That evening, they were all pretending to be interested in the delicious three cheese ziti marinara that Steve had made them when Bruce of all people pointed out the sad truth.
"Guys, we have to do something or we're all going to go insane. Look at us; we're not even interested in Steve's cooking, for crying out loud!"
"You are wrong, Doctor," Thor said through half-chewed pasta. "I am enjoying myself immensely!"
"Hooray. One of us hasn't died of boredom yet. Congratulations, Thor, you've proven that the sad Asgardian culture is good for something besides making socially awkward superheroes," stated Tony, holding up his sarcasm sign.
"I don't under- oh. Thank you, Man of Iron. I understand now."
"My pleasure, pretty princess."
All of them could hear the clock ticking.
"Well " Steve drummed his fingers on the table as he tried to think of something to do.
"Ooh, I know! How about we play a board game?"
"Yeah! Let's play Clue!"
Everybody groaned. For some reason, Tony was a Clue master. Not one of them could remember the last time he had lost (unless you counted the 'Killer Miss Scarlet' incident, which had involved Natasha and a ceiling fan that had left the ceiling, but I won't go there). Tony took the hint and pouted into his ziti.
"We could play a video game?" suggested Clint hopefully.
"That sounds like a great idea," Bruce said, "except the only fun game Tony has in his hoard is Rock Band, which we can't play."
"Because a certain thunder god smashed his guitar after watching the character do the same."
"You told me to do what I saw on the picture box. The trapped man with the spiky hair smashed his guitar against the stage, so I simply did the same."
"I don't care about you boys and your stupid band, which stinks, by the way," Natasha interrupted. "Clint and I are going to do something that's actually interesting."
"We are, Tash?"
"Yes, we are," she replied, grabbing his hand and dragging him out of his chair. "We're going to make dessert, since somebody ate all of my orange creamsicles."
"If you had written your name on them, I wouldn't have touched them. But you put them in the middle of the freezer unlabeled and unprotected. And what's this 'we' stuff? I don't cook."
"Not even when we're making double fudge brownies and my favorite little birdie gets to help clean the bowls?"
Clint was suddenly very interested in being led to the kitchen. "Out of my way, woman!" he cried, giving Natasha's rear a playful slap. "This tough job needs a tough man to get it done!"
In return, the 'tough man' got punched in the ribs and made a noise that didn't sound tough at all. In fact, it sounded more like the noise a middle-school boy makes during a fight against his eleventh-grade neighbor. Tony, Bruce, Steve, and Thor all chuckled.
"So Now what do we do?" asked Thor. He had devoured the last of the ziti and was finally suffering from the boredom that had fallen over his comrades.
Sighing, Bruce answered, "I guess we do the same thing that we always do on boring nights. We all pretend that we're reading and can't put our books down."
"Oh, joy. Another fantastic night. Bruce, for being a Science Bro, you stink at coming up with good ideas."
"What do you guys have against reading?" inquired Steve.
"At least we can look forward to Lady Natasha's brownies," Thor said wistfully.
A long hour had passed. Tony was alternately taking apart and rebuilding his cell phone, as well as watching Steve doodle on each page corner of his book. Bruce had fallen asleep reading a lecture on gamma radiation, and Thor was teary-eyed behind a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (his favorite character had just died). Clint and Natasha had made the entire tower smell like brownies; they were still in the kitchen, giggling about something. Nobody could decide which sounded weirder, Clint giggling or Natasha giggling. Maybe both.
Steve flipped through his book, making the drawings become an animation of him throwing his shield. Then he tossed it onto the coffee table and walked towards the door.
"I'm going to work out with the punching bags again," the captain announced. "I don't want to be bothered." With that he went past the elevator and started running up the stairs. Tony rolled his eyes.
"Only a ninety-year-old man would run up four flights of stairs before working out. Would you do that, Thor?"
"I would not, Man of Iron," the Asgardian sniffled from behind his book. "I would only do it to save the life of a house elf or to eat some brownies. Speaking of which, have Lady Natasha and Eye of the Hawk finished?"
"You're hopeless, Thor. Steve's metabolism is four times faster than everybody else's, yet you're the one who eats four times more than normal. Something doesn't add up. But you do have a point; those brownies should be done by now. Let's go get some."
Quietly, so as not to disturb Bruce (because the other guy doesn't like being woken up), Tony and Thor went to the kitchen. They heard indistinct bits of conversation and paused; Clint sounded angry, and he could be dangerous when he was angry. Nevertheless, they pushed open the door and entered the kitchen.
Natasha was sitting on the counter by the sink and smirking. Clint was elbow-deep in a sinkful of dirty bowls, spoons, and measuring cups, a towel hanging out of the side of his belt.
"I need to see my reflection, birdbrain," Natasha was saying in response to her boyfriend's scrubbing job. "Look at this 'clean' bowl; you missed a pretty big spot near the edge. Wash them all again." She picked up the dishes drying in the drainer and dunked them all back into the sink.
Huffing, Clint said, "Remind me why you aren't doing this?"
"Because you messed up the first batch of brownies by using too many eggs. Besides, you also licked all of the mixing bowls. I'm not going to coat my hands in your spit."
"You certainly don't mind getting some on your lips every night. You- oh, what do you two want?"
"We came to get some brownies," answered Thor.
"We came to see you doing women's work," Tony chuckled as he whipped out his phone. "Smile and say 'cheese.' This is going on Facebook."
The picture was taken before Clint could snatch the device, so he did the next best thing. He splashed dishwater on it, unfortunately drenching Natasha in the process. She hopped off of the counter and glared at him.
"Now you've done it, you idiot! Take this!"
She picked up a bowl that he had filled with water to soak and poured it over his head. He shook the water out of his eyes and grabbed the sink's spray nozzle.
"Oh, yeah? Right back at ya, Tash! Ha, ha, ha!"
Thor and Tony ran away before they got soaked. After they left, the splash fight continued for another two minutes, when Natasha's iPod died. It was one of the first fights Clint had ever won. They sat down against the cabinets and laughed uncontrollably for exactly 47 seconds. Then they both got devilish grins on their faces and prepared for that evening's entertainment, courtesy of Barton and Romanoff, partners in crime.
Steve tiptoed down the stairs. When he reached the door to the living room, he stopped to check his equipment. Weapon? Check. Ammo? Check. Cover up story? Well, he could work on that later.
He peeked into the living room. Bruce was still snoozing on the sofa. Tony and Thor were making complete and utter fools of themselves by playing Just Dance 3 (doing a duet, as a matter of fact). The super soldier cocked his gun, took aim, and fired. As soon as he pulled the trigger, he knew that it was a good shot.
An orange dart sped through the air and stuck to Bruce's glasses. He woke up with a jerk, startled to find that 1) he had fallen asleep and 2) he had been shot. After plucking the dart off of his glasses, Dr. Banner decided that the brownies smelled really good and that he wanted one. So he got up and went to the kitchen.
As he opened the door, he was greeted with two loaded Super Soakers in his face. Clint and Natasha were both wearing bathing suits and Grinchy grins.
"Good, our first victim!" chuckled the archer.
"It's nothing personal, Banner," Natasha explained, brandishing her weapon. "We just thought that things were too quiet around here. Hyaa!"
She and Clint squirted Bruce with ice cold water before running into the living room to do the same to Tony and Thor. Steve popped out of the stairwell with two extra Nerf guns and tossed them to the dancers. Bruce grabbed an extra water gun, loaded it with ice water, and joined the fray.
It was Clint, Natasha, and Bruce with Super Soakers versus Steve, Tony, and Thor with Nerf guns. They battled for almost an hour, shooting each other with suction tip darts and ice cold water. They had to take breaks to reload, which quickly turned into somebody hiding while everybody on the other team attacked mercilessly. Eventually, other weapons such as footballs and pillows were added to the team arsenals. When the Avengers were finally done, they had trashed an entire floor of the tower.
"Well, that was fun," Clint observed, shaking his head and sending water droplets flying everywhere.
"Indeed, Eye of the Hawk," laughed Thor. We learned that Dr. Banner is lethal with a football."
Bruce blushed, twirling said football in his hands. "Not as lethal as Natasha is with her pillows."
"Can't argue with that," she agreed. "Now what do we do?"
Steve looked around the remains of their living room. "Should we clean this up?"
"Nah, I'll get Dummy to do it. I say we eat those brownies the lovebirds made. Anyone care to join me?"
Everybody followed Tony to the kitchen and argued over who would get the corners (Clint ended up with half of them). Steve brought out the milk and searched the freezer for vanilla ice cream. He couldn't find any, much to Tony's dismay.
"How can we go through that much ice cream? JARVIS! Who finished off my vanilla?"
"I believe you did, sir," the computer responded politely. "My security footage shows you in the kitchen last night at 2:17."
"Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. What else do we have, Capsicle?" Tony asked hungrily.
"We have refrozen rainbow sherbet."
"How about three spoonfuls of Dippin Dots?"
"Those things are disgusting," objected Bruce. "All we have left are the banana ones."
"Okay, what about an ice cream sandwich?"
"Perfect!" cried Tony. "Toss it here!"
Steve did as he was told, but Clint intercepted the treat before it got to Tony, who tackled him. The two began to wrestle, but JARVIS ordered all six of the Avengers out of the kitchen before they broke something.
All in all, it was just a normal night at Avengers Tower.