Hello, my name is A-Box-Of-Scraps and you're on hiatus!
Honestly, I am so so sorry and I've got a lot to answer for. However, I am now on summer vacation. The 'oh, I was to busy!' excuse will no longer work. All my stories are so hopelessly behind and outdated, but I'm working on it now!
I'm sorry, and thanks for not giving up on me!
So hiding in the lab was good and all, but the problem was the vents. They were used for ventilating air, the passage of Hawkeye's-
Oh, hey, wait. Get out Clint.
Tony rubbed his eyes, and tried to look put together and well adjusted. Not like he was hiding from his teammates, despite the fact that one of them had just crawled out of his air vent in order to talk to him. Why didn't he get those boarded up? Why, why, oh why did he not lock the damn things?
"Tony." Clint says softly, stepping closer to the billionaire. Tony is sitting on the floor, eyes unfocused, probably looking very out of it and upset, in reality trying to judge if plywood would keep Clint out or if he should go bigger.
"Mmm." Tony mumbles, stumbling to his feet. Now is not a good time. Never is a good time. Yes he feels like shit, and yes it's mostly Clint's fault, but couldn't they just forget about this? Lock up the key, and melt it down into birdseed? All he sees when he closes his eyes is Yinsesn; all he feels at night is burning sand and freezing water. He was trying to work on his car, but couldn't when he hit the battery.
Just sort of lay there on the floor below the car, staring at it.
That was keeping me alive.
"Tony, you've got to eat." Clint repeats. Repeats? Was that the second time he said it? How long has he been here, anyway?
"I do eat." Tony countered, spinning on his heel and pointing to a tray of food. "See? There's high quality eating down here at Cafe Stark. PB & J, coffee, and those cool rocket candies. I'm all fine down here in the batcave. Starkcave? If it was your cave, it would be the Hawkcave. Jesus, Clint, never get a cave. That is painfully lame."
"Right." agrees Clint. "Now, come on. I want to show you something." Not really sure why, Tony drifts a little nearer.
"Is it shiny?" he asks. These are important field research questions. Why does Clint look all blurry? Now there's two of him. Brilliant.
"What?" Clint lunges closer to Tony, and, before he can react, he's been scooped up into Clint's arms. After giving a token protest, Tony sits quietly. I mean, sure he kind of hates this. But he's cold all over and the 6 Clint's are being nice to him, and -
The world spins on it's axis, and everything goes black.
When Tony blinks his eyes open, Natasha is three inches from his face.
"God!" he yells, jerking back, and finds himself in a hospital bed. There's an IV drip in his arm, and a medical wristband around his right wrist. White plaster is peeling on the white walls, and Natasha in her black jumpsuit stood out from the dingy tile. Tony thinks he's in some sort of second rate hospital. The air is to humid. He's to warm. The blanket is to clingy. Weakly, he tries to kick it off.
"No." Natasha tells him, pushing him back down. "You need to rest. And eat. We're trying to convince SHIELD to release you into our care."
"That won't work." Tony smirks. Part of him want to pull out the IV. Does he have goosebumps? Dear god, Tony Stark did NOT get goosebumps. "None of you are responsible." Natasha smirks back, but tucks the blanket around his chin.
"Steve's care. Are you ready to be fussed over and force-fed?"
"Nooooo..." Tony groans. Then he realizes what is happening. He's talking to Natasha. He hasn't talked to Natasha in, like, 2 months. He's been in the lab. Why is he talking to Natasha.
Why is he in a goddamn hospital.
Why is he being released into Steve's care.
Why is Clint guiltily walking into the room.
Why is there an IV drip in his arm.
I've got to get out of here, something's in my arm, I'm starving and they're probably shoving chemicals into his arm through the IV and now Bruce is here to and perfect he's a doctor where were you when I was-
Everything goes black, for the second time, and the last thing Tony sees is Natasha slamming her fist onto the panic button.
When Tony wakes up next, wakes up for real, his face is smushed into the couch. He feels kind of fuzzy, and dimly realizes that noise is filtering through the blanket wrapping him around like a mummy. The noises he hears are his teammates, but backed by what sounded like ... like ... was that Star Wars?
Tony sat upright, flailing in his blanket coccoon. When he finally pulled his face clear, he was faced with Captain America squalking about Leia's slave outfit, and Clint giggling, with Bruce pelting popcorn at both of them.
"Someone tell me I'm hallucinating." Tony commented drily, running a hand through his hair. "Actually, don't. I feel like crud already. I would appreciate it, though, if someone would explain what we're doing...?"
"Family meeting." Bruce said patiently, pausing the movie. Natasha pulled Clint backwards by the back of his shirt, forcing him to shut up, and follow her towards Tony.
"Wait, what-" Tony starts, and suddenly Clint is saying something that sounds a lot like sorry sorry sorry sorry and Tony is not ready for this at all.
"I didn't know, partially because I'm dumb and you should have told us, but didn't, you little trash potato, and partially because I should have bothered to actually look your file up and I wanted to say sorry-" Clint bursts out, all in one breath, and before Tony knows fully why he's held out his arms and wrapped them around Clint's waist.
"...Tony?" Steve asks confusedly, "What are you...?"
"Hugging." Tony says, muffled through Clint's shirt. "It's a very clever double ploy. One it says sorry without actually saying sorry. Two, it gets Clint to shut the eff up because I want to watch Star Wars."
"Brilliant." Drawls Bruce, "Another billion dollar idea from genius Tony Stark."
"WHEN did you become sassy?" Demanded Tony, vaguely registering that Clint is hugging him back. Thor coughed loudly, and Clint let go, springing back awkwardly and fleeing back to Natasha. Tony kind of crawled back into his blanket fortress.
With friends like these...