Steve hadn’t had the time to stick around after dropping off the meal he’d hunted for Tony. He wished he could have, since there was little he liked more than watching Tony feed, but there was something else he had to do. It was something Tony had asked him to take care of so he couldn’t exactly say no, couldn’t ever really say no to Tony.
And as such, it was a few hours before he managed to make his way back to the Tower from patrolling the outskirts of their territory. A few hours wouldn’t normally be that big of a deal and he usually came back to the Tower in the same state as how he left it. Namely, a tad on the messy side. Things had a habit of getting broken and not replaced or fixed unless it was something someone needed and then Tony could usually be bribed to handle it. Not to mention all the fresh and old blood stains from when others brought their meals back to either share or eat in relative peace.
The Tower certainly wasn’t the magnificent thing of its previous life but it more then suited their purposes and was still considered by most to be home, or whatever equivalent of home zombies had.
So when Steve stepped off the elevator to the main lobby and found everything in a disarray of epic proportions, he grew understandably uncomfortable. Not worried because that was too strong of a human emotion and he didn’t have much of that left these days but certainly unsettled.
Shifting his shield to a firmer grip, Steve sniffed a few times, cataloging what he could smell. The Tower was mostly empty but a fight had surely occurred here, however, the only scent of human he could catch was dead and it was doubtful they’d been attacked. The remaining humans of the city, the world really, knew better then to go anywhere near this place.
A fight between two zombies then. It was hard to tell who, zombies all smelled the same, namely rank. Perhaps Tony would know.
That in mind, Steve headed over to the elevator and rode it down to the basement levels, where Tony’s workshop was still based. When the doors opened he was greeted with another sight of unusual wreckage. Besides the shattered protective glass, Tony had long ago repaired everything he’d broken on his very first hunger rampage but somehow Steve was seeing that very same damage again.
This all made no sense.
“Tony?” He called warily. Something must have set the genius zombie off to cause this level of destruction but what could it have been when just hours ago he’d left Tony perfectly fed?
Steve received no answer beyond a string of curses being uttered at a slightly louder volume to guide him through the lab. He followed them, relieved that Tony sounded to be unharmed, if not severely angry. “Tony?” He called again.
“Steve! About time! What took you so long?” There was a clatter and Tony appeared, engine grease smeared along his arms and blood stained around his mouth. He could tell instantly that something was wrong. Tony’s eyes were wild, blue stolen over black with the Hunger and he was twitchy. But, how? Steve had left him plenty of food in that human, there was no way he should still be like this.
“Tony, what happened?”
“What happened. What happened? What happened was that arrogant fuck attacking me and taking my fucking dinner. Why did we agree to let them live here again? Who’s bright idea was that? Former villains generally remain villains, being zombies just gives them a reason to stop acting the hero part. That fucker.” Tony was rambling, rapid fire talking and hand waving but Steve couldn’t understand him like this.
“Who, Tony. Who took away the human I gave you?” Because that was not okay, nowhere near okay. If Tony had left the Tower in search of a human, Steve’s not sure what he would have done. Other than tear apart the city looking for him of course. So, who would have dared? Everyone knows Steve’s stance on anything involving Tony and that messing with the genius was a direct affront against him. No one was that stupid, or so he’d thought.
“Pietro, of course! Who else would be stupid enough or quick enough to do it and escape! Fucking fucker.”
Quicksilver. Right. Tony had a point, if anyone would do something like this it would be Pietro. Okay then. Steve nodded and stepped forward to catch Tony’s still flailing hands. “Calm down, Tony, okay? I’ll fix this.”
Tony looked at him, eyes narrowed but obediently tried to hold himself still. “Fix it?”
“Yes. I’ll track down Quicksilver, teach him a thing or two. In the meantime I want you to go find Wolverine. Tell him he still owes me and to go get you a human. If you can’t find him ask Peter. He usually has pretty good luck with hunting, must be the spider-sense.”
“You want me to go ask someone else to hunt for me?” The derision in that suggested that Tony did not approve of that idea. “Uh, no thanks. It’s bad enough I have you catering to me, I’m not gonna ask someone else.”
“Steve, no. I only let you because I know why you want to do it and I don’t mind that. But only you, okay? No one else.”
While Steve was pleased and gratified to hear that, it was inconvenient right now. Tony needed to be fed but Steve had to deal with Pietro before he could do anything and that would take time Tony didn’t have. “Just this once, Tony, okay? I can’t do it but you’re in no shape right now to hunt for yourself.” The fact he wouldn’t let the genius even if he was didn’t need to be said. “Please, Tony. Do this for me?”
Tony scowled, tugged gently against the hold Steve had on him, then sighed. “Fine, but just this once!”
“Yeah, yeah. Now go rip him apart for me.” Tony said with a teasing grin as Steve let go and the super zombie bared his teeth in a parody of a smile.
“Plan on it.”
“Good. I’ll see if I can get Logan to answer his comm.” Tony gave Steve a push back toward the lift doors and Steve let him, backing away. “And bring me his head!”
Steve laughed and didn’t answer, the lift doors closing between him and Tony.
Logan did answer and with no small amount of grumbling, went off to fetch Tony dinner. It had burned so much at the pride he still clung to to ask for something like that. Damn Steve for still having that freaking power over him, even with both of them zombified. It just wasn’t fair, not at all.
Collapsing into a wheelie chair, Tony drew himself closer to one of his computers and brought up the city’s security system. Even since the outbreak, Tony had taken over and repurposed the system to act as his personal eyes and ears throughout the city. He primarily used it to keep track of where the residents of the Tower were wandering in order to make sure everyone was keeping to his rules. Tracking the humans was possible with it too but generally he didn’t bother, had no reason too. Everyone could hunt perfectly well on their own, there was no need to cheat and make the game too easy.
God but he was hungry. So freaking hungry. Internally he cursed Steve again and checked Wolverine’s position using the city cameras. The crazy assed zombie was on the prowl, lurking like the true predator he’d always been but was only less restricted now. Steve was right to send out Logan, he was by far the best at it and this late in the game Tony can’t afford to go hungry tonight.
He looked idly at one of the spare repulsor gauntlets, feeling that clawing urge to break and destroy but...well...he hadn’t left much else to incinerate or blow up. He was going to have to fix everything before he could break it again and that just went beyond his instincts at the moment.
He spun around and around in the chair, the ruins of his workshop blurring, thinking and debating on what to do. Logan would be some time yet and Tony didn’t wait well without something to focus on but there was no telling how long Steve was going to take and...wait a minute. Steve! That was perfect!
Grinning now, Tony let his chair spin to a slow stop and then righted himself in front of the computer, hands moving quickly over his keyboard. In moments he had the trackers implanted on Steve brought up and the city cameras locked on its location. And hello, polly, there he was. Steve. God, he’d been so in love with that man when he was human. Not that he wasn’t any less affected by him now but things were just different. Still...Captain America was badass, human Super Soldier or zombie Super Soldier didn’t even matter.
And right at this moment Cap was being his perfect badass self. Namely because it looked as though he was in the process of laying a trap for Quicksilver. Obviously Steve’s military mind remained perfectly intact and wasn’t that just fascinating? Tony leaned forward, resting his chin on his palm as his eyes were riveted to the screen.
Pietro was still as fast as he’d been before but he’d never been the smartest mutant out there to begin with so naturally he was even dumber now. There wasn’t anything wrong with that, Quicksilver’s speed usually was enough to make up for it in fights or hunting but even speed wasn’t going to save him now. Stealing from him just ensured Steve’s wrath and an angry human Steve had been terrifying enough, zombie Steve was downright brutal.
This show was gonna be even better then the porn Tony used to like. He sat back, threaded his fingers across his stomach and watched.
Being a zombie was incredibly conducive to his strategic mind and skill set. Without a pesky set of strong morals like he used to have, Steve was now able to bring forth all his training and utilize it in ways that before he would never have thought of.
Like now, for instance.
Steve observed his trap from a safe distance and allowed a satisfied smirk to settle on his face. He turned enough to wink at one of the cameras he knew was around and prepared himself to put on a show. Tony would be watching this, of that he had no doubt and the thought was electrifying. Mainly in that he knew the genius would be getting as much satisfaction from this as he planned to and it felt almost like getting to hunt together.
It felt like foreplay.
The trap itself was complex in its sheer simplicity and once Tony saw it in action he just knew the other would be impressed. Steve traced the edges of his shield patiently, waiting for the tell-tale signs of Quicksilver’s approach. This was a location the younger zombie utilized often on the way from the Tower to his own secondary living space and he was expecting him any moment.
Sure enough, after a few minutes wait, he could sense the disturbance heralding Pietro's approach. Steve crouched, shield at the ready and eyes narrowed in concentration, as a silver blurr came into view. He pulled back and threw just as Pietro let out a startled yelp and tripped, momentum interrupted for a crucial second that allowed Steve’s shield, now more red then red, white and blue after months of hunting, to slice cleanly through the part of his spinal cord located at the base of Pietro’s neck. The head went flying as Pietro’s body continued to run a few more stumbling paces before crashing into the ground.
Steve caught his shield off a rebound from a broken telephone pole and started toward where he’d seen the zombie’s head fall. Pietro was cursing up a storm until Steve stepped into his view and then he shut up quickly. Unable to help his satisfied grin, Steve bent to pick up the head by his hair and held him level with Steve’s own face.
The mutant zombie only glared mulishly at him and Steve shook his head mockingly. “What? Nothing to say anymore? You had quite a few words going there a moment ago.”
“Fuck you! I can’t believe you cut off my fucking head!”
“And I can’t believe how monumentally stupid you are but hey, learn something new every day, right?”
Pietro’s expression twisted into disgust. “Is this about Stark? Seriously? That is so fucking pathetic, honestly. The way you hunt for him and cottle him is truly gross. It’s like the most disturbing form of courtship I’ve ever seen. Mainly in that it’s happening at all. You two are such failures at being zombies.”
“Oh, and you’re such an outstanding example?” Steve said with a roll of his eyes as he pointedly shook Pietro’s severed head.
“Fuck you.” Pietro muttered petulantly and Steve just sighed.
“As punishment for stealing from Tony, you’ll be spending whatever remains of your life with him, just like this, however he sees fit to do with you.”
The bodiless zombie squawked in protest but Steve ignored him to head back to the Tower, shield in one hand and Pietro in the other.
“Holy shit, was that Wanda’s leg I tripped over?!”
“Possibly. I don’t remember what parts of her I put where.”
“That is so, so wrong.”
“Zombies, remember. Wrong is relative.”
Tony spun in his wheelie chair like a child and laughed, laughed, laughed.
“Play it again!”
Obeying, the computer replayed the moment where Pietro began to fall and Steve’s shield zoomed into view to slice cleanly through his neck.
“Again!” Tony crowed, snapping a pointer finger off of his meal to gnaw on happily as he watched the scene for the millionth time.
Logan had returned to drop off a human just before the whole trap went down and Tony had honestly never had such wonderful entertainment with supper before. The cameras couldn’t capture Steve’s conversation with the defenseless head but that hardly mattered when he saw that the Captain intended on bringing Pietro back like that, just as Tony had asked.
He crunched a bone to suck the marrow out and waved a red soaked hand to signal another replay. Tony was going to save this to the private servers and never ever get rid of it. If he ever needed a pick me up and Steve wasn’t around he now had this to hold him together.
Oh, he was such a lucky zombie, Tony mused, licking blood from between his fingers and paying no heed to how it also slicked the floor in a puddle at the base of his chair. He’d have to find some way to do something great for Steve in return.
Hadn’t the other mentioned something about wondering what villains were still around? Perhaps Tony could find the location of a few, like the Red Skull for example, and set up a hunt for the former Captain. Yes, that would work out beautifully, it would be a perfect present.
Tony reached down into the cracked open chest cavity of the human at his feet and ripped off a large chunk of lung, he was going to need the added brain fuel for a task like this. With a cheerful hum and delighted smile, Tony set to work.
And, if for hours and hours Tony forced Pietro to watch that same footage of his own decapitation, well, no one ever said he wasn’t still petty.