I’m so frustrated with trying to find Natasha/Pepper fic. Searching for it on AO3 just yields a bunch of stuff where they’re the side/background pairing to Clint/Coulson or Tony/Steve, and as much as I enjoy both those pairings, I want some Black Pepper centric fic! Gimme some competent red-headed lady love, please.
Check out: Clio_Jlh. She’s got some great stuff.
Steve’s face :-0!!
No, but you don’t understand why I liked Iron Man 3 so much.
In all the other Avengers movies, we see characters going through pain and trauma and heartache. We see Steve lose practically his whole world and still carry on. We watch Bruce struggle with trying to figure out just how the Hulk fits into his life and his psyche; it is implied that he deals with depression and tries to end his life. We hear Clint and Natasha and their angst about the “red in their ledgers”, the things they have done, and we watch as Thor essentially comes of age and deals with the pain of having his brother fall down deeper and deeper. We KNOW the pain and the issues and the upset are there.
But Iron Man 3 is the first time we actually get to witness—REALLY witness—the aftermath of heroics.
In the first part of the movie we see Tony Stark dealing with real, honest-to-god PTSD. He has panic attacks, he can’t sleep, he gets reckless and has a harder time taking care of himself, he obsessively spends hours working on suits so he can protect Pepper—even though in doing so he is unintentionally threatening their relationship. Rarely has such a thorough job been done in showing that all the flash-bang-let’s-save-the-world action would, in real life, have some serious psychological consequences.
Then, as the film progresses, we see him laid low. REALLY low—we see him get taken apart piece by piece. He loses his home, he loses contact with the people he cares about, he loses his suit—which means, in the context of the past few films, that he is in some ways dead. “He is Iron Man”, after all, isn’t he? The public sees him as one with the suit, and in a sense, so does he—a good deal of his self esteem, his sense of being able to defend people, is locked up in what he can do in the suit. And now he’s stranded in the middle of nowhere—he can’t fly, he can’t fight much, he’s still suffering from PTSD, he’s being actively hunted by the few people who don’t think he’s dead. All of his real ability is locked up in his brain, a place not everyone would think to look. We see him almost completely broken down.
And then we watch him build himself back up again, but with one major difference: he does it without the suit.
In most of the second half of the film, in almost all of his major victories, Tony is not in the suit. He breaks into Killian’s mansion essentially with odds and ends he’s cobbled together. He saves the passengers from Air Force One with a suit he’s remotely controlling. He wins the final battle with a whole bunch of suits that he is not in at all. Rhodes saves the president, and Pepper kills the villain. Not Tony. And at the end of the day he blows up all the suits and tosses his mini arc reactor into the ocean.
Iron Man 3 is brilliant and underrated precisely because it lets the hero be a real man—a man, not a man in a suit. A person who can still work wonders even when he’s at his very lowest, when he’s stranded and battling mental illness. Someone who can’t operate completely alone, who lets other people have some victories as well—heck, who needs his friends and teammates to win. And as he says at the end of the movie, while he may not always wear a suit, he will always be Iron Man.
And personally, I think that is an A-freaking-plus storyline to bring into this franchise.
THANK YOU AND BLESS THIS POST
I liked this part of IM3. I did not like the villain or his plot, and a lot of the stuff didn’t make sense, but I did love Tony’s character arc. And Pepper’s. And Rhodey.
As with Thor, I loved the characters more than the movie.
I actually really adore what they did with the Mandarin - because he’s a caricature, he’s everything Americans fear about terrorism, created by the corporate end of the military-industrial complex, and his entire character is a sham.
And what they did was literally the only way they could have handled that character and that plot that could work.
Because the Mandarin isn’t the villain - the Mandarin is a boogeyman, he’s a falsehood created and directed by the people who want America/ns to fear what they think Islam is. The villain is the guy propping that up, the guy selling a lie about “safety”, but doesn’t actually give half a damn about anything other than lining his own pocket and polishing the image of his own self-serving genius.
It is literally the only way they could have used the Mandarin and have had it work.
I got my degree in homeland security - they do not teach about the 3 billion Muslims who are the guy standing in front of you at the grocery store, or the girl in the Hello Kitty hijab. They don’t touch the 80-90-some-odd-percent of terrorism in the US being perpetuated by right-wing Christians, because that doesn’t fit with the story that creates contacts, jobs, and rocket launchers. They teach about the spectre, the big scary idea of what a terrorist is supposed to looklike - they teach about the Mandarin.
Everyone that story right up, and that: that is downright terrifying.
ALL OF THIS, just click on my iron man 3 tag if you want more of my thoughts on the Mandarin, which had actually made me not see the movie for fear that it would be more anti-asian/chinese propaganda.
Additionally I adore the end so much. There is literal and metaphorical therapy going on, with Tony spilling his guts/fears/hopes to Bruce and Tony being willing to take the shards out of his heart.
I mean, if you look at the arc of Tony through the movies as a metaphor, he’d been essentially treating his wounds as a strength. There’s something in his heart that is, or has the potential of, killing him, but it’s the thing that gives him power. You can relate this to his intelligence, his assholeness, his weapons, his drinking, his obsessions, his past with his family. Things in his heart that are killing him, and that he identifies himself with, things that ‘built’ Iron Man.
But he took the shards out. Because he’s more than that, he’s literally/metaphorically/narratively more than his traumas.
And I found myself in tears at the credits because I didn’t think that a superhero movie was willing to go there.
I want to bring some positivity into the world today, because I REALLY want to move away from all this awfulness, so let me talk for a little while about MCU!Pepper Potts.
Pepper Potts is a woman whom I have absolutely nothing in common with. She is tall, graceful, and effortlessly feminine; I am a petite punk girl with a lot of tattoos. She enjoys expensive high heels; I spend a lot of time wearing tactical boots. I’m not her, and I don’t aspire to be her, and in the face of women like Natasha Romanoff and Peggy Carter, who are more obviously admirable for someone like me, it’s easy for her to get overlooked.
But I love Pepper Potts. To me, what stands out about her is the way she negotiates a path between love and necessity. She is a character who consistently offers real kindness to those around her, regardless of their flaws, and also while having to overcome her own impatience: to Tony at his most unbearable, to Maya as Maya betrays her, to “Natalie” after the two of them have been put at odds, to Happy when he’s being ridiculous. You get the sense that what she wants to offer to the world, always, is this kindness.
And I don’t think that kindness ever really abates— but it doesn’t prevent her from doing what needs to be done, even when that’s unpleasant.
Marvel’s leading ladies
I don’t think you could tie your shoes without me.
#headcanon that when stark restarts shield#and brings nick back in#he sets up nick’s computer access so it follows his good eye#and whatever pops does so in front of him#wherever he’s looking#and also takes into account any depth perception issues due to only having the one eye#and tony just does it because he sort of makes for easier user access because he imagines no one else gets as much done as he does#he does the same thing for bruce’s computer access at the tower#doing research and eliminating triggers and flashing things from the interface#and generally subtly eliminating stress-inducing material#i just really like my headcanon that tony knows his friends have disabilities and works to accommodate them#and also sometimes he sends pepper in to give bruce a hug#because bruce needs hugs#and pepper is very good at them
MCU's secondary characters
Don’t think I’d call Black Widow a secondary character, but I love what their names mean.
You are iron.
And you are strong.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
(AU-ish)| Missing scene
Ladies of the MCU + Misogyny
"Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult." - Charlotte Whitton
Awwww… Clint is de-aged. Pepper gets him the uniform, which Tony follows up by giving him the mini bow and arrows. The Robin Hood stuffed animal is from Phil because he knows Clint always wanted one as a kid. Steve takes him to the mall where he takes this video to send to everyone else.That is ADORABLE.
MINIFIC: Take the Wheel (for Ralkana)
"Are you sure you don’t mind?"
"Of course not, Phil," Steve answers, smiling down at a four-year-old Clint, who peers around Phil’s legs with a tentative smile of his own.
"I wouldn’t ask — Fury assured me I wouldn’t need to come in while we wait for the potion to fade from Clint’s system — but there’s an emergency at HQ and you’re the only other adult he seems okay to be around."
"I really don’t mind the company." Steve squats down to Clint’s current eye level and winks. "I’m sure we’ll have a great time, right kiddo?"
Clint steps out from behind Phil, clutching his stuffed Robin Hood in one arm, and moves toward Steve. “Okay.”
Steve sees Phil’s hand twitch, as if he’s just keeping himself from reaching out and pulling Clint close to him again, but the agent takes a definitive step back toward the elevator instead. “I’ll be back in a few hours.”
The doors start to close when Clint suddenly spins and shouts, “Phil!” before running straight into Phil and wrapping his arms tight around the agent’s mid-section. “Gon’ miss you.”
A painfully fond look crosses Phil’s face before he bends to give Clint a quick squeeze. “I’ll miss you too, Clint. I won’t be gone long. Behave for Steve, okay?”
Clint nods and walks back to Steve, while Phil gives JARVIS the okay to finally get the elevator moving. Steve leads Clint into the kitchen with the promise of chocolate chip pancakes and they spend a happy hour making and eating their fill. Steve is just putting the dishes in the sink when Pepper walks in, making Clint duck shyly from where he sits at the breakfast bar.
"Oh! JARVIS said he was here," Pepper says with a bright smile. "Hi Clint. I’m Pepper. I’m hoping Phil won’t mind, but I couldn’t resist getting this made for you."
Pepper hands Clint a bag and Steve walks over to help him spill the contents out on the counter. What tumbles out is a miniature replica of Hawkeye’s uniform, complete with combat boots and sunglasses. Clint’s eyes widen and huge grin breaks out across his face before he jumps off the stool and gives Pepper a tight hug.
"A Hawkeye costume! Thank you! Can I put it on, Steve? Can I? Please?"
Clint is jumping up and down in glee and Steve grins back. “Sure you can.” He knows that Phil had shown Clint footage of Hawkeye in action when it was clear that his fascination with archery had started at an early age.
Tony, of course, arrives the second they’ve finished getting Clint into the uniform. He doesn’t ask for permission, just hands Clint a child-sized bow and a quiver full of arrows.
"What?" he shrugs at Steve and Pepper’s incredulous expressions. "Like you didn’t already expect me to make them. The arrows are blunted and non-explosive, at least not yet."
Tony smirks at a gaping Clint and Steve bustles Clint out of the Tower before Tony can make do on his promise. Unsure where else to go with a four-year-old, they walk to the mall where Steve has seen a large kid’s area in the center. Steve is about to suggest Clint ride the merry-go-round when he notices the boy’s eyes are fixated on a ride shaped like a red sports car. It looks a little like Lola and Steve walks them over before Clint can ask.
Steve starts the ride and Clint jumps in, placing the ever-present Robin Hood on the seat next to him. Clint starts making revving and screeching noises, which is when Steve remembers that his phone can take video.
"Keep your head down, Robin," Clint says, "those Hydra goons are gaining on us."
Clint jerks the fake steering wheel back and forth a few times, as if swerving from their chasers, then looks behind him. He gets an intense and very familiar look in his eyes before turning to Robin. “Take the wheel.”
Clint slides the stuffed animal into the driver’s seat and then stands on the passenger’s seat, smoothly pulling out his bow from Tony and nocking an arrow from his quiver. Steve experiences a moment of panic, but Clint only makes several “Thwish!” noises and then slides back into the seat with a satisfied grin. “Got ‘em!”
Steve stops the video and sends it to all the Avengers, including Phil. They spend about an hour at the mall before heading back to the Tower and Steve absolutely does not tell Tony about the five phone numbers he has in his pocket.
OMG! I needed this! Adorable art and an equally adorable fic to go with! Sometimes, I’m so freakin’ grateful for fandom that I can’t even.
☞ LadiesLead Femslash - Pepper/Natasha Potential
This is probably my favorite MCU femslash pairing, most likely because of all those ‘exasperated redheads’ gifsets you see around (I’m a sucker for people being exasperated together, hence Carol/Peter). Ao3 lists over a thousand works for Pepper/Natasha (and yet they weren’t listen on that ‘ship statistics’ list that went around, for some reason) and there’s a lot of Iron Man 2 basis for it for fans.
The first three -ignore Tony’s creepyness) is in Deadly Origin, when Tony is doing research into Natasha’s background because they’re dating. Pepper’s trying to warn him off, saying that she kills the men she sleeps with, and Tony replies ‘Then I just have to leave at the right time.’ Pepper’s a little more than admiring, though, with how she describes Natasha- “She’s continuously beautiful.”
The rest of the panels are from Name of the Rose, where Lady Bullseye shoots Pepper to get to Tony. Natasha invites her to meet, poisons and paralyses her, and makes sure she does get buried alive- and tells her to remember that the next time she comes after Natasha’s friends.
RVBB: Can’t Fool a Spy or Five Time others noticed how Phil felt about Clint, and One Time Clint did, M
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Clint Barton/Phil Coulson
Characters: Phil Coulson, Clint Barton, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Jasper Sitwell, Natasha Romanov, Pepper Potts, Tony Stark
Additional Tags: Secret Crush, Bets & Wagers, Community: cottoncandy_bingo, Community: trope_bingo, Trope Bingo Round 2, Pre-Avengers (2012), Maria Hill is a good friend, Awesome Pepper Potts, Phil Coulson & Pepper Potts Friendship, Natasha Romanov Is a Good Bro, Jasper Sitwell is too but he’s adorkable at it
Summary: Phil Coulson was a professional, and a secret agent. Despite his legendary undercover skills, he failed to conceal his feelings for a certain archer from his friends and co-workers until even Clint noticed how he felt.
—- Just dropping this here because this manip deserves to be pimped far and wide
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