Ready for some more? ;)
WARNING: Suicidal thoughts and actions. If that triggers you, please do not read Tony's section. You have been warned.
It was early. Tony looked at his watch. Huh, 3 A.M. That's fun. When's the last time he slept? Yesterday maybe? No... not yesterday...Oh yeah, it was three days ago. Good times.
He took another step forward. He may have drunk a tad too much. Or not. He could still think. So, maybe a few more bottles...
But, that would require going back inside. He really didn't want too. It was nice on the roof. Nice and quiet.
He was having trouble staying awake, but he couldn't go to sleep. Not again. Sleep was a very bad idea. Nightmares always came when you were asleep. Though they can sometimes come when you're awake too... the last few weeks had proven that.
The last few weeks had been a waking nightmare. Steve had been tortured. He was tortured and Tony was made to watch. Then he was killed. But, not really. Tony had finally, sort of, kind of, come to terms with it when Steve showed up not dead. Not dead and a Hydra killer.
Then all of the lies Steve had been told - about Tony, about Howard - it was no wonder Cap was so confused. Tony was confused and he hadn't even been through half of what Steve had.
And it was all his fault.
Tony suddenly found himself leaning on the edge of the tower, looking at the ground below. Even with it being way past midnight, cars were still moving back and forth down there, but he could just barely see their lights winking at the foot of the tower. Wow. He was high up. A fall like that could...
But he couldn't...
But then again, why not?
Who would care?
The team wouldn't have to worry about him.
Pepper would finally be free from him.
Cap... Well, Cap would probably dance on his grave.
Steve had tried to kill him after all.
And how could he blame him?
Tony would want himself dead too if he were in the super soldier's shoes.
Who was he kidding, he did want himself dead.
And all he had to do was… just step…
He found himself standing on the ledge. That's funny... he didn't remember climbing up there.
He looked down.
Just one step.
That's all it would take.
Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes.
His foot began to shuffle towards the edge.
Just one more step and then...
The voice caused Tony to freeze.
"Tony what are you doing?" it was Bruce.
The billionaire's voice was quiet and broken when he answered, "Go away, Bruce. Just leave me alone."
"No, Tony. Get off the ledge and we'll talk about it."
"Talk about it!" His voice began to rise in anger, "What's there to talk about?"
He could hear Bruce walking up behind him, but he didn't move.
"Listen," the doctor said, his voice wavering slightly. "I know how you feel, okay? I get it. You think you're better off dead. You think it's better for everyone, but it's not. People need you, Tony."
A bitter laugh escaped Tony's lips. "Need me? You must be thinking of someone else."
"Tony, please. Just come down and talk to me. Think of Pepper. What would happen if she woke up tomorrow and you were dead? How do you think she'd feel?"
Tony gave another laugh, but it was weaker than before. "Relieved?"
"Tony," Bruce said softly. "You know that's not true."
There was silence while Tony gave one more look down. Sighing, he climbed back onto the roof. He barely made it off of the wall before he slid down. Bruce rubbed his face as he sat down beside him.
Tony shook his head slightly, "What are you doing here Bruce?"
"Jarvis said you needed me," the doctor answered. "I think he was right."
"He shouldn't have woken you up. I would have been fine."
Bruce shook his head, "I wasn't sleeping anyway. The Other Guy hasn't been too fond of my dreams recently."
"I can relate." Silence. "you shouldn't have stopped me. It would have been okay."
"It's not okay Tony. The team needs you."
"No one needs me, just needs my money." He was starting to slur. He hadn't sat still in one place for more than a few minutes, and his lack of sleep was getting the best of him.
"You know that's not true Tony. This team needs you. Not your money, not your suits. You."
"Hmm," Tony answered, his head leaned against the wall and his eyes closed.
"Maybe you should get some sleep."
The billionaire's eyes snapped open, "No, I'm good."
Bruce stood up and reached for Tony's hand, and the billionaire reluctantly accepted.
"Come on, it's time to get some sleep. Doctor's orders."
Tony offered a small laugh as he staggered back into the tower.
It was almost eight when the call came. Natasha was already up, she didn't sleep much. Wasn't used to getting much anyway.
They all assembled in the main room. Clint came in yawning and muttering under his breath. Bruce was quiet, and kept throwing odd looks at Tony. Tony was giving Bruce his own annoyed glances, but Natasha didn't have time to figure out what was going on. Thor was in Asgard, making it all the more important that they were all on their game.
"So," Tony said, staring at the screen. "Who is this Winter Soldier?"
Natasha couldn't stop the small growl from escaping her throat. "He's a myth. We think he has Russian roots. He's a ruthless killer. One of the best assassins. He's been around for decades."
They all watched her as she completed her short assessment.
"So, a highly trained assassin has teamed up with the world's one and only super soldier?" Clint rolled his eyes, gesturing at the picture of Cap, "Perfect."
"So, mission goal is to stop the Winter Soldier and bring back Cap." Tony clasped his hands together. "Well, let's go."
If Natasha thought the mission brief was awkward and rushed, she didn't say anything. She just wanted this whole thing to be over.
They were sent on a mission. It seemed simple. Get in, get the new weapons, get out.
They had been training for days now. Fighting with him felt so... natural.
Steve Rogers and the Winter Soldier.
They worked well together. It felt right, almost like... he wasn't really sure.
But the Winter Soldier only ever called him Captain and he only ever called him Soldier. That felt wrong somehow, not that it changed anything.
Their mission was almost complete, they had the weapons and were about to leave. They were on the bridge when the Avengers showed up. The Winter Soldier growled, taking a fighting stance, and Steve pulled up beside him. They would fight. Together. Something flittered through Steve's mind.
'Til the end of the line.
He shook his head to clear it, and then the fight began. The Avengers didn't want to hurt him, he could tell that from the way they fought. He wasn't exactly sure how he knew, but he did.
His thoughts had become more and more confused as the days had gone on. He knew that the Avengers had hurt him, and that he wanted revenge, but he could no longer remember why. He remembered Tony. Remembered that the man had hurt him, but the memories were fuzzy. They wouldn't settle right.
His mind had wandered, causing him to be caught off guard when Iron Man shot his repulsor at him. He brought up his shield just in time. He didn't have time to wonder how he knew these people, he needed to fight.
Iron Man dived down, quickly firing his repulsors. The Winter Soldier was hit, causing him to lose his balance, falling partially over the side. He began to slide towards the edge of the bridge, barely catching hold of the ledge.
Panic began to build up in Steve, and he didn't completely understand why.
"No," he shouted, and scrambled towards the man with the metal arm, completely ignoring the oncoming Avengers.
As he reached out his hand towards the Winter Soldier, begging him to take it, Steve caught his first glance of the other man's face. The mask that the Soldier had been wearing had fallen off during the fight. Now Steve realized who he was and why fighting with him seemed so familiar. His face had unlocked hidden memories, and what happened next was all too real.
A visceral fear in his eyes, the Winter Soldier lost his grip. He plummeted from the bridge.
"Bucky!" Steve screamed, his hand reaching out over the edge.
"Bucky, no," he whispered. "Not again."
Only four more chapters until the completion of Part 2. But, it's not over yet, so keep reading!
Be sure to let me know what you think of this chapter!