AUTHOR'S NOTE: I intended this story to be a one-shot, but it was popular and people put it on alert, which I took as a pointed hint as I've done the same thing myself. THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who reviewed and favourited! I might take requests if anyone has ideas. It has to involve one Avenger being protective over another. I'm working on Clint being protective of Natasha, this is Loki being protective over Thor and the last was Bruce and Clint.
There were headaches, there were migraines, and then there was what Director Fury had.
No, really. He was well versed in headaches (the man was in charge of one of the most complex organisations in the world, after all) of varying degrees and the action succeeding it (booting the cause of the headache out of his office, the helicarrier or SHIELD, depending on the severity of the pain), and usually he never even bothered mentioning it. He would just take some Tylenol he kept in a tamperproof cabinet in his office and be done with it. So what could have made him admit defeat and come staggering into the medical bay, babbling about ice cream and "goddamn mother******* piss taking son of fleabitten llamas Loki"?
It probably would be fair to say that it was all the kitten's fault.
The Hulk roared at the Doombot which had blasted Bruce, instigating the Hulk-out. He picked it up and smashed it into the line of advancing robots, sending sparks and bots flying everywhere.
"BANNER LIKED THAT SHIRT!"
Stark shook his head. "Seriously, Green Bean? That's what you focus on?"
Privately, he was pleased. It showed that he was right when he claimed the Hulk cared for Bruce, and he did like being proved right. Especially when it came to his Science Bro (you could say that Bruce came up with the name, if you removed the sarcasm from the sleep deprived statement of "We haven't slept in four days, we're off our faces drunk on Scotch in your case and herbal tea in mine and are now attempting to add glitter guns to your suit at half past three in the morning. They'll start to call us the mad scientist bros soon.". On the other hand, it had been Tony who copyrighted it and bought custom made T-shirts.)
He turned his head back to the fight as a Doombot did its best to pierce his armour. He wagged a finger chidingly.
"Bad 'bot. My armour is cooler than yours but you don't have to try and break it. I know you must be greener than my friend here with jealousy, but do try to contain yourse- ARRK!"
When he told the story later, he would edit out the squawk as well as the way the blast from the lightning hitting the Doombot knocked him on his metal posterior.
"OI! Lucius Malfoy, careful with the aim!"
Thor tipped Mjolnir in brief acknowledgement before turning back to the fight. Tony grinned as he surveyed the scene. The Doombots were being driven back, decimated by their combined skills. Clint was perched on the Hulk's shoulder, having formed a close attachment to the Hulk as well as Bruce. He shot explosive arrows, fireball arrows, flash-bang arrows- every dirty trick in the book. Widow was on the other side of the street, using her wrist tasers to blast anything within twenty feet. Hulk smashed, careful not to lose his passenger. Thor and Steve were back to back, one sending out his shield and the other directing lightning through his hammer. They were winning by miles.
Of course, it was at this point that Doom popped out of the pavement with another army of robots.
Doom cackled as his robots advanced on the battered Avengers. They would be as ants beneath his feet when he finally obliterated them, taking out the so-called "Earth's Mightiest Heroes." He couldn't wait to tell the others at the Villainous Monthly Meeting!
His internal monologuing was cut short when the giant green monster launched itself at him.
Clint yelped as he fell back off the Hulk's shoulder, twisting just in time to avoid landing on a rampaging Doombot.
Steve cheered as the Hulk steered himself on a straight course towards the cackling inventor. He was right on target for an ex-Doom and a speedy resolution to the fight. Then they could go and get some hot dogs. (Hey, he's patriotic and has a high metabolism, okay? Sheesh, Tony gives him endless mocking for his "uber-American-ness".)
Then the Hulk saw something which made him change direction, yelling at the top of his considerable voice.
A tiny kitten was licking her paw as she took in the scene. It didn't look much like it had before her mummy had set her down for a nap and she was confused. Really, she should have been still napping rather than exploring the streets, but humanity never bothered with obedience so she didn't see why she should. Then there was an enormous green thing in front of her, staring at her with wondrous eyes.
She preened and went "meep", before winding her way around his ankles and leaving the destroyed street to find her mother. The Hulk stared happily after her.
Stark stared incredulously at the kitten stalking off, Hulk dopily grinning at her retreating back. Down a fighter, the Doombots overwhelmed them, though they steered clear of the Hulk.
"I think your priorities are a little skewed her, Emeraldzy," he called as the Doombots overcame him, dragging him to Doom and roughly shoving him to his knees in the rubble. Clint, Natasha and Steve were getting the same treatment, but Thor had twice as many bots on him. He was yanked in front of Doom, who grinned widely.
"Long have I awaited this day, Avengers. The day I would finally get to meet the group laughably known as "Earth's Mightiest Heroes."" He laughed disparagingly, turning to Thor.
"They call you a god, you know," he added casually. "I disagree. I am the only one with the power of a god on this puny planet, and I will be the one to remedy this... oversight."
He spun to face the other Avengers, cackling dramatically.
"This is the day that Doom will reign supreme! I will obliterate you all, you Spandex simpletons, and then I will kill this Norse ninny and then I will go for cake and plan my coronation as Grand High Poobah of Ear- ARRK!"
Tony yelled in triumph, "HA! See, I'm not the only girlish squealer! Did anybody else hear that? That was a squeal!"
He was ignored, however, as the other Avengers were concentrating on the tall figure behind Doom's fallen body dusting his hand off on his black armour.
"I'm afraid cake is off the menu, you poor deluded man. Were you just attempting to kill my brother?"
If anybody had been listening to Doom at that moment, they would have heard a very faint groan of "Oh, sh*t!"
The god in question rolled his eyes at their thunderstruck expressions.
"Awfully sorry to burst your bubble, but no, I'm the bringer of pizza deliveries."
He sighed as the sarcasm went over Thor's head yet again.
"Pizza? But I did not order this delivery of piz-"
"Thor, shut it. I'm trying to clean up your mess here, if you don't mind."
He wheeled back around to the whimpering "sorcerer". Honestly, he hadn't hit him that hard. It would barely have made Thor whimper. Much.
"YOU. I have a bone to pick with you, if you don't mind." He advanced, plastering what Thor had always called his "psychopath smirk" on his pale face.
"You seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that there is open season on the Avengers. I disagree."
He ignored the flabbergasted faces of the "Spandex simpletons" (honestly, the poseur was abysmal when it came to pithy insults.) as Doom hauled himself to his feet, attempting to regain control of the situation.
"Loki. It's been a while, has it not?"
Loki scoffed. "Two months. I missed the last VMM. Can you possibly blame me? The last time I attended, MODOK ate my sandwiches and I was forcibly ejected for reducing him to fine particles of ash."
Doom nodded in a seemingy reasonable manner; having been there to witness that particular incident and made aware of exactly how much of a bad idea it was to make Loki mad, he did his best to alleviate the glacial tone in Loki's voice.
"Very well. Have you come to share in my glorious ascent? I shall kill this pretentious god and the rest of them and then I will reign-"
Loki sighed. "You seem to be monologuing again, Doom. Do try to stop, there's a good man. I am not here to join your frankly pathetic attempt at world domination. You seem to be exactly the sort of deluded, hubristic lesser being whom I would like nothing more than to show what true power is. In case you were unaware, your pathetic amount of magic is barely enough to create a jester's display."
Doom blustered furiously. "You- I- power- could defeat you any day!"
Loki waved a hand, bored. "Yes, yes, you could defeat me any day, you don't monologue, you aren't a hardcore Brony, the moon is made of bilgesnipe dung... Just save what little dignity you still retain and leave while you can."
Doom continued to splutter. "You were the one to attack the city and the Avengers not six months ago!"
"Time is relative," Loki muttered, waving a hand airily. "Anyway, that is exactly my point. Should there be any Avenger-bashing taking place, it will be executed by me. The actual god in this discussion. Not a pathetic failed villain like you."
"I AM NOT A FAILURE!"
"My dear Doom, you monologue. You are a walking cliche."
Doom scowled. "I will reign unchallenged!" he roared, raising his hands in Thor's direction. Magic crackled around them, ready to unleash a fatal dose at the thunder god.
Loki's eyes narrowed. "Don't say I didn't warn you," he hissed.
"LOKI! GET YOUR BONY BUTT BACK OVER HERE THIS NANOSECOND!"
Thor frowned. "You will not summon him in that manner. Loki does what he wishes: he is the god of mischief, after all. Also, you could be a little less rude when addressing my brother. He did just save us all."
Fury's eye twitched. "Is this what you call saving?"
Thor nodded happily. "He disposed of the Bots of Doom and saved my life in the process. Though I am not entirely sure why..." he frowned, staring ponderously into space. Fury gritted his teeth together.
"He turned them into ice cream!"
He ignored the ice cream-ball fight going on behind him. Barton was positively burying Stark, Rogers and Banner, who had changed back (and thank God Stark finally invented stretchy pants) and was teamed up with Romanov.
"Not just the Bots of Doom, Man of Fury. My brother has transformed the street itself into around thirty seven flavours of deliciousness!"
Fury pinched the bridge of his nose and called on the breathing techniques Banner had taught him.
"AVENGERS! FALL IN!"
He ignored the rum and raisin ice cream-ball which promptly socked him in the back of the head in favour of gathering himself. He also ignored the way Romanov's hand lingered a moment longer than necessary as she wiped what looked like Blueberry Bonanza (seriously, when did the nutjob god ever learn about ice cream?) off Barton's face, because that would have caused some serious paperwork if he had seen it.
He groaned. Serious paperwork? He was walking on Cherry Chocolate paving slabs, and that partially eaten blob of Coconut Crunch looked suspiciously like a bus might if it was flash frozen by dairy products.
He eyed up the line of ice-cream-splattered heroes with mounting tension behind his eyebrows. Banner's back was covered in Raspberry Ripple from when he had turned his back on his ally ("Oi, Kwai Chang Caine, you can't just abandon your Science Bro to Stalin and Robin Hood! OI! Don't build a Strawberry Summer snowman, HELP ME! I'M TAKING BACK THE T-SHIRT!"), Romanoff was spotless but for a single Blood Orange splat on her right shoulder which matched the one on Barton's left kneecap and Stark was a bizarre Pollock-esque canvas of rainbow colours. Thor, whom Fury had collared as soon as he arrived on scene, had escaped with only a few splatters, evidence of hw quickly SHIELD had discovered the existence of eight streets entirely made of ice cream.
He paced up and down the line with the distinct feeling of deja vu. Or was is deja vecu? He didn't really care, but he did want a distraction from the ridiculous situation at hand.
"Stark. Would you care to volunteer an explanation?"
"Why, Director, this is all so sudden! Shouldn't we go to dinner first?" He fluttered his eyelashes ridiculously.
"Stark. You look like a modern art canvas. Why do you look like a modern art canvas?"
Stark pouted, actually pouted. "Because Merida aims like a boss and doesn't like Disney Princess comparisons and Rasputin is excellent at distractions."
Fury sighed. "Very good, Stark, but that doesn't entirely answer my question. Banner?"
The scientist grinned in an impish manner. Dear gods above, this "Science Bro" (he reluctantly added the mental "TM", having no desire to be sued by two of the smartest and most mischievous scientists on the planet) partnership was going to be the reason for the apocolypse. If they ever went the way of Doom, the whole world would be utterly... doomed.
"The Hulk seems to like kittens. I may investigate further."
Banner's hand came up to rub the back of his neck. "Ah, well, we were getting on very well to begin with. We were winning and everything until a kitten appeared and he got distracted." He sighed wistfully. "I like kittens."
Fury's mouth flopped open in a highly unprofessional manner.
Romanoff leaned around Barton to poke Banner, who jumped but didn't react. No doubt Stark had him used to unexpected prodding.
"Congratulations, you achieved Haweye's lifelong goal in one afternoon. You broke Fury."
Fury snapped his mouth shut hastily.
"So. You get distracted by a kitten. Doom appears with reinforcements and nearly kills Thor, Loki appears, insults Doom and turns him into a statue wearing a tutu and turns his entire army and the surrounding area into ice cream of all things, and none of you have any idea why?!"
"... Yes. But see, man of Fury, it tastes of strawberries!"
Fury gave up.