a/n: This particular bit of madness was written in a short space of time with some specific keywords/phrases from a conversation I was having with my best mate. And as such, is dedicated to him. So he better bloody like it.
ETA: beta'd and added something in. I like the Thursday thing. Just coz where I come from, the word "Thursday" does actually sound like "Thorsday". Gotta love it.
"Can you, ah, stop doing that?"
"The whole repeatedly jabbing me in the side of the head with the eraser end of a pencil thing."
It stopped abruptly.
"Wait, you thought that was me? That wasn't me. Are you sure something was jabbing you? I didn't see a thing."
"No. You wouldn't have. Why are you so desperate to get the Hulk out here anyway?"
"I wanted to thank him for saving my life."
"He says you're welcome."
"You can't talk to him."
"Seriously, trust me, I can."
"Why would I-?"
The door opened and a very haggard looking Clint wandered in, heading for the sink. Bruce was sitting drinking coffee and reading the paper (or he would be if Tony wasn't jabbing him in the head) and Tony was, well, being annoying. Their eyes followed Clint to the sink, where he abandoned all pretence, turned on the tap and started to drink water straight from the stream.
"Some night, huh?" Tony said, and Clint looked at him with deadened eyes.
"Don't ever drink with circus performers. Ever."
"I've never planned on it, strangely enough. Do you need a glass? Do you know where the glasses are?"
Clint ignored him and proceeded to put his head under the cold tap.
"Don't you think you should use a shower for that and not the kitchen sink?"
"Are you always this irritating to people who have hangovers?"
"I don't have a hangover, and yet he's spent the last 40 minutes jabbing me in the side of the head with a pencil."
Clint looked confused, "Why would you even do that?"
"How many times, that wasn't me."
"JARVIS, was that Tony?"
A robotic voice sounded from nowhere, "It was indeed."
Bruce looked smug and Tony scowled, "Useless robot."
Clint flopped down on to a chair and proceeded to use the table as a pillow.
"Do you want some aspirin, Clint? I'm sure we have some."
"Bruce, give me anything to kill this headache and I'll be forever in your debt."
"I could kill you. That might work. Or maybe we could get Loki back."
"I don't think Loki taking over my mind changed physical sensation, Tony. And no. I'd rather not be dead, thanks."
"I think Natasha might already be well on her way to killing you..."
"Why, what've I done now?"
"Something about hanging with circus freaks while you should be doing something with her."
If it was even possible, Clint's face blanched whiter.
"Oh, that so wasn't last night."
"What was she all dressed up for?"
"She dressed up?"
"Yeah, you're a total idiot for missing out on that one."
Clint hit his head against the table a few times for good measure while Tony squeezed his shoulder. Bruce put a glass of dispersible aspirin down in front of Clint.
"Hitting your head isn't going to get rid of the headache."
"I want to cry."
"Yeah. I would too. She's pretty hot."
"Don't torture me, man."
Clint downed the aspirin with a grimace.
"I think I may go to bed."
"Want a bodyguard?"
"I think I'm gonna need one. Can I sleep in your room? It's the last place she'd look."
"She can just ask JARVIS," Bruce said and Clint honestly teared up.
"Tony, please, ask JARVIS not to tell her where I am."
Tony saluted, "JARVIS, don't tell Natasha where Clint is. And yes, you can sleep in my bed. Providing you don't get any bodily fluids on the sheets and you sleep in more than just your pants."
"And, like, have a shower or something before."
"Bruce, can I sleep in your bed, please?"
"In my underwear?"
"If you must."
"Without a shower?"
"I assume that's why you asked."
"Thank you. You're a life saver."
"Bruce, buddy, he stinks of alcohol and Lynx."
Bruce looked confused, "What's wrong with Lynx?"
"Oh my god, you're all so…"
"Would you have gone on your date wearing that, Clint?"
"Um, yes. And it wasn't even a date. I don't know why she's so angry."
"She did dress up like she was going on a date. You might have misread the signals, Clint," Bruce said with a frown.
"Nah. She told Loki love was for children."
"Women always say things like that. And… how do you know what she told Loki?"
Clint looked momentarily confused, "I'm not sure. I think he passed some of his thought processes over to me when he poked around in my brain. They come back now and again."
"He's gone though, right?"
"Oh yeah, he's gone."
Clint stood up, "Okay, I'm sleeping. Bruce, I love you man."
Bruce smiled, "Yeah, I love you too."
"This is so cute. I feel left out."
"Well, I mean, I love you too Tony, for letting me live here and helping me out with hiding and offering me your bed, even if I don't feel like showering right now."
"You're still drunk, Clint."
"Aw, don't be like that."
Clint went in for the hug, and Tony pretended to fight him off.
"Tony, don't lie, you're enjoying the attention," Bruce said, smiling. "And for the record, I too love you."
"Aw man, this is too much! Too much!"
Clint let go, laughing, and headed for the door.
"Hey, one last thing Clint. Have you ever been on the receiving end of the thigh choke?"
Clint frowned and turned back to face Tony, "No, Tony. I have not. Although I get the feeling I may do very soon."
"You'll enjoy it, of course. And tell us all what it feels like, right?"
"First question, probably not. Second, every detail."
Clint walked out of the room, shaking his head, and staggered to Bruce's bedroom.
"Well now it's quiet."
"Yes, Tony. That's what happens when people try to read the morning paper."
"It's like 9am. Do you think he's just stopped drinking or do you reckon he spent a few hours sleeping in a rollercoaster cart?"
"Circuses don't have rollercoasters, that's fairs."
"Oh yeah. Well, what do they have in circuses? Tents. Maybe he slept in a giant tent on one of those acrobat wires. Hanging like a bat."
"You'll have to ask him that one yourself, Tony."
"Maybe I will."
"Let the poor man sleep."
Natasha stalked into the kitchen in a pretty obvious foul mood. Bruce hid behind the paper and Tony started swinging his legs and pretending to read the paper over Bruce's shoulder.
"Wow, wouldya look at that? What is that?"
"That's a story about the Holy Grail, Tony."
"Yeah, I mean, what the hell is that all about?"
"Let who sleep?" Natasha asked, eyes narrowed.
"Huh?" Tony said.
"Before I came in, Bruce said you had to let someone sleep."
"Oh yeah, that was Ca-"
"I was asking Bruce."
Bruce gulped, but his eyes remained steady on the paper.
"Oh, he was going to wake Steve up and ask him a ridiculous question about when he was puny."
Natasha clearly didn't believe him, but said nothing more, probably imagining they'd crack. Tony started to click a pen in Bruce's ear.
"Tony, you know, if I didn't know better I'd think you were deliberately trying to make me hulk-out."
Tony shrugged and smiled what he imagined was a winning smile. Bruce continued to read the paper.
"Hey, Natasha? Do you ever actually, ah, smile? Or is that just too difficult for you?"
Natasha scowled at him and flounced down on to one of the seats with a bowl of cereal.
"No response. Okay. Well. I'm thinking about going and putting another genius suit modification into action. And maybe making some back up electromagnets, too. Just in case this one breaks when I'm falling out of the sky. I seem to do that a lot these days."
"You do. Good job the Hulk is there to catch you, huh?"
"Yeah, and good job I'm here to keep a spare pair of pants on standby for ya. If I have to look at your dick one more time I'm gonna poke my own eyes out."
"Wow, that's extreme."
"Yeah, well. I've had my fill of it, Bruce."
"Was that a smile or just a noise?"
"I think it was just a noise," Bruce said, still staring at the paper. Tony sighed.
"Anyway, I have the issue of all of the computers being offline. I mean, I could get them back but if I did then it would just mean I'd need to do it again sometime and that's a pain in the ass. I suppose I could write it on the netbook that I have upstairs. It's not connected to the mainframe; I could just transfer the data with a memory stick. Although, I don't think I have a memory stick, I think I blew them all up. Oh, I can use my phone. Who gives a fuck about memory sticks? I'm a genius. I don't need a memory stick."
"Tony, please shut up," Bruce said, turning a page.
"Well now. Who owns the place? You don't like the chat, you can go somewhere else."
Bruce rolled his eyes at the billionaire temper tantrum and shrugged, refusing to give him fodder.
"Yeah, see. How'd ya like that? Oh, guys, I was thinking, right? How about we have a little spare room rave tonight? I'm pretty sure it's like Thor's birthday or something. I'll try and call him from Asgard by standing on top of the tower and repeatedly shouting his name. Hey, do you think I should invite Loki? I think he's calmed down a lot since we last saw him. And he wasn't that bad. Maybe if we invite him to a few more parties, he'll not be such a nuisance in future."
Bruce held up a hand, "Woah, just hold on a second. What the hell is a spare room rave?"
Tony shrugged, "Exactly what it sounds like. A rave. In the spare room. It's pretty big, there's only, what? Six of us. Seven if we invite Loki."
"Okay, secondly, Loki can come if he's less of a prick. It might do him good."
Natasha looked at them, raised an eyebrow, and looked back down at her bowl.
"Providing he promises not to hit anyone, take over Clint's head, or enact some sort of crazy plan, that is."
Natasha scowled at the mention of Clint's name.
"You coming along, Tasha?"
"Oh, cheer up. No one's died."
"Or, not. That's cool."
She slammed her fist against the table, making both Tony and Bruce jump slightly, "I'm gonna kill that little shit when I see him!"
"Hey, what is this? Was he taking you on a date or something?"
"No! We were going to the opera."
"Opera? Geez, no wonder he bugged out." Tony caught the expression in Natasha's eyes, "Not that that makes it right, or anything. I'm sure he just forgot."
"How could he just forget?"
"He's a man. Men do these things."
Natasha turned back to the cereal furiously. Tony patted himself on the back for a successful situation diffusion.
Steve jumped into the kitchen doorway and blew an airhorn. Tony jumped, feeling as though his heart was about to burst the electromagnet and just give up. Natasha let out a dignified little shriek. And Bruce fell backwards off his chair.
Steve laughed, "Aren't these things great?"
"No, Steve! They are not 'great'!" Natasha shouted, getting to her feet and advancing on a startled looking Captain America with murder in her eyes.
"Ah, guys. We have a situation," Tony sounded genuinely worried and Natasha whipped around, Steve peering over her shoulder.
Bruce was lying on his back, face contorted in pain, and he was growling.
"Shit," Natasha said, and slapped Steve for good measure. "How many times. We don't startle Bruce!"
"It was. The falling off. The chair," Bruce said, grating out the words between gritted teeth.
"Get him to his room. It's reinforced!" Tony said, dragging a rapidly greening Bruce to his feet and pulling him half over his shoulder as he grew in size. "Steve, I want you to know that if anything goes wrong and I get punched into the ground, I'm blaming you. Tasha, make sure you tell Bruce that."
"Tony, just move him!"
Tony dragged him through the coridoor as quickly as he could and brayed on Bruce's locked door.
"Clint! Get your ass up and take your beating like a man! Bruce is hulking-out!"
Muffled cursing could be heard from behind the door and a bleary eyed Clint appeared in the doorway holding his clothes in his hands. Tony threw Bruce into the room and got a glimpse of a giant, very angry looking green muscle mass growling at him just before he slammed the door shut in its face (making it angrier). Pounding could be heard from behind the door. Tony sighed in relief.
Clint pulled on his pants, almost falling over in the process, "What the hell happened?"
"Steve thought it would be a good idea to let of an air horn in the kitchen."
"What the fuck?"
"I just… I didn't think."
Clint yanked his shirt over his head.
"Why were you in Bruce's bed?" Natasha asked, and Clint's eyes widened. A couple of seconds passed where he tried, and failed, to think up a cover story, and then he visibly deflated.
"Him and Bruce are together now."
Everyone looked at Tony, startled.
"What the fuck?" Clint said.
Natasha actually laughed. Tony looked extremely proud of himself.
"Hey Bruce, if you're in there, Natasha smiled!"
A massive fist colliding with the door answered that and Tony shook his head.
"He's not in right now."
"You know what? I think I might actually forgive you Clint. Just because the idea of you and Bruce conducting a secret affair is too funny."
Clint didn't know whether this was good or not, but decided to take it as a positive.
"I am sorry, Tasha. I just forgot."
"You're a man. You're kinda meant to be useless."
"How about you take her to my spare room rave tonight to make up for it?"
"Spare room rave?"
"Yeah. That reminds me. I must go and shout at the sky for a while in an attempt to get Thor's attention. I don't remember if it is his birthday, or if it's just a Thursday. I guess we could hold a party for him every Thursday if we wanted. It is Thors-day after all. You don't mind if Loki comes do you?"
"Didn't think you would. Alright, catch you later guys."
And with that, Tony Stark wandered off, leaving Clint, Natasha and Steve standing outside of Bruce's room listening to the Hulk smashing everything he could.
"Alright. I'm going to bed."
"Have a shower, Clint," Natasha said, wrinkling her nose.
Clint sniffed his shirt, "Do I really smell that bad?"