Tony was humming Jingle Bells under his breath as he walked through the common area of the tower with a box of tinsel in his hands. Every time he came across a portion of the floor that he didn’t feel was festive enough he grabbed a handful of the shiny strands and tossed them around until there was a nice coating. Most of the tower had already been decorated in reds and greens and more mistletoe than you could shake a stick at. Or at least, it would be enough if a certain super soldier had gotten the hint about it.
For months now Tony had been trying to subtly show Steve that he was interested in the man and so far Steve had remained completely oblivious to the genius’s overtures. Tony was fairly certain that Steve wasn’t rejecting him. Steve would definitely have said something directly to Tony if that were the case, Tony was sure of it. In the end, Tony was equally as sure that Steve just hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary.
The two of them had, had a rocky start to their friendship and Steve might just be perceiving Tony’s flirting as trying to bring them closer together as teammates. Tony did have to admit that he flirted with most everyone to some extent or another so he could see where Steve might be getting mixed messages. To Tony, that just meant he was going to have to try harder to get his meaning across and what better way to do that then with mistletoe and a built in excuse to be kissing whoever you found yourself with underneath it. If Tony just happened to be purposefully trying to catch Steve then who would really fault him. It wasn’t like Clint wasn’t having a blast hiding in the vents to try and sneak a kiss with each member of the team when they passed under the plant. Tony himself had been caught by the archer five times already.
Perhaps it was because of Clint’s stalking of the plant that Steve had been extra careful to walk around it instead of under it that Tony was having his own difficulties snagging a kiss with the soldier. He wasn’t about to give up though. Christmas was the holiday for hope and miracles and Tony was counting on a little bit of that holiday magic to give him a chance with the man that he had been admiring for longer than he’d care to admit.
Days turned into weeks and soon enough Christmas day was upon them all. Thor and Clint had worked together to wake the whole team up right at dawn with the insistence that presents must be opened right then or the holiday would be ruined. Steve had put his foot down saying that breakfast should come first and with Nat, Bruce, and Tony all backing him up, Thor and Clint were out voted.
As the one that had insisted on breakfast Steve took it upon himself to start up the stove and begin making his pancakes that the whole team loved. The plate that got set down in front of Tony even had blueberries scattered on top which none of the others had. Steve gave the genius a smile and a wink causing Tony to blush before tucking in.
It was moments like that which had Tony refusing to give in when it came to trying to get Steve to go out with him. If there were nothing there between the two of them then the soldier wouldn’t be so open with flirting back after all. Steve just wasn’t the kind of guy to go around winking at people for no good reason. It had to mean something as far as Tony was concerned and he just hoped that it meant Steve was interested in him back.
After breakfast came presents much to Thor and Clint’s happiness. The next few hours were filled with laughter and flying bits of wrapping paper as they each dug into their own gifts in turn. The gifts ranged from practical items such as wool socks in each of their favorite colors in order to keep their feet warm during the cold New York nights to fun things that they would just plain enjoy using like the loose leaf tea subscription that Clint got for Bruce. Darcy had even sent Thor a taser which the God laughed at heartily though he refused to share why.
The rest of the day passed in easy companionship, all of them hanging out together in the living space of the common floor. Clint and Thor had dragged Bruce into a video game tournament between the three of them while Natasha broke into the new manicure set that Steve had gifted her. Steve took up one end of the loveseat by the window to practice with the new high quality art supplies that had been his gift from Tony while the genius sat next to him, nose buried in the book that Thor had picked out from Asgard’s library for him.
As much as Tony wanted to just lean into Steve’s side and cuddle into the soldier it just didn’t feel like the right moment to go about expressing his feelings. While he loved the rest of the team, Tony wanted his confession to be a private moment between him and Steve for just the two of them to share. Right now was a time for the whole family and so Tony was determined to wait it out despite how difficult it was for him.
As the day stretched on Tony kept sending glances in Steve’s direction as he tried to come up with a plan on how to get the super soldier alone. When the sun had gone down and it had gotten too dark for Steve to keep going with his art he had put down his sketch pad and leaned over to read over Tony’s shoulder. Tony had been certain that his face had heated up enough that he was surprised that he had set off the fire alarm. No one else seemed to notice his predicament and so he had just relaxed and let himself enjoy Steve pressing so close to him.
The day slowly wore into evening and one by one the team bade goodnight to everyone and separated to head back to their own rooms to sleep. At one point Tony had gotten up to get a cup of coffee and when he was headed back into the living area he noticed that Steve was the only one left. It was the perfect opportunity to talk to the soldier about his feelings and Tony wasn’t about to let it slip by. Setting the coffee cup down Tony yanked off the mistletoe that had been hanging over the kitchen door and headed back into the living area with a determined stride. He had good timing as on his way in he nearly ran into Steve headed out.
“Hey Tony. I was just thinking about heading off to bed and wanted to thank you again for my gift,” Steve said to the other man.
Tony smiled widely, pleased that he had chosen something that Steve was sure to enjoy. “I’m glad that you liked it. I know how much you like getting your ideas down in your free time. Can’t say that I don’t do the same down in my lab when something new inspires me.”
“We are very similar that way aren’t we?” Steve mused. “You with your tech and me with my art. We both have our own creative outlets.”
Comfortable silence fell between them for a moment and Tony was loathe to end the night this way without putting himself out there.
“You’re more than welcome down in my lab when you want some time to work on your art,” Tony offered. “I know if isn’t natural light but I’m sure there’s plenty down there to give you some ideas.
Steve smiled warmly as he replied, “I might just take you up on that offer sometime. Merry Christmas Tony. I’m glad I had you guys to spend it with. It makes the future not nearly so lonely knowing that I have a family here to share it with. Good night.”
As Steve turned to walk away Tony knew that it was now or never.
“Before you go Steve,” Tony said desperate not to lose this chance. He took a step into Steve’s personal space and held a sprig of green above their heads. “Mistletoe. I think you owe me a kiss.”
Steve smiled and took a step closer into Tony’s space. “Do I now? I thought that only counted if you walked under the mistletoe, not when someone held it over your head.”
Tony shrugged, his smile never wavering. “Well you weren’t cooperating with my plan to catch you underneath one so I had to improvise,” he explained. “Don’t tell me all my hard work is going to go to waste Captain.”
Eyes alight with amusement, Steve didn’t say a thing as he tipped his head down and caught Tony’s lips in a soft and slow kiss. Tony’s eyes fluttered closed as he dropped the mistletoe and wound his arms around Steve’s shoulders to hold on. The kiss went on for a minute until Steve slowly pulled back, Tony’s lips following for a second, not ready to end the kiss.
“Was that what you wanted?” Steve asked, his voice a little husky from even just that amount. “A Christmas kiss from your friend?”
Tony’s heart was pounding in his chest and it was now or never. “Not quite. It’s a good start but I was hoping for a little bit more.”
Steve’s hands found their way to Tony’s waist and gave it a gentle squeeze. “I think I could manage a bit more. Christmas is the season for giving after all.”
If Tony’s heart had been pounding before it was nothing compared to right now as it felt like it was about to beat out of his chest.
“God yes,” he breathed, catching Steve by the back of his neck and bringing him down for another, harder, kiss.
Steve was quick to respond, giving just as much as he was getting in the kiss. As it deepened and their tongues came into play the soldier lifted Tony up so that the genius could wrap his legs around his waist. Once he was sure that he had a firm hold, giving Tony’s ass a not so subtle squeeze in the process, Steve headed for the elevator to take them up to the penthouse so that they could continue in private.
Tony was practically soaring as he was carried away by Steve. He had been hoping for this for so long and now he had it. Steve returned his feelings and Tony was so happy he felt like he was about to burst. If he had known that all he had to do to get Steve was to put him down on his Christmas list than Tony would have done it much sooner. Regardless of how long it took though Tony was going to enjoy every new moment from now on that he had with his boyfriend.