"Rhodey-" Tony whined again, but his friends didn't budge, only remained straight face. "Platypus, Sourpatch- Your bound to look my way- it's the only option, other wise I'll continue to talk." Tony spoke low enough for only his best friend to hear. "You know, they probably won't even notice if we left, right?" Tony asked, and Rhodey rolled his eyes with a huff.
"This in your father's honor, Tones, I'm pretty sure they'll notice us missing when his son isn't here to receive the award." Rhodey reasoned, but Tony didn't quite catch it- or at least that what he'd testified to later, for now though, he ignored Rhodey's logic.
"So...?" Tony questioned, and Rhodey huffed.
"No, Pepper would kill me if I let you talk me out of this." Rhodey muttered, and nodded in apology when the person next to him looked his way in disapprovement for talking during a speech.
"She won't know." Tony offered, and Rhode finally turned his way with a deadpan stare. "Okay- she would but-"
"No, Tony." Rhodey siad, putting his foot down, and Tony huffed in annoyance, and took a lot around the room.
Nothing but boring stuffy men, well there was a woman here and there, almost always a date of the soldier present, but Tony didn't care for that. He just wanted the boredom to go away.
So, with a sigh, Tony stood up- or tried to at least. "Where are you going?" Rhodey asked with a warning look in his eyes.
"To the bathroom, we've been sitting here a while, can you blame me?" Tony said, but Rhodey didn't buy it, "Pepper can't get mad at you, if you're not with me." Tony confessed and Rhodey gave him a pointed look.
"You'r not leaving me here to-" Rhodey started to lecture, but the man next to him shushed him, causing Tony to laugh under his breath while Rhodey glared at him.
Tony took a seat, knowing better than to push Rhodey to far... Or he should know better.
Which is why he had slipped out only moments later. He knew he'd get an earful later, but he just couldn't stand to sit and listen to Ross talk for another second- much less another hour.
He walked out into the lobby, as was pleased to find it empty- well as empty as a full building could be. There was a couple checking into the hotel, and a cleaning lady lingering in the back hall, but besides that...
He took a breath while running a hand through his hair. He made his way passed the cleaning lady, looking for an exit that wasn't crowded in news reporters. But in search only found a tall fellow in desperate need of help.
"I-I uh-I'm actually-"
"Taken." Tony finished for the poor stuttering idiot, and causally came up next to the tall blond who was having trouble rejecting the girl in front of him. He dropped his arm on the blond's waist, and eyed the girl who had been bothering the guy.
She seemed nice enough, but was too... slutty, and wasn't taking no for an answer- making her not so nice in Tony's book. Tony tried not to find joy in how her eyes went wide with embarrassment, but it was hard to when she went red- hell Tony couldn't tell who was more red, her or the poor blonde that went still in Tony's grasp.
"I-I'm sorry-" She spit out before walking away, Tony could still hear her heels clicking on the floor long after she was out of sight, and isn't wasn't till he stopped hearing said clicking that he took his arms off the taller man.
"Uh-" The man started to say, but Tony chuckled, stopping the obviously speechless man.
"Looked like you need help- hope I didn't over step." Tony said, take his first glance at the man's face- and holy hell was it a breath taking face. Glance slowly turned into a open stare.
The man's eyes were bluer and brighter than any Tony had ever seen, much kinder too. His skin- or the parts that weren't covered by a Class A uniform was paler than Tony's, but it suited him, just like the old fashioned hair style suited him.
"Thank you!" The man finally found his voice, snapping Tony out of his trance, and Tony realized he hadn't been the only staring.
Tony smiled- not how he normally did with stranger, instead it was a genuine smile- one that was met with a returning smile- and dear god did that make the man even more beautiful- Tony was almost sure the man was an angel.
"You here for the ceremony?" Tony asked absent minded, not caring much for the event, but his mouth worked faster than his brain and had taken the liberty to talk without his explicit permission.
It was clear it was without his brain's consult, because any idiot with a brain could connect the dots- Class A's in a military function- hell you didn't need a brain to connect the dots-
The man went red, and nodded in embarrassment, and a tad bit guilty- consider Tony's interest, piqued.
"Don't tell me you're out here playing hookie, Soldier?" Tony teased, and the man smiled in embarrassment, making Tony grin.
"I- I just came out for some air." The man blurted, then made a gestured to where the long forgotten- at least to Tony she was long forgotten- girl escaped off to. "But then- and I couldn't really get out of her-"
"You're telling me you've never had to reject anyone before?" Tony asked in disbelief, and the man's eyes went wide, before chuckling and shaking his head.
"Uh, no, I'm not quite used to that- actually, it's usually the opposite- or well its used to be more often than not." The man confessed, and Tony arched an eyebrow, before raking his eyes over the tall blonde.
"Can't imagine why anyone would reject you." Tony muttered, again in disbelief.
When his eyes met the man's again, Tony felt like someone was standing on his chest- but in a good way? Was that even a thing? Was there a good way to have some one knock the air, sense and words out of you? Because if so, well Tony was feeling it.
There wasn't any awkwardness, in fact Tony didn't mind the quietness, which was saying something considering he always needed something to be happening otherwise he felt bored or anxious... but he didn't feel that way while he stared into the man's calm blue eyes- in fact he felt soothed, and relaxed.
"Still need air? I know this great place not two blocks over that sells some cheap cold air- and it's honestly not half bad." Tony rambled- offered, and got his respond in a snort, before he got an actual nod.
"Look- had Rhodey listened to me- it wouldn't have ended on his record, but unfortunately, he didn't trust me." The man finished his story loudly got Steve to hear over the crowded bars noise- leaving Steve room to keep laughing at the tale of him and his friend 'Rhodey'.
"I can't imagine why?" Steve mocked, and the man rolled his eyes, but smiled back before taking a large gulp of his own drink. Steve had already finished his own- twice over actually, and for once Steve didn't really care to stop himself from getting another.
"I'll have you know, I'm not that bad- in fact, I even helped him get it expunge." The man said, and Steve nodded in surprise- not that he thought the guy was terrible, but simply for the fact that he knew how difficult it was to get B&E expunged, especially for adults.
Steve listened to the man talk more about, well everything, the man couldn't seem to stick to one thing or another, dragging the conversation from past adventures, to present projects- which is how he learned the man was an inventor, wether it was a hobby or not Steve couldn't quite tell- what he could tell, was that he did not mind the topic changes. In fact he found it cute how the man would get excited in a middle of a sentence, and then began to explain something else.
He liked how the mans eyes would go bright with passion whenever he'd talk about something he was working on, or how the sides of his eyes would crease when he'd laugh to hard while recalling something 'Platypus' did, or how he used his hands to gesture things- or just wave them around. He liked how occasionally the man would touch him, only here and there, but the content felt nice, felt warm. Just like his eyes, man oh man were they captivating- all of him was captivating, Steve's hands itched to draw him, to capture the passion and excitement, or maybe just the man's physique, especially when he shrugged off his coat- but he settled for living in the moment.
But unfortunately, the moment soon came to an end, after the last call was announced, making them both realize that they had been there for much longer than intended.
"Oh wow, I didn't even notice." Steve said after reading the clock.
"By the way," The man said, making a move to grab his coat and stand up from his chair, and Steve followed suit, as waited for the man to finish his sentence. "It was nice meeting you." He said, leaning back in his chair and Steve smiled, "You know, I can count on one hand," The man said holding up a finger for emphasis "The amount of times I'll actually meant that." He said, and Steve ducked his head, not quite sure how to take that compliment.
"I'm flattered to be among the few." Steve said back, "Thanks- I don't think I thanked you already- for helping me back there." Steve said nodded his head to the direction of the hotel they had been at, albeit over two hours ago, but it counted.
"You did actually." The man recalled, and Steve thought back.
"Well, still. I appreciate it, I was in a tough spot." He stated, "I'm lucky you were there." He added, and the man's lip tugged up, which wouldn't have caught much of Steve's attention, but the man's eyes lit up again. "What?" Steve question, curiosity clear in his voice.
"No, it's nothing?" The man dismissed, and Steve gave him an arched eyebrow. "I was just thinking about Serendipity." The man said casually, completely throwing Steve for a loop.
"I'm sorry, what?" Steve asked for clarification, and the man chuckled.
"It's- my intern, he was telling me about this-" The man prefaced, and started to swirl his drink by tilting the cup in his hand. "Serendipity is when crazy things happen, but they are meant to happen-" He saw the man frowned slightly, but let him continue, "They happen for good reasons. Like fate.” He finished.
"Do you believe in fate?" Steve asked, as the man looked up from his drink.
"I'm a man of science." The man said, in a matter of fact tone, but there was something in his eyes, hope, Steve saw hope.
"Do you?" The man asked, and after a beat Steve snapped out of his gaze, realizing he didn't answer the man, "Do you believe that we don't control anything, everything is predestined to happen, the universe already knows what our lives will become?” He asked, leaning foward, and towards Steve.
Steve thought on it for a moment, leaning back in his chair as he did, but when he finally got his thoughts together, he leaned forward, matching the man's "No, actually, I think that there is a certain pathway to life. Our choices affect the outcome, and we are given chances to happiness. We just have to trust fate, or luck, and seize it when we get the chance.." The man didn't say anything, only looked back,letting him finish and it wasn't till then that Steve noticed he had leaned so close to him, he could feel the other man breath, he could smell his drink. "Seize every good chance.” He finished eyeing the man a little too long.
Still though, the man didn't seem to mind. He didn't seem to mind that Steve was only one or two inches away from him, one or two breaths away from leaning in- hell he was sure the other man wouldn't mind.
Not that Steve would, but he could tell the man wouldn't mind if he did... he was almost sure, but befor he could...'figure out' the pause button was switched off, and everything around them moved once more, first thing that they heard was a phone ringing, but Steve ignored it, knowing his was on silent- even took it out to make sure it wasn't his- still, it sounded close.
"Oh- that me!" The man said realizing while Steve was giving him a waiting smile. The man gracefully pulled out a phone that looked unfamiliar to Steve. But then again most phones were foreign to him. "Shit." The man said, as more things were pulled out of the pocket, a couple things fell, and Steve went to pick them up. "I think I had one too many." The man joked, and Steve chuckled in agreement.
But before he could tease the shorter man, something caught his eye.
"What's this?" Steve asked holding up a... battery?
"Wha-Oh, it's a part of- well for lack of better words, my pacemaker." The man said casually, and Steve went wide eye and quickly shot his arm forward to give the piece back. "Relax- it already burned out. I took that one out four hours ago, I got a couple of them on me at all times." The man said, and Steve nodded, eyeing the... well fried piece of technology, was it suppose to 'burn out'? Steve isn't sure it was. Still, he gave it back and saw the man's lip tug up again.
Steve was going to ask about the fried battery, but was cut short by the phone ringing again- this time it was another tone though.
"You should probably answer-" Steve advised, figuring if someone was calling again that it was probably important.
"What if I don't-" Tony questioned, already knowing what would happen if he left and answered the phone, and he wasn't quite prepared to end his time with this... this time stopping man, "Wh-what-" He stopped to clear his throat. "What I mean is; Let's doing something else." He said after he caught his footing, and looked up at the blonde in front of him, who chuckled. "That's not a no." Tony stated, and saw the man didn't look uninterested.
"What would we do?" He asked, with wonder in his eyes, and it was truly a shame that it had taken this long for Tony to meet this man.
"Anything." Tony answer effortlessly, "Literally anything." Tony added, he had time to kill, and had enough money to do anything... the thought brought him back to his youth, it had been a while since he felt like that, with no worry.
The wonder in the man's eyes twisted into consideration, and Tony saw the moment he made up his mind, much to Tony's disappointment, it didn't seem like a positive responds.
"I-I would love to- but I have to go." He said, eyeing the clock, and Tony nodded, although he didn't want the man to leave, he understood that the man had other things to do.
Steve didn't want to go- but had already left Sam and Buck alone for far too long.
He saw the man sigh and move to leave- and a panic coursed through Steve- which he shouldn't have, especially since he was the one that called it a night. But still, panic took over as he watched the man reach for his coat and he blurted the first thing that came to his mind. "My names Steve." The man seemed startled by the random piece of information, but thankfully it caught his attention enough to stop from leaving so suddenly. The man eyed him once more, like he was registering his name with his face, making Steve realize that he didn't know the man's own name. "Can I get something back?" He asked, and the man flinched back in confusion, even tilted his head while he squinted his eyes at Steve.
"Yeah, have a goodnight Steve." The man said, lips tugged up again, and Steve stared at the man who walked off by himself. A part of himself wanted to chase after him...
Steve huffed and sat back on his chair, finishing his drink, staring at the direction the man left- for a little too long, before realizing that he needed to go find Buck and Sam.
He quickly hopped off the high seated still and rushed out. The entire time he did, he tried thinking of why on earth he didn't chase after the man- surely Buck and Sam could go a night without him?
He managed to get three street out before he thought of calling them, realizing that he had a better chance at finding them that way, than looking through a probably already empty ball room.
"Damn!" He muttered under his breath when he patted his pockets to find that they were empty. He vaguely remembered taking his phone out when the shorter man's phone started ringing. He must've left it on the booth.
He did 180, and jogged off to the bar. it would be his luck to leave it- hopefully his luck would prevent anyone from snatching his phone before he could get it.
Luck was on his side! He smiled when he saw his phone face down on the table, along with their empty drinks. He grabbed it, then noticed something behind all the drinks, moving them out of the way he saw it was a jacket- the exact one that Steve had wanted to draw on the man...
He picked up and looked at it, almost waiting for the coat to tell him where it's owner was. He eyed it, and noted it was thinner than he imagined.
He maybe held it for a good minute before he heard footsteps making there way towards him. On instinct he looked up and saw- to his surprise- that it was the man- who looked just as surprised to see him holding his coat.
"I thought you had to go?" The man questioned, and Steve froze for a second then held up his own phone.
"Came back for it." Steve said after finding his voice, he then extended his hand to give the man his forgotten jacket. "Let's do something else?" Steve blurted, and the man's eyebrows went up in interest, before smiling wide.
"What would we do?" The man mocked his early words, and Steve shook his head, but kept his smile on, happy that he hadn't missed his chance.
"Literally anything." Steve answered, mirroring their earlier conversation to the end. He got another lip tug, and a frantic nod.
Tony decided to take them to a small restaurant, knowing that the man was hungry. "Shawarma." He corrected as they left and made there way through the streets. Both full from their own food.
As they walked they talked, which is how Tony figured out Steve's favorite ice cream flavor was butter pecan- the went back and forth, learning about each other slowly- sometimes Steve would ask about Tony's job, but he'd skirt the question easily- just as easily as Steve did with his own intrusive question's. Occasionally Steve would bring up the topic of names, like how he was named after some family member, and Tony would chuckle, but not offer his own name.
It wasn't that he didn't want Steve knowing- or at least it hadn't started that way, but soon it turned into a game, one that Steve was losing miserably.
"What does it start with?" Steve asked, and Tony shook his head and laughed, not giving anything up. "Okay, um, did ya go to college?" Steve asked, taking his turn again, and Tony nodded. He'd gone to more than one, but that wasn't the question.
"Yep." Tony answered, and scratched his beard.
"Did ya like it?" He followed up and Tony frowned slightly, he wouldn't say he liked- it was hell for a majority of his time there, but... but without it he wouldn't have met Rhodey.
Tony avoided the question by making a buzzer noise, "it's actually my turn- if you forgot, it goes you, me, then you again, then me again-" Tony teased and Steve rolled his eyes but followed along. "If you could go anywhere- where would you go?" Tony asked, glancing at the blond, and saw no hesitation in his answer.
"The Grand Canyon." Tony meet his eyes, and waited for an explanation, but it never came, instead he kept going with he questions, and Tony didn't blame him, not everything need explanations. He looked up at the stars, and waited for Steve to think of a question."Favorite moment?" He asked, and Tony looked back at Steve, not needing to even think about it.
"This one's climbing the charts." Tony answered not needing to explain how the night felt like a dream, he already knew Steve knew what he meant, he saw it in the way Steve's eyes lit up and looked back at Tony.
Steve offered a small smile before looking back up at the stars, he slowed down to a halt and Tony followed suit. Again Tony was stunned at how comfortable he felt int he silence, not feeling any urge to fill it.
While Tony wondered why that could be, Steve shed his jacket, Tony only noticing because a moment later he felt it being placed of him, leaving Steve in only his Class A.
"Aren't you cold?" Tony asked, but appreciated the warmth the light brown jacket provided- especially since his own suit jacket provided little to none- he'd talk to his tailor later, or tell Happy to do it.
"It's fine," Steve said, and raked his eyes over Tony's frame, smiling when Tony pulled the jacket tighter to him. "It looks good on you." Steve said, and Tony couldn't help but chuckle.
"You don't need to lie, I'm already wearing it." Tony stated, and Steve laughed, which was slowly becoming a new addiction for Tony.
The silence was back, and so was the anticipation, like something was supposed to happen- and as much as Tony wanted something to something... he couldn't do that to Pepper.
God, this was bad timing.
He sighed, and Steve waited for Tony to speak. "I-I got to go, my girlfriend told me to call her when the ceremony was over." Tony said with a dry throat, and saw understanding in Steve's eyes.
The man didn't seem surprised to find out that he had a girlfriend, "Yeah, me too." Tony wasn't that shocked to learn he had one as well, however Steve was shocked when he asked for Steve's number, despite the new information.
But Tony couldn't think of one reason why he shouldn't ask, not when the alternative was to never see the man again. God, just the thought of that made Tony's heart race like he was back on the field, and when the blonde started to look for a taxi, his heart felt like it went into ice as the anxiety came up.
He used the adrenaline as courage and spoke up, "Serendipity!" He reasoned, and Steve looked back at him, like he was crazy- and he probably looked crazy blurting that out. "Listen, you’re the one who was talking about seizing the moment. You can’t deny that..." Tony said, slowly down in his ramble to gesture in-between them, he probably sounded like an idiot, but he couldn't leave things like this. “..that we met tonight for a reason, that there’s something here. I’m not saying I’m going to go home and blow up your phone. I’m just saying, if we don’t do something, there’s a good chance that this is all going to end tonight and I’m not sure if I’m ready for that.”
Steve seemed to contemplate it, and just when Tony saw him start to give into the idea, his eyes lit up.
"I got an idea." The man blurted, and pulled out an old brown wallet.
Tony stayed confused, and watched as Steve took out a five and straighten it up against the light post. He then handed the... less wrinkled bill to Tony, who eyed him with an arched eyebrow. But Steve didn't falter in his grin.
"Write your name and number on it." He instructed, and Tony game him a crazed look, again Steve didn't seem to mind. "That's cheating- and also defamation of-"
"I'm not- I'm not going to look at it- it's not cheating." Steve reasoned and Tony went back to not knowing anything.
"It's still defamation- but you're lucky I don't care." He said and made grabby hands for the bill and the pen the man so happened to have.
He wrote down his personal number and his first name, knowing his last name would get more calls and attention than he wanted. After he was done he handed it face down to Steve- who as promised didn't even look at it before walking down the street-
"What's this about?" Tony asked following the man, barely keeping up with the fast pace, only Steve shrugged, before placing bill in a sleeping homeless man's hat- what the hell.
"Well, You’re the one talking about fate. Now, it’s in fate’s hands.” He said, and Tony stared at Steve, not even sure how to- what? "Have some faith." He added and Tony's eye twitched a bit.
"I- my intern was-"
"Your intern could've told any number of people- but he told you- and you told me." The man laid it out, and Tony took a breath and nodded, he could get behind that.
"Wel- What about your number- Mines out there, making it's rounds- where's yours going?" tony brought up and Steve scratched the back of his neck.
"Hadn't thought about that." He admitted with a sheepish smile, that made it hard for Tony to be mad at.
"Well that can't be it." Tony said, and Steve raised an eyebrow.
"What do you mean?"
"We have to test it more- you know, to know if it's actually fate?" Tony asked, brain coming back online after a night out, he had to test it, make sure it wasn't just a fluke.
With his mind going a thousand miles an hour, he couldn't hear Steve- and only looked at him when he thought of something- they weren't far from the tower, he was sure he could find out.
Steve saw the minute the genius got an idea he liked, he didn't get to see it for long, because soon the man was linking there hands and was dragging Steve through the crowded streets, up until they were in front of a massive building, one that Steve couldn't place, but for some reason felt familiar.
The man didn't let go until they were in front of the elevators- completely ignoring the lobby, and the only reason Steve didn't say anything about going into the random building, was because the person at the lobby didn't seem to mind them strolling in, barely giving them a glance when they walked in before returning to work.
The man pressed a button before Steve could question what he's thinking. He then walked over to the other side, and pressed for the elevator.
"You get in that elevator and I’ll get in this one, we both press a number, and if we end up on the same floor then it’s fate and this damn jacket is the only thing wrong with tonight. Got it?” The man said, speaking so quickly that Steve had to compartmentalize to even register what the man was saying.
"This is crazy." Steve responded, but the mans smile didn't falter.
"I know- but right now, nothing has to make sense." The man answered back. "You just have to have faith, right?" The man asked, and Steve nodded back.
"What happens after this?" Steve asked, almost afraid of the answer.
"Maybe we can go to the Grand Canyon- who knows, the night's still young." The man joked as the elevator door opens
Steve smiled at the offer before stepping backing into the elevator, and looked at the many numbers on the walls, shit, if they managed to end up on the same floor there wouldn't be any denying that fate was true.
He's in so much of a panic, that he didn't hear the man call out to him, until after his doors begin to close.
Fuck what did he say?
Tony doesn't know why he said his name. He didn't regret it int the slightest, and couldn't think of one reason why it would have been a bad thing, not even as he anxiously waits for the elevator to make it to it's destination.
Only when his floor comes, it also goes-
"Wha- JARVIS, I pressed 23-"
"Yes, but Ms.Potts has redirected your stop." The AI talked back, and Tony's hear freezes in his chest. Not surprisingly the light brown jacket doesn't do much for Tony's warmth there.
"You weren't the only who didn't show up, so there was that." Rhodey offered the next morning after giving Tony a three hour lecture and Tony chuckled.
"Really? Anyone important?" Tony questioned and Rhodey thought on it as he took a seat on the couch next to him.
"I don't know, some Captain- But he seemed important enough to note missing." Rhodey said, "Rogers I think." He said after a moment and Tony shrugged away the nagging thought.