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[personal profile] daylight_darknight
And now for something slightly silly...

Title: Hulk Riding
Characters: The Hulk, Clint Barton, Thor, Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, Natasha Romanoff
Rating/Warnings: PG for a little violence
Genre: Humor, Friendship
Word Count: 4425
Summary: Five times the Avengers used the Hulk as a means of transportation.

Hulk Riding
By Daylight

1. Barton

Clint was the first. He was the only one crazy enough.

(Tony admittedly may have been just as crazy, but thanks to his suit, it wasn’t something he usually needed, so the idea hadn't occurred to him.)

There was a battle. Actually, there were two battles, which was the problem. The attacks, perpetrated by aliens unknown, had occurred one after the other in two different states. After the team had dealt with the first, they needed to get to the second as quickly as possible, but the quinjet they'd arrived in was smashed to smithereens, unfortunate collateral damage of the Hulk’s enthusiastic battle tactics.

SHIELD was sending another, but it would take a while to get there and the Avengers were in no mood to wait.

“Let’s go,” said Steve without much preamble and nodded to Thor.

The demi-god nodded back, and then taking a hold of the Captain, he swung his hammer and they were off.

Clint automatically turned to Stark, but found Natasha had already wrapped an arm around Iron Man’s shoulders.

Tony put up a hand when he tried to approach. “Only one person at a time allowed on this ride.”

“Sorry, Clint,” said Natasha with a smile that wasn’t remotely apologetic. “I guess you’ll just have to wait ‘til SHIELD gets here.”

Clint scowled.

“Hulk,” Tony said turning to address the large green beast who was absentmindedly kicking about dead aliens in the hopes there were some he hadn’t smashed yet.

The Hulk looked up when Tony called his name. Stark was one of the few people he actually listened to. He’d always seemed oddly fond of Tony.

“Follow,” Iron Man said and took off carrying Black Widow with him.

Clint saw the Hulk grin, saw his muscles tense as he prepared to leap after Tony, and in that instant, he made his decision and jumped landing right on the Hulk’s back.

The Hulk roared, twisting and turning, and swiping at him.

Ducking his head, Barton clung tightly to the beast’s neck. “Easy, easy,” he said giving him what he hoped would be seen as a friendly pat. “It’s just me.”

Stopping his attempts to remove Hawkeye, the Hulk turned his head so they were looking at each other eye to eye, and Clint suddenly realized several things at once: one, he had never actually been this close to the Hulk before; two, this really wasn’t one of his better ideas; and three, it was probably not the best time to comment on the state of the Hulk’s breath.

“Um, I need a ride,” he explained tentatively.

The Hulk gave him a disgruntled look and growled deep in his throat.

Clint decided to use a different tactic. He pointed in the direction the others had gone. “Things to smash thataway.”

If there was one thing the Hulk understood, it was smashing things. Grinning, he bent his powerful legs and leapt.

“Wahoo!” Clint yelled holding on as tight as he could, the wind whipping past him as the Hulk bounced across the countryside.

They arrived only a few minutes after the others, but the battle was already underway. Clint stood up on the Hulk’s shoulders and fired off a few arrows before doing a graceful flip and landing on the ground beside Natasha.

“You’re insane,” she said taking a moment out of the battle to glare at him.

“It was fun,” he replied with a grin as he loaded another arrow. “You should try it some time.”

She just shook her head and went back to shooting at the rampaging aliens.

2. Odinson

Apparently, it was possible to drug a god.

This was not something the other Avengers could have seen coming. Thor had the constitution of a blue whale. The only one who could out drink him was Steve and the super soldier serum meant alcohol didn’t actually affect him.

But there was this mad scientist and he wanted to rule the world or turn everyone into cucumbers or something, and he had been experimenting with various chemicals with just the Avengers in mind.

Thor had actually laughed when the dart hit him and made disparaging remarks about the feebleness of the man’s weapons. Truthfully as a weapon it wasn’t very effective. The scientist may have been mad, but reports of his genius had been greatly exaggerated. By the time the drug began to take effect, Thor had already knocked the man out and destroyed most of his lab leaving the Avengers with only a handful of giant, mutant creatures to deal with.

That’s when things began to get a bit strange.

Thor shook his head and took a clumsy step to the side.

“You okay there, Goldilocks?” asked Stark currently flying above him and firing repulsor beams at what looked to be a cross between a ring-tailed lemur, a komodo dragon, and an elephant.

“I feel… odd,” replied the god. He tilted his head to the side gazing at his surroundings with a look of confusion.

Iron Man quickly dodged a stream of flames. Apparently, the lemur-komodo-elephant could breathe fire. “That’s great, buddy. Could you maybe feel odd some other time when we’re not being attacked by Dr. Dolittle’s freak show?”

Rubbing his eyes, Thor squinted at the creature Tony had been fighting.

“What a magnificent beast,” he declared and began to unsteadily approach it. “You are a creature of insurmountable beauty. Let me embrace you.”

Tony was so surprised he forgot what he was doing and almost crashed into a building. “Ah… Goldilocks?”

But Thor's only focus was on the lemur-komodo-elephant and he continued forward, arms open wide. “Come to me, adorable one. I shall call you Fred and take you home with me where I will feed you nothing but wild boar and honey.”

The creature reacted predictably using its giant black and white stripped tail to slam Thor into a nearby wall.

The demi-god shook his head dislodging some fallen concrete and slowly got back to his feet. “That was not appropriate behaviour. If I am to take you home with me to Asgard, you must learn proper respect and better...'

The creature opened its mouth and spewed flames in his direction.

Thor only just managed to jump out of the way. “If that is the way it must be...,” he declared and swung his hammer at the beast's head.

He missed.

Thor clumsily tripped as the hammer's momentum carried him around and the hammer lodged itself into the wall Thor had recently been slammed into. As he tried to dislodge it, the creature came up behind him preparing to attack. Luckily, Tony was watching and he used his repulsors to knock over the remains of a building which buried the creature in steel and concrete.

“No!” cried Thor who had finally gotten his hammer free. “You have killed Fred.”

“Fred was about to eat you for lunch,” said Iron Man as he landed beside the demi-god. He lifted the face plate of his armour. “Thor, buddy, maybe you should sit the rest of this one out.”

Thor's expression suddenly switched from sad to happy. “Volstagg, my friend,” he said placing a hand on Tony's shoulder.

“Um, no,” Stark said warily. “I'm Tony, remember. Tony. You know, big wallet, big brain, big mouth .”

Thor showed no sign of actually hearing him.“You have always been a good friend to me, Volstagg,” he said and wrapped both arms around Tony in a giant bear hug.

A squeak and rush of air escaped Tony as he was almost crushed by the Asgardian. He felt extremely grateful to still be in his armour.

“Ah, guys?” Barton said as he jumped down from somewhere above. “I'm all for more hugging amongst team members, but we are in the middle of a battle here.”

Thor let Tony go finally allowing him to breath again, and turned to Clint with an overly soppy grin. “Lady Sif, I have missed you,” he said and hugged him too.

Tony raised an eyebrow. “Lady Sif? Clint, is there something you want to tell me?”

“Shut up, Tony,” said Barton as he managed to wriggle out of the demi-god's grasp. “What's wrong with Thor?”

“I think Dr. Crazy Pants gave him some of his special medicine. He doesn't seem too bad off just a bit dopey and delusional.”

Thor glanced around seeming completely oblivious to their conversation. “Where are Hogun and Fandral?”

“Um. Over there?” Clint said uncertainly pointing at where Natasha and Steve were busy holding off the last few mutant creatures.

“I see them. They are putting up a magnificent fight, but where is my noble steed?”

Tony and Clint exchanged glances.

“Noble steed?”

“Ah, there he is,” Thor announced and began striding across the debris strewn battlefield.

Tony and Clint followed his gaze and both blanched when they saw what he was heading for.

“Thor, maybe you should reconsider...”

“I really don't think that's such a good idea, Goldilocks.”

But Thor ignored their protests. He approached his noble steed, and before anyone could do anything, had hoisted himself onto the Hulk's shoulders.

The Hulk had never been particularly fond of Thor. There was some respect for him as a fellow teammate and fellow fighter, but Thor was definitely not the Hulk's favourite Avenger. He was however one of the Hulk's favourite punching bags, so what happened next was no surprise to either of the two observers.

Roaring, the Hulk tried to shake the demi-god off, but Thor merely held on tighter and called out encouragement to his steed. The Hulk obviously did not like being called a noble steed and fought harder. It resembled a bizarre wrestling match as he leapt and rolled and tumbled about. Thor himself seemed to be actually enjoying the ride as he did his best to hold on.

“Do you think we should try to separate them?” Clint asked Tony.

“Are you crazy?” said Stark. “Do you really want to get between those two?”

“No, but we can't just leave them like that.”

“Maybe they'll tire themselves out.”

The Hulk and Thor crashed into a building. Several windows broke and a large ominous crack appeared in its side.

“Before or after they finish destroying the city?”

Tony winced. “I see your point. Come on, Lady Sif,” he said ignoring the scowl Clint gave him. “Let's see if we can talk Thor off his noble steed.”

3. Rogers

There were some things even a super soldier couldn’t manage, like getting past a dozen giant, self-repairing, evil robots.

And Steve really wanted to get past these robots, namely because on the other side of them were his friends, and they needed his help.

Clint was down. The Captain couldn’t tell from here how bad it was. Natasha was standing over him shooting at anything that dared come their way, but her special skills were not especially useful against giant robots. Thor stood at their side doing his best to defend them, but they were out in the open and completely surrounded. Even a demi-god couldn’t fight off attacks from every direction at once.

Iron Man would have been very useful at this point, but Stark was busy back in his lab trying to find a way to stop the robots from being self-repairing. That way they’d only have to deal with the fact they were giant and evil.

Hoping to find a weak spot, Steve aimed his shield and threw. It sailed towards the nearest robot and sliced through several of the cables that made up its neck. As Rogers caught the rebounding shield, he saw the robot’s head start to tilt to the left. It tilted further and further more cables snapping until the head simply fell off landing on the ground with a loud reverberating thud.

Steve allowed himself a small smile. Then the robot picked up its head, placed it back on its neck, and shot a laser at him. The smile was wiped from his face as he quickly dodged rolling to the side.

These robots were really starting to bug him.

A frustrated roar sounded to his right. He glanced over. Apparently the Hulk was just as annoyed at these things as he was. The green guy was currently stomping up and down on what had once been a robot and was now a pancaked cluster of sparking wires and twisted metal.

As Steve watched, the Hulk stopped and gazed down at the mechanical debris beneath his feet. As soon as he did so, cables began to reconnect, pieces of metal solder themselves together, and the remains of a limb started to twitch.

The Hulk roared once more and resumed his stomping.

Steve suddenly had an idea. It wasn’t a particularly good idea. In fact it was more the sort of idea either Stark or Barton would come up with, obviously showing he was spending way too much time around those two, but it just might work.

“Hulk!” he yelled.

The green beast turned to look at him, but then scowled and continued stomping.

“Hulk!” he tired again. “Come here.” The Hulk did usually obey him. Sometimes it just took a little while.

After a few more stomps, the Hulk reluctantly left his favourite robot and headed for the Captain. Behind him, the robot spasmed feebly.

“I need your help,” Steve explained as the beast approached.

The Hulk towered over him breathing heavily and gazing at him with some suspicion.

“You see over there?” Steve pointed to where the others continued to battle. Thor was trying to fry the robots with lightening while Natasha threw explosives as she stood between them and the prone Clint. “Our friends need our help.”

“Arrow Man hurt,” said the Hulk as he looked, an angry growl sounding in his throat.

“Yes. You like Arrow Man, don’t you?”

The Hulk nodded.

“I need you to get me over there so I can help Arrow Man.”

Steve could see the wheels turning in the beast’s head, giant, cracked and rusted wheels.

Eventually, the Hulk nodded once more.

Wishing he had come up with a better idea, Steve carefully and cautiously climbed up the Hulk’s back and onto his shoulders. He could feel the beast’s muscles shift beneath him and he hoped the Hulk was just trying to get him into a better position and not debating throwing him off.

The moment Steve was settled the Hulk let out a roar and charged at the wall of robots standing between them and their friends. The Captain held on tight with one arm the other holding up his shield to deflect lasers and debris as they smashed their way through.

Robots went flying in every direction.

As they continued to push forward, Steve couldn’t help thinking of John Wayne and those westerns he’d gone to see on those rare occasions he’d had a few coins to spare for the theater. When he was a kid, he’d daydreamed about ridding to the rescue on a horse, but there’d been little opportunity for horseback riding for a poor asthmatic kid growing up in Brooklyn.

Maybe it would have been something like this, he thought.

When they finally reached the others, Steve was almost reluctant to get off, but did so anyway. He left the Hulk free to smash all the robots he wanted as he joined Black Widow in protecting the unconscious archer who thankfully didn’t seem to be too badly hurt.

They fought on making little impact on the robots until Iron Man finally swooped in with what he called his ‘anti-nanite nanites’ and the robots stopped repairing themselves. The battle was soon over, but as they stood amongst the mounds of mechanical debris, formerly sophisticated electronics, and once cutting-edge technology, images of horses and cowboys continued to dance through Steve’s head.

4. Stark

It was bound to happen eventually. It was inevitable. There was a surprise attack, and Tony couldn’t get to his suit in time.

He wasn’t too badly injured, just a mild concussion, some cracked ribs, and a broken leg. It was the last that was the real problem.

“I could carry you,” said Steve feeling somewhat guilty about not having protected Stark when he was vulnerable.

“No way,” replied Tony from where he sat in the rubble of what had once been one of his favourite restaurants, one hand cradling his bruised skull. “No. Non. Nein. Nei. Ei. Ikke. La.”

The Captain let out an exasperated breath. “It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve carried a wounded comrade off the battlefield, you know.”

Tony shook his head, and then winced when he realized that was a really stupid thing to do when you had a concussion. “Must I repeat myself again? No, I’m not having you carry me off in your arms like I’m your new bride or some sort of damsel in distress.”

“I was thinking more of a fireman’s carry.”

“Great.” Tony rolled his eyes. “Then I’d be forced to stare at your butt the whole way.”

“Since when do you have a problem staring at someone’s butt?” asked Clint with a smirk.

Stark scowled at him.

“Well, how about Thor?” Steve suggested.

They all turned to look at Thor who gave an inviting smile and extended his well-muscled arms towards Tony.

“That’s even worse.”

Steve resisted the urge to slug him. “Maybe we’ll just drag you home then.” He was beginning to think this would have been a lot easier if Stark had remained unconscious.

Natasha put a hand on the Captain’s shoulder. She was slightly more used to dealing with Tony’s stubborn tantrums. “If you don’t want us to carry you, you can always wait for the streets to be cleared so the paramedics can get through and take you to the nearest hospital.”

Tony’s eyes widened. “Are you crazy? I’m not letting any of those idiotic quacks get their hands on me.”

“SHIELD could send…”

“That’s it. I’ll just take myself home,” Tony announced, and before anyone could stop him, attempted to push himself to his feet. He only managed to put the tiniest amount of weight on his bad leg before his face went white and he began to fall back down. Fortunately, he was prevented from landing on his ass by a large green hand.

The Hulk, who had strangely remained the Hulk instead of becoming Banner once more despite the fact the danger had passed, gave a low whine. He held on to Tony with one hand while the other patted and pawed at him as if trying to find out what was wrong.

“Gentle! Gentle,” Steve called out anxiously feeling like a parent trying to teach their toddler how to pet a puppy.

“Tin Man hurt,” the Hulk said, his voice a low rumble.

“It’s okay, big guy,” said Tony having regained some equilibrium though his voice was still a bit shaky. “I’ll be fine.” He patted the hand that held him up, his white hand a large contrast to the enormous green one.

Suddenly, Tony’s face lit up just like it did whenever he got one of his brilliant, and often insane and extremely dangerous, ideas. “I know. I’ll take the Hulkmobile home.”


“I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.”

“You do know he doesn’t come equipped with stabilizers, right?”

“That is a valiant feat perhaps not best attempted in your condition.”

But Stark ignored the protests instead turning to their green friend. “How ‘bout it? You up to giving me a ride home?”

The Hulk grinned, and then as the others apprehensively watched, picked Tony up and placed him on his back. The green guy was obviously attempting to be careful, but the move still jostled Tony enough for his complexion to grow another shade paler.

Taking a deep breath, Tony wrapped his arms around the Hulk’s neck. “Hi Ho, Silver,” he said weakly. “Take me home.”

The Hulk immediately began leaping and swinging through the city streets, though those who knew him could tell his movements were a little slower and a little less violent than usual.

Steve sighed. “Thor, follow them. Make sure Stark doesn’t fall off and get himself killed.”

Swinging his hammer, the demi-god flew after them.

“Don’t worry, Cap,” said Clint. “You know how fond the Hulk is of Tony. He won’t let anything happen to him.”

“I know,” Steve replied, but his fears weren’t completely put to rest until they finally returned to the tower where they found a dozing Stark and a rather confused Bruce Banner.

5. Romanoff

The pit was three stories deep. The fall could have easily killed her. It should have at least broken several bones. Fortunately, Natasha was able to briefly grab a hold of an outcropping as she fell. It yanked her shoulder fairly badly, but it slowed her down enough that when she eventually rolled to a stop on the rocky floor, she wasn’t suffering anything worse than a few nasty bruises.

She slowly peeled herself off the ground and looked up. All she could see above her was a patch of clear blue sky. The sounds of battle could be heard off in the distance.

“Nat?” Clint’s voice came through her comlink, a hint of fear sounding through his normally controlled voice.

“I’m fine,” she replied as she gazed around her. “I’m just… a bit stuck.”

The bottom of the pit formed a rough circle about twenty feet wide. The walls were uneven in places, sheer in others, and curved inward. There was no way she would be able to climb it without the proper equipment.

“Well, I’d come help you out, but I’m kind of busy at the moment with the, you know, aliens that are currently trying to destroy the world, again.”

He needn’t have bothered telling her. She could hear how out of breath he was and the frequent twang from his bow as he shot arrow after arrow.

Rubbing her sore shoulder, she took another look at the walls. Maybe if she asked nicely, or more likely simply threatened, Stark could make her a grappling hook small enough that it wouldn’t interfere with her ability to fight when she carried it. Of course, that would only be helpful in the future.

“Stark,” she said addressing her comlink once more. “I need a lift.”

“What was that? Is the fair Natalia, deadly assassin, renowned spy, world class gymnast, martial arts master, and weapons expert extraordinaire, actually asking for my help?”

“Stark, get down here or I'll...”

“Okay. Okay. I’m coming. Geez, you don’t have to…” He trailed off. “Oh, shit.”

Natasha heard an ‘oomph’, a burst of static, and then an ominous silence.

“Iron Man? Tony?”

There was no response.

“He’s okay, Nat,” said Clint a few maddening seconds later. “He took a hit and a bit of a fall, but he’s already getting up.”

There was another burst of static, and then a string of colourful curses over the line indicating Stark really was just fine.

“I don’t think he’s going to be able to help though,” Clint added. “Another mothership just came in.”

Natasha sighed. “Thor?” she called out in a last ditch attempt. “Thor?”

Once more, there was no answer.

“I think he’s lost his comlink again,” Clint provided helpfully. “We may need to have another little talk with him.”

Resignedly, Black Widow sat down against the wall of the pit draping her hands over her bent knees. “I guess I’m going to have to sit this one out then.”

“I guess so.” Another twang sounded from his bow. “Don’t worry, Natasha,” he said and she could hear the smirk in his voice. “I promise we won’t have too much fun without you.”

Then the com went silent, and it was just her alone in the pit, the explosive battle sounding very far away. She leaned her head back resting it against the wall.

Suddenly, something large fell through the hole above her, and landed a few feet away with a resounding thud.

Then it was just her alone in the pit with a giant green rage monster.

She’d had nightmares that were like this.

She hastily got to her feet. The Hulk loomed over her. Scrutinizing her carefully, he took a step forward. She resisted the urge to back into the wall.

“Spider Lady okay?”

Natasha swallowed. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Narrowing his eyes, he looked her over once again, and then nodded seeming satisfied. “Up,” he said gesturing to the hole above with his head. “Friends need help. We fight some more.”

“I’d love to, but unlike some of our friends. I can’t fly.”

The look the Hulk gave her seemed to imply that she was the one with the less than average intelligence. “Hulk and Lady go up together.”

And Natasha finally understood. She didn’t like it, but she understood. “Right…” she said.

Cautiously, she approached the monster as he stood impatiently waiting and watching. It occurred to her that if he’d really wanted to, he could have simply grabbed her and leapt out of the pit without a second notice. That more than anything reassured her as she reached his side and he wrapped a large arm around her.

She held on as hard as she could. She wanted to close her eyes, but she forced them to remain open as the Hulk bent his legs and leapt. Wind swept past them. The blue circle of sky above rapidly grew larger, and then they were finally free. They seemed to almost suspend in the air a moment as the Hulk reached the apex of his jump before they started their descent and landed on the ground with enough force to leave behind a small crater.

The Hulk set her down almost gently before he charged into battle once more happily smashing every alien in his way.

“What did I tell you,” said Clint when she caught up with him and they faced the aliens together. “Admit it. You had fun.”

“Shut up, Barton,” Natasha said but there was a smile on her face.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-14 09:41 pm (UTC)
tptigger: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tptigger
:) (But Steve wants to go horseback riding, not ridding)
Still, cute!
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