If you were to ask them whose idea it was, all fingers would point to Clint. Corn-fed Iowa boy Clint Barton, who, echoing the sentiments of Americans everywhere, had not exactly been impressed with the goings-on of the 2016 Presidential election.
None of the team really was, for that matter—of course, once upon a time Tony Stark might have supported Donald Trump as a joke, hell, he would have made a flashy appearance at the RNC in Cleveland, bright red shades perched on his nose, flashing peace signs and snarking his way through some speech, completely disregarding the teleprompter, just for shits and giggles, because when you had the amount of money Tony Stark had, it didn't really matter who the President was. However, Tony had since undergone course correction, and frankly, felt a little sick to his stomach every time the self-immolating pile of shit with the bad toupee was on television.
Steve, of course, had been planning on voting for Hillary, though he couldn't help but be a little disappointed that his fellow Brooklynite Bernie Sanders hadn't gotten enough votes to get the nomination. He'd liked the way Bernie had had principles, strong ones, and wasn't afraid to get a little testy in standing up for the little guy, but it had been a rough battle to get to the DNC, and, hey, Hillary reminded him a little of Peggy with her serious nature and clear command of complex, interdependent issues.
Bruce, for his part, had been hem-ing and haw-ing, considering casting his ballot for Jill Stein, since his New York state vote wouldn't matter anyway, but once he'd heard word of her stance on vaccinations, he'd shaken his head in disgust, muttering under his breath about the irresponsibility of it all—a real doctor saying the same cockamamie things as anti-vaxxers, really?
Thor, unfortunately—or, rather, fortunately, depending on how you looked at it—was not registered to vote, as being from another cosmic dimension and only residing part-time in New York and New Mexico was didn't really fulfill the criteria for citizenship. Besides, they didn't have elections on Asgard, which made it all the more hilarious when Thor had earnestly suggested that "your magnificent Lightning King, this Barack Obama, glory be with him—why is he abdicating his throne after a mere eight years?"
Ditto Natasha, though, in her case, who knew where she voted? What state, what country, even? Did she even vote at all—and if so, under what pseudonyms? Frankly, Steve wasn't entirely certain that Natasha didn't have the power to control the entire thing from where she sat, legs crossed, dressed in a baggy t-shirt, staring at the wall-size high-definition television in Avengers tower with a smirk of schadenfreude on her lips.
Rhodey'd shrugged and sighed and decided to vote Hillary, since, as he'd told nearly everyone who would listen, "look, I don't agree with her on a lot of things, but giving Trump the big red button is beyond stupid, and, believe me, I know stupid," which would often be accompanied by Rhodey punching Tony lightly on the shoulder. Besides, Rhodey voted in every election, even the midterms, and did his homework, much to Tony's chagrin, reading the arguments from candidates as insignificant as New York City dogcatcher.
Sam was following a similar line of thought, being a military man himself, but it still didn't seem ideal to him that either way, more and more people were going to be sent into battle zones—meaning more and more broken faces and shaking voices in the therapy sessions each week at the V.A., and that didn't sit right with him.
And, well, Bucky—Bucky was Bucky even when he wasn't entirely Bucky all the time these days, and Bucky didn't really care much about elections—never had, now that Steve was thinking about it. After all, they hadn't really had many opportunities to vote back in the day, since you had to be twenty-one until Congress had ratified the 26th amendment in 1971, when Bucky had been who knows where, doing things he didn't much like talking about, and Steve had still been in the ice. Bucky, for his part, was content to cuddle up next to Sam on the couch while they all watched, booed, and cheered various convention speeches.
Clint probably was drunk when he suggested it, but then again, most of Clint's drunken ideas weren't as good as this one.
“Cap—you should run for President."
Steve had nearly knocked Tony over from where they sat, the smaller man's head resting on Steve's shoulder, as he'd practically leapt off the couch in surprise. "Are you serious, Clint? It's almost August—first of all, I'm not a politician, and second of all, they've already made the nominations—"
Clint waved his hand absently, barely avoiding sloshing beer from a freshly opened bottle onto Tony's very expensive rug. "Why not? You've got the name recognition, you're a damned national icon and war hero—I mean, who wouldn't vote for Captain fucking America for President? It'd be like trying to get rid of the eagle as our symbol or something, it'd be totally impossible for anyone to claim they love America and not vote for you."
Steve inhaled sharply and rolled his eyes. “Okay—let's say I followed your completely ridiculous advice and ran. I don't have an organization behind me—I don't have the staff, the volunteers, I certainly don't have the money—"
Tony cut in then, flicking the side of Steve's head playfully, making Steve wince. "Um, hello, earth to Captain America? You're currently married to—and screwing the living daylights out of—one of the richest guys in the world—also known as me. Money's the last hurdle for you, Strawberry Shortcake."
Steve flushed, while Clint screwed up his face in reaction to either the sexual reference or the nickname, or both. "Too much information, Tony—also, please tell me he doesn't call you that when—but yeah, Steve, really, if you wanted to run, you'd be basically unstoppable."
"There is the whole fact of me being married to a man," Steve said slowly.
Sam cut in then, looking wildly amused at the whole thing. "Gay marriage has been legal in all fifty states for over a year now, Cap. I mean, there are some holdouts—but really, Cap, I have to believe that you’d be able to win over even some of the homophobes.”
Steve nodded softly. “I guess so. I just—”
Natasha rose from where she sat, coiled and catlike, and approached Steve, dropping a hand on his shoulder. “Steve. Aren’t there things about the United States that you’d like to change? Yes or no?”
Steve’s face lit up, posture becoming animated, words tripping over themselves in their attempts to be heard. “Of course I do—first of all, this whole bathroom nonsense where people are getting harassed for trying to use the restroom they need—secondly, the social safety net absolutely needs to be strengthened—I would have definitely died as a kid if not for the New Deal—we need to improve funding for schools, and, my god, the environment is a disaster, and we’ve got the resources to protect it and we have to do better—not to mention the fact that the way we tax the wealthy and corporations seriously needs to be reformed—we shouldn’t have people starving on the streets when there’s so much abundance in this country—”
Clint’s face looked smug as he clapped his hands together jubilantly. “There’s your stump speech, bro!”
Steve blushed hard at that, looking around the room at the rest of the team, eyes wide with surprise and what seemed like anticipation. “I—I mean… are you all serious about this, guys?”
Bucky sat up, smiling that mischievous smile that Steve knew so well. “Stevie—if you’re in, we’re in, one hundred percent.”
Steve rubbed the edge of his nose self-consciously. “I—I guess. Let’s do it.”
Tony jumped up from his seat beside Steve, whipping out his phone and beginning to type something furiously, before shoving it back in his pocket and yanking Steve up by one arm, nearly pulling it out of its socket as the room erupted in laughter.
“Let’s run for president, bitches!”
Of course he won. How could he not have? Even running as an independent candidate, it wasn’t even close. No one truly hated Captain America, and even the people who didn’t love Steve Rogers cast their votes for him, carrying him seventy percent of the electoral votes and seventy-five percent of the popular vote, with Clinton and and Trump reduced to mere glimmers in the corner of his eye.
Pepper Potts had taken a leave of absence as CEO of Stark Industries in order to run Steve’s campaign, and by god was she a marvel, applying every tactic she’d used to manage Tony back in his days running the company, although, Pepper was quick to admit, Steve was, for the most part, much easier to deal with. Fewer drunken rampages and orgies to worry about spinning, that sort of thing. Television appearances on all the networks were Steve’s first priority, and while Anderson Cooper of CNN was a decent, smart fellow in Steve’s estimation, Bill O’Reilly from FOX had gotten under his skin just as much as Tony himself had in those first days on the helicarrier, what seemed like decades ago. Something about Steve’s left-of-progressive economic and social policies left those folks in a right tizzy, but of course no one could really suggest that Captain Freaking America was anything but a patriot in the truest sense, having very nearly literally died for his country during wartime.
The debates had been a bit of a struggle, at first—while nearly everyone in the auditoriums, including the moderators, had been beyond starstruck at the prospect of Captain America becoming the president, it had never been really all that easy for Steve to stand in the spotlight for hours upon end, and smiling and waving like he had in his USO days wasn’t going to cut it. Clinton had managed to challenge him on several key points, suggesting hawkishness where he recommended having a lighter hand in foreign affairs, while being a little too centrist for his taste when it came to issues like raising taxes on corporations and closing loopholes. Trump had been much less of an issue, blustering from orange to red to purple as he’d attacked Steve’s policies, his looks, his sexuality—prompting Natasha and Clint to have to tag-team Tony in the audience as the CEO had tried to pop out of his seat, prepared to knock in Donald Trump’s toupee-d face, suit or no suit—but Steve’s earnestness, gravitas, and fundamental honesty definitely had him beat early on, and the polls soon began to show it.
Stark Industries money bought up as much airtime as the laws allowed, the cameras loved him despite his shyness—and of course they adored Tony—and soon Steve Rogers of the “Howling Commando” party (not Steve’s idea, for the record—that’d been Bucky’s brainchild) managed to reach the ballot in all fifty states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico (the latter of which Steve had promised to consider advocating for statehood upon taking office). President Obama had met with him, and apologized for not being able to endorse him, since party lines were party lines, but wished him all the best, shaking his hand firmly before being swept up in a massive hug by Thor, leading to about twenty Secret Service agents swarming the Norse god in under ten seconds.
As July turned into August, Steve was coming out ahead in nearly every poll, with Nate Silver placing his chances of victory at over eighty percent in both the popular and electoral vote categories. Yet there was still a bit of tension in the media coverage of his campaign, since Steve Rogers had not yet announced a running mate. It was a question that had bothered Steve for some time, since a good number of his friends were not even American citizens, but as soon as the right answer dawned on him, it struck him as funny that he could have ever considered anything else.
After swiping his phone from Pepper, Steve thumbed in the phone number and held it to his ear, a tiny, genuine grin lighting up his face as he waited for the call to get picked up.
“Steve? What’s up?”
“Sam?” Steve found himself missing the heft of the old rotary phone parts he’d used back in the day, stomach rippling uncomfortably with butterflies. It wasn’t as if Sam had ever failed to support him in the past, or step up to the plate, but it was one thing to ask for backup and another to ask him to serve as the Vice President of the United States…
Steve took a deep breath to steady himself.
“I’m asking you to jump off a cliff.”
Through the line he could hear the other man smile, and when Sam answered, he sounded almost dazed. “Steve Rogers needs my help?—There’s no better reason to get in the game.”
“I’m going to cry. I’m going to cry, dammit, I’m going to cry,” Tony repeated loudly backstage at the venue in New York City where Steve was to make his victory speech, hands flapping uselessly, voice thick with suppressed emotion, eyes wet behind ever-present though unnecessary sunglasses.
Natasha cut him a look, crossing her arms in front of her black silk dress, arms and neck bare despite the November chill. “Really, Stark?”
Tony tore off his sunglasses and pouted at her. “Hey, Mother Russia, next time your fucking spouse wins the freaking Presidential election, you get to talk to me about being emotional. Mkayy?”
Natasha rolled her eyes, while Bucky piped up from where he stood next to her, a thick scarf wrapped around his neck and mouth, “hey, my guy over here is going to be second-in-command, and you don’t see me blinking away tears—”
“Don’t start with me, Manchurian Candidate,” Tony warned, though his tone was more wobbly than truly threatening; leaving the two assassins behind to giggle in Cyrillic or whatever, he jogged over to where Bruce was standing, nearly unrecognizable in his thick coat and fleece cap, shoulders hunched with his hands in his pockets. Tony slapped him on the back, grinning almost crazily before squeezing him into a tight hug. “Brucey-babe—can you believe it? Our own Captain Tightpants is now Commander-in-Chief—and I guess that makes me the First Lady. First Man. First Husband. First Gentleman?”
Bruce’s voice was low but affectionate. “Tony, believe me, no one would make the mistake of confusing you for a gentleman. Although, I guess you could always ask President Clinton what term he was planning on using, y’know, when he’s not so mad at us anymore…”
Tony let out a cackle then, elbowing Bruce in the side. “Hey, fuck you, Jolly Green Giant, I’m plenty gentlemanly. I’m basically the dictionary definition of gentlemanly… hey, by the way, where the heck is bird-brain? And Rhodey? And Old Spice Guy?”
“Clint and Rhodey are covering aerial surveillance, and Thor’s doing crowd control. Gotta make sure HYDRA doesn’t decide to pull something when Steve and Sam get onstage.” Bruce shivered, reaching his hands out of his pockets to pull his hat more snugly down over his ears.
Tony’s eyes widened when he caught a glimpse of Steve’s pale face on the other side of the backstage area; he visibly relaxed when Tony made his way over and pulled him into a deep kiss, the shorter man rising on tiptoes to reach Steve’s mouth.
“Remind me whom I’m supposed to blame when this all goes to hell,” mumbled Steve dryly when Tony moved his lips along his jaw, slipping his hands into Steve’s gloved ones.
“Clint. Definitely Clint,” Tony giggled, feeling incredibly warm despite the cold as he felt Steve give his hands a squeeze.
“It was his idea, sure, but I couldn’t have done it if you hadn’t enabled me,” Steve quipped, pressing his forehead against Tony’s, their breaths shimmering white against the dark night sky.
Tony snorted. “Me, enabling you? Good luck getting anyone to believe that, Honey Bunches of Oats.”
“Still. Wouldn’t have had a chance if you hadn’t spent all that money getting me here.”
“Aww, sweet pea, don’t worry about the money. It was getting all dusty just sitting in that Swiss vault—it was practically begging ‘spend me, spend me, spoil Steve rotten with me,’ and who was I to say no?”
Steve pressed a kiss to Tony’s forehead. “Yeah. About that. You realize my platform is about eliminating that sort of thing, right—? Swiss vaults and offshore accounts—all those ways you rich folk like to hide money from the IRS.”
“Damn. I knew you’d eat me out of house and home, but you’re gonna be putting me on the streets if you keep that nonsense up,” Tony whispered, voice veering into a faux-petulant whine.
Steve slid a hand to the back of Tony’s neck. “I think you’ll make it out okay.” He straightened his posture then, and looked over to where Sam had joined Bucky near Natasha, the two men linking arms as Sam wrapped the long end of Bucky’s scarf around his own neck, making the two of them look disgustingly adorable. Sam smiled down at Bucky, then lifted his head to meet Steve’s eyes, giving him a firm, confident nod.
“Rogers! Wilson! Rogers! Wilson! Rogers! Wilson!”
“You ready, babycakes?” Tony wrapped his arm around Steve’s waist, heart beating so loudly that he was sure the arc reactor would have stuttered silent if he still had it.
Steve smiled nervously, the roar of the crowd wafting over him and soaking into his bones along with the snippy weather. “I’m ready. I think.”
The team had been keeping cabinet and staff appointments quiet until the inauguration, and thanks to Tony’s Stark Industries cybersecurity, it hadn’t managed to leak, no matter what that punk Julian Assange—as Tony called him when he was being polite—tried to do to screw things up for President-elect Rogers.
On this first day, Steve had gathered the Avengers plus Pepper into the Oval to hash out the final details first thing in the morning—which, for Steve Rogers, meant seven in the morning. Tony showed up wearing a bathrobe with probably nothing underneath, much to nearly everyone’s chagrin, though it was calf-length and there were no unfortunate instances of Tony flashing someone.
“So, I do have to pick some of the other people who gave me support during the campaign for some of these posts, but I just can’t picture myself being able to handle this job without my team.”
Tony crossed his legs and raised his hand, then spoke without being called on. “I call Secretary of Defense. I call dibs, it’s mine now. That’s how it works.”
Steve sighed the first of many, many Tony-related sighs of his presidency, burying his face in his hands as Clint let out a hiccuped chortle, his groan coming out slightly muffled. “Tony, you’re the First Spouse. I’m pretty sure you can’t have a cabinet position.”
“Besides, with Stark Industries’ history before Afghanistan, I doubt picking you to have anything to do with weapons and security would keep people feeling particularly at ease,” Sam added wisely, garnering nods of assent from Bruce, Pepper, and Rhodey.
“Aw, come on! I came back from that all shiny brand-new and kicking bad-guy ass and stuff!” Tony sank back into his chair and crossed his arms, evidently deciding to go full tween-ager on his official first day as First Spouse. “What’s the point of being the First Spouse if I can’t have my finger on the nuke button?”
Steve ignored him and turned to look at Rhodey, who looked resplendent as ever in his military dress. “Colonel Rhodes, I know we discussed this briefly during the campaign, but I’m asking you in earnest now. Would you accept the position of Secretary of Defense?”
Rhodey’s answering grin was as loud as Tony’s overdramatic cry of betrayal. “It would be my pleasure, Mr. President.”
Steve blushed, jotting something down on the pad of paper in his lap. “Aw, shucks—you don’t need to call me that—oh, god, I’m going to have to get everyone to stop calling me ‘Mr. President’ now, because, you know, I just finally got everyone to stop calling me ‘Captain America’ all the time…”
“I’m going to call you ‘wench’ from now on, you asshole,” Tony fake-moaned, fluttering his eyelashes for effect. “Picking my best friend over me, your beloved husband and the best fuck you’ve ever had, for the job? Someone’s sleeping on the couch tonight, pooh-bear!”
“Someone’s sleeping in the President’s bedroom, and you’re sleeping in the First Lady’s bedroom, you mean,” Bucky piped up wryly while Steve once again hid his face in his hands, neck now visibly crimson, Natasha snickering not-so-quietly while Clint muttered something under his breath about having to hear about people getting it on this early in the morning.
Tony pointed his finger at Bucky dramatically, voice coming out sonorous and theatrical. “Don’t talk to me like that, Barnes. I can have you executed via guillotine, or something.”
Thor’s voice boomed from behind his good-natured grin, echoing off the walls of the Oval. “We do not have guillotine on Asgard, and I have been assured by my lovely Jane that this Midgardian kingdom of ‘America’ does not make use of it either, Anthony. He speaks in jest, my good James Buchanan Barnes,” he continued beatifically, looking over at Bucky in a show of reassurance.
“Well. Now that that’s settled,” Steve continued, leaning forward to look at Pepper across the low coffee table. “Pepper, you’ve been just swell running my campaign. Couldn’t have done it without you. I know that you didn’t plan on stepping away from Stark Industries, but I figured I would ask—would you consider coming on as my Chief of Staff? Once you and Tony have found a replacement, of course.”
Pepper’s cheeks pinked as she tucked a strand of strawberry blonde hair behind her ear self-consciously. “I—I would be honored, Mr. President. I—I certainly am prepared for it after making sure Tony did his job for years—I think.”
Steve smiled brightly at her before scribbling a little more onto his notepad. “Thank you, Pepper—I really can’t think of anyone better for the job.”
“They really broke the mold when they made you, Pepper,” Tony said wistfully, gazing at her with misty eyes. “Now, if only there were, like, ten of you, and none of us would ever have to work again.”
“You couldn’t afford ten of me,” Pepper replied pleasantly, smoothing her skirt over her knees.
“Bruce,” Steve continued, meeting the uneasy scientist’s gaze with a gentle expression, “would you accept the role of Secretary of the Interior? I’d really like to have someone with a solid scientific background helping with climate policy, and you wouldn’t have to make that many public appearances.”
Bruce pushed his glasses back up his nose and shifted in his seat, trying to shrink himself as everyone in the room turned to look at him expectantly. “I—Mr. President—”
Tony clapped his hands together abruptly. “Come on, Brucie-bundle-of-sunshine, you’ll get basically unlimited funding and get to do a little world-saving while you’re at it. Take the job—I’ll come visit you in your lab every day with cookies and shit—”
“Stark, we’re trying to get him to take the job, not run away screaming,” interrupted Natasha, a smirk curling on her lips.
Steve cocked his head, his brow furrowing with concern as he studied Bruce’s increasingly panicked features. “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, Bruce. But I’d like to have our climate direction in your hands.”
Bruce looked down at his knees and sighed deeply before looking up and cracking a tiny, shy smile. “Sure. I’ll do my best, Mr. President.”
“Hell yeah!” Tony exclaimed, rising from his seat to high-five Bruce across the table, barely avoiding giving Thor and Sam an eyeful of inner thigh, making the former chuckle heartily and the latter cover his eyes in panic. “We’re gonna be doing experiments and shit forever, mi compadre—it’s gonna be so awesome!”
“Yes, that’s the word I’d use,” Steve said resignedly, before running a hand absently through his hair.
Clint cleared his throat then, exchanging a meaningful glance with Natasha, before he spoke up. “Mr. President? Natasha and I were thinking about how we could help out around here, and—”
Steve fought the urge to roll his eyes. “Clint, we’ve talked about this. ‘Cabinet spy’ is not a legitimate job, and certainly not one I’d really want to have to assign…”
“How about Steve’s bodyguards?” Tony asked, plopping back down into his chair. “Red over here would still get to wear black, and you’d both get to probably kick some major ass in the event that anyone tries to take out my dearingest darlingest Stevie-weevie…”
Steve’s ears went red as he briefly considering curling up and dying of embarrassment, while Natasha laced her fingers together and leaned forward, meeting Steve’s eyes understandingly. “You got it, Mr. President.” Her husky voice turned thoughtful, her smile deadly. “Does that mean I get to use the Widow’s Bite?”
“We’ll talk about it,” Steve said mildly, which, over the course of the next eight years, would become Steve’s more diplomatic way of saying “HELL, NO.”
He looked down at the pad of paper, seemingly satisfied. “Okay—we’ve got Pepper, Rhodey, Bruce, Clint, Nat all settled and employed—Thor—” here Steve looked across the table towards the majestic blond giant with the cape strewn across his knees. “I take it you’ll continue being our Asgardian liaison?”
“Oh, indeed I shall, President King Steven, and it shall be an honor,” Thor replied proudly, seemingly remaining unflappable at Tony and Clint’s twin snarking noises at Thor’s continued insistence upon an American monarchy—“President, Thor, we don’t call them kings here—” despite having been told otherwise multiple times. “I do believe that my good friend Vice President Prince Joseph shall enjoy a visit to my humble home.”
Steve pressed his lips together to keep from laughing, while Pepper’s mouth twisted in disbelief. “He doesn’t mean—”
“Yepper, Pepper,” Tony said blithely, clearly enjoying her confusion. “Our good friend Thor here has befriended good ol’ Joe Biden, because I’m pretty sure Obama got a restraining order on him after their last meeting.”
“Vice President Prince Joseph proved to be far more inclined to enjoying being regaled with tales from Asgard than did the former Lightning President King Barack Obama,” Thor responded almost haughtily. “I believe Lighting President King Barack Obama to be more acquaintance than true bosom brother of mine, though his wife Queen Michelle has the heart of the finest warrior women of Asgard. Vice President Prince Joseph has expressed an interest in consorting with the All-Father.”
“Of course he has,” Tony said, all too happy to picture this strange friendship. “Send me pics when you’re there, bro. You’ll blow up Twitter.”
“It would be my honor to set this Twitter person alight with our presence.”
“Looks like we’ve got it all figured out,” Sam announced then, looking around the room, face lighting up in excitement. “Good to have the team on board—even if it’s a little different from what we’re used to.”
“You still haven’t given me a job yet, Stevie,” Bucky opined, shifting on the couch and laying his head in Sam’s lap, wrinkling the Vice President’s perfectly-pressed navy-blue suit pants; Sam ran his hand through Bucky’s hair fondly before resting it on his shoulder.
“You’re Falcon’s concubine,” Tony said abruptly, roguishly, a leer spreading across his face. “Your job is to do all the sex stuff to keep our Executive Branch happy, hale, hearty, healthy, whole, all that jazz.”
“I thought that was your job,” Bucky replied, eyes snapping and bright, as Steve tried to interject, voice sounding faint and already exhausted. “Tony—Buck—come on, could we at least act like adults on the first day in office—”
Tony rose from his seat and came to stand behind Steve, wrapping his arms around his neck and placing a sloppy, comically loud kiss on his cheek. “Captain Sex-on-Legs doesn’t technically need sex to be happy with me, though it certainly doesn’t hurt, if ya know what I mean. He has me and my wonderful personality, obviously, I’m a pleasure to be around, one hundred percent, twenty-four seven—just ask anyone who’s spent time with me: Commander-in-Chief over here, Pepper, Rhodey, Red Peril, Bruce-Cut-Loose-Footloose—no, Brucie, don’t try to hide, you know you love me…”
Steve patted Tony’s hand absently, exchanging a tired but happy glance with Sam as Tony continued to babble on over the protests of nearly everyone else in the room—Pepper resting her head on Rhodey’s shoulder in a gesture of weariness, Rhodey pinching the bridge of his nose to stifle his chuckling, Natasha rolling her eyes hard enough to knock herself out, Bruce now actively trying to get the couch to swallow him whole—
They’d done it, somehow. They’d gotten here, gotten their act together at the last minute, and managed to actually give people the promise of hope and change. This new mission would undoubtedly be different from any the Avengers had faced, but Steve knew they’d be able to take it on, give it their all, and maybe do some good along the way.
And if it didn’t work out, well, they could always blame Clint.