Pairings/Characters: Steve/Tony, Natasha Romanoff, Jarvis, Clint Barton, Thor Odinson, Bruce Banner
Continuity: The Avengers (2012) (Movieverse)
Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance, Slice-Of-Life
Spoilers: Yes, for The Avengers (2012).
Summary: It’s Moving-In Day at Stark Tower.
Date Of Completion: June 1, 2012
Date Of Posting: June 9, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Marvel and Paramount do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 3051
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Okay, as any reader of my DC Comics work knows, I love writing about food and characters enjoying their meals. Now the Marvel Comics Universe (in this case Movieverse) gets the BradyGirl_12 Foodie Treatment! ;)
The entire series can be found here.
Of people come
Come to the feast
And bind each other
With taste and sizzle.
The juices dripping,
The tartness biting
And the crisp crunch
Of greens and vegetables
Moving-in day at Stark Tower came early the next morning. Natasha was the first to show up with her duffel bag, smirking as Tony let her in.
“Wow, you answering your own door now? Where’s Pepper?”
“She’s in Washington.”
“Got out while the gettin’ was good, huh?”
Tony smirked. Jousting verbally with Natasha was a pleasant pastime. “This way, Ms. Romanoff.”
Tony showed the redhead to her room. She looked around in approval at the comfortable suite with its modern furniture and art on the walls. “I usually go minimalist, but I can live with it.”
“I’m so glad.” Tony winked to soften the sarcasm. He didn’t want an escrima stick to the solar plexus. He showed her the bedroom and bathroom. “Sorry I didn’t have a samovar lying around.”
She smirked. “Home sweet home, eh? Thanks, this’ll do just fine.” She looked around the large bathroom with the red accents and her eyes twinkled. “Oh, Clint’s on his way.”
“Okay.” Tony leaned against the doorjamb. “Breakfast will be ready in the kitchen. It’s the best that Hannigan’s can deliver.”
Natasha smiled. “Okay.”
“Sir, Mr. Barton is at the door.”
“Thanks, Jarvis.” To Natasha he said, “Here’s your key card.”
She accepted the card. “Thanks.”
Tony went downstairs and let Clint in. He could have Jarvis do it but he wanted to welcome each Avenger himself, particularly one Avenger who hadn’t arrived yet. The man called Hawkeye was wearing sunglasses and looked around approvingly. “Nice digs you’ve got here, Stark.” He carried a suitcase.
“So glad you approve.”
Clint smirked. He waved his hand. “Look, it beats S.H.I.E.L.D. quarters.”
“Gee, that’s a compliment.”
Clint laughed. “Chill, Tony. Nat and I appreciate you sharing the Tower with us.”
“Hey, no problem. I got the room.”
Clint looked around. “Am I the second one to arrive?”
“I know Nat was planning to come over.”
“She’s here.” Tony led Clint to his suite. “Your room’s right next to hers.”
Clint looked pleased and set his suitcase on the bed. Tony told him about breakfast and greeted Thor next. The Thunder God had alighted on the balcony in full regalia carrying two suitcases. Somehow that juxtaposition set Tony chuckling.
“Thank you for your hospitality, friend Tony.” Thor boomed, carrying his luggage as if it was made of air.
Tony could not help but answer Thor’s relentless cheerfulness with a smile of his own. “This way, God of Thunder.”
Thor effusively praised his suite and was happy at the mention of breakfast.
Tony was happy to greet Steve next, the blond carrying a slightly battered suitcase as he stood on the doorstep. Steve appeared relaxed and smiled as he came inside the Tower.
Tony escorted Steve up even though the Avenger knew the way. He didn’t bother to show him the suite because Steve had seen it before.
“Breakfast is in the kitchen.”
“Good place for it,” Steve teased. “I’ll be right down. I just want to put a few things away first.”
“See you there.”
Tony arrived in the spacious kitchen and set the table, wondering when he had become so domestic. Most mornings everyone would have to fend for themselves, but he wanted this first morning to start off right.
The doorbell rang and Tony hustled to answer the door. “Bruce! Glad you decided to move in.” Tony noticed the beat-up suitcase his colleague carried.
“You sure the rest of the gang is okay with sharing quarters with the Other Guy?”
“I haven’t heard any objections.”
Bruce still looked uncertain but allowed Tony to show him his suite. Tony extended the breakfast invitation and returned to the kitchen, the rest of the Avengers starting to trickle in.
“We have eggs, sausages, bacon, and warm blueberry muffins. Also fresh honeydew melon and strawberries, all topped off by freshly-squeezed orange juice. Coffee’s just about ready.”
“Coffee,” Clint groaned, shuffling in like a zombie, his hand groping for a coffee cup. Tony thought he did a creditable imitation of himself.
Tony and Natasha shared a grin as Thor strode in, his voice booming, “Verily, I smell a feast fit for a god!”
“Appropriate,” Tony remarked. “I ordered extra for you, Thor.”
The blond beamed. “Truly a grand host, Tony!”
Steve and Bruce arrived and everyone sat down, Tony making sure that Steve sat next to him. He noticed that Steve took extra sausages and took the shaker of red paprika that the restaurant had included and shook a generous amount on his eggs.
“Stark, I gotta admit, you set a damned fine table,” aid Natasha as she delicately lifted a piece of bacon from her plate.
“Well, thanks, Romanoff,” Tony answered, his leg brushing against Steve’s under the table. When the blond didn’t flinch and merely passed the paprika, Tony figured he was on the right path.
After breakfast and clean-up the Avengers congregated in one of the living rooms, the main room still under repair. Tony stood and said, “I wanted to welcome all of you to Avengers Tower.”
“Avengers Tower?” asked Clint.
“That’s right. I think it’s an appropriate name change, don’t you? Besides, all the letters fell off except for ‘A’.”
Smiles and laughter greeted the joke. Tony sat down next to Steve on the couch.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Steve said. “Forging our identity is important. We worked well together during the Battle of New York, and keeping that cohesion is important.”
“Unit cohesion like during the war?” Clint asked.
Steve nodded. “We’ll need it, considering that we’re all living together.”
“I don’t mind communal living,” said Natasha. “Reminds me of Russia.”
Tony rolled his eyes while Clint and Bruce chuckled. Steve was genuinely interested to learn more.
“Did you live in a barracks, Natasha?”
“Sometimes, but mostly in Soviet-era apartments which no Westerner would consider.” She shook her head. “Soft capitalists.” Grins all around at Natasha’s act further relaxed the atmosphere.
Tony was very relaxed. Sitting next to Steve was exactly where he wanted to be. This living together thing could work out.
The rest of the day was taken up by a work-out in the newly-equipped gym and while Clint, Natasha, Thor, and Bruce took turns sparring, Steve taught Tony some moves.
“You need to know some moves, Tony. The armor is great but you might need to go toe-to-toe with an enemy in the future.”
“Let’s have at it, then.”
Tony concentrated on Steve’s instructions. He was a good teacher. What was even better was the plethora of wrestling/combat moves with Tony grasping Steve’s biceps or shoulders or rolling around on the mat as their bodies came together. Steve’s face was flushed, his tongue running over pink lips.
Oh, Stevie, quit teasing me!
Tony pressed hard up against Steve, trying to keep the smirk off his face as Steve squirmed beneath him. Suddenly Steve rolled them over and was the one on top.
Tony liked where he was underneath Steve. His fantasies had envisioned just such a scenario, though being on top was another scene that suited him just fine.
“Had enough?” Steve asked, that magnificent chest heaving.
“Hardly,” Tony smirked.
Steve blushed but ground his hips slightly. Tony was sure that he was not imagining things.
So the Boy Scout has a little spice to him.
Steve rolled off and grinned. “Very good for a first lesson. You’re a quick study, Tony.”
So are you.
“Hey, Cap, resident genius here. I can pick up and run with anything you’ve got.”
“Nice to know.”
Tony put his hands behind his head as he crossed his legs. “Another lesson tomorrow, Cap?”
“Sure.” Steve was kneeling on the mat, hands on his thighs.
Tony wanted to jump his bones but restrained himself. As much as he wanted to speed this courtship along, he sensed that was the wrong approach with Steve.
“So, everyone up for a barbeque?” he said.
“Barbeque?” Natasha perked up.
“Yeah, we’ll have real American fare, hot dogs and hamburgers, Kobe beef, that is.”
“Ooh, I like the sound of that.”
Tony smirked. “Okay, let’s get started.”
After taking showers everyone gathered in the kitchen. Tony sang the Oscar Mayer jingle as he took out the hot dogs and Clint cut up potatoes for potato salad while Natasha took out the eggs and mayonnaise. Thor cooked a pot of pasta and chopped up celery and radishes to add while Bruce volunteered to make a beer run. Steve set to work cutting cucumbers, tomatoes and onions for a garden salad. There was banter tossed around as easily as the salads as the preparation of food soothed any raw edges as the Avengers prepared for a cook-out.
Tony went out to the balcony and fired up the grill. S.H.I.E.L.D. had already taken away the remnants of the machinery that Dr. Selvig had constructed and left behind only a few scorch marks on the sun-bleached concrete. He thought it was fitting to celebrate their re-claiming of the Tower by holding the cook-out where the Tesseract had been. The Avengers themselves had taken care of the Tesseract and Loki.
Bruce returned with plenty of beer and bags of potato chips. “I got regular, barbeque, and honey mustard,” he said with a grin as he entered the kitchen. Tony followed to satiate his curiosity about the beer. “I hope you don’t mind. I chose a couple of microbreweries’ products.”
“Sounds good to me, Doc,” said Clint as he drained the pot of boiling potatoes. Natasha mixed in the eggs and mayonnaise.
“It’ll be a little warm but should be fine,” she said.
Thor put the finishing touches on the pasta salad, adding a few cucumber and tomatoes with the celery and radishes that he stole from Steve’s stockpile. He put the bowl into the refrigerator.
“We’ll wait awhile before starting to grill and let your salads cool,” Tony said, trying not to be too obvious about watching Steve’s muscles ripple as he finished chopping the vegetables.
“Do you need me to grill, my friend?” asked Thor. “I can roast a whole suckling pig or a boar to feasting perfection!”
Eyes sparkling, Tony answered, “I welcome your help, Thunder God.”
By the time the meat was sizzling on the grill, Clint and Steve had carried out a picnic table while Natasha and Bruce brought out the benches. Thor was as good as his word, expertly cooking the meat as the others set the table and began bringing out the food. Bruce hauled out a cooler of beer and went back in for the chips. He brought out several bowls and juggled them before plopping them on the table.
“Hey, Fritos!” Clint scooped up a handful.
“I have a thing for Fritos,” Bruce confessed with a sheepish smile.
Tony flipped the burgers while Thor started to put the hot dogs on a plate. Tony would have thrown prime steaks on the grill but he wanted Steve to experience the typical American cook-out. Barbeques were not common in pre-war America, at least not in Brooklyn. Steve had missed all the post-war ‘50s and early ‘60s suburbia thing.
Everyone sat down and sampled all the dishes, Natasha sampling the pasta salad and saying, “Mmm, good job, Thor.”
“Thank you, Natasha. Your potato salad is fit for the tables in Asgard.”
“Hey, I can cook,’ said Clint. “I scramble some mean eggs and can whip up pancakes when I need to.”
“What about waffles?” Steve asked, putting mustard on his hot dog.
“I do waffles,” said Natasha.
“I can cook, too,” Steve said with a smile. “Roast chicken, baked potatoes and assorted vegetables. I do vegetable and beef stews and can make a pretty good apple pie.”
“Why am I not surprised?” Tony said. “Apple pie?”
Steve smiled that All-American smile.
“Sandwiches are my specialty,” said Bruce with a crooked smile of his own. “It’s really an art, making a really good sandwich. And I make a guacamole dip to die for.”
“Any other specialties, Steve?” asked Natasha.
“I can cook up fish, stuff like cod and haddock.”
“I like the way this menu is developing,” said Tony as he added pickles and onions to his hamburger.
“I’d like to learn to cook Italian dishes. I had some really great food in Italy during the war.” Steve took a generous helping of pasta salad.
“I can teach you, Captain,” said Thor.
“You know how to cook Italian? I thought your specialties were roast boar and pickled herring,” Tony said in surprise.
Thor laughed. “Jane taught me, friend Tony. She likes Italian food and cooks it herself.”
Steve’s eyes had lit up. “I mostly knew about spaghetti before I ended up in Italy. I’d love to learn other dishes.”
“Then you shall.”
“I’m pretty good with chocolate cake,” Natasha said, biting into a juicy hot dog. Tony decided the better part of valor was to concentrate on his hamburger.
“She is,” Clint said. “I’ve had it. Sinful!”
The others grinned. “I can bake muffins,” Bruce offered.
“Blueberry?” asked Steve.
Bruce nodded. “Cranberry, too.”
“Marry me, Doc,” said Clint.
Laughter rolled around the table. Tony was happy to see Steve’s happiness. He had no idea what it was like to wake up in a whole new world where he had missed so much. The constant barrage of reminders could get anyone down.
Tony was also pleased that the rest of the Avengers were enjoying themselves. He had grown fond of these people and appreciated their skills and personalities. He liked Natasha’s snark, Clint’s wise-assery, Bruce’s scientific mind and dry sense of humor, Thor’s good cheer, and Steve’s delightful blend of honesty and naivete.
“Hey, Stark, you put on a good spread,” said Natasha.
“You guys helped. Looks like we have cooks among us.”
“Yay for cooks,” Clint said as he put more pasta salad on his plate. “I like take-out as much as the next guy, but home-cooked meals really hit the spot. You don’t get to eat much while on a mission, and sure not good food like this.”
“Hey, I’ll keep a bunch of menus in the kitchen for the times we have no time to cook or are just too wiped,” said Tony. “I leave it to you gentlemen and lady to decide who cooks when."
“What’s your specialty, Tony?” Steve asked.
Laughter greeted this witticism and Clint said, “Mind if I take some of this feast to Phil in the hospital?”
“You may with my compliments.”
The cook-out was a smashing success. Tony looked down at the city, the streets still strewn with rubble. It would take weeks to clean up, just as it would take that long to repair Avengers Tower. He was grateful that everyone on this new team had escaped relatively unscathed.
Clean-up went fast with everyone chipping in. Tony was amused when everyone ended up in the den to watch TV. There was campaigning for particular shows but they finally settled on one of the CSI shows. Steve always enjoyed the chance to watch TV. He had seen one demonstrated at the 1939 World’s Fair, but there had been very few televisions around and none in Steve’s old neighborhood.
Tony managed to sit next to Steve on the couch, Natasha next to him. Bruce chose a comfortable overstuffed chair and Clint sat on the floor cross-legged in between the couch and chair. Thor took another chair at the opposite end of the couch. He was just as enamored of TV as Steve was, declaring Midgardians to be ‘exceedingly clever’.
It was a relaxing end to a relaxing day, and Tony was surprised to realize that he might actually be able to sleep tonight.
By the time two more programs had been watched, everyone decided to retire for the night. It had been a long day.
Tony played host and asked if anything was needed, but everyone was fine. He returned to the den, shut off the TV, and was ready to go to bed. He walked through the living room and saw Steve leaning on the balcony railing. Bathed in moonlight, the warrior looked like a Greek statue.
Tony slipped out onto the balcony, leaning next to Steve. They remained silent, but it was not uncomfortable. Some areas of the city were dark but other parts were lit as usual. Tony wondered what Steve saw when he looked at the city he’d grown up in nearly a century ago.
“Beautiful night,” Tony said.
“Yes.” Steve sounded a little sad. “I just wish that…” He broke off, smiling a little ruefully. “Just an old soldier regretting loss.”
Tony though of the civilians, firefighters, police officers and National Guardsmen who had lost their lives during what was being called the Battle of New York. He knew how close he had come to losing his own life and suspected the same could be said of his fellow Avengers.
“Oh, I don’t know, Steve. If you stop mourning the losses, I’d say it’s time to worry.”
Steve smiled slightly. “I guess you’re right.” He looked back down at the city, silence falling again.
Tony was not used to quiet, but he was getting used to a lot of things that he ordinarily was not familiar with since one Steve Rogers had come into his life.
Steve was looking at him now. “Thank you for inviting me to live here.”
“Um, yeah, Cap, I was happy to do it.” Fury had pushed for all of the Avengers but Tony had capitulated, so he was willing to take credit.
Steve’s eyes looked very blue as he continued to gaze at Tony. Very slowly he leaned forward and kissed him, a light but loving kiss.
Tony was astonished, but before he could respond, Steve pulled away and smiled, walking away to go to his room.
Tony watched that perfect body (that ass should be immortalized!) and remembered the taste of Steve’s lips. He grabbed the railing to steady himself.
Tonight he would dream of perfect bodies and sweet kisses...and tomorrow? Tony was looking forward to it.