Cute Avengers - Part Three

Thor wants beer! Hawkeye wants to avoid personal injury! Hulk Smash!

 

i

Hulk’s footsteps threw large chunks of mud up into the misty Welsh air.

“Come here!” he bawled, charging at the black-clad Avenger who looked, in comparison, to be a very small man indeed.

Hawkeye laughed. “Not planning on it,” he called back, ducking through a pair of trees and sliding down a muddy slope into a small stream. Where was Thor? he wondered, he’d promised that if I led Hulk away from the cities, he’d be here to help!

Mjolnir hit Hulk on the chin. In one smooth motion, Hulk went from tearing trees out of the ground to flying high above the Brecon Beacons. He hit the Welsh countryside on his back with an echoing thump.

“Leave him alone, Hulk!” called Thor, whirling his hammer in his hand. “Come have a drink instead!”

“Move!” warned the Hulk, “Thor not stand between Hulk and Bug!”

“He makes a fair point,” said Thor to Hawkeye with a grin, “I shouldn’t stand in the way.”

“Thor…” Hawkeye’s voice wasn’t begging, but it was in his eyes.

“All right,” conceded the Asgardian. “Can’t do that, old friend!” he called back to Hulk. “We’re meant to calm down and go home.”

Hulk was already mid-jump. He landed seemingly relaxed directly in front of Thor. Then he punched.

Thor crashed through the trees, landing with an audible grunt.

“Hulk already calm!” Hulk called into the copse.

“I can see that,” muttered Thor. “You owe me a lot of beer,” he added to Hawkeye before striding forward. “A lot.”

“I can do that,” Hawkeye cocked an arrow with an explosive tip.

The detonation pushed Hulk back before Thor got to him. With his hammer raised, Thor strode through the smoke and followed the blast with a solid connection on Hulk’s left side.

“Hulk losing calm!”

Thor laughed, switching hands and allowing the hammer to hit Hulk on the other side. This time, the green-skinned behemoth had anticipated it and the blow was superficial. He raised his foot and kicked solidly into Thor’s stomach. The god buckled.

“Thor not so strong,” Hulk said, laughing. “Hulk strongest Avenger!” He balled his fists and let them come down on the back of Thor’s head. There was a cracking sound as something in Thor fractured.

“That,” cried out a muffled, facedown Thor, “Hurts!”

The clouds came together - a mass of suddenly greying fog, and a thick bolt of blue lightning engulfed the giant, lifting him, three nearby trees, and much of the grassy mud into the air.

Mjolnir in hand, Thor stood, his hair alight with white sparks. He pointed the hammer at Hulk and threw it with everything he had.

“Really hurts!” he muttered to himself.

Still in mid-air, Hulk was unable to manoeuvre himself out of the way and took the hammer blow in the centre of his face. Spinning out of control he flew backward to land, once more, at the foot of a mountain.

Thor pressed his advantage, sending the hammer back across the grass to strike Hulk once more as he stood. Again Hulk fell, and again Thor repeated the action, Mjolnir flying like a missile to its target.

This time Hulk caught it, and held firm.

“That’s new,” remarked Hawkeye, standing beside his friend.

Thor turned to look at him, his face lit up by the streaks of lightning. “He’s not worthy.”

Thor ran towards the Incredible Hulk, his arm out calling his weapon to him. Hulk, for his part, stood shaking on the ground.

“That’s mine!” Thor shouted.

“Hulk strongest!” Hulk called back, the words causing him effort as he put all his energy into holding the hammer.

It didn’t last. Mjolnir ripped itself from Hulk’s grip and streaked back towards its master. Thor leapt into the air and brought it smashing down on the Hulk’s head. Hulk collapsed face first into the dirt.

“Second strongest,” asserted the God of Thunder, “by quite a way.”

He was standing too close. Hulk reached out and grabbed his foot, using the slipperiness of the mud to his advantage. With a heartbeat, the tables had turned and Hulk stood holding his adversary like a toy.

“Enough!” Captain America’s voice echoed over the countryside. “I thought we were meant to be resolving differences, not fighting afresh. Hulk, do you even know why you are fighting Thor?”

“Hulk strongest Avenger!” he shouted back.

“Not. True.” Thor took the opportunity to smash Hulk behind the knee as he hung upside down. Hulk bucked and fell directly on top of him.

“Enough!” The Quinjet slowly descended. “I thought you wanted beer!”

“He has a point,” Thor wheezed under the body of the collapsed monster. “I did want beer!”

“Beer good!” Hulk agreed, getting up and helping his friend to his feet.

“I knew you two would work it out,” said Hawkeye with a smile as he approached them.

He didn’t know which one of them hit him first.

 

ii

Hawkeye sucked his beer through a straw. He was sat at a small, round wooden table in the corner of the pub. At the bar, Thor and Bruce were collecting drinks.

“…don’t even like his sandwiches – he covers them in mayo. I think Hulk only likes them when he’s really hungry.” Banner was saying.

Thor put the pints down on the table. “Stark should get more real food in anyway. There’s room for a spit-roast hog! Much better than sandwiches!”

“I’ll take that on board,” Iron Man had to duck to fit under the solid wooden beam that ran the length of the pub, and sat somewhat awkwardly next to them.

“Pint?” offered Thor.

“Oh, I’m not really here,” said Stark, “This is just a suit. Thought I’d check in and see how you three were. Cap’s home already, and I’ve dealt with all the cleaning up.”

“Not too expensive, I hope,” Hawkeye asked, wincing as he tried to talk.

“Oh, you’ll get your bill, Barton. You can work it off scrubbing the floor or something.”

Thor and Bruce both laughed.

“I’m thinking of buying that company, Cute Injury. They did a good job in the courtroom holding their own against the Hulk. Not many people would be willing to do that.”

“Do you have to buy everything you like?” Bruce asked, “I mean, do you really have need for a personal injury claims firm based in Wales?”

“We might, and they were good at their job – technically they won the case. And I hear it’s going well regarding getting some of those people compensation over the asbestos thing.”

“I think they’d rather be left alone, Tony.” Bruce said. “Maybe next time there’s a need, you can just employ them. They’d probably appreciate the business.”

“Good plan. I’ll keep their number on file.”

“Drink up!” insisted Thor, “Five more pubs after this one! I like Wales!”

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