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Re: Shovels

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The first shovel talk came from Natasha.

 

"Stark."

 

Tony didn't look up from the word search he was playing. Steve had gotten him into doing them and Tony found he enjoyed doing them as long as he timed himself. "Yeah?"

 

"You're seeing Steve now."

 

Tony stopped what he was doing and sighed. This was going to mess up his record. "I hadn't noticed. Thanks. Glad we had this talk."

 

The redhead remained unfazed. "Do you really care about him or is this just a fling?"

 

"I think you know the answer to that. You're a smart one."

 

"He's not like you."

 

Tony turned his full attention to her. "Could you get this over with? I'm sure I get the gist of it. Pain of death, you'll kill me, blah blah blah, don't hurt him, don't cheat on him, he's a good guy, real hero. Does that sum it up?"

 

"Mostly. Hurt him and I'll castrate you with a shovel."

 

Tony winced. "Got it."

 

Natasha smiled. "Glad we had this talk. You're a good man, Stark."

 

"Thanks. I guess."

 

Natasha understood the dismissal and disappeared. Tony shook his head and went back to his game.

 

*

 

The next shovel talk came from Fury.

 

Of all people.

 

"Stark."

 

Tony tried to ignore him but he was mysteriously blocked from his exit by baby agents.

 

"I didn't even hack your system this time, Nick."

 

"Why would you? We can't seem to get rid of the previous hack. This is about you and Rogers."

 

"Oh come on!"

 

"You better not let this affect your work on the field."

 

"I hate my life right now," the genius mumbled. Which was a lie. He had Steve in his bed every night and this was the happiest he'd been in a long time.

 

"I've got my eye on you, Stark. Don't fuck this up."

 

"I've already gotten this talk from Natasha. Are you guys not reading each other's notes or is this a 'threaten Tony' project of SHIELD's?"

 

Fury just smiled. "Dismissed. Get out."

 

"I don't take orders from you," he replied as he made his quick escape.

 

**

 

Next was Clint.

 

That one snuck up on him.

 

They were playing Mario Kart and Tony was winning.

 

“Steve’s been through a lot, Stark. He’s lost a lot of people. Don’t be another person he ends up losing.” Clint continued to play.

 

Tony just sighed. This was getting tiring. “Yup.”

 

Clint picked up again. “It’s obvious he’s head over heels for you. I don’t know the last time we saw him this happy, if ever.”

 

“The lack of faith you guys have in me is doing nothing for my ego.”

 

“Just saying. You’ve got a good thing. He’s got a good thing with you. Don’t let your insecurities mess it up.”

 

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

 

“Glad we had this talk,” Clint replied.

 

“Yup.”

 

After a moment of silence…

 

“Did you just fucking blue shell me, Stark?!?”

 

***

 

Coulson’s sudden appearance in Tony’s workshop caused the genius to jump.

 

“Heart condition. Look it up.”

 

Coulson smiled. “Duly noted.”

 

Tony didn’t even have the energy to try and dodge it at this point.

 

“Don’t start. I already know the spiel. Natasha threatened to castrate me with a shovel if I hurt Steve. You’ll taser me to death I’m sure. I’ve heard it all already. I hear everyone loud and clear.”

 

The agent shrugged. “Actually I was going to ask if I could take you up on that offer for a trip to Portland.”

 

Tony frowned. “Oh. Well...then yeah sure.”

 

“Great. I really appreciate it.” He stopped when he was at the bottom of the stairs. “Oh and, Stark? I’ll do more than taser you to death.”

 

The glare Tony shot Coulson was powerful enough to level a large city.

 

****

 

“Steve?”

 

The soldier wrapped his arms around Tony and breathed heavily. Tony could tell Steve was about to fall asleep.

 

After a moment of silence Steve kissed Tony’s shoulder. “Yeah?”

 

“Do you think I’m going to fuck this up?”

 

“What do you mean?” came the sleepy reply.

 

“Us.” No point in beating around the bush. “Do you think I’m going to mess everything up?”

 

“You’re worrying too much.”

 

Tony just huffed.

 

When he didn’t say anything Steve lifted his head. “Tony? What’s bothering you?”

 

The genius turned his body so he could look at Steve. “I have a history of royally screwing up everything, especially things like this. Everyone knows it.”

 

“Tony?”

 

“Four shovel talks is just a little overboard. I feel like I’m going to mess things up even worse than I normally do.”

 

“What’s a shovel talk?”

 

Tony looked at Steve. “You know. That talk you get from people when you start dating someone. ‘Hurt him and I’ll hurt you’ type thing.”

 

“I think we’ve established that I trust you. And I hope you trust me.”

 

“You know I do,” Tony murmured softly.

 

“Then don’t let them get to you. I’m a big boy. I’m not some fragile doll or whatever. I can take care of myself and it’s not their business to say anything otherwise. Especially if they’re implying that I’m so easy to hurt.”

 

“Whoa. Okay. Steve, calm down. They’re more worried I’m going to turn into the heartless playboy I used to be. Or that my insecurities will get the better of me. I’m Tony Stark. I don’t have any insecurities.”

 

“Oh please. We all know that’s a lie. You were never heartless and we all have insecurities.”

 

Tony made a face. “Stop reading through the bullshit.”

 

Steve smiled and kissed Tony’s forehead. “I wonder when I’ll get my shovel talk.”

 

Tony snorted. “Captain Perfect does not get shovel talks.”

 

“I don’t know who that is, but he sounds like he might be a real bore.”

 

“I don’t plan on doing anything to hurt you.”

 

“I know that. I don’t plan on hurting you either, Shellhead.”

 

Tony rolled his eyes. “Worst. Nickname. Ever.”

 

****

 

“Sir, Colonel Rhodes is on the premises. Would you care to send a message telling him you will be up shortly?”

 

“Rhodey’s here?” Tony’s head shot up. “He didn’t tell me he was dropping by. Tell him to get down here.”

 

A moment later J.A.R.V.I.S. replied. “He is currently speaking with Captain Rogers. He says he will visit with you afterwards.”

 

“Oh. Turn on video feed.”


“Sir, I would advise---”

 

“Just do it.”

 

“As you wish, sir.”

 

Tony watched his friend as he conversed with his boyfriend. He had forgotten to tell Rhodey that he might be sleeping with Captain America, but now that he was here, he was sure he was doomed to get a lecture from Rhodey.

 

“Good to see you, Captain.” Rhodey shook his hand.

 

“Likewise, Colonel. Do you want me to get Tony?”

 

Rhodey shook his head. “Nah. Not yet. I need to ask you a few questions.”

 

Steve nodded. “Okay...sure.”

 

“You’re dating Tony.”

 

Steve blinked. “Ah. Yes. Was that the question?”

 

Rhodey smiled. “You know all about his past right?”

 

Steve frowned. “To an extent yes. He’s told me some. I tend to ignore the things he doesn’t tell me for himself.”

 

“But you do know of it. The way he is. His track record with...dating in general.”

 

Steve nodded slowly. “Yes, but I…”

 

“Then you know that’s all in the past.”

 

“I do, and I’m…”

 

“Here’s the thing, Captain.” Rhodey leaned back against the wall with his arms folded over his chest. “I’ve been friends with Tony Stark for more than 20 years. I’ve seen him at his best. And I’ve seen him at his worst. I met him when he was just a kid who wandered into MIT. He was too young to drive when he started MIT. I’m sure you knew that. I was there when his parents were alive. I was there to watch his asshole of a father treat him like shit. I was there when his parents died. I was there when he took over the company, when he was partying, drinking, being a jerk, all of that. I was there when he was kidnapped and I was there when we found him. I watched Tony surpass his father in every conceivable way. I watched him become the person I knew he could be, and he’s a better person than I ever even imagined he could be. Tony’s been through a lot. He’s been hurt. A lot. He likes to think he’s got everything under control and that he isn’t freaking out, but I know him, Steve. I know he takes on responsibility like he’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and I know he blames himself for everything that goes wrong. He’s a brilliant man though and I’ll always be proud to call him my best friend. This should probably go without saying but, Captain, if you do anything to hurt him, anything at all, and believe me when I say I’ll be watching you, I will not hesitate to use whatever force possible to make you pay for it. Understood?”

 

Steve was silent for a moment and then he smiled and held out his hand to Rhodey. “I’m hearing you loud and clear, Colonel. Thanks.”

 

Rhodey looked a bit puzzled by Steve’s reaction but shook his hand with his own smile.

 

“Now…”

 

He looked up at the camera he knew Tony was watching him from.

 

“We’re going to have a talk about how I had to find out from Natasha that you’re dating Steve, Tony. I’m your best friend and you can’t just keep shit like this from me. Now turn the damn camera off and get up here because I haven’t seen you in months and I’d like to hang out with you if that’s all right.”

 

Tony couldn’t help the smile that broke across his face as he turned off the camera.

 

“J.A.R.V.I.S., save and power down. I’ll be back later.”


“As you wish, sir.”