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Always Have the Last Word

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Tony is pissed. He doesn't exactly remember why he's pissed, but he knows it was important, because believe it or not, Tony is actually a pretty mellow guy. He doesn't hold grudges, because with the number of people out there trying to kill, kidnap or maim him it'd really just be an exercise in futility. And he doesn't get irritated easily, because he's usually too busy irritating others, he can be man enough to admit that.

Tony can almost always rely on his mind for supplying answers, but at the moment it's a bit hazy on the details, like what day it is or how long he's been holed up in his garage working or why he's holding a welding torch with a donut neatly dangling off its end. But what Tony does know with certainty is that he is pissed. And the reason for his ire is currently standing between him and his work bench, completely solid, utterly immovable, and infuriatingly calm.

"Tony, you need a break," Steve says.

"You need a break," Tony mutters, trying to sidestep Steve with little success. "Get out of my way!"

"This is getting ridiculous," Steve sighs. "You don't even remember what we were arguing about, do you?"

"Aha! So we were arguing!" Tony feels vindicated. He knew there was a good reason he was pissed.

"We're always arguing. Usually about something stupid," Steve points out. "And if you can't even remember--"

"Obviously you were wrong about something, and I was right, and you refused to admit that I was right, so I came down here to do important things while you continued to stubbornly be wrong about, about that thing. That you are wrong about," Tony says, steadfastly refusing to look Steve in the eye. He has a pretty good idea what Steve's expression looks like right now, and in his weakened state there's no hope of him resisting it.

Steve sighs. Somehow, he manages to pack an entire lecture in that single breath.

"If I admit that I was wrong, will you please come upstairs, eat something, and sleep?"

Tony can feel his resolve wavering, and he scowls at Steve's chest. "You're just saying that to trick me. I thought Captain America was above such sneaky, underhanded trickery."

"Captain America might be, but Steve Rogers is currently fed up with this so-called argument and is worried about his boyfriend, who he hasn't seen for the last four days and is teetering on the brink of delirium. You realize you're this close to welding a donut, right?"

"There is a perfectly logical explanation for the donut, thank you, I'm sorry if it's beyond your limited imagination to understand my genius but--"

"I told JARVIS to make sure you were being fed, and he said Dummy has been sneaking food onto your tools so you'd eat on autopilot."

"You are missing the point," Tony says, dangerously close to stomping his foot in a fit of pique. "The point is, you. You are so very clearly wrong. About something. And you don't actually believe you are wrong, which is why I am angry at you, and you need to stop colluding with my robots because they're mine and they really shouldn't be taking orders from you, and I thought we agreed 'boyfriend' was too cutesy sweet middle school for-- for whatever it is we are, because we're not, we're not going steady for fuck's sake, we're barely even going most days, and I'm gonna fuck it all up the second we label this, and shit, that's it, isn't it? That's what we were arguing about, you--"

Hands. Strong, warm, huge. Holding Tony's face, broad palms cradling his cheeks, long, capable fingers sliding up into his hairline, a thumb stroking the hollow of his eye. Tilting his head up to look into those blue, blue eyes, Christ. Tony doesn't look away, watches Steve lean in close until his vision blurs and he feels soft lips pressed against his own, still parted in mid-speech. Steve kisses him with a mixture of aching tenderness and single-minded determination, like Tony's life depends on this, on feeling taken care of. Cherished.

Just like that, Tony feels his body slacken, all tension bleeding out in seconds as he lets himself be taken apart by Steve's gentleness. There's a clatter as the welding torch falls from his loose grip, and Steve doesn't even falter, just reaches down with one hand to thread his fingers through Tony's, squeezing lightly, his other hand sliding around to cup the back of Tony's neck. Holding him together, grounding him.

Tony doesn't have the presence of mind to react, can do nothing but stand there and be kissed, swaying only slightly. Steve breaks the kiss after a few seconds, but doesn't pull away. He keeps his hands on Tony and leans in to bump their foreheads together, their noses brushing. This close, Tony can take in the impossible sweep of Steve's lashes, the way they tangle slightly in the outer corners of his eyes.

"Still mad at me?" Steve asks. He sounds earnest and innocent, but Tony catches the quirk of his mouth that says he's trying hard not to grin.

"You fight dirty," Tony mumbles, but he's not complaining. He can't even remember what they were arguing about.


end.