Title: Welcome Home?
Warnings: Post Civil War
Word Count: 641
Steve Rogers looked around at the training space in the Avengers Compound he had been shown to after the tour as if he had never been there before. Though, to be fair, he hadn’t actually been here before.
Stark had apparently moved the compound and re-designed the facility and there were new security measures, and new Avengers, and a lot of new everything.
It had taken almost nine months of negotiations and concessions and agreements, meetings and appointments just to get to this point. Steve had been willing to do all of that, to get back to where they had been, but it didn’t look like that was going to happen.
“Help me understand,” Steve asked, looking around the training area. It was great. The whole compound was great, but the underlying message was they still weren’t on the same page.
Tony looked at Steve for a long moment. He wasn’t sure which one of them had changed more in the time that had passed since they had fought side-by-side. It was possible that they had both changed too much to fix what broke. But even if it was fixable he couldn’t focus all his energy on that. He had other concerns. He handed Steve the limited access tablet and stepped back. “What’s to understand? The world has gotten more dangerous. It’s both larger and smaller. We have to adapt.”
Steve took the tablet automatically and blinked at him. “Tony, you just spent nearly a year trying to work with the UN and the Accords Council working on the new agreements and rules, and trying to get us pardoned to come back to work.”
Tony paused. That wasn’t exactly what he had done. Yes, he had worked with the Accords Council and the United Nations, trying to outline some sort of arrangement that would function both internationally and on an interstellar level, should they find other allies. Stephen had indicated that there were other realms and Thor had indicated as much. Tony’s efforts were less about mending what had broken between him and Steve and their makeshift little family and more to do with the wider world and what was coming at them next.
But instead of saying all that he just agreed. “I did.”
“But now you’re telling me that we’re not coming back to work together?” Steve looked confused.
The confusion was the part that got to Tony. Not in any positive way. So much time had passed since that awful fight, so much effort to get Steve and his side back to working, legally, again. All of that time and those negotiations were made longer because of what Steve didn’t want to do, or didn’t think was necessary, or should be regulated. Even after his main concern, Seargent James Buchanan Barnes was taken out of the equation, it was still a struggle. How was the new working paradigm a surprise?
“You’re coming back to the Avengers, Steve. Isn’t that enough?” Tony asked, beyond finished with this conversation. He had gone over his timeline here. And LACI would no doubt have communicated with FRIDAY and Stephen would be making an appearance if he didn’t wrap this up.
“I want things to go back to how they were,” Steve told him.
“It’s too late for that.” Tony pointed out and took another step backward. “You agreed to the terms. You signed a new contract. Everyone will be trained together, to ensure they can work together in the field. But you and I? That isn’t going to happen. I already know we can’t work together in the field.” He put his sunglasses back on and moved toward the door. “I’ll see you in a few days at the first joint training session. Welcome home.”
Tony walked away and didn’t even hesitate until after he was already on the lift. “Get me out of here, LACI.”