It had been a simple recon mission.
Get in, get out. Stomp some mushy green things.
Simple, he should have been home in time to watch Desperate Housewives, don't ask, with Pepper, her guilty pleasure, honest to God.
And yet Tony felt like he had been hit by Banners' big, green, rage monster.
He groaned, sure that his head was about to implode in on itself. A harsh light was surrounding him, no matter which way he turned his head, there it was. He was having trouble placing where he was. Even without sight Tony was one hundred percent familiar with the Stark Infirmary in Stark Tower, which was where he had expected to wake up. But, this room however, didn't feel right, or smell right for that matter, which was distinctly foul and, yeah he wasn't going to think about that.
Cracking his eyes Tony tried to see past the white light. His first thought was that he was finally dead. Oh God! He had finally done it, he had drank too much scotch and drowned in the pool. No but wait, there was something glaringly wrong with those observations. One, he was rather cold, and he was distinctly sure that heaven was supposed to be warm and full of scotch, yeah he was sure he had read that somewhere. And two, he didn't like pools, he did once, not anymore, showers he could handle; puddles, ponds, lakes, pools weren't his style.
Tony turned his head towards his left, automatically his heart quickened and his breath shortened. The stone walls rose up in a curve, the rough, jagged edges of rock casting long menacing shadows. A cave, he was in a **ing cave! Again. Karma just loved screwing him.
Closing his eyes he took a couple calming breathes. Breathing slowly through his nose he cracked his eyes again, this time turning his head to the right.
He gave a sharp gasp, there lined up against the furthest wall, bound, gagged, and unconscious sat his entire team. His entire **ing team! How in the hell did that happen!
He studied each one. Natasha was probably the most comfortable, her head and upper body using Barton's' own body as one giant pillow. Her feet and knees, who the hell bind a person's knees, secured tightly with rope, and her hands behind her back supposedly secured with rope as well. She seemed unhurt. But Tony had no way of knowing if she was injured underneath her uniform.
Barton also looked alright, besides being bound to the gills, and probably having fairly sleepy legs when he wakes up.
Next in line was Bruce, who in the hell kidnaps a man who puts the definition on anger management issues above that of Hulk Holgen's? But despite Bruce's oddly bent leg he looked good in ropes and gags.
The Cap was next. He was on his side, facing away from Tony. His hands were bound with both handcuffs and rope. Someone knew of Mr. Boy Scouts special serum upgrade. His steady rise and fall of his back aloud Tony to find some sort of relief.
It was Thor that made Tony almost cry out, the wide bloody gash across his forehead had seeped blood caking the right side of his face. Tony was sure that the God of Thunder was going to have trouble opening his glued eyelid.
Tony let out a puff of breath. It was then that he realized that he could see his own breath, and he was more than just cold but in fact he was shaking.
With nothing to do Tony took in his own personal surroundings. He was shirtless, his dirty, faded jeans he had been wearing under his armor, he had suited up to quickly to get his jumpsuit on, were slightly damp and clinging to his legs. He was also laying on a cold, metal table and his wrists and ankles were secured to the table with think leather straps.
He tugged at his wrists, hissing when his right wrist started to lightly throb. Ok, so he was just a tad injured, beside his obvious headache and aching wrist Tony could not find, or rather, sense any other injuries on his part.
Tony lay there for a few minutes watching his breath mist and rise towards the ceiling, something he could still not see because of the **ing lights beaming rays of lights into his sensitive retinas. He squinted, trying to see the height of the ceiling. Not information he needed but hey what was a guy to do strapped to table.
He shivered, it was freezing in this cave, and lying bare-chested on a metal table wasn't helping. Tony turned his head to the right again, keeping each team member within view. If he could focus on them, watch their breathing, looking for signs of them waking; he could keep his mind off of the cold, keep his teeth from chattering, or his body from shaking.
Tony's eyes drooped, only to snap back open. No! He must stay awake. He has to watch over his team. Someone may come soon, and Tony was going to make damn sure that they did not lay a hand on any member of his team.
But he was so tired, so tired. But wait! He had to stay awake. Yes he had too! But for just one moment he would rest his eyes. Just for a moment.
Someone was tapping his cheek. Some very, very, brave soul was tapping his cheek. Someone was going to lose a finger. Someone was going to lose more than just a finger if they didn't stop.
"…..ark, time to get up."
Wait someone was talking. If that was Barton he was going to take that fancy stick he called a bow and give it to Banner next time he hulked out.
Nope, not gonna happen Barton. He needed his beauty rest, so just go away!
"Go ahead I suppose."
Yeah, walk away Barton, you don't want to mess with Tony Sta….
"GAH!" Tony thrashed as a bucket of ice cold water was dumped on him.
Sputtering Tony shook his head to get the access water out of his eyes. He coughed, and took in a sharp breath, the cold stinging his lungs.
His shaking had increased, the chilly air making it impossible to feel the slightest bit of warmth.
"Now Mr. Stark, I believe I have your attention."
Tony froze, that voice, well not that voice, but that accent. He would recognize that accent anywhere.
Slowly opening his eyes Tony stared straight into a pair of dark chocolate brown eyes, not a very pleasant sight. He jerked back, his smell wasn't too pleasant either.
A small smile broke the Arabic man's face. "Yes, that wasn't a very nice wake up was it?" The man motioned to one of the armed men just behind him. The slightly younger man came up to the table, Tony gave a slight tug to his restraints.
The two men spoke, "Why don't you let our honored guest sit up. But watch him, I'm sure he has one or two tricks up his sleeve," The man looked at Tony, "In a manner of speaking." Ha! Tony totally heard that, yeah, big bad men with guns didn't think he knew what they were saying. Yeah well being stuck in a cave for three months with really almost nothing to do but listen to a man who could speak dozens of languages you pick up a few things. And having a super smart AI helped too.
The young man reached for Tony's right hand, Tony gave a sharp gasp, his heart started thundering in his chest and he tugged at his restraints again. Which was stupid because one, OW hurt wrist plus strong leather strap equals no tug and two the man was releasing him. Come on Stark! Get it together!
Tony stopped his struggling but his heart continued to race. He stayed still until every restraint was removed from his wrist and ankles.
He sat up swinging his legs off the side of the table. Tony rubbed his wrists, and cracked his neck before taking his first good look at his host.
"Nice accommodations. But you're sort of lacking in your hospitality." Typical Tony, always antagonizing the man in control of the other men with the guns, nice.
"Yes, well I like to think that our hospitality has increased since your last visit."
Tony stopped, looking up at the man standing in front of him.
"I seem to be at a disadvantage; you know my name, but I don't know yours." Tony gave him a classic Tony Stark smirk.
"All in good time Stark, all in good time."
"Well, then at least give me the decency to know why in the hell I, and my motley gang over there, are here."
The man gave a faint smile, but it didn't reach his eyes. Tony gave a shiver.
The man shrugged off his somewhat suspicious smelling coat and set across Tony's shoulders. Tony swallowed, cringing away from the man's hands.
"Yes well, I would assume that our intentions for you are fairly clear." He lightly touched his fingers to the Arc Reactor that shone from Tony's chest. Tony stiffened but made no move to stop the man, "Of course this time we will not make the same mistakes."
The man walked over towards Tony's still unconscious team. Seriously, was it too much to ask for at least one of them to wake up and listen to this crazy man's speech? Preferably a man who is a champion at anger management?
"We made the mistake of allowing you a little too much freedom on your part Mr. Stark, and no leverage on ours. Silly of us to believe that your life was that important to you." The man turned around, "But of course you can now guess why you didn't wake up alone this time."
Tony looked at him, "I didn't wake up alone last time either."
"Ah, yes. Poor Yinsen. I was actually quit sad to see him die."
Tony glared at him, "He died to save my life." He snapped.
"Mhmm, yes he did didn't he."
Tony looked away to the far wall, "You know that last time you people asked me to make a missile for you it ended badly, so I don't see how taking an entire team of superheroes was a good idea. I mean seriously, two of those men have superhuman strength and another goes big and green every time he gets irritated. Not to sound insulting and all, but are you stupid or something?"
"Yes, do not worry we are fixing both those problems." The man gave a nod.
All of a sudden the men who had remained silent became very grabby and handsy, something that Tony did not handle very well.
Tony gave a yell, only to be silenced by a fist to the gut, effectively leaving Tony short of breath. Tony's mouth gaped, trying to suck in some air. A hand came into his line of sight, reaching for the reactor. His eyes widened, and Tony started bucking his hips trying to free his arms that had been pinned behind him.
A soft hiss and a click forced Tony to stop struggling. He watched as the Arc was slowly lifted out of his chest, weird déjà vu, flashing through his mind.
His heart seemed to stutter, which really it probably did. He gasped, and shuddered as the arms let go of him, and he collapsed to the floor.
He looked up with wide eyes to the man, who was now holding the Arc Reactor, his life line, his damn lifeline. He almost missed the moment when an arm wrapped around the darker man's chest.
If he hadn't been trying to think straight he probably would have said something extremely witty, like maybe about how it was damn time that Barton had gotten up. And really, what were these guys thinking not watching out for this, of course Barton would be able to slip his restraints, and oh look there was Natalie, wait, no it wasn't Natalie anymore it was Natasha.
They were saying something, Barton was still holding the man who had stolen Tony's Arc Reactor, gesturing towards Tony. But Tony's vision was going dark; he couldn't hear anything accept for the rushing of blood in his ear.
He doesn't see the moment that Natasha is taken down by a gun to the head.
Revised as of 11/16. Seriously, you people should go to Calil Gadien96 and bow down to her. She sent me this revision over amonth ago. I only jsut now decided to get off my lazy bum and make the corrections hurrah! Anywho, Thanksgiving next week! I'm off to eat some Turkey! And then celebrate with Apple Cup! American Football, hardly understand it, but its great entertainment! But again, seriously, Thanks Calil Gadien96, sorry it took me a month to change it, I procrastinated. It's lookin great!