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Home is Where the Stark is

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“Barton, you thieving cur!! How dare you eat my poptarts!? I was saving them fo-”

“For what!? You gonna woo your lady with cheap pastries!? If anything I did you a favor,” Barton sneered. “And this is payback for eating all my pickles!! They were clearly labelled as ‘CLINT’S: DO NOT TOUCH’!!”

“And you can always get more from your wife!” Thor boomed “These were limited edition and were to be given to Jane and Darcy!”

“So you’re saying that my homemade pickles were less than your stupid, disgusting, massed produced-”

Thor charged at Clint, who jumped clean over him. But instead of his usual tactic of fleeing to the vents, he tackled the Asgardian from behind. They were both in a rage, wrestling each other with the intention to harm.

“What the hell is going on!?” Steve stormed into the common area in his civvies and shield in hand. “Both of you, stand down before you break something!” He jumped into the fray, knocking back Thor with his shield and giving Clint a firm shove.

Thor came at Steve with a vengeance. “This does not concern you, Rogers!” He grabbed Steve by his shirt and flung him over his shoulder to get at Clint.

The entire Tower shook from their fighting and Tony was not feeling it today. Usually he’d let them duke it out, but years of experience told him that their fight would last a while if someone didn’t step in. He swiped the schematics away and pulled up camera feed from upstairs. The entire Avengers Tower was rigged with the best security Stark Industries had to offer. And it came in handy when you had to monitor this particular group.

Tony winced as he watched Steve get clocked in the jaw by Clint. “JARVIS, what are the chances of them wrecking the entire floor?”

“About 87.2%, Sir. And might I add that it would cost-.”

“I know the costs, J. Trust me, I get a reminder every week in the mail.” Tony sighed. He had been on a tinkering binge and running was running on fumes by now. “What about the chances of Cap calming them down?”

“At this point, Sir. 0.000001%. In fact, if I may speak freely, Captain is adding to the problem.”

JARVIS’s observation was accentuated by a crash that could only be some piece of furniture being smashed to bits. He sighed again. Part of him wanted to strap those three to a rocket and send it into space. But a bigger part of him understood Clint and Thor’s irritability.

After the Accords, Laura Barton had filed for a divorce and acquired a restraining order towards Clint. He wasn't allowed near her or their children. The archer was devastated, but stayed true to his wife despite that. It was only recently that she had contacted him again after they defeated Thanos. Still not lifting the restraining order, but allowed brief video calls with his children. Those pickles, along with jam and other preserved produce, had been sent at the request of his children who made them.

Thor on the other hand had a different kind of strain on his relationship with Jane. For all his time spent on Earth, he still didn’t know a lot about etiquette between humans. Let alone being in a long distance relationship with one. With her research, Jane never stayed in one place for very long and couldn't just drop everything for a regular date night. Her research apparently was key to strengthening Earth against otherworldly threats. Thor also had his responsibilities as an Avenger and a prince of Asgard. His Asgardian responsibilities doubling ever since Odin fell into some kind of galactic coma. Lessening his already minuscule free time to be with Jane.

Both had more than enough reason to be in a less than understanding mood. But Tony also knew that this fight was childish and could get dangerous if it continued.

Tony stepped off the elevator and onto the common floor where Thor, Clint, and Steve were still grappling.

“Tony! A little help, please!” Steve choked out.

Stepping gracefully around the rubble and broken glass. He placed a hand on Thor, who was at the top of their dog pile pinning Steve and Clint under him.

“Thor, you gotta get off of them, bud. Come on, I'll make you a latte.”

“Friend Tony, I do not wish to harm you, but if you intend to intervene I shall! Barton-.”

“Was an asshole. He shouldn't have touched your stuff, especially if you were going to give it to Jane. But you also touched his stuff first.”

Tony continued to murmur softly to Thor, rubbing small comforting circles into his shoulders. Slowly, Thor’s scowl lessened and his body relaxed. Tony guided Thor up and off the other two, guiding him to the kitchen. Clint on the other hand was not done.

“Hey, we’re not done yet!” He scowled at a calm Thor.

“Yes, you are,” Steve said with his Cap voice. Something that left no room for argument.

Tony appeared at Clint’s side, having delivered Thor to the island in the kitchen.

“Clint, come on. If you keep this up, you're gonna miss your shows and then you can't gossip with Lila about it.”

“He started it,” he hissed even as he relaxed into Tony’s touch.

“I know, but you need to calm down and work it out. Not wreck our living room.”

“We were working it out,” he grumbled.

“Yeah, well the living room can’t take your version of ‘working it out’. So you gotta suck it up and hug it out, Legolas.”

Clint mumbled an apology and let Tony lead him to the kitchen to sit next to Thor. Tony set out a package of Oreos for them to snack on. Steve was still in the living room in awe at what just happened. He couldn't believe it. Tony just came in and talked them down like someone would to a child having a tantrum. And it worked.

“JARVIS, what just happened?”

“I believe Sir calmed down Thor and Agent Barton and is now making them lattes.”

“I know, I saw it first hand. I just can’t believe it.”

“Sir has been attending a therapy group that centers around controlling one’s negative feelings such as anger and stress and channeling them to be more productive. As well as learning meditation and calming techniques from Dr. Strange.”

“No kidding. When did this happen?”

“I believe it was sometime after you abandoned Sir in Siberia, Captain Rogers.”

Steve couldn't deny how cold JARVIS sounded. After the Accords, the team never really came back together until the world was literally ending. He never forgave himself for what he did to Tony and he doubted he ever will. After the dust cleared and team Cap was pardoned, Tony once again offered his home to them. Including Bucky. To be honest, Steve felt like he didn't deserve that kind of immediate acceptance. Much of his team would agree after Colonel Rhodes told them what happened in Siberia. He was suspicious of Tony when they had first arrived back at the Tower, thought he was gonna off Bucky behind his back. In reality, Bucky adored Tony. Followed him around like a lost puppy for a while after he made him a new arm and helped him get psychiatric help. Most of Bucky’s free time was now spent with the bots in Tony’s lab playing fetch and making home sci-fi movies. It made Steve a little jealous, but he was happy Bucky was settling so well. It made Steve wonder if he’d ever settle like that.

In the kitchen, Tony was laying into Thor and Clint. The two of them uncharacteristically quiet as they nursed the lattes Tony made for them.

“I hope you’re pleased with yourselves. It looks like the Wrecking Crew attacked the tower, just because you had to get back at each other for what? You ate each other’s food. And realistically it’s not that hard to replace.”

“But it is for me!” Clint argued. “Laura is finally letting me in and that blonde black hole had to eat my pickles from the kids!”

“To be fair, I was not aware you and Lady Laura were not speaking. Still, that does not give you the right to retaliate so covertly. I had hid those poptarts and you actively searched for them. My eating your pickles was an accident.”

“They were labelled! Or maybe you really are as dumb as a sack of hammers!”

“Do not insult my intelligence, Barton!”

“I don’t need to, you got that pretty much covered!”

“ENOUGH,” Tony slammed his palms onto the counter. “You are both grown men. You need to act like it! Clint, I’m sure the kids will be ecstatic to make you another care package full of pickles! Thor, as ‘limited edition’ as you think those poptarts are, I’m sure we can find some more at the store!”

Thor wanted to argue with the genius, but the look Tony was giving him shut him up. It reminded him of when his mother would scold him and Loki after going too far in their mischief. He didn’t enjoy it.

“I-. I apologize, Clint.”

Clint stayed silent, swirling the remains of his drink. “Yeah, okay. I’m sorry, too. Wanna go to the grocery store on 5th?”

“That can wait.” Thor smiled. “Perhaps I could accompany you in watching your show? With the snow woman?”

“It’s called Once Upon a Time. And I wouldn’t mind some company as long as you don’t talk too much.”

“Not so fast, you two.” Tony glared at them with arms crossed. “The living room is a mess and someone needs to clean it up.”

Clint grimaced. “Uh, I just remembered I need to write a report for Fury. Yeah. So, uh, gotta go.” He scrambled for the vents, his cackling echoed into the kitchen.

Thor stared between the vent and Tony. “I, too, am burdened with responsibilities. Ahem, thank you, Friend Tony. Your brews are exquisite as always.” He briskly walked to the nearest exit and disappeared.

“Hm, so much for team effort. JARVIS, could you make the living room priority for the bots and get replacements for whatever furniture got wrecked.”

“Already done, Sir. I suggest you and Captain Rogers vacate the floor for the time being.”

Tony turned around to see Steve staring at him. “Oh. Uh, didn't know you were still there. What's up, Capsicle?”

“Nothing. Just thinking, really.” Steve pushed off the wall he was leaning from and walked closer to Tony. “You handled that pretty well. Fantastically, in fact.”

“Someone has to. I personally like my home in one piece.”

“I can't disagree with you there. If you're not busy, I could use a sparring partner. Wanna join me?”

“Cap, if you wanted to see me sweating and panting there are better ways,” Tony purred.

“Tony! That's not what I meant!”

Steve could feel the familiar heat of a blush on his face. Before their falling out, Tony would playfully flirt with him. Not that he was anything special, it was just his way of teasing Steve. And now that the team was back under Tony’s roof it seemed that he was going to continue teasing Steve once again.

“Aw, Cap, am I offending your delicate sensibilities? You can't fool me anymore, Buckster already filled me in on just what kind of mouth you had with the Commandos.”

“Anyways, I'd love to join you, but I got some work I need to finish.” Tony pat him on the shoulder as he passed Steve to the elevator. “Maybe next time, Spangles.”

Bucky and Natasha arrived later that evening. By then the tower had repaired itself and the common area was back in order. Other than Bruce, who was doing charity work in Haiti, the entire team was there. Thor and Clint played Mario Cart while Steve watched them from the couch with his sketchbook. Wanda was studying for her college courses on the recliner. Even Tony, who was in the kitchen helping Sam with dinner.

“Hey, Stevie. Ya missed me?”

Bucky joined Steve on the couch, jostling him and making him scratch a line across his drawing. Steve scowled and picked up his eraser.

“Not as much as you missed me,” Steve huffed. “How was the mission?”

“What can I say? Me and Nat are a match made in heaven.”

“Ugh, never mind I don't wanna hear it.”

“Punk. You're just jealous your beau hasn't given you the time of day yet.”

“Oo, Cap has a crush? Do tell, Mr. Barnes.”

Steve hadn't noticed Clint and Thor had stopped their game to listen in on their conversation.

“I don't. And even if I did, I'd never let you in on it. Remember last time I showed interest in someone?”

“Come on, Stevie. That was once and I already apologized, too. I was making sure she was right for you.”

“By sleeping with her,” Steve deadpanned.

Clint winced. “Damn, Bucky. That's cold.”

“I must agree. If you had done such a thing in Asgard, a fight to the death would not be out of the question.”

“Calm down. It was literally a hundred years ago.”

“More like 71,” Wanda chimed in, not looking up from her book.

“Point is, it was a while back. What we should be focusing on is how to get you,” Bucky jabbed Steve’s chest, “some delicious fondue.”

Bucky wagged his eyebrows and smirked. Clint and Thor wore the same expression. The three of them closing in on Steve’s personal space.

“Did you wanna have fondue tomorrow?”

Steve jumped out of his seat. Thor and Clint ducked out of the way, landing Steve face first into the carpet. Tony stood behind the couch with wide eyes and looking from one teammate to the next for an explanation. Bucky was howling, clutching his stomach while Clint and Thor were lost in giggle fits. Steve scrambled to right himself, straightening his clothes and hair.

“No no. Really, the guys are just messing with me.” Steve blushed for the second time that day.

“Alright, well, dinner’s ready. And Rogers, if you ever wanna fondue, I wouldn't mind assisting you.” Tony winked and left to presumably set the table.

Bucky’s howling laughter doubled. Steve on the other hand had never felt more embarrassed and buried his face in his hands with a groan.