Steve could not, for the life of him, figure out how to stick the key in the lock so he could get inside his apartment. This apparently required a bit more focus than he was capable of, so he dropped to his knees and found himself face to face with the doorknob.
In retrospect, maybe he shouldn’t have had so much to drink earlier.
He loomed a bit closer, trying to zone in on the actual lock while the key hung from his hand. He blinked his eyes a few times but there were still two of them and he honestly had no idea which one was the real one. Then he closed one eye and stared down the awful piece as if it had personally offended him. Finally he reached up with the key and scraped his way toward the keyhole, managing to achieve success after roughly a minute of grumbling and sighing.
Eventually he got the door open and crawled in because he could barely make himself stand at this point.
“‘m never drinking again,” he slurred to no one. The truth was, he didn’t drink often at all. A man his size should be able to hold his liquor, but such was not the case. His friends had told him that as a man who was born on the 4th of July, it was his patriotic duty to drink twice as much for twice the celebration. Steve did love patriotic duty. He didn’t love the hangover he knew he was going to wake up with in the morning.
The blond finally hoisted himself up and made his way toward his bedroom, only running into about three things on the way there. He felt along the wall for the light switch and turned his light on. There was already a large bottle of water and some Advil on his nightstand along with a red white and blue birthday balloon.
Bucky was officially the love of his life.
He decided it would be a good idea to text him and let him know. Natasha probably wouldn’t kill him. Then again, this wasn’t the first time he’d jokingly proposed to his best friend.
ur the <3 of my life this has been a gr8 day marry me
He yanked off his shirt and pants, nearly breaking his neck in the process since he’d not bothered with taking off his shoes. This was just too much for him so he fell onto the bed and promptly passed out, not even hearing the chime on his phone.
Steve opened his eyes with a groan, not missing the amused smirk of his best friend standing over him.
“Jesus, Steve. You look like something the cat dragged in.”
Steve promptly shut his eyes. “Why are you screaming?” he whispered.
Bucky sat down on the bed and nudged Steve. “Sit up, old man,” he instructed and Steve snorted. “You need to learn to hold your liquor. Here.”
Steve opened his eyes once more and took the Advil and bottle water Bucky was holding out for him. “Thanks,” he grunted.
“You won’t be thanking me later. You haven’t seen the pictures and videos from last night yet.”
“How many times did I propose to you?” Steve asked with a quiet chuckle.
“Amazingly none at all. I’m starting to think you don’t love me anymore.”
“Blasphemy,” the blond quipped.
“Get out of bed, you big oaf. Natasha’s making breakfast.”
Steve just hummed and Bucky knew that was Steve-language for ‘please don’t make me eat right now.’ Bucky laughed and walked out.
The blond just stared at the ceiling and frowned. Maybe he forgot to hit send on his text but he distinctly remembered a marriage proposal. Once he found the courage to move, he reached for his phone, and since it was connected to a charger, he could only assume Bucky had thoughtfully done that for him as well.
Bucky’s head peered back in. “Check your phone, by the way. You appear to have multiple text messages.”
Steve waved a little and then looked at his phone.
He definitely didn’t recognize the number these messages were coming from.
I need a name first.
Maybe a date.
Okay I give. I accept.
Where’s my ring though?
Steve blinked. What the hell was going on? He hit reply on the last message.
sry i was drunk last night texted wrong number
He set his phone down and sat up, stumbling toward the bathroom to take a shower. The warm water felt nice and helped clear his head a little.
Ten minutes later he walked back into his bedroom with a towel wrapped around his waist as he picked out something to wear for the day.
His phone chimed.
How could you break my heart like that?
I’ve already started making plans.
Was it something I said?
What’s your favorite color?
Steve shook his head, his brows furrowing.
Do I know you?
His phone chimed less than 30 seconds later.
I don’t know. Do you?
Who is this?
Tony. Who is this?
Well that will definitely make our vows less awkward now that we know each others names.
Steve couldn’t help but roll his eyes despite the small smile on his face.
We’ll talk later, gorgeous. ;)
That earned a snort from the blond.
He got another text message around dinner time.
Are you religious?
So I’ll need to book a Catholic church then.
Don’t be like that, snookums. This is important.
Steve set his phone down. He had no idea why he was even responding. Probably boredom.
“Who ya texting there, Steve?”
Steve just shook his head. “Someone I accidentally texted last night. Now he won’t leave me alone.”
“Did you send him a picture of your abs or something? Maybe he can be the new me.”
“Well I did propose to him.”
Bucky gasped in mock betrayal. “Steve Grant Rogers, are you replacing me? I can’t believe it. Is he prettier than I am?”
Steve grinned. “I have no idea what he looks like.”
“Living dangerously then. If you don’t make me best man then I won’t speak to you for at least six months.”
“Bucky, we’re not actually getting married. He’s just joking around.”
Bucky winked. “I think we’re headed towards the next great romcom.”
Steve threw his napkin at Bucky. “You’re the worst.”
Two days later Tony texted him again.
Been busy with wedding details. What’s your favorite color?
I was really hoping you’d let that go.
As if. What’s your favorite color?
Steve just decided to play along.
Royal blue or navy blue?
What do you do for a living?
I’m an art teacher.
Need any nude models? :P
Why is this happening to me?
I can tell you’re starting to like me.
What is your favorite flower, Steve?
Steve let his head thunk against his desk.
How was your day, beloved?
I hate you.
No you don’t.
Please stop texting me.
Steve didn’t hear from Tony for four days. Maybe Tony had given up. He couldn’t possibly have hurt the man’s feelings. Right?
What day would you like to get married?
I was really hoping I’d scared you off.
I don’t scare easily. Pick a day.
Fine, I’ll pick the day.
A quarter to never.
That time is already booked by someone else.
It took another two weeks for Tony to respond, and Steve couldn’t understand why he actually missed being harassed by the man during those days.
That was new.
This isn’t like you.
You don’t actually know me.
I know you’re annoying.
I know I am.
Okay you’re not even arguing with me. Seriously what’s going on?
Just having a bad day.
Want to tell me about it?
Wait, why was he asking? He didn’t actually care. Right?
It’s not important. Work stuff.
What do you do?
I’m a CEO/inventor.
That caught Steve by surprise.
Oh. Must be difficult.
He wasn’t sure. The idea of being a CEO would give him a headache personally.
Only when suffering through board meetings.
Do you sit through those a lot?
Where do you think I find the time to text you?
So you actually do work?
Hahaha. Yes. I spend most of my time working honestly.
All work and no play makes Tony a dull boy.
You did not just quote the Shining at me.
I’m afraid I did.
I love you.
I’ll talk to you later, Steve.
Do you want to wear the white tux or do you want me to?
You’re right. I gave up my virtue a long time ago. You wear the white.
Somehow their texting relationship lasted through half the semester when school started again and Steve was honestly concerned as to whether or not Tony was actually planning a wedding. Based on what little he still knew about the guy, it didn’t seem too far off base that he’d plan a wedding to a guy he never met. He was oddly eccentric.
One day Tony stopped texting. That wasn’t the part that wasn’t normal though. Tony would go for a week or two without texting sometimes, but he hadn’t heard from Tony in over a month. He had tried texting a few times himself to make sure the man was okay but never heard anything in return. Maybe Tony had gotten bored of their game and finally decided to stop. Which was fine. Definitely. Totally fine. It’s not like he didn’t have school projects and finals to start focusing on eventually anyway.
Tony. Don’t know what happened. It’s fine if you don’t want to talk anymore, but I want to make sure you’re okay either way. Let me know.
Steve sat in the teacher’s lounge, looking through his students’ self-portraits while the television hummed in the background.
“Stark Industries still continues their search efforts for CEO Tony Stark after the billionaire went missing in Afghanistan. Stand-in CEO, Obadiah Stane, is pushing to move the company forward and call off the search for Mr Stark while the Air Force is adamant that they keep searching. The genius disappeared almost three months ago.”
Steve only barely registered what was going on in the news because he was engrossed in his work.
“I bet he’s still alive.”
Steve looked up. “Hmm?”
Another teacher, Clint Barton, nodded at the television. “They’re still looking but they haven’t found a body, so I think he’s still alive.”
Steve took a moment to register that. “Oh, the guy they were just talking about on the television?”
“And thank you for tuning in, Mr Rogers.”
He side-eyed Clint. “Sorry. A little preoccupied with…” he gestured the papers in front of him. “Homework.”
“Bucky told me your friend Tony hasn’t texted you in a long time.”
“Did he now?” Steve asked, feigning disinterest.
Clint smiled. “I bet you’ll hear from him again. Once all this is over?”
“All what is over?” What was Clint even talking about?
He patted Steve on the shoulder. “I gotta go. Talk to you later, Rogers.”
“Reports have now come in from the US Air Force. Tony Stark has been found alive and is currently in a hospital in Germany. He is expected to return to the United States within the next few days.”
Steve chuckled a little. “Guess Clint was right.”
Who’s your best man going to be?
The one and only. :)
Where the hell have you been?
Detained. Did you miss me?
I wouldn’t go that far.
I’ve been a little worried.
Where were you?
That’s a conversation we should probably have in person.
Just trust me. Besides, I think I’d like to meet my fiance.
Steve took his bike to the address given to him by Tony. When he stopped in front of the gates of a mansion, he had to do a double take and make sure he was at the right place. He rolled the motorcycle to the gate and found an intercom. He pressed the button and was met with a very British voice.
“I’m Steve. Tony gave me this address?”
“You may leave your motorcycle in the driveway nearest the front door.”
He parked his bike and timidly approached the door, pressing the button for the doorbell. The door opened and Steve felt like he was about to walk into a murder mystery.
On the other side though, he spotted a man in a black tank who seemed to be fidgeting rather nervously. The first thing he noticed was the bright light that appeared to be coming from the center of the man’s chest, but the big brown eyes staring at him are what captured his attention.
Steve let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. “Tony.”
Tony smiled. “Uh...surprise.”
Steve tilted his head and studied Tony’s face. He was handsome, that was a given. He also looked familiar.
“Well that explains a lot,” Steve responded.
Tony’s jaw twitched. “What?”
“Why I didn’t hear from you for three months.”
The brunet smiled. “Yeah. That’s...hi, I’m Tony Stark, CEO of Stark Industries,” he held out his hand.
Steve took it with a smile of his own. “Steve Rogers, art teacher. You already knew that though.” If both of them lingered a little too long on the handshake, neither of them bothered to mention it.
They stood there in awkward silence before Steve found himself crushing Tony in a hug. The genius flailed for a moment but patted the blond’s back after a moment. Finally Steve let go.
“Oh my god. You literally almost died and I had no idea.”
The look on his face made Tony smile a little sadly. “I thought about you a lot.”
“It must have really cut into your wedding planning time,” Steve said with a grin.
Tony held his thumb and forefinger about an inch apart. “Little bit.”
Steve shook his head. “I was worried about you.”
“Well,” Tony said, swallowing nervously, “I’m here now. And I’m fine.”
Steve eyed the light in Tony’s chest but didn’t say anything. “Okay.”
“And I really don’t want to talk about it right now.”
Steve nodded. “Fair enough. What do you want to talk about?”
“I hadn’t really thought about that.”
Tony looked tired. And a little lost on top of everything else and it broke Steve’s heart.
“Well, we do have wedding plans to finalize,” he finally said.
Tony gave him a genuine smile and there was suddenly a light in his eyes that Steve was getting to see for the first time. Before Steve knew what was happening, he had an armful of Tony Stark and neither of them could honestly say who leaned in for the kiss first. To Steve, this felt like the most natural thing in the world.
Tony eventually pulled away to catch his breath, a look of discomfort flitting across his face and then it was gone a split second later. “How do you feel about a New Years wedding?”
Steve rolled his eyes playfully and kissed Tony again.