Since the storm had cost them almost an hour of walking time, the two didn't get to the safe bunker until the sun was starting to rise over the Gunnbjørn Fjeld (the tallest mountain in Greenland). Cold and exhausted, they dragged themselves inside.

After the incident in the snow shelter, Tony refused to look Steve in the eye. Steve had tried to strike up a conversation but had ultimately failed. Now, they sat in the deep underground, silent. Steve pulled out a book that he had brought on the journey, showing that he had given up trying to talk to Tony. The hurt look on his face was eating Tony up.

"So…" Tony swung his legs awkwardly. "I've been trying to think of a way to keep Clint out of the vents. What do you think, should block the vent entrances or threaten him? I'm thinking the latter."

"Threatening would be a lot less work," Steve agreed, not looking up from his book.

Tony winced. This wasn't going well.

"What are you reading?" He tried again.

"Harry Potter."

"Oh, Fun. What's that about?"

Steve raised an eyebrow. "A wizard. Named Harry Potter. Weren't you the one who introduced it to me?"

"Oh, yeah."

Shit, Tony cursed himself. At this rate, they wouldn't even be on speaking terms when they got home.

He had dreamed of this moment, the two of them being alone together in an underground bunker. Well, the bunker was an added bonus. He had rehearsed what he would say every night, but somehow he forgot every word of it. He felt like a toddler, trying to communicate but not getting the words out right.

"Listen, Steve." Tony sighed. "I'm glad that we did this mission together."

"You are?" Steve questioned with a hint of bitterness in his voice. "I recall you complaining to Nick that you would, quote, 'rather jump off a cliff into a lake of sharks' than come here."

"No, no, that's not it at all!" Tony panicked. "It's just, the cold really bothers me. I can't stand snow. That's why I lived in Malibu for half my life."

"I'm scared of the cold, and I still came," Steve replied quietly.

"You're scared of the cold?" Tony asked. "You're Captain America. You aren't scared of anything."

Steve shut his book gently. "Is that what you think?"

"I mean, yeah. You're the brave one. Clint literally made you a mug that says 'the brave Avenger.' Why are you scared of the cold?"

"Being brave doesn't equal not being scared."

"You're avoiding the question."

Steve looked down, and Tony felt like he had crossed a line.

"I'm sorry," Tony said, feeling guilty. "You don't have to answer that."

And Steve didn't. Not for a long while.

They silently ate granola bars and canned soup for dinner. Tony wanted to go back in time and shut himself up. If only there was something that could do that, some type of relic or even a stone.

Steve set out the sleeping bags and took off his shirt.

Oh my god, he took off his shirt.

Of course, Tony had seen him without a shirt before. A couple of months prior he had used it as a tourniquet to stop a bleeding child, and that was the day Tony fully realized he was in love with him.

Abs have that effect on people.

Trying as hard as possible to avoid looking at Steve's chest, Tony brushed his teeth and collapsed in his sleeping bag. Steve soon followed.

It was odd, having such a quiet night. If they were in New York, they would be plagued by the sounds of cars and ambulances rushing down the street. But in Greenland, all they could hear was a gentle breeze. It was calming.

Just as Tony was about to drift off, he heard a sigh from the other side of the room.

"What's wrong?" Tony asked hesitantly.

"The plane crash," Steve muttered.


"The plane crash. That's why I'm scared of the cold, and anything relating to it."

It hit Tony like a slap to the face. Steve crashed a plane into the artic and didn't come out for almost 70 years. Of course he would be scared of Goddamn snow.

"Oh my god, Steve." Tony stammered. "I'm so sorry, I didn't remember."

"Don't apologize," Steve replied. "Everyone else tends to forget as well."

"Well, they shouldn't. I'm sorry you had to go through that."

"It's fine."

"Is it?" Tony asked.

A moment of silence, then a muffled sob. "No."

Hearing Steve's distress, Tony scooted his bag over to him. Steve attempted to stop crying, but Tony shook his head. "It's okay. You can cry."

And like a dam, Steve broke.

He flung himself into Tony's arms and sobbed. Sobbed about the crash, sobbed about the war, sobbed about Peggy and Bucky, and sobbed about no one understanding what it was like to be a man out of time.

Tony simply held him, and let him cry until he fell asleep. But even then, Tony didn't let go.

-Super cool time skip-

Tony groaned and stretched his arms, only to hit something hard. He rolled around in his sleeping bag and found Steve directly next to him, still sleeping softly. They must not have slept long, because Steve's eyes were still slightly red and puffy from crying. Not wanting to wake him, Tony carefully climbed out of his bag and tip-toed over to their supplies. He prepared breakfast quietly (well, if granola and expired cheese counted as breakfast).

A couple of minutes later, Steve awoke and sat up, rubbing his eyes. He looked over at the sleeping bag next to him and his eyes widened.

He sheepishly walked over to Tony. "Look, about last night, I'm really-"

"Don't even apologize." Tony cut him off. "You have no idea how many times I've had Pepper come over because I was about to have a breakdown. It happens, we're human."

"I actually was going to say I'm really grateful." Steve smiled. "Thanks for staying with me."

"Of course. I'll always stay with you." Tony replied. He froze, nearly dropping his granola. Did he just say that?

Steve chuckled and took a bite of his food. "That was smooth. How long have you been planning that?"

Tony stopped dead in his tracks. "What the hell are you talking about?"

Steve shrugged. "C'mon, Tony, I'm not stupid."

"I never said you were."

"I see the way you look at me while we're at the gym, and the way you blush whenever I say your name. You're not very subtle."

Tony's face drained of color. "Oh. My. God."

He paced around, covering his face in his hands. "Oh my God, I'm so stupid. Come on, Stark, you can't even do this one thing! God, I'm done. I'm dead. I have perished. Have Elon speak at my funeral. Ugh, I suck!"

Steve jumped up and grabbed Tony by the shoulders. "Take a deep breath, Tony. You do not suck."

Tony looked up at the man. "Steve, I'm so sorry."

"For what?"

"I don't know, all of this! Howard told me to never fall in love with a man, but did I listen? No! You come along with your sexy shirts and soothing voice, and I fell for you like Santa fell from the roof in The Santa Clause! I was perfectly fine just adoring you from afar, but I had to blow it! I know you probably hate me now, and you have every right to. I'm so sorry."

Steve placed a finger on Tony's lips, shutting him up. "I don't hate you, Tony. Quite the opposite, actually."

"Huh? What does that mean?"

Before Tony could finish his question, warm lips were on his. Steve wrapped his arms around Tony's waist and pulled him closer. Finally realizing what was happening, Tony deepened the kiss. After breaking apart for air, Tony looked into Steve's eyes.

"God, I've been waiting for this." He admitted, before pulling him into a deeper kiss.