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if i were fearless

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After asking his team for advice on wooing Steve, Tony comes to the conclusion that the Avengers are a bunch of weirdos with emotional problems and trust issues.

Honestly, he knew it going in, he just wasn't expecting it to be this bad.

When Clint suggests spelling 'DO YOU WANT TO MAKE OUT' in flaming arrows, Tony cracks and calls his sane friends, both of whom sigh at him and give him advice and tell him to be really, really careful how he goes about this. 

Tony takes their advice, combines it with his team's, and then shucks all of them and corners Steve after breakfast.

Steve opens his mouth to ask Tony why he hasn't left with the others, and Tony cuts him off with, "Hypothetically, how would you woo someone?"

Steve's words die in his throat. He swallows, and feels his brain reboot from where's thudded to a stop. "How would I- oh."

Tony's nodding expectantly, and Steve tries to squash the disappointment into a tiny, tolerable piece. It doesn't work like it has in the past when this kind of thing happened to him, instead bloating and filling Steve's body. Of course Tony wouldn't like him like Steve likes him, of course there's somebody else, somebody interesting and less awkward who Tony would want.

It then occurs to Steve that he has little to no idea how to woo anyone, but he's determined to help his friend, even if he's harboring an irrational jealously for whoever's being wooed by Tony.

"Uh," Steve says. "Before I suggest anything, you should know this is all purely hypothetical and I haven't actually wooed anyone."

"You wooed Peggy Carter."

"Peggy helped me along a lot with the wooing thing. If what I did could be called wooing." He laughs nervously. "It was more like me continuously shooting myself in the foot at every available moment."

Tony rolls his eyes. "Okay, how would someone woo you, then."

"Me?" Steve frowns. He's twisting front of him, and he notices and stops. "I'd- I don't know, I'm easy, just get me to feel a connection and then ask me someplace for a date, I guess. I don't- I haven't got much experience in wooing, either. Peggy just grabbed me and kissed me, that was okay. Actually, the only things that have happened to me that were close to wooing were three dames grabbing me and kissing me, so I suppose that works." Steve cracks a smile that he's sure is flimsy as hell. "Probably don't do that unless you want to get slapped with a sexual harassment lawsuit."

"Been there, done that," Tony says, and there's something not quite right with his smile, either, something just as nervous. Oh, god, what if he knows how Steve feels about him and is asking Steve how to woo someone else as a casual nudge to leave him alone? What if-

When did Tony get that close? Steve blinks as he suddenly has to tilt his head further down to meet his eyes, Tony having moved forward several steps.

"So, uh," Steve says, eyes tracking Tony's mouth before dragging up to meet his gaze. "Who's the lucky gal?"

"Not a girl."

"Who's the fella, then?"

Tony's smile flickers into a smirk. "You know, I used to find it irritating when you said 'fella,' but now it's just ridiculously cute."

He grins, and Steve remembers the first time Tony had looked at him like that, and goddamnit, the butterflies have only gotten worse since then.

Another step, and they're half an inch from being pressed nose-to-nose, and Tony is reaching out to touch the neckline of Steve's shirt, and Steve- Steve has lost all track of what's going on, lost in how Tony's looking at him, his fingers warm on Steve's collarbone.

"Um," Steve manages, breathing it more than he's saying it, watching Tony's fingers tighten.

"What was it," Tony says, making Steve look up at him. "Grabbing you and kissing you, that'd get you?"

Steve thinks he distantly hums an answer, his nerves overfiring as Tony's fingers slip under his neckline, press against the bare skin there. Then the fingers grip, and Tony is pulling Steve in so their open mouths meet.

Steve responds like he never got to with the other kisses, sliding his arms around Tony and drawing him close, feeling Tony press fully against him. They kiss, and after a few more seconds Tony has to stop for air, breathing into the space between their mouths.

"Did that work," Tony says, and Steve shivers when he feels the breath of the words against his lips. "Did I do the wooing thing right? Clint suggested flaming arrows, would you be more into flaming arrows?"

"I'm good with the grabbing and kissing," Steve says. "You should definitely do it again."

Tony makes a sound like, 'nrgh,' and kisses the laugh out of Steve's mouth.