Okay, this is basically just going to be a drabble – it’s the only thing I could manage, and I didn’t want to not post any fanfiction this week. So here it is! Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. I’m only borrowing them for this AU fanfic. They belong to whoever owns the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I think only they have the right to earn money off of these heroes. I don’t deserve to be paid for this at all, especially since I don’t think this is very good.
Again, this is an Alternate Universe fic. The characters are not the context that you normally see them in. If that’s not your kind of thing, feel free to turn back. In fact, you should turn back anyway; I expect that this is extra-horrible on my part.
As far as Tony Stark was concerned, he was king of SHIELD University. Of course, this was largely thanks to the fact that he recently saved it from bankruptcy – running your own multi-billion company while you’re still in college has its perks. He was therefore fully expecting everyone to fawn over him during the Fall term.
He didn’t expect Steve Rogers to have a fricking growth spurt over the summer.
“I still don’t see it,” he muttered as he disassembled and reassembled his smarphone on the picnic blanket. “I saved the school. Why is everyone paying attention to HIM? It’s not like he’s a hero or anything.”
“He put out a fire in the chemistry lab and hoisted Professor Coulson over his shoulder,” Rhodey replied, for the hundredth time. “It’s one thing to throw money at a problem. It’s another to actually get involved in a way that risks your physical safety.”
“Besides,” Pepper chimed in without looking up from her textbook. “YOU set the lab on fire, Tony.”
“It was an accident!”
“Bruce Banner says otherwise.”
“Dammit, I thought we were science bros!”
“Not if it means risking criminal charges, Tony!” the girl blew a lock of her hair away from her face as she swung her face up to her friend. “I’m not sure any sort of bro code would cover that kind of thing.”
“Rhodey helped me steal a tank.”
“That’s because he WANTS a tank.”
“I do love my weapons,” Rhodey agreed as he practiced flipping a fake rifle in the air. “Why do you think I joined the ROTC?”
Having completed the 50th assembly of his smartphone, Tony quirked his eyebrow at his best friend. “Frankly, I’m surprised that you haven’t joined the army.”
“Clearly, you forget that I only attended college because someone needs to keep an eye on you and Pepper can’t do that herself,” the friend in question retorted. “At least, she can’t if she wants to finish the…how many degrees are you taking up?”
Pepper shook her head in amusement. “Just two. And honestly, you guys should take your studies more seriously.”
“I don’t have to!” declared the self-proclaimed king of everything. “Because I’m a genius. Which is why I still don’t see what girls see in that Steve Rogers guy. Does he have a multi-billion business that he built with inventions? No. Can he make giant robots? Nope. I CAN. What makes him so cool?”
The redhead coughed delicately and mumbled something.
“What was that, Pepper?”
She cleared her throat. “He’s an artist. And we’re in college.”
Tony looked at her blankly. Rhodey started to crack up. “Oh man. There’s no way you can compete with that. This is romance territory.”
“Hey!” the multi-billionaire glared at his friends. “I can be romantic.”
“Oh, yeah,” Pepper replied airily, turning back to her book. “Very romantic. Like taking FIVE different girls to the prom. THAT ended well.”
“Well I very well can’t dash their hopes and dreams.”
They all fell silent.
A few minutes later, Tony piped up again. “Pep. Rhodey. I just realized something.”
His two friends looked at him expectantly.
“Steve Rogers is my NEMESIS. This is so cool.”
Pepper gave up, packed up her stuff, and walked off. Rhodey just stared at him in disbelief. Tony didn’t mind. He just launched into his brilliant plots.