I'd give explainations into where I've been, but you faithful are probably pretty used to this. The important thing to remember is that I came back! Maybe not with any of the stories I said I'd come back with but I came back! This is just a little bit of teambonding! with some funfluff! added in.
I hope you all enjoy!
Most of the team is relaxing in one of the common rooms when Steve bustles in with purpose. Loki, who is currently supporting most of his boyfriend's weight, shifts slightly, rousing said boyfriend from the tablet they had both been staring at. Clint, sprawled out on the floor, lifts his head slightly before dropping it back onto the ground. Bruce thumbs his page and shuts the book.
"We're going to do something," Steve says, coming to a stop in front of everyone. Clint raises his head again, even sitting up in interest. "Something normal people do."
"Ah, this is where I leave you then," Loki says. He leans forward, depositing Tony off of him, who is giving him the "please Lord, save me now" look that Loki conveniently ignores. "I bid you all-"
"No," Steve says, making everyone in the room freeze and look at the Captain. "I said we're all doing something normal. That includes you Loki."
Loki, for once, seems taken completely off guard. He settles back against the couch. Tony doesn't seem much better. Steve seems to realize how powerful his words are and shifts nervously.
"I mean, um, you should probably still wear some type of illusion," Steve says hesitantly. "The rest of us are just going to have to try our best to disguise-"
"Have you ever walked out the door with Tony?" Natasha asks, leaning against a wall in the back. Tony wonders when she even got into the room. "Let alone Tony and you? No way we stay anonymous."
"But if Loki could-"
"That implies Loki is going," Loki inputs.
"Of course Loki's going," Tony adds. "If Tony has to go, Loki has to go."
"Can we not talk in third person?" Clint asks.
"Listen," Steve says firmly. "We are all going out and we are going to go out into public. The separation wasn't working before. If Loki is planning on, you know, sticking around-" the words seem to be forced out, "-then we should all get used to spending time around each other."
"What if I don't want to spend time with all of you?" Loki asks.
Tony gasps dramatically, leaning away from Loki with a hand over his arc reactor. "What? I thought we had something special here!"
Loki rolls his eyes. "Beside the point. I do not do mundane things."
"Other than, you know, reading. All the time," Tony says.
"Says the man who spends all his time in the lab," Clint says. When Tony tries to respond, Loki's hand flashes green, leaving Tony glaring silently at his boyfriend and Clint laughing soundlessly on the floor.
Steve looks at Loki hopelessly, in what Tony was so eager to call his "kicked puppy" look. "I'm trying here."
Tony kicks Loki needlessly as the god sighs. "I…appreciate that."
"Did you have ideas on where to go?" Bruce asks.
Steve instantly brightens. "I thought we could go to the pier. Bucky used to take me there all the time and Thor has never been."
Loki smacks Tony as he makes gagging motions. Bruce shifts uneasily. "I don't know that I should go…" Tony throws a pencil at Bruce, glaring at the doctor when he turns to look at him. "Tony, you can't use the same excuse to drag everyone around with you."
"Does anyone worry that Bruce can still understand what Tony is saying, even though he doesn't say anything?" Clint asks. "Oh hey, I can talk again."
"Bruce, we've tested your control a hundred different ways. If I promise not to drag you on a rollercoaster, will you go?" Tony asks. Steve may have mastered the kicked puppy look but Tony has mastered the eager puppy look.
Bruce sighs. "Do I get a choice?"
"No," Tony and Steve say at the same time. Tony grins while Steve rolls his eyes. "See? You know that you don't have a choice when Steve and I agree on something."
"If we leave now, we can get dinner before we go to the pier!" Steve says, pulling out his puppy dog expression again.
Everyone in the room groans.
"This…this is what you mortals consider fun?" Loki asked with disdain. Of course, he didn't look like Loki. In fact, Loki didn't even look like a he. Instead, Loki had adopted a female form he—rather, she now—had used plenty of times. Supermodel thin, black hair falling far down her back, and still the same emerald bright eyes. She had her arm looped through Tony's, who was not quite the same either. Taller, though still shorter than Loki, and still with the same built frame. The facial hair was gone and the arc reactor was completely missing from sight. Neither Tony nor Loki enjoyed disguising themselves this way, and Steve was quickly finding he didn't like it either. He found himself constantly double-taking, on the verge of a panic attack before he remembered that the arc reactor was still there.
"How many times did you show up in the tower using a different form before we knew about you?" Clint asks out of hesitant curiosity.
"More than you would like to know," Loki says, and they find out quickly that though the face is different, the expressions are the same.
Steve himself, also had a disguise on. The first thing to go had been the blonde hair and blue eyes, replaced with dark brown hair and green-brown eyes. That, alone, took away most of the familiarity. Loki had also trimmed him down, lowering him from demi-god size to a well-built human.
Thor had taken on his friend Fandral's form. "He will not mind," Thor had said with a grin that was completely alien to them.
"In answer to your question, this is what some people do for fun. I think it's gross," Tony says, pulling Loki closer to him and leaning against her.
"But if you bad talk it too much, Steve'll guilt trip you again and I really don't want to hear that," Clint responds.
"So suck it up," Natasha finishes.
"Are you going to win me a stuffed animal?" Tony asks Loki, grinning up at her.
"Is that not the man's job to do so?"
"Technically speaking, I've been banned from ever playing these kinds of games."
"That's not even a thing," Clint protests.
"For Tony? I'd believe it," Bruce says, managing to tear his eyes away from roving through the crowd.
"E tu, Banner?" Tony asks. "C'mon, let's go see how many times I can win something before they kick us out. Let's go Brucie."
Bruce reluctantly follows the couple away, still not entirely happy he got dragged out to this.
"Thank god. I didn't think they'd ever leave," Clint says. Carnivals weren't really his thing, hadn't been for a while, but Natasha hadn't left him a choice.
"Do you think-" Steve starts. They don't even finish before they start following the trio through the crowd.
"Ugh. Chaperones," Tony groaned when they caught up. Bruce had a giant stuffed unicorn under one arm and a monkey under the other while Loki was happily carrying around a giant disfigured monster plush. "Ah-ha! Perfect."
Before anyone could ask, Tony took off to another booth, leaving the rest of the team to wander in their wake. Somehow, despite only being a minute behind the engineer, when they get over to him, he's pushing a kid's wooden bow in Clint's hands and a golden retriever in Steve's.
"Uh, thanks Tony," Steve says, looking at the toy in bewilderment.
"Perhaps we should move on," Thor observes, seeing the side glances that the vendors were giving the group—he and his friends were very familiar with that look from many bartenders. Being the prince of Asgard did not save them from getting thrown out of taverns.
"Good idea." Natasha began to herd them away from the group, giving Tony a particularly strong push when he started to veer off to one side.
"But it's so easy!" Tony tried to move away again, prompting Loki to roll her eyes and drag Tony in the direction of the rest of the group.
"Thor! Buddy, you gotta ride this 'coaster with me." Clint points to the tallest structure. Thor grins like its Christmas and even Steve is looking a little excited.
"You kids go have fun now," Tony says. "I owe my hot date some cotton candy."
"I desire many things in life, Tony, but cotton candy is not one of them."
Steve is starting to shoot them the kicked puppy look again. "You don't want to join us on the rollercoaster?"
"On that death trap? Not on your life," Tony says.
"Death trap? What-"
Natasha puts her hand over Tony's mouth before he can continue. "He's a structural engineer, Steve. Do you really want to know?"
Steve's mouth snaps shut and he looks at the rollercoaster again. "Maybe we should-"
"Go," Natasha says. "It'll hold. I'll keep Bruce company. I wouldn't wish being a third wheel to these two on someone I hate, let alone someone I like."
"I appreciate that." Bruce gave her a wry smile.
"Your loss," Tony says with a shrug. "We have all sorts of tricks in store."
"Just promise no one will get hurt," Steve sighs. Clint grabs his arm and starts tugging on it, getting absolutely nowhere.
"Define 'hurt'," Tony says, and before Steve can say anything else, Thor joins Clint and drags Steve away from the group.
Steve, Thor, and Clint end up riding the rollercoaster twice just because it was so much fun, and then they hop on several other rides, assuming that the rest of the group won't miss them. Steve lets Clint lead them back to Natasha and Bruce, still not sure if Clint just instinctively knows where Natasha is or if he had sent the other spy a text.
"Where's Tony and Loki?" Steve asks, face flushed. Adrenaline is still pumping through his system.
Bruce points to the ferris wheel, trying to hide a smile and he notices Natasha is doing the same thing. Steve follows Bruce's direction and sees a group of workers huddled around the controls. Steve can only make out where Tony and Loki are sitting because of the super-serum, but Tony has his head thrown back, mouth open laughing. Loki's hands are glowing and Steve figures he has something to do with the grouped up workers. Steve sighs.
"Oh, let them have their fun," Natasha says. "C'mon Clint, Thor—it's my turn to be entertained."
"I shouldn't have come," Bruce says instantly.
"Don't be ridiculous, Bruce," Steve says as the trio wanders off. "We want you here. You're part of the team and we want you with us. Don't make me tell Tony that you're feeling guilty for being here."
Bruce gives his a wry grin. "Perish the thought."
"Speaking of Tony though, what are they doing up there?"
"From what I gathered, Loki has the wheel stopped at the top and they seem to be throwing things down at unsuspecting gawkers."
"Isn't that dangerous?"
"Only if you consider feathers dangerous. I think the heaviest thing they've released is a plastic bottle. They have shockingly good aim, actually."
"Even with feathers?"
"Magic," Bruce says with a smile. "It's an amazing thing for pulling off impractical stunts."
"How long have they been sitting there?"
"Oh, probably ten minutes now. Loki will get bored soon, don't worry."
Steve worries for a second, then forces his muscles to relax. "I'm not worried. Let's take a walk. I love the pier."
"That sounds…peaceful. Thanks Steve," Bruce says.
Natasha and the boys meet back up with them on their way back towards the main attractions. Clint still has his wooden bow strung over his back. Thor is happily—and messily—making his way through an elephant ear. Natasha sucks down a slushie, staining her teeth blue. If anyone saw them, they would never guess these people were the dignified superheroes that saved the world on a monthly basis.
Steve loves that he gets to see them like this.
"Where's the happy couple?" Clint asks. "The ferris wheel was moving again, so I figured they left that."
"I think Tony finally managed to get himself kicked out," Natasha says, pointing her slushie towards the entrance. "That puts Tony up to his fourth time getting kicked out of here."
"How could you possibly know that?" Steve asks. Nat shrugs, and leaves Steve to think about how complete the files on them have to be.
Steve spots the pair as they move towards the entrance. Tony is sitting on one of the wooden benches, on leg sprawled along the back of it. Loki is sitting in front of him, leaning back against Tony's chest while the engineer is playing absently with Loki's hair. She leans back to say something and when Tony gets distracted by laughing, she kisses his cheek. Tony's smile softens slightly in a way that Steve has never seen before.
"It was a good idea," Nat says quietly from beside him. "We were all stressed, but Tony's had a lot of pressure on him from SI and Fury lately. He hasn't relaxed in days."
"And no one killed each other," Steve adds.
Loki leans back again to say something to Tony and spots them. Tony's head flops backwards too and grins at the approaching group. "Guys!"
"How did you manage to get kicked out again?" Natasha asks as she shoves aside Loki and Tony's legs to sit on the other side of the bench.
"Well there was this really sweet Captain America shield that I just couldn't say no to and then they had Thor's hammer and they even had Nat's bracelets!"
"Did you win them?" Thor asks, finishing off the rest of his snack.
"Fortunately the men who ran the games caught on very quickly and forced Tony to return all of his wins," Loki says, letting her head drop back against Tony's shoulder. One hand comes up to tap against the arc reactor and, despite not being able to see the reactor, a metallic ping fills the air every time Loki's hand hits the reactor. Steve thought he was relaxed, but his shoulders loosen even more as he hears the sound.
"Don't worry though, we saved the monster plush," Tony says, raising the toy from where it was nestled against Loki's side victoriously.
"Thankfully," Loki says, deadpan.
"What happened to all the other toys?" Steve asks.
"Lost 'em," Tony says with a shrug at the exact moment a little kid goes running by with a giant stuffed golden retriever. Steve tries to hide his smile, but doesn't seem very successful because Tony starts spluttering out excuses, still talking about how children are evil and he would never do anything nice for them as Loki pulls him to his feet. Clint starts ribbing on him about who he stole a heart from while Natasha throws out some suggestions. Bruce reluctantly comes to Tony's defense while Thor seems to be on both sides. Steve is content to just listen, enjoy their laughter and their sharp tongues. He looks over and sees that Loki seems pretty content to stay silent as well, and Steve thinks this might be the first important step they take.