AN: So this chapter is terribly short. But I didn't want to drag out the end of this, and I really didn't want to end on very "happy" note.
The tower was silent for the rest of the day. Clint and Natasha were away at SHIELD with Thor for the day, Bruce was hidden away in his lab and Steve had sequestered himself in his room after the fight. Tony himself had spent the day down with R&D, going over several more designs for clean energy.
All the while, the tower sat in stasis, silent, waiting for its inhabitants to return. Steve, still ensconced on his floor, paced and though, mind going a thousand miles per hour, combing over the past, what he knew about Tony and the whispers he'd heard or the deadly assassin, The Fox.
If anything Tony had said during the fight had been remotely true...Steve didn't know what to think. Finally he sat at his desk and looked up at the ceiling, a habit borne from his first few weeks in the tower, though he knew he didn't need to do so. "Jarvis?"
"Yes, Captain Rogers?" The AI responded, voice cool and professional.
"Can you bring up the official file SHIELD has on The Fox?" He asked. He received no answer, but, after a moment, a holographic file appeared on the screen his desk supported and, slowly, but surely, he began to read his way through the file, all the way from the beginning.
Tony was tired. He ached too. The funeral had been long and cold and Emily had cried the entire time, clutching her mother and father and pulling at the heartstrings of everyone in attendance. Tony had politely declined returning to the den for the mourning ceremonies, and no one called him on it, already aware that he was trying to quell the storm back home.
Brad had returned though and that left Tony alone for the week. He'd been prepared for awkwardness or even downright animosity if he ran into Steve. But he didn't. Steve stayed in his room and everyone else seemed to slowly be moving on.
Apparently his "new" status gained him the right to join Clint and Natasha in their spy games(Clint called him Rudolph for days before Tony finally got fed up and scored a shot with a nerf dart to his face) and randomly he would find himself dodging projectiles or random attacks from behind furniture or from the ceiling.
Bruce still joined him for "Science!" in the big lab between their personal lab floors, and it only took two days before they managed to set things on fire with their usual pizzaz. Thor, more than once, sparred with Tony, taking up the shield to hold while Tony wailed away to his heart's content, even getting tips from the thunder god as he went.
But still, for almost a week, no one saw Steve. Until, one day, he emerged from his room and stalked down to Tony's lab, a gloomy shadow of resignation hanging over his head.
Tony was alone in the communal lab, carefully looking over a formula Bruce had left for him before the other scientist had gone to take a nap. Steve knocked on the door and Tony turned around, not even bothering to put down the halo-pen he was clutching.
There was a moment of silence, thick with tension before Steve spoke. "I will never agree with what you've done." He said slowly. Tony drew himself to snarl a retort, but Steve continued before he could. "But I can agree that it...needed to be done." The last part sounded strained, like it was being forced out with pliers and Tony shrugged.
"Well I guess that's all I can ask for, isn't it?" He asked, turning around and resuming his study, before Steve left him there, alone with his work.