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One Burning Question

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Steve changes his shirt three times and decides to leave his jacket just as he’s heading out the door.

He can’t remember the last time he was this nervous.

He curls his fingers around the ring box in his pocket, running his thumb over the velvet. It’s a question. Just one simple question. He can do this.

“Hey, Cap, what’s up?” Rhodey says and Steve whips around, his heart jumping.

“Hey, Jim, hi.” He struggles his hand out of his pocket and reaches out to clasp Rhodey’s hand. “Thank you for coming to meet with me.”

Rhodey eyes him with amusement, nodding and shaking his hand. “No problem. Anything for Captain America,” he says, teasing, and Steve flushes, ducks his head.

“I appreciate it.”

“So what is it you wanted to talk to me about?” Rhodey asks, and they sit in the living room. Steve wrings his hands and Rhodey’s gaze turns wary. “Is everything all right?”

Steve immediately sits up. “No—I mean, yes, everything’s fine. Great even.” A flush starts to crawl up Steve’s neck. “That’s actually what I wanted to talk to you about.”

Rhodey’s eyebrows crawl up his forehead. “Man, I’m very happy for you both, but I don’t wanna hear about it.”

Steve’s blush burns hotter. “It’s not—” He digs the box out of his pocket and holds it out, managing to keep his hands steady. Rhodey looks at it, and then back at him, and then back at the box.

“Uh, this is awkward,” he starts, “weren’t you just saying—”

Steve huffs and relaxes all at once. “Oh, so you both do that. Make jokes when you’re nervous.”

Rhodey has the good grace to look sheepish. “Are you—is this what I think it is?”

Steve smiles crookedly and opens the box, shows him the vibranium band inside. “Yeah. I’m here to ask you for Tony’s hand in marriage.”

Rhodey sucks in a breath and sits back a little, eyes wide. “You're—you’re asking me?”

“Obviously I plan to ask Tony, but it’s tradition to ask and I just thought—” He looks down at the ring, pulls it back towards himself. “I’m sorry. Maybe this was stupid—”

He looks up when he feels Rhodey’s hand curl around his, tilting the box so he can look at the ring. “This is gorgeous. He’s going to love it.”

Steve swallows, suddenly nervous again. “Yeah? You think so?”

Rhodey smiles at him, expression gentle. “Yeah, he’s gonna love it.”

“I had it made from shavings from the shield.”

“Wow, that's—” Rhodey covers his mouth and his eyes start to shine. He runs a hand over his head. Swallows a few times. When he’s composed himself again, he says, “I’m really touched that you’re asking me this, and since he’s over the moon for you, yes, I give you my blessing. Yes. Marry the bastard.”

Steve laughs and is surprised to find himself choked up, too. “Thanks. Thank you, Jim. I can’t tell you how much it means.”

Rhodey grins at him, eyes still shiny, and clasps his shoulder. “You two deserve each other. I’m happy for you.”