Hey readers, I'm back with another Avengers story! Remember that I do not own any of the characters or anything, I'm not trying to get sued. Many thanks to my bestie, Katie for designing all the outfits (I can't manage to dress myself.) In case any of you were curious, the song at the end of the story is "Sing, sing, sing" by Benny Goodman; listen to it and happy reading!
"Boys and girls, clear your schedules for tonight; we're going on a field trip," Tony said as the Avengers gathered around the table, taking out their breakfast. "Aren't you guys gonna ask where we're going?" Tony asked after a minute of silence.
"No," Clint and Natasha said simultaneously, helping themselves to the food laid out on the table.
"Come on, you'll ask me right, Pep?" Tony said, wrapping an arm around Pepper's shoulder and pulling her against his side. "You love me at least."
"I love you dearly, Tony," Pepper said, kissing his cheek. "But I'm definitely not gonna ask what you have planned. After working for you so many years I've learned it's better not to ask; I always worry when you say field trip. Last time you wanted to go on a field trip you were taking me on vacation to tell me you were dying."
"Well if I had to give you bad news, I might as well have taken you somewhere nice," Tony said with a shrug. "I would have told you I was dying if you had given me the chance."
"I'm gonna have to side with Clint and Natasha on this one," Steve said, pouring himself a cup of coffee. "Somehow I don't see your field trip ending well."
"Why does no one have any faith in my ability to plan legal activities?" Tony asked, pouting slightly.
Bruce shook his head, deciding to take pity on his best friend. "Okay, I'll bite. Where are we going for a field trip?" Bruce asked.
"Thank you, Bruce. Knew I could always count on you, science bro solidarity and what not," Tony replied. "We're going out to make Capsicle feel less out of place."
"I do not feel out of place," Steve retorted, worried that Tony's plans centered around him.
"Of course you do. You've got the man out of time thing down," Tony replied, ignoring the look Pepper shot him. "So instead of trying to get you to blend into our time, we'll blend into yours."
"I am confused, Man of Iron," Thor said, reaching for another slice of French toast. "I thought the Captain was born many decades ago; it would be impossible for us to go to his time. Not even Heimdall possess the power to turn back time."
"Tony, what are you planning?" Pepper asked suspiciously.
"There's a new club downtown, a revival of the old Stork Club. Everything is gonna be 40s style, the music, the drinks, the atmosphere, even the dress code. I figure Grandpa here might feel a little more comfortable there than anywhere else. A little slice of home away from home," Tony explained.
"Wow, Stark. That's actually really nice of you," Natasha said, raising her cup of coffee to him slightly. "I'm game. This will probably be the least dangerous of all the field trips Tony plans. Might as well enjoy it."
"I'm down too. We'll cut a rug, Nat, like we did in Budapest," Clint said. "Not sure if that saying is from the right era." Natasha rolled her eyes at him, a small smile lingering on her lips.
"Sounds interesting enough," Bruce said with a shrug. "Might as well go."
"I too shall join you all on this field trip. Although I do not know what a "Stork Club" is," Thor said.
"It's a dance club, Goldilocks. You should go get your lady friend from New Mexico and bring her along. I'll get the jet ready for you," Tony said.
"Many thanks, Man of Iron," Thor said happily, getting up to call Jane.
"What about you, Pepper? Are you gonna come dance the night away with me?" Tony asked, taking Pepper's hand gently and spinning her.
"Why not?" Pepper laughed. "It'll be fun. We can get all dressed up. What about you Steve?"
Steve sat silently through the whole conversation, his mind frozen in shock. He was surprised Tony actually noticed how out of place he felt in this time; the fact that Tony had planned something to make him feel less out of place was mindboggling. He couldn't believe how fortunate he was to have friends who wanted to make him feel more at home, who cared about him. Shaking himself from his thoughts, Steve nodded jerkily. "Y-yeah I'll go. It'll be fun," Steve said softly.
"Pepper, come on," Tony called from the living room. "How can you guys take so long to get ready? It's just a dress." The guys sat around the living room as they waited for Jane, Pepper, and Natasha to finish dressing. Steve was shocked at how committed they all were to fitting into the 40s style club; pin striped suits, ties, suspenders, the guys had gone all out. It touched Steve that his adopted family wanted to fit into his time as much as he tried to fit into theirs.
"Women will always take their time getting ready, Tony," Bruce replied, not looking up from his book. "Just be patient."
"I agree with Doctor Banner. My father had to wait upon Mother many times as she prepared for a feast," Thor said. "The maidens shall be ready soon."
"They're taking forever," Tony whined, throwing himself dramatically onto the couch.
"Don't get your undies in a twist, Stark," Natasha said as she walked down the stairs, drawing everyone's attention.
"Wow," Clint said softly, a huge smile spreading across his face as he watched Natasha walk into the living room. Natasha wore a knee length, navy colored, silk chiffon halter dress that was belted at her waist, showing off her hourglass figure, and flared out to her knees. To Clint, her legs seemed to go on for miles in her black peep toe pumps. Her hair was done up in curls and her make up was flawless. "You ever seen a more beautiful dame, Captain?" Clint asked, his voice awe-filled.
"At least you got the word right," Steve said with a smile. "And Natasha does look beautiful."
"I am not a dame, Barton," Natasha said, placing her hands on her hips as she stood in front of the couches.
Clint got to his feet, adjusting his double-breasted jacket before he walked over to Natasha, smiling mischievously. "You are the most gorgeous dame I ever laid eyes on," Clint said with a thick Brooklyn accent. He took a cigarette out of his shirt pocket, slipping it between his lips. "You stick with me toots and I'll show you a good time," Clint said, winking at her. Clint knew the entire situation could go one of two ways: either Natasha would play along with him and they would have a good laugh later or she would put him on his back in the next thirty seconds.
"I got five on Natasha, any takers?" Tony stage whispered to the other Avengers.
"I think Clint's gonna be okay," Steve said cautiously.
Natasha looked at Clint for a moment before amusement brightened her eyes slightly, causing the tension to immediately leave Clint's shoulders. "I know all about fellas like you," Natasha said, grabbing the cigarette from his lips. "You're a charmer with all your good looks but you'll be nuthin but trouble." Natasha's eyes roamed appreciatively over Clint, her lips quirking into a small smile. Clint was dressed in a dove grey herringbone suit with a white shirt and a navy tie and pocket scarf. The suit was perfectly tailored to his body, his muscles filling out the suit perfectly.
"Sometimes you need a little danger in your life, sweet cheeks," Clint replied.
"I feel like I'm watching an old movie," Bruce said, smiling slightly at his teammates' banter.
Clint wrapped his arm around Natasha's waist, pulling her against his body. "You and me baby, we could run this city; no one would be able to touch us. Come out with me, just for a night. We'll paint the town red, turn everyone on their head," Clint said, smiling impishly. "I'll show you what living's really like. Take a walk on the wild side with me."
Natasha placed her hands on Clint's shoulders, looking into his grey eyes. "I never could resist a man of mystery, a man of danger. It'll only be one night living on the edge."
"Trust me, baby. One night living on the edge with me and you won't be able to go back. I'll get you to run away with me," Clint replied, smirking slightly. Clint and Natasha held each other's eyes for a few more moments before they started laughing softly.
"Bravo," Tony said, clapping. "Dinner theater was great. You guys could always go to Hollywood if the whole super spy assassin thing doesn't work out for you."
"You guys really were great," Steve agreed. "You would have fit in perfectly in the 40s."
"We'll blend right in at the club then," Natasha replied, still smiling as she stepped away from Clint.
"If we ever get to the club," Tony said. "Pepper, Jane, by the time you guys get ready it'll be the 1950s in the club."
"Coming, coming," Jane said as she carefully walked down the stairs.
Thor quickly got to his feet, a gentle smile gracing his face as he looked at Jane. Jane was wearing a wine colored cotton dress with a scoop neck and belted cinched waist. The silver brooch at her waist sparkled in the light, drawing attention to the full skirt of the dress. "You look radiant, Jane," Thor said, taking Jane's hand in his and kissing her knuckles gently.
"You don't look half bad yourself," Jane replied, smiling. Thor wore a solid black suit, the single-breasted jacket ending just below his hips with a white shirt and deep red tie underneath. Jane was surprised they managed to find a suit that fit Thor so well; finding shirts that didn't stretched to breaking point was difficult.
"Pepper," Tony whined from the foot of the staircase. "Come on, you're the only person left."
"I'm coming, I'm coming," Pepper replied. "If only you were this eager when we had meetings at Stark Industries."
"The meetings are boring and dry; we're going out for a night on the town if we-" Tony's words died away as he watched Pepper walk down the stairs. Tony always thought Pepper looked gorgeous whether she was wearing one of her famous black dresses for work or one of his t-shirts and a pair of shorts. But the sight of her in this dress left him at a loss for words. Pepper wore a forest green silk dress with short sleeves and a dropped waist; although his favorite part of the dress was the square neckline.
"How do I look?" Pepper asked, twirling as she stood in front of Tony.
"You-you look gorgeous," Tony said softly, smiling widely.
"You clean up pretty well too," Pepper replied happily, adjusting his tie. Tony was wearing a black pinstripe suit with suspenders and a double-breasted jacket over white shirt and a forest green tie. "You all look incredibly handsome. Maybe we'll find dates for you two," she said to Bruce and Steve.
"I don't know about that, Pepper," Bruce said shyly.
"Come on, Brucie. It's our night on the town; walk on the wild side like Bonnie and Clyde," Tony said, gesturing to Clint and Natasha. "I didn't get you all dressed up for you to choose to sit out." Tony had gotten Bruce a chocolate brown suit with single-breasted vest over his white shirt and brown tie. "Don't think you're getting off easy either, Capsicle," Tony said as he watched Steve lean further into the couch as if he was trying to hide in it. "I spent good money for us to get all dressed up so we're going to enjoy tonight." Steve wore a charcoal colored suit, and single-breasted jacket with white shirt and plum tie.
"Let's go before Tony pops a blood vessel," Pepper said as they all walked toward the elevators.
"Jarvis, don't wait up for us; we'll be coming home late," Tony said as he got into the elevator.
"I shall alert the authorities," Jarvis said sarcastically as the elevator doors shut.
Steve's eyes widened as he walked into the club, the Avengers following close behind. 'It's….perfect,' he thought, awed. Everything was exactly as he remembered it. The cigarette girls were walking around the room offering a variety of cigars, the band was assembled on stage, playing the songs he remembered before he "died", everyone was dressed in clothes from the 40s. It really was as if he stepped back in time. He half-expected to see Bucky and the Howling Commandos drinking at one of the corner tables or Peggy leaning against the bar, waiting to tell him he was late. The thought made his heart clench in pain. He wasn't back home; he wasn't gonna see the people he cared about.
"Let's go find a table," Bruce said, pulling Steve from his thoughts. Bruce noticed the excited then saddened look on Steve's face. 'Must be bittersweet to be here.'
"It'll be a wonder if they manage to find a table to fit all of us," Tony said, his arm around Pepper's shoulders as he walked futher into the club.
Steve couldn't help but notice the similarities between Tony and his father, Howard: the confidence they exuded, their charisma that drew everyone's attention, their unapologetic nature about the way they behaved. But Tony wasn't Howard; Tony was a greater man than his father. And although Steve didn't have his old team from his military days, he had a new team, a new family.
"You okay, pal?" Clint asked as he walked past Steve.
"Yeah," Steve said, nodding slightly. "I'm good. Come on, let's head in."
"Now I've seen everything," Tony said to the others at the table. All of their eyes were transfixed on the dance floor, more specifically the couple twirling around the dance floor as if they spent their lives dancing to big band music. Natasha tilted her head back and laughed as Clint spun her again, an action that shocked Tony; he didn't even think Natasha could laugh like that. He was more used to her dry chuckles or her smirks; a full body laugh completely devoid of sarcasm was a miracle. 'Well if anyone could pull the laugh outta her, it would be Robin Hood,' he thought.
"Did you guys know they could dance like that?" Steve asked, amazed at their gracefulness and agility. He smiled happily as he watched his teammates dance across the floor. Clint and Natasha always seemed so on edge, even when they were all in the Tower; to see them so carefree made him happy. 'There has to be something between them,' Steve thought. 'There's no way they can be so in tune to each other and just be partners.'
"Natasha said she and Clint had danced before, but I didn't think she meant to music like this," Jane laughed. She was quickly falling in love with the big band music. It was exciting and energetic, something that made you smile and laugh.
"You never know with those two," Tony replied, shrugging. "Assassins are weird."
"Come, Jane," Thor said, standing up and taking her hand gently. "Let us too dance."
"I don't know how to dance to this," Jane replied as she stood up.
"Nor do I. We shall have to try none the less," Thor answered, leading her to the dance floor.
"Way to go, Goldilocks," Tony cheered, chuckling as he sipped on his scotch. "Pepper darling, I'm going to have to leave you here with Bruce for a few minutes; I've got business to attend to."
"Don't get us thrown out," Pepper replied jokingly. "I like the club."
"Really? I'll buy you one for your birthday then," Tony said, smirking slightly as he got up from his seat. "Steve, buddy, pal, walk with me talk with me." Steve turned to give Bruce and Pepper a questioning look before getting up and following Tony as he slowly made his way around the edge of the dance floor.
"What is it, Tony?" Steve asked.
"You know Mr. Star Spangled Banner, you're not very observant."
"What do you mean?"
"Never mind that for now. Tell me, do you ever have panic attacks? Or anxiety attacks? Basically any kind of attack that would be awkward to occur in public?" Tony asked.
"No, I haven't had an asthma attack since before the super soldier serum. Why?" Steve asked warily.
"We're gonna play a little game. Just remember it's not socially acceptable to have panic attacks or faint. It's rather awkward actually."
"Excuse me, miss," Tony said, stopping in front of a table. The girl smiled as she looked up at Steve and Tony.
'Wow, she's gorgeous,' Steve thought. The mystery woman had light green eyes and shoulder-length blonde hair. She wore a peach chiffon with white polka dots, the deep, wide v-neck balanced with the three-quarter sleeves.
"Have you met Steve?" Tony asked.
"No, I haven't," the woman said shyly. "Hi, I'm Katie."
"I'm Steve," he replied, shaking her hand.
"She knows that now, slick," Tony said, rolling his eyes. "Waiter, we're gonna need a round of drinks here. Lots of drinks, just keep 'em coming all night." Tony turned back to Steve, a mischievous smile on his lips. "I must be returning to Pepper, can't have her thinking I've abandoned her. Steve, you can stay here and keep this lovely lady company; we'll let you know when we're gonna leave."
Bruce and Pepper laughed as they watched Tony play matchmaker from across the dance floor.
"Poor Steve looks so nervous," Pepper said sympathetically.
"He does, but he needs to get out a bit. He needs to stop living in the past so much; he needs to give himself a chance at a future," Bruce replied.
"What about you, Bruce? You can't force yourself to be alone forever."
"Not forever…just until I have a little more control," Bruce said quietly. "Besides I can't be alone; I live in a tower full of insane people."
"Very true," Pepper laughed. "Alright I won't push you about this."
"It's not you I'm worried about; it's your matchmaking boyfriend," Bruce said dryly.
"So what brings you here?" Katie asked. Steve decided he liked her quite a bit. She was almost as shy as him, surprised at being thrown together by Tony. But she was really sweet and polite, beautiful and intelligent. She didn't care about or mention the fact that he was Captain America; he wondered briefly if she even knew. He figured this was how his teen years should have been, flirting awkwardly in clubs with beautiful women who were way out of his league.
"My family decided to drag me out for a night on the town," Steve said sheepishly. "How about you?"
"I love big band music, but I don't have anyone to come to the club with. I'm usually just here by myself watching everyone dance; I swear I was born in the wrong era," she replied, blushing slightly at her admission.
"Do my eyes deceive me or is that our Steve flirting with an actual female?" Clint asked as he and Natasha sat down at the table. Clint and Natasha had been dancing almost non-stop since they got to the club; they rarely got to do normal things without scoping out a mark so they made sure they enjoyed every second.
"I don't know how much flirting is actually going on," Tony said. "He looks incredibly awkward, but I guess being frozen for decades will do that to you."
"Not everyone can be as smooth as you," Pepper said, swatting his arm gently.
"You just called me smooth," Tony said smugly.
"Of course, that's what you'd call leaving to get me a drink and never coming back for me," Pepper retorted easily.
Tony winced slightly at her words, the memory leaving a bad taste in his mouth. "You're never gonna let that go, are you?"
"I still haven't gotten my dry martini."
"I'll get you one right now," Tony said, kissing her cheek and getting up from his seat quickly.
"Lots of olives!" Pepper called after him, laughing softly.
"I think Steve's doing a pretty decent job over there," Natasha said, subtly glancing at her teammate across the room. "He hasn't had an anxiety attack or anything."
"They grow up so fast," Clint laughed, wrapping an arm around Natasha's waist. "And I thought Thor dancing was a shocker." They all glanced over at Thor and Jane dancing a little clumsily in front of the stage. What they lacked in the grace and agility Clint and Natasha possessed they made up with their enthusiasm and excitement.
"I have to say, this might be one of the best ideas Tony's ever had," Bruce said, smiling as he sipped his drink. "Also the least likely to end in disaster."
Steve smiled as another song began, his foot tapping to the drum beat. "I love these songs," he said to Katie.
"This one's a classic," Katie replied. "I think this might be my favorite one."
Steve watched Katie's profile for a second, the freckles sprinkled across her cheeks, the flush of excitement under her creamy skin. Taking a deep breath to calm himself, he stood up, extending a hand toward her. "Wanna dance?"
"I don't know how to dance to it," Katie admitted, slipping her hand into his.
"Neither do I," Steve replied, leading her to the dance floor. "We'll learn together."
"He scores!" Tony exclaimed as he watched Steve walk Katie onto the dance floor. "I knew he had it in him, just needed a little push."
"You're a modern-day cupid, Stark," Natasha said, smiling slightly. "Good job."
"You did really good, Tony," Pepper said, kissing him softly.
"Come, Jane. We must dance; this music energizes me," Thor said enthusiastically, getting up from his seat as Jane slipped back on her heels.
"Come on, stud; we're dancing too," Natasha said, grabbing Clint's tie and gently tugging him to the dance floor.
"Wanna dance, Pep?" Tony asked, turning toward her.
"Sure," Pepper replied, her eyes lighting up in excitement. She wasn't sure if Tony would want to dance; she couldn't remember ever seeing him dance in all her years of knowing him. She thought her heart might burst with happiness as Tony took her hand and led her onto the floor.
"I don't think we're half bad," Katie said breathlessly as Steve twirled her again.
"Not at all," Steve replied. Their first few steps were fumbling, unsure of the steps and each other. But with each passing second they grew more and more confident, their dancing clearly displaying it. Steve glanced around the dance floor as he quickly dipped Katie, a smile lighting up his face. He saw Natasha and Clint near the center of the dance floor, amazing everyone with their moves; he made a mental note to ask them where they learned to dance to big band music. Thor and Jane were dancing just as enthusiastically as earlier, their practice from dancing earlier smoothing out their missteps. He could see Tony and Pepper dancing near the edge of the dance floor, their moves not as quick as everyone else's but much smoother, taking note of the bright smiles on both of their faces. The real shock came when he glanced Bruce dancing near a corner with a dark-haired woman, a nervous yet excited smile on his face.
"Have you had a good night?" Katie asked.
"I've had a great night," Steve replied, smiling at her. "I'll need to come out more often." After all, field trips weren't so bad.
How'd you guys like it? Reviews please!