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Say My Name

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It took Steve a while to notice.

Of course, everyone did it, so Steve never paid it any mind. ‘Cap’ was just a lot easier to say than ‘Steve’; it just rolls off the tongue. Steve always preferred using code names out in the field, and when the team carried his back to the tower, Steve never mentioned it.

The more the team lived together, the more Steve heard his name pop up. It always made him smile, the group starting to see him as a friend rather than as a teammate.

Everyone except Tony.

Steve tried not to let his mind linger on it; he and Tony were still walking on eggshells after less than stellar first meeting.

But months passed. And still nothing.

They were friends now, best friends even. The two could work flawlessly in any scenario, whether it be stopping a hostile takeover, or cooking the next team meal. Steve hadn’t thought of Tony as ‘Mr. Stark’ in ages. But Steve was still just plain old ‘Cap’.

 

 

Steve doesn’t remember exactly how things changed.

It was the same story. Some crazed supervillain trying to bring the world into a new age. Steve shouted his orders; Thor laughed joyfully at Hulk, Clint and Natasha snarked over the comms. Tony did something self-sacrificing and stupid. You know, the usual.

Maybe it was the fact that Steve had seen it to many times. Had his breath caught in his throat once too many, waiting for the familiar glow of the arc reactor to whir back to life, waiting for Tony to crack an inappropriate joke.

Or maybe it was the fear of the future, Steve’s own subconscious betraying him. How his nightmares of Bucky falling from the train had morphed into wide and terrified brown eyes accompanied by Tony’s screams. Steve had lost his chance with Peggy and now a little voice in the back of his head constantly whispered to him that he would lose it again.

Steve didn’t recall which reason had exactly got him to snap; all he remembered was pushing Tony up against the closest wall in some alley, kissing the life out of him.

And that’s how they became them.

How they weren’t Steve and Tony. They were Steve and Tony.

Instead of wasting away in a liquor bottle, Tony went out of his way to help acclimate Steve to the new century, forcing him to watch the best movies, letting Steve drag him to old museums. Instead of locking himself down in his lab, Tony left the door open, even moving a couch in for Steve to sit on. Instead of getting lost in a new project for hours upon hours, Tony made sure he curled into Steve’s chest each night.

But the nicknames didn’t stop.

Of course, Steve had learned a long time ago that this was just how Tony communicated, the snarky names he gave Steve and the rest of the team were just Tony’s way of stating their friendship.

It never bugged Steve, it’s just…

Tony almost never called him Steve.

Even with the nicknames, Steve noticed that Tony would throw in a ‘hey Clint’ or ‘what’s up Nat?’. Even Thor got to be on first name basis with Tony.

But not Steve.  It was always Cap, or some ridiculous version of it. Since they started dating, Tony even started to say ‘sweetheart’ or ‘darling’ that would make Steve’s ears go red, but never just Steve.

 

 

That was until a few months down the line when Steve found himself half draped over Tony, the two still gasping in the aftershocks of their orgasms.

Steve had heard it.

Steve always knew the signs when Tony was going to cum. How Tony would start to babble until he was just eliciting a constant stream of moans and expletives as Steve pounded into him.

This time was different. Tony reached for Steve, pulling him into a desperate kiss, moaning a broken ‘Steve’ against his lips as he let go. Hearing Tony say his name pushed Steve over the edge, his vision whiting out from the intensity.

Steve couldn’t help but hold Tony tighter than usual, whispering sweet nothings into his ear before they both drifted off.

It happened a few more times; as soon as Steve’s name came out of Tony’s lips, he could feel his chest swell.

It happened once when Tony woke up to Steve peppering his face with small kisses. He just looked up at Steve, uttering a quiet “morning, Steve” with a blinding smile.

Steve also heard it when Tony cackled at his latest failed attempt at baking. He wheezed for breath in between his laughs, helping Steve brush off the bits of flour that got stuck in his hair. “What am I going to do with you, Steve?”

Steve caught it when he had just taken out the last of a HYDRA cell singlehandedly. Tony had flown up next to him, eyeing him hungrily, with a “Jesus, Steve” whispered under his breath.

 

There was one time Steve wished he hadn’t heard it.

It was the same story. Some crazed supervillain trying to bring the world into a new age. Steve shouted his orders; Thor laughed joyfully at Hulk, Clint and Natasha snarked over the comms. Tony did something self-sacrificing and stupid. You know, the usual.

Or it should have been.

Tony had yet again gotten the villain’s attention, trying to draw him away from Steve and the rest of the team.

Usually Tony's armor could handle the threat.

But Tony wasn’t in his armor.

It wasn’t the same story.

Their latest foe had managed to catch them at a charity ball, placing Steve far away from his shield and Tony far away from his armor.

So when the villain raised his weapon at Tony, Steve didn’t even hesitate.

Steve had been shot before, sure, but the pain that exploded in his abdomen was far from anything he had ever experienced. He heard the crack of his head as he hit the ground, the rest of his body tangling with Tony’s.

Steve tried to take in a breath, but was cut off by his own coughing fit. Spots danced in front eyes as his vision started to fade.

“-eve? Steve, stay with me! JARVIS, call for a med-evac now!”

Steve usually got shivers when Tony said his name. But this was wrong. Tony shouldn’t sound like that. Tony shouldn’t sound broken. Steve tried to follow the sound of Tony’s voice to comfort his lover, but when he tried to get his body to cooperate, Steve pulled himself farther away from consciousness.

“Steve?! Steve, please! Open your eyes, don’t do this to me, not now. Steve!"

 

 

Steve woke up to the steady beep of a heart monitor.

He forced his eyes to open; blinking past the tears formed from the shock of the bright hospital lights.

He looked down to see large bandages covering his chest, and Tony curled around his left arm.

He looked horrible. Steve could see that he was in the same clothes from the charity ball, still rumpled and covered with what Steve thought was probably his blood. Tony had managed to take Steve’s hand and thread it through his dark locks, as if willing Steve to wake up and run his fingers through his hair.

Steve couldn’t help but smile, weakly tightening his hold in Tony’s curls. Tony purred, leaning further into Steve’s touch before his eyes snapped open.

Steve?”

Steve gave a small smile. He tried to say something, but found Tony’s lips smothering his own. Steve’s eyes fluttered shut, losing himself in Tony.

“What the hell were you thinking?!” Tony shouted when they finally pulled apart.

“Tony,” Steve sighed.

“No. Don’t give me some bullshit excuse. Doing something stupid is my thing; it doesn’t suit you,” Tony tried to joke. It fell flat as Steve saw fresh tears fall over Tony’s red rimmed eyes.

Tony pushed his face into Steve’s neck. “Don’t do that again. I can’t lose you, Steve.”

Steve smiled again, feeling his whole body shudder.

“You ok?” Tony asked as he pulled away, his eyes wide with concern.

Steve brought a hand up to cup Tony’s cheek. “You said it. My name.”

“What?”

Steve flushed. “Well, it’s just that you don’t call me Steve a lot. And-and when you do, its, um, really great, and- ”

Tony cut Steve off with another kiss.

“You wanna try that again?”

Steve blushed a deeper shade of red. “It’s just… you always call me ‘Cap’ or ‘sweetheart’. I’ve only heard you call me ‘Steve’ a few times. Why do you do that?

This time it was Tony who blushed. He got up from the hospital bed rubbing a hand on his neck nervously. “Do you remember when we first started dating and we went to that run down restaurant in Brooklyn?”

Steve nodded, smiling back at the memory. It had taken Steve hours to coax the engineer out of his workshop and into clean clothes. Steve had wanted to show him some parts of his past that had survived into the 21st century.

They had a wonderful time until their meal was interrupted by ‘fangirls’ as Tony put it. They gushed all over Steve, snapping photos of him, squealing when they got autographs from Captain America himself.

“Well after we left you told me how you don’t really like the attention. That people only saw you as Captain America. That no girl would ever bat their eyes at you until after the serum. That people only saw a national icon when they heard the name ‘Steve Rogers’.”

“Yea… so?”

Tony sighed. “I’ve had a long life of people only wanting me for my name. It’s all fake, Steve, they don’t really care about you, they care about your name! And I-I didn’t want that for us. I didn’t want you to ever think that I was just using you, or for you to think that you were just another conquest. I didn’t want you to think that I was just like everyone else.”

Tony walked back over and took Steve’s hands. “I wanted you to feel special whenever I said your name. I wanted you to know that when I look at you, I don’t see Captain America, I see you as Steve. The real Steve Rogers, just a scrappy guy from Brooklyn who never knows when to quit, not some poster boy for war bonds and patriotism. I wanted you to know that each time I said ‘Steve’, I was saying- ”

“I love you,” Steve finished, looking up at Tony with watery eyes.

“I-I mean, well, when you put it like that, um, I guess that’s what I, uh, you know- ”

Steve pulled Tony into a fierce kiss. “You wanna try that again?” he asked with a smirk.

Tony gave him a small smile. “I love you, Steve.”

“I love you too, Tony.”