Author's note: So as you may have noticed, I risked a dip in the 'Avengers' pool. I know I'm waaaay outta my league here; a small fish in a big pond so to speak, but I just couldn't help my feels. 'The Avengers' was such a kick-ass movie that I couldn't help obsessing over it. And Chris Evans. . .there are no words. He's amazing in everything he does and I am in love with him. (That's a dramatic exaggeration but you get it.) So thus, the Steve feels.

This was kind of just to help me fight my writer's block, so it isn't that great. In fact it could be considered quite boring and not really worth the read. But I'll let you be the judge of that.

I've noticed a lot of people say that the Avengers moved into Stark Tower a little while after the events of the Chitauri invasion so I'm going with that here. Sorry, I haven't read the comic books; all my knowledge is based on the movies. -_-'

So, here's a three-shot about the boring, typical, 'panic attack' storyline, starring Steve Rogers, Tony Stark and the original residents of Stark Tower. Lots o' fluff ahead; be warned.

Could also be known as, 'the two times Stark Tower comforted Steve, and the one time Steve comforted Stark Tower', kind of.

No slash, just friendship.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.


Nocturnal Panic

Chapter 1: For an A.I.

Breathing was getting difficult fast. The silent darkness was suffocating. Tremors racked tense bones, and tightly sealed eyes hid unshed tears. Huddled against the bed, with knees drawn up to the chest and shaky hands strangling blond tufts of hair, Steve Rogers was having a panic attack.

Through all the panic and fear, Steve mentally berated himself. This was no way for a soldier to act; curled on the floor against the bed, shaking in fear of a non-existent threat like a child. He was a highly trained super-soldier who had fought in dozens of cold and dirty wars and seen more than one man could in one lifetime. He wasn't some little child frightened by the boogeyman or the dark or bad dreams that snuck up on you in the dead of night and stole your breath away with your fears and traumas and memories you didn't want to remember.

Okay, maybe that last one. In fact, that's exactly what happened.

Steve's fingers curled tighter into his tangled hair, his knuckles turning white. He could still hear the rushing wind, could still feel the frigid cold biting at his skin, could still see the ground rapidly approaching. His chest tightened, burning for proper oxygen while every muscle in his body ached as they wound tighter and shook harder. Steve squeezed his eyes tighter, trying to block out the images that had played through his mind since he fell asleep three hours ago. He was falling, crashing, and there was no way to stop it. He wasn't supposed to stop it; he was just supposed to let it happen to him without a single flinch or doubt.

Not that Steve would ever change his decision, if he were given the chance to go back. He'd do it again and again. But still; crashing that plane into the ice wasn't easy. It wasn't easy to make the decision to crash the plane in the first place. It wasn't easy to take the controls and steer them towards the surface while every instinct and common sense screamed at him to pull up. It wasn't easy to tell Peggy what he had to do, knowing he'd never get to see her again. It wasn't easy to feign a normal conversation about dancing when they both knew he wasn't coming back. It wasn't easy to hear the tears in Peggy's voice before the radio cut out. It wasn't easy to accept death.

Three hours. That was how long Steve had been on the floor shaking like a leaf in the dark room of Stark Tower. Three hours he'd been trying to calm his nerves and stop the panic from swallowing him whole like the water and ice had so long ago. Three hours he sat at the mercy of the memories that wouldn't leave him in peace; that constantly reminded him of a different time.

A small grunt of effort escaped Steve's throat as he tried to maintain a grip on reality. He wasn't in that plane; he wasn't falling hundreds of feet to plunge into the unforgiving cold. But if he wasn't there, then why could he feel the ice crawling up his skin? Why did he feel like he was falling, when he was sitting in his room? Why was the wind rushing passed his ears, when not a single window was open? Why was the water filling his lungs, when his throat was dry as a desert?

Steve was just grateful that it was the middle of the night, and no one else was awake to see his moment of weakness. He'd been rendered a small, weak, scared little boy all because of a dream. The great super-soldier Captain America was just a normal trembling man sitting in his room in the dark.

"Are you alright, sir?"

Steve jumped at the sudden voice, wild eyes searching the shadowed room for the source. It took his panic-riddled mind a minute before he registered the voice's owner, and he looked to the ceiling as if that was where he resided. "I'm f-fine." He muttered through clenched teeth to keep them from chattering. His voice was strained and shaky, and he groaned in frustration at the clear display of vulnerability.

"Are you certain, Captain?"

Steve nearly rolled his eyes. For a computer program, Jarvis certainly was persistent and annoying and almost. . .concerned. Steve tried to answer, but the shaking in his bones hindered proper speech at the moment. Not that he knew what to say anyways. Steve wasn't okay, and he wasn't much one to lie about it either.

"Perhaps you might appreciate something to soothe you; do you like music, Mr. Rogers?"

The room was suddenly filled with soft, gentle, orchestrated music. Symphonies and suites and smoothly flowing notes that weren't of any certain era; just classical songs that could be enjoyed by anyone. Steve found himself slowly tuning in to the notes as they filtered through the room from an unknown location. It surrounded him in an odd calm.

"Just focus on the music, sir. Perhaps it will help calm you down. I suggest taking deep and slow breaths."

For a computer seemingly programmed with only one tone, Jarvis' words sounded hushed and comforting; Steve couldn't help the security he felt from it, and followed the A.I.'s advice.

Steve closed his eyes, dropped his hands beside him, and took a deep, halting breath, holding it in his lungs. The shaking hadn't quite left, but it did seem to lessen. He could feel his heart beat pounding against his chest, but he decided to focus on the music instead. Slowly, he blew out the breath, allowing everything to sink and relax. His muscles loosened, his heart slowed a beat, the shaking eased up slightly. Steve continued the slow breathing, focusing on every in-take, every out-take, and the music around him. Gradually with time, his body became more relaxed, the panic leaving his mind.

A half an hour passed with Steve just breathing slowly while soft music played in the background. Finally, Steve seemed relaxed enough to realize how exhausted he was. The panic wore off, leaving lethargic and weak limbs. His eyes couldn't stay open, and his head was drooping to his chest.

"Better, Mr. Rogers?"

Steve allowed a weak and tired chuckle. "Yeah. Thanks, Jarvis." He said softly, his voice barely carrying passed his bed.

"Of course, sir. Anytime."

Steve smiled lightly as he slowly—and with greater effort than he thought he'd need—hauled himself off of the floor and into his bed, draping the covers over his shoulders and curling loosely into the soft material. Even for an artificial intelligence program, Steve could hear the caring and concern in Jarvis' voice. He took comfort in that as the music died down, and he finally drifted into a deep and peaceful sleep.


Author's note: I kind of love Jarvis more than any girl should love an A.I., so I just had to use him. Hope others will find it believable. Next chapter coming tomorrow.