Insane, But Never Alone…Never
“STARK!” Captain America, aka Steven Rogers, yelled through the comm. He watched helplessly as Iron Man try to fly out of the way from the collapsing building. He watched as he shoved Hawkeye out of the way before he disappeared under the rubble. “NO! Stark! Are you with me? Answer me dammit!” He ran to the rubble ignoring the chaos that surrounded him.
He heard dimly as the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents finally arrive and surround their never ending supply of enemies to fight. The agents surrounded the enemy, who admitted to be defeated. He arrived at the last spot where he spotted Tony. He noticed Natasha right next to him looking around for Barton. They both spotted him at the same time.
“Clint!” He groaned as they flipped him over. Natasha was running her hands along his body as she checked him for severe wounds.
“Tasha…I’m fine.” He murmured blinking his eyes open.
“You just had a building almost fall on you. I’ll tell you if you are fine or not.” Tasha replied calming down slightly.
He groaned as the sun hit his eyes directly, “Nat, I’m fine. Why isn’t Stark gloating that he saved me?” He blinked again looking around for Iron Man.
After checking that Clint really was ok, Steve had turned back to the ruined building that Tony was buried under. Thor and Hulk landed next him.
“Where is the metal man?” Thor demanded. Steve pointed to the concrete blocks in front of him. Hulk grunted and got right to work. The other Avengers gathered together as they tried to avoid Hulk’s throwing debris as he hunted for the red man. All Steve could think about was the argument he and Tony had gotten into before the call for them came.
“You never learn! One minute you think you change and then you still do the stupid crap over and over again! You nothing but a selfish, self-centered man who only wants the glory for helping people, you really don’t care about the innocent people!” Steve ranted at Tony who just stared at him.
“I don’t care! I can’t believe you just said that! What? Just because I don’t go all mushy eyed, G.I. Joe, Gung-Ho…” Tony started yelling back.
“You don’t think Tony; you just point and shoot…” Steve interrupted.
“You have me confused with Widow, she is the one who points and shoots.” Tony smarted off.
“Hey! Don’t bring me into this!” Tasha shouted from across the room.
“Seriously, guys, can we just calm down and talk about this like rational, sane adults?” Bruce said, trying to play the mediator.
“Sane?! You’re kidding me right, Doc?” Steve turned to Bruce and stared at him. “Tony is not sane. He puts everyone and himself at risk. He doesn’t follow any orders or rules. He wants the glory and attention to himself so let him have it. He is a menace to everyone and himself. The man doesn’t care about anyone but himself.”
“There you go again! I am an intelligent man who can think for himself unlike you solider boy! I don’t follow orders blindly like you Cub Scout. You know what, Cap? You obliviously don’t know me or care to know me. So, don’t worry about it anymore. I’ll take me and my big head, glory seeking self elsewhere. You and the rest of the guys can have Stark Towers because obviously I’m not invited in my own home! I’m much better alone.” Tony said before turning and walking away ignoring the calls from his team.
“Tony!” Bruce called as he watched his friend’s retreating back. He sighed as he was ignored. They heard the elevator doors open and close, taking their friend with it. He turned and stared at Steve who was still breathing hard.
“What?” Steve asked as he found all eyes on him.
“There is something to be said about leadership, brother,” Thor stated quietly, “it is said to read between the lines and look for what is underneath a man’s skin.”
Steve stared at the demi-god as the others nodded in agreement. “Tony could have gotten himself killed, in rushing into danger like that! He left us to abandon the plan and defend his back.”
“You never wonder why he does that sometimes? Like why he just accepted me with the Hulk and taught me how to embrace my…lack of better word…condition? Like how he always pairs Tasha and Clint together to give them peace of mind about each other? Or how he helps to keep Thor in contact with Jane? Or how about when he helps you in catching up on Seventy years of technology and history?” Bruce asked Steve in a quiet voice.
“He always acts first and puts himself in danger first, to take the brunt of the impact.” Clint finished.
Steve sighed and sat down, “I know that. I just…he makes me so mad sometimes!” He exclaimed.
“Captain, he wouldn’t be Stark if he didn’t torture us with his “brilliance”.” Natasha smirked.
“You don’t have a hot head like Tony, Cap, but sometimes when you’re angry you lose your filter between your brain and mouth.” Bruce stated with a smile.
Steve laughed, “That only happens when Tony speaks.” He sighed, “I’ll go find him and apologize…”
Jarvis chose that moment to interrupt. “Avengers, there is a call coming in from Director Fury.”
“Avengers, we have a situation.” Fury’s voice said coming over the comm. “I’ll give you detailed report once you’re in transport, for now, suit up.”
--S.H.E.I.L.D.’s Medical Hall--
Pepper Potts rushed down the hall after landing on the ship/plane. He is going to be fine. He was in his suit and his built his suit to withstand almost everything. She kept repeating over and over in her head ever since she got the call from Steven.
“Steve!” She shouted as she spotted him. He still had dirt and dried blood on him. The whole team was covered in shoot, everyone except Bruce who had Hulked down and gotten a new change of clothes. “How is he?”
Steve looked at Bruce to answer, “He’s finishing up surgery now.”
Pepper looked at Bruce and the rest of the team. “What happened?”
“We were trying to evacuate a building that was collapsing.” Clint started, staring off as he remembered. “We had gotten everyone on the first floor. I had stayed until I made sure that all the civilians were out. Tony had flown back in to double-check the floors. We were making our way out…”
“I think that’s everyone.” Iron Man said landing next to Hawkeye.
“Nice to see you after you temper tantrum.” Clint replied cheekily as they made their way to the door to rejoin the fight.
“My temper tantrum is it? I bet you that all of you would go insane if I wasn’t around to amuse you all.” Tony snarked back.
“You do realize all of us are already insane?” Clint replied.
Tony opened his mouth to reply when they heard a groan as the roof started falling. They both looked up and at each other. Clint was running and ducking as debris fell down on them. Tony flew beside him just about to pick him up and fly them both out of there when debris fell in front of Clint. He didn’t have time slow down as he ran right into it.
“Up you get Bird Brain, time to see you fly.” With that Tony threw Barton out of the door way. He heard Steve yell his name as darkness and heavy weight surrounded him.
“He saved my life.” Barton said looking away from Pepper with a guilty face.
“Not your fault.” Pepper and the rest of the team replied. He nodded and smiled when he felt Tasha’s hand slip into his. The doctor chose that moment to walk into the room.
“How is he Doctor?” Pepper asked clutching Steve’s hand.
“He is fine. Doing well in fact, his suit saved his life. He does have a couple of broken ribs that we had to go in and reset. He does have a concussion so we will keep him overnight for observation.” Doctor Reynolds replied with a smile at all the sighs of relief.
“Can we go see him?” Pepper asked.
“Of course, just if he is sleeping let him sleep, ok?” The doc stated as he led the Avengers to Tony’s room.
They all filed into the room and arranged themselves to wait until their sleeping teammate to awake. And awake he did.
Pepper was sitting in a chair, her head resting on the bed. Thor was snoring loudly in one of the chairs that a nurse brought in. Tasha and Clint were curled up on the cot and Bruce was downstairs grabbing some coffee for him and Steve.
Steve was in another chair by Tony’s bed, eyes fitting to close to go to sleep. “You look like hell, Captain.”
Steve laughed quietly as to avoid waking everyone else up. “I still look better than you.”
“Not possible. You were not voted People’s 100 hottest men on the planet. Want to know what number I was? Number One. There is no one hotter on this planet than me. It’s a proven fact.”
There was a silence that was neither awkward nor comfortable, just tense. Steve sighed, “I’m sorry. About what I said Tony. I know…”
“Don’t worry about it old man, Pepper tells me to always respect my elders…”
“Tony, I’m being serious here.” Steven sighed.
“Look, Cap. I get it. You’re sorry and I’m sorry. We both have a role on this team. I’m the guy who makes everyone detensified and you’re the one who calls me out on my crap and reels me in when I get too insane. So, could we not do the mushy stuff? I kinda only save that for Pepper.”
Steve sighed, “You truly are insane, I do believe that one day you will be the death of me.”
“Not true, you both will die by my hand if you don’t shut up. I’m trying to sleep.” Natasha grumbled from her spot beside Clint.