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AT.410

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Debrief Report AT.410.1, November 2012

Incident: Injury - Other
Involved Person(s): Rogers, Steven ("Captain America")
Details: Injury sustained during an Avengers "team building retreat" at a Stark-owned property in Alaska. According to party statements, good-natured scuffling led to Stark shoving Rogers off a bank into a partially-frozen river. When, after several moments, Rogers did not reappear, the present team members panicked and dove in after him. Odinson managed to pull the captain out of the water approximately three minutes after Stark knocked him in, when it was quickly determined that he wasn't breathing and had no heartbeat. Emergency resuscitation proved ineffectual.

--

"You killed Captain America," Clint mutters through his fingers.

Tony is panting from giving ten minutes of rescue breathing, and he locks impossibly wide eyes on Clint.

"I don't understand," Bruce keeps saying, running his fingertips over Steve's head and neck, tangling them in his wet and rapidly-frosting hair. "He doesn't have any traumatic injuries. He was under for fewer than five minutes."

Thor looks like he's ready to start hitting something, skipping over denial and going straight to anger. They're all pretty sure they heard at least one of Steve's ribs crack before Bruce told him he could stop compressions.

"What are you doing?" Tony asks suddenly.

"Calling it in," Natasha tells him, slim phone pressed to her ear. There shouldn't be service out here, but it's a Stark product masquerading as SHIELD tech, so shouldn't wasn't ever really part of the equation.

"Oh no no no," Tony moans. "He’s a national icon! How, how is he even dead? Like, he survived seventy years under a goddamn iceberg, and one dunk in a--"

Everybody stops. Bruce and Tony are staring at each other.

"Silence," Bruce says. "Absolute silence."

Agent Romanov? a tinny voice says, and Natasha thumbs the end call button.

Bruce leans over Steve's chest, one wrist between his fingers. They all suck in a sympathetic breath as he takes one. A second slips by, then two, then a dozen.

"Oh thank god," Bruce says suddenly.

--

...It was determined that Rogers had reentered a state of suspended animation similar to the one that allowed his survival following the 1943 crash that resulted in his disappearance. After approximately forty-eight hours Rogers revived with no outside help.
Actions Taken: None.

--

"He's moving," Natasha calls, and the rest of the group immediately convenes around the cot they'd set up in front of the fireplace. Sure enough, Steve's hands are clenching and unclenching slowly.

"Stark, you bastard," he slurs suddenly, then his eyes crack open. "W-whuh?"

"Hi, Cap," Clint replies, catching Tony's arm as he tries to slip away.

"How do you feel?" Bruce asks in his best doctor voice, adjusting his glasses on his nose.

Steve takes an experimental breath and moans. "Did I get sat on?" he wheezes. "By an elephant?"

Thor doesn't even look a little bit abashed.

--

Debrief Report AT.410.2, January 2013

Incident: Injury - Other
Involved Person(s): Rogers, Steven ("Captain America")
Details: During a mission on Long Island, Rogers was required to stake out a hostile operative base. When he was called upon to act, there was no response. An investigation crew discovered an unconscious Rogers still concealed near the hostile area. After forty-eight hours, he revived with no outside help.
Actions Taken: Uniform redesign.

--

"'M freezing," Steve's voice mutters over the comm.

"Just a bit longer," Tony assures him, firing a repulsor blast after a speeding van. "I've almost got your distraction made. Afterward, cocoa's on me."

"Most excellent," Thor laughs, his voice booming through Tony's helmet. In the background, Tony can hear the groaning of the men in the satellite base. "Though this weather is mild indeed compared to Jotunheim."

Steve doesn't seem to think that's worth a response.

Tony bursts upward through a snow shower, following the van and herding it back the way it came. Jarvis informed him that the occupants are frantically calling the base and requesting back-up.

"Aaaand here the back-up comes," Bruce sighs. "See you on the other side." Tony grimaces lightly as his comm channel becomes nothing but roars and crashing sounds.

"All right, Old Glory, that's your cue," Tony calls, spinning up a congested street after the van.

No response.

"Cap? Caaap? Steve?"

"On it," Natasha says in anticipation of his next request.

"Uhhh, he's still there," Clint drawls. "I can see the shield. Oh hey, Nat."

"He's out, Tony."

"Attack?" Because that's just perfect, he thinks.

"No, out-out. His skin's freezing."

"Fan-fucking-tastic. Hawkeye, get the van. I've got to go blow up a stash of very incriminating documents."

As he peels away, an arrow thocks its way into the body of the van, then starts incinerating the sheet metal.

"And somebody tell Fury to get this guy a goddamn parka!"

--

Debrief Report AT.410.3, July 2013

Incident: Injury - Other
Involved Person(s): Rogers, Steven ("Captain America")
Details: Hostile Loki Laufeyson, having recently escaped imprisonment in Asgard, was discovered in New Mexico by Dr. Jane Foster. Primary means of aggression were ice-based due to Jotun heritage. During a containment attempt, Rogers bore the full brunt of an attack and reentered suspended state. He was brought back to SHIELD’s medical center for evaluation. Forty-eight hours, formerly the time frame within which the state would break, passed with no change.

--

One of the things that Tony appreciates about the Avengers is that nobody in the group could be considered an optimist. Thus, no one tries saying he’ll be okay, which is just great, because if someone did, he’d probably sucker-punch them. Which isn’t to say he’s a fan of violence of the mano-a-mano type. He’s just not taking day eight very well.

Steve certainly looks dead; his vitals are so weak that they have to be picked up by machine, so the room’s full of wires and boxes and screens, and in the middle is Steve Rogers, All America Napping Champion, 1943-2013.

The sting is that he probably could’ve just shot Loki in the face before the battle really even started and saved them all the trouble, but he was worried about offending Thor. That’s why Iron Man’s not a team player--Crazy Eyes turns up with more ice than the polar caps up his sleeves, and Tony starts worrying about the feelings of an alien who comes up with a new way to call him tiny twice daily.

“It really wasn’t your fault,” Clint says, sliding around Steve’s bed to hand him a cup of coffee.

“Who’s saying it was my fault?” Tony replies, scalding his tongue when he attempts a sip.

Clint gives him a look that is apparently the stony-faced assassin version of an eye roll. “Well, Thor’s going down to talk to Loki, so if you wanna watch, we’ve got the feed up in the regular conference room.”

“I’m good,” Tony mutters, absently rubbing his knuckles over the embossed fabric of his tee and the arc reactor below it.

“If you say so,” Clint shrugs.

As soon as he leaves, Tony pulls out a tablet and proceeds to appropriate the feed for himself as well. It’s pretty much exactly what he thought it would be--Thor by turns furious and weepy, Loki a little shit. He presses the heels of his palm into his eyes. How long has it been since he’s slept?

Sir? Jarvis says softly, the AI’s voice made small by the tiny built-in tablet speakers.

“Yep,” Tony sighs, “yeah. I’m here, Jarvis. What’s up?”

I have been running scans on the conversation and thought this might be of interest, and a pop-out clip from a few seconds before replays. Loki seems to call Captain Rogers ‘Brunnhilde.’ I found this information.

Tony flicks through the info boxes on the screen, then goes back and rereads them closer. “Oh, hell no. Are you implying what I think you’re implying?”

You didn’t program me to imply anything, sir.

Tony frowns at the tablet. “Have I told you lately that I made you too smart by half?”

Not lately, sir. But if it’s a theory you would like to test, might I suggest speed? I believe Thor has finished his attempt at interrogation and you are certain to have company soon.

...which is how Tony finds himself about to kiss Captain America, based on some arguing pseudo-gods and the Brothers Grimm. Which, okay, he’s done worse for less, and hey, he’s been awake for like ninety hours now, but it’s gonna look really bad if somebody catches him and this doesn’t work. Sleep deprivation psychosis is always an excuse, he supposes.

So he does it, slips out of his chair and presses his lips to Steve’s. He’d been planning on just one of those quick pecks, but hell, if you’re going to do something stupid, there’s no reason to half-ass it. Still, it’s closed-mouth and chaste, and it probably would’ve stayed that way if Steve hadn’t suddenly sighed and wrapped one of his big hands around Tony’s neck to pull him down.

Suddenly Steve’s tongue is there under his own, and there’s a thumb tracing the whorls of hair at his nape. The monitors around the bed have leaped to life, and Tony glances up at them as best he can while being held captive by a sleepy superhuman. Who, honestly, has way better breath than should be reasonable for somebody who’s been comatose for eight days.

Apparently the same can’t be said for Tony, though, because Steve breaks off the kiss and makes a noise of disgust. “Wha--ugh. What’ve you been eating, week-old coffee grounds?” he groans, scrubbing both hands over his face.

“Well, hi, good morning to you too, Aurora,” Tony replies. “Some of us have been keeping vigil by the bedsides of our fallen teammates and figuring out how to break alien enchantments, so, you know, you’re welcome.”

Steve makes an inarticulate noise as he stretches, and Tony suddenly realizes that he’s going to have to explain this somehow.

--

...After eight days of suspension, Rogers woke with the aid of Stark, who described his assistance as “minimally percussive.”
Actions Taken: Initiated Project Briar Rose.

--

"How’re you feeling, Steve?" Bruce asks, finger poised above the med tab on his knees.

"Cold," Steve growls, wrapping his arms around his bare torso. Why they’d made him do this half-nude is beyond him. Why they’d made him do this half-nude with the whole team present is unfathomable, but it smells Stark-like to him.

Natasha is watching some sort of televised program on her tablet, perched atop a crate and bundled warmly into a thick coat.

Thor and Clint are halfway down the freezer, picking up various wrapped packages and gesturing. Steve has a sneaking suspicion that they’re planning a menu. He tries to take his mind off the biting cold by guessing what they’re talking about. He’s pretty sure Thor’s holding an entire pig. He could go for food. After they let him out of here, he’s going to drink a gallon of soup. Tomato. Or chicken noodle. Or matzo, he could go for matzo...

His rear hits the floor suddenly and his head is ringing. Tony Stark is leaning into his face, looking like it’s Christmas Day. “Awake?” he asks cheerfully.

“Did y--ow. Did you just slap me?” Steve stammers, rubbing one icy-cold hand over his face.

“It worked!” Tony calls to Bruce.

“His core temp is only down to ninety-five Fahrenheit. That’s the barest minimum for hypothermia possible. Keep rolling,” Bruce replies, and Steve is suddenly having very uncharitable thoughts toward him.

“You slapped me,” Steve scowls, his tone creeping toward accusatory.

“What, you can’t expect me to pucker up every time you bat your lashes. Anyway, this is a much more effective test. If it works, next time you get droopy on the battlefield, we can just throw something at your head.”

Yeah, Steve gets the impression that Stark is enjoying this far, far too much.