A/N: whoo new story...the plot-bug bit me and here is the product! As for warnings, I'm a bit dark and for some reason I like torture in my stories so if you don't like reading bloody scenes, character whump, language, or a bad psychosis, then you might not like my story. (I probably won't write it that well anyway but whatever.
I'm going to try to be constant with my updates, but sadly I can't guarantee anything.
The Avengers belong to Marvel, and the mentioned characters belong to their respective owners. I own nothing...
Steve knew the day wasn't going to go well the second he woke sweating from his nightmare. His clock said that it was only 2:30 in the morning; an odd but familiar feeling of dread was creeping over his still-waking mind as he calmed his rapid breathing. He lay in the bed a few minutes longer, letting his heartbeat return to normal before pulling the tangled sheets apart and throwing them off the bed. Resting back on his pillow, it only took him a minute to realize that sleep just wasn't going to happen. Steve silently padded out of his bedroom and into the elevator, heading down to the communal kitchen they all used. His foggy mind barely registered the other presence in the room as he opened the refrigerator and took out a bottle of water.
"You look terrible," Steve heard, jumping in fright as he fully registered Bruce sitting there. Bruce cracked a smile at Steve's alarm.
Calming down again, Steve shook his head. "You don't look much better," Steve replied honestly. The doctor looked like hell, to be completely honest. There were bags under his eyes, and his face was gaunt; he had the look of someone who hadn't slept in a week. Which, knowing both Tony and Bruce, they probably hadn't.
"Tony still down there?" Both knew Steve meant their lab. Bruce shook his head, smile wry.
"No, Pepper came by around ten and sent him to bed. I only escaped her wrath by promising to be out by midnight."
Steve laughed quietly. He was still amazed on the power Pepper wielded over Tony Stark, and most everyone on the team.
"So you've been, what, sitting here for two hours?"
Bruce shrugged. "More or less."
Steve sighed. Opening his mouth to say something, he stopped when he felt a cold draft on the exposed skin of his back. A shiver crawled down his spine, and he shot to his feet. It was never really cold in the tower; all his team knew he hated the cold, and made sure to keep the temperature at about eighty. It was December, though, and Steve knew it would be that cold outside, but the cold being inside meant that a window or door was open, and no one left windows or doors open.
Steve fought off the panic that he felt, eyes methodically searching every nearby window for the source of the draft.
Bruce was frowning at him, slowly rising from his stool.
"Steve, what's wrong? Steve!" Ignoring Bruce's confused question, Steve finished his search of the windows and found the open window, striding up to it and looking out.
Bruce finally caught on when he saw the open window. "Shit," he said quietly, mind racing. An open window meant that someone had gotten in; but why hadn't JARVIS said anything? Surely a break-in was worthy of notice?
A bad feeling hit Bruce with that train of thought, and he ran over to one of the cleverly hidden panels Tony had installed to access JARVIS. Pulling open the controls, the doctor found them dead. Cursing in every language he knew, Bruce decided it was probably time for the rest of the team to wake up.
His plan, though, quickly fell through when he heard a heavily thud across the room. Turning, he saw Steve crumple to the floor, eyes closed and a rather large gash on his forehead where he'd been hit. A spike of rage shot through Bruce, and he forgot his plan of waking the team. Striding over to Steve's prone body, he checked his vitals, nodding to himself when they checked out normal. Standing, he went to turn and felt something strike his head, hard. Bruce had only a second to think a rather bad curse word before to object hit him again, and he fell into unconsciousness.
When Tony woke that morning, he found himself alone in his room. He could have sworn that Pepper had been there last night...hm. Maybe he was going crazy.
Walking down the hallway and into the kitchen, he smiled when he saw Pepper standing guard over a pan of bacon, while Clint and Thor talked quietly at the bar. Not going crazy, then. The air felt a bit colder than usual, and Tony commented on it. No one seemed to know why it was chillier than normal, and Tony shrugged it off.
When he asked JARVIS where Bruce was, though, and the AI didn't answer, Tony quickly began connecting dots. Without a word to the others, Tony ran down to his lab and immediately started investigating. A bit of poking and prodding shed some light on the lack of JARVIS; something had turned the AI's sensors and communications off, which proved to really piss Tony off. No one just shut off the AI.
By then, most everyone had ventured down to the lab; Pepper stood by Tony's side as he quickly turned JARVIS back on. Natasha and Clint were sitting together quietly on top of a table near the screen Tony was working at, and Thor was leaning on the two assassins' table, his expression dark.
When Steve didn't show at all, everyone knew he was gone. Steve never slept in; he was always up at five, on the dot, every day. His absence put the remaining team in an even fouler mood.
It didn't take Tony long to figure out that someone had just waltzed into his house, basically shut up his AI, and just walked out with two of his friends.
Tony really didn't like people to touch his stuff.
Seeing as Bruce was MIA in a bad way, Tony chose Natasha to be his fill-in science bro. She took the job without argument, or even a comment. Tony didn't say anything either, though; both were too mad to speak. Natasha was searching through all of JARVIS's information. She didn't find much of anything of use to them.
Tony found that whoever had broken in had only turned off JARVIS's communications, not his cameras. Idiots.
This new knowledge led to the discovery of the video of the now-apparent kidnapping. As Tony played the video, he could see the faces of his team-mates grow hard.
Tony barely felt the arm Pepper wrapped around his waist as the video showed Steve falling soundlessly and Bruce noticing; as there was sound the team could hear every swear word that fell from Bruce's mouth and Tony even cracked a brief smile at the doctor's bad mouth.
The smile fell when Bruce was also dropped, his head hit twice before succumbing. The audio was clear as the kidnappers started dragging the two Avengers. 'We've got the subjects, Doctor. We should be back at the Institute in four days. We're taking them in the truck, don't want either of them to bust out of the plane.' The reply was inaudible, but from the kidnapper's smirk if was a pleased reply.
They left soon after that, Bruce thrown over a huge guy's shoulders and two equally large men carrying Steve between them.
Tony commanded the returned JARVIS to shut off the video. Looking around him, he noticed that both Natasha and Clint had the same expression of 'planning'. Thor was staring at the table he was leaning on, his hands curling into the metal. Pepper looked like she wanted to cry, but with a brave, shuddering breath, she calmed herself and looked at Tony.
"So what are you going to do?" she finally asked.
"We're going after them." he growled, his blazing with rage as he swept out of the lab. He didn't look to see if anyone was following him; instead, he pulled out his holophone and dialed a number he didn't like to call.
When the voice on the other side of the phone answered warily, Tony spoke.
"We need to talk. Now. We'll be at your HQ in twenty."
Fury sounded a little confused when he replied. "Talk about what, Stark? I have a meeting in five min-"
"Cancel it," Tony snapped, striding through his house to the garage. "Someone's decided it was a really good idea to turn off my AI and take off with Captain America and the Hulk at 2:30 this morning." Tony heard Fury curse as Tony jumped into one of his cars. He barely noticed Pepper climbing in next to him, or Natasha, Clint and Thor piling into one of his other cars.
"We'll be there in twenty." Fury agreed with Tony this time.
Fuming, Tony started the car and threw it into drive, screeching out of the garage as Natasha easily followed him.
It really only took the two drivers ten minutes to make it to the land-base for SHIELD.
Chapter Peak: 2: Steve and Bruce. In which Steve in mostly confused and a bit of a fighter.