Disclaimer: I do not own, property of Marvel comics I'm just borrowing Tony and Steve.
Story: Tony had resigned himself to the inevitable, until an accident turns Steve's world upside down. When all others leave, only one will stay,
Pairings: Tony x Steve, little Clint x Steve
Author's Note: Oh I'm starting another one! I could not resist! I have read a couple tackling this particular topic, I liked the idea and want to give it a try myself. Put my own little sappy, ridiculous flare on it. Once more Tony is the brooding, angsty hero… love writing him this way. Best part of fan fiction…you can make them anyway you want! For now enjoy!
Stay with Me
Chapter 1 - Reality
He had never really been all that good with people. He laboured under no delusions in that field. He had always understood machines, motors, and technology much better then any human relationships….to him they where easy to understand, straightforward to fix, and they didn't let you down. It was a painful realization and one he had learned at a very young age. His father had never had time for him when he was young, preferring the company of technology a trait he ended up sharing with the man. Howard Stark had died with his mother in an accident when he'd been in adolescence. Even though he'd never been close to them, it had been another blow to his heart.
His teenager years had been a blur of awkwardness, a genius he'd been very young attending University. Socially inept, and painfully shy he'd closed off from those around him, hiding away his true self. Learning quickly, people liked you if you where the life of the part, and they loved you if you had money. The alcohol had been a crutch, allowing him out of his shell and keeping him blessedly numb. Antony Stark had been perfectly fine with that existence. Until his capture.
Until his life had taken a complete 180, that once shy awkward kid, now a devil-may-care adult had found a place in the world. He'd become a hero. Secretly pleased and humbled with the title. He'd become what the world needed, holding all at arms length everyone, satisfied to create a new persona for himself. Eccentric, recluse, superhero. Satisfied once more…until 'he' had shown up. He had changed everything, him and the Avengers.
Like some blonde tornado, Captain America had been found, and brought into the 21st century with a vengeance. Courageous, ridiculously handsome, strong, and honest. Everything that Tony had always dreamed of being. He was in compete awe of the man, all but tripping over himself whenever he was around. For the first time, Tony found himself unable to stop thinking about someone. Wanting to be closer to him, but like some ugly monster his social awkwardness reared its ugly head and like an insensitive jerk, he'd pushed him away.
By the time they had defeated Loki, saving the world in a most heroic way…he had reached an uneasy truce with the Captain. One that Tony eagerly took. Inviting the whole of the Avengers to join him at the tower, he had a plan. He was going to befriend Steve, take it slow… and hopefully…if the Gods where maybe on his side; work on something more.
Tony Stark was excited. He grinned down at what any normal person would consider a piece of junk, fit only for a scrap pile. What he saw though, was an opportunity. He had been searching for weeks for the thing, a vintage 1940's motorcycle. It needed some serious TLC, but Tony was sure that he could fix it, he could fix anything. It wasn't for him though, it was for Captain America, a little project for them to work on together.
He'd overheard Steve telling Natasha that back in his time he had had a motorcycle. Confessing that he missed riding, even working on a bike. Since Tony had heard the gears of his mind had been working. Coming up with this plan, to create a project for them, an excuse to talk to the man, be near him…in a way he could understand. His project had finally arrived today, giving the billionaire a perfect reason to seek out the man.
Uncaring he was greasy and dirty, his white beater full of holes and stains, coveralls pulled down where tied about his waist. Hurrying out of the lab he grinned heading for the kitchen, knowing Steve was always hungry it was a safe bet on where to find him. Rounding the corner, he frowned the place was empty. He paused idly scratching his chin, where else could he be? The dark haired man headed to the common area next, spotting Natasha reading by the window. "Spider Lady, you seen Cap?" He called, she looked at him face impassive as always, "Training with Clint in the gym I believe." Nodding he gave her a wave of thanks, whistling as he headed for the elevator. Smile back, callused hands buried in his pockets, he was almost giddy with anticipation.
Daydreaming on his way to the gym, picturing Steve lighting up in happiness, smiling at him. He might even get a hug... the elevators dinged brought him back, and he heading for the gym. Rounding the corner he opening his mouth about to call out to Steve. The punching bag swung on it's chain, but Steve wasn't hitting it. He was turned away from it…standing before Clint. Tony's voice died on his lips, chocolate eyes widening as he registered what he was looking at. Big arms where wrapped tightly around the shorter blonde, mouths mashed together.
Steve was kissing Clint.
It felt like he'd been kicked in the chest. Without a sound he backed away from the door. In some foggy daze he moved as if in a dream, not paying any attention as his feet on autopilot returned him to his lab. His eyes where hot, his chest thrumming painfully, he slumped on one of the stools leaning against his work bench. Taking great gasping breaths, he tried to steady himself, the constant blue glow from his chest, dim, and sullen. He couldn't remember the last time he'd ever felt so bad. It went beyond emotional and mental, it was a physical ache. He wanted to curl up and never leave his sanctuary. Hide away from the unfair world.
A thought came to him then, a realization that stunned and frightened him. Eyes closed in pain, he gave himself a self-deprecating smile, "God damit Stark," he chastised himself, despite his best efforts, and all his defences he had done the worst possible thing…he'd fallen in love. Groaning he felt like bashing his head against the wall. He was completely head over heels for the man…and Steve was kissing Clint. "All the money in the world," he whispered shaking his head, "And the only thing I really want is entirely out of my reach."
Exhaling shakily, he straightened on the stool, "Get your shit together Stark…" he hissed standing slowly, moving back to his current project. He would bury himself in work, ignore his heart, and pretend like all was right with the world. He stilled before his latest creation, closing his eyes briefly in futile rage, wondering why it had to be him? And knowing in his heart he would everything within his power to make him happy.
Steve was confused. A natural state for himself he was finding in this place and time. The world had changed so much since his long freeze, and he was running to catch up. Thankful for the Avengers, who he'd come to consider family, and more recently…a budding relationship. To be honest he hadn't really notice Clint during the Loki issue, the man was assassin practiced at fading away. It was afterwards that he noticed the man looking at him with hunger in his eyes, following him to the gym, following him as he worked at SHEILD. He hadn't understood why. Flattered yes, but hesitant. It wasn't until he was sitting on the weight bench one day that the pieces fell into place.
Finished his workout, the big man sat up wiping sweat from his brow, his white shirt see through, soaked with perspiration. Thick muscles pulling the fabric tight. Shaking blonde hair from his eyes, he looked up surprised when a lithe form settled in his lap. Blue eyes met gray, and Steve felt callused palms squeeze his biceps. "Your incredible," Clint whispered seconds before kissing him harshly, blunt fingers burying in his hair. It had been intense, quick, and surprising. The archer halting the activities, before licking his lips. With a wink he was gone leaving once more a thoroughly confused man behind him.
Since that first encounter, Clint had made a point of searching him out at the gym, inciting these little kissing sessions, then proceed to ignore him all day. So Steve was left to his confusion. He knew it had nothing to do with being with a man. In fact it had long been his preference, a dirty little secret he'd had to keep buried in his time. A large reason why his relationship with Peggy had gone nowhere. In this place and time though a man or women was free to love whom they chose, an odd feeling but a liberating feeling.
His confusion was over the state of his 'relationship' with Clint. He had yet to ask him out, to dinner, coffee, anything really. He would just suddenly show up while he was working out, kissing him, running his hands all over him. He had tried once to get into Steve's pants, but the blondes his old fashioned side had kicked in. He was unsure how Clint felt, how he felt, and he was not going to do 'that' with someone he was unsure about. Yet he allowed the kissing to continue.
"Hey," a soft voice said, snapping the blonde headed man out of thought. Blinking he registered he was sitting at the kitchen table, a cold cup of coffee before him. Frowning Steve scratched his head, how long had he sat here? Someone was standing before the coffee pot, Tony. "Hey," he returned giving the man a wan smile, the pair hadn't got on very well at the outset. The other man was brash, outgoing, and did everything big…all the things Steve did not see in himself. Yet he had proven to be, under all that, hidden away a rather nice guy. "Haven't seen you in a while working hard?" the big man asked curious, it was true, barely any of them had seen Tony in almost a month. "Oh, yeah…lots of work." He said faintly sipping the black coffee his face neutral.
Tony was torn between heaven and hell. Steve was talking to him, and he looked like a lost little boy. Yet Tony hesitated, should he ask what was wrong? Clearing his throat the dark haired man took another sip of fortifying coffee. "You ok Cap?" he asked gently, dreading what the answer would be. He watched the debate cross his face, before he seemed to come to a decision, "Tony…how do you know, if you know…are in a relationship?" the shorter man felt the air leave his chest, not only was the man he loved asking about relationship advice…it was advice about another man. Heaving a sigh he sat across from him at the table, running a hand through already thoroughly tousled hair. The dark locks shaggier then normal, he hadn't had time or the inclination to get it cut. "Well, I'm not really very good at that sort of thing…" he mumbled half-heartedly, "I would guess when you both agree you are?" He ventured, big beautiful blue eyes where looking at him with a hang dog look that played hell with his heart.
"But what about going out? Doing things together…" Steve asked blushing brightly, a dark brow arched, "Like movies, dinner, dancing, the whole nine yards?" Blonde hair bobbed eagerly, "Yes, do people do those sort of things still?" Tony chuckled, "Of course blondie, things haven't changed that much." Tony grinned, enjoying himself despite the topic of conversation, Steve shifted uncomfortable for a moment before speaking again barely above a whisper. "And two men…I mean to say, two men can do that sort of thing together?" he asked innocently, blushing darker then Tony had ever seen a grown man blush.
Tony hesitated, he wanted to be honest with him, "I like to think we've made leaps and bounds as a human race. Becoming more understanding, accepting, but the truth is Steve, there is still hate in the world. Ignorance is not so easily destroyed, but as far as I and many other people believe, they way you live your life is entirely up to you." Steve was smiling at him now, a broad honest smile of relief that made him look so very young. Tony wanted to kiss him right then, his fingers itching to gently touch his face, run long fingers through that perfect hair.
Before he made a fool of himself he stood, moving towards the door, pausing to pat a broad muscular shoulder, "Besides if anyone bothers you Spangles, Iron Man will kick their ass." Steve gave him a grateful smile, and Tony bid him a goodnight heading once more for the lab ignoring the pain in his chest, and his mind telling him to turn back. "Look on the bright side Tony, at least he'd into guys…" he muttered keying in the code. Unsure whether he wanted to laugh or cry about that.