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Tony’s workshop was in blackout mode and Steve’s access code wasn’t working. He couldn’t help his surprise. They had fought, yes, but it wasn’t that horrible. A small argument that led to Tony leaning against Steve’s front on his tippy toes and reaching for the blue coffee mug Steve held above his head. Steve enjoyed the brunet pressed up against his front more than he should have. He could picture Tony’s determined brown eyes as he met Steve’s playful gaze.

Then, he had to ruin it by letting “Tiny Stark” slip out. He was trying for nothing more than flirtatious teasing, but Tony had immediately shut down and scurried away without his thirteenth cup of coffee. Steve had been left leaning against the counter feeling cold and holding Tony’s favourite mug.

He had known even then that he had gone too far. No matter what Steve said, Tony almost never backed down from an argument. Especially not with Steve. The two squabbled like an old married couple. Everyone knew it. There were certain topics and insults they avoided, such as parents and past girlfriends, but everything else was fair game.

Steve tried the master access code one more time hitting 1-9-4-5 in quick succession to no avail. An angry red flash and the accompanying beep kept him from gaining entry.

“I’m sorry Captain Rogers,” Jarvis cut off Steve’s third attempt to type in the passcode. He didn’t even sound the least bit apologetic as he said, “Sir is currently working on a project and would like to be left alone.”

There was a short pause before the AI continued, “I have been asked to inform you that by executive order your passcode, both override passcodes, your personal alpha passcode, and the master passcode have all been temporarily disabled.”

Steve decided he could work with ‘temporarily’. At least Tony hadn’t completely deleted his password and fingerprints from the system. Steve rested his forehead against the cool glass letting out a warm exhale and watching the glass fog up. He could probably punch straight through it. He had done it before when the inevitable Pepperony break up occured and Tony had spent two weeks tinkering without coming up for a breather. Knowing Tony the glass was probably reinforced now. “Jarvis, please tell him I’m sorry.”

“Your apology has been noted, Captain” the virtual butler clipped, “if there is nothing else you require, Sir would appreciate you joining the others in the common room upstairs for movie night.”

Steve reluctantly headed down the hall and stepped into the elevator watching the doors of the workshop as the steel doors slid shut. Today was Tuesday so the others upstairs would be getting ready to watch a movie. It was Clint’s turn to chose and as much as he always enjoyed the silly romantic comedies the archer picked, he could already feel himself missing Tony’s quiet comments about the situations on scene and the accompanying innuendos.

Steve took his spot on the large couch, usually he and Tony shared it but without the smaller man to stretch out like a cat beside him he felt like the couch was suddenly too big and prepping to swallow him whole.

“Will Stark be joining us?” Natasha asked. The words came out with feigned disinterest as the redhead picked at her cuticles but Steve clocked the agitated worry in her voice. She had been sitting at the kitchen counter when Tony had rushed out on Steve.

“No, he’s working on something of utmost importance in the workshop.” Steve murmured miserably as the others took their seats around the large room. Steve brushed his blond hair out of his eyes as Clint searched for a funny action movie they would all enjoy.

It would just be the three of them. Bruce was doing philanthropic work in Europe and Thor was with Jane in New Mexico studying cosmic activity.

Before they could hit play the alarm sounded and they were all running to the quinjet to take care of the latest threat. As Natasha fired up the engine Steve spotted a streak of red and gold jet up from the base of the tower and high into the sky.. He sighed and watched Iron Man disappear on the horizon between a couple of buildings.

Both Clint and Natasha shot him pitying glances. It had been almost a year since Tony had flown out to be first on scene. Steve had convinced the genius to ride with them in the quinjet so they could tackle the threat as a team. The reversion to before their friendship set Steve’s stomach in knots as Natasha flew after him.

By the time they arrived on scene Tony was fully engaged in combat with the threat. Fury had been vague, a biochemical experiment had gone wrong and an amorphous blob had taken to wreaking havoc in Harlem. Fury had never mentioned that the aforementioned blob was almost ten metres tall and encompassed everything within a fifteen metre radius in it’s hot pink goop.

Tony was firing shot after shot at the creature barely making a dent. “Took you guys long enough,” Tony griped over the comms. He raised an arm lasering the blob to no avail.

“Wow Stark,” the archer was in action before Natasha landed the jet, “is this blob a manifestation of your ego?” Clint quipped as he fired a couple of shock arrows at the creature’s left flank.

“Cease the chatter Hawkeye,” Steve interrupted before Tony could respond with a comeback. While he enjoyed hearing their banter after three days of Tony’s absence, he selfishly wanted his best friend’s words directed at him. “Iron Man, how do we take this down?”

“You’re the Captain,” Tony bit back as he covered for Natasha who was sending bolts of electricity at the blob’s right side. “Don’t let Tiny Stark boss you around.” The suit was all clean lines as he immediately took off relocating the assassin so she could fire without being in the blob’s absorb radius

“Tony, I’m sorry” Steve sighed as he flung his shield at the blob. To his complete surprise the blob absorbed it and Steve stood there shocked and completely defenseless.
There was laughter from Clint as Steve stood on the street absolutely floored. He was pretty sure he was gaping at the creature.

“Close your mouth,” Natasha walked by shutting it for him. There was an audible clack of teeth. “You’ll catch flies.”

She returned to shooting at the monster that had eaten his shield. Steve backed away slowly, he knew when he was down for the count and there was no way he was going after the blob without a weapon.

“I got it,” Tony braced himself as he landed right in front of the pink obscenity with a metallic clang. He had his shoulders squared.

Steve couldn’t help but notice that something was off about the suit, was he walking funny? Steve couldn’t quite place it but he hoped his friend wasn’t hurt. “Tony wait-”

Steve was cut of as Tony immediately dived for the blob getting absorbed into it after his shield. Steve tried not to scream in frustration, he couldn’t lose the two things he loved the most to this disgusting abomination.

Steve could only stare as an explosion blasted the amorphous hot pink blob, Clint was calling it Delilah, to hell. Pink goop rained down on the three of them as their red and gold teammate went sailing into a nearby bus shelter.

“Yuck,” Clint wiped pink goo off his face shaking it off his hand. Some of it landed on Natasha who shot him a withering glare. The archer held his hands up in surrender shooting the redhead a cheeky smile.

Steve was off the moment his friend hit the ground in a crumpled metal heap surrounded by shattered glass. “Are you okay?” He kneeled beside Tony who was sitting up and shaking out his left hand. “Raise the face plate, I want to see you.”

“Don’t worry about me Cap,” Tony pushed himself to his feet initiating a protocol that somehow had the pink goo off him and in a puddle on the floor in seconds.

“Face plate up,” Steve commanded grabbing on to both his arms. Tony groaned complying. There was a small cut across his eyebrow and a thin line on his lip but other than that he looked relatively unharmed.

“I’m fine Rogers,” Tony waved a hand nonchalantly looking down at Steve with an expression of exasperation painted on his face. “Unfortunately for Delilah her digestive system couldn’t handle the iron.”

That’s when it hit Steve. He was looking up at Tony rather than down. His brows furrowed as he glanced down at Tony’s feet. The captain was at least six inches taller which meant the heels in the suit couldn’t have been comfortable. “Did you spend all day installing lifts into your suit?” He couldn’t help the hint of amusement that seeped into his voice.

“Sorry Cap,” Tony huffed crossing his arms like a petulant child, “not all of us were lucky enough to get the tall gene or a growth spurt inducing serum.”

“We can talk about that later,” Steve responded smoothly, “right now we are all going to ride in the quinjet to the triskelion for debriefing. Together.”

Several hours and boring meetings later, the Avengers were finally back at the tower. They had all agreed to a team dinner and had split up to take showers beforehand. Steve managed to catch Tony in the elevator. “We need to talk,” he began stepping out into Tony’s penthouse and resisting the urge to tidy up the blueprints strewn across the coffee table and the empty mugs littering the kitchen counter.

“There’s nothing to talk about,” Tony responded as the suit disassembled around him. “Now if you’ll excuse me-”

“No,” Steve interrupted his fists on his hips as he stalked after Tony. “We are going to talk about this like grown adults.”

That made Tony stop in the doorway of his bedroom and laugh, “sorry Cap, not all of us had the chance at growth the way you did.”

Steve let out a frustrated sigh as Tony slammed the door shut behind him. He strode over to the kitchen. When it came to Tony, coffee made everything better.

He dug in a couple of cabinets looking for Tony’s favourite coffee mug. He had set it on the countertop after their fight and immediately gone after Tony. Of the seven mugs on the counter and the two on the coffee table Steve could not find the dark blue mug proclaiming his best friend smarter than Reed Richards.

Tony had cancelled his maid service when the Avengers moved into the tower. No one would have come into the penthouse except for Tony, Steve, and Tony’s bots. Steve sat on the floor of the kitchen wracking his brain for where he could have moved the mug. That’s when he saw the blue shards swept under the couch.

Steve carefully cleaned up the ceramic and tossed the remains in the dustbin. Steve was putting away the broom when an idea hit him. He headed back to his own floor searching through his cabinets and pulling out an eggshell blue mug. He grabbed a thick sharpie from his studio and quickly scrawled across the mug before sticking it in the oven and setting it to bake.

He headed back up to Tony’s penthouse to brew some of the expensive coffee the genius saved for scientific breakthroughs and really long stints in the workshop. If Steve was going to apologize, he was pulling all the stops to get back into his best friend’s good graces.

When the coffee was done, Steve grabbed it, carafe and all, to take down to his appartement knowing that if he left it on the counter it would be gone by the time it would take him to grab the mug from downstairs.

Steve poured the dark liquid into the newly made mug and even he had to admit that it smelled heavenly. He took the mug back to Tony’s floor where he found the genius curled up on the couch watching the elevator.

“Smelled that you made coffee,” he said his eyes on the mug in Steve’s hands. He fidgeted on the couch arching an eyebrow, “mind sharing?”

Steve handed him the mug and Tony took a second to read the words printed across it in Steve’s neat handwriting. “You only grow until you’re perfect.”

“Steve,” Tony whispered softly looking up at the blond, “I can’t-”

“I’m sorry Tony,” Steve cut him off moving to sit beside him, “you’re so smart and kind and funny. You are proof that the best things come in small packages and I don’t want you to ever feel otherwise.”

“I can’t tell you how much this means to me,” Tony finished turning in the couch to settle his feet in Steve’s lap. He took a sip from his new mug a smile spreading across his face. “Thank you.”

“Anything for you Tony,” Steve murmured as he tilted his head back against the couch. It felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He couldn’t stand being iced out by his best friend.

“Anything?” Tony took a sip of his coffee an eyebrow arched in a silent challenge.

“What can I do for you?” Steve smiled as he propped his feet up on the coffee table.

“My feet are killing me,” Tony wiggled his toes in Steve’s lap. “I blame you.”

Steve couldn’t help the laugh that escaped him as he gripped Tony’s socked feet in one hand working his thumb into his calf and inciting a satisfied mewl from the smaller man. Steve smiled. He had his best friend back and Tony had a new favourite mug.