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Its handlers are not happy. It doesn’t know the full details, of course, but it was removed from storage several months ago, and that is a serious problem. 

It knows the operating orders for the Winter Soldier are deployments of no more than two weeks at any time; if a handler fails to return it on time, its programming will direct it to disengage from whatever assignment had run over and travel back to base independent of its handler. The few times that has happened, the handler did not appear in any subsequent thaws, even if they took place only a few months or years later. It does not know how it knows this. There is no list of handlers in its head. But handlers that have come before spark recognition even when there is no name or story to go with them within the Asset’s perpetually short-term memory.

It hasn’t been deployed yet, which is another abnormality. Asset use protocols are clear: defrost, inspect, outfit, deploy, retrieve, repair, wipe, store. It has read its operation manual, in order to function more smoothly with the handlers trained off of it. No part of the 90 yellowing pages of typeset instructions and observations called for two months in a cell before deployment. Its new handlers, after the sale, are different, but not that different. The problem, from what little the handlers have told it, is the target. This deployment needs to be subtle, appear as a vehicular accident, and the target keeps changing his schedule, aged but still-wily prey. The handlers have inspected and outfitted the Asset on three separate instances during this thaw, only to have to abort deployment due to the mission “not being where he’s goddamn supposed to be, I thought you had fucking people on him, he works at goddamn SHIELD for fuck's sake, walk down the hall.”

When each mission is aborted, the handlers cannot finish the pattern, and so there is this waiting. The waiting is… confusing. The cell is dark, darker than unenhanced eyes could see in, and even the Asset’s gaze finds little detail in the blank concrete walls. The cell's location at the end of a seldom-used hallway makes it entirely silent. It’s perpetually too cold, and the Soldier is beginning to develop a feeling about the temperature (dislike), which is a major malfunction that would ordinarily cause mission abort. But a mission that was already aborted cannot be any more undone, and its presence in the cell is already the outcome of malfunction, although on the part of the handler and his staff. Not punishable. Other malfunctions have begun developing within the last few days. There are rations stacked in the corner of the cell, and it has required a much larger portion of them than usual. The ones marked “Corned Beef Hash” make flashes go off in its head. There have been cognitive errors -- glimpses of people it has never seen, atypical diction, memory fragments, questions -- the type clearly described in its operation manual as indicating a need for immediate reconditioning, but none of its handlers have appeared to inspect its condition in the weeks since the latest deployment abort. Its skin has begun to feel warmer than baseline, with a slightly elevated heart rate, although it has done nothing but sit, sleep, and perform maintenance calisthenics. The urge to pace, to search for something missing, has grown stronger within the last several days of increased malfunction, though it has resisted thus far.

It is finishing its weekly body maintenance with the small spigot set several feet off the floor, at a height appropriate to facilitate hosing down the room once emptied -- odors and grease distract handlers and draw civilian attention, unacceptable, and its odor has been growing markedly stronger within the last several days -- when there are footsteps at the far end of the hallway outside. The utter silence of this section of the compound make the specifics relatively obvious: Two guards, combat boots, approximately six-foot, one with a slight limp, carrying something heavy between them. The faint grunts and rustling suggest the heavy object is living, moving, mostly likely human. Another asset would not be struggling, and a disloyal or excessively incompetent underling would have already been executed, making the human a prisoner. Though they could not possibly be mission-relevant, it follows the sounds anyway, identifying them as a welcome break to the monotony of nothingness and malfunction the Asset has been sinking into since it was stored here. They approach, and then a key scrapes into its door, not one of the nearby cells. It opens, an arc of sudden light spilling onto the cell floor that briefly dazzles the Soldier’s dark-adapted eyes. When they clear, the guard has reached back and is carrying the presumed prisoner again, stepping into the cell with his burden.

The Asset observes for a moment. Pale, dark hair, slender frame that speaks of youth, male. Entirely naked but for a heavy gag strapped into place and the equally sturdy leather cuffs around his ankles and wrists, closed with small padlocks and linked wrist-to-ankle in the reasonably secure X of a hog-tie. Abundant bruises and abrasions of varying severity; assuming baseline human healing, some must be at least a week old, while others are far newer. His scent is. His scent. Is. It makes flashes like the “Corned Beef Hash” in the Asset’s head. It moves away from the wall, closer to the prisoner, without having any intention of doing so. Just as the second guard steps into the cell, bearing the young man’s bound legs, the prisoner’s head snaps up, nostrils flaring. He abruptly starts struggling again, much more fiercely, grunting and yanking his limbs against the binding in a manner that almost seems frantic. The guards drop him from waist-height, unevenly, and he lands on his right shoulder hard enough to cause a wet pop and a loud gasp of pain. The front guard looks over at the Asset and smiles with too many teeth as he turns back to the prisoner.

“You think that hurts? You see that?” the guard asks, and then reaches down to grab the man’s curly dark hair and yank his head up, making him look at the Asset. “That rutting alpha’s the thing that makes monsters afraid, and you, little bitch --” the guard breaks off to run two fingers between the man’s legs, pressing against his perineum and dragging up towards his lower back, “are starting to smell real sweet. All those fancy suppressants washed right out while the boss asked his questions, and you aren’t good for much at all now. Well, besides taking care of the rut your meddling left it awake to have. Rut’s been cooking a week already, stinking out the place, and I hear the Asset gets a little… feral when it’s alone too long. Hey, maybe it’ll even leave enough to bury, bet Mommy’ll like that. Well, ‘til the Asset does its job, anyway. Then she and your old man won’t like jack shit ever again.” The guard releases the man’s hair and aims a sharp kick at his already-bruised side before stepping over his prone form and closing the door. 

The loss of light requires the Asset’s eyes to adjust again, during which they key scrapes the lock closed again. With another blink, they clear enough to focus on the young man. Heedless of his bonds and injury, the man is squirming, pressing himself back toward the door inch by painful, wriggling inch, panting and whining faintly through the gag. After a few moments, he seems to wedge himself into the corner opposite the Asset as best he can. The scent gets stronger in the dark, confined space. It makes thinking hard. The flashes keep happening. But it’s interesting, it smells… right. It -- that smell, there shouldn’t be pain. There should be, should… there’s another one of the, the -- flash -- long, curly dark hair -- flash -- a woman laughing and shooing children out of the house, the man behind her kissing her neck -- flash -- flash -- high giggles and a gasp, but a happy one -- flash -- flash -- flash -- stew like and not-like the ration -- flash -- flash -- flash -- flash. The Asset groan and braces its metal hand against the wall, the flesh one rubbing at its head. Something is wrong with it, but something is more wrong that the smell, that sweet smell, has fear and pain layered over it.

It approaches the prisoner to investigate, and the fear-smell get stronger, the whimpering and wriggling against the door more pronounced but less intentful. Probably panic, then, mind hazed with pain and fear and -- something whispers that the smell means it can be hard to think, be careful not to press them even a little when they smell like that, alphas doing that just ain’t right. Even if the diction hadn’t marked the thought as a malfunction, the Asset must disregard its demands. The guard identified it as an alpha, but it must apply pressure to reduce the shoulder before the dislocation causes escalating pain and potential long-term damage, much less the further injury the man’s struggling could inflict. The whimpers get much louder when the Asset stands over him, seizing the chain connecting his injured arm to the opposite ankle and snapping it easily. It kneels next to the man, pulling and rolling him so that his back rests against the Asset’s thighs, his injured right arm tucked close to its belly, and the skin contact feels. Feels. The flashes are there again, stronger, but the man requires aid, needs, needs someone to take care of him when he’s like this. It ignores the internal distraction and the man’s panicked whimpers and lopsided struggling in equal measure, grasping his arm at the biceps with the flesh hand and pulling slowly downward as its metal fingers find and guide the humerus forward and into its joint. After a few seconds of steady pressure, the bone shifts back into place with a soft clunk, and the man in the Soldier’s lap gasps in relief. 

With the most pressing issue addressed, the Asset begins to inspect the man’s other’s injuries. The bruising and lacerations confirm several beatings, spaced apart, and a thin layer of grime covers the man’s body. Dirt and open wounds are not an acceptable combination. The man starts to stir, the panic and endorphins in his system likely leading to further ill-advised resistance, so the Soldier takes advantage of the man’s confusion following the reduction to snap the other chain and scoop him up, carrying him to the spigot on the other side of the room. It turns the water on, releasing a stream of the only temperature, icy, the spigot ever offers. That seems wrong, too. Omegas should have all the nice warm things they want when they’re in heat, warm meals and warm baths and warm blankets and warm Alphas. The Asset blinks. Heat. That’s what the word for that smell is, that’s why the man’s body looks somewhat different to its own. Omega. Heat. It tucks this information away for future consideration as it begins to bathe the -- the omega in its arms, cleaning his wounds in lieu of being able to offer any proper medical care. The man flinches and shakes when the water hits him, but does not interfere with the cleaning until near the end, stirring and trying to wriggle away. The Asset allows it, head tilting as it watches the omega push himself along the wall and into the adjacent corner, as far away from the Soldier as possible without risking the open middle of a cell he cannot see. That is the typical reaction to the Soldier’s presence, and it takes the movement as indication that the omega’s wits are potentially returning.  

Once pressed as far into the corner as his recent injury will allow, the omega starts to fumble with the gag with his left arm. Unlike the wrist and ankle restraints, the gag is secured with nothing more than a simple strap and buckle closure, and within moments the omega has his mouth free, working his jaw where the ball had strained it. The omega says nothing, though his eyes roam constantly around the darkness of the cell, likely trying to pick out detail, however futile the effort. He draws his legs up against his chest, briefly increasing the smell before it tamps down to a constant simmering presence. His left arm wraps around his knees, and the cell’s two residents sit in silence for a long while, the Asset studying the omega while he stares blindly into the darkness of the cell.

Eventually, a soft clicking sound draws the Asset’s attention, and it quickly identifies it as teeth chattering. The omega isn’t just sitting still, now, but shivering, limbs faintly shaking with the cell’s baseline cold, no doubt worsened by the cleaning and subsequent close contact with heat-leaching concrete walls. The tremors gradually worsen over the next few minutes, accompanied by the low gurgle of an empty stomach, as the Asset considers. Something in its head insists that the omega should be warm and comfortable and any nearby alphas should be making sure that was the case. That it was the only nearby alpha, why wasn’t it helping, the omega needs it. He needed a big bed full of soft things and sweet little snacks and -- things that are not available here. The omega’s stomach rumbles again and his shaking worsens fractionally, and the alpha snaps into motion, silently crossing the cell to pick the omega up again. When the Asset touches him, he startles badly, thrashing, but only weakly, muscles beginning to lock up from cold. The faint movements are insufficient to interrupt the Asset’s picking him up and carrying him across the cell to the stock of rations. Its handlers had left it an entire pallet of the rations, held in multiple identical boxes, and it had rapidly identified the boxes as a resource to separate it from the unpleasant cold of the cell’s concrete floors. Even with the rate at which it has been consuming supplies, there is still a double layer of boxes stacked three across and five long, and it deposits the omega atop the stacks of cardboard easily enough. The close contact had revealed his skin, and presumably core, temperatures were still unacceptably low, and so the Asset retrieves one of the more palatable (palatable implies preference, unacceptable, report to handlers for reconditioning) ration bags and climbs on top of the omega, skin pressed against skin for the full lengths of their bodies. The omega panics and thrashes more, but his temperature is still unacceptable and the Soldier simply settles itself a bit more securely over his chest, pinning the omega’s functioning left arm against his body with its right elbow. It opens the ration, retrieving the crackers, jelly, oatmeal bar, and dried fruit. Foods high in sugar will induce the omega’s core temperature to rise as the body processes them, and omegas deserve treats in heat, deserve to feel warm and good and safe. It smears the jelly across the cracker and pushes the edge against the omega’s lips. His eyes are wide, unseeing, but his lips part at the pressure, taking a small bite. Excellent. His face scrunches slightly at the taste, an expression that seems almost… cute, but takes a larger bite right away, the need for calories overwhelming his preferences. As he eats, his struggles slow, and by the time the Asset is pressing the last of the block of dried fruit through his pretty lips, the omega is laying still under it and his shivering has largely stopped.

The man’s voice is only slightly slurred when he says “So… I guess thank you? I mean, food is, I hadn’t actually eaten in, well, the fucking Hydra goons didn’t exactly leave me with my day planner, but it’s been a while. So thanks for that. You are… still on top of me. That’s, that’s something, that is a thing that is happening right now. But not moving, so, uh, should I take it that you, um… aren’t planning on… doing anything with, uh, with that? Because, because, really, it would be a good idea for you to not, my Dad is going to be pissed enough that I disappeared and he has missiles, really big, really… boomy missiles. And guns. So, uh, not, not ra-- not doing that is a totally rad idea.”

It ponders for a moment, trying to identify what the man is referring to. His core temperature seems to have returned acceptably close to baseline, so it is likely not an indication of hypothermic irrationality. The omega still smells anxious and good, so good now that he’s warming up and close by. Perhaps he wants the Asset to disengage? Inadvisable. Without clothes or enhancements, the risk of hypothermia returning is too high. The man has recovered sufficiently to start struggling, though, which could aggravate his healing shoulder. He must be dissuaded, if the Asset can remember how speech works. Its voice grumbles for a second, low and hoarse with disuse, before managing “Cold.”

The omega’s expression turns alarmed. “Are you, are you saying you only aren’t already -- already -- that because it’s cold? Because it doesn’t feel like the cold is slowing you down one bit in that department, buddy, you are, you are raring to go and right, right up against my thigh, oh my God, oh my God Tony don’t fucking taunt the monster alpha they threw you to, oh shit that was out loud, please don’t--” The Asset gently lays its metal palm over the omega’s mouth.

“Cold,” it tries again, removing its hand. “You. Stay.”

He starts speaking again, lightning-quick as ever. “Shit, I guess what they say about alphas going damn near feral in rut is true, if you’re still stuck at monosyllab -- wait. Wait, you -- you’re worried about me? The -- the cold. It’s really damn cold in here, and you’re -- you’re trying to keep me warm. This is your -- well, bed isn’t quite the word, but the only option to stay up off the concrete for either of us. Shit, you idiot, Tony. He’s in a goddamn freezing barren cage just like you. And my -- my shoulder. You fixed it, it stopped hurting when you grabbed it, and then you -- you were cleaning me off, not trying to drown me, huh. You fixed my shoulder, cleaned me up, fed me, and are keeping me warm. Hunh. Those protector instinct are probably screaming, aren’t they. Even with the, the fucking monster hard-on that's been poking at me since you first grabbed me. Is that why you’re uh, on me, but not… doing things?”

The Asset turns its attention briefly down to its body, considering. The thing between its legs is standing up again, as it has for longer and longer periods during this latest, most intense bout of malfunction, but that hadn’t been mission-relevant so it had ignored the sensation. The -- the word erection pops into its mind without apparent source, its meaning fairly obvious, and the Soldier assesses the situation. The erection has been persistent since before the guards came, and is indeed currently pressing against the omega’s thigh, who seems disturbed by this. But the Asset has no orders regarding this prisoner, certainly not to extract intelligence or obedience via sexual abuse. If anything, it is inclined to comfort the omega, that bizarre not-programming malfunction telling it to aid any omega in distress, care for them, protect them. Yes. This omega is correct, he needs its protection. It tries its voice again, and while still rusty, speaking is less of a struggle than last time. “Protect.”

The omega finally relaxes under it, breathing out in a soft sigh. “Okay. Okay, I’m gonna, gonna sleep for a bit, okay. I don’t know the last time they let me sleep, and you’re, mmmhm, warm.” He turns his head to the side, trying to get comfortable under the bulk of the Soldier pinning him, and it risks shifting off to the right, curling around his uninjured side, its body still mostly covering the omega but weight borne more by the cases than the fragile young man. It offers its flesh forearm to support the omega’s head, and he snuggles into the Asset’s body in a way that’s almost… gratifying. 

------

When it wakes several hours later, not much has changed. The omega still sleeps in its arms, color returned to a healthy light olive from its earlier hypothermic pallor, the cell is still nigh-lightless and cold, and the Asset still has the erection thing. His scent, though, is different, much stronger and untainted by his previous fear. He smells so, so good, and the Asset finds itself ducking low to bury its nose in his neck without intending to do so. The scent is even stronger there, and its hips rock forward accidentally, grinding against the man’s thigh. He wakes up, blinking faintly in a way that is definitely categorized as cute, and murmurs “Hello there alpha dick, I see you’re still up and at ‘em.” He wriggles a little bit, testing, and then frees his left arm from where it was pressed between their bodies, brushing against the thing in the process, which feels. It. It feels a lot. The Asset makes a low noise at the contact, unthinking, as its hips shift again.

The omega slides his freed hand down his stomach and past his own, thing, he also has a -- oh. Then the hand goes lower still, between his legs, and they part slightly. Another wave of the scent pours out, sweeter than what the Soldier found at his neck, and its head turns to focus on the movement entirely. “Shit, I’m wet. I don’t suppose you have a knotting vibrator stashed in that box of MREs, do you?” The Asset blinks for a second before rolling away from the omega and towards the currently-open case of MREs. It contains no additional materiel, but the omega should eat more, so the Soldier pushes one of the packets at him. The man looks down at it for a moment before continuing “Yeah, didn’t think so. Fuck, of all the times to have a fucking detox heat.” He accompanies this opinion with a twist of his wrist that makes the Asset want a much better look at whatever that hand is doing between the omega’s legs. After just a few tantalizing seconds, the omega pulls his hand away and says “Well, I guess there’s fuck-all for privacy here, but at least I can do this not on your… box bed thing.”

He follows that pronouncement with an attempt to rise, and the Soldier finds itself growling and pushing him gently back down without much thought. When the omega tenses up at the contact, it manages to grind out “Warm.”

The man eases back down slowly and says “Uh, I am, I am staying here, I guess. Okay. Uh, it is pretty warm, that’s true. Well, relatively, I mean, compared to the heat-death-of-the-universe thing the rest of this lightless little hole is doing. All temperature is relative, even if only to the molecularly predetermined freezing point of a random monoxide, so, ah, um. Shit. I gotta -- this is not a come-on, okay, but I gotta -- fucking heat, I gotta take the edge off. So don’t get weird. … Weirder.” Then his hand slides back to the place it was in before, twisting again, and the sweet smell gets stronger. The Asset stares, transfixed by the motion and scent and, oh, he’s making noises too, quiet little ‘ah’ noises, and what his hand is doing is also making noises, soft and wet.

It goes on a while, the omega’s movements speeding, but when his breathing accelerates further he reaches for his erection with his injured right arm, which is not acceptable. Further use of that limb will exacerbate the injury and prevent healing. The Asset reaches across the omega’s body to catch his wrist gently with the metal limb, pushing it back down to the cardboard. The man’s body arches up at that, pressing closely where it brushes the Asset, and he whines aloud. “Fuck, ‘m so close, but I can’t with just fingers, come on.” It pauses again, processing, compares ‘not a come-on’ and ‘come on’. It shifts again on the pallet, moving to kneel between the man’s spread legs, metal fingers keeping his injured arm still. Cautiously, it brushes the warm fingers of its flesh hand against the man’s erection, and he gasps and arches again. “Yes, yes, yes,” the omega chants, and that is sufficient, that is, is good, the malfunction says. Alphas help omegas this way when they want it, only when they want it, and this one does, c’mon, help him out, he’s hurting there. Malfunction or not, the omega hurting is not acceptable, so the Asset moves its hand again, petting a little more firmly. It watches the omega closely for signs of reaction, but they continue to conform to the positive signs before, the wet noises and ‘ah’s, only more, and so it keeps going, petting the places that get the best reaction. Before long there’s a surge in the noises and motion and the man bucks up, white fluid spurting out from his penis. The scent of the room is thicker than ever, but mixed with a heavy note of satisfaction and pleasure that makes it even more delicious.

After a moment, the omega smiles blindly up into the darkness, face pointed mostly in its direction, and says “Wow. That was… not what I was expecting. Shit. Wow. Um, I guess -- my name is Tony, by the way. Probably should introduce myself to anyone who’s helped me out with a heat. Oh, and hey, happy 1992, by the way. If I counted the days right, anyways. Not quite how I imagined ringing in the new year, but also I’m not dead in a ditch and hopefully neither is Dad, so, you know, gratitude. I hear that’s in this year. Um.” The man pulls his hands from between his legs and wipes a heat-smelling fluid from his fingers onto his thigh. The Asset keens at the scent, and the omega’s unseeing gaze tracks closer to its face. “Hey, y’know, you did me a, mmhm, a really nice solid there. I still don’t wanna go all the way ‘cause I’m pretty sure you don’t have a lifejacket around and I have exactly zero time for babies, but --”

He reaches out, brushing the Asset’s stomach, and starting to drag his hand lower. It shifts forward to be in easier reach of the questing fingers, and gasps when they close around its still-present erection. It groans at the pressure, the rhythmic tugging utterly unlike its own clumsy attempts on the om -- Tony. “Yeah, that’s nice, isn’t it. You’ve been -- really sweet, actually. All the alphas I’ve ever had apartments next to couldn’t seem to go two minutes without jerking it during a rut. And you did a nice job on me, least I can do it return the favor.” His grip stays steady, the traces of slick still on his fingers easing their slide, and it all feels -- too much. The low pressure in its belly and groin builds quickly, and before more than a moment has passed it imitates the omega’s previous jerky thrust, spilling much more fluid than Tony did while the base of its penis swells. “Not as good without a grip on your knot, but you seemed pretty insistent on the whole not-using-my-right-arm situation, so. Mmmhm, you smell much less like you want to fight and/or fuck something already, awesome.” The omega tugs a few more times until it hisses in overstimulation and then he lets go, arm going to rest by his side. As he does so, the leather cuff of the restraints he’d been in brushes against his leg, and he pauses.

He rubs his wrist directly against his thigh again, clearly intentionally, and then reaches across his body to rub at the cuff on his right wrist, or at least the portions not covered by the Asset’s grip. Maybe it should move, but. Omega. His fingers brush over its own, and the feeling is good, much more intense than such a minor touch should be. He investigates the cuff a little more with those slim, skilled fingers before saying “So I can’t see shit, but apparently I wasn’t hallucinating last night and your arm is made of metal. Which based on all the stuff you did with it and how precisely the fingers are working right now is incredibly cool and I really need to take you back to Boston with me so you can show me what you got when I can actually see it. I also felt the cuffs -- the padlocks are still there, but the chains linking them are broken, and the texture of the break clearly indicates metal stress as the cause, not a cutting implement, which is a lot of strength, like, Captain America levels of strength --” 

And the Asset cuts him off with a sudden grunt, one that startles it as much as it does him. That name. That name means something. There are a lot of flashes about that name, coming too fast, too much, it can’t see -- “What,” it finds itself saying. “What is.”

Tony’s face goes skeptical, but he answers promptly “Captain America? Steve Rogers? The Star Spangled Man With A Plan? The only confirmed superhero ever? Well, my dad --” The omega is probably speaking, but the Asset hears only the rush of blood through its head. That name. That is. Its vision whites out entirely even in the dimness of the cell.

Hours, or seconds, or minutes pass when the rush subsides. “Steve.” Tony’s face is now worried, not skeptical.

“Yeah, dude. Steve. Rogers. My dad’s favorite person ever, and he’d be oh so happy to tell you all about him and all the ways in which I damn well don’t measure up. Hell, you’re apparently immune to cold given how comfy you seem in the ninth fucking level of the Inferno here and you seem to be exhibiting all kinds of fucking enhancements. He’ll probably fall over himself to take you on the next searching expedition.”

The sense of urgency, of something missing that had abated when the omega appeared, returns, this time without the edge of biological frustration. Searching. Yes. It needs to find something. Steve. The Steve thing will tell it about the flashes. But the Steve thing is not here, is lost. It reviews its knowledge of the thrice-aborted mission and the fragments of overheard conversations. This omega is the son of its target, a SHIELD affiliate, and the young man was skilled and clever enough to interfere with the mission repeatedly, to the point of Hydra risking such a high-profile kidnapping to end his intervention. The target is seeking Steve, and would welcome the Asset’s assistance. The Asset needs to find Steve and everything will make sense. “Yes,” it says.

“Yes what?” Tony replies, still stroking its metal hand.

“Yes. Steve. Find.”

The omega’s face does something complicate as he tilts his head in roughly the direction of the door. “Hate to break it to you, alpha, but you’re not going to find him in here.”

Accurate. It… was not technically ordered to remain in the cell, only to enter. The mission is outside, and so is Steve. It has waited long enough. It commands the omega “Stay” before rising, approaching the door. It inspects the steel, searching for flaws and weak spots. None are apparent, but sets its fingers into the seam of the door and attempts to pull anyway. The metal flexes, deforming slightly at the pressure, but that only serves to destroy its already tenuous handholds. Still, deformed metal indicates potential weakness. It steps back and throws a heavy punch to the flat space of door where the lock sits on the other side. It dents in slightly accompanied by a very loud clang. Tony calls out “Woah, woah, whatever you’re doing, quit it! They’re going to hear you and we have exactly zero percent of a plan!” It pauses, considering, and returns to the pallet to grasp the omega’s wrist. “Uh, okay, handholding, sure,” he mutters at the contact, but doesn’t pull away. The Asset grasps the small padlock keeping the cuff closed and pinches with its flesh hand, the metal first bending and then tearing as it steadily increases the pressure. It repeats the process with the three remaining cuffs and then wraps them securely around its metal knuckles. It it about to turn back to the door when Tony rises as well, reaching for the open case of rations. “If we’re about to get out of here, we’ll need supplies, and if it’s already down my throat I don’t have to carry it. You might want to eat too.” The Asset considers it briefly, but no. Out first. It returns to the door and layers another blow over the first, its leather wrapping making the blow soundless even as the door’s surface dents in further.

Within minutes, the metal is too warped to resist and its fist passes through and into the hallway, shearing off the locking mechanism as intended and letting faint light into the cell around the Asset’s wrist. With one more sharp tug, now possessing the leverage needed, the remains of the lock’s bar crack and the door swings open. Tony approaches it from behind, coming to look at the door, and it barks “Stay.”

The omega’s unimpressed expression is crystal clear in the light coming from the large hole in the door, and he responds “Like Hell I’m staying in this shithole while you wander off to look for fucking Captain America with Dad. Don’t know if you noticed, but the neighbors weren’t exactly friendly before they tossed me in with you.” 

The Asset growls at the thought of anyone touching this omega, its omega. His bruises and cuts are even clearer in the plain light, visible ribs silently attesting to his hunger and mistreatment, and he looks painfully young. Tony flinches back, though, misinterpreting its offense. It takes a moment to grasp the door and peel off a long, thin piece roughly the size of a crowbar, and holds it out to the omega in offering. When the young man tentatively grasps it, the Asset tears off a much larger chunk for itself, perhaps five square feet, with some of the mechanism in roughly its center to serve as a handle. The chunk was shield-like enough to make a serviceable countermeasure for bullets, should its handlers attempt to impede its progress.

The omega gazes up at it, still slender and slight, naked and spattered with their fluids, but grasping the door fragment with a competent air and a gleam in his eye. The Asset feels its face do something odd, mouth pulling upwards as it steps into the hallway and replies “No. Stay behind me.”

Chapter Text

It was a really, really bad time to panic. That wasn’t to say that a, a moderate amount of panic, some light panic, wasn’t justified. Uncovering whispers along an old SHIELD intranet line that sure looked like somebody was plotting to murder his dad, that called for some worry, sure, but also for using the naturally antidote to worry, action -- getting in there, digging through massively outdated ARPANET-era connections to try to figure out the who to no avail but managing to nail down the how. He’d managed to head the mysterious but persistent fucks off not just once or twice but three fucking times, and damn but wasn’t Dad’s grudging respect and silent almost-gratitude after that last one a fucking change of pace?

But anyway, the whole assassination attempts thing, while demanding action, wasn’t, you know, panic-worthy. Neither was the kidnapping, not really. It wasn’t fun getting snatched off the street while trying to buy a bottle of fucking eggnog, but it was also kind of familiar. Being the only son and heir of a rich asshole was pretty much the definition of “juicy target,” and you add in the fact that Tony’d spent most of his life at least four hours’ drive away from the dubious protection of said rich -- and paranoid, highly-connected, and typically well-defended -- asshole, well, he’d been snatched more times than Dad had hundred millions. Which meant that, really, kidnapping wasn’t worth panicking over either.

And sure, usually it wasn’t by guys wearing military-grade tac gear -- and he knows from military gear, okay, he filed for his first patent on a more breathable Kevlar variant when he was thirteen -- taking him not to a warehouse or an abandoned bungalow or even a small ship that one time but instead to a worryingly established-looking concrete bunker complex that was… large. It was large, and secure, and looked worn-in like these goons had been operating out of it for a long damn time with no one interrupting them. It looked like -- like a fucking cliche Bond villain base, okay, with a fuckton too many people going about their business without so much as a raised eyebrow at a struggling prisoner for this to be some kind of splinter group or simple cadre of greedy opportunists. So, you know, kidnapping by well-organized and well-supplied quasi-military types and being hauled off to their extremely secure facility in the middle of nowhere that’s decorated with something that looks suspiciously close to a fucking Nazi offshoot’s logo, not a good thing, but not panic material, not really.

And the -- interrogations. That pretty much came with the territory, right? It shouldn’t even be surprising, much less worthy of panic. Bunch of militaristic goons grab you and carry you back to their lair, of course there’s gonna be questions and… unpleasantness. Aunt Peggy taught him enough basic counterintelligence that he could talk them into circles for minutes or even hours at a time before they caught on and got … annoyed, and really, he’s gathering intel of his own in the process. For instance, these were definitely the same fuckers trying to kill his dad, at least some of them were heiling Hydra like it’s 1942, they were not happy with his interference, and also Eyebrow Scar over there had a mean right hook, a kink for feeling up captives, and the situational awareness of a drunk possum, given how easy it was to pick his pockets.

When said pocket-picking combined with the bits and bobs he kept sewed into his clothes just-in-case gave Tony the tools to get into the wiring and override the lock to the room they’d been dumping him in between sessions, hey, no risk of panic there. When they caught him halfway through his escape attempt and dragged him back, that wasn’t good, but also not panic territory, not yet. Being forcefully stripped naked by a very irritated and even more handsy Eyebrow Scar and his equally-alpha pal Twice-Broken Nose in front of what felt like half the base and then kept that way, now that, that could make a reasonable person -- not, not panic, but maybe feel a little anxiety. Having your captor make cracks about how cute your little omega cock was while you shivered in the base’s freezing air and tried to count how many days it had been since you had your last dose of suppressants could maybe make someone else, you know, nervous. But he was Tony Fucking Stark, he’d had a sex tape before he was even legal, thank you Ty, so what’s a little nudity, right?

The, the second attempt, when they’d left him on the interrogation room’s floor after a particularly rough … Q&A where his lack of A had obviously really started to annoy them, that was… more of a problem. He’d managed to slip the cuffs and use the smallest knife as a lockpick on the door, pretty slick right, but that attempt falling through, that was rough. They, ah, were pretty angry after that one, and started getting creative about restraints between sessions, aka most hours of the day. They didn’t just dump him into a cell anymore, or trust regular cuffs to hold him. They brought out these heavy padded leather cuffs, right out of the BDSM pornos that he definitely never watched, for wrists and ankles both, closed with tiny -- and therefore nigh-unpickable-- padlocks and complete with all kinds of accessories to hook them too. And with him all strung up, certain other things fell by the wayside. They would put him onto his knees in the center of the room, with a good sharp kick if necessary, and latch on the bolted-down spreader bar to keep him there. Paired with chains coming straight down from the ceiling to his wrists, keeping his hands well up over his head and out of trouble, well, feeding himself would have been a real problem if they’d bothered to bring him any food. At least the bar was mounted right in front of the cell’s drain hole so he could.. Yeah. Doing that without being able to shift out of a kneeling position took some practice to get used to. Sleeping like that, likewise, when they let him sleep. It made the hours they’d drag him into another room for questioning start to have a certain appeal. At least for that they mostly hooked the wrist and ankle cuffs to a chair. The one thing he did get in the cell was water, at least some of the time. Twice-Broken Nose, Eyebrow Scar, or sometimes their pal Notched Ear would come in with a bottle. He couldn’t reach it, of course, not with his hands still chained in place, but they’d open it and put it to his mouth, let him drink from it while their hands wandered, mostly onto his chest.

And that, that he could … handle. Really. Honestly most of the time he was so focused on the water, on finally getting something to soothe his dry throat and fill his aching belly even a little, he barely even noticed the groping. But during the drink-and-fondle two days ago, it had felt… different. His chest was sensitive and sore and it wasn’t from the beatings, and he would have known exactly what that meant even if he hadn’t been counting the days since his last pill. His heat was coming, very soon, and it would be a detox heat. He’d been on suppressants since he first presented at fourteen and only ever had a shadow of a real heat, much less one of the legendarily intense detox heats that came when you went off the pill. And that… that was something to panic over, even if it was a really bad time to do so.

The funniest part was, most people considered the detox heat a bonus of suppressants -- when you were on them, no risk of childbearing or an inconvenient week of lust-addled masturbation-and/or-screwing every few months, and when you were ready for kids your detox heat would make you even more horny and fertile than usual so you’d catch one of the little buggers that much faster. Win/win. Being held by what increasingly appeared to be a continuation of actual 1940s honest-to-Tesla Hydra and surrounded by enemy alphas who already spent way more time than was appropriate looking at you like meat? It’s kind of less of a win-win there. It was coming, and there was nothing he could do to stop it, so he had to think, which made this a really, really bad time to panic, however appropriate it felt.

The door to the cell opened again, what felt like only a few hours since the last “conversation” had left a new batch of scrapes for the collection. Tony managed to raise his head, hoping it was one of his three regular goons with water, or maybe even something to eat, but this time the door to his cell was filled by not just one but two of the guards, Notched Ear and an unfamiliar one. The latter was holding something, a strap of some sort, and something that clinked. He felt his body try to tense in alarm at the change, but he was cold and just so tired.

“Boss says he’s sick of you being useless, prettyboy,” the strange guard said as he approached. “You get in his way, derail his plans, and then can’t even tell him anything interesting. Tsk. Well. He figured out something you’re good for --” he paused to pull the strap thing in front of Tony’s half-focused eyes, revealing it to be a, a gag, a ballgag, oh, that wasn’t a good sign -- “that’s got nothing to do with your mouth. And since you won’t be needing it,” he added as he grabbed Tony’s jaw, applying painful pressure at the hinge to force his mouth open “he figured we might as well get to enjoy a little peace and quiet in the process.” The new guard pushed the ball in with two fingers, keeping them well back from Tony’s teeth, and held it there while Notch buckled the straps into place. “There,” he purred, petting Tony’s cheek mockingly, “better already. Now, they said you were a wily one, always slipping out of things you aren’t supposed to. So I reckon I gotta be real sure you won’t try anything cute.”

The guard limped slightly as he stepped behind Tony, bodyheat equal parts tempting and frightening with its proximity. One of his hands wrapped around Tony’s right wrist, just over the clip linking the ceiling chain to the padlocked cuff, before breaking the connection with his thumb. Before Tony’s exhausted arm could drop, Limpy grabbed it in his left, right hand sliding down the arm itself, tracing along the delicate inside and making Tony shiver with the contact, with feeling an alpha’s touch somewhere so intimate while so close to heat, both exciting and repulsive. He kept going, ghosting down Tony’s flank and continuing lower, over his hip and to the outside of his right thigh, making Tony bend back as much as the remaining wrist chain allowed when he crouched low and brought Tony’s right arm along for the ride. He felt the guard’s hand wander further, sliding down the inside of his thigh until he reached the bar’s integrated cuff and popped that open in turn. While he’d been focused on Limpy, Notch had moved closer, releasing Tony’s left wrist and then nuzzling his face into the omega’s exposed underarm. He hadn’t showered in weeks, but “Mmmmhm, smell that, Dave. He’s getting all warm,” the guard purred, and shit, it was probably true, given how Tony felt unaccountably torn between absolute disgust at the contact and noticing that the alphas touching him looked strong and healthy. Notch’s free hand echoed the trail down Tony’s left side even as Limpy’s fingers crept back up his right thigh, his breath heavy in Tony’s ear, making him shudder. He felt the left bar cuff come free and tried to surge forward, hoping to surprise the guards, but between the position’s strain and his hunger, his movements were weak, clumsy, and they kept hold of him with shameful ease.

It did help with one thing, at least. Limpy broke off feeling him up to snarl “See? That’s exactly the kind of cute shit I warned you not to pull. Not that it’ll matter for much longer, anyway. Your usefulness has just about run out, kid.” Notch growled out an ugly laugh and grabbed Tony’s right wrist from Limpy, passing off his left in exchange and leaving Tony’s arms crossed behind his back, tugging on his strained shoulders. “Still, we brought the good locks out for this one, since I doubt the regular carabiners would keep ‘em on you,” he added, grabbing the cuff around Tony’s right ankle and tugging his left arm to meet it, making his back and shoulders scream. He grunted in pain through the gag over the sound of a series of metallic clicks, and then again as Notch repeated the motion on the other side, locking his right wrist and left ankle together. “Combination locks, too,” Limpy purred, hand skating over the restraints and then down to cup -- fuck, to cup Tony’s ass, shit, that was a lot farther than any of them had gone before. “Not gonna have much luck fiddling with those, especially when they’re behind you and you’re… occupied, heh.” He squeezed slightly, but even as Tony braced himself for more fruitless struggling to get away, he let go, standing up. “Pity the boss said we couldn’t have any fun with you. But, you know, smelling other alphas on you like that… might make things end too quick, yeah? And that’s not what he wants. Rick, get his legs, I’ll take the front.”

In a confusing blur of motion, Limpy was suddenly in front of him, hands wrapping around Tony’s biceps to haul him up. Even as he whimpered in panic at the sensation of leaving the ground, something, presumably Notch, grabbed his knees and lifted, leaving him suspended helplessly between them and staring at the floor. There was a little puddle on the floor between them, just to the side of the drain, only a few drops’ worth but an odd sight until he realized that it was him, he’d already started slicking without noticing it, probably when the two big, musky alphas had gotten close. His body was already falling deep into heat and liked the presence of alphas, even though he wanted nothing to do with either of them. They carried him through hallways made identical by their featureless concrete floors, but he could tell when they went deeper and deeper, and that was not good, that was the opposite of the direction he wanted to go. He’d overheard things about the deeps, not much, nothing helpful, just that it was where they stored their dangerous, volatile … something. He hadn’t been able to figure out what. He wriggled as best he could, trying to gain any advantage, but all he managed to do was leave a faint trail of little clear droplets behind them. As they descended the lights grew dimmer and foot traffic, already scarce in the detention sector, dropped to nil. They paused in front of what looked like a heavy iron door, based on the bottom quarter or so visible to him. There was a scent in the hallway, something dark and somehow familiar, but he couldn’t quite place it.

“Here, take him a minute,” Limpy said, and then Tony’s shoulders spasmed in pain again as Notch took his weight fully, holding him up by the chains linking his wrists and ankles. He screamed behind the gag but Limpy just calmly took out a key ring and flipped past a couple until he found the one that evidently matched this door, opening it with an ominous creak and a wave of that scent, much stronger now. Before Tony could think clearly enough to place it, Limpy had his shoulders again, the two guards carrying him into a pitch-black cell. Once they were inside, though -- his head snapped up, exhausted neck muscles clenching in agony as his nostrils flared at that scent, he knew what that was. Rut. Fuck, there’s a rutting alpha in here, and he thought he could see -- see something, a faintly lighter patch of shadow at the far corner of the cell that was humanoid in shape and moving towards him, and no, no, unknown rutting alpha, danger. He started struggling against the guards’ grips again without making any conscious decision to do so, just knowing that he needed to get away from a strange alpha who’s already in rut, who might not be thinking clearly, who belonged to Hydra. Notch scoffed, and then Tony was falling, still thrashing helplessly, and then there was pain, his right shoulder lighting up with a new and sharper torment, accompanied by a loud, wet-sounding pop that he’s pretty sure was not a good sign, and oh fuck it hurt, it hurt, it hurt.

The next thing he knew, Limpy’s hand was fisted in his hair and he was growling “You think that hurts? You see that?” His head was yanked up, forcing him to look at the human shape now only halfway across the cell, before the alpha continued. “That rutting alpha’s the thing that makes monsters afraid, and you, little bitch --” Limpy’s free hand moved, two fingers pressing against Tony’s perineum and dragging up, right over his leaking pucker, no no no, “are starting to smell real sweet. All those fancy suppressants washed right out while the boss asked his questions, and you aren’t good for much at all now. Well, besides taking care of the rut your meddling left it awake to have. Rut’s been cooking a week already, stinking out the place, and I hear the Asset gets a little… feral when it’s alone too long. Hey, maybe it’ll even leave enough to bury, bet Mommy’ll like that. Well, ‘til the Asset does its job, anyway. Then she and your old man won’t like jack shit ever again.”

Limpy let go of his hair and then his boot was in Tony’s side, apparently eager to give him one more cracked rib for the road before -- before -- oh god. The door clanged shut, lock turning, and with it went all light in the bitterly cold concrete box, fuck, the box he was locked into with a rutting monster. He couldn’t see the alpha anymore, not that he really could before, but even the impression of lighter shadows in the general shape of a huge, hulking man had gone. His nose, however, had no such restriction, and god the alpha smelled strong, strong and like all he wanted to do was either fuck all night or tear something apart with his teeth. Maybe both at once. Tony couldn’t stop the little whimpers that made it out past the gag as he tried to wriggle backwards, up against the freezing metal door and into its corner, anywhere that was even slightly away from the monster they’d thrown him to.

He had to… had to… did the room get colder? N--no, that was his skin, heating up without regard for how dangerous it was to be shedding heat like that in such a … cold… why… why did his arm hurt… ‘sso cold, J, did the boiler break again? It’s okay that dad’s busy, I can fix it. His attention snapped back to the cell when he heard a low groan followed by sounds of movement, oh fuck, no, no. He squirmed back, pressing into the corner even though every movement sent spikes of pain through his right shoulder. No, no, please. He didn’t mean to, he just didn’t want Dad to die, please. Of course, the gag turned it all to mush, not that it would have slowed down one of Hydra’s pet monsters. He remembered enough of history class to know that. Tony tried the cuffs again, in the desperate hope that maybe this time the leather had weakened even slightly, maybe he’d somehow break free and… fuck, get chased around the lightless cell for a while before getting pounced on anyway? It wasn’t like he’d had anything to pick the lock with, even if he could have seen it, or even the most basic weapon. They’d caught a pretty twenty-one year old omega, stripped him naked, tied him up, and thrown him to a rut-mad monster. People made shitty C-movie horror pornos about that, and spoiler alert, it didn’t end well for the omega.

The alpha took a step closer and Tony couldn’t keep himself from jerking against the chains again, even as the fragment of his mind that was still mostly rational noted that thinking about schlock filmmaking at a time like this probably meant he was well into heated-up irrationality, not that it would matter for long. The scents and sounds tracked closer, closer, then practically on top of him before he heard a groan that sounded almost like… metal tearing under stress, no, that couldn’t be right, had to be the he-- but then he felt the searing warmth of a hand on his right flank, pulling him. He tried not to go with, but even that one hand’s surprisingly gentle pressure was too much for him to resist, and he found himself rolling onto… someone’s thighs? His throbbing right shoulder brushed against a fire-hot and rather… firm stomach, forearm pressing against -- oh, no, shit no, that felt like -- and then there was pain, more blinding pain in his arm and something must be fucking up the signals in his brain because it felt like something metal, several somethings, was pressing against him, and then suddenly the pain just stopped and he couldn’t think for a few seconds as the rush of endorphins swirled with his heat and overwhelmed him.

The alpha started touching him, then. Not groping, exactly, not like the guards’ casually proprietary touches, clearly for their own enjoyment. The alpha was touching him a lot, though, hand -- right hand, probably? -- skimming over Tony’s arms and chest, barely brushing his hips before continuing down his legs, and hey, he shouldn’t be able to move his legs this much, was he… free? Did the alpha somehow get him loose? That wouldn’t make any sense, not unless he liked playing with the omega before -- that, liked chasing him around the tiny space until he collapsed, which, in fairness, wouldn’t take long. Tony was already dizzy and confused just laying out against the alpha’s thighs and feeling his fever-hot hand trail gently, almost disinterestedly, over him. The alpha’s thighs tensed, cock throbbing where it pressed along the length of a frankly terrifying proportion of Tony’s forearm, and then he was moving, shooting up into the air and moving, holy shit, how strong was this alpha to be able to lift and carry him so easily? Not that Tony was a particularly big guy, but the alpha went from kneeling with him splayed across his lap to walking with Tony in a bridal carry without so much as a pause. He tried to figure out what that might mean, but the next thing he knew there was water, freezing water everywhere. He tried to move away from it, but the alpha was kneeling again and his arms were still wrapped quite firmly around Tony, keeping him still, rubbing all over him like before but now there was an invisible, frigid torrent and somehow he couldn’t think clearly enough to figure out which way it was coming from, how to get his face out of it and get a real breath, and was this -- did the alpha like them… not moving anymore? Tony choked down a sob and tried to wriggle away, back in the door’s probable direction, anything that was even slightly farther away from -- that. The alpha let him this time, let him crawl in the dark with his half-numb legs and one working arm into the nearest corner, and it wasn’t the door he was pressed up against but trying to go any farther felt dangerous.

He couldn’t see, nothing, and the center of the cell could have anything in it, not that it was particularly spacious to begin with. If Hydra’s alpha wanted a runner, he thought darkly, he was going to be pretty goddamn disappointed. He’d have to give Tony a meal and a couple hours’ sleep before he could even manage to be much of a walker, going by how his body felt. Fuck, it was cold. Not quite enough to freeze the water solid, but then again, don’t want the prisoner to be able to make some sort of… ice weapon. Yeah, that was plausible, he thought in dark self-deprecation. I’ll get right onto jumping that monster alpha just as soon as my ice knife forms. I’ll definitely take him down, no problem. His fingers were going numb, his toes already there, but he managed to work open the buckle on the gag after a few fumbles. Working his jaw, he all but laughed as he thought about trying to go after the alpha with his fictional ice-knife and his teeth. Real dangerous. Definitely gonna make him think twice about tearing me in half with that monster dick, yup. He pulled his knees up close to his chest for warmth and wrapped his left arm around them, shivering, and pressed harder against the wall, staring out blankly.

It got hard to tell what was happening, after that. It was just so cold, cold and silent other than the dripping of water and a quiet clicking sound… what was… oh, that was his teeth. He must have been shivering. Something seemed wrong about that, but he was so tired, he just wanted to sleep. If he slept, it wouldn’t be so cold…maybe he should just… rest a while...

Suddenly the alpha’s firebrand grip was on his biceps, one arm wrapping around his back while the other scooped under his legs, and he couldn’t feel its warmth, why couldn’t he, his skin couldn’t be that far gone, could it? Tony tried to move again, to pull away, but his body wasn’t responding anymore, too weak and hungry and cold to obey properly, muscles barely even twitching. The alpha picked him up again, just as easily as either of the times before, and Tony was too tired to panic. Whatever he does, at least it’ll be over. They moved for a few seconds before he felt himself being lowered onto something that seemed surprisingly comfortable compared to the concrete, slightly rougher-textured -- cardboard? Up off the floor, it wasn’t quite so cold. Then the shape of the maybe-cardboard surface registered and that, that seemed uncomfortably bed-like. Tony felt his stomach clench, whether in fear or hunger or both he didn’t know. Before he could decide, suddenly the alpha was on top of him, no, no no no no no. Tony tried to throw him off, hips shifting to use his slight weight with the greatest leverage possible, but the alpha didn’t so much as rock for all his struggles. His -- his legs were warm, some part of Tony’s brain recognized. He could feel them against his own, so why had he felt nothing when the alpha picked him up? More urgently, his cock was also warm, warm and poking pretty insistently against Tony’s lower belly, and shit, he was big. Mostly Tony slept with betas, and occasionally other omegas -- alphas were hot as fuck, but seldom worth the obnoxious posturing and retrograde alpharchal expectations most of them came pre-packaged with -- so he wasn’t super familiar with the territory but that felt big even as alphas went.

The alpha’s weight shifted slightly as he pinned down Tony’s good arm with an elbow and messed with something in his hands. Shit, was that the gag? Maybe he wanted it to be quieter. Tony felt his breath quickening, panic rising, but when something pressed gently against his mouth, it didn’t feel like the plastic of the gag’s ball. It almost felt like… he opened his mouth, biting down tentatively, and that was food. Kinda weird-tasting food, but still food, and he couldn’t help but take another, larger bite, suddenly terrified the alpha would take the food away after he finally got a taste. As he finished the weird cracker thing, he stopped struggling. It was clearly doing fuck-all, and the alpha hadn’t done anything yet, and he was starting to be able to feel his fingers again, so may he could just… wait and see what happened. He swallowed the last jammy, preservative-laden bite, and then there was something else against his mouth. He licked out, more curious than afraid, and it tasted like strawberries even if the texture was weird, so he tried another bite, and wow, yum, that was way better than the jelly-cracker stuff. He couldn’t hide his eagerness, but the alpha didn’t take this away either, just stayed on top of him with his hard cock pressing against Tony’s thigh, feeding him weird dried strawberry stuff a bite at a time.

Deciding to press his luck, he said “So… I guess thank you? I mean, food is, I hadn’t actually eaten in, well, the fucking Hydra goons didn’t exactly leave me with my day planner, but it’s been a while. So thanks for that. You are… still on top of me. That’s, that’s something, that is a thing that is happening right now. But not moving, so, uh, should I take it that you, um… aren’t planning on… doing anything with, uh, with that? Because, because, really, it would be a good idea for you to not, my Dad is going to be pissed enough that I disappeared and he has missiles, really big, really… boomy missiles. And guns. So, uh, not, not ra-- not doing that is a totally rad idea.”

God, Tony thought, you sound like an almighty idiot. An almighty idiot who’s still slurring a bit, good job nearly freezing to death, impaired speech is a key sign of early-stage hypothermia.The silence stretched on for a worryingly long time, but before Tony could figure out what he said wrong and how to fix it, there’s a low, growled “Cold.”

Oh shit, what did that mean, cold. The alpha’s voice made it seem like he gargled shrapnel daily and could kill a mastodon with his teeth and yeah, okay, some stupid heat-addled primal corner of Tony’s brain wanted to purr and slick faster at how powerful and masculine the alpha sounded, so deep into rut he was monosyllabic and probably completely ready to fuck like a dynamo for days, but the rest of Tony’s brain thought he was an idiot for potentially pissing the guy off, and also, what did cold mean, shit!  “Are you, are you saying you only aren’t already -- already -- that because it’s cold? Because it doesn’t feel like the cold is slowing you down one bit in that department, buddy, you are, you are raring to go and right, right up against my thigh, oh my God, oh my God Tony don’t fucking taunt the monster alpha they threw you to, oh shit that was out loud, please don’t--” and then the metal whatever was pressing against his mouth, surprisingly gentle. It had ridges like -- he tried to turn it around in his head -- fingers? Was this guy wearing some kind of … gauntlet? No, the guards wouldn’t have left him with that kind of a weapon… unless it wasn’t removable. Some kind of prosthesis?

“Cold,” the alpha repeated before removing the metal maybe-fingers. “You. Stay.”

Tony’s mind whirled as his body warmed, mouth outpacing his good sense as it did altogether too often. “Shit, I guess what they say about alphas going damn near feral in rut is true, if you’re still stuck at monosyllab -- wait. Wait, you -- you’re worried about me? The -- the cold. It’s really damn cold in here, and you’re -- you’re trying to keep me warm. This is your -- well, bed isn’t quite the word, but the only option to stay up off the concrete for either of us. Shit, you idiot, Tony. He’s in a goddamn freezing barren cage just like you. And my -- my shoulder. You fixed it, it stopped hurting when you grabbed it, and then you -- you were cleaning me off, not trying to drown me, huh. You fixed my shoulder, cleaned me up, fed me, and are keeping me warm. Hunh. Those protector instinct are probably screaming, aren’t they. Even with the, thing. Is that why you’re uh, on me, but not… doing things?”

There was another awkward pause, but this time Tony wasn’t so sure it would end violently. Really, the alpha hadn’t done anything bad to him at all, had actually been really nice, all told. He was really, really fucking grateful for the meal, and the cuddling might very well have been saving his life, even it came with an unfortunate (very fortunate, heat-brain whispered) side of very large, very hard alpha dick. Which the alpha almost certainly couldn’t control, now that he groped around his thawing brain for that mandatory health class at Phillips. Alphas in rut could absolutely control their actions, but their hormonally-triggered vasodilation, not so much. When he was about to decided that the silence just meant the alpha didn’t plan on answering him, he heard another low, growled out word, this time “Protect.”

Tony felt something go loose and easy in the back of his brain at that, which was probably stupid but he also had very limited options, and he couldn’t really see the downside of playing along with the alpha’s instincts as long as he stayed so docile and… helpful. He sighed once before saying “Okay. Okay, I’m gonna, gonna sleep for a bit, okay. I don’t know the last time they let me sleep, and you’re, mmmhm, warm.” He turned his head to the side, trying to get comfortable under the bulk of the man pinning him, and was surprised when the alpha moved a little more towards Tony’s good side, curling around him and sliding an arm under Tony’s head as a pillow, and wow, that’s, that was really nice, and the alpha totally smelled great, all musky and masculine and rutting, and he couldn’t resist snuggling in just a little bit and enjoying the warmth before dropping off to sleep.

------

The first thing Tony became aware of as he woke was a steady, insistent friction against his left hip. Whoever he’d taken home last night apparently wanted a little breakfast and thought a roll with honey in bed sounded delicious. Mmhm, by the feel of him, that was going to be a wonderfully filling breakfast too, just the thing for heat, and wait, what was up with the bed. Tony’s eyes opened onto blackness and the past few weeks rushed back in a blur as the rocking continued, moving a few inches down to his thigh as the alpha buried his head in the crook of Tony’s neck, scenting him. He murmured “Hello there alpha dick, I see you’re still up and at ‘em” as he wriggled a little bit, testing, and then freed his left arm from where it was pressed between their bodies, brushing against the alpha’s erection in the process. He grunted eagerly at the incidental contact and ground up against Tony’s thigh again, which only served to make him more aware of his own erection, driven by heat and the intoxicating smell of warm, protective alpha plastered all over him after weeks of fear and cold and loneliness.

He kept going, reaching for it, but he remembered his presentation heat well enough to know that it wasn’t really his dick craving things, that was just incidental. He spread his legs a bit and wow he smelled strong, but he really needed -- “Shit, I’m wet. I don’t suppose you have a knotting vibrator stashed in that box of MREs, do you?”

The awkward silence was shorter, this time, before something plasticky nudged against his hip. Tony grabbed it, looking down on instinct even with his eyes less than useless in the blackness, but his fingers and the memory of last night’s food was enough to tell him it was probably just an MRE or near equivalent -- not exactly prime dildo material. He found himself continuing “Yeah, didn’t think so. Fuck, of all the times to have a fucking detox heat. Well, I guess there’s fuck-all for privacy here, but at least I can do this not on your… box bed thing.”

Then Tony tried to do the honorable, polite thing, really, but the alpha started growling and pressing him carefully back down onto the cardboard, which freaked Tony out for a couple of seconds before the the alpha ground out a quiet “Warm.”

Tony eased back down, content to play along if it kept the alpha calm and honestly not really caring that much if it got him any closer to getting off, and said “Uh, I am, I am staying here, I guess. Okay. Uh, it is pretty warm, that’s true. Well, relatively, I mean, compared to the heat-death-of-the-universe thing the rest of this lightless little hole is doing. All temperature is relative, even if only to the molecularly predetermined freezing point of a random monoxide, so, ah, um. Shit. I gotta -- this is not a come-on, okay, but I gotta -- fucking heat, I gotta take the edge off. So don’t get weird. … Weirder.” Then he gave in and eased his hand back between his legs, sliding two fingers into his soaking pussy and working, and oh fuck yeah, that was the stuff, this wasn’t gonna last long.

Just when he started to get close, though, he remembered his dick, and yeah, that’s exactly what he needed to finish, that would be perfect. Without particularly thinking about it, he reached for his erection with his right arm, hissing slightly in discomfort at the movement, and then something metal wrapped around his wrist, returning it to his side and bringing the alpha so close, god he smelled good. He couldn’t seem to resist whining aloud, “Fuck, ‘m so close, but I can’t with just fingers, come on.”

There was nothing but frustration and the teasing of his left hand for a long moment, and then the alpha’s hand brushed his dick, and fuck yeah, that’d do it, let’s do that, “yes, yes, yes!” As if he had been waiting for Tony’s approval, the alpha’s petting got marginally firmer, less tentative, and before long he could barely hear himself begging for more, lost in the work of his own fingers and the gentle, careful pressure of the alpha’s fingers on his cock. Within minutes, he came, spilling all over his belly in blissful release. Fuck, detox heats were hard, all you could care about was getting off, but shit did it ever feel good when you did.

He smiled more or less in the alpha’s direction and felt himself slip into comfortable post-sex babbling. “Wow. That was… not what I was expecting. Shit. Wow. Um, I guess -- my name is Tony, by the way. Probably should introduce myself to anyone who’s helped me out with a heat. Oh, and hey, happy 1992, by the way. If I counted the days right, anyways. Not quite how I imagined ringing in the new year, but also I’m not dead in a ditch and hopefully neither is Dad, so, you know, gratitude. I hear that’s in this year. Um.”

Tony paused as it occurred to him that his fingers were still buried in his pussy, and probably that was a little weird. He’d need another round eventually, but not right yet, and as he wiped them off on his thigh, he thought out loud “Hey, y’know, you did me a, mmhm, a really nice solid there. I still don’t wanna go all the way ‘cause I’m pretty sure you don’t have a lifejacket around and I have exactly zero time for babies, but --”

He reached out, brushing the alpha’s incredibly ripped stomach, and starting to drag his hand lower. Almost, almost, there, damn, it was thick too. He started jacking, setting up a slow and easy rhythm, and the alpha groaned like he’d never felt anything so good in his life. Dirty talk was pretty much automatic for him, so he didn’t even bother trying to resist the urge to say “Yeah, that’s nice, isn’t it. You’ve been -- really sweet, actually. All the alphas I’ve ever had apartments next to couldn’t seem to go two minutes without jerking it during a rut. And you did a nice job on me, least I can do it return the favor.”

In practically no time at all -- seriously, had this alpha never had sex, or even gotten himself off? -- he was gasping, thrusting into Tony’s fist all eager and instinctive for maybe thirty second before knotting the empty air, not even trying to hold it himself. “Not as good without a grip on your knot, but you seemed pretty insistent on the whole not-using-my-right-arm situation, so. Mmmhm, you smell much less like you want to fight and/or fuck something already, awesome.” He still smelled fucking delicious, though, musky and masculine, and Tony was pretty sure his heat would be asking for another round before long, especially if he kept snuggling with a guy who smelled that good and had been nothing but nice to him after… after a really damn unpleasant couple of weeks.

Tony lowered his arm idly, and abruptly noticed the cuff still on his wrist, and wait, they were locked together before. Terror and heat-brain had distracted him from the implications of his limbs being free before, but -- he rubbed the cuff against his thigh, and wait, that felt weird. In deference to Mystery Alpha’s -- and really, he should at least try to get the guy’s name, since they’d kinda slept together -- insistence on keeping his right arm still, he reached across his body with the left, trying to get a feel for the fittings of the cuff on that side. There, that definitely felt like torn metal, not cut or bent, and -- wait. He ran into the alpha’s metal something again, wrapped around his wrist with such careful pressure. Taking a chance, he stroked it a bit, and yeah, those were definitely fingers. “So I can’t see shit, but apparently I wasn’t hallucinating last night and your arm is made of metal. Which based on all the stuff you did with it and how precisely the fingers are working right now is incredibly cool and I really need to take you back to Boston with me so you can show me what you got when I can actually see it. I also felt the cuffs -- the padlocks are still there, but the chains linking them are broken, and the texture of the break clearly indicates metal stress as the cause, not a cutting implement, which is a lot of strength, like, Captain America levels of strength --”

The alpha grunted, surprisingly loud after his previous near-whisper growls, and Tony tensed, but no violence emerged. Instead, the alpha spoke again, saying “What. What is.” in this kinda tragically confused voice. Wait, was he asking what Captain America was? Hydra’s number one enemy? Although, this guy didn’t exactly seem like a tentacles true believer, so -- “Captain America? Steve Rogers? The Star Spangled Man With A Plan? The only confirmed superhero ever? Well, my dad’s been looking for him since pretty much two seconds after he disappeared into the Arctic, and shit, maybe look under the pallet thing we’re on because I’m pretty sure this place qualifies. What kind of rock have you been living under to not know Captain America, anyway? I’m pretty sure there’s, like, a dartboard of his face in every Hydra Fucker breakroom. And if you really are someone they snatched like me, then did you not make it through, like, elementary school history?” Tony paused. He couldn’t see the alpha’s face, but he seemed to be making a kinda worrying choking noise, and definitely not responding. “Um. Hey, mystery alpha dude -- you okay?” he tried.

The alpha remained unresponsive, and Tony dared to reach up with his left hand, finding the alpha’s side and trying to rub it comfortingly, and wow, he was really, really muscular, and -- was that metal at the top of his side? How far up did the metal go, and how was it attached? Tony wished there was any light in the cell for a couple of reasons now, wondering what the guy looked like but mostly just wanting to know what the hell was going on with him. The alpha made another low sound of confusion and what sounded like pain before grinding out “Steve” in this desperate voice, and shit, well, at least that was a question Tony could answer.

“Yeah, dude. Steve. Rogers. My dad’s favorite person ever, and he’d be oh so happy to tell you all about him and all the ways in which I damn well don’t measure up. Hell, you’re apparently immune to cold given how comfy you seem in the ninth fucking level of the Inferno here and you seem to be exhibiting all kinds of fucking enhancements. He’ll probably fall over himself to take you on the next searching expedition.” Tony bit his lip when he finished, realizing that probably he shouldn’t be quite so flippant to an alpha in such clear distress, but Captain Fucking Perfect wasn’t exactly his favorite topic even when he wasn’t stuck in a Hydra cell with a stranger during a detox heat, so forgive his fucking temper. Just in case, he went back to petting the alpha’s metal fingers, so hopefully he’d at least feel it coming if he snapped and decided to shut the annoying little omega up permanently.

The alpha made the faint keening sound again before simply saying “Yes.”

Well, that was a incredibly vague and unhelpful answer. “Yes what?”

“Yes. Steve. Find.”

Wow, even kidnapped by Hydra and heated up, everyone’s more interested is Captain Fuckoff than him. That shit could damn well give him a complex. Ugh, whatever. He nodded at probably-the-door as he said “Hate to break it to you, alpha, but you’re not going to find him in here.”

The alpha shift slightly on top of him before barking out a quiet “Stay,” and that’s great, thanks buddy, I’m definitely a naughty puppy who needs to be commanded like that. The guy got off him, though, and the cell felt abruptly colder for his absence. It was hard to tell with the heat fucking up his own bodyheat radiation, but was that guy… a couple degrees over baseline? Even given the temperature-rising properties of rut, he felt… warm. Really nice and warm.

Suddenly there was a massive clanging sound, louder than most bells, Shit what was that?! Tony thought frantically, and then did a little mental math -- iron door plus unknown-metal arm multiplied by some kind of enhanced strength -- “Woah, woah, whatever you’re doing, quit it! They’re going to hear you and we have exactly zero percent of a plan!”

The clang didn’t repeat, leaving Tony to try to guess what the alpha was thinking, when abruptly he was back at Tony’s side, radiating pleasant warmth and holding his wrist carefully. “Uh, okay, handholding, sure,” Tony said, feeling stupid even as he did. Shit, heat really did dumb you down, huh. Or maybe it was the lack of food -- one kinda-meal in weeks, while appreciated, wasn’t exactly going to get him back to top form. The alpha’s hands were doing something to the cuff, he couldn’t tell what, but suddenly the leather was coming free even as the alpha took his other wrist and -- those were padlocked on. There wasn’t any sound of tearing or even so much as a tug against his wrist, so the alpha must have just pinched solid brass apart without so much as a huff of breath. Definitely enhanced, and he’s pretty sure he could hear Dad drooling from here.

He kicked at his brain, trying to think of something useful he could be doing, and by the time the alpha had all four cuffs off, it occurred to him that, hey, if lack of food is making me dumb, maybe I should go get some of the food that’s already in here. He stood, reassuring the alpha with a casual  “If we’re about to get out of here, we’ll need supplies, and if it’s already down my throat I don’t have to carry it. You might want to eat too.”

The alpha offered the usual lack-of-response, and Tony shrugged into the darkness -- probably useless, but who knows, maybe Mystery Alpha had infrared vision as well as a sweet metal arm and some kind of super-strength. He found an open box of MREs by virtue of accidentally kicking it and hearing the loose supplies rustle, and reached in. A mystery military meal in utter darkness, appetizing. The alpha kept doing… whatever he was doing near-silently, only producing faint but regular thuds, while Tony squeezed out some sort of nominally-meat paste substance from the largest of the MRE’s component packages into his mouth, and okay, that was pretty gnarly, but it was definitely getting the job done.

He’d just about finished the fruitcake thing -- weird, but not as weird as eating the packet of peanut butter straight -- when suddenly there was light in the cell, not much but after so many hours of utter blackness it was bright enough. He scarfed down the last couple bites and, with the help of the new light, found the spigot Mystery Alpha must have used to wash him a few hours ago -- and really, now that he wasn’t terrified and freezing to death, he really was glad to not smell quite so bad anymore -- and got down a couple of gulps of still-freezing water. He turned back towards the alpha, approaching him as he yanked on the door, and wow, that was some impressive destruction. When he got close, the alpha barked out a surprisingly clear “Stay,” which was just not happening.

“Like Hell I’m staying in this shithole while you wander off to look for fucking Captain America with Dad. Don’t know if you noticed, but the neighbors weren’t exactly friendly before they tossed me in with you,” Tony mouthed off, and then stiffened when the alpha growled again, this time sounding angry, like really seriously angry, shit he was scary like that. He flinched back on instinct, but the alpha turned back to the iron door to, holy shit, peel off a piece of it like it was a fucking orange, that should not be hot and shit, he’s armed and… offering it out? Tony took the chunk gingerly, hesitantly, and when the man nodded, tried wrapping his fingers around the base and wow, Mystery Alpha had even squeezed a pretty good grip into the bottom of the door-chunk and also, now that he was closer and had light to work with, the alpha was… pretty damn fine. Could maybe use a couple of meals and some sun, but wow. Fortunately, he didn’t notice Tony checking him out, focusing instead on taking a much bigger chunk out of the door, an almost… shield-like chunk. They officially had weapons. Thing were very much looking up.

Mystery Alpha turned back towards him for a moment, facing him fully for the first time since the light broke in, and hey, he looked really familiar. Tony couldn’t quite place him, but that didn’t seem to matter very much when his face lit up with a gorgeous grin. He turned back, stepping into the hallway and that much closer to freedom, Tony following eagerly behind, as he said “No. Stay behind me.”

Chapter Text

As soon as they got into the hallway, Mystery Alpha dropped to the floor, face intent. Which reminded him -- “Uh, so, can I get a name or something? Because while ‘Mystery Alpha’ is very, like, dashing bodice-ripper and all, it’s kinda clunky. Also, why are you crouching on the ground?”

The alpha grunted at the first question, which was just totally helpful, but after the second question responded “Scent” in a much clearer voice than he’d had an hour ago.

Huh. Maybe the guy’d forgotten how to talk while he was in there, which said really scary things about how long he’d been alone and also how Tony may have gotten really, really lucky that this guy’s instincts spun to ‘protect’ and not ‘forcibly impregnate’ if he really was that feral.

“Um, based on context, I’m assuming that ‘scent’ is the answer to why you’re on the floor and not your name, only, see, that’s not really an answer in that my question is not even slightly less relevant when I say again, why are you on the ground?” Even as he asked, Tony started looking around, watching for guards, personnel, or anything useful. God, he’d really love some clothes right now, even if they were parachute pants or, shudder, a lime velour v-neck. He would even willingly wear jelly shoes if it meant getting his feet off this fucking concrete.

There was a pause in which the alpha scrambled forward, still low to the ground, and it should have looked ungainly but mostly just made him look like a dangerous predator with a really, really great ass. Then he said “Asset doesn’t. Know layout. Follow scent.”

Tony took a moment to decipher that -- a rather longer moment than if he hadn’t been in heat and presented with that ass -- and abruptly remembered the little trail of slick he’d been leaving when the guards dragged him down here from his cell. It had to be dried up by now, but if the alpha could follow it, could get them back to the general vicinity of where Tony’d been held before, Tony himself could definitely get them the rest of the way out. He’d memorized the layout of the top half of the compound within two days of being held and moved around in it. His escape attempts hadn’t failed because he’d gotten lost, only because he hadn’t been able to bowl past two or three beefy alpha guards at a time, and that -- he looked over at Mystery Alpha again, who’d moved most of the way down the hall with his nostrils twitching and the, 5 feet square, 3 inches thick, assuming pure metal, 600 pounds of iron at one-(metal)handed full extension without seeming to notice it -- seemed less likely to be a dealbreaker this time around. Also, a) MA definitely did have a metal arm, it did go all the way up, and Tony really needed some quality time with it in his lab in Boston, preferably while sitting on the alpha’s dick -- he could multitask -- b) he’d graduated to stringing multiple two-word phrases into intelligible sentences, this was a promising sign, and finally, c) wait, “Asset”? Did he refer to himself in the third person, and as just an… asset?

“You’re their… asset. Do you…” oh god please let him be wrong “do you work for Hydra?” he managed, voice squeaking out at the end. He didn’t stop following, though -- anything that got him closer to the surface and the areas of the compound he knew before superalpha over there snapped was a great idea.

There were maybe another sixty seconds of sniffing, navigating, and worrisome silence in which they rounded the corner onto another blank concrete hallway before he heard “Hydra bought. The Asset. Recently. Not sure how long. It’s 1992?”

Tony’s mind was whirling with what that could mean, but he answered promptly. “Yeah, it’s 1992. January … second, maybe. Maybe third. I usually have a good internal clock when I bother checking it, but I may have … inadvertently lost consciousness a couple times in the last week, so my math could be wrong. Did you say these Hydra fucks bought you?”

There was almost no pause this time, even though they were moving faster, Mystery Alpha having apparently gotten the scent of Tony’s slick well enough to only need to check the floor at intersections. “Union becoming unstable. Red Room needed capital for Mishka’s glorious capitalist future, da? Asset operational capacity declining. Maintenance-utility quotient no longer favorable. Cut our losses and sell broken Soldat to Americans, they won’t know any better.” At the end of this practical paragraph of a speech, the ‘Asset’ stopped, clutching his head in apparent pain, and choked out “Severe malfunctions. Immediate reconditioning mandatory.” So between whole phrases in a flawless Russian accent, the robo-speech, and going back to referring to himself exclusively in the third person, clearly Mystery Alpha the Asset was doing just great. Whatever, Tony couldn’t exactly throw too many stones on the stability front. As long as it was a productive madness -- as in, it continued taking them higher through the compound, which he was pretty sure it was -- it was a-ok by him.

Just as they started getting into an area that looked vaguely familiar -- not the main compound, but at least a couple levels closer than the deeps -- they hit company. He noticed ‘the Asset’ tensing well before he even heard them, a familiar voice saying “--unno, Dave, I’d have stuck around. I bet that bitch made the fun noises for a while, loud enough to hear outside, even with a gag. Even the Asset wouldn’t tear into him that fast, right?” The ever-charming Eyebrow Scar, he’d guess, presumably talking to Limpy.

His suspicions were confirmed when he heard the answering “Nah, man, you weren’t there. If you’d seen it, or smelled it -- I’m not sure the Asset even knows how to do anything fun with an omega, ‘cept tear one into screaming bits. It’s a miracle if the cunt’s still breathing by now.”

And, well, that kinda made the way Mystery Alpha set aside his hunk of door -- soundlessly, somehow -- and did a twenty-foot leaping pounce around the corner and directly on top of Eyebrow Scar while grabbing Limpy’s head and twisting even more magnificent. Tony only caught the tail end of the first move as he rounded the bend, Limpy’s body falling bonelessly as Mystery Alpha repeated the sharp twisting motion on Eyebrow Scar. His heat-brain all but purred at the sight of his alpha being… let’s go with ‘protective with extreme prejudice,’ very competently. That was, that was really very impressive. Also, he’d managed to identify their positions and take them both out in a single move without even being able to see them, which raised questions about exactly how enhanced he was. The rest of the hallway was empty, which made the alpha ditching his shield thing make more sense, and how had he known that, too? Could he hear heartbeats?

That was an interesting line of thought, but much more immediately, he saw the alpha stripping the two guards… two bodies now, he guessed, and hey, clothes. Even if they were icky Hydra uniforms, they were significantly better than freezing, and there wasn’t even any blood on them. He scrambled into the slightly smaller set, which still hung off of him in a way that probably made him look totally ridiculous, but it was still warm from its previous owner and while that was kind of gnarly, it was also warm which really took priority. There were even boots, regardless of how they were way too big for his stupid tiny omega feet. Mystery Alpha was getting dressed as well, and was kind of running into the opposite problem. Wow his shoulders were broad, and muscular, and, um. They’d better get out of here soon or else find a relatively secure room to hole up in for a while, because that felt like another wave of heat building.

Once he was dressed, while Tony still flailed around trying to get the unfamiliar boots laced on tight enough that he wouldn’t step out of them, MA retrieved his door-chunk and took a moment to stomp through Limpy’s face, which seemed unnecessary. Tony felt himself make a faint inquisitive noise, and this time the alpha’s response was prompt and seething. “This one. Smelled of you. Touched you. Hurt you. But it had to be quiet.” He proceeded to calmly wipe the sole of his boot off on Limpy’s underwear (Tony still had some limits, okay, emergency or not still-warm Hydra drawers were just a bridge too far) so it wouldn’t leave a trail. That also shouldn’t be hot, Tony told himself firmly.

Big strong gorgeous rutting alpha cuddling you and feeding you and smooshing anyone who hurt you, heat-brain retorted, which was a pretty solid argument. Even as he was thinking it, the alpha turned to him with what looked like one of those new PowerBars, presumably taken out of the now-ex Eyebrow Scar’s pockets, presenting him with the food first.

He shook his head, smiling, and the alpha nodded once before downing it in about two bites. That implied potentially interesting things about his gag reflex, if he wasn’t one of those alphas who thought they were too good to give head to an omega. He remembered the alpha’s tentative, gentle touches with a shiver. The alpha might not even realize it was an option, giving or receiving. While MA stuffed the bodies into a nearby closet, Tony took a few seconds to imagine introducing him, licking that big cock and actually getting to see what kind of faces the alpha made when he was enjoying himself this time around, mmmhm. Yep, yep, heat definitely building again, that was inconvenient. Sure, he could hold off on touching himself, theoretically indefinitely, but after a certain point the stink of his slick would be bad enough to warn any nearby Hydra goons of his approach anyway, which was sort of counterproductive for them getting out relatively unmolested. As if he could tell what Tony way thinking, Mystery Alpha’s head swung towards him, nostrils working. Right, enhanced senses. He probably smelled me get wetter when he offered me food. That… isn’t awkward at all, nope. He stepped closer, making Tony’s guts twitch in a dizzying mix of apprehension and arousal, and leaned in. Before Tony could ask what he was doing, he’d pulled out a large piece of cloth, what looked like a torn undershirt, maybe, and grasped Tony’s right wrist gently. Within seconds, his arm was in an improvised sling, the ache in his shoulder dying down with the extra support. The alpha looked him over one more time, something unreadable in his eyes, before turning around and continuing up the corridor.

They approached more Hydra personnel, all either alone or clustered in little groups of two or three, and Mystery Alpha continued working his way through them like they weren’t even there, giving them the same brutal, silent ends as the first two. In the process, they managed to pick up an impressive array of weaponry. Tony ditched the improvised club at the first opportunity in favor of a couple relatively small-cal handguns he was familiar with shooting (and therefore relatively accurate on), while MA kept his door-section shield, switching it to his right arm as he needed to crouch less and less often and the left seemed to be stronger. He also kept an automatic rifle at his hip and close to his shiny metal hand at all times with an air of extreme, almost foregone, competence, another thing that was definitely not hot. Tony was the son of an iron monger, okay, cut him some slack, weapon proficiency was in his blood. Even if Rhodey was the straightest beta ever born and never going to go for it, that didn’t stop Tony from getting a little tingle when they went out to a range. From a huge, handsome, protective alpha whose semen Tony still kinda smelled like? Yeah.

The alpha abruptly stopped a few paces ahead, freezing and tilting his head slightly. Tony recognized the area, on the edges of the populous part of the compound. “Large group ahead,” the alpha said in a whisper, possibly the first unprompted comment he’d made so far. “At least eight, as many as ten. At least one handler, triggers status unknown. High-risk confrontation.”

Tony whispered back just as quietly “I don’t know what half of that meant, but ten guys sounds like a lot. Come on, there’s a passage a couple hundred feet to your left, we can circle around them.” This time, Tony took the lead, guiding them into a small, disused hallway that led -- yes, this one should lead at least to his old cell, and if they didn’t run into too much trouble on the way up -- he realized he could hear something through the walls, probably from the large group they were avoiding.

“I heard you have some troubles deploying our Soldat,” a masculine voice with a fairly thick Russian accent offered.

“Certainly not. We have merely experienced some… delays,” another voice, this one American and prim-sounding, responded.

“Delay is trouble. Zimniy Soldat is like ice palace. Wonder of world… but not so good in thaw,” the Russian observed. Tony glanced over at his Mystery Alpha to see if he knew what the fuck they were talking about, and was surprised to find his eyes wide with panic, even though his steps never faltered.

Prissy American volleyed back “I don’t see how our use of the Asset is any business of yours anymore. Your people sold it to us. In fact, I’m less than clear on why you’re even here,” voice acidic but distant, as if they were moving away from him.

“We are living in post-Soviet world now, comrade. Is time of great chaos. Hydra comprehends order, and what order demands. Is good to be friends with such people.”

They passed the hallway leading to the kneeling cell, and then a few dozen yards later the one to the interrogation chamber. The voices faded away between the two, but Mystery Alpha still looked pretty freaked out, which was fair if Tony’s guess was right and it was him they were talking about selling and calling an “it.” He’d been Russian? Or at least kept by Russians. Shit, Aunt Peggy was going to have fun debriefing with Mystery Alpha if they managed to get out of here alive, “semi-retired” or not.

They managed to get up to the first level underground before running into any sizable patrols. The ‘Asset’s’ iron door shield seemed to be working really well, even in the face of half a dozen guys with guns, but it still took slightly too long for a combination of the alpha’s gun, shield, boundless acrobatic aggression, and Tony’s occasional shots to get all of them, and one managed to reach his walkie-talkie long enough to hiss “Asset is out of containment, repeat, Asset is hostile and out of contai--” before the alpha crushed his throat and left him in a pile in a supply closet with the corpses of his squadmates. Which was not attractive, Tony tried to remind himself, stealing the latest corpse’s pants to replace the ones he’d, sigh, already soaked through, and wiping up with a spare shirt. At least these pants were a marginally better fit, and wouldn’t smell quite so strong, until he soaked through them too. Stupid fucking detox heat, stupid fucking heat brain, stupid fucking him. It was a moderate comfort that at least he wasn’t alone in his unfortunate biological predicament -- the alpha had popped wood about a dozen hallways and three patrols ago, and it didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Watching a ripped alpha cave in heads and snap necks with a boner, not a kink Tony’d realized existed, but apparently it did and he had it.  

After the radio call, though, they started to run into real resistance, patrols actively looking for them, the base on high alert. Even his heated-up libido took a backseat to people shooting at him, and there were unfortunately a lot of people doing just that. They somehow managed to get to the ground floor before their luck ran out. One second, he was following along closely, watching their six, and the next a superhumanly powerful arm was shoving him (with surprising care) into a half-hidden alcove as the hallway lit up with gunfire. There were a number of sharp pings and unfamiliar screams, but following them came a meaty thunk and a pain-tinged grunt that sounded like his alpha, and that wasn’t good, shit.

Tony eased up to the edge of the alcove, trying to figure out what was going on. There were a bunch of guys already on the ground, not moving, but there was a large red stain spreading on the right leg of Mystery Alpha’s stolen pants and there were still half a dozen guys in front of him, including one in the far back with no visible weapon, wearing what looked like a modified Soviet Army dress uniform.

In a flash of movement, he threw the improvised shield directly into the chest of the biggest of them, accompanied by meaty crunching sounds and the guy definitely not getting back up. With the other, metal arm, he bounced the remaining enemies’ bullets into the leftmost, taking him down too. He shot the third directly, only to snarl when the gun promptly jammed before the guard even finished falling. He threw the useless weapon at the fourth enemy, crushing his throat, but not before number five managed to get a couple more shots off, and these ones the alpha didn’t all manage to bounce. Tony looked at the Asset’s bloodied pantleg, did some quick math, and realized for it to be that wet already, they had to have at least nicked an artery, and how the fuck was he still standing and fighting with that kind of injury? Amazing powers of rut-driven aggression or not, his alpha was cruising to run up against a critical blood deficiency and fast if he didn’t get that wound bandaged, ideally by some sort of competent medical professional. That must be what slowed him down enough to get shot again, and this was obviously a problem, but Tony couldn’t interfere directly without distracting him, and he didn't have a clear line of fire.  

Mystery Alpha leapt onto the fifth guy before he could get another shot off, but even Tony could tell it was off, the landing wrong like his leg had barely caught him in time. The back of the guy’s skull turned into paste against the concrete wall, but the alpha on top of him hissed in pain and wavered, grabbing the hole in his thigh with his flesh hand and baring his teeth at the last man in a grimace that looked as agonized as it did threatening.

“O, moy Soldat. Vy vsegda byli krasavitsey na rabote,” the last man said, unnaturally calm. It was the Russian, seemingly untouched by the violence, dress uniform still crisp. He took a casual step closer, apparently unthreatened by the display of hypercompetent murder Mystery Alpha just offered, and smiled. “Privet, domashneye zhivotnoye. Nepravil'noye povedeniye dlya novykh vladel'tsev?”

“Net, net, net,” the alpha moaned, dropping the last corpse to catch himself heavily with his metal arm as he abruptly slumped towards the wall. The gunshot wounds had combined to form a surprisingly small but growing puddle of red under him, and his face was looking a little pale, although that might be as much from fear as blood loss based on his expression.

“Zhelaniye, rzhavyy, semnadtsat', rassvet,” Russian Guy said, and Mystery Alpha dropped to his knees, grabbing his head in obvious pain with blood-soaked hands. That, that was not a good sign, he'd been going through as many as six guys at a time like they were made of cheese all day, how were a couple Russian words incapacitating him to that extent? Finally presented with a clear line of fire, Tony leaned out of his hiding spot.

“Pech'. Devyat'. Dobroserdechnyy,” the Russian barked out, going faster now.

Mystery Alpha looked up at the Russian, face full of pain and despair, and said “Tony, run. I’m not gonna be safe in a minute.”

“Vozvrashcheniye na rodinu.” The man smiled, sick and gloating. “Odin,” the operative purred, almost lovingly.  

The Russian opened his mouth again, but before he could make more than a “Gruh” sound, a neat little hole appeared just left of the center of his forehead.

“Damn,” Tony muttered as the body collapsed. “Angle was off by a couple degrees. Probably from using my off hand.”

Mystery Alpha looked up, shaking, face a mask of confusion and fear. “You… you stopped him.”

He shrugged. “I figured anything that had you that freaked out was bad, and I should stop it.”

“You stopped him. For the A-- for me.” The alpha’s face was blank with wonder.

Tony bit his lip and then hurried over to patch him up. “Yeah, I stopped him, but I don’t have your Karate Kid moves so I just had to use a boring old gun. So, uh, I notice you’re kinda leaking some life juice there. I think we’re close to the motor pool, but you… really probably shouldn’t be walking on that while it’s still going, and I don’t think I can carry you. Um.” He paused for a second, looking around frantically, there, that would probably work. Tony reached down and grabbed the Russian’s fussy gold belt, pulling it off and dropping to his knees in front the other man. The alpha leaned in and scented along his neck on what seemed like pure instinct, and holy hot damn, he was still hard. This is your brain on rut, apparently. Under happier circumstances, Tony would be very interested in letting him sniff anywhere he damn well pleased and preferably without all the clothes in the way, but for the moment he focused on getting his arm out of the sling -- ow -- so he could wrap the belt around the alpha’s thigh just above the entry would, cinching it tight with a spare clip and tying it off with the rest of the belt before looking for the other shot. There was a bloody hole in his stolen uniform blouse along his right side, but when Tony moved the fabric aside to look, there was only a half-healed scrape. Damn, whatever enhancements he had were strong.

“Do you think you can get up?” he asked, and the alpha nodded, color returning slightly to his face. Tony popped up, scanned the floor for anything else useful, and grabbed a couple of the guards’ dropped weapons, being sure to avoid the one that had jammed and then been used as a projectile. By the time he turned back, his Mystery Alpha was standing again, still looking all imposing and dangerous -- maybe even more so with the bloodstains and all -- with only a little help from the wall. He offered the alpha the guns and he grabbed one of the big-mag automatics, holstering it against his hip, which was really not something an ordinary mortal would do but hey, clearly he’s a superalpha so sure. Tony tucked his arm back into the sling and moved around to his right, sliding up under his flesh arm. The alpha raised an eyebrow at the move, and Tony gave him his least impressed expression. “Yes, yes, you’re very big and alphaly, you’re also kinda perforated at the moment, and all those very loud gunshots are probably telling everyone on the base exactly where to look for us. We need to move fast. I’m pretty sure your dignity can recover from letting a lowly little omega help you better than your brain can from a hollow-point.”

The alpha blinked at him even as they started moving at pretty close to a normal pace. The unsettling facial wonderment continued as he said “You’re helping the Asset. Even though it failed and sustained damage.”

“Shyeah, I'm helping,” he replied, pausing to check around a corner before rounding it. “Even if you hadn't just saved my life repeatedly and broke me out of that cell and unchained me, I'd still be getting you out of here. I'm pretty sure that a) you're a prisoner too, which means of course I'm getting you out, and b) when Hydra realizes you're free they're going to be really, really pissed, and while I live to be infuriating to authority figures in general, I gotta say it really adds that extra savor when I get to fulfill the life goal of being personally infuriating to Nazi authority figures. I mean, how many people much younger than Dad get to say that? Not many. And I'm gonna be one of them.”

The alpha smiled down at him like he was some kind of angel descended from on high, which might be the blood loss, but they were making shockingly good time so the babbling must have served its purpose and distracted him from the pain of walking on that kind of injury. Although… that half-assed tourniquet was apparently doing one hell of a job, given the lack of blood trail. Score another one for the superalpha, I guess.

They turned another corner and oh, beautiful sight, the motor pool! There were a couple of guards scattered around, but as far as he could tell most of the goons hadn't realized how fast the escapees would be able to make it from High Noon Junction back there to the garage, and were still searching the building for them. However, some guards were still a much bigger problem than no guards, and his metal-armed white knight probably wasn't up to his usual human blender impersonation. He felt the alpha tense anyway, putting more weight back on his injured leg like he was planning to fight with zero regard for the fact that there was a moderately large hole through some pretty important thigh real estate. Tony hissed “Hold on. They aren't paying much attention yet, but if you go for one of them the others will come, not to mention calling down the rest of the compound onto our heads, and you aren't moving as fast as you were before nearly dying or whatever. Stay here, I got this.”

Tony moved forward, slipping out from under the alpha's big, warm arm, and wow that had felt good, to a faint unhappy grunt but otherwise a lack of protest, which was kind of spectacular as alphas went. Look at him, acknowledging an omega’s superior situational competence. If he kept it up, he might even prove to be boyfriend material. The metal arm, medical care, and rescue from Nazis were already significant points in his favor, not to mention his scent.

Tony crept along the darkest edges of the garage, trying to figure out which car had the best balance of availability, durability, and power. Once he hotwired a ride, he could just run over any guards who tried to stop him from circling back to pick up Mystery Alpha from the dark but relatively accessible corner he was waiting in, and then they could drive off into a sunset hopefully featuring medical attention, a large and well-appointed bed, and condoms. Lots and lots of condoms. Maybe some chocolate body paint too. Shit, the longer out from gunfire he went the more his libido woke back up, and not only was that distracting, but more urgently it was a smell that really, really grabbed an alpha guard's attention.

Like over there, where one of the guards was sniffing the air curiously. Fuck, no more time. He rounded the edge of a sedan and hello, there, nice big armored off-brand Humvee. Yeah, that'd work.

The handle turned and the door opened with a click that was probably actually very quiet but sounded more like a resounding clang in the relative silence of the garage even as Sniffy turned to his nearest buddy and said “Hey, do you smell something? Something kinda… sugary?”

He scrambled into the cab as quickly as possible, closing the door behind him. He ducked low, prying open the steering shaft panel with the suspiciously tacky knife he'd found in the center of a red-brown puddle in the passenger seat, ew. Between his teeth and the knife, getting at the wiring was a breeze even with his right arm aching with every use, and then -- aha, gotcha. Armored outside you may have, Mr. Not-Humvee, but a car is a car to an uninspired engineer, and I know cars.

After a moment's concentration, the truck roared to life and ooh, that sounded like someone substantially upped the engine power, they might be able to make better than its 55 MPH spec, that'd be useful. He silently thanked whatever military engineer decided to go with automatic transmissions as he tucked his arm back into its sling again, oh sweet relief, and switched into drive left-handed. He peeled out into the garage, still staying low in the seat, and headed for the spot he'd dropped off Mystery Alpha before. Unfortunately, he'd apparently developed some company in the intervening minutes, as there were two guards with stun batons and very unpleasant expressions backing him into a corner, and his rad metal arm didn't appear to be working. Tony hit the gas, speeding up toward them. MA's eyes widened in delight and… was that lust? right before he faked left, jolted right, and grabbed the guard in front of him, bodily throwing him into the path of the Humvee.

The meaty squishes as a powerful force hit a very movable object weren't enough to drown out the alpha’s scream of pain when the remaining guard took the opening to step a pace closer and shock him again, saying “Stand down, Asset. This will all be over soon. All that's left is you deciding how much it hurts.”

With a setup like that, Tony couldn't exactly resist gunning the engine and sliding into a turn, swinging the back of the Humvee around just in time to smash the asshole between its rear corner armor plating and the convenient concrete pillar the alpha’s move had lined him up against. Tony also couldn't help throwing out an “Actually, I think it's over now” as the alpha leapt for the door he'd opened mid-turn.

Even injured, he made a ten-foot jump into a moving vehicle look as easy as getting picked up by your limo, and Tony wasn’t even going to try to pretend that wasn't hot. As soon as he was in and the passenger door closed behind him, the alpha turned to Tony with a hungry expression. Oh, right, he'd spent a couple minutes now in a confined space, seeing his alpha being really fucking sexy, and these seats were fabric and therefore pretty absorbent. All he said was “Drive. Fast. Guard radioed the Asset's position before incapacitation. Go north,” but his eyes pretty clearly conveyed “Let's get out of here so I can eat you right up,” or maybe that was wishful thinking on Tony's part.

They emerged from the garage to a couple of guys with automatic rifles, but the armor plating did its job as Tony swung the truck around, heading perpendicular to the setting sun and also directly away from the gate, what the hell. Still, going with Mystery Alpha’s instincts had worked out pretty well for them thus far, so Tony put on more speed. Even as he did, the alpha lowered his window, turned, tossed a handful of grenades back into the motor pool, and calmly added “Spikes at the gate. Even with runflats, mobility will be hampered. 60% chance of recapture within one hour. Hold her steady, nice and straight.”

Tony did so, even as in his peripheral vision the alpha reached behind the driver’s seat and hauled out what looked and sounded like a couple of mostly-full yellow jerrycans, stacking them on his lap. Then he opened the door even though they were going over 25 and still gaining speed. Tony started doing some math in his head, couldn’t stop himself really, and if those were what he thought they were, a) wow, that was some irresponsible storage, b) his alpha clearly trusted him to do some precision driving, and c) this was going to be fun.

The alpha leaned his body halfway out the open door as they hit 30, seat belt wrapped casually around his limp metal arm as afterthought belayment. Then he grabbed the first can, lined up, and tossed it, at minimum, a third of a mile, right up against the compound’s far wall. He repeated the toss with the rest of the cans in a handful of seconds, reached across to his left hip, and pulled out the automatic still strapped there. Tony made an unhappy noise, because despite what movies would tell you, shooting gas cans wouldn’t actually make them explode, and they were really starting to get worrisomely close to the wall and still picking up speed. Once the cans were perforated, though, the alpha pulled out a light green grenade with a bright yellow band and threw it directly at the puddle of gas and stack of half-full metal cans at the base of the wall. Tony counted in his head as it arched -- two -- three -- and then there was a bright white flare immediately followed by a very, very large boom and, from what he could see through the billowing smoke, a lot of structural damage to that inconvenient wall ahead of them.

He gunned it without having to be told as the alpha ducked back inside the cab and shut the door again, curling down into the footwell. Tony stayed low and kept going, bracing for impact as he passed through the smoke, fire, and raining chunks of concrete into, oh fuck yes, open countryside. He eased off the gas just enough to dodge the handful of trees between him and what could only with generosity be called a road, and then they were off without so much as a single follower as the alpha let out a rather uncharacteristic whoop of joy and said “Merde, regarde ça, Jacques! Je pense que j'ai battu ton "boom" à Lyon!”

Tony blinked because, okay, hello even more multilingual alpha, that’s hot too, and maybe it was the freedom getting to him, but a corner of his brain started thinking about finding somewhere safe to hole up soon and getting a little better acquainted. The rest was scanning for landmarks or at least a road east and/or south. He was pretty sure they were still in the continental US, and based on his incredibly limited knowledge of trees, probably somewhere vaguely Northeastern, which meant if they went south and east they’d find a city eventually, and he could call Jarvis and Dad and get home. Home had very nice things like real baths, and a private chef, and those aforementioned lots and lots of condoms. Meanwhile, he had a moment of gratitude in his mom’s general direction for insisting that of course he also needed to learn French, and asked “Je ne savais pas que tu parlais français. C'était russe plus tôt, non? Et qui est Jacques?”

The alpha pulled up short, looking over at him with a confused expression. He blinked for a second before saying “Is that French? I don’t know that.” Well, that left Tony with an interesting puzzle. Aunt Peggy was definitely going to want to meet this one.

“Don’t worry about it,” he continued in English. “My mistake. Say, any idea where we are? Or how you knew to go north out of the garage?” More confused blinking followed. “... Guess not. Uh. Unless you have a better idea, I’m heading southeast until I can find something a little less conspicuous to jack, and maybe a motel.”

The alpha nodded calmly, seeming to settle into his seat more comfortably, almost dozing in all appearances of complete trust. Tony opened up the engine, eyes focused on the road for now. He had a feeling that, at least once they got somewhere even halfway safe, he was going to find the fun had only just begun.

Chapter Text

While he drove, Tony took very careful stock of their resources, mostly as a way to distract himself from how good Mystery Alpha was smelling now that they were in a confined space together and heroically messy deaths were a lot less likely.

Resources. Right. Well, his sum total of relevant operational knowledge was that they were driving down a “road” with no markers, signs, or paving, in a stolen Nazi Humvee, into the moonless, snowy, and extremely cold falling night somewhere in the middle of nowhere, Northeastern US.

They had… just over a quarter tank of gas, which put their range at something like sixty miles max, since all the spare cans of diesel had, ah, facilitated their exit, and apparently Hydra couldn’t be fucked to top off their tanks once in a while. No one was chasing them, or at least, not yet. A couple of grenades wouldn’t have taken out all the cars in the garage, but hopefully there were enough shredded tires and hunks of automotive shrapnel to make pursuit a pain and give them enough time to get out of the depressingly literal woods and into the sweet embrace of Dad’s well-paid and very aggressive security staff. Mhhm. Sweet embrace. MA had really, really nice arms, he’d probably be great at -- nope, nope, nope, mission focus. Find safety, then screw. Tony could prioritize. Really. Wow, was it just him or was the Humvee getting warm. He bit down hard on the impulse to start babbling, because he was pretty sure that if he started running his mouth, before long it would descend into ‘please fuck me now’ without much conscious input from him. Nope. Silent, tactical consideration. He could do this.

Speaking of arms, though, the alpha’s metal arm still wasn’t moving. Probably stun batons and advanced conductive-looking prostheses didn’t mix so well. Not only did that suck from a no-getting-fingered-by-a-Terminator-arm perspective, but it seriously compromised their offensive capabilities. Tony was pretty good with the pistols he’d snagged even in his non-dominant hand, but he didn’t have that much ammo for them. More crucially, Mystery Alpha wouldn’t be able to rely on the stability his prosthesis had provided when using any of the handful of massively overpowered full-autos that he liked to fire one-handed, judging by the previous fights, nor his acrobatic melee style. Not to mention that he shouldn’t be fighting on that leg, and anyway they were going to have to take the impromptu tourniquet off it within the next hour, at most, before they started to edge into permanent nerve or muscle damage territory.

Okay. Okay. Limited fuel plus distinctive ride plus serious injury meant that trying to get straight to Dad, or at least meaningful civilization, was probably not tenable. They needed to hole up, rest -- Tony sniffed the air again, getting a heavy hit of rising rut-smell, blending in with his heat, fuck, they smelled so good together -- right, uh. Hole up. Ideally somewhere they could take a little of the pressure off. The night would be too cold to try just hiding in the Humvee somewhere off the road, not to mention it was pretty damn cramped and lacking in some important resources. As he tried to think past his returning heat, he reached an intersection with -- finally! -- a paved road. It looked to be going south and even had a sign, one of those little numbered state signs that, unfortunately, was a plain square without a helpful name or shape, identical to half a dozen other states’, even if it did suggest they were at least in the US. More interesting, though, was the Moose Crossing sign just after it, which -- wait, square sign plus moose -- were they in... Maine? Fucking Maine? Well, Tony thought after a second, if you’re a Nazi death cult, the baseline white supremacy’s probably pretty cozy, and it clearly has the benefit of huge swaths of rocks, trees, and sweet fuck-all in which to hide your nefarious compound. But still. Maine. The thought was almost enough to make his stupid persistent dick wilt a little.

They made better time on the main road, but that mostly just meant that the identical trees swept past their meager headlights slightly faster and their tank drained at a similarly increased pace. Tony still had no idea where they were with more specificity than Maine, probably the northern chunk of it where people weren’t, and he also had no better plan than picking a direction and hoping they found people before freezing and/or bleeding to death. Speaking of, he snuck a glance off the road. Despite smelling distractingly awesome, Mystery Alpha had otherwise been doing a whole lot of nothing. He was still sitting in the same position as when they busted through the wall, and his face seemed to be doing something very complicated and not even slightly reassuring. No hope for insights there. Great. At least they were heading south. They had to find something if they just… kept going, right? Or they’d run out of gas and freeze to death. One of those. Fuck.

They came around another bend in the road, and then the headlights glinted off of, of sweet mother of Pascal, a sign reading “Greenwood Motel,” backed by faint but warm porch lights. Tony shifted eagerly in his seat, grimacing as the stolen pants clung, soaked through. The sensation made him eager to get them off, yeah, get them off and out of the way right along with the alpha’s pants, and then they could -- woah there. Not yet, fuck, not yet. He still needed a brain for a couple more minutes, damn it. Okay, okay, don’t give into the rush of relief at having found somewhere safeish. Gotta hold out a little longer.

He pulled the Humvee into the motel’s wide front lot, crunching over the snow as he circled around the two whole cars parked in front of the only rooms with lit windows and sounds of activity. He aimed for the room farthest from signs of habitation, distantly noting first that there were a couple vending machines at the end of the building they just passed and second that the ugly fenced rectangle in front of the parking lot was apparently a pool -- and hey, where there were pools and even vaguely cautious motel owners, there might be a first aid kit, and that would be really, really useful. He pulled in close to the door of one of the rooms when it abruptly occurred to him that they had no money, no ID, no plausible story, no clothes besides ill-fitting stolen Hydra uniforms, and they both stunk of a mix of blood, cordite, and their respective hormone cycles. Not exactly a tourist-oriented motel’s dream. Not to mention, this close to a Hydra compound there was no telling if the motel owner was on Hydra’s payroll or not. Okay, so they’d be breaking in, then, at least for the night, and probably shouldn’t try the room phone in case anyone was listening while they were still so banged up. He killed the lights immediately, sliding to a hopefully quiet stop in front of the farthest room and pulling the parking brake.

Tony cast about the Humvee’s cab for anything useful to pick locks, but even with the motel’s soft porch lights he couldn’t make out much. Mystery Alpha was finally stirring, breaking out of his weird daze to look around, blinking. “Hey, you back with me?” Tony asked, daring to trust his voice not to betray him and skip straight to the pornographic.

The alpha grunted faintly, then replied “Assets are not to distract mission transport. Especially in hazardous road conditions,” as if that somehow explained it.

“... right,” Tony said. “Um. Do you see anything I can pick locks with? We need to get you onto a bed with, like, fluids and shit, and I need to ditch the car.”

Rather than do anything helpful like looking around, Mystery Alpha opened his door and stepped out, swaying against the side of the Humvee a bit when he put weight onto his right leg. Tony rushed to hop out and circle the car, managing to get up under his right arm just as the alpha started walking. As he did, Tony hissed “Woah, what the shit are you thinking? Someone might see you, and also collapsing right now would be bad and I still can’t carry you.”

The alpha started sniffing him heavily, nuzzling his nose into Tony’s hair even as they lurched towards the motel room door, and that should not feel that good but it totally did, fuck that was distracting. After a few seconds he replied “It should have healed more by now. I think the bullet’s still in there.” Tony tried not to blanch at that, but it was definitely not encouraging news. Focus. Okay, one thing at a time. Get the alpha to wherever he’s going, find a way into the motel room, get rid of the very recognizable vehicle, make sure the alpha isn’t going to croak overnight, then masturbate like the heat-scented wind. Nice, clear list. He could do this.

After a couple of steps that felt way, way longer than they should, they fetched up against the door frame. Mystery Alpha leaned against it with his left shoulder, shifting his weight before pulling his right arm off of Tony’s neck. Tony blinked over at him in confusion for just a second before he grabbed the door handle around the base plate and casually pulled. The knob, mechanism and all, tore out of the door with an odd squealing sound, accompanied by the thunk of the other half of the handle hitting the floor inside the room. He faintly nudged Tony with his good arm, shaking him out of his surprise, and pointed at the hole in the door where the knob used to be. “Smaller hands,” he said, and Tony got it, slipping his good hand through and angling his arm to, come on, come on, there, get at the deadbolt keeping the door shut. It swung open easily as soon as he pulled his arm out, and a blast of delicious warmth radiated from the room.

Tony got back under the alpha’s arm, which still felt nice, and got him to the nearest double bed. He sat on it without prompting, face more confused than pained, but Tony reached for the fantastically ugly straight chair in the corner anyway, pulling it over as he said “Hey, lie down. I’m gonna elevate your legs, try to keep your thigh from popping open.” The alpha obeyed immediately, which was such a nice change of pace from pretty much every other alpha he’d ever gotten stuck working with that it made Tony want to kiss him for that alone, never mind the wash of heat in the back of his brain pointing out that we have a nice, warm, safe room with a bed and everything, so why aren’t we knotted together yet? Urgh, stupid brain.

He got the alpha’s ankles up onto the chair back and then dodged over to the bathroom to grab a couple of the only slightly threadbare towels. Along the way, he noticed a coffee maker with a relatively large carafe on the desk and grabbed it, filling it from the bathroom sink. He took a gulp of the water himself and it tasted fine, so he topped it off and carried it back over to the occupied bed. “Hey, got water. Pretty sure you need to stay hydrated, with all the blood you lost. And, um. Here, hold this,” he instructed, pressing one of the towels against the hole in the alpha’s thigh. Then he found the alpha’s warm hand and guided it to his thigh, to hold down the temporary towel-bandage. Tony checked over the wound as much as he could in the dark, finding it looked substantially smaller than it had a few hours ago, and eased the belt buckle off the end of the clip, letting the tourniquet loosen. He wasn’t exactly a first-aid expert, but Rhodey had apparently managed to shove enough of his undergrad first aid classes into Tony’s brain that they were… maybe okay? As it came loose, the alpha grunted once in what sounded like relief, and the towels didn’t seem to damped much, so, probably okay?

“Keep the towel there for now,” he murmured. “I gotta hide the car, then I’ll see what I can do about your leg.” The alpha stroked his fingers gently, almost hesitantly, and it occurred to Tony that he’d probably held the alpha’s hand for a lot longer than strictly necessary. He pulled away with a start -- stop getting ideas, heat brain! -- and hurried over to the other bed, stripping away the hideous bedspread to find, aha, plain white sheets beneath. That’d work. He dragged them off, bundling them up under one arm, and said “Look, just -- stay here, okay? I’ll be right back.”

Hoping Mystery Alpha would continue his very impressive streak of actually listening to an omega, Tony hurried out the door, pulling it to behind him. Hmm, that was going to be a problem -- someone would probably notice the lack of knob eventually. He got back into the still-running Humvee, releasing the brake and crunching through the snow on the other exit to the road, making their tracks into a nice, clear circle back away from the motel and onto the road if anyone came looking.

He drove over their tracks, returning the way they’d come, until he found a likely-looking spot, maybe an eighth of a mile back down the road, and wow, the tank was draining fast, shit we got lucky. He turned off the highway and into the patchy trees, just far enough that he could tuck the vehicle behind a slightly thicker stand but still see his way back to the road and therefore the motel. He turned the lights on, putting it back into park before using the light to strip the Humvee of anything useful-looking, which wasn’t much -- a screwdriver, a couple easily-pocketed bits of spare metal, a small flashlight. The gore-covered knife that had helped strip the wires he left in the footwell, positive that the alpha still had several if they needed to cut things.

Not long after he’d finished searching for useful parts, the engine began to make faint choking noises and slow down, the gauge firmly past E. Bingo. Now, even if Hydra had the money and foresight for LoJack, they’d hopefully assume that Tony and Mystery Alpha had run out of gas here and hoofed it, especially once the still-falling snow finished wiping out the Humvee’s tracks. To try to avoid purely accidental discovery, though, he turned off the engine and pulled out the white sheets he’d stolen off the bed, draping them over as much of the vehicle as he could cover and tucking the ends into doors and windows so they wouldn’t slip. Nice white backdrop, couple hours’ snow, and you had one invisible dead truck. Hopefully, anyway. There probably wasn’t more he could do tonight.

He used the flashlight to pick his way back towards the hotel, staying among the trees while shadowing the road, the better to hide any footprints from casual observers. Fuck, he was cold, and hungry, and horny. Probably getting dehydrated, too, given that his body was still pumping slick like a wet backside alone could get him out of danger and thoroughly screwed.

One not terribly pleasant walk later, he found, thank fuck, the warm glow of the side of the motel, oh yeah, managed not to get lost in the snowy woods, excellent. Okay. Okay. He’d had a thought, before, a useful -- he glanced around, thinking -- pool! The pool might have a first aid kit, maybe with useful stuff. Better than nothing, anyway. He shuffled through the snow towards the fence, whose broad diagonal slats were not super encouraging in terms of climbability. When he got a little closer, though -- jackpot. Someone was a little too trusting. The gate on the pool’s fence just had a piddly little padlock keeping its latch shut, like the kind a middle-schooler would put on their locker. Seriously, he was picking locks harder than this when he was ten and Dad’d tried to keep him out of something interesting. The metal bits he’d found in the truck took care of the joke of a lock in short order and he was in. The snow was a little higher here than the lot, probably because nobody was shoveling it out of the way or even walking on it with the pool closed. He circled around carefully, sticking to the edge of the fenced area since he couldn’t actually see the pool for all the snow, heading to the shelf-like lump to his right. Once he pushed his way to it, he shoved into the pile of snow and -- wait -- plastic, squarish -- got it. He wrestled the box out of its heavy coating of snow, dusting it clear to see the large red cross and “Pool First Aid Kit” legend. Bingo.

Tony started heading back to the motel, replacing the lock behind himself and trying to disguise his trail, when he took a second look at the vending machines at the far corner. There was -- before he’d made any particular decision, he found himself drifting towards the cluster, intrigued. Mounted on the wall was a short, squat white machine with no decoration or branding other than the name Durex and the phrase “Adult Needs” in a plain font at the top, and a number of discrete labeled coin slots near the bottom. After a second, he blinked and surged forward. Like a gift from the universe itself, right there, just one highly pickable lock away -- condoms. It probably had heat pads, too, which might be useful for trying to look and smell respectable when he asked to borrow the manager's phone tomorrow while his alpha watched them, with extreme prejudice if necessary, to make sure they weren’t pressing any Hydra panic buttons.

This lock was a lot tougher than the one on the pool, but the prospect of maybe actually being able to scratch that itch properly made the constant background demands of his heat seem farther away, making it easier to concentrate. That, or the fact the he was wearing snow- and slick-damp slacks and a thin button-down in what felt like barely above-zero weather was slowing even a detox heat down a little. His right arm ached when he used it, but -- just a little more, a little -- there. The front panel of the vending machine opened, revealing not just male heat pads, female heat/menstruation pads, and tampons but also condoms in sizes A, B, and O, perfect. He took several male pads, a handful of the A size rubbers, and, in perhaps an excess of hope, a couple of the O condoms just in case Mystery Alpha was really, really open-minded. He dumped his haul into his pockets as quickly as possible and shut the vendor’s front panel again, suddenly concerned about getting caught raiding it. Sure, it was the middle of a holiday week in Maine’s slow season, but weirder things had happened to him, and just because it had been full dark out for over an hour didn’t necessarily mean it was actually all that late. He shivered as a freezing wind blew across his soaked clothes, then picked up the first aid kit and shoved it under his good arm before tucking back into his sling, sighing in relief as it eased the ache in his shoulder. Almost done. What was that list? Room, car, alpha, come. Right. Room and car, check. Time to make sure his mystery alpha was stable.  

He staggered towards the far end of the building, abruptly exhausted. There’d been… a lot, today, and he was still hungry and tired from being stuck in the kneeling cell before ever meeting the alpha. But he could rest soon. Soon.

That thought, and the moderate protection offered by the motel’s overhanging second floor, got him to the far end of the building and through the knobless door. Whereupon he was greeted by a very large automatic rifle pointed in his direction by -- oh, by his alpha. Even as he came the rest of the way through the door, the alpha moved the gun off of him, setting it back by his side -- and when had he even picked it up? Damn, he was good.

“Just me,” Tony confirmed, shrugging. “I hid the Humvee in the woods and managed to find us some supplies.” He blushed a little as he said the latter, feeling the weight of the condoms in his pockets, but hopefully it would just look like his skin warming in the comparatively balmy interior of the motel room. It felt really, really nice, and the room had started smelling like the alpha’s rut, too. It was strong, masculine, and while it was clear he’d been taking cold-water showers with no soap for a while beforehand, it was still very appealing. Gah. Tactics. Plan. Right.

He dumped the kit on the desk, using the little flashlight to see as he spread out its contents. Pretty good haul, all told -- gauze pads, bandages, tape, two of those weird cloth triangle bandages, would be useful for both Tony’s bad shoulder and the alpha’s metal arm until he could get it working. First aid cream, not quite up to snuff for the gunshot wound, scissors, forceps, and iodine wipes.

“So, uh,” Tony started, “I think I have stuff to bandage up your thigh. Your side, too. I don’t have much in the way of tools or parts, but if I strip some of the room’s electronics I might be able to get your arm working. I’m gonna need daylight for that, though.” Not to mention a fucking nap.

“The graze healed,” the alpha said, and he sounded a lot steadier now that he’d been resting for a few minutes and had some water, which was a very encouraging sign. “But the thigh can’t be patched up yet. You need to come tighten the tourniquet again, I can’t get the angle right on my own with my left arm dead. Bone regrowth has pushed the bullet out enough to only block the artery, which means without the tourniquet there’s going to be a spurt when you pull it.”

What?!” Tony demanded. “Pull --? No way am I going to -- if it’s blocking the artery then, then that’s good. I have no business trying to take that out!” Had the blood loss made the alpha somehow mistake me for a fucking trauma surgeon?

The alpha grit his teeth, looking briefly frustrated. “It’s coming out either way,” he growled, then took a breath and seemed to calm slightly. “Either you pull it out, or my body pushes it. If you pull it, we’re awake and can deal with the bleeding. If we wait, maybe we don’t catch it in time. Pull it, or I will.”

Tony paled at both the idea and the nonchalance in his tone, but if it was true -- Tony squeezed his eyes shut. It was definitely plausible, given the speed with which the alpha had healed other injuries. “If you bleed out on me, I’m going to carve obscenities all over your fucking headstone,” he replied after a moment. “I need -- do you have any sense of how long until that bullet pops like a champagne cork on New Years?”

The alpha prodded at his thigh casually, which had to fucking hurt but he didn’t even twitch. “More than five minutes, less than thirty.”

Tony rolled his shoulders, trying to pretend that he felt way more competent at potentially life-ending first aid than he did. He could do this. Okay. Go with the lower end of the estimate. That gave him enough time to clean up a little, make a, well, OR, for lack of a better term. Fuck. “Okay. Okay. I can, um. I can do this. I’m going to go wash off in the bathroom, then I’ll set up in here. Once everything’s ready, I’ll get you out of those pants, get the… bullet out, and bandage you up. You’ll be fine. It’ll be fine. This is, this is fine. Okay. I’m just going to… go do that now.”

He tried to pretend he hadn’t caught the way the alpha’s eyes flashed at the mention of taking off his pants, but, well. As Tony stepped into the cramped and windowless bathroom, he shut the door, turned on the light, stripped off the stolen, soaked uniform, and had to admit that his own mind wasn’t far off of that. He needed steady hands and a clear mind for what came next, and that meant taking off some of the pressure that ignoring the constant urging of a detox heat for hours had built up. As he stepped into the shower, he was delighted to find that the hot water was surprisingly quick to engage and the water pressure decent, and by all the great foremothers of computing, they even had a little basket with toiletries -- and soap.

He took ten entire seconds just to bask in the sensation of finally being warm everywhere. Then he grabbed the shampoo and started working it into his hair, scratching deep in relief, ohhhhhh yes. He felt a little more slick drip out at the sensation, which was probably pathetic but it felt indescribably good after being left to stew in his own sweat daily for weeks. He rinsed out the first shampooing and immediately repeated the process, nails dragging over his scalp and sending tingles down his spine. It would probably feel even better if the ripped, delicious alpha out there was doing this for him. He had such big hands, and he’d been so gentle when he helped Tony out before… And come to think of it, the alpha hadn’t gotten properly clean in a while, either. His hair was much longer than Tony’s own, shoulder length, so it probably felt even gnarlier to not be able to get it really clean. How long had he been in that cell, anyway? He was so pale… but still so muscular and utterly vital, strong and healthy and… Tony finished washing out the second round of shampoo, his hair finally feeling clean, and started dragging the tiny bar of soap over his right arm and shoulder, trying to keep it mostly still as he did.

He found himself hissing a few times as the soap stung the cuts and abrasions his captors had added most recently. The faint pain didn’t do anything to dissuade his cock, which had perked back up as soon as he got into the motel room, out of the freezing cold and into a space inundated with the rich, masculine scent of the alpha’s rut. His hand trailed lower, dragging the soap over his belly and down towards his dick, finding and washing off the remains of his mystery alpha’s dried come on his stomach. He shifted a little, shivering with anticipation, but he also didn’t bother dragging it out. Half the point of showering before trying to patch the alpha the rest of the way up was to finally get off so his heat wouldn’t be distracting him during it, and he was working against something of a clock. He sped up, scrubbing his legs briskly with just his good hand and the soap bar -- no point wasting a towel just to shower when it might be needed.

The sensation of bending over, the shower spray hitting his ass and flowing down his legs along with his slick, made him moan. Shit, hopefully the alpha didn’t hear that. I do not need him to come check on me. The image was compelling, though -- Mystery Alpha was enhanced, right? He could probably smell Tony’s spiking excitement as he dropped the remains of the soap and started tugging on his cock. Could probably hear him over the water, too, hear Tony’s panting breaths speeding up as he stroked. He could come in here, right now. He could pull aside the tacky little curtain and step into the shower right behind Tony’s ass, press up against his spread legs and replace the teasing spray with his cock. Fuck, it’d feel so good to be full. He hadn’t ever fucked during a heat, went on suppressants as soon as his prez heat was over at fourteen, and he’d heard it was better than any other sex you could possibly have, all the inhibitions melted away in a hormonal flush. Fuck, he needed it, needed it so bad, felt so empty and close, shit. His head lifted a little as he scanned the shower desperately for anything he could use. Goddamn nothing, not unless he wanted to hump the tub’s faucet and he wasn’t… quite that far gone yet. But bent over like this… he carefully shifted his right arm inwards, trying not to move the shoulder. If he kept the motion in the wrist… ohhhhhh. Yeah, okay, that would -- grabbing his dick with his right, however careful he had to be to do it, meant he had a hand free and could finally slide three fingers into his pussy. Oh, fuck that felt good. He was so loose, too, could take his fingers in easily, when usually he had to have plenty of foreplay before he could even take two. Probably something about, fuck, biology. Alphas were hung as shit, if omegas didn’t get loose in heat it probably would’ve been pretty rough back in the cave days. Mmmhm, his mystery alpha was hung as shit too, based on what he’d felt in the dark and seen tenting out the alpha’s stolen trousers. That would feel so good right now, but even his fingers were pretty fucking spectacular after having to push away his urges for so long. He twisted his good hand, getting a little deeper as he jacked his cock and oh yeah, there, there, that was -- fuck.

Tony pulled his fingers out, letting the spray clear them of slick as he panted, bracing his forehead against the shower’s tiled wall for a second, chest still heaving. Okay. That was… that was really good. Right. On task again. He shut off the water, breath finally slowing, and used a single washcloth to get the worst of the water off so he at least wouldn’t be dripping everywhere. He looked down at the crumpled remains of the stolen uniform, which now that he was clean he could smell, and couldn’t bear putting it back on. Freezing your nuts off while trying to escape made a much stronger argument for wearing gear stripped off freshly dead Nazis than a warm motel room directly after your first shower in half a month did.

He shrugged to himself, leaving the clothes where they were and stepping out into the dark room naked. By the low, hungry growl the alpha let out as he did, apparently his eyesight was that enhanced, and also he seemed to approve. With a recent orgasm to clear his head, though, Tony wasn’t as sidetracked by that line of thought as he otherwise would be. Instead, he lifted the dinky mirror off the bedroom wall -- one upside of a motel in the middle of nowhere, the decor wasn’t locked into the walls -- and flipped it onto the luggage rack to make a work surface that was more likely to be clean than the night stand. He reached for the wall sconce, needing to see what he was doing, but the alpha hissed in the negative. Too risky, apparently. Instead, he used the alarm clock’s cord to tie his little flashlight to the wall sconce, which felt a little silly, but did have the benefit of being a very directed beam of light, less likely to draw attention.

Turning it on, he saw that the alpha’s color was still pretty good, and his expression looked as hungry as that growl had sounded. Right, rutting alpha who hasn’t gotten off in hours. Probably enjoying how fresh and clean the naked heated-up omega in front of him smells. Well, that’s going to make this next part a little more awkward, Tony thought as he unwound the loosened tourniquet from the alpha’s thigh, letting it lay under his leg and freeing his pants. Once it was loose, Tony reached for the alpha’s fly. The alpha let out a sound closely resembling a purr at the move, shoulders shifting eagerly. “Ahahah, uh, slow down, there, buddy, not that I don’t like what you’re thinking, but, uh, let’s focus on the part with the bullet in your leg, yeah? That sounds like a plan. So I’m just going to very, ah, very platonically take your pants off. Pure as the driven first-aid-giving snow, yup.” Probably the little trickle of slick he could feel sneaking down his inner thigh weakened his argument, but the alpha didn’t grab for him or anything, just watched Tony’s hands with intense eyes and an active boner.  

Once the zipper was down and the button parted, Tony started carefully tugging the fabric down around the alpha’s hips. He was pretty sure that ordinarily cutting the clothes off would be a better idea, but if it turned out this place was a Hydra front and they had to run, the alpha would really, really need pants to flee into the snowy Maine wilderness and not have all his fun bits drop off. And they -- Tony tugged a little further -- wow, they looked like some fun bits, now that he could see them properly. Contrary to his panicked assumptions in the dark, the alpha’s dick wasn’t actually all that terrifyingly big. Sure, it was maybe half an inch over the straight-eight alpha average, but hardly the massive vector of agony he’d feared. His cock actually looked… very... comfy. Nope, nope, that’s a heat brain thought, put it away, he told himself firmly.

Even as he thought it, though, the alpha grinned wickedly, meeting Tony’s eyes as he lifted himself with just his right arm and left leg, hips clearing the bed easily, and wow. Tony tried to shake off the distraction and focused on getting the pants under the alpha’s ass so he could sink back down, and wavered slightly as he was hit with a more concentrated wave of the alpha’s rut-scent, probably from getting his pants off. Yum. Pants lowered, Tony shifted to the end of the bed to carefully tug at the legs, easing them off as the alpha’s good arm kept the fabric from rubbing on his injury as it moved. Once the pants were on the floor, Tony leaned over the alpha’s lap to get a look at the wound. It looked… wrong, somehow. It took him a second to place it, but he realized that the would looked puckered, like it had tried to suck itself closed. He bit his lower lip, trying to figure out what to do, when the alpha offered out a combat knife handle-first, and where had he even been keeping that?

Tony took it hesitantly as the alpha said “Wound’s closed too much to get at the bullet. If it closes the rest of the way with the bullet still in there, I’ll bleed heavily into my leg once the artery’s unblocked -- arteries take at least a minute to heal shut. I’m not thrilled at what that kind of pressure would do to my quad.”

That… made a horrible kind of sense, Tony thought as he put the knife on the mirror-tray and started gathering materials off the desk, unsealing them and laying them out. That kind of damage wouldn’t kill the alpha, not with his enhancements, and it meant that even completely untreated gunshots would heal eventually. But they needed to act anyway -- it would hurt, and healing yet more damage would further tax his system when he was already low on resources.

He washed off the knife in the sink, just to be sure, and then started with the iodine wipes. The knife, forceps, and scissors all got wiped down thoroughly, just in case. Probably the alpha was immune to infection, but it didn’t make sense to risk adding to his body’s workload on top of the damage Tony was about to have to do. A couple of the biggest towels from the bathroom were next, stacked next to the alpha’s thigh so he could minimize the amount of, urgh, spray. Then came the unwrapped gauze pads and bandages, once the bleeding slowed down enough for them to be useful.  

He started retying the tourniquet, this time using the much more convenient wooden hanger to tighten and fasten it down. The alpha’s face twitched, and yeah, probably that hurt like a sonofabitch going on the second time, but he just waited calmly as Tony picked up the knife. He allowed himself to swallow hard once, then carefully scored a line through the puckered hole, parting the flesh around it by about a quarter inch on either side. He repeated the cut on the perpendicular, carving an X over the half-healed wound and making blood start to flow. Okay. Okay. He could do this. At the alpha’s patient nod, he eased the knife straight down into the wound, keeping the blade in line with the scores he’d just made, trying to keep things neat. The blood sped up, but the alpha still didn’t look concerned -- he wasn’t even frowning from the pain. Tony repeated the move, opening the wound up again the best he knew how, and freed the flashlight from its impromptu mounting. With the light in his teeth and the forceps in his left hand, he leaned in close, shining the beam into the wound. Without prompting, the alpha started using the first of the towels to mop up the blood, clearing Tony’s sight and -- there, in the center, was that a little dark thing? He eased the forceps in, a little awkward with his off hand, and felt the outside of one tip connect with something a lot more solid than flesh. He twisted slightly, feeling an uncomfortably meaty resistance, and aligned the forceps around the object. Once Tony was sure of his grip, he started carefully pulling. At first, nothing happened, but rather than just yank, Tony gritted his teeth and twisted the forceps again, rotating their load. This time when he tugged, the object came loose, followed by a gush of blood. The alpha actually sighed contentedly at that, as if relaxing into a bath, and pressed the thickest square of folded towel against the hole in his thigh, nodding in satisfaction.

Tony took the bullet into the bathroom, still held in the forceps. First aid might not be his specialty, but guns absolutely were. He rinsed the blood off carefully, then held the bullet up to the bathroom light. Armor-piercing, by the look of it. That was interesting on two levels. Most immediately, it meant that there probably weren’t more pieces in the alpha’s leg to worry about, not being a frag round. More long-term, though, if the alpha was able to functionally walk off this severe an injury, it meant that regular bullets probably wouldn’t even phase him. Which brought up the question lingering in the back of Tony’s brain since he realized the alpha was more than just a baseline human -- where did he come from, and how the hell did he get this enhanced?

Those were definitely questions for another day, though. Tony washed his hands off, getting rid of the alpha’s blood, and left the bullet and forceps next to the sink. He walked back into the bedroom, finding the alpha watching him calmly, a fresh towel pressed to his thigh that was only a little wet. Tony sat down next to him on the bed again, putting the flashlight back into its alarm-cord rigging and looking over the situation. As he did, the alpha jerked his chin at the gauze pads and bandages still on the makeshift tray, unwrapped and ready to go. Tony carefully untied the tourniquet once more, bracing for a rush of blood but relieved not to find one. After a few seconds produced no extra bleeding, he moved on. He put two pads against the wound, stacked on top of each other, and taped down their edges. Then, just to be sure, he wrapped the alpha’s leg with bandages twice around, sealing the edges of the wrap together with more tape. Okay. Almost definitely not coming off by accident, then. And huh, his dick was down. Maybe pain and yet more blood loss managed to calm him down for a while.

Tony blinked slowly, eyes growing heavy. He made himself stand, again, staggering a little, but cleaned up their surroundings, moving the towels out of the way. He noticed the carafe of water was empty and went to refill it. Fluids were probably important after that much extra blood loss.

As he carried the pot back to the alpha, he felt a sudden cold breeze. Right, door with no handle, highly conspicuous. Fuck, he was tired. He looked down at the knob on the floor of the room’s entrance and shrugged. Picking it up, he looked it over. It appeared pretty similar to the now-crushed outer handle, or at least it would from any kind of distance, and its innards were mostly intact. After a moment’s thought, he shuffled back to the bathroom again, picking up his discarded pants. He started emptying the pockets onto the desk with his other finds, stacking things somewhat carelessly until he found the screwdriver and metal bits. He took them over to the door, holding the broken interior handle against the hole with his right leg while he shoved a couple of the metal pieces into the gap like shims using the screwdriver. There, the tension should hold it in place just fine as long as no one tried to turn or pull it.

He gingerly shut the door, relieved to see the “knob” held, threw the deadbolt, and headed towards the unoccupied bed. Before he could get in, though, the alpha spoke. “No,” he said, quietly. “Safer if you’re next to me and I can cover you. Better tactical position.” Tony shrugged again, the adrenaline of the past few hours well and truly gone, and slid in on the alpha’s unwounded side. This bed at least had sheets, and his mystery alpha still smelled great and radiated heat. Tony quickly found himself curling into the other man’s side unconsciously. As he drifted off, he thought he heard the alpha murmur “Rest, omega. I’ll keep you safe.”

Chapter Text

Tony woke up to the disconcerting sensation of being tossed, very carefully, halfway across the room. His eyes opened to the carpet moving at a strange angle under him for half a second before he flumped down onto the other bed face-first. What the? He rolled and sat up, looking around in confusion for a heartbeat before he spotted his mystery alpha -- he really needed a name -- kicking a lone stranger up against a wall with his left leg from his still-prone position on the bed. The stranger crumpled for a second before shifting back and pulling out a sidearm, and if the Hydra patch on his uniform sleeve hadn’t tipped them off, pulling a gun on what should have appeared to be the sleeping vacationers whose room you just broke into definitely would have. Before he could get even a single shot off, the alpha was on top of him, pinning him with his thighs as he grabbed the gun in his right. He flicked on the safety with a casual thumb even gripping the weapon backwards, and tossed it neatly over onto the bed Tony had landed on without so much as glancing in that direction. That done, he shifted slightly to get the guy’s arms also under the pin of his thighs, and wow, his leg must be a lot better for him to be able to move like that.

As the panicked shock started to give way to actually being awake, Tony felt his heat perk back up, reminding him that competence was incredibly sexy regardless of gender or designation, and also that the healthy, protective, naked alpha right over there was hard again and so might be inclined to make their acquaintance significantly... closer. And stickier. Ugh. While it hadn’t gotten as bad overnight as it had been when he finally got into the motel room, he wasn’t into the waning phase yet, which meant he really, really wanted to get laid. His libido’s interest in the alpha, however, didn’t slow him down in the slightest as the grabbed the gun, checked it over, and slid the safety off, keeping his aim on the intruder’s head just in case.

The man writhed under the alpha, to unsurprisingly little effect, and then stammered out “Uh, uh, zil-an-eye, air-za-heavy, sim-nat-sat--”

Tony stood and stepped towards them, cocking the gun as he did, and said “One more fucking syllable and I’ll ask him to pull your tongue out. I’m pretty sure you can still give us intel with the fucking moose-themed motel stationary set before you bleed out, and if not, well, humanity’s not exactly suffering much of a loss.”

The man blanched at the threat, eyes darting between the alpha’s snarl and Tony’s gun several times before his jaw started working. In a flash, the alpha swung his upper body through a complicated twisting motion, ending with the momentum of his dead metal arm planting its hand firmly between the agent’s jaws, fingers blocking his teeth. The agent gagged a little, clearly startled, but stopped trying to gnaw on the alpha’s fingers quickly enough. The alpha grabbed his left palm with his right hand, rotating it to serve as a wedge to prevent any further biting, and pulled out a -- a tooth? Tony’s mind briefly flashed back to the Captain America comics he definitely hadn’t read cover-to-cover repeatedly at an impressionable age, remembering 40’s-era Hydra agents’ inconvenient fondness for false teeth fitted with cyanide. Apparently the tradition continued in all its incredibly fucked-up glory.

The alpha threw the poison tooth away too, this time landing it on the nightstand behind and left of him without so much as turning his head. Yum. He bared his teeth in the agent’s face and pinned his throat with his good hand.  As he did, a faint ammonia smell wafted up from -- oh, ewwwww. Then he growled “How did you track us?” as he twitched his fingers out of the agent’s mouth. From below it probably looked effortless, but from Tony’s vantage he could see the way the muscles in the alpha’s back had to jerk and bunch to manage moving the fritzed-out arm at all. It probably hurt pretty badly, but as intimidation tactics went it seemed effective.

“I-- I-- I didn’t!” the agent started babbling. “Look, the Stark brat’s high-fucking-profile. He escaped, and stole valuable property doing it. Management practically bled out of the shitting eyeballs when they found out about it. Our orders were to start checking every heated building from the goddamn border to the fucking coast. I’m just the lucky fuck who got assigned to go through this one. I started looking around the place and something looked off about this room’s door handle. I tried to turn it, it popped out, and that seemed weird enough to do a little exploration. Fucking bingo, I guess.”

“Who have you told?” was his next demand, good hand squeezing threateningly against the Hydra agent's throat.

“N-n-no one! The base is down nearly half its personnel and everyone who can walk is getting dropped off in quarter-mile intervals out of the cars left. N-n-no partners, hourly check-ins. I didn't think the little cunt would be crazy enough to keep a rut-mad Winter Soldier with h--” he cut off into choking noises.

“You will speak of my omega with respect or not at all,” he purred. “I liked his idea about your tongue.”

The agent's eyes bulged a little as he nodded frantically. The alpha’s grip loosened slightly, and the Hydra minion gasped in a breath before muttering, seemingly to himself, “Holy fucking God, how the shit did a 21-year-old rich-bitch pretty boy flip the goddamn Fist of Hydra?”

The alpha growled again, hand tightening decisively. “Whoa, whoa, whoa, what are you -- you can’t just kill him!” Tony protested as the man started to go red. Air was getting through, but his breathing had taken on a notable wheezing quality.

The alpha paused. “He’s low-level, unlikely to have further actionable intel. We have no superiors to deliver him to or facility to hold him for long-term interrogation. We can’t risk him getting away and reporting our location. And he was rude to you.”

Tony felt his eyes widen and insisted “So we tie him up or something! Breaking out of an enemy base is one thing, but this is just one guy. Once I call SHIELD, they can send a team out from the fucking Quebec City outpost in like three hours.”

“No SHIELD,” the alpha replied tensely, hand twitching slightly where it still wrapped around the Hydra agent’s throat, thumb shifting to apply pressure directly against his carotid artery. Roughly seven seconds later, his eyes rolled up and the alpha moved his hand down to pin the unconscious agent's chest.

“Uhhh, okay, could you enlighten me as to why I shouldn’t call the spy agency my dad founded so they can whisk us, and I guess this loser, safely home with their fun bulletproof cars and very grim haircuts?”

“SHIELD is Hydra,” Mystery Alpha answered, voice infuriatingly calm about it.

Tony goggled at him a moment, mouth open. Then he said “That’s, uh, that’s a pretty big -- what, ah. What makes you say that.”

“I heard them. The handlers, when the first attempt failed and they had to abort Asse-- my deployment. Their commander was angry that the target wasn’t following the schedule on file with SHIELD. What's the fucking deal with Stark not being where he’s goddamn supposed to be, I thought you had fucking people on him, he works at goddamn SHIELD for fuck’s sake, walk down the hall.

“That… that could just be a mole,” Tony said, voice thin. “A double agent they snuck in, to feed them info about his movements.”

“They knew he'd be carrying a new serum attempt. If I'm wrong and SHIELD isn’t entirely infested, it's still infiltrated at too high an authority level to risk alerting the agency and word traveling to Hydra. We have hardly any weapons and I'm not exactly fighting fit. They'd get here hours before any friendlies.”

Tony paused. “O… kay. That’s actually a really good argument. Shit. But still don’t kill him! Like, if nothing else, I really don’t want to have to spend potentially hours waiting for our ride in a room with a decomposing body. If he’s alive and tied up, that’s weird but not, like -- just -- please? Please don’t kill him yet?”

The alpha nodded at that, as though he had no particular emotions about killing or not killing a person beyond the tactical considerations involved. Granted, it’s a Hydra agent, so that barely counts as a person, Tony thought as he harvested the window blinds’ cords with last night’s combat knife, but usually murder merits at least a flicker from the kind of person who snarls over a little misomegistic trash talk.

He thought about it more as he lashed the agent’s wrists together. Tony hadn’t ever expected any of the things he’d learned at sex parties to be useful in combat but hey, they do say knowing is half the battle, and apparently knowing proper rope technique came in handy.

Casting about for something to use as a gag, he spotted the pile of spare supplies on the desk and -- oh. Apparently he’d dumped out all the condoms onto the pile last night while he was looking for the screwdriver in his pockets. That was… a thought he would revisit when there wasn’t an unconscious Hydra agent partially secured in the middle of the floor. He spotted, aha, the rest of the medical supplies, and yeah, that’d work.

“Prop him up in the closet sideways, please,” he requested, and the alpha nodded and picked the agent up one-handed, damn, shoving him into the cramped space easily. Tony looked the closet setup over quickly, nodding as he thought through the angles. Then, he repeated the column tie on the agent’s ankles before taking the wider stretchy gauze bandage, twisting it for improved strength, and looping the length from the wrist tie, up over the closet’s bar, down through the ankle tie, and back around a couple times, leaving Bob-Agent-of-Hydra here on his back with legs and arms mostly raised. If he tried to lower one set of limbs, the other would get pulled up, and if he yanked altogether the shelf would come down, making a very noticeable racket. A little Home Alone, maybe, but good enough under the circumstances. To finish it off, he layered several strips of the spool tape over the agent’s mouth, then covered them with a pad, followed by several layers of the narrower gauze bandage. He checked the man’s breathing again, but it was clear, unimpeded by position or gag, and that much material over his shut mouth would hopefully dampen any screams.

God, I feel like a horror movie cliche, thinking about dampening screams, Tony mused as he shut the closet door and started dragging the dresser over to it one-handed. The alpha let out a faintly disapproving chuffing sound at the effort before gently nudging Tony aside with his body and moving the dresser across the room and up against the closet door with a ripple of muscle and a single shove. That set Tony off onto an entirely different train of thought about screams, mmhm.

He shook off the thought and reached for the room's phone. “Right. So, Hydra agent, secured. Um. Given that they dispatched an agent to check this place instead of just calling the desk manager to do it, probably this isn't a Hydra front and the phone lines aren't tapped. I guess… if SHIELD's compromised, I can just call Dad directly. It's early still, he might be sober enough to notice it and send a car.”

“They likely have all phone lines in the mansion and his Stark Industries office tapped,” the alpha replied. He hadn't moved away from Tony after moving the dresser, and his warmth was dangerously tempting. Still, priorities.

Tony nodded, thought for a moment, and said “I… I know someone we can call. Someone they probably aren’t watching.” He dialed a number without hesitation, one he knew well. After a moment of ringing, the call connected. A woman’s voice answered. “Ana? It’s... boychik. Could you ask Eddie to do me a favor? I left something at the Greenwood Motel along Highway 6 in Maine, during my last ski trip. Could you ask him to go get it?”

The faint, worried-sounding voice on the other end replied “I’ll tell him. He’s... just seeing to your dusting now. Isten óvjon, boychik.” and the call ended.

The alpha looked over at him, suspicious. “Code phrases? Spies can be turned. If she’s ever worked with SHIELD --”

Tony interrupted. “They are code phrases, but not like that. Ana’s about as far from a spy as you can get while still having a right hook that good. She’s our butler’s wife, was around a lot when I was younger. Used to help him in the kitchen and stuff, before her knees got bad. She know I’d never call Jarvis Eddie, and that I hate skiing. Bunch of pretentious bullshit for rich assholes to feel athletic and keep their wives busy while they screw the staff. Or maybe that’s only how Dad does it. Anyway, that many red flags will definitely get her to call Jarvis right away, and he knows I’m mysteriously not where I’m supposed to be, so…”

The alpha nodded, looking a little lost. Tony felt himself swaying back slightly, pressing his shoulders and back against the alpha’s broad chest. His alpha rumbled happily and wrapped his muscular right arm around Tony’s waist, pulling him further back, and wow, they were still naked. That felt… extremely nice. He let his head drift back, resting against the alpha’s shoulder. His face turned in on instinct, seeking the stronger scent at the alpha’s neck, and oh. He smelled really, really good, maybe a little less desperately feral but still strong and rutting, making Tony’s instincts hum happily. The rest of his brain, however, noticed that the alpha also smelled like he’d been taking cold-water showers without soap for a while, and while it wasn’t exactly unpleasant, the scent and the faintly greasy cast to the alpha’s hair suggested he hadn’t had a real bath in a long time. Tony recalled how spectacularly good it felt to finally get clean last night, and that was after only a few weeks.

“Hey, uh,” he started. He didn’t want to insult the guy, but he really could use a bath. Delicacy. Great, his favorite thing. “So, uh. We’ve got some time to kill, ‘til J can get here. The dusting thing, it’s a joke about this idiot ‘bot I made to try to keep the Cambridge loft clean when I started living on my own -- anyway, it means he’s in Boston, probably hoping I’d just fucked off to get blitzed and keep some low company after putting up with Dad for that long. She can get him on the car phone right away, but, um, it’ll be maybe four hours ‘til he’s here, and, uh, the bathroom has this great little soap bar and shampoo thingy, I think they’re locally made or something. They felt really good last night.” Woah, the alpha’s cock just twitched against his ass at -- he couldn’t have heard, last night, right? Then again, superalpha. Maybe he had. Maybe… maybe he’d like to see it, Tony could do that, that sounded great. Shit. Heat-brain on patrol. Okay, he’d just have to focus. On something that wasn’t how the alpha’s interested twitch was repeating itself, matched with his nuzzling Tony’s hair, arm still warm and secure around the omega’s belly. “I, ah, um. Wanna, um. Get clean?” he attempted.

Faintly, he felt the alpha’s nod against his hair. “Okay, great. Uh. You… probably need to let me go to do that.” The alpha’s arm immediately fell away at the suggestion, and his warmth retreated slightly as he stepped away. Definitely score another point on the boyfriend-potential-ometer. He turned, looking at the alpha as the other man paused, hesitating.

“My arm,” he said by way of explanation, biting his lip and glancing at Tony under his lashes a little, seeming to try it on. “It’ll be hard to scrub up properly with only one hand.”

Tony smiled at that. It wasn’t exactly greased-lightning smooth of him, but that was pretty great flirting for a guy who’d been monosyllabic about twenty-four hours prior. “That’s a great point,” he purred. “Guess I’ll have to help out, then.” The alpha took Tony’s left wrist with his right, tugging gently as he led the omega into the bathroom. Heh, between us we have a whole set of functioning arms, Tony mused, happy to follow. The soiled uniform blouse Tony had worn out of the Hydra compound was still crumpled up on the tile floor, smelling of fear and omega and cordite. His nose twitched for a moment at the scent before pulling away to pick up the shirt and toss it across the bedroom, leaving it near the discarded pants, near the door and hopefully out of the alpha’s nose range. They did not smell sexy or relaxing. The bullet and forceps still on the counter probably wouldn’t be as much of a distraction, though.

The alpha’s right hand trailed over the faucet’s handle for just a moment before he grinned, as wicked as the night prior and fuck, so fucking gorgeous, and turned it all the way to H, water pouring out right away. He leaned a little further down to slide the stopper into the tub’s drain, and the bandage still taped to his right thigh crinkled. Those weren’t supposed to get wet, right? Without thinking much about it, Tony dropped to his knees on the alpha’s right, aiming to get a closer look at how the wound was doing. The alpha turned towards him a little at the movement, and froze when he realized the position they were in, his cock welling a bit further. Not a bad idea, Tony mused, hands skating up the alpha’s thigh to check for any wet spots his eyes might be missing, but later. The bandages seemed suspiciously dry as he carefully traced them. Mmmhm, musky, Tony thought, finding himself nosing at the alpha’s hip idly as he checked the injury. It seemed pretty good, on the whole -- unnaturally good, really, given his level of exertion against the Hydra agent who surprised them. Tony started peeling at the tape on the edges of the bandages as the tub filled, careful as he pulled even if the alpha seemed much more focused on staring at Tony's mouth than paying attention to what his hand was doing.

When it came off without any real trouble, he started unwinding the bandages it had secured, ghosting his hand along the inside of the alpha’s thigh. He stiffened as he felt the alpha’s good hand sink into his hair, trembling slightly, but he didn’t try to jerk Tony around or push for anything, just clenched his grip slightly, spasmodically, before dragging his fingers back in a clumsy petting motion, which honestly felt much, much better than it had any right to feel. He rubbed his cheek against the outside of the alpha’s thigh, enjoying the warmth and scent and attention. The bandages were spotted with blood as he eased them away, but it was all dark brown and long dried. The stains got worse when the last of the bandages came off, leaving just the taped-down gauze pads. Tony grabbed a handful of water from the half-full tub, moving fast enough that there was a bit left in his palm to press against the pad, trying to dissolve a little of the dried blood and loosen it while he removed the second round of tape.

The alpha’s hand left his hair briefly and he twisted at the waist but otherwise stayed still as Tony got the last of the tape off. When he straightened back towards Tony, he was holding one of the little plastic cups from the sink, offering it out. Tony smiled up at him as he took the cup, filling it in the tub and having a much easier time of trickling water over the gauze even one-handed. The alpha let out a very faint choking noise before he went back to his petting. Once it was soaked through, the alpha stopped the pouring water in the tub as Tony carefully tugged at first the top, and then the lower pad. There was a bit of sticking, but not that much, and he was able to get them loose without any more blood welling up. Underneath, the alpha’s thigh bore a small, clear X-shaped scab, maybe half as far across as Tony’d had to carve it the night before and somehow shallow-looking. Well, that was good. The relief mixed with the alpha’s heady musk, and Tony couldn’t resist leaning in that final inch to press a soft kiss against the alpha’s stiff cock, savoring the gasp the move provoked. Then Tony leaned back on his heels and asked “Want to get in? It should be nice and warm.”

The alpha’s cheeks pinked -- blushing? Unexpected, but kinda hot -- but he stepped into the tub, lowering himself to seated in a graceful ripple of muscle. Okay. Helping time. The position would have to be a little awkward, since the spigot’s placement pretty much meant the alpha’s good arm was up against the wall and Tony’s good arm ended up farther away from the alpha’s head than the bum one, which was out of its impromptu sling but still painful. Eh, we’ll make it work, he thought as he grabbed the alpha’s limp metal arm, resting it against the rim of the tub. It was probably waterproof, but no point testing it, and anyway it was heavy, and that much dead weight had to be bugging his spine, especially after contorting his back muscles to sort-of use the arm earlier. The alpha made a faint, relieved hmm sound as the tub took his arm’s weight, which Tony took as a very good sign.

“Wanna start with your hair?” he asked, gesturing at the warm water. The alpha blinked at him. “Like, by getting it wet? Then I can use -- is this seriously pine scented? -- this dreadfully kitschy pine-scented shampoo while you soak.”

The alpha looked down at the water, forehead wrinkling, before he started shifting downwards. Before he got more than half his hair wet, just as his ears went under, he gasped and lunged back up, eyes wide and chest heaving. He glanced over at Tony and cringed back against the shower’s back wall, bracing for… something. Damn, they really did a number on him, huh.

“Okay, so, being submerged in water, not, uh, not on the menu. Got it. Not a problem. It’s fine, you’re fine. We’re safe.” The alpha relaxed very, very slightly at that. “Yeah, we’re safe, remember? You saved me,” Tony continued, not above playing up the damsel angle if it calmed the poor guy down. “They threw me to you to torture, but you saved me and got us out.”

The alpha blinked more, rapidly, and looked over at Tony again, though this time without nearly as much fear. “Omega. Tony.” he said after a few moments. “You… shot Polkovnik Karpov. Bound my wound. Drove us out.”

Tony paused. “... yeah?”

The alpha smiled up at him, hesitant and all the more beautiful for how different it was to his fear of half a moment before. “Saved each other,” he insisted, quiet but sure.

Tony returned his smile, a surge of affection overlaying his baseline lust in a way that probably spelled danger down the line, but at the moment just felt all warm and gooey. “Yeah we did,” he replied. “Okay, going underwater is bad, this is a fixable problem. Hold on.”

He sprung up off his knees, faintly resenting the tile floor, and wavered slightly, light-headed. Right, food, he should see about having some eventually. Then he hurried into the bedroom, grabbing the trusty coffee carafe from the bedside, and noticing the condoms again, still sitting on the desk intermixed with spare bits of metal and first aid supplies. A nice thought, really nice, his heat insisted, but the alpha… might not be ready for that. Then again… but no. Bath first, then they could talk about it. Although… well, it never hurt to be prepared, he thought as he palmed one A condom just in case.  

He returned to the bathroom, finding the alpha staring between his own legs curiously, as if he wasn’t quite sure what was going on with his erection but definitely wanted to learn more. His head jerked up immediately, looking at Tony warily, but relaxed when he saw the carafe. Tony lifted it a little, saying “Yeah, just, uh. Got a pot. No, um, no problems out there. Doesn’t look like Bob’s planning on making trouble, or at least not yet.”

He approached the tub a little cautiously, but the alpha’s posture loosened as soon as Tony confirmed there wasn’t a crisis to respond to, and his eyes stopped tracking Tony’s hands and started tracking Tony’s thighs, and oh, ah. That was… quite a bit of slick built up on his legs, now that he noticed it.

He ignored it to fill the coffee pot with warm water from the sink before kneeling by the tub. He leaned in close to the alpha, who once more looked relaxed and welcoming, shifting a little in the warm water.

“I, er,” he said, feeling kind of dumb. C’mon, you’ve jerked each other off and shared a bed, not to mention the whole impromptu surgery thing, there’s no reason to feel awkward. The alpha looked up at him, somehow wary but trusting at the same time, and his belly clenched in ways that had nothing to do with missed meals or heat. Damnit. Focus on the next task. “So, uh, only one of my hands works super well right now. So this is gonna have to be a team effort. Cover your eyes, I’m going to pour.”

The alpha still looked wary, but obeyed, hand shaking very slightly. Tony poured the water over his head, making sure to wet his scalp thoroughly, and the alpha shivered again but pushed the excess water back into his hair. Tony grabbed the shampoo and squirted out a healthy measure onto the alpha’s head. Then he dropped the bottle by the side of the tub and got to work.

“So, uh, I’ve been meaning to ask,” Tony started as he ran the fingers of his left hand through the alpha’s hair, starting to lather the shampoo. The alpha shuddered -- no, shivered. He shivered and leaned into Tony’s hand, seeking more stimulation. Okay, he could definitely do that. “What’s your name? I know you said ‘Asset’ before, when we were in the compound, but I’m pretty sure no one’s putting that on anybody’s birth certificate, so I figured it’d be good to ask again when there were fewer gun-toting Nazis whose necks you needed to snap around.”

“I don’t know,” the alpha replied, sinking back against the rear of the tub and closing his eyes. He still looked faintly tense, and he’d been so panicked before, when he had trouble with the water and looked like he thought Tony was going to hit him for it, or worse...

“You… seriously don’t know?” he tried again. “Like, you know I won’t, um, hurt you if you say it, or anything. Hydra doesn’t have you anymore. The Russians either, for that matter. You sure you don’t know?”

A silent nod, followed by further leaning into Tony’s touch as he scrubbed through the alpha’s long hair. It was different, not something he had any experience washing, but his mystery alpha seemed pleased anyway, and it felt nice to be able to do anything that might help.

“Uh, okay, then. I guess -- maybe… pick one that feels good, then?” The alpha opened his eyes to stare at him, looking much less tense but more confused. “Don’t know any offhand, huh?” Another nod. “Okay. Uh -- Anthony? That’d be weird. No. Uh, Brian. Chris. David. Eric. Frank. Greg. Henry. Isaac. Jack--” That last sent the alpha into a flurry of blinking and a pained expression, right hand lifting to rub at his temples. “Is that it? Jack?”

The alpha shook his head at that, and said “No, but it’s-- close. It’s so close, why can’t I…”

Tony gave it another shot. “Uh, okay, name that sound similar. Um. Jackie? Jacques, like your friend? Jacob? Jake? Jason? James?” The alpha’s head shot up. “Do we have a winner? James?”

The alpha blinked once, slowly, eyes going far away, before he answered “Ma… only called me that… when she was mad. And Missus R only did when she was teasin’ me.” He shuddered, grimacing, before continuing “How did I know that? Who’s R? Is that code? What’s -- I don’t --”

Tony bit his lower lip, hesitating for a second, before he laid his hand gently against the alpha’s nearer shoulder just above the metal and rubbed a few awkward little circles. He had functionally no experience comforting people, but James clearly needed it. It got shampoo on his arm, distorting the metal’s gleam with suds. “You don’t have to worry about that right now. You’ve got time, and anyway Aunt Peggy’s pretty great at tracking people down. She’ll help you find out… whatever you’re missing. Which, uh, seems to be a lot. Do you even know how you got enhanced?” The alpha looked pained at even trying to think about the question. “Right, nevermind, bad time for that. I mean, um. Hey! We seem to have figured out a name! That’s great, right?” He tried more rubbing, and the alpha leaned forward a little, giving Tony access to his back. He moved his hand to the center of the alpha’s back, still rubbing. Damn, he’s muscular. And tense. And… kinda lopsided, like maybe the metal is doing some bad stuff to his musculoskeletal system, shit. That was a problem they definitely didn’t have the resources to solve in a backwoods motel room. Tony instead dragged his hand lower, down the alpha’s spine, trying to soothe him.

Without meaning to, his hand dipped lower still, and the alpha whimpered and shifted, hips moving. He was still hard, even through the evident pain of remembering so much as his own name. That was… “Um, kind of a topic jump, but, uh. You can touch yourself, y’know? I definitely won’t mind,” he commented, returning to the safer territory of scrubbing his hand through James’s hair again. It was probably clean by now, but the contact made the alpha shiver happily before and it felt pretty great for him, too.

“Touch?” the alpha -- James asked.

Tony rinsed his soapy hand in the water between the alpha’s legs, earning the alpha’s nose pressing into his neck in interest, leaned across the alpha’s body, and took his right hand gently, guiding it to press against his swollen cock.

“Yeah. Did… have you not jerked off?” he asked, a little baffled. He thought that shit was just instinct, like breathing or calculus. They managed to take away basic bodily functions but not how to turn people into meat in half a heartbeat? That was so fucked up.

“No. I. It’s supposed to -- when you touched, in the cell. It’s supposed to do that? To feel like that?” James asked, nose still pressed into Tony’s neck. It felt really nice, especially with him smelling fresher already. Tony pulled back, grabbing the carafe and filling it with water again, this time from the tub’s tap. It wouldn’t be as nice and warm, but there was no way he was moving away from the alpha right now.

James’s hand left his cock without any apparent hesitation to cover his eyes, not even looking reluctant. Tony grit his teeth and got his other arm, ow, in on the action, scrubbing as the poured the water over the alpha’s hair, washing the shampoo out. Tony hated to admit it, but he made the ridiculous pine-scented shampoo work for him, managing to smell both earthy and fresh, instead of like a half-priced Christmas tree lot. As he washed, he said “Uh, yeah. Or, well, I mean, that was a pretty shitty handjob, you didn’t even have anything pressing on your knot, so it’s supposed to be better than that, really.”

The alpha’s hand dropped and his eyes widened, darkening as they met Tony’s. “Better? It can be better?”

Tony smiled, leaning in slowly and watching the alpha’s eyes for any hint of alarm. When there wasn’t any, just faint confusion, he finished the move and gave the alpha a kiss, keeping it pretty chaste. “It can be a whole lot better,” he murmured against James’s lips.   

The alpha’s hand came up, sinking back into Tony’s hair as he kissed back, more assertive than Tony’s attempt and even more spectacular. Maybe it was just a pheromone thing, his heat responding to the scent of rut, but it was definitely among his top ten kisses ever, wow. Tony leaned in further, idly wondering if the tub could fit both of them, and bumped the little bar of soap. It was down to about half its already-diminutive original size, but there was enough to get the job done. He gave the alpha one more quick kiss before pulling back to hold up the soap.

“Uh, right, so, your hair’s done, I think, that’s, that’s good. It smells nice and, um. Want me to do -- that is, uh, wash your body, now?” Tony asked, squeezing the soap so hard it slipped from his grip onto the tile floor. His nethers informed him that actually, doing the alpha right now did sound like a great idea, which he tried to ignore.

The alpha’s hand left his hair to slide down his back, leaving a trail of tingles in its wake. “Yes,” he said, looking hungry again, like he had the night before. “Maybe you can tell me about better while you do.”

Tony flushed at his tone and hot, intent gaze. “I’ve only got the one hand working right now, so, how about you,” he paused to grab the alpha’s hand, which had settled cupping the nearer half of Tony’s ass quite contentedly, and guided it back down to cover the alpha’s swollen cock, “focus down here while I get you clean.” He covered James’s larger hand with his own, guiding him in giving his cock a slow stroke, which made him gasp. “Yeah, like that.”

The big, strong alpha briefly looked uncertain at that, blinking up at Tony and licking his chapped lips. “You’re… sure? It’s allowed?”

Tony felt something clench painfully inside him, but he just smiled and nodded, guiding James’s hand through another stroke. “Definitely. You get to do whatever you want,” he assured as James sped up a little, grip marginally surer. He lifted his own hand back out of the water, picking the soap up and starting to drag it over the alpha’s scarred shoulder, the one nearer to him.

He was cautious at first, afraid the area would be sensitive, but when he got not so much as a twitch, he started moving a little faster. He crossed the alpha’s broad chest with the bar, rubbing and dragging up lather as he went. He tried touching the neck area, but James tensed up badly at the move, so he redirected, dragging the soap farther down the alpha’s pecs. They were really very impressive, and he traced the defined muscles with the bar of soap, pulling his thumb back across the alpha’s left nipple cautiously, making him gasp again. “Yeah, uh, nipples. That’s a way for it to be better. Not everybody goes for it, you know, like, some just aren’t that sensitive, and others are but they get all weird about it not being something their gender or designation is supposed to like. Good to see you, uh, don’t seem to have those hangups,” he rambled, circling the bud with his thumb and pinching gently when it peaked in response. The alpha’s hips surged up at that, accompanied by a low, growling moan.

His hand traveled back up, getting the alpha’s right shoulder and dragging down over the bicep as it flexed with the unsteady rhythm he’d settled into, then down over the corded forearm, pulling away before he got much lower. Instead, Tony redirected, going for the alpha’s back, getting as much as he could with the man still sitting. He moaned again at the sensation when Tony dug into one of the knots in his back with his knuckles as he went by it. “Massages, uh, they can be really fun in partnered sex. Even getting a good pro massage, way before doing anything sexy, it can loosen you up, making everything feel even better. So, uh, that’s another one,” he offered, entranced by the ripple of muscle in the alpha’s back as he kept stroking. His breathing was getting faster, unsurprisingly quick given how unattended his rut had clearly been. Tony couldn’t pretend he was unaffected by the sight, either; there was a little puddle of slick on the tiles between his knees.

He leaned forward again, this time slipping the soap up James’s right side and under his arm, washing the vulnerable flesh, feeling the other man shuddering at the intimate contact. The position left Tony with his nose pressed right under the alpha’s jaw, and he leaned in, breathing in healthy rut and clean skin, nuzzling a little. Mmmhm, he smelled even better clean. He let his hand drift lower again, down the alpha’s side and to the outer curve of his hip, as he pressed a kiss against the unexpectedly delicate skin of his neck. He murmured “Kissing, too, kissing’s great. Can make everything else better, just like you asked.” As he did, his hand shifted inwards, skating downward over James’s toned belly.

The alpha arched up in the water at that, whimpering at the contact. His cock looked angry red, swollen, and Tony was honestly a little surprised he hadn’t come already. Then again… he had a condom right here, and James seemed to be really interested when Tony was kneeling beside him before…

“Stand up a minute?” Tony suggested. “I, ah, haven’t gotten your legs yet.”

The alpha looked confused, but let go of his cock and stood, blinking down at Tony when he grinned, set the soap chunk aside, and tore open the condom wrapper with slippery fingers and his teeth to hold it still. James’s head tilted at that, eyes going distant, as he muttered “Where’s the other two?” but he certainly seemed fine with Tony rolling the condom down over his cock, hips rolling forward to push into Tony’s grip once it was on. Probably, anyone that enhanced couldn’t give or get anything, but that was no reason to be careless. They could ditch the condoms after they both got tested, just to be sure… assuming James wanted to keep doing, well, anything at all with Tony, sexual or otherwise, once they were back in civilization and safe. Fuck, he hoped so.

Pushing away the depressing thoughts, he grabbed the soap in his good hand and gripped the back of the alpha’s right thigh, across from the mostly-healed bullet wound. Then he slid his mouth around the other man’s cock, taking it slow. He hadn’t actually sucked off an alpha before, so the size might be an issue, but based on the reaction he was getting, his tentative approach wasn’t detracting from the experience in the slightest. James’s hand slid back into his hair, the way it had when he was kneeling before, still gentle, not trying to speed things along. He made faint choking noises as Tony ran the soap up and down his legs with a minimum of awkward twisting, working on taking him deeper a little at a time while he kept up a nice, steady pressure.

Before long, the last fragments of soap had dissolved against the alpha’s lower back and ass, and Tony was just plain hanging on, enjoying the feel of the powerful muscle clenching under his touch, though James still didn’t thrust. Surprisingly gentlemanly of him, especially mid-rut. He’d had one-night stands who tried to drill through the back of his throat even when they weren’t on their cycle, though fortunately they’d mostly been omegas so there hadn’t been much choking risk. With James… Tony tried to open his throat, take in a little more, but barely over half the length was all he could manage in this position. James definitely didn’t seem to mind, though, fingers clenching in Tony’s hair as he panted and moaned, even managing a bit of dirty talk, mostly along the theme of ‘wow that feels good thank you for doing that please keep going,’ which was also kind of sweet of him. He’d sucked off plenty of self-important betas who felt the need to tell him what a born whore he was for giving them head, how it was all an omega was good for, the usual.

The litany of praise was interrupted by a sudden gasp of “Oh, oh, that feels like, in the cell, there’s pressure --” and Tony pulled a little back as he moved his hand from enthusiastically groping the alpha’s ass to wrapping around the swelling flesh at the base of James’s cock, giving him something to knot into. The alpha’s head slammed back into the shower tiles hard enough to crack several as he groaned, long and low. Idly glad that alpha raincoats had extra-large reservoirs, he kept up the pressure as the alpha came. And came. And came. Wow, that was a lot. It’d felt, well, messy, before, but he hadn’t really been able to see just how much. It definitely lived up to that half-remembered health class and more.

When the spurts stopped pulsing against his tongue through the condom, he pulled his mouth back, though he kept his grip around the knot. James looked… well, pretty wrecked, honestly. His mouth was open, eyes closed, breath still coming in faint pants. His hand had gone slack, falling from Tony’s head. The sight sent a little tingle of pride through him, heralding a much larger tingle of pure lust that came right after. God, he was horny. They probably had at least two hours left to kill, and they hadn’t heard so much as a rustle from Agent Bob in the closet. If nothing else, he could jerk off, and maybe the alpha’d be up for at least snuggling him during it. That sounded awesome.

Cleaning up first, though. James seemed pretty much done, though his knot was still up, would be for a couple more minutes, probably. Letting go of it in favor of cleaning up probably wouldn’t damage the experience much. The spare towels were still in the bedroom, so Tony filled the coffee pot with some of the bathwater to rinse off the alpha’s legs. Then, he carefully pulled off the condom, tugging a little to get the base free of the knot where it had stretched. Tying it off one-handed would be a pain, but maybe if he leaned down a little… He managed to use his right hand to brace it without his shoulder hurting too much and tied it shut, tossing it in the trash. There was a slight mess left behind, though, so Tony poured a bit more water out over it, earning an interested little twitch and another, weaker spurt.

James still looked pretty dazed, so he took the opportunity to get up ow, ow, kneeling on tile sucks, only to nearly slip in the puddle of his own slick that blowing the alpha had left. James’s hand immediately shot out to steady him, even though his eyes still looked a little glassy and his knot was half up. “Uh, thanks,” he managed. “I’m just gonna go… grab a towel. One of the ones without blood on it. Yeah.”

There was no reply as he headed into the bedroom, tracking, ew, a footprint trail of smears of his own slick into the industrial carpeting. The thought made him shudder. If he’d done it, sweet van Leeuwenhoek only knew how many others had done the same and worse. As soon as he got home, he was wiring this place enough cash to replace everything they’d stolen, broken, and otherwise misused, carpet included. Maybe he’d include some sort of strong recommendation about buying decor that didn’t exclusively feature moose, while he was at it.

He grabbed the biggest towel that was both blood- and, thankfully, moose-free and headed back into the bathroom. The alpha’d gotten as far as opening the tub’s drain and then stopped, apparently staring at his cock in fascination like he’d never seen a knot doing its thing before. He took the towel with a grateful smile that was just as devastating as all his others, toweling dry. That, at least, seemed to have stayed in the muscle memory.

The way he moved, at ease in his body once more as he focused on getting dry, sent a pulse through Tony. He was beautiful, not just perfectly sculpted but graceful, competent, and… kind. That wasn’t a combination he’d had that much experience with, honestly, and it was really getting to him all on its own, heat be damned. He felt another little trickle of slick leak out, and fuck, at this rate he was going to have to start worrying about dehydration again. The alpha’s head perked up, towel coming off adorably poofed-up, tangled hair, and he sniffed the air deeply, eyes going dark and fixed on Tony. “We smell alike, now,” he said, which was a little confusing, he wasn’t -- the soap, oh, they would smell similar now, just ‘cause of that. He stepped out of the tub, deftly dropping the towel over the puddle, and strode towards Tony, telegraphing his approach with evident care. He stopped a step away from Tony, leaning in but not touching him just yet. “You smell like me. And like… maybe you’d like some company,” he said, voice low and smooth, his hand flexing at his side and -- did his cock just. Did it just twitch? His knot wasn’t even all the way down, not quite. He couldn’t --

“Is that… is that your rut doing that?” Tony asked, swaying forward a little.

“Maybe. Probably not,” he amended, voice still intent and somehow smoky-warm, making heat radiate between Tony’s legs “I feel more… level. Not itchy anymore. I think it’s passing, since you helped. But you still smell -- I wouldn’t want to leave anyone on their cycle in distress. Guess my body’s just making sure I can follow through, if that’s something you want. Do you want that, Tony?” He was so close, so warm and strong and he smelled so good, and if he was together enough to manage to offer… Tony nodded once and leaned up to kiss him again. The angle was different this time, their height difference making him stretch up a little, but the alpha’s arm wrapped snugly around his lower back, pulling him in close as their lips met, and it was beyond worth the effort.

Abruptly, the arm wrapped around him shifted, curving around under his ass and, woah, lifting him right up like it was nothing, bringing him into easier kissing range as the alpha started walking them into the bedroom. Fuck, he was strong. Tony gave into the urge to wrap his legs around James’s waist, feeling so secure in the alpha’s grip. After days of having to shove down his urges, ignore the desperate pleas of his heat for comfort, companionship, release, he was finally somewhere safe and well-stocked with a good, strong alpha who was together enough to want it too. He felt another gush of slick slip out, dripping onto the alpha’s forearm where it cradled him.

James set him down gently on the bed they’d shared, leaning over him to share another deep, sweet kiss before asking “How do you want to do this, sweetheart? You shouldn’t present with your arm hurt, and I can’t hold you up for missionary to be any good with only one arm of my own. How can I make you feel good?”

Something warm pulsed in Tony’s belly at the phrasing that had nothing to do with his heat, and oh, James could be downright dangerous, with his sweet talk and that captivating smile, entirely apart from all the things he could do with a gun.

“Sitting?” he husked out, sliding a little into the blissful haze of heat he’d read about but had been fighting, fighting, fighting. Mmhm, no more fighting now. James nodded and -- pulled a rifle out from under his pillow, a very large, very automatic rifle, which was surprising enough to dull the buzz down a tad. “What, ah. How’s the gun going to help us mate?” Tony asked. Some rational portion of his brain insisted this should be alarming, but most of it was horny and instinctively trusted James. If he meant harm, he wouldn’t need a gun to do it.

“We’ll be vulnerable when we’re knotted. I might not be able to protect you without it,” he answered, sliding the safety on and laying the rifle across the cheap nightstand between the beds.

Tony shrugged and replied “Works for me,” really not caring what it took to make the alpha comfortable as long as he was, was happy and secure and ready, oh yes.

As he stepped over to the desk to grab an A-size from the pile of assorted supplies, James seemed to take new note of the smaller O-size condoms scattered among them, tilting his head slightly. Tony pushed the haze a little further back, needed to navigate this part at least a little carefully. “I got them In case, uh. You wanted to, you know, go the other way,” Tony explained before the other man managed to get out a question. “Um, some. Some people like it.”

The alpha’s brow furrowed at that, and even a little heat-drunk Tony braced for something awkward. It wouldn’t stop him from wanting to ride James’s dick like he stole him, especially since according to that Hydra asshole he had, but it would hurt his boyfriend rating if it was extra ignorant, instead of just the usual ‘I’d never let an omega do that to me’ that he tended to get from betas. Instead, James continued to look puzzled and said “But I can’t get pregnant. Can -- can corking the barrel spread VD? I never heard of it passing nothin’.”

Tony blinked. Corking -- the only time he’d heard that term for it was in a pre-Hays Code film, sheesh, where was James even from? More to the point, though, “Yeah, it can -- it can spread stuff. It’s less risky than some other acts, but, uh. Why chance it, you know?”

The alpha nodded at that firmly and picked up one of the larger packages, holding it up. “Sensible. I get the feeling you don’t wanna do that right now, though. One of these more to your taste?” he asked, that wicked grin coming back as he looked over to Tony still sprawled across the bed, legs wide. Tony nodded desperately, shifting up onto his knees as James came back over to the bed. He leaned in to kiss him again, and it continued to be spectacular, which was such a 180 from the confused, shaken alpha of not an hour before who didn’t seem to be sure what his dick was for that it made Tony’s head spin. He’d developed a bit of an accent when he started acting flirtier, too, something Northeastern -- New York, maybe?

Then James knelt on the bed in front of him, settling in to sit low against the headboard, and started pulling at the condom’s packaging. Suddenly, Tony had much more interesting things to pay attention to than his fellow escapee’s fascinatingly mysterious background. After a bit of effort he got it open, rolling the rubber smoothly over his cock like he’d done it a thousand times before. He was very visibly all the way hard again, and Tony felt a moment of intense, nonspecific gratitude to the mysterious source of James’s enhancements because that was an absolutely beautiful sight. He shuffled over to the alpha’s lap on his knees, bracing against the wall with his good arm as he swung his left leg over, lined up, and -- ohhhhhhhhhh. He’d been right about the alpha's dick being comfy. It was big, a stretch even with how loose heat had left him, but he was more than wet enough to slide down most of the way easily and it all felt good, the sensation as he slipped further down and opened a little more and then a little more still. “Ohhhhhhhhhh.”

“Feelin’ good?” James asked, smiling sweetly and clearly scanning Tony’s face for any sign of distress, fuck he was nice.

Oh, he realized, I must have moaned out loud. “Uh, yeah,” he panted, still not moving yet, just squirming the rest of the way down and getting used to the sensations, which were -- well. It made him wonder a little if maybe he’d miscalculated before and alphas could be worth all the bother. “Yeah, it’s. Good. Big. Shit. Hadn’t uh. Whew. Had not done this before. Okay. I’ll be able to move… soon. Just... yeah, soon.”

The alpha’s working hand slid up to cup his cheek, pulling him in for another toe-curling kiss. “Hey, I’ve got nowhere to be. Do whatever feels good. ‘S your heat, alphas are supposed to help omegas during their heats.”

Tony leaned forward a little, testing, and when nothing hurt tried rotating his hips a little. Oh, fuck. Betas could get at his prostate just fine, and most omegas could too if they went at just the right angle, but this felt like a live wire zapping straight to his brain to make him melt. It was so big, and everywhere, and it seemed like the more he squirmed the more there was of it, pressing into him just right no matter how he moved. James renewed the kiss, hand dropping form his jaw to tug at Tony’s cock and fuck that felt good too. Finally, all the stimulation he wanted, and with no pain to distract him.

James’s touch grew a little lighter, teasing, focused mostly around the head, and Tony thrust up impatiently into the circle of his fist and gah, that felt so fucking -- oh, that was why he’d done that. Now that Tony had an inkling of how it might feel, any lingering apprehension melted away and he started riding in earnest, setting up a slow enough rhythm that his thighs, somewhat overtaxed from the days in the kneeling cell, wouldn’t start burning on him too badly before he could, oh, oh, that was James’s mouth joining the party, breaking their kiss to lick and suck at Tony’s nipples. What had been sensitive, sore, and justifiable cause for panic when it was a Hydra guard touching them became fucking magic under his alpha’s teeth, and tongue, and stubble, and oh shit that was good, he wasn’t going to last very long, but then again, there was no reason to, not really. He didn’t have to keep it together anymore, stay strong and level-headed and in control. He was safe, finally safe, and his alpha was right here and both able and willing, eager, even, to protect him while he was compromised, while he was heated up and vulnerable. James wouldn’t let anyone touch him without his permission, would keep him so safe.

James’s hand left his cock and he keened at the loss for a moment before blinking in surprise when he reached up to brush away a tear. What the fuck, he was crying? Tony didn’t do that shit. “Hey, everything alright? Something hurting?” the alpha asked, genuine concern in his warm voice, and now that he’d noticed them Tony felt the tears coming faster.

“N-no, it’s, it’s good, so good, fuck James it’s so good, you’re so g-good,” he answered, trying to stop crying. Why the fuck was he crying? Everything was finally okay!

The alpha switched to rubbing up and down Tony’s back, which also felt pretty amazing even though his cock was getting a little lonely. “Hey, it’s normal to, uh, feel things real strong in heat. I’ve got you, you’re safe.”

Both the confirmation and the honest caring in James’s voice sent shivers up and down his spine, right where the alpha’s big, warm hand was petting him protectively, soothingly. He felt his thighs clench eagerly and took his good hand off the wall, bracing his forehead against the alpha’s shoulder as his hand closed around his cock and James’s nose met his neck, nuzzling into him and sharing pheromones in a chemical reassurance at least as old as the species.

It was all so good. He was almost, almost there, he just needed a little more. “Knot me,” he stuttered out, hips losing their rhythm as he got more desperate. “Wanna feel it.” James bit his neck, not hard, just enough to let him feel it as the alpha’s hand pressed against the base of Tony’s spine, shifting the angle of the coupling just slightly and then, then, fuck fuck fuck it was big, oh shit is was so big but so good. He screamed, not caring how many of the adjoining rooms could hear, and came, clenching down hard as James’s knot locked them together.

The alpha’s arm stayed wrapped around him, shifting higher so he could pull Tony down onto his chest, encouraging him to snuggle in close, his fingers stretching up to stroke Tony’s hair. Mmhm, that felt good too. He couldn’t exactly lay down, not while they were still tied, but the position let him rest his head on James’s shoulder and took the pressure off his lower back, and James’s touch was so good.

He floated for a bit, relaxing into the waves of satisfaction thrumming through his entire body. A good knotting could take days off a heat, he’d heard. The pheromone exchange that all the closeness and sweat facilitated did something to signal some kind of change in hormone production, he wasn’t sure which one, he’d kind of tuned out that part of the class as not relevant. He’d always thought he’d be desperate for a heat to end if he somehow ended up with one, but with the right partner he could imagine it being… not so bad.

The light changed through the distant window as he drifted, cuddling close even after James’s knot went down. The alpha didn’t seem to mind, idly petting his hair occasionally and otherwise apparently perfectly content to serve as a heated-up omega’s teddy bear.

At one point, he heard noises outside, lightish footsteps approaching the room. The door creaked open and he looked up in time to see a short woman wearing a truly spectacular amount of flannel and a large key ring come halfway into the motel room, take one look at the cuddling couple and their automatic rifle, pale, and turn around wordlessly, walking back out before James had to do more than faintly growl.

A little more time passed and just as Tony was starting to wonder about another round, he heard a delightfully familiar engine. He perked up and slid off the alpha’s lap, wincing at the feeling of clammy half-dried slick on his thighs. He wiped off on a corner of the fitted sheet that he hadn’t soaked through during their mating as James managed to remove and tie off the condom one-handed, which, wow. Tony dug around the blankets a bit and pulled out the flat sheet, wrapping it around himself as he said “Hey, Jarvis is almost here. I know the sound of the Bentley’s engine anywhere, rebuilt her myself.”

The alpha nodded and stepped into the uniform pants Tony had pulled off of him the night before. Through the hole in the thigh, he could see the underlying wound had healed completely, not even leaving a scab or scar. He fastened them, then picked up the rifle, holding it out to Tony. He took it with a raised eyebrow, to which the alpha responded “I can’t cover us and carry the prisoner at the same time with only one arm. Your driver might not be the only thing out there, or he might be compromised.”

Tony nodded at the thought and set the rifle down briefly to tie his impromptu toga a little more firmly on before picking it back up and checking it over. He also picked up one of the triangle bandages, fumbling around with it for a moment before the alpha came over to hold it in place and help with the knot. They shared a slightly awkward smile as they repeated the process but for James’s bad arm, and his posture relaxed fractionally once the sling was in place to support his still-fried metal arm.

Once they finished, James pulled the dresser away from the closet, revealing the Hydra agent still securely trussed up, excellent. He broke the bandage cross-tie and slung the agent over his shoulder in a fire carry, glancing over at Tony to check that he was ready. Tony eased out first, stepping quickly to the side to clear the alpha’s path and scanning the parking lot for threats, but none emerged, except maybe frostbite thanks to his bare feet and the measly single sheet he was wearing. Fuck, Maine in January was cold.

As he scanned, he spotted, oh beautiful sight, the Bentley, complete with a very worried-looking Jarvis behind the wheel. Tony jerked a nod in his direction, and they hurried to the car. At the alpha’s approach, Jarvis looked tenser still, but responded quickly to Tony’s sign to open the trunk as they approached. The alpha dropped the agent into its roomy interior and did something with the remaining bandage to tie his wrists to his ankles behind his back, echoing the position Tony had been in when they first met. Their cargo stowed, James even took an extra second to open the door for Tony, helping him in and then following after.

Jarvis looked back at them in the mirror as he pulled out of the driveway, heading south and making eye contact with Tony. “I must say, when Ana called me I certainly didn’t expect to be picking up quite such an… active parcel, Master Tony. It’s very good to see you looking well. May I ask who your,” he broke off to sniff the air faintly, a slightly gobsmacked expression dawning as he did, “your… alpha companion is?”

Tony grinned and laced his fingers with the alpha's, tired but so glad to be home again, safe in the car with Jarvis and with his alpha at his side. “This is James. We got out together. Head for Aunt Peggy’s, J, and hurry. Have we ever got a story to tell you.”