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the way out is through by Nokomis, natasha + avengers + some clint/natasha, 1.5k
    Little by little, Natasha becomes part of the team.
    I picked this one up because it was labeled Clint/Natasha and it's not wrong about that, but I would also consider this more of a Natasha piece than a Clint/Natasha piece. It's about the aftermath of the movie, of the characters putting their lives back together, centered on the Black Widow, which means it's a very subtle, understated piece with a lot left unsaid. The details of it are lovely, but I especially enjoyed her interaction with Steve in this fic because it just hit the perfect notes, all the little ways that the two of them are similar. But also Clint and Natasha and Steve in that one scene together was such a great trio and I didn't even need makeouts to find this piece gorgeous.

Any Way I Do by MissJeeves, avengers + some clint/natasha, humor, 1.3k
    Tony discovers Clint and Natasha got married, reacts typically.
    Oh, no. I mean, I'd just finished reading a hilarious Thor fic, so there was already a bunch of serotonin floating around in my brain, but then I stumbled over this fic, where Clint and Natasha secretly got married and eventually Tony has to find out, and it's JUST AS HILARIOUS AS PROMISED. The author has a fantastic Tony voice and he's perfectly in character and everything is screechingly funny and I just really like this fandom a lot right now.

And You Wonder Why We Ain't Got Nothing to Say by jukeboxhound, bruce & tony, humor, 1.5k
    "You really have got a lid on it, haven't you? What's your secret? Mellow jazz? Bongo drums? Huge bag of weed?"
    Oh, RDJ's Tony is one of the best things to come out of the Marvel movieverse and this fic does a gorgeous job of nailing his Tony's voice. It's a glorious piece with Tony and Bruce getting high together and being total nerds and giving me all sorts of feelings because, awwww, friendships. Both of them really benefit from their weird friendship and this was completely hilarious and just absolutely nailed that almost manic pace to Tony's speech and thoughts, along with some really razor-sharp wit. Amazing.

Seeing and Believing by MissjuliaMiriam, steve & tony + brief tony/pepper, depression, 8.3k
    In which Steve finally sees just exactly what Tony believes. OR In which Tony takes Steve's words a lot harder (and a lot more seriously) than Steve ever meant him to.
    There is something about this fic that really got to me. Probably I am more suseptible to it because I've been there, because I've felt what Tony feels here, when he's depressed and hating himself, and I've known the frustration and ache of being on the other side of it, too. Watching the Avengers try to pull Tony out of a self-hate spiral, especially when it's not something you can just hit until it gives up, filled me with just so many feelings. At the center of it is Steve, who doesn't let Tony just pull away from them all, and it's not fast, it's such a slow progress, but it gets better little by little and the writing of this piece is absolutely lovely and just-- all my feelings, okay.

Bouncing Baby Sniper by vain_glorious, avengers, some clint/natasha + steve/peggy, 5k
    Clint Barton is Peggy Carter's grandson.
    This is an intriguing as all get out set-up--Clint Barton is Peggy Carter's grandson, which Steve eventually finds out and it rattles him terribly. It's an intriguing situation, but even more than that is what the author does with it and Steve's character, the disconnect between his old life and his current one, how he struggles to connect with anything, despite that he's such an open, sincere person. The writing is absolutely lovely, the author does a beautiful job of keeping things subtle yet getting the depth of everything across here and, oh, by the end I was nearly ready to start getting a bit misty because it's all just so... meaningful. The author especially does a gorgeous job with Tony and Clint's relationship, but also this Tony is fantastic and I really loved this Bruce, everyone just felt really perfect and spot on. A gorgeous piece.

Walk a While Beside You by vain_glorious, avengers, some clint/natasha + bruce & natasha (neither are the point), 1.4k
    Five observations Bruce has about living with Natasha in Stark Tower with the rest of the Avengers.
    Oh, this was just darling. One of the things I've been intrigued about, but didn't know how to go about finding fic for, is the dynamic between Bruce and Natasha, which was full of so many unsaid things i the movie. This fic does a lovely job of starting from there and moving forward, so they're not precisely friends, but they're... something. Colleagues, maybe. It's five things that Bruce knows about Natasha and it's a lovely series of scenes where he's observant and actually really interesting and the author does a fantastic job at weaving little details into the story and I was left feeling like, yes, this is what I want from Avengers fic! It's another gorgeous piece by this author.

Knit 1, Purl 2, Save The World (Again) by katemonkey, avengers, heart-warming, 1.3k
    Or, The Avengers Tower Stitch & Bitch Club
    Oh, I think my heart may have skipped a beat out of sheer love for this fic. I was a little wary of clicking on a fic with the summary, Or, The Avengers Tower Stitch & Bitch Club, but I thought maybe I might get something funny out of it. Instead, I got a beautiful piece that was subtle and quiet and calm, in the ways that makes sense for these characters. Plus, you know, Tony being Tony. But I just love the sense of team and developing family here, the way the author really made this work and just touched my heart for it.

Sketches by spockside, steve & avengers, heart-warming, 1.6k
    For the avenger_kinkmeme prompt: "Tony learned about Steve's artistic talents and asked/begged/pestered Steve into drawing the Avengers naked and finally he agreed. Natasha was okay with it since she was no stranger to nudity. Clint was okay with it as well. Bruce had spent a good amount of time naked because of his clothes being ripped off all the time. Thor consented since it was a team effort. No slash or sex. Really, just good old fashioned nude painting." As frequently happens, this diverges slightly from the prompt. Enjoy.
    Oh, this was totally darling! I am really enjoying team-focused fics, especially that center on Steve, because he has such a good heart to him and he's so genuine, that it makes pulling this team together as the beginning of a family that much more workable. It's a series of scenes where Steve is sketching the people around him, the way it's surprisingly intimate between these different dynamics, in a really heartwarming sort of way. It's lovely and touching, just what I was hoping to find.

R&R by goseaward, bruce & tony + other marvel characters, 3.5k
    Bruce plans to spend his vacation at Stark Tower quietly, finishing up some projects he hasn't had time to work on in years. And maybe blowing up some things with lasers.
    One of the biggest surprises of the movie, for me, was that I actually cared about Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner. That was really, really low on my list of things I expected could happen! But, care I did. And this fic does an absolutely gorgeous job of showing Bruce settling into this new life post-movie, where he moves into Stark Tower and has his own space and, little bit by little bit, he starts to adjust. He starts to actually find a good place again. The writing is absolutely lovely, showing just how much weight is on his shoulders, how much the fear is a constant presence in his life, how isolated he'd made himself, which is shown by having him actually interact with others--mostly Tony, but also Pepper and Steve and the others. It's a touching and beautifully written story, with moments of humor and Tony being, well, Tony. Fantastic.

people clint barton kissed for the mission (and one he'd know anywhere) by Traincat, clint/natasha + clint/everyone + avengers, humor, 3.1k
    Hawkeye actually does have a superpower. It involves kissing people.
    I remember this author from one of my absolute favorite Young Avengers fics ever and now it's KISSING FOR THE MISSION, yes, this is a good trope, especially when an author can walk a fine line between cracky and in character humor, which this fic does wonderfully. I love the use of that moment from the comics when Clint can tell it's not Wanda from kissing her, transferred over into the movieverse, where it's more of a superpower (sort of) and that makes it HILARIOUS. The different ways Clint kisses his teammates, the growing sense of family here, the hilarity of the situation, the comedic timing of the author, all of it is absolutely perfect.

The Sky and Everything Beneath It by jibrailis, steve + avengers, 7.1k
    Steve goes on a road trip to clear his head, but the other Avengers won't leave him alone.
    Oh, this fic was just stunningly gorgeous. I picked it up for the Steve insight, for him going on a road trip post-movie, just sorting himself out, and then I read it for the other Avengers tagging along, and then I read it for the absolute hilarity in certain lines, and, by the end, I was also reading it for the feelings it gave me, the kind that had me letting out one of those long breaths that you didn't quite realize you were halfway holding in the whole time. The author's characterization of all of them, both in the moments of humor and in the moments of something much more somber, is fantastic all the way around, on individual character levels, but also (as the rest of them slowly join in on his road trip) for the group dynamics. It's a brilliant look at everything, just so... perfect to the teamwork they showed in the movie, and the potential between all of them. A gorgeous piece to have read this afternoon.

Memorabilia by smilebackwards, steve + tony + coulson, 1.6k
    "Those were near mint, sir," Coulson says when he finds out that Fury dipped his vintage Captain America trading cards in his cooling lifeblood before tossing them, careless and callous, on the table in front of Steve and Tony.
    Oh, this fic. It's a gorgeous post-movie piece, where Coulson hasn't died and realizes what Fury did with his Captain America cards. And, from there, it's a beautiful piece about Steve stumbling over a Captain America card and deciding to track down a new set and how he interacts with this new world and moments of humor and then an ending that threatened to turn my heart over with its perfection. Each of the scenes is lovely, I especially loved any time Tony showed up because he's pretty great, but mostly this was a quiet, but insightful look at Steve's character and was beautifully done.

Better to Reign in Hell by copperbadge, loki + other mcu characters, au, 22.7k
    Loki has known since childhood that he was Jotun. He's been told all his life that he was a fosterling sent to Asgard to cement the bonds between their realms. He's been led to believe one day he would ascend the throne of Jotunheim. Loki has been lied to.
    I have to admit, I was a little wary of reading this one, I wasn't quite sure what I would be getting from it, with the note about the author not liking Loki apologia. I mean, generally, I prefer otherwise as well, but I'm wary in this fandom, because that usually is code for "I think there's no depth to Loki's character, that he should only ever allowed to be a straight up villain" and, well, no thank you. But I've long liked copperbadge's work in other fandoms, so, okay, I'll give it a shot. And I'm so glad I did because it was such a well-written, absolutely fascinating twist on the original Thor movie. How just a few twists on things (Loki has always known that he's Jotunn, even if he's been lied to about other things, how Loki is the one banished for his temper flaring up at Odin) can both mirror and yet go in completely different directions!

The author does a gorgeous job of balancing the references to the original movie--like Loki falling in with Jane and her friends, being taken by S.H.I.E.L.D. and having someone from Asgard visit him after Odin falls into the Odinsleep, seeking out his helm instead of a hammer, how things eventually come to a climax--while still making them fresh and newly interesting because this is Loki rather than Thor, because things are different here. It has a natural flow to the events of the story, which can be tough to do when you're making homages to the original film, but this fic manages it beautifully. I felt like, yes, this is how things would unfold in these circumstances! And, man, was this quite an exciting read for it, the pacing of it built up to the final fight scenes really well and, oh, I wish they'd been a bit longer, but so much of that is because it was so good that I wanted more.

The characterization is gorgeous as well! Sure, I'd have liked it for all the other things (an alternate universe, a well-plotted/paced fic, etc.) but I'm pretty much always going to be here for the Loki characterization and, oh, I loved him here. He was still so viciously angry, but it was channeled in other directions because it wasn't precisely the same anger here. Instead, this is a Loki who is still dangerous and not to be trusted, but he can work with the people of Midgard and IF THIS FIC DOESN'T GET A SEQUEL, I AM GOING TO BE SO MAD. Especially since Thor was only very briefly present in any sort of way in this fic and that scene was intense and, oh, I really need to see a reunion between them, especially because this is a Thor who was not banished and therefore didn't do the same growing he did in canon. This is definitely one of those AU fics that caught my attention and wouldn't let it go, not even after I'd finished the fic, and I loved rather intensely.

Anatomy for Children by Vongchild, natasha + avengers, 2.4k
    Natasha doesn't literally have X-Ray vision, but she's good at seeing through people. After assembly, she still sees the bits and pieces that make up her teammates, the ways they hold themselves apart from each other and themselves.
    This is an intense, gorgeously written fic on Natasha's interaction with the other members of the Avengers team and each of them is sharply insightful and has this way of looking at each of these dynamics, these relationships, new or old, that feels so very like Black Widow. It's something in the way that Natasha is always prepared, in the way that nothing really rattles her, in the way that she sees so much, even in the moments of dark humor. I had to let out one of those long breaths at the end because this was so intensely good for me.

Repository by Lunik, clint & loki, ~1k
    Loki takes advantage of having followers who can't use his secrets against him, and unloads a few. Clint wonders if he ought to be honoured.
    This is a short piece, not even a thousand words long, but I have a great fondness for Clint and Loki interaction, and this author does a lovely job of showing Clint under Loki's spell and using that to reveal a lot about Loki himself, as he talks freely and Clint gently touches him. It's not really even about a pairing, which is what made this really good for me, instead it's about insights into two characters and a bittersweet moment between the frames of canon.

Soft Skills by Lady_Ganesh, steve + avengers, 4.1k
    The team tries to bring Steve Rogers into the 21st Century. It mostly works.
    Oh, this fic was gorgeous. It's about the Avengers becoming a real team, starting to become family to each other, told through several scenes of slowly introducing Steve into the current culture. Each scene is beautifully done, either hilarious or touching (teaching Thor to ride a motorcycle and Pepper helping get Steve used to dating were two of my favorites), all of them balancing the team dynamics with the bittersweet feeling of Steve learning and adjusting. And I adore this Steve, who is a bit out of his depth in a lot of ways, but he's smart and catches on quickly (it's just that there's so much), it's really one of the best "introduce Steve to the 21st centry" + "the Avengers might someday be a family to each other" fic I've read in awhile. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

The Amazing Naked Avengers by vain_glorious, avengers, humor, 2.2k
    There were Avenger-sized mouse traps all over the damn bunker. All about as effective. Meaning no one got killed, but everyone is naked and bleeding a little.
    Oh, this author is turning into one of my favorite genfic Avengers writers, because everything I've read by them has been SCREAMINGLY FUNNY and this fic is no exception. The author has a gift for a Tony voice and, as the title suggests, the Avengers find themselves in circumstances where they end up losing their clothes, so they have to sit around--naked--while they get picked up. And this has a great a balance between the cast as ever, each of their reactions and comfort/lack of comfort in their bodies was screamingly hilarious and, oh, of course Tony is a fave because he's a never-ending joke machine, but Thor's total comfort with nudity and Natasha's stone face that means she's finding something Tony said hilarious, all of it is amazing.

yes, and back again. by irnan, tony + avengers + some tony/pepper + implied bruce/betty, humor, 1.5k
    Seven ways Tony's personal jet gets demoted to 'transatlantic taxicab'. (Nobody believes him when he claims to mind.)
    I definitely had to read a fic that had this summary, because it sounded delightful and it was actually less cranky!Tony than I was expecting and more about the Avengers slowly starting to become a family. The best part was probably the early scenes, when Natasha and Clint finally deigned to call him for a pick-up and Tony finds their banter and situations hilarious and, hey, can he come along next time?, which is so perfectly Tony that I fell in love right there. But the whole piece is just really surprisingly sweet (in an Avengers sort of way) and has a really great Tony voice. This is exactly what I needed to help cheer me up after all the soul-wrenching fic I've been reading lately.

logistical variables in caretaking of immature felines: a case study by lazulisong, bruce & tony, humor, 1.1k
    "It's a kitten isn't it," said Tony, staring from a safe distance. "It's multiple infant cats!" "Tony, your powers of observation continually amaze me," said Bruce.
    I love cats and I love Meg. I looooooove them both! And I love when Tony and Bruce are left with a box of cats because Steve just left them with a box of cats, which means they are responsible for tiny baby animals. Tony and Bruce react as Tony and Bruce would--sort of competent, mostly... really not. And naming them inappropriately. And snarking the entire time. And making me laugh the entire time. Because the writing is as sharp as ever, it beautifully gets why cats are such amazing assholes, it gets why this is hilarious, especially when Pepper is very carefully not laughing at Tony and Bruce being saddled with cats, and just... [ "Don't start," warned Tony. "That's what cats do, you know. They're all cuddly and warm and make soothing noises when you pet them, and then the next thing you know you've redone your home in Early Crazy Cat Lady and are arguing on the internet about cat shit." ] I'm going to be over here rolling around in the love for cats.

Neither Birthday Gifts nor Barter by dith, bruce + avengers, 2.6k
    Bruce wants to do something for Tony, who doesn't need anything, and who keeps doing things for him.
    Oh, this was a gorgeous look at Bruce's character, as he's slowly settling into life as an Avenger, an undefinable uncomfortable feeling that's perfect for him. Something that's better than it used to be, but not entirely settled just yet. And his sort-of friendship with Tony is pure perfection here, the way Tony is so... Tony. Which usually means a million wisecracks, but that's not how I mean it here. He's brilliant and he takes care of everyone but himself and he's hard to understand and Bruce doesn't know how to repay his kindness. All the little details that went into this story were amazing, giving it a sharp quality that was such a great read tonight.

Flying Monkeys by Thimblerig, clint + maria hill + nick fury, humor, 1.1k
    The inevitable, horrifying debrief. "Is this some kind of hobby for you? Planning our imminent destruction?"
    This was totally cute and enjoyable. I love the awkwardness of Clint trying to deal with everything he came up with while under Loki's command and how Maria Hill takes note of what he says and, oh, so you had multiple plans for taking down the helicarrier. Write them down. Now. It's humorous, but also with a good dash of angst because it's not easy to come back from something like that and it's just a really good, solid character piece for Clint.

Shapechangers in Winter by kyrilu, some hinted tony/loki (pre-slash?) + thor & loki + odin & loki + thor & tony, crossover/fusion, animal transformation, 31k
    Instead of simply attacking, the frost giants that invade Asgard turn Odin, Loki, and Thor into animals--an eagle, fox, and bear respectively. The three gods are banished to Earth where they meet Tony Stark. With the looming threat of a Jotun-inflicted Ice Age, Tony agrees to help the Norse gods take back Asgard. What happens is a realm-hopping adventure featuring daddy issues, near death situations, god+human friendships, and seal breakfasts. A fusion with Neil Gaimanís Odd and the Frost Giants.
    I picked up the link for this fic on hannahrhen's tumblr and, oh, I'm so glad I did! For one thing, it was a perfect way to cap off my FrostIron reading spree, but more than that--it was satisfying for the Thor&Loki relationship (as well as the Odin&Loki relationship) in a Tony/Loki fic! Yessssss, that is right in my wheelhouse, okay. But the fic didn't stop there! No, the fic balanced Loki's relationships with all three of these characters but it also even got in Thor & Tony's friendship! Do you know how delighted I was to see that? DO YOU? Because, oh, man, yes, their friendship is so great! And it's not a major, major part of the fic, but it's very much there and solid and so perfectly done. The Tony/Loki is really more a developing attraction, it's about on par for importance with the other things going on, which means it was absolutely perfect for the characters, because they've got other important shit going on.

The fic also blends three separate storylines and includes elements of a fourth, all of them wound together so seamlessly that you'd hardly know it. At the same time, it's not just a retelling of those events, this is fresh and new and the story truly belongs to this narrative! It's a satisfying story that balances everything just right, so I was wholly invested in the adventures these four had, both for the plot and for the character moments! There were no scenes that dragged, nothing that felt like it was being given too much or too little weight for what it needed to be, and the emotions of it were perfection, so I was left feeling happy and content afterwards. The use of Loki having let the Jotnar into Asgard is one of the main aspects and, oh, I absolutely adored what the author did with it, how it came to a head and how it caused (necessary! and satisfying!) complications between him and the other three characters, each for their own reasons.

Loki's relationship with Odin often gets ignored, but it was important here and the resolution is lovely for what it does and doesn't change. Loki's relationship with Thor just got right at my fannish heart, the anger and hurt Thor feels at all the bitterness Loki has kept hidden in him! And Tony's own issues come up about betrayal and family, but they also have a satisfying resolution. I love when fic can make each relationship different and important, which this fic does marvelously. That's probably the biggest reason I'd want to recommend this fic!

But there are also little touches that the fic does amazingly well--Tony's pop culture references are great, they're just the right amount of hilarious without taking over or trying too hard. As well as the elements of Norse mythology, especially the various people and places that are in Jotunheim, are very nicely done, while never losing that this is a MCU-based fic. The fic does a lovely job at making sure that this is primarly a fic centered on Tony, so there's a great amount of references to his supporting characters (all the mentions of Pepper were especially lovely), while not overusing him to the point that he overshadowed the other characters. It's one of the best FrostIron fics I've read, but I would also consider it one of the best gen fics I've read in the fandom as well, because it's more an undercurrent than anything that actually happens. I would recommend it for just about anyone who liked any of these characters, really. ♥

A day in the life by feriowind, avengers + pokemon, pokemon crossover, ~1k
    Snapshots of the Avengers' lives with their Pokemon.
    This should probably be listed more as fanart than fic... but this way is easier for me. I've seen several of these pieces on tumblr and they're all amazing choices (Thor with the electric types may be predictable, but that makes the art no less awesome when he's cheerfully training with them all lined up), especially for how the artist/author clearly put a lot of thought into how the Pokemon would weave their way into the Avengers' lives. Bruce with Togekiss was especially touching, but they're all fantastic and the art that goes with them is perfect and, basically, I am so so glad that Avengers/Pokemon crossovers are a thing because every fandom should have a brilliant Pokemon crossover, especially one that's surprisingly lacking in crack. *__*

Among Lesser Birds by PragmaticKatharsis, clint & loki, ~1k
    During Avengers Loki tells Clint his plan while he's still under his thrall, and even under the mind control Clint has something to say about a plan that is doomed from the start.
    I read this on a whim the other night and I'm really glad I did! It's a different take from the canon and Clint's possession by the Tesseract, how it plays on the individual thought that he showed in the movie and brings more of that out. Here, Clint comments on how Loki's plan doesn't make a whole lot of sense, not with the way Earth has changed since the last time these guys were here, how a different tactic would work better, and lays out better ideas that gets Loki to really listen to him. And I really enjoyed this because it hit all the right buttons for me with Loki's complicated motivations and I liked how much more agency it gave Clint and... I'm really a sucker for badasses working together.

This is the end of everything by tigriswolf, clint & loki, offscreen character death, ~1k
    Clint almost didn't take the shot. [AU ten minutes into the movie.]
    This is an even shorter one than the previous fic, but it sort of plays along a similar theme--taking the beginning of the movie and giving Clint more agency in his brainwashing (which is an odd way to put it, but you know what I mean) and that ups the badassery of his plotting as Loki's general. Except this one takes a much, much darker turn. For all that the scenes aren't hardly scenes at all, more a sketch of what would happen if Clint took a shot he didn't in the movie, it was paced perfectly and I found that it was just the right length for me. Much more and I don't think I would have been able to stand it. As it is, instead, it's a fascinating (if disturbing) short piece.

A Long Way Down by slytherlocked, clint & loki, avenger!loki, 5.1k wip
    In which Loki finds himself on Midgard, damaged, drained, and with no place to go, and Clint Barton has a habit of taking in helpless looking strays.
    I'll warn that the writing of this fic is a little stiff, a little rough around the edges, but it's largely noticable because it's otherwise such an intriguing fic. Loki falls to Midgard and gets picked up by Clint and Coulson, the former having a habit of starting to root for his targets and this one is no exception. This Loki is the one closer to Thor!Loki, so he's more confused and turned around, rather than the vicious and poisonous Avengers!Loki, but considering it's a Divergent Timeline from the first movie, that works for me. I am so very, very interested in where the author is taking the character, how he'll fit in with the Avengers, what kind of relationships he'll have with them, how his relationships with those back in Asgard will play out. Already, I'm quite fond of this author's Clint, his casual quips are very well done, not too many or too over the top, he's not the kind to be a joke a minute, but he gets in some quietly great ones and that's just right. And I do love that there are hints of bamf!Loki resurfacing just a little bit, giving me hope that he'll become one of the Avengers' best resources and a;sldkfjal;skj I want more of this right now, plz.

Heart by Lise, clint & loki, 2.2k
    The things Loki asks for don't always make sense. But that's the thing; they don't need to.
    Clint and Loki's relationship is one of those that's difficult for me to read, because I'm not sure what I want from it. But I think maybe this fic is definitely one thing I want from the relationship--where it's set during the period of the movie, while Clint is under the scepter's spell, where it's this balance between himself and whatever else it is that's filling him up. It's a balance between his own thoughts and a desperate need to please Loki, a balance between stating the obvious and being an unquestioning servant, and it shows why Clint was such a good choice for this. But it's also a little heartbreaking and kinda fucked up, it makes me feel a lot of things for everyone involved, and makes me fascinated by the dynamic here. This feels like a generic rec for what was a really interesting piece that I liked as a character piece and as a fucked up/bittersweet piece, which I really recommend!

Party Down by vidocqsociety, avengers group, fluff, 1.7k
    The Avengers throw a birthday party for one of their own.
    This is one of those totally adorable fics that focus on the Avengers as a group, being silly and light-hearted together, that just make me feel all warm and fluffy on the inside by the time it's done. The best part of them planning a birthday party for Bruce (who bravely volunteers his birthday for the team bonding) is Tony being totally ready to have an Iron Man-themed party (because he would) but the rest of the group shuts that down fast. And it's just a lot of little details, like showing Thor Midgardian birthday party traditions or Clint being kind of a cheerful dick to everyone or forcing Bruce to have fun! Definitely recommended for when you want some team-loving waffs.

Black AmEx by copperbadge [ Avengers ]
→ pairings/characters: Bruce Banner, Steve Rogers, Avengers, 4k
→ summary: Bruce isn't sure he wants to use a credit card Tony gave him. Steve isn't sure he even knows how. → rec: I don't know if I would have thought to put Steve and Bruce together in a scene, but one of the great things about comics (and, often times, about fandoms of movies based on those comics) is that they put together two people you wouldn't otherwise necessarily think would interact much and draw all these interesting parallels between them. It helps, of course, that Sam is a fantastic writer who knows how to put in these details that really build the story being told here, that breathe life into almost mundane activities and give them such fascinating meaning. Steve and Bruce go shopping could be as cliche as the day is long in some hands, but here it absolutely sings with how much you realize they actually do have in common and how well they get along. It's a beautiful fic just for gen Avengers antics and moments of utter hilarity, but it's also a great bit of character insight for both of these two people. I'm completely serious that I could read this kind of fic forever.

Calculated Insanities by Mollz, avengers + loki, tony & loki, tony & bruce, 23k wip
    Most people take calculated risks. Tony Stark takes calculated insanities. Like telling the God-King Odin to shut up. Like trying to find warmth in a spy with a heart colder than Russia in winter. Like trying to learn magic when no human's learned it in god knows how long. ...Like finding the God of Chaos in a crater in Russia, and deciding to help him out.
    There are two chapters left to this fic, but it hasn't been updated in two and a half weeks (at the time of this rec), so I have faith that it eventually will be finished, especially as it's at 13/15 right now, but I definitely considered waiting for those final chapters because this fic has the potential to really hurt me. In the beginning, Thor's character is off in order to make him a dick towards humans, but I could handle it because it wasn't abusive!Thor and he's not around for most of the story and it was sort of necessary to set up the circumstances with Loki. I am a little wary, because Loki is an unreliable narrator, but the narrative and the characters around him don't contradict him, so it borders on Loki apologia or outright victimization in a way that lacks self-awareness, which I bring up more strongly than usual here because otherwise this fic is so good.

It's got a fantastic Tony voice and his friendship with Bruce is an absolute scream, it's a real highlight of the fic! At least once I burst out laughing irl and there were so many scenes where I found myself smiling from how delightful their banter was. Plus, I love Loki with the Avengers and I love them beginning to work as a real team and then there's Tony learning magic! I love that this Tony is frighteningly brilliant, that the norms of everyone else in the universe are ones that he breaks routinely, he figures things out faster than anyone, which works for me because he's... Tony Stark. That's part of who the character is, both good and bad, that he figures things out so quickly, once he has the basic building blocks for it. The humor is such a great selling point for this fic, not just from Tony, but from all of them. Steve going along with the batshit things his team asks of him and his, "Why is this my life?" attitude (that is somehow still so very Steve-like) is great and, oh, the slow progression of Loki working towards connecting with people again, with learning to trust again, possibly becoming part of the team, yes, give me that.

Feed The Body, Nourish The Soul by copperbadge, avengers + nick fury + loki, mortal au, restaurant au, 6.5k
    Steve Rogers just wanted to sell good, nourishing, cheap food from his food truck. Now the crazy fusion chefs from TOBRU are calling him a hipster, the avant garde restaurant "Shield" across the street has declared war on chains, and...well, then there's Thor, who thinks Steve's habit of licking food is weird.
    This was a cute and fun team piece fic that had some great little character moments and is one of the best uses of an AU to parallel the events of the movie that I've seen. Completely charming is what this is! Though, it's definitely more for those who are looking for true team fic (versus the recs I usually do focusing more on the Asgardians, and Loki is really only in the background of this fic), but it's hilarious and the author knows how to balance multiple characters and make something really sparkle.

God in the Machine: The Marachek Protocol by Mythtaken Identity (VR2LBast), avengers + loki + other marvel universe characters, some brief tony/pepper + past loki/nephthys, egyptian mythology, actionfic, 82k wip
    All is not right after Thor left for Asgard, taking Loki with him. Tony Stark discovers an alien parasite invading the networks of his tower and attempting to make its way out into the rest of the world. Only one viable solution has been suggested, but it might be a case of the cure being far worse than the disease...
    I've been reading this fic for the last week or so, but every time I got close to catching all the way up, the fic would update again! While I'm not sure if the fic is already finished and just now being posted or if the author is still writing, the updating pace has been at such a good clip that I would still recommend this even though it's currently a wip. I also recommend it because this is one of those fics where... I've read over 80k of this fic and it really does not feel like it! The writing is paced beautifully so that everything just sails right along, where I will sit and read 10 or 20k at once and not even feel the time passing. The action is engrossing and the fic blends together Egyptian mythology beautifully with the Marvel movieverse. The fic also does a solid job of giving different Avengers their moments of awesome, which is why I'm recommending more for Avengers teamfic/plotfic than for Thor-centric reasons. Which is why I picked the fic up in the first place, of course, because I remember liking everything I've read by this author and there were intriguing Thor & Loki scenes in the beginning, but it's not centered on them.

If I had to pick a central character, I would say it's Natasha, really, and that's part of why I love the fic so much, because she's awesome and human and scary and terrifying and yet still relatable. The fic does a lovely job of balancing bamf!Natasha with human!Natasha, while making all of it feel very organic to the storyline. It made sense to me that she would find herself at the center of all this! But that doesn't mean that Thor or Tony don't have their important moments, too, because this is about the Avengers as a team. I love how none of it feels bogged down, either, that the unwinding of the plot is just as interesting and sharp and fresh as when I first started reading, which makes me feel like this is a fic that really knows what it's doing.

The other thing that I really love is Egyptian mythology! That fits with the MCU! And feels like these are gods here! They're not gods in the same way that the Norse characters are gods, but it doesn't leave the other pantheons feeling disrespected, just that they're... different. Neither is better or worse than the other, which is something I love, because I'm emotionally invested in the already established characters, so I don't want to feel like they're not important or heavy hitters, but neither do I want to feel like they wouldn't have the ability to just come in and put this fire out, but... don't. The fic manages really well on that aspect, when Set is unleashed on Midgard and is a truly terrifying enemy, all the more so because he's not unfriendly about it. There's an aspect of him being off, in a way that is unsettling, but also fascinating. And then more of the other Egyptian gods are introduced and it just works really well!

I'm probably writing a terrible rec for this, but I'm greatly, greatly enjoying it! Even if it's not your usual set of characters to read about, I would recommend this one if you like genfic at all, because it captures so much of what I enjoy about epic plotfic and crossovers and weaving together of different mythologies and excellent use of detail and truly epic in scope enemies to fight that are still possible to eventually defeat. And it just goes so fast that you'll hardly even notice you're reading it. :D

God in the Machine: The Marachek Protocol by Mythtaken Identity (VR2LBast), natasha + avengers + loki, mild background pairings, egyptian mythology, action scenes, 99.6k
    All is not right after Thor left for Asgard, taking Loki with him. Tony Stark discovers an alien parasite invading the networks of his tower and attempting to make its way out into the rest of the world. Only one viable solution has been suggested, but it might be a case of the cure being far worse than the disease...
    I'm honestly not sure why this fic doesn't have more comments or kudos, whether it's the length or the difficulty in describing or tagging it indicate what it's about or the egyptian mythology crossover or what, but it's such a shame, because it's one of the best things I've read lately! I've done recommendations for the fic before, but chapter 23+ hadn't been posted yet, so I wanted to do one more to cover the entire fic, especially since the last third of the fic is even more engrossing than previous parts! Whatever reservations you might have about the fic, I genuinely think that they're not terribly important ones, because this is a team story and everyone gets their moments of awesome, the two worlds are blended together beautifully, and the author knows how to pull off everything necessary to make a fic like this work. But the best thing is that you'll swear it's not almost 100k long because it absolutely does not feel like it! It didn't even feel like half that to me, while I was reading, because it just so smoothly sailed along!

The ending is pure delight as well, as the battle against Set ramps up and the Avengers scramble to pull all the pieces together that they need, to get the right information and put the puzzle together in just the right way. The ending did justice to the story that was built up before it, that there was an action scene that was pure fun to read about, but also it was about intelligence and cunning, that Natasha continued her role as being so vitally important to figuring all of this out. There was also more interaction with Loki towards the end, which was another delight for me, because the scenes with him always make me sit up and pay even more attention, especially when Natasha and Loki have a conversation, one that highlights the parallels between the characters, just as much as the contrasts between them. It's a gorgeous job of showing two characters who never tell the whole story, but without the scene feeling unsatisfying for it, which is not easy to do! There are even some genuinely disturbing implications written in, without making it feel forced or unecessary!

This is one of those fics that I just got sucked into, that the quick and clean pace of it and the straightforward style of prose utterly engrossed me, so that the focus was entirely on the plot and the story being told here. It's a story that feels to me very much like a professional novel would, a tie-in type of book, which I mean in the very best of ways. Everything feels so very solid here, it's an emotionally satisfying fic, and it... sort of reminds me of something a bit old school, in the way there used to be all these really neat stories told that focused purely on plot. There are some romantic moments, which I greatly enjoyed, but 98% of this story was all about the Avengers vs an Egyptian god and, boy, was it a blast to read.

Rise From Ash by Mikkeneko, avengers + loki + other asgardians + thanos, some tony/loki, mildly nsfw for violence, some pyshical + psychological torture, angst, avengers!loki, 98k
    When Loki's world falls apart around him, he learns that sometimes you do get a second chance.
    This is one of those fics that... I have my caveats about, which I'll get to in a moment, but I don't want to start this rec out with anything other than praise for the incredible things it accomplished. It was a hard fic to read at times, because this is truly a story about Loki descending into madness, it's a fic that truly does justice to the ideas it wanted to focus on, and it's an incredibly intense ride. There are many, many ways in which this fic is brilliant and I want to get to all of them as I go through this rec. But there are a few things that held this fic back from being perfect, most of which come down to the characters and the characterization. The focus on Loki as the central character and the absolute hell he goes through because of the time loops is brilliantly done, which may be why the rest of the characters pale in comparison. Some of them are great fun (I especially enjoyed the use of Clint and Jan, both of their friendships with Loki were delightful!) but Thor felt off in nearly every scene he was in, the initial reunion scene between him and Loki felt very flat, and I couldn't quite put my finger on why. The more Steve was written into the story, though, the more I felt like... it was almost a fanon problem? They felt like they were influenced by the fandom, rather than the canon. Especially with Steve's speech patterns and the way Thor interacted with Loki.

The other thing is the Tony/Loki relationship is definitely used as a prop in the story, rather than something that felt organic to the writing. The fic recognizes this right from the beginning, given the author's notes, that it's not the purpose of the fic, but the more you get into the story, the more you understand why that is, why a pairing was necessary, why Tony/Loki is the best choice for it, even as it never fully clicks because it's situated in the middle of this otherwise incredibly well-told story. The ending is also immediately apparent as soon as you end the first chapter/start the second, where this is all circling around to. And, again, part of that is that it stands out more because the rest is so brilliant. And my purpose isn't to knock the fic, but rather to point out things that might have other people pause and I want to encourage them onwards, because the fic is so very worth it.

Now, all that said, seriously, this fic is brilliant in the main focus of its goals--to show the utter hell Loki lives through between Thor and The Avengers. It's incredibly engorssing, once I picked it up, I read the first two chapters (which were all that had been posted at the time of my reading) over the span of a couple of days, which was fast for me, because I was doing a lot of other stuff at the time, where I just could not put it down. It was always "just a little bit more" to read, until I was reading probably 10k words with the intent that I would put it down any second now. It's marvelously paced, each loop that Loki goes through is fully fleshed out so that you understand why it was necessary, why it was so... each loop had Loki really, geneuinely trying. Each loop was a genuine attempt that wasn't half-hearted, each time it showed the lengths he went to and the plans that he so meticulously put into place, even while each of them failed and you understood why. In a way, it made the fic exhausting to read, especially knowing where all of this was heading towards, especially because each time, more of Loki's emotional stability was stripped away.

You could feel how much care this was done with, how the author did the work necessary to take you through the journey with Loki, so it really earns that deliberate emotional exhaustion it evokes in the reader. And with a lot of stories, I hear "it was emotionally exhausting" and I'm like n o p e, but that's not how I mean this, because I think the emotional exhaustion is the point, it's another of the things that makes this story worth reading. It helps, of course, that there's a stinger scene after all the author's notes, that both was perfectly written so that I could just picture the whole thing and it got me incredibly excited about how everything could just snowball from there. It's perfect for what it means for the ending of the story/what the future of this universe might hold, as well as for making the whole thing feel like all the hardship may yet still be going somewhere.

Because the scope of this fic and all those hardships truly are epic in this story. The use of Thanos and Nidhoggr are brilliantly done, this is one of the best Thanos fics I've read in the fandom and they are truly terrifying here. Both of them are used very well in the story, especially for how they often loom in the distance rather than are directly involved--though, when they are, the writing does justice to how awe-inspiring and horrifying they are in person. No matter how many times Loki thinks about them or meets them again, they never lose that edge of how huge and menacing they feel, the undercurrent of Loki's PTSD is always felt and it's so razor sharp in a way that I can't put into words. There was clearly so much planning put into this fic and it shows, not in a way that you feel lectured to, but that this shit was nailed down and carefully crafted with each step of the way.

And because of that careful crafting, one of the most interesting things to see is how Loki went from the character he was in Thor to The Avengers along a different path than usual, so you can see why this Loki really seems to have this belief that... no one he hurts matters, that nothing he does has any consequence, because of what he's lived for the past several years. It's never directly stated in the fic, it's in the author's notes more clearly, but you feel it in the story, how the character shifts in personality and beliefs, the way all the good and bad things that happen to him are shaping him. You also feel why he seems so isolated and why he doesn't reach out to others, why things become like ideals or theoretical concepts in his mind, rather than having actual emotional connection. Well, there is still some, the conversation between Thor and Loki in antarctica got me, because you really felt the weight of their history together and felt that sense of being torn, that Loki wants to reach out, but doesn't quite know how and the timing of everything always seems to be against him.

I really do recommend this fic, even if the size seems a bit daunting, because it'll go fast, the writing is incredibly smooth and polished, making it an engrossing read. It does have a fair amount of Loki favoritism to the detriment of other characters, but that's part of what the fic is about, this is very much a Loki fic and, taken in that vein, is really an excellent fic. I'm putting this in with the FrostIron recs and genfic recs because, really, it's more of a genfic story than anything, but the Tony/Loki relationship should appeal (and hopefully not bother those who don't care for it) if you like it. But, really, this is a Loki story that's an absolutely fascinating read, for the emotional wringer of it, rather than in spite of it.

Avengers/X-Men/Thor: A Villain State of Mind by mikkeneko - As of the writing of this rec, I've only read up through part 2n/? and, while there are two new sections, this rec will not reflect them yet. I'm also going to start out this rec with a handful of caveats to get them out of the way first, because this fic is a bit of a departure from what I usually read (and, in some ways, is why I read what I usually read). I do not know if this story will end well, I skimmed the author's previous Loki fic and saw it did not end well and I was pretty much, "NOPE NOPE NOPE, not ever reading that." despite that I know the author is a fantastic writer. And this story is similarly painful in a lot of ways, it has one of the most disturbing descriptions of torture that I've yet read in this fandom and, if the fic were any less tempting otherwise, I would have been out of there at that moment. I generally don't buy this dark a past for Loki in the MCU, but the author actually does a really good job of getting me to buy it in this fic, which I usually can't see together with the MCU characters. And all of these caveats are mentioned because I have certain kinds of tastes (as in, I'm not much of a unhappy fic reader) and I figure those who use my recs will want to know these things ahead of time.

ALL THAT SAID, holy shit, this fic sucked me in anyway, because OMFG Loki accidentally gets dropped back on Earth, Thor is stuck in Asgard, S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't know how to deal with a god whom they can't trust to speak (and, in this fic, writing doesn't fall under their All-Speak), and they're at the end of their rope, so they call in Charles Xavier to help them out. And, oh, the characterization is gorgeous, the opening scenes with Fury and Xavier, both of them are pitch-perfect. And this Loki is so... this is a bit of a darker Loki, he's all rage and pain and fury and self-hate and horror, to the point that it made me a little sick sometimes (but I'm also sensitive to these things) and I find myself wanting so terribly to fix everything for him. The scenes of Xavier first establishing contact with Loki, trying to get inside the mind of a Norse god, finding out so many of the things that the movie never really had time to get into (like Loki being Jotunn and what that internalized racism means and the gorgeous parallels of Xavier having dealt with this from mutants who hate themselves before), including a really fascinating discussion about Thor and S.H.I.E.L.D. not being able to give each other enough information in the comments.

It's kind of amazing how smoothly these two universes fit together, how many parallels are drawn between mutants and Norse gods, how well Xavier's powers fit seamlessly into this universe. I mean, it makes sense, they're all Marvel properties and such, but it still kind of surprised me just how terribly easy this was to picture in my mind's eye. And the Xavier characterization is spot-on, I found him fascinating from the moment he picked up Fury's telephone call, to the casual way he uses his powers as he goes through the levels of the helicarrier--and the ways he doesn't use his powers--how the author balances that sense of him being a non-threat, a paralyzed old man in a wheelchair, against how Xavier is able to be so calm and non-threatening because you can't do shit to him given his powers. I am so very looking forward to more of the conversations between these characters and the unfolding of all the issues that are wrapped up in Loki's character, even if I'm terribly afraid of where this is all going, where it's going to end. (No pairings, warnings for descriptions of extreme torture and violence.) AVENGERS/THOR/X-MEN: A Villain State of Mind (chapter 3) by Mikkeneko SUMMARY: Written for the Norsekink prompt: "SHIELD has Loki in custody, with the gag on to keep him from spellcasting, but they don't really know what to DO with him. They can't give him food or water or attempt to interrogate him with the gag on, and they don't dare take it off. Their solution? Call in a telepath! But Charles Xavier may find more things in Loki's head than SHIELD bargained for..." NOTE: I am linking to chapter three of this fic on AO3 (the full fic can be found here) because the first two chapters I recommended off the kinkmeme and this is where the fic picks up from there. This is also an update rec, so it will focus on/link to the current chapter, rather than the fic as a whole. REC: I was thinking, while reading the update, which is largely a conversation between Xavier and Fury, that a lot of fics would have me impatiently tapping my foot, waiting for the fic to get back to the reason I picked the fic up in the first place (in this case, Loki and Xavier interaction), but here I found that I was enjoying the scenes between just as much as the main selling point scenes! The author keeps the tension up, does a gorgeous job with Xavier's anger at the way mutants have been treated in this world and uses it to build up just why he connects so well with Loki, you understand why he cares so quickly about this person in front of him who isn't a mutant, why this situation pushes Xavier's puttons. And it's done in a way that's not over the top or too much, but instead is almost subtle in the way it builds up, with perfect characterization for both Xavier and Fury in that conversation. But also the little details with Loki (super hearing, his poisonous looks, the way his mental reactions are not the same as his outer reactions), how this is digging into his issues that I desperately wished the movie had had time for, maybe having a chance to actually get them out and do some good because, as the fic points out, with someone as long-lived as Loki, with someone as damaged as him, you pretty much can only go one direction or the other, there's not middle ground here. (No pairings, warnings for extreme violence/torture.) AVENGERS/THOR/X-MEN: A Villain State of Mind (chapter 5) by Mikkeneko

SUMMARY: Loki sprawled in the metal-framed chair, his hands bound by a length of metal chain that ran down to a bolt on the floor and back up again, and thought of elephants.

NOTE: This is an update rec, so it will focus on/link to the current chapter, rather than the fic as a whole.

REC: Oh, this fic is going to be the death of me as I try to wait through the updates. At least the fic has been updated to say it's on chapter 5 out of 8 (assuming that sticks, of course), which helps, but I'm still going to be clawing at the walls a bit until this is done and I know how things are going to turn out for Loki. In the meantime, though, it's still an incredible look at conversations between Xavier and Loki, the kind that are intense as all hell, that even just reading a single chapter (even if it is a sizeable one) makes me feel like I've been through the emotional wringer as well afterwards. The author does such a gorgeous job of all the sharp little things people would think or feel in this position, there's something... I hate to say realistic about it, but that's kind of what I mean, if alien gods and superpowers existed. It's brutal, but in a way that I buy in this universe, one that leaves me aching for the characters and kind of in love with Xavier and how he really is trying to help Loki.

Honestly, I'm not sure if I like Loki or Xavier more in this fic, because they play off each other in that way... you sometimes have these half-formed ideas in your head that you'd like to see, but rarely does the writing actually measure up to those ideas. But here, oh, it's so well-written and so satisfying (even if I am terrified that it'll crush me), all the more so because you actually see the issues this kind of situation presents being addressed. There's something really terrifying about everything that's happening here, but also something really good. And, oh, the way Xavier interacts with Loki (especially when he starts to ask Loki about his family, about his mother, about Thor, the way he doesn't push Loki too hard) is beautiful. I love how much this fic is digging into Loki's character, how it's building a relationship between Xavier and Loki, and how, oh, it's such a good crossover between the two franchises. (No warnings, some violence warnings.) → Today Is Brought To You By The Letter H by fuzzy_paint

    Sesame Street teaches Hulk empathy. Much to the horror/amusement/shock of everyone, including Bruce, Hulk endeavors to teach it to Loki.

With hugs.

    With a summary like that, I pretty much have to read the fic. And then I proceeded to pretty much cry my way through the fic. This fic was inspired by those gifsets that went around tumblr with the various Marvel movie actors appearing on Sesame Street with the idea that Fury decided the Avengers needed some good PR. Then this fic just runs with the idea, that the Hulk has learned something of empathy and wants to teach it to Loki. The fic did confuse me a little as to where it's set, as it seems primarily movie-based, but with comics elements thrown in (as Wolverine makes an appearance for awhile) and the ending does veer into even further cracky territory, but the author writes so well that you just go right along for the ride.

Which is screamingly hilarious when the Hulk starts solving their battles by zeroing in on Loki to go hug the crap out of him (and often others at the same time, which just makes it further hilarious) until it finally breaks Loki and maybe he's ready to learn about empathy, too. I don't think I stopped smiling the entire time, this was just such a joy to read, and it even gave me the bonus of a really sweet scene with Thor at the end, after Loki had learn to process emotions properly and all, where there was hugging!! I want soooooooo many Thor&Loki hugs, you guys. Not that it was the focus of the fic, this was a Bruce-centric fic as he tried to figure out what the ever-loving-fuck was going on with the Other Guy and why he was behaving so weirdly and the hilarity of it. Which was super, super good for me. (No warnings/pairings.)

Suicide Buddies by spaceleviathan
    Tony tried to kill himself. Turns out he wasn't the only one.
    This fic is going to be difficult to write a rec for, for a variety of reasons. There are moments when the fic's writing is stiff and could use some polishing, but then there are moments when it's absolutely brilliant. There are moments that are heartbreakingly on track with how I feel about the suicide attempts with these characters and then there are moments when I almost want to throw my reader across the room. There are parallels and contrasts drawn that I sometimes agree with and sometimes disagree with. And not all of this is bad, I don't mean to say that! What I mean is... this is a rec that's difficult for me to write because I had a lot of feelings stirred up by this fic (which is what I went into it for and the author achieved their goal very nicely, I know the author's doing something right when I want to press a hand over my heart because I ache for the characters) and because different people have different reactions to suicide attempts in their lives and, finally, because this fic is from the pov of a Tony who tried to kill himself and who is not healed at all from it.

Because of this, the narrative take on Loki's suicide attempt versus Tony's or Bruce's becomes unreliable and that's actually a really good thing, that this is a complicated and messy and painful matter that doesn't really have any kind of neat resolution. There's no neat, easy characterization for anyone here, because that's not how it works. And, oh, some of the lines Tony has in this fic, some of the moments where he pokes and prods at people in sharp ways that maybe he shouldn't, are absolutely brilliant. The way this Tony is so damaged here, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways is perfect. The fic also gives me Tony poking at Loki once he learns about the suicide attempt, genuinely treats what Loki did as such, but without giving him sympathy. This is a Tony POV fic, this is not about making Loki suddenly soft around the edges, not from Tony's point of view. Though, the wonderful thing about it is that, imo, this Tony is an unreliable narrator, so I wouldn't actually trust his lack of sympathy, even as I agree that, in his position, he shouldn't be giving it to Loki.

Instead, the fic uses Bruce's suicide attempt as a parallel and contrast, it takes all three of their situations and throws them together in this complicated mess in Tony's head and begins to unravel it. The fic also gives us Tony talking with Thor, digging into his reactions down the road a ways, after he's had time to think about what Loki's said to him and why he would let go of Gungnir and, oh, that was a heartbreaking and powerful scene. The fic doesn't forget that Rhodey and Pepper are so, so important to Tony, they're in his thoughts constantly. There's so much going through Tony's head, so much insight into people and yet so much distorted view in some ways, too, and that's perfect. This is not an easy fic to read, especially because it's not really about healing. Oh, it doesn't preclude it, I like to think that's where they're all eventually headed, but it's not the point of this fic. Instead, the point is on the aftermath and the examination of just what this kind of thing means and does to people, how nothing is clean or easy here. (No pairings, aside from some slight background canon mentions, suicidal ideation.)

Avengers:
well, let the drum beat drop by jonesandashes, pollyrepeat - [Note: There are SPOILERS for The Avengers in this fic and this rec.] Oh, god, this fic is going to spoil me for the rest of this fucking fandom because, once again, Tony's voice is AMAZING in the writing here and perfectly captures that semi-manic, brilliant, nerdy way he has of seeing the entire world through. This is a series of meals that Tony sits through, various points in the recent time after the events of the movie, all of them REALLY FUCKING BIZARRE and the writing is brilliant at making everything perfectly timed and described. I cannot even convey how much I loved everything while reading this fic, how much laughter I had to choke back down by flapping my hands about to stifle it, how much everything here wasn't just perfect, but brilliant and so, so sharp. The sense of team is beautifully done as well, so many different relationships between characters, all perfectly captured. If I could forever read Avengers genfic, this is exactly what I would want. Hell, certainly it was good enough to tear me away from my Thor/Loki obsession for awhile, even! (No real warnings/pairings.) → Fragmented by Lise, clint & loki, sleep deprivation, 2.1k
    There's so much to do, so much to remember. But there are times when it's all a little too much. When there's no one to trust and no one to rely on, at least there's one thing to count on, and that's the strength of the magic.
    Nobody writes Loki as a goddamned mess with such vicious determination and danger yet still self-doubt and self-hate dogging his steps at every moment like Lise does. The way he looks at Clint and the loyalty he has because of the scepter, the constant undertone of pain and messiness, it's done beautifully here and it's so ouchy just as the fic intends, ahhhh.

Step The Paces Ten by vain_glorious, tony + avengers, 8.3k
    Tony says, ďI just wanted you to know that Iím not addicted to anything, certainly not this mind-altering drug that makes me flip out and try to kill my friends Ė because thatís not a substance that exists - so I would really like them to stop trying to kill me back.Ē
    This author has one of the best Tony voices I've read and this was an amazing read, the exact kind of team fic that I want to read in this fandom, because it feels so true to where they are at this point in canon, yet is still slowly building them towards more! It's funny and painful in all the right places, everyone is appropriately badass here and I especially loved Natasha and her utter spot on feel. This was entirely engrossing, great for humor and plotfic and genuine ouchies, such that I read it all in one sitting and pretty much didn't look up from it once. The way Tony looks at the team is especially a masterpiece here! But you're not reading just for him, this is great team fic, too!

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