The first sign of something being off is the suspiciously packed hallways on a Wednesday morning.
Most of the Accords and Council staff tended to come and go at various hours, and the most common time that Tony has noticed to actually see large herds of life in the building tended to be either on Mondays, Fridays or lunchtimes.
He’s also noting how most of the people standing ‘oh so innocently’ in the hallways seem to be tracking his movements with their eyes.
It’s nothing unusual, to be stared at when he enters an area. He’s been watched from the moment that he took his first breath in this world and he has no doubts that he’ll be watched until the moment he takes his last. But there is one thing that he’s learned from watching people watch him, and that’s this – that body language can go a long way in telling Tony what he’s walking into. Case and point here: people keep glancing in his direction and then not so subtly leaning to each other to either whisper to their close compatriot or to get someone else to notice Tony’s presence.
That sends up red flags in Tony’s mind instantly. Something has either happened, or something has gone wrong. He figures that was always a definite possibility when Everett Ross called him, practically begging to have a quick meeting with him as soon as physically possible. It was even more of a possibility when Ross had brushed off the need for any of the other members of the Avengers to attend this ‘meeting’. If it hadn’t been getting held at the Accords main building, Tony would have figured that he was walking into a trap.
Truth be told – he’s still not sure he isn’t.
He notices Ross at the end of the hall, standing with his secretary, Kyle Quinn if Tony remembers correctly, and the smile Ross gives him when he sees him is a strange mix of relief and trepidation. That doesn’t help ease any of those concerns inside Tony in the slightest.
“Mr. Stark, thank you so much for coming.” Ross says as he waves his secretary away. Kyle scuttles off like he’d rather be anywhere but here and Tony files that behavior away as well.
“Mr. Ross, is there a problem?” He asks and Ross quickly shakes his head in the negative.
“No! No problem. None at all. More like…just a new development that I wanted to run by you.” Ross answers and Tony tilts his head a little.
“That sounds strangely vague and slightly concerning.” Tony replies with a small amount of wary humor in his voice and Ross’s smile is as fake as they come as he pushes open the door to the conference room and motions for Tony to go inside.
It takes Tony less than five seconds to see the new ‘development’ and he turns to give Ross a look as the other man closes the door behind them quickly.
“An explanation would probably be a good idea right about now.” Tony says with a slight warning tone to his voice and Ross glances over at the disgraced ex-Avengers who are standing around the room looking at them.
“Yes, well you see…There have been some new developments with the Accords.” He says as he tugs on his tie in a nervous gesture. “Mr. Rogers and his team have agreed to the terms and have all signed.” He rushes out seconds later and Tony doesn’t even try to hold in the sigh.
“I see.” He says calmly as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone. Honestly, he’s actually not surprised at all at the news that Rogers and them have signed the Accords. He’s a little surprised it’s taken this long, but he’s not surprised that it’s happened as everyone in the room seems to believe.
Ross and the Council might not have realized, but the split in the Avengers was never about the Sokovia Accords. Not really. It was about power – more importantly, it was about someone taking power away from Rogers.
The ‘Little Guy from Brooklyn who always had to fight’ was never going to respond well to someone coming in and telling him that he’d gone too far, or that they were putting a limit on what he was allowed to legally do. Compound that on top of an obvious mental breakdown that the man was having at the time of Peggy’s death, add in Barnes and a dash of morons with a need to follow Rogers around like little lemmings and Rogers’s own need to have a war that he can win with his fists – and you had a catastrophe in the works.
Tony knew though. He knew that Steve was always going to sign the Accords and that when he did the others would follow him like the good little sheep they were. But it had to be on Steve’s timetable, and with Steve’s approval and it was only going to happen when Steve realized that the world wasn’t going to back down and allow the Avengers specialized treatment anymore. Then all of a sudden Rogers would decide to ‘be the better man’ and relent ‘for the sake of the people’. Tony has no doubts that there was some kind of moral, self-righteous and self-wanking speech given by Rogers that he thankfully missed.
Tony lets his fingers fly over the screen as he types out the information presented and sends it to the Avengers under the designated Code Cap title. He slides the phone back into his pocket when he’s finished, trusting that FRIDAY will make sure that all of the others see it ASAP.
“Alright, the Avengers have been made aware. I take it that there was some kind of negotiation between Rogers’s team and the Council?” He asks and Ross nods.
“Yes.” Ross nods again.
“I see. Is there anything else I should be aware of?” He asks and for some reason the question seems to throw Ross off balance and Tony can barely fathom why. He’s responding ideally to this underhanded tactic, and Ross should be thanking his lucky stars.
Tony figures there’s really no reason to get upset though. The Council might be able to add members on a discretionary basis and the Avengers have agreed to accept such additions – but only if the rules of the overall Avengers layout is obeyed. And Tony has his doubts that these morons will last a week before they’re kicked off for insubordination or some other kind of kick-off-able offense. There are also a few surprises back at the Compound that Tony almost can’t wait for Rogers and his team to stumble across.
“Oh, um…Not really I guess? They’re being released to you now, as leader of the Avengers and all that.”
“There’s no need to ‘release’ them to me.” Tony interjects. “I’ve got no control nor do I have any form of responsibility for what they do off the field. I take it that you’ve explained the extra requirements put on the Avengers since their last interaction with the team as part of it?”
“He told us.” Steve says even though Tony clearly wasn’t talking to him. He always did need to push his way into a conversation where he wasn’t wanted.
“Of course I don’t mean ‘release’. I just mean…they’re ready for you to take them back to the Avengers Compound.” Ross says and Tony shakes his head.
“Well, it seems that it’s fortunate that I am not responsible for transferring the group or shuttling them anywhere since I did not bring the jet with me today.” Tony says calmly. “They’ll have to find their own way of transportation, or I guess that the Council can provide one if it feels so inclined.” Tony shrugs. “I however am not responsible for shuttling them around whenever and wherever they feel like it.” ‘I am not a taxi service’ isn’t what Tony says, but it comes across clearly.
“Can’t even give us a ride back home Stark?” Clint snorts in disgust and Tony glances in his direction.
“Home? I’m sorry, there’s been a mistake. The Avengers Compound no longer has long term living arrangements within the Compound.” They all stare at him when he says it. “The dorms have been repurposed into extra space for the training areas.”
“What about all of our stuff?” Wanda snaps and Tony shrugs.
“Anything that was bought, paid for and maintained by one of you has gone into storage. When you have a minute you can go collect it by paying the storage fees and reclaim your affects.” Tony glances right at Wanda when he says his next part. “Anything that was bought by me, was given away to Goodwill.” The look of disbelieving horror at Tony’s words on Wanda’s face is strangely worth it. He’s still bitter about finding Vision in a hole in the kitchen.
“You got rid of my stuff?”
“No. If there was anything that was yours as previously mentioned, it was put in storage. If it was however, paid for with my money it was mine and has since been donated to those in need.”
“Tony.” Natasha shakes her head, crossing her arms and the others follow suit, looking so disappointed in Tony and Tony barely manages not to roll his eyes.
“Is there anything else Councilmember?” Tony asks instead, turning back to Ross and the other man shakes his head.
“Oh, no…I guess that was it.” He motions to the Avengers. “I should have told you about the passengers, of course we’ll get them back to the Compound.”
“Good. I’ll be on my way then.” He turns to the door when Steve speaks up.
“Tony wait.” He calls out, his voice solid and commanding and it irks Tony on a deep level as he turns to glance back to Steve.
“Can I help you Mr. Rogers?” Tony asks and Steve gives him a small smile before sending a glance to Ross.
“Can…can we please have the room?” He asks and before Tony can say anything, Ross nods and practically flies out of the room. The door shuts behind him with a heavy kind of click and Tony mentally sighs. There’s silence for a few moments and Tony just waits for one of them to figure their shit out and start talking. He’s not really that surprised when it’s Sam who does.
“Hey Tony, long time no see.” He says, as if talking to an old friend and Tony barely glances at him.
“So it has been.” He says before looking back at Steve. “Is there something I can help you with Mr. Rogers?” He asks again and all of them get little frowns, as if Tony’s somehow not behaving according to the script that they’ve laid out for him in their heads.
“It’s just…it really is good to see you again. Like Sam said…it’s been a while.” Steve says slowly. “I just thought that we could all take a moment and talk? There’s a lot to talk about.”
“Not particularly.” Tony says and Steve frowns.
“Of course there is.” He argues and Natasha steps forward with that smile she always faked when she wanted to pretend comradery with Tony. Once upon a time Tony made himself believe it was real – now he doesn’t bother.
“Aren’t you going to welcome us back?” She asks with a friendly sort of joking tone and Tony glances at her.
“Welcome back to the Avengers Initiative Miss Romanoff, and the rest of you.” He says and her smile falters a little, a slight frown overtaking it.
“What, are we no longer on a first name basis anymore Tony?” She asks and Tony gives her a look.
“No Miss Romanoff, we are not.” He answers truthfully and he almost regrets it a second later when the others respond to his statement.
“There’s no need to get your panties in a twist Stark.” Clint’s snapping as Steve’s shoulders go back.
“Tony, don’t be like that.” Steve’s saying as Natasha is crossing her arms and giving him that look that has always ended with his ‘ego’ being somehow to blame for every wrong in the world. Wanda’s rolling her eyes, like Tony’s being some big baby which is strangely hilarious all things considered and Sam’s got a frown on his face like he doesn’t fully understand Tony’s standoffish response either.
“You’re the leader of the Avengers now Tony.” Natasha says a few seconds later. “You’re going to have to get past this if you’re going to work with us.” He almost laughs, but he doesn’t want to give them the satisfaction of an honest response. How like Natasha and the rest of them, always placing the burden and the blame fully on Tony’s shoulder.
“I am well aware of my responsibilities to the Avengers Initiative Miss Romanoff.” Tony says instead, in his calm business voice. “And you can be assured that you will not be treated with any kind of hostility or difference on the field.”
“And off of it?” She challenges and he shrugs.
“I don’t foresee us having a lot of interactions off of it, so don’t concern yourself with that.”
“What does that mean?” Sam asks and Tony gives him a look.
“The possibility of your return has already been a discussion in the Avengers meetings for some time. It was determined that when you returned from Wakanda,” They all look surprised and he wants to roll his eyes. “That you would be divided amongst the three teams to better allow for integration into the new layout of the command structure.”
“You want to split us up?” Wanda snaps and Tony nods.
“It was a unanimous decision by the current leaders of the Avengers teams. The lot of you will be placed according to your skills and the skills of the teammates around you. You’ll either answer to Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel or Colonel Rhodes.”
“Not you?” Natasha challenges and Tony nods.
“Not me. I’m not a leader of a ground team. You’ll be placed with the ground team that is best suited for you.”
“And what does that look like?” Clint snaps and Tony can’t help the momentary question of do we even need an archer? cross his mind before he figures that Rogers probably put it into the agreement somewhere that Clint got to come back. Tony doesn’t doubt that if Barnes were awake that Rogers would be demanding his precious ‘Bucky’s’ inclusion as well.
“The new team designations will be given out to you by the end of the week. By then you should have all found yourselves a place to stay, and gotten settled back into life in the states. You’ll also be expected to already know the full layout and changes to the Avengers and be expected to adhere to them immediately. There will be no grace period.”
“Where are we supposed to go?” Sam asks and Tony shrugs.
“Not my area or my concern.” He answers him as he turns to the door. “Have a good day and I’ll see you when I see you.” Tony says as he walks out the door.
“Tony!” Steve’s voice is cut short as Tony closes the door behind him firmly.
“FRIDAY, please bring the suit down.”
‘Already here Boss.’ She replies and he smiles as he walks over to the closest exit, ignoring how the door behind him as opened and he can hear them trailing after him. They’re seconds too late though as the armor curls protectively around his body and he takes flight.
Stephen, Rhodey and Carol are waiting on the landing pad already when he makes it back to the Compound and something in Tony’s chest relaxes a bit when he sees them. He lets the suit pull away and gives the others a smile.
“Hey guys.” He greets and they give him unsure smiles in return. He looks at Stephen. “I thought you were going to be in Kamar-Taj for the rest of the week?” He asks and Stephen shakes his head.
“I got your message about Rogers and the others and made a detour here. Wong has it for now, but my presence will be required back soon.”
“How did it go?” Rhodey asks after Stephen stops speaking and Tony shrugs.
“It went okay.” He says, walking towards the doors and they follow with him.
“Okay?” Rhodey stresses and Tony knows what he’s really asking for.
“I’m okay. Honest.” He says to them, stopping once they’re inside and turning to face them. “I mean, I was a little caught off guard by the whole thing, but we knew it was going to happen sooner or later.” They nod in agreement. “I actually, I was a little surprised with how well it went.”
“Did it go well?” Carol asks, and arched eyebrow on her face and Tony shrugs.
“On my side it did at least. I mean, I’ll admit-” Tony takes a second before sighing. “I’ll admit that I thought that I might fly off the handle the next time I saw them, or demand answers or some other kind of ridiculous bullshit like that.”
“And what happened?” Rhodey asks gently.
“Nothing actually. I mean, I think I was more annoyed with Ross than I was with them. I felt like…for the first time they truly didn’t have the power over me that I was afraid they might still have.” He gives them a grin and they slowly match it. “However, I pity all of you right now.”
“Oh, we’ll handle Rogers and the others.” Carol promises. “Don’t even worry about that.”
It’s been a week since the Council dropped Rogers and his group off at the Compound. A week since Tony has seen or heard anything about them. He knows that they’ll show up sooner or later and he doesn’t bother himself with the little concerns about things like: where are they staying? Are they fed? Are they clothed? Are they comfortable?
It’s not his concern anymore.
“You’re doing amazing Harl.” Tony praises as the young man brings the armor in for a landing and promptly steps out, breathing heavily.
“How on earth do you make that look so easy?” He asks, laughing a little as he wipes sweat off his brow and Tony grins as he lets his own armor pull away from him.
“Natural talent.” He jokes, making Harley smile before he shakes his head. “Nah, I’m kidding. Remind me to show you my training videos.”
“You took training videos?”
“Of course I did. And Rhodey is still promising to use them as blackmail whenever I think I’m too cool.” He walks over to the table, grabbing a water bottle and returning to Harley’s side, offering it. “Not to mention, years and years of metal working. I’ve got a lot more muscle than people seem to think I do.”
“Perhaps people just aren’t looking closely enough.” Comes a voice and Harley and Tony glance up to see Loki standing in the area. He’s got that devil may care grin on his lips and it almost makes Tony worry about whatever the trickster is up to.
“Hey Loki, what brings you by today?” Tony asks, glancing at the Frost Giant who does a graceful shrug.
“The Sorcerer Supreme requested that I step in for him today with the Maximoff girl’s testing.” He says and Tony frowns.
“Stephen isn’t coming?”
“No. Thor had urgent need of him for some kind of foolish mishap or another that he’s gotten himself into.” Loki’s grin returns. “So it seems that I’ll be accompanying you today.”
“That sounds…great.” Tony mutters, sending an exasperated glance at Harley. The boy is rolling his eyes as well, matching Tony’s look as he shakes his head and takes a sip of water. “Hey Harl, why don’t you hit the showers and have FRIDAY take you home? We’re going to need the training grounds for the testing.” Harley nods, standing up and heading out as the Rescue armor closes itself up and flies away to its holding area.
Tony motions for Loki to follow him as they head out themselves.
“So, if the girl doesn’t have magical powers, what will you do with her?” Loki asks, falling beside Tony in the hallway.
“If she doesn’t have actual magic, then there’s a chance that she’ll be placed with Carol instead of Stephen’s team.” Tony replies. “Although, I might ask Stephen to still take her regardless. She needs more time off the field than most, and Stephen’s group is the least likely to end up in skirmishes in civilian populated areas.”
“If you don’t trust that the girl has control of her powers, why even put her out on the field?” Loki asks and Tony shakes his head.
“We’re not sure if she has control or not. Sometimes when it suits her, she does. Other times, she doesn’t have control. I need to know if it’s really something she’s doing intentionally or if there’s some skill that she hasn’t learned yet that makes her so unreliable on the field and get her trained in it.”
“So…how much do you want me to push her?”
“Not ‘push’ per se. More like, just be sure that you’ve got a clear grasp of her limits and her skill set.” Tony gives Loki a stern look. “I’d rather not have to have Stephen come here with the Eye and fix the training grounds later so try not to push too hard.”
“I’ll see what I can do.” Loki grins and Tony shakes his head in amusement. This was going to fall apart somehow. He just wasn’t sure if it was going to be amusing or terrifying…or terrifyingly amusing. That was an option as well.
“Why do I have a feeling that you’re going to make this so much worse than it has to be?” Tony asks and Loki looks affronted.
“What? I assure you Tony, I only mean to test the one who would call herself a witch to the best of my abilities.” He looks far too innocent and Tony shakes his head.
“Of course you will.” Tony chuckles. “Just try not to set her off please. I’d rather not be in the area if that occurs. I’d rather not get fucked around with today if at all possible.” Loki waves a hand.
“Don’t worry about that, I’ll be there.” Loki says and Tony shrugs.
“Yeah, no offense, but I’d rather not take my chances.” Loki pauses in the hall and slowly turns to look at Tony. There’s an unreadable look on his face. “What?”
“You know that you have no reason to fear the witch.” Loki reiterates and Tony shrugs.
“I’ve had my fair share of Wanda playing around in my head for shits and giggles. No offense, but I’ve learned to be supremely cautious of being around her anytime she’s using her powers. Somehow her ‘inexperience’ always ends up backfiring on me.”
“I won’t let that happen.” Loki says and Tony gives a careless shrug that seems to bother Loki for some reason. “Tony.” He says and Tony glances at him. “Nothing will happen. Not if it is within my power to prevent it.”
“You don’t know if it’s within your power.” Tony says slowly, unsure about his footing with the Frost Giant again. Loki gets this way sometimes, ever since he joined the team. He’s all jokes and pranks until the moment when he’s just not. When he’s serious and firm and threatening.
“I’m part of this team now.” Loki says, “And you should know that I protect my own.” Tony takes a moment to let those words hang between them and he opens his mouth eventually to say something sarcastic or joking to get rid of some of the seriousness that this conversation has gathered when he hears it.
It’s a slight whistling sound and it takes Tony’s brain too long to categorize it: it’s an arrow. It’s one of Barton’s. Barton has just opened fire on Tony and Loki in the Compound hallway.
Luckily, Loki’s much faster at the uptake than Tony was – and Tony finds himself quickly grabbed with one arm by the Frost Giant, being pulled to the side of his body, the trickster twisting like a shield to protect Tony as he snatches the arrow out of the air. Loki banishes it to some netherworld a split second later, clearly not taking the chance that it’s an exploding one like the one back during the invasion.
“Let him go.” Steve all but growls, stepping into the area with the rest of them as Clint notches back another arrow. Romanoff has her guns out, so does Wilson and there’s red mist around Wanda’s fingers as they all stand ready to fight Loki. “I said to let him go.” Steve commands again and Tony pushes himself out of Loki’s hold and stands to his feet.
“What the hell Rogers?” He snaps at the blonde and Rogers holds his hand out like he expects Tony to rush over there and take it, to get pulled to safety behind Rogers himself. The image almost makes Tony want to puke.
“Get away from him Tony.” Steve says and Tony shakes his head.
“Stand down Rogers.”
“He’s taken Stark.” Clint growls and it takes Tony less time to realize what’s happening then what he did with the arrow. “Son of a bitch.”
“I’m not being mind controlled.” Tony says and he can tell that they’re not buying it.
“How did he even get in here?” Sam asks, looking around. “I thought that there were protections around this place.”
“Protections that I helped lay.” Loki says calmly before reaching into his pocket and pulling out his ID card. Tony remembers the absolute nightmare that it was to get Loki to stand still and take a normal picture and stop pretending like the whole thing was a fashion shoot specifically designed for Loki himself. “And as for how I got in, I used my access badge.” Loki replies in the most calm, deadpan tone imaginable. There’s a momentary pause like his words have confused the others and Tony steps forward again.
“I said stand down.” He repeats. “Don’t make me tell you a third time.”
“Tony, move.” Clint orders, steadying his aim.
“If you take that shot Barton, you’re in direct violation of the Accords agreement.” Tony warns and he can tell that it doesn’t make it through the archer’s thick skull. Barton lets the arrow lose anyways only to growl when Tony snaps up his hand, his watch having already transformed into a gauntlet and shots the arrow out of the air. “Last warning!” Tony snaps across at them.
“Tony, you’re being controlled or manipulated by Loki.” Steve says, and his voice has gone gentle and soft, like he’s trying to calm a spooked horse.
“No I’m not. For the last fucking time. Loki is an official Avengers Consultant.” There’s a hilarious silence that follows his statement and Tony almost wishes that he had a pin just so he could drop it.
“What?” Clint asks in a deadly snarl. “Run that by me one more time Stark.” He says, his voice a clear threat.
“Loki is an official Avengers Consultant. That means he’s part of the Avengers Initiative. Now, stand down.”
“Who made him an Avenger?” Natasha asks, dismay on her face and Loki gives her a smile that’s so reminiscent of that time in Fury’s vault. It’s mocking and challenging all at once and her grip tightens on the gun anyways.
“We did.” Tony replies. “Now lower your weapons.” There’s a moment where Tony thinks that everything still might come to blows over this, but Steve motions for everyone to put their weapons down and they do slowly. “And in the future, for those of you who still have one with the Initiative.” Tony says, sending a glance at Barton. “Rogers is not your team leader. Obeying his commands on the field will be the fastest way to get yourselves thrown off the Avengers. Am I clear?”
“And why should we listen to you as our leader? At least Steve didn’t go and add that mind raping piece of shit to the team. He’d never do something like that.” Clint snarls and Tony takes a moment – really just takes a moment to let that wash over him – before he’s laughing hysterically.
He can’t help it, and it’s completely against the professional air that he wanted to keep for the ‘Team’ but this is just too much.
“Yeah, you’re right. Steve’s never accepted some ‘mind raping piece of shit’ onto the team. He’s never just vouched for and allowed someone to join up who has experience preying on the minds of Avengers members for their own goals or just their own twisted amusement. Yeah, he’s never done that. Bravo Barton, bravo. You’re so right, what were we thinking?” He sends a glance at Wanda to make sure that there’s no confusion over who he’s referencing and she gets a dark look on her face as the red starts to leak around her fingers again.
“That was completely different Tony and you know that.” Steve says and Tony just gives him a look.
“You know what? You’re absolutely right.” Tony agrees and he can see the unsure look pass Steve’s face at his acquiesce. “It is completely different. Loki was the first to fall prey to the mind stone under the control of Thanos. Every action taken thereafter could in theory be placed under a blanket of victim himself. Whereas Miss Maximoff here willingly volunteered for a Hydra program to get revenge on me and took great pleasure in fucking us all over. No one made her do it and trust me when I say she did it all with a smile.”
“I did nothing wrong.” Wanda snaps and Tony rolls his eyes.
“Yeah, I’m not touching that level of delusion with a ten foot pole. Now, it still stands – attacking any member of the Avengers, even Consultants, will result in immediate termination from the Initiative. It might even include jail time and other consequences depending on the circumstances, so I’d think long and hard before you make the choice to attack Mr. Laufeyson again.”
There’s a moment of complete tenseness in the area before Clint snarls and walks away, storming out of the area like the diva he always was. Tony shakes his head with a sigh before turning to Loki. “So, all things considered, it would be wise to push back Miss Maximoff’s session.” He says and before anyone else can say something, Wanda speaks up.
“You will not keep me off the Avengers Stark.” She says. “I’m an Avenger whether you like it or not.”
“Well I’ve heard that before.” Tony says with a glance towards Steve as he opts to ignore Wanda at this point. “However, tempers are high and I’d rather things didn’t get out of hand. There’s been a shock today, let’s all calm down and regroup. We’ll do the test tomorrow.”
“I am more than willing to give the test to Miss Maximoff if she is still amenable.” Loki says with a challenging grin towards the Sokovian and Wanda’s shoulders go back.
“Yeah – no.” Tony interrupts the two of them. “I’m not allowing a test to happen today and that’s final.” Loki takes a second before he nods and takes a step back and Wanda looks like she still wants to take off Tony’s head.
“I don’t know how I feel about Loki testing Wanda.” Steve says and Tony looks at him.
“Well, your concern is noted, but Loki is an active Avenger member and one of the only two on the team who can adequately give the test to Miss Maximoff.”
“What even is this test?” Natasha asks and Tony sighs.
“It would have been explained to Miss Maximoff. If she feels like telling you, that is her prerogative.” Tony glances between the two groups. “Now go walk it off.” It takes a moment before there’s some shuffling of the other group leaving and Tony ignores them to turn back to Loki. “Good reflexes there.”
“Did you doubt? Truly?”
“I guess not. I figure an arrow isn’t really how you’re going to leave this world.”
“Not an arrow like that at least.” Loki agrees with him and Tony hears a throat clear itself. He turns, slightly confused and he sees Steve and the others still standing there, looking like they’re waiting for something.
“What?” Tony asks and Steve motions for Tony to come over. It takes Tony five seconds to read between the lines. “Your chivalry is noted and unnecessary and unwanted. Loki is a team member and you should get used to that fact.” It’s physically draining to not use the words that Steve said to Tony all that time ago when he added Wanda to the roster. When he told Tony to get over himself and help a hurting and helpless young girl who understood her mistakes now. “We’ll convene tomorrow for the test Miss Maximoff. Be on time.” He turns and motions for Loki to continue down the hall. “Let’s go?”
“Absolutely. Do lead the way.” Loki says with a relish and Tony sighs.
Tomorrow is going to be such a headache.