Massive amount of 'thank yous' to my awesome beta, dysprositos, who named this. And who doesn't mind me sending weird things over. And for making this cuter. And for being a wonderful person in general.
WARNINGS: mentions of sexuality-caused beatings, cute, sex (something that makes me want to go die in the corner).
After the Battle of Manhattan, Steve Rogers leaves New York to tour America. His Captain America costume stays behind, safe with Howard Stark's son, Tony, who promises that he will finish re-engineering it, fully updating it to the standards of today. Knowing the Starks as Steve does, he supposes it'll actually conform to the standards of tomorrow.
The offer is Tony's way of apologizing for his remarks on the Helicarrier. Steve has no problem saying 'sorry' when he needs to, but many men back in his day could not bring themselves to apologize. Steve guesses that not much has changed since then.
It is thus Steve Rogers, just a kid from Brooklyn, and not Captain America who leaves New York on a motorcycle, bound for parts unknown.
And after five months of hotel rooms and crappy food, it is a new Steve Rogers who returns to New York City.
Pulling into Stark Tower's parking garage, he keys in the code that Tony had told him before he left. Steve has a photographic memory, always has, as a matter of fact. It's one of the things that drew him to art.
The gate opens and Steve rides in, parking in an open space and pulling his bag out of the bike's storage compartment. He locks his helmet in it instead.
He'd only been pulled over once, but that encounter was enough to teach him that humans who ride 'cycles wear helmets.
Shouldering his bag, Steve heads for the door. Before he reaches it, it is yanked open from the inside, revealing Tony Stark and Bruce Banner.
Bruce hangs back a bit, reserved, but Tony is boisterous, in Steve's face. He throws his arms around Steve for a hug. After a moment of shock, Steve tentatively hugs him, too, patting Tony's back gently.
Tony releases him and starts talking up a storm. Steve just lets it wash over him, relieved to be in a place where he doesn't have to pretend. A place where he can be himself, Steve Rogers, who still occasionally breaks things because he doesn't know his own strength. Not Steve Johnson, the name on his false ID, the kid fresh out of school who was on a quest to 'find himself.'
After a couple minutes of Tony's rambling, Bruce steps forward, still shy but unable to watch Steve's eyes glazing over for any longer. "Tony, I don't think he's heard anything that you've said. Remember, we talked about this. You can be very overwhelming."
Tony quiets, cocking his head to the side. "I'm not overwhelming, am I, Cap?"
"Uh, please call me Steve. And you kinda are."
Tony clutches his chest, feigning dramatics. "That hurt! Got me right in here!"
Bruce just rolls his eyes. "You don't have a heart, Tony, remember?"
Steve is surprised to see the man looking so relaxed. He had seemed so...guarded on the Helicarrier, months ago. He guesses that it's this habitat, where Bruce doesn't have to worry, that makes the physicist look his age. Instead of ten years older.
Unaware that Steve had tuned him out, Tony's still talking, "...Bruce! How dare you turn my words around on me?"
Bruce just shuffles forward and grabs Steve's bag out of his hand, motioning to Steve, "Come on. He'll do this all day if we let him."
Following the physicist, Steve glances between the two, wondering. Is it possible? I mean, it would be fine, but I just don't know...
On his trip, he'd seen a lot of the twenty-first century's 'sexuality' in action. He'd gone to a couple 'gay bars,' just to see what went on in them. The only thing that was different from seeing heterosexual couples interact was that each half of the couples were the same sex. And Steve is accepting of homosexuality and all the other forms of love. He is actually glad to see people being able to express themselves openly.
He knew that sometimes the guys used each other for pleasure when they were deep in enemy territory, but he had seen smaller guys–seen as effeminate–get beaten up. Been on the receiving end a time or two when Bucky wasn't around. He'd always denied deserving those beatings, but in the face of the new freedom, he's not so sure that he's only interested in women.
Lost in his thoughts, Steve doesn't notice Bruce stopping in front of the elevator until he plows right into him.
They go down in a tangle of arms and legs, the huge supersoldier on top of the smaller physicist. Steve untangles himself quickly, rolling to his side and looking Bruce over, running a hand down the physicist's legs.
Bruce jerks away and averts his eyes. "I'm fine, I'm not going to go green or anything. Tony's done worse."
Steve freezes and waits until Bruce looks at him before speaking, choosing his words very carefully. "I wasn't concerned about you 'going green;' I know you can control yourself. I just wanted to make sure that I hadn't hurt you. I landed on you."
Bruce's eyes go wide. "Oh." He looks stunned, like no one's said anything like that to him in a long time.
Waiting a moment, he says nothing more, so Steve rolls to his feet, reaching down a hand to help the physicist up.
Still dazed, Bruce accepts. Steve leans against the wall, knowing that he has to wait until his guide recovers enough to tell him where they are going.
It takes a few minutes, but Bruce eventually shakes his head, pushing away the incredulity so he can examine it later. He reaches over to push the elevator button.
"You're welcome," Steve smiles.
Several weeks later, Steve has settled into a routine with Bruce and Tony. He's gotten really comfortable, as a matter of fact, and he's starting to look for a companion. Going out and hunting's not really his style, so he starts his search closer to home.
Tony's not really his type, but Bruce...well, Steve's always had a soft spot for him, and once the physicist gets comfortable around him, he's reminded a lot of Peggy's sense of humor, something that drew him to her in the first place.
But, if he wants to pursue Bruce, he first needs to know if the man's even available. Or interested.
So, three nights back, he'd worked up the nerve to ask Tony and Bruce if they were dating. Tony fell off the couch laughing, and Bruce hadn't been too far behind him.
When they'd recovered enough to speak, Tony explained that he was flattered that Steve would think that, but he was hopelessly straight. And engaged, to the CEO of his company who was in Australia on a business trip, due back in another two weeks. Bruce hadn't said anything.
And with this discovery, Steve's mild interest turned into a full-blown infatuation. He began to surreptitiously watch Bruce at every opportunity, spending more time in the labs with his sketchpad, helping the physicist cook dinner, anything to stay close. Steve likes Bruce, something that, the more time they spend together, he just can't ignore.
Which is why, feeling like a teenage girl, Steve is taking the elevator up to Tony's personal floor to ask him if he knows if Bruce likes men. Specifically, Steve.
Tony's on the phone with his fiancée, so Steve settles down in front of the TV and flips through the channels with JARVIS's help, settling on a show about car restoration.
Thirty minutes later, Tony walks into the room. "What can I do for you, Steve?" Steve had finally broken him of the habit of referring to him by his title a week into his stay. He'd had to explain why it bothered him, but the billionaire thankfully had listened.
"Oh, um, yeah..." Steve stutters, everything he'd planned on saying forgotten.
Tony drops onto the coffee table in front of Steve, uncharacteristically sober. "This is about Bruce, isn't it? I've seen you looking at him since you got back. Gotta admit, I didn't know you swung that way."
Steve's stunned by how perceptive (and blunt) Tony is, but recovers quickly. "Uh, well, I do."
"Okay. And you're interested in Bruce?"
Steve is sure that he's bright fire-engine red by now. "Yes," he squeaks.
"And you want my help?"
"Um, not exactly. I just want to know if I have a chance?" His voice goes up at the end.
"Is that a question? Because, in my genius opinion, you do. Bruce's been looking up your files a lot lately, and not for science, if you know what I mean," he winks.
"Oh. Oh. Thanks." Steve gets up to leave.
Tony calls after him, "Be careful!"
Steve's answer is to turn around and raise one eyebrow, an implied 'duh.'
Tony laughs. "This'll be good. Go get 'm, tiger."
Steve plans to.
Steve sits on his bed, thinking through ways to convince the reluctant physicist to go on a date with him.
He doesn't want to be subtle, that's what blew his chances with Peggy to hell, so he decides that he'll throw caution to the wind, get Bruce alone, and ask him out. Consequences be damned.
At dinner that night, he gets his chance. Tony's apparently in the middle of a huge breakthrough, and he has to be dragged to dinner. He sits in his chair long enough to wolf down the contents of his plate, hardly chewing, before he's out the door. Bruce chases him down and shoves a smoothie into his hand, muttering something about Tony's calorie intake and hydration levels.
The loud, harsh sounds of Tony's sucking are audible until the elevator doors close. Steve sighs.
He's eating and working up the nerve to just ask, when Bruce beats him to it.
"Steve? Um, wouldyouliketohavedinnerwith me?"
"Will you havedinner withme?" It's hardly any slower, but Steve can pick out the distinct words if he concentrates.
Rather than make Bruce repeat it a third time, he turns the words over in his mind, making sure that he heard what he thought he did. It takes a minute, and Bruce is shoving back from the table, muttering "Just forget about it" by the time Steve is certain.
He leaps from his chair and grabs Bruce's arm. "No." Bruce's face falls even more, and he attempts to wrench his arm free. Steve slackens his grip enough that Bruce can get free, but makes it clear that he doesn't want him to.
"Damn it, that's not what I meant. I just wasn't sure I had heard you correctly. I was planning on asking you the same thing tonight."
Bruce starts to look hopeful. "Does that mean..."
"Yes! Of course, yes!"
Bruce impulsively throws his arms around Steve, who returns the hug. They hold onto each other for too long, neither one wanting to let go. Smiling, Steve sits in Bruce's abandoned chair, pulling the physicist down to sit on top of him.
They're content to sit in silence, at least until Steve's stomach growls audibly.
Bruce jumps a little, and looks at Steve, who's pretty abashed.
"Sorry, I guess I should let you get back to your dinner..."
In answer, Steve just shifts the physicist to his left leg and unwraps his right arm, pulling the plate across the table to him.
Bruce squirms, but settles a little more firmly into Steve's side.
After Steve is finished eating, they disentangle and put the plates in the sink.
"Want to go watch a movie?" Steve asks.
"Sure." Bruce looks pleased at the suggestion.
They curl into each other on the couch, and Steve insists that Bruce pick the movie. Bruce chooses Men in Black, and they laugh the whole way through at the terrible special effects.
Afterwards, Steve walks Bruce to his room, and brushes a kiss over Bruce's forehead before darting down the hall.
Behind him, Bruce smiles, brushing a hand over the spot.
They have their first real kiss a week later, and it's sloppy and terrible and everything Steve would want a first kiss to be.
Tony razzes them about the sappy looks on their faces, but they're too damn happy to care.
And when Pepper comes back from Australia, Tony can't really call them out on it anymore. He looks just as love-struck.
Five months later, Steve cooks Bruce dinner in his apartment in the Tower, a whole floor he has all to himself–though not for much longer if he has any say in the matter. He's nervous all through dinner, but after they eat he piles the dishes in the sink and leads his boyfriend to the couch.
Steve sits facing Bruce and takes the physicist's hands. Bruce starts to look upset, like he thinks Steve's going to give him bad news. To wipe that look off his face, Steve asks, "Bruce, would you move in with me?"
He tries to keep his face clear, blank, mask-like as he waits for the answer, but he's afraid that he's not doing a very good job.
To his credit, Bruce merely blinks before answering with an exuberant "Yes!" The worry is gone from his face, and he looks happy. Really and truly happy.
Steve crushes his lips to his boyfriend's, his partner's. He slips a hand under Bruce's shirt, the other tangled in the physicist's hair.
Bruce disentangles after a moment and tugs at the hem of Steve's shirt. "Off."
"Only if you take yours off." Steve's tone is light, challenging.
Bruce grins back shyly before ducking his head to work on the buttons on his oxford.
Steve pulls his t-shirt over his head.
They reach for each other at the same time, and Bruce climbs onto Steve, rutting against him.
This is nothing new, but Steve has a rather different goal in mind than frottage, tonight.
It takes every ounce of his self-control, but he pulls back, settling a hand on Bruce's chest, applying steady pressure until the physicist looks at him curiously.
"Can we take this to the bedroom?"
Bruce wraps himself around Steve in response, and the supersoldier picks up his octopus-like partner and carries him in his, no, their, room, laying him gently on the bed.
They've long since talked about Hulk-ing out during sex acts, and Steve is confident that they can do this.
He reaches for the zipper on Bruce's pants, supporting his weight with the other, and the physicist moans.
Steve pulls down Bruce's pants and boxers, sliding off Bruce to remove them completely when they get tangled up about his ankles, caught on his shoes.
While he is standing, Steve removes his own pants and briefs and retrieves lube and a condom from the nightstand. He sets them onto the bed next to Bruce and looks at his partner, a question in his eyes.
Bruce picks up the condom, his hand shaking a little, and Steve is not surprised. He knows that Bruce feels that this way is safer but is apprehensive, nonetheless.
Rolling on the condom, Bruce sits up, and gestures to Steve that he should come lie down.
Steve does, and Bruce fumbles with the plastic covering on the lube cap for a minute before finally using his teeth to tear it off.
He settles down to kiss Steve, lying on top of the supersoldier. After a moment, Steve feels wet fingers on his ass.
They're cold, and he squirms a little. Bruce smiles into the kiss, and slowly begins to prepare Steve.
After a few minutes, Steve is shamelessly rocking on Bruce's fingers and moaning for the physicist to "hurry up already, Bruce, fuck!"
Bruce pulls his fingers out and grabs the lube, slicking up his own cock. He meets Steve's eyes, and Steve knows that the lust and want are written all over his face.
Satisfied with what he sees, Bruce slowly pushes forward into Steve.
It hurts. But Steve is determined, and grits his teeth, riding out the pain.
Bruce makes slow, shallow strokes, holding back until the pain he sees that Steve is trying so desperately to hide passes.
Eventually, it does, and then Steve is rocking up into Bruce, meeting his thrusts.
Bruce pistons his hips harder, and Steve moans obscenely loudly. Ah, found it, Bruce thinks.
Now that he knows where to aim, he speeds up even more, and Steve no longer makes sense under the physicist.
Steve comes first, but Bruce is not too far behind.
He collapses on the supersoldier's chest, catching his breath for a minute.
Then, he grabs the base of his cock, holding the condom, and pulls out. He goes into the bathroom and throws the used condom away and wets a washcloth under the tap.
He wipes himself off on the walk back to the bed, where Steve has thrown an arm over his eyes but has otherwise not moved at all.
Bruce cleans Steve up and throws the washcloth somewhere in the direction of the bathroom. He snuggles into Steve's side, laying an arm across his partner's chest and throwing a leg over Steve's.
On their one-year anniversary, they eat dinner out on the terrace. Tony and Pepper, married for four months now, have gone out to eat to give them their privacy.
Tony's apparently been doing some manipulating behind the scenes (again) because Bruce is just getting ready to pull a small black box out of his pocket when Steve gets down on one knee, a box of his own in his hand.
Bruce throws his head back and laughs, and Steve knows him well enough that he just waits until Bruce sobers.
The physicist slips out of his own chair onto one knee, mirroring Steve's position, and the supersoldier's eyes blow up wide as he sees Bruce pulling his box out of his pocket.
They lock eyes, and even though Steve's answer is a fraction faster than Bruce's, it doesn't matter. Steve reaches for Bruce's hand first, and Bruce sets his box on his knee and lets his partner, no, fiancé, slide the ring onto his hand.
Then, it's his turn, and he grabs Steve's hand, enthusiastically putting the ring on his finger.
"I never thought it could come to this when Tony said I should ask you out last year. He knew I had been looking at your files, and that I was interested. He told me to go for it," Bruce reveals.
It's Steve's turn to laugh, as he tells his fiancé that Tony had said the exact same thing to him.
Bruce smiles, "We owe him a nice present, don't you think? Now, can we get off the floor? I'm not as young as I used to be, you know."
"You're perfect. And we do, I guess." Steve stands up and picks up his fiancé, carrying him over to the chaise longue in the corner of the terrace.
They're married two months later, in a small ceremony at the courthouse. Nobody wanted a church wedding, and they can't get married at the Tower without outing themselves to the public as the Hulk and Captain America.
So far, Tony and Thor are the only 'Avengers' whose identities are publicly known, because it's difficult to recant statements made on national TV and because disguising a god is next to impossible. The other four enjoy their anonymity and want to maintain it.
Clint and Natasha stand with Steve, and Tony and Pepper stand with Bruce. Thor cannot return from Asgard for the wedding, but a cask of mead makes a not-so-mysterious appearance at the Tower two days before the wedding.
Steve and Bruce thank the sky that night. A lone flash of lightning is their answer, and they go back inside happier.
The first night of their honeymoon, Bruce finally lets Steve top. Nobody turns green, and everybody enjoys the experience.
They come back from their honeymoon positively blissful, and they continue looking for an occupation for Steve.
He had been working as a product tester for Tony, part-time, but the husbands agree that Steve should be able to have a job if he wants.
Steve remembers something he had noticed during his travels across the country, and it gives him an idea. They ask Tony if it's possible.
Tony says 'yes.'
I think this is the most insecure that I've ever been about anything, so reviews are welcomed. Please.