Posts tagged Botfic
Posts tagged Botfic
((Again, warnings for childhood injury, and all the fun that comes with it. 8) ))
Clint sat quietly for as long as he was able. Which, for him, was only about ten minutes. “What’s the diagnosis, Doc?”
"It’s a very clean break, thank God." Bruce flipped the scan with a flick of his fingers. He gave Clint a reassuring smile. "Shouldn’t cause any problems, and it certainly doesn’t need any major intervention."
He sat down next to DJ on the couch. “See?” he said, pointing at the holographic display. “Right here.” DJ leaned against his arm, blinking at the image. “One of your bones got overstressed, and broke.” He zoomed in, magnifying the break. “That’s why your arm doesn’t work right. Why it hurts. Because you’ve got a broken bone.” DJ turned his stare to Bruce, his mouth turned down. Bruce smiled at him. “You’ve had broken parts before, right? That’s what this is, just a damaged componant.”
((a bit of the start of something, because I’m trying to write and it’s not going well, so please, have this. 8) Warnings for injury, specifically child injury and upcoming parental angst.))
“Hey, you crazy kids. What’s the good word?” Clint said, ambling through the door to the playroom. “Cap, we’ve-”
He stopped, because DJ came scrambling across the floor, an unearthly shriek echoing in his wake. Steve, a step behind him, snagged him by the back of the shirt, dragging him to a stop. DJ twisted in his grip, leaning his body against the fabric of his shirt, howling like a banshee.
“The good word,” Steve said, his voice tired, “appears to be ‘loud.’”
Clint’s eyebrows arched. “Yeah, I got that. Everything okay, Cap?”
“He’s in a mood today,” Steve said, and there was the thinnest note of strain to his voice, of frustration and anger. He looked tired when he looked at Clint, but he scooped DJ off of his feet. DJ kicked at him, a fresh howl working its way to a feverish pitch. Steve’s eyes squeezed shut. “Deej-”
DJ swung a hand at him, and Steve set him back on his feet, crouching down. “Don’t hit,” he said. “You know better than that. We don’t hurt people, even if we’re feeling bad. Right?”
DJ’s lower lip wobbled, but he nodded.
“Good boy.” Steve kissed his forehead and let him go. DJ plodded across the room, flopping into the pile of pillows that formed his reading corner. He picked up a big picture book, seemingly at random, and hunched over it.
“Not a good day, huh?” Clint asked.
So yeah. This one’s a long one. I cannot think I’ll have it in me to do another one for a little while, so… Yeah.
In which Lucy finds out who she’s been talking to, Tony finds out that parenting a teenager is super hard and frustrating, DJ finds out why it’s a bad idea to run away from home wearing Clint’s pants, and Steve finds out why DJ’s been acting kind of weird lately.
EMOTIONAL TRAUMA FOR EVERYONE. 8)
(and finally, the end. 8) )
He felt like he’d been hit by a truck.
Phil opened his eyes, and it hurt more than it should have. Gritting his teeth against a spike of pain behind his temples, he struggled to get his eyes to focus. He regretted it immediately.
Phil did a quick recalculation. He felt like he’d been hit by a truck, and he had no idea where he was. Or why there was what appeared to be a very small foot tucked under his chin. He stared at it, trying to force his eyes to focus on the little foot and the kid attached to it, who was mostly a purplish blur.
“Good morning, Agent Coulson. How are you feeling?”
“Well, that answers one question,” Phil said, putting a hand over his eyes and squeezing, trying to keep his eyeballs in place. “I’m in the Tower. And DJ is wearing Hawkeye pajamas. I’ve been better, Jarvis. Where, exactly, in the tower, am I?”
“In the net in DJ’s playroom. Do you have any memory of the past twenty-four hours?”
Phil stopped. Thought about that. Tilted his head to the side to consider the floor of the playroom, a long way below them. “You mean, do I have any memory of how I ended up asleep in DJ’s playroom? No. No, I do not.”
((Parts 1-3 are included in the file on AO3, and all previous parts are included on my fic page.))
“Dinner time, short persons!”
Phil looked up from the massive jigsaw puzzle that he and DJ were working on. It was a fantastic thing, with hundreds of pieces, and he wasn’t sure how DJ had coaxed him into helping with it. But they’d made a lot of progress, the huge pile of pieces spread out and sorted by color and shape. They’d even managed to assemble a good portion of the interior, but Phil realized he had no idea how long they’d been working at it.
Judging by the way that his stomach growled when he caught the scent of the bowls on Tony’s tray, it had been a while.
DJ rolled over onto his back, his folded up legs going with him. His hands went up in the air, and his fingers made grabby motions in mid-air. Tony rolled his eyes, but he was smiling, bracing his tray on one hip. “Sit up like a civilized person, you monkey.”
Whining, DJ rolled back into a sitting position, his hands still out. He gave Tony a pleading look. Tony ruffled his hair with one battered hand. “He needs to eat. You okay with him taking a break?” he asked Phil.
“Sure,” Phil said, and DJ grinned at him. He bounced up and grabbed Phil’s sleeve, tugging him towards the child sized table at the base of the tree.
((Moving on! Parts 1-3 are included in the AO3 chapter, a link to part 4 can be found on my fic page. Who saw this one coming? 8) ))
“I need to not have a tower full of children,” Tony said, the words strained. His eyes cut around the room. “If any of the rest of you decide to pull this crap, I will personally have you evicted. One. One child is enough. Almost too much. One child is a lot. I like the one we have. I think that’s enough.”
Doctor Stephen Strange gave him a look. “I imagine so.” He had his hands up and to his sides as he walked through the workshop. Light leaked from his fingers, a faint glow that swirled through the air around him as he moved. “How is he?”
“You mean, other than nine fucking years old?” Clint asked. He folded his arms over his chest, leaning his shoulders back against the wall. “Wonderful.”
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
The newest chapter of “Stories Told With Silence” has been posted. Thanks for your patience. 8)
The second chapter of “Stories Told With Silence” aka Dummy is a Real Boy! is now up on AO3.
"Oh my GOD!"
"Hey, welcome home. How was Russia?"
"Tony, oh my GOD!"
Tony glanced up. “What? What’s wrong?” He pulled off his welding shield, tossing it to the work bench as he scrambled off his stool. “Are you okay, what happened?”
Steve spared him a single, rather disbelieving look. “Tony, why is my child on the CEILING?”
Tony slumped back against the bench. “Oh, for fuck’s sake, don’t- Wait, your child? YOUR child? When did he become YOUR child?”
"Around the time when you allowed him to stick himself to the CEILING." Steve hopped up onto the work bench, smooth and efficient in his movements, even in a wrinkled suit. "That’s about the time when I realized that you could no longer be trusted with MY CHILD." He held up his hands. "C’mon, Dummy, let’s stop breaking the laws of physics now, okay, baby?"
Dummy, sensing that his fun was about to come to an abrupt end, skittered out of reach. The clunky boots that were stuck firm to his legs made happy metallic clanging noises as he shifted his weight and rocked himself out of reach. Reading Steve’s face correctly, the little brat giggled.
Tony woke up to the faint click of a StarkPhone’s camera app. He grinned, curling back into Steve’s comforting embrace. “Oh, you kinky bastard,” he mumbled, his head still all cotton wool and his body one sustained ache. “If that ends up on the internet, I’ll be so proud of you.”
“Really?” Steve whispered in his ear, his voice husky and warm, a tone that sent a shiver over Tony’s exposed nerve endings. “I was just gonna show Bruce, but if you insist…”
Tony pried his eyes open and stared down at the Hulk plushie in his arms. He groaned, shoving it away. “Delete it. Now, Rogers.”
“I don’t know,” Steve said. He was inordinately cheerful for such an early hour. “You look so sweet, Tony.” He held up the phone, and Tony took a second to appreciate the image of himself, asleep with Hulk’s head tucked under his chin, then he made a grab for it. Laughing, Steve kept it out of reach without any great effort. “Oh, no. No! Not a chance, this one’s mine.”
“Jarvis, hack his phone and-” Steve slapped a hand over Tony’s mouth, muffling his words, and Tony licked his palm.
“You don’t fight fair, you-” Steve snagged him around the waist and twisted, and they both tumbled back onto the couch, and the phone went flying. “No, wait, hey, stop it, you’ll wake-”
Tony froze, and Steve did, too, the two of them locked in mock combat, hands and legs and bodies, and he felt the blood drain from his face. His lips twitched, a macabre little smile. “No, we won’t.” He got a hand free and slipped it around to the back of Steve’s neck. “He’s gone. Or, no, not gone. Back to normal.”
((There will be one more chapter after this. Bear with me. 8) ))
“So, as it turns out, having several hundred pounds of robot land on an astral projection is enough to break the caster’s control. Also possibly break the caster, if there is any justice in the universe at all,” Stephen Strange said, his voice calm. “And if you were attempting to kill a child when it happens, it turns out no one gives a damn if it does.” He smiled as a smoothie was held up in front of him. “Oh, thank you, that’s very kind.” He put it down next to the other three that he’d already been presented with. “I’ll work on…” Strange considered the greenish gray sludge. “I’ll do my best.”
“He seems to be very enthusiastic about being able to make smoothies again,” Clint said, perched on the back of the couch, a cup balanced on each knee.
Bruce sniffed his. “Here, trade, I think mine has rum in it.”
“I’ll take it, but I don’t think you want to trade. I think mine has motor oil in it,” Clint said, grinning. “It’s got a very interesting bouquet, and the aftertaste’ll strip some taste buds from your tongue.”
“You killed your sense of taste years ago,” Natasha told him, making him laugh. “Mine is delicious.”
“Mine, too. That’s my boy,” Tony said, holding up his hand. Dummy gave him a high five and then rolled past, his wheels singing against the floor. Right on his tail, Butterfingers and You bounced along in his wake, chirping and squeaking as they moved like a little pack of crazed mechanical puppies.
((repeat after me: Everyone’s going to be just fine. Author warning for discussion of suicide, references to canonical violence, passing references to alcohol abuse and addiction.))
Dummy was staring at the sky.
How odd, that Tony noticed that, but he did. That Dummy was being held, his throat gripped by one shadowy hand, tendrils like fingers biting into his pale skin, and he didn’t seem to notice. His head was back, eyes wide as he stared at the sky, at the blue of that cloudless expanse. He squinted into the sun, his eyes closing as he tilting his face into the warmth. His mouth was open, his breathing in soft, fast little pants, like he was tasting the air. Like he was seeing the world for the first time.
Because he was.
Because his first view of the world outside the confines of Tony’s lab or workshop or the hellhole of his loft in Boston, the first sky that Dummy ever saw was with something holding him hostage. He breathed his first free air, untouched by scrubbers, the smokey and filthy and wet air of New York, with a gun at his temple.
And wasn’t that just a kick in the teeth, a shadowy creature of magic and malice, so clearly armed with an earthly weapon that was just as ugly as anything else it could conjure up.
((Author’s note: This is going to go badly. So badly. But I needed to break it here, the next part will be up by Sunday night, EST, so if you do not deal well with pain or cliffhangers, you may want to wait until then. I remind everyone that I do not deal with surprise death, everyone will be fine, I promise!))
Steve winced as Dummy’s screaming hit a painful, and pained note. “Tony…”
“I know, I know.” Tony retreated back into the workshop, and Dummy’s howls subsided to soft sobs. Tony patted him lightly on the back. “What is wrong with you?” he asked the huddled mess of a little boy in his arms. “For Christ’s sake, Dummy.”
Rubbing a hand over his face, Steve slumped forward. His perch at the top of the stairs was intended to be reassuring, but he wasn’t accomplishing much from this distance. It was saving his hearing somewhat, but any benefit to that was offset by the strain on his nerves. It took everything he had to stay seated, to keep his distence. To let Tony handle this.
At the door to the workshop, Tony glanced up, his expression full of frustration. But he continued to rock Dummy back and forth in his arms, stroking the boy’s back with one big hand. He was humming under his breath, a soft little tune that Steve had caught him singing under his breath numerous times since Dummy’s transformation. Steve didn’t know it, but it had quickly become familiar to him. Soothing and sweet in equal parts, the tune seemed to relax both Tony and Dummy.
Today, it was not working its usual magic.
“What happened,” Steve said, and it was not a question, it was in the Cap voice, the clipped, controlled tone he used in the field.
Tony rocked Dummy back and forth, the boy clinging to his shirt with both hands. He was still making low, whimpering noises as he burrowed against Tony’s shoulder. The sound was miserable and pained, and Tony stroked a hand down his back. “He threw up,” Tony gritted. “A lot. He threw up a lot.”
“Okay. Is he sick?” Steve’s face was pale, his jaw tight. He reached for Dummy, then pulled his hands back, his fingers curling into his palms, forming fists. “Has Bruce-”
“He ate about half a pie,” Tony said, and Steve stared at him with that expression only he could manage, a little perplexed, a little concerned, and a little exasperated. “When I was getting out the forks, he managed to jam about a quarter of it into his mouth. Then when I was putting the remains away, he ate his slice. And mine. And when I was freaking out at Bruce about that over the comms, he started mainlining whipped cream straight from the can. I got the can away from him, and he threw up on my pants.”
Steve pressed a hand against his mouth, trying to look calm, but his eyes were dancing now, sustained laughter hidden in their depths. “And that’s why you’re not wearing pants,” he said, his words muffled.
“They were my favorite jeans,” Tony snarled at him, “and they went straight into the incinerator that is usually reserved for toxic waste.” Dummy sniffled against his shoulder, and without really thinking about it, Tony rubbed his back. “So yes. That is why I’m standing in the middle of the workshop in my boxers, smelling of vomit.”
“To be fair,” Jarvis said, “this is not the first time-”
They compromised on the charging station.
It wasn’t like Tony had much of a choice, Dummy insisted on spending all of his time seated in it anyway, his knees drawn up against his chest and his arms wrapped around them, blinking with interest at the world as it passed by. His hatred of shoes and his insistence on spending all of his time in a metal robot bay meant that in less than forty-eight hours, alterations were in order.
“You okay with this?” Steve asked, holding out a steaming mug of coffee to Tony.
Tony took it, and he seemed to be having trouble focusing for a second. The smell of the brew snapped him out of it, his eyes coming clear all at once. “Yeah. Jarvis has deactivated the power couplings, so there’s no chance of hurting himself or setting anything on fire.” He threw back a slug of the coffee, and Steve watched his throat work, concerned.
Across the workshop, Thor, Clint and Coulson were making something that had been termed a ‘fixed blanket fort.’ What that meant, Steve wasn’t quite sure, but the three men were doing some impressive things with a vast array of blankets, sheets, and pillows. Thor had taken the news of their new addition without even seeming to be surprised. He was also, as it turned out, adept at building a tent sort of structure with one hand tied behind his back, and in short order, ropes, wire, blankets and bracing poles had been employed to keep the little structure in place, with Dummy’s able help.
Right now, Clint was lying on his back, half of him inside the fort, and Dummy braced on his chest. The boy was rapidly getting better at using his hands for small detail work, and Thor was showing him how to tie a knot with a piece of rope and a plastic bar. Coulson, sitting nearby, was unloading a bag of stuffed animals.
There were a lot of them.