A/N: Yes, I know "idioma" means language in Spanish. I was just being funny. Speaking of funny, we'll see how many people that read the summary read the author's note. I know some of you are waiting for some updates, but I had to get this one-shot off my chest. Special thanks to Nony, Hawksicle, Isialarma, Tenebrielle and Frosty for giving this the once over on TBB. Since much like our favorite billionaire, I wrote it drunk and at midnight myself. Hope you enjoy!
Tony sighed dramatically, lifting one hand to take his sunglasses off his face. He took a small cloth out of the pocket of his jeans and wiped the lenses deliberately.
"I'm not sure why you thought this would work, Justin," he murmured to the man in front of him.
"Shut up!" the other man shouted at him, brandishing the handgun. He was pale, thin, and his features had a manic look on them. Sure, Justin Hammer could afford bail from the minimum security, white-collar penitentiary they'd thrown him in, but it was apparent his public villainy phase had not been kind to him. It was sort of ironic, considering when Tony was a public villain, he could still get the best business deals anywhere. He supposed Justin Hammer just didn't have that same charisma.
Which was how he now found himself at gunpoint in an empty hotel kitchen.
Well, not completely empty. The floors ran red with the blood of the few late-night employees staffing the place. Tony had only wandered down because he thought the smell of room service would wake up Pepper.
The guilt was only beginning to tear at his gut, but he pushed it aside. Remorse, later. Action, now.
Although he was still deciding on what action to take. He had been woefully underprepared for this situation. He had left his phone in the room, his boredom and desire for something more satisfactory than a bag of peanuts from the mini-bar get the better of him. These people had died because Tony wanted a snack.
And also because a maniacal, crossed ex-competitor had wanted his blood. Couldn't forget that part.
Tony didn't like how death followed him everywhere. But he was used to it.
Merchant of Death indeed.
"Justin, why don't you put the gun down. We'll get you some help."
"I don't need your help!" the other man sneered. "I need your head!"
"I hope you don't mean literally, because I'm rather attached to it. Also quite litera-"
Tony flinched as the gun went off and the tiles at his feet exploded with a crack.
"You killed people, Hammer," Tony hissed. "They're not gonna send you to the minimum security place anymore. You're a murderer now."
Hammer laughed harshly. "I still see no difference between us, Anthony." Tony narrowed his eyes at the use of his full name. "On your knees."
Tony didn't move.'
"DO IT!" Hammer screamed. He was about ten feet away, and he took a deliberate step forward, pointing the gun at Tony's head.
"You know, the odds of you making that shot are-"
A sharp pain flared through his temple, and Tony could only see white. His ears were ringing, and for the life of him he couldn't collect his thoughts as pain crushed his forehead like a vice. But soon, the white began to fade, replaced by red, his breathing evened out and he heard a voice over the din.
"-didn't listen," Hammer sneered.
Tony huffed, angry to find that he was on his side, blood running down into his eye from where the bullet had grazed his temple. Goddamn son of a bitch, he had been practicing.
Pepper would be so disappointed in him if he died at the hands of this man. He could imagine it now. "Hammer, Tony, really? The man's criminal experience only extends to who he can hire and he's the cockiest asshole I know. Besides you."
Yup, that's what would happen. Tony really didn't want to be at the mercy of this man.
With a groan, he pushed himself up on his hands and knees.
"Can I…have that gun now?" he gasped. He held out one hand.
Hammer looked indignant. He blinked a few times. "What?"
"I think you've…had your fun," Tony said gesturing with his fingers to hand it over. This action just seemed to make Hammer angrier, and he aimed the gun down at Tony's head.
"You're crazy," he rasped.
"Only sort of," a loud voice called from somewhere behind Hammer. He spun around and Tony looked up confusedly.
Clint fucking Barton was there, leaning casually against one of the stovetops, calmly tossing a huge carving knife in his hand. He was dressed in casual clothing, nothing to give him away as a secret agent. Except, maybe, the astute knife-tossing skills.
"Who the hell are you?" Hammer asked, Tony momentarily forgotten. Barton smirked, still not looking up at the man. He continued to toss the knife.
"I'm just saying. He's only sort of crazy. Not as crazy as you, though." Clint snatched the knife out the air, stilling it. He moved his eyes but not his head, making eye-contact with Hammer then. The smirk had disappeared, and Tony saw only the cold look of a killer. Hammer flinched, before pointing his gun back at Tony.
"I'll kill him! Don't think I won't!"
"Well, you see," Clint's voice had dropped to a low growl, that Tony could only just make out. "My partner and I have grown quite fond of him. We'd be really disappointed if he died. Frighteningly so."
Hammer stilled, as Clint's words settled over him like a fog. "P…part-"
A shadow detached itself from the ceiling somewhere to Tony's left. A blur of red and black moved as silently as a snake striking its prey. There was an anguished cry from Hammer as his gun hand bent backwards, snapping, followed by a kick to his knee. It cracked loudly, and his leg collapsed under him, looking all kinds of wrong to Tony. A knife handle appeared in his shoulder, and with an elbow to his temple, the man was out in about 1.5 seconds.
"You didn't have to throw the knife," Natasha said standing up from Hammer's limp form.
Across the table, Clint shrugged. "I wanted to. That guy's such an ass."
"You have no idea," Natasha said, moving over to help Tony up. He groaned. "Are you alright?" she asked. Once, he may have mistaken her curt question for indifference, but the fact she was here at all meant something to him.
"No," he groaned. "Does that 'frighteningly so' bit actually…work? You…say that? In public?" Clint rolled his eyes as Natasha ripped off a bit of Tony's shirt and held it against his temple. "Hey! I like that shirt!"
"Buy a new one," she snapped.
Tony pouted first at Natasha, who ignored him, then at Clint, who grinned happily. "Why are you guys here anyway?" he asked suspiciously.
"Following him, actually," Clint kicked the unconscious man's foot. "Waiting for him to do something stupid. Unfortunately we couldn't get in here fast enough to prevent…" Clint gestured vaguely to the carnage around him. "…this," he finished quietly.
"Yeah," Tony agreed.
"Sorry," Clint said.
"Be glad we got here at all. I'm pretty sure he was going to kill you. For real," Natasha said softly.
"Aw, were you worried about lil' 'ol me?" Tony smirked.
He winced as Natasha pressed the cloth harder into his head. Clint lifted the smaller, unconscious man and threw him over his shoulder. "Welp, we should be going. Fury wants this guy in a cell he can't buy his way out of."
"Hmm," Tony said thoughtfully. "Doesn't that violate…something?"
"You gonna vouch for him?" Clint asked.
Clint shrugged, turning away. Natasha lifted Tony's hand to replace hers over the cloth on his head. "Pepper's on her way down. You might want to meet her." She tilted her head slightly and offered one of the fakest smiles Tony had ever seen.
He felt his eye twitching. "What did you tell her?"
Natasha looked thoughtful. "Just that you wanted a snack and got into serious trouble. That we had to bail you out of."
Tony sprinted for the doors. "Don't expect a thank-you!" he shouted.
"We never do!" Clint shouted back.