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White Bread World

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Steve Rogers (Average intelligence, billionaire, artist, philanthropist), was honestly very tired of being a third wheel. For the fifth time in as many weeks, his best friend Bucky had dragged him out of his Manhattan apartment to some hole-in-the-wall dive bar that could only be accessed by a narrow alley on a narrow side street in the middle of Brooklyn.
Bucky's girlfriend (Girl friend? Friend girl? Pal that was a gal? Friend with benefits?) Natasha had been talking about some band that was supposed to be awesome but nobody knew their schedule, only that they supposedly played gigs at this dive-bar more frequently than any other dive-bar int he city. Natasha had insisted Bucky NEEDED to hear them. And Bucky, the great friend that he was, decided Steve NEEDED to hear them. And that was how Steve found himself at the same counter, in the same bar, on the fifth Saturday night in a row. Steve couldn't stand it anymore. He didn't care if the mystery band created the greatest music in the world, the kind that should be reserved solely to the gods or something, he hated them. They were the worst band in existence.
Steve looked away from the counter to the table behind him. Bucky and Natasha, both with drinks in their hands, heads leaning close into the other, speaking in low tones to each other in Russian. He hated it when they spoke Russian together. He couldn't quite explain way, only that it made him hate himself for studying French so hard. French, it seemed, was a pretty useless language to learn. Scowling, he turned back to his drink, a "virgin" Long Island iced tea. When he ordered it, the bartender ha looked confused. Bucky had laughed in his face for a full two minute's before he explained what a Long Island iced tea was. Apparently, the bartender was used to dealing with strange requests because he ended up bringing back just a plain (disgusting) iced tea. He had probably poured it from a bottle they had in the break room.

"Your face is gonna stick that way y'know." A man to his left drawled. Turing to the man, Steve noticed he had a rather annoying smirk plastered on his face.

"Excuse me?" Steve was trying for polite, but it came out frustrated and annoyed sounding. He honestly didn't care.

"Your face, its gonna stay like this," he contorted his face into an exaggerated frown, "which would be a shame. Considering."

"Considering what?" Steve asked, now he just sounded annoyed, frustrated and confused. He hated how he sounded.

"Considering you have a really pretty face?" The man answered, his facial expression going from quizzical to leering.

Steve stared. How long had he been staring. 2 seconds? A minute? 5 years? A lifetime? He didn't know. At some point his body remembered he needed to blink in order to keep his eyes from drying out and falling from his skull (or something like that). When he did, it provided a trigger that snapped him out of his staring.

"Wanna buy me a drink? By the by, I'm Tony, nice to meet you." The stran- Tony said, leer still perfectly in place.

"Shouldn't you be offering to buy me a drink?" Steve asked, knitting his brows together. "Steve. Nice to meet you too, I guess."

"No way. You're dressed like you could buy the entire place and it not even make a dent in your monthly allowance." Tony laughed, and he had a nice laugh, all things considered. "Steve is a really lovely name by the way."

"Brooklyn is the worst thing to ever happen to New York, there's no way I would purchase anything here. Unless it was to bulldoze it." Steve reached for his wallet and gestured to the bartender. "Steve isn't so great. I was named for my mothers favorite Saint."

"I'll just have what he's having, thanks." Tony flashed a smile at the bartender, before turning back to Steve. "But if you bulldoze this place, this relationship will never work. It's where we met after all." He was shaking his head and clicking his tongue. "Maybe what makes 'Steve' such a lovely name is because its the one you have. And you're lovely."

"Maybe that wouldn't be the most romantic thing to do, but it would be better for New York and, therefore, the world." Steve watched as Tony took a sip of his non-alcoholic iced tea and grimaced. He probably should have warned him.

"I did not know," Tony began, a sour look on his face, "that this fine Brooklyn establishment could serve something so foul. Wonders really will never cease."

"Would you like me to buy you something else?" Steve offered, a smile was threatening to break free the longer he talked to Tony.

"God yes. How do you drink this stuff?" Tony asked, his voice filled with awe. He was waving his hand at the bartender furiously, an order for rum and coke spilled off his tongue.

Steve shrugged, a mannerism he often employed when he was trying to buy time to decide how to best answer a question he was often asked. He figured that, for once, he could tell the truth. Tony didn't seem to recognize him, and it wasn't like he would ever have to see him again.

"It was better than ordering a Shirley Temple. My old man had a problem. Then his problem caused problems. Then it became a problem for my mom. And then his problem killed him. And I decided I never wanted that problem." Steve felt relieved to answer with the truth. It felt good to not lie to Tony. Which was weird.

"Fathers, amirite?" Tony scoffed, his face serious for the first time sense they started talking. He raised his glass to Steve. "A toast! To both of our dearly departed fathers, the complete bastards."

They clinked their glasses together. Tony had his eyes closed while he gulped down his drink. Steve's eyes remained open, watching Tony. And he realized, without any shock, that if he stayed talking to Tony very much longer that there was a 100% chance he would end up doing something stupid. Like give him his number.

"So what's a pretty guy named Steve, which I must insist is a pretty name, doing in this place he so obviously detests?" Tony asked after finishing his drink.

"Third wheeling for those two?" He jerked his thumb in the general direction of Bucky and Natasha.

"Which couple? The scary, beautiful redhead and her murderous looking boyfriend or the beautiful brunette with the intimidating looking man wearing the eye patch? Because both couples have been watching us for quite awhile." Tony asked, turning around to face the crowd behind them.

"The first one. Though I'm fairly certain the second couple isn't a couple." Even though there was zero doubt in his mind that the second 'couple' was Peggy and Mr. Fury, he still looked turned to make sure. He was right. He gave Peggy a little wave, she smiled back. He did the same to Bucky, and he acted like he was gagging.

"So which one were you in love with?" Tony sounded like he knew the answer already. Steve saw the way Tony's eyes lingered just slightly longer on Bucky.

"Three of the four at some point." Steve sighed.

"That's rough buddy." Tony very obviously did not know the answer already. "Wanna talk about it?"

Steve didn't, but he still found himself talking about 'it' anyway.

"-and that was when I found out that Peggy was engaged to a waitress she had met during my time abroad. They are now happily married. I was best man at her wedding. Oh, and the girl I dated in D.C? Turned out to be Peggy's niece." It had taken him approximately 23 minuets to tell Tony the stories of his one sided love stories.

"Well, thats... weird. So what ever happened to the D.C girl? You found out her aunt was the woman you used to be in love with and decided to brake up?" For some reason, Tony sounded genuinely interested.

"Nah, it was a mutual thing. We were both leaving D.C and we knew it wouldn't work long-distance. She works for the UN now. We still talk sometimes, but she's pretty busy saving the world." Steve couldn't help the bit of pride that leaked into his voice.

"Saving the world would take up a lot of somebodies schedule I imagine. Oh, hey, there's Pepper! My Frienager." Tony waved over a pretty red haired woman who looked like she should be working in an office somewhere. She reminded Steve of some of the women he had met at his company. One in particular.

"Ms. Potts?" Steve reached for her hand. He enjoyed the way Tony looked from himself to, what had he called Ms. Potts? Pepper?

"Mr. Rogers, it's a pleasure seeing you again." She smiled and offered Steve a firm handshake before turning her attention to Tony. "You were expected on stage 5 minutes ago Tony. Now say goodbye to Mr. Rogers and get your butt up there."

"Bye Mr. Rogers, I have to go get my butt on stage. But I'll see you after?" For the first time that evening, Steve heard uncertainty in Tony's voice.

"Yeah, sure. I'll be with my friends, come over to our table after. I'll buy you another drink." Steve thought the smile Tony flashed him as he walked away might have been the best smile he had ever seen.


"Wait wait wait wait wait. What? Do you mean you were in love with me right then and there? Because of my smile? are you saying if I had had spinach in my teeth or something we never would have gotten married?" Tony demanded. Steve watched as his husband leaned further forward across the breakfast table. They had been married four years (and three months and 12 days) and Tony had never before asked him when he had fallen in love with him. It was probably due to a movie he watched recently.

"No. I did not fall in love with you right then. It was 15 minute's later." Steve took another sip of his coffee.

"What?" Tony looked down at the table. Steve could see him mentally retrace the minutes of that night in his mind. "When I was singing? Babe. Babe, that is so embarrassing. For you. So which song was it? Because let me tell you I was trying so hard to seduce you up there. So which one was it?"

"When you started singing 'Uptown Girl'." Steve was smiling, remembering the way Tony had looked then. The way his hair was messed up, the way he held the mic, his jeans a size too small.

"Really? That's when you fell in love with me?" Tony looked like he didn't quite believe him.

"What can I say? You looked hot. And you changed the song from 'Girl' to 'Boy' so it felt like you were singing about me. About us." Steve shrugged, he hadn't felt embarrassed before but he did now, a little.

"Ooooh, that's right, I remember. I think I did that on purpose. Like I said, I was trying really hard up there." Tony smiled at the memory.

"What about you?" Steve asked. He watched the way his husband stabbed his fork into his pancake, taking a large bite. After being together for seven years, Steve now knew Tony found the answer embarrassing.

"Don't you dare laugh." Tony threatened, his mouth still full of pancake. He chewed slowly, wanting t delay the inevitable as long as possible. "It was when you said 'Excuse me'. I thought to myself, 'Wow, this guy is really beautiful? And I want to get to know him. And also do terrible, terrible unspeakable things to him.' That was it. When I fell in love with you."

"Babe. Babe, that is so embarrassing. For you. Was it when I very first spoke to you ever? Really?" Steve frowned as he thought longer about what Tony had said. "Wait. That means you've been in love longer with me than I have with you. That seems unfair to you."

"There's only an hour or less between the times we each fell in love with the other. It's fine." Tony got a glint in his eye's that made Steve thankful he had the day off. "However, I wouldn't mind if you wanted to try to make it up to me?"

The End