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Once More, With Feeling This Time

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Tony lounged as Steve talked, eyes on his tablet but attention on the alpha. Steve hadn't liked that at first, but Tony had proven he could listen and invent at the same time, had explained that he liked it, listening to someone (Steve) talk while he fiddled. Steve called him mister smarty pants and started bringing his art tools along whenever they had their "weekly or so" not-dates.

"I saw in the papers something about Tiberius Stone hanging around you?" Steve prompted, curious and a little distracted, no doubt adding some tiny detail to his painting.

"Hmm? Oh ah--yeah he's been trying to court me," Tony confirmed, amused and absent, though it took him a moment to recall such an insignificant thing. He chuckled under his breath. Trying was certainly the operative word there; it wasn't like "good ol Ty" had a snowball's chance in hell of getting close to Tony.

Well, getting close to him again, that is. Unfortunately even Tony Stark wasn't immune to the fallacy of youth.

Just because he wasn't looking directly at Steve didn't mean he couldn't see him, so he saw when he stopped paying attention to painting. His face went through a series of expressions, Tony lowering his tablet in favor of watching when the first expression was a jealous sort of anger. It morphed into frustration, then a few more shades of jealousy, then suddenly shifted into shame and a miserable sort of acceptance he tried to tuck behind an awful little smile.

"Oh, well, that's--good," Steve forced out, struggling to look like he was still painting but Tony knew him too well. "Is he nice?" He was just messing up his painting, and Tony scowled a little; he liked Steve's art, especially what he made when they were together.

Tony put his tablet down and sat up.

"Steve," he said, no longer distracted at all. "Sweetheart," he added, and Steve's head snapped towards him like it was on a lever, his eyes wide and cheeks pink. Tony smirked a little, taking half a second to preen at getting one of the prettiest alphas he'd  ever seen to look like that with one word.

"Did you know I hate art?" he asked, rhetorically; if he'd known, Steve would never have talked so much about it. He continued before Steve could do more than look shocked and hurt, hurting Tony's own heart with those baby blues. "I do, I have absolutely loathed art my entire life. Three years ago , Pepper gave me a choice between attending a gala at the Met or two board meetings and I chose the meetings. And yet, for the past year and a half, these talks with you have been the highlight of my week, every week. I have agreed to a weekly meeting so that Pepper will make sure I always have at least a few hours a week with you.

"Now please, Steve, my heart, don't be dense," Tony said, a smile playing around his lips even as nerves danced over his heart. "I told Rhodey you were smart, and I'd hate to be made a liar of."

Steve was gaping at him. It should've been unattractive, but naturally Steve just looked charmingly sweet. If Tony didn't love him so much it could be very easy to hate him. And then, horribly, tears welled up in Steve's eyes.

Tony shot to his feet and was across the balcony in for seconds flat, anxiously reaching out towards Steve without quite touching.

"Oh no, don't cry, oh sweetheart no," he murmured urgent nonsense, unaware of the sudden outpouring of distressed omega until Steve yanked him down into his lap and silenced him with a searing kiss. Tony blinked at him, dazed, scent turning immediately warm, if a little fuzzy with confusion.

"I love you too, Tony,"  Steve said, eyes still wet.

"Oh," Tony said eloquently. "Good." Then he grabbed Steve's face and brought him in for a much more thorough kiss.