It was, Steve reflected, probably all Tony’s fault. Not in that nebulous we don’t know whose fault it is but let’s blame Stark way that usually resulted from Tony’s latest idea, but in a very concrete moment where he could pinpoint the exact moment where it was all Tony’s fault. With hindsight, of course. At the time, it was just Tony being, well, Tony.
“Hey, Fury, was this your idea?” Tony had asked, interrupting Fury’s latest attempt to debrief the Avengers following an unpleasant run-in with some genetically-modified guinea pigs and exploding faecal material, as Coulson’s field report put it.
An image flashed up on the screen behind Fury, and Steve felt himself blushing. It wasn’t anything particularly filthy – for once – but Steve couldn’t quite get used to talking about sex in mixed company, and he blushed every damn time. He was pretty certain Tony – and Clint – were only encouraged by this.
Fury sighed. “Do we need to discuss this now, Mr Stark?”
“I only ask because, you know, while these are great, I can’t help but noticing that SHIELD hasn’t got one.”
“Hey, Bruce, did you model for them?” Clint called from the back of the room.
Bruce eyed the violently green dildo on the screen.
“We’ve all seen Hulk’s junk enough to know it’s pretty true to size,” Hill muttered, and Steve was pretty certain nobody except Coulson was supposed to hear that, so he pretended he hadn’t heard a thing.
“Mr Stark, if you please,” Fury continued, unwilling to let Tony take over.
“So – not your idea then?”
“Is this supposed to represent my sexual organs?” Thor asked Natasha, eyeing the ‘mighty hammer’ with something akin to distaste. “Does the colour not seem off to you?”
“They’re not meant to be accurate,” Natasha replied, apparently disinterested.
“Ah. We have such items of pleasure on Asgard,” Thor replied, apparently satisfied with this answer. “Realism is not always highly prized, though works of great intricacy and beauty have been produced in homage to anatomy.”
“Thank you, Thor,” Fury said. “If we could return to the original topic, ladies and gentlemen, I’m sure we all have things we could be doing, thank you Mr Stark.”
Steve had thought it was over – he’d decided that there were several decades’ worth of merchandising with Captain America’s insignia, colours, or face all over them, and he was fairly certain this wasn’t the first red, white, and blue vibrator to have been made. Tony, however – or possibly Pepper – had been the one to start the sales of Avengers branded merchandise in an attempt to raise funds for the rebuilding of New York, and, well, neither of them were the sort to let a good idea go to waste, even if it hadn’t been theirs in the first place.
Tony was also, however, not the sort of person to let something possibly useful go to waste either – the drawers full of mechanical bits and bobs in his workshop testament to that – and apparently there was a warehouse full of seized merchandise somewhere on the edges of New York, most of it being used by Stark Industries’ recycling research division as test subjects.
Apparently, Natasha knew this. Steve was not entirely sure how, but he was pretty certain it was her – probably aided and abetted by Darcy-trouble-in-skinny-jeans-Lewis – who decided that breaking into the warehouse and stealing several boxes of sex toys was a good idea. Leaving them where Clint could find them was the icing on the proverbial cake, however.
The first sign anyone had that Clint had found the boxes was a vibrator sailing through the air and bouncing off Tony’s head when he was rootling through the freezer at three in the morning, hunting for ice-cream. As nobody was there to witness it, Tony shrugged it off, picked up the offending silicon object, and put it in the freezer.
The next morning, every mug in the kitchen contained the smallest of the collection. Steve watched Coulson pull two mugs out of the cupboard, set them down, remove two small black vibrators, and place them carefully on the worktable, before rinsing the mugs and pouring them full of coffee. One mug was handed to Clint, who grinned, and sauntered off. Coulson put the vibrators in his pocket, and followed him, humming tunelessly.
Steve considered removing the vibrators, but decided against it when he saw Tony scream and drop a mug on the floor. He went to find a broom instead.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, vibrators continued to crop up, drop down, appear, and occasionally surface, all over the tower, and SHIELD offices. All of Sitwell’s pot plants were replaced with ‘Mighty Hammer’ models. Woo found them in his shoes – all of his shoes – every day for three days straight. They were glued to the flight helmets of several pilots, all of whom were known to have annoyed Agent May at some point. They dropped out of vents. Several probationary agents found their shiny new guns replaced. Bruce narrowly avoided hulking out when one of the bright green monstrosities fell out of the box of cereal he’d chosen for breakfast.
Every single one of Coulson’s Captain America figurines – and the poster – in his office were replaced by the dildos bearing Steve’s insignia. This earned everyone a week’s reprieve, as Clint and Natasha found themselves sent to Bucharest, and Darcy found herself with a special project that required her to spend eighteen hours a day locked in a Stark Industries archive room with nothing except her ipod and a set of post-it notes for company.
Then Doctor Doom decided it had all been far too quiet for a while, and Clint and Natasha got back from Eastern Europe just in time for Stark to greet them with “hey, Cupid, Widow, you missed all the fun!”
That also made it Tony’s fault.
The same afternoon, a dildo came sailing through the cafeteria doorway, bounced off Woo, and hit Agent Kowalski in the nose.
“Now kiss,” Clint’s voice demanded. “You’ve been hit with Cupid’s dildo of luuuuuuurve!”
Agent Kowalski held a napkin to her bloody nose, and gave the doorway the finger. Woo guided her to a seat.
Darcy obligingly planted one on Probationary Agent Hall a few hours later (having caught the vibrator as it rebounded off Hall’s shoulder), but she was the exception; Agent Williams twisted an ankle trying to avoid a flying hulk-dildo, and several others were seen to launch themselves dramatically out of the way – often ineffectively, because Clint was apparently as good at throwing sex toys as he was at shooting arrows.
Hill managed to catch the Iron Man model headed her way, and hurled it back towards Clint’s fleeing back, with an expression torn between amusement and irritation; Clint disappeared into the vent system, and contented himself for a few hours with pelting the junior agents with ben wa balls (in red and gold).
Steve, for his part, spent several hours with Bruce in his lab (Clint had wisely decided not to throw anything at Bruce), reading his way through yet another history book and pestering Bruce with questions that Bruce only occasionally knew the answer to. Bruce tolerated Steve’s questions with infinite patience, with far more kindness than Tony or Clint could manage, and less of the dismissiveness than Natasha tended towards.
Natasha appeared, not long after Darcy had departed (having gleefully told Bruce and Steve about Clint’s victims), carrying three takeout boxes from the canteen, and four “Black Widow” vibrators.
“He’s just tried to make Sitwell kiss Woo,” she reported, handing Steve his dinner. Steve didn’t question how she’d known to bring him food, but thanked her.
“Did it take?” Bruce smiled, and Natasha settled herself on the bench top, crossing her legs neatly.
“In the middle of the canteen? It took with tongues.”
“The probies were in for their dinner,” Natasha told him, her voice amused. “They enjoy scaring them as much as Clint does.”
“Fury was less amused,” Natasha continued. “Clint hit him and Stark.”
“Stark tried to plant one on his eye patch.”