“Tony, you can’t just walk away from this!”
Steve reached out to grab back at Tony, but the engineer easily dodged his hand. “Uh, actually I can. I’ve perfected the art of deflection. It’s one of my many talents,” he replied with a smirk.
“Steve, stop. You’re freaking out over nothing. As usual.”
“You know that I’m not! Something’s been off with you; just tell me what’s wrong!” Steve stepped back towards Tony, effectively trapping him against a wall. “Please, Tony. We’re worried about you; I’m worried.”
Tony’s eyes widened, the brown orbs trying to look anywhere but Steve. Steve took his hand to cup Tony’s face, forcing Tony to look at him. “Tony.”
Tony took a deep breath. “Steve, I-I can’t.”
“You can tell me anything, you know that.” Steve gave him a small smile, his thumb starting to stroke Tony’s cheek.
“You know what’s wrong, Steve.” Tony tried to pull his head away, looking ashamed, but Steve stopped him.
Steve brought his other hand up on the other side of Tony’s face. “Maybe.” Steve leaned closer, their noses bumping, causing Tony to whimper. “Stop me,” Steve whispered.
“Never,” replied Tony.
Steve shuddered, making up his mind. He grabbed at Tony’s face, crashing their lips together. It was almost primitive; Steve’s unyielding lips pushing harshly against Tony. Tony responded eagerly, nipping back as his hands clawed into Steve’s chest. Steve swiped his tongue across Tony’s lips, causing the genius to moan softly, his mouth opening.
It was perfect. Each kiss was more fierce than the last, more desperate, leaving both of them panting for more.
*How much time have we lost?* thought Steve. He shivered, pressing harder against Tony. It didn’t matter now. Tony was here, in his arms, and –
Steve woke up gasping.
He looked around his room, trying to gather his bearings. Bare and cold. As usual.
At least it was a good dream this time. A memory of a better time. A time where Tony was his. But all of that was gone. Tony was gone.
And it was all Steve’s fault.
Steve sobbed into his hands. What have I done?
Six months earlier
Steve peered back down at the address written on the page.
This can’t be right.
What stood before Steve was a monstrosity of a building. If a building is the correct term for it. It was more like a palace; a towering fortress that was all shine and flash. It fit in perfectly with this century, but brought so much more to make it stick out in the New York skyline.
Steve groaned, rubbing his eyes with his fingers. It had been just a few weeks since he ‘woke up’. And yet, Steve still found himself wishing each day that they never found him in the ice.
Everything was too fast. Too loud. There was nothing for him here. No Bucky. No Peggy. No life.
Steve spun around to be faced with a familiar red head. “Agent Romanoff.” She gave her usual cool smile, before ushering Steve inside.
“Thought you weren’t going to make it. Where’s the rest of your stuff?”
Steve looked away, embarrassed. “Um, this is all I have.” Natasha looked at him, and if Steve looked closely enough, he thought he could see some sympathy in her eyes.
He followed Natasha into the building, only for Steve to gape even more. The inside was even more sleek than the outside. Even the furniture looked too futuristic to even be usable. It was so fake. Steve hated it.
But of course, he didn’t have much of a choice. It was his new home now.
Ever since he woke up, Steve had been staying at SHIELD base. The tiny room was bland and gray, but it gave Steve some comfort. It reminded him of the barracks, something familiar in such a different time.
But Fury had taken it away. Apparently this time was filled with even more problems than the past. So much for a bright future. Fury had assembled a team, the Avengers Initiative. Steve had met them: some master assassins, a god, and a literal rage monster. And Fury wanted him to lead it.
Steve was sure that nothing could surprise him at this point.
That was until Fury told them all to pack up and move into Stark Tower. Anthony Stark had apparently decided to house the superhero team. Howard’s son. Some part of Steve was excited. Howard was a part of Steve’s old life; it was something he could latch on to. The other part, well, Steve wasn’t sure. Fury and his agents had told him stories about Howard’s son. Some that made Steve cringe.
Steve snapped out his thoughts.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Come on. We’re to meet upstairs.” He followed Romanoff into an elevator. He lost count of how many floors they passed, until they finally reached their destination.
The doors swung open revealing a spacious common floor, complete with the full treatment. Long couches adorned the room, lying on top of an expensive rug. The modern kitchen to the left was fully stocked, not just with food, but with machines Steve had never even seen before. Along the back wall were floor to ceiling windows, giving Steve a wide view of Manhattan. A view he didn’t recognize.
Looking in the kitchen, Steve could already see the rest of his team had made it. Thor and Barton had already made themselves at home, raiding the kitchen shelves, while Banner sat quietly on a stool, anxious as always.
“I see you’ve all made it.”
Steve whirled around to be met with Agent Coulson. How does he even do that? That man was quieter than Barton and Romanoff combined.
Coulson had been an enigma. Who Steve had originally thought to be just another swooning fan, had turned into being one of the most terrifying people Steve had ever met. Coulson shot Barton a glare, getting the archer to drop the food he was currently stuffing in his face, and to cower into a seat. “I’m sure you’re all aware of the fact that Mr. Stark has graciously offered to house you all until we find a more suitable location to… contain you. I expect that you will all be on your best behavior, as well.” Barton got another glare. Steve couldn’t help but smile. Coulson may be in charge of a group of potentially dangerous people and can probably kill a man in more ways than Steve could count, but in the end, Coulson was just a babysitter.
“No, Pep. This thing isn’t for two months, so how about we talk about it in, oh I don’t know, two months? I’ve got more pressing matters than- oh.”
The whole team stared at the newcomer.
Steve was faced with a frazzled looking man in a business suit. The way the suit formed around him, Steve was sure that the tailor must have sown it right onto his body, it fit so perfectly. Everything about him was flash; it was like the man was the personification of Stark Tower itself: showy, sleek, but fake.
“Well this is awkward. Pep, I’m gonna have to call you back.”
The man hung up his phone, and ran a hand through his dark locks. In doing so, he made it more disheveled, but somehow even more perfect. His black hair accented his tanned skin, vacant from a single blemish. And his eyes. Steve was immediately transfixed with those piercing brown eyes, almost like molten amber; the kind of eyes that could take anything apart with a single look. Of course, his look was not complete with perfectly trimmed beard, encasing a confident smirk. Steve knew that smirk anywhere.
This must be Anthony Stark.
“Stark. You’re late,” said Coulson, with a disapproving frown.
“Uhh, I can be late in my own tower if I want to, Agent,” he replied with a wink. The man was dripping with wit, and no doubt charm. Just like his father.
Coulson just sighed, and headed towards the door. “They’re your problem for now. Don’t do anything stupid.”
Steve watched as Stark rolled his eyes, and turned back to the main group. Tony surveyed each of them, before locking eyes with Steve. Steve saw him freeze and take a small step back. But he recovered quickly, flashing another plastic smile. “Well, welcome home, I guess. I’ll give you the nickel tour, but then I’m out of here. I’m hoping you all will be able to entertain yourselves.”
When no one responded, Steve took a step forward. “Of course, Mr. Stark. Thank you again for your hospitality.”
Stark just waved him off. “Please, like this is putting a dent in my wallet. And I’m pretty sure that refusing to house Captain America is an act of treason. Also, Mr. Stark was my father. I’m just Tony.”
Tony stretched a hand out; one that Steve reached back for. He was startled by the callouses; the marks of hard labor. Not very fitting for a business man. But it didn’t matter, because St-Tony was smiling up at him, causing Steve to return it just as easily.
“Alright, just Tony. I’m just Steve.”
And that’s how it started. A simple handshake.
Steve almost wished he could go back in time, to stop in then; to stop anything from happening. But how could he have known? He should have.