It’s not like there hadn’t been beautiful customers in the coffee shop before, but no one had looked quite like this and Tony had never been this tired before. So he figured he couldn’t really be blamed when he blurted out “Hello, handsome,” before the guy even reached the counter.
The guy was at least forty percent responsible himself just because he looked like this. Gorgeous blue eyes looked startled at him before the guy actually made sure Tony wasn’t talking to anyone else.
Tony snapped his mouth shut, determined not to make a worse impression than he already had but when Blondie turned back around, there was a light blush on his cheeks and Tony started to smile again. Maybe he hadn’t made such a bad impression after all.
“What can I do for you today?” Tony asked with the sultriest voice he could manage. The blush deepened but the guy stepped closer.
“I, ehm, black coffee. Please,” he rushed out and Tony smiled brightly at him before he asked “Should I put handsome on the cup or do you prefer your name on it?”
Now even the guy’s ears turned red and he swallowed a few times before the managed “Steve. My name is Steve.”
Tony wanted to say something along the lines of how beautiful that name was but what instead came out of his mouth was “I’m Tony.” He blinked once, surprised and betrayed by his own mouth, but when he added “It’s a real pleasure,” he felt better.
“Likewise, I guess,” Steve said and Tony wanted to stare at him and his well-proportioned muscles forever but he remembered that he had a job to do.
When he turned around, filled coffee cup in his hand, he found Steve staring at him with something akin to appreciation. Tony was glad he had stopped blushing around age thirteen or else his own face would be bright red right now.
He slid the cup over the counter, not taking his eyes off Steve, and when he grabbed for his coffee, Tony said “One hot coffee for one hot guy.”
Steve lowered his gaze at that, seemingly shy, but he pulled the cup closer to himself. Tony realized that he hadn’t asked for payment yet, thank god it was a slow day and his boss wasn’t there, but Steve was already reaching for his wallet.
“What do I owe you?” he asked and Tony basked in the beauty of his voice.
“A smile maybe?” Tony asked before he could help himself and he was rewarded when Steve’s face lit up with a small but nonetheless pleased smile.
“What do I owe the shop then?” Steve asked, smile still in place and Tony stared dreamily at him. “Tony? The money?” Steve asked again and there was an amused tone to his voice now.
Tony snapped back to reality, and took the offered money. He looked briefly at it and Steve had not only given him the required money for the coffee but also a generous tip. When Tony looked back up at Steve, he winked once at him before he turned to leave.
“Please come by again,” Tony weakly managed, aware that this sentence didn’t sound like it normally did with his customers.
Steve lifted his hand and called over his shoulder “Oh, I will make sure to do that,” before he finally left the store.
Tony stood dumbstruck behind the counter, money still in his hand. There was no way Steve had just said that, was there? He shook his head, determined not to dwell on that, he knew he was prone to overthink things, but there weren’t many customers that day and so Tony didn’t have a lot of work to keep him busy.
He cleaned the machines two times, restocked everything they could run out of and wiped the counter after every customer. It didn’t help.
He couldn’t stop thinking about the tip or the parting words Steve left him. Surely Tony’s flirting couldn’t be unwanted if that was Steve’s response to it. Tony couldn’t help but wonder if Steve would really come back again, or if he just said it as part of this game, but he wouldn’t know until Steve stood in the shop again.
That happened two days later and Tony was just as speechless as the first time Steve came by. This time Tony wasn’t sleep deprived this time though, so he felt more capable of leaving a good impression. Steve already had a smile firmly in place and he came up to the counter with sure steps.
He leaned on the counter, eyes sparkling, but he didn’t say anything; instead he left his eyes wander up and down Tony’s body. Tony had some problems finding his voice and Steve’s face slowly transformed and he lost his playful demeanor.
“So,” he slowly started when he took a step away from the counter. “Seems I read the situation wrong last time.”
This finally jolted Tony out of his stupor and now it was his time to lean on the counter. He was now smaller than Steve but he used it to his advantage. When he looked up at Steve through his lashes and smiled at him, it seemed like a successful move, because Steve blushed again.
“Oh no, you didn’t, handsome,” Tony told Steve, whose smile came back at that. “So. What can I do for you today?”
“I was pretty pleased with what I got last time I was here,” Steve said, while Tony couldn’t stop staring at his very inviting lips. “So I thought I’ll take the same again today.”
“That can be arranged,” Tony promised Steve and turned around to make him his black coffee. “What brings you to this part of the town?” Tony asked while he operated the machine. This coffee shop was almost on the campus of MIT and Steve did not seem like he would attend any classes there.
“I got lost the first time,” Steve admitted with a shrug and Tony turned around at that surprised.
“You got lost again this time?” he asked Steve and put the finished coffee on the counter.
“No, this time I had a goal,” Steve answered with another appreciative glance at Tony’s form. Tony was really glad that while his studies did nothing for his body, building robots more than made up for that. There was a lot of heavy lifting involved and Tony knew that he looked good, and he had never been more grateful for it. “And I really like what I see,” Steve went on and Tony was surprised by the blunt honesty in Steve.
He had seemed a bit shy the first time he visited the shop, but now he seemed to have found his footing, because Steve was definitely a flirt and a tease. Tony couldn’t say that he minded.
“That feeling is mutual,” Tony mumbled back, and Steve’s smile was blindingly bright.
“There are a lot of different appealing things here. I guess I have to make sure to taste all of them,” Steve said and he didn’t take his eyes off Tony while he put the money on the counter.
“I probably can give you some tips,” Tony shot back with a wink and then Steve was already leaving again. This day was a bit warmer than the last time Steve had been there and so Tony could really appreciate Steve’s back under the leather jacket he was wearing. The jeans he was wearing really hugged his back like they were molded on and by the way Steve walked, he knew that exactly.
Tony stared for a bit longer, even after Steve had long left the shop and in the end it was Natasha who brought him back to the here and now. She swatted his arm, not as lightly as she could have, and Tony jumped.
“Natasha! What was that for?” he asked with wide eyes and rubbed the sore spot on his arm.
“You know, there are also other customers in here,” she said with a pointed look at the decent queue in front of the counter.
The guy at the very front, Bruce, Tony knew because he was one of the more pleasant regulars, was smiling slightly at him. He didn’t seem angry this time, but Tony knew that that could change in a second. It didn’t happen often but when Bruce lost his temper he was outright dangerous. Luckily for the shop, Tony knew that the best way to handle him was to talk as if nothing was amiss.
Since there was no hint of Bruce’s usual temper in sight today, Tony smiled apologizing at him. “Sorry,” he sheepishly said and Bruce couldn’t help his chuckle. Tony briefly glared at him but then asked “What can I do for you today? Your usual?”
Bruce cocked his head and said “What, I don’t get flirted with?” he jokingly asked and Tony groaned.
“I talk science with you if I want to flirt.”
“Good to know,” Bruce answered and then seemingly contemplated his choice of drink. “I have a project that is due tomorrow,” he eventually said and Tony groaned in sympathy.
He knew exactly how hard it could be to be on a deadline with a science project, it just couldn’t be rushed, and so he silenced Bruce when he wanted to order something. “I bet you need something with a lot of caffeine. I can make you something that will blow your mind.”
He more felt than saw how Natasha wanted to protest but Bruce nodded eagerly. “That would be great,” he admitted and so Tony turned around to make Bruce his special deadline drink.
When Bruce got it, he sipped at it and looked startled back at Tony who grinned. “Good?”
“I’m gonna have heart palpitations.”
“You just have to move fast enough to keep up with your heart,” Tony advised and happily put the money away. He had been in a good mood already, but with Steve’s visit and the undeniable flirting that was going on he was over the moon right now. That he could help Bruce with this only topped it off.
The rest of the day went by slowly, no other regulars came by, and Natasha wouldn’t stop teasing him about Steve. Tony took it all in stride though, Steve had given just as good as Tony, so he was really looking forward to their next meeting.
Steve came by the next day, almost at the same time and Tony made a mental note to keep this shift, so he wouldn’t miss Steve.
When Steve entered the shop he was already grinning brightly at Tony who returned the smile.
“Hello, handsome,” Tony greeted him and Steve’s eyes wandered over his body again before he said “Hey there.”
“What’s it gonna be today?” Tony asked while he leaned on the counter to replicate the effect he had achieved last time. He was rewarded when Steve faintly blushed again and Tony was mesmerized by the colour that dusted his cheeks.
Steve obviously was a flirt himself and he didn’t seem shy about it either, but that didn’t stop him from blushing nonetheless and Tony found it charming. He distantly wondered how far down the blush went and he desperately wanted to find out.
“I’m gonna trust you to give me something I like,” Steve answered him with a sly smile.
“I need to know some things first,” Tony told him and straightened up. “Are you a sweet or bitter guy? I mean, I would obviously go with sweet,” Tony added with a wink, “but one can never know.”
“I don’t think I ever tried a sweet coffee. But I’ll take everything you dish out.”
“That’s an awful lot to take, Steve. I would be careful with promises like that.”
“Why?” Steve shrugged. “So far I liked everything I got here. I don’t see why that’s about to change.”
Tony couldn’t help but smile at that again, it seemed to happen an awful lot around Steve, but Steve met his smile with one of his own, so Tony figured it was okay.
“Okay, sweetheart, you’re in for a treat then. I’m gonna make you something so good, you’ll be back in no time.”
“I think someone else already made the really good stuff,” Steve said with a pointed look at Tony, who felt like he would swoon on the spot if Steve would keep this up. “But please, try your best.”
“Oh, you are on,” Tony promised and didn’t waste one more second to get started.
He believed Steve when he had said that he never tasted a really sweet coffee, so Tony went with a compromise here; the promise of sweet caramel but enough coffee to not completely lose the taste. He topped it off with some whipped cream and a bit more caramel syrup before he presented the beverage to Steve.
He seemed intrigued enough and when he grabbed for the cup, he briefly stroke Tony’s fingers. Tony knew it was a horrible cliché but he could swear there was a tingling where their fingers met. Steve seemed horribly pleased when Tony finally tore his gaze away from his fingers to look back at Steve.
“I hope you like it,” Tony said, more concerned than flirting right now. He really wanted Steve to like what he made for him.
“I don’t think there’s a chance I’ll be disappointed,” Steve replied, voice strangely serious himself and he took a sip from his coffee.
He let out a small groan, and in response to that his blush deepened. When he lowered the cup his eyes shone brightly. “This is amazing!” he told Tony, who was getting embarrassed by Steve’s praise and obvious enjoyment of something Tony specifically made for him.
“I’m glad,” Tony told him, voice more honest than he would have liked. He really wanted Steve to like him and he only realized now, how worried he was that he would do something that would change this.
“When I come back next time, will you make me something special again?” Steve asked him, and Tony was so happy that Steve said ‘when’ instead of ‘if’ that he nearly yelled the “Of course”.
He slightly cringed at his obvious enthusiasm but Steve seemed overly pleased. When he handed Tony the money for his drink, he made sure to splay his fingers in a way that briefly made it seem like he was holding Tony’s hand and Tony quickly curled his fingers so they brushed against Steve’s wrist, to let Steve know just how much he enjoyed this.
Tony had no reference to how Steve normally walked, but he sure as hell hoped it wasn’t usually like this. There seemed to be an extra swing to his hips when he left the shop, and it should be illegal with how sexy it was. Tony hoped that not everyone got to see that.
Steve’s visit always left him in a high spirit and so Tony didn’t notice the somewhat grumpy man who had entered the shop later that afternoon at first. He stood a few feet back, not approaching the counter, but instead reading the menu like it seemed, though it was hard to tell. He could also be watching Tony.
Tony had no qualms about staring right back at him, and he noticed that he was handsome, under his frown and scowling. His hair was long enough that he could wear it in a bun, and a few loose strands fell in his face. He wore military boots with dark jeans and a leather jacket, which suited him well. Tony could see that he was also wearing some kind of glove on his left hand and while it definitely wasn’t cold enough for that, it was a good look on him.
When the guy finally approached the counter, Tony gave him his brightest smile. The frown was still firmly in place and Tony wanted to know if his face would be softer when he smiled. Tony would bet that he was outright beautiful if he softened up a bit.
“Welcome. What can I do for you?” he asked, hoping to get a read on this guy but it proved difficult when the guy continued to frown.
“This,” there was a slight pause, his eyes lingering on Tony, before he continued with “place was recommended to me.”
“Good to hear that we get recommended,” Tony said with a smile. “What was recommended to you?” he eventually asked when the guy made no indication to order something.
“I was led to believe you’d make something for me,” the guy told him and Tony’s mind immediately went to Steve. But that was a stupid thought because Tony made special drinks for nearly all of his regulars and there was no way bright and happy Steve was acquainted with this ruffian.
“I can certainly do that,” Tony said, hating how unsure his voice sounded. Usually it was easy to read people, or they had come by long enough for him to know what they would enjoy, but he couldn’t get a read on this guy and he was uncertain what to make for him. “If you tell me what you enjoy,” he added and the guys face twitched slightly.
“It needs caffeine in it,” the guy eventually offered and Tony nodded.
“That I can certainly do. Anything else?” The guy shook his head and Tony suppressed a sigh. This wouldn’t be easy. “Okay, it’s not much to go by, but I’ll try my best.”
He turned to make the guy some strong coffee when he caught something shiny from the corner of his eyes. He turned back around, nothing on the counter should shine like that, Tony would know, he worked here long enough.
Tony realized that it was the guy’s hand that had caught his eyes and he knew that it was impolite to stare but he couldn’t help it. It seemed suspiciously like the prosthetic Potts Industries made and while Tony wasn’t on speaking terms with his father who had originally founded that firm, he was good friends with Pepper Potts whose firm it was now and who was ready to ditch Howard, and this was certainly his design. Pepper had promised him to call when the first prosthetics were made and so far that hadn’t happened, but Tony would recognize his work everywhere.
Tony realized that the guy was glaring at him, daring him to say something, and Tony rushed to put him at ease. “Sorry, sorry, but, is that, by any chance, a Potts prosthetic?”
The guy put his hand back into the pocked of his jacket, obviously self-conscious about it, but when Tony didn’t lose his excited look, he nodded. “It’s a prototype.”
“How does it work? Any problems so far? Does it fit seamlessly? Does it hurt? Anything you can’t do?” Tony shot off question after question and at the end the guy seemed like he wanted to punch him in the face.
Tony took a step back, even though the counter was still between them and raised his hands in an apologetic gesture. “Sorry. Sorry! I didn’t mean to be rude, it’s just. Well. I made them. Getting real feedback, not from some simulations, would be awesome.”
“You made them?” the guy asked and Tony shrugged.
“Pepper asked me if I could. She practically dared me. I had to prove something.”
“You’re Tony Stark,” the guy said in response and Tony winced. He hated it when people recognized him. But Pepper must have mentioned his involvement and so it wasn’t a big surprise that the guy knew him.
“What are you doing in this shop? Daddy doesn’t pay enough to get you through?” the man asked Tony and he was definitely sneering at Tony now.
“Daddy can go fuck himself,” Tony replied with more venom in his voice then he had intended. It seemed to catch the guy off guard but he got his bearings back quickly.
“Aw, you and daddy don’t get along? Had some fallout about your monthly pay?”
Tony gritted his teeth at that. The guy was still a customer and Tony had to be nice to him. His boss had reminded him of that more than once and Tony still needed this job. Tony swallowed his automatic response to that, something along the line of ‘Fuck you’ and instead said “That is none of your business, as the arm is not mine. Would you like to order something to drink now?”
The guy seemed taken aback by Tony’s sudden politeness and blinked a few times before he straightened. “Okay, I did not come here to fight and I think we got off on the wrong foot here. I’m Bucky,” he said and extended his hand.
Tony was surprised by that sudden change of direction but he took the offered hand. “Tony. Sorry, but you touched a sore subject.”
“I realized. Just like you did with the arm. Though I have to say, no one ever quite wanted to know about the prosthetic before.”
“Why not? It’s a work of beauty!”
“You say that to all the stuff you make?” Bucky asked him and Tony felt like they were rapidly approaching flirting territory. He could work with that.
“Only about the things that get attached to equally gorgeous people.”
Bucky narrowed his eyes at that, but he didn’t seem displeased, though he didn’t acknowledge Tony’s attempt at flirting when he asked “You really only want to know how it works? If there are any bugs?”
“Yes. Like I said, running simulations and getting real feedback are two different things, and I would love to hear your thoughts.”
“Give me something tasty to drink and I might consider telling you,” Bucky said and Tony grinned.
“I can do that!” He still didn’t get a good read on Bucky, but he was sure that his first assessment was wrong. The guy stroke him as someone who had a sweet tooth even though he probably would never admit to it.
He made Bucky one of the sweetest coffees on the menu and didn’t hold back on the syrup or whipped cream. He even added some chocolate, just for good measure. When he presented the cup to Bucky he was met with another frown.
“I strike you as a sweet guy?” he asked and Tony grinned, confident.
“If you can make me believe that you don’t like it, I will pay for this and the new one I’ll make you as an apology.”
Bucky didn’t seem like he believed him, but he raised the cup and carefully took a sip. He tried to hide it, but Tony was watching him intently and so he saw the pleased flutter of his eyelashes. Not to mention that the frown finally vanished. He was beautiful, just like Tony had thought.
“This is really good,” Bucky admitted and shook his head.
“I’m hurt, Bucky. You make it sound like I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“Just surprised, is all.”
“Why? Didn’t think I’d be able to please you?” Tony asked in another attempt at flirting, not willing to give up so easily.
“I’m beginning to think you’d be more than able,” Bucky shot back and Tony smiled at that retort.
Bucky’s phone rang and when Bucky finally fished it out of his pocket he cursed. “Damn, I need to run. When’s your break tomorrow?” he asked Tony in a rush.
“Around 5. I have the late shift.”
“Great. I’ll come by again. Promised you to tell you about the arm, didn’t I?”
“It’ll be a pleasure,” Tony said while Bucky already turned around, coffee cup securely in his metal hand.
“Oh no, the pleasure will be mine,” he told Tony before he finally answered the phone.
Tony watched him walk away and only when Bucky left the shop did Tony realize that Bucky had left some money on the counter. It was more than enough for the coffee and Tony really had to remember to actually take the money from his customers.
Steve didn’t come by the next day, but Tony barely noticed, that’s how excited he was about Bucky’s visit. True to his word, he arrived, shortly before five but he didn’t rush Tony, and instead came to the counter first.
“Hello gorgeous,” Tony greeted him and Bucky scoffed.
“You talking to me or the arm?”
“Whatever you’re more comfortable with,” Tony answered him and that finally prompted a small smile. Bucky was even more gorgeous when he got that soft look, Tony thought but tried hard not to let it show.
“I think I find it creepier that you talk to the arm, actually,” Bucky eventually retorted and Tony grinned.
“Well, then it’s all you who gets the compliments. You want to order something, or should I just make you something again?”
“If you want me to talk about the arm you better make me something like last time,” Bucky told him and Tony narrowed his eyes.
“Not that I can’t do that, but you already promised to tell me about it.” He tried to make it sound nonchalantly, like this hadn’t been everything he had thought about today, but Bucky obviously took it more serious than Tony intended.
“And I will. I just thought with a bit more of the delicious thing you made for me yesterday, talking would be easier.” He offered Tony a small apologetic smile with that and Tony wasn’t quite immune to how that changed his whole face.
“Okay then. Why don’t you sit down and when my break starts I’ll come over with it?” he asked Bucky, who nodded in response.
He turned away to sit down at one of the tables and pulled out his phone. Tony was torn between staring at the deftness with which the metal fingers handled something so delicate and staring at Bucky himself. Only when someone in front of the counter cleared his throat, did Tony realize what he had been doing.
When he looked at the customer he was met with a shit eating grin from Clint. “What’s up, lover boy? I thought you were mooning over Steve,” Clint said with a pointed look at Bucky, who had slightly cocked his head and was smiling to himself. Tony really hoped that he wasn’t listening to this conversation.
“There’s nothing wrong with mooning over two people. Polyamory is a thing, you know,” Tony responded, almost automatically, before he realized what exactly he had said. “Not that I’m mooning, not at all, I don’t moon.”
Clint laughed at that and reached across the counter to pat Tony on the shoulder. “It’s alright. Moon away. You’re not good at pretending anything else anyways. I’ll take my usual please.”
Tony didn’t respond to that, other than swatting Clint’s hand away, but he grumbled the whole time he made Clint his coffee. He put the cup down on the counter, harder than necessary, but Clint didn’t seem to notice. “So what’s up with him? The dark look got to you? I thought you were more into the golden sunny boy style.”
“Shut up,” Tony said before he added with a small grin, “a bit variety never hurt anyone. You’re quite the golden boy yourself.” Tony topped it off with a little wink and laughed when Clint’s face scrunched up.
“Oh god, don’t flirt with me!” Clint groaned and Tony laughed. “Didn’t we establish that early on? You don’t flirt with me and I don’t have to bring my bow.”
“Come on, you made it too easy today. I know you’re with Natasha, I’m too afraid of her to actually flirt with you.”
“Good to know it’s Natasha who scares you and not my impressive bow skills.”
“Have you seen the woman? She is some kind of secret agent,” Tony replied, quickly checking that Natasha was still in the back and not listening to their talk.
“I can assure you, she’s not. Gotta run now. See you tomorrow,” Clint called over his shoulder right before he left.
Tony shook his head at Clint, but then he quickly turned around to check the clock. It was already time for his break and he hurried to make Bucky the same thing he had last day before he quickly grabbed his tablet and went over to his table.
He sat down, presenting Bucky with the cup, before he started his tablet. He had made it himself, perfectly tailored to all his needs and when he opened up the specs for the arm, Bucky whistled.
“That is some high quality tech you got there.”
“Made it myself. Needed something better to be able to work here.”
“Can I?” Bucky asked and extended his metal hand in question.
Tony usually was uncomfortable with giving his tech away, it wasn’t mass produced, and the patent was still in the making, so there was no way to protect his tech yet. But Tony reminded himself that Bucky was already wearing his tech and by the looks of it, he treated it well. After another second of indecision he gave the tablet to Bucky.
He took it gingerly, turned it around and looked at the screen without actually doing anything. “This looks great. You gonna sell this as well? I bet it would be a great tool, not only for inventing but also for art.”
Tony hadn’t yet thought about the art part, but when Bucky said it, he could already see ideas forming in his head. He would need an artist to test out his work and he would have to start a new line, Pepper would be pleased, she usually liked his work, and…
“I know an artist. Maybe I should send him over. Looks like my arm just got very boring to you.”
“No! No, it’s just a really great idea and I can see how that could work. Could you give it back to me for a second? I need to make some notes.”
Bucky handed the tablet back to Tony, now a full smile on his face, but Tony barely noticed it. He needed to get these ideas down.
“I knew it could be a lot of fun, watching people do something they are passionate about, but you really take it to the next level don’t you?”
Tony lowered the tablet, self-conscious about his enthusiasm, people had scolded him for that before, but Bucky really seemed like he enjoyed himself.
“I’m sorry. We’ll talk about your arm in a second. It’s just,” he trailed off and shrugged. “All these ideas,” he eventually finished lamely and avoided to look at Bucky.
“I get it. Like I said, I know an artist. You have no idea how often I had to stop talking just so he could go and get his notepad. It’s really no problem.”
Tony was relieved to hear that, but he was also intrigued by the artist person. If he was still using a notepad he would be the perfect test subject for a new form of digital art. Tony would have to remember that but right now he needed to concentrate on Bucky.
They talked about the arm and Bucky’s impression of it for the remainder of Tony’s not so very long break and by the end he made Bucky promise to come back so they could finish it. Tony had gotten some great data, and he was sure he could perfect the arm.
Before Bucky left, and Tony had to get back to work, he turned around, a shit eating grin on his face. “So I heard you’ve been mooning over me?”
Tony stopped dead, remembering the small smile on Bucky’s face while he had talked with Clint, and he fiddled with his tablet. There wasn’t as much flirting involved as with Steve, but Tony had to admit that there definitely was something between him and Bucky. They hadn’t only talked about the arm, they each learned a bit about the other and so far Tony had liked what he had seen.
Bucky was still waiting for an answer, but Tony couldn’t form a coherent sentence. Sure people had hit on him, but usually during parties, where a lot of alcohol was involved. No one had ever bothered after they learned a bit about Tony and so Tony was speechless at Bucky’s implication.
It seemed like he had taken too long to remember how to speak because he took matters in his own hands. “Because if that were so, I would love to take you out for dinner. Tomorrow evening?”
Tony gaped at that, before he enthusiastically nodded. “I have to work until 8, though,” he remembered when his brain came back online and Bucky shrugged.
“I’ll pick you up here then. Or you want to go home first?”
“No, here’s good. Here’s great. Perfect even.”
Bucky smiled smugly at his stammering and leaned in to brush his lips over Tony’s cheek. “Tomorrow then,” he said with a sweet smile and left the shop.
Tony was too stunned to move and it was yet again Natasha who brought him out of his stupor. “I really do enjoy seeing you speechless for once, but I would also appreciate the help here,” she said and Tony’s head whipped around.
“Did that just happen?” he asked her and it was another customer who answered him.
“Aye, that it did. It seems like your friend is very smitten with you.”
Tony cringed at that, but he had learned to accept Thor’s strange way to speak. He never said where he came from, accent nearly indistinguishable, but it was clear that he was not from America.
“Hi, Thor,” Tony said instead of acknowledging anything else he had said.
“Hello, friend Anthony. I would enjoy another one of your special creations today.”
Tony shook his head to clear it and then went behind the counter to fix Thor up with his preferred coffee.
Tony was a jittery mess the next day and he took great pride in the fact that he hadn’t spilled a coffee like he had expected.
It was all going relatively well, right until Steve sauntered in, mischievous smile firmly in place. Tony groaned; over this thing with Bucky he had nearly forgotten Steve and was now reminded with a vengeance just how good looking he was.
“Hello, handsome,” he weakly called out and Steve returned his greeting with the usual sweep up and down his body.
“So, I’m not here for coffee today,” Steve told him before Tony could ask about his drink and Tony’s stomach clenched in nervousness. This could not be going where he thought it would go.
“Okay?” Tony carefully asked. “What brings you here then?”
“You,” Steve answered bluntly and Tony’s eyes widened in surprise. Before he got a word in Steve went right on. “I wanted to ask you out for dinner.”
“That’s nice, really nice actually, but,” Tony started but he didn’t even manage to finish the sentence, much to his relieve, because he wouldn’t have known how to deny Steve anyway.
“Great. You work until 8, right? I’ll just pick you up here then,” he said and was already leaving the shop again, calling a “See you later,” over his shoulder and he was gone before Tony could say one word.
Tony groaned and let his head fall on the counter which brought Natasha out of the storage room. “Seems like you have a real problem there,” she said and Tony groaned louder.
“What am I going to do?” he asked her, not bothering to lift his head up.
“Looks like you have to make a decision. I don’t envy you.”
“That’s not helpful, Natasha.”
“Never claimed I would be. I enjoy seeing you suffer like that.”
“I hate you,” Tony mumbled into the counter and Natasha patted his head.
“I know. You want to take a break to think about it?” She asked and that was already more compassion than Tony had expected from her.
“No. I’m gonna panic if I have time to think about it.”
“Perfect timing, then. Class just ended,” Natasha said with a look towards the door and the handful of people who entered the shop. Tony knew that the stream of customers wouldn’t stop now and he was grateful for it. Less time to think about his dilemma.
When the end of his shift approached he was shaking with nerves, because he still didn’t know what to do. Natasha told him to leave a bit early, so that he could wait in front of the shop for Bucky and Steve and Tony really hoped that one of them would be early, so that he could talk to them alone first.
What he hadn’t expected at all was that they would arrive together. Holding hands.
Tony did a double take when he saw them and even then he couldn’t believe what his eyes clearly told him. They approached him and while Steve clearly seemed nervous, Bucky was smiling brightly at him.
“So there might be something we didn’t tell you,” he started and Tony had a hard time comprehending even that sentence.
“You don’t say,” he eventually managed weakly and now Steve was also smiling, though he seemed a bit more bashful than Bucky.
“Remember the first time I came by?” Bucky asked him and Tony nodded. “I said this place got recommended to me.”
“Well, what I meant was that you were recommended to me. By my boyfriend.”
“Aha,” Tony said and he knew that that was horribly inadequate but he couldn’t find his words.
“He was quite smitten with you after that first visit and he kept telling me about it. And so I thought I had to see for myself.”
“To…yell at me for flirting with your boyfriend?” Tony asked carefully, but he already had a hunch as to where this conversation was headed.
“To see the guy who managed to make Steve talk about him in the highest praise.”
“Huh,” Tony responded and Bucky’s smile grew even wider.
“Imagine my surprise when he’s not only beautiful but also quite clever and attentive.”
No one had ever called Tony attentive but he wasn’t about to begin to argue that.
“Tell him the best part, Bucky,” Steve chimed in and nudged Bucky in the side.
“The best part is, he apparently knows all about polyamory.”
Tony remembered the brief conversation with Clint and realized that Bucky really had been listening to the whole thing.
“Are you propositioning me?” he asked them, mind already made up, but keeping his voice intentionally unsure to see what they would do.
“Are you accepting?” Bucky shot right back and Steve nudged him again.
“What Bucky means is that, yes, we are propositioning you. We would very much like to take you out to dinner today.”
Tony made a show of appearing like he contemplated that before he threw his hands in the air. “How is a guy supposed to resist that?” he finally said and Steve let out a breath, Tony hadn’t known he was holding.
“But you, handsome,” he said and pointed at Steve, “are going to help me with my art tablet because I assume you’re the art guy Bucky knows.”
“You assume correctly. And of course I will help you with it.”
“Good,” Tony nodded and then turned to Bucky. “And you, gorgeous, will let me make you the best arm that anyone can make.”
“What a hardship,” Bucky teased and used the metal arm in question to draw Tony closer to them.
“While this is all great and wonderful, I noticed a distinct absence of the word yes from you,” Bucky said while he nosed at Tony’s cheek. Steve had his hands on Tony’s hip, their grip tightening slightly, and Tony already felt like he belonged between them.
“Yes, I would like you two to take me out to dinner today,” Tony breathed in the space between them and Steve pressed a kiss to his cheek while Bucky moved a bit down to press one against his chin.
“Awesome,” Bucky breathed into his neck and Tony felt a bit dizzy.
Steve and Bucky retreated after that, not far, only enough that they could look at Tony and they both smiled smugly at the daze look on his face.
“We’re going to have so much fun with you,” Bucky promised and Steve nodded in agreement.
“I should hope so,” Tony said, before he took their hands and linked their fingers. “But before that happens, I was promised dinner.”
Steve and Bucky laughed at that and Tony grinned. This was going to be great.