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Five Times Steve Played Dumb, and One Time He Didn't

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"You know you could just ask JARVIS to help you deal with the entertainment system, right?" Tony eyed Steve suspiciously. "Hell, he can control it for you, if you tell him what you want."

"I'd rather have you explain it to me." Steve ducked his head looking embarrassed. "It's less intimidating?"

"Didn't think you were scared of anything," Tony shot back. "Much less a glorified iPod or my AI."

"Sir," JARVIS chose to chime in, "while I would be happy to assist Captain Rogers in his quest to integrate with the modern world, I must point out that the more comfortable he is with his guide, the simpler that task will be. If he feels you would be better, I will defer to his judgment."

Steve looked up, a grateful expression on his face. "Thanks, JARVIS. No reflection on you, but... it takes a lot of getting used to."

Tony wasn't sure what was happening. Only that it felt bizarrely like the jaws of a trap closing around him.

"Of course, Captain," JARVIS replied.

The room was silent for a few long, awkward seconds.

With a groan, Tony gave in. "Alright, fine, c'mere."


Tony gave Steve a long level look. "Are you kidding me with this, Cap?"

"Sorry?" At least Steve had the grace to look shamefaced. "All I wanted was to open that picture Clint sent me."

"And somehow you managed to get your phone infected with every virus known to man." Tony picked up the phone where it lay sadly and forlornly on the coffee table, its screen glitching every so often as the processors strained to keep up with the load it was under. That was, frankly, impressive. He'd given Steve one of the newer model Starkphones, and knew exactly how much processing power they had. "Alright, look. Here's how you reset this thing."

Steve nodded along with everything Tony said as he deftly manipulated the little device, paying what seemed like far more attention than was needed, but that wasn't a bad thing. Poor phone would probably need an overhaul in a week, if Steve kept this up.


"You managed to break the coffee maker?"

"Sorry! I was trying to figure out how it worked."

Steve sounded apologetic, but this was just...

Tony had to suppress a visceral shudder. Starbucks coffee was terrible, and he did not want to resort to buying any. Had Pepper not laid down the law against him having his own machine in the workshop, he would have thrown up his hands in disgust and left again. "Ugh, fine. But I'm making you fix it."


Right. Steve and tech did not get along.


Looking down at the somehow badly broken art app Steve's tablet was displaying, Tony gave it a glare. He was starting to notice a pattern.

Either Steve was just so utterly inept with tech that he broke everything, or some larger game was afoot.


"Okay, how?"

Steve winced, going bright red. "I'm not entirely sure? I was trying to find one of those internet videos Clint was talking about this morning, and, well... I think I made a mistake somewhere."

Tony had to bite back a groan, looking back down at the screen. How the fuck had Steve managed to get stuck on a pay-per-view gay porn site when he'd been trying for Youtube?

This was bordering on epic prank level bullshit.


Approaching Tony with any kind of tech in his hands these days got Steve one of the most resigned expressions he'd ever seen on a man. Carefully concealed, he had to admit, but it was there nonetheless. It was time.

"Alright," Tony prompted as Steve set down his Starkphone on the kitchen table and sat beside him, "what did you break this time?"

"Nothing." Steve tried to catch Tony's eyes and failed. "I wanted to--" he broke off when Tony picked up the phone and started fiddling with it, not believing his assertion.

"Seriously, Cap, what's wrong with it?"

"Nothing; I wanted to ask you if you were free at 7."

"Is it the calendar again? I swear, I should hire you as a beta tester for our software."

"Tony, I'm trying to ask you--"

Tony interrupted him. "--to fix your phone again, I know."

"--to have dinner with me!" Steve finished, exasperated.

Tony looked up at him, slowly. "So I thought I heard you say--"

"Tony, put the phone down for a second and listen to me."

"Nope, too late. Already formed my own conclusions."

Steve groaned, embarrassed. "Alright, I can take a hint. Give me my phone."

"I don't think so," Tony shot back, not letting go of the device. "Not until you ask me properly."

Feeling a little surer of his welcome now, Steve tried again. "I don't think so," he shot Tony's words right back at him, "yes or no?"

Tony didn't look away from him, as though worried he might make a break for the elevators, and asked, "J do I have anything on the books?"

"Currently, sir, you are free to take up Captain Rogers on his offer, if that is to your liking."

JARVIS' tone was just slightly pointed, and Steve could only guess what that meant. Had Tony been talking to JARVIS about him? Did that mean he had a chance at this?

Tony rolled his eyes at his AI. "Alright, Spangles," he nodded and released his hold on Steve's phone. "You're on. Go plan this date, and get back to me. I have work to do."

Despite Tony's brusque words, he was smirking, and pretty obviously pleased.

Steve had to agree with the sentiment.

Stepping back into the elevator with his phone back in his hand, Steve grinned. At least now he could stop bugging JARVIS for help finding ways to break his electronics. He'd learned a lot about bugs and how to find them over the past few weeks.

"JARVIS," he asked aloud, "where does Tony like to eat least?"

He was through playing dumb about electronics, but that didn't mean he couldn't still have some fun with Tony. This would be at least as entertaining as Tony's reactions to his supposed lack of tech expertise, even if it backfired.

Steve definitely intended to have a backup plan, though. Just in case.