Buffy is a superhero.
And it’s not just Xander saying so anymore, either. It’s, like, totally official and everything. She has a signature weapon and SHIELD pays her money and stuff.
Iron Man sometimes crashes in her room when he’s too burnt out to find his own after a lab binge. The Hulk has a nickname for her.
She’s a totally legit superhero.
And before she was an official hero, she was an unofficial one. She saved the world every other Tuesday. She protected the innocents, slew the guilty and was an all around powerful, well-dressed woman with a deadly left hook.
In other words, she’s fucking awesome, pardon her imitation of Faith.
Which is why she’s going to murder Captain America.
The press will probably brand her as a supervillain and SHIELD will take away her salary and, possibly, the Council will come after her to save the world from her evil ways, but she’ll be okay with it as long as Captain America is dead.
Because she’s a superhero.
She can open her own damn doors.
And climb out of the jet without a hand to hold.
And push in her own chair.
And carry her own gear.
And… the list is really endless.
It’s so annoying.
She’s strong and capable and powerful and half the time when they spar, she can kick his ass. And Steve knows all that and still holds her doors for her and it sets her teeth on edge because, why?
Why does he think she can’t operate a doorknob? Why, huh? Why?!
Natasha said it’s a 1940s thing. Tony said it’s a Steve thing. That he means well.
Buffy countered that one of her past boyfriends was an actual Victorian gentleman and he didn’t hold her damn doors for her and it’s not a Steve thing because Captain America doesn’t do it and Steve keeps telling everyone how there’s just a guy behind the mask, just an ordinary man, and he’s nothing special at all, just keep walking.
Out-of-uniform-Steve, choosing to do things for Out-of-uniform-Buffy like she can’t do them herself. It’s a conscious decision on his part to do so. Because, apparently, Buffy looks like the kind of superhero who needs her purse carried for her and her chair pushed in.
So she’s going to murder Captain America and everyone will hate her and she will be fine with that, because, well. Teeth. Edge.
“You’re thinking again, I can hear your teeth grind, stop it,” Tony announces from where he’s flung across her bed, his head pillowed on her belly because that’s the kind of inconsiderate berk Tony Stark is. Randomly walks into other people’s bedrooms in the middle of the night and goes to sleep on them.
She pulls his hair. Because her hands are totally already down there, on his head, petting like he’s a small furry animal.
Not too far from the truth sometimes.
He makes a noise that’s not really pain and she throws her hands up like they’re on fire because there are some things she doesn’t need to know and Tony’s kinks are some of them.
He huffs a little and rolls around so he can look at her. There’s grease all over his face. He’s probably ruining her sheets.
“Oh, I know that face.”
“What face?” she defends, a little feebly. “I don’t have a face.”
“You totally do. That’s your Icicle Alarm face.”
“Icicle… do you even pretend to listen to those sensitivity seminars Fury puts us through?”
He flaps a hand at her. “P-shaw. You know I don’t. We spent the last one trying to figure out how to steal Pirate Nick’s eye patch.”
They did. It was hilarious. Tony invented an entire Rube Goldberg machine just to pluck Fury’s eye patch off his face.
On the way out of the conference room, Steve held the door for her.
“What’d he do now?”
“Doors,” she grumbles, not even pretending not to know what he’s talking about because a) it’s futile and b) he’s not going to stop bugging her, even though it’s three a.m.
“Did the big, bad Cap hold a door for you?”
“Yes,” she snaps and then kind of goes off like bullet. “It’s ridiculous. Like, completely dumb and stupid and… and…”
“YES! Every single door in this tower is automatic and he still manages to hold them for me, like I’m too dumb to do it myself! You just have to,” she makes a decisive cutting motion with one hand, “walk through!”
He slips around her and ahead of her and kind of leans in the doorjamb, blocking the automatic from closing again with his body and making her squeeze past him, which, hello, personal space!
Buffy hates having to slip past him because he’s hot and sculpted and his washboard abs press up against her and that’s just not polite, putting your body up like that and expecting her not to get hot under the collar and really, it sucks, okay? He can’t just get all up in her space all sexy like just to open a door.
“And it’s not like he does it for Maria or for Natasha, because he knows they would rip off his balls and stuff them up his nostrils!”
“Just like you.”
“Except you haven’t,” Tony points out reasonably and the world is in a bad place when Tony Stark is the voice of reason.
“No,” she grumbles.
“Because you like it.”
“No!” Too much protesting. She knows it the second it leaves her mouth, but it’s true. She doesn’t like it, though. She doesn’t like the way he grins at her when he takes something out of her hands to carry, or the little mock-bow he does when he holds a door for her or any of the other stupid, dumb, polite things he does in his really hot, wholesome way. She doesn’t.
She really doesn’t.
She absolutely, totally, absolutely doesn’t.
“He’s being completely unreasonable and an asshole,” she defends. “On Monday morning he had kittens because you came out of my room in the morning and gave me this whole spiel about fidelity and how you’re with Pepper and I shouldn’t do something I’ll regret later and I mean, has he ever given Natasha the third degree when she came outta Clint’s room? No. Of course not. Because balls and nostrils. But, me, he goes all…”
She moves to wave a hand in a grand gesture of frustration, gets a ring tangled in Tony’s greased-up hair and makes him yowl like a cat. He bats at her hand until it comes loose and even in the mostly-dark she can see a tuft of black hair gentle landing on her sheets.
She slumps. Life sucks.
Her mutilated superhero buddy sits up, rubbing gingerly at his scalp and giving her a wounded look. She sticks her tongue out at him, even though she does feel sorry for unintentionally giving him a bald patch.
Not that he had any business getting in the way of her rant, but.
He smacks her with her own pillow, grins and scoots closer, undeterred by her glare. Probably because he can’t really see it in the dark. Or maybe he’s grown immune.
Briefly, Buffy wonders when she cast Tony as her Willow-replacement. Then the man himself asks, “Are you really that blonde or did Doc Oc hit you with a dose of stupid yesterday?”
Before she can pick up the pillow and whack him with it, he goes on. “Let’s go through this again, huh? Real slow this time, so you don’t strain anything. Sweetheart, don’t give me that look, I’m Tony Fucking Stark, you know I’m right.”
She gives him the Look anyway. On principle.
“Steve holds doors for you and pushes in your chair and carries your crap.” He doesn’t seem to need her input at this point, so she just watches him go, calculating how much damage she can do with a set of sheets and her pillows.
“And he is weirdly polite and gives you dopey looks while he does chivalry-related shit for you. He gets irrationally angry when he sees other men coming out of your bedroom at five a.m. He only gets that way with you, not Natasha, not Hill, not anyone but you. Catching on?”
“He’s a chauvinist jerk with a hard-on for me specifically?” she asks, bitingly. Buffy dislikes condescension almost as much as being treated like a damsel in distress over a damn door.
And she’s pretty sure she can strangle Tony with the sheet, no problem. Or smother him with the pillow. Maybe both, to make sure.
“Jesus Christ,” her soon-to-be-former-friend bursts out. “Let’s try this one last time. And please, someone, make note, I am not the most emotionally constipated person in this room. Would you say Icicle’s adjusted well to this century?”
Considering all the times he’s texted Buffy annoying little smiley faces, dragged her to the cinema and waxed poetic about ‘her time’? “Yes, he has.”
“So he probably knows that chivalry is dead, right? Bra burning, Roe v. Wade, all that crap.”
“And he’s still holding your damn door for you.” Tony says it like it’s some sort of punch line, with finality and a serious face and everything and Buffy wonders what that has to do with…
“Oh,” she breathes. And then, because a few things are suddenly slotting into place, she adds, “oh.”
Tony visibly slumps in place. “Thank god. The next step was skywriting and the suit really isn’t equipped for that sort of thing, I would have had to adjust all sorts of…”
She whacks him with the pillow. “Shut it, I’m having an epiphany,” she barks because Steve holds doors for her and only her and it’s hellishly annoying but it also gives her a little thrill every damn time and really, the annoyance mostly stems from how he never seems to follow up on it and there isn’t –
“I don’t think it counts as an epiphany if someone has to hold your hand all the way to the finish line, let’s be honest. Also, ow.”
She whacks him again.
- there isn’t anybody else he does it for, just her, and that’s not him being a macho asshole, that’s Steve being cute and sweet and adorable and fluffy puppies and butterflies and rainbows and unicorns and sometimes he’s so adorable her teeth ache.
How anyone can be that legitimately good and still make a career of smacking villains around, she’ll never know.
It’s probably what confused her so much, she decides. Buffy’s used to the feral cat approach to courtship. Namely, leave something dead on the doorstep as a sign of affection. Spike used to pick fights with demon gangs and lead them to her, giving her fierce battles instead of flowers.
That, she knew how to deal with.
And now there’s a guy who’d probably use actual flowers to express…
Steve has a hard-on for her.
“Hold on,” she mutters, “he actually gave me flowers the other week, didn’t he?”
She thought it was a team thing, a get well gift for her first serious injury as an Avenger. But those flowers weren’t just delivered by Steve, they were from Steve.
Tony winks rakishly at her and mimes wiping a tear off his cheek, smearing engine grime all over his face. “I’m so proud of you, baby,” he whispers, faux-teary, and then leans forward to plant a smacking, wet kiss on her.
By the time she’s reacting, he’s already halfway to the door. “One for the road,” he hollers over his shoulder. “Since I won’t be allowed my sleepovers anymore!”
And then he’s gone.
Buffy resolutely gets up and puts on the nearest article of clothing under her sleep shirt. It ends up being the dress she wore to dinner with Clint and Natasha. She pulls her t-shirt over her head and zips herself up before marching barefoot down the hall.
She tactfully ignores the braying coming from a certain engineer a ways down the hall and bangs against Steve’s door. Hard.
He opens on the third bang, which she kind of counted on. Having screwy sleeping patterns is a requirement to be moving into the Avengers Tower. Plus, apparently enhanced super soldiers don’t need much sleep at all.
The door slides open with a gentle hiss and Steve gives her a bleary-eyed look of confusion. It is three in the morning. Damn Tony for making her have an epiphany in the middle of the night.
“Is there an emergency?” he asks, looking her over.
Buffy turns her gaze on herself, taking in her rumpled dress and bare feet. She probably has a spectacular case of bedhead, too. And there are black smudges on her hands, courtesy of their resident mad genius.
Great. She looks like one of those hysteric blondes in slasher-movies that go banging on doors, looking for someone to save their worthless hides.
She should have thought this through.
Too late now, she can die of mortification later. After she’s killed Tony. And taken care of this.
“Nope,” she informs Steve, chirping happily. Fake it till you can wrap your hands around Tony’s neck and break it.
“Did you… need something?”
“I’m hungry,” she blurts.
“So….?” It’s kind of unfair that anyone can look that hot while blinking at her like a confused squirrel. Flowers, she tells herself. Abs of steel.
“So, there’s… uhm… a door. Kitchen door. And I… uhm… might… need you to hold it for me? Because… I….”
Vaguely, Buffy remembers being good at this.
“You need me to open the kitchen door for you.”
She nods spastically.
“At three in the morning.”
More nodding. The ground could really open up just about now.
“Because you’re hungry.”
He’s going to tell her to open her own damn doors and she’s going to murder Tony for giving her ideas and then she’ll die. Slowly.
But then something seems to click because Steve’s confused expression turns into a tiny little smile that grows and grows and grows and then he asks, “I thought you didn’t like it when I do that.”
She crosses her arms over her chest. “Well, I might be reconsidering. Because of…” the fact that you’re hotter than god and I haven’t has sex in over a year, also, you’re kind of adorable and I want to keep you. Possibly. “Reasons. Because of reasons. Which I am unwilling to discuss. So?”
Hip cocked, she stands straight because if she’s going to hell, she might as well do it with her head held high.
Only Steve shrugs, nods and steps through the door, letting it hiss shut behind him. Then he offers her the crook of his arm and asks, “Milady?”
She takes it.
“Tony’s gonna be unbearable after this.”
“Nothing,” she says. “Doors. Let’s go.”