A mishap at the club leaves Tony fearing his personal life will be revealed.
Tony Stark sat comfortably in his heated red and gold suit, a wine glass of tequila, two olives, dry, resting in his hands.
“Are you really going to sit on your ass all day?” FRIDAY sassed. Tony rolled over trying to ignore FRIDAY, then realised he was in his suit and FRIDAY is inescapable.
“Shut the fuck up FRIDAY or I’ll program you to never feel love,” he drunkenly slurred.
“Sir, I don’t feel love,” FRIDAY blatantly responded. Tony cursed under his breath and made a mental note to make FRIDAY feel love so he can rip it away at a moment’s notice.
Suddenly, his flip phone buzzed, preventing FRIDAY’s torture. He goes to lean over the bar to grab it but immediately face plants off the couch. “ShitMotherFuckingDucksBitch!”
After the pain in his face subsided, he clasped the phone in his hand and flipped open his phone. It’s Peter, who stays over every weekend.
“Hey Tony, are we still on for dinner?” he inquired hopefully. He responded “yes” and then closed the flip phone, going to change into something more comfortable. As he was taking off the suit he realised he had a shift at the club tonight.
Steve walked up to the bright lights of the club, his red, white and blue shorts hugging his toned ass.
He had planned to have a movie marathon with Natasha that night and was about to get ready when Tony called, asking him to cover his shift. He suddenly stopped underneath the neon sign, considering if he should just turn around and go home, leaving Tony to deal with his own mess.
“Hey, is that Captain America? Captain America! HEY!”
A young boy with a voice he couldn’t quite place waved in his direction, rocking Steve out of his thoughts. He was suddenly aware of his outfit, unconsciously tugging the hem of his short-shorts lower where they hung around his waist.
“Sorry, I think you got the wrong guy. I get that a lot though.” Steve effortlessly lied. The boy opened his mouth as if to reply but was interrupted by what looked to be his friend.
“Come on, Peter, we’re going to be late for dinner, Mr St-”
“Alright alright, I’m coming. Bye Captain America,” the boy waved again before walking off.
Steve let out a sigh of relief as he turned around and entered the club.
“So you think there’s a Spider-Man stripper?”
“Ned, stop! Tony might hear!”
“Might hear what?”
Stunned, Ned and Peter spun around to find Mr Stark in an apron at the door, smeared with bolognese sauce and holding a wooden spoon, the smell of burnt pasta wafting through the air.
“We saw a stripper that looked exactly like Captain America,” Ned chortled.
“A hot version of Captain America,” Peter chuckled bashfully, looking away.
Tony dropped his wooden spoon and it loudly clanged to the floor in the followed silence. Once he noticed the boys’ glances, he coughed awkwardly, fighting off his new wave of stress. “Ooookay then… Who wants pasta?”
As they all sat eating the home-cooked meal, Tony couldn’t help his onslaught of overactive thoughts, the possibility Peter had walked even close to the club too much to bear.
Being a stripper was riskier than being an Avenger. The stripper lifestyle was one all the Avengers became accustomed to, but they didn’t have a son figure like Tony did to worry about, and they were unaware of his circumstances.
“-don’t you think, Tony?” Peter inquired with a curious gaze.
Tony realised he had missed everything Peter had said, and with a guilty shake of his head, replied, “Sorry, what was that?”
“Thor would be a better husband than Vision, don’t you think?”
“F, marry, kill. Thor, Vision or The Hulk,” Ned supplied helpfully.
“Fuck Thor, marry Hulk, kill Vision.” Tony replied with a speed that shocked Ned and Peter into a stunned silence.
“What?” Tony inquired. “Wasn’t expecting that?”
The two boys quickly shook their heads, a surprised laugh bubbling out of both of their throats. The game continued into the night even after all the pasta was cleaned from their plates.
“Anyone want dessert? I have vanilla ice cream with ice magic, or would you prefer Hulk-a-hulk-a-burning fudge?” Tony asked, making his way to the fridge. Everyone opted for the ice magic (for some reason) and sat on the couch to watch a movie.
Peter flicked through the channels, searching for something to watch when he landed on Magic Mike, Ned laughing at his choice.
“Dude, could you imagine being a stripper?” Ned teasingly asked.
Peter chuckled, “Yeah, my stripper name would be ‘Spider-Man’.”
The two boys laughed, Tony tensing at the conversation. Tony tensed even more when the two friends discussed the flexibility and skill of a stripper, Channing Tatum in particular.
As the night lingered on and more movies were watched, Peter and Ned grew more and more tired, eyes drooping in and out of consciousness. Tony picked up two fluffy blankets and wrapped the boys in a warm cocoon, tucking them in and turning the TV off as he made his way to bed.
As he got comfortable and finally rested his tired eyes, a sudden blaring noise brought him back to his senses. His phone was ringing.
Who the fuck is ringing this late?
“Tony, it’s Nick. We need you in, there’s been an accident.”
The flashing red and blue lights of the S.H.I.E.L.D ambulance coincided with Captain America’s clenched ass cheeks in his American themed booty shorts. He stood in anticipation (lol) as the fate of Scott Lang now rested in the hands of the S.H.I.E.L.D operatives as his tiny mangled body was rolled away.
Tony warily approached Steve. “How did this happen?” Tony asked.
Steve’s mouth was set in a frown, his arms tightly crossed to fend off the biting cold. “Scott was working on a client in his ant form. She got a bit too excited and stood on him.”
Tony sighs, rubbing a hand to his creased forehead. “Well that’s just great, it’s not like this ruined my night or anything,” he mumbles.
Steve turns an inquiring gaze towards Tony, his eyebrow raised in question. “What? Were you busy or something?”
Tony’s palms began to sweat, the cold no longer an unwanted presence. “No, no. Nothing planned. So is he gonna be alright?” he says, swiftly changing the subject.
Steve sighs, his concerned expression returning. “We don’t know yet. His ribs are cracked, one of his arms is broken. They think maybe he won’t be able to work again.”
Tony knows his worries should be solely focused on Scott, but he can’t help his thoughts from going to other places.
Won’t be able to work again? So that’s one less Avenger to work, which means extra shifts, which means more time at the club, which means less time with Peter, which means Peter finds out. “So, what does this mean for the club?” Tony inquired with a weak attempt at keeping his voice even.
“The SHIELD operatives are good, but it'll be a while until Scott completely heals. So we’ll need everyone to pick up extra shifts. Is that okay with you?”
Panic washed over Tony that he managed to conceal with a cough. “Ah yep, I can’t-can definitely… do that,” Tony replied with obvious trepidation that Steve ignored; probably brushing it off as worry for Scott.
As he watched Steve make his way around to each Avenger to tell them the news, Tony began desperately devising a way to get out of his duties in the entertainment business. Before he could come up with a solid plan that didn’t involve faking his death, there was a vibration from his pocket. Peter.
“Heyyyy Peter,” Tony said, trying to sound casual but ultimately failing.
“You disappeared, FRIDAY told me you left."
“Oh yeah, duty calls. Ah...did you need something?” Tony replied.
“Uh yeah, just wondering where the leftover pasta is?” Peter replied sheepishly.
“You do realise its 2am, right?”
“Yeah, Ned and I woke up and wanted to finish the life-sized LEGO™ replica of R2-D2,” Peter explained without a trace of shame.
As it was a weekend, Tony decided to humour him. “In the fridge on the sixth floor. It’s behind the grapes. You better go back to bed after this.” Tony knew Peter would ignore his last comment because when Peter was up, he was up for good.
After a quick goodbye, Tony hung up his Stark Phone™ and went back to panicking, but decided that he would be able to come up with a plan after some alcohol.
As Tony entered the tower, he pushed open the door as slowly as possible so as not to disturb Peter and Ned. As he put down the keys, he heard muffled giggles emitting from Peter’s room and the unmistakable sound of the Star Wars theme. Smiling to himself, Tony started to pour himself a glass of scotch.
He downed the scotch in one swig as if it was water. Rubbing his head, he got up, deciding he should turn in. Tomorrow he’d spend the rest of the day with Peter before his night shift.
As he drifted off he ran through the routines he would do the following night. He slipped in and out of consciousness, exhausted from the events of the night. His phone vibrated against his bedside table, emitting an annoying sound. He sighed heavily, his restless slumber awoken from.
The bright light of his phone was painful to look at but the face he saw on the caller ID made his heart stop, feeling more awake than ever. He swiped to answer and put the phone against his ear.
“....Hello?” He sat up in bed, awaiting the voice he had become so accustomed to overtime.
“Tony, it’s Pepper. We need to talk.”
Due to circumstances, Bucky discovers he is being promoted from topless waiter to stripper. But wait... he must be trained by... the love of his life, fire in his loins - his childhood best friend.
Natasha is amused.
Bucky felt a shiver as the cold air of the club brushed against his naked chest.
Being a topless waiter had its downsides when all you had were booty shorts and a bow tie to keep you warm. Yet, he barely registered the cold when Steve’s performance was so hot.
Steve moved in perfect sync with the heavy base of the Star-Spangled Banner Remix, pulling and twirling higher and higher up the thin pole with each thump of the song, earning enthusiastic sounds from the large crowd of people gathered around the stage in worship. As the final base dropped Steve fell into his end pose, the middle splits, hands wrapped around the pole, an intense stare on his sweat glistened face that Bucky could have sworn was focused on him.
After the captivating routine Steve performed was finished, Vision’s booming voice announced over the clubs microphone system that ‘Iron Man's striptease’ was up next. The crowd let out an enthusiastic cheer as Tony strutted onto the stage, the lights dimming to emphasise the glow of his Iron Man suit.
Bucky took the crowds distracted attention as an opportunity to clear some of the empty glasses from the round tables scattered around the room. Stacking the glasses onto his tray, Bucky made his way back to the bar where Natasha stood, cocktail mixer in hand.
“I see you enjoyed Steve’s performance,” she said with a knowing smirk. Bucky made his way behind the bar to begin washing the glasses down, ignoring Natasha’s obvious teasing.
“Any news about Scott?” Bucky was quick to change the topic.
“He’s stuck on bed rest for a couple of months, then he has to do some physical therapy so he won’t be back for a while,” she says while mixing another drink.
“Who’s gonna fill his shifts?” Bucky asked, quirking his eyebrow.
“Well…” Natasha said turning away from Bucky, a guilty look on her face. A sense of panic washed over Bucky as Natasha continued. “I might’ve suggested…that a certain waiter would be happy to help...”
“What! I’ve seen your moves, you can dance.”
“Yeah! Not lap dance!” Bucky exclaimed, throwing down his washcloth in rebellion.
“Hey, calm down. The pay is better, the tips are amazing and…”
“Steve is your trainer,” she taunted with a glint of mischief in her eye.
In shock, Bucky dropped the glass in his hand, drawing the attention of the club patrons. He went to start cleaning up the broken glass and fetched the dustpan and broom wordlessly, Natasha waving to the others that they had it handled.
“Need some help?” They both jerked their heads around in surprise to find Steve. Bucky and Natasha both prayed he did not hear the earlier conversation.
Steve was clad in sweats and a tight v-neck, his forehead glistening with sweat from his earlier exertion. Bucky gulped, quickly looking away hoping Steve didn’t see him staring too long at his toned body. “No we’re good here-” Bucky began to say before he was interrupted by Natasha.
“Actually....we need to move some stock out from the back, could you give Bucky a hand?”
“Of course, what are we looking for?”
“Some new curtains for the private rooms.”
Steve nodded, turning to enter the back. Bucky gave Natasha a sharp glare but followed Steve into the back room without argument.
The silence in the storeroom was tense as they entered, Bucky refusing to meet Steve’s eyes. He could feel Steve’s burning gaze on him as he looked into the crates searching for the curtains, desperately trying to avoid the conversation he knew was coming.
“So…shame what happened to Scott.”
“Yeah.” An awkward silence settled over the room once more, making Bucky feel more anxious than ever.
“Did Nat tell you who was filling in?”
Bucky debated on whether he should tell the truth or not, but he nodded, knowing he couldn’t hide anything from Steve. Their past prevented him from that.
Steve delicately placed a hand on his shoulder, comforting him with a soft caress. “If you’re too uncomfortable with it, we can get someone else-”
Swinging around, Bucky quickly interrupted Steve; his face was flushed, his embarrassment shining through. “No! No, it’s fine! I'll do it!"
Steve seemed to relax at this and took a step closer, now inches apart. His eyes flicked to Bucky’s lips and back to his eyes. Slowly Steve started to lean in, his breath on Bucky’s lips. Bucky wasn’t sure if this was real or a dream; his heart pounded out of his chest.
Before Bucky could profess his true feelings, Bruce burst through the doors in a purple silk robe, the fine detailing accentuating his toned body; embroidered above his right pec was the letters B.B. “What’s up, guys. Did you find my curtains?” Banner questioned somewhat impatiently.
Bucky felt panic wash over him. Neither of them had properly looked for them.
“Right here,” Steve said, randomly handing over the first pile of sheer curtains he could find, revealing a matching purple-toned set. “Well....doctor, you should get back to your patients." Steve joked.
Bucky and Steve both chuckled, albeit a little awkwardly. With a wink, Bruce slid out of the room, leaving the two alone again. A space had now come between them from where they’d jumped apart.
“Well, better get back to it,” Steve said, breaking the silence. Bucky turned back to him, still jumpy from the interruption. “I’ll be working the rest of the night, but tomorrow we’re both rostered off so we’ll start with the basics then.”
Before Bucky could get a word in, Steve stepped close and with a pat on his shoulder, exited the room.
The heat of Steve’s breath still lingered on Bucky’s lips.
Bucky sat cramped in his small tub, facemask applied, his shoulders tense from the long week.
He was finally able to unwind, the scent of pine filling the room. Constant steam rose from the tub wafting through the room. To most the water would seem scalding, burning to the touch, but he wouldn’t dare let the water drop in temperature. Otherwise, the memories would come flooding back. Memories of falling, memories of falling into the unforgivable grasps of the frozen ravine. The memories almost flooded back full force.
Instead of dwelling on past events, he dropped a recently purchased bath bomb into the water and let the relaxing lavender smell wash over him. Bucky always associated the smell of flowers with Steve as it was added to his many medicines by his mother. If he closes his eyes, he can almost imagine the scene: Steve, lying in bed, his frame so thin he could disappear into the bed; sweat beads at his temple, an asthmatic cough the only sound that fills the room.
Bucky enters Steve’s small room. Sarah’s upbeat but worried welcome left him with a sense of guilt, weighing heavily whenever Steve had an episode of sickness. He felt the urge to protect Steve from the world, from bullies and the bitter Brooklyn winters, but his sickness’ was something that no one had control over.
“You look like shit,” Bucky says lightly from the doorway. Steve looks up from his pile of blankets, his sickly face forming a small grin.
“I could say the same about you.” He says, laugh turning into a congested cough. Bucky rushes to his side, picking up the discarded glass of water from his bedside table and putting it against his lips. Steve takes a few sips and the coughing calms.
“Thanks Buck.” His voice is hoarse from sickness and disuse, the confinement to his bed leaving him lonely and cold. Steve’s body shakes with an abrupt shiver, his teeth chattering. Wordlessly, Bucky slides in next to him, wrapping his toned arm around his lithe waist, the warmth enveloping him.
Steve lets out a huff of annoyance, his fond smile betraying him. “You’re suffocating me, Buck.”
Despite his amused tone, Bucky instantly draws back, grabbing the lavender ointment from Steve’s bedside table. Steve grimaces. “I don’t need that, Buck, I’m fin-”
Bucky silences him with a stern look that said enough.
Steve snaps his mouth shut. He silently unbuttons his shirt and lies back, tensing at the cold sensation of the ointment that had become familiar to him. Bucky’s hand was warm, and Steve welcomed the feeling. Bucky feels the tension in Steve’s chest relax, a repressed moan escaping from the back of his throat.
Steve leans in, faces inches apart-
The sound of his phone ringing pulled Bucky out of his trance, the water now cold and his fingers pruned. He scuttles out the water, now cold and unbearable, grasping for his phone. Natasha.
He tapped decline and began his nightly routine. Once he dried off, he began to moisturise his skin, giving extra attention to his knees. After braiding his hair, he wrapped his silk robe around him and entered his room.
Opposite to his bed were rows of tall mirrors. Bucky pulled up a chair in front of them. He sighed, hooked up his phone to a speaker and opened Spotify. He was getting the hang of this whole ‘technology’ thing.
He had decided earlier that he’d practice some of Scott’s signature moves so he wouldn't embarrass himself in front of Steve. He opened Scott’s playlist and straddled the chair, Drunk in Love beginning to softly play. He began swaying and lifted his hips from the chair, only to bring them back down in a movement that he prided himself on being quite graceful. Perhaps he wouldn't embarrass himself too much.
Once satisfied that he could replicate Scott’s moves, he decided to turn in for the night.
After Bucky’s break from the club he was refreshed and ready to work. Though, thinking about his afternoon training session with Steve made his chest flutter.
Feeling hungry, he pulled out some of Sam’s famous lasagna. No one was allowed to work on an empty stomach.
After eating, he got dressed and unbraided his hair. Satisfied that his morning routine was complete, Bucky headed out to the studio Tony had bought recently for the dancers to practice in. The media had a field day when they found out about Tony’s expense. It was a good thing they only found out about the studio and not the club; that wouldn't have ended well.
The studio dubbed ‘Marvel Studios’ was worn down, sparse and contradicted its name. The walls were lined with high mirrors. In the middle of the room a lonely chair was placed next to a pole that many Avengers trained on.
Plugging his playlist into the speaker, Bucky walked over to the chair, circling it in time with the music. He swayed and kicked his leg out, slowly and sensually lowering himself onto the edge of the chair. He threw his leg over the top of the chair so that he straddled it, making sure to point his toes.
“Seems like you don’t need my training.” Steve said with a throaty chuckle. Bucky whipped his head around to see Steve leaning against the door frame, arms crossed.
“What can I say? I’m a natural.” Bucky recovered with a joke.
“Hm, I can think of a few areas of improvement.”
“Oh really?” Bucky raised an eyebrow when Steve sauntered over.
“You need to work on your legs,” he said, grabbing Bucky’s leg and guiding it outward. “Remember to keep your legs straight or you’ll knock someone out.”
If Bucky wasn’t sitting his knees would have surely buckled. The music became a dull throb at the back of his mind; Steve had his full attention. Their faces were inches apart and the grip on Bucky’s leg was firm. His gaze flickered to Steve’s open mouth but before anything could happen, Steve took a step back. He dropped his leg as if it was on fire, causing Bucky’s body to jolt.
“Well….now that we’ve warmed up I think we can get started.” Steve said, not so subtly dismissing the moment they shared only seconds ago. “I’m going to teach you some of Scott’s more complicated moves since you seem to have the basics down pat.”
Bucky nodded and listened intently as Steve explained the move he wanted him to do. Complicated was an understatement and it was difficult to picture what Steve was describing in his head.
“Maybe I should demonstrate before I go confusing you,” Steve said. “Sit down.”
Bucky sat with his back straight against the chair, preparing himself for the move Steve was about to inflict on him. In one swift movement, Steve pushed off into a handstand, his hands gripping the chair on either side of Bucky’s legs. Bucky was more than a little shocked when Steve’s legs broke apart into a split, and the twerking began. That’s America’s ass.
Bucky chuckled at the sheer ridiculousness of Steve’s position, prompting him to let out a laugh of his own. “Think you’ll be able to pull off this move ?” Steve asked, kicking back into a standing position.
“Please, I could do it one-handed.” Steve laughed and switched positions with Bucky so that he was seated in the chair. He placed his metal hand beside Steve’s toned thighs and pushed off - it took him a few tries but he finally held the position of a handstand.
“Let’s see it then.” Bucky obliged, placing his metal arm behind his back. His success made him feel cocky, and he grabbed his feet with his free arm like a skater in the air. Before Bucky could move to his next pose his arm quaked, causing him to fall. It was an embarrassing moment for both Bucky and Steve when he landed face first into his best friend’s lap.
"Sorry,” Bucky said, voice muffled by Steve’s notably well-endowed crotch.
“It happens. Remember the time I fell from the top of the pole and knocked myself out?” They both laughed at the memory.
They spent the rest of the day going through the basics of lap dancing. Some of it was uncomfortable for Bucky, not used to being a performer, but Steve managed to find humour in their situation, making it a day of bonding for the friends.
Bucky felt closer to Steve than ever before. It was just like the old days - Bucky and Steve against the world.
Tony and Pepper face the arise of a new threat.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“How did this happen?” Tony hurries down the stairs, pulling a jacket on as Pepper follows closely behind.
“I’m not sure, we didn’t even know the guy existed until today.” Her tone is urgent, matching the voice he heard when he first answered her call.
“Tony, they found out about the club. He knows.”
The words made him pause, his mind struggling to understand what she was talking about. The club?
“The club? What're you talking about? Who found out?”
Pepper clearly had no time for his confusion. “Tony, the club! Somebody found out it’s actually the Avengers and not doppelgangers. I’m on my way to yours now. If this goes viral, who knows what’ll happen.”
Tony’s brain caught up with her words and he felt his heart thud loudly in his chest.
The club had become a solitude of sorts after the trauma Thanos caused and left behind; a place where they could all forget and enjoy and have fun. The thought of that being compromised, of possibly causing damage to their careers, had Tony feeling hollow and sad. And worried. How would people view them if they knew they were strippers? Would that affect their superhero status, helpers of the world and fighters of evil? And how would it affect my relationship with Peter, Tony thought.
That summed it up pretty well.
“What’s his name? This guy.” They reach the end of the stairs and make their way to Happy, parked outside and awaiting their arrival. Pepper had called him in a hurry as well, offering him the little explanation she had given Tony. He ignored the unnecessary warmth that bloomed in his chest at the thought that she still trusted him; still trusted a friend of his.
“He goes by the name of Shakattack. None of our intelligence community had him accounted for as they never believed he was a threat.” Pepper pushed through the front door, walking impressively fast in her heels.
“Well great job on your intelligence community for completely ignoring him. He’s only threatening to expose our entire club and our identities.”
Pepper gave him a withering glare that reminded him that they were, in fact, broken up. “I’m sorry that they prioritise protecting the lives of civilians over your strip club.” She tugged the car door open, Tony following her before shutting the door.
“You should be sorry, stripping is hard work,” Tony jokes. Pepper rolls her eyes.
“Do I want to know?” Happy butts in, tone light as he looked at them through the rear view mirror.
“No. Just drive.” Happy followed the order quickly, Pepper’s demanding voice leaving no room for banter. Tony stared out the window, the lights of the Stark Tower diminishing the further they drove along.
“Let’s find out what this guy wants.”
Tony stares through the two way mirror.
“So this is the guy?” Tony deadpanned. He turns to look around the room, full to the brim with high-ranked officials. “This guy? Really?”
The suited officers shifted uncomfortably, at a loss for what to say.
Tony subtlety rolled his eyes. “What’s his name? Shakattack? Tell me, who is he.”
A man stepped forward, the first one to do so in the 10 minutes that they’ve been in the hideout. “His full name is Anthony Shakattack, goes by the name Shakattack on his YouTube channel.”
“YouTube channel?” Tony interrupts. “What videos does he make?”
The man shifts awkwardly. “Gaming videos. And, uh, anti-feminist videos.” Pepper abruptly turns her head, suddenly engaged in the conversation. “He hates Carol, believes she’s a ‘disgrace to the patriarchal system that superheroes originate from.’”
Pepper’s eyebrows shoot to her forehead. “Wow, how charming.”
“We’ve been questioning him for nearly 20 minutes and he hasn’t offered much but his SoundCloud account.”
Tony crosses his arms, unimpressed. “Let us question him, me and Pepper. We’ll break him.”
Tony and Pepper enter the interrogation room, met with the sight of a young man garnished in a fedora, plaid scarf wrapped tightly around his neck. His Monster Energy Drink shirt strains against his lanky figure, his below the knee cargo shorts drowning him; his DC shoes are kicked up on the metal table.
“I want to speak to a lawyer,” he says, his face oddly red.
Tony glances at Pepper warily and sees her looking on in bemusement. “You will, in time. But for now, you’re going to answer our questions.” Pepper’s voice is stern and her expression is hard.
Shakattack’s flushed face forms an expression of disgust, attempting to look down on Pepper even under all those fedoras. “I’ll be taking questions only from him,” he says, gesturing his head towards Tony. “I don’t answer to females.”
Pepper observes that he almost looks proud of his comment, his head turned up, his fedoras almost falling off. She decides then to humour him, not wanting to waste anymore time. “Okay,” she says, composed. She turns to Tony, “Tony, do you want to ask him the questions?”
Tony sees that she’s not upset, that she almost looks smug, and he allows himself to step forward and take over.
“Shakattack is it?” Tony slowly circles the chair Shakattack sits in, his arms crossed.
“That’s what my enemies call me,” Shakattack says.
Tony looks down at him. “But that’s your last name.”
“Yeah, so?” Shakattack appraises him like he’s the dumb one, exasperated by Tony’s comment.
Tony realises then that this man -- this boy -- is no more than a pathetic, weak, 20-something year old that lives his life in a world of fantasies.
“Okay, let’s cut to the chase then. How did you find out about the club?” Tony stops his movements and stands in front of him. Shakattack raises his head to meet his eyes, a lone fedora finally toppling to the ground because of it. He grins, and Tony tries not to grimace at the way it tugs his face into an almost clown-like expression; he thinks he sees a piece of food somewhere in there.
“You thought you were so careful, so cautious about your little club! But I figured it out just from one visit.” Shakattack looks smug, his boyish grin failing to convey him as anything but I spoilt child in need of discipline.
“Oh, so you visited?”
Shakattack’s grin becomes lopsided as one corner of his mouth falls, his expression one of startlement. He freezes almost comically, and Tony has to make a conscious effort to stifle an outburst of laughter; he can hear that Pepper failed to make the same effort, and he turns an amused expression towards her before focusing on the man-child in front of him.
“I-It’s not like that! It was purely out of research! I am NOT a homosexual, how dare you imply that!” His face gets increasingly red, almost the shade of a tomato.
Tony defensively holds his hands up in an effort to backtrack. “Hey, I wasn’t implying anything. I just want to know how you found out about the club.”
Shakattack scoffs, his expression turning smug but his face still a startling shade of red. “Isn’t it obvious?” His eyes grow wide. “You all look exactly like the Avengers, even I figured it out! Are you even trying to cover it up?”
Shakattack erupts into bouts of laughter so loud it echoes around the small space. The men behind the mirror shuffle uncomfortably at the harsh sound.
Tony feels himself becoming frustrated. Was it really so obvious they were the Avengers that even a guy who ran a YouTube gaming channel could figure it out?
Before Shakattack could give himself an asthma attack, Pepper lands a solid punch to his grinning face, the stack of fedoras on his head flying into the air behind him.
“Fuck!” Shakattack screeches at the absolute blow he just received, gripping his nose tightly where it began to bleed. Tears pool at the corners of his eyes as he attempted to soothe his face. Tony’s mouth had formed the shape of an O, shocked at Pepper’s bold actions. Although, nobody ever fucks with Pepper.
Pepper flicks her hair over her shoulder, rubbing her knuckle absentmindedly as she turns to face him. “Tony, what’re we going to do about the club?”
What was he going to do about the club?
He crosses his arms tightly, eyebrows drawn in thought. “We need to find a way to make people believe we’re just doppelgangers.”
Sorry for the wait, we're all quite busy. Enjoy!
Someone new joins the Avengers strip club. You guessed it, Andrew Garfield! (Because we love him). Tensions arise from this new recruit as Andrew must train with Bucky and Steve, Who are still dancing around each other (literally and figuratively).
Warning: Awkward boners (but not too awkward because I couldn't write it).
On a quiet night. When customers had dwindled down to a mere handful, a young man walked in, paper clutched in hand.
“I was wondering if I could speak to the manager?” He asked Bucky who stood behind the bar on his break.
“Sure, I’ll get her.” Bucky said sceptically, assuming the man wanted to make a complaint. Or perhaps… Expose their identities. He reminded himself that he's dealt with worse.
In the backroom, Carol Danvers sat with her legs crossed upon her desk. She raised an eyebrow at Bucky in questioning.
“Someones here to see you.”
“Do they look like trouble?” She asked rising from her seat, always rearing for a fight. Bucky peered through the little window overlooking the bar. The young man held what looked to be a pepper shaker up to his nose, and let out violent sneezes upon sniffing it.
“He seems pretty harmless.”
“Ok. I’ll go see what he wants.” She sounded disappointed by the prospect of not throwing anyone out of the club. With that, Carol exited the room, Bucky following closely behind.
Bucky leaned against the bar, sipping his water as Carol talked to the man. He was a college student named Andrew Garfield, looking for employment in the club. He explained that he had experience doing street performances in a Spider-Man suit and had been mistaken for the real hero on many occasions.
“I’m impressed.” Carol said, eyes scanning Andrew’s resume. “Photographer, internships at Oscorp. Oh and look, first place at a skateboarding championship.” Andrew nodded along with each achievement, pride in his eyes.
“Are you able to have your interview now?” Carol’s words caused Bucky to freeze. She couldn’t actually be thinking of hiring him. It was true that the real Spider-man didn’t work at the club, but it would be strange if they hired a fake Spider-man... Oh. Bucky noted the calm smirk on Carol’s face. It was probably a smart move to hire him. There were rumours going around the club that the media catching on. He hadn’t missed the, what they thought to be private, argument Carol and Tony had had before the club opened that night. They were being threatened with being exposed as the real Avengers. If Andrew showed his face to the public while in the Spider-Man suit it would help the public believe that the Avengers were just doppelgangers. It would throw the media off their tracks considering the real Spider-man had never revealed his identity, not even the Avengers knew who he was. Andrew agreed to the interview and was taken into Carol’s office.
“I gave him the job.” Carol announced to the Avengers who were packing up the club in various states of undress. It had been a long shift with one lap dancer down due to the fact that Bucky was still behind the bar. His training yet to be completed. Thinking about being on the clubs stage made him nervous. Bucky thought he would have gotten out of having to be a lap dancer but apparently that was the one thing on Andrew’s long list of skills he had yet to master. He would apparently only be doing pole dancing.
“Convenient.” Bucky had growled. Though he felt some relief. He wasn’t sure how he would have reacted if Steve had to train someone else.
“I’ll need Andrew to do his training with you. Just to save time of course.” Carol said as if reading his thoughts. Her knowing smirk infuriated him.
“Are you sure about all of this?” Bucky asked after a while.
They watched as the newly hired Andrew introduced himself to everyone. Sam threw an arm around Andrew and drew him close with a laugh.
“I don't know about this guy. I think we should hire the real Spider-man.”
“NO!” Everyone turned to Tony’s outburst. “This guy just seems like the best Spider-man for the job.” He quickly recovered. Tony was hiding something and it had something to do with Spider-man. Bucky knew Tony had a secret but he wasn’t about to call the man out on it. Tony still had an ill-concealed mistrust for Bucky that he didn't want to aggravate.
“I just want to say you guys look so much like the Avengers. The way you guys stay into character with your names, incredible!”
Bucky dreaded the combined training session with Steve and Andrew. Bucky was sure Andrew was a nice guy, but his impressive resume made him feel intimidated. Bucky pushed the thought aside, walking into the dance studio.
As soon as he walked into the studio Bucky felt his eye twitch. The audacity! Andrew had gotten there early and was stretching with Steve. Bucky wouldn't have minded if Andrew was doing some simple arm stretches, but he was doing the downward dog of all things. Back in his day they simply ran laps. Steve stood nodding and occasionally adjusted Andrew’s hips. Bucky walked into the room, cringing when he slammed the door a little too harshly behind him.
“Morning Bucky.” Steve jogged up to where Bucky stood.
“Hi Bucky!” Bucky internally cringed at Andrew’s chipper voice interrupting. With a quick wave Bucky greeted everyone then sat himself down in the wooden chair in the middle of the room.
“I’m just going to show Andrew his routine then I’m all yours.” Steve winked then threw himself onto one of the poles in the room. With the grace of a ballerina, Steve swung up the pole letting go with his hand so that only his legs were keeping him up. Bucky almost drooled at the way Steve’s strong thighs tensed around the pole. Andrew was seated on the ground filming with one hand and somehow writing notes with the other. Bucky was enraptured by the performance, the way Steve incorporated Spider-man’s infamous poses into the routine like a natural-
“Actually Spider-man puts his middle and ring finger down.” Steve took Andrew’s advice and quickly adjusted his hands.
“I guess you know more about Spider-man than I do. Feel free to add things into the routine that you think will work.”
With that Steve left Andrew to his own devices and went to help Bucky train. Bucky was a trained soldier and didn’t miss something as small as the sideways glance Steve gave Andrew, a smile of approval on his face. Bucky felt his emotions stir and his stomach clench but he pushed it down. He refused to be jealous of some scrawny, admittedly handsome, young man. Besides Bucky and Steve had a bond that couldn’t be replaced by someone Steve had just met (ahem Peggy). Yes, there was a slight feeling of jealousy as to the way Andrew was able to move his body so freely without thought. Bucky blamed the army and Hydra for making him such an awkward dancer. Every move he made was calculated and stiff, there was no room for careless improvisation. Now he would have to relearn everything he knew. To be sexy not a soldier. To be a different kind of dangerous.
In front of him Steve sat down in the chair.
“Remember the basics of your routine?”
“Like the back of my hand.” Bucky lied with a laugh then sat in Steve’s lap as he searched for the song on his phone. Another glance to Andrew who wrapped his leg sensually around the pole. I can be sensual too he thought as the music started. He let go of the tension in his body and began the routine. First Bucky wrapped his arms around Steve’s and ground his hips downward. Not enough for their hips to connect, but enough to make Steve want more. That’s what Tash had told him after he confided in her after his first training session.
“It was a disaster, I can’t believe I fell on him.”
“You’re trying too hard. Just do the easy moves and leave the rest to Steve’s imagination, he’s got a wild one.” Bucky just frowned.
“Yes and keep that brooding face, Steve will find it mysterious.” Tash ended up with a dishcloth thrown at her face (which she easily dodged).
Now, he heeded to Tash’s advice: eye contact, parted lips, confident movements even if you don’t feel confident and if you have to, make it up. And it worked. Steve’s eyes no longer strayed to Andrew. His attention was focused completely on Bucky. He stared at Bucky, soaking in his movements with eyes that would probably need to blink at some point. He spun around and leaned over so that his ass was overtly in Steve face, his own form of downward dog (he thanked Andrew for the idea). It was at that point, when Bucky sat back down onto Steve’s lap, that he felt it. Bucky tried not to freeze, he tried to keep dancing, but the feeling against his leg, Steve’s boner, was hard (hah) to ignore. Bucky flipped around again so that he was face to face with Steve. His friend was red-faced and wide-eyed, obviously shocked by his body’s betrayal. Bucky was flattered to say the least, he smiled slightly to let Steve know he felt that way. Who knew Tash’s advice would work so well? The eye contact between Bucky and Steve was intense. Unbearably so. Now or never he thought then leaned in. He let out an internal cheer as he saw Steve reluctantly lean in too, their faces inches apart.
“Hey guys! What do you think of this mo- oh.” He had forgotten Andrew was in the room. Steve apparently had to because he jumped at the sound of Andrew’s voice, dropping Bucky to the floor with a thud.
Training came to an awkward end and Bucky found himself walking out of the studio with Andrew.
“Hey, sorry about interrupting you guys. I know I hate it when people get in the way of me and my boyfriend having an intimate moment.”
“Oh, no me and Steve aren’t-”
“Don’t stress. I’ll give you guys some privacy next time.” Andrew winked. Before Bucky could say anything, a run down truck pulled up in front of the studio, which Andrew promptly hopped into. Huh, Bucky thought. He was starting to like this guy. Especially now that he was no longer a threat.
That night he couldn’t sleep. Was Steve attracted to him or was he just attracted to what he was doing? Was he imagining things when Steve leaned in to kiss him? Andrew had certainly saw something between Bucky and his friend. He knew he should just talk to Steve but he didn’t want to. He had fought in a War and endured years of torture but he couldn’t tell his best friend that he loved him. He was pathetic, which is probably what Tash will tell him when he explains to her what happened. They were going to need a lot of alcohol.