Later, after the Avengers (and friends) had argued, recriminated, and shouted themselves hoarse, there was one thing they all agreed on: it was Darcy’s fault.
(Darcy contended that it was Clint’s fault, because he knew that enabling her was a terrible, terrible idea. Involving Thor was her idea, though, so she was overruled.)
As the Avengers (and friends) sat there, glaring at Darcy, Tony stood up and said, “How the fuck did this get started, anyway? Why the hell were you two looking up Tony Stark erotica? Not that I’m not flattered -”
“We were looking for embarrassing habits of yours we could use as blackmail material,” Clint said hastily. “Something better than the usual suspects of drink, drugs and sex…”
Darcy slowed to a halt as she entered the Avengers’ communal living room. Someone with far too much time on his hands was spelling out ‘Tony Sucks’ on the wall in suction-cup-tipped arrows.
“Bad day?” she asked.
Clint tipped his head over the back of the couch and scowled. “Just once I’d like to see Tony do something stupid on a mission. Crash into a billboard, or end up stuck to a giant magnet, or -”
“Fell off a building again, huh?”
Clint glared at her.
“You could tell him it was intentional,” Darcy said. “A test of his reflexes, or something like that.”
Clint snorted. “He knows it wasn’t on purpose. The moment we finished the mission, the very moment, he said Forgot the trapeze wasn’t there, circus boy?”
Clint slumped lower in his seat. “Stark doesn’t get to call me ‘circus boy’. Just because Natasha said it once doesn’t mean he gets to pull it out every single fucking time I do something stupid. Right?”
“Tell him so,” Darcy said, turning on her Starkpad.
“He won’t get it.”
Darcy glanced up, eyebrows raised. “So tell him louder. Or get Agent to taser him, whatever.”
Clint just pouted and slid even lower in his seat.
Silence reigned for a few minutes. Darcy broke it with a snicker.
“What are you doing?” Clint said.
“I’m reading fanfiction. Specifically, Avengers fanfiction. People have such ridiculous ideas about what you guys get up to, it’s hilarious.”
Clint hauled himself upright and walked over to her armchair, peering over her shoulder. “What the fuck. I do not steal clothes to make a nest!”
“You do hide in the vents, though,” Darcy said, looking up at him. “I bet some baby agent spilled that gem.”
Clint grinned suddenly. “Look up stories with Tony in them, will you? Let’s see what embarrassing habits Iron Man has in the mysterious world of fanfiction.”
“Ooh, this one looks interesting,” Darcy said. “‘Inside the Avengers Tower, a Steve/Tony fanfic’. And it’s - oh my god, the author doesn’t stint on the porn, does she? ‘Steve pressed his lover back against the lab bench, his all-American meat pressing into Tony’s thigh -’”
Clint yelped and covered his ears. “Darcy! Stop! I have to work with these people!”
“Ugh, fine. I’m bookmarking it, though, I want to go back and mock it properly later. ‘All-American meat’? Really? Let’s see, the author is -”
Abruptly, the power on the tablet cut out.
“Out of battery?” Clint said.
Darcy put the tablet down, hands trembling. “No. I don’t think so.”
Clint raised an eyebrow. “Because…”
“Because that fanfic,” Darcy said in a low tone, “was written by an author named JarvisTheAllSeeing.”
“Okay?” Clint said.
“Jarvis. JARVIS. As in the AI that runs Stark Tower and has far, far too much time on its hands.”
Clint looked up. “You think JARVIS writes bad Avengers erotica in his spare time?”
A klaxon rang through the building, sudden and deafeningly loud.
“It’s the fire alarm!” Clint shouted. “We’d better get to the stairs!”
They clattered down the fire stairs through a flood of Stark Industries employees, and out onto the sunny sidewalk.
“That was… weird,” Clint said.
“Yeah,” Darcy said.
Clint looked at Darcy. Darcy looked at Clint.
“This is the best blackmail material ever,” Clint said, grinning.