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Clipped Wings

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Tony, in spite of his promise to Martin to get some rest, had every intention of getting up and going to his workshop after a quick nap. He wanted to mess with one of the spare gauntlets -- see if he couldn’t find a way to accommodate the ring which Martin had given him just before flying back to Fitton. Unfortunately, his body had other plans, and he ended up doing most of the designing in his dreams.

It was hunger that woke him. Hunger, and the realization that he’d slept well over ten hours. Tony lay in his bed, staring at the ceiling as he tried to work out just why he’d been left to doze despite Pepper and Steve’s inevitable impositions on anything that resembled free time. Maybe the clock was wrong. Maybe he was still asleep. Maybe...

“Good afternoon, sir,” JARVIS said softly, as if testing the waters.

“Afternoon?” Tony echoed lazily. If he was only dreaming, then perhaps he didn’t need to be awake after all. Except for being hungry that was. “Is lunchtime over already?”

“Yes, sir. Although Captain Rogers set aside a plate for you. Shall I inform him that you have awakened?”

“Hm... No. No rush.” Other parts than his stomach were starting to check in. His bladder for one. And he felt grimy. He wanted a shower.

He rolled over as a preliminary to crawling out of bed and found his nose buried in the pillow that still smelled faintly of Martin, so he stopped to breathe in the scent before it could get exorcised by the cleaning crew. After a time, he remembered that he was supposed to be waking up. This time he pushed himself upright and let his feet dangle. “Gah,” he said, adding a toothbrush to the list of things that needed to be in his immediate future. “JARVIS, why on earth have you let me turn into Rip Van Winkle? I never sleep this long.” Not unless he’d gone to bed trashed, which one whiskey on the way back from the airport in the limo wouldn’t even begin to do.

“Captain Crieff asked me not to disturb you until his plane landed,” JARVIS confessed. “The calculations were thrown off because MJN Air was put into a holding pattern upon their arrival at England. They are still flying, at present.”

Tony frowned. “What’s their fuel like?” He was pretty sure JARVIS was monitoring the radio transmissions, even though he’d forgot to ask the AI to do it. JARVIS was smart that way.

“At the last radio check-in, two minutes ago, Captain Crieff indicated that they have 175 liters of fuel available, which translates into approximately twenty minutes of flight time under normal conditions. The tower has put them at number three for landing, which should have them on the ground within ten minutes.”

“Just enough time for a shower, then,” Tony said. pushing off the bed and heading for the bathroom. “Tell Steve to start heating up my lunch.”