Thanks to my aussie friends, I noticed my screw up. Sorry! :( Here's the actual sixth chappie. Crud, now you guy know a part of my Britta story. Eh, oh well. Sorry, again, sorry.
Natasha woke up with a start, screaming for her brother. She looked around desperately for him in a panic, blurry memories rushing back to her as she did. The weapons demonstration. The explosions. Blacking out. Waking up again to her and her brother being filmed by men with guns. Being knocked out again as they started operating on her brother. Natasha felt panic bloom in her chest as she took in her surroundings. She was in a cave. A cave. She felt herself start trembling and quickly shut down the panic building up in her, focusing on the task of finding her brother. When she spotted him lying on a bed not far away she started towards him.
Her legs gave out immediately. She collapsed to the floor, a small cry of pain escaping her. Natasha looked back at her legs and saw her right one wrapped half-hazardly up with fabric. It hurt but only dully compared to the rest of her body. Her back was aching terribly and her arms felt liked they'd been sliced and diced. Her head was pounding in a way that reminded her of the worst hangover she'd ever had, the one she'd gotten after almost drinking herself into a hospital bed after their parents died. Natasha groaned loudly and forced herself into a sitting position. She pressed her now scraped up hands to her forehead, trying to ease the pain.
"You're awake." Natasha gasped sharply at the suddenness of the voice and snapped her head up. Sitting not far away was a thin man in dirty clothes with librarian glasses on his face. He was watching her like she was a mundane cup of coffee sitting in front of him. "Not surprising. The first hit to the head was not severe, you more or less fainted, and the second was just enough to knock you out. Your head should be fine within a few hours or so, no concussion or long term damage." He told her.
Natasha blinked at him, her mind humming to life so it could process his words. Finally she nodded a bit, a small bit of relief washing over her as the promise of keeping her genius was given. "W-where am I?" She asked, looking around again.
The man stood and walked over to a mirror hanging nearby, swiping up a razor and some shaving cream as he did. "In a cave." He told her.
"No shit Sherlock." Natasha grumbled out, managing to summon some of the classic Stark attitude. She watched the man carefully as he started shaving his face. It was so incredibly strange, seeing something that normal happening in this completely not normal environment. "I mean, where exactly is this stupid cave?" Natasha asked.
The man didn't reply. He just continued to shave. Natasha continued to watch him, her still pounding head becoming quickly mesmerized by the simple actions. Soon her ears were filled with the annoying ringing sound that came with silence which was exactly why when she heard something clatter to the ground, breaking the silence, she practically jumped out of her skin. Natasha immediately turned to check on her brother and felt her lips break into a grin filled with unadulterated joy when she saw he was awake. Her eyes drifted to the ground where a cup was laying and did a mental "Oh" as she figured out that was what fell.
"Tony." Natasha said when her brother turned and spotted them.
"Nat." Tony practically coughed out. His eyes drifted away from her though as he spotted a jug of water nearby. He reached for it but as he did something on the other side of him moved, dragged along by him as he moved.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you." The man said, pausing in his shaving to look back at Tony through the mirror.
Tony slowly turned to see what he had moved and his eyes instantly fell on a car battery. He followed the cables attached to it up to his chest and felt panic slowly rising up inside him. He started yanking at his clothes to get a better look and Natasha quickly got to her feet, worried about him. Her body ached and told her to stop moving but she ignored it, she'd been in worse pain. She carefully limped over to her brother and watched as he revealed a metal thing in his chest.
Tony started breathing heavily, letting out small panic filled gasps as he did. Natasha felt herself starting to shake again. If her brother was freaking out then this was bad. Very very bad. Tony noticed his sister's trembling and forced, literally had to force, down his panic. She needed him to be strong, to be brave. He had always been her rock when she needed him to be and she definitely needed him to be her rock now. Slowly he sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed, carefully moving the car battery attached to his chest along with him. Natasha managed to take it from him despite her shaking and lay it down on the ground so he didn't have to move. While she did that Tony grabbed a nearby square of mirror and started examining the thing in his chest through it.
"Are you okay?" Tony asked, his voice hoarse. Natasha nodded just a bit too quickly, not meeting his eyes, choosing to stare at the metal thing in his chest. "Tash." Tony said gently, imploringly. Natasha looked up at her brother, fear and panic evident in her eyes. "Are you okay?" Tony asked again.
"No." Natasha said quickly, just loud enough for him to hear.
"We're gonna be okay." Tony told her though he wasn't sure he believed his own words. It seemed to work though because Natasha nodded and gave him a very weak smile. Tony smiled a bit back at her before focusing his eyes on the man who was now making food. "What the hell did you do to me?" He asked the man.
The man looked over at him. "What I did?" He asked. He chuckled which made Natasha frown at him. "What I did is to save your life." The man said before going back to his cooking. "I removed all the shrapnel I could, but there's a lot left, and it's headed into your atrial septum." He explained.
Natasha felt her heart stop. She knew exactly what that meant. Her brother was dying. There was shrapnel moving through him, slowly killing him. Natasha looked down at her brother and wondered how much longer she had with him. How much longer her best friend in the whole world was going to last.
"Here, want to see?" The man said, picking up something from a nearby rock. He shook it and Natasha heard the telltale sound of bits of metal hitting glass. "I have a souvenir. Take a look." The man said, walking over. He tossed the little glass bottle over to Tony who instantly looked inside. Natasha looked too and she instantly felt the dull throb of growing hate enter her as she stared at the little bits of shrapnel. "I've seen many wounds like that in my village. We call them the walking dead because it takes about a week for the barbs to reach the vital organs." The man said as he went back to the fire.
"What is this?" Tony asked, referring to the thing in his chest.
"That is an electromagnet hooked up to a car battery and it's keeping the shrapnel from entering your heart." The man informed him.
Natasha felt a wave of unadulterated relief hit her. Tony was going to live. He wasn't being killed by shrapnel, he was living. He wasn't going to leave her. "Thank you." Natasha told the man without meaning to.
The man nodded in acknowledgment but didn't reply to her thanks. Tony didn't say anything either, didn't even rebuke her for saying thank you to a possible threat. He just zipped up the jacket he was wearing. His eyes wandered to the upper corner of the cave and Natasha's eyes followed his. High up there, focused on them, was a security camera. The man turned to see what they were looking at then turned back around when he realized what it was.
"That's right. Smile." The man said, confirming that yeah they were being watched. He stirred the food he was cooking for a second or two then glanced over at them. "I met you two once, you know, at a technical conference in Bern." He told them.
"I don't remember." Tony said, looking around the room.
Natasha shook her head. "Neither do I." She admitted.
"No, you wouldn't." The man said, laughing. He had a nice laugh. It was warm and it actually comforted Natasha a bit. "If I had been as drunk as you two, I wouldn't have been able to stand much less give a lecture on integrated circuits." He informed them.
"Where are we?" Tony asked, uninterested in the past when considering their present.
The man looked ready to answer and not give the answer he gave Natasha but then the sound of metal hitting metal sounded off and a man yelled in some language. The man immediately stopped cooking and rushed over to Tony. "Come on, stand up. Stand up!" He ordered, pulling Tony to his feet. "Both of you, just do as I do." He told them, his voice harsh with authority that told them not to question him. "Come on, put your hands up." The man said as he pulled Tony along and pushed Natasha to the spot he wanted her at.
The Starks did as they were told, a little too stunned to do anything else, as men came into the cave through two metal doors. "Those are our guns. How did they our guns?" Tony asked, voicing what Natasha was thinking as they stared at the weapons.
"Do you understand me? Do as I do." The man said harshly. Which basically meant he wanted them both to say silent.
Neither Tony or Natasha got to say anything as a man started talking. Natasha eyed him hatefully. He was heavy set and gave off the vibe that came with having a huge ego. Natasha hated him more than she had ever hated anyone in that moment and that was saying a whole helluva lot. He continued to talk as he approached them and when he finally stopped he was less than ten feet from them.
"He says, 'Welcome, Tony and Natasha Stark, the most famous mass murderers in the history of America.'" Bern man translated for them. The terrorist, he had to be a terrorist, said something else. "He is honored." Natasha had to fight the urge to punch the terrorist in the face. The terrorist spoke again, this time showing them a picture in his hands. "He wants you to build the missile. The Jericho missile that you demonstrated." The terrorist said something and held out the photo. Their translator took it and held it out for them to see. "This one." He said, showing them it.
Natasha stared down at the picture of the Jericho missile and felt fury and hate and every bad emotion imaginable spark inside her. She looked towards her brother who immediately felt her gaze and looked up at her. They stared at each other for a minute, having a conversation based purely on the emotions only they could see on each other's faces. Finally they both turned away and looked towards the terrorist.
"We refuse." Tony said resolutely.
The man translated.
Did you like the chapters? I worked hard on them for you :3 Anyways, hope you all have a lovely whatever day it is wherever you are. Sleep tight tonight sweeties!
P.S. next chapter's gonna be short but then I'll have another giant splash of thousands of chapters for you guys again. Deal?