((Okay, guys, it was a long day, and it didn’t go the way I’d planned, but then again, when does it? So have half of a Valentine’s Day story, while it’s still Valentine’s Day. 8) ))
“At what point does looking someone up on Facebook become stalking?”
Tony hummed into his coffee cup. “Okay,” he said at last, eyes narrowed, “that question assumes A. that I have a Facebook account that I, personally, have some interaction with, which is a false assumption, and B. that I would resort to looking at someone’s public FACEBOOK page to gain information on them.”
Bruce considered him, a half-eaten triangle of toast hanging forgotten in his hand. “You are not the proper person to ask about this,” he said at last.
“I am SO not the proper person to ask about this,” Tony agreed, grinning. “Barton? Facebook stalking seems more your speed.”
“Yeah, you take stalking to whole new levels of crazy,” Clint agreed. He leaned over, considering the oven with narrowed eyes. As Bruce watched, he punched something into the timer before he straightened up. Wiping his hands on a tea towel, he added, “How have you not gotten arrested yet?”
“I’m rich. And smarter than you,” Tony said. He pointed a finger in Clint’s direction. “Also, I would have to care about an ex enough to go stalking.”
“I’m pretty sure you have a dedicated satellite that exists only to track Steve at this point,” Clint shot back, arms crossed over his chest. He smirked in Tony’s direction.
“That is not an ex,” Tony said, trying and failing to approach dignity.
“You don’t really-” Bruce started, horrified, and Tony cut him off with the wave of a hand.
“Of course I don’t, satellites are monitored.” Tony’s lips quirked. “I prefer to do nothing that Fury can conclusively trace back to me.”
“Stark, you are one creepy son-of-a-bitch,” Clint said. He threw himself into a chair at the table and reached for the toast. “I’ll make you some more, Doc, but I am starving here.”
Bruce nudged the jam in his direction. “Go ahead.” He stood up. “So, Facebook…” he prompted.
“Looking someone up, that’s fine,” Clint said, his mouth full. “If you start making fake logins and going through their photo albums, even the real old ones? Lines have been crossed.” He leaned back in his chair, balancing it on the back two legs. “Big ol’ lines of demarcation.”
Bruce nodded as he offered bread to the toaster. Calcifer was overly excited by this, so just to give the little guy something extra to do, Bruce pulled a packet of Pop Tarts from the cabinet. “Extra crispy, please,” he told the toaster, who rattled at him. To Clint and Tony, he said, “I just looked up her Facebook page. To see if she was okay. And I still feel like a creeper.”
“Yeah, but you have an exceptionally well developed sense of morality,” Clint pointed out. “It’s a problem.”
“Thanks,” Bruce said with a faint smile. The toaster popped and nudged his arm half a dozen times to make sure he was aware that it was done. “Thanks, buddy,” he said, reaching for a plate. “Yes, I know, good job, thank you.”
“Is this because of Valentine’s Day?” Tony asked, ambling over to steal a Pop Tart. He bit into it, getting crumbs everywhere.
“I guess. A little bit.” Bruce shook his head. “Never mind.” He carried the plate to the table and took his seat again. “Do you have plans?”
“I have excellent plans,” Tony said. “Dinner, dancing, a whirlwind tour of the city in an obnoxiously big car with a couple of bottless of champagne…” Tony nodded, quirking an eyebrow. “I won’t be doing any of them, but my plans, let me tell you, I have some wonderful plans.”
“What will you be doing?” Clint asked him, grinning.
“Captain Rogers has decided that a romantic picnic for two on the tower roof is what is in store for us tonight.” Tony stared morosely into his coffee cup.
“A picnic?” Bruce asked, frowning.
“Yep,” Tony said.
“On the roof?” Clint asked.
“Just so,” Tony said.
“He does know it’s February, doesn’t he?” Bruce asked, trying to bite back a smile. “February. In… New York. Which is not known for it’s picnic weather on street level, let alone this far up?”
“I have, in fact, explained these things to him. He is unmoved by logic or my hatred of being cold.” Tony shuddered, an elaborate little twitch. “I am expected to endure.”
“Long underwear,” Clint advised, and the look of horror that Tony leveled in his direction was enough to make him burst out laughing. “Hey, it’s your junk that’ll be freezing off up there. Which would you prefer to have, aesthetics, or a pulse?”
“I refuse to die in long johns,” Tony said. “I’ll fake hypothermia and I’m sure he’ll bring me inside before things start falling off.” He wandered over to the coffee pot. “I plan on spending the evening in front of the fire. Preferably naked. Let that serve as the one and only warning any of you will get, yes, I will be naked in the living room tonight.”
“Remind me not to leave my glasses in there,” Bruce said to Clint, who grinned at him.
“Oh, please. There is not a single chance that he’ll get Cap’s pants off in the living room.”
“You underestimate my skills,” Tony said.
“I really, really do not. Enjoy the roof,” Clint said, smirking at him. “I’ll lend you a nice pair of fluffy mittens.”
“I hate you, Barton, truly, there is hate in my heart for you.” There was no heat in the words, just a calm statement of fact. That probably had something to do with the fact that he was on his third cup of coffee. “I shall have you evicted and your meager possessions tossed into the street while you’re out tonight.” He toasted Clint with his cup. “So you’ve got that to look forward to.”
“Do you have plans?” Bruce asked Clint, who rolled his eyes.
“Valentine’s day is complicated,” he said with a shrug. “Phil does not approve.”
“Not one for the romantic industrial complex?” Tony asked.
“Do not even get him started on it,” Clint said. The timer went off on the oven, and he rolled to his feet. “The resulting diatribe will light your hair on fire.”
“Does Coulson diatribe?” Tony asked. “I thought he just deadpanned. Snarked and deadpanned.”
“I don’t think any of those words work where you’ve used them,” Bruce told him, grinning.
“I got the gist of it,” Clint said. “And yes, Phil diatribes.” He opened the oven and leaned over. “Not about many things, but Valentine’s Day is one of them.”
“So you’re not doing anything?” Bruce asked.
“Oh, we’re doing something,” Clint said. “I made the mistake of not doing anything a few years back. I learn from my nearly fatal errors.” He slid the baking sheet out of the oven. “I send flowers, I make dinner reservations, I fucking bake. And the words Valentine’s Day are never, every spoken.” He paused, giving them a truly terrifying sniper’s stare. “Ever.”
“Gotcha,” Bruce said. His watch beeped, and he jammed the last piece of toast in his mouth as he checked it. “That’s my five minute warning,” he said, scrambling up. “Gotta get back to the lab.”
“Hey,” Tony said, catching him before he could slip out the door. “Really, big guy. You okay? You want company today?”
Bruce considered him. “That’s very nice of you, but no, thanks, really.”
Tony waved him off. “Let’s go see what’s cooking in the lab.”
He shook his head. “You’re just trying to get out of picnic on the roof, Tony.”
“Yes,” Tony said. “Just happens that my attempts to survive dovetail nicely with the fact that I’d very much like to see what you’ve got down in the centrifuge right now.”
“Uh-huh,” Bruce said, but he couldn’t quite hold back a grin as he followed Tony out of the kitchen. “Good luck, Clint!”
“Hey, they don’t call me cupid for nothing.”
Tony paused, and leaned back in. “No one calls you cupid.”
Clint gave him an obnoxious grin. “It’s nothing compared to what they call you, Stark.”
“You may collect your possessions on the curb by eight pm,” Tony said, and Bruce burst out laughing.