Three weeks. Three long and exhausting weeks filled with meetings and negotiations and cocktails with stuffy businessmen who thought they could get the better of him. Tony had been gone for three weeks and he was finally back at home. He could finally take the armor off and be himself and not wonder if he’d made a misstep and cost SI millions of dollars in contracts.
The drive from the airport was blessedly quiet and Tony found himself staring at the window, watching snow begin to fall rather than do any more work. He could feel Happy’s eyes look in the rearview a few times and Tony offered a tired smile as his way of assuring his drive he was okay.
When the car pulled into the garage, he told Happy to take the rest of the week off. He waved one last time as he walked toward the doors, eager to get upstairs to his family.
He leaned back in the elevator and closed his eyes as he ascended. “Talk to me, Jay. Where is everyone?”
“Agent Coulson has taken Agent Barton out to dinner. Mr. Wilson is at the VA. Agent Romanoff is sparring with Sergeant Barnes, and Mr. Banner is in his lab.”
“Good. And Steve?”
There’s a pause and when the AI speaks, Tony swears his voice sounds fond. “Captain Rogers is waiting on your floor, Sir.”
Tony smiles thinking about Steve. He’s missed him, worried that he wouldn’t be home in time for Christmas. It’s an important Christmas too. A first in many ways for them both.
The moment the elevator doors open, Tony is moving. He walks into the penthouse and looks around at the decorations that have been spread throughout. Steve had been insistent about them decorating their floor themselves. Tony had been unable to deny Steve anything and they’d started hauling boxes from storage before he left.
When the elevator finally stopped and let him out, Tony walked forward and came to a stop in the living room.
Steve was standing in front of the tree, his broad shoulders highlighted by the numerous lights Tony had insisted on. Steve was holding an ornament in his hands and talking quietly and Tony felt his heart swell as he continued to watch.
“And this one is very special. The first one we got after we got married. Look how handsome we are.”
Tony blushed when he noticed the ornament Steve was holding was one he’d specially ordered after they’d gotten married. It was a little Captain American standing next to Iron Man, holding hands. Tony could still remember Steve’s face when he’d given it to him and told him to put it on their tree.
“You’re still looking pretty handsome, there, dear.”
Steve turned slowly and smiled at Tony. “I could say the same about you, Tony.” When Tony started to walk forward, Steve’s smile got bigger and brighter. “Welcome home, honey.”
As soon as he was close enough, Tony stood on his toes and brushed his lips over Steve’s. “It’s good to be home. I really missed-”
Tony laughed and his next kiss landed on the chubby cheek of the baby in Steve’s arms. “Someone’s happy to see me.” Maria smiled up at Tony, babbling some more at her father. “I really missed the both of you. So much.”
“We missed you too, Tony. Especially this little girl.”
The baby leaned away from Steve, her arms reaching out for Tony. He didn’t miss a beat and happily took his daughter in his arms, settling her easily. “Did you and papa miss me? Because I missed you. Yes, I did. Poor Auntie Pepper. She had to listen to your dad whine about getting home. Couldn’t miss your first Christmas, now could I?”
“We’re very happy you’re home.” Steve’s pressed a kiss to Tony’s temple and ran a hand down his back. He could see Tony was tired and ready for bed, but he was glad to have this moment together as a family.
Maria’s eyes were already fluttering shut the more Tony rocked her, her head settling on his chest, little body growing heavy. “That was fast.”
“I’m not surprised. She’s had a hard time sleeping without you.”
“Really? But, you usually do bedtime.”
Steve snorted and started walking them toward the nursery. “I do, but you’re the one singing to her and telling her stories as I change her diaper and get her ready. You rock her after her last bottle. I may put her in the crib, but you do so much, Tony. Just like in the mornings, you get her ready while I get to be the one talking and playing.”
Tony swallows hard. He’d never thought of it like that. He laid her down in her crib and just looked at her. Ever since the day they’d brought her home, he’d been a complete goner over this little girl.
“Hopefully she hasn’t been keeping you up too much.”
“It was rough at first, but we took some naps together and got our sleep in.” Standing next to Tony, Steve looked down at Maria, sleeping soundly, and felt at peace.
“Good.” Taking Steve’s hand, Tony pulled him back out to the living room. “I’ve got something for you.”
“We’ve still got a few days until Christmas, you don’t-”
“Yes, I do.” He pulled Steve over to the tree and took a small package wrapped in tissue paper out of his jacket pocket. “This one is a before Christmas present.”
Steve took the gift and began unwrapping it. “Not sure before Christmas presents are a thing.”
“We’ll make it a thing.”
The tissue paper fell to the floor and Steve looked at the gift and then at Tony. It was another ornament, but this one was a frame with the words ‘Baby’s 1st Christmas’ along the top. The picture inside was one of the first they’d taken when they brought Maria home. Phil had managed to catch the three of them together on the couch looking happy and adoring of the tiny bundle in their arms.
“What do you think?”
Tears in his eyes, Steve looked away from the ornament at his husband. “I love it.” He kissed Tony and gestured at the tree. “Help me hang it?”
Together, they placed the ornament on the branch next to the Cap and Iron Man holding hands and stood back to admire their little family.