not mine, no profit garnered. title from amy rigby's needy men. thanks a!


The night before, Scott and Cassie had been reading a gripping story about meerkats and sharing and talking about important things. The meerkats in the story were all over good communication between people who cared about each other. So Scott said to Sam Wilson, "I need a minute. I have to talk to Hope. You don't know her. But trust me."

When they got to the airport, Scott was possibly awkward. He was definitely awkward. But Hope was predictably together. She listened as Captain America pepped everyone up. Then Hope said, "Wait, is this the plan?" She frowned. "I've only met Tony Stark three times and I would bet he only remembers one of those times, but. I know someone very similar very well. If you approach him this way, he'll just react and won't listen. Trust me. But you can get him on your side."

Scott said, "Do you mean your dad? I don't know about that, Hope."

"More similarities than differences," Hope said grimly. "Believe me."

Hope was absolutely right. Scott was surprised but tried not to show it. He should probably have more confidence in his lovely sort of partner. Captain America started with his approach and then when they were just about to start fighting, Hope stepped forward. Things got solved. Heck, by the end of Hope's intervention, Iron Man and Captain America were organizing an assault to Siberia. "Heavy hitters this way," Stark said. He waved Scott away.

Hope had a tight smile. "Let's get out of here before we get caught."

"Great idea," Colonel Rhodes said. Between Colonel Rhodes and Hope, Scott, Sam Wilson, and that Hawkeye guy were all on planes going home. Rhodes said someone named Happy would be dealing with the Spider guy.

"Weird theme," Scott said. "Ant, Wasp, Spider. Even Black Widow. Do you think there's a Fly Guy out there? Or a Moth? Ooh, Butterfly. I bet Butterfly would be cool."

"Firefly," Hawkeye said. "I bet Firefly would really neat. Bright guy."

Scott could feel the eye roll from Wilson. And Hope outdoing it.

They separated and Hope and Scott were back in the Bay area. Hope sat on his bed, right on the edge. She did not love his place in Oakland but they were not at the move in together stage. She looked at him with a small smile. She said, "Thanks for asking me."

"For once, I decided not to be an idiot," Scott said. "You saved the universe, basically."

Hope looked at him fondly but with a lot of skepticism. She had that look a lot. Scott Lang lived in the wonder of that look. He said, "No, really, if there'd been a fight then who knows what would have happened to the Avengers?"

Apparently the Siberia expedition went badly. Scott didn't get the details on that one. Hope did. Hope got all the details because Tony Stark called her in to help. She flew out to DC. Hank made some choice old man remarks about that one.

"I wouldn't let my girl near Tony Stark," Dave said.

"I don't let Hope do anything and she's not a girl," Scott said.

"Stark and his lady no more," Kurt said.

"Hope doesn't want that," Scott said. They were setting up their business and Scott was sitting in his desk. It was nothing like his old kinda cubicle before he'd been arrested and it wasn't better but it wasn't too much worse.

"Who would want money and genius? I wouldn't worry, Scott," Luis. "Don't worry."

"She said Stark reminded her of her dad," Scott said. "She doesn't want to date her dad."

"No woman ever ended up dating a guy like her dad," Dave said with a smile.

"I'm not going to let this drive me crazy," Scott said. "I'm going to be sane, cool, and collected about this."

When he called Hope that night, his first words were, "Please tell me you're not planning to date Tony Stark now that he's single. Is he hitting on you? I've heard he's very charming. He looked good for his age in Berlin. Who am I kidding? He looked good period. He works that goatee. I get it."

Hope sighed. "Just because he's single doesn't mean he's not still obviously in love with his ex. I bet they get back together before you know it. And no, he's not hitting on me. I wouldn't date him anyway. And I'm having a good time, thanks for asking."

"That's good to hear, are you having a good time? How is Washington, DC? I've never been. Cassie wanted to know if you've met any Supreme Court Justices. She really only cares about the women Justices," Scott said. "You're great and I'm very attracted to you."

"I haven't met a single decent person, frankly," Hope said. "But we've managed to defang a lot of the stupidity in the Accords. Why would you think I would run off with Tony Stark? I don't hate my dad that much anymore."

"That's a good point," Scott said. "I should have remembered that."

"Yes, you should have," Hope said. "He's really just miserable and moody. Stark, I mean. A lot like Dad at his worst, frankly. I might say that to him. Dad, I mean." She laughed a little. "I'll see if I can find something for Cassie."

"You're the best," Scott said.

He went into work the next day and told them all they'd gotten him in trouble. "Why do I ever listen to you guys?"

"We have a lot of common sense advice," Dave said. "We're salt of the earth."

"Salty," Kurt said.

Luis launched into an amazing story about the time he dined at the same restaurant in Los Altos that Pepper Potts had been dining at, at the same time and they had ordered the same wine. The same vintage, even. Pepper Potts had the Luis seal of approval.

"I don't know about Tony Stark, though," Luis said.

"I heard he doesn't like Morrissey," Scott said. He'd made that up but it felt true.

He had Cassie for the night. "I want to read something about Washington, DC," Cassie said. "Where Hope is. Is she going to get me something? I hope you asked. Politely."

"I didn't have to ask, Hope volunteered," Scott said. "That's how polite she is."