Author's Note: I've been trying to figure out why Tony immediately started baiting and badgering Steve, when he seemingly liked Banner from the start and even liked Thor. It seemed like it should be more than him fighting authority figures in general and Steve being lined up to "lead" the Avengers. Verse/Setting: Right after Loki is captured before he escapes. Prompt: After their first little argument, but before Loki gets loose - or maybe even before they catch him, Steve overhears Tony talking via computer to Pepper. Phil has called Pepper to tell her that Tony is ruffling everyone's feathers, especially Steve's. Pepper is basically chewing Tony out for his behavior, and telling him he needs to play nice for the greater good. Tony reluctantly promises to apologize to Steve and the others, and says he'll do better at getting along. Steve is pleased and walks away, waiting for the apology. A little while later, he runs into Tony in the hall, and asks how the research is going. Tony doesn't apologize, and instead starts up another argument. Steve is disappointed, and decides Tony needs a spanking for lying, as well as for not trying to be a team player. Elements: zero, navy, hardy
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the The Avengers and I'm not making any money from this fic
Warning(s): Discipline of an adult

Nipping It

"Hellicarrier isn't laid out like a normal battleship at all," Steve Rogers muttered to himself as- yet a third time- he had to turn around and head the opposite direction because he'd missed the corridor he needed to take. This whole exercise was turning into one exhausting, exasperating venture. If he'd known when he'd agreed to come aboard and help lead out in Fury's project that he'd have to deal with a headstrong, egotistical, ill-mannered… he shook his head.

To be honest Tony Stark was not ill-mannered; as long as you were female, or a child, or not an authority to challenge. The genius's whole attitude screamed 'little boy' in a grown up body to Steve; he honestly wondered how the man had managed to survive all the things he had managed to survive- given that he didn't seem to take anything seriously. The moment he and the inventor had met, the other man had been doing everything possible to belittle or relegate Steve to inconsequential status. Steve might have liked the fact that Stark wasn't star-struck or smitten by Captain America, if the man's smart mouth and lackadaisical attitude didn't frustrate him so much.

He stopped in the corridor and sighed deeply. He'd gotten turned around again! Where the hell was the mess hall? At this rate, he'd be lucky to have 5 seconds to eat before he had to head back to the meeting room. He was just about to turn around again, when he heard the voices. Speak of the devil- Tony Stark was talking to a female that Steve didn't recognize the voice of. Apparently he wasn't as far lost as he'd been afraid. He recognized the corridor where his quarters were stationed. Grimacing, he squared his shoulders. He'd just ask Tony how to get to the mess hall and… he stopped, his ears catching the words of the conversation.

"Tony! Don't try and charm your way out of this. Phil wouldn't have felt the need to inform me of your behavior if you weren't managing to alienate everyone you are coming in contact with. I realize that you like to look at yourself as a lone wolf and that you don't work with others; or for others. But dammit Tony! These people are your allies- they're the ones that will keep your butt out of the fire. There is no REASON for you to go it alone. If you get killed because you can't play nice, I'll throttle you! If you can't cooperate for your own sake then cooperate because it is the best thing for the world! You don't want your mission to fail because you couldn't keep from antagonizing everyone in sight, do you???"

During the woman's speech, Steve could hear Tony pleading- Pepper….Pepper…Pepper. Finally the Iron Man had given up being able to get a word in and had quieted, listening to her rant at him. When she'd ended her speech, Steve was amazed at the subdued tone of his colleague.

"Yes, Pepper. You're right. I'll behave and play nice. This mission is important- more important than me and my petty feelings on the matter." Stark had mumbled softly.

"And you'll apologize for your poor behavior?" Pepper's voice had been stern.

"Yes, I'll apologize. I promise." Tony's voice had sounded sincere. Pleased that someone had the ability to reign in the Iron menace, Steve had quickly turned and heading down the hall. As he turned the corner he grabbed the first agent he saw and asked them to show him where the mess hall was. He didn't want Tony to know he'd overheard. But he was looking forward to receiving that apology.


A while later Steve had decided to see how the research was coming along. He'd read about all he could stomach reading of the history of the last nearly 70 years. How so much could have happened in such a short time frame- it boggled his mind. He needed to digest it before he attempted to learn more. Plus, he wanted to learn how this ship was laid out a little better.

He was pleased when he actually managed to make it to the lab where Dr. Banner and Stark were currently working. Well, Banner was currently working. Stark was intent on badgering the man. Steve winced, trying not to think of what might happen if Tony irritated the good doctor enough- but looking at Banner's face, Steve couldn't see anything but calm resignation. The man had nerves of steel.

Walking into the lab quietly, he asked casually, "Have you found anything, yet?"

Tony glanced over at him with a dismissive snort. "Hey, Capsicle! I'm afraid our search hasn't turned up anything yet. Well, other than someone doesn't know to separate their whites. You didn't forget to take those red panties out of your pocket before sending it down to laundry did you?" Iron Man smirked at him.

Steve frowned at the crude suggestion and the rude tone. He'd been hoping for an apology and for the Tony to at least attempt to be serious when the situation called for it. He'd promised that he would after all…although the promise had been made to someone who wasn't here and evidently Tony had no intention of keeping it. Steve was surprised at how disappointed that made him.

Tony, seeing the disappointed look on the Captain's face, but not understanding exactly why it was there, continued. "Well, it isn't as if we should be surprised- I mean, it did take nearly 70 years to find you and thaw you out. Not sure what the rush was, really…but whatever."

"Tony…" Bruce scolded softly, his face and voice calm although his eyes held a hint of recrimination in them.

Tony winced, realizing how callous his last words had sounded and regretting them. Not that he'd admit that of course. Instead he pasted on his trade-mark cocky grin. "Hey, no harm, no foul- right Captain Spangle?"

It was one mockery too many. To Tony's surprise, Steve suddenly had a firm grip on his arm that he was unable to lose no matter how much he yanked and tugged at his arm. Steve turned toward Bruce with an apologetic smile. "If you will excuse us for a minute, doctor," the Captain turned a stern frown onto Tony, "we're going to go for a little chat in Tony's quarters. He should be back in about half an hour."

"Wha….What? I'm not going anywhere with you, you frozen fossil!" Tony barked out, still unable to get his arm loose, and finding himself being drug out of the lab and down the corridors toward where his quarters was.

"Keep talking Tony. You're making me more positive that we need to have this chat." Steve smiled at him calmly, only his eyes indicating his deep frustration. Tony swallowed hard and managed to keep from saying anything else- although it was very difficult. He couldn't help being a quick wit!

Soon enough, Tony found himself standing in his quarters, watching the Captain with wary eyes as the man locked the door then pulled a chair out into the middle of the floor. "What are you doing, Cap?" the Iron Man asked worriedly.

"I'm giving you what you've been asking me to give you since the day we met." Steve remarked calmly as he walked to the smaller man and took him by the arm again. Tony mentally cursed himself that he hadn't attempted to put more space or obstacles between him and the other man.

"And what exactly have I been…." Tony began to ask, only to find his words choked off when he found himself suddenly draped over muscular thighs. "Oh…OH NO! You can't!" He attempted to twist away, almost succeeding in throwing himself off of Roger's lap, but the Captain merely wrapped a strong arm around his waist and pulled him in tight and close before catching both of his hands in one of his and pinning them both to his back.

"You've been behaving like a cocky, undisciplined, rebellious, disrespectful, child." Steve began to chide as he quickly reached under Tony and undid his pants before yanking them down, along with his briefs. Tony tightly closed his eyes, face turning red- partly in anger, but a lot in embarrassment and chagrin.

"Ok. I know I haven't been overly respectful to you, and I guess I should have been- since technically you COULD have been old enough to be my grandfather…but don't you think this is taking it a little too far? C'mon Cap…" Tony tried to wheedle his way out of the humiliating position he now found himself.

"Actually, I think this is exactly as far as I need to go," Steve smiled grimly before raising his hand up high and letting it fall with a resounding crack against the pale backside in front of him.

"Yeooooow!" Tony yelped in surprise. Captain Sparkles wasn't holding anything back, he thought morosely. And to think Pepper wanted him to apologize to the man! He'd tie steak to his privates and run through a hungry lion's den before he'd apologize now!

As if able to read his mind, Steve adjusted his grip on Tony, making certain that he couldn't squirm away or protect himself in anyway; the second, third, and fourth smacks fell rapidly and just as hard as the first. Steve didn't let up, silently aiming smacks that covered every portion of the other man's backside until Tony's entire butt and upper thighs were scarlet and hot. Only when there was no pale white to be seen on the exposed backside, did he begin to speak.

"I knew your father. He was a good man. Oh…he had an ego. I can easily admit that. But he was loyal. And he took care of his friends." Steve thought back to the shield and armor that Howard Stark had made for him. "He also knew when it was time to take things seriously and how to give respect to other people. I somehow doubt he'd be impressed by your LACK of respect or LACK of taking things seriously."

Tony had managed to remain relatively quiet as the blows fell on his rapidly battered buttocks. If he started whimpering after the second time Steve began spanking already heated skin, no one could fault him for that. He'd still managed to avoid crying. And then Steve began talking. When the captain brought up Tony's father, Tony lost it.

"Don't…DON'T you DARE try and….use him…use HIM to alter my behavior! If you knew ANYTHING about anything, you'd know…You'd know that HE DID NOT CARE WHAT I DID!" Tony bellowed while he yanked and pulled furiously trying to get away. Steve, shocked at the sudden outburst, held onto the man tightly making certain that the man couldn't injure himself with his out of control maneuvers. Determined to get control of the situation again- and help Tony regain control over himself- Steve shifted the smaller man so that his sit spots were exposed and began spanking them in hard measured smacks. Tony howled, but finally seeming to realize that he HADN'T gotten away and that his loss of control had only caused Steve to punish him further, he stopped fighting.

Steve nodded, relieved that Tony wasn't fighting any longer. Now he just had to get the man to accept the punishment and admit he had been wrong. "As I was saying- your father was a good man. He was a good friend. And had I not been lost and frozen for nearly 70 years, I have no doubt I would have been there to see him get married, to see you born, I might even have been a part of raising you," the captain admitted softly, finally stopping his assault on Tony's swollen backside. "I don't know why you dislike me so much- other than your distaste for authority- it's hard to see my friend's face looking at me with such distaste." He sat there, holding the iron man over his lap, waiting for his words to sink in. He was shocked when the brunette suddenly went limp, and began crying.

Tony closed his eyes tightly and tried not to be affected. He wasn't sure what it was that finally broke him- not that he'd ever admit to being broken- not by Captain America of all people. All he knew is that he suddenly couldn't see, or breath, and he was choking and gasping and... and Steve was rubbing his back gently, saying something inane like 'you'll be alright. It's all over.' The damn man thought he was crying about getting his butt roasted. Figured.

"S'not…I…" he shuddered. "My father never told me he loved me - he never even told me he liked me." He finally admitted in a broken voice. "And…and here you are…. Fucking Captain America….the hero he could never stop talking about. The one who never did anything wrong-unlike his screw-up son who never did anything right." He winced at how jealous he sounded, even to his own ears. Huh- imagine that? He hiccupped, managing to get control over the crying- just barely. He hung limply over the Captain's lap taking in shallow, shuddery breaths as he tried not to start sobbing again. "And you say you'd have had a part in raising me? How would disappointing two fathers be any better than disappointing the one I had?" he muttered hollowly.

Closing his eyes and wondering how he could have completely misread the situation as badly as he had, Steve carefully replaced Tony's clothing then helped the smaller man to his feet. Standing in front of the brunette, keeping a firm grip on both of his arms, Steve looked into the other man's face. "Look at me Tony." Reluctantly, Tony did as the Captain requested.

Encouraged, Steve continued. "I...I'm sorry that I brought up painful memories. I don't know what happened between you and your father. I don't think you were...ARE....a disappointment at all. You aren't a screw-up. I doubt he thought of you as a screw-up. You don't leave multi-million dollar companies in the hands of someone you think is a screw-up." Steve shook his head slightly. Tony snorted.

Smiling crookedly Steve added. "Everything I said about your behavior is true." Tony snorted again, trying to break out of the Captain's grip. Steve held on tightly, not allowing him to go. "Your father- he was exactly like you sometimes. You're a lot like him really. I don't doubt that when push comes to shove, you can be just as serious and loyal." Tony looked at him uncertainly.

"You're a good man, Tony Stark. You just need to learn appropriate behaviors for the situation." Steve shrugged slightly.

"And you're the man to teach me the appropriate behavior?" Tony joked, uncomfortable with all the emotion and everything that he'd unintentionally told Rogers.

"Exactly," Steve smiled. "So you best at least TRY not to antagonize your team-mates. Because if you antagonize them too badly, don't be surprised if we come back here for another little chat." He promised solemnly.

Tony blinked. "Um…if it's all right with you, I think I've learned my lesson…."

Steve grinned, pulling Tony into his side for a one-armed hug. "Glad to hear it. And…you know… you really have no reason to be jealous of me. Outside of military maneuvers, everyone is likely going to be looking to YOU for direction. I'm still a little too…. Lost….to be much help outside of actual battles." Steve had a chagrined look on his face.

"Well…I guess I could do more to help you figure things out. In the interest of team solidarity and all…" Tony muttered. "Sides- can't have my pseudo-father embarrassing the family, can I?" Tony's shoulders straightened up and he gave the Captain an impish grin. "Can I still call you Capsicle? Please? C'mon- you know you like it!"

Shaking his head in annoyance, Steve had to laugh. "You're incorrigible, you know that?" he grumbled as he walked out the door, Tony following along behind him like an over-eager puppy.

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