Tony sat at his desk and stared at the computer screen. Instead of messing around with any of his projects or tinkering with his tech, Tony had a glazed over look in his eyes that showed he wasn't really seeing the computer. Everything about him was calm, his hand and gauntlet were flat and relaxed on the flat surface, his posture was slightly hunched, instead of his normal leg bouncing showing his need for constant movement, it was still. However, inside his mind, where he was currently trapped, was the exact opposite.
He and Steve had another fight.
Tony should be used to it by now. They had completely different outlooks and styles of dealing with things. Tony figured that their uneasy friendship would continue to be rocky but he didn't expect to grow closer.
Tony laughed at the comment that Enchantress had said. He figured out long ago that showing that she hit a nerve would only make her continue to hammer onto it. He knew he wasn't entirely successful when her eyes gleamed with the familiar spark of triumph.
Tony was typically a good actor when it came to times like this but the (continual) off-handed comments that she said about Tony never measuring up to his father really wore him down. She was holding onto the string tightly when she figured out that particular insecurity.
"It's funny that you think you belong here."
Tony just rolled his eyes and went back to his gauntlet. There was a tiny malfunction with the reactor in the center of his palm and she just entered the dorm and started to talk. He noticed Jan walked in and outright glared at the blonde, "Don’t you have someone to convince that they like you?"
Tony let a small amused smile drift across his face at that and sent a quick glance to his friend. They froze at Enchantress's next words.
"Better than being a cripple."
Tony had only just managed to grab Jan before she lunged towards the other. He ignored Enchantress in favor of trying to calm down Jan, "Hey it's fine okay?"
"It's not fine! That was disgusting and you do not deserve to be talked to like that. Let me GO!"
Tony struggled with Jan and ignored the blonde's tinkling laughter. He glanced up from the small brunette when someone entered the dorm. He barely managed a smile at Steve before going back to Jan.
Steve looked at the pair and then to the Enchantress and crossed his arms, "What's going on?" He raised one eyebrow at Jan's muffled cursing and her glaring at Tony.
Tony's, "Nothing Cap! Nothing at all!" came out at the same time as Janet's, "I'm going to rip out her hair, that's what's going on!"
Steve watched them for a few seconds before glancing to the Enchantress who was still smiling and watching the other two, “Enchantress, would you mind telling me what’s going on?” His tone held no argument but they both knew that it didn’t work on her.
She turned her amused eyes to the Captain and smiled, “Just telling the truth.” She said as she brushed past him and walked out of the door.
Steve shook his head and turned back to Jan and Tony. Now that the other blonde was out of the room Jan calmed slightly and was now fuming silently. Steve raised an eyebrow when Jan gave Tony a particularly venomous glare before pushing out of his arms and leaving to go to her room.
Tony sighed and ran his hand through his hair, “This is going to be fun.” He said under his breath.
Steve stepped forward and raised one of his eyebrows, “What happened?” He didn’t say it in a commanding voice. He knew it wouldn’t work with Tony and the engineer would just clam up and become defensive.
Tony glanced at Steve and wiggled the fingers on his gauntlet, “I gotta admit that Enchantress was actually telling the truth.”
Steve noticed a slight flinch behind Tony’s brown eyes as he said that, “Tony.” He waited until the genius looked at him to continue, “You’ve given this academy a lot. Thank you for working hard on all of our weapons and shields around the campus.”
Tony blinked in shock at that and stumbled over his words, “Oh, uh, you’re welcome?”
Tony blinked out of his memory and tried to focus on the table again. Only to be dragged back into another one. The blank surface in front of him only served to give his mind permission to continue with it’s downward spiral.
Tony spared a tiny thought about doing something to get his mind off of the memories as he fell into another one.
Steve smiled at Tony when the lights went up, “That movie was spectacular!”
Tony turned to him, opening his mouth about all of the obvious plot holes and technical mistakes when he froze. Steve’s eyes were sparkling with unspoken amazement and he was almost vibrating with excitement after seeing it. Tony shut his mouth and smiled back, “Yeah, I’m glad you wanted me to come with, man.” He didn’t want to ruin Steve’s mood. Something he was great at doing.
Steve turned back to the screen and shook his head almost unbelieving, “I hope that they come out with a sequel.”
Tony hoped so too. If only to fill all of the plot holes and mistakes. But for now he could shut it and enjoy Steve’s giddiness. It was only a matter of time before they fought again.
Tony pushed himself away from the table and stood up to pace. He didn’t want the tears to start to fall out of his eyes again.
He knew Steve didn’t know what he was saying, but that still didn’t change the fact that it hurts. The feeling of his heart being ripped out of his chest was a familiar one but that didn’t make it any better when Steve did it.
This was such a bad idea. Tony couldn’t think of the reasons since he was being kissed senseless but in the back of his mind he knew it was a bad idea. They shouldn’t have drank that Asguardian mead that Thor had brought with him to the party. But Tony didn’t want to pass up the chance of seeing Steve drunk. It also helped that Steve didn’t believe that it would work with his system anyways.
And now they were making out against a wall.
Tony forgot exactly how it started. He barely remembered an offhanded quip about Steve’s virtue and then the challenge in the blue eyes and then bam. Tony was against the wall as Steve all but kissed the breath out of him.
Tony fumbled with the door knob to their left and they less than gracefully fell through when it opened. He smiled into the kiss as a drifting thought went through his mind, ‘Alcohol is great.’
Tony pressed his palms into his eyes and bit his lip. He wasn’t sure when he ended up loving Steve but it was bad now. That party was only about a month ago and Tony knew it was just going to crash and burn at the time.
Tony called it.
Now Steve was just ignoring him, pretending that he didn’t remember the morning after the party when he had said that they could make it work. Parting with another kiss that made Tony smile and think ‘Maybe...’
But no. No matter how much Tony wanted it to work, no matter what one person did, a relationship is a two way street and the other person had no choice but to watch it burn. Tony angrily wiped his eyes and shook his head. Steve’s words during their fight had cut him deep.
‘You’re nothing without technology, your suit, even your damn gauntlet.’
Tony was nothing without his gauntlet. Another way of saying that he was nothing without his hand. Tony was nothing since he was a cripple. The tears fell again.
Sometimes he wished he was made of stone so it wouldn’t hurt.