The hole in the couch cushions wasn't the type that could be fixed. At least, not any way that the guys standing around the forlorn piece of furniture knew how. Leather, when destroyed, stayed pretty destroyed. The glue making a white mess along the blackened edges wasn't an easy clean up, either. Bits and pieces of the patches Steve had tried fashioning still clung tenaciously, but never where they'd been intended to go. The bit hanging from the arm rest, over five feet away, had gotten away from them and hardened before they'd even realized their mistake.
"Where'd you get the leather to make the repairs?" Bruce asked, his eyes caught on something that none of them had noticed yet so that he missed the dull blush. When he didn't get his answer, his horror-filled eyes found Steve's. "Don't make me repeat the question, Steve."
"Tony's going to kill us. I had to do something."
Clint's expression had gone white when he saw what Bruce had seen. "And now so is Natasha. Those were her favorite pants."
"But they were leather," Steve protested. His arms were crossed over his chest as if he could protect himself from the punishment he knew was coming. "I figured it would be a good solution. Besides, Natasha is the least of our worries. Tony loved this couch."
"Natasha is the least of our worries?" Clint's voice had risen up at least two levels. "Do you not know her at all? You're dead. We're all dead."
Bruce began pacing again. "We're super heroes. There are villains in at least three galaxies that shudder with fear when they hear stories about us. We should not have to die because of one stupid idea. Because, really, who knew that a tennis ball would continue to burn while being tossed around the room at such high speeds. It should have burned itself out long before it landed on the couch."
"And it seemed like such a good idea at the time." Clint buried his head in his hands, as if he could hide from the reality of his life. Since he had better hearing than the others, he heard the murmur of the elevator first. "I'll take responsibility for the couch," he added quickly as he figured out which was the worse punishment, "but I'm not going to be the one to tell Natasha that her favorite leather pants were sacrificed for a piece of furniture she's never really liked."
"I'll do it." Steve raised his hand as if either of the other two would let him out of that particular conversation.
"And I'll take credit for the rug since it was my idea to use it as a fire retardant. I don't think Pepper will hate me for very long. It only came from Italy and was a one of a kind masterpiece."
All three of them turned to face the opening doors, readying themselves for what was sure to be a life-ending conversation for one of them.