This may seem like a Crack!fic at first, but don't worry, it's not. It actually has a serious part. And, as I said in the summary, I have no slash or pairings or any romance in this. Just awesome bromance, because the world needs more of it.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of this. It belongs to Marvel.
The world had been saved by the Avengers.
For, like, the twenty-second time.
Tony collapsed on his couch, his eyes sliding shut as soon as his head hit the armrest. His whole body was sore, and he just wanted to get some rest.
Suddenly a loud crash interrupted him from his thoughts. Without even bothering to open his eyes, he said in an annoyed tone of voice, "That sounded expensive."
There were a few seconds of silence before someone – had to be Clint – cleared their throat nervously. "Uh – sorry."
Tony was already starting to regret his decision to let the rest of the Avengers stay at his house for the next couple of days. They didn't really have anywhere else to go, and Pepper was on a business trip that didn't end for another week, so Tony had thought, What the heck?
"JARVIS, was it expensive?" he asked in an almost whiny voice.
"Define 'expensive', sir," the computer's voice instantly replied.
Tony groaned and stuffed his face in a pillow. "Never mind," he said, his voice muffled by the pillow. "I don't want to know."
He heard his teammates all pile into the elevator, the fact that they were silent proving how exhausted they all were.
Someone tapped him on the shoulder. "Tony," Steve said.
Tony didn't lift his face from the pillow. "What?" he snapped.
"Which room is mine?"
Tony waved his hand in what he hoped was a dismissive gesture. "The first one you see." Then he realized what he had just said. "No, wait, I take it back. That's my room. There are a lot upstairs."
Tony could hear the blonde hero shuffle slowly away. Finally, he thought contentedly, slipping into a dreamless sleep.
-T-H-I-S- -I-S- -A- -L-I-N-E-
The next morning found Tony sprawled out on the couch, Steve curled up in a ball on the other side of the room, Natasha sitting up in her bed pulling on her black leather boots, Clint counting his arrows in his room, Bruce buried in his covers so only the top of his head stuck out, and Thor taking up an entire king-sized bed, snoring his heart away.
Tony jerked up into a sitting position, a small yelp emitting from his throat. Then his eyes narrowed, and he allowed himself to fall back on the couch. "JARVIS," he said, willing himself to be patient, "if you don't have a good reason for waking me up at six in the freakin' morning, I will . . ." he frowned, trying to come up with a good threat for the computer. Which was hard, since his brain didn't start functioning properly until at least noon. "I'll – I'll unplug you," he finally finished lamely.
"Sir, a package was left for you at the door," JARVIS said, seemingly unfazed by the pathetic threat.
Tony grumbled something incoherently and was about to raise himself from the couch when he caught sight of Steve sleeping on the floor, using his shield as a pillow. "What the-" he stopped and shook his head. "We'll discuss this later," he said to the still-slumbering form of Steve.
"I don't believe he heard you, sir," JARVIS informed his master.
"Shut up," Tony said, not really paying attention. The hardwood floor looked like a really uncomfortable thing to be sleeping on. Then he glanced at the armchair to his right, where a small throw blanket was currently residing.
Steve blearily opened his eyes and yawned. Wow. He hadn't slept that long in . . . a long time.
Well. Not counting his frozen slumber.
He started to stretch his arms but winced in pain. Sleeping on the floor was not as comfortable as it sounded.
Eh. He'd had worse.
That's what he had thought last night, a few minutes after the team had entered that strange capsule embedded in the wall and the doors had closed. A little freaked out, but too tired to do anything about it, he'd gone over to the stairs that stretched out of his sight.
His aching body had screamed, No, I can't do it.
He hadn't been about to argue, so he'd simply thrown himself in the corner of the room Tony had been in.
He started to sit up when he realized that a small blanket had been placed on his body. He didn't remember grabbing one . . . .
Tony walked into the room, a large brown box in his arms. "Ah, Sleeping Beauty has awakened."
Steve ignored the comment. "Did you put this blanket on me?"
Tony glanced up, looking mildly surprised. "Hm?"
Steve stood up, holding the blanket out in front of him. "Did you put this on me?"
The billionaire placed the cardboard box on his bar table. "No. You had it when I woke up. Why?"
"Er, nothing," the blonde said, suddenly feeling very awkward. He folded the blanket and set it on the couch before turning to walk upstairs.
Tony's voice stopped him. "Steve, why the heck were you sleeping on the floor?"
Steve rubbed the back of his neck, his face flushed as he turned back to face Tony. "I, uh, was too tired to go up the stairs."
Tony rolled his eyes. "I'm always too tired to go up the stairs. That's why I have an elevator." At Steve's questioning glance, he shook his head. "Okay, kid, come here. See this metal door in the wall? Good. Now, this little button right here . . . ."
Once Tony was confident about Steve's knowledge of elevators and had made sure he made it to the next floor, he walked back to the package lying on his countertop. He was super curious about it. He hadn't ordered anything, and he knew for a fact Pepper hadn't, either. The Avengers hadn't known they were staying at his house until last night, and JARVIS . . . was a computer.
So. It was a suspicious, random package. His favorite.
He was just about to tear it open when Clint poked his head in the room, his bright eyes taking in everything in the room. When his gaze fell on the unopened cardboard box he gasped. "Tony, man!" he shouted, running over and grabbing the package. "You didn't tell us you bought us a present!"
Tony shot a withering look in the archer's direction before wrenching the box from his hands. "I didn't get you a present, you moron. Someone delivered this to me."
"Nuh-uh," Clint said, shaking his head. "It clearly says that it's for the Avengers."
Tony turned the package on its side, for the first time seeing the words in large, black letters: The Avengers.
Oh. He started to open it again, but Clint grabbed his wrist. "Dude, you can't open it without everyone else!"
Suddenly Natasha was right behind Clint, peering over his shoulder. "He's right, you know," she said.
"Gah!" Tony shouted and stumbled back. Then he closed his eyes and took a deep, calming breath. "Okay, next person to give me a mini heart attack dies."
Tony scowled. "Fine. I'll get everyone else up." Then he walked to the middle of the living room and placed the box down. "JARVIS, wake Bruce and Thor, and get them and Steve down here immediately. It's an emergency."
A few seconds later, a huge roar shook the building. "CURSE YOU, INVISIBLE BEING! SHOW YOURSELF!"
"Thor's up," Clint remarked, his lips quirked up in a smile.
The elevator dinged, and the three Avengers turned to see a haggard-looking Bruce and an alert Steve step into the living room. Bruce straightened his formerly crooked glasses and tried to comb his tangled black hair with his fingers. "JARVIS said there was a -" he yawned loudly. "An emergency?"
Tony nodded. "I'll tell you when Thor gets here."
Loud footsteps echoed throughout the room as Thor tromped down the stairs. "What is it, my friends?" he asked in his usual, overly-loud voice.
Tony clapped his hands and rubbed them together with something akin to glee shining in his eyes. "Apparently, a package arrived for us today."
Bruce frowned. "That's not possible, though. No one knew we were staying at your house."
Tony jabbed a finger at the scientist excitedly. "Exactly. That's why," he explained with a flourish, spinning around to face the box, "I need you all down here. So we can figure out why it's here and what it is."
Natasha wrinkled her nose. "I thought you were actually going to open it."
Tony shot her a look. "I am. I just want to see what everyone thinks about it, first."
Bruce knelt down and studied the ordinary-looking box carefully while Steve glared at Tony. "I thought you said it was an emergency."
"This counts, doesn't it?" Tony asked Steve without really caring about the answer.
"No, not really."
"Um, guys," Bruce said hesitantly, interrupting the two before it became a full-blown fight. "I think we should have JARVIS examine this."
Tony sighed. "Bruce, you're missing the point of this. You're supposed to guess what's inside. Having JARVIS x-ray it would defeat the purpose."
"Tony, please," Bruce said, looking straight into the billionaire's eyes.
A few moments passed with them staring each other down, but finally Tony relented. "Fine. I'll have JARVIS ruin my fun." He started speaking louder. "JARVIS, x-ray the package and tell me what's in it."
A red light washed over the box for a couple of seconds before vanishing. "Sir, it appears that there is an explosive device hidden inside."