Author Note: Short continuation of my story, Flying Solo. Verse/Setting: Spoilers ahead - Post-Avengers; Post-Iron Man 3 (Tony’s chest has been fixed); Post-Thor the Dark World (Thor has returned on a more permanent basis); PRE-Captain America: the Winter Soldier; early Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (before Coulson was kidnapped). Prompt: Tony agreed to their terms. Wasn’t that enough?
Disclaimer: The Avengers do not belong to me. I’m not making money from this fic.
Warning(s): CP of an adult.

Pay Attention!
Flying Solo Part 2

“It is time sir…” JARVIS precise and polite mechanical voice cut through Tony’s concentration, reminding him that he needed to head to the gym for the tenth day in a row. He sighed a bit irritably – he was after all in the middle of a rather important upgrade – but as he couldn’t blame anyone but himself for the fact that he was obliged to train with Widow and Hawk every day that they were in town, he refrained from complaining. Not that JARVIS would have sympathized. Tony wasn’t entirely sure it hadn’t been the AI that had given the idea of ‘training as punishment’ to the two assassins.

Bruce and Thor’s ‘punishments’ were over. Working for Bruce and ‘teaching’ Thor had been relatively easy since it involved him doing things that he would have done anyway. He’d made the best of the situation and done everything possible to ensure that both men were happy with his performance. When Steve had asked how he was doing in a friendly, conversational, manner (Tony wasn’t a fool. He knew Cap was checking up on him to see if he needed ‘encouragement’ to complete the tasks given him) Tony was proud at the answer Bruce and Thor both were able to give.

Unfortunately, he had never really looked on physical training as all that important. Oh, sure… he sparred with Happy and could hold his own against one, maybe two, opponents. His main line of defense was to not be in a situation where he needed to fight in the first place. If he did end up in a situation where he needed protection, then Happy was meant to step in. Only if Happy was unable to step in would Tony ever need to defend himself, and by the time it reached that point Tony would have his suit activated so he still wouldn’t need to physically fight. (He conveniently ‘forgot’ all the times when he actually had needed to fight.) As a result of not viewing the training sessions with Clint and Natasha as all that important – and more of just a way for them to get to beat on him without repercussions – he wasn’t terribly happy to have to interrupt his projects so that he could go to the gym and be knocked around for a couple of hours … Or as the case might be, one hour.

Natasha had discovered four days before that she had meetings to attend that week, during her normal scheduled time with Tony. Rather than postpone and have the hassle of everyone having to remember how many days she was behind Clint, etc., etc., they had decided that they would train Tony together and just count the one hour for both of them (since it could be argued training against two assassins would be twice the workout and more difficult). Tony had been happy with that arrangement. He continued to give the same amount of effort he had for the first six days of training – just enough that he could claim he was doing what he was supposed to, but not one bit more.

“Sir?” JARVIS prodded.

“Yeah, yeah. Tell them both I will be there in ten minutes. I need to go change into sweats…” he mumbled, putting down the welding iron and heading toward the door of his lab.

# # #

“Sir will be here as soon as he has changed his clothing,” JARVIS reported to the two assassins currently stretching in the gym.

“Thank you, JARVIS.” Natasha responded pleasantly then glanced at Clint. “So…we both agree that he hasn’t been putting in effort?” She asked softly, confirming what they had decided the night before when they had finally compared notes of what they had observed when they had decided to combine their training sessions.

“I’m sure he hasn’t,” Clint grimaced. “The first few days, I attributed his lack of progress to the fact that he was learning a lot of new moves. But even if he isn’t improved enough to join in any matches or anything – he should have shown some improvement. He’s putting out the same level of performance he did when he first began. Which tells me he’s just trying to skate through these sessions and isn’t giving them due diligence.”

Natasha nodded. “I feel the same. So…we stick to our plan?” She asked perfunctorily.

“We stick to our plan. He’ll go against you first. If he actually tries his hardest…then he’ll have nothing to worry about. If he doesn’t….” Clint shrugged and gave her a crooked grin. “I…mentioned to Cap what was going on and what we planned to do about it. He’s planning to sneak in and watch. Said if he doesn’t like what he sees, he might add a bit of incentive of his own.”

Natasha winced then grinned. “Ouch. Poor Tony.” She didn’t sound overly sympathetic. “Glad I’m not in his shoes….”

Clint laughed. “Me too.”

# # #

Tony pushed open the door to the gym and stepped inside, quickly walking toward Clint and Natasha with an excuse on his tongue. Okay. So it had taken a bit longer than the ten minutes he had asked JARVIS to convey. But he had needed to search for his ‘cup’ – there was no way he was going to do any type of hand to hand training with Widow without wearing protection (there had been one too many close calls the last several sessions). Plus, he had somehow forgotten laundry day and he’d had to do the sniff test on nearly five pairs of sweat pants before he’d found one that didn’t make his toes curl. By the time he’d found those two items, he hadn’t had time to worry about his underwear and ended up going commando. If either of them decided to fight dirty and pants him, they’d deserve whatever eyeful they ended up with.

“I’m here…got held up, but I’m ready when you are….” He clapped his hands together briskly. Okay. So he wasn’t going to offer an excuse … Or an apology really. He looked between Natasha and Clint, who amazingly enough only looked slightly perturbed. He didn’t notice Steve close to the wall, in the shadows. Steve looked more than a little perturbed, but he kept his mouth shut and kept watching.

Natasha raised an eyebrow but motioned him closer, to the center of the mat. “Since I only have thirty minutes left before I have to go, I get to spar with you first,” she stated calmly. Clint stood to the side with his arms crossed over his chest and watched.

“Sure.” Tony moved to within sparring range and began circling her – like he had done every other time they’d begun sparring – waiting for her to make the first move and haphazardly blocking. He was obviously not giving his full abilities or even his full attention to what he was doing.

As she had done every other time in the previous sessions, Natasha quickly took him down, locking one of his arms behind his back so that he couldn’t move. There was only one way to escape her hold without seriously injuring himself – and despite her having showed him that move several times, every session, he hadn’t paid quite enough attention to remember how to do it.

Sighing in faint amusement, Tony slapped the mat with his free hand to indicate he was submitting. All nine other sessions that he’d had with Natasha, as soon as he had indicated that he gave up she had let him go and he’d bounced back to his feet. This time she didn’t release him.

“Uh, Natashalie?” he breathed out slowly, his voice taking on a slightly worried tone. “I give. I can’t get loose....”

“That is because you have not been paying attention. You have not been respectful of Clint or my efforts. You have just been doing what you needed to do to claim you were cooperating – but you weren’t really trying at all.” Nat’s voice was calm, but underneath was a steely tone and she pushed down on his arm slightly, causing him to wince. “So…until you can ‘remember’ what I have taught you the last nine days and get out of this position yourself…you will not be going anywhere.” Her voice was matter of fact.

Tony snorted. “Well…. This is going to be a very boring session I guess, because I can’t get loose and I’m not about to break my arm trying.” His voice was slightly irritated – his arm was starting to sting from the position – but he still sounded amused, certain that Nat would get tired of holding him in the one position for the rest of her remaining time and would let him go.

He was so intent on watching Nat to see when she looked about ready to give up so that he could irritate her into doing what he wanted, he didn’t notice Clint moving up behind him. Because of this, it was a complete shock when he felt his sweat pants yanked down to his knees and cool gym air hit his exposed backside.

“Clint! What the …!” he struggled and threw his free hand back in an effort to grab his sweat pants and pull them back up, but Clint had quickly grabbed that hand and pressed it back behind him next to the other. Nat took hold of that hand as well, her grip firm and sure. She pressed down so that his chest was flat to the floor and he couldn’t move his upper body at all without his shoulders hurting.

Meanwhile, Clint had straddled Tony’s legs, sitting on his calves so that he couldn’t kick or wriggle. “Clint…what are you doing?” Tony’s voice was worried, a tiny bit of fear bleeding through. He tried to look over his shoulder to see what the archer was up to. When he saw Clint raising his arm up, holding the shaft of one of his arrows – minus the arrow head – his eyes widened and he yelled. “No… DON’T….!”

The air swooshed as Clint rapidly lowered his arm; seconds later Tony let out a pained gasp as a stripe of fire ignited where the makeshift ‘switch’ had landed. Clint slanted his head, looking at the long reddened stripe darken across the top of Tony’s bottom. Tony whimpered, biting his lip and closing his eyes tightly.

“There are two ways you can get out of this, Tony.” The archer said softly but clearly. “The first is you use the move that Natasha and I have been spending over a week trying to teach you.”

Tony opened his mouth, but Clint didn’t give him time to say anything. “The second is you admit that you’ve not been giving these training sessions the proper attention or respect. Admit that they aren’t a waste of time and that you need them. Apologize for the disrespect you’ve shown…and mean everything you say. We’ll be able to tell if you don’t truly mean it.” With that, Clint raised his arm again and began switching his recalcitrant friend in a slow but steady pace.

To Tony, it didn’t feel slow at all. He moaned slightly. He couldn’t remember the move that he’d been shown. Oh- he vaguely recalled parts of it. But he was obviously not remembering the most important part, because no matter what he did he wasn’t able to free his arms from Nat’s grip. He wasn’t even able to squirm a few inches to try and avoid the switch that Clint was liberally applying to his quickly heating buttocks.

“I…I can’t!” he cringed as his voice came out in a pathetic whine. It couldn’t be helped though. His eyes were watering horribly (he refused to admit he was crying) and what little parts of the move he had remembered were rapidly disappearing from his memory as all he was able to focus on was the embarrassment and pain of being switched by one friend while the other held him down.

At that moment, he heard footsteps moving closer to them. When the footsteps finally stopped, the feet they belonged to were right in front of his face. He recognized those shoes and couldn’t stop himself from begging, “Cap…you gotta stop them…I can’t break free from this. I wo… I won’t be able to sit for the next month if you don’t help me….” He choked out.

He heard a soft sigh and then Steve was lowering himself onto one knee at his head and gently carding his fingers through Tony’s hair. He wasn’t stopping the two assassins however. “You can’t what, Tony?” He asked softly.

Tony turned his face toward the mat, not wanting to face any of them, but finally drew in a hissing breath. “I can’t remember the move. I remember parts, but not enough to actually do it, so I can’t break free…” he admitted, his voice altering pitch toward the end as Clint continued to switch him.

“So what do you think that means, Tony?” Steve asked calmly, talking to him as if he were a scared toddler…which really? Tony was so going to complain about that when he was finally on his own two feet and wearing his pants back around his waist where they belonged. Right now it was kinda nice though; comforting. He hissed again as the switch fell on his upper thighs.

“Okay! Alright! I admit it! I wasn’t paying attention like I should have!” he closed his eyes tightly and tried to turn his face in an attempt to hide – however ridiculous the attempt – from the other three. “The training sessions weren’t a waste of time and I should have been more respectful of your time. I’m sorry Clint…Natashalie…I’m sorry…” he swallowed a sob and shivered. When he heard the ‘switch’ clang against the wall, where Clint tossed it, he slumped in relief and didn’t even attempt to hide the fact that he was sniffling and quivering from the effort to not cry like a baby.

“I’m glad you can admit that Tony, but can you understand why it isn’t a waste of time and why you should pay more attention?” Natasha finally spoke again. Her grip was still firm and unyielding. Taking a deep breath, Tony tried to organize his thoughts.

“Because I won’t always have my suit available…” he finally admitted.

Clint snorted. “Yeah. Go on.”

“I won’t always have Happy with me as a body guard…” he sighed.

“That’s right,” Natasha encouraged.

He swallowed, then whispered, “If I don’t have my suit, or Happy, or any weapons and none of you all are around to protect me, I need to be able to protect myself…. And as much as I don’t want to admit it – I’m not very good at doing that. Not yet anyway. I need to learn…”

“Ding, ding, ding… Let’s give the man a prize.” Steve teased him lightly, running his fingers gently through Tony’s hair one last time.

Natasha finally let go of his arms and Tony was able to move them back into a more comfortable position. He couldn’t help but whimper when the circulation started moving through them again. He didn’t say anything when Clint drug his sweat pants back up to cover his very sore butt.

When Tony was finally able to use his arms to lift himself back up off the ground without his hands feeling like needles were shooting through them, he slowly stood. He kept his gaze on the ground, too embarrassed to face Clint and Natasha, and too ashamed to look at Steve (he knew Cap had expected better from him). The others were having none of that however.

“I’ve gotta go to my meeting now. Try to be on time tomorrow.” Natasha, patted him on the shoulder and then left without another word, apparently satisfied that he’d ‘learned his lesson’.

Clint grinned crookedly. “I think I’ll let it be a night as well. Give you a bit of time to recuperate.” He then swatted Tony on the backside and wandered out of the gym laughing at the high pitched yelp Tony couldn’t contain.

Warily, Tony looked at Steve, before looking at the ground again. “Am I in trouble with you too?” he finally asked softly.

Steve took the smaller man by the arm and began to lead him out of the gym. “If you mean, am I going to spank you … then no. Clint took care of that pretty thoroughly.” Steve smiled when Tony looked back up at him in relief.

“As long as you’ve truly learned tonight, I don’t think it needs to be revisited.” Steve continued, giving Tony a stern look and smiling when Tony began nodding rapidly.

Tony let Steve lead him to the common room and help him lay down on the couch on his stomach. “Go on and take a nap. Supper will be in thirty minutes. I expect you to eat. Then I think you should make an early night of it. I might even be able to find some bruise ointment that you can put on before bed…”

“Okay…” Tony mumbled into his forearm, already halfway asleep. “Thanks…Cap.” His whisper carried across the silent room, and then he was out.

Steve smiled then turned and went to the kitchen.

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