Disclaimer: Owned by Marvel don't sue! Poem is also property of Alfred Lord Tennyson
Story: Steve is have a little trouble remembering. Steve x Tony
Author's Note: Short little fluffy oneshot, just a feel good fuzzies. Practice to try and keep things shorter I have a tendency to write these sort of large grandiose stories. Anyway just enjoy pure sap.
Ours is Not to Reason Why
Steve was confused. A seemingly permanent state for him in this time, he was beginning to think. He re-read the file again, still not really understanding. He was in the middle of a SHIELD meeting, Fury running through the upcoming operations plan quickly, the others in the room, including Clint looking serious and ready for anything. In the months following his waking from the frozen plane, and the subsequent assemblage of the Avengers; Captain America was beginning to think he was coming around to this new technological time. Understanding things much better. Then something like this.
This mission was in his estimation an utter waste of time. What was Fury thinking? The man in question dismissed them, the others filing out with purpose. Standing the well made blonde hurried to catch up to Hawkeye, "Clint," he said falling in step beside the assassin, the man was walking like he was on a mission. "What can I do for you Capt?" he asked as they rounded the corner of this never ending labyrinth of tunnels. "I was wondering if maybe…about this mission…" he trailed off uncomfortable, it was not his place to question their superiors. "Spit it out Capt," he said as they turned again, "If you thought that this mission was a waste of time." He finally got out flushing.
Clint took it all in stride, "I would agree with you, it is completely pointless." He said cheerfully still moving like a man possessed, "Then why…" the man in black was chuckling, reaching an elevator he hopped on, "Ours is not to reason why," he quoted giving the leader of the Avengers a small salute as the door closed and he was gone. Steve froze, ours is not to reason why. The words echoed in his mind, triggering something…. He completely forgot about his issue with the mission. Looking up he turned to head towards the gym when he froze, "Where am I?"
Clint's words rolled through his mind all day, ours is not to reason why. It was beyond frustrating that he couldn't remember. Sometimes he thought those years in ice had stolen his memories, he found it difficult to recall certain things. Like the look of his men…Peggy. The doctors had assured him multiple occasions that he was fine, but Steve worried still. Finished for the day he headed for his motorcycle, with every intention of returning home to try and found out where he had heard the words before.
Home these days was what had once been Stark Tower, now simply the Tower. It had been a gradual process. First it had been simple visits, then get togethers, and then soon he was there all the time. Tony Stark, grumbling and muttering as one by one, the others took up residence. Steve had come to realize though over the last little while, those grumbles where all for show. Turing easily he headed for the underground parking, tracing the familiar route to the upper floors where the team generally resided.
Heading first for his room first he changed in loose jeans and t-shirt, before picking up the black thing that Tony called a 'table' or something like that. Fussing with the deceive he managed to turn it on. His feeling of accomplishment lasting all of five minutes when he gave up frustrated. "Do this the old fashioned way…" he muttered feeling perversely satisfied. He was going to ask someone.
Barefoot he headed first to the common area, a good bet to find someone. Natasha was there curled in one of the large comfy chairs book in hand, Steve debated a moment before deciding there was no harm in asking. "Do you have a moment Natasha?" he asked the women politely, she didn't glance up from her book. "Can it wait a few minutes Steve? I'm at a good bit here…" the blonde flushed a little, "Oh sure, nothing pressing." Striking out he turned heading out of the room, the women glancing up briefly. She felt a little guilty turning the Capt down, but usually the guy needed help to work something, or understand something…it was a little tedious answering him constantly to be honest. She'd make it up to him later.
Steve headed towards Bruce's lab then, the man busy scribbling in a notebook before looking fascinated at something in his microscope. "Hey Bruce," he said smiling, the man humming his acknowledgment never looking up. "I was ahhh…had a question." The scientist glanced up then peering at the other over his glasses, "Sorry Capt can it wait a bit I'm in the middle of a mould culture here…" Steve nodded, "Oh right, sorry…" he said rejected again he headed back out of the lab. Doctor Banner shaking his head, poor Steve the man was full of questions, Bruce couldn't imagine being so utterly clueless. Still…it did ware on you the constant explaining, the clueless looks. He looked back at his microscope, he'd make it up to him later.
Dejected the big blonde bypassed Thor, the man was almost as clueless as himself of this world. The only difference between them, Thor spent his time between worlds not really caring if he understood, while Steve was stuck here. He traced a familiar path to downwards, he hadn't wanted to bother the man, of all of them Tony was constantly the busiest. Helping to run a company, reworking new inventions and gadgets for the team, constantly monitoring and checking things. Yet out of all the others, he was the one who would more often then not be the one who would drop everything to help him work the food heating machine; or come untangle him when he got caught up in a storage room full of wires when he'd been exploring.
On this occasion however, Tony's usually brightly lit lab stood dark and empty; odd. Even when Tony was away his lab was still lit up to some degree. He frowned a little worried. Despite their rather rocky start, Tony Stark had become his best friend in this world. Sometimes it felt like his only friend in the world.
He headed back up, just about ready to give up on the whole thing. Maybe his sleep frozen brain would eventually produce the answer; he knew on some level he was a bother. He hated constantly being clueless…but sometimes he just really needed an explanation. In a last ditch effort he made one last stop. The top of the tower. The landing pad too was dark and quite, sighing heavily he turned to leave when he heard a sharp bang and muffled curse. An unconscious smile crossing his face he knew that voice. Moving across the darkened room, he finally located the source of the noise. Eyebrows arching when he nearly fell into a large hole in the floor. Tony was in said hole, sitting cross legged a mess of wiring and panels spread around him. A small, what Steve assumed battery powered lantern illuminating his work. "What are you doing down there?" the large blonde man squatted down; dark eyes looked up at him ruefully. "Blew out my power in the lab, the whole side of this tower as a matter of fact." Steve nodded explained the darkness, "How did you manage that?" the shorter man grinned roguishly, "Trying to raise the dead…" at the blank look Tony chuckled, "No dice eh?"
He turned back to his work, and Steve sat at the edge of the opening. Watching clever fingers manipulate the technology like a sculpture would clay. He could sit and watch the man work for hours, and had. His nightmares had been bad after Loki, the battle recalling memories form the war. He had wandered the Tower those nights, pensive and weary. One night stumbling upon Tony's lab, the man had atrocious sleeping habits. Working for days on end on a project before collapsing and sleeping the day away. Eventually learning when he couldn't sleep Steve would wander down to the room and sit quietly watching, sometimes sketching or reading. The sounds of Tony moving around, working, somehow soothing.
"So what are you up too big guy?" the man queried, not missing a beat, "Oh, I had a question." He said softly, unable to keep from staring at the man. Tony was wearing old faded blue jeans, torn, and stained. His t-shirt was plain white if a little smudged with dirt, Steve liked when he wore light shirts he could see Tony's light. "Fire away Spangles, what's confounding that pretty blonde head?" Steve blushed faintly, he still wasn't used to the way people talked today. He knew Tony didn't really mean it, was just the way he spoke…still, more often then not these days Steve was kind of hoping he did mean it. "You're not to busy?" he asked cautiously, the man certainly looked busy, "Can multitask, no worries." Steve wanted to hug the man. No matter what he was doing, Tony always had time to answer him.
Tony waited patently while Steve gathered his thoughts, well used to the man's proclivities by now. The genius had been having a terrible day; beyond pissed he'd fried the power, in this side of the Tower. He knew it was probably damage from the battle but still…now however he was feeling better. Steve had that effect on him. Like some soothing balm to his tattered soul, Tony had found he could easily spend hours with the man; and had. Usually he didn't allow people in his lab, hated letting anyone watch him work. Steve was different. He wasn't there to comment critique or try to tell him what to do. After all he hadn't the foggiest clue what Tony was up too. He had no intention of stealing designs, was just there. Sitting silently watching, drawing, and eventually curling up on the couch he had down there and sleeping. Tony found he enjoyed his company; enjoyed it more then he probably should.
"Today after the mission briefing Clint said 'Ours is not to reason why' and I don't know what it means but I know I've heard it…" he sighed then, "I just can't remember." Down in the hole hands paused as Tony looked up at him, of all the questions the man had asked him since they'd met, this one was by far the most unusual. "Alfred, Lord Tennyson," Tony said turning back to his work. "The line is actually, 'theirs is not to reason why, theirs is but to do and die'." Something turned over in Steve's mind, "It's a poem." He murmured more to himself, "Gold star for you." Tony said, "Fan of poetry?" he asked curious if the big guy had made his connection yet. "No not me…one of my men. He loved to quote poetry, Shakespeare…" the man in the hole blew dust from the circuit he was working on. "It's called, The Charge of the Light Brigade."
Steve said nothing for long moments, "Do you know it?" he asked not holding our much hope. Tony didn't strike him as a man who liked poetry, "It's been a while but…" Steve blinked as he began to recite, "Half a league, half a league; Half a league onward. All in the valley of Death rode the six hundred. 'Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns' he said: Into the valley of Death; rode the six hundred." Steve was mesmerized as the man spoke, reciting the poem from memory. "'Forward, the Light Brigade! 'Was there a man dismay'd? Not tho' the soldiers knew; Someone had blunder'd: Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die: Into the valley of Death; rode the six hundred."
Tony had a secret liking for poetry. Amongst his texts on science and technology, he had the greats; Wilde, Byron, Shelly, and Tennyson to name a few. He had always found it so different from what he did; poetry was not black and white like his machines but eternally grey. "Cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, cannon in front of them, Volley'd and thunder'd; Storm'd at with shot and shell, boldly they rode and well, into the jaws of death, into the mouth of hell; rode the six hundred." Steve gasped as if he'd been hit, the image coming to him with startling clarity, he could see them walking in those snowed mountains. On their way to incept that faithful train. Bucky begging to hear that poem once more; " Flash'd all their sabers bare, Flash'd as they turn'd in air, sabring the gunners there, Charging an army, while all the world wonder'd: Plunged in the battery-smoke, right thro' the line they broke; Cossack and Russian, Reel'd from the sabre stroke shatter'd and sunder'd. Then they rode back, but not; Not the six hundred."
Tony was getting into it now work forgotten he gestured with his wrench, "Cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, cannon behind them. Volley'd and thunder'd; storm'd at with shot and shell, while horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well. Came thro' the jaws of death, back from the mouth of hell, all that was left of them, left of six hundred." Steve felt the tears tracking across his face, as he stared off into the distance. Bucky hanging from the door of that cursed train, and he couldn't reach him. He was a superhero…but he couldn't save his best friend.
"When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wondered. Honor the charge they made, honor the Light Brigade, noble six hundred." Finished Tony turned to look up at Steve from his position in the floor, smiling in triumph, pleased he had remembered the whole thing. When he caught sight of the soldier though his grin faded instantly. "Hey now," he said softly moving to lean against the legs the big man had dangling in the hole. The touch brought Steve back to himself, and he scrubbed his eyes looking down into concerned face of Tony Stark. "Sorry, just…" he trailed off, a sob wanting to tear through his chest. "It was Bucky's favorite." Tony nodded, he had heard of Bucky, Steve's best friend; one he'd lost in battle. "I never really understood what it was about."
The shorter man, now even shorter standing in the crawlspace between the floors, leaned on the muscular legs. "It's about 600 British Calvary men charging the Russian cannons during the Crimean War. A incredibly brave thing, or an incredibly stupid thing, you can take your pick." He rested his chin in his hand looking into those clear blue eyes; he could drown in those eyes. "War has a way of bringing out the very best, and the very worst in people." Steve nodded he knew that to be true, how many men had he seen show their true colours under fire; not all had been good.
Tony was worried the big guy looked so desolate and lost, he had once vehemently denied being a soldier, but he knew deep down they where. He had nothing but respect for those who had laid down life and limb…had even once thought he'd been making their jobs easier with his weapons. A naive view he knew all to well now. "I know it may not seem like it today…but there are those who remember Steve. Remember what men like you did for your country." He smiled a little sadly, "Men like my father." Tears where falling from those beautiful eyes again, Tony wanted to make the hurt stop. Without thinking he hopping out of the hole pulling the big man towards, he kissing those lips that had been taunting him.
Steve surprised for a heart beat allowed his eyes to slide closed as he hesitantly returned the kiss. Tony was as surprised as anyone when the gesture was retuned, Steve tasted of tears and toothpaste but he did mind. The kiss was sweet and hesitating the pair separating then smiling shyly at one another. "It was the poem, wasn't it," Tony teased and Steve chuckled, a big hand gently twining his fingers with the other, ignoring the grease stains. "Thank you," he whispered, leaning their foreheads together. "For what?" the blonde squeezed their joined hands tighter "For remembering, for helping me to remember." Tony gave him a quick kiss on the nose, "Any time beautiful, but I need to get power back in my lab." Laughing the other man let him go Tony sliding back to work, Steve content to sit and watch him. "Ours is not to reason why," he mumbled smiling a little; it was good to remember, but even better to make new memories.