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Bruce woke up slowly, his mind rising above the ocean of sleep at a lazy pace. Tony was asleep next to him, eyes still closed and body stretched out long and lean like a cat bathing in the sunlight.
It made a smile tug at his lips, though he would never express the sentiment to anyone else.
There was something missing through, something that struck him as off as soon as his mind processed that it wasn’t there.
“Steve?” His voice was soft as to not disturb Tony but it was still curious all the same. Steve was an early riser but he would occasionally laze in bed with them until one or both of the others woke up.
That day seemed to be different though.
“Here,” Steve answered after a few moments. He was settled in a corner, a sketchbook on his lap. It made Bruce blink, then stare openly at the other man.
“Are you...drawing us?”
Steve grimaced a little, looking a bit awkward but unashamed. “Yeah. I woke up and was feeling restless.”
Bruce blinked again, shrugging. “Okay then. That...was not what I was expecting to wake up to.”
Tony made a noise, rolling over to one side and both Bruce and Steve grin, the fondness in both their expressions so very telling.
“Do you do this a lot,” he questioned after a moment. It seemed like an odd practice to him but an endearing one as well. If Steve made it a habit of drawing them when they weren’t paying attention, he wouldn’t have been surprised.
“Sort of.” Steve gets to his feet and closed the distance between them, settling on the edge of the bed, holding out the sketchbook.
He took it in his hands as if it were something precious, something that required care. It made Steve smile.
“Take a look,” he urged. “I don’t mind.”
And Bruce did, paging through the book and occasionally laughing or smiling. Steve was good, better than he had realized and he was impressed.
There were pictures of everyone, something he found quite amusing when he thought of Steve trying to be stealthy enough to secretly draw Natasha or Clint.. Still though, he had managed to get a few pictures of both of them along with everyone else.
It was curious to see their lives laid out in pencils and charcoal but it was sweet too. Seeing what actually mattered enough to Steve to attempt to capture was fascinating and touching all at once.
“Has Tony seen these,” he questioned after closing the book.
“He’s seen a few. Not the whole book though.”
Steve gave him a grin. “Not exactly. You’re the first.”
This caught Bruce off guard and he was left staring. “Thank you, I think.”
Steve’s grin broadened into a smile. “It’s no problem. I don’t mind.”
Bruce laughed, handing off the sketchbook to it’s owner once more. “You should show him sometime. I think he’d like it.”
“I’m pretty sure he would.”
A muffled noise came from the other side of the bed, then a voice spoke up. “Would what?”
“Nothing,” Bruce informed, reaching over to brush his fingers against Tony’s back. “Go back to sleep, its still early.”
“No way,” Tony counters, pushing himself upright. “I’m sensing bonding time here and I don’t want to get left out”
Steve laughs, handing Tony the sketchbook. “Not bonding exactly," he explained. “Just talking.”
Tony takes the book and leafs though it, scanning the pages for a moment, then looking up at Steve. “You know, if it weren’t you, this would be kind of creepy.”
Bruce and Steve both laughed. “Because it’s Captain America, it’s not creepy?” Bruce questioned.
“Pretty much,” Tony replied. “It’s still a little sketchy--” The other two groaned. “But it’s not as creepy as a stranger doing it.”
“Well, thanks.” Steve took back the book. “I appreciate not being labeled creepy this early in the morning.”
Tony grimaced at him, looping one arm around Steve and pulling him down into the bed.
Bruce chuckled, letting himself fall back into the bed as well, eyes closing as comfort washed over him. The three of them just lay there for a few minutes, enjoying each other and the warmth shared between them.
Bruce wondered if this would get drawn sometime soon. This simple moment shared between the three of them. There were so many snippets of peace that were kept within the pages of the sketchbook that he couldn’t help but think this would fit well with the others.
The idea made him smile and, as moments ticked by, he found himself falling back into a light sleep, his head filled with the sensation of paper between his fingers and the memories of moments past saved within pages.