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Little Ones

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Tony’s sitting on the floor, surrounded by Lego and blocks of every colour. At five years old he had a quiet intelligence and surprising dexterity. Watching him put the Lego together and pile the blocks up around him in never short of astounding. He’s used at least half of the giant pile of plastic building material when someone appears in the door way. Tony doesn’t even notice the young blonde boy, just continues on, little fingers moving each piece into place.
“Hi,” Tony’s head shoots up, little body flinching at the sound of another voice in the quiet room. Tony takes one look at the boy in the door way, blonde hair neatly combed, blue eyes wide and innocent, clothes neat, white shirt smoothed over long khaki pants tucked into brown, suede boots. He’s almost like a little solider; Tony immediately turns his nose up at the image and the boy himself.
“What do you want?” His tone is sharp, voice heavy on the ‘you’ as if the blonde boy is some kind of horrible thing, like bath time or vegetables.
“Um,” Blue eyes widen more, looking shocked and hurt, Tony might actually feel bad. “Can I play?” Except that now the blonde looks like he’s going to bolt.
“It’s not playing, I’m building.” Tony replies waspishly without really meaning to sound that way.
“Well… um, I could help, I could be your ass-tant.” Tony smiles at the way the small boy stutters over the word.
“Ok,” The blonde’s face lights up with a smile and Tony finds himself smiling back.
“Really?” The blonde’s fidgeting in the doo way, looking like a happy puppy.
“Yes, now get over here.” Tony clears a small spot at his side for the blonde to sit. “I’m Tony.” He holds out his hand like he’s seen his Dad do.
“Steve,” The blonde replies, taking his hand and they squeeze each other’s hand in a tight grip for a moment, smiling at each other. Then they get down to work.

***

An hour later Howard Stark finds the pair curled together asleep, Steve’s head pillowed on Tony’s stomach. A colourful fort surrounds them, protects them as they nap and Howard can’t help calling his wife and snapping a picture.