Superhusbands ›› Zombie AU
Tony’s shoulder aches from where he fell and he can’t feel the fingers of his left hand, crushed as it was by the safehouse door, but he fells a lone infected with another round, struggling to fire with his non-dominant hand, feeling sick. Steve is somewhere in the in past the doorway behind him, mixing molotovs according to Tony’s careful instructions. He would be doing it himself, but - hey, hand, so here he is, playing rear guard. He wishes desperately he could be supervising, because some of the chemicals they’ve got in this high school science wing are pretty volatile (not that he doesn’t trust Steve, and he made him recite all of the ingredients beforehand, but he’s a hands-on kind of guy).
"You doing alright, Steve-o?" he calls back instead, over his good shoulder. He doesn’t see any of the infected around, which is good. He feels sick to his stomach every time he squeezes the trigger. It’s worst when they get close enough for him to see their faces. Bruce is doing his best with what they can get back to him; biology was never Tony’s forte, otherwise he’d be up to his neck in research.
It’s as he’s lost in his thoughts when the explosion goes off behind him, which is just typical. It’s big enough that he can feel the backdraft through the open door.
"Steve," says Tony, and pivots, breaking into a run through the tiled hallways, "Steve, Steve," he shouts, when he gets into the lab, he sees Steve lying on his back, surrounded by broken windows and corpses. Tony feels too hot and too cold all at once; his blood rushes in his ears as he staggers into the lab, and he finds it hard to breathe, as if the explosion had taken up all the air. The entire place smells like burnt flesh and hair, and he’s about to throw up or maybe cry or both when he sees Steve’s shoulders shaking and hears the weird, hiccup-y sound that means yes, Steve is alive. Tony almost throws up or starts crying from sheer relief. Instead, he wobbles forward on unsteady legs.
Steve is bleeding from his ears and laughing the high-pitched, incredulous laugh of someone who has recently had a very near brush with death. Tony’s relief is so enormous, Steve can probably see it coming off him in waves.
"Did you mix the chemicals wrong?" he asks, pretending his voice doesn’t wobble. "I knew I should’ve held your hand through this, it was too much science for you."
"They were coming in through the window," says Steve, "and my gun was on the other side of the room. I haven’t been bitten," he adds, and Tony’s knees buckle.
"Motherfucker," he says, with feeling. Steve makes a face at him. He crouches over Steve’s chest, resting his grimy forehead on Steve’s equally grimy sweater. Steve continues to laugh, bouncing Tony’s head.
"Don’t you dare leave me alone out here," he says, when Steve’s gigglefit has subsided.
Steve says nothing, still shaky with contained laughter, but his hand comes up to grasp Tony’s shoulder. It’s not much, but it’s enough, and Tony will take whatever he can get in these times.