I Wrote Your Name

Chapter 5: Useless, Unwarranted Feelings

"I wrote your name in the sand, but the ocean washed it away

I wrote your name in the clouds, but the wind blew it away

I wrote your name in my heart, where forever it will stay"

Clint was doing his best to not cry out in agony from the multiple wounds littered across his body. For such a simple reconnaissance mission this turned into a quick blood bath with the youngest member sustaining the brunt of the hurt. Natasha was still missing in action, none of them had heard a static crackle from her after Clint's ear shattering scream resonated through their communication system, and Steve was out on the front lines with the Hulk fighting off the multiple genetically mutated humans and wilderness animals that took to attacking the Avengers almost as soon as their foot team was off the jet. "Clint, come on, you got to stay with me buddy. Here, hold this right here and don't let go. Can you do that?" Moving the calloused hands to the once white towel pressing firmly into his abdomen, Tony waited until he was satisfied of the pressure before moving to remove the archer's belt.

"You could at least take me to dinner first." His voice was raspy, barely above a whisper, and his teeth gnashed tightly together to keep himself from crying out in pain. Lightly laughing as Tony cracked a small smile Clint felt his belt loosen around his waist and the lead slip through the loops in a few harsh tugs. He knew what Tony was going to do and as much as he wished he wouldn't he sinks his teeth into his bottom lip in time for his teammate to loop the belt around the bite in his thigh. A deep breath in, he screams once the tension pulls on his muscle, slowing the blood flow from his femoral artery. "Fucking hell!"

Securing the makeshift tourniquet around the blonde's leg, Tony turned quickly to grab a few blankets from the counter and started to wrap the archer up. The engineer's bruised side screamed in agony from the twisting motion in his thoracic cavity. Clint's skin was ice cold, mostly due to the weather in combination with the blood loss, but across his forehead a bright red color dominated his features. There was no doubt he had an infection. They needed to get Clint to the medical team waiting for them at the Greenland base just a short flight in the south-west direction or risk losing their archer to the unknown virus eating his insides. "Medical ETA is ten-minutes." Thankful for the hiss of static across their earpieces, Tony proceeded to respond.

"We've got one down. Barton's sustained a laceration-bite wound to his left upper thigh and has a penetration wound in his upper right quadrant of his abdomen. There's substantial blood loss and his respiratory and pulse is rapidly declining." Clint's glassy eyes starred up at Tony's worried face with a look of pained recognition. Reaching out his palm connected lovingly with the side of Tony's face, spearing blood across his cheek.

"Coulson," he whimpered. "I'm sorry, sir." Glassy blue eyes starred up in fear.

"No, you stay with me Barton!" Tony growled as one of his hands reached to hold Clint's hand that was holding his cheek while the other slammed down atop Clint's other pale hand on his abdomen. The marksman grunted in pain, eyes rolling in the back of his head. He was fighting to stay conscious but the heavy sleepy feeling weighted him down, grounding him to the floor and everything felt sluggish. "Cap, you guys need to pull back and get out of there!" Looking down at the angry puss leaking from Clint's femoral wound Tony immediately feared the worse. His lower leg was twisted in an unnatural way, undoubtedly broken under the twisted skin and muscle from his twenty foot fall out of the pine tree he made his snipers nest in. "Steve, answer me!"

"I'm a little busy, Tony!"

Growling because of how useless he felt, unable to help his friend and unable to go out and fight, he threaded his fingers with Clint's hand and brought the bloodied knuckles around to place a soft kiss to. Clint was hallucinating and currently thought Tony was his dead lover, their late SHIELD liaison known as Special Agent Phil Coulson, and was muttering all the apologies he never go to say, muttering all the I love you's that were forgotten over the last few years in the pain of his loss, and if Tony could put Clint at ease by playing along he would. Clint deserved a happy ending, deserved to be happy—they all did—but someone out there made it their personal mission for each Avenger to suffer.

Thor was drug back to his duties on Asguard while his father was in bed ill with some sort of injury, Bruce was still healing from the loss of his science girlfriend Betty as she refused to speak to him anymore, Clint lost his husband of ten years to a deranged God with daddy issues, and Natasha… The woman had the emotional capacity of a shoe, but the woman had an uncanny affiliation with their archer and when he was hurting she was also hurting. Pepper cheated on him and left and the rest was history between himself and the super soldier. Their lives were messed up, forcing them to face the seriousness of everything that none of them wanted to face. It wasn't fair, they all had their demons and the world just liked to keep throwing more and more at them. It was only a matter of time until they all broke.

"Mr. Stark, I need you to move back." A team of three medics rushed into the hanger of the jet, pulling a long board and toting multiple field bags of medical supplies to stabilize their agent before transporting him back to the chopper where the pilot had the bird elevated with a drop rope waiting to haul them back up. Stumbling back, wincing in pain as he twisted again, Tony blearily watched as they worked to stabilize Clint. "I need leads on him; he's unresponsive times-three."

A portable monitor was produced out of nowhere. One of the younger medics popped open one of the panels and plugged in a chord that spider-webbed out into little probes where she quickly attached a few little sticky pads to the end and stuck them to the archers now exposed chest. Turning the monitor on, Tony's mind was reeling with multiple ways to improve the Stone Age piece of equipment, they watched the spikes and drops on the monitor that decoded the marksman's heartbeat.

"BP is 76 over 28, he's hypovolemic, and we need to get him into surgery." The dark haired medic spouted off as he palpated the archer's body and listed to his vitals. "Respirations are at 28. Let's get a BVM on him with the O2 lead set on 3LPM. I want to regulate his respiratory system. There's a possibility for a tension pneumothorax." The third medic stuck a needle into his arm and moved to bring their long board over while the other two checked the C-collar Tony wrapped around his partners neck before he moved him into the warmth of the jet from his fall. The team log rolled him from the ked-board onto their board and strapped him down. Just as fast as the team infiltrated the back of their jet they were gone and out moving Clint systematically up into their chopper.

Tony slipped back into his armor and bolted off to the battle area where Steve and the Hulk were slowly losing the battle against the multiple infected civilians. Their no kill policy had long ago been tossed out the window when their radiation specialist had determined earlier that the prolong exposure, coupled with the virus, fried their insides and the anomalies attacking were nothing more but a soulless body attacking on its natural instinct to feed. Without further experimentation and data collection it was tough to say, but Tony's mind immediately went to an episode of The Walking Dead because this was almost too zombie like for him. Firing off multiple repulsor blasts at their enemy, he swooped down in time to pull their Captain up and out of the mess of clawing fingers and bared teeth. With Bruce so worked up as he was, there was little Tony could do for him, but for now he had to get Steve to a safe area and figure out their next plan of attack to find their missing teammate and get Bruce out of that mess as well as figure out what the hell happened.

"Base this is Captain Rogers; I need all points of entry and exit sealed off. No one comes in or out of Greenland until we get this contained, we cannot risk an infection spread to other nations." Steve slumped heavily in Tony's arms. Normally Tony couldn't move the blonde even if he wanted to but with the added technological muscle of the suit he could manhandle Steve with the best of them. Securing his arms tighter around the soldier's chest, making sure he wasn't going to slip and fall, Tony landed them by the jet to see that a few stragglers' from the main group followed the trail of Clint's blood back to their Thunderbird. Taking a few headshots of the enemies licking at the floor, tasting their archers blood on their tongues, Tony winced as their bodies dropped in a dead heap in the back.

"Do you know how to pilot this thing?" Tony asked once they were situated in the cockpit. Steve's hands hovered over the controls, years advanced from his memory of the aircrafts they had back in the early 1900's, and he hesitated to touch anything in fear of accidently setting something off in the high-tech piece of equipment. "Steve—"

"Shut up, Tony!" He snapped, fist slamming down on the armrest. The fiberglass shattered upon impact with Steve's fist flowing through to land on the base of the chair. "Just give me a second to figure this out." If Steve was a swearing person, he would be cussing up a storm.

Tony flinched and recoiled back out of learned experience with Steve's explosive temper. Even protected in his MARK suit, Tony knew Steve could still hurt him from within his protective shell. Staggering back until he dropped into one of the seats in the back, Tony landed heavily and just watched Steve attempt to work out how to get such a large aircraft into the air. About to suggest having JARVIS pilot them back to base a snarl caught his attention before a pair of acidic teeth sunk into the metal of his armor. Crying out from pure shock the engineer bolted and threw off his attacker into a herd of other mindless civilians licking at the floor where Clint once lay. Swearing to himself he made a body shield to protect his captain behind him when the shatter of glass caught his attention from behind.

Steve swore a fowl word loudly and leaped back to keep away from the reaching claws and chomping teeth. Back to back with Tony, the blonde's hand unconsciously sought out Tony's hand to lace their fingers together to ground him and alert the soldier to his teammate's orientation. Pressing his back further into the hard planes of Tony's armor Steve felt the shift of the mechanics before Tony's arms encircled his body once again and shot off into the sky, blasting a hole through the roof of their jet. Looking down at the hole they created in the Thunderbird Steve lost count at the multiple anomalies piling into the cockpit filling the space where they had previously been. Fighting with the zipper on his winter jacket, Steve drags the small metal accessory down to about his mid-sterna region and reveled at the relief the cool air infiltrating the layers under his jacket to cool his heated skin. That was close…

"We need to head back to base and regroup with a tactical team." Steve stated as he zipped his jacket back up.

"We can't just leave them!" Tony shot back, appalled that Steve was even suggesting leaving Bruce out in the wild to fend for himself against the infected humans and animals while Natasha was still missing. "Steve, we can't—"

"We can and we will!" He retorted matter-of-factly. "Take us back to the base and wait for orders on returning to the field to look for them." The order was indefinite and every fiber of Tony's being argued against it.

As much as Tony wanted to argue, a part of him knew Steve was right that they did need assistance from the extraction teams to find Natasha and get Bruce out in one piece. With one last distant look towards the destruction where Bruce was mauling the beasts and roaring in anger, Tony begrudgingly turned towards the south and flew off towards the base telling himself that Bruce would be okay and Natasha was the toughest son of a bitch he'd ever met. A part of him also wanted to check up on their resident marksman, the man who alerted them all to this devastation in the first place and saved Natasha in time before she'd gotten her head bitten off, to make sure than his best friend wasn't going to die of injuries sustained in the field. Touching down on the snow-fallen tarmac, Tony let Steve storm off towards an awaiting team of troops ready to listen to his every order, no doubt the soldiers wet dream as he always had a flair for dominating everything they did together, while he took an extra moment to extract himself from his suit. Picking up the case he made a bee-line towards the medical ward to check on Clint.


Standing on the observation deck, leaning heavily against the railing, Tony watched in horror as the doctors worked as a team to clean out Clint's wounds, set his broken leg which would have the archer laid up for about six months, and diligently work to close up all bite wounds and the puncture wound in his stomach. He was hooked up to a respirator, tube shoved down his throat to artificially inflate his lungs to keep his body oxygenated through the procedure, and multiple other chords stemmed off his hands and chest that hooked into machines that fed out his vitals and pumped his body full of nutrients and medications to clean out his blood stream. Feeling sick himself he turned to land heavily in one of the chairs.

Hands shaking, he curled his fingers into a tight fist hating himself for getting so worked up and even more so for feeling so helpless in this situation. He was waiting for Steve to give the command to re-enter the wilderness to set out and start looking for Natasha and Bruce. A few passing agents had their radios turned up a little too loud and Tony heard that the Hulk had disappeared, meaning that he transformed back into the more vulnerable Bruce and was now fighting the elements as well as an enemy out to feed on him. There was still no word on Natasha, but Tony liked to think that she was smart enough to get onto high ground and protect herself. Growling, because this was all just conjecture, he pushed himself up to his feet and turned to watch the doctors again. He ignored the roll in his stomach and forced himself to watch.

Clint looked so pale against the white sheets. His heart went out for the younger man, hating himself that he had to lie to give the man a moment of peace by pretending to be Coulson to get the younger man to relax. Phil Coulson would know what to do in this situation; he always had a brilliant plan of operation for every situation, and would know how to help Clint the best. The first time Tony heard Phil talking on a cell-phone in private back in Malibu all those years ago, speaking in lovingly hushed tones that only a lover could say to their significant other, he had no idea it was Clint at the time. A few days later he saw Agent-Agent softly kissing a young man with blonde hair, holding him tenderly and bringing him close to nuzzle their foreheads together. It wasn't hard to figure out that this was the man Coulson was talking to on the phone, but it was a little weird to see the very straight-acting agent kiss another man. Tony always swung both ways, he never really saw gender when it came to someone who wasn't going to use and abuse him, but it was still a little different because he always had this image of a beautiful long haired brunette with a plain-Jane body type waiting at the front door with a freshly baked cherry pie waiting for the man at home not a gorgeous young blonde man dressed from head to toe in SHIELD apparel with a hard body and a mischievous glint behind his eyes.

Tony envied them, God did he wish he have what they had. Steve was supposed to be his soldier-in-ratty-fatigues who would ride into town on a humvee and save the stranded civilian from sure death, and he honest to God was at first. Now Steve resembled the shadow around every corner and he hated that the blonde turned out to be exactly just like everyone else he let get close. Bruce and Clint were close to that place that Steve invaded but he could never allow one of them to cross the line that could potentially turn their coveted friendship into something to tainted and so ugly. Hating himself for allowing that to happen with Steve, Tony closed his eyes against the pain that the blonde would be forever gone. Deep down, he blamed himself for it because somehow it was always his fault.

He lost track of time like he usually does. The surgeons and nurses were moving the archer out of the operation room and heading towards the intensive care unit for continual post operational treatment and observation. Silently climbing down from the observation deck Tony numbly followed with an uncertain weight settling over his chest. A doe-eyed nurse placed her hand on his arm, stopping Tony before he could cross into the room to take up a residence at the bedside chair next to Barton's bed. He slowly looked at her, pleading silently to let him pass, and willing her hand to leave him. "Mr. Stark—"

"—I need to—"She shook her head with a sad smile.

"Mr. Stark, Captain Rogers has asked me to look at you while we're here. Agent Barton needs to rest and will be here when we get back." Her hand moved from around his arm to enclose gently around his wrist. Tony tried not to flinch. Leading him off towards an observation room, Tony expected the room to be empty of any other personnel but was thoroughly surprised to see Steve leaning against the wall with a couple of steri-strips along the side of his face, securing the long scratches running from his jaw to his temple. His arms were crossed and his head bowed down. "Take a seat," she motioned for the observation table.

Setting his case on the ground close by to easy access, Tony wearily passed by Steve to ease himself up onto the cool table. The nurse snapped on a pair of blue surgical gloves and turned back to Tony with a softer smile on her young face. Helping Tony out of his shirt, she set it behind him on the stainless steel surface and moved with purpose to check his injured side. She hummed a few times, palpating his tender areas and clucking her tongue in disapproval while glancing over at the super-soldier with the same censorious look. "On a scale of one to ten Mr. Stark, what is your pain level?"

Tony hesitated in answering; fearing that if he was honest then Steve would make him stay back like he should have done initially. The bruises that had started to green were now angry and dark all over again, just as painful as the first day. But it wasn't Steve's fault that he was hurt again, because he was supposed to stay inside the jet with Bruce until the safe house could have been set up. That was before the explosion sent their archer hurtling through the air which prompted the whole debacle that tail-spun their mission out of control. Tony shot off like a bullet out of a chamber and caught Barton just before his body could crash into an awaiting tree trunk. Tony would be picking out wooden splinters for weeks from the metal as well as pine needles from the collision on the snowy ground that had winded him. It was Bruce who brought over the Ked-board to secure the archers battered body and even the small field bag full of gauze and other medical supplies.

The two worked in harmony to carry Clint back to the safety of their jet when they were first attacked. While Tony was safe in his armor his other teammates were exposed and their enemy seemed to pick up on that faster than anything. A fight drove back Tony and a Hulked out Bruce away from an unconscious Clint where a few deranged animals tore their teeth into his skin and pulled before Tony and Bruce could reach his side to intervene. Tony was the reason they were able to escape, grabbing the green material of the spinal-protection device and wrapping his metal arms around the archer's torso and flying off towards the assumed safety of their jet.

"Mr. Stark?" She asked again, this time her voice showing concern for his altered mental state.

Tony shook his head, clearing his thoughts. "A four or five, maybe? Sorry I zoned out there, Amanda." Glancing at her nametag, Tony sighed and noted how she was tossing Steve worried looks. Chancing a glance towards their captain, Tony tilted his head in confusion at the worried look on Steve's fixed face.

Amanda nodded and made some annotations on Tony's chart. Pocketing her pen, she took a step towards the door promising to return with some pain medications. Parting with the stern request to rest, the door closed with an audible click. Tony fumbled with his fingers for a moment, hating the chill that took to his exposed skin from the stagnant air that always hung in the air in every hospital. Turning to grab his shirt from behind him, Tony hissed at the pull of his muscles. Steve was suddenly in his personal space, crowding him and easing his body back forwards with strong steady hands on Tony's slumped shoulders.

Tony released a shaky breath, not daring to say a word incase his voice would shatter the illusion that Steve was suddenly back to his caring self. Breathing through the pain flaring from his fractured ribs, Tony sunk his teeth into his bottom lip to stave a pitiful moan. Those massive hands on his shoulders radiated enough heat to warm his shoulders. With the blonde being so close, Tony swore he could feel the kinetic heated energy wafting off his enhanced body warming his skin and lulling him into a false sense of security. Closing his eyes, he breathed through the pain until it subsided and he could think straight. Steve didn't move.

Chancing a look up, Tony tipped his chin up. Surprised beyond comprehension, his lips catching the blondes in a chaste kiss, they both froze. Wide blue eyes starring wildly into fear blown brown eyes, neither dared to move or break the warm connection between their mouths. A look of recognition crossed Steve's eyes as he sunk into the warmth of Tony's mouth, lips moving like muscle memory across his chapped lips and his tongue swiping across his bottom lip asking for permission. Their eyes slipped shut, surrendering into the warmth of the kiss when their bodies remembered their numb appendages.

Steve's hands moved from Tony's shoulders. One traveled up to cradle his head in his palm while the other moved south to support the brunette at his hip. Moving closer into the parted space between Tony's legs, Steve tugged Tony closer to the edge until their bodies were nearly touching on every plane. Tony's arms carefully came up to wrap cautiously around Steve's neck, brining him down so their height difference wasn't even a factor. Steve was the first to moan when his tongue finally met Tony's, remapping out the inside of his lovers mouth and memorizing all the short cuts and main attraction areas before traveling into the secret areas that always drove the engineer crazy. Tony responded with a soft whimper, body tense and twisting to seek out Steve's own body.

Breaking away for a moment to breathe, Steve's lips caught Tony's once again. Their mouths were sealed tightly, hands searching for purchase on the others body, gently roaming over the all too familiar planes of muscle and expanse of skin. Tony hissed when Steve's hand brushed over his side but pushed aside his pain in favor of melting into Steve's body where the pain didn't seem so unbearable. Pulling away, Steve starred down with an apology behind his eyes. Those cobalt blue eyes zeroed in on the dark bruising, fingers lightly brushing calloused pads across and for a second Tony thought he caught a look of pained recognition cross Steve's face; a gentle reminder that he was the cause for those markings. Claiming Tony's mouth against his own, a softer and gentler kiss than before, Steve's hands followed to come up and curl around the angle of the engineer's jaw.

"Steve," he gasped. His own dexterous hands came up, nimble fingers lightly coiling around the soldier's wrists, to cautiously hold Steve closer in a silent prayer that this wasn't a dream. It felt so good to have Steve's kisses again, to have the soldier touch him with such reverence that it made the billionaire slowly break apart on the inside. Tony's lips languidly moved with Steve's, a half a second behind as his nerves were still reveling in the feel of his lovers soft touch when suddenly the soldier bolted back with enough force to shake the wall he collided with.

Tony's hand came up to his mouth like he had been burned and Steve looked like he was about to expel acid from his mouth. The door opened and Amanda walked in with a small Dixie cup of water and an even small cup with two white pills inside. She glanced awkwardly between the two, unsure of what just happened. Steve's eyes hardened and he was out the door in a flourish leaving the confused nurse and the emotionally damaged Tony behind. "Mr. Stark?"

Tony took the offered tablets. Grabbing his shirt off the table he moved out of the room just as fast, fearing that if he stayed there anymore that the room would suck out all the oxygen from his body. Quickly finding the chair in Clint's room, he curled his legs up to his chest and dropped his forehead to his knees. Arms securing around his shins, he took a deep breath thankful for the medication coursing through his body. "Clint, you have to wake up. I need you buddy."


A/N it's just a week and a half late, but I did promise an update! See, I'm not such a terrible person! Or, I don't like to think I am…but I guess I am because I'm really messing with everyone now. Poor Tony! Even I felt bad for him in this one. Just to let everyone know, the remainder of the story is NOT going to be taking place in Greenland, but the next few chapters will be based around the mission from hell there. I mean, Natasha is still missing and Bruce is out in the cold. We gotta save them and neutralize the enemy! Thanks to everyone who reviewed and to everyone who is adding this to their favorite's list as well as their alert lists. You guys all make my days with those alerts in my inbox.

11-11-12 hey guys, just a minor footnote here! I did go back and I fixed a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. Sorry for those, I don't have a beta, so please bear with me. Also, I did add a few more paragraphs on the bitter-sweet moment between Tony and Steve as per request from a few of you. Hope that eases everyone over for a while! Again, thanks to everyone who's reviewed!