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Family Game Night

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“THE WORLD IS MINE, ALL OF IT,” Tony cackled, hands raised in the air dramatically. “I own ALL OF YOU.

“Tony, please, sit down,” Steve said mildly, arranging his money in a neat row in front of him with military precision. “Just because you’ve bought the most expensive property on the board, doesn’t mean you own everything.”

Clint coughed into his hand, but his eyes were amused and Natasha smiled at all of them, patient and cruel as a shark. “I can pay you in blood, Stark,” she said smoothly and pulled out a knife from what seemed like thin air. “Would you like arterial or venous?”

“No pointy objects at the table,” Steve reminded her sternly, passing the pair of dice to Bruce. Tony stuck his tongue out at her and then quickly drew it back when Natasha ran a finger over her blade. Her eyes promised a slow death.

“Why am I the shoe?” Bruce asked plaintively, taking the dice with an air of a man walking to his own funeral.

“Friend Bruce!” Thor boomed, slapping Bruce on the back so hard that he almost toppled face first onto the table. “The Warrior’s Boot is a most noble token, worthy of any fierce soldier.”

“Yeah, that makes me feel so much better,” Bruce said gloomily and then rolled the dice.

“Double six!” Clint said and started counting squares. That means— oh hey, you get one of those card thingies.” Steve handed a Chance card to Bruce, who visibly brightened. “Hey, I get more money!”

“This game is rigged,” Tony said, disgusted. “How is it that every time I get those stupid cards I have to pay a school tax or give back to the community or fork over 10% of my holdings to the bank? This isn’t right.”

Thor looked at Tony reprovingly while polishing his Man on Horseback token with a corner of his cape. “Steve has been most kind to welcome us all to join him in his Game of Warriors—“

“Welcome us?! He coerced me! Dragged me to the table!”

“You came of your own will,” Natasha said, eyes gleaming. “Right, Tony?” Tony opened her mouth, saw the look in her eyes and promptly shut up. Natasha smiled smugly and stretched her arms above her, cat-like.

“Family Game Night is a good way for the team to bond off the battle field. We learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and most important of all, we learn to trust each other,” Steve lectured while counting out fifty Monopoly dollars for Bruce. “Monopoly is a good way to assess our analytical skills and earn the trust of our peers—“

“Alright, who stole my money?” Clint demanded, slamming his hands down on the table. “I just counted it all up and I have a hundred and twenty dollars missing.”

“Don’t look at me,” Bruce protested, holding his hands in front of him. “I have Steve handle all of my money.” Everyone turned and stared at Steve, who reddened a little under the scrutiny. “He said I would be better off handling his money and it doesn’t say I can’t so…”

“That’s a conflict of interest right there,” Tony said, also slamming his hands down on the table because it seemed like the thing to do. “I’m calling my lawyers. We can’t have Steve be the banker for the game and be Bruce’s—“ Tony waved a hand in the air vaguely. “Accountant-investment banker-thing.”

“What do you mean, Iron Man?” Thor asked, puzzled. “I do not understand the nature of this conflict. Captain America is a fine man and a good warrior. I trust him in battle and so I trust him with my paper gold, as does our good friend Bruce Banner. I see no wrong in this.”

“That’s not the problem here!” Clint exploded. “Someone stole my money!” He turned and glared at Tony, fingers instinctively curving, as if they were holding a bow. “I bet it was you.”

“Me!” Tony said indignantly. “I’m rich. What would I want to do with your stupid fake money? I make more in a day than most countries make in ten years.

“Okay guys, let’s just settle down now—“

“Settle down! I don’t want to settle—“

“Quiet!” Thor roared and flipped the table.

---

Natasha handed Steve a raw steak; he gave her a grateful look and slapped it over his black eye. “Maybe I should rethink the whole Family Game Night idea,” he said, prodding his swollen lip and wincing.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Natasha said airily. “I thought it was rather fun.”

Steve gave her a dry look. “That’s because you managed to walk out of this without even a single scratch.”

She hummed, noncommittal, and wiped her knives clean before strapping them back into place. “We should do this again,” she said.

“What, beat each other up over board games?”

Natasha smiled wolfishly. “What do you think of poker?”