Disclaimer: Oh my god, I wish this was mine. Tony would be a villain, Loki would be an Avenger and they would have an illicit love affair that ended with half-Jötunn babies running around and Tony eating some of Iðunn's apples.
The likelihood of this ever having another chapter is nil (having said that, you should expect more, and probably soon).
"JARVIS, put on Slam by Pendulum, would you?"
"Going outside your usual musical preferences, sir?" the AI asked politely, and the song started blaring through the helm's internal speakers.
"Today's a special kind of day," Tony grunted as he bore down on his tower - his tower - inside which the alien known as Loki was currently standing, according to JARVIS, who was never wrong.
He'd been in Hong Kong with Pepper when he'd gotten the call - "Tony," Rhodey had babbled into his phone, obviously distressed, "We're being mobilised to deal with an extraterrestrial threat; apparently an alien is trying to take over the world! Can you believe this shit!?"
Unfortunately, Tony could. He'd been hacking into SHIELD for years now; their security was completely crap for such a "powerful" organisation, and the innate bad guy in him just couldn't resist. He'd read all about aliens and bridges through space and psychos throwing lightning around. He'd also read about Captain America being found and something called the "Avengers Initiative" to bring together the superheroes of Earth in defence of their planet, just in case.
The world, it seemed, was about to become a lot more interesting.
"I know it's not your thing," Rhodey continued, "I know you're, well, a villain, but- This is our planet we're talking about and-"
"The only person who's going to take this world by storm is me, Rhodey," Tony informed him, already standing in front of his suit. Let it never be said that Tony was an incompetent villain - he had a lair in every major city in the world, each of them with at least one suit hidden inside somewhere.
"Rhodey, I want the world to survive as much as you do - I'm kind of fond of some of the people here."
"I never thought I'd hear you say that, I'm touched."
"Who said anything about you being on that list?" he quipped as the armour arranged itself on his body, the call transferring to his helm, "Seriously though, Rhodey, keep your air force buddies busy; I don't want them attacking me thinking that I'm on the aliens' side."
"I'll do my best. Kick some ass Tony."
Tony planned to do just that. He touched down on the landing pad that was supposedly for small aircraft, and which he really used for landing in his suits, and looked through his very expensively-glazed windows. Inside, he spied Loki, who was staring at him with challenging brows raised.
"Another hero? I had thought that the Avengers were all there were," the alien said slyly as Tony strolled into the room like he owned the place (which he did).
"Oh, I'm no hero," Tony informed him as he came to a stop behind the bar, "But this is my planet, and to be honest, I don't think it's big enough to hold both of our egos."
"Really?" he drawled, "The question is, do you see this planet as the place you live on, or a place which you own?"
"Oh, it's definitely something I own. I am a literal superpower."
Loki stared at him speculatively for a moment before smirking; "Join me."
Incredulity fairly summarised Tony's state of mind at that moment. A small window appeared at the corner of his eye and informed him that a quinjet was landing on his roof, and he grinned behind his faceplate; the cavalry had arrived.
"And what, pray, tell, would I get from this arrangement?"
"Shared ownership," Loki said, his eyes glinting manically, "I would rule the world and you would rule beside me, and we would reform this planet to suit our visions!"
His informative little window was tracking three of the Avengers as they tried to shut down the machine and failed, and then as they made for the door to the penthouse.
Tony took a moment to look like he was thinking about it, walking around the bar to stand closer to the alien - enough time for the heroes to halt at the door behind Loki and stare at them both suspiciously; "I'm sorry, I actually like the world as it is."
Loki laughed; "Surely you cannot be satisfied with the way it is? It could be so much better!"
"Unfortunately for you," Tony said, fast becoming annoyed with the man before him, "I love this planet. Everything from the sheeple to the SHIELD agent that follows me around like a puppy."
"I killed a SHIELD agent earlier today," Loki mused, smirking slightly - he was obviously aware of and trying to provoke the heroes behind him.
"Really? Must've been tough; those guys are like cockroaches."
"Indeed. What was his name, again? Ah yes, the one that Thor knew; the Son of Coul."
Tony was vaguely aware that the blonde guy with the shield (who was obviously Captain America) had leapt forward with a battle cry, but he had ceased paying attention to them. His tunnel vision was focused solely on Loki.
Coulson. He had killed Coulson.
Loki danced out of the way of the Captain's shield, but didn't have time to react when Tony's hand shot up and sent a repulsor blast at his face, slamming him into the elevator door.
"He was mine," he growled, and through the distortion of the helmet it sounded like an honest to god animal was inside the suit.
Loki extricated himself from the door with a slight wince, "My apologies for stealing your kill," he said with a smirk, "But that really was uncalled for. What is the phrase here, "an eye for an eye"?"
And then Tony found himself flying out of his very expensively-glazed windows.
"Fuck, those things cost more than the Mark II did," he murmured as he flipped and flew back up. His penthouse was being trashed by the heroes trying to save the day - so thoroughly were they destroying his home that they didn't even notice when an alien fleet started coming through a portal in the sky.
"Oh for fuck's sake!" he yelled, gaining all of the combatants' attention as he shot up towards the incoming hoard, "Don't make me quote Avatar, you assholes!"
He missed Loki jumping out of the Iron Man-shaped hole in the windows to jump onto one of the alien scooters, and he missed Captain America ordering his team into action, but he did notice when there was suddenly a six foot something, ridiculously muscled, hammer-wielding maniac flying nearby him, alternatively bashing and zapping the aliens at they came through the portal.
Then there was a thing, a huge thing, flying through at him and he was yelling; "Holy shit! Hammer-guy, get out of the way!"
He flipped himself over and flew towards the ground, tailed closely by hammer guy and, sadly, the thing as well.
"JARVIS, have you ever heard the story of Jonah?" he asked rhetorically as he flipped again to face his "whale".
"Sir, I really don't recommend-"
"Too late!" he cried as he flew past hammer-guy and straight at the thing, which obliging opened its mouth.
"Man of Iron!" hammer-guy called as he flashed past, into the belly of the beast.
"Ew, ew, ew!" he muttered as he traversed the slimy interior, "JARVIS, remind me to melt this suit down once we win this, would you?"
"Yes, sir," JARVIS replied, sounding equal parts exasperated and disgusted.
"Release the hounds!"
The explosion viewed from the outside must have been spectacular, Tony mused once he was free, "JARVIS, locate the Avengers."
"All of the team's members, as listed by SHIELD, have regrouped to the north of your position, sir; coordinates are on screen."
He sped towards them, touching down gently nearby and examining all of them from head to toe as he walked the rest of the way.
"Nice apocalypse you've got going here," he said once he was close enough to speak to them, halting a good eight feet from the group, "Need some help?"
"Not from you, we don't," man-with-bow said with narrowed eyes, "You'll probably take advantage and steal half the city once cleanup starts."
"The Man of Iron has already aided us," hammer-guy pointed out, "Surely that is enough reason to allow us to trust him, if only temporarily?"
"I'm so glad that my reputation precedes me," Tony said, genuinely pleased, "But I'm going to kill aliens whether you ask me to or not; I kind of like New York, you know?"
Before man-with-bow could say something snarky in return, Captain America stepped forward; "We'll take all the help we can get. Steve Rogers," he said, sticking out a hand.
Tony snorted and reached out a gauntlet to shake; "I know Fury doesn't know my real name, so I'll give you an alias instead; Ankh Tanstory, temporarily at your service, Captain."
The Captain honestly looked like he was going to introduce the rest of his team, but Tony waved him off; "We have a world to save. If I feel like playing nice I'll come back later and we can have a tea party or something; where do you need me?"
He nodded and turned to his team; obviously Captain America had faith in spades, because he'd just turned his back on a potential threat.
"Alright, listen up."
Tony jerked into consciousness at the sound of roaring nearby. His hands immediately rose to either shoot or block, but the action was needless. He found himself lying on the floor in the middle of what had previously been a battlefield, three superheroes standing around him. Judging by the grins that they were sporting, they were happy to see his suit rebooting, though why was another matter entirely – he was, after all, a villain.
Captain America stuck out his right hand, obviously inviting him to take it and use it to help himself up. Any other day, Tony would have refused on principle, but today he had come alarmingly close to death multiple times; accepting aid from someone who really should have been an enemy was the least of his worries right now.
"Thanks," Tony grunted as he took the Captain's hand and used it to haul himself up, "This wasn't exactly how I planned to spend my Friday, but I guess it could've been worse."
"Yeah, the entire world could have been enslaved," America informed him, and Tony rolled his eyes behind his face plate.
"Thank you Captain Obvious," he deadpanned, "Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go and see if my lair is intact. God help Loki if there's a dent in a single one of my mainframes," the last was mumbled, though he was sure they heard him loud and clear, and he made to jet.
"Wait!" the Captain said, taking a step forward as Tony stepped back to give himself room to take off.
"What do you want, America?"
"You're not really a villain, are you?"
Tony stared blankly at the soldier for a moment before remembering that he couldn't see the expression. So he dropped his head into his hands instead.
"What in the world made you think that, Captain? I've been tearing stuff down and blowing shit up since before you were even defrosted."
"You helped us out today," the Captain informed him as though he hadn't already known that, "and no real villain would have sacrificed his life like you almost did to save the city."
"Heroes are not the only people on this planet, you idiot," Tony informed him rather coldly, "The rest of mankind has to live here as well. Not to mention, heroes aren't the only people capable of human emotion. If New York were to burn I would lose more than just the battle, let me tell you."
Before Captain Naivety could argue anything else, Tony engaged his thrusters and flew away. He didn't look back.
The first time Steve met Tony Stark, he wasn't quite sure what to think.
According to gossip around the helicarrier, the man who designed pretty much everything that SHIELD owned had rushed back from Hong Kong as fast his security team would allow him to board the plane. He had immediately set about throwing money at New York to try and help fix the mess created by the Chitauri, hiring possibly half the tradesmen in the United States and shipping them to the city in his bid to repair "his city".
Steve had heard this, of course, but he hadn't thought that he was ever actually going to meet the man until he saw him hauling rubble in downtown Manhattan one morning with a crew of paid and volunteer workers.
Wearing a black t-shirt, black slacks that probably cost more than everything Steve was wearing and which were being ruined and work boots that had to be the most expensive on the market, the man had at the same time wreaked of wealth and leadership. And sweat. Steve shook off the image of Howard that superimposed itself on top of the younger Stark and moved forward to offer his help.
"Need a couple more hands?" he asked, smiling. He was supposed to be going to another SHIELD debriefing, but he really needed a break from all that.
Stark looked up from the slab of sidewalk he had been about to pick up and pulled off his sunglasses; "Well fuck me dead; Steve Rogers. Shouldn't you have a SHIELD collar on you somewhere?"
Steve blinked at the not-so-veiled insult, and Stark grinned.
"I kid. We could use the extra super-manpower. Tony Stark, call me Tony," he introduced himself, sticking out his hand.
Steve shook it with an uncertain smile, "It seems you already know my name."
Tony snorted; "You kidding? My dad never shut up about you; he had pictures of the two of you in his office and spent more time looking for your frozen ass than he did raising me."
Before Steve would reply to this somewhat upsetting statement, Tony turned back to his helpers.
"Minions, I have acquired the Captain of America. Where are the heaviest pieces of building, since we now have someone that can lift them without the help of a crane?"
The "minions", far from looking star-struck at the sight of the hero, smiled at him rather evilly and pointed at a block with a circumference the size of his torso.
"Well, you saw them," Tony said, slapping him on the back, "Get that block into the truck and then the next chunk and the next one, and eventually the street will be clear enough for trucks to get through to the next block off and we can send another team in to clean that up too. March!"
So Steve spent the entire rest of the day hauling rubble beside a gaggle of everyday New Yorkians and an eccentric billionaire, cleaning up their city. He felt the phone in his pocket - which he suddenly remembered was designed by Stark Industries - go off at least seven times, but he was sure that once he explained to Fury what he had been doing he would be off the hook.
He was right, sort of.
Fury had sighed in exasperation and sent him away, obviously preoccupied with other aspects of the cleanup which Steve wasn't sure he wanted to know. He thought he heard the words "good publicity" as the door shut, though.
As he headed towards his room, his phone rang and he pulled it out of his pocket, only to frown when there was no caller ID.
"Hello?" he asked uncertainly, and was met with a laugh.
"Have you checked the children?" the voice of Tony Stark asked, a smirk evident in his tone, "You probably don't get that reference, but oh well. You up for dinner sometime? Apparently SHIELD is looking for a base of operations for the Avengers in New York and they decided that my tower is iconic enough to do the job. If you're going to be living with me, it'd probably be good to get to know you first."
Steve's brain took a moment to catch up before telling him to answer the question, and he nodded before remembering that Tony couldn't see him.
"Yeah, dinner sounds good. When-"
"Awesome," Tony cut in, "Invite your teammates too; apparently Fury wants all of you in here. Fucked if I know how I'm going to fit any ego but my own in that tower," the last was mumbled, but Steve heard and snorted.
"Yeah, I am pretty funny huh? I'll text you the details later; it was nice talking to you," and with that he hung up.
Steve stared at his phone in bemusement for a moment before smiling; Tony's mind obviously worked at a million miles an hour, so he probably didn't even have time to think of niceties before his mind flittered off to another topic.
Tony, standing in his New York mansion and examining his latest suit design, smirked like the cat that got the proverbial cream.
"A tea party or something," he mumbled to himself, "Fuck tea parties; I want seafood."
He called Pepper to have her make reservations for him and the Avengers, and then stood back and smiled at his latest baby.
"This is going to be so much fun."
I should be writing other things. I am a bad person.
An update for SatB should be forthcoming sometime this week. If it's not, please send me an angry email; I probably need the kick in the arse to shake off the story-selective writer's block.