Chapter 8: Hurt Me Once, I'll Kill You Twice

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3rd Person's POV (Would say long time no see, but you inhale me every day)

          The previously purpling nose of America's First Avenger has since healed fairly well. However, no thanks to everyone's favourite assassin, some pretty gruelling burn imprints in the shape of hands are now curled around Steven Rogers' wrists, currently hidden by gauze as he finishes tending to the injury in Bruce Banner's laboratory.

          The Fantastic Four have since returned to the Baxter Building, gathering their own wits to see what they can do before returning with their results to SHIELD, but as for now, the Avengers are scattered throughout the Hellicarrier, Steve just unfortunate enough to be in the same room as everybody's favourite narcissistic billionaire.

          "One Eyed Wonder seemed pretty moody about losing the Ice Queen," Stark flippantly comments, leisurely leaning against the table Bruce is currently attempting to work on in peace as he snacks on some pre-peeled grapes. Clint is also sitting atop another table against the wall with his legs crossed, lightly tossing and catching a stress ball in the air. "I personally think he just needs to let it go."

          Tying up the last of the gauze around his wrists tenderly, Rogers shoots the billionaire a semi-simmering glance. "It's not funny, Stark. She got away again."

          "It's not like she's hell-bent on world domination or anything undeniably evil Spangles," Tony points out, fairly unmoved by the successful escape bar the partially wounded pride of his ice entrapment. "Didn't you hear her talking to Romanoff? She genuinely hasn't got a clue with what HYDRA has planned. Not to mention with what we saw over the security surveillance when Match Stick gave her pizza, that whole thing about her not being entirely heartless. Personally, I think she's capable of being saved. She's funny, too. More fun than most of you kill joys."

          "She's not the kind you save, Tony. She's the kind you stop," Steve asserts, his opinion of the assassin very low at the moment.

          "But we all love a bad girl, don't we Rogers?"

          Captain America's glare only intensifies at the rebuttal. "Not our enemy, Stark. And you have Pepper-"

          "Oh I wasn't talking about for me," the playboy intervenes, rather laid-back and aloof about it all. "Tell me Rogers, did you end up getting that strand of hair to clone her? You were definitely close enough to, unless you were just enjoying experiencing the real thing-"

          "Tony, now's not the time," Bruce attempts to salvage what peace there currently is in the room, gently pleading with his friend.

          Both heroes disregard the kind and gentle peacemaker of their team, opting to size each other up instead. "You really want to go there Stark?" Steve warns, tone forming that hard edge it gets when his disciplinary days from the army kick in.

          Straightening up in an attempt to meet the tall super soldier's height, in spite of falling very short of it, Tony Stark wears that determined, suspicious, inquisitive face that looks like it may twitch into an accusatory expression at any given moment. "Oh I went there, bought a house, moved in, and now I'm remodelling the kitchen."

          "You must think you're awfully clever," the super soldier presses, stepping closer and using his height to stare down the shorter man.

          "I am clever, Rogers. Thank you for noticing."

          "Will you two just sleep with each other already?" Natasha Romanoff exasperates in that always even tone of hers, wondering if she chose the right moment to enter the room or not.

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