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From Clear to Dark

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It started out innocently enough.

Or at least that’s what Steve tells himself. What every person in the tower tell themselves.

Tony is looking at some post from 9GAG in his StarkPad, and looking very affronted, and as Steve walks by and looks at what Tony is looking at, he makes a sound of discomfort and Tony turns around. For a moment, they just stare at each other, and Bucky stares at them, quietly munching his cereal, and then Steve goes back to his orange juice. Bucky asks what Tony is looking at that made him so uncomfortable.

“Things that made my OCD return with a vengeance.”

Tony raised a brow and looked at Steve.

“Oh please, you don’t have OCD.”
“Of course I do.”
“Buddy, if you had OCD, the room you share with Elsa here would be spotless and everything would be in perfect order, and it isn’t.”
“That doesn’t mean anything. In case you haven’t noticed, everything is where I want it to be, it may be a mess, but I know where my things are.”
“Spotless and in perfect order, that’s all I’m gonna say.”

Steve stared in disbelief. He could hardly believe that Tony was completely disregarding his problem based solely on the state of the room he shared with Bucky, he had never seen his pencil case, with every pencil in perfect order, from H pencils to B pencils, his watercolors neatly arranged in their box (by colors), his shirts perfectly folded on his drawers, and his jackets ordered by color from clear to dark on his closet. He disregarded the amount of times Steve checked or brushed his hair, and the obscene amount of times he washed his hands, or the amount of useless trinkets he hoarded on his art supplies drawer that wasn’t used for art supplies. He sucked in a breath, willing an anxiety fit away, because he had learned early in his life that getting worked up would earn him nothing, he counted backwards and turned away, looking at a far away corner of the kitchen.

“Now you listen here, Stark.” Came Bucky’s voice, and Steve turned to look at him. “It’s taken Steve 70 years to figure out what the hell was wrong with him and stop calling himself a weirdo because he needs to sleep with blankets in summer or has to wake up in the middle of the night to switch his pillow because it isn’t cold, or because he has everything arranged by colors and has to triple check the door to make sure he locked it. It took him 70 years to stop calling himself a freak because no amount of super soldier serum made the quirk go away. Don’t you fucking DARE try to get that stupid thought into his head again or so help me, I will strike down upon your bitch ass with great vengeance and furious anger, got it? Just because Steve learned how to have a semblance of control over his problem and act like a functional human being because back in the day there was no other choice that gives you no damn right to disregard his problem, so kindly get off your high horse.”

Tony stared, open mouthed, from Steve to Bucky and back, after a moment, Steve gripped Bucky’s arm and gently made him sit back, and he continued to munch on his cereal.

A few days later, there were a few printed pages on Steve’s counter about behavioral therapy and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, he asked Sam about them, but he swore he hadn’t put them there, the only other person who seemed supportive or relatively interested in his problem was Thor, seeing as he admitted that Loki had presented certain traits similar to Steve’s, but he and his mother had decided to adapt to his behavior rather than try to change it, and never encouraged him to seek a healer on the matter because they thought he was just quirky… And then there was Tony and the incident that had just happened, Steve smiled and put the papers away in a very neat pile on his trinket drawer, he’d read them later.