Disclaimer: All property of Marvel, just borrowing.
Story: He had always thought that love was a sudden all consuming emotion; like he had seen in the movies of his time. He was learning though, that sometimes love can catch you by surprise.
Author's Note: Here we are again I couldn't stay away! This one is a fluffy romantic sappy piece. Needed something light after my last one it was way to depressing. I'm also hoping to get a Christmas oneshot in so be on the look out for that one. For now though, enjoy!
Love Run Cold
Chapter 1 – Confessions in the Lab
He had always thought that love was a sudden all consuming emotion; like he had seen in the movies of his time. Strong me sweeping blushing, women off their feet. He had seen it with his best friend Bucky; on more then one occasion. Then he'd thought that perhaps his chance had come with a very charming, beautiful, women named Peggy Carter. He had liked her; and given half a chance he was sure he could have come to love her. That was all before. Before his plane went down, before he was frozen…before he was brought back.
Sighing the big man turned in the large, comfy bed; sleep eluding him. To be honest he wasn't keen to sleep these days. He knew he would dream; of battles past, of friends lost, relived in agonizing detail. The worst though…the worst was when he dreamed of the cold. He shivered unconsciously, wrapping the large duvet tighter around him. Closing tired eyes he tried to quite his mind. Tomorrow would be busy, training, instructing classes, and you never knew when the Avenger's would be called upon.
The Avengers. He still had some difficulty grasping all that had happened to him in the last six months. From being forced back into the world, one he was working on getting used to, to defeating what he learned was a semi-god of some sort. It had been a while later when he moved into what was being called Avengers Tower. With little connection to this world he had sought one with the one person in this time that perhaps he could connect with; Anthony Stark.
Steve opened his eyes again with a sigh giving up entirely. Slipping out of bed he tugged up his cover wrapping the blanket around himself. Barefoot he navigated the newly redone hallways downwards past the common area's, bypassing what was now Bruce's lab. Beyond that was Tony's lab, the light shining through the glass walls bright and welcoming. Steve could see the man inside, working steadily on his latest project. Approaching the entrance he pressed his thumb on the little square panel, waiting as the blinking red light turned to green the door giving a soft whoosh as it opened. Without a word he stepped inside making his way towards the workbench settling on one of the stools.
Tony Stark, engineering genius, alerted to the others arrival by JARVIS didn't immediately put down his torch well used to Steve's nightly visits. Finishing off his weld he stood back protesting his prolonged bent position. Flipping his shield up he cocked his head to the side checking his work. Satisfied he turned to the new arrival frowning when he saw the big man wrapped in the duvet head propped up on his arm, as sleepy blue eyes started off into space. The silence stretched on as Tony tugged off thick protective gloves; wiping dirty hands on his jeans. Bypassing the blonde he headed for the far end of the room setting the kettle to boil. Steve turned flashing the other man a shy hesitant smile. Tony returned it, lips quirking as the water boiled measuring out the water he made them both tea. Tony preferred coffee himself, but Steve liked tea.
Carrying the mugs over he deposited one before the blanket wrapped man. "Thanks," Steve mumbled cradling the warm ceramic tightly. The smaller man sat down across from him, contemplating the blonde. The nightly ramblings had started a couple weeks ago, Tony eventually programming the Capt's prints in so JARVIS wasn't constantly bugging him with the blonde waiting outside. Captain alone was the only Avenger he would do that for. Not even Bruce. Tony didn't mind his presence in the lab, the big man would sit and watch him work, sometimes doing his own work, or sketching. Steve was a fantastic artist. The dark haired man having developed a habit of peaking over his shoulder as he worked. Eventually the big blonde would fall sleep curled on the couch Tony kept in the lab. Some nights he would come down in his pajamas, other nights he'd show up like he is now, cocooned in the cover off his bed. An oddity that up until this point Tony had never questioned. It had been a problem, one that he'd spent the better part of a month mulling over, slowly forming a hypothesis as to why.
Reaching out suddenly Tony gently touched the exposed arm as Steve sipped his hot tea. The brunette stunned at the temperature of his flesh; Steve was cold. The blonde startled pulled back sloshing warm liquid on his hands, and onto some of Tony's work. "Oh I'm so sorry Tony," he mumbled using a corner of the blanket to mop up the tea. Tony stalled him grasping those big hands in his own warm, callused ones. His were clammy, slightly warmed from the mug, but still far too cold. "Steve?" he asked reassuringly releasing the cooling appendages. The big blonde shifted embarrassed looking away, a faint blush on his cheeks.
They had not started off well. Something Tony had not understood. Their initial meeting and subsequent month after Captain America had woke had been confusing and more then a little disheartening. Tony had been looking forward to meeting the man from another time since they'd called him in the wee hours of the morning; with the news he'd been found frozen in the ice. He'd even designed and built the equipment to get him out of the ice. Though Tony hadn't agreed with the little stunt Fury had pulled, perversely pleased when Steve had seen through it in a heartbeat.
Now six month later they had formed a friendship of sorts. Tony more then pleased by that fact. Captain America had been a childhood hero, and at the moment he was rather confused as to what his feeling where towards the man. He'd tried to fob it off as bromance, or hero worship…after all Steve Rogers from 1945 was not an ordinary man. Somehow though neither of those felt right. For now he'd settle of friend, the best friend Tony had.
He looked at the man from another time steadily, waiting patently for him to speak, realizing the big guy was uncomfortable. Worrying his lower lip Steve stared at his blanket covered lap. Tony backtracking in his mind, maybe Steve wasn't that comfortable with him yet. They may have spent a lot of time together here in the lab but not a lot of time opening up….perhaps a little tit for tat.
"You read my file?" he asked the blonde casually, blue eyes peaked up at him through dark lashes; nodding slowly. "So you know how I got this?" he tapped the round glowing ring in his chest. Steve cleared his throat quietly; "It keeps shrapnel from entering your heart and killing you." Tony nodded, "Did you know before I created this, the doctor who saved me had me hooked up to a car battery." Steve looked at him wide eyed, nodding the dark haired man sipped his tea pulling a face "Carrying that thing around was a pain…but it was the only thing keeping me alive. Even when they tortured me they where careful to never disconnect the battery; if I died they lost their leverage and a potential weapon." Steve was looking at him in astonishment, "I still have nightmares about that cave, those men, the worst though is the memory of them dunking me in that dirty water. It would short out of the battery, running electricity across my chest." He pulled aside his shirt, Steve had never seen Tony's chest bare, he was always wearing something a t-shirt, or undershirt of some kind.
The metal plate, and glowing ring was hard looking, at odds with the flesh around it. He could see raised white scar tissue around the plate, running outwards across his chest. Tony looked down himself; he could still see the burns like lightning stemming from the one thing that kept him alive. He jolted when chilly fingers traced the path of one of the marks. Steve pulled back his hand, mumbling, "Sorry…" Tony shook his head, "It's ok just cold." The other man seemed to cringe. Tony lowered his shirt hopeful the blonde would confide in him.
"Ever since…ever since…" Steve was unsure where to start, how to explain. He didn't want to show weakness, not to anyone. Captain America was a superhero after all…he didn't let little things like cold bother him. Only that wasn't true. "Ever since the ice; I just seem to be cold all the time." He spoke softly, looking down at his hands, "Some days are worse then others, when I dream…" he shuddered, that ice creeping into his mind. Tony connecting the dots, cursed himself for a fool for not seeing it sooner. "Have you talked to the doctors?" he asked carefully, perhaps there was an issue with the machines used to unfreeze him. He frowned maybe he could rework the designs, check the prior logs on the machines… "All my tests are fine…they said it maybe just a side effect from being frozen for so long. Nothing to be done." Tony didn't like that answer, can't wasn't in his vocabulary.
Sighing suddenly beyond tired he pulled the blanket around him tighter, "Gonna lie on the couch…" he mumbled moving across the room he settled on it big body curling in on himself. Tony watched as he settled, mind moving quickly. He wasn't a doctor, but he was a damn good inventor…if he couldn't fix the problem but there where defiantly things he could do to help.
It had been an irritating day at SHIELD. Steve, normally calm and placid was not in a great mood. It was going on eleven by the time he had returned home, hearing the TV running he poked his head around the door frame spotting a couple curled together on the couch. Recognizing Natasha and Clint he managed a smile moving on, a small pang of jealousy moving through his chest. He was happy for them, he really was…but why couldn't he find someone? Scowling, bad mood retuned he headed for his room.
Stripping he hurried into the shower, the water as hot as it would go. Sighing content as he started to warm up, muscles relaxing, as the stress from the day left him. Closing blue eyes he allowed his mind to return to the previous night in the lab. Tony had woke him at five this morning coffee in hand, letting him know he had work soon. It had been nothing new; but this morning there was something new. Something different. They had smiled at one another, Tony telling him to have a good day. Steve had felt warm. For the first time in a long time, his chest had felt warm. He wanted to chase that feeling.
Resigned the big man finally turned off the hot shower hurriedly toweling off, tugging on fluffy sweat pants and a thick sweater he headed to his bed surprised the bed was already warm. Shocked he flipped up the covers curious to see a new blanket on there, one with a cord attached. "JARVIS, what's on my bed?" he asked the room knowing the AI would answer. "It is an electric blanket Captain Rogers, I have been programmed to turn it on when you have your nightly shower." Steve started at the blue blanket, a slow smile spreading across his face. "There is also a new duvet Sir, down filled it will be much warmer then the previous one."
The big blonde nestled into the warm toasty bed gratefully. He just knew it had something to do with Tony. He had been nervous confiding to the other man, worried he maybe thought weak. Then Tony had shown him his chest. Giving him honesty, and trust; Steve had wanted to return in kind. The glowing blue light, seeming so cold…yet it had been warm like the man under his cool fingers. Eyes heavy, drowsy with the warmth the blonde began to drift, hoping to dream of calming blue light.