It’s been about four years since the team formed, and still no one has noticed the thin chain around Tony’s neck. It’s made of thin beads of metal, and is the kind you buy from Walmart for ten bucks a pop; not exactly the typical quota for billionaire jewelry, but he loves it anyway. It’s not the chain, but what hangs on it, hiding underneath his blue cotton shirt.
It’s been about four years since the team formed, and still no one has noticed the locket Natasha wears; or at least, they haven’t noticed that it’s anything but an ordinary locket. Small, silver, and round, the pendant hangs against her chest just as any other necklace would. It’s not any other necklace though, it’s what is inside of the small pendant that matters.
It’s not until one day, when Steve had invited Tony to spar and inadvertently won, that someone noticed the chain around his neck. Far too exhausted from his defeat, the genius didn’t notice the chain was no longer under his shirt, but now on display for the world to see. And on it hung a simple silver ring.
“Hey Tony,” Steve began, his eyes forming slits as they zeroed in on the ring, resting lightly atop his chest. “Is that a wedding ring you’re wearing on that chain?”
The billionaire’s eyes went wide as he looked down, finally noticing that it had slipped out from underneath his shirt. He may have backed himself into a corner with this one; Tony chose to remain calm and vague. “Sure is.”
“Why?” The super-soldier's nose crinkled as he asked the question, visibly confused.
Tony quickly thought up a brilliant way to get himself out of that question. “Because if I wore it on my hand, it could get caught on something in the lab, and then I’d be left with nine fingers.” No one said anything for a moment. “Do you know how hard it would be to work with nine fingers?”
Steve shook his head. “I meant, why are you wearing a wedding ring around a chain?” Tony picked up the ring and examined it, before pulling his shirt away from his chest and dropping it back inside. The faint sound of metal hitting metal was heard as it thumped against the reactor in his chest. “Are you married or something?”
Without answering, Tony stood up and walked out of the training room, giving a small salute to the confused blonde captain he left behind, still pondering the conversation.
One thing some people might not guess about the infamous Black Widow was that she was prone to losing things. Then again, who wouldn’t be when living in a compound with a bunch of superheroes, all of which are insanely obsessed with pranks and a lack of personal space. Upon realizing she’s lost her locket, she goes practically insane. Her most precious belonging was stashed inside the small silver cage; a simple gold ring with a single ruby.
“Alright, who took my necklace?” she asked angrily, storming into the kitchen during breakfast. Strangely, she was one of the last ones to arrive that morning. She would usually be the first, but she’d been searching for her missing jewelry ever since she woke up and realized it was gone. Her husband had been working in his lab since the previous afternoon.
Sam looked at her, racking his brain. “That silver locket you always wear?” She nodded, a ‘duh’ look on her face, and the man shrugged. “Dunno. Haven’t seen it.”
“Ugh,” she groaned, running her fingers through her blood-red hair. “I need to find it, and I’m almost positive one of you had something to do with its disappearance.” Everyone around the table shrugged.
“Calm down, Woman of Spiders,” Thor laughed. “It is just a simple necklace is it not?” How could Natasha ever explain the meaning of that necklace to her without compromising herself?
Vision examined her, pausing the equations running through his mind momentarily. “Is it of great importance to you, Ms Romanoff?”
“Yes,” she confirmed, glaring at everyone around the table. “I was wearing it when we got home from the mission yesterday; I know one of you has to know where it is.”
Clint strolled into the kitchen a few moments later, munching on an apple and swinging the silver necklace around his fingers. “Hey Tasha,” he began, pausing to take a bite of his apple. “You left this in the living room last night. Chain’s busted, probably from the mission.” He handed her the locket, its chain snapped in half but the pendant intact.
She instantly let out a breath, closing her fist around the locket. “Thanks, Clint.”
He nodded. “Neat idea by the way,” he continued mindlessly. “Keeping the ring inside of it, that way you won’t lose it on missions. Where’d you get it from anyway?”
Natasha was sweating slightly, unusual since she was such a well-trained liar. “Pawn shop?” It was obvious to everyone in the room that the woman was nervous, but they all chose not to comment on it, knowing she was fully within her right mind to strangle them.
Clint nodded. “Cool.” His mouth said he suspected nothing, but when he looked into her eyes a moment later, they said something different. He shot her a look, as if saying 'I know'. She swallowed and went to retrieve a new chain from her jewelry box.
Wanda, Steve, Sam, Clint, Thor, and Vision in his phased form decided to go see a movie, since it was an experience a majority of the group had never had. Tony stayed behind to work in his lab, Rhodey stayed behind because he didn’t feel like going, and Natasha stayed behind because she hated romantic comedies.
It was beginning to get late when Natasha opened the door to her husband’s lab, walking in quietly. “Tones?” she questioned, locating him at a worktable on the far side of the room. “I was just about to watch television the couch, if you wanted to join?”
Tony hummed a bit in response, looking up with a mischievous grin. “What do I get if I do?”
“Let me think,” the Black Widow dragged sarcastically, looking at him with a small smile. “How about we cuddle?”
“Sold,” the billionaire announced, sauntering over to the red head and pulling her in for a hug. “Can I go ahead and get that kiss now?” With a cheeky smile, she leaned over and planted a kiss on his lips.
They went to the kitchen and each made a bowl of cookie-dough ice cream, then headed into the living room to watch their favorite show, Law and Order. They were snuggled under blankets on the couch, eating their ice cream and with their limbs tangled among one another.
Soon, an exhausted Tony, who had pulled three consecutive all-nighters, rested his head on his wife’s stomach. Natasha, who would normally make him get up, decided to let him stay, running her fingers mindlessly through his short hair.
“Clint found the ring,” Natasha whispered, and her husband hummed a little in response.
“Steve saw mine,” he told her quietly.
Natasha thought for a few moments. It had been five years since their marriage; she doesn’t really understand why they hide it anymore. Originally it was because of their jobs, but now SHIELD has fallen, taking away much of the risk. “Should we just... tell them?” Maybe it was for amusement.
Tony smiled a bit. “And what’s fun about that?” He let out a small laugh. “Instead of telling them, let’s just... put our rings on our fingers or kiss in front of them or something?”
Natasha imagined their faces if they did something like that; it was an enjoyable thought. “Alright.” It was definitely for amusement.
A few days later, they decided to go through with it. Natasha managed to get Tony into bed at a reasonable(ish) hour, and put his ring on his finger as he drifted off to sleep. When she woke up the next morning, she brushed out her hair, changed out of her pajamas, and slipped her own ring on her finger, leaving the repaired locket on her vanity.
When she got to the kitchen, she grabbed her favorite mug and poured herself a large cup of coffee, sitting down with her most recent read: The Scarlet Letter. After a while, the kitchen was filled with her fellow team members, all enjoying bowls of cereal and microwaved bacon, because none of them could cook worth two cents. No one noticed the ring on her finger. Eventually, the only one missing was Tony, and Natasha dearly hoped he hadn’t decided to back out or forgotten to wake up; maybe she just wanted to get it over with, but she also couldn’t wait to see the team’s reaction (though she was sure Clint had figured it out to some degree).
Finally, just as she was beginning to think he may have forgotten all together, Tony came strolling into the kitchen like any other morning. Except it wasn’t like any other morning; Natasha barely saw the gleam of his ring as he walked through the kitchen.
“Morning everyone,” he grunted, strolling to the counter and pouring himself a large cup of coffee, black. Faint echoes of ‘good morning’ floated around the table. He strolled back towards the table, slowing when he reached Natasha. She looked up at him from where she sat, and he suddenly leaned down and planted a kiss on her lips. “Morning Tash.” She gave him a small smile in response, shifting her head back down.
The expressions on the faces of their friends were absolutely priceless. Thor looked genuinely confused, but nothing too over-the-top. Vision had no reaction. Clint just sipped his coffee with a raised eyebrow, the look saying I told you so. Rhodey was their witness at the wedding. Wanda, Steve, and Sam, on the other hand, looked absolutely shocked; mouths hung open and limbs suddenly numb, they stared at the couple.
Finally, someone spoke. “So are you guys, like... together?” Wanda asked slowly, looking back and forth between the spy and the genius.
The red-head looked up at her husband again, and they both held up their hands, showing off their rings. Everyone’s head swung around as Sam choked on his glass of milk.
“You’re... engaged?” he managed to choke out eventually, staring at them with wide eyes.
Tony shook his head. “Married.”
Steve, who had suspected something since he saw Tony’s ring, was surprised, but not to the same extent as Sam and Wanda, who had no idea. “You’re married...” he dragged, staring at an empty wall. “How long?”
“Five years maybe,” Natasha shrugged, and her husband nodded.
Wanda cocked her head. “But, no offense, you’re usually the meanest to him.”
The red-head shrugged again, pursing her lips comically. “Had to cover the tracks.”
“And we’re going to stop that now?” Tony asked, a hint of humorous hope in his voice as he took a seat next to his wife at the table.
She wrinkled her face. “Eh, probably not. Too much fun.”