Four shots rang loud in the open space of the park. The crowd screamed and scattered in every direction. The secret service where shouting orders amongst themselves and they scrambled to get a handle of the situation and call an ambulance.
The President of the United Stated had been shot.
And Tony stood numbly as Steve Rogers fell to his knees in front of him as if in slow motion.
Tony dropped to his knees besides Steve and covers the bullet wounds with shacking hands. Steve's blood seeps between his fingers. His ears ring sharply as the chaos around turns to white noise.
The worst part about this is not that he failed Steve. It was not that he should have panned better, been better. It was not that anyone could have seen this coming, Cap addressing the nation in such an open space. The worst part was none of those things.
The worst part was the bullet wasn't meant for Steve.
It was meant for him.
It was meant for him and Steve dived in front of him without a second thought.
His knees are wet from the blood pooling around them. "Fuck" he whispers desperately, "Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, FucK, FUCK!"
Steve groans below him at the pressure pressed against his middle. The soldier was white as a sheet, and shaking.
"What the shit, Steve?" he shouts. "Why the fuck did you do that?"
Steve gives him a weak smile and rests his hands on top of Tony's on his chest.
"Don't give me that bullshit, Rogers." He says. "You're too important to pull this kind of crap."
"Nothing is more important to me" Steve coughs out.
Steve's eyes slips closed and Tony lets out a pained scream. The ringing in his ears grows louder.
Paramedics drop down beside Steve and go about getting onto the gurney. They are talking to one another frantically as the get Steve onto a respirator.
Steve is taken away. One of the secret service had asked him if he would like to hop into the Ambulance with Steve but he declined.
Tony remained there, kneeling in Steve's blood.
It occurs to him that he never told Steve he was the most important thing to him too.
He needed a drink.
Tony walks through the hospital feeling uncomfortable and nauseous, making his way to Steve's room in the place.
Steve had almost died. Once on the way to the hospital as he bleed out in the ambulance, and twice during the surgery as he body failed under the strain of the blood loss. Steve Rogers nearly died for him. Tony swallows back the bile racing up his throat.
He comes to a stop at Steve's door and takes a deep breath before entering.
Steve is fast asleep in the hospital bed. He won't wake him, he decides.
Tony sits down in the chair next to the hospital bed and puts his head in his hands with a drawn out sigh.
"Chin up soldier" Steve says beside him, startling him. Apparently the man wasn't quiet as asleep as he had looked. Piercing blue eyes stare at him.
"You nearly died because of me." He says, chocking up.
"I didn't die though" the man says. Steve rests a hand over his own siting on the edge of the bed. "I would do it again," he admits.
"Please, don't." Tony says with a sad laugh. "I didn't get a chance to say that you were important to me too"
Steve smiles at him. "Is that so?"
"Don't mock, Darling" he scolds jokingly.
"Who, me? Never." Steve says, his eyes widen in fake innocence.
That gets a real laugh out of Tony. Instead of responding he leans in and kisses the man. Hoping that he hadn't been reading into this wrong.
But he hadn't, and Steve kisses back.
Tony promises himself to do everything in his power to never fail this man again.
Notes: For the MHEA Harlequin Hoopla, Suspense Prompt - Feb 15th: Secret Service & President