A/N: I am so incredibly sorry that this update took so freaking long. Writer's block is nothing to joke about, let me tell ya! Anyways, here's the newest chapter of Unexpected and I'll be working on Chapter 5 soon!
Disclaimer: I OWN NOTHING!
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Nick Fury strode over to the box and took one look before turning to Dr. Banner and Stark in turn saying, "Banner. Stark. Set up gamma tracking with the chains. If they really are full of Loki's mojo, we could track that signature to the source." His voice was stern and confident that his orders would be carried out. Then again, he is the director of a group of superheroes. He knew what his team could do and trusted them to prove him right.
Tony quirked a dark eyebrow and stole a glance at Banner, who kept his usual neutral demeanor.
"Well, let's hop to it," he began as he rose from his seat and set the box under his arm. "Time to go do awesome science things in the lab!" Tony's eyes brightened when Banner gave him an affirmative nod before they turned away from the table. "Jarvis should keep us posted, let me know if you need something exploded." Stark said before stepping down the hallway, with Banner following suit.
Steve just shook his head at the sudden change in Stark's mood. The man could go from hot to cold in a matter of seconds if the mood struck him. "Captain," he heard Fury call. The soldier turned to his superior and waited for his orders.
"You and Agent Romanov will take a search team and help comb through the city. Barton and Odinson, you'll be the eyes in the sky. Comms will be up before you make it out of the building. Am I clear?" Nick Fury rattled off the orders quickly and efficiently. It was no wonder he is the top of the organization.
The Avengers confirmed their orders and headed out. Something told Steve that searching through the city would be fruitless. If what Thor said was true, Loki might not even be in this dimension.
. . .
Steve stepped into the lounge with Natasha and Clint following close behind. The search through the city had been as fruitless as Steve predicted. He could only hope that Dr. Banner and Stark had had more luck than the other Avengers.
Starving from a full day's work, the Captain made his way over to the refrigerator. He grabbed a couple of apples, a water bottle, and the lunch he never got to eat earlier. If there was one thing he had gotten the hang of when it came to technology, it was the art of working a microwave. He put in his cold take-out and pressed the appropriate buttons. While he waited for his food to heat up, he took a huge bite out of an apple and turned around to lean against the counter.
That is when he noticed the other people in the room. Sure, he knew Natasha and Clint were there, but he was just now seeing Stark and Banner lounging on the couches, talking in not-so-subtle voices. Steve wondered how he could have missed them on his way in.
Tony's face was bright as he spoke to Bruce, his hand clasping the scientist on the shoulder in jest. "To which I said, 'The worst thing about getting hit in the face with pi is that it never ends'," Stark stretched back along the couch like a king, leaning his arm over to offer a bag of random candies to the man next to him. Then, he raised his hands in the air and squared his shoulders to give himself a stern demeanor before saying, "Before he could even comprehend what I said, I slammed a whole tin of banana cream pie into Rhode's face. And then I ran for my life." He did his best to keep another laugh from slipping out, and it ended with Tony snorting in laughter.
Bruce responded with quieter merriment, keeping his smile thin and lax.
"I got him a couple more times after that too," Tony added with a smug grin, dipping his hand into the candy back and pulling out a dark nugget to eat. His eyes wandered around the room and fell on Steve, and Stark called out greetings. "Hello there Cap, how was it?"
"It went as well as it could, I guess," Steve answered. The microwave finally beeped, making the soldier retrieve his food and a fork before he joined the rest of his team on the couches. After a bite of food, he continued, "I think Thor was right when he said Loki could be hiding in between dimensions. Have you had any luck tracking him?"
Tony took his time to respond, slowly chewing on the candy before indulging the captain with an answer. "I had Jarvis scan the chains searching for any leftover residue. There were slight traces of something similar to osmium, but nothing that was useful." He said flatly before looking to Dr. Banner with an amused smirk.
"We did attempt to re calibrate the previous radiation structure from the scepter Loki once held. There were no analogous patterns." Bruce continued apprehensively before standing and excusing himself to check on the equipment. Just as he passed in front of the couch, Tony's arm whipped out suddenly and slapped Bruce square on the ass. "Go get 'em, tiger." He said smugly, trying not to laugh from the sidelong glare he received.
Tony watched the doctor leave with a wide smile. "Jarvis couldn't find a damn hint that anyone besides the Avengers ever entered or exited my tower," he said before standing himself, adjusting the collar of his shirt. The simple thought that Loki could have been watching him sleep made Tony shudder slightly. "I know he can transform into just about anything. Maybe he was that pigeon that shit on my Lamborghini." Tony ignored the snort across the room from Hawkeye and stepped closer to Steve, slapping him on the shoulder with the back of his hand. "When you're done eating your kiddie's meal, want go spar downstairs?"
Steve's mind was still spinning from the use of science words when he saw Tony's hand make contact with Bruce's rear end. His mind blanked for a few moments before allowing Tony's other words to sink in. "U-uh, sure. Yeah, let me finish this real quick," he answered. The supersoldier ate a little faster, mind reeling.
Could Tony like Bruce? Surely the man was straight… he was not known as a playboy for nothing. Then again, Steve remembered seeing football players on the television slapping each other's butts to show a job well done. Perhaps this was a similar display? 'I've noticed that you have eyes for someone else... and that someone has eyes for you, too.'
Steve shook his head and washed down the remainder of his food with the remnants of the second water bottle. He did not have time to think about that right now; he was trying to forget his own confused feelings toward the man for crying out loud!
Steve took care of his plate and nodded to Tony, "All right. You gonna wear the suit again, or do you want to try without it?" The supersoldier needed to know how well he needed to keep his strength in check.
Tony laughed heartily, already stepping backwards towards the elevator. "I think I can manage without the suit today. I have some damn good dexterity and stamina when I feel like it." He said with a nonchalant wave of his hand.
As they made their way down a few levels, Stark continued a thorough explanation of the radiation tracing they were doing on Loki. It proved to be futile, since it was probably the case that he was hiding between alternate dimensions. It truly frustrated Tony, and he wanted to design a new program that was capable of tagging magical patterns and dampening it.
The elevator doors slid open with an electric ding. Tony eagerly stepped through and veered over to the left. "Just let me get in my shorts first," He called out as he disappeared behind a wall to change into something appropriate for a scrimmage. Steve went to his own locker and changed into his own workout clothes, carefully taping his hands before slipping the obnoxiously red coloured gloves on.
Tony returned in his usual exercise attire, adorned with bright red shoes and gloves. His white tank was oddly textured and tight against his body, the iridescent glow of his reactor radiating through the fabric just like any other attire.
"Just be careful of some things, I think Pepper hid my cup." He said shortly as he pointed over his shoulder. His sneakers echoed on the hard tile floor as he stepped over to the wrestling mat, cracking his neck and rolling his shoulders in preparation of dealing with Steve. "Let's get on with it." He said with a toothy grin, partially crouching and raising his hands like a feral animal. He even growled for emphasis.
The soldier tried to ignore how the clothing hugged the smaller man's body as he squared off with him on the wrestling mat. Every nicely toned muscle stood out in sharp contrast from the glow of the reactor. Steve barely had enough time to rethink his decision to spar with the object of his attraction before Tony made his first move.
Steve easily dodged to the side and chuckled slightly at Tony's impatience. "Thought you could get me on the mat that quick, Stark?" he teased with the ease of friendship. The way the younger man's body moved was deceptively fluid compared to his attitude. Definitely not to be underestimated, Steve decided.
Just like most of the other sessions, Steve would simply side step Tony's swings and lunges. He had every method that Tony used engraved in his mind, mapping out each movement before it played out. It just so happens that Steve is a military trained warfare specialist that has knowledge of all combat bravura known to man.
Finally, one of his swings scraped along the soldier's bicep and Tony released an excited grunt. Without warning, he launched himself off of the pad—at least four feet off of the ground—and onto Steve. He locked a leg around Steve and made to wrestle the man to the ground with his weight and aid of surprise.
With a loud grunt of shock, Steve allowed Tony to knock him to the ground. His eyes widened as he felt the other male's weight on him and the sudden flush in his face had nothing to do with physical exertion. Moment of surprise over, the super soldier rolled to the side and pinned the scientist beneath him. Steve was very careful not to let any part of their bodies touch, other than where his hands met Tony's shoulders. "You're getting better," Steve praised.
"Ohohoho, don't patronize me." Tony scoffed, his struggling completely futile against Steve's iron grip. This went on for a few minutes, but eventually he released a heavy sigh of defeat. "Okay yeah fine whatever, you got this one obviously." He said with another struggle, lifting his knee and pressing into Steve's abdomen. "I want a rematch. Now." Tony pressed his lips into a foreboding line and stared at the captain.
"If you think you can handle it," Steve replied with a smirk. The large male gracefully rolled to his feet and held his hand down to assist his friend off the mat.
The look Tony gave him as he took the offered hand could only mean trouble. Quick as a cat, the moment Tony had his feet on the mat, he pressed his back into Steve's chest and gave the soldier's arm a firm yank over his shoulder; one of the most basic moves when dealing with someone bigger than oneself. It did not hurt that Tony seemed to be a lot stronger than he looked.
Steve tumbled over the smaller man's back in a deceptively graceful roll and landed flat on his back. Before Steve could even register what was happening, there was a weight on his chest, pinning him down. He tried to sit up and push at the weight above him out of instinct, not paying attention to how much force he used. The weight –Tony, Steve belatedly remembered- let out a grunt and shifted lower to Steve's lap. There was a sound like glass cracking and then pure whiteness.
Dazed, Steve tried to look around and take in his surroundings. There was nothing. He could barely feel his own movements, could barely hear anything except a high pitched ringing in his ears. What had happened?
A voice finally made it through the ringing. What was it saying? "…eve…? Steve! C'mon, big guy, can you hear me? How many fingers am I holding up?"
Slowly, Steve's vision returned and he could see his best friend's face looming above him worriedly. Tony's hand was held up with two fingers in the air. "I don't know, nine?" Steve said smoothly, letting his friend know he was all right. He waved away Tony's concern and gently moved him aside to sit up. Clutching his head to clear away the last of the fog in his mind, Steve asked, "What happened?"
Tony smirked half-heartedly at his friend's dismissal. "Well, it looks to me that I finally won," he declared haughtily. He carefully rolled to his feet and held his hand out to help the Captain up.
Steve could not help but smile as he looked up at his best friend slash sexual attraction and replied just as haughtily, "Only because you cheated." He took Tony's outstretched hand and had to push back the feeling of warmth that spread through him from the skin to skin contact. The gloves hindered most of the touch, but Tony had grabbed his hand in just the right position that his uncovered fingertips brushed against the inside of Steve's wrist. As Steve was being hauled to his feet, his face passed dangerously close to Tony's bare chest.
Taking a double take, Steve noticed that Tony's shirt was indeed no longer on his person. The contours of his muscles stood out vividly and made Steve's mind wander to places he had forbidden himself to go. The dreams he had been having the past few nights popped into his mind and made the Captain blush scarlet and quickly turn away from his friend.
"Whoa, you all right?" Tony asked, concern once more present in his voice. "You went from paper white to tomato red pretty quickly… or am I just that hot without my top on?" His finishing tone was his usual arrogance and helped Steve steel himself from his warring consciousness.
"Let's just call it a draw for now," he said easily. Ignoring the last part of what Tony had said. Steve turned back to his friend and leveled his gaze with the shorter man's. "You should probably fix that cover for the reactor," he said, taking in the sight of the shards of broken glass poking out from the edges of metal. That was probably what had shocked him when he tried to push Tony off, he figured.
Tony heaved a dramatic sigh and turned on his heel towards the changing room. "Fine, fine. But don't you dare think this is a tie just because you shocked yourself!" he exclaimed before once more disappearing to change his clothes. Images of Tony slowly taking off his shorts and bending down to unhook them from his shoes invaded Steve's mind. Yep… it's definitely time to call it a day, he thought.
Shoving the strangely arousing mental pictures aside, Steve calmly dressed in his own clothes and called to Stark over his shoulder that he had something to do at his apartment and would see him later. Steve knew that Tony would see the lie immediately, but he just had to get away from there until he could control himself. It just would not do if every time he saw the other male caused a cacophony of confused desire and longing to well up inside the soldier.
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A/N: So there you have it! Please review and tell me what you thought! I know this might seem like a meaningless chapter, but it's all part of the character development! Trust me! Till next time!