Steve dreams about the war, and what he's lost.
He dreams about bombs and screaming and guns and Bucky's grin and Peggy's red wine smile. He dreams that Bucky's arm is around his shoulders and Peggy's fingers are threaded through his, and then they aren't there anymore, because Bucky is falling and Steve can't catch him, and Peggy is disappearing, because suddenly Steve's frozen, and warm human touch can't penetrate the cold, and that's when he wakes up.
Natasha dreams of the past, in many languages, in bits and pieces. There is Russia, there is snow, there are tears, there is red, red, red.
When she wakes, she doesn't remember any of it, but she doesn't care to recall what her dream was about, what any of her dreams are about.
Natasha only ever cries when she is sleeping, and that's all she needs to know.
Clint dreams about monsters.
He's in the circus again, and there's a faceless crowd cheering as he makes another improbable shot, when the creature comes out of the shadows. He just keeps shooting, heart beating too fast, palms sweating, but his aim is always true. It doesn't take too long for him to run out of arrows, and then he's there, defenseless, alone with the monster, because the crowd is gone.
The creature grins, oozing blood, and says, Hey, little boy, don't you wanna sell your soul?
And Clint says, Yes.
Bruce dreams about his parents. He's twelve years old and in the old apartment, padding through it in his sock feet, and he stops in the living room to look at his dad, drinking again, and says, You know that's gonna kill you some day.
And his dad looks him in the eye and grins his yellow teeth grin and says, No it won't.
Bruce feels sick with fear, feels cold, so he goes to the kitchen because it's warmer there, and finds his mother, dressed all in light blue. She's got a black eye to match his. She looks at him and smiles, and her teeth are white.
Bruce has something to say, so he says it. He's gonna kill you, he whispers, you've gotta go or he's gonna kill you.
She doesn't seem to hear him at all, instead she just walks to him and embraces him.
He's gonna kill you, Bruce says again and again and again, but she doesn't ever seem to register the words. It's too late to save her, and Bruce finally just says, No, no, no, and that's when his hands start dripping blood. It soaks through the back of her dress.
Tony dreams about Afghanistan, of the oppressive heat, of fear and pain and his heart, his heart.
He sees Yinsen and smiles, starts saying, You won't believe how much I've missed you, but then there's an explosion and when it clears Yinsen is gone.
He shouts, Wait, wait, where are you, I never agreed to a game of hide and seek, but when he turns around he's in a house of mirrors, completely distorted, and there's something wrong with his chest. He takes deep, gasping breaths as he tears his shirt open, and sees nothing where the arc reactor used to be, and he opens his mouth to scream, and wakes up.
Thor dreams of his brother.
They are in Asgard, children again, and Thor says, Brother, let's play war.
And Loki smiles his sweet smile and says, Gladly, and then he is older and his mouth is stitched shut and his smile becomes a terrible thing, and then Loki is like he is now, and he shakes with the laughter of a madman.
Thor is still a child, and he shouts, Loki, control yourself, but Loki will not listen to reason.
Brother, Loki says between peals of laughter, oh, dear brother, there is no way, there is no way, and then he is gone without saying goodbye.
Thor screams Loki's name to the wind, but he has lost him forever, and of this he is sure. But still he begs for his brother to come back, just in case.
Everybody goes on with their lives, and they all pretend they only see sweet things when they sleep, or nothing at all.