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Bookshop Crack, PG, Marvel, Star Trek, SPN

Title: Bookshop crack
Author: caitri
Rating: G
Pairings: Steve/Tony (pre-slash), Erik/Charles (background), Kirk/McCoy (further background)
Word Count: 1,440
Summary: Steve and Tony have an eventful afternoon at The Common Reader. A printer!verse ficlet.
Disclaimer: I know this may come as a shock, but I am not, amazing as it may seem, Stan Lee, Avi Arad, or Marvel Pictures. Just so you know.
A/N: Um, so this takes place somewhere in a couple of WIPs, but suffice to say in this universe, Erik Lehnsherr has a bookstore where Raven works, and he’s totally space-married to Charles Xavier who is an English professor with Steve Rogers. (Tony Stark is that annoying guy from Digital Humanities.) Just…roll with it, okay? (bonus for Supernatural walk-ons.)

ETA: Now with epic art by the amazing gadgetorious! Go leave her love!!!!

“Huh,” Tony says as he peers at the shop window. The Common Reader is emblazoned across the glass in gold letters with the silhouette of a figure peering into an open book. It looks comfortably old-fashioned. “I think I might’ve gotten kicked out of here once.”

He can feel Steve staring at him.

“Tony,” Steve says uncertainly, “how do you even get kicked out of a bookstore?”

It’s a disconcertingly good question, completely unbecoming of someone who actually has the phrase American Studies unironically appended to their professorship. “Um.” He actually has to think about this for a moment.

“Never mind, I don’t want to know.” Steve looks uncomfortable—and also regretful. “I really like this bookstore, but we can go somewhere el—”

“No, no, it’s fine,” Tony says hurriedly, without thinking. “It’s cool. I’m sure it’s okay. They probably don’t even remember, it was a long time ago.”

Steve looks so relieved and delighted that Tony feels that odd lurch in his stomach again. (That was bad, so, so bad.) “Yeah? After you, then.” And he holds the door open for Tony. Feeling ridiculous, Tony enters the shop.

Inside are two floors of tall bookcases, dark furniture, and elegant lighting. In a space to one side is a grouping of fat, squashy armchairs and a small table with a chessboard set and waiting to be played. There are only a couple of browsers roaming through the store, but then it’s just past lunch on a weekday, which is hardly rush time. Something comfortably indie and unidentifiable plays quietly in the background.

Tony looks around and shrugs nonchalantly. “Between, well, everything and that Common Grounds place down the street, this must be the hipster heaven-haven of Berkeley.”

Steve’s lips quirk upwards in a grin. “And you said they kicked you out of here, huh? Wonder why.”

“I think it was because I asked for a book by Lev Grossm—” Tony starts to answer, but breaks off when a young woman comes up to them with a welcoming smile.

“Welcome to The Common Reader, can I help—Oh! Hey, Professor Rogers!” The girl, who is all golden hair and pink cheeks and poured into a delightful sweater and miniskirt combo, flushes when she recognizes Steve, turning her complexion something like peaches and cream.

“Hi, Raven.” Steve, of course, smiles back at her. Tony feels a stab of something ridiculously like jealousy. “Registered for next semester’s courses yet?”

Oh, of course Steve not only recognizes a student, but knows her name, too. He would.

“Yeah, I’ve got Intro Russian, Honors Biology, Life Drawing—” God help him, she’s actually counting out on her fingers as she recites her schedule. “—Your seminar on the Literature of the Second World War, and then Emergence of Digital Humanities.” She makes a face. “I heard Professor Stark’s a total dick, though.”

“A brilliant dick,” Tony says before he can help himself. He turns on the full force of his shit-eating grin for good measure. He can feel Steve’s elbow in his side, but ignores it. “Still, if you’re worried about it, you could totally sign up for Odinsson’s Nordic Mythology class, I hear it’s a hoot—”

“So, Raven, do you guys have the new Carver Edlund book?” Steve asks, voice strangely high.

“I think so, let me check.” Raven, successfully diverted, heads towards a computer terminal.

“She’s cute,” Tony says when she’s out of earshot.

“She’s Charles Xavier’s little sister.” It’s amazing how much disapproval and horror Steve is able to squeeze into six words, really it is.

“Am I supposed to know who that is?” Though the name does sound familiar…

“Tony, we voted on his tenure case last week!”

“Wait, we voted on a tenure cases last week?” Tony feels something like guilt at Steve’s appalled expression.

Steve finally just shakes his head. “You really don’t read Fury’s departmental memos do you?”

“Not really, no. Boring. Life’s short, the art’s long—oh look, she’s back.”

And Raven is, grinning as she pushes a lock of hair behind one ear. “We just got it,” she assures Steve, “it’s over in Fantasy.” She leads them up the stairs to a wall of cases and a shelf filled with a dozen neat mass-market paperbacks all emblazoned with Supernatural above the titles. She pulls one volume out and puts it in Steve’s hands. “The new one’s called The Monster at the End of This Book, how awesome is that?”

Steve is already reading the back cover eagerly. “It’s another one of the meta ones?!”

“I know, right?” Raven turns to Tony. “Have you read them? They’re amazing!”

Before Tony can answer, they are interrupted. “They really aren’t,” says a very tall young man a few years older than Raven. “They’re actually really bad.”

“Beyond bad,” a shorter man agrees. A third, poker-faced and standing stiffly in a trenchcoat, says nothing. When they stare at the odd threesome, the first speaker looks slightly abashed.

“Just saying,” he says.

“Bad,” the second man reiterates before being pulled aside by the guy in the trenchcoat.

“Interesting clientele,” Tony remarks.

“Right,” Raven says uncertainly before turning back to Steve. “Can I help you find anything else?”

“No, I’m good,” Steve says, looking up from reading the front matter of his paperback to smile at her politely. He had probably been sufficiently absorbed in his print geekery that he hadn’t even noticed the weirdness of that—whole weird thing. “Tony?”

“Hmm? Oh. Uh, I guess I could stand to browse a bit more.” He looks around thoughtfully. “This place is pretty nice as far as bastions of outdated media go.”

“I’m sorry?” Raven looks confused.

“Tony.” Steve’s voice is stern as he shuts his book. He glances apologetically at Raven. “I’m sorry, he doesn’t really play well with others.”

Tony refrains from flinching and instead chooses to smile more brightly than ever even as he contemplates the odds of getting thrown out a second time. “Well,” he drawls smugly, “it’s only a matter of time before the entirety of the written word becomes the digitized word—”

“Oh here we go.” Steve shakes his head and turns to Raven. “This is Professor Stark, by the way. Consider that fair warning.” He puts his paperback under his arm and heads back to the stairs.

“It’s not so much a warning as an introduction,” Tony says to a gaping Raven. “Uh, excuse me.” And he follows Steve. “C’mon, was that really necessary?”

“Warnings are always necessary where you’re involved, Stark,” Steve says tiredly.

“YOU!” They both freeze at the angry, stentorian tone.

“See.” Steve would probably be smug if he wasn’t worried.

They turn to see a tall, lanky man in a turtleneck and tight fitting jeans glowering at Tony.

“Uh oh.”

“I thought you said you got thrown out a long time ago.” Steve can’t even manage to sound like he really believes that.

“August is a long time ago!” Tony protests.

“Tony, it’s November. Look, I’m sorry for—whatever Tony did,” Steve starts to say to the store owner, then pauses and turns to Tony. “Wait, why am I even defending you here?”

“Deep down you like me?” Tony offers. To his surprise, Steve starts to turn pink, but he forces himself to not contemplate that and instead decides to manfully face the problem at hand. To the store owner he says, “Look, I’m sorry about The Magicians thing, I really am. I read it and learned my lesson and I’m sorry.” He notices a stack of colorful novels nearby, and picks the top one up, holding it in front of him like a shield. “See?”

Raven appears to whisper something into the man’s ear. “Please, Erik?” she says, casting a hopeful glance their way.

Erik sighs. “Fine.” He glances at the book in Tony’s hands—something called Heat Wave. “Richard Castle is coming for a signing next month.” With a final dubious look, he leaves them be.

“Thank you, Raven.” Steve exhales and grins at the young woman.

“No problem, professor,” she says to him, and turns to appraise Tony. “Thanks for the warning.”

Tony tips the spine of the book in her direction as a salute and heads to the cash register.

Another pair of men are ahead of them in line, one of them holding the same Castle novel. “Shut up, Jim,” the one with the book says, “I’ve been waiting for this one a damn long time!”

“Sure, Bones,” the other snorts in good-natured amusement. “A year. So hard. I’ve been reading A Song of Ice and Fire for the past decade!”

“Interesting neighborhood,” Tony comments as the men step away to make their purchase.

“You don’t know the half of it,” Steve agrees, and then it’s their turn.


( 35 comments — Add your .02 )
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Dec. 14th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
*lol* Really, I laughed. The last two sentences are amazing. *g*

This one fic has almost all my favorite fandoms. X-Men, Avengers, Star Trek, SPN and Castle and I really can't wait to see which other characters will appair in the next fics! I also need to read the other fics in this verse...
Dec. 15th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
*G* Glad you liked it!!!!
Dec. 14th, 2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
Just when I think I can't love this 'verse anymore, you go and add tony and steve to the mix. Awesome, bb! Can't wait for more!
Dec. 15th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
*G* The neverending crackverse of nerdy crack!!! Glad you liked it, bb!!!! <33
Dec. 14th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
I really love just how perfect you write Tony ♥
Dec. 15th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
This comment makes me so warm and toasty inside, bb!!! <3
Dec. 14th, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
afjsl;dfjasfdasj;k OMG, you've hit just about every single one of my favorite shows/fandoms! ::smooches:: Thank you!
Dec. 15th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
Okay what did I miss? I wonder if I can work it in some way.... ;)
(no subject) - sail_aweigh - Dec. 15th, 2011 01:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - caitri - Dec. 15th, 2011 01:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 14th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
I love how many different fandoms you've managed to merge together in one story. I adore everything you write in this 'verse and look forward to when some of those other WIPs are done!
Dec. 15th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
<333 I've been working on the CG/Red/Castle AU off and on for a while now, then Charles and Erik wanted in too... Maybe for Xmas?
Dec. 14th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
My love for you, it cannot be expressed in words. Or possibly at all. Suffice it to say, there is a lot of it.
Dec. 15th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
***cuddles forever***
Dec. 14th, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
I'm assuming that Loki is the one teaching Norse Mythology. Looking forward to reading the stories that you have planned.
Dec. 15th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)
Actually Thor is teaching Norse Mythology. I actually haven't decided what Loki would do in an academic AU. Possibly Tech Support/Information Systems because,well, really!*G*G*
Dec. 15th, 2011 03:56 am (UTC)
LOL, poor Steve! (He has it hard (and BAD))
Dec. 15th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC)
He really really does! *G* Thanks for reading and commenting!!
Dec. 15th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC)
Hee hee hee hee, this was so cute, bb. :D
Dec. 16th, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
i don't know who the three weird ones are but this was adorable!!!!
Dec. 16th, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
Dean, Sam, and Cas. (The big hint? The SUPERNATURAL books. And the A/N about SUPERNATURAL walk ons!)
Dec. 17th, 2011 04:20 am (UTC)
Brilliant. As always
Dec. 17th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
*G* Glad you liked it!!!
Dec. 17th, 2011 07:30 am (UTC)
this has to be one of the greatest crackiest things I've ever read.

All these fandoms together make me soooo happy.... Steve reading the Supernatural books and I ♥ brief Dean, Sam, and Cas rant about the books!!
Dec. 17th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
*G* Glad you liked it!!!!
Dec. 20th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
Ahaha! That was fun! Love the way you juggle so many crossovers!
Dec. 22nd, 2011 04:32 pm (UTC)
*G*G* Glad you liked it!!!!
Dec. 22nd, 2011 11:33 am (UTC)
OH MY GOD! Of course you would wrap up like ALL of my favorite pairings into one neat little snackfic! Really! I am in love with you all over again.

That was amazing. Thank you. I was cackling so hard.
Dec. 22nd, 2011 04:32 pm (UTC)
*G*G* Your comment makes me grin like a happy grinning fool!! <3

And one day I will even finish all these WIPs so it will all make sense!
(no subject) - sororexitium - Dec. 22nd, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 10th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC)
Dude. Fab, as ever!

“I think it was because I asked for a book by Lev Grossm—” Tony starts to answer, but breaks off when a young woman comes up to them with a welcoming smile.
Whaaat? What? What's wrong with The Magicians? :D I more than kind of love that series.
Feb. 10th, 2012 02:50 pm (UTC)

And sorry, but I hated The Magicians. I thought it was badly written, especially when there was so much opportunity to do interesting things with the concept. It's also the ONLY book that my husband, my best friend, my mentor, and a coworker have ever ALL AGREED ON, which is pretty astounding.
(no subject) - ageofalejandro - Feb. 10th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
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( 35 comments — Add your .02 )

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