Fandoms: The Avengers/Highlander
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings/Notes: Complete, Spoilers for The Avengers, Friendship fic, Tony Stark & OC, Tony/Pepper, Non-Canonical Immortal.
Character(s): Tony Stark, Charlotte Sparrow, a bit of Thor.
Summary: Tony processes the events of the day before, trying to get a handle on this new reality -- but that's what friends are for.
St. Crispin's Day With a Side of Shawarma
"Is this what it's always like?" Tony asked, sitting down next to Charlotte on the edge of the roof.
It was the middle of the night. In the morning, Thor would take the Tesseract, and Loki, back to Asgard, but the battle of earlier almost seemed unreal now, here in the dark, the sounds of the city drifting up from the streets below. If it weren’t for the destruction around them on the roof of Stark Tower, he might almost believe it was a dream.
She glanced up at him, swinging her legs. "Pretty much."
He wasn't surprised she knew exactly what he was talking about. Birdie usually did; a lot of the time, before he did. "The battle, it was a rush, you know? And when we'd won…." He shrugged.
"Sheer exhaustion mixed with the giddy realization that you're still alive." She took his hand. "And then you want to find everyone you love, draw them close, and never let go."
"Yes, that. And lots of the drawing close," he assured her with a wink.
"Good, because I expect Godchildren, lots of them. Though a wedding first would be nice; Pepper will be a beautiful bride."
"Whoa, slow down, Birdie! Let's take a moment, okay?"
She shook her head. "Don't waste this time, Tony. Believe me, it will spin past so swiftly."
Nodding, he kissed her forehead. "Okay, I'll take it under advisement." Changing the subject, he said, "I get it now. I never understood before, the bond you and Ez had with Fury, or even between you and the boyfriend; it was something different than the whole you loving him thing. I could never quite put my finger on it."
Leaning against his shoulder, she smiled. "From this day to the ending of the world, but we in it shall be remembered; we few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition.* It is a kinship that shall never be broken, Tony. It is the most precious of ties."
"Yeah, when we're eighty, we'll still be meeting up on the anniversary, eating shawarma, and remembering how awesome we were. Good times."
Charlotte giggled, imagining. "And your great-grandchildren will gather round to hear the story of how the Avengers saved the Earth."
"Now we're up to grandkids? You're like a dog with a bone, Birdie, seriously."
"I'm a determined woman, Tony love, you know that better than anyone."
"I wish you'd been here, Birdie. I wish I shared that bond with you. I know you were off protecting Doctor Foster from Loki's minions, but…"
"But it's all about you, I know," she finished dryly.
"Funny, Birdie." He punched her lightly on the arm. "You know that isn't what I meant."
Laughing, she punched him back. "I promise, next alien invasion, I've got your back, okay?"
She held up her hand, and they locked pinkie fingers. "Swear."
He searched her eyes. "You mean it?"
"Tony, what's wrong?" Her brow creased, perplexed.
Shaking his head, he sighed. "Are you staying here, Birdie?"
"Tony, I need to get back to the winery eventually—"
"No, I mean here, here on Earth."
Realization dawned. "You think we'll leave Earth, go to Asgard?"
"A civilization made up of immortal beings, kinda perfect for you."
"Except we're not Asgardian. Tony, Earth is my world. Here I was born, here I've fought for, and here is where those I loved are buried." She placed a palm against his cheek. "Here is where my life and loves are."
"You have to be a little curious, what it's like," he insisted stubbornly. "How do you know if you've never been there?"
"Tony, for one thing, I haven't received an engraved invitation from the management. I think there's a little more involved."
"Least they could do, after what Loki did to you."
"I'd say that's a good reason for me not to go—being in the same dimension as Loki isn't a selling point."
"Yeah, well, he could become your mortal, make that immortal, nemesis. You could have millennia making him pay."
Shaking her head, she said, "I so do not want to talk about Loki anymore. I won't allow him any more power over my life."
"Fine with me, but at least you need to watch the security footage of him being smashed into my floor like a chew toy. Seriously, Birdie, it'll put a smile on your face, trust me."
"Maybe," she allowed. "So no more talk about me leaving Earth, okay?"
But Tony was not to be so easily put off. "Not even a visit? I hear Spring Break is totally wild there."
"But you'd let me tag along, right? Best friends." He waved a finger between the two of them, a silly grin on his face. "Bet they wear metal bikinis."
"Actually, my friends, we wear nothing at all," Thor said from behind them.
Charlotte and Tony looked back to see the God of Thunder, grinning, his eyes sparkling in merriment. They looked back at each other, then to Thor once more, saying in unison, "Road trip!"
* William Shakespeare’s Henry V (Act IV, Scene 3), St. Crispin Day speech, Band of Brothers.