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Fairy Godmother

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Auntie Peggy beamed down at Tony, her hands wrapped around his tiny ones as they giggled together. “And then... WOOSH!”

Tony gasped. “What?” he whispered, trembling with anticipation.

Auntie Peggy grinned. Her lipstick was a dark red ring around her mouth. “Woosh... Steve's shield flew ahead, bashing the Hydra bastard right out of the tree he was hiding in!”

Tony's hands flew to his mouth, little body unable to take this much excitement.

“Language.” A shadow fell over the room, cold as the ice that tinkled in his glass with every step he took. Tony shrunk back, trying to sink into the floor. Trying to hide behind Auntie Peggy.

Auntie Peggy wasn't scared of the shadow. Not like Tony was. She rolled her eyes and looked up at it, stared it straight in the face with her hands on her hips. “Honestly? 'Language'?”

The shadow grunted as it slowed to a stop next to them. Tony curled up against Auntie Peggy's arm.

“Just saying it to save my skin. Wouldn't want Maria to hear. Get a damn earful.”

Auntie Peggy tsked at the shadow and turned her attention back to Tony. “And that's how Steve saved us all from getting our brains blown out by the Hydra sniper!”

Tony clapped gleefully, even as his father made another disapproving noise. Ice clinked against glass as he busied himself at his bar. Tony tried not to look at him. Tried not to be noticed.

“Could you make me a superhero? Like Captain America?” Tony asked Auntie Peggy, big eyes like searchlights on her face.

Auntie Peggy shook her head, fingers running through Tony's messy brown hair. “I could never make you one like Steve. He was one-of-a-kind.”

“And because you dumped the last of his blood into the fucking Hudson,” Dad growled into his drink.

“But!” Auntie Peggy continued, eyes flinty as she glared at Dad and then softening as she turned back to Tony. “We could make you your own superhero. Another one-of-a-kind. Superhero Anthony.”

Tony trembled. “Really?”

“Oh for God's sake, Peg, stop filling his head with stupid ideas.”

Auntie Peggy turned away from Tony again, all anger and angles. “And why, exactly is that?” Her jaw was sharp and strong as she looked up at Dad. “Your son is a genius already. He'll surpass you at engineering, and if Maria and I try hard enough maybe he'll even have a moral compass in the end.”

“Superheroes don't cry.” Dad leaned down, smokey and sharp-smelling, like the liquid in his glass. Tony shrank back. “And you're a big crybaby, aren't you?”

Tony tried very, very hard not to cry. That was the point, wasn't it? But tears welled up in his eyes anyway, try as he might.

Howard!”

“I'm leaving, anyway,” Dad mumbled. His heavy footsteps retreated, away from Auntie Peggy and Tony.

“Now come here, sweetheart.” Auntie Peggy's arms were big and strong, wrapping Tony up and holding him tight as he tried very, very hard not to cry. “What don't I tell you another story?”

He could barely find his voice, but he did, eventually. Tony whispered to his Auntie: “Captain America never cried, did he?”

“He most certainly did,” Auntie Peggy told him.

Tony gasped and raised his head, looking up into Auntie Peggy's face for the lie. But there wasn't one: she was staring down at him fiercely, that oddly angry happiness she sometimes got when she was telling the best Captain America stories.

When,” Tony breathed.

“Oh, plenty of times, I imagine,” Auntie Peggy mused, adjusting Tony in her lap. “But I know he cried when his best friend Bucky died. Cried the whole night away.”

“Did he cry when...” Tony hesitated, knowing this story was a sad one for Auntie Peggy. Because she had been there, just on the other end of the line. “When he went down?”

Sure enough, Auntie Peggy's mouth drew down in a grim line, eyes losing their anger and welling up with sadness.

“No,” she whispered. She pressed her cheek to Tony's hair. She smelled like oranges and cloves. It was nearly Christmas. “No, he didn't. I did, though. And your father did, too, don't even let him tell you otherwise.”

“But if heroes don't cry... Captain America didn't cry when he was going to die...” Tony was trying to reconcile the truth of his father with the truth of Auntie Peggy. Both were infallible, both were giants of knowledge. How then could they contradict? There must be something Tony was missing. Some trick to it.

“I think maybe heroes don't cry over themselves,” Auntie Peggy explained. “They cry for others. Steve cried for Bucky. Your father and I cried for Steve. Steve cried for his mother, when she passed. He cried for Doctor Erskine. Steve never lacked tears and compassion for other people. But he never spent any time feeling sorry for himself. Not much, at least. That's what makes- made him a hero. You shed all the tears you want for others, my little Tony. And then you turn right back around and try to keep your chin up for yourself. You understand?”

Tony's fingers played with the hem of Auntie Peggy's jacket. He nodded, slowly. He understood. He thought he might, at least.


Peggy's hand reached out for his chest, gesturing when she could cover the last foot of distance. Reluctantly Tony scooted his chair forward, leaned in to close the gap. Wrinkled fingers brushed over the hard outline of metal and fire protruding from Tony's chest. He closed his eyes against the sensation, even though every damn inhale was a reminder.

“I saw you. On the news. In that... suit.”

Tony grinned with no humor as he leaned back. “Armani. The fall collection, won't be out for months.”

Peggy's eyes narrowed like a whip-crack. “Don't get smart with me, Anthony.”

Tony flinched. Old bird still had it.

“Yeah. The suit.” He sighed. Ran a hand through his hair. “Guess I'm doing the whole. Superhero. Thing. Little bit.”

To Tony's surprise, Peggy smiled. Smiled. Her hand reached out again, and this time Tony took it in his own. She squeezed his hand feebly. “You're a hero. Just like him. And you didn't need anybody else's serum to turn into one.”

Tony squeezed back, smiling weakly. “Yeah, but from the way you tell it, neither did Steve.”

Peggy's eyes grew far away and wet, mouth trembling even as she kept smiling. “No. No, he didn't.”

Tony sighed, relaxed into his chair. Patted Peggy's hands as his throat tried to swallow around the words lodged in it. The words waiting to come out. Peggy, perceptive as ever, smiled at him as she waited. Waited for him to pluck up the courage. She probably never had to wait on Steve.

“I... I'm setting things right.” Not the words he was afraid of saying. Not the words he needed to say. But good enough in the moment. “Obadiah, he- Hey, this is Eyes-Only, got it? No letting this get back to SHIELD.”

Peggy snorted, rolled her eyes. “Not likely to remember it long enough to tell them even if I wanted to. But you have my word. As much as that means anymore.”

Tony shook his head, chose not to acknowledge that. Couldn't, when there was nothing he could do to fix it.

“It was Obadiah in the suit. The other suit. He'd... He's the one who had me kidnapped.”

“Oh, Anthony...”

“It's alright—I mean, it's not. It'll never be alright. But out of all the things- I don't know. That's the least of it, I guess. Anyway, he was selling Stark weapons under the table. Dealing both sides. That's why he was trying to get me out of the way. And he stole the Iron Man designs, the original ones Yin-” Tony's voice broke. He stopped, eyes wide. He hadn't realized how much that still hurt. He resisted the urge to clutch at his chest, at the arc reactor, and soldiered on. Just like Steve would have, right? “The original ones I designed in the cave. That's how he was able to have his own suit. Not as good, but it was something.”

Peggy grinned. “Nothing's ever as good as when you make it, is it?”

Tony forced a smile back, trying to regain some of his usual cockiness. “Only speaking the truth.”

“You are.”

Tony had to force down a real smile at that, one too open and too vulnerable. He continued: “But now I've got to make it right. Gotta get back all my weapons Obie sold. Gotta make sure I don't leave the world worse than how I found it. You know?”

Peggy smiled, eyes and mouth wrinkling sharply. “I do. I know.”

Tony fell silent again, the words still in his throat, beating at him, choking him. He blinked back tears.

“Go on, then. Out with it.”

In a gasp, Tony whispered: “I keep wondering what Dad would think.”

“Oh, Tony...”

Tony shook his head, jaw square. “No, I know. I know it doesn't matter. I know that son of a bitch doesn't even... didn't deserve to live to see it. And worse, I know he'd probably hate it. Probably tell me to stop fucking around, stop pretending to be something I'm not. And I know he's wrong.”

“Your father...” Peggy trailed off, eyes distant. She shook her head as if to clear it, looking at Tony. “Some days, it's hard not to think you're him. Sitting there, looking so much alike. The facial hair helps. He'd never wear such a silly thing.” Her fingers brushed at his goatee. Tony squeezed his eyes shut and smiled.

After a long moment's pause Peggy continued: “I wish you had known him when he was young. When Steve was still alive. Before the bomb. Before SHIELD. Before everything that just wore him down, wore him down, ate at him until there was nothing but the drink and crumpled, bitter memories left inside of him. You two mightn't have gotten along... but you would have at least respected each other. Maybe even admired one another.”

Tony choked back a laugh, tried not to hear that selfsame bitterness in his own voice. “My father would have never admired me.”

“I will be the first to tell you that Howard was a shit father,” Peggy told Tony, voice and eyes fierce as they ever were. “But he loved you. And he knew you were destined for great things. This... he wouldn't have said it, he would have probably said something disparaging, because Howard was a foolish, mean man in the end. But this, this 'Iron Man'. Howard would have loved to see his son doing this. Seen what a superhero could be who was self-made. Who engineered the solution to his problems, and then got out there and fixed things with his own two hands. We loved Steve, we all did, but this: this is a hero built for a Stark.”

Tony put his head in his hands. “Don't you get it, Pegs? That's what I'm afraid of.”

Peggy's hands wrapped around his, pulling them away, towards her. She held them tight, though her own hands were trembling.


Tony's mind burned.

“Morning, Pegs.” He's alive he's alive they found him he's alive.

Peggy seemed confused for a moment, staring and staring at Tony. Her mouth opened, words forming on her lips that weren't the right ones, that weren't the right time, the right place. Tony's heart beat against his chest, mind screaming but he's back he's back you can't forget now he's back he's finally back.

But then Peggy's eyes cleared and she smiled at Tony, patting at her bedside. “Tony! Come here, let me look at you. Still in one piece?”

“You know it.” He crossed the room to her bedside. They found him they found him they found him!

“Not for lack of trying, so I've heard,” Peggy chastised him.

Tony rolled his eyes. “Well, you know us hero-types, don't you?”

Peggy frowned, harsh lines of her face dragging down her skin in dramatic fashion. “Yes I do . And you better not be following in his footsteps, Tony! I don't think I can lose three of my best boys in my lifetime.”

By Peggy's bedside, Tony straightened out the framed photo of her husband. He smiled at it, even as his mind screamed you didn't you didn't he's back you lost him but now he's back he came back for you, Pegs.

“So.” Tony clapped his hands together and rubbed the roughly. “How're things? Not feeding you gruel, are they?”

An hour passed, then two. Then Tony said his goodbyes and made to leave. A frail hand to his elbow stopped him, halfway out of his chair. “Were you going to leave without telling me?”

Tony hesitated. Sat back down. He clasped his hands between his knees, unable to look Peggy in the eyes. “Who told you?”

“Dum-Dum stopped by with the news. You know how he does. Ghosting from one place to the next.”

Tony nodded. Dum-Dum. Made sense.

“Would you look at me?”

Reluctantly Tony raised his eyes and met Peggy's sharp browns. They were filling up with tears, her head starting to shake. Gasping, Tony leaned forward and grasped her hand, holding it tight. Trying to anchor her through this.

“Have you seen him?” Her voice broke.

Tony shook his head, unwelcome tears filling his own eyes. “No,” he rasped. He tried again. “No. They... Outside my security clearance, I guess. But I knew. I found out.”

“Can...” Peggy's chin wobbled, eyes brimming with tears. “Can he see me? Could he... Does he know?”

Tony shook his head, one hand pressed to his mouth. “I don't know. I don't know. I don't know what they're doing with him, what they've told him...”

“You do this for me, Tony. You tell him... You let him know. That I'm here? He doesn't have to come. I just... I want him to know. Could you? Make sure that he knows.”

Tony grasped Peggy's hand in his. “He'll know. If I have to hand him your file myself, he'll know. I promise you, Aunt Peggy. Promise.”

Peggy smiled, tears tracking down her face. “I'll hold you to that, my Anthony.”


“Peg?”

Steve held his hat in his hands, rolling the baseball hat over and over and over again. He shouldn't be here, he shouldn't be doing this, it would only make things worse-

Oh. God. There she was.

Peggy Carter, sitting in her chair at the window, heavy blanket thrown over her lap. Tea sat on the table next to her in a plastic cup. It was with great embarrassment that Steve recognized it as a Captain America kiddie cup.

She looked... well. She looked beautiful. She looked every bit as beautiful as the day they'd first met, at Camp Lehigh. She wasn't strong or young like she was back then, but just from one look at her eyes and Steve could see the fire still burning brighter than ever inside her. And there was a calmness to her now that she lacked in youth, like a ballast weighing her down, keeping her two feet on the ground even while her head stayed tall.

“Steve.”

Steve's feet moved without him telling them to. Before he knew what was happening he was across the room, kneeling in front of Peggy's chair, head pressed to her knees. He heard Peggy gasp softly above him, but then her hand was on his head, shaking fingers running through her hair.

“Come now, come on then, look at me. I want to see...”

Obediently Steve raised his head. Peggy gasped again, mouth falling opening as she looked her fill. Her eyes started to water even as she smiled. “We were so young.”

Steve laughed, and he cried. He shook his head as he held onto Peggy's knees, as tight as he dared. “It was so long ago,” he whispered.

“But not to you.”

He shook his head, unable to push the words past the lump his throat. No. Not to him.

“You must know all about how it ended, mustn't you? The War, what came after.”

Steve nodded and stood, settling himself down in the chair opposite Peggy's. His hands stayed on her, thumbs rubbing over Peggy's knees. “I've been reading up on it. The whole Internet's filled with all this information, everything I could ever want. And SHIELD issued me some books, places to start. Did you-” Steve stopped, laughed at himself. “I was going to ask if you'd heard about John Kennedy. An Irish-Catholic President! But of course you did, you lived right through it.”

Peggy's mouth twisted grimly. “I was part of the SHIELD team spearheading the investigation into the grassy knoll shooter.”

Steve's eyes widened. “Was there one? I haven't got access to all SHIELD's files yet, I'm not...” His eyes narrowed. “Dang it, Peggy, you're not messing with me, are you?”

Peggy laughed, and gosh, gosh, Steve hadn't heard that laugh in seventy years. Seventy years and seventy days, and gosh. It was just the same, her laugh. If he closed his eyes, it was all just the same.

“You'll have to find out yourself. Once you get the right clearances.”

“And when I do I'm coming right back here and giving you an earful, you know that, right?”

Peggy's smile faltered, then brightened. “You'll come back, then?”

Steve's throat closed as he leaned forward, grasping Peggy's shoulders gently between his big paws. “Of course I'm coming back. Every damn day I can. You're my best gal.”

Peggy sighed, smile like a young girl's again. “You should work on finding a new best gal, you know.”

Steve shook his head, grin crooked and heart aching. “Not just yet. Gotta give me some time. After all, can you imagine: I start talking about the Brooklyn Dodgers and blow my whole cover. Wouldn't that be embarrassing?”

Peggy tutted, but seemed pleased enough. Steve's eyes crinkled as he looked at her. His best gal. “What else you been up to in the past seventy years? Don't tell me you're responsible for Bay of Pigs?”

Peggy gasped, affronted. “Now honestly Steve. You know me better than that.”


“You've met him.”

Tony rubbed the back of his head, slouched in his chair. Like he was back in prep school, trying not to get caught being the best student.

“You saw the news. You know.”

“You worked as a team.”

“We were on a team. The same team. You know: team Earth. Rah rah save the world and all that.”

“How is he?”

Tony rolled his eyes and tried to stare out the window, ignoring Peggy's shinning face in the sides of his eyes. “Didn't get to talk much.”

“Tony.”

“Well you know, alien invasion and all. Just sorta went for it. I was up, he was down, didn't see each other much through the whole thing-”

Tony.”

“He's an ass, alright?! Is that what you want to hear? He's a jerk and a punk and...”

Peggy was smiling. Peggy was laughing and Peggy was smiling and smiling. “He is just, though. Isn't he?”

Tony's heart broke. No, no: the wall around it broke. The wall he'd been building against Cap since the first time his dad looked at him and found him wanting. It broke and he found himself laughing along with Peggy, wiping tears from his eyes as he laughed with her.

“He's stubborn as a mule,” Tony accused her. “You never said he was the most thick-skulled jerk on the planet.”

“I did! I did! Every story I told, I did!”

“You made him out to be this perfect fucking shinning knight, and he's...” Tony trailed off.

Peggy grinned, too smart, too knowing. “And he is, isn't he?”

“I thought he was going to be some boy scout,” Tony tried.

“And he's that too, isn't he?”

“He's...” Tony threw his hands into his lap, huffing as he stared at the ceiling. “He is. I can't believe it. He is. He's the stupid fucking white knight and the boy scout but he's a jerk and a smart ass and I don't think I've ever met anyone who throws it right back at me like that. Not besides Ty, but he's not... he doesn't have all the wholesome this ass has.”

“Speaking of that ass...” Peggy murmured, eyes glimmering with mischief.

Tony shot her a sharp look, heart going about a thousand miles in his chest. It was downright indecent, what she was suggesting. The age gap alone... though Tony wasn't sure which way around that went, which side had it worse.

He tried to gently change the subject, cast the attention away from himself. “Seriously, the outfit needs some adjustments. I don't even remember the old propaganda photos looking that tight. Not even the original ones, with the tights and booty shorts.”

“And I suppose you'll be the one to design him a new one?”

Tony avoided her eyes. “Well, you know. We're a team. Kinda. I mean. If necessary. Least I can do is make him a uniform. A good one, that'll keep that ass alive.”

Peggy shook her head, eyes going soft and dreamy. “Oh, Howard. You never knew when to keep your hands to yourself.”

Tony froze, struggling to keep his smile fixed firmly in place. “Well, you know me, Peg. Eyes bigger than my stomach.”

“You just stay away from him and I won't have to dangle you by your ankles out your third-story bedroom window. Again.”

Tony would have loved to have heard that story. Made note to ask, on a day she was lucid again. For now, he smiled and nodded at her. “Sure thing, Peg. He's your hero. I know that.”


“Have you spoken with him much? Since the battle?”

“Who, Stark? Not much. Couple costume redesigns, some gizmos he keeps trying to get me to field-test. Some of them are pretty handy, but some... But uh, yeah. We talk. On occasion. Just to touch base.”

“He loves you, you know.”

Steve tried not to flinch, tried to school his face steady and kind. He knew that airy, wandering tone. But he was never a good liar, and he could feel the sorrow etching itself in every line of his face. “Aw shucks, Peg. You know it's not like that. And you're the only gal for me.”

Peggy laughed and waved her hand like the young woman she once was. “He does, though. That Howard... for all his philandering, he can love. And he loves you dearly.”

Steve swallowed down everything he had meant to ask today, all the little talking points he had wanted to bring up, and changed tacks. He had to always be ready to; be ready for days like these. The bad ones.

He reached forward and took Peggy's hand, cradling it in his own. “Well, Stark may be just about the handsomest charmer this side of the Hudson...” Steve fought down a bright red flush, brain unhelpfully bouncing between images of Howard and ones of his son, Tony. Tony who was a hero, who had sacrificed himself, who was brave and smart and too damn much of his father for his own good. Steve forced himself to continue: “But too bad for him, because I'm spoken for.”

Peggy's eyes shone, and Steve knew she was a million miles away. He nodded at the victrola by the window. “Why don't I play us a little music?”

Peggy nodded, eyes wandering around the room, seeing but not. “That would be lovely, Steve.”


When Tony stepped into Peggy's room he relaxed, shoulders dropping down. The instant he saw her face he could tell this was a good day. She was sitting by her window, but her head had snapped around at the sound of his expensive shoes clacking across the hardwood, and her eyes were sharp as ever.

“Sit down right now, Tony. I need to get this out while I still remember.”

“Is it the story behind you dangling my dad out his bedroom window by his ankles?” Tony asked as he obediently went to her side.

Peggy cocked her head, amused little smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. “No. And I won't be distracted. But do try and ask me about that on another day when I'm all here. If I get another one.”

“You've got plenty more good days ahead of you, Peggy,” Tony murmured. Neither of them wholly believed it.

“It's about you and Steve.”

Tony frowned, arms crossing over his chest defensively. “Yeah? What about?”

Peggy smiled and waited. When Tony squirmed uncomfortably, like he was four years old again and Auntie Peggy had caught him with his hand in the cookie jar, she nodded. “That, Tony.”

“I hardly know the guy,” Tony pointed out.

Peggy smiled, eyes crinkled. “You've known him all your life.”

Tony looked away sharply, not willing to let Peggy see whatever she might see in his eyes. “That's just it though, isn't it? That's the problem.” Tony stared out the window, watched summer slowly bled its way into the world. Peggy wouldn't last the winter, the doctors had told him. No matter how much money he had, or how strong she was. This was the last summer she'd see. But it was just beginning, at least.

“I've heard you tell stories about him my whole life, and... no one can live up to Peggy Carter's stories. No one man or woman. Peggy Carter herself barely lives up to her stories.”

Peggy snorted, hands folded peacefully over each other in her lap. Her blanket was an old crocheted thing that Jarvis had made, years ago. Before he left them both.

“But Steve does. Doesn't he?”

Tony stared down at his own hands. All the little white scars and burns, from welding and soldering, from little slivers of metal slicing through soft, human skin. Healed up slowly, imperfectly. No super soldier serum running through his veins. No pinnacle of human perfection for the Stark boy.

“Well I don't.”

“Don't say that.” A man's voice. A voice Tony knew, just about as well as Peggy's.

Tony's head whipped up. Steve was there, standing in the doorway. He had an armful of flowers, practically as broad as he was, and a horrified look on his face, like... like...

Only, it wasn't exactly horrified. Not like he was horrified with Tony. More like he was horrified with himself.

“Hey, Peg. Sorry, I must've gotten the time wrong-”

Peggy shook her head and pointed to a chair next to Tony's. Oh, there were three out today. Tony hadn't even thought about it.

Sneaky old Aunt Peg.

“Sit. Talk. Give those flowers to this young man who might like them. You know I always hated the fool things.”

Steve stood in the doorway still, like he was going to make a break for it, drop the flowers and go, before they even hit the ground. Tony had to stifle a laugh at the image of Captain America running away from something, but Steve's face sure as hell looked like he was considering it.

And just like that, something shifted inside of Tony. Oh, he thought. Oh. He's just a kid. Well, a man: very much a man. But a man: not a hero or a demigod or Captain America. Not right now.

As casually as Tony could, he kicked the empty chair out towards Steve. He nodded his head at it and shrugged. “Hey, Peggy says so. And if there's one consistent theme to Auntie Peggy's stories, it's that Steve Rogers did as Peggy Carter said.”

“Did he, now?” Steve's smile was nervous, and his eyes wouldn't exactly meet Tony's, but he took that first step inside. And then another, and another, until he sat himself down next to Tony, still not a hundred percent looking at him. But Tony could deal with that. Tony could deal with about anything over zero percent, from Steve.

Steve tried to pass the flowers off to Peggy, but she pushed them to Tony. Which is how he found himself washing and trimming the flowers in Peggy's little sink while Steve hunted around for a vase.

“What about when I rescued the hundred and first?” Steve asked over his shoulder to Peggy.

“My memory may be swiss cheese these days but I distinctly remember that I was the one to suggest you disobey Colonel Phillips and rescue your friend.”

Tony glanced at Steve, who was reappearing from a cabinet, vase in hand. He caught Tony's eye and shrugged sheepishly. “She might be right on that.”

Tony laughed, and took the vase from Steve. They smiled at each other, and that thing inside Tony loosened some more. Okay. Okay.

Steve broke eye contact first, turning away. Though not before Tony thought he caught a glimpse of a flush on those pale cheeks. Tony grinned, hands soaked and fingers going cold as he held a bouquet of flowers in them. Captain America- no, Steve Rogers could blush. And Tony could make him blush.

Shaking himself, Tony deposited the flowers into the vase as best he could, filling it up halfway with water. He brought it over to the windowsill, pressing closer to Steve than maybe he needed to as he arranged them to catch the best light. When he took his seat again he chanced a glance at Steve. His eyes were narrowed and jaw was tight, though there was definitely a smile trying to creep out. Tony grinned and turned to Peggy.

“Okay. I've been hearing war stories about this Captain America jerk all my life. Now tell me the most embarrassing Steve story you know.”

Peggy grinned. “Oh, I have a good one.”

“Hey-!”

She held up one finger, waggling it at Steve. “And turnabout is fair play, of course. I've known this young man since he was in nappies. The stories I have of a promiscuous and angry little Stark... Tit for tat.”

Tony laughed. Fine. Fair was fair. “But Steve's first. He's got a lot further to fall.”

Peggy's lips drew up almost into that same red bow Tony remembered from his childhood. Glancing over at Steve, Tony knew he could see it too.

“Alright. Steve first. Tony, I know I never told you the story about Steve and fondue.”

Tony's mind swirled with possibilities. Especially as Steve groaned and buried his face in his hands. “How was I supposed to know,” he grumbled.

Tony settled in. “No, you haven't, and the only way I'll forgive you is if you rectify this egregious oversight right now.”

So Peggy talked. And while Tony was still howling with laughter, clutching Steve's shoulder tight as all he could do was hang on, Peggy told Steve about a pale naked ass dangling from the roof and a confused drone buzzing around as Tony hollered for help one regrettable summer. Hey, the damn gecko suit had worked. It just hadn't held together for very long. He got it right the next time.