Never in their wildest dreams did they think this could happen. I mean sure one survived in the ice for 70 years, one turns into a giant raged monster and one was a God from another planet, not to mention they all fought aliens from another planet, but this seemed to be the cherry on the cake.
They've had their fair share of crazy, but the Avenger's lives are going to be changed forever due to one fateful day and one accident in Tony Stark's lab with a certain super solider.
"He looks... better?" Clint comments, his eyes unwavering, as he stares dumbfounded at the person in front of him.
A scoff from his right makes him look away, "He looks tiny." Tony says, his face expressing his disgust.
"No shit Sherlock, he's a baby! No thanks to you." Clint throws back at him, throwing his arms up exasperatedly.
"You don't think I did it on purpose, do you?" Tony asks in disbelief.
"I don't know you hated him ever since you met. You guys still aren't friends and its been months!"
"I don't hate him enough to turn him into a baby!" Tony shouts at the archer. At his shout the topic of their conversation starts to stir, waking up from his nap on the couch, wrapped in Thor's cape.
"Ssh!" Natasha all but hisses at both boys. "Your waking him." Too late for that.
A whimper from the couch gathers everyone's attention and the room falls quiet; bodies tense and breathing halts in anticipation.
The child opens his eyes to gaze up at the redheaded woman after hearing her voice. Tiny blue, curious orbs gaze into soft green eyes before Natasha offers him a smile, but makes no attempt to move from her seat next to him. Without removing her gaze from the child, she addresses Tony. "Are you sure this is Steve?"
"Pretty sure. I mean," Tony lazily shakes a hand in the direction of the child, "this thing was right where Steve had stood and it was surrounded by his giant super soldier gym clothes."
"This thing, Stark, is a baby." Natasha glares at him and if the meaning 'if looks could kill' was real, Tony would be 10 feet underground. Tony quickly raises hands in mock surrender, but says nothing to the fiery assassin. Natasha rolls her eyes, but at the sound of the child's discontent whimpering turns her attention back to him. "Hey there little guy." Natasha says reaching a hand out to tap his nose softly making the baby giggle.
The four guys in the room, two of whom were being silent and watching the other three bickering, watched carefully as the woman interacts with their tiny teammate. Thor with confusion, Bruce with interest, and Tony and Clint with amusement. Clint leans forward in his seat, as if anticipating something that wasn't happening. For a few moments the boys watch Natasha tickle, talk to and laugh with baby Steve. It isn't until Steve starts whimpering and fussing that the boys visibly tense and slightly panics. It was no secret that none of them were equipped with dealing with small children, especially fussy ones.
Natasha simply only tries to calm the child down without actually picking him up which only seems to upset the baby more. Clint is the only one brave enough to speak what's on all the boys minds. "Aren't you gonna pick him up?"
Natasha looks up at them, an irritated look in her eyes. "What? Just because you guys see boobs, you instantly think 'mommy'." The boys stay silent. Thor and Bruce bow their head in shame, while Clint and Tony glance between her and the wincing baby waiting for something that isn't happening. Sighing she shakes her head before reaching out to grab Steve. Her hands slip under his arm pits and she lifts him up easily, Steve weighting no more then 20 pounds, and stands with the child in her arms holding him in a cradle position. "Ssh," Natasha whispers bouncing the baby and rocking him back and forth "There we go, nothing to cry about," she consoles gently, her hand patting Steve's bottom. The boys watch in amazement and relief. At least one of them knew what to do. Steve's calms down immensely at the feeling of arms wrapped around him and looks around the room, tears still running down his red face. His gaze lands on Natasha and he, in awe, reaches up tentatively before hesitating to place his small chubby hand on her cheek, curiously looking at her. Natasha gives him a small smile, the only thing she can offer him, and re-positions him against her chest when he gets fussy again. Laying his head on her chest, Steve's crying ceases instantly when he feels and hears the steady beat of Natasha's heart.
"How do you do that? Or know what to do?" Clint asks in surprise. Natasha shrugs, and Clint huffs to her lack of response.
After wiping the tears off Steve's face, much to Steve's disapproval, Natasha notices Steve's attention has been grabbed by something in the room. She follows his gaze towards the shy scientist in the corner of the room. Steve has focused his gaze on Bruce, and gives him a small grin when the scientist gives him a tiny wave as he pulled out a tablet from behind him. Steve loses interest quickly.
Watching as the baby occupies himself with playing with Natasha's hair, the archer lets out a loud, long sigh. "What are we going to do with him?" He asks rubbing the back of his neck.
Bruce, who was typing away on his device, spoke for the first time since gathering with his teammates, "I've theorized that considering his lack of communication with the three of you," Bruce says pointing at Clint, Tony and Thor. "He has little memory of being any older then 2, his current age. Some parts of his memory has been retained though which explains why he's open with Nat and I."
Thor speaks up, stepping closer to look at the child, a hand coming to rest on his chin,"Dr. Banner, why is it only you and Miss. Romanoff?"
"I've thought about that too and... my only guess would be that Natasha and I actually made an effort to communicate with him when he was an adult." Bruce locks eyes with Tony, raising an eyebrow knowingly, "You never spoke to him because, as Clint pointed out earlier, you aren't exactly friends. Thor is always traveling so he's never here and Clint is always on missions or at SHIELD. If you've noticed and paid attention more you'd realize that Steve is trying to reach out to you all and you just ignore him. Remember he was just released from the ice a year ago and the anniversary is quickly approaching, which makes it even harder for Steve. He needed friends and Natasha and I were the only ones there for him."
The room grows silent as Thor, Clint and Tony contemplate Bruce's words. A minute goes by before Thor nods. He sighs and runs a hand through his hair,
"I'm sorry my friends. I did not know Steven was troubled this much and I feel awful for ever neglecting him." He apologies, his eyes on baby Steve as Steve puts his fist in his mouth and starts gnawing on it.
"He should've told us then," Clint says "That way we wouldn't have unintentionally ignore him."
"Do you really believe Steve was going to tell you?" Natasha asks trying to get her hair out of Steve’s mouth and hands. Clint remains silent and Natasha nods at Bruce to continue.
"Anyway, he has the mental capacity of a baby and its like he's never age at all. I have no idea how long it will last. Could be a couple days, weeks or months."
"Months!" Tony shout making the scientist jump in his seat and Natasha cover Steve's ears when he wince.
Bruce motions for Tony to lower his voice replying in a calming manner, "Yes, Months. Depending on how fast you can find a cure considering it was your machine that caused this."
Tony actually looks taken back, but he composes himself quickly before he's caught looking shocked. "I was trying to help the poor guy."
"Help him?" Natasha scoffs. "How?"
"He was struggling trying to keep up with modern technology so I thought I'd make easier for him and slip it in his brain. I didn't know the parts would counteract and do exactly the opposite of what I was trying to do, bringing his physical appearance down as well. It was a mistake!"
"Well this is just great. Rogers is a baby, Fury is gonna kill us and now we're stuck with this th-" Clint starts to say, but Bruce sends him a warning look before he can finish his sentence. "Baby." Clint finishes. "What are we gonna do? None of us know anything about children, least of all how to care for them."
Natasha gives the archer a sly smile and starts walking up to him, baby in her arms. "I'm sure you guys will figure it out." She says in a calming voice before she drops the baby in her partners lap. The expression on Clint' s face when the baby was, very carefully, dropped into his lap would've been funny if he hadn't almost dropped Steve. The archer's hands immediately go around Steve's waist and he pulls him close to his chest, his shoulders tense and his expression priceless. Steve squirms and winces from almost being dropped and tries to reach back out to Natasha, clearly not liking the new person holding him. Natasha just tucked the blonde mess of curls on his head behind his ear and gives Clint a smirk.
"You guys?" Tony questions raising an eyebrow of suspicion and fear, more of the latter. "What? Your not helping?"
Giving him a smile, she speaks "You see I would, but..." Natasha shrugs and starts walking down the hall towards the elevator where a duffle bag was placed directly in front of it. Steve tries desperately to reach the redhead, trying to get out of Clint's arms, which tighten around him when he wriggles and squirms."Fury assigned me a two week mission in England."
"England!" All the boys scream in worry much to Natasha's satisfaction. Bruce and Clint share uncomfortable glances and Thor looks frightened. Tony's mouth drops, not even concealing his emotions anymore.
Natasha bends down picking up her duffle bag, a satisfied smile on her face. "I'm sure you guys will be fine, I'm mean you are the Avengers. If you can battle aliens, you'll be able to care for a baby." She walks into the elevator turning around to see her teammates faces long enough and Steve, on the verge of tears. before the elevator door close.
There's a pregnant pause of silences before...
Jumping, Clint almost drops the screaming baby in his arms, the sudden cry alarming him. Every head turn towards the frantic archer as he makes attempt to calm the upset child. "Um... calm down. I-It's okay. Clint's...h-here?" If there wasn't a screaming child, Tony would've called him out on his stuttering and the bead of sweat running down his neck, but instead he shouts over the cry.
"Is that supposed to make him feel better?"
"Here you try!" Clint says about to pass Steve to Tony, but the billionaire runs behind Thor, claiming loudly,
"I don't hold babies and I don't like being handed things. Give it to Thor!"
"I'm afraid I must decline my hawk friend. I do not trust myself with young Steven and I may drop him." Thor says obviously trying to get out of holding the child.
Amongst the commotion, Bruce quietly slips out of the room while two of the men argue and Thor tries to make himself small to get away from them. Bruce sends a sympathetic glance towards Thor before riding the elevator down to the lab trying to get away from the craziness and find the answers to the questions they need.