Tony Stark shut off his soldering Iron and raised his arm to take of the mask and wipe off some of the sweat.
“J, what happened to my music?” He turned around, fixing the nearest camera with a glare. “I can’t have been working that long.”
“That is right, Sir. However, you have previously stated that I should always divert your attention to any and all calls from the Winchesters.”
Tony perked up and handed U the things he had been working with. “They’re calling?”
“Yes, Sir. It seems to be urgent.”
Tony told JARVIS to accept the call immediately; he was always eager to talk to his nephews—nevermind the fact that they weren’t technically his nephews. Technically, they were his first cousins twice removed or something, but who really cared?
Family was family. Specifics didn’t matter.
A holographic screen appeared in front of the billionaire. It showed Sam and Dean sitting inside the Impala. Dean appeared to be driving while Sam was most likely holding his laptop—one of the best there was, of course. Tony couldn’t let his family suffer from insufficient technology. He might be an asshole more often than not, but that was really a step too far.
“Hey guys,” he greeted, “what’s the problem?”
“Your security’s lousy.”
“Dean!” Sam exclaimed. He looked like he would have slapped his brother if he hadn’t been driving.
“What? It’s true!” Dean looked towards the screen for a moment. “Really, I’m sorry, but apparently you have a nest of vamps working for you.”
“If you’re talking about the Jeffersons, I’ll have to let you know that they’re perfectly good workers and—”
Sam shook his head. “Sorry, Tony, but we’re not talking about them.”
“Though I still don’t trust ‘em,” Dean added.
His brother glared and continued. “I’m talking about a coven hiding out in a warehouse or whatever of yours.”
“Which one?” Tony had enough of them that this was an important question.
Sam looked at his notes. “Pie Town, New Mexico.”
Tony and Dean blinked in sync.
"Are you kidding me?” Tony questioned.
“Y-you didn't say that earlier,” Dean managed to say through his laughter.
Sam snorted. “Gee, I wonder why. Do you think we could, possibly, you know, get back to the point?”
Tony collected himself. “Yes, of course. I’ll come over and help you myself.” Maybe he could bring Bruce. His best friend—he shared the spot with Rhodey, alright?—had wanted to meet more of his family for a while now and he didn’t see a better opportunity anytime soon.
Both of the Winchester brothers smiled.
“See you soon, Tony,” Sam greeted.
The holograph turned off and Tony was about to catch up with JARVIS’s organizing when his thoughts were interrupted by a sudden exclamation behind him.
“What on Earth do you think you’re doing?”
Tony jumped in shock; he hadn’t noticed that Steve had appeared behind him and now the super soldier was already storming in his direction.
“You're talking with the Winchesters, Tony?! Helping them?! You do know that they are wanted criminals, right?”
“How much did you hear, because—”
“I heard enough,” Steve interrupted him. His arms were crossed in front of his body and he was giving Tony his I-am-so-disappointed-in-you-that-I-have-no-doubt-believing-what-the-media-says-about-you stare.
Tony hated that one in particular, but that didn’t matter. Not right now, at least.
“Apparently not, because then you’d know that there is a perfectly sound explanation for all this. Ask Clint, since you don’t seem to trust me.”
“You know what Tony? Go to Hell,” Steve spat.
And, wow. That hurt. It wouldn’t have mattered all that much if it had been just about everyone else, but Steve’s catholic education truly shone through in his reluctance to use Heaven, Hell, and God in his curses. He only used them when he was really pissed off, no matter how much he swore outside of that.
The man probably had a point, but he wouldn’t let Tony explain his side.
“I'm truly sorry to inform you, but unfortunately I can't. Satan still has a restraining order against me, you see? And that is the kind of thing even the current King of Hell can't overrule. Not that he wants to,” he added as an afterthought, because really, he was pretty sure Crowley was afraid he would try to steal the title from the demon and Tony wasn’t sure he wouldn’t.
“Is everything a joke to you?” Steve questioned.
“Normally yes, but I am completely serious right now.” Might as well play along if he was going to believe it no matter what. Tony was already wearing a mask for the majority of his life, so what would a few hours more every day would not matter in the grand scheme of things. “You don't need to believe me—I actually give zero fucks whatsoever—but it's the truth. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a world to save.”
And maybe that was exaggerated, but given his family it would not be a surprise if it were to really turn into something like that.
...oh shit, he had just jinxed it, hadn’t he?
Bruce didn’t even need to look when he heard someone enter his room without knocking. It could only be Tony. Everyone else would either knock or be too quiet to hear.
Plus, they were likely to stop and announce themselves first; be it out of politeness or because they were afraid of the ‘Other Guy’.
Tony, however, had never done that. He showed no fear in that regard and when Bruce had asked him why, he simply replied that he had seen both weirder and scarier things in his life.
And the more time the gamma scientist had spent with the engineer, the more he understood what Tony meant.
“Brucie!” The billionaire moved towards his best friend and hugged him. “You mentioned that you wanted to meet my relatives...?”
Bruce raised an eyebrow. “The wanted criminals you mean?”
Tony had never explicitly mentioned any other relatives to him, but that didn’t mean anything. Other than Bruce and Clint, no one even knew of the man’s relation to the Winchesters after all.
Plus, he recalled Tony mentioning once that he had no idea how many half-siblings he had.
“Yes, exactly!” The engineer nodded enthusiastically. “They kinda need my help and I figured you might want to tag along.”
“Okay, can I have more details, please?”
Bruce had seen too many explosions and inventions that seemed to ignore the laws of the universe to make that mistake again.
He was pretty sure that it was rule number one for dealing with Tony: Always ask for details.
“Apparently, a vampire coven has settled in one of my warehouses or something.”
Tony waved it off as if it was nothing unusual and Bruce had to remind himself that, to him—and others, like Clint—it probably was.
They had known of the supernatural for years and years now whereas Bruce had only learned of it a few months ago. He had seen a few odd things before, but that incident with the wendigo had made it impossible to deny.
He was glad that it had been Tony and Clint with him. If it had been any of the others, they would have taken longer until they had figured it all out.
“And you want to help them get rid of them,” Bruce stated.
“Yeah, I have a plan," Tony announced.
Bruce angled his head. "A good one?"
“I have a plan,” Tony crossed his arms as he repeated his words. “Which is actually quite good if you consider the lack of information. I can’t make a plan without data!”
“If we get arrested, it's your fault."
“I can live with that. Steve knows we're leaving, by the way.”
Bruce did a double take. “Wait, what?!” This was not something he had expected at all.
Tony shrugged. “Yeah, so you should probably start packing.”
That was a good thought, so Bruce moved towards his bedroom and started packing with practised ease.
“You should probably do the same,” he called in the direction of Tony.
“Nah,” he replied. “Butterfingers gets a kick out of it and she’s better at doing it than I am. And JARVIS makes sure she doesn’t forget anything.”
Barely ten minutes later, they had already left the Tower and were on their way to New Mexico.
Or as much as it was possible in New York traffic.
Meanwhile Steve arrived in the Avengers’ common room.
He was glad to find both Clint and Natasha there—Thor was currently off Earth doing something or other. The super soldier would’ve hated to interrupt the two assassins during their training, or worse, if they were... otherwise occupied.
He liked both his life and his testicles, thank you very much.
Natasha was lying on the couch, her head placed on Clint’s lap and both of them were cleaning a small part of their weapons stash.
It couldn’t be all of them, considering it were only fifteen guns, twenty knives, one bow and a relatively small pile of other things. In other words, about the amount the two carried around with them on a daily basis.
“What’s bothering you?” Natasha asked, not even bothering to get up.
“Stark’s helping wanted criminals!” Steve put as much of his fury into that sentence as possible.
“We all know he likes these guys from Anonymous, Rising Tide, and whatever else Hackers call themselves these days,” Clint replied. “That’s nothing new and he agreed to never let them hack into personal information which is about all we are going to get.”
“I’m not talking about them!” Steve argued. “He’s helping the Winchesters! Who I believe are on the top of several Most Wanted lists.”
Clint groaned. "You've gotta be kidding me. What have they gotten themselves into this time?" He muttered under his breath, but the other’s still heard the archer’s comments, due to their enhanced hearing.
“Aren’t they dead?” Natasha asked, sitting up.
Clint shook his head. “They were, but they got resurrected again.”
“People don’t come back from the death,” Steve pointed out.
“That’s what you think,” the archer rolled his eyes.
The Captain looked at him weirdly, before he decided to bring up another topic. “Tony claimed that ‘there is a perfectly sound explanation’ for the Winchester’s crimes and that I should ask you,” he focused on Clint.
“Oh, that sounds interesting,” Natasha commented while Clint groaned.
“I guess that’s his revenge for LA or something,” he mumbled.
Steve frowned as he tried to think of anything that could have happened in LA. There was that thing with that weird club owner that was suspected to be connected to HYDRA for a while, but that had resulted itself after…
After Tony had gone to investigate.
Steve felt a sense of horror rise in his chest. If Tony was working with the Winchesters, then who knew what other things he might’ve done?
He shared a look with Natasha who seemed to have arrived at the same conclusion.
Clint saw that and gulped. If those two planned a follow up visit to Lucifer Morningstar, well, it could not end well for anyone involved.
Except, perhaps, the Devil. Or his barkeeper. Mazikeen would certainly enjoy the show.
Not wanting to see that happen, Clint decided to explain.
“Okay, so this is going to sound totally ridiculous, but ghosts, vampires, witches, werewolves, wendigos, and anything else you ever heard of in a myth or some lore, no matter the religion? It’s real. All of it. Pagan gods—like Thor—are obviously real—each and every pantheon is. But the Abrahamic religion is just as true. There is a God—with a capital g—there are demons, angels, and prophets.”
“You’re right,” Natasha deadpanned. “That does sound ridiculous. If there’s a God, if there are angels, then why is there so much suffering in the world?”
“Cause they don’t give a shit. I’m sorry, but it’s the truth, he added at Steve’s offended look. “I’ve met angels before. They’re just dicks with wings.” He didn’t mention he hadn’t thought of that himself. “But let’s get back to the point here.”
“Which is?” Steve asked.
“That there are a number of people all across the world that attempt to get rid of those monsters that kill humans. Most of them got into the business after the loss of a loved one, but there are some that are raised to be Hunters—that's what they’re called—as well.”
“And what do the Winchesters have to do with that?” Natasha asked, her head perfectly angled.
Clint laughed. “Are you joking? They are the most deadly motherfuckers around!” He leaned forward and gave the other two a conspiratorial grin. “Rumor is, that Death—as in the actual Horseman of the Apocalypse, Death—declared them too dangerous to live, so they killed the actual Horseman of Death. Tony being related to them actually explained so much.”
“Who said anything about being related?”
“I met John Winchester once. He looks like he could be Tony's brother or something.” The archer paused for a second. “But he’s actually Tony’s nephew, so I guess it’s just dominant genes or something...”
Steve took a few seconds to process this, before he sighed.
"From this point onwards, no more lies, or secrets or anything like that, please " Steve half-ordered and half-begged.
Natasha raised an eyebrow. She seriously doubted that anyone would like the results if she would share all of her secrets and she had the strong suspicion that the same was more or less true for anyone else in their team, the Captain included.
“I can assure you that you don't mean that,” Clint argued. “Not really.”
Steve, however, shook his head. “No, I do.”
“Okay, fine,” Clint threw his hands in the air before he pointed at the other man. “But don't blame me for your trauma, I tried to warn you. In my nineteen years as a Hunter I’ve seen some weird shit. And let me tell you, for a Hunter, nineteen years in the business is a lot.” He chuckled. “I can think of maybe...fifteen-ish people worldwide who’ve done that for longer than ten years. And most of them were raised in it.”
He gave Steve and Natasha a few seconds to process what he had just said.
“Now you’ve made me curious,” Natasha admitted. “In what way is it different from the weird shit we’ve seen?”
Clint shrugged. “Lots and lots of reasons. There’s someone who plays poker with years. Remember back in LA when we were investigating HYDRA? The club owner isn’t delusional. He’s literally the Devil and the barkeeper is a demon.”
In that case, it was a good thing Clint had stopped them from visiting again, Steve supposed. He didn’t particularly want to ever meet the Devil if he could avoid it.
Clint spotted the look on Steve’s face and looked him into the eyes. “I warned you. And I didn't even mention she's in a threesome with Tony and Pepper roughly twice a week.”
Steve blinked twice. “Say what now?”
“You did understand me correctly.”
After a few seconds, he added, “Did I assume correctly that we are going to follow them?”
“What do you think?” Natasha asked him, an eyebrow raised, daring him to say something stupid.