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Odds and Ends

So I've seen a few people post odds and ends of things they've written at the end of the year.  Mostly things they just never finished.  And I figured why not?  Amy-verse I'll hold back, since I'd like to finish that someday, and I didn't bother looking through my other notebooks to find things, but have two fics I started but didn't finish.

The first one is a crossover of Avengers MCU and The Twelve.  Mostly because The Twelve gave me feels.  Lots of feels.  Curse you, JMS.  But yeah, between the Witness (seriously, just the concept of his character gives you feeeeeeeels), Rockman (That one nearly legitimately made me cry), Captain Wonder (oh, god, the feels with that story line.  Just when you think JMS is done with you, he hits you harder), Master Mind Excello (though admittedly, his feels came late in the game), I would have been sold.  But no.  JMS also made me fall head over heals for the Phantom Reporter, who is all kinds of adorable and needs cuddles.  Especially with his crush on the Black Widow.  And the worst thing is that there is no fic of the Phantom Reporter that I can find, and this makes me a sad, sad panda.  He's got that reporter sort of cynicism with a dosage of JMS romanticism, and it works.  I just... I really fell in love with this character.

Naturally, when I see a lack of something in fandom, I usually set about to fix this.  Sadly, while I already wanted to put the original Black Widow in fic, I also had no idea where to go with it.  So I started writing, so see if something would come to me.  It unfortunately didn't.  But here is the first scene, in case you were interested.

~

Fire and Shadow

Ninjas, Tony decided, were a pain in the ass to fight. They never knew when to cry uncle, had a ridiculous tendency towards ritual suicide when things went south, and they drag the fights out until all of the Avengers, even the super ones, were dog-tired. Did he mention the ritual suicide? Because if he had to watch that one more time, he was going to be sick.

Under normal circumstances, Tony would have just flown off at the end of the flight and gotten donuts or a burger, because that shit deserved burgers. But Cap had gotten sliced up a bit and Tony wanted a shot at those freaky swords that could cut through the body armor Tony himself had made. And if he were just a little bit honest, he was a smidgen worried about their fearless leader, who continued through the fight despite his wounds.

Not that Tony liked being honest.

Still, when he touched down next to Steve who was pressing his hand into his side to stop the bleeding, he had JARVIS run a quick scan. He was relieved to note it didn't appear to hit any vital organs. Just a deep cut, which the serum would heal. "So I hear getting up close and personal with a slice and dicer is a bad idea," he said as Natasha and Thor joined them.

Steve snorted, obviously having watched enough infomercials by now to know what Tony was talking about. "I'll keep that in mind next time I use the mixer at the Tower."

Natasha stepped forward, tugging at Steve's hand so she could get a good look at the wound. "Not too deep," she declared, confirming JARVIS's prognosis. "With the serum, it should be healed in a day or two."

"It's good to see you are well, Captain," a female voice said. It was soft and seductive, with a hypnotic ring to it that made Tony think of a siren's voice.

The change in Steve was immediate. He pushed Natasha behind him, bringing up his shield. "Stark, stay behind Thor."

"What?" Tony asked, extremely offended. Like hell he would. A glare at Thor stopped the Asgardian from moving in front of Tony, and he was able to see...

Hot damn.

The woman's velvety voice did not do her body justice, and that was an understatement. She wore a tight black body suit that left nothing to the imagination, and that was a sight Tony would remember for the rest of his life. Those were curves to make even the tallest peeks of Mount Everest jealous. Her hair, light blond and wavy, framed her face, and she had eye shadow to make her dark eyes pop out. The spider motif on her outfit and the cape were a bit much, but she was a hell of a looker. "Cap, tell me she's not a bad guy, because I would tap that regardless of alignment."

"Tony, stay back," Steve yelled. Tony took a step back at the force of the command, obvious fear coursing through Steve's voice. He glanced at Natasha, who nodded curtly at him to follow orders.

To say it pissed him off when Thor stepped in front of him was like saying the mile was long, but Tony let it happen this time. Something had Steve spooked about this woman, but they were going to have words about who needed protecting when this was over. He was in the suit, for crying out loud.

"You're not taking them," Steve told the woman firmly. "They're good people. They don't belong to you or your master."

"I am not here for your friends," the woman said. "The woman is as much as a victim as any of the people she's killed."

Natasha stiffened at the words, but she didn't move from behind Steve. Tony could see her rolling a dagger in her hands though.

"And Tony?" Steve said, never taking his eyes off of her.

"He is not mine to judge," she said.

"That never stopped you from being judge and jury before," Steve snapped. He looked torn between throwing his shield and throwing Tony over his shoulder and bolting. "He's a good man. You're not taking him."

"He's right here while you're talking about him," Tony snapped. "What's this about, Cap?"

"Peace, my friend," Thor said. "I feel a strong power from this woman, and it is not a force of good." Thor had his hammer held back, as if to throw or to spin, Tony couldn't say.

The woman turned her dark eyes on him and Tony shivered. It had to be a trick of the light, or maybe those weird contact lenses some people wore, but her eyes were completely black and Tony could swear he saw skulls in them.

He brought up his arm to charge a repulsor shot, feeling like she was looking through him and the armor into his soul. "I'm getting hot, but creepy vibes here. Is anyone else getting freaked out?" Tony asked, breathing a sigh of relief as Thor stepped to the side, cutting off Tony's view from her entirely.

"Some sins can be forgiven," she said, her voice devoid of feeling. "Perhaps his are as well. But I am not here to collect his soul to find out."

"I wish I could believe you, lady, but I saw what you did to those soldiers," Steve said. "You-"

"I told you that you should let me talk to them first," a male voice said from her right. Jesus, how were these people getting in? The police were supposed to have cordoned off the area so that no one could get in.

Tony turned to look at the new guy. He also had a cape (didn't any of these people watch The Incredibles? Besides, Thor was the only person who could pull off a cape with style)and a dark purple suit with a flame in the center. He wore a mask covering his face, but Tony could see a pair of intelligent eyes behind them. The duel guns in the holster at his hip were worrisome, but they weren't drawn. "Hey, Cap. Remember me?"

Tony looked over to see shock crossing Steve's face. "That's impossible... I remember your voice. You're that reporter who helped me when I was trapped after the Red Skull blew the building!"

That was interesting. Red Skull meant the 40's, and this guy didn't look nearly old enough to have seen the war, much less seen action in it.

"JARVIS, hack SHIELD's databases for any information on these two," Tony said as he cut the speakers outside of the suit.

"Colonel Fury and Ms. Potts wish to remind you to ask for the information first before you hack it, Sir," JARVIS replied.

"Yeah, whatever. Send the request, then hack them. We don't have time to wait on the red tape."

"As you say, Sir."

Tony focused on the conversation at hand, not liking the tension one bit.

"How are you..." Steve asked, his eyes widening. "Both of you should be older."

"Captured by Nazis during the war," the man said with a shrug. "They trapped us and a few others in cryogenic tubes so they could run tests on the more super of us, then forgot we existed when the war was over. We were just found a little while ago."

"SHIELD says they're legit," Tony said, reviewing the information JARVIS put up on the HUD. "Richard Jones, war correspondent. Known as the Phantom Reporter. Really? P.R.? You couldn't think of a more original name?"

"Tony," Steve said sharply, still not lowering his shield.

"Yeah, yeah," Tony said, waving Steve off.

"I'm used to it," Jones said with a self-depreciating smile. "It's better than being called a tourist."

"And the Black Widow, former psychic who held seances for people to see the souls of their dead loved ones, real name... Okay, really? I don't believe your real name is Clair Voyant. No one has names like that," Tony said, shaking his head. "And your code name's already taken."

"Technically, she had it first," Natasha said, coming out from behind Steve. When Tony tried moving, he got glared at by all the others. Seriously, he had a suit of armor. He was not that helpless. "I've heard rumors," Natasha continued.

Thor turned to look at her, shaking his head. "She is different from you. Was she the one who held your title first?"

"I believe Ms. Romanov was named after me, to keep the fear alive," Voyant said, which, no. Tony still refused to believe anyone would have a name like that, especially given her previous profession. It had to be a stage name or something.

"Dread Pirate Roberts, got it," Tony said, scrolling through the information SHIELD had on her. He was starting to get why the others were scared of her, if this info was correct. She could apparently kill with a single touch, and Tony didn't think it meant a petite morte. "So if you're not here for me, which, by the way, my ego will let slide because no offense, sugar plum, but you're kind of creepy, and you're not here for Natasha or anyone else, why are you here?"

"We are actually here to speak with you, Mr. Stark," Jones said, holding up his hands when Steve growled. "Just speaking, promise. I've gotten pretty good with tech since we woke up, bu this is a little outside of EXE expertise. We were wondering if you could help."

"Why should he help?" Steve asked.

"What the hell, Cap?" Tony said, stepping out from behind Thor. Because this was getting ridiculous. "What's your problem? I'm right here and can decide for myself." Tony shrugged off Thor's hand on his shoulder, then placed his own hands on his hips. "And I'm not agreeing to any help until I hear the details."

"Sounds fair," Jones said, eying Steve. "Doesn't it, Cap?"

"He doesn't have a say in this. You came to me for help, so it's my choice," Tony snapped. If Steve hadn't been so busy glaring at the two of them, Tony was under the impression that he would the one on the end of that patriotic disapproval.

"Normally I would agree with you," Jones said with a shrug. "But he's the one still threatening us with a shield."

It was Tony's turn to glare, and he snapped the face plate up to do it. "Let's hear what they have to say," Natasha said quietly, putting her hand on Steve's arm.

Finally, Steve lowered his shield, but he didn't sling it on his back, keeping it in hand as he watched Voyant warily.

"I don't think he views you as much of a threat," Tony said conversationally to Jones.

"You'd be hard put to be a bigger threat than Claire," Jones said. "And I didn't have any powers until just recently, so honestly, I can't blame him."

"Nothing wrong with no powers," Tony said, holding out a hand for a fist bump. Jones just looked at him like he was speaking Greek. Tony knew a bit of Greek, but he wasn't... Oh, right. 40's.

"Thor, buddy, fist bump. Show 'em how it's done," Tony said, swinging to face the alien. Thor smiled good-naturedly at him, fist-bumping Tony's waiting hand with the sort of indulgence reserved for Thor's favorite mortals. Tony thought it was really sort of awesome that he counted. "See? Even aliens can do it."

------

The second was going to be an epic vampire fic. Instead of the pretty boy toy or hot chick as a vampire, I was having a seven-year-old girl. A seven-year-old girl who was one nasty piece of work, turned into a vampire when she was really young and unable to age physically. She's also brilliant with electronics (on par with Tony) and hell bent on making the Avengers into her play things as she takes over the world. Unfortunately, Tony is immune to her mind control, so she uses him as bait to trap the others and mind controls them. Then she uses them to torture Tony, because she's sadistic like that. I had one scene planned where she has Cap holding her up so that she can drink a terrified Tony's blood. It was going to be fun.

Also, it comes to light (via Coulson after they've been saved) that the little vampire-chick is actually a female version of Tony from another dimension. In her world, Howard Stark hadn't been drunk. So when the vampires came to attack, he went out to fight them instead of staying locked up in the closet, knocked out drunk by Maria who knew such things (his mother came from a long line of vampire hunters and had natural immunity to vampire mind control that she passed on to Tony/Natasha). This caused the vampires to find Maria and little Natasha. Maria they killed, Natasha they turned into a vampire like them, hoping to use her brains. Except Natasha got the better of all of them and killed them in revenge. Then she alternated between murder, ruling the world, and inventing. Tony was not happy to find this out.

The main problem with this was I just wasn't feeling it? I probably could find it if tried re-writing it a few times, but at the time I didn't have the energy for it and I just sort of gave up on it. I might come back to it eventually, I suppose. We'll see. There's not much of this one.

~

Ill Met by Moonlight

To say Tony Stark was having a bad day was an understatement. Pepper was angry at him for missing a meeting, which he would have made if he hadn't been out till five am chasing some idiot scientist with a desire to destroy and/or rule the world. In the sewers. For twelve hours. Tony only had enough recyclable air for five of those hours, and he spent the rest of the time trying not to think of hot caves and car batters that the smell of sewage reminded him of. He'd fallen asleep before he remembered to tell JARVIS to set an alarm, waking up an hour late for the meeting with a scream on his lips.

This was on top of Rhodey having to cancel their plans to get together this week, because some mission or other that was more important. Then he'd gotten a lecture from Steve about 'Going off on his own and being reckless,' since saving the world from megalomaniac scientists by himself apparently risked hundreds of lives, rather than just his own. Then there was a charity gala he was required to go to, filled with mindless chatter, vapid guests, and people who wanted to screw him over while putting on the airs of philanthropy.

And if that wasn't bad enough, at the end of the night, he'd taken a knock to the head when he'd headed out to the car to go home. Because of course they wouldn't have the curtsey of kidnapping him before the gala. Of course not.

Really, there was waking up on the wrong side of the bed, and there was waking up on the wrong side of wall shackles. Tony could have done without ever having experienced the latter.

"Hey," he called out, wincing as his head throbbed. He could feel a trail of blood slowly dripping down his check, so he couldn't have been out that long if the wound hadn't clotted yet. Or they'd just given him a new one. He tried to move away from the wall, but his efforts were fruitless.

"Hello?" he tried again. "Is anyone going to tell me what the fuck is going on here?"

The silence answered with a resounding 'no'. This day was getting better and better.

Tony forced his eyes to focus so he could take in his surroundings. If he didn't know any better, he'd say he was in some kind of medieval dungeon. The moonlight filtered through a window set with bars, but that was the only light source in the room. The rest of the room was bare, only a toilet in the corner and not much else. Not that Tony could use it, being chained to the wall and all.

His arms were starting to ache a little, and he had to stand on the balls of his feet to give them a rest. It was hard to stay balanced. It didn't help that he was dizzy, and he kept listing over until his arms were yanked painfully enough to cause him to cry out. Concussion, probably. Life just keeps getting better.

He tried yelling for another ten minutes, but if anyone heard him, no one came. Then he focused on shifting into a position that hurt the least. It was another half hour before anything happened, and he was starting to get very, very bored. Also panicked, because this was a startlingly good way to torture a genius. Tony watched the moon settle down through the bars on the window, and he jumped as the massive metal door creaked open, aching muscles tensing as they screamed in protest.

Natasha stepped through the door silently, and Tony slumped over in relief as he ignored the pain that brought his shoulders.

----


And yeah, that's basically the two fics.  I might return to them some day.  I'm currently got The Evil Plan I'm working on, but after that I don't think I've got anything grabbing, so I might try one of these again or Amy-verse.  We'll see.  In the mean time, expect an exchange fic from me once the reveals go up on the secret santa.  I've also got the next Amy-verse waiting for me to have energy to edit it, and two fics in Nar's mailbox waiting to be beta'ed, so you'll have fic sometime soon.