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Tony is actually surprisingly good at following orders when they’re in the heat of battle.

Well, he follows Steve’s orders. Or, possibly, he’s doing his own thing and it is pure coincidence that it coincides with what Steve wants. Steve worries about that far more than he probably should.

What Tony does not ever do is turn up to debriefings.

Mostly this doesn’t bother Steve; Tony is a consultant, as he’s only too happy to remind them whenever people try to give him orders, so he can do as he pleases when the missions are over. But when Tony’s injured, especially if it’s bad, Steve really wishes he would stay at least long enough to be seen by medical.

‘Tony,’ he tries to reason over the comm., ‘you’re bleeding; just come over so we can…’

‘It’s fine,’ Tony dismisses from midair. ‘Head wounds always look worse than they are.’

‘Because head wounds always bleed excessively!’ Steve argues.

‘I’ll see you back at the Tower,’ the Iron Man suit offers a wave and then zips away.

‘Tony! Tony? Stark!’ Steve shouts then huffs a sigh. ‘Yeah, alright, I’ll see you later…’

*                                  *                                  *

When he gets home, several hours later, the Tower is silent.

‘Jarvis, has Tony not come home yet?’

‘No, Captain,’ the AI responds.

Steve scowls in worry,

‘Do you know where he is? He should be taking it easy after that hit he took.’

‘Sir is currently in a meeting with his research and development department,’ Jarvis reports.

‘Right,’ Steve sighs. ‘Can you let me know when he gets home?’

‘Certainly, sir.’

*                                  *                                  *

Steve wakes with a slight jolt to the sound of his name.

‘Captain Rogers,’ Jarvis repeats, ‘you requested I inform you when Mr Stark returned home.’

‘Oh, thank you,’ Steve scrubs a hand across his face and glances at the clock. ‘Four in the morning? Darn it, Tony…’

‘Sir is currently in the kitchen if you wished to speak with him,’ Jarvis offers.

‘Thank you,’ Steve scrambles up and grabs a t-shirt so he isn’t just in shorts.

He finds Tony downing a glass of juice while slumped back against the kitchen island,

‘Hey, Cap,’ Tony’s eyes are barely open but his expression softens somehow as Steve approaches.

‘Tony,’ Steve smiles even as he looks carefully at the jagged wound on his temple, ‘you’re late home.’

Tony hums and scratches his neck,

‘Work work work, that’s me. Then play, normally,’ he smirks suddenly, though the expression isn’t up his normal standards, ‘all work and no play makes Tony a dull boy.’

‘Did you get that seen to?’ Steve asks.

‘Hmm?’ Tony just stares.

‘The hole in the side of your head,’ Steve scowls.

‘Oh, that. No. It’s fine, I told you, I just had it cleaned up on the jet.’


Tony grins at him,

‘I’ve patched up worse,’ he says, as if that’s meant to be comforting rather than horrifying. ‘Let’s face it; I basically perform heart surgery on myself every few months.’

Steve splutters.

‘Anyway!’ Tony claps his hands together. ‘I have a lot to do tomorrow so I’m going to go and pass out somewhere.’

Steve’s expression makes Tony laugh tiredly,

‘I’m going to bed, Cap. Seriously, stop worrying about me.’