Steve is reading in the library at 3 a.m. when he hears the distinct footfalls of Iron Man’s boots and the door opening. He bookmarks the page with a folded sticky note (the one left on top of the book from Iron Man as a suggested read) and sets it aside, to show Iron Man that he has Steve’s full attention. There’s a buzz under his skin that’s not letting him sleep, but talking to Iron Man usually helps.
He looks over, wondering why Iron Man hasn’t come inside the room yet, and sees him leaning against the doorjamb, arms crossed. It’s such a casual pose that Steve can’t help but stare in awe, both at the technology and the man who made such a creation. Tony Stark is certainly something special, leagues out of this world, and probably leagues out of Steve’s world, too. No matter how handsome or kind, it’s better if they just stay distant friends, especially with his feelings for his employee.
Steve gives Iron Man a soft smile in invitation, and Iron Man’s head tilts in a way that Steve knows he’s getting one back. He pushes off the doorjamb and slowly makes his way to Steve, steps as soft as they can be.
Steve had only turned on one lamp in the room, and when Iron Man stops directly in front of him it illuminates him from behind. The warm glow of it merges the golds and reds of the armour, and to Steve, he looks like a sunrise.
Meanwhile, the blue glow from his chest falls over Steve, hazy and soft, and Steve thinks it’s fitting. The moon can only shine because of the sun’s light.
He doesn’t know when all his restless energy faded away, but he’s suddenly extremely exhausted. One of Iron Man’s hands come up to cradle his face and Steve leans into it, looking up into blue eyes, the only part of the man under the mask that he can see.
“You should sleep.”
It should be ridiculous, loving a man whose voice he’s never properly heard, whose name he doesn’t know—
But it was the first thing that felt right ever since he woke up from the ice. And it’s helped everything else make sense, so Steve generally tries not to question it.
“I was feeling… too much, to sleep earlier, but then you came and everything calmed down.”
He worries that he’s said too much, that he’s too obvious, but a thumb caresses his cheek and he recalls that Iron Man reached out to him first, and still hasn’t pulled away.
He knows how dangerous Iron Man’s gauntlets are, he’s seen the damage they can do first-hand, and yet Steve has never felt safer. He’s in a place he can call home, with a man who has a heart of gold. He teammates— no, friends— are close enough that if he needs them, they’ll come to his aid.
His eyes fall shut on their own accord, and he feels sleep overcoming him. Turning his head slightly, he presses his lips to Iron Man’s palm, feather soft—
Waking up in his room, shoes off and tucked in, is shocking when the last thing he remembers is sitting in the library. And Iron Man. he looks over at his nightstand for the time, wondering if it was just a dream.
In front of his alarm is a folded piece of paper, and he reaches over to open it, curious. When he sees what’s inside, he smiles.
Sleep well, Cap
P.S. If you ever need me to help you sleep again, just call me. I’ll be there
No, loving him isn’t ridiculous at all.