Oh wise creator of the toaster!verse, which is the optimal toast cooking setting?
Here is my toasting procedure:
1. Put bread in slots. Wander away, confident that you will return to golden brown deliciousness.
2. Return a minute later to find that toaster has spit out the bread, still sad and pale and not at all toast. Check the settings, realize that toaster is still set for when you made pretzels, which means that the bread is so cold needs a jacket.
4. Change the setting on the toaster.
4a. Changing the setting on the toaster will guarantee that next time you make pretzels, they will end up charred and black because you will have forgotten you touched the settings because YOU ARE AN IDIOT.
5. Stare at the toaster this time, sure that you will be aware of the exact moment that toast nirvana will occur.
6. Miss that moment, remove kind of charred toast.
8. Scrape black bits off into the trash, or, if you’re feeling super lazy, into the sink.
9. Realize you should’ve taken the butter out of the fridge when this process started, but nope, hard as a brick and your toast is cooling rapidly.
10. Give up, eat toast.
There is a reason why I invented a technological marvel of a toaster that CAN DO THIS RIGHT WITHOUT MY INPUT.
“Stop. There are not words to describe all the ways that that sentence is wrong. No. I can’t-” Tony pressed a hand to the muscle twitching beside his eye. “No.”
Steve ignored him. “Bruce was trying to teach Thor to knit, and they decided on a tea cozy he could give his mother-”
“Please stop. Please, Steve.”
“And it didn’t go all that well, it was a little lopsided and not mom-present worthy, so Bruce was trying to cheer him up and find something else they could use his work for, and they settled on a hat because it was already the right shape, but it was too small for any of us, even though Thor tried it on.” He paused. “You should be glad we didn’t publish THAT picture in the New York times.”
“So. Much. Pain,” Tony gritted out.
“So since Thor loves Calcifer the toaster like a pet, the hat got a pompom and was gifted upon the toaster.”
There's a bit at the end of "You or Someone Like You" where Tony sees "himself" on a video file and it reminds him of Howard. It makes me curious. What would you consider the differences in personality between the Bot!verse Avengers and the Toaster!verse Avengers?
They’re very similar in a lot of ways, but sudden and unexpected fatherhood has altered the way that Botverse Tony has learned to cope with things.
I think of it this way. Toasterverse Tony is my slightly more influenced by comics version of the character. The events of IM1 in canon changed him, and adapting to the Avengers changed him again. Despite the movies’ bluster about him not being a team player, he always has been. He adapts pretty quickly to use the environment and allies’ strengths. You see this repeatedly, with Rhodey, with Cap, with the other Avengers. He makes snap judgements about what is most likely to result in a positive outcome, and if that means working with others, or taking orders from someone else, he does it.
He’s used to being in charge, but he knows when it’s in his best interest to cede control, cede leadership to someone with better skills or more intelligence in a particular arena. And he’s happier when all the weight of ‘win or lose it’s all on you’ isn’t dragging him down. We see that as a recurring nightmare. He can win with allies.
But if he loses, he loses because HE HIMSELF failed.
The Botverse Tony follows MCU canon really closely through Avengers, and then it all goes to ‘everyone moves in and he falls in love with a teammate’ fanfic hell. Since the fic verse follows the actual progression, instead of jumping straight into ‘they live together and everything is awesome’ territory, I spent more time adjusting his inner workings to see how he could learn to work with these people.
If the Botverse hadn’t ended up going to ‘MAGICAL CHILD!’ land, they probably would’ve been very similiar. But the introduction of DJ changes things. Whereas in the Toasterverse, Tony can remain at a certain distance from his memories of his father, Botverse Tony can’t. It’s not an option for him. He’s forced, by the strange twist of magic and fate, to look directly at his own childhood, and his father’s attempts at parenting.
I think that Botverse Tony has a bit more sympathy for his father. Maybe even a measure of forgiveness. He understands things, because now he’s experiencing them. He’s reacting to them differently, but he’s got one foot in his father’s shoes, and that helps.
He has a difficult, strange, stubborn, intractable, brilliant child who desperately needs him. Who needs an emotional depth of care that Howard was not capable of providing, and that Tony is terrified that he isn’t, either. But he’s trying. He is trying so hard to overcome what he considers his own stunted emotional state, for the sake of this child.
But there are times when he thinks, no wonder Dad drank so much. And then he makes the deliberate, conscious choice to do something different. To try something else. He’s not sure that DJ’s going to do any better than he did, growing up, but he’s determined that if he fails, it’s not going to be for lack of effort.
ToasterverseTony hasn’t really had to go in depth with his relationship with his father. It’s a dark little closet in the back of his head that he keeps closed, as much as possible, and when he has to open it, it’s not for long, and it’s still a trauma. BotverseTony has long since opened that door and spent a long time looking critically at what is in there. Then he’s dragged it all out, and exposed it to the light of day, where it ceases to be quite so frightening, and becomes more something he can learn from. He doesn’t like to do it, he doesn’t want to do it, but he wants, even less, for DJ to have to do the same thing in a few decades.
I've been re-reading your toaster-verse/bots-verse/phil shorts (because Weekend at Barton's is phenomenal!!!), but haven't yet gotten back to all of them. How did Darcy and Harris start dating, and is that story written and I missed it? Also, is the story of Clint trying to be Darcy's handler (the thought of their tequila/peyote adventures) through New Mexico written? And I missed it somehow? Can you please post a link? Love your writing. :)
Nope, I haven’t written Darcy and Clint’s adventures yet, but it’s in the file of things I think about a lot.
That fic really dropped the floor out from under me. I really put my heart into it, all my love of the comics, my love of the women who haven’t, and probably never will, make it to the screen, my love of female realtionships and friendships and the networks women of all types build to sustain themselves in a world that is often very unwelcoming if not downright threatening.
I wanted to look at relationships that go unseen: Angela the FBI agent and Natasha the SHIELD agent commiserating about ops gone wrong. Darcy and Jane painting their nails and having a bitch session about life. Ororo as a steadying influence, a leader and a sister figure to the other, younger, X-Men. Dr. Garza, a step out of the chain of command, able to talk candidly to Maria, and Maria talking candidly to her.
It’s about the lives they build, that shouldn’t take a back seat to anyone else.
While I was writing it, it was, WITHOUT QUESTION, the lowest numbers of likes, reblogs and comments as I’ve ever gotten on fic here on Tumblr. I’d post and it would just disappear into silence. A couple of times, I ended up half crying at Sam, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, because this was a story I wanted to tell, and it seemed like no one wanted to hear it.
It’s very discouraging, and you have to take a step back. You have to remind yourself, people are here because you write one thing, and when you don’t write that thing, you’re going to lose a chunk of your audience immediately. It had no established ship to hook people, it had no sex, no crazy humor, and it played to quiet theaters, as you might say, to a small, but kind, audience.
And halfway through, I was sitting there going, no one’s going to read this. This is something important I’m doing with Darcy, in my world, and no one’s going to read it. I should save it, I should put it somewhere else.
But to me, this is where it belonged. It belonged in a story about women, about the choices they make, the compromises they make. I didn’t want that playing backup to another chapter of Steve and Tony have relationship problems. I wanted this to be the story for these women, to the EXCLUSION of men.
And that was part of the problem.
Half the time, I’d post a chapter and half my comments would be, “Well, what’s Clint doing now?” “How is Tony reacting?” “When does Thor get his nails painted?” And I got very frustrated, very quickly. I hadn’t pulled a bait and switch, I hadn’t tagged it as a Clint/Phil piece then not had them show up. I was trying to write one story where men are secondary.
And it seemed, that wasn’t what people wanted to read.
Trust me, people were blunt about it. I got asks that were just, “So when are you getting back to your other fic?” The story has a bookmark, someone BOOK MARKED IT to say, “I like the author, but I just don’t care about Hill or lesbian bars that much.” I was told that Darcy wrestling with her bisexuality and how that complicated her life was ‘forced and unpleasant to read.’ I was told that I should stick to what I’m good at.
I fought that story, every inch of the way, to present a diverse, complicated set of women and the relationships that sustained them. Dr. Garza’s quiet acceptance of her asexuality, and her assurance that her life was different, but no less fulfilling, no less full of love and affection. Natasha, choosing to have a sexual but not romantic relationship with someone she trusts and likes. Maria and Sif, running full speed at each other, despite knowing their lives will make a relationship hard to sustain.
And Darcy and Harris, who were friends, who ARE friends, deciding they wanted something more than that. Who get together in terms of mutual respect and acceptance and admiration.
It’s a story I took too long to tell, because it’s hard to feel like you’re wasting your time and energy to write something no one wants to read. That’s hard. Maybe it made me tougher. I don’t know. God knows, I’m as thin skinned and easily hurt as I’ve ever been.
But now? I delete the comments about why am I not writing something ‘better’ and keep going. I’m going to write Lucy and DJ falling in love, inch by inch, day by day. I’m going to write Anna Garza navigating the confusing waters of SHIELD. I’m going to write things about women, about OCs, about asexuals and lesbians and bisexuals and things that aren’t white dudes.
Hello, I am completely in love with the toaster verse, and was just wondering if there are any plans for a fic set between Hollow Your Bones and Somethings Shouldn't Be A Chore. Thanks for the amazing fics. :)
“How Tony Stark Tricked Some of the Smartest, Most Paranoid People in the World Into Living With Him” is on the list.
Sci, I have to ask, do you actually have a toaster named Calcifer? Because that would be perfect. (We named our toaster Calcifer after your verse)
I had Wonks the toaster. He was kinda broken, and only one slot worked, and the crumb tray perpetually just fell out for no reason, and you had to turn the toast halfway through because one side was distinctly hotter than the other.
For UNKNOWN REASONS, one time when my father was visiting, he threw Wonks away.
It was a horrible betrayal to come into the kitchen and find a shiny black box that actually worked where my precious dopey toaster should have been. My dad has this weird thing about not getting attached to inanimate objects that don’t actually work.