"No, she doesn't, but you do," Lucy pointed out. "You run about a degree hotter than most of the rest of us do, and after you've exerted yourself, that rises to between two and five degrees for about twenty-four hours. If the serum they used on him is closely matched to Erskine's serum, I'd expect him to have to same sort of reaction."
Steve wasn't sure how he felt about that. "How close were they to replicating Dr. Erskine's serum?" Steve asked, knowing they'd done their best to find and destroy all evidence of the serum that existed outside himself.
"Close," she said soberly. "I need to run through a more detailed analysis, but on the face of it, they seemed to have matched it to a degree of about 87%."
"87%?" Tony repeated. "That's impressive. Scary, but impressive. Want me to get Jarvis to run those details? You already input the data from Tinkerbell, right? So he knows what he's looking at."
Lucy blinked, surprised to be asked at all. "That ... that would be incredibly helpful, actually. Thank you, Tony."
"See, I can be nice." Tony smirked, turning away to address the computer.
Lucy looked at Steve in disbelief. "Who is he, and what has he done with Tony Stark?"
Steve was a little lost in thought, and it took him a moment to realize Lucy was talking to him and blink out of his thoughts, that worried Steve expression on his face. "What? I wasn't paying attention, sorry." It wasn't like Steve to miss something like that. There was definitely something on his mind.
"I didn't think you were," Lucy smiled gently. "The questions you need answers to, I can't answer. Not yet. The DNA results will come through sometime tomorrow, and I daresay Jarvis will be done around about the same time with the detailed analysis of his blood. As for the back ups Hydra possibly has, Nat was passing on Tony's virus to Alyona's father through your spy friends. He'll source and wipe what little they still have to work from."
"It seems endless," Steve said with a sigh. "What can I do to help?' he quickly added, knowing there was a lot of work ahead of them, though he'd likely be more help trying to find out what was going on with S.H.I.E.L.D. than helping with her research. He wasn't sure he liked the idea of them researching the serum at all, but if there was anyone he trusted, it was Lucy.
She considered him for a moment. "You can try to relax a little," she told her husband softly. "Talk to Nat, talk to Clint, find out what's going on with Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. if you can. If you need something more physical to do, why not come home for a little while? Right now, all we can do is wait and see what comes up, and you wouldn't be abandoning anything here. They can contact us at any time."
There was no better way to relax than going home. It was a tempting thought, if only for a couple of days. "You hear that, Tony?" Steve asked, knowing his brother-in-law was listening, even if he was pretending not to. "Can you handle things here if we go home for a few days?"
"Hey, if I scream loud enough, you'll hear me on the other side of the universe, right?" Tony replied, turning back to face them. "Sure, I got this. Sam's back in a coupla days, and Romanoff never lets me do anything without slapping me around a bit first. We'll hold the fort. Go, have family time. They need you more than we do right now."
"I'm not sure if I should be insulted or relieved," Steve replied, chuckling a little, though he knew what Tony meant. Lucy was right - there wasn't much more they could do here, until Jarvis was finished with his analysis and Petrov was coherent enough to carry on a meaningful conversation.
"Well, I could sit on your knee and ask for a bedtime story, but I think your kids might beat me to a pulp if I tried," Tony offered, his smirk turning ever so slightly triumphant as Lucy actually laughed at that charming mental image. "Seriously, go. We got this. Luce, take him home, he's making me look bad."
"Oh, I see ... You want to win points with Alyona while I'm not around," Steve said, a teasing smirk on his face. "It's not a competition to see who she likes better, you know," he pointed out, though it amused him that Tony might think so.
"C'mon, you got five of your own," Tony chuckled. "I want this one."
Lucy rolled her eyes at the pair of them. "I think you've both lost, to be honest," she informed them with a smile. "Tony, if she's pregnant by the time I come back here, I will be holding you personally responsible."
"Hold on, what?" Tony goggled at his sister, apparently not having expected to be put in charge of that.
"Pregnant?" Steve echoed, looking over at Alyona and Petrov again. "Luce, they just met. They hardly know each other. And he's ... he's old enough to be ..." He trailed off, flushing a little as he realized he was practically describing himself and his relationship with Lucy. "Maybe you should give her the talk."
Lucy held Steve's gaze with an amused smile until he trailed off, her smile deepening warmly. "You were saying?" she asked innocently, hugging one arm about his waist. "I already did. And neither one of you needs to panic, she and I already sorted her out in that department. It's just funny watching Tony squirm."
Tony's eyes narrowed. "You're so lucky I like your sister," he informed Lucy. "Just for that, I'm going to build fully functioning, newborn Ironman suits for when those two are born."
"Irongirl," Steve corrected, mirroring Lucy's amused smile, though he was still contemplating the possibility of Alyona and Petrov. "Which of us is matchmaking now?" he mused aloud, echoing Tony's earlier remark about Jarvis.
"She's made a connection with him," Lucy shrugged. "And she needs someone to hold onto as much as he does. They have shared life experience. Just ... don't be surprised if it develops beyond friendship. And don't tease them," she added, looking sharply at Tony.
He held up his hands defensively. "Me? Tease a little witch who can turn my brain inside out just by looking at me?"
"It looks like your sister is playing matchmaker now, too," Steve teased, smirking a little in Tony's direction. First Jarvis, now Lucy. But it wasn't long before Steve was turning serious again, that worried expression back in place. "You might hear from Fury while we're gone," he told Tony.
The other man nodded, his own smirk fading. "Figures we might," he agreed. "Barton or Romanoff are still the best bet to pin him down into a truthful answer to any question. If we hear anything, we'll let you know."
"Are you sure you're gonna be okay with us?" Steve asked, feeling a little guilty about abandoning the team to go spend time with his family, but they needed him, too.
The look Tony gave him suggested he was missing a few of his marbles. "Do I look seventeen to you?" he countered smartly, at which point Lucy decided to intervene.
"Okay, boys, before we get into who is responsible and who isn't, I'm going to call the shots here," she declared, squeezing her husband's hand. "You'll call with the data analysis, right?"
Tony nodded to his sister, spotting an uncomfortable peacemaker at work. "And anything else you might be interested in," he added. "The color of my panties, how much candy I eat in a given hour, that sort of thing."
"I thought only women wore panties," Steve pointed out with a straight face. "I gotta check in with Nat before we go. Give me an hour or so?" he asked, the question directed to his wife. It wasn't that he didn't trust Tony, but between the two, Nat was the responsible one, and he needed her to know what was going on. He also wanted to ask her to keep an eye on Petrov and debrief him as soon as he was able to handle it.
Lucy nodded to him. "I need to finish up and go over the analysis with Jarvis myself," she assured him. "Come find me in the lab when you're done."
"Need a hand with that?" Tony offered. It seemed as though seeing his "not-so-nice" sister in her professional element had reminded him that she couldn't give a toss about their father's money and given him a reason to be pleasant. After all, one day, it might be him she was doing her med-tests on.
So far, money hadn't been much of a problem, though that might change. One didn't exactly get paid for being a superhero and now that they'd left S.H.I.E.L.D., they were without paychecks, but even so, they weren't interested in Tony's money. They were living rent-free at Maple Grove, after all, and had never asked Tony for a penny. Steve touched a kiss to Lucy's cheek, not wanting to get too affectionate with her in front of her brother. "I won't be long," he promised. "Be nice!" he warned Tony with a smirk.
"I'm always nice," Tony protested, and yelped as Lucy thumped his shoulder.
"No, you're not," she told him laughingly. "Come on, Ironman, you need to translate me for your computer."
"But what about ... oh." The oh was quite obvious when she followed his gesture to the window. Petrov and Alyona were no longer there, no doubt already headed to more comfortable surroundings to continue those tentative adventures in trust that happened around a telepath.
Lucy smirked at her brother. "You are such a prude," she teased him, ignoring his protests against such a label as she headed out of the observation room.
Well, at least they weren't actively trying to annoy each other any longer. It was a start, at least, and if Tony and Lucy could set aside their differences and get along, it boded well for the team as a whole. And with the way things were going ... they were going to need that team more than ever.
[size=9]((Another day, another bit of fun to post! Apologies to all - any and all deficiencies in Tony's character are entirely my fault. He's hard to play! But huge thanks to my partner in crime!))[/size]