A faint sigh escaped the blond man as they were walking through New York. A grumble then soon escaped him as Tony was being especially secretive on where they were headed to. He didn't even give him a hint on how he should have gotten dressed.
"Oh Cap, don't be so glum! The baby will catch it and be sad all the time!" Tony grinned cheekily then patted the man's belly as they walked. "Be happy! We're out in the city! And we're going to explore one place I know you haven't seen yet." he mumbled the last part then instintaneously made himself smile again.
Steve's brow rose as he sighed gently then nodded. "Fine.. But couldn't you have at least let me know how you wanted me to dress? I'm just in a t-shirt and jeans and I'm not-"
Tony interrupted him. "T-shirt and jeans are just fine, love. Besides, you'd not be able to fit inside your suit or uniform anymore anyways. So.. Just deal and go with the flow of New York social society."
The blond had no idea what he meant by the last part, but he just nodded. Sometimes, he wondered if Tony just loved to hear himself talk. "So.. You basically just want me to be comfortable, just like everyone else?"
The other man grinned and nodded. "Of course. Other wise, you'd be complaining, and that's just.. I've actually never really seen you complain before..."
"Besides that time you actually offered to help me with my shower."
"ONE time. You're not going to let me live that down, are you?" Tony asked with a raised brow to which the captain just nodded and grinned.
"Riddle me this, Iron Man.. How much longer are going to walk?"
"Oh.. Is someone getting tired?"
Steve just groaned and ran a hand down his face, shaking his head. "No! I'm just curious! You're such an ass sometimes!"
Tony's eyes widened. "Did.. Did you just swear? Oh my god.. Captain just sweared and I didn't get it on film. Clint would never believe me!" He laughed then wrapped his arm around the taller man as they walked. "Don't worry.. Where we're going is just up ahead."
"Is it another musical? Because I did enjoy Phantom of the Opera when we both saw it.. I heard Wicked and Les Miserables were good too!" Steve said then started to go on about how awesome the Phantom was, but understood why Christine decided to go with Raoul instead of the masked menace. "It's a really beautiful story..."
The brunette was pretending to be asleep then opened up his eyes and stared at the man. "What.. What did you say?" To which Steve just smacked him on the arm and rolled his eyes. Tony just loved playing around with the man he loved. His eyes then reached to where they were going and he looked up then over to Steve. "Steve.. Do you know what used to be here?" He asked waiting for the Captain's answer.
Steve looked up as well. Wondering what used to be in this huge empty lot in New York. The man shook his head then glanced over to the other. "No... I don't know. What was there?"
Tony didn't answer but just slowly took his head and walked over to the plaque that was by it. "Here.. Read this. It'll tell you what stood here." The Captain nodded then walked over, looking at it and read the plaque carefully, even saying it out loud.
"September 11, 2001
The day dawned clear and bright. But September 11, 2001 quickly became one of the darkest days in America's history. As the people of Anthony, Kansas went about their morning business, 19 men steeped in hatred and anger, carried out the evil preached to them by a terrorist who corrupted his own religion to justify his evil acts.
At 7:46AM Anthony time, American Airlines Flight 11, hijacked by 5 terrorists, flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing all 87 innocent passengers and crew. Fires, ignited by the jet fuel, engulfed the Tower in thick black smoke, trapping hundreds of civilians in one of the tallest buildings in America. Firefighters, police and emergency personnel immediately converged on the site to help the victims.
At 8:03AM, while we watched television coverage of the North Tower attack, United Airlines Flight 175, hijacked by 5 terrorists, crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. All 59 innocent passengers and crew perished. It became obvious to all that a coordinated Attack on America was taking place.
At 8:37AM, American Airlines Flight 77, hijacked by 5 terrorists, slammed into the western face of the Pentagon killing 59 innocent passengers and crew and 125 military personnel in the building.
At 8:42AM, all private and commercial planes in the air were ordered to land at the closest airport. The skies over America were closed for the first time in history and would remain closed for two days.
At 8:58AM, as the horror continued to unfold before our eyes, the South Tower, weakened by fire, collapsed floor by floor onto itself.
At 9:03AM, we learned that the fourth hijacked airplane, United Airlines Flight 93, had crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. The 4 terrorists aboard Flight 93 killed 40 innocent passengers and crew.
At 9:28AM, the North Tower collapsed, taking 2,749 lives from us in the attacks on New York City that day.
Anthony reacted with disbelief, shock and anger at the evil that had befallen our country. We wept for the 2,973 precious lives lost. The sight of our homeland being attacked, the stories of loss and heroism and the knowledge that our America had changed forever, wrenched our souls and brought tears to our eyes. As evening came, the darkness that fell reflected the spirit of a nation violated on our own soil. The night was long; perhaps the longest we have ever faced. America was at War against Terrorism."
Steve just froze then looked around and saw even more plaques scattered around the area. He walked as fast as he could to another and read that one. Then another. And another. Until he finished with all of them.
Silence. That's all there was between him and Tony now. Until, his body started to convulsing and tears streamed down his cheeks. He should have been there to help America. That was when they needed him again. But, he was frozen when all of this happened. Tony's hand touched his shoulder in a comforting way to show his support.
"Don't beat yourself over this, Steve.. You couldn't have prevented this. None of us could have." he said gently then kissed his cheek softly. "Please don't do this to yourself."
A shaky breath left the man before he turned towards Tony and wrapped his arms around him.
"We.. We have to protect our nation, Tony.. From future threats. We have to be there for everyone." He said muffled into the man's shoulders.
Tony just wrapped his arms around his Captain and nodded.
"We will. I assure you of that."