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High Horse

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Steve and Tony were arguing about something (as usual) when Bucky came out of the elevator. He started to walk past them, intent on the refrigerator in the kitchen, when Tony caught him by the arm.

“Will you tell your boyfriend to get off his high horse?” Tony said.

Bucky opened his mouth to say something, but Steve interjected. “Tony, you have got to stop with the ‘boyfriend’ thing. That’s not cool.”

Tony’s face lit up with gleeful malice. “Ooo, Captain America’s homophobic! Massive shocker there!”

“No, that’s not it,” Steve said.

“I think -” Bucky said, but Tony cut him off. “Isn’t it? We wouldn’t want someone getting the wrong idea about your pretty little pet assassin, right, girls?” He patted Bucky’s hair.

“Shut it,” Steve growled. “What bothers me, Mr. Stark, is that you’re using homosexuality and femininity as insults.” He closed ranks with Tony. “What next? Are you going to call me Mac, call me white trash, because my family was Irish and poor? Maybe call Bucky ‘gimp’ because he lost an arm?”

Tony’s grin had completely disappeared.

“The problem I have is not you calling me names,” Steve said. “It’s that you’re using a fight with me to tear down groups over which you have power.”

Tony said nothing for a long moment, then he answered quietly, “Goddamnit. … I apologize. I hope you are cognizant of how difficult it is to get an apology out of me.”

Bucky couldn’t help it. “I think he looks good on his high horse,” he said to Tony, before returning his attention to his quest for food.