Title: The Pantheon Fic. I'll have to come up with something else if I write in this 'verse again.
Rating: Eh... G, PG. Be warned, there are links to TVTropes, dread eater of time. Many links. I went a little crazy, apparently.
Disclaimer: ... If I listed the real owners of all these characters, this would be a huge block of text.
Feedback: Please do. I'm trying to practice third person without italics abuse, and I love con. crit.
Notes: The Pantheon is a TVTropes thing started when tropers started wondering "What would things be like if the world were run entirely on tropes? Who would be the Gods and Goddesses?"
As a troper myself, I was intrigued. Someone had put Captain America into the Houses of Defense, Justice, and Law, and they'd made him the God of Justice. But they hadn't fleshed the entry out at all. I had to fiddle with it more than a little. Iron Man was also in the House of Technology, similarly non fleshed out, so I fixed that. ... Good grief, did I fix that. He's also in the House of Craft now. Then I had to keep padding things, working in that growing tradition of interconnecting the various people we've stolen to be in the Tropes Pantheon. I have to say that it's been a lot of fun. ...So I wrote a fic explaining something that I'd referenced several times. It turned out to have a slashy flavor if you squint, so I might as well post it to cap_ironman . It makes no attempt to fit into anyone's canon and is sort of multicrossovery, but the focus is mostly on Steve and Tony. This first part is more to set the scene and has only a little to do with Tony. Don't worry, that will change.
I'll stick a few more links when it feels like I need them, but I'm going to ease up now.
Steve Rogers, the God of Justice, wrote in a large, neat hand within the provided margin. For his crimes, Christopher Walken, God of Creepy Villains, is no longer permitted within the House of Knowledge without a day pass. Being Lawful Evil, Johnson always picked sentences too severe for the crimes - demotion to Lesser God, in this case. Steve knew full well that his revisions were needed to balance things out. He was the God of Justice; reviewing every case involving a god was one of the duties that made the position so unpopular. When the God of Judgment was of any alignment but Lawful Neutral, the God of Justice was needed to make sure that alignment didn't sway the rulings too far.
With half an ear he listened to the perky blonde girl on the other side of the desk, replying absently. “If Power Girl decides to change her outfit, that’s her decision. I’m not going to ask you to ask her to do it.”
The girl paused for a good while, then asked, "Okay, how about Tony Stark? Wanna see Iron Man in a bunny suit?"
Writing his signature with a restrained flourish, Steve smiled faintly. "If he decides to wear one, he can do that. I'm not going to tell Tony he can't-" His brain caught up with his mouth, and Steve put the pencil down and took a better look at Miss Excellen Browning. She’d been asking him if he wanted to see her or a long list of other goddesses in a bunny suit. Was she really who she’d introduced herself as?
Who is that? The database adjusted, and Steve had a second where it seemed like something dropped in front of his eyes. As the head of this House, he could do this. No disguise fooled the alert. Accessing. The Goddess of Love Innuendo and Teasing. Lesser Goddess. Entered into the House of Love. Would you like clarification?
Ah. No, thank you. He’d been afraid for a moment that she was another one of Floyd’s people. The last time that had happened, it had been a woman with odd glasses and a green quill that moved itself. He was still declining applications to join his “seraglio”. Whatever that was. His staff all refused to tell him, and he hadn't had time to look it up himself.
“Well, do ya?” Miss Browning asked, tilting her head so that hair fell into her eyes. She seemed harmless enough.
“I think,” Steve started, picking up the pencil for just long enough to write his position on the page and get it into the inbox, “I think I don’t have the leisure time, miss. The thought is appreciated, but I’m going to have to decline.”
“Aw,” she said, pouting. “You’re not much fun. You didn’t even start blushing! I know you’re not asexual.”
“Try Mr. Wright. His office is down the hall, and I think he’s in now,” he said, glad of his status. As the head of two Houses, he could keep reflexes from showing. “He’s very easily flustered.”
“I might as well.” Miss Browning beamed at him and was gone. Letting a breath out, Steve tugged absently at the cowl down around the back of his neck and reviewed his schedule. It was busy. It was always busy. He didn’t actually need to do most of it, no, but if he didn’t, who would? Not his staff. He'd sent them on break. He always had to make sure that they took breaks, or they would never leave his office.
Now was as good a time as any to see how the 501st was settling in. They’d only been here for a couple of weeks, and already he’d found to his dismay that they got killed more easily than a squad of demigods rightly should. He’d made a deal with Virtuous of the House of Life and Death, but even instant resurrections could be pretty traumatic. Some of them might be considering a career change.
Steve walked in on several of the off-duty members as one was in the middle of telling a story, gesturing with a half-eaten powdered donut in hand. Almost as one they realized he was there, straightened up, and saluted him with their palms. The first time they’d done this, he’d had a bad moment. At a glance, it looked a little like the Nazi salute. He’d had a few more misgivings – the troops were called stormtroopers, after all, and the uniforms that the officers wore looked awfully familiar, and they did follow someone who was unashamedly Lawful Evil – but collectively they weren’t that bad, all things considered. It was nice to have a bit of military presence around again.
“As you were,” he told them. They relaxed marginally, still watching him so closely that he felt a little self conscious. Eventually, he was sure, they would start to relax, but for now they always watched him like he was a dangerous animal.
“Captain, TK-1138 and TC-8588 are back with us, currently in the barracks,” the one who’d had the donut said, saluting again. “They are in good spirits and ready to head out on patrol again, sir.” Either morale was not a problem, or it would come up later, when they weren’t so tense around a superior.
“That’s good to know,” Steve said. “They’ll have to wait for a few days before I’ll let them go out. That’s my policy,” he added. “Dying takes a lot out of you. The first time I was killed here, I tried to do too much too soon. You have to take things slow, or you’re all too likely to die again.” Privately he felt that going out into combat immediately after each resurrection was part of why they were so easily killed.
The trooper looked nervous. “Captain, my lord won’t like it.”
“If Vader has a problem with my policy, he can take it up with me. If he kills one of you when you tell him, let me know. Lawful Evil or not, I won’t stand for that in my own House.” Steve consciously settled himself. “And I’ve told you, call me Steve. Or Cap.”
“All right.” He eyed each of them. These troopers generally went by designations instead of their names, which made it harder to tell them apart even out of uniform. Being the current God of Justice and having access to the House of Defense’s records through his alert meant that he could see through that, and he had at least a passing familiarity with each. “Let’s go to the training room. TR-1407, you know this, but I haven’t shown any of you others proper training. You can help me show them. We always start by learning the proper way to fall…”
The 501st was a military force, the newest addition to the House. On other worlds, they were effective and efficient, but here in the Pantheon, although they were organized and disciplined well, their firearm accuracy and hand-to-hand skills were lacking. Steve Rogers was making an effort to get at least a little training to each one.
“Very good. TK-0480, was it? You’re doing just fine. Don’t overthink it. You want to be able to fall without hurting yourself, and in such a way that you can get back up again without fuss.”
Teaching so many wasn’t actually his favorite duty, but he didn’t mind it. When he’d been working long enough with a group of the 501st, they inevitably relaxed a little more around him. Proper trust building would take time, of course, and lots of it.
Something chimed urgently in the back of his head. Steve held up his hand, and every one of his pupils automatically took a tiny step back. Several hands flew protectively to throats, and he made a mental note to talk to the Commander of the Legion again. He couldn’t do anything with these people if Vader kept them in terror of everyone with authority. “I’ve got a report coming in. Keep practicing.” He turned away and heard them get back to falling and picking themselves up.
The House of Defense was smaller than most of the others, despite having so many affiliated gods. There were the cells and the little dark rooms that Steve felt uneasy about down in the lowest level, there was the hall with all the donuts and coffee, two or three training rooms, GLaDOS’s territory and temple, a small collection of offices, the main room for the alert system, the elevator to the Treasures, and lately the 501st’s barracks. Most gods who had something to do with the House didn’t spend a lot of time there. The majority of them came in with prisoners in tow and ate something, reluctantly filed a report, sparred, gossiped, and met a friend, at the very most. They didn’t spend a lot of time there.
Gods tended to have their temples and territories within or very near their Houses. Houses tended to have internal affairs, alliances and rivalries. Those gods belonging to more than one House had to do a certain amount of juggling. Not so with Defense. Membership here was very casual, and members really weren’t required to do more than carry an alert.
Steve’s looked a lot like his old Avengers Communicard, with a feed to one of those television screens in the
An altercation between Humongous Mecha has just been reported from within the House of Technology. Steve frowned. Normally, he would have left a report like this for someone else to take care of, one of the heavier hitters who could handle giant robots casually. He always tried to listen to the whole report, even for matters as small as Millhouse getting locked a room with a headcrab again or as far out of his league as the Death Star’s superlaser charging past the twenty-five percent mark.
Something about this one, though – he listened to all of them out of a sense of duty, but there were some which he knew, somehow, that he would have to see to himself.
Combatants are the God of Betrayal and the God of Personalized Mechanical Suits. Would you like clarification?
Oh, no, surely not – he knew better than to pick fights like that! Unless he’d been the one attacked, but somehow Steve didn’t think that was the case. Not this time. Damn it. He should have seen this coming; he’d seen the narrowed eyes and the measuring looks, he’d heard the rumor, he’d actually helped weld a gigantic faceplate “for the look of it”…
Would you like clarification?
“No need, thanks. Damn it, Tony, what’s gotten into you?” The God of Betrayal, so familiar to this House that he had his very own cell, was a Greater God; the colossal mechanical lifeform and all-around villain Starscream.
The other, he knew far better, was an Intermediate God like himself, the very human and very, very crushable