Tony’s never actually bought a house.
He owns ten. Or so? The mansion, the brownstone, the other brownstone, the house in the Hamptons, the villa on the Mediterranean, the penthouse on Lexington, the house in Malibu, and a solid half dozen other properties scattered between New York and California. There are others - apartments and condos that are business properties, things used for Stark Industries to put up guests or temporary housing for employees who’ve been reassigned - but these are actually his, properties that are in Tony Stark’s name and not SI’s. He’s inherited a few from his father, and one of the brownstones had technically been his mother’s (a wedding gift from Howard that they had never once used in all of Tony’s memory). The rest he’s acquired over the years. And sure it was his money paying for them, and his signature on the paperwork, but he’d sent Pepper or a real estate agent to do the actual deciding. He’d looked at video or a few snapshots here and there, had an assistant summarize the inspection results and had Pepper transfer the funds. Boom. Done. Efficiency at it’s finest.
This, though. This is better.
Steve is wearing slacks and a button up shirt with a nice pair of shoes. Tony is wearing jeans and a t-shirt despite Steve’s best efforts to make him look respectable. The real estate agent hadn’t recognized them at first, and had almost dropped her clipboard when Steve introduced them and gave her his hand to shake.
"Are you-" She tugged at the hem of her blouse. Her name tag said 'Rashida Torres' and it had a rainbow sticker in the white space below her name. ”I mean, Mr. Stark, Captain Rogers, it’s an honor, gentlemen. But I’m not sure if you’re aware that I don’t usually handle corporate acquisitions?”
"This is personal," Tony assured her. "Me and Cap are looking for a little love nest to call our own."
Steve had rolled his eyes. “Tony and I are getting married this fall and we’re just looking for something a little more personal than Avengers Tower.”
It was Steve who’d been determined to have a personal agent, and Steve who’d wanted to go out and choose the house themselves. Tony hadn’t even thought about it - sure, people did that, he watched the home improvement channel sometimes when Peter got to the remote before anyone else so he knew how it worked. But it had never occurred to him that he should do it that way. But they’d been talking about the wedding (also Steve’s idea, though Tony had agreed embarrassingly fast) and one thing had led to another and Tony had realized that Steve really wanted them to have their own place, even if it didn’t get much use. A home. Just for them, that they chose together. Something that meant a lot to Steve and something Tony could do for him easily. Tony would build Steve a house on the fucking moon if it would make Steve happy, this was nothing.
And now, more than a dozen properties later, Steve was smiling at him like he’d done just that. “Do you like it?”
Tony hummed a little as he glanced around the master bedroom. The house was in Nantucket, close enough that they would never be too far from the Avengers to help out if needed, and it was big enough - the main house had five bedrooms and three baths, which meant plenty of room for Rhodey or Sam or their Avenger friends. There was a huge front yard and a private beach in the back, plus a dock. Tony owned a yacht somewhere, he was almost sure, but the idea of buying a little boat and taking Steve out on the sound for the day made his stomach pleasantly warm. “The garage is a little small.”
Steve laughed a little as he wrapped his arms around Tony’s waist. “That’s only because you own fifty cars.”
That was true. “Are you going to be mad if I turn the guest house out back into a workshop?”
"No. Never." Steve brushed a kiss over his temple. "As long as you aren’t mad when I turn that apartment over the garage into a studio. The light in there is amazing."
"We could buy a boat," Tony said. He slipped his arms around Steve’s waist. "Pack a lunch, have a picnic out on the water."
"I’d like that," Steve said. "And the backyard needs a barbeque pit next to the deck."
"The wood paneling downstairs has to go, though. I’m not willing to negotiate on that front. I like the hardwood floors, though. Those stay.”
"The wallpaper in the kitchen has to go too. We could do it ourselves?" Steve sounds a little hesitant, like he thinks there’s anything in the world that would stop Tony from doing what it took to make this house perfect for him. "Take a long weekend maybe and just tear it all out."
"And the upstairs bedroom. The little one, right across from the master?" Tony closed his eyes and leaned against Steve’s shoulder. "With a little work, that could be - I mean, if you wanted. It would make a nice little nursery."
Steve’s arms tightened around him until he could barely breathe, but he didn’t pull away. “Yeah,” he said, voice shaky against Tony’s ear. “Yeah, it would be perfect, wouldn’t it?” He rubbed the palm of his hand over Tony’s back for a long minute and when he spoke again, it sounded like he was crying a little. “Forget the barbeque pit. I want to put in a sandbox. I want to look out the window and see our child playing in the yard. How do you-” He pulled back and cupped Tony’s face in his hands. His eyes were wet, but his smile was so wide it was all Tony could see. “How do you always make things perfect when I least expect it?”
"Trial and error. I screw up so much that I have to get it right sooner or later." He turned his head to press a kiss against Steve’s palm. "I like this house. We could be happy here. This could be a home for us."
Steve pressed a rough kiss to his temple. “You get it right more than you think. And this house - I don’t need this house. You gave me a home fifteen years ago and it was more than I’d ever hoped for. You are my home whether it’s here, at the mansion, or in a dungeon in Latveria, you are what I’m going to come home to. Every single fucking time. You are home.” He pressed his face to Tony’s hair. “But I want this house. And I want that sandbox. I want you asleep in the biggest, most luxurious bed that money can buy and I want to sing our child to sleep in that little nursery across the hall. Say yes, Tony. Tell me we can have this together.”
Tony curled his fingers in Steve’s shirt so he couldn’t pull away even if he’d wanted to. “Yes,” he said, amazed at how steady his voice sounded. “Yes.”
(Five months later the wood paneling is gone, the apartment above the garage has been converted into an art studio, the guest house is full of Tony’s equipment. Rhodey has all but claimed one of the guest rooms as his own. There is a hand made sandbox in the backyard, built by Sam and Bucky one long weekend when Tony was in the hospital. The little bedroom upstairs has been painted a pale green and Steve is almost done painting cartoon jungle animals all around the walls.
When Steve puts the ring on his finger, Tony pictures Steve standing in that little room, covered in paint and smiling as he asks Tony if he likes the decorations. “I do.”)