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: 1853
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 45: Bonding
On the morning of the bonding, we all went to help Billy get ready after the Henhalda was completed. He looked beautiful in a tunic that looked like it was woven from the stars themselves. He wore a red cloak over the top of it and a white and gold kippah as a way of honoring his Jewish roots. Piper was with us, while Flynn was with Teddy and his family. Piper wore a simple white gown tied with gold rope and a gold circlet on her head with a red gemstone in the middle.
When they were ready we went into the throne room. It was open to Asgard again, and a large crowd had gathered. Large gold chairs had been set out beside the throne for us to sit in while the children and close friends of the family stood in a row on either side of the steps. The babies who were now almost one were being held by Loki and Fandral who stood together at the top of the stairs. A cheer broke out and the band started playing a processional as Billy and Teddy entered from opposite sides of the room. Billy held Piper’s hand as he walked toward Teddy who was holding a very shy-looking Flynn on his hip. Teddy wore a black tunic and pants with large diagonal purple bands down them and a purple cloak. On his head was a gold circlet that wrapped around the back of his head and sat on his ears. His blond hair tumbled in curls over the top of it. Flynn was in the same white and gold as his sister.
When they met in the middle, the two men linked hands and approached the throne where we were all standing. The smiles and looks of love on their faces were so pure and genuine it made my heart ache.
They climbed the stairs together and when they reached the top, Thor came forward and kissed each of them on the forehead before taking the children over to the throne with him.
The elder priest stepped forward and stood between the two young men. “Friends, loved ones, people of Asgard!” the priest shouted, his voice amplified through the space. “We gather here today in the house of our King and under the eyes of the gods to bear witness to the joining of these people. These two men, who despite the odds in the grand universe, have found each other, and whose souls are destined to be linked. We are but small creatures in the vast universe, but to travel through it with such love is a blessing.”
The words were so familiar and it made my heart feel full watching my son bond with the man he loved in the same place as I had bonded with the people who I loved all those years ago.
“Our lovers stand here, humbled before us, and ask that the universe recognize their joint destiny and bind them together to it, but first they must make vows with an open heart and a clear mind. These vows are unbreakable and must not be made lightly,” the priest continued.
Teddy and Billy beamed at each other, and it was clear there was no going back for them. This was it. They’d found their person.
“Do you stand before me, the gods, and the people of Asgard and commit to a life shared together? Do you promise to protect, love, and cherish each other, each day, through the course of your lives? To share in each other’s burdens and help bring down the barriers you put up at the low times? To be open and honest with each other? To care for each other and allow yourselves to be cared for? To accept, love, and nurture any children born of your union, regardless of biological connection within or outside your union? To show patience with each other and your children. To support each other and most of all to love each other through every challenge you face? Do you vow it?”
Neither man hesitated at all and they spoke in perfect union. “I do.”
An attendant approached them holding a long thick gold cord, and a spool of silver thread. They guided Billy and Teddy to stand closer to each other and placed Teddy’s right and on top of Billy’s. The priest began to wind and crisscross the rope around their hands and as he did a crackle of electricity passed through it and a purple mist began to swirl around them. The attendant moved around them, binding their bodies to each other with the silver thread.
“Do you promise to share in each other’s pain and seek to alleviate it?” the priest asked.
“We do,” Teddy and Billy replied.
“And so the binding is made,” the priest said as a rumble sounded in the sky above. “Do you promise to share in each other’s laughter and to look for the positive in each other?”
The thunder was louder this time and was joined with a crack of lightning. “And so the binding is made. Do you promise to share in each other’s burdens so that you can each grow together?”
“And so the binding is made. Do you promise to share in each other’s dreams?”
“And so the binding is made. Do you promise to take the heat of passion and use it to temper the strength of the union? A union that will last thousands of years?”
Thunder crashed, rattling the building. I could feel it surging through me and the threads that connected me to Billy and Teddy glowed brighter than ever. Everyone looked up and broke into loud applause. “And so the binding is made,” the high priest said.
Billy and Teddy were now completely bound to each other, their hands tied by the thick gold cord, while a web of silver thread had been weaved around them. The mist swirled around them so it was difficult to see anything other than the shapes of their bodies and the crackle of electricity that danced over their skin.
“As your hands are bound together now, so your lives and spirits are joined in the union of love and trust. This bond is not formed by these cords, but rather the love you have for each other. For always you hold in your own hands the fate of this union. Above you are the stars and below you is stone. Like stars, your love should be a constant source of light, and like stone, a firm foundation to build on.
“May these hands that hold each other be blessed this day. May they always hold each other. May they have the strength to hang on during storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. May they remain tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. May these hands be healers, protectors, shelters, and guides for each other. May they know when to hold a sword and when to hold a shield and always point the course you must follow.”
Another attendant came out holding a bottle. “To receive this blessing in full and complete the bond, you must now take a spirit journey. There you shall use them to find each other and return to us. Trust your bond and in the gods to guide you to your true path,” he said as he held the bottle first to Billy’s lips and then to Teddy’s as he made each man drink from it.
The mist thickened, completely engulfing the couple and a moment later they sagged to the ground.
“Daddy?” Piper said, her bottom lip wobbling.
“Do not fear little one, your fathers are just sleeping,” Thor said, jiggling her on his hip. Some of us moved the boys into a comfortable position, laying them down on the floor. The henalda had burned off both of them as they dropped, and their skin glowed where it had once been.
“Now it is up to them to find each other,” Thor said.
“They will,” I said. “I can see their bond. Teddy is already part of us. I have no doubt this is real.”
“What do you think their powers are going to be?” Clint asked.
“I bet that Billy takes after Wanda,” Sam said. “He already does so much.”
Wanda blushed a little. “You think so?”
“Totally. He’s your mini-me,” Tony agreed.
“I think Teddy’s will be something protective. A shield or invisibility,” Bucky said.
“Or nurturing,” Bruce suggested. “Maybe something like El’s with the threads. He’s the sturdy rock in the relationship.”
“I guess we’ll find out soon enough,” I said. “They’ll be back with us soon.”
“Mm-hmm…” Wanda hummed. “I can feel them too.”
“Don’t interfere, my darling,” Thor said. “They need to do this on their own.”
“I know, but they’re close,” Wanda said.
There was a sudden flash of purple energy and Teddy’s body twisted and changed, growing and turning green, with an almost shell-like quality and then both men woke with a gasp.
We hurriedly moved to untie them. “Welcome back,” Steve said. “You did it.”
Billy grinned and turned to face Teddy, leaning in and kissing him softly. As they kissed, Teddy’s body returned to normal. “He’s a hulk?” Natasha whispered.
I shrugged. It seemed to look that way but it felt different. I was sure they’d both tell us though.
We helped them to their feet and the priest began to speak again. “Friends and loved ones, people of Asgard and the Nine Realms,” he called. “Our lovers have taken their journey and have returned, stronger, and with the knowledge of their place with each other. They now bear the mark of their clan and that mark shall be branded on them both, a visible symbol of the bond they share.” He touched Billy on the inside of his left forearm, and then Teddy on his chest. While I could ‘t see it, I knew they had their own tattoo that was unique to them, just as we had a mark that symbolized our group tattooed on each of us.
“As above, so below,” the priest called. “These two are bonded. They will keep this bond for the rest of their lives, sharing their highs and lows, protecting and caring for each other. None shall come between them and the bond will not grow weak with time. I present them to you now, bound together as a family. They may now kiss.”
Billy and Teddy leaned in and kissed each other passionately, Teddy dipping Billy back as they did. Thor let Piper and Flynn go to them and they ran over, hugging their fathers’ legs. They pulled apart laughing and each one picked up a child.
Thor stepped forward, hugging each of them and directing them to leave by walking back through the people again. “We welcome our newly bonded couple,” he boomed to the crowd as they cheered on the men. “And now we shall feast to celebrate their special day!”