Note: Hey guys! So I decided to do a sequel because I just could get this out of my head. Let me know what you think!
After Tony and Steve's talk Tony didn't leave the lab for another two days. He didn't want to face anymore questions about what he did that caused Pepper to leave him. He was sick of the accusations. If anyone knew better it would have been the Avengers, but it seemed that Tony was wrong on that front too.
During those two days Tony saw Steve frequently. He would come down to the lab, sometimes bringing food for the both of them other times bringing a sketch pad, every few hours. He didn't ask for Tony to talk to him, he didn't ask for anything at all, just sat there providing some silent company to keep the creeping loneliness away. While Tony would work on a project or three (only normal people work on one project at a time) Steve would draw in his sketch pad. His subjects would vary. Sometimes it would be scenery, other times it would be memories from the past, but most of the time it would be Tony: Tony drinking coffee, Tony talking to DUM-E, Tony designing something using the holograms.
The last scene was by far the hardest, not because of the holograms, but because of the constant motion. Tony would be working with one part one moment and then all of a sudden go to another part on his other side. His eyes would be filled with calculations and ideas, hands moving from one part to another, legs twisting and turning him clockwise and counterclockwise. He looked like he was dancing. He looked beautiful. Yes, the last scene was by far the hardest to draw because it was so essentially Tony.
Steve had it bad.
Sometimes during the meals they would talk. Tony learned that Steve hates pickles with a passion and that he went to art school before joining the army. He learned that Steve still feels out of place, out of time, but not nearly as much as he used to. Tony learned more things about Steve than he did during the months that Steve lived in the mansion. There was more to the man that just being a team leader wearing the American flag. He was a kind, shy, and honest man, who genuinely cared about his team. Also, he was a man whose shyness made him incredibly cute thought Tony. Tony couldn't help but to notice that Steve was unbelievably handsome as well. Seriously, who had eyes that were that blue anymore? He wondered if they could ever be in a relationship. Perhaps the thought of being with a man would repulse Steve, but that seemed unlikely considering the fact that Steve was just so fair. Why would he discriminate based on what gender a man was attracted to. No, a relationship was possible, just not now. It was too soon.
After two days Tony left the lab and went straight to the kitchen to have lunch with Steve.
Instead he found Clint. Frosting a cake.
Tony paused in the doorway to the kitchen. It seemed that Clint was putting some finishing touches on the cake when Tony entered.
"Hey, man! Just in time."
"Who's the cake for?"
"Uh...you. It's an I'm-sorry-for-being-such-a-dick cake. Natasha said I should make one for you after she told me what really happened between you and Pepper."
"Oh, thanks. Wait, how does she know what happened?" Tony thought that perhaps Happy told her. He would be the only other person who possibly knew other than Tony and Steve, and Steve would never say anything.
"No clue. Sorry about jumping to conclusions."
"It's fine. What kind of cake is this anyway? It smells amazing in here."
"Red Velvet, my specialty." Clint said with a smile. He cut a piece of cake, put it on a plate, and handed it to Tony with a fork.
Tony took a bit and then made a sound that strongly resembled an orgasmic moan. That happened to be the time that Steve walked into the kitchen. Tony took another huge bit and started talking with his mouth full. Of course.
"Clint, this is the best cake I've ever had. Seriously, it's like an orgasm in my mouth. Oh my god."
Steve was standing in the same position with a deep red blush covering his cheeks. His eyes had a glazed over look.
"You okay over there, Rogers?" said Clint with a smirk on his face.
"I'm fine. Completely fine."
"Steven, sit down and have a slice of this orgasm inducing cake!" said Tony finishing the rest of his cake piece already.
The next day Tony entered Happy's car to go a meeting across town. This was the perfect time to interrogate him. Why would he tell Natasha what had happened?
"So Happy, care to explain how Natasha knew what Pepper did?" Happy got a nervous look on his face.
"Well, sir, we were on a date, and we started talking about how your relationship with Pepper ended. She wondered what you did wrong, and I said that you didn't do anything wrong, that it was Pepper who messed up, so of course he asked me how I knew that, so I told her what I saw. I'm sorry for telling her sir. I know that I have to right to tell other people you-"
"WAIT. You went on a date with Natasha!? Red head Natasha? I-could-easily-kill-you-with-a-paperclip Natasha?"
"Wow. You are a very brave man, Happy Hogan. Dating Natasha, good for you."
"So are we alright, sir?"
"What? Yeah, we're totally fine. If Natasha asks you a question just answer her. Never put your life on the line by lying. I still need you, you're an awesome driver."
"Thank you, sir"
The next few months went by quickly. The Avengers kept saving he world, or at least New York City. Stark Industries released its new cell phone and glass tablet. In response the stock prices of the company went up. Tony was busy designing new things for Stark Industries as well as SHIELD, and Steve was busy trying to figure out how to best use the abilities of each team member. He regularly trained with each of them, and as a result he had gotten closer to each member of the team.
The team grew closer together as well. Mostly because of the living arrangements. For meals it was either Bruce or Steve that cooked since the rest of the team couldn't. Sure Clint could bake, but cooking and baking were not the same thing as Clint had said, repeatedly. A large amount of the time take-out was ordered. A nearby pizzeria had their order memorized: two pepperoni, three cheese, two deluxe, one sausage, one buffalo chicken wing, and one pineapple. Ten pizzas in total (because Steve and Thor ate enough to feed a small army most meals).
On Fridays the Avengers had a movie night. It took the same amount of time to pick the movie as it did to watch the movie in the beginning, so it was decided that there would be a rotating schedule. Each Friday it would be a different person's chance to pick. On Thor's nights they would watch epic battle movies like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, on Bruce's nights it would be sci-fi classics or Bollywood movies, on Clint's nights it would be epic action movies with big explosions and big boobs, on Steve's nights it would be old classics (things he remembers watching), Tony's nights would have Clint's type of movie or Bruce's type of movie, and Natasha's movie nights were always interesting. There wasn't one type of movie that she stuck to. One time it was a Russian film, another time it was an 80's musical. It was never the same. On one memorable night, they watched a movie that had a young Tony Stark doing a cameo. It was highly entertaining.
Steve and Tony grew closer the other days of the week. They would often be seen together, whether it was in the gym working out or in the lab working on their own respective projects. Tony would work on new engineering marvels, and Steve would be working on his next masterpiece. They were comfortable with each other, and the team was starting to notice. They decided that the relationship would happen in its own time and that time should be bet on.
Exactly six months after Tony and Pepper's relationship ended, the Avengers were fighting a particularly strong giant octopus-alien...thingy.
"Iron Man distract it, Black Widow cut off as many tentacles as possible, Hawkeye make sure it doesn't grab anyone, Thor hit it with Mjolnir, and Hulk just smash."
Iron Man flew into the air with graceful maneuvers, drawing the attention of the octopus. Natasha was in the process of cutting off one of its arms and Hawkeye was keeping an eye out for her. All of a sudden there was a yell over the comm.
"Iron Man, what's wrong!? Iron Man!"
A tentacle was wrapped around the Iron Man suit, squeezing hard. Metal crunching could be heard.
"I can't get out!"
The tentacle was wrapping tighter still creating holes and cracks in the suit. The octopus-alien thingy made a loud noise and then pulled Iron Man underwater. The damage to the suit allowed water in and all communication with Iron Man was cut off. Thor used the change in the monsters attention to throw the final blow to defeat the creature. It moaned and then went still with the Iron Man suit still in the water.
"Black Widow! Get the tentacle off of the suit!"
Both Black Widow and the Captain dove into the ocean towards the suit. The water was dark and cold, bring back bad memories for Steve. He shook his head and kept moving, Tony was the priority right now, not his memories. Steve could see Natasha attempting to cut off the appendage. After a few seconds the tentacle finally fell away. Steve grabbed one side of Tony while Natasha got the other side. The pulled him to the surface. The Hulk lifted Tony up and pulled him to the shore.
The arc reactor was flickering.
Someone had already called Emergency Services and an Ambulance had pulled up with EMTs climbing out. Steve triggered the emergency release mechanism to get the suit off of Tony. He wasn't breathing underneath. The EMTs pulled Tony into the Ambulance and drove off.
Steve just stood there in shock. Tony was hurt. Tony wasn't breathing. Tony was hurt. He has had feelings for Tony for so long and he might not be able to tell him because of some stupid octopus-alien thing.
A black Acura pulled up to the shore, and a very familiar man climbed out in a very familiar gray suit. Phil Coulson . He was skinner and had a paler complexion than the last time Steve saw the man. It reminds him of how the team was in the beginning, fragmented and untrusting. They had come a long way.
"Captain, I believe you should be headed to the hospital. I'll take care of clean-up."
"Thank you. It's nice to see you again, Phil" Phil smiled.
"Nice to see you too, Captain."
"Steve. Call me, Steve."
"Nice to see you too, Steve."
Steve climbed into the Acura and pulled away from the scene. The rest of the team was left staring at the back-from-the-dead man.
"Phil." said Clint, his voice sounding completely wrecked.
"Hello, Clint." Clint stared at Phil for a bit more before all of a sudden grabbing the other man and kissing him senseless.
"I missed you so much." said Clint.
"I missed you, too." said Phil after kissing Clint again.
It was then that Natasha stepped up. She started at him for a few moments before saying "It's good to have you back, sir."
"Son of Coul! You have returned! This tremendous news!" said Thor.
Phil smiled but then went to a somber facial expression. "Let's clean up and then go to the hospital to check on Tony"
It took Steve twenty minutes to drive to the hospital. In those twenty minutes all he could think about was Tony. Would Tony be alright? If yes, should he tell Tony his feelings? Will Tony be ready? Does Tony even think of him that way?
Steve entered the hospital and was directed to a hallway on the left. A doctor left Tony's room as he approached.
"How is he, Doctor? Will Tony be alright?"
"He should be fine, Captain. He'll need to rest for a few days, but other than that there is nothing serious." Steve heaved a sigh of relief.
"Can I go see him?"
"Go right ahead, but don't disturb him."
Steve enters the room and stares at the body resting on the bed. Tony is pale, hooked up to some heart monitors with some bandages around his middle were the tentacle used to be. His chest rose and fell with soft, steady breaths. Steve sighed in relief. Tony is alive; he's going to be okay.
Steve watched Tony for a few more moments before sitting down in the chair next to the bed. He was just going to close his eyes for a moment and relax, just a moment.
A few hours later, Steve slowly wakes up to whispered voices and laughs. He opens his eyes. The team and Coulson are in the room, all finding a place to sit somehow. Natasha, Clint, and Coulson were all on the bed next to Tony's. Coulson was sleeping peacefully with his head resting on a sleeping Clint's chest, while Natasha watched over them silently. Thor had managed to fit his massive body into a tiny plastic chair and looked as if he was having a discussion with Bruce and Tony, who were also awake. Steve's chair had somehow moved closer to Tony's bed.
Close enough that Steve could comfortably rest his head next to Tony's hip and wake up to Tony's fingers running through his hair. That feels nice.
"Hey" says Tony.
"Hey, how are you feeling?" Steve asks.
"Like I got crushed by a giant octopus," Steve looked at Tony with worry in his eyes "but it's not bad! Just a little sore. I'll be fine in a few days." Steve relaxes a little.
"How long have I been asleep?"
"Not long, I think. The doctor said I've been here about three hours."
"Are they okay?" Steve asks, tilting his head towards Clint and Phil.
"They're going to be fine. Phil wasn't supposed to be out of bed yet. His giant stab wound from the Scepter of Evil is still healing. SHIELD doctors say he should stay in bed for another week."
"Scepter of Evil? Really?"
"What else would you call that thing? It's not like it had any redeeming qualities."
"And how long are you stuck in bed?"
"Doctor says I can leave today as long as I take it easy for a little while."
Steve turns his head to confirm this with Thor and Bruce.
"If we take him back to the Tower, Tony's not allowed to leave his bed for at least a week." said Bruce, altering Tony's statement.
"Don't you think a week is a bit much?"
"Either you stay in bed a week in the Tower or you stay in bed a week here, in the hospital." said Steve with a serious look on his face. Now that Tony was paying attention he noticed that it was a very attractive look on Steve. Of course, most if not all looks were attractive on Steve. Not fair.
"Fine. I pick the Tower."
A few hours later, Steve, Tony, Bruce, Thor, and Natasha headed back to the Tower, leaving Clint and Phil alone at the hospital. They were all in one of Tony's limos. Bruce was reading something on his Stark phone, Thor was watching the buildings pass by in fascination (even though he saw the same buildings almost every day), and Natasha was leaning back in her seat, texting on her phone, (probably to Clint). Steve was covertly watching Tony out of the corner of his eye and Tony was trying his hardest to stay awake even though he was obviously loosing that battle. Every few seconds his head would pitch forward and then snap upright again. Steve got tired of watching him.
"Come here." Steve pulled Tony's body closer to his and then pushed Tony's head onto his shoulder. "Sleep. I'll wake you up when we get there." Tony tensed for half a second before relaxing and surrendering to sleep.
When the team arrived at the Tower, Steve tried to wake Tony up. Tony wasn't having it. No matter what amount of gentle coaxing Steve did, Tony refused to move. It the end, Steve decided it was just easier if he carried Tony instead of waking him. He carried Tony bridal style into the elevator and up to Tony's bedroom. Steve gently placed Tony on his bed and pulled up the covers to tuck him in. Right as Steve was about to leave the room, Tony grabbed his wrist, slowly opening his eyes just a bit.
"Stay with me?" whispered Tony. Steve nodded his head and sat on the bed.
"No. In the covers. Lay down with me." Steve hesitated but eventually gave in. There was no use resisting Tony when he was using The Eyes, and yes they deserve the capital letters. His eyes are huge when he wants them to be, and he has an alarming habit of using the eyes when none of his other methods of coercion work. Steve removed his shoes and climbed into bed with Tony, leaving some space in between them. Tony quickly closed the gap, laying hand above Steve's heart and placing his head in the crook of Steve's neck. Within seconds Tony was asleep and soon Steve followed.
Tony slowly wakes up feeling far more comfortable than he has in quite a while. He's feels safe with two strong arms holding him tightly...wait, arms? He looks up and sees Steve's face still relaxed from sleep in front of him. Holy sweet baby Jesus. Steve is holding him. Steve is in his bed. Tony's heart rate increases, which somehow wakes Steve up. He blinks open his eyes and focuses on a panicked looking Tony.
"Hey. How are you feeling?"
"Fine...what are you doing in my bed? Not that I don't want you there of course, but seriously, what?"
"You asked me to stay with you, so I did."
"Oh. Ok. Thanks."
"No problem." says Steve with a small but genuine smile on his face. Something inside Tony snaps. He pulls Steve's face to his and kisses him. Surprising, Steve kisses him back. Enthusiastically.
"I've been waiting for that forever." says Steve.
"Tony? Is something wrong? Did you change your mind, because if you did that's fine. I completely understand."
"No! I didn't change my mind I'm just maybe a little shocked. Maybe."
"Ok. Well I'll just lay here and take a nap until you get used to it." Steve places his head back on the pillow and closes his eyes. Tony stares at him for a few moments and then lays his head on Steve's chest. Steve smiles.
He decides then and there that once Tony fully recovers, he'll ask him on a date. A proper one, with dinner and candles and maybe some more kissing. Hopefully, much more kissing.
Please leave a review. They seriously make my day and, as an added bonus, make me a better writer. :)