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{Fic} My cat, Mike Hat (1/1) | Gen | MCU

My cat, Mike Hat (On AO3)
a.k.a. "Thor meets The Cat"
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Tony Stark, The Cat, Clint Barton, Natasha Romanov, Thor Odinson, Steve Rogers
Gen || Faint traces of Barnes/Stark, potentially pre-slash
Summary: Thor's been away. This is the first time he meets The Cat, and she finally gets a name.

Notes: The idea of Bucky and a cat came during my ongoing conversations with Rina while trying to work on big bang projects I signed up for. I've done snapshots of the relevant parts of messaging here on tumblr (the earliest discussion, at least).

The Cat is named by Thor. If you've seen Ghostbusters 2016, you'll recognize the name and understand.


The elevator arrived and Tony walked out with his gaze locked on a tablet in his hands. Without looking out he barked, "Get off the lights, Barton!" He paused behind the couch as he typed something rapidly onto the screen. "I swear to god I will replace the track lighting and will fill any gaps between the shelves and ceiling if you keep abusing your 'high places' to taunt the cat."

Clint's eyes narrowed but he didn't look away from his staring contest with the cat settled on James' head. James had lifted his gaze from his magazine when Tony came in, but seeing as nothing had changed with his current situation, he returned to the article. He wasn't getting very far. While The Cat ("Hellspawn!" Clint insisted) rarely rose to Barton's baiting, she occasionally shifted on James' head as she waited out the staring contest.

"Clint..." came Steve's exasperated voice as he came from the kitchen.

"She has to look away first," the archer stated. How he could sound so serious when he was a grown man perched precariously on the track lighting hanging from the high ceiling defied common sense. Still, it wasn't exactly an unusual situation.

"She always wins," James said. He let the magazine drop into his lap with a sigh. He tried to stretch his neck, but sharp claws made a threatening appearance as he jostled the feline.

"And not just against him," Tony noted, amusement clear in his tone. When James looked over, he was smirking.

Steve gave the couch James sat on a wide berth as he headed towards an armchair on the other side of the room. Tony snorted. The blond just shook his head and side-eyed the cat-adorned Winter Soldier. "Not even trying after the last five times."

"Aww, is Captain America scared of a little pussy?" Tony teased as he dropped down onto the other end of James' couch. His taunt garnered a bout of snickering from Clint. Steve's face did an impressive series of acrobatics as he shifted through annoyed, embarrassed, and appalled. James bit back laughter but couldn't stop the broad grin crossing his lips.

Finally Steve seemed to gather himself enough to say, "I don't appreciate the itchiness of healing cat scratches, that's all."

"Poor baby," Clint mocked from the ceiling, "suffering that awful hour of healing while the rest of us mere mortals have to fear cat-scratch fever!"

"That's what you get for challenging her," James countered, tilting his head slightly to see the archer. Clint hadn't shifted his stare from the cat.

"Swear to god, Barton..." Tony muttered.

"Speaking of," Natasha's voice came from behind James. He noticed Tony startle at her sudden appearance. "Thor's arrived."

"I didn't hear him," Tony said with a frown, casting a skeptical look out the window.

Natasha made her way to the entertainment stand below the television. "Maybe he's taken your complaints about sudden unsettling storms over the tower to heart. JARVIS saw him land on the roof." As she finished speaking, Natasha smoothly stepped onto the stand, jumped with her arms extended, and caught Barton's ankles with a firm grip. The two tumbled from the high perch, but like acrobats, rolled into the fall. Natasha rolled to her feet with ease, Clint let himself sprawl on the floor.

"No fair," he complained.

"You deserved that. Also: Hot," Tony said, pointing at Natasha. "And terrifying."

"Thank you." She examined her nails as she claimed a seat on the couch closest to Steve.

Tony turned to look at James. "Your cat even has the Widow steering clear. That's impressive."

"Hellspawn hates the rest of us except you!" Clint shouted from the floor. "She's a demon!"

"Aww, kitty has good taste." Tony leaned over with his arm extended until he could pet under the cat's chin. James held still, overly aware of how close Tony's hand was to his face - and how often it had been happening lately.

James pretended not to notice Natasha's and Steve's shared look of amusement.

The elevator opened again, JARVIS announcing, "Master Thor has returned."

"Greetings, friends! I bring good news. Fair Jane and Lady Darcy are planning to visit New York in a few weeks' time!"

Tony removed his hand to give Thor a thumbs-up. "Great news, buddy. You let them know they're welcome to stay here? Can probably even convince Pepper to let them use the private jet."

Thor's beaming face came into view as the demigod strode into the middle of the gathered team. "They most graciously accept. Thank you for your generous hospitality!" He glanced down at Clint's sprawled form with a small frown. "Are you alright?"

"No," the archer grumbled at the same time that Natasha said, "Yes."

Thor looked between them but apparently decided things were normal enough to turn his attention elsewhere. His gaze turned to James and his eyebrows rose high as he took in The Cat.

"And what is this?" he asked.

James felt The Cat shift on his head, probably sizing up the new person. "That's my cat."

Thor beamed and took a step forward. "Greetings, Lord Mike Hat!" James automatically leaned back as Thor reached out. The Cat growled and batted his outstretched fingers with her claws unsheathed. James grimaced at the lines of red immediately decorating the demigod's skin. "A fierce warrior, indeed."

"Uh... he said 'my cat', Thor," Tony corrected.

"She's Hellspawn!" Clint declared as he finally sat up. "Keep clear of her."

"She's not friendly with anyone but Bucky and Tony," Steve warned belatedly. He looked mildly concerned as Thor again pursued reaching out to pet.

"My mistake. Lady Mike Hat!" Thor ignored the claws sinking into his finger. James couldn't really move anywhere. Experience had taught him it was worse to interfere, so he sat awkwardly as Thor let the claws sink into one hand and he used the opposite to pet the cat. Her growls turned into a very confused sounding chirrup. "There we go. Lady Mike Hat is merely more familiar with bloodshed than friendship. I am sure she will warm to her teammates with time."

"Her name's Hellspawn, and I bet you a hundred bucks she's never going to warm up to us." Clint watched the scene with a suspicious expression. "Aren't you just feeding into her hunger for blood, anyway? It's already bad enough."

Thor chuckled as he stopped petting the cat. The Cat's claws seemed to have withdrawn a bit, and he easily moved his hands out of reach. He stepped back and idly rubbed a thumb over the deep claw marks.

With a grimace, James apologized, "She's kind of vicious, sorry. Most of what I've read recommends not declawing, though..."

"They're idiots!"

"Clint..." Steve shrugged. "But maybe with her behavior you should—"

"She's fine," Tony countered with a wave of his hand. "Do you want her to pick up more bad behaviors? Start biting you and pissing everywhere?"

"How about confine her to Barnes' apartment," Clint argued. He seemed to be pouting, probably because this argument never went anywhere.

Natasha patted the archer's head condescendingly. "Then we'd never see James because Mike Hat wouldn't abandon her post."

Thor nodded solemnly, though there was a twinkle of humor in his eyes. "To bar a warrior from her post is great folly."

"She doesn't go into fights," James protested.

Natasha cast him a pitying look. "You haven't needed to go out since she adopted you," she pointed out.

"Well, she's not going to come along."

"Are you going to be able to pry her off your head?" Steve asked, a hint of true concern coloring his tone.

Tony raised his hand. "Already thought of it." With a smirk he hitched his thumb towards the elevator. "She can't resist DUM-E. We'll just send them to wreck havoc in one of the empty apartments while we're gone."

James closed his eyes and groaned at the imagined chaos that would cause. "We've got to work on a better plan."

"Hey!" Tony protested, looking affronted.

"Tactics aren't always your specialty," Steve noted.

"Do you want to wrestle her off his head?"

"Please, don't." James reached up and immediately felt a soft, fur-covered head bump against his palm. The resulting purr vibrated strangely against his head.

"She seems quite taken with you," Thor noted with a smile. "I welcome Lady Mike Hat to the Avengers."

Clint promptly protested, "Oh no, no, no. Hellspawn is not an Avenger. I do not need to see furball merchandise popping up on street corners."

"Are we really going with that name now?" Tony asked, nose wrinkling.

James shrugged carefully, a small smile pulling at his lips. "Well it has the name 'hat' in it, so..."

"But Mike's—" Steve started.

"Actually I've known a couple ladies who used the name," Tony interrupted. He still cast James a skeptical look. "You sure? I mean, we know Barton's going to stick with Hellspawn. But do you really want to register Mike Hat with her 'chip?"

"Lady Mike Hat," Thor, Natasha, and James corrected in unison. The others stared at them in surprise. Natasha grinned.

"Yeah, I think she finally has a name," James determined. He shifted his fingers out of the way of Mike's rough cat tongue. "JARVIS, please update her microchip information."

"As you wish, sir."


And thus the cat now has a name. Thank you Ghostbusters.