Tony is laughing and everyone just looks at him from their spots around the table, no ones seen him smile like this. "Dude, i don't pay for shit." He said, amused. "Not a goddamned thing."
"Uh...we live in your tower and eat your food and-" "All of that comes out of a stipend that is paid to you from SI because they won the bid of the government contract to get the clout that came with housing a superhero team." Pepper said calmly. "And now that you've all made your allegiances clear-" Anyone and everyone except for Tony, which is all Pepper really cares about. "- we've decided to not submit a rebid this year. You'll have thirty days to clear out, once our contract ends. Which is in-" Friday happily put up a counter. "Twenty two hours and fourteen minutes. Of course, keep in mind, any damages or harm to the property or people inside of it from this moment on - now that you've become aware you'll be leaving - will be paid out of pocket, or i'll sue you for it, and I guarantee i'll win."
They look at Tony, who is simply lounging back, spinning back and forth lazily in his chair, looking amused. He chews on the end of a pen, absently. They wont find any help from him.
Steve tries again, looking desperate. "But our gear and weapons? The quinjet?"
"You'll of course be allowed anything you currently own. All StarkTech property - that is, the suits, and the vehicles - will remain sole property of Tony Stark, and that won't change. Upkeep will revert to its previous keeper, that is to say SHIELD, until someone else takes the bid to take you in and house you and feed you and train you."
Like dogs. The way Clint sneers he doesn't miss the reference.
"Can't you fight your own battles, Stark, what are you doing hiding behind your girls coattails?"
Tony raised an eyebrow, still looking amused. Pepper smiled, very slowly, and Clint sat back, swallowing a little. "I'm not a girl, Mister Barton, and i would thank you to remember it before this girl shows you some manners." She said frostily.
"SHIELD isn't here. They don't exist anymore." Steve tried, and Tony snorted. "Yeah. Fuckin right. I'll make sure they get back in touch with you." Tony allowed. "You can't do this. Iron Man is an Avenger!" Steve said, looking disappointed, and Tony sees Natasha grimace, because she knows.
"Except I'm not."
Steve looked at him, wide eyed. "Wha-"
"Iron Man Yes, Tony Stark Not Recommended." Pepper said simply. Steve scoffed. "Who wrote that?"
"I did." Natasha said simply.
"He's not. It's easier to keep him under SHIELDs thumb if he's not a proper member because then Fury can hold it over his head like a carrot." Clint explained, showing he knew full well what was going on.
"So we'll do it prop-" "No." Tony said, not looking so amused now. "You only want me on your team because you like the money, and the toys. You don't care about me or my suit or my family. Frankly, I'm glad to be done with the lot of you. Iron Man will show up if he's needed, but i don't really ever care if i see any of you again." He said bluntly. He looked at Pepper.
"Are we done here, Miss Potts?"
"I think we're done here, Mister Stark." She smiled, standing up, and looking at all of them. The only one who isn't there is Bruce, and thats because he's not back on world. He and Tony will talk eventually, she's sure, but not now.
"Have a good life, see you never." Tony waved, as he and Pepper left, letting the others yell at him as he went.