It starts with Tony Stark.
Most things do.
“Okay, wait,” he says. “Wait. Never have I ever--”
“No!” Natasha interrupts sharply. “Absolutely not.” It makes Clint, who is lying with his head on her lap, start laughing way harder than such an innocuous half-sentence should.
“What?” Bucky asks. “ ‘No,’ what?”
“Let’s do it!” Darcy says loudly. She’s been barely paying attention from where she and Jane are sitting back to back – scrolling through her phone – but at this she sits up and twists around, leaving Jane to fall backwards from the unexpected lack of resistance.
“Ow,” Jane says.
“You’re fine,” Darcy shoots back. “I want to play.”
“Play what? ” Bucky repeats.
“Never Have I Ever,” say Natasha and Tony at the same time, and Tony continues, “And Bruce is down in Argentina vacay-ing the fuck out of life with Betty, so our voice of reason is effectively out of the picture. It’s going to be way too much fun, I promise.”
“Natasha just hates it because she always loses,” Clint chimes in.
“In this group, either Darcy or I will win,” Jane says, struggling back up to a sitting position. “Everyone else here is going to have done way more than we have.”
“Not true,” says Tony, pointing at her. “Never have I ever left the planet.”
“Liar,” Steve snorts. “I have a very vivid memory of you leaving the entire fucking galaxy.”
“Shit,” Tony mumbles. “Forgot. That was a practice round anyway. Are we ready? I’ll start.”
“I still don’t get what the fuck we’re playing,” Bucky snaps from the couch. He hasn’t been sleeping much – meaning it’s probably near the anniversary of some horrifying memory – and it’s starting to show.
“And we don’t all have drinks anyway,” Darcy reminds Tony, scrambling to her feet.
“If we’re playing with drinks I don’t think it’ll be quite the same for me,” Steve smiles.
“There’s that Asgardian stuff that Thor left last time he was here, don’t think I don’t remember,” Darcy snorts. “Be right back. Jane come help me. And someone explain the game to Buck.”
Bucky, who is sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table, leans back against the couch where Clint and Natasha are tangled up together and sighs at the nickname which he has not given her permission to use. Steve, who is sitting next to Tony on the other couch, on the other side of the coffee table, hides a smirk.
“Okay, here’s how it goes,” Tony begins. “Everyone has a beer, or Asgardian liquor, and we each take turns saying, ‘never have I ever,’ and then add something on the end. Like, I said ‘never have I ever left the planet,’ which turned out to be a lie, so technically it wouldn’t count, but bear with me. After I say that, pretending it’s true, then everyone who has left the planet has to take a drink. Then it’s the next person’s turn to say something. You drink if you’ve done the thing.”
“I’m going to hate this game as much as Natasha does, aren’t I?”
Steve laughs at the deadpan way Bucky has spoken and says, “No cheating.”
“Oh, there will be cheating,” Bucky mutters.
(In the end, this is not a lie, though the cheating in question is not done by Bucky.)
“I have beer!” Darcy announces, returning with Jane in tow, both their hands and arms full of beer. They arrange them on the table and return to their seats. Darcy also tosses Steve a couple of bottles made of a material that isn’t quite glass, though it’s reminiscent of it.
“Are we really doing this?” Natasha asks plaintively.
“I’m in,” Clint says, sitting up and snagging a beer. He resettles himself against Natasha, arm around her shoulder. He kisses her cheek gently and adds, “But I’m not going to play nice.”
“Don’t fuck with me in this game,” Natasha says darkly. “I have dirt on you, too, sweetheart .”
“Can I start now?” Tony asks, over the sound of beer bottles being opened. Then, when no objections are raised, he continues, “I’ll open with a soft ball. Never have I ever changed a car tire.”
“Of course you haven’t,” Darcy says taking a drink. In fact, everyone in the group takes a drink, bottles going up and down in what’s more or less unison.
“And that kind of thing is how you win,” Tony says, winking at Bucky.
“Winning,” Natasha says dryly. “A word here meaning: being the last one standing. Keep in mind, Stark, my tolerance is Russian born and bred. There are other ways to ‘win’ this game than taking the fewest drinks.”
“Petition to switch the Russian assassin to hard liquor for the duration of the game,” Tony says.
“Petition rejected,” Clint snorts before Natasha can say anything. “I’m the only one who gets to see her that drunk.”
“Besides,” Bucky chimes in. “You have to specify which Russian assassin if you’re going to use that particular nomenclature.”
“Play the game!” Darcy shouts loudly. “Steve, it’s your turn. We’re going clockwise.”
Steve sighs loudly but then obligingly says, “Never have I ever been awake during the 1990s.”
“You fucking cheater,” Tony gapes.
“You said!” Steve protests with a poorly-concealed grin, while Darcy laughs and takes her drink. “You said do things that the others have done so they have to drink.”
“You’re still a fucking cheater,” Natasha says. “You’re supposed to do things you think the person has done. Not things you know the person has done.”
“This game seems to have a lot of hidden rules,” Bucky mutters into his beer, but he gives in and drinks and the others follow soon after.
“My turn right?” Bucky asks. “Well, never have I ever slept for more than a decade at a time.”
“Okay, I see how it is,” Steve says, pursing his lips. “Fine.”
“Don’t make this game personal,” Jane warns them both. “When this game gets personal, it gets ugly.”
“No,” Darcy protests. “When this game gets personal, this game gets fun .”
“Only if you’re not the person it’s personal against,” Jane shoots back.
“Never have I ever held a spider,” Clint says loudly over the conversation.
“Define held,” Jane says. “Like, I’m sure they’ve been on me.”
“No, like willingly held in just your hands,” Clint clarifies. “Like at the fair or something when they have those tarantulas."
“As if,” Darcy snorts.
Tony sighs and takes a drink, but he’s the only one.
“All right boys and girls,” Natasha smiles. “Never have I ever been to Czechoslovakia.”
“You’ve totally been to…” Clint begins, and then trails off. “Oh, no wait, you’re right. It had totally divided already when we went.”
“By, like, several years,” Natasha smirks.
“I don’t like this game,” Bucky announces, taking another sip. Like Stark the last round, he’s the only one.
“Jane, go,” Darcy urges.
“Okay. Never have I ever met the pope.”
“No one here has met the pope,” Tony scoffs.
“Define ‘met’,” Bucky says quietly.
“Holy shit,” Steve breaths, just as Natasha throws her head back and starts laughing way harder than most people arranged around the coffee table have ever seen her laugh.
“1978?” Clint gapes, and he echoes Steve’s curse when Bucky nods carefully.
“Someone tell me!” Darcy demands.
“Um, you should probably definitely not be told,” Clint responds.
“I’m not asking any questions,” Jane says, putting up her hands. “Neither is Darcy.”
“But--” Darcy tries.
“ Neither is Darcy !”
“Fine. My turn, at least. Never have I assassinated an influential leader, because I’m ninety-nine point ten percent sure that’s what that was about.”
Natasha, Bucky, and Clint all take their drinks silently, while Tony muses carefully.
“How about this?” he says. “Never have I ever ridden on a camel.” He looks around hopefully, but everyone else was also just looking around at each other. “Really? No one? Damn. All right then, you’re up, soldier.”
“Never have I ever paid for a lap dance.”
“Hmmmm,” Bucky hums disapprovingly, taking a swig. Tony takes one with him, along with Clint and, more surprisingly, Darcy.
“What?” she asks innocently, avoiding Jane’s look. “I got bored. I had cash. And needs.”
“When did you buy a fucking lap dance?” Natasha mutters to Clint with narrowed eyes.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Clint shoots back.
“Never have I ever gotten myself kicked out of a bar,” Bucky continues.
“Fuck you,” Steve answers, but he’s grinning around his bottle as he takes another sip, along with Tony and Natasha.
“Never have I ever broken a leg,” Clint says next.
“Seriously?” Jane asks, raising an eyebrow. “With all the shit you guys do?”
“Oh I’ve done plenty of messed up shit to my body. And had plenty of messed up shit done to it, too. I’ve just somehow managed to avoid that one.”
“You jump off buildings all the fucking time,” Steve snorts, but Clint just shrugs.
“Broken a leg as in my own leg, or do other people’s legs count?” Natasha asks.
“Why the fuck do you care?” Clint laughs. “You’d have to drink either way.”
Natasha rolls her eyes and drinks, as does everyone else besides Darcy.
“Never have I ever freaked out because my urine was blue,” Natasha says, as soon as she’s lowered the bottle, and Clint rolls his eyes.
“Now you’re just playing mean,” he sighs, drinking alone. Tony is laughing.
“Umm,” Jane says. “Never have I ever gotten drunk and woke up in a bed that wasn't mine.”
Clint raises his hand up in the air quick as a gunshot, waving it around like a schoolteacher trying to get his teacher’s attention.
“Question?” Jane responds.
“Is the actual owner of the bed required to be there?”
Clint nods once and takes a swig. Tony has already taken his, muttering, “I’m feeling very discriminated against over here. Y’all had better be remembering that I have Pepper now, mandatory conference in London that I was not invited to aside.”
“Hey you,” Steve says, looking at Bucky, who hasn’t drunk. “Seriously? I couldn’t possibly count the number of nights you barely stumbled home.”
“What can I say?” he smirks. “I knew my limits. I knew exactly how to walk right up to them but not cross over. I believe Miss Darcy is next?”
“Y’all are playing way too nice,” Darcy says. “Time to step up the game. Never have I ever had sex while in handcuffs.”
“Oo,” winces Clint, taking a deep sip. “Got me there for sure.” Natasha sighs and follows suit, along with Tony, Bucky and…
“Jane!” Darcy squeals. “When the fuck?”
“Noooo,” Jane protests, while Darcy shakes her by the arm.
“I’m with Darcy,” Tony says eagerly, sitting forward in his seat. “I demand the story.”
“It’s not like it was just the one time,” Jane says, blushing a deep red. “This is so none of your business.”
“Did you like it?” Clint asks, from the other side of the coffee table.
There’s about four seconds of silence and then, “Yes.” and Clint laughs loudly once.
“I cannot believe you held out on my like this!” Darcy screams, and even Natasha is smiling carefully. “Was it with Thor?”
“No,” Jane says slowly. “Well, a couple times. But mostly, um, Thor is…” She pauses momentarily, and then entire room leans forward the slightest bit. “Thor is more…the… wearing the handcuffs type.”
Darcy’s jaw drops and Tony actually stand up from the couch and bows deeply to Jane. Natasha is applauding slowly from where she’s sitting next to Clint. Bucky has his eyes down on the ground, but everyone’s either too drunk or too distracted to notice.
Suddenly Tony starts pounding on the table, making Bucky startle violently.
“I’m so fucking stupid, I’m so fucking stupid!” he chants repeatedly. “Thor asked me for those handcuffs. Fucking adamantine handcuffs. He spewed some bullshit about Loki and adamantine not being affected by magic and I believed him. I am the fucking stupidest person that has ever walked the face of the earth.”
“And we’re very grateful for it,” Jane says sweetly. “You can have them back, though. Thor brought a couple of his personal ones back from Asgard.”
“Tony,” Clint laughs from where he’s leaning against Natasha – this is technically his fourth beer of the night already. “You’d better go quick or we’re going to be stuck here forever.”
“Fine, fine, fine, but don’t think I’m not going to come back to that Miss Foster. For now, though, never have I ever stolen someone’s underwear.”
“Bullshit,” Natasha spits.
“No, honest to god,” Tony laughs, raising both hands in front of him, while still trying to hold his beer. “I’ve been given plenty, and I’ve found my fair share left behind on my bedroom floor. But I’ve never stolen.”
“Drink, Bucky,” Steve orders with a twisted smile.
“Holy shit,” Jane says, and Darcy echoes it.
“I did not!” Bucky sputters. “I know what you’re thinking of, and I did not steal those!”
“Drink,” Steve repeats, and Tony has started laughing so hard everyone’s scared he’s going to throw up.
“Didn’t steal them,” Bucky pouts again, but he gives in and drinks anyway.
“My turn?” Steve asks, and he’s looking right at Bucky. “Never have I ever stolen my roommate’s underwear and lied to them about it.”
Now Tony is laughing so hard he’s silent, bent over and slapping the sofa repeatedly like a drunk seal. He hasn’t had as many beers as Clint and Darcy did, but he had gone through at least one glass of scotch, maybe two, and it’s starting to show.
“Asshole,” Bucky mutters, and then takes a drink.
“What was that?” Steve asks innocently, cupping one hand to his ear. “The grandpa can’t hear you.” He’s slurring his words, and Jane stands – laughing – to go and get him some water. The alcohol content ratio of Asgardian liquor to beer is probably a little unfair.
“Asshole!” Bucky says, significantly louder. “Try this one on for size. Never have I ever tried to kill myself because my boyfriend died.”
“Low blow,” Steve pouts, as Tony’s eyebrows fly up. “Now who’s the asshole?”
“Boyfriend?” Clint leans down to ask Bucky. It’s not like history textbooks hadn’t hypothesized for the last several decades, but it’s something else to hear it confirmed offhand like that.
Bucky just shrugs as Jane returns with glasses of water in either hand. She gives one to Steve and holds the other out to Tony with a significant look.
“I’m good, love,” Tony smirks. “I’m good for a while yet.” Several people in the room disagree, but he’s not far gone enough for them to raise any objections.
“I’ll take it,” Clint says, leaning forward. “Thanks.”
Everyone settles back in again, and Clint takes a deep drink of water and then leans over to place a sloppy open-mouthed kiss on Natasha’s cheek.
“Ew,” she says. “Fuck off.”
“As long as we’re getting personal,” he says, ignoring her comment and leaning in to practically speak right into her ear. “Never have I ever told someone I was pregnant to manipulate them into not being mad at me anymore.”
“Natasha Romanoff!” Darcy exclaims, while Natasha’s mouth turns down sharply.
“Guess we’re in the clear on this one,” Steve mutters to Tony.
“Speak for yourself,” Tony mutters back, and Steve chokes on a laugh.
“I didn’t tell him it was his ,” Natasha tries to protest. “And let’s be fair, this was way back when I’d first come on to SHIELD. There were extenuating emotional circumstances at play.”
“Sure, sure,” Darcy giggles. She’d had a couple beers before the game had started, too.
Natasha narrows her eyes, but swiftly turns her anger on Clint, who flashes her a sorry-not-sorry grin.
“Never have I ever,” Natasha enunciates carefully, “ begged someone to put the barrel of a gun in my ass for sexual pleasure.” Then she smiles sweetly and cocks her head to the side like an enthusiastic Labrador that has blood all over its muzzle but is currently behaving perfectly.
“You fight dirty,” Clint mutters, taking a swig. The real surprise, however, is when Bucky slowly brings his bottle to his lips and also takes a sip.
“What,” Steve says, eye wide.
“Oh my god,” Darcy breaths. “Oh my god!”
“I’m not sure who to demands details from,” Tony says, in obvious awe.
“Clearly not from me!” Steve announces, seemingly caught between intrigue and shock. Darcy makes a mental note to get him drunk more often. This must be how Natasha feels all the time, reading people’s emotions like a book.
“Brooklyn was a vibrant place,” Bucky says trying to play it off. “Shit happened in back alleys.”
“Nat said ‘begged,’ ” Tony points out gleefully. “She didn’t say, ‘never have I ever had a gun in my ass’ she said ‘begged for one’. That excuse isn’t going to fly.”
“Jeez, Buck,” Steve breathed. “You could have told me. I…I wasn’t…we could have…I was hardly vanilla .”
“Points for use of modern terminology,” Natasha snorts.
“Oh I know you weren’t ‘vanilla,’ Stevie,” Bucky says, leaning forward so his forearms rest on the coffee table, as he looks Steve right in the eye. “Jane, I’m taking your turn.”
“Be my guest,” Jane snorts.
“Don’t,” Steve says, suddenly wary.
“Never have I ever,” Bucky says slowly and deliberately. “Brought a French prostitute home to my mother’s apartment, hoping to use her to seduce my best friend into bed with me.”
Tony loses his shit completely. Clint is laughing hard enough that he turns and buries his face in Natasha’s shoulder, grabbing onto her sleeve like he’s going to fly away. Darcy has to bend over and face plant into the carpet, and Jane laughs so hard she accidentally hits her head on the coffee table. Bucky just smirks at Steve, who licks his lips and narrows his eyes at the challenge.
“Okay wait,” Darcy gasps. “Wait. I’ve got one.” She plants her elbows on the table and crosses her fingers with both hands, looking to the heavens like she’s praying. “Please, please, please let me be guessing right. Never have I ever been successfully seduced by my best friend and a French prostitute.”
Bucky’s eyes dart over to her quickly and everyone holds their breath for a moment, except for Jane who is still giggling weakly. Tony’s eyes are flitting back and forth between Bucky and Steve, both they’ve both got on poker faces that impress even Natasha.
Then Bucky takes a drink.
“Oh my fucking god,” Darcy screams.
“It was a good day,” Steve comments.
This time, Tony really does laugh so hard that he starts gagging, and Steve has to pull him more upright and tell him to breath.
“I’ll get him some water,” Darcy pants. “I could probably use some anyway.”
“No,” Tony chokes. “I’m fine. I’m good.”
“Bullshit,” Natasha says rolling her eyes. Darcy ignores him anyway and half-stumbles into the kitchen to fetch water. When she misses the doorway and half-runs into the wall, Natasha snorts softly and elbows Clint in the side.
“Go help her,” she orders.
“I’ve had as much as she has,” Clint protests, but he gets to his feet anyway.
“Someone help me open another bottle,” Jane says, struggling with an unopened beer.
“My god,” Steve says, taking it out of her hands and cracking it open. “What kind of giant-ass sips do you take?”
Jane sticks out her tongue and says, “Says Steven, the I-can’t-get-drunk-and-yet-somehow-I’m-totally-sloshed-right-now ice-man.”
“Not sloshed,” Steve slurs, and it makes Bucky laugh affectionately.
“Drink more water, punk,” he says, and Steve sighs but obeys.
“Besides,” Jane continues as Darcy and Clint return with enough glasses of water between them to supply the rest of the group, “I don’t get to drink as much as the rest of you. I have to find a way to make it up.”
“You want to drink more, huh?” Darcy asks. “I can arrange that.”
“Okay, wait,” Jane says, rethinking her position on the matter, but Tony takes his turn over her attempts at protests.
“Never have I ever regretted a shot I took,” he announces, and if people haven’t thought he was a little too drunk before, they think it now.
“Like a shot of alcohol?” Jane says carefully, trying to give him an out, but he’s too gone to notice the way the attitude of the room has suddenly changed.
“No, like a shot,” Tony laughs, and makes a gun with his fingers. “Pew, pew.”
Bucky takes a drink before anyone can say anything else, and Natasha and Clint follow afterward in quick succession, with Steve not far behind.
“Never have I ever aided an anti-US military faction,” Steve says, and it’s clear that he means it as retribution against Tony for the “regretted a shot I took” comment, but he’s too drunk to realize the company he’s keeping.
Tony does shut his mouth, losing his easy grin as he takes his drink, but Natasha, Clint, and Bucky all also drink again. Bucky has his eyes on the floor, and he doesn’t bring them back up as he says, “Never have I ever believed in God.”
“Told you this could get nasty,” Jane mutters to Darcy so only she can hear. She takes a drink, too, as do Darcy and Clint. Everyone else just kind of stares straight ahead.
“Never have I ever believed in myself,” Clint says quietly, and gods they are way too drunk to be playing this game. Or maybe, it’s just way too late. Jane glances at the clock on the wall, and it reads 2:44am. Nearly the witching hour. She purses her lips and takes a sip. Steve and Natasha drink, too, and Jane waits for Darcy to do the same. When she doesn’t move, however, Jane reaches out to touch her arm gently.
Darcy shakes her head once, biting the inside of her cheek and staring straight ahead, and Jane lets it go til a later date.
Maybe they have suddenly made this a confessional booth. Hurry and admit all your sins now when there are will be no consequences for giving them voice. Hurry, before the sun rises and shines, because we do not speak such things in daylight.
“Never have I ever believed in love,” Natasha says quietly.
No one misses the way Clint’s hand twitches around his beer in a quick spasm, nor the way he deliberately takes a long drawn-out drink, as though in direct defiance of Natasha’s statement. Everyone else drinks too, with varying levels of hesitation, and Natasha just stares down at her beer and rubs her fingers over the raised lettering.
Jane means to say something light-hearted. She does. She wants to pull the game back to the hilarity that it had been.
(But the night isn’t done with them yet.)
When she speaks, what comes out is, “Never have I ever been able to convince my boyfriend to stay on the same goddamn planet with me for more than a few days at a time.”
Then she covers her mouth like she said a dirty word in school and shakes her head. “I didn’t mean…” she says through her fingers. “I know he’s busy. Don’t tell him.”
“It’s fine,” Darcy says quietly.
“Mutually assured destruction and all that,” Clint reminds her. He leans forward to place his empty bottle on the table and to snag another one.
“Guys,” Tony says carefully. “Maybe we shouldn’t--”
He’s interrupted by Darcy’s sudden, “Never have I ever loved my parents.”
Clint starts to bring his newly-opened bottle to his mouth, but stutters to a stop and slowly lowers it again. Natasha just shrugs. Jane, Tony, Bucky, and Steve all drink silently.
“I don’t want to go,” Tony says. “I don’t want my turn.”
“It’s your game,” Natasha answers. It’s soft, but insistent at the same time.
“Fine,” Tony snaps angrily. “Never have I ever killed a child.”
Natasha looks him right in the eye and takes a drink. Darcy and Jane are looking at the ground. They hadn’t really hesitated in learning classified information a few minutes ago, but this is somehow too much for them. Even Tony quickly glances away while the bottle is still at Natasha’s lips. Steve is looking at Bucky.
“What if we don’t remember?” Bucky asks.
“Then don’t drink,” Natasha and Steve say at the same time.
“Never have I ever thought of someone other than my partner during sex,” Steve says, still looking right at Bucky.
Natasha and Clint clink their beers together like a toast, salute each other, and drink deeply.
“What if we don’t remember?” Bucky asks.
“Oh god,” Jane breaths, and she reaches out involuntarily to grab Darcy’s sleeve. Darcy bites her lip hard and closes her eyes. When she opens them again she stares right at Natasha. Natasha, too well trained, notices and they lock eyes.
Help me, Darcy mouths silently, and only Natasha sees her. Help me say it.
Natasha just blinks, neither in acquiescence or denial.
Steve is still staring at Bucky.
“Don’t drink,” he says, and Bucky’s hand tightens on his beer, but he doesn’t move.
“Never have I ever,” he says, instead, “been a victim of unrequited love.”
“Damn fucking right you haven’t,” Steve says forcefully. “Been here the whole goddamn time, and will continue to be here, too.”
“Till the end of the line,” Bucky says softly.
“Till the end of the line,” Steve echoes back.
Darcy is staring right at Natasha, and she’s still begging. Natasha is considering carefully. Then, just as Clint is about to speak, she leans over and puts her hand over his mouth, whispering in his ear.
“What?” Clint says sharply, drawing back from her. “No way. I’m not saying that. You say that.”
“You know that I can’t,” Natasha responds softly. Everyone has fallen silent again, and they’re staring at Darcy who’s staring at Natasha who’s staring at Clint.
“Help her say it,” Natasha says calmly, and Clint takes another drink even though no one has spoken.
“Fine,” he says, voice rasping. “Never have I ever--” His voice tremors and gives out, and he has to look away from Darcy. He takes a breath and tries again. “Never have I ever been sexually assaulted.”
Darcy drinks, as does Natasha. Bucky takes his so quickly that only Steve sees.
“Darcy?” Jane says, and her voice cracks on the word.
“Later,” Darcy says, flashing Natasha a quick smile in gratitude. There and then gone.
“Later,” Natasha agrees softly, and Jane gives in, though she tightens her grip on Darcy’s sleeve.
“Never have I ever,” Natasha begins slowly.
“I’m out,” Bucky announces, slamming his beer down onto the table, and scrambling to his feet.
“Solved a Rubik’s cube,” Natasha announces loudly.
Bucky hesitates, half-standing.
“Are you fucking serious?” Tony gapes. “ You ?” He takes a drink, as does Jane.
“I’ve just never had the inclination,” Natasha smiles sweetly, ignoring Bucky, who slowly sits back down.
“My turn,” Darcy announces, smiling bravely and dashing away the tear that was threatening to fall. “Never have I ever peed in my boyfriend’s parent’s bedroom.”
“You traitor,” Jane gasps loudly, and she actually gets up on her knees to get better leverage to slap at Darcy’s arm.
“What the fuck!?” Clint exclaims.
“What?” Darcy laughs. “You thought I was going to play nice? I’m not nice, and you know it.”
“Still,” Jane scoffs, and then takes a drink angrily.
“Wait, I can’t let that go,” Tony interrupts. “I want the story to that one, too.”
“I am not telling this story,” Jane protests.
Tony just starts pounding his hand on the table again, chanting, “Story! Story! Story!” Clint and Darcy join him readily.
“Okay fine!” Jane shouts. “Okay, so everyone’s always assuming that I was always a science-only kind of a girl, and let me tell you that’s bullshit. I loved science, but I’m also stubborn as fuck.”
“No shit, Sherlock,” Natasha mutters under her breath, and it makes Darcy start giggling again.
“ Anyway ,” Jane continues. “One of my parents rules was ‘no alcohol’. And, honestly, I kept to it most of the time. And then, one day, my mom and I had a fight when I was a senior in high school.”
“You got drunk?” Tony laughs. “How old? Seventeen? Eighteen? Or wait, this is Jane Foster we’re talking about here. Senior year of high school could have been thirteen, for all any of us know. I can’t believe that the responsible and intelligent Jane Foster wasted brain cells as a thirteen year old rebel by getting wasted!”
“I didn’t mean to!” Jane protests. “And I was seventeen, you idiot.”
“Imagine,” Tony continues with fake-sadness. “If only you hadn’t had that slip of judgement, you might be as smart as I am.”
“Fuck you, Stark,” Jane snorts.
“Hang on,” Clint interrupts. “While I have no objections to this story so far, Darcy said ‘peed in a parent’s bedroom’ and this does not involve any peeing so far.”
“I’m getting there,” Jane sighs. “Okay, I have this fight, and I run to my boyfriend’s house, and this boyfriend is the one whose older brother would buy him beer.”
“Was this the reason for the fight?” Tony chimes in cheerfully.
“Shut up, Stark,” Jane snaps. “Anyway, long story short, I end up very drunk on boyfriend’s bedroom floor at 2am. His parents have already come home, so we’d been hiding in his bedroom and just fallen asleep. And then I wake up, and I really have to pee. Except I’ve been to this guy’s house once and I have no idea where the bathroom is.”
“Oh god,” Clint says.
“So I guess,” Jane says, burying her face in her hands. “And I guess wrong.”
“And the boyfriend,” Darcy picks up the story, “who I got the story from first-hand, is dead asleep and then is suddenly awakened by his mother screaming, ‘Jeremy! She’s pissing!’ and then hears someone sprinting down the hallway back toward his room. Jane bursts through the door and then proceeds to crawl under his bed.”
“I was so fucking drunk,” Jane whines pitifully from where her face is buried. Tony is laughing again, and both Steve and Bucky’s shoulder are shaking with laughter. Clint twists around and whispers something in Natasha’s ear and that sets the two of them off, too.
“Oh my god,” Tony gasps. “I can totally see it. Jane, startling like a deer in headlights and then just taking off out of the room and sprinting down the hall.”
“Wait! So you what?” Clint gasps. “Just squat down and start pissing, right there? What the fuck did you tell them? How do you explain that?”
“It was in a laundry basket,” Jane mumbles miserably, which sets off more laughter. “And I managed to convince them that I was sleepwalking. But I dumped that boy so fast, let me tell you. I didn’t drink again until I was twenty-three.”
“I can never top that,” Tony laughs. “There’s nothing I can say that will top that.”
“Bullshit!” Jane shouts, finally removing her head from her hands. “I am sitting in a room with spies and supersoldiers, for god’s sake. Someone here can definitely top that story.”
“I doubt it,” Tony sighs. “All right, never have I ever slept with my boss.”
“You’ve never had a boss,” Natasha scoffs, taking a drink.
“So?” Tony asks, and then laughs when Clint drinks, too. “What boss did you sleep with, Robin Hood?”
“Natasha is always the boss of me,” Clint says smugly.
“Damn straight,” Natasha mutters, and kisses him.
“Children, shield your eyes!” Tony gasps dramatically. “PG material on the couch! PG material!”
Clint pulls away and says, “I can up that rating Stark, don’t test me. Neither of us are shy.”
“ Never have I ever ,” Steve says loudly, before the situation can escalate, “invented something.”
“Rude,” Jane pouts.
“Exactly,” Tony agrees. “Rude.”
“I’ll take that one,” Natasha sighs, also drinking. “I guess what I tend to MacGyver counts.”
“Never have I ever stopped loving someone once I started,” Bucky says.
“Sappy much,” Tony grumbles. But he drinks, as do Jane, Darcy, Clint, and Natasha. It’s just Steve staring back at Bucky with a soft smile.
“Never have I ever caught a snowflake on my tongue,” Clint says.
“No!” Darcy gasps dramatically. “You haven’t lived !”
Everyone drinks while Darcy gets up on her knees so she can more enthusiastically explain the importance of chasing snowflakes through the streets.
“Are you supposed to do it through the streets?” Steve asks. “I thought that was more an out-in-the-country thing.”
“Don’t ask her,” Jane says, before Darcy can answer. “I’ve seen her run out in front of at least four cars, chasing after snowflakes. Take her opinion with a grain of salt.”
“Traitor,” Darcy pouts.
“Like you can talk!” Jane hisses back.
“Never have I ever been drunk under the table, by anyone ,” Natasha says calmly. Darcy glances down and realizes she’d moved onto yet another beer without realizing it.
“Is that a subtle hint that maybe it’s time to stop?” she asks sheepishly.
“I think so,” Natasha smiles back. “It wasn’t very subtle, though.”
“Better to quit now, before shit gets too real again,” Bucky mutters. “Fuck this game, Stark. It’s sadistic as fuck.”
“Only when you’re playing with in real life superheroes,” Tony sighs. “So, I guess I should have expected it, then.”
“Still,” Natasha says calmly, gathering up the bottles. “We should play again sometime.”
And despite the roller-coaster that have been the last few minutes, everyone mutters some kind of an agreement. Jane glances up at the clock and is slightly startled to see it’s exactly three o’clock in the morning.
“Gotta get the rest of the team in here next time,” Tony grins. “See what we can convince Bruce to say.”
“Sam, too,” Steve chimes in.
“And Rhodey!” Tony grins.
“I’d love to get Rhodey to play,” Clint smirks. “Oh the stories he must have on you.”
“Don’t even start with me,” Tony says, leaning forward across the coffee table. “I’ve got some dirt on you too now, Merida.”
“Likewise,” Clint snorts. “And I learned to play dirty from Natasha, so don’t underestimate me.”
“How stupid do you have to be to challenge Stark to something?” Bucky murmurs, as Steve extends a hand to help him to his feet.
“I’ve challenged Tony before,” Steve says.
“Like I said,” Bucky snorts, but then he leans in and kisses Steve softly, intertwining their fingers.
“Get a room!” Tony shouts, as he wanders off down the hall. Clint and Natasha have already disappeared. Darcy and Jane are sitting facing each other, cross-legged on the floor, still next to that same coffee table.
“You two okay?” Steve asks softly.
“Yeah,” Darcy says. “See you guys tomorrow.”
“Yeah,” Bucky says, tugging gently on Steve’s hand, and drawing Steve with him toward the hallway to their own room. “See you tomorrow.”