Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: The Avengers (MCU)
Era: Post-Avengers movie
Genre: Action, drama
Rating: M / FRM
Characters: Bruce Banner (Hulk), Clint Barton (Hawkeye), Jane Foster, Nick Fury, Happy Hogan, J.A.R.V.I.S., Loki, Pepper Potts, James “Rhodey” Rhodes (War Machine), Steve Rogers (Captain America), Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), Lady Sif and the Warriors Three (Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg), Tony Stark (Iron Man), Thor
(Brief/smaller appearances: Odin, Maria Hill, Darcy Lewis, The Other, Benjamin “Benny” Pollack, Erik Selvig, Jasper Sitwell, Claire Wise.)
Pairings: Happy/Pepper, Jane/Thor. Mentions of: Benny/Claire, Pepper/Tony
Summary: Iron Man never fell back through the portal. The Avengers must deal with the loss of their comrade and move on – until Earth once again comes under an attack from the Chitauri and their new-found weapons that decimate everything in their path with unmatched power and intellect. As cities and nations collapse around their decreasing resistance, the heroes of Earth must find a way to defeat their enemy before there is nothing left to avenge.
Work in progress.
Written for: Apocalypse Big Bang, Round One (apocalypsebang at LiveJournal)
Art: Imaan (insteadofdeath at dA/DW/LJ)
Warnings: Graphic description of torture, major character death, apocalypse & invasion themes (including but not limited to: mass destruction, terrorism, holocaust, death, violence and gore), brain-washing & mind-control, language (including some remarks that could be seen as racist). Serious spoilers for the ending of The Avengers (and other random spoilers for the rest of the movies in the Avengers cinematic universe).
It was windy enough to give the cemetery a forbidding feeling. There were piles upon piles of dead leaves where the recent storms had tossed them, covering graves, headstones and paths alike.
Tony couldn’t have cared less. One site stood clear of nature’s attempts to hide it; he had worked furiously for a couple of minutes to clean it of every leaf and twig. The headstones were new and tasteful, just how she would have liked…
His eyes traced the letters of the first stone, then the next. There was a place for a third further down the row but it had been dug out. Ripped out, to be exact, and blasted at until nothing remained but smoky pieces of stone; Tony wasn’t dead anymore, empty grave or not, and he had taken some satisfaction in destroying the symbol of his demise before taking off the suit.
That satisfaction had lasted too short a time, in his opinion. Looking at the graves of Pepper and Happy, he felt empty inside. He knew it was because of him – as it may have been if things had played out differently, too. Had he dropped back through the portal, being Iron Man may have still led to this very same place.
‘What ifs’ were for suckers; Tony had no room for them in this chaos he had created and how much did two more deaths weigh on his shoulders?
A lot more than the millions of others, he had to admit.
A damn sight more.
“I’m sorry,” he said, words caught in his throat, barely making it out. It was a start. He could come back when he had thought of something else; they wouldn’t be going anywhere. They wouldn’t come back like he had.
The rest of the team had come and gone, paying their respects in silence. Tony wasn’t certain but he felt like Rhodey may have cried. He was no doubt a bad friend for not noticing but his head felt so full, he couldn’t think of yet another person and their broken lives.
“Feeling sentimental?” Loki’s voice interrupted his thoughts.
Tony felt the next gust of wind dig all the way to his core and looked briefly at the Asgardian. Just as fast his attention was directed back at the grave – a clear signal that he had no desire for the other’s company.
Loki, as always, didn’t pay attention to the needs of others. He remained silent for a suspiciously long time and Tony wondered if he was contemplating something that might desecrate Pepper and Happy’s final resting place. Tony would tear the God of Lies limb from limb if he even twitched the wrong way.
“They think the war is over,” Loki finally spoke up, a thoughtful look on his face.
“It is,” Tony replied. “Unless you’re thinking of starting another one.” As he turned to look at Loki properly, he felt the units shift in the back of his mind, ready for action regardless of the damage he would have to fix in the near future.
Loki met his gaze, expression serious. A tinge of fear was apparent in the green eyes. “You know what I mean, Stark. You failed to kill The Other, who is now running away from the Earth – and you know it doesn’t end with him.”
Tony wanted to stare him down and tell him to shut up about things he knew nothing about, but he couldn’t deny the truth. Whatever Loki knew, or thought he knew… whoever once gave him the scepter to wield the power of the Tesseract…
“Whatever happens, it won’t happen today,” Tony finally said.
“No,” Loki agreed, “but tomorrow is awfully close, even for you mortals.”
They ended up looking at the graves in mutual silence; all the words in the world wouldn’t change what was to come, eventually.
Just… not today.