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Trying To Deserve You, wedding!fic

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"Yeah, I'm really glad Tony wasn't serious about putting you in a wedding dress."

Steve fixes Clint with a look.

Clint grins. "What? Personally, I think the veil would look good on y-"

"Stop terrorizing the groom," Pepper's voice comes from the hallway, accompanied by the trademark click-clack-click of her heels.

Clint looks at Pepper as she enters. "Come on, Pep, you know that Steve would look sexy in white."

Pepper arches an eyebrow. "Not the time, Clint. I've been working non-stop for the past 34 hours to make sure that things don't get fucked up."

Steve blinks. "I think that was the first time I've heard you swear."

"Yes, well, there's always a first time for everything," Pepper sighs, pushing some hair behind her ear. "Such as Tony having a healthy, functional relationship."

"Healthy?" Clint scoffs, and Steve hits him with a glare again.

"Clint, would you kindly leave?" Pepper smiles tightly, but there's too much warmth in it for it to be threatening. "Steve shouldn't be distracted at a time like this and I need to give him some last-minute pointers about the wedding."

Clint holds up his hands. "Whatever. I can see when I'm not wanted. See you at the end of the aisle, big guy." He pats Steve on the shoulder as he walks out.

Steve's stomach flutters slightly, for no apparent reason, and he flashes a smile at Pepper as she closes the door.

Pepper returns it, but it's slightly wobbly. She takes long strides until she's standing in front of him. She looks him up and down- the tux cost more than Steve's childhood house did in the 40s- and nods sharply.

"You know your lines?" she asks.

Steve nods. "I stayed up late last night to memorize them."

Pepper laughs, and it sounds watery. "Of course you did."

The side of her mouth ticks.

She inhales deeply. "You look after him, you hear me, Steve goddamn Rogers?"

Steve smiles. "You know I will."

"Yes, yes, I know, but-" she shoves her hair back again. "Steve, he can be a lot to handle at times, and I don't want him getting hurt, just- Jesus, why are you marrying him?"

"I- excuse me?"

"It's your wedding day. Tell me why you're marrying him."

Steve looks at Pepper, surprised. She holds his gaze, of course she does- the wonderful, headstrong Pepper Potts.

"I'm in love with him," Steve says, hyper-aware of how his cuff-links are digging into his wrists. "I- he's amazing, and you'll never meet another person who thinks less of himself, and he has a fake smile that he uses especially for paparazzi, and-"

Inhale.

 

"He's been sleeping more. He's stopped drinking. He's been eating more. I want him to be happy. I love him," Steve says, and huh, his voice is a lot more steady than he expected it to be.

Pepper starts to say something, but Steve cuts her off.

"He thinks that he's worthless, that he doesn't deserve to be loved, and that everyone's eventually going to leave him."

Steve swallows.

"I want to prove him wrong about all three."

-

Tony's getting married in less than five minutes, and all he can fucking think about is the fucking angle of his sleeves, how fucking stupid the band is going to be, and that one time Steve had asked him if he had tried to kill himself again after that time when he was 23.

"Not directly," Tony had answered finally. "I mean, I just- I never tried anything after, but I didn't not try anything, either. There were times where I just kept drinking because I hoped my liver would finally give out, and when I didn't try to dodge a bullet. I just didn't really... care, honestly."

He remembers looking up at Steve's face, and how it hadn't been what he was expecting.

How Steve had exceeded pretty much all of his expectations.

How Steve had just traced that tiny scar on his wrist, and kissed him in a way that made the numbers in Tony's head stop.

Natasha snaps her fingers in front of Tony's face. "Oi. Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. Get yourself all pretty, it's time to go down the aisle."

"Yep," Tony says, his voice strained and so not nervous, nope, not at all, he's totally not freaking the fuck out. "Shouldn't you be up there with Steve? You're a bridesmaid."

Natasha raises her eyebrows. "This wedding gives the middle finger to all things that are gender roles. And everything that has to do with a normal wedding, it seems. I'm following behind. Get your ass in gear."

She yanks him up and Tony gallantly manages not to topple over.

Pepper steadies him. She gives him a once-over, pushes some hair into place and straightens his tie. "You ready?"

Tony looks at her with an expression that seemed to say 'go fling yourself off a cliff.'

Pepper bats him in the shoulder. "Oh, quiet."

"Let's just get this over and done with," Tony says.

"It's your wedding," Pepper sighs.

"Exactly," Tony shoots back. "Are you taking my arm or not? If the guy says 'you may kiss the bride,' I swear to God I am suing someone."

Pepper eyes him warily. "Try not to make a run for it halfway down the aisle."

Tony re-adjusts his jacket. "No promises."

-

The doors swing open, and shit, everyone's looking at him (no cameras, obviously, they banned the paparazzi), and he's sweating and-

Oh.

Steve.

Steve looks caught between starstruck and something Tony still can't identify, and his hands are folded like they had showed him in the rehearsal and his eyes are bright and he's looking at him in a way that he does sometimes that still makes Tony's breath catch in his throat.

"Hi," Steve says when he reaches the end.

"Hi," Tony says with as much poise as he can muster.

"Still want to marry me?" Steve says, and it's meant as a joke, he says it lightly, but there's something beneath it.

Tony's grin goes a bit loose. "Throw in some sex in the cupboard down the hall afterwards and you've got a deal."

Steve laughs, too loud for the occasion, but Tony's stomach flutters.

The vows are the usual ones- Tony had tried to put in some dirty ones, but Steve had frowned at him and it really shouldn't be that easy to win him over nowadays, but whatever- and they say the right things at the right times.

Tony's holding his breath as the guy says, "Do you, Tony Stark, take Steve Rogers to be your lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health, in-?"

The guy pauses to frown at the paper.

"Not a typo," Rhodey says, wedged between Bruce and Thor. "Read it."

The guy frowns at the paper some more before clearing his throat. "Uh, in sickness and in health, in the mutant insects that Dr. Doom won't give up on, in bad coffee and- and accidental time-travel and trips to alternate universes, as long as you both shall live?"

"Yep," Tony says, and there's a smattering of laughter from the audience.

"And do you, Steve Rogers, take Tony Stark to be your lawfully wedded husband in sickness and in health, in the mutant insects that Dr. Doom won't give up on, in bad coffee and- and accidental time-travel and trips to alternate universes, as long as you both shall live?"

Steve's smile blindsides Tony. "I do."

"By the power vested in me," The guy says, "I now pronounce you husband and, uh, husband. You may kiss the groom."

It's Steve that half-grabs Tony, his hands sliding around to cup the back of his neck, and pulls them into a kiss.

There are people clapping, and someone's whistling, but Tony can't hear anything over the deafening chorus of 'Steve, Steve, Steve.'

Steve pulls back slightly, so his lips graze Tony's as he talks.

"Ready to leave, husband?"

Tony's shaking slightly. "Absotivelyposolutely, husband."

They walk out hand-in-hand, and the paparazzi are almost climbing over each other behind the barrier (literally an Asguardian barrier that Thor had cast).

They climb into the car, and wave to everyone until they're out of sight.

Steve grins at Tony and the sun hits the window and they're together, and everyone's okay, and Tony is so incredibly in love that he can feel it pulsing through his body.

Steve laces their fingers together. "So, was that quick and painless enough?"

That startles Tony into laughter, and once he's started Steve starts, too, and it's them, and it's enough, and the road spans out in front of them before vanishing into the distance.