If This is Wednesday, It Must Be Texarkana by Ninjababe
Summary:

The Avengers get new orders for an unusual mission... Since this is set after the Avengers movie, this does contain spoilers.


Categories: Non Buffy/Angel Stories Characters: None
Genres: Humor
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 5 Completed: No Word count: 6339 Read: 36617 Published: 2012.05.14 Updated: 2012.09.09

1. Chapter 1 by Ninjababe

2. Chapter 2 by Ninjababe

3. Chapter 3 by Ninjababe

4. Chapter 4 by Ninjababe

5. Chapter 5 by Ninjababe

Chapter 1 by Ninjababe
Author's Notes:

Warning 1: Since this is set after the Avengers movie, this does contain spoilers.


Warning 2: This story is not recommended for internal use, implantation or branding.


Disclaimer 1: I don't own the characters. Just in case you were wondering.


Disclaimer 2: I hearby state that I did not ingest, sniff, smoke, or slather onto my body any illegal or regulated substance while this was written.

 

Putting down the New Yorker, Steve Rogers got up from the sofa and answered the knock on his apartment door. "Yes?" he asked the suited man in front of him, obviously a SHIELD agent by the small emblem on the lapel of his black suit.

 

"New orders, sir," the agent responded, handing over a large manila envelope.

 

"Thank you," Steve stated, holding the envelope and watching the agent walk off before shutting his door.

 

After unclasping the metal prongs keeping the envelope shut, he pulled out and opened the folder inside. His eyebrows rose as he finished reading the first page. "Interesting..."

 

=====

 

Thor was thrown from his contemplations on the roof of his girlfriend's house by her calling his name. Jumping to the ground two stories below, he quickly re-entered the house. "Yes?"

 

"SHIELD just sent you orders," Jane Foster stated as she handed over a large manila envelope. Looking worried, she continued, "I hope it isn't anything dangerous..."

 

"We shall find out," Thor replied as he tore the envelope top off and pulled out the folder inside.

 

=====

 

"Tony? Bruce?" Pepper Potts called as she peeked her head into the laboratory she was sure the two were playing in.

 

"Over here, Miss Potts," Bruce Banner replied from the back of the lab.

 

"I've told you, it's Pepper," Pepper admonished as she made her way into the large glass and steel room, carrying two manila folders.

 

"Why are you disturbing our work? Don't you have my company to run?" Tony Stark asked before Bruce could reply.

 

Pepper rolled her eyes. "SHIELD sent you guys orders." She handed one envelope to Bruce, and held the other out to Tony.

 

"Place it on the table. I'll get it when I'm done with this," Tony said, dismissing the importance of the envelope as he turned his chair back to his current project.

 

Pepper sighed, "Read it. You might find it interesting."

 

Tony spun back around in the swivel chair and stared suspiciously at Pepper. "How do you know what it says? Why would a secret organization tell you my orders before me?"

 

"Wouldn't you like to know," Pepper replied with a grin before leaving the lab.

 

"You might want to read these," Bruce stated as he finished his information packet. "It's... some very specific, and different, orders."

 

Tony picked up the packet and opened it up. "Huh," was his only comment as he finished the first page.

 

=====

 

"You wished to see us, Director?" Natasha Romanov asked as she and Clint Barton entered the room.

 

"Yes," Nick Fury, head of SHIELD, stated as he motioned to the conference table. "Sit. I have new orders."

 

The two agents sat at the seats with folders and opened them up.

 

After reading, they looked back up at their supervisor.

 

"What are you up to?" Clint asked suspiciously.

 

"You'll find out when the rest of the team gets here," Fury replied with a smirk.

 

=====

 

THE FOLLOWING ORDERS ARE CLASSIFIED. YOUR EYES ONLY.

 

TO: BANNER, BRUCE aka HULK

BARTON, CLINT aka HAWKEYE

ROGERS, STEVE aka CAPTAIN AMERICA

ROMANOV, NATASHA aka BLACK WIDOW

STARK, TONY aka IRON MAN

THOR

 

You are to pack enough civilian clothes for up to three weeks. Include toiletries.

 

Do not include tech, money, credit or debit cards, checkbooks, weapons, or items a normal Earth mortal wouldn't commonly have.

 

Electronics and money for this mission will be provided.

 

Luggage and, if necessary, your person, will be searched for contraband.

 

SEE PAGE TWO FOR DIRECTIONS TO PICK-UP POINT

 

=====

 

"So, Fury. We're all here," Bruce stated as he looked around the full conference table.

 

"What's the deal?" Tony added as he glared at the SHIELD agents rifling through his duffel bags.

 

"According to reports, the Avengers need to form a more cohesive unit," Fury replied as he paced in front of the table. "After much consideration, I came up with a team building exercise. For the next three weeks, you will eat together, work together, and share rooms. You will be provided with a laptop with wifi, a digital camera, a cellphone without 3G, and that is all the electronics you will be allowed."

 

"I do not understand," Thor stated, looking confused.

 

"A few packs of cards, some board games, and sketch pads will also be provided. As for money, you'll receive a gas credit card for fuel. Agent Romanov and Captain Rogers will have the other credit cards."

"Why not everyone? And, what are you alluding to?" Tony asked, looking confused.

 

"I can trust those two not to use the cards to break the rules," Fury replied as he stared back at Tony. "You, Stark, would buy yourself a plane ticket and get out of the exercise as soon as possible."

 

Tony shrugged and leaned back. "True."

 

"So, what is the exercise?" Steve asked, confused.

 

Natasha took a sharp breath. "No! You can't! We aren't!"

 

"'Tasha?" Clint asked, concerned.

 

Fury smirked a bit. "You, the Avengers, are going on a road trip."

 

The table descended into shocked silence.

 

Only to be broken by Thor's question, "What is a 'road trip'?"

 

=====

 

End part 1

Chapter 2 by Ninjababe

 

"So, the All-American road trip!" Steve stated as the scenery outside whipped by.

 

"Why are you so happy?" Tony growled in reply. "I can't believe Fury got Pepper to go along with this! My girlfriend betrayed me!"

 

"You're just mad that she convinced Jarvis to take her side," Steve pointed out. "Now, you have no way to escape, just like the rest of us."

 

"Whatever." Tony pouted before turning to Clint. "Slow down!"

"I just want this over with," Clint replied as he took pressure off the gas pedal.

 

"It wouldn't matter," Natasha said from the front passenger seat. "We'd just have to share a hotel until the time is up. You heard Fury. This exercise is to last three weeks. Unless there's another catastrophe they call us in for, we're stuck."

 

"We'll be in Philadelphia soon. That should be our first stop," Bruce said from the very back of the mini-van from behind a large map.

 

"I've always wanted to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall," Steve remarked.

 

"A bell and a hall?" Thor asked, confused.

 

Bruce started to fold the map up. "Both integral to the birth of America. I'll explain them to you before we get there."

 

"Downtown it is," Clint grumbled while he whipped between two cars to change lanes.

 

=====

 

"The bell is cracked," Thor pointed out. "Why hasn't your symbol of liberty been fixed?"

"When Bruce is done crying, he'll explain it to you," Tony replied with a roll of his eyes.

 

Bruce glared. "So, I have a tear in my eye. It's moving!"

 

"Whatever." Tony glowered back before stomping towards the exit.

 

"Tony!" Natasha called out. "We have to get photographic evidence that we were here!"

 

Sighing, Tony strode back to the group. "Let's get this over with."

"Who has the camera?" Clint asked.

 

"I do," Thor stated as he pulled out the digital camera. "If you'll all get together, I'll take the photo."

"You know how to work one of those?" Steve asked. "I still don't quite get how those digital things work."

 

Thor nodded. "I skimmed the manual. Your tech is very basic at first glance, but after a second look, it can be complex..."

"Just take the photo," Steve said. "Our tour time for touring Independence Hall is coming up."

 

=====

 

"I think we should skip DC," Natasha stated from the driver's seat.

 

"Why?" Tony asked from the front passenger's seat as he fiddled with the radio. "Ooo! We have Sirius."

 

"How can we fit him in this vehicle?" Thor asked, looking confused. "Especially if he takes his dog form to keep your police from recognizing him?"

 

There was stunned silence in the mini-van. Until it was broken by Thor's laughter. "Oh... That was a good one. I got you all."

 

"You've read the Harry Potter books?" Bruce asked.

 

"Yes... Most of them were quite good," Thor replied, smirking.

 

Steve shrugged. "I couldn't get past the fourth one."

 

"Anyway," Tony said with a shake of his head. "Why should we avoid DC?"

 

"I have... personal reasons," Natasha replied.

 

"Well, then," Clint said as he pulled out the map. "I guess we're skipping it. Let's see what's next."

 

"Wonderful." Tony glanced at the pamphlet in his hand. "Oooo! Classic Vinyl... Let's see... Channel twenty six..."

"I vote we have limits on music," Bruce stated, staring at Tony's back.

 

"I second that," Clint added. "But, how?"

"Everyone gets one hour to pick a station?" Natasha suggested as she slipped the mini-van behind a Greyhound bus.

 

"I can agree to that," Tony replied.

 

Clint nodded. "Me too."

 

"I do not know your music very well... So, I agree as well, as I will hear different tunes each hour," Thor stated.

 

"I think you're going to regret that," Bruce replied. "But..." After a quick sigh, he nodded. "Yes, that's reasonable."

 

"Great... Good...." Tony said with a broad grin. "I'll go first."

 

"I call dibs on second!" Natasha added before anyone else could.

 

"I'm third," Bruce replied.

 

Silence fell for twenty minutes until Clint whined, "I'm hungry."

 

Natasha sighed as she passed a semi. "Then, why didn't you get something at the gas station?"

 

"Pork rind?" Thor offered.

 

"No, thanks," Clint replied before turning towards Natasha. "I want real food! Not crap."

 

Thor looked confused. "Is it not a tradition to eat 'crap' on a road trip? Did you all lie to me?"

 

"We do eat 'crap'," Tony stated as he turned around in his seat, his head bouncing along to the beat of a Pink Floyd song. "A lot of it. I don't know what Barton's problem is."

"Remember, we're supposed to use first names. 'To build camaraderie' was what Fury said," Bruce pointed out.

 

"Fine! I don't know what Clint's problem is. Is that better?"

 

"Much," Bruce said with a twist of his lips.

 

"I... need... protein," Clint ground out. "Feed me!"

 

There's a Cracker Barrel at the next exit." Natasha sighed again.

 

"This doesn't count against my hour!" Tony exclaimed. "I want a full hour of good music before I have to listen to all of your trash."

 

=====

 

"Hour's up!" Natasha gleefully stated as she double checked the station listing sheet from the glove box.

 

"Yeah, yeah..." Tony replied from the driver's seat. "Why do I have to drive when it isn't my music playing?"

"It was your turn," Thor pointed out.

 

Tony shrugged. "Whatever. Anyway, Natasha, what crap station are we listening to?"

"Top 40 Hits," she replied as she handed the sheet back to Steve, as it was his turn in the front. "Channel two please."

 

After the station change, Thor started to bob his head along with the music. "I like the beat on this one."

 

=====

 

"Why is she bringing her stuff to parties?" Steve asked.

 

Natasha looked confused. "Huh?"

 

"The woman singing. She says men touch her junk. Why does she bring 'junk' to clubs? Is she selling it?" Steve asked, perplexed.

 

Tony replied, "Actually..."

 

"Tony!" Bruce exclaimed before answering Steve. "Ummm... She means her womanly bits."

 

Steve  paused, then blinked, before exclaiming,  "WHAT! And, that's played on the radio?!"

 

Natasha nodded. "Wait until Clint has his hour. You haven't heard questionable lyrics until you've heard his rap."

 

=====

 

"Right... We've been traveling for how many hours now?" Tony asked before flipping off the corvette that sped past him.

 

"Long enough. Let's just find a hotel or something," Steve replied with a yawn.

 

Thor shook himself awake. "Hmmm?"

 

Tony nodded. "There's a Holiday Inn ahead."

"Works for me," Bruce added.

 

Ten minutes later, the six crawled out of the mini-van and stretched before heading into the lobby.

 

"Can I help you?" the front desk clerk asked with a broad smile.

 

"Yes, thank you, Cherie," Steve replied as he read the clerk's name tag. "We need three rooms please for the night."

 

"Of course!" Cherie said as she reached for her keyboard. "I'll need a driver's license and a credit card."

 

A short time later, Steve held keycard envelopes for the three rooms. "So, how are we dividing this out?"

 

"Clint and I are sharing a room," Natasha stated as she grabbed one of the envelopes.

 

Tony waggled his eyebrows. "So, are you two using both beds, or just one?"

 

Clint smirked while Natasha rolled her eyes and replied over her shoulder as the two walked away, "Wouldn't you like to know."

 

"How are we dividing the last two rooms?" Bruce asked.

 

"I'll arm wrestle all three of you for first rights of picking a roommate," Thor said with a grin.

 

Steve chuckled. "Maybe tomorrow... How about tonight, you and I share a room, and the two geniuses there can share one."

 

Grabbing a keycard, Tony started to stride off. "Fine. I just want to sleep."

 

"I get the bed by the window!" Bruce called out as he tried to catch up with Tony.

End Notes:

 

The route they're taking is real, and I've driven most of it. Just... Not in three weeks one way.

 

Comment please!

Chapter 3 by Ninjababe

Part 3/?

=====

"Aren't you done yet?" Clint yelled toward the closed bathroom door.

"No!" Natasha yelled back. "Stop asking every three minutes!"

Rolling his eyes, Clint moved his duffle bag to the other side of the bed and grabbed the TV remote as he sat down. Leaning against the backboard, he started to flip channels.

"Is torture, then chain me..."

click

"Gagged, and left in a cave that vampires..."

click

"Like you did on the shores of Lake..."

click

"Do nothing while Stonehenge destroys..."

click

"The break, Tony Stark ..."

click

"I just love the smell of C4 in..."

click

"Saws! One circumcision was..."

Clint blinked at the TV. "Wait a minute. Did she say Stark?" he muttered while flipping back to the channel he had passed.

The commercial break ended to show an overly made-up blonde woman smiling. "Welcome back to Star TV. I'm Rider Prunil. It seems Tony Stark has dumped his former assistant, now CEO of Stark Industries, Pepper Potts, and now has a new love interest! One that's interested in America's history. Here's a photo taken in downtown Philadelphia yesterday of the two entering Independence Hall. The woman in the photo has not been officially identified, but sources say she was, recently, also Mr. Stark's personal assistant."

Grinning madly at the grainy picture of Tony holding the door for Natasha, Clint grabbed the laptop case from the other bed.

The reporter smiled slightly and continued. "Unfortunately, we have no other information to go with this. Yet." After a brief pause, her smile widened. "We hope to have more for you next episode. Until then, keep those pictures and celeb spotting reports coming in!"

Clicking the TV off, Clint logged into the wifi of the hotel and started searching for more information on the current 'Stark scandal'.

Ten minutes later, Natasha opened the bathroom door. "There. I'm done. Ready to leave and start another wonderful day?" she asked sarcastically.

"Uh huh," he replied with a broad grin before showing Natasha the computer screen.

After quickly reading the headline and first paragraph of the article, she also grinned. "What room is he in?"

"We're meeting them by the car," Clint replied as put down the lap top and got up. Slinging his duffel bag across his back, he picked the laptop back up and followed Natasha from the room.

"Finally!" Tony exclaimed as he threw his hands into the air. "What took you guys so long?"

"We were following up on a potential mission breach," Natasha replied with a straight face.

"What?" Steve asked, concerned.

Clint put the laptop onto the hood of their mini-van and turned it around. "This was mentioned on TV as well."

The four men who hadn't seen the webpage yet huddled around the laptop.

"What?!" Tony squawked as he stared in horror at the grainy picture of them in Philadelphia.

"Why am I the new assistant?" Bruce asked, perplexed at the article.

"Probably because you don't look to be bodyguard material," Clint pointed out helpfully. "And, since Tasha here stole Tony from Pepper, she'd make sure the next assistant wouldn't be a threat."

"Damn right I would," Natasha said with a grin.

"Why would I guard Tony's body?" Thor asked, perplexed. "And, why would he need three guards?"

"The reporters don't know what the sighting of us means, so they drew their own conclusions," Clint pointed out.

"I need to call Pepper," Tony said while silently demanding the cellphone from Natasha.

"No you don't," Natasha replied as she moved around their vehicle to open the side door. "She knew what sort of trip you'd be on."

Steve shook his head as he got into the front passenger's seat. "Let's get going."

Grinning, Clint quickly put the laptop away and placed his luggage in the back of the van before moving to the side and climbing in as Bruce started the van.

The silence in the vehicle was broken by a tinny female voice saying 'text message!'.

"Who would be texting us?" Natasha asked as she pulled out the burner phone they had been given for this trip. "Director Fury would just call if it was an emergency." After reading the message, she turned to Thor. "Who would be texting you?"

"I'm sorry?" Thor asked, confused.

Natasha glanced at the cellphone screen again. "The message. It's says, 'Thor: Debasing yourself as a bodyguard? Really!' with a dash L after it."

Thor looked slightly embarrassed. "I really wish Loki would mind his own business."

"LOKI!" was shouted from multiple voices in the mini-van.

"Call Fury now Tasha," Clint stated.

Natasha nodded. "Yes, I think I better. If Loki's loose...."

"No!" Thor exclaimed. "It's not like that."

"Explain," Steve ground out as he glared at Thor while Bruce pulled over to the side of the road.

Thor ran a hand through his hair. "Your people were not the only ones compromised, I believe is your turn of phrase. The Chitauri found Loki after he fell from Asgard. They... meddled."

"So, he goes free? Just like that?" Clint growled.

"Umm... Clint...." Bruce stated, giving Clint a pointed look.

"He is not free. He is supervised at all times until the Allfather can decide his full punishment. He will not attack this planet or its people," Thor replied.

Natasha shook her head. "And if he escapes?"

Thor nodded. "He is under the watch of Heimdall. He is currently the only thing Heimdall watches. He will not escape."

"So, this Heimdall is a good watcher?" Tony asked tensely.

"He can see into this realm from Asgard and watch your insects build a hive if he wished," Thor stated.

Natasha started to press buttons on the cellphone. "I still have to report this."

Thor sighed. "Of course."

After a few minutes of conversation, Natasha closed the phone.

"Well?" Steve asked.

"He's taken the information under advisement," Natasha replied before taking a deep breath. "He says to continue our mission, but give him daily, informal reports via email unless it's urgent."

Bruce nodded. "Alright then." Turning back around, he re-started the vehicle and pulled back into traffic.

=====

"Why white?" Tony grumbled over the big band music playing. "And, Steve, pick something at least from the last fifty years!"

"It's my turn for music, I want this," Steve replied hotly.

"What are you complaining about white for, anyway?" Bruce asked as he glanced at Tony through the rear-view mirror.

"The mini-van," Tony stated. "I know why it has to be a vehicle like this. Six of us wouldn't fit comfortably in anything smaller. But, why white? Why couldn't he have picked red, or even black?"

Clint raised an eyebrow. "You want a more manly mini-van?"

"Yes!" Tony exclaimed. "I want a manly mini-van."

Thor snorted and Natasha started to giggle.

=====

"Want me to take a turn?" Steve asked Bruce, gesturing toward the steering wheel.

"Sure, if you want." Bruce replied. At the next exit, he pulled into a gas station.

The six wandered through the convenience store, stretching their legs. After purchasing their new snacks, they got back into the mini-van with Steve driving.

"I did not realize coffee came in such a gamut of choices!" Thor exclaimed before slurping his frozen coffee drink.

Clint looked wide eyed as he asked Natasha, "How many of those has he had?"

"He gets one at every stop," Natasha replied, "Can Asgardians get hyper?"

"I guess we'll find out," Steve sighed.

=====

"Umm... Steve?" Thor asked from the front passenger seat.

"Yes?" Steve replied.

"No one requested a restroom, and we do not need gas. Why are we leaving the current road?"

"We are?" Bruce asked, looking up from the sketch pad he was doodling on. Seeing the distraction, Tony grabbed the pad and examined the page.

"I found a museum I want to visit," Steve replied. "Saw the brochure for it in the hotel last night and memorized the directions. It'll take a few hours out of our trip, but it's what I want to see."

"Sure... We can do that. Which museum?" Clint asked.

Steve slowed down for a stop light. "Fayetteville, North Carolina is home of the 82nd Airborne Division Museum. It looked interesting."

"Hey! Stop messing up my notes!" Bruce exclaimed, having noticed Tony had taken the sketch pad and was now scribbling on it.

"I'm not messing it up," Tony replied haughtily. "I'm fixing it."

Natasha sighed and shook her head.

=====

End Part 3

End Notes:

Notes: All quotations during Clint's TV clicking are quotes from real movies and TV shows.

All locations visited by the Avengers are factual. Just in case you want to visit.

And, yes, that's my view of Loki in the movie... His turn of phrase, saying that Thor threw him out, took his rightful throne... And, the Other talking about pain if Loki didn't give the Chitauri the tesseract... Little things like that.

Chapter 4 by Ninjababe

"We are in Florida, correct?" Thor asked.

"Yep," Tony replied from the driver's seat as the van passed a sign stating that downtown Jacksonville was the next exit.

Thor nodded. "Can we go to the World of Disney? I have heard it is a happy place."

"I could go for that!" Bruce said with a broad grin. "I've always wanted to go."

"You're a grown man, why haven't you ever gone?" Clint asked, rolling his eyes.

Bruce shrugged. "School, then being overworked by my job made it a future vacation idea. Then, the other guy showed up. I didn't really want to be responsible for the destruction of the Magic Kingdom."

"Yes," Thor added. "I also want to meet the current king of this kingdom. It must be a truly wondrous land to have so many diverse documentaries about the denizens."

Tony sighed. "Umm... Thor... Buddy..."

"I wish to discuss ruling such unruly subjects now that King Walt died. His control over the witches of his kingdom was admirable."

"Thor... I think we need to have a discussion about animation," Bruce said as he shook his head before glaring at Natasha and Clint, who were giggling from the back seat.

Thor roared with laughter. "I got you all again! I didn't, as you humans say, fall off the turnip truck."

"I think we'll skip Disney World," Tony replied as a drawn out sigh.

"There's always Disneyland!" Steve replied with a broad grin.

=====

As the van passed a 'Welcome to Alabama' sign, Steve turned the air conditioner higher. "I think air conditioning may be my favorite modern convenience. It's smoking hot out there."

Clint looked confused. "What?"

"The weather here," Steve said, waving his hand towards the windshield. "It's smoking hot."

Clint shook his head. "That's the wrong turn of phrase. Women are smoking hot...."

"And, some men!" Natasha interjected.

"Sure, okay," Clint replied with a sigh. "The phrase you're looking for is, 'The weather is damn hot.'"

"I'm never going to get all of this," Steve muttered with a pout.

=====

Yawning, Thor pulled open the door to his motel room in Gulf Port, Mississippi. "That is interesting," he muttered to himself as he stared at the near pristine beach across the two lane highway.

"That's what we thought," Clint said from where he was leaning against the mini-van. "Who would've thought when we pulled in late last night that there was that across the street."

"Steve's convincing the desk clerk to give us all a late check-out," Bruce added from where he was standing nearby.

Thor looked confused. "For what reason?"

"An empty beach, beautiful weather... We have to go play in the water!" Tony exclaimed, his arms open wide.

Steve stepped out of the office. "We can stay until one pm."

"Then, everyone get in your bathing suits, and let's go to the beach," Natasha said with a grin before striding back to her room.

Thor shrugged his shoulders and started to walk towards the beach. Ten minutes later, he was joined by his teammates.

Natasha looked slightly disconcerted as she pulled off her shorts and t-shirt to reveal a dark green bikini.

"What's wrong?" Tony asked, grinning at her suit.

Natasha shrugged. "I feel almost naked."

"Umm... Tasha...." Clint trailed off with a raised eyebrow as he kicked off his flip-flops.

"I can't believe Fury made me leave even my knives," Natasha continued with a pout.

"You feel almost naked, because you're not armed?" Bruce asked as he shook his head. "Not that you're wearing a string bikini."

"I have smaller," Natasha said with a grin as she sauntered across the sand. "I couldn't find my microkini."

Quickly shaking his head, Clint looked around for a change of subject. That's when he noticed Bruce's swim shorts and started to laugh while pointing.

"What?" Bruce asked with a twist of his lips.

Clint just shook his head as he continued to laugh.

Bruce grinned and gave a shrug. "I thought it was appropriate."

Steve looked perplexed as he looked at the long shorts Bruce was wearing, covered with red, yellow, and blue birds. "I don't get it."

"I'll show you the game later," Tony replied.

Natasha sighed as she caught sight of Tony's suit. "Tony, really?"

"What?" Tony asked, looking down at his bright red suit with gold panels on the outside of the thighs.

"Very original," Steve said snidely.

"Says the guy wearing plaid," Tony replied in the same tone before turning to Clint. "And, really, purple?"

"I like purple!" Clint defended his choice. "And, it's a dark purple."

"Thor, why are you still in your jeans?" Bruce asked to hopefully avoid the upcoming argument.

"Oh, yes. I don't want to get them wet," Thor replied with a nod of his head before starting to strip.

"Woah there, big guy!" Tony exclaimed.

Clint put a hand over Natasha's eyes. "You don't need to see this."

"Yes, I do," Natasha replied with a grin before moving away from Clint.

"I did it again," Thor said with a sigh before pulling up his jeans.

"I take it you guys don't have swim suits?" Bruce asked.

Thor shook his head. "No, we do not."

=====

"We're coming up to New Orleans," Natasha said from the driver's seat. "Yes or No?"

"Oooo! N'arlins!" Tony said with a big grin while rubbing his hands together.

"What is special about this New Orleans?" Thor asked.

"The fact that Tony really wants to go means that I'm going to vote no," Steve said, giving Tony a skeptical look.

"Hey!" Tony replied with a look of wounded innocence.

"We could stop at New Orleans," Bruce stated as he looked at the sketch pad in front of him. "But if we did, we couldn't go to Vegas."

Clint looked confused. "How did you get that?"

"I've been calculating our trip," Bruce replied. "If we stop in New Orleans, we would only be able to spend a day in Vegas. And, that's not enough time to really do anything."

Thor gave a sigh. "I still do not know what is so special about this New Orleans and Vegas."

"This is our fourth day traveling," Natasha pointed out. "How will we end up spending too much time in New Orleans to not being able to spend time in Vegas. We're on a three week trip."

"Guys?" Thor pouted.

"I put in four full days in Vegas and four full days at Disneyland," Bruce replied.

"I could get behind that," Clint said with a nod.

"You're not going to answer me, are you?" Thor moped.

"New Orleans is a party town, and so is Las Vegas," Bruce answered Thor. "Think of Vegas as a mortal version of Vahalla, and New Orleans a slightly tamer version, if I got the story right."

"Not unless it's Mardi Gras," Tony said with a leer.

"Thankfully, we're past that time of year," Steve replied.

Natasha shook her head. "Why would spending a day in New Orleans mean we can't spend time in Vegas?"

"Because, someone is bound to do something stupid. In New Orleans, that means a few days jail time. In Vegas, we'd probably get off with a warning." Bruce replied as he put the sketch pad under his seat.

Clint nodded. "He has a point."

"Then we'll skip New Orleans," Natasha said as she started to accelerate.

End Notes:

Ithildyn gave me the idea for Thor's swimming apparel. Then, she went and used it her own story. It was mine! You gave it to me! [glare] I don't care if you said I got 'Loki'd'... [pout]

Comment please!

Chapter 5 by Ninjababe

The van was quiet. Only the tinny sounds of 'weee!' and the clicking of the laptop's touchpad could be heard as Steve stared intently at the screen.

 

"I can't believe he got addicted to Angry Birds that quickly," Natasha said softly to Clint.

 

"I think it's awesome," Clint replied with a grin from the driver's seat.

 

"Hey!" Steve exclaimed, startling everyone. "The screen went blank! I was going to get three stars on that level!"

 

Tony rolled his eyes, took the laptop and looked it over. After a few moments, he stated, "The battery's dead."

 

"Then where are the others? I'll just put more in," Steve replied as he reached for the laptop bag.

 

"The laptop uses a rechargeable battery," Tony said.

 

"Then, let's recharge it." Steve pouted.

 

Bruce shook his head. "We don't have a car cord for the laptop."

 

"But, my game!" Steve yelled.

 

"I can't believe you're that addicted to a videogame," Tony said with a wide grin.

 

"Can't we plug it into Tony's chest?" Steve asked as he glared at Tony.

 

Tony growled and opened his mouth to reply.

 

"Actually, I need more flash cards for the camera," Thor interjected.

 

"You've taken over three hundred photos already?" Bruce asked, shocked. "We're not even a third of the way through the trip!"

 

Thor nodded. "Of course. I would have taken more, but I was conserving space in the beginning. Then, I read the section in the manual about changing flash cards."

 

"I guess we're going to a Radio Shack or something," Clint said as Natasha pulled out the map to figure out how far they were from the next town.

 

"But, three hundred photos!" Bruce exclaimed.

 

"I also have some video," Thor replied with a wide grin.

 

"Of what?" Tony asked.

 

"Mayhap, I will show you... Someday," Thor replied, his smile getting bigger.

 

=====

 

"You got stopped for speeding," Clint stated, slightly shocked. "You, who yelled at me for my lead foot."

 

"Shut up," Tony growled in reply as he turned to the highway patrol officer at his window. "Hello, officer."

 

"Do you know how fast you were going?" the officer asked. "Driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance."

 

Tony handed over the requested items. "I believe I was going the speed limit."

 

"Holy…." the officer exclaimed to himself. "You're Iron Man!"

 

Tony grinned, "Yes. Yes, I am."

 

"Well… I guess I can let you off with a warning this time," the police officer stated while handing back Tony's documentation. "Can I get your autograph for my kid?"

 

"Sure," Tony replied, his grin widening.

 

"Just a second. He left his Iron Man action figure in my car. Let me get it."

 

A few moments later, the highway patrolman was back with a foot tall action figure and a permanent marker.

 

Thor looked confused as he peered over from the front passenger seat. "It's a doll."

 

Tony gave Thor a glare. "It's an action figure. A to-scale replica of my suit."

 

"Now, keep to the speed limit," the officer said before going back to his patrol car.

 

"I want an action figure!" Bruce pouted as the mini-van pulled back into traffic.

 

Natasha raised her eyebrows. "You want an Iron Man doll?"

 

"Action figure!" Tony exclaimed.

 

Bruce shook his head as he pouted more. "No! One of me!"

 

Clint started to giggle. "I need the next rest area."

 

"Why? We just stopped a few minutes ago?" Steve asked, still trying to figure out what had just happened.

 

"Most rest areas have wifi now. I have to keep up with the latest Stark / Iron Man scandals! This one is gold!" Clint replied before starting to laugh almost hysterically.

 

"Oh no… We are not posting about this!" Tony growled. "And, Bruce? Lay off the sugar!"

 

=====

 

"Houston, we have a problem," Tony said as they passed the city limits of Houston.

 

"Why do we have a problem?" Thor asked, perplexed.

 

"It's a popular saying in American culture," Bruce replied. His explanation and background behind the phrase lasted almost until they pulled into the parking lot of Space Center Houston.

 

"We have time for one thing," Bruce pointed out. "If we want to make San Antonio early enough for the Alamo."

 

"Hmmm…" Natasha looked at the visitor's map. "Spacesuits or Starships?"

 

After the usual bickering, they decided on the Starship Gallery.

 

Thor pointed at one of the exhibits. "You went to your planetary satellite in that?"

 

Natasha nodded. "Something like that."

 

"Barbaric," Thor shuddered as he wandered to the next exhibit.

 

Steve was in awe as he read the plaques. "Wow... We went to space! We went to the moon! I know from the debriefings that it happened. But, to see the actual ships. Just... Wow!"

 

"Hey!" Tony exclaimed. "I was in space, light years from the Earth even, just a few months ago!"

 

Clint looked up from his intense whispering with Natasha and sarcastically replied, "And nearly died. Great space suit."

 

Tony glared around at his grinning teammates, "I couldn't help it if interference from the portal stopped communication with my co-pilot. We're working on that."

 

"Uh huh," Clint replied distractedly. "Hey, Tasha, how about that?" he asked while pointing at a corner of the ceiling.

 

Natasha cocked her head, then nodded. "Could work."

 

Bruce looked suspicious. "What are you two doing?"

 

"Playing a game," Natasha nonchalantly replied.

 

Steve snorted. "Based on what I've overheard from you two, it sounds like it should be called 'plan the heist'."

 

Clint and Natasha both grinned while Natasha replied, "Maybe."

 

Bruce shook his head and wandered off to another exhibit. "I don't know you people. You are total strangers to me."

 

"Ah, come on! You know you love us!" Clint called after Bruce while his grin grew wider.

 

Everyone caught up with Bruce a few minutes later. He was staring at a spacecraft and mumbling to himself, "This is the USS Avengers, it's mission: To boldly..."

 

Clint points a finger at Bruce, "You're a Trekkie!"

 

"Trekker, thank you very much," Bruce replied. "And, what of it?"

 

Natasha cocked her head. "There's a difference?"

 

Tony sniffed disdainfully. "Obviously, you're too plebeian to know."

 

"Now what is the Midgardian reference I am not getting?" Thor asked with a sigh.

 

Steve shrugged. "I don't get it either."

 

Clint grinned. "So, which one of you is going to explain Star Trek to them?"

 

"I'll let them watch first season when we get home," Tony replied as he pulled Bruce away. "We'll be in the van. I think we're going to need the sketchpads."

 

"Did anyone else feel a shiver down their back?" Natasha asked.

 

Steve nodded. "I think they went into mad scientist mode."

 

"We really don't need a tricorder or hypospray!" Clint yelled after the two.

 

"Hyposprays already exist!" Bruce called back as the two left.

 

 

=====

 

Clint pulled the cell phone from his shorts pocket at the text message alert sound. After reading the message, he snorted. "Good."

 

"What does it say?" Bruce asked, curiously.

 

"Thor: BORED! Do something stupid to make me laugh! L," Clint replied.

 

"You think I need to something stupid?!" Thor exclaimed, affronted.

 

"No," Clint replied. "I'm glad he's bored. I hope he gets so bored, his brains melt and puddle out of his ear."

 

"The last time my brother was bored, he turned myself and our friends into reindeer and tried to ride in a sleigh," Thor pointed out.

 

Clint bent over laughing at that image while Natasha grinned.

 

"I know just the thing," she stated as she grabbed the phone from Clint and started to type a text message.

 

"What are you up to?" Tony asked.

 

"I'm sending him the link to I Can Has Cheezburger," Natasha replied as she slowly typed the URL into the phone by hand.

 

Steve looked perplexed. "I don't understand."

 

"It's pictures of cute cats and misspelled sayings. You can't stop reading them," Natasha replied primly over the laughter of Clint, Bruce, and Tony.

 

"It will stop him from being bored?" Thor asked.

 

"Yes, I guarantee it," Natasha replied with a sadistic grin as she hit send.

 

"Good... I do not wish to unleash a bored Loki onto Asgard again," Thor said with a sigh of relief.

 

"It'll also drive him insane," Clint stated in between gasps for breath. "Or, at least, more insane."

 

"What?" Thor looked confused at the increased laughter in the van.

 

"I'll show you and Steve at the next rest stop," Natasha said while slipping the cell phone in her pocket.

 

=====

 

end part 5

 

End Notes:

Think about it... Loki, who even though he can blend into the human world a bit better than Thor, going through LOL!Cats? Bwahahahaha!


 


And, Steve and Thor's reaction! Thor will probably begin to think cats are really like that. -snicker-


 


Hyposprays do sort of exist. There was a type of insulin that didn't need a needle. But, it was forcing liquid through your skin. Supposedly hurt… a lot. I believe it was taken off the market soon after.


 


And, one version of this year's influenza vaccination can be given transdermally.


 


Sorry for the wait on this. I made the mistake of plotting out the story. My brain decided that meant the story is done. Plus, I was trying to figure out something to do in Houston. Then it hit me. Mostly because "Houston, we have a problem." suddenly popped into my head.

This story archived at http://imagine.e-fic.com/viewstory.php?sid=585