Portals and Pants
Pairing: Steve x Reader (neutral)
Word Count: 2004
This started as a little teeny idea and kind of exploded… Oops. I might write a part two, but I have another thing in the works that I think you guys will like.
“Clint, this is stupid. It’s never going to work and we both know it. The portals never get any bigger, and I have been practicing all freaking day. Basketball sized holes are fabulous for pranks and for when I forget my stuff at home, but they are spectacularly useless for transporting people. I am going to sleep now. It’s 1AM. Good night.” Stumbling through the doors of the gym, you made your way slowly down the hallway to your apartment, barely getting the door open before you slammed into it. Kicking off your shoes on the way to your bedroom, you didn’t even bother changing as you flopped sideways on the bed and rolled yourself in your comforter.
You were sleeping so soundly, you didn’t hear Clint running past your room a few hours later. Or FRIDAY politely trying to wake you up. Or Bucky pounding down the hallway and booting your door open. So when he shook your shoulder violently, you sprang out of bed, going straight for his jugular vein with the knife you slept with under your pillow.
“Ow! Ow! Calm down! I need you to be calm right now. Stop it!” Bucky grabbed your knife and threw it down onto the bed.
“What is going on? Why are you in my room? And why is your face covered in blood?” He raked a hand through his hair, wincing as a cut on his forehead pulled open and started bleeding again.
“We need you in the hangar, right now.” He grabbed your hand and dragged you out into the hallway, talking non-stop and walking so quickly that you had to jog to keep up. “We were on a mission in Latvia, just a simple retrieval mission. But someone told them we were coming and set an ambush for us. That knucklehead Steve got everyone else out of course, but he was holding the door and it slammed before he could get out. He was supposed to get out via our secondary route and fly out with the backup jet. We didn’t realize that he hadn’t gotten to his ex-fil until we were almost back. Radio silence can be extremely useful, but also dangerous.”
You stopped in the middle of the hallway. “He did what?”
“Come on!” Bucky yanked on your hand. “We don’t have much time. We need you to grab him back from Hydra, right now!”
“Hang on a second,” you said, “He is Captain freaking America. Shouldn’t he be able to escape?”
“Normally, yes, but one of the scientists stabbed him with a syringe and he just passed out. He might be healing, but we don’t know. Natasha hacked the camera feeds so we saw him go down, but they dragged him to a truck and left the compound. We can’t find them anywhere. And we need you in the hangar to open a portal and get him back. Please!”
You thought you saw tears forming in Bucky’s eyes as he pleaded with you in the hallway, but he scrubbed the back of his hand over his forehead and eyes before you could be sure.
“Shit.” The next second, you were blasting down the hallway toward the hangar. Your head was running worst case scenarios immediately. What if Steve was hurt? What is he was dying? Nope, don’t think about that. Anything but that. Think about Steve. Prep for the portal. Concentrate on his face. His eyes, his nose, his lips, the way he looked before he left, hovering inches away from you, head leaning down, eyes half lidded and unfocused.
Concentrate on his body. Ridiculous broad shoulders that had supported you on the way back from a mission two weeks ago. You had been winged by a ricochet that tore through muscles in your thigh. As a result, he had to carry you back to the jet on his back, his warmth soaking into you as you clung to him.
Concentrate on his arms that held you so gently that day when the Avengers had had a picnic in the field that adjoined Clint’s house. You had stayed out all day in the field, throwing around a football, and later, when it got dark, setting off fireworks. You were getting sleepy, and had leaned against him by accident when you dozed off momentarily. Jerking back awake, you felt his arms wrap around your shoulders, and one of his hands held yours gently.
You hit the hangar door at full speed, crashing through it and into the wide open space. The center of the room was clear, the plane that was supposed to have brought Steve back conspicuously missing. Clint was standing off to the side, talking to Natasha and Sam, who looked like hammered crap. Covered in dirt and blood (hopefully, not theirs), Natasha was limping slightly, and cradling her wrist against her chest. Sam had a cut on his chin, an eye that was swelling slowly into a purple mess, and his falcon rig was blackened and scorched.
They all turned to you, a spectrum of worry on their faces. You nodded at them once, stopping in the middle of the open space in the hangar. You took a deep breath and closed your eyes, picturing Steve’s face, his body, his voice, his laugh. You let the picture of Steve fill your brain, and reached out toward him in your mind. When you opened your eyes a few minutes later, you could vaguely make out a wavery picture of Steve layered over the hangar. He was tied to the wall of what looked to be an eighteen-wheeler truck with straps that dug into his arms, legs, and chest. He was beat to hell and back, his uniform torn and bloody, cuts on his face and hands. His shield was nowhere in sight, and his helmet was also gone, leaving a burn mark where it had been ripped off. As you concentrated more, he began to solidify slowly, too slowly.
“Shit, she’s actually doing it,” murmured Bucky from behind you.
Sam punched him in the arm, “Shut up. Don’t distract her.”
Steve moaned, his eye lids fluttering as he started to come to. You pushed harder at the image, desperately trying to bring it into focus faster.
“Steve! Stevie, I need you to wake up, honey. Please wake up. I need your help.” Steve’s head turned toward your voice.
“Babe? Is that you?” He slowly opened the eye that wasn’t swelling shut, and blinked at you. “How are you here?”
You choked out a little half chuckle. “Not important. I’m here. That’s the important bit. Just keep looking at me. We are going to get you out of there. I promise.”
“I am supposed to rescue you though.” Steve cracked half a smile, but it pulled on one of the cuts on his face, and he winced in pain.
“Oh, shush. You can rescue me next time.” You were starting to panic. Steve wavered in and out of focus; you had to solidify the portal before it disappeared entirely. You took a deep breath and reached out a hand towards him.
“Don’t!” Steve called out, “If you lose focus, you could lose your hand!”
“Shut up, Stevie. I got this.” You pushed your hand into the portal. It felt like pushing through jello. There was surface tension resisting your movements, and you brought your other hand up as well, pushing as hard as you could, until with a pop, your arms were through. Your eyes teared up with hope as you reached out to Steve, pulling at the straps holding him to the wall of the truck.
Two tense minutes later, Steve slumped against the last strap around his chest. You grappled with the buckle holding him up, but when he raised his eyes to yours, he suddenly looked scared.
“The edges, babe. They are shrinking. Get out of here. Come back for me.”
“Not on your life, Stevie. I am bringing you home right now.”
“Get out of here. That’s an order.”
“Oh, sweetie, since when do I ever take orders from you?”
Steve let out a chuckle, and then groaned deep in his chest. “Don’t make me laugh, Babe. Everything hurts. Even my bruises have bruises.”
With a final yank, the strap broke free, and Steve was falling into your arms. You staggered as he dropped, half of your body in the portal, and half of it back in the hangar. A rush of adrenaline surged through you as you pulled with all your strength, yanking Steve back through the portal and into the hangar. He crashed on top of you as you both fell backwards, and Clint and Bucky raced to pull his legs clear as the portal began to shrink rapidly.
“Don’t want to leave bits of you behind, Steve. I’m the only one allowed to have a metal prosthetic on this team.” Bucky quipped.
“Good for you. You aren’t the one being squished by a 300 pound human Dorito,” as much as you would normally enjoy this, you would have preferred that it would have been in a bed, not on the hard tarmac floor in the hangar. And you know, somewhere a little more private than surrounded by half the Avengers.
“Oh, my gosh, I am so sorry!” Steve rolled off you and winced again as Bucky helped him up. You groaned and clambered to your feet. You were exhausted, and it still hadn’t quite sunk in that you had made a portal big enough to rescue someone. By tomorrow, though, it would be painfully obvious. Very painfully obvious. The last time you had stretched your powers had been to steal a weapon Hydra had been working on, and you hadn’t been able to get out of bed for two days.
You started limping for the door of the hangar, well more specifically for your room, and your heavenly shower. A very long session under very hot water was called for, immediately. Three steps later, you were jerked to a stop abruptly. Steve whirled you around and into his arms. You were face to face with his rippling muscles, which were on more display than usual because of strategic rips in his stealth suit. You would be lying if you said that you were concentrating entirely on what he was saying to you at that moment.
“You did it! You rescued me!”
“You sound entirely too surprised. Were there ever any doubts?” You ripped your eyes away from his pecs, and with difficulty, dragged them up to his face. Which was a mistake. A big mistake, because he was making the face that melted you into an absolute puddle as soon as he turned it on you. You attempted a snarky smile, but it failed miserably and you just kind of gave him a wobbly grin.
His forehead touched yours as his eyes fluttered closed. “When I saw your face appear out of thin air, I was happy that I would be able to see you before… because I didn’t get to see…”
“Stevie, I would never let that happen.” You let your eyes drift shut as well and just soaked in the warmth he radiated. You felt wonderful and cozy pressed up against him like this and all of the worry and fear of the past hour drained out of your feet, leaving relief that filled you up.
“I know. But, one question…”
“Um… where are your clothes?”
“Crap.” Your eyes flicked open quickly and you remembered that you had run out of your apartment before putting any clothes on. Which meant you were currently wearing a pair of Captain America underwear and a flannel with the middle three buttons done up. And with that, you wrenched yourself out of Steve’s arms and hightailed it down the hallway to your room, your hands covering your ass. Hearty chuckles followed your retreating figure, and you couldn’t help but giggle a little bit yourself as you slammed your door behind you.
So there it is. Actually, when I started this, it was supposed to be about Bucky, but it felt more like a Steve as I got further into it.
The file name on my computer is “saving captain freaking america” but I didnt want to give too much away from the title and it may become my thing to do an alliterative title… I don’t know
Also, this is my first attempt at a mostly (totally???) neutral reader, so let me know how I did.
Also, if anyone knows how to do the magic “keep reading” tab thingy, advice would be much appreciated because having a post this long is annoying. (I’m so sorry)