Steve woke up to the sensation of Tony’s breath on his neck and the man’s naked body wrapped around his. He groaned to himself as the memory of what happened last night returned to his mind. This wasn’t the first time Steve had fallen asleep next to Tony. Usually it involves Tony coming over whenever he’s in town (and the man was in Washington a lot) and forcing Steve to watch some movie or a TV marathon (usually Doctor Who) until they both pass out in front of the TV.
This also was not his first ‘naked sleepover’. Contrary to what he was sure Natasha thought, he has had sex before, recently, even before last night with Tony. Also contrary to what people think, there were homosexuals in the 1940s, it just wasn’t talked about because of the risk of arrest or ‘persecution’. But in a city like New York, it was not that unusual. Of all the things that have changed over the last 70 years, Steve was most pleased with the fact that someone like him who liked both men and women was more accepted now (in this country anyway).
This thing with Tony is different. First, he actually cares about Tony in a more than platonic way and has for a while. He could pinpoint it to when Tony almost died around Christmas a year and a half ago. However, he was planning to never do anything about it because despite their problems, Tony was still with someone else.
The other thing that made this different was he had sex with someone that was not available. A part of his mind wanted to refer to it as making love but he wasn’t ready to acknowledge what that really meant in this context. It was easier to think of it is just sex, but he knew better.
In the nearly harsh light of day, Steve realized that this was wrong even if it didn’t feel like a mistake. Unlike Tony, he didn’t have the excuse of drinking half a bottle of good bourbon. Alright, he did drink the other half of that bottle but unfortunately, he couldn’t blame the alcohol for his lack of good judgment. Yes, Tony and Ms. Potts (he lost all rights to call her Virginia or Pepper the moment his mouth fell on Tony’s that first time) have been fighting and once again she suggested that he spend a few days elsewhere to figure out what he really wanted, but Steve refuses to use that as an excuse.
Even though still somewhat unfamiliar with this time, Steve has been here long enough to know that relationship etiquette hasn’t changed. Just because those two are having problems, it does not give Tony the right to have sex with someone else. It also doesn’t excuse what Steve did regardless of the feelings he has for Tony.
Steve still doesn’t know how his Georgetown apartment became the type of place that Tony would take refuge in after a fight with Ms. Potts. He’s not even 100% sure how his relationship with Tony went from antagonistic to the type where Tony would come by anytime he was in town, which was at least 4 or 5 times a month. Tony has been spending a lot of time in DC or what he refers to as “the District of Insanity” between some special project that he is unable to tell Steve about and being called to testify before various congressional subcommittees about various things. Senator Stern still hates Tony and tries to bring him up before a committee whenever possible. He is one of the few members of Congress that is not afraid of Tony’s legal team and according to Tony, “the guy is in bed with Roxxon and they hate me for obvious reasons”.
Steve laid in bed trying hard to figure out how things went from casual coffee apology dates to waking up after what may be one of the most intense sexual experiences of his life. He’s literally at a loss for words. He cannot explain how it got to this point, especially because for the last year and a half Steve has been trying hard to repress what he felt.
Steve gently runs his fingers over Tony scars and the bruises that he made some time during their encounter. Tony’s neck was literally covered with bite marks that might as well say property of Steve Rogers. It would take Ms. Potts exactly 30 seconds to know what her boyfriend did last night, which just made Steve feel even sicker. He’s genuinely surprised that his inspection didn’t wake up Tony. The man is a notoriously light sleeper.
Steve wonders if Tony feels as guilty as he does. He knows about Tony’s past reputation from Tony himself. He also knows that Tony had a different relationship with Ms. Potts. But did Steve matter to him at all? When Steve was growing up, men of Tony’s station didn’t consider what he and Steve did together as cheating; most of them didn’t even consider it real sex.
Steve got out of bed, showered, and changed into running clothing. Tony stayed unconscious. Steve mostly thinks that’s a good thing. He’s not sure what to say to someone who he had extremely inappropriate, but good sex with the night before. He’s a little afraid that Tony will downplay their encounter or want to pretend it didn’t happen and Steve didn’t want that. Before waking up in the 21st century, he’d had a number of encounters with men who felt it didn’t mean anything, that it was just 2 guys helping each other out. He didn’t want it to be that way with Tony. It would hurt too much.
Steve decided his best course of action was to run. He doesn’t mean run away from Tony, but to go out and take a run (although maybe in this case, it really was one in the same). When he ran, Steve didn’t have to think about the ghosts of the past or new mistakes made (like having sex with Virginia Potts’ boyfriend, even though he didn’t want to consider it a mistake). He didn’t have to think about the fact that the beds were too soft and loud noises made him want to reach for his shield. Nor does he want to think about how Gabe has-had a grandson in SHIELD that from one perspective is older than Steve and how normal of an occurrence that is. He actually worked with Agent Triplett once briefly and you can see pieces of his grandfather as well as his grandmother in him. He really doesn’t want to think who Agent Triplett’s grandmother is. He needs to not think and running lets him do that.
He leaves Tony a quick note telling him that he’s gone out for a run, but promises to bring coffee, preferably from the cart outside the ‘Old’ War Building. He takes his phone too just in case, not that he wants to have that conversation with Tony at all let alone by phone.
He quietly walked out the door and is thankful not to run into Kate coming in from the late shift. She’s usually just coming in when he leaves for his morning runs. He’s not sure he can deal with his neighbor right now.
He wished May still lived next-door and was downstairs destroying a punching bag just so he could have somebody to talk to about this. She was the only one who knew that his feelings for Tony were more than simple friendship. She understood because she knew exactly what it was like to fall for a friend who was in love with someone else. He had to contend with the perfect Virginia Potts and she had to contend with Audrey the musician. The difference was the object of Steve’s affection was still alive.
He couldn’t exactly talk to Natasha about this. He never felt comfortable talking to her about relationship things. His friend and partner probably thought that he hadn’t kissed anyone since 1945. May knew better personally and she would be willing to help him deal with what finally giving in to Tony’s--Tonyness really meant. Had he just completely ruin his friendship with Tony, as well as Tony’s relationship with Pepper? He’s pretty sure that May would tell him that part was on Tony, but he’s not certain he would believe her.
Instead, she was in another country on assignment (probably Afghanistan), but she wouldn’t tell him where. She was only checking her email periodically and phone calls were a luxury to only be utilized when absolutely necessary.
As he made his way through the waterfront, part of him wanted to blame May for what happened. She was the one who made him realize that he was tired of regretting all the things he didn’t do. He didn’t want to lose someone again with things left unsaid. Considering how risky his line of work was, it was highly probable. He didn’t want to regret not being with Tony the way May regretted things with her James. He wanted to have that dance this time and last night definitely counted as a dance.
May Phillips was his neighbor for his first few months before her job sent her back overseas and she was probably one of his first friends in this time. May was a quiet woman who probably had more severe PTSD then even Tony, but she handled it better or maybe not at all. Still, hitting a punching bag at 3 in the morning in the building exercise room was more productive than half the stupid stuff that Tony has done in the last two years alone.
Half the building thought that she was retired CIA, the other half thought that she was retired military. Everybody was pretty much afraid of her despite her tiny stature. Steve had believed there was some truth to that rumor because he didn’t have to hold back with her nearly as much as he did with anyone else barring Natasha. He had come to learn that she worked at the State Department in diplomatic security or at least she did until a tour in Bahrain convinced her to come back to DC and take a nice desk job. Her family has worked in the government for generations, but she wouldn’t say which agency. As it happens, she was barely on speaking terms with her mother so they had little contact despite living relatively close.
The one thing the entire building could agree on is that the death of her friend (and the former occupant of Steve’s new apartment) James Chester hurt her badly, which is why the woman spent most of her time destroying the punching bag downstairs and perhaps why he instantly saw her as a kindred spirit. Because even though technically it’s been 70 years, in his mind it had only been a few months since he’d lost his James. (Although in his case, he never saw Bucky as a potential lover, but as a brother of his heart.)
The fact that he had to keep hearing about another man who died in service to this country gave Steve his own reason to join her (in addition to the fact that everybody Steve knew from his own time was either dead or near death). The fact that May’s fella died during the battle of New York, as a first responder made it worse. It reminded Steve of Phil Coulson. All three were good men that died too soon. Steve still had the bloodstained cards, unsure of what to do with them. They were a physical reminder of the man he couldn’t save.
May understood him in a way few people did in this new world. She never pushed or expected Steve to get over everything instantly. She explained things without being condescending. She didn’t have any preconceived notions about who he was or who he was supposed to be. (She also never tried to set him up with random accountants.) She wasn’t one for sharing either unless a good drink or punching bag was involved.
Eventually, their mutual commiseration led to him joining her for those drinks and somehow he found himself in her bed. She made the first move two months into their acquaintance. Her lips tasted of bourbon, but it just felt good to feel something again. However, he quickly pulled away. He didn’t think of her like that. And at that point, his heart still belonged to Peggy, even if he was still too afraid to see her.
“This doesn’t have to mean anything. We are just too individuals helping each other out.” She kissed his neck.
“This doesn’t make your feelings for Peggy mean any less.” She moved to his mouth again.
“This doesn’t take away from your feelings for James, either. I know you still love him.” He told her in a sad tone.
She did not respond with words, but pushed him up against the nearest wall and began to unfasten his belt. However, he knew he was right when he tasted the salt of tears on her cheek.
And that’s how their physical relationship started. Steve knew better than to argue with May Phillips when she was pushing you against a wall, bed, or any other flat surface, not that he would complain. He never had any problem with physical relationships. It was when he wanted something more that they usually ended badly (like last night).
It seemed like May made it her mission to make sure Steve didn’t end up like her. She forced him to get out into this new world. She was the one who made him see Peggy that first time, even though it hurt to see the once vibrant woman in a nursing home and unable to remember his visits. It hurt to see photographic evidence of the life she lived without him even if at the same time he was happy that she had a good life.
May told Steve that no matter how painful it was to see Peggy like this it was better than visiting a grave. Considering how many graves he visited during his road trip before settling down in the apartment formerly occupied by James Chester, he realized she was very right. No matter how painful it was, visiting Peggy at Woodbridge was always preferable. At the same time, she convinced him that Peggy would want him to have as full life as she did, just like her James would want her to have.
Even after she took a new post overseas, they stayed in contact through semi-regular emails. Instead of dragging him out to places in person, she would send him an email of things he needed to experience or tidbits about her co-workers. Her current mission for him is to see the Captain America exhibit at the Smithsonian and send her pictures for her boss Phil. (Another Phil who was a fan of his and wasn’t that painful.) She found out about it from said boss who is upset he probably will not get to Washington anytime soon to actually see the exhibit. Apparently, he is a major fan. Steve is nowhere near as enthusiastic about it and doubts that he will ever actually go to the exhibit.
He prefers May’s type of meddling to Natasha’s constant attempts to set him up with the nurse who took over May’s apartment and random women from work. He wonders if he tells Natasha that he prefers men, if she would stop. He also wonders what would happen if he tells her about what happened with Tony last night. Natasha would probably scream at him - in Russian no less -because she has been friends with Ms. Potts longer than Steve has been in this time.
Steve pauses his run coming to a stop near his favorite coffee cart. He decides to email May even though she may not reply for days. He stops just long enough to drink a bottle of water and send the message to May. He needs to talk to somebody and she’s the only option. He never does well with typing on the tiny screen, but he doesn’t want anyone to hear him dictate an email with the subject line “I had sex with Tony last night” even if there are millions of Tony’s in the world. He’s afraid to say the words out loud because that would make the whole thing real and he will have to completely accept that he did something very bad. He wished he could blame the alcohol for impairing his judgment. Unfortunately, Tony was the only thing that impaired his judgment and he is uncertain if that actually counts.
May was the one who forced him to accept Tony’s invitation to apology coffee the first time Tony tentatively reached out to him. Not that any apology actually took place. She was the one who forced him to return Tony’s apology email with his own apology after that disastrous meeting which thankfully, the tabloids never found out about. (They were one of the things he really hated about this century.) Their second attempt was more productive.
As he begins his run again, Steve remembers realizing that Tony was a lot easier to handle on paper – well, screen. It was from those initial exchanges that they began to email each other regularly. In the beginning, they didn’t talk about the big things like Tony’s nightmares or Steve’s feelings of disenchantment with this new world. They got to know each other at least on the surface level and Steve started to like the man that he met. He was nothing like his father and Steve considered that a good thing.
Then Malibu and everything else that went along with it happened and things changed. Almost losing Tony made Steve realize that his feelings for the man were more than just friendship. He also realized that nothing could come of it because Tony’s heart belonged to someone else – literally. He’d given Ms. Potts one of them. Regardless, he went to see Tony during his recovery. May’s stories about her James helping her through the disaster that was Bahrain made him want to be there for his friend, even if the man could never be his the way he wanted him to be.
Steve felt horrible for not being able to help because Fury or more likely his World Security Council bosses sent him on a classified mission in the middle of nowhere with full communications blackout to clean up a situation that was so classified Steve doesn’t even like thinking about it. Tony just said that he owed him more coffee and a Buffy marathon.
He would also like to blame May for the increased time that he spent with Tony in the months that followed, but he would be lying to himself again. Once she went back overseas, he really didn’t have an excuse to say no when Tony showed up to his apartment unannounced and wanted to go to dinner, a baseball game, or to a museum. Honestly, Steve just wanted to spend more time with him, even if these outings mostly consisted of places like Five Guys and other places you wouldn’t typically see a billionaire. There were also lots of trips to Nationals and Wizard games in the cheap seats (by Tony’s standards anyway) wearing baseball caps in an effort not to be recognized. This convinced Steve that Tony was there for his company. There were also movie nights where Tony made inappropriate jokes about Thor’s girlfriend looking like the woman in the Star Wars prequels.
Sometimes they talked about serious things like Tony’s decision to give up the armor and retire from being an active superhero or how he feels that he’s never going to completely adjust to this time. Sometimes, Steve would talk about some of his SHIELD missions (the ones that weren’t overly classified) and Tony would get this sad look in his eyes. It was obvious to see that he missed being out there. Other times Tony would joke about the fact that he was “Jay-Z retired” from being a superhero.
“What does ‘Jay-Z retired’ mean?” Steve asked when Tony invited himself over to watch movies after a very long day of meetings at the Department of Energy and the EPA. Unlike a lot of people, Tony wasn’t overly condescending when Steve asked him to explain pop culture references.
“You remember me introducing you to Shawn Carter and his wife Beyoncé at the last Maria Stark foundation thing I made you go to?”
“He was the guy who owns a record company and she actually performed?” He asked still not entirely sure. People tended to blend together at those events, but he vividly remember the woman who covered a Billie Holliday song at the Gala.
“Good, you actually do pay attention.”
“I remember because in addition to his wife’s wonderful performance he said his daughter wants to be Iron Man or Captain America when she grows up. He also had me sign her cards.” Tony just rolled his eyes at that.
“As she should, but I don’t think those cards were for his daughter, considering she’s not even two yet. It amazes me how you can reduce the most serious of people to a gushing fan boy or girl.” Tony smirked. “He’s also a rapper although the only song you know of his is probably Hard Knock Life and maybe 99 Problems. I think I sent those to you. Anyway, about 10 years ago, he decided to stop making music and focus on the business side of things, but he couldn’t completely leave it behind. He kept doing these side projects like that mashup album with Linkin Park.” Steve remembers the name because Tony sent him a bunch of their songs, including one called Roads Untraveled, which is just a little too appropriate for Steve right now.
“I see what you’re saying. It’s like when you try to help with my missions? And by help, I mean break into the SHIELD computers.” Steve has honestly lost count of how many times Tony has done this.
“I don’t trust SHIELD when it comes to you.” Tony said firmly. “I don’t trust anybody when it comes to you, especially good old Nikki. I know he’s keeping something big from us.”
“Whatever you say, Tony.” Steve just rolled his eyes at the man.
“I would redesign your mission gear if you would let me.” Tony quipped before continuing. “Anyway, eventually, he gave up all pretense of retiring and started working on regular albums and touring again.”
“So you think you’re going to end up the same way?” Steve asked.
“Pepper doesn’t want me to. She can’t deal with everything being a superhero’s girlfriend involves - especially on top of the being a celebrity girlfriend as well as a Fortune 500 CEO. I don’t want to put her in danger.” Steve wanted to say that several people still wanted Tony’s head on a platter (mostly from the oil and coal industry). Even if he did hang up the armor, she would be in danger regardless in her own right, but Steve holds his tongue.
“She may have a point. If you want to start a family someday with Pepper, then maybe it’s better if you were not risking your life every day.” Steve would love to have a family someday, if he ever found the right person (who wasn’t in love with someone else), but part of him felt like any biological child he would have would automatically be born with a ‘please kidnap me’ sign on their back.
“I’m going to blame what you said on the bad 1940s social programming. You know things are different now Capsicle?” Tony asked using something that now sounds more like a term of endearment than an insult. “Just because 2 people are together doesn’t mean they’re going to procreate. One does not need to have children to have a happy and fulfilled life.”
“You know I’m from the 1940s, not the 1840s?” Steve asked raising an eyebrow at him.
“I love it when you’re snarky with me.” Tony remarked, which cause Steve to blush. “Besides, I was raised by an abusive alcoholic who made me feel worthless, even if I had my bachelors before my balls dropped.”
Another thing Steve lo-likes about Tony is he doesn’t hold back his language. Tony is well aware of that as an army man Steve was used to salty language.
“That doesn’t inspire much confidence in a man. I could never forgive myself if I did that to another generation of Stark kids.”
“The fact that you doubt your ability so much is surprising considering how much confidence you normally have,” Steve quipped back.
“I’m just going to ignore the comment.”
“I don’t know why you don’t see it, but you’re good with kids.” Steve told him sincerely. “Harvey adores you.”
“Signing autographs or being an email big brother is different than being a parent. It takes a lot of time and effort and shouldn’t just be something you schedule between board meetings,” Tony said bitterly and from what he gathered this is essentially what Howard did to him growing up. He could understand why Tony was afraid of making the same mistakes.
“Also, as unfair as it is, it’s hard for CEOs to take maternity leave. Children are not something that Pepper wants and she took steps a long time ago to make sure that didn’t happen. There is this fabulous invention called an IUD.”
“I’m going to assume that some type of long-term form of birth control.”
“See you are already picking up on the modern medicine stuff. Even if Pepper actually wanted children, I couldn’t give them to her. Apparently, nothing reverses the effects of palladium poisoning on my sperm count.” Tony told him as he knocked his drink back in one swig.
Steve was not sure how to respond to that. The rest of the night they spent eating ice cream as Tony made snarky comments about whatever they were watching.
Considering the fact that Tony just started working on a new suit, the term “Jay-Z retired” obviously fit the type of retirement Tony was having. For the last couple of weeks, they mostly talked about how Ms. Potts was very unhappy with Tony because of his renewed tinkering. From what Tony related when he showed up at his door last Friday, this was the main focus of their massive fight that led to his last-minute trip to DC and her suggestion that they take some time apart from each other to decide what they want from each other.
As he passed the Washington Monument for the first time, Steve was trying to decide if “time apart’ meant it was okay that the two slept together the night before. Steve didn’t understand relationships in the 40s and he definitely did not understand them now. This led to him thinking a lot about if he wanted a relationship with Tony. The answer to that was, yes, as long as it didn’t ruin everything else.
He tried to tell himself that last night was just about sex and comfort. At one point he told himself that he gave in because May was no longer around, therefore he was no longer getting regular sex and he was just lonely. As he passes the guy in the Army shirt for the second time that morning, he realizes that’s a complete lie. He has desired Tony for a while… maybe even before the destruction of Tony’s Malibu house and the man’s moving back to the East Coast full-time. He hadn’t done anything until last night because he didn’t want to ruin Tony’s relationship with Ms. Potts. Steve has never been that person except now he is and he’s not sure what to do.
Steve remembered a late-night conversation with May about how part of her wished that she had kissed James just once, despite the havoc she knew it would cause to her relationship with him and possibly his relationship with Audrey.
“Sometimes at night when I’m alone I wonder what it would have been like to kiss him just once and have it means something.” May confessed one night after too many shots of something really expensive that Tony had given him. “I was always afraid of ruining everything and then it was too late. First he was with Audrey and then he was gone. Now, I wish I’d done it anyway.”
“I understand,” Steve said as he kissed her cheek gently.
“I don’t think you do because at the same time, I would have been just as happy to be Audrey’s bridesmaid if it just meant that Ph-James was still alive. I could deal with him spending the rest of his life married to someone else as long as I knew he had a really good life. As long as he was still with me, I could deal with it. As long as I still had his friendship, it would be okay.” That night was the one and only time he saw the strong woman break down completely and it made him decide he never wanted to be in her position. Although they never talked about that night ever again, it made an impression on Steve. After miles of running, Steve now knows that the only person he has to blame for taking the first option is himself.
At the end of his next lap, he stops to talk to the guy in the Army shirt. His name is Sam and he understands what it’s like to be back from war - for the mattresses to be too soft and for nothing to really make sense. Steve adds Marvin Gaye to his list before he forgets and absently wonders if the next Star Trek marathon with Tony will be canceled because of last night.
Just then his phone rings or chirps or whatever they call it when he gets a text message. A part of him hopes it was May getting back to him. He really needs someone to talk to and he can’t tell a complete stranger about Tony, the loneliness, or his disenchantment with everything especially his current ‘career path’. However, the diplomat prefers email and he hasn’t heard from her since her Smithsonian email two weeks ago, which included two lines about her no longer sleeping with “the moron” who shares his middle name because it was affecting her work and apparently he was in love with someone else, but couldn’t be bothered to share this with her.
Another part of Steve wanted it to be Tony. Yet, he was even less certain of what to say to the man now than when he started his run. At least a silly message would mean that a night or maybe a weekend of weakness did not completely ruin everything.
Except it was not a friendly message, but rather a notification of another mission. The type that he’s getting tired of taking and made him wonder if Tony had the right idea with trying retirement. He’s half tempted to apply to one of those art schools that Natasha, Tony and May keep sending him information about.
He should let Tony know that he’s never going to make it back with that coffee, at least not today, but he doesn’t. Besides he doesn’t want Natasha to see him writing this particular text message. Even when she’s driving, he knew that she could read the entire thing over his shoulder.
The mission went well in the sense that it gave him something else to focus on. He forgot about the absolute mess with Tony until Natasha asked him what he did last weekend. Of course he lied because he’s never going to tell her that he had sex with her friend’s boyfriend and he doesn’t really regret it (except for maybe the pain he may cause Ms. Potts). It’s at that moment that he realizes despite the consequences he wouldn’t do things differently.
The mission went badly in the sense that this was the beginning of the end and where things start to unravel. It gave him more important things to contend with than his Tony Stark problem and Natasha’s constant efforts to set him up with random women, his Nick Fury problem and the fact that mild-mannered Kate next-door was actually an agent. What he had to contend with instead was the fact an assassin, who wore his supposedly dead best friend’s face, was trying to kill him and worse still he was receiving orders from a rebuilt Hydra that had grown like a parasite inside the organization that Peggy spent her life building. For an instant, Steve was grateful that Peggy would not remember this.
After saving the day with multiple bullets in his stomach and water filling his lungs, his mind goes back to Tony. Even if it’s now too late to resolve anything, Steve realizes before darkness takes over he would have regretted not having that one night with Tony despite the consequences. If he’s going to die in the Potomac River today, at least this time he had his dance.
Steve woke up at Georgetown University Medical Center, hoping that it wasn’t seventy years later. Thankfully, it was only two days this time. Sam is by his side, playing the best of Marvin Gaye as he goes in and out of consciousness. At one point, he believes he saw brown eyes and a goatee, but he is not certain. Apparently, they do make painkillers that work on somebody with his metabolism.
Steve never actually sees Tony, despite the fact that he was called before the same committee that is badgering Natasha. They are not very happy that Tony just hired Maria Hill thus making her virtually untouchable. He doesn’t visit at the hospital or when he moves to Sam’s house two days later. His former apartment is still a crime scene and he is not sure he wants to go back there any way.
Even May sent Steve an email, albeit a cryptic one letting him know that she was okay. She also told him to set things straight with Tony before it’s too late. Considering he hasn’t heard from Tony’s since the incident, it probably was already too late.
It’s only later that day after he’s handed a hard copy of a digital file that doesn’t exist anymore that he understood why the message was so cryptic. His former neighbor May Phillips was really SHIELD Agent Melinda May and was ordered to take over Phil “James” Coulson’s personal mission to help him acclimate to the twenty-first century because Nick Fury felt that was the only way to help her handle her best friend’s death. (According to the psych report, it was believed she was a few weeks from joining Phil at her own hands if someone did not intervene). He felt slightly better knowing that her feelings for Phil were not a lie. At least, Steve now knows what to do with the cards, if he ever sees her again.
Before leaving for parts unknown, Natasha gave him the real contact information for the nurse formally known as Kate. He almost called her despite the chaos caused by the destruction of SHILED headquarters and the agency being declared a terrorist organization until he saw a story about Tony Stark and CEO Virginia “Pepper” Potts. A SI Spokesperson announced the couple was ending their three-year romantic relationship, but were vowing to stay close friends and business partners. It’s the cover story on Express (Steve will never understand why people in the twenty-first century are more interested in the lives of celebrities rather than the fact that Hydra was using SHILED to hide their illegal activities).
Ironically, May sends him a copy of the article a few hours later. She includes a note telling him that she was spending time with her mother who “enjoys criticizing my choice of career too much” but was planning on stopping by to “talk” if he does not “make a move on Stark soon”. He’s actually afraid her version of talking is very similar to Natasha’s version.
Before Steve really processes what he’s doing, he finds himself in front of one of the nicer houses in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood. He knows this is where Tony is right now because his electronic assistant, JARVIS, keeps sending Steve Tony’s private schedule. Steve was sure that Tony only owned this house because it is practically walking distance to the Pentagon and Reagan National. Apparently, Tony couldn’t be bothered to sell his house in the DC area after SI transition away from weapons manufacturing and his main purpose for being in DC became attending congressional hearings. (Steve can’t help but wonder why Tony spent so much time at his only-big-by-DC-standards apartment when the man actually had a house here.)
Steve is pretty sure he stood in front of the house for a good twenty minutes before walking to the door. He doesn’t even know why he was at this house. After everything that’s transpired in the last few weeks, he’s not even sure what to say to Tony. It doesn’t matter because Tony spoke first.
“You never did bring my coffee.” The man said as soon as he opened the door. He’s wearing one of his signature suits and a genuine smile which instantly put Steve at ease. Their one night together hasn’t ruined everything - just Tony’s relationship with Ms. Potts.
“I got interr...” He starts to say in his defense, but he’s cut off by Tony’s lips on his. Within seconds, he was dragged into the house which was quite a feat considering their mouths never broke apart.
“Since you prevented my tech from killing millions of people including me, I guess I can forgive you.” Tony mumbles against his lips before going back to kissing. “Although, you should’ve called. At the very least, I could have guaranteed that your new sidekick had better wings.” It was meant to be a joke, but it wasn’t.
“You designed them in the first place or rather your company did. Besides, Fu-Hill tried to call in another special team.” He told Tony correcting himself at the last minute. “They never arrived in DC.”
He also felt it was best not to mention that they all thought that team was dead until May sent him an email. Hundreds of loyal agents were killed during the uprising; the worst being at the Science Academy, where some as young as 16 were murdered in cold blood by their fellow classmates.
“I didn’t want to risk you too.” Steve admitted.
“So you really do care?” Tony asked smirking.
“Of course I care-I just-I didn’t want to be the reason why you and Ms. Potts broke…” He was cut off by Tony’s lips again. He could feel Tony’s hands trying to unfasten his belt at the same time.
“You can’t just kiss me. We need to talk.” Steve says as he stills Tony’s hands.
“There were 99 reasons why Pepper and I did not work out and you weren’t even in the top 10. Things were already done in reality, if not name before anything happened between us, physically anyway. Some people are just better off as friends and with time I think Pepper and I will get back there, I hope. We can talk about this tomorrow. More sex now,” Tony said before returning to their earlier activities.
“Okay,” he finally said in acquiescence as he was being led to what he hoped was the nearest bedroom. They could deal with everything tomorrow.
The end (or maybe it’s just the beginning).