maybe in another life
Steve/Tony, MCU, post-Infinity War, major angst.
Warnings for character death and mental illness.
When Steve thought back to that day, he memories felt unreal, as if he were watching a movie about someone else’s life.
He’d seen Thanos grab Tony by the neck. He heard the tortured wrenching of the armor even over the sounds of the battle. Thanos had looked down at Tony with a distasteful grimace and tossed him aside with no more consideration than if he were swatting a fly.
Steve had seen Tony flying through the air, impacting a concrete wall hard enough to smash it, heard the sickening screech as rubble and debris rained down on top of him.
He vaguely remembered sprinting towards the pile, throwing chunks of concrete and metal aside, digging until his knuckles bled and stuck to the inside of his gloves.
But mostly he remembered that when he found Tony, his armor was split by deep, ugly gashes and the ground beneath his body was stained crimson.
The arc reactor had sputtered and gone dim, and when he ripped the faceplate off the suit, Tony’s eyes were blank and vacant, staring at nothing. He wasn’t breathing.
He’d heard someone yelling, then realized it was him. The sounds of battle faded into the background as he stared in horror at the crushed shell of Tony’s armor lying in a pool of blood.
It might have been hours later that he felt a hand on his shoulder. The streets around them were quiet and it was dark. “Steve,” Natasha said, wiping her eyes on her sleeve, “He’s gone, Steve.”
No, Steve decided. No, he would not accept this. Not when they had finally managed to mend the rift between them, to start trusting each other and working together again. Not when they had only just found their way back to each other.
He was going to save Tony. He was Captain America, and saving people was what he did.