Chapter 1: Ringtone
Steve didn’t really know what to think about his relationship with Tony, if you could even call it a “relationship”. They would go out occasionally, but only in private. They never showed any displays of affection public or otherwise. They didn’t cuddle after sex and they certainly never talked about “feelings”. Hell, if Bruce hadn’t stumbled late one night into Tony’s lab and saw them making out on his desk then even the Avengers wouldn’t have even had an inkling that they were together.
It wasn’t that Steve didn’t have any feelings for the billionaire; in fact Steve was beginning to feel more than a little crush towards the younger man. However, he was unwilling to take the first step in this relationship seeing how he was still unsure about how these homosexual relationships normally worked since being gay was practically unheard of in the 40s, and also because he was unsure about Tony’s feelings for him. If Tony only wanted to “hook up” as Clint called it, he didn’t want to push Tony away from him by imposing his feelings onto the bachelor.
Sometimes while the group was fighting, or eating dinner, or just watching TV together, Steve would swear that he saw Tony discreetly staring at him, but then again maybe he was just looking at him normally and Steve was just convincing himself that he saw affection in the other man’s eyes. This was all just so confusing for him. And of course the more the super solider tried not to think about Tony and their “relationship” the more thought about it. Why couldn’t relationships be as simple and easy as they seemed in the 40s, not that Steve would know anyway.
One evening while the team was eating dinner, ok the team was eating but Thor was devouring the meal. Steve had decided to confront Tony (alone of course) after dinner about what the two of them meant to him because Tony meant a lot to him. Bruce was talking very excitedly to Tony about some science thing that was totally over Steve’s head when he heard it. Startled by the sudden noise Bruce stopped talked and shushed the table in order to hear the noise better. At first no one heard anything but there it was. “Star Spangled Man” was playing very softly in the distance. As the team quickly glanced around the room looking for the source of the song, Tony’s face turned a bright red and quickly excused himself from the table.
“I should probably go answer that.” He said, the words tumbling out.
The moment Tony left the room the group burst into laughter. Who would have thought that Mr. Tony “Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist” Stark’s ringtone would be Captain America’s song? Steve couldn’t help but smiled, maybe there was for the two after all.
Chapter 2: Pepper Saves the Day
Tony's reaction to the ringtone.
I'm sorry if the formatting looks weird, you can blame Microsoft Office for that.
Tony could not believe that just happened. How could he have forgotten to change his ringtone when he got home? Whoever was calling him right now had better had a good reason or so help him. He slammed his bedroom door shut and answered the call.
“Tony Stark, what the hell do you want?” he said as calmly as he could into the phones microphone.
“Your people skills never seize to amaze me, Tony” Pepper chuckled back.
“I’m sorry. What do you want Pepper?”
“Just reminding you that you have a shareholders meeting tomorrow morning at 10. Now what’s up?”
“Is it because you forgot to change your ringtone before you arrived home?” Tony then stared at his phone in disbelief and quickly searched his bedroom; there was no way she could have known that without spying on him. “I’m not spying on you Tony. I was in the car when I dropped you off home and I had reminded you to change it but you blew me off for a game of Angry Birds.”
“So when are you going to tell Rogers that you love him?”
“What?! I don’t love (he whispered the “L-word”) Steve. We’re just good friends.”
“Tony he’s the only person you’ve taken out and had sex with more than twice, besides me of course"
“That doesn’t mean anything.”
“If he doesn't mean anything to you then why have you set your ringtone to something that would remind you of him? Tony, I know how you work.”
Tony flopped onto his bed in a manner similar to a teenage girl.
“Yes, you do know me, better than most. Better than I know myself. Which means that you know that I am not boyfriend material, know that first hand actually. So it’s best to keep him at arms length.”
Pepper sighed deeply. Sometimes she didn’t know how the genius could be so stupid sometimes.
“Tony? We didn’t break up because you weren’t “boyfriend material”. We broke up because both of us were too dedicated to our work to find time of us. That doesn’t make you a bad boyfriend. Tony listen to me and I mean really listen. You think that you are keeping Steve at arms length, but you are really keeping yourself at away. You’re scared. Scared of caring for someone and then having your heart broken. Everyone is scared of that. But you need to give Steve more credit then you giving him. He knows that you aren’t going to be like the stereotypical boyfriend. If Steve was expecting a “normal” relationship he wouldn’t be with you. You are a cocky, narcissistic asshole and Steve loves you because of that.”
“Wait, Steve loves me?”
“Have you seen how he looks at you? God, the two of you will be the end of me. Tony, I have to go run your company, ok? I’ll pick you up tomorrow and please, please, please dress nicely.”
“Yes, Mr. Stark?”
“Thanks. I don’t know what I’d do without you. Honestly.”
“I love you too, Tony.”
“Alright, go earn my company money!”
“Bye, Tony.” He hung up and stared at the ceiling. What was he going to do? Did he really love Steve? Or was he just in "love" with Steve's company? Pepper did have a point when she said that Steve was the first person that he routinely took out and he did change his ringtone to think of Steve a few times each day. Is that what people in love did? He didn't know. What he did know was that he enjoyed being with Steve more than he had with any other person in a while, if not ever.
He reached over to the bedside and removed something from within the drawer. It was a photograph of a four-year-old Tony playing with a replica Captain America shield that his dad had made from him for his birthday. Howard Stark would always tell Tony stories of the amazing Captain America to Tony before bed and the impressionable toddler dreamed of fighting alongside his hero. As Tony grew up he learned the hard way that heroes didn't exist anymore and that Captain America wasn't coming back to save the day. The thought broke Tony's heart but deep down Tony still believed and a small crush began to form. Now that Tony was grown and Captain America...erm...Steve was back, he quickly found his hero worship beginning to form into a friendship with the solider.
Putting the picture down on the bed next to him Tony smiled. All his life he had been a risk taker and he had never quit anything he had ever set his mind to. So wasn't this relationship with Steve simply another step in the awesome story that is Anthony Edward Stark? So why wasn't he approaching this as he did every problem? By being his fantastic self. And that's exactly what Steve Rogers was going to get.
Chapter 3: Butterfingers Loves Steve
Tony never came back down after he left the dinner table but Steve assumed that the call was some important Stark Industries matter that he had to attend to. Little did he know that after the phone call was over, Tony was pulling every string he had to plan the perfect date for the two of them.
Pepper, who was yelling at Tony, awakened Steve the next morning. It turned out that not only had he not been ready for the meeting that they were late to, but he had also send a basket of strawberries to her apartment. Steve didn’t even know Ms. Potts that well but even he knew that she was allergic to the delicious red fruit.
Steve’s life could be summed up in the phrase: “You can take the man out of the army, but you can’t take the army out of the man”. Well, that wasn’t exactly true. Steve was slowly breaking out of the military mindset but he knew that he never would. He normally woke up earlier than everyone else in the house except for today because Thor had discovered Rock Band the night before and demanded that Bruce and Steve play with him until they had unlocked every song. Thor of course demanded that he be the singer because the singing helped him learn Midgardian culture, which left Bruce on drums and Steve on guitar. They were actually having fun but playing until the early hours of the morning reeked havoc on Steve’s sleep schedule.
Climbing out of bed, Steve did some quick cardio before heading off to the shower. Unlike Tony, Steve didn’t need be forced to work out; he was just used to being in top physical condition in case of emergencies.
The hot water against his groggy body felt heavenly. Like most people, he loved showers because it a comforting place where he could just be with himself and his thoughts. Sometimes Steve couldn’t believe how much he had changed. He had just been some scrawny kid from Brooklyn who had a problem with running away from a fight and now he was a 92 year old who didn’t look a day over 23. He had gotten everything he had ever wanted — a chance to fight in the army and serve his country in her time of need, but at what cost? He had lost everyone he had ever loved. Lost them to both war and time. Driving the ship into the ice, Steve had expected to die but instead, woke up 68 years later in a world he didn’t understand; a world he didn’t belong to. He tried understanding all of the technology but he just couldn’t keep up, and he felt stupid every time Bruce or Tony tried to explain what they thought was basic science.
Sometimes he even wished he had died in the ice, then he wouldn’t have to deal with all of this confusion from the 21st century and these confusing feelings he had for Tony. He knew that there was nothing wrong with homosexuality, but in the 40s , it was heavily frowned upon, shunned even. A man was meant to be with and a dame and that was that. Old habits die hard because every time his heart went pitter-patter whenever he saw Tony he also heard his church priest from Brooklyn telling him that we has going to burn in Hell for his sins. It’s not like what Father Jacobs said was going to keep him from being with Tony, bud it did put a damper on his feelings. Steve hadn’t been in church since before he joined the army, maybe he should go to the nearest Catholic church and ask God what he should do but the more he thought about it, he more decided that it was a terrible idea. He didn’t like to burden other people with his problems, let alone God. All he needed was to figure things out for himself.
Steve turned off the water and stepped into the steamy bathroom that was connected to his bedroom. He towel dried his hair and wrapped one of Tony’s overly expensive plush towels around his waist. As he reentered his room a handsomely dressed Anthony Stark, who was looking at the pictures on Steve’s dresser, greeted him. Steve was a little shocked to find the billionaire in his bedroom and almost dropped his towel, but it only managed to drop a little below his hipbone. Tony quickly noticed that Steve was done with his shower and gave him one of his famous smiles.
“Hey there, Cap.”
“Hey Tony, how can I help you?” Steve asked, recovering from the shock.
“Can you go to this meeting for me? No? Ok, then will you join me for dinner tonight? Say around 8 o’clock?”
Now Steve was shocked again. Tony had never formally asked him out on a date before. Their previous dates had sort of just happened.
“Um…sure.” Steve managed to blunder out.
“Great! I’ll pick you up downstairs in the foyer at 8 then, oh and dress nicely cause I’m taking you out on the town Stark-style.” Tony smiled, walked over to Steve and gave him a small peck on the lips before heading out to his dreaded meeting, leaving a shell shocked Steve in his wake.
Then the reality of it all hit him like a train. Tony was taking him on a real and proper date. In public. Where people could see them. Granted, Tony did that with all of the numerous bimbos he used to “date”, but this (hopefully) wasn’t like that. Steve wasn’t a nameless bimbo seen on the arm of Tony Stark never to be seen again. He was Captain America! Surely, Tony wouldn’t do something that could potentially damage their reputations (not that Tony had a great one to start with), unless Tony was considering keeping Steve around for a while. Which was more than alright with Steve if that was the case because more of Tony was better than no Tony at all.
After getting dressed, he went down to get some breakfast but what he found was one of Tony’s robots (he had the feeling that this one’s name was Butterfingers) cleaning up smashed strawberries from nearly every surface in the kitchen. Obviously the fight between Pepper and Tony had escalated after he had entered the shower and clearly, Pepper wasn’t above throwing things at Stark in the middle of a fight. But Steve had to commend her, if he had to deal with all of the bullshit that Tony put her through on a daily basis on top of running a multi-million dollar company, he would have flipped out years ago and would be throwing objects a little bigger that strawberries at Tony.
Skillfully, maneuvering through the mess in the kitchen, Steve was able to heat up himself a breakfast burrito and a cold glass of milk. He loved milk; it reminded him of being at home with his mom. Looking at Butterfingers clumsily clean up the mess, he quickly ate his breakfast and helped clean the kitchen. Steve understood that Tony’s robots weren’t sentient creatures but he still didn’t think that they should have to do all the work around the house. It reminded him of the segregation during his time where the blacks cleaned up after the whites in restaurants and hotels.
Steve busied himself throughout the day by reading military history books and helping the robots clean the house, there was even a rule in house that Tony put into law stating that the robots were under no circumstances allowed to clean his lab. Only Steve, Tony, and Pepper were allowed to do that. While cleaning the glass doors of the lab Steve got a glimpse of his watch and almost had a small heart attack when he saw that is was 6 o’clock. Giving him self only two hours to get ready was really cutting it close. But in his room he came across a bigger problem. Looking in his closet Steve quickly realized that he had nothing to wear to the date. Steve didn’t want to be underdressed for his first date with Tony. Everything had to be right if he wanted to ensure a second date with the handsome man.
“Mr. Rogers, there is a delivery for you at the door.” JARVIS announced.
“I’m not expecting anything.” Steve replied.
“That may be so, but there is still a delivery for you downstairs.”
“Alright JARVIS, thank you.” Steve said while heading down to the front door.
In the foyer was a garment bag with a note attached. Picking up the note, Steve smiled when he read it.