Tony Stark was in something of a quandary.
Ever since he could remember he had had a crush on an American icon and now confronted with said icon, the actual man behind the legend was proving to be something of a stick up his ass dick. Though not a dick up his ass stick (which might have been more fun). Well, maybe that was a little harsh. He was a decent upstanding citizen, but oh so very self-righteous. Though, come to think of it that was one of Captain America's qualities he had kind of admired when he was growing up and his dad just wouldn't stop talking about him.
His dad was clearly pretty smitten himself, having failed to mention the annoying bits of Steve Rogers.
That wasn't Tony's only dilemma though. For the last several years, long resigned to the fact he was never going to meet Captain America – what with him being dead for 70 or so years – he had started to crush on a quite different super hero.
He wasn't lying when he told Bruce he was a big admirer of his work, and he certainly wasn't kidding when he mentioned his admiration of the big green rage monster.
He had admired both incarnations of Dr Bruce Banner maybe a little more than was healthy.
That big green rage monster was particularly sexy, which was why Tony was so desperate to provoke Bruce to anger the first few days of their acquaintance.
Up close Bruce wasn't too shabby either. Up until then it had been a more intellectual admiration of the scientist part – Tony could genuinely claim he admired the mind of the man.
Working together in close quarters led to a few less cerebral thoughts from Tony.
And, if truth be told, he still held a bit of a torch for Captain America; Steve Rogers, despite his sense of humor failings when it came to Tony, was still pretty darned perfect.
So the dilemma was not just he was that Tony had more than one unrequited crush, the problem wasn't even that the crushes were male – gender had never been much of an issue with him – no, the problem was that Steve and Bruce were both so decent, upstanding and perfect that there was no way either of them was ever going to go for the proposition that had been floating around Tony's head for the past two weeks.
To whit: “Will the two of you make me the happiest playboy philanthropist billionaire in the world and consent to getting very down and very dirty. Together or separately and if at all possible with the addition of costumes and/or secret, scarily green identities? Maybe even till death do us part.”
There was no way that was going to swing it for him it no matter how it was phrased.
He had a feeling the two of them were one-women-guys and even if they were to suddenly announce that they were in fact open to the possibility of being one-men-guys the man wouldn't be Tony Stark. It was more likely the two of them would end up with each other and cut Tony out of the equation altogether, a prospect he feared just as much as he fantasized about. It would be visually appealing at least.
He would talk to Pepper about it, but Tony had a very strong feeling she really wouldn't understand either.
The on-again-off-again love affair they had been having was certainly off right now. Pepper had insisted she couldn't go through all the heart ache any more and she wanted to be happy. Or she might have said she wanted to be with Happy.
Either way she wouldn't approve of any of this.