There’s a takeout cup of still steaming coffee sitting on his workbench when Tony comes back from his meeting—read: latest argument— with the board of directors, and he nearly stumbles over his own feet in his haste to get his hands on it. It’s not cool enough to drink yet, which doesn’t stop Tony from sipping at it anyway, and then trying—and failing—to blow on his own tongue when he inevitably burns it.
He flops down in his chair, which rolls back a few feet, and fumbles with the cup, some of the coffee sloshing out onto the lid. “Damn it,” he lisps, tongue still stinging, but licks at the spill anyway. He swivels around to face the couch, points at the woman perched on the arm of it, and warns, “Not a word, Romanov.”
Natasha arches one perfectly manicured eyebrow, and doesn’t say anything. Somehow, Tony feels mocked anyway.
He pouts at her for a moment, grinning victoriously when she rolls her eyes at him, before taking another drink of his coffee. Without burning himself this time. “So. What’s the verdict?”
“They’re not happy,” Natasha says, straightening up and making her way over to Tony. She plops a stack of files down by his elbow, then hops up to sit on the edge of the workbench, and kicks off her heels with a contented little hum. “But you’ve got the CEO on your side, me as your lawyer, and you’re the majority shareholder, which, to put it simply, means they can’t do shit.”
She smirks, showing teeth, and taps Tony’s hand when he holds it up for a high-five.
“We’re going green,” Tony says, a little dazed by the sudden reality. “We actually did it.” He curls his fingers around hers, and gives her hand a quick squeeze. “Thank you, Nat. I mean it. I couldn’t have done it without you and Pep. Not after what Obie—well. Thanks, is what I’m saying. A lot.”
“Don’t get sappy on me now, Stark,” Natasha teases, but she squeezes back before letting go. “Got another one?”
It takes Tony a second to catch up, but then he smiles, excited, and lifts his cup to get a better look at it. And, sure enough, there’s a sharpie drawing on it, of DUM-E wearing his dunce hat this time. Tony, very deliberately, does not even think about glancing at the drawer where he’s stashed all the other cups Cute Delivery Guy has drawn, scribbled, or doodled on. Natasha would know, she totally would, and she’d never, ever let it go.
And Tony doesn’t need that. He doesn’t need her poking fun at him, or trying to set him up, or—he shudders at the mere thought of it—getting Pepper involved. They mean well, they always do, but they tend to go over the top when they scheme together. And that says a lot, coming from Tony.
It’s just a silly crush, anyway, and Tony will get over it eventually. He’ll stop tripping over his tongue whenever Cute Delivery Guy flashes him one of his rare smiles, he’ll stop with the awful nervous jokes, he’ll stop having the urge to offer to replace the Hammer Tech prosthesis with a superior Stark Tech model, he’ll stop wondering how Cute Delivery Guy’s seemingly permanent five o’clock shadow might feel against his own cheeks, he’ll stop staring at Cute Delivery Guy’s ass when he leaves, and he’ll throw out his pathetic cup stash. Eventually.
It’s not as if Cute Delivery Guy’s two minute stops in his workshop are the highlights of Tony’s days, or anything embarrassing like that.
“Cute,” Natasha says, leaning in to peer at the drawing, startling Tony out of his thoughts.
He shoots her a filthy look, because she definitely did that on purpose, the sneak. “What was on yours?”
Natasha moves back, and actually looks surprised. “You think he draws on all of our cups?”
Her tone implies that she thinks Tony’s a complete idiot, which Tony would be offended by if he weren’t used to it by now. It’s especially effective combined with Pepper’s sigh of pure disappointment, but, luckily for Tony, Pepper isn’t here right now.
Tony clutches his cup against his chest defensively, then quickly puts it down on the table when he realises he’s doing it. “Uhm. No?” he lies, and then yelps, “Hey! That’s abuse!” when Natasha whacks him over the back of the head.
Natasha closes her eyes, pinches the bridge of her nose, and blows out a slow breath that, somehow, sounds like she’s currently reevaluating every single life decision that’s led her to working for Tony. “Well, he doesn’t. He also doesn’t stop to chitchat with the rest of us, or bring us pastries he just happens to have left over, or look like a kicked puppy when we’re in a meeting when he comes by.”
“I—” Tony starts, but is saved from actually having to come up with an answer when there’s a quick knock on the door before it whooshes open.
Only to reveal Cute Delivery Guy, because, apparently, Tony can’t catch a break today. He whips around and widens his eyes at Natasha, silently pleading, before flailing back around to awkwardly wave at Cute Delivery Guy, stumbling over his, “He—ey.”
Cute Delivery Guy doesn’t seem to notice Tony’s complete and total mortification, or at least has the decency not to mention it if he does. Instead, he holds up a brown paper bag. “Got a leftover blueberry muffin.”
“Do you, now?” Natasha asks sweetly, sliding off the desk and picking up her heels. She pointedly looks back over her shoulder at Tony as she walks to the door. “What a coincidence.”
She stops when she’s next to Cute Delivery Guy, pats his arm, and says something in Russian before, after one last wink at Tony, swanning out of the workshop. Cute Delivery Guy barks out a laugh and calls something after her, shaking his head a little when he looks back over at Tony.
“Uh, so,” Tony says stupidly. “You’re Russian?”
“Grandma on my pop’s side, yeah.”
They stare at each other for a long, loaded moment before Tony can’t take it anymore, and asks, resigned, “What did she say?”
“That you’re really bad at pickin’ up on people flirtin’ with you,” Cute Delivery Guy says, and laughs again when Tony groans, and buries his face in his hands.
“She’s the worst,” he whines, still hiding. “And fired. She’s so fired.”
When he does dare to move his hands again, Cute Delivery Guy is right there, close enough that his arm brushes Tony’s side when he puts the bag on the workbench. Tony swallows hard, mumbling a strangled, “Thanks.”
“I was,” Cute Delivery Guy says, and doesn’t step away again. Not that Tony minds, but it makes it a little more difficult to concentrate on what’s actually being said when Cute Delivery Guy’s chest almost brushes his with every breath. “Flirtin’ with you. In case that’s still not clear.”
“Yeah, no,” Tony says, clearing his throat when his voice comes out too high and squeaky. “I’m getting that now.”
Cute Delivery Guy smiles, one of those rare ones that make his eyes crinkle, and his nose scrunch up adorably. “‘M Bucky.”
“Hi, Bucky,” Tony says, nudging Bucky’s hand with his. “Nice to meet you. Properly meet you. I’m Tony, but I guess you know that. What with my name being on the building and all. That wasn’t me bragging, by the way, oh my god, what am I even—”
“Hi, Tony,” Bucky chuckles, and takes Tony’s hand, linking their fingers. “‘S nice to meet you, too.”