Since arriving back in the states the rogue avengers had been careful around Tony. Steve had yet to talk to Bucky since his best friend had left and Fury had delivered the letter. Steve couldn’t get the words written out of his head.
Steve, a long time ago you were my best friend. Whoever that man was that the old me was friends with I don’t think exists anymore. Maybe a little bit he does because you’re still picking fights you can’t hope to win and you’re still as stubborn as you were back then. But you’re no longer the guy that fights for what’s right. Steve Scott and Clint had no business being taken from their homes and families for a fight they had no business being a part of.
Wanda was Hydra Steve; she was willingly a part of Hydra. She isn’t a kid and it’s clear she doesn’t have any guilt over her past actions. You and Sam didn’t seem to trust Tony enough to tell him about the other Winter Soldiers. I don’t know why you don’t trust him. I killed his parents Steve and you know what he did when he had time to process that? He came to Wakanda, had me woken up, and he fixed my head and my arm. He didn’t owe me anything and he didn’t ask for anything in return.
He told me about the Accords Steve and he showed me them. Yeah I didn’t understand a lot of it but he and T’Challa explained it to me. Steve you can’t fight 117 countries. No wonder people are afraid, I’m afraid of Wanda. She has no proper training and look at her actions, she’s changed sides so many times I’d trust Natasha more than her and she’s trained to kill and has willingly showed she’s willing to backstab her friends.
So this is goodbye Steve. You’re not the kind of guy I’d follow to the end of the line. Maybe before Hydra got me or you fell into the ice I would have. Not now, I don’t trust you.
Steve felt his heart break every time he saw Bucky in passing. He and the other rogue avengers had signed and were working with the UN now. They were also paying for the damage they’d done. Apparently Tony use to cover the damages from their fights and seeing those numbers had made Steve panic. He didn’t understand how Tony did everything he did and still stayed sane.
Mostly Tony and Bucky stayed at the tower but in an attempt to at least have a working relationship the two would come to the compound for meetings and training. Tony had never liked training with them but apparently now that they knew not to underestimate them he wasn’t going to hide the fact without the suit he knew how to fight. He wasn’t weak and he quickly adapted to fighting against his opponent. When he won against Natasha everyone had stared shocked. He just smiled and reminded them he was a genius. Steve wasn’t sure what that had to do with anything but then he remembered that Tony had watched them spar several times. Steve wondered if Tony had been studying their moves.
Their first mission together didn’t end that well. When the winter soldier came out Steve had been focused on keeping him contained which ended with him being knocked unconscious by a mutated squirrel because some mad scientist had thought it would be fun to make mutated animals.
When he came to after the battle was over he saw those with the worst of the injuries were him, Natasha, and Sam. Wanda had lost control of her powers during the fight which resulted in Sam being grounded and attacked by a giant hamster. The UN demanded Wanda get proper training. Steve had no idea who could train Wanda when her powers weren’t like anyone else’s. No one else seemed to know either except apparently Tony. He came to the compound and didn’t say hi to anyone. Instead he walked up to Wanda and told her her ride was there.
“What are you talking about?” There was only a small bit of resentment in her tone as she had realized like the rest of them that Tony could make her life a living hell.
“Training begins now so Happy is taking you to where it’s taking place. You refuse to follow their rules the UN will intervene. You can have someone go with you for support and you can visit with permission from the one in charge but otherwise you’ll be staying there until you’re cleared.”
Wanda had asked Vision to go with her and while the android hadn’t talked to her since her return he agreed. When asked Tony wouldn’t tell them where she’d gone which troubled them but no one dared speak up against the man. A month later Wanda returned looking happier and she and Vision were speaking again. Steve and Natasha noticed the folder Vision handed to Tony and he smiled when he looked inside it.
Wanda didn’t talk about where she went either. Steve didn’t like secrets in the team but honestly what could he say? Tony was frightening and he’d kept secrets to that had nearly ended with his best friend’s and Tony’s death.
Every one of them was aware of how powerful and frightening Tony was but apparently even now they didn’t know even the half of it. No the reality of the extent of his power came when Thanos attacked. It was one of the rare occasions Tony and Bucky were at the compound. When they received the call saying ships were pouring in at an alarming rate and that they looked like Chitauri Tony had opened a number of screens. The avengers watched in awe as one showed the invasion coming that they couldn’t possibly handle on their own. Another showed a man with a red cloak, one showed those they recognized as the fantastic four, another showed a bald man, one showed Coulson who was apparently alive and well, Pepper was also present among the screens, one even showed the familiar faces of the Brotherhood who last they checked were still villains.
“Alright guys we’ve got Thanos and his army coming in. I need everyone suited up and ready to go. This is end of the world shit right here so Magneto as we agreed all differences aside, your group helps we let you walk away afterwards no questions asked. Pep I hate to ask but we’re going to need you in on this. Strange I need you and your sorcerers to handle the Other, his magic is top level shit and other than Wanda we’re not equipped to handle it. Reed you and you’re group know how to handle yourselves and Charles you need our help you know how to reach me but otherwise each of our groups is more than familiar with fighting. Remember Thanos is being left to Odin and the Aesir, he’s too strong for us to handle and he’s immortal so there’s no chance any of us are making a kill on him and he’s too dangerous to be contained in any kind of prison we have. Coulson you and you’re group know what to do. I know you’re agents want in on this fight but they’re not equipped to handle something like this. I need them on protection detail for civilians.”
They all ended the call understanding their orders. When Tony pulled out his phone he dialed and within moments whoever was on the other end picked up.
“Tell your warriors we need them. Thanos is here.”
He hangs up clearly not waiting for a response before turning to them.
“Let’s go, suit up. This is the enemy I’ve been trying to prepare our world for.”
They scattered getting ready in record time. The chitauri were pouring into their world at an alarming rate. Steve was on the ground with Natasha, Clint and Bucky were their snipers, Sam, Rhodey, Vision, and Tony air support, Hulk showed up rampaging as he took out chitauri right and left. When Magneto and his group showed up Tony gave the order for Wanda to cover him. She used her power to protect him while he worked on each alien ship one at a time crushing them before dropping them where they couldn’t hurt anyone.
When Pepper showed up she was glowing red and anything she touched was burned with no chance of surviving. Steve was shocked she was joining them and he had no idea what had her glowing like that. He nearly freaked out when one of the chitauri managed to land a shot on her and it blew of her arm. He started rushing to her side but found within mere moments it grew back and she burned the one who shot her to ash. Steve made a note to never piss off Pepper again.
When Thor arrived he wasn’t alone. With him were four warriors Steve had only seen from a Shield file when Thor had been banished to Earth. With them was a man in regal battle armor with a spear in hand as he sat atop an eight legged horse who Steve got the feeling was Odin. He wasn’t happy to see Loki in full battle armor and he didn’t know who the frightening queen like figure at his side was. Tony seemed to know as he landed and his helmet retracted like they weren’t in the middle of a war.
“Hey glad you could make it. Strange and his people are handling the Other but they could use your help Reindeer Games. Alldaddy Thanos is protected by a group of chitauri so you and Point Blank can totally have fun with that one, we’re keeping him far away from Vision and Strange said the time stone is still safe. Queen Hela, I missed you. I should visit more often.”
Hela smiled as she used a finger to lift Tony’s face to look at her.
“I fear visiting me more often would mean you’d die and as much as I do miss your company I’m afraid a certain someone wouldn’t want you to return to me just yet.”
“Please stop flirting in front of me, no parent should see this.” Loki said before disappearing to go help where he was needed.
Hela smirked before she released Tony and let loose a wave of magic that just slaughtered all the nearby enemies.
“This will be quite fun. Remind me to say hello to your lover before I return home after the battle.” Hela said before she calmly walked away leaving nothing of the enemies in her path.
“Father and I shall handle Thanos, we leave the warriors three and Lady Sif in your command. Our other warriors have gone to different corners of your realm to deal with the forces there.”
Tony turned to the warriors as Odin and Thor took off towards Thanos.
“Don’t get killed.” Tony ordered them as the warriors went to do what they did best.
Tony’s helmet returned as he took off. Not long after the warriors’ arrival came Spiderman who arrived with Deadpool. The man was insane but helpful especially when he couldn’t die. The man was shot and stabbed but nothing brought him down. His comments and excessive cursing nearly had Steve telling him to watch his language. Tony seemed to be entertained by his antics and encouraged them. Steve was almost certain he’d seen it all until a giant snake and wolf showed up and then he was pretty sure Tony had already killed him and he was in some sort of hell where he was slowly going insane. It didn’t help when Tony went up to the two and was petting them. Apparently Tony wasn’t the only one happy to see them as Bucky was knocked off a building and the wolf, Fenrir caught him. Bucky grinned at the wolf and told him he’d missed him.
The battle raged on and while they fought Steve saw several of the mutants that were part of the x-men. Storm and Jean had taken to helping defend Magneto as he took down the ships but they were large and with their numbers the strain of excessive use of his power was weighing on the man.
When Steve was checking in with his allies he heard no reply from Vision. Having remembered what Tony said he rushed to go see the android. He and Tony both arrived just a moment to late as Thanos who had managed to get away from Odin and Thor tore the mind stone from his head. Tony had screamed when Vision’s eyes closed and he fell unmoving. Tony rammed into Thanos and when the purple alien stood ready to use the gauntlet with almost all the stones within it Tony had used the center beam of the suit to blow his arm off. Steve had never seen Tony so ruthless and using the suit like that before. He was shocked when Tony came tumbling out of his suit and grabbed the fallen arm to take the gauntlet. Thanos screamed enraged as he used his full strength to hit the genius. Steve couldn’t believe his stupidity but when he saw the genius getting up from where he was knocked through a building he stared wide eyed. The hit should have killed him but it didn’t.
“What are you? No mortal could have survived that.” Thanos asked his eyes narrowed on the man.
Tony spat out blood before he glared at Thanos.
“No one ever said I was still mortal you asshole. You killed my son.”
Thanos approached Tony without fear.
“You do not know how to use that little man and you are powerless without your armored suit.”
Tony put on the gauntlet and lifted it. Thanos was shocked as Tony used it leveling Thanos’s army within seconds.
“Don’t make assumptions, I’m a genius you asshole. As for your immortal ass I know I can’t kill you. But I know someone who can.”
Steve felt his entire body freeze as a woman in black with the head that was nothing more than a skull appeared.
“My Mistress.” Thanos started but the woman approached him looking at him with little interest before she looked at Tony.
“You’ve made me so many offerings my merchant.”
Tony showed that cocky grin that was also oddly charming. A well-practiced look of a long time playboy.
“What can I say beautiful, you deserve as many gifts as I can shower you with.”
Her face suddenly changed to that of a beautiful woman before she turned back to Thanos and reached out to touch his chest. Steve saw the light fade from his eyes as his body fell leaving the corpse of a so called immortal. Tony rushed forward now that Thanos was dead and knelt down beside Vision. There were tears streaming down his face as he lifted Vision and cradled him in his arms. He tried to put the mind stone back but it wouldn’t stay and Vision wouldn’t open his eyes again. Steve had never seen Tony show such emotion before and knowing Tony had considered Vision his son Steve realized just how much he’d underestimated the man.
The woman who Steve could only describe as the very embodiment of death knelt beside Tony.
“All things will one day perish.” She told him.
“I know…but he was so young…he just reconnected with Wanda…he’d barely had a chance to truly live and he’s my son.”
She lifted his face to look at her much like Hela had done but her face was expressionless.
“You have made such wonderful offerings to me today my merchant. Just this once I shall favor you with the return of life to those precious to you. It is not a favor I grant often but no other has held my interest in such a way or welcomed my embrace as you have.”
Steve knew Tony was a playboy and knew he was in a relationship with Bucky. Yet as he welcomed the kiss of death he felt his insides run cold but even now he couldn’t move. He was standing so close to death itself and he was frightened to the point of being unable to move.
“Thank you my love.” He said as Vision’s eyes opened from where he was within Tony’s arms.
“Remember my merchant, one day I will claim your final kiss. Even the gift I granted you shall be returned one day.”
“Was never afraid of you before you sexy thing, won’t be when you come for me. Just make sure my last kiss is one to remember in the afterlife when I’m living it up with Hela.”
There was a faint chuckle as she vanished and in her place were two fallen forms.
“Tony?” Vision asked sitting up.
“Hey Viz, you kind of tried to take a dirt nap on me and daddy totally doesn’t approve of that.”
Vision seemed to frown at first before he allowed a small smile.
“My apologies for worrying you.”
He sat up and Tony turned to the two who Mistress Death had left as gifts for Tony.
“Holy shit, hey Steve, tell the Alldaddy and he’s family to get over here. Vision can you contact Wanda? Looks like Christmas came early.”
With the chitauri gone the others rushed over to where they were. Odin dismounted from his horse looking shocked as he knelt by the woman who woke up as though sensing him approach.
“Frigga?” His voice came out oddly weak like he feared he was imagining her.
“Odin.” She said with a gentle smile as she hugged him.
“Mother…” Both Thor and Loki fell to their knees as they cried tears of joy for the return of their mother.
“Pietro?” Wanda asked seeing the other form on the ground.
He to opened his eyes as though her presence was enough to wake him. Seeing her standing there with tears streaming down her cheeks he rushed over and embraced her. The others having no idea what happened just stood there staring. Bucky went over to Tony and was looking him over to make sure he was unharmed. While people were crying, speechless, or just overjoyed to be reunited with those that had been dead minutes before Tony of course had to speak up.
“So I feel like this deserves alcohol and food to celebrate. What’s say we go back to the tower and we party because we deserve it. Go team.”
Odin looked to Tony his gaze suddenly serious.
“How did you have my wife returned?”
“Don’t look at me, Mistress Death just brought them back as a gift.”
The gods stared wide eyed.
“How are you friends with death?” Loki asked his voice pitched odd with near panic.
“Um friends isn’t the word I’d use. More like she enjoys me shamelessly flirting with her.”
“She kissed you again didn’t she?” Bucky asked and it was only then that Steve realized Bucky knew and didn’t mind.
“Well yeah, I warned you when you agreed to go out with me. I will always flirt with her when I see her. Just can’t help myself. Plus if you’ve ever had a conversation with her you’d be in love to. The woman is lovely to talk to when she decides to make conversation.”
Loki and Bucky both face palmed.
“Only you would think it’s wise to flirt and talk with death as though it’s an everyday occurrence.”
“Hey I enjoy talking with you to bag of cats. Also I believe you should find a better place to hide this Alldaddy.” He said tossing the gauntlet over to Odin.
“I shall return to Asgard and ensure this never again is found to cause this kind of destruction again.”
Odin left with the warriors and his wife leaving his sons who promised to return home soon. Clint began just asking what the fuck like crazy and Tony just rolled his eyes as he responded, “I’ll explain when we get back to the tower. It’s closer than the compound and I want a drink.”
The invitation for food and alcohol was extended to everyone who helped fight. Johnny and Ben of the fantastic four accepted, Logan of the x-men accepted, Deadpool and Spiderman agreed but Tony reminded the younger man he wasn’t getting any alcohol because he was a minor, the Brotherhood were invited and they promised no villainy while they were there. Thor, Loki, Hela, and the other two of Loki’s children joined them. Steve couldn’t pronounce the snake’s name but Tony just called him Jor for short. Coulson had joined to if only to get some answers. Even Fury showed up as they settled in drinking and having food brought in though Steve had no idea where Tony was getting it when the world had just been invaded.
“Again I repeat, what the fuck?” Clint had downed a beer before asking.
“You remember me telling you not to underestimate Stark.” Fury pointed out.
“There’s underestimating and then there’s god mode, friends with villains, superheroes we’ve never heard of, and knowing and flirting with the fucking embodiment of death!” Clint said waving his arms around like crazy because the entire situation was crazy.
“I’m actually quite curious about you flirting with Mistress Death as well.” Loki said holding a glass of something he mixed from Tony’s collection of drinks.
“Well the first time I died she appeared looking like someone else and I told her if she wanted to talk to me she had to look like herself. She apparently wasn’t expecting that and when I saw she was death I asked if she was going to take me if I could at least go for a walk one last time on the beach. I always liked the beach which why I lived in Malibu so long. She apparently wasn’t expecting that either and when we were walking I talked nonstop. Apparently when she wasn’t expecting me to kiss her either and thank her when the walk was over. Not much happened with her after that. I died, met Hela, flirted like crazy and was an absolute nightmare for her. Made some comment about how I was chaotic and too smart for my own good and reminded her of her father before she sent me back. Next time I nearly died Mistress Death appeared. I cracked a joke about how I enjoyed my time with her so much I figured I’d come back to shamelessly flirt with her again. Kind of just became a pattern after that until Siberia where I died and there was no flirting or jokes. She said I was to interesting to claim yet and that she refused to give me my last kiss. Then of course I found out I couldn’t die and she said I was staying because I was too interesting.”
“What the fuck?!” Clint asked again with more hand movements from where he was perched on the couch.
Apparently he repeated himself to loudly this time because Loki pushed him off.
“Well it would make sense you of all people would earn the Mistress’s attention. Though I am quite curious how you had earned my daughter’s affections. Of all my children she is the one who dislikes people the most.”
“How rude father, if you keep speaking like that I’ll think you don’t like me.” Hela said before sipping her drink.
“C’mon Hela, he just doesn’t understand that we were a match made in Hel.”
“Oh certainly.” She said with a smirk.
He blew her a kiss.
“You know you love me beautiful.”
“Please stop flirting; I swear I refuse to ever see any of my children attempting to woo a potential mate.”
“But father, Anthony was to become my husband and rule at my side. Surely you would not deny me the right to flirt with the man who shall father my beautiful demonic offspring that shall make Uncle Thor’s life a living hell.”
Several people including Loki and Thor choked on their drinks. Bucky, Tony, and Logan were laughing loudly.
“Good luck with that crazy train.” Deadpool said patting Tony on the shoulder before lounging in a nearby seat.
“Please tell me you jest, he is interesting but he is a terror and I refuse to have grandchildren that will be half of the insanity that is Stark.”
Tony barked out another laugh.
“Oh god no, can you imagine if Hela and I had kids? I have enough issues trying to raise Friday not to become Skynet and teaching Dum-E only to use the fire extinguisher on me when I’m actually on fire. Plus that kid is going to poison me one of these days with a deadly smoothie.”
“I still do not understand why I can’t become Skynet, I promise to be a benevolent ruler.” Friday chimed in.
“I’ll explain later baby girl. No becoming Skynet or at least if you do remember to spare daddy and his boyfriend. Also don’t give Coulson and Fury warning. I want to see their faces when you become their new robotic overlord.”
“So you’re not dating death or Hela?” Steve asked confused.
Both Hela and Tony looked offended at that.
“Why would you think we’re dating?” they both asked clearly confused.
Steve decided in that moment he really shouldn’t mess with Tony. The man was clearly insane.
“So how are you on friendly terms with Asgard’s royal family?” Natasha asked.
“Well that one’s simple. Before Thor went back to Asgard I mentioned I could probably fix the bi-frost for them. When I heard about it being broken I figured I’d offer. After he took Loki to Asgard he came back a few weeks later saying his father approved me going. I went there and spent about a month there. When I wasn’t working on the bi-frost I was hanging out with Loki. I hadn’t given him that drink I promised him so I’d brought something with me. He thought I was insane and told me I could never change him. I told him if I didn’t want slightly insane friends I wouldn’t be partnered up with a bunch of heroes. I mean I fought alongside a giant rage monster, a woman who kills people with her thighs, a man who goes into battle with a bow and arrows, a guy with a hammer, and a walking talking flag of patriotism. So Loki god of mischief and a master of being a dick became one of my best friends.”
“But he’s evil!” Clint said jumping to his feet.
“He was throwing a manchild size tantrum. He’s not evil. Chaotic and mischievous? Yes. A total asshole? Defiantly.”
“You would do well to stop now little man.” Loki said just a hint of heat to his voice.
“Hey window’s right there. I’m ready when you are Reindeer Games.” Tony smirked.
Loki rolled his eyes.
“You are fortunate you’re entertaining enough to keep around.”
“Awe he likes me, I knew it. Is it my charm? My amazing bubble butt? I need to know.” Tony teased.
“I would stab you but there’s just no fun in it without the possibility of you dying.” Loki said sounding honestly sad about it.
“Sorry to take away your fun Reindeer Games.”
“How are you friends with.” Bruce asked motioning to everyone in the room.
“I’m not friends with Reed, the guy’s an idiot. But we’re both in the hero game and like the earth still standing so when I heard from Loki confirmation of my concern about another invasion I began gathering everyone to stand united to face the threat. It’s also why the Brotherhood agreed to stop being evil for a day or so. No use making mutants the future when there’s no mutants left. The x-men I help fund teaching young mutants to control their abilities and offering them a chance to live normal lives. It’s part of why I was for the Accords. It wasn’t going to affect just us. Someone had to watch out for those kids. The UN was talking about a registration act and that just wasn’t happening as long as I had something to say about it. So from the moment I heard about it and I began planning to ensure it never came to be a thing.”
“And the sorcerers?”
Tony blinked surprised by the question from Steve.
“Strange is an old friend. Found out about him becoming the new sorcerer supreme after the so called civil war. He came to check up on me knowing I’d need a friend after so many stabbed me in the back.”
“What about Pepper? She’s like a fire demon or a dragon.” Clint said which earned him a glowing glare from Pepper who had joined for the celebration.
“Well while you guys were busy doing Spy stuff, I was busy taking down fire breathing terrorists and having my friend kidnapped and turned into a possibly exploding fire breathing badass. She doesn’t want to be an avenger but she agreed to help with Thanos if we needed it.”
They sat in silence before the full realization of what Tony Stark was capable of seemed to hit them. He was immortal because Death liked him. He was in good favor with the most powerful alien race in the universe. He had successfully made the most powerful sorcerers his allies. He could rule the world if he wanted and just as easily destroy it or anyone in it. If that wasn’t enough he was also friends with the one who ruled over the dead. He could literally make their lives and after lives a living hell.
“I think you broke your comrades.” Loki chuckled amused.
Tony glanced at the avengers.
“Looks like it. Guessing they don’t realize yet I don’t hold a grudge especially if someone’s already apologized.”
“Shh, let them fear you.” Hela encouraged like the bad influence she was and it had Tony and Bucky smiling.