Hey guys! Here is Part 2 of 3(?) in the Inferno series. Hope you guys enjoy it!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL OF THE POSITIVE RESPONSES! I love you so much 3 you guys are seriously the best, and I'm so glad you've enjoyed the stories thusfar. I write for you, and your enjoyment, so let me know if it is to you standards, and what you want to read about next!
The first responders barely had time to register the advancing form before the man started screaming, begging them for help. He placed two prone bodies onto the debris-covered sidewalk, before wildly gesturing to the building.
"I have to go back in!" Steve shouted over the commotion, "the other two-they're in there. Have to get them!" His voice was hoarse, and it was a miracle that he was still breathing with the amount of smoke he had inhaled.
One of the fire chiefs moves to stop Steve, but as paramedics swarmed the two female bodies on the ground, the Captain retreated back into the building at a sprint.
After they had enjoyed a warm meal, courtesy of the Stark Industries CEO, the team had traveled downstairs to watch a movie in the Tower's theater. Only ten flights down from the communal area, Tony had spared no expense in constructing a room to relax. The theater was equipped with a large screen, a snack bar, and about a dozen plush chairs to get comfortable in.
Each step was becoming harder. The adrenaline, while still pumping through Steve's veins, was lessening. His labored pants echoed throughout the staircase as he climbed upwards and upwards.
"Dude, can we use the old-fashioned pop corn maker again? The stuff tasted great last week!" Clint looked eager, so Tony pulled out the machine, pouring the oil and kernels in without a second glance.
They enjoyed the movie, an old Wayne Western that Tony was particularly fond of. When it ended, Clint took a bucket of popcorn up, and the four Avengers— plus Pepper, of course— made their way back up to the communal den on the fifty-fifth floor.
No one remembered to unplug the popcorn machine.
Outside, the fire crew was working hard to stabilize the flames, while the paramedics worked hard to save the fire's victims. JARVIS had gotten Tony to safety, the backup suit in Tony's bracelet flying on autopilot until the billionaire made it to the ground. Both Pepper and Natasha, as well as Tony, were given rescue-breathing on the scene, before ambulances took them to the hospital.
Ten minutes after Captain America had rushed back into the building, the chaos and madness thickened within the area. A loud shatter resonated throughout the city. People on the ground watched a cloud of melting glass rain down on the sidewalk (thankfully within the blocked perimeter around the scene), and within it, a large, green blur.
A scorched and enraged Hulk landed on the ground, leaving a crater in the pavement. His hair was singed, green skin blackened, but he was otherwise unharmed. However, that wasn't what caught the attention of the crew on the ground. It was the body Hulk was cradling.
"We've got another one!" Someone shouted, "and the Hulk!"
Meanwhile, Steve was struggling up the fifty-fourth floor. The wheezes emanating from his chest reminded him ever-so-sorely of the days of his youth, and the asthma he lived with. When he rounded the corner, however, his problems multiplied.
They weren't on the landing.
He had left Clint and Bruce laying at the top of the stairs, but through the smoke, he couldn't see anyone. Just a large hole in the wall.
In a panic, Steve rushed up the last set of stairs, bursting through the hole into the living area. Not twenty minutes ago, when he found the team, the flames had been bad. Now, the entire room was engulfed. The Captain's heart caught in his throat (or maybe it was smoke) as he surveyed the room. OhmyGodIleftthemherethey'redeadIlefthemIhadtochose betweenthemandnowthey'redoneandIdiditIwastheoneIki lledthemthisismyfaultohmyGodohGodohGod.
With a desperate sob, Steve rushed to the kitchen, which was almost completely burned out. Flames licked at his shoes, but he didn't care. His teammates were here, somewhere, and if the Army taught him anything, it was that you never leave men behind.
The smoke was beginning to really affect the soldier. He could barely breathe, and his mind was racing— although part of that was due to the fact that two of his teammates were in mortal peril, and he couldn't help them.
Through the haze, Steve struggle to see; he struggled to think. One had met the wall as he attempted to steady himself, but he was met with flames. He staggered once, twice, desperately trying to find Bruce and Clint, but with one wrong footing, the weakened floorboards broke beneath him.
And then, Steve Rodgers fell through the floor, a fiery inferno roaring beneath him.
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