So, my second Avengers story. I just can't get enough of these guys.

Some parts of this will be inspired by a dream I had. It had nothing to do with the Avengers, but I thought it might make a good story anyway. Besides, I wanted to write something about these two.

Update: Being the perfectionist that I am, I did a little editing to this chapter. Just a little to make it better. No major changes.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

The first thing Tony noticed was how cold it was.

He tried to turn over. To pull the sheets over his body.

But his hands were tied down.

He opened his eyes. This wasn't his bedroom. It was a dimly lit, white walled room, which was empty except for him and a chair he was tied to.

"Hey," he slurred sleepily. "Hey!"

He tugged against his restraints in vain.

"You know, if you're going to wake someone and tie them up, you should at least tell them what's going on."

He was wondering if someone was outside, within hearing range. It looked like this wasn't the case.

"If this is a joke, it's not funny."

Nothing. The only sound was from his own voice and a low, mechanical hum. An air conditioner, maybe?

Tony tried to think. He could barely pull anything from his foggy mind. He had been in bed, that much he remembered. The door had been forced open. Before he could even grab the wrist bands that would evolve into his suit, a group of people had pinned him down. A white cloth was held over his mouth, then...he was here.

He tried to shift his position. He was sore, but there was no terrible pain, so no one had injured him. But, he didn't want to give them the chance to. He had to get out of here. The suit, of course, wasn't an option. His phone and, well, everything else was in his bedroom too. No panic calls to Fury or the Avengers. Natasha was the only one who had come with him on this mission. Even once she figured out he was missing, who knew how long it would take for her to find him? And these handcuffs were just too tight. Why did thy have to be so tight? He tried yanking at them again. The only thing it did was hurt his wrists. He could feel the panic rising in him. He hated being tied up. It brought back too many bad memories.

Looks like I'm going to have more of them, he thought. He wondered what they would ask for. Maybe they wanted him to build them a weapon too. He kind of hoped he would have another Yinsen to talk to. But no, that was selfish. That would mean they had more prisoners. He hoped that no one else was going through what he was about to.

The screeching sound of metal startled Tony out of his thoughts. The door was being opened. Tony immediately straightened up, putting the tough guy persona on. A man walked through the door. He had no hair, lots of muscle, and was wearing a coat. He must have been much more comfortable than Tony, who was still in his wife beater and boxers. Tony didn't recognize him as anyone he had fought before.

"Good evening, Mr. Stark," he said with a smile.

"Well, it was until your lovely, little assistants woke me up," Tony said.

"I'm glad you're here. I've been wanting to meet with you for a while, now," he said as though Tony had never said a word.

"You know, usually, when someone wants to meet with me, they make an appointment."

"I would, but this will probably be more effective."

"So, what is it that you want? Money? Technology? Weapons?"

"Maybe, maybe not. I know it would be hard to convince you to give me anything."

"Exactly. You already knew that, so you bring me here, then you'll torture me, I'll still say no, then you'll have a bunch of superheroes to deal with. They'll beat you. They win, you lose, the end."

The man laughed.

"You think you have it all figured out? It's really that simple?"

A few others walked through the door, pushing carts. Most of them had boxes. One had a plastic tub full of water.

Tony could feel that panic again. He tried to force it down.

"You did have one thing right," the man said. "But I'm not going to ask you personally for anything like weapons or technology."

Now Tony felt confused.

"What I want from you is leverage."

Two of the others put the tub at Tony's feet.

"Untie him."

They did. And Tony, well, he wasn't having anything to do with that water if had anything to say about it. He turned and kneed one of them in the gut. Another tried to hold him down, but years of being Iron Man had made him stronger than he had been in Afghanistan. He headbutted the one who was holding his chains and ran.

Two steps, then he was tackled.

He struggled against them, but he wasn't fortunate enough to have super strength like a few others in the team.

"Now, Tony. Did you really think that would work? Come on, now. You are smarter than that."

He reached down, grabbing Tony's chains, and dragged him, despite him trying to fight back, to the tub. He pushed Tony to his knees in front of it. He let go and allowed his assistants to force Tony's head into the water. He wasn't able to take in a full breath before going under. He tried to go up for air, but he couldn't. His lungs burned. He didn't know how much longer he could hold his breath.

He could feel someone grab a fistful of his hair. Then, finally, the relief of air. But it was only seconds before he was back under again.

Tony lost count of how many times he was pushed into the water. He thought it would never end, until he heard the sweet words:

"That's enough."

Tony was suddenly pulled from the water with more force than necessary and thrown backward.

"Tie him back up."

Tony was pulled up and thrown into the chair. He was too weak to fight back this time and found himself bound again.

"You see, Tony, I know how you superhero types are. Especially you. You're so stubborn, I could probably do this to you all day and you wouldn't give in, would you?"

Tony was too busy trying to catch his breath to say anything.

"But, what if it was that pretty girlfriend of yours that was in your position? What is her name? Pepper?"

Now, this got Tony's attention.

"What did you do to her?"

"Nothing. I don't plan on hurting her. That doesn't mean I won't, but let's just pretend she was in your position now. For fun."

Tony gritted his teeth. Oh, if he could get loose...

"Wouldn't you do anything you could to save her? Or Rogers? Or any of the other Avengers?"

Tony didn't want to think about it. But his imagination ran away with him. Funny, how it could conjure up images of them being beaten and battered, but it couldn't come up with a decent plan to get out of there.

"Do you think they would do the same for you?"

So that's what he was trying to do. Use him against everyone. Tony's stomach tightened. That meant he had to have a camera in here somewhere. He frantically looked around for it when the man turned his back to him. He was getting something from one of the boxes.

"Guys," Tony said. The others thought he was talking to them, so he was basically ignored. "I know this looks bad, but don't give these people anything!"

The man looked up, realizing what he was doing.

"Plea..." Tony was suddenly cut off by a fist connecting to his mouth.

"You know, it might be best if you kept quiet throughout the remainder of our meeting."

Tony's lip was bleeding. He noticed that the man was now wearing brass knuckles. He continued giving Tony a brutal beating. He was bruised and cut. Blood stained his skin and shirt. He was starting to lose his composure. He wished that he hadn't, but he was only human. And this hurt too much.

He didn't know how long it had been. Minutes? Hours? But the beating finally stopped.

"Get him out of here."

The others untied him again, grabbing his arms. He couldn't even stand. But that didn't matter. They certainly didn't mind dragging him. They took him from the room, into the hall. It was brightly lit and didn't help Tony's headache. They reached another door and pulled him through. This room was bigger, but was divided by a row of prison bars. They slid the barred door open and ungracefully threw him in. Nothing else was done. They just left, which Tony was glad for.

He slowly pulled himself up, cringing all the way. He eased his back against the wall and tried to just focus on breathing. He rubbed his forehead. This room was as bright as the hall.

He looked over his surroundings, hoping for something he could use to escape. He didn't see anything he could really get to. It was like a blank slate. No help at all. Except...

There was someone else in there.

He froze. The person was in the back corner, wrapped tightly in a dingy blanket that covered even his face. Or her. But he was unsure of what to do. Surely they had heard when those 'lovely little assistants' had pushed him in there. He hoped the person wasn't dead.

Curiosity got the best of him. He had to find out for sure.

Tony crawled over to him. He softly shook the person's shoulder.

"Hey. Wake up."

He stayed still. Tony shook him harder.


The person took a swing at him, barely missing. Tony reeled back, falling over. He scrambled to his feet, putting his fists in front of him. The blanket had fallen around the man's shoulders. His long, black hair was ruffled, his green eyes were clouded with annoyance and exhaustion, and he had an angry glare etched on his face.

Tony recognized him.

And he felt sick.


Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it. Please review and let me know what you think.