The One Where Thor and Hawkeye Build a Pyramid (and there is a LOT of paperwork)
When John headed down to breakfast the following morning, he was pleased to see that Bruce was nowhere in sight. He was less pleased to see a far too chirpy Darcy sat at the counter with a massive pile of paperwork in front of her.
"Morning!" she greeted cheerfully, pushing her glasses back up her nose with the back of her wrist while she tried not to drip coffee all over the magazine she was reading, and apparently rage war against (or maybe on?) her iPod all at the same time.
"Good morning," John replied as sagely as he could, absolutely certain that Darcy was on some kind of sugar-slash-caffeine high and might go feral at any moment. "Sleep well?"
"Like a log," she said expressively, waving the hand with the iPod, then cursing at something it displayed on the screen.
John decided that he didn't want to know, ignoring her in favour of his jam and a pot of tea. As he rooted around for the box of green tea he'd purchased a couple of days ago he was shocked and very pleased to find a box of his favoured English Breakfast tea.
"JARVIS?" John asked.
"Yes, Doctor Watson?" the computerised voice answered, startling Darcy a little and making her coffee lose the battle against gravity and the theatrical waves of her hand.
"Could you thank whoever purchased these for me please?" John said, indicating the tea and letting out a long sigh as he breathed in the steam from the pot as he popped two of the tea bags in.
"You are quite welcome, Doctor," JARVIS replied, in a tone that could absolutely be described as smug, in spite of any protests made to the opposite.
"Aw!" Darcy squealed. "How adorable! JARVIS, my man, you totally have favourites."
"On the contrary, Miss Lewis. It is my prerogative to see all of Mr Starks' visitors are well seen to, and Dr Watson has made it no secret that he has been missing his regular cups of tea. It didn't take long to work out which was his favoured brand and to place an order for it."
"Well thank you very much," John interrupted before Darcy could continue her argument.
Settling down, Darcy kept shooting knowing glances at John that oscillated between being irritated and amused. John went back to ignoring her, and took his time reading the newspaper and drinking his tea. Good god, three days without the stuff and he'd been going half insane. How he'd managed to keep up with the Avengers during those days he didn't know. Frowning to himself, John realised he hadn't really been keeping up with them. He'd moved them all in, of course, and he knew when they'd all been yesterday morning, and yesterday evening, but other than that - he didn't have a clue what they did during the day.
"So," Darcy said, interrupting his thought process.
"Yes?" John asked cautiously, wondering if this was when the caffeinated monster he was sure was lurking in her somewhere raised its ugly head.
"Hill gave me the low down on all Avenger-related paperwork yesterday and you, good doctor, are way behind on your homework."
"Excuse me?" John spluttered.
Darcy waved an imperious hand at the pile of documents teetering dangerously next to her. "Homework," she repeated. "Or, you know, paperwork. Whatever. There're, like, a dozen 'moving house' forms that need to be done in triplicate for everyone Tony's adopted in the last two days, plus you need to fill in a form for all the stuff that's been broken, and don't even get me started on the amount of stuff you have to fill in for the café incident-"
"What café incident?" John barked, a little more meanly than he'd intended. "And why on Earth does S.H.I.E.L.D. need forms for the Avengers moving house? And what's been broken?"
"Dude," Darcy told him blandly, peering over her glasses and looking incredibly unimpressed for a girl barely out of college who'd just referred to him as 'dude'. "You need to get your shit together. While you were off playing hero with Iron Man, Thor and Natasha decided to spar in the living room, Clint threw a ton of darts at a window and made it smash in a star shape, and Selvig got smashed and threw up on the device-thingy. Also, you totally need to give that thing a new name 'The Device' is pretty dramatic, but it's not all that specific."
John gaped at Darcy briefly, before pinching the bridge of his nose and controlling his breathing carefully. Once he was sure he was in control, he reached out and slowly poured himself a cup of tea. "Of course they did," he said with his best bland smile, and took a little joy in the way Darcy faltered.
"Um," she hesitated for a moment before continuing, "I don't know why S.H.I.E.L.D. needs forms for everything, but, uh, the café incident was Steve going out to grab his own lunch and being recognised. There was a minor twitter explosion."
John's smile became a measure more forced. "Miss Lewis, if you'd be so kind as to accompany me to my office, I believe you're right. We do have a lot of homework to catch up on."
By lunchtime, between the two of them, they had the majority of the paperwork outlined, if not yet filled out. Darcy, as it turned out, was a God-send when it came to tackling the bureaucratic bullshit and without her John had no doubt he'd have been fighting down the majority of the pile for the next week or so. As it was, however, they'd got a sufficient amount done that they both felt justified in taking a leisurely lunch in the shared kitchen.
Barton and Thor were already there when they arrived, building a precarious pyramid of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They'd also, John noted, finished his jam. Why, he could not fathom, but he was suspecting that there were going to be a lot of things the Avengers did that he wouldn't understand.
"Look!" Barton exclaimed when he saw them. "It's hollow! We made a hollow pyramid! Of sandwiches!"
"Why?" Darcy asked, looking intrigued.
"It is a symbol of our devotion to the sandwich Gods!" Thor boomed cheerfully.
Barton shrugged and snickered. Darcy scowled at him. "What sandwich Gods, Clint?" she asked him, putting her hands on her hips.
"The peanut butter and jelly gods!" he laughed, balancing the last piece on top of their pyramid and crowing in delight at their finished masterpiece.
"Is this not the correct way to show our appreciation of sandwiches? I do like them very much," Thor asked, looking confused and a little upset.
John snorted and shook his head. "You show your appreciation however you like, Thor. So long as you don't break anything," he added quickly. "This is how I'm going to show my appreciation." Then John's hand shot out, faster than Barton could stop, and yanked one of the middle sandwiches out, causing the structure to fall in upon itself and become a messy pile of bread, jelly, and peanut butter.
"Aw, man, that was so uncalled for!" Barton complained, looking genuinely disappointed at the destruction of the sandwich pyramid.
"I just filled out ten forms trying to explain why and how you blew up a window yesterday. Don't tell me what is and isn't called for," John warned, mostly in good humour. He'd never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before and, while it was quite strange, it was also quite tasty, and there were plenty of them available. He couldn't complain too much with lots of pre-made sandwiches and a pot of his favourite tea.
Barton scowled at John for a long moment, before he eventually raised his hand in a finger gun that was pointed at John's head. "You, me, shooting range," he ordered.
John snorted again. "Say please," he suggested.
"Nope," Barton replied with a rebellious grin.
"Then, 'nope'. I still have another twelve forms to fill out to explain why Thor and Natasha were wrestling in the living room."
Barton continued to look rebellious for a moment longer and, when he didn't seem at all inclined to actually say 'please', John purposefully turned away from him to ask Thor about his home in Asgard.
Three hours later, and too many more forms filled out for John to care to count, Barton did actually say 'please', and he took a welcome break to the shooting range. John didn't come anywhere close to Barton's skill level, of course, but considering the bets laid against him, and the number of them he won, he counted the afternoon a win.
AN: I have literally no idea where the pyramid thing came from. My brain is a ridiculous place to live. Hope you liked it anyway! Just your average day in Avengers Tower ;P Next chapter should be up Saturday. Love to all my readers!