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Drug in Your Veins

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    There’s sounds of a scuffle just outside the door and Tony wonders briefly if the leader’s in a panic over his escape.

    Good, Tony thinks viciously as he leans back against the wall.

    He stares down the door directly in front of him. The steady stream of light coming in from the half inch gap makes his head hurt – then again the hits he took to it probably hasn’t been helping. It’s the only way in and unfortunately the only way out. Feet pass by every now and again, making the light blink, only exacerbating his headache.

    The shouts are constant now, growing more and more frantic. He can barely make out what they’re saying. They’ve probably uncovered the virus he had set up; everything from their servers is being carted off in a neat little package to the SHIELD. They really shouldn’t have armed him with a laptop. So at least he had gotten that done before dying. Not exactly the legacy he had wanted to leave but it’s better than nothing.

    Tony exhales quietly as he tips his head back, cataloguing his injuries. Everything hurts. He’s sore everywhere. He’s got three broken fingers on the hand that’s not gripping the gun, swelling because he had had to use both hands to pry apart the electronic lock on his door. At least it’s numb now. Something’s definitely broken in his leg – foot. Whatever. That is definitely not numb and it’s been making his escape a giant pain in the ass.

    Tony opens his eyes when he hears the shouting and the footsteps stop and silence sucks the air from the room. He inhales sharply, shakier than he'd like to admit because there’s a pair of heavy boots blackening the light from beneath the door. Carefully, Tony lifts his arm, struggling to raise the gun. He can’t remember what he did to the shoulder but it hurts like hell. Panting, he works a finger over the trigger.

    At least no one can say Tony Stark went down without a fight.

    There’s a dizzying wave of nausea when the lock clicks and he clamps down hard on the shudder of fear. It’s a bit surreal – that he’s going die in some hell hole in the middle of ass fuck nowhere. That he’s going to be gunned down like –


    Tony nearly drops the gun he’s holding as he stares at the figure standing in the doorway. In the dim light he can barely make out blonde hair and blue eyes, the colors muted in the dank room. Tony feels his face twist in a grimace when he realizes that he can't simply blame the lighting. He recognizes the stench, can practically taste the blood in the back of his throat because there’s so damn much of it. It doesn’t show well on the suit but the sick gleam to it is unmistakable. Tony wants to laugh – he had been wondering what the extra expense that month had been.

    “I borrowed a suit,” Steve says sheepishly, “Couldn’t stay away from the party last week.”

    Tony blinks, tries to remember what it had been – something for veterans. It had been Steve’s project for the longest time … before… before everything.

    “I didn’t expect to ruin it so quickly,” Steve says, a little mournfully as he shrugs off the suit jacket and wipes his hands on it. Tony remembers that same look when Steve had punched through that first punching bag. Remembers how much Steve hates waste.

    Tony chokes on the hysterical laughter threatening to break through because the white button-up underneath is nearly pristine. Steve had always been efficient. Tony aches at the thought of it.

    Tony tries not to twitch as the soldier crosses the room in long hurried strides, staring out into the hallway behind Steve’s shoulders.

    There’s a spray of blood on the wall and on the floor– Tony closes his eyes against the nausea. Steve must have been pissed. He’s usually so much more … artful.

    “Sweetheart,” Steve says quietly and Tony inhales sharply when he feels his lips against his eyelids, “Look at me.”

    “What’re you doing here?” Tony asks, trying not to let his voice crack when he opens his eyes.

    Steve looks the same as ever, clean all-American boy instead of serial killer. The soldier smiles at him, boyish and charming as if he hadn’t just decapitated someone seconds ago. Steve ducks his head, peers up at him from beneath his lashes.

    “I was worried,” he confesses quietly, “I thought I could stay away… I should have.”

    He bites nervously at his bottom lip, “I couldn’t help myself, Tony. Once I heard.”

    Tony shudders at the fleeting pass black rage in Steve’s eyes. Steve shakes his head, exhales slowly – breathing exercises Sam had talked him through.

    “I was so worried,” Steve says again and he looks genuinely concerned.

    Tony ignores the pull at his heartstrings. He can’t keep falling for this – he can’t keep putting his faith in a serial killer.

    Steve kisses him again, leans in as if it’s within his right. As if he hadn’t given it up months ago. Tony inhales sharply, takes in the smell of Steve. His hands itch; he wants to touch.

    “I’ve missed you,” Steve says quietly, reaching out for Tony’s gun.

    Tony can’t resist, let’s himself be disarmed. It’s probably dangerous considering where he is and who he’s with but he can’t bring himself to pull away. He knows it’s not and he can’t help the flutter in his stomach when he sees Steve’s face light up at the gesture.

    “I was so worried,” Steve says again and Tony lets himself be pulled in for a moment.

    He breathes in sweat, gunpowder and just the barest hint of Steve’s cologne. He’d always hated that smell. It’s too sharp, sticks in the back of his throat. Tony bears down, noses at the crook of Steve’s neck and breathes deep.

    “How did you even find me,” Tony rasps.

    “I got your note,” Steve says sweetly, like he hadn’t just admitted to hacking a government agency.

    Tony shouldn’t feel as proud as he does. Steve had always been a quick learner, especially with the right motivation and hadn’t that been an interesting night.

    “Pretty sure it’s illegal to open up other people’s mail,” Tony says because it feels like he should put up a token protest at least.

    He feels Steve smile, feels his teeth glance against his earlobe.

    “You were missing and I was worried,” Steve says by way of explanation. He leans back just enough to be able to dip down to kiss Tony once more before he lifts him up, hands gentle. He gives Tony a private smile, as if sharing a joke, “You wouldn’t let me put a tracking chip on you.”

    “Shocking,” Tony deadpans and Steve chuckles.

    The ease of their banter makes Tony ache. He had missed this. He grips the front of Steve’s shirt and just clings. Steve doesn’t dislodge him, doesn’t do anything but kiss him again. It’s like the first drops of rain after a drought and Tony shudders, barely manages to bite back a sob.

    The adrenaline’s wearing off, replaced by a weariness that refuses be ignored. It seeps deep into his bones, makes him go limp in Steve’s arms. Steve seems more than willing to take his weight and only hums a little when Tony presses his cheek against Steve’s chest.

    “Close your eyes, sweetheart,” Steve urges right before they step into the hallway and Tony doesn’t protest.

    He’s seen what Steve’s capable of, can imagine the scene they’re walking through. Even if he can’t see, there’s no ignoring the smell of it. It’s like a punch in the gut, acrid and vile. He can make out vomit and urine, interspersed by the iron tang of blood. Steve had been thorough. The silence in the hall’s overwhelming and he shivers. There’s probably no one alive and he can’t make himself be sorry.

    Tony presses his eyes to the back of his knuckles, bearing down on the tears.

    How fucked up is it that he feels safe? That he can finally relax for the first time in months; that’s he’s still in love with a fucking serial killer. A serial killer who had handed him the body of his mentor and kidnapper months ago. He had practically presented Obadiah’s heart on a platter because “it had only seemed fair.” Who had willingly turned himself over when Tony had freaked out all so Tony could feel safe. Tony grits his teeth. Just the thought of it makes him nauseous because he hasn’t felt safe for months, not since Steve left.

    Steve kisses his forehead again and Tony gives up resisting. Let’s the warmth seep over him, down to his toes. He leans up, presses a kiss to Steve’s jaw and commits Steve’s happy sigh to memory. He can’t pretend that he’s not still in love with him, that he doesn’t still have the ring in his pocket. That he doesn’t carry it everywhere just in case.

    Without thinking Tony clings tighter, let’s himself be carried through whatever vision hell Steve’s carved out. Let’s himself be warmed by the thought of Steve tearing people apart to get to him. Steve had probably snapped someone’s neck with the same hands he’s got around Tony’s shoulder and thigh right now.

    Every now and again Steve murmurs something in Tony’s ear, a quiet mantra of: I love you. I won’t let anyone take you. Don’t worry. You’re safe.

    “I still love you,” he says quietly, can’t stop the smile when Steve kisses him, slips his tongue in his mouth.

    “Do you still get cold at night?” he asks desperately because he’d been so damned worried. Steve smiles against his lips, rearranging his hands so that he can cradle the back of Tony’s head and bites hard enough to draw blood.

    “Do you still get the nightmares?” he pants out, opens his eyes just enough to see Steve’s face.

    This close, he can make out the circles under Steve’s eyes. Super soldier or no, he’s running thin.

    “Come back with me,” Tony begs, fingers curling in Steve’s dog tags, “Just for tonight.”

    He sees Steve break, expression vulnerable for a half second. It feels better than it should – to know that Steve still can’t say no to him. Steve kisses him again fiercely, murmuring promises against his lips before he presses in to steal Tony’s breath.

    They’re making out amidst corpses. Hell, there’s probably blood soaking Steve’s boots right now but Tony can’t bring himself to care as he clings as best he can, presses himself up against Steve’s chest, let’s Steve bear down on him possessively.

    He can be sane in the morning.