Tony Stark hated hospitals. And doctors, he hated doctors too, they thought so highly of themselves. But here he was, in a small hospital bed, waiting for more than two hours already at the A and E. His broken legs were not enough of an emergency it seemed and bribing the doctors didn’t work. None of them would take his money. They better had a damn hot nurse waiting for him in a skimpy skirt, because this was inhuman!
Right at that moment the curtains were moved aside and a very tall, very handsome blond man walked in. Well damn, he was hot, but he was not wearing a skimpy skirt. The greenish shirt and pants didn’t do him much good, expect that he had so much muscles that the shirt was a little tight on his arms. Not the best, but it was something, he could have been ugly, decided the genius billionaire.
‘Mister Stark, in about fifteen minutes there will be some time available to make an x-ray of your legs,’ said the man. ‘My colleague and I will move you to a different bed and we’ll have to take off your jeans in order to get a good picture.’
‘I’m not wearing underwear,’ said Tony. ‘But I’m sure you won’t mind seeing me naked, doctor.’
‘I’m a nurse and the x-ray will be made on the other side of the hospital. Do you want to be naked when I bring your bed there?’
Tony sighed. That is why he hated hospitals. They were never like they were in porn movies. In any movie he would be having sex with this hot nameless nurse within ten minutes, but no, in real life mister nurse had to be a sassy. ‘No I don’t.’
‘I thought so. I’ll get you something to wear.’
Tony sighed once more as the hot blond left the little room again. Maybe he should donate money to the hospital to get this hottie as his personal nurse and see how long it would take to get in his ugly green pants.
‘GOOD DAY MISTER! I SEE FRIEND STEVE HAS BEEN HERE. DID HE HAVE AN EMERGENCY TO ATTEND, SINCE HE IS NO LONGER AROUND?’
Tony’s eyes widened when he saw an even bigger blond. His hair tied in a little pony tail. ‘What the hell are you talking about?’ he asked. He was a genius, but what kind of idiot was this?
‘No, Thor, I’m here,’ said the hot blond who entered again. ‘Mister Stark said he wasn’t wearing any underwear, so I got him some. And remember to keep your voice down please.’
‘My apologies,’ said the one with the pony tail, apparently named Thor. He pulled a bed on wheels next to the bed Tony was lying in. One swift move of the muscular gods and Tony was in the other bed. Very carefully they took off his shoes and helped him out of his jeans. The genius winked at his hot nurse when the man looked at his nakedness. His grin disappeared when he saw the hideous underwear the man was showing him.
‘You don’t want to ride me around naked, but you would bring me to the other side of the hospital wearing that?!”
The nurse was already putting it on him and Tony couldn’t stop him.
‘That is why we have blankets,’ smiled the blond man. The moment he got the hideous white underwear in place he pulled the blankets over Tony’s legs and pushed the bed to the x-ray department. He completely ignored all the muttering about rather being naked.
But Tony was glad he wasn’t naked. The nurse who did his x-ray was a woman almost as big as his hot blond one. He never wanted to see her in a skimpy skirt for sure. He was incredibly happy when his guardian angel took him away from her again.
‘What’s your name?’ he asked. ‘I get tired of calling you ‘hot blond’ in my head.’
There was a soft laugh. ‘My name is Steve Rogers.’
‘Okay Steve, where the hell are we going now?’
‘Your room,’ answered Steve. ‘Thor has prepared a bed for you, so I’m afraid we will have to move you again. You can call some people if you want while we wait for the results of the x-ray. Depending on the results you need an operation or a splint. An operation won’t happen today, it’s too late for that, so maybe tomorrow. If you will only need surgical splint, you will be brought to a nursing home within a few days.’
‘A nursing home?’ Tony whined. ‘I’m not old enough to go there!’
‘Nursing home, or care home, whatever you want to call it. You’ll need to practice walking and you can’t do that on your own. You will get special care there.’
Tony complained about how he didn’t have time for all that nonsense when Steve pushed the bed into a room. That gave the billionaire even more to complain about. There were three other beds and they were all occupied.
‘I’m not getting my own room?’ he asked. ‘I’ll pay double if you bring me to a private room now. I’m not staying with noisy, stinking, loud people.’
‘You’re louder than any of them and we don’t have any one-person bedrooms available at the moment. This is the only place we have for you right now, so if you want privacy we can close the curtains for you.’
‘They will be able to hear me calling your name when I jerk myself off.’
‘Then either they will all know about your secret crush or you will have to be a big boy and wait with touching yourself until you are alone again.’
Thor and Steve moved Tony to yet another bed and Thor took the empty bed away. Steve closed the curtains a little and made sure everything was in place. He didn’t want Tony to fall out of bed.
‘Do you never watch porn?’ sighed the genius, more to himself than to the other man.
‘Like the ones where the nurse jumps her patient the moment he arrives in the hospital?’ Steve asked. ‘If I’d do that to you, you would never be able to walk again.’
‘Are you that good?’ smirked Tony.
‘No, it would damage your legs permanently,’ stated the nurse. ‘Now if there is anything you need, other than sex, you can push that button.’
‘I need my phone,’ said Tony before the man could leave. ‘It was in the pocket of my jeans.’
Steve searched through the pants and handed the other man his device. ‘I hope it still works after your fall.’
‘It’s a Stark phone, of course it still works.’
‘Pep, you’re a life saver!’
‘Try to remember that when I ask you to join a meeting,’ said the CEO of Stark Industries.
‘At least I can do some work now that I have a tablet and a laptop,’ smiled Tony. ‘I will design some new products and everybody will be happy again. They won’t even know I’m gone!’
‘No, since you never show up anywhere!’ sighed Pepper. ‘But you will to explain why you donated 500000 dollar to this hospital and you won’t have to explain to me alone.’
‘No, I would very much like to know as well,’ said a tall, bald, and intimidating black man in a long white coat. ‘I’m Nick Fury, director of this hospital.’
‘For research,’ stated Tony. ‘You needed more money for research, right? Maybe some nice new machines? Half a million should help out a little.’
‘Stark, you never donate anything if you don’t get anything in return. What is it you want?’
‘A private room and Steve as my personal nurse.’
‘Eh…’ Tony tried to remember his last name. Maybe he should have listened to the man instead of undressing him in his mind.
‘That would be Steve Rogers,’ said the man in the bed next to him. ‘Not that I’m listening to your conversation or anything. But I think you’re talking about Steve Rogers. He is the guy that helped you last night.’
Said Steve was called into the room and he showed up a minute later. ‘Is something wrong?’ he asked. ‘I was just picking up the results of Mister Stark’s x-ray and I was looking for the doctor who could explain what was going to happen.’
‘Nothing is wrong, Rogers,’ said Fury. ‘Aren’t you normally working in the children’s hospital?’
‘Yes, Mister Fury,’ said the blond. ‘But a few people called in sick today in this department, so they were short on people. We changed some shifts to help out. May I ask why that matters?’
‘Stark here donated half a million dollars to our hospital in exchange for a private room and you as his personal nurse. Think you can change a few more shifts until he can walk again?’
‘There are no private rooms available and we can’t make anyone change his place, since that could be dangerous for the other patients. Besides that, I have a…. special job at the children’s hospital.’
‘Oh my God!’ shouted the man from the bed next to them. ‘Are you one of those nurses that dress up as a super hero to make the kids happy? Which one are you? Superman! You must be Superman!’
‘Mister Barton, please…’
‘Which one are you?’ asked Tony, demanding an answer.
‘Captain America,’ sighed Steve.
‘Damn that suits you,’ laughed the billionaire. Not just Tony was laughing, the patients in the other beds were grinning as well.
‘I’m sure Clark Kent can do without you for a while,’ said Fury. ‘From today on you will start working on this department daily until Mister Stark can leave again. I’ll arrange things with the children’s hospital. Now if you will excuse me, I got half a million dollar to spend.’
‘I’m sorry about this,’ said Pepper and she put a hand on Steve’s shoulder.
‘Me too,’ said Steve as he put up the x-ray photos. ‘Since he will be stuck here for quite some time.’
Pepper’s eyes widened as she looked at them. The bones weren’t exactly in the right places anymore. She sighed and shook her head. ‘Well, one positive thing, he is more of a child than most of the kids you normally work with.’
‘Perfect room for him then,’ laughed Steve. ‘I got another one of those. I’m sorry Mister Coulson, Mister Banner, I’m afraid we have another one like Mister Barton.’
‘I might forgive you if you come here dressed up as Captain America,’ said Coulson very serious.
‘Maybe it’s not so bad to share a room after all,’ grinned Tony.
Steve opened his mouth to say something, then closed it again and just smiled. ‘I’ll go get the doctor.’
‘So, if you don’t mind me asking, what exactly did you do to get both your legs broken in a completely different place and to end up with the bones pointing in a different direction?’ asked one of the guys that Steve had addressed as Banner earlier.
‘Pretty heavy explosion in one of my workshops,’ said Tony. ‘It was so heavy that the floor collapsed and I fell one floor down. Didn’t end up on my feet. Or maybe I did. Whatever it was, it seems I broke both of my legs. Everything hurt, so I tried to get up and that might have been a stupid idea. Probably the reason of the bones sticking out in different directions.’
‘What were you doing that caused such a heavy explosion?’
‘Experiment went wrong. Didn’t know it was so explosive. The plan backfired badly. I fell down one floor, but the guy with me fell down several floors. That’s all I know.’
‘Wow, that is insane, man! You could have been dead,’ said Barton. ‘What happened to that dude?’
Tony wasn’t sure, so he shrugged.
‘He didn’t survive,’ said Steve who had helped them all sit up, so they could see each other while talking. ‘I read the little report in the emergency room. There was a second man found at the scene, but he had died before the ambulance arrived.’
‘His own fault,’ said Tony simply. He eyed the pyjamas Steve was holding. Pepper had just brought them. ‘I need to change?’
‘Yes, but I have to wash you first. Do you want me to close the curtain?’
‘I told my story, now I want to hear theirs too. Doubt I have anything they haven’t seen before.’
‘Just don’t get too excited about your wet dream giving you a sponge bath, Stark,’ laughed Barton.
‘What’s your name?’
‘Clint, you can call me Tony. And if you want to stop me from getting too excited about my lovely nurse here, you better start boring me with your little story.’
‘An arrow in my shoulder,’ said Clint. ‘Asshole used a crossbow and shot me in the damn shoulder. Shattered some bones. Hurt like hell, I can tell you that.’
‘Why were you with a guy with a cross bow, Robin Hood?’
‘I’m an archer and yes you can laugh at that, but it’s an art. I’m the best archer in the damn world and that idiot was jealous, so he shot me! How sad is that?’
‘Pretty sad,’ said Tony. ‘Stevie, can you be a little more gentle with that damn sponge?!’
‘Don’t call me Stevie and stop being a baby. You can cry when I reach your legs. You’re not feeling much yet because of the painkillers, but I have to wash them before your surgery tomorrow. Maybe Mister Banner can tell you his story, you might be more interested in that.’
‘Bruce, just call me Bruce. My story is not that spectacular,’ mumbled Bruce. ‘A bit like your story, Tony. I was working in my lab. Not an engineering lab, but chemical. I was working with gamma radiation, but something went wrong. My colleague pushed me away, but in the process she knocked over a few bottles. They were pretty harmless, but together it became a deadly mix and burned some of my flesh from my bones. Looked pretty bad, but it’s better than getting in touch with gamma radiation.’
‘To say it looked pretty bad is a terrible understatement,’ laughed Clint. ‘I heard that one nurse fainted and another one threw up when they saw your wound. They had to call in Steve to help out!’
‘And you’ve been here for more than a month and you’ll be here for at least another month,’ said Coulson. ‘That is more than pretty bad.’
‘It is bad,’ said Steve. ‘But since some of the nerves were burned he doesn’t really feel anything. Which reminds me, we have to change your bandages. Mister Stark, can put on your shirt yourself, please?’
‘If you call me Tony I will, Captain America.’
‘Tony, could you please put on your shirt yourself? Thank you,’ said Steve a little annoyed. He handed the man his shirt before going to Bruce to take care of the bandages. ‘Mister Coulson, will you tell them your story too?’
‘You can call me Phil,’ said the older man. ‘I was stabbed in the back. Punctured lung. I was lucky, they almost hit my heart, could have been dead. But I’m almost done here. I’ll go to rehabilitation soon. Breathing is still a little difficult.’
‘How do you get stabbed in the back?’ asked Clint.
‘Okay, anyway, Steve, why are you here?’ asked Tony.
‘Because you paid Mister Fury half a million dollar to have me here,’ replied the nurse without looking up from his work on Bruce.
‘I did,’ laughed Tony. ‘But you don’t get muscles like that from normal work-out and you are called when others faint or puke over themself when seeing a scary wound.’
‘Yes, I was in the army before,’ smiled Steve. ‘But I got kicked out.’
The four men looked at him expectantly. They all wanted to hear his story too. Steve finished the bandages and walked to the little table in the room. He leaned against it and crossed his arms.
‘With five others I was out to scout the neighbourhood. Normally we used helicopters, but one was blown out of the air the day before. We were ambushed. Walked right into the trap. I noticed it, called it over the radio to the others, but our captain didn’t listen and ordered us to continue. Peggy and Bucky, my best friend and my…well crush were in the team as well, so I tried to convince them to stop. I got scolded, they didn’t believe me or didn’t dare to go against the captain, so they continued.’
‘Did you follow them?’ asked Clint when Steve paused his story.
‘No. Wouldn’t be here if I did. Not even three minutes later they were shot. Not with normal bullets, but with ones that explode. I had to see how my friends and colleagues were literally blown to pieces. Couldn’t do anything to save them. I couldn’t see the enemy, but I knew where they had to be. One grenade. It took me one grenade and managed to get them all down. Back in camp I had to write a report about what happened while others went to collect the pieces of my friends. A few months before someone had spilled to the general that I’m homosexual. He didn’t like it, but couldn’t kick me out because of it. Now he had a reason. I ignored an order, even if it would kill me, that is not tolerable. Dishonourable discharge.’
‘Sounds like the army,’ commented Tony. ‘They rather see you dead than that you disobey an order. So why a nurse? You could have become a model with that damn looks.’
Steve laughed. ‘I doubt I’d be a good model. I spend half of my childhood in hospital. I was always sick. I hated hospitals. Medication and puberty helped me to get over most of it. So when I once again had to choose what I wanted in my future I decided I wanted to help kids who have to go through the same as I had. Or grown up men, seeing I’ll be stuck here for a few weeks.’
‘How often are you Captain America?’ asked Tony.
‘Twice a week,’ answered the nurse. ‘Wednesday mornings and Saturday afternoon. Just two hours a day.’
‘Then go and do that. The others can handle things without you for a few hours. We’ll be good, so you can be a hero for the sick kiddies. You disobeyed orders in the army, so I’m sure you’re not afraid to do the same with Fury.’
‘Thank you,’ smiled Steve.
‘No Tony, I really have to go now. I know it’s only half an hour before your surgery, but I have to catch a plane,’ sighed Pepper. She tried to pull her hand from Tony’s iron grip.
‘Use the private plane, you can leave whenever,’ whined the billionaire. ‘If you call them now they can even make sure there will be male strippers. And food, lots of food! Strawberries covered in chocolate. No, no strawberries, just chocolate!’
Impatiently Pepper pushed the button next to the bed and not even a minute later Steve showed up. He smiled when he saw the scene in front of him. It was a good thing the others were out for a walk or for their therapy, because the incredibly rich man acted like a little kid. He carefully peeled Tony’s fingers from Pepper’s wrist. The moment she was released she ran from the room, shouting a goodbye at the two of them.
‘I hate you!’ grumbled Tony. ‘And I’m hungry.’
‘I know,’ answered Steve as he closed the curtains around the bed. ‘Just a little longer. I’ll prepare you for the surgery now. When I’m done I’ll take you to another room where the anaesthetist will come to get you to sleep. When you wake up I will be there again and both of your legs will be in splints. I will get you back to this room and tomorrow the doctor will tell if everything went fine or if there were any problems.’
‘Do I have to wear one of those things with no backside?’ asked Tony.
‘Yes,’ laughed Steve. ‘And I do have to take off your underwear. You don’t want to get it soiled.’
‘You just want to see me naked!’
‘Of course I do. Normally I only get to work with kids, so now that I’m stuck here with you I will make sure I get something out of this deal as well.’
‘Even if you were 100 per cent straight you wouldn’t be able to keep your hands to yourself with a hot piece of ass like me in a bed and not able to run,’ joked Tony.
‘You better be careful, I might start stalking you when you leave,’ smiled Steve as he finished changing the other man.
Tony wanted to say something about the other man following him into his bed, but at that moment his stomach rumbled. ‘Okay that was embarrassing.’
‘Of course not, you haven’t eaten at all today,’ answered the nurse. ‘Anything in particular you want when you wake up? From now on you will get healthy vegetables every day, but this once I can make an exception for you. Only this once.’
‘Pizza?’ asked Tony
‘Sure, anything you want or don’t want on it?’
‘Everything that is bad for your health.’
‘I hope you will still feel like that after surgery,’ grinned Steve.
When Tony woke up the first time Steve was smiling and talking to him. He couldn’t really hear what the other was saying, he was still way too sleepy. He heard something about changing and he tried to nod, but he wasn’t sure if he was actually nodding. His head felt weird. But the nurse was helping him into clean pyjamas, so he probably understood somehow.
The second time he woke up by the smell of pizza. He immediately opened his eyes and searched for the source of the smell. He noticed Steve sitting next to his bed, a box in his hands. He tried to sit up, but couldn’t. He felt the strong hands of the nurse pulling him up and helping him sit straight carefully.
‘Looks like you’re doing pretty well,’ Steve said when he was done. ‘Any pain or is your medication still working?’
‘I don’t feel anything, except my stomach that is calling for the pizza that you promised.’
Those words were enough for the nurse to know the other was doing fine at the moment. He handed him the box and opened it for him. A hot pizza with all of the worst ingredients appeared. Tony licked his lips, grabbed a piece and took a bite. It felt like heaven. Where else would angels hand you delicious pizza? Speaking of angels, Steve was looking different.
‘You’re not wearing the hideous green.’
‘No, my shift has ended, so I changed back into my own clothes,’ said Steve as he sat back down in the chair. ‘And as a nurse I’m not allowed to bring you pizza, but as a visitor I am.’
‘I knew I was right when I decided you were my favourite,’ Tony said after another bite.
‘Damn right!’ said Clint from the bed next to him. ‘He got all of us pizza. Those kids sure are lucky to have you around. They must be begging to have you back already!’
‘Not happening,’ said Tony with his mouth full. ‘Soldier is staying here!’
In the middle of the night Tony woke up in pain. His legs hurt like hell and it got worse and worse. He slammed the button, mumbling that Steve should come and help him already. He was biting his hands to keep himself from crying out. He wasn’t crying. Damn it, he wasn’t crying!
When a nurse finally entered the room, it wasn’t Steve. He grabbed the woman’s arms and begged her to help him get rid of the pain. She was strict and told him to lie back down. He tried to shake her, get some sense into her. Couldn’t she see he felt like he was dying. He told her to get him Steve. She had to get Steve, he would know what to do. He would help him.
The nurse pushed him back down in the bed and threatened to tase him if he wouldn’t stay there. But only when she showed him she was actually carrying a taser around he got quiet. She got him heavy painkillers and told him to shut up when he started asking for Steve again. She hurried out of the room and it felt like hours before Tony fell asleep again.
‘That whiney ass boy of yours was crying and clinging to me last night!’ complained the nurse the next morning when Steve came out of the dressing room in his usual green outfit. ‘Almost had to use my taser on him.’
‘Darcy!’ said Steve shocked. ‘You can’t do that to patients! And don’t talk about them like that either. If it’s Tony you’re talking about, did you check if he had a fever? He had surgery yesterday, so it wouldn’t be unlikely.’
‘I didn’t check,’ answered Darcy. ‘But he got painkillers and he fell asleep again, so I’m sure he is fine.’
‘You’re the worst nurse I ever met,’ complained Steve. ‘He is just scared, Darcy. He is terrified of hospitals. Can’t you see?’ He didn’t wait for an answer and quickly walked to the room where Tony was staying. He greeted the men in the room and walked immediately to the billionaire. He checked his temperature. A bit higher than it should be. It probably had been worse last night.
‘Did any of you hear him last night?’ he asked the others in the room.
‘He was asking for you,’ said Clint. ‘Sounded like he was in pain. That nurse lady gave him something, but even after that he kept muttering things for a long time. Didn’t make much sense.’
‘He has a fever,’ answered Steve to explain what had happened. ‘I’ll get him some medication and I’ll get your breakfast, gentlemen. Not for you Clint, your surgery is in two hours.’
He left the room, only to return again a few minutes later. He gave Bruce and Phil their food before he went back to Tony. He gently woke the man up and smiled at the confused look the other was giving him.
‘Good morning,’ the nurse said friendly. ‘You’re having a light fever, so you should take this medicine.’
He helped Tony to sit up and handed him a few pills and a glass of water. The genius took them and handed the glass back. Steve took out a tray with breakfast and asked if he wanted something. Tony shook his head.
‘Coffee,’ he whispered.
‘Just coffee?’ Steve asked. He wasn’t really surprised. ‘Black I assume?’
After the coffee Tony fell asleep again. Steve helped Clint to get ready for, hopefully, his last surgery. When Clint was gone he helped Phil with taking a shower and he washed Bruce, since he still wasn’t allowed to get out of bed. He gave them their medication and when they were both ready and reading books, he left to fill in some forms. It was all the same as in the children’s hospital. The only difference was that these guys were a little heavier, but it was nothing he couldn’t handle.
Steve went to help his colleagues in the other rooms until it was time for lunch. He took four trays and went to his assigned room. He handed Bruce and Phil their lunch, before he went to check on Clint. He had returned to the room, but he was still asleep. Steve put the tray on the little table next to the bed. The archer would be hungry when he woke up. Finally he went to check on Tony. His temperature was almost back to normal, so Steve gently woke him up.
‘I smell coffee,’ was the first thing Tony said, even before he opened his eyes.
‘Yes, I brought you lunch, with coffee,’ answered the blond. ‘A thermos filled with it, since that one cup from this morning didn’t seem to be enough for you.’
‘Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?’ asked Tony as he reached for the thermos.
‘Nope, I landed safe and sound,’ laughed Steve as he handed the other man the thermos. ‘It did hurt when they ripped off my wings though.’
‘Damn, they would totally suit you. It would be incredibly sexy if you would wear them while riding me.’
‘Don’t you dare buy me a pair!’ said Steve strictly. There was a beautiful blush on his cheeks and Tony decided he wanted to see that nice shade of red more often.
‘That was NOT the first thing I wanted to hear when I woke up, Stark!’ complained Clint, who apparently had just woken up.
‘You’re just jealous! You want to woo my lovely Steve too, but you know you won’t stand a change next to me!’
‘Tony, shut up and eat your lunch,’ said Steve and he put Tony’s tablet and laptop away. ‘You don’t get these back until you’re done eating. You didn’t have breakfast, so I want you to eat this all. And you better get started, the doctor will be here for you in half an hour. As for you, Clint, hearing you can complain about Tony, I assume you’re not in pain. Would you like to have your lunch too?’
‘Yeah, I’m pretty hungry,’ answered the archer and he took the tray from Steve.
‘Your friend is waiting for you downstairs, I will let her know you’re awake,’ said the nurse. ‘And Phil, tomorrow there will be a room available for your rehabilitation. So tomorrow somewhere in the afternoon we will move you there. It’s a shared room, but you will have a very nice roommate. A man your age who is learning how to walk again. Tony, this is the last coffee you get today, so don’t drink it all at once.’
‘Sir, yes sir,’ answered Tony as he put the coffee aside.
Steve was almost out of the room when he heard that last comment. He turned around and crossed his arms in front of his broad chest. He was standing up straight and his usual smile was gone. He looked impressive, even in the hideous pastel green.
‘You think I’m strict, Stark?’ he asked, all the friendliness gone from his voice. He slowly walked back to Tony’s bed. ‘You don’t know anything about the strictness of the army. I can be strict if that is how you like it. Just ask! But when you open your big mouth, keep in mind I can break your leg in yet another place with my bare hands.’ Steve is towering over the bed and the two are looking at each other, not breaking eye contact.
‘Sexy,’ purred Tony.
Steve starts laughing. ‘I don’t have what it takes anymore. All those kids turned me in a friendly giant.’
‘I prefer the friendly nurse Captain America over scary soldier Steve,’ answered Tony. ‘Unless you’re into role play. Then I’d say we try both. Do you still have one of your uniforms? I can probably dig up a nice tiny nurse dress in your size. Do you do dresses?’
‘Who knows, I might!’ said Steve with a wink. ‘Clint, I’ll get your visitor now, sorry for the delay!’
Tony wants to focus on his lunch, but Phil coughed to get his attention.
‘Stark, if you end up having casual sex with Steve I will cut off your balls. We’ve known him longer than you and he is a sweet boy that wants a serious relationship. You will not use him for your own pleasure, only to throw him away. I know your reputation, Stark. Just try to remember what is good for him instead of following your dick.’
Tony raised his eyebrows. ‘Alright, I was just joking, but I will make sure to court him in a way that will please you.’
The room was filled with visitors. Next to Clint sat a beautiful red haired woman that looked pretty dangerous. Next to Bruce sat a woman with long brown hair and an old man that looked uncomfortable. Bruce had told them the woman was the colleague who had saved him from the radiation and the man was her father, the man he was working for. Around Phil’s bed where at least six guys in black suits and with sunglasses. Tony really didn’t want to know in what kind of business Phil was working, but he took the threat from earlier more serious now.
Tony himself didn’t get any visitors, so he was working on his laptop. The only one he had was Pepper and she was away for business. He was typing away, planning things and changing designs. He wished he could actually make something, but he probably won’t be able to go back to his lab anytime soon. He could only hope the fixing of his lab went well. The damage had been pretty bad. He would ask Pepper to make pictures when she returned.
He had just texted her about the results. The doctor had told him that the surgery had been successful and after the weekend he could leave. Not home of course, to a care home. He wasn’t looking forward to it. When he was working he was distracted, but he was only here for two days and he was already bored
‘No visitors today either?’ asked Steve.
‘No visitors tonight or tomorrow either,’ smiled Tony. ‘Pepper is abroad for business.’
Steve sat down next to his bed. ‘And there is no one else? No family or friends?’
‘I’m an only child from two parents who didn’t have siblings either,’ mumbled Tony, looking at his laptop. ‘And friends only care about my money. They could all have read in the papers what happened and that I was in hospital, but no one called. Not that I give a damn about them, but still, they could have called.’
‘I know the feeling,’ said Steve. ‘My parents died when I was still pretty young and I was left without any siblings either. My grandmother took care of me, but she passed away too. Most of my friends I knew from the army, so either they died or they didn’t contact me anymore when I was kicked out.’
‘What about your colleagues from the hospital?’ asked Tony a little surprised. ‘You’re always happy and friendly. Rainbows and unicorns! Why wouldn’t any of them want to befriend you?’
‘I don’t know, they keep their distance. Sometimes I wonder if they heard about what happened in the army. But then again, most of them spend their lunchtime alone or with just one or two people.’
‘I bet they’re jealous.’
Steve raised his eyebrows. ‘Why would they be jealous of me?’
‘Steve, seriously, have you looked in the mirror lately?’ Tony asked. ‘You are fucking beautiful and too damn friendly for you own good. All the patients love you. The boss loves you, because you’re doing such a good job. You’re everyone’s favourite, so yeah, people get jealous of that. People like you are loved or hated. Patients love you, colleagues get jealous of you! What I’m really surprised about is that you don’t have a boyfriend. You’re like perfect. Why aren’t there a hundred gay guys outside of the hospital waiting until your shift is over and you finally go home?’
The nurse blushed a little. ‘Thank you. I want to do whatever I can for my patients. I didn’t know others could feel offended by that. But I’m not stopping. This work is all I have. I don’t go out often, so I don’t really meet any guys.’
‘One positive thing about me breaking my legs then,’ said Tony. ‘The moment I can walk again I will take you out. If you really don’t want it to be a date when can go as friends.’
Steve smiled. ‘I’d like that. But I actually came here because I have this stuff that will make the cuts on your back and arms heal faster. We’ve been focusing on your legs, but I noticed some cuts were pretty big.’
He closed the curtain and Tony took off his shirt. Steve handed him some of the cream, so the man could treat the cuts on his arms and chest. The blond took care of his back. He gently rubbed his hands over the many places that were hurt. Tony let out a soft moan when the hands started to massage his back.
‘See, that is why patients love you,’ he murmured.
Normally people looked forward to the weekend, but in the hospital weekends were boring. Not only did Steve had this weekend off, but there were less nurses around anyway. Nobody really paid attention to the patients and the visiting hours weren’t until the afternoon. The four men filled the hours by talking to each other and playing stupid games.
After lunch some of the guys went to sleep. Tony wasn’t tired at all. The last few days he had slept more than he had done the weeks before. He sometimes skipped a night, but the only thing more boring than weekends were the nights in hospitals.
So Tony was bored. Extremely bored. He had watched television, but there was nothing interesting. He had tried working, but he couldn’t focus. He had even tried reading, but he hated reading, so he quickly stopped. He had to go to the bathroom, but doing so was pretty embarrassing when you couldn’t get out of your bed. He tried to figure out if there was a way where he could go on his own, but even with his brain he couldn’t come up with a solution.
Then the doors opened and two nurses came to get Phil. He would be moved to his new room, for rehabilitation. The building was, just like the children’s hospital, connected to the normal hospital, so it was easy to move him there. The two nurses helped Phil out of bed and into a wheelchair. One of them started packing his things and the other put clean sheets on the bed. They were almost done when the door slammed open.
All six people in the room watched wide-eyed at Captain America that was standing slightly panting in their room. For a few moments nobody moved and nobody spoke. Then Tony started laughing.
‘He did it! He actually did it! Fucking fabulous, Steve. Come on, turn around, show yourself! God, you even have a shield!’
Clint was laughing too and Bruce was chuckling. Phil had a wide grin on his face.
‘Did you walk through the hospital like that to say goodbye to me?’ he asked.
‘Worse,’ grinned Steve back. ‘I ran through the hospital looking like this, because I thought you would already be gone. There aren’t many people around at this hour, but one man asked if he had to assemble the avengers for me.’
‘What did you tell him?’ asked Clint.
‘That there was no need, because I could deal with this on my own.’
‘Sorry Rogers,’ said one of the nurses. ‘You are Rogers, right? We have to take Mr Coulson to his new room now, so if you could move please.’
Steve pulled the cap off his face, so they could recognize him. ‘If you give me the number of the room I will take him there.’
The nurses hesitated, but agreed with a little persuading from the other men in the room. They talked a little longer about super heroes and how much the kids loved it when Steve dressed up like this. That is when the visiting hour started and Steve quickly had to take Phil to his new room, because his visitors were already informed that he would be there.
Steve put his cap back up, grabbed all of Phil’s things and strapped them on his back. Phil said goodbye to everyone and then Steve pushed the wheelchair out of the room. Everyone in the hospital was looking at them, but neither Phil nor Steve cared. The nurse helped his patient to get comfortable in his new room. Phil talked to his new roommate while Steve put all his things in the closet. When the visitors arrived Steve left and walked all the way back to the room where Tony was staying. He knew the man wouldn’t get any visitors and he was in the hospital now anyway, so he didn’t mind staying a little longer.
He walked back and because he was alone now, he was stopped by several kids for a photo and even autographs. When he had the chance he escaped the kids and hurried to the room. He couldn’t help but smile when he saw the grin on Tony’s face.
‘What did I do that I got a visit from Captain America himself?’ he asked as Steve sat down on the chair next to his bed. He pulled the cap down, so the other people in the room would stop staring at him.
‘I was in the neighbourhood,’ Steve laughed. ‘I wanted to change, but I thought it would take too long. Didn’t think that I would be attacked by a bunch of kids on my way here. I’ll change when visiting hour is over.’
‘You shouldn’t change,’ smirked Tony. ‘Go outside with a sign that you’re gay and in no time you will be attacked by a bunch of guys. That suit doesn’t hide much, very pleasant to look at.’
‘Is it really that bad?’ asked Steve as he looked at his arms, legs en his crotch.
Tony laughed at the bright red cheeks of the blond. ‘No, kidding, kidding. It’s a little tight, but not too tight. You look damn good. Nobody else can pull it off. I’m so gonna add this to my list with sexy role play ideas.’
He didn’t complain about the punch against him arm, because he knew he deserved it.
Tony never liked a Monday better than this Monday. After spending an entire Sunday with a nurse with no sense of humour he was extremely happy to see Steve again. The genius caught himself thinking that Steve’s smile brightened the entire room, so he quickly shook his head. He wasn’t sappy and the bloody hospital was not ever going to turn him into a sappy man either. He quickly focused on the nurse’s lovely rear as he bend over to help Bruce with something.
‘Do you work out?’ Tony asked the moment Steve came to help him sit up.
‘Good morning to you too,’ answered the blond. ‘But if you really want to know, yes I work out, but only once a week. Everything else is from helping people like you, or kids, normally.’
‘Damn, I was hoping you could give me the secret to get an ass like yours, but if that means carrying people around I will stick to the one I have now.’
‘Nothing wrong with your ass,’ Steve said as he handed Tony his breakfast. With extra coffee, of course. ‘I can tell, I’ve seen it and I will wash it again after you ate your breakfast. Everything this time. I heard you didn’t eat anything yesterday morning.’
‘Yeah, yeah,’ mumbled Tony as he rolled his eyes. Steve ignored it. He wanted to go to Clint’s bed, but the billionaire stopped him.
‘How do you get muscles like that from helping kids the way you help us? They’re not heavy, you can lift them with your pinky finger.’
‘Well, last Saturday I was dared to race a boy in a wheelchair. I had to carry two of the other kids while doing so. Nothing I can’t handle until suddenly all the kids in wheelchairs want to race me. That comes close to army practice.’
‘Captain America is keeping you in shape!’ cried Tony happily. ‘Totally understand him. With a costume like that you need to keep your lovely ass in shape.’
This time Steve rolled his eyes and moved to Clint’s bed. He helped the man up and gave him his breakfast as well. The moment he wanted to leave the room, the door was almost slammed in his face and two police officers walked in. Steve only knew they were from the police, because they were showing him their badge.
‘We’re here to talk to Mister Stark,’ said one of them. ‘About what happened to Obadiah Stane.’
Steve looked over his shoulder at Tony. ‘I’m afraid you will have to wait. Mister Stark is having his breakfast and due to a fever he hasn’t been eating properly lately. It’s important for him to eat well to get enough strength to recover as quickly as possible. So would the two of you mind waiting at the table in the hall way, I will prepare him for having this conversation with you.’
‘Sir, it’s pretty urgent,’ said the men and he tried to walk past Steve.
The big nurse stepped aside, blocking the way to Tony’s bed. ‘It took you almost a week to come here and talk to him, I’m sure it can wait another thirty minutes. Now if you could please leave the room, these patients need their rest.’
Still muttering protests the two left the room. ‘Please let Mister Stark know that he can call a solicitor if he wants. Or if he doesn’t need it, anybody else who can help him around could join him. And is there some place around where we can talk in private when he is ready?’ said the second policeman, who hadn’t spoken before.
‘Yes there is and I’ll let him know,’ answered Steve with a smile. He turned back to Tony and noticed the man hadn’t been eating.
‘I told you to finish your breakfast,’ the nurse said, very calm. ‘You haven’t even started yet. You can’t let the police wait for more than half an hour and I will need about fifteen minutes to wash your body, so hurry up.’
‘You sent those guys away so he would eat his breakfast?’ asked Bruce surprised.
‘Yes,’ answered Steve. ‘His health is more important. And the way he marched in here and demanded to speak with Tony annoyed me.’
Clint laughed and Tony grinned. ‘So, did that second guy whisper his love confessions to you or did he have something important to tell me?’
‘He asked if there was a private place around here where we could meet after I prepared you,’ said Steve seriously.
Tony wiggled his eyebrows. ‘We’re going to have a threesome?’
‘He asked if you wanted to call your solicitor. To join in the conversation you will be having with them. Or, if you think you don’t need one, anybody else. To help you around or whatever. So is there anyone I should call for you, or will you make the call yourself?’
‘Stevie, I told you there is no one,’ sighed Tony. ‘I just go alone. My solicitor doesn’t really like me, because of…. things that happened in the past. And I don’t need him anyway, I did nothing wrong. This time.’
Steve sighed. ‘Okay, first, don’t call me Stevie. Second, you paid half a million dollar only to have me give you a sponge bath and to make sure you eat your food? You obviously don’t want to talk to them on your own, so why aren’t you asking me to come with you? I’m an extra on this floor, all the other nurses have their own jobs, so I hardly have anything to do anyway. If you only want me here so you can look at my pretty face I’d rather go back and help out with the kids.’
‘I asked for you, because you had been the only one that was actually nice to me and I met five nurses before you appeared,’ answered Tony. ‘The others recognized me and I could see them thinking that I deserved having my legs broken. Your pretty face is a nice extra. And yes, I would like you to be there when I talk to the police.’
‘Still you flirted with me like we were in some bad porn movie,’ answered the nurse.
‘Had to see if you could handle it,’ smirked Tony. ‘Since I can’t stop myself from flirting when I’m around good looking people.’
‘Can you two please stop this?!’ begged Clint. ‘The unresolved sexual tension here is killing me!’
Tony sat in a wheelchair across from the two policemen. Steve was sitting next to him, eyeing the two men in suits suspiciously. Ever since he got kicked out of the army he didn’t really like people who were supposed to keep their world peaceful. Probably the main reason why he had kicked them out of the room earlier this morning. It still amused Tony, but there were more serious things to focus on now.
‘We have been investigating your tower,’ said one of the men. ‘The workshop is a complete mess, so it was hard to tell what exactly happened. We assumed an experiment went wrong, but it could have been an attack on your life. Do you have any idea what happened? Could you tell us everything that happened that might be relevant?’
‘I know exactly what happened,’ answered the billionaire. ‘I was in my workshop, working on some new products for Stark Industries. The workshop is closed off for everyone, except Miss Potts and Obadiah Stane. Somewhere in the afternoon the doors opened and Stane entered. Didn’t happen often, so I asked him what was wrong. He told me I was what was wrong. He asked me why I didn’t die.’
Tony inhales deeply. He didn’t like telling this story. He had been laughing it off the past few days, but what had happened had scarred him, in different ways. He felt Steve’s hand on his own and looked up at the man. The nurse didn’t say anything, but he could see the question in his eyes: ‘are you alright?’
‘He was behind my kidnapping in Afghanistan a few years ago. He told me that he tried to get rid of me, so he could get his hands on the company. He wanted to start producing weapons again. During the few years between the kidnapping and now he had tried a few more times. Some of them I hadn’t even noticed, but now I understood he was the one who cut the brakes in my car. He told me he was sick of it and that he would get rid of me for once and for all. He kept some of the weapons. I had told him to destroy everything, but he had kept a few, I don’t know where. He was still selling them, secretly, to terrorists like the ones that kidnapped me.’
‘I got pissed and told him to just fuck off. Told him I didn’t want him in the company anymore and that I never wanted to see his face again. Not a smart thing. He took one of the smaller weapons from his pocket. Looked like a rocket, but one you could shoot from a gun. Worked on most Stark Industry guns, but he used a different model. It backfired. The thing exploded right after he fired it. I was several yards away, but I was pushed back by the power of the explosion. The floor collapsed under the pressure and because of all the heavy machines in the workshop the next few floors collapsed as well. I was lucky, only fell one floor down. Could have been dead.’
‘We found traces of that weapon,’ said one of the policemen. ‘Mister Stane’s face, chest and arms were covered in several wounds due to the explosion and most of his bones were broken, because of the fall. That would all confirm your story, but we couldn’t find any other proof. I doubt you will end up in court for this, but is there anything else you can tell us?’
‘I can prove it,’ said Tony. ‘If I can get to the tower I can check the computer. I have one monitoring the entire building and it records everything that happens in my workshop. Even if the video will be destroyed I might be able to get the audio records. But I have to get to the tower to do that. Is that possible?’
‘We are done with our investigations, so you can return to the tower whenever the hospital will allow you to leave. Just let us know, so one of us can come as well. We noticed they had already started with rebuilding.’
‘Yes, I asked them to start working the moment they were allowed in again,’ answered the billionaire. ‘Steve, when do you think I could go to the tower?’
‘If you can do the things from a wheelchair you can go whenever,’ answered the nurse. He noticed he was still holding Tony’s hand, so he quickly let go. ‘There will probably be a room in the care home available tomorrow. For you and Clint. So if there is someone to help you around you can go. Just let the staff know.’
‘Alright, Saturday then,’ answered Tony. ‘Would that be alright? Saturday morning, around ten.’
The policeman wrote it down in his agenda, told Tony to write his statement on paper and they said their goodbyes. Steve showed them the way out before he returned to his patient. Tony was struggling with the wheelchair.
‘Why is this fucking thing not moving?’ asked the genius impatient.
‘Because I used the breaks,’ laughed Steve as he sat back down on the chair. ‘Just push here and you can move around. But I want to talk to you before I take you back. Tony, you need someone to push your wheelchair, but not just that. You will need a car that is big enough for you to fit in, with the wheelchair. Or someone who can get you out of the chair and put you in the car. I don’t know if the elevators work, but if not, someone will have to carry you upstairs. And should I start about what will happen if you have to use the bathroom?’
‘Okay, so I can’t ask Pepper and I can’t ask my driver either,’ sighed Tony. ‘I don’t like asking this, but do you have anything Saturday? I’ll buy you lunch!’
‘I actually have to be Captain America on Saturday morning, I switched shifts,’ answered Steve. ‘But I will switch again with the girl who reads stories to the kids on Saturday afternoon. Then when I take you back to the hospital I will stay and play with the kids.’
‘You’re a life saviour.’
‘No, I’m not,’ whispered Steve. Tony looked surprised at the sudden sas tone in his voice. ‘I think I was in Afghanistan the same time you were. I was never asked for a search squad, but I remember how relieved everyone was when you were found. We could do our job without worrying about you being at the location we had to attack or defend.
‘Do you still dream about sand and heat as well?’ asked Tony.
‘Yes, mixed with dead bodies.’
‘So gentlemen, are you ready?’ asked Steve as he walked into the room. ‘Your room in the care home is empty and cleaned, so we can move.’ He helped Tony out of the bed and into the wheelchair. He grabbed the last pieces of clothing that Tony couldn’t get himself and he handed him the bag. ‘You will have to get there yourself, because in the care home they help you in the morning and put you in the wheelchair, but then you have to do things yourself. You better get used to it immediately.’
‘You wouldn’t be so cruel,’ huffed Tony. ‘You can’t leave me alone when I’m all lonely and sad.’
‘Tony, I will return to the children’s hospital tomorrow. The work of the people in the care home is completely different from the work I do.’
Tony’s eyes widened. ‘You’re not coming? But I’ll be all alone!’
‘Clint will be there,’ smiled Steve. ‘You won’t be alone. There are a lot of people and you can leave your room to talk to them wherever you want, even outside. And maybe there are hot nurses.’
‘They can’t compare to you,’ was all Tony answered.
‘Thank you,’ grinned Steve. ‘But flattering me is not going to get you anywhere. I really can’t come with you. But if you really miss me you can come and race Captain America tomorrow.’
‘Can I?’ asked the genius.
‘You’re the biggest five-year-old in the entire hospital,’ laughed Steve. ‘I’m sure they won’t mind.’
Weekends in the hospital were boring, but in the care home every day was boring. Tony tried reminding himself that it wasn’t even a day ago since Steve had left him there. This morning had been interesting. He and Clint had gotten dressed and got a nice breakfast. When they finished it they hid their trays and tricked one of the nurses in giving them another breakfast.
After that they were both taken to therapy. Tony learned how to easily use the wheelchair and they even tried to make him use crutches, but that wasn’t a success yet. Clint practiced using his shoulder again and it went very well. They told him he could probably go home in about a week. They went back to their room and the attractive redhead was waiting for Clint. The two chatted a little until the moment they got their lunch. They left Tony alone and went outside.
The genius sighed. He ate his lunch in silence at the little table in the room. There was only a tiny cup of coffee and when he had asked for more the nurse had started bitching at him. So when he was done he took all the trays, also from their extra breakfast, and scattered them across the room, just to piss the woman off. He quickly wheeled out of the room, because he didn’t want to be around when she came back.
It was quite a long way to the children’s hospital and his arms hurt a little, but he knew it would be worth the trouble. He asked which floor he had to be and when the doors dings open he quickly rolled out of the elevator. Captain America was the first thing he saw. There were a bunch of kids running around him.
The kids noticed Tony before Steve did. They didn’t look very happy. One of the boys approached him and kicked against his leg.
‘You’re not taking Captain America away from us again!’
Tony had a hard time to keep himself from cursing out loud. Damn that hurt.
Steve noticed it. He grabbed the boy’s arm and kneeled down in front of him. ‘Don’t you ever kick or hit an injured person again!’ he warned. ‘You don’t even know him and he didn’t do anything to you. Now apologize to him.’
‘I’m sorry sir,’ said the boy, looking at the floor.
‘Good boy,’ smiled Steve and he patted the boy’s head. ‘Are you alright?’ He gently put his hand on the place where the boy kicked.
‘Yeah, fine,’ answered Tony. ‘Nothing wrong with his legs for sure, though.’
‘Kids, do you know who this is?’ asked Steve as he stood up. The kids shook their heads. ‘This is Iron Man. He got injured when he tried to save the world, so he can’t wear his suit until he is healed. That is why he is here today.’
‘Is he really Iron Man?’ asked the kids with wide eyes.
‘Yes, look at his beard and everything? He and I are very good friends. We saved the world together a few times.’
It worked. Suddenly the kids were all over Tony and they asked him a hundred of questions. Steve and Tony tried their best to answer them all, making sure they both told the same story. They told about their adventures and how come Iron Man broke his legs.
‘Race me!’ shouted the boy who had kicked him before suddenly. ‘I want to race against Iron Man.’
‘No way!’ said Tony. ‘Your legs are totally fine and I’m no good with this wheelchair yet. You will easily win.’
‘You are Iron Man! You’re good with all those technical things!’
They ended up racing, but of course Tony lost badly. The boy was quick and Tony was slow. His arms started hurting. All the kids were laughing and cheering for the winner. Tony was pissed. Because he lost, because the stupid kid that kicked him won and because he couldn’t turn his wheelchair without hitting the damn boy. Suddenly there were two big hands on his shoulders.
‘Don’t hurt yourself, Tony,’ whispered Steve in his ear. ‘You have nothing to prove, they already like you.’ He took the handles of the wheelchair and drove him back to the group of kids.
‘I don’t understand how you can like kids,’ muttered the billionaire.
Steve laughed. ‘A lot of patience.’ He looked at the kids and smiled at them. ‘He told you he wasn’t very good with the wheelchair yet, right? He still has to practice and his arms hurt. So no more racing Iron Man.’
‘We could still race him if you carry him!’ said a kid. ‘He might even win if you do that!’
‘Yeah, you carried me too last time!’ shouted a girl from a wheelchair.
‘Yes Cap, carry me,’ smirked the billionaire. ‘Good practice for Saturday.’
‘I can’t carry you on my back and I can’t carry you bridal style,’ said Steve. ‘That won’t work with your legs. I can only swing you over my shoulder and that is pretty dangerous. You have to hold on to me.’
‘I don’t see the problem,’ grinned Tony.
‘Alright, just once,’ answered the super hero. He picked two kids he would race against before he lifted Tony out of the wheelchair. He carefully put him over his shoulder and asked if the other man was fine like that. The response was Tony pinching his butt and muttering something about the nice view. Steve didn’t say anything, but simply returned the favour. He held the man tightly with two arms and took the starting position.
One of the kids counted down and the race began. Steve could easily win it. He wasn’t going all out, because he didn’t want to disappoint the kids and he didn’t want to shake Tony too much. All of the other kids were cheering for Iron Man, so Steve made sure they would win. When he crossed the invisible finish Tony was cheering too.
Laughing they walked back. They played a few more games until it was time for Captain America to go again. He brought all the kids back to their room and changed back into Steve. He found Tony waiting in the hall.
‘Tired?’ Steve asked.
‘My arms hurt,’ answered Tony. ‘I know you still have to work, but can you help me to get back?’
Of course Steve took him back. When they arrived back at Tony’s room he understood why he had to come. One of the nurses started scolding Tony for disappearing and not telling where he went. They had been searching for him. Steve apologized and said he had invited him and that it wasn’t Tony’s fault, but that he would tell next time if he would leave. After a few minutes he managed to convince the woman and she left.
‘You only needed me to help with her, right?’ sighed Steve.
‘Nobody can be angry at you when you smile,’ answered Tony. ‘And my arms really hurt.’
‘Practice hard with the wheelchair then. See you Saturday.’
‘So, this your car?’ asked Tony unimpressed when he looked at the ugly, but big car that Steve opened.
‘No, I borrowed it from my neighbour,’ answered Steve. ‘When I asked you, you said you only have sports cars and those are way too low. I can’t get you in then and we wouldn’t be able to take the wheelchair. I’m not going to carry you around the entire day. And I don’t own a car myself, I don’t like driving them in New York much. I prefer riding a bike.’
‘We could have taken the limo,’ muttered Tony. ‘What kind of bike do you own? I love bikes as much as cars, but Pepper doesn’t allow me to ride one, since one of them exploded in an accident. Might have been my fault, I had changed a thing or two, but the accident wasn’t my fault. No one got hurt, not badly, but Pepper sold my other bike and forbade me to buy a new one. I tried, even tried to bribe some people into selling me one, but no one would sell. Pepper gave them money not to sell me a bike. Can you believe that?! I’m an adult, I can make those choices myself! So what bike you got? If it’s a cool one you should take me for a ride.’
‘I have two,’ said Steve as he carefully put Tony in the car. He folded the wheelchair and put it in the trunk. He sat down behind the wheel. ‘I have a really old one. Belonged to my dad. He bought it, second hand, from the first money he earned when he was in his early twenties. When he died I took the bike and fixed it. It’s working pretty fine again. But I also have a blue Yamaha. When the weather is good I use it to get to the hospital.’
‘Think we can ride with my legs like this?’ the genius asked.
‘No,’ laughed Steve. ‘But we’ll go when you can walk again.’
They drove through the busy streets of the city. Tony told Steve the shortest way and they arrived within half an hour. There was a police car in front of the tower and Steve parked next to it. He grabbed the wheelchair, unfolded it and lifted Tony out of the car. He gently put him in the wheelchair and locked the car. The policeman approached them and Tony gave him his written statement.
Luckily the elevators were still working. Steve wheeled Tony to one of the computers and the genius started working. The workshop was impressive, even though everything was all over the place or even ended up a few floors below. But when Tony started all the computers back up again it was spectacular. There were little lights everywhere and some things even started moving. Steve and the policeman were looking around in awe.
Within ten minutes there was an audio file playing of the last conversation Tony had with Obadiah Stane. The billionaire quickly paused it, he didn’t want to listen. He grabbed an USB stick from the computer and handed it to the policeman.
‘Here you go, this has everything from the moment he walked in to the explosions.’
‘That was quick,’ said the man as he took the USB stick.
‘Yes, main computers were still working, so it was pretty easy to get,’ answered Tony. ‘There is a little video material too, but it’s damaged, so I don’t know if you can see everything, but the audio is probably enough.’
‘Thank you,’ said the policeman and he left.
Steve was still looking around, hands on his back, so he wouldn’t accidently touch anything. He didn’t want to break anything. It would already take a lot of time to fix all of this! He woke up from his thoughts when he hand slapped against his butt.
‘It’s on eye-level,’ explained Tony. ‘It’s a bit early for our lunch date, so why don’t we go for a romantic walk in the park first?’
‘So how much did Fury pay you?’
‘Excuse me?’ asked Steve.
‘I paid the man half a million dollar to have you around,’ explained Tony. ‘Even when I’m in this care home you visit me at least twice in the evening and you spend the entire Saturday morning with me. You must have gotten at least half of it.’
‘I didn’t get anything.’
‘Then why are you here?’ asked the billionaire. ‘Nobody wants to spend time with me if they’re not getting paid for it.’
‘Because you’re a nice guy and I know you get bored easily, especially now that Clint has gone home. Whenever I come here the nurses complain about you,’ laughed Steve. ‘They had a word from Mister Fury about being nice to you, so now they complain to me, like I can change anything about your behaviour.’
‘They told you about the robot?
‘I heard something about a robot, but I didn’t understand. So tell me, what did you do?’
‘I took some stuff from my workshop,’ said Tony. ‘The bag you carried around last Saturday. From the stuff I brought I made a little robot. Totally harmless. I mean, with Barton going home I had no one to pick my stuff up and I can’t reach the damn floor myself! I asked one of the nurses, but after dropping stuff about seven times a day she thought I did it on purpose, so I could take a good look at her ass when she bend down. Told her her ass was too bony for me. She got pissed and walked away. You know I like ass I can actually grab, bit more fat and muscle, like yours, hers was skinny and invisible. So I made myself a robot to pick things up for me. I brought it to the living room and she screamed the first time she saw it. Next time she walked in she almost tripped over it. Her own fault for not helping me! I have robots at home doing everything for me and I fucking never trip over them.’
Steve was trying not to grin, but he wasn’t doing a very good job. ‘Where is your robot now?’
‘She threw it out of the window! We’re on the fourth floor Steve! She killed it. That is why it’s such a fucking mess here! I can’t pick anything up and they won’t pick anything up for me. Damned hospital.’
‘Just one more week,’ answered the nurse. ‘Then you can go home.’
‘They didn’t tell you? You can probably go home next Saturday. You can do almost everything on your own, with either wheelchair or crutches, so then you can go home. You’ll still have therapy every day, but no more need for you to stay here.’
‘They didn’t tell me! That bitch didn’t even tell me!’ shouted Tony angry. ‘Only one more week and I can finally get out of this hell!’
‘Just try to be nice to the nurses for one more week!’ smiled Steve. ‘You can do it one more week, yeah? I’ll pick everything up if you promise to behave.’
Tony rolled his eyes. He wasn’t a kid anymore, but he promised anyway. He didn’t enjoy watching Steve’s ass as much as he should. Yes it was a very nice view, especially with the tight jeans, but something was bothering him. When the nurse was done and sat down on the chair again, Tony sighed.
‘Steve, why are you so fucking nice?!’
‘Since when is being nice a bad thing?’ the blond asked surprised.
‘When Fury asks you to move to a completely different department you hardly complain and just do what he says. He doesn’t give you anything and you still come back in your free time to be Captain America. You let me and Clint order you around and you just smile or joke when I flirt with you or slap your ass. You listen to me bitching about those nurses and you listen to those bitches complaining about me and you even tell us all that it will all be alright and you make us smile and damn! You don’t even say a bad word about the army who dropped you just like that because you were in their way! You could have gone to any paper or whatever television show and they would have loved to hear your story! America should know about your story! You could have been a national hero, you deserve to be a national hero.’
For a minute neither of them said anything. Tony was breathing heavily and Steve was looking at the floor.
‘The army, that is what this is really about, right?’ asked Steve. He took a deep breath. ‘Yes I do what Fury tells me, yes I listen to the nurses complaints about you and yes I still come back to be Captain America in my free time. Because I know how much it sucks to be in the hospital. I don’t want to make a scene about something small, I just want to make the patients happy and comfortable and to be sure of that the nurses have to be happy as well. Yes I put up with your shit, because I like you, Tony. I don’t do things I don’t want to do and I don’t let anybody walk over me, especially not the army.’
‘I thought of telling the story to a newspaper. The army sent six people to their death and blame one for surviving. Would have made a great story, the press would have loved it. But this is the army and this is America. I could have been locked up. It would have been worth it, I was so angry I would have done it, no problem. But you didn’t see their faces, Tony. The faces of the parents of my friends who had to bury what remained of their child. They looked at me like I wasn’t supposed to be there, like it was my fault, like I should have died as well. If I would go to the press I would have to tell that their children hadn’t listened to reason and that they had mindlessly followed orders, straight to their death. I didn’t want to do that to my friends and I didn’t want to do that to their families who had already suffered enough.’
‘You suffered too, Steve!’ said Tony. ‘You lost your friends, you lost your job. People thought you were some kind of homosexual monster. You had nothing left.’
‘Exactly,’ smiled the blond sadly. ‘That is what one of the parents told me. I had nothing in my life, so why couldn’t I have died instead of their child? Nobody would miss me. And they were right. I had no family and all my friends were dead. Nobody would have missed me. It should have been me. So for the sake of my teammates I decided not to go to the press. I had survived, I could make a new start and I didn’t want to waste that opportunity. Going to jail for talking about things that should stay behind closed doors or hiding forever for people who hated me for what happened, that wouldn’t have been what they have wanted. So I shut up and tried to forget about it. I wanted to do something useful. I want to make sad people smile.’
‘Thank you,’ said Tony softly. ‘And I’m sorry.’
‘No need to be. Thank you.’
Steve was nervous. He was wearing his Captain America suit and he was surrounded by children, but he couldn’t focus. He let them play games and joined them now and then, but all he could think of was Tony. The man was going home today.
This morning Steve had showed up pretty early in Tony’s room. He helped the man pack all his stuff and they waited until the nurse would come to tell them the doctor had okayed his return home. It was just a formality, but they still had to wait until it was all confirmed. They had been unusually quiet and Steve had been fidgety. He had wanted to ask Tony for his phone number. Just for a casual call to ask how he was doing and to make an appointment for that ride on his bike.
Steve knew he was kidding himself. He liked Tony. He liked the genius a lot, more than he should, but he was too scared to ask the other for his phone number. He felt stupid and ridiculous when the time had come he had to go and change into the super hero for the kids. He had told Tony he would come back as soon as he was done. If he still wouldn’t be okayed to go home Steve would have stayed with him a little longer.
So now he was carrying kids around and playing silly ball games, but his mind was somewhere else. He hoped that Tony would still be there when he was done with the kids. The genius was impatient and he would be grumpy, but at least Steve would have another chance to ask for his number. He couldn’t chicken out another time.
But time seemed to pass so slowly. A few minutes earlier than normal Steve started to bring the kids back to their rooms. He often kept them a little longer, but this time he just couldn’t focus. He hoped the kids hadn’t noticed anything about him, but one of the last ones he put back in bed asked him if he felt ill.
Steve smiled at him and told him he felt fine. He shortly answered that Iron Man needed his help and that he had to go. The boy told him to hurry and that is what Steve did. He ran through the halls to get to the care home, but when he arrived there the room was empty. The bags were gone. He hurried to one of the nurses and she told him Tony had left only a few minutes ago. He used his crutches, so he couldn’t have gone very far yet.
Stubborn Stark didn’t want to be wheeled out of the hospital, of course he had to use the crutches, but for once Steve was really glad that the man was so stubborn. He still had a chance to catch up. Tony had to take the entrance of the hospital, so Steve ran in that direction. The hospital was more crowded and he had to be careful not to run into someone.
But then he noticed him. He wasn’t going very fast and Pepper was walking beside him, pushing a wheelchair filled with bags. She looked annoyed, but the billionaire looked proud. With reason, he achieved a lot in the last couple of weeks.
‘Tony!’ Steve called. ‘TONY!’
Thankfully the man heard him. He stopped and carefully turned around. Steve was panting heavily when he finally reached the two of them. He took a few deep breaths before looking at the genius. That was a mistake. Looking in those beautiful brown eyes made his heart race and all words had escaped his slightly open mouth.
‘I…’ he mumbled. Steve mentally kicked himself. He could do this. ‘I promised we would go for a ride on the bike when your legs were healed, so can I… have your phone number? So we can talk about your recovery and make an appointment when your legs have healed. Or maybe, maybe we could meet before that. We could go for a coffee, or a drink after work sometime?’
‘Is Captain America asking me on a date?’ grinned Tony.
‘Oh my God,’ groaned Steve. He had forgotten he was still in his costume. He wanted to hide his blushing face in his hands, but before he could do so Tony dropped his crutches and threw his arms around Steve’s neck. Steve quickly put his arms around the man’s waist to support him and to take the weight from his legs.
‘Ever since I was a young boy I had a little crush on Captain America,’ whispered Tony in his ear. ‘So yes to that coffee and fuck yeah to those drinks, Steve.’
Before Steve could answer Tony had pressed their lips together and kissed him. The nurse pulled his ex-patient a little closer as he kissed back. Tony slipped his tongue between Steve’s lips and wanted to make things a little hotter, but Pepper subtly coughed.
The two men broke their kiss and noticed a little boy staring at them from only a meter away. Steve blushed heavily and he almost dropped Tony. Pepper quickly gave her boss his crutches and a piece of paper with his private phone number written on it. Tony thanked her and put the paper under Steve’s belt. He walked away as quickly as he could, leaving Steve to explain the kid why Captain America was kissing a man in the middle of the hospital.