If foods could kill
When Bucky first came to the tower, it might have been because he felt guilty for all the suffering he’s caused Tony, but he took it upon himself to take care of Tony. The problem was as much as the team made fun of Tony when he said he was a full grown man, he was indeed a full grown man who has gone more than 20 years taking care of himself (As much as he likes to pretend he went the whole almost 40 years taking care of himself, he definitely had Jarvis’s help for the first half). Admittedly Tony even did an adequate job at it too! He kept himself fairly clean, rested when he was sick, actually took care of his injuries as long as it wasn’t in a hospital (mostly via Bruce – the poor guy), actually slept (despite it being at strange intervals and at changing hours), and even ate! (Even if it was just a massive stash of granola bars and power bars in his workshop). So when Bucky came to the tower there wasn’t really that much left to do in terms of taking care of Tony. But Bucky was determined, so he circumvented pockets of poor care wherever he could.
He started with getting Tony to sleep more regular hours, which usually just involved grabbing Tony (physically) if it’s past midnight, dumping him on the bed, snatching his tech and staying til Tony fell asleep. If that involved laying with Tony in the same bed a lot of the time, well he wasn’t about to complain.
Next were the injuries. Bucky wasn’t better than Bruce when it comes to patching Tony up. Likely he was much worse. But Bruce definitely deserved a break. If that involved getting into Tony’s personal space a lot, he wasn’t about to complain about that either.
Along with all that, he started to bring meals down to Tony, because consuming 10 power bars a day cannot be good for a man. Initially it started out with simple things, like sandwiches and canned soups, but he eventually got more elaborate with omelettes, curries, and soufflés. If that involved a lot of staying down in the workshop and talking to Tony so he made sure that Tony ate all of it, well he can admit to himself that he’s more than happy to.
So it’s no surprise that after a few months in the tower, Bucky was smitten with Tony, loved the man to pieces and by then it was just habit to take care of him. Thank heavens that Tony was just as in love back. Maybe that was why he didn’t mind getting taken care of by Bucky, or dare Tony say he even loved when Bucky fretted on him.
But all that has led to Tony’s current unfortunate predicament…..
“You know you can just tell him right?”
Tony growled at Steve, frustrated, “Hey love of my life, I know you love to take care of me, and has been making increasingly fancier foods for me over the last few months. But your food tastes like crap and makes me want to vomit. In fact it’s getting worse as time goes on and the only reason I eat it is because I was willing to in the name of my love for you!”
Steve pouted, “That’s actually kind of cute.” Tony shot him a look. “Okay point taken.” Then his brow drew together, “I don’t understand. Doesn’t Bucky taste his own food? He should know how bad it tastes.”
“As much as I love the guy, his taste buds were definitely broken by HYDRA,” Tony sighed. “I’m mean it’s not even just your normal I’m from the 40s and food goes bad too fast so I obsessively over salt everything”
“Hey! That was a shot at my cooking wasn’t it?”
Tony only continued to look miserable.
“Well… maybe you should tough it out? I mean I ate military rations for years, and that stuff was pretty bad. How bad could this be?”
Tony just silently offered him a spoon full of…..of um… “What is that?”
“It’s beef wellington,” Tony said with a downward turn of his mouth.
“It’s blue…. and a liquid”
“I know.” Tony lifted an eyebrow. “Going to take a bite Cap?”
Steve stared it down, hesitating. “Based on the smell, I feel like I should say no..” but before he finished his sentence Tony stuck the spoon into his mouth. Steve proceeded to choke profusely and spit the contents onto the workshop floor. DUM-E excitedly beeped over to clean it up, happy for a job.
“Oh my god!” Steve gasped while he continued to spit on the floor.
“See!” Tony all but shouted. “What am I going to do? At this rate I might actually be poisoned by his food. I can see my grave now. ‘Here lays Tony Stark who was poisoned by rancid chicken.’ And the ironic part will be he poisoned me without even doing it as the Winter Soldier.” Tony dramatically slammed his head and upper body on his work desk.
Steve stared at the ground, brow furrowed, and muttered. “That was what I imagine garbage tastes like if I was ever to eat garbage.”
Tony just groaned with his head still on the work table.
“I can sneak some power bars into the workshop?” Steve suggested meekly.
“Won’t help, he always watches me eat to make sure that I do eat. Plus he likes spending that time with me talking.”
“How has he not noticed from your facial expressions then?”
“I’m always facing away from him.” Tony moaned, “I still love him, I don’t want to hurt his feelings.”
“Well it seems like your options are hurting his feelings or death …so..” Steve trailed off.
“You know I opened up about this to you so that you could be more helpful.” Tony had yet to remove his head from the workbench. “I’m pretty sure I’ve already gotten food poisoning 3 times.”
The two of them snapped their necks to the door at the sound of it opening. Dread filled Tony’s stomach when he realized it was lunch time.
“Hey Tony! Hey Stevie! JARVIS said you were both down here, so I figured I’d bring you both some lunch.” Bucky strolled in with a tray which he placed on the workbench between Tony and Steve, as he pecked Tony on the head with a kiss, not noticing that the other 2 occupants of the room has turned ashen. On the tray sat 3 plates with, uhhh, something black on them. Chicken maybe?
“It’s duck confit!” Bucky declared proudly. When Steve looked up at Tony, he could see that the man had paled further. Steve was sure he was imagining his gravestone again. As much as Steve loved his friend though, he also didn’t want to die so….
“Actually Bucky I have somewhere to be” Steve started, even as Tony gave him huge puppy eyes begging him not to leave him here alone to eat Bucky’s cooking. “But thanks for the food” He says picking up a plate. “I’ll eat it on the way.” He chanced a glance at Tony. The man looked like he was about to burst into tears.
“Uh well that’s too bad, but I get Tony to myself so I’m not that upset” Bucky said, winking at Tony. Who at this point looked like he might be dying right now before he’s even eaten anything.
Taking pity on Tony, Steve then proceeded to stumble and flip the tray. The ducks flew up and scattered around the workshop. DUM-E beeped and came around again to take care of the mess. “Oh God, Bucky I am so sorry!”
Bucky actually looked pretty stricken, “AH Steve, I spend hours on that dish!” and all Steve could think was ‘Seriously?!?’
That seemed to get Tony out of his stupor, who had the biggest grin on his face. “Aw damn, that sucks Babe. Let’s go to your favorite burger place as compensation then? My treat?”
Now Steve was suddenly very upset that he said he had somewhere to be. He loved that burger place.
“Thanks for the save back there, Steve.”
And wow that was actually one of the most sincere apologies that Steve has ever heard from Tony.
“It’s going to be alright Tony” He declared, “You’re my best friend, and I won’t stand by while you get poisoned even if the poisoner is my other best friend.”
“You can’t keep knocking the food on the ground forever Steve. We’re just delaying the inevitable.” Tony grimaced.
“I got this Tony. They don’t call me the man with the plan for no reason.” Tony didn’t seem that convinced.
“Hey Buck,” Steve greeted as he walked over to the couch that Tony and Buck were snuggling on. “I’m super sorry about lunch. I’m even more disappointed I didn’t get to eat what you made though. Think you could make a portion for me for dinner too? I thought the 3 of us can sit on the patio outside and make an evening of it.” He tried to come off confident because he had a plan, but it was hard when Tony was looking at him like he’s just dug his own grave. But Bucky was smiling a million watt smile, so there’s no taking back his words now.
And that’s how he ended up sitting on the patio with an equally apprehensive Tony as a grinning Bucky brought over another tray.
“I hope you know what you’re doing Steve because I think even with super soldier serum in your veins, you won’t be able to survive this.” A pause, “Wait why is the plan a secret?” If I’m about to die because of the plan, I feel like I deserve to know what the plan is” Tony whispered to him.
That was a fair point. “Okay well you know how you said we were having a pigeon problem on the patio?”
“What?!” Tony abruptly turned his head to look at him, but before he got to ask anything further, Bucky was within listening distance, and it was only a few seconds more before he was placing the tray down in front of him.
“Tony I know you haven’t been feeling well lately so I made your favorite to try and cheer you up.” Bucky’s smile would have been contagious if it wasn’t for the not round, one side definitely raw, Thing that was on the tray, and that’s not even getting into the pizza toppings. Ugh.
“Dig in you two!” Bucky divvied up the pieces on their plate. “Don’t worry there’s more when we finish this one.”
Tony eyed Steve with an expression that screamed this better work, just as a pigeon swooped down and snatched a pizza slice right off of Tony’s plate, while another one went for Bucky’s.
“Ugh that’s one thing I didn’t miss about New York, the flying rodents. Why are we eating out here again?” Bucky swiped at the pigeon but the bird still managed to kick a piece to the floor which was promptly picked up by another pigeon and flown to a safe distance for eating.
Steve smiled at Tony who was looking relieved again. “Bucky, we’d better pick those pieces up. We might not be able to eat them but we shouldn’t feed the pigeons either. That’s only going to make the tower’s pigeon problem more prominent.” But as he spoke all the pigeons all flew away at once.
“What the…?” Bucky looked to the point where the pigeons had just been to see a dead pigeon and most of the pizzas still left on the ground.
Bucky went to get a closer look. “I…” he swirled on his feet to look at Tony and Steve. “Did my pizza just kill a pigeon?”
“Yeah Buck, you’re cooking is terrible, but more importantly deadly. You’ve given Tony food poisoning 3 times in the last 2 weeks.” Steve tried to state the facts in the least hurtful way he could manage. “I know you want Tony to eat, but maybe ordering in is a better idea.” Steve suggested, but then snapped his mouth shut when Bucky’s eyes started watering.
All of a sudden Tony was walking over to Bucky with open arms. “I’m so sorry honey. I never wanted to hurt your feelings or offend you,” Tony said as he slid his fingers through Bucky’s hair and tucked the man into himself.
Bucky instantly untucked his head from under Tony’s chin to stare straight into his eyes. “Why are you apologizing?! I’m the one who almost killed you!” Bucky suddenly had a grip on both of Tony’s upper arm. “Why didn’t you tell me?! Actually more importantly Why did you eat it?!” He shook Tony a bit. “I…I didn’t mean to. You have to know that. I would never want to poison you. I..I can’t imagine living without you.” Bucky ducked his head again.
A soft smile appeared on Tony’s face. “I love you too.” Which caused Bucky to look into his eyes again. “I know you didn’t mean to sweetheart. And this is also on me. I could have told you, but I didn’t want to hurt you. You always seemed so happy when you came down to bring me food. And…” he trailed off, looking away. “This, what we have, it’s so new, and I didn’t want to tell you encase that pushed you away. Made you leave.”
“Tony.” At Bucky’s tone, Tony met Bucky’s gaze once more. “I have the same worries sometimes. Like just now. I got this feeling that you were going to leave because I almost POISONED you. I guess we should both communicate better.” Then a look of adoration was on Bucky’s face as he pulled Tony closer. “I’m not going anywhere Tony. I’m crazy about you and that means I’m going to be here as long as you want me.”
“Always, I’ll always want you Bucky” They grinned at each other.
“And for future reference, if I’m doing something that is hurting you, tell me right away okay? I’d rather find that out when it’s happening then later when I realize all the damage I’ve done.”
“Communication, right. I can do that. Er …well…. I can try anyways” Tony promised.
“That’s all I’m asking for.” Bucky smiled for a moment, but then turned sad once more. “I’m so sorry…” He would have kept going if it wasn’t for Tony shushing him with his fingers on his lips.
“I forgive you, so let’s move past it okay? You’ll see, in a week we’ll be making jokes about it.” In response Bucky’s face slipped into a mischievous grin.
“I can’t believe you were willing to eat horrible food just so I don’t feel bad.” He teased.
“Of course!” Tony waved his hand nonchalantly before looking back. “That’s how much I love you. Besides, it wasn’t that bad initially when you were bringing down sandwiches. Those were actually quite edible, dare I say actually good.”
Bucky’s eyes softened. “I love you too, and I’m glad I wasn’t torturing you this whole time.” He went in to give Tony a kiss. It didn’t take long for it to turn hot and involved tongue and nipping and everything.
When they pulled back Tony had a thought. “We’re probably grossing Steve out.”
“Nah. Stevie left back when you said I love you the first time. I think he thought that this was a private moment.”
“Well he’s not wrong,” Tony then took a big breath in and huffed it out. “Guess I owe him now for basically saving me from dying by pizza.”
Bucky just turned to grin at him, “Well we better find him and go get some real dinner then.”
Bucky laughed at Tony’s puppy eyes. “Yes, pizza”
“Yay! Let’s find Steve fast then. I’m starving!”
Bucky just followed behind Tony as he ran off to find Steve, smiling fondly the entire time.