Bruce pushed down his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. This was not how he had been hoping to spend his day.
From the other side of the small round glass window, Steve and Tony glowered daggers at him.
“I’m sorry,” he said, holding his hands up defensively. “But the quarantine protocols are for your safety as well as everyone else’s. Whatever that substance was, we need to keep you both isolated and under observation until we know if it has any infectious properties.”
Tony picked a clump of wobbly orange goop out of his hair and eyed it with distaste. The team had been responding to distress call in the Amazon when they had come across a hideous mound of sentient slime. Subduing it had been fairly straightforward, but its defence mechanisms apparently included spontaneous explosion, and both Steve and Tony had been hit.
“And how long is that going to take?” Steve asked in clipped tones. He glanced sideways at Tony.
“At least, uhh, a few hours,” Bruce said apologetically. It had only been a couple of months since the team had re-formed to battle Thanos, and the cracks of their fight over the Accords were still visible. They had modified the Accords and all signed them together, and the team had mostly set aside their differences and moved on.
Steve and Tony, however, were holding tight to their grudges. They avoided each other whenever possible, and Bruce had barely heard them pass two words to each other since he got back to find the team in ruins. Now, however, they seemed to have plenty that they wanted to say.
“So I’m stuck in here with him,” Tony glared at Steve. “Terrific.”
“Oh yes, what a trial for you to be trapped in the same room as your teammate,” Steve said sulkily. “While I’m obviously having the time of my life here.”
“Don’t pout, Rogers, it makes you look like a child. At least try to behave like an adult.”
“An adult? Like you? You’re a narcissistic jerk with a god complex,” Steve snapped viciously.
“Yeah, and you’re a Libertarian fuckwit who thinks he’s morally superior to everyone else,” Tony snapped back.
“Maybe the reason I think I’m better than you is that I didn’t sell out my principles for a pat on the head from a government lackey,” Steve said, looking down his nose at Tony.
“You lied to me, Rogers, for years! So get off your damn high horse!” Tony spat.
“And you tried to kill my best friend!” Steve exploded.
Bruce resisted the urge to bang his head against the wall. “Uhh, guys-” he started.
“You stay out of this,” they both yelled in perfect unison. Bruce tried not to roll his eyes.
“If I’m such a waste of space, then why did you just save me?” Steve asked hotly. “You pushed me out of the way of the slime, and now we’re both stuck in here.”
“I wasn’t going to let you get injured! You’re too important to the team. And to me.”
Steve pulled a face. “Why the hell would I be important to you?”
“Because I care about you, jackass!” Tony yelled.
Bruce raised an eyebrow, but Steve didn’t miss a beat. “And I care about you too, asshole!”
“Well you have a funny way of showing it-”
Tony was cut off by Steve slamming him into the wall and kissing him with great enthusiasm.
Bruce blinked rapidly. This was not how he had been expecting that argument to go.
Steve pulled back from Tony for a moment. “You drive me crazy, Stark. And I’ve been wanting to do that since I first met you.”
Tony looked a little perplexed. “When you first met me you said I was all about style and called me worthless without my suit.”
Little blotches of red appeared on Steve’s cheeks. “Umm. I never claimed to be great at expressing my desires. And anyway, you said I was useless and worth no more than my spangly outfit.”
Tony gave a salacious grin and ran his hand down Steve’s side before cupping his ass. “It is a very nice spangly outfit.”
“And I do like your style,” Steve said, leaning in to kiss Tony again.
“Guys. Uhh. Guys. That’s not appropriate quarantine behavior.” Bruce rapped on the glass, trying to get their attention.
Without letting go of Tony or turning around, Steve flicked his middle finger towards the window.
Bruce sighed deeply. He was absolutely not paid enough to deal with this shit.