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Good Guys Finish First

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(If you are reading this on any PAY site this is a STOLEN WORK, the author has NOT Given Permission for it to be here. If you're paying to read it, you're being cheated too because you can read it on Archiveofourown for FREE.)

"WHAT did you do?" Steve didn't normally shout at ladies, but Miss Romanova had tried his patience sorely.

Miss Romanova 'Call me Natasha, I am a liberated woman, and you are a liberated man, have a cigar' shrugged. "I'm Russian. We are a practical people. Your mechanic objected to my presence, and I knew you would give in to his whims. So I handcuffed him to a seat on the train."

"You made me think Tony abandoned me in the middle of the race!" Steve was so mad he was tempted to push her off the melting iceberg. She was tough. She'd probably make it to shore; she'd survived numerous adventures in her career as roving news correspondent, even covering the political infighting that led Budapest to becoming the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

But then, Tony was on shore, waving and jumping and probably cussing in a way no lady ought to hear. She'd already stabbed Tony with a hatpin when he made a vulgar remark. Steve was very fond of Tony, but under no illusions that his mechanic was a gentleman, or that he was able to defend himself from Natasha. No, Steve wouldn't risk it.

"You coddle him. He's annoying. In Russia we would throw him from the sleigh for the wolves." Romanova lit up another of her nasty Russian cigarettes and puffed calmly.

Steve scowled at her. "Tony is loyal and brave, and the finest mechanic I've ever known."

Natasha rolled her eyes and tossed her cigarette into the water. "Fine."


"STEVE!" Tony didn't wait for the Rogers' Special to roll onto the dock, but leaped onto the 'berg when it was still several feet away. The whole iceberg tipped, and Steve had to grab Tony to keep him from falling in the water. Tony hated water. He didn't even put it in his whiskey. "STEEEEBE," Tony shouted, muffled against Steve's parka. He pulled his head back far enough to glare at Natasha. "Are you all right, Steve? Is the automobile all right? I hope you didn't turn your back on that woman. I bet she works for Schmidt! She's a saboteur! Or at least a SPY."

Steve smiled, relaxing for the first time in hundreds of miles. He hugged Tony hard. "The automobile's fine. I'm fine." The berg touched the dock, and people swarmed forward, eager to pull the car to safety. Steve said softly, "I knew you wouldn't have left me."

Tony grinned up at Steve. His beard was shaggy, but his eyes were as bright as ever. "You, maybe, but this beauty?" He patted at the wings painted on the hood of the Rogers' Special, gussied up in red, white and blue to represent the United States in the race from New York to Paris. "Never." His smile widened. "Besides, once we get to Paris, you've promised to take me to Moulin Rouge!"

Steve felt his cheeks warm, despite the chill of the Siberian coast. "Well, sure. I want to see the wooden elephant in the garden."

"It's got belly dancers in its stomach," Tony said.

"Huh," Steve said. "What will they think of next."

Tony laughed and tugged at Steve's hand. "Next year, you should enter a flying race! I've got ideas! Big ideas!"

"You always do," Steve said indulgently as they walked off the dock together. Natasha stood there and watched them, a trouble-making gleam in her eye, but Steve didn't care. He and Tony could take care of anything, so long as they were together.