It took a lot of courage for Steve to actually head over to Tony’s workshop. He knew how much the man could get absorbed in his work, from the way he would retreat there for days before he showed up around the others again. So, the blonde felt much like he would be imposing too much on the billionaire’s hospitality if he even did so much as knock on the workshop’s door.
Not that the door was somewhere he could actually knock on, as he found when he was finally in front of it. For one, it was glass, and, however much he could try to knock, he was pretty sure it wouldn’t be heard with the way that incredibly loud music was seeping through the glass walls.
“Is there anything I can assist you with, Captain Rogers?”
He almost jumped at the sound of JARVIS’ accented voice coming from a panel by the door (thank God he was mostly used to the AI now).
“Can I come in?” he asked tentatively, pretty sure he was going to be denied.
The door suddenly opened, startling Steve so much that he could only stare for a moment while the sound of blaring music assaulted his ears.
This time, Steve flinched and cleared his throat. “Right, uh, thanks, JARVIS.”
“You’re welcome, sir.”
He entered the workshop, becoming instantly fascinated by the numerous gadgets and projects littered across the room. He was so engrossed in his observation that he jumped when he heard Tony from behind him.
“Welcome to my lair, Cap.”
When Steve turned to look at him, he saw the brunette lift the welding mask to reveal an amused expression. He couldn’t help but notice a few streaks of grease and soot on Tony’s face and had to stifle a laugh.
The genius obviously noticed and raised an eyebrow at him. He opened his mouth to speak but got interrupted by a strange robot that handed him a dirty rag. Understanding seemed to dawn on him as he grabbed the cloth and attempted to clean his face with it, succeeding only in spreading the dirt. Steve wasn’t inclined to point it out.
“Thank you, Dummy, you can go back to fire duty now,” Tony told the robot. He rolled his eyes when the said robot visibly deflated—not physically; he just looked like a kicked puppy at that moment. “Don’t give me that look, mister. You’re not getting off that duty until you learn to stop messing with the paint controls. Now, go back to your station.”
The robot seemed to look down (how does a robot like that look down, exactly?) and moved away on its wheels.
Tony sighed. “Sorry, Dummy just needs to be disciplined often or he’d keep screwing things up. JARVIS, turn down the volume to 20. Anyway, I doubt you came here to listen to me complain about my creations. So, what can I do for you, Cap?”
Steve barely managed to stop himself from blurting out how much Tony had looked like a dad just then. Barely.
Clearing his throat with a hesitant smile, he said, “I just wondered if you’d mind if I stay here for a bit?” At Tony’s blank stare, he hastily continued, “I mean, I can just go if I’m disturbing you, I just didn’t want to stay upstairs since everyone’s out today and…I mean, if you don’t mind?” He inwardly berated himself (Tony’s not a girl, why are you getting tongue-tied?). Why did he think this was a good idea again?
For a moment, Steve thought the other man was going to ask the same question he just asked himself.
Instead, Tony warned, “It’s not gonna be quiet here and I doubt I can keep you entertained while I do my work.”
Relieved, Steve smiled and held up the sketch pad he brought with him. “I don’t mind. I’m just going to draw here. And I’d prefer noise to too much quiet.”
The genius’ eyes darted momentarily to the sketch pad. “I’m offended, Cap.” His expression appeared to be a hurt one. “My music is, in no way, noise at all.” Before Steve could apologize, Tony grinned and patted him on the shoulder. “Chill. I was only kidding.”
The effect of Steve’s glare was muted by his answering smile.
Neither of the two noticed Dummy’s camera lens focusing on Tony’s hand still on Steve’s shoulder.