Just popped into my head, cause I feel that there should have been a scene where Steve apologised. Anyhow, this is nothing special, I apologise. It didn't take long and I haven't proof read it. So, sorry about any horrible grammar/spelling. Hope you like it :)
"I owe you an apology." Stark turned in surprise at the voice, seeing Steve standing only a few feet behind him. The Captain looked torn and hesitant, still hesitating in the shadow of the door onto the balcony where they found themselves. The rest of the team was inside Stark Tower – what was left of it – trying to explain to Thor what a movie was. Watching a demi-god with no grasp of their technology trying to comprehend the concept of watching a film was unexpectedly amusing.
But then, it had all just been too much for Tony. He excused himself, pleading the need for fresh air, and space to think. So much had happened in the last week he was still trying to work his way through it all.
"What for?" He asked, frowning at the soldier as he came to stand beside him, staring out at New York with a faraway look in his eyes.
"I was... unfair to you. Before." He sent a meaningful look at Stark, who just continued to frown at him in confusion. "I shouldn't have said what I did." Tony was completely bewildered.
"Err, maybe I'm being stupid – unlikely – but I haven't the faintest idea what you're going on about." Steve raised his eyebrows in disbelief.
"I told you that you weren't a hero. I said that everything you did was for yourself." Now the memory clicked and the billionaire's eyes lit with understanding. At the time, the words had bothered him, but they'd slid off pretty quickly. Doing all that he did he'd been forced to grow a thick skin, and besides, people had said worse.
"I wouldn't worry about it Cap," he told him with a shrug and a half smile.
"No. Stop talking." Tony looked at him in surprise. "I need to say this." He took a deep breath, avoiding the other man's gaze. "I was wrong. You... you saved us, all of us – no superpowers, no training, nothing – and you saved us all. You flew through that portal knowing that there probably wouldn't be a return journey. You were going to die for us Stark."
Tony said nothing, a strange pride swelling in his chest. He imagined it was how people felt when they did something selfless – it wasn't a feeling he was really familiar with. Because the one thing about what the Captain had said that had really affected him was the knowledge that the soldier was probably right. Self doubt had been prickling through him since the realisation had hit him that in the event of risking himself for someone else he wasn't really sure which way he would go.
There were exceptions of course: he would walk through fire for Pepper or Rhodey, do his best to make sure Happy was safe and well. But for a stranger? He hadn't been sure. He felt better now; flying through an interdimensional portal with a nuclear weapon was one way of proving where your loyalties lay, if nothing else.
"Well," he said after a moment of awkward silence. "Someone had to save your ass." He offered a grin at the soldier who smiled back, looking completely baffled by his light hearted response. "You look like you thought I was going to hit you or something."
"To be honest I thought you would. It would be fair. I deserve it."
"No, you really don't. I didn't save Manhattan single-handedly you know. Couldn't have done it without all of you guys too," he waved a hand in the general direction of the tower behind them.
"You speak as though you're separate from the rest of us." Steve was frowning again.
"I am, aren't I? You said it yourself: 'no superpowers, no training.' You were right, before. Take away my suit and I'm nothing more than a man." He shrugged again, as though this fact didn't bother him. He didn't want anyone else knowing how vulnerable he felt, especially now. Against Loki, he had been useless until he had his suit on. He'd needed the captain's help to reach his suit on the helicarrier when they'd been attacked. Steve was shaking his head.
"I was wrong about that too; I didn't even mean it at the time, let alone now. I was angry. You built the suit. All the ideas behind it came from your genius. And besides that, you're the one inside the machine. You control it. It's your life on the line. The bravery of Ironman didn't come from a suit of metal."
Tony looked down at the city below them as he digested that. Maybe the Captain had a point. He wanted to believe the words, but somehow they wouldn't stick. Because if Tony knew anything about anything, it was himself. And he knew that he was hardly brave. Sure he'd flown into the portal thinking he was going to die, but as Pepper had so delightfully pointed out as soon as she arrived, there was nothing brave in his own stupidity.
Maybe he was being too hard on himself. Part of his perfectionist nature he supposed. Either way, right now he was far too tired to try and process it.
"I'll think about it," he conceded, and though Steve still looked concerned he let it slide. "I think I'm going to find a bedroom not filled with rubble and crash for the next week or so. I'm exhausted."
"Dying will do that to you," Rogers smiled. "But you can't go to bed yet!" Tony raised an eyebrow. "When I left the others I think Tasha was saying something about Karaoke. You are not allowed to go to bed until you help me convince Thor to belt out a song."
A wicked grin spread across Tony's face and leached onto Steve's. With a wild burst of laughter the pair dashed off to find their comrades.
Does Thor singing karaoke not sound hilarious to you? No? Just me then...