Tony made his rounds with a glass of rum spiked with eggnog in his hands. As always his holiday party, held just a few days before Christmas, was the place to be that night. No expense was spared in the lavish decorations and catering, not to mention the open bar. All the usual supermodels and rich socialites were attending and while Tony played the part of gracious host to all of them, it wasn’t those guests that he was looking for.
Thor, raucously putting back drinks of his own, laughed enough for ten people. He was always a good time, well worth any damages that incurred. Jan was chatting with the high society ladies. Clint was putting on a show over by the dart board. Pietro and Wanda were holed up in some corner together. But there was a member of the Ultimates that Tony had yet to see.
Then Tony found him. There, under the mistletoe, was Steve Rogers, looking like a regular sourpuss in an ill-fitting tux. There was no way Tony was going to let that stand.
“Do my eyes deceive me?” Tony purred, slinking up to Steve. “Are you waiting for a kiss, darling?”
Steve’s face went red, but from the way his eyes darkened, it wasn’t from anger. Something captivating was sparking between them with great intensity. Tony pressed his advantage and drew closer.
“For good luck?” Tony whispered in Steve’s ear.
Steve shoved Tony away, sending the man flying. Tony was getting the sense he might have pushed Steve a little too far a little too fast.
“Play your games with someone else,” Steve snarled.
Steve marched off, though his dramatic exit was ruined by a collision with a waiter with a tray full of drinks. Now drenched in champagne and crunching glass underfoot, Steve only stopped to check if the waiter was okay before continuing on his way out, resolutely not looking back at Tony.
The next time Tony saw Steve, he was not only late to a meeting, but also a total mess. He was his hair was in complete disarray and stubble had sprouted up on his chin, he smelled awful, and his eyes were tight with weariness. The only time Tony had ever seen him even come close to that state was after Steve had spent serval days on the battlefield which was clearly not the case as he’d been fine at the party the night before.
Just as Steve closed the door behind him after entering the room, Pietro came through and accidentally slamming the door into the back of Steve’s head with a loud thunk. Tony winced in sympathy.
“Apologies,” Pietro said, not sounding particularly apologetic.
Steve just growled wordlessly in response before roughly pulling out his chair and plopping down in it. He had a sour look on his face as he poured himself some coffee from the tray on the table, there was only enough to half fill the mug. Steve put the decanter down with a deep sigh.
“We’ve been trying to get a hold of you,” Jan accused.
“My comm is gone, my phone too. Either lost with my bag or stolen out of my apartment, I don’t know.” Steve raised his mug to take a sip; just as it reached his lips, the handle snapped and spilled coffee all over him.
“I dare say you hath been cursed with ill fortune by Mother,” Thor declared thoughtfully.
“Why?” Clint asked.
“I spied balls of mistletoe decorating these very halls the night before last; did you mayhap refuse a kiss beneath one?” Thor gestured to the decorations still adorning the house, then continued, “Mother takes such offenses seriously; it would be wise to grant the kiss before your misfortune becomes too weighty to bear.”
“Thanks, Thor, but I can handle a little bad luck.”
“I would not be so sure. Mother would not let death find thee, but even the most skillful of warriors may come to harm if luck is against them.”
“Thor might have a point.” Tony looked at Steve with one eyebrow raised.
Wanda nodded and added, “Luck is a powerful force. It would not do to underestimate it.”
“I’m not going to kiss someone because I’m scared of a few mishaps caused by some stupid curse. No offense, Thor.”
“A foolish sentiment, but admirable for its determination nonetheless,” Thor cried, swatting Steve’s shoulder merrily. Just then, Steve’s chair gave out, spilling him on to the floor.
They got called out later that day to deal with some minor trouble in the city. A hoard of genetically engineered ghouls were trying to build some sort of ice palace around the Empire State Building under the direction of a weirdo in a snowflake headdress.
“You’d think these guys would take Christmas Eve off,” Tony commented as he soared over the battlefield.
“Maybe this is how he shows his holiday cheer.” Clint let fly a few more arrows from his perch on one of the adjacent buildings; they didn’t seem to do much.
“He can do the rest of his celebrating in prison,” Steve grumbled as he swung his shield.
“How are you holding up, Cap?” Tony asked, somewhat sincerely. “Slip on any ice yet?”
The answering grunt was rather more frustrated than Tony expected, and when he turned his attention to Steve, Tony found that Steve had in fact slipped on some ice.
“You just had to ask, didn’t you Stark?”
“Who would of thought I could jinx it like that?” Tony said, but he resolved to keep a closer eye on Steve.
The battle continued on for several more hours before they had the situation contained. Steve had to leap out of the way of cars several times; somehow their drivers had missed the man prancing around in red, white, and blue right in front of them in their urgency to leave the downtown area. Steve was also the one to make the nasty discovery that the ghouls explode into goo if you hit them just right. The battle was as chaotic as ever, but thanks to that breakthrough, they were able to minimize civilian causalities.
Steve didn’t even stay for the SHIELD debriefing; he just slunk off as soon as everything was wrapped up. Not that Tony could blame him, he clearly could use a shower and some sleep.
Five hours later, in the early hours of Christmas morning, Tony found Steve at his door, empty handed and covered in soot. He looked absolutely miserable.
“Do you mind letting me stay for the night?”
Tony ushered him in. “What happened?”
“Fire. No one got hurt, but I lost everything I had left,” Steve said mournfully.
Tony knew his apartment had been decorated with bits of memorabilia and personal possessions Bucky and Gail had held on to from before the war. There was no way to replace most of it.
“The place is all yours, you know that.”
“Thanks, Tony. I’ll try not to cause trouble,” Steve said, walking down the hallway to the guestrooms.
“You know, I still have that mistletoe up.” Tony sidled up to Steve. “We could take care of your problem right now.”
“No, Tony, I’m not going to kiss you to avoid bad luck.”
“How about for other reasons? No one’s watching right now. We could do it just for us.”
A pained look of wanting flashed across Steve’s face before settling into something sterner. “I’m not like that.”
“Maybe you aren’t,” Tony agreed, though he severely doubted it. “But I know how to show a guy a good time. One little kiss won’t hurt anything, it doesn’t have to mean anything.”
Steve stayed silent as Tony drew closer, however the uncertainty in Steve’s eyes stopped Tony from going any further. Selfishly, Tony needed to hear Steve say he wanted it. He knew Steve wasn’t quite ready to admit his feelings, but Tony needed something from him.
“What do you say?”
“Okay,” Steve breathed.
Tony surged forward to press his lips to Steve’s. He kept it soft in chaste, knowing too much too fast would scare Steve off, but he couldn’t resist giving Steve’s bottom lip a quick nip before pulling away. It’d give Steve something to think about during long lonely nights.
But it turned out Tony didn’t have to wait that long. Steve pulled him back in, deepening the kiss with something startlingly like a moan. Hands wandered down to cup Tony’s ass. Well, wasn’t Steve just full of surprises?