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Travesties and Spiders

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“Toooonnnny.”

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.

“Yes Jessie?”

“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?”

“Everyone.”

“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.

Chapter Text

“Well well, you really couldn’t help yourself could you Romanoff?” Jessica watched in amusement as the Widow spun around from where she’d been trying to hack into the door controls. Friday had certainly been giving her a hard time of it. Like she could out-hack a Stark AI.

The Defender tilted her head and she studied the other woman. Romanoff’s hair was dyed blond and cut short, probably so that she could stay hidden while on the run. T’Challa had said that she kept slipping out of the palace to go try and get information over the last year. Not knowing what was happening must have just about driven her insane.

Romanoff watched her with narrowed eyes.

“I know Carol’s already given you the whole lecture on where you’re allowed in this building,” Jessica continued. Her voice hardened a little. “And the West Wing is off-limits. You hard of hearing or something? Or just stupid?”

She got a glare for that comment.

“I just want to talk to Tony,” she said in a friendly tone, softening her features into something contrite. “He needs to stop hiding from us. We’re worried about him.”

Jessica stomped on the urge to snort and only tilted her head.

“Tony doesn’t want to talk to you.”

Romanoff opened her mouth to start to argue.

“He’s a human being just like everyone else and deserves the basic right of being able to say ‘no’ Romanoff.”

The spy jerked back like she’d been slapped.

Jessica moved forward, affecting a bored look.

“Natasha Romanoff, born Natalia Romanova. Russian. A graduate of the Red Room. Assassin. Spy. Joined SHIELD, which was mostly HYDRA already so wasn’t much of a change was it? Did you even change how you did your job after joining them? From the files, it didn’t look like it.”

Romanoff was tense now. “What files?” She demanded.

Jessica let a grin stretch across her face. People forgot that she was a Private Investigator.

“The files you provided Spider. You know, the ones you dropped onto the web when you took down SHIELDRA. When you threw all that information out with no encryption whatsoever. Did you ever care that you took down more than just the HYDRA agents? That there were good Agents in SHIELD? Did you care about the Agents on undercover missions who were found and killed or tortured? Do you care about the families of Agents that were attacked and killed by their enemies?” She stopped right in front of the Black Widow. “Does Hawkeye know that his family’s existence and location were in those files you dropped?”

Romanoff’s breath left her in a harsh exhale, eyes widening ever so slightly.

“Does he know that the details of what he did under Loki’s control were there too? You didn’t think about any of that, did you? And you didn’t care when it was brought up afterward. Because you’re the Black Widow. You’re an Avenger. You can’t do wrong and everyone must just bow down to your judgment.”

She gave Romanoff a mocking smile. “'You need us'. That’s what you told the Senate. The gall of that. To blackmail the world into letting you do what you want because they needed the Avengers to protect them. Guess HYDRA really trained you well.”

It was only because Jessica was this close that she could see the aborted flinch from the other woman.

“Karma’s a bitch though. Because you dropped your own files in that Data Dump too. It wasn’t hard to find with a little digging. All your dirty little secrets. The assassinations. The corporate espionage. The ‘collateral damage’. And that was all after you joined SHIELD! I’ll tell you I needed a drink when I got to the stuff you did before.”

Jessica met the spy’s green gaze. She was a lot paler than before.

“What was that thing Tony said you were always going on about?” she tapped her chin with her index finger. “Oh right! Clearing the red from your ledger. Sorry to tell you this sweetheart, but you’ve only been adding to it. You haven’t changed at all. You’re still a killer. You’re still a liar. You still can’t do anything but manipulate people.”

She took a swig from her beer bottle.

“You’re still what the Red Room made you. I’m sure they’d be so proud of you.”

“Who are you?” Romanoff managed to demand though there was a subtle waver to her voice.

“I’m Jessica Jones,” she answered. “I’m a Defender. I’m Tony’s friend. And I’m not letting you hurt him again. I saw the footage. Friday showed us all how you lot have treated him since the beginning. She delved into JARVIS’ memory banks to make sure she got it all. You were never his friend. You were barely even a teammate. You used him. You manipulated him, you gaslighted him, you insulted him and you guilted him. Nothing was off-limits as long as you got what you wanted.”

Jessica roughly shoved past the woman to get to the door, making her stumble.

“You keep going on about Tony’s ego. I’m pretty sure you’re projecting. After all, you have to have one hell of an ego to tell the world that they’re screwed without a baseline spy with pretty eyes and long legs. You’re nothing special Spider. Spies are a dime a dozen nowadays. After all, Tony saved as many SHIELD Agents in the Data Dump as he could. Do you really think they returned to SHIELD after that?” she looked back at the shaken spy and smiled. “If Tony needs a spy, he just has to look at the security division in his company. Any of them would jump at the chance to help the man who saved them.”

She opened the door.

“Have to say though. You’re a pretty shitty spy. You dumped your own information after all. What kind of idiot does that?”

She shut the door in Romanoff’s face, laughing as she headed to the kitchen to set up for Tony’s pizza.

She was kind of disappointed the woman hadn’t tried to hit her though. Punching her into a wall would have been so damn satisfying.

Jessica was still mad over that ridiculous ‘Iron Man: Yes, Tony Stark: Not Recommended’ report.

What a load of bullshit. The Black Widow had no training in profiling and psychology.

They seduced and killed. That’s all they knew.

Since when did a killer prostitute do psychological profiles on dying men?