“It's like twitter,” Clint says as he explains it to him.
Stark set it up, of course. It's a... social network – media? He never knows how they're called – designed for Shield agents to communicate on assignments, on break, so as to not cross half the helicarrier to send one message, etc.
“So you're saying that Tony ripped off twitter for Shield,” Steve repeats, dubious.
“Well, sort of – it's also kind of like dropbox and 8tracks since you can file share and there's a playlist option, and there isn't a character limit on posts, but the format and hashtags are basically like twitter. A bit like instagram, too, but mostly twitter.”
Steve just looked at him. He understood strictly none of those references, but he was going to do his damn best not to show it. “And there's no way this is going to become a security risk?”
“Nah, trust me.” Clint throws his arm around Steve's shoulders – or at least tries to. The height difference means that he's basically got Steve in an awkward hug, his arm shoved around Steve's underarms. “Stark knows what he's doing. If anything, aren't you happy you can bother your boyfriend when you're on missions?”
Steve thinks about it, and, well. It does seem fun. Still, he sighs. “Did he have to make my username @caphandsome, though?”
Clint cackles. Steve suffers.
/ / / / /
It's not strictly that bad, he realizes. Its easier to get messages than through texting, and he can fool around with his teammates online without worrying about security breaches and what's confidential or not. Plus, it's a great way to get in contact with other members of Shield – IT teams, techies, the kids down in Accounting, Security, PR, Human Ressources.
Alright, so Steve is a little obsessed with this new Shieldnet thing. He has to admit it to strictly no one, though.
/ / / / /
Jane Foster and Betty Ross catch him in the kitchen one evening and drag him with them to watch Disney movies. Okay, no, not Disney - 20th Century Fox. Whatever that is. He eats buttery popcorn and watches a very romanticized cartoon about the Russian revolution and that one princess who supposedly survived.
Technically, the movie doesn't mention communism at all, only making vague references about the color red and the word 'comrade'. He supposes it's another one of those Post-Cold War things, and is glad that he slept through all that nonsense. The songs are good though, and when the credits roll he pauses and looks them up online.
He posts Journey to the Past to Bucky's wall – timeline – profile? He doesn't really know what the term is, so in doubt he goes with page – he posts it to Bucky's page and waits.
Five minutes later, his Starkphone pings with a message alert and he opens the Shieldnet app.
“oh my god u asshole” Bucky replies, and a few seconds later it pings again with a second answer. “im literally in the same building as u u couldnt just show it to me”
Steve sends back, “welcome to the 21st century <3”
/ / / / /
As much as Steve takes to technology like a fish takes to water, Bucky struggles with the smallest things.
“It's incredible,” Stark remarks one day, coffee in hand and wearing sunglasses indoor like the asshole he is. “How a guy with a mechanical arm can be so technologically incapable.”
“Shut up,” Bucky grinds his teeth and jabs his thumb at the touch screen again, letting out a frustrated growl when nothing happens.
“Really, you can ask for help,” Stark offers unhelpfully. “I'm literally right here. And waiting.”
Bucky considers spitting, but his mama raised him better than that. Mind, his mama had also never met Tony Stark.
With a sigh of defeat, he holds his phone out to Tony.
“How do I take the ringtone off,” he says, and he doesn't even formulate it as a question.
Stark laughs and whips his sunglasses to the top of his head and talks about getting him a bigger, geriatric-friendly phone.
Bucky fantasizes about killing him in his head. It is bloody and spectacular.
(Stark didn't even put his phone on silent, either. He just changed the goddamn ringtone to From Russia with Love, and just for that Bucky puts chili powder in his coffee.)
/ / / / /
Clint sometimes forgets to publish certain things to the confidential, safe Shield-only network, and puts them public instead.
Conesequently, the seven second video of Cap falling down the stairs after yelling “PARKOUR” goes viral. It gets picked up on a bunch of late night satire shows.
Darcy Lewis, Dr Foster's assistant or intern – Bucky has only met her twice – adds fuel to the fire by photoshopping a picture of Steve with the caption “DO IT FOR THE VINE”.
Steve is embarrassed, flushing red from his ears down his chest whenever someone brings it up. Bucky is both internally and externally laughing at him every chance he gets.
/ / / / /
Natasha likes to take dozens of selfies when she's hanging out with Steve – when they go for Starbucks, when they're on the subway, when they're at the gym, and one memorable occasion during an alien invasion – and post them to her accounts, both private and public.
She hashtags them with #vintage and then laughs about it with Clint.
“Everyone is conspiring against me,” Steve laments, and Bucky pats his cheek.
“Poor baby,” he mocks. “Do you need me to protect you from the mean people on the internet?”
Steve sniffs self-righteously. “Yes.”
Bucky takes a picture of his metal fist and tags it with Natasha's username, “stop picking on my boyfriend or else”.
She replies with a picture of her face, looking unimpressed, and Bucky flops down on the sofa next to Steve.
“Don't look at me like that,” he reproaches. “I did the best I could. This was a battle you couldn't win, anyway.”
Steve is still making a moue of disappointment, so Bucky leans over to ruffle his hair and kiss him until he stops.
/ / / / /
Nobody even tries to pretend to be professional on nights when shows come out. On Mondays the platform is usually overflowing with thousands of Shield employees lamenting the latest episode of Game of Thrones, and if it wasn't held on Stark servers it would probably go offline every week for it.
Natasha, Steve and Bruce call themselves the “Sansa Stark Protection Squad”. Bucky stands by his view that Jamie Lannister is the best character on the show, with Clint backing him up. Maria Hill of all people regularly starts post-wars with Coulson over which death was more tragic.
Thor makes a comment about Cersei reminding him of his brother, which just makes things weird. People kind of. Stop talking about the show around Thor after that.
It's better for everyone involved in the long run.
/ / / / /
Bucky tries to send Steve dick pics through the platform all the time.
“But Stevie,” he argues in his defense, shamelessly waggling his eyebrows, “It's the future. We live in a world where you can literally get a picture of my dick in half a second from halfway around the world. Our parents worked so we could live in this society and we owe it to them to take advantage of it. It's the age of the carpe-fucking-diem, so seize the dick pics and send me some back.”
“This isn't up for discussion,” Steve says, not budging.
“But come on,” Bucky whines. “You have to admit that I make a pretty compelling argument.” To further his thesis, he gets down on his knees and starts unbuttoning Steve's jeans.
“I didn't say n- ah, no to the pictures,” Steve pants, anchoring his fingers in Bucky's hair. “Just not on the public platform, Buck, Jesus.”
“I can work with that,” Bucky looks up at him through lidded lashes and grins. Steve's hand tightens in his hair.
/ / / / /
“I dare you to tweet at the president,” Clint says one afternoon. Natasha immediately raises her head to look at Steve, interested by the suite of events.
Steve looks up from his e-reader. “But why?” He's genuinely confused, but a little amused by the idea as well.
“Just because,” Clint insists. “It'll be funny.”
Steve goes back to his tablet and presses a button to turn the page. “I'll think about it.”
That evening, he tweets to the president, @barackobama You're a pretty swell guy, Mr President. The White House PR Team must be quick, because minutes later he gets a @captainamerica You're not too bad yourself, Cap.
/ / / / /
Nassim and Katherine from Tech hack Director Fury's Shieldnet account to change his account icon.
Instead of the generic Shield logo used for most upper-leadership members who actually use the site professionally, he logs on to find that his icon has been replaced with an anime drawing of him with a shiny head and pink cheeks, his eyepatch bearing a heart stitched on it.
After a long (yelled) discussion with Hill and Coulson, the two of them are promoted to Specialists and given a clearance raise, along with a stern talking to.
They might as well have gone without the lecture, though, considering that every single member of the Avengers personally stops by to give them high-fives.
/ / / / /
Bruce Banner discovers Flappy Bird.
That story does not end well for anybody.
Clint suggests he switch to Farmville.
(Coulson sends him a spare gardening shed to start him off. Nobody is surprised that his farm is level 500. They are surprised that Pepper Potts' is level 502.)
/ / / / /
Bucky likes to send him cute little messages on his phone, on his Shieldnet page, to his inbox. They usually contain an extremely ridiculous amount of heart emoticons, of symbols arranged to make faces, and xoxo's.
Steve opens up his inbox to check the message, a dopey expression on his face.
“mission's over, coming home 2nite uwu
missed u <33 cant wait to see u
and fuck u into the mattress (◕‿◕✿)
see u tonite xoxox”
He smiles and tucks his phone away into his pocket. He has something to look forward to.