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Brave New World

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"Okay, I give," Tony said. "What are we doing here?"

Steve jerked his eyes away from the shoe store and looked over at Tony. He was leaning against his car, his eyes darting between Steve and his ever present cell phone. The entire drive into Brooklyn, Steve had wanted to grab that stupid phone and toss it out the window. He was pretty sure that Tony wasn’t supposed to be driving while using it, especially not at those speeds. Steve could hardly wait until he got his license reissued.

"Steve?" Tony asked. "Earth to Steve."

"Sorry." Steve shook his head apologetically and pointed at the shoe store. "That’s where it happened, where everything changed."

"Hmm," Tony murmured absently, tapping on his phone with both thumbs.

Steve sighed and turned back to the building. He was pretty sure that Tony hadn’t heard a word he’d said and probably didn’t care either.

"So everything changed in a shoe store?" Tony asked, moving to stand next to Steve.

Steve raised his eyebrow and gestured at the phone in Tony’s hand. "I didn’t think you were listening."

"Steve, I can monitor dozens of input streams from the suit while navigating at speeds faster than the speed of sound…in battle," Tony said. "Compared to that, texting while listening to you isn’t that difficult."

"It’s still rude," Steve mumbled.

Tony shrugged and made a show of sticking his phone into his pocket, holding his empty hands up for Steve’s approval.

"Anyway," Steve said, deciding to return to the original question. "It wasn’t a shoe store in 1942, it was an antique shop."

"Because that makes much more sense." Tony stared at him, a long suffering look on his face. "What? Did you find the perfect end table?"

Steve rolled his eyes. "No, this is where they gave me the serum."

Tony’s eyebrows rose. "They gave you the serum in an antique shop in Brooklyn? That wasn’t in my father’s notes."

"I’m sure it was classified," Steve pointed out. "But, yeah, there was a facility under the shop."

"Dad needed the city generators, didn’t he?"

Steve nodded.

"That’s probably why he started work on the arc reactor after the war. Even in its imperfect state it would have been a more efficient and reliable…"

Steve zoned out as Tony rambled on about energy production. Tony was brilliant, impressively so, but sometimes he forgot that Steve had no idea what he was talking about. Steve had always been more interested in art than science, but during the war he’d been proud that he had managed to fly planes. These days his biggest technical accomplishment was figuring out how to microwave his soup.

Steve turned around, looking up and down the street. The buildings all looked different, but he knew the where the docks were. "I chased him that way."

Tony stopped talking and followed Steve’s gaze. "What?"

"A HYDRA agent," Steve replied.

"That part was in the notes," Tony said. "Dad said the agent killed—"

"Come on." Steve started forward at a brisk jog. He didn’t want to think about Erskine, not right now. Tony dashed forward to catch up and Steve slowed down so that they could talk. "Everything—my body—was so new that I couldn’t even run straight at first."

"Why are we running now?" Tony gasped, sweat running down his face.

Steve frowned at Tony. "You’re out of shape. You rely on that suit too much."

"Hey, I box!" Tony said defensively.

"You should be doing a lot more than that." Steve slowed down even more. "I’ll work up a training schedule for you when we get back."

"Great," Tony muttered. "I can’t wait for that."

Steve smiled at Tony. "It will be great."

"You do recognize sarcasm, right?" Tony asked. "They did have that in the forties, didn’t they?"

Steve didn’t answer, instead stopping a few blocks from the water. He had been retracing his first steps, remembering what it felt like to be in this body for the first time, but he figured this was far enough. He didn’t really need to relive the HYDRA agent’s suicide.

He looked around and saw a sandwich shop across the street. Steve smiled. He was pretty sure there had been a sandwich shop there in 1942 as well. It was nice to know that not everything changed. He nodded at the shop. "Lunch?"

Tony followed Steve’s gaze. "Yeah, lunch sounds good."

There was a long line at the shop and by the time the got to the front, Steve was starving. He excitedly ordered the roast beef hero.

"That’ll be twelve bucks," the cashier said, a bored tone to his voice.

"Twelve dollars!" Steve exclaimed. "Twelve dollars for a sandwich? That’s ridiculous."

"Don’t worry, Grandpa, it’s on me." Tony slipped around Steve and handed the cashier a credit card. "Make it two."

Steve crossed his arms. "I can pay for my own lunch, Tony. It’s the principle of the thing."

"Don’t worry about it," Tony said. He grabbed their number and took a secluded table in the back. "Didn’t they tell you about inflation when they woke you up?"

Steve glanced around, thankful that most of the people were taking their food to go, which gave them some privacy. "Yes, but it still takes some getting used to. Twelve dollars for a sandwich?" He shook his head.

"For this city, that’s really not that bad," Tony said. "Besides, the portions here are huge."

"That’s true," Steve acknowledged. "People eat a lot more these days."

Tony laughed. "People do everything bigger these days."

"Not your phone," Steve pointed out. "I still can’t believe you have a combination computing machine, telegraph, and telephone all in your pocket."

"And it plays games too!" Tony grinned and pulled his phone out, waving it at Steve. "I know Fury said that S.H.I.E.L.D. was teaching you about this stuff, but have you ever used one?"

"No, they put a regular phone in my room and gave me an emergency communicator." Steve pulled out his key chain and showed Tony the little black box with a large red button on it. "They said to just push it if I needed help."

"Of course they did," Tony shook his head. "So they’re just showing you pictures of computers and cell phones like it’s a vocabulary lesson?"

"Pretty much." Steve answered. "They did give me a microwave."

"That’s not acceptable," Tony said seriously, he leaned forward. "Steve, this brave new world you woke up in is driven by technology. You have to at least know the basics."

Steve shrugged. "They’re busy and I—"

"No excuses," Tony interrupted. He smirked at Steve. "I’ll work up a training schedule for you when we get back."

Steve narrowed his eyes at Tony. "Is this revenge?"

"Sort of," Tony responded. "But you really do need to know this stuff and who better to teach you than Tony Stark himself?"

Steve laughed. "You’re impossible."

"I know." Tony brushed some imaginary dirt off of his suit. "It’s part of my charm."

Steve shook his head, but was saved from having to respond by the arrival of their sandwiches. Tony was right; they were huge. He took a bite and couldn’t help the moan that followed. Microwave soup and the S.H.I.E.L.D. cafeteria couldn’t compare to this. He looked up and found Tony watching him, a smile on his face.

"Worth the money?" Tony asked.

"Maybe," Steve admitted. "But, Tony, the next one is on me."

"Agreed."