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5 Times Steve got the shovel talk, and 1 time there was no talking

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Tony shifted as he waited on the tarmac, Rhodey had been gone for 6 months, and Tony had wanted him to be the first to know about him and Steve, so they had been keeping it secret. It was surprisingly easy to keep the secret from the rest of the Avengers.

Tony shifted uneasily, he didn't know how Rhodey was going to act, especially since it was Captain America, Rhodey’s reason for joining the military, he was pulled out of his thoughts, by a hand snagging his own, and looked up at Steve who was smiling at him, the nerves shining through as the jet landed.

Tony grinned as the door opened and Rhodey stepped out, “you sent a jet, really?”

“Nothing but the best for you, Rhodey-bear.”

Rhodey rolled his eyes fondly, striding over and pulling Tony into a hug, and sending confused glances at Steve.

“Captain” Rhodey saluted.

“Colonel Rhodes” Steve replied, easily falling into a salute.

Rhodey grinned “Not that I’m not happy you're here, but it’s normally just Tony?”

Rhodey turned to Tony who smiled nervously “I wanted to tell you something, and I wanted you to be the first to know.”

Rhodey cocked his head, looking at Tony curiously.

Tony stepped toward Steve, intertwining their hands, and smiling at Rhodey “We decided that we wanted to take the next step…”

Tony was interrupted by Rhodey’s eyes bugging out of his head “You want children?” Rhodey finished incredulously.

“What? No, I was telling you that we decided to try as… more than friends.”

“Yeah, so what’s the news?” Rhodey said.

“That…is the news” Steve interjected awkwardly.

Rhodey nodded and then snapped his fingers “Oh, sorry, I forgot you didn't know that I knew, congratulations.”
Tony stared at him, his mouth open, all the etiquette teaching by Jarvis leaving him.

“You knew?” Tony squeaked in a way that he would later deny was a shriek.

Rhodey chuckled “Of course I knew, everyone knows, we were just waiting for you to say it, I think Natasha won the bet.”

Tony and Steve shared a look, as Rhodey stopped and swore “I don't think I was supposed to tell you about that.”

“If you knew, why didn't you say anything?” Steve spoke.

“Because, that was for you two to do.”

Tony shook his head and muttered fondly “assholes.”


After the homecoming, and Tony had ripped everyone a new asshole, they had a nice dinner, with Phil and Bucky making veiled threats towards Tony, who had just rolled his eyes, and thrown a egg roll in their general position.



Steve woke up at his usual 6.00 am time, and got out of the bed slowly, disentangling himself from Tony, and smiling at his sleepy groans before he turned around and fell asleep.

Steve headed down to the kitchen for some water, before he went on his morning run, and froze at the sight of Colonel Rhodes, sat at the dining table… cleaning his guns.

Rhodey looked up and smiled at the newcomer, the kind of smile that was warm and inviting, but Steve could tell it was a trap.

Rhodey pointed to the seat opposite him and Steve sighed but sat, greeting Rhodey with a hesitant good morning.

Rhodey responded in kind, before handing him a gun, and Steve started the task, which was second nature to him.

Rhodey spoke after what seemed like a century.

“Did you know that I met Tony in MIT, he was small but he had a mouth on him, he was dating this guy, Ross something or other, it was his eyes that got me, they looked broken.”

“I invited him to my room after accidentally-on-purpose spilling coffee on him, and it took me months, months to get him back to him.”

Steve clenched his fists as he thought of Tony having to go through that.

Rhodey glanced at his hands, a soft smile coming onto his face.

“Did you know that he went missing the day after we had coffee?, Ross, that is.”

Steve shook his head.

Rhodey continued “He’s not been seen since, now him it didn't really matter, but Captain America disappearing, probably a lot harder to ignore, but hypothetically, if someone put their mind to it, it could happen.”

Steve stared at the Colonel, and nodded, the Colonel nodded “I’m glad we understand each other, if not, I’m sure you would understand my little friend here.” Rhodey finished, his gun fully assembled.

Then he turned to Steve and smiled “Enjoy your run, I’d advise not going to your regular coffee shop on the way back, they're closed.”

Then Rhodey walked out of the room, gun in hand, Steve watched him go, and then said out loud “JARVIS, did that just happen?”

“I believe so, sir.” The crisp accent filtered out, through the speaker in the ceiling, Steve sighed before shaking his head, and heading down for his run.

He flinched when he went down his route, and saw the coffee shop was closed, message received Colonel Rhodes, he thought.




Tony was watching as Steve flinched as he walked past Rhodey, then shook his head, whatever it was Steve and Rhodey both refused to tell, so Tony sighed and accepted that this was going to happen for the three weeks that Rhodey was on leave.

He had a vague idea, after all he’d been accosted by Barnes, Wilson and Agent.

Tony smiled at Steve, and pressed a kiss to his cheek as he spoke “I’m going to head down to the workshop, I need to get this prototype done, or Pep is going to be on me for it.”

Steve nodded and softly kissed Tony, before grabbing his sketch-pad, and heading into the living room, which was blessedly silent, Clint and Nat had a mission, Bruce was in his lab, and Thor was visiting Asgard.

Steve was lost in his sketch, as he looked out of the window, the New York skyline visible in all its beauty.
Steve startled when there was a polite cough from what he assumed was the doorway.

Steve turned to the doorway, Pepper was stood there, smiling softly at him, she was holding several large booklets, which looked like contracts.

“Tony’s in his workshop…” Steve started.

“I know, I’m actually here to talk to you.” Pepper interrupted.

Steve looked confused, before he got up and moved to the sofa, as Pepper sat down.

“Captain, as you're aware, I am Tony’s best friend, CEO and occasionally babysitter, as such it’s my duty to tell you, if you hurt him…”

Steve interrupted this time “Let me guess, you’ll kill me?”

Pepper laughed delightedly as she looked at Steve “Kill you, why would I kill you?, killing you would be a mercy, there are many ways to destroy a man, killing him is not one of them.”

Steve’s polite smile dropped off his face, as Pepper continued, her smile still on her face “I would not kill you, I would destroy you, your image, your bank account, your friends, your life. I would make it so, that you couldn't even look in the mirror, you couldn't talk to anyone, you would be looking in from the inside and no-one would even know it.” Pepper finished with a “then, when you begged me to, and only then, would I kill you.”

Steve choked on his breath, and stared at Pepper, who’s sharp smile turned into something a little more warm “But you treat him well, and we should have no problems.”

She gave him a soft pat on the leg and walked out of the room, her stilettos the only sound in the room.

Steve called after her “Anyone ever tell you that you're scary.”

Steve heard her laugh, a warm sound, as he replied “You don’t make CEO of a company filled with misogynistic, old, white men, by being nice.”


Steve sighed, shaking his head, and was rewarded by JARVIS playing the security feed of Pepper chasing Tony around the workshop, trying to get him to read the documents. Steve laughed, at least he had Tony to look forward to.




“Captain, Agent Coulson is waiting for you in the living room.” JARVIS spoke interrupting the quiet in the room. Tony groaned as he lifted his head off Steve’s lap, and pushed him towards the door, shouting after him to hurry up.

Steve smiled fondly at Tony, and put his book down, cursing the agent for interrupting their quiet time, the first time in a while.

Steve walks into the elevator and presses the button, and shifts as the elevator starts going down, before it abruptly stopped, the lights flickering off, and Steve stopped and stared at the emergency stop button which had lit up.


“My apologies, Captain, I wanted to speak to you without sir in the room.”

Steve turned his head skyward and spoke hesitantly “JARVIS?”

“Captain, did Sir ever tell you why he created me?”

“For Edwin.”

“Yes.” JARVIS replied, surprise colouring his tone. “Did he tell you that Mr. Jarvis was his dad, more than his father had been. Mr. Jarvis was also his protector, and when he died that role transferred to me.”

Steve nodded as he resigned himself to another talk.

“I am not programmed to initiate kill functions for any reason other than to protect, as such Captain, make sure I have no reason to use such a function.”

Steve nodded in the direction of the camera, and JARVIS spoke “Good, have a good day Captain.”

Steve paused and looked around the elevator awkwardly, before speaking “JARVIS.”

The elevator came back to life, heading down, and Steve stared awkwardly at the doors, this was going to make life decidedly awkward.




Steve smiled as he headed into the garage, after dealing with the doombots all morning, Steve was looking forward to his date with Tony.

Steve smiled and greeted Happy, who smiled at him, “Bossman said to tell you that he’ll be ten minutes late, something about Fury and stealing technology.”

Steve nodded and looked at his watch, looking up when Happy coughed awkwardly.

“I know that Captain America is a hero, and could do no wrong, but Steve Rogers is just a man, and men make mistakes, I need your assurance that Tony is happy and that you won’t do anything to hurt him.” Happy spoke gaining confidence with each word he spoke, ending with his staring at Steve, waiting for an affirmation.

Steve nodded and smiled at Happy, a shovel talk that didn't end with him hiding.

He spoke slowly testing his words “I’m not going to say that we won’t fight, because we will, because they'll be big, and they'll be bloody, but what I do know is that I love him, and I will make him as happy as can be, until my dying day.”

Happy nodded and popped the trunk and Steve stared at the literal shovel, and turned to look at Happy who’s smile was all teeth, Steve nodded slowly and Happy closed the trunk, turning to look at Tony who had just entered the garage and stared at their expressions, Happy was smiling like the cat that got the cream, and Steve was just staring at him with what looked like newfound respect.

Tony opened his mouth and closed it, repeating the movement before deciding “You know what, for once, I don't want to know.”




Steve was sweating, Reed had managed to open another bloody portal, and out of them giant mechanical robots had appeared, and they had managed to close the portal, but the robots did not disappear as easily.

Steve threw his shield at the neck at the nearest robot, which started to malfunction, and Steve grinned as the robot fell, he spoke into the comm “Maybe, it’s time to let the Hulk out.”

He heard Bruce mutter an agreement, and he took a seat with the rest of the Avengers, as Hulk came out to play.

They watched as Hulk with the assist of Tony managed to destroy all the robots, Tony gave a showman’s wave as a cheer rose up from the civilians hiding in the buildings. Then everyone froze as the Hulk lumbered its way over to the avengers, before he bent down to Steve’s level.

Hulk pointed at Tony and roared “mine”, then he pointed at Steve and smacked his fist on the ground “Hulk Smash”.

Steve gulped and nodded at the giant who was now holding Tony and glaring at Steve.

Clint and Bucky were roaring with laughter, and even Phil was smiling his little bland smile.




Steve walked into the room and frowned at the darkness, before turning the light on, and jumped a foot in the air, at Natasha who was casually sat in a chair filing her nails… with a knife.

He looked at her and she looked at him, neither of them spoke, and then she untangled herself from the chair, walking silently towards Steve, she stopped and handed him a file, before she smiled in a way that sent shivers down his back.

Steve is still puzzling over how she got into a room that required a retinal scan, when he opened the file, and flipped the pages over, there was just name after name.

Steve stared at the sheet before asking out loud “What the hell just happened?”

JARVIS interrupts "If I may sir, I believe them to be confirmed kills of Miss Romanov."

Steve blinks, then blinks again, and looks at the sheet, he opens his mouth to speak, and then closes it.

Just as he begins to ask another question, Tony walks into the bedroom, his smartphone in his hand, and a puzzled look on his face “Why was Nat walking out of here, smiling?”

Steve drops the file on the bed, before reaching for tony, he winds an arm around his waist, and reels him in, and mutters “it’s a good thing you’re worth it.” before pressing a soft kiss to his head.

Tony looks up at him, mirth shining in his eyes “she gave you a shovel talk, didn't she?”
Steve nods “There wasn't actually any talking involved.”

Tony grins, and Steve is helpless to do anything but grin back at him, after everything he’s just glad that Tony has people watching his back.