It was a late winter night at Stark Tower, there was a foot of snow on the ground and it only seemed to continue to build. It was the week before Christmas and Peter, Peggy and Steve were out doing various last minute shopping. They were currently still on a mission to find the perfect gift for Tony, but what do you get a billionaire genius? It was always a troubling time shopping for Tony. Which is why they had been gone all day, giving Tony the perfect time to finish up his wrapping and hide the gifts.
Tony never wrapped his own presents before he became a family man. He didn't even really do presents; he would just do huge lavish notions for the people he truly cared about. It didn't know how to express his feelings and it was too foreign for him to try. To he would show it through money. It worked. No one complained—everyone knew that receiving something from Tony was a huge step no matter what. But with a husband and two kids, Tony had to loosen up with the concept of gifts just because and presents for holidays and birthdays.
However, that gesture only extends to his immediate family. Tony knows better than to let more people close to him like that.
As he finished applying the last piece of clear tape onto a neatly wrapped present, Tony thought about the perfect place to hide the presents. The lab was definitely not the place; it was where Peter and Peggy would first look. They really knew their old man well. Just the thought made him chuckle as he pulled up a blueprint of the penthouse, looking for the perfect place.
Tony spun the 3-D model around from all angles really searching for the perfect place. That's when it donned on him—his closet in his room. Peter never really went into his and Steve's bedroom and Peggy was too little to understand so it would be perfect. And Steve was such an old-fashioned guy that he knew he didn't have to worry about him peeking.
Swiping his hand over the model to rid its appearance in case they got home early, Tony uncrossed his legs as he stood up stretching before picking up the present and making his way to the master suite. This was Peggy's first Christmas and if Tony was going to admit it to himself he was enthusiastic. Just like Peter's first with them, he had bought all the best toys money can buy.
Tony stretched out on his tippy-toes to place the boxes on the top shelf; it was clearly the shelf Steve insisted on installing so it was slightly a little out of reach to Tony. When he placed all the boxes neatly on the shelf, a worn medium size box caught his brown eyes. His eyebrow kicked up in question as he pulled down the box and walked over to the bed. He sat down in the middle of the bed as he opened the box. His eyes started to slightly water.
Inside the box were all of Steve's memories, good and bad—the good weighing out the bad. There was movie stubs from movies they had seen when they first started dating. A much worn nametag, 'S. Rogers' that obviously looked like the tag Steve had worn on his uniform before switching to the stars and stripes. Even an old photo of his father with his arm around Steve in such a friendly companion way it made Tony's heart hurt for the fact that his father was happier with his childhood hero than himself. Brushing away those thoughts as quickly as they came he saw the best piece of the whole box. It was a family picture, Steve was on the left side and Tony was on the right. In the middle were his most prize possessions, Peter with Peggy on his shoulder, a tiny toddler fistful of his hair. They all had such warm and happy smiles. A tear silently slide down Tony's cheek.
It was moments like this when Tony felt good enough. Tony had a family to call his own and this time, they loved him just as much as he loved them.
"Dad! Were home!"
Steve looked over at his teenage son with a look of exasperation as the sleeping little Peggy was trying to stir awake from the quiet slumber she was having on her Pops shoulder. The long day of shopping had exhausted the chubby little tot and for Peter to yell out instead of using his indoor voice was really unnecessary. "Jarvis, where is he?" he asked in a quieter voice with much inflection to model to Peter the correct to go about the situation.
Once he found out Tony was in their bedroom, Steve grew very curious. Typically, with a house to himself he was locked away in his lab and Tony barely slept as it is so a nap was way out of the question. So he decided to investigate was his husband was up to while gently rocking Peggy back to sleep with a soft humming of "I Only Have Eyes for you." The first week of adopting Peggy they had found out that she enjoyed the soft hums of the music Steve used to listen to before the great freeze.
By the time he reached the end of the hall he felt her body become heavy again and her breathing steady out. He admired how easily she could sleep. She was filled with so much innocence and if things went this way, it would always stay that way.
Making his way into the master suite he was met with such a breathtaking sight. There sat Tony in the middle of their large bed with his keepsake box contents spread out meticulously in an array all around him. There were no interactive computer screens or elaborate plan sketches. It was just Tony and pieces of his life that he didn't want to forget. There was so many memories spread out across the duvet and in the middle of it all was the love he would never forget—Tony.
After leaning against the door admiring the peaceful contentment that was currently playing on Tony's face, an emotion you hardly ever see on Tony. Steve felt he should make his presence known. "What are you up to in here?" He asked lovingly as he made his way over to the bed after he laid the sleeping girl in her crib. He leaned over and placed a light kiss on Tony's temple as he sat down next to him.
"I was putting away Christmas presents and I found this box. It's just nice to see the things that shaped you to be the man I love." Tony says honestly with a hint of emotion in it. Some of the things in the box reminded him of the nightmares Steve would have or the fond memories they shared being together. It was what made Steve, well Steve and it was the one thing that he appreciated more than his family.
Steve could hear the raw emotion in Tony's voice and he slipped his right hand into Tony's left. This was the side of Tony only he got to see and when it did show Steve was very careful with Tony. "Would you like me to tell you about some of these things?" He let out a bright smile as he felt Tony's head gently nod before his head rested on his shoulder.
"Well this right here—"Steve went through each item and explained the story about them and what it represented to him. Tony could only sit and listen as he fell in even more in love with Steve Rogers.
There were pictures of Bucky and him as children, even the name tag to Bucky's old uniform. One that stuck out to Tony was a picture of Steve and Bucky with a female on each arm. It was the night they did a double date and took the girls dancing. That was the night Steve first met Howard and tried to recruit into the military. The pang that Steve had a better relationship with his father than he did, made him slightly squeeze Steve's had in a way for comfort. But picturing a scrawny Steve made him forget his worries and let out a chuckle.
It was a trick Steve mastered, when Tony was hard on himself or feels like he wasn't enough. Steve had a way of making Tony forgets all the bad and heaviness in his. It was as if he reached in took it all away and threw it far away. It was one of the reasons Tony knew Steve was the right one for him.
Then there were movie stubs. Some were new and some were old. They were gathered from going out with Bucky or the family, Avengers included. Steve talks so passionately about the difference in movies then and now could only make him smile from ear to ear. He always enjoyed Steve comparing what he knows to what he's getting used to.
There was a faded ticket, it barely held the colors to the text anymore but it didn't matter because Steve knew what it was. It was the World Series from 1941, New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Being a kid from Brooklyn, it was an exciting game. He remembered the sound of the fans yelling and cheering, at times cussing, as the game went on. He could recall the smell of the hot dogs being passed out and the taste of the cool Coca-colas running down his throat on the hot summer day. It was a great game and it was exciting
But the Yankees won.
Though it didn't stop it from being a good game, the Dodgers fought good and hard. A he would never forget Mickey Owen's dropping third strike of a sharply breaking curveball pitched by Hugh Casey in the ninth inning of Game 4
Of course Steve had nightmares about the things he's lost. First love. Best friend. Great men. But, if he was honest with himself. They only make him even more thankful for the things he had. Steve loved his life in Brooklyn in the 40's but he wouldn't give up his life in the 21st century for it.
In the present day he had Tony, Peter, Peggy and the Avengers and that's all he needed.