Disclaimer: All owned by Marvel, just borrowing.
Story: Tony and Steve hate one another, everyone knows that. When a single moment changes everything, will Steve and Tony make it through?
Genre: Romance, general, fluff
Author's Note: I'm back! One of the new stories kicking around in my mind, hopefully have the Christmas story up soon, and the debut I've of another story that I am absolutely in love with right now. For now enjoy a new sappy, fluffy, read!
Love and Hate
Part 1 – Oil and Water
"Stark behind you!" the voice snapped angrily in his ear, the red gold blur dodging out of the way just in time. "Pay attention Stark, you're going to get yourself hurt!" Captain America glared upwards at the hovering figure. "Yeah whatever don't get your panties in a bunch," the billionaire grunted blasting out another alien. "Cap and Stark are at it again," Clint muttered firing off another arrow, Natasha snorted reloading, "What else is new, oil and water those two…" Steve threw his shield with vehemence, "Focus," he snapped. Ignoring the pain in his chest at their rather astute observation.
Tony moving above them, danced out of the way of the Hulk ignoring the banter on the com, focusing at the task at hand. The sooner they dealt with this alien menace the sooner he could go back to his lab and ignore everyone. There was a roar of rage from the green man, and the giant monster fell to the ground agonized rage. Tony paused watching in satisfaction; things where wrapping up nicely, didn't need him anymore. Nodding he was about to take off back to his work when he spotted several as of yet unseen creatures trying to sneak up on Captain America.
Without pausing to consider he dropped down firmly planting himself between them and the big spangled man. Steve heard the blast behind him, whipping around quickly he was surprised to see Iron Man at his back. He blinked in shock sure his tried mind was conjuring up subconscious desires. Shaking his head he caught something moving out of the corner of his eye, one of the creatures leveled a weapon at the armored man. Steve hurriedly stepped in front of it; unable to get his shield up in time he took most of the blast in the chest. The bright blast of light throwing him backwards skidding along the pavement.
Iron Man was stunned, things moved in slow motion as the blast of light took Steve in the chest thrown off his feet. "Steve," he cried panic overriding his good sense at the sight of his big man lying motionless in the street. Hurrying to the prone hero's side he tugged his helmet off, worried brown eyes scanning the dirty face, chest constricting with worry. The others joined him; Tony reaching out hands pausing when he heard a faint moan. Relief washed through the metal man, as those beautiful blue eyes opening slowly, Tony exhaling in relief. Sitting back on his hunches, he ran a shaky hand through his hair.
Steve felt like he'd been hit by the Hulk, his body was aching, and his thoughts where muddled. Disoriented he blinked, the others where looking at him with various degrees of concern. Among them, the bruised, sweaty face of Tony Stark…but that couldn't be could it? Tony hated him. "Ok Cap?" Clint held out his hand helping the big man to his feet, wincing the big guy gripped the offered arm getting to his feet awkwardly, "Yes thank you, I'm ok little winded."
Tony hid his relief snapping his helmet back on he stood the Hulk bereft of enemies was beginning to shrink, returning to Banner. It would appear the battle had ended. Good. Without a word he took off, heading back to the Tower, in no mood to tolerate Fury's ire, nor Steve's disappointed lectures about his endangerment of team.
"JARVIS shut down communications," he sighed as he landed at the Tower, "Very good Sir." Tony was in no mood to talk with the others. Stripped of his armor he headed further into the Tower, ordering his AI to get the dings and dents out of the metal. He stormed into his lab locking the place down immediately no one was coming in. Especially not in your face, perfect…handsome Steve Rogers. Furious he called up his latest suit improvements, he'd bury himself in work and forget all about today, about his heart nearly stopping when Steve had got blasted, his own reaction…he'd slipped up that's all there was to it.
Tony pushed around the holo's half assed, his heart just wasn't in it…neither was his mind. Sighing frustrated he slumped in his chair burying his face in his arms, the same question that had rolling around in his brain for months once more plaguing him, "Why doesn't he like me?" Running a hand through dark hair he frowned at the screen, lines of code scrolling steadily by. Anthony Stark knew he had a tendency to rub people the wrong way; he was loud, obnoxious, far to smart of his own good, and rather reckless. He'd never given a moment thoughts to what others thought of him, he had done what he wanted, when he wanted…that is until the human popsicle had been pulled from the deep freeze.
Like the heroic legend portrayed in the comics, Captain America had come to save humanity. Without thinking he tapped a hidden file, grainy black and white footage playing. Silent movies featuring a man in spandex pants, dark eyes watched listlessly. He'd seen them all hundreds of times before, read all the comics, had all the trading cards…a better collection then Colson, not that he'd ever tell. Captain America had been his childhood hero…and truth be told was still his hero. Brave, honorable, and gorgeous. Captain America was leading the Howling Commando's on the screen, he couldn't help the smile that tugged at the corners of his mouth, what he wouldn't give to have been there with him, watching his back as they battled Hydra.
When he'd first met the Cap he'd barely been able to contain himself, he was a living legend watching him fight had been amazing; right out of the comics. Tony had utterly hero-worshiped the man, until he'd opened his stupid mouth. In typical Tony fashion he'd said all the wrong things. It had been six months since that faithful day, their defeat of Loki…and he and Steve where still at one another's throats. The short movie ended and old footage of a USO show started up, he chuckled at the Star Spangled Man with the plan knocked out Hitler.
The films ended documents and pictures shuffling by, everything and anything on Steven Rogers, Captain America, and the serum, mostly his dads' old files. Howard had made Captain America his obsession, one that had no doubt cost him his family. Tony never really got on with Howard, but in the end he was still his father, and somewhere in his arc driven heart he hoped he had made his father happy.
You're no hero…
The words echoed in his head again, just as they had been for months. In a heartbeat Captain America had crushed him. Those words from that man had hurt more then when they'd cut his chest open and hooked him up to that godforsaken car battery. Clever fingers pushed the file away closing it down. Eyes hot and dry as his ever present blue glow dimmed, he rubbed at the hallow ache in his chest, the world thought Iron Man hated Captain America…the truth far grimmer then that.
Tony Stark was in love with Steve Rogers.
The only noise in the gym was the steady thump as his fist connected with the bag. With every solid connection he felt his mind calming, centering. A thing of rarity for Steve Rogers these days. He was a man out of time, forcibly pulled into a fast paced, confusing world. He'd been forced to adapt quickly, and the learning curve was incredibly steep. He paused in his movement tugging off his sweat soaked t-shirt, bulky muscular flame glistening. Puffing lightly he went back to the supposedly bust proof bag Stark had made. His frown deepened, Tony Stark. The very name brought up all sorts of confusing, intense emotions.
He had been friends with Howard in his day, and to hear when he was awoke that his son was running his company, and a superhero in his own right. He'd been eager to meet him desperate to have a friend in this time. Only when he'd met the loud, larger then life man he hadn't felt a friendship…it was something else entirely. Teasing dark eyes had captured him effortlessly, the teasing smiles, the silly little nicknames….Tony had made him feel something. Something hot, uncomfortable, and confusing. He grunted hitting harder, the bag groaning on its chain, panting now his movements almost a blur, as if he could punch the confusion away.
Tony made him feel, made him want…made him burn and it terrified him. So he lashed out. He'd been so very cruel to the man when they'd met; he still with shame at his words. He had accused the man of not willing to make the sacrifice play, to lie down on the wire for the next man. Tony had snapped back 'I'd cut the wire' Steve had not understood at the time. He did now, Tony didn't want anyone to sacrifice themselves unless he was the one doing it. He could still see Iron Man falling lifeless from the sky, his heart falling with him, every awful thing he'd said rolling through his head.
Steve had been so scared he'd loose him, loose that feeling he had found. Tony made him feel alive…and that scared him more then anything. Panting now he saw the bag begin to split, perversely stratified it was going to go. Breathing he gave it a final one two combination the chain snapped, the bag tore open and went sailing across the gym. He stopped chest almost heaving with exertion as blue eyes started unseeing at the mess he'd created. His mind returning to earlier today, he'd yelled at Tony, and how had the man responded? He'd saved him.
Steve moved then feeling oddly light head, he shook sweat soaked blonde hair; maybe he should have gone to see medical after being hit by that ray. Shaking himself out he grabbed up his discarded shirt, tugging it back on he tuned with one destination in mind. He was going to go to Tony's lab, and probably lecture him…when all he really wanted to do was take him in his arms, beg for forgiveness; tell him that he didn't hate him.
Feet taking a familiar path he paused on the stair eyes blurring for a moment. He shook his head again, fobbing it off as just being far to tired. Maybe he should wait for this, for the morning when he was once more in control. His emotions where all over the place, adrenaline pumping from his work out, he wanted to talk to Tony…even if it was just to have a fight. He keyed in the entry code, eyes fuzzing again. Steve frowned at the door opened; stepping inside he spotted the man instantly. Tony was working on one of his many cars, dark eyes glancing up at the sound of the door.
Tony had finally managed to loose himself in work, but the sound of the door had pulled him back to the here and now. Sighing he finished tightening the bolt, slowly he set his tools aside grabbing the rag as he turned wiping grease stained fingers he turned unsurprised to see Steve arms crossed, t-shirt sweat soaked sticking to his muscular torso. How the man managed to look so good after working out was beyond Tony. Hands relatively clean he tossed aside the rag, arms folding across his chest, resigned to the upcoming lecture and argument. He didn't have long to wait.
"Stark," he greeted briskly, "Captain," he returned face betraying nothing. The big blonde took a deep breath, "What where you doing out there today?" he demanded, Tony could see his hands still wrapped from the gym, frowning, there was blood spotting the white tape. He shrugged at Steve's rhetorical question, keen eyes worried about the bloody knuckles, had he hurt his hands on that new bag he'd designed? Maybe the material had been too tough. He tried to focus, Steve was gathering steam, "You can't just ignore the rest of the team, you do need to take some direction -" Tony tuned out again; it was the same old song and dance. Captain America, the team player, perfect… his thoughts trailed off, as Steve stopped his tirade running a hand through mussed blonde locks, eye unfocused he shook his head as if to clear it. Tony frowned worriedly.
Steve was having trouble holding onto his thoughts, his eyes where blurring again, Tony wavering and jumping in his line of sight. He blinked rapidly to try and bring him into focus, "Tony," he said tongue feeling thick; maybe if he got closer. Tony blinked in shock; Steve never used his first name. Uncrossing his arms he stepped forward, the big man was blinking rapidly...and not lecturing him. "Steve?" he ventured, watching at he took a step forward, the big man frowned looking down at his legs. Confused blue eyes locked with brown and the man went down.
Tony leapt forward barley managed to grab his shoulder keeping him from face planting. Cursing at the sudden dead weight he cradled the man close, Captain America did just keel over…this was bad. With a grunt the wiry man hefted the big body into his arms, carrying him to his couch. "JARVIS get Bruce down here ASAP!" he said, settling him on he couch. "Doctor Banner is on his way Sir," the AI said placidly. Tony felt utterly useless; he could diagnose a machine in seconds but a person. He placed a callused hand against the unconscious man's forehead he didn't feel hot. Sighing he sat beside the couch waiting for Bruce, and watching to make sure that big chest rose and fell steadily.
Bruce hurried in medical kit in hand, he spotted them hurrying over, "What'd you do?" he asked kneeling beside Steve as Tony moved out of his way. "Nothing, he keeled over mid lecture…" the placid man looked at him doubtfully over his glasses. Fishing out the stethoscope he gently pressed it against the wide chest listening to the strong steady heartbeat. Tony watched worrying, the others hurrying in. "What'd you do?" Clint demanded looking him in eye, Tony threw his hands up muttering under his breath, "Has Antony finally broken our friend Steven?" Thor was the last to join them in his over the top fashion. Tony grunted, "Why does everyone assume it was me?" the all focused on him with vary degrees of disbelief.
"He seems fine, just passed out," Bruce sat back scratching his head in confusion. There was faint moan from the prone man, everyone gathering around him anxiously, Tony hung back from the others torn between anger for footing the blame, and worried that perhaps he did have something to do with this. Blue eyes blinked slowly, hazily, Bruce gently laying a hand on his shoulder, "Steve you ok?" he shook his head grunting, "Yeah I think so..." he sat up, feeling rather confused. "Why is everyone…" he trailed off looking from face to face, blue eyes finally fastening on the most gorgeous brown eyes he'd ever seen.
Time seemed to freeze then, the world falling away Steve felt as if it was just the two of them. Something painfully hot coursed through Steve every fiber of his being burning…he had to have him. Tony stood unmoving, as Steve looked at him intently; confused Tony glanced behind him to see if someone else was perhaps there. "Tony," the man on the couch breathed, no one budged. Worried the genius was about to speak when Captain America was up off the couch and before him, "Tony," he sighed dreamily, crushing their lips together.