This is a family-oriented Captain America story, but I categorized it as Avengers because Tony & Pepper are in it ;) I hope you like this! Oh yeah, and I know that the waitress I write about later in this story has the name of "Beth" and not "Becky" (the name I chose). But by the time I knew about her real name, I had already typed "Becky" about a thousand times and did not want to go back to change all of them. So, my apologies ahead of time. :P
For the hundredth time that day, Steve Rogers wondered why he had to be the one waiting outside Stark Tower in the bitter winter cold. He was waiting for someone, anyone, to let him inside so that his real torture would begin already. Having forgotten to bring a hat, Steve was annoyed at having to constantly shake the snow off of himself. A crown of snowflakes rested atop his brow, and he anticipated the heat of indoors to melt it away.
Finally the front door opened, revealing a rosy-cheeked Pepper smiling and carrying a baby on her hip. She gestured for him to come in, which he did gladly. He thoroughly rubbed his hands together and blew on them to return blood circulation. Pepper hugged Steve and smiled all the wider.
"It's great to see you, Steve," said Pepper.
"The feeling is mutual, ma'am," replied Steve shyly.
"Tony is upstairs with Ryder. He should be down any minute."
"Father and son inventing as always?"
Pepper laughed and nodded.
"Where is my lovely wife?" called a familiar cocky voice.
As Tony walked into the room hand-in-hand with a little boy, JARVIS responded, "She is downstairs with Steve Rogers, sir."
Tony rolled his eyes. "It was a rhetorical question, JARVIS."
Tony walked over to Pepper and kissed her lovingly on the lips. The boy scrunched his face in disgust, causing Steve to smirk briefly. Personally Steve rather envied the evident affection between Tony and Pepper (although Steve would rather die than admit it to Tony); their relationship painfully reminded him of Peggy.
"Um, what level am I staying at?" asked Steve awkwardly.
"The top level, old man," replied Tony. "Only the best for our house-sitter/ babysitter."
"Let me fill you in on the protocol," offered Pepper.
Pepper handed Steve the schedule that she had written down for him. It mostly involved the care of her daughter Janet and her son Ryder, who at that moment was sucking his thumb and holding a blanket tightly.
"It seems like a little bit of a handful," commented Steve nervously. "Are you sure I'm the right person for the job?"
Pepper smiled. "Well, our regular babysitter is unavailable. As for the other Avengers…"
"Hulk and Thor would demolish the place, and c'mon, Hawkeye and Black Widow are master assassins," said Tony. "Trust me, as of now you're the best option."
Steve sighed and nodded.
"Thank you so much, Steve," thanked Pepper, who then kissed Steve on the cheek.
Tony pulled Pepper back to himself, kissed her on the temple, and glared at Steve in jealousy.
"Don't steal my wife," warned Tony.
Steve's face reddened, and he shook his head bashfully.
"I have a bowl of fruit in the fridge ready for Ryder's snack time," said Pepper. " JARVIS can help you with everything else."
Pepper went to gather her luggage, and Tony whispered to Steve, "I've got a stash of chocolate chip cookies in the pantry, bottom shelf."
"Didn't your wife just say - "
"Do you want the kid to like you or not?"
Steve glanced at Ryder, who was staring suspiciously at him.
"Okay," sighed Steve.
Tony patted Steve on the back. "There's a good soldier."
"Tony!" called Pepper. "Be a gentleman for once and take my things to the car."
Tony grunted, and he and Steve worked together to load the baggage in the car.
"Doing business in California will be a nice break from living in this blizzard," commented Tony.
"I was just thinking the same thing," responded Steve.
Pepper kissed her kids goodbye and nearly suffocated them with her bear hug. Tony tussled his son's hair affectionately and kissed his giggling daughter on the cheek.
"Goodbye, kids," said Tony. "Be nice to Gramps, okay?"
Steve sneered at the nickname, but didn't say anything.
At the doorway, Tony turned back to tell Steve, "Don't touch my suits, okay?"
Tony and Pepper waved goodbye and finally walked out the door. By the time Steve turned back to face Ryder, he was gone.
If you liked this fic so far, thank AvengerGal for begging me to write an Avengers story. If you didn't like it, then you can blame her. LOL, just kidding! Seriously though I thank her so much for all her encouragement. You rock, AvengerGal!