Authors note-Hi! This is my first fanfiction! I hope you enjoy it. I'm still a little unsure how things work around here so bare with me :)

Disclaimer-No copyright infringement intended. I do not own any of the characters or the Avengers franchise.

With one last wield of his mighty Mjolnir, Thor turned what had been an adversary and Hammer droid into nothing more than ash and dust. As this dust began to settle, a rather pleasing sight as it danced with the evening twilight, it also gave way to a further sight of chaos.

The city of San Francisco would be thankful in the long run but would spend the next week spluttering on dust and fumbling over debris while roads, tram lines and nearly all public places were off limits due to repairs.

A red spark suddenly lit up the sky, exploding with a sizzle before raining down on the city. It was the signal, sent by a certain man of iron to regroup. Thor surveyed the fallen droid once more before taking off in the direction of the spark.

The rogue leader of Hammer Industries no need to break from his cell with a new line of droid's, he was sure superior to Ironman, to do his bidding. And while the sheer amount of them may have been enough to trouble Tony, Hammer had not taken into consideration that Ironman no longer worked entirely alone.

Thor, however making good ground, did not reach Stark as smoothly as hoped. He was not halfway there when the sound of Hawkeye's unusually desperate voice pleaded for his attention from somewhere unseen.

"Hawkeye?" There was a moment of silence before Hawkeye responded. "Thor! Thor!" His companion's relief was evident, "oh thank God...thank God... Thor?"
"Where are you friend?"
Hawkeye emerged from the rubble and seemed unharmed. Then a tired, hoarse voice spoke up from behind him. "We're gonna need your help with this one big guy".

Thor instantly recognised the voices soft lull. "Steven?"
"Cap's had his feathers ruffled a bit", Hawkeye explained, "and his arm is pinned, we need you to do some heavy lifting".
Thor gladly complied, and as he lifted, another onlooker joined their midst.

"Be sure to lift with your knees", the ever so cocky and frankly sneering tones of Tony advised. "Decided I'd come and see what was taking you ladies so long...who's under there?"

"Rogers", Hawkeye answered him. There was grit to his tone.
Tony raised his eyebrows, "in a bit of a star spangled mess, el Capitano?"

Tony couldn't understand the piercing glare Clint shot him, until the rubble was cast aside.

Steve was half propped against the rubble behind him. Other than that he was as limp and drained looking as a rag doll and had obviously been tossed around as such. Blood pooled from Steve's nose and mouth, the left of his face hidden beneath a waterfall of crimson from a deep gash by his hairline. Lower down to the torso of his suit, he held his hand, which itself was soaked with blood from a wound to his abdomen. It appeared to be the worst of his injuries. The sight could easily be summed up in short as blood, blood and more blood. Any unfortunate onlooker certainly wouldn't want to be squeamish or could promptly find themselves on the ground as well.

Thankfully, none were. "Jesus..." Tony breathed in shock and dumbly stepped forward with arms out to help however he stopped short, very much aware that there was little he could do.

Except maybe supply some mood lifting quips. "Nice to know you've held onto that impressive glare", he rambled awkwardly. See this was why he never showed up for hospital ribbon cutting, he had no idea how to act around the ailing.

"Do me a favour stark..." wheezed the Captain, "Keep...your mouth...shut".

"Aye Aye", agreed Natasha flatly as she appeared in a streak of flames and black leather to his right. The bay breeze whipped her hair from her face, revealing an expression of great concern that she would later deny.

"How are we holding up, Rogers?" She questioned assessing his injuries herself.

Steve fumbled over words, trying valiantly to produce some useful evaluation of his own health. Though from the confused faces of his team mates, he realised his efforts were sadly wasted. "Not good", he summarised quietly instead.

"I made the call into S.H.I.E.L.D", Barton announced, to the benefit and assurance of the rest of the team mainly as Steve was already aware.

"You just have to hold on a few more minutes", the archer added then for the injured party amongst them.

Steve nodded mutely and let his chin drop down and rest upon his chest. His blue eyes closed over tiredly and no one had the heart to wake him.

Instead they watched his breathing intently, keen and ready to act if there was any falter.

"Where is Doctor Banner?" Thor was uncharacteristically quiet, "surely he can assist to Steven".

"Doctor Banner isn't in right now", Natasha answered him grimly. Altering her focus away from Steve, she turned her head slightly, towards where a thunderous roar could be heard off in the distance.

At its sound Captain America's head snapped up. His whole being in a sea of pain and confusion but even within its depths he could not escape his ultimate sense of duty.

"Tony", he ordered weakly, a ghost of a smile touching his bloodstained lips, "go check that out will you?"

Tony nodded and as soon as the face plate of the suit snapped down, he was gone.

Steve let his eyes close again. He'd chosen upon Tony for two reasons. One- he'd probably be the fastest and two - because he couldn't stand to have a helpless Tony looming over him, wearing a look that could only suggest he thought Steve would kick the bucket any moment.

By the time Tony returned, there was no hope in waking Captain America from unconsciousness.

••••

The world, for Steve Rogers, came to in an array of snoring. As his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting of the room, he found his friends were the source of such noises.
It took a moment for him to decipher where he was. His teammates were strewn across a large couch just feet from the bed. Had they moved a couch into his bedroom? Or had his bed been moved to the living room of Stark tower? He quickly discovered it was neither.

An ungodly ache had settled in his bones, as his focus shifted off of his comrades and onto himself, he realised he was lying under the pristine white sheets of a hospital bed with several IV lines and a heavy cast on his forearm attached.

His gaze wandered back to his team. The sofa definitely was a new addition to the room though and most certainly snagged from the living room of stark tower, a few levels below the hospital wing; it's new home for the time being.

It wasn't until this second glance that Steve realised not all of his team were asleep. One pair of dark brown eyes stared back.

"Dr. Banner", croaked Steve with an appreciative smile. He was touched his team had taken to camping out by his sick bed. Maybe now though, the man he considered sometimes the only other voice of reason, could press gang the other avengers to returning to their rooms for a proper nights rest. They'd all been through battle and attained their own minor injuries after all.

Bruce squeezed his way off the end of the sofa and into a plastic chair by Steve's bedside. "How are you feeling?" He asked gently.

Steve carefully angled himself so he could face Bruce without strain. "I'm not sure yet", he answered honestly and pointed up to the clear liquid at the end of the first IV. "Whatever that stuff is its working. I actually don't feel too bad..."

An expression of scepticism and hesitation graced Banner's features. He opened his mouth only to close it tight again and shook his head solemnly.

"Why? How should I feel?" Insisted The Captain cautiously.

"You lost a lot of blood", Banner explained. "You were cared for on an emergency flight back. You've been hooked to that blood transfusion ever since we got you stitched up".

"In the air?" queried Steve.

"Yes, there were full emergency supplies on the plane," Banner shook his head again. "You wouldn't have made it this far without it Steve, you were close enough as it was".

Steve nodded, but a deep line of tension formed between his brows. "What's wrong?"

He was saved and as far as he could tell, on the road to recovery. So why did Bruce look less than pleased about it all?

Bruce stared past Steve and then to
Steve, his eyes filled with a hundred apologies. "I'm so sorry, Steve..."

The soldier's heart began to gallop in fear at those words. He was sure he could feel all ten fingers and toes. He could clearly remember both recent and long term happenings. He could even recall back to lying in the rubble of San Francisco.

Suddenly another thought hit him square in the face. Had there been another attack? What about the welfare of the team?

Again he did a quick head count of those piled onto the sofa. Was somebody missing? Who was not present anyway, Pepper? Happy? Fury? He doubted the latter two would share any urge to rush to his bedside but they were two names which came to mind. Suddenly a hand obscured his field of vision. "Steve", Bruce pressed. "Everybody is fine".

"Then what's there to be sorry for?"

Bruce looked at his hands. "It should never have come so close, Steve. I could have helped you, I should have...but the other guy..."

"Bruce, don't..." Steve shushed him promptly. There was severity in their usually mild mannered leader's tone. "I don't want to hear it. "

"It was out of your control". Continued the Captain simply, his voice softer now but still firm. "And I won't have you beat yourself up over it".

Banner looked set to argue when the booming voice of Thor disturbed all peace, letting out a sigh and hearty laugh of joy to see this friend awake.

The others startled awake and too rejoiced in seeing Steve bright eyed, gathering around him like a flock of well intentioned vultures.

As it turned out, Steve's other injuries included three breaks to his forearm and several cracked ribs. With his enhanced level of healing he would be good as new within a week.

And if he was sure of one thing, as he stared out in bemusement at his teammates, it was that he certainly wouldn't be short of good company.

••••

Two days later, an air of calm resided over the household of Stark tower.

The TV had been ceremoniously been switched off, all laptops put away and even a special effort had been made to purchase real newspapers; which were now being read by Steve and a few other members of the team.

The only sounds that wafted across the room were the rustling of paper, happy chatter and the melodious voices of the Andrews Sisters.

The sister trio had been played without complaint all morning at Steve's request. And from his perch on the sofa, the leader of the Avengers couldn't help but wonder how long this honeymoon period was going to last for. Still, he was undoubtedly going to enjoy it while it lasted.

The couch had moved with Steve from the hospital wing this morning. As they pivoted and manoeuvred the clumsy object down stairs, Tony suggested that Steve climb aboard. Steve had refused on the grounds that he could still walk and was very grateful for the fact.

Tony had merely shrugged and hopped onto the ferried couch in Steve's stead; constantly reminding the 40's gentleman of what exactly he was "missing out on" as the super soldier ambled leisurely in their wake.

Once they'd been a group of mismatched heroes, constantly at each other's throat. Now they were close friends and from what Steve had seen over the past few days, they were becoming something even more than that. They were becoming a family.