Despite what most people would expect, dinner at the SHIELD canteen was generally fairly uneventful. Except, of course, for the days when the Avengers were on base for meal time, especially when they had just gotten back from a rather unsatisfying mission and still had plenty of energy to burn.
Strangely, it was started by Bruce Banner, who for some reason thought it was a good idea to subtly pelt a meatball at the head of a certain patriotic super soldier, still in a post-fight adrenalin haze. The meatball splattered across blonde hair, sliding down his neck and beneath the collar of his shirt. Broad shoulders tightened minutely.
Turning slowly, he didn’t even search for a perpetrator before glaring at Tony, who was laughing hysterically. With a steady hand, he picked up his plate and walked slowly to stand beside the billionaire, whose laughter was beginning to fade. Steve positioned the plate above Stark’s head, tilting it slightly, allowing the slippery mess of food to cascade down his hair and over his face. Tiny splatters flew off to hit Bruce.
Silence fell across the canteen as everyone held their breath, waiting for the inevitable explosion.
“Food fight!” Hawkeye yelled, sweeping up all the food within reach and leaping onto the over-hanging balcony on the second level. Natasha slid under the table, taking her dinner with her.
Immediately panic spread across the room as those with any sense of self-preservation fled and those without continued to eat. The three heroes still seated looked at each other.
Dr. Banner grinned, scooping up his meal. “Well, come on, we should be supporting our teammate.”
Before they could move from their seats, a hailstorm of meatballs rained down from above, hitting all of their targets. A few brave recruits rallied their forces, taking whatever cover they could find.
“I don’t know, Banner, I think Barton’s got this one.” Tony grinned, looking at the destruction surrounding them. A hunk of bread hit the back of his head and he spun around to glare up at Barton’s smirking face. This meant war!
What followed was one of the most terrifying hours SHIELD had ever endured. Single-handed, Hawkeye managed to lay waste to the battlefield that was the canteen, with his ammunition of meatballs, pasta, cherry tomatoes and bread rolls. The battle may have only lasted an hour, but the clean-up took days. Some recruits never stopped having nightmares.
After that day, everyone knew and those who had doubted, doubted no more. Do not engage Agent Barton in any form of aim-related battle. Ever.