Steve lays flat in the hospital bed, breathing carefully as to not push it with his injuries. He eyes the room to get an understanding of his surroundings, it hadn’t been long since he woke, only an hour at most.
The Avengers were camped out in the waiting room apparently, the team counting down the moments until they could see him. Only two of them are allowed in at a time. The rest of the team had to wait outside.
Clint stands near the window, looking out at the city below, every so often his eyes flick back to him, checking in on him. His hands are squeezed white around the pocket knife he was using to carve the wooden trinket he was working on.
Tony sits by his bedside, rubbing his hand comfortingly up and down his shoulders. His eyes are tired and concerned as he looks down at him. Tony speaks softly to him, his voice almost a whisper. Steve wants to curl towards him, but he can’t. Not with his injuries.
Visiting hour would be over soon and they will all go home. And he’ll be here. Alone.
Steve closes his eyes with a sigh.
He wishes he could go home with them. After today he would like nothing more than to curl up into bed with Tony. He knows that isn’t an option right now, he knows better than to disregard the orders of the medical professionals. He would end up sleeping on the couch if he did.
They give him balloons and a teddy-bear… and a book with some charcoals. He’ll be fine. This isn’t something he hasn’t dealt with before.
Steve draws to fill his time. Just quick sketches of the nurses and doctors, of the equipment and the room, of the small garden they wheel him out to each morning to give him some fresh air and a sense of not being so trapped.
He has a lot of time for drawing. He produces a lot of art. One of the nurses sees the pile of art on the table and suggests hanging it up around the room. He sketches the avengers, so he can see them. He misses them. They were all advised that hospital visits to injured teammates should be kept to the minimum as to not draw too much unwanted attention. It’s a good rule. He misses them though.
He had just finished a drawing of Butterfingers and had been itching to put it up next to Tony, DUM-E and U. The nurses don’t come around as often as he doesn’t need that much care now. His body is over the critical stage, bleeding has stopped and the punctures have been patched. His bones are knitted together and just needed to solidify the bonds. He will be out of here soon.
Everything is basically healed, so realistically, it wouldn’t hurt to pin up one artwork. He flexes his right leg, testing it. He had shattered it on his landing… it was healing still. Still sore and tender.
Steve looks up at the blank space next to DUM-E. It was within reach, and the blue-tac was resting on the corner of the bedside table. Not a problem.
He moves the bed flat with the remote and sits up. He scoots over to the top end of the bed.
The bed doesn’t have side railings to hold on to, and the table doesn’t look like it would take his weight. But it’s not a problem. The bed has a railing along the head of the bed. It is rounded at the edges, it would be easy to slip down the side, but his grip is strong.
Steve places blue-tac on the artwork and readies it in his hand. He grabs hold of the headrail over the head of the bed tightly and leans over the side of the bed. He balances himself with his right, clutching the artwork, on the side table. He leans out further. He lifts his hand from the side table and reaches out.
There. He’s got it. He presses the art up on the wall firmly, but it won’t stick. It just needs a little more persuasion. Steve takes a deep breath and tries to apply more pressure. His stomach tenses with the strain.
He flinches at a tight twinge of pain in his chest around his healing ribs.
With a pained gasp, he loses his grip on the headrail and falls forward. He drops the artwork and reaches for a hold on the bed, but it’s too late.
His chest collides with the side table, something gives and everything is too bright. Black spots dance within his vision. His face is inches from the floor, he had managed a handhold on the bed’s edging. But it doesn’t feel like a win.
Everything is fading grey at the edges as he realises he is holding his breath. He lets it out in a wet wheeze.
Steve breathes in with a choke. He coughs and splutters with each breath.
He lets go of the bed and falls to the floor with a pained groan.
The Avengers are not happy with him. He had rebroken one of his ribs when he'd fallen out of the bed, this time puncturing a lung. They are not happy with his explanation either.
They all sigh and grumble about him re-injuring himself in hospital.
He confesses sadly under his breath that he missed them. And that he just wanted to have a little bit of them nearby.
The Avengers share heartbroken looks amongst themselves.
Tony walks over to the side table where the artwork lay, the one of Butterfingers he was trying to hang. His boyfriend gives him a pained look and walks over to him.
Tony pulls him in for a gentle hug, kissing his forehead softly. “I’ll see if there is something we can do about getting you home a bit sooner, alright?”
Steve nods and tucks himself up against Tony’s side.