So, I obviously don't own any of these things.

ShortHappyLife read this, killerlashes beta'd it.



It didn't happen quickly, like you saw in movies or on television. In fact, it happened so slowly that sometimes the people around them wondered if it were even happening at all.

But it was.

The first time they kissed was like nothing Steve had ever experienced. It was quick and rough, full of months of pent up feelings and frustrations. It happened in the basement of Stark Mansion after a particularly grueling fight. Tony had been down there all night repairing his suit, welding and hammering and swearing, exhausted and beat up and almost certain he had a broken something.

Steve had brought him coffee.

He brought him coffee and his fucking dimply smile and Tony just couldn't take it anymore. Before Steve even knew what was happening he was pressed against Tony's workbench and his hands were in Tony's hair, holding him close, daring him to move. Tony tasted like sweat and blood and just…Tony.

Of course, after it happened, Steve had simply stumbled away, muttering under his breath about "working out or going for a walk and I just need some air".

Tony simply watched him walk away, dazed. He touched his mouth tentatively, afraid that if he moved too much he'd realize that the whole moment didn't really happen at all.

Steve wasn't around for the next few days, but nobody really asked why. He was prone to going off for days at a time to be alone. Sometimes being around so many people, especially the Avengers and all their, ahem, robust personalities, wore on him and he needed a break. Not that he didn't love each of them- because he really did.

But sometimes (okay, most times) Steve missed the simpler days. Sometimes he thought about Peggy and Bucky and his heart broke just a little bit more at their memory.

And sometimes what he felt for Tony scared the living daylights out of him.

It wasn't like Steve hadn't had these feelings before, because he had. What was different was the fact that in the twenty-first century those feelings were completely acceptable to have. There was no hiding or lying. If he wanted to be with Tony- he could.

Did he want to be with Tony?

The answer was a crystal clear…maybe.

But, then again, Steve knew Tony better than anyone else since he'd "woken up". He knew how excited Tony got when he had a new idea, and that his quiet thoughtfulness simply meant he was tired and overworked. Steve knew that Tony only pretended to be useless in the kitchen, and that he was could make the best French toast Steve had ever had- only it had to be at 3AM when no one else was around.

So, yeah. Maybe Steve did want to be with Tony. But did Tony want to be with Steve?

"Why are you so mopey, Stark?" Natasha asked after the fourth day Steve had been gone. Tony glared at her from behind the microwave, which was emitting a morose, faintly pleading beeeee-eee-eep every time Tony twiddled a wire. "Wait. What are you making that thing do?"

"I'm not mopey. And you'll find out."

"Yeah…that's the thing. I don't want to find out."

"Well, you will, Nat. Just like everyone else," he muttered and disappeared. Natasha imagined him twirling a handlebar moustache and laughing maniacally, and then really, really hoped Steve would come home soon. The last time Tony had refurbished a kitchen appliance, the freezer threw ice cubes at everyone any time it was opened.

"Have you talked to Steve?" She tried to be detached about the question, but the topic of Steve was about as attached as you could get. Especially when it came to asking Tony about Steve.

"I'm not Steve's keeper. He can do whatever he wants," Tony managed to say through his clenched teeth.

"Stark brooding again?" Tony could hear Clint from behind the microwave, and the screwdriver accidentally flew out of his hand and at Barton without a conscious thought.

"Master assassin, Stark. Master. Assassin." Clint caught the screwdriver neatly and tossed it onto the counter. "Call Rogers. You need to release some energy."

Tony sighed and leaned on the counter, feeling more irritated than usual. He'd gotten less than ten hours of sleep in the few days that Steve had been gone.

He couldn't help it, though. Sometimes it was a huge comfort to know that someone like Steve was under the same roof as him. Tony had never really had that much stability as a child, and with Steve he felt it.

He felt the safety and security with the touch of Steve's strong hands. The comfort from hearing his voice. And, dammit, Tony thought, the fucking love just from Steve's million-dollar-smile.

Yeah. Tony Stark was in love with Captain America.

Fucking perfect.

Tony took a deep breath and threw down his tools. They clanged on the counter as he quickly strode away from the gutted microwave and ran upstairs to change. He didn't worry about a shower because he knew (somehow) that Steve wouldn't care either way.

There was a little coffee place that Steve liked to go to in his old neighborhood. It used to be a barber shop, a place that Steve visited all the time. It was somewhere he knew and remembered. Somewhere he loved.

Tony was sure he would be there, sketching the skyline. No matter how many times he sketched it, Steve never thought he got it right. Tony thought every picture was perfect because it came from Steve. From his eyes and his hands…from his heart.

He practically flew downstairs yanking on a shirt, past the judging eyes of Natasha and Clint, and out the front door- only to run smack into a brick wall.

Well, a brick wall that was, in fact, Captain America.

"You came back," Tony practically wheezed as he picked himself up off the ground. Steve reached out to help and nearly lifted him off his feet.

"I'm sorry I left." Steve frowned and the sight of it physicallyhurt Tony. He didn't want to see that look on Steve's face. And he sure as hell didn't want to be the cause of it.

"It's okay- I shouldn't have- I-" Tony started, but as Steve stepped closer he found that the words were difficult to force out.

"Shut up, Tony," Steve whispered.

"Okay. Yeah. I can do that."

Steve smirked, and damn if it wasn't sexy as hell. "Can you?"

"I can. I really can."

"Really, Tony. Just for a minute."

"Okay, Steve, Jesus. I said-"

The last words of his protest never left Tony's lips, because before he knew it Steve's hands were on his face and Tony was pressed against the door. He tasted the same as Tony remembered. He briefly thought "like freedom" and quickly pushed it out of his head before he started laughing and ruined the moment.

Were they having a moment? Steve's hands were framing his face, their bodies were pressed together, their lips met in perfect motion…yeah, it was a moment. No, a Moment, capital "m" and all.

"You are volatile and unpredictable," Steve said once he pulled away.

Tony frowned, his face still held in Steve's hands. "Um…"

"Sometimes I can't stand to be in the same room with you."


"I just want to shake you and tell you to shut up most of the time."

"Steve, I'm really not sure where you're going with this," Tony muttered and tried to break away from Steve's grasp.

"You're the only thing that feels certain any more, Tony. This isn't a life that I asked for, and you're the only thing I can count on in it. I know that you are always going to be you no matter what, and I'm grateful for that. I'm grateful for you. I love you, Tony."

And, as he gazed up into the clearest blue eyes he'd ever seen, the eyes of the man he loved, for the first time in his life…Tony Stark was speechless.