Author: Jaylie12 PM
Aliens, the Avengers, action, angst, humor, coming home, and the significance of hands. Staine, along with the Avengers. Part of the Catching Time 'verse.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Blaine A. & Captain America/Steve R. - Chapters: 9 - Words: 15,567 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 01-29-13 - Published: 01-21-13 - Status: Complete - id: 8932550
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Temporal Exigency (1/8+epilogue)
Summary: Aliens, the Avengers, action, angst, humor, coming home, and the significance of hands.
Rating: PG-13/T overall
Category: Glee, Avengers. Staine.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
A/N: Various characters from the Avengers appear in the fic. However, I know very little about the Avengers 'verse so any inconsistencies are my own. But do let me know! I'd love to know more about Avengers canon and how I can better fit my stories.
Part of the Catching Time 'verse. Follows Catching Time and Synchronicity. This fic is complete, and I will be posting a part every day or so. It is also posted in entirety on tumblr (jaylie12), if you can't wait. :o)
Blaine reached the top of the stairs, the wind from the subway trains tousling his hair, when his phone rang. He tugged it out of his pocket and smiled fondly before touching the screen.
"Steve! I wasn't expecting to hear from you for another couple hours."
"Are you home?"
"Almost," Blaine answered, pressing the phone closer to his ear at Steve's serious tone.
"Blaine, I need you to do something for me."
"Go home, pack a bag, then go to Stark Tower."
Blaine slowed, stopping under the awning of a deli. He looked around at the other pedestrians hurrying about.
"Blaine?" Steve prodded.
"What's going on?" Blaine asked.
"There's no time to explain now. Just go to Stark Tower. You're expected."
"You aren't there?"
"No," Steve said reluctantly. "I have to go. Please do as I ask." When Blaine didn't reply, Steve assured, "I'll be there later. And I will tell you everything."
"Okay," Blaine finally answered.
"Good," Steve breathed out. "Don't take too long. I will see you soon."
"Okay," Blaine repeated. Before he could say anything else, the line went dead.
Blaine stood there, looking at his phone, his brain not comprehending why Steve would tell him to go to his place of work. But the urgency in Steve's tone had ratcheted up Blaine's pulse. With a shake of his head, he resumed his trek home, his pace quickening the closer he got to his apartment.
Blaine stared up at the tall building, the bottoms of the large letters spelling STARK just barely visible. He hefted his duffle and school bags higher on his shoulder and adjusted the grip on his guitar case. With a deep breath, he headed toward the large glass and steel doors.
The familiar noise of traffic and hundreds of shoes hitting pavement gave way to the gentle hum of electronic equipment, hushed conversations, and muffled footfalls. Blaine glanced nervously at the men and women dressed in suits, some standing against the walls, others slowly pacing the perimeter of the lobby. Not wanting to linger, Blaine made his way over to what he assumed was the front desk. A woman looked up at him and smiled in greeting.
"How can I help you?"
"Hi," Blaine started awkwardly. "I'm here to see-, well, I was told to come and-," he fumbled.
Blaine turned and spied a woman with long red hair walking swiftly toward him, the clicking of her heels echoing in the otherwise subdued lobby. She tapped at the tablet in her hand as she made her way over, looking back up just as she stopped in front of him.
"Yes?" Blaine winced at the uncertainty in his voice. The woman smiled understandingly.
"I'm Pepper Potts. Steve told me you were coming." She tilted her head before turning and walking back the way she came. "Please come with me," she called over her shoulder. Blaine followed without question.
When they stopped at the elevators, Blaine ventured to inquire, "Can you tell me what's going on, Ms. Potts?"
The woman tapped at the tablet in her hand again before looking back up at him.
"Please, call me Pepper. And yes." The elevator doors opened and she stepped in, holding her hand out to keep the doors open. Blaine stepped in and the elevator took them down several floors. When the doors slid open, Blaine's eyes widened at the large amount of workstations occupied by uniformed people outfitted with headsets, and the large screens lining the walls displaying various images, none of which Blaine could decipher.
With a gentle hand on his elbow, Pepper guided him to the side and into a smaller room, filled with a conference table and chairs. Pepper slid her finger across the tablet and a series of images appeared floating above the center of the table.
"Why don't you have a seat?" Pepper invited kindly. Blaine set his guitar on one of the chairs, slid his bags off his shoulder and onto the floor, and sat down.
Pepper sat down next to him and began explaining the images. Aliens. National defense infiltrated. Coordinating with countries worldwide. Aliens. Satellite images. Invasion imminent. The Avengers. The words jumbled together as the images changed, Blaine staring at the flickering videos and images silently.
"Wait, the Avengers?" Blaine blurted out when an image of the group flashed across his view. He looked at Pepper, at her small knowing smile.
"You don't know?" she asked.
"No, I do. I was here last year. They're back?"
"Well, they never really left."
"No, I guess not." Blaine looked back at the image, the telltale red and gold of Iron Man's suit next to the red, white, blue of Captain America's uniform. A man and woman in black stood beside them, and a very large, green, and very muscled man towered behind. "Stark Tower and all," he mused.
"Not just Iron Man," Pepper teased. Blaine cast a curious look her way. Her smile faltered and a sudden weight pressed against his lungs. He had missed something. His gaze traveled back to the picture and he looked closer, the air in his lungs heavy. Blue eyes caught his, blue eyes that he now knew anywhere. And despite the armored uniform, mask, and gloves, the breadth of shoulder, the bulge of muscle on the upper arms, and the angles of the thighs were all too familiar.
Blaine slumped back in his chair, his eyes locked on Captain America-no, Steve. How had he missed it? How Steve dressed in clothes reminiscent of an era long ago, and his manners that Blaine had joked were right out of the past. How he had teased Blaine about stealing his innocence and virtue the day after their first time together. How Steve worried about hurting him with his strength. Their fight about Steve being over-protective. How Blaine thought Steve was holding back, hiding something from him. And all those times Steve had said something that sounded just a bit too formal or old-fashioned.
"Hey," Pepper said gently, laying a hand on Blaine's arm. "I'm sorry. I thought you knew."
Blaine blinked and tore his gaze from the image, from the truth.
"No, it's-," Blaine trailed off. He swallowed and sucked in a slow breath. "It's fine. Just a lot to take in."
Pepper smiled apologetically.
"Things are fairly quiet right now. Why don't I show you up to Steve's quarters? You can relax. If anything happens, I'll call you on this."
Pepper held her hand out, a small earpiece resting on her palm. Blaine took it, holding it gingerly.
"You'll be able to talk to me too."
Blaine stood just inside the room, the quiet hiss of the heavy door slowly closing behind him. He stared at the spaciousness-the floor-to-ceiling windows giving him a sweeping view of the city, the shiny wood flooring, the large flat-panel television facing a set of tan leather couches and armchairs that looked brand new.
He took tentative steps forward, setting his bags and guitar by a sleek glass table, the chairs a matching brown to the couches. He carefully walked around the table, sliding his finger over the tiny earpiece now nestled in his left ear. Pepper had instructed him on how to use it as they ascended in the elevator, and had told him where to go if he heard the evacuation warning. A light flickered on and he froze, the kitchen having lit up at his proximity. The cool steel of the appliances instantly warmed under the soft glow of the overhead lights.
Blaine turned around and walked the length of the room until he came upon another door. With a gentle push, the door slid open. Lights flickered on, revealing a large bed covered in white and tan linens and bedspread. A door at the far end of the room revealed a spacious bathroom. Another door opened into a walk-in closet. Blaine stepped into the small room, soft spotlights highlighting the sparseness. When his gaze slid past a few, familiar plaid shirts, he spied a tall case holding a uniform-Steve's uniform, Captain America's uniform. Blaine looked on, still disbelieving, but he reached out and slid his fingers along the cool fabric. He pressed his palm over the star and closed his eyes. He could feel Steve's heartbeat, could feel the steady rise and fall as he slept, his arm as always, wrapped protectively around Blaine. In that moment, Blaine knew without a doubt that Steve was Captain America; that this man he had met a little over a month ago, who was quiet, contemplative, and sometimes sad held the weight of the world's problems on his shoulders. And while Blaine was sure no one was more capable than Steve of handling said problems, he could not quell the worry that stifled his breathing and had his fingers gripping the fabric beneath them.
Blaine opened his eyes and loosened his hold. He made his way back to the other hanging clothes and carefully pulled a shirt off a hangar. Blue with white and gray plaid, almost like the one Blaine had taken to wearing whenever he was at Steve's place in Brooklyn. He brought it to his nose, breathing deep the familiar scent and letting it calm him. He slipped it on over his own clothes, the too long sleeves comforting.
Blaine left the closet and bedroom, heading for an armchair that faced the wall of windows. As he sat down, pulling his legs up, he bunched the cuffs in his fists and wrapped his arms around his knees. He scanned the city skyline for any movement, anything out of place, anything at all. As the sun sank lower, casting highlights and shadows over the city, Blaine could not help wishing he had known Steve sooner, wondering if he might have spoken to Steve for the last time, and regretting that he never told Steve he loved him.