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Getting Ahead Of Yourself

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"Hey, Nat, you seeing this?"

Sam wasn't really surprised when Nat clambered up the side of the dorm – he hadn't even been sure she was there, but Jan had got him into the habit of assuming that Nat was always there – but he sure was when she leaned on the balcony wall next to him. He was kinda sweaty from his workout, but she didn't seem to care. "No, what are we looking for?"

"Over there, see Tony arguing?"

"When does he do anything else?" Nat murmured, but then she spotted it. Tony was getting up in Captain America's face, which was kinda what he expected because Tony had no sense of personal space. Or self-preservation. And Captain America was getting right back into Tony's space too, gesticulating with the arm that his shield was strapped to. That's what had caught Sam's attention in the first place; kinda hard to miss the big white star being waved around.

Except that they'd spoken to Steve half an hour ago, and SHIELD was on its way to pick him up in a shuttle because he was on the other side of the country. And when Sam looked a few yards over, he could see that same shield sticking out of the front of a tank.

There was a short pause while they watched Tony yell something about robots.

"So, you thinking clones or timefog?" Sam said eventually.

"You say that like it couldn't be both."

Another pause, and then Natasha sighed. "We should get this cleaned up before the real Steve Rogers arrives."

"When you say cleaned up," Sam started, then he stopped – and then he remembered exactly who he was talking and decided that no, he did actually have to ask. "You don't mean the kind of clean up that involves bodybags, right?"

Nat just smiled at him and swung herself back over the balcony. "Hit the showers, Falcon. I'm going to need you to watch them both while I do some digging. After that... We'll see."

(It ended up being the shortest shower of Sam's life, but at least Tony and Steve were both still alive when he got out of it.)