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Childhood Sweetheart

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It passed.

Steve hugged his knees to his chest gleefully. Any minute now, he'd get up and tell someone, and they'd be excited together, but right now it was just him and the TV, and he could privately glory in what America was becoming.

He heard running footsteps in the hall; they stopped dead outside the door to the den, and Steve turned his head just to see Tony wander in, affecting casualness but unable to keep the grin from his face.

"Hey," Steve said, and he was smiling so wide his face was aching a little.

"Hey you," Tony leaned over the back of the couch and wrapped his arms around Steve, pressing a scratchy kiss to the back of his neck.

Can we get married, Steve managed to refrain from asking. If he was going to propose to Tony - and of course he was - he should do it properly, not just blurt it out the second the laws passed.

"Did I ever tell you," Tony murmured into the short hair behind his ear, "That when I was a kid, I was totally in love with Captain America?"

"You did say you'd had a bit of a crush," and Tony shook his head admonishingly.

"In love," he kissed Steve's ear. "Mr van Dyne once asked me if I was going to marry Jan when I grew up. While Jan was faking throwing up, I told him no, I was going to marry Captain America."

Steve gulped back laughter; he could easily picture tiny Jan's eurgh face, but childishly earnest Tony was an elusive but charming image.

"What did he say?"

"They laughed at me." Tony's voice took on a piteous quality. "It was hurtful. I swore then, when I grew up, I'd show them all."

"The fact I was dead didn't stop you?"

"Well, of course, when I was six I knew you weren't really dead. You couldn't be. I thought you were worshipped as a god by a lost tribe in the Arctic, though, not frozen in an ice cube, so it's just as well my father didn't give in and fund that search and rescue expedition."

"You were an interesting child." Logically, Tony had grown out of that phase, but it was all too sweet to think of himself as Tony's first love. Not that Steve was possessive or anything; it was just - nice.

"I was adorable. You would have loved me. Although not in the right way, so again, just as well we didn't find you until I was the mature specimen we see today."

Steve screwed his head right round for a kiss, and Tony sighed against his mouth, a low happy noise that made Steve feel all fond and squishy inside.

"Anyway. About my scarred psyche."

"Scarred?" Steve raised his eyebrows, and turned back to the TV. There seemed to be small parties breaking out. Maybe Tony would like to go down and join one, after they were done here.

"Scarred. They mocked my ambitions and crushed my young dreams underfoot, Steve. I definitely have trauma." Tony slid his palm down over the star on Steve's t-shirt. "And as a hero, you should help me out with that."

Steve took hold of Tony's wrist; then he reached over the back of the couch with his other hand and grabbed Tony's belt. A firm tug, and Tony obligingly went with it, letting himself be rolled over and down into Steve's arms.

"Hey," Steve said, and Tony grinned up at him. "So what exactly do you propose as a solution?"

"We should have an enormous wedding, so I can demonstrate to everyone the extreme practicality of my childhood plans."

Steve had thought he'd been prepared, but hearing Tony actually say it was still a thrill. All that stuff Steve had been thinking about rings and candlelight and music and moonlight had clearly been nonsense; this was the perfect proposal.

It was lucky for Steve he had Tony to help him figure these things out.

"You know, some people learn to cope with not achieving all their childhood dreams."

"And some become supervillains. Can you really risk it?"

"I don't think I can," Steve dipped his head in close, and when Tony closed his eyes, he whispered "Dibs on Thor as my best man," and Tony's eyes shot open.

"No fair - mmmph."