Sometimes Steve still has nightmares. They’re rare, short, and secret. Tony knows because of the times he’s woken up in the middle of the night to Steve’s muffled moans and half-coherent mumblings of pain. It shocked him the first time, when Steve Rogers – still invincible in Tony’s eyes – had gripped Tony’s hand hard and cried out. Please, no. They hadn’t talked about it the next day, hell Tony wasn’t even sure that Steve remembered having the dream, but Tony never forgot. The next time it happened, Tony reached out to smooth Steve’s sweaty brow and had nearly been thrown through the wall. Now Tony knows to whisper first and touch second, that if Steve opens his eyes Tony should pull the soldier into his arms and press reassuring thoughts into Steve’s hair. Shhh. It’s okay. You’re here, with me. Hitler’s dead. The troops came home. Bucky is alive. We’re alive. Because though it took Tony a couple tries to find the correct answer, he’s always understood the problem. Tony knows that for every time he’s had a shaky Captain America in his arms, he has woken mid-scream only to be silenced by Steve’s lips. In their line of work, living with all of the things they’ve done, they’re allowed to have nightmares. It only takes a couple years in the field to realize you’ll be fighting them off for the rest of your life. Tony’s only real regret is taking so long to realize that the trick is to find someone to fight them off with.