Can you do something where the Avengers come back thinking everything is going to just go back to the way it was. With them bullying Tony and blaming him for everything, but SURPRISE! Tony is now surrounded by a bunch of new Avengers recruits that love and care for him and in a relationship with Stephen Strange. And all of them are really protective of Tony especially The Cloak of Levitation.
ReRe likes. ReRe likes very much!! *cackles* And okay, to give Team Cap a break, maybe they don’t come back expecting things to be exactly the same. It’s just that the things that have changed aren’t the ones they’ve expected to and that’s why it takes them so completely by surprise.
For one, it’s not actually Tony they have the most arguments with. It’s just that when Tony makes a suggestion during a meeting, people speak up to back his side up or just calmly point out the risks without immediately discarding the general idea, and suddenly everyone is discussing the pros and cons of a plan that would’ve been blindly shot down a year ago. It’s a subtle shift, at first, but it really changes the dynamics of those meetings. Because Tony suddenly isn’t always on the defence, people are appreciating and defending his ideas and getting into arguments without him being any part in it–and that, frankly, should’ve been a huge freaking clue that something’s changed.
To Natasha, the most obvious change is how much less tense Tony is. He still doesn’t react too well to the old team, is always sharper and snippier with them, but as long as someone else is around, he doesn’t–sink into himself the way he used to.
But even so, it takes a lot of hard, painful lessons for the old team to really understand how different things are now.
The first time Steve yells at Tony in the aftermath of a pretty bad battle is memorable. It’s also how the old newcomers learn that the thick cloak Tony’s been obsessively wearing ever since their arrival is less of a fashion statement and more of a magical item that does not react well to any perceived threat towards Tony. They manage to keep it from suffocating Steve, but only just.
(After that, the Cloak keeps making this really weird noise whenever Steve comes too close into its vicinity, which Steve swears sounds like a growl.)
The first time Clint makes a sharp comment regarding Tony’s tendency to put his own team mates into jail if it gives him an advantage is the day they learn about Spiderman’s ability to web someone’s mouth shut. They also learn that the sticky webs are damn painful to remove.
(Clint also has a tendency to be ‘caught’ by Spiderman’s webs during battle when he gets snippy over the comms. Which is actually pretty admirable, since technically Spiderman does keep him from breaking his neck by sticking him to a wall instead of letting him fall five stores down because Iron Man and Falcon are otherwise occupied.)
The first time Scott marches up to Tony and punches him in the face, Rhodey gets up on shaky legs to stands without help for the first time since his fall all those months ago, just to personally whack the man over the head with his crutches, then call security and have his ass banned from the Tower.
The first time Wanda lets her hands to glow red whilst glaring at Tony they all learn that whatever you do, you do not piss of Stephen Strange. Wanda wasn’t seen for seventy-four hours and ever since she resurfaced, she’s refused to even look into Tony’s direction. Nobody knows what happened, but everyone knows it was bad.
It’s the first time Steve grabs a hold of Tony’s hand to keep him from walking away though, that’s the most memorable of them all. That’s when they learn that as much as their new members want to protect Tony (and succeed to a certain degree), he doesn’t actually need it. Because not only is he completely capable of ranting at Steve until the guy looks about two inches tall, he’s also wearing repulsor wrist bands and clearly not afraid to use them.
(Because I couldn’t resist, I love others being protective of Tony but I love Tony appreciating but not being dependant on their protection even more)