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In Six-Eight

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"JARVIS, how is it Steve's landed yet another date? Actually, don't answer that."

Tony was leaning over the bar counter staring at Steve who had just come home from a date with a waitress that worked not far from Stark Tower.

"What do you suppose they're talking about." Clint had joined Tony at the counter overseeing Steve in deep conversation with Natasha.

"Your guess is as good as mine Barton and for the last time make some damn noise when you move!"

"I'm assuming his date went well," Clint said disregarding Tony.

"Hm. I concur," Bruce said joining the other two. "I'm going to pretend we never had the need to know though."

"Stark, did you ever apologize for being an ass," Clint said turning to his left to see how Tony would react. It wasn't within Tony's capabilities to apologize in a forward manner.

"Hm, don't think so. Think you can give me some pointers ? You know, with you all being the biggest ass there is and your flipping sides? I'm sure you keep a lot more in that quiver of yours. A few apologies perhaps?"

"Bruce, is my ass really that big?" Clint turned to give his behind an observation.

"Um."

"Shut up, shut up! He's coming over."

Clint and Bruce turned to exchange smirks and left the counter also leaving Tony to his own devices. He cast a glare watching them leave.

"Cap, hey! How'd your date go?"

Steve was reaching for the fridge door. He leaned in search of something. "Swell," he said speaking into it.

Tony was trying very hard not to glance down at the captain's jutting behind.

"Great great great. That's great."

Steve was now standing back up with a bottle of Naked which Tony made sure to always keep great amounts of. Not for his own benefit but for Steve who was still amazed by the taste and by the things used to make it. Mangos were still a very foreign idea to him. He had opened it and taken a few gulps finishing with two thirds of the bottle.

"So listen, I never got the chance to apol-"

"Don't worry about. I think we both said some-"

It was odd to him that Steve immediately knew what he was talking about. Out of the heated discussion that took place on the helicarrier, it was apparent the pair were the most wounded.

"Let me buy you dinner," Tony blurted out.

"Uh, sure. Why not," he grinned with the prospect of making things right as they should be. His thought process being that if they were going to work with each other, they'd have to learn not to step on each others toes. Much like dancing.

"Great. How's tomorrow for you?"

"Sounds good to me."

"It's a date."

Steve chuckled and made his way to his room. Tony turned to pour himself a third cup of coffee but instead of finding the coffee machine in front of him, he found Natasha with arms crossed and an eyebrow raised.

"Jes--both you and Barton need to stop doing that. I mean really." He knocks on the encasing of the arc reactor through his Black Sabbath t-shirt. "I'm a man with a heart condition."

"Oh so you have a heart now," Natasha said amused.

"Really? Do I need to repeat the whole philanthropist bit to you?"

"Just be careful Stark. Team dynamics." With that, she turned to walk to the spot in front of the black leather couch where the majority of her weaponry was spread out on the carpet.

"I swear. You take those things out just to look at them."

"Like you don't ogle the Iron Man suit every now and then. Besides, routine maintenance is important and Barton just lost a bet."

"Have not! Dinner means nothing!"

"He called it a date Barton. Bruce, care to have a say?"

Bruce cleared his throat not looking up from the book he was reading.

"I rest my case. Get started," she said handing her boots to Clint.

"This wasn't part of the bet!"

She shoved the polish and a rag into his hands, joining the high heeled boots.

"I despise you all," Tony said proceeding to bang his forehead on the counter. Lifting his head thoughtfully,"Except you Bruce. You I like. The rest of you can move out."

"You say the sweetest things Stark," Natasha said grinning into her reflection in the knife she was holding.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

 

Steve made a habit of bringing his art supplies if he knew he'd be staying at any one place for an extended amount of time. It was the satchel that he carried them in that required getting used to. He never quite got over the silliness of carrying one but Tony made him admit that it was rather modish. The one he had at his foot now was a navy blue with two brown leather straps with buckles keeping it closed.

Another habit he couldn't bring himself to break was the need to carry everything he could possibly need. He once had an itch to draw in inks while overseeing Natasha. She refused to be hospitalized and fought endlessly to keep from being kept from her work. She seldom suffered from severe injuries but when she did, it was to a considerable degree. He decided overseeing her would be best even if he didn't have his supplies to keep him occupied.

He now sat in the patio outside the restaurant where Tony told him to be at. He had told him six but Steve lost track of how long he had been late by. With his left leg crossed over his right, he idly doodled whatever came to mind onto the moleskin on his lap. The moleskin was one of the many things he came to find one day after taking residence at Stark Tower. It was newly dubbed Avengers Tower and it was finally a place he could call home. Even if his room generously doubled as a studio preset with anything he may ever need to produce whatever his heart desired. He knew that perhaps it'd be the only way Tony would be able to apologize without it being vocal.

"Steve."

He looked up from his sketching to look into a set of brandy colored eyes not unlike those of a man he'd known before.

Grinning,"Tony."

"What ya got there," he asked taking the seat across Steve's.

"Oh nothing. Why are you late?"

"Industries stuff I don't want to bore you with."

"Actually, I've been meaning to ask. Well, that and what is it you do all that time in your lab."

"What is this? Am I on Punk'd?" He turned left and right. "Is that even a thing anymore?"

"Uh."

And that earns Steve a laugh. He smiled along, guessing that it was the situation that was funny and not his pop cultural ineptness.

"Forgive me. I forget you did time as a capsicle. So what shall we eat? Pizza's great here. How about it? Or we could do burgers. Or..." He looked down the menu searching for something wholesome and American. Something that wouldn't throw Steve off. "It so happens they have mango smoothies." He looked up to see the kind of expression it had earned him and the smile he took in was more rewarding than anything in recent memory. Even if Steve was looking at the menu and not at him.

"I think I'd like that."

"Like what? The burgers or pizza or the sm-"

"All of it."

"You said you lived through the Depression?"

Steve laughed dropping the forgotten sketchbook to the cement.

"I got it," Tony said reaching for it. He flipped it closed and felt the texture of the backside, still warm from being on Steve's lap.

"Mind if I have a look?"

"Not at all," a rather fond Steve responded. His sights were back on the menu.

Tony gingerly lifted the cover to the first page and found studies of lithe female bodies and buildings with archaic architecture and the most heavily detailed rendering of the Tower he'd ever seen. They were all oddly placed so he assumed them to be all separate instead of one singular idea. But he never did quite pay attention to Pepper's lectures on the subject of placement and art in general. He turned the page to find it blank.

"What?"

Tony looked up to meet blue eyes. Steve's face, one of concern. Tony hadn't realized that he had flipped back to the illustrations that had greeted him and stared for so long that he hadn't spoken.

"Nothing I jus-I-they're wonderful."

"The mighty Tony Stark stammering after seeing one of my drawings. Now I really have seen it all."

"Oh please. Don't flatter yourself Steven. I was debating whether or not to point out the obvious flaws in the Tower."

"Well, you built it."

"Sassy are we? Touchy? Isn't their a boy scout code against that?"

"You wouldn't know."

"Ladies and gentleman, Captain America has a sense of wit," Tony said speaking to an invisible audience.

"Shut-up and for goodness sake , try to be polite to the waiter."

"Me, anything other than polite?" A devious smirk. "Never."

Steve sighed and took back his sketchbook and placed it back into the navy satchel.

Tony proceeded to order nearly everything on the menu and enough mango smoothies for an army of super soldiers with hasty metabolisms. Steve didn't take the joke lightly and managed to distribute the smoothies to the many customers the restaurant had. They more than gladly accepted the smoothie and the sight of a tall, lean blond handing it to them. Tony pouted at the thought of doing the same and receiving the opposite response. His reputation would precede him.