Title: Private Time
Author: Del Rion (delrion.mail (at) gmail.com)
Fandom: Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers
Genre: Drama, hurt/comfort
Rating: K+ / FRC
Characters: Akira Akatsuki, Pepper Potts, Tony Stark (Iron Man), featuring some of the other kids (Hikaru Akatsuki, Edward “Ed” Grant, Chris Taylor, Jessica Shannon) and Avengers (Bruce Banner (Hulk), Steve Rogers (Captain America), Thor, Janet van Dyne (Wasp)).
Summary: Akira helps Tony set up a meeting with Pepper, which is a bit strange, seeing as they are all staying in the same building. Also, D-Smashing Iron Man for a conversation seems a bit much, but Tony is insistent and Akira soon learns why. Kind of.
Written for: Hurt/Comfort Bingo’s (hc_bingo) round 5 card (prompt: “isolation”)
Warnings: Mild sexual content (kissing), general angst.
Disclaimer: Marvel Disk Wars, concept, characters and places belong to Marvel, Nerima-ku, Toei Animation, Walt Disney Company (Japan), Toshiaki Komura and all other creators involved in the making and distributing of the show. No profit was made by writing this story.
Beta: Mythra (mythras_fire)
About Private Time: This is my first time tackling this show with a story, but I got an itch for this little scene and couldn’t let it go.
Besides, what’s wrong with branching out within the grand Avengers theme? (I enjoy the show, it’s proven to be quite entertaining, and it does have a lot of potential for fic.)
Story and status: Below you see the writing process of the story. If there is no text after the title, then it is finished and checked. Possible updates shall be marked after the title.
It was suspicious, Akira thought, as he moved the last of the four chairs into place by the table. His eyes swept to Iron Man’s tiny hologram standing in the middle of the table, faceplate up, eyes moving across the room. Any second now he would find some flaw and tell Akira to fix it: straighten the carpet, wipe down the table, move the curtains a bit more to the side.
“Did you upset Pepper again?” Akira asked.
All Tony had told him was that he needed to have a private chat with Pepper. Why he had bossed Akira around to clean up the room that was too small for group meetings or anything important, he didn’t know.
Tony huffed. “I don’t ‘upset’ her, Samurai Boy.”
“Hey!” Akira yelled. “Don’t call me that. It’s annoying and you know my name: A-KI-RA,” he spelled out slowly.
Tony just gave him a look, then walked along the table, looking around with a judgmental expression on his tiny face. Akira was tempted to call him back into the DISK and not let him out, but he never did that. Bad enough that the Avengers were locked inside the devices. If only Tony weren’t so… Tony.
“It will do,” Tony finally stated, nodding his head and looking up at Akira. “How do I look?” he asked with a grin.
Akira ignored the question, not caring how Tony looked. “I’m hungry.”
“You can go eat in a bit,” Tony promised.
“Why not now?”
“I’m waiting for Pepper.”
“Can’t you talk to her while I eat?”
Tony opened his mouth to reply, a light crease forming on his brow, but then someone knocked lightly on the door that stood slightly ajar and pushed it open the rest of the way.
Pepper Potts regarded them both, looking a bit confused. “You wanted to talk, Tony?”
“Yes,” Tony nodded briskly, then turned towards Akira. “D-Smash me.”
“What?” Akira jumped. “Why?”
“Because I’m telling you to.”
Akira looked at Pepper, who looked equally confused, for support. All these weeks, Tony hadn’t asked to be D-Smashed out of his DISK outside a battle – not even when Akira failed to do stuff to his liking in the lab, breaking things further instead of fixing them. “The time limit,” Akira reminded him. “If there’s an attack, or another DISK, I can’t –”
“I’m aware of that,” Tony snapped. “D-Smash me,” he repeated, clearly set on it.
Akira shifted nervously, looking at Pepper again. She could reason with Tony. However, she was looking at Tony, and Tony was looking up at her, and it felt like they were having some kind of telepathic conversation because Pepper eventually looked at Akira, eyes bright. “Please,” she said.
“Okay, okay,” Akira mumbled, feeling weird. He de-activated the hologram projection and slowly detached the DISK from his Biocode bracelet. It felt weird, doing this with Pepper staring at him like that, but he braced himself and then proceeded with the familiar: “Iron Man, D-SMASH!” shout, throwing the disk to the floor and releasing the hero locked inside.
Iron Man stretched, armor plates making faint creaking sounds, and then he looked at Pepper again. “We don’t have much time,” he said.
Pepper nodded, hands clutched together at her stomach.
“J.A.R.V.I.S., open up,” Tony ordered next, voice soft, and the armor suddenly began to come apart from around him.
Akira gasped, stepping back. He hadn’t seen Tony do that while caught in the DISK, but there was no real reason why he couldn’t. There just wasn’t time, and the Avengers were only summoned out of their DISKs for battle, so…
As Tony stepped out of the armor, he was wearing a dark undersuit, the middle of his chest glowing with a device that looked similar to the arc reactor in the Iron Man armor. He looked less bulky out of the armor, especially when the suit reverted back to its usual form, leaving Tony standing outside.
“Akira,” Tony said without looking at him, eyes focused on Pepper, “could you please leave us alone for a bit?”
“Uh, sure,” Akira mumbled and began to move towards the door, uncertain what was going on. Once on the other side, he grabbed onto the handle to pull the door all the way shut, but just then Pepper let out an odd choked sound and Akira angled his head to peer in through the gap in the door, afraid that they were arguing.
They were not arguing: Pepper had one hand raised to Tony’s face while the other rested on his chest, on top of the arc reactor. “Tony,” she whispered, body shaking.
Tony’s arms wrapped around Pepper, pulling her close, and she moved her hands around his shoulders, squeezing tight, her breaths getting louder as she leaned her face into Tony’s shoulder.
Akira blinked: she was crying.
Tony’s face looked conflicted at first, like so many times when he was puzzled by someone’s reaction to his words. His expression fractured, bit by bit, and he buried his face in Pepper’s red locks and… was he crying, too?
Akira jumped back from the door and let out a sharp shushing noise, gesturing at the others to be quiet as they came down the hall.
“What is going on?” his brother asked.
“I’m not sure,” Akira told Hikaru and the others.
Jessica pushed through the crowd to the doorway, peering in. Her mouth opened wide, and on her shoulder, Wasp covered her mouth.
“What? What is going on?” Ed asked, also pushing through – and Wasp let out another sound to suggest they should be quiet.
“Oh,” Jessica sighed softly.
Akira pushed back over to his vantage point, seeing as he had been there first and should have the best spot. Ed, being the smallest, still managed to wriggle in front of him, getting on his knees on the floor.
Chris and Hikaru took their time joining the rest, and the small holo-Avengers climbed higher to see.
The Hulk, of course, snorted.
“We should leave them,” Thor murmured.
Inside, Pepper sniffled and pulled back, her hands framing Tony’s face. “How much time do we have?” she asked.
“Not enough,” Tony replied and smiled as her fingers wiped away the faint tear-tracks from his face.
“I didn’t realize how much I missed this – how much I needed this,” Pepper told him, breaths hitching again.
Akira wondered why girls always cried over things. It wasn’t such a big deal: Pepper and Tony saw each other almost every day, and most of the time Tony complained she was a nag and in a bad mood. Pepper was equally annoyed by her boss, so what was the big deal?
“We’ll find a way,” Tony said. “Soon.” A chuckle left him, but he didn’t look happy. “It’s driving me insane, being locked inside, day in and day out. Seeing you but not being able to…”
“Don’t,” Pepper ordered, and then pulled his face down into a kiss.
Ed gasped while the Hulk harrumphed. On Chris’ shoulder, Captain America cleared his throat, but didn’t order them to pull back.
Pepper and Tony kept kissing, which seemed a bit drawn out. His fingers clutched at the back of her waist and her hands carded through his hair, down his neck and shoulders – like she couldn’t touch him enough.
Behind the two of them, the armor suddenly moved, its head turning – staring straight at them through the gap in the doorway. Akira jumped, knocking back into his brother’s feet, but the armor stayed silent, just staring back at them.
“Time is almost up, sir,” the armor announced finally. “Fifty-four seconds remaining.”
Pepper let out a wounded sound, pulling back. Her eyes were red, almost the same shade as her lips. “I don’t want to let go,” she said, fiercely. “Once this is over…”
“You’ll get annoyed with me sooner than you think,” Tony promised, but he slid his hands up to hold Pepper’s where they now rested on his shoulders, and they pressed their foreheads together, leaning in. They didn’t kiss but just stood there, which was a little weird, and Akira felt like asking why they did that.
“Ten seconds,” the armor stated.
“Quiet,” Tony murmured.
Both their hands tightened visibly.
“I love y–” Tony’s words were cut off as the activity time limit was met and both him and the armor were swallowed by a brief burst of light and then disappeared.
Pepper stood still, looking almost comical, but there was nothing funny about her expression when she lowered her hands, her breaths quick and shallow.
“Close the door,” Wasp murmured, and Hikaru reached out to do so.
“That was…” Akira began and fiddled with the disk at his wrist.
“Leave it for now,” Cap ordered him. “Give him a moment.”
Akira looked up at the leader of the Avengers and nodded.
They all stood silently in the doorway, not saying anything. Ed was rubbing his eyes and Jessica was blinking, lips pursed. Hikaru and Chris were both frowning and Akira wondered if they were a bit confused the way he was.
The door opened behind them suddenly and Pepper stepped out – or tried to, until she met with the cluster of people just outside. She stopped short, looking at them, eyes still red, hair a bit more out of place than usual.
“Miss Potts,” Hikaru started, but Jessica elbowed him in the side, cutting off whatever he had been about to say. Probably to apologize for prying, because his brother was proper like that.
Pepper blinked and then looked at Akira, something flashing in his her eyes. “Thank you, Akira,” she said, voice hushed but sounding like Akira had done her a huge favor.
“You’re welcome, Miss Pepper,” he replied awkwardly, rubbing at his neck.
She smiled, then began walking, Chris pulling Ed out of the way to make room for her.
“I’m not sure I understand,” Akira confessed once she was gone.
Jessica huffed. “Why doesn’t that surprise me?”
On Hikaru’s shoulder, Thor looked towards the direction Pepper had vanished, then turned towards Akira. “The DISKs were designed for containment. Until we find a way to escape, we can only touch the real world from between the bars that hold us prisoner.”
Akira still wasn’t sure he got it, but he didn’t think being imprisoned anywhere would be fun – especially if you were isolated from people you were used to spending time with.