He gasped loudly as the dreadful scenery faded away. It took him a moment to realize it has been a nightmare and a few more seconds to remember it hasn’t. He wiped his sweat soaked forehead, trying his best to forget the explosions, the flames, and the death. He still couldn’t believe it had happened. How could he? Wanda has been their friend (their family) for so long.
Even after those few months, the nightmares haunted him, sometimes even when he wasn’t asleep. Daily he wondered if there could have been something he could have done to prevent it. He had lost a family once again and like before, there was nothing he could do to make it better.
He stood from his bed and made his way to the kitchen. It felt wrong to walk the halls of the new Stark Tower and more so to call it home. The mansion had been his home ever since he woke up from the ice. If he was sincere, he had wanted to rebuild the mansion, but it wouldn’t have been fair to ask Tony to do it. Not when he was trying to stabilize his business, and not after all he had just gone through.
As he neared the living room a low music became evident, an instrumental piece he could vaguely remember. He frowned, wondering who could be up so late in the night hearing classical music. Steve could only think of Jarvis, but it was uncommon to find Jarvis up so late. He followed the music to the living room and to his surprise found Tony looking away into the city.
“Tony?” The engineer looked startled for a moment before he looked back at Steve.
“Hey, Steve. What are you doing up so late?” Tony asked in a low and hoarse voice. Steve frowned as he neared his friend.
“Couldn’t sleep. What are you doing here?” Tony just shrugged and looked back at the city. “Who’s that? Mozart?” Steve tried asking this time.
“Having an affair with classical music? I though Rock was your thing.” at least that made Tony’s lips twitch in a phantom smile.
“Mom liked Schubert.” Tony made a small pause before he continued. “She would play it on the piano sometimes. I liked when she played the piano. She looked the happiest while playing the piano.”
“Oh” was Steve lackluster reply. He didn’t know how to answer that. Tony would rarely speak of his parents, even less of his mother. He would sometimes speak about his father in a business like way, but would brush away any personal question regarding them. He wanted to ask him if she often looked sad, but didn’t have the audacity to do so. “Was she good at it?”
“I think she was. It’s hard to remember it now.” Tony answered with a nonchalant expression.
“Why are you here Tony?” He asked again desperate at his friend’s antic.
Tony shrugged again. “It’s their anniversary. They died today.” Tony frowned and continued before Steve could even reply. “It’s frustrating how I can remember the date but not my mother’s voice.”
“I’m sorry.” He was once again lost for words, something that hadn’t happened to him with Tony since a long time ago.
“I wonder if we will forget them too in time. The old Avengers, the ones that died, I mean.”
“Tony…”he put a firm hand on the engineer’s shoulder trying to get his attention. “We can’t help forgetting details, even if they are important to us. It doesn’t mean we have forgotten about them, it means we’re moving on.”
“I know, it’s just…” he whispered before shaking his head. “Did your mother play any instrument?”
“No she didn’t. She used to sing though.”
“Was she good at it?”
“Good enough for the church’s chorus.” Steve smiled remembering the Sundays he spent at the church listening to the chorus. “I liked to listen to her too.” Tony smiled a little then. “How old were you when your parents died?”
“Twenty-one... it's hard to believe it has been more than ten years already.”
“Well, if it counts mom has been dead for way longer than that.” Tony looked at him with a small smile.
“I don’t think it counts, old man.” At least now Tony’s voice sounded less strained. “Do you ever miss them?”
Steve let out a small sigh. “I do, I also miss the old times and the guys. But like mom used to say, in order to grow up we must let go of the past.”
There was a pause as Tony looked back to the city, seemingly lost in thoughts. “Your mom sounded like a great person.”
This time it was Steve who smiled. “She was. I wish she could have met you. You two would have liked each other.”
“Always.” He put an arm around Tony’s shoulders. “Come on, it’s been a long day. Don’t you need to recharge your battery Shellhead?”
“Ha ha, so funny Winghead.” Tony answered in his trademark sarcastic tone. Nonetheless he leaned into the embrace and allowed Steve to guide him toward the bedrooms. If Tony leaned into Steve a little more than necessary neither said anything.