and a few hours later jim's vitals were no longer way off

Sentence prompt #3, part 2/2

Read part one here: http://lightshadowverisimilitude.tumblr.com/post/142534307640/ayyyye-im-really-feeling-stony-3-if-you-dont

As usual, watch for the cut.


Steve called a stop with just a few hours of daylight left. Tony’s temper had been getting shorter and shorter throughout the day and they hadn’t talked in several hours. He’d been betting his hopes on finding some kind of civilization, and he didn’t even have it in him to be grateful that they hadn’t run into their pursuers either.

“Not as nice as our boulder, but this will do,” Steve decided, stopping at a hill that butted up against a broad tree. “Though we probably won’t be able to have the fire inside the shelter tonight.” He slid the parachute pack off his shoulders and fished the cans out. One was filled with blackberries, and Tony roughly shucked his jacket off so Steve could dump the berries onto the stained silk lining. He clenched his jaw in response to Tony’s obvious temper, but said nothing. He set the jacket aside and gathered up the cans, walking back to the creek to fill them, leaving Tony to play house again.

Tony spent several minutes working out the feverish rage that had been boiling under his skin throughout the day. He dragged over the fallen tree that had obviously played into Steve’s choice of campsites, flung one end up to lean on end on the hill, and stomped down the surrounding vegetation. It was amazingly cathartic, and the sure knowledge that no one was there to witness his tantrum just made him kick and stomp harder. He dug up rocks and threw them at the hill, growling with the effort.

A crackle of undergrowth warned Tony of Steve’s return. He stopped, panting hard and regretting the display. His fingers throbbed from digging through the soil and his arms were scratched and stinging where they were exposed. He dipped his chin to his chest and resisted the urge to apologize. Steve passed him as if he’d found nothing strange about it at all. He set the filled cans down on a flat rock and started gathering up sticks.

“We’ll use the parachute for a tent tonight,” he decided. “At least it’s not a bright color.”

Tony grunted and started collecting his rocks for a fire pit. He was burning up and the last thing he needed was a fire, but he did need something to do with his hands, something to occupy his mind. Steve got the parachute slung over the crossbeam and tied down while Tony was still trying to get the fire going. His hands were shaking too much to direct the beam and he was starting to get frustrated.

Steve’s hands appeared out of nowhere, cupping Tony’s wrists to hold them steady. Tony jumped and snarled, and it came out as a snarl, low and sonorous. Steve put his hands up, but he didn’t move away, and he was right against Tony’s back and he was too warm and too close and smelled like earth and salt and musk and his knees were on either side of Tony’s body, hemming him in.

“Tony… you’re burning up. I think you might be reacting to those berries.”

“The berries were fine,” Tony snapped. He drew in a breath and carefully set the delicate reflective cone down so he didn’t break it. His shoulders fell. “I guess you’re going to figure this out sooner rather than later,” he said, moving out of the ‘v’ of Steve’s thighs. He put some space between them and then paced a path between two trees.

“Are you sick?” Steve prompted.

Huffing out an annoyed breath, Tony announced, “I am a shifter.”

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