The first time it happens, nobody gets it.
It's impromptu poker night, and everyone's kind of drunk by now, since that's what happens when you do anything social within a hundred feet of one of Tony's liquor cabinets.
The fact that they're all not at their sharpest is probably why they miss it.
It's certainly why Natasha vents Russian when she picks up her next hand.
Jane goes bright red and almost drops her own hand. "Um, wow, I think you could make sailors blush with that mouth."
Nobody asks where Jane learnt Russian.
The second time, nobody gets it either.
It's Bruce and Tony in the lab, scrolling through hundreds of lines of code, and Steve watching over their shoulders.
"Hey," he says. "This is actually making sense."
"Good for you," Tony mutters absently.
Steve reaches out to the hologram. "Well, there's your problem."
Tony and Bruce squint at it. Yeah, there's their problem.
"Wow," says Tony. "I think you're spending too much time with us for your own good."
It's not until the third time that people catch it.
That's when Clint complains to Natasha that Coulson's overdone the PT again and ripped his stitches. "Why can't he just skip the actual therapy and get laid like we do?"
Natasha sighs. "Tel Aviv…"
"I've never been so happy to get shot."
"And that's not good enough for him?"
Natasha spits something annoyed and foreign.
This time it's Steve who picks up on it, and chokes on his drink.
Tony smacks him on the back. "I know they had liquids in the forties, Cap, you should be better at this."
Clint keeps ranting like he hasn't heard them. "And then Coulson says, are you going to tell me that the doctors really do know best?"
Natasha curses in foreign again and Steve cracks.
"Okay, I know he's your friend and you're worried about him, and we're all under stress here, but that is no reason to call him – that!"
Natasha and Clint frown at him. "Since when do you speak Hungarian?"
Steve frowns back. "I don't. That wasn't in Hungarian. I don't even know what Hungarian sounds like."
"It sounds like this."
"What? That was English again!"
"No, it wasn't."
"Yes, it was! So was that last bit!"
Clint and Natasha stare at each other. "That was Arabic."
"What the hell is going on here?"
"Apparently Steve suddenly hears every language as English."
"Really?" Tony shoots off a long stream of his best French.
Steve blushes. "Please stop propositioning me."
Tony eyes go wide. "That could have been a guess, I mean, what else does anybody speak French for?"
"You said hey, gorgeous, how about you and I go back to my room and I show you the real meaning of-"
"Okay! You speak French!"
Natasha shakes her head. "Not just French. It's like he speaks everything."
Tony grins. "Speak all the things!"
Clint grins too. "Speak all the things?"
Natasha snaps her fingers. "Allspeak."
Silence hangs for a minute. Then –
Thor frowns when they tell him that his Allspeak is spreading. Steve's already got it, and they want to know if it's dangerous to humans. If not, it's incredibly useful, and Fury has ordered Clint and Natasha to get it by any acceptable means necessary.
Natasha demonstrates, saying something incomprehensible to everyone else, and Steve repeats it back in English.
So does Jane.
"What?" she says when heads turn.
"You've got it too."
Her face lights up. "I've got Allspeak? How did I get Allspeak?"
Thor frowns. "I have heard it said that it can be shared with a kiss, but I never believed it."
Tony scoffs. "That's impossible. Steve wouldn't kiss anyone."
Thor and Steve ducked and whirled around each other, gym mat crushed under their feet. Steve was faster and Thor was stronger, so they came out fairly evenly matched, and it was always a worthwhile challenge.
Steve grabbed Thor's arms and hooked his feet out from under him, and they both went down.
Thor landed, and stopped moving.
Steve, above him, kept going.
And hit Thor's mouth.
With his own.
"It was an accident," Steve says, "but I think it counts. I'm so sorry, Dr. Foster, I swear I didn't mean-"
"Oh, no, it's fine. I'm just kind of jealous now. Thor got to kiss Captain America!"
There's a still moment where everybody's heads are just kind of stuck in how jealous they also are of Thor.
"So all we need to do to get Allspeak is kiss Thor?"
Clint and Natasha turn to each other. "Do you think Fury knows he's ordered us to kiss Thor?"
"I've seduced worse men under orders."
There's not actually that much seduction necessary. Everyone else is still kind of fuzzy over the whole thing, and when Natasha strides up and plants one right on Thor's lips, they just get fuzzier. Heads turn to see at a better angle.
She steps back, and her hair is actually standing on end, because Thor's a thunder god. "Wow."
Clint sidesteps her, and wraps a hand around the back of Thor's neck, and pulls his head down.
The others blink. It's seriously hot. There's tongue.
And then Jane snaps out of it. "Hey!"
It's a huge measure of how much they trust her, because she doesn't get killed when she grabs Clint and drags him away from Thor. "Firstly, he's my boyfriend, and secondly, I have had enough of you SHIELD people acting like you're entitled to everything!"
Tony raises a hand. "Um, I'm not SHIELD, can I still-"
"What? Come on, please?"
Tony spits a Pashto curse that Yinsen taught him.
"We heard that!"
It sucks be to the only one without Allspeak. And if Thor's off-limits…
He'll have to get it somewhere else.
Loki's reading when Tony opens the door and walks right in.
"You do know I've killed people for doing that?"
"Hello to you too." And then Tony just stands there awkwardly, fidgeting with his hands and making slightly too much noise. Glaring at Tony over the top of his book gets Loki nothing.
"Can I help you?" he says as repulsively as he can, dripping with sarcasm.
Tony's head snaps up. "Kiss me."
"Apparently Allspeak is contagious and I want it, but Thor won't kiss me, so you have to."
Loki arches an eyebrow. "I have to?"
"If you don't I'll sneak in and take it while you're sleeping."
Loki's jaw actually drops. A fraction of an inch, but it drops all the same. "Do you know who you are talking to?"
"I'm talking to the guy who can give me Allspeak. Now pucker up."
"If you promise to go away afterwards."
Tony crosses the room and takes Loki's book from his hands. Then he flips a leg over both of Loki's, and sits down on his lap. Just for the hell of it, he rolls his hips and grinds them together.
Loki's hand fists in his hair and he's actually breathless when he says "Do that again and I will hurt you."
"Promises, promises," Tony says, and kisses him.
And doesn't stop, because it's amazing.
Eventually Loki pulls back and Tony doesn't know what day it is anymore, and wouldn't put it past Loki to be perfectly capable of kissing someone literally into next week. "Satisfied?"
Tony licks his lips. "No."
"I'm not sure I've got it. I think you need to kiss me again."
Loki laughs and pushes him away. "I know when people lie to me. You are very satisfied right now."
"Kiss me again anyway?"
Loki considers it. War and Peace is a quite dull book, after all…
Tony leaves Loki's room three hours after he went in, walking awkwardly and wincing with each step. Two SHIELD agents see him and, giggling, draw exactly the right conclusion. Tony sighs. Knowing the SHIELD grapevine, it'll be everywhere before he actually gets to use his Allspeak.
It's worth it, though, when he logs on to a Star Trek fansite and can actually speak Klingon.
As far as Clint and Natasha are concerned, the Allspeak is extremely useful on missions, just like Fury hoped. There's just one thing they've given up in return.
The ability to talk about the others right in front of them without giving away what they're saying.
They learn that the hard way.
Steve completely cracks and the Mercedes will never be the same again.
On the other hand, the 'shopped picture of him in a bikini was hilarious.
Steve's in the bowels of a SHIELD building the first time he needs the Allspeak for something.
A handful of junior agents have clustered around the water cooler down the corridor, and the concrete walls and serum-enhanced hearing combine to let Steve hear everything.
"I think he hasn't even lost the eye, he just thinks it scares people."
"It does! Statten nearly pissed himself the first time Fury tore him a new one."
"Do you reckon him and Hill are doing it?"
Steve frowns. Gossip is gossip, and in army terms, the enlisted always grumble about the officers, but there is a point that's too far. He moves closer.
The agents look up, recognize him, and keep talking without even lowering their voices. They don't expect him to understand. Steve's gotten a bit better at this by now, and figures they must be speaking a language he shouldn't know.
"Check this out." One of the agents holds out a phone.
"Oh my God…" another breathes. "Where did you get this?"
Steve approaches close enough to see that it's security footage of Coulson yelling at Fury, and Fury actually looking like he kind of deserves it. Definitely not the sort of thing junior agents should have.
The agents look up and freeze like deer in the headlights. "S-sir?"
Steve snatches the phone. "I don't want to see this piece of film again, understand? There is such a thing as discipline, and if you don't respect your commander, how are you going to trust him in the line of fire? Not to mention that his personal affairs, with or without Agent Hill – and that is Agent Hill to you – are none of your business."
"Sir, how did you… You know Agent Language C?"
Steve almost laughs. They're not just speaking a language he shouldn't know, they've made one up that's coherent enough for the Allspeak to recognize and translate it. Not only that, but at least two others as well. They may be low on discipline, but they're definitely smarter than Tony gives them credit for. "I know all your languages. Remember that. Don't let me hear you trying to hide something like this again."
"No, sir." The agents scatter, except for one. "Can I have my phone back, sir?"
Steve's had enough lessons from Tony to delete the footage. "Now you can. And I expect you to get rid of any other copies of that film."
Steve smiles to himself.
Tony and Bruce are in the kitchen making dinner, and Bruce is running through the recipe under his breath. It's something he picked up in India, and Tony's used to the Allspeak just enough to detect the Hindi underlying what he actually hears as English. Besides, he's been frustrated before when Bruce has spoken Thai, Portuguese, and God knows what else, surprisingly fluently after only spending a couple of months or even less in those places…
"You know how you're really good with languages?"
Bruce chuckles softly. "A gentleman doesn't kiss and tell."