They had disassembled at the Avengers HQ, formerly known as Stark's Malibu home.

After the Chitauri invasion, many would have bet their first-borns that the super-secret boy band and one girl were inseparable. Although fortunately there is no such thing as a first-born collector, fate had not been kind to the Avengers.

The team had pitifully fallen back from their camaraderie since the invasion; as quickly as they had let down their shields to work together and protect their home, their walls had hastily been rebuilt –with all the more reinforcements and barriers. Each day dreadfully mirrored the day before, the only changing factor being that they had gotten on each other's nerves much more than the previous day.

Steve would be the first to wake up; early to bed and early to rise. He'd start his morning at 5:00 AM with a quick run around mansion, stopping for routine pushups and sit ups. Then at 6:00 he'd eat the breakfast he's always eaten for the last hundred years: two sunny side up eggs, two pieces of bacon, two sausages, and two slices of lightly buttered toast –an All American Grand Slam. After washing the dishes, he'd pour himself a cup of coffee –not that he needed it, before flipping through the newspaper. In a world not his own, strict routine was the only aspect of his life that reminded him of who is was.

Exactly at 6:15, Natasha and Clint could be heard training in the basement.

At 7:00, Thor and Clint would come into the kitchen for breakfast. If anyone were to be sleeping at the hour, they wouldn't be for long. No one would have guessed that besides the thunder-bending and the magic hammer that discriminates, Thor's other power was that his voice had the unearthly ability to travel through almost any medium. In Asgard, there was no such thing as an indoor voice.

By then, Steve had already showered and changed into his usual collared shirt tucked into slacks. He's not expecting to see anyone, but looking spiffy isn't a crime. Thor and Clint would rummage through the fridge, eating as they browsed; some would even go as far as calling it a 'drive by'. No one ever saw when Natasha would eat, and for that matter, no one knew when she'd sleep. They didn't really bother to find out, assuming she had to eat and sleep simply because she was human…right? The kitchen would always look awry afterwards, especially with Thor's Asgardian appetite. Although Tony would insist on hiring a couple of maids just so the captain would 'quit nagging', Steve would clean up every day, even though he hated it.

Bruce had secluded himself from the others, occasionally going down to the kitchen to grab some fresh fruit or veggies. He couldn't be too cautious. Sure, Malibu is nothing like the heart of New York, but there are always things to be wrecked, and the other guy was just waiting for an opportunity. He spends most of his time in his room, on his laptop, researching. Once in a blue moon, Bruce would wander down into the lab and conduct some tests on his theories, but it had not occurred anytime recently.

Every once in a while, Tony would come up to get a coffee refill, and every once in a while, he would stop working to sleep. Most of the time, he was busy upgrading the Mark 7, building the Mark 8, and planning the Mark 9, all the while constantly improving the arc reactor that powered everything he owned. Sleep was for the weak.

Around dinner time, Steve would take upon himself as team leader to ask Tony and Bruce to come eat. Bruce would kindly reject and the conversation with Tony would always end in an argument.

Tony didn't have a problem with his teammates; he had two, or three, or four problems with them.

1. Steve was the son his dad had always wanted. He had grown up in the captain's shadow. His soldier attitude made Tony resent him even more.

2. After Natasha's triple cross, Tony had never had so little trust for anyone.

3. So he instinctively was suspicious of Clint simply because of his affiliation with her.

4. Thor was obnoxious with his loud Asgardian voice and ruined every expensive piece of technology with his meaty Asgardian hands. No hard feelings, but Tony never really had a more meaningful talk aside from a casual 'sup Point Break.

5. Bruce was his ideal lab buddy, but after weeks of convincing him to work together, Tony had lost interest. He didn't have enough patience to wait for Bruce to come out of his big, green shell.

Maybe the rest of the band had a problem with him too. Maybe he was too prideful, and maybe he only thought about himself, and maybe he never followed any orders. Or MAYBE he was a genius and was misunderstood because the rest of the team were idiots. Yup, that seems about right.

Then there was Jarvis. Of course, the AI's only purpose was to be compatible and helpful and amazing and to able to put up with him. Tony's only friend was Jarvis.

Short Message: I might as well tell you now: this story is Stark-centric. I regret nothing.