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Sixteen Fun Facts about the Avengers

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1. Tony Stark quit drinking two years ago. No one noticed.

Until Steve did.

It’s a freak accident, really. They need to go and Tony is whining about finishing his drink so Steve plucks the tumbler out of his hand and knocks the contents back in one go.

Then he stops. Perplexed.

He looks at Tony who glares at him, daring him to say a single word.

Steve doesn’t, but he could. Because, while it’s been a while since he last tried to really get skunked, he knows what whiskey tastes like and what it doesn’t taste like is apple juice.

“I was public about it at first.” Tony explains later once they’re back from the mission and the debrief is over, grousing over a highball glass of what he has deliberately dressed up as a gin and tonic, but is really just lemon soda with a lime slice floating in it. “My stock dropped. Apparently investors prefer me as a high-functioning alcoholic.” He adds, bitter.

Steve doesn’t touch that last part, although it galls him and gives him that itchy feeling in his knuckles that he used to get when someone would complain about the newsreels at the theater; the itch that had always ended with him getting the snot beaten out of him in an alley. He closes his fists.

He doesn’t start fights anymore. He finishes them.

“Why did you stop?” He asks, because someone should. He’s seen footage of Tony from the bad old days before Tony became Iron Man and fulfilled his own potential. It’s not pretty and Steve is more glad than he can possibly say that they are over now.

“Have you ever seen a hardcore alcoholic dry out?” Tony asks and Steve nods.

… and he has. Just once. One of the commandos in his unit had a bad patch and then decided to straighten himself out. They’d gotten some leave and instead of hitting the bars, he and some of the other guys had taken their comrade to a remote cabin where they started the process. It had been… ugly. Paranoia, nightmares, shakes, hallucinations –the whole nine yards.

“Well, imagine going through that in a cave surrounded by armed terrorists who want you to build a big fucking missile while your heart is running on a car battery.” Tony makes a face. “I lost interest in getting shitfaced after that. Went back once, but it didn’t stick.”

That was… okay, fair enough.

“… but why apple juice?” Steve asks because that’s a sticking point for him. He can accept the rest of it except… apple juice? Really ?

Tony shrugs. “Because whiskey is hard to fake and Clint keeps drinking all the iced tea without refilling the pitcher. Take it up with him.”