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Avengers - Thor and the Doom that Could Have Been Avoided (By Moving to Denver)
ironmandrink
dbalthasar
A piece of silliness, set post-movie.  In which Thor encounters a certain type of story.

Avengers, gen with implied Tony/Pepper (and maybe Tony/Pepper/Bruce if you squint), ~1100 words



The New York-area Avengers have made it a habit to get together every six weeks or so, the timing being mostly dependent on the vagaries of Tony Stark’s schedule and on the current location (and identity) of Bruce Banner, but every time it seems likely to lapse completely someone makes an effort to keep it going.  Usually it’s Steve Rogers, once in a while it’s Tony, usually when he wants to annoy Col. Fury, so it’s odd to get the text from Thor suggesting a date.  Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff are off on SHIELD business, but Bruce is in town, hiding in the lab at Stark Towers.

Really important? he texts back, and gets an emphatic YESS1.

Steve says yes, of course, and there it hangs, except that Tony has a really dull meeting that afternoon, and is happy to cancel it for “urgent Avengers business.”  Which is how he ends up pouring drinks for Steve and Bruce and Pepper on the newly restored terrace of his living quarters at the top of Stark Towers, the traffic murmuring far below, waiting for Thor to make his appearance.

“It’s not like him to be late,” Steve is saying as the elevator opens, and Thor steps out.  He is carrying a small stack of magazines in one hand, his face grave.

“Except when he is,” Tony says, and waves from the bar.  “Hey, Thor!  Can I mix you a drink?  Cosmo?  Sidecar?”  He’s had Jarvis look up recipes for a batch of Prohibition-era drinks on the theory that maybe someday he can persuade Steve to try one, and he also admits to a certain curiosity about Thor’s capacity for hard liquor.  “Martini? Dark and stormy?”

“Beer.”  Thor barely looks at him, crossing instead to Pepper.  He holds out the magazines — New Yorkers, the last four or five issues by the covers — and she takes them warily.  “Thank you for loaning these to me.  I had no idea.”

For a moment, Tony can’t get rid of the picture of Thor thumbing through Talk of the Town, and he pours himself a stiff bourbon.  After a moment’s thought, he makes it a double.

“You’re welcome?” Pepper says.  

“That is why I thought we should meet,” Thor says.  He takes the beer Tony holds out to him, tosses it back, and sets the empty glass on the bar.  “I have been reading this booklet, these tales of New York, and — do you not see the portents it unfolds?”

“What do you mean?” Bruce asks.  He’s the only one of them who seems to have a voice.

“The tales these writers tell, of your young men in the green lands outside the cities.  In every one of these, I have read essentially the same story, of a young man confounded by his desires and his fears.  In each, his course should be clear, his action obvious, and yet, each time, he does not choose, and so is doomed.  Or sometimes it is a maiden, but the story is the same.”  

Thor plucks one of the magazines from Pepper’s hands, holds it up.  It’s the one with Yoda among the skaters at Rockefeller Plaza, and Tony tries without success to remember what stories were in it.  “Pepper….”

“You know I don’t read the fiction,” she says.  “I just — I didn’t think.”

Thor ignores them, having decided early on that Steve and Bruce are the ones he needs to convince of anything important.  “This one,” he says.  “In it there is a tale of a youth and a maid who love each other, who are meant for each other, and the doom that came upon them there in Suburbia— a doom that could have been avoided entirely had they moved to Denver.”

“Pepper?” Tony says again, and she shakes her head.

“I didn’t read it!  I never read the fiction.”

Bruce cocks his head to one side.  “Was there a reason they didn’t move to Denver?”

“None,” Thor says. “None save lack of will.  And if these are tales on which your youth is fed, I believe we must take action.”  

“Whoa,” Steve says. “Ok, yes, Dorothy Parker could be kind of rough, but I don’t remember the stories being like that.”

“Sorry,” Pepper says.

“I thought Thurber was really funny,” Steve says sadly.  “I loved his stuff. There’s got to be somebody like him?”

Tony runs down his mental list.  “Um, David Sedaris?  No, not really.”

“Can we not we consider the matter at hand?” Thor says.  “The will to choose, to act — that is a thing that can be taught.”

“Without excessive quests and violence?” Bruce asks.  He sounds as though he’s not sure he’s following the discussion.

“I do not think they are ready for that,” Thor says seriously.  “I believe they need to be taught to decide about even the simplest things before they can attempt anything like a quest.  They need to….”  His voice trails off as though he can’t quite come up with words to match the concept, and Tony gives him a helpful smile.

“I think the phrase you want is —“

Pepper quirks an eyebrow in a way that Tony has learned means she’ll be sleeping elsewhere for a day or two, and he raises his hands.

“Cowboy up!  That’s the phrase!”

She smiles in spite of herself, and Tony grins:  crisis averted.

“I do not understand about cowboys, either,” Thor said.  “Surely to be a cowherd is a useful life, but it is not precisely heroic.”

The other three men bridle at that, in spite of themselves, and Pepper bursts out laughing.

“I am totally incapable of explaining the role of cowboys in American culture,” Tony says.  “Steve, you do it.”

Steve’s mouth opens and closes.  Finally, he says, “Um.  They’re — cowboys.  They fight Indians.”

“Which isn’t an unmitigated good,” Bruce observes.

“I think we should stay on task,” Tony says brightly.  “Rescuing the lost youth of Suburbia is definitely a worthy goal!”

Pepper looks at him.  “You’re so not helping here.”

“Whatever happened to the Boy Scouts?” Steve asks.  “Don’t they do any of that any more?”

“What are Boy Scouts?” Thor asks.  “Are they part of SHIELD?”

Steve takes a breath and launches into an explanation, his voice rising with his enthusiasm.  Tony looks at Bruce.

“Were you a Boy Scout?”

“No,” Bruce answers.  “You?”

“Nope.” Tony tops up his drink, and comes out from behind the bar, shaking his head.  Pepper comes to join them, linking arms with both of them.

“Maybe not,” she says, “but I expect Stark Industries is about to fund a major expansion of their mission.”

“Fine,” Tony says.  “Anything, as long I don’t have to sleep in a tent.”

Bruce lifts his glass to that.


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Thank you! This is what comes of talking to penknife, because I'm not really in this fandom either.... ;-)

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Whee, you wrote it! :-) I think Thor definitely has a point. And he and Steve should definitely get Tony to fund Avengers Summer Camp.

Poor Pepper! She really never does read the fiction ...

It had to be written.... And I'm sure Tony does end up funding the Summer Camp, and forks over another ten grand every time Steve suggests he come to a sleepover with the campers.

Pepper's been not reading the fiction for so long that she kind of forgets it's there.

AHAHAHA! Thor+fiction=hilarity FTW! I can so picture this.

Thank you! Steve is just as disappointed in the latest crop of New Yorker writers as Thor is, though for different reasons.... ;-)

This I can well believe. Oh man, there is just so much comedy potential in this team!

I'm with Bruce here, trying to keep up with the conversation and failing madly. But it's still hilarious to watch! Good work!

(I can see that you and penknife and grav_ity and my friend allisnow are going to drag me into Avengers fandom sooner or later...)

Heh. I probably should have added "The New Yorker" as a fandom and called it a crossover....

I am a complete sucker for mad science, and the Iron Man of the movies kind of hits all my buttons. Which is to say, come on in, the water's fine! :-)

Thor worrying about American Youth makes my heart sing, but EEE THURBER EEEE.

I can kind of see why Steve might be disappointed in the current crop of writers. ;-)

LOL! Oh, Thor. I loved this.

thank you! Thor is concerned....

This is totally adorable.

Thanks! It was maybe too much fun to think about. ;-)

Oh, Thor. Who knew giving him a stack of New Yorkers would cause so much trouble? Hee!

*G* (Thor is still waiting for the explanation of why it is heroic to base an entire culture on herding cows.)

I love this. Thor thinks in big, broad swoops. He goes on quests to help New York youth stop dithering. Thor probably has never dithered.

Thank you! I can't see Thor dithering, somehow..... ;-)

Hilarious! I love me some earnest but confused Thor. And Pepper, and Tony, and ~everyone~... Perfect.

I love it! ♥

Your Thor is great, indeed!

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