The only thing that could maybe redeem this entirely unfair situation is the Tom Ford that Steve’s immaculately dressed in.
He’s a dream and it’d so be Christmas and Tony’s birthday wrapped in one if his heavy, snot-filled head wasn’t thisclose to lolling right off of his shoulders.
Tony shoos him away in warning before sneezing hard. “Jesus,” he groans after using up yet another Kleenex. “Why is this happening to me?”
"Because every morning that you do manage to appear at breakfast, you skimp on the orange juice and down more than your body’s volume in coffee," Steve unhelpfully supplies but Tony has a forgiving heart that is especially generous when he’s got Steve’s lips pressed to his forehead, making a map of soft kisses by his ear. Bless Erskine’s serum because even while Tony is under quarantine he still gets to enjoy his husband.
That is until he leaves for the Superhero Awards without Tony. Blah, blah, blah, obligations. Blah, blah, blah, if the whole Superhusbands can’t make it, then one half sure as hell will, Tony recalls in his best Fury head-voice.
Half. Huh. “Hey, you never said, who did they end up replacing me with for when you present?”
"What?" Steve is now nuzzling Tony’s hair like a needy cat, lazy but with design. It feels great, his fingers are buried there as well and Tony could be easily distracted but he knows better and pulls back to judge Steve’s blue eyes. There’s definitely hesitation there.
"Who?" Tony asks again.
"Superman," Steve says slowly. "Do not overreact."
"I hate Superman." Tony’s seething sounds childish and clogged but he doesn’t care. It takes energy to appropriately put his dislike for the hero to words. Something disgusting drains down his throat for his effort.
"You do not." Steve has this talent for politely rolling his eyes. It’s fond and Tony tries his hardest not to let his cockles be warmed by it.
"He was all over you at that charity gala last year."
"That’s not what happened."
"He brought you a glass of champagne," Tony coughs out.
Worry creases Steve’s expression and the hand he strokes across Tony’s back is soothing. Gently, he says, “So did two members of the waitstaff, if I remember correctly. Also once I told him that I was happily taken, he let it be.”
That’s true enough but still, a tiny part of Tony has trouble retracting its possessive claws because Superman is tall, dark, and handsome. Not only that, he’s actually pretty funny and sweet and kind. The names says it all, and yeah, Tony has some self-worth issues that are never going away and he does sometimes look at Steve and think: what in the world are you doing here? He’s not going to talk about it.
And Steve doesn’t make him. He’s already running late but he doesn’t leave before making Tony another hot cup of Theraflu, replacing his box of tissues with a fresh one, and tucking Tony under vapor rub, comfy bedding, and kisses. He promises to return before Tony knows it. However, like always, Tony knows it the second the door clicks shut.
Twenty minutes later, Tony wakes to his buzzing phone. It’s a message from Clint who’s babysitting from the entertainment room.
In case you wanna take a break from inhaling the goose feathers out of your pillow, Steve’s on the red carpet.
JARVIS, the gem, turns on the tv without Tony having to say a word.
Steve’s got a mic shoved in his face and he’s talking about the suit with a smile he doesn’t wear often in public. Something like pride flickers in Tony.
“Thank you,” Steve’s answering, pockets full of hands. “My husband actually picked it out and he doesn’t tend to disappoint, does he? I’ll have to make sure to pass on the compliment to him.”
“He definitely knew what he was doing,” the reporter comments. “Mr. Stark is not here tonight but he’s rounded up numerous nominations. A few even against you. How do you think he’ll fare?”
Steve’s smiles grows impossibly larger here and his attention is on the person speaking to him but his words aren’t for her. “I’m sure that he’d love for me to take some awards home and I’d gladly accept them in his honor but, truth be told, my husband’s already a winner. While I think that the trophies would be nice, they wouldn’t make him more of a superhero than he already is.”
Love burns Tony, full and washing. He watches the rest of the interview aching for Steve to be with him, to be miserable/happy in his arms and fall asleep tracing blueprint patterns on his skin. He waits though. He shuts off the tv once Steve is gone and settles back into half of a pair of parentheses, knowing that Steve will soon be back to complete it. Always will.