Hello everyone. Well, clearly I'm in love with the movie as much as all of you or I wouldn't be here. I pretty much want to make this a series of one-shots about the team. I have quite a few written already, but if you have any particular requests that you like to read then please PM away or stick in a review. However, as much as I adore the Science-Bros - that's where it's staying. I won't write slash -purely becase Tony/Pepper and Bruce/Betty is too awesome. So with that in mind, I'm mroe than happy to have a go at anything someone wants to read. Regardless, I'll hopefully have an update on here by the end of the week.
Toodle pip for now,
It was a rare moment.
On an all too scarce day off – from training, press conferences, public appearances, S.H.I.E.L.D.S meetings and saving the world, or New York at the very least, from aliens and villainy all round – all of the Avengers could be found together in the one room.
Dr. Bruce Banner had offered to cook for them.
Natasha sat upright and expectantly at the breakfast bar - or what Tony called the 'breakfast bar'. The thing was a monstrosity – studying her comrade as he added spoonfuls of something to one pot, sprinkles of something else to another…it was like art.
No – science. Precise, exact, masterful science that not even Tony, to his unending devastation, could surpass.
Clint stood next to her, peering over her shoulder and into the contents of the little pots and pans littering the stove. Tony, Steve and Thor stood nearby; the genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist trying – and utterly failing – to look uninterested; and Thor blatantly impatient in his hunger ("Threatening me with Mjölnir won't get dinner cooked any faster Thor. Put it down.")
Steve on the other hand looked on with an almost absolute confusion and barely concealed wonder. He could just remember his adoptive mother's cooking when he was young, and how he'd practically salivated at the smell of the sweet potato pie And peach cobbler, roasted meats and boiled potatoes mashed up with butter, and the sweet tang of her homemade lemonade. He'd been quite startled – after following the new, enticing and entirely exotic smell – to find it was Bruce standing at the oven. He had half expected to see Natasha, or even Miss Potts. After all, he'd only ever seen men cook in the barracks or on missions, and the offerings then had been meagre and baleful – taken for sustenance and strength and definitely not for the taste. It had been his upbringing then that the women in his life and prepared every delicious morsel he had ever consumed outside of the military.
"What on earth is that smell?" he'd eventually asked, not succeeding at all to hide his appreciation of this new found discovery.
Banner didn't move his eyes or hands away from his work. "That depends."
Bruce glanced at him and gave a low chuckle. "Uh…paprika, you're smelling probably. But there's also a little cayenne, um, caramelised onions, Could be the lamb and chicken together, I don't know. Or – I made some pitta breads earlier. There's a bit of garlic and some mint-"
"I can't believe you're making shawarma." Tony scoffed from his corner.
Bruce gave that low chuckle again. "Well, I felt bad."
"Because you destroyed the restaurant."
"I didn't exactly mean to land on it. And it was only half of the building."
"Yes. The half that cooks everything."
Clint started coughing suspiciously, and a wry smile crept slowly across Natasha's face. Steve was too busy staring at everything Bruce was doing, whilst Thor stared hard at Tony.
"It is better this way, Friend Stark," he spoke, glowering under his blond brow. "I have seen things about your feasting halls on the magic picture box you have shown me. Here we can see how Dr. Banner prepares our meal. It would not be so in these…restaurants you speak of."
"Been watching Dispatches again, have we?"
"Tony, leave him be," Bruce muttered. "And give it a rest, it's nearly done. Since you're clearly being so helpful, set the table."
"No, I think would be the appropriate response there, Dr Banner."
Steve chided. "Don't be rude, Tony."
"You are all my guests, right? Remember that part where I gallantly offered up my technologically awesome tower to be team HQ and you started living here?"
"I think the toddler's having another tantrum," Clint smirked.
"Hey, wouldn't your aim improve dramatically if you're living up a tree?"
A new voice floated from the door way. "You wouldn't happen to be threatening to evict your teammates, would you Mr. Stark?"
Pepper Potts click-clacked her way into the kitchen, amber hair free from her usual restrictive ponytail – a signal that she was well and truly done with business for the day.
"Of course not," answered Tony. "I was offering Agent Barton some sincere and heart-felt advice, to make sure he always brings his 'A' game."
"Smells wonderful, Bruce," said Pepper, ignoring, yet again, her boyfriend's antics, and giving Bruce a swift kiss to the cheek, as he bent his head over the stove to hide a faint blush.
Tony for one had been most put out to learn that Bruce and Pepper had clicked famously. He was relishing seeing the look on her face as he told her that the Big Guy, who had inflicted a lot – though not all by any means – of the damage to Stark Tower would now be living in it. But before he could have said a word, Pepper had swept the duffle bag out of his hands, gave Bruce a warm – and slightly hysterical – hug much to the man's surprise (his hands just hung there at his sides and he looked completely bewildered), and she'd led them all inside. Hell, pepper was even the one who'd managed to dissuade Bruce from a lot of his attempts to leave and run off again. One time she had tricked him into signing a six-month contract with Stark Industries – some ruse off the bat of Bruce's insistence to do something about all the damages – just so that he couldn't disappear into some untraceable back water.
When he'd asked, Bruce had only said that it was hard to argue with a woman who spent most of her time handling him. Pepper had told him that she liked having Bruce around – that he gave her a glimpse of what Tony would have been like if he wasn't clinically insane. That and he'd saved his life of course, she had quickly amended seeing the look on Tony's face.
And of course, Natasha had to sum it up perfectly. "I'm still convinced that you like the doc better than Stark." She flashed amused eyes at her teammate.
"Of course I do," Pepper replied without missing a beat, and took a seat next to the two master assassins.
After much pestering, more sulking, a couple of tantrums and a final demand, Tony had finally set the table and the team plus Pepper took their places, as Bruce began to carry out dish after delicious dish to the table.
Thor and – the team had come to expect – Natasha dug into their meal with relish. She may have the petite body of her namesake, but she had an appetite that rivalled any of the guys when she put her mind to it. Only Thor, and occasionally Bruce after a 'Hulk-down', could out-eat her when she was hungry.
And she'd been watching the good doctor cook for hours.
"This is most satisfying, Dr. Banner," Thor boomed appreciatively. "You must teach me this skill you have."
"What," Bruce spoke carefully around a mouthful. "Cooking?"
"Aye! Cooking. You Midgardians do the most unusual things with your food. I would like to see how it is done."
Bruce shrugged. "Sure. I'll teach you a couple of dishes."
Clint snorted into his shawarma.
"Attractive," Natasha drawled.
"S-sorry," he choked down a hunk of lamb. "But don't tell me no one else can see how amazingly bad that idea is."
His teammates looked on, nonplussed.
"Oh, come on! A demi-god who couldn't tell you what end of a match to light – nevermind understand the mechanics and engineering of a stove – being taught to cook – to use a hot, electrical fire-hazard by Dr. Banner, who – of course – deals with stressful situations so well. Yeah, fuckin' genius idea."
Bruce scowled at the Agent over his food – or as close to a scowl as he got. "I keep telling you – avoiding stress isn't the key."
Natasha snorted. "Yeah, avoiding explosions is."
Clint threw her a pointed look. Natasha paled.
Bruce graced them both with a withering look. "it can hardly be that bad. All the man has to do is watch, listen and do exactly as I say."
Thor nodded eagerly, stuffing another enormous mouthful down his throat. "You shall teach me to make these, Doctor? Father would enjoy them greatly I think."
Bruce hesitated. "I think we should start off with something a little simpler, Thor," he said. "Just to get you started."
Thor nodded slowly. "I shall trust your wisdom, friend."
Natasha and Clint shook their heads slowly, eating at a much more subdued pace now. Quietly, at the end of the table, Steve silently agreed with them.
And it had nothing to do with the frighteningly gleeful look on Tony's face.
Maybe he would visit Coulson for a week.