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20 March 2012 @ 05:21 am
[fanfic; Avengers] Doppelgangers  
Title: Doppelgangers
Fandom: The Avengers (movieverse)
Characters: Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, Clint Barton, Natasha Romanoff, Bruce Banner, Pepper Potts
Rating: PG
Word count: ~2,400
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the franchises or series posted about here nor am I making any profit from my works.
Summary: Steve makes the mistake of taking Thor to the zoo. Tony makes the mistake of buying nine penguins. Everyone else thinks they’ve made the mistake of joining the Avengers in the first place.
Notes: This is all my RP buddies’ fault. They started it. I just made it worse. Completely unedited, so please let me know where there’s typos/etc. Read on AO3.

Natasha returns to Avengers Mansion with Bruce and Clint in tow after a particularly intense battle, wanting nothing more than peace and quiet and maybe a hot bath. She finds none of these there.

“This isn't what it looks like,” Tony says the moment they enter the kitchen, at the exact same time that Thor cries,

“Was I not speaking the truth? They do indeed look just like Tony.”

Tony, Thor, and — surprisingly — Steve are standing in the middle of the kitchen surrounded by penguins. Tony is wearing a tuxedo, Thor is cradling one of the penguins in his arms, and Steve is keeping a watchful eye on the rest of the penguins in a way that reminds Natasha of someone's mother. It says something about the work she does for S.H.I.E.L.D. that Natasha doesn't bat an eye at this. Clint, however, is not as restrained as she is.

“What the flying fuck,” he mutters, staring down at the black and white mob scattered about the kitchen.

“Not so much flying,” Tony quips, gesturing in a way that Natasha assumes is to indicate that penguins don't fly, though it mostly just looks like he's flapping his hand at Steve's face.

“I think he means what happened while we were gone,” Bruce asks dryly, as if this sort of thing were commonplace for him as well.

“Cap made the mistake of taking Thor to the zoo.” Tony rolls his eyes. That was pretty much all the explanation needed.

Clint's expression is halfway between admiring and horrified. “Did you steal those penguins — ”

“Don't be stupid,” Tony scoffs. “They called me, and I bought some.”

“You just bought some penguins.” Bruce frowns. “Is that even legal?”

Tony's eyebrow arches so high it’s almost comical. He doesn’t deign Bruce with a response.

“Are you out of your mind — ” Clint starts, but is interrupted when Natasha holds a hand out in front of his face and says,

“They cannot live in the kitchen.”

“I have offered to let them reside in my room, but the good Captain says that I cannot.” Thor looks slightly put out, and Steve shrugs sheepishly.

“I just think — I mean, penguins need a regulated environment, and — ”

“Basically Cap's a party pooper and is making me give them to the zoo.” Tony levels a stare at Steve that lets him know exactly what he thinks about that idea.

The only question Natasha really has about this whole idea is how did Tony even get penguins shipped out here this quickly, but she knows not to ask it. Instead she walks over to where a penguin is sitting on the counter and picks it up. “No animals on the furniture.” She sets the penguin down by her feet, and it waddles away with an indignant squawk.

“Anthony is not very good at following directions,” Thor says solemnly, and Bruce, Clint, and Natasha all look at him, then at Tony. No one speaks.

Finally, Steve coughs and explains, “Thor wanted to name them all variations of Tony's name.”

Clint grins evilly. “Oh really? Looks like we've found your chosen people, Stark.”

“This is just a very unfortunate coincidence,” Tony replies, tugging at his bowtie.

“No, Clint's got a point, they do look very similar.”

“Thanks a lot, Banner.”

Natasha sighs and shakes her head. Thor takes this as an (accurate) sign that she is not as pleased with the situation as she should be. “I recommend holding a penguin. It is very soothing.”

“Thor, I don't think — ”

“That one there is Antoinette,” Thor points to the penguin trying to eat something out of the trash can, “and you've already met Anthony. There's Antoine and Antonius, and the one stuck under the chair is Antonio.” One of the penguins runs into another one and they both topple over. “Tonya and Anton. The one by Bruce is Antonia.” He holds out the penguin in his arms. “And the most glorious of them all, Toni-with-an-I.”

Bruce crouches down to tentatively pet the penguin pecking at his shoes. “Why the most glorious?”

“She, uh, bit Tony. Human Tony.” Steve looks like he's trying very hard not to laugh. Tony just pouts.

“The man of iron screamed when she did it,” Thor explains proudly, as if Toni was his own child and not a penguin acquired during a moment of very bad decision making.

Tony's scowl deepens. “I did not scream. It was more of a yelp.”

“I'm pretty sure your eyes were watering too,” Steve adds quietly, now smiling slightly. He turns around without another word and scoops up one of the penguins currently attempting to pry open a cabinet, setting it down near the others with a stern look. The penguin seemingly takes the hint and stays away from the cabinets.

Clint snickers. “If Stark's the dad, then you've got to be the mom.”

Steve’s expression is one of equal confusion and embarrassment. “What! Why?”

Clint just rolls his eyes and sits down on the floor to play with one of the penguins. Bruce and Natasha stick around for about five seconds to hear him baby talk at the penguins before they both immediately leave the room. It’s too late in the evening and they’re too tired for this shit.

Steve is reluctant to leave Tony, Thor, and Clint alone with the penguins, but it is getting late and he needs to be up early tomorrow for a meeting. He grabs Tony’s arm and gives him a stern look just like he did with the penguin earlier. “Don’t do anything stupid, okay?”

“Of course, Cap, they’ll be absolutely fine. Cross my heart.” Tony makes a little “X” motion over his arc reactor.

Steve is skeptical, but he leaves the three of them for the night, ignoring Clint’s muttering of “Totally the mom.”


“You know what would make them just like Tony?” Thor remarks ponderingly a little while later, hand on his chin as he considers their new friends.

“Daddy issues and tiny arc reactors?” Clint suggests, earning a glare from Tony.

Thor shakes his head. “Those colorful children’s drinks that he enjoys.”

“Martinis?” Tony scowls. They weren’t children’s drinks, they were sophisticated.

“Yes! With little fish instead of olives.”

Tony and Clint stare at each other for a few seconds before simultaneously heading for the pantry.


Penguins, Tony realizes, cannot really grip things in their flippers. Halfway through his fifth martini he starts designing gloves that would allow penguins to hold stuff. Three martinis later they had turned into laser attachments for penguin warfare. He’s not entirely sure how he got there, but he blames Clint.

Thor and Tony are arguing the merits of having a penguin hit squad working for S.H.I.E.L.D. when Steve enters the room, eyes wide.

“Are you feeding the penguins alcohol?” he asks incredulously, looking somewhat scandalized. He’d been having a hard time sleeping and gone into the kitchen for some warm milk. He was starting to think that had been a bad idea.

“They have sardines,” Tony explains as if that cleared everything up. Antonia squawks and trips over an empty glass on the floor. Tony, Thor, and Clint all burst out laughing.

“What if you’ve poisoned them?” Steve frowns, and well shit, Tony never thought of that.

Dammit, Tony muses, Steve’s logic was making this less fun for them. “They’re fiiiine, I think I know more about penguins than you do. I am a penguin connoisseur.”

“You can’t even tell the difference between boy penguins and girl penguins,” Clint mutters, unimpressed.

“And you can?”

“Sure, you just — ” Clint picks up the nearest penguin, flips it upside down, and stares. “…Okay this isn’t working.”

“Give me that,” Steve snaps, taking the penguin from Clint and setting it down right side up. The penguin immediately flops over onto its stomach.

“That one is Antonius,” Thor tells them helpfully, grinning.

Clint looks at Thor in confusion. “How the hell can you tell, they all look the same to me. I thought you just named them at random.”

“We communicate with the Allspeak,” Thor replies as if this were the most obvious thing ever. Which to Thor it probably was.

“You’re shitting me.”

Steve frowns at Clint’s language but doesn’t reprimand him. He’s too busy hefting Tony off of one of the penguins he’d fallen over on. Tony struggles, but he’s too weak to do much beside let Steve prop him up on the couch.

“Please don’t hurt any of the animals,” Steve pleads over the sounds of Clint and Thor arguing about the plausibility of penguins being included in the parameters of Allspeak. One of the penguins has an upside down martini glass on its head that Steve dutifully removes before fleeing the scene.


Penguins, as it turns out, do not toboggan well down stairs with no snow.

Bruce points out that warm-water penguins don’t toboggan down anything, being, well, warm-water penguins.

Clint and Tony throw sardines at him until he leaves.


Pepper is called at three in the morning with an emergency. As soon as she finds out it’s a penguin emergency and not a real life or death situation, her tone of endearing worry gets a lot less endearing and worried.

“Tony, did you even think to check whether owning penguins is legal in — ”

“Everything’s legal for me, Pep, don’t worry about it. But we’re pretty sure Toni-with-an-I and Antoine are trying to get it on under the kitchen table and we don’t know how to stop it.”

Pepper lets out a long-suffering sigh. “I am not an expert on penguin mating habits, can you please just — ”

“Because we tried separating them but Toni-with-an-I bit me again and I really do not like that bird and I don’t want this happening in my kitchen, come on, Pepper — ”

“Good night, Tony.”

Tony doesn’t realize she’s hung up the phone for about half a minute.


Tony realizes they’re missing three of the penguins at about four o’clock in the morning.

(Thor tells them the missing penguins are Anton, Antoinette, and Tonya, and Clint just kind of stares at him funny.)

They don’t find the lost penguins ‘til morning.

(Technically the other Avengers find them first. Steve nearly trips over Tonya on the way to his early morning jog; Bruce has to extract Anton from the bath towels in the hall closet; Natasha very abruptly wakes up to find Antoinette asleep on the pillow beside her, and she carefully puts away the knife she’d slipped out from under her own pillow.)


The scene in the living room the following day is a minor catastrophe, though being Tony Stark’s living room, it’s probably seen worse. The floor is strewn with empty martini glasses, open sardine tins, and unconscious penguins. In the middle of it all, Tony was flat on his back, fast asleep, one solitary penguin splayed out on his chest. Clint had collapsed on the couch at some point and was blissfully penguin-free.

Bruce walks into the kitchen to find Thor, Natasha, and Steve already eating. Greeting the others at breakfast with a penguin in his arms is not the weirdest thing he’s done, but it’s up there.

“Surprised to see you up and about,” Bruce remarks in a way that says he is not surprised at all.

“I was taking care of the tiny Tonys,” Thor answers, and Bruce looks behind him to see the two previously escaped penguins in the sink. He goes over and places the one he’s holding in the water with them.

All three penguins in the sink now, Bruce sits down at the table, and Steve wordlessly hands him the box of Fruit Loops. “You’re going to take them back, right?”

Thor looks slightly mournful as Steve nods. “I already called the zoo. They seemed pleased to have them.”

“This zoo, they will have plenty of colorful drinks with fishes for them to eat?” Thor asks so despondently that Steve nods again and says,

“Something like that.”

“It’s probably for the better,” Bruce tries to console him. “You don’t want them ending up like Stark, do you?”

The room is silent, assumedly at the thought of having nine more Tonys around. Thor is contemplating a team of penguins in tiny Iron Man armor. Perhaps Tony was on to something last night with his laser idea.


Thor is somewhat tearful as they say their goodbyes to the penguins, and even Clint is looking fairly sad about the whole thing. Tony is just affronted that they were taking away what was officially his property.

“You do not have time to take care of a bunch of penguins,” Natasha points out, but Tony waves away the logic.

“I’ll get someone to babysit when I need to. Coulson watches enough Supernanny to know what to do.”

No argument is strong enough to stop Steve from loading the penguins into the carrier cases provided by the zoo, however, and the Avengers stand in the front hall watching the last of the penguin be taken away. There is only silence, until, finally,

“Are you sure we couldn’t have kept just one of them.”

“Tony!” Steve groans and turns around, heading back inside. Tony follows after him, listing off all the benefits of having a pet penguin interspersed with phrases like “I’m Tony fucking Stark, okay, you can’t tell me what to do.”

Natasha lets out the slightest of sighs, arms crossed over her chest. “Who’s going to volunteer to get Stark a penguin plush to shut him up.” Thor eagerly raises his hand, and Natasha nods briefly at Clint. “Go with him.”

Clint tries to protest, but Thor is already dragging him away. Bruce carefully keeps quiet until the two are out of sight. “Should we add ‘no exotic pets’ to the list?”

“It would be for the best,” Natasha agrees, making a mental note to amend the list of Avengers house rules later.

As expected, Tony throws a minor fit upon reading the newly added rule, and makes several threats to buy a pair of tigers. Life as an Avenger goes on as normal.
Jordan Herbertaloneindarknes7 on March 20th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
Oh my fucking god I can't stop laughing. XD Just. Everything. So perfect. Tony, Clint, and Thor are the worst/best combination when it comes to anything. Seriously, this is hilarious. I love that Thor named them all after Tony too. That's priceless. Now I know why penguins are so awesome. And for some reason, I can see Thor making weekly trips to the zoo now and somehow getting into the penguin exhibit to catch up with his penguin friends.
bringing the party to you: 『pepper potts』→ ❝ iron man ❞scintillulae on March 21st, 2012 03:58 am (UTC)
Haha thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. xD And omg yes, Thor would totally break into the penguin exhibit to see how they're doing. Now I'm just imagining the zookeepers trying to get him out of there.
CӒSΣYhazel_belle on March 21st, 2012 04:42 am (UTC)
Thor has my vote for the next doctor dolittle, with the variations of Tony (PURE LAUGHS) .... Thor and Tony are gonna make sure their little penguin buddies are happy in their new home (With fancy things)

Tony, Clint, and Thor... all the good stuff happens with them.

Thor and Tony are each others favorite bro. that is all!
bringing the party to you: 『clover』→ ❝ 9 hours 9 persons 9 doors ❞scintillulae on March 22nd, 2012 04:31 am (UTC)
Haha, Thor's totally going to try bringing presents to the penguins at the zoo. Tony and Clint can help pick out the gifts.
(The poor zookeepers who're going to have to deal with them...)

Thanks for reading!
MF Luder: Avengers Tonymf_luder_xf on March 21st, 2012 05:47 am (UTC)
Hahaha, mini penguin Tonys is just such an adorable and hilarious idea. And I love that Clint adjusts in like one minute and sits down to play with them. And Steve being all serious about it, boo, spoilsport. I hope he lets Thor and Tony visit them at the zoo a lot. :) Such a cute story!
bringing the party to you: 『shadow naoto』→ ❝ persona 4 ❞scintillulae on March 22nd, 2012 04:32 am (UTC)
I wish I could take credit for the idea, but unfortunately (fortunately?) it was all my friends' idea. xD It was fun to write though, so hey. Glad you enjoyed it, thank you for reading. :3

(There will be many, many trips to the zoo in the future.)
Nerdnerdwegian on March 21st, 2012 05:05 pm (UTC)
I don't even have words, I love this so much!

“And the most glorious of them all, Toni-with-an-I.”

bringing the party to you: 『vitani & nuka』→ ❝ the lion king 2 ❞scintillulae on March 22nd, 2012 04:33 am (UTC)
Haha, thank you! M'glad I could make you laugh. :D
Kate: Steve & Tony (Avengers)jedi_harkness on March 21st, 2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
Holy fuck, I just about fell out of my chair! This was brilliant! :D
bringing the party to you: 『claire stanfied』→ ❝ baccano! ❞scintillulae on March 22nd, 2012 04:34 am (UTC)
Aha, careful not to hurt yourself! xD Thanks a bunch~♥
somanyopentabssomanyopentabs on March 21st, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
This is the best, most hilarious fic I have read in a long time. And I love penguins, so, added bonus!
bringing the party to you: 『mitsuru kirijo』→ ❝ persona 3 ❞scintillulae on March 22nd, 2012 04:34 am (UTC)
Aaah, thanks so much. :3 ♥ I'm glad you liked it!
Gunbunny: being human george dieselburntcopper on March 22nd, 2012 07:16 pm (UTC)
this is.... entirely too plausible. and yes, penguins in Iron man armour so needs to happen, Thor. Toni would kick righteous ass in it especially.
bringing the party to you: 『steve & tony』→ ❝ avengers ❞scintillulae on March 23rd, 2012 03:20 am (UTC)
Tony can lead his own team of tiny Iron Man armors, they'll be unstoppable. xD Thanks for reading!
mystic_majestic: runningmystic_majestic on March 25th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
Penquins + the Avengers? I'm won over ♥♥♥
bringing the party to you: 『shadow naoto』→ ❝ persona 4 ❞scintillulae on March 26th, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
Aww yeaaaah success. xD ♥
purp368purp368 on April 27th, 2012 02:44 am (UTC)
ahhh the madness that is Tony Thor and Clint Could not stop giggling through this whole story. Love how Steve is the mom because yeah he totally is. Ahh thank you for writing this and bringing joy to my night
bringing the party to you: 『pepper potts』→ ❝ iron man ❞scintillulae on April 27th, 2012 07:11 pm (UTC)
Haha, thank you! I'm glad I could brighten up your evening. :3 ♥
The only way out is through.: CRAYONS!varrius on May 10th, 2012 03:49 am (UTC)

Penguins with daddy issues and little arc reactors.

Why are you so perfect?
bringing the party to you: 『claire stanfied』→ ❝ baccano! ❞scintillulae on May 10th, 2012 08:48 am (UTC)

No yooooou. /hides
tropermarikotropermariko on July 10th, 2012 07:27 am (UTC)
Oh my god. I just. . .have no words that have already been said for this. This is pure hilarious awesomeness.

Thor and Tony should not be left alone together. The things they could come up with. . . horrifyingly hilarious.
bringing the party to you: 『seifer almasy』→ ❝ final fantasy viii ❞scintillulae on July 10th, 2012 08:07 am (UTC)
Haha, thanks a bunch! I'm glad you liked it. :D

They would be such bros, and adding Clint to the mix probably would help at all.
Raeaim2misbhave on September 15th, 2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
I was seriously crying when I got to the part where they gave the penguins martinis.

Drunk engineering: The BEST kind of engineering!
bringing the party to you: 『mitsuru kirijo』→ ❝ persona 3 ❞scintillulae on September 16th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
lmao my thought process was seriously just like "can penguins actually consume alcohol?? OH WELL WHO CARES IT'S FUNNY."

Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you liked the fic. :3