One must always expect the worst when it came to Reed Richards' experiments going out of control. One might find themselves in an alternate universe battling giant rabid rabbits, finding yourself switching powers with other various superheroes, or in this case getting doused with a sparkling golden vapor, which allowed only the truth to fall from your lips. Or in Tony Stark's own words, "Our verbal filters have gone to shit." This was how the Avengers found themselves stuck in a briefing room in SHIELD headquarters, after a thorough scrubbing, all seated around an elongated table. For once, they were all completely silent as they waited for Coulson, Fury, and Richards to join them. They did not have to wait long before the three men joined them, typical Coulson was calm and collected, Richards looking a little abashed, and Fury's frown firmly in place as always, as they took seats at the head of the table.
"Well, as it seems Dr. Richards has no idea how long this little problem is going to last, as it is an alien substance from another universe. You are all hereby benched until it is no longer an issue." The room erupted in a cacophony of voices only halted by Fury's raised palm. "I can't have any of you spilling confidential intelligence to the public or any enemies. Some of you have clearance to SHIELD information that can be critical if it gets in the wrong hands. Which is why none of you are to leave the Avengers' grounds. The Fantastic Four has graciously provided their aide, as well as Wolverine and Storm, to cover the Avengers' designated territory."
Dr. Richards took over from there. "This vapor, as you well know, only allows you to tell the truth. I haven't had enough time to fully examine all the properties of the gas, but as a rough estimate I believe it won't last anymore than a week tops. If I can harness the gas I may be able to provide an antidote."
Clint groaned, banging his head on the table. "This is a nightmare."
"You can say that again. I had a date with Miss Spain later tonight." Tony mumbled. "God, Pepper's going to kill me. She's still mad about the last time we decided to play with Richards' toys, and we got stuck in that universe where I was a girl."
"Pepper has already been made aware of the situation. She has temporarily taken over Stark Industries." Coulson replied.
"Oh goodie. Then I guess this is like vacation except without the beautiful women." Natasha glared. "I mean you are very beautiful Natty, just you're like one of the guys, you know? I mean I don't see you as a guy because you got a fantastic rack it's just your Avenger and everything." Tony was saved from further humiliation by Steve covering his mouth with his enormous hand.
"Just stop, Tony." Captain America replied. The rest of the Avengers starred at Tony for a few more moments before the silence was interrupted by Thor.
"What is this rack you speak of shield brother?! Does it hold many swords?!" Thor's rambunctious voice filled the room, his eyebrows were furrowed, but he looked sincerely curious. Tony snickered. Thor turned to the only woman in the room. "I would like to see your collection wench!"
Steve frowned. "Thor, remembered what we said, we don't call women wenches."
"Forgive me shield sister!"
"Is there any other side-effects that we should be made aware of?" Bruce was nervously rubbing his hands, already red from wringing them for through out the meeting. "What happens when I Hulk out?"
"There were no signs of any ill effects. Just the truth-telling as Tony kindly decided to illustrate for us." Dr. Richards spoke softly.
"It just means we got to plop you down in front of the TV and put Dora the Explorer on repeat." Clint had finally removed his face from the table to stare at Bruce, who frowned.
"I hate Dora the Explorer."
"Yes but the Hulk loves it." Clint smirked teasingly. "'Swiper, no swiping. Swiper, no swiping. Swiper, no swiping.'" His voice had gone slightly high pitched, trying to imitate the child cartoon.
"Leave him alone, Clint." Steve spoke, staring silently at the archer.
"'Oh man!' I'm just trying to find the humor in the whole situation."
"It's not helpful." Steve continued, "No one makes fun of your habits like how you rub your bow all suggestively whenever Coulson enters the room." Again, silence. Tony burst out laughing while Steve blushed heavily. Natasha smirked, Bruce hid his smile behind his hand, and Coulson's glare zeroed-in on Clint, who sank partially beneath the table.
Fury sighed heavily, rubbing his temples. "I think that is all for today." He stood up and turned to Dr. Richards, "Inform me if you discover anything." The man left the room, followed by Dr. Richards who apologized quietly and promised an antidote within the week.
"Well, let's get a move on. I will be escorting you all to the Avengers' premises. Where you will all remain until further notice" Coulson gazed at Tony before he rose, exiting the room, not waiting to see if anyone followed. The Avengers scrambled out of their chairs, some more gracefully than others, and rush to follow the super nanny. They were escorted to the garage and into a SHIELD issued van.
"Why can't we find our own means of transportation?"
"Because Stark, you would take the opportunity to fly off to your date in France-"
"Whatever. And we would never hear from you. So while on my watch everyone will be moving together, so get cozy."
Tony sighed heavily before situating himself next to Steve. Natasha had somehow managed to claim the front seat making Bruce, Clint, and Thor squeeze in the back. "This is soooo dangerous. What if Brucey decides to flip out?"
"Good news is, me and Thor will be the first to go. At least you got a fighting chance." Clint sighed, pressing himself against the window and away from the physicist in between him and Thor.
"And you got more room." Bruce grumbled.
"Are you sure about that? Steve's taking up the whole seat with that gorgeous ass of his." Silence. "Better out than in, I guess." Steve's blushed returned while the other's snickered behind them.
"Why do I have the feeling this is going to get more awkward?" Bruce moaned.When they arrived home, all of them, except Tony who went down to his workshop, went to bed. No one spoke a word as they parted ways.