“Alright, then.” Tony steps up to the microphone, clapping twice and rubbing his hands together as flash after flash goes off. “Everybody comfy? Got your snacks and your rotten fruit ready? Good, let’s get this boulder rolling. My name is Anthony Edward Stark, and I support same sex marriage.”
He peace-signs the undulating crowd to an avalanche of camera flashes. The reporters all jump to their feet at once.
“Tony, do you—”
“Mr. Stark, are you gay?”
“Irrelevant,” Tony calls, and leaves the microphone whistling, hands shoved in his pockets. As he takes his seat, lounging back, Clint stands up and takes his place.
“Hi,” Clint says, waving at the crowd. He blinks as multiple flashes go off. “My name—hold on a sec,” he says over the attempted questions. “Some of you may know me as Hawkeye.” A ripple of laughter. Clint grins. “But my name is Clinton Francis Barton, and I support same sex marriage.”
“Hi, Clinton,” Tony, Rhodey, and Sam chorus rhythmically from the back. Clint gives a little bow and goes back to his seat. By the time Natasha gets to her feet, the reporters have stopped calling out and are watching expectantly.
“My name is Natalia Alianovna Romanova,” she says, bending toward one of the lower mics with her hands clasped behind her back. “And I support same sex marriage.”
Thor is next. “I am Thor,” he states. “I support same sex marriage. It is a fine institution and I am honored to witness its acceptance here.”
Bruce smiles ruefully into the crowd at his turn, but then, Bruce always looks a little rueful. “I’m Bruce Banner, and I support same sex marriage.”
Already Twitter is dinging away, hashtags flaring up like wildfire: #BironMan, #marriagevengers, #vikingpride. Steve smirks at the eruption of #lgbannert and #hulksmashh8.
“My name is Colonel James Rhodes of the United States Air Force, and I support same sex marriage.”
“Sam Wilson, also Air Force, also in support of same sex marriage.” Those two ought to get some attention. Involving the military often does.
When Steve gets to his feet, it’s to an overwhelming hush. If a cricket suddenly started chirping, everyone in this park would hear it. They all know he’s the one who actually called the press conference, and they’re waiting for him.
“My name,” he says clearly into the microphone, “is Steven Grant Rogers and I am in a relationship with Anthony Stark. I support same sex marriage.” He holds up his hand, pre-empting the flurry that follows. “Thank you for being here on this day of such momentous transformation. I think, after my previous adventures on Buzzfeed, you all know how I feel about the topic of equality.” More titters, and a whoop from one of the militant liberal periodicals. “But standing here tonight, I don’t know how to express how profound it is to know, to see the physical proof, that I am not and have never been alone.”
Steve takes a moment to breathe, to look around at his audience. To look back at Tony, who quirks that lovely half smile at him. “I have missed some amazing moments of pride for America, but today this country has made me the proudest I have ever been. Today, people stood up for what is right, maybe not because they support same sex marriage, maybe not because they agree with ‘alternative lifestyles,’ but because it is wrong to deny equal rights to any member of our society.”
The television reporters are all holding their microphones straight at him; the journalists are madly scribbling into notebooks. And Tony is watching him, holding his gaze whenever Steve looks his way.
“We, all of us, have different opinions on the why,” he continues. “Different motivations for why we tip our hats to this decision, and different ideas of how to show support. The thing that brings us together is our compassion for our fellow man, our fellow woman, our fellow person. It is our acknowledgement that despite our differences, all of us deserve an equal foundation on which to stand, and on which to live.
“Today this country has given us all a great gift: we are that much closer to being able to call ourselves one people. One nation, not under God, but under peace. America is made up of strong, resilient souls who have worked tirelessly toward that end, and today it is my heartfelt belief that we will continue the good fight until we finally and inevitably win it. Thank you.”
The cameras chitter to industrious life, the calls and questions twining with applause. Steve lifts his hand and steps back. They have about a minute before they’ll have to interact again, to provide answers (and therefore future headlines). For now, he heads straight over to Tony, who stands and loops both arms snugly around him. The noise from the crowd rises as Tony presses his face into Steve’s neck.
Steve tightens his embrace, thinking of his closing statements. “Too much?” he murmurs.
Tony’s chuckle is a rumble that passes skin to skin. “Just enough.”
Not quite yet, Steve thinks, and pulls Tony back far enough to kiss him soundly on the mouth. Tony makes a surprised noise, falls into it, and Steve smiles.