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Regardless of being on various Avengers teams for the past decade, Tony Stark still found it a bit strange to see a bunch of superheroes eating breakfast in the kitchen of his tower.

The whole concept wasn’t strange in a bad sense (really), it just wasn’t something that Tony was used to.

Another thing that he found baffling was how this group of dysfunctional people could make a building like this feel like an actual home.

The tower had Tony’s name on it, so yeah, it was officially his, but everyone around had affectionately dubbed it the “Avengers Tower.”  Even news reporters had taken a liking to the name. 

Tony stopped his musings and cleared his throat before cheerily greeting, “Good morning, my modern family.”

Jessica raised an eyebrow at him.  “Why so peachy, Stark?”  She was helping Jarvis peel and cut fruit for the fruit salad: a domestic image that Tony was surprised by, but the illusion was shattered when he noticed she was using some sort of SWORD issued pocket knife… thing.

“What?  Is there something wrong with me being in a good mood?” Tony asked, mildly offended.

“No,” answered Logan. “There’s somethin’ wrong with ya bein’ in a good mood this early in the day.”  He sipped his beer as he surfed through the channels on the television.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve woken up early,” Tony defended.

“That may be,” Jarvis piped in, “but this is the first time you’ve woken up willingly.”

“See?  Even Jarvis knows something’s up,” said Danny as he fed the baby cheerios.  He offered to take Danielle for the day so that Jess and Luke could spend some time together.

“You’re supposed to be on my side, Jarvis!” Tony whined.

The old man only shrugged and turned his attention back to the stove.   

“Traitor,” the genius mumbled, before taking a seat in his usual place at the table.  He looked over to the empty seat next to him. “Hey, where’s Cap?”

“He went to the store with Peter to get more eggs,” MJ said, surprising Tony.  She put her newspaper down on the table. “Oh, sorry.  Did I startle you?” she asked, unapologetic.

He sent her a half-hearted glare. “I just… didn’t see you there.”

“Well, if you paid a little more attention to your surroundings, and a little less on keeping tabs on Cap, you probably would’ve noticed,” the redhead teased. 

“Wha—!” Tony gaped, “I do not—”

“Don’t even bother trying to deny it,” MJ said off-handedly. “We all know he’s your favorite.”

“I’ve known him longer,” Tony said, much more composed than five seconds ago. “It’s only natural that I’m a little closer to him than everyone else—” 

Logan snorted. “Ya serious, bub?  A little closer?”

“You two are practically attached at the hip,” said MJ.

“What is with you all this morning?  Is it national ‘Make Fun of Tony Day’ or something?” Tony couldn’t believe this: he felt like a kindergartener being teased about his crush.

“Today’s ‘National Make Fun of Tony Day?’  How come I never got the memo?” Peter said when he and Steve walked into the room, bags of groceries in hand.

“You get the memos, honey,” MJ informed. “You just never read them.”

Tony just sank in his seat and glared at the tablecloth as he willed the faint blush from his cheeks to disappear.

“We got the maple syrup, Jarvis,” Steve announced as he placed the bags on the counter.

“Fantastic! Breakfast can be served then!” Jarvis said.  He set the food on the table before excusing himself to start on the tasks for the day.

Tony was startled when a warm hand settled on his shoulder.  Looking up, he watched as Steve set two cups of coffee on the table for them.

“You all right there, Tony?” asked Steve.

Tony cleared his throat. “Uh, yeah.  Thanks.”

Steve shrugged. “If you say so.”  He sat down next to him.

Tony suddenly felt MJ and Jessica’s eyes on him, so he busied himself by loading his plate with pancakes and eggs.

The rest of the meal went by as it usually did: MJ and Jessica shared gossip (with Danny contributing a surprising amount of his own information), Logan had a competition with himself to fit the most pancakes in his mouth, Peter and Tony exchanged technobabble, and Steve quietly read the paper.

“Steve, do you think you could finish up that training session tonight?” MJ asked. “You, me and Peter never did get to finish it.”

“I never agreed to—” Peter started to say, but shut up when his wife glared at him.

“I’d love to, but I already promised Tony I’d help him out today when he’s done with work,” Steve answered.  

Tony pointedly ignored the looks that Jessica and MJ gave each other. 

“Oh, thank God.”  Peter sighed with relief.  “I really did not feel like doing anything today: I have a Netflix queue that’s been calling my name for weeks.”

“We should do some exercises anyway,” MJ said to her husband, “You’ve been getting a little out of shape—”

“Are you calling me fat?!”  However, his mouth was full of bacon and eggs, so it sounded more like “Amwookawingwooeefwah?”

MJ frowned at his lack of etiquette, but relaxed a bit when Danielle laughed: at least someone found it amusing.  “No, I’m just saying—”

“You do look like you’re filling your costume out a bit more,” Jessica cut in.

“Wow.” Peter sank in his seat. “Thanks for the morale boost.”

“…I could help you guys tomorrow morning,” Steve offered.

MJ clapped her hands together. “That would be great, Cap!”  

Peter groaned and abruptly stood up from his seat.  “Since as I’m probably not going to be able to escape that, I’m gonna go get started on my shows now.”  He loaded his plate with bacon and toast before retreating next door to the living room.

“What the hell was going on that head o’ yers when ya married that kid?” asked Logan.

“I honestly have no idea,” was MJ’s response.

“Hey!” Peter called from the couch. “I’m right here. I can still see and hear you.”

“I should probably get going too,” Tony said as he got up from his seat.  “Someone’s gotta make money to keep renovating this place.” He stuffed another forkful of eggs in his mouth, chugged the rest of his coffee, grabbed his phone, and kissed Steve—

Everyone in the room froze (they even ignored the crash that resounded when Peter dropped his plate).

It took a few seconds for Tony to process what he had done and pull away from the flabbergasted Steve.  

…and then he ran like hell.

~

Steve stared at the closed elevator doors.  

Peter cleared his throat. “Did that… did that really just happen?”

“Uh… Cap?” MJ tentatively tapped him on the shoulder.  

“I’ve gotta call Jess,” Danny said with a mischievous grin.

“Why?” asked Jessica.

“She now owes me $50,” he replied with a grin.  

“Good,” said Logan. “’cause she owes me $100.”

MJ was confused.  “How does that even work?”

“Well, I bet that something would happen the end of this week,” Danny told her. “Jess said that Steve would make the first move by the end of this month.”

“And I bet her that Tony would out do something idiotic to out himself,” Logan added.

This got Steve’s attention. “You made bets on us?!”

“They’re not the only ones,” informed Jessica. “I have a pool going with Nat, Clint, Bucky, Sam and Matt.”

Steve gaped. “I can’t believe—”

“Why didn’t anyone include me?” MJ pouted. “I’m sooo good with these kinds of things.”

“—that you guys—”

Logan tipped his head in her direction. “And that is exactly why we didn’t tell you.”

“—would do that to your teammates!”

Everyone else in the room looked at the super-soldier.

“You’re… actually surprised by all of this, aren’t you?” Danny said.

Steve’s face reddened. “I have no idea—”

Jessica smacked her hand on the table. “Don’t give us that innocent façade, Cap.  We’ve all known that you and Tony have been in love with each other for practically forever.”

“I’m not going to comment on—wait, what?!” Steve glanced at everyone in the room. “You’ve all known?!”

Everyone rolled their eyes.

“You two aren’t exactly subtle,” said Danny.

Logan popped open another beer.  “I could smell the attraction between the two of ya for years.”

MJ gestured to her husband. “Even Peter could tell that something was up.”

“I would normally take offense to that, but it’s true.  I’m usually terrible with these types of things.”

It took Steve a couple of minutes to process this new information.  He didn’t realize that he had been so obvious about his crush on Tony… but what really blew him away was that everyone else said that Tony was attracted to him too?

“So…” Jessica crossed her arms and looked at Steve pointedly. “What are you going to do?”

“I…” Steve wanted to talk to him.  He needed to talk to him.  Part of Steve wanted him to go down to Tony’s office now, but he couldn’t interrupt Tony’s work. “I’ll talk to him after work.”

~

More often than not, Tony ventured up to the communal floor of the tower to eat lunch with the rest of the team, but no one was surprised when Tony didn’t show up.

It also wasn’t very unusual for Tony not to show up for dinner: his meetings sometimes ran late, and he often had last-minute projects to work on… it all came with owning a multi-billion dollar company, of course.

However, when the clock struck 11:30 at night, Steve decided to take matters into his own hands.

~

Armed with a sandwich and a strawberry-banana smoothie, Steve rode the elevator down to the basement where Tony’s workshop was located.  As he expected, Tony was busy tinkering with his armor. 

Steve entered his code and walked into the room when he was granted access.

Tony spared a glance at the blonde before returning his attention back to his armor.  “What brings you down here, Cap?”

Steve approached him.  “You missed dinner, so I brought you some food.”

“Thanks, I’ll eat it later.  I’m just working on a few upgrades for the gauntlets.  That Wrecking Crew really gave the suit a beating the other day.”

Steve noticed that Tony was more keeping himself busy with the wires in the guantlants than actually being productive.  “I think you should take a break, Tony.  It’s almost midnight.”

“I will, I just… need to finish this first,” Tony said absentmindedly. “You can leave the food on the counter.”

Steve sighed and set the tray down.  He leaned against the workbench.  “Tony, I think we need to talk.”  He frowned when Tony didn’t say anything. “Tony.”

“Hm?” Tony looked up at Steve.

“I said that we need to talk.”

“Isn’t that what we always do, Cap?  I mean, we talk in the morning, the afternoon, and at night.  We talk over meals and during missions and while we spar—”

“Tony—”

“I think we talk a pretty good amount already, so if you’ll excuse me—”

“Tony!” Steve interrupted, momentarily shutting the other man up.  “I think you know what I want to talk about—”

Tony blinked. “I have no idea what you mean, Steve.  Please enlighten me.”

“This morning—”

“You mean this morning when we all ate breakfast together—”

“Tony—”

“—and I didn’t invade your personal space by kissing you?”  

Tony!” Steve was becoming increasingly frustrated. 

“Okay, okay.” Tony put his hands up in surrender. “I’m sorry, I just… I got caught up in the moment, you know how often that happens to me.  It was nothing, really.  I wasn’t thinking.”

Steve snorted. “This coming from a man who doesn’t know how to stop thinking—”

Tony ignored him.  “I really didn’t mean anything by it, I swear.”  His eyes were pleading. “I just hope that this doesn’t affect our friendship.”

“Affect our—Of course it won’t, Tony,” Steve assured. “We’ve known each other too long for something like this to get in the way of things.”

Tony let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding.  “That’s… that’s uh, great.  Thanks, Ca—Steve.  So are we done here?” the engineer asked.

Steve shook his head.  “Did you mean what you said?”

“What?”

“That you didn’t mean anything by it.”

“Yes.”  Tony internally flinched for answering so quickly.

Steve’s shoulders sagged.  “Oh.  All right, well, I’m going to bed.”  He bid good night and turned on his heel.

Tony backtracked and grabbed Steve’s arm before he could walk away.  “No!  No, wait! I—I didn’t mean it like that.”

Steve looked at him incredulously.  “Then what—”

Tony scrubbed his hands through his hair.  “I… I just couldn’t help it, okay?  After the Avengers disbanded… We’ve been friends for so long, and the thought of not seeing you on a regular basis just killed me, Steve.”

The confession threw Steve off-guard, but before he could say anything, Tony continued talking.  

“Then, a year ago, you came up to me and asked if I wanted to start up a new team with you… and damn it, Steve, I really missed you, so of course I said ‘yes.’”  Tony leaned against the workbench and looked down at his grease-stained hands.  “These past few months with the new team… it almost feels like the old days.  And we’ve spent even more time together, and, honestly?  Sometimes it felt like we were dating, but I just completely disregarded that as us just being closer than the others.”

Steve reached out and gently grabbed Tony’s wrist.  “Tony, I…”

Tony looked him in the eye. “A few months ago, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been harboring some disgustingly strong feelings for you practically since the day we met, so yeah, I’m just gonna put that out there and hope what you said about this not affecting us still stands because—”

Tony doesn’t have a chance to finish his sentence because Steve was kissing him.

Wait.

Steve was kissing him

Steve had meant for it to be simple kiss to shut Tony up, but it wasn’t long before they both lost themselves: it was so much better than the quick peck Tony had given him earlier. 

“You need to learn how to shut up,” Steve teased.

“So I’ve been told…” Tony said wryly.  He took a moment to examine Steve’s flushed face and swollen lips are before he realized again that— “Wait, you just kissed me.”

“Yep.” Steve grinned.

“You kissed me,” Tony repeated.

“That I did.”

You kissed me.”

“I think we’ve already established that,” Steve said, clearly amused. 

“But… why?”

“You know, for a genius, you can be pretty stupid at times.”

Tony scowled, but Steve just laughed it off and took linked their hands together.

“I could’ve gone to anyone to start up the Avengers again, but I went to you.” 

The dark haired man shrugged.  “I figured it was just because of my resources.”

Steve shook his head.  “I missed you, Tony.” He smirked before adding: “The resources were just an added benefit.”

Tony still looked mildly confused.  “But that still doesn’t—”

“Tony, what other reason can you think of that would explain why I willingly spend so much time with you in the workshop?  Or let you have the last slice of pizza?  Or let you beat me at Mario Kart—”

“You let me beat you?!” Tony exclaimed.

The point is,” Steve continued, “you’re my best friend, Tony, and… well, I’d be lying if I said that I don’t have any feelings for you either.”

Tony sputtered. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” 

“You know that I don’t say things I don’t mean.”

“I know, but this is still too good to be true.”

“Well, if you still want, we don’t have to let this affect us,” Steve proposed innocently. “We can go back and pretend like none of this happened, although everyone else would be pretty disappointed—”

“Nooo way, Steve Rogers,” Tony interrupted. “You don’t kiss me and make me spill my feelings to you and expect me to pretend like nothing happened.”

Steve chuckled.

“So… we’re really going to do this.”  It wasn’t a question.

“Nothing would make me happier.”

“Well, good, because now I can do whatever I want with you whenever I want,” Tony said with a devilish grin before pulling Steve down for another kiss.

Steve smiled into the kiss and maneuvered them towards the couch in the corner of the workshop.  He sat down and settled Tony on his lap, his fingers slipping beneath the fabric of Tony’s shirt and rubbing circles on his abdomen.

Tony shivered. “Man, if this is my reward for doing idiotic things in front of everyone—”

“Tony,” Steve chided.

“Yeah?”

“Please stop talking.”

Tony laughed. “Fine, fine… but I do have one last question for you.”

Steve kissed his neck. “What is it?”  

“What did you mean by ‘everyone will be disappointed?’”

A very faint blush found its way to Steve’s face again. “Apparently, there were multiple pools going as to when and how we would get together.”

Tony gawked.  “What?!  Steve!  How are you letting something like that go?  That  is a total invasion of privacy and—”

Tony," Steve said, exasperated, but there was a hint of affection in his tone. 

“…yes, Steve?”

“You really need to learn how to shut up.”

Tony smirked. “Why don’t you show me how?”