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Out of the ice

Chapter Text

Waking up from the ice had been similar to jarring awake as you fell in a dream. He wasn’t sure what was a dream, if he was dreaming still, or if he had actually woken seventy years in the future. He spent days being ushered through hallways on what was called the helicarrier, followed by whispers and the occasional shriek of surprise.

 

“I thought Valeria was joking-”

 

“Is that really Captain America-”

 

“Oh my god, it is, should never have given that shield replica to Coulson, I never knew I would get the chance for Captain America to sign it-”

 

“How- what the hell, is someone resurrecting dead men now?”

 

His surroundings were insane. He spent every second drinking in everything he could absorb through the shock- the thrumming hum of the helicarrier, the clicks of the agent's boots, the gentle buzz of earpieces relaying conversations, the electronic ting to some of the automated voices-

 

If his shock wasn’t so bad and numbing, Steve felt he would be walking around slack-jawed and wide-eyed. His surroundings, god. Agent Coulson- the only Coulson, the one who had scores of Captain America paraphernalia, as Steve found out much later when he was asked to sign some of it- tried to give him a crash course on technology. Steve partially wished he could shrink to his pre-serum state; his fingers felt too big and clumsy as he clicked all the wrong buttons.

 

-x-

 

“They still sell paper copies of newspapers?”

 

Steve looked up at the dark-haired, well-suited man who had passed his room, wry, fake smile on his face and tinted glasses blocking his eyes as he leaned on the doorframe. Did sliding automatic doors have doorframes?

 

The agent who was trailing him was trying to push him away, but he was saying, Nicky doesn’t need to know I'm talking to his precious secret. The last bit had hidden malice or hurt in it, and Steve quickly accessed his tense pose that was trying for nonchalant. He could tell there was a story hidden there. The agent eventually wandered off, muttering that she hadn’t had enough coffee today for this.

 

“You didn’t answer my question.” The man’s voice sounded familiar, or something about him felt familiar.

 

“Um, apparently they do, an agent brings it to me,” Steve answered clumsily. He hadn’t really had a real conversation since- since then.

 

“There’s an app for that, Cap.” The man looked jokingly over his glasses before disappearing behind them again.

 

Steve stared at him, running over the vocabulary he had learned. “Newspapers are also on these devices as, um, applications?”

 

“Woah there, you’re using too much air. We in the future shorten about every word we can. Yes, there are hundreds of news apps out there.”

 

“Hundreds?”

 

“Welcome to the future. Has anyone taken the time to show the caveman how to use a Stark pad?” The man entered into Steve’s room, hands in his pockets as he looked around, face unreadable with those tinted glasses.

 

“Caveman?”

 

“Someone pre-tech age. Bear with me, Cap.”

 

“And why do you keep calling me Cap?”

 

“I can’t say your full title with a straight face, bit out of it right now.”

 

Oh. Steve quickly wondered why he hadn’t noticed the man was partially drunk.

 

“If there’s one thing my dad drilled into me, was how adaptable and amazing you were, and you can’t use my tech?”

 

“Your dad? Your tech? Who are-”

 

“Stark, leave the Captain alone, I got a shrill call from Pepper about having you wandering the helicarrier in your apparent state.” Director Fury now came into view, hands on his hips as he stared down the man.

 

“Aw, come on Nicky, baby, helping Cap is in my blood.” The man walked away from Steve, a fake smile plastered on, trying to sling his arm around Director Fury’s shoulders. Steve was just gaping. For two reasons. One, did people nowadays have any respect or was this normal? And two, Stark. Dad. In my blood-

 

“There’s also apparently almost enough alcohol in your system to knock you out according to Pepper and Jarvis. I have an agent outside to transport you to your jet. Now.”

 

The man pouted before stumbling out, and Director Fury sighed, rubbing his forehead with one hand.

 

“Sorry, you had to deal with that, Captain. Stark was scheduled to look at our engines today, but he decided to come up here drunk, as usual.”

 

“Stark, as in Howard Stark?” Steve asked.

 

“Yes, that’s Tony Stark, Howard’s son. Designed the majority of the tech and weaponry we use, plus the bulk of the helicarrier.”

 

“Son?”

 

“Forget him, you probably won’t see him again, unless Pepper works a miracle and gets him to straighten up. We have some more history prepared for you to continue catching up.”

 

Steve nodded, folding the newspaper he was still holding, setting it on the nightstand of his small dorm, standing and following Director Fury out, the doors swishing shut behind him.

 

 

-x-

 

 

“What the hell were you thinking, Tony, it’s barely three in the afternoon and you’re drunk. Plus you go to the helicarrier, and find Captain America-” Pepper greeted him as he stumbled off the plane into the Californian heat.

 

“Pepper, ‘is whate’er.”

 

“Did you have more to drink? I specified the jet was to be dry-”

 

Tony pulled a flask out of a pocket in his suit, grinning loopily, and Pepper stared at it before grabbing it and throwing it as far away as she could.

 

“C’mon, Pep-”

 

“Don’t Pep me, apparently I have a Japanese businessman to call because you are in no state to do a merger right now. SI really needs that merger.”

 

“I gotta plan, big bucks, Pep-”

 

“Limo. Now.”

 

“So, see it 'ould-”

 

“I do not want to hear the drunken recount of your next idea you’ll probably forget once you’re hungover. Stop following me, you are not throwing up on me again.”

 

“-’is gonna be a bomb that’s a ton of smaller bombs, ‘n e’thing go boom.”

 

“Not listening, be quiet, I have calls to make.”

 

“Boom, Pep.”

 

“Help me, Happy.”

 

“Sorry, Ms. Potts, you are the only one he possibly listens to when he’s drunk.”

 

“I think he’s going to throw up.”

 

“Speeding up, ma’am, five more minutes.”

 

Tony held eye contact with her. “Bombs in’a bomb.”


And he threw up.

Chapter Text

Steve startled awake from a nightmare to see his room was dimly lit up. It took a few seconds to process the noise repeating, plenty more to recognize his phone - it was seriously a phone, despite being small and not being connected to a wall- and a few more to remember how to answer a call.

 

“Hello, Captain Rogers.” A business-like voice greeted him as Steve stared groggily at his clock, was there anything in the future that wasn’t electronic?

 

“Hello, ma’am. What can I do for you?”

 

“Oh god, did I wake you up, I forgot about time zones-”

 

“I had actually woken up moments before, ma’am. To whom am I speaking?”

 

“Shit, sorry. I’m Pepper Potts, Tony Stark’s personal assistant. I wanted to extend an apology for anything he may have done, and to promise it will never happen again.”

 

“It’s fine, Ms. Potts. It was interesting to meet Howard’s son, even if not in the best of circumstances.”

 

“Pepper, please. And Tony isn’t Howard, I would advise you to steer clear, he drives me insane on an hourly basis.”

 

“Understood, but I will form my own opinions of him.”

 

“Then don’t Google him.”

 

“Google?”

 

“Have an agent explain to you, I now need to stop him from making a drunken mistake in his workshop. It was an honor talking to you, Captain Rogers, and once again I extend my apology. Goodbye.”

 

“Goodbye.”

 

Steve pulled the phone away from his ear, blinking at the bright screen as the call ended and he tried to figure out how to turn it off.


He ended up laying his newspaper over the bright screen to dim the light before slipping back into an uneasy sleep.

Chapter Text

Even if he was in clothing issued by this SHIELD, this peace-keeping organization floating in the sky with enough weaponry to destroy five earths, a fact he had so many issues with- he felt naked without a uniform on. The star-spangled uniform he had worn in the ice was mostly destroyed, and his shield was undergoing scans to ensure it has maintained structural integrity when he had fought the Red Skull-

 

-x-

 

Steve woke up in a hospital bed, forgetting he was in the future and probably safe, sitting up and ignoring his head swimming, tearing off his IV and heart monitor, panting heavily as he took in his surroundings, quickly grabbing the IV tower and breaking it so he had a long rod to use as a weapon, going and hiding behind the door as it opened, hitting the doctor and the nurse hard over the head to knock them out before rushing out.

 

There were more people, and they all reacted to his presence, trying to come towards him, but he backed away and ran. Why did he not want to take these agents out? Hydra must have changed it’s insignia, perhaps as a ploy to trick him into trusting all these people. Fuck, why were there so many people, and this was unlike any other Hydra base he had been in. Alarms started blaring, and Steve tightened his grip on the pole.

 

“Miss, I would advise you to step out of my way or I will go through you.” Steve approached the small, slight redhead, batoning the rod in his hand as he prepared to fight.

 

“Did you just call me miss, Captain?” She answered, smirking, in a Russian accent.

 

“Yes, and I do not want to fight you, so if you’ll move aside and tell me where the Red Skull is-”

 

“The Red Skull is dead.”

 

“Does Von Strucker or Zemo lead now? You know what, I can’t trust a word you say, so move out of the way or I will attack.”

 

“Life's been a bit boring recently, no one here is a good sparring partner.”

 

“If it’s a fight you want, a fight you’ll get.”

 

She smirked again before powering up the weapons circling her wrists.

 

-x-

 

Steve woke up again in a hospital bed, his mind foggy, slowly realizing he was drugged. Sitting up was hard, and he came eye-to-eye with a man wearing a neat suit, apparently waiting for him to wake up. “-got me, watta wanna do?”

 

“Apologies for drugging you, Captain. Does SHIELD or waking up in the future ring any bells?”

 

“-ain’asshin’.”

 

“I can assure you it is not brainwashing, Captain. I have no weapons on my person nor are there any hidden in this room unless you decide to improvise again.”

 

“Gonna ‘et you-” Steve got out before falling back into a daze.

 

-x-

 

The third time he woke up, Steve vaguely recalled he was in the future, that this wasn’t brainwashing, and he shook his head, trying to clear the residue of drug fog from his brain as he opened his eyes. Coulson - that was his name, right? - was still at the foot of his bed, and Steve felt himself groan. “Sorry.” He got out with great effort, straining his muscles to sit up.

 

“No needs for apologies, Captain.”

 

“What happened?”

 

Coulson sighed, adjusting the cuffs of his suit. “We found you passed out from a panic attack in the restroom, and rushed you to medbay.”

 

“Panic attack? Are you sure a Hydra agent didn’t try to sneak on and-”

 

“Hydra is dead, thanks to you Captain. And they would never be able to get past our security, Stark himself coded it.”

 

“Are you sure it was a panic attack?”

 

“There were heavy traces of adrenaline and ATCH in your system, plus every inch of the helicarrier is on electronic feed, or on recording...moving pictures...”

 

“Did I hurt anyone?”

 

“No one was seriously injured, and the Black Widow might not nearly kill more agents when she trains because she got some fun out of sparring with you.”

 

“Black Widow?”

 

“Red hair, Russian. Uses her widow bites to attack with-” Coulson vaguely waved one of his wrists around. “She’s only a bit older to SHIELD than you, been here maybe three months.”

 

“Sorry again.”

 

“Not necessary, Captain. Rest, and then you should get some food. Ask agents to direct you to the mess hall.”

 

“Yes, sir.”

 

“The younger agents use that to be sassy, it’s Coulson, Captain.”

 

“Than it’s Steve to you, Coulson.”

 

“Okay, Steve. Get some rest.”

 

-x-

 

 

“Tony, I have a feeling this is a bad idea.” Pepper had a pad in one hand and her other hand over her eyes.

 

“Jarvis, play simulation 4. Pepper, watch this, it could revolutionize war.”

 

Pepper took her hand off her eyes, crossing her arms as the room lit up with holographs, watching a missile break apart and turn into several that shot off randomly, the quality glitching purely for effect as everything burst into smoke and fire.

 

“You came up with this while you were drunk-”

 

“I think we should produce it.”

 

“So you have more money for drinking and partying?”

 

Tony acted offended. “To serve my country, who do you think I am?”

 

Pepper looked at him before sighing. “Fine. I’ll call a board meeting, you are staying dry for the next forty-eight hours.”

 

“Okay. Thanks, Pep.”

 

“I mean it, Tony.”

 

-x-

 

“Is there a kitten crying somewhere, because you look happy.”

 

“Der’mo. Get out of my ceiling.” Natasha shouted at Clint, crossing her arms and looking at him.

 

“Okay, okay, I’m coming down to the ground, I just wanted to make sure you were okay.”

 

“I was the last three time you checked today.”

 

“Do you treat all your rescuers like this?”

 

“Only the ones that are annoying as fuck.”

 

“I’m going.”


“Finally.”

Chapter Text

Steve was pretty sure he wasn’t supposed to be surrounded by agents asking for his autograph. He didn’t want to appear intimidated or weak - god he had had a panic attack and passed out - but he was starting to feel suffocated.

 

“Don’t you guys have jobs to do?”

 

The- the Black Widow was approaching them at a leisurely pace, eyebrow raised. Some of the agents took a defensive position around him, and she stopped, sighing.

 

“Look, if I wanted him dead, he would be dead. I’m the Black Widow, most of you have probably read my file.”

 

“I’m- I’m fine guys, return to your stations.” Steve tried as they stood in a stalemate. The agents cast her more suspicious glances before walking away from Steve, and he felt himself deflate. “Thanks. What was all that about?”

 

“People tend to be on edge when your previous job description was an assassin.” She shrugged.

 

“Assassin?”

 

“I could kill you with my pinky.” She wriggled it at him. “Let’s get food first before I kill you. This way.”

 

Steve realized he was frozen- standing still, and he hurried to catch up with her.

 

“What year were you born?” She asked after they walked in silence, the Black Widow ignoring the looks the agents who passed gave her.

 

“What?”

 

“I was born 1928, I want to not feel old.”

 

“1928- it’s 2013, right?”

 

“I have a knock-off of your serum that makes me age like a goddess.”

 

“That makes you-”

 

“Eighty-five, yes, don’t go around saying that though or I will kill you.”

 

“God, that means I’m ninety-three.”

 

“Let’s see if we can get a senior discount in the mess hall.”

 

“Who are you?” Steve stopped again, and she turned around, hands in the pockets of her SHIELD-issued sweatpants.

 

“My name is Natasha Romanov, enhanced super-soldier and probably the best spy on this helicarrier.”

 

“Sorry.” Steve winced. They had glossed over the attempts to re-create Project Rebirth in his history lessons, so Steve had cornered an agent.

 

“Why?” She tilted her head, eyebrow-raising again.

 

“You’re here because of me.”

 

“Inadvertently, yes, but the future is pretty amazing. Have you even seen a smartphone? Or laptops?”

 

Steve shook his head, and they continued walking. “How are you adjusting to all this so well?”

 

“Young grasshopper. I wasn’t in ice for seventy years. Plus, I got released from psych a week ago.”

 

“Grasshopper?”

 

“Lisus Khristos, do you have a lot to catch up on.”

 

“Romanov, you're not supposed to be aimlessly wandering the hallways.” Coulson spotted them as they started to hear the dull chaos of the mess hall, and Steve saw Natasha roll her eyes in frustration before turning around, her face blank.

 

“I got released from psych, Coulson, plus I am not walking aimlessly, I was showing your precious Captain America to the mess hall.”

 

“Where’s your guard?”

 

“I needed room to breathe.”

 

“Come with me, Romanov. The mess hall is right around the corner, Ca- Steve.” Coulson told him before walking off, holding tight to Natasha’s arm.

 

-x- 

 

“See, they liked it, Pepper.” Tony nudged her as they got into the limo, and she shot him a look before telling whoever she was talking to that she would call them back.

 

“Of course they liked it, it’s more money, the cost of production alone makes it one of the most expensive weapons you’ve created.”

 

“And you’re still insisting this is a bad idea?” Tony asked, trying to subtly take out the vodka stored in the limos fridge.

 

“Put that down, Tony, and yes, I still have a bad gut feeling about this.”

 

“Everything’ll be fine. Jarvis, are my forty-eight hours up yet?”

 

“You still have three more hours if you are to adhere to Ms. Pott’s request, Sir.”

 

Tony looked at Pepper. “Just a little bit?”

 

“No, I know your definition of little would be enough to give you alcohol poisoning.”

 

-x-


Steve ended up sitting alone in the mess hall, focusing on his food and trying to not listen in on other conversations. Even standard military meals had gotten better. He poked at it, ate it purely so it wouldn’t be wasted food, and left the mess hall to retrace his steps to his room.

Chapter Text

“Who the hell designed these engines?” Tony grumped, chest-deep in one as he tore it apart, the smell of saltwater faint but strong as the helicarrier lay docked.

 

“I believe you did, sir.”

 

Tony popped up to give the young engineer- Campbell or something like that- a look, who shrunk back and apologized.

 

“Aren’t you supposed to be fixing the engines, not tearing them to shreds?”

 

“Seriously, I don’t know how this behemoth didn’t fall out of the sky and wipe out New York, the engine design is fucking horrible-”

 

“Does this lengthen the time window that we will be docked?”

 

“Yes, I need to completely redesign these, fucking fuck-”

 

“You get to go tell the Director, Campbell.” The head engineer joked before ducking back around the corner.

 

-x-

 

“When I asked for coffee, I didn’t mean a Cappuccino.” Tony joked as Steve came in, and the head engineer groaned.

 

“Mr. Stark?” Steve’s eyebrows were furrowed as he saw Tony standing in the middle of the dissected engine.

 

“Mr. Stark was my father, Cap. It’s Tony or Stark, but never Mister.” Tony corrected, rubbing his forehead and leaving a streak of grease across it.

 

“Okay, what are you doing?”

 

“I’m tearing apart these trashy engines, it looks like Dum-E designed these.”

 

“Dum-E?”

 

“My robot. Did you come here to chat or to impart your sagely wisdom to me?”

 

Steve realized why he had worn sunglasses last time, his face gave everything away. There was that bitterness again, veiled thinly as Mr. Sta- Tony tried to play it off as sass. “Memorizing the layout of the helicarrier, hadn’t been in the engine rooms yet,” Steve explained, and Tony gave him a look before shaking his head.

 

“Well, memorize away, I’m busy.”

 

“I actually wanted to get to know you, Howard and I-”

 

“Don’t fucking mention my father, how great everyone thinks he was, or anything close to that subject, Captain.” Tony snapped, and Steve blinked.

 

“I didn’t know that was a sensitive subject, Tony. Sorry.”

 

“I retract what I said earlier. I’m Stark to you. And I’m busy, so memorize the room and leave me alone.”

 

“Is everything okay?”

 

Tony ignored him, banging loudly on the engine as he continued to tear it apart. Steve waited to see if he would get an answer before walking back out. Steve was...confused, at the least. Howard had been a good man in the chaos of WWII, so why did his son hate him with vehemence?

 

He dropped this course of thoughts as he rounded the corner to his room to see Coulson.

 

“Hello, Steve. Another history lesson, if you’re up to it.” Coulson scanned him quickly, eyebrows furrowing slightly.

 

“I am fine, sir.”

 

Coulson made to correct him, but dropped it, turning in the direction of the conference room where Steve had been getting his lessons.

 

-x-

 

“Welcome back, sir. Pepper wishes me to remind you that- sir, it would be advisable to stay sober, as you are showcasing the Jericho missile tomorrow.”

 

Tony ignored Jarvis, tired, frustrated, angry, disappointed - in whom, he wasn’t sure- and hefted up the bottles, kneeing the wine cabinet shut and heading to his workshop. “Never meet your heroes sober, J.”

 

“You encountered Captain America again, sir?”

 

“And he brought up dad.”

 

“I see. You should stay sober and get a proper night’s sleep, your plane to Afghanistan leaves promptly at six a.m. in order to meet your customers in a timely fashion.”

 

-x-

 

“Hello, Lieutenant Rhodes.”

 

“Jarvis, I know I changed rank, but it’s Rhodey. Where’s Tony?”

 

“He is currently just outside his workshop, sir. Any attempt I make to get him to start his day is unsuccessful.”

 

-x-

 

“Goddammit, Tony. Jarvis, you let him get drunk?”

 

“I told him that it would not be advised, but once again, I am not equipped with appendages to influence beyond words.”

 

“Okay. Up you come, Tony.” Rodney hauled Tony up, throwing his limp arm around his shoulders and dragging Tony up the stairs.

 

“Already?” Tony’s voice was slurred, and Rodney sighed.

 

“The plane was supposed to leave an hour ago, Tony. Now walk, you’re heavier than you look.”

 

“Nehh.” Tony pushed himself upright, holding tightly onto the railing and walls as he made his way to his room.

 

“Don’t pass out on me Tony, that’s getting old.”


“M’kay.” Tony shot a thumbs-up over his shoulder as he picked up the suit lying on his bed, stumbling into the bathroom.

Chapter Text

“What do you mean Stark’s been fucking kidnapped?” Fury roared at the agent that had come to report to him as he coordinated response teams for violence in Egypt.

 

“He means Tony Stark has been kidnapped, and his friend Lieutenant Rhodes from the Air Force has already contacted us in order for us to collaborate on the search.” Hill stood up from where she had been at a computer, addressing Fury before she got another call. “Yes, we’re already working on it, Ms. Potts. We need the lines clear, I’ll have an agent keep you updated.”

 

“You said there was a situation, sir?” Coulson came onto the bridge, raising his voice slightly to be heard over the erupting chaos.

 

“Stark was kidnapped after showcasing the Jericho missile.” An agent near him answered, and he nodded, walking to Hill. Steve had followed Coulson, and he looked at the agent that had told Coulson the situation.

 

“We have it covered, Captain. People can’t hide long from SHIELD.”

 

Steve looked around at the chaos before nodding, turning around and marching away from the noise.

 

“Remind me to put a tracker chip in this idiot when we find him.” Fury muttered as he finished organizing response teams for Egypt.

 

“Director finished running his last known position against our knowledge of terrorist groups in the area. Nothing.”

 

“Director Fury, a field hospital set up in a church, treating injured Egyptians now.”


"Some of the victims in Egypt need to be air-vaced, teams on the ground are requesting helicopters to fly them to hospitals."

 

“Try broadening the search. Put guards on the church just in case and request granted.” Fury ordered, and they nodded hastily before turning to their computers and talking into their earpieces.

 

“Air sweeps negative sir.”

 

 -x-

 

Clint found Steve angrily and frustratedly pacing in his room, and opening the nearest vent, cleared his throat.

 

“What the hell are you doing in my ceiling?” Steve jumped, stopping his pacing as he looked at Clint with an incredulous expression.

 

“Sorry, I prefer the ceiling over the floor in the helicarrier. I’m Clint.”

 

“Okay, and why did you crawl through the vent system to talk to me?”

 

“Captain America being told to sit down when there’s a crisis, from what the history books said of you, that doesn’t sit well.”

 

“Yes, do we have some type of plane that could make it to Egypt or to Afghanistan?”

 

Clint looked at him, propping his head on his fist. “SHIELD has it covered, there’s nothing you or I could do. Want to go find some agents to scare or prank Fury’s office?”

 

“Who are you?”

 

“New SHIELD agent, been here maybe a year, bored as hell because they put me on the bench and take all my trick arrows when I’m not on a mission.”

 

“I hate to say this, but you need to go slower. What?”

 

“Fine, I’m an ex-criminal carny that happens to be the archer that never misses.”

 

“You were in an illegal circus...of crime?”

 

“Yes, not all of us can have a perfect story like you.”

 

“What is going on with the future?” Steve rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands, hearing Clint clumsily slide out of the venting to land spread-eagled on the floor.

 

“Ow. Come on, there should be some new agents in the training room.”

 

“I do not need to join you in your childish games, I need to-”

 

“Captain, you’re not getting a plane like you did to rescue the 107th, and Fury sure as hell is not going to let you of this tub, so stop pacing and come on.”

 

“There has to be something useful I could be doing.”

 

“I’m open to suggestions, I would love to be saving people.”

 

“You’re part of this world, you must have ideas.”

 

“Oh my god, you haven’t seen Frozen.”

 

Steve gave him a look.

 

“Oh. Sorry, no filter. It’s a movie, maybe not the best choice for a human popsicle.”

 

“I want to be left alone.”

 

“You’ll just go back to pacing, come on.”

 

“Clint-”

 

“Look, I’m hyper and really bored, and Romanov might kill me the next time she sees me and all the other agents will be busy.”

 

“Clint, please leave me alone.”

 

“Fine.” Clint jumped up, catching the edge of the vent and hauling himself up. “Last cha- did Captain America just flick me off?”

 

“Do you ever stop talking?”

 

“No, it’s kind of my flaw.”

 

“Just go.”


“I’m going.”

Chapter Text

Clint didn't go, after sliding the venting back on, he sat in the dark space, covering the too-bright maintenance lights with his knees before pulling out his phone to play Angry Birds while he waited for Steve to do something. When he began to hear curses, he dropped back down gratefully.

 

“What are you trying to do?” Clint asked, trying to look over Steve’s shoulder as he made quiet hissing noises at the computer and ignored Clint. “Okay, first off, don’t use internet explorer, god-”

 

“Go scare some agents or something, I’m actually trying to help assist- not that I’m encouraging you to,” Steve muttered as Clint continued to hover.

 

“Give me the computer and tell me what you’re trying to do, you’re giving me extreme anxiety.”

 

“Is everyone this impatient in the future or just you?”

 

“You should see the teenagers. I’m saintly compared to them.”

 

“Fine, how do I get aerial imaging?”

 

“Hacking into SHIELD is probably your best bet, let’s go corral Romanov.”

 

“Hacking?”

 

“I’m not going to answer that, you’re Captain America. She doesn’t hate you.”

 

“Is it illegal or something?”

 

“It’s for the greater good?”

 

“Fine, let’s pretend I’m going along with this. You know where her quarters are?”

 

“I’ve crawled through this entire helicarrier, I know where a lot of things are.”

 

“Okay, lead- and we’re walking, like normal human beings.” Steve held Clint’s shoulder as he tucked the laptop under one arm, tensing to jump up to the open vent he had come through.

 

“Star-spangled spoilsport,” Clint muttered darkly as he walked out of Steve’s room.

 

-x-

 

“She isn’t allowed visitors at the moment.” The agent standing in front of Natasha’s door crossed her arms.

 

“Would you look the other way if you got a selfie and an autograph from Captain America?” Clint suggested.

 

“What’s a selfie?” Steve whispered to Clint only to be elbowed hard to shut him up.

 

“Fine. But I have high enough clearance to kill you if Fury catches word of this, and you’re taking responsibility for wiping this footage.” The guard relented, sighing as she punched in the keycode and Natasha’s door opened.

 

“What the hell are you doing here, again? Hey Captain.”

 

“Hello- what is a selfie?” Steve greeted before turning to the guard.

 

“Just go, I dropped my phone yesterday so my camera isn’t working.”

 

The doors closed behind Steve as Natasha stood with her arms crossed, glowering at Clint.

 

“How in the world did Captain America team up with this idiot. All offense intended.”

 

“He dropped down from my ceiling, he said you’d be able to whack-”

 

“Dear god, it’s hack-”

 

“-SHIELD, plus apparently I don’t know how to use a computer yet, according to him.” Steve finished over Clint’s protest.

 

“Does he use internet explorer or something?” Natasha asked Clint, who nodded and handed her the computer. “So what secrets do you want me to steal?”

 

“Give me some credit, I found the internet.” Steve protested as she smirked, sitting cross-legged on her bed.

 

“The Captain wants to find Stark, so we need SHIELD satellite access.”

 

“I’ll find your boyfriend, Steve, don’t worry. Give me five minutes.” Natasha joked, laughing to herself before focusing on the laptop and typing frantically.

 

“That’s a good point, why are you so interested in finding that jerk?” Clint asked, Natasha shushing him.

 

“I feel I owe it to Howard.” Steve tried, whispering, but Clint just shook his head and rolled his eyes. “Yes, he’s a jerk, but he was kidnapped. Is that sarcasm or some modern terminology or-”

 

“I’m in you two. Tapping into external communications-”

 

“Why does everyone treat him like a jerk?” Steve whispered as Natasha continued to type.

 

“Have you met him?” Clint asked, confused.

 

“Yes, but-”

 

“Boys, shut up. I think I have something.” Natasha interrupted, and they both moved to look at the computer screen over her shoulders.

 

“So we have a furry black blob in the middle of a sea of tan,” Clint commented, and she reached behind her to squeeze Clint in a pressure point on his arm.

 

“Fuck, I’m an archer, don’t ruin my arms.”

 

“If this is what it means to be a good guy, I think I’m going to defect.”

 

“I did not infiltrate a top-secret-”

 

“So how should we tell Fury we hacked into high-level clearance to find Steve’s-” Clint started, laughing at Steve’s face.

 

“Would you stop being a four-year-old. He was kidnapped, I’ve only spoken to him twice. He is not-”

 

“I can take credit. They might put me back in psych, though.” Natasha answered, head resting on top of the laptop's screen.

 

“You shouldn’t go back to psych, you’ll be driven crazy. I’ll claim responsibility.” Clint volunteered.

 

“I don’t need rescuing. I am my own heroine.”

 

“Look, I infiltrated a top-secret, heavily militarized horror house to get to you, and faced treason charges to get you out-” Clint started, shouting slightly, and Steve backed as far away as he could in the tiny room.

 

“Treason? You were following SHIELD’s orders to get me.”

 

“Look up the file.” Clint collapsed back inwards, draping a hand over his mouth.

 

Natasha gave him a weird look before searching on the computer, pausing and raising an eyebrow when she found it. “I’m claiming responsibility, der’mo rebenok. Get me past my security detail?”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

She gave him a look, and he held up his hands defensively before jumping up and catching the slats of the venting, sliding it away before climbing in and offering a hand to her.

 

“For the record, you’re still annoying.” She jumped and got the edges of the venting, and Clint moved out of view as she climbed in.

 

“See you soon, Captain,” Clint called before hissing ow.

 

“What part of sneaking out and being quiet do you not understand?”



The agent standing outside watched Steve walk out alone, and sighed heavily through her nose, not moving out of her position on the wall.

Chapter Text

Commander Hill was watching a red and yellow robot- seriously what was going on with the future- bomb terrorist camps with her arms crossed and her eyebrows furrowed, Steve standing slightly behind her. Clint had dragged Steve onto the bridge, telling him getting in the way of functions on the bridge was the only way to get a mission- Clint they’re a global peace-keeping organization, I don’t want to impede that process-

 

“The future has flying robots,” Steve commented, looking over Hill.

 

“The US air force hasn’t been able to take him-it- down.” She replied, not looking away until the red robot disappeared from SHIELD satellite.

 

“Why do you want to take it down? It's defeating the terrorists. They're the enemy, right?"

 

“Yes, they are, and just in case whoever controls it decides to defect, the power of that suit alone on the wrong side-”

 

“Captain, we have a mission.” Clint appeared at his elbow, and Steve looked to the podium to see Fury venting frustration at some agent about Egypt, before looking at the grinning Clint tiredly.

 

-x-

 

“I take back my words, I want back on the helicarrier,” Clint whined, grabbing Steve’s shield and using it to create a cover for his quiver as the rain poured down.

 

“Barton, stay on mission, please.” Coulson came through the comms, and Clint grumbled in response.

 

“I’m guarding an over-glorified hammer, in the pouring rain, plus I’m hungry-”

 

“Clint, I’ve had to sit in muddy trenches in the pouring rain, and I did not complain like a four-year-old.” Steve reprimanded, trying to take his shield back.

 

“Hour fifteen, Agent Coulson reporting. Never let Clint off the helicarrier.” Coulson joked dryly, headache audible.

 

 -x-

 

“So first, you’re upset that I don’t seem to care about the world, now you’re screeching because I actually give a damn, what the fuck, Pep-” Tony complained, gratefully getting out of the rest of the armor.

 

“You were just rescued from your kidnapping and-” Pepper interrupted him, tailing him as he walked to the kitchen for ice.

 

“Okay, you have a right to be upset-”

 

“Upset.” Pepper deadpanned back.

 

“-but I was just shot at by terrorists and the US Air Force in a suit of personal armor, I have a bit of the whole headache crap feeling going on, so could this take a raincheck?”

 

“Air Force? You were shot by the Air Force?” Pepper’s voice got shrill, and Tony winced.

 

“Surprised Rodney didn’t call you.”

 

“Anthony Edward Stark-”

 

-x-

 

“You’re basically a walking oxymoron because you use something meant to protect as a weapon-”

 

“Clint, you haven’t slept properly in more than seventy-two hours, please be quiet and get some sleep before I let Coulson strangle you,” Steve replied, looking over at where Clint was slouched down in his seat.

 

“-’though it could be a metaphor for America itself, nation protecting the world by force-”

 

“Barton, where’s your quiver?”

 

“O’er there, why?” Clint asked Coulson, pointing clumsily at it.

 

“You need to sleep.”

 

“You are not going to tranquilize me like that behemoth back there.”

 

“I am your superior officer, sleep or I will tranquilize you.”

 

“Who are you people and what manner of trickery do you play?”

 

Clint glanced around the back of his chair as Thor addressed them.

 

“Sorry, I am not sleeping through this,” Clint whispered, and Coulson shot him a look before turning to Thor, who was rapidly approaching Coulson while Steve stood up, trying to not yawn.

 

-x-

 

“SHIELD is going to want to hunt you down, you’re probably already on their threat list.” Pepper continued, standing by the island while Tony stuffed his face with food and worked on holoscreens.

 

“I am, I checked,” Tony told her, showing her one of the screens, and her eyes flicked up to the eagle on the top.

 

You hacked SHIELD?”

 

“Okay, it’s kind of scary when you answer with questions, Pepper.”

 

“One more. What about SI? The company’s stock could plummet if you get caught doing this-”

 

“You’re CEO as of now.” He showed her another screen as she stared at him, blinking while she processed it.

 

“Were you even going to ask me first? Did you do the paperwork correctly?”

 

Tony gave her a look.

 

“Okay, fine, now at least I won’t have to chase you down on an hourly basis to do stuff, but that doesn’t remove you from the company, you’re still the face of SI, so we need to set up a schedule of some sort for when you can go galvanizing and when I can get you to do mergers and diplomacy-”

 

“See? You’ll be better than I was.”

 

“I hate you so much.”

 

“I know. What do you think of my armor?”

 

“You are seriously asking me my honest opinion on your armor- it’s dangerous, it’s reckless, and something only Tony Stark would do.”


“You mean you don’t want your own suit of- ow, not the head, not the head-”

Chapter Text

“Thank you for helping me make this helicarrier more interesting.” Clint joked, batoning his bow, as he, Steve and Commander Hill walked down a hallway to where Thor was under light observation.

 

“If by interesting you mean we have to now manage diplomacy with an alien race, I do not appreciate it nor the headaches that will likely ensue,” Hill replied, glancing over her shoulder, and Clint shrugged.

 

“Is this even normal?” Steve asked as they drew closer to Thor.

 

“A few months ago the strangest thing we had to deal with a giant floating head with a superiority complex but now we’re dealing with Norse gods, flying robots, super soldiers from the forties-” Clint started as they arrived at Thor’s door.

 

“You’ve made your point, Barton. Now be quiet for the first time since you got on this helicarrier.” Hill shot him a look and he held up his hands defensively before securing his bow on his back.

 

“Floating head?” Steve whispered to Clint, and Clint laughed when Hill shot Steve a look.


-x-

 

“I knew there was something shady about Stane and then he had to-” Pepper dabbed his face especially hard with the makeup sponge as she ranted.

 

“Do you have to be right every time I fuck up, Pepper?” Tony gave her a look, turning his head slightly away from the newspaper- yes, newspaper- in front of him.

 

“Yes, I do, since you mess up so frequently.”

 

“I stopped Stane from starting WWIII.”

 

“And you nearly died, a joke of mine barely saved you, you have no room to talk, stop giving me that look and sit still.”

 

“Are you sure you’re okay-”

 

“Yes, now stop muttering gold-titanium alloy under your breath and get out there and give the statement without improvisation.”

 

“Of all the metals on this planet, they had to go with measly iron-”

 

“Anthony Edw-”

 

“Okay, okay.”

 

-x-

 

“Can you repeat that?” Hill walked away from them, hand over her earpiece and eyebrows furrowed. Thor and Clint fell silent as Steve tried to hear what she was being told that made her so angry.

 

“Send Coulson, he needs to be briefed. No, I currently have a Norse god, a super soldier, and that annoying archer trying to listen in, I can’t give specific orders- Coulson has worked with him before- thank you.”

 

“That annoying archer? I have a name, Commander Hill.” Clint complained as she turned around, Thor chuckling.

 

“Everything okay, Commander?” Steve commented over Clint asking Thor what's so funny.

 

“Yes, Captain. It’s-"

 

“-Classified.” Clint finished for her, and she shot him a look.

 

“No, it was announced live on at least twenty stations, I just don’t want to hear your complaining about who it is.”

 

“You Midgardians are so amusing.”

 

“I feel so insulted by all of you right now,” Clint complained.

 

“Director Fury, not recommending file N354J.” Director Hill commented as she watched Clint whine at Thor as he continued laughing.  “You two leave, you’re interfering with SHIELD procedures.”

 

“What’s file N354J?”

 

“Barton, get out, please.”

 

-x-

 

“I’m guessing you two haven’t heard yet?” Natasha was waiting for them as they rounded the corner.

 

“Heard what?” Clint asked.

 

“You’re not even going to guess?”

 

“Just tell me, I have a headache already because a Norse god kept laughing at me.”

 

“Who wouldn’t laugh at you, at least when you’re not trying to tell a joke.”

 

“What does everyone know?”

 

“It can wait. Come on Steve, time to scare whoever is in the training room.” Natasha looped her arm through Steve’s, walking away from Clint, who just ran after them, shouting and drawing odd looks from the agents they passed. “What am I supposed to do with this hyper puppy, Captain?”

 

“I am not a hyper puppy, you’re just being a jerk.”

 

“Hey, Steve? Tony’s Iron Man.” Natasha whispered to him, and he stopped.

 

“Tony’s-” Steve started, staring at her confusedly, and she started laughing.

 

“Did he finally move to the moon?” Clint asked, raising an eyebrow as Steve continued to process.

 

“No, he’s Iron Man,” Steve answered, blinking a bit.

 

“What.”


-x-

 

“Of all the stupid, reckless-” Fury yelled at Tony, who just glanced up from his phone before resuming his game until Pepper whacked the back of his head with the pad in her hands.

 

“Pay attention.” She hissed as Tony glared at her, rubbing the back of his head.

 

“-ideas you’ve had, this is the worse. What possessed you to-”

 

“It’s how I got out from the Ten Rings,” Tony muttered, staring intently at his phone.

 

“You constructed armor while being held captive, miles away from developed, instituted technology?”

 

“I had a laptop and some help.”

 

“What the fucking shit, Stark.”

 

“If the lecture is over, I have a meeting to go to, right Pep?” Tony swiveled his chair to face her, giving her a pointed look.

 

“No, you do not, the board meeting is in two days.”

 

”No, it’s today.”

 

“Director, you may continue, Tony will listen to everything you have to tell him.” Tony glared at her again before reluctantly turning around and scooting out of the way of her heels.

 

“As I was going to say, I want to introduce you to file N354J, code-named the Avenger’s Initiative-”

 

“Sorry to interrupt, but are you giving him responsibilities?” Pepper leaned around Tony, not trying to hide the faint shock in her voice.

 

“Give me some credit, Pepper.” Tony turned back to her, and she raised an eyebrow as he acted offended.

 

“Once we catch Captain Rogers up on the history he missed, he would probably lead the team, ma’am “ Fury interrupted them, and Tony turned to now act offended at Fury, who crossed his arms.

 

“Come on you two, I am responsible-”


Pepper snorted.

Chapter Text

“Would you please not snort, Pepper? You’re undermining my credibility.” Tony told her as she sat shocked by the fact she had just snorted.

 

“Stark, please be serious for one mom-” Fury paused as his earpiece buzzed, and his eyebrows furrowed. “Send Barton and Romanov on reconnaissance to verify reports.”

 

-x-

 

“Romanov, Barton, you have a mission.” An agent came timidly into the training room, watching with slight horror as Natasha swept Steve’s feet out from under him and held him in a pin, smirking.

 

“Finally.” Natasha let Steve out of the pin, standing up and popping her back.

 

“Please tell me it isn’t AIM,” Clint complained from the rafters before grappling down to land by where Natasha was now walking towards the agent.

 

“I am not disclosed to tell you-” Her eyes flicked to Steve, and Clint and Natasha exchanged a look before Natasha nodded at the agent.

 

“Meet in landing bay D as soon as you can.” The agent nodded back before rushing out, Natasha and Clint soon following.

 

Steve ran to the door, hoping to catch one of them, but the long sloping hallway the training room sat in the middle of showed none of them. He considered trying to corner an agent, but the clearance system Fury had explained the other day meant he probably couldn’t corner just anyone. He considered sneaking onto the plane in landing bay D but sighed before turning around and walking to one of the many punching bags.

 

-x-

 

“Now what? I’m busy-” Fury half-roared into his earpiece before grumbling and facepalming. “First Hydra, now this-”

 

“Hydra?” Pepper and Tony asked in sync, but Fury ignored them.

 

“-send Thor, if he gets violent, he’s the only other equitable force to restrain- yes, Black Widow is on a mission- get further instruction from Commander Hill, I’m busy.” Fury pulled off his earpiece, slamming it on the table and rubbing his forehead.

 

“Hydra is back?” Pepper asked with a small voice.

 

“It’s clas-” Fury started before sighing shortly. “There are rumors floating around as the tesseract starts to wake up, two agents are on their way to confirm or deny sightings.”

 

“Is this why you’re pushing the Avenger’s initiative?”

 

“Yes. Something big is coming if the science reports are to stand for anything.”

 

-x- 

 

“I volunteer as tribute.” Tony joked, raising his hand as Fury glared at him and Pepper aimed a kick at his shin. “Though do I have to work with-”

 

“Yes you do, Stark.”

 

-x-

 

Steve couldn’t completely remember where he was. The floor was cool and smooth, and whenever his head slipped off his arms, a deep, thrumming hum sang through his head. It was vaguely cool, his body felt warm as he lay curled in a small ball, shaking. It was useless to tell himself he didn’t have asthma anymore as he gasped for air as his heart hammered.

 

“Captain?”

 

Somebody’s voice cut through the deafening silence, and Steve scooted away from the heavy footsteps, trying to tell himself to get up and defend himself, but his joints were locked.

 

“Captain, it is Thor, I was told to ascertain if you were, as the Midgardians said, ‘okay’.”

 

Thor. Helicarrier. Future. I’m safe. A wave of cold water rushed through Steve as he gasped in a breath and slowly unlocked his joints, sitting up shakily and still holding his head. “So- sorry, I do- don’t know-”

 

“Do you require assistance?”

 

Steve shook his head, and Thor nodded, sitting there silently and watching him.


-x-

 

“So I have to work with a god. That’s going to be interesting.”

 

“He cannot wield Mjolnir right now, his hubris renders him incapable, or as far as we’ve reasoned, he’s been closed about why he ‘is not worthy’.” Fury flipped through the holographic slides and flicked feed from New Mexico of the hammer at Tony.

 

“Tony could give him some pointers there.” Pepper joked dryly, voice still small.

 

“I’m going to take that as an insult, excuse you, Virginia-”

 

“DON’T YOU-”

 

Fury watched tiredly as they began to argue. This man was supposed to lead a team to possibly save the world and he was currently dodging a high heeled shoe aimed at his head.

 

“Stark, Potts.” Fury tried yelling, and they calmed down slightly but kept arguing.

 

-x- 

 

“When this blows over, I am retiring,” Hill muttered as reports came in from Widow and Hawkeye and she watched the feed of the training room. “Fury-” she tried through her comms, sighing heavily as it continued to buzz with static. “Excuse me, I’m chasing down Director Fury, alert me to anything.”

 

The agents around her on the bridge nodded fearfully as she stormed out towards the conference room.

 

“Hello, Stark, Potts. Director, positive from Widow and Hawkeye.” She nodded at them before walking up to Fury.

 

“And our soldier?”

 

“No significant improvement.”

 

“Okay, try sending Clint when he arrives and prep Natasha to retrieve Dr. Banner.” Fury told Hill, who nodded and walked out. “Ms. Potts, as you are a civilian, I ask that you get off the helicarrier, and Stark, until further notice, you have quarters aboard here that you will be staying in.”

 

 

“I have to stay on this-” Tony started to protest.

 

“Anthony Edward Stark, act like an adult. Stay safe.” Pepper tried to sound casual as she stood up and rested her hand on Tony’s shoulder, and he reached to cover the hand.

 

“I’ll be okay. I’ve already proven it isn’t easy to get rid of me. Make sure Dum-E or You don’t do something stupid.”

 

“I’ll have Jarvis babysit your robots, Tony.” She rolled her eyes before walking out, leaving Fury and Tony alone.

 

 

“Ask an agent to direct you to room 65 on level 2, those are your quarters.”

 

“Fine.” Tony relented, standing up and starting out.

 

“I mean it Stark. Please don’t wander aimlessly around because you will cause trouble.”

 

“Is that a dare?” Tony smirked, hand on the doorframe as he looked back at Fury.

 

“Stark-”


-x-

“How did you get so many cuts and bruises on a reconnaissance mission?” The medic was starting to bandage Clint’s various cuts, eyebrows furrowed.

 

“It’s classified.” Clint joked, and Natasha cuffed the back of his head. “Aw, come on, I have a concussion-”

 

“Hello, Commander.” Natasha greeted Maria as she walked towards their docked plane.

 

“Hello, Romanov. We have another mission for you to complete file N354J, all the information you need is on this pad-” Hill handed her a pad as Clint looked between the two.

 

“Is anyone going to tell me what ‘file N354J’ is because I keep hearing it-”

 

“You’re putting me and this idiot, plus Stark, on a team?” Natasha showed Clint the screen of the pad, which he quickly read.

 

“And the sooner you complete the mission, the better. Something big is coming and the world needs that team.” Maria Hill added.

 

“Clint, that’s mine, I have a mission that is time- Clint-” Natasha tried to grab the pad from Clint, who was blocking her and reading as the medic backed away slowly before she got kicked.

 

“One second, Nat.”

 

“Give me that back, Clinton-”

 

-x-


File N354J: Update: Some assembly required.