Go Blue - A campaign gone right

Stark Industries' new campaign "Go Blue" has ironically been getting a lot less focus on the non-harmful energy part, and a lot more attention on the idea of an Avengers reality TV-show. Tony was never one to disappoint and it's a downright disaster.
(Fandom is Marvel. Main-focus is going to be the Avengers, Daredevil and Deadpool. Confirmed ship(s): Deadpool/Daredevil AKA Wade Wilson/Matt Murdock and Tony Stark/Pepper Potts. The story won second place in the Movellas competition "Alternate Universe".)

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3. Episode 2

We Are The Avengers
Episode 2

 

Avengers Tower, New York, United States of America.

"So... I'm currently in the garage. Clint and Natasha should be arriving any second now." Tony looked dwarfed in the huge, open space. And tired. He dragged a hand through his face in a disbelieving manner. "They're moving into Avengers Tower AKA former Stark Tower... permanently."

There was a stretch of silence, as Stark mulled over his next words carefully. They still came out in a bitter fashion. "Someone thought it would be a great idea to burn down Clint's home. I'm- it's just really fucking unbelievable. Barton has enough issues to go through at the moment without his residence getting turned into ash." If anyone could relate to losing important (happy) places and things, it was Tony. Natasha had never had anything really her own, Bruce had always lived life on the go, Thor's everything was a long way from Earth (and also not in danger, because beloved royalty) and Steve hadn't literally lost yet, even though nothing was his anymore. But Tony knew losing up close and personal. Barton did too, it had been clear early on; even before the Battle of New York, and now the fire-incident.

"To be honest with you all; I'm feeling a bit sick with all this."

Distantly the roar of a car made itself present. Tony perked up as an old, pick-up truck parked in an empty lot, further down the line of fancy horsepower. In comparison to the rows of Ferrarri and Corvette, the dusty thing looked even worse.

Hawkeye got out of the passenger seat, earning a raised eyebrow from the other man. "I'm pretty sure Natasha doesn't have this bad taste in cars, so do explain yourself, Bird-Brain."

Slamming the door with a horribly loud noise, Natasha smirked at her partner's petulant look. "My taste also expands to not dying and if Clint is behind the wheel, I'm probably going to die." That and Clint had been amusing Lucky, who was on the backseat for most of the journey, so the dog wouldn't feel the need of tackling the driver or something equally stupid.

Even Natasha had felt the parting of man and dog tug at her heartstrings. Her partner was way too attached to the stupid mutt. Frankly, it was dumb how hard it had been to hand him over to the local pet-hotel. But Lucky was a downright mess at all times and the two hadn't wanted to bother Tony with the dog running around and ruining his things, so they had decided on dropping him off at a local reservoire until further arrangements could be made. Even though he agreed, Clint had obviously been affected by the whole ordeal.

There was a disbelieving cough. "Okay." Tony dragged out the vocals. "Anyway, welcome to Avengers Tower. JARVIS already prepared your personal apartments for you. Legolas, you're getting the place next to Bruce's and spy-queen is getting right across the hall. All personal spaces (except mine) are on floor fifty-four. I suggest you remember that. If not, JARVIS are available on all floors for help, so no harm done."

While Tony was babbling on about the accomodations there had been taken to ensure that personal space was, well; personal and other security features around the place, they had moved into an elevator, which seemingly knew where it was going by default, as there was a distinct lack of buttons.

"And here we are; floor fifty-four." Stark grinned excitedly at them. He was trying not to let circustances overthrow good mood and clearly succeeding, as Clint smiled brightly, already moving to peek around him and Natasha lifted the corners of her mouth from the frown, which had found it's way onto her face.

Clint squeaked excitedly as he realised his door was purple, quickly darting from the elevator to take a closer look at the identifying sign which read Clinton Francis Barton in crisp letters.

"Is this for real?" He stage-whispered to Romanoff who had moved forward as well, busy appraising her own nameplate on the oppositioning door, before adressing Tony with a nod of approval.

The archer turned to the billionaire with pleading eyes. "Will you please change the name to Clint Barton though? I love it and stuff, but no-one is allowed to go Clinton Francis on my ass. Steve would be all over the formality and you know it."

There was a moment of mock-contemplation, before Stark turned his eyes heavenwards. "You got that, JARVIS?"

"Of course, Sir."

"I guess we can," he decided. "Now we're at it; anything you need, Nats?"

Clint sniggered, as she stared blankly in Tony's general direction. "To never hear you say any personal variation of my name again."

Tony squeaked. There was no other word for it. "Uh, JARVIS is available and I'm not, because.. Because Bruce - you guys rememeber Brucie, right? Well, of course you do; you're the government-sanctioned spies. But Bruce needs help and I have to go. Bye."

Natasha watched him high-tail it out of there with an amused snort. Her partner smiled softly at her; she was looking a bit more mortal than normal. She didn't bother composing herself, though. "I wanted adjoining apartments," she whispered.

"Eh, it's not too shabby. Have you seen my front-door?" Silence fell upon them; Clint smiling excitedly at the door and Natasha observing him. He looked genuinely happy and it made her stomach churn. How long could they actually stay here? "Besides, JARVIS will probably help me with cleaning, right?" The AI had no time to answer. "Which means you won't be able to call my place a dump again."

An unintended low-blow, but still a low-blow. Her stomach tried to settle and she glared fiercely at her partner. "Does Laura know?"

Shoulders slumping, Clint opened his door and beckoned her inside. The excitement had disappeared quickly upon the reminder. "Laura is aware. The kids met Quill at a market. The crazy, old man gave them their condolences. Next thing I know, she's yelling at me through the speaker."

Quill. Grandfather Quill owned a farm close to Clint's own. She had only met him once or twice, but had heard of him through multiple different sources. Around the locals, he was known foremost for his dead daughter and presumedly dead grandson. Secondly for his psychotic delusions about aforementioned grandson being abducted by aliens. As it was, the reactions of those around him ranged between sympathetic and disgust. Until the alien invasion in New York, that was. Actually, Natasha had thought either the CIA or FBI would have snatched him up, to be locked away forever by this time. Good thing she was wrong, but something to ponder on for another time.

She settled for silence, her partner agreeing with the tired look in his eyes.

>><<

Bruce had yet to see head nor tail of the spies a week later. Which was a feat in itself, considering he lived right next to them. Or maybe not, considering his way of staying cooped up in his lap for eternity and a half (and don't you need to eat, Brucie-bear?). Tony's words, not his. It wasn't a surprise either; they were the most elusive of his teammates and he hadn't seen it in the cards, for them to just welcome the rest of the Avengers into their lives, like it was no big deal.

So imagine his surprise, then he turned around to grab another vial of acid and instead found Natasha perched on top of his working table, seemingly at ease with all the unknown substances surrounding her. She jiggled the required vial in her left hand. On the table next to her was a sandwich on a plate. "Time to eat, doc."

"If this is another scheme of Tony's, then..." Carefully putting down his project, he grabbed the chicken-bacon sandwich, not even bothering with washing his hands - perks of being the Hulk. "Just kick him in the nuts another time."

She smirked. "And if it isn't?"

If Bruce hadn't been taught and valued good manners, he would have stared dumfoundedly. He nearly choked on a piece of salad instead. "Eh, you can still kick him where the sun doesn't shine."

Silence settled over the two, as Bruce wolfed his meal down and Natasha glanced subtly around his lab with something akin to curiosity. The place wasn't exactly military neatness, but Bruce thought it to be within health restrictions still. Besides, who would disagree with him; he had Tony Stark on speed-dial.

"Thanks for the food. Are you and agent Barton doing well?" He didn't say better, but they could both feel it tagging along.

There was a moment of contemplation. Natasha suddenly, but gracefully, jumped off his table, ignoring his startled flinch at the movement. "I would like to think so. Nice place you've got here, I will be back another time." And she was out the door.

"I'm not even going to try and interpret that," mumbled the physicist and turned back to his work.

>><<

New York was never peaceful. It was buzzing, screaming and dragging you through everything at once in a way only a culturally leading city could. And the weird thing was; Steve wanted to be here. He wanted to stay in this traffic-hell - this busy place.

SHIELD wanted him to be everywhere at once, and Steve had thought, that he wanted that as well, but as he stared at Stark's hideous building (even with damage repairs it looked ugly) across the street, he felt relief dig itself deep into his bones. His shoulders slumped and he took a moment to enjoy the blinding sun, before the streetlight turned green.

While he was initially supposed to be in New York for some film premiere, which SHIELD had a personal interest in him appearing at, he suddenly felt like staying. Maybe he should look for a place to live afterwards? After everything was done. Would it ever really be done?

"Welcome back, Mr. Rodgers." JARVIS greeted him in the elevator. It took off smoothly. "Sir is currently in a board meeting and couldn't come to greet you. There has been a place prepared for you while you're here, and I've been appointed to make sure you're able to find it."

Though blushing a bit, aware that he would have no chance of ever finding the place without help, Steve smiled gratefully. "Thank you."

The doors slid open smoothly and Steve took it as his cue to get off. He could easily identify the frontdoors by the names mounted onto them. Obviously Stark thougt the soldier weren't able to read (because honestly, not even Stark could have such a bad humor, right?), because his own door had been painted with an obnoxious American flag design.

Steve heaved a relieved sigh, upon discovering his apartment was less tacky. Very spare and very clean-cut, but not all together bad. Steve would go as far as calling it nice, once you got over the new and shiny appearance everything had.

Surprisingly, the couch was comfortable once you got over the polished leather feel, and Steve managed to doze of quickly.

"Mr. Rodgers, Sir sends his regards and requires your presence. Because of your arrival, he thought it would be fitting to have the present Avengers eat together and catch up for the evening. Dinner should be ready in a couple of minutes." JARVIS (or really, Tony Stark) seemed to have other plans.

Aroused from his near sleep and maybe a tiny bit drowsy, the captain nodded and yawned. "I will be there in five."

>><<

Clint Barton took another swig of his beer, enjoying the rich taste. If living with Tony meant quality poison, he might just get used to it. Natasha inconspiciously sniffed her own glass of wine, before downing it in a not-very-lady-like manner.

"Hey, American Film Critic! You have arrived." The man in question seemed to be caught somewhere between annoyed and happy, taking a seat on the lone chair in the sofa-arrangements. "You've got to tell these idiots, that you don't eat sushi on a tuesday. Sushi isn't meant for such ordinary weekdays."

Fidgeting slightly, as the assassins turned towards him, Steve smiled politely at Tony. "I haven't tried sushi yet, so I wouldn't be able to tell. Sorry."

There was a loud sound as Clint dropped his beer. "Aww, Steve, no."

Rolling her eyes at Barton's dramatics, Natasha took pity on her startled teammate. "Don't worry, Captain; we're getting sushi today. We have to pop that sushi-cherry of yours."

Steve went bright red.

"Is everyone agreed then?" Asked Tony. "Okay, great. JARVIS, go overboard."

"Already on it, sir."

Clint cheered silently, dramatically pumping his fist in the air, while Romanoff tried to mask a pleased grin. Steve gulped, suddenly a bit uncertain about the credibility of the whole ordeal. "Um, is Doctor Banner not joining us?"

Reaching for the wine bottle - ready for another glass, Natasha turned slightly towards Stark. "While we're at it, I've been meaning to ask, Stark; where's Pepper? I was under the impression of her being here more than you, to be honest."

Shifting to get comfortable, Tony shrugged at the questions coming his way.

"Brucie is a bit occupied at the moment with some pet-project of his - I don't think he's in the mood for sushi anyway." He fiddled with his phone, not really tuning it on, just moving it every which way in a nervous habit. "And Pepper, for your information, is currently in Malibu. Relaxing. She needed a vacation after the whole aliens nearly killed my boyfriend thingie."

"... That's actually rather sweet of you."

The American icon hadn't meant to sound so surprised, but Tony waved it off, turning his attention onto his mobile. "I'm probably the biggest romantic in the room aside from maybe you, Capty."

"Nah, don't speak too soon. Natasha is actually a romantic. She will wax depressing poetry for her love interests. Like that time with agent Kristen. What was it you said again?" Clint nudged his partner in the ribs and Natasha honest to god blushed. "There's a lot of things wrong with this world, but you're one of the better, right?"

Her glare would have made a lesser man run for his life.

"Woah, Kristen? But- she's a..." Steve twitched nervously, when the Black Widow's glare zeroed in on him: "-She."

Tony looked up from his phone. "Steve, homosexuality is a widely accepted part of modern day society."

Steve flushed embarrasedly - he seemed to be blushing a lot lately. "Oh! It wasn't meant like that! She's a very sweet girl and- and totally badass, you would be a good match. I just... didn't realise you were into girls. I thought you and Clint were-"

Clint cut him off with a horrified expression. "Okay, yucks, nothing of a romantic or sexual nature is happening between Natasha and I, nor has it ever happened. I mean, first of all, just no, that would be like banging a sister. Second of all, Laura and I were happily married for most of the time I have known Nat!"

"Hold on for a second; you had a wife?" Tony stared incredously at the archer.

Natasha snorted from besides Clint. "A dog, two kids and a wife, yes."

"I attest to that," muttered Clint, maybe a little downtrodden. "I still have two kids - just not in my living situation... and Lucky is very much still in my custody, thank you very much."

He moodily pushed back into the couch.

Tony bunched his eyebrows in befuddlement. "Okay, so Legolas is actually your average American joe, if you cut away the secret agent slash assasin slash superhero slash spy slash best marksman in the world -thing. Who knew? Now, back to redhead's love life."

"It's kind of dead."

"What about this Kristen?" Tony leaned forward in his seat. "Not interested? Or did you lose interest?"

Clint winced.

"She's kind of dead." Natasha's words were bitter and her partner squeezed her shoulder in silent comfort, before she left without another word. Tense body language warning anyone with half a brain off.

"Good going, asshole."

"Hey! How would I know!"

Steve wringed his hands nervously. "When did Kristen die? I haven't heard a word of it."

He looked at the archer for answers. The SHIELD asset shrugged, trying to appear uncaring, but failing miserably. "Not sure, to be honest. It was either in the initial attack on the Helicarrier or somewhere under the Chitauri invasion in New York. There's been a lot of chaos in the aftermath and with all the needed actions, SHIELD just don't have the time to make extensive files on all the dead agents who fell victim to the incidents. But I better go check on Nat, damage control and all that - save some sushi for us, will you."

Clint made a beeline for the elevator. Steve fell silent, mulling over the other's words. Tony shoved his phone in his pocket and left the room, as well. JARVIS apologetically told Steve of the untimely arrival of their dinner.

>><<

The MET, New York, United States of America.

The Metropolitian Museum of Art was hosting the notorious premiere of the movie Tales of Suspence by the even more notorious Martin Lieber. The movie itself featured 59 small slice-of-life featurettes from a sci-fi world, all (of course) connected in various ways.

For the occasion their Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium had been shined up and invites had gone out to all the right people. Actors, film-critics and local celebrities apparently included Steve Rodgers. Fury had sighed at his initial befuddlement and said something along the lines of "important promotional content" and "you better not have taken any tips from fucking Stark!".

Martin Lieber had greeted him with an enthuasiastic and strong handshake for such an old man. "We're glad to have you, 'Merica. You are the resident alien expert for tonight, you know."

He winked, before letting himself be dragged away to talk with someone else. "Gotta go, Susie just arrived."

The Captain hadn't thought much of the movie. The special effects were amazing, no doubt, and the acting had been above and beyond, but he had seen enough alien to satisfy him. Steve didn't need to see a whole theoretical extraterrestrial concept movie, the real deal was already too much. It was a bitter pill to swallow; being world-weary.

"Well, you seem to be very deep in thought, mr. America." The lady next to him smiled politely as the end-credits rolled. "Did you not like the movie?"

Smiling back, he went for the more humoristic approach. "I think it's just my xenophobia showing, ma'am. Aliens aren't really my thing after all."

Suddenly looking a bit strained, she mumbled. "I guess it wouldn't be, after the whole invasion."

Trying to perk up (he wasn't going to allow his grey mood to overshadow her afternoon), he asked if she knew they way to the Cantor Roof Garden.

"Of course, dearie. Follow along, we'll take the elevator, these heels aren't meant for five floors worth of stairs. I'm Leslie by the way, Leslie Dean. You probably don't watch a lot of TV, but I'm a main character of the soap opera General Hospital." She was right, the name didn't ring a bell.

>><<

 

 

 

>><<

Quick Notes:

To clarify, the Avengers reality show doesn't exactly build on the normal reality show composition. The footage for normal episodes will be not unlike an edited version of a 24/7 surveillance - not meant to interact with the viewer. The first episode was a one-off, because of it's introductory origins.

Clinton Francis Barton is a terrible driver. He's a pilot, not a chaffeur. Besides; I just can't think of him as a proper, licensed driver. Natasha would be, though. She's always doing a beautiful job of fitting in on undercover missions; which has to include the patience of becoming a Sunday driver.

The spies already felt like they were intruding; they had no way of paying Tony back for his generosity and felt obligated to not be a bigger burden than they already were. Especially Natasha is not used to anything being free and I believe the whole concept of Stark being generous with no conditions applying would freak her out more than a little.

So... Grandfather Quill. Yes, I just did that.

I made a point out of Bruce not washing his hands before eating, even after having just played around with assumingly very dangerous chemicals, calling it a perk of Hulk. This is based on the concept, that gamma radiation would kill off nearly any bacteria or chemical which was threatening to Banner's health. 

And I've always liked Bruce Banner because basic survival insticts. And Natasha and he had some great dynamics in the MCU. I'm not sure about the romantic undertones, but we will see.

Also, fun fact, sushi first came to America around the 1950es or later, and therefore Steve Rodgers haven't actually tried it yet. Steve is in my story clinging on to the last shreds of how things used to be, which means he wouldn't deliberately seek out new experiences (yet).

Kudos to those of you, who got the "aww, -----, no"-detail. Matt Fraction Hawkeye is a personal favorite of mine.

So Kristen is a direct reference to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I think it adds to the conversation from the movie, making Kristen one of Natasha's love interests instead. Steve is probably happy, he said no thanks now.

Steve is not exactly homophobic (even with the whole "early twentieth century Catholism" thing going on, he still hates inequalities and believes strongly in personal freedom), but he's used to certain stereotypes for people with a differing sexuality, because early twentieth century, duh.

Natasha Romanoff is tough stuff and has a hard relationship with love, so if she's romantically involved, or have a romantic connection, with someone (however little she might admit it), I don't think gender will throw her off.

The MET is a real museum in New York. I've never visited it, only seen pictures, and therefore the descriptions are vague.

Stan Lee used to be named Stanley Martin Lieber. If you hadn't guessed it, this is my Stan Lee -cameo.

The name Susie is of course a reference to Susan Storm of The Fantastic Four. You can't go Stan Lee, without going Fantastic Four. Also, Susan Storm is an actress, so it was a perfect opportunity.

Tales of Suspence was a comic book series, which gradually turned from sci-fi suspence stories, to featuring superheroes, most commonly Iron Man. In issue 59, Captain America became a permanent fixture alongside Iron Man.

The lady, Leslie Dean, is better known as an occult member (The Pride), a criminal alien (she's an exiled convict), and as the mother of Karolina Dean from the Runaways. Leslie is of the race Majesdanian and hides her heritage to fit in on Earth, where she and her husband (Frank Dean, also Majesdanian) are Hollywood actors. In other words; I like the irony of Steve going "blablabla... I'm xenophobic... blabla..." to an actual extraterrestrial.

Also, xenophobia definitely aren't a good thing in the Marvel world, who houses (decidedely good) big time aliens like Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova Corps and even the Inhumans.

The Runaways won't make an appearance.

 

(I've been having some issues with making the ">><<" go bold. Hopefully this will be fixed later on - please be patient.)

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