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System Shut Down

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He held him close, there was blood everywhere, who knew one person could have that much blood inside them, and it was just pouring like an endless river, gushing, coating the floor in crimson.
***

Tony was working on his machinery, initialising a new system and trying it on, doing test after test. If there was one thing Tony Stark was, it was meticulous. He placed on every single piece with great care, proud of his new creation. His suits were his children, children without the noise and fuss. He would pamper his suits, paint them, sand and polish whatever needed to be done, he had all of the time in the world for his creations. The weapons on this new one were far more advanced than he had ever dreamt of; it was outfitted with cannons that could go through anything, including vibranium. After all of his research with the help of T’challa providing resources, he had finally managed to find something that could not only pierce vibranium, but absolutely destroy it. The reason behind doing such research was simply because he could. Tony was subconsciously a very paranoid person, he was always scared of someone stealing the mounds of vibranium from Wakanda, as they have tried to do in the past, and creating weapons from it.

As Tony finally placed on the suit, taking it out for a test flight, zooming out from atop of Stark tower, leaving a trail of blue lighting as he soared through the dark blue. He was shouting out commands from within his helmet for JARVIS to help him perform, checking statistics and comparing them as he was flying. It was beautiful and was all working to perfection, then as Tony stared at the blue screen in his helmet everything turned red. His eyes instantly widened and he heard a familiar voice, “System take over commencing.”
“W-what?” Tony yelled, seeing even the trails he had made in the sky from the jets in his boots turning to red instead of blue.

“This suit now belongs to me.” The voice said.

In that very instant, Tony recalled the voice that was ringing through his ears, reprogramming every single system in his suit, it was Ultron. It was back, controlling Tony’s suit once more, after all of the times that Ultron had managed to get a hold of Tony’s suits he had performed top notch security modifications in order to protect it, but now as Tony’s security measures had advanced, so had Ultrons intelligence.

Every time Tony tried to move it was as though he was being constricted even more, his suit was closing in on him, and so he had to stop trying to struggle whilst Ultron took over. Tony tried to send a distress signal but nothing seemed to be working, since the suit was just out for another test run, he hadn’t managed to fix communication systems completely between him and the Avengers. Ultron was the last thing in the world that he would think would return to his suit to invade it, but he was back and he was far more powerful than ever before, taking complete control and taking a new target; The Avengers.

Tony’s suit was flying at such rapid speeds, heading toward the Avengers’ mansion when it finally burst through the wall, just before the impact Tony shut his eyes tightly and braced himself, he was so attached to his suit it was as though he could feel every single dent that was made as a cut on his skin. Steve was in the training room when he heard the noise, along with Clint and Hank who rushed to see what all the noise was about, the crashes were loud and as they always expected chaos heading their way, they grabbed their nearby weapons and suits, running toward the source of the noise.

When everyone arrived into the main hall, they saw Tony was there, in his suit that had bright red glowing eyes.
“R-Run!” Tony tried to yell; the others barely heard him as Ultron activated the weapons systems and sent small rockets toward the men that stood before him from his shoulder. Tony was desperately trying to use his own hacking skills to try and stop Ultron’s control but nothing seemed to be working, as hard as he tried.
Hawkeye managed to shoot some of the rockets away and Clint managed to shrink before any hit him, but Steve stood firm as he held his shield up to deflect the rockets. Ultron locked on, Steve was the only target that wasn’t moving, so it managed to get a good trace of his heat signature, preparing to launch the heat sinking missiles as Steve quickly dashed out through the large hole in the wall that Tony had created when he crashed through. Steve ran as fast as he could, leaping and jumping over the rubble on his way out as Tony’s suit followed him quickly, with one objective in mind; kill all of the Avengers. Clint and Hank followed as much as they could until Steve shouted at them, commanding them to stay back.

The truth was that Steve had no idea why Tony was doing this; he didn’t know why he had turned dark side all of a sudden. They previously had had a couple of disputes, mainly over the whole registration act theory but that was just merely a theory, no action had been taken yet but that still was no reason for Tony to suddenly go all out on him like this. Either way, Steve had to pull him away so that no civilians would be hurt, so he managed to get him to a deserted lot, as far away as he could.

The heat sinkers were fired and Steve ducked around a large construction bar for protection, knocking them away with his shield before throwing it, not at full force, at the suit,
“Tony, I don’t know why you’re doing this, but you need to stop! Get out of the suit!” He yelled.

“S-Steve!!”

Suddenly, as Steve listened close and Tony was knocked back into some rubble by the shield, he could hear Tony’s voice, yelling as loud as he possibly could with the strain in his voice indicating a struggle.

“Tony!? Tony what’s happening? Tony!” Steve yelled, “You need to stop it, there must be a way.” Steve clued in, considering this wasn’t the first time that Ultron had managed to take over, it must’ve been him, and this exactly was why Steve Rogers hated technology.

Tony winced in pain as Ultron tightened its grip, feeling his suit push tighter into his flesh, he could feel the blood dripping from puncture wounds that the constriction had made. “S-Steve... It’s... It’s Ultron! You... Need to keep him busy, I’m trying to get him out of here by hacking him out, just stall!” Tony yelled.

Steve could hear how much in pain Tony really was and instantly knew he had a job to do, he was told to stall and he would have to do it the best he could. He ran, ducking and diving over all the different missiles and rockets that came flying his way, knocking the bullet rounds from the machine gun turrets that were attached to the suits arms. His shield was the best line of defence, and he occasionally would throw it at Tony, only to get it back into his hands as it returned, or he ran over to collect it as fast as he could, leaping over the bullets that came his way. He even received the odd cut and tear to his uniform from how close the bullets scratched since Tony’s targeting system on this new suit was really on point.

As Tony was focusing on trying to hack his own system, trying to get rid of all of the coding Ultron had embedded in his own, he was trying to hold his arms and legs back, trying to stop attacking Steve as much as he could but once more, the more he resisted, the more that Ultron seemed to punish him for doing so. Suddenly his bright, bold eyes suddenly widened, lit up by the lighting within the helmet.

“No...”

Ultron had activated the new cannons he was working on as they rose up from the shoulder of the suit and unfolded, even Steve had to stop for a moment and stare in awe as the large cannon took shape. He couldn’t stand for long though; he grabbed his shield and tried to take a safe position but Tony just walked over, knocking the obstacles out of the way and getting a clear view of Steve.

“Steve, come on, just stall, five more minutes Steve, please!” This was one of the first times that Tony actually sounded as though he was pleading Steve, desperately trying to figure out what he could do, and generating the final steps so that he could override the coding that Ultron had configured.
Steve held his shield as the cannon began to warm up, sucking out a large amount of energy from Tony’s body to put into the cannon, and Tony knew that cannon could only fire once, he was begging it to stop, but the suit once more was getting tighter, a wire looping around Tony’s neck and trying to choke him so that he would cease and desist from trying to hack the system.

“20 seconds until cannon launch.”

“25 seconds until hacking installation complete.”

“Come on... Come on... HURRY UP!” Tony yelled, with angry tears forming in his eyes as the cannon locked on.

Suddenly the cannon stopped and Tony stood still, Steve kept his guard up but peered from behind the shield. The only way to save Tony would be to bide some time for him and activate the shutdowns switch, which Tony cleverly located just by the neck of his helmet, only Steve knew that, Tony only trusted Steve enough to tell him where it was.
“You’ve got 20 seconds Cap!” Tony yelled in desperation, Steve ran toward him, he had to save Tony, and he just had to. He placed his hand over the shut down switch, fumbling around with his one free hand to try and plug in the codes that Tony had entrusted him with, the other hand holding up the shield to block the cannon that was focused on him, even at close range.

“I’ve got it!” Tony yelled, seeing his screens turn blue again.

Steve gasped, his hand still over the switch, “Are you sure?”

“Yes, Steve! We did it! I’m sure it’s-”

The screens turned red.

“System override... failure. Cannon launch in 3... 2...1” Tony’s eyes sharply widened as he felt the cannon shoot out a powerful blast, Steve tried to deflect it by holding up his shield and it was that second that Tony could feel his heart stop beating. Steve’s shield was vibranium.

It ripped through the shield, and then through Steve’s chest as he gripped it tightly, dropping to his knees, but before that, he pushed the small buttons on Tony’s neck.
Suddenly the loud pounding of his own heart was all Tony could hear, even as the screen returned to blue and his helmet popped open. Steve had managed to perform a manual shutdown, only at the cost of his own life. The last thing that the Captain did was press the code to release Tony, and thus freeing him of Ultrons control. Throughout the fight Tony wanted to free himself, do it for himself since it was his problem, but in the end it was the shut down that needed to be performed. If only he had asked Steve to do it earlier, if only he had allowed him to help him. Tony Stark liked to take things into his own hands, but he wanted to show everyone how much of a hero he was, he wanted to show his hero how much of a hero he really was. He hesitated to ask for help at all, yet alone from the man that he was constantly striving to impress, regardless of the arguments that they had, he always wanted to do it for Steve. He watched Steve fall, clutching his chest, his shield in shards scattered around him as his already red gloves stained with an even darker crimson.

Tony joined Steve on the ground, clutching to him desperately, “No... No no... No... This... Not this... No this wasn’t how it was supposed to end... This was supposed to work! I should’ve done it quicker!” Tony yelled over and over.

Steve managed to look up at Tony, his winged hood dropping as it was torn to shreds revealing his blonde messy hair, and strands that fell over his eyes as blood covered him like a blanket, coating most of his skin and uniform.

“No... Steve... no... Steve, I can’t... I can’t do this without you. I tried to do this for you, I wanted to impress you, I wanted to make the sacrifice play, I wanted to fix my problem, no, you weren’t supposed to be involved!” Tony yelled angrily, looking down at the fallen hero that he held so close in his arms.

Steve reached up with a shaky hand, gently tapping Tony on the face, “My... Hero...”

“What? What are you saying?” Tony yelled, his body trembling from exhaustion and grief.

“You... Do... so much... for everyone... You put.... Your life on the line... For everyone... For me... All the time... You save so... So many... Tony... I’m... So proud.” He said Tony held Steve’s hand close to his face even though it was smearing the man’s blood over his own face; he was desperate for Steve’s touch.

“Stop talking shit, Rogers... You stop... Right now.” Tony said as he shook his head, pulling Steve closer.

“You are a hero... Tony.” Steve said, that was the first time that Steve had ever said such a thing. In fact, when they had first met Steve had said that Tony wasn’t a hero, and that gave Tony the determination to push himself beyond everyone’s expectations, putting his life on the line countless times.

Tony shook his head and let the tears fall, looking down at the man he held so high in his heart, the man that he loved.

“Steve... Steve, I’ve gotta tell you... I need to, listen to me, stop talking for a second.”

“Tony... You’re my hero... I...”

“Steve, just... just one second...”

Steve mouthed something, shutting his eyes. Tony could feel his heart plummet, sobbing more than he had ever done in his life, seeing his hero in his arms, lying limp, the colour fading from his cheeks.

“I love you Steve! Dammit! Why didn’t you let me tell you! I love you!” He screamed, and just then it hit him, he’d never get to see those bright sapphire blue eyes staring at him again, he’d never hear that heroic commanding tone of voice, he’d never get to kiss those warm pink lips. All this time he just wanted to do everything for Steve, and he knew Steve wanted to do the same, but they both were too afraid to admit it. They were both powerful heroes and yet their one fear was confessing their love for one another. All this time Tony wanted nothing but to be respected and loved for once in his life, and Steve was the one who had this unconditional love for Tony, he could just feel it from the way he stared, from the way he helped him and was so eager to train him and build him. Because of Steve, he changed, he became far better than he was and plucked ethics from Steve but he would never admit that; both of them had a pride that was far too large for them to concede. But now Steve had saved Tony for the last time, and yet, it was always Tony that dreamt of sacrificing his life for Steve in the end. It wasn’t worth it, Tony thought to himself. He wanted to be a man and fight for something and all this time he was fighting for Steve, which was the truth. Steve was the only one who had stood by his side for so long, despite what they had gone through, and now he was gone. He gained the approval that he had sought out for so long, and now it all meant nothing and everything all at the same time.

The blood poured out like a never ending river, even as Tony leaned down and pressed his lips against the soldiers, desperately, tears falling on his porcelain skin as he did so. “I love you... I love you Steve... I love you...” He whispered over and over.