Archaic Kinds of Fun

an evil cackle

“Sorry about that, Jo,” Johnny whispered once Reed and Sue walked away with Tony.

"Nothing to apologize for, Johnny. I think it’s kinda sweet, actually.” At Johnny’s confused look, she decided to explain further. “Sue blames me for breaking your heart. Says that I’m a painful reminder every time I come around. She’s just looking after you.”

“She never liked you. Remember Thanksgiving?” Yeah, it’s something that she’ll never forget. Sue has never been shy about letting her displeasure be known.

“She must have seen what was coming, and she was right.”

“I was the one that dumped you,” Johnny huffed and crossed his arms.

“Because I didn’t want to change,” Jo pointed out. The others can’t hear them, yet. If they get any louder, she’ll get another death glare from Sue.

“I shouldn’t have asked you to.” He shrugged when she glanced over at him, and she’s not touching that statement with a ten foot pole. The actual breakup may have been painful and a little messy, but it was for the best.

“We’ve both moved on,” she said with a shrug of her own. Johnny’s exploits rival Tony’s back in his glory days, and she knows that a few of his flings turned into something a little more serious. Maybe she was Johnny’s first love too, but she’s not his last.

“I know I have. I’ve been seeing someone for the past six months. Have you moved on at all?”

“Someone agreed to put up with your snoring? And that horrible smell that’s always on your socks?” She’s teasing, but she’s happy for him. Johnny’s her friend, no matter what.

“Laugh it up, Holbrook, but I know a deflection when I see one.” Johnny slung an arm around her shoulders and pulled her to his side, and she resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “C’mon and tell your old flame all about it.”

“The fire jokes have never been funny.” Johnny just did a little wiggle that shook them both, and Jo crossed her arms. “I just started dating someone. It’s still pretty new, but it’s serious.”

“Please tell me it’s not with that narcissistic asshole.” He’s looking at Tony, of course he is.

“No, Tony’s engaged and he’s my friend.” She loves him, actually, but not like that. “It’s Bruce Banner.”

“Banner, Banner, I know that name…The Hulk?” She pushed her elbow into his ribs at the sound of a restrained laugh, and he pulled away from her with a groan.

“It’s just Hulk, and I’m dating Bruce.”

“You would date someone that’s green.”

“We will throw down right here, Johnny.”

“I’m not scared of you, Holbrook!”

“You’re gonna learn the meaning of fear today!” A rocky hand grabbed the back of her shirt and lifted her off the ground, and Johnny’s annoyed face mirrored her own as Ben held them both in the air.

“Behave, you two. We’ve got a job to do.” Ben set them down, with several feet between them, and they both shuffled a little.

“Did you just get put in a timeout?!” Tony called out to her. He shouldn’t be enjoying this as much as he is, and she can feel Sue glaring at her.

“Focus on your science and find Doom!” she yelled back.


“I spy…with my little eye…a trapdoor!” Deadpool yelled out. Hulk doesn’t know what to make of the indestructible mercenary either, but he’s been helpful so far.

“I am not jumping down that first,” Clint said and peered inside.

“None of us should jump in just yet,” Remy said with a glare in Deadpool’s direction. The two mutants were staring each other down again, and Hulk huffed. Kids are being held against their will, and they don’t have time to argue about this. One big green hand swatted at Deadpool, and the mercenary yelped as he fell through the hole in the floor.

“Hurry up,” Hulk growled before jumping down. He landed next to Deadpool, who was grumbling under his breath, and he moved out of the way so that the others could jump.

“Hulk! Catch!” He was able to snatch the archer out of the air before he cracked his skull open, and he carefully placed his teammate on his other side. Away from Deadpool’s angry mutterings.

“Rude move, big guy!” Deadpool finally yelled. With a single jump, he was sitting on top of Hulk’s shoulders and weakly banging his fists against the top of Hulk’s head. He knows the hits are weak, because Jo said that Deadpool has super strength too. He’s just being annoying.

“Talking wastes time, and we don’t have a lot of time,” Hulk said. Deadpool stopped hitting him, but he didn’t move off of Hulk’s shoulders.

“Point,” Deadpool huffed and slumped against him. Hulk could throw him off, but it might be easier to just go along with him. For now.

“I understand your reasoning, Hulk, but we are all on the same side,” Thor said. Remy was looking up at Deadpool with a little bit of confusion mixed into his glare, and Hulk shrugged. The move made Deadpool giggle, but Hulk is going to ignore that for now.

“Onward, great steed!” When this is over, Hulk might have to hurt him a little. Jo will understand.

“Is it just me or is this place really creepy?” Unlike the abandoned amusement park above them, this underground park looks fully functional. It’s mostly dark, with just enough light for them to get around, but the feeling of the place is unsettling.

“We should be cautious,” Thor agreed.

“We just gotta find the kids and get out,” Remy said and moved to the front of the line.

“Fuck that! I came here for some killin’,” Deadpool called out.

“Not so loud,” Hulk reminded him.

“Hey, we’re in Murderworld now. Arcade knows we’re here. He’s just waiting for the perfect time to strike.” It was said with a pat to the top of Hulk’s head, and he fought the urge to toss the mercenary off of him.

“Yo, ‘Pool! Jo’s dating Banner, Hulk’s other half, so she doesn’t want him damaged. Capisce?” Clint is walking next to them, and Hulk felt Deadpool lean to the side. Likely to meet the archer’s eyes before resuming his previous position.

“Yeah, capisco. Tall, dark, and hairy is okay with that?” The first part was drawled out loud enough for Clint to hear, and the question was whispered so that only Hulk heard him.

“Not his call,” Hulk said and kept moving. Deadpool laughed and slapped his own thigh, and Hulk is going to take that as approval. (So is Bruce, not that either of them need approval from anyone to be with Jo.)

“Oh, he must be lovin’ this! Ol’ Josie and—” Whatever Deadpool was going to say was cut off as a flash of light appeared above Hulk’s head, and Deadpool screeched as he was thrown backwards. “Motherfucker! Who did that?!”

“It’s okay, kids! We’re here to getcha outta here!” Remy called out. A girl stepped out of the darkness, with shaggy blonde hair and eyes that nearly seemed to glow.

“Rem? That you?” she called out. Hulk could just make out the bodies behind her, but he couldn’t distinguish any physical features.

“Alright, kids, roll call. Tabitha Smith, I already got you.”

“Kevin Ford.”

“Cessily Kincaid.”

“Sam Guthrie, and I got Bobby da Costa.”

“Sarah Vale is dead. How’re we gonna tell Jessie that we let her sister die?” Tabitha asked. The kids, because they are still kids, looked scared. Haunted. Deadpool moved around Hulk, between Clint and Thor, and stopped next to Remy.

“Where’s he at?” Whatever the girl blasted him with, it doesn’t seem to have fazed him.

“We don’t know. We’ve been down here for days, dodging traps and other things that want us dead. He killed Sarah,” Tabitha said, nearly growling towards the end.

“I’m gonna go find him! Have fun babysitting!” Deadpool took off at a run, and Hulk lost sight of him seconds later. He could still hear his loud “yahoo!” echoing in the distance.

“As much as I want him dead, we need to get the kids out of here. Bobby needs some sunlight,” Remy said as he looked over his shoulder at them. “Oh, and don’t touch Kevin.”

The four of them formed a protective shield around the kids, and they let the kids go first through the trapdoor. It was a little tricky, at times, but they managed it. Hulk got a better look at the kids once they were back outside, and they were all covered in dirt and a little bit of blood. With Bruce’s help, he was able to look over their injuries. None of them had anything that looked close to fatal, mostly cuts and bruises, and he knew they would be okay.

“We should not leave Deadpool alone to fight the enemy,” Thor said once the kids were secured on the jet. Hulk nodded to show that he agreed, and Clint and Remy exchanged a look.

“I can get us another ride. Get the kids out of here,” Clint finally said.

"You sure?" Remy asked.

“Yes, I’m sure. Get them somewhere safe.” They all watched as Remy walked onto the jet, and it was streaking through the sky a minute later. Clint pulled a phone out of his pocket and hit a few buttons, and he sighed as he slipped the phone back into a pocket. “Let’s go find Deadpool.”

Hulk held onto Clint this time as they jumped through the hole in the floor, and Thor led the way. They passed the spot where they found the kids and continued on, and Hulk didn’t like the look of the underground amusement park. The air felt tense, like it was only a matter of time before something happened.

“I can hear him, but I cannot see him,” Thor said quietly. Hulk strained to hear, but he couldn’t hear anything. Which was unusual, since it seemed like Deadpool never really stopped talking.

“You know, this is usually about the time that the bad guy does something really dramatic like—” Clint was cut off as a robotic clown appeared in front of them, and a thick gas drifted out of the top of the clown’s head. The gas surrounded them, thickened, and everything went dark.


“So, he’s in Ireland?” Jo questioned. There’s dots, on a map, but none of the flashing numbers make any sense to her. How were they able to track Doom anyway? The guy has that whole super genius thing going for him, and he’s usually pretty good at staying under the radar.

“We have several different reports,” Reed said slowly.

“He wants to be found,” Tony clarified. Why couldn’t Reed just say that?

“Yes, we believe that he is sending out signals. Taunting us, maybe,” Reed added. Well, that doesn’t sound good. She’s only met Doom once, while helping out the Fantastic Four, and he seemed…fanatic. Insanely intelligent, with insane being the key word. Kept saying that all he wanted to do was save this world, and that the Fantastic Four had to die before he became the supreme leader. She’s heard speeches like that before, but with Doom? The guy genuinely believed what he was saying. He wasn’t just trying to justify his desire to kill his former friends; he honestly wanted to save the world.

“You are thinking way too hard,” Tony said and lightly poked her temple.

“It’s Doom. He’s…well, he’s not the average bad guy. Will he kill? Definitely. But he honestly believes that he’s doing what he can to save the world. That kind of insanity…it makes him dangerous.” Her mental voice is still quiet, she needs to work on that, but she knows that Tony heard her.

“We’re dangerous too, sweetheart.” The comment made her roll her eyes, but she didn’t argue with him.

“We can’t cover all that area in a day,” she pointed out.

“We can if we split up,” Tony countered.

“Splitting up is never a good idea.” She paused to think it over and then shrugged. “But it’s the quickest way to get results. We’ll just have to keep communication open. Whoever finds him first alerts the others.”

“Who goes with who?” Ben asked her.

“I’m not leaving Tony’s side, so I guess that leaves you and Johnny.” She tried not to smile, because those two have always fought like cats and dogs, but going from the little bit of glare in Ben’s eyes she failed. He’s not glaring at her though.

“What about us?” Reed asked.

“You two stay here. This place can’t be left undefended. We can’t have the prisoners escaping again,” Jo said. Reed and Sue exchanged a look, and Jo crossed her arms. “You asked for our help, and this is us helping. You have to trust us, Sue.”

“Will you kill him?” Jo wanted to growl, because she’s had this argument one too many times with Reed.

“I know it’s a little hard to believe, but I only kill when there is no other choice. I don’t want to kill Doom, but I will if I have to.” She can feel Tony’s fingers lacing through hers and squeezing, and she gave a small squeeze back.

“We’re gonna raid your fridge and turn in for the night. Leave first thing in the morning to hunt Doom down? Good? Okay. C’mon, Jo.” She let Tony pull her around the Fantastic Four, watched him gather up a little bit of food and two bottles of water, and they disappeared into the room set aside for them. Tony pulled her down onto the mattress, and she wrapped her arms around him as he cuddled up to her side.

“I don’t enjoy killing. I don’t always regret it, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it,” she grumbled. The worst thing? Reed likes her, as a person. He’s told her before that he’s fascinated by the way her mind works, how quick she can assess a situation and adjust accordingly, and he thinks she’s funny. He stood up for her a few times with Sue. He just doesn’t like that she’s a killer.

“I know,” Tony whispered. Tony has killed. He didn’t want to, but he did what he had to. There’s always a choice, but sometimes it feels like there isn’t.

“It’s been years. I shouldn’t care about what they think anymore.” She thought she was past this; she doesn’t need to be liked by everyone, but it hurts. She feels like some kind of dark stain on their lives.

“Some therapist, forever ago, told me that it’s human nature to seek approval from others. You don’t need their approval, Jo. They don’t know what it’s like for people like us.” Tony pulled her hand so that it was pressed tight over the arc reactor, and she had to squeeze her eyes shut. The Fantastic Four have been lucky; their hands are clean, but hers and Tony’s will probably never come clean. Redemption doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a lifelong process.

“We’re the good guys.” Her voice was a hoarse whisper, and Tony’s arms tightened around her hips. They fell asleep without ever touching the food.

September 2, 2014

“Okay, Captain?” He’s sitting on a bench, not too far away from the Triskelion, and most people never would have heard Natasha sit down beside him.

“The STRIKE force did a good job today.” It’s not a real answer, but it’s still revealing. The STRIKE force members are good soldiers, strong, but they’re not his real team. He doesn’t know why Fury put him in charge, and Natasha’s eyes have closed off since they got here.

“Are you worried about them?” she asked after a few moments of silence. She’s not talking about the STRIKE force now, and he knows it. She’s talking about the others, their real team. Jo and Tony are helping another team. Clint, Thor, and Bruce are helping another team. This isn’t right.

“Aren’t you?” He finally looked over at her, and she just shrugged. Something is really not right.


Clint groaned as he regained consciousness, and he shook his head to help clear it. He’s attached to a ceiling, with duct tape and knives. He can feel the knives nicking the skin around his ribs and thighs, because they’ve been stabbed through his clothes and into the ceiling. Tape is around his torso and arms, and he’s completely stuck. He’s over two arenas, separated by a thick wall. Both arenas look like they’re from a carnival, he’d know those swirling patterns anywhere, and the arenas are covered with a glass ceiling. So he can see, and he can hear.

Hulk and Deadpool are in the right arena. He can hear Hulk’s growls and Deadpool’s manic laughter, and it looks like they’re trying to tear each other apart. Thor is in the left arena, facing off against a giant robot. Going by the god’s yells, he’s seeing something else. Someone else. Both arenas are filled with gas, and it’s barely visible. It must be what’s making them fight, and Clint tried to get some part of his body to move.

“None of that now. Sit still and watch the show.” There’s a balcony next to him, and dark eyes looked over at his struggling figure before looking back down at the arenas. “I’ve seen Deadpool’s indestructibility up close, and I’ve heard rumors that the Hulk can’t be killed as well.”

“It’s just Hulk,” Clint thought as the maniac next to him laughed.

“And Thor is supposed to be a god. Once we have a winner between the mercenary and the monster, the god will enter their arena to fight the victor. Do you think he’s indestructible?”

“I think you’re insane.” That caused the man to laugh again, and Clint shifted. His hands are taped next to his body, so he just needs to grab one of the knives cozying up to his ribcage.

“Maybe, but aren’t you just a little bit curious? Out of all of your teammates, who’s the strongest?” The strongest…he can’t say. Physically Hulk is probably the strongest, but Deadpool can’t be killed. Thor is a god, and Clint has seen him and Hulk spar. Were they holding back? They must have been, because the fighting going on under him is brutal.

“What’s gonna happen to me?” He’s the only one not being gassed and forced to fight, so there must be something special planned for him.

“After Thor fights the winner, you’ll fight the winner of that match. I imagine you won’t last long, but you might stand a small chance if you watch closely. Look for weakness. If you keep quiet, I might even give you a weapon. Not that it will help much. Look at them.”

Hulk’s massive fists are crashing against Deadpool over and over again, and the mercenary should be mush at this point. Instead, he just keeps regenerating and laughing. Blades clash against Hulk, and sometimes they go past his skin. Thor is a blur as he rains blows against the robot, but the machine is able to piece itself back together. The look in the god’s eyes is pure madness, insanity, and Clint’s stuck. He’s literally stuck to the ceiling, watching as his teammates are torn apart.

“What if no one wins? What if they keep fighting forever?” Clint’s stalling. It’s obvious, but he needs to stall. He’s got two fingers on one of the knives, the blade is slipping across his skin, but he can get it out. He just needs time.

“If I get bored, I’ll get the Hulk to turn back into his human form. The other one, Banner, can be killed. Without the Hulk, he’s only human.” That’s not possible. Hulk would never let anything happen to Bruce. Then again, before now, Clint would’ve sworn that he’d never be taped to a ceiling while his teammates tried to kill each other. (Deadpool can’t be killed.)

“They’re the same person,” Clint pointed out. The man hummed, and Clint could see him watching the fight from the corner of his eye. He nearly had one of the knives pulled out when Hulk placed his massive hands on Deadpool’s head and twisted, and he had to close his eyes as Deadpool’s head was turned completely around. It’s still attached, but barely.

“Now it’s getting interesting,” the man laughed. It was more like a cackle. An evil cackle. The blade biting into the thin skin of his palm was enough to clear his mind, and he slowly started removing the tape from his right arm.

Down below, Deadpool was still fighting with his head turned around backwards. The walls all around Thor were shaking, and Clint’s arm is starting to bleed. He’s gotta get free and figure out how to stop the gas, before Hulk and Deadpool find a way to kill each other. He had to saw at the tape slowly, quietly, and he kept an eye on Arcade the entire time. The man was completely focused on the carnage below them, which just goes to show that the man is an idiot for underestimating Clint. Whatever. Ignorance is working in his favor right now.

Clint lost track of time as he worked on the thick tape securing him to the ceiling, but he could still hear the fighting below him. Arcade’s manic laughter and heckles became static to him as he worked, until his hand was free and most of his arm. That’s all he really needs. His elbow could bend, which made it only too easy for him to store the knife in a pocket and retrieve an arrow. A smaller arrow than his usual ones, something that Tony threw at him a few days ago. He said to use it during an emergency, and the mad scientist promised him that it wouldn’t kill a human. Stun, not kill. He wants to take Arcade in alive.

The arrow hit Arcade in the center of his chest, and the man didn’t make a sound as his teeth locked and his body began to spasm. Within seconds, he was unconscious and laying on the balcony floor. Clint retrieved the earlier knife and went to work on cutting himself loose. He was able to swing himself into the balcony instead of falling onto the glass ceilings below him, and he took a minute to use the cuffs he had on him to restrain Arcade. Wrists, ankles, elbows, and knees. He’s not going anywhere. There were flashing lights at the back of the balcony, so this has to be his control room. Clint’s not as smart as Tony, or even Natasha, but he knows his way around. The gas was turned off first, and Clint counted to a hundred before going to look over the balcony. Thor was shaking his head, as if to clear it, and Deadpool was popping his head back into place. Hulk was backed against the far wall and taking deep breaths with his eyes closed.

“Everyone okay?!” Looks like the glass isn’t sound-proofed on their side, because all three looked up at him.

“Did ya get ‘im?!” Deadpool yelled back. Now that his senses aren’t being constantly assaulted, the regeneration has completely cleared his mind. Or maybe it’s the insanity.

“Yeah! Who’s ready to get out of here?!”

“I would like to depart now!” Thor called up. Hulk grunted, and Deadpool yelled something about going out to celebrate. Clint moved back over to the controls, hit a few buttons, and tried to contain his smile. He slung Arcade over a shoulder and moved over to the stairs, and he met the others at the bottom of the staircase.

“This place is gonna blow in about five minutes, so we should get out of here.” Thor took the unconscious Arcade so that Clint could jump onto Hulk’s back, and Deadpool jumped up to hang off Hulk’s other shoulder.

“Thanks for the neck massage!” Deadpool yelled over the sound of Hulk’s running feet. Thor was just behind them, and they’ll be at the opening any minute now.

“Anytime,” Hulk huffed. Is that their way of saying that they’re both okay with trying to destroy each other? It was under the influence, but it was still pretty brutal. Hulk jumped through the hole in the ceiling, and he didn’t stop running until they were on the jet that was parked in the empty parking lot. Fury came through for him after all, but he didn’t leave any pilots behind. Clint slipped off his back and went straight to the pilot’s chair, and the ramp closed once Thor was inside.

Clint could see the explosion, saw the way the ground bowed upwards before collapsing inwards, and he felt his lips stretching in a smile. Good riddance.


“I need a favor,” Doreen Green said while lightly blowing on her nails. Forest green is the color of the day.

“What kind of favor?” The man always speaks in a growl, which never fails to make Doreen laugh.

“Don’t sound so grumpy; it’s just a little thing.”

“What is it?” The man has absolutely no patience. She’s not the most patient person in the world, but geeze. He’s at a whole other level.

“Chill, Logan. I just want to know where the Avengers are.” That’s definitely a growl coming from the other end of the phone, and Doreen kicked back in her chair so that she could prop her feet up on the table in front of her. This apartment is too small. Suffocating.

“Scattered. Lookin’ for anyone special?” Scattered? She thought the whole point of being on a team was to stick together. Unless they’ve got a lot of different assignments. She knows about the escaped prisoners from the Big House and Cube. That’s part of the reason why she’s making this call.

“Hmm…how about…Ironman? Where’s he at?” Okay, so she has a favorite Avenger. Sue her.

“Why him?” Logan sounds almost defensive, but she’s pretty sure that the grumpy mutant has never met the billionaire superhero. She would’ve heard about it.

“I don’t need to give you a reason. You owe me a favor, remember?” This time the growl was loud enough to really tickle her eardrums, and she tossed her head back in a laugh. Wolverine challenged her to a fight, a friendly little duel, and she won. He wasn’t too happy about it, especially since the rules dictated that the loser owed the winner a favor. It’s time for her to cash in.

“Yeah, I remember. What do you want from the Avengers?” She doesn’t have to tell him, it’s not really any of his business, but Logan is a friend. Kind of.

“I want to help them. I’m tired of sittin’ around on my keister, and it’s about time I did something useful. All the other superhero teams are borin’, so I wanna join the Avengers.” It’s something that she’s thought long and hard about, and she’s made a decision.

“Don’t think that’s how it works.”

“Come on! Why would they turn me down? I’m awesome, and you know it.” She has abilities, she can help people, so she’s going to help people. The thought of just being a superhero all on her own had crossed her mind, but she wants to be part of a team. Not out on her own. There’s no fun in kicking ass alone.

“Alright. Just don’t come cryin’ to me when they turn you away.” Ha-ha, he’s so funny.

“Do you know where he is or not?” She’s heard whispers about the Tank taking over as Stark’s bodyguard, and she knows that the Tank is really Jo Holbrook. The woman is like a daughter to Logan, so he’ll know where she is. Which means he’ll know where Ironman is.

“Last I heard, he was headed to Europe to help the Fantastic Four with Doom.”

“Europe? You know that’s a continent, right? It’s kinda big. Think you can narrow it down?” Logan laughed, it wasn’t a very friendly sound, and Doreen glared at the blank wall across from her. “Whatever. I’ll find them all on my own.”

“Good luck with that,
Squirrel Girl.”

“Later, James!”

And that’s how Doreen Green found herself wandering aimlessly in some forest in Ireland. A few contacts were able to lead her to multiple Doom sightings, so Ironman has to be around here somewhere. Or someone from the Fantastic Four, but she’s hoping for Ironman. It’s been nearly three hours, but she can hear muffled shouting coming from somewhere ahead of her. Hopefully, that’s not Ironman. If it is, he doesn’t know anything about stealth.

“You should have eaten breakfast!” That’s a woman’s voice. Susan Storm, maybe? She’s seen pictures of the pretty superhero, but she’s never heard her speak.

“I did!” That’s a man’s voice. It’s definitely Tony Stark, because she’s heard him talk in interviews and seen him on the news a few times.

“You took two bites of toast! That’s not breakfast!” Wait, if that’s Tony Stark, then the woman has to be his bodyguard. Josephine Holbrook, Jo. The Tank.

“I’m clearly suffering through starvation. I’m hallucinating.” Doreen was standing stock still as Ironman looked her over, because that is Ironman. He’s in the suit and everything, but his face is bare. There’s a woman standing next to him, definitely taller than Doreen’s own five-three, and she doesn’t look the way that Doreen pictured her. The black jumpsuit she’s wearing is showing off some soft looking curves.

“What are you goin’ on about now?” The bodyguard hasn’t turned away from Ironman yet, so she can’t see her.

“There’s a girl, with a tail, and I think that’s a chipmunk on her shoulder,” Ironman said and lifted an arm to point a finger at her.

“It’s a squirrel, and his name is Monkey Joe.” The squirrel on her left shoulder lightly knocked his furry head against her cheek, and she reached up to lightly rub her fingers across the top of his head as the woman turned to face them.

“Well, either we’re both hallucinating or there’s definitely a girl with a squirrel on her shoulder in front of us,” the other woman said. What should Doreen call her? Her official codename is Eris, but the Tank is her more popular name. Is calling her Jo too personal?

“The name’s Squirrel Girl,” she said and let her tail flick next to her hip. Both of them tracked the movement and then looked at each other.

“Think she’s with Doom?” Ironman whispered.

“I could check, but that seems kinda rude,” the Tank whispered back.

“Check? How ya gonna do that? Not that I’m working with Doom or anything, I’m just curious.” They both turned to her with raised brows, and, wow, those two are really in sync. “I’m here to help you, actually. I wanna be an Avenger.”

“You wanna be a…” Ironman paused to look at his bodyguard. “She wants to be a…HAHA!”

“What’s so funny?!” The two of them were holding onto each other as they laughed, and Doreen crossed her arms as her eyes narrowed on their laughing forms. She doesn’t see what’s so funny about the whole thing.

“I’m getting the softest and chillest vibes off of you. There’s not a hint of anger or anything around you,” the Tank managed to get out between loud guffaws. Right. She was held in a facility that experimented on mutants, and humans, and she came out with an extra trick. Telepathy.

“Maybe you should check again, because I’m feeling a little angry right now.” It’s a lie. She’s mostly just annoyed. People are always underestimating her. Normally it’s a good thing, means that she can kick their ass before they know what’s coming, but she…well, she kinda looks up to Ironman. Just a little.

“She’s so adorable! Can we keep her around as a mascot?”

“Hey!” At her shout, Ironman dissolved back into laughter with his bodyguard right behind him. She’ll fight both of them to prove that she has what it takes if she has to!

“Or maybe we can—” Ironman was cut off as a jet appeared above them, shaking the leaves off the branches that blanketed them, and Doreen tucked Monkey Joe into a pouch on her belt before she could get snagged. Looks like Doom found them.
♠ ♠ ♠
Knowing the kids isn’t super important, I pulled mutant students from across different storylines, but I thought it’d be neat to give a shout-out to some of the lesser known mutants in the X-Men universe. Feel free to google them!

Writing from Clint’s perspective was both a challenge and a little fun, so I hope I did okay! I would have described the fights a little more, but I really do hate hurting the characters. Don’t worry, there’s always another fight waiting around the corner.

The character at the end is the Undefeatable Squirrel Girl! If you don’t know who Squirrel Girl, Doreen Green, is please go look her up. She’s one of my all-time favorite Marvel characters, and she deserves more love. Needless to say, she’s going to be around for a while. (For anyone that’s curious, I picture her as Anna Kendrick.)