So I really love this fic, and I'm having soooo much fun writing it. Little disappointed at the lack of reviews compared to my Harry Potter one, but I decided screw it some people like it and I love it so imma keep going. :)
"The public is not happy with us." Clint muttered, eyes glued to the television screen as he watched the news. Steve sighed, rubbing his face as Bruce walked in balancing four cups of coffee. He handed one to Steve and then one to Natasha who was leaning against the wall before dropping onto the couch next to Clint and handing him the cup that wasn't his own. "When is Tony on again?"
"Talk show is at two, so about fifteen minutes." Bruce replied as he settle back into the couch. "Steve, Tasha, take a seat. You're both looming and its annoying me." Steve sat down in the chair as Clint's propped up leg was taking up most of the couch, while Natasha straightened up.
"I'm going to grab Thor from Loki's room, I know he doesn't want to miss this." she said, setting her coffee on the table closest to Clint next to the couch. "And when I come back I expect you to have scooted over to give me room to sit next to you Barton."
"Of course sweetie." Clint teased, shifting himself forward to try to get closer to Bruce and away from the arm of the couch as Tasha left the room.
Steve didn't say anything, just looking down into his coffee cup. He was still furious with SHIELD about the situation with Clint, and the increasingly tense situation with the public and the press was really getting to him. Back in his day, the public had loved him and the pressed had paid more attention than he liked to him. Now, every move of every member of the Avengers was tracked by the press, and the public flipped between loving his team and hating everything they stood for so quickly it made Steves head spin. Tony was the only one of the group that was good at handling the press. Clint and Natasha hated being in the public eye, Bruce couldn't take the pressure without going green for the most part, and Thor was to use to being Prince to answer questions without insulting the rights of Americans. Steve could handle it if he really needed to, but he didn't have the control over the masses that Tony did. He still felt bad for letting Tony go to the shows alone though, even if he wasn't much help when he did go.
"The Man of Iron has not spoken yet?" Thor asked eagerly as he charged into the room, dragging Loki behind him with a weary Tasha entering after the brothers and taking her seat next to Clint.
"Nah, he will be after this round of commercials." Clint said when Thor dumped himself on the floor in front of the couch, grinning up at the television like a four year old would before their favorite show. Loki lowered himself into the other arm chair, pulling his knees up to his chest and making himself as small as possible. Though Steve didn't trust the trickster at all, he still felt bad for the obviously broken god. Bruce took one look at the thin man huddled in the chair looking up at the television and passed him on of the fluffy blankets Tony kept in the living room. Loki looked at him in shock before slowly taking the blanket from the scientist, who just leaned back into the couch and sipped his coffee.
"Now we welcome; TONY STARK, or as you might know him, IRON MAN." the voice on the television yelled. Tony walked onto the screen, waving and giving an exaggerated bow before shaking the hosts hand and taking his seat on the overly plush couch. The teams attention shifted fully to the screen.
"So Mr. Stark- Tony! May I call you Tony?" at Tonys grin and nod the odd balding man hosting the show gave an overly bright beam and continued. "Saving the world and New York with your little band of super heroes! Must be exciting. Though its always been said you work better alone- what do you say to that now?"
"Well Rob, thats easy. I worked great on my own, don't get me wrong- I'm pretty fantastic." Tony shot a charming smile at the camera along with a wink. "But the team brings something new to the table. Injuries are minimal, the amount of destruction is down...its just a good thing. With all of us watching each others backs we take down enemies any one of us could handle far more quickly and quietly. What's not to love about that?"
"You've never really struck the public as a team player Tony, no offence of course. What changed?"
"Have you ever had Captain America give you a direct order Rob?" Tony asked with a smirk.
"I can't say that I have Tony." the host said with an off putting laugh that made most of the Avengers raise an eyebrow at how fake the noise was.
"There's your answer- all anyone needs to work as a team is a good kick in the ass from the Captain! It wasn't even discussed, he took charge in our first battle automatically and since then everyone just does as he says. Not without attitude though." Tony winked again as the host laughed uproariously.
"One of a kind Tony, you truly are one of a kind."
"Thank you Rob."
"Now, moving on, some people are concerned about the damage that is being done to the cities the Avengers rush in to save- what do you have to say in defense of your team?"
"Oh here we go." Bruce muttered. "This is what they all really want to talk about."
"If I didn't actually care about people, I would let the robots just destroy everything. See how they fare without us." Clint growled.
"You know we can't do that Clint." Steve said quietly.
"Doesn't mean I can't fantasize about it does it Cap?" Clint shot back, huffing.
"All of you shut up, I'm trying to listen." Natasha hissed.
"Personally I think anyone who had a problem with the damage we cause is a moron. We get throw into buildings, we crash into things, stuff explodes, things catch on fire...but we do all we can to save lives and to defeat whoever or whatever is terrorizing humans- imagine the damage done if those forces were allowed to do whatever they want. When the Avengers leave after doing their job, the city is often damaged yes, and has to rebuild. But there is still a city is there not?" Tony said, grin a little tighter than it had been.
"I suppose that's true Tony. But people say that the military could easily handle what the Avengers do-"
"And what do you think Rob?" Tony cut in, his tight smile widening. "Two years ago when Loki invaded the military seemed to be...struggling to keep everything under control. Am I wrong?"
"Not at all Tony. Obviously I'm not trying to undermine the work the Avengers do, you all save us on a daily basis, but-"
"If thats not what you are trying to get across then maybe we should move to the next question Rob." Tonys tone was like and his smile was relaxed, but his eyes were hard as he looked at the host. Plastering on another smile, the host nodded.
"An excellent idea Tony. Now, last mission with Hawkeye and Captain America the Avenger Hawkeye was carried off the street by the Captain-"
"God damn it, they know he carried me off? Cap, how could you?! You're ruining my image!" Clint complained, glaring at the television. Natasha rolled her eyes and kissed Clint on the forehead before telling him to shut up or he would be sleeping on that couch injured or not.
"-and I think we all want to know, is he alright?"
"Hawkeye is recovering in the tower, though its difficult for us to get him to keep still. Only the Black Widow can scare him into submission, and even then only for a time. Keeping him out of my air vents is a nightmare." Tony shook his head with an exasperated look while the host gave an awkward chuckle, like he wasn't positive how to react to Tony statement.
"I'm sure the Black Widow runs a tight ship up in your tower." Rob joked.
"Actually, the Captain runs the tower. Pulls Bruce and I from the lab for meals, even got Jarvis on his side to lock up out of the gym and the labs if we start spending too much time there."
"Turn it off, all he does is pry into our lives and the ask more about how much damage we cause and lives lost because we don't work hard enough." Tony spat as he walked onto the floor, throwing his coat onto the floor and stalking over to the bar. "Jarvis turn it off!"
The Avengers in the living room turned from now black screen to look at the angry billionaire as he poured himself a scotch. Tony slammed the bottle down, then glared at the half full glass before using his arm to sweep it off the bar and send it crashing to the floor. Steve stood instantly, four large strides placing him next to Tony. He wrapped his arm around the smaller man, who was taking deep breaths to attempt to calm himself.
"What that damn journalist asked after the show...jabbering on about how we seem to show up whether people want our help or not. These people have no idea what we do for them, and when they say things like that...I don't want to do it anymore. Every time we go out to fight they see superheroes running to the rescue, but I see my family running to their potential death! Every time! We put our lives on the line at least once a week, and what do we get for it? Politicians ridiculing us and people telling us we need to pay for the damage we have caused." Tony threw Steves arm off his shoulders and began to pace. "How dare she insult my the sacrifices my family makes! Because whether you losers like it or not, you're the only family I've got."
"We're all the family any of us had Tony." Bruce quietly reminded his friend.
"I do not understand." Ever head spun to look at Loki as he spoke up before him chair, eyebrows furrowed. "They do not celebrate you? In Asgard great warriors are honored. You are the warriors of earth and yet your people only demand more of you?"
"Aye brother, I agree. At times this realm makes no sense to me." Thor added, shaking his head.
"Its frustrating, but the only thing we can do is our jobs. SHIELD can handle all of the other stuff." Steve said, sounding far more confident than he truly felt. If he were to be honest with himself he fully agreed with what everyone else was saying, but as Captain he had to keep his team working towards a better future. For everyone.
"Who cares? Lets just do our jobs when we need to, and when we don't we have each other." snorted Clint. "Now, I've been craving some terrible movie. Stark, I want explosions, I want raunchy jokes, I want swearing, and I want to laugh my ass off."
Tony's shoulder relaxed and he grinned at the archer.
"I have just the thing for ya birdbrain! Come on you lot, movie night! Jarvis, Tropic Thunder if you would."
"Well I was expecting it to be honest." Tony sighed about two weeks later, tossing back his fourth cup of coffee that morning. In front of him spread out and nearly covering the kitchen island were newspaper and magazine articles, all about the Avengers and Tony in particular. Bruce stood next to him, reading one of the papers with a frown. Steve stood at the stove, pouring the last of the pancake batter into the pan and waiting for them to finish cooking. The other four house occupants sat at the table, Thor arguing with Clint over who the syrup should sit by. Natasha was ignoring everyone, and Loki was just looking down at his empty plate.
"Anything positive?" Steve asked, trying to keep his tone from sounding hopeful.
"Not one. Apparently I'm jealous of you Steve and will rip apart the team in my attempt to overthrow you as leader. And then I'm going to zoom off and go back to being a one man show because thats just how I am. Unless I kill you, then I'm off to jail, where I'll escape and then turn bad." Tony deadpanned. Steve's head snapped up, his eyes wide with shock.
"They think you'll kill me?" the super soldier asked incredulously.
"In this one they think he'll try to kill you because you won't step down from leader of the Avengers, but that in a fight to the death you will in fact kill Tony because you are more powerful than Iron Man."
"A fight to the death?!"
"Please, in a dual to the death Iron Man would win." snorted Tony. "Dual to the death over leadership, what time period do they think we are in? Steve isn't King and I'm not some jealous younger brother with a thirst for the crown! These people have insane imaginations."
"Lord knows why, enough crazy things happen these days without throwing around wild accusations, why not write about those things?" Steve sighed as he slipped the last pancakes onto the giant platter he had been keeping warm in the oven. "Scientists to the table, you need to consume something more than coffee before you vanish off to the labs to do...whatever it is you're up to now."
Bruce moved towards the table with a sheepish grin while Tony stuck out his tongue and fell into his own seat as Steve walked over to the table, setting the platter in the middle and rolling his eyes as the team pounced on it before he had even took his seat.
"You're all animals." Natasha sniffed.
"Holy shit there are chocolate chip ones at the bottom! Steve I'm in love with you never leave me!" Tony said dramatically as he piled food on his plate. Tasha and Steve waited until the frenzy was over before taking their share, Steve using his fork to flip a chocolate chip pancake on to Loki's plate when he noticed the small man had yet to take anything. Loki looked at him in confusion then jumped when Tony added another one.
"Eat up Reindeer Games, you are looking rather skeletonish today."
Slowly Loki picked up his fork and cut off a bit of pancake, the entire team watching him either outright or out of the corner of their eyes as he took his first bite. His eyes lit up at the taste and he scarfed down the rest of his plates contents before he attempted to stealthily steal from his brothers plate. Thor pretended not to notice, but Steve knew differently from the way the Thunderers expression had softened as it only did for Loki. Bruce and Tony were arguing about some algorithm or another through mouthfuls of food, both of their expressions screaming 'how stupid are you?!' as they debated. Natasha whacked Clint on the shoulder and told him to take smaller bites when the archer attempted to fit half a pancake in his mouth at once, said man pouting and sulkily cutting up his food. A small smile stretched onto Steve's lips.
The press could say what they wanted- there was nothing wrong with his family.
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