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As Hulk and the A.I collide, it sends a shockwave so powerful each Avenger is knocked off their asses. Hulk and the A.I fly back at opposite directions. The Avengers hurriedly scramble to their feet.
“One of yours?” Captain America smarts, pointing to Iron Man.
Captain America rolls his eyes and shakes his head.
“I find that hard to believe. That has Stark Industries written all over it.”
“In case you haven’t noticed Captain, we’re in the middle of a battle.” Iron Maiden declares in disbelief of his rotten attitude.
“I’m well aware, thank you.”
Thor takes off and goes to help as Hulk is charging for the A.I.
“Are you alright?” Iron Man inquires.
Iron Maiden nods.
“Nothing I couldn’t handle. By the way, Jarvis seems to be on vacation.”
“Is he now?!”
“Huh… He thinks he can go on vacation, when we didn’t even get a honeymoon?!”
“My thoughts exactly.” She replies as they take off in flight.
“I’d feel a lot better if I wasn’t in a makeshift prototype!” He mouths bitterly as they drift higher up.
Iron Maiden takes off heading for some civilians, that were about to be caught in the middle of the battle. Iron Maiden turned with relief seeing Hawkeye and Black widow leaping down from a helicopter. Hawkeye and his sister nodded towards one another. They rushed over and began to help her get the civilians to safety. Iron Maiden pushed the last civilian in the door and turned back just as the Al landed before her. Instantly she shot out her hands, about to fire. Iron Man beat her to the punch as he landed behind him. Just as he fired one of his beams, Thor sent an electric charge the A.I’s way. The A.I staggered back and whipped around. Iron Maiden quickly turned towards Thor.
Thor wouldn’t listen, he kept sending his electric voltage. Iron Maiden zipped over and heaved Thor back with everything she had. Thor looked upon her confused and angrily.
“What was that?!” He scoffs.
“I had him!”
“No you didn’t! You were only feeding him more power!”
She shouts back as the A.I sent his own voltage in return, one that had Iron Maiden and Thor soaring back. Black Widow and Iron Man fired at the A.I. Thor hopped back up and helped Iron Maiden to her feet.
He inquires checking her over.
“You can’t use electricity on him! It only gives him more energy!”
“She’s right. I myself have used your power to reboot my own, remember? This A.I is remotely close to…”
He groans as the A.I had its hand wrapped around his throat. It lifted him off the ground and took off in flight. Iron Maiden and Thor nodded towards one another and lifted off as well.
“There is no controlling me, Mr. Stark. There are no strings on me! You however are nothing more than my puppet!”
Iron Maiden heard the A.I speaking to Iron Man as he continued to squeeze. Sparks were going everywhere and the suit was beginning to dent and crack in some places. Iron Man’s hands were wrapped around the A.I’s wrists.
“Dammit…” Iron Maiden groaned. Without Jarvis online, it was hard to know how to activate certain gadgets.
She was doing her best to sort through everything.
“Stay put.” She warned Thor as she tested one of her lasers for the first time.
Aiming just above Iron Man’s hands she began to cut through the A.I’s armor. The A.I turned her direction as she succeeded in taking one of the arms. Iron Man rocketed himself out of the A.I’s hold. Thor sent his hammer towards the A.I as he fired at Iron Maiden. It was too late though the A.I hit her dead on. She came tumbling down, with sparks flying everywhere as she tried everything in her power to get her flight going. But she was plummeting down to fast.
Iron Man dived down after her, knowing there was no way he could get to her in time. She yelped out as the Hulk leaped up and caught her. Iron Maiden took in a breath of relief, along with Iron Man. Iron Maiden patted Hulk on the back. At this, Captain America sent out his shield. Once it hit the A.I, a concussion filled the area. Unfortunately, Iron Man was effected impact as well and he did his best to brace himself as the shockwave hit him dead on.
“Thanks!” Iron Maiden said to Hulk.
Captain America caught his shield as it ricochet. Hulk leaped up reaching for the A.I. Black Widow and Hawkeye finally had the area cleared of all civilians.
“Alright…” Captain America started to give out orders and was pointing to certain posts.
Hulk, Iron Maiden, Black Widow, Thor, and Hawkeye were about to take their post, when they heard.
“Son of a bitch!” They all turned towards Iron Man.
He looked up in a panic. Iron Man raised up one of his hands.
“No!” He shouted and staggered back.
“GUYS NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME TO RUN!”
Iron Maiden shoved her brother and Black Widow out of the way, taking the hit.
“No, no, no!” Tony yelled within the suit as he had no control whatsoever.
The impact sent her through a nearby building. Captain America rushed to her aid.
“Oh shit!” Iron Man was now aiming at the Hulk.
“Oh no…” She groaned as Captain America helped her to her feet.
Tony fired at the Hulk and Hulk growled out and bounded right for him.
“NO HULK!” The other Avengers shouted.
“Bella!” The Captain shouted as she dashed off.
Thor and Captain America exchanged glances.
“What now?” Thor asked.
Captain America shook his head.
“Keep the Hulk from killing Stark! And keep Stark from killing us!”
Thor chuckled in amusement.
He propelled through the air swinging around his hammer. Dark clouds began to fill the area they were in and lightning forked across the sky. Captain America looked to Hawkeye and Black Widow.
“I need you both to cause a distraction. I want you on those high rises. Don’t do anything until I give my cue!”
They nod and take off.
“What are you doing?!” Iron Man scolded Iron Maiden now stood, between him and the Hulk.
“Bella honey, MOVE!” He gritted his teeth as he heard his suit charging up once more.
Iron Maiden groaned out as his shoulder darts were now hitting against her suit. She did her best to ignore the pain. It was like paintball with no protective gear. She held up a hand before the Hulk.
“PLEASE MOVE, FUUUUUUCKK!” Iron Man whimpered in suffering.
Iron Maiden lifted her helmet as she stood before the Hulk. He was just about to waylay her out of his way, so he could get to Iron Man. The ground beneath them shook, with each step he took.
“NO BRUCE!” She shouted.
“STOP! You don’t want to do this!” He jumped over her and charging right for Iron Man.
Iron Maiden hurriedly zipped over and grabbed Iron Man. Barely missing Hulk’s smashing fist.
“Well, this is different.” Iron Man scoffs as they’re in midair.
He groans out though as the suit takes over once again. Before he even has a chance to warn her, both fist slam down on her right shoulder. She starts to fall and his repulsor beams fire upon her.
Tony starts hyperventilating in the suit.
“Stop! Just STOP!” He struggled within the suit as it continued to take over.
“COME ON, JARVIS! OVERDRIVE THIS BITCH! SHUT IT DOWN! NOOOOOOOOW!”
Iron Maiden manages to catch herself and hovers back up.
“You know. I thought you were kidding about the whole Mr. and Mrs. Smith thing. Not really my style, Wildcat!” Iron Man remarks.
She nods as they face another.
He shakes his head feeling another attack coming on.
“Tony you’re about to really hate me… I’m sorry…”
He couldn’t even reply as his entire body went sailing right for her.
He grabbed ahold of her shoulders and held her into the earth beneath them. He grimaced as he was punching her repeatedly. She used her knees to fling him off her and he sailed for her again. She moved over missing the intended hit. Yet again, he dives for her and she dodges.
“I’m sorry!” She calls out and pins him back.
“I got a plan, but it’s gonna hurt!” She cautions.
“Fuck!” She hollered out as he fired once again.
She did her best to dodge, whilst hitting the weakest parts of his suit. Tony gathered what she was trying to do.
“There you go… This could be hot, if it weren’t for the circumstances!”
She shakes her head and continues to punch away at his shoulders, folds of his legs and chest, both hating every moment of this.
“Just use the fucking laser!”
“NO! It’ll cut your damn arm off, Tony!”
“Bella honey, it’s better than hurting you! JUST DO IT!”
“NO, NOW SHUT UP!”
“Are we having our first marital spat?!”
“YES, NOW QUIT BEING AN ASS AND LET ME …”
“FUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCK!” He shouts as he propels her through the air and begins firing at her, once again.
“Please. Jarvis buddy… I really need you. Don’t let me do this. Not her!” He literally begs.
He looks up to see her diving right for him as she dodges his aims. He groans out as she lands with her knee to his sternum.
“USE THE FUCKING LASER!”
“JUST USE THE RIGHT AMOUNT AND I’LL BE FINE!”
“I CAN’T RISK IT! I’M NOT AS ACCUSTOMED TO THIS TONY!”
They continue to shout taking jabs at one another. Tony grimaced each strike he unwillingly gave.
“USE IT OR I’LL SELF-DESTRUCT!”
Bella froze behind that iron suit of hers.
“You heard me! Use the laser to get me out of this thing! NOW! If you don’t I will enter the code for self-destruction!”
“You wouldn’t!” She wasn’t even aware he had such a code!
“Don’t even test this theory, Bella honey! You got one minute to get this fucking thing off me or you better prepare your goodbyes, because I’m not going to continue this. If it’s a fight to the death between the two of us, then it’ll be me sweetheart! Now be a good girl and just fucking use the laser!”
“It’s a fucking prototype! How can it be that advanced?!”
“I’m Tony Stark! You really want to question this theory?!”
She grits her teeth and barrels after him taking a few hits as she does. This time she punches him in the face.
“Now that one felt personal!”
“IT WAS, YOU DICK!”
She groans out and he flinches once again. They look down to see one of the mechanisms on the prototype cutting through Iron Maiden’s armor on her leg. Out of desperation she gives in and test out the laser on a nearby car. It slices it right in half and she groans in misery.
“I can’t!” He could tell she was literally bawling now.
He swallows back.
“I love you.”
He calls out. She lets out a growl and something within her ignites.
“Oh no, you don’t!”
She ignores the pain and grabs ahold of him. She wraps her arms around him as tight as possible and takes off rocketing into the air. It doesn’t dawn on him what she’s doing, until she reaches the freezing point. Proving all too well, she’s done her homework. He only hoped they reached that point, before destroying her in the process. She continued on but her head began to sway at the pain as the metal continued to scrape against her leg.
“SON OF A BITCH!” She groans fighting it.
The sound stops and they look down to see one of her legs is now bare. Iron Man shakes his head. His suit thankfully did as Iron Maiden had hoped it would. It was beginning to freeze over. She began to punch at the frozen parts of the suit dismantling it, little by little, as it began to malfunction. He was beginning to lose oxygen though and his eyes were coming to a close. Parts of his suit were finally beginning to crack, to where she could take them off. Her leg however burned as the frost hit it. She began to fly back down as she dismantled his suit piece by piece. She held him by the collar of his shirt as they came back down.
She brought them down on one of the high rises. Iron Maiden laid him down and she sorely rolled over catching her breath. Tony gasped out as oxygen finally hit his lungs. Bella lifted her helmet and trolled over checking on Tony.
“Well that pretty much sucked.” He groans.
Bruce thoroughly examines Bella’s leg. He sighed with relief seeing it hadn’t hit the point of being frost bitten. He quickly worked to get some heat and circulation flowing through it first. Once it was back to regular body temperature again, he began the sutures.
“Not near as deep as it looked. You lucked out.” He says as he continues to stitch her up.
Tony flinched with soreness as he poured himself a drink. He glances over to Bruce and his wife. He too feared she might lose her leg, once that below freezing temp hit it. Thankfully, they weren’t up in the air long enough for it to fully take effect. Bruce immediately got to caring for it, as soon as they entered headquarters. After he finished stitching it up, he gave her a syringe of antibiotics. He had her lay down and applied more heat to it.
“Yeah well, you can thank Stark for that!” They heard the Captain as he, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow entered Avenger headquarters. Tony rolled his eyes and poured himself another drink.
“Let me guess. Getting wasted? That’s your answer to everything right? Throw money at it or knock back a few drinks.” The Captain scoffs and tosses his shield on one of the chairs.
Clint rushed over to his sister and hugged the hell out of her.
“Whatever that was… it’s gone now! And there’s not a chance in hell you’re going to convince me that wasn’t one of yours!”
Tony shakes his head and downs his drink. He pulls his sleeves up as he makes his way over.
“It wasn’t. But I’ve already stated this!”
“If it’s not one of yours then who’s was it?!”
“Hell if I know, but I think I’d remember creating something like that!”
“Are you sure? Or was it at a time you had one too many of these?!”
He takes Tony’s bottle of scotch and throws it across the room.
“He’ll be back! Whatever he pulled with your suit was nothing more than a distraction!”
Bella sighs and Clint helps her down from the table Bruce had her on.
“It wasn’t one of his. I’ve seen everything he’s built.”
“Oh have you now?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
The Captain shakes his head.
“I know you’re not insinuating what I think you are Captain!”
“And what is it you think I’m in sinuating?”
“That my husband would stand here and lie to each and everyone of you! If he says he didn’t build it! Then that’s exactly what he means! If anything, he’s brutally honest!”
Tony takes in a breath.
“It does look like something I’d put on the back burner awhile back, but I had moved on to something else. I hadn’t looked back on it since. Never finished the diagnostics or even got to the actual phase of making a prototype for it.”
“So you’re admitting this is one of yours?”
“Are you hard of hearing?!” Bella snaps.
Tony makes a tsking sound with his tongue.
“I knew there was a darker side to you!” Tony says and pats Steve on the shoulder.
“Just proves you’re human after all Captain! However… that’s my wife. So you watch how you talk to her.”
“I meant no disrespect.”
“Let’s not be too cynical. Yes you did.”
Clint pinches his eyes shut, wishing it would all just stop.
“So let me guess you too were behind this whole HYDRA ordeal? Is that why they came after you?”
Tony grits his teeth and closes his eyes for a moment. Bella cuts Steve a dirty go to fucking hell look.
“Just whose side are you on, Stark?”
“You didn’t just ask him that!” Bella scolds irately.
“He has a point. You return and ironically enough this entity appears, directly after.” Thor adds.
“Entity? No, that’s no entity. What that was, was an artificial intelligence that’s clearly smarter and much more advanced than anyone of us!” Tony remarks.
“So you’re saying that a machine now threatens this realm? Not possible! Men create and control such things! Not the other way around.”
Tony cocks a brow at this.
“Says the Thunder God that possesses so much power he must cross a rainbow bridge in order to get home! You of all “beings” should know that anything is hypothetically conceivable.”
“Well whatever it is, it will be back. And I have the feeling this is just the beginning.”
“I’ll take care of it.”
“And just how do you presume you’ll do that? There were six of us today! SIX and we barely managed to put a few dents on him. Your wife managed to take an arm and even at that he was still going strong! Strong enough to take over that ridiculous suit of yours! I mean honestly you could have killed your wife today!”
Tony rushes over and grabs Captain America by the collar of his suit.
“You think I don’t know that?!”
Thor grabs Tony and shoves him back.
“He’s not the enemy!”
“Funny he sure sounds like it!”
“If anyone’s turning on this team, it’s you!” Thor bellows.
“THIS TEAM WOULDN’T EXIST WITHOUT ME! YOU ALL WOULD STILL BE TRYING TO FIND YOUR WAY IN THIS WORLD!”
“SPOKEN LIKE THE TRUE EGOTISTICAL ASS YOU ARE!”
“OH COME ON CAPTAIN LOOK AT YOURSELVES! YOU ESPECIALLY! WHERE EXACTLY ARE YOU GOING TO GO NOW? IT’S NOT LIKE YOU HAVE S.H.I.E.L.D TO CRAWL BACK TO AND FURY’S TIT TO SUCK UPON! AND YOU THOR! YOU REALLY WANNA GO BACK AND KISS DADDY’S ASS AND VISIT LITTLE BRO BACK IN THAT ASGARDIAN PRISON OF YOURS? AREN’T YOU SEEKING OUT A CERTAIN HUMAN IN HOPES TO WOO HER? AND BRUCE? FOR ONCE YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO RUN OR HIDE. YOU’RE FREE! YOU’RE A GOD DAMN HERO! AND YOU ROMANOFF, I DOUBT SERIOUSLY YOU WANT ANYONE DIGGING INTO YOUR HISTORY! FOR ONCE YOU’VE GOT EVERYTHING SQUARED AWAY! LIVING ON THE UP AND UP SO TO SPEAK! AND WHAT ABOUT YOU BARTON, BROTHER? WHO DO YOU PREFER WHEN IT COMES TO A TEAM HYDRA? OR THE AVENGERS? You’re in the same boat as Rogers!” Tony looks to his wife last. “AND YOU WILDCAT, MY WIFE… YOU HAVE MORE REASON THAN ANY OF US. YOU GOT FUCKED OVER AND EACH AND EVERYWAY THERE IS TO BE FUCKED OVER! I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN WITH YOU! EACH OF YOU ARE! WE’RE BY FAR BETTER TOGETHER AS A TEAM THEN APART! WE’RE THE FUCKING AVENGERS FOR A REASON! NOT JUST SOME BOY BAND ON THE VERGE OF BREAKING UP!
“You would take all the credit, wouldn’t you?!” The Captain snaps.
“That would be all you heard out of that. Wouldn’t it?”
Tony sighs and looks back to Thor.
“And for someone that thinks so low of humans… What would little Ms. Foster think of all this?”
Thor zips over and wraps his hand around Tony’s throat and lifts him off the ground.
“That’s enough, Thor!” Clint hollers.
Bella puts her hand on Thor’s shoulder trying to break it up. Thor thinking it’s one of the guys, shoves her back.
“WHAT THE HELL?!” Clint shouts along with Tony.
“YOU SON OF A BITCH!” Tony hollers out as Bruce hurriedly braced her against him and they both slammed through a glass table.
Bruce grunted out as he and Bella rolled over in the debris of shattered glass.
“OUT! BOTH OF YOU! GET THE FUCK OUT!” Tony shouts.
Tony makes his way over, helping Bella and Bruce to their feet.
“My apologies… I…” Thor starts to say realizing what he’d done.
“Your apologies? YOUR APOLOGIES?! WE DON’T WANT YOUR FUCKING APOLOGIES! IF ANY OF YOU HAD ANY INKLING!”
Tony pinches his eyes shut.
“Just get out…” He says miserably.
Thor and Captain America cut Bella once last apologetic glance, before heading out. Romanoff follows them out as Barton and Bella nod towards one another in silent understanding. Bruce however didn’t budge. Tony looked upon him oddly, taking notice. Bruce shrugged he didn’t utter a word. He put his glasses on and went to work on something. Bella started to clean up the mess.
“Don’t… I got this, Bella honey… just…” He swallows back and clears his throat.
“Just go relax… I want you off that leg.”
“Tony, I’m fine.”
He gently yet impatiently sets her down on the couch.
“Just stay. Please!” Bruce cocked a brow Tony’s way as he worked.
He could hear the anxiety in his voice. Bruce took of his glasses and rubbed his eyes. He too fought to keep the beast at bay. This was stressful enough on everyone. And he knew deep down this wasn’t Tony’s fault. Bruce didn’t agree with the team ganging up on him and Bella like that. Especially, right after they returned from being kidnapped, on their wedding day nonetheless. Tony was right. None of them knew what they had dealt with. They returned from one hell and entered another. Something that Bruce was beginning to see was never ending, for the Starks. Bella and Tony had it rough throughout. They never had a moment’s rest, or so it seemed. If anything he respected them even more. Through all that they found a way to stick together, respect and love one another no matter what hell came their way. There weren’t many couples he knew that could endure the amount of stress these two did. He nodded to himself as he witnessed Bella coming back to her feet. She merely wrapped her arms around Tony. Neither said a word, just spent the next couple minutes holding one another. And sometimes that’s all it took. It was the smallest gestures that kept their love strong and going. If anything, he felt the Starks should be admired for that.
Tony and Bella quietly cleaned up the mess. After they finished Tony approached Bruce with an idea. After dealing with the Hulk, he became eager about sketching this out and seeing what Dr. Banner thought. Bruce pushed up his glasses and watched as Tony sketched away. He even jotted down some notes to his design. Once he had it all panned out and done. He wrote in big bold letters and had it underlined. “Hulkbuster!”
“Hmmm.” Bruce hummed looking it over.
“So whattaya say doc? You wanna be my wingman on this? I sure could use the help. I’ve a feeling our time is limited.”
“I take it the other guy kicked your ass?”
Tony lifts his eyes towards Bella as she was in the kitchen, fixing them all something to eat. He winks her way and merely shrugs.
“Something like that.” He utters and pats Bruce on the back.
“We’ll start bright and early tomorrow Dr. Banner!” He says full of beans.
“Can’t wait!” Bruce sarcastically replies.
“NO! NO, No, No, NOOOO!” Bella and Bruce hear Tony shout as he throws something across the garage.
Bella hops up from the dining room table and rushes into the garage. Tony was huddled over a garage bin puking his guts out. He was sweating profusely and his entire body was flushed over.
“Everything is GONE… Jarvis… EVERYTHING!”
She looks through herself and sure enough, everything Tony had ever worked on wasn’t there to be found.
“TONY!” Bella called out in alarm as he stagger back and his eyes were rolling to the back of his head.
“BRUCE!” She shouted as Tony passed out cold.
Bruce hurried on inside and checked on Tony’s vitals.
“He’ll be ok.”
Bella nods and quickly retrieves a cold and wet wash cloth. She wiped Tony’s forehead, neck, and chest down.
“I’ll go get him something to calm him down.”
Bella nodded as Bruce exited the room. Before long he entered with a syringe. He swapped his arm with alcohol and stuck Tony in the arm. Tony shot up at this and Bella quickly laid him back down.
“Easy Tony…” She softly said.
He narrowed his eyes upon Bruce.
“What the hell did you just stick me with?”
“Just something to help put you at ease.”
Tony blinks a few times.
“He might experience some side effects.”
“Might?” Bella inquires as her husband lies back down and starts laughing.
Bruce shrugs with a hint of guilt about his face. Bella sighs.
“Can you help me get him into bed at least?”
Bruce nodded and helped her gather Tony and they put him to bed.
“What did you give him?” Bella inquired as Tony was now sawing logs.
“It might’ve been some morphine.”
“YOU GAVE MY HUSBAND MORPHINE?”
“I flushed it with some saline afterword.”
“Well I don’t exactly have a med’s lab close by.”
“We should get one of those.”
He cocks a brow.
“Seriously, this is Avengers headquarters after all. We should always be prepared.”
She feels Tony reaching out and tapping her on the leg.
“I think I have three nads.”
She rears back, with a what the fuck expression. Her jaw drops as Tony starts groping himself.
“Yep and one of them is swollen.”
Bella’s eyes widen and Bruce chokes back.
“Would you like to check on that doctor?” Bella taunts.
Bruce clears his throat and quickly exits the room. Bella sighs and turns back to see Tony was out once again.
Bella takes off his shoes and tucks him in. Just as she’s about to walk away. He motions for her to come closer.
“I got a secret…” He slurs.
She narrows her eyes and leans down.
“Closer…” He motions again, with his eyes still closed.
“The self-destruct button… Tony lied…”
Her jaw drops.
“TONY FUCKING STARK!”
He snuggles up against his pillow and grins.