Chapter 1: "Steve, Teach Me To Waltz"
It was just another day for Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America. He had been getting along rather well for a near 100 year leap into the future, especially since he was living in the most technologically advanced pent house every designed by man. Yes, he thinking about Tony's home, now known more as the Avengers Base/home. He was indeed living there along with Black Widow when she wasn't on a mission, Thor when he wasn't at Jane's house, Jarvis who was always there but not actually human, Hulk when he wasn't doing charitable research in a different country, and Tony when he wasn't locked up in a room somewhere driving himself mad. The only ones that actually lived there full-time was Steve and Jarvis so it was rather lonely in the Stark suite most of the time. The blonde made himself dinner and always made an extra helping or two if anyone came back late, usually it would be eaten by the next day.
Sadly, this was the lonely life Steve Rogers led, but he was thankful for everyday of it. Especially when he started fully understanding what technology could accomplish, the things he saw now were astounding! He secretly was glad he had been frozen in a way, it wasn't all that bad despite what he had lost. The only thing that haunted him now were dreams of the past or the plain terror of reliving his years in the army. Despite being a hero, Captain America had also seen his comrades fall before him and in front of him. Luckily, those thoughts were far and in between as Steve learned more about the wonders of technology. Perhaps that was what made him sleep more peacefully at night, he didn't need to worry at night in paranoia because he knew Jarvis would wake him the moment anything life threatening or otherwise was happening. There was a certain comfort that came from living in Stark's abode, the peaceful atmosphere of normality, even though he was surrounded by technology at its greatest.
This morning started no different, Steve sat at the counter of the kitchen with a mug full of a light brown mixture that identified as coffee. A small quiet smile appeared on the blonde's face as he stared into the small comfort he had in this world that did not change. Coffee. The one comfort of his old life that had followed him to the future as he swirled the liquid in the cup lightly in a habitual circling motion. A habit that had been created by his nerve wracking teenage years, the mesmerizing motion reminding him that no matter how much his body changed, his mind and imperfect habits had stayed. He felt his shoulders relax as he felt time pass him by, Steve was always astounded at the amount of comfort he felt in Tony Stark's home. There was no immediate danger and something almost normal about the place that allowed Captain America to relax, something he had never been able to fully do in any other place.
He let out a deep content sigh and let his mind wander without a barricade to bar it. The small smile from earlier grew slightly as he thought a bit more darkly, the blonde's mind watching as his useless habits he had retained make the cup swirl a bit faster in the cup to dissipate the amass of bubbles surrounding the edge of the mug, he was an imperfect creation, a flawed product even. There was something funny about the thought,though the light he saw it in was a lot darker than usual, the blonde admits. He always thought of himself as flawed, even his mother had agreed with him. His own father hadn't even given his son a second look after seeing how strange he was and Steve knew it all too well.
Suddenly, the blonde felt his whole body shake from the thought, a small laugh boiling over as he continued to look at his own reflection in the coffee. His laugh was buoyant and unusually happy from the thought that his mother and father were so wrong. When he had turned 16 he had run off with Bucky to the big cities, and Bucky being understanding of his situation had a great idea. "To join the army! To make a difference that no one could ignore!" Bucky would say and Steve would reply, "Yeah, let's make the world a better place! Though I fail to see how a couple of idiots like us could accomplish that!" To anyone else, their words might have seemed very fickle, but to Bucky and Steve, they knew that the other was very serious about joining. The blonde felt a sharp pang in his chest as his mind walked through the delight of old fond memories...especially ones with-
"I am sorry Captain Rogers, but Mr. Stark would like a word with you in his office. I apologized if I scared you. Are you alright?" the voice of Jarvis had made Steve Rogers jump in his seat, the cup that was in his hand moments earlier now laid against the marble counter top and the blonde thanked his lucky stars it was not broken, the last thing he needed today was Tony getting angry about him breaking things. The Captain looked up to the ceiling and spoke to Jarvis, "No you are alright, you just startled me. I am fine. Can you tell him I will be there in 5 minutes, I need to clean up this spill." There was a silence as the pale man began looking for a towel of some sort to soak up the mess. His eyes fell upon a red towel and in a minute Steve had cleaned up the mess and put away the fallen cup, washed, dried and put away in one of the cabinets.
Then, with quite a bit of guidance from Jarvis, Steve made it to Tony's real office. It surprised the blonde as he walked into the large room, it was large, circular and was filled with pure sunlight from the walls that were made purely from windows. The office was beautiful and so warm, not painstakingly so, but enough to warm a room in the middle of cold early spring weather. Steve felt his legs move towards the windows, his whole body wishing to gaze out it and look to see if he could see a full 180 of the sky. He was no more than 20 feet away before Tony's voice boomed over a balcony within the room, "So Cap, how do you like my office?" The blonde turned himself away from the windows to see the smug playboy Tony Stark leaning over a railing from a second floor, the man's smug grin telling Steve that he already knew what the blonde thought but wanted verbal praise upon his space.
Despite not wanting to give Tony a bigger ego, Steve couldn't help but voice his thoughts about the room, "It's amazing, but I would imagine that in the summer in this room would be really hot." The brunette gave a swish of his hand into the air and nodded, "Yeah, summer's a real bitch in this room-"
"Language!" Steve cut in automatically but soon regretted it when the brunette gave him a defeated look, "Really Cap, language? I thought we were over this? I cuss too fucking much to care!" Steve made a sour face as he was tempted to warn the man again, but he thought better of it. After all, he was living in this man's house for free, so he should at least respect the man's rule. The blonde watched as Tony walked down the stairs with a cup in his hands and small bags under his eyes, giving the man a much more rugged look. The more that Steve observed the brunette he realized that Tony looked very tired, well more so than usual. "Tony, are you okay?" Steve asked lightly and the other man gave him a puzzled look as he reached the bottom of the stairs, "I got exactly 14 hours of sleep Cap, I'd say I am doing fan-fucking-tastic!" Tony said with a prideful tone and once again Steve had to hold his tongue from commenting.
"Have you eaten in the last 24 hours?" asked Steve cautiously, knowing that the answer would probably be the wrong one, but he was surprised as he watched the brunette smirk again in a way Steve found utterly annoying. "Yep, I had some of whatever you made last night, I think you made mac'n cheese casserole of some kind. It was pretty good, I have to say, how very American of you to make Mac'n Cheese." Tony taunted and Steve took no humor, but simply stood a little more confused then when he came in. "Jarvis said that you wanted to talk to me about something," the blonde said and the brunette smiled and sat on his desk and stared at his fingers for a moment before speaking, "Do you know how to dance the waltz?" The blonde looked at the brunette with his eyebrows scrunched up and and replied slowly, a little suspicious now, "I'm okay at it. what about it?" The genius looked up at him and said, "Well, I got into this fight with Pepper and let's just say that she said I couldn't dance so I kinda told her that I'd learn the waltz in a week and show her I can be a gentleman!"
The pale hero's eyebrow twitched slightly and he turned his head to hide his smile from Tony, unlike Tony, he was not rude enough to laugh in front of another, so a smile he could bear. Then he thought for a moment then the blonde asked, "Why aren't you hiring a tutor or seducing some star to give you lessons?" This part made the brunette look sheepish as he sat in his office chair facing away from the pale man as he said, "Well, I sorta already told her I knew how to waltz...So any dancing instructors would be on my taxes, which Pepper does every month. I also can't get anyone else to do it without drawing media attention, so that practically eliminates every person outside the Avengers base. You are from the time where ballroom dancing was the norm so I naturally assumed that you would have some experience with it." Tony pointed out, Steve understood that those were valid points. The blonde man knew he couldn't even begin to understand the complex creature that was Tony.
"It's not good to lie to her, the waltz is not as easy as you think," said Steve with a warning evident in his voice. The blonde's mind raced back to his younger days when his aunt taught him to waltz, it had taken him a whole month to get the basics, but Steve had to admit, his aunt knew how to teach dancing. For Steve, dancing the waltz had become as simple as breathing and the steps came to him naturally. "Yeah, I get that. I may not know how to waltz, but I can tango like nothing you've seen before!" Tony boasted with a large smile as he swerved like a child in his chair and Steve then asked rather curiously, "How long did that take?" Tony stopped spinning for a moment before smirking as he spoke, "A week." The look of shock must have been easily seen on the blonde's face, because Tony burst out laughing.
"Stop laughing!" Steve said as he felt a flush of heat rise from embarrassment, his heart easily heard pounding in his ears as the laughter continued. "I..can't! The look on your face!" Tony sputtered out as a bit more laughter followed, but Captain America let it be and waited for the sound to fade. "I wasn't lying, I did learn it in a week. How long did it take you to learn the waltz?" the tan man asked, his eyes flickering over to Steve's to watch for a reaction most likely. "A month, but i was 11 and extremely awkward since I was smaller than everyone else." the blonde noted monotonely and it elicited a smile from the brunette. Tony scratched his small bearding lightly and said with a small chuckle, "oh yeah, that's right. I keep forgetting you actually were somewhat normal before the army experiment." Steve felt a little jab at his heart from the statement, the thought of being flawed showed up again in his mind, diverting his thoughts for a moment before coming back to reality. "Yeah," Steve said, his voice a little more reminiscent than it should have been.
If Tony had noticed the change in tone, her hadn't let on he did, which was a relief to the pale man as he stood up, "So, what you are basically saying is that you want me to teach you how to waltz in one week?"Tony gave a smug smile and looked at the Captain with a sly look in his eyes that always spelled a challenge, "I won't need a week, I bet I could get it down in a day!" Steve just looked at him and said, "I give it a full 2 days before you quit, because if I am teaching you, you will wish you had never lied to Pepper." The brunette looked at Steve with a look that the blonde couldn't begin to understand as he heard Tony speak, "We'll see about that, so when do we start Captain?" 'Good question', thought Steve, but then he remembered how his aunt had first taught him. First, she had danced with a man in the studio to show him vaguely what the stances and dance should look and feel like.
"Jarvis, is Ms. Romanov in the building now?" Steve asked, ignoring the strange look he got from the tanner man as he listened for the answer, "Yes, she is currently in her bedroom. Would you like me to give her a message?" Steve smiled, technology was so amazing, "Yes, can you ask her to meet me in the ballroom in 30 minutes, please give me back her answer." There was a silence and the blonde looked over to the brunette and explained, "Well, the first thing that you must understand is that my aunt taught me to ballroom dance, so I will use the same methods as she did to me, which means you are going to be sore everyday this week so no other plans, got it? That is my offer, if I train you, I train you right." Tony stared at him, somewhat dumbfounded by him, but he responded plainly, "Yeah, I get it. I already planned to work hard so I told Jarvis to push all meetings till next week."
Steve paused, "You can do that? Won't that put you out of work if you disrespect your advertisers like that?" Tony laughed, "Yeah right, those guys want me more than I need them so they will wait for a week. so why do we need Cat lady in the ballroom?"Steve said nothing for a moment before starting towards the door, leaving Tony sputtering after him out the door, "Hey, Capsicle! Rogers! You didn't answer my question!" Captain Rogers gave a sweet smile behind as he spoke, his mind wandering back to the moment when he had first seen his aunt dance in front of him almost magically. "You'll be there too Tony, go up the balcony and just watch quietly, that's all. Trust me, you'll enjoy it."Tony paused in the hallway and just stared at the taller man but Steve ignored it and kept walking even as he heard the brunette holler down the hallway, "That makes me wonder even more!"
Twenty minutes later, Captain Steve Rogers walked into the ballroom of the Stark estate, he himself wearing a white suit with a blue tie that matched his eyes. The room was wide and had beautiful hardwood flooring, the walls were a plain white color that matched the long vertical windows that let in an array of sunshine, making the room one of Steve's favorite places in the whole Stark estate. It was a room full of natural light and that wasn't even including when he turned on the lights themselves. The whole room seemed to suddenly illuminate almost heavenly, the floor sparkled from the pure unfiltered light almost begged to be used. "So Rogers, why the invite to the ballroom? Are we going dancing perhaps?" Agent Romanov's voice echoed across the large room and Steve was delighted to see her for the first time in ages, she looked relatively the same as usual which made Steve smile. It was nice to have something or someone not change, it was comforting to know that time didn't always change everything.
"Actually yeah, I wanted to ask you something." Steve started and he watched as the red head's eyebrow lurched to one side, the blonde interpreting it as intrigued. Steve continued very politely, hoping that the woman would agree to his request, "Well, I wanted to ask you if you wouldn't mind a simple waltz with me. I assume that you know how to waltz being a very intelligent and culturally diverse woman. I would like to see if I can still do it or not, I mean you don't have to but it's helpful to dance with a partner and-" A small hand was thrown up in a stop signal, Steve's voice cut off as Black Widow spoke, "I know how to waltz and I will agree if you tell me a tidbit of classified information from time to time. I like to know what's going on during missions with you."
Instantly, Steve nodded, his eyes sheepishly looking around the room, mainly on the balcony to see if he could see a flash of dark brown hair, but there was none in sight. "Yes, I wouldn't take too much time hopefully. I just want to see if I can still dance like I used to before all this," Steve gestured to his whole self before continuing, "got changed." He looked back up to see understanding full brown eyes, there was a twinge of another emotion, but she hid it well behind her facade. "I hope you can dance okay even though I don't look the part." Steve blushed from embarrassment as he sputtered, "No, it's my fault. I completely overdressed for this. I was just so excited...it's a habit." the blonde finished lamely and Black Widow chuckled as she walked in her black boots, a grey open jacket with a red tank top along with a pair of dark jeans. She was stunning as always and a joy to work with, reliable, resourceful and trustworthy, everything a good partner was. He had no romantic feelings for her though. She was more like a sister he was to protect, and in all honesty, Steve would be a little terrified to have Agent Romanov as his lover, plus she had Bruce Banner.
"Jarvis, do you have the music I picked out for the waltz ready?" asked Steve and Jarvis replied with a simple yes. The music began playing and just as Steve guessed, before he knew it he had become one with the music. The blonde man's body moved with no necessary instructions as he held her hand in his, outstretched and away, his lower body close to hers, their backs both arched like a bow as their feet practically floated with ease. Each movement was gentle, soft, and nostalgic, the sweet past of remembering his aunt when she danced, this was the feeling. The tall blonde man felt on cloud 9 as he danced with her, it was a strange feeling as though they were in the sky and every turn was a new gust of wind to carry them. Above he saw a small flash of dark brown and eyes of dark mahogany follow him with a strange light to them. The light in Tony's eyes reminded Steve of his first time watching the elegant dance, he gave a large smile almost thoughtlessly and once again fell back into the motions, wanting to impress his new student.
Sadly, the dance did not last forever, as the music died down so did they. Every cell in Steve's body thrummed with vibrant life, the longing to dance again was like a drug on his body. His aunt had always said that he could have been a dancer if he didn't know what to do with his life. His smile was still broad on his face as he look down at Romanov and thanked her for the dance. "That was fun, you were amazing. Didn't know you could dance like that." she said with a sly look of a rare emotion, surprise. In a way, Steve felt a little elation for eliciting such a rare emotion from the usually apathetic Agent Romanov.
He gave a small smile and said, "Thank you, it was fun to dance with you. You were an exceptional choice of woman to dance with." Black Widow gave a playful glare as she turned to walk back to the depths of the Stark mansion from whence she came. "I'll ignore the 'exceptional' sexism comment and take it as a compliment. See you at dinner time." She said offhandedly and the blonde man gave a warm smile her way, even though she didn't see it, he could tell she already knew it was there. She shut the large door behind her as she left, then he heard the sound of a slow clapping coming from the balcony above.
"Well Cap, you sure know how to motivate people, next time I have a speech for the Technology Movement of the Future I think I will just let you do an interpretive dance number by the microphone while singing the 'Star Spangled Banner'." Tony said, his face almost a mix between leering and mocking him, either way Steve found it unamusing. "Fuck you, Tony-" Steve started, but the brown haired menace cut him off for a moment to say one word, "language', but Steve continued regardless with only a scowl to signify that he heard it, "-you promised to go with my way of teaching. The first thing I had to do to learn was watch the proper way to do things, a way to visualize their hands, their stances, their steps, the flow, the rhythm, everything." Tony gave the comment a bit of a shocked look but then he smiled again. "so you want me to visualize you?" Tony said and Steve paused, then he fully understood the brown haired male's pun.
The blonde felt his face flush and it became redder the longer Tony laughed as Steve tried to talk his way out of it, so embarrassing! "What? You said it not-" "Alright, alright, visualize the dance and how it was danced. It will help you when- would you please stop laughing Tony!" The other man was clutching his abdomen and trying hard to pull it together but the brown haired male couldn't do it. "What is so funny?!" the pale man asked with anger and confusion evident in his voice. The joke was over and Tony was still laughing! "Sorry," Tony said lightly, but it was not heartfelt, "Your face is so red, you look so hilarious!" Another round of laughter continued and Steve felt his ears become heated as he turned to walk away.
"Fine, you can learn to dance on your own." huffed Steve and with a few strides he was out of the room with the sound of laughter behind him. After a while in his room, Steve calmed down and felt only a minor irritation arise when the name Tony Stark came up anywhere. "Mr. Rogers," Jarvis spoke and Steve jumped at the sound but slowly went back to relax when it was just Jarvis, "Yes?" "Mr. Stark wants me to give you his apologies at his behavior this afternoon and request that you still assist him in learning to waltz." the response made Steve purse his lips in more than slight aggravation. It was anger flaring in him and with an angered voice he said, "Well, please tell him this for me Jarvis. Tell him if he's so sorry he should come down stairs and apologize to my face. Then, i'll think about it." There was a pause in the air and Steve wondered if Jarvis had gone to give the message, but then the electronic voice spoke again, "Would you like me to tell him your emotional status as well?" The blonde gave a smirk at the AI's great suggestion, "Yes, that would be great, and thank you so much for earlier today. It was good to dance again with someone while having music."
"Mr. Rogers, what does it feel like dancing?" Steve paused at the odd question, usually Jarvis did not ask questions. Steve sat for a moment and thought, "um, well dancing is..." There was a silence as the hero thought and then memories of past flooded back to him, things that made dancing so amazing. "When you dance, sometimes you feel like your flying, like every move you make sends you a little higher, every motion your making is perfection, I guess you can say it gives a sense of peace and yet you feel a high from it. The adrenaline and perfection mixing into some sort of peaceful spectacle...I guess that sounds strange doesn't it? Sorry about that!" Steve said a little nervously, but Jarvis responded quickly, "No, there are many human emotions that baffle me so it is not strange at all. You make the feeling a bit easier to understand. Perhaps there is a greater purpose to the healthful exercise that is dancing." Steve smiled at the response and quickly Jarvis concluded his business, leaving the blonde to stew on the many things that had happened that day.
1. Tony Stark asked for his help on how to dance the waltz.
2. Steve danced with Agent Romanov to showcase the proper waltz...for Tony.
3. Steve got angry at Tony for laughing at his teaching method.
4. Jarvis asked about dancing because...of Tony?
The American hero growled angrily and threw his magazine he had been reading across the room in anger, everything was about Tony! Then again...Steve stopped for a moment and realized something that put a big hole in his heart, something that had made his stomach drop and his wet slightly. This had been the first time he had been with someone the whole day since the beginning of the Avengers. Since then, no one had cared and they had had their own lives, jobs, and lovers to return to, but not him. He hadn't hadn't had someone like that for a very long time, someone to come home to or say hi to for more than an hour. That left an impression in his heart, that he was not needed and for a moment an emotion in his heart fluttered at a single thought.
'Tony needed him.'