This was supposed to be perfectly normal Stark Industries business. No Avengers stuff. Not even weapons. Just a board (bored?) meeting in LA that Pepper demanded Tony attend, on pain of death and then some. So attend he did – attentively, even! It was so exceptionally boring, exactly as expected. So he insisted he get to fly the latest Iron Man prototype back to New York. Putting in a good extended test flight on the improved armor would more than make up for the lack of in-flight drink service.
He's currently regretting not asking JARVIS to run more a thorough analysis on how the new fuel source would interact with the thrusters over a long haul under heavy load, as his left-side boot and glove thrusters just crapped out on him. JARVIS was working on diagnosing and repairing the issue, but it was still a rough landing in some not-so-hospitable desert, and probably a longer wait for a solution than he was willing to endure without any shade.
He fished his phone out of his pocket to call Pep, get his requisite earful, and then have his jet sent out to where-ever-the-heck he is. He was relieved to see a message already – Pepper must have been alerted to the error right away. But no, it's a message from Steve. Crap. Stranded in the desert with busted armor more than halfway across the country and leaving Spangles out to dry on Avengers business won't do anything to improve their working relationship.
As part of his contribution to the Avengers, more as Tony Stark than as Iron Man, the genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist gave StarkPhones to each of the heroes. (Except Thor, because, you know, demi-god... outer space... Tony is working on a trans-dimensional space phone, though. Getting right on that.) The phones were state-of-the-art, outfitted with satellite GPS, code crackers, the works.
Tony braces himself for the worst news. He opens the message and its... a picture. Nope. Its a selfie. What the fuck. Steve is in a bubble bath with a shampoo faux-hawk, making an idiot face while listening to Neon Trees on his iPod. The caption is “hash tag treat yo self.” Yep, hash tag. Spelled out. What the ACTUAL fuck.
When he gets out of this desert, he is going to be having some serious words with Ms. Romanov about the appropriate use of Avenger resources.
“Make him stop.” Clint dropped into Tony's lab from god-knows-what-air-duct.
“Make who stop what, Robin Hood? Also, what do you think of these prototype arrowheads?” Tony dodged both Clint, and DUM-E with a full cup of (please let that be) coffee, to swipe at some of the touch-screen displays, displaying the new design for Hawkeye's incendiary missiles.
Clint paged through the drawings on the screens. “Looks good. Being able to time the payload or have it explode on impact would be pretty stellar. But seriously, make Steve stop. With the Candy Crush.”
Tony stopped to look at Clint. “Candy what?”
“Candy Crush? The game?” Clint's hand gestures pretty much translated to duh. “Steve won't stop inviting me to play so he can get more lives. Its annoying. I think he's addicted.”
Tony's jaw worked as he tried to come up with a solution. “I...don't know how to respond to that.”
“You and me both, buddy.”