swung his hammer and took off into the sky, Thor rocketing away behind him.
“Clint, get back,” Banner urged. “We’ll handle this.”
“Like hell,” Barton said, fishing around in the grass for his hunting rifle. Steve yanked a long black case out of his dropped pack and kicked it over to Barton.
“Less than a minute,” Natasha warned, watching the contrail-like repulsor wake of the Iron Man armor as it soared higher to meet the meteor-like arc of the descending Destroyer.
“What the hell else were you carrying in that- Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” Barton breathed the last as he opened the case to reveal the heavy-caliber sniper rifle inside. Natasha knew it was a twin to Barton’s own he’d had to leave behind when he’d run. Steve had been carrying it as a peace offering, ironically.
“No idea if it’s going to scratch that thing, but we’ll take what we can get,” Steve said, a whine building up around him as he charged up his Widower’s Bite. His own handguns and electric stunners were likely the weakest directly damaging weapons amongst them, and he knew it, but as he’d said, he was supposed to be a distraction.
“Why the fuck were you carrying this around locked and loaded?” Barton demanded at a shout, falling back with Banner to give them a better angle, the rifle looking very at home in his hands. His breathing and color were a lot better and calmer despite the increasing stress.
“Explanations later, boys!” Natasha called, as the three gleaming metal specks in the sky met. There was a whump of displaced air and a ringing, bell-like tone that brought a whiff of ozone through the meadow as one shining speck went off at a right angle. “Tony,” Natasha said. She wanted to grab the binoculars from Thor’s dropped coat to get a better view but didn’t dare take her eyes off the sky.
“Hit it with a glancing blow, and it backhanded him,” Barton reported. Natasha flicked her gaze back to see him tracking the action through his rifle scope.
A few explosions in the sky, closer this time.
“Direct hits, but it’s not stopping. Thor is in a tail chase. Tony’s coming behind him.”
By now the Destroyer was close enough that they didn’t need a long-range play-by-play, and Natasha stepped forward, her arm shields out, the colors of her suit gleaming brightly in the sunlight, and screamed up at the descending fire-and-metal golem.
Tony caught up with the Destroyer as it came down, only to have it abruptly change direction to avoid a hit from Mjölnir. Barton kept tracking it, then snapped off three shots in rapid succession. Metallic pings sounded out as Bruce sighted with his own weapon. The first two shots went wide, and Steve wasn’t surprised. It took time to accustom yourself to a new weapon, and the specialty arrows were heavy in comparison to the deer-killing bolts Banner normally carried. But the third shot hit hard on the heels of Barton’s, and Steve could see the arrow envelop the Destroyer in fire and smoke. It slammed into the earth fifty yards from Natasha, making a small crater. Natasha ran forward, Steve right behind her, Tony and Thor pulling up to hover over the smoking ruin of a meadow.
There was a metallic grinding sound, and suddenly the Destroyer leapt out of the crater, clearing the cloud of smoke with ease. It landed a dozen yards from Natasha, but with its back to her, turning its head up to fire a searing blast of incandescent red and orange from its eye-slit at Tony and Thor. Thor took just fraction of the hit, the force of it spinning him sideways, but Tony took the brunt of it, and went flying backwards hard enough to crash into trees and be lost from view. Natasha and Steve wasted no time in aiming and emptying a few magazines into the back of the creature, to nearly no effect. A more carefully-aimed series of shots from Barton didn’t do much more, just making it jerk slightly as the dents and dings began to straighten themselves out.
“Down!” Banner roared, and Natasha and Steve split and rolled to either side as another explosion from his arrows pounded their backs. That only drove the thing back a dozen paces, snapping some of the bands of metal that seemed to make up its body. As they watched, its fiery heart seemed to meld the bands back together.
“Not working,” Barton said calmly, backing up. Steve ran forward, hurling two disruptor discs at the thing before diving between its legs and running off at an angle before it could get a bead on him. The electricity danced over the thing, making it jerk slightly before shivering as the discs abruptly broke apart. Natasha was hard on Steve’s heels, using the thing’s momentary distraction to slice at its knees with her vibranium shields. That gave the thing more of a pause as the joints parted, sending it to the ground. Natasha was just a few steps behind Steve, but that was enough to make a difference when the Destroyer lashed out with a long arm. The sweep of it caught her and hurled her across the meadow, her body rolling only under partial control. Steve’s breath caught, because he could guess how hard something of that size could hit.
“Captain!” Barton called, his voice sounding rougher and deeper than it should have. Steve couldn’t turn to look, but he was praying the man didn’t go green.
“Shit, shit, shit,” Banner said, voice tight with repressed fear. “Rogers, down.” Another pair of arrows exploded on contact with the Destroyer, driving it back another few yards before the thing could refocus on Steve with its heat-ray. The bands around its knees were reforming again, even as part of its chest unraveled, aided from above as Thor came storming in. The repulsor rays from his suit took advantage of Banner’s work, cracking open the chest further. The inferno inside yawned, sending a wave of blistering heat over all of them, the grass around them smoldering.
Suddenly a red-and-blue flash leapt up high, legs clamping around the Destroyer’s head. Captain America slashed her shields across its eyeless face, headless of the heat of the thing, trying to open up the head and stop whatever was making it tick. Steve heard her scream as contact with its metal body seared her flesh, but she never stopped.
“Keep it down!” Steve called, grabbing his guns again and focusing on its legs. The bullets didn’t do much at all, but the slight damage and noise kept it focused on more than one thing, rather than just trying to pluck off Natasha and kill her. Banner concentrated his fire on its insides, the hiss and acrid smoke showing he’d found the acid arrowheads. Barton’s own larger rounds followed an instant later; whatever flash of anger he’d had, he’d manage to master it for the moment. Thor came circling back around, the ice-blue repulsor rays knocking it down again before its reforming knees could heave it to its feet.
The Destroyer bent backwards, then gripped the ground with its hands and shoved off with enough force to send it a dozen feet into the air. That gave its head a clear view of everyone, and a lethal fire blast missed Banner by a whisker as he dodged at the same time Natasha jammed her shields into the top of its head. Steve could see Banner’s clothes were on fire, and he was rolling to put them out, teeth jammed together to keep from screaming. Natasha finally had to fling herself off of the Destroyer, her suit black with burns. Thor took advantage of the momentary clear shot, but his repulsor blast was met by an outstretched metal hand which seemed to absorb the force of the shot.
Natasha was just getting to her feet, exchanging a glance with Steve that he knew all too well, the look of someone rapidly trying to come up with a win or at least a draw out of a hopeless scenario. Tony was still nowhere to be seen, Banner was trying to keep from burning alive, and Thor was circling tightly, likely trying to figure out what in his arsenal would actually hurt the Destroyer permanently instead of just tickling it. The Destroyer’s response to Tony’s pursuit meant Steve was almost certain it was vulnerable to Mjölnir. But that didn’t matter until Tony actually reappeared; they certainly couldn’t afford to take their attention off the Destroyer in order to find him!
“I have explosives that may do more damage, but you all must get clear!” Thor called out over Steve and Natasha’s earbuds.
“Get Banner!” Natasha shouted at Steve, sprinting back towards Barton. Steve followed suit, trying to get Banner by the elbow, smothering the last of the flames with his tac-gloved hands. Banner made a painted moan, but moved with alacrity at Steve’s touch, one hand still clutched around his bow.
“No, Clint, no…” Banner said, turning his head towards Barton, eyes wide, voice cracking. Steve turned to see Barton casting aside his rifle with care taking slow steps forward as he kicked off his shoes, shrugged off his jacket and shirt, leaving them discarded in his wake. Barton looked back only once, his gaze determined.
“Keep Bruce safe. Captain, pop the fly ball!” he shouted, and then took a deep breath as the Destroyer started to pull itself together again. “GET DOWN!” he roared, his voice deepening as his body changed color, expanding in size with sickening cracks and pops, forcing him to his knees briefly before he rose again twelve feet tall, massively muscled, and green. His roar echoed around the meadow like a jet engine, and Steve inanely thought, Ross thought he could control him?
With a dozen thundering steps, the Hulk grappled with the Destroyer, roaring as he gripped it with one massive hand, punching at it with the other, howling when he felt the heat from its still-gaping chest cavity. Thor had pulled back into a hover, understandably a bit startled by Barton’s transformation, unwilling to drop rockets or bombs on an ally, no matter how tough. Steve saw Natasha’s attention was not on the fight, but scanning the trees, and he followed her gaze in time to see Tony finally taking to the sky.
“Thor, the Hulk is going to punch the Destroyer up. Hit it hard at the apex and get it into Tony’s path!” she called. Thor circled again as the Hulk, with a flailing of fists that were pounding away heedless of the Destroyer’s heat, finally delivered an orbiting uppercut that sent the huge thing flying up into the air. Thor jetted in, rockets screaming from the Iron Man suit, blasting it backwards just as Tony cleared the trees. With a cry of joy and precision timing, Tony cracked down with Mjölnir as lightning struck from the clear blue sky.
The resulting explosion knocked down a hell of a lot of trees and made a new crater. The shockwave sent everyone’s ears ringing, and a wave of dust and the smell of ozone rolled over everyone. In the aftermath, Steve stood up slowly. Banner leaned on him heavily. Natasha had managed to stay braced against the shock, but her costume was now gray with dust overlaying the blacked burned parts. She shoved off her helmet and cowl, sighing a little as she heard a shout of joy over her communicator from Thor and Tony both.
“It’s down for good this time,” she said after a long moment, hanging her head as she sighed in relief.
Looking a little closer, Steve couldn’t see the Hulk. If they lost him… all of this had been for nothing. Banner would never forgive them. Steve doubted any of them would forgive themselves.
“Clint?” Banner called, wincing. Steve kept his grip on the good doctor on every non-burnt part he could, because the man was about to do something stupid, he just knew it. “Clint?”
Natasha strode across to the smaller crater where the Hulk had been wailing on the Destroyer, the air above it still shimmering with heat. With care, she reached into it and pulled out Clint’s limp form, now back to regular Clint-size. “He’s okay!” she shouted, as Steve had to hustle to keep up with Banner’s frantic, panic-driven haste. “Just out.”
“Hulkover,” Banner said succinctly, and with evident relief upon seeing Barton dusty and unconscious but whole. “He’ll be out for an hour or less.” He looked reluctant to have imparted that much information, and Steve understood where he was coming from. He didn’t want any government organization to have solid data on Barton’s capabilities, just in case.
“Good. Then by the time we get everyone patched up, he’ll be awake, and we can see about getting you guys to HQ,” Natasha said.
“Not the Triskellion,” Steve said. “We’re going to need someplace safer until we find out what the hell’s going on. If anything else comes after us, I don’t want it to touch down in D.C.”
“I’d rather hope it is not Hela. She is rather formidable. Doctor, your bravery and aim is remarkable. Friend Barton as well,” Thor said, touching down and retracting his faceplate. “The Destroyer is gone, and thoroughly.”
Tony thumped down next to Thor, grinning.
“Is it ever. If I’d had a few more minutes to consider, I would have grand-slammed the Silver Surfer-wannabe here faster when it first popped up.” Tony’s grin quickly sobered up when he saw the burns on everyone. “Right. Quinjet. I’ll go spin that up, and where are we going? I’ve got a few spots in mind unless you have a better idea.”
“Helicarrier,” Natasha said. “I want to see what happened. Steve has the coordinates.”
“It just came from-.”
“Unless there are multiple Destroyers, I don’t think it’s coming back for a rematch.”
Tony snorted. “Right.” With a throw of his hammer, Tony disappeared from view.
Natasha carefully helped Bruce get out of his scorched clothing, thanking Bruce’s wisdom, or frugality, for picking more old-fashioned outdoors gear. Most of it was natural fiber, which meant it hadn’t melted into his wounds. He was going to be very tender for a few weeks, but good reflexes had saved him permanent damage. She fished out the medkit from the bottom of her own discarded backpack and opened it up.
“Not nearly as bad as I thought,” she said. “Second degree, at best.”
Bruce twisted around to look at himself where he could, and nodded tightly. There were other marks under the burns, old scars on his back, too many to be an accident. Natasha held out the cooling gels, catching his eyes.
“I can help you, if you want,” she said. Bruce flicked his eyes at the blackened parts of her own costume, and Steve could see him struggling between habitual wariness and new gratitude. He nodded slowly, and sighed in relief as she swiped the cool gel over the reddened and blistered skin. He braced himself as Natasha carefully applied bandages over the gels and sealants to keep them in place, and finally relaxed all over as the numbing agents in the gel did their work. Natasha took a shirt from the pile of discards where she and Steve had shed their civilian clothing and handed it to him.
Thor narrowed his eyes and strode back to the crater as Natasha tended to Bruce, tossing aside pieces of the Destroyer. Some of the chunks were the size of a small car, looking well over and above what a man even of Thor’s physique could have moved. Natasha could see Bruce looking impressed and turned her head to hide her smile. It was a relief when you realized the extent of the help you had at your back. “Hah!” Thor bounded up out of the crater a few minutes later, cradling a blackened hunk of metal in his hand. He flipped his faceplate down, the eyes flashing white as the computers inside the suit scanned what he was seeing.
“I’m inbound, be there in five,” Tony said over the comms. “I’m patched in to Thor’s suit AI, and Thor, buddy, that is not Asgard tech. That is decidedly human-made.”
Natasha would freely admit she was not one of those people who knew how things worked, but even blackened and twisted, she could see bits of wires and fried circuit boards. The Destroyer itself had nothing inside but fire and metal and (presumably) magic or some advanced Asgardian tech, as she had seen from her painfully up-close-and-personal view
Steve and Bruce took a look at the crumbling bits in Thor’s hands, Bruce picking up a stick to probe at the still-smoldering pieces.
“Not exactly sure what’s what just from the scan, but give me some time in a lab and I can have that reverse-engineered by lunch,” Tony said.
“I can help you there,” Bruce said, when Natasha relayed what Tony had said.
“It’s a date, Banner,” Tony said with a smile in his voice. There was sound of whirring engines overhead, and the Quinjet soared to a landing a short distance away. Natasha scooped up Clint in her arms, bearing his weight easily as Steve helped Bruce up the ramp. Inside, Tony turned around long enough to raise an eyebrow.
“Tony, let’s lift,” Natasha said, wanting to be far away from here before anything else decided to drop by.
“Doesn’t Spy McGee here have his own ride?” Tony asked, giving Steve a look.
“I’ll send one of the junior agents to get my car,” Steve said blandly. Tony didn’t roll his eyes, but it looked like he wanted to.
“Wait, what’s the Helicarrier we’re supposed to be going to?” Bruce asked urgently, ignoring the byplay.
“Flying aircraft carrier,” Steve said succinctly. “Stealth-capable, which is why normally things like the Destroyer have a hell of a time finding it.”
“Wait until Clint wakes up. If he wakes up on a strange plane or stranger… flying aircraft carrier, neither of us are guaranteeing the Hulk won’t make an appearance.”
Thor coughed. “That would be unfortunate.” Tony muttered in agreement.
“Also important, I need to get my notes out of our cabin, because I’m not leaving them behind for any of Ross’ goons to find,” Bruce said stubbornly. “Clint will be up in less than an hour, so we’re not leaving until then.”
Steve didn’t quite sigh in annoyance, but instead went up to the cockpit to tell SHIELD that the Avengers Initiative would get there as soon as they’d get there.
Clint was muzzily swimming out of the dark waters of unconsciousness, wearily telling the Hulk in a mental whisper, Nice job on the Destroyer. That got him a sort of pleased rumble, almost a purr in his subconscious. That little trick had been one of the best Doctor Ross had come up with; communicating clearly with the Hulk about what was good and what was bad had helped immensely. Clint was lying on his side in what felt like grass, skin still sensitive from the shift, a soft blanket thoughtfully thrown over him to ward off the chilly wind.
Bruce’s soft voice broke his reverie, “Clint, we need to get going. We’re going on their Quinjet to a Helicarrier to speak with the SHIELD Director. All right?”
Clint gave him a sleepy thumbs-up, not quite feeling up for more. If he had to, he could shake himself into full alertness and run, but nothing in Bruce’s tone had indicated the need for that, so Clint was going to take his sweet time pulling himself together. It had been a day full of excitement already, and he was certain it wasn’t over yet, so he’d take what he could. Strong arms gently lifted him up then laid him on a padded bench, buckling a seat belt over him. Engines fired up, and in less than a minute they were airborne and soaring off into the wild blue yonder. Bruce was talking to the others, and Clint was a bit surprised he could hear them so clearly. Obviously this Quinjet had a hell of a lot better insulation than some of the transport planes Clint had been on.
“Does he need anything?” Natasha was saying in response to something Bruce said.
“A Gatorade with some supplements when he’s fully awake. He’ll be fine, really.”
“It always takes him time to recover from…?” That sounded like Steve.
“Hulking out,” Clint muttered just audible enough to be heard.
“Yeah,” Bruce said, a little reluctantly. Clint turned himself over enough to squint at the assembly. Tony was in the cockpit, but he was slapping a few buttons, then turning half away; probably had just put it on autopilot. His fancy hammer was on the deck near his feet. Thor was out of his armor, which was standing on its own at one end of the bench like a sentry. The black-clad commando, Steve, was just putting away a phone after rapidly texting something. Probably getting people to clean up the Destroyer mess before someone stumbled over it.
Steve’s eyes slid sideways as the others leaned forward, interested to hear what Bruce had to say. He took advantage of that distraction to slip his hand into a pocket of his vest, then up to his lips. Clint saw a pill stuck to the man’s fingertip, which then disappeared into his mouth, under his tongue. Steve used the motion to quickly blot some sweat from his face, distracting from his other hand going to a slim pocket on his combat trousers, taking out what looked like an auto-injector. He stabbed himself through his pants and put the injector away quickly, clasping his hands together in a casual posture. But the first two fingers of his left hand were over the pulse point on his wrist. After a few seconds, Steve seemed satisfied, and relaxed minutely.
Then he glanced over at Clint, head jerking up in a tiny nod. Clint blinked at him, then gave an equally small nod in return. He didn’t think those were performance-enhancing drugs or recreational pharmaceuticals. Steve answered him silently by turning his wrist to the side and nudging up his sleeve. Circled around the base of the electrical weapon on his arm was a rubberized version of a medical alert bracelet with more abbreviations than Clint had seen outside of Bruce’s scientific notes. Huh. Not exactly what Clint had been expecting.
Captain America --Natasha-- he reminded himself, was across from him. She had her helmet off and was finishing checking… damn. She had what looked like a Glock 19 in her right holster, but the other had an honest-to-God .357 Magnum in the left one. Probably for making exceptionally big holes in things if necessary. After seeing how gloriously unaffected the Destroyer had been after Bruce’s arrows and Clint’s rifle rounds, she hadn’t seen the need to waste many bullets. Besides, Clint had remembered her bracers cutting through that thing’s metal skin without much problem.
Bruce had mumbled a few disclaimers while Clint had been watching, and now looked like he was about to clam up again. Clint reached out and tapped him on the arm. “Come on. Let them know.” Bruce let out a slow breath, and Clint laid himself back down to enjoy semi-consciousness again. They’d had a lot of discussions over the past few years, what they’d do if they ever found a cure. What they’d do if they didn’t. A cure was looking less and less likely every day and for now? They had been found by people who seemed to give a damn. They’d tried to introduce themselves as gently as possible, and had given Clint and Bruce weapons. Who gave weapons to someone they intended to use as a weapon? And they wanted to fight against things like the Destroyer, sent by no country, but by some other place. That was something Clint could get the Hulk behind with a clean conscience.
“Yes, it always takes him some time to recover. Depends on how fast the transformation was, if he had to fight it, how long the Hulk was fighting; there’s a lot of different factors. He was only Hulked out for a short time, but he was fighting it a lot in the beginning, so that’s why he’s mostly out now,” Bruce said. Clint gave the room another sleepy thumps-up just to show he was paying attention, if not up for much contribution.
“Which is part of your notes and why you didn’t want it in Ross’ hands, which I completely understand,” Tony said thoughtfully. “You and I need some quality lab time together, Banner, seriously.”
“No objections here.”
“They’re clearing out some space for you at the Helicarrier labs, for that,” Steve said, pointing at the piece of wreckage Thor had pulled from the Destroyer. “So you’ll get your wish.”
“What about you, Spy McGee?” Tony asked. “Or is it Nathan Rushman?”
“I used to be an analyst at SHIELD. Then a good friend of mine went undercover and vanished. I worked like hell to become a field agent to save him,” Steve said tersely. So tersely that no one needed to hear the ending to that story. Clint could guess though, from that little familiar medication ritual, that Steve had gone through more than “hell” to be a field agent.
“You’re really Captain America?” Bruce asked instead, turning to Natasha.
“Yes. And yes, I did really freeze for seventy years. Not something I want to do twice,” she said. “The serum put me in suspended animation instead of the cold just killing me.” She turned her hands over and stared at them. “Hell of a shock waking up here and now. I startled SHIELD when I broke out of their facility in New York and ran barefoot into Times Square before I realized when I was.”
Bruce’s eyes got wide with respect, and scientific interest. But he restrained himself from saying anything. And probably not just because Natasha had been checking out her guns. “And Thor, Tony, what about you?”
Clint was eager to hear that tale too. Tony had been a rich, smart playboy who made the world’s best weapons, had been kidnapped (and presumed dead, to be honest) for three months, and then had come roaring out of the desert with the new crazy hammer and a complete change of attitude. How did that fit in with this Thor guy? The armor looked like something Tony might make, but Thor had been talking with authority about the Destroyer and its origins.
Thor grinned and launched into a story like it was an epic saga, telling the story of a prince of Asgard and a scientist of Midgard, with arrogance and trials and seeking to atone for what they had done had lead them on similar paths. But how it was the Midgardian who’d ended up with the Asgardian hammer, while the Asgardian instead used the knowledge of Asgard to help the Midgardian form armor for him.
“And together, they both of them chose to fight injustice and cruelty all across Midgard, and beyond if need be,” Thor concluded.
Tony, who had been oddly silent the whole time, finally said, “I could tell the story, but I don’t tell it half as well as he does. That’s it in an epic nutshell, really.”
Clint had gotten over his sleepiness during Thor’s story, absentmindedly drinking down the Gatorade Bruce had given him while listening to the half-unbelievable tale. But how was that any weirder than Natasha’s story? Or his?
“Hey, storytime’s over boys and girls,” Tony said, turning back to the control panel as it cheeped at him. “We’re here.”