Tony paused in his work, an amused smile tugging at his lips. He wasn’t surprised to see Jessica Jones standing on the other side of the door, arms crossed and pouting. There was a bottle of beer in one hand but it was still closed.
He told Friday to open the door and spun around in his seat to face her. “Yes Jessie?”
She put the beer on the surface close to the door and he couldn’t help but be grateful. He was working at staying sober but that didn’t mean he wanted everyone to stop drinking around him. He didn’t want them to change their habits because of him. Jess, as alcoholic as they came but still maintaining a handle on it somehow, was always drinking in the compound. But she never shoved that fact in his face. She never drew attention to it.
The Defender walked across to stand in front of him, still pouting.
Tony looked up at her, amused smile still in place. He couldn’t help but compare this moment to before the Civil War. The Avengers used to barge into his lab a lot, always checking on what he was doing.
Checking that he wasn’t building another Ultron.
The suspicion had hurt, especially since he’d been cleared by a committee that concluded that Ultron was a result of the Mind Stone hijacking his basic programming for a defensive AI. It had always felt like an invasion when they came into his lab, unexpected and if he complained then they jumped on it, demanding to know what he was hiding.
His new team was different. They never came in uninvited. If he was in blackout mode they didn’t even knock unless it was an emergency. Some of them looked at his work but it was always with curiosity, not suspicion.
“You skipped movie night last week,” Jess complained.
He raised an eyebrow at her. He knew where this was going and he was highly entertained by it.
“I get why,” she admitted. “Those assholes came back and Carol was still setting up the rules. They did try and get into the West Wing.”
“Not surprised,” Tony said dryly, unable to ignore the slight shiver down his spine.
The West Wing was where the team lived, including him. It was private and Stephen had set up magical defenses ages ago. The idea of the people who’d betrayed him getting into his home made him anxious.
The East Wing was for guests and, more recently, where the pardoned Rogues were living. They didn’t have access to the West Wing at all which also meant they didn’t have access to Tony’s personal lab.
He’d still hidden in his lab the day they’d arrived, knowing they’d try and get in anyway. He knew they’d tried to get a hold of him, no doubt determined to get him to reverse what Pepper had done.
They were idiots if they thought he was going to say anything but ‘yes ma’am’ to his girlfriend when she was as worked up as the Rogues made her.
He didn’t want to face them though. Not yet. The emotional wounds still hurt not to mention he’d just recently recovered from the physical ones.
“Friday called Carol who sent them back to the East Wing,” Jess continued. “I’m disappointed I wasn’t there.”
“No punching them unless they attack first,” Tony immediately said. “Else you’ll be the one getting in trouble Jessie.”
She grumbled and move to drop onto the couch he sometimes crashed on after inventing binges.
“This can’t stand!” she complained.
“Because I didn’t show for one movie night?” He knew what she’d say in response to that and had to fight to keep the amusement off his face.
“You know exactly why this is a travesty! It was your turn to bring snacks!”
“But Jess, I had Friday order some snacks in.”
“But they weren’t your homemade pizza!”
He barked out a laugh now that they were at the heart of the matter. He’d never cooked anything around the Avengers before. They’d all assumed that he couldn’t and he didn’t see a point in correcting them since they wouldn’t believe him. They didn’t know that his mother had loved to cook Italian food and he’d joined her. When the new team started the weekly movie nights they’d also started a rotation of who was responsible for snacks. The first time Tony’s turn came up, he made pizza.
He hadn’t been prepared for their immediate delight over the food. Now the nights it was his turn were always packed with everyone pitching no matter how busy they were.
“Tooooonnnnnyyyyy!” Jess whined dramatically.
“Won’t you cook for tonight’s movie night? You skipped your turn!”
Tony hummed. “But it’s Matt’s turn to do the food.”
“Piiiiiizzzzaaaaa!” she whined and he snorted. “Everyone agreed to push the schedule back if you’ll cook tonight.”
“How many are even coming?”
“You’re trying to guilt me into this!” he declared in a mock offended tone, hand on his chest.
“Of course,” she answered seriously. “Anything for the pizza.”
He huffed a laugh. The few times he’d accused Romanoff of doing the same, and for far less light hearted reasons, she’d been offended and angry.
“And they call me a drama queen,” he rolled his eyes fondly. “Give me half an hour to finish up here and I’ll head to the kitchen.”
She hopped to her feet. “Great! We’ll set up the kitchen for you.”
He shook his head as she strolled back to the door. She paused before leaving.
“You know we won’t let them get near you right?” she asked softly.
He paused, hands hovering over his work.
“Yeah,” he answered just as softly.
“See you in a bit Shellhead.”
“See you Jessie.”
He appreciated that she didn’t get upset over him not immediately dropping what he was doing. He also appreciated that he knew she would have let it go with no hard feelings if he really didn’t want to go.
He loved his new team and was determined not to fall into old, bad habits with the Rogues back.
Jessica Jones grinned to herself as she left the lab. She was getting pizza tonight! First though, she had to deal with a little spider problem. Apparently Romanoff was still trying to get into the West Wing. Friday was delaying her until Jessica got there.
Time she met the infamous Black Widow.