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do i dare or do i dare? [userpic]

Avengers fic: ...And Shawarma After (1/1)

December 18th, 2012 (09:21 pm)
lethargic

feeling: lethargic

Title: …And Shawarma After

Disclaimer: I do not own the Avengers.

A/N: For moogsthewriter, who talked about the Avengers for months and then I finally saw the movie and knew why. With thanks go lena7142 for the beta.

Summary: They’re superheroes, but now that they’ve saved the world, it occurs to Steve that they’ve just barely saved themselves -- and each other.



-o-

It’s not an easy walk.

After everything they’ve been through, it seems like it should be, but each step Steve makes seems more difficult than the last. They’re superheroes, but now that they’ve saved the world, it occurs to Steve that they’ve just barely saved themselves -- and each other.

Natasha is perhaps the least injured of them all, not that that’s saying much. She’s still bleeding a little, but she doesn’t seem to notice. She seems more exhausted than anything else. She’s a trained super spy, and Steve’s seen her in action -- it’s easy to forget that she’s just a human. No enhancements, just her own sheer will. Now, with the adrenaline fading, she seems weary, shoulders slouched as she drags her feet a little, eyes always ahead.

Next to her, Clint’s steps are guarded. He’s holding his side, not a lot, but a little, as if he’s trying not to let anyone notice, but the array of cuts on his arms and face are a telltale giveaway. Steve’s not sure what happened to him -- he’d been stuck on a rooftop for most of the fight, providing updates when he could -- but it seems like he’s suffered his share. Still, his expression is dogged as he moves on, as if he doesn’t think his pain matters. Maybe it’s guilt -- Clint has more reason than the rest of them to doubt himself -- or maybe it’s just the way he is. Steve’s willing to bet it’s a little of both.

Thor’s not far behind them. He’s never seen the demi-god falter, but he’s slow and heavy with his steps, face grim as he walks. His blonde hair is in disarray, and from time to time, he touches his side and his fingers come away tinged with blood. Steve wonders if that’s a problem, but he’s not much of a doctor, especially not for people who apparently aren’t human. Steve thinks maybe he should ask, but Thor doesn’t look like he wants to talk. They just captured his brother and put him into SHIELD custody, so Steve figures a little reticence is to be expected.

Bruce looks more sheepish than hurt. One of the first responders to Stark Tower had produced a pair of pants and a shirt. They’re too big, but they cover enough. Even still, Bruce can’t seem to stop blushing. Though this time, it’s different, Steve thinks. Before, he saw guilt in the other’s man face. This time, he just doesn’t want to walk naked through the streets. Steve can’t blame him. He doesn’t really want Bruce to walk naked through the streets either.

Tony’s at the front, right by Steve’s side. This seems to be the way it is, now, and Steve thinks this should annoy him, but somehow it doesn’t. Stark is hard to like, but he’s proven himself. And with each step he takes, he shows his character.

Tony walks with determination. The exhaustion is evident on his face -- he’s been somewhat involved in a nuclear blast, and Steve wonders idly if walking this close to him is safe. But he’s too tired to care. Plus, he’s not entirely sure that the other man is going to make it.

His eyes are a little distant, his skin pale. The reactor still glows on his chest, and without the suit, he’s not nearly so imposing.

But no less dogged. He’s fought and he’s almost been killed, and he still walks. Steve doesn’t agree with him on a lot of things, but damn it if he doesn’t respect that kind of tenacity.

They’re going to make it.

And then, Tony falters.

It’s a small catch, his foot nicking a slab of cement, just enough to throw him off balance. Injured as he is, Tony doesn’t have time to catch himself, but that’s the thing with teams -- he doesn’t have to.

Steve’s right there, catching him on his way down. The minute he does, he feels Tony’s body go lax, the fight leaving and for a second, Steve fears the worst. Maybe the radiation is a problem, maybe there are other injuries he doesn’t know about. The soldiers had wanted to check them over, but Tony had been so damn insistent....

Awkwardly, Steve cradles Tony and the rest of the team isn’t far behind. Clint and Bruce crowd close, Natasha hovering above while Thor looks on with obvious concern.

“Tony,” Steve says, jostling him.

The playboy’s eyes flutter and he looks up with a wince. “Did I really just pass out again?”

Steve huffs. “Unless you fell into my arms on purpose.”

“Ah, in your dreams, maybe,” Tony says. He grimaces, trying to sit up. “I’m taken.”

Steve helps prop him up, and Tony blinks a few more times, looking around at the rest. “Wow, that whole passing out thing must have been pretty dramatic.”

“Maybe this is a bad idea,” Natasha says, shaking her head.

“We can double back for the medics,” Clint suggests.

“There could be lots of side effects from the bomb, not to mention the whole intergalactic gateway,” Bruce offers.

“There is no evidence of strain on our kind,” Thor reports. “But your human vessels are weaker--”

“Weaker,” Tony says, pushing away and sitting on his own. “Because we’re hungry. We just fought a war! And won!”

For a second, Steve can only stare. This has been a crazy day -- a scary and painful day -- and Tony wants to make it a punchline.

Then Tony’s eyes meet his, and he smiles. “Come on,” he cajoles, swatting at Steve’s damaged suit and the inflamed flesh underneath protests as Steve contains a wince. “You look like you could use a little food.”

Tony makes it a punchline, because that’s what Tony does. They all have a part to play, and when they’re separate, they don’t work at all. But together -- everything clicks.

Everything.

Steve manages a smile. “Not just food,” he says. “Shawarma.”

Tony grins back. “That’s what I’m talking about,” he says, trying to push up. He falters, but Steve steadies him until they’re both standing. He looks at Steve one more time. “Lead the way, Cap.”

Because that’s what Steve does. He wasn’t sure before, but he’s sure now. When he takes the next step, he doesn’t doubt that they’re following. Tired, weary, bloody and injured: but following.

It takes them more time than it should trying to circumvent the debris. They flew in action, but with Tony’s suit a wreck and Thor’s listing to the side, it’s all walking from here. Even Bruce, back in his normal state, has no choice but to trudge along, holding the scrap of material at his waist as he walks gingerly over the wreckage. There’s no guarantee the place will be open when they get there, but this isn’t a job about guarantees.

It’s about doing what needs to be done. Defeating the enemy. Getting Shawarma.

So, they walk. One step at a time, together. It’s a staggering, slow journey, but after everything, Steve knows they’re going to make it.

No matter what.

Comments

Posted by: Moogs (moogsthewriter)
Posted at: December 24th, 2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
Avengers - Ironman

I LOVE YOU.

Seriously, though, this was PERFECT. I've read a few fics with post battle scenes, but it's usually post-schwarma as well, which is why I LOVED this because the team is made up of a bunch of big damn heroes that nearly got their butts kicked, so yes whump and angst and sleepiness and Tony passing out!

I just had sugar before consuming this, too, so you know. :)

But seriously. Thank you for this amazing gift. I love it.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 1st, 2013 03:30 am (UTC)
shawn gus ftw

Aww, I'm so glad you like it! I still feel bad that it's so short but am relieved that it's not too redundant with other fics out there (I'm not well read in this fandom!). Mostly, I just hope you had a great holiday -- and are having a great new year's eve!

Thanks!

Posted by: kristen_mara (kristen_mara)
Posted at: December 30th, 2012 12:11 am (UTC)
Hair!


Awww, I love this missing scene! The exhaustion but determination, and Steve's thoughts on the others and what they've just been through.

**He doesn’t really want Bruce to walk naked through the streets either.**

Hee - can we take a vote on that??

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: January 1st, 2013 03:31 am (UTC)
arthur smile

LOL, never pegged you for a Bruce fangirl :) Though yeah, I suppose that wouldn't be all bad....

Now if we were talking Thor or Hawkeye on the other hand...

Thanks!

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