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"Okay, we're here. So, someone tell me, what the Hell is shawarma?" Clint demanded.

There was a round of shrugs in response to the question until Natasha answered. "It's lamb, goat, beef and chicken that's marinated together then slow cooked on a spit and wrapped in pita bread." She shrugged when everyone turned to her. "Mission in Turkey."

The SHIELD version of a clean-up crew had arrived a little while after they'd cornered Loki at the top of Stark Tower (during which interval Clint had raided Tony's expertly-stocked bar to practice the skills he'd learned going undercover as a bartender, years before, and everyone had gotten a drink except for the megalomaniac who'd asked for one). Regular old National Guard, NYPD and FDNY had been tasked with the outskirts of the erstwhile battlefield but the four or so blocks which formed the epicenter of the "incident" were being personally handled by SHIELD operatives.

Tony's security elevator had never been so compromised.

Once said megalomaniac had been properly shackled and, under Thor's stern advisement, muzzled, he was shipped under heavy guard back to the Helicarrier. The staff and the cube were locked away in separate lead-lined adamantium boxes and sent elsewhere entirely. They would not risk having any of those three things again within reach of each other.

Following the steady stream of agents came a just as steady stream of medics. Natasha, Bruce and, surprisingly, Thor had received their ministrations gracefully. Bruce was hardly hurt at all, needing only a new set of clothes ("Though I'd settle for a pair of pants. Please."). Natasha had a fair collection of cuts but nothing requiring stitches. Thor had a stab wound in his left side which wasn't too large but was somewhat deep and positioned near a muscle group. It was flushed clean and sewn shut, despite Thor's ready assertion that he had never concerned himself over 'antibiotics' or 'infection' before. The demi-god had been injured enough times, though, to submit willingly when they insisted.

Steve was strangely reticent about treatment, considering his own history as a soldier. A long slash scored across his ribs had bled enough to stain several inches of his uniform but he seemed abashed when asked to raise the cloth so that it could cleaned and stitched. It wasn't until his eyes had skittered toward Natasha and his cheeks pinked that it occurred to anyone why. Clint suggested, with a grin, that the Russian turn around and avert her eyes. Tony, wearing a grin of his own, offered the use of a bathroom for privacy. The latter was agreed to. When the captain returned, Natasha gave him a small smile. She usually preferred being seen as nothing more than a competent, professional agent (by her peers, because it was an advantage to be underestimated by an enemy but insulting to be underestimated as an ally) but she found that the acknowledgement of her femininity was, in this case, rather endearing.

Tony, who had complained loudly and extensively about the damage his suit had taken (seriously, did Thor have to rip his mask off?), was less forthright about himself. Minor bruises and cuts seemed to be a theme across the board for the team, but Tony had to have Jarvis check to make sure that he - not the suit - was okay. The medics had wanted him to go to the infirmary aboard the Helicarrier for an x-ray but he denied needing it ("Listen, Nurse Ratchet, I've done the math, okay? I don't have broken bones. There'd be way more structural damage to my suit if that was the case. And Jarvis assures me that he monitors no internal bleeding. What? No, Jarvis is not a voice inside my head. Well, he is, but it's not the result of blunt force - I do not have brain damage! He's my computer!")

Clint seemed to have a personal grudge against the medic assigned for him, eying the older man warily and refusing to turn his back to him. This was a problem, as it was his back (bruised and wrenched after he'd leapt from a building, swung through window glass and landed on his back right on top of his quiver) that seemed to need the most treatment. He insisted he was fine and the gray-haired medic needed only to jab a finger into his side to prove that was not so. The archer had growled but consented to having his ribs wrapped (though he'd similarly "declined" an x-ray as well).

It was then, once they'd all be declared, if not healthy, then at least not dying, that Tony demanded they go and get shawarma. Immediately after such declaration, Jarvis reminded him of the relatively unscathed shop two blocks over, which then led to the six of them sitting around a cracked linoleum table, unable (save one) to answer Clint's question.

The blond turned to Tony. "Why're you so bent on eating this? You didn't even have any idea what it was."

"Sounds delicious, though, doesn't it?"

"Are you sure Jarvis isn't a mental affliction?" Clint asked.

"I'm rather insulted by that, sir," Jarvis said.

"Yes, I'm sure," Tony said, rolling his eyes.

"Doesn't mean you don't have one," the archer pointed out helpfully.

"Listen, Cupid, let's not talk about mental deficiency, all right? I'm not the so-called master of stealth who decides that purple is the best color for camouflage."

"Right, because announcing yourself via a hacked feed and a heavy metal theme song is a much better battlefield tactic. Why not just build speakers into the suit itself and cut out the middle man?" Clint retorted. Steve was just about to step in, not wanting it to go any further when the archer suddenly added, "And I'll have you know that purple brings out my eyes."

The quick turn stalled Tony for a second before he burst out laughing. The rest of the table joined in. Almost simultaneously, they all stopped to groan when the laughter pulled at strained muscles, agitated bruised skin or constricted cracked ribs. The outburst of laughter followed by the moans, and the concerted way in which they had all done it, made Bruce laugh even harder.

Steve stretched slowly, gritting his teeth when something in his back popped. "Man, I'm stiff. I feel old." He immediately pointed a finger at the collective group. "Not a word."

Clint put his feet up to rest at the edge of Natasha's chair. "Whatever you say, grandpa." He met Natasha's glare with a smile. She didn't shove him off, but she did surreptitiously pinch a nerve behind one knee that rendered his foot numb for a few moments. He resisted the urge to rub it and it was Natasha's turn to smile at him.

"I'm in my twenties, you know," Steve half-heartedly complained. To be honest, it felt a little good to be the target of teasing again. Since he'd been "de-iced", most of his conversations consisted of debriefings, history lessons or requests for an autograph. The first two, he hardly counted as "conversation" because he didn't talk so much as try to absorb information and, as someone who had never aspired to be a hero, really, the latter was thoroughly embarrassing because it inevitably came with repeated adulation. That there were those around him who were willing to poke fun actually came as a comfort, reminding him of the friends he'd had in the Howling Commandos who had never been shy about calling him out on being "moon-eyed" over a certain British brunette or tossing in his face that comment about punching Hitler.

"Plus seven decades," Bruce said.

"Be proud of your years, Steven Rogers," Thor boomed encouragingly. "T'is a mark of a warrior's skill and endurance, to have lasted so long."

"So very long," Clint added with emphasis. When Steve turned to stare at him, he held up his hands. "Though I got to say, Cap, if the situation hadn't been so serious, I'd have lost it when you called Renshaw 'son'."


"The pilot," Natasha clarified.

Steve grinned, shaking his head. "I sounded a whole lot like my old CO. Can't believe it worked."

At that moment, an older man walked up to the table and, to his credit, didn't seem the least bit fazed by Thor's, Natasha's, Clint's or Steve's outfits. Then again, he made his living in the heart of New York City and aliens had decimated a great deal of his block just hours ago, so maybe it wasn't so strange. "Yes?"

"Six shawarma...plates?" Tony said. "Shawarma platters? Shawarma Meals? Shawarma Combos? I'm not really - I don't know what to call them." Thankfully, it seemed the old man did as he walked away, yelling something to the cook behind the counter.

Bruce peered at him with what seemed like new understanding, a scientist about to exclaim 'Eureka'. "You just like saying that word, don't you?"

"Shawarma. Shwarma. Shaaawarma. Shaw-arrrma." Tony tested the word on his tongue. "Nope, it's lost all meaning to me now."

"Somebody note that I am manfully restraining myself from bringing up mental problems again," Clint said. "Okay? This gets me brownie points for next time."

"There are brownies?" Thor perked up. Though he'd enjoyed the back-and-forth between these new teammates of his, he'd gotten rather lost at certain points of the conversation. The mention of brownies caught him though. His last 'visit' had had him acquainted with the delicious Midgardian treats. Very suddenly, he missed his Jane Foster and the only food she had ever made for him.

"Um, no, Thor, I don't think that they have any here," Steve began.

"You want brownies?" Tony interrupted. "We'll get brownies. We, my caped friend, saved the world. We are entitled to brownies and shawarma." He clapped a hand to the bigger man's shoulder.

The pronouncement was met with chuckles and smiles but silence soon followed it. It was, perhaps not surprisingly, a good, very comfortable kind of silence. Exhausted, but not difficult. Even when the smiles faded and the silence stretched on, the atmosphere refused to grow awkward.

Not too long afterward, the cook appeared at Tony's elbow, along with a young woman. Both were laden with large, steaming plates that were promptly placed on the table, one for each of them. The girl went back to get a tray of drinks while the man dropped a sheaf of napkins for them. Thor and Bruce dug in with alacrity. The demi-god's enthusiasm for even unknown food was evident in every large, hearty bite. And the scientist almost matched it. Though Bruce was unharmed, his body never failed to remind him that it did not appreciate the stress of transforming and he needed the energy. The others did so more slowly, with smaller bites and picking here and there in the accompanying sides, but with just as much satisfaction.

Author's Note: This story is based off of the second tag after all the credits had rolled. I recently learned that the scene was not available outside the US so, pretty much, it's the team sitting in a restaurant eating shawarma. Nothing else happens and yet, it's hilarious. This is kind of a "what happened in-between" thing.

I know that Hawkeye was off elsewhere breaking and entering when Tony interrupted Steve's fight with Loki but I'm making the assumption that the later scene between Clint and Natasha didn't show their whole discussion. After mutually comforting each other with thoughts of killing Loki, there's no way Clint didn't ask her for the skinny on the "team". :) That's my explanation, anyway.

I apologize to any shawarma enthusiasts if I didn't portray it accurately. I've actually never had it so this is all second-hand description. It sounds pretty good.

As always, thanks for reading and God bless.