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On the Outside

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"I'm sorry, Captain, we still can't let you in to see him."

Steve's hand tensed on the window of Tony's containment room, where Tony was leaning against the glass in his eternally faux-casual way. His eyes hadn't left Steve's from the moment Steve had entered the corridor outside, but the intensity was undercut by a bemused half-smile on his lips.

Steve tried to smile back, not entirely successfully.

"Not even for a minute?" he asked Dr. Cho, knowing the answer.

"I'm sorry. As we discussed, your immunity to the virus itself will not stop you from becoming a vector for it. And we can't have you spreading it; we need you."

"The world needs Captain America," Steve intoned, frustrated tension bunching his shoulders.

"S'ok, Cap," said Tony from behind the glass. His hand reached out to land on the window, in the same spot where Steve's hand rested on his own side. A phantom touch. "I'm in good hands. So to speak. Besides--" his smile turned into smirk, hand morphing to form the Vulcan salute on the window, his voice going low and ragged, "--the needs...of the many...outweigh...the needs of the few...or the one..."

He made a truly spectacular series of choking noises, and then dramatically slid down the window and wall, into a heap on the floor.

Steve's lips were pressed together so tightly in an effort to smother his giggles that they erupted from his nose. "Oh my god, Tony. Only you."

Muffled from the floor, Tony's voice floated up, "I got a reputation to maintain."

"Yes, I will tell the world that Tony Stark remains an absolute diva while in quarantine. Have no fear."