Steve woke up at four in the morning on May 2nd. He’d fallen asleep in his studio again. Since his recent discovery, he hadn't slept well. Pushing his alpha away became his defensive mechanism in this moment of uncertainty. What was the best way to tell him? If he kept this secret much longer he risked hurting Tony. He thought he'd have years before having to worry about this. His fear was verging on unreasonable and he was aware of it. Tony was frustrated with him. Steve couldn’t blame him. He moved his hand over his stomach.
“I will tell your dad about you. I promise,” he said.
His heart raced. They were going to be parents. That shock hadn't faded. He wanted to call Natasha. Maybe she could give him the boost of courage he needed, but she was on a mission he couldn’t interfere. Edith was too deep in her research he couldn’t disrupt her, scientists and their work. Steve could watch Tony for hours in the lab and he had. It had been a while since he did that. Steve loved to curl up on the lumpy couch in Tony’s lab. Waking up to Tony’s coat or a blanket draped around him always made him feel loved and cared for.
“Will you tell sir today?” asked Jarvis.
The AI unit hadn’t stopped pestering him on this. Every day Jarvis would ask him the same question multiple times.
“We’ll see,” he said.
He went to the master bedroom it was empty. If Tony wasn’t here he must be in the lab. The alpha was asleep at his desk. Steve easily lifted Tony. Sleeping on the lumpy couch couldn’t be good for his back. He pushed open the lab door, carrying Tony into their bedroom. Steve laid the alpha on the bed, taking off his shoes. He tucked Tony in. Instinct told him to join but he left. A quick lap around Central Park then back home to make breakfast. Before leaving he kissed Tony. He ran his fingers through Tony’s hair.
“I love you,” he whispered.
Steve left Stark Tower. He still found the building ugly, but it was home. Steve went into an easy jog. Normally, he would do two or three laps around Central Park at a sprint, but he would take it easy today. He stopped the 107th infantry monument, a dedication to the men of WWI.
“Dad, I hope you’re proud of me,” said Steve.
Steve never knew his father. He was only a pup when the man died. His pup would know its father. He so wanted that for his baby a family. Not only for the child but for himself.
"I'll tell him tonight. I promise," said Steve, moving his hand gently over his stomach.
Tony woke in the master bedroom. Steve moved him. The omega always moved him to their bedroom. He would enjoy some physical contact while he was awake. Steve had been so distant lately. Hopefully, he would snap out of it. Tony wanted to talk about it, but it was a conversation Steve wasn't ready for yet. Forcing him to talk would only make him shut down further. He missed their morning routine. Steve would leave a mug of fresh coffee on his bedside table for him to wake up to. When he'd go to the kitchen he'd find Steve working on breakfast. Then later in the day Tony would either make or order dinner. Tony rubbed his temples. Why did this affecting him so much?
“Where is he?” asked Tony.
“In the kitchen, sir,” said Jarvis.
Tony went to the kitchen. Steve was making breakfast. The omega was wearing that perfect warm smile. There was a plate waiting for him on the counter.
Tony’s arm wrapped around his waist. Steve purred into their kiss. He relaxed. Finally, he could drop his guard. Today was the day. It was a massive weight off his shoulders.
“Glad to have you back, sweetheart,” said Tony.
"There is no excuse for how I acted. I needed to figure something out," said Steve.
“Just glad you're back," said Tony.
“I shouldn’t have put you through that,” said Steve.
"We all have our bad days," he said.
Steve turned off the stove before embracing his alpha again.
“I love you,” he said.
“Love you too, Steve,”
He slowly pulled away. Steve filled his plate and took a seat next to Tony.
“I want to make dinner tonight,” said Steve.
"Can we push it back to later tonight?"
"I would hate for Pepper to interrupt,"
They spent the day together. Steve was in a cuddly mood and clung to him for hours on the couch. Tony was grateful for the contact. It was a powerful reassurance. At seven Steve got up. The omega was heavily covered in his scent. He took Steve's hand.
"Where you going beautiful?" he said.
Tony didn’t understand why Steve insisted on going to an old gym in Hell’s Kitchen when there was a fully updated gym in the tower. Either way, he’d bought the gym. The owner kept it running and Tony kept it funded under the conditions it remained the same and Steve could go whenever he pleased. He made sure it was stocked with punching bags.
Steve grabbed his gym bag. Tony was making himself a drink. He took the alpha's glass. Steve circled his arms around Tony's neck. He rubbed his cheeks against Tony's neck, transferring his scent.
“Making sure she knows who you belong to,” said Steve.
“Mm, I love it when you get possessive,” purred Tony.
“You’ve told me,” he said.
Tony pulled Steve close marking the omega.
“Wouldn’t want any alpha getting any ideas,” said Tony.
Steve smiled softly.
"I'll drive you," said Tony.
“I prefer walking,” said Steve.
He kissed Tony goodbye. Steve enjoyed the walk. Any threat that appeared he could handle. He hadn’t told Tony about the idiots who tried mugging him. That encounter ended with twelve broken bones between the two attackers. Steve pushed open the door to Fogwell’s gym. The room was painted blue and smelled dusty. It was so old fashion Steve felt perfectly comfortable there. He was probably one of the few omegas to come here. In his time omegas weren’t allowed in boxing gyms, unless they were arm candy to the alphas that ran them. When he was young he would climb onto the dumpster outside the gym and watch the alphas box, trying to learn. That was so long ago.
The lights flicked on. He grabbed one of the punching bags leaning against the wall and hung it up. Steve set an alarm on his phone for an hour and tucked it into his back pocket. Tonight was the night. A good work out would help him be more relaxed when the moment came. As he focused on the task his mind began to wonder. Memories of the war came flooding forward. Steve tried working through it, but his mind wouldn’t let go. As if it were reminding him how unworthy he was of the growing life within him. With a final hit, the punching bag shot across the room.
“I can do this,”
Steve hung another punching bag, becoming lost in the motion. The old gym door creaked open.
“Trouble at home?”
Fury stood at the doorway. Steve froze. What did he know? Natasha and Edith wouldn’t expose him. He resisted the urge to move his hand over his stomach.
Steve broke eye contact with the director focusing on the punching bag.
“Then you should be out celebrating. Seeing more of the world. I'm sure Stark will be happy to take you,” said Fury, stalking closer.
The alpha wouldn’t give him the privacy he wanted. He unwrapped his hands. Fury had a file. No, he didn't want a new task. He wanted to go home. Fury blocked the only exit. Steve doubted he could fit through the window in the bathroom. He would have to hear what the man had to say.
“When I went under the world was at war. When I wake up they say we won. They didn’t say what we lost,” he said.
“We made some mistakes along the way. Some very recently,” said Fury.
“Do you have a mission for me, sir?” asked Steve.
“I have one,”
“I can’t, sir,” said Steve.
He couldn’t put his baby at risk. His only duty was to his unborn pup. Something both sides of him agreed on.
“You’re pregnant,” said Fury.
“No, one told me. You’ve sweat through your scent blockers,” he said.
“Then you understand why I can’t accept,” said Steve.
“Do think I’d be asking a pregnant omega to do this if I wasn’t desperate,” said Fury.
Steve’s curiosity peeked. He took the folder. Tension spread through him when he saw a photo of the cube. He hoped never to see it again.
“Hydra's secret weapon,” said Steve.
“Howard Stark fished that out of the ocean while looking for you,” said Fury.
Howard should have let him go. Nothing good could come from that kind of power.
“He thought what we think. The Tesseract could be the key to unlimited sustainable energy. That’s something the world sorely needs,” said Fury.
It wasn’t worth it. Someone would always want control over it. Why couldn’t it be forgotten to the past?
“Who took it from you?” he asked.
“He’s called Loki. He’s not from around here. There’s a lot we have to bring you to speed on if you are in. The world has gotten even stranger than you know,” said Fury.
“At this point, I think there’s nothing that will surprise,” said Steve.
His boyfriend flew around red and gold metal suit how much more surprising could it get?
“Ten bucks says you’re wrong,” said Fury.
Steve headed for the showers.
“There's a debriefing packet waiting for you at Stark Tower,” said Fury.
Steve walked away. He needed a moment.
“Is there anything about the Tesseract that we ought to know now?” asked Fury.
“You should have left in the ocean,” he said.
He went to the showers. Cold water poured over him. The only challenge of the day was supposed to be telling his boyfriend he was pregnant. It couldn’t be that simple. Something from his past had to get in the way. If he didn’t help get the Tesseract from this Loki there may not be a world to bring his pup into. He had to accept.
Three people knew of his pregnancy four if he included Jarvis. He couldn’t risk telling Tony. This was something he had to be a part of. If Tony knew he'd try to stop him. He quickly changed. Steve replaced the scent blocker patches on his neck. He was relieved to see Fury was gone and grabbed his bag, sprinting home.
As the elevator opened Steve caught Pepper standing in his living room. She was wearing shorts and a cotton shirt. She was studying a holographic image of the tower. The woman seemed far too comfortable in his home. This was his den where he'd raise his pup. She shouldn't be here when he wasn't home. It wasn't that he didn't trust Tony, it was a distrust of her. Until they were bonded he didn't want a rival tempting his alpha. It was a ridiculous mindset. Tony would never choose her over him.
“Hi, Pepper. Where’s Tony?” he asked.
“Working the reactor he should be back soon,” she said.
Pepper offered him a glass of champagne.
“No thanks,” he said.
“Looking forward to our dinner,” said Tony through to communication system
Steve forgot he’d promised to make dinner for the two of them.
“Me too,” he said.
Steve tried not letting the strain flow into his voice.
“I’ll take that as my cue to leave. Steve, can take over this?" asked Pepper.
"Sure," he said.
"Tony, I’m taking the jet to DC,” said Pepper.
“Fine,” said Tony.
Steve had no idea what he supposed to be looking at, but he wanted privacy with Tony. She put on her shoes.
"Did anyone drop off a package while I was gone?" asked Steve.
“No, were you expecting something?” she asked.
“Only checking. Have a safe flight,” said Steve.
Pepper left. She didn’t take Steve’s cool behavior personally. Compared to most omegas in this situation, Steve’s behavior was civil. He wouldn’t warm up to her until he wore Tony’s mark.
Tony burst from the water. He was ready to see Steve. Tonight was the night. He'd pop the question to Steve. He flew toward the city.
“We’re good to go on this end. The rest is up to you,” said Tony.
“I think it’s best if you talk this through with Jarvis,” said Steve.
“You have successfully disconnected the transmission line. We’re officially off the grid, sir,” said Jarvis.
“Stark Tower is about to become a beacon of self-sustaining clean energy,” said Tony.
“Assuming the arc reactor takes over successfully,” said Jarvis.
“Why do you doubt me, Jarvis?”
“At times your judgment isn’t the best, sir,”
Steve smiled as the lights flickered on in the tower. Tony and Pepper put so much effort into this.
“How does it look?” asked Steve.
“Like Christmas but with more me,” said Tony.
He smiled when Steve's soft laugh came over the line.
“Ms. Potts wanted me to remind you that public awareness is key,” said Jarvis.
Tony's mood sunk at the mention of Pepper.
“This is amazing you should really enjoy the moment,” said Steve.
He wanted to extend this moment as long as possible. It was only a matter of time before it was ruined by S.H.I.E.L.D.
“I fully intend on enjoying it thoroughly with you,” said Tony.
The deep lustfulness to alpha made Steve shiver. He saw Tony flying in.
Tony smiled when he saw Steve.
“Sir, Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on the line,” said Jarvis.
He wasn’t going to let anyone ruin this moment.
“I’m not in. I’m actually out,” said Tony.
There were soft clinks as mechanical arms removed his armor. Steve maintained a smile even at the mention of agent Coulson. A few more minutes that’s all he wanted.
“Sir, I’m afraid he’s insisting,” warned Jarvis.
“Grow a spine, Jarvis. I have a date,” he said.
“Looks like everything is holding steady. I think,” said Steve.
“Of course they are. I was directly involved,” said Tony.
He swiped away the hologram. Steve turned, kissing him. The omega’s skin smelled of the pine soap that the gym used. It didn't mix well with Steve's natural scent. His scent markers had been washed off. Steve's fingers traced his reactor.
“What’s on your mind?” asked Tony.
“What a perfect place for it to be,” said Tony.
Steve lead Tony to the coffee table where an iced bottle of unopened champagne was waiting. He bit his lip. What else was Tony planning on celebrating tonight? Now wasn’t the right time. He couldn’t agree to marriage without being honest. Tony's hand went to his pocket.
“Steve, I’ve enjoyed this time I've spent with you. And I-
“Sir, the telephone-
“Jarvis, it can wait!” growled Tony.
“I’m sorry sir but I can’t my protocols are being overridden,” said Jarvis.
“Stark, we need to talk,” said Coulson through the phone.
Never had Steve been happier to hear Phil's voice. He didn’t let his relief seep into his expression. Steve wanted Tony to propose but not now. He wanted it more than he'd wanted anything in a long time, but when the time was right. Tony picked up the phone.
“You’ve reached the life model decoy of Tony Stark. Please leave a message,” said Tony.
Steve smiled. Even when he was stressed Tony effortlessly found a way to make him smile.
“This is urgent,” said Phil.
“Than leave it urgently,” said Tony.
The elevator doors opened revealing Agent Coulson.
“Mr. Stark, Captain Rogers,”
Steve pecked Tony on the cheek and went to greet the beta.
“Phil, come in,”
He hated the familiarity of Steve’s voice. Mostly he hated that his proposal was ruined.
“I can’t stay,” said Phil.
“Uh, his first name is Agent,” said Tony, moving to join his omega.
“We were just celebrating,” said Steve.
“Which is why he needs to leave,” said Tony.
“We need you to look this over as soon as possible,” said Phil offering it to Tony.
In his hand was the debriefing packet. Steve sighed at least he had a few minutes of normal with Tony.
“I don’t like being handed things,” he said.
“Well, I love being handed things,” said Steve.
He took it from Phil and switched out for Tony’s glass for. Tony rolled his eyes and sighed.
“Official consulting hours are between five and eight every other Thursday,” said Tony.
“This isn’t a consultation,” said Phil.
The pieces clicked together. They weren’t only after his help, but Tony’s as well. He read over some note on the Avengers Inchoative.
“This about the Avengers Inchoative isn’t it,” said Steve.
“It was scrapped,” said Tony walking away.
The alpha’s mood was changing swiftly.
“I thought I didn’t even qualify,” said Tony.
Steve heard this before. It was a bit of sore spot for the alpha.
“Yeah, apparently I’m volatile, self-obsessed, and don’t play well with others,” said Tony.
“Yet, he still has his positive qualities,” said Steve.
He saw those parts of his alpha, but he’d seen far more of Tony’s positive qualities.
“This isn’t about personality profiles anymore,” said Phil.
“Steve, come here,”
Steve joined Tony.
“I thought we were having a moment,” he said.
Steve gently squeezed Tony’s hand.
“We were and we’ll have many more. I promise,” said Steve.
He kissed Tony reassuring him further.
“Why is he, Phil?” he asked.
“He’s a friend. Tony, you need to focus,” he said.
The images from the debriefing packet hung in the room.
“You have work to do,”
“Captain Rogers, I need you to come with me,” said Phil.
Tony grabbed his hand.
“Stay,” he said.
“We both have work to do,” said Steve.
“We can do it together,” said Tony.
Every part of him wanted to do that, but Phil’s expression meant no.
“I’m sorry, Tony,” he said.
Steve smiled. His alpha needed some encouragement. He leaned closer to him.
“When you’re done I’ll wear one of those lacy numbers you bought. You can rip my clothes to see which one I chose,” whispered Steve.
Phil kept his expression mutual. He didn’t want to know what his hero whispered to Stark to make him have such an expression.
“That’s a square deal,” said Tony.
Steve kissed the alpha.
“I love you,” he said.
“Love you too,” said Tony.
He was losing Tony to the information. Steve joined Phil in the elevator.
“I’m sorry that I interrupted. It looked like it would have been a wonderful night,” said Phil.
“It did,” said Steve.
Why couldn’t this wait one more night? He should be wearing that beautiful ring. Tony and him should be discussing the start of their family. It should have been a wonderful night.