This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Tony. (part 9/?) (Avengers x reader)
“Hey, are you okay? What exactly were you thinking back there? You could have gotten yourself killed, jumping in front of Tony like that.” Steve had pulled you aside, holding you by the shoulders. His expression was that of concern, but his eyes were the angriest you had ever seen from him.
“I was thinking that my brother was going to kill my husband!” you snapped, matching his anger. “I panicked! You are grown men, dammit! This has to stop!”
His shoulders relaxed, releasing his grip with the realization that you were right, and that both of them had acted childishly. His hands slowly drifted up and down your arms, trying to calm you as he let out a deep sigh of defeat. “I know, I know. I’m sorry, (Y/N). I just…I don’t know how this is going to play out; I wasn’t thinking, I just wanted to stop him. And now, I’m not sure how I can lead this team into something I barely understand. With Natasha missing, and this new…thing helping us, I feel like we’re completely unbalanced.” He stepped back, shaking his head to clear his mind, pausing before looking down at you, “So, what’s going on with you and the Maximoff twins? Wanda was pretty freaked out when you took that hit.”
“Nice job changing the subject, Rogers.” Shaking your head, you raised your hands to deflect the conversation that you never really wanted to have. “Another time, okay? It’s a very, very long story that I don’t even know the end to.”
His hand slid down into yours, lacing your fingers together to lead you towards your room to gather your supplies and gear for the battle you were about to enter. When you reached your door, he paused, his open hand resting on it as he considered any other way to do this; any other way that would bring less destruction and less chance of harm to both the civilians in Sokovia and to his team. More than any of that, he wanted a way to guarantee your safety. He let out a loud growl when he found none, shoving the door open with a resounding hit.
“Alright, then, let’s go get ready. It’s gonna be a tough one.”
As the group began to gather and enter the jet, you saw Steve, Bruce and Tony talking quietly, discussing the mission you were about to begin.
“No way we all get thru this. If even one tin soldier is left standing, we’ve lost. There’s gonna be blood on the floor.”
Steve glanced up at Tony, “I got no plans tomorrow night.”
“Speak for yourself, mister.” You walked up behind your husband, putting your arms around him, his hands moving to rest over yours. “So, how do we do this?”
Tony took a deep breath, “I get first crack at the big guy. Iron Man is the one he’s waiting for.”
“That is true, he hates you the most.” Tony looked back as the Vision walked past, surprised at the unintentional humor of the statement. You decided then and there that you were going to really like this new guy.
With the team now ready, Tony took the jet out, preparing for whatever you were about to face in Sokovia. The emotions of the group were strong, but chaotic. You didn’t want to diminish them or interfere; having the adrenaline and desire for action was necessary if you were all going to get thru the fight that lay ahead. “Steve, I think maybe you need to say something. I can’t get a good read on them; their emotions are all over the board. You need to take charge; you need to lead your team.”
He nodded his head, speaking quietly to you. “Yeah, but how do I do that when I’m not even sure that I can? What if we really are going to lose people, (Y/N)? What if one of them is…you?” He paused, shaking his head in denial, swallowing hard as if to swallow the words that he could barely say. “I can’t be responsible for that. I can’t lead this team into a death sentence.”
“Steve, if that’s going to happen, you won’t have control over it. We need something to keep this team together if we are to have even a remote chance of coming through this. That really has never been easy for us, you know that.” You put your hand on his, sending a sense of confidence to him; it was something you had never needed to do for him before, and it made you nervous that of any time, this would be it. “Captain, do your job.”
He stood, pulling the front of his uniform down, setting his jaw, and steeling his resolve while he formulated his words. You moved to your brother, sensing his overwhelming guilt and anxiety. The last thing Tony needed was a panic attack, and you knew your only job right now was to protect him. When he caught sight of you moving towards him. he looked to you with sadness in his eyes, giving you a small but empty grin. Wrapping your arm around him, you sat on his lap and kissed his forehead, waiting to hear Steve begin.
Tony rested his head against your shoulder, speaking in a whisper, “what was that for?”
“Because I know you never wanted this to happen, Tony. We all do. But I want you to know that I’m always going to love you, no matter what you do, okay?” He nodded his head with a quiet sniffle, keeping it lowered even as Steve spoke.
“Ultron knows we’re coming. Odds are, we’ll be riding into heavy fire. And that’s what we signed up for; but the people of Sokovia, they didn’t. So our priority is getting them out. All they want is to live their lives in peace. But that’s not gonna happen today. But we can do our best to protect them. And we can get the job done. We find out what Ultron’s been building, we find Romanoff, and clear the field. Keep the fight between us.”
Steve looked to you, as if to get a bit more strength to finish what he was about to say. The needing look on his face took you aback, and you gave Tony’s hand a squeeze. “Ultron thinks that we’re monsters; that we’re what’s wrong with the world. This isn’t just about beating him. It’s about whether he’s right.”
“Wanda, can we speak for a moment, please, before we land?”
Your voice startled her, looking up quickly from her quiet conversation with Pietro. “Of course, (Y/N), of course.” She turned her chair towards you, with Pietro looking on from behind her; smiling faintly when you took her hands in yours.
“I’m sorry, sister. I didn’t mean to be angry with you, I was just being bombarded by so many emotions that they took over my own. My husband and my brother were fighting, and I just couldn’t stand it anymore, and…” you stopped, your voice catching in your throat; you took a deep breath to clear your mind then looked to Pietro and back to Wanda. “Can you please forgive me, both of you, before we go into a battle that we may not return from?”
Pietro now put his hands on top of yours, joining with his sister. “My love, we will always be together. And there is nothing to forgive.”
Steve stepped behind you, resting his gloved hands heavily on your shoulders. “It’s time. We’re here.”
Early on in the activity, it was starting to look like you were going make this evacuation work after all. People were following the directions set into their minds by Wanda, and the streets were becoming more and more empty. You were with Steve on the bridge, helping to direct people across and away from the city, when Tony flew above you, heading for the church. You stood motionless as you looked to the sky to see him pass over, not reacting when Steve ran up to you, grabbing your hand. “He’s gonna be okay, you hear me?”
“Yeah…I hear you.”
“Come to confess your sins?”
Ultron’s voice in your earpiece was deep and menacing, and it sent a chill through you just as it had that very first night at the party. If anything happened to Tony, it would break you to hear it happen, but you couldn’t pull yourself away.
“Uh, have you been juicing? You’re looking…I don’t want to say ‘puffy’…”
“Oh, Tony,” you groaned, “now is not the time.”
“You’re stalling to protect the people.”
“Well that is the mission. Did you forget?”
“I’ve moved beyond your mission. I’m free.”
You kept the civilians moving as fast as they could as you tried to keep some focus on what Tony was saying. Steve was doing the same, exchanging looks with you as he held his breath. You just needed Tony to give you a little more time; to stall Ultron for as long as he could, but it would prove to be no time at all.
“This is where you end, Tony. This is peace in my time.”
The ground opened up beneath you, filling the streets with Ultron’s drones, and all hell broke loose. You could hear Vision as he made his move on Ultron, sealing him out of the internet. For just a fleeting moment, you thought maybe you would have the upper hand now, but that moment didn’t last long.
“You shut me out! Do you think I care?! You take away my world, I take away yours.”
The ground shook violently beneath you, and you lost your balance, grabbing onto Steve. “Oh my god, what is he doing?” Your eyes widened as you both watched the ground crack all around you, crumbling buildings falling away as the ground you stood on began to rise. Civilians began to scream and run in every direction, but the two of you were frozen in place, and now the ominous voice seemed to come from everywhere.
“Do you see the beauty of it? The inevitability? You rise, only to fall. You, Avengers, you are my meteor. My swift and terrible sword and the Earth will crack with the weight of your failure. Purge me from your computers; turn my own flesh against me. It means nothing! When the dust settles, the only thing living in this world, will be metal.”