The gym is nice; Tony’s a big fan of the gym where Cap likes to work out. Whatever SHIELD employee got the job of building an old fashioned gym for them to confine Captain America to did their job right, the gym smells right, just the right kind of floor polish to mingle with the scent of sweaty guys working out, all the equipment is vintage and in excellent condition. Well, the equipment Rogers hasn’t been let loose on. When Tony feels like examining things he can see where chains were replaced, where bags were split, where floor boards were punctured or something snapped. Tony doesn’t bother looking around much, it’s more than a little depressing to consider the cage that SHIELD has built to hold their all-star American hero.
“Hey, wingnut!” Sometimes Tony want to pitch stuff at Cap’s head, paperballs, pens, whatever was on hand at the time, just anything to ruffle Cap’s picture perfect hair and maybe irritate him a little. It’s not like he hasn’t seen Cap annoyed, Tony manages to get under Rogers’ skin most of the time, but he’s yet to see Rogers really loosen up. That’s one reason behind tonight’s group outing.
That and they’d saved the world. Any bar still standing should comp their drinks, and hey if the bar feels like being dicks, Tony can pay.
“Mister Stark?” And oooh doesn’t it give him shivers to hear Rogers call him that? Barf, no, it makes him want to ask ‘did you call my father that?’ and also possibly to smack Rogers upside the head. “Did you need something?”
Rogers is a little sweaty, a little, but not to the point that he’s going to need a shower. Tony’s grateful, they’d all showered after the giant life changing world saving battle, why Cap had felt the need to go work out after that Tony had no idea. “What I need is for you to get your patriotic rear end,” because god forbid he say ass around Rogers, “in gear! We’ve got a schedule to keep, chop chop.”
Rogers is looking at him with earnest baby blues and really, Stark has no idea how the guy hasn’t been blown by half of SHIELD at this point. Or maybe he has been and that’s the reason the guy’s brain seems to have dripped out of his ears. Well fine, Tony could speak Tarzan as well as anyone else.
“Me,” Stark pointed at himself. “You.” He pointed at Rogers then he made a vague motion towards the door, “The team. Out on the town.”
Rogers continues to stare at him in confusion before looking down at himself. He’s dressed in a tight little white t-shirt and a pair of sweat pants. God, it’s like he’s posing for some sort of patriotic pin up calendar.
“Hello, am I getting through to you?” Tony walks over to Cap and reaches up to knock rapidly on Rogers’ head, or he would if Rogers didn’t grab his wrist in one of those meat locker sized hands of his. “Let’s get this show on the road, Rogers!”
“I-”Rogers paused and then nodded. “Alright, I just need to get changed…”
Which meant being subjected to Rogers’ idea of fashionable. There was only so much khaki and plaid that Tony could take! But for a night out on the town and a chance to see if Rogers’ offhand comment to Barton (‘I can’t get drunk’) really was true. “Alright, winghead, now let go, will you? I don’t hold hands till you buy me dinner.”
Steve’s grip disappeared immediately and he flushed, all pink cheeks and earnest farm boy charm, Rogers wasn’t even from a farm, it didn’t stop the charm though. “I’ll just go…” Rogers shuffled, it was almost teeth rottingly sweet.
“Yeah, yeah, change. I’ll walk you to your rooms so you don’t try to weasel out.”
Rogers gives him a look, and okay like Rogers would ever weasel out of anything, but Tony isn’t about to back down now, not after he’s said he was going to stalk Rogers back to his rooms like some sort of deranged fanboy. They don’t make conversation as they walk, Tony doesn’t really have anything more to say (shocking isn’t it) and Rogers apparently isn’t the idle conversation type, the hallways of SHIELD aren’t really the place for chit-chat anyway, the walls are too clean, the floor too shiny. Everything is strikingly clinical, how they’d intended to convince Rogers he was living in the same decade when he would have had to walk through these hallways to get to the gym is beyond him. They take a few turns through featureless hallways and eventually Rogers’ stops outside of a door, it looks like every other door in the hall.
“This one’s mine.” Cap presses his hand to the black handprint reader next to the door and the metallic block hisses and then retracts into the wall. Pretty showy, that, Tony is unimpressed. “I’ll just...”
Tony stares in horror at the inside of Rogers’ room.
“This is where you-” the room is stark, clinical, just like the featureless hallways and every other bit of SHIELD’s headquarters that Tony has seen. He can’t say ‘live’ because this isn’t the kind of place where you ‘live’ it’s the type of quarters where you… where you sleep the bare minimum of time required and then flee. Maybe this is why Rogers’ was spending time in the gym, this is ridiculous. The walls are bare and white and hard, Tony doubts you could get a thumbtack through them if you wanted to. The mattress is about as thin as the Black Widow’s waist and looks about as hard as her abs as well, Rogers probably doesn’t need blankets but Tony almost breaks in hives just at the sight of the scratchy ones that he’s been issued. There is a desk along one wall, and the room is barely big enough for it, which appears vaguely homey only because of the books stacked on it and the papers kept down under a cup full of pens. “This is where they have you sleeping?”
Rogers glanced around the room like he was seeing it for the first time but when he looked back at Tony he still appeared confused. Tony might be coming from a privileged background but still, still, the room was the size of a shoebox. Pepper had closets big enough than that!
“Oh hey, you found him.”
Fuck, they needed to put a bell on Barton when he was off duty. Tony turns to find not only Barton but also Romanoff standing behind him (need to bell her too), Barton’s smirking and Romanoff’s lips have a subtle sort of turn to them. She’s probably laughing at him internally or whatever it is she does when she doesn’t want anyone to see that she has actual emotions. On Natalie he’d wanted to crack that ice on Natasha it makes him want to cover his balls.
“He wasn’t hard to find.” Rogers has slipped into his room and closed the door which left Tony to make small talk with Romanoff and Barton in the hallway. Well, small talk he could do. “Have you seen his room?”
Barton wrapped an arm around Romanoff’s shoulders, she elbowed him sharply in the ribs and he stumbled to the side. He didn’t stop smirking though. “Oh yeah, nice, right? Bigger than mine. SHIELD broke out all the stops for Cap.”
“It’s actually supposed to fit two.” Romanoff stated, apparently taking pity on Tony or so her tone would imply. “But Steve is very important to the Avenger’s initiative.” She idly punched Barton in the shoulder when he looked ready to wrap his arm around her waist.
“He’s about as big as two guys anyway.” Barton rubbed at his recently punched shoulder. “You figured out where we’re going?”
“Uh…” He must have missed the memo about every day at SHEILD being like this, or maybe the memo about not being tag teamed by the Black Widow and Hawkeye (little did he know that there actually was a memo out about that). “I haven’t decided yet.”
“We’d rather ride our bikes than crawl into your limo.” Romanoff wrapped an arm around Barton’s waist and tugged him along. “Text Clint the address.”
Which left Tony blinking at one sanitized wall in confusion until his line of sight was broken by Banner stepping out of his own room. Banner looked presentable, at least, nice pants and a shirt that was neither purple no plaid. It was still a button-up but Banner was probably glad to be provided with buttoned shirts after a year or two on the run. “Oh, you’re still here.” Banner was nervous around him which, okay, was understandable. “Have you figured out where we’re headed?”
“Nowhere crowded.” Tony had made that decision hours ago shortly after he’d made the decision to drag the whole team drinking. Crowded was out, extremely loud or filled with strobe lights was also out, that just left Tony with classy. Steve would probably appreciate a nice classy place better than the kind of loud dance bar Tony had loved during his wild phase anyway. “I’ve got an idea. You live here too?”
Banner glanced back at the little room he called ‘home’ and shrugged. “Until SHIELD picked me up I was a fugitive, Mister Stark, and it’s not like it would be a good idea for me to commute.”
Yeah, Tony could see the problem with that.
“You don’t find it a little…” Tony made a vague box shape with his hands and then squeezed it.
“Small?” Banner was wearing that self-effacing smile again, the one he used when being complimented on the Hulk or when Tony had made one too many cracks. “It’s bigger than some of the places I’ve lived.”
Which, okay, Banner probably was probably just talking about the places he’d stayed when he was on the run, right? Except the look on Banner’s face said that wasn’t so. Tony was about to start asking when the door behind him opened and Steve (dressed in khakis and flannel) stepped into the hallway with a nervous smile.
He barely fit through the door.
This had to stop.