The Tower: Happily Ever After
An Avengers Fanfic
Pairing: Avengers x OFC, Bruce Banner x Bucky Barnes x Clint Barton x Wanda Maximoff x Steve Rogers x Natasha Romanoff x Tony Stark x Thor x Sam Wilson x OFC (Elly Cooper)
Word Count: 1763
Synopsis: Almost 40 years after Elise Cooper first crashed into Natasha Romanoff outside the library at Columbia University, she and the Avengers are adapting to a near-immortal life together with their large brood of children. Yet things aren’t perfect. Life is moving on without them and they’re starting to discover who isolating being immortal can be.When Angela comes and asks Thor to take the throne of Asgard once more, the group leaves Earth in the hopes that they will find their Happily Ever After there.
Chapter 14: Familiars
“What do you mean they’re family?” Sam asked, sitting up properly. He looked at the two little creatures that were watching us from the edge of the clearing. They looked like tiny foxes, one in black and one in blue and white, both with three fluffy tails each. Threads were connecting me to them the way I had threads connecting me to all my family members. They were wagging their tails excitedly but hadn’t made a move to approach us. “Don’t you need a connection to them to have the threads?”
I shook my head. “I mean, the babies were all born with them. Even Thour and Nova who I was having trouble bonding with had the threads bright as day. Same with the grandkids. But yeah, normally the bond grows. I figured it was about love. But I guess not?”
I held out my hand and made a little clicking sound. The little animals bounced on the spot and dropped down, rolling over to expose their bellies.
“This is weird, Elly,” Sam said. “I don’t trust it.”
“It’s my power, Sam,” I said, tapping the ground. The little foxes flipped back over and took two large leaps towards us, before crouching again and wiggling on the spot. “I can feel them. They’re excited and they want us to touch them, but they’re not used to people so they’re a little scared too.”
Sam huffed but he sat still and the little animals moved closer still, crawling towards us in little bursts until they were at our knees. They rolled onto their backs and wiggled on the spot, chittering excitedly. I put my hand palm side up on the ground and the little black fox wiggled into my palm. I rubbed my thumb over its head and then when I saw it wasn’t going to bite me, I began patting its belly and the noises it made became more like a purr.
The blue fox pounced on the black one and moved under my hand as I was still patting the black one, and then as I was patting them they kept wriggling around and wrestling each other.
“See,” I said. “They’re friendly. They’re supposed to come home with us.”
“You can’t just take wild animals home,” Sam argued. “Elly, you’re a biologist, you should know that better than me.”
“I don’t think this is normal circumstances, Sam,” I said, picking up the little blue fox. “I’m joined with them.”
“El,” Sam said.
I turned and looked at him. “Sam, maybe you’re right, but maybe I am. We can take them back and ask Thor and Loki, and if they say it’s okay we’ll keep them with us. And if not, we can bring them back.”
Sam sighed. “Fine, El. But if they bite you and they end up being venomous, then don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“It’s all on me,” I agreed.
Sam stood up and stretched. “Alright, how are we getting them home?”
I pressed my earrings and the suit bled out, encasing me. “Synergy, can you make me a little pack so I can safely carry those two little guys in?”
“Certainly,” Synergy replied and a little bubble on the chest part of the suit. It had a clear window and slits for air. Sam lifted each one in and it closed up around them. They chittered nervously.
“Ready?” I asked.
“As I’ll ever be,” Sam agreed, as his light wings spread out behind him.
We took off together, heading back towards the palace via a slightly more direct route.
We landed on the balcony and when the suit retracted I carried the little animals inside with me.
Thor, Natasha, Tony, and Bruce were missing, but Loki, Marya, Billy, and Teddy, and their kids were all there. Loki was going through a book with Billy while Wanda and Bucky were walking around with the babies who had started to whine a little.
Wanda looked over as soon as we stepped through the door. “Hey, you got back just in time to feed them – if you want that is. We can do bottles of course. And let me see them.”
“Whoa, Wanda,” Sam chuckled. “That was a lot of words real fast.”
“Here,” I said. “I’ll swap you.”
I went and sat down on the couch, putting the little foxes down and dragging my breastfeeding pillows over. The little animals began scampering around, sniffing everything that they came across.
“So,” Bucky said, putting Thour onto the pillow so her legs were curled around my side. “What exactly did you bring home with you?”
Flynn and Piper both started chasing the little foxes around giggling as they watched them gambol around.
“I told her not to bring them,” Sam said.
Loki got up and approached them, crouching on the ground and holding out his hand. They ran into it and rolled around rubbing their faces on his fingers. “They are vulparev,” she said. “Usually safe – unless you threaten them. But you have to really threaten them. They aren’t easily started. Why would you bring them back here?”
Wanda helped me get Nova to latch on my other breast, though she was a little distracted by the vulparev. “I have threads connecting me to them. Like I do with family members.”
“Are they safe to have around?” Sam said. “I don’t want them hurting the kids.”
Loki picked the black one up and carried it to the couch, sitting next to me. “You’re connected?”
“Yes,” I said. “It felt like someone from the family was walking toward us, and I sat up and there were threads of light connecting to these two. I wouldn’t just randomly bring home wild animals.”
“Tan we keeb dem?” Piper asked as she sat on the floor with the blue one. Wanda went and sat with her.
“Perhaps, little one,” Loki said, as he caressed the black vulparev’s head. “Where did you find them?”
“We flew out over to the forest,” Sam said. “There were ruins.”
Loki gave a nod. “The ruins of old Asgard. The magic is denser there.”
“There was a door,” Sam said and started laughing. “El thought it would open to some nightmare world. So I pushed it open and went through and then snuck up on her from behind. You should have seen her face!”
“Oh my god, El,” Clint laughed. “You dork.”
“What?” I said. “You don’t know. It could have been a gate to hell.”
“You did close the door, didn’t you?” Loki asked.
“No. It was just a door to nothing,” Sam said.
Loki sighed. “Mortals.”
“What?” Sam asked. “What’s the matter?”
“Do we need to worry about anything?” Steve asked.
“I’ll take care of it,” Loki huffed, shaking his head. “I’ll make this part quick while I go clean up after you. Again. Have you ever heard the story about Fenrir being my son?”
Clint started snickering. “Yeah, we heard it.”
“You Midgardians are obsessed with animals rutting,” Loki snarked, rolling his eyes. “The rumor was started because Fenrir and I are linked. Sometimes when someone is gifted in the magical arts an animal will bond with the magic-user.”
“Like a witch’s familiar,” Wanda said.
“If you say so,” Loki said.
“But I’m not magical,” I said.
“Well, perhaps they aren’t your familiars,” Loki said. “Maybe you just see the threads because they’re the familiars of one of your children.”
“How will we know?” Bucky asked.
“It should become clear,” Loki said, standing. “But for now, I should go clean up after you before it becomes an issue.”
“Wait,” Billy said. “You said they’re only dangerous sometimes?”
“Yeah, what did you mean by that?” Steve asked.
“Predators, people trying to hunt them for their tails,” Loki said, putting the vulparev down. “Not to worry, you’re their family, they won’t hurt you.”
“But… Uncle Loki?” Billy said.
“Later,” Loki said and strode out of the room.
“How could they be that dangerous though,” Billy said to us. “They’re tiny.”
“You don’t think they’re venomous do you?” Steve asked.
“Surely Loki would have warned,” I said. “I mean, if it was just us, I’m sure she would have found it hilarious if we got bitten, but she wouldn’t do it to the kids.”
“I suppose you’re right,” Steve said, coming over and kissing me on top of the head. “Did you have a nice fly?”
I nodded. “Yeah. It really helped.”
“Yeah it did,” Sam said suggestively.
“God, dad! Your kids are here!” Marya complained.
“How about we think of names for these little guys,” Steve said, quickly changing the subject and picking up the black vulparev.
“Yeah, Piper. Do you have any ideas for names?” Clint asked.
Piper seemed to think it over and the blue vulparev began licking her face, making her giggle. “Umm… da bwack one is Inky.”
“Inky is a great name,” Bucky said, sitting next to Steve and patting it.
“Ingy, Ingy, Ingy,” Flynn babbled.
“What about the blue one?” Teddy asked.
“Umm… Icy,” Piper said.
“Inky and Icy,” Wanda said, scooping Piper up and kissing her cheek. “That sounds perfect.”
“Dadeski Dej!” Piper squealed, making Icy bounce around and chitter excitedly.
“Looks like Thour is asleep,” Steve said, tickling the infant’s cheek. She let go of my breast and her head fell back with her mouth open – a trickle of milk ran down her chin.
“What a charmer,” Bucky laughed.
“Here let me put her down,” he said, taking her as I put my breast back away.
He carried her to the bedroom and Icy quickly pulled away from Wanda and the kids and chased after him.
“Does that mean Icy is Thour’s familiar?” Bucky asked.
“Aww man, I want a familiar,” Clint complained.
“Yeah, what the hell? I can actually do magic,” Billy added.
“Maybe Inky is your familiar,” I said, patting the little black animal.
“That doesn’t seem likely,” Marya said.
“Thanks, Mar,” Billy said. “Keeping it positive.”
I looked down at Nova who was still eating like a champ. Inky had started creeping closer to him and was sniffing him as he ate. “Are you Nova’s?” I asked him and he wagged his tails excitedly.
“You think we need to worry about the door thing?” Sam asked.
“Yeah, that was a little worrying,” Wanda said.
“If it was that big of a deal I’m sure Loki would have rubbed it in more,” Clint said. “I bet he’s not even going there, he just wanted to make you think you’d done something wrong.”
Bucky shrugged. “Guess we’ll find out sooner or later.”