Bucky still couldn't believe it. One minute, he was in the 1940's falling off of the train, and the next, he's in a hospital with his best friend holding him in a bone crushing hug. Well, the hug part was fine, it was just the fact, he couldn't breathe. "Ste-Stevie buddy, I can't-breathe-" he wheezed out. That was when a man with a weirdly styled beard out a hand on Steve's shoulder. "Steve honey, you're choking him." Steve then let him go and jumped to the man, hugging him. Bucky stood in shock, he could hear Steve crying into the man, who was rubbing his back in soothing motions. He felt a tight pang in his chest. Why was this guy touching Steve like that? Bucky had to stop this. "What happened?" he asked. Steve detached himself from the man and wiped away the tears. He cleared his throat, opened and closed his mouth a few times as if he didn't know what to say. The man placed a hand on Steve's chest and looked straight into Bucky's eyes, and calmly said, "Welcome to the twenty-first century, Barnes."
This all had to be some kind of elaborate joke, but his was all real. He couldn't believe it. He had survived the train wreck with no scratches. He still didn't like this guy getting handsy with Steve. He walked up to the guy.
"What's your name?" The guy turned around.
"Oh, I'm Tony Stark. It's nice to meet you." he said smiling. Bucky narrowed his eyes.
"Stark, huh?" Tony sighed.
"Yeah, Stark. My dad was Howard Stark, and I'd like to forget about him." he said dismissively. Bucky arched an eyebrow and smirked, sharp and predatory.
"Scared you'll never live up to expectations daddy set for you? Listen buddy, I don't care who you are to Steve, you stay away from him. He was mine first, before Howard decided to have you. I can already tell you aren't good enough for him." Tony looked down to the ground, then looked back up with a dark look he din't recognize.
"You're right, I'm not good enough for him, but if you think for a second that Howard was a better man then I was then you've got a lot of learning to do, honey bear. Get you're shit together, then come to me." and he promptly walked out.
Tony rubbed his head in his hands. He couldn't sleep, and he knew why. He was no good for Steve, he knew that, but it hurt that someone else said it to him. He sighed and looked at the time. 3:34, Steve would be coming down soon. He shook his head and stood up, stretching out until he heard a pop. He gathered a shirt and pulled it over the black tank top he was wearing and walked out to the elevator.
"JARVIS communal floor please."
"As you wish, sir."
Steve didn't know what was wrong with Tony. He hadn't been eating or sleeping. He was falling back into his old habits and, well, Steve was worried. He loved him, and hated it when Tony would beat himself up.
"So, Steve, what are you and Tony gonna do for New Years." Natasha asked him as she came in.
'I don't know. I was thinking we could just go to a hotel, but he's been really secluded lately. I just want to know what's wrong." he said looking at her. She pursed her lips.
"Maybe this has to do with Bucky. Maybe Bucky said something that made him get depressed." she suggested. Steve shook his head.
"No, Bucky wouldn't do that." Nat shrugged.
"You never know." she then left. Steve bit his lip. What if Bucky said something about Howard? It was a possibility, since Howard was one of their close friend of theirs, he could have asked about him. He went to seek out Bucky. He had to know what was wrong.
Bucky swung for another hit at the punching bag. He knew that Stark knew he was no good for Steve, but it seamed like he wasn't going to budge on giving up the relationship. It was time to take matters into his own hands if he wanted Steve. Make the man realize what kind of a guy Stark was.
"Bucky." he turned around to Steve.
"What is it?" he asked. Steve stepped closer to him.
"I wanted to ask if you talked to Tony at all while you were here. He seems to be really secluded and I'm getting worried." Steve asked. He looked distressed and Bucky was taken back. Why was Steve worried about a guy like Stark.
"Yeah, I talked to him." he began. He considered lying about what Stark said, but if Steve found out, he would never trust him again. And he really wanted Steve. Steve looked at him expectantly.
"I told him that he should stay away from you. He's no good for you Steve, have you seen this guy? He'll never live up to Howard! And you deserve better. You deserve me." he said getting closer and kissing Steve. Steve quickly pushed him away, glaring at him.
"What the fuck gave you the idea that he isn't good enough for me?! He's perfect because of his imperfections! I love him, and you have no right to take him from me Bucky, best friend or not. If I ever hear you say anything of that manner to him again, I will not be held responsible for the very violent and sadistic actions I do to you,do I make myself clear?" Bucky stared at him wide eyed then looked to the floor.
Tony sat on the stairs of the patio, and just looked out to the open. It'd been four days since he and Bucky had that talk. He sighed. He had to make the best decision, even if it hurt him to no end. He wanted to best for Steve, and that wasn't him.
"Hey, you. What are you doing here without a coat, you'll freeze." Tony looked over to Steve and smiled a little.
"I'm just thinking."
"About?" he bit his lip as Steve wrapped a blanket around him.
"I... I think we should see other people-"
"No let me finish. You deserve the best, okay, and I realized that no matter how hard I try, I'm not gonna be that person you need. I'm self destructive, I have horrible health, and I'm not gonna live long enough to stay with you. It's for the best that we see other people, people that deserve you... like Bucky." Steve held Tony's jaw in his hands and looked at him in the eyes. He wiped away the tears that were forming and kissed him. It was soft and passionate.
"That is the stupidest idea I've ever heard, you wanna know why? Because I love you, you are perfect to me, and I'm not letting you go that easy. I can decide for myself what's best for me, and baby, that's you." Tony looked as if he was going to cry, and they looked up when they heard the count down.
"I love you too."
He looked into Steve's eyes.
"I love you too, Tony."
1 And he kissed him, savoring the moment. Their was noise everywhere, but they didn't hear it. The world fell away as they just kissed. Steve pulled away and smiled.
"Happy New Year, Tony."
"Happy New Year, Steve."