I don't own any of the characters in this story except for those you've never heard of before. Same thing with any recognizable plot references. Please rate and review, as it is my first story and I need all the help I can get. I apologize in advance because most of these heroes are females. I created them while playing Barbies with my sister, so what do you expect?
"Oh, it's so beautiful!" a pretty young woman exclaimed when she stepped out of the carriage. Her husband finished helping her exit the carriage and turned around to see the wonderful sight. The couple first noticed the thousands of lanterns hanging down from arches casting majestic beams of soft light on the party below. Many people stood in small groups chatting. The Eiffel Tower did indeed look beautiful against a multi-colored sunset.
"Indeed it does, Jan," responded the man in a formal suit, looking like it belonged in the 1600's. His name is Hank Pym, and his wife's is Janet. "Look who decided to come," he added.
A gorgeous teenager ran up to the young couple from a carriage separated by several horses. "Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Pym. Fancy meeting you here. I love your dress!" both Janet and Kate Bishop Barton said at the same time. Kate wore a strapless pink shimmerey mini-dress that clung to her perfect figure and silver accessories. White high heels and a fancy bun added a few inches to her height.
On the other hand, Janet had on a dress of her design. Dark blue velvet and a silver bow draped elegantly over her body. "Are your parents nearby?" Janet asked, not noticing a slightly older couple trying to catch up with their 16 year old daughter.
"Aww. Hawkeye Jr and Hawkeye Sr," Hank snickered.
Hawkeye Sr scowled at his fellow Avengers' remark. Not for the first time he regretted allowing his daughter to adopt his codename. "How do we know your kid won't become Yellowjacket II or Wasp II someday?" Clint shot back.
Hank turned away, disgusted with his teammate's lack of proper etiquette at such a formal gathering. "Come on, Jan." He urged his wife to stop speaking with Mockingbird and to do what she does best-have a good time. "There are hundreds of people waiting to talk with you. No sense keeping them waiting." He took her arm, leading her away from the Barton family.
As Janet walked around looking for acquaintances, she noticed some fellow heroes milling around. She spotted other Avengers such as Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Captain America with his daughter American Dream, and Thor Girl. Some X-Men such as Storm, Energy Drainer, and Persuasioner also showed up, supporting her in this world-wide competition. "Oh, look, there's Tony!" Janet switched places with Hank and led him to the spot she had sighted Tony Stark. "Tony!" she called out, hoping to attract his attention. Glancing around, she spotted him exchanging words with Captain America. American Dream must have run off to find Kate, her best friend. "Tony!" she tried one last time. Moving as fast as her stomach allowed, she weaved between clusters of people.
Hearing her cries, he ceased talking and smiled at her. "Hey, Jan," Tony greeted her warm-heartedly. He was pleased she has risked giving birth away from home to attend the ceremony. These awards happened only once every five years or so. Even being considered for entry is a big deal. Tony had made sure her name was put on the list thanks to a few calls to the right people. "How's it going?"
"I'm fine, Tony. You know I wouldn't miss this for the world. Besides, it would be fantastic if the baby is born in France. Thanks for getting my name on the list," Janet responded.
"Jan, you deserve it. You've worked hard to make a name for yourself. No need to thank me."
Janet blushed, adding a rosy pink color to her already glowing face. Even though what he said was true, she still felt embarrassed whenever someone brought it up. True, the show would boost her popularity and reel in the extra business needed to replenish her accounts.
During the past month or so, Hank forbid her to go out as the Wasp at all, which meant whenever she was not at work, she was at home or shopping. During the first few months, before her stomach swelled noticeably, Janet was able to accomplish normal activities. When she could no longer fit in her original costume, which consisted of black boots, black leggings with a yellow stripe, and a black and yellow strapless top that exposed her midriff, she switched to a more appropriate assemble. The new black and yellow striped mini dress, knee-high black boots, and yellow head antenna fit much more comfortably. "Now, I just hope the baby will be okay once it's born," Janet suddenly blurted out.
"What do you mean?" Tony inquired, sounding equally worried and curious. Up to now, Janet appeared to have no problems with her pregnancy, as far as he knew.
"I've been using my powers until a little over a month ago," Janet explained. Not allowed to go out as the Wasp was driving her crazy. She could not sneak out of the house without being caught by Hank, and he would know if she did it in another town, as it would probably be on the news. All the stress was making her continuously sick, and that made Hank even more over-protective of her. No matter how bad she felt, she always tried to put on the costume and stop a robbery or prevent a theft. Hank always tried to stop her, but she never listened and told him to resume fiddling with his science equipment. Tests taken later on helped prove Hank's point: the more she used her powers, the higher the risk of something happening to their unborn child. He finally convinced her to stop doing heroics and to put all her limited energy into their major source of income-Janet's store, Insect Fashions. People were thrilled with the sudden increase of new designs, but she quickly grew bored with her long mundane days at the shop. She yearned to go out as an Avenger again.
"Did Hank give you the worst case scenario again?" he guessed. Hank was prone to sharing the worst thing that could happen.
"Yes, he said the baby could have a weak heart or disfigured limbs, even though the baby shrinks when I do. He has me terrified," Janet answered.
While Janet expressed her concerns with Tony, American Dream skipped around the tables covered with fancy snow white table clothes, cups of sparkling water and red wine, and elegant French pastries. Her father let her wander around alone, knowing she was certainly capable enough to defend herself. Right when she decided to start a search for Kate, a hand lightly punched her in the arm. She turned around, but did not expect to see her best friend beaming with happiness ready to tackle her. "Kate!" she cried out in delight. "There you are! I almost didn't recognize you without your wig."
"How come I doubt that?" Kate scoffed. Kate knew she looked different in her black shoes, black skintight pants, black long-sleeved belly shirt, black sunglasses, and black wig. That was why she wore them: her pure blond hair and happy-go-lucky personality carried over to her Hawkeye persona. If the most popular person in school and the Young Avenger Hawkeye were the same person, anyone who fought the Barton family would try to capture her. Since belonging to S.H.I.E.L.D., both Kate's mother and father had made many enemies; most would be all too happy to harm her. "Sharon, I only found you so I can tell you the show is about to begin," Kate informed Sharon. While strolling near the stage, she had overheard some workers calling out to each other.
"If we want good seats, we should claim them now," Sharon offered.
"Yeah, come on. I saw some empty tables near the front. They're right behind the tables reserved for participants and their families," agreed Kate. Sharon took off, swerving between tables and clusters of people. She noticed Kate trying to catch up, carefully maneuvering the crowd, taking care not to step on anybody's feet. "We should tell Mrs. Pym so she can find a seat," Kate added as an afterthought. They both took off into the crowd, keeping an eye out for their parents as well as the Pym's.
Janet Pym had finished talking with Tony and moved on to a different posse of giggling women including Kate's mother, Mockingbird. The friends stood in a semi-circle laughing at a story somebody had just shared. They stopped their laughter immediately when Kate and Sharon found them near the center. "Hello, girls," she said with a faint smile. Cap's Kooky Quartet stories never became old, and Mockingbird had no shortage of them, as her husband Hawkeye, as well as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, were the members. Their blunders really were quite funny.
"Mom, the show is about to begin," Sharon informed the adults. She heard Kate tell her mother as well.
"Jan, you should find a seat. Kate can help me find Clint," Mockingbird told Janet. She took hold of Kate's hand and disappeared into the crowd.
The other women dispersed, trying to locate their friends and family. No one noticed one woman who, instead of finding friends, reached into her beaded handbag and retrieved an expensive cell phone. As she walked away from the mobs of guests rushing towards the tables, she punched in a number where, on any other phone, would come up as unlisted. "Erika, in about 20 minutes, send in the troops," she muttered into the phone mysteriously. Stalking the crowd from behind, she checked to make sure the other three women in cahoots with her did the same.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the La Mode Awards will be starting in just a few seconds. Please find a seat before the show begins," the host's voice boomed out to the opposite side of the Eiffel Tower. He briefly walked offstage, giving the spectators time to find a seat. When everybody had one, the host stepped onstage again to start the ceremony. "Let the awards commence!" the host called out to the guests.
The crowd cheered, Janet included. They organized it in alphabetical order, so since she was registered as Janet Van Dyne, she would be one of the last contestants to display their creation. As she patiently waited her turn, she noticed some of the other designs were very creative. Holding on to her confidence, she relaxed and enjoyed the competition. Finally her name was called. She made her way through the crowd, her model Millie trailing close behind. Millie already had on her make-up, just like all the other models. Each contestant gave a short oration while the model changed into the clothing. Each speech lasted about five minutes and gave a little history of the designer. Janet gave hers, then watched Millie parade down the runway wearing a cross between both her costumes.
While Janet gave her speech, Hawkeye left for the bathroom. Upon her return, she noticed a woman yank off her curled brunette tresses and undo the ribbon holding her hair in a neat bun. When she shook her head, the glasses perched on her nose fell to the floor as her hair spread out framing her stunning face. Under the emerald green contacts unique purple eyes shone brightly with wild excitement. Please don't tell me that's Plantress, Kate thought. But when the woman tore off her ice blue bikini top and black mini skirt and made plants grow to replace them, it confirmed Kate's fears. This woman was, indeed, the dreaded villain Plantress. Kate ran back to her table before she was spotted by the most wanted person in France.
While giving one last curtsy, Janet spied something odd occurring around the perimeter. Several people began removing their clothing, revealing costumes underneath. Janet exited the stage, hoping to investigate further. The host announced the next participant, so she decided this would be a good time to go. Hank would think she was just using the restroom. All her friends whispered, "Good job, Jan," as she walked past. Nodding to each person, she hurried to the side where the villain Nightmare stood keeping watch. Janet shrunk and hovered above Nightmare's head.
"Come on, what's taking so long?" Nightmare asked herself. She bounced up and down. Unlike Plantress, she wanted to get the attack over with. "Finally! Let's get this party started!" she cried out happily. Nightmare ran off to join the troops, just enough to disrupt the gathering.
Janet sped off towards Hank, feeling a sense of freedom at being able to fly. She had not realized how much she missed flying until now. Not caring about the staring citizens, she told Hank about what she had witnessed. Before she could finish warning her husband, vines began snaking under tables and over people's feet. Alarmed shouts broke out. The heroes took action, escorting civilians and defending themselves. What's happening? Janet wondered before a prickly rose stem squeezed her airway shut.