“You wouldn’t happen to know where your sister is, would you?”
“I might. What, am I not good enough for you?”
Steve casts his eyes heavenward, exasperated, and wraps his arms around Tony’s waist. “You know you’re more than good enough for me, Tony.”
“Mm.” Tony sets aside his pliers and leans back against Steve’s broad chest. “Nice to hear, though.”
Steve huffs a breath against Tony’s ear. “So, Tasha?”
“Yeah, I know where she is.”
An expectant pause, then, “Well?”
“Nope, no can do. Sorry, Cap, that information is strictly need-to-know.”
Steve frowns a little. “Is everything okay?”
“Sure is. She’s working on a pet project, and it’s meant to be a surprise.”
“Oh.” Steve relaxes; that’s all right, then. Both twins can be weirdly secretive about their work until it’s finished, though usually less so with him. “A surprise for me?”
Tony makes a noncommittal noise and arches his spine a little. “Want to get out of here and go to bed, Steve?”
It’s pretty much the least subtle deflection ever, but Steve lets it drop. “Fine, keep your secrets,” he concedes, squeezing Tony a little closer.
“Tasha’s secrets, really.” Tony squirms a bit in Steve’s hold. “Genuine offer, though.”
“Oh, I know it was.” Steve lets go, mostly, save for a finger hooked in Tony’s belt loop. “And I plan to take you up on it.”
Tasha wanders into the kitchen in search of coffee to find Steve at the table reading the paper and working his way through an enormous plate of eggs and pancakes.
“Super metabolism,” she says, “I wish I could eat like that and look as good as you do.”
He looks up at her over the edge of the paper. “One, you’re beautiful, and two, good morning.”
“Morning is by definition not good,” she grouses. The coffee is already brewed; she wastes no time pouring herself a mug and downing about half of it, then drops unceremoniously into the chair next to Steve with a yawn. “I hear you were pining for me last night.”
“Pining might be a little extreme. I was wondering, is all.” He pauses. “Who told you that? I left Tony asleep.”
“Jarvis.” She yawns again and then steals a bite of his eggs. “Anyway, sorry to disappoint.”
“Get your own breakfast,” Steve admonishes, but his tone is fond. Tasha lists to the side to rest her head on his shoulder.
“You know I can’t cook.”
“That I do.”
Steve loops an arm around her and they fall into a companionable silence. Tasha, sleepy still, only lifts her head occasionally to gulp coffee; she’s not usually up early enough to catch Steve during his breakfast, but he’s long ago stopped questioning the bizarre and inconsistent hours both twins keep. It’s nice to have her here, even if she’s not really alert yet. Clint eventually stumbles in, but he throws a glance their direction and doesn’t say anything, just makes some toast and perches on the edge of the countertop to eat it.
An alarm blares to life, and Tasha swears and jolts upright. “I knew it, nothing is ever calm around here,” she says and dashes from the room. There is brief, barely-controlled chaos in the mansion as the avengers all grab costumes and weapons and Agent Coulson’s voice briefs them over the PA system. Natasha is still hiding an assortment of sharp objects in improbable pockets in her jumpsuit as Iron Woman takes off out the window with her slung over her back.
“Let’s fly, Captain,” Tony says, offering an arm. Even with the mask, Steve knows he’s grinning as Steve grabs on and they follow the same path Tasha had taken just moments before, Thor and Clint hot on their heels.
“Have I mentioned I don’t like spiders? Because I really don’t,” Tasha says over the comms, “and especially not giant ones ravaging Central Park. I was having a nice morning.”
“I was still asleep,” Tony grumbles in reply. “Jesus Christ, it’s building a web. I want coffee.”
“Foul beast, you shall taste our steel!” Thor bellows, and flings himself at the spider.
It takes them a while to bring the thing down– it’s not very bright, but it’s large and has a tough carapace, and the web is unbelievably sticky– and by the time they’re finished the general mood seems to be somewhere between accomplishment and crankiness. When they get back to the mansion, everyone clusters around the coffee machine like it’s some sort of altar to the gods of caffeine.
“Debrief in two hours,” Steve says, shaking his head slightly, and retreats to his room.
“–and step, two three– ow, not on my feet please,” Tasha grumbles, scowling at Tony. “This is not that hard.”
“Maybe not if you’ve been taking classes from a real dancer.”
“Jerk. Try again.”
They’re locked in the workshop with a cleared space of floor and Jarvis under strict orders to warn them if Steve comes near, and Tasha is trying to teach Tony swing dance with mixed success. He’s coordinated enough, certainly, but sneaking lessons when everyone thinks Tony is tinkering with his suit isn’t ideal conditions. Tasha had crept down before him, dressed as if for a workout except that she’s wearing heels.
“We spoil him,” Tony remarks, guiding her into a slightly awkward turn. “I wouldn’t learn swing for just anyone.”
“Well that’s just it, yeah? –and a one, two– he’s not just anyone.”
Tony is frowning, though whether in thought or in concentration on not tripping is hard to say. “I guess this is what a serious relationship feels like, huh.”
Tasha gives a deliberate misstep in reproof, landing her heel squarely on his toes. “Don’t even front with me, I’m your sister. You’d do a lot more than learn swing dance for him.”
“That’s the scary thing.”
“It’s Steve. If you can’t trust him, you can’t trust anybody.”
“Stop being the mature one.”
“One of us has to.”
“Not that I’ve noticed.”
Tasha sighs. “Look, I get it. You’re not the only dysfunctional one here, okay? Part of me is always waiting for him to decide that he could do better than me. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try, you know? I want to be the person he thinks I am.”
“A girl Captain America could settle down with?”
“Yeah. Never mind, you know, the love triangle thing.” Tasha smiles, wry and amused. “He has some hidden depths.”
“I can’t say I object.”
“Obviously. Jarvis, start the music again.”
Tasha had given Steve an address and told him to meet her there at nine o’clock without any further explanation. “Dress nice,” she’d told him, and promptly flitted off before he could ask any questions.
The place in question is a ballroom dance studio, and when he goes inside he hears music drifting from one of the rooms down the hall and follows the sound.
“Hello, soldier,” Tasha says with a smile, “can a girl get a dance?”
Steve stares for a long moment, briefly too tongue-tied to answer. Tony is wearing a finely-cut suit, but Tasha. She’s in a dress like the women had worn in Steve’s day, a navy and white polka dotted number with seamed stockings and her hair set in careful pin curls.
“I don’t know how to dance,” Steve replies, but he offers her his hand anyway.
“We’ll teach you,” Tony puts in, “Tasha has been taking lessons for weeks now.”
“Is that where you’ve been sneaking off to?”
“I did promise you that I’d take you swing dancing sometime.”
“Still.” Steve bends and kisses her, smiling against her lips. “Thank you.”
Tony watches from the side as Tasha guides Steve through the basic steps of a bright, lively swing. He catches on fast, of course, but the look of open delight on his face as he does makes Tony’s breath catch in his throat. He lets them have a couple more songs, then approaches.
“May I cut in?” Tony asks with a smirk, and his sister pecks him on the cheek and then backs off. Steve’s eyes are sparkling.
“She got lipstick on your cheek.”
“She got it on your mouth, too,” Tony replies, and leans in to steal a kiss.
“There’s something that wouldn’t have happened in the forties,” Steve murmurs. Then, “are you leading, or am I?”
“You always lead,” Tony retorts, teasing. “Let someone else have a turn for once.”
“Whatever you like,” Steve agrees. “I still can’t believe you both went to all this trouble for me.”
“Of course we did. We– we love you.”
Steve’s answering smile is incandescent. “I love you too.”