angenoir: (Default)
Title: Countdown
Word Count: 750~
Characters: Steve Rogers
Pairings: Implied Steve/Tony, Implied Natasha/Bruce
Warnings: N/A

22:22

The video-taped message came in at two thirty-eight in the afternoon, and that’s what scared Steve the most. What if the message got to them late? What if they missed hours already?

“You have 24 hours to meet our demands, or…” The camera panned away, and there was Tony, handcuffed in an upright position, wrists cut and bleeding, head hanging and blood trickling from his forehead into his lashes. “Your Iron Man will be sent back, piece by piece.”

Steve had nothing to do, however. Other than watch the video over and over, he had nothing he could do. Oh, he searched the video for clues, looked vainly for something that would let him know the location of where they were keeping Tony. As it was, SHIELD was working with SI in order to identify both the kidnappers and when Tony had been abducted.

It helped that the rest of the Avengers were as on edge as he was.

“Indeed, the most cowardly of foes,” Thor rumbled, fist flexing and Mjolnir vibrating on the table.

“The question isn’t of their bravery,” Clint grunted. “It’s how the hell they got ahold of Tony in the first place. He’s a wily bastard.”

“Even that’s not the real question,” Natasha sighed, meeting Steve’s gaze. “The kidnappers sent this to SI, not us.”

Clint and Thor looked at her, confused, but Bruce made a small noise of understanding. “I can ask Hill or Coulson about it,” he offered.

“I am not sure what you are implying,” Thor admitted.

“It means,” Steve said heavily, “that we may have less than twenty-four hours. It might be closer to twenty-two or twenty-one. The message was sent to SI, not SHIELD. We were alerted just now – we don’t know when SI received it.”

After a few minutes, Clint scratched the back of his neck. “You know it doesn’t really matter when they got the message,” he said quietly. “No one’s going to pay the ransom. SI has a strict no-negotiating-with-kidnappers policy, and SHIELD won’t be forced into negotiations. This would fall into ‘negotiating with terrorists.’ If they don’t locate where Tony is… Well.”

That didn’t help Steve at all. Instead, he turned his head back to his tablet and rewound the video, watching it go through the video frame by frame, the sound muted.

It took more than an hour for Coulson to walk into the room, looking a little in disarray – honestly, the first time he hadn’t looked impeccable that Steve could remember. The Avengers hadn’t really left the room, wanting an update, an outlet, a focus or a target to point themselves at. Coulson looked around them and sighed. “We’re a few steps closer, but we’re unlikely to find anything as of this moment. We’re working on trying to backtrack the signal. Do you want to head back to the Tower, wait there? We don’t have much for you to do other than sit here and that’s not conducive to morale.”

The Avengers looked between each other and then Natasha shook her head. “We’ll stay, Phil. Tony’s one of us.”
20:07

Steve grimaced. The waiting was getting on his nerves, and he could tell that Thor and Clint were both antsy. Natasha too, but talking with Bruce was calming her and keeping his own calm by doing that. Turning to Thor and Clint, he offered, “I know where the gym is. You want to get some of that tension out?”

“Aye,” Thor said immediately, his enthusiasm and relief echoed by Clint.

Steve caught Natasha’s eyes, and she nodded.

With that, Steve led Clint and Thor out to kill time.
18:44

After showering and grabbing spare clothes from SHIELD’s supplies, Steve returned to the room the Avengers had taken as their own. There, Thor – damp from his own shower – was talking quietly to Natasha. There were plates and food containers on the conference table – lunch, or a snack, Steve didn’t know, but he knew he was starving. He dug in, and when the door opened, he looked up at Clint and Coulson. “Any news?” he asked.

Coulson shook his head in the negative.
12:09

“It’s getting very late,” Coulson began.

Steve shook his head, interrupting the agent. “I don’t sleep a lot, anyway. Give us some spare cots and we’ll deal. Bruce, do you want to head back to the Tower?”

Bruce shook his head in the negative.

Coulson inclined his head and turned to leave.

“Is it going well?” Steve asked.

“We have some leads,” Coulson responded. “We’re just trying to run them to the ground. We’ll arrange for sleeping quarters for all of you.”
05:27

“Captain?”

Steve was nervous, jittery, unable to sleep. It was in the early morning, and he was by himself in the gym. Looking up at his title, he saw an equally tired and stressed out Coulson standing there. “Good news?” he asked, voice a little slow and tired.

“We’re pretty sure we’ve located them. It’ll take us three hours to reach them. It’s cutting it close, so we need to be wheels up ASAP.”

Steve nodded his head in a jerky motion. “Give me – give me ten. I’ll be there.”
01:52

“Hey.”

“Hey,” Steve whispered back, carefully lifting Tony into his arms, bridal style.

Tony smiled weakly. “I knew you’d find me in time.”

Steve bit his tongue, tried not to say anything, not mention the pain in Tony’s voice or the shaking in Tony’s limbs. Tried not to acknowledge how badly his heart’s beating, how terrified he’d been in the past twenty-four hours.

Instead, he bent his head to Tony’s forehead, pressed a gentle kiss. “I love you, Tony Stark.”

With a breathless chuckle, Tony wheezed back, “Ditto, Steve Rogers.”

Date: 2017-01-14 09:00 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] digitalwave
digitalwave: (Default)
This is gorgeous! :)

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