This might be a weird pairing-? I don't know, whatever. I just think Stark (the playboy that he is) would enjoy the company of Rogers (the good, wholesome, American boy).

It's a little slow going, and a little long, so sorry.

It was another late night at the lab, and Howard Stark was falling asleep on his feet. This was, what, the third night in a row he'd been trying to figure out the gun? How did those Nazi scientists manage it? He rubbed his hand over his face and sighed, leaning back against his table. He'd never figure it out...

"Mr. Stark?" He heard someone call. He sighed again. "It's Doctor Stark, Captain Rogers." He reminded the man who walked in. "What do you want?" Stark asked wearily.

Captain Rogers looked at him closely. "Are you OK? Cause I can come back..." He trailed off. Stark saw that the man had two glasses and a bottle of Schnapps in his hands. He looked at the soldier, who hadn't been the same ever since his friend was killed. He'd been more withdrawn, a little less enthusiastic. For that reason alone, Stark wouldn't have been able to deny Rogers the pleasure of his company, but it wasn't just that reason alone. Ever since Rogers had bulked up, gained some height, well, he was attractive. Being attracted to men was nothing new to Stark, but being attracted to the guy who was America's ideal soldier-! It was difficult, to say the least.

He gestured at the bottle. "You can't get drunk," Stark said, pulling up two chairs. "So why do you have alcohol?" "How did you know about that?" Rogers asked, smiling widely, that goofy smile he used to have all the time. Stark smiled back, glad to see that the old Rogers wasn't all gone "Who do you think does most of the research on your new condition?" Rogers chuckled a little and set down the glasses.

"The thing is, I want to talk about my feelings. And guys can only do that when they're drunk, right? So here I am." Now it was Stark's turn to look at the soldier. "You want to get me drunk so you can whine like a girl? No way." Rogers smiled. "Don't let Agent Carter hear you." They shared a small chuckle. "But seriously, Rogers, why me?" Stark asked. "Why not Carter, or any of your men? Or even-" Rogers stopped him by leaning over the table and staring into his eyes. "You're as much a member of my team as they are. So please, indulge me."

There was a slight pause, then Stark cleared his throat. "Fine." He said gruffly, filling his glass. "Shoot."

"And, well, Bucky was... was my best friend. The greatest guy." Hours later Rogers finished, playing with his glass. Stark smiled coyly and leaned forward. "Your best friend, or something else?" He asked. I must have had more to drink than I thought, He realized, shocked. He glanced down at his empty glass. The captain hesitated, glanced at the empty bottle (oh yes, Stark saw that!) and smiled wryly. "Nothing gets by you, huh? Yeah, he was more than that. For quite a while."

There was silence as Stark tried to sober up. He felt that he should reveal something private now, since Rogers was taking a huge risk in talking about this. He walked over and slung his arm over the other man's shoulders. "You know," he slurred. "You know, I still use the 'righty tighty, lefty loosy' rhyme when I unscrew things." Rogers stared at him, disbelieving, then erupted into laughter. So did Stark.

Then, somehow, inexplicably, they were kissing.

Rogers pushed him off. "Stark," he gasped. "You're drunk. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have-"

"No," Stark said, leaning in to kiss him again. "I'm not drunk. Well," he reconsidered. "Not that drunk. And do you know how long I've been wanting to have sex in a lab?"

The captain stifled a laugh. "Are you sure, though? Because I don't want to take advantage or anything."

Stark laughed. "Oh, silly boy. I'll let you know all about that..."

The next day, Stark walked into the briefing, late, with a pounding headache. Agent Carter glared at him, and he grimaced to let her know that the message was recieved. Rogers, however, avoided his gaze. Stark frowned and sat down.

"Hey, Captain America!" He called out as the meeting was ending and everyone was walking away. "I've got some new designs for you to test." Rogers looked around, slightly uncomfortable, but then came over.

"What do you want?" He asked quietly.

"I want to know what's up. I liked last night, and it seemed like you did to, so what? Are you embarrassed?" Stark whispered back, angry.

Rogers sighed. "It's not that. It's just... well, America's golden boy can't exactly be seen engaging in acts of sexual depravity, you know?"

Stark felt his eyebrows raise. Sexual depravity? "Then I guess we can't let anyone else see." He looked at Rogers. "Right?" Rogers looked around, thought about it for a moment, then said. "Fine. But not in the lab anymore, I have a weird bruise." Stark laughed. "Yeah, OK. But you'll have to make it up to me, cause I was planning on selling tickets for the next event..."

They continued keeping their relationship a secret for as long as they possibly could, but Stark knew it wouldn't last. Those secret giggles, the late night meetings and missed briefings. Steve was a soldier, a man who put his life on the line as a living. One day, he wouldn't come back from a mission.

And then that day came. Rogers had pulled Stark aside, saying "Hey, I'm going after Red Skull. I should be back later tonight, OK?" "OK." Stark responded, stealing a quick kiss. "Meet me in the storeroom by the lab at 10." "It's a date!" Rogers called back, running to the door.

That night, the only person who came back was Agent Carter, her eyes full of tears.

And nothing, nothing could ever have prepared Stark for what it was like. Agent Carter was a mess, crying even when she tried to keep a stiff chin. And Stark felt like joining her, but nobody could know. Even now, especially now, when he was gone, Captain America's reputation had to be kept sterling.

So he left. Mentally at first, throwing himself at any woman who would take him, and then physically, exiling himself on a boat, searching for any clue about where Rogers could have gone. When they found the cosmic cube, Stark dared to hope. If Red Skull had the cosmic cube, and Rogers went after Red Skull, the two had to be near each other, right?

Howard Stark never found Rogers, never found his Captain America.

"You've been asleep for 70 years," finished Agent Fury. Rogers reeled. 70 years? That meant everyone was dead. Peggy, Howard... "Are you all right?" Agent Fury asked, trying to appear concerned. "Yeah," Rogers responded in a daze. "It's just... I had a date."