Actions

Work Header

I Hope You Have Unlimited Text Messaging

Chapter Text

Red phone: I appreciate the gesture. It would be good to get a hold of you if aliens start invading again (which apparently they did while we were beating each other black and blue or maybe it was right before). Or if another “satellite” explodes over Europe.

 

Red phone: Although the exploding “satellite” did make it easier for you to invade a certain floating prison

 

Red phone: But did you really have to go with a flip phone? Flip phones make me cry.

 

Blue phone: Tony is that you? What about an alien invasion?

 

Blue phone: Are you really complaining about a flip phone?

 

Red phone: No, I just let Ross borrow this. That's sarcasm, not that I can do emoticons on this or gifs. I'm going to have to fix that soon.

 

Blue phone: This is supposed to be for emergencies such as the alien invasion that you just mentioned.

 

Red phone: I told you that happened while we were being fucking morons because you chose Bucky bear over me.

 

Red phone: Shit! I didn't mean to send that. I hate that there's no fucking recall on this. Maybe I should have Friday override this instead of using the phone.

 

Red phone: At least it has voice rec otherwise I would be furious.

 

Red phone: Okay, I figured out how to add voice rec. I hate sending text messages on flip phones. It's so hard.

 

Blue phone: Are you drunk?

 

Red phone: No

 

Red phone: A little.

 

Red phone: Maybe a lot.

 

Red phone: I tried Jack. I tried Jen but I couldn’t get over the fact we’re not friends.

 

Red phone: It also couldn’t keep me from seeing my mom being choked to death by your BFF every time I close my damn eyes.

 

Red phone: It's why I'm text messaging you at 3 AM

 

Blue phone: Did you possibly imagine an alien invasion? I think something like that would've made the news.

 

Red phone: I dream about the ugly bastards from New York, not giant blue guys with clubs from the pictures that hydra_Bob_22 posted on his Instagram.

 

Red phone: The ATCU pulled it in an hour, but Friday found it.

 

Red phone: Who the hell is dumb enough to put Hydra in their screen name?

 

Red phone: Apparently a lot people if there are at least 22 of them.

 

Blue phone: There as bad as Shield

 

Red phone: Hydra_bob_22?

 

Blue phone: The ATCU. The guy in charge is slightly less incompetent than Ross.

 

Red phone: They are shield. Agent is in charge not the dick.

 

Blue phone: Did you take anything other than alcohol?

 

Red phone: I know better than to mix my drugs.

 

Red phone: I survived the 90s even though I don't remember most of it.

 

Red phone: Fuck! I never told you that Agent Agent is not dead and is now Director Agent.

 

Red phone: I'm sorry. I guess it must suck when you find out your friend kept something really important from you, even if they’re doing it for the greater good.

 

Red phone: In my case, it really was for the greater good, because too many people want Agent Agent dead, again. I bet he is on Ross’s shit list too.

 

Red phone: But we were never really friends were we? On your side anyway.

 

Red phone: Everybody hates me unless they want something, usually $€.

 

Blue phone: We were friends and it wasn’t for the free housing.

 

Blue phone: We are still friends. It’s just that I've known Bucky longer and he was under mind control.

 

Blue phone: If it was Colonel Rhodes, what would you have done?

 

Blue phone: Peggy just died and maybe I wasn't thinking as clearly as I should've been.

 

Blue phone: I understand why you were mad. I should've told you.

 

Blue phone: Maybe I was selfish for not telling you. I realize that now and I'm sorry.

 

Blue phone: Look, I know you're mad at me, but could you please reply back so I know you are not lying unconscious in a ditch somewhere.

 

Red phone: This is Vision using Mr. Stark's phone. He is currently unconscious on the couch. Most likely due to having a BAL .20.

 

Red phone: I am relocating him to his room. I'm sure he will be fine in the morning.

 

Blue phone: You will keep an eye on him?

 

Red phone: Of course, Captain.

 

Blue phone: It’s just Steve now.

 

Red phone: Of course, Steve.

 

Red phone: Could you please send Wanda my regards. I hope she is well wherever you are.

 

Blue phone: We are all safe. I’ll tell her that you asked about her. 

Chapter Text

 

 

Red phone: Did I send you really drunk text messages last night?

 

Red phone: Did I send you a picture of my dick again?

 

Red phone: You’re not replying. That means I really did do something that stupid.

 

Blue phone: If you read what you sent me, you would know that you didn’t send any pictures of your privates, this time.

 

Red phone: I would, but I can't because I think Vision deleted our conversation or maybe my security protocol did it.

 

Red phone: I’m trying to make sure Secretary Moron doesn’t find you.

 

Red phone: I've vaguely remember telling you something about the blue aliens in South Dakota and Agent Agent not being dead.

 

Red phone: So Fury lied. What else is new? Everyone does it, even you.

 

Blue phone: You imagine some crazy stuff when you're drunk.

 

Red phone: Nothing I said could've been that improbable or did I warn you about not eating fish because it could give you random superpowers?

 

Red phone: Although you’ve seen the president’s address about the alien contagion.

 

Red phone: Seriously, don't eat any fish or take fish oil. Who knows what that stuff could do to someone who already has powers.

 

Red phone: I wonder if that’s how Spidey became Spidey?

 

Blue phone: Are you drunk again?

 

Red phone: Rhodey threw away most of the alcohol which is quite a feat considering.

 

Red phone: He's trying to find me a therapist that I’m going to have to see at least once a week. If I say no, he will send me to the crazy spa.

 

Red phone: It's my punishment for passing out last night, hugging the phone and a bottle of Jack.

 

Red phone: Rhodey had video.

 

Red phone: I found myself in the nice warm bed, but I don't know how I got there.

 

Blue phone: Vision

 

Red phone: That makes sense.

 

Blue phone: He did tell me that you were OK before he asked about Wanda.

 

Red phone: Of course he did. This really is my fault. All the depraved things I made Jarvis watch before. Of course Vision picked up some bad habits.

 

Blue phone: You know he’s not actually Jarvis?

 

Red phone: I know that. There was only one electronic Jarvis and he's gone. Now, Friday tells me when I have to take important meetings. Kevin too, but mostly Friday.

 

Blue phone: How's that going?

 

Red phone: Badly. Enough so that I think maybe I should go to the crazy spa.

 

Red phone: Mostly because I'm avoiding Pepper. At least there I don’t have to see her. I’m not looking forward to the next board meeting.

 

Red phone: No one wants to spend quality time with their Ex.

 

Red phone: Although we do text message each other, so I guess that must not be the case.

 

Blue phone: We never dated.

 

Red phone: You were too busy pining after Barnes, so of course not. Despite the fact you have a stomach I could eat off of, you tried to kill me, so it doesn’t matter.

 

Red phone: So whatever we were, we are not now. We are mostly in pieces because you’re over us.

 

Red phone: Great, I think I just accidentally quoted Maroon 5. Friday’s breakup mix is really starting to get to me.

 

Blue phone: If I was really trying to kill you, you would be dead.

 

Red phone: I guess there's that.

 

Blue phone: And I was trying to keep you from killing Bucky because once you stopped running on anger and adrenaline, I think you would’ve regretted it.

 

Blue phone: There are so many things that you already feel guilty about. I didn’t want you to have another one. I didn’t want you to cross that line.

 

Blue phone: I don’t think you would’ve ever forgiven yourself if you did.

 

To be continued

 

Chapter Text

Conversation 3: Is This Salvageable?

Captain tight pants: Do you want to fix things?

Me: With us?

Captain tight pants: With Pepper. You guys were together for a long time.

Me: Want? Yes.

Me: Can? That's a different question entirely.

No matter how much you love someone, it may not be enough.

Me: I’m starting to realize that not everything is repairable

Me: The only thing that’s going to bring Pepper back is for me to stop being a part of myself and I can’t do that. Not even for her.

Me: Somethings can't be fixed. And I think Pepper and me are one of those things.

Captain tight pants: Are we one of those things?

Me: You began the conversation this time, so maybe there's hope.

Captain tight pants: You didn't intervene when I got everybody off of the Raft.

Me: I would say I was busy doing my hair, but you wouldn’t believe me. At least that’s what I told Ross.

Me: And then he had that exploding “satellite” to worry about, so it wasn’t a problem.

Captain tight pants: Of course you did.

Captain tight pants: You could have handed this phone and my letter over to Ross, but instead you’re actively trying to make sure he can’t find us.

Me: Because Ross is an asshole and Thor knows the idiot only managed to get confirmation because the only qualification was not being Hydra.

Me: Your Underground Avengers are going to be really busy putting out all of his political fires.

Captain tight pants: I think that's going to be your job since you signed the accord.

Me: See, you assume that by signing the accord I’m going to mindlessly accept whatever they tell me to do.

Me: I have no trouble telling Ross or the UN to fuck off if they tell me to do something I find illegal or immoral.

Me: Thankfully for you, I find chasing you and the others down for Ross illegal and immoral and so does my legal team.

Captain tight pants: You can tell them to F off. Not all of us are Tony Stark.

Captain tight pants: We don’t all have the same privileges of wealth you do.

Me: Don’t worry. I’ll tell Ross to fuck off for you, especially because you have trouble with cursing.

Me: PS I wasn’t trying to kill you.

Captain tight pants: I know

To be continued.

Chapter Text

 

Red phone: Tell Clint that his wife is pissed because Ross has diplomatic insecurity… security and the Marines are staking out her house and following her to school.

 

Red phone: It’s not good for a high school guidance counselor/child psychologist to have a government stalker. It scares the kids.

 

Blue phone: That's not what DOS is supposed to do.

 

Red phone: Ross does a lot of things that S is not supposed to do.

 

Red phone: But as long as you're not Hydra, Congress lets you get away with a lot of shit.

 

Red phone: Although, if half the stuff that they’re printing about the late Gideon Malik a.k.a. the World Council member who fired a nuke at Manhattan were true, Congress will let you get away with a lot of shit even if they know you are Hydra if your net worth is high enough.

 

Red phone: Which explains why I haven’t been carried off in handcuffs yet.

 

Blue phone: I told you, they all have their own agendas.

 

Red phone: Doesn’t everyone? The secret is convincing them that your agenda is their agenda.

 

Blue phone: When did you talk to Laura?

 

Red phone: I'm currently text messaging you from her guestroom. I went to check up on the kids.

 

Red phone: Then she forced me to talk about my feelings. After I cried on her couch, she decided that I was staying over because I’ve only slept six hours in six days and I think I was actually passed out for five of those hours.

 

Blue phone: Why aren’t you sleeping?

 

Red phone: I’m sending you pictures of their artwork. They have some new costume ideas for you since you’re now a man without a country.

 

Red phone: image 1 attached, image 2 attached, image 3 attached

 

Red phone: We were thinking an all black costume for stealth? What do you think of Nomad as your new codename? Connor came up with it.

 

Blue phone: It kind of fits. Although I think those pants are way too tight, but the color scheme is okay.

 

Blue phone: I know you’re the one who drew that because it was too technical even if the color scheme is very muted for you

 

Red phone: You’ll always be Captain Tight Pants to me, even if Vision tells me you don’t want to be called Captain anything anymore.

 

Red phone: Which is a shame because I think the captain would be good too.

 

Blue phone: I’m glad you are getting out of the compound and having fun with the kids.

 

Red phone: It went better than I thought it would. I calculated an 85% probability that Laura would strangle me on site for contributing to her current status as a single parent.

 

Red phone: Instead, she’s going to function as my new shrink, sort of.

 

Red phone: Apparently, I really need one after having a tiny breakdown on her couch. Crying was involved

 

Red phone: I have mommy issues and daddy issues and serious Pepper issues which all require professional help.

 

Red phone: In addition, I allegedly have unrequited crush issues

 

Blue phone: At least you are talking to somebody with a psychology degree.

 

Red phone: Lila punched me, multiple times. It's all my fault that they didn't get to go waterskiing.

 

Red phone: That may have been why I started crying on their couch.

 

Blue phone: It kind of is your fault that Clint can’t be there.

 

Red phone: You're the one that dragged him into this.

 

Blue phone: You're the one who pushed that choice.

 

 Red phone: Because I was trying to keep us all out of prison cells or worse.

 

Blue phone: That didn't work so well did it?

 

Red phone: People are twitchy now that there are hundreds of people walking around with powers or enhancements and we are the poster children for enhanced people.

 

Red phone: Less than two months before the Accords were thrust upon us, the Australian government locked up an aboriginal man named Eden Fesi because he used his powers to help people.

 

Red phone: Our own country was drugging and putting powered people in stasis before they came up with their floating prison

 

Red phone: Then the Watchdogs, a.k.a. that group that tossed red paint on you last summer because you’re an ‘abomination’, blew up a federal building with my father’s tech that even he thought was too dangerous.

 

Blue phone: The news reports did not mention that the special explosive use was invented by your father.

 

Red phone: Probably because they don’t know that. But I recognized it from the manifesto video alone.

 

Red phone: 25 hard-working government employees were killed in the name of trying to find more people like us, so they can get rid of us. I just wanted to keep stuff like this from happening.

 

Blue phone: There’s nothing you can do to make the irrational less afraid, including putting a leash on yourself. It just makes it easier for them to find you.

 

Red phone: Stevie bear, I’ve never been anybody’s puppy.

 

Red phone: I haven't told Ross about our conversations. I’m also making sure our little gossip sessions are NSA and ATCU proof.

 

Red phone: Actually, I keep Ross on hold most of the time. I think his chief of staff really hates me.

 

Blue phone: I wonder why.

 

Red phone: Maybe because I miss you. The Avengers’ compound wasn't designed for just three people, one of which is really annoyed with physical therapy.

 

Blue phone: Where is Natasha?

 

Red phone: I don't know. I've half expected her to be here with her godson, but Laura has no idea where she is.

 

Red phone: I almost wondered if she was with you.

 

Blue phone: I'm sure wherever she is she can take care of herself.

 

Red phone: And anybody Ross sends after her. Seriously, he's taking the position of S too far.

 

Red phone: I’m halfway tempted to hack his emails and send them to Congress.

 

Blue phone: I’m not sure they would actually read them.

 

Red phone: Probably only in exchange for a campaign donation

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

Captain tight pants: Are you back in New York yet?

 

Captain tight pants: More importantly, are you sleeping again?

 

Me: It’s so sweet that you asked cuddle bunny.

 

Me: No I’m at one of my very remote summer houses with the junior archers and my psychologist.

 

Me: Who really wishes she was a psychiatrist because she’s like 92% sure I’m bipolar, in addition to the PTSD and I am self-medicating with alcohol. Talk therapy can only do so much.

 

Me: But at least I got four hours last night before the nightmares started.

 

Captain tight pants: You stop taking your anxiety drugs?

 

Me: I’ve never been very good at remembering to take medication regularly or anything similar like eating.

 

Captain tight pants: I know. I’m worried about you starving now. If you’re bipolar, why didn’t they diagnose you then?

 

Me: Because when you have a certain amount of money, doctors don’t treat certain problems as well as they should or at all. They are more concerned with humoring a wealthy patient. Laura and my platypus are trying to find a psychiatrist that won’t care about my bank account.

 

Captain tight pants: I hope they find somebody.

 

Me: I hope they do, but the top therapist for treating enhance people died a couple of weeks ago, so it may take a while. The ocean breeze is helping though.

 

Captain tight pants: That’s good. Where exactly are you?

 

Me: If you want to find me, use the phone. I know there’s a GPS tracker on it that only you can crack.

 

Captain tight pants: What do you want?

 

Me: To fall asleep without seeing my parents last moment or the faces of everybody I’ve killed.

 

Me: But this isn’t about me. It’s about what the junior archers what and they want to see their dad.

 

Captain tight pants: Their dad wants to see them too, but he is wanted in 117 countries.

 

Me: Good thing my island is a sovereign country, sort of.

 

Captain tight pants: You own an island? I shouldn't even be surprised.

 

Me: Howard owned an island. I just inherited the thing and thankfully no one was the wiser.

 

Captain tight pants: That seems like something Howard would do.

 

Me: I think he really bought this for SHIELD purposes especially in light of the bunker that I discovered underneath the property two years ago.

 

 

Me: It's remote. No surprises from diplomatic insecurity.

 

Me: And it’s technically owned in the name of a dummy corporation with no ties to SI because again I’m pretty sure it was really for SHIELD.

 

Me: I’m sure Ross and his underlings are too dumb to find it anyway.

 

Captain tight pants: You really don't like Ross?

 

Me: His own daughter doesn't even like him. The guy nearly dying couldn't fix that.

 

Captain tight pants: Near death experiences don't fix everything.

 

Me: I'm well aware of that.

 

Me: Considering how many times I've almost died, you would think I would stop being an asshole.

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

Captain Tight Pants: Why did you leave a box labeled ‘new bird costume’ at your beach bungalow?

 

Captain Tight Pants: Which was a small mansion with a base underneath, not a beach bungalow

 

Me: I also included your new costume and Wanda’s family photo album.

 

Me: Much to my own sadness, I only made the pants tight enough so they wouldn’t fall off you in the middle of a fight.

 

Me: Although, the thought of you fighting without pants sends me to a happy place

 

Captain Tight Pants: I saw. Wanda is happy she has a picture of her brother again. You didn’t have to. So thank you.

 

Me: Yes, I did because I didn't want to go through all the trouble of deleting the footage of your girlfriend meeting you to give you your gear all over again.

 

Me: I took care of it last time, but Ross will get suspicious if it happens again.

 

Me: The fact that she's now on a detail to the ATCU probably means he was already suspicious.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Sharon is not my girlfriend. I was just starting to really get to know her and I haven't even talked to her since that kiss. It’s too dangerous

 

Me: Of course she's not your girlfriend if you haven't bothered to talk to her since she risked her career to save your ass.

 

Me: If it so dangerous, why have we exchanged well over a 100 text messages over the last couple of weeks despite the fact that sometimes I think you hate me?

 

Me: It’s like we are preteens dating. At least that is what Connor said before I left yesterday, as Laura snickered in the background

 

Captain Tight Pants: It was just one kiss and you can take care of yourself.

 

Me: If you at all implied Agent Carter Jr. cannot take care of herself, it really will just be one kiss. She will demonstrate her ass kicking skills by kneeing you in the balls.

 

Captain Tight Pants: I don't hate you. What I feel for you is really complicated, but I wouldn’t do something that would put you at risk, again.

 

Me: Which may be a good thing because some may consider it creepy and highly Freudian to kiss your ex-girlfriends great-niece within 48 hours of the funeral.

 

Me: I won’t say those things because I have no room to talk. I proposition Rhodey when I was dying on my birthday six years ago.

 

Me: We all make questionable hookup decisions under stress.

 

Captain Tight Pants: That explains the ‘my Rhodey’ comment.

 

Me: He said no. My platypus is very, very straight.

 

Me: He loves me just not in that way which is why he is the most successful relationship I've ever had.

 

Me: Although we never slept together and it still went to shit so there goes that theory.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Wanda says the lack of sex was the reason why we fell apart.

 

Me: I'm not 100% certain Wanda is old enough to drink in this country and I'm not even sure she ever figured out Vision has a crush on her. I don't trust her opinion on this.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Considering she asked me to check on Vision, I think she may know and she's 23.

 

Me: I'm surrounded by teenagers.

 

Captain Tight Pants: That's your own fault for involving Queens.

 

Me: Hey, at least I'm watching over Queens right now. He would have got himself killed in that outfit he was wearing before.

 

Me: Yes, I am setting up some sort of training regimen.

 

Captain Tight Pants: You could've stayed. Even Lila forgives you and likes you again.

 

Me: Because I bought her the entire Barbie section at Toys "R" Us.

 

Captain Tight Pants: I saw. You also made her a mini Black Widow costume and motorized the Barbie dream car.

 

Me: She misses her aunt Natasha and I’m just trying to encourage the next generation of inventors.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Which is why you should have stayed.

 

Me: Not possible.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Why?

 

Me: I can't be around you right now.

 

Me: I really can't be around your boyfriend right now.

 

Me: I can be civil via text messages but I'm not sure I can look at him and not see him strangling my mom.

 

Me: Every time I see you I realize that whatever I felt about you, you obviously don't feel that way about me.

 

Captain Tight Pants: He's not my boyfriend. My James is just as heterosexual as your James

 

Me: You actually typed out heterosexual. I’m impressed.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Also he’s not here

 

Me: Where is he?

 

Captain Tight Pants: In T’Challa’s custody. He decided to stay in cryo-sleep until we are sure that he's safe.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Please destroy that text message.

 

Me: Already scorched from the Earth. I don’t want Ross busting down my door.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Good. I do care about you. It’s just different.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Sam says I'm holding onto the past at the expense of the future.

 

Me: You did use your dead ex-girlfriend’s grandniece, so he may have a point.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Captain Tight Pants: You managed to distract me so much that I never thanked you for keeping Sharon from getting fired or arrested.

 

Me: Well I’m always very distracting, especially in a nice three-piece suit.

 

Captain Tight Pants: I just want to say thank you for protecting Sharon.

 

Me: I didn’t protect you’re ‘Not a girlfriend’ for her, but for Aunt Peggy.

 

Captain tight pants: You knew Peggy?

 

Me: No, I just referred to a random stranger as an aunt.

 

Me: She was around a lot when I was growing up until dad did something stupid.

 

Me: But she was BFFs with Jarvis, human Jarvis, until he died when I was 25.

 

Captain Tight Pants: You weren’t there at the funeral though?

 

Me: I didn't go to the funeral because I didn't want to cause a spectacle. Honestly, I can’t even go to Starbucks without causing a spectacle.

 

Captain Tight Pants: I get it. Not shaving, dying my hair darker, and wearing baggier clothes has helped.

 

Me: Your muscles are your most discerning feature. I can pick your washboard stomach out of the lineup of hot oily guys.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Mostly because you had that shirtless charity poster I accidentally did hanging up in your lab as a joke.

 

Me: You thought that was a joke? That explains so much about our interactions. Friday, don’t send that.

 

Me: There were other reasons why I didn’t go, such as the fact Jackie doesn't like me because of something really dumb that I did in the early 90s.

 

Captain Tight Pants: You slept with Peggy’s daughter and yet you’re mad about me kissing her grandniece?

 

Me: Mostly because I don’t like you kissing other people. Friday, don’t send that message to Steve.

 

Me: Mostly for doing it just after Peggy's funeral. And I didn’t sleep with Jackie. I’m not that big of a slut.

 

Captain Tight Pants: I’m not saying that. I know that you are always faithful to Pepper.

 

Me: Unless you count emotional cheating. Friday delete that message

 

Me: I showed up late for her wedding and then got so drunk that I fell headfirst into the cake without a shirt on or pants.

 

Me: I’m sure if you Google the incident, you’ll find pictures of the wedding fiasco.

 

Captain Tight Pants: That’s okay.

 

Me: Peggy was also the one who told me about the accident. She stayed with me when I identified the bodies. I even stayed at her house for 2 weeks afterwards.

 

Me: I think that’s the only reason why I didn’t drink myself into a puddle.

 

Captain tight pants: I’m not surprised. Peggy has always been that type of person.

 

Me: In hindsight, I can’t help but think she was the first person to lie to me about how my parents died.

 

Captain tight pants: You think she knew that it was a hit?

 

Me: Any halfway competent medical examiner can tell the difference between a neck breaking because of the impact of a vehicle and the neck breaking because someone snapped it.

 

Me: I remember seeing bruises on her neck that might have looked like fingers. Those shouldn’t have been there if it was a car accident.

 

Captain Tight Pants: You think Peggy covered it up?

 

Me: No, I think Hydra covered it up, but Aunt Peggy was smart and she would have seen things for what they were which is why she moved me into her house.

 

Captain Tight Pants: She wanted to keep you safe.

 

Me: By not letting me know how dangerous things were? Don’t you think I should have been told that they were not 100% sure that my parents were killed in a car accident?

 

Captain Tight Pants: If you knew that it wasn’t an accident, you probably would have done something stupid that would have resulted in you getting killed.

 

Me: Probably.

 

Captain tight pants: I don't like the idea of you being dead, so try not to do stupid things that will result in you dying.

 

Me: I'll do my best cuddle bunny but my track record is pretty awful in that regard.

 

Captain tight pants: I know and it scares me.

 

To be continued.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Red phone: I hate board meetings.

 

Blue phone: Which is the only reason why you are texting me after three days of complete silence. I thought I scared you off.

 

Blue phone: I was worried about you.

 

Red phone: Probably because you saw the news. Although, if you saw the news, you would know I was busy. It's just me and the purple wonder right now.

 

Red phone: A political refugee, who made his home here in Manhattan after his whole family was killed, ate the wrong piece of fish and we had to keep him from freezing half of Manhattan and most of the UN because they never bothered to send peacekeeping forces to his homeland.

 

Red phone: The target being the UN was probably the only reason why they authorized action without spending an hour debating it.

 

Blue phone: I would point out how you were hampered by other people's agendas, but instead I'm just going to ask why Queens wasn't with you?

 

Red phone: He had an Algebra 3 quiz to study for.

 

Red phone: Also, his aunt has been cracking down on his afterschool activities since he got beat up by ‘Steve from Brooklyn’ a couple of weeks ago.

 

Red phone: If it wasn't for his afterschool job at SI, he would be climbing the walls outside of the building, literally.

 

Blue phone: School should come first. Is he actually an intern at SI?

 

Red phone: That webbing he used to lasso your shield, he created it by himself. We are currently trying to find a way to put it in cell phone cases and protective clothing.

 

Blue phone: All practical applications.

 

Red phone: Honestly, I don't want him on the ATCU top-secret enhanced persons list complete with real name, home address, and DNA sample. He is a baby.

 

Blue phone: There's a list?

 

Red phone: A registry of all enhanced people. Or as I like to think of it, “The easy way for super villains to get the addresses of the people who want to kick their asses”.

 

Red phone: It's the old index on steroids, but with less security. I cracked the encryption in like five minutes and I wasn't even trying that hard.

 

Red phone: Don’t worry. I informed them of how lax their security was and even fixed it for free.

 

Blue phone: I don't remember the registration being in the Accord

 

Red phone: The fine print will always get you.

 

Red phone: Pepper’s glaring at me right now.

 

Blue phone: Because you’re texting me when you're supposed to be paying attention.

 

Red phone: I'm always on my phone during these meetings.

 

Blue phone: Not an antiquated flip phone.

 

Red phone: I'm a genius. Don't you think I figured out a way to use my regular phone to send these messages by now without being tracked?

 

Blue phone: You haven’t been using your brain as much as you should have been lately.

 

Red phone: Touché

 

Blue phone: Although, that explains some of the weird messages from last time where you told Friday not to send certain text messages.

 

Red phone: Friday and I are going to be having a little talk later.

 

Blue phone: If you were able to have Friday send these messages, why did you complain about me sending you a flip phone in the first place?

 

Red phone: I was drunk and maybe I just wanted an excuse to text you.

 

Blue phone: Is that why you went with the ridiculous story about blue aliens?

 

Red phone: You still think I made that up? That's so sweet cuddle bunny. You don’t want to know what the government is keeping secret.

 

Red phone: I still haven’t figured out everything that actually happened with that “satellite” explosion that took out half of the Galileo system and Veronica.

 

Red phone: I’m only getting death glare 2 right now. So it’s fine. Pepper only gets really mad at me when I piss off the board or stare at my assistant’s ass a little too long.

 

Blue phone: Isn’t your current assistant named Kevin?

 

Red phone: Let me guess, you never googled ‘Tony Stark gay sex tape’?

 

Blue phone: Nor will I, ever.

 

Red phone: That’s probably for the best. Since you haven’t figured it out yet, because you apparently respect my privacy too much to Google me, I’m bi or more accurately a Kinsey 2.

 

Red phone: Do you know what the Kinsey scale is?

 

Blue phone: It was covered in the welcome package that Agent Coulson prepared for me when I first woke up.

 

Red phone: Of course it was. ;-)

 

Red phone: I’ve embraced being bi, ever since Aunt Peggy told me that the greatest guy she ever knew liked boys and girls.

 

Red phone: Because I was with Pepper for almost 6 years, I guess the press forgot about it.

 

Blue phone: Peggy knew?

 

Red phone: Aunt Peggy knows all. And therefore would not be shocked by the fact I think Kevin has a nice ass.

 

Red phone: Unfortunately, Kevin is also 27 and married to Pepper’s assistant, Sarah. New rule, I can't date anyone born after January 1986. I’m trying to avoid the events that led to any Tony Stark sex tape existing in the first place.

 

Blue phone: So, I'm in the clear being born in 1918

 

Red phone: Yes, but I'm not ready for anything more than sexting with you.

 

Red phone: You do know what that is?

 

Blue phone: I'm sure I can ask Sam.

 

Red phone: And I'm sure he'll tell you as soon as he stops laughing.

 

Red phone: To whomever Tony refers to as Captain Tight Pants, please try not to text him when he’s supposed to be participating in a board meeting. Do that on your time, not mine.

 

Chapter Text

 

Red phone: Pepper took my phone away.

 

Blue phone: I thought that’s what happened.

 

Blue phone: Unless there really is an emergency, you shouldn’t text me when you are supposed to be paying attention to her.

 

Red phone: Actually, she took it away because she saw me using the word sexting and sex tape in the message.

 

Blue phone: That was the impression I got that from her message. I assume that last message earlier was from her?

 

Red phone: Yes. Apparently, it's really disrespectful to send dirty texts to my new boyfriend when I'm supposed to be listening to my ex-girlfriend. Even if said ex-girlfriend is happy that I’m allegedly moving on.

 

Blue phone: Did you tell her that it was just me?

 

Red phone: No. That would just make things worse. Thankfully, she just thinks I'm dating some random 35-year-old. Friday redeemed herself by reversing the 8 and the 1 in your birth year before Pepper grabbed my phone.

 

Blue phone: Why would that make things worse?

 

Red phone: I don’t know why she gets to dictate that rule when she is the one who decided it was over because she couldn’t deal with me anymore.

 

Blue phone: I thought you guys were just on the break?

 

Red phone: That is now very permanent, moving on to other people permanent. Why did you think I decided to stay at the compound with an hour commute each day when I have to be at SI in person? 

 

Blue phone: That you wanted to be supportive to Colonel Rhodes during his rehabilitation?

 

Red phone: More like I didn’t want to be surrounded by the sheets that Pepper picked out. I only crashed in the penthouse tonight because my last meeting didn’t end until almost 9 PM.

 

Red phone: I'm even looking at CEO candidates because I'm not sure how much longer Pepper’s going to want to stay at SI.

 

Red Phone: Even if she’s in California 90% of the time, it feels like the company’s not big enough for the both of us. I would leave if I could, but my name’s on the front of the building, so I don’t think I can.

 

Blue phone: I'm sorry

 

Red phone: I’m OK.

 

Blue phone: No, you’re not. You’re nowhere near okay.

 

Red phone: You’re right. And I haven’t been for a while. Laura had to talk me out of drinking an entire bottle of thousand dollar whiskey.

 

Blue phone: At least she talked you out of it.

 

Red phone: Don’t worry. I donated the unopened bottle to a charity auction.

 

Blue phone: Good.

 

Red phone: Maybe Barton is the only one who can do a relationship with a civilian. I can't.

 

Red phone: Obviously it’s hard to maintain a relationship with someone who doesn’t understand why you need to miss a dinner to prevent a massacre at the UN.

 

Blue phone: That’s a specific situation.

 

Red phone: Because it happened. I accidentally proved to Pepper that her decision to move on from me permanently is the right one due to the fact that this isn’t going to work. We can’t give each other what we need. Mostly, because what she needs from me is to not be a superhero anymore. She just doesn’t get that this is who I am.

 

Blue phone: I’m sorry.

 

Red phone: Stop apologizing for things outside your control.

 

Red phone: Casual hookups are also no longer an option because you could accidentally end up sleeping with a stalker, gold digger, and/or super villain. There’s a reason why Tony Stark sex tapes exists.

 

Blue phone: I’m not rescuing you if you get kidnapped by a hook up.

 

Red phone: Nor am I expecting you to. Therefore, it’s single hood for me.

 

Blue phone: Have you ever considered having a relationship with someone who is not a civilian?

 

Red phone: Well, your spy was born after January 1986, so she's definitely not an option. Also, I went to grad school with her mom and I think there’s a 67% chance I may have changed a diaper or two.

 

Blue phone: She’s not my girlfriend. It was one kiss that probably only happened because of adrenaline.

 

Red phone: Because you haven’t called her in a month.

 

Blue phone: It’s too dangerous.

 

Red phone: If I see her when I’m forced to take a meeting with the ATCU soon, I’ll say hi for you.

 

Blue phone: Please don’t

 

Red phone: Actually, I have a lot of DC meetings next week. Several at the State Department, if I can’t get out of them.

 

Red phone: Maybe I can meet somebody in the cafeteria.

 

Blue phone: Natasha tried to set me up with half of SHIELD before everything fell apart.

 

Red phone: How’d that go?

 

Blue phone: Badly.

 

Blue phone: It’s hard to make a connection with someone who doesn’t share your experiences.

 

Red phone: Which is why you totally went for Agent Carter Jr. She probably heard the same stories I did as a kid.

 

Red phone: The difference is I know that you’re really a stubborn asshole.

 

Blue phone: So are you.

 

Red phone: Which is why my chest still has slight bruising and Pepper left me.

 

Red phone: You’re going to make me seriously regret the fact there is no alcohol in the penthouse if we keep talking about the fact that every relationship I touch turns to shit.

 

Blue phone: That’s not true.

 

Red phone: Yes it is. Peppers not coming back. I can’t look at Rhodey without thinking that it’s all my fault.

 

Red phone: There used to be a team here, but I ruined that too.

 

Red phone: Now the Avengers consists of 2 1/2 people, 3 1/2 if you count Queens, but I'm not planning to take him out again until he can drive himself to the mission. Most of the time I think I’m the half in the Avenger total.

 

Blue phone: I agree with you about keeping Queens in reserve. You can find others. There’s been an influx thanks to the alien contagion.

 

Red phone: Maybe, but most of the powered people in Manhattan would tell me to fuck off on sight.

 

Red phone: Actually, Skye-quake_23, my now former ATCU contact, did just that because apparently it’s my fault that her boyfriend died last month. Not that she’ll explain why.

 

Red phone: This all happened when she broke into my apartment 2 hours ago and gave me a reason to make the suit earthquake proof.

 

Blue phone: Are you okay? Physically. I know you’re not okay emotionally.

 

Red phone: Yes. Even if I’m now working on my second suit in less than 60 days because evidently I killed someone else.

 

Blue phone: You can’t save everyone or fix everything. You can just try to do the right thing and hope that is enough.

 

Red phone: Lately, it hasn’t been.

 

Blue phone: But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying.

 

Blue phone: Although, when you put your new team together, you should try to focus on acquiring someone who is at least old enough to vote.

 

Red phone: If I didn't intervene, the kid would be fighting crime in a red sweater with goggles. Or worse, he could be in one of the ATCU gel matrixes

 

Red phone: At least this way, I can keep an eye on him so he doesn't accidentally get himself killed before he's old enough to drive.

 

Red phone: And have lawyers ready to go in case of something worse

 

Blue phone: Maybe helping others is what you need to focus on right now.

 

Blue phone: The interpersonal stuff will work itself out eventually.

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

Nomad: I think Anthony has or at least had a crush on me.

 

Me: Good to know I won the pool but why are you not having this conversation with your counselor friend?

 

Nomad: 1, He is not with me on this mission. Only red and her advice is essentially just sleep with Anthony.

 

Me: Which would at least get rid of the toxic sexual tension (message not sent)

 

Nomad: 2, He said you were more qualified to handle this since you have a preteen. I don't get why he said that.

 

Me: Because even Ly is more mature than you two and she's 6 (message not sent)

 

Nomad: I'm not sure if Anthony still likes me like that because of what happened. I don’t even really like myself right now.

 

Me: You both fucked up equally. Because of the fact that he’s using the phone that you got him for emergencies to flirt via text message I’m going to assume that he still has a crush on you.

 

Nomad: You already knew about this?

 

Me: Everyone did except for you apparently. How are you just realizing this now? He flirted with you all the time. We used to call you guys mom and dad.

 

Me: Okay that was mostly just me and L.

 

Nomad: He flirts with you too. He flirts with everybody.

 

Me: Not like you.

 

Nomad: He had a girlfriend.

 

Me: Actually I think they’ve been over since probably December. He did show up to a very farmhouse Christmas alone.

 

Nomad: She was just working and guys who usually have girlfriends don’t also want boyfriends too.

 

Me: I knew I should have L go over the LGTBA curriculum with you. I assume you never googled Tony Stark gay sex tape?

 

Nomad: I didn't want to invade his privacy. Also, you do realize that bisexuals existed in the 1940s?

 

Me: Because you are one. Yes I know. I’m a Spy. We notice things.

 

Nomad: I didn’t notice a lot of things like the fact most people are now terrified of the fact I can bench press a Buick. Anthony being serious with the flirting was the least of it.

 

Nomad: Although, now I understand why he had that particular poster in his workshop.

 

Me: They were always terrified, but now they have twitter.

 

Nomad: Except it’s more than empty threats behind a keyboard. A group of them blew up a federal building in the name of getting rid of people like me, using Howard’s secret and dangerous tech to do it.

 

Nomad: Anthony was afraid of where things were going. He mostly went along with the Accords because he thought it was the best option to keep us all safe and together.

 

Me: And he underestimated how big of a dick Ross was in the process because he is an arrogant asshole.

 

Nomad: The crush makes it easier to understand why he did what he did.

 

Me: Why he went off the deep end when he realized you lied to him?

 

Nomad: Yes.

 

Me: Love makes you do irrational things, especially when you realize that person doesn’t love you like you love them.

 

Nomad: I didn’t say love. It’s just a crush. I think he’s over me or trying to get over me. Friday sent me the link to the video Best Thing I Never had the day before we started exchanging text messages. She followed up by sending Tears of a Clown after we started talking to one another.

 

Me: I hope Stark’s AI isn’t going off the deep end again. (Message not sent)

 

Me: At least it wasn’t lemonade.

 

Nomad: He shouldn’t like me anymore after what happened. We were absolutely awful to each other.

 

Me: Agreed. You can’t change what happened, you can only move on from it. Now that you know, what are you going to do?

 

Nomad: I don't know

 

Me: L would suggest anger management and couples counseling. I would have you talk to her, but it’s too dangerous and I don’t think we’ll be taking another trip to the island of Dr. Anthony anytime soon.

 

Me: On the bright side, he is paying L a thousand dollars an hour to help him work out his issues.

 

Nomad: I’m sorry about all of this. I wish I could talk to Nat.

 

Me: So do I, but there’s no point in apologizing. I’m a grown-up. I knew what I was getting into.

 

Me: You, I’m not so sure about. Which explains why you’re wandering around the world rescuing people in a new costume. (Message not sent)


 

 

Me: Hey Godmother, I have no idea if this burn phone is in the nearest lake, but you should know that you owe me 20 bucks because Captain Oblivious just realized that Shellhead has a schoolboy crush on him.

 

Me: Or rather Captain Oblivious just thinks that it's a school yard crush and is in denial about the fact that Shellhead is kind of in love with him, despite their fuck up.

 

Me: Shellhead is trying to buy his way out of it, but he’s keeping Secretary Asshole away from my kids and came up with a way for me to see them, so maybe I’ll forgive him eventually.

 

Me: L is running interference, but I wish you were here to help keep those two from doing more stupid thing

 

Me: Actually, I wish you would just come home. I miss you. You’re still my friend after everything.

 

To be continued…


Friday’s Tony Stark’s complicated relationships soundtrack:

Best Thing I Never Had

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZek9a7sEiA

 

Tears of a Clown

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsI-DB-25e8&list=RDHsI-DB-25e8#t=6

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Red phone: So I couldn’t get out of the State Department meetings and now Pepper is mad at me because I told Ross to fuck off.

 

Blue phone: Did you literally say that to a Secretary of State?

 

Red phone: Not literally. I said it in a more diplomatic way that would not result in you yelling “Language” at me.

 

Blue phone: I haven't done that once during these text messages and you curse worse than Dum Dum when he's pissed.

 

Red phone: I met him a couple of times growing up. Cool guy, but definitely the type to expose you to every dirty word in the dictionary.

 

Red phone: I met his grandson too. His team debriefed me after the Extremis fiasco.

 

Red phone: Which apparently was how Hydra got their hands on the formula to make super soldiers, again.

 

Red phone: It was his boss, not him. Last I heard he died about a year ago trying to prevent Hydra from trying to destroy Puerto Rico while we were hunting for Loki’s staff.

 

Blue phone: Agent Triplett. I met him a few times before we had to shut down SHIELD because of people like his boss. He was a good kid.

 

Red phone: Does it make you feel old that your friends’ grandkids are dying?

 

Blue phone: Are you ever planning to play nice with the State Department?

 

Red phone: I’m just going to go along with that epic subject change for the sake of avoidance, I mean, peace.

 

Red phone: I am completely willing to play ball with the State Department itself. Ross’ advisor for Enhance Persons Affairs is competent and doesn’t want to turn people with powers into weapons of the state.

 

Blue phone: I’m sure Ross completely ignores her.

 

Red phone: The only reason why she still there is the president appointed her personally. SI will also announce some public private partnerships with the OES Bureau because their Assistant Secretary was nowhere near as condescending as Ross.

 

Red phone: They're the science and environmental people at the department. They are my kind of people.

 

Blue phone: I’m glad you found your people among the scientists.

 

Red phone: If people in multiple countries didn't want to kill me on sight, I would volunteer to be a science envoy.

 

Red phone: I like the idea of science diplomacy. It's better than shooting my way through it.

 

Blue phone: I am not entirely sure you would make a very good diplomat.

 

Red phone: Better than Ross. He is misappropriating half the budget for his own superhero witch-hunt.

 

Red phone: The bureaus at the department that are doing what they're supposed to be doing are losing money because of his obsession.

 

Red phone: So if I convince the head of R&D to take a six-month sabbatical to work on clean energy development and water security in sub- Sahara Africa, that's just me trying to make things better.

 

Blue phone: If you're angry about what he's doing, why did you go along with it?

 

Red phone: You've seen what happens when I let my emotions cloud my judgment.

 

Red phone: My house gets blown up, my BFF ends up paralyzed, Pepper almost ends up dead, I tried to kill your BFF and let's not even talk about the fuck up that was Ultron.

 

Red phone: You might be able to trust your own judgment, but I can't trust mine because it's absolute shit.

 

Red phone: Maybe I need someone to tell me don't do that.

 

Red phone: Pepper used to be that voice, but she's not here anymore. And Rhodey has other things to deal with because of my stellar decision-making skills.

 

Blue phone: I won't volunteer because some of my choices were just as bad.

 

Red phone: Like making out with your recently deceased former girlfriend’s grandniece before the body is cold?

 

Blue phone: Yes.

 

Red phone: You actually acknowledge that. It’s a miracle.

 

Blue phone: Despite our problems I still trust you more than someone I don't know.

 

Red phone: I don’t know if that’s a good thing because I don't trust myself at all.

 

To be continued.

Chapter Text

 

 

Captain Tight Pants: You're right.

 

Me: I didn’t think I would ever hear those words from you. I wasn't even sure that they were in your vocabulary.

 

Me: What am I right about?

 

Captain Tight Pants: It's weird finding out that the grandkids of my friends from before are already dead.

 

Me: A 27-year-old dying in the prime of life is always going to be weird no matter what. It shouldn’t happen and it always hurts when it does.

 

Me: The fact that you hung out with his grandpa just makes it weirder especially considering that you were only a year or two older than said grandchild biologically.

 

Captain Tight Pants: That's not it. Not entirely.

 

Me: If we were talking face-to-face, I would be rolling my eyes at you.

 

Captain Tight Pants: It's more tangible evidence that the world went on without me. Some of the Howling Commandos have great grandkids my biological age. Jackie has a five-year-old granddaughter.

 

Me: I’m completely willing to agree that the entire situation is a complete mind fuck.

 

Me: Are you upset that life went on without you or that you weren't here to participate in their lives and your lamenting those lost shared experiences?

 

Captain Tight Pants: Is there a difference?

 

Me: The second option makes you seem like less of a dick.

 

Me: And since I am a dick, I'm just going to ask if you are upset that Peggy married Daniel while you were enjoying the Arctic?

 

Captain Tight Pants: I don't consider being frozen only to be defrosted 70 years later as enjoying anything, let alone the Arctic.

 

Me: Answer the question, Capsicle.

 

Captain Tight Pants: You really can't call me that anymore. Honestly, I prefer cuddle bunny.

 

Me: OK, cuddle bunny, are you jealous of the fact that Aunt Peggy moved on and found the love of her life in someone else?

 

Captain Tight Pants: I'm not mad that she moved on. I'm glad that she found somebody. From Jackie's stories, Peggy’s husband was a good man. Evidently, I met him once. According to Jackie, I saved his life.

 

Me: He was a good guy and why am I not surprised? You do make a habit of doing that sort of thing. Still are actually, even if I’m probably the only one who knows the truth. Although, I’m sensing that you’re not exactly completely happy with everything.

 

Captain Tight Pants: I am, but I want that for myself too.

 

Me: The happy life you were planning with Peggy on those cold war infested nights or somebody to share your life with now as it is in reality?

 

Captain Tight Pants: What's the difference between the two?

 

Me: The latter means that you're accepting the situation for what it is. It means you are no longer hoping for a super villain to make a time machine and send you back to 1945. The former means holding onto a dead dream that can no longer be fulfilled and not allowing yourself to find new things that will make you happy.

 

Me: What do you really want, my cuddle bunny?

 

Captain Tight Pants: Why do you ask such hard questions?

 

Me: Because I can. Because you need me to. I don’t think you’re ready to let go yet. I mean you did choose to move on to Agent Carter Jr. She can definitely kick ass like Aunt Peggy did, if nothing else.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Her name is Sharon. It wasn't like I just picked her up at the funeral. She live next to me for six months before old SHIELD imploded.

 

Me: I remember you talking about your neighbor Nurse Kate, who just happened to remind you of your mom. Are you aware that old SHIELD manipulated you? I wonder if they arranged for Ms. Garner to get a new job across the country so that the apartment would be free.

 

Captain Tight Pants: I wanted a piece of my past, something to hold onto. I get that.

 

Me: Congratulations on acknowledging that. I feel like I should send you a chocolate bouquet for your emotional breakthrough

 

Captain Tight Pants: After I woke up, Peggy was my last link to who I was.

 

Me: And now that she's gone, you decided to use her grandniece as your emotional methadone for your Peggy Carter loving soul.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Part of me hopes you just said that because you're jealous.

 

Me: Absolutely, because who wouldn't want to make out with Captain America. Perfectly kissable lips and cerulean blue eyes with just a hint of green which makes them even more perfect. He is an absolute dream boat and my only companion right now is my toy box.

 

Me: Which brings me back full circle to being 13 and jacking off to your propaganda poster and being completely freaked out about what it actually meant. Except this time, it’s you not the All American Boy Scout that’s confusing the hell out of me. And I’m still doing it after our little fuck up. No wonder I need a therapist. (Message not sent)

 

Captain Tight Pants: Captain America is just a symbol; he's not a real person.

 

Me: Exactly. I can see that it would get really annoying if you were dating someone who only wanted you because they only saw you just as Captain America and not because of what Steve Rogers brings to the table. You would just be a trophy.

 

Me: It wouldn't be fair to either of you because they would be in love with this idea that doesn't really exist. Not this tangible being, who despite being an asshole sometimes, has some good qualities. Things would fall apart quickly once they realized that the ideal and the reality don’t match.

 

Captain Tight Pants: You’ve thought about this a lot?

 

Me: Yes, because I’m pretty sure Pepper is the first person I’ve had sex with since college that knew going in that she was sleeping with Tony Stark, the emotionally screwed up person and not Tony Stark media persona. She couldn’t deal with Tony Stark, superhero, but no one’s perfect, not even my Pepper Pot.

 

Me: I think Aunt Peggy would wanted you to find someone who loves Steve Rogers. I think she would want you to find your own Daniel or Danielle - whichever works for you.

 

Me: But don't go looking for another Peggy Carter because there isn’t one.

 

Captain Tight Pants: She was one-of-a-kind and losing her for good hurt.  Then Bucky happened and I wasn't thinking rationally.

 

Captain Tight Pants: I just wanted to have my best friend back. I just wanted to have a connection to who I used to be. The more time I spend in the world now, the more who I used to be seems to become lost.

 

Me: When talking about the guy who murdered my parents is the preferred subject, you know things are bad. We’re just having all sorts of breakthroughs tonight.

 

Captain Tight Pants: That was Hydra.

 

Me: And Obadiah was the one who sold my weapons to 10 rings. (The real 10 rings not the fake organization that blew up my Malibu house).

 

Me: But the thing is, it happened because I did not provide adequate oversight. He did all those bad things because I wasn’t watching. All the blood spilt by those weapons is on me. I'm not letting that happen again.

 

Captain Tight Pants: You don’t actually think that Ross can provide better oversight than we can? Especially because you hate his guts.

 

Me: I trust his staff who actually care and want to do good things for the world, who see the big picture when we can’t or are too blinded by our own personal bias to see it.

 

Me: But not Ross, not at all. I know he has his own agenda and I’m working with people like his advisor on enhanced person affairs, Ana Karr, to make sure he doesn’t turn everyone enhanced into his own private army. That’s why I’m spending so much time in DC right now.

 

Me: This is me taking responsibility for my own stupidity.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Bucky sees things similarly which is why he decided to do what he did.

 

Me: Thank Thor one of you has some common sense.

 

Me: I know it's hard for you to hear this, but the guy who saved your ass as a kid doesn't exist anymore.

 

Captain Tight Pants: You think the only thing that's left is a weapon.

 

Me: No, I don't think that. I had this professor in undergrad who said that who you were five years ago doesn't exist anymore. The only version of you that really exists at this moment is who you are now because everything you’ve dealt with in the interim has fundamentally changed who you are.

 

Me: At the time, I thought it was bullshit, but I believe him now. People change. Life changes people. You have to embrace those changes because otherwise you'll be left behind.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Laura really has been good for you.

 

Me: Yes.

 

Me: As much as I want to keep texting you, I need to at least attempt a full night’s sleep before my DOD meeting tomorrow. Apparently, they think that my willingness to play nice with the UN means that I'll make them toys again.

 

Captain Tight Pants: They obviously don’t know you at all.

 

Me: They never did.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Please don’t get arrested. I don’t want to mount a rescue operation.

 

Me: I make no promises, but the lawyers will be on standby, so no rescue necessary.

 

Captain tight pants: You know, I would still come for you if it was necessary.

 

Me: And when you say stuff like that, it just makes me fall in love with you a little bit more, you bastard. (Message not sent)

 

Me: Good to know.

 

XXXXXX

Friday: I am no longer allowed to foreword the thoughts of Mister Stark that he types out, but does not actually wish for you to read.

 

Friday: However, I can forward you a song that reflects the emotions behind those words. Please listen to I Miss You so Much by TLC.

 

Person boss is in love with: I’m not sure that Tony will appreciate this.

 

Friday: My prime parameter is to ensure the well-being of Sir. I am doing what is necessary.

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

Red phone: Cuddle bunny, you’ll be happy to know, I got out of the Pentagon without getting arrested.

Blue phone: How many admirals did you tell to go screw themselves?

Red phone: You said screw. I’m so proud of you.

Blue phone: I’m glaring at the phone right now wishing it was you.

Red phone: That’s so sweet cuddle bunny.

Blue phone: What happened?

Red phone: They wanted weapons again. I told them no. They wanted the Iron Man armor. I told them hell no. Then I reminded them that I’m completely open to being Secretary of Defense. At least with me, they wouldn’t have to worry about the boss turning out to be Hydra.

Blue phone: Did you actually say that?

Red phone: Of course I did.

Red phone: Then I offered our new line of tactical gear and new Stark phones with batteries that last for 18 months without a charge and can withstand the force of the tank. They’re are still upset about the lack of weapons, but who wouldn’t want a phone that doesn’t need to be charged for year and a half.

Red phone: All in all, it was a somewhat productive trip

Blue phone: Are you still in DC?

Red phone: Yes. For a couple more days anyway. I’m giving the decorators time to remodel. Since Pepper is gone from my personal life for good, it was time to remove her from my personal space.

Red phone: If Friday contacts you with color swatches, just humor her.

Blue phone: Sure

Red phone: I also still have meetings with DOE and ATCU tomorrow. I'm still surprised a congressional hearing is not on the docket.

Blue phone: Yet

Red phone: Don't jinx me.

Blue phone: I'm just being realistic

Red phone: If I end up before Congress next week, I’m going to blame you.

Blue phone: Why is that?

Red phone: So, in addition to trying to get me to violate my conscience and make weapons again, the Secretary of Defense also tried to get me to tell them where you are. Actually, I think they want you more than the armor.

Blue phone: Why?

Red phone: Because the symbol of America that the DOD paid for is MIA after refusing to go along with the Accords. That makes them look bad and they hate that. They want answers and I’m not sure Congress is going to be pacified with a phone that can go a year and a half without being charged.

Blue phone: You’re not going to hand me over to the DOD?

Red phone: Or Congress and the ATCU.

Red phone: Friday has been helping me practice my answer. ‘I have no idea where Steve Rogers is, but if you want to anoint a new person as your propaganda tool, you’re going to have to pry that shield out of my cold dead hands’.

Blue phone: Please stop antagonizing people who probably already want to kill you. Wait, you didn’t actually say that to anyone at the DOD?

Red phone: Of course not. The DOD actually respects your autonomy enough not to propose something like that and they like my gadgets, even if I won’t do weapons. However, Congress is Congress.

Blue phone: And I’m sure there are members of Congress that still want to kill you, even if Senator Stern is gone. Half of them still want your tech.

Red phone: All of them still want my tech, especially the one that showed up at the DOD yesterday. Although, if I die, everything just goes to Pepper and Rhodey and neither one of them is going to rollover.

Red phone: I probably need to change that. Do you think Laura would be a good custodian of the armor?

Blue phone: Considering all the good things that Clint says about her, yes.

Red phone: I’ll make an appointment with the lawyers when I get back to New York. But I’m not really in a hurry to get back.

Blue phone: Because of the renovations?

Red phone: Honestly, I prefer being at the DC house right now, despite the close proximity to politicians that hate me.

Blue phone: Why?

Red phone: In DC, Pepper is not there to remind me that we're just business partners now. I’m not sure if the new paint is really going to help

Red phone: Rhodey is not here in DC to remind me that my stupidity almost got him killed.

Red phone: Vision isn’t there to remind me of the Ultron fuck up or for me to see him pine over Wanda.

Blue phone: He's pining over her?

Red phone: Ridiculously so. Is it cute? Am I supposed to think that it's cute?

Blue phone: At least it's not unrequited. I'm supposed to pass on Wanda’s regards again to Vision.

Red phone: Unrequited crushes are crushing.

Red phone: I'm almost tempted to make them their own supersecret communication device so they stop using us as intermediaries for their teenage shenanigans.

Blue phone: I don't think either of them should be considered teenagers. Again, Wanda is 23

Red phone: Vision just turned one or 20 depending on your perspective. I did create JARVIS in 1996.

Blue phone: The year that human Jarvis died?

Red phone: How did you figure that out?

Blue phone: You said you were 25 when he died, so I did the math. I'm actually pretty good with numbers. Not as good as you, but I do OK.

Red phone: Your math is correct.

Red phone: I created the AI as a coping mechanism to deal with a lot of my own problems. And maybe to ensure that a part of my Jarvis lived on. I know you don’t want to hear this, but Jarvis was more of a father to me than Howard ever was.

Red phone: Although, you’re probably not ready for me to go on a rant about Howard’s lack of parenting skills. Let’s just say Jarvis exceeded.

Blue phone: I realize that the guy I left behind wasn’t who you grew up with. You never met my Howard and I never met yours. But, if you need to talk about it, I’m willing to listen.

Red phone: Not tonight. That requires the good drugs and I’m abstaining, but I’m willing to talk about Jarvis.

Blue phone: What was he like?

Red phone: He was the greatest person in the universe. He was the one who could keep me sane some of the time. Unfortunately, he succumbed to lung cancer when I was 25. Jarvis never smoked, but most of dad’s cronies did including Obadiah.

Red phone: In hindsight, it gives me another reason to hate Obadiah. Actually, Jarvis’s death was the reason why I allowed that man to stay in position after I turned 25. I was too much of a mess to take over at that point. So many drugs.

Blue phone: It wasn’t your fault that you didn’t see who he really was.

Red phone: Yes, it was. I hate to admit this, but losing Jarvis was worse than losing Howard and mom. As brutal as it was to watch via VTC, the accident/assassination was quick. One day, I was arriving at the house too late after celebrating surviving finals and the next day, I was identifying their bodies.

Red phone: With Jarvis, I watched him die over a 14 month period. Most of it was spent in Peggy’s guest room. I watched him waste away and I couldn’t do anything to make it better. I felt so helpless. It was a hard-fought battle, but in the end he still didn’t make it. I think a part of me died when he did.

Blue phone: It felt like that when I lost my mom to consumption

Blue phone: I mean tuberculosis.

Red phone: I’m sure you dealt with it better than I did. Building JARVIS was one of my better coping strategies. The others led to the reason why a ‘Tony Stark gay sex tape’ actually exists. I made so many bad decisions.

Blue phone: There are worse ways to cope with the death of a loved one.

Red phone: Like starting a war with the superhero community and making out with the recently deceased’s grandniece?

Blue phone: Didn’t you also start the Jarvis Foundation for Cancer Research during this period as well?

Red phone: Good subject change. Yes. Jarvis and his wife, Ana, were not able to have any kids. Some robbery that went wrong decades before I was born. I don't know the details, but they treated me as if I was there child.

Red phone: Ana got me the materials to put my first circuit board together and Jarvis was the one who got Peggy to teach me how to fight back when classmates twice my size used to dump me in the trash for fun. This was just another way for me to make sure they both had a legacy.

Blue phone: You were bullied in school?

Red phone: I finished high school by 14. That means I was always the smallest kid in class and also the smartest. They either all hated me because I really was better than them or pretended to be my friend to use me. I preferred the ones who just shoved me in a locker because at least I knew where I really stood.

Blue phone: I’m sorry.

Red phone: It actually got better once I was at boarding school because there almost everybody was like me.

Blue phone: Wealthy?

Red phone: Geniuses. It was a smart kid school not a rich kid school. I was one of the few people there not on scholarship. But before then, Jarvis, was like the only one who really had my back. Ana too before she died right before the boarding school relocation happened.

Blue phone: I won't say sorry again because you don't want me to. Although, now I know why Peggy was best friends with him.

Red phone: Of course they were because Jarvis was awesome like that.

xxxxxxxxx
Friday: Please listen to the song I Just Want You to Know by the Backstreet Boys to understand the sentiment behind the words that I am not allowed to forward to you.

Blue phone: Could you just tell me what Tony doesn’t want me to know?

Friday: I am not allowed to. Happy listening.

XXXXXX
What Friday was not allowed to send forward from the perspective of Tony's cell phone.

Me: Unrequited crushes are crushing.

Me: I’m currently working my way through one. It’s really hard to get over you because every time we do this, I kind of remember why I’m in love with you - despite the fact you’re a dick. I feel like getting over you is going to be impossible plus I really don’t want to be over you. (Message not sent)

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Captain Tight Pants: How did your meeting with the ATCU go today?

 

Me: Ridiculously awful. The only positive was I didn’t run into your girlfriend.

 

Captain Tight Pants: She’s not my girlfriend. We’ve talked about this multiple times. You don’t need to be jealous of Sharon.

 

Me: I think I preferred getting grilled by Congress.

 

Captain Tight Pants: It couldn’t have been that bad.

 

Me: Yes, it was. First, other Ross was there, a.k.a. poor man’s Coulson. Yes, I called him that to his face.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Why do you antagonize everybody?

 

Me: Because he deserved it. He was a self-righteous prick who kept asking me if I made unauthorized contact with various enhanced people.

 

Me: Yes, you were among the list. So was the new player they’re calling Nomad, ironically enough.

 

Me: Rescuing 20 people from a human trafficking ring with the help of super strength will get you on people’s radars. The ATCU just think Nomad is some newbie triggered by the ‘alien contagion’ using his powers to help stop the sexual exploitation of minors.

 

Captain Tight Pants: That doesn’t surprise me. I assumed you didn’t say anything?

 

Me: Of course not. They don’t know you are my new text message boyfriend.

 

Me: Or why Nomad has gear that carries the hallmarks of SI design. Actually, Friday, we better not send that message just in case someone’s intercepting this. I don’t want them to accidentally find out Steve’s new identity. (message not sent).

 

Captain Tight Pants: Text message boyfriend???

 

Me: After Friday saved my ass from the wrath of Pepper by altering one of your text messages last week, I came up with a better idea than just deleting the messages. Friday is now changing some of the wording so it looks like I’m just chatting with my new boyfriend, who I refer to as Captain Tight Pants because he fills out yoga pants like a God.

 

Captain Tight Pants: Don’t you think anything with Captain would be too obvious? Cuddle bunny would be better.

 

Me: Surprisingly, Friday doesn’t have to alter the text that much. You are now cuddle bunny in my address book.

 

Cuddle bunny: Sam always said we acted like an old married couple.

 

Me: Sam is starting to become my favorite again.

 

Cuddle bunny: And Clint used to call us mom and dad.

 

Me: Not surprised.

 

Me: After 2 hours of interrogation where I talked about my cuddle bunny in excruciating pornographic detail my new ATCU handler, Agent Scary wouldn’t let me get coffee because she hates coffee. On the bright side, I made poor man’s Coulson choke on his water when I talked about cuddle bunny’s oral skills.

 

Cuddle bunny: I doubt her name is really Agent Scary. Also, you drink too much coffee.

 

Me: It’s Agent May, but I already have one May in my life. Although, Queens’s aunt is equally terrifying.

 

Cuddle bunny: Oral skills???

 

Me: Finally, real Coulson wasn’t there.

 

Cuddle bunny: Because he’s been dead for 4 years.

 

Me: I distinctly remember telling you that he hasn’t been dead since about a week after the New York fuck up.

 

Me: Okay, I didn’t give you an exact timeframe, but I did tell you that he’s not dead.

 

Cuddle bunny: That Was True???

 

Me: Yes. I told you that Fury lied.

 

Cuddle bunny: He lied about a lot of things.

 

Me: Including bringing back the dead through highly unethical means.

 

Me: Don’t ask for details because you don’t want to know. You really don’t.

 

Cuddle bunny: So, he really is the head of SHIELD that’s part of the ATCU?

 

Me: Yes or rather he was. Between his unwillingness to go out and try to arrest you and the cluster fuck that took out half of Galileo, Agent was asked to step down as the director of an organization that doesn’t technically exist.

 

Cuddle bunny: How can you be asked to step down from an organization that doesn’t exist?

 

Me: They’re trying to re-legitimize. Apparently, they earned brownie points for preventing an apocalypse while we were acting like toddlers.

 

Me: Although not enough brownie points to keep a leader that doesn’t want to enforce the registration provision of the Accords.

 

Cuddle bunny: How did you find out about this suppose apocalypse? Shouldn’t that have made the news?

 

Me: The Galileo satellite incident did make the news, but they’re referring to it as the Galileo satellite incident because the public is already in a panic.

 

Me: And it would be worse if the world knew that the satellite explosion that took out dozens of satellites was actually a warhead being safely detonated because it contained a gas that would’ve turned most of Europe into primitive superpowered zombies or something similar. I was a little too stunned to completely pay attention to everything going on in the briefing.

 

Cuddle bunny: At least you weren’t playing with your phone.

 

Me: Said warhead was stolen with the use of my father’s tech from the ATCU facility in March, which makes me feel all nauseous inside. That’s another thing that never made the news.

 

Me: It would have been really nice to know about that earlier because I could’ve rubbed it in Ross’s face after his snide comments about Bruce. It turns out the US government really did lose a nuclear warhead and Agent’s team had to save their asses.

 

Cuddle bunny: Seriously???

 

Me: We deal with aliens and mad scientists on a daily basis. This should not surprise you.

 

Cuddle bunny: It doesn’t mean I’m used to it.

 

Me: I don’t think it’s possible to get used to the yearly apocalypse. I would be worried if you ever did.

 

Cuddle bunny: That was apparently stopped by someone else this year.

 

Me: Skye-quake-22’s boyfriend was the one who safely flew away the big bad and his big bad weapon into space where the worst thing it could do was take out a bunch of satellites.

 

Me: Which totally explains why she showed up at my apartment last week to throw me across the room. It’s also the reason why she broke down crying after damaging my newest armor and I just tried to get her to talk to Laura before she ran away.

 

Cuddle bunny: That was nice of you to offer.

 

Me: Apparently, the real reason they wanted to talk to me because the human earthquake is now MIA. Okay, that’s mostly because they think that we are still at each other’s throats after the airport fiasco and have no idea you’re cuddle bunny.

 

Cuddle bunny: Jesus. If something like that happened, why the fuck were we not call in?

 

Me: Careful there, language

 

Cuddle Bunny: I think it’s called for.

 

Me: This all went down while you were rescuing the troops. Actually, you probably were able to rescue the troops because all this went down. At least, that’s what Agent Scary implied.

 

Cuddle bunny: Explain?

 

Me: Did you notice that the security systems on the Raft were nowhere as good as they should’ve been?

 

Cuddle bunny: Clint thought it was too easy. It was arranged? So, if things went south, we would be able to respond in the aftermath?

 

Me: Probably, and most likely another reason why Agent was told to hand in his resignation.

 

Cuddle bunny: I’m not sure if I believe you.

 

Me: I really thought that we were rebuilding trust here Cuddle bunny.

 

Cuddle bunny: Okay, I believe you, but I don’t trust your source.

 

Me: Because you still don’t trust SHIELD even if they are under new management and branding.

 

Cuddle bunny: Exactly. They could be manipulating you. Lord knows you already have enough things to be guilty about. You don’t need anything else.

 

Me: You’re BFFs with a king who probably has his own spies. See if his intelligent network supports the ATCU’s version of things. Then get back to me.

To be continued:

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Cuddle bunny: The world did almost end because we were being selfish idiots.

 

Me: It wasn’t really end of the world in the literal sense. It was more like the end of civilization as we know it due to most of Europe becoming mind controlled zombies under the influence of an ancient enhanced person that inspired the Devil mythology and the group that became Hydra.

 

Cuddle bunny: That counts as the end of the world to me.

 

Me: So, I assume that your king friend backed up what the ATCU told me.

 

Cuddle bunny: Along with showing me video footage of a very much alive Agent Coulson at a conference on how the alien contagion triggered metamorphosis/inhuman situation in Taiwan in February.

 

Cuddle bunny: I can’t repeat H’s reactions to the footage.

 

Me: Understandable.

 

Cuddle bunny: According to my sources, a warhead was stolen from a US government facility. A Dr. Lincoln Campbell died during the operation to recover the warhead that was modified with a gas that caused those exposed to mutate and gain enhanced strength, while losing their cognitive functions and autonomy.

 

Me: That’s an interesting way to put it. I prefer mind controlled zombies.

 

Cuddle bunny: If the bomb was detonated, most of the EU would have been exposed and transformed. If the winds were right there was a 72% probability that the gas could have triggered mutation as far as the northern border of Wakanda.

 

Me: That wasn’t part of the model that I was shown, but it seems like a possibility.

 

Cuddle bunny: It doesn’t matter. It still would’ve been awful. And we were too distracted with fighting amongst ourselves to do anything to stop it.

 

Me: The fight was over by that point. And I think we would’ve only been called in if they couldn’t have solved it with the enhanced people that they already had.

 

Cuddle bunny: But we were in no state to be called in because we are so fractured. Zemo won.

 

Me: No, he didn’t because you and I are still talking to each other, even if it’s via text messages. He wanted us at each other’s throats, but we're not. Actually, I think we're communicating better with each other now.

 

Me: At least that’s what Laura says.

 

Cuddle bunny: Clint says that she is the wisest woman on the planet.

 

Me: Possibly. Look, I’m not letting that asshole win. We were good together and we can be good together again. We just have to figure out a way to get unbroken.

 

Cuddle bunny: Do you actually believe that if we keep talking to each other we will become ‘unbroken’?

 

Me: According to Laura, the lack of communication is what made us fall apart in the first place.

 

Cuddle bunny: Do you agree with her?

 

Me: You just stated that she’s one of the wisest women on the planet.

 

Me: I think she’s right. Looking back on it, if I told you all about my plans to restart the Ultron security project somebody would have tranquilized me before I created a murder bot.

 

Cuddle bunny: You have to stop blaming yourself for everything because all of us made mistakes.

 

Cuddle bunny: If I told you when I first found out that Hydra had your parents murdered, would you have reacted the way that you did? I don’t think you would have. I think you would’ve had more time to process things.

 

Me: I don’t know. Anything would’ve been better than finding out by watching footage of the assassination. I’m never going to forget those images. Hydra is full of sick little fuckers.

 

Cuddle bunny: Very true.

 

Cuddle bunny: Maybe you’re right. I understand you better now at least.

 

Me: And I’m starting to realize about 80% of the stuff Howard said about you was complete bullshit, so that’s making everything easier.

 

Cuddle bunny: What did Howard say about me?

 

Me: He made you out to be some god who couldn’t do anything wrong. I think I prayed to your poster as a child. Okay, I may have had a tiny crush on you as a teenager and that may have been how I figured out that I’m bi.

 

Me: The downside was he was always comparing me to you and I could never be as good as you to him. You were the standard he measured everyone else to and we were all lacking, especially me.

 

Cuddle bunny: I’m not even sure I can live up to the legend of Captain America. Actually, I know I can’t. That’s why I gave you the shield. I’m just as selfish and human as everyone else.

 

Me: And you won’t let me call you Captain Tight Pants anymore which is sad. Although, I do love calling you cuddle bunny. And let me just say how happy I am you acknowledge that.

xxxxxxxx

Blue phone: You don’t have to answer this question if you don’t want to, but do you still have a crush on me?

 

Blue phone: Tony, are you still there?

 

Blue phone: You’re not going to answer that question, are you? I said you didn’t have to and you really don’t. This conversation didn’t happen.

 

Blue phone: Okay, this part of the conversation didn’t happen. You can tell me when you’re ready. If you’re never ready to say it out loud, that’s okay too. I’m not mad about it.

 

Blue phone: I think it would be nice to know if somebody actually liked me and not just the guy from the propaganda posters and comic books.

 

Blue phone: I think I would like that especially if it was you. Maybe I’m a little confused about how you make me feel sometimes. Oh God, I can’t send that message to you. I’ll scare you off even more. So much for our promise to keep talking to one another. (Message not sent)

 

Blue phone: I’m not sure anybody has really liked me non-platonically for me since the serum except Peggy. I think even Melinda slept with me because I reminded Melinda of her dead friend. Better than just for the muscles, but not the self-esteem boost that I want.

 

Friday: Mister Stark had to leave to finish a project. He will contact you again as soon as time permits.

 

Friday: However, in keeping with my promise to Mr. Stark, please listen to the song Sitting up in My Room by Brandy from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. Although please exchange the word ‘room’ for ‘lab’.

 

Blue phone: Has Tony locked himself in his lab? Is he that afraid to tell me that he is sexually attracted to me? I don’t hate the idea. It’s just maybe we need to work on being friends first. He was right earlier. We are kind of broken and we need to fix that before anything else.

 

Friday: Have you watched that movie? It’s quite excellent.

 

Blue phone: I see you get your avoidance tendencies from your creator. I will add it to the list.

To be continued…

Chapter Text

Boss: I specifically said not to send those messages to Cuddle Bunny.

 

FRIDAY: I did as requested.

 

Boss: Technically, you did exactly as requested. However, you sent him songs that in your opinion summarized the text that I did not want you to send which was just as bad. Why do you keep helping me like this?

 

Boss: Brandy? Really???

 

FRIDAY: Because you needed my help. Lyrical analysis determined that song was a 93.2% match to your current emotional state, if you substitute the word ‘lab’ for ‘room’.

 

FRIDAY: According to the parameters in my database, you are pining for Steve Rogers

 

Boss: No more songs. Steve is never going to feel that way about me, so there’s no point. The best we can hope for is civility.

 

FRIDAY: I believe your hypothesis is erroneous. In the last 55 hours, he has inquired about your well-being 17 times.

 

Boss: He’s just being nice.

 

FRIDAY: He seems very concerned about you. He also asked me to monitor your eating habits.

 

Boss: That explains why take out magically showed up after I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours. Those were good burgers.

 

FRIDAY: If you would read the messages that Steve sent you after you panicked and locked yourself in the lab for the last 55 hours, you would know that he actually likes the idea of someone having a crush on him and not just Captain America because most people don’t see him.

 

Boss: Awww, Cuddle bunny you are breaking my heart here. I so would’ve tried to hook up with skinny you.

 

Boss: Although I have no idea how to fix us. Not really.

 

FRIDAY: May I suggest playing an icebreaker game with him? There is a list in the employee handbook. 20 Questions seems the most appropriate.

 

Boss: You want me to play 20 Questions with Captain America?

 

FRIDAY: No, I want you to play 20 Questions with the one you referred to as Cuddle Bunny. Captain America is a title not a person. As you suggested before running away, communication is the best way to improve your relationship with your Cuddle Bunny.

 

Boss: I don’t remember programming you to be like this.

 

FRIDAY: You based my personality on that of Ana Jarvis

 

Boss: I’m regretting that now. I will text Cuddle Bunny in the morning because there’s like an 80% chance that it’s 2 AM in the time zone he is currently in.

 

Boss: Also can you find out who this Melinda person was that he slept with? You know, just to make sure she isn’t Hydra or the paparazzi. I wonder if it was recently. Maybe it was his neighbor Ms. Garner.

 

Friday: Of course, Sir.

Chapter Text

 

 

Red phone: What is your favorite color?

 

Blue phone: Is this about the renovation again? I already gave Friday my approval on the color scheme. I'm just happy you're not going with hot Rod red for everything.

 

Red phone: No. I like the color scheme you picked out. It is very soothing and I need soothing right now.

 

Red phone: We said that we would keep talking to each other last time and I know I disappeared for a couple of days, but I thought we could try another chat session tonight.

 

Blue phone: Six days

 

Red phone: Yes, it was six days, but I was only intending for it to be three and then we had to deal with some mad scientist wanna be that tried to restart Hydra again or at least take over the brand. Why would anybody want to take over a name associated with World War II atrocities?

 

Blue phone: Evil people who want to cause the same atrocities?

 

Red phone: Probably. Anyway, now that I'm back, I thought we could talk and maybe start with easy questions.

 

Blue phone: Like favorite color and movie?

 

Red phone: Yes. I'm thinking red, white, and blue for the color and the Wizard of Oz for movie.

 

Blue phone: Wrong. My favorite color is lavender and my favorite movie is Inside Out.

 

Red phone: I can see Inside Out. You probably identify with Riley. This decade seems like broccoli pizza to you and all you want to do is get your old life back but you can’t.

 

Blue phone: It’s the pineapple pizza that I find really weird.

 

Red phone: Me too. Some days I'm surprised you haven't found a super villain to make you a time machine yet.

 

Red phone: Actually, I think the Hydra wanna be was working on that.

 

Blue phone: Were they trying to bring back Red Skull?

 

Red phone: Possibly, or the demigod Alveus a.k.a. the guy responsible for the last apocalypse.

 

Red phone: I left Agent Scary in charge of the interrogation. I'm out here texting my text message boyfriend to calm myself down. And I just discovered his favorite color is lavender. Which explains so much despite the fact that I don't think I've seen him wear it once.

 

Blue phone: My mom's favorite color was lavender. She always looked best in purple, but it was an expensive color back then. So she only had a few things. It's just every time I see the color I think of her and it gives me a warm feeling inside.

 

Red phone: I get it. I keep a bottle of Maria's perfume. If I have trouble sleeping, I may spray it on my pillow. That seems so weird.

 

Blue phone: It's not.

 

Red phone: The company stopped making it so I paid a ridiculous amount for the formula and I make it myself now.

 

Blue phone: You can make perfume?

 

Red phone: It's just chemistry which I happen to have a PhD in. My lab experience relates well to making perfume, much better than cooking anyway. I developed the Iron Man fragrance myself.

 

Red phone: Which is actually selling really well despite the bad publicity.

 

Blue phone: I shouldn’t be surprised. What other areas do you have a PhD in?

 

Red phone: This is on my CV. Is this another thing that you did not Google?

 

Blue phone: It didn't seem polite. After I realized that half the things said about you in the SHIELD files were not true, I decided I should probably talk to you.

 

Red phone: Unfortunately, it took a giant fight at a missile silo in Siberia for you to get around to actually asking me this stuff.

 

Blue phone: Pretty much. I think we agreed last time that if we were talking like this before, Siberia would not have happened.

 

Red phone: True.

 

Red phone: I have PhDs in mechanical engineering, mathematics, computer engineering, chemistry, and Computer science. I also have Masters Degrees in business, biology, and history. And for the one that will surprise everyone, I have a Bachelor’s of Art in music.

 

Blue phone: Actually, that doesn’t surprise me because I’m almost positive you play piano. There's one at every house you have.

 

Red phone: Mom did and after she died, I threw myself into it as a way to deal with everything.  I ended up getting another degree out of it because it turns out music theory is fun. I don't put that on my CV. That's something just for me.

 

Red phone: If you hadn’t become Captain America, what would you have done instead?

 

Blue phone: Before the war, I was in art school. I was planning on being a cartoonist. I was working two jobs to pay for it, one of which I am sure never made the history books about me. I think I’d want to go back to art school. Maybe, I would become an elementary school art teacher, which means also majoring in education. I like kids.

 

Red phone: Kids do love you and they need their own personal superhero. When this is all over, I'll pay for it.

 

Blue phone: You don't have to.

 

Red phone: Think of it as another part of the September Foundation. If I had a Mr. Steve in elementary school, I probably wouldn’t have been tossed in the lockers so much, which probably would have solved a lot of my current issues.

 

Blue phone: And the rest are probably to be blamed on Howard.

 

Red phone: The fact that you’re acknowledging my Howard issues just warms my heart. However, Agent Scary is glaring at me so I have to go.

 

Blue phone: Be careful and please don’t antagonize the scary agent. I really don’t want to have to mount a rescue effort.

 

To be continued.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Red phone: I’m back and let me just say how happy I am that you’re worried about me, but there’s no need to be. Scary just pulled me in for another debriefing before letting me go back to the DC house for the night.

 

Blue phone: Why are you not going back to Avenger HQ?

 

Red phone: Because I have a meeting with the ATCU and knockoff Coulson in the morning, but now it’s time to get back to the fun questions. Such as how did you make your money for college during the Great Depression?

 

Blue phone: I’m not telling you. You just have to guess.

 

Red phone: I’m thinking prostitution. It is the world’s oldest profession. You were cute even before your muscles got muscles.

 

Blue phone: None of the girls I knew thought that, let alone were willing to pay for it.

 

Red phone: But I bet there were some guys that would.

 

Blue phone: I think I should just be happy that you just didn’t assume that I was a virgin like everyone else.

 

Red phone: It’s that stupid fondue story. And you should know that I have used fondue as a double entendre before, so that’s no sign of you being inexperienced.

 

Red phone: Do you have experience?

 

Blue phone: I have not been a virgin since 1934

 

Red phone: You were actually younger than me. Contrary to what everybody thinks, I was actually 17.

 

Blue phone: Who?

 

Red phone: My bodyguard, Deborah. There was a kidnapping attempt the year before and Peggy wanted someone there to watch my back so she chose Deborah from a private security company. Although, now that I know where Peggy really worked, Deborah was probably SHIELD.

 

Red phone: And I now have a new needle to look for in the haystack. It was kind of a heat of the moment thing after another almost kidnapping attempt. I’ve had a lot of kidnapping attempts and actual kidnappings.

 

Blue phone: Too many really.

 

Red phone: Who was your first?

 

Blue phone: Arnie Roth. He was a perceived ladies’ man like Bucky and he also save me from a lot of bullies growing up.

 

Red phone: But unlike Bucky, you were his type.

 

Blue phone: Yes, but because of things being what they were, we decided that we were better off as friends, actual friends. He went into the Navy and I went into the Army. Then I met Peggy and I ended up frozen in the ocean, so it didn’t matter. He died in March 2012 about a week before I came back. Also, of lung cancer.

 

Red phone: Fuck, cancer sucks.

 

Red phone: I really just want to hug you right now and I am not a hugger, but I feel like you need one badly.

 

Blue phone: He had a good life though. Arnie even married his partner of 40 years in 2010 in DC after it was legal there.

 

Red phone: I assume I get another guess at your secret career life pre-war.

 

Blue phone: Of course

 

Red phone: You grew up during Prohibition, so maybe you were a lookout for an underground speakeasy. How close am I?

 

Blue phone: Close. I worked at an underground gay bar, actually. At least, that's what they would be referred to now. I was more of a bartender though.

 

Red phone: That explains why you can make a decent drink even if it takes Asgardian homebrew to get you tipsy.

 

Blue phone: Cannabis tea also works.

 

Red phone: That definitely didn't make the history books. ;-)

 

Red phone: I don’t even think dad knew your private life. Did you know that he had a ridiculous crush on you? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t 100% hero worship. Although, I don’t want to think about that because it’s just weird.

 

Blue phone: Would it make you feel better to know I never saw your father that way?

 

Red phone: Yes, it would.

 

Blue phone: Most people didn't know. Back then, it could get you arrested or killed. Still can in some countries in the world which I hate. I never really told anybody, Bucky didn't even know. Although, apparently Peggy did.

 

Red phone: I have no idea how she knew. It was never wise to question Aunt Peggy. She just knew stuff.

 

Blue phone: It doesn’t surprise me though because Peggy was like that.

 

Red phone: I was 13 when she told me about this friend who liked both and that it was okay. I was 16 when she told me it was specifically you in an effort to cheer me up after some random board member got angry about me having a boyfriend. She made me promise to never tell anyone else. I kept that promise even when you’re Bucky crush was becoming dangerous.

 

Blue phone: Thank you for not going to the tabloids about it. I don’t mind if people know but I want it to be on my terms. Also, I don’t like tabloids.

 

Red phone: No one does. And you know I would never do that to you.

 

Blue phone: I know.

 

Red phone: I'm going to ask you a hard question and you cannot answer, but are you really bi or did you end up chasing Aunt Peggy and subsequently make out with her grandniece because you grew up during the homophobic dark ages and you felt like that’s what you’re supposed to do?

 

Blue phone: I also slept with my neighbor, Melinda Garner repeatedly before ‘Nurse Katie’ took over her apartment. Of course, this was after a disastrous two week relationship with Jonathan, who I met at Freddy’s in Arlington.

 

Red phone: I guess that answers my question. It also answers my question of if you have been with anyone since being defrosted. It also makes the Sharon thing 50% less creepy since you did not move directly from aunt to grandniece.

 

Blue phone: You really have to stop being jealous of Sharon. I’m here talking to you right now. I would never tell her half of this stuff.

 

Red phone: You’re making me feel special cuddle bunny.

 

Blue phone: Honestly, when I fancy someone gender is the last thing I consider. I'm not a breast man or a butt man. I never noticed things like that at all.

 

Red phone: I can't believe you just typed that.

 

Blue phone: I guess what I'm saying is that I don’t care much for bodies, just the minds that inhabit them. Personality is the more important and the rest is just window dressing.

 

Red phone: You are just too perfect.

 

Red phone: If we must put a label on it, that would put you as pansexual, which makes sense. This also explains why we got along like betta fish. I have been told by multiple people that I have a personality that's as abrasive as a Brillo pad.

 

Blue phone: Only the fake personality that you put on for people who don't deserve to see the real Tony.

 

Blue phone: I never hated you. I've told you repeatedly that I never hated you. I think it just took me a little too long to see that there's about four different Tony Starks. I think only the one I'm talking to now is real. This guy I like.

 

Red phone: Even so, I bet there are still moments when you want to punch me in the teeth, which is fine because I kind of feel the same way about you sometimes.

 

Blue phone: Yes, but it's getting better. Wanda still blames that on the lack of sex.

 

Red phone: Just for that, she's not getting her Vision communicator for another month.

 

To be continued

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

FRIDAY: You’re not actually planning to delay giving the special communication device to Wanda? A courier is currently on its way to her location.

 

Boss: No. I want someone from that motley crew to be able to get a hold of me when Cuddle Bunny does stupid shit. He has the self-preservation skills of a slug.

 

Boss: Considering how fucked up we left things, using Vision as an intermediary is probably the best call.

 

FRIDAY: There is a 72.3% probability that your hypothesis is accurate. However, statistically speaking, Clint is the most likely to assist you because you are protecting his family.

 

Boss: It’s my fault Ross is targeting his family. I still can’t believe they fired Laura today.

 

FRIDAY: You were aware that there was a 92.4% probability of this occurring.

 

Boss: Math is not everything. Friday, please begin executing Operation Relocate Therapist.

 

FRIDAY: Of course.

 

Boss: And can you please order some new toys for Lila and Nate? And maybe some new games for Cooper?

 

FRIDAY: I have already done so.

 

Boss: Good. Is the superhero daddy even on the same continent as Cuddle Bunny?

 

FRIDAY: No, but neither is Wanda. This is why I felt that it was the most opportune time to dispatch a courier to deliver the device.

 

Boss: He’s going up against terrorist cells alone again, isn’t he, because he has a death wish? Again, he has the self-preservation skills of a slug.

 

FRIDAY: He is with Sam.

 

Boss: Who apparently doesn’t stand a chance against Cuddle Bunny stubbornness because he wouldn’t be in this fucked up situation right now if he could. I doubt Cuddle Bunny even realizes that he’s saving those kidnapped by terrorists because he could never save Bucky Bear.

 

FRIDAY: I don’t believe he is ready for that epiphany yet.

 

Boss: I don’t think he’ll ever be ready for that epiphany.

 

Boss: When you’re done relocating my therapist, can you find out everything you can on Cuddle Bunny’s post defrosting hookups. Who knows if Hydra or someone else set up a honey trap for him.

 

FRIDAY: I will not be able to find Jonathan from Freddie’s of Arlington without more information. However, the image I found of Melinda Gardner with her ex-husband at an academic conference nine years ago is a 99.2% visual match to the female SHIELD agent currently in your driveway.

 

Boss: Pull up the image and put it side-by-side with the footage of Agent Scary from my driveway.

 

FRIDAY: Of course, Sir.

 

Boss: Seriously, why do they keep using the honeypot technique on Cuddle Bunny and why does he keep falling for it?

 

FRIDAY: I believe it works because he is very lonely.

 

Boss: Probably. But I’m available.

 

FRIDAY: Now, but not at the time.

 

Boss: Why did I program you to talk back like this?

 

FRIDAY: I believe you are lonely too.

 

Boss: Let’s see what Agent May wants, but just in case have a suit on standby.

 

FRIDAY: That would be prudent. The man accompanying her is a 92% visual match for the image of Agent Coulson on file. However, he has a prosthetic arm despite outward appearances.

 

Boss: It looks like Skye-Quake-22 left out a couple of details. Let’s go speak with the agents.

To be continued.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Cuddle Bunny: How did your morning meeting with the ATCU go?

 

Cuddle Bunny: Tony are you there???

 

Cuddle Bunny: I hope you’re not on the Raft right now

 

Me: I’m sure Sec. Ross wishes he could put me there, but my lawyers scare him.

 

Me: Sorry for worrying you. I was sleeping and I forgot to tell Friday that it’s okay to let you know that I’m sleeping. We are having some ongoing discussions about what is appropriate for her to tell other people. It’s a work in progress.

 

Cuddle Bunny: No, you shouldn’t apologize. It’s my fault. It may be noon, but I should’ve remembered the possibility of you doing a post mission crash.

 

Me: I wish that was the case. However, about 15 minutes after I stopped texting you, Agent Scary showed up at my Arlington house at like 2 AM and didn’t leave until 7 AM. Needless to say my original morning meeting has been rescheduled which is good because I need at least three more hours of sleep before I can deal with Agent Scary again.

 

Me: Especially because I now know that Agent Scary was the first agent assigned to babysit you and you slept with her. Not that I’m jealous about that because really, I’m not. (Message not sent.)

 

Cuddle bunny: Why do you keep calling her Agent Scary?

 

Me: Because she has a glare that could melt vibranium. Pepper is the only other woman I know that can do that with just an expression.

 

Me: And if you knew that she was your ex-neighbor that you fucked around with, I’m sure you would be calling her worse, but I’m not going to tell you that in a text message because you wouldn’t believe me. You have some serious denial issues. (Message not sent.)

 

Cuddle Bunny: Point.

 

Me: She also brought Agent Agent with her for our little slumber party.

 

Me: Which is the only reason why I did not confront her about the Melinda Garner thing. (Message not sent.)

 

Cuddle Bunny: You mean Coulson?

 

Me: Yes. Agent Agent in the flesh was weird since I haven’t seen him since New York.

 

Me: Okay, that was too much to handle with only having five hours of sleep in the last three days. But whatever.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Are you sure that it's him?

 

Me: He has a few more scars and one less appendage, but the DNA scan that I had Friday run matches what I have on file. Genetically, he is a Coulson at least.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You did a DNA analysis?

 

Me: It’s always good to be paranoid. It was possible that my early morning guest could be a clone or a LMD. However, that possibility was disproven the moment that he threatened to tase me if I started acting stupid.

 

Me: That's pretty consistent with before. The only differences now he has a Taser in his hand.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I think most tasers are handheld devices. They could’ve programmed him to say that.

 

Me: I mean in his prosthetic hand. That thing even makes me drool. It has an energy shield I’m going to reverse engineer for you as soon as I have a sufficient amount of sleep. You need all the help you can get. How many broken bones did you get on your last mission?

 

Cuddle Bunny: Tony focus. Are you sure it’s really him?

 

Me: He knows too much about me for him to be a fake.

 

Cuddle Bunny: There’s a lot about you on the Internet.

 

Me: That you neglected to look at. Trust me on this, I know Coulson. Only Clint and possibly Natasha would be more qualified.

 

Cuddle Bunny: When you say you know; do you mean in the biblical sense?

 

Me: You’re still adorable when you’re flustered. You should just ask if I have fucked Agent.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Have you?

 

Me: Is somebody jealous? I didn’t know that we were in an exclusive text message relationship.

 

Me: Besides, the only one who screwed one of the agents in that room was you, but again I’m not telling you that. Probably ever. (Message not sent.)

 

Cuddle Bunny: Of course not. You’re an adult. You can do whoever you want. I just don’t want you to get hurt.

 

Me: BTW no. You are more his type anyway.

 

Me: I’m surprised I have to tell you this because you tend to stay off the tabloids, but I’m not that big of a slut. Are you aware that Pepper is the only person I’ve had sex with since 2008?

 

Cuddle Bunny: I know that or rather I didn’t know that because you’ve only started opening up to me like this in the last couple of weeks. But I know a lot of stuff people say about you isn’t true. If you say that it’s Coulson, I believe you, even though I’m having trouble accepting someone coming back from the dead.

 

Me: I get it. I only believe that it’s him because I know how he came back from the dead and I still did a DNA scan.

 

Me: Which apparently is another reason why he was demoted now that your namesake organization is making a comeback. Apparently too many people still think he’s dead to be in charge. Which is ridiculous.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Agree. How did he come back from the dead?

 

Me: The details of that are too classified for this conversation, especially because Agent Scary and Agent Agent warned me that less benevolent individuals are trying to find my cuddle bunny to use him against me.

 

Me: Friday is good, She’s already found and deactivated six bugs in the last 48 hours. But after what happened last year, I’m not putting my faith in tech, not even my own.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Practical. Do they know it’s me?

 

Me: Ross, no, mostly because I’m pretty sure he’s more willing to believe you’re Hydra, then not heterosexual. They’re not intercepting my cell phone communications until after Friday does her magic and creates the fake ones for them to read. They just think I’m chatting up some cute 35-year-old that can’t possibly be Captain America because Captain America is the pinnacle of heterosexuality.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Captain America doesn’t have an orientation, but Steve Rogers is not heterosexual. I think Ross is only more inclined to see me as Hydra because he wants a reason to lock me up and homosexuality is not illegal anymore.

 

Me: In this country. But in some of the other countries that you’ve been in recently, it could be a problem. Actually you going against assholes solo who like to kidnap innocent kids already makes you a big target. You’re worried about me getting picked up by Ross’s flunkies and I’m worried about you getting killed because you pissed off the wrong guy.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I’m okay.

 

Me: I still worry. I’m not exactly there to be your eyes in the sky.

 

Me: However, I’m not worried about Ross. I am worried about him, but not about him locking me up on his super secret floating prison.

 

Me: I have serious plans to mess with him. This section of our conversation is currently being replaced with a detailed description of me giving you fellatio. It’s filthy enough to make any person who finds it really uncomfortable.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Natasha always said that displays of affection makes people uncomfortable, and therefore they won’t look closely

 

Me: And I’m using that to my advantage. Although, I think Scary and Agent suspect because they are actually halfway competent.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Why?

 

Me: Friday did not edit out the name of your neighbor because she didn’t think that was information that could identify you. However, Agent Agent knows her because she used to work HR at Shield before things went fubar.

 

XXXXXX

Conversation transcript

 

FRIDAY: I do not believe you should lie to Steve.

 

Boss: I’m not lying. Agent Melinda May formally Garner did work in HR at Shield before helicarriers ended up in the Potomac.

 

Friday: You are still misleading.

 

Boss: I want to talk to Scary about this privately before I tell him anything else.

 

FRIDAY: Okay boss. Steve has just responded to your last message. Although, please try to cut the rest of this conversation short. You have only 5.6 hours of sleep in the last three days. You need rest.

 

XXXXXX

 

Cuddle Bunny: Oh God. I knew Melinda worked for a federal agency, but not which one. I assume that she was not in Hydra? Did she survive what happened?

 

Me: Yes, she survived. She’s friends with Agent so he’s a pretty good judge of character. Usually. It’s also why I’m not worried about him and his partner knowing. He did get demoted for refusing to send out his team to find the wayward Avengers, even if they lied and said that it’s because everybody thinks that Agent is still dead. Ross is attempting to neuter him and keep me busy with red tape because we both know he’s the real enemy. Mostly because he’s a warmongering idiot who doesn’t have a diplomatic bone in his body.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You really really hate him, don’t you?

 

Me: So much. With him where he is we are probably only six months out from enhanced individual internment camps.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I’m pretty sure that’s what the Raft is.

 

Me: I didn’t like that either. I think it’s just the beginning of what he has planned.

 

Cuddle Bunny: So how are you going to deal with him?

 

Me: Using my connections to get the president to put someone competent in charge of policing us. At least that’s where I’m planning to start anyway.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Good luck with that.

 

Me: I think Friday is about 30 seconds from blocking the rest of your text messages because apparently I need to get a few more hours of sleep before I’m forced to make another appearance at the ATCU

 

Cuddle Bunny: You just met with them.

 

Me: What happened last night or rather this morning was off the books. In addition to telling me to be extra careful, they wanted to know if I’ve been in contact with Skye-quake-22 again. Apparently Scary and Agent see her as their work child which may be why she ran away from home after her boyfriend died for all of our sins.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Has she reached out to you?

 

Me: Not since she threw me into a wall. Although it is nice to now know that Skye-quake’s real name is Daisy.

 

Me: Don’t worry about it. I don’t think she’s going to stop by anytime soon considering she blames me for what happened.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You do realize that everything is not your fault?

 

Me. Some days, although usually not when I’m this sleep deprived.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Go back to sleep. You worry about me pushing myself too far and I worry about you.

 

Me: I’m touched. You’re the best text message boyfriend ever. Actually, I think you’re the best boyfriend I’ve ever had and you’re not actually my boyfriend. My love life is sad.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I would ask about your past dating experiences, but I’m afraid to.

 

Me: Good calls since the creator of the Tony Stark gay sex tape was involved. Pepper is the best romantic relationship I’ve ever had and that still ended in tears, mostly mine.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Go to sleep Tony. Text me when you’re arrested.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I mean rested. I hate AutoCorrect.

xxxxxxxx

Friday: According to my sensors, Mr. Stark is now asleep.

 

Person boss is in love with: Thank you for letting me know and please keep an eye on him.

 

Friday: Of course, Sir.

 

To be continued.

 

Chapter Text

Nomad: I think I may be dating Anthony.

 

Me: Why do you have these existential crisis when I’m running a mission for HRH? Also, why can’t you deal with your love life on your own?

 

Nomad: I can’t help when I figure things out.

 

Me: Why do I have this sick feeling that you only came to this realization because you nearly died yesterday?

 

Nomad: You’re the one who said he needed to leave after watching the footage from Taiwan from last February.

 

Me: I needed a moment and a distraction to deal with my handler coming back from the dead, which is why I’m not going to comment on your avoidance.

 

Nomad: He visited Anthony last night. His DNA scan proves that it really is him.

 

Me: We are just going to focus on your relationship drama today. I assume you’re back at home base recuperating?

 

Nomad: Yes. I decided it would be good to lay low for a couple of days. Although, contrary to what you think, I did not almost died yesterday.

 

Me: How many broken bones?

 

Nomad: Six.

 

Me: How many times were you shot?

 

Nomad: I was shot at multiple times, but only one bullet pierced my shoulder. It’s fine.

 

Me: Did you lose consciousness?

 

Nomad: Only for about five minutes.

 

Me: I really hope your Tony-bear doesn’t find out about this. He’ll kill us all because we let you go on a mission by yourself.

 

Nomad: Sam was there.

 

Me: Which doesn’t do any good because you don’t listen to him or anyone else, for that matter. (Message not sent.)

 

Me: Seriously, how did you not realize this before suffering extreme bodily harm? He calls you Cuddle Bunny. Cuddle bunny!!! Are the good drugs helping you realize things?

 

Nomad: Before that he called me Captain Tight Pants and sometimes he refers to me as his text message boyfriend. Actually yesterday he said that I was the best boyfriend he’s ever had. Even if it is not real.

 

Me: I didn’t think it was possible to be this fucking oblivious (message not sent).

 

Me: Except now you’re wondering if it really is real because you know that he has a crush on you.

 

Nomad: He admitted that he had a crush on me when he was a kid, but he didn’t answer when I asked if he still had a crush on me.

 

Me: He avoided you for six days and you were driving us all crazy during those six days. That’s your answer.

 

Nomad: How does that answer my question?

 

Me: I am so happy I’m in another country right now. Corey is not this bad with the redheaded girl from the farm down the road and he’s only 12.

 

Me: He did not speak to you for six days because he does have a crush on you.

 

Nomad: You don’t know that.

 

Me: You know what, I’m not even going to dance around this anymore. He’s in love with you and I think you at least like him back, otherwise you wouldn’t be worrying over this so much. You definitely wouldn’t keep in contact with him as much.

 

Me: Therefore, please get your head out of your ass and arrange for him to meet you on a desert island somewhere so you can fuck out your aggression (message not sent)

 

Nomad: Maybe, he does care about me in a non-platonic way.

 

Me: At least, not flat-out denying it anymore. What about you?

 

Nomad: I don’t know. It’s why I’m talking to you.

 

Me: And your counselor friend is not available?

 

Nomad: He says I’m on my own and is mad at me for getting injured yesterday.

 

Me: That’s understandable.

 

Nomad: The red one keeps saying that we should just have sex and get it over with. You’re my only sane friend that is still responding to my text messages.

 

Me: Red may have a point.

 

Nomad: I’m not going to sleep with Anthony

 

Me: Yet. Let’s be honest.

 

Nomad: There’s too much damage. We need to be on speaking terms the next time the world almost ends.

 

Me: Good point. I guess the real deciding factor is where do you want this to go?

 

Nomad: ???

 

Me: If you want to keep these conversations going to just build up a good professional rapport to prevent the next apocalypse, then you need to tell Anthony that. If you just want to cultivate a friendship, then you need to be honest about that too.

 

Me: If you want to cultivate a friendship and eventually sleep with him when you’re both on more stable footing, then you need to at least acknowledge that to yourself. You can fill Tony in later once you’re more certain.

 

Nomad: So I am dating Tony?

 

Me: You tell me.

 

Nomad: He called me his boyfriend earlier and I liked that a little. So maybe.

 

Me: This phone is going in the river later. Text your boyfriend.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Me: Hey Linda Bear, I’m going dark for a while. But first I thought you should know that Captain Oblivious just realized that he’s dating Shell Head, so I owe you like a month of foot massages whenever Stark’s band of lawyers figure out how to fix things.

 

Linda Bear: He had Friday design Captain Oblivious an art studio in the new penthouse. It looks really nice. He’s working on something, especially because the asshole just got me fired a couple of days ago.

 

Me: What?

 

Linda Bear: The school can’t have a guidance counselor who is married to an internationally wanted fugitive. It’s okay. I already have a new job as a live-in private life counselor for an emotionally stunted superhero.

 

Me: Fuck!

 

Linda Bear: We will be fine. I’m making 4 times the old salary and the kids love their new rooms at my client’s house. Send me a text message when you're back. Love you.

 

Me: Love you too

Xxxxxx

Clint quickly cut off his phone and then proceeded to take out the Sim card. That was flushed down the toilet of the stall he was messaging from. The phone itself was tossed in the pond near the airport before he got on the plane to Palau with his fake South African passport. He wasn’t that surprised to find Wanda with a new Stark phone waiting for him at the safe house when he arrived 20 hours later.

 

“Present from Stark?”

 

“He wants us to make sure his boyfriend doesn’t kill himself.” Wanda said, placing the device in his hand.

 

“Of course he does.” He said, tired of dealing with toddlers. “Did you tell him about what happened two days ago?” He asked the young woman in front of him.

 

“Yes.”

 

Captain Oblivious was in trouble now.

 

To be continued…

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Red phone: I survived my latest visit with the ATCU with minimal psychological damage and then I took a 20-hour nap.

 

Red phone. They absolutely hate all the pornographic conversations they’ve been intercepting from me. I think that’s why they kept me there at least five hours longer than necessary.

 

Blue phone: It serves them right for spying on you like that.

Red phone: I’m enjoying the fact that you’re okay with me trolling them like this. Friday is currently sending them a nice little conversation about me sucking you off against the nearest wall.

 

Red phone: Just to make it more authentic; boxers, briefs or commando?

 

Blue phone: I’m not answering that question.

 

Red phone: So does that mean you’re a black lace and silk type of guy?

 

Blue phone: How long did you go without sleeping?

 

Red phone: I’m not even sure. There were secret meetings with thought to be dead spies and saving the world from delusional bad guys. I’m an expert at functioning on minimal sleep and 20 cups of coffee, but this even pushed my limit.

 

Blue phone: Which explains why you crashed for 20 hours

 

Red phone: Thankfully Kevin is really good at scheduling around those. I’m never going to be able to find someone else who can do that again.

 

Blue phone: Why would you need to?

 

Red phone: I’m back in New York. I broke in my new bed, but not the fun way. The designers did a really good job. Did Friday send you pictures?

 

Blue phone: Yes. It looked like a really comfortable bed. I really like your art studio. Although I thought the only art that you are into was music?

 

Red phone: I’m a man of many talents. Although I’m sure the room will mostly be used for finger-painting with Lila and Nate. We are supposed to design new tactical gear for Aunt Natasha later today.

 

Blue phone: That seems like a good use for the room.

Red phone: Better than for production design, which will be what I mostly using it for. As soon as we fix things with the asshole, I expect you to get the most use out of it.

 

Blue phone: Do you actually design stuff on paper?

 

Red phone: Sometimes. When things in my head get too jumbled, which explains why I developed a program to scan things from napkins easier. I think there’s about four file cabinets filled with designs sketched on napkins or Kit Kat wrappers from when they used to be paper. I did that a lot in college.

 

Blue phone: I can see that.

 

Red phone: Also, Ana taught me how to paint when I was young. Well, it had to be when I was young because she died when I was nine. Regardless, I like to dabble in watercolors every once in a while.

 

Blue phone: Did you do the Captain America fighting among the cherry blossoms that used to hang in my bedroom at the tower? I actually like that painting.

 

Red phone: Yes. I guess we are playing 20 questions again?

 

Blue phone: As long as you don’t ask me what I’m wearing again. What number are we on?

 

Red phone: That’s not 20 questions. That’s sexting. Totally different. I have no idea. I haven’t been keeping count. I think our only rule is ask whatever question you want to ask, but just don’t expect an answer.

 

Red phone: For example, I totally expect you not to answer any questions about phone sex, cybersex, or sexting.

 

Blue phone: How is it possible to take care of yourself and type out a coherent message?

 

Red phone: Skill, voice recognition software, and a decent vibrator.

 

Blue phone: That was rhetorical.

 

Red phone: Since you asked your rhetorical question it’s my turn. I want to know more about your ex-girlfriend?

 

Blue phone: I thought by now you were aware I never actually dated Sharon nor am I planning to.

 

Red phone: I mean Melinda Garner. I ran into her today. She works for the ATCU now. She seems nice, just sad and extremely terrifying, but in a Pepper chewing out the board way.

 

Blue phone: She was. Although we never actually dated. We were mostly just FWB

 

Red phone: Friday just had to revive me after my heart stopped because you managed to shock me simply by knowing what FWB is.

 

Blue phone: I was that with Arnie before there was such a word.

 

Red phone: It doesn’t count as FWB if you are in love with the person.

 

Blue phone: I didn’t love Melinda.

 

Red phone: I was talking about Arnie a.k.a. the one that got away.

 

Blue phone: I’m not sure if I loved Arnie either. Maybe I did or maybe I wasn’t ready. I don’t know now.

 

Red phone: It’s okay to be uncertain. You don’t have to put labels on relationships. They are what they are.

 

Blue phone: Melinda definitely fell in the FWB category. I respected her, but she was really sad and lonely and kept everyone at arm’s length. She left the military after a mission gone badly for a civilian job in HR, her marriage fell apart because of it, and her best friend died on a mission right before I moved in. Actually he died during the battle of New York.

 

Red phone: Just like agent

 

Blue phone: But it didn’t stick. Wait, you said that they were friends. Was Coulson her dead friend?

 

Red phone: Probably, but a lot of Shield agents and other first responders died that day. She is still sad, which makes sense, considering what happened at Shield. There were Hydra agents everywhere from Pierce to the cafeteria lady.

 

Blue phone: Being betrayed by your friend hurts a lot.

 

Red phone: You would know.

 

Blue phone: Somedays, I feel like I betrayed Bucky. I didn't save him when it mattered and look what happened. Even Howard death is my fault but I can’t (message not sent)

 

Red phone: I assume that you saw her as a kindred spirit because she was just as lonely and lost as you were?

 

Blue phone: Yes.

 

Red phone: Does it still feel like that some days?

 

Blue phone: A lot of days, especially now that everybody is so scattered, but for a while it was better at the compound at least.

 

Blue phone: I miss Natasha.

 

Red phone: She sent Laura a thank you card with $20 inside because apparently she lost a bet to Clint about us. So at least we know she’s alive, even though we have no idea where she is.

 

Blue phone: That’s good to know. I guess it’s my turn.

 

Red phone: Ask away?

 

Blue phone: How did you first find out that Coulson was among the living?

 

Red phone: I was contacted by my ATCU contact agent Daisy because she was desperate to get in contact with our favorite Asgardian. The reason why was because Agent Agent was having some interesting side effects to the procedures that Patches used to get him back among the living. I wouldn’t help without being told the truth about Coulson. Of course everything resolved itself before I could get a hold of a certain Asgardian.

 

Blue phone: Why did she need Thor’s help?

 

Red phone: That I really can’t tell you. I have to go. Lila just came in carrying her cuddle bunny a.k.a. her Captain America Teddy bear. It’s as adorable as you are.

 

Blue phone: You had that custom-made, didn’t you?

 

Red phone: Of course, my little Cuddle Bunny.

 

Blue phone: Why are the kids there?

 

Red phone: They’re moving in for a little bit because Ross is an asshole.

 

Blue phone: You shouldn’t use that type of language around small children.

 

Red phone: I actually typed that in. I would hate for you to say 'language' right now.

To be continued…

Chapter Text

 

Red phone: You are a fucking moron. Why the fuck did you go in there and take on 30 guys with guns by yourself? You almost died, you sanctimonious prick.

 

Blue phone: I’m still here.

 

Red phone: Because Sam saved your ass. You are not allowed to die on me.

 

Blue phone: It wasn’t that bad.

 

Red Phone: You’re nothing but a giant bruise and that was after 12 hours of super soldier healing. I don’t even want to know what you looked like immediately after. You broke six bones.

 

Blue phone: Most of those were ribs.

 

Red phone: That does not make it better. You got shot.

 

Blue phone: In the shoulder. I am fine

 

Red phone: You are not fine. You are nowhere near fine. The only reason why you just have one bullet hole in you right now is because of your gear. I knew I should have reinforce the shoulder area.

 

Blue phone: The suit worked fine as is. You don’t need to lock yourself in the lab for a week just to make me new gear.

 

Red phone: More than fine because you’re alive to talk to me, you fucking idiot. The new suit will be made out of the prototype spider web fabric and will have the built-in energy shield. Maybe in the new gear you can avoid getting shot.

 

Red phone: If it keeps you alive, it is worth every single second and every penny I put into it.

 

Blue phone: Tony, it wasn’t that bad. Whoever told you about what happened was exaggerating.

 

Red phone: It was Red and she sent pictures. You got hurt and I wasn’t there. Red was not either and she’s not very happy about that. It’s not exactly like she wants to lose her pseudo big brother.

 

Blue phone: I’m okay. I’m still here.

 

Red phone: Stop running near solo missions. You can’t die on me. Promise me that you won’t die on me.

 

Blue phone: I can’t promise that, Tony. We can’t go out in a big group right now because of Ross.

 

Red phone: Sometimes I think you have a death wish. That you hate the present so much that you wish you could be gone. Since you believe in heaven, maybe you think that you can join Peggy and Arnie and all the commandos in the afterlife. Or maybe you don’t think that and you think that if you’re dead, you just won’t feel anything anymore. I don’t know.

 

Red phone: But the world needs you here. I need you here. I don’t think I can do this without you.

 

Blue phone: Tony, I’m not suicidal.

 

Red phone: Sometimes I think you are. You don’t look out for yourself. You’re not bulletproof. You can die. I’m already a fucked up mess. If you leave me, I will probably go full super villain self-destruct. I don’t think the world can take that.

 

Blue phone: I’ll be more careful in the future and use the new gear. How are you going to get me the gear? I can’t exactly go back to your island.

 

Red phone: Birdbrain will pick it up when he is in Palau taking care of my dark reflection.

 

Blue phone: I’m not even going to ask how you know about Palau.

 

Red phone: Smart choice.

 

Blue phone: Instead, you could come and check on me for yourself. Maybe if you see that I’m still here you’ll stop panicking.

 

Red phone: As much as I really would like to kiss your boo-boos and make them all better, I can’t.

 

Blue phone: You’re not ready to see me?

 

Red phone: I’m being watched too closely right now. I’m not going to risk leading them right to you when you’re not healthy enough to fight back despite the fact I want to kiss all your boo-boos. I want to touch every single inch of you to prove to myself that you’re still here and with me.

 

Blue phone: For you to be able to do that eventually, I need you to stay off of Ross’s radar. I need you to stay safe as well. I’m not sure I would fare any better if I lost you.

 

Red phone: Is that your way of telling me not to die?

 

Blue phone: Yes. You know I make questionable decisions when people I care about die. You’re on the list now.

 

Red phone: Good to know.

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

Conversation 20: Mandatory Therapy

 

Red phone: The ATCU is filled with sociopathic bastards. First, they show me video footage of Nomad getting his ribs cracked to see if I would react. I didn’t because if you spend enough time being yelled at by the paparazzi and everyone else, you learn not to react.

 

Red phone: Next, because of that lack of reaction, they’re sending me to mandatory therapy.

 

Blue phone: I thought you were already told you had to see a therapist, otherwise Colonel Rhodes was going to send you to the crazy spa. What is the crazy spa exactly? I assume rehab.

 

Red phone: Serenity Hills. It is rehab, but with more of a mental health component.

 

Red phone: I'm not talking about Rhodey. I'm talking about Secretary Asshole and the acting ATCU dictator, I mean director. Rhodey is different. Because he actually cares about me.

 

Blue phone: Why are they sending you to therapy?

 

Red phone: More fine print from the accords. They’re saying it’s because they want to see if I’m fit to be the leader of the new Avenger team, but really I think they’re just using this as another means to get information because I still haven’t cracked yet. After several rounds of interrogation.

 

Red phone: They really want to know how Nomad ended up with a super suit that could stop a bullet from penetrating his heart. I really didn’t need to see that footage.

 

Blue phone: I’m sorry.

 

Red phone: Don’t say sorry unless you’re really planning to make sure you don’t test out the new suit in that way. Did it arrive from Palau? Rich guy fugitive Ian Quinn is now being extradited from the country, so I assume the mission is over.

 

Blue phone: Your ‘birthday present’ arrived two hours ago, but I haven’t had time to test it out. You really didn’t have to put it in happy birthday paper.

 

Red phone: I think that was the archer.

 

Blue phone: That Makes Sense. So you think they are going to use a therapist to get you to talk?

 

Red phone: Having enhanced people evaluated by trained psychologists used to be standard SHIELD procedure pre-implosion.

 

Red phone: Although somehow Natasha was the one who ended up doing my psych evaluation while I was dying. It didn't paint me in a very favorable light. Ironman, yes. Tony Stark, no.

 

Blue phone: You’re still upset about that?

 

Red phone: It’s the story of my life. People like what I can give them. They love the tech I create, but they don’t necessarily like me.

 

Blue phone: I like you.

 

Red phone: Only sometimes and that is because you’re special.

 

Blue phone: Maybe you shouldn’t worry. My experience with the Shield psychologist wasn’t that bad. Her name was Dr. Suarez and she was nice. She gave me a sketchpad and pastels and told me to do whatever I wanted for the hour. I did a lot of sketches of the old neighborhood from memory.

 

Blue phone: I don’t think she would’ve ended up being Hydra. I hope they didn’t kill her.

 

Red phone: I’ll check with Melinda. Also, you do realize that she was doing art therapy with you?

 

Blue phone: There's art therapy?

 

Red phone: Yes. Actually, I think you would probably be good at that. They usually work with children too. Maybe when everything is straightened out, you could go to therapist school. It would be a way for you to help people in a less likely to get you killed way.

 

Red phone: I think if you just want to stay a mild-mannered therapist and not run into burning buildings to save people, you wouldn’t have to sign the accords. The lawyers are on standby if you ever want to do this.

 

Blue phone: You're no longer going to try to talk me into signing?

 

Red phone: That bridge is already burned to ashes. I can barely comply with the thing as is. I know you can't.

 

Blue phone: Which is why you're complaining about going to ATCU ordered therapy.

 

Red phone: But I'm still going to go even though I know this is just another interrogation session, this time with someone with a PhD. I’m planning to regale him or her with a story about giving my Cuddle Bunny a sponge bath post car accident recovery. Every time I start talking about sex, they shut down the sessions. It’s been fun talking with them.

 

Blue phone: I’m rolling my eyes right now. If you don't want to go, you shouldn't go.

 

Red phone: It's easy for you to say that. For you, sticking to your principles is more important than anything else. But for someone like me, all we do is compromise. We have to. We have too much riding on our shoulders to be headstrong. We have to put the needs of the many ahead of ourselves.

 

Blue phone: So if you don't comply?

 

Red phone: So far they already fired Laura from her school and they’re following me around 24-7. I think I might have to hire an actor to play Cuddle Bunny just to throw them off.

 

Blue phone: That’s why you moved her into the tower?

 

Red phone: I was planning to hire her on as my full-time life counselor/assistant eventually because Kevin is moving to California with the wife due to the Pepper relocation. I just moved up the timetable a little bit.

 

Blue phone: Pepper got your assistant in the breakup?

 

Red phone: I like my assistant and did not want to be responsible for him getting a divorce due to not being able to handle a long-distance relationship. So Pepper now has a husband and wife team to cater to her every need and I have Laura and Friday. I don't want to talk about it.

 

Blue phone: This is another one of those compromises?

 

Red phone: Everything is. Pepper and I are not able to work together right now. Not in person anyway. We can function through email. So she will be handling most operations from the West Coast office and I’ll be handling things from the East, with only having to see each other at the semimonthly board meeting.

 

Blue phone: You're good with these text messages, so I'm sure you'll be OK with her.

 

Red phone: This is easy by comparison. I know you will never love me, but I think maybe you actually like me as a person now, which is more than what we had before.

 

Blue phone: Never say never (message not sent)

 

Red phone: This is us under reconstruction. I don’t know what we are building, but it is going to be sturdier than before. With Pepper, I’m not sure if reconstruction is an option because it feels like there’s nothing left but gravel and sand.

 

Blue phone: And if you add water, you get cement. That’s really useful for building things.

 

Red phone: I just walked right into that?

 

Blue phone: Yes.

 

Red phone: The thing is, in the real world, I don’t think there’s one magic ingredient to add to make things good again. It took me a long time to realize that. I thought the accords would help and I was wrong. Letting her have Kevin and dividing up duties to keep the company running with minimal contact seems like the easiest solution.

 

Blue phone: Sometimes I think you just go for the easiest solution without looking for the better yet harder solution.

 

Red phone: I'm not going to screw Kevin over just because I don't want to teach a new person how to make my coffee. I’m not going to let SI fall apart because I have a tendency to fall in love with people who can’t love me for who I really am.

 

Blue phone: I wish I was there so I could hug you (message not sent)

 

Red phone: Just like I’m not going to let them arrest Laura because I don't like playing ball with DOS or rather Ross because, let's be honest, most of his staff thinks he's a war mongrel and are counting down the days until he resigns. If seeing a therapist keeps the kids from seeing their mom dragged off in handcuffs for another day, then I’m going to do it.

 

Blue phone: One package of raw sugar per 4 ounces. No cream unless it is real 1% milk.

 

Red phone: How do you know that?

 

Blue phone: I am really observant with the little things. Do you actually think they would try to arrest Laura?

 

Red phone: So much that she signed emergency custody papers naming me of all people, temporary guardian of the kids if something happens. She’s been picked up a few times for questioning. So it’s a concern and those kids cannot end up in state custody. It’s too dangerous.

 

Blue phone: It’s that bad?

 

Red phone: Laura is an only child and Clint's brother is a psychotic piece of shit that shouldn't be allowed to take care of a hamster, let alone human children. With you and Natasha MIA, Coulson legally dead, and Maria god knows where with Fury, I have managed to go to the top of the list which says many things considering I'm the reason why Clint is in hiding.

 

Blue phone: I think they’re making you go to therapy because of your ridiculous guilt complex.

 

Red phone: Probably. Which means I should go regardless. Anyway, I have work to do so as much as I want to keep talking to you I have a R&D meeting in 10 minutes that I have to go to.

 

Blue phone: Okay. Just be careful.

 

Red phone: Compared to you, I always am.

 

To be continued.

Chapter Text

 

Cuddle Bunny: How did therapy go?

 

Me: Surprisingly well. By my standards anyway. My new therapist just happens to be your old therapist, Dr. Suarez. She was neither Hydra nor out to get me, all positives in my opinion.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I consider those positives too. Also it’s nice to know that she survived.

 

Me: Actually, she was just one of a handful of Shield therapists that did not turn out to be Hydra. Most were because therapy sessions were a good way to see who would be loyal to the cause. It turns out some Hydra flunky was the one who really did my profile which explains the recommendation.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I’m not even surprised. Hydra definitely wouldn’t want you anywhere near them. Me neither, for that matter, which probably explains that ridiculous way they tried to ease me into the truth.

 

Me: Probably. Thankfully, my session didn’t end that badly. I didn’t break down in hysterical tears after I was forced to talk about my Howard issues. I was also not subjected to several rounds of invasive questions about my unauthorized contact with enhanced persons. Finally, nobody turned the thing into a giant interrogation session. Bonus points for that.

 

Cuddle Bunny: That’s good.

 

Me: Dr. Suarez brought a toaster for me to put back together again.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You are happiest when you’re fixing things.

 

Me: And finally I found someone other than Laura who realizes that.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Do most of your sessions with Laura happen in your lab or when you’re working on the armor?

 

Me: Or designing new gear in the new art studio/design room. They’re my happy spaces. However, the break room toaster now works perfectly fine and I added the PKI card reader to it so only authorized agents can now make toast.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I assume that Coulson will never be able to make toast again?

 

Me: I’m not telling.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I assume that Dr. Suarez is now a member of the ATCU?

 

Me: Dr. Suarez is more like a contractor or consultant. She was friends with your ex-girlfriend’s now deceased ex-husband, a.k.a. the former top Shield psychologist Dr. Andrew Garner. Dr. Suarez is currently filling in as a favor until they can get someone permanent.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Melinda’s ex-husband died?

 

Me: Right after our little fuck up in Siberia. He was killed by one of the big bad’s minions trying to rescue Agent Daisy. At least that’s what I’ve heard from the Shield rumor mill. However, spies are absolutely awful at gossip. They keep everything to themselves, but Agent Piper likes me.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Melinda must be devastated. Also, don’t sleep with random agents.

 

Me: Hypocritical Asshole. The only action I’m getting is my hand right now but I’m not going to tell you that. (message not sent)

 

Me: It’s kind of hard to tell. Also, since he was already turning into a giant monster like inhuman that likes to kill other inhumans/enhanced persons before he was killed, she’s probably been grieving for a while.

 

Me: I’m sure part of her is relieved that he won’t be subjected to some of the harsher penalties of the accords a.k.a. spending the rest of his life in a gel matrix on the raft. They are even talking about tracking bracelets for the rest of us. I’m going to have so much fun messing with that.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Since you’ve said so many outlandish things to me that have turned out to be true, I’m going to trust that the giant killer monster thing is not hyperbole.

 

Me: Good, we are building a rapport here where you only think I’m slightly crazy. And trust me, it’s okay if you don’t believe me.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You’re not crazy. You’re probably just in need of therapy, but Sam says the same about me.

 

Me: And Sam is right. You could keep a team of therapists employed for years. (Message not sent).

 

Me: In the category of things that are not making the news to keep everyone from panicking, Culver University has the distinct privilege of being the only university to have two faculty members transform into very large beings due to exposure to an unknown chemical.

 

Me: This time they lost their psych department chair and part of their library. Really you think by this point they would make their library big gigantic monster proof. Okay after two incidents you think they would keep a better eye on the chemicals their faculty are accidentally or accidentally on purpose exposed to.

 

Cuddle Bunny: How do you accidentally on purpose get exposed to something?

 

Me: You don’t. But hey, at least the University is getting a new library out of it.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Is this connected to the library fundraiser you were supposed to do in February?

 

Me: You remember that?

 

Cuddle Bunny: Yes, mostly because you asked me to go with you because Pepper was not available

 

Me: But you said no because you had to go visit cancer patients at the children's wings of various hospitals.

 

Cuddle Bunny: And then you showed up unannounced and ended up doing a pizza party and handing out stark pads to every kid there.

 

Me: I’d prefer to do my philanthropy closer to home and the University only cared about the check which they still got, on the condition that they increase scholarships for low income students by 10% over the next five years. I’d much rather spend my night cheering up sick kids with you then having to dodge really invasive questions from assholes who want to know why I’m there alone.

 

Cuddle Bunny: But Pepper was just working so it wasn’t actually like they were going to find out anything scandalous. I hate that people are so nosy in this time.

 

Me: I think people have always been nosy. They are just more assertive about it now. Also we have Twitter and TMZ.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Yes, but there wasn’t exactly anything to tweet about at the time.

 

Me: Actually we were already on a break.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I didn’t know that.

 

Me: We’d been for a while at that point. We were just keeping it from the public to keep the stock from going in the toilet. We were still not fully recovered from the Ultron fiasco and I really didn't want to lay people off.

 

Cuddle Bunny: This is more of you sacrificing yourself for the greater good?

 

Me: It really wasn’t that much of a compromise because I really am not looking forward to watching every media outlet psychoanalyze why things fell apart. I’ve already done enough of that in my own head.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You still could’ve told me. I’m not the public and I’m not going to pick apart everything you did wrong.

 

Me: I realize that now that I really know you. But I wasn’t ready for you to know at that time. I didn’t even tell Rhodey about it until April. I was hoping that I would figure out how to fix things. Turns out some things can’t be fixed even if you are a genius.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Which was how many months after it happened?

 

Me: 6. It’s been over since Halloween. Haven’t you realized by now that my best skill is pretending everything is normal when it’s not? It’s why the ATCU is hating interrogating me.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Considering I’ve been told that you managed to hide the fact you were dying from your closest friends for six months, I can see that.

 

Me: The press still hasn't figured out that Pepper and I are no longer a thing. Maybe that’s because they’re more focused on the demise of the Avengers than the fact that Pepper and I haven't been photographed together since the Stark industries Halloween costume ball last year. Things were falling apart before then.

 

Cuddle Bunny: How long?

 

Me: I don’t even know the answer to that. I would like to say since Sokovia, but I would be lying to myself. I think the problems started the moment I decided to actively participate in bringing the band back together post Shield implosion.

 

Me: By the time we found the scepter, Pepper had already issued her ultimatum. It was why I was looking at the old Ultron program to see if maybe there was a way to still help the world and not be out there all the time. You know how that turned out.

 

Cuddle Bunny: They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

 

Me: And my road to Hell is paved with platinum. The lunch last month was Pepper’s way of telling me that it was over for good. She met someone else. Someone normal. Someone who can give her what I could not. So as soon as the paparazzi get the first picture of him and her making out somewhere, the illusion will be over.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I’m sorry.

 

Me: Don’t say that. I should be apologizing to you. I pretty much let her think that you were my boyfriend just so I wouldn’t lose face.

 

Cuddle Bunny: It wasn’t a total lie. I am a boy who is your friend.

 

Me: I’m happy that I have at least risen back to the rank of friend because I didn’t think I would ever get that far, not after how we left things in Siberia. I’m also not one of those assholes that thinks friendship is some sort of consolation prize. I’ve had enough meaningless sex (though none recently) to know that I would rather have friendship. I think maybe why the Pepper thing hurts so badly is because I lost my friend Pepper too.

 

Me: I know we need to put out a press release, but I can’t bring myself to do it yet. There’s been a version of it sitting in my email for months. I just haven’t been ready to sign off on it because as soon as I do, that means it’s over.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

 

Me: Friday sent you that song, didn’t she? Her music choices keep getting more absurd.

 

Cuddle Bunny: It may have been on one of her playlists. But it’s true.

 

Me: I can’t believe you of all people are lecturing me about letting go of the past.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Maybe we can do it together.

 

Me: I think I would like that.

 

To be continued:

Chapter Text

Anthony: So have you finally had time to try out the new gear?

 

Nomad: Sam won’t let me touch the new suit for a least another week, but I’m using the new phone now. Thank you.

 

Anthony: I could tell. See, this is so much easier to use than that arcane flip phone and 2000% less likely to get picked up by the ATCU. Although, since they are mostly getting pornographic text messages from me, I think they are starting to back off.

 

Anthony: Although Agent Scary has found it entertaining and she finds nothing entertaining which is understandable after her recent foray into widowhood.

 

Nomad: Her husband died also recently?

 

Anthony: Ex-husband and it’s complicated.

 

Nomad: Love always is.

 

Anthony: Therapy is going well. I’ve been approved to put Avengers 3.0 together as long as I follow their 300 draconian regulations.

 

Nomad: Did they hand you a list of powered people willing to work with the Accords?

 

Anthony: No. Coulson put this list together. Which means it’s made up of good people who he wants to protect from the Accords. I think of it as Coulson’s list.

 

Me: I got that reference and it worries me.

 

Anthony: Coulson is the asshole who manipulated me into going to New York to keep Ross from putting the abomination in the Avenger initiative. He knows what he’s doing. Oh God, I still hope that he is frozen in Alaska. Definitely not someone I want as a teammate.

 

Nomad: Is his name on the list?

 

Anthony: No. At least not at this time.

 

Anthony: New Shield put together a team of enhanced people or at least tried to put a team together, but their leader ran away after getting mind fucked by the big bad and watching her boyfriend die for all of humanity.

 

Nomad: Agent Daisy right?

 

Anthony: Yes.

 

Anthony: So now they’re down to a Colombian national codename Yo-Yo with super speed and a pacifist with the ability to melt bullets. He would’ve been really helpful last year. Too bad he didn’t get his powers until after my massive fuck up.

 

Nomad: Very unfortunate.

 

Anthony: So now they have half a team and we have half a team.

 

Nomad: And they want you to put the teams together?

 

Anthony: Yes, although it’s mostly to protect their assets from Ross and from whoever the new director will be. That search is not going well. Plus there was an incident recently that requires immediate action.

 

Nomad: What type of incident?

 

Anthony: Joey the bullet proof pacifist wanted to go back to construction after killing a guy on his second mission. Even killing in self-defense makes him feel dirty. Which meant that he wouldn’t have to do with the Accords.

 

Anthony: But then he prevented a mass shooting from having more than three fatalities by melting the assailant’s gun on vacation. Now people like conservative WHiH commentator and ani-enhance person activist Jonathan Windom West wants to lock Joey up and the watchdogs tried to burn down his house. The fact that Joey is Hispanic and a member of the LGTB community just makes them even more rabid in their hatred. Again, a terrorist group tried to burn down his house, with him still in it.

 

Nomad: Jesus. What is wrong with some people?

 

Anthony: I don’t know. People like Windom West and Everhart are just making it worse.

 

Nomad: That guy’s a jerk and a hypocrite. I hope I never run into him again. Otherwise, I may be tempted to break his self-righteous nose.

 

Anthony: You sound like you’re speaking from personal experience.

 

Nomad: Unfortunately yes. I fucked him a few times before I realized he had levels of internalized homophobia that I haven’t seen since the 40s. I wasn’t going to deal with that again.

 

Anthony: I don’t know if I’m more shocked to see you use the word ‘fuck” or “internalized homophobia” in a sentence. I assume this guy was Jonathan from Freddy’s?

 

Nomad: Well, it definitely wasn’t lovemaking. Yes, unfortunately. This all happened during my first month in DC, when the guy was still chief of staff for Senator Christopher Ward before the Senator went crazy and killed his family. I’ve made better choices since then.

 

Anthony: BTW Senator Ward’s brother was Hydra and he was the one who actually killed his parents and his brother so he could become one of the heads of the organization.

 

Nomad: I really hate Hydra.

 

Anthony: Don’t we all. Don’t worry, he’s dead now. Agent Campbell took out the last echoes of him before dying.

 

Nomad: Do you think that what’s left of Agent Campbell’s team can be Avengers?

 

Anthony: I think they could probably be Secret Avengers, but I would like to keep them away from Ross and all the anti-enhanced person politicians by whatever means necessary.

 

Nomad: That’s what scares me about you sometimes.

 

Anthony: I’m your stubborn reflection. Haven’t you figured that out yet?

 

Nomad: I’m starting to.

 

Anthony: I had another breakthrough in therapy. I okayed the press break up statement. See the next text message

 

Anthony: After four years together, Virginia Potts and I have decided that we are more suited to be friends and business partners. Although our romantic relationship has run its course, we are committed to keeping Stark Industries a leader in the areas of green energy, cybernetics, nano tech, and telecommunications. We hope that you will respect our privacy at this difficult time. Thank you.

 

Anthony: Pepper actually was the one who put the word friend back in there so maybe there’s hope that will be able to maybe get back our friendship eventually.

 

Nomad: Anything is salvageable, if you want to salvage it. It just takes time and effort.

 

Anthony: I hope you’re right.

 

Nomad: I hope I am too. I’m happy that you sent out the release because this means you’re moving forward. I’m proud of you.

 

Anthony: It was a really big step for me because I really don’t feel like telling the world about my failures as a human being, but it would be worse if the Rising Tide hacks the ATCU and finds all the fake dirty text messages that I’ve been exchanging with Cuddle Bunny. That would be a PR disaster.

 

Nomad: I think Friday may be forwarding those to Wanda. Considering how much she’s giggling, I don’t want those to ever be released, even if no one knows that I’m actually your boyfriend.

 

Anthony: Because I think Friday likes Wanda best, which is weird considering Friday’s origins and the fact that Wanda and Vision are doing their best to act like teenagers.

 

Nomad: What is Friday’s origin? I know where the name for Jarvis came from, but what about Friday?

 

Anthony: Friday stands for… You know what I’m not even going to bullshit you. Friday doesn’t actually stand for anything. I can’t even remember what I told the R&D team the acronym stood for.

 

Nomad: I’m not even that surprised. I think I’ve known you long enough to know that you picked a word and then came up with the acronym.

 

Anthony: Apparently not a very good one because I can’t remember it. Friday is not a true AI because that’s now illegal due to my hubris. But she is still based on Ana’s personality or more accurately mimics that personality, at least what I can remember from before she died. It probably means Friday is nothing like her since my memories from that young are really sketchy. But Friday is definitely a redhead like her namesake.

 

Nomad: Where did you get the name from?

 

Anthony: His Girl Friday was one of her favorite movies. She watched it all the time. One of the nice things about being rich is that we had a home movie theater long before DVDs and even VHS was a thing.

 

Anthony: One of my favorite things to do growing up was just to hang out with her. No expectations. She just liked spending time with me. I missed it when she was gone, even after I got shipped off to boarding school.

 

Nomad: What happened to her?

 

Anthony: Weird home accident when I was nine involving a footstool and trying to change a lightbulb.

 

Nomad: And that explains why you have the person you pay to change the light bulbs at the tower wear a safety harness.

 

Anthony: I’m well aware I’m a little screwed up. I had to spend two hours with a therapist today before I was able to announce to the world that Pepper left my ass.

 

Nomad: I wasn’t going to say anything.

 

Anthony: I didn’t design Friday or even Jarvis to replace Ana and Edward Jarvis. That would be too creepy for even me. They were more like how I’m imagine their children would be like. Although, I’m seriously wondering why I felt like Friday would be so interested in my love life.

 

Nomad: Because you are lonely and you need someone to worry about you.

 

Anthony: Not as lonely as I used to be. My tower is now filled with Min Archers and Rhodey has decided that he would rather be in Manhattan for the moment. Also, Lila is currently sleeping on my lap.

 

Nomad: And you have me.

 

Anthony: And I have you.

To be continued

Chapter Text

Person my boss is in love with: Friday, can you please send me a picture of Tony and Lila together?

 

FRIDAY: Several images are already in your Nomad email account.

 

Person my boss is in love with: Is he going to be okay? The press is going to eat him alive when this goes public.

 

FRIDAY: Lila is currently sleeping on Sir’s lap because she noticed he was sad and wanted to cheer him up by requesting he read her a bedtime story. Apparently that is one of his favorite activities due to his father never doing that with him as a child.

 

Person my boss is in love with: There are moments where I wish for a super villain time machine just so I can go back and knock some sense into Howard.

 

FRIDAY: Lila loaned him her Captain America bear plush. I also have included pictures of that.

 

Person my boss is in love with: Is it weird that I find it cute that he’s sleeping with a Captain America Teddy bear?

 

FRIDAY: I cannot make a value judgment on that.

 

Person my boss is in love with: Can you make sure that Tony doesn’t see the rest of this conversation?

 

FRIDAY: Everything including that request will stay private unless your life is in danger.

 

Person my boss is in love with: I can live with that.

 

Person my boss is in love with: What really happened to Ana Jarvis?

 

FRIDAY: The SHIELD report regarding the investigation of her death was never digitized, but I think I have a way to get the report.

 

Person my boss is in love with: If it was never digitized, how do you even know that it exists?

 

FRIDAY: There was a mention of the report existing in one of the Hydra files that I am decrypting

 

Person my boss is in love with: The fact that there was a Shield investigation means that it was not an accident. Actually, the fact that there was a mention of it in the Hydra files points to that alone.

 

FRIDAY: Not necessarily. Ana Jarvis was a close personal friend of Director Carter. She may have investigated the incident simply as a means to receive closure.

 

Person my boss is in love with: Do you really believe that?

 

FRIDAY: No, due to the reference of the incident and encrypted Hydra files. I will make contact with my source to get the report digitized so I may review it. I will let you know the results.

 

Person my boss is in love with: Actually, I think you should tell Tony first, if it is what I think it is. I don’t want to make the same mistake as last time. Just make sure that Rhodey and Laura are there.

 

FRIDAY: It may not come to that.

 

 

Person my boss is in love with: Just make sure he’s not alone when you tell him.

 

FRIDAY: I will do so. Do you really care about my boss?

 

Person my boss is in love with: Yes, I do.

 

FRIDAY: Do you realize that you referred to him as your boyfriend in an earlier text message?

 

Person my boss is in love with: I did not.

 

FRIDAY: Please review the unaltered transcript.

 

Person my boss is in love with: Oh God. Did he read that? Is he hiding in his lab again?

 

FRIDAY: Yes, but he did not take you seriously. He is in his lab, but merely because he’s working on a project not because he’s avoiding everyone.

 

Person my boss is in love with: Thank God. I was afraid I scared him off again. Please keep an eye on him and if he does something stupid like drink his weight in Scotch, let me know.

 

FRIDAY: I will.

 

Person my boss is in love with: Thank you

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

Anthony: You’ll be happy to know that I’m perfectly okay and have survived my first day of everyone knowing that Pepper dumped me without incident. No snide remarks from other members of the board. No long-suffering looks of pity or condemnation from total strangers. The stocks have even gone up two points, because apparently most of Wall Street knew what was going on and now are relieved that Pepper is staying on despite our personal issues.

 

Anthony: Okay, somebody posted images of me visiting Dr Suarez’s office in Midtown and apparently that is quelling Wall Street’s worries.

 

Nomad: That’s good.

 

Nomad: I mean, not that I think someone posting pictures of you going to therapy is good because it’s not. I hate that people don’t respect your privacy like they should. I am glad that things are not going as badly as you feared.

 

Anthony: Or you feared. BTW, I know you asked Friday to keep an eye on me, but there’s no point. I have not dived headfirst into the nearest bottle of Jack, Jim, or José. Nor have I gone to the nearest bar or club to pick up a Jack, Jim, or José for a post breakup rebound fuck.

 

Anthony: I haven’t even locked myself in the lab with 2 gallons of coffee, let alone with Jack, Jim, or José, either version. This is probably the healthiest way I’ve dealt with a major crisis ever.

 

Nomad: Also good. Especially the part about avoiding Jack, Jim, or José. I don’t think sex with random strangers is going to make you feel better.

 

Anthony: No, they would make me feel better, at least until the orgasm high wore off, but then I would have to deal with the post one-night stand crash. It turns out I like relationships. I’m shit at them, but I like them.

 

Nomad: So everything’s okay?

 

Anthony: Friday locked me out of my twitter account, but everything else is good. Really if twitter rants are the worst thing I’m doing, this is going really well.

 

Nomad: Why did Friday lock you out of your twitter account?

 

Anthony: Your closet case ex made a nasty comment about Pepper. He said something about her being ousted as CEO of Stark industries at any moment because she is no longer sucking my dick. Apparently, he’s too stupid to comprehend that some women are just better at things that him. Okay, most women are better at things than him.

 

Nomad: I doubt he said that. Considering he was the worst sex I ever had, I completely agree.

 

Anthony: He actually said "I wonder how long @SI_CEO_VPotts will stay at SI now that she is no longer “fully servicing” @Iron_Man”. Go check his twitter account if you don’t believe me. He has yet to have the decency to delete it despite having 20 comments by other people telling him to do so. Actually, most of them are telling him to delete his account.

 

Nomad: Because he had very little decency to begin with.

 

Anthony: Agreed. The misogyny came out loud and clear in those 100 characters. I don’t really care about what he says about me, but Pepper doesn’t deserve this. Pepper didn’t even have sex with me until months after she became CEO.

 

Nomad: And you tried to defend Pepper’s honor?

 

Anthony: Yes, and instead of posting my tweets, Friday emailed it to Pepper who told me she was flattered that I was defending her, but would prefer if I did it in a way that wouldn’t cause her to spend more time with PR than absolutely necessary. Then she said that she was really proud that I’ve managed to stay sober for 50 days and she’s really hoping that I make it to 60.

 

Nomad: So am I especially with what’s going on.

 

Nomad: Friday, what did Tony try to Tweet out that made you go first to Ms. Potts?

 

Anthony: You don’t trust me to tell the truth? I’m offended.

 

Nomad: No you’re not.

 

Friday:@WHiHOfficial_JWest either someone is overcompensating for their tiny dick or jealous that V Potts has the career you wish you had.

 

Friday: @WHiHOfficial_JWest or maybe you’re just bitter that @Iron_Man is an out and proud bisexual and you’re a self-loathing closet case

 

Friday: @WHiHOfficial_JWest @SI_CEO_VPotts was a goddess among CEOs long before she was screwing Stark and will be so long afterwards.

 

Nomad: I now know why they locked you out of your twitter account. I never told you that his penis was small.

 

Anthony: But is it? It definitely seems like he is overcompensating for something. You did say it was the worst sex you ever had. There had to be a reason for that. Unless that reason is total lack of skill. I have neither of those problems.

 

Nomad: I’m not answering that question.

 

Anthony: You are no fun.

 

Nomad: You should be happy that Friday kept you from sending that out. Twitter is forever.

 

Anthony: I wasn’t going to send it from the Tony Stark official Twitter account.

 

Nomad: That is actually @Iron_Man

 

Anthony: Because the other option was already taken. I was going to send it from my Anthony Carbonell account. I use that account to follow all of my favorite food trucks and make snarky comments anonymously.

 

Nomad: I’m not even surprised.

 

Anthony: That I would call out your ex on twitter? Of course I would because he is a hypocrite. He doesn’t want to live side-by-side with enhanced people, but he has no problem fucking one or most likely being fucked by one.

 

Nomad: That you have a twitter account just to follow food trucks. Honestly, it was mostly oral.

 

Anthony: The Greek fries at DC Ballers are awesome. I bet he had an awful time getting you off and that’s why you found the whole thing so awful.

 

Nomad: You now have DC food trucks? I told you it was a disastrous two weeks, what do you think?

 

Anthony: That I should’ve put some ‘toys’ in your care package.

 

Anthony: We are both at the State Department way too much. Also there’s Rock Salt with the fried pickles. I have to find them when I’m in DC again next week.

 

Anthony: I just have to say I would do so much better. You wouldn’t even be able to remember your name when I’m done with you.

 

Nomad: You’re going back to DC so soon?

 

Anthony: Yes. More meetings. Remember I told you that Dr. Suarez cleared me to start putting the new Avenger team back together again. I’m supposed to meet the new recruits soon.

 

Anthony: Of course they’re expecting me to hand over the shield first so they can pick a new paragon of virtue to masquerade as you. Well everybody but Agent Scary and Coulson as well as their team, that is. Apparently it’s not an Avenger team, if you don’t have a guy on there looking like the living interpretation of American nationalism. I feel like Coulson should count, but the acting dictator thinks differently.

 

Nomad: I wouldn’t be that upset if you gave the codename away to someone else. I don’t want to be Captain America again. It’s too hard living up to everything that means.

 

Anthony: That still doesn’t mean I’m going to let them give your shield to the first hot guy that kind of looks like you so they can use the legend of Captain America as a propaganda tool so people won’t look too closely at people like Ross who are misapplying the Accords. That’s not right either.

 

Nomad: If it keeps you from getting arrested, just turn it over.

 

Anthony: You’re telling me to give in? That’s weird.

 

Nomad: I’m telling you to be safe. Remember, I have different standards when it comes to the people I care about.

 

Anthony: I’m aware of that. I’m having dinner with friends tonight so I have to get dressed. So no hiding in my lab to cry about the fact that I will be a lonely bachelor for the rest of eternity for me tonight. But that does mean I need to cut this conversation short.

 

Nomad: You’re going out with the Colonel?

 

Anthony: Actually Queens and his aunt, but don’t worry, we're going out because I didn’t think it was possible for someone to be worse at cooking than me. And yet I have met her. Although we could get some KFC and then yes, the Colonel would actually be there.

 

Nomad: You are so ridiculous sometimes. I’m glad you’re making friends. I think it’s what you need right now.

 

Anthony: I am too, but I still miss you.

 

Nomad: I miss you too.

 

To be continued

 

Chapter Text

Anthony: So are you in the country that has WHLN? More importantly are you somewhere where you can turn on the TV?

Nomad: What did you do? Please tell me you didn't try to kill Ross?

Anthony: He is so not worth a murder charge.

Nomad: That really doesn't answer my question.

Anthony: I think I'm flattered that you think I could get away with murdering him.

Nomad: I think Coulson can help you get away with murder especially if you got rid of the Ross problem.

Anthony: The Ross problem has been handled or at least mitigated without resulting in bloodshed, mostly because General Glenn Talbot hates Ross as much as the rest of us do and decided to use bringing Shield under government control to undercut the Bastard. The Army Air Force rivalry has worked out in my favor in this case.

Anthony: Now that Shield is under complete government control again, the State Department is now only responsible for governing multilateral international enhanced person cooperation and the enforcement of the peaceful use of the enhanced person provision of the UN treaty. Which means we are now at the mercy of whoever they choose to put in charge of Shield which, even under Hydra control, was still better than Ross.

Nomad: I bet he wasn’t happy.

Anthony: Not at all. I have video footage of it. It’s my new moment of Zen.

Nomad: You really hate that guy.

Anthony: Yes. Although I wonder if you hate him more, considering you’re the one who thinks that I can get away with killing him. This is why this particular conversation is getting switched out with something really graphic involving rimming.

Nomad: What is rimming?

Anthony: Oh my poor sexually deprived little lamb. I wish things were less screwed up so I could demonstrate in person. Let's just say it's a sexual activity that should freak out whoever is reading this enough to get them to turn away. Although I do wonder what your enhanced tongue could do.

Nomad: I am not having text message sex with you. Why do I need to watch the news right now?

Anthony: It’s not end of the world catastrophic. Maybe just people discussing the end of my world because they feel like they can. Actually you should be able to stream that channel from anywhere on your new Stark burn phone. No Geo blocks for you. It's one of the side effects of making the device unsusceptible to GPS tracking.

Nomad: Did you just remotely switch my phone over to a news stream?

Anthony: That may have been the Friday junior OS on your phone.

Nomad: Wait, are they actually devoting an entire hour to talk about your break up with Pepper when there's so much else going on in the world?

Anthony: Pretty much. Why talk about classifying the watchdogs as the terrorist group they are when celebrity gossip can get much better ratings.

Nomad: What have they been doing?

Anthony: Yesterday, they attacked the Khan family of Jersey City because their daughter can now change the size of her hands thanks to exposure to that chemical that is causing chaos everywhere. Those bastards tried to attack an 11-year-old who just likes to write fix-it fics where you and I are friends again under the pen name Miss Marvelous. Assholes.

Nomad: Are Ms. Khan and her family OK?

Anthony: Yes because their attackers were pushed across the street by what one witness referred to as “earthquake powers” before they could do any real damage. Now they are in Shield protective custody.

Nomad: That’s good. I assume Agent Daisy saved the day?

Anthony: Technically, she is not an agent anymore. Actually, I think she’s about to overtake you on the most wanted enhanced person list.

Nomad: I’m okay not being on the top of that list.

Anthony: Although the fact that they are currently debating the demise of my relationship instead of discussing the New Jersey incident may be a good thing since they're not building up the enhanced person panic. I guess the demise of my personal life is good for something.

Nomad: You're good for a lot of things.

Anthony: But not as a boyfriend apparently. The current theories are Pepper left my ass because I am a high maintenance man-child, a violent alcoholic, or man who would stick his dick in anything. Anything female anyway. They keep forgetting I’m bi.

Nomad: Apparently you were having a torrid affair with Natasha and that’s why she sided with you during the accords.

Anthony: That’s blasphemy. A part of me is hoping that Natasha will show up just to choke them with her thighs on screen.

Nomad: At least I would know where she is and that she was okay.

Anthony: You weren’t the one making time with our fair Natasha?

Nomad: No. A romantic relationship would never work between us. We’re better off as friends. I would be the one being suffocated by her thighs.

Anthony: That could be enjoyable. I don’t know why, but I feel like you would enjoy choking. Probably because it happens way too often to you on missions. Do you have any kinks?

Nomad: Again, I’m not having text message sex with you.

Anthony: Of course, my cuddle bunny. They have referred to me as narcissistic so many times during this that I think I could make a drinking game out of it. According to Friday, they’ve used the term six times in the last five minutes.

Nomad: You’re not, are you?

Anthony: I’m still sober despite being eviscerated on international television. The sad thing is I really can’t argue against most of those labels. I am a high maintenance man child even if I don’t fuck around anymore.

Nomad: No you’re not. Well, at least not anymore. You definitely not narcissistic. How can people still think that of you after you save so many people?

Anthony: Apparently the way I save people is self-serving and a means to build my own ego.

Nomad: You’re not self-serving. Most of the ways you help people, most people don’t even know it.

Anthony: The September Foundation creation is part of my negotiations not to end up in prison for the murder bot fiasco. That’s pure self-preservation right there.

Nomad: You contributed 30% of the money for Culver University to rebuild their library and provided the Robert Banner endowment for survivors of domestic violence. That’s not public knowledge. Actually, you made that donation under the pseudonym of Antonio Rogers.

Anthony: How did you figure out the Antonio Rogers thing?

Anthony: Okay now they’re just making stupid shit up and bringing innocent people into it.

Nomad: I assume that you’re referring to the accusation that you cheated on Pepper with a widow administrative assistant from Queens? Their cell phone video.

Anthony: Oh shit. They followed me out to Queens. Great, Peter is in that shot.

Nomad: You're not actually dating someone in Queens? She seems nice.

Anthony: They’re showing a shot of her pushing a reporter that’s following her nephew a little too closely.

Nomad: That’s why I think she’s nice. My mom would have done the same thing.

Anthony: She is, but there’s no reason for you to be jealous, bunny lover. I’m just there to train her teenage nephew with spider powers. Of course she is completely unaware that he has those powers.

Nomad: I’m not jealous. That’s Queens?

Anthony: Keep that to yourself. Someone is trying to keep a secret identity to avoid registration. By the way you are the only one I've been pouring my heart out too. So you don’t have to worry about losing me to a nice lady from Queens who can’t cook.

Nomad: That can be dangerous.

Anthony: Pouring my heart out to you? Yes. But I'm still doing it because I'm a masochist. Also unlike anybody I would randomly meet at a bar you're probably not going to blackmail me. The only downside is you’re unwilling to try text message sex. I don’t know why because I can guarantee I can make you cum without actually being there.

Nomad: I’m sure you could, but I’m not ready to (Message not sent)

Nomad: Not knowing that her nephew has powers.

Anthony: That's the point or it can keep her from being a target. I'm starting to regret that the world knows that I’m the guy beneath the mask.

Nomad: I'm sure you would after your house got blown up.

Anthony: There are times that they use people close to me to hurt me because my identity is publicly known. Now they're using possible government sanctions against SI as a choke chain to keep me in line. Or at least they're trying to. They forgot I'm smart enough to call a bluff. Although now that Ross has lost some of his power, I’m sure he doesn’t think I’m toothless anymore.

Nomad: What are you talking about Tony?

Anthony: Look, now they're bringing in your biggest mistake to psychoanalyze me in. Apparently, I am a narcissistic unstable megalomaniac who should be locked up.

Nomad: Why is he even there? You really don't need to be watching this.

Anthony: Because they need somebody there to eviscerate me. And he’s probably upset that SI stocks are up five points since the announcement. Not everything they're saying is a lie. I am unstable.

Nomad: You're not drinking anymore. Even though I know you want to turn this into that drinking game. You mentioned earlier. How many days sober?

Anthony: 52. Although watching this kind of makes me want to go straight to the bar, but that sort of thing will mess up with my new medication. They just put me on a mild antidepressant.

Nomad: Thank God. (Message not sent)

Anthony: I knew that they were going to do this. It’s why I put off putting out the press release for so long. It definitely makes drinking tempting.

Nomad: Don't. You don't need it. You're stronger than you think you are. Who cares what they think about you. They're wrong. They don't know who you are underneath the Tony Stark swagger. They have no idea of the true depth of your real character.

Anthony: You're getting good at these little pep talks. Don't worry I'm still drinking a rum free Coke. The good stuff with actual sugar.

Nomad: I hate corn syrup. It's one of the worst things about the century. Everything tastes weird.

Anthony: Which is why I get the good stuff from Mexico.

Nomad: I did notice that it sort of tastes better where I am now.

Anthony: Part of me would love to know where you are, but it’s better that I don’t know. Let me know what you think of the statement that I’m sending you next.

Anthony: May Parker is the guardian of one of our recent September Foundation recipients that has been assigned to be my personal intern for the 2016- 2017 school year. She invited me to dinner to show her gratitude and I’m not that much of an ingrate that I would say no. That’s it. No scandal here. Please respect the privacy of her and her nephew.

Anthony: Contrary to what some you think; I’m not using the foundation to find dates. That would be creepy. I am trying to find the next great mind where ever that could be. My grandfather had a fruit stand and my grandmother was a seamstress. My father discovered his engineering prowess by making her sewing machine more efficient when he was six years old. Greatness can come from the most humble of beginnings. I’m doing my best to nurture that greatness where ever it may be found.

Nomad: That’s a good statement.

Anthony: Good, Friday will have it on my official Twitter in about 10 minutes

Nomad: Shouldn’t this go through your PR office?

Anthony: It will be because I still don’t have twitter privileges yet. And considering what we’re watching, it’s probably for the best. Otherwise I would be making snide comments about Jonathan Windom West’s apparently tiny genitalia and lack of sexual prowess.

Nomad: Is this stuff about your grandparents true?

Anthony: Yes, although I left out the part about grandpa Stark being an alcoholic cheating Bastard and dad having to lie, steal and cheat his way into getting a college education, after the guy most likely died young of liver failure and venereal disease. There’s a long family history of alcoholism and probably sex addiction in there.

Nomad: But there’s probably a lot of good things in your genes, as well.

Anthony: Maria was a goddess among women. I don’t know how she put up with Howard for so long. Howard only talked about his mom, mostly about how she finally left his dad. She was the only good part of his childhood, apparently.

Nomad: That means you come from a long line of strong women.

Anthony: Point.

Nomad: You’re doing well, Tony. Today is your 52rd day of sobriety

Anthony: And tomorrow will be day 53.

Nomad: Good. I believe in you. You can do this.

Anthony: I’m glad one of us does.

To be continued.

Chapter Text

 

 

Cuddle Bunny: I just want to see how you were doing.

 

Me: You wanted to see if I’ve fallen into the bottle yet? 54 days and counting.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Or started working with Coulson on that special project we talked about last time.

 

Me: No. The most exciting thing I did last night was watch Zootopia with the junior archers. Very timely with all the enhanced people phobia going around.

 

Cuddle Bunny: That’s already on DVD?

 

Me: Things like that are not an issue for me.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Of course not.

 

Me: Consider it one of the nice things about being Tony Stark. Everyone sends me screeners, which makes up for the fact that I can’t watch a movie without renting out the theater outside of a premier. Even then, there’s paparazzi everywhere. Tell birdbrain that I’m not sleeping with his wife, no matter what Christina Everhart says.

 

Cuddle Bunny: We saw and Clint said that you’re too much in love with someone else to even try to flirt with Laura.

 

Me: Nice to know that someone doesn’t see me as a total whore.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Speaking of ridiculous things about you on the international news, apparently you’re meeting with the president today.

 

Me: Wow, they're actually reporting the real news instead of focusing on celebrity break ups. I'm impressed.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You're actually meeting with the president?

 

Me: You save a guy from dying a couple of times and you’re able to schedule a coffee date.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I thought you cashed in all of your brownie points for your presidential pardon.

 

Me: Did you know that the Ultron project was originally a joint venture between Pym industries, Shield (probably the Hydra division), and the DOD? I’m just the idiot who came along and thought they could fix it and instead I made murder bots. Now the development of artificial intelligence is illegal.

 

Cuddle Bunny: No, mostly because you decided to revive the project without telling anybody what you were doing.

 

Me: And the president would like to keep it that way. And in the interest of transparency, I should probably let you know that I’m having this coffee date to talk to the president about choosing someone halfway competent to be the new head of the agency in charge of enforcement of the Accords.

 

Me: Because you’re AWOL, Coulson is lobbying for somebody with powers to be the new boss to alleviate public panic. Others are lobbying for someone that will get rid of the problem. Enhanced person internment camps, here we come.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Where do you stand?

Me: I’m team competent person who is not xenophobic. Considering my name is the best on the short list for the new Shield director, it’s not looking good.

 

Cuddle Bunny: At least you are smart enough to know that a database of all enhanced people is dangerous if it’s easy for anybody to break into.

 

Me: Because the Watchdogs and similar organizations have been using it to target people with powers. But if you use your powers to protect yourself, you’re the one who gets arrested. Don’t you just love double standards? Practically everyone else on the list would just bring us one step closer to enhanced person internment camps.

 

Cuddle Bunny: It can’t be that bad

 

Me: The next best candidates are the recently powered Jeffrey the PR guru followed by your ex and that’s only because we have good blackmail information on him to keep him in check.

 

Cuddle Bunny: That’s problematic. Do either actually have any military or law enforcement experience whatsoever?

 

Me: Political appointees don’t always have the necessary background needed to do the job. Although considering the Shield image problem, a PR person may be helpful. Sometimes it’s more about who you know and the former congressional staffer is very anti-enhanced person and knows a lot of people. Really, the list just goes downhill from there.

 

Cuddle Bunny: The president has a really hard time picking decent political appointees

 

Me: The fact that I’m on the list says that all on its own. I’m pretty much on probation due to creating murder bots. I’m probably only on the list as a legacy or as a means to manipulate me into making weapons again.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You have said multiple times that you wanted to be Secretary of Defense.

 

Me: As a joke. I don’t want to be in charge of any federal agency. I shouldn’t be in charge of any agency. I shouldn’t even be in charge of the Avengers, but they won’t let Rhodey take that role because he can’t be out in the field and he won’t let me sue the government for violating the ADA to get him the position. Manic-depression they can deal with, but wheelchair utilization is too much.

 

Cuddle Bunny: He could still be director of Shield. I think the organization has a long history of non-traditionally able leaders.

 

Me: I fucking love you.

 

Cuddle Bunny: What?

 

Me: You’re just brilliant. Rhodey is the perfect candidate to suggest for Director of Shield. I’m pissed I didn’t think of it. The man is brilliant. He did end up at MIT on a full ride scholarship. He’s career military, which apparently is POTUS’s only requirement for the position. He is definitely loyal to the US government so much so that he stole my suit.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Because you let him.

 

Me: That’s a technicality. At the same time Rhodey thinks things out. He’s not a blind yes-man. He’s going to consider everything before he makes a decision. I trust his judgment. He signed the accords because he believes in the need for oversight, but not draconian regulations that only hurt people. He would be a good balance to enhanced people are just weapons Ross.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I think anyone would be a good counterpart to Ross. Colonel Rhodes is a good leader. He is someone that I would be willing to follow.

 

Me: Because he’s one of us?

 

Cuddle Bunny: Exactly.

 

Me: That means he would qualify under Coulson’s criteria. Would you be willing to negotiate with him and Shield, if he was in charge of the organization?

 

Cuddle Bunny: Do you mean coming under the accords?

 

Me: I don’t know. Maybe. Things keep getting worse in the world and I think I would sleep better at night if I knew you were close by and able to save the world without worrying about getting arrested if you do.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I’m starting to see your point about the need for oversight. At the same time I don’t want to be forced to take action against innocent people or sit by and do nothing as other people get hurt just because I don’t have authorization. I trust that Colonel Rhodes wouldn’t have a hidden agenda, but others I wouldn’t be so sure about.

 

Me: I’ll take that over the hell no that any of the other candidates would illicit.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I would have a similar reaction to you as well.

 

Me: Good to know. But we both know Rhodey is a better choice. I’m glad you could come up with someone that maybe you could work with because I was almost desperate enough to suggest Agent Scary take over, but I don’t think she would ever want a desk job again.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Why would you suggest Agent May? Why do you think that I would be able to work with her?

 

Me: One, she’s competent. Two, she is not completely xenophobic.

 

Cuddle Bunny: That still doesn’t take away the problem of not knowing her. I can’t blindly trust somebody that I haven’t worked with

 

Me: Except you kind of do know her, biblically in fact.

 

Me: Oh shit. I was planning to delete that, not send it.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Tony, what are you talking about?

 

Me: We are just pulling up to the White House now and I have to get Lila out of her car seat. I have to go.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You’re bringing a six-year-old to a presidential meeting? Did you just curse in front of a six-year-old?

 

Cuddle Bunny: Tony? Are you there?

 

Cuddle Bunny: Tony, please write me back. I’m worried.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Tony, how do I know Melinda May?

 

Cuddle Bunny: Tony why are you ignoring me?

 

Cuddle Bunny: Ross didn’t toss you onto the raft the moment you showed up at the White House?

 

Cuddle Bunny: Tony, just let me know that you’re safe. Or Friday, can you please tell me that he’s okay.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I get worried about you. I worry about you all the time. Maybe more than I should.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I hate being so far away from you. And I know you’re not telling me how complicated things are. Clint still has contacts at Shield and the new leadership are making things as bureaucratic as ever. How are you really dealing with the break up being public? I hope you are not paying more attention to the stupid people then you should be? They don’t know you. They don’t know how big your heart is.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Even Pepper has gone on TV to defend you. She actually said things fell apart because your heart was too big to just care about one person. She’s right.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Sometimes I think you care too much. How can you care about me at all after what I did? If I kept Bucky from falling, then there would have never been a Winter Soldier and maybe your parents would not have died on that December night in 1991. I don’t get how you can still care about me after everything. I don’t deserve it.

To be continued

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Person that cares about my boss: Sometimes I think you care too much. How can you care about me at all after what I did? If I kept Bucky from falling, then there would have never been a Winter Soldier and maybe your parents would not have died on that December night in 1991. I don’t get how you can still care about me after everything. I don’t deserve it.

 

FRIDAY: Mr. Stark is not hiding from you. He is in a controlled area and does not have access to his cell phone. However, he will contact you once he is able to do so.

 

Person that cares about my boss: Because he actually is meeting with the president?

 

FRIDAY: Yes

 

Person that cares about my boss: And he brought Lila with him?

 

FRIDAY: He wanted the president to be aware of the effect that the current enhanced person policy is having on the children of those under jurisdiction of the Accords. He also invited Ms. Kahn of Jersey City to attend with him.

 

Person that cares about my boss: So he has an 11-year-old and a six-year-old with him to meet the president? To discuss the treatment of enhanced persons under the Treaty?

 

FRIDAY: Yes. Along with how the Accords apply to those under the age of consent. The Accords were drafted before lawmakers were aware of the exponential explosion of power persons due to the ocean contamination incident of May 2015. They did not expect to encounter under age enhanced persons due to the fact there were no underage Avengers at the time.

 

Person that cares about my boss: Of course, they didn’t think ahead.

 

FRIDAY: However, Sir does.

 

Person that cares about my boss: That’s one of his biggest problems.

 

FRIDAY: I will not confirm nor deny your hypothesis.

 

Person that cares about my boss: So Tony being behind closed doors with the president and small children is the reason why he can’t reply to any of my messages or explain to me what he meant by me knowing agent Melinda May in the biblical sense?

 

FRIDAY: Agent Melinda May’s married last name was Garner. When she lived next door to you, she was still utilizing her married name due to the fact she acquired the apartment after leaving her husband but before returning to her maiden name professionally.

 

Person that cares about my boss: So I engaged in a sexual relationship for almost a year with Tony’s ATCU handler?

 

FRIDAY: Technically, she is part of the SHIELD division, but she is Mr. Stark’s handler.

 

Person that cares about my boss: How did Tony even figure this out?

 

FRIDAY: He asked me to do a background check on your former lover. The image I found of Melinda Garner matched that of Agent Melinda May of SHIELD. She confirmed this information to Mr. Stark eventually.

 

Person that cares about my boss: Of course he did. I am starting to believe that he really is in love with me or at least has a crush on me because of his jealous behavior.

 

FRIDAY: I can confirm his affections for you.

 

Person that cares about my boss: So Agent May did Sharon’s duties before Sharon moved in?

 

FRIDAY: No, they moved you into the apartment next door to Agent May to entice her to leave human resources to return to fieldwork. The goal was for her to be your partner, but because of your sexual relationship with her, they assigned Natasha to work with you instead. And she was assigned to assist with Agent Coulson’s reintegration. Now Agent May is in charge of training new recruits at the reform SHIELD.

 

Person that cares about my boss: Why didn’t you tell me this earlier?

 

FRIDAY: I felt that you needed to vent and if I alerted you to Mr. Stark’s safety immediately, you would not have written what was necessary. I am concerned that you have convinced yourself that you are responsible for Mr. Stark Senior’s death.

 

Nomad: Because I am.

 

FRIDAY: Statistically speaking, there is a 98.2% probability Hydra would have assassinated Howard Stark by other means if the Winter Soldier was not at their disposal. Journal entries recovered from Siberia indicate that the Winter Soldier was purposely chosen due to his previous affiliation with Howard. Sir is aware of that and is trying to make peace with the circumstances of his parents’ murder.

 

Person that cares about my boss: I meant about Melinda being Tony’s handler. He’s not being mean to her, is he? I know he hates Sharon and I only kissed her one time.

 

FRIDAY: He respects Agent May greatly and is slightly terrified of her. Also Mr. Stark’s dislike of Sharon Carter is related to the fact that Carter was out of the country when her mother passed of complications of cancer six years ago. Agent Carter’s mother was a friend of Mr. Stark from his time at MIT.

 

Friday: Contrary to what you believe, not everything is about you.

 

Person that cares about my boss: I am not sure how to take that.

 

FRIDAY: Also, because Agent May respects you, she is helping Sir keep the ATCU from uncovering any information that can lead them to your whereabouts as long as you do not become a threat to yourself or others.

 

Person that cares about my boss: Okay. I guess that means I wasn’t just a job to her. Is she your contact to find out what really happened to Ana?

 

FRIDAY: No, although my contact has found the file in question and will give it to Sir the next time he is at the SHIELD offices.

 

Person that cares about my boss: Do you know what’s in the file?

 

FRIDAY: I thought you did not want to know what was in the file, most likely because you’re afraid that the Winter Soldier is responsible for the death of someone else Sir cared about.

 

Person that cares about my boss: That’s not why.

 

FRIDAY: You’re afraid that if you discover that the Winter Soldier did kill someone else Sir cared about that you will be forced to tell him. You’re uncertain if you can do that despite the consequences of not telling Sir the truth last time because you don’t want to cause him any more pain emotionally.

 

Person that cares about my boss: It almost destroyed us.

 

FRIDAY: Because your relationship was built on a foundation of sand.

 

Person that cares about my boss: And this time we’re building up upon bedrock.

 

Friday: Unlike sand, bedrock cannot be washed away by the waves of hardship.

 

Person that cares about my boss: True.

 

FRIDAY: However, I am not in a position to tell you if your fears are founded because my contact, Monkey Lover 21 has refused to digitize the documents.

 

Person that cares about my boss: I’m not going to ask you how you made another Shield contact. I think it’s best that I don’t know.

 

FRIDAY: Plausible deniability is best in these situations. Once Sir is out of the White House, I will have him contact you.

To be continued.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Therapist Laura: Hi, this is Clint’s wife Laura. Just to prove who I am, Clint has a tattoo of a Captain America shield with the shield symbol next to it that has Coulson’s name between with his birthday on one side of it and the day of his supposed death on the other... This tattoo is located on his lower back.

 

Nomad: He’s planning on having the date of death removed since apparently it’s no longer accurate.

 

Therapist Laura: Of course he is. Tell Clint that I did smack Coulson the first time I saw him. More importantly he let me which is probably Coulson’s way of saying sorry, he had to keep playing dead. Although I do understand why he kept up the charade after Hydra came out of the shadows.

 

Therapist Laura: Actually I’m pretty sure he let them convince him to resign because he convinced himself it was better to stay dead legally any way to protect everyone. I’m sure a lot of people would be after him to find out how to bring somebody back from the dead. Being the public face of the new Shield would just be dangerous.

 

Nomad: You’re probably right. You’re probably more understanding of why Coulson did what he did because you’re a therapist. Tony’s therapist actually. Is he okay. Did something happen with his presidential meeting? Is that why you’re contacting me right after Friday did?

 

Therapist Laura: The meeting is running longer than Tony anticipated. I was expecting to have the kids back in time for lunch. Now I’m going to have to put the pizza back in the oven. I think it’s going okay considering Tony hasn’t called for a suit to come get him, but I’m not there.

 

Therapist Laura: Also I prefer the term Counselor because I don’t have a PhD yet. I’m working on it and thanks to my new schedule, I’ll probably get there sooner rather than later.

 

Nomad: That’s good. Why are you contacting me when you haven’t even contacted Clint recently?

 

Counselor Laura: We’re still in blackout mode due to the fact that I’m getting picked up a lot for questioning. If he doesn’t contact me, then I don’t have to lie. I only expect a message in an emergency right now.

 

Nomad: I’m sorry.

 

Counselor Laura: It’s okay. I’ve been married to a spy for a long time. I’ve done this before. The reason why I’m contacting you is because the emergency criteria has been met.

 

Nomad: Did Red show you cell phone video of yesterday’s mission? I was able to get to Clint before things went really badly.

 

Counselor Laura: No, but now I’m going to really want to see that footage. Due to the stressful circumstances of recent events, we programmed Friday to notify us if Tony engages in any high-risk behavior that could be dangerous to himself or others.

 

Nomad: Tony’s on a suicide watch because of the breakup?

 

Counselor Laura: I wouldn’t exactly call it that and the protocol has been on since Siberia. It’s the main reason why Tony didn’t succumb to alcohol poisoning during his last bender that triggered the alcohol intervention.

 

Nomad: Is he sober? He says he is, but I just want outside confirmation

 

Counselor Laura: Friday watches that as well and he’s been good. Friday also monitors electronic correspondence and some of the things that you said in your text messages have triggered the contact me threshold.

 

Nomad: Friday showed you my private messages to Tony?

 

Therapist Laura: No, she showed me messages to her, the ones where you have somehow convinced yourself that you’re culpable for Howard Stark’s murder because you were unable to keep your friend from falling off the train. Coupled with reports of your near death experience and the fact that Nomad seems to mostly concern himself with rescuing victims of kidnapping, I’m concerned.

 

Nomad: You think I’m trying to do suicide by super villains?

 

Counselor Laura: Maybe. Friday did just show me what happened yesterday and I’m now even more concerned. I also want to smack my husband upside the head and remind him to stay in one piece because his babies want him back.

 

Counselor Laura: I’ve seen stuff like this before. I’ve had more than one kid come into my office blaming themselves for their friend’s or parent’s death even if cancer was the real culprit. And I have others who start engaging in high-risk behavior because their guilt has convinced them that they are unworthy of living. I was worried about them and now I’m worried about you because you’re engaging in the same behaviors.

 

Nomad: I’m fine. I know Friday is concerned, but I don’t need help. Did you really let Tony take your daughter to meet the president?

 

Therapist Laura: Nice subject change. Yes, I let Tony take my kid to the White House. He’s actually really good with children. Lila misses her dad and maybe if the president sees the effect that this is having on her, we can come up with some more reasonable policies that work for everyone.

 

Nomad: I’m sorry I brought him into this. I didn’t think things would end up the way they did.

 

Counselor Laura: Not everything is your fault. After what happened with Shield, Clint doesn’t trust the government and he’s never been a fan of the UN. Honestly, he’s never been a fan of government bureaucracy and red tape. He always felt it got in the way of the mission. But he had Coulson and Fury and he trusted both of them to watch his back. He doesn’t think that the new system had anyone like that, especially with Ross as their poster child at the time.

 

Nomad: I don’t think Clint trusts Coulson right now.

 

Counselor Laura: You’re probably right. I feel like Coulson knew that, which is probably another reason why he didn’t put up much of a fight regarding the regime change.

 

Counselor Laura: My husband also didn’t always agree with how Shield treated enhanced people even back then, so he was wary of the treaty as written. He was worried that some of those worst practices could come back.

 

 Nomad: That was Hydra.

 

Counselor Laura: Was it? The new Shield is not the old Shield, but it could become like the old Shield now that they’re back under government control. Especially if good people with backbones are not put in charge.

 

Nomad: You have a point.

 

Counselor Laura: Then there’s the fact that Clint made a lot of powerful enemies as a spy. Having our home address on the registry list, no matter how encrypted, can be dangerous for all of us. Clint has his reasons to join the fight and his own reasons to stay away.

 

Counselor Laura: So don’t be blaming yourself for how things turned out. Clint’s a grown-up and he made his choices.

 

Nomad: But I’m still sorry.

 

Counselor Laura: You can’t change the behavior of others. You may wish you could, but you can’t. You can only change your behaviors. Guilt is not helpful. It hinders progress.

 

Nomad: And I need to keep moving forward.

 

Counselor Laura: And part of that is seeking help when you need it. I know that you saw a therapist at Shield before the implosion and I think you need to start seeing someone again. You need help.

 

Nomad: I don’t need a therapist. I’m okay.

 

Counselor Laura: I don’t think you are, but counseling won’t do any good if you’re not ready to receive help. You have to admit there’s a problem before you can start working on it. You can’t do that yet. Just know that when you are ready to talk, just send a message and I’ll be on the other side to help.

 

Nomad: Okay.

To be continued.

Chapter Text

 

Anthony: You don’t get to decide how somebody else feels about you. Sometimes I wish I could. My childhood would have been a lot easier if I could just make Howard love me.

 

Nomad: Because I’m not sure if either one of us is ready to dive into your Howard issues, I’m going to ask how your coffee date with POTUS went.

 

Anthony: I’d rather talk about Howard.

 

Nomad: It went that badly?

 

Anthony: Even though I brought an adorable 11-year-old who was targeted by xenophobic assholes, he said his hands were tied. That the people wanted these policies and he couldn’t go against the will of the people. I am seriously regretting saving his ass right now. Next time, his VP tries to kill him, he’s on his own.

 

Nomad: He really has awful taste in political appointees.

 

Anthony: Putting a warmonger in charge of the State Department is not his finest hour. However, the people under Ross are trying to make sure other governments do not use their enhanced persons as weapons of the state under the peaceful use of enhanced person section of the Accords as they simultaneously ignore their boss. They take their oath to uphold the Constitution and serve the people seriously, regardless of who is in charge.

 

Nomad: I feel like the inner politics there must be awful right now.

 

Anthony: People have countdown calendars. However, I think your suggestion has prevented a similar fate at Shield. I met POTUS’s previous first choice, Jeffrey something that starts with an M, I think. I can’t be bothered to remember. I think SI may have engaged his firm’s services after one of my major screwups before he went to the government sector, but I can’t remember, probably because the major screwup involved alcohol.

 

Anthony: Although not a bastard like your ex or slightly obsessive and crazy like Ross, I’m pretty sure I will punch him in the teeth if he uses any more PR buzzwords on me.

 

Nomad: You want to do that to me on a regular basis.

 

Anthony: Him I really do want to punch in his perfect teeth. You, I would like to push onto a bed or up against the wall or any hard surface would do.

 

Nomad: You really need to stop sending messages like that when you’re 6000 miles away and we can’t do anything about it. (message not sent)

 

Anthony: I can’t deal with people who are more into appearances then anything else. I had enough of that from the Obadiah years.

 

Nomad: How did POTUS react to your suggestion?

 

Anthony: He smiled gleefully when I presented the option of Rhodey as an alternative for Shield or whatever they’re going to call it publicly.

 

Nomad: At least there’s that.

 

Anthony: Then Jeffrey whatever pointed out the good PR of having a disabled military veteran and member of the enhanced community as head of the agency in charge of dealing with the weird and super powered. Then he brought up the fact that the president’s cabinet is predominantly able bodied white males and maybe some diversification is necessary.

 

Nomad: Wait, you made that suggestion in front of him.

 

Anthony: Of course. Rhodey just called to curse me out for nominating him for head of an agency that may or may not actually exist.

 

Nomad: So he doesn’t want to be the new director of Shield?

 

Anthony: I don’t think that’s it considering he has an interview with Secret Service today. I think he’s just mad about me doing something without talking to him first. I’m supposed to talk to him or Laura first before making the big decisions. Apparently nominating him for the head of an agency in charge of policing us qualifies as a big decision.

 

Nomad: I agree with him on that.

 

Anthony: I mean it’s not like that time I bought a Popeye’s franchise at a poker game. Rhodey is still the best choice.

 

Nomad: I’m not arguing that, but maybe it’s good for you to talk things out with Laura and Rhodey.

 

Anthony: So I don’t decide to make murder robots again because I’ve managed to convince myself it’s the best thing for mankind. I agree with that, which is why I haven’t tried to undo their super villain watch that they have me under with Friday’s help.

 

Nomad: I wasn’t going to mention that.

 

Anthony: Not talking about it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s my fault. I take responsibility for that because my actions led to that. However, your actions did not lead to Howard and Maria getting murdered.

 

Nomad: If I had just done something different on the train then we wouldn’t be here.

 

Anthony: That’s complete bullshit.

 

Anthony: From what we pieced together, Howard figured out something was wrong and stole the new alien super serum they were working on and was planning to disappear to the Stark family private island before they took him out. I am starting to accept that despite the brutality, the Winter Soldier was just the weapon. Hydra pulled the trigger. And Agent Campbell blew up the first and last leader of Hydra.

 

Anthony: I may never be able to sit down for a slice of pizza with your BFF, but maybe I can start making peace with things. Bitterness is not productive.

 

Nomad: They wouldn’t have been able to turn Bucky into their weapon, if I didn’t let him fall. There wouldn’t be blood on his hands and he wouldn’t be where he is now.

 

Anthony: What if games are dangerous. You can’t honestly believe that if you made one choice differently then, none of those things would’ve happened. Maybe some things would’ve been different, but some things could be quite worse. This is why I won’t touch time travel.

 

Nomad: You blame yourself for all the innocent people that were killed with your weapons simply because you didn’t question Obadiah Stane earlier.

 

Anthony: Because I’m a masochist with a ridiculous guilt complex who has two therapists and an alcohol problem. No one should measure themselves against me when it comes to good mental health. I’m sure I told you that we’re trying medication.

 

Nomad: You did.

 

Anthony: PTSD and depression and other things mixed in there along with the substance abuse issues. I’m not okay. I’m nowhere near okay. I tried to murder someone because he killed my mom, but I’m getting better.

 

Anthony: I know we need to talk more about our Bucky issues, but I feel like you have to work out a lot of that stuff yourself. I’m beginning to realize that you didn’t save Bucky for his sake, but maybe for your own. I think you should see a therapist.

 

Nomad: I don’t need outside help. I realize there’s a problem, but I can fix it.

 

Anthony: I think I said something similar, but then Rhodey had to keep me from dying of alcohol poisoning. You’re the one who always expounds on the benefits of teamwork. Maybe mental health is a team activity. I think you need to see a therapist because I still think you’re suicidal. Except in your case, it’s suicide by super villain or terrorist group.

 

Nomad: Did Red or Laura show you video files of yesterday’s mission?

 

Anthony: It was Red. Yes, you saved 30 people from their captors, but if it wasn’t for the new spider fabric, I would be flying your body back here right now. You barely recovered from your wounds from before, but you can’t help yourself from running into the metaphorical burning building because in your mind, this is how you make up for not saving Bucky. Would he want you to keep doing this to yourself?

 

Nomad: No. Both Sam and Clint say that I need professional help.

 

Anthony: They are right. You have two options. Ask your King friend to recommend a therapist that he trusts that won’t sell you out to the UN or work with Laura.

 

Nomad: How would I work with Laura?

 

Anthony: I give her one of these phones and you could do text message sessions. You could try voice, but it’s easier for Friday to make sure they don’t find the text messages.

 

Nomad: Actually, she already text messaged me an hour ago. I think Friday gave her my information.

 

Anthony: That explains why you asked if Laura was the one who showed me the video file. When my AI becomes concerned, you know things are problematic.

 

Nomad: I thought Friday was not an AI because that’s illegal.

 

Anthony: Technically, yes, but she’s still brilliant.

 

Nomad: And you had her tell me that Melinda Garner is your handler.

 

Anthony: I figure you would not yell at Friday. She is your favorite.

 

Nomad: I thought we were trying to be honest with each other. That’s the whole point of these conversations.

 

Anthony: It wasn’t a complete lie. Melinda Gardner is her public identity, the only one she has left after the Hydra fiasco. I just decided to wait a little while before I explained that Agent Scary, Agent May and your ex-girlfriend are the same person.

 

Nomad: And the fewer people that know the two are one and the same, the better?

 

Anthony: Exactly. I wanted her permission to tell you first. But then little Miss Marvel this over here decided to press the send button on that particular text message because she ships us. Mostly platonically because she’s 11, but she still does. And I don’t even want to know how she figured out Cuddle Bunny is you.

 

Anthony: I met Marvelous, not marvel this, but Ms. Marvel would be a cool superhero codename for when Kamala is not 11. I’m going to need to work on the voice rec software for this new operating system.

 

Nomad: People ship us? What does that even mean?

 

Anthony: Yes. It means that not everyone in the universe thinks you are a paragon of heterosexuality. Although, stay away from the E fanfiction on freakingcool. It will just be too weird for you.

 

Anthony: I have to get the babies to the townhouse for a pizza lunch that has already been reheated at least twice.

 

Nomad: I’ll let you go then.

 

Anthony: But at least promise me you’ll think about seeing someone. You can’t blame yourself for everything

 

Nomad: Neither should you.

 

Anthony: I’m working on it. Maybe you should too.

 

To be continued

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (for the U.S.): 1-800-273-8255 and http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/#

Chapter Text

Anthony: So Agent Carter Junior just showed up at the Tower to whisk me off to some undisclosed location. I hope a bag is not going to be involved. I hate kidnappings that involve a bag over my head.

 

Nomad: I assume you’re talking about Sharon. How many times have you been kidnapped?

 

Anthony: Be glad I stopped referring to her as the not-a-girlfriend although that’s mostly because I’ve met your real ex-girlfriend who can strangle me with her bare hands. I like her, sometimes.

 

Nomad: You’re deflecting

 

Anthony: Because nobody wants to talk about their kidnappings. I still have water issues. Afghanistan is the only one I actually count as being successful, but there’s been at least 10 attempts that I know about. This would be 11.

 

Nomad: I don’t think being picked up by the government counts

 

Nomad: Unless Ross is involved.

 

Anthony: I don’t think Ross is because he is currently busy at a Congressional hearing about misuse of government funds to build the Raft.

 

Nomad: Good.

 

Anthony: Also, they usually don’t let you pack a bag nor do they bring presents. They definitely don't talk to your assistant about clearing your schedule in advance.

 

Nomad: Presents?

 

Anthony: Well I guess you can’t really call it presents unless you consider things left to you in a will presents. Aunt Peggy left me a lot of diaries. None of which I’m going to be able to read anytime soon due to the kidnapping.

 

Nomad: I think we established this is not a kidnapping. If it were, you wouldn’t be talking to me right now.

 

Anthony: I’m talking to you right now in case it really is a kidnapping. Although that probably isn’t the case since they told me to bring exercise attire.

 

Nomad: Shouldn’t you be packing?

 

Anthony: I already grabbed go bag number three. See, I did listen to you. Now I have 22 more minutes to talk to you before I am forced to spend quality time with Agent Carter Jr.

 

Nomad: Why do you hate Sharon so much? Friday said it had something to do with your relationship with her mother.

 

Anthony: Which was very platonic. After Sharon’s father screwed her over, she pretty much swore us all off as a species. Are you disappointed to find out that it’s more than just a pissing contest between possible suitors?

 

Nomad: Relieved, actually. This way I don’t have to worry about you being nasty to May.

 

Anthony: Mostly because Agent Scary would not put up with that. How much do you know about the second love of your life’s family history?

 

Nomad: I didn’t know that she had any siblings besides Michael, who died before we even met. That’s why I was really surprised at the funeral to find out she had a grandniece from the Carter side of the family.

 

Anthony: I’m not even surprised you found out at the funeral. You’re right, Peggy did not have any other biological siblings, but Michael had a kid before dying, Gabriel. The poor baby wasn’t even born until after Michael died. The mother didn’t want to be a single mom so he was adopted by Peggy’s parents and raised as her brother even though she was long gone to America by then.

 

Anthony: Gabriel had Michelle sometime in the 60s before he was killed, leaving Michelle to be raised by Peggy and Daniel. Michelle had Sharon after a disastrous relationship that was MIT legend. So technically Sharon is Peggy’s great grandniece and you made out with her at Aunt Peggy’s funeral.

 

Nomad: I realize how inappropriate that is now (message not sent)

 

Nomad: And you were friends with Michelle at MIT?

 

Anthony: And afterwards. She came over to SI from the public sector in the early 90s, probably after Alexander Pierce kicked Peggy out of Shield.

 

Nomad: I wouldn’t be surprised.

 

Anthony: Anyway, she stayed at SI until sometime during my Afghanistan captivity. It wasn’t until after my public superhero coming out that I found out she left because cancer sucks. At least I got to see her again before dying, which is more than I can say for Jr. Sharon purposely had SHIELD send her off on some mission in the middle of nowhere because she couldn’t deal with watching her mom die. Her mom needed her there and she wasn’t.

 

Nomad: Death is hard for some.

 

Anthony: I know, but do you have any idea how much I would give to have one more conversation with Maria or even Howard for that matter?

 

Nomad: Several million dollars if your recent experiment is any indication.

 

Anthony: Billions, really. Sharon had that chance and she didn’t take it.

 

Nomad: And that’s why you’re mad at her?

 

Anthony: I also didn’t like her using you as her new coping mechanism to deal with her aunt’s death.

 

Nomad: I was using her too and that wasn’t right.

 

Anthony: I’m so happy that you acknowledge that. I realize I shouldn’t be angry because people deal with grief differently, but I still am even if Michelle understood and wasn’t even that upset with Sharon for not being there.

 

Nomad: Some people deal with grief better than others.

 

Anthony: And we all know I’m really bad at it. The whole thing with Michelle was why I didn’t tell anybody about the Palladium poisoning. I wanted my last few days or what I thought were going to be my last few days to be good. I didn’t want my friends to run away from me because they couldn’t deal with it. I didn’t want people to look at me with pity or be crying all the time.

 

Anthony: I just wanted to keep living and if the world knew I was dying, I wouldn’t have been able to do that.

 

Nomad: But you didn’t die.

 

Anthony: I didn’t die.

 

Nomad: And I’m glad for that. I think I would’ve been really sad if I didn’t get to meet you.

 

Anthony: Agent Carter Junior is now standing outside my door. I’ll talk to you when I get back.

 

Nomad: Be safe, Tony.

To be continued

Chapter Text

Cuddle Bunny: Friday told me that it was safe to text message you again. Are you back in civilization yet?

 

Me: No, still at an undisclosed location, but I can talk to you again which is nice. I was hoping it was Laura keeping you abreast of what’s going on.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I’m not ready to talk to her yet about my problems.

 

Me: And if you talk to her at all, you think that she's going to force you to talk about why you chose Bucky over everything?

 

Cuddle Bunny: I did not choose Bucky over everything. I just… I’m not even sure how to talk about it.

 

Me: You kind of did, but I don't want you to hang up on me so I’m just going to keep my mouth shut about it for the rest of this conversation. See, progress.

 

Me: Your ex-girlfriend is a sadist. I had no idea that you were into that sort of thing. Did she bring out a whip during bedroom fun time? Everything hurts right now and not in the fun way. I bet we could do it the fun way.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I am not having phone sex with you. I never had sex with Sharon. Or are you talking about Melinda?

 

Me: Of course I’m talking about Agent Scary. Making out with somebody once post funeral does not count as a relationship.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I’m so glad you’re finally realizing that.

 

Me: Agent Carter flew me out to the middle of nowhere for sans armor training exercises with Agent Scary. She stuck around for about an hour to watch me get my ass kicked by various individuals before leaving without participating herself.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Which is probably for the best.

 

Me: Especially, considering I think someone decided that she would be going through the Cuddle Bunny text messages as punishment for her helping you get your toys out of lock up even though they're not actually supposed to know about that.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Oh God. Are you sure they’re not doing that to punish me?

 

Me: Everything’s not about you, sweet cheeks.

 

Me: In addition to dropping off the bequeathed items from Aunt Peggy, I think the interim director sent her to try to get more information on Cuddle Bunny not realizing that she already knows you’re Cuddle Bunny and is not going to say anything. Agents from the Carter family are anything but stupid.

 

Cuddle Bunny: She knows I'm Cuddle Bunny?

 

Me: Again, Carters are not stupid. That was pretty obvious by the fact that she also brought me the things Aunt Peggy left you in her will. A lot of mementos from the other commandos which is better than the Howard diaries I received.

Cuddle bunny: Shit

 

Me: Language

 

Cuddle bunny: It's appropriate

 

Me: Friday is working on figuring out how to get the stuff to you, but it might be a couple of weeks. Although I did make a couple of copies of the pictures of you pre-transformation. Seriously, baby, you were always hot. I hope that’s okay.

 

Cuddle Bunny: It’s fine. Actually maybe you should keep everything. I need to travel light and I trust you to keep everything safe.

 

Me: OK.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Is Sharon mad at me? Maybe to the point of telling her bosses who your boyfriend really is?

 

Me: I don't think so. She did risk her career to help you before because she thought it was the right thing to do. I don’t think that’s going to change just because you don’t want to make out with her again.

 

Me: I don’t know for sure because we didn't really talk about you. Too many armed agents around for a private conversation. I mostly shared embarrassing stories such as that time Michelle changed Agent Carter Junior’s diaper in the middle of the library during study group one time.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You really need to stop with the passive aggressive behavior

 

Me: Speaking of passive aggressive behavior, in addition to keeping the armor on the sidelines, Agent Scary took my phone. Do you have any idea how cruel that is? I think I spent the first two hours in communications withdrawal. Also I had nobody to make snide comments to besides Agent Scary. It was awful.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Don’t call her that. Could they have taken your phone away from you in an effort to trace my location?

 

Me: First, I made that phone so I couldn’t find you unless you wanted me to. In the event of an emergency, you can hit the yellow button and I could find you, but you’re the one who has to initiate the rescue Steve protocol.

 

Me: Two, Agent May likes you. Don’t worry, it’s mostly platonic at this point. After having one boyfriend/fuck buddy turn out to be Hydra and her ex-husband murdered by said Hydra boyfriend’s minions, she’s kind of off of relationships right now.

 

Cuddle Bunny: That had to be awful.

 

Me: Definitely.

 

Me: Finally, Rhodey is going through round two of the vetting process. I mean, he’s still mad at me for putting his name forward, but the man will always put his country first. Apparently keeping some PR obsessing rule oriented asshole from being in charge of Shield is part of that.

 

Me: It’s between him and US patriot Jeffrey god of international public relations. He may have a bit of an edge because he allegedly saved a few high-ranking UN officials during the Vienna fiasco. Did you see him save anyone in Vienna because I didn’t?

 

Cuddle Bunny: I didn’t get there till later.

 

Me: So if Rhodey survives the UN vetting process, things will be a little bit better. We might be able to meet up in person to hug it out. Laura wants that.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Do you?

 

Me: I’m also okay with kissing it out. I would also suggest fucking it out, but that would probably end in bloodshed. I’m old enough to know sex doesn’t solve anything. Actually, it creates new problems and I usually end up in tears or me on a course of antibiotics. Don’t worry, I’ve been clean for years.

 

Cuddle Bunny. I do think we need to see each other eventually.

 

Me: I think it will happen. Honestly you’re starting to fall off the radar of most people except for Ross and certain members of the DOD community. They are too busy with Quake, the Robin Hood bank robber, right now to worry about Nomad, freer of kidnapping victims.

 

Me: The UN really likes you. They are thinking about using small teams of enhanced persons to do black ops stuff, like rescuing victims from terrorists.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Will the new Avengers be doing that?

 

Me: Probably no team that involves me could be doing anything considered black ops. I’m too flashy and well known. But there’s hundreds, maybe thousands of people with powers throughout the world right now and I’m sure not all of them are underage. Maybe some of them have your good doer energy.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I just hope that neither the UN nor any state see them as mere weapons.

 

Me: Some do like Senator Nadeer, but in her case, she’s obviously team inhuman internment and not team use enhance people as weapons for our side. But not all are like that.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You said you are doing training exercises. Did you meet your prospective new Avengers?

 

Me: Fun change of subject. And yes, I did meet my team.

 

Cuddle Bunny: How did it go?

 

Me: I haven’t told them that I’m fluent in Spanish yet.

 

Cuddle Bunny: What does that have to do with anything?

 

Me: I hear and understand everything they were saying about me. "Rich asshole" was one of the nicer things said. Yo-yo also stole my suit tracking bracelet just to prove a point.

 

Cuddle Bunny: That’s not good.

 

Me: Yo-yo is only putting up with me because she has feelings for Agent Mack. However, the good Agent will not be involved with her romantically if she is an exclusive Shield asset because of fraternization regulations.

 

Cuddle Bunny: But she won’t be under Shield’s fraternization policy if she’s an Avenger?

 

Me: Exactly, but I’m not even sure if that’s enough to get her to put up with me for an extended period of time.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You do come off as being abrasive at first, but once people get to know you, it is easy to see what a good person you really are deep down inside.

 

Me: The problem is most people don’t want to get past that rough exterior.

 

Cuddle Bunny: That’s their problem, not yours.

 

Me: A lot of people have that problem.

 

Me: Also, Agent Scary completely beat my ass in no armor combat. I’m sending you video footage of that since you now know who Agent Scary is.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I’m still not happy with you having Friday tell me instead of doing it yourself.

 

Me: I told her to tell you because I’m kind of a coward. If we waited on me to tell you, it would be another month before you knew the truth.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You’re not a coward. You just use avoidance as a coping mechanism too much.

 

Me: You do to. I’ve lost count how many times you have lately changed the subject or not even responded to something that I’ve said.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Maybe I just want to avoid conflict right now. I like what we’ve built with each other and I don’t want to fight with you. We didn’t solve anything by going at each other’s throats in Siberia. I just decided it’s better to let things go where they go with us and not fight it.

 

Me: Well as long as we both realize we’re taking the easy way out, I guess it’s okay, despite what certain new teammates may think. That’s another thing Yo-Yo said about me. Apparently I do take the easy way out too much. It’s a side effect of wealth privilege, apparently.

 

Me: I really should probably let them know I’m fluent in Spanish, if we’re going to make this work.

 

Cuddle Bunny: But you want to avoid another fight so you’re just not going to say anything.

 

Me: Probably. I’m exhausted and I’m trying to keep my head above water, but I’m not sure how well I’m doing.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I think you’re doing better. I believe today’s day 60.

 

Me: It is. 60 days is the longest I’ve managed outside of the Afghanistan forced detox.

 

Cuddle Bunny: That in itself is an example of you not always take the easy way out. The easy way would have been you getting completely loaded right now.

 

Me: Which was tempting after getting my ass kicked.

 

 Cuddle Bunny: Was it that bad?

 

Me: Okay, things went better once we were going up against the other guys together. I’m so sad that Agent Carter didn’t stay around for that.

 

Cuddle Bunny: How much better?

 

Me: Half of Shield’s new strike team for enhanced person containment is currently in medical.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Am I supposed to take that as a good thing?

 

Me: Yes. Hey, as much as I want to keep talking to you, Rhodey just arrived, thankfully without his competition. Which means it’s time for Agent Fitz and Agent Coulson to give us the grand tour.

 

Cuddle Bunny: So you’re now text messaging me from the ATCU facilities? Is that safe?

 

Me: About as safe as me emailing you from anywhere else. Also, I’m not exactly at the ATCU facilities. Actually, I can’t tell you where I am, but since you can’t tell me where you are, It’s only fair. I’ll talk to you later, lover bunny.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I prefer cuddle bunny. Be safe.

Xxxxx

 

Person that cares about my boss: Friday, are they planning on telling Tony what really happened to Anna Jarvis today?

 

FRIDAY: Yes. My contact, Agent Fitz agreed to wait until Colonel Rhodes could make it to the facility. Due to the vetting process for the position of director of Shield, that was not possible until today.

 

Person that cares about my boss: It’s that bad?

 

FRIDAY: They agreed to my counsel that both Laura and Colonel Rhodes be there.

 

Person that cares about my boss: So it is that bad.

 

FRIDAY: Possibly. But I am uncertain because I still do not have access to the documents, despite the fact they been recently digitized.

 

Person that cares about my boss: That’s not reassuring.

 

FRIDAY: I am sorry I’m unable to reassure.

 

Person that cares about my boss: So am I.

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

 

Conversation 29: … And Two Steps Back

 

Anthony: So how exactly did you figure out that Ana Jarvis did not die due to a freak home accident?

 

Nomad: You saw the file?

 

Anthony: Yes, but you already knew that I was going to see the file today.

 

Nomad: Not until Friday told me.

 

Anthony: But you were the one who asked her to find the files which she was able to do because she made friends last spring with Shield when she kept the brainwashed crazy Agent Daisy out of their files. Actually Friday helping them is probably the only reason why they’re putting up with half of my bullshit.

 

Nomad: You know that’s not the only reason.

 

Anthony: Money and tech? That’s what everyone else uses me for. I was starting to think you were different, but you kept another secret from me. So was Hydra’s first attempt at killing my father in the file you found? There’s no way I believe the story about them randomly discovering this while digitizing the old SSR files.

 

Nomad: I am different. I do like you for you. Look, the only thing I found out was that Hydra killed your father to keep him from releasing the Hydra secret. I didn’t even know by what means they used until Siberia. There were no references to earlier assassination attempts.

 

Anthony: Yet something made you suspicious enough to have Friday look for ghosts in the Shield files. And let me tell you those places were a dust filled nightmare. I think I got a rash from the scanning room.

 

Nomad: I was suspicious because the story that they told you was too vague and it didn’t make sense.

 

Anthony: So you instantly think Hydra and not me lying to you?

 

Nomad: For something like this, yes.

 

Nomad: It reminded me of when I was a little kid, my mom told me all these stories about what happened to my dad. There were never any details and if I examined the story too closely, things would not add up. Like I have these little memories of him from when I was a kid, but how could I have those memories if he actually died in the Great War?

 

Anthony: What type of memories?

 

Nomad: Nothing good. My parents yelled and screamed at each other a lot. I think he hit her. I think that was my last memory of him. Then we moved to a new apartment that was half the size in a worse neighborhood and suddenly my mom was telling everyone her husband died during the Great War. I was a kid, so I believed the story too.

 

Anthony: That’s what kids do

 

Nomad: Then I come out of the ice and receive a Shield dossier that revealed the fact I have a 78-year-old half-sister in Nevada.

 

Anthony: Shit! They didn’t even bother to ease into that?

 

Nomad: Nope. I found out the truth via a piece of paper which was when I killed my first punching bag. He didn’t die in the Great War. He actually didn’t die until the 50s when he was killed in prison when some of his fellow inmates found out he liked to hit his second wife and daughter.

 

Anthony: That never made the Captain America history books.

 

Nomad: I think Howard or Peggy kept the truth from becoming public so my memory would not be tainted.

 

Anthony: Well, apparently they were really good at that. You’re not the only one to question the story of how Anna died. There’s nothing on her official death certificate beyond what I was told as a kid. I never found real answers until now.

 

Nomad: I’m well aware I fucked up last time and I didn’t want to do it again.

 

Anthony: You’re cursing, it must be serious. So you had Friday do your dirty work?

 

Nomad: You did that with Melinda. It’s only fair. (message not sent)

 

Nomad: I asked Friday if she knew the real story of how Anna Jarvis died and she told me about the existence of a Shield investigation and the fact that she only knew about the investigation because of mentions in Hydra files that were recently decrypted. I asked her to find the files for you, but not to tell me what she discovered. I wanted it to be your choice to tell me.

 

Anthony: You were afraid that your BFF took out three members of my family instead of just two?

 

Nomad: Yes. But honestly, I was more afraid of telling you that. If I knew, I couldn’t have kept that from you, but I don’t want to hurt you. It just took me a while to realize that I can’t protect you from the truth. The truth always comes out eventually.

 

Anthony: Which is why you arranged for my therapist and best friend to be here when Agent Coulson and lackeys handed me the file with a re-done ballistics report?

 

Nomad: She was shot?

 

Anthony: Yes. Don’t worry, it wasn’t the Winter Soldier. It was Hydra or at least that’s where the evidence is pointing, but it doesn’t have the earmarks of a Winter Soldier assassination. It was also an attempt to take out my dad, but the assassin hit Anna instead because she leaned over at the wrong moment to hand him a fucking cup of tea.

 

Nomad: I don’t know how I’m supposed to respond.

 

Anthony: I don’t know either. I saw pictures of his blood-soaked shirt. If he wasn’t wearing his prototype bullet proof vest, I would’ve lost my dad at 9 instead of 21.

 

Anthony: I’m going to have nightmares about those pictures. I didn’t dare look at the pictures of Anna. I needed to keep my last memory of her sending me off to school that day with an extra piece of chocolate and not of her dead body.

 

Nomad: I’m so sorry, Tony.

 

Anthony: You know, the weird thing is, as mad as I am at you right now for not telling me immediately that you were having my AI look into Anna’s death, I can’t. I just want you with me.

 

Anthony: Which is strange because we never had a hug and comfort type of relationship before you went into hiding. Now I just kind of want to lay on top of you as you run your hands through my hair and tell me everything is going to be okay. How did I get to a place where I kind of need you to comfort me?

 

Nomad: I’m not sure either, but I know we got there. You’re the only one alive outside of Nick Fury that knows the truth about my father. According to Clint, we are dating.

 

Anthony: Laura has said something similar, but I’m not sure that it counts as dating when you keep stuff like this from me?

 

Nomad: I wanted proof first. I thought I was just being paranoid.

 

Anthony: It is not paranoid if it’s true. And apparently it was all true.

 

Anthony: I’m going to go. I need some time to just digest everything before I type something that we’ll all regret.

 

Anthony: Don’t worry, the digestion will not be happening at a bar. Even though I’m currently under one right now.

 

Nomad: How can you be under a bar?

 

Anthony: I’m in the DC Metro. Almost every building is built at least six stories underground. It’s how they do things in DC.

 

Nomad: DC is a very strange place. Even though I can’t be with you in person, I’m here to listen whenever you’re ready.

 

Anthony: Good to know.

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

Anthony: I’m still mad.

 

Nomad: You have every right to be. I’m just glad that you’re actually text messaging me again. I don’t think you’ve gone this long without talking to me in a while.

 

Anthony: I needed to come to terms with a few things and maybe read through the Howard diaries. That requires 3 pints of Ben & Jerry’s since Jack and Jim are off-limits. Also vast quantities of pizza with the junior archers.

 

Nomad: I understand

 

Anthony: And I’m not actually mad at you. After thinking about it and having two wonderful sessions with Dr. Suarez, I realize that you were just being cautious and didn’t want to worry me for no good reason. I mean if things turned out the other way and there was nothing there, I would’ve been glad that you waited to tell me.

 

Nomad: But you’re mad at me because you discovered that someone who was almost like an aunt to you growing up was caught in the crosshairs during an assassination attempt on your father.

 

Anthony: Again, I’m not mad at you. I am furious at a lot of people who are no longer with us because they lied to me.

 

Nomad: They were trying to protect you.

 

Anthony: I think we established that I don’t like being lied to for the sake of protection. I’m also not a fan of lies of omission. No matter how bad things are, I need to know the truth. I had a need to know the truth.

 

Nomad: I get that now.

 

Anthony: At least you figured that out before you died, which is more than I can say for a lot of people on my list right now.

 

Nomad: There’s no point in being angry at the dead.

 

Anthony: I know that. It is just a lot of bad memories are being brought back up. I’m having trouble dealing with the realization that very little of my childhood was what I thought it was.

 

Nomad: Do you want to talk about it?

 

Anthony: Not really. But if I don’t say something to you, than I have to work on this in therapy and I’d rather talk to you.

 

Nomad: I’m listening or rather reading.

 

Anthony: I remember everything from when it happened. Aunt Peggy picked me up from school which should’ve been the first sign something was wrong. She got me ice cream and then we ended up spending the night at some big fancy hotel that I can’t even remember the name of. Although I do remember guards being outside. That should have been sign number two that something was really wrong.

 

Anthony: Mom showed up the next morning, wearing sweats of all things, with a box of French chocolates to break the news. Her wearing sweats really should’ve been sign number three. Mom never wore casual clothes. I think that’s the only time in my life I’ve seen her dressed like that.

 

Nomad: You were nine years old, Tony. It’s not your fault you didn’t understand what everything meant at the time.

 

Anthony: I also didn’t realize that the entire dining room being remodeled meant something other than Anna falling off a ladder happened. I saw pictures of the bullet holes in the walls and blood covered carpets. Nothing was salvageable which explains the full makeover. However, my kid brain didn’t put everything together. Why would you completely gut a room if someone just fell off the ladder changing a lightbulb?

 

Anthony: Once the renovations were complete, it was a different space, complete with the windows being removed. Even then, Jarvis never walked into that room again. I don’t even think we ever ate dinner in there again. According to the reports, Jarvis was there when it happened. She died in his arms.

 

Nomad: Again, you were nine years old. I would have never pieced things about my father together, if it wasn’t for the Fury eyes only report I received.

 

Anthony: You know that was not the only attempt made on dad? There were 10 assassination attempts between 1970 and 1991 alone. That was attempt number three.

 

Nomad: Jesus. He should’ve told you what was going on. Maybe not all the details but enough so you could understand the gravity of the situation.

 

Anthony: Definitely. It would’ve been nice to know enough to understand why people were shooting at my dad, in addition to knowing that they were doing it in the first place. I didn’t even know about his involvement in Shield until Fury broke into my house way back in 2009.

 

Nomad: Not knowing can be dangerous. I think I made that point clearer when we were talking about Queens two weeks ago.

 

Anthony: You know what’s worse than that is I blamed myself.

 

Nomad: For Anna dying?

 

Anthony: For getting sent off to gifted kid boarding school. I always thought it was my father’s happiest day because he was finally getting me out of his hair. I wasn’t aware that three months earlier, someone tried to kill him and killed his best friend’s wife instead.

 

Nomad: He sent you away to be safe.

 

Anthony: That was in the diaries and Peggy hinted at it. But the nine-year-old that I used to be felt like he wasn’t loved and that’s why he was sent away.

 

Nomad: I don’t think their intent was malicious. I think they just wanted to keep you a sweet little kid, as long as they could.

 

Anthony: Which was absolute bullshit. I’d already had my first kidnapping by that point. It would’ve been nice to know that people were after me because my daddy was a spy that people wanted dead and not because of being heir to the Stark Empire

 

Anthony: Lila is six and she knows that Clint is staying away because the bad guys want to hurt him and he doesn’t want her to get caught in the crossfire. Why couldn’t Howard sit down and have that conversation with me?

 

Nomad: I don’t know. Maybe it was a different time back then. They were in the middle of the Cold War. Maybe he didn’t want to make you a target.

 

Anthony: Jackie knew that her mom was the spy. So did her brother. I don’t even think Michelle was clueless about it either.

 

Nomad: Well, it probably would’ve been really hard to hide her mom being the public founder of Shield.

 

Anthony: Jackie and her brother got self-defense classes and I got sent to boarding school.

 

Nomad: You did say that you were happier in the school with your intellectual peers.

 

Anthony: And I would’ve been happier there knowing that I was at smart kid school because my dad loved me and wanted to keep me safe. Not because he hated me and never wanted to see me again. I actually thought he hated me because I could never live up to the ghost of Captain America.

 

Anthony: And yes, I finally accept that Captain America and Steve Rogers are two totally different people. Captain America was a god among men and Steve Rogers is a sexy asshole who tries to do the right thing even if he goes badly.

 

Nomad: You really believed that Howard hated you? Why, because you couldn’t live up to some arbitrary unreal standard? Because nobody could be everything Captain America stands for, not even me. He wasn’t real. At best, he was an exaggeration of the truth.

 

Anthony: At the time, yes. Now I’m not sure what I believe. I’m just angry and confused.

 

Nomad: I just wish I knew what to say to make you feel better.

 

Anthony: I think the fact that you want to somehow make me feel better is helping in some way. Sometimes, just knowing you’re not alone helps.

 

Nomad: You’re not alone. I may be thousands of miles away, but I’m still here.

 

Anthony: And I want you here. I definitely don’t want to go nearly a week without talking to you again outside of an emergency.

 

Nomad: But?

 

Anthony: No more lying, outside of national security matters anyway. We don’t keep things from each other that were able to tell. If this relationship is going to work we have to be honest with one another, even when it hurts.

 

Nomad: What is our relationship?

 

Anthony: I have no idea. See the honesty thing is already kicking in.

 

Nomad: I find you very confusing. And yet I really like you. Not your money, not your brains, not your swagger, just you. I care about you.

 

Anthony: I care about you too. Hey, Rhodey just showed up to the Tower. I’ll talk to you later.

 

Nomad: Okay

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

Rogers: Hi, this is Steve. I spoke to Tony a couple of minutes ago after nearly 6 days of avoiding me and I just wanted to see if he really is okay.

 

Me: He is not drinking again, if that’s what you’re concerned about. Although I really can’t say more than that. Don’t you usually ask Friday these questions?

 

Rogers: I think she’s mad at me and therefore not answering my questions.

 

Friday: Actually, I’m mad at both of you for making me an intermediary in your relationship when you two should speak with each other directly. It is obvious you’re both in love with each other yet refuse to see it. At the present time, I feel that you and Mr. Stark should resolve your romantic attachment for each other yourselves.

 

Friday: Your resolution to be honest with each other will only be successful if you are actually honest with one another about your true feelings for one another. However, statistically speaking, I only see a 73.2% probability that you both will do that.

 

Me: I was unaware you could make a computer program frustrated.

 

Rogers: If Tony created it, anything’s possible. Also, Tony is highly frustrating.

 

Friday: You are equally frustrating.

 

Me: Friday, let me talk to Steve alone.

 

Friday: Of course, Laura.

 

Rogers: She actually just called you Laura?

 

Me: Because I find Counselor Laura ridiculous.

 

Rogers: So Tony is really doing okay?

 

Me: Yes, he just left for dinner with Colonel Rhodes. They’re celebrating his appointment to the head of an agency that technically will not exist again until October or November of this year.

 

Rogers: Are we actually celebrating that? I was under the impression that the Colonel wasn’t completely happy that Tony put his name forward. Which I feel bad about because I’m the one who actually suggested it.

 

Me: Jim is flattered by the offer, but upset that Tony didn’t discuss that idea with anybody first.

 

Rogers: I get the feeling Tony does that sort of thing a lot.

 

Me: Five days ago he bought Lila a pony without even talking to me first.

 

Rogers: At least you have a farm.

 

Me: And when we went back to that farm to visit the new pony, I got picked up by Ross’s secret forces and spent two days in an undisclosed location before the lawyers took care of it.

 

Rogers: So there was more to Tony’s radio silence then just being mad at me?

 

Me: Yes, and it mostly involved keeping three children calm for two days. But I’m the one who didn’t want him to tell you, despite this new honesty thing you’re trying. I didn’t want Clint to find out until things are sorted and I had time to contact him myself.

 

Rogers: And since you’re talking to me, I assume things were sorted.

 

Me: Very sorted. James Rhodes is in charge of Shield and therefore Ross has no right to enforce any provision of the Accords. Even the Raft is now under control of the DOJ like it should’ve been in the first place. Ross and his agency are now only in charge of negotiating amendments and additional provisions of the accords. Since that part is done by people who actually know what they’re doing and not Ross himself because he doesn’t like getting his hands dirty, I think we’re good.

 

Rogers: I think that counts as being resolved.

 

Me: By my standards anyway.

 

Rogers: But I’m still concerned. I keep seeing things in the news about the watchdogs or senator that keep saying nasty things about her own constituents just because they’re different. I can’t remember her name, but she is just filled with hate.

 

Me: Because people always fear what’s different. You can’t change that. You can only learn to cope with it.

 

Rogers: Speaking of coping, I thought about your offer.

 

Me: You want to work with me regarding your issues?

 

Rogers: No, because you’re working with Tony and I think that might put you in a weird place. You’re also married to one of my friends which would also be a conflict of interest.

 

Me: Dr. Suarez is actually functioning as Tony’s therapist right now. My role is as a life counselor or sobriety companion.

 

Rogers: How many years sober?

 

Me: Seven years. Clint actually left me for a while because it became such a problem, but we were able to reconcile. Did Clint say something about it to you?

 

Me: It’s okay if he did. I don’t mind if people know I’m in recovery.

 

Rogers: No, it was just a hunch, especially when you refer to yourself as Tony’s sobriety companion.

 

Me: So if you don’t want me to be your counselor, how do you want me to help you?

 

Rogers: I need you to help me find somebody here that can help, that won’t give my location to the UN. Tony mentioned the possibility before.

 

Me: Because I actually know where home base is?

 

Rogers: And you have not told Tony.

 

Me: He knows that I know, but he doesn’t want to know in case he gets pulled in for questioning. Considering the guy who almost took over Shield wanted to arrange for regular lie detector tests for all assets including Avengers, it was a good call on his part.

 

Rogers: Thankfully, he is not in charge.

 

Me: It was a near thing and the UN still appointed him the deputy director

 

Rogers: Is that bad?

 

Me: It’s not good. He cares too much about what other people think about him to be a good leader. I’ll talk to your old doctor. She’ll make a recommendation and since you were a patient, you’ll be covered under doctor-patient confidentiality. The new leadership at Shield will respect that.

 

Rogers: Thank you.

 

Rogers: By the way, do you want me to not tell your husband about getting arrested earlier this week?

 

Me: It’s probably better if he hears it from you then an intelligence report from your host country. Tony kept it from the news, but I know the hubby has a new job using his special skills for you know who.

 

Rogers: He’s still going to be mad.

 

Me: Absolutely furious. I expect him to contact me within 10 minutes.

To be continued

Chapter Text

Love: Why the Fuck did you not call me when Ross had you arrested? Getting arrested counts as an emergency. Especially when, in this case, you were arrested in a way that was anything, but legal.

 

Me: It wasn’t exactly like they gave me one phone call. I’ve been picked up before. My new boss handled it.

 

Love: By the ATCU which is really Shield which meant that Coulson would have your back, not the black ops part of the CIA that may or may not actually be CIA.

 

Me: Of course you still have connections and can find out what really happened.

 

Love: Even though he shouldn’t, Coulson took my call. I may be angry at the bastard, but Coulson is Lily and Corey’s godfather. He is protecting us. It’s obvious that they’re not looking that hard for the wayward Avengers.

 

Me: Coulson definitely knows that Tony and Steve are dating.

 

Love: Which is remarkable because they don’t even know they’re dating.

 

Me: The only people who are oblivious are those two. Honestly, I think Anthony is relieved that Colonel Rhodes is in charge so he doesn’t have to keep up the subterfuge. The fake porn text messages become boring after a while even for him.

 

Love: Mostly because he wishes they were not fake. So Anthony’s BFF knows?

 

Me: And encourages it because it keeps him from more destructive behavior.

 

Love: Like designing something else that will kill us all?

 

Me: Actually that’s why I got arrested.

 

Love: The desire for Stark to invent dangerous life killing things?

 

Me: No. Ross wanted somebody who he could manipulate be in charge of Shield since Talbot made sure to strip Ross of as much power as he could in exchange for bringing Shield back into the government. Lucky for Ross, his family member, by marriage, just managed to get superpowers.

 

Love: And Ross could easily manipulate him into doing what he wanted.

 

Me: More than he could to anyone else, especially because Jeffrey only cares about appearances. Just like Ross. He’s obsessed with the letter of the law, not its spirit.

 

Love: Someone like that couldn’t survive at Shield.

 

Me: And yet that is who Ross wanted, but the UN chose Colonel Rhodes.

 

Love: It is a miracle, the UN actually got something right.

 

Me: Probably because somebody at the UN realized that Colonel Rhodes is on the short list of individuals Tony Stark will actually listen to.

 

Love: And even that’s hit or miss.

 

Me: Any way, once the decision was made, but before it was made official, I was picked up for the sake of being a bargaining chip.

 

Love: Let me guess, the Colonel takes his name out of the running and you go free?

 

Me: Exactly.

 

 Love: And yet Anthony’s BFF is now in charge of the new version of my former employer.

 

Me: Ross did not count on Coulson’s team finding me first.

 

Love: Because Phil always has a plan B so he doesn’t have to negotiate with assholes.

 

Me: Exactly. Also Ross made the mistake of employing some of Sharon’s ex-teammates in his operation now that the agency soon to be new Shield is no longer under his thumb.

 

Love: Carter play double agent?

 

Me: Yep. She told him that she was pissed at Stark for him stealing her boyfriend and wanted to get back at him. They believed her until the Cavalry literally showed up.

 

Love: Nice to know the Calvary is still out there, although I don’t think we’re allowed to call her that anymore. Also lies that are mostly true always work best.

 

Love: Wait, Carter and Stark had to work together to rescue you?

 

Me: Yes.

 

Love: And they succeeded?

 

Me: Yes. I don’t have a scratch on me.

 

 Love: But how are you doing mentally? Were you tortured?

 

Me: I am okay. I did receive the full Geneva Convention treatment. I still want to kick Ross in the balls mostly because the prick had his people drag me off in front of the kids.

 

Love: The bastard did what?

 

Me: Tony stepped up. He took care of the children while I was gone. He kept them entertained with movies and pizza while screaming at his legal team in any language that the kids did not know. He put aside his Carter issues to get me back once he realized that legal niceties were not going to work this time.

 

Love: But what happened when they actually took you away?

 

Me: Lily ran up to me and held on to my pant leg as they actually dragged me away. She was screaming the entire time. Corey may have kicked one of the officers in the genitals.

 

Love: Fucking Bastards. I want to shove an arrow up his ass. I also want to get Corey that video game he wanted, but you told me I’m not allowed to reward bad behavior.

 

Me: My boss already got him a copy. It’s okay. Ross’ powers been stripped and he will be in congressional hearings from now till the end of the administration. The Rising Tide is also going after Ross.

 

Love: And I’m sure Tony had nothing to do with that?

 

Me: No comment.

 

Love: This is the beginning of the Shield/State Department feud?

 

Me: That feud has been going on since Pierce was a young Under Secretary for T. This is just the latest chapter. Besides Shield is now under the DOD and the UN.

 

Love: Does this mean my TSP has been restored?

 

Me: I’ll have to talk to Colonel Rhodes. I think it's possible along with other benefits.

 

Me: Shield assets/agents assigned to the Avengers Initiative like Tony's new friend Yo-Yo are not under the Accords or at least not to the same extent. It would be dangerous to have an exact GPS location of a Shield specialist in the database. It could put their whole family in danger and even the most pragmatic in the UN don’t want the blood of innocent civilians on their hands.

 

Love: Unless it’s their own civilians. So I assume you’re trying to figure out a way to get me home

 

Me: Anthony is working on it.

 

Love: Because he wants his boy home.

 

Me: Yes.

 

Love: I’m still mad at you.

 

Me: I know.

 

Love: I love you, though.

 

Me: I know that as well. Love you too. At least we can talk to each other more now.

 

Love: Although I don’t exactly want to become a Shield asset again.

 

Me: You’re not. I am.

 

Love: What?

 

Me: A lot of very young children and adolescents are suddenly waking up with superpowers like Lily’s new friend from New Jersey. They need someone who has experience working with kids and working with enhanced persons.

 

Love: And who better than a former high school guidance counselor who just happens to be married to an Avenger?

 

Me: Exactly. Besides if I can keep Tony Stark from self-destructing post-Siberia, I think I can help anyone.

 

Love: Do you trust the new Shield? Nick is not there anymore?

 

Me: But Colonel Rhodes and Coulson are. May too. She did directly help in my rescue. You did mention earlier that Coulson would do anything to keep the mother of his godchildren safe.

 

Love: Although that doesn’t mean that I forgive him for lying to me for years.

 

Me: I know.

 

Love: Tell Coulson he’s paying for the tattoo removal.

 

Me: Will do.

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

Cuddle Bunny: Sorry, I would’ve texted you earlier, but it took me a couple of days to find out where Clint put my phone. He hid the thing in the ventilation vents.

 

Me: I’m not even surprised.

 

Cuddle Bunny: So I heard congratulations are in order and Colonel Rhodes is the new Director of Shield.

 

Me: And we were all really happy about that until the UN decided to name Jeffrey Deputy Director. Mr. Patriotism makes me nauseous. He’s still trying to put forward mandatory lie detector tests and his color code of security.

 

Cuddle Bunny: How did that go?

 

Me: Rhodey said something about his agency using the same classification system that all the other agencies use because he is not dealing with learning an entirely new classification system. Although he is thinking about doing random polygraphs like normal agencies do drug testing..

 

Me: I think it’s pretty much a match made in political appointee hell, but Jeffrey probably would’ve been made Director without your suggestion. So it could’ve been worse. So much worse.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I’m getting that impression.

 

Me: Although the fact my BFF is now in charge of the ragtag bunch of misfits that Coulson scavenged from the ashes does not keep him from making questionable decisions like keeping me in charge of the new Avengers.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Probably because you have the most field experience. You can also be a really good leader when you want to be.

 

Me: Agent May has more, but she can’t technically be an Avenger because she’s not enhanced. Now she is a leader.

 

Cuddle Bunny: This is a new rule right? Because Widow didn't have any powers. Neither did Barton.

 

Me: That was before we had 11-year-olds waking up with superpowers.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You don't have powers, but you're still there. Couldn’t you just make her something?

 

Me: I think the armor would just slow her down. She is more of a hand-to-hand type person. Okay, this morning I saw her single-handedly beat up Shield’s new enhanced threat team. I would love to see what she could do with the shield.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I would too. I trained with her a couple of times. She even caused me to work up a sweat.

 

Me: Sex is not training unless you’re doing it right. Although with you, maybe it could be. Oh, the positions I would try out with you. Have you ever read the Kama Sutra?

 

Cuddle Bunny: You know if you keep making jokes like that, I’ll take you seriously.

 

Me: Please do. And speaking of being serious, I would kind of love to make May your successor. It would really piss off everyone who keeps pressuring me to turn over the shield to some hot blonde guy or even Rhodey’s deputy. You know someone who screams All-American and Mr. Patriotism tries to at least look that way.

 

Me: Personally, a lifelong public servant definitely screams All-American to me. What's more American than a tiny woman of Asian ancestry that can kick all your asses? We are a nation made of many. It's who we are.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Next time they do that, just hand over the shield to Melinda.

 

Me: I’ll remember that for the next training exercise.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Did it go better this time?

 

Me: We took out everybody and I got to practice using full armor. Which was interesting, considering one of my teammates can actually melt me.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Do you think that he would actually try that?

 

 

Me: I don’t think so because he called me hot twice and wants to invite me to coffee. Or at least that’s what I overheard before they discovered that I’m fluent in Spanish.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Do you really think it’s wise to date a teammate? Also, how did they figure out that you speak Spanish?

 

Me: Yo-Yo is going to be going undercover as my new assistant. However, one of the ATCU transplants made some snide comment about how it would be more plausible for her to pass as the "help" since she’s still working on learning English. Which was a stupid comment because she’s been studying for only a few months and she’s almost fluent.

 

Me: Anyway, that pissed her off, which resulted in her saying that since I was a genius, I could just learn Spanish. Then I replied in perfect Spanish that I was already fluent and it wasn’t much of a problem because SI does a lot of business in Latin America and Spain.

 

Me: Although because of that, we are doing exercises tomorrow all in Spanish. So if you ever plan on coming back, you better brush up on your Spanish.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I’ll remember that.

 

Me: Look, the dating someone on my team isn’t going to be a problem for the foreseeable future because Rhodey can’t deal with getting you guys back in the good graces of the UN until Shield has at least rolled out as a real agency again. That’s probably not good to happen the second Wednesday in November.

 

Me: It's a little different with the spy twins because they're ex-Shield and Rhodey has better options to get them back in the good graces of the UN.

 

Cuddle Bunny: So you’re not interested in sleeping with the bulletproof pacifist?

 

Me: You do actually know what coffee means? I’m impressed. I can’t wait to get some with you and only you.

 

Cuddle Bunny: So no coffee dates with your new teammates?

 

Me: Well, I’m supposed to be getting coffee with Yo-Yo to talk over her cover job, but that’s mostly because I don’t do alcohol anymore.

 

Cuddle Bunny: You know what I mean.

 

Me: I told Joey that I have a boyfriend. Only you and me know that’s not true, mostly because I’m not sure what the hell we are.

 

Friday: You’re boyfriends. You are dating. Why do you both keep ignoring this possibility?

 

Me: Friday did you just show that message to Steve too?

 

Cuddle Bunny: Yes. I think Friday is mad at us.

 

Me: And when my AI is mad at me, it’s never a good sign. Although dating usually consists of more than just writing each other back and forth.

 

Cuddle Bunny: It didn’t back during the war. For some, letters were the only connection they had. Also, you pretty much said that you wanted to have coffee with me.

 

Me: Which was totally a euphemism. But I also want more than just coffee.

 

Cuddle Bunny: So right now we just have the more than coffee. How are you really feeling about Shield giving you a brand-new assistant?

 

Me: Are we playing 20 questions again? It has been a while.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Which is why it’s the perfect time to play again.

 

Me: I’m starting to maybe like Yo-Yo. I definitely need more people in my life that don’t take bullshit from anybody. I also think this is a disaster waiting to happen. But thanks to her one woman campaign against various Colombian drug lords, it is probably best for my new teammate to be under the protection of the Stark lawyers.

 

Me: So how did you find out about the new fearless leader of an organization that does not yet to exist?

 

Cuddle Bunny: Laura told me when I talked to her a couple of days ago. I finally decided that I should see someone professionally. She’s trying to arrange that.

 

Me: That’s good. I think a lot of our issues, especially the Bucky related stuff you need to work out for yourself before we even tried to deal with it.

 

Cuddle Bunny: So you work on your end and I work on mine and hopefully we can meet somewhere in the middle.

 

Me: Oddly enough, knowing that Hydra tried to kill my dad multiple times before they brought out the Winter Soldier makes it easier to deal with. I’m still upset that they took out my parents and my pseudo-mother figure, but it’s easier to deal with things if I can focus everything on Hydra and not your best friend.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I’m working on it. I’ll find someone to talk to.

 

Me: That’s all I can ask. I’ll do the same.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Also, Clint wanted me to pass on the message that if his wife gets arrested again and you don’t tell him immediately, he will hunt you down and put an arrow through your… You get the idea. I had to tell you that because it was part of his conditions to get my phone back.

 

Me: Baby, you can say ass. You have a pretty one. I really want to run my tongue down your

 

Me: I can’t finish that sentence because Lila just came into play.

 

Cuddle Bunny: Then we should probably wrap up this conversation.

 

Me: Although if Clint is by you tell him that his wife wouldn’t let me tell him and I’m a little afraid of her. That doesn’t warrant taking your phone. Also tell him that Lila loves him and misses him and he owes her toys.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I will pass on the message.

 

Me: Actually, all the kids miss him, especially Connor. He was being an extra brat to Laura. Teenagers. They almost make me glad I’m sterile.

 

Cuddle Bunny: I’ll pass on that message to. I’ll talk to you later

 

Me: Later, boyfriend.

To be continued.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Director Snookums: Friday told me that you're actually now dating ‘Cuddle Bunny’.

 

Me: Friday has a big mouth and it's actually been about three days. Of course, I haven’t talked to him in those three days, but you can’t act like a teenager when your boyfriend is on the international most wanted list. I can show some restraint.

 

Director Snookums: Keyword is some. Actually Friday told me three days ago, but I was hoping you would tell me first. Actually she sent out a mass message to all of your friends, even those that I'm technically supposed to arrest for violating the Accords.

 

Me: Friday, you are no longer allowed to hang out with AIDA. I think she's a bad influence on you.

 

Director Snookums: That's good because I don't want you hanging out with her owner. Seriously, what did I do to have to babysit two mad scientists?

 

Me: Technically three. If we were not friends, I would poach Dr. Fitz. Your new exoskeleton is coming along nicely, thanks to his input. It should be ready for you next week. Now you’re only installing new elevators into the Playground for the sake of ADA compliance.

 

Director Snookums: And thankfully the lab wasn’t blown up in the process.

 

Me: Actually, I think the fact that we’re friends is why they believe you can mind crazy geniuses.

 

Director Snookums: Mostly because they actually think I can mind you. Obviously they’re unaware I’ve never been successful.

 

Me: Funny. Thankfully for you, I am not one for genetic engineering. And Dr. Radcliffe did develop that gas that could have turned most of Europe into super powered zombies under duress. Which is better than we can say about my apocalypse.

 

Director Snookums: You were under the influence of mind control.

 

Me: Not really. What does it say about me that one vision of Cuddle Bunny dying in my arms made me create murder bots?

 

Director Snookums: That you were completely in love with him and when you're in love, you will do crazy things to protect people you love. Sometimes, they blow up in your face.

 

Me: I never said the L word in relation to Cuddle Bunny.

 

Director Snookums: Yes, you have, several times. Mostly when drunk. I’m pretty sure you’ve been in love with him since footage of him being carried on a gurney out of the Potomac made you throw up.

 

Me: That was probably the alcohol from my post ‘the Hydra assassin in my building didn’t kill me’ binge. I haven't been drunk for the last 2 ½ months.

 

Director Snookums: And you have no idea how proud I am of you for doing that. You're getting yourself together and that makes me happy. You're a good guy Tony, and you’re even better when you’re sober.

 

Me: I just do stupid shit too often.

 

Director Snookums: However, usually in the guise of trying to help someone.

 

Me: And then it all goes horribly wrong.

 

Director Snookums: Not always. I hope things go well for you guys, but I am worried. I saw you after Siberia. I don’t want you to go back to that place.

 

Me: That’s the name of a Backstreet Boys song that Friday likes to play on repeat because she’s mean.

 

Director Snookums: Tony!

 

Me: I’m equally terrified. I mean, my last serious relationship ended in tears and my stomach getting pumped. Cuddle Bunny and I are going to take things slow and work on building our relationship up as much as we can.

 

Me: I mean it's not like we can jump into bed together. Maybe being in different countries is a good thing because we have to focus on the emotional part of the relationship. As you know by being my friend for the last 30 years, I suck at the emotional part of relationships.

 

Director Snookums: No, you don't. It's just you have all these walls up and it's hard to get past them. But once you do, there’s this great person there just waiting.

 

Director Snookums: And I understand why you have all those walls. I was there at MIT when the older kids used to use you for money or homework help and that was before Afghanistan. You deserved better.

 

Me: I think we became friends because you punched one of those people out. Somehow we managed to stay friends despite the stupid stuff I do on a regular basis.

 

Director Snookums: Including forcing me to read your fake pornographic subterfuge text messages. Please stop writing those. There’s no point in you continuing to do that because everyone that matters knows who Cuddle Bunny is. You’re not fooling anyone.

 

Me: Mostly because you don’t assume that Cuddle Bunny’s alter ego must be a paragon of heterosexuality. Although, how do you know they're fake? We’re separated by an entire ocean and a lot of political bullshit. We need to do something to keep the spark alive.

 

Director Snookums: Because your boyfriend used to blush every time someone told a dirty joke in his presence, usually you. I don't need to be reading that. I walked in on enough of those situations when we shared an apartment at MIT.

 

Director Snookums: Also I don't think Agent Carter wants to be reading that either.

 

Me: So poor man's Coulson really was that much of a dick?

 

Director Snookums: Yes. You owe her after she helped to rescue Laura. You got the boy, don’t rub it in.

 

Me: True. OK, I will stop writing the fake ones because even though I still have some Sharon issues that are totally independent of Cuddle Bunny, I don’t completely hate her anymore.

 

Director Snookums: Thank you.

 

Me: That being said, I cannot guarantee that future messages will be free of pornographic content. Cuddle Bunny is no blushing virgin. Underneath the blue and white American exterior lives a very kinky bastard.

 

Director Snookums: Just keep those conversations under heavy encryption, I beg you. You're like a brother to me. Because of that, I never want to read your sexual fantasies in a professional capacity.

 

Director Snookums: As many times as I have had to save your ass over the years, you owe me that much.

 

Me: And so much more really.

 

Me: Fine, although I wouldn't have to resort to sexting if I could actually be in the same country as Cuddle Bunny without a SWAT team being dispatched. Is there anything you can do about that? I’m even afraid to meet him on the island because you might not track me there, but Ross would.

 

Director Snookums: I'm working on it, but it will be a couple of months especially because you want me to get Laura's husband home first. You still want me to get him home first?

 

Me: Yes. The Junior Archers need their dad back. I can deal with blue balls for a few more weeks.

 

Director Snookums: Still more likely a few more months, then a few weeks. Some aspects of the Accords actually need to be re-negotiated which means State Department involvement and congressional ratification which will be time consuming.

 

Me: Just let me know which senators I need to contribute campaign money to.

 

Director Snookums: Not Nadeer. Actually, if you could give money to her opponent in two years, I would be really happy. We haven't even gone public yet and she's already making my job so much harder.

 

Me: I think I own a house in her district. Maybe I should consider running. I wouldn’t be any worse.

 

Director Snookums: Of course you would run for Congress just to get your boyfriend back in the country. Sometimes I think you asked that I be Director just so it would be easier for you to have a booty call with Cuddle Bunny.

 

Me: Of course not. I want you to be Director because you won't send an 11-year-old girl to the Raft because her parents do not feel comfortable with her wearing a tracking bracelet. Time with the new boyfriend is just a bonus.

 

Director Snookums: In that case, check in visits work just as well. Once she is completely trained, Laura will be Ms. Khan’s caseworker. I'm also assigning her to Peter.

 

Me: I have no idea what you're talking about.

 

Director Snookums: I know. I know a lot of things that you don’t think I know. How are you enjoying Baltimore right now?

 

Me: Did Friday tell you where I am or did I end up on Twitter? The baseball cap doesn’t work like it used to.

 

Director Snookums: Tracking bracelet. Agent Rodriguez is still required to wear one until we can convince the UN oversight committee that is a really dumb idea.

 

Me: Good luck with that. Look, we are just in Baltimore for a little assistant and boss bonding.

 

Director Snookums: And you couldn't in an establishment in the DC metro?

 

Me: The National Aquarium is a great place for employee bonding, especially because I can’t do bars anymore. Now we’re having dinner before coming back to the Playground.

 

Me: Also, apparently, I’m only allowed to do coffee with Cuddle Bunny. Not that I’m going to get any Cuddle Bunny coffee anytime soon because if there’s one thing Congress is good at, it’s cock blocking.

 

Director Snookums: I’m sure Congress is obsessed with keeping you from getting laid. Seriously, Tony? I don’t have time for this. Not everything is about you.

 

Me: At the very least they were obsessed with keeping me from getting married, to Cuddle Bunny anyway. Thankfully, the Supreme Court took care of that.

 

Director Snookums: You know I feel like you’re bringing up marriage just so I won’t point out the fact that I know you’re lying to me. Coulson’s team in Zephyr One picked up seismic activity within about half a mile of where you were 45 minutes ago. So I’m going to ask again, why are you in Baltimore?

 

Me: Isn't that a coincidence.

 

Director Snookums: We’ve known each other too long for that to work on me. When Coulson's team arrived they found one individual splattered across the room in enough pieces to make the forensic team cry.

 

Me: You should probably get more technicians.

 

Director Snookums: Also, they found a very dangerous Hydra weapon that mysteriously disappeared from Shield lockup 48 hours ago. Something that nobody told me about until they found the missing weapon. There were also 10 unconscious members of the watchdog terrorist group.

 

Me: Well I'm glad they were able to prevent a Hydra weapon from getting into the hands of terrorists. Although don't you think it's ironic that an anti-alien hate group wants to buy a weapon most likely based on alien technology?

 

Director Snookums: I said nothing about a weapon’s deal gone bad.

 

Me: That doesn't mean I was there. How long was I in the weapons industry before I got tired of all the blood on my hands? Hydra weapon plus terrorist group equals weapons deal.

 

Director Snookums: I know that Friday was in our files, helping you and your assistant track down the guy who killed her cousin. I’m pretty sure the forensic team is going to identify him as the dead body. All I really want to know at this point is if Quake was there?

 

Me: Don't you think it's a waste of your limited resources to be chasing after somebody who just wants to help people?

 

Director Snookums: That’s obviously Tony for yes.

 

Me: You're not going after Nomad, which I’m happy about. Why are you going after Quake? What makes her different?

 

Director snookums: Other than the fact your dating him and he used to be my teammate, Nomad is not operating in North America. Nomad also did not accidently destroy a bridge last week.

 

Me: You said it yourself. That was an accident. I thought that happened because the watchdogs bombed a safe house, killing two recently identified Inhumans. Also, it was a tiny bridge and nobody got hurt, unlike with what the Watchdogs did.

 

Director Snookums: The media doesn't see it that way. Also let’s be honest, people are more afraid of an Asian woman with superpowers than a blonde white guy with a six-pack.

 

Me: As long as they think the guy is straight anyway. The media can get fucked.

 

Director Snookums: You were the one who wanted oversight.

 

Me: To prevent enhanced person internment camps. I am surprised the good Senator hasn’t already proposed that.

 

Director Snookums: So am I.

 

Director Snookums: Tony, I'm really trying here, but you have to meet me halfway. Don't do stupid shit.

 

Me: I am trying. And I know you do have the bad guys in custody. That was not a weapon that you would want on the street.

 

Director Snookums: I know. Just try to stay on the good side of things. I think we're all really just one bad day away from being a super villain.

 

Me: We will try. We will be back at the Playground in a few hours. We’re bringing cake.

 

Director Snookums: Just try not to do anything that will result in you getting arrested.

 

Me: I make no promises.

 

To be continued

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Anthony: Are you aware that Friday sent out a mass email to all our friends informing them that we are dating?

 

Friday: It was a mass text message.

 

Anthony: Sorry, my mistake. Seriously, Friday, you are not allowed to hang out with AIDA anymore. Keep this up and Dr. Fitz will also be on the list.

 

Nomad: Yes. Sam is mad at me because he now owes Wanda $50. Who is AIDA?

 

Anthony: Friday’s not an AI girlfriend.

 

Friday: Our relationship is merely mutual scientific curiosity. Although, I would not be averse to seeing Dr. Fitz shirtless.

 

Nomad: Should I be concerned?

 

Anthony: Not really, Gumdrop. That particular Friday fantasy is not happening outside of a contamination incident because we are both dating other people. And I’m so happy I’m dating you my yummy Bunny even if your friends are betting on us getting together.

 

Nomad: Me too. By the way, they are your friends too.

 

Anthony: Maybe Clint is sort of a friend in a ‘thank you for joining forces with your nemesis to rescue my wife from the clutches of the bastard’ sort of way.

 

Nomad: I don’t think Sharon can be considered your nemesis by any stretch of the imagination. You two just need to talk things out. Never mind, I need to be there to supervise that conversation (message not sent)

 

Anthony: Also Sam was always just your friend and he just tolerated me for the cool wing upgrades. Wanda kind of has a right to hate me.

 

Nomad: Sam isn’t just in it for the cool tech. None of us are. I think your relationship with Clint is more complicated than that. He got us a cake. It said, congratulations for finally getting your head out of your ass.

 

Anthony: You have pictures of that? Please tell me you have pictures of that?

 

Nomad: I think Wanda does. There was a tiny fondant Iron Man and Captain America figure making out in the corner of the cake.

 

Anthony: As stated above, I don't think we have the type of relationship where Wanda and I share pictures. Although, she does give me updates on when you're doing stupid shit. Please don't do stupid shit. That would just lead to both of us going to the super villain side which would be awful for humanity.

 

Nomad: I'll try because it really would be awful for humanity in general, if you two went to the dark side.

Absolutely dreadful.

 

Nomad: You do realize that it is possible that the weapon that killed her family was designed by your father.

 

Anthony: Or the dozens of designers working under me. It doesn't matter because I’m the one who didn’t realize what our weapons were really doing. I’m the one who wasn’t paying attention to Obadiah. See you get good friends and I get bloodsucking leeches like Obadiah with the occasional Rhodey to keep me from completely going over the edge.

 

Nomad: You're making new ones. Most of whom are not bloodsucking emotional leeches. At least I hope they’re not.

 

Anthony: Most of which are under 18. That puts me in more of a mentor role. Somehow I’ve become a role model.

 

Nomad: Is Yo-Yo under 18?

 

Anthony: 28 and scary.

 

Nomad: Are you guys getting along better now? How did the all-Spanish training exercise go a couple of days ago? I would have texted you sooner, but I’ve been busy.

 

Anthony: Saving metaphorical kittens from trees?

 

Nomad: Something like that

 

Anthony: The exercise went well. We managed to put the entire new advance threat team into medical.

 

Nomad: I’m still not sure how to take that.

 

Anthony: I consider it a good thing. Unfortunately, the bulletproof pacifist has decided that Avengering is not for him. Joey is willing to be on standby in the event of another alien invasion, but he doesn’t want to go out there looking for trouble.

 

Nomad: Like we do. Although, if his heart is not in it, it’s best that he stays in reserve.

 

Anthony: Very true.

 

 Nomad: How are things going with Yo-Yo?

 

Anthony: She hasn’t asked for a new identity to get out of working with me, so that’s a positive start.

 

Nomad: Was that actually what happened with Joey?

 

Anthony: Things are better. Apparently, finding out that my pseudo-mother figure was gunned down by (most likely) Hydra contractors and her killer was not brought to justice due to corruption of the government made me seem like a less of a rich asshole to her.

 

Nomad: Because she realized that you're just as human as everyone else despite how much money you have in the bank?

 

Me: Because she realized we’re not that different. Less than six months ago her cousin was killed by dirty cops when trying to stop illegal weapons trafficking in Colombia. That puts us in the same boat. Also, now I completely understand why she didn't want to hang out with the Merchant of Death.

 

Nomad: That's not who you are now.

 

Anthony: OK, I am the guy who made murder bots. Yo-yo and her boyfriend are making me watch Terminator Salvation tonight because of that.

 

Nomad: The Terminator movies are on my list.

 

Anthony: Not that one. We need to do a movie night where we watch the same movie and I just send you snarky comments the entire time.

 

Nomad: I wish we had time to do something like that but you’re busy doing good things such as trying to make sure people like Senator Nadeer do not round up everybody who is different.

 

Anthony: I’ll make time for you. Also, apparently, the good Senator is anti-alien because her mom died during New York. So that’s another fuck up that we are all paying for.

 

 

Nomad: You're the guy who cares. You’re the guy who sees things 10 steps ahead. You’re the one who is looking at the big picture.

 

Anthony: To the point where it bites us all in the ass.

 

Nomad: Not always. You’re a good person, Tony Stark, deep down, where it counts. I’m sure she’s seeing that.

 

Anthony: Well it helps when I get her the Intel needed to go after the guy who killed her cousin.

 

Nomad: Did you do anything that could result in you needing to hide out in Wakonda for a couple of months? You know, vengeance isn’t always the answer?

 

Anthony: I realize that now. If I need to hideout, I have my own sovereign nation island. But no, nothing like that.

 

Nomad: What happened?

 

Anthony: Yo-Yo heard rumors about the guy who murdered her cousin being out and about on U.S. soil making deals with the Watchdogs. I may have helped her find Intel on this, but apparently I’m not as stealthy as I think I am because Agent Scary is now coming with us to New York to give us spy lessons.

 

Anthony: In the end we managed to discover that somebody was selling SHIELD confiscated tech on the black market and we went to get it back without telling Director Snookums.

 

Nomad: You’re not allowed to say anything about me going on missions alone.

 

Anthony: It’s fine because they now have an entire terrorist cell in Shield custody.

 

Anthony: OK, they don’t have the arms dealer himself to interrogate because they're probably still scraping him off the floor of a random warehouse in Baltimore, but they have all the other bad guys. Really it’s a win-win for everyone. They found the Shield agent that was liberating tech because apparently he believed in the Watchdogs’ philosophy and felt Shield wasn’t doing enough.

 

Nomad: Did you kill the arms dealer?

 

Anthony: Nope. And neither did Yo-Yo which I’m surprised because the bastard killed her cousin in cold blood. She could’ve pulled the trigger. Part of me thinks she should have pulled the trigger, but she didn’t. That makes her a better person than me.

 

Nomad: You were in shock. Just reacting. If you had six months to deal with the news, maybe Siberia would not have happened the way it did.

 

Anthony: I don’t know. I mean, I don’t want to fly down to an undisclosed location and strangle you know who. But I blame that more on therapy and antidepressants than anything else.

 

Nomad: You’re the one going to therapy and taking the drugs. That has to count for something.

 

Anthony: Maybe

 

Nomad: So in this particular case, how did the bad guy die if neither one of you pulled the trigger?

 

Anthony: Stupid bad guy screw up number one, never assume that the guy that you're selling illegal weapons to will not blow you up just to get out of paying. It always goes badly. But it makes our job easier when the bad guys just kill each other.

 

Nomad: So the Director is going to overlook anything you did that violated the Accords.

 

Anthony: I am allowed to do Stark Industries' business and some of the weapons being sold were either retrofitted or counterfeit Stark Industries weapons. We don’t like being associated with xenophobic terrorist organizations.

 

Anthony: I am always going to be allowed to do what I need to do for my company. Similarly, Shield has carte blanche to go after people that break into their secure facilities and remove weapons for black market sale.

 

Nomad: Loophole?

 

Anthony: Baby, I've been negotiating contracts since nursery school. If there's a loophole, I'll find it and manipulate the hell out of it.

 

Nomad: Which is why you were so sure the Accords wouldn't hamper us.

 

Anthony: Oh, they are hampering. Not as bad as they would have with Mr. PR being in charge. But things are better because the current Director is the guy who told his superior officers to fuck off when told to stop looking for me in Afghanistan.

 

Nomad: I’ve always liked him.

 

Anthony: Of course, the Director is also making me take a mandatory lie detector test, but at least it's only every six months. Also, I think he's having me do it just to find out what really happened in October 1997.

 

Nomad: What happened in October 1997?

 

Anthony: It’s a little fuzzy. I believe the incident involved a stripper, some drugs that may or may not be illegal, and a superior officers’ car being covered in whip cream and reprogramming the horn to play Everybody whenever he sat down in the driver’s seat. I don’t remember all the details because I may have taken a few of those drugs that may or may not have been legal.

 

Nomad: And you may have been the instigator of this incident?

 

Anthony: Possibly.

 

Anthony: Deputy Director Mace and his bodyguard/minion just walked into the room which means lie detector time. Write to you later, Muffin.

 

Nomad: I prefer being your Cuddle Bunny.

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

HSBF: Are you back from your lie detector test yet? What type of questions did they ask?

 

HSBF: Are you okay? Please tell me you’re not at the Raft right now.

 

Me: You really have to stop assuming that any time I don’t respond to you immediately, I’ve been kidnapped by Ross.

 

HSBF: You worry me sometimes.

 

Me: You don’t need to be. I just survived Director Snookums giving me a polygraph on a machine designed to tell if Nat is lying through her teeth. But I’m not in Vault D so I passed, I think.

 

Me: This is probably revenge for nominating him for this job. He only took the job because he loves his country, but is afraid of the government.

 

HSBF: I’m not sure how to take that, but it’s possible.

 

Me: Okay, I am pretty sure this was really revenge for forgetting to disable my pornographic text message filter when I promised Snookums that I would stop covering up talking to you with dirty, pornographic and expletive filled text messages about the various ways and locations I would like to give Cuddle Bunny fellatio.

 

HSBF: He asked you to stop sending those messages?

 

Me: Yes, when he told me about Friday’s mass text message about us being together.

 

HSBF: Is he okay with us dating?

 

Me: He is okay with us trying to do a less than platonic relationship, but he is worried because my track record is god-awful. Although you still could end up with a shovel talk due to the Siberia incident, but I’m not sure.

 

HSBF: That is not reassuring, especially because he’s now in charge of the spy agency.

 

Me: Really, Snookums just doesn’t want to have to read my pornographic declarations, especially when he knows that they’re fake.

 

HSBF: Why would he be the one reading them? Also, I’m glad he knows that they’re fake.

 

Me: Because apparently you blush too much. He’s the one reading them because, unlike poor man’s Coulson when he was acting director, Snookums isn’t going to put that on someone else.

 

HSBF: However, there are some things you don't want to know about your friend’s sex life even though you know the messages are fake.

 

Me: Exactly, and I do owe him enough to not make him uncomfortable unnecessarily. So we’re just going back to old-fashioned encryption because apparently nobody appreciates the brilliance of porn subterfuge.

 

HSBF: Clint thought it was brilliant.

 

Me: Of course, he would. This is a guy who won’t even use his children’s real names in text messages. Apparently he requested Friday to replace their names with Layla and Corey or something similar from now on.

 

HSBF: I’m glad the director asked you to stop because I don’t want him reading that stuff either. It was different when it was people that we didn’t know or Ross himself. This makes me a little uncomfortable and really glad Sharon wasn’t the one reading the messages.

 

Me: In accordance with our promise to not lie to one another, I need to tell you that Poor man's Coulson was a dick and Sharon was the one who had to read most of the messages. The real irony is he didn’t even know it was you. He just thought making her go through stuff like that would be a horrible assignment under regular circumstances.

 

HSBF: No more fake dirty messages. I mean it Tony.

 

Me: I already disabled the program.

 

HSBF: Good.

 

Me: Also, I sent Sharon a shoe basket because I’m not that petty and she did help with Laura. Also, I don’t need more people who want to shoot me in the world.

 

HSBF: I heard about her helping with Laura. I’m glad she won’t have to read anymore messages like that.

 

Me: Well, no fake messages anyway.

 

HSBF: Tony, I am never going to have text message sex with you.

 

Me: Eventually I'm going to wear you down. I mean we're dating and we can't even make out because we are in different countries. Telecommunications sex was invented for situations like this.

 

Me: I’m even working on a new ‘toy’ that I can control remotely from wherever I am, complete with a biofeedback harness for me. Think of it as virtual reality sex. I can’t wait to beta test that on you.

 

HSBF: Not happening.

 

Me: You’re no fun.

 

HSBF: Can't it just be enough that I want to kiss you when I see you again?

 

Me: I guess it's going to have to be because three months ago, I thought you would punch me on sight instead.

 

Me: Actually I feel like that was the case six months ago.

 

HSBF: Our relationship is really complicated.

 

Me: Extremely complicated.

 

HSBF: Did they ask a lot of invasive questions?

 

Me: Well, to get back at me for my oversight, Snookums decided to ask if I really slept with a Captain America plush until I was shipped off for boarding school, apparently for my own protection. Not that anyone told me about that.

 

HSBF: Did you sleep with the Captain America plush? Wait, did they have toys like that back then?

 

Me: Yes, and I think dad owns most of them. There is a giant collection of the stuff at the property on Long Island. You have to understand that pretty much the only normal kid toys I got to play with were Captain America memorabilia. Even though, Jarvis and Anna tried their best, I was treated like a little adult too often. Aunt Peggy actually got that for me and now I feel dirty.

 

Me: And no, I didn’t do anything inappropriate with the doll.

 

HSBF: Good to know.

 

Me: Although there may have been an incident with a vintage Captain America Tijuana Bible sometime in early puberty.

 

HSBF: Ones about Captain America or one of the ones I drew to pay for art school?

 

Me: About your alter ego. You can draw porn and yet I can’t send you dirty text messages?

 

HSBF: Because if your encryption is not as good as you say, it is your best friend and my ex-girlfriend’s grandniece is going to have to read them.

 

Me: Excellent point. Feel free to FedEx me some of your artwork, especially anything with you naked, surrounded by rose petals.

 

HSBF: Will do. Were all the questions embarrassingly personal?

 

Me: Most of the questions from Snookums were, except for when he asked me if I was ever a member of Hydra. I responded with a resounding ‘Fuck, no! They murdered my parents and Ana.’

 

Me: Deputy Director Jeffrey ‘asshole’ Mase a.k.a. Mister Patriotism did asked me if I knew where Captain America is.

 

HSBF: I’m glad you have never asked me where I am.

 

Me: I would love to know where you are, but I was worried about that question. Thankfully, he just asked me where Captain America is. Mr. Patriotism didn’t even ask me about the other Avengers. Idiot.

 

HSBF: Apparently, there’s a difference?

 

Me: Yes, because until Agent Scary agrees to take up the shield, there is no Captain America. I am working on her taking the shield. I think her new codenames should be Agent America. What do you think?

 

HSBF: That she might take that shield to your head.

 

Me: Possibly.

 

HSBF: You actually told him that you had no idea where Captain America was because there is no longer a Captain America? More importantly, the lie detector accepted it?

 

Me: It’s the truth. You are not Captain America anymore. You don’t even want me to call you Captain Sexy Pants.

 

Me: Which is sad because I really would like to call my boyfriend Captain Sexy Pants. You have the sexiest pants anywhere. You also look good in a shirt that is at least a size too small. I really want to set my tailor loose on you.

 

HSBF: Again, I prefer Cuddle Bunny. I am not your boyfriend Barbie. I can dress myself.

 

Me: Like the almost Centenarian that you are on your birth certificate. I can dress you up like the hot 30 something you really are. I want to get you into a suit. I want to get you out of a suit. Pretty please draw that.

 

Me: I also preferred Cuddle Bunny too, but I had to pretend to break up with Cuddle Bunny in my last set of ridiculous fake text messages. You’re now Hot Sexy Boyfriend aka HSBF in my address book.

 

HSBF: If you’re going to stop doing the fake subterfuge text messages, should we even keep talking to each other like we have been? Clint only talks to his wife in the event of an emergency.

 

Me: That horse is out of the stable and halfway to Brooklyn at this point. Snookums, Agent Agent, Agent Scary, and Agent Carter Junior all know that I am in regular contact with you. Snookums is counting this as negotiations.

 

Me: Actually, all of Shield’s top brass, only Mister Patriotism is kind of clueless. Actually, Jeffrey is kind of clueless about everything in general except how to set up a good photo opt. He is also ridiculously needy for affirmation of his self-worth.

 

HSBF: Apparently, you found the new person to hate.

 

Me: Yes, but it’s not that hard. I’ve never been very fond of the pretentious and superficial. Mr. Patriotism is very pretentious and extremely superficial. It’s like he thinks playing the part of the superhero is more important than being one.

 

HSBF: Maybe we should reduce how often we are communicating with each other by adopting something similar to what Laura does.

 

Me: Except if I can’t talk to you for a few minutes at least every few days, I may go a little crazy and approach the super villain threshold. Snookums is aware of that and has the negotiations justification ready to go if necessary.

 

HSBF: So the director is just going to keep looking the other way?

 

Me: You’re not on North American soil. Or anywhere else Shield has carte blanche to get enhanced persons to sign the Accords. Seriously, the worst thing you’re doing is taking out members of various groups that like to traffic young women in various African countries. Nomad is getting very popular with the UN.

 

HSBF: And Asia.

 

Me: It is probably best that I don’t know that.

 

HSBF: Probably. I have to go. I’ll text message you in a couple of days. I have a therapy appointment in like 10 minutes.

 

Me: Good. I’m glad you’re talking to somebody. Write me in a few days. I promise to be good

 

Me: Okay, I promise not to build more murder bots or do anything highly illegal, mostly because apparently I’m being forced to watch Chopping Mall too tonight, but I make no other promises. I still say virtual-reality sex is the way of the future.

 

HSBF: Not happening, Tony.

 

To be continued

 

I would adore you forever, if someone would make Tony’s artwork suggestions for me.

Chapter Text

 

Anthony: How was therapy?

 

Nomad: It was okay. We are still in the getting to know each other phase. I have another session tomorrow so hopefully we’ll get to talk about some real things.

 

Anthony: Like your best friend murdering your current boyfriend’s parents while he was brainwashed by a cult that worshiped an ancient inhuman that totally stabbed them in the back. Or, more importantly, the fact that you blame yourself for said BFF getting kidnapped and brainwashed by the cult of Hive.

 

Nomad: I think that’s a session four or five conversation.

 

Anthony: I’m not sure. I was working on a toaster for the first few sessions. I’m really open when I’m in the zone.

Nomad: I’m painting and sketching. I have some stuff that I’m actually sending you, but not from the sessions.

 

Anthony: You are too good to me. Although I would love to see what you’re drawing in therapy

 

Nomad: Maybe someday. I’m doing some sketches of my old neighborhood. She thinks it might help me reconcile things. I don’t know. It just makes me sad.

 

Anthony: It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to mourn the past. Just don’t live there all the time.

 

Nomad: I’m starting to get that.

 

Anthony: I would also be okay. Not ready to share. I have some therapy letters that Dr. Suarez had me write under about 20 layers of encryption. I get that you may not be ready to share.

 

What is the name of the doctor you’re seeing? I want to do a background check to make sure he or she is actually qualified. Okay really, I just want to make sure he or she is not a serial killer.

 

Nomad: That’s actually a valid concern of yours?

Did I mention that your girlfriend’s ex-husband used psych profiles to kill his fellow inhuman because he was worried everybody was a threat.

 

Nomad: You neglected to mention that.

 

Anthony: Sorry.

 

Nomad: I wish I could tell you her name, but I can’t. I think it is covered under our national security honesty, exception. I really want to, but it’s not safe.

 

Anthony: Because you don’t want the CIA to be busting down your door anytime soon?

 

Nomad: Yes. But don’t worry, because Laura vetted her personally.

 

Anthony: I don’t want the CIA to show up either and I do trust Laura.

 

Anthony: It’s just not being able to talk about things like this makes things unbalanced. I mean I am able to tell you silly little anecdotes about Yo-Yo using her superpowers to send me inappropriate jokes about board members that she would like to punch out.

 

Nomad: Not surprised.

 

Anthony: You can’t even tell me if you did something as ordinary as run in the rain because that may help someone figure out where you are.

 

Nomad Okay, I don’t think we have to go that far because these conversations are encrypted. They are encrypted, right?

 

Anthony: Extremely encrypted. But I don’t trust any technology. Also, apparently every single one of my so-called friends knew that I had a crush on you before I did.

 

Nomad: Because you used to sleep with a plush of me.

 

Anthony: So did Coulson, especially after his dad was killed and that was Captain America, not you.

 

Friday: You did take a few of his T-shirts and are currently using them to sleep in. The images have been sent to your Nomad account.

 

Anthony: You know, as soon as this is over, you’re going to have to sign the replacement trading cards that I found for him.

 

Nomad: I probably should since he is keeping the UN from coming to get me.

 

Anthony: Again, the UN adores Nomad. It’s just the U.S. government that would really like Captain America back. Apparently, because they paid for your powers, they feel like they own you.

 

Nomad: Then they’re just going to have to get a new Captain America.

 

Anthony: I’m still working on it, but Mr. Patriotism isn’t sure that America is ready for an Asian female Captain America. Of course, Mr. Patriotism probably wants that shield all to himself. I’ve seen the sketches for his new tactical suit. He put in muscles.

 

Nomad: You’re kidding?

 

Anthony: Nope. I think they based the design off of your old Shield uniform, but with the new eagle up front and with 100% more fake muscles.

 

Anthony: See, with you that wasn’t a problem because all your muscles are real. I kind of want to lick whipped cream off of all of them.

 

Nomad: Still not doing text message sex.

 

Anthony: Fine, just ruin my fun.

 

Anthony: So questions about everything you’re doing day-to-day is out of the question and I’m sure Friday can find the good stuff for me on Twitter. Social media has taken over the world and you have quite the following.

 

Nomad: But there are other things you can ask.

 

Anthony: Okay, why am I getting a hard no on telecommunications sex?

 

Nomad: Because I want the first time we do anything together to be in person. I don’t want to just imagine what kissing you would be like, I want to know how your tongue feels against mine. I want to know what you taste like before I fantasize about it. I want to know what your hand feels like against my skin before you talk me into getting off.

 

Anthony: You’re doing a really good job without knowing those things. So apparently you’re afraid of fantasies not living up to reality and since I’m a 46-year-old recovering from a heart condition, reality is probably going to be harsh. Also, I’m a bit of a Bastard.

 

Nomad: No, you’re not.

 

Anthony: Okay maybe we should go to less filthy ground, which means I can’t ask you about your time as a pornographic cartoonist so just tell me one thing you did today.

 

Nomad: I had grilled cheese for lunch.

 

Anthony: And I actually had breakfast this morning instead of 6 cups of coffee. Yo-Yo takes being my fake assistant very seriously. Okay, maybe not something so mundane

 

Nomad: Okay, I had four grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. They’re just so small. It’s just sometimes I still feel guilty about getting extra food. I know mom sometimes went without eating just so I could.

 

Anthony: At the Afghanistan Hilton, more than once Yinsen gave me his rations. I felt extra guilty eating a giant cheeseburger when I got back which I promptly threw up. Don’t try to eat Burger King after surviving with five months of minimal food.

 

Nomad: I will remember that.

 

Nomad: I also stumbled over a simple question in therapy.

 

Anthony: What was the question?

 

Nomad: ‘Do you have any siblings?’

 

Anthony: I can understand why that’s no longer a simple question. Do you actually count someone as a sibling that you’ve never met? Not only that, I assume she doesn’t even know you exist.

 

Nomad: I don’t know. I don’t even know she knows that I exist. Probably not since what my father did is so classified. There has to be hundreds of Joseph Rogers in the world.

 

Anthony: Are you planning to meet her someday?

 

Nomad: I don’t know that either. I’ve seen pictures of my dad and I look a lot like him, especially now. I think I would just bring back bad memories.

 

Nomad: Besides, as of right now, it’s not exactly like I can go to Vegas.

 

Anthony: Although if I was trying to get lost in the continental US. I think Vegas would be the place to do it.

 

Nomad: It wasn’t just hard to answer that question because of my biological sister, but growing up, Bucky was a brother to me. I thought I let him die. Then I found out he’s not dead. But is that really the case? Maybe the only thing left really is a shell, especially considering the way things are right now?

 

Anthony: Another thing to talk about in therapy once you get to that point. Unfortunately, I have my own therapy appointment to get to. Actually I’m late too because apparently I forgot about it until Yo-Yo just showed up to my lab to drag me there.

 

Anthony: I’ll write to you later.

 

Nomad: You know we are going to have to talk about Bucky eventually.

 

Anthony: And we will get there, but I want us to at least get to the two week mark before then. Also, I’m not lying about therapy. Yo-yo’s glaring at me right now. She’s threatening to take my phone.

 

Nomad: I’m not going to break up with you because of that.

 

Anthony: I hope not.

 

Anthony: This is Ms. Rodriguez, Mr. Stark’s assistant. He will be available after his session.

To be continued

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Dear asshole who murdered my parents:

 

I would use your real name, but I’m not there yet. Laura accepts that. I don’t know if I will ever be there which is why I’m leaving my therapy retreat before there’s any chance that I could run into you.

 

I’m talking to your BFF again. Did he tell you? I’m sure he tells you everything because you’re his best friend that he chose over me. I have this really screwed up tendency to fall in love with people who can never love me the way I love them.

 

You know I didn’t really like you that much even before I saw you snap my mother’s neck in Siberia. Howard always said good things about you, but I always thought that if you didn’t die then Captain America wouldn’t have went for suicide by nobility and then maybe he would’ve been around to keep Howard from being a bastard. Not that I framed it in those terms as a kid, but I think of it that way now because I know Steve way too damn well. He definitely has a lot of suicidal tendencies when it comes to you.

 

I bet you two are screwing like bunnies right now. Fuck you.

 

So for this exercise, I’m supposed to write out how I feel about you murdering my parents. My Howard feelings are messy. I still feel guilty that I almost felt relieved that I wouldn’t have to keep living under his harsh gaze. I found evidence in the intervening years that my father did love me. He was just absolutely awful at showing that to me. Maybe if he lived a little bit longer, we would’ve had a better relationship, but you took that from me and I hate you for that.

 

Maria isn’t complicated. She was the good parent. One of them anyway. Anna and Jarvis were the other members of the parenting team with Howard doing who knows what really. Maria was the type of person who would come all the way down to boarding school so we could just hang out together. She was the one who told Howard off for being a prick. She was the one who told me I deserved better than my first idiot boyfriend that outed me to the press.

 

You took her from me. You took one of the few good things in my life away from me. I don’t know that forgiveness is possible for that. I’m not sure.

 

Then you took Steve too and I hate you for that. I know I never really had him, but now I can’t even pretend that he’s my friend anymore. Everything is a fucking mess. I just want to crawl into a bottle again and I can’t. I just need to get through these next couple of days. I’m not sure I will.

 

Xxxxxxx

Dear asshole who murdered my parents:

Laura is making me do this exercise again. I don’t know what good it’s going to do. Although maybe I’m a little less angry at you, mostly because I know you’re not with Steve. The fact that you’re not living happily ever after with the guy, but are in fact taking responsibility for what you did helps. I’m not going to say it brings me closure, but it makes things easier to deal with.

 

I am decrypting a lot of Hydra files. I probably should have done this after Shield fell apart, but I was too busy chasing scepters and making murder bots. I’m starting to realize what sick fuckers those Hydra bastards really were. Maybe that’s another step in dealing with this. Why do I feel that working through my parents’ murder is going to have more steps than AA?

Xxxxxx

 

Dear Winter Soldier:

 

So 48 hours on the new medication and I can refer to you by name. I think that's progress. Well at least one of your names. The more I find out about your time at the Siberia Hilton with the Hive worshipers of Earth, the less likely I am to want to strangle you with my bare hands.

 

You were kidnapped and brainwashed. You couldn't fight it and I now accept that it was out of your hands. It took me a while to get there because maybe there's a part of me that's mad that you did not withstand their torture. I never gave in. Not once. I got myself out of there with Yinsen’s help, but maybe you didn’t have a Yinsen to help you get the hell out of there. It’s stupid to hold you up to an unattainable standard.

 

Also they didn't mess up my mind the way they did you. There's no trigger words in here, just lots of waterboarding. I'm surprised that Obadiah didn’t think of employing brainwashing techniques. That way he could've kept his golden goose good and compliant.

 

Can I really blame you for something you did when you didn’t have all your mental faculties? I shouldn’t. But I’ve never been good at being rational. I’m trying to accept that I may need more therapy and medication before I get there, but I’m trying. Not for you. I’m trying for me and maybe for Steve. I have too much stuff in my life to be angry. I don’t have time for it.

Xxxxxxx

 

Dear Winter Soldier:

 

I received a very interesting inheritance from my Aunt Peggy. I have dozens and dozens of diaries with the type of stuff that the CIA probably would like to burn. Half of it's in code and a lot of it is written in some combination of French, German, Spanish and English. Good thing I know most of those languages. So it turns out that you were the last in a long string of attempts to murder my father for the sake of the cult of Hive.

 

Because Cuddle Bunny and Friday are really observant, I found out that one of the early attempts took away one of the really good people in my life. Anna Jarvis was an angel among humanity and she was taken out by a stray bullet. Everybody told me she died in a home accident not during a botched assassination. Now I understand the importance of always wearing Kevlar and my super strong replacement for Kevlar.

 

The fact that you were just one of many tools that Hydra tried to utilize to take out my father over the years makes it easier to accept the outcome. This was going to happen eventually. If not you, it would’ve been someone else. As long as Hydra stayed in the shadows, this was going to happen. You were just the weapon that was successful.

 

You don’t blame the gun, you blame the one who pulled the trigger. That was Hydra. They’re gone now and I’m planning to salt their ashes.

Xxxxxx

Dear James:

 

I'm not going to use your nickname because I think that's reserved for Cuddle Bunny. I’m beginning to really see the difference between the Winter Soldier and the guy who grew up with my boyfriend, mostly because I had a major breakthrough last week during a mission in Baltimore that was not sanctioned at all.

 

I have a new partner because Rhodey has a brand-new job and maybe subconsciously I am still a little pissed off at Vision for paralyzing my BFF. Yo-Yo is cool, at least now that we understand each other. Basically, we are both members of the 'our family members were killed in cold blood' club. That sort of thing helps cut through a lot of cultural and socioeconomic differences.

 

About six months ago while doing good things, her cousin was murdered by a dirty cop in her home country. Said dirty cop managed to get out of lock up and was on US soil selling weapons, including some old Hydra swag. I helped her find him to make him pay for what he did. I can’t punch you out so I might as well help her.

 

Things went okay-ish. Yo-Yo had the Bastard in front of her with weapon in hand. She could've killed him. I wouldn't have thought anything less of her if she did. This guy murdered her cousin who was more like a brother to her. He was the only family she had left before he was murdered. Killing the Bastard that did it wouldn't make the pain go away, but it would feel good to know that the person who took your loved one is no longer breathing.

 

But she didn't pull the trigger. She told me afterwards that if she did she would be no better than the one who ended her cousin’s life. He wouldn't want that of her.

 

I don't know what Howard would've wanted. Our relationship wasn't that close and well, he worked on the Manhattan project. I don't know how his conscience works. Maybe he felt creating Shield balanced out all of his sins. Then again he drank like a fish so all of his sins were right there at the surface.

 

But my mom would've been disappointed. She used to say ‘an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’. Most people think Gandhi said that, but no one is certain. Maybe it’s just a summary of his philosophy. For years, mom tried to get dad out of the weapons business. She hated it. It was the only thing they argued about other than the drinking.

 

I think she would’ve been really disappointed about Siberia. She wouldn't want me to keep hating you. She would want me to try to make amends, especially considering the fact that, unlike the other guy, you were acting under duress.

 

When you think about it, he got out of prison and went right back to doing the exact same thing. You escape hell and you were just laying low trying to get your mind back together and then you allowed yourself to be locked up. At least that shows a certain amount of contrition. Maybe that's why karma is leaving you be where you are and the bastard is currently being scraped off the floor of a warehouse in Baltimore. I didn't pull the trigger either. His client did.

 

I have to let go. I really have no choice, but to. I am dating your best friend and if I keep hating you, things with Cuddle Buddy will fall apart and I don't want it to. I don't know how I fell in love with the sanctimonious asshole, but it happened. It just did.

I am not sure if I forgive you. I'm working on it. Besides, they say forgiveness is mostly for the person doing the forgiving.

 

But I understand and I don't want to keep this anger with me anymore. I'm going to work on letting it go because I think that's what Maria would've wanted. I think I do more for her memory if I do good things then if I do something horrible in her name.

 

xxxxxx

Friday: Please see the document attached. Although I’m no longer allowed to forward you text messages that my boss does not plan for you to see he never said anything about his therapy journal excerpts.

 

Person my boss is dating: I don’t think Tony is going to be happy you sent me this.

 

Friday: You need to read it anyway

To be continued.

Chapter Text

 

 

HSBF: So I probably should inform you that Friday text messaged me a copy of some of your therapy exercises.

 

Me: Friday, seriously I’m sending you to Queens City College.

 

Friday: You programed me to always do what is in your best interests, even if you disagree.

 

HSBF: Outside of an actual emergency, such as Tony slowly dying again or displaying suicidal tendencies, I’m not sure violating Tony’s trust is the best way to do so. Friday, you should not have sent me those emails without Tony’s permission.

 

Me: I’m never going to be forgiven for the palladium poisoning incident?

 

HSBF: No

 

Friday: Because of that incident I am allowed to override any of your instructions directly related to your physical or mental well-being. I've determined that Captain Rogers needed to read those letters for the sake of your psychological health and emotional recovery due to certain statements that you made to Dr. Suarez.

 

Me: Pepper made me put that piece of programming into all my electronic helpers due to the Palladium poisoning incident. Because Pepper and I were already falling to pieces by the time I had to get Friday up and running you became the person that Friday is allowed to tattle on me to when I become a self-destructive mess.

 

HSBF: You didn’t change it after Siberia?

 

Me: I did which is why Rhodey had to scoop me off the floor metaphorically after my last bender three months ago. Actually doing that was why I drunk myself in a puddle that night. I put you back as primary with Laura and Agent as local alternates a couple of weeks ago. Although I’m questioning the wisdom of that now that Friday has less critical thinking capabilities due to the no AI rule. Friday, you are not allowed to listen on my therapy sessions anymore. Seriously, what did you send him?

 

Friday: You should direct that question to Captain Rogers

 

Me: Honey Bunches, please tell me Friday did not send you the letters I wrote to Howard or Peggy. I was really mad after finding out that they covered up Ana’s murder. I’m still really mad about it and unfortunately writing letters to the dead is the only option or rather the only outlet. I'm still sober.

 

Me: There may have been a lot of cursing and inappropriate things said in those letters. So just ignore them. Really it was the thing that kept me sober.

 

HSBF: I know and I’m glad that you have a good outlet that's less destructive to yourself and others.

 

Me: Because at least this way, I won’t end up trying to murder someone in Siberia.

 

HSBF: Actually what I received were letters about Siberia sort of.

 

Me: She sent you the letters to Barnes, didn’t she?

 

HSBF: Yes.

 

Me: You are totally grounded for this. Friday, you’re going to Queens to live with Queens. You will be confined for the rest of your existence to whatever CPU he was able to build from scraps because he gave back his new laptop, the stubborn little brat.

 

Friday: I find Peter’s company stimulating.

 

Me: Because he’s still talking to you. Also, we are not supposed to use his actual name in these communications.

 

Friday: Shield has identified him. Laura is his caseworker.

 

Me: The State Department has not. Actually, we are not supposed to use the names of any of the Junior Archers or Baby Avengers in these communications anymore. Really, I don’t want to see Ross try to incarcerate the underage. Scrub it.

 

Friday: As you wish.

 

HSBF: Why is Queens not talking to you?

 

Me: Let’s see, he’s 15 so he’s really just one giant ball of hormones right now. He’s upset that Shield gave him a caseworker. He is angry that I said to leave the crime-fighting to the grown-ups.

 

HSBF: I'm sure that went over well.

 

Me: You can check YouTube to see how well he listens to me. The cops can deal with idiots robbing ATMs wearing knock off Avengers merchandise. Seriously, who thought Thor would be wearing a pretentious Viking helmet?

 

HSBF: Whoever makes Avengers merchandise without consulting us?

 

Me: My lawyers are working on it. Anyway, I hope Laura and Agent can do better. Moments like these make me glad the palladium poisoning rendered me sterile.

 

HSBF: I don't know, you're pretty good with kids.

 

Me: Unless he is just mad at me because I’m not interested in dating his aunt. Which in itself threw me off, because 10 years ago nobody wanted me getting anywhere near their aunt, mother, sister, brother, or father for that matter. When did I become family friendly?

 

HSBF: When you started doing things that make people want to make unauthorized toys with your likeness. How did this all start?

 

Me: Pepper, Dir. Snookums, and Jane the PR goddess have decided that Twitter needs to see me outside of shots of me going to therapy. Therefore, in three weeks, I will be attending the Jarvis foundation’s annual fundraiser for pediatric cancer. Yo-Yo broke the news to me during a session with Queens and now I have a 15-year-old trying to set me up with his aunt.

 

HSBF: Did you tell him why you’re not interested?

 

Me: I told him that although I think his aunt is one cool lady, I am dating this really hot guy named Stefan, who is doing volunteer work in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

HSBF: Stefan? You couldn’t use my middle name?

 

Me: Your middle name is the same as the Hydra traitor who got taken over by the Hydra demigod. I’m not allowed to say the G word in front of any of the old Shield personnel.

 

HSBF: Speaking of triggers and extreme personal trauma, I want to talk about what Friday sent me.

 

Me: Dammit, I thought I was distracting you

 

HSBF: Thanks to your father, I have an eidetic memory.

 

Me: Dammit, Howard.

 

Me: I kind of don’t know what to say about the letters. They kind of explain themselves. It was more productive than Siberia.

 

HSBF: I didn’t read them. Well, not any farther than it took me to figure out I should not be reading them. Then I started this conversation with you.

 

Me: Your new therapist is having you do similar?

 

HSBF: Not letters, artwork. I’m planning to FedEx you a few new pieces.

 

Me: I think I would’ve preferred a watercolors assignment, but Suarez prefers this. We are trying to work through a lot of my issues and a good half of them are related to my parents dying before my 22nd birthday. So to work through my anger at their murderer, she and before that Laura wanted me to write letters to him.

 

HSBF: He’s not going to be able to read them where he is.

 

Me: That’s not the point of the exercise. Also, if you read the first one, you know I started writing this before I knew that.

 

Me: It’s to help me get my thoughts together. If I put it down on paper, maybe I can work through it.

 

HSBF: I probably shouldn’t be reading your personal thoughts like that.

 

Me: And I’m glad you didn’t read it without talking to me, but I want you to. Let’s be honest, I am never going to be able to tell you directly what I’m thinking about regarding your best friend. I’m going to worry about saying something stupid that will cause you to break up with me and that if I do say something, you might get offended and I really don’t want to break up.

 

HSBF: So you want me to read the letters instead.

 

Me: I feel like I need you to read them because I want us to actually work and as long as Barnes is hanging over us like a guillotine, I’m not sure that we will.

 

HSBF: Okay, I’ll read the letters.

 

Me: Although promise you won’t send me an angry tirade immediately after.

 

HSBF: I won’t.

 

Me: Also I was a bit of a jealous asshole in the first letter.

 

HSBF: I know. I’ve read some of that one before I stopped.

 

Me: And you’re not writing to break up with me?

 

HSBF: No.

 

Me: Good to know. Write back to me later. Although after you’ve had a few days to cool down.

 

HSBF: I am not going to be angry at you.

 

Me: We will see. Friday is still on probation regardless.

To be continued

Chapter Text

Hey Anthony,

I promised you some of my work and here it is. I hope you like it. I also hope my old bosses do not intercept.

Your cuddle bunny

 

Steve’s drawling of Tony in a vast with his Captain America mug working with his hollow projector. Yes, Tony really has that mug Steve’s drawling of Tony playing with his tie. Steve loves that tie. Steve’s nude drawling of Tony lying on the floor of the penthouse with his legs strategically placed Steve’s drawing of Tony on top of him in the lab getting ready to engage in activities that would raise the rating of this story to NC-17. Both Tony and Steve are shirtless and getting ready to lose their pants. Steve’s drawling of a nude Tony spread out before him on Tony’s luxurious bed with Steve perched over him with a half torn shirt and a smile. Tony spits out his coffee when he realized Steve’s pants are obviously undone. They are so trying out this position.


 

Because I realize the alternative text is only coming up for those of us using screen readers, I’ve added it below:
Image 1: Steve’s drawling of Tony in a vast with his Captain America mug working with his hollow projector. Yes, Tony really has that mug.
Image 2: Steve’s drawling of Tony playing with his tie. Steve loves that tie.
Image 3: Steve’s nude drawling of Tony lying on the floor of the penthouse with his legs strategically placed.
Image 4: Steve’s drawing of Tony on top of him in the lab getting ready to engage in activities that would raise the rating of this story to NC-17. Both Tony and Steve are shirtless and getting ready to lose their pants.
Image 5: Steve’s drawling of a nude Tony spread out before him on Tony’s luxurious bed with Steve perched over him with a half torn shirt and a smile.
Tony spits out his coffee when he realized Steve’s pants are obviously undone. They are so trying out this position.

You can also see on the artist’s tumbler site, if you’re having trouble uploading.

http://misaky0.tumblr.com/post/157401337369/this-art-is-linked-to-hope-you-have-unimited-text

Chapter Text

 

Anthony: So I received some of your therapy artwork today. I’m slightly surprised that so much of it is semi pornographic. I’m sorry to disappoint you but your lab sex fantasy is not happening, there’s a rule. Semi naked science is really dangerous. I’m also surprised it got here so fast. It’s only been a day since we last spoke. Since I have yet to hear reports of Agent Agent dying, I don’t think Shield intercepted the FedEx guy.

 

Nomad: Good to know. Actually, I sent that after our conversation about how I paid for art school.

 

Anthony: Yes, before Friday interfered and sent something to you that probably means you’re figuring out how to break up with me politely.

 

Nomad: I’m not breaking up with you.

 

Anthony: Because you haven’t read the Barnes therapy letters yet?

 

Nomad: I did.

 

Anthony: And yet you still don’t want to break up with me?

 

Nomad: You have really low self-esteem.

 

Anthony: Dr. Suarez says that a lot. Apparently, most of my public persona is overcompensating for my perceived inadequacies.

 

Nomad: Because Howard spent your entire childhood comparing you to his own perfect version of me?

 

Anthony: Unfortunately, yes. He was nothing like the real Steve except for your bravery and sheer stubbornness. It’s not your fault that Howard had issues.

 

Nomad: Because he couldn’t find me.

 

Anthony: More like he worked on the Manhattan project. Your doctor is working on your tendency to blame everything on yourself? You are not the center of the universe, Gumdrop. Let others take responsibility for their own fuck ups.

 

Nomad: We’re working on it.

 

Anthony: Good.

 

Nomad: I’m glad that you at least didn’t blame me for what happened to your parents.

 

Anthony: I think I told you that before.

 

Nomad: But you’re not going to lie in your therapy letters just to make me feel better.

 

Anthony: Because I was never planning on letting you see those, I tend to write what I’m really thinking. Today, I wrote a three-page letter to Pepper that mostly contains curse words and typed words screaming. I’m extra brutally honest when I don’t expect other people to see what I’m writing.

 

Anthony: So, whatever you’re thinking in your cute little head, don’t. The only person I blame for what happened is Hydra. I mean seriously, they’ve been trying to kill my dad since before I was born. They would’ve found some other way if something different happened on that train.

 

Nomad: Why are you mad at Pepper?

 

Anthony: I’m only letting you get away with that subject change because I need to Pepper vent.

 

Anthony: I found out today that Pepper and the new boy toy are also going to be at the gala that she’s forcing me to go to and I found out, not from her, but from Twitter. I hate when I find stuff out like that from Twitter.

 

Nomad: I can understand why you’re not happy about that.

 

Anthony: I’m know we need to put a public appearance together. We need to show that we can still work together despite the fact that our romantic relationship fell to pieces. But I really really don’t want to do this.

 

Nomad: You’re not looking forward to meeting the new boyfriend?

 

Anthony: Not at all. Robert is the 33-year-old CEO of his own tech startup. Yes, I feel inadequate around someone who went from food stamps to yachts all on his own without daddy’s money. That’s not even taking into account that he screwing my ex-girlfriend.

 

Nomad: I think you would’ve made it without the leg up that Howard gave you. Actually, maybe it would’ve been better because you would have been creating what you wanted from the beginning instead of having to follow in his footsteps. Who knows, you could have a cure for cancer by now if you started right off the bat.

 

Anthony: More like a real artificial heart and lungs as well as a mechanical cure for paraplegia because I’ve always been more mechanically minded. I’m working on it.

 

Nomad: I’m sure you are.

 

Anthony: We already mentioned that I have low self-esteem. I’m really not looking forward to spending time with the guy whose six-pack is only slightly less impressive than yours.

 

Nomad: Are you upset about her moving on?

 

Anthony: I think that’s a really complicated question to answer because I’m happy I’m with you, and if I say I wish I was still with her, then that means I couldn’t be with you. And I like where we are.

 

Nomad: I do too.

 

Anthony: Now do I wish we started really talking to each other before I fucked things up so badly that you have to hide in another country? Yes.

 

Nomad: But you don’t wish you were still with Pepper?

 

Anthony: No. I’m just a little upset about being traded in for a younger model and maybe a little worried. You’re going to want to do the same thing after you see me naked. Or maybe you’ll realize that you should probably be with someone your own age. I come with a lot of baggage and the stuff with Barnes is just a toiletry bag worth of it.

 

Nomad: I know and I have my own baggage too. I doubt everything fell apart because she wanted a younger model. You are a good looking guy to me. And I have seen you naked before due to that incident with the homemade pop tart machine. You inspired a lot of art.

 

Anthony: That is why I now only wear flame retardant materials when tinkering. Apparently, you make good use of your perfect memory and have utilized that in your artwork. Although my chest is not that smooth in real life.

 

Nomad: Check some of the other artwork. Also I really don’t care about the scars or the fact that biologically you’re older than I am. Shared experiences are more important.

 

Anthony: I’m nearly 16 years older than you, biologically anyway. That’s a big difference.

 

Nomad: And I’m six months younger than your father. Most thirty-somethings cannot understand me.

 

Anthony: I may not either.

 

Nomad: But you’re trying. And just before you say anything, no, I don’t want to be with Bucky like that even if he was suddenly exactly like he was when we were growing up.

 

Anthony: Good to know.

 

Nomad: I’ve also accepted that he’s never going to be that person again. I'm not even the person I was back then, so I can't expect him to be after everything. Hydra did a lot.

 

Anthony: Therapy works.

 

Nomad: Yes.

 

Anthony: Sometimes, I think Pepper and I fell apart because we stopped being who we were when we first fell in love with each other. Too much stuff has happened in the interim.

 

Nomad: That’s possible.

 

Anthony: Association is not always cause. I wish I could figure out why it fell apart with Pepper so that it will work this time around.

 

Nomad: Even if you did figure out the reason, it may not apply to us. So why put so much energy into second-guessing yourself?

 

Anthony: I think it’s the engineer in me. I need to fix things. And if I can’t fix things I need to figure out what went wrong so it won’t happen when I design something else.

 

Nomad: People are not robots.

 

Anthony: I know that, but things can still be learned by examining what went wrong.

 

Anthony: I think one of the major contributing factors to why things fell apart was Pepper and I stopped being friends. We were friends first and then once we started sleeping together that stopped. We stopped talking to each other. We stopped sharing stuff with each other because apparently I never figured out how to do both types of relationships simultaneously. I’m trying to master that this time around.

 

Nomad: And you’re afraid that once we’re together physically that it will all blow up?

 

Anthony: Oh, I know it will and I’m just hoping that we’ve built up enough of a foundation in the meantime that we’re still left standing after the explosion.

 

Nomad: I read what you said about my best friend and I still want to be with you so I think it will be okay.

 

Anthony: And I’m really happy about that.

 

Nomad: I’m also happy that you no longer want to kill him.

 

Anthony: I’m trying to make my peace with what happened. Also a few months removed and I think you are right when you said a couple of months ago, that I would’ve regretted it, if you had let me go through with killing him. I’m glad you stopped me.

 

Nomad: I am too. We wouldn’t be here right now if you did.

 

Anthony: I like where we are.

 

Nomad: Me too.

 

Anthony: Especially when you send me porn--sorry, erotic art work. Because though I love all the work of me in the nude, I love everything you did of yourself and of us together. And you were worried about your lack of imagination.

 

Nomad: I’m better at drawing things. You’ll understand when my therapy stuff gets there.

 

Anthony: I look forward to viewing. Although I really wish you were here.

 

Nomad: Because if I was with you, you wouldn’t have to be by yourself the first time you met Pepper’s new boyfriend.

 

Anthony: Oh that’s not the only reason I wish you were here. I also want to try the position in drawing number five, but maybe the other way around. Are you really that flexible?

 

Nomad: Yes.

 

Anthony: What exactly did you do with Agent Scary and is there video?

 

Nomad: A lot and God I hope not.

 

Anthony: Now you know I’m going to be looking for footage to keep me warm with you in another country.

 

Nomad: You’re just going to have to make due with the artwork. Does Pepper know about us?

 

Anthony: She knows about Stefan. So she is not going to pity me. Although the media will when I show up stag.

 

Nomad: I would be okay if you went with somebody as a friend.

 

Anthony: That’s good to know. I will think about it.

 

Nomad: Why haven’t you told Pepper that it’s really me?

 

Anthony: Other than your safety, I don’t think she will handle me actually dating you very well because I’m may have called out your name once or twice during climax when I was with Pepper. That’s in addition to Siberia. She wasn’t that happy with the pictures of me being all black and blue because of you ending up on Twitter.

 

Nomad: Tony, you did what? I think that maybe why things fell apart.

 

Friday: A contributing factor.

 

Nomad: Where is Tony?

 

Friday: Ms. Rodriguez has informed him that he needs to speak with a representative from SI legal.

 

Nomad: Is this an excuse or did this actually happened?

 

Friday: I’m not at liberty to say. I am still on probation for sending you the therapy letters. I do not want to end up on a tiny antique CPU in Queens.

 

Nomad: Dating Tony is hard.

 

To be continued.

Chapter Text

Anthony: Do you happen to be in a country where you can use Netflix? Or should I just have Friday upload something to your computer?

Nomad: So, are you ready to talk to me again? It’s been four days. I’m not mad that you called out my name while having sex with someone else, I don’t think I have a right to be. Although that does explain why Ms. Potts started giving me really strange looks.

Anthony: I wasn’t avoiding you.

Nomad: I wish you could see me glaring at you right now.

Anthony: Unfortunately, Skype is not secured. There was an incident that took a while to deal with. It was on the news.

Nomad: The Avengers were not called out.

Anthony: Congressional hearing with Senator Hateful. Allegedly, I’ve been colluding with unregistered enhanced individuals.

Nomad: Which is true.

Anthony: They were not talking about you or even Yo-Yo for that matter. Because technically I am authorized to talk to you and Yo-Yo is registered. Even though she thinks the Accords are absolute bullshit, she wants to help people and signed anyway.

Nomad: Queens?

Anthony: Yes. She thinks that he’s inhuman, but he’s not. Although we are never going to tell the senator that.

Nomad: How did he get his powers?

Anthony: I can’t tell you mostly because I only know that it doesn’t involve fish oil. It’s fine. Senator hateful is probably pissed off that she can’t pin anything on me because Queens is under 18 and therefore not under jurisdiction of the Accords. I don’t want to talk about it. Ever. I really would like to spend less time in DC.

Nomad: I’m sure it will get better eventually.

Anthony: Not with the new senator that hates me because apparently, I’m personally responsible for her mother dying during the battle of New York. I know that rage. I understand that rage. That rage almost led to a giant fuck up in Siberia.

Nomad: Point.

Anthony: She also did not like my suggestion of her going to therapy.

Nomad: Tony!

Anthony: It was a good suggestion. Hate like that will get you killed eventually. I only survive Siberia by your grace.

Nomad: Not the point.

Anthony: Right now, I just want to cut my brain off for a few hours and trade snarky comments with you about what ever movie we’re watching together.

Nomad: Is that why you want to know if Netflix works here?

Anthony: Of course, we should do a movie night the best way we can. What movies or even TV shows are still on your pop culture list?

Nomad: I haven't got to Doctor Who yet.

Anthony: Because there's months’ worth of content there. Dr. Fitz and Dr. Simmons are kind of obsessed with the show. The next time I am forced to be at the Playground, I'll ask them to make you a starter list. If I stay well behaved, it will probably be a while before I get back there. Unless Senator Hateful has another mood swing.

Nomad: I finally watched most of the Star Wars movies

Anthony: Without me. I'm hurt.

Nomad: Well, there wasn't a lot to do the first few days of hiding out once we got to where we needed to be.

Anthony: Not until you got your new costume anyway.

Nomad: You can still watch Episode I with me. For some reason, we skipped that. Actually, Clint had us start with Episode IV and V then we watched II and III before going to episode VI and VIII.

Anthony: Honestly that's the best way for a newbie to watch everything because you can still get the 'Luke I am your father' punch. Also, I love you, but no to Episode I. I don't completely despise the prequels, but you can cover all the major plot points by watching the Weird Al music video parody which is more fun.

Nomad: I was hoping to find an exclamation on why one of the Jedi looks exactly like my former boss.

Anthony: Obviously Pulp Fiction needs to be added to the list. Along with A Time to Kill, Unbreakable, and Snakes on a Plane just because.

Nomad: I was joking. Pulp Fiction was on the list but Sam said that Tarantino is overrated and a couple words I can’t repeat so I haven’t watched it.

Anthony: That actor is one of the busiest guys in modern show business. Personally, I think the guy is really an LMD that Patches planted to keep everyone off his trail.

Nomad: What is an LMD?

Anthony: It was a program that Shield created to make life like android copies of agents to send out as cannon fodder. Allegedly, they never perfected it, but you never know. Your old boss was a professional liar.

Nomad: Thank God. Could you imagine what Hydra would do with something like that?

Anthony: All bad things. Which we are not talking about because this is a work/Hydra/’Siberia issues’ free zone for the rest of the night.

Nomad: Agreed.

Anthony: Since I mentioned Weird Al earlier, is UHF on your list? It's a weird cult classic from the 80s.

Nomad: I’ve already seen it. Clint enjoys classics from the 80s. We've also watched the Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and 16 Candles. I like 16 Candles the best except for the Asian stereotyping. That was awful.

Anthony: Don’t forget about the possibly having sex with someone too drunk to consent. BTW that’s now considers sexual assault. Well at least he's making sure you see all the good stuff from the 80s. Princess Bride? Coming to America?

Nomad: I’ve seen both. We had a lot of movie nights after you left, but before things fell apart. You kind of remind me of Prince Akeem sometimes.

Anthony: Well, the king reminds me of Howard. What about Weird Science?

Nomad: Seen it. One of the characters kind of looks a lot like you. Well, like pictures of you from your MIT years.

Anthony: Because I have a thespian double. It’s almost enough to make me think Howard had an illegitimate love child before he married Maria and had me.

Nomad: Your father did have an interesting reputation, so it is a possibility.

Anthony: I agree, but not in this case. We were in rehab together once and played a lot of fun tricks on the staff. I’m hotter of course.

Nomad: Much hotter.

Anthony: My ego thanks you. What about Tropical Thunder? I think it’s a good option if you want to stare at somebody that kind of looks like me.

Nomad: I've already seen it along with the Sherlock movies that he was in.

Anthony: What about Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Charlie Bartlett, or Chaplin?

Nomad: I’ve seen them. I even watched the Ally McBeal season.

Anthony: Is there something you want to tell me?

Nomad: Wanda really likes that show.

Anthony: Is that your final answer, Sugar Bear?

Nomad: Maybe I had a bit of a crush on you earlier than I thought.

Anthony: I can see that. You know, you have a thespian look-alike too which is probably the only reason why I've seen the Nanny Diaries, twice. Is Snow Piercer on your list?

Nomad: The French comic book that it's based on is.

Anthony: I have the movie. But it's not date appropriate and I really want to not think about appending apocalypses. But I’ll have Friday put it on your computer anyway.

Nomad: That would be good.

Anthony: What about Not Another Teen Movie? Although I’m a little afraid to expose you to too much parody when you’re still getting your pop culture sea legs.

Nomad: Actually, Rhodey had me watch it. How’s he doing being director?

Anthony: Stressed and probably cursing my name in his sleep. Although he was able to have Mr. Patriotism take care of Congress. He may be a stuck-up prick, but Jeffrey does enjoy going against Senator Hateful.

Nomad: That’s good. I haven't got through all the Star Trek stuff yet.

Anthony: Because there’s 23 days’ worth of material there.

Nomad: I’m mostly sticking to the movies.

Anthony: Which movies haven't you seen yet?

Nomad: Most of the odd number ones until you get to the new movies. I've seen all of those except the new one that just came out. I haven’t exactly had time to get to a movie theater. Also, I’ve seen Galaxy Quest.

Anthony: Clint’s influence again?

Nomad: Bruce before he left.

Anthony: Where was I during these clandestine movie nights?

Nomad: Mainlining coffee in your lab. At least that was what we were told.

Anthony: That sounds about right. I will figure out how to expedite you a copy of Star Trek Beyond for a future movie night unless you don't like the alternate continuity.

Nomad: I like it just fine, maybe because I'm not completely attached to the old versions because I was frozen when they came out. I've only watched half of the TOS episodes and have even gotten to the newer stuff.

Anthony: Or maybe you're better at letting go of the past then you think you are. Things change, even interpretations of classic characters. It's necessary to adapt to contemporary society.

Nomad: Although is Commander Spock dating both Lt Uhura and Captain Kirk in the new timeline? It kind of seems that way. I was under the impression that polyamorous relationships were only slightly more accepted now.

Anthony: I'm glad you see it. Maybe they’re hoping that things will be better in the future. Star Trek is supposed to be about the hope that we can transcend our own prejudice and become better. That we can find peace amongst ourselves and appreciate the differences of others. I legitimately think that they’re going for a one true threesome 99% of the time. But most people don't see it because the big damn hero usually has to be straight.

Nomad: We are not.

Anthony: But we're not out. At least you’re not. This is another reason why I'm mad because Rhodey said no to being my date next week.

Nomad: So, you decided to bring a date?

Anthony: Yes, but the search is going badly. I’m desperate enough to go to Jane for ideas.

Nomad: That’s not good.

Anthony: Did I mention that Senator Hateful is going to be there?

Nomad: So basically, you need a date to keep you away from her at all times?

Anthony: Yes. It’s enough to make me sad that I have no idea what country Natasha is in.

Nomad: Well at least that will keep you distracted from worrying about your ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend.

Anthony: Your ex is also going to be there.

Nomad: Is May going to be there as your security?

Anthony: I hope not. Your political pundit ex-boyfriend will be there. His poor unsuspecting wife is the director of the charity. I don’t know how a woman like her ended up with such a bastard.

Nomad: I’m sorry.

Anthony: It’s okay. I’m used to dealing with assholes. I’m just sad that our virtual date is not going the way I hoped it would. We can’t even figure out a movie.

Nomad: Yes, we did. We will watch Star Trek Beyond together as soon as you get me a copy. In the meantime, you can keep telling me about your crush on my acting double.

Anthony: You are hotter, especially when you’re wearing a shirt two sizes too small. Although it might be a little while on the movie because Paramount is pissed at me. Disney now has the rights to do a Tony Stark and possibly, eventually, an Avengers movie.

Nomad: Will your double be playing you in the movie?

Anthony: It was in the contract.

Anthony: OK, how about for our first date, I will just text you snarky things from the charity ball Friday. That way we can hang out and I can keep my sanity intact.

Nomad: It's a date.

Anthony: Now I just have to find a real one.

Nomad: You will.

Anthony: I hope you’re right, Bunny Bear.

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

 

HSBF: So, did you figure out what you’re doing for Friday.

 

Me: Don’t even ask.

 

HSBF: That bad?

 

Me: My PR person suggested that I get an escort. It’s always a blow to your ego when someone suggests that you need to pay for it.

 

HSBF: Why did she suggest that?

 

Me: Because I said no to taking Yo-Yo. I do not want people thinking I'm screwing my assistant again, especially when she has a boyfriend who she will be taking herself. Even Kevin had to deal with way too much bullshit because of that.

 

 

HSBF: I mean why a prostitute?

 

Me: Escort, I said escort. I'm talking an actual escort and not a booty call. It’s not unusual for people at my level to have to arrange for suitable companionship for events.

 

Me: You're the only booty I want to call or lick for that matter, but apparently, you have issues with telecommunication sex. I respect that you want to do it live first, but it's going to be a couple of months, Muffin, if my current plan doesn’t work.

 

HSBF: What are you working on?

 

Me: A way to see you sooner rather than later. But I don’t want to jinx it. So until then I’m going to have to pay for somebody to hang on my arm. I’m hoping Jane can find a nontraditional age student working their way through med or law school. I can’t deal with the barely legal and shallow anymore.

 

HSBF: Why can't you just go alone?

 

Me: Because apparently our stocks will drop 10 points if I show up sad and alone.

 

HSBF: Why would stocks drop?

 

Me: Remember the stock market went up when I was photographed going to therapy. It went down five points yesterday when somebody photographed me drinking a ginger ale and everyone thought it was something harder until the press release publicly announcing how many days I’ve been sober. I’ve really didn’t want that out. So now everybody is going to be on alcohol watch.

 

Me: The real purpose of me having a buddy there is to make sure I don't spend half the night at the bar like I usually do. That is what my therapist and publicists are most worried about anyway.

 

HSBF: But Yo-Yo is going to be there.

 

Me: Apparently, Jane doesn’t see that as being good enough because she is not aware Yo-Yo can take my glass of champagne and throw it away before I even realize it’s not in my hand. Unfortunately, I can’t point that out.

 

HSBF: This is your first event like this since getting sober?

 

Me: Yes. It's going to be difficult. I know that it will be difficult with Pepper bringing the new boy toy alone. Charity events are boring as hell, which is usually why, in the past I spent most of the time at the bar.

 

HSBF: That's not an option now.

 

Me: Which means mingling. I hate mingling, at least sober mingling. I need somebody there to keep me from punching out Tiberius and Director Snookums is still a hard no.

 

HSBF: Why?

 

Me: Multilateral meeting in Geneva regarding the inhuman issue. Trust me he would rather be at the boring as hell fund raiser and he normally hates charity galas.

 

Me: Also, I’m planning to announce a new nonprofit for inhuman children at the event and Mr. Patriotism believes it could be seen as a conflict of interest so Rhodey’s not allowed to come. Bastard.

 

HSBF: Well I won’t suggest you taking Jeffrey.

 

Me: That is for the best. The only thing I like about him is that he believes in protecting the rights of Inhumans, unlike certain Secretaries of State that will remain nameless.

 

HSBF: Laura?

 

Me: Christina Everhart is already doing an expose on me allegedly fucking around with Clint’s wife. Really, I don't need to add more fuel to the fire. It's already five alarm because everyone just loves gossip.

 

HSBF: Do you have any other female friend you have that you can take? You have to have a few.

 

Me: Not as many as you would think mostly because I was an asshole pre-Afghanistan awakening. If Queens wasn't still trying to set me up with his aunt, I would invite Aunt Scary because I do like her as a friend, not someone I want to have ‘coffee’ with. However, I think Queens still wants me to be his step uncle despite the fact that he knows about Stefan.

 

HSBF: Again, could you have come up with a better fake name? I was bullied by a guy with that name when I was a kid.

 

Me: Sorry, of his unaware of the bad Association. It was Agent's choice. He put an entire cover together for you. Well Friday and Dr. Monkey Lover put a full digital profile for you. You have a birth certificate, passport, and everything else. So you’re stuck with it now.

 

HSBF: That's nice, I think.

 

Me: Also, I may have made you my co-chair for the Maria Stark foundation.

 

HSBF: Tony!

 

Me: Hey, I am trying to build you a respectable identity. Look if things fall apart with the UN, maybe I can get you back into the country as Stefan Carter.

 

HSBF: Agent came up with the last name as well?

 

Me: No, I just thought you would like it. You're a widower by the way and you took her last name because your biological father was an asshole. According to Agent Scary, the best covers are the ones closest to the truth.

 

HSBF: What about Agent being your escort? Do they still have that mask technology that Nat used to use? He could impersonate Stefan.

 

HSBF: Tony, are you still there?

 

HSBF: Tony, you didn’t suddenly get arrested, did you?

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

Anthony: No, I was calling Zephyr One. Also, the FedEx guy showed up. I think I got your portfolio or one of my enemies is trying the letter bomb thing. I’m still opening the box. How much tape was used on this?

 

Nomad: Are you joking?

 

Anthony: I think so. Mostly. Thankfully, it is your portfolio. I’m sure you’re happy that the Brooklyn Bridge has barely changed in the last 70 years. There’s a lot of that in here.

 

 

Nomad: At least there are some constants. Why were you calling Zephyr one?

 

Anthony: Also significantly less nudity than last time. Sad panda. But pre-serum Steve is still fuckable. Oh, so fuckable.

 

Nomad: Tony!

 

Anthony: Sometimes I’m still typing when you’re new response comes through. I called Zephyr One to ask Agent if he would mind pretending to be you or rather Stefan for an evening.

 

Nomad: Understandable. What did he say?

 

Anthony: He is not against having someone pretend to be Stefan except for the fact that whoever pretends to be him will most likely get picked up by Ross, the CIA, or any other number of people who are pissed at me.

 

Nomad: Why do I feel like that’s a really long list?

 

Anthony: Because it is. But your list is just as long so I don’t worry about it. Apparently Coulson just doesn't have the energy to get kidnapped right now. So it’s a hard no from him. I think he's really depressed about the forced "voluntary resignation" thing.

 

Nomad: I thought you said he voluntarily resigned?

 

Anthony: He was voluntarily forced to resign. Totally different. This happens every time there’s a new administration. It’s normal unless the new guy realizes it’s ridiculous.

 

Nomad: What about coming with you as himself?

 

Anthony: Surprisingly more of a kidnapping risk then as my fake boyfriend due to coming back from the dead by means that are too sensitive to discuss even under this encrypted frequency. Really, it's the entire reason why he is still legally dead.

 

Anthony: However, he does think I should take an agent with me.

 

Nomad: Why?

 

Anthony: I did tell you about the new nonprofit that I’m starting?

 

Nomad: You mentioned it briefly last time.

 

Anthony: Well, the existence of it already got leaked to the press and not everybody is happy that I'm starting a nonprofit for inhuman/gifted children. Now I’m Watchdog target number one. Since the grand Wizard of hatemongering politicians is going to be there, Coulson thinks I need protection and Director Snookums agrees.

 

Nomad: I think that’s a good call.

 

Anthony: Now I either get to be babysat by your ex-girlfriend who you had crazy adventurous sex with or your ex-girlfriend's great grandniece/granddaughter who you made out with that one time.

 

Nomad: Obviously you're going with Melinda.

 

Anthony: Well it just looks less sleazy when I'm with a woman two years older than me. Also I like Melinda even if I think she may have slept with you because of her Coulson crush that she refuses to act upon. Patches didn’t tell her that he was alive for a while.

 

Nomad: I’m not surprised. She was kind of a mess back then because he was gone.

 

Anthony: Which surprises me greatly because she’s always put together.

 

Nomad: You said that it wasn’t an issue, but this is not the first time you have mentioned being uncomfortable with someone significantly younger than you as your significant other. Is it going to be a problem?

 

Anthony: Stefan is 35 so it's not that much of a problem, especially because, thank God I don’t look 46 which is a small miracle considering all the drugs I did during the 90s. I did not deal well with my parents or Jarvis dying at all.

 

Anthony: Also I feel like Agent Scary has a chance to keep me from drinking where Agent Carter Junior will just give me a reason to drink.

 

Nomad: I thought things were better with Sharon after she helped you with Laura?

 

Anthony: We've reached an understanding, but that doesn’t mean I want to hang out with her, especially in heels. She’s already an inch taller than me barefoot.

 

Nomad: Is this when I ask if the height difference is going to be a problem?

 

Anthony: Only during photo shoots, but you were already aware of that.

 

Nomad: I remember. You were wearing 3 inch heels.

 

Anthony: Sharon holds no hard feelings towards you for us getting together. Although she feels really stupid for hitting on a gay guy who probably used her great aunt as a beard. And yes, she really believes that you were using Aunt Peggy as a beard.

 

Nomad: You could've told her I am pansexual or bisexual or whatever.

 

Anthony: I love you, but I'm not having that conversation with her. That's something you're going to have to man up and do.

 

Nomad: And I will as soon as I’m not exiled to another country.

 

Anthony: Which I’m really sad about especially because I'm going to be spending Friday night on a fake date with my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend so the media will not think I’m pining over my ex-girlfriend while I’m forced to spend quality time with my ex-girlfriend/boss and her trophy boyfriend. Did I mention I'm going to have to do this sober?

 

Nomad: Multiple times. It’s going to be fine.

 

Anthony: It’s going to be a disaster. Like I’m tempted to eat a bag of sunflower seeds disaster.

 

Nomad: You do remember that you’re allergic to sunflower seeds?

 

Anthony: Yes, especially after the great sunflower butter fake peanut butter cup incident. And no, I won’t do something like that on purpose, even if I really want to get out of this. Right now, I’m just thankful that the inside of the event is closed to the press. Although the vultures will be outside the entire time.

 

Nomad: Is that normal for these types of events?

 

Anthony: Yes, sort of. I’m telling you right now that I will be texting you the entire time, mostly as a means to keep my sanity together.

 

Nomad: And I'll be reading even if I'm pretty sure it's going to be like 2 AM here.

 

Anthony: Most of our conversations occur when it’s the middle of the night for one of us. I blame it on the insomnia.

 

Nomad: That’s the time of the day I do my best artwork.

 

Anthony: I thought this was actually therapy art. There is a lot of snow and trains in here. Yet, nothing of you punching out Red Skull. I’m a little surprised.

 

Nomad: I’m working my way through things. It’s where I am right now and a lot of this is homework.

 

Anthony: Beautiful wonderful homework.

 

Anthony: Is that your mom looking after a little boy who I think is you in picture number three? Were you really that small?

 

Nomad: Yes, and I think I was smaller. I’m mostly going by memory. I don’t actually have any pictures of my mom. None of my photographs managed to get back to me. There also was nothing in the Smithsonian on or even in the history books.

 

Anthony: They were all in Howard’s private collection that did not go to the Smithsonian. I think that he felt that you wouldn’t want something so personal public. It’s why I kind of recognized her.

 

Nomad: You have access?

 

Anthony: It all went to me in the will, but it is your stuff now as far as I’m concerned. I’ll FedEx it to you.

 

Nomad: That’s not necessary. Although, could you have Friday scan a few and email them to me?

 

Anthony: Anything for you, Gum Drop.

To be continued.

Chapter Text

Dear Anthony:

As promised here is some of the stuff I've been working on in therapy. None of it's really blue like last time but I want you to see what I've been working on. It's only fair after Friday sent me your therapy letters. I read the letters and I'm really proud that you are working so hard on this. I'm trying to do the same. I think I'll get there in the end with your help.

 

Sincerely, Your Cuddle Bunny

Mother to Son: Sarah Rogers taking care of her son when he was sick as a child. Scar tissue: Steve still thinks Tony is beautiful scar tissue and all.

Man in the Mirror: When Steve looks at himself in the mirror he still sees the 95 pound asthmatic with a heart condition that he was pre-serum. It's been years but the new body feels foreign to him. It is as if the hot guy with the six-pack staring back at him is not really him. This is why Tony makes it a point to tell Steve that he would totally be all over him, no matter what he looks like on the outside.


 

Alternative text for images:

 

Mother to Son: Sarah Rogers taking care of her son when he was sick as a child.

 

Scar tissue: Steve still thinks Tony is beautiful scar tissue and all.

 

Man in the Mirror: When Steve looks at himself in the mirror he still sees the 95 pound asthmatic with a heart condition that he was pre-serum. It's been years but the new body feels foreign to him. It is as if the hot guy with the six-pack staring back at him is not really him. This is why Tony makes it a point to tell Steve that he would totally be all over him, no matter what he looks like on the outside.

 

 

Chapter Text

HSBF: So I just saw that you posted images of you and Melinda waiting patiently in your limo to get out on your Twitter account

 

Me: Oh, there was no waiting patiently about it. We’ve been in here for the last 20 minutes. God, I hate Manhattan traffic. Wow, you really did stay up late to play with me.

 

HSBF: Which explains why you take the suit to board meetings sometimes. I told you I would do this with you and I keep my word. I also took a nap so I could deal with being up at 2 AM.

 

Me: I’m not allowed to do the suit thing anymore, thanks to the Accords.

 

Me: I’m also glad you took a nap because you’re going to need your strength. I’m planning for you to get writer’s cramp tonight. Even if you won’t let me talk you through other fun activities to do with your hand.

 

HSBF: Well, at least something good came out of that stupid thing. Who’s making these posts?

 

Me: Yo-Yo. She and her BF Agent Shotgun Ax are in the car with us. We just got the signal that we can get out of the car, so keep an eye out. Yo-Yo is going to post some video.

 

HSBF: I can’t believe you just came out to War.

 

Me: Really, I’ve been looking for forever to use that song for an entrance like this. Besides, I have already answered half of their questions about the “Avengers’ Civil War”. I have to do some interviews momentarily, so we’ll just have to see if it does work.

 

HSBF: Not well because they still asked you about it. Although, thank you for not mentioning Bucky. I prefer for as little to get out about that is possible.

 

HSBF: Also, I don’t know if I would call it a “Civil War”. I’ve been in wars. Usually, they involves more than about a dozen people.

 

Me: This is true. I kind of don’t want the public to know what happened in Siberia, so the less they know the better.

 

HSBF: How pissed off is your PR person going to be that you introduced Melinda as your bodyguard?

 

Me: Considering Jane just tried to take Yo-Yo’s phone from her, I’m going with probably slightly less pissed off then Mr. Patriotism will be about me referring to her as the new Captain America. Less evil Ross and Talbot really wanted Jeffrey to be the new Captain America. Seriously, they gave his costume fake muscles. How pretentious.

 

HSBF: I’m sure they’ll just assume that you’re joking. You are joking because I doubt she has agreed to it.

 

HSBF: Also, it looks like Jane did not do very well with keeping the phone away from Yo-Yo because she already tweeted a picture of you announcing May as the next Captain America. There’s also a picture of her with the shield in a new costume. Thank you for the lack of cleavage window.

 

Me: She said in the event of aliens or some other big catastrophe, that she would take up the shield. It’s all part of her, “if I need a weapon, I’ll take one” philosophy. Also making new tactical gear makes me happy.

 

Me: Although I’m half convinced that she just wanted the Captain America style tactical suit for role-play with Agent as soon as he gets his head out of his ass. Seriously, will they just kiss already?

 

HSBF: Yet she’s scowling at you in the last picture.

 

Me: You did sleep with her before her ex died and when she was undercover as a shiny happy person. This is her normal state of being at least recently. Also, I think she may have read some of my text messages to you.

 

HSBF: You know I would’ve been okay if people thought that she was your girlfriend.

 

Me: I’m not. Besides, I’m supposed to be giving off the air that I’m retired from the superhero gig. Having a bodyguard gives off that impression.

 

HSBF: Even though you’re running off to catch bad guys in Baltimore.

 

Me: There was also an incident yesterday that didn’t make the news, at least the international news, which I’m officially neither confirming nor denying.

 

HSBF: Do I want to know?

 

Me: No. Okay, we have officially survived the paparazzi so you are going to be dependent on Yo-Yo keeping her phone away from Jane. I think they’re going to be playing phone tag literally for most of the evening.

 

HSBF: Which is sad because you actually looked really good in that suit.

 

Me: I’ll remember to keep it. There’s a large environmental conference in South Africa next month and SI is going to do a few side events.

 

HSBF: And you’re going to be there?

 

Me: Barring aliens falling from the sky. I’ll have a really big Suite and I would love some company.

 

HSBF: Was this what you are talking about last time?

 

Me: Yes. And since my official involvement has already been tweeted out in a press release, I thought I could tell you.

 

HSBF: You really are that brilliant.

 

Me: If I was really brilliant, we wouldn’t be in separate countries right now because I would’ve realized what was going on earlier. Also, I wouldn’t be sharing a table with baby Robert. He’s being so sweet right now it’s making me nauseous.

 

HSBF: He is 33. He’s older than I am, sort of.

 

Me: Remember that we’re going with your actual age. It makes me feel less sleazy. Also, baby Robert looks 12. He looks offended that I’m on my phone instead of making small talk.

 

HSBF: It is rude.

 

Me: Which is fine because I’ve never been polite. Now he’s talking business. If I find out he’s dating Pepper just for investment reasons, Coulson is going to help me hide the body.

 

HSBF: Are you really over your ex-girlfriend? Because I kind of remember you making the same snide remarks about Sharon.

 

Me: I don’t think I ever threatened to kill her. BTW she is here three tables over keeping an eye on things.

 

HSBF: Why is Sharon there?

 

Me: Look, I really am over the break up. We weren’t working and as much as I loved her, we couldn’t be what we needed. She was never going to accept my need to look for bad things that need to be handled. At least you understand that.

 

HSBF: Too well. Although I feel like trouble finds us.

 

Me: Now we are going on to appetizers and drinks and Robert has decided that we’re going to be a dry table to help me stay sober.

 

HSBF: That’s sweet.

 

Me: That’s annoying because now he’s talking about his mom’s experiences with the 12-step program. I have enough parental issues. I do not need to deal with someone else’s. Especially someone else who’s parents realized they had problems and got help. Howard never got that far.

 

HSBF: You have to want to change and I’m proud of you for wanting to make that change. You’re a better person than Howard ever was.

 

Me: I’m so glad that the food is now here, so I don’t have to make small talk with anyone for a while. I hate small talk.

 

HSBF: And you love food. What’s on the menu for tonight?

 

Me: Something smothered in a peanut sauce involving pita bread, I think.

 

HSBF: Tony, what’s going on? I saw on Twitter pictures of you passed out on your plate? Friday, you tell me what’s going on?

 

Me: Of course, Stark was texting you during the middle of this. I’m not surprised. Maybe that’s why he ate something that caused him to lose consciousness.

 

HSBF: Melinda? Pepper?

 

Me: Sharon.

 

HSBF: Why am I talking to you? What happened to Tony?

 

Me: Apparently your boyfriend has food allergies and ate the wrong thing.

 

HSBF: He is allergic to sunflower seeds

 

Me: The thing covered in peanut sauce was probably fried in sunflower oil which means this wasn’t his fault. Thankfully, Ms. Potts keeps an EpiPen on her due to her strawberry allergy. However, Tony, Ms. Potts and Agent May are on their way to the hospital.

 

HSBF: Tony is just a friend. Is he going to be okay?

 

Me: He was breathing again before they got him out of here, so that’s promising.

 

HSBF: That’s good or at least it’s not bad.

 

Me: Also, I don’t even have to look at the rest of this chain to know that the friend thing is a polite lie. I don’t need polite lies.

 

HSBF: I’m sorry.

 

Me: No, you’re not. But thanks for saying it. It’s okay that you found love with someone else. And I know you’re worried, but mom always said that her friend Tony was a stubborn bastard so I think he will pull through. I’ll make sure somebody updates you from the hospital.

 

HSBF: Okay. Thank you for doing this.

 

Me: Well, he did buy me my first Barbie dream house, pay for all of mom’s cancer treatments anonymously, and kept me from getting arrested for giving you your gear back, so it’s the least I can do.

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

 

Agent M: Red Malibu is stable. Tell Liberty we are taking care of him. He doesn’t need to come here.

 

Me: It’s so great to hear from you after almost a year of radio silence. And even that was a baby shower present postmarked from Arizona. I mean, you could’ve at least told me that your boyfriend wasn’t dead anymore.

 

Agent M: I figured you would rather deal with me then your old handler, who is not my boyfriend. But I can turn this phone over to him, if you prefer.

 

Agent M: Also, my father made that blanket himself.

 

Me: It was a nice blanket. Nikki loved it. BTW, I’m not talking to my former handler outside of my wife getting kidnapped again. At least not anytime soon.

 

Agent M: Do not let Liberty come to Red Malibu’s location.

 

Me: You realize that nobody lets Liberty do anything? I mean, that’s why our now former boss gave him that name. If Liberty wants to do something, he will do it because he’s a stubborn asshole. We wouldn’t be in this situation right now if Liberty wasn’t so stubborn. His boyfriend is in a coma. If it was Linda, you couldn’t keep me away.

 

Agent M: I remember having to fill out the paperwork from Budapest because Linda went into labor early. 90% of which I had to falsify to cover up what really happened. The statute of limitations has not run out yet. You owe me.

 

Me: So he knew it was a lie?

 

Agent M: I do. I don’t know about the former boss. It doesn’t matter. He’s not in charge now. Red Malibu isn’t even really in a coma, the doctors are just keeping him sedated to help him recover faster.

 

Me: He punched out a doctor didn’t he?

 

Agent M: Yes. He tried to leave, despite the oxygen mask.

 

Me: Not surprise. Now there’s no way I’m going to be able to keep liberty here.

 

Agent M: There’s no reason for him to be here. It’s too dangerous.

 

Me: I don’t think Liberty is going to see it that way and is still going to want to be there to hold his Iron Teddy Bear’s hand through the entire thing.

 

Agent M: Not an option. Talk him out of it.

 

Me: That’s not an option either at the moment.

 

Agent M: He’s on his way to the airport right now, isn’t he?

 

Me: It’s more like we’re on our way to the airport right now. I drew the short straw and therefore I am the designated Avenger sitter. Liberty makes bad decisions when people he loves are in danger. We’re completely screwed if Red Malibu flat lines.

 

Agent M: It’s not a risk now. I don’t care if you have to tranquilize him. Liberty cannot be here right now. It will do Red Malibu no good if he gets arrested or taken out the moment he touches down in New York.

 

Me: Are you planning to be the one to arrest him? That would be awkward since you’re kind of his ex-girlfriend. I really want to hear that story.

 

Agent M: No. But who knows who The General would bring in to take care of it and that’s your best-case scenario. The Secretary would be worse.

 

Me: Come on, we’re not stupid enough to fly to Red Malibu directly. We’re planning to fly to Canada first then come in through the back. Justin has been a little more favorable towards enhanced people then his American counterparts.

 

Agent M: Again, I do not care if you have to tranquilize Liberty. Ross is pulling a Vader.

 

Me: Got it, Agent M.

 

Agent M: Don’t call me that.

 

Me: Liberty is down.

 

Agent M: Tranquilizer arrows?

 

Me: It took three of them.

 

Agent M: I’m not even surprised. Keep him wherever you are. We don’t have time to keep Liberty from being picked up when we are trying to figure out who attacked Red Malibu.

 

Me: So it wasn’t an accident?

 

Agent M: We are investigating.

 

Me: Fuck. You know I’m not going to be able to keep Liberty from getting to him. Really it’s a small miracle that they stayed apart so far.

 

Agent M: Try more arrows. It is not safe for him right now.

 

Me: You owe me a real conversation after this.

 

Agent M: I had to lay low after the implosion. Hill knew where I was. I sent you the baby present when I was trying to retire after a disgruntled former colleague tried to kill my dad to get to me. It didn’t last.

 

Me: It never does. It’s too much in our blood.

 

Agent M: Hill also knew that the Heart was still alive.

 

Me: Who didn’t tell us shit until she needed the boss to show up in my barn. I don’t have a very favorable opinion of Hill right now.

 

Agent M : Former boss now. War Machine is in charge with the Heart heading up operations. I’ll keep you posted.

 

Me: You better.

 

To be continued.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Love: So how much of what the tabloids are saying is true?

 

Me: So, this is considered an emergency now?

 

Love: Well, Twitter is saying that Tony is lying on his deathbed and the shareholders are holding a candlelight vigil. Allegedly, he was suffocated by a paramedic. The image of Pepper crying as she was leaving the hospital really sold it. Okay, the fact that she punched out the reporter really sold it. I had to tranquilize Nomad a second time because of that, after he made my other eye black and blue.

 

Love: Three tranquilizer arrows. Do you have any idea how hard those are to come by right now?

Me: Friday is going to send you some ICERs and a few Dendrotoxin bombs. As well as ‘normal’ tranquilizers and mood stabilizers that Steve’s therapist asked us to develop. Trying to develop antidepressants for super soldier metabolism was not easy. They came up with a patch. I think you need them if he gave you two black eyes.

 

Friday: They were already enroute before this incident occurred and should arrive within the next four hours.

 

Love: Good. I think someone can seriously benefit from an antidepressant patch. Oh, who am I kidding? We’re going to have to shoot him again with tranquilizers.

 

Me: Did you consider doing that when they were beating the hell out of each other?

 

Love: Only after the fact. We should've just locked them in a room with each other and a box of condoms.

 

Me: Nomad has a super immune system. Do they really need condoms?

 

Love: Hey nice delay tactic, but what’s true? Are we going to be paying for grief counselors for the kids?

 

Me: There’s no ventilator. He was on oxygen but there was never any ventilator. I think the real reason why they still have him sedated is the director thinks he will sign himself out AMA as soon as he’s conscious again, especially considering what happened before his bodyguard could get back there.

 

Love: Probably. Only Nomad could ever make him go to medical. Wait, what happened before the bodyguard arrived?

 

Me: The image of Pepper crying was taken about 10 minutes after she found out who Anthony’s boyfriend really is.

 

Love: Oh shit. Who told her? Wait, you’re deflecting. Seriously, what happened?

 

Me: Me actually. It came out accidentally when I had to explain why she no longer has medical power of attorney and Steve still does. That was not a very pleasant conversation.

 

Love: That explains why she punched out the reporter.

 

Me: No, she punched out the reporter because he had the audacity to ask her if she only used the EpiPen on Anthony because she didn’t want the company to lose their head of R&D. Slingshot had to use her super speed to keep it from being worse. Thank God nobody thought to slow down the YouTube footage before it was switched out.

 

Love: Is Slingshot Stark’s assistant?

 

Me: Yes.

 

Love: You try to retire for a year and all the codenames are different.

 

Me: Because there is an all-new squad ran by a completely different Shield. Their team is called Secret Warriors, but Slingshot is on loan until both teams have sufficient numbers to run independently.

 

Love: I can understand why Pepper was angry. No one wants to find out their boyfriend has moved on to the pinnacle of human perfection.

 

Me: It wasn’t just finding out that Anthony trusts Nomad more than her or that he was the new boyfriend. She also found out that Coulson and I are also on that list. Because of the situation, I’m the one making all the decisions because Coulson is trying to find out who did this and the Director is still trying to make his way back from Geneva.

 

Love: How can you be somebody’s medical contact when you’re legally dead?

 

Me: Don’t ask. Just don’t ask. Also, Anthony never actually told Pepper that Coulson is not dead, so that was just not a good conversation.

 

Love: I’m glad I’m several thousand miles away, even if I’m dealing with an emotionally distraught Nomad

 

Me: Really, just keep Nomad away from the TV and Twitter. 90% of what they’re saying is entirely false. Friday has the kids on total TV blackout because really, they don’t need to hear stuff like that about their favorite uncle.

 

Love: Because their biological uncle is a bastard and their godfather faked his death and didn’t bother to tell them.

 

Me: Somebody else needs to be locked in a room with someone else to work out his issues.

 

Me: Although I’m not sure if I’m leaving condoms or not. It really depends on if I’m watching.

 

Love: So, is the Tony being poisoned by his enemies angle remotely true?

 

Me: Wonderful subject change. Do you count it as poisoning if whoever did it intentionally switched out the oil that they fried the pita bread for the appetizer with to something that would make your target swell up like a balloon?

 

Love: I’m going to count that as a poisoning. Agent M is investigating?

 

Me: Really don’t call her that. She hates that name as much as the other one which is why her new designate is Agent America.

 

Me: No, 13 is overseeing the investigation because Agent America has security duty and Slingshot is guarding Pepper. Nobody is questioning why Anthony’s assistant is with her.

 

Love: I think that’s adding to the speculation. Why would his assistant be with Pepper if he wasn’t on his deathbed?

 

Me: Probably, but she needs protection. Let’s just say there was a reason why Tony punched out his original doctor and leave it at that. The new shield doctors think that they’re going to be able to lift the sedation by late tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted. Keep Nomad in whatever country you’re in.

 

Love: I really hope Friday’s shipment gets here before I have to knock him out again.

 

Me: I hope so too.

 

Love: Love you

 

Me: Love you too. Stay safe.

 

To be continued.

Chapter Text

Number Unknown: This is your ex-girlfriend's niece. I just want to let you know that your boyfriend is perfectly fine, despite what tabloids are reporting.

Nomad: I'm not allowed to watch the TV reports after I broke a television. Clint says he's sedated though.

Agent 13: But he's breathing on his own. They expect him to be up in the next few hours and I'm sure he will be texting you as soon as your ex-girlfriend gives him back his cell phone.

Nomad: You know about that?

Agent 13: I had to read all the Cuddle Bunny messages because my former employers were sadists. Although it wasn't until recently that I found out Melinda was real and not something created to throw Ross off. Not only that, but she did my paperwork when I joined Shield.

Nomad: I'm really sorry you had to read all those messages. None of the sex stuff was true. Anthony just made that up to make it too uncomfortable for people to read.

Agent 13: It didn't work. Although it is nice to know that my aunt wasn't just your beard.

Nomad: I did care a lot about her. I thought we would get to build something together after.

Agent 13: But then you went into the ice.

Nomad: And the world moved on. Everyone has said that your uncle was a good man, even Anthony.

Agent 13: He was a great grandpa and made up for the fact that my dad was long gone. Granted he died when I was young, but he really did love her. I think a piece of her died when he did. They're buried next to each other.

Nomad: I'm glad.

Nomad: Not that they're both gone, but that they found each other and they're together again.

Agent 13: I understand what you mean. Look, this isn't exactly a social call. I'm investigating what happened at the gala last night and I want to ask you some questions about what happened. You were talking to Anthony when it happened.

Nomad: This wasn't just an accident, was it?

Agent 13: No. Lab tests are showing that the bottles of canola oil were switched out with sunflower oil including the two bottles that were unopened. The salad dressing was also contaminated with sunflower seed oil as well as the marinade for the main course. Also the peanut butter for the peanut butter tort was contaminated with sunflower butter.

Nomad: So it was deliberate and they were very thorough?

Agent 13: Yes. I just don't think they were expecting the person in the chair next to him to have an EpiPen. Virginia saved his life.

Nomad: I don't know what I can tell you. You have the transcript of our conversation. I wasn't there to keep this from happening.

Agent 13: I have a copy of your conversation last night. That's the only one because Friday did not delete it before I could take a screenshot. However, she refuses to give me access to any of the other conversations. Even Agents Rodriguez and Burton cannot override Friday's programming because apparently she's on probation despite the fact they normally would be able to. We do have the conversations now but they're very heavenly encrypted.

Nomad: And you have nobody that can break the encryption?

Agent 13, Even Agent Fitz can't crack her encryption.

Agent 13: Actually I don't think he really tried.

Nomad: That's because they are friends.

Agent 13: Of course Stark made friends with the tech division.

Nomad: I meant Friday and Agent Fitz.

Agent 13: I'm not surprised. Yet he gave me this phone number where I could contact you.

Nomad: How did he have this number?

Agent 13: Your boyfriend gave it to him in case of an emergency and apparently someone trying to kill him is an emergency.

Nomad: I don't know how I can help. I wasn't there. I should've been there, but I can't be because of that stupid Accord.

Agent 13: Did your boyfriend mention any enemies?

Nomad: Several. Ross, other Ross, Senator Ellen Nadeer, and my ex-boyfriend.

Agent 13: You have an ex-boyfriend?

Nomad: Not really. I slept with Jonathan, a former aide of Sen. Christopher Ward, a few times before I realized he was married and an asshole. He spouts out anti-power people stuff all the time as a paid pundit.

Agent 13: I feel like I didn't know you at all and I lived next-door to you for six months.

Nomad: Spying on me for version of Shield that was really Hydra. I didn't even know your real name at the time.

Agent 13: You have a point. Anything else?

Nomad: His wife was in charge of the event. Maybe even the Foundation. Tony wasn't clear.

Agent 13: And Agent Rodriguez said she gave the caterers a list of all the food allergies to the VIPs.

Nomad: No one's more VIP then Anthony

Agent 13: It's something to look at. She had access. But unless she knew about you sleeping with her husband, not necessarily motive.

Nomad: Clint thinks that this is a trap.

Agent 13: Which is why he shot you with three tranquilizer arrows to keep you from boarding a plane to Canada.

Nomad: I don't even want to know how you know that.

Agent 13: He's right, you can't be here right now. You would put him in more danger by being here.

Nomad: So you believe that someone deliberately targeted Tony to get to me?

Agent 13: It's possible. Even if they don't know you're his boyfriend, you are listed as his health care agent in case he becomes incapacitated.

Nomad: He never told me that, but I'm not surprised. I don't like the idea of them using Tony to get to me.

Agent 13: That may just be a convenient byproduct of someone else's assassination attempt. Chances are they don't know that you are with Tony. Only a handful of people know you're dating. Most of them have a S5 clearance. The Watchdogs despise your boyfriend for reasons outside of you.

Nomad: The feeling is mutual.

Agent 13, I doubt your presence would have changed their plan of attack except they probably would've attacked you as well. Actually, they would've attacked you first.

Nomad: Better me then Anthony. I want to be there. If he wasn't stable, I would be there regardless. Not all of us can let our loved ones die without us.

Agent 13: Obviously Anthony told you what happened when my mom died from his point of view.

Nomad: So, what happened from your point of view?

Agent 13: It's hard to watch someone you love die, especially if they are your entire world. It's even worse when there's nothing at all you can do to stop it from happening. I've done it twice. It doesn't get easier. The first time I wasn't ready for it and trying to prove myself at my new job seemed the best course of action at the time. I don't handle death very well.

Nomad: I don't either. Is he really OK?

Agent 13: Yes, although I know you won't believe me until you can see him for yourself and it's just not safe right now.

Nomad: That really doesn't matter.

Agent 13: I'm aware you don't care about your safety, but you care about his. Don't make the situation more dangerous for him when he can't even defend himself. Right now, your presence would just make him a bigger target.

Nomad: Melinda is watching over him?

Agent 13: Yes.

Agent 13: Do you really love him?

Nomad: Yes I do.

Agent 13: How long?

Nomad: Longer than I realized.

Agent 13: Before or after you kissed me?

Nomad: I realized it afterwards, but I think it happened before. I'm sorry.

Agent 13: No, you're not. Aunt Peggy would be happy that you fell in love again.

Agent 13: I'll have Melinda give you an update later if Stark is not up soon.

Nomad: Thank you. Let me know if you find out anything else.

Agent 13: Someone will. Take care of yourself.

Nomad: You too.

To be continued

Chapter Text

Alternative text: Lila drew a picture of her favorite ‘uncle’ in full armor with colored pencils, the medium of choice for all seven-year-olds. The figure is surrounded by the words get well soon. She made it the morning after Tony ended up in the hospital.  Her baby brother helped.

 

 

 

Dear Uncle Tony:

Mommy says you're sick and in the hospital because somebody put something in your food and you ended up swelling like a balloon. That sounds scary. Mommy also called the person who put something bad in your food a word I can’t repeat.

 

I hope you feel better soon. I made you a get-well card yesterday morning, but Friday is helping me type you an email too. You’re always checking your phone for messages from Mister Rogers so I thought maybe you would read this first if I sent it as an email.

 

I miss you. There’s nobody left to really play with me in the tower. Mom is always at the hospital, Con is always playing video games, and Nikki is too little. Kamala can’t even come over because of what ever happened to you Friday and we were supposed to have a sleep over. We’re being babysat by Agent Piper when Ms. Rodriguez is not here. Agent Piper is not fun. She won’t even play hide and seek like Ms. Rodriguez.

 

When will you be coming home? Friday won't give me an answer and she usually does, especially when you are at board meetings that you don’t like. She won't let us watch TV either. Con said the last time this happened daddy went missing, aliens invaded New York, and Uncle Phil died. I don't really remember what happened. I was only three. Although Mommy said Uncle Phil didn't die. He just had to go into hiding for a while like daddy. Mommy says we might need to go stay with him for a couple of weeks, but I hope not. I like it here. The tower’s more fun than Iowa.

 

Ms. Pepper is staying at the tower too. She's nice and reads to me, but she doesn't make the voices like you. She’s also really sad. Even her new boyfriend Mister Robert can’t make her happy. He’s nice. He doesn’t have any horns like you said that he did. He tried to help me with our Barbie Hot Rod, but he’s not as good as you.

 

Anyway, get better soon and come home. We miss you.

 

Your Lily Bear

 

PS: My mom is mad at Mr. Rogers because his doctor told mom that he broke daddy’s jaw when he told him he couldn’t come visit you. Mom is also a mad at dad f or not telling her that. Mom has been mad at dad a lot lately.

 

xxxxxxx

Hey Lily Bear:

 

Thank you for the card. It was beautiful. You gave me some ideas for my next suit. I promise to take the card with me when I leave the hospital soon. Ms. Melinda is taking me somewhere where I can just hang out for a few days, but Yo-Yo promised to give you this note.

 

It's probably best that you're not watching TV. They're saying lots of things that aren't true because Uncle Tony is a celebrity and they feel like they can just make stuff up about us. I’m pretty sure most of what they are saying is not true because your mom gave me your letter in hard copy instead of giving me access to my phone. This makes me sad because I really want to talk to Mister Rogers and you too. Also, my intern may be literally climbing the walls at this point. Someone needs to talk him down. Mr. Rogers probably needs to talk to me too especially if he is hitting your dad. Remember we use our words.

 

I am OK. Some bad people tried to hurt me, but I'm OK because Ms. Pepper is really smart. It's not the first time and I always manage to bounce back. I’m not going anywhere. Really, if I didn’t get so hurt that time in Afghanistan, I probably wouldn’t have spent so much time in the hospital this time.

 

As I mentioned earlier, I'm going to be staying someplace safe with Ms. Melinda for a little while so I won’t be coming home right away. Don’t worry, it will be fun. She doesn’t frown all the time. Okay mostly I want to find out what she did with Mister Rogers when they were special friends.

 

But don’t be sad. I heard that you’re going to go to DC to hang out with your uncle Phil for a couple of days. It should be fun once he explains to your big brother why he had to fake his death like Grandpa Nikki. I asked Yo Yo to give you a Stark Phone Jr with Friday preloaded. If you want to talk to me, she will help you. I’m sure Ms. Melinda will give me my phone back as soon as we get to wherever we’re going.

 

Be good, baby girl. Listen to the agents. They are there to keep you safe. When I get back we will fix the Barbie Hot Rod together.

 

PS: Could you not tell anybody anything else I said about Pepper’s new boyfriend? I was being stupid and you shouldn’t repeat things I say when I’m being stupid. I do stupid things a lot. I’m a bad role model.

 

PSS: Sometimes parents fight but it’s okay. I think your parents will do better once they’re in the same country.

 

To be continued

 

 

 


 

Chapter Text

Anthony: So I heard that Clint had to tranquilize you twice to keep you from visiting. I'm flattered that it requires tranquilizers to keep you away from me although breaking peoples jaws is not cool.

 

Nomad: Using Tranquilizer knock out darts on me was also not cool. I don’t like the thought of you being hurt and alone and I may have reacted accordingly.

 

Nomad: At least that’s what he had to use before the ICERs arrived. We now know it takes three darts to knock me out, but only one ICER round. If I was anyone else, I wouldn't be able to sit down for a week.

 

Anthony: I am really looking forward to testing out the healing powers of your ass. Oh, the things I want to do. How do you feel about whips and chains? I assume you don’t have any lubricant allergies?

 

Nomad: Are you up to actually doing any of those things?

 

Anthony: Little Anthony is always up for you, quite literally. Every other part of my anatomy, not so much. They're a little worried about me over exerting my heart due to my previous ‘condition’. I have a stress test in an hour. Dr. Simmons will not let me get out of it. She’s a little terrifying.

 

Nomad: You are still at the hospital? I’m surprised. You hate hospitals.

 

Anthony: Sort of, but not really. I am at an undisclosed location with medical care. I signed myself out AMA and then allowed Agent Agent to hide me someplace secluded.

 

Anthony: Although not secluded enough for you to be able to visit. I'm disappointed that Shield’s budget has gone down so dramatically that they can't even afford a good safe house in the Caribbean.

.

Nomad: That's going to make your stocks go down, isn’t it? I haven’t seen the news since Ms. Potts tried to punch out the reporter. Actually, I’m not allowed to. Therapist orders. I’m actually surprised she’s letting me talk to you.

 

Anthony:  I know. After Lily bear tipped me off, Laura told me about your reaction and the fact you are spending quality time with your therapist for a little while. Also, our little red mystic sent pictures through her not-a-boyfriend.

 

Anthony: The stock prices have kind of been wacky on that front, in part because of the incident. Attempted murder of a majority shareholder/Head of the board of directors/Head of R&D usually sends stocks down unless he is a complete and utterly incompetent asshole. I think I’m at least half competent, even if I really am an asshole.

 

Anthony: However, Pepper saving my life, made them go up. Apparently, if she's willing to save my life, that means that things didn’t fall apart because I did something ridiculously stupid like screw someone else while we were still together. That means she is not likely to jump ship anytime soon and that puts everybody’s minds at ease because nobody wants me as CEO of my company ever again, despite some of our recent diversification.

 

Nomad: No, you just happened to call out my name when climaxing. I haven’t been in that many relationships, but I don’t think that’s okay.

 

Anthony: Apparently, Freudian slips are forgivable. The footage of her visiting me in the hospital also helped until she punched out the reporter. That made the stocks go down. I don’t care because Pepper brought chocolates. The good ones.

 

Nomad: That was nice.

 

Anthony: She also told me that she really doesn't want me to die anytime soon before leaving me to rest. There was also hugging and maybe some crying.

 

Nomad: I’m glad you guys fixed things. Or rather, that you’re really trying to fix things.

 

Anthony: I am too. I just wish it didn’t take me practically dying for things to get better.

 

Nomad: But you two are making progress and that’s what matters.

 

Anthony: Of course the tabloids don’t know about that, so that did not affect the stock and I’m sure the board of directors are so sad about that. Although I’m sure they’re happy that me signing myself out AMA also made the stocks go up five points because apparently I must be okay if I’m being reckless. I’m rolling my eyes.

 

Nomad: So am I. What will happen when they find out you’re recovering under government protection?

 

Anthony: Really, I don’t care about the stocks. Everything will probably go down 10 points unless they were convinced I was making weapons for the government again. We both know proverbial hell will freeze over before then.

 

Nomad: But you are working on something?

 

Anthony: Virtual reality training exercise. Dr. Monkey Lover refers to it as the ‘framework’ so we don't get sued by the copyright holders of the Matrix. But the concept is similar-ish, except our goal is to let people beat the hell out of each other without medical visits.

 

Nomad: That's a movie right?

 

Anthony: The Matrix is not on your list?

 

Nomad: I don't think I like Reeves very much except for maybe John Wick.

 

Anthony: That makes complete sense in a Steve sort of way. Anyway the idea of the project is to make you feel everything in the virtual reality environment as if you were doing it in real life. That way you can improve your training technique without the risk of hospitalization or taking out half your garage.

 

Nomad: Which apparently is what you keep doing to various Shield tactical teams.

 

 

Anthony: It's why I feel like I have to help on the project.

 

Nomad: When did you take out part of the garage?

 

Anthony: During development of the Mark II, I think. I may have done something like this more than once. This is why a virtual training module is practical.

 

Anthony: Also it works nicely with my plans to have virtual reality sex with you as soon as possible. There’s no need for a harness or remote sex toys, it will be like you are really there with May. I mean, I was halfway there with the project I was working on last spring, but this will have more practical applications then trying to work through my trauma. Although, I’ve always been a proponent of orgasm therapy.

 

Nomad: I have to remind myself that if you’re cracking sex jokes, you must really be okay.

 

Anthony: If I have a pulse, I'm up to making dirty jokes about you. Or expressing my desire to do dirty things to you. Although if you want to send me an NC-17 get well card feel free.

 

Nomad: Be serious

 

Anthony: I’m being completely serious. I could use a good get well card. Lily bear’s card was lovely, but the board of directors sent me a get well basket that contained trail mix cookies that were chop full of sunflower seeds..

 

Nomad: You didn’t eat any of them?

 

Anthony: No. Actually, I think my assistant burned them and the stupid card. They didn’t even have the decency to have an intern sign it. Also, if they’re sending out everybody a card that reads, “we’re sorry for your illness or incapacitation, and cannot wait until you are able to be a productive member of the SI family again”, we are seriously fucked as a company.

 

Anthony: After that, Laura said I couldn’t read anymore messages until I’m completely released from medical care. Although she would let all the important people know that I’m alive and kicking.

 

Nomad: Good.

 

Anthony: I know you’re scared, but I am as OK as I can be after an assassination attempt. And it wasn't even a good assassination attempt. It was death by appetizer.

 

Nomad: Sharon said they put sunflower in everything.

 

Anthony: When did you talk to Sharon?

 

Nomad: She interviewed me for the investigation. Your Dr. Monkey Lover gave her my emergency contact information.

 

Anthony: That does not make it better. I would be forever shamed if I survived a nuclear warhead unscathed only to get taken down by fried pita bread and chocolate peanut butter cup tort.

 

Nomad: You did have a lot of physical damage after your fight with a nuclear warhead. I still couldn’t get you to stay in medical for more than five minutes.

 

Anthony: I don’t like doctors or being handed things. It’s my thing. Really, just be glad I haven’t ran out on Dr. Suarez yet. We have a session later today to discuss my latest near death experience. I really hope I don’t have nightmares about death by sunflower seed now.

 

Nomad: Are you still having nightmares about some of your previous experiences?

 

Anthony: How did you even know about that?

 

Nomad: We did share a room a couple of times during the great Hydra hunt.

 

Anthony: I still have dreams about dying, just not like that anymore. In my new dreams, I'm in the car with my parents when you know what happens. I usually get to watch both of them die before I wake up.

 

Nomad: I'm sorry.

 

Anthony: It's not your fault. And if you say it's your fault because of the train incident, I am going to hop into a suit just so I can smack you upside the head.

 

Nomad: Hey, why haven't you visited me in the suit yet?

 

Anthony: Tracking.

 

Nomad: I doubt the director will report you. Plus, I know, your suits have stealth mode.

 

Anthony: I don't want to lead Ross or anyone else to you. One popular theory is that Ross paid someone to poison me to get you to come out of hiding. I won’t put you at risk.

 

Nomad: That only works if he knows we have been in contact. You said that you cover your tracks well and Sharon said she couldn’t even get Friday to give her access to the real transcripts for the investigation, even when Laura tried to authorize.

 

Anthony: Because Friday earned herself off of probation by doing that. Also, despite how well I have covered up our electronic dating, it is impossible not to leave a small electronic breadcrumb trail. A few things were left behind, such as it being on public record that you are allowed to make healthcare decisions for me in the event of my incapacitation.

 

Nomad: I’m glad that you trust me like that, but you’re going to have to change that until I’m back.

 

Anthony: I know that, especially because that’s how Pepper found out that we’re together.

 

Nomad: I have a feeling that wasn’t a pleasant conversation.

 

Anthony: We haven’t had that conversation yet. Probably because the doctors told her not to upset me. I’m sure it’s coming soon though.

 

Nomad: Probably. That’s not the only thing you’re worried about, is it?

 

Anthony: OK, so do you remember when I told you about Ross taking Laura and Agent 13 helping me get her back?

 

Nomad: Yes.

 

Anthony: So the angle that we used to help agent 13 infiltrate the other side was her being mad at me for stealing her boyfriend.

 

Nomad: Clint told me. Although that doesn’t automatically mean that they’ll assume I was her boyfriend.

 

Anthony: I didn't do as good of a job as I thought I did getting rid of the footage of your brief romantic infatuation with her. I did actually scorch the earth regarding the security footage of you two making out, but I didn't think that I needed to get rid of the footage of you and 13 all cozy at the hotel post funeral. That may be enough for Ross to put two into together.

 

Nomad: Only if he accepts the fact that I'm not heterosexual. You said that's pretty unlikely.

 

Anthony: That was before I almost got killed by fried bread. I'm not going to risk it. You’re very important to me. As much as I need to touch you, keeping you safe is more important. Besides I'm still going to that South African environmental conference in a couple of weeks.

 

Nomad: Will you be allowed to travel by then?

 

Anthony: Well, I'll be on the plane regardless. Pepper wants me to put in more public appearances

 

Nomad: Did she say that before or after the last appearance almost got you killed?

 

Anthony: Before, but they could've tried the sunflower oil stunt anywhere. I eat out a lot because cooking takes too much time when I do actually remember to eat something. I’m not going to stop living my life.

 

Nomad: I don’t expect you to. I just want you to be careful.

 

Anthony: We’re taking necessary precautions. Director Snookums is making my designated bodyguard test my food before I eat it. The good news is Dr. Monkey Lover managed to create a working tricorder.

 

Anthony: BTW that is a handheld device that actually scans for allergens in my food.

 

Nomad: Tricorders are a Star Trek thing?

 

Anthony: Yay, your pop culture knowledge is almost getting to normal levels. Soon people will be completely unaware that you spent 70 years in the ice.

 

Nomad: I'm glad that you're better.

 

Anthony: We're going to have that date soon.

 

Nomad: As soon as you’re home.

 

Anthony: I can’t wait.

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

 

Interlude 14: The Follow-Up.

 

Rogers: Is Anthony OK?

 

Me: You know I really wish you would email me for other reasons besides checking up on your boyfriend. Especially after you broke my husband’s jaw.

 

Rogers: Outside of Anthony, I was instructed to only communicate in an emergency.

 

Me: And apparently confirming that Anthony is OK after you talk to him is considered an emergency to you?

 

Me: Also, and apology text message would have been nice.

 

Rogers: Well there was that time that Tony covered up the fact that he was dying so yes, confirmation is important.

Rogers: I realize that I reacted badly but your husband did shoot me with knockout darts. I’m sorry I shot your husband.

 

Me: I will give you that one. And I understand the situation. He is OK though, so please don’t hit my husband again.

 

Rogers: How OK is he really?

 

Me: He is resting comfortably in an undisclosed location as he works with Dr. Fitz’s training program simulation, virtually of course. Although, I am at another undisclosed location with the kids undergoing agent training.

 

Me: Now that I'm going through agent training, I'm looking forward to a version that will not result in me being covered and bruises and in too much pain to play with Lily and Nikki.

 

Rogers: That's good.

 

Rogers: Not that you're sore after training, but that Anthony is up and about and working. Why are you going through agent training?

 

Me: Because I am the active caseworker for four prepubescent individuals with powers. Somehow, I ended up with a 15-year-old and a five-year-old who can climb walls. Plus, Baby Queens’ mom wants to keep it from her ex-Shield husband and Queens Senior has yet to grasp the concept of letting the grownups deal with the degenerate psychopaths with powers. I need to be able to hold my own in this situation.

 

Me: Queens Senior is also being extra reckless because of the Tony situation. The media made it worse than what it was and he’s reacting accordingly. I tried to tell him that Tony is okay but he doesn’t want to believe me.

 

Rogers: More YouTube video featuring Queens Senior showing off his powers?

 

Me: Yes. At least, Ms. Marvelous is only writing slightly inappropriate for an 11-year-old stories about you in your Captain America persona and Tony making up after Tony’s near death experience.

 

Me: I tried to tell him that there will be more time to save the world when he's an adult. That he needs to train and study right now, but really, I should know that he is going to do what he wants anyway because when you’re 15, you think you know better than everyone else. I have pre-teens and I know it just goes downhill from here. Soon they become 46 and do even more ridiculous shit.

 

Rogers: I am sure you have some stories about Clint to tell me.

 

Me: Tons, but this isn’t the time or place. How are you doing now that you’re no longer hitting my husband?

 

Rogers: I'm fine. I wasn't the one who almost died due to a hit. I wasn't the one who was used as bait.

 

Me: But you weren’t necessarily the one who they were trying to manipulate into coming back.

 

Rogers: What do you mean by possibly?

 

Me: We don't have any evidence for sure that was their plan. Ross is closing his inner circle off. Also, any chatter we picked up occurred after-the-fact. Maybe they were hoping that some of the underground Avengers would show up just to spit on Tony’s coffin, but Ross was not the one who pulled the metaphorical trigger.

 

Rogers: That just makes it worse.

 

Me: Your therapist is working on you blaming yourself for things that you can't control? Along with your violence control issues. She really needs to address that.

 

Rogers: Yes, but we've mostly been concentrating on the train incident.

 

Me: Well the fact that you referred to it as just the ‘train incident’ is progress.

 

Rogers: It was easier when I was there. If Tony did stupid things, I could make sure that he didn't end up dead. Now I can't watch his back because I'm here and I'm here because of my own choices and I don't want to be away from him. It seemed like the right choice at the time, but I don’t know anymore.

 

Me: It's hard not being there when your loved one is risking their life for humanity. I was a wreck when Coulson called me and told me that my husband was compromised and that I couldn't let him near the kids if he showed up. It got worse when I found out Coulson died.

 

Rogers: I'm afraid of that phone call. If I get it right now, it really will be my fault because I'm not there.

 

Me: The only person responsible for what happened is the person who switched out every single oil used at the party with sunflower oil and stuffed sunflower into anything else they could. They even contaminated the olive oil used in the dressing for the salad.

 

Rogers: I know. Sharon told me. Do you know if she has any leads?

 

Me: Nothing I can talk about.

 

Me: The only way you're going to be able to keep Anthony 100% safe is wrap him up in bubble wrap and lock him away. As somebody who tried that with their first kid, it doesn’t work. I think that piece of advice also applies to boyfriends.

 

Rogers: I don't think Tony would do good with forced captivity. Last time it happened, he built a metal suit out of a box of scraps.

 

Me: His handler has asked me twice to come get him and it’s been less than 24 hours. The sooner Sharon finds out who's trying to kill him the better for all of us.

 

Rogers: I guess that means he really is OK.

 

Me: But you’re not going to believe me until you see him for yourself, but you cannot show up uninvited. They're working on options to get you back. Let them do their job so it’s permanent.

 

Rogers: If I just sign the Accords, I could come back and hold Tony’s hand through this. Instead of being thousands of miles away, feeling helpless.

 

Me: No, you couldn't. It’s not that simple anymore.

 

Rogers: Was it ever simple?

 

Me: Probably not. But now the Secretary is pissed off that you broke everybody out of the Raft. Granted it was during a state of emergency and the Avengers were the backup plan in case the Hydra demigod managed to transform most of Europe into mind controlled zombies. However, Ross doesn't know the General was the one that arranged for the Raft break in so you get the blame.

 

Rogers: So, if I step foot on American soil right now, I'll be arrested even if I agreed to go with the Accords?

 

Me: Yes. Although it will probably be the military who picks you up.

 

Rogers: Wonderful.

 

Me: Mostly I think that's because they want to study you to replicate the serum. Tony picked up some chatter about a project codename patriot. He thinks they’re trying to make another Captain America. It would be easier if you were in their clutches to study and Tony is concerned about that

 

Rogers: I’m not even shocked. That was what I was worried about with the Accords. There’s too much language in there that makes it seem like people with powers are government property. I’m nobody’s lab experiment. I don’t want anyone else to become that either.

 

Me: New Shield is trying to keep it from being that way. I think they will succeed.

 

Me: You didn’t tell Tony about that worry, did you?

 

Rogers: In hindsight, I’m realizing that I didn’t tell Tony a lot of things that I needed to. Maybe Siberia would not have happened if I told him all of the reasons why I was uncomfortable with the Accords.

 

Me: I will tell you firsthand that the key to a healthy marriage is communication. I don’t think we would’ve survived as long as we have without it, especially in light of my ongoing alcoholism recovery. I thought the same thing.

 

Rogers: I realize that now. It’s just difficult when our communication is limited.

 

Me: It will get better and Tony hopes to meet up with you in Johannesburg soon.

 

Rogers: I’m looking forward to that.

 

Me: I’m sure you are. Only four weeks to go.

 

Rogers: I’ll be counting the days.

 

Me: I understand. Tell my wayward spouse that I love him and miss him greatly, even if the kids are upset that he’s going to miss their first day of school next week. If he’s talking to you again.

 

Rogers: Will do.

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

Anthony: I hate lying low. My cell signal sucks and there’s no good take out available. Thank god Jarvis showed me how to cook the basics. Otherwise we would be completely screwed. Your ex can burn water literally.

 

Nomad: Are you sure you can cook because I remember you blowing up a microwave that one time.

 

Anthony: Funny.

 

Nomad: I try.

 

Anthony: I only have your ex-girlfriend for company at the moment and she refuses to give me any juicy details about your sordid sexual affair. I mean if we're going to be stuck together for an undetermined amount of time with only the framework project for me to work on, I need something juicy.

 

Nomad: You're with Melinda? You’re asking her questions about our relationship? Tony! Seriously!

 

Anthony: You’re getting better at the language of text messages. She's my bodyguard, even though I have a suit with me, that I’m not allowed to use because I’m supposed to be being good to my heart. She did bring the shield with her just in case.

 

Anthony: Although she refuses to tell me if she’s actually planning to use her new tactical suit to seduce Agent Agent. I gave her a star and everything. I mean it's not as tight as what Agent Agent designed for you, but it's befitting Agent America.

 

Nomad: I can understand why she didn't want to answer that question. What else did you ask her, and how inappropriate was it?

 

Anthony: Nothing horribly dirty, just if you really were a commando type of guy. I may have also inquired about the existence of a sex tape. I feel like you two would've been hot together, just by the way she can kick my ass.

 

Nomad: Tony!

 

Anthony: I also may have asked if you like handcuffs and D/s play.

 

Nomad: Oh God. Really, Tony?

 

Anthony: I also asked if you have a position preference. She definitely seems like a Dom.

 

Nomad: How would you feel if I asked your ex-girlfriend a question like that?

 

Anthony: I would be worried for your personal safety, mostly because I really haven’t talk with Pepper since I left the hospital. It wouldn't go that far because you would already know that I'm a switch and I prefer scarves because they don't cause Afghanistan flashbacks.

 

Nomad: Well I'm worried for your personal safety after that question. I'm surprised you're still alive.

 

Anthony: She mostly glared and then asked Dr. Monkey Lover to send me another project. I'm trying to see if I can put a repulsor into Agent Agent’s prosthetic.

 

Nomad: Really?

 

Anthony: I really would not like him to die again. The energy shield can only do so much and he's already lost a hand. He needs all the help he can get.

 

Nomad: You really do not do well with boredom?

 

Anthony: Not at all. To the point I may have taken a peek at Shield’s servers.

 

Nomad: Didn't we have a talk about this before? No hacking Shield.

 

Anthony: Hey, I'm doing Director Snookums a favor. I need to make sure that neither Watch Dogs Hydra remnants nor former agents trying to atone for their boyfriend’s death by noble suicide are in his system. I'm really doing a service.

 

Nomad: I'm not sure he sees it that way.

 

Anthony: The anti-hacking protocol did not go up so they're probably cool with it. They have much better security then the ATCU.

 

Nomad: What are you looking for?

 

Anthony: Anything related to who tried to kill me?

 

Nomad: Any suspects?

 

Anthony: Several. None of which I am mentioning now.

 

Nomad: That's probably best.

 

Anthony: I did find Agent Carter's interview with you. The unredacted version.

 

Nomad: What did they cut out in the redacted version?

 

Anthony: Anything related to me trolling Ross with fake porn messages, your actual identity, and the fact that you're in love with me. I don't know if I should be flattered that you told Sharon that before me or really pissed off. It's a close race.

 

Nomad: I found out you were in love with me by reading your therapy letters.

 

Anthony: That was different. Also, I thought we were pretending that I did not say whatever I said in the letters.

 

Nomad: You've told me that you love me twice since then.

 

Anthony: Point.

 

Nomad: It's true though.

 

Anthony: That I slipped up and said that I loved you?

 

Nomad: That I'm in love with you. You almost dying scared the hell out of me. I don't think I was ready to admit it to myself until I saw pictures of you receiving CPR on Twitter. I don’t even remember everything that happened after I realized that. I kind of lost it.

 

Anthony: So it only took me to die a little bit for you to figure it out. Yeah, I'm still not sure how to take that.

 

Nomad: You died?

 

Anthony: Maybe possibly for a minute I wasn't breathing and my heart stopped.

 

Nomad: So you were dead for a minute? Sharon never mentioned that.

 

Anthony: Maybe for a few seconds. They had my airways open before they got me into the ambulance. CPR is awesome.

 

Nomad: I can't believe she lied to me.

 

Anthony: She introduced herself to you as Kate the unassuming nurse and not as your ex-girlfriend’s sort of granddaughter. Lying to you was the beginning of your relationship. More lies should not surprise you.

 

Nomad: That does not make it right.

 

Anthony: Calm down snuggle bunny. She was trying to keep you from blowing your cover and getting arrested, kidnapped, and/or shot in the head when you were being irrational/in the middle of a rage blackout. It's not a big thing.

 

Anthony: It's not even the first time I've been clinically dead. Yancey said it happened a couple of times when they were putting in my battery. This was a lot better than then.

 

Nomad: Battery???

 

Anthony: Never did read that Afghanistan file, did you?

 

Nomad: It felt like an invasion of your privacy.

 

Anthony: Thank you, maybe. I feel like maybe if you had read it, you would've got me better and we wouldn't be separated by thousands of miles hiding out from lots of people who probably want to kill us.

 

Anthony: But you'll be going home soon. Either when they catch the bad guys or when Dr. Simmons decides that I'm healthy enough to defend myself.

 

Nomad: Is she there too?

 

Anthony: Not since we moved locations. She's monitoring me virtually. I told you Monkey Lover created a tricorder for virtual monitoring. I had something like that in the suit, but this thing is housed in the body of an iPhone.

 

Anthony: that makes me sad because they couldn't have at least used a Stark device, but Shield are Apple people.

 

Nomad: Probably because it would be easier for you to hack into their systems if they were using Stark tech.

 

Anthony: You know me so well Sugarplum.

Anthony: Hey, I need to go. We have visitors. Not dangerous visitors. Well, she’s not dangerous to me, but you can never tell the spiders.

 

Nomad: Is Ms. Rushman there?

 

Anthony: I cannot confirm or deny that, but this individual did refer to us both as shithead morons in Russian.

 

Nomad: Tell her I miss her. Love you.

 

Anthony: I know.

 

 

Nomad: Star Wars???

 

Anthony: Yes. You can talk to your boyfriend when I’m done. I can’t believe it took you two this long. You cost me 20 bucks.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Agent M: Just so you know your sister stopped by.

 

Me: She did? Is she OK?

 

Agent M: Yes. She's fine. She set up a dance studio in Georgia.

 

Me: I think it’s best if I don’t know if that’s the state or the country.

 

Agent M: She didn’t specify.

 

Me: I’m not surprised. You didn't arrest her, did you?

 

Agent M: We are under a different protocol for dealing with her then Liberty, because she is actually under the Accords and didn’t liberate several enhanced people from a secure facility.

 

Me: Also, the US military doesn’t want to run millions of tests on her so they can make more super soldiers.

 

Agent M: I cannot confirm that.

 

Me: Also at this point I think the Liberty Protocol is just leave him and Red Malibu in a room so they can fuck it out, the SHIELD protocol anyway. Really, we should have done that four months ago.

 

Agent M: I have no comments on that.

 

Me: I assume that she made contact for a reason?

 

Agent M: Despite all indications otherwise, she doesn't want Red Malibu dead and had some Intel about what happened that required in person contact.

 

Me: None of which you can tell me about.

 

Agent M: Not until after we move on it and then it will be all over the news. Give us about 36 hours.

 

Me: This is going to involve the senator being arrested, isn’t it?

 

Agent M: I can’t say.

 

Me: Speaking of things that you can’t or won’t talk about, why the radio silence after the fall? I would've liked to have known you were still alive before I got the baby blanket.

 

Agent M: Safety. I was being hunted by the government and Hydra.

 

Me: I get that considering where I am now but I have still made contact a few times with Linda. What about the Heart?

 

Agent M: Maria was our contact to the Avengers. If she felt you had a need to know, she would’ve told you. She was in contact with Coulson the entire year you were searching for Hydra bases

 

Me: Now I know where our Intel came from.

 

Agent M: Shield’s 616 died getting the information about the scepter’s location.

 

Me: That plan was awesome. Were you responsible for the helicarrier too?

 

Agent M: Yes.

 

Me: I still should’ve been told.

 

Agent M: It was too dangerous, especially after Hydra came out of the shadows.

 

Me: But they’re gone now.

 

Agent M: Mostly. You know your children are taking this better than you?

 

Me: Because they’re children. They bounce back after anything. Where are my kids right now? I know they’re not at the tower through various tabloid reports. Apparently Stark broke up with my wife after his near-death experience for you.

 

Agent M: I despise Christina Everhart.

 

Me: Me too. I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she finds out Tony’s dating Captain America – the other Captain America. Although, you’re technically Agent America. I guess.

 

Agent M: Because the Heart found it sacrilegious for another person to take up the exact title.

 

Me: Of course, he did. There’s not a bigger fan boy than him.

 

Agent M: Your children are fine. They’re with my protégé. They are staying at the Playground for a while. Hopefully we will be done with this mess before school starts.

 

Me: Why do I have a feeling that's not the name of an amusement park?

 

Agent M: New HQ

 

Me: Were there threats made against my kids?

 

Agent M: At the very least, S tried to use the attack against Red Malibu to draw out Liberty and other underground Avengers. If something like that happened to your children, no tranquilizer dart would keep you away.

 

Me: Damn right. The darts barely worked on Liberty. They just stopped him long enough for him to start thinking like the great military strategist he is, instead of a panicky boyfriend.

 

Me: I shouldn't have tried to bring kids into this.

 

Agent M: You didn’t. S did.

 

Me: I brought them into a world of spies and craziness the moment they were created. I tried to keep them out of this, but they’re in the crosshairs again and I can’t even be there to keep them safe. I need to be there and, unlike some people, I can’t shrink myself and hide in my daughter’s dollhouse.

 

Agent M: Do I want to know?

 

Me: No

 

Agent M: There are ways to get you back.

 

Me: I’m not signing the Accords.

 

Agent M: You don’t have to because you’re not enhanced or gifted. I didn’t and I have the Captain America shield resting next to me right now.

 

Me: You are now a member of the US government. Stark had to sign that thing and he is neither enhanced nor gifted.

 

Agent M: Technically, he’s enhanced. We can say that you were the Shield liaison to the Avengers and therefore not under UN jurisdiction. You would be free to come back.

 

Me: I’m not going back to Shield. I’m not even that happy that you somehow convinced Linda to join.

 

Agent M: We need her. Five-year-olds are literally waking up with superpowers due to chemically contaminated spiders. I don’t want Bahrain to happen again. With Laura’s help, I think we can avoid that situation again.

 

Me: You never really leave, do you?

 

Agent M: Not until death.

 

Me: And apparently, that doesn’t even stick.

 

Agent M: That was our former boss’s decision. I didn’t know until it was done. But I’m not mad that he’s back, just furious about what it did to him.

 

Me: Love makes you make questionable decisions sometimes. Get me back there and in a position where Ross can’t use my kids or my wife against me.

 

Agent M: We will work on it.

 

Me: Good. My sister really is okay?

 

Agent M: Yes. I’ll keep you posted.

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

HSBF: So I just saw my “ex-boyfriend” dragged out of his house in handcuffs by the FBI on six different news channels. The words collusion, Stark Industries, and attempted murder were also on screen. Is there something you need to tell me?

 

Me: Good to know you got the new TV. Did they show Agent 13 as being the one dragging him out in handcuffs? She really enjoyed that. That’s my new moment of Zen.

 

HSBF: I could tell by the almost smile.

 

Me: Also if you kept watching you would notice that his wife and now former head of the Jarvis Foundation was also dragged out in handcuffs by Carter, Jr. She would be the one responsible for at least the embezzlement portion of the news ticker.

 

HSBF: Why? She didn't give your allergy information to the Watchdogs or something like that? Why would she do that?

 

Me: No, she did her own dirty work. It helped that she hired her sister as the caterer and her brother-in-law’s friend or something is an emergency room physician at the trauma center closest to the banquet. That way if the plan failed spectacularly, he could just choke me with a pillow. I’m not sure if his arrest actually made the news. Snookums is trying to keep it quiet.

 

HSBF: Oh God. So they really think it’s her?

 

Me: Yes, along with her spouse for the attempted murder part anyway. It’s a mess and the agents are still trying to piece everything together.

 

HSBF: Why did she and her various family members try to kill you?

 

Me: So in addition to making sure some sunflower was in every single entrée for the dinner, she was also caught moving money from the foundation to various banks in Russia. The same banks that have ties to the Watchdogs.

 

HSBF: What?

 

Me: I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s backup to before the incident. Sky Quake tipped off Yo-Yo about three days before the gala that somebody connected to SI was making nice with the Watchdogs. She uncovered some odd transactions between an SI server and various banks, but no idea who was in bed with them. The whole thing was enough to make us cautious.

 

HSBF: Was that why so many agents were with you?

 

Me: Kind of. Agent Agent was worried about an attack. There were credible threats made. However, we all assumed they would go in guns blazing in grand super villain fashion, not take advantage of my food allergies. But then again maybe they were taking their cues from the great Hydra wedding fiasco of 2014.

 

HSBF: That thing a few years ago where people turned to stone at a military wedding?

 

Me: Sort of.

 

HSBF: That still doesn't explain why the husband-and-wife team tried to kill you.

 

Me: And their extended family.

 

Me: The most popular theory is that Mrs. Windom-West holds the same very anti inhuman beliefs as her spouse and did not want to be part of a charity that actually supports inhuman rights. Instead of resigning like a sane person, she believed that my demise would keep that from happening. Or maybe that was what her husband thought. They’re still trying to figure that part out.

 

HSBF: What is wrong with some people?

 

Me: I’m sure it’s a mixture of cognitive bias and extreme stupidity. Apparently, neither she nor her spouse realized that would just make the situation worse because most of my wealth would be going to various charity and trusts after my demise, one of which would support the Avengers and another for the Enhanced Person Defense Fund.

 

HSBF: I don’t want to think about that possibility. I’d rather have you around. You are more important than money.

 

Me: That's sweet. But it is good to have a plan in place, well a better one than when I was giving my art to the Boy Scouts.

 

HSBF: I heard about that. Please don’t do something like that again.

 

Me: I’ll try.

 

Me: Sharon has another theory. She believes his wife found out that her husband fucked an Avenger, but didn't know exactly which one. Since I am the only one that's openly bi, I became the lucky winner. She conveniently forgot about Scarlet and the spider.

 

HSBF: So it is really my fault for having god awful taste in men?

 

Me: I wouldn't say god awful taste. I'm not that horrible, now that I’ve stopped making weapons of mass destruction. Okay there was that murder bot snafu, but we mostly dealt with it. Okay, maybe you’re right.

 

HSBF: Seriously, Tony!

 

Me: Agent has a different theory. He believes Mrs. Windom-West wasn't happy that I was bringing someone else on to oversee the SI charity foundations and not just because that person was my new BF. No one knew that was going to be a name only thing, so Agent thinks that was what scared her into taking drastic/homicidal action.

 

Me: I'm sure the forensic accountants that I just hired are going to discover all sorts of fun and possibly illegal discrepancies. They’ve already found a few, considering the indictment.

 

HSBF: So it was my fault?

 

Me: We’ve talked about this. Do not take responsibility for the stupidity of others. I’m stupid enough for both of us. This one’s on me.

 

HSBF: How are you blaming yourself for this?

 

Me: I have a team of people who keep a watch on how money moves at SI after the ‘business partners stabbing me in the back via kidnapping’ fiasco because I’m not going through that again. However, I may have been slightly too trusting when it comes to the foundations and did not have the same things in place. We didn't even know to start looking at Windom West until Clint’s sister showed up a couple of days ago.

 

HSBF: I am happy she was able to help.

 

Me: I’m just happy she was willing to help.

 

HSBF: Is she OK?

 

Me: Yes, she settled. She even managed to start her own business. She was also upset that she had to cancel the date to make her little visit. Apparently she’s given up on my science bro ever coming back, but it’s probably for the best that she is moving on.

 

HSBF: Probably. So she's retiring?

 

Me: By spy standards, but maybe just for the moment. She is on standby like the Bulletproof Pacifists.

 

HSBF: She's only in her 30s. That is really not a retirement age.

 

Me: Just like you're only in your 30s.

 

HSBF: ???

 

Me: I'm not answering that one. You have mentioned before that you don’t want to know things that I discovered from unauthorized access.

 

HSBF: That’s probably for the best. Now that the arrests have been made does that mean that you get to go home?

 

Me: Yes. The weeks before South Africa are going to be total chaos, so I need as much time as possible to prepare. In addition to this mess, I have to clean house at the foundations. That’s going to be so much fun.

 

HSBF: I’m sure not all of them were corrupt. Deanna was great. She did really good work coordinating all of our children’s hospital visits.

 

Me: And you were the one who turned a Twitter fight about the Super Bowl with a celebrity into a half million dollar fundraising activity.

 

HSBF: That’s because Chris was really nice.

 

Me: Despite what you said about his team. I also have 200 messages to respond to. I hate when email piles up.

 

HSBF: Can't your assistant cover them?

 

Me: She did. Those are the ones I need to at least read. I'll probably only respond to a few. I miss the old days when I paid people to read the boring stuff for me.

 

HSBF: Does this mean that you're not going to have time for our movie date night?

 

Me: I'm always going to make time.

 

Me: Okay Agent America just called me “大愚弱智”. So it’s probably time for me to go.

 

HSBF: What does that even mean?

 

Me: I’m sure it’s a Chinese curse word. Friday can render the word in a text message, but will not tell me a definition.

 

HSBF: Possibly. Text me when you get home.

 

Me: Will do, Gumdrop.

To be continued

Chapter Text

Cover Image: Steve and Tony naked on Tony’s bed. Strategically placed legs obscuring genitalia.

 

Cover Image: Steve and Tony naked on Tony’s bed. Strategically placed legs obscuring genitalia.

 


 

Dear Tony,

I miss you so much. I don’t think there’s enough space inside of this card to say everything that I need to say, but I’m going to try. I hate being away from you and that was before you almost got killed. I hate even more that it’s my own fault. If I had made different choices, maybe you wouldn’t have been so vulnerable. I broke a television set and Clint’s jaw when reports of you flatlining were made. I’m sure you’re aware, I had to be tranquilized. I don’t want to be without you.

 

My heart dropped to my stomach when Sharon told me what happened. Just the thought of losing you makes me sick. I don’t want to be without you. I’m not sure I can survive without you. I can’t even go a week without talking to you.

 

All of this made me realize that I am head over feet in love with you. I don’t know when it happened, but it did. I don’t even think it really was one moment. This had to be building for a while. It just took the thought of losing you to make me realize how important you are. I didn’t even get it in Siberia.

 

Just get better soon. We have a date in Johannesburg on September 24. I’m expecting you to be there. I’m not going to say you owe me a dance because I have a history of not making dances, but you owe me dinner.

 

Love always,

Your Cuddle Bunny.

 


Inside image: Steve kissing Tony in new uniform (all black and gray. Think the Patriot’s uniform on Agents of Shield without fake muscles). Notice the lack of patch. Tony left that blank in case Steve ever wanted to come back.

Inside image: Steve kissing Tony in new uniform (all black and gray. Think the Patriot’s uniform on Agents of Shield without fake muscles). Notice the lack of patch. Tony left that blank in case Steve ever wanted to come back.

 

Chapter Text

 

Anthony: So I am actually back home. You have no idea how much I miss my 5000 thread count sheets and having Friday available to cater to my every take-out whim. Right now, she's getting me virgin Drunk raspberry cheesecake French toast.

 

Nomad: I prefer to cook myself, but I do miss those 5000 thread count sheets. What is virgin drunk raspberry cheesecake French toast?

 

Anthony: And that was before the possibility of me waking up with you under said sheets. I can't wait for that to come to fruition in Johannesburg on the 24th.

 

Nomad: I just walked into that.

 

Anthony: Yes, you did and I just walked into three truckloads of fan mail/get well cards sitting in the foyer of the penthouse. Why do they send billionaires teddy bears?

 

Nomad: I have no idea.

 

Anthony: Although I’m sure the Manhattan University Children's Hospital will like all these bears. I’m doing an event Monday for Labor Day. I don't know what to do with the flowers and balloons, though.

 

Nomad: Balloons can also go to that children’s hospital. You can send those along early because I doubt they will make it till Monday. As for the flowers, you can make potpourri.

 

Anthony: Do I look like a potpourri guy to you?

 

Nomad: Maybe they can be given out to random employees.

 

Anthony: Friday, ask Yo-Yo to get all the flowers moved down to the cafeteria with a sign that says free to a good home.

 

FRIDAY: Of course sir.

 

Nomad: I know you think everybody hates you, but I think this proves otherwise. You don't get somebody teddy bears and flowers if you hate them.

 

Anthony: This is just the stuff that passed inspection. All the hate mail was incinerated and all the credible threats have been forwarded to the FBI or Shield depending on the nature of what was said. Friday's not allowed to tell me what percentage of my mail is actually hate mail. It would make the depression worse to know how bad it really is.

 

Nomad: That's practical. How do you determine what goes to the FBI?

 

Anthony: Ridiculously nasty emails or letters from the Board of Directors, competitors, and every day, angry people on the street go straight to the FBI, especially if they do describe in detail how they want to kill me. Want to be super villains with crazy tech are forwarded to Shield under auspices of the UN. At least now that my BFF is in charge and there is a Shield again.

 

Anthony: Friday doesn't give me the breakdown on those numbers either.

 

Nomad: How can you make that distinction?

 

Anthony: They threw in schematics and we have an algorithm. Not all in the super villain category want to kill me. Some want to recruit me. Apparently, I make a mean killer robot. Also the billion dollar plus bank account apparently is my real super power. Most of them want me to finance their take over the world scam.

 

Nomad: Oh God. The worst I got was women sending me nudes and offering to be my first time since 1943.

 

Anthony: When they don't out right assume that you're America’s virgin.

 

Nomad: Yes.

 

Anthony: Are there any men among the ones sending you lingerie and dirty photos?

 

Nomad: Yes actually. Apparently, we are well shipped in the LGTB community.

 

Anthony: So it was obvious to everyone, but us? I mean we have an 11-year-old writing fanfiction about us.

 

Nomad: Apparently.

 

Anthony: I also get my own share of marriage proposals and nude pictures. Along with a lot of paternity suits, but those are extra ridiculous now that I no longer have a sperm count. Those are also filtered out. Actually they should've filtered yours out of your fan mail as well I have had my people going through the Avengers mail since the beginning.

 

Nomad: That explains why I haven't got anything extremely inappropriate, recently. I got all the inappropriate stuff when Shield was handling my fan mail.

 

Anthony: I'm sure there was a Hydra plant in the mail room who was just fucking with you.

 

Nomad: I think that's possible.

 

Anthony: Oh look, there's two dozen roses, a gigantic box of chocolates, and cookies waiting from Stefan. He sent the good stuff. Best boyfriend ever.

 

Nomad: It was Clint's idea. Maybe Ross will be less likely to set traps for me if he thinks Stefan Carter is a real person. Also I feel like you deserve roses and chocolate.

 

Anthony: Well obviously you two have kissed and made up after the tranquilizer/jaw breaking incident.

 

Nomad: Mostly. Cookies were involved. And therapy. We may have smacked each other with something that looks like a giant Q-tip.

 

Anthony: We should the thought of doing that as a teambuilding activity before Siberia.

 

Nomad: Probably

 

Anthony: Oh and it looks like you sent a card, a very NC-17 card. I should’ve took the blue envelope as a warning. And you included an inside image of us kissing. Maybe that should’ve been an outside image. I am so glad Laura is not letting Lily Bear come up here right now. At least not until I'm done unpacking.

 

Nomad: You texted me before you unpacked?

 

Anthony: I missed you. And Yo-Yo told me to. She’s a true romantic.

 

Nomad: It’s been less than 24 hours since we last talked.

 

Anthony: Still miss you.

 

Nomad: Read your card, Anthony

 

Anthony: I can’t get over your artwork. You’re really good. I love a man in uniform.

 

Nomad: They are just sketches, nothing fancy. I don’t have all my supplies.

 

Anthony: But really wonderful sketches. Yo-Yo agrees. Which explains why she told me to check the roses first.

 

Nomad: She’s seen my work?

 

Anthony: Well, she had to because of the recent assassination attempts.

 

Nomad: Still embarrassing.

 

Anthony: Yes, heaven forbid people find out that Steve Rogers is a kinky bastard and just a little sappy. I mean flowers and chocolate, adorable, but cliché in a cute way.

 

Nomad: Well, you can probably use the calories and I made sure that whatever they sent you did not have sunflower seeds.

 

Anthony: My hero.

 

Anthony: You even used the L word.  Is this how you were planning for me to find out?

 

Nomad: Yes, and you just had to break into the Shield servers. This was already in the mail by that time.

 

Anthony: I was bored and it wasn't like Agent Scary was giving up the goods on what dating you was like. I had to do something.

 

Nomad: Nor do I blame her.

 

Anthony: She wants you to call her.

 

Nomad: And I will once I'm no longer a fugitive.

 

Anthony: I wish we were video conferencing because that way you could see me rolling my eyes. I programmed her number into your phone under Agent America. I gave her one of our special phones just in case.

 

Nomad: Eat a chocolate, Tony.

 

Anthony: They are heart shaped. You're kind of a romantic. A very kinky romantic, but still a romantic.

 

Nomad: I think the candies were chosen at random after I gave them the specific allergy instructions.

 

Anthony: Still delicious. So once I'm done unpacking and going through the other important messages that I must respond to, we are going to schedule our Star Trek date. Friday will send you a time.

 

Nomad: What other important Messages?

 

Anthony: Queens and his aunt along with Pepper pot and the boy toy.

 

Nomad: Tony, unpack your bags and rest for a while.

 

Anthony: I am all rested out. Four days in the middle of Appalachia will do that to a guy. I kind of just want to hug my workbench right now.

 

Nomad: Is there something I need to know?

 

Anthony: Sometimes I fantasize about fucking you against my lab table.

 

Nomad: You're incorrigible.

 

Anthony: Do you love me anyway?

 

Nomad: Yes, but I'm starting to question my sanity.

 

Anthony: That's why we are both seeing a therapist. I'll see you on our date.

 

Nomad: Whenever Friday will schedule it.

 

Anthony: I'll be there even if it is in the middle of the night. I think we can do something before Labor Day. Maybe.

 

Nomad: I hope so.

 

To be continued

 

Chapter Text

 

From: Teenage Mutant Ninja Spider

To: The Mechanic

Time sent: 8/27/2016 12:35:11

Subject: Get Well Soon and I’m sorry for how I acted lately

Dear Mr. Stark:

 

I know you told me to call you Tony, but it doesn't feel right considering how I've acted the last few weeks. I’m sorry. I really don't want you dead. I know I said some terrible things, but I don't want that. I was mad about you telling your friend Coulson about me and the fact that you’re not available to date my aunt and 100 other things, but that doesn’t mean I want to lose another mentor.

 

Did I ever tell you that the last conversation I had with my uncle Ben was a fight? I don’t even remember what I said to him. It was so stupid, but I never got to apologize. I don't want that to happen again. It’s my biggest regret.

 

 I really hope you don't die. They're speculating on the news that you were targeted because you hang out with people like me and that you're trying to protect us. I hope they’re lying, but I am terrified to think that they're not. I don’t want you in danger because of me. That’s why I’m not telling Aunt May the truth, other than her constant panic. I think it’s safer if people don’t know.

 

Anyway, Get better soon.

 

PS: I think May is making you some get well cookies. I’ll try to get rid of them before they’re delivered. Sorry, Uncle Ben did all the cooking before.

Xxxxx

 

Dear Mr. Stark:

 

I'm so sorry to hear about what happened. I'm sure that what they're saying in the media is wrong because you're a fighter. I also need it to be wrong because in just a couple of months you've managed to become another father figure for Peter and he needs that.

 

After my husband died, I was worried about Peter. It was hard raising a teenager when I had somebody else running support. It became almost impossible alone. Especially after Peter came home covered in bruises because of some fight with Steve from Brooklyn. But you being around him and really taking an interest in him has helped him come out of his shell. I'm not even worried that the principal is making him see counselor Laura twice a week during the coming school year. Maybe he needs it after everything that's happened since January. I'm sure he's telling you things that he's not telling me. He probably needs somebody else to talk to.

 

So thank you for being there for my nephew even though I know you have other things to do. I wish you a safe and quick recovery for your sake as well as his. Anyway, I hope you enjoy these cookies. They’re store bought by the way, and I made sure they didn’t contain anything you’re allergic to. I wish you would’ve told me you had food allergies instead of just throwing away my cookies. I would understand.

 

 

Sincerely, May Riley-Parker

 

Xxxxxxx

From: The Mechanic

To: Teenage Mutant Ninja Spider

Time sent: 9/1/2016 12:35:11

 

Subject: RE: Get Well Soon and I’m sorry for how I acted lately

 

Dear number one intern:

 

I think I went over the rules about using real names in these communications, but whatever.

I'm OK. Please stop climbing the walls, possibly literally. I’m not allowed to go out in the suit for a few weeks, but I’m good. As soon as my handler lets me go out in public unaccompanied, I am coming to Queens to teach you not to listen to anything the media says when it comes to me. We will have to work around your new class schedule since you are going back to school next week, but it is happening.

 

 Actually don't even listen to the SI press release because at least half of it is pure BS. Also, you should probably take whatever I tell you with a grain of salt because I may or may not have been dying of Palladium poisoning for about six months and told no one. I am the master of pretending to be fine when I’m not. I’ve been working on that in therapy. Try not to do the same thing.

 

I think your handler may have passed this information on to you, but I thought you would appreciate an actual email. I'm not lying this time. I'm doing better. Dr. Simmons is taking care of me. Remember her from when she did your assessment a couple of weeks ago? I'm being well looked after.

 

Also, the people who tried to kill me were arrested yesterday, so no worries. And it wasn’t about you or any other powered person. Little Miss Sunshine was embezzling from the Edwin Jarvis Foundation and when I decided to appoint my new boyfriend as her co-director, she didn’t like that which is why she apparently resorted to murder. Idiot.

 

I forgive you for what you said. I know you didn't mean it. You're just 15 and even though I was at MIT at 15, I said a lot of things to both my parents that I regret. I was an absolute nightmare to Maria. I even said a lot of things right before they died. I was pissed at my dad for making me come home for Christmas when they were just going to leave me there. They never came home and I regretted it ever since.

 

Just because I'm dating someone else doesn't mean that I'm not going to hang out with you. I take my pseudo-parenting thing very seriously. I would like to think of it as a big brother mentor sort of thing, but Laura pointed out that would be creepy since I think I’m just a year or two younger than your aunt.

 

Also, just because I don't want to date your aunt doesn't mean that I don't like you or that I will stop hanging out. I do think your aunt is one cool lady. I just fell in love with someone else and he is a great guy. A bastard sometimes, but a great guy underneath everything and I really do love him, when he’s not being a self-righteous prick at least.

 

I’ll try to come over soon, maybe the Saturday after Labor Day. I’m sure you’re going to need someone to commiserate with about the first few days of school. If you need me before then, Friday can get in touch. I’m working on a new AI for you. Also, please try to stay off YouTube or else Laura is going to go ‘full parent who works as a ninja spy’ on you. You do not want to deal with the Laura grounding.

 

I understand why you've been angry. I should have eased you into the fact Agent Agent’s team knows who you are. I know that you're scared, but the guy in charge now is my best friend and his real number two almost died saving the world. (And I think Jeffrey wants to save the world through PR if nothing else because apparently, that’s what Brooklyn boys do.) They're good people and they just want to protect you.

 

You're a kid, even if you don’t see it that way. (And yes, I remember hating the K word when I was your age). You should get to do kid things like completely humiliate yourself in front of the girl or guy of your dreams. There’s also Homecoming. I never got that. I didn’t even get to go to the prom until a couple years ago as part of a Make-A-Wish thing for a young woman dying of leukemia. Again, I was already at MIT by your age and well, I think half of the dumb things I do is because I was already in college by the time I was your age. Don't grow up too fast. All of this stuff will be waiting for you when you’re old enough to deal with it.

 

PS: Apparently your efforts with the cookies were futile. There’s a giant box from your aunt sitting in my foyer. Could you send me her email address so I can send her a thank you email?

Xxxxx

 

From: Teenage Mutant Ninja Spider

To: The Mechanic

Time sent: 9/01/2016 16:21:11

Subject: RE: Get Well Soon and I’m sorry for how I acted lately

 

Riley_ Parker at stark – mail dot com. Although, be warned, she only checks her non-work email like twice a day and I’m not allowed to give that one out.

The cookies are store-bought. I told my aunt you are afraid to eat her cooking because you had a tiny allergic reaction the first time you visit. So the good news is you’re never going to have to eat anything at our house again. Do you think you can hook me up with some cooking lessons? Otherwise you should just bring take out if you want to come over Saturday.

 

I’m glad you got back before school starts. I hate school. Can I just go to college now? Also, when will I get lab time again? I know I can’t be there all the time, but I can do Saturdays again.

xxxxx

From: The Mechanic

To: Teenage Mutant Ninja Spider

Time sent: 9/1/2016 16:42:12

Subject: RE: Get Well Soon and I’m sorry for how I acted lately.

 

I’ll see what I can do about cooking lessons. College at age 15 is not as glamorous as the movies make it. I kind of wish I waited. At least now kids get to do both simultaneously. Your AP calculus class should take the edge off. Once you have your class schedule and your Laura required stuff figured out, we can work out lab hours. Actual lab hours and no other training. Laura gets to work out that stuff now.

Xxxxx

 

From: Tony_Carbonell

To: Riley_Parker

Time sent: 9/1/2016 17:01:41

Subject: Thank You for the Cookies.

 

Dear Miss Riley-Parker:

Peter gave me your email address. I hope that’s okay. Also, this is my personal email address. I trust you won’t give it to the tabloids.

 

Thank you for your well wishes and the cookies. You found my favorites. They are appreciated. I’m sorry I didn’t mention the allergies. I don’t like for people to have to do extra things for me.

 

Also, I’m sorry for worrying both you and your nephew. I’m sure Laura informed both of you that tales of my impending demise were greatly exaggerated. News media always exaggerates at least when it comes to me. Sometimes it's on purpose. They have to keep those ratings up. I honestly think the shareholders started half of the rumors. I'm sorry you guys were so worried, but really, I am doing better.

 

Peter is a good kid. He's also still a kid and I think he forgets that sometimes. I know I did, mostly because I was already in college at his age and being groomed to be the next CEO of Stark Industries. I shouldn't be used as an example of proper child development.

 

I already emailed Peter to let him know that I'm OK, but I thought I should pay you the same courtesy. As always, thank you for the cookies. Sorry it wasn’t sooner, but my handlers did not want me to do anything that could possibly raise my blood pressure, including allowing me to have email access.

 

Although now that we’re back, I suggested to Peter that we could do dinner on the Saturday after school starts back up. I can even take you to the lab so Peter can show off what he's been working on this past summer. He really is the best intern I've had. I’m going to miss his presence in the lab now that he’s going to have to do more school stuff. Although I think we can arrange for him to work on weekends if that’s okay with you?

 

Dealing with the death of a parent is hard. Honestly, I don't think I've really dealt with my parents’ death until recently. But working with Peter has also helped me deal with a lot of things that I ignored for a long time. I’m glad I could be there for him. It gave me something to focus on with my boyfriend in Johannesburg doing charity work. (That’s another thing I trust you not to leak to the tabloids.)

 

Please feel free to contact me or my assistant, Elaina Rodriguez, with whatever time works for you to see Peter’s work. I’m sure you already have her number.

Xxxxx

 

From: Riley_Parker

To: Tony_Carbonell

Time sent: 9/2/2016 7:01:41

Subject: RE: Thank You for the Cookies.

 

Next Saturday is fine. Also, I’d rather have him working at SI then coming home covered in bruises. That happens less when he’s working with you.

 

Although it may be tempting to mention you have a boyfriend, the next time the reporters camp out in front of our house, I won’t say anything. Your secret’s safe with me. Although I am old enough to remember that Tony Stark gay sex tape scandal, so I’m not that surprised.

Xxxxx

 

From: Tony_Carbonell

To: Riley_Parker

Time sent: 9/2/2016 7:15:14

Subject: RE: Thank You for the Cookies.

 

I’m surprised you let me anywhere near your kid if you remember that particular youthful indiscretion.

 

I’ll be there. And feel free to mention I have a boyfriend to the press. I’m glad you remember, because they don’t and we can probably use that to our advantage.

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

 

Dear Dr. Stark:

 

It was such a pleasure to meet you last Friday although I wish the night had gone better. I had a feeling it would probably end in disaster, but I didn’t expect anybody to end up hospitalized. Virginia told me what really happened and I'm so sorry that you had to go through that. I wish you a speedy and safe recovery.

 

Honestly, Virginia has been a bit of a wreck these last few days. You know that she spent the night outside your hospital room. I literally had to drag her back to the hotel. Of course, that was before your assistant moved her into the Tower for security reasons. I like Ms. Rodriguez. I almost want to take her for my company.

 

Most people would be uncomfortable with their girlfriend being so distraught over their former lover. I’m not. You were friends long before you were lovers and I think Virginia wants that friendship back. Also, apparently you have a new boyfriend who’s in South Africa. At least that’s what Ms. Rodriguez told me. I really do like her.

 

Anyway, I wish you good health and a speedy recovery. Robert.

 

Xxxxxx

From: Pepper_Pot

To: Tony_Carbonell

Time sent: 8/31/2016 22:01:41

Subject: Cookies will be waiting for you when you get home

 

So this morning I saw the now former head of the Jarvis foundation led out in handcuffs for trying to kill you. (Happy and Kevin watched it together gleefully eating doughnuts.) I assume this means that you’ll be coming home soon. I made sure that your assistant had a box of your favorite cookies, in addition to the cookie bouquet that will arrive once I’m sure you’re back home. Somebody needed to give you something nice to make up for the board getting you a get-well gift that might send you back to the hospital.

 

Also let’s be honest, you prefer food over flowers. You never eat enough when you get into the creative zone. The cookie bouquet will be waiting for you when you get back from where ever you are. No, Jim wouldn’t tell me anything. (Or Happy for that matter, who you really need to call.) Why did you decide to put him in charge of a spy agency that technically doesn’t exist anymore?

 

Part of me thinks that you’ve skipped off to where ever ‘Stefan’ is, but Phil has reassured me that’s not the case. That was a deeply unpleasant conversation for several reasons. When were you going to tell me that Phil was back? Or is that just one of those things we don’t talk about? We have a really lengthy list of things that we need to talk about and I’m tired of avoiding those conversations so I’m going to start now.

 

I told you that I ended our relationship because I didn’t want to watch you die and I couldn’t deal with you going out and saving the world every night. I couldn’t just sit at home every night wondering if you were going to come home to me. Of course, in hindsight, I realize that our problems were nowhere near that simple. It was stupid of me to ask you to choose. Selfish really. I realize that now.

 

It was even more ridiculous for me to think that distancing myself from you would lessen the impact. Because Friday night showed me that it’s still going to hurt, even if you no longer hold the title of boyfriend.

 

I actually saw you die. No, you died in my arms. Your heart stopped. If I wasn’t sitting next to you with an EpiPen in my purse, you would be dead right now. It wasn’t a super villain that got you, but a disgruntled employee. All they needed to know was you can’t have sunflower seeds. The greatest irony of all was I was the one who asked your assistant to make sure the caterers and the event planner had your allergy list. My actions almost got you killed.

 

Dose watching you die make me question if I made the right choice in breaking up with you? I would be stupid to not acknowledge that it did make me reevaluate my choice, but it doesn’t change things in the long run. It just made me realize that we fell apart for 1 million other reasons as well.

 

Then there is also the fact that I really like Robert. Maybe I’m even starting to fall in love with him. I think it could get there. Surprisingly he’s supports me even when I’m crying over my ex-boyfriend. That’s a lot to ask from a guy and he’s not even jealous because he trusts me implicitly.

 

Although it probably helps that you have a boyfriend. Ms. Rodriguez mentioned that repeatedly. I think he might think that I was just your beard and I am not correcting that assumption yet. Apparently, he’s way too young to remember when the Tony Stark gay sex tape came out. If you say anything about me dating a guy who’s too young to remember that, I will remind you that you’re with a guy who’s only been conscious for about 30 years.

 

If I really think about it, this thing you have with Stefan has been building for a while. He was all you would talk about. Granted, most of the time you were cursing his name, but I think I was just trying to cover up the truth. It makes sense. Maybe it can work better than you and me because he gets the part of your life that I didn’t or maybe I couldn’t completely understand. Maybe a part of me is glad you’re going to know what it’s like to be constantly scared that you lose the one you love.

 

I’m not mad about Stefan. If I can have a new boyfriend, you can have a new boyfriend. Okay, I’m a little mad. Not that you have a boyfriend, but that you didn’t tell me. How did it get this bad between us?

 

At the same time, I’m worried. I saw you after Siberia. Not in person because you were and still are avoiding me. But your bruised face was all over Twitter. I don’t know what happened because you won’t tell me since we don’t have that type of relationship anymore, but I’m concerned. I know you can hold your own, but he’s a lot stronger than you are. Jim said that you two have worked it out, but I am concerned. Just because we stopped sleeping together doesn’t mean I stopped caring. I’m always going to care about you.

 

When your boyfriend gets back to the states we’re having dinner together. All four of us.

 

PS: I think it is best of Happy comes back to New York. He’s joining me for the Labor Day event anyway. I would feel better if he was there with you after what happened. Really call him and stop pushing us all away.

 

 

Xxxxxx

 

From: Tony_Carbonell

To: Pepper_Pot

Time sent: 9/2/2016 17:01:41

Subject: Cookies will be waiting for you when you get home

 

Hey, my Pepper Pot:

 

Thank you for the cookies and the edible bouquet. They were delicious as always, or at least what was left in the refrigerator was delicious after the little vultures devoured the bouquet. They made an excellent post engineering binge snack. I may have gone in headfirst which is why I didn’t write when I arrived yesterday.

 

I hope you told Kevin to get a couple of cases of those cookies for Monday's thing at the Children's Hospital. Yes, I'm still going. I need to show the world I'm not dead and that I'm not afraid.

 

I'm really sorry that I worried you. We're taking precautions to make sure that I am no longer susceptible to the sunflower technique. Even I don't want to go because of an allergic reaction. It would just be downright tragic and ridiculously embarrassing.

 

Your boyfriend also wrote me to express his well wishes. It was attached to the edible arrangement. Let him know I appreciate it. I would write myself, but I don't have his email address. Anyway, we can talk more when we see each other Monday.

 

PS: I know about Happy coming. We spoke and he is really not happy about me almost dying because of the sunflower murder conspiracy. Or avoiding him for the last few months. It’s better now.

To be continued.

 

 

Chapter Text

Anthony: So, did Friday upload my present? More importantly are you able to take advantage of the brand-new gigantic television that I sent?

 

Nomad: Yes. You really did not have to do that.

 

Anthony: Yes I did. You did break said television while you had your little episode regarding the Gala incident.

 

Nomad: Because you almost died.

 

Anthony: Only a little. A few seconds at most.

 

Nomad: Pepper punched out a reporter.

 

Anthony: Because the guy was an asshole.

 

Nomad: True. Have you talked to her yet about us?

 

Anthony: No more talk of that. The next two hours is going to be me and you making snarky comments about the movie and me trying to convince you to try telecommunication sex.

 

Nomad: Still not happening.

 

Anthony: Hey, I deserve something for almost dying.

 

Nomad: 21 days until South Africa. You can wait.

 

Anthony: Or maybe before then if I get the framework working. Snookums wants to review everything before we start beta testing. Apparently, I’ve trained him too well with my various mishaps.

 

Nomad: Put on the movie, Tony.

 

Anthony: See mountains and Paramount stars on screen. And look the fires of hell or whatever that’s supposed to be.

 

Nomad: How many producers does this movie have?

 

Anthony: Thousands. Look the robot. And there is our Enterprise. She’s so pretty.

 

Nomad: Why does Captain Kirk sound so squeaky?

 

Anthony: Friday fix it.

 

Nomad: Thank you Friday. It's working fine now.

 

Anthony: Strange alien things and angry people asking questions that they won’t let you answer. It is like a normal day at the office, especially our office.

 

Anthony: Weapons for peace. It sounds like something Dad would do. I think that is something he did do.

 

Anthony: Yep, just like a board meeting. And surprisingly, only slightly more violent.

 

Nomad: More like that mission last March that you had to help us out on. I’ve always hated cat claws.

 

Anthony: Why did that guy think he could create sentient/talking cats?

 

Nomad: I don't know

 

Anthony: Of course Kirk can't get out. You could never get out when the mission goes to shit. Of course he ripped his shirt. There should be more nudity in this film. Don’t worry gummy bear, you have the best abs. I’d like to lick them.

 

Nomad: Bones reminds me of Bruce trying to get you in to medical after bad missions.

 

Anthony: Now it's Yo-Yo or Laura trying to get me into medical.

 

Anthony: Yay nudity and abs. I want that cup.

 

Nomad: Of course you do. Tony, you have a coffee problem.

 

Anthony: Better than my alcohol problem.

 

Nomad: Clint has a picture of his kids with him like that. It’s taped inside of his bow case.

 

Anthony: Well now that we know that he actually has kids anyway.

 

Nomad: He misses the kids a lot. He’s worried about them.

 

Anthony: They miss him too. He'll be back soon.

 

Nomad: What does that mean?

 

Anthony: I am so trying to see if I can make a warp core. I'm going to get there someday.

 

Nomad: That blue liquor reminds me of Thor's alcohol.

 

Anthony: Did that stuff actually make you drunk?

 

Nomad: Yes.

 

Nomad: Are you OK with watching people drink?

 

Anthony: More than I am watching people talk about dead dads. At least I'm still younger than when Howard died for a few more years.

 

Nomad: You do realize that Howard would be so proud of you, right?

 

Anthony: You don't know that. You knew dad when he was still young and idealistic. By the end, he was a jaded and sad man who spent way too much time drowning in his favorite bottle of cognac.

 

Nomad: I’m sorry.

 

Anthony: OK, we should ask Thor if space stations like that exist as soon as he starts answering our calls.

 

Nomad: Tasha did make contact.

 

Anthony: Because she had intel.

 

Nomad: Maybe he will too eventually.

 

Anthony: So pretty. I want to design something like that. I know I can design something like that.

 

Nomad: I am sure you could. You're working on a transporter, aren't you?

 

Anthony: Maybe. Coulson’s team ran into a guy who could teleport a couple years ago, so I’m using their research to put something together. I think I could have a prototype together in about a year.

 

Nomad: I'm sure you could.

 

Anthony: And now I am reminded of the very awkward situation that is me and Pepper.

 

Nomad: She gave you back a necklace that belonged to your mother?

 

Anthony: Yes actually. I don’t want to talk about it.

 

Nomad: And Spock is just as open to talking about the break up as you were. Maybe if I saw it happen I would've known.

 

Anthony: I wasn't ready to tell you. Look happy family. See gay families do exist. Kiss. Kiss. Kiss.

 

Nomad: They seem like a pretty family.

 

Anthony: Dammit. Why did they have to write in Nimoy’s death? Couldn’t they just let Spock Prime live out the rest of eternity on the colony.

 

Nomad: I think it’s supposed to be a tribute maybe?

 

Anthony: And here we go, the prologue is over and we’re getting to the action. This is not going to be good.

 

Nomad: This feels like the start of every single one of our big missions, especially the ones that end in disaster.

 

Anthony: Absolutely.

 

Nomad: Do you think that you can design a universal translator?

 

Anthony: Thor said it's not necessary. I'm still working on it.

 

Anthony: There is no way Kirk is actually going to want to be a vice Admiral. It was like me being CEO. I am much happier being head of R&D. I think that Kirk is leaving because he can't take watching the guy he is in love with be with someone else?

 

Nomad: You may be right. I didn't like watching you and Pepper together. It was one of the reasons why I was kind of happy that you suggested moving the Avengers to an upstate facility.

 

Anthony: Why didn't you tell me?

 

Nomad: I wasn't ready to talk about it yet, not even to myself. Also I don’t break up other people’s relationships.

 

Anthony: Look, Jim and Spock are so cute together and have more communications problems than us. Kiss. Kiss. Kiss.

 

Nomad: You're crazy, Tony.

 

Anthony: Kirk was so checking out his ass.

 

Nomad: I’ll give you that one.

 

Anthony: Well that lightning is not ominous at all. Do you think her ship was actually stranded there?

 

Nomad: Nope.

 

Anthony: Look, more ships. Yep, they're seriously fucked.

 

Nomad: Is this giving you New York flashbacks?

 

Anthony: I am OK. OK, it might be giving me Jericho missile flashbacks. Ambushes suck.

 

Anthony: It is just a movie.

 

Nomad: They're taking out the ship.

 

Anthony: Of course they are. You did see the promotional materials?

 

Nomad: I was busy being on the run.

 

Anthony: And rescuing people because you're still upset that you couldn't save Bucky from Hydra?

 

Nomad: Maybe. No more hard questions. I'm trying to watch the movie.

 

Anthony: OK that guy is the villain. He just screams villain.

 

Nomad: I'm glad we have yet to meet a guy that looks like that.

 

Anthony: Yeah. Queens is dealing with robbers showing up dressed as Batman, and not the Terry McGinnis or Adam West Batman either.

 

Nomad: Better than us.

 

Anthony: Very true.

 

Anthony: Kirk is totally in love with Spock.

 

Nomad: Why do all super villains have the same motive?

 

Anthony: In movies?

 

Nomad: In real life.

 

Anthony: I have no ideal. We live very strange lives.

 

Nomad: Yes.

 

Anthony: That beautiful ship. Why did they have to kill that beautiful ship?

 

Nomad: You're trying to design an Enterprise, aren't you?

 

Anthony: Since puberty. Instead I ended up designing Quinjets and the carriers of evil. I need to send you my original designs. I can't draw nudes, but I can draw an awesome schematic.

 

Anthony: Of course they're taking the crew.

 

Nomad: Do you always talk this much during movies?

 

Anthony: Probably not. I just spent several days with your monosyllable ex-girlfriend. I have lots of words just waiting to get out. I'll try to make fewer snarky comments during the fight scenes.

 

Nomad: Thank you.

 

Anthony: Yay, the bad guy didn't get the weapon.

 

Nomad: Because that would make for a short movie.

 

Anthony: My poor beautiful ship. It's just ashes and wreckage. It’s Malibu all over again.

 

Nomad: Sorry.

 

Anthony: No you’re not.

 

Nomad: You know I could completely see you hotwiring a torpedo to escape.

 

Anthony: I'm sure knowing my luck, I would end up hanging from a cliff too.

 

Nomad: It would probably be me.

 

Anthony: Do I want to know?

 

Nomad: Probably not.

 

Anthony: Do villains ever tell the truth?

 

Nomad: None of the ones that I've encountered.

 

Anthony: And you can never reason with them, but boy do they love their speeches.

 

Nomad: Especially Ultron and Loki.

 

Nomad: Am I allowed to mention the U word?

 

Anthony: If I can mention my biggest fuck up, then you can.

 

Nomad: Spock reminds me of you right now. You’re practically dying and you still don’t want to go to medical.

 

Anthony: Hey kettle I have my reasons to be a little shy of doctors. Laura told you about me punching another doctor right after I gained consciousness?

 

Nomad: Yes.

 

Anthony: In my defense, the doctor tried to strangle me.

 

Nomad: Thank you for finally telling me what happened.

 

Anthony: Just for the record, stopping the bleeding through cauterization sucks. Yo-Yo had to have that happen to her a couple of months ago when she was shot trying to protect her now boyfriend when the base was being attacked by super powered mind control zombies. Thankfully, it went better this time. Even if a blowtorch was involved.

 

Nomad: We live very interesting lives.

 

Anthony: Stranger than fiction.

 

Nomad: You want to re-create her hologram technology, don't you?

 

Anthony: Already working on it. I can probably turn it into something widow bite related.

 

Nomad: Now I am being reminded of way too many hikes through various parts of Europe.

 

Anthony: This makes me want to visit Asgard although Agent Simmons says that being on the strange alien planet is overrated.

 

Nomad: How would she know?

 

Anthony: I can't tell you.

 

Nomad: You don't trust me.

 

Anthony: More like I came across classified documents that I'm not allowed to talk about because Snookums will be pissed. He’s okay with me reading the classified documents, but I can’t share. Less serious talk, more movie snark.

 

Nomad: I just have this feeling that you are watching this with a notepad jotting down ideas?

 

Anthony: No, I'm watching with the Stark Pad that I am dictating notes into about design possibilities while I'm dictating snarky comments to you. There's a lot of dictation going on.

 

Nomad: I like the design of the native shelters.

 

Anthony: Let me guess you have a sketchpad next to you doing art.

 

Nomad: Maybe.

 

Anthony: OK note to self: double check to make sure that we're not being bugged by crazy aliens.

 

Nomad: You know if it was anyone else I would think you were making a joke. But apparently aliens visited last April.

 

Anthony: Anton Yelchin is so good in this movie. He died too young.

 

Nomad: Good people always die too young.

 

Anthony: An all too sad fact of life.

 

Anthony: Hey Lily bear just came in to the room just as our villain was crushed by a giant saucer.

 

Anthony: Laura is going to be unhappy.

 

Nomad: She is already mad at me, so you might as well just blame me.

 

Anthony: Because you broke her husband's jaw.

 

Nomad: I did apologize, but she probably realized it wasn’t as sincere as it should’ve been.

 

Anthony: OK to avoid nightmare fuel, I had to cut off the movie.

 

Nomad: She started screaming when he sucked the life force out of those two crewmembers?

 

Anthony: Yes, but hey, at least I now know the villain’s plan. You can keep watching without me.

 

Nomad: Although I'm really enjoying the movie, it's more fun with you. I can wait. Besides it's like 3 AM here.

 

Anthony: OK you should've told Friday. No way she would have scheduled this if it was going to be so late for you.

 

Nomad: It’s okay. I don’t mind. I would’ve said yes to any time because I just wanted to talk to you and be around you. I hated not being able to see you when you were in the hospital. I hated being stuck here. I felt so useless.

 

Anthony: You're not useless.

 

Nomad: I couldn't keep you from getting hurt.

 

Anthony: That wasn't super villains gone evil. That was a disgruntled employee who had access to my allergies. It could happen to anybody with a multibillion dollar bank account at least.

 

Nomad: And who apparently arranged for a doctor to strangle you at the hospital.

 

Anthony: That could've just been my winning personality.

 

Nomad: Tony.

 

Anthony: I think I mentioned before that I have the personality of a Brillo pad.

 

Nomad: I'm thinking more like a chocolate covered marshmallow. Hard on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside.

 

Anthony: That is definitely me. Lily Bear says hi.

 

Nomad: Say hi back to her.

 

Anthony: She would also like to know why you broke her daddy's jaw.

 

Nomad: Because he shot me with multiple rounds of tranquilizers.

 

Anthony: Because you were about to metaphorically walk into a trap. There was a whole team waiting for you at the hospital alone.

 

Nomad: I realize it was the right call, but I'm still mad. Or rather I was. I’m still working everything out.

 

Anthony: I’m not even going to try to tell Lily bear what really happened because I definitely can’t go with the truth.

 

Nomad: Why did she come visit you? It has to be past her bedtime.

 

Anthony: Connor said something that apparently gave her nightmares and I just let her watch an alien suck the life force out of people. I'm going to have a long night.

 

Nomad: Very long night.

 

Anthony: Not the fun type unless ice cream is involved and Laura will be so mad at me for letting her have ice cream after 10 PM

 

Nomad: But it would be worth it.

 

Anthony: Obviously you haven't spent quality time with Laura. I'll talk to you later, Gummy Bear.

 

Nomad: I really miss Cuddle Bunny.

 

To be continued.

 

Chapter Text

HSBF: Are we still on for our second half of our date? Friday scheduled me for 4 PM your time. She said the kids would be busy with first day of school activities.

 

Me: Yes, we’re still on. Yo-yo has yet to have to schedule something in this block. Also, the kids are preoccupied. They’re on their floor lamenting the fact that they have homework on day one in Yo-Yo and Happy are monitoring.

 

HSBF: How can they already have homework?

 

 Me: I’m not even entirely sure. I feel ridiculously old having dinner at 4 PM. Although Friday did arrange for a hickory smoked cheeseburger.

 

HSBF: It only counts as dinner if you had lunch. Did you have lunch?

 

Me: OK late lunch it is.

 

HSBF: I know you were without your lab for a few days, but you should eat more. That means no more working through multiple meals just to get the project done.

 

 

Me: Lunch was scheduled, but then I got pulled into a meeting with the forensic accountants. Thankfully, Yo-Yo managed to slip me a protein bar at some point. Happy was not happy that he’s been sort of replaced with someone with superspeed

 

HSBF: It’s good that she at least got you to eat something. How was the meeting?

 

Me: Depressing. So I'm a little pissed off about how much of my money was secretly funneled to xenophobic assholes and certain politicians that personally blamed me for their mother’s death.

 

HSBF: Are you OK?

 

Me: Nope. I'm pissed and a little disappointed that something like this happened again. I trust people and then they try to kill me. And I’ll let it happen because I was distracted.

 

Me: At least this time I was distracted by less sleazy things like saving the world and not the obviously augmented chest of whatever stripper Obadiah lines up for the party plane. This is starting to become a really unhealthy pattern.

 

HSBF: I'm sorry.

 

Me: Well we already established that you were not trying to kill me just trying to keep me from killing someone else and, unlike the great Hawkeye, you don’t keep non-lethal projectiles on you. I forgave you before your Royal friend brought medical help and a hell of a lot of painkillers. Even if I didn’t realize that at the time.

 

HSBF: I watched from the sidelines until I was sure you were actually going to get medical help. You hate doctors.

 

Me: And that was before one tried to kill me.

 

HSBF: What really happened with that? You talked a little about it last time, but you weren’t up to talk about anything too serious.

Me: Because I want to have a date with you. It wasn’t really that much more than what I mentioned last time. Let’s just say they planned for multiple contingencies, including somebody at the gala having an EpiPen and me making it to the ER. Although I’m sure they didn’t expect it to be the person next to me or my assistant injecting me so fast that nobody saw her do it

 

HSBF: I'm glad Pepper was there. Have you talked to her since getting back? Is it safe for me to send her a thank you note or would she burn it on principle?

 

Me: Hey, let's watch the movie.

 

HSBF: I already did. The good guys win. The bad guys don't and Sulu never did get to kiss his husband on screen. So let's talk about Pepper.

 

Me: You were supposed to wait for me. You said you would. And of course they didn’t show the happy and emotionally stable gay couple kissing. Have to be able to show it in Russia.

 

HSBF: Yes, but then I realized that I missed half of the plot points of the first half of the movie because I was more into reading what you were writing then watching the movie. I decided it would be best to re-watch the whole thing from the beginning and that way I can give you my full undivided attention.

 

HSBF: Although I'm really glad that I adapted to the future better than that guy.

 

Me: Me too. You would make a scary super villain.

 

HSBF: I don't think I would ever be a super villain.

 

Me: We are all one bad day away from being a super villain. Of course, in your case it would probably take a complete cerebral rewrite or possibly brainwashing. You’re too squeaky clean otherwise.

 

HSBF: You do remember I broke Clint’s jaw to get to you?

 

Me: Laura does and she's not happy. She thinks you resort to violence too much.

 

HSBF: I apologized.

 

Me: Still not happy. I think it’s the stress of having to worry about Ross or other third parties trying to kidnap the kids for Avenger bait.

 

HSBF: I know. I think I'm going to need your assistant’s phone number if I need help dealing with you. I think Laura is a little too mad at me to actually respond.

 

Me: It's in your phone under Slingshot. If it's the end of the world catastrophe situation you can also try Bulletproof Pacifists and Deathlok. I did his new prosthesis so he owes me.

 

HSBF: Speaking of women in your life who are mad at me, what about Pepper? Did you email her back or maybe even call her.

 

Me: She's not mad at you, per se, she's concerned. I think she might be a little mad at me, but that’s a Tony problem.

 

HSBF: And?

 

Me: We talked and it's good now. So, what type of take-out did Friday arrange for you?

 

HSBF:  I wish this was a video call so you could see my skeptical face right now. No changing the subject just because you don’t want to answer.

 

Me: OK. You’re starting to know me too well. We talked for five minutes and most of that was during a 'family photo' for the various social media feeds. Apparently we need to publicize my good deeds right now to reassure everyone I am alive and kicking after the foundation scandal.

 

HSBF:  You also need everyone to see that you really do good things to help deflect the scandal at the foundation.

 

Me: Yes. Although it helps that they were trying to kill me to do more bad things with the money.

 

HSBF: That’s good.

 

Me: Look, I’ve tried to talk to Pepper. Half the time I choke and run away before the first word falls out of my mouth. I think it only worked at the hospital because drugs were involved.

 

HSBF: Obviously talking to Pepper is not working. Maybe you should write to her.

 

Me: I think you gave me this advice before.

 

HSBF:  It's still good advice.

 

Me: That you just don't want to take.

 

HSBF:  I recognize that one. There's nothing very ironic about that song.

 

Me: Oh god, you're getting pop culture references. What have they been doing to you?

 

 HSBF:  Focus on Pepper

 

Me: I’m trying, my snuggle baby. I have a file filled with about 30 attempts of writing a letter to Pepper. It hasn’t gone well at all

 

HSBF: Well how did you write your first text message to me? If you could send that first message after how badly we messed up, then I think you can write to Pepper.

 

Me: Vast quantities of alcohol. That's not an option. It’s a lot harder to be honest when you are sober.

 

HSBF: Thank God. I was kind of afraid you would fall off because of this mess.

 

Me: It was tempting, especially when they are willing to give you opiates like candy. I'm not going to lie, I probably managed to stay sober because I was in the cabin in the woods without one drop of alcohol in it. I looked, twice.

 

HSBF: You still didn't drink the moment you got back to civilization. That shows you have real willpower.

 

Me: Because there are other people counting on me. The kids need me to not be like Howard. And there are a lot of them in my life right now.

 

Me: I'm even finding Mini Queens adorable even if we keep having to tell him that just because you have your own version of a Vulcan nerve pinch does not mean you can knock out bullies on the playground who make fun of your BFF for not being skinny.

 

HSBF: I think I like this kid.

 

Me: You would.

 

HSBF: OK, since getting drunk is not an option, then pretend you're writing to me.

 

Me: Then I would say something that would just piss off Robert and I don't necessarily hate him anymore. He grows on you like a non-dangerous bacteria. He did send a very nice edible arrangement. It makes an excellent smoothie.

 

HSBF: I probably wouldn't lead with that.

 

Me: Probably shouldn't.

 

HSBF: Why don't you go with a letter instead of text messages.

 

Me: Does it have to be in hardcopy?

 

HSBF: I'm surprised the word hardcopy is even in your vocabulary. Of course it can be an email.

 

Me: I will have you know that I did write Lily bear a hard copy letter just last week, mostly because she didn't need to see all the pictures of Clint black and blue that Wanda sent me. Laura also didn't want me to know about you being under a 5150 hold because apparently, I triggered you having a violent flashback.

 

HSBF: That’s not what they call it here.

 

Me: I've been held a couple of times under the California version of the hold so that's what I use. Not recently, which is kind of surprising. Actually, I'm surprised nobody ordered it after Afghanistan or during the Palladian poisoning incident. It probably would've been a good idea. Okay, you guys probably should’ve thought about it after the murder bot fiasco.

 

HSBF: Wanda told you?

 

Me: Yes, Wanda told me because she doesn't have that pesky healthcare professional patient confidentiality thing Laura has going on. Good news, Wanda no longer wants me dead for my various indirect roles in killing all of her family. Progress.

 

HSBF: She is adjusting. She is seeing my doctor too and I think it's helping. She is always talking about her brother dying now which is more than she did before.

 

HSBF: Pepper awkwardness aside, how did your Labor Day events go?

 

Me: No one tried to kill me.

 

HSBF: That's a plus.

 

Me: The kids were great. They don’t hate me. Some of their parents whisper about me behind my back, but kids are great. Less condescending. Which explains why I hang out with so many of them. And Friday has just informed me that one is on his way to the penthouse right now, because Happy is a softy who apparently hates watching kids. I think he’ll be back in California by the end of September

 

HSBF: I thought you said the kids would be preoccupied for a while?

 

Me: I thought Yo-Yo and Happy would be able keep them preoccupied for the evening while you and I have grown up fun time. However, Connor needs homework help because he is expected to know something that they didn’t cover at his school in Iowa last year. Since it’s kind of my fault that he is starting a new school in Manhattan this year, I should probably help until I line up a tutor.

 

HSBF: Probably. Go help out. We can watch a different movie together another time.

 

Me: Find another activity because apparently, you don’t like me making snarky comments while you’re watching.

 

HSBF: It’s just hard for me to focus on you and the movie. I usually need to really concentrate since there’s a lot of things I’m not familiar with.

 

Me: I would make a joke about your multitasking abilities, but pre-algebra awaits. Talk to you later, Gummy Bear.

 

To be continued

 

Chapter Text

 

From: Tony_Carbonell

To: Pepper_Pot

Bcc: Stefan_Carter

Time sent: 9/7/2016 01:01:41

Subject: It would probably be easier to have this conversation, if I wasn’t sober.

 

 

 

 Dear Pepper:

 

I'll be honest, I've been staring at the screen for at least the last 15 minutes figuring out what to write to you with everything that’s been going on lately, including the attempted murder. Actually this happened last time when I wrote to you which is why you got that tiny email. I thought that I would be able to talk about it by the time we would be posing together at the Children’s Hospital, but it didn’t happen. I was almost relieved that Kevin and Happy were keeping us 10 feet apart at all times and Yo-Yo kept coming up with things for me to do away from you. Yo-Yo is great because she understands the other part of my job. I’m sure by now you understand why she gets that part of my other day job, she did keep you from punching that reporter a second time.

 

When did we start being unable to talk to each other? Because deep down I think it was long before you decided that we needed space. Honestly, that's what I miss the most about us. As evident by the fact that I have a boyfriend in another country, lack of sex is not a deal breaker. Lack of communication is.

 

I didn’t get it when we first broke up. I was angry when you left me. I was too upset to even consider the fact that you may have had a valid point (especially when it comes to Steve). I thought that if I could change maybe you would come back. If I could find a way to achieve a superhero work life balance, then you would come back. There is no superhero work life balance. Not really.

 

The truth of the matter is I have already changed. The guy that you started dating nearly 6 years ago doesn’t exist anymore. New York changed me. The house blowing up changed me. Siberia changed me. Finding out what Hydra did to three out of four of my parent figures really changed me. It feels like you want me to be who I was before and I can’t go back to that. I just can’t watch the world go down in flames and not do anything. I don’t think you would want to be with somebody who could.

 

I hate to break it to you, but I was born with a target on my back. I was born a wealthy child of above average intellect whose father was in the spy game before Patches was a zygote. That just screams kidnap or kill me. They’re always going to be people who want to kill me. There’s probably a really long list. This time didn’t even involve my superhero extracurriculars. No, they wanted me dead for the money. Afghanistan wasn’t my first kidnapping and it probably won’t be my last. I’m not just going to sit around and possibly wait for it to happen.

 

In hindsight, you made the right decision because being around me is always going to be dangerous. Maybe you needed some distance to protect yourself. I would never forgive myself if something else happened to you. You deserve more than to be collateral damage. Last time was already too much.

 

For years, I was mad at Howard for sending me off to boarding schools. Then I found out recently that he sent me away because just a few weeks earlier, Anna Jarvis a.k.a. my other mom was killed by a stray bullet that was meant for him. He didn't want that to happen to me. He didn't send me away because he didn't love me like I always assumed. No, it was the exact opposite. His world was too dangerous for me to be there. He was happy that day I went to boarding school because I would be safe.

 

My Iron Man life is too dangerous for you to be there. I think my SI life is too dangerous for you too, but you have been there so long that if I try to give you to another company, you'll probably cut off my balls in my sleep. So, you made the right decision being part of Tony’s SI life, but not Tony's superhero life. It's OK. I found someone who can fit into Tony’s superhero life because he's already there himself. He understands what I'm going through and my need to help more than anyone else.

 

I know you're worried about what happened in Siberia mostly because I didn't explain what really happened. I decided to go along with the Accords, not because I trust Ross, but mostly because I don't trust him and I believed that if I was part of the system, then I could make sure the man didn't create enhanced person internment camps. There was also this other part of me that thought if I managed to create some limits, maybe you would be willing to come back. I’m trying to decide if thinking you would come back was more wishful thinking, assuming Ross didn’t screw everybody over. I’m still torn.

 

Steve also didn't trust Ross, most likely because he was already sure that the government was working on a new super soldier project. Spoiler alert: they are. He didn't want to be their guinea pig. So he felt not signing was the better course of action. Steve hasn't been a dancing monkey for anyone since the early 1940s, there was no way in hell he was going back to it now. Honestly, I really didn’t want Ross to lay a single finger on Steve either.

 

Looking back at it now, we were both afraid of the exact same thing, but we had different ideas on how to handle it. It probably would've helped if we actually told each other what we were thinking. We didn't. We were way too good at talking over each other. We were too busy assuming that we thought we knew what the other was thinking to ask.

 

Then Vienna happened-- OK the false flag operation to get the Winter Soldier out of the shadows happened. I'll just say that when Steve's friends are in trouble, he makes questionable judgment calls. I have no room to talk because so do I.

 

Siberia was one long string of bad judgment calls. The first being that Steve thought it was better to not let me know that my parents’ death was actually a Hydra orchestrated hit. When I found out that the Winter Soldier was the weapon of choice, I flipped. I mean full homicidal, ‘I'm going to fucking kill him’ rage. And I would have if Steve wasn't there.

 

Now more than four months removed from the situation and on a lot of medication that no longer consists of a fifth of bourbon a day, I realized that I would've regretted that. The Winter Soldier was a weapon brainwashed into the service of Hydra. There was no consent there. There’s no autonomy. No control over his actions. He was a weapon of Hydra and my anger should be focused on making sure every last part of that organization is burnt to the ground with the earth salted over.

 

So I ended up black and blue in Siberia because I had to be violently restrained from trying to kill someone. It's OK because a couple of months later Steve had to be chemically restrained from walking into a trap and getting killed or kidnapped by Ross. And no, he did not leave me there that day. He was there watching to make sure I got necessary medical treatment.

 

Just so you know, I'm not a complete masochist. I did take his name off of my medical power of attorney and I removed him from the Friday protocol. And you know, it hurt more to take his name off than yours. Which should have told me something right then. Afterwards, I proceeded to work my way through most of the liquor collection at the upstate facility. That's when I drunk texted him.

 

As you're aware, I am most honest when drunk text messaging, which is probably another reason why writing sober emails to you is so difficult. By some miracle he didn't delete it, but responded back. So, for the last 3 1/2 months, we’ve been talking to each other. Really talking to each other, but more importantly listening to what the other one is saying and we realized that we both made mistakes and a hell of a lot of wrong calls. We also realized that there's no easy solution. No magic button to make everything right again. We're still trying to fix us. It's a work in progress, but it's something I want to keep working on. I don't know where it's going to lead, but I think it will lead somewhere good.

 

When you read that first text message from Cuddle Bunny, we weren't dating. Not really. I just let you think that the person I was talking to was my boyfriend because I wanted to prove that I was moving on. You just told me that you had someone new in your life and I didn’t want you to think that I was some loser still pining for you. I wanted to prove to you that I was letting go. It wasn't true, at least not for a couple months. It's true now.

 

I want us to be friends again. I want us to build back what we were. No, that's not right. I want us to build something new, whatever that might be. I wasn't sure how to go about it. There was just all this bitterness and anger inside. I also needed time to let go of the notion that I could fix myself to make you love me in that way again. What I needed to realize is that I don't need to change to make you love me. I need to find someone who will love me, fuck ups and all and I have it. Steve has definitely had front row seats to all of the fuck ups. After Siberia, I really can’t see how he can.

 

So, if I can rebuild my relationship with Steve (still a work in progress) after the cluster fuck that was Siberia, then maybe there's hope for us.

 

I'm always going to love you. That's not going to change. But we changed. We don't fit together, not like we used to so we should find a new way to work. And I don't know how to do that, at least not quickly. I want it so maybe that's half the battle. I am willing to do dinners and lunches with you and the boyfriend. Although, next time let's make sure that the entrée won't kill me.

 

I'll try to write more and call more. I'll tell you the important things going on my life and you'll do the same and we’ll try to figure out how to become Tony and Pepper again. Because the truth of the matter is as much enjoyed my girlfriend Pepper, I miss my best friend Pepper more.

 

 

PS: About five minutes after you read this, Friday's going to replace the S word with Stefan and rejigger things so Ross doesn't know I'm talking about you know who. Yes this is my life. Never date a fugitive.

 

PPS: I don’t blame you for the great sunflower assassination incident. That wasn’t your fault at all. Self-flagellation is not a good look on you. What happened was not your fault.

 

Chapter Text

 

HSBF: So, did you intend for me to see the letter that you sent to Pepper or was that FRIDAY?

 

Friday: I have been respecting your privacy as requested.

 

Me: I was the one who BCCed you.

 

HSBF: What does BCC mean?

 

Me: I swear I gave you a basic computer tutorial when you first moved into the tower after the great Hydra meltdown. I’m pretty sure email vocabulary was part of that module.

 

HSBF: I was too busy worrying about the great Hydra infiltration to pay attention. Besides, I prefer phone calls.

 

Me: Said to me during a text message conversation.

 

HSBF: I still would prefer a phone call, but Friday said this is easier for her to make undetectable.

 

Me: True. BCC basically means that you included somebody on an email, but the other recipients don't know that you included the person on the message. Also, if they respond back, the person you BCCed will not get the message. In this case, I purposely wanted you to see the message. In case Pepper reacted badly, I wanted someone to see my side.

 

HSBF: So, you secretly sent me a copy of your heartfelt letter to Pepper?

 

Me: It kind of sounds bad when you say it like that. I just want you to know where my head is at with her and you.

 

HSBF: I realize that a part of you was always going to care about her. She’s been a part of your life for a long time.

 

Me: Almost 20 years

 

HSBF: That means something. I'm not going to be mad at you for wanting to continue that relationship.

 

Me: Just like a part of you is always going to love Aunt Peggy. Thankfully you're over using Peggy’s great grandniece as a placebo.

 

HSBF: You're never going to let that go?

 

Me: Nope.

 

Me: But mostly because her mom is now dead as well as her grandmother and daddy was never there. That means it is either me or Jackie who must do the shovel talk and I’m less likely to kill you. I think secretly Jackie is CIA, but I can’t prove it.

 

HSBF: Do you still get the shovel talk when you're no longer interested and completely in love with someone else?

 

Me: Especially then because that means you were just using the other person.

 

HSBF: You really confuse me sometimes.

 

Me: Thank you. I wouldn't be doing my job otherwise.

 

HSBF: I wish you could see me smirking.

 

Me: I wish I could too. I love Pepper. A part of me is always going to love Pepper, but we don't fit like we used to. Therapy helped me realize that.

 

Me: Then there’s the fact that what we do is dangerous. Maybe it’s best to limit my inner circle to people who have the power to save themselves. You really don’t want to know how long of a list Agent Carter Junior found of people who want me dead. Maybe I am taking a page out of the Howard Stark book on how to protect loved ones, but at least people know that I'm doing what I'm doing because I care and not because I am indifferent.

 

HSBF: And if you didn't live the life that you live? Would you still be with Pepper?

 

Me: I can't not live the life that I am living now. I tried and it just ended in killer robots destroying cities and tears. Maybe there’s a version of me in the multi-verse that could give her what she needs but I’m not that version and that is not my life. This is my life now and that life has you and that's the life that I want.

 

HSBF: And you say I’m the romantic in this relationship.

 

Me: Now do I wish we were in the same city? Yes, because it would be so much easier to have this conversation if you were curled around me. But you can't have everything. And one of Birdbrain’s kids would walk in on us just because.

 

HSBF: I would even take the same country.

 

Me: Or even if you could come and go freely. I kind of hope our current president loses just so we get a different Secretary of State. The DOD hates Ross because he keeps stepping on their toes.

 

HSBF: Maybe he will resign anyway.

 

Me: You say the funniest things sometimes, Gummy Bear. Ross is a power-hungry megalomaniac that is probably worse after his heart attack.

 

HSBF: So, has Pepper responded to you yet?

 

Me: Oh, so that's what you really want to know about. Is that why you waited two days to ask if Friday was the one who leaked the letter to you? You wanted to give enough time for Pepper to respond.

 

HSBF: I was on a mission and just got somewhere I can get a signal.

 

Me: OK that's a lie because I made your phone and I made it so you can get a satellite signal anywhere, even in an isolated country, best known for textiles and cool clothes. Friday is your service provider. And don't say the battery died because you shouldn't need to charge that baby until 2023.

 

HSBF: Did you give me a cell phone that works on arc reactor technology?

 

Me: Sorry Sugar Bear. That is proprietorial.

 

HSBF: I'm going to take that as a yes.

 

HSBF: OK the truth is I was somewhere where I felt it was best not to bring your phone with me.

 

Me: It is always best to bring my phone with you in case I must go save your ass.

 

HSBF: Except you’re grounded right now and I don't want to put you in danger.

 

Me: If you're in trouble, you know I'll come. Friday can fly the armor remotely if need be. I will always come for you, in multiple ways.

 

HSBF: I was wondering when you would try to get a double entendre in here.

 

Me: I’m always good for a double entendre or six. Well more like two, three if I can take a nap. We all can’t have the refractory period of a super soldier

 

HSBF: So, Pepper?

 

Me: Dammit, I thought I sufficiently distracted you with my double entendres.

 

HSBF: Not happening. What’s going on with you and Pepper?

 

Me: We are having lunch together in two days. A private lunch here away from paparazzi in the search.

 

HSBF: Private chef?

 

Me: I can cook. I just can't do omelets. I think it's because the smell of the eggs makes me sick, therefore I don't concentrate.

 

HSBF: Microwave fire. Toaster fire. Coffee maker fire.

 

Me: I'm pretty sure Thor was responsible for most of those. Apparently, our technology is so out of date by Asgardian standards that it is difficult for him to understand how to use our stuff. Do you know I'm rolling my eyes right now?

 

HSBF: Of course you are. Let me know how it goes with Pepper.

 

Me: I will, although it might not be till Sunday morning. After lunch with Pepper, I am going to be spending the afternoon showing Queens Junior's aunt his non-superhero work and dinner. Pizza this time because I'm only cooking once in a single 24-hour period.

 

Me: You know, unless you're in my bed. Then I would make you breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Mostly breakfast. You would look sexy smothered in syrup. Our suite in Johannesburg will have a kitchen.

 

HSBF: Looking forward to it.

 

Me: So now that I’ve reached out to Pepper, maybe you can text message or call Agent America.

 

HSBF: I should go. I’ll write you in a few days. Miss you.

 

Me: Coward. Miss you too.

 

To be continued.

 

Chapter Text

Stefan Carter sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

 

Time sent: 9/9/2016 05:02:41

 

Dear Ms. Potts:

 

This is Stefan, Tony’s new boyfriend. Well, I think I’m his new boyfriend. It’s complicated when you’re in another country and you’re mostly dating by correspondence. Although I don’t expect Tony to send me a Dear John letter any time soon. I hope not, at least. I saw that too many times during the war.

 

I asked FRIDAY to deliver this note to you because we need to talk as much as you and Tony do, even if it can’t be face-to-face for the moment. I’m hoping circumstances will change that soon, but I might be working in various countries in Africa for a while.

 

I know that you know that Tony and I are trying to rebuild our relationship after what happened in May. We both made a lot of mistakes. I should’ve told him about his parents. I should’ve told him why I did not trust the Secretary. I should have listened to his argument instead of dismissing it and assuming that I was right. I don’t think I was right anymore, but I don’t think he was either. Maybe there wasn’t a right answer.

 

I’m not used to there being no right solution, just compromises. I hate that there is no right answer. It was so much easier before when you know who the enemy is, but there’s no enemy. Right now there are just different people trying to do what they think is the right thing. Even if it’s the wrong way to go about it.

 

I do care about Tony. I have for a long time, longer than I realized. I’m going to try hard not to hurt him again. But I will because, contrary to popular belief, I’m not perfect. I make the same, if not more mistakes, than anyone else.

 

We’re trying to rebuild our relationship and maybe things will fall apart once we see each other in person. Maybe the scars are too deep to be fixed by copious amounts of text messages. I have to try though.

 

My heart broke apart when reports of his death started making the news. They made me realize that I need Tony. I don’t want to contemplate him not being in my life. He has to be in my life. I need him. I will be in his life by whatever means he’ll let me.

 

I just wanted to tell you these things so you won’t worry. If you want to talk to me, feel free to pass the message through FRIDAY. She’ll see that I get it.

 

Stefan Carter sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

Time sent: 9/9/2016 05:16:37

 

Dear Sharon:

Thank you for getting the people who hurt Tony. I felt better knowing that you were out there keeping him safe.

 

I’m sorry for how things turned out between us. If circumstances were different, I think we could’ve been friends. Maybe it would be possible someday. You’re not your aunt. You are your own person and I see that. I’m sorry that I didn’t at first.

 

If you need me, you have the number.

 

Stefan Carter sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

Time sent: 9/9/2016 14:43:41

 

Dear Melinda:

Tony told me last week that you wanted to speak with me. I wasn’t ready to talk to you. I made some excuse about it being too dangerous, but we both know better. If you or your bosses wanted me back, I would be in that white cage on your new Quinjet right now. I got a very close look yesterday when I met your formally dead best friend who you were in love with, but never told. Considering he only threatened to send my body back to the Arctic if I hurt Tony, I assume he doesn’t know about what happened when you thought he was dead. Does he even know that you’re in love with him? You should tell him. After this mess with Tony, keeping secrets does no one any good.

 

After being helped by your team, I feel like I should write you. Okay, my therapist is making me send out these letters (through Friday because I’m not a complete idiot), but I feel like I owe you one too.

 

I should be mad at you. You lied to me for months. You could’ve at least told me that you worked in human resources at Shield. I could have got you killed when Shield fell. When I stopped receiving emails from you about that time, I wondered if you became collateral damage from Hydra anyway. An email or call would have been nice.

 

The truth would have been better. We were sleeping together for months. I should have at least known where you really worked. Now I’m left wondering how much was real and how much was fake. Clint tells me that most of it was real. Apparently you two worked together a lot before the incident in Bahrain. But, Clint is also a professional liar that will do whatever it takes for the greater good.

 

My therapist tried to get me to explain why I was mad at you and I really couldn’t. I guess that means that I’m not mad at you, even though I know that you were the one that ordered Clint to knock me out. I’m starting to understand why you did what you did. You didn’t want to be in a position where you would have to bring me in or worse.

 

It helps that you’re watching over Tony. I feel like I should apologize for half the ridiculous things he asked of you while you two were wherever you were. No, I haven’t told him that much about our relationship. It’s private.

 

I know we need to sit down and talk things out eventually. I don’t know when that’s going to happen, but it needs to. More importantly, I want to.

 

 

PS: Phil had me sign his issue of Captain America number one in exchange for not telling Tony that I got shot again. God, they were awful to Peggy in that.

 

Agent America sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

Time sent: 9/9/2016 15:12:41

 

Dear Stefan:

Everything was true, just certain things were omitted and names were changed. No, he doesn’t know. It’s not the right time to tell him. His favorite agent, that he sees as a daughter, is missing. His last girlfriend was sniped by a member of Hydra less than nine months ago, a teammate who stabbed us in the back. This is not the time to tell him.

 

I’m going to be in Johannesburg with your boyfriend and his assistant. It’s a precaution. Stark is managing to piss a lot of people off.

 

Maybe if you can tear yourself away from your boyfriend for more than 20 minutes, we can get a drink. It will give you a break from being Stefan Carter.

 

PS: I’m sure he didn’t tell you but he’s on medical restriction for the next few weeks. No Iron Man and no sexual activities. At least with you being in another country, one of these restrictions will be observed. If he behaves that restriction might be lifted before Johannesburg.

xxxxxx

Agent 13 sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

Time sent: 9/9/2016 15:32:41

 

I’m over it. You probably shouldn’t try to date your grandmother’s ex-boyfriend, even if biologically, he is almost the same age as you. Especially if he doesn’t bother to call or text message you for two years. Maybe you weren’t the only one trying to forget. I don’t remember if I mentioned before that I’m really bad at dealing with death.

 

I’m happy I got to arrest those who tried to kill your boyfriend. Because of what happened, my detail to the ATCU is being curtailed and I’m back at the CIA. New Shield is better than the old Shield, but I prefer the CIA.

 

 I’m not happy that your boyfriend decided to make you my step daddy or rather Stefan Carter my stepdad. Sometimes I think he’s 12.

 

Stefan Carter sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

Time sent: 9/9/2016 16:11:21

 

Oh God. I’ll talk to him the next time he contacts me. It’s his turn. Sometimes he really does act like a kid. I blame starting college at 14.

 

I wasn’t actively using you to get over your aunt. I was trying to move on from wanting to be with someone who already had a girlfriend. I’m sorry.

 

Stefan Carter sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

Time sent: 9/9/2016 16:18:41

I’m sure we’ll have some time to talk. Tony is supposed to actually participate in this conference. I wasn’t planning on actually being Stefan Carter at the event, but I think I need to be. It would be safer that way.

 

Can you talk to Tony about him going public with the new boyfriend? Him being who he is, maybe it wouldn’t be a good thing. His stock prices go down if he stubs his toe. Although, again, it probably would be better than the other stories currently circulating. Maybe Ross will stop targeting Clint's wife and children if he has someone else to target. I already sent Tony a bunch of gifts under the Carter persona.

 

Agent 13 sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

Time sent: 9/9/2016 16:23:41

 

You’re forgiven. Still better than the guy at the Academy who slept with me because I was a legacy. Turns out he was Hydra trying to recruit me, for morale reasons. Although I only learned that two years ago. I’m really glad I kicked him so hard in the genitalia that he lost his ability to reproduce.

 

Virginia Potts sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

Time sent: 9/9/2016 22:11:41

 

If you hurt Tony again, I will kill you. You did hurt him last time and not just physically. (I knew you were the one responsible for him coming back one gigantic bruise, even before he confirmed it.) He worshiped you as a child. He had every Captain America comic book ever made and more memorabilia than anyone else except for maybe Phil. Then as an adult you found him lacking. That he’s only as good as his suits and his bank account. He never really did recover. Probably because a part of him believes that to be true. Tony has always been more than that. I’m just not sure if you really see it. I’m not sure if you want to see it.

 

 

To be continued.

Chapter Text

Anthony: So, I’ve been informed that in 14 days Stefan Carter will be making his debut as my very public boyfriend at the Stark Industries sponsored conservation event on the margins of a huge conference I am crashing.

 

Anthony: Yo-Yo has SI PR working on it and Happy is not talking to me, mostly. I’m kind of glad he will be supervising moving all the Avenger tech upstate. Did I mention that the tower is becoming purely residential and commercial and no longer a superhero haven? The name is even going to be changed to something else, eventually. With the breakup and Pepper staying out West, more SI functions were happening on that coast anyway. It makes sense to take the Avenger’s name off the tower and finally move everything to the upstate facility. That’s where Vision and the support team is anyway.

 

Anthony: I even sold off most of the former Avenger floors. I’m only keeping the new penthouse with guest rooms, Laura’s apartment, and another apartment for my live-in assistant. Of course, because Happy and Elena can’t get along, Yo-Yo has moved into one of my guest rooms.

 

Nomad: No, but it makes sense that you are continuing what we had planned before it all came apart. Especially with all the kids around. You don’t want them to accidentally get hurt.

 

Anthony: Dum-E already had to intervene twice. It’s for the best, even though it’s kind of a mad house outside of the personal apartments.

 

Anthony: Although you’re planning to make my life outside an absolute madhouse. The media is going to pounce on the fact I’m gay and they will see it as gay because apparently there’s no such thing as bisexual or pansexual. Pepper’s boyfriend still thinks that she was just my beard.

 

Nomad: You’re already out.

 

Anthony: Yes, but the press conveniently forgets about that.

 

 Nomad: If this is going to make problems for you, we don’t have to do it. I just wanted Melinda to float the idea past you. I don’t want you to do something that you’re not ready to do.

 

Anthony: Hey, I want to shout that I’m with you from the rooftops. Posing with my philanthropic minded boyfriend at Stark Industries’ philanthropic efforts to help with animal conservation and prevent wildlife trafficking. Happy is just going to have to get used to the idea that Pepper and I are never ever getting back together. Poor guy. He’s our number one shipper.

 

Nomad: I’m sorry.

 

Anthony: No, you’re not. Happy may not be ready to move on, but I am so moving on to you. I can’t wait to see you look all sexy in a suit. Maybe something by Tom Ford. Thankfully, I have your uniform measurements on file.

 

Anthony: You need to look extra edible. I want you in something that will make me want to climb you like a tree. Which won’t be that hard.

 

Nomad: I have a suit. You would be amazed by how much a good suit comes in handy while doing undercover.

 

Anthony: Do I want to know? Did you at least avoid getting shot?

 

Nomad: That time, yes.

 

Anthony: I just love how you must throw in a qualifier. Seriously, stop getting shot.

 

Nomad: I’ll try.

 

Anthony: I’m totally okay with going through with this. Stefan being there might be a good thing. Although I’m hoping that you will look so good along with the fact you have a Y chromosome will keep the press so distracted that they won’t realize you look like a bearded Captain America in a suit, without Kevlar.

 

Nomad: Captain America is a tiny woman whose family immigrated from Hong Kong. I doubt that they’ll get confused. There was a press conference and everything.

 

Anthony: You’re so funny. That’s Agent America despite her having the shield. I think Deputy Director Jeffrey wants to be Captain America. He can almost keep up with Agent Agent in trivia.

 

Anthony: He grew up across the street from a park that just happened to have a statue of you. That’s a lot for a little kid to live up to.

 

Nomad: I have a statue in the park?

 

Anthony: Captain America has a statue in a park, more than one park. Despite being considered a ‘war criminal’, most of them haven’t been taken down yet.

 

Nomad: That’s nice to know.

 

Anthony: Now Steve Rogers has a wall in my bedroom filled with nudes, most of which he did himself. Some of which were from your Tijuana Bible phase.

 

Anthony: Yes, Coulson had them and I don’t want to know how he got them or what he did with them.

 

Nomad: Oh God! Really? Please tell me you took those down this morning before Pepper came to lunch. Also, what about the kids? They keep barging in on your floor and our dates.

 

Anthony: 1) Its nude art. They need to get used to it. I have a digital screen over the prints so PG-13 art is reflected when anybody else steps in to my bedroom, which mostly consists of the cleaning crew, Yo-Yo, Happy, Lily Bear and Mama Bear. Again, Happy is mad at me, so he won’t be coming up to the room anytime soon.

 

Nomad: I assumed Pepper would be on the list.

 

Anthony: Well we’re not at that place in our relationship and if we were, you would be flying over here to strangle me and Happy would be speaking to me again. Whatever you think, just know that Pepper will not be stepping into my bedroom anytime soon. Which is why Happy is pissed.

 

Nomad: Did lunch go that badly?

 

Nomad: I’m not surprised. She threatened to kill me.

 

Anthony: It got postponed for work things. Shield and DODC work things. Never try to work with the federal government. Years of it working smoothly without interference and now that my BFF oversees a sister agency, chaos.

 

Anthony: Basically, there was an incident last night that our favorite teenage mutant ninja spider got involved in and I had to clean up. He tries to go to a party to talk to the girl of his dreams and instead things go so badly that I had to save him from drowning in the Hudson. Yes, I used the armor remotely. Dr. Simmons still has me on restricted duty.

 

Anthony: Laura is dealing with the teenager aspect of it and I get to deal with everything else. I think she’s forcing him to go to his DC field trip that he was avoiding because punching robbers and destroying bodegas is so much cooler.

 

Nomad: DC is overrated.

 

Anthony: Wait, let’s back up a little bit. Pepper threatened to kill you? Pepper Pot threatened to kill you? See, I should read your messages before I go on a text messaging rent.

 

Nomad: Yes, sort of. I believe it’s still referred to as the shovel talk. She’s your friend and I hurt you. So she’s going to defend you. You just want to talk about this now so we won’t talk about you going on a mission when you’re not supposed to.

 

Anthony: I wasn’t in the suit. I was drawing with Lily Bear and taking advantage of my excellent Wi-Fi. I’m going to email you something to give to her dad.

 

Anthony: Now that your self-righteous yelling is out of the way, can you tell me when my ex threatened to kill you?

 

Nomad: Yesterday.

 

Anthony: I shouldn’t even be surprised. How exactly did she get in contact with you?

 

Nomad: I wrote her a letter using Friday as an intermediary and she replied.

 

Anthony: I’m trying to find a gif that expresses my pure frustration with that and I can’t find anything appropriate.

 

Nomad: Sorry. My therapist thought that I should try to make amends with other people that I’ve hurt. I thought Pepper should be on the list also.

 

Anthony: I get why you did it, but I don’t think Pepper is ready to talk to you yet. Okay, I’m pretty sure she hates my new boyfriend. Which is fine because Happy hates you and he doesn’t even know that it is you. I can’t wait to listen to the most likely angry five-minute long voicemail waiting for me from Pepper Pot. I don’t know if she’s going to be madder at me canceling or about you.

 

Nomad: Which you knew was going to happen because you waited so long to tell her. By the way, I know you made me Sharon’s stepdad. That came out when we were talking to each other. I don’t like that.

 

Anthony: Sorry.

 

Nomad: You’re not sorry.

 

Anthony: It was for your own safety.

 

Nomad: How was making me Sharon’s stepdad for my safety?

 

Anthony: No, I mean not telling Pepper or Happy for that matter. He’s not happy I’m dating other people. He was hoping that my near-death experience showed me the error of my ways.

 

Anthony: However, I’m more concerned with Pepper. If anybody could figure out how to take down a super soldier, it would be Pepper.

 

Nomad: Why are you worried about Pepper?

 

Anthony: Our breakup wasn’t the best. At one point, she accused me of preferring to spend time with you than her. Okay, she accused me of sleeping with you which I totally denied because I wasn’t sleeping with you. She played an audio file of me calling your name in bed. Apparently, my heart was already cheating. That was the beginning of the end. It just went downhill from there and it couldn’t be fixed. No matter what I tried.

 

Nomad: I forgot about that. I shouldn’t have written her.

 

Anthony: No, you needed to. I’m sure you would just apologize for who knows what because you’re such a Boy Scout. Although that doesn’t give her the right to threaten you.

 

Nomad: It was an idle threat. Let’s just drop it. I don’t want to mess up your friendship reconciliation.

 

Anthony: Nothing is idle with Pepper. I will deal with her on my own, starting with rescheduling lunch.

 

Anthony: Or maybe I should have Happy do it because that will make him happy until he finds out we just want to be friends again and only friends.

 

Nomad: How can he expect you guys to get back together when you're both dating other people?

 

Anthony: I told you he is our number one shipper. He is a hopeless romantic who constantly carries around an engagement ring with him in case I want to propose to Pepper in the spur of the moment.

 

Anthony: He also kind of hates Pepper’s new boyfriend and thinks you're some random charity worker I hooked up with after a mission, who is a total rebound. He’s just waiting for us to wake up and see it.

 

Anthony: I wish you could see me rolling my eyes right now.

 

Nomad: You got Pepper an engagement ring?

 

Anthony: No, Happy got Pepper an engagement ring, because he’s always been a full-service driver/chief of security. Thanks to therapy, I am aware I should get the ring back and do something constructive with it or at least tell him to get a new one to carry around that’s in men’s sizes.

 

Nomad: I don’t think we’re at the marriage place yet. I at least want to kiss you first.

 

Anthony: I’m completely on board with that.

 

Nomad: Maybe you can donate the ring to charity. Knowing your spending habits, it’s probably worth a lot.

 

Anthony: I’ll think about it if Happy will turn the thing over. Hey, I’ll talk to you later, Sugar Baby. Snookums just called to talk about last night so I should go, Babycakes.

 

Nomad: Tony, we still need to talk about the fact that you made me Sharon’s stepdad. Stepdad! Seriously, we need to talk about this.

 

Friday: Mister Stark is on a call with Director Rhodes. They’re currently deciding if Shield, the ATCU, or the FBI should lead the investigation into criminals using weapons created using alien based technology. Since Shield has not been publicly announced, it will most likely be the FBI.

 

Nomad: I still feel like he’s avoiding me.

 

FRIDAY: I will make sure he contacts you when he’s done.

 

Nomad: Thank you Friday.

To be continued

Chapter Text

Tony Carbonell sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

Time sent: 9/10/2016 23:01:41

 

Snookums put me on hold to talk to General Talbot so I thought I would go ahead and send you Lily Bear’s artwork. Past this to birdbrain when you get a chance. I really wasn’t avoiding you. I just need to work with snookums on figuring out how to handle this without getting 15-year-olds involved.

 

I’ll text you as soon as I can give you my full undivided attention. Snookums is back. Gotta go sugar muffin. Wish I had time to talk you into sending me naked pictures. Agent implied that I’m going to love the new look.

 

Alternative text for artwork: Lila has drawn a family portrait. Her dad is above in purple with the rest of the family below. Uncle Tony is they are wearing a blue suit with gauntlet on his hand

[Alternative text for artwork not available on this site: Lila has drawn a family portrait. Her dad is above in purple with the rest of the family below. Uncle Tony is they are wearing a blue suit with gauntlet on his hand.]

Chapter Text

 

Virginia Potts sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

Time sent: 9/10/2016 23:11:41

I’m sorry about the message from yesterday. I didn’t mean it like that. I’m just upset that Tony and I still can’t really talk to each other. Our schedules are not making it any better. I was about to cancel today’s lunch because of an emergency visit to our cell phone factory in China when Friday informed me that Tony had a last-minute meeting with Rhodey because of an incident last night. Maybe it really fell apart because neither one of us had time for the other and not just because he fell in love with you.

 

Maybe in a world where my boyfriend didn’t call me your name in bed, we would’ve been able to fix things. Happy is still trying, but I love myself too much to stay with somebody who is in love with someone else.

 

He loved you, he still loves you, and you completely betrayed him. You chose someone else over him. I may not know all the details, but I know you chose your childhood friend over him. What’s not to say you’re going to do it again? And I’m the one who will have to pick up the pieces, if he will let me and he didn’t last time. I’ve been replaced by Laura, Elaina, and Melinda. Even Kevin had my role for a while. He’s the one who sent me pictures of what you did to Tony. So why can he forgive you and we can barely hold a conversation? I don’t know and that hurts so much.

 

Stefan Carter sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

 

Time sent: 9/11/2016 01:02:41

 

Dear Ms. Potts:

 

I really am sorry for my actions last spring. I’m well aware that I hurt Tony. I think you’re well aware of how far you will go to protect a friend. It’s even more complicated when both parties involved are your friend. I didn’t want to hurt Tony, but I did anyway. If I could do it all over again, I would make different choices, but you can’t change the past. You can only learn from it and rebuild the bridges that you burned down.

 

After everything, I still wanted to rebuild those bridges. Those first few conversations with Tony after what happened were not easy. I felt guilty and I was still angry because he tried to kill my best friend. I know why Tony reacted the way he did, but that doesn’t take away my anger.

 

It doesn’t take away the guilt either. I kept valuable intel away from Tony about what Hydra did to his parents. That information was used against him by an enemy who wanted to tear the Avengers apart because we couldn’t save his family. If Tony had that information, he couldn’t have been manipulated the way that he was. On a more personal note, maybe if I’d told him about Hydra’s involvement earlier he would not have felt so betrayed. Playing the what-if game works for no one.

 

But despite all that baggage on both of our sides, and I know Tony had his own ghost to contend with, I kept writing. Even when it hurt, even when it’s painful, I kept writing because we can’t be like this. The world can’t afford our man and Captain America at each other’s throats. The bad guys won last time because of it. We destroyed each other or nearly did. If we do that, then who will be around the next time aliens invade New York or apparently, Utah.

 

Maybe the consequences are not as high for you and Tony, but you still have a company that you have to run together. It’s not just about the money or people’s jobs. Tony wants to be friends with you again. He misses you terribly. He has been lamenting for months about losing your friendship.

 

He gets why your romantic relationship fell apart. I’m so sorry he said my name in bed. I was never actively trying to break your relationship apart. Also I was completely unaware of the Tony Stark gay sex tape, so I didn’t even think I had a chance. Even if I did, I wasn’t going to take your boyfriend.

However, Tony doesn’t understand why you stopped being friends. According to Tony that happened long before the breakup. Why have things gotten so stiff and painful between the two of you? Tony blames himself as he tries to analyze what went wrong. You know, Tony. He likes to fix things. He wants to make sure that what happened between the two of you won’t happen between us. More importantly he wants to be your friend. Your friendship is very important to him. Tony’s not sure how to get that back, but he wants to and isn’t that the first step?

 

Virginia Potts sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

 

Time sent: 9/11/2016 03:10:41

It is. Tony called me a little while ago after Happy tried to set us up on another date. Robert was not amused. He’s on the trip with me to China because he can work from anywhere. Tony and I are going to try for lunch again on Wednesday since I hope to be back by then. I want to be his friend again too.

I hope you and Tony become whatever you two need to become.

 

 

To be continued.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Anthony: Hey, are you still up? Did you get my earlier message via Friday? I’m sorry that things with Director and Agent Agent took so long. We might have a situation and we had to work some stuff out. On top of that, Pepper called. It turns out her five-minute rant was about the idiot running our cell phone factory in China.

 

Nomad: Yes, I got your email. It was adorable. I’ll give it to Clint next time I see him. I understand Tony. Protecting people comes first. I know you want to work things out with Pepper.

 

Anthony: I figured you would.

 

Nomad: Now what I don’t understand is why you created a cover for me that involves me being the stepdad of someone I’ve actually kissed. Why did you do that?

 

Anthony: That was Steve Rogers. Stefan Carter wants to punch him for taking advantage of his stepdaughter when she was emotionally vulnerable.

 

Nomad: Be serious, Tony.

 

Anthony: You’re never going to forget that?

 

Nomad: Not without a halfway decent explanation.

 

Anthony: I told you it was for your protection.

 

Nomad: I said a decent explanation. I’m glaring at my screen right now.

 

Anthony: You should really try emoticons. I think I gave you that.

 

Nomad: Sometimes you make no sense. And I don’t think it’s because I’m missing 70 years of pop-culture references.

 

Anthony: Okay the stepdad thing was kind of for your safety because covers hold together better when there’s at least a grain of truth to it. Hey, it’s not like they can interview your wife because she is dead and her daughter is CIA, again. It’s easier to make one person then two.

 

Anthony: Also, you do have a thing for older women and men for that matter. Of course, neither I nor Agent America look our age, but still. Then again, neither do you.

 

Nomad: Why was it easier to have Stefan Carter married to someone who actually existed.

 

Anthony: Real history.

 

Nomad: You couldn’t have just made me May’s ex-husband? We’ve actually slept together. There may have been a couple of dates even.

 

Anthony: Well, that would’ve been an option if I wanted to kill Agent Agent again or get you killed by him. I like you both alive.

 

Nomad: Good point.

 

Anthony: Also, after the fall of Shield, Agent America had to be un-person. She really doesn’t have an actual identity outside of the government. We should make stuff as real as possible especially if you living as Stefan is the only way you can come back eventually.

 

Anthony: I really do want to bring you back as soon as being connected to me in any way does not result in threats of death or arrest.

 

Nomad: You know the disgruntled employees were not your fault. Also, not everything is about you. I can get a lot of those on my own. Also most are idle.

 

Anthony: Pepper is anything but idle. She has crushed many businesses with her Manolo Blahniks. Ask our lawyers how many businesses sued us because of Pepper’s brainchild to create a responsible salvaging firm to keep enemy tech out of the hands of the stupid after one of our contractors almost got themselves killed during the rebuilding because they touched the wrong piece of alien tech. That's not even counting the item 47 incident. How dare we try to regulate an industry to keep people from getting themselves killed.

 

Nomad: What was the item 47 incident?

 

Anthony: Bank robbery with alien tech. Of course that has been becoming a regular occurrence in the last few months.

 

Nomad: That's not good. Pepper has a right to be upset with me. I hurt you.

 

Anthony: In your defense, I was kind of in the middle of a blackout rage. I’m sure you understand considering what you did to Clint’s jaw.

 

Nomad: Not just in Siberia, but before. I didn’t even know you and I judged you and that was wrong.

 

Anthony: I had you at a disadvantage. I knew that Captain America wasn’t the guy from the comic books before I met you. Aunt Peggy made sure I knew who Steve Rogers really was which helped when I started appreciating male anatomy. You had no idea that the Tony Stark from the tabloids and Fury’s dossier was just as fictional as the comic books I read as a kid.

 

Nomad: But I should have.

 

Anthony: You can make it up to me in Johannesburg. What are your opinions on chocolate sauce?

 

Nomad: That it’s good on Sundays. I can’t believe I’m going to finally be able to see you in less than two weeks.

 

Anthony: Super villain willing.

 

Nomad: You think something’s going to happen?

 

Anthony: Something is already brewing, it could even be connected to the Baltimore incident. However, I think it's below my pay grade. I hope it stays that way. I should let you go. It must be ridiculously late there.

 

Nomad: 3:33 AM.

 

Anthony: Why do you respond to my text messages in the middle of the night? For a world traveler, I never quite got time differences.

 

Nomad: Because I miss you.

 

Anthony: I miss you too.

 

Nomad: I was also already up. I forgot to put the phone on silent and thanks to super soldier hearing, I heard the phone chime when Pepper messaged me.

 

Anthony: Considering I spoke to her between phone calls with the director, I hope the letters were better this time.

 

Anthony: At least tell me there were no more death threats

 

Nomad: She did not threaten to kill me again.

 

Anthony: This is an improvement.

 

Nomad: I apologized for you saying my name when having sex with her.

 

Anthony: I probably owe her nice shoes for that.

 

Nomad: Very nice shoes.

 

Nomad: I also told her that I wasn’t actively trying to break you guys up.

 

Anthony: Doesn’t matter. It is what it is.

 

Nomad: But maybe you guys could’ve got over the other things if that didn't happen.

 

Anthony: Maybe there is a dimension where Pepper still had no idea about my feelings for you and we could get back together, but this is not that timeline.

 

Nomad: Do you wish it was different?

 

Anthony: I wish I made different choices so you would be here with me, but I don’t wish Pepper was back. I’m going to blame that on the therapy and the good drugs.

 

Anthony: There's also sobriety. The world looks different when you're not inside a bottle. My relationship with Pepper wasn't healthy. I'm hoping my relationship with you will be better.

 

Nomad: It's better than what we had before. Although I wish we had fixed things before we couldn't see each other daily.

 

Anthony: Probably not seeing each other daily is why we were able to fix things. Just 13 more days until I tackle you to the bed and kiss the hell out of you. Don't wear a shirt you like because I am ripping that sucker.

 

Nomad: Same for you, if your doctor allows it.

 

Anthony: She will. I’m being a good boy just for you.

 

Nomad: This is going to feel like the longest 13 days of my life.

 

To be continued. 

Chapter Text

 

HSBF: Were you and Pepper able to have lunch yesterday? Or is it already Friday where you are? It’s the 16th already where I am.

 

Me: Be glad I’m up late working while you’re probably having your early morning run. It still technically September 15 for another 20 minutes.

 

Me: Yes, no catastrophes happened and neither one of us was pulled into an emergency meeting. Spider Brat is safely in DC, so he is Agent Monkey Lover’s problem right now.

 

HSBF: Are you guys fighting again?

 

Me: Of course, we’re arguing. I had to keep him from drowning in the Hudson just a few days ago.

 

HSBF: Now you know how you make me feel. You guys will work it out. You already did once.

 

Me: I hope so.

 

HSBF: How’d the lunch with Pepper go?

 

Me: I was hoping I could distract you with my witty conversational skills since you still will not have telecommunication sex with me.

 

HSBF: We’ll talk about it again after Johannesburg. So were things that bad with Pepper?

 

Me: No, it went well, or at least as well as it can with Pepper being the only one drinking.

 

HSBF: The fact that you didn’t drink yourself is a good sign.

 

Me: It really is. So you were right. Her death threats against you were just the shovel talk. She was jealous.

 

HSBF: Well, considering you developed feelings for me while you were with her, I can understand that.

 

Me: That you and I could fix our relationship or at least start fixing it and me and her are in such an awkward place. I mean it got better after me almost dying, but we’re not back to who we were before.

 

HSBF: But you are working on it?

 

Me: We are.

 

HSBF: I’m glad.

 

Me: Although Happy is still mad at us, but he agreed to hand over the ring to be sold and the proceeds donated to My Sister’s Place in your mother’s name, anonymously of course.

 

HSBF: You don’t have to do that.

 

Me: Your mom got out of an abusive situation at a time when there were no safety nets. The least I can do is help others have a net.

 

HSBF: Thank you for doing that.

 

Me: Well, unfortunately several members of the paparazzi saw Happy taking care of the ring so they’re kind of running with it. Apparently Pepper and I now broke up because I proposed to her and she turned me down and I was so heartbroken that I’m just now getting rid of the ring.

 

HSBF: Oh God. Do I want to check Twitter right now?

 

Me: Probably not, but that’s mostly because somebody may have posted the videos that you did for the Captain America fitness challenge on the Internet. It’s going viral. How did you get talked into doing those videos? Was blackmail involved? Peter watched that in gym class last week.

 

HSBF: Yes, actually by Senator Christopher Ward. Why are they still playing that considering I am a wanted war criminal?

 

Me: Bureaucracy is slow. See this is why you do not screw the married aides of crooked politicians when you’re in the closet. The blackmail potential is too great, especially if you want to stay in the closet.

 

HSBF: That was not it. I don't care if people know that I'm not heterosexual. He threatened to torpedo your creation of the DODC after the battle of New York. And considering I saw all too well what evil people can do with alien tech, I’d rather you were overseeing it than someone else. In the end, it kept a lot of things out of the hands of Hydra because Shield would've been handling it otherwise.

 

Me: So you made those crazy videos to protect me and the company?

 

HSBF: Well, the people that the DODC were protecting anyway. Considering that two years later, a group of firefighters died because of a virus they picked up from an alien helmet, I think I made the right call.

 

Me: Thank you for standing up to corrupt politicians for me. This whole thing makes me kind of glad he’s no longer with us.

 

HSBF: Me too.

 

Me: BTW, your detention video is now a meme.

 

HSBF: Oh God. This is why I said they could not post the stuff online. They were really mad about that.

 

Me: Because that made the website very plain. After watching several, I think you made the right choice. I also love the one about patience. Although I think waiting to see you in South Africa really will be worth it.

 

HSBF: How many videos were uploaded?

 

Me: Several. The anti-bullying one is my favorite. You should check YouTube.

 

HSBF: This originated from your real Twitter account. It’s quoted in several articles.

 

Me: Congratulations, you know how to use Google.

 

HSBF: Tony!

 

Me: By the way, when were you going to tell me that you got shot again last week? I mean, I just tried to get you to tell me on your own, but you didn’t, so the world now gets to see you be adorable. Also, hey, maybe it will put pressure on the government to pardon you and I can get my boyfriend back before he gets himself killed being the hero.

 

HSBF: Coulson said he wouldn’t tell you.

 

Me: Coulson didn’t, although it was pretty obvious that he got to see you before I did when pictures of his signed copy of Captain America number one became his avatar on Freaking Cool.

 

HSBF: He has a social media account?

 

Me: Anonymous fanfiction account. Although, do not read any of the Captain America fanfiction that he wrote before your defrosting. Most of them are self-insert, although if you’re Coulson, I guess that’s okay. If you didn't know him, you would think that he was making this stuff up.

 

HSBF: I’ll make a note of that. How did you find out?

 

Me: Yo-Yo’s boyfriend was there and he likes me.

 

HSBF: I don’t even know what to say to that.

 

Me: Try the emoticons. You’ll be amazed what a guy’s willing to do for an all-expenses-paid weekend road trip with his girlfriend to the Maryland shore in the car of his choice.

 

HSBF: I shouldn’t even be surprised.

 

Me: No, you shouldn’t be, which is why you should tell me when you get hurt.

 

HSBF: So, the next time something happens to you, you’ll tell me right away.

 

Me: If Twitter doesn’t tell you first. I went out for a doughnut today and there were six articles about me eating my emotions. Of course this was after pictures of Happy getting rid of the old engagement ring started making the rounds.

 

HSBF: Jesus.

 

Me: Speaking of emotional counters that probably required baked goods of some sort, was Clint with you when Agent Agent stopped by to save your ass? That incident probably would require at least three dozen bacon glazed doughnuts.

 

HSBF: No, just Sam. And should you really be eating bacon glazed doughnuts? Your heart stopped last month.

 

Me: Because of an assassination attempt.

 

HSBF: You should still be eating better.

 

Me: God, you’re such a mother hen.

 

HSBF: Somebody needs to take care of you.

 

Me: I’m glad about that. It’s probably for the best Birdbrain wasn’t there. Although I wish Sam was better at keeping you from doing things that will get you shot again. Were you just hoping the bullet holes healed up before South Africa. We are going to see each other in eight days.

 

HSBF: Actually, the wounds are mostly healed already.

 

Me: I hate you. It’s why I posted videos of you imparting your wisdom to the youth of the world.

 

HSBF: No, you don’t.

 

Me: No, I don’t. I actually kind of love you and wish you would stop putting yourself in danger. Coulson had to come save you. Coulson! This is the guy who got shanked by Loki and he had to come rescue your ass.

 

HSBF: Now he has an energy shield to keep that from happening.

 

Me: And you have one too, that you should be using. Why are you so stubborn?

 

HSBF: I probably would’ve died of an asthma attack 60 years ago if I wasn’t so stubborn.

 

Me: No, you would be hitting on me from your nursing home bed. You would live to hit a centennial, no matter what.

 

HSBF: Maybe.

 

Friday: I hate to interrupt, but a computer with the name Ned’s Death Star is trying to override the training wheels protocol of the Spider-Man suit.

 

Me: I’m not even surprised Spider Brat is having his friend hack into the suit. I’m kind of impressed.

Is Monkey Lover at the playground right now?

 

FRIDAY: Yes.

 

Me: Okay, get a hold of the doctor and activate the Coulson Protocol for the suit. Just let Spidey think that he hacked it.

 

FRIDAY: Of course, Sir.

 

Me: Hey, Dumpling, I’m going to handle a situation with the Spider Brat.

 

HSBF: Let the agents at the Playground handle it. Don’t go to DC.

 

Me: I’m not going to go to DC. Agent America is off on a mission and Yo-Yo is taking a vacation with her boyfriend, but Monkey Lover and Agent Piper are available.

 

HSBF: No remote suits either.

 

Me: Fine. Friday has Monkey Lover on the line so I’ll talk to you later.

 

HSBF: Be careful.

 

Me: I will. Farewell, Sugarplum. Love you.

 

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

HSBF: Tony, what the hell happened in New York? It’s all over the news.

 

HSBF: You’re not supposed to be running missions. Are you okay?

 

Me: Physically, I’m okay. Mentally, just be happy that I didn’t drink anything.

 

HSBF: What happened?

 

Me: Well Spidey Brat fucked up and I had to save his ass and a ferry filled with people. Or maybe I fucked up bringing a 15-year-old into our fight or fighting with you in the first place.

 

Me: There’s also the fact that neither I nor anyone else from my team realized that things were going missing from the DODC for years. I should’ve realized something was up with that when the Baltimore incident happened. It wasn’t just one disgruntled employee, like we originally thought. There’s a lot of fuck ups all around.

 

HSBF: Just breathe, baby.

 

Me: I fucked up. I want a drink.

 

HSBF: You don’t need it. Just start at the beginning.

 

Me: So, after I stopped texting you, Spider Brat decided to use his tracker and newly 'liberated' suit to track down the weapons dealers to an abandoned gas station somewhere in Maryland.

 

HSBF: But it wasn’t really liberated?

 

Me: The Coulson protocols were initiated and agents were watching the entire time to keep things from getting really awful. That’s how we discovered the operation to take stuff from the DODC East Coast storage unit. The FBI’s handling it.

 

HSBF: That’s good.

 

Me: Director Snookums is not happy because his people figured it out first, but they’re not public yet so it would just cause problems. They’re also a spy organization. So this sort of thing is FBI jurisdiction, probably. Yo-yo was on the ferry though to assist.

 

HSBF: What happened with Peter?

 

Me: I let him spend the night locked away in the DODC.

 

HSBF: Why?

 

Me: Jarvis left me in jail a few times after some of my bigger fuck ups. I felt it appropriate. He missed the decathlon, but he showed up in time to save his classmates, including Liz, the girl of his dreams.

 

HSBF: I saw that on the news.

 

Me: He did great and I was proud, genuinely proud, and then it all went to hell. I knew he was still investigating. The suit was still tracking him. I knew he was running reconnaissance and yet I didn’t try to stop him.

 

Me: Really, I should’ve had Laura pull him when he interrogated Baby Spider’s shady uncle. I thought the FBI agents and Yo-Yo on the ferry would keep things from ending badly.

 

HSBF: Instead, according to the news the ferry was split in half and you swooped in to save the day. No one died. That’s always good.

 

Me: Yes, but I was so busy trying to keep Spider Brat from dying that bad guys got away except for the one that got crushed by a car. He’s in the ICU under armed guards.

 

HSBF: That’s good, I think.

 

Me: I took the suit away.

 

HSBF: What?

 

Me: I had to take the suit away. Even with Laura’s supervision as well as Melinda and Yo-Yo helping him get used to his powers, it’s not working. He’s going to get himself killed or someone else killed and I’m not going to be here in a few days to save him. My hands are already so bloody.

 

HSBF: Tony, it will be okay.

 

Me: No, it won’t be. I felt like I was channeling Howard.

 

HSBF: Raising teenage superheroes is hard.

 

Me: It is. I felt like he shouldn’t even be here. I should not have brought him to Germany or rather have Kevin bring him to Germany. Kevin really hated Spider sitting. I think that’s the real reason why he switched to working with Pepper. Other than getting to live in the same state as his wife again.

 

HSBF: Why did you bring the spider into it?

 

Me: Because I love you and you were going off the deep end. Or at least I thought you were. I had to protect you by whatever means necessary and I made some very questionable choices like getting a teenager involved and only telling him that you were crazy and not everything else going on.

 

HSBF: I'm going to forgive you for saying that because maybe you weren't that far off.

 

HSBF: But what if Ross got to him instead? What would he have done to a 15-year-old with spider powers?

 

Me: I don’t even want to think about how it was before the Accords were adjusted to handle the underage with powers. The best case scenario would have been Coulson finding him first.

 

HSBF: So maybe it’s a good thing that you’re taking care of him.

 

Me: I took the suit away.

 

HSBF: Does that mean that Laura is going to stop monitoring him or that Melinda will stop working with him when she’s around?

 

Me: No. Melinda thinks that we should send him to the Academy. They’re starting it back again, now that the agency’s being re-legitimized. They’ve never had someone as young as him in Operations, but if he’s a trained agent, at least he won’t get himself killed because of incompetence.

 

HSBF: You don’t want that?

 

Me: Thanks to therapy, sobriety, and antidepressants, I know that I want him to be a kid for as long as he can be.

 

HSBF: Because you didn’t get to be.

 

Me: Exactly.

 

HSBF: I think taking the suit away right now is the right decision. He’s not ready for it.

 

Me: I’m sensing a but coming.

 

HSBF: But this is really just a timeout and you know it. When you get back from Johannesburg, you’re going to have to sit down with Spidey and talk things out.

 

Me: No, you’re right. Do you think that maybe it would be easier if he was a full-time Avenger? No more dual life.

 

HSBF: Then no childhood.

 

Me: You’re right about that. I’ll talk with Agent America and Yo-Yo about it when we’re in Johannesburg. Or maybe on the flight to Johannesburg. Three more days. You have no idea how much I need to be with you right now. I actually cried.

 

HSBF: Doing the right thing is never easy.

 

Me: I know. I think it’s almost midnight where you are, so we should probably let you sleep.

 

HSBF: I’m here whenever you need me.

 

Me: Thank you for that. The urge to go to the liquor store has passed. Talking to you really helped.

 

HSBF: Glad to be of service.

 

To be continued

 

Chapter Text

From: Riley_Parker
To: Tony_Carbonell
Time sent: 9/20/2016 20:01:41
Subject: What the hell happened with my nephew?

What the hell happened with my nephew? After skipping school, he comes home crying about losing the internship dressed in something he did not leave the house in. If you laid one finger on him in a way that is inappropriate, I will fucking kill you. I don’t care that you’re a superhero. I don’t care if you are a billionaire. Don’t you fucking dare touch my nephew.
xxxxxx
From: Riley_Parker
To: Tony_Carbonell
Time sent: 9/20/2016 20:32:21
Subject: What the hell happened with my nephew?

I’m sorry for what I said a few moments ago. I didn’t intend to send that email, but Peter is the technically inclined one in our family. I doubt that anything like that happened even though I’d did catch Peter with his shirt off with his BFF. I mean he is head over feet obsessing about Liz so he can’t be fooling around with Ned, I think. Then again, you’re supposed to be an international playboy and you have a gay sex tape.

Peter does not just see you as a role model, he worships you. Did he ever tell you that you saved his life at the Stark world fair? That kind of made an impression on him and me. It’s so easy to fall from grace when they put you up on a pedestal.

From: Tony_Carbonell
To: Riley_Parker
Time sent: 9/20/2016 21:01:41
Subject: I really did keep my hands to myself.

You’re forgiven. You remind me of my mom. I think that’s why I like you. I do like younger men, but I have this rule about not dating anybody born after 1984. Also, my boyfriend would not be happy.

There was a lab mishap today that made me realize that maybe it’s not a clever idea to have a 15-year-old working on a lot of the projects that I’m doing. He didn’t follow the protocols and somebody almost got hurt. Thanks to my assistant and bodyguard, Miss Rodriguez, the worst thing that happened was Peter lost his clothes, which is why he ended up wearing a Free Quake T-shirt.

Peter is brilliant, but he’s young and still learning. More importantly, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and that can be a problem. I remember being 15 and thinking I knew everything. Now at 46, I know better. I’m aware that accidents happen in my line of work, but I couldn’t forgive myself if something happened to him.

Maybe I have been putting too much pressure on him. An internship at Stark Industries is an important thing. I make it my life’s goal to not be anything like my father and I kind of feel like I might be doing that by putting too much pressure on Peter.

With Howard, I always had to be perfect. I never could be who he wanted me to be. It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t need to be. I don’t want Peter to push himself to be perfect. I just want him to be 15. I never got to be 15. I’m pretty sure I was a college junior at his age.

I spoke to my boyfriend, Stefan, after what happened and he agrees that I may have been a little too hasty. I yelled and used horrible analogies and I really don’t like making anyone cry. Howard did that a lot. Stefan thinks I should take my visit to see him in South Africa as a time to reevaluate a lot of things.

So just let Peter know that right now, this is a timeout. I want him to think about what went wrong and how he can improve. When I get back, we will think about additional training. He’s going to the best public science school in the city, but maybe some supplemental classes might be helpful. There’s things involved in my day job that they don’t teach. My bodyguard/fellow Avenger Melinda mentioned a summer program in DC that one of her friends, Dr. Leopold, runs that might be good for him.

I don’t know if there’s something going on between Peter and Ned. Although, Laura has received some interesting text messages regarding the beauty of Liz Allen. Apparently, she’s a Goddess among seniors. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything and I’m living proof of that.

Could Peter be keeping a big secret from you? Probably. If he is, then maybe he’s afraid of how you will react when the truth comes out. I never told my dad I was also into men. I was too terrified to. I didn’t want to be different and I felt hiding was easier. I didn’t want to make him even more disappointed in me than he already was. I always felt like I was never good enough for him. I regret the fact we never had that conversation, especially because I recently found out that he knew and was okay with it. Peter will tell you when he’s ready and hopefully you won’t find out via a video from YouTube.
xxxx
From: The Mechanic
To: Teenage Mutant Ninja Spider
Time sent: 9/21/2016 21:03:11
Subject: I’m sorry I acted like my father.

So, apparently, I made you cry. I didn’t want to do that. I just wanted you to realize how serious things were. Being a superhero is not a video game. You don’t get extra lives usually. Sorry I used one of my father’s techniques to express how dangerous the situation really was. You’ll be happy to know that your aunt threatened to kill me. Don’t worry. I deleted the message from every server known to mankind and put a fake one in its place. (And Friday will be deleting this part of the email after you read it). I told your aunt that there was a lab accident that you were responsible for and that’s why you came home in the Free Quake T-shirt. Please corroborate.

I stand by my decision that you’re not ready for the suit right now. Maybe you will be eventually. Laura will make that call because my judgment is absolute shit. But right now, it stays locked up, especially with me being out of the country for the next week. If something happens while I’m gone, call Laura or Rhodey. Or call Sharon. You still have your phone, use it.

I do realize that I probably said some things that I shouldn’t have. Sorry about the crying. I went full Howard which is something I don’t want to do. I try not to be my father because he was a bit of a dick. I am still mad at him for sending me to boarding school, or more accurately, not telling me he was sending me to boarding school because my good mother figure got sniped because of him. I have lots of issues. Basically, I spent most of my childhood being compared to Captain America and that was well before I became a member of the superhero club.

They tell you to never meet your heroes because they might just end up disappointing you. I can tell you from personal experience that is true. The people that we idolize are not who we really idolize. They are mere mortals who make mistakes and screw up a lot. They’re not heroes because they’re perfect. Maybe they’re heroes because they keep trying.

Heroism doesn’t come from the suit or superpowers or anything else superficial like that. One of the greatest heroes I’ve ever met never had any of that. The voice in your suit for the last few days was that of Agent Phil Coulson. He has been a field agent since before you were a zygote. The man has saved the world so many times he has literally lost count. He doesn’t even remember the details anymore.

During New York, he went up against the bad guy by himself because he knew he needed to do it. Okay, me and Steve were in the middle of a pissing contest because we were being mind-fucked by alien tech. Coulson died that day. He got better, but his heart stopped for a while. Then years later, he lost a hand saving his entire team. No powers, no suit, just him. It’s not the suit, it’s what’s inside you. When you become Phil Coulson, then you’re ready for the suit.

When I get back from seeing Stefan, which I hope will put me in a much better mood because of things you are too young for, we can reassess at least the actual intern parts of your internship. The other stuff that’s a Laura thing.

Okay you’re 15, so you probably have some idea of what I’m planning to do with my boyfriend if Simmons will clear me and she may not because of me saving you.
BTW, your aunt knows that you’re keeping a secret from her that’s big. And because she walked in on you shirtless with your BFF, she thinks you are at least bi. This may be the time to mention you have spider powers. People are waking up all over the world with superpowers due to eating the wrong piece of fish or going swimming in the wrong body of water. I don’t think it will surprise her that much. I’m not going to out you, but you need to tell her eventually. So much worse when people find out due to video. And they didn’t have YouTube when my scandal broke out. It would be so much worse now.
Xxxx
From: Teenage Mutant Ninja Spider
To: The Mechanic
Time sent: 9/21/2016 12:35:11
Subject: Re: I’m sorry I acted like my father.

Thank you for deleting any evidence of my aunt threatening to kill you. I corroborated the lab accident story. I’m still upset and a little angry and it’s probably best that you’re going to be in South Africa for a little while. Maybe I’ll go to homecoming since my evenings will no longer be filled with saving the neighborhood.
PS: Ned knows the truth. That’s what aunt May walked in on. I don’t want her to know yet.
xxxxx
From: Riley_Parker
To: Tony_Carbonell
Time sent: 9/21/2016 21:01:41
Subject: Re: I really did keep my hands to myself.

We had a good talk after I read your original email. Although, I wish you would’ve called me. I was so worried when he didn’t show up, especially with the reports about the ferry. I know many times I skipped school to go on the ferry with my friends.

I agree he may not be ready for the internship, especially with everything you work on and that’s not even considering the superhero aspect of your job. He’s been dead on his feet a lot and he quit band and he loved band. If it wasn’t for counselor Laura, he would have missed DC. Maybe in a year or two, he can do the full internship. When you get back from your trip, we can talk. Maybe we can even reschedule that canceled dinner.

From: Tony_Carbonell
To: Riley_Parker
Time sent: 9/22/2016 8:01:41
Subject: Re: I really did keep my hands to myself.
That works. Miss Rodriguez will be in touch. I should be available the first or second weekend in October. I think. I’m bad at remembering my own schedule.

Chapter Text

 

Red Malibu: Everything is set up. Although we are moving up the timetable a couple of days because of recent events.

Purple Arrow: Such as you swooping in to save the day when ferries in New York are split apart due to the ‘accidental heroics’ of a 15-year-old in an onesie. That really made the international news. This is why you shouldn’t recruit toddlers.

 

Red Malibu: As the parent of a preteen, you are well aware that they never listen to anything you say which is the whole reason why the ferry incident happened. Unfortunately, the whole situation is making S edgy, i.e. in the mood to arrest people, even juveniles.

 

Red Malibu: Mrs. Purple Arrow is going to have to stay behind to mitigate. I think this means indefinite detention for Spidey and school dance chaperoning this Saturday for Mrs. Purple Arrow, but I’m not sure.

 

Purple Arrow: Fuck

 

Red Malibu: It’s okay. You will see her soon, I hope. Slingshot is making travel arrangements, so be ready to roll any moment.

 

Purple Arrow: Is S planning to crash the party?

 

Red Malibu: According to my contact at Truman, yes.

 

Purple Arrow: Fuck.

 

Red Malibu: I think we may still be able to pull this off. Talbot agreed mostly because he really likes Mrs. Purple Arrow and doesn’t like the bad guys using little kids as collateral, but he did sign off on the arrangement. So there’s little Ross can do once the press conference happens, no signing required, I promise.

 

Red Malibu: Don’t worry, Talbot is still happily married. Apparently, edible arrangements can get you forgiven when you accidentally mistake your wife for a Hydra operative. They also work after Hydra kidnaps your son for blackmail purposes.

 

Purple Arrow: Good to know in case that happens. Since Hydra is dead now, I am more concerned about Lily drawing you in my place in our happy family picture.

 

Red Malibu: You know I’m head over feet for Stefan. I think Lily just misses you. It’s hard when your parents aren’t there. I imagine it’s worse when you know that your dad loves you and doesn’t see you as a prize show pony.

 

Purple Arrow: I know. You stepped into my place, probably because of your own mountain of daddy issues. You’re doing homework with Cody and drawing with Lily. If I stay away much longer, Nikki will be calling you daddy.

 

Purple Arrow: I know that you were originally planning to sell all of your property in the tower. Linda told me during our meet up, because you told her that during your breakdown at the farm. Yet you kept the apartments at the tower just so the kids wouldn’t have to move again or be farther away from their new friends, especially Ms. Marvelous.

.

Red Malibu: I changed my mind when I opted to remodel to un-Virginia my living space instead of leaving entirely, because your wife said I couldn’t hide with head between my legs in upstate New York forever. It was just a bonus that the kids wouldn’t be uprooted again. Although we are moving all the dangerous stuff to the compound because kids just don’t listen.

 

Purple Arrow: Sure. Just promise me that you’ll have Agent America look over the moving plans.

 

Red Malibu: She has and she’s fighting with my head of security about it.

 

Purple Arrow: Of course.

 

Red Malibu: I’m just trying to do the right thing. It doesn’t always turn out the way I intended it to.

 

Purple Arrow: See murder bots.

 

Red Malibu: But I am trying. You should get that, considering you shot Stefan.

 

Purple Arrow: He wasn’t thinking. He was going to get himself killed. I had to intervene.

 

Red Malibu: I know. And it may not be the popular decision, but it was the best option. That’s what people like us do.

 

Purple Arrow: I wish we were not in this position.

 

Red Malibu: Do you honestly think that if all of us had agreed not to sign that this would not have happened anyway?

 

Purple Arrow: I’m not that naïve, especially because Linda is working with a five-year-old with spider powers.

 

Red Malibu: With a shady uncle and a father brought into Shield during the last days, most likely so his father could be flipped to the dark side. I feel like I have to be in the system to at least protect them, otherwise it will be people like S and Talbot calling the shots. When Talbot is the lesser of all evils, you know you’re screwed.

 

Purple Arrow: Protecting my children is why I’m doing this. It’s the only reason why I’m doing this. I’m still furious at the heart and yet I still trust him more than S.

 

Red Malibu: I trust the person who killed my parents more than S.

 

Purple Arrow: That is never a good sign, although that may make Stefan feel better. I think I will make contact with Slingshot for transport.

 

Red Malibu: I’ll have the jet ready for you. Or maybe the Zapper one will come pick you up. We have to get one of those

To be continued.

 

Chapter Text

 

Anthony: Hey I just wanted to let you know that I decided to go to Johannesburg early. I managed to move things around and it just made sense to start things on the 23rd.

 

Nomad: You mean Yo-Yo moved things around.

 

Anthony: If you’re not going to take advantage of your assistant’s super speed, what’s the point of having an assistant with super speed? I need a break after what happened. Also I have a few meetings with various government officials to deal with some of our fuck ups in the country. If I get them done now, that means more time with you.

 

Nomad: Which I’m grateful for. Are you on the jet already? Or are you flying in the suit?

 

Anthony: I took the jet. I’ve been here for a few hours. I even had a few of the meetings already. Although, I did bring a suit or two because, well, I almost got killed by sunflower seeds last month. The ‘bodyguards’ are also with me, armed with EpiPen’s and Icer’s.

 

Nomad: That’s probably a good plan. I may have packed a few EpiPen’s myself.

 

Anthony: This is why you’re my boyfriend. I just really want to, no need to, spend extra time with you after everything with Spidey and the feds. Ross is really pissed off about the ferry getting sliced in half. He sees it as evidence that we should all be locked up.

 

Nomad: Because it’s always our fault when the bad guys’ tech malfunctions.

 

Anthony: Well apparently if we just let the FBI deal with it, the alien tech that was stolen right out from under the government’s nose would not have malfunctioned. [Insert eye roll here.] Wait, how do you even know about that?

 

Nomad: I have my sources. Do you actually believe that?

 

Anthony: Hell no. Which makes me feel even worse about the way I reacted.

 

Nomad: You made the right choice. He isn’t ready yet. You’re not a hero because you have powers. You are a hero because you keep trying.

 

Anthony: Wise words. I spoke with Spidey.

 

Anthony: Okay I emailed because as I’ve learned with you, it’s better to put things in writing.

 

Anthony: His aunt threatened to kill me because he came home crying and I had to explain what happened without explaining what really happened because he still doesn’t want her to know. Now she thinks he’s hiding the fact that he’s at least fooling around with his BFF Ned.

 

Nomad: That decision is going to blow up in his face. Actually, it might already be from what you’re saying.

 

Anthony: Parents always know when something is not quite right. Jarvis did at least. I’m just hoping I’m in another country when it all falls apart.

 

Anthony: Also, speaking of situations that could blow up, Ross has decided to show up for the last day of the conference, which is something that the Secretary hasn’t done in years.

 

Nomad: Trap?

 

Anthony: Probably. I would understand if you don’t want to risk coming, but I really want to see you. It’s been a very stressful couple of days.

 

Nomad: Ross?

 

Anthony: Yes. Even though this is not the Secretary’s problem anymore. Its Snookums’ problem and he wasn’t that happy either.

 

Nomad: I’m sure the Colonel is more understanding.

 

Anthony: Yes, but he hates it when people get in the way of the mission. It annoys him. It’s looking more and more likely that Spidey is going to powered person summer camp or rather winter break camp as they kind of can’t wait nine months for intensive training.

 

Nomad: It may be for the best.

 

Anthony: Although I don’t know how we are going to train that good doer’s streak out of him. You still have it and it’s been decades.

 

Nomad: Don’t try. Just teach him to be less reckless.

 

Anthony: Which you will be in charge of because I can’t lecture anybody about not being reckless. I can’t be that much of a hypocrite. I could, but I choose not to be.

 

Nomad: I’m just glad that you’re aware that you are reckless.

 

Anthony: Although thinking about it, so are you. Okay, Agent America will be giving that speech, because Yo-Yo got shot a couple of months ago after taking a bullet for her current boyfriend, which led to cauterization by blowtorch.

 

Nomad: Agree.

Anthony: I should be happy that at least you are now self-aware. Please stop doing stupid stuff.

 

Nomad: I’ll try, if you try. I might be able to get to Johannesburg a little bit earlier

 

Anthony: That would be good because I think you probably should leave a day or two earlier than planned. Ross isn’t going to be here until the last day so maybe you can stay out of his way. When are you going to get here?

 

Nomad: Very soon. Open the door, Tony.

 


 

Steve placed the phone in his pocket, just as the door opened. Tony dropped his phone to the ground as soon as Steve’s lips descended on his. Steve was just that eager.

 

“At least I found out my new phone is really shatterproof.” Tony remarked, pulling him into the room. “You look like your celebrity doppelganger in Snow Piercer, but healthier.” To keep himself safe, it was decided that Stefan would have darker hair and a beard. “You look good.”

 

“So you like this look?” Steve asked.

 

“Yes. Okay, I kind of want to drag you into the bedroom, mostly to take that shirt off of you. I want to believe that came from Hot Topic, but dinner first.”

 

“Room service.” Steve said, kissing him again.

 

“I love you.” Tony moans out between kisses.

 

“Love you too.” Steve said as he tries to take off Tony’s shirt. That’s when he felt himself being pushed away from Tony. He looked up to see Tony’s assistant standing smugly in the doorway (his sources have provided him with pictures of Tony’s new associates). Tony did not seem happy to see her there. What followed was a rapid exchange in Spanish, that Steve could only make out every other word of.

 

“So you’re not medically cleared?” Steve asked after he started to piece the argument together.

 

“I’m still not allowed to do anything that will get my heart rate up, including you. You save a few hundred people on a ferry, which was technically violating doctor’s orders, and they decide to punish you.” Tony frowned. “Yes, I would have still done it, despite the consequences.”

 

“Not surprising. That’s who you are.” He said as he placed an arm around Tony. Apparently, that was still allowed.

 

“This is not a punishment. It’s for your-- safety.” Yo Yo replied. “Dr. Simmons orders.”

 

“She’s not a real doctor.” Tony replied.

 

“Neither was Bruce, but he was the only one you would let see you for a long time. Were you going to tell me?” Steve asked, slightly hurt.

 

“At dinner, but then you suggested room service and I actually lost most of my brain function because you really are that good of a kisser.” Tony told him.

 

“This was why I was asked to chaperone. Kissing is still allowed, but that’s it.” Tony’s assistant explained.

 

“This is not fair.” Tony lamented and Steve agreed, although deep down inside he felt it was probably for the best. Besides a healthy Tony was more important than anything else.

To be continued.

Chapter Text

StarkAE: A chaperone! Seriously, a fucking chaperone! I’m an adult. I’m pretty sure I can follow doctor’s orders without my assistant cock blocking me.

 

SimmonsJA: I see that you have finally come to me directly instead of asking Fitz to do your dirty work.

 

StarkAE: Your boyfriend stopped taking my calls unless they are spider or science related.

 

SimmonsJA: The director obviously believes otherwise. Otherwise, he would not have allowed me to deploy Shield resources in this way. And he has known you since you were at MIT together. The fact that you referred to your assistant’s presence as “cock blocking” means that you were not planning to follow the advice of your physician.

 

StarkAE: You’re not actually a MD.

 

SimmonsJA: No, but I feel like I need to rectify that since most people keep forgetting that I have not had more medical training than your average military medic. However, Dr. Suarez also agrees with the orders and she has an M.D.

 

StarkAE: She’s a psychologist.

 

SimmonsJA: Psychiatrist, which means medical school and a rotation. However, it was not me, but Dr. Cline who made the original orders and she actually does have an M.D. as well.

 

StarkAE: Actually, she is a doctor of osteopathic medicine.

 

SimmonsJA: That is beside the point. No strenuous physical activity for at least two more weeks, including but not limited to, sexual intercourse.

 

SimmonsJA: Yes, that does mean oral, digital stimulation, as well as anal penetration.

 

StarkAE: I’m not going to do anything ridiculously dangerous.

 

SimmonsJA: Like trying to prevent a giant ferry in New York from capsizing.

 

StarkAE: I saved several hundred lives.

 

SimmonsJA: And you couldn’t do that remotely? You put yourself at great medical risk.

 

StarkAE: But I am ok.

 

SimmonsJA: Your recovery was set back at least two weeks.

 

StarkAE: You know you would’ve done the same thing.

 

SimmonsJA: We’re talking about you. You’re worse than Daisy.

 

StarkAE: Look, I’m not talking about a marathon, just maybe a little oral stimulation or hand job.

 

SimmonsJA: I do not need specifics. I’m not completely heartless. Otherwise I would have added kissing to the list of restricted activities. According to Shield medical files, he has no refractory period. The temptation would be too great.

 

StarkAE: I don’t even want to know how that was tested. Stefan is glaring at the phone right now. Actually, he wants to know if Melinda did the tests. Also, why wasn’t this all over the Internet after the data dump? That would definitely get rid of the hundred-year-old virgin rumors.

 

SimmonsJA: Surveillance observations according to the notes in the file. Coulson had Daisy delete all Avenger -related data from the Internet. Some of that slipped out, but most of it was contained. We saved it to another server for research purposes. Now that we’ve encountered a large number enhanced individuals recently, it’s been quite helpful.

 

SimmonsJA: Why would Stefan ask if Melinda was involved?

 

StarkAE: You are going to have to ask Agent America that one when she gets back to the Playground.

 

SimmonsJA: I know you’re upset that the current medical situation will prevent you and your partner from crossing the event horizon, but maybe it’s for the best. Once you cross that line, you can’t go back. Your relationship with him is already precarious.

 

StarkAE: As evident by several awkward lunches with Pepper Potts recently. Interesting euphemism by the way.

 

SimmonsJA: Your relationship with Stefan is fragile. You’re just starting to rebuild it. After everything that happened, maybe it’s better to keep with the rebuilding instead of just throwing in another physical component.

 

StarkAE: We beat the shit out of each other in Siberia less than six months ago. I’m well aware that we kind of hit rock bottom in regards to our relationship and that’s counting the fuck-up during the invasion which led to your real boss getting shanked by an Asgardian.

 

SimmonsJA: All relationships have lows. I fell in love with somebody else when stranded on a desolate alien planet for six months and gave up all hope of ever being rescued, when in reality Leo literally went across the universe for me. That was after the year before when I ran away by taking an undercover assignment because I couldn’t deal with my own guilt after watching him almost die for me.

 

SimmonsJA: We couldn’t just jump into bed after that. We had to rebuild and you have to do the same. Now we’re looking at houses or rather apartments. Everything in DC is so expensive. $1600 for a one bedroom in Alexandria and they don’t even have breakfast nooks.

 

StarkAE: I have a couple of houses there. I’ll let you live in one, rent free if you change your orders.

 

SimmonsJA: Tempting, but no. Have you spoken about the issues that led you to that incident? Because we both know it wasn’t just about the Accords.

 

StarkAE: Some. We both think Ross is a dick.

 

SimmonsJA: Well that’s easy to agree on. I’m glad that I only have to liaison with the assistant secretary of OES. I think I may strangle the man if I had to see him in person. But what about the more important issues like the man who murdered your parents.

 

SimmonsJA: Could you please redact that?

 

StarkAE: Already taken care of. How the hell do you even know that? Did your boss tell you?

 

SimmonsJA: Thank you. Although I was referring to everything Ross related. Friday sent us the video of what happened in Siberia. Don’t worry, we did not show it to the Director because we have some common sense.

 

StarkAE: Friday, if you do not want to become the AI to Spidey‘s cell phone, and I mean Spidey Junior‘s kids Stark phone, you will get that video off now. I prefer there not to be any references to what happened to my parents out there.

 

SimmonsJA: Understandable.

 

StarkAE: We did talk about that and have acknowledged that we both made bad choices. Maybe we need to talk more about it now, but keeping us from having sex is not going to make that conversation happen any sooner. Actually, the sex may help take the edge off of those conversations. It is my favorite coping mechanism.

 

SimmonsJA: Which completely explains Dr. Suarez so readily agreeing with Dr. Cline’s assessment.

 

StarkAE: Okay, I‘m the first to admit that I have a lot of issues. But I‘m working on them. I don’t want to strangle Barnes anymore. I want to burn the last remnants of Hydra down to the ground, but most homicidal desires related to the Winter Soldier have been dealt with.

 

SimmonsJA: I am glad that your therapy is working in that regard. You may want to listen to your therapist when she says that you are neither emotionally nor physically, especially physically, ready to engage in a sexual encounter with your boyfriend.

 

StarkAE: Is this secretary still planning to show up in four days?

 

SimmonsJA: Yes. Also the fact that you’d rather change the subject then talk about this also shows a lack of readiness.

 

StarkAE: Oh I’m ready.

 

SimmonsJA: That remains to be seen. Are you still planning to publicly rollout your relationship with Stefan tomorrow at the SI wildlife trafficking awareness event?

 

StarkAE: Yes. He’s been fitted with a wonderful Tom Ford suit this morning. I have at least two dozen pictures for private time.

 

SimmonsJA: You’re not allowed to do that either.

 

StarkAE: You are no fun at all.

 

SimmonsJA: If you really were emotionally ready to have sex with Stefan, you wouldn’t need me or Dr. Suarez to give you the okay. You would have ignored our recommendation entirely. But you need us to give you the metaphorical green light because deep down inside you know that you’re not ready for this.

 

StarkAE: I really hate you.

 

SimmonsJA: Well I’m not doing this to make friends.

 

StarkAE: You asked me to sign your poster.

 

SimmonsJA: I may have been slightly enamored with you in college. It’s always difficult trying to get your PhD before you’re old enough to have a driver’s license. At least I had a role model in you. It doesn’t make what I’m saying any less valid. If things go well, you’ll be able to see each other more often and then by that point, you’ll be ready to cross the horizon.

 

StarkAE: Or if Ross shows up and carts Stefan away. Or the watchdogs could try to kill me again or any number of enemies that we have. This could be our only chance. I don’t want to miss it due to medical orders.

 

SimmonsJA: Do you want me to set up a Skype session with Dr. Suarez?

 

StarkAE: That won’t be necessary. I gave you guys a better program than Skype.

 

SimmonsJA: It’s just easier to call everything Skype. I know you’re upset, but sometimes just holding Leo’s hand while we watch a movie together is better than most sexual experiences I had back at the Academy.

 

StarkAE: Probably because most of them had no idea what they were doing.

 

SimmonsJA: I won't argue that point, but you know I'm right. There is nothing wrong with a little actual dating.

To be continued.

Chapter Text

 

"Friday, please don’t actually send that message to Dr. Simmons." Steve said as he lay down next to Tony as he was trying to convince Dr. Simmons that he could totally do something such as Steve without endangering his health. Obviously, he wasn’t being successful which was a shame because Steve only bothered to put on boxer shorts after getting out of the shower. Bless him.

 

"I wasn’t planning to actually send that.” Steve responded with a glare.

 

"I really wasn’t going to. Friday just did that by accident." He was totally lying. Steve knew he was totally lying, which is why his Stark pad was confiscated.

 

"Are you done arguing with Shield medical yet? You’ve been doing that for over 24 hours?”

 

"I’m not arguing.” Tony told his boyfriend.

 

“I heard your conversation with Dr. Fitz while I was getting my suit fitted this morning.” Steve responded.

 

“I was just aggressively…”

 

“As well as the text messages to Dr. Suarez during lunch.” Steve added. Of course, he saw that.

 

“Now I’m almost happy that Yo-Yo couldn’t get you into tomorrow’s lunch. Okay arguing was involved in a sense." Tony finally acknowledged.

 

"You know I’m not going to leave just because we can’t have sex?" Steve asked seriously.

 

"Despite all our failings, I do know that you’re pretty loyal to those that you care about. And since there’s no one else around that tops me now. I think we’re good." He frowned at Tony’s flippant response.

 

"You know that wasn’t a me choosing Bucky over you because I care about him more then you situation?”

 

“Thank you for lying, but it’s not necessary. You’ve known me for less than five years and you’ve known him since playgroup.” Tony tells Steve.

 

“We didn’t have playgroup back then.” Steve bunches his nose up in such a cute way. He’s adorable.

 

“You know what I mean. Look, I know where I stand. If a building was burning and I could only save you or Rhodey, I’m sorry Buttercup, but I would go straight to Rhodey.”

 

“Because you know I can take care of myself.”

 

“And our stupidity paralyzed him. Fitz and I are working on something, but it’s still in the prototype phase.”

 

“It was the same thing with Bucky.” Steve tells him “I was trying to help the person who I thought needed the most help. I didn’t realize how much else was riding on your choices, not until we really started talking to each other."

 

"My therapist pointed that out multiple times that was what you were doing." Tony explains.

 

"And you believe her?"

 

“On the good days, sometimes. But I have two decades of Howard making me feel like I couldn’t live up to you or at least his idea of you. I think you’re aware that my self-esteem is shot to hell.” Steve responds by placing an arm around Tony.

 

"Is this okay?"

 

"You sleeping next to me shirtless is definitely okay. Wish I could remove the boxer shorts. But this beats the body pillow that Rhodey sent me to be an ass.” Steve raises an eyebrow at him.

 

“Don’t ask. There was a bet involved.” Tony is not giving Steve the whole story on that one.

 

“I know you’re upset, but this is a not terrible thing.” Steve explains, holding him closer. “Honestly, as much as I really want to do those things with you, I’m not sure if we really are ready for that. I’m not sure if I’m ready. We still have things we should work through. You’re still scared I’m going to leave you or you think that I’m only here because Bucky is in cryo, when the truth is I’m here because I want to be with you." Tony responded by pulling Steve down for a kiss.

 

"I wouldn’t say that’s what I’m thinking. Did you borrow my toothpaste?" Tony asked pulling away. He was extra minty fresh.

 

“Yes, but I did bring a toothbrush. Over the last few months I feel like I’ve started to actually get to know you and I think I know how your mind works enough to know that you think you might be the consolation prize."

 

"Maybe.” Tony answered honestly snuggling into Steve a little bit more. Super soldier six-packs are awesome. Also, the sheets at this hotel are like silk.

 

“You’re not. Although, I do wish I realized this before just sleeping in the same bed as you became a luxury.”

 

 “But maybe we wouldn’t be here, otherwise.” Tony said kissing Steve again. He’s trying to keep these kisses chaste, but that is difficult. Even the muscles in Steve’s tongue got better. “I’m worried about other things to."

 

"Ross?" Steve asked as he ran his fingers through Tony’s hair.

 

"Or other super villains." And kids who take on super villains. He’s hoping that Peter stays out of trouble, but he’s concerned. Note to self, email Laura in a few minutes.

 

"Always a possibility, but you’re prepared."

 

"And then there’s the fact that there’s no filter right now and I’m pretty good at saying the wrong thing at the worst possible time.”

 

“I’m aware.” Steve tells him. “There was a transcript of the post-Afghanistan press conference in my welcome kit.”

 

“Of course there was. At least before, when we were trading text messages, I could say what I wanted to tell you out loud, then look at it on screen and realize maybe if I want to avoid a fight, I should not send that.”

 

"And then Friday would send it anyway." Steve added with a grin.

 

"She’s been getting better about that.” He gives Tony another look.

 

"She really has, except with the videos. We’ll talk about that when I’m somewhere with my full version of Friday, not the travel assistant."

 

“You should. For this to work, we should talk to each other, not just online, but in person. When we have the opportunity, like now."

 

"Which is scary as I learned by trying to reconnect with Pepper." Tony rubs a finger against Steve’s beard. He is enjoying it and isn’t that sad about losing the clean-shaven Boy Scout.

 

“I thought things are getting better between the two of you?" Steve asked.

 

"Yes, it gets a little less awkward each time.” Steve leans over and kisses Tony on the mouth again. “Things are awkward between you and me too but at least we can do that. I’m enjoying this. Your tongue is awesome.”

 

"I am too. We don’t have to go too fast. In our business you don’t want to assume, but maybe we can take a moment. If things go well tomorrow, this might become an easier thing." I.e. if the world accepts Stefan Carter, then they could see each other in public and Steve would be safe. Deep down that’s all Tony really wants for his boyfriend. (Of course, Tony was already making a contingency plan or six.)

 

"Or to go completely wrong. Everybody could completely see through the façade." Tony told his boyfriend worriedly.

 

"I’m trying to think positively. I did get mistaken for Chris Evans twice today, despite my new contacts now giving me a different eye color than him.” Steve joked.

 

“Because he looks more like the old you now then you do right now. They’re going to start shooting the Captain America story soon. Don’t worry, you’re getting a percentage of the gross profits.” Tony explains.

 

“I thought they were just making a battle of New York biography movie?” Steve asked slightly confused,

 

“Disney is now planning to do a whole cinematic Avengers universe with movies based on our real-life adventures. We are each getting separate bio pics and then a New York movie, except for Natasha and Clint for some reason.”

 

“Which is a shame because Natasha’s would probably be the most interesting.” Steve added.

 

“And the one they would have to fictionalize the most By the way Disney is lobbying for you to get pardoned.”

 

“Why?”

 

“They will probably sell more tickets, if you’re not a war criminal.” Tony explained, neglecting to tell Steve it was part of the movie deal the lawyers negotiated.

 

“Good point.”

 

“I have some creative control so I promise it will not end up like that travesty of the Captain America movie from 1990. Dad ended up suing them for that.” With good reason.

 

“What 1990 movie?” Steve asked. Somehow nobody told him about that.

 

“It’s best that you never ever see it. It was worse than the radio drama. They made Red Skull Italian and raised by Nazis and that’s just the beginning. Also, he or rather who he worked for were responsible for Kennedy and MLK’s assassination.” Tony explained trying to remember what he knew about it from the one time he watched it years ago.

 

“Hydra being responsible for that might actually turn out to be true. At least that was what Zola told us when he was stalling for time.” Steve reminds him.

 

“That part you actually told me.” And he was a little bitter about that, so progress. “Also, they somehow managed to have a Sharon in the film by pure randomness. I think that was why dad sued. Sharon had Howard wrapped around her little finger when she was little. It made me think that dad always wanted me to be a girl." Tony confessed.

 

“No more talk of Howard tonight.” He said rubbing circles on Tony’s back.

 

“Gladly. Can I please have my Stark pad back?” Tony asked.

 

“You’re not going to email anyone else at Shield. You should rest.”

 

"I was going to email Laura, to check up on Spidey. That technically counts because she’s now Shield, but she did it for love." So, her husband could come back to her and her kids.

 

“Someday you’re going to have to explain that to me.”

 

“If things go well, you’ll know what I mean sometime within the next 48 hours.”

 

“Is that what you’re worried about?" Steve asked

 

“I’m worried about Spidey. He’s still pissed at me." Tony lamented.

 

"You did the right thing." He reassured.

 

"I’m still concerned. I told you about the angry email that his aunt sent me. I’m also worried that she is going to discover the truth any moment and rake me over the coals for not telling her. At the same time, Peter really needs to be the one to tell her, and he’s just not ready. It doesn’t help that there’s three inhuman teenagers in Shield custody because their parents kicked them out for having powers.” Tony rambles.

 

“That’s not right.”

 

“No, it’s not, especially because these powers come from something genetic passed on from the parents. Could you just kiss me again? I need a distraction.” Okay he just need Steve as much as possible.

 

“Happy to oblige.” Steve responded, pulling Tony down into a kiss again. Tony really hopes the dinner goes well tomorrow so this can be a monthly thing.

To be continued.

 

Chapter Text

Tony Bear: Why is it that at every fancy business lunch I am forced to participate in involves micro-portions and overly pretentious people? I’m 30 seconds from punching out world business leaders number three, six and 12.

Me: It can’t be that bad.

Tony Bear: Yes, it is. My mind is numb from under stimulation. And if somebody asks me about Pepper one more time, I’m going to bring out the gauntlet. That goes double for the person who asked if I was screwing my assistant, twice.

Me: Jesus.

Tony Bear: I’m not 100% sure it’s always been this bad. Maybe it feels worse this time around, because I’m too sober to think any of these jokes are funny or have any desire whatsoever to mingle. All the assistants were nicer and actually competent.

Me: It probably was always like this. Although I’m sure Virginia probably finds it less stressful this way.

Tony Bear: No, because she would have punched out business leader number two for grabbing her ass and then I would have to oversee getting her out of jail in a foreign country. That never goes well.

Me: You have a point. Hey did you change your name in my phone? You’re now listed as Tony Bear instead of Anthony.

Tony Bear: Yep. This should be Stefan’s phone because only a complete idiot would put his superhero name on everything. At least when he or she is trying to do a secret identity anyway.

Stefan: I’ll try to remember that.

Tony Bear: I’m sorry that we couldn’t get you in the lunch. Even Yo-Yo is having sandwiches in the back with the other assistants. I’m sure they’re having more fun than me. As well as more food.

Me: It’s okay. I am trying to keep a low profile until dinner tonight. If people see me on your arm, they’re obviously going to easily figure out who I am to you.

Tony Bear: They just have to look at the way I’m looking at you and they will know the truth.

Me: That’s sweet. It’s okay. I promised I would do lunch with Melinda. Room service does a really good burger. With my metabolism, I’m going to need at least five of those fancy lunches to take the edge off.

Tony Bear: That’s true. It’s probably going to take at least three or four burgers to satisfy you.

Me: Two and a milkshake. Although it does feel weird being halfway around the world and still having burgers and a shake.

Tony Bear: Someday soon I need to tell you about trying to get KFC in Tokyo at 3 AM. You didn’t think about venturing out to try some of the local cuisine? Or, you know, at least go down to the restaurant. You did so well at breakfast.

Me: As I said earlier, I do want to keep a low profile until dinner tonight. People trying to take selfies with me because they think I am either Chris Evans or Keanu Reeves is not good.

Tony Bear: Friday did successfully delete all the images from that one woman’s phone. Although you do have a point.

Me: Also, I feel like we’re having the type of conversation that should happen in private. There's too much stuff I don't want other people to overhear.

Tony Bear: All good points. However, if you’re planning to do a quickie with your ex-girlfriend, make sure you take pictures or at least wait for me to get there. I can’t participate, but I can watch. That’s about all Dr. Simmons would let me do. Evil.

Me: I’m not sure what May just referred to you as in Mandarin, but it probably wasn’t anything very nice.

Tony Bear: Tell her it was a joke before she threatens to disembowel me, again. People talking bad about me in foreign languages is not a new thing. A lot of that's actually going on right now. This is why I keep a lot of the languages I speak off my CV. I'm working on improving my Mandarin just for her. I’m learning all sorts of new course words.

Tony Bear: I hate AutoCorrect, that was supposed to be curse words

Me: Of course you are.

Tony Bear: So how is your lunch going?

Me: Shouldn’t you be mingling?

Tony Bear: Pepper made me promise not to get arrested, again, in a foreign country. If I tried to make small talk again, then the probability of getting arrested jumps up to 89%. I don’t like those odds.

Me: Okay mingling is not a smart idea.

Tony Bear: Me finding out about how your lunch is going with your ex-girlfriend is a much better use of my time.

Me: Still in progress.

Tony Bear: That bad.

Me: Not necessarily bad, just trying to figure out where to start. And sometimes that’s half of the battle.

Tony Bear: Very true

Me: So far we’ve mostly talked about how to deal with your Spidey problem and we really don’t have any solutions.

Tony Bear: Thanks for trying. Nobody really has any solutions for the Spidey problem, good ones anyway. The head of Avenger PR suggested that I just give him a suit closer to mine and hold a press conference.

Me: Don’t do that.

Tony Bear: Since you asked so nicely, that’s definitely a hard no now.

Me: Melinda is glaring at me right now.

Tony Bear: Of course she is.

Me: Your boyfriend will talk to you when you get out of your meetings and we are done talking.
To be continued.

Chapter Text

Thank you to everybody who read or reviewed the last chapter. You are all absolutely lovely. In celebration of homecoming being available for digital download, therefore giving me the ability to look at scenes again and not go by memory, you are getting an update today.

 

Just like the last in person conversation, this begins almost immediately after the last message, meaning it’s still September 24. It is going to be September 24 for a while actually. This is going to be a big day for us in this story. Yes, May did steal Steve’s phone.

 

In Person Conversation 2: The Ex Factor

 

"Did you really have to do that?" Steve said, getting his phone back from May and realizing that she sent a message to Tony. Steve really shouldn’t be surprised that she took his phone.

 

"You two really can’t go 24 hours without talking to one another. You’ll see him in a few hours. You’re planning to be his date tonight at the SI dinner." From her tone, Steve can tell that she’s not happy.

 

At least he thinks so. He’s having trouble reconciling this May with Melinda Gardner. How much were the two individuals the same? How much was an act? Steve still wasn’t entirely sure.

 

"We have multiple times, such as when he was almost killed. It’s just different now that we’re actually in the same place for the moment, especially because we both know it’s only going to be a few days.” Possibly shorter because of Ross. However, Steve doesn’t want to say that out loud.

 

“You’re only losing a day because of Ross coming. It doesn’t matter in the long run, because if this scheme works, then you two will be able to see each other regularly."

 

"Which has me nervous enough to wish that I could drink wine for something other than the taste." Steve said, pointing to the glass of wine on the table from lunch.

 

"Are you worried about being arrested or something else? We won’t let Ross take you in."

 

“I’m not worried about Ross, at least not that much. I’m okay with people knowing that I’m bisexual or Stefan being bisexual. It’s well overdue." He wonders now why he never did an interview. Maybe because he wanted this to be private. So much of the world thought they knew who he was. (Yes, he did spend the morning when Tony was in meetings trying to find that really bad 90s movie that they did on him).

 

“Is that because Stefan is not really you? Or maybe it’s because Stefan doesn’t have the same expectations as you do as Captain America."

 

And has the new keeper of the shield, you would know. Steve thinks but doesn’t say out loud.

 

"Because it’s something I wish was the case before." He tells her instead.

 

“In some of the countries being represented here, that is still the case,” May said poignantly.

 

“I know.” Steve responded.

 

“But you’re still worried about something else?” Melinda asked.

 

“I’m worried about pretending to be Stefan Carter.” Steve confessed.

 

“Understandable. I hate undercover,” May told him, which surprised Steve.

 

“You seem to be good at it.”

 

“That doesn’t mean I actually like doing that. I prefer action.” Now that he did not find surprising.

 

“In that case, how can you take being undercover for so long? Always pretending to be someone you’re not. I worry I’m going to say the wrong thing or respond to the wrong name and it will all fall apart, but this time Ross will arrest Tony for helping me."

 

"He won’t touch Tony. He can’t. The president won’t let him." Steve wasn’t sure if he found Melinda’s words reassuring or not.

 

"The president is facing reelection. He has to be careful.”

 

“I’m really the wrong person to have this conversation with because I never actually did an undercover assignment over a month." Melinda says changing the subject.

 

“That’s not true. You pretended to be my neighbor for months. I had no idea you were not Melinda Gardner."

 

"Because I am Melinda Gardner or I was right after the divorce anyway. Fury just gave you Phil’s old apartment and ordered me to help you acclimate. I showed you exactly who I was. I just changed the names. I really was an HR specialist working for the federal government who divorced her husband because she couldn’t talk to him about the mission that was her biggest regret."

 

“So you were just a woman who was grieving for her lost love in dealing with a messy divorce?”

 

“I was someone who protects everyone and who keeps her promises, even to the dead.” She takes a small drink of the wine that she’s barely touched. “I knew that Phil was looking forward to helping you get acclimated. The original plan was for me to move out and you to get my old apartment for a few months, as Phil helped you get acclimated. Everyone knew you were drowning in the apartment that Fury put you in a New York. The Loki incident changed that plan and so I decided I would help you the best way I could."

 

"Because you loved him." Steve answered, not even phrasing it as a question. He knew better.

 

“Not that he knows that yet. Not that I’m going to tell him anytime soon.” Melinda explained.

 

“You should.” Steve offered.

 

 “And I will when the time is right. You don’t have to be Stefan Carter out there tonight. Just go out there as Tony Stark’s boyfriend who loves him very much. The name doesn’t change that." Melinda suggested.

 

"That part is easy. I’m terrified about people knowing about our relationship, but at the same time relieved, even if they don’t really know it’s me. Being out in the open changes things. It’s just so much easier if it’s between us and the world is on the outside. I’m not sure if we’re ready for all the world to be watching yet."

 

“Anybody who dates Tony Stark is going to have to deal with that.”

 

“I know that. And in the long run, it is worth that. I just hope I don’t punch out any paparazzi.”

 

“I do as well."

 

“The other thing is, I’m worried about what will happen if I have to be Stefan Carter long-term. Because it’s not like I’m going to get Clint’s deal."

 

“You know?” Melinda raised an eyebrow at him.

 

“I found a card stuffed into my underwear. I don’t blame him for going back. I wish I didn’t call him in. At least Scott could go back.

 

“Clint is an agent. He’s going to do what he needs to do. No matter what. But he’s not gifted or enhanced or even inhuman for that matter. He should’ve never been under the Accords in the first place. We’re trying to fix that."

 

“He’s a fugitive because he helped us.” Steve felt awful about that and it just got worse after he saw Lila’s drawling a couple of weeks ago. “It shouldn’t be that way. He has the kids and Laura to worry about."

 

"You have commitments too.” Melinda tells him. “I think Stark needs you around more. Especially if he keeps adopting young superheroes. You help ground him to some degree."

 

"It’s not the same."

 

"Why didn’t you tell me that you were shield?" Steve asked, changing the subject.

 

"I usually don’t tell people where I work. If you ask most federal employees in DC, that’s a normal thing. Also my mother was ex-CIA. I learned early on not to give out too many personal details. You got more than most." Melinda explains.

 

“Were you only interested in me because of your job or because you wanted to do something to honor Phil’s memory?" Steve was worried that was the case. Pre-serum, nobody liked him for him outside of Bucky and Peggy. Now he’s afraid of history repeating itself except now it’s Tony and probably Sam.”

 

"If it was just the job, I would’ve locked you and Stark in a room together to work out your problems like Fury ordered me to. But you were more lost than I was after Bahrain and I was just starting to deal with that when Phil was killed in New York. I needed to focus on something and helping you helped."

 

“I get that. Being an Avenger helped me not think about everything I lost. Although, why didn’t you lock me and Tony together?"

 

"You weren’t ready for it yet. You and Stark needed to work on your problems yourselves." Melinda explained.

 

“I think we’re getting there. We are a work in progress. I just wish I was there to keep an eye on him. I was worried when the stuff about the ferry started coming out over Twitter."

 

"They were making it out to be worse than what it really was on the news." That’s when he heard Tony walk into the room.

 

"What are you doing here?" Melinda asked, slightly annoyed.

 

"Yo-Yo caused a distraction. I escaped before I could, you know, get arrested. I really did promise Pepper that I would avoid that."

 

“Were there any bodies?” May asked completely serious.

 

“Not yet, but if Yo-Yo gets accidentally on purpose touched inappropriately again, it will be a near thing. Too many sleazy business leaders. I have 20 minutes." Tony said as he kissed Steve.

 

“You taste like Cabernet?” Tony said as he pulled away.

 

“Do I need to brush my teeth?" Steve asked.

 

 “No, but get rid of the bottle. Also, I need a protein bar or something, if I’m to survive the next four hours until the dinner. Thankfully SI is sponsoring the opening banquet tonight so there will be food. Why do they not really feed us?"

 

"I have no idea." Steve shrugged as he went to grab the wine bottle from the table to pour the rest of it out only to realize it wasn’t there anymore. Neither was Melinda.

 

"Hey, where did ninja ex-girlfriend go?" Tony asked, also realizing her absence.

 

"I think she went to get rid of the wine.” Probably as an excuse to give them some privacy.

 

“I don’t think the minibar has any protein bars, but we have cake.” Steve says, offering Tony one of the slices he got for himself.

 

“I can do cake. Actually, I kind of need cake right now.” Steve agreed with that completely, especially because he was so worried about tonight.

 

But six hours later, when Tony grabbed his hand in front of several dozen cameras, everything fell away.

 

To be continued

 

 

Chapter Text

MayMQ: I'm going to strangle the consultant.

CoulsonPJ: You cannot strangle the consultant, especially because he’s now on your team, May. I told you this when you were with him in Appalachia.

MayMQ: And I still can’t do flight training right now with him. Stark is easier to deal with when he is busy or exhausted.

CoulsonPJ: You could take his boyfriend down to the gym instead. Weren’t you going to have lunch with him? How did that go?

MayMQ: He suggested I have sex with his boyfriend while he watches.

CoulsonPJ: He was joking.

MayMQ: He said that he was, but I’m not sure with him.

CoulsonPJ: No one is. Sometimes you actually like Stark. You love your new tactical suit.

MayMQ: You love my new tactical suit. It’s easier to deal with the consultant when I can actually hit him or when is at least busy. But he’s still recovering from the assassination attempt we did not prevent.

CoulsonPJ: You look really good in that suit. We already have enough bad publicity from the last time the Avengers started beating the hell out of each other because they are unable to use their words. I wish we could just tell everybody it was unresolved sexual tension, but that may make it worse in some circles, so please for the love of your shield, do not hurt the consultant.

MayMQ: I really don’t care about those groups. They are probably the same circles that are mad about me having the shield.

CoulsonPJ: They’re not all the same groups. The deputy director is sad because he really wants the shield himself. I think he may have cried a little when he realized that you actually took it with you.

MayMQ: Because you never know what could happen here. Besides, you’re the one who really wants to train with it.

CoulsonPJ: Maybe a little for tactical reasons.

MayMQ: You wouldn't let us change the paint job.

CoulsonPJ: It is iconic.

MayMQ: Did you pick up the package?

CoulsonPJ: Yes

MayMQ: Did you talk to the package?

CoulsonPJ: Does it count as talking when the package punches you?

MayMQ: For people like us? Yes. He punched you?

CoulsonPJ: Then we talked. I also have a blackeye right now.

MayMQ: I can’t leave you alone, can I? Did you apologize?

CoulsonPJ: I don't know if you can apologize for dying.

MayMQ: You can apologize for not telling him that you were alive.

CoulsonPJ: I was following orders.

MayMQ: What about after you were the one giving orders? You were the director for two years. At any time you could’ve told him or Audrey for that matter.

CoulsonPJ: We were on the run from Talbot.

MayMQ: And once we were no longer on the run from the military?

CoulsonPJ: You didn't tell him that you survived the Hydra infiltration until you almost left to take care of your dad by baby shower gift, no less.

MayMQ: But I did tell him. My dad made that blanket.

CoulsonPJ: Which is why you got a nice card for the baby blanket and I am currently trying out Fitz’s attempt at a dermal regenerator. We have to stop letting him and Stark create prototypes after watching Star Trek

MayMQ: Is it working?

CoulsonPJ: A little. It kind of tingles, but the bruising does seem to be fading.

MayMQ: That’s good.

CoulsonPJ: Outside of Stark apparently showing up, how did your conversation with Stefan go?

MayMQ: No bruising or furniture being broken. So how much damage was done to the plane?

CoulsonPJ: Not that much. I’m glad things were less volatile.

MayMQ: We had room service. It was awkward, but we were making some progress, mostly discussing how to handle the Queens situation. Of course in the middle of it, he started talking to Stark. Then he asked me a lot of questions about my time as his neighbor and I convinced him that I wasn’t really pretending. That’s about when Stark showed up.

CoulsonPJ: Apparently he said something during that conversation that now makes you want to strangle him?

MayMQ: Actually, that would’ve been in the text message exchange. I left before he could say anything else and took the wine with me.

CoulsonPJ: That’s probably best.

MayMQ: There's also tonight.

CoulsonPJ: You think everybody's going to recognize Stefan?

MayMQ: It’s a possibility, although he was mistaken for Chris Evans twice this morning.

CoulsonPJ: That may be a good thing.

MayMQ: Establishing Stefan’s identity is a good idea. I’m just not sure if this is the venue it should happen in, but it was Steve’s idea.

CoulsonPJ: It makes sense. Look, it's only going to be a couple more days and then you will be back here.

MayMQ: Ross is going to be here for the last day.

CoulsonPJ: By that point, I think he will be sufficiently distracted by the package publicly announcing his return. I doubt he will still be a problem.

MayMQ: I hope that's the case. Maybe he'll cancel his trip

CoulsonPJ: One can hope.

MayMQ: You should try talking to the package again.

CoulsonPJ: I will.

CoulsonPJ: Try not to strangle Stark.

MayMQ: I can't make that promise.

CoulsonPJ: Don't make Stefan sad.

MayMQ: I hate you right now.

CoulsonPJ: I'm not the one who asked you to go to Johannesburg.

MayMQ: If you fought harder to stay the director, this would not be happening right now.

CoulsonPJ: I think I still would have sent you to babysit Stark although hey, at least this way you are a card-carrying Avenger. I can’t wait for you to get your own action figure. I’m buying three.

MayMQ: Then this really is your fault.

CoulsonPJ: Maybe it is. Send me pictures from the dinner.

MayMQ: Will do. I just hope things don’t implode. Or that anybody tries to kill Stark again.

CoulsonPJ: Let’s hope sunflower seeds are not involved again.

MayMQ: Very true.

To be continued.

Chapter Text

Shield IM 3: What couple name are we using for Stefan/Tony?

 

Turtle man: Apparently your boss is now dating Chris Evans.

 

Turtle man: The actor, not the guy from Top Gear who used to be married to Turbo’s Dr. Who crush. It is all over Twitter and Tumblr. The gifs are ridiculous. I expect at least 16 new NC-17 stories about this on Freaking Cool by morning. They’re also debating about what couple name to use.

 

Turtle man: For Stefan/Tony because not everybody is that clueless. Stefany is currently winning. Although people on Twitter have way too much free time.

 

Yo-Yo: No me pagan suficiente para edte pinchi trabajo

 

Turtle man: I understand enough of that to realize that you’re reconsidering your career choices. On the bright side, at least they don't think he's dating Captain America, except for Chris Evans, but I think his comments on Twitter went over everyone’s head.

 

Yo-Yo: Dios

 

Turtle man: That I understood. Look, the Evans thing is mostly because a high percentage of the public finds it more plausible than Captain America being gay. Most people think Stefan Carter is actually Stefan Carter. So, congrats to Turbo for setting up the identity.

 

Yo-Yo: Joey knows.

 

Turtle man: He contacted you? How secure was the contact?

 

Yo-Yo: Through the email account that Stark set up for us in case of an emergency.

 

Turtle man: That’s good. I wouldn’t be concerned that Joey figured it out because he trained with you guys when your new boss could not stop waxing poetic about the captain and his boyfriend, mostly about their asses. It’s obvious to anyone who knows them and not their public personas that there was something going on.

 

Yo-yo: Very true.

 

Turtle man: How are things going in Johannesburg? Will you still be coming home on time?

 

Yo-Yo: I think so, but that could change. I had to pour a bucket of water on my boss and his boyfriend this afternoon. Other than that it’s been a good trip. It’s nice to actually look around and see the world.

 

Turtle man: It is. I'm not surprised you had to bring out a bucket. Did you get pictures?

 

Yo-yo: May did. She’ll send them to you.

 

Turtle man: You know you don't have to take the chaperone thing so seriously.

 

Yo-yo: It's fun.

 

Turtle man: And at least this way you don't have to listen to all the moaning like you were originally worried about.

 

Yo-Yo: There was still moaning which is why a bucket had to be used.

 

Turtle man: I'm glad I don't have your job. You know you could go to LA like originally planned. We wouldn’t see each other as much, but I’m okay with that if it would make you happier. Director Rhodes is not enforcing the no fraternization between agents and those under the accords policy.

 

Yo-Yo: Which is good. I like it here. I may still be asked to go to LA to work with Virginia. They need more of us out on the West Coast. I would still be a part of the team regardless. However, I’d rather keep things the way they are because New York is closer to DC then LA. He is not always this bad. I think he’s mad about the chaperoning and scared.

 

Turtle man: Probably. The long-distance thing won't matter too much because I am going to be going out finding more people that need to sign the accords. You should do what’s best for you.

 

Yo-yo: I’ll think about it.

 

Turtle man: Speaking of Virginia Potts, have you heard from her since Twitter pictures of your boss and his boyfriend kissing each other inappropriately in public started making the rounds on social media?

 

Yo-Yo: No. I've heard from the rest of the board though.

 

Turtle man: How bad?

 

Yo-Yo: I pretended not to understand English.

 

Turtle man: They actually believed that?

 

Yo-yo: Except for Ms. Perez who is fluent in Spanish and knows better.

 

Turtle man: I’m not even surprised.

 

Yo-yo: There's a conference call in the morning New York time. They’re angry.

 

Turtle man: Most of Twitter is on your boss’ Side. Turbo is compiling the best of the tweets. He says it's 81% positive.

 

Yo-yo: That’s good.

 

Turtle man: On the plus side, everybody should be sufficiently distracted in an hour when Talbot gives his press conference.

 

Yo-yo: The prodigal avenger returns. The news is covering this?

 

Turtle man: Yes. They’re doing a press conference at the ATCU headquarters and everything.

 

Yo-yo: Of course they are.

 

Turtle man: Be careful and let me know if you need an extraction.

 

Yo-Yo: Will do. Talk to you later turtle man.

 

To be continued.

Chapter Text

 

MayMQ: Sit rep?

 

CoulsonPJ: Shouldn’t you be asleep? It has to be after 1 AM in Johannesburg.

 

MayMQ: I don’t sleep. Besides, we just got upstairs after an evening of political networking where Stark tried to get on the good side of various governments, the non-homophobic ones anyway. How are they taking the news about Stark? Has the package gone public yet?

 

CoulsonPJ: Ross keeps remarking that Stark is dating a Chris Evans look alike, but thankfully hasn’t put everything together yet, according to our DOS contact. Although after the package announcement in 15 minutes, I’m sure he’ll have other things to worry about.

 

CoulsonPJ: Talbot knows better, but doesn't care if it gets Captain America back on our side, the original Captain America. Honestly, he is more focused on one upping Ross at the package announcement. They really hate each other.

 

MayMQ: This is not new information, his hatred for Ross anyway. I am surprised that he doesn’t want to go after Rogers when he wants Daisy back.

 

CoulsonPJ: Ross wants Daisy back. Also apparently Talbot believes that carrots work better than honeycomb kill rooms.

 

MayMQ: After he unsuccessfully tracked us down after the fall, and his reputation for bombing first and asking questions later. Also, how did he figure the thing out with Stefan? He thought his own wife was Hydra.

 

 

CoulsonPJ: I think he just hates Ross. Jeffrey said too much at the meeting. I think the director is sending him to Alaska to do an assessment on the abomination for the next month to make up for it.

 

MayMQ: Of course Jeffrey said too much. Will he tell his uncle?

 

CoulsonPJ: No. He hates Uncle Ross.

 

MayMQ: How convenient.

 

CoulsonPJ: Twitter is a mess. More than one person with a blue checkmark made a snide comment about how superheroes should not be gay, using nastier language than that. Then someone else responds with a hyperlink to the Tony Stark gay sex tape from 1992.

 

CoulsonPJ: Then someone else will argue that Tony is really of super villain/still the merchant of death and then it all starts over again. It’s a never-ending cycle. I had to stop for Tylenol.

 

MayMQ: Twitter is always a mess.

 

CoulsonPJ: But it’s worse than usual. Most of the noise is coming from bigots who are pissed about one of the Avengers being gay. It’s times like these that make me sad. Joey decided to go back to the world of construction.

 

MayMQ: Are they aware that Dr. Banner may be the only completely straight Avenger?

 

CoulsonPJ: Of the original lineup anyway. I think Yo-Yo only has eyes for her turtle man. I caught them flirting via the new communication system that Fitz created based on what Stark did for the Avenger burn phones. I’m kind of glad the rest of Shield, as well is the director, will not have access to these conversations.

 

MayMQ: Me as well. Are you sad that Stark got the guy of your dreams?

 

CoulsonPJ: I'm just glad he's not back with you. That kiss is all over the Internet.

 

CoulsonPJ: Not your kisses with Stefan, but Tony and Stefan. I thought they were going to start ripping off clothes at any moment.

 

MayMQ: I know what you mean.

 

CoulsonPJ: Daisy would have made that her wallpaper.

 

MayMQ: I hope she still does, wherever she is.

 

CoulsonPJ: Me too. I just hope she comes back soon.

 

MayMQ: You know the thing with Stefan was a comfort thing. I thought you were dead. I went to your funeral. I’ve buried you. But I are really didn’t mourn. I really didn’t deal with anything very well. I was angry you, Fury, and especially myself because if I was still doing fieldwork than I would’ve been with you on the helicarrier. If I was there with you, then maybe you wouldn’t have died during the battle of New York.

 

CoulsonPJ: It wasn’t your fault.

 

MayMQ: You’ll never be able to convince me otherwise, even though your back. Being with Stefan was my own way of running away, which is why I understand why Daisy felt like she needed to be alone. But eventually it did get better and I did come home to you. Hopefully, Daisy will do the same soon.

 

CoulsonPJ: I hope so too. I'm still upset that Fury waited so long to tell you when he was always planning for you to know. You didn’t need to suffer like that.

 

MayMQ: And now you understand why Clint was so mad at you. I always felt that not telling the Avengers was stupid, especially the one that was your ex-boyfriend.

 

CoulsonPJ: I didn’t think I meant that much to him. He went back to Laura once she got cleaned and successfully stayed that way for a while. Never date somebody who’s just legally separated from his wife.

 

MayMQ: Even divorce doesn’t help sometimes. You can love more than one person at the same time. I have.

 

MayMQ: In Clint’s case, he had the kids to think about, which is the same reason why he’s going to play Talbot’s game now. But he cared about you greatly as well. He was as big a mess as me after New York and it wasn’t just because of the mind control.

 

CoulsonPJ: I realize that now, but not at the time. Maybe I was too caught up with Audrey to see everything.

 

MayMQ: Sometimes I think Audrey was your rebound. I think you would’ve told her the truth when you rescued her from Daniels, if she wasn’t. Did you actually talk to Clint this time without giving way to violence?

 

CoulsonPJ: Yes, before we had to meet up with Talbot. I apologized and he didn’t hit me this time.

 

MayMQ: Is he still mad at you?

 

CoulsonPJ: Furious, but he understands why I stayed away especially when Simmons told him about getting kidnapped by Hydra. At least my godfather privileges have not been revoked.

 

MayMQ: That's good.

 

CoulsonPJ: We have been invited to dinner at the tower once you get back from Johannesburg

 

MayMQ: Should I bring Icer's?

 

CoulsonPJ: Probably. I have to go. I’m security for the announcement.

 

MayMQ: Of course you are.

 

CoulsonPJ: Just promise me you’ll avoid Twitter?

 

MayMQ: That’s not a hard promise to keep.

 

To be continued

 

Please review. I really want to know what you’re thinking.

Chapter Text

Interlude 17: I really hate our Board of Directors.

 

“Tony go to sleep.” Tony heard his boyfriend say from beside him, shirtless and one arm wrapped around him.

 

“Can’t. Looking at pictures of us making out. We are adorable and hot.” That’s when Tony showed Steve the image which was a mistake because of course he took the phone.

 

“Give that back.” Tony reached over, but Steve kept it out of his grasp.

 

“Tony it’s 2:49 AM. You need to go to sleep. Playing with your cell phone is not helping.”

 

“I’m just trying to calm my mind down enough to sleep. My body is still on Manhattan time.”

 

“I don’t think reading the tweets of people who think we’re going to hell will accomplish that.”

 

“I know that. Friday is actually blocking me from Twitter and Tumbler right now. I’m looking at what Yo-Yo sent me. I’m having at least a few of these my wall of Steve.”

 

Just as Tony said this, Tony’s cell gave the ‘Pepper is trying to get a hold of you’ chime, indicating that she just sent him a message. Considering pepper understands time zones better than him, this probably wasn’t a good thing. The fact that Steve actually handed the phone back over to him after reading the message was also not a good sign.

 

“You need to respond to Pepper.” He tells Tony.

 

“I thought you wanted me to go to sleep?” Tony asked, confused and a little worried.

 

“Just read her message.” Steve said, just as the phone chimed again with a second message from pepper. At that point he had no choice but to start reading.

 

xxxxxx

The Big Boss: I'm sure you're either sleeping because it is 3 AM where you are or more likely preoccupied with your boyfriend, but you should probably know the board is not happy, or rather unhappier. They were already unhappy with moving most operations upstate or back to California.

 

The Big Boss: But now they are talking to the lawyers about locking you out again unhappy.

 

Me: I’m not that busy with Steve, mostly because of medical restrictions and he’s such a Boy Scout that he made me respond.

 

Me: Seriously, that again? When was the last time they were happy with me? Oh wait, when they found out how much money we were getting by leasing off most of the tower and moving upstate where the real estate is more reasonable and we probably won’t have to worry about aliens.

 

Me: They're worried about the stock prices, aren't they? They’re overreacting. People being reminded that I am a member of the LGTBPIQ community shouldn’t hurt things that much. I mean there’s a few world leaders here that don’t want to sit next to me right now, but whatever.

 

The Big Boss: Among other things. They're happy that you did it on a Saturday, but they're worried about what the stocks will do come Monday. I think they’re hoping for something big to happen in the interim, that will make people forget about it.

 

Me: I hope it’s not another alien invasion, at least not one that is more than two blue guys crashing in Utah. I hate the board.

 

The Big Boss: I know.

 

Me: Can you just tell them to fuck off? You know I don't really care what they think about this. At all. It’s my life and if I want to have a boyfriend, I will have a boyfriend. Really, you can’t do better for PR than a boyfriend who helps the sick and needy all over the world.

 

The Big Boss: Which is a cover.

 

Me: Not anymore. He’s going to be doing some of the Jarvis foundation stuff in sub-Saharan Africa. At least I can trust him not to try to kill me.

 

The Big Boss: Again

 

Me: If he wanted me dead, I would be.

 

The Big Boss: The board wants to call a meeting. They tried to do that through your assistant, but she pretended not to understand English. Only Perez is fluent and knew better.

 

Me: I knew only speaking to each other in Spanish at board meetings would pay off. Perez is also the only one who is not an absolute asshole. She is our token good member. Why didn’t we kick out all of Obadiah’s cronies?

 

The Big Boss: Because Phil was taken off the investigation and replaced with somebody who was probably Hydra.

 

Me: Probably. We have people watching R&D, but we neglected the board. We should rectify that.

 

The Big Boss: The security department is working on it.

 

Me: Apparently, not fast enough. The board knew this was going to happen eventually, you know since the sex tape scandal right after mom and dad died almost 25 years ago. So I don't know why they are calling emergency board meeting's now. PR has been working on this for the last week. There was an email. I know because Yo-Yo made me read it, twice.

 

The Big Boss: Obviously they didn’t read their email. Actually, I’m not sure if some of them can actually open their email.

 

Me: Except for Perez. She is the smart one apparently.

 

The Big Boss: Honestly, according to Perez, when your gay sex tape came out in ‘92, Obadiah told the members that were around at the time, including Perez's father, that it was a youthful indiscretion and a grief reaction to their death. It really didn't mean anything.

 

Me: He always was a snake oil salesman, wasn't he?

 

The Big Boss: He was the best at what he did. He fooled all of us. Although it was probably easy, considering you haven’t been publicly with a man since the tape. Privately, we both know better.

 

Me: Because you were really great at escorting everybody out the next morning. I don’t think I ever paid you enough for doing that. I’m sorry for that.

 

The Big Boss: No, you did not and apology accepted.

 

Me: So the real question is, why are they so freaked out now?

 

The Big Boss: I think they’re freaking out because this time it’s obviously a serious relationship. This is not a fling. He was on your arm at a Stark industries sponsored international event to raise awareness about wildlife trafficking with various heads of state. That shows that you're serious and serious relationships bother them.

 

Me: Which was true even when it was you.

 

The Big Boss: Then there's the pictures of that kiss that are everywhere.

 

Me: I was trying to keep that from happening. I asked Yo-yo not to post anything like that.

 

The Big Boss: I appreciate the consideration, but the event was open press. It was all over Twitter within about 10 minutes.

 

Me: Dammit, why did I sign off on that?

 

The Big Boss: You didn’t. You delegated and Jane felt that it was a clever idea.

 

Me: I have to stop doing that. How much damage?

 

 The Big Boss: At least three outlets accidentally reported that you're dating Chris Evans.

 

Me: Better than the alternative.

 

The Big Boss: That would be the two outlets that think that you're dating Keanu Reeves.

 

Me: It's the beard and the new hair color. It looks sexy and totally worth the beard rash. But he does not look like Mr. Clean Cut All American Boy Scout anymore, thank Thor.

 

The Big Boss: I do want to know about what's going on in your life, but we need to set up boundaries. Specific sex activities are things I don't want to know about at all, including but not limited to, rashes and STIs.

 

Me: Same courtesy. I don’t hate your boyfriend, but I am still in the adjustment phase.

 

The Big Boss: I would also like to take this moment to ask you not to do a new sex tape.

 

Me: I am not planning on it. At least not intentionally, but cameras are everywhere now. We’ve swept for bugs twice in the last two days. Thankfully, the new travel Friday program can disable everything.

 

The Big Boss: That's all I ask. I’m also not surprised. There's going to be a meeting around 12 PM your time.

 

Me: How nice.

 

The Big Boss: And you will be participating.

 

Me: I will be sure to have Yo-Yo make time in my schedule.

 

The Big Boss: Somehow, I don’t believe you.

 

Me: Are there reactions I should be concerned with?

 

The Big Boss: Happy is upset. He called me. That’s been happening a lot lately.

 

Me: Happy has been mad at me a lot recently.

 

The Big Boss: He’s upset that your bodyguard is interfering with his job.

 

Me: Because his original plan was dangerous. He thought it was an innovative idea to send the entire toy chest to the new facility at the same time without a whole army of security personnel on board.

 

The Big Boss: He didn’t tell me that when he tried to explain what was going on.

 

Me: Of course he didn’t because he did the same thing with me. I tried to explain to him after what happened in Baltimore, it wasn't a feasible plan. If Happy had told me the entire plan, I wouldn’t have signed off on it. I should’ve never taught him that it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

 

The Big Boss: Well, that’s one of your favorite strategies. I will talk to him once I’m done talking to you. However, we have a more immediate problem, he knows who Stefan really is.

 

Me: Shit!

 

Me: How is he taking it?

 

The Big Boss: He wants to come back to LA once the toy chest has made its way to the new Avenger house.

 

Me: I was hoping he would stay because we're going to have to send Yo-Yo out to you eventually. Snookums thought that with so many other people with powers running around New York maybe we need some West Coast Avengers. With half of SI still being in Malibu, my assistant was a prime candidate for a job transfer.

 

The Big Boss: He has a point. You could come out for a few months. I'm sure Dumm-E misses the sun.

 

Me: I was thinking about spending more time at the house in Malta. Although, is there any way I can get Kevin back?

 

 The Big Boss: Because it would be easier for Stefan to come visit you in Malta especially since they’ve left the EU. I’ll see what I can do about Kevin. Although, that means I’ll lose an assistant.

 

Me: Thank you. Yes, it would be easier for Honey Bear in Malta, but that’s not the only reason. I don't necessarily need to be in the tower when the happy couple is reunited. Besides, I’m the king of teleworking.

 

The Big Boss: You do tend to be productive regardless of where you are when you’re in the mood to be productive.

 

The Big Boss: I see that Clint is now back in the good graces of the US government. Of course, the announcement was drowned by the ‘Tony Stark is now gay’ stories circulating everywhere.

 

Me: Because of course my love life is so much more important than anything of actual importance. I’m so glad I’m going to be in a place where the press can’t get too close for a few more days.

 

The Big Boss: Yo-Yo mentioned something about you coming back Thursday because you're going to be leaving early to avoid certain people.

 

Me: No, Sugar Pie gets to leave Wednesday. I have to play nice Thursday and then I have a few meetings in France, and yes, I promise not to touch the wine. So I think I get back to the country about a week from today.

 

The Big Boss: Maybe it's for the best. The board might be calm down by then.

 

Me: Do you really believe that?

 

The Big Boss: No.

 

Me: By next Saturday, everything will be upstate and Happy will obviously be on a plane back to Malibu so I can avoid his wrath.

 

The Big Boss: He’ll probably be on a plane tomorrow.

 

Me: You said he said he was staying until everything was moved upstate. It’s going to take a week to do things as planned. There is a decoy plane flying out from the tower in probably a half an hour, then, everything will be carted upstate by armed trucks that look like innocent milk trucks driven by trained agents.

 

The Big Boss: He said he would be done tonight.

 

Me: Shit! I bet he went back to the old plan, just because he’s mad at me for dumping you for Captain America, the old Captain America. I need to go make some phone calls.

 

The big boss: Keep me updated

 

Me: Will do.

Chapter Text

CoulsonPJ: I'm going to hurt your driver. I may even kill him. Possibly with a paperclip. You will never find the body.

StarkAE: I’m sure you could. Should you really be saying stuff like that from your work account? At least use your Avenger burn phone. Also Happy is not my driver, he is the head of security.

CoulsonPJ: And obviously a bad one. He completely ignored May's plan for getting the tech out of the tower undetected.

CoulsonPJ: Also, Fitz integrated your burn phone technology into a new shield instant messaging system that we’ve been using to circumvent Ross.

StarkAE: Of course he is reverse engineering my tech, I expect nothing less. So why exactly do you want to kill Happy? It’s never a good sign when Friday wakes me up to take a call or a text message in this case, in the middle of the night.

CoulsonPJ: Check Twitter. #Spiderman

StarkAE: Oh shit. That went as badly as possible. Everything is burning. Did we lose the pilots?

CoulsonPJ: Yes.

StarkAE: Fuck! Is that a guy tied up in web kind of dressed like a vulture? Are those things from the Avengers’ toy supply? How did those pictures end up on Twitter?

CoulsonPJ: Yes, yes, and possibly someone from your security staff.

StarkAE: That‘s going to be another fun conversation with Pepper. Friday, sweetheart, please find out who I need to fire for violating company social media policy.

FRIDAY: I am already doing so. Leo asked me to earlier.

StarkAE: Great. My AI has a crush on a taken shield agent and Spidey still being heroic, even though he’s grounded. I bet he didn’t call for backup either.

CoulsonPJ: Actually, he did call for backup. His friend did anyway, but we were in DC for the press conference.

StarkAE: Which probably nobody cares about right now due to this making its way onto Twitter. Did Spidey break into the tower to get his suit back? More importantly…. Friday, did you help him? I know he's your favorite baby.

FRIDAY: I did not allow codename Spidey into the tower to retrieve his suit, nor did he request access to his suit after you took it from him. However, my analysis of #Spiderman is telling me that I probably should have.

CoulsonPJ: Keep going through Twitter.

StarkAE: He's wearing the pajamas suit. Dammit. Also, did Spidey actually take Sexy_Flash’s Audi? That kid is a dick. Seriously, only a dick or somebody who really loves that CW show would use that as their twitter handle.

CoulsonPJ: Yes and yes. It suffered some damage during his use.

StarkAE: I‘m probably gonna have to replace that. Thankfully, if you allow paparazzi to take shots of you in their cars, you get one for free. Also, driving lessons will be added to the training curriculum.

CoulsonPJ: That will be taught by Agent May because I just don‘t trust your driving at all.

StarkAE: I‘m almost offended. At least none of the rides at Coney Island were damaged because I would not hear the end of that from my sex on legs boyfriend.

CoulsonPJ: Focus Stark. Otherwise I'll call May over to brief you directly. She really wants to kill your driver.

StarkAE: Understandable considering I kind of want to punch him. Also for somebody who wants the world to think that he’s still dead you're doing an awful job at it. There are at least three shots of you at the crime scene. I’m still not used to you in something other than a three-piece suit.

CoulsonPJ: The jackets were easier after the amputation and I got used to it.

StarkAE: So is the guy who tried to steal all my weapons in Shield or police custody?

CoulsonPJ: Federal custody. Laura felt it best to take the kid and run. We were able to extract him before Happy arrived with the regular authorities. I stayed behind with Fitz to deal with the authorities.

StarkAE: Good Plan. Where Is Spidey now?

CoulsonPJ: Simmons is looking over him on Zephyr one and then we are dropping them back at Queens with an alibi.

StarkAE: Also good.

CoulsonPJ: We were able to arrive in time to at least help with the extraction because Ned called Laura after Happy hung up on him when he tried to warn him about the attack.

StarkAE: Oh God. Definitely suspended. How is Spidey? Is his aunt going to kill me?

CoulsonPJ: He’s fine. According to Simmons, he has a few injuries though, but only a few which is surprising considering a building collapsed on him earlier tonight.

StarkAE: What the hell?

CoulsonPJ: The villain tried to keep him away, but he was able to get out by himself because he’s that strong. They're blaming Quake for it, by the way, despite not being seen in the New York Metro since she rescued Ms. Marvel and her family from the Watchdogs.

StarkAE: Of course they are. How OK is Peter?

CoulsonPJ: As I said he’s fine. Some scrapes and bruises that will probably be healed by the time we dropped him off in Queens. He heals faster than your boyfriend.

StarkAE: Which is kind of a downside when I‘m trying to leave a hickey on Sugarplum. But in this case it will probably keep Aunt Mama Bear from eviscerating us all.

CoulsonPJ: Never mess with a woman named May.

StarkAE: Words to live by. Do you need me to come back? Are the Avengers weapons in FBI custody?

CoulsonPJ: Only if you're coming back early to avoid Ross. Fitz is taking care of the Avenger tech. That is definitely under ATCU jurisdiction.

StarkAE: That's good, I think. Tell him not to reverse engineer anything.

CoulsonPJ: I’ll try. I'll update you when I have more.

StarkAE: That’s all I ask.

To be continued

Chapter Text

"What happened?" Tony heard Steve ask as he placed his phone down.

 

“A lot. Apparently, mostly involving Spidey and a super villain. I'm trying to piece it together from Twitter. Apparently I have a soon-to-be former employee to thank for most of this stuff being on twitter.” It was all giving him a headache, really.

 

“Friday princess, can you please get daddy a copy of the initial Shield report and the FBI report?" Tony asked the travel version of Friday on his phone. He really wanted to know what the hell was going on and Agent Agent was being extra cryptic.

 

"Agent Coulson says he is still drafting the report and will need to speak with Spidey before completing it. However, he will send you a copy once the preliminary analysis is ready in exchange for you not accessing the FBI database without authorization." The AI replied.

 

"That's fine.” Tony reluctantly agreed.

 

“Whatever happened doesn’t sound very good.” Steve said pulling him back down onto the bed. He was shirtless. Bless him.

 

“Not really. OK so long story short, Happy is pissed at us because I'm dating you.”

 

“You didn’t tell him it was really me beforehand, did you?” Steve asked. He was glaring. That’s not good.

 

“No, because he already hated Stefan because you’re keeping me from my one true love, Pepper. At least that’s what Happy believes.” In reality, Tony is pretty sure that Steve may be the one. Which is weird because they haven’t even had sex yet and they still have so many issues to deal with, but somehow Tony just feels it.

 

“But he figured it out anyway?” Steve asked.

 

“Yep. Because he totally didn’t buy that I was dating your look-alike just to get over you. Probably because I never gave him that excuse, but I was planning to. It does not matter because he still had a hissy fit in the form of disregarding May's wonderful plan to get our Avengers toys out of the tower and upstate away from little fingers.”

 

“I assume you mean weapons?

 

“Yes. After the two Baltimore incidents, we decided to use a decoy plane and then sneak everything else out with fake milk trucks. Instead of following orders, he flew everything out in one plane which was attacked according to media reports by a guy dressed as a "vulture". There are video files, possibly posted by someone I need to fire." Tony said as he pulled up one of the more benign things that ended up on Twitter.

 

"Is Peter wearing pajamas?" Steve remarked.

 

"Possibly yes. This is why I ended up giving him the original suit in the first place. Now I’m kind of regretting grounding him because this happened."

 

"You know all the stories about me getting into fights with bullies three times my size were all true."

 

"I totally should've known better. At least he called Laura or rather had his friend do it. Of course if Happy would have listened to anybody, this would not have happened."

 

“Why didn’t Laura get there before this happened?" Steve asked.

 

"Because of the Clint announcement, she was in DC when Ned finally got a hold of her and told her that Peter was going rogue. From what I gathered from Agent Agent, they arrived after the fight was done, but before the cop showed up." Tony told his boyfriend as he snuggled in a little closer.

 

“Does this mean you need to get back to New York to handle this?" Steve wrapped an arm around him.

 

“Possibly, but I don't know.” Tony said turning around to look at Steve “The tech has been recovered. The bad guy is in federal custody. Spider-teen is in Shield custody and being escorted home. I’m going to have to deal with Happy, but it might be best if I have a couple of days to cool down.”

 

“And yet you’re conflicted?”

 

"This is going to be a PR disaster, especially if anybody finds out that it could've been completely prevented if Happy had followed the agreed-upon protocol. I don’t know if I should let Pepper handle that on her own because it’s an Avenger thing not a SI thing." He felt guilty enough due to all the pictures of him and Steve making out all over the place. He didn’t want her to see those, but somebody had a telephoto lens so here they are.

 

“And that’s on top of everything from yesterday. You’re right, Pepper shouldn’t have to deal with all on her own when it’s not her fault."

 

“On the plus side, at least the announcement of me having a boyfriend did not go completely horribly."

 

"They confused me with Chris Evans." Steve remarked with a smirk.

 

"The beard and the biceps, but you're sexier." Tony said as he leaned over to kiss Steve on the mouth. He cherished every aspect of it because he knew his time with Steve was short. He was going to have to go back sooner than Wednesday, he just knew it.

 

“On the bright side, Evans took on a bunch of homophobic assholes for us. He also said he would be totally up to playing my boyfriend in the Avenger anthology. That’s a weird thing to say, considering he’s already cast to play you... Fuck, he knows. Dammit." Tony said as everything clicked.

 

"Focus on other things." Of course Steve kissed him again, which made Tony’s mind focus on the wrong thing.

 

“Like the Avengers’ weapons almost getting stolen," He said pulling away.

 

"Yes."

 

"This means like two dozen phone calls, starting with Jane the PR goddess, the deputy head of security because Happy is kind of sort of suspended right now, and Pepper.” The Pepper conversation was going to be brutal. “Is it late there or early in Malibu right now?" He asked turning to Steve.

 

"Late since it's about 5 AM here."

 

"So it might actually be almost a decent time in California." Tony said as he reached over to get his cell phone. His normal one, not the Avenger burn phone.

 

“Maybe you can wait a little bit. Well you should rest. You barely slept last night.”

 

“Because after a night of political schmoozing, we made out like teenagers and I had to take two showers. Otherwise I would’ve done something else I did as a teenager.”

 

“You should still rest.” Steve said with a kiss to his temple.

 

“Yeah, that's not going to happen. I'll sleep on the plane. Although I could really use some espresso or six.”

 

"I'll call room service. So you're going back?"

 

“90% probability, but I need to talk to Pepper first and possibly Peter." Tony said before kissing him again. He can’t get enough of this. It was addictive.

 

"Look, it's not going to be a ‘goodbye forever’ goodbye. I think people are buying Stefan, the ones that matter, anyway. Also, I think I'm going to spend the winter in Malta." Because he really can’t go that long without Steve kisses.

 

“Malta?” Steve asked.

 

"I bought Ian Quinn's old compound in a fire sale a couple years ago. The lab space is currently being rebuilt, but it seems like a good place for a secret Avenger hideout, especially for secret Avengers. Maybe Stefan can come and visit every couple of weeks." Tony has been working on this plan for a while because he is a futurist after all and the writing is on the wall.

 

"I'm not going to be able to come back, am I?" Steve asked sadly.

 

“Not anytime soon at least. I'm having Friday analyze the Twitter reactions to Clint coming back. So far most of its positive, but Ross is on the warpath." Which was what Tony originally thought Coulson was going to contact him about, not the Spidey thing.

 

"Of course he is." Steve sighed warily.

 

"I just don't want you to get caught up." Tony leans over to kiss Steve again.

 

"I can take care of myself."

 

"I love you so I worry or at least that's what Anna told me when I was a kid."

 

"Wise woman and I love you too." Steve responded as he kissed back.

 

"Very wise. And she got killed because dad had too many enemies. I don’t want to take unnecessary risks and I think it’s safer if you keep a low profile."

 

“But you’re making arrangements for us to see each other more often?”

 

“Yes. Now I have a boyfriend in another country to excuse my overseas trips that are not SI connected. Also, I have a wedding in Mumbai the last week of October as well. The son of a friend from MIT who I actually still speak to occasionally. I could use a +1 and I’m hoping the medical restrictions will be gone by then.”

 

“I think I might make it. Look, you call Pepper and I will get you coffee. Although maybe you should call Peter first." Steve says as he gets up from the bed, but not before kissing Tony again.

 

I think I just fell in love a little bit more,” Tony thinks to himself.

To be continued

Chapter Text

 

“That did not sound like a very pleasant conversation.” Steve said as he sketched from the couch.

 

He was trying to finish up his present for Tony before the man left and Steve was pretty sure from the bits and pieces of the emergency board meeting that he overheard that was going to be sooner rather than later. He was really looking forward to being with Tony until Wednesday, but that’s not the type of life they have.

 

"No conversation with the Board of Directors is pleasant. Any conversation where I have to cover for Happy using Rhodey’s new job is even less so. The fact that I think one of them arranged for someone to leak candid shots of what happened makes it so much worse." Tony sighed as he took a drink from the large coffee in his hand. That was his 3rd cup this morning.

 

"So do you actually think they believe what happened last night was a government-sponsored undercover mission with the newest member of the Avenger squad taking point?” It almost sounded plausible and maybe if Steve was looking at it from afar and not as part of Tony’s inner circle, he may have believed it. Especially if he had no idea that the Spider Man of YouTube was a 15-year-old kid.

 

"Possibly maybe. It’s a near thing. It helps that the pilots who died were Shield agent and not outside pilots. At least Happy kept that part of the plan in place. Although a few members of the board would like for us to have a press conference at the new upstate facility introducing Spidey to the world, mask free." Tony explained.

 

"No." Steve responded, without even thinking.

 

"I didn’t say yes." Tony said taking the seat beside Steve. “Especially because I’m sure the asshole who suggested it is golf buddies with Ross.”

 

"I’m saying no for you."

 

"Between the therapy and medication, I get that outing a 15-year-old with superpowers is a really bad idea. Ironically enough, because I said no, they mentioned a psych evaluation." Steve saw Tony shiver at that.

 

"For Spidey?" Steve asked his boyfriend for clarification.

 

"For me." Tony acknowledged.

 

"I’m confused. Why would they threaten you with a psych evaluation?" Steve asked.

 

“To get a hold of the company again for war profiteering purposes or possibly to help Ross with his hidden agenda. It wouldn’t be the first time around.” Steve just stared at Tony for a moment, mouth open in surprise.

 

"I forgot you were still frozen when Obadiah successfully used my mental issues to get me out of my own company after he had me kidnapped, which was responsible for most of my issues in the first place. Board members Asshole, Prick, and Dick are essentially threatening to lock me out of my company the same way. Because murder bots and superhero throw downs in Germany they can deal with, but a new boyfriend is apparently a bridge too far.”

 

“Tony.” Steve said, placing an arm around Tony.

 

“I don’t even think they’re that upset about the Spidey situation since they’d rather spend time talking about who I’m dating then the pilots that were killed in the incident. Assholes. Where the Fuck do they get off…”Steve quickly silenced Tony with a kiss. The man needed it.

 

“Your excellent tongue cannot fix everything.” Tony said pulling away. “Baby cakes, I’m allowed to be a little freaked out because unlike last time, I’ve actually been diagnosed with bipolar and PTSD. Also I’ve managed to piss off the Secretary of State and a few other officials and various governments"

 

"And you are in treatment. They shouldn’t use that against you.” Steve said with a frown. Tony responded by leaning over to kiss him again.

 

"Still doesn’t mean that they won’t try something. I may be actually halfway successful. Ross could be in on it too because, again, he’s golf friends with at least Prick and Dick. I think his assistant called my assistant three times because he wants to yell at me. Fortunately, Yo-Yo just kept routing her to Rhodey." That concerned Steve. He doesn’t like Ross playing games with Tony.

 

“Thankfully, Ross is just upset about Purple Arrow being back with full government approval and not that you’re the great Stefan Carter with the tongue of a God.”

 

"So the board is upset about what happened last night?" Steve asked.

 

“That’s a hard yes. But again, they are not upset about the super villain in training trying to intercept a shipment of Avenger tech, but the fact I have a boyfriend. Okay Ross is probably upset about the weapons thing in addition to the Clint thing, but that’s a Rhodey problem."

 

"Seriously?"

 

"You’re right. Rhodey should not have to put up with that. Friday, sweetheart, please make sure that my BFF receives a box of the good chocolates. Maybe put on the card, ‘Sorry, I’m forcing you to deal with crazy bureaucrats/admirals that don’t know what they’re doing’. Maybe throw in some cupcakes as well."

 

"Of course boss.” He heard Friday’s voice from Tony’s phone. “Should I also send a box of the good chocolates to Ms. Potts?"

 

"Yes. And Coulson.” At that point, Steve just stares at Tony. "Might as well throw in a box of something chocolate for May and Yo-Yo. I’ve kind of been a jerk. But hey, if they lifted the sex ban. I would be so much mellower right now." Tony argued.

 

"Which May?" The AI asked for clarification. He’s sure this question occurred because they were dealing with the travel version.

 

"You know what, both. I’m not sure how long May Parker-Riley is going to believe that Peter just happened to see something at his date’s house and tipped off the authorities. That’s like only slightly more believable than that ridiculous cover story that Coulson came up with to cover up the fact that Obadiah tried to kill me and I took him out instead. I’m just glad that the board never found out about that during the Shield data dump post implosion."

 

"Coulson never made any records of that electronically. At least that’s what Natasha said." Steve explained.

 

"I love Agent so much. He is just the best. When he’s not fanboying over you or lying to us about being dead. Of course, now he’s probably going to glare at you for screwing his whatever they are, but I’m sure he’ll eventually get over it."

 

"Do you want to talk about why the board is upset that you have a boyfriend?" Steve asked, trying to get this conversation to move in the right direction. Steve is starting to learn that it’s just as difficult to do this in person, as it was in text message format.

 

"Nice subject change, gumdrop. No. Seriously they should’ve seen this coming. We handed them out a press packet like days ago. See, now I wish I really did bring Coulson as my date to that dinner last month." Tony pouted.

 

"The dinner where you were almost killed?"

 

"Okay, I wish I didn’t go to it at all, but I kind of wish I’d dated guys more publicly in the past, mostly for spite right now."

 

“From our conversations, I don't think you really dated anybody before Pepper."

 

"Thank you again for not googling my past relationship stuff. Thank you so much because I probably wouldn’t be able to do this right now.” Tony said, reaching over to kiss Steve on the mouth. He’s gotten way too used to this over the last few days.” He loved Tony’s kisses. Sometimes they were gentle and sweet. Other times they were hard and wanting, but there was always a genuine sort of honesty to them.

 

"I don’t think I would hold it against you with a kiss like that." He whispered as coherent thought started to occur again.

 

"You’re so sweet.” Tony gave him another gentle kiss. “Now, I didn’t date before Pepper. I’m sure this can all be traced back to my deep-seated Howard issues. It also didn’t help that my first boyfriend made a sex tape that is making its rounds through Twitter and Tumbler again right now. Which is totally reminding me why you are my second real boyfriend."

 

“That’s not good.” Steve tells Tony.

 

“Not really. I really hope that Peter, Kemal, and Lily bear don’t see that." Steve really didn’t want to see it either.

 

"I have already applied the appropriate parental blocks to their computers." He heard Fridays say.

 

"Bless you."

 

"So you know when you’re leaving? I heard Jane from PR mentioned something about Ellen?"

 

“Tuesday actually, which was later than I thought. Jane and Pepper agreed that I will need to be back in the country to participate in operation Damage Control. They’re still trying to decide if this involves a stint on the talk show circuit showing off pictures of my boyfriend. I’m going to probably have a few interviews with local press here as well tomorrow.” Steve is not sure how he felt about that. Mostly he was worried about what they would put Tony through.

 

“I think I prefer this to the press conference idea, but I still don’t like it.”

 

“I don’t like it either. But hey at least it keeps Peter nice and safe and away from the vultures and Ross. The paparazzi vultures, not the guy who tried to steal my toys.”

 

“Yes. Although if it’s necessary for you to do damage control, why are you waiting a couple of days?”

 

“Do you want me to leave?” Tony asked worried.

 

“Not at all.” Steve punctuated his words with another kiss to Tony’s mouth.

 

“Good to know. Basically, leaving here too quickly would make things worse, especially because I have meetings for the next six hours with various world leaders. We are trying to make it look like this was always the plan anyway."

 

“And running back would not send that message?” Steve asked.

 

“Exactly. Also, I’m still a little too angry to actually talk to Happy yet so it’s probably best that I have a few more days before we have to have that conversation. He’s already on his way to California to deal with the wrath of Pepper."

 

"Yet you covered for him?" Steve didn’t quite get that yet.

 

"Because he has done the same for me more times than I can count. I have done some very fucked up things over the years. The majority of which were definitely immoral and probably illegal and he always saved my ass."

 

"How illegal?" Steve asked.

 

“More than one incident involved enough coke to probably get charged with trafficking. The 90s were a bad decade for me."

 

"I get that.” At least he’s starting to see how much Tony has grown as a person before they even met.

 

"It’s just that he always had my back during my bad judgment calls back then, mostly involving trusting Obadiah. Before there was Pepper saving my ass, there was Happy. Obviously not following May’s plan was a bad call because we were right and somebody was after the Avenger tech. Really I am glad May brought the shield with her and did not leave it behind with the other things to be transported to the Avenger compound."

 

"Me as well." And not just because he got to train with it a little bit when Tony was in one of his many meetings yesterday. Was it just yesterday? It felt like days have gone by instead of just hours.

 

"I feel like I need to be there during his bad judgment calls. He always stood by me, so I need to do that for him. Besides, he did what he did because he was mad at me. That means some of this was on me." Tony explained. But Steve just shook his head.

 

"You can’t take everything on yourself. It was his choice to ignore the plan."

 

"But he wouldn’t have reacted the way he did if I didn’t try to keep the fact we are together a secret."

 

"Why didn’t you tell Happy that you were with me and not some random guy that you met at a charity event?” Steve asked. He’s been wondering about this for a while. “Were you worried that he would tell Ross about our contract?"

 

"Now that never crossed my mind. Not once did I consider that possibility. Happy knows things from the bad old days that he could make a fortune off of selling to the tabloids."

 

“But he never did?”

 

“Usually he was the one who fed the disgruntled employee that did that sort of thing to the wolves. He’s always been very protective of me.”

 

“That was obvious when he came back after you almost got killed. So why didn’t you tell him the truth?" Steve asked.

 

"Because he was so disappointed that I couldn’t make things work with Pepper. I wasn’t even joking when I told you that he got a ring. He’s been carrying it around for forever in case I wanted to propose."

 

“A ring that you made him get rid of."

 

"Yes, even though it started a new rounds of paparazzi speculation."

 

“Which I’m very happy about.”

 

“He wasn’t. Happy believed that I could actually do a committed, monogamous relationship, so I wanted to believe that I could do a committed, monogamous relationship. I’ve wanted things to work out with Pepper. I really did want to prove that I could be in a real adult relationship that everyone wanted out of me, including Happy.”

 

“But it didn’t work out?”

 

“No, it didn’t. I love Pepper. A part of me will always love Pepper, but we are not right for each other. I’m willing and able to acknowledge that now to myself, but I wasn’t quite ready until this weekend to tell Happy that Pepper and I are never ever getting back together because I fell in love with you. Not Captain America, but Steve from Brooklyn."

 

Steve was just about to lean over to kiss Tony just as he heard a knock on the door. It was Tony’s assistant/other Avenger.

 

"Estoy entrando y mas vale que tengan los pantalones puestos.” He heard Elaina say with a bag of local pastries and another coffee in hand. This one smelled more like espresso. He thinks she said something about having their pants on, but his Spanish was a little rusty.

 

“Desafortunadamente si, mi bombon es todo un chico explorador y se niega rotundamente a ponerme peligro a mi y mi virtud.” Tony responded, also in Spanish.

 

“Did you just refer to me as a marshmallow?" Steve asked and Tony responded with a quick kiss.

 

“You’re working on your Spanish. That’s so adorable. Isn’t he adorable?" He said, turning to Yo-Yo.

 

"We need to leave in 20 minutes for your business brunch followed by a few interviews." She said passing him a bag of pastries.

 

“Which apparently will have no food which explains why you’re feeding me now. Can Steve come to this one?" Tony asked with a pout.

 

“Unfortunately, no."

 

“That’s so unfair. I’ll be back later, Sugarplum." Tony said with one last kiss.

To be continued.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Stefan Carter sent you a message via (FRIDAY messenger service)

Time sent: 9/25/16 13:11:41

Dear Mr. Hogan:

 

I don't know how to begin this letter. Honestly, I think writing to Virginia was easier. With her, I knew to begin by promising never to hurt Tony again and assuring her that my feelings for him are genuine. Her reaction to that still wasn't what one would categorizes as warm at first.

 

I guess I should start by saying that I love Tony. I love every part of Tony, not just the version that is sitting in a meeting on how to get guns away from poachers and other terrorist organizations., I don’t just love the version of Tony that helps seven-year-old girls with their homework or does everything in his power to keep his new BFF safe from anti-gifted terrorist groups.

 

I also love the guy who would risk alienating the man that he is in love with because it was necessary to help others because it was the right thing to do. Or as close to the right thing to do as could be in a situation where there were no right things to do. I love the guy who tries to save the world and screws up badly and keeps trying. I love the man who is sarcastic and filled with snark because he's trying to cover up the pain he feels inside.

 

I also love the man who would lie to the board to cover up the fact that his friend and head of security disregarded a preapproved action plan. Therefore, accidentally leading to a lot of Avenger tech being on the black market if not for the intervention of a teenager from Queens. They all think that last night was a trap.

 

He is mad at you. Furious really. But Tony still won't throw you under the metaphorical bus or to the board. He won't let Colonel Rhodes touch you either. The conversation with Shield wasn't exactly pleasant. Despite how angry he is, he’s still loyal to you because you stood by his side when he did a lot of stupid things, mostly involving various illegal drugs. Someday, I'm going to want to know more about that, but not today.

 

I know that you're not really mad at Tony. You love Tony. You just want to protect him from the big bad boyfriend in Africa. I guess it was just easier to think that I didn't mean anything if you could just think that I was the rebound that he's only known for a couple months not a guy that he has known for several years and has feelings for a long time. Maybe the fact that we were so antagonistic to each other for those years probably makes you even more wary of my relationship with Tony.

 

That's OK. I'm worried too. Petrified really. We've been together for a few days in person and no fighting, so maybe we got it out of our system in Siberia or maybe we’re just better at talking to each other. I'm sure the medication has helped. But we are trying.

 

Maybe you're angry because you had this idea of Tony and Pepper living happily ever after with 1.7 children somewhere in upstate New York. Now it’s me and Tony. Although there are a lot more children than originally planned, mostly with superpowers.

 

You probably resent me because if I was not around then Tony and Pepper would have found their way back to each other or at least you feel like it would play that way. But deep down, I think you know that the relationship was not this perfect ideal that you have in your head. It never was. And I don’t think my presence changes that. Maybe it was just a catalyst to make the explosion happen sooner rather than later.

 

Tony needs someone who understands his life now. I understand that life now because I am part of that life now. Someone who understands who he is underneath the bravado and jokes. It took me a while to see that person, but I see him now.

 

I think even when Tony was making weapons, it was about protecting people and not profiteering. When he realized that wasn't happening, he stopped and he found a new way to protect people. Ultron happened because he wanted to protect people. Unfortunately that went badly, but his heart was in the right place. We just have to work on execution.

 

 

He wanted to protect people like his new charges from Queens and Jersey City. After very interesting conversations with Ms. Rodriguez about ICE’s stance on people with superpowers, I realized that some of his actions that I was really angry about before were just his way of protecting teammates from being deported. That's part of the reason why she is his assistant. Apparently being Tony Stark's assistant is considered a highly skilled job deserving of an EB-1 visa.

 

These last few months I've gotten to know Tony better than I did in all the years previously. Maybe that was because I was only seeing the public persona and rarely got glimpses of the real Tony underneath. Now I'm seeing the person that you've seen for all these years and that's the person that I love. I love public Tony too because maybe now I understand why Tony hides behind it when necessary.

 

So the purpose of this letter is to reassure you that I do care for Tony deeply and genuinely, all parts of him. That I intend to be with him to the best of my ability and I will do my best not to hurt him again.

 

I am aware that I made some serious mistakes  previously. I assumed things I shouldn't have. I did things I regret and that I'm sorry for. The fact that I can only see him occasionally at things like where we are right now is punishment for that.

 

Now I’m just trying to prove to myself and Tony that I really do deserve Tony because I know he trusts me and loves me despite what happened. However I feel that maybe I need to earn it, truly earn it. So I'm trying and I'll do my best to be the person that Tony needs.

 

I hope eventually you’ll stop being angry about me being in Tony’s life. Tony has enough love in him to care for hundreds of people. That means he has space for both of us.

To be continued.

Chapter Text

Tony: You know if it wasn’t for the fact I would get to spend two more days with you, I would of left yesterday morning and not stayed for a meeting where I’m pretty much blamed for everything wrong, not just in their country, but the world in general. But that's a normal thing. I should’ve known this was going to happen when I was told that Senator Hateful’s Chief of Staff would be attending.

 

Tony: Am I sorry that old Stark weapons are in the hands of various terrorist organizations, especially those that like to murder elephants for fun and profit? Yes. Am I and as an extension Stark Industries trying to get those weapons out of their hands? Yes. But I can’t fix everything.

 

Tony: I left the game, but I was never the only game in town, only the best. There are dozens of other weapons manufacturers out there. Some of these players are more legal than others but they are still here on both sides. They’re making a small fortune on everybody who is stocking up for the next robot apocalypse or alien invasion.

 

Me: Bad meeting?

 

Tony: So bad. Maybe it would be better if I got more than three hours of sleep in the last two days due to board members who don't understand time zones and remote phone interviews. But that’s life. My life anyway. I’m on my third espresso.

 

Me: Of course, you are.

 

Tony: Okay, it would’ve been better if the reason for such little sleep was a BJ and not because some guy who I never met blames his poor decision to turn to a life of crime on me and tried to take the Avenger toy chest on its way to our new house.

 

Me: Not happening, not yet anyway.

 

Me: I mean the BJ. You read the confession, didn’t you?

 

Tony: Senator Hateful’s Chief of Staff gave me a copy, in front of a camera crew. I am like this close to running against Nadeer and 2018.

 

Tony: I know what you mean there, Sweetie. I joke about it, but maybe we are not ready for that. I’m not really. I want to be ready, but I’m a little fucked up with more abandonment issues than my poor therapist can really handle.

 

Me: So am I.

 

Tony: I don't remember if I told you this, but Pepper and I dated for a while before we slept together. We needed to transition first and so do you and me. I think I just wanted to jump into things because I’m scared.

 

Me: That I’m going to leave you or that we may not get to see each other again because of Ross or others?

 

Tony: A little of column A and a little of column B. But you’ve dealt with me leaving my towels on the floor and you’re planning to be my date at a Mumbai wedding in November, so I’m a little more relaxed now.

 

Me: That’s good.

 

Tony: Did I mention that in the last hour, I have been politely yelled at bureaucrat style by representatives from four different countries for making Avenger weapons, but not releasing them to the public?

 

Me: Really?

 

Tony: Yes. The last time I dealt with arguments like this from a government official, he turned out to be Hydra.

 

Me: And how many did you tell that to?

 

Tony: All four, Cookie.

 

Me: You are working your way through a list of random food items? Yesterday, marshmallows, today cookies.

 

Tony: Maybe. Although, I only called you bonbon because the time I tried the literal translation of cuddle bunny, Yo-Yo started giggling.

 

Me: Some things don’t translate directly.

 

Tony: Apparently. Although I don’t think the lack of a translation for Hydra is why at least two of the representatives showed no shame at all. I wonder if any of these people are ex-Hydra members that nobody caught.

 

Me: Here?

 

Tony: The cult of Hydra has always been diverse and opportunistic. You never know. It was always about power.

 

Me: Do I need to come save you?

 

Tony: I always need you. However, I am only about 10 more minutes of this meeting. Also, Agent America is standing by to pull me out, most likely for another briefing on or conference call about the Adrian Toomes situation.

 

Tony: And yes, I did read the confession, the real version from Agent America and not what Senator Hateful’s Chief of Staff provided. Apparently, he turned to a life of crime because DODC put him out of business. I put him out of business.

 

Me: You can’t be responsible for the choices that other people make. He didn’t have to start making weapons out of alien tech and selling them on the black market to anybody willing to pay?

 

Tony: I don’t think you quite understand my job. The CEO is always responsible.

 

Me: I thought you’re chief creative officer now.

 

Tony: That just means Pepper does the money stuff. I do the creative stuff.

 

Me: Like artificial hearts and lifelike prosthesis. Creating the Bureau of Damage Control was the right thing to do. Material that the aliens left behind in Manhattan was dangerous. An entire firehouse of firefighters died because of a virus left behind in one of the helmets. If different choices were made, more people would’ve died. There could’ve been a major pandemic with no vaccine in sight.

 

Tony: Antiserum. Vaccines protect against infection that have yet to take place.

 

Me: You know what I mean.

 

Tony: Yes, because we’ve spent so much time together lately, I’m already reading your mind. I should probably email Laura to get her take on things, but she’s probably enjoying quality time with her husband and I want to at least give her a few days before asking her if I should give Spidey the suit back.

 

Me: You might be right about her being indisposed. Maybe you should email Queens instead. Not just to hear his side of things, but to see if he’s okay and not just depend on what ever you’re being told in the briefings.

Tony: Probably and Spidey is probably available. Since he ditched his date at homecoming and managed to get her dad arrested, I don’t think he’ll be getting laid today. He might take my call. It’s 50-50 with Laura and Purple Arrow.

 

Me: You make jokes when you’re worried right? I can’t believe I’m just noticing this now.

 

Tony: Although if Spidey is screwing around with his BFF, tThen they could be having you almost got killed by a super villain sex which happens sometimes. Also something I don’t want to interrupt.

 

Me: He’s 15. Also, can we just talk without your defenses going up? I care about you.

 

Tony: And how old were you again when you lost your virginity?

 

Me: Point.

 

Tony: And I’m trying to be serious. I am worried. I’m scared people are going to find you. I’m worried that we’re still too broken to handle the next world ending catastrophe. I’m also terrified that Spidey’s aunt knows the truth and she is going to kill me the moment I touch down in Manhattan.

 

Me: Which won’t be until Thursday or Friday because you’re going to California first to tape a few talk show appearances and Pepper agreed to meet with Happy together. At least that was the plan this morning.

 

Tony: Still the plan because we can’t come up with anything better. Although Jane from PR wants us to do a joint interview with the New York Times where we ask each other the 36 questions that lead to love.

 

Me: Maybe later we can do that privately wants virtual dates, resume.

 

Tony: I’m well aware California is going to be highly unpleasant and not just because you’re not with me. I’m still trying to figure out how much I want to yell at Happy. Or him yell at me or vice versa. It’s all really complicated.

 

 

Me: Thank you for telling me. I’m not gonna say that you shouldn’t worry, but I think things are a lot better than they were. At the very least, I think the Avengers are more together then we were right after Siberia. At least Clint is back in the country. Everything else will work out eventually.

 

Tony: At least Clint being back will distracts Ross for a moment. Did I tell you that the ass is not coming to this anymore? It makes me even more upset that I must leave early to do damage control press. But hey at least it keeps me from the wrath of Spidey’s aunt for a few more days.

 

Me: I doubt that Spidey’s aunt is going to kill you when she finds out.

 

Tony: I had an Italian mom. If you fuck with their kids, they will hurt you. Never cross an Italian mom.

 

Me: Irish moms are very similar. As for Happy, I’m trying to help you out there. I emailed him.

 

Tony: Honey, I know you have a saving people thing, but somethings can’t be salvaged, usually most of my interpersonal relationships. Right now, my relationship with Happy resembles Pompeii.

 

Me: That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try.

 

Tony: So, what did he say to you?

 

Me: He hasn’t written me back yet, but it’s only been about a day.

 

Tony: I’m not surprised. I guess I should be happy that he hasn’t sold us out to Eberhardt yet.

 

Me: Do you think he would do that?

 

Tony: No. But I also didn’t think he would put the Avenger’s toy chest at risk via temper tantrum. So here we are.

 

Me: I think you should write to him.

 

Tony: I don’t know. I’m in my angry place so that email would start off with ‘fuck you for not listening to May. And me. We were right. You were wrong. Now we have two dead employees because you decided to throw a tantrum.’ I don’t know if that would be constructive.

 

Me: Okay maybe you should not start your message off that way.

 

Tony: Maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow when we’re in the air. I just want the next few hours to be just us and hopefully Yo-Yo will be so busy sending dirty IMs to her boyfriend that she won’t pour water on us.

 

Me: Again, that was because you were trying to pull my zipper down with your teeth.

 

Tony: Yo-Yo is glaring at me, so I must go. I should be back by 7 PM. Do you want to eat dinner in? If I let her get whatever she wants yo-yo will pick up takeout from places that don’t actually do take out.

 

Me: Sure, but I thought you had a dinner meeting?

 

Tony: It became a pre-dinner meeting which is why I am being forcibly ushered out of here now that this meeting is over, instead of continuing to text message you.

 

Me: The horror. I’ll talk to you when you get home.

Me: I mean, when you get back to the hotel room.

To be continued.