Title: Together Today, Alone Yesterday
Series: Yesterday & Today Series 2
Fandom: Avengers, Marvel Cinematic Universe,
Category: Alpha/Beta/Omega, First Time,
Pairings: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark, Clint Barton/Phil Coulson, Natasha Romanov/James “Bucky” Barnes, Thor/Jane Foster,
Spoilers: Entire MCU
Summary: Steve had decided that he wasn’t going to pussy foot around anymore. He knew that Tony wanted him and he knew that he wanted Tony. Then it happens, they bond and then Tony is ripped out from under him. He’s left floundering and SHIELD has no clue where the Omega is. Word starts getting back to SHIELD that the Winter Soldier is on the field and from what Intel can gather, he has Tony in his grasp. Can Steve get to him in time?
Warnings: No Knotting,
Tony Stark was a man of action. He rarely sat when he didn’t have to. He slept even less. Steve Rogers had gotten used to the sounds of Tony in the Tower. It had taken months. Tony was in Malibu with Pepper doing things for Stark Industries. Steve listened to the Tower as it sounded empty without the billionaire there.
“Trouble sleeping, Captain?” Coulson asked as he left the sleeping area of the Tower and entered the kitchen. He was wearing a pair of sleeping pants and plain white shirt. It was his normal, preferred sleeping clothes.
“I always have trouble sleeping when one of the Avengers is out of the Tower.”
“Imprinted on the group that much?” Coulson sat down at the table and poured himself a cup of coffee from the carafe that was always sitting in the center of the table. JARVIS kept it going even when Stark wasn’t there. “It never used to bother you this much when Stark was out of the Tower.”
“That was before.”
“Before you knew he was Iron Man or before you started to want to bond with him?” Coulson’s eyes never left Steve’s face as he talked. Steve himself had to stop from spilling coffee on himself. He set his cup down and frowned.
The sounds of the others in the Tower waking for the day had Steve pitching his voice low.
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve seen the way you act around him. Stark is just messed up enough that he doesn’t see it and I think Natasha doesn’t want to see it. Thor and Clint are oblivious.”
“I don’t know about him but Hulk sees it. Last mission when the two of you were fighting after it was all done and I was Hulk watching he turned looked at the two of you and made kissing noises. I was a little…disturbed.” Coulson looked a little green around the gills.
Steve laughed under his breath while admitting that he would probably have the same reaction. “Tony is Tony and he doesn’t see what’s in front of him.”
The sound of shuffling feet alerted the both of them that someone was coming. Coulson gave Steve the look of it wasn’t finished and then Clint entered the kitchen.
“Woke and you were gone. Nat’s up and wants to spar. I need to eat first.” Clint moved over to the cabinets and started to pull out the bowls for breakfast for everyone. He turned to set the bowls down and looked surprised to see Steve there.
“Morning, Steve. Fancy meeting you here. I didn’t hear you come in.”
“I’ve been here the whole time. You were doing the zombie shuffle.”
Clint just shrugged and then he was turning back to the cabinets to pull the cereal out. Steve gave Coulson a little salute and then he was gone. He passed Thor and Natasha on their way to the kitchen. He gave them little waves and then he was alone.
Tony was always oblivious to anything that wasn’t right in his line of sight. The Omega’s heats had mellowed out and whatever Loki had done to him had seemed to fix him. Thor had explained it as a great deal of Loki’s magic was wishes. What he wishes seemed to come to fruition. Loki had never spent much time on Earth other than what he did while trying to take over the world. He hadn’t been expecting the humans to have the same hierarchy as the Asgardians. His magic probably had seen a broken Omega and had reached out to help, not knowing that he was doing it at the time.
No one had known that it had been Tony at the time. Only Pepper had known the true effects of what the crazy man had done to Tony for a long time.
It still didn’t forgive what Tony’s father had done to him. Steve had trouble reconciling the Howard that he remembered and the Howard that had raised Tony.
The gym was silent. He figured that he had about thirty minutes before Clint and Natasha joined him. It would be long enough for him to burn some energy hitting the heavy bag. He moved quickly to the one that Tony had made for him long before Tony was figured out as Iron Man. He had yet to break it or even knock it off the stand holding it.
Steve was by no means a rich man but neither was he poor and this saved him going through heavy bags like some people changed their underwear. Of course, Tony hadn’t accepted any payment for it but Steve had noticed that there was equipment in the gym that was tailored for all of them.
Clint had moving targets that did whatever they wanted. Steve had been worried about people getting hurt but the targets never moved towards other people when they were inside the gym.
Thor had equipment that so far he couldn’t break unless he hit it with the hammer.
Natasha had less equipment than the rest but he was sure that she had a secret gym somewhere in the Tower because she came back from working out and Steve knew she hadn’t been in the communal gym.
There was of course Iron Man related targets in the gym as well. Tony had told him they were repulsor resistant targets that shattered when hit but pieced themselves back together after about a minute.
He was hitting the bag as hard as he could near the end of his routine when he heard footsteps behind him. He spun, ready to fight but it was just Tony standing there in a pair of jeans and a tank top. The tank top was clean but Steve knew it wouldn’t stay that way for long.
“Hey, muscles, can I use your for your brawn for a little while?”
“Isn’t it something that the bots can do?” Steve bristled a little. Tony seemed to be avoiding him except when he needed something from him.
“That’s what I spent all my time three days ago doing and well…those three can’t all turn the same way at the same time.” Tony looked a little bashful but Steve was sure that it was all to get him to help.
Four hours later, Tony was breaking to eat and Steve was sure that his muscles would never be the same again. He moved up behind the Omega to grab a towel to wipe of sweat when he heard and felt Tony’s breathing change. Tony tried to run for it. He was two steps away and headed for the door but Steve reached out and grabbed Tony’s hand. It was now or never.
Tony whirled on him and his eyes were wide, Steve didn’t care. He stepped closer to the other man. He pulled Tony towards himself and after a few seconds Tony didn’t resist. The second that Tony’s smaller body was molded against his own, he knew that he shouldn’t have fought it for so long. Tilting Tony’s head up with his free hand, he claimed Tony’s mouth in a soul searing kiss.
The bond that had been there just under the surface jumped to the front of his mind and blazed there. Steve still had a hold of Tony’s hand and his other hand had Tony’s head tilted up but he wanted to feel more so he let go of Tony’s hand and moved both of his hands to Tony’s waist.
Tony’s emotions flooded over him. He felt the shock of the bond settling and then the shock that he could even bond. That stopped Steve cold. He quickly released Tony’s mouth and looked down into the other man’s shocked face.
“Tony?” Steve cupped Tony’s face as he waited for the other man to open his eyes.
Tony opened his eyes and looked up into Steve’s face. The look of pure horror there was no what Steve wanted to see. Tony jumped backwards but it was after a few seconds that he noticed that Tony wasn’t looking at him. He spun just as he heard the Iron Man armor shattered from its shell and enveloped the Omega. Steve grabbed a scrap of metal and used it to shield himself when the missiles impacted on the glass and shattered it. One missile went straight for the armor that was sealing itself and the other went right for the back wall. The explosion from both was concussive and Steve went flying away from Tony.
Steve woke up with the bright lights of the infirmary shining down into his eyes. He quickly sat up only to have his ribs give him such a burst of pain that he quickly laid back down. Coulson was there in seconds, a hand on his shoulder and a hand flicking the lights down.
“Where’s Tony?” Steve asked as soon as he could speak after the pain settled.
“As soon as he found his armor, we found that he wasn’t in it.”
“Twelve hours. We tracked them as far as the harbor but there was no sub or ship there to meet them and we lost them. Tony could be anywhere in the country by now.”
“Or the world.” Steve wasn’t going to lie to himself. The bond they had was so weak from not being consummated that he couldn’t feel Tony like he should have been able to.
“Your ribs are just bruised. The metal fragment you were holding saved your life. There were minimal amounts of blood. The missile that hit Tony was less than the one that hit the wall. It had am EMP inside of it and it knocked the whole Tower and three blocks past that out.”
“Where’s the rest?” Steve looked around and saw no one else there. He was happy they weren’t with him; they had other things that they could be doing.
“Banner is sorting through all the debris to try and find anything to tell us who took him. Clint and Natasha are with Pepper trying to figure out who took him. Thor is on guard duty for the Tower while JARVIS oversees the hole in the wall getting repaired. The doctor said that you could get up as soon as you woke up. Fury says that we can have boots on the ground in two hours. All assets are being recalled except for missions that can’t be stopped.”
Steve nodded and sat up, more carefully this time. He found that taking deep breaths hurt but if he took normal ones, he was fine. He stood up and found that he was in a pair of sweatpants without a shirt. That wasn’t normal infirmary clothing. He raised an eyebrow.
“The nurses talked the doctor into letting them dress you like that because they knew you would want to change into other clothing. Easier for you to dress if you only had to take off pants.”
“Are the others dressed and ready?”
“Thor’s been in battle garb since the missile impacted the Tower. Your outfit’s in the bathroom on the living level. The nurses cleaned you up good but I think that was for their own amusement rather than to help you out.”
“Like the shirt?” Steve asked. He sighed as he took a few steps. It wasn’t that painful to walk thankfully. “Let’s go find our Omega.”
Two Weeks Gone
Steve sighed as he looked at the morning reports. There was no trace of Tony inside of the continental United States. He had to be outside of United States.
“The Winter Soldier is on the move,” Natasha said as she entered the briefing room in the Tower. She had papers in her hand. She handed them to Steve and stood there waiting.
Reading over the papers, Steve’s heart sank. He quickly handed them over to Coulson and sighed. The Winter Soldier had to be part of whatever was happening with Tony. The genius hadn’t been sighted since he had been taken and hadn’t been given access to computers or the Avengers would know where he was.
“SHIELD tracked him and said that he’s been inactive since the reports of him being active surfaced.” Natasha wasn’t sitting. That was telling. There was more to this but it wasn’t something that Steve was going to press. If it had anything to do with Tony, she would have told him. He had gotten used to her and Clint’s odd styles of following the rules. He was good at playing off that.
“He’s a dog without a master. Is he trying to find a new master?” Coulson asked. He handed the papers back to Natasha with a look on his face that Steve wasn’t able to read. There was nothing on Natasha’s face. It had to go back to what she was keeping from him.
“Reports say that he is moving around after a moving caravan in Russia.”
A picture was set down. It was grainy but Steve could tell it was a group of cars and a van refueling.
“SHIELD started to track him when he surfaced. Agents on the ground in Russia say that a caravan had been moving about the country for two weeks. Never stopping other than to refuel and to get food. There is a van that no one ever leaves from and no one ever enters. Fury wants us in the air as soon as we can. It wasn’t connected with Stark because it was assumed he was here and it was thought that they were just now catching the caravan in action and that it wasn’t new.”
“Let’s go.” Steve was up and out the door before he finished speaking the words.
Four Weeks Gone
Steve sighed as he took in the wreckage around him. There was blown up cars. There were empty clips and all manner of other debris around him. Clint and Natasha were checking the area for signs of where the Winter Soldier had gone with Tony this time. The fires still burned from this attack so they were getting closer. He had no clue where the cars came from. The caravan had been destroyed a little less than two weeks ago.
The Winter Soldier had come in and destroyed the caravan before the Avengers could even get to Russia. There had been no sign of Tony.
“It’s been over a week,” Steve turned to Coulson and the other man was looking around. “Why hasn’t the Winter Soldier taken him to his new employers?”
Coulson just shrugged as Natasha was moving back towards them. She pointed off to the west. Natasha was good at tracking where the Winter Soldier was going. He wasn’t going to question her on how she knew which way he was going but he was pretty sure that she had some link to him and wasn’t sharing it with the rest of them. She knew something about him and it was connected to her past that no one but Clint and Coulson.
“Cap!” Clint called out as he jumped over the detached bumper of a car. He had something in his hand and he handed it over as soon as he got close to Steve. “Found this to the west. Figured it had your name all over it.”
Steve took whatever it was and looked at it. It was a box that had red, white, and blue ribbon on it. It was in perfect condition. There was no way that it was dropped before the firefight. It had to be planted. He shook it and heard nothing. He opened it and found inside a small MP3 player with headphones nestled inside of scraps of cloth. He threw the scraps of cloth down and was about to pull out the MP3 player when Coulson gasped. Steve looked up at him and seeing where the other man’s eyes were focused, he looked down.
On the ground was the scrap of cloth but it wasn’t the cloth itself that was drawing the agent’s eye. It was the hole of cloth that was missing. Everyone there knew where that came from. It was a hole that Tony cut in his shirts to show off the arc reactor. He didn’t wear them out in public of course, but all the Avengers had seen him in one over the many months. This was the exact on that he had been wearing when he had been taken. There was a small hole that Steve recognized. Tony had been soldering and had thrown a spark on his shirt.
“He was here. Why would the Winter Soldier let him leave that?” Natasha asked as she picked up the shirt. She looked confused. Natasha was rarely confused.
Turning back to the box, Steve pulled out the MP3 player and looked at it. It was his. He had given it to Tony to fix the day before Tony had left and he hadn’t even thought about it since the other man had been taken. He turned it on but there was nothing new on it. It had been fixed but that was it.
“He’s heading farther and farther west. He’s going to the coast. The Russian’s can’t have his contract. He left Russia as soon as he could. Who is west of here?” Natasha asked looking at Coulson as she handed the shirt over to Steve.
Steve pocketed the scrap and the MP3 player, moving over to the jet. There were hundreds of miles of terrain to cover and SHIELD satellites could never find a trace of the Winter Soldier or Tony. It had to be done on tracking alone.
Six Weeks Gone
Steve looked at the picture of Tony in downtown London with the Winter Soldier beside him. He had his arm looped with the other man’s and was pointing something out. Both were dressed in nicer looking clothes but there had been no activity on Tony’s credit cards or any of his accounts. Tony looked relaxed but alert. He wasn’t scared.
“What is going on?” Steve asked as he handed the photo to Thor. “Why is Tony not trying to get away?”
“The more this goes on, the more I know that I don’t understand any of this,” Clint said.
The Avengers were in a hotel room in London, trying to use the cameras of the city to track down their wayward member. The Winter Soldier and Tony had been sighted a week ago in the city and there was no other sighting inside the city or any out of it. Until the photo.
“We have activity,” Coulson’s face popped up on the TV that was on the dressed. JARVIS had linked the TV to their communications as soon as the Avengers had settled in the room. “Tony was seen inside of a computer store just an hour ago. Pictures snapped by passersby put him there alone but we can’t get confirmation. The CCTVs in the area were shut down.”
“Let’s go,” Steve stood up and picked up his bag with the shield inside of it. Everyone was in civilian clothes; he didn’t want attention called to them.
Steve was the first to enter the computer store. He looked around but there was nothing out of place. The CCTVs had revealed nothing to Coulson but Steve still wanted to look around. He found a computer in the back that had a screen saver up. The screen saver was a picture of Avengers Tower. He clicked the mouse and there was a picture of the Howling Commandos back in the day. Tony had been there. He just wasn’t sure that it meant.
“Spread out. Find him,” Steve said into his comm. He looked around to find an associate when he heard the sound of a repulsor outside.
Running from the store he found the other Avengers converging onto a group of Hydra soldiers and the Winter Soldier. Tony was behind the Winter Soldier and Steve was rooted to the spot as he watched a Hydra sniper take a shot at Tony.
Tony wasn’t looking at the sniper. He was looking at where a Hydra agent was trying to shoot at Clint. A blast from his repulsor had the Hydra agent falling but he still didn’t see the bullet heading at him. The Winter Soldier’s arm went up and the bullet was deflected away from Tony. Tony ducked down into an alley and the Winter Soldier followed.
Spurred to action, Steve ran to the building and up the far side of it. He was going to go around and drop down on the Winter Soldier to surprise him. He heard Natasha yelling, asking him where he was but he ignored her. He was up on the roof and dropping down between Tony and the Winter Soldier before he could take in the scene he was looking at.
“Steve!” Tony yelled as Steve raised his shield to protect Tony from the Winter Soldier but Tony ducked under his arm and grabbed at the Winter Soldier, pulling him behind himself. That’s when Steve saw that the Winter Soldier had a mass of blood flowing from his side. “Get us out of here!”
Steve looked at Tony and frowned. Why was Tony protecting the Winter Soldier? The sound of shot after shot drew Steve’s gaze to the opening of the alleyway. Natasha, Clint, and Coulson were standing there making shot after shot with their guns and bow as the Hydra agents tried to scatter. When the last had fallen, Coulson and Clint turned as Natasha took off at a run to them. Thor was up on the top of the building with his hammer in hand, directing blasts down onto the street.
“James!” Natasha yelled as she dropped to her knees and pulled his face up to hers. Tony let him go and stood, moving towards Steve.
Tony drops into his arms like had never been gone. Steve could smell him and hear his heartbeat but other than that there was nothing. There was no scent of his blood, nothing to tell him that he was injured. He didn’t want to let the other man go but he had to look at him. He looked Tony up and down and other than the blood on him from the Winter Soldier that was spotted on his hands, he was in perfect condition.
“Are you hurt?” Steve asked as he pulled Tony close again.
“No, I’m fine. James took care of me.”
“James?” Steve asked pointing his thumb at the Winter Soldier who was sitting there talking in Russian with Natasha. “Why are you calling him James?”
“Because that’s his name. Look we need to get out of here. Hydra had been tracking us and I have tried to leave you clues to let you know I am fine but I feared if they would find us. Where is the Jet?”
“On a hotel a mile from here. Coulson is calling it here now.” Just as Steve finished speaking the jet engine’s whine sounded from the street. Steve pulled Tony to the jet where Clint and Coulson were walking into. Natasha helped ‘James’ into the jet and it started to rise into the air. Clint took over for the man flying it and when they were in the air and at a safe distance, Thor entered on the ramp and it started to close.
“What is going on?” Steve asked as Tony moved over to where Natasha and James were. Tony grabbed a gauze strip and held it to the wound while Natasha moved to get the medical kit.
“Did you get hurt?” James asked as he reached out and touched Tony’s arm. There was a spike of jealousy ran through Steve’s body.
“No, I’m safe. You got me back to my people. You did well.” Tony smiled at him like he smiled at Rhodey.
“I’m glad.” James’s accent was a thick but it wasn’t a Russian accent. No, it was Brooklyn accent and not a recent one. It was the accents that Steve was used to hearing when he was younger. Steve jerked at it.
The large sunglasses that were blocking James’s face were taken off by Tony and the face underneath was like a punch to the gut. He felt his knees give out and then Tony was looking down on him. Bucky was beside him.
“Steve, what’s wrong?” Tony sounded worried.
“Bucky?” Steve asked as he focused on Bucky.
“It’s me, Steve. It’s really me.”
“What?” Tony looked at Bucky and then back to Steve and then to Natasha. “Did you lie to me?”
“No. I am bonded to the Black Widow. That’s not what shocked me out of the programming. I could feel and smell Steve on you. Bonded to Steve and I couldn’t allow you to stay away from him.” Bucky turned to Steve. “Hydra sent me to get Tony out of the grasp of the Ten Rings. The second I did, I touched him and knew. It snapped me out of the programming. The second it did, it told me where Natasha was. I felt her move to where she was following us but I knew that if I turned around, there was every single chance that Hydra would catch and kill me or the Avengers would. I had to try and get to New York and just drop Tony off and then have Natasha find me on her own. Then I saw Captain America with boots on the ground. I knew that this Captain America was my Steve and I waited here in London. I let Tony out on his own, hoping it would draw out Hydra which would draw the Avengers out as well.”
“We’ll do a better debrief when you are checked out by doctors. For now, James, sleep.” Natasha pulled him down and cradled him in her arms. It was seconds later and he was asleep. Steve looked at his face as it relaxed. There were differences. He looked older than he really was but given what he had been going through. Being separated from his bonded would age anyone. Steve was sure that he had a few gray hairs from this. JARVIS had told him that the Tower had been fixed and was ready to have Tony work in it again.
He looked up to where Coulson and Clint were talking in the cockpit. Thor was sitting at the back of the jet, hammer at the ready for an attack. None of them would be happy till they got home.
Steve wasn’t going to be happy until he made sure that Tony wasn’t hiding an injury from him and that the bond was fully settled down. Then he could find Tony all on his own if he was taken again.