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The God Game

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They had discussed it before. Of course they had. They battled and defeated one Norse god. They had another routinely walking around the Tower. It was natural for them to speculate if the other Pantheons existed. One quick question for Thor confirmed it. Yes, there were other deities out there. And yes, they were alive and well.

It put a whole new perspective on mythology for the rest of the team. Because some of them... Let's just say not all of the Pantheons were mortal friendly.

Clint was the first one to start the game after that. They were all strung out from their latest mission and all they wanted to do was sleep, but there was still clean up and debriefing before that happened. So when Clint asked the question, the others went with it.

“If you were a god/goddess who would you be?” he asked.

And so the game was born.

Not that Tony approved of course. No way. He refused. It made him twitch just thinking about it. The others teased him about it naturally. It was pretty obvious that he was uncomfortable with it. He pulled it off as not wanting to tempt fate. After all, what if these deities heard them? Wasn't that, like, blasphemy? He did not want to get on the bad side of a god/goddess.

At least that is what he told the others. Thor reassured him that it was fine. As long as none of them truly meant it. Sure, easy for Thor to say. He wouldn't have any problems.

Tony on the other hand.

It was the worst when they brought up Egyptian mythology. Because of course he was a main god. Not that the others really ever picked him, but he did come up sometimes. Talk about being uncomfortable. That really made him twitch.

Bucky, being the wonderful and caring boyfriend that he is, always asked if he was alright when the twitching got too bad. Tony always brushed him off of course, but let him know the concern was appreciated if unnecessary. Anything to keep him from being suspicious.

Tony knows he should tell him. It's the right thing to do after all. But hell if he wants to. He likes what he has with Bucky. It's comfortable in a way he hasn't felt in... well, an embarrassingly long time. What if he freaks out? What if he can't handle it?

Oh sure, he gets along fine with Thor. But Thor is the god of thunder . Not exactly your biggest controversial topic there. And it's not like they are dating either. Or hiding. Of course hiding might be a bit of an extreme. It's not technically hiding. Tony likes to think of it as just keeping a very, very, very low profile with a no contact policy. That's totally different.

Frankly it's a miracle he, or any of the others for that matter, haven't figured it out yet.

It's really only a matter of time, but still. Tony doesn't want to lose any of this weird new family he has found. It beats his real family by miles and miles, that's for sure.

“How about someone from the Aztec Pantheon?” Clint is asking as Tony walks into the kitchen for a cup of coffee.

Natasha snorts. “You aren't blood thirsty enough. Besides, you wouldn't be able to say your own name.”

“Hey, I'm insulted here Nat. You don't think I can handle some human sacrifice now and then? And of course I'd be able to say my own name. What kind of god would I be if I couldn't?”

“Name one.”

“Xit – xuich – x – no, Tlaloc! Ha, take that,” Clint crows in triumphant.

Natasha is unimpressed. She raises an eyebrow at him. “Convincing,” she says, “but Thor is Tlaloc. Pick another.”

“Fine,” Clint pouts, “Roman then. I'd make a great Mars.”

“I thought Steveie is already Mars?” Bucky asks.

“No Steve is Ares today. There's a difference man.”

Tony rolls his eyes. He's right, but still...

“What, tin head?”

“You are not Mars. Venus on the other hand...”

“I think the motor oil is finally going to your brain Stark. Strangely enough I don't think I'm the goddess of love, no matter how smooth I am.”

Bucky rolls his eyes at him. “You could always be Cupid instead.”

“Oh not you too Barnes. I finally got Stark to stop calling me that. I'm not cupid just because I use a bow and arrow!”

“Of course not Legalos.”

“Well we all know who you would be. You're obviously Hef – Hep – Vulcan.”

“Really? Are you sure I'm not Hephaestus?”

“Oh shut up. And Bruce is obviously Buddha.”

“Bruce is always Buddha according to you.”

“And I hardly think the Other Guy fits,” Bruce adds as he sips his tea.

“That's because you're in denial.”

Tony snorts, refilling his mug and takes a seat next to Bucky.

“Mornin' dollface,” he greets with a kiss to the cheek.

“Morning cupcake. How long have they been at it?”

“About a half hour or so.”

“Didn't we agree not to play this game before the third cup of coffee?”

That was your rule,” Steve says drily.

“And it's a good one. Why you people insist on playing it is beyond me.”

“Just because you're chicken, doesn't mean the rest of us are,” Clint teases.

It's not fear, it's common sense. How many of these deities would you really want to meet? Because one of these days one of them is going to show up and when that happens, I reserve the right to say 'I told you so'. Hasn't anyone ever told you names have power? Especially the gods' names.”

“Whatever man. I'm still telling you, I'd make a great god of war.”

Tony leans into Bucky as he sips his coffee and tunes the others out. He can't believe they are playing this game this early in the morning (see; before noon). He really, really doesn't like this game. He stands by what he said. One of these days they are going to get a visitor and, depending on who it is, there goes his secret.

Bucky traces random patterns on his thigh while he listens. Tony sighs in contentment and rests his head against his boyfriend's shoulder. Bucky's arm comes up and wraps itself around him. The others tease him about how sickeningly sweet they can be, but Tony doesn't care. He loves Bucky in a way that makes him panic at night, but he wouldn't give this up for anything.

At least they are on relatively safe ground right now. And he is rather fond of both Vulcan and Hephaestus. Mars and Ares too, technically, in very small doses. And of course –

“– Hades,” Natasha says.

Tony jumps. “What?”

“You could be Hades, or Pluto, as well.”

Bucky squeezes his thigh comfortingly when Tony tenses up. And that is where he draws the line. Too close. Way too cose. “Merchant of Death, god of death, ha ha, very funny. Drop it.”

Natasha goes to comment, but a quiet “Nat.” from Bucky stops her.

“New topic,” he declares.

Game over for now.

 

***

 

“You know she didn't mean anything by it sweetheart,” Bucky reassures the genius later when they are alone in their bedroom.

I know, but death deities... It's an inevitable conclusion, but an uncomfortable one.” He burrows farther down into Bucky's embrace.

A pause then – “What's the real reason? You always get like this when either the death or Egyptian gods are mentioned. I know what you tell the others, but it's more to it than that. I can tell when you are holding something back by now.”

“Oh?”

“We've been dating for six months so don't play innocent with me. You know I do. Sides,” he gives a cocky grin, “My fella is real smart. Some of his brains had to of rubbed off on me somehow.”

Tony laughs. “Don't think that's how that works buttercup. Otherwise the world would be a lot smarter. I did rub around a fair bit before I met you.”

Bucky joins in on the laughter. “Well then, this just proves I'm a special case.”

“Of course, my special snowflake.”

They are silent for a while before Tony speaks again. “Let's just say I am a bit too familiar with that particular Pantheon and leave it at that for now.”

Tony knows that's one hell of a hint. If Bucky is as smart as he says – and the former assassin is quite smart really – he should be able to figure it out from there. Or at least form a solid hypothesis at the very least. Might make things easier when the time comes.

Bucky doesn't say anything more after that, content to hold the genius instead as they both fall asleep. Best boyfriend ever.

 

***

 

Osiris,” Steve names and Tony gives a visible flinch. Oh no, oh no no no. If they are going to start talking about him then Tony is so out. He is not going to stick around for a conversation on the damn Lord of the Dead. Because there are a few topics that always came up when his name was mentioned and Tony is not going to sit through that today.

Bucky gives Tony a concerned look. Usually his reactions aren't quite that noticeable. But it had been a long couple of days finishing deadlines for R&D as well as Doombots attacking the city – again. Damn Reed Richards. Why is he never in planet to go after his own damn villain? Honestly, the nerve of some people.

“Oh no,” Tony says out loud.

“What?”

“Thor is Osiris because Loki is obviously Seth and I do not want to start thinking about that whole family mess.”

Because Loki reminds Tony so much of Seth. Which is why Tony has a soft spot for the little pest. Not that he plans on telling anyone that. Ever.

“Someone call my name?”

Shit.

The team turns and sees a fit red haired Egyptian man leaning against the doorway.

Double shit.

“Who are you?” Steve demands, jumping into action. The rest of the team quickly follows. “How did you get in?”

“Who am I?” the stranger raises an eyebrow. “I was not joking when I said you just literally said my name. And as for how I got in, I used the door of course.”

Beside Tony, Bucky tenses. Well triple shit. Of all the damn times he had to pick to visit, he had to do it when the team was present. Naturally. And this is basically of the assurance Bucky is going to need after this. The similarities...

“And allow me to answer your next question before you ask and save you the trouble. I am here on a family visit. It has been too long and I haven't even been properly introduced to my son's suitor yet.”

“Son?” Steve asks cautiously, if a bit curiously as well.

“Well step son technically, but details,” he waves his hand in a familiar manner.

Bucky gives Tony a side long look.

Tony nods and sighs. “Really? Now?” he asks. Looks like the gig is up.

“Of course. Frankly the only one of this team of yours I have met is Thor. And well...”

Tony nods. Well indeed. The less said on that topic the better.

“Now come here and give your old man a hug,” he grins.

“Asshole,” Tony tells him, but complies.

“Ummm, I hate to break up the moment, but what the hell is going on here?” Clint asks, voice incredulous.

Father and son raise an eyebrow at him.

“Ok, that's creepy.”

Tony casually glances over at Bucky. His boyfriend is grinning. “Only you dollface,” he reassures.

Tony grins back. Like he said, best boyfriend ever.

“We named Osiris and Seth,” Bruce says carefully. “And somehow I get the feeling you aren't Osiris.”

Again both Father and son pull the same face.

“No,” Seth answers drily, “I'm not.”

“Then who –?” Clint starts then stops.

“Anubis. Mom disguised herself as Aunt Isis and got it on with Uncle Osiris to have me. But seeing as I lean more towards chaos then order–“

“–I did most of the raising,” Seth finishes. “Nephthys was more than happy to let me do so. Osiris just likes to claim he did instead. Bastard.”

“So all those times you flinched...”

“Don't even think about it bird brain.”

“So you are totally Hades then after all!”

“Stuff it Merida.”

Bucky give him a cheeky wink and Tony rolls his eyes. Oh yes, he's a keeper. Now to keep Dad from giving him the shovel talk...