Steve was not lonely. Nope, not one bit. He didn't care that he had been yanked out of his time and thrust into the future to save the world, again, or that everyone he had ever known or loved was dead and gone.
Nope. He didn't care one bit.
It most certainly did not get to him on a deep intellectual level. It didn't pull on his heart strings when he saw the rest of the team pairing up when he was still alone. It didn't feel like a knife twisting in his gut every time he saw Natasha give Clint an affectionate kiss, or when Bruce and Tony were cuddled on the couch, watching a movie.
He didn't want to be in a relationship.
That's a damn lie and you know it, Rogers, he thought to himself as he flung yet another punching bag across the room from the force of his roundhouse kick. It joined the pile of broken and dismembered bags in the same general area; it was the seventeenth one to fall that day. Steve ran a frustrated hand through his hair -it was entirely too long, it had been two months since his last haircut- and wished, for the hundrenth time, that he had a mission to complete to keep his mind off his thoughts of loneliness. But the world had be surprisingly quiet; no super villains -aside from Doctor Doom, and he wasn't really a villain so much as a superhero who told everyone he was the only villain allowed to exist- no terrorist groups and no alien invasions had cropped up in a little over four months. It was almost as if, after the last intensely bloody battle they had fought with a raving lunatic, the universe had decided that they needed a break.
It was driving Steve insane.
When he didn't have a team to lead, a mission to complete, a threat to eliminate...he didn't know what to do with himself. He had no real hobby to throw himself into. He liked drawing, but after three hours of it, it sickened him almost as much doing nothing did. There were only so many things he could draw, and didn't know how to work the computers, and he was barely able to work JARVIS. He always felt stupid talking to thin air, and it never ceased to shock him when the AI answered back.
"Stressed much, Spangles?" came the voice of, really, the last man he wanted to see right now. He and Tony had become good friends after their initial rough start, but the man was still insufferably annoying when Steve was in this kind of mood.
"Stressed doesn't begin to cover it," he muttered, and considered the punching bag that lay near his feet, whole and unbroken, ready to join its breathren in the discard corner...and decided he'd had enough violence for one day.
"How about some shwarma? Me and Doctor Angry were gonna go grab some, and he insisted I come get you. He said something about 'unhealthy seperation tendancies' or some other nonsense," Tony said, and, against his will, Steve found himself smiling. Both Tony's exuberance and Bruce's caring nature joined in his mind to make him feel lighter than he had moments ago.
"Sure," he said, grabbing one of the soft, fluffy white towels that Tony kept the gym stocked with. He wiped what little sweat there was off his face -really, it was still disconcerting that he exerted so little effort during such a strenous workout- and followed Tony out the door and to the elevator.
They were in relative silence for a few moments, before Tony sighed and scuffed his boot on the shiny floor. "You know, Spangles, Bruce is worried about you...we all are, really. You don't talk to anyone...or socialize beyond the team...lately you've hardly talked to anyone at all.."
Steve tensed slightly, and his full mouth set in a hard line. "I'm not sure I'm comfortable talking about something so personal," he said stiffly, and Tony rolled his eyes.
"Dude, we've saved the world together, what? Ten times now? And jailed and or killed how many villains and superthings? I think we count as friends now," the billionaire groused, narrowing his wide, brown eyes at the super solider.
Steve refused to meet Tony's eyes, fearing he would see the reason he had become so surly in his eyes, and eagerly exited the elevator when the doors opened. "I just don't want to talk about it. We aren't that close," he said tersely, and saw Tony flinch out of the corner of his eye. He felt bad for making Tony feel like he wasn't his friend -if he were being truthful, Tony was one of his only friends- but he would throw himself into a fire before he admitted his weakness.
Bruce met them in the hall, his quiet smile lifting Steve's heart for a moment before he viciously stomped on the tender feeling with his boots. He nodded to the scientist, ignoring the uncomfortable lurch his stomach gave when he saw his friends twine their fingers together, and he led the way to the private garage Tony kept for his cars, and smiled stiffly at Happy when the man greeted him.
Tony herded them into the back of a limo, and somehow, Steve found himself wedged between Tony and Bruce, staring at his hands and giving monosyllabic answers when either of them asked him questions, and stared resolutely forward. He should have stayed back at the tower...he should have told the billionaire he didn't feel like going out and went up in his room and drawn to quell the growing uneasiness in his gut.
He realized with a dawning feeling of apprehension that they had stopped, but neither Bruce nor Tony had made any move to exit the vehicle, and Happy was invisble behind the partition.
"Um..shouldn't we be getting out?" Steve said softly, and was met with two pairs of intense brown eyes staring at him from both sides.
"Steve...are you lonely?" Bruce asked in his soft, quiet way. Steve felt his cheeks heat up, and he turned his eyes away from Bruce, only to be met by Tony's intense but strangely soft gaze.
"Why would I be lonely?" he muttered eventually, when it became apparent that neither man was going to let him out of the limo without an answer.
"Don't play dumb, Capsicle, there are a hundred reasons why you would be lonely, and I've seen that look on your face when you see me and Bruce or Nat and Clint getting all lovey dovey in front of you," Tony said, a slight edge to his voice that Steve had never heard before.
"What does it matter if I am?" he burst out, getting angry. What, just because they were happy didn't mean everyone around them had to be. Of all tyhe presumtious, poumpous, ridiculous-
"It matters because Tony and I love you, and want you to be happy," Bruce said softly, and all the anger drained out of him and he slumped his shoulders.
"Yeah well, I don't see that happening any time soon," he said sourly.
"Why not?" Bruce asked. "Why can't you be happy?"
Steve stared resolutely at his hands as if they were the most fascinating thing he had ever seen, his shoulders hunched and head down. Because of this, he didn't see the loaded look Bruce and Tony shared, one that bespoke of weeks, months of planning.
"There's no one for me," Steve muttered eventually when it became apparent that they weren't going to speak or let him out without an answer. "It's not like I can date a civilian; it would just make them a target..."
"You could be with us, Cap," Tony said softly, and Steve's head shot up to look at the billionaire as if he had lost a few screws.
"What do you mean?" he said, confused. "You and Bruce are..."
He drifted off when the scientist in question slid an arm around his shoulders. "If there's one thing I've learned in my life, Steven, it's that the heart always has room for one more," Bruce murmured softly, his breath ghosting across Steve's cheek, and Tony was on his other side, pressing a not-so-chaste kiss to the corner of his mouth, and they were both so close and his cheeks were flushed and he didn't quite understand what was going on, but Bruce was kissing him gently, and then Tony was kissing him not-so-gently, teeth nipping at his sensitive lower lips and it was all too much.
But he couldn't find it in himself to push them away, because God, this is what he wanted, this closeness, this affection that he could feel in the way the two sets of lips moved against his and four hands were sliding over his body and it was fantastic, and oh fuck Tony was reaching down his pants and were they really going to do this in the limo, where anyone could see?
The blare of his alarm jarred him out of his dream, and he groaned, rolling over to crush the damn thing with a fist and dammit that was a bad idea because rolling over on morning wood was painful.
Steve sat up, putting his head in his hands and groaning softly. This was the sixth dream he'd had like this in the past month, after he had realized that he wanted the kind of affection a relationship brought, and that he had crushes on both the Science Boyfriends, as Tumblr had dubbed Tony and Bruce. He sighed to himself and got up, muttering about dream-crushing reality and stepped into his shower to deal with the aching hardness between his legs.
He refused to think about the fact that he cried out both the names of his crushes at his orgasm, refused to even acknowledge he was hopelessly in love with the two of them once he stepped out of the shower, and put on his Captain America mask, the one that hid all his emotions and longings behind the leader of the Avengers, and went downstairs to have his breakfast.