“Hello, gorgeous, do I know you?”
Steve doesn’t startle at the smooth, playful voice of his patient, but when he looks up from the chart in his hand, he almost stumbles from the big brown eyes aimed his way. “Mr. Stark,” he says, clearing his throat to regain his composure. “How are you feeling?”
“Like the luckiest sunnuva bitch in th’world,” the brunet purrs, and even with his head wrapped with a bandage, he still manages to look roguishly handsome as he smirks.
The woman standing next to him, all bright red hair and crisp suit lines, sighs into her hand. “Tony, can you just… This is a hospital.”
Steve tries so hard to ignore the warmth he can feel in his cheeks. “You’re pretty lucky, sir. You took a nasty fall, and you could’ve cracked your skull.”
“Still woulda been worth it, just to see your face.”
God, how he’s trying… “You still feelin’ any pain?”
“Not as much as you must’ve when you fell fr’m heaven.”
A burst of laughter leaves Steve’s lips before he can stop it, loud and utterly unprofessional, and really, Dr. Erksine would be rolling over in his grave if he could see Steve now. “Mr. Stark,” he says slowly, as firm as he can manage. “I need you to tell me how you feel.”
“Yes, that’s your name,” Steve nods, stepping further into the room as he reaches for his penlight.
“What’s yours, handsome?”
“I’m Dr. Rogers. Do you know where you are?”
“Last I remember, I still lived in New York.”
“Good,” Steve smiles sympathetically when he shines the light in the brunet eyes and he winces. “Sorry about that. But the good news is that you’re most likely just fine. Your head’ll be aching something fierce, but the worst seems to be over. We’ll be taking an MRI scan, though, just to be sure. Do I have your permission to do so, Mr. Stark?”
“You can scan me anywhere you like,” Tony bites his lip suggestively.
“You are absolute impossible, aren’t you?” Steve sighs, unable to keep the fondness from his voice. “Here,” he slides a tray table beside the bed closer. “Have a pudding cup in the meantime. ”
“Bet you’d taste sweeter.”
“It’s an absolute wonder you ever get anything done, if this is what you’re like all the time.”
“‘Multitasker’ is my middle name,” Tony grins.
“And here I thought it was Edward,” Steve waves the patient chart with a smirk of his own.
Tony blinks, then turns to the woman next to him. “So you’ve finally turned on me.”
“You should be grateful I was still willing to fill out all those papers,” the woman rolls her eyes, despite the faint concern Steve can read on her face. “I’m not your PA anymore.”
“But I’m always gonna need you, Pepper-pot.”
“So he’s okay?” She turns to Steve, after a fond smile at the brunet. “Will I be able to take him home today?”
“Unless the scans show something I haven’t caught,” Steve replies, “he should be good to go. Can’t fall asleep for a couple’a hours, though– it was a pretty nasty concussion.”
“And I was so looking forward to dreaming about you,” Tony winks.
Steve looks down at the chart to hide his smile. “That’ll have to wait, like I said.”
“Lucky for me, ‘patient’ is also my middle name.”
“That’s a mouthful.”
Tony’s grin is lecherous. “That’s what he said.”
“Oh my god, I’m leaving,” the woman throws her hands up helplessly. “I’ll get Happy to come by later, okay? I need to go make sure your company doesn’t take a dive like you did,” she tells Tony, before turning to Steve an holding out a hand. “Take care of him, Dr. Rogers.”
“Scout’s honor,” he nods, shaking her hand. “Nice to meet you, Ms…”
“Virginia. Potts,” she replies. Her smile is friendly and professional all at once. “And don’t let him talk you into anything, either.”
“Somethin’ tells me that’s easier said than done,” he chuckles bashfully.
“I’ve got a feeling you can hold your own,” she says, and leaves the room with a final kiss to Tony’s bandaged temple.
“Is there any way we can, y’know, skip the scans?” the brunet asks when Steve turns back to him, fiddling with the edge of one sleeve. “I’m… not a fan of small spaces.” He sounds anything but cocksure now, and even though he’s pretty much a stranger, Steve feels a warm rush of protectiveness sweep over him.
“I know it won’t be fun,” he says gently. “But it’s for your own good. It won’t take long, and I’ll be right there with you– well, not in there, obviously, I can’t–” he stammers, “because I have to stay in the, uh, observation room next door. But you’ll be fine. I promise.”
“There is no way you should be just as cute when you’re flustered,” Tony mumbles, and there’s a soft smile on his face Steve doesn’t want to look away from. “I really lucked out today, fuck.”
“Impossible man,” Steve shakes his head, but he’s surprised at the fondness he can hear in his own voice.
- - - - -
By the time they get back to the room, and despite the way he’d tensed up throughout the whole procedure, Tony’s a bundle of playfulness now, talking Steve’s ear off as he’s wheeled down the halls.
“Doesn’t seem very nice to name a robot Dummy.”
“That’s because you don’t know him, hot stuff,” Tony grins up at him over his shoulder. “Thing’s as dumb as… well, a box full’a bolts.”
“Still, it’s pretty impressive stuff.” Steve admits.
“You should see my AI.”
“Using your tech to get a date, boss?”
Both of them look up at the new voice, Tony making grabby hands as the burly, suited man standing at the window. “Come to take me home, Happy?”
“Sure am, boss,” the man nods.
“He’s all better now, as you can see,” Steve smiles, ignoring the faint thread of disappointment he can feel in his chest at the thought of not seeing Tony again.
“Yeah, seems it, huh, Mr. Stark?”
Tony smirks. “All thanks to the good Doc.”
“Ms. Potts was right– you’ve got it bad,” the man chuckles, and Steve’s heart skips a beat.
“Wait outside, will ya?” Tony shoos him out, and then they’re alone again. “My best friend says I’m shameless,” he says, rising from the wheelchair to stand in front of him.
“Um,” Steve says.
“And this is probably really fucking unprofessional,” Tony continues, “but I’m totally using my robots to get a date.”
“No, with the other Big, Blond and Beautiful who took care of me today.”
Steve’s smile is probably just a little too giddy. “Well, I think Nurse Odinson would be flattered, but he’s engaged to Dr. Foster here in Neurology, and I wouldn’t wanna get on her bad side.”
Tony’s laughter is loud and bright, and the most beautiful thing Steve’s heard in a long time. “Cute, smart, and sassy to boot. You can’t possibly be real.”
“Maybe that concussion’s got you hallucinating, then.”
“Well, you do look like you’ve come straight outta my wet dreams.”
“Oh my god,” Steve groans, holding his clipboard over his face to hide his blush. “You can’t possibly be like this all the time.”
Tony pushes the chart down. “You can find out if you say yes.”
“To what? You haven’t asked me anything yet,” Steve says, and god, he knows this is absolutely crazy– he’s on duty, they’ve barely met, and he’s never done something like this before. But Tony’s eyes are awfully beautiful, and the feeling in Steve’s chest every time he sees them is as warm as it is unfamiliar.
“Can I take you out sometime, then?” Tony smiles. “When you’ve got a free day and I’m not half dead?”
“Don’t be dramatic,” Steve says. “All you did was almost brain yourself on a glass table and bleed all over your carpet.”
“Be nice to me, then, and say yes.”
Steve’s cheeks are starting to hurt by now. “Okay, yeah.”
“Perfect,” Tony nods. “Friday good?”
“My shift ends at five, so anytime after that, if you wouldn’t mind.”
“If I don’t mind,” he scoffs, and grabs Steve’s coat to kiss his cheek before Steve can do anything else. “There’s more where that came from if you’re good.”
“Shameless,” Steve says, a little breathless from the warmth of Tony’s breath on his face.
“You don’t know the half of it.”
True, Steve thinks, but he can’t wait to find out.