Okay, finally, jeez. the stubborn jerk really didn’t want this thing to end happy. It was a fight. But I won. And just to warn you, I cried. I never cry. I pretty much have no soul. So, uh, buckle up? I’ll port this to Ao3 another day. Because it is now complete.
He hadn’t been seen near them since the fight that blinded – that made Tony – when Bucky almost –
Since the day that Tony left Avengers Tower.
There had been a few skirmishes with minor evil, but nothing serious. Nothing they called Tony for.
Nothing they needed him for.
Then he set up Jarvis to alert him even if they didn’t, because it didn’t damn well matter if they wanted him there when things got bad. It didn’t matter if they didn’t want to hear him; if things reached DC levels again, Tony would fly his ass into the middle of it.
It wasn’t like they could hate him any more than they already did.
Not after what he’d put them through.
They sent a few messages. Right at the start. Right after he left.
The first of them popped up on the HUD when he was over Nebraska, two hours after walking out of Bucky’s room with his throat in scorching pain from suppressing any further sound. The displayed showed ‘James Barnes’, and a tiny video preview of the man sitting on the hospital bed.