The late morning rays of sunlight penetrated through the clear glass windows of a certain room of the Avengers Tower in North America.
“JARVIS do me a favor will you? Shut the blinds.” Tony groaned as he turned to face down on the king-sized bed, covering the ultra-soft pillow over his head.
“Will do sir. I do have to remind you that Ms Potts will be coming in this afternoon.”
Tony was tired. Really tired.
He did pull an almost all-nighter to finish his design for the new Mark XLIII. “Urgh… Why is she coming here for again?” Tony turned to face the sleek grey ceiling.
“About the upcoming Directors’ Meeting, sir. Ms Potts would like to go through some of the paperwork with you before you attend. Whether you will attend that meeting is a question yet to be answered.” JARVIS answered with a hint of sarcasm. “Wow you know me so well JARVIS.”
The right side of his bed was already cold. “Is Steve in the facility or he went out for a jog as usual?” Tony sighed.
“Captain Rogers is in the facility. He had returned from his run and have already taken a shower.” Tony mentally cursed himself for sleeping in as he turned to bury his face in Steve’s pillow. He could have at least joined in or peeked.
“Sleepyhead you finally woke up?” A heavy figure piled on top of him as his fingers brushed his hair.
“Wow Steve since when you give me a morning wake-up cuddle?” Tony smiled; voice muffled by the pillow.
“Since forever. And for your information, it’s already well past 11 am. Pepper is coming in the afternoon shouldn’t you at least have your brunch before she drops by?” Steve breathed into Tony’s neck. Tony turned around and stared into the bright blue ocean eyes.
“Alright. Alright. Captain’s orders. Aren’t you strict today?” Tony mused as he smirked, faking a salute sloppily.
Steve casually pecked Tony’s lips as he pushed himself off his other partner. “There, are you happy?” Steve replied.
“No, I am so disappointed Stevie.” Tony complained as he sat up and pulled the bright blue sweater-cladded Steve towards himself as they both melt into a kiss.
“There. Much better. No complains right there?” Tony whispered as he broke of the kiss and stroke Steve’s cheeks. Steve as usual was blushing red as a tomato.
“N-no… I don’t.” Steve stammered and cleared his throat. “Go and wash up, I have already made you brunch.”
Tony hummed in agreement as he headed to the bathroom. Steve smiled at the leaving figure as he tidied up the bed.
“Hey Tony. Finally decided to get your ass out of your bed?” A voice sounded as Tony walked into the common living area.
“Oh Clint. When did you and Nat come back from your recon mission in Hong Kong?”
“Today morning. I took a nap but Nat still having the jet lag and is currently in her room taking her beauty sleep. I wouldn’t blame her, she got too over excited since she was got back onto the field.” Clint answered.
A week ago, Natasha got a concussion from a normal mission of a so-called normal armed robbery back in the city. After waking up, she spent some time cursing those robbers for using hostages as a shield. Clint spent most of his time accompanying Natasha so she wouldn’t feel lonely as she was on a medical leave despite insisting, she’s fine.
“Your boyfriend is calling you from the kitchen, go on ahead.” Clint smirked. Tony threw him a glare as he strolled towards the kitchen.
“Hey Tony.” Steve called as he felt someone wrapped his arms around his waist. Steve was not even blushing anymore; since they went public about their relationship to the Avengers and to the rest of the world, everyone has been giving them their well wishes for a long-lasting relationship. Well… the fan girls and fan boys of the couple are the only exception.
“Where’s James and Sam?” Tony questioned; voice muffled by the broad back.
“Bucky and Sam are sparring down at the gym. Well, apparently Sam wanted to improve on his hand-to-hand combat. I am here busy fixing you brunch before you meet up with Pepper, Nat was dealing with her jet lag and Clint just lazy to do so, Bucky offered to be his sparring partner.” Steve answered as he plated the freshly prepared pancake. “Here. Strawberries?”
“Yeah. Then where is Thor?” Tony asked as he begin cutting his pancake stack.
“Apparently I got sent to voicemail. JARVIS mentioned Thor leaving a “Going on what you humans call a date with Jane.”” Steve replied, signing quotation marks with both hands while mimicking Thor. Tony laughed, nearly choking on his pancakes.
It’s hard to imagine that the current Steve Rogers and the Captain America are one. Since after the Battle of New York, the recently thawed Steve was invited to live in the now Avengers Tower along with Bruce, Clint, Natasha and Thor. Despite a lot of friction between the two, they quickly came to an understanding and became friends.
After the encounter with Killian, Tony decided to go separate ways with Pepper, knowing that he is just threatening Pepper’s safety with his superhero lifestyle, deciding this will be the best for her. Steve spent a lot of time with Tony; despite being unfamiliar with advance technology is trying his best to compare the different armor designs, drawing and sketching in the corner of Tony’s lab, providing Tony will all the emotional support. Tony slowly developed feelings for Steve. During and after SHIELD’s collapse, they decided to be together. It already has been roughly a year since then.
Steve’s old pal, James “Bucky” Barnes, as well as another friend he met on his daily jogging route, Sam Wilson, were the new addition to the team after SHIELD’s collapse. Ever since then, the Avengers would commonly spend time together while safeguarding the security of the world the promise they kept.
“Hey Pep. How are you these days?” Tony hugged Pepper as Pepper entered the common living area.
“As fine as I can be Tony, other than being really stressed out trying to manage YOUR company which YOU are supposed to be running.” Pepper remarked as she returned the hug.
“Hi Steve.” Pepper proceeded to hug Steve as Steve hugged back.
“Nice to see you doing well Pepper.”
“How’s the relationship with Tony?” Pepper questioned Steve with a hint of sarcasm. Tony shot them both a look of mock disbelief.
“Well, you know. The usual.” Steve answered, obviously ignoring the looks that Tony gave.
“I am going to leave you both alone for these Stark Industries thing. This is obviously not my area of expertise.” Steve gave Pepper a nod.
“Tony behave yourself. You will get it from me if Pepper or JARVIS complains to me.” Steve turned to Tony before glaring at him sternly before softening into his smile.
“What could possibly go wrong Stevie? You don’t trust me?” Tony held his heart in a mock pain as Steve prepared to leave.
“You are the genius. You figure out yourself.” Steve replies as he waved behind his back. Tony shut his mouth before turning to face Pepper again with a face of disbelief. Pepper smiled, returning a shrug.
“Finally… a time for both of us together.” Tony yawned as he entered the room and sat down next to Steve, leaning against Steve’s shoulder as Steve sketches a pencil sketch of the New York skyline directly outside of their shared room window.
“Tony, would you like to go out for dinner together tonight? Just the both of us. You and me. There’s this restaur-”
“Yeah let’s go.” Tony interrupted Steve’s blabbering.
Steve look up from his sketchbook with his reddened cheeks as his blue eyes widen, meeting with dark brown eyes. “Tony…”
Tony smiled. Both lips met with one another as they melted into a kiss. They broke apart gasping for oxygen as they stared into each other’s eyes.
“Sorry to interrupt the moment, sir.” Both jumped from the sudden voice. “Doctor Banner is asking for you and Captain Rogers in the meeting room. I’m afraid it’s an emergency.”
Steve cleared his throat and answered, “Tell Bruce that Tony and I will be making our way down.”
“So much for having time for ourselves.” Tony sighed as he pulled Steve’s outreached hand.
“Everyone’s here Bruce. Start whenever you are ready.” Natasha reported as Tony and Steve walked into the meeting room or information headquarters in Avengers Tower.
“There was a recent spike of the unique energy signature around this area in Sokovia.” Bruce reported. “Courtesy of Tony Stark’s tech.” He added while smirking at Tony.
Thor sat up straighter than before. “Loki’s scepter… it might be the one that had caused that energy spike.”
“Yeah that might be the case, and using stealth tech, it has been discovered that it is one of HYDRA’s research Base.” Bruce continued.
“And it’s Strucker we are talking about here. Nothing good can come from it.” Natasha supplied.
“Looks like we are going to hand his butt to him and get the scepter back to where it belongs” Clint cracked his hands as he stretched his arms before him.
“Okay. 5 minutes. Get what you need and meet at quinjet.” Steve ordered sternly.
Everyone left to get prepared as Bruce went to the quinjet and prepares everything for takeoff. Well, he doesn’t really need to prepare anything except his headphones and a few energy bars. Transformation as much as he dislikes it takes out a lot of energy from him. Sam and Bucky had left a few hours ago to another country where sightings of HYDRA agents had been reported to investigate, thus won’t be joining this mission.
“Stay safe and focused okay Steve? Don’t do something stupid. I know you have the serum running through your veins but…” Tony changed into his under-armor shirt and pants as Steve changed into his uniform.
“Shouldn’t I be the one telling you that Tony?” Steve replied as he zipped up the reinforced under suit on.
Tony who have already finished changing walked towards Steve as Steve pull out his outer uniform top from the equipment closet in their room. Steve held the uniform in his hand as he returned the worried glance from Tony with a smile.
“We’ll be fine Tony. It’s normal to go in with a certain risk that members of the team will get hurt. But if we don’t go in, there will be civilians at risk. This job…” Steve tightened his fists on his uniform as he glanced down at his uniform.
“I know. Looks like all of us deserve a break occasionally.” Tony replied as he held Steve’s hands.
“Once HYDRA has been flushed out, the whole team should just go for a getaway for a week.” Tony smiled while looking into Steve’s eyes as he used his thumb to caressed Steve’s knuckles.
“Come on the team is waiting for us Captain. Hurry.”
“Shit!” Tony cursed.
“Language!” Steve scolded. “JARVIS, what’s the view from upstairs?”
It was certainly Strucker’s research base. “Loki’s scepter must be here. Strucker can’t mount this defence without it. At long last.” Thor grunted as he knocked out a soldier.
“‘At long last’ is lasting a little long, boys.” Natasha voiced out.
“Yeah. I think we lost the element of surprise.” Clint mused while taking cover behind a tree.
“Wait a second. No one else is going to deal with the fact that Cap just said ‘Language’?” Tony questioned.
“I know…” Steve sighed as he flipped his motorcycle into an incoming jeep. “Just slipped out.”
“Sir. The city is taking fire.” JARVIS’ voice ringed out in Tony’s headset.
“Well, we know that Strucker is not going to worry about civilian casualties. Send in the Iron Legion.” Tony replied.
“The force field is down people.” Tony reported as he flew into the base.
A blur just hit Clint into the snow. “You didn’t see that coming?” the figure disappeared again.
“Guys, we have an Enhanced in the field.” Clint reported.
“Clint look out!” Steve threw himself over Clint trying to prevent the bunker’s cannon from shooting him. Steve grunted as the nearby soldier shot him in his abdomen.
“Cap!” Clint shouted in alarm before taking out the bunker with an explosive arrow and an arrow to the weapon the soldier used.
“Steve’s hit!” Clint reported in a hurry as he opened his portable med kit and held a clean cloth over Steve’s abdomen. Steve gasped out in pain as Clint held pressure over the bleeding wound.
“Steve’s modified uniform is supposed to protect him from most repulsion tech!” Tony’s voice ringed out obviously worried because of Steve’s injury. “I’m on my way to your location. Hold on.”
“Wait!” Steve groaned out.
“The soldier that shot him- Don’t move Steve.” Clint answered as he held Steve’s shoulder to prevent him from moving. “Was deliberately aiming for Steve. He was holding a different weapon.” Clint continued.
“Tony… I’m fine.” Steve groaned out as he held his finger to the device in his ear. “Secure the scepter with Thor first. Clint and Nat can take care of me and bring me to the jet.”
“But…” Tony rebutted.
“Do it Tony! Please.” Steve replied as he groaned in pain after Clint reapplied pressure on it.
“Tch… Thor come on.” Tony replied.
Hulk landed next to the pair. “Hulk angry. Cap hurt.”
“Easy there Big Guy. Can you help bring Steve to quinjet? I go ahead and infiltrate the base.” Clint replied, nodding to the approaching Natasha.
Hulk grunted in agreement before cradling Steve up with unusual gentleness, walking straight to the jet to avoid jostling Steve too much. Natasha went back to the quinjet ahead to prepare a place for Steve to be laid on.
Hulk gently laid Steve on the portable mattress available on the quinjet and then left the jet. It was meant on most occasions for members of the team to sleep during long flight duration, more occasionally used when there are members injured. Steve grunted as Natasha reapplied pressure the nearly clotted wound on Steve’s abdomen.
“Hey Steve, how you are doing?” Natasha asked in concern, eyes on Steve’s face filled with worry.
“Been better.” Steve replied. “Hulk out there releasing his frustrations?”
“Yeah.” Natasha glanced out of the jet.
“Go get Bruce back, will you?” Steve said as he closed his eyes, turning his head to lean against the pillow. “
Already here, Steve.” Bruce replied while pulling on a T-shirt as he walked up to the pair.
“Bruce.” Natasha nodded as she handed the situation over to Bruce.
Bruce held the cloth that was on Steve’s abdomen. All members are required to be first aid trained, but Bruce is the closest to a doctor in the team. Natasha went to get the other medical supplies at the other area in the jet.
“How’s Tony and the rest of the team progress?” Steve asked as he opened his eyes looking at Bruce inspecting the wound.
“Steve you don’t have to worry about the team. How’s the pain?” Bruce stressed.
“Well it’s more painful than a bullet wound surprisingly. What’s that weapon anyway? What are the others doing?” Steve replied leaning back against the pillow.
“Thor and Clint both reported another female enhanced individual and got Strucker, they are currently on their way back to the jet. Tony is saving Strucker’s data from the base and found something underground. So far, you are the only casualty.” Bruce replied.
He removed Steve’s inner, outer uniform as well as his undershirt as he begins bandaging up the wound that has already begun healing.
“I’m going to give you the painkillers that Tony and I cooked up recently, so take a rest, will you?”
“But the team is still ou-”
“Rest.” Bruce reprimanded, shutting Steve up. “Don’t pretend that Tony didn’t notice that you barely had any sleep from recurring nightmares. Tony told me about it too. The team is safe, the mission is nearly over.”
Bruce then inserted an IV needle into Steve’s arm hooking up to a bag containing nutrients that his serum needs to heal the wound together with painkillers. Bruce then pulled a blanket over him and left Steve to rest.
Tony retracted his helmet while he ran up the ramp of the jet. All the other members shushed Tony as Clint nodded towards Steve’s direction. Tony passed the scepter to Thor before coming out of his armor. He ran up next to Steve who was sleeping due to the painkillers. Natasha was already preparing the quinjet for take-off back to Avengers Tower.
“He’s fine for now Tony.” Bruce comforted as he came up next to him and patted his shoulder. “I gave him the special cocktail of painkillers we came up with last time, now he is just resting. His wound had already stopped bleeding and has already started healing.”
“Clint did you see the weapon that injured Steve?” Tony asked Clint while he took the seat nearby Steve.
“Saw it. I may or may not have destroyed it without thinking…” Clint trailed off as he scratched his head in embarrassment.
“Tony you are worrying too much, let Steve’s body heal by itself, we will run tests when we get back to the Tower okay?” Natasha comforted from the cockpit. “Let’s head back. We are done here.”
“Yeah, first we have to threaten things out from Strucker.” Thor remarked, throwing a look at the unconscious person in question propped up on the jet seat.
Tony stared at the sleeping figure back in Avengers Tower.
The team got back from the mission back around 15 minutes ago, they managed to get Steve to the infirmary in the tower without waking him up. Bruce was relieved to see that the special painkiller was working well without complications. As promised by Natasha, they have already taken blood samples and Bruce is currently running through the samples back in his lab. The team left the two alone and wash up from the battle.
Tony grasped the warm hand.
“So much for wanting to go out on the date later tonight huh Steve? I was looking forward to it…” Tony complained softly while caressing the hand with his thumb.
“Sorry… I didn’t expect this to happen too Tony.”
“Steve!” Tony jumped out of his chair, surprised. “Sorry did I wake you up?” Tony whispered as he pecked Steve’s cheeks.
“Nah… you didn’t. I was already awake for a few minutes I think.” Steve cleared his throat. Tony helped Steve up as he brought a cup of water with a straw.
“You worried me so much. What happened to staying safe?” Tony scolded.
“Tony it’s just a normal superficial injury, I get back on my feet in a few hours. We still can go for dinner together.” Steve rebutted.
“But you should rest more, you shouldn’t push yourself.” Tony replied. “Don’t force me to knock you out with tetrodotoxin B that didn’t work on Hulk.”
“You do know it’s a neurotic that slows the pulse to 1 beat per minute, right?” Bruce countered as he walked towards the two. “Looks like Steve is fine, Tony. His blood work has no significant problems. I just need to check and re-bandage his wound.”
“Define ‘no significant problems’. There are problems, aren’t there?” Tony clarified as he glanced at Bruce who was removing the bandages. “Steve come on, seriously listen to me, you should stay here for tonight, we can have that date tomorrow.”
“I promised that it will be today. I even booked a table-” Steve sucked in a breath.
“Sorry, I just want to make sure it’s clean. And quit moving.” Bruce apologized.
“It’s okay. Since I knew for sure you would agree with me before I even asked you out Tony.” Steve continued.
“Then cancel the booking and stay here. I can just order takeaway for everyone. It’s Shawarma Saturday.” Tony refused.
“Can you leave the couple bickering to after I’m out of here? But Tony’s right you should stay here in the tower even though the wound is already almost fully healed.” Bruce tightened the bandage. “The blood work does indicate Steve has low blood count and sugar for him, Tony. Just rest and more food, he will be fine tomorrow. All done bandaging.”
“Doctor’s orders Steve. JARVIS, cancel the booking Steve made and order Shawarma to be delivered here. Inform the others about it.”
“Will do sir.”
Tony noticed Steve’s disappointment face and gave him a peck on his cheeks. “Okay, let’s catch up on a movie you haven’t watch tonight, just the both of us, alright? After Shawarma.” Tony comforted. Steve hummed in agreement as they both gazed into each other’s eyes.
Bruce cleared his throat, snapping the both out of stance. “I’ll leave you lovebirds alone. I’ll come back to check on you later Steve.”
“T-Thanks Bruce.” Steve stammered, face significantly red from embarrassment. Bruce laughed as he walked off.
Steve went back to sleep after Bruce left as his body went into high repair mode fixing his wound. Tony took the opportunity to clean up and brought his Starkpad to accompany Steve to continue working on his new suit. Bruce came back an hour later to remove the IV from Steve.
A pair of worried Sam and Bucky that returned from their stealth mission and dropped by to visit Steve while bugging Tony about Steve’s injuries. Steve was wakened up because of the bickering between the three and was visibly annoyed at the three of them. Shawarma soon arrived and saved Tony just in time. With Bucky’s help, they helped Steve to the common area as the group of four joined the rest of team that has already gathered.
The team debriefed the two missions over shawarma and proceeded to talk about other topics. Thor and Clint were competing against one another in a mobile game while Tony was taking care of Steve’s food. Sam, Natasha and Bucky were sharing about combat skills in another conversation.
“Geez, oh my you suck Thor.” Clint laughed as he stretched his arms above his head.
“Hey, Steve. Clint just said a bad language word.” Sam informed Steve.
“You told them that, Natasha?” Steve sighed as he face palmed, before shooting a cracked-up Tony a glare. Natasha shrugged.
Soon everyone finished and retired to their rooms, well apart from Thor and Clint who are still cursing at each other over the game. Steve went to clean up before meeting Tony at the cinema room that Tony obviously have installed in the tower after Tony promising Steve.
“Have you seriously not watched ‘Frozen'? It’s so popular that its products are everywhere.” Tony questioned Steve.
“‘Frozen’. Ice. What do you think?” Steve argued.
“Sorry…” Tony apologized. “Come on, it’s not about that it’s a movie for children. JARVIS for the benefit for Steve please start playing 'Frozen'.”
The movie started rolling as Tony pulled Steve next to him on the couch. “If you are uncomfortable, I am always here with you. If you can’t take it, we can turn it off immediately. Just enjoy this movie alright?” Tony whispered into Steve’s hair as he takes a whiff of Steve’s just washed, slightly damp hair.
Halfway through the movie, Tony found out that Steve had already fallen asleep soundly on his shoulder. Smiling, he pulled the comforter tighter around them.
“Injuries takes out a lot him from you huh…” Tony whispered as he brushed the golden bangs that had fallen against Steve’s eyelids.
However, Tony noticed that Steve was warmer than usual, warm even for him.
“JARVIS, what’s Steve’s temperature?” Tony questioned, all the alarms going off in his head signaling that something is wrong.
“103.5 F and increasing, sir.”
“WHAT?” Tony shouted in alarm. JARVIS at this point had automatically stopped the movie. "WHY DIDN'T YOU INFORM ME? I'm going to have to take a look at the emergency protocols again. "
“Steve, wake up!” Tony shook Steve by the shoulder and gently patted Steve's right cheek, trying to rouse the super soldier from hopefully his sleep, not unconsciousness. Steve opened his eyes momentarily and met Tony’s worried eyes and looked at Tony’s with half-lidded eyes.
“Tony… I think something is wrong with…” Steve whispered before his eyes slipped shut and went limp against Tony without finishing his sentence.
“Steve hey! Hey! Don’t scare me like this!” Tony shook Steve but to no avail. “JARVIS my suit!” Tony stood up and rested Steve against the couch pillow before pulling the comforter off. Tony was in the suit in seconds and cradled Steve in his arms.
“Alert Bruce! Tell him something is wrong with Steve!” Tony blasted towards the infirmary. “Tell him that I am taking Steve to the infirmary!”
Please hang on Steve....