So I'm jumping the gun a bit, here. I don't even know if the prompters for this like it yet. Oops. Therefore, the warning goes out that this first chapter is subject to change. That aside, I'd really love to hear your thoughts!


"Could you quit being such a prick for like, five seconds?" That's Barton, scowling at him over the quiver laid out on the counter. He's counting his arrows or something, who the hell cares.

"You stop being a prick," Tony wants to say, but that's childish and would only prove Barton's point. Instead he shrugs and says, "Baby, I was born this way," and judging by the way Barton's face is purpling that was the exact wrong thing to counter with.

"Do you have to be so insensitive?" Romanov hisses at him from her place next to Barton, and Tony wants to bang his head on the table. He didn't mean to make a crack at Barton's sexuality, honest - Tony himself is bi and could care less. But the man's lashing out at everyone and the arguing is giving him a headache.

"I just don't understand why you'd date a man," Rogers says, and he's trying hard to be casual and modern about things, but years of homophobia is ingrained in his system. He honestly doesn't understand and it's taking a toll. "Isn't it still frowned upon in society?"

"Are you 'frowning upon' me?" Barton spits, jamming the arrowhead in his hands straight into Tony's counter.

"Oi!" Tony says, alarmed. "Be nice to my stuff, okay?"

He's collectively ignored. "I'm not frowning upon you," Rogers says, but he's totally frowning, "I just don't think your downtime practices need to interfere with the job -"

"Downtime practices?" Barton repeats. "Interfering with the job? I'm sorry, but when Thor got dumped he was allowed to mope for a week. I'm not allowed to be upset that my boyfriend broke up with me?"

"Do not bring my emotional distress into this debate," Thor says hotly, clutching his hammer. He looks ready to throw it and that makes Tony very nervous. "It is not my fault nor Jane's if you make yourself argr."

Tony sucks in a breath. He's had that discussion with Thor already, with Jarvis playing translator as the god threw words around that didn't fit in the English language. By the look of it, Barton's gotten it, too, and so has Romanov. "Wow, Thor," he tries, "don't gotta be so harsh."

"I will speak as I please when my honor is scorned so," Thor says angrily, glaring daggers at the archer.

"Your honor means jack shit to me right now," says Barton, dismissive.

"Uh," Tony tries again, "let's not piss off the god of thunder, okay?"

"I agree with Tony," Bruce puts in from Tony's right, setting down his cup of tea. "I'd rather not risk a rampage. The stress might make my control slip."

"Please don't," Tony squeaks.

"Why is it always about the Hulk with you?" Barton demands. "Is that all you care about?"

"I don't much like killing people and leveling cities," Bruce says evenly. "That's what happens with the Hulk. If we could just diffuse the situation, I'd appreciate it, my blood pressure is skyrocketing and I just -"

"You should be proud of your beast," Thor rumbles, successfully distracted (for now). "He is a worty warrior, unlike yourself."

"I'm fine this way, thank you," Bruce replies mildly.

"At least the Hulk is a worthy team mate," Thor grumbles. "You all are so small and childish. I will not stand for it." He lifts Mjolnir, and Tony flinches as his window gets smashed.

"Hey," he calls, but Thor jumps out the window and flies away. Tony only hopes he won't leave the city.

"What a dick," Barton mutters. They all turn to look at him. "What?" he says defensively. "He was being an ass."

"He's a prince," Bruce says. "Try not to let it bother you."

"Bother me!" The archer glares. "How should I not let it bother me?"

"Your sexuality bothers him," Rogers points out, immediately looking like he wishes he hadn't when Barton turns the look on him.

"You still got a problem with me?"

"It just - the idea makes me uncomfortable -"

"Then take your discomfort to a different floor!"

Tony leans forward. "Guys, let's just take a minute and -"

"Shut up, Stark." Rogers just shakes his head and storms away, snatching up his comm off the table by the elevator. The doors slide open and close silently behind him.

Tony breaks the silence with, "Did you really have to put a hole in my counter? Yes, you have nice arms, we all know and appreciate this, but next time please take your frustrations and your muscles somewhere that doesn't feature my furniture. Okay?"

Barton looks thoroughly sickened. "You're disgusting," he growls. "What part of 'just broke up with boyfriend' did you miss? And you're pulling that shit?" He scoffs. "I wouldn't go for you if you were the last guy on earth."

That actually stings a little. "Well, you don't have to be rude about it," he mutters, crossing his arms. Bruce pats his shoulder consolingly.

Barton wrenches the arrowhead out of his counter. "You're all jackasses. I need a minute or twenty."

He gets up, snatching his quiver and bow off the damaged counter, and leaves.

Finally Romanov stands. "Really, Stark?" she asks despairingly. "Do you not realize that flirting is the worst possible thing to do at this moment?"

"Sorry," he says immediately, reflexively. "For the record, I don't think I deserved any of the nasty comments directed at me."

She shakes her head. "Think before you speak and it won't be such a problem."

"I do think," he protests. "I just have less time to think when everyone's gearing up to bite each other's heads off."

"Think faster, then," she says shortly. "Do us a favor and don't try to play camp counselor, okay? You're making it worse."

The elevator doors open for her. "Stay put," Romanov says, and she steps into the lift. The doors close.

Tony groans. "Why me?"

"It's for the best," Bruce says consolingly. "You don't have the greatest brain-to-mouth filter, after all."

"Yeah." Tony sighs. "But this isn't entirely on me. Right?"

"Right," confirms Bruce. "Now, I'm going to go find Thor and drag him off to Canada or something, where we won't level cities. And um, maybe consider following Agent Romanov's advice, alright?"

"What, stay put?"

"That." One more shoulder pat. "Be good," Bruce teases, and then he leaves, too. Tony just sits there for a good fifteen more minutes, finishing Bruce's tea because why the hell not.

"Jarvis," he says at last, "activate the trackers. If I'm not allowed to go chasing after them, I at least have the right to know where they are."

"If you say so, sir," is his AI's answer. Of course, this is when the intruder alarms go off.

Of course.