Sam didn't know what he expected to see when he opened his door, but it sure as hell wasn't Captain America. Sure, he'd talked to the guy a couple of times, but that was all. What had he done that Steve trusted him so readily?
But then Steve's friend mentioned that everyone they knew was trying to kill them, and he supposed it made sense. He hadn't known Steve long enough to be a part of what ever was going on (because lets be honest if it was enough to spook Captain America that badly it had to be pretty big) but he hadn't tried to know Steve well enough to be a spy.
Unless he was a really smart spy.
Who knows. Maybe he just has one of those faces. Whatever that means.
Either way, he wasn't about to say no to people so obviously in need - and certainly not when they were as good a person as Captain America - so he just let them walk right in with a smile and an offer to help.
Because he was that sort of guy.
He didn't know what he expected after letting Captain America and a woman who could only be the legendary Black Widow into his house, but it sure as hell wasn't a huge crash, well, closer to an explosion during their planning of a Pentagon break-in, one which made the walls of the house shake like it was being demolished.
And after rushing into his bedroom that was exactly what it looked like had happened. The roof had clearly fallen in, and there was rubble and concrete and roofing tiles and plaster and good knows what else filling the room wall-to-wall.
"What the hell," he groaned. "These guys clearly want you bad, but they have absolutely no sense of-"
"This couldn't have been SHIELD," stated the woman - Widow? - Natasha, Steve had introduced her as - glancing at the scene with narrowed eyes. "Too sloppy."
Then one of the piles of rubble next to the bed shifted a little and groaned, and Steve was over there in a second shifting through the pile.
Pretty soon he'd uncovered a very recognisable hunk of red-and-gold metal. If you can call it that - any word less than 'masterpiece' was an insult.
"Okay, this day is getting weirder by the second," Sam muttered.
"Tony?" Steve asked, sounding a little incredulous.
"The one and only," Iron Man said, shifting a little and attempting to get on his feet.
"Oh yeah, don't mind me, I'm fine. Mostly. Just some bruises I think, I'll be fine once the room stops spinning."
"I know you like to make an entrance, Stark, but don't you think this was a little over the top?" asked Natasha, folding her arms, raising an eyebrow and looking like she could eat any one of them alive.
"Well to be fair I did take a couple of hits on the way over here. I'm pretty impressed I made the right house, actually, the navigation system was fried a while back, I had to do it all from memory. Seriously, SHIELD really doesn't want you guys getting help."
"But now they probably know where we are," Natasha snapped.
"Have you come to help?" Steve asked, suddenly wary.
"Well yeah, I didn't fly all the way to DC for the honour of crashing into some guy's roof. Whose roof is it anyway?"
"Mine," said Sam. "I take it paying damages won't be too much out of pocket for you?"
"I think we have bigger things to be worrying about," said Steve.
"So you've decided I'm not on SHIELD's side then? Just like that?"
"Tony, you hate SHIELD more than SHIELD hates you."
"Not true. I make my best effort to irritate SHIELD whenever possible. They hate me, I just find them a minor annoyance."
"Is that why you came then? Just to irritate SHIELD even more?"
"That was sort of more of a bonus," said Tony. "But let's be honest - I thought we had sort of a team thing going on. I'm a bit insulted you didn't actually call me for help."
"This is serious-"
"And an alien invasion wasn't? God, I really am the brains of this outfit aren't I-"
"We've been doing fine on our own!"
"Is that what you call it?"
"No, you look. When you get into potentially deadly situations, situations like this one, you call for help, okay? And when help arrives, you let them god damn help you. That what fri- that's what a team's for!"
"No, Steve! Is it so hard to think I don't actually want you dead? You didn't think everyone wants to kill you, did you?"
Steve didn't reply. Sam didn't envy him - he had a feeling that trying to get the better of Tony Stark could end in a whole lot of hell.
"How are you hoping to help us when your suit is damaged?" Natasha cut in, breaking a potentially awkward silence.
"Oh that - just the navigation system. Point me where you want me to shoot and I'll shoot. The rest I can fix with a screwdriver. You do have a screwdriver right?"
The last part was directed at Sam, and he nodded.
"Good. Well. All sorted then. Have you got a plan Cap, or are we just going to do this my way?"
"Not to interrupt the reunion," interrupted Natasha, "But after Stark's spectacle I have a feeling SHIELD is going to be on our tail in moments. Are we going with the original plan?"
"I'd say so," replied Steve. "And you're right, we should move out."
Sam hadn't known what to expect when he woke up that morning, but it sure as hell hadn't been breaking into the Pentagon and then taking on a super-secret government agency infiltrated by Nazis with three of the Avengers.
But despite the surprise this felt right, and he loved the feeling that he was doing something good with his life again. And despite the hole in his roof he was glad Iron Man had turned up - Steve looked lighter now, like he was holding less weight.
Maybe he really had believed all his other friends had abandoned him. Maybe he just found Stark funny.
Either way, they had more backup now. They had slightly better odds.
And if they survived… well now, won't this be a story to tell the grandchildren?
And then, kids, Captain America dug Iron Man out of a pile of rocks in my bedroom…
"Hey guys, wait up!" Stark exclaimed, clomping clumsily behind them as they piled into a car. "I still don't have my screwdriver!"