Steve sighed with satisfaction as he let himself drop into his bed. Finally he had all the mansion for himself.

“It´s not that I don´t enjoy their company” He thought feeling a pang of regret over his relief. “It´s just …”

A loud noise interrupted his thoughts making him jump out of the bed startled. “What …?” He was interrupted again by what sounded like a small explosion. “That´s just great.” He complained upset by the sudden turn of events as he grabbed his shield and ran to the lower level which seemed to be the source of the commotion.

Before he reached the end of the spiral staircase he recognized Loki and Tony´s raging voices. He stopped grunting upset. “They are at it again. I don´t understand why don´t they just break up. It´s not getting any better; not at least since …” Steve heart cringed at the memory. “not since Loki got hurt.”

He stood still undecided; considering if he should intervene in the lover´s quarrel when a loud painful shriek snapped him out of his thoughts. He covered the distance between the stairs and the living room in just a few seconds. His heart pounding loudly, painfully in his chest. Why had he hesitated?

He stopped dead in his tracks as he entered the room unprepared for the scene playing in front of him. Tony had both his gloves and boots from his Iron-Man suit on. His face distorted by the rage that shined rabidly in his eyes. Blood dripping from his mouth as well as from a wound on his side; several dark bruises marked the unprotected parts of his body. But even as bad as he looked it was nothing compared to Loki´s state. One of his eyes was too swollen to remain open anymore; blood dripped from his nostrils as well as from his mouth. He had his right arm bended protectively against his body. Something looked wrong about the angle it dangled; suddenly Steve realized, it was broken.

Even so Loki coursed and provoked Tony relentlessly calling him all sort of names. The cold fury in his voice made Tony´s rage paled in comparison. All of a sudden Tony growled irked; he had had enough. As he raised his arm preparing to fire his propeller against Loki Steve found his voice. “Stop! What on God´s name are you doing?” He was already standing between Loki and tony as he finished his sentence.

“Stay out of this Steve!” Tony grunted, his propeller still on. “He asked for it.”

“Coward!” Loki snarled. “You don´t have the guts.”

Steve remained still looking straight at Tony´s eyes; determination drilled in his face as he calmly added. “I´m not moving.”

“You want him Cap?” Tony retorted, anger oozing from every pore as he lowered his arm. “You can have him, I´m done with him.” Without expecting any response from either of them he fired his legs propellers and stormed away.

Steve stood too surprised to react for a couple of seconds; he could feel the adrenaline flowing all through his system when a low sob brought him back.

He turned around concerned and found Loki on his knees, tears pouring absentmindedly as he stared at the open door Tony had left on his abrupt departure.

Without any warning Loki turned his attention to him. “Why?” His tone was accusatory.

Steve wasn´t sure of what to say. “He …” He stuttered. “He would´ve …”

Loki didn’t need Steve to finish his sentence, he was full aware of what he was going to say. “And why didn´t you let him? Why?” Loki broke down. He couldn´t even tell which pain was more unbearable.

Suddenly he winced as he coughed loudly; when he removed his hand from his mouth he smirked. It was covered in blood, deep dark blood. He smiled almost peacefully before collapsing.

“Loki! Loki!” Steve tried to reanimate him in vain. Had he been too late? How could´ve this happened? How had things gotten so bad? His eyes had inadvertently filled with tears, he closed them for a second before pulling himself together. Cradling Loki’s body into his arms he dashed at top speed towards the infirmary.

Loki felt almost weightless, he pushed the thought down. There were more pressing matters at hand.

“Jarvis I need help. Patch me to Tony.” Steve almost shrieked as he reached the underground medical level. Everyone else was too far away to be able to return in time to help him.

“I´m sorry Sir, but it appears Mr Stark has cut off communications.” Jarvis informed him.

“Jarvis, an ambulance?” Steve asked nervously, he had basic training in first aid but nothing more.

“I´m afraid I don’t think you have the time if you want Mr. Laufeyson to survive.” The A.I. replied nonchalant as it monitored Loki´s life signs. “He´s going into cardiac arrest.”

“Jarvis!” Steve practically pleaded as he laid Loki in the examination table and started CPR. He had never envied the lack of emotions of the A.I. until that moment as Jarvis kept instructing him on what to do to save Loki´s life.

After what it seemed an eternity to Steve the A.I. suddenly stated. “Mr. Laufeyson pulse is steady now, you can stop the compressions Sir.”

“Thank you Jarvis.” Steve answered in a whisper as he leaned into the examination table emotionally exhausted.