It wasn't Tony's fault.
He would just like to establish that as an indisputable fact. Because he understood that, when grouped with Bruce and Rhodey, he usually tended to be thought of as the irresponsible one. Just like Bruce was the "angry" one and Rhodey was the "stick up his ass" one.
Okay, maybe only Tony thought of Rhodey that way, and maybe, given the circumstances, "stick up his ass" was a really unfortunate turn of phrase.
Besides, it sounded really ungrateful. Which was entirely too bad, because Tony was pretty grateful in Rhodey's general direction at the moment.
Much more grateful than he'd been a few hours ago.
"You need to let this go, Tony. You and Pepper broke up, she moved on, from the look that you keep giving Dr. Banner's ass, you're thinking of doing the same ... "
There was a reason that Tony called Rhodey the one with a stick up his ass in his mental narrative.
"Steve Rogers. Steve Rogers. Look, I get that she needs to move on and that's fine - "
"I'm sure your ex girlfriend is going to be happy to hear that she has your approval to date someone else, Tony."
"It's not like that. Can we focus on the actual issue, which is who the hell would go from me to Steve Rogers?" Tony idly poked the object in front of him. "It's like downgrading from a 2013 StarkPad to a 1998 Packard Bell. Why would you even?"
"Captain Rogers is a nice guy. Pepper could do a lot worse."
"Rhodey, you are not allowed to fuck him too. Two of the people who have seen me naked are not allowed to start fucking the Human Popsicle." Tony turned back to his lab table. "Scratch that, none of my business anymore, right? Fine."
"Tony, I didn't say that I was interested in - "
"No, no. None of my business. I'm just going to go back to trying to figure out what the hell this thing S.H.I.E.L.D. dropped off is, because yes, I can figure it even though Richards couldn't, thank you very much." Tony poked the object in question. "Just remember, if you end up having threesomes with Pepper and Captain Popsicle, I don't want to hear about it."
"You had to bring up the threesome idea, didn't you?"
Rhodey's voice, from behind Tony's ear, sounded somewhere between irritated and amused. Tony would totally be confused by the combination, but Rhodey's hands were still wrapped around him, digging into Bruce's scalp with the same loyal dedication that he gave every part of Tony's life.
"You are seriously the best friend ever," Tony said enthusiastically.
"You're only saying that because of the spores," Rhodey insisted, before doing a much more interesting thing with his mouth to Tony's ear.
"No, seriously. Best friend ever." Bruce made what could have been sound of righteous indignation, if only his mouth hadn't been so preoccupied with Tony's cock, so Tony hastily assured him, "You're pretty fantastic too, Banner."
It was important to point out because really, that was the only consistent thought that he had experienced in the last couple of hours.
"Thank god that you're here, because Rhodey is seriously failing at bro code, Banner."
"It's hard to believe that Dr. Richards wasn't able to figure this device out," was Bruce's first comment when he entered the lab, ignoring Tony entirely.
Glancing over at Rhodey, it genuinely seemed like there was a smirk on Rhodey's features, and hey, why not? That was generally the appropriate reaction of someone when they were being a traitor.
Which mean that Banner should start smirking any time now.
And probably meant that Pepper was smirking a lot when Rogers was laying the flagpole.
Which really was a disgusting mental image all around, in Tony's opinion.
"Quit scowling so hard because Banner isn't rising to the bait of your pity party," Rhodey chastised.
"Hey, did I mention that you could go be un-fun somewhere else? Because you know, Bruce and I are going to have science times and you should go mope somewhere and be totally jealous about the fun science Banner and I are about to do."
Banner glanced over at Rhodey and gave his dorky science grin, confirming Tony's earlier held belief about his traitor status. "I don't think Jim is jealous about our friendship, Tony."
"I'm really not," Rhodey confirmed. "Tony can keep looking at your ass all he wants, Banner."
It was entirely natural to poke the S.H.I.E.L.D. device just a little bit harder in response to Rhodey and Banner's shared laughter.
The cloud of spores that erupted from the device, on the other hand, was not natural at all.
Whatever this device was, and wherever it had come from, it made every erectile dysfunction drug on the market pale in comparison.
Because the fact that Tony had just finished coming in Bruce's mouth only a few moments ago didn't seem to matter much to the spores. By "didn't seem to matter much," Tony actually meant that he was just as hard as he had been a few minutes ago, which hadn't been a trick he'd been able to perform since his teenage years.
Hey, not everyone could be gifted with super soldier stamina, could they?
Anyway, Tony was absolutely not complaining about the technological Viagra. From his spot on his knees in front of Banner, watching Rhodey grind up against Bruce, it would have been a true shame if he hadn't been able to get hard at that sight.
They looked perfect together - even more so when Rhodey's hands sought out Tony's scalp and clung with the same determination that he had with Bruce's scalp.
Well, that explained why Reed Richards hadn't made any progress on the device, Tony thought as Bruce broke out the paper masks in an attempt to keep them from breathing in the spores.
Tony was pretty sure that wasn't going to work, for the record.
"Dr. Richards is more patient," Bruce pointed out, and that sounded suspiciously like annoyance.
"Which means that he doesn't go around breaking possibly alien artifacts because his ex moved on to fucking someone else," Rhodey muttered.
"I actually broke it because the two of you were being dicks. It's entirely a different thing," Tony argued, and it occurred to him that the irritation that he normally would have felt was completely absent. In fact, he was far more focused on the fact that Rhodey's chin was incredibly close and -
"- Did you just lick my chin?" Rhodey asked.
"He definitely did," Bruce muttered. "And I'd think that was a weird way to end a train of thought, but -"
"But it's Tony," Rhodey pointed out. "Licking chins is not even in the top five worst ways he's ended a train of thought."
"Yeah, I was thinking there were probably better things to lick, Jim," Bruce said, and Tony did not even have time to point out how that sounded before Bruce was on his knees in an attempt to demonstrate just how it sounded.
Really, the way that the spores just stopped working was disappointing. One minute, Tony's hands couldn't decide whether they wanted to touch Rhodey or Bruce, and the next he was completely spent, limp, and exhausted.
It was entirely disappointing, however, Tony could hardly complain, because he was lying on the floor between a very naked Bruce and an equally naked Rhodey.
No rational person would complain about that.
"Just for the record, this is one hundred percent your fault," Rhodey told him sternly, because apparently he needed to go back to having a stick up his ass now that the spores had worn off.
"One hundred percent? C'mon, we have to at least blame S.H.I.E.L.D. and whatever alien culture they stole it from?" Tony protested.
"Are you going to figure out a way to blame Reed Richards, too?" Rhodey asked.
"Hey, that's a great idea. If Reed hadn't been so slow, he could have figured it out, though let's be honest, it's probably better that we did. Because really, who was he going to have a hot threesome with? The rock guy and Johnny Storm? Why would anyone ever do that?" There was, of course, Susan Storm, but she'd turned Tony down once, so she was obviously out of Reed's league.
Blowjobs from the rock monster did not sound fun.
"No, this is pretty much your fault," Bruce agreed. "Sorry, Tony, but I have to side with Jim on this one."
"I like the other siding you were doing with Rhodey earlier much better. It was much hotter," Tony complained.
Rhodey rolled his eyes and sat up. "As curious as I am to see how you report your findings to S.H.I.E.L.D., my lunch break is long past over. The next time you want to have a threesome, maybe you could find a way of asking without using possibly alien aphrodisiacs?"
"Hey, I don't need alien aphrodisiacs. Do you, Banner?"
"No." Banner cleared his throat and offered Tony a hand as he stood up. "I don't. For next time."
It was entirely due to the hopefulness in the poor man's voice that Tony felt compelled to offer, "I'll probably have the report done by dinner time. If the aliens haven't invaded because S.H.I.E.L.D. stole their sex spores, the two of you could probably just .... swing on by. For dinner. Or to read the report."
"And threesomes?" Rhodey asked dryly.
"And potential threesomes. If your bodies have sufficiently recovered from the epic afternoon sexathon."
Rhodey rolled his eyes again - a frequent occurrence, so really, that wasn't a surprise - and Bruce chuckled as he continued his hunt for his shirt.
But neither of them said no.
Tony would stand by his earlier statement. They really were the best friends ever.